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FEATURES

32 YOUR GUIDE TO HOMEBREWING


BY LAUREN BUZZEO Nows the time to go from suds fan to craft beer baron with our expert guide.

MARCH

34

THE ACCIDENTAL WINE


BY MICHAEL SCHACHNER Dark, idiosyncratic Carmenre has found a comfortable home in Chiles warm valleys.

28

58

40

WINES EXOTIC ADDRESSES


BY THE EDITORS From icy Sweden to tropical Southeast Asia, intrepid vintners push the wine worlds boundaries.

46

WASHINGTONS RISE OF THE RHNES


BY PAUL GREGUTT AND SEAN P. SULLIVAN These trailblazing wineries have turned Washington into Americas top source of Rhne-style wines.

46

52

ITALYS BEST KEPT SECRET


BY KERIN OKEEFE Le Marche is everything travelers love about Italy, minus the crowds.

58

DIVINE SWINE
BY VIRGINIE BOONE Exploring the wonders of pairing Pinot Noir and pork.

COVER PHOTO: TODD HUFFMAN

2 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

10

22

DEPARTMENTS
OUT & ABOUT
10 Inside the Party Scene

COLUMNS
EDITORS LETTER
6 Welcome to the New Wine Enthusiast

THE CRUSH
13 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 Syrups are the New Bitters Whats in Your Wine Q&A: Ray Walker Dining Trend: The New New South Drinking Endangered Grapes Cocktail of the Month: The Raisin Cane The Queen of NOLA Recipe of the Month: Okra Gumbo Central London Calling

VIEWPOINT
30

Bordeaux Is Back

BUYING GUIDE
66 82 86 89 90 92 95 99 102 103 Alsace Italy Austria Greece South Africa Chile California Washington Spirits Beer

LAST DROP
104 Take Two Sips and Call Me in the Morning

13

WINEMAG.COM | 3

VOLUME 27, NUMBER 2

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Adam M. Strum VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLISHING WINE ENTHUSIAST MEDIA Jay Spaleta
EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR Susan Kostrzewa MANAGING EDITOR Joe Czerwinski SENIOR EDITOR Mike Dawson WEB EDITOR/PRODUCER Marina Vataj ASSISTANT EDITOR Joseph Hernandez CALIFORNIA EDITOR Steve Heimoff EUROPEAN EDITOR Roger Voss ITALIAN EDITOR Kerin OKeefe CONTRIBUTING EDITORS, WINE Michael Schachner, Paul Gregutt, Virginie Boone, Sean Sullivan, Anna Lee C. Iijima, Anne Krebiehl CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, FOOD Alexis Korman CONTRIBUTING EDITORS, LIFESTYLE & ENTERTAINING Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen SPIRITS EDITOR Kara Newman CREATIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Marco Turelli ART DIRECTOR Julia Lea DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Megan Baggott DIRECTOR OF PRINT PRODUCTION Barbara Gianisis TASTING TASTING DIRECTOR Lauren Buzzeo TASTING COORDINATOR Molly Sowers ASSISTANT TASTING COORDINATOR Alexander Peartree EDITORIAL OFFICES 333 North Bedford Road, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549 TEL: 914.345.9463 FAX: 914.218.9186 editor@wineenthusiast.net CALIFORNIA Steve Heimoff sheimoff@wineenthusiast.net Virginie Boone vboone@wineenthusiast.net EUROPE Roger Voss TEL/FAX: +33 562 09 50 76 rvoss@wineenthusiast.net ITALY Kerin OKeefe TEL: +41 91 930.0080 kokeefe@wineenthusiast.net SOUTH AMERICA & SPAIN Michael Schachner mschachner@wineenthusiast.net PACIFIC NORTHWEST Paul Gregutt pgregutt@wineenthusiast.net Sean Sullivan ssullivan@wineenthusiast.net ADVERTISING & MARKETING VP PUBLISHING Jay Spaleta 333 North Bedford Road, Mt. Kisco, NY TEL: 914.345.9463 ext. 4611 FAX: 866.887.0943 jspaleta@wineenthusiast.net SOUTHEAST U.S. Denise Valenza TEL: 800.315.4397 dvalenza@wineenthusiast.net WESTERN U.S. Allison Langhoff TEL: 800.319.6920 alanghof@wineenthusiast.net ACCOUNT MANAGERS Jennifer Gandol jgandolf@wineenthusiast.net; Debora Stein dstein@wineenthusiast.net ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Christine Bires cbires@wineenthusiast.net ADVERTISING SERVICES COORDINATOR Jen Cortellini jcortellini@wineenthusiast.net MANAGER OF COMMUNICATIONS Jacqueline Strum jstrum@wineenthusiast.net ART DIRECTOR OF EVENTS Eileen Curran ecurran@wineenthusiast.net MARKETING COORDINATOR Carlie Tynan ctynan@wineenthusiast.net CIRCULATION PROCIRC 3191 Coral Way, Suite 510, Miami, FL CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Jim Motrinec jim.motrinec@procirc.com CIRCULATION ASSISTANT Susi Chapman susi.chapman@procirc.com RETAILERS To carry Wine Enthusiast Magazine, call 800.381.1288 ext. 6048 SUBSCRIPTIONS SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES 800.829.5901 (International: 386.447.2397) wineenthusiast@emailcustomerservice.com BACK ISSUES AND ADDITIONAL COPIES Jen Cortellini jcortellini@wineenthusiast.net REPRINTS Claudia Stachowiak claudias@fosterprinting.com WINE ENTHUSIAST COMPANIES CHAIRMAN Adam M. Strum CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Sybil Strum PRESIDENT Hank Rosen CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Heidi Moore VICE PRESIDENT MARKETING Glenn Edelman
Wine Enthusiast (ISSN 1078.3318) is published monthly with one special issue, a total of 13 times per year. Subscriptions are $34.95 (International: Canada $59.95; Foreign $89.95). 2014 Wine News, Inc. 333 North Bedford Road, Mount Kisco, NY 10549. Periodical postage paid at Mount Kisco, NY and additional mailing offices. Manufactured and printed in the USA. Reprints: You must obtain permission to reproduce any material. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Wine Enthusiast, P.O. Box 420234, Palm Coast, FL 32142.0234.

4 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

Limited Production

The Great American Whiskey


www.michters.com
MICHTERS DISTILLERY LLC LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

editorsletter

WELCOME TO THE NEW WINE ENTHUSIAST


Weve redesigned the magazine to speak to you, the modern wine drinker.

IS THERE ANYTHING SEXIER THAN A DEEP G A R N E T- C O LO R E D GLASS OF WINE?

homas Jefferson once said, A little rebellion is a good thing. At Wine Enthusiast, we hope were challenging the predictable every time we put ink to paper or post a Web page. From the beginning, the magazine has championed progressive and realistic ways to live with great wine every day. We reject the notion that loving wine means joining the smoking jacket-and-cigar brigade of the past. Over the last three years we have refined our message of wine democracy, striving for the perfect balance of education and entertainment, and addressing todays wine drinker in a way no one else does. With the March issue, we drive our flag into the ground for savvy and discovery-driven wine lovers everywhere. Welcome to the new Wine Enthusiast. Whats different? Our logo, to start. Were refocusing on the reader, the wine enthusiast with clean, confident type, and celebrating the global nature of our wine (and beverage) world with a new tagline, The world in your glass. We embrace wine as the ultimate entre into other incredible experiences in life, like dining and travel. Youll see more of them in our stories, in this issue and beyond. Youll also find more beer and spiritsother passions we share with you.

Is there anything sexier than a deep garnet-colored glass of wine, or an artfully arrayed plate of seasonal food? Our new design showcases photography from top names in the field, capturing topics in energetic, real-life settings that are graphic and playful. Yes, you can have fun with wine and still be serious about it. We think wine is beautiful and our new pages show you how alive it can be. A sense of humor is a trademark at Wine Enthusiast, and our new direction fully embraces the fun along with the informative. Our reimagined front section, The Crush, highlights trends with swagger, while features approach wine, spirits and beer in more joyfuland surprisingways than ever before. Lively and adventurous, modern and enjoyablewe think the world of wine, spirits and beer is a Monday-throughSunday celebration, and we want you to feel the same way. Thanks for joining us as we move into the new phase of this exciting adventure we call wine. Cheers!

ADAM STRUM EDITOR & PUBLISHER

SUSAN KOSTRZEWA EXECUTIVE EDITOR

OUR EVOLUTION
Founded in 1988, the publication has always sought creative ways to engage wine drinkers and the trade. Over the years, our focus has shifted to discovery-driven
RICHARD FREEDA

wine consumers and the lifestyle of wine, including dining, travel, entertaining, spirits and beerall inextricable elements of enjoying vinous culture today.

6 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

Call us crazy but in Lodi, were all for taking wine places no wine has gone before. Thats because after 150 years of growing, crushing, barreling and bottling, weve discovered that when you love wine as much as we do, it doesnt matter where you are enjoying it, just that you enjoy it. What can we say, were...

lodiwine.com

winemag.com
CLICK. DISCOVER. CONNECT.

YOUR CALI HIT LIST


We know theres a lot to choose from when it comes to visiting Californias wine regions. So to help you simplify your hit list, we asked our editors in the field for their favorite spots to sip, snack and explore while on the West Coast. Watch Wine Enthusiast TV s behind-the-scenes report on where you should schedule a stop in the Golden State. Visit winemag.com/capicks >>>

FEATURED VIDEO

@WINEENTHUSIAST followers

Best vodka and underrated, hands down, is @Stoli @RealToneEdmonds @Valtvodka for me @SimonStorrie Titos out of Texas for the price. Dont let the label fool you. @crspecketer Why, Finlandia of course. @Finneld Grey Goose and Snow Leopard @Lostinmaremma

SIPPING AND SHIPPING weve

heard all about it. You visit a vineyard, discover a wine, and theneryou cant mail a box of your new favorite fruit juice to your home state. Dont fret, because our wine-shipping guide tells you everything you need to know about how to get your bottles from A to B. Visit winemag.com/shipwine to use our comprehensive resource, and easily share it with your friends.

@asiasolo, Jackson-Triggs Winery

8 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

KATIE NEWBURN; STYLING: NICOLE GREY; FOOD STYLING: LILLIAN KANG

are busy drinking wine and snapping pictures of their vineyard visits, and now were regramming our favorite photos. Follow us and use #WineEnthusiast next time you post your scenic snapshotand keep an eye out for our cool Insta-contests.

HASHTAGVODKA
We asked our Twitter followers to tell us their favorite vodkas. Heres what booze they stock in their home bar.

JOHNNIE WALKER ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY AT THE HUDSON HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY One of the hottest tickets of the season, the JW party kicked off early and went all night. The stars of the affair were the glittering gold bottles of the brands newly launched Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve.

71ST ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS DINNER AT THE BEVERLY HILTON, BEVERLY HILLS Mot & Chandon celebrated its role as the official Champagne of the Golden Globes for the 23rd consecutive year, serving Mot Imperial to the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Liev Schreiber.

BAR BORDEAUX OPENING PARTY AT THE CARLTON HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY The Collective Hospitality Team (Millesime) and the Bordeaux Region celebrated the opening of the hotel wine bar devoted to the 8,000 chateaus of Bordeaux.

10 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

JOHNNIE WALKER: LOUISA CARAGAN; MOET: ALEX J. BERLINER/AB IMAGES; BAR BORDEAUX: WILLCADENA.COM

Drink Montes Alpha style. Drink responsibly.

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ourcrush
THIS MONTH

DONT BE SO BITTER
The art of mixology lies in balancing the bitter and sweet, but if youve been to a bar in the last five years (we suspect you have), you no doubt recognize that bitter is dominating. Cynar concoctions are commonplace, Campari negronis are on tap and you need Excel to track all the new artisanal bitter brands and flavors coming out of Brooklyn alone. We love the trend, but in this bitter revolution the sweet side of cocktails has been left behind. Thats why our Crush this month is Blue J Syrupss fruit, flower and herb sweeteners, which are deliciously closing the bitter-sweet gap. With flavors like Spiced Pear, Mango Hibiscus and Lime & Sage, these pretty pours bring sophistication, subtlety and a dose of gaspfun back to the bar. Best part: On each label, theres a cocktail and sno-cone recipe. Tasty fun for the whole family? Were very sweet on that. Molly Sowers

WINEMAG.COM | 13

thecrush
WINE IQ

WHATS IN YOUR WINE


Enzymes Certain enzymes help cull compounds from the skin and help clear out any impure, microscopic crud leftover from fermentation. Sugar Sulfur dioxide/Sultes Protects and preserves the integrity of the wine. Sulfur can stop fermentation, if needed, and kills the nasty microbes and bacteria that can harm a wines avor or aroma. Potassium Sorbate Like sulfur, potassium sorbate (also used in cheese and yogurt) wards off bad bacteria. In sweet wine, its often used to prevent further fermentation once bottled. Tannin powder Often added to enhance structure and astringency for varietals that are naturally tannin-decient, or for grapes lacking them due to vintage conditions. The powder is often a mix of grape seeds and skins, oak, chestnuts and nutgall, which are small nut-like swellings on tree branch bark. Oak chips, staves or powders Water Used (where wine laws allow it) to restore water lost to dehydration or to lower sugar/alcohol levels. These incarnations are far cheaper than barrels and provide for increased surface contact with the wine, which can help with consisWhen faced with underripe grapes, winemakers may add sugar to still wines to increase alcohol levels. Sugar may also be added before bottling to improve mouthfeel and lower astringency. Many regions allow the practice (known as chaptalization), but in California sugar cant be added to any still wine. The only time it's allowed in the Golden State is during the dosage phase of sparkling winemakingthe stage just before its corked. Mega Purple A brand of wine-grape juice concentrate, Mega Purple boosts both color and sugar levelwithout technically adding pure sugar (hello, California). It's used in several name brand fruit juices. There are similar grape concentrates for white and ros wines.

Beyond the sulfites, winemakers dont have to tell you everything that goes into your wine. But often your bottle is packed and processed with a lengthy list of safe-to-drink preservatives, fining agents and even flavorings. As organic farming and biodynamic winemaking take hold of the industryand with a few producers beginning to list every ingredientits time to take a look at exactly what could be in your wine.
tency. Winemakers can choose from American or French oak and pick specic avor proles, from vanilla and coconut to leather, smoke and spice. Acids Acid is a critical component in wine that affects microbes, particle stability, color and aging potential. Tartaric acid is prevalent in wine grapes and is the most common addition. Malic and lactic acids are also naturally occurring and are often blended with tartaric into low-acid wine. Citric acid can also be added before bottling to "lift" and add brightness to white wines.

Yeast Yeast, the key ingredient in converting grape juice to wine, is a one-cell critter that gobbles up sugar and makes alcohol. Yeast also impacts aroma, mouthfeel and avor.

14 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

THE FOUR MAIN FINING AGENTS Suspended particles naturally occur when fermenting grapes and aging wine. These particles cause cloudiness and sediment. Winemakers clear wine by adding agents that glom onto these oaters and absorb them. While many of these agents may alarm, know that these chemical sponges are ltered out before bottling.

1. Fish Bladders Known as isinglass, this pure form of protein can be used to pluck out bitter tannins and binds with haze-inducing particles. 2. Mammal proteins Egg whites and gelatin are especially effective in clarifying red wines. Casein, a milk protein, is used to clarify white and ros wines. 3. Bentonite Clay In addition to absorbing, it helps reduce astringency. Mined in Wyoming, bentonite packs the most sponge power of all the clays. Its common in toothpaste. 4. Plastic PolyVinylPolyPryrolidone, or PVPP, is a workhorse. It eliminates ugly colors and helps stabilize the wine.

OTHER ADDITIVES Yeast nutrients When yeasts get sluggish and winemakers dont want to feed them sugar to boost fermentation, they add nutrients. These additives are basically vitamin pills for yeast. Acid reducers When a batch contains too much acid, minerals like calcium carbonate come to the rescue. Think of them as Tums for wine. Deborah Grossman

PHB.CZ/VEER

WINEMAG.COM | 15

thecrush
Q+ A

5 QUESTIONS FOR RAY WALKER

n Ray Walkers recent memoir, The Road to Burgundy, he chronicles how he left a comfortable life in finance to try his hand at winemaking in Frances preeminent region. Now with his own label, Maison Ilan, we talk to the 32 year old on the decision, how he owes his newfound life to his wife and why hes never looked back. Wine Enthusiast: You traded a career for your passion. Did your wife think you were crazy? Ray Walker: My wife made the irrational seem logical, so I felt safe in jumping into the business. She looked me in my eyes and believed in me, even when the words coming out of my mouth must have made me sound like a madman. Before Burgundy, you almost bought Petite Sirah grapes in California. What stopped you? I could have a crack at some grapes, but within the hour, they rescinded. When I brought it up to my wife, she said, What the hell, you dont know anything about these grapes. Why settle? Thats one of the many times when my wife knocked sense into me. I just wanted a taste of the dream, and at each turn, my wife would say, Wake up. Keep on going. Anyone sneer at you when you, an outsider, arrived to make wine? No. Maybe people were just taken aback by how crazy I am. Lets give him some room to do his thing... Who isnt charmed by the fool? You make wine, but why do you call yourself a preservationist? Growing up, Californias vineyards felt accessible. In Burgundy, theyre sacred. It seemed silly to leave my mark on my wines. Im very handsoff and dont chase trends. There are so many differences between the vineyards of Burgundy, so why not celebrate just that? As a newcomer, did any of the oldschool winemakers give you trouble for your approach? Locally, in Burgundy, I havent felt it. Everyone that knows about my wines knows what Im doing and why Im doing it. People in the U.S. have commented on my lack of experience when I started out, but besides that, I havent heard much. Not that Id listen. Joseph Hernandez

M AY B E P E O P L E W E R E J U S T TA K E N A B A C K BY HOW CRAZY I AM. L E T S G I V E H I M S O M E R O O M TO D O H I S T H I N G . . . W H O I S N T CHARMED BY T H E FO O L?

16 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

COURTESY OF MAISON ILAN

thecrush
DINING TREND

SOUTHERN EXPOSURE
Want to know what the next big trend in dining will be? Then look to the second cities below the Mason-Dixon line.
BY ALIA AKKAM
Avo & Dram Heritage

F
Roost

Rappahannock

ried chicken and syrup-soaked waffles are the crux of eatery Sweet Chick in Brooklyn. Diners begin meals at Comstock Saloon in San Francisco with red pepper jelly-dressed chicken liver. At West Hollywoods The Hart And The Hunter, you can order cheese grits and cornbread-fried catfish for brunch. Clearly, the Souths gastronomic influence extends far beyond the MasonDixon line. Macaroni and cheese dot menus of fine-dining temples and take-out shacks alike, and BBQ joints are opening faster than you can say ham hock. Metro capitals like Atlanta have long been epicenters for this gourmet comfort food, but now its the second cities of the SouthGreenville, South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Asheville, North Carolinawhere chefs are taking this now ubiquitous, wholly American southern cuisine to new heights. At Richmonds Rappahannock, executive chef Dylan Fultineer, a vet of Santa Monicas Hungry Cat and Chicagos Blackbird, bakes Chesapeake Bay oysters Southern-style with bacon, leeks, sunchokes and toasted breadcrumbs. Often overlooked for nearby Charleston, Greenville is becoming a culinary powerhouse of its own, thanks to ventures like the Neue Southern Food Truck, which boasts pork meatballs bobbing in Vietnamese rice bowls. Further south, in Birmingham, Johnnys has an elevated spin on the Southern meat-and-three with mouthwatering chipotle BBQ meatloaf and purple hull peas. A lot of Southern cities are blowing up with great eating scenes. says Fultineer. There is camaraderie between chefs and restaurants, with everyone shooting for the common goal of raising the bar. These restaurants still have to pay rent and make money, but its this exchange of ideas, along with a supportive local communityand the general quality of lifethat allows chefs to be creative. The biggest pressure down here is one-upping your last culinary triumph. Thats a far different reality than in profit-driven Atlanta or New York. Thats why chef Katie Buttons, a protg of Jos Andrs and Jean-Georges, moved from NYC to Asheville, opening her first restaurant, Crate in 2011. At her forthcoming gastro pub, Nightbell, shell whip up a stuffed-pastry grilled cheese with sherry-herb-truffle fondue, and a root-beer float with vanilla and Bourbon mousse. People here are passionate about what they do, says Buttons. These are cities that people move toto create the life they want to live.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK IN THE NEW NEW SOUTH RICHMOND Belmont Food Shop Heritage Rappahannock Saison GREENVILLE Dark Corner Distillery Neue Southern Food Truck Nose Dive Roost BIRMINGHAM Avo & Dram Johnnys Restaurant Vittoria Macelleria ASHEVILLE Admiral Bens Tune Up Crate The Market Place MG Road Nightbell Seven SowsBourbon & Larder

Saison 18 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

Belmont Food Shop

Johnnys Restaurant

Bens Tune-Up

MG Road

Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder

Dark Corner Distillery

The Market Place

Nose Dive

Admiral

The Market Place

Neue Southern Food Truck

Crate WINEMAG.COM | 19

thecrush
WINE

HOW YOU CAN SAVE ENDANGERED GRAPES


There are scores of varieties facing extinction. Want to help? Then start drinking them. Here are the at-risk grapes to pour.
endangered varieties are planted on less than 24 acres, according to the French Wine Mosaic Project, one of several institutions whose sole purpose is saving grapes from the abyss. Many grapes on the lengthy endangered list are at-risk for good

here are 1,368 known wine grape varieties. But 80 percent of the worlds wine production comes from 20. Of the remaining vitis vinifera, hundreds are at risk of going way of the dodo. For instance, 155 Mediterranean

reason: They make lousy wine. But several are not just drinkable, but damn delicious and deserve to be tasted. Below are several rarities worth trying. Pour them and youll not only expand your palate, youll help bring these varieties back from the brink. Joseph Hernandez

ABOURIOU: A high-tannin, low-acid red grape, its planted on 800 acres in southern France and a few acres in California. PRODUCER: Old World Winery (Russian River Valley) ABRUSTINE: So at-risk, researchers are unclear how many actual vines exist of this native Tuscan red grape. PRODUCER: Podere Santa Felicita (Tuscany) ALTESSE: A white grape found in Frances mountainous Savoie region. PRODUCER: Domaine Nicolas Gonin (Savoie) CHARBONO: Grown on less than 250 acres in California, the grape is being revived by several notable producers. Charbono is the same grape as Argentine Bonarda and French Corbeau. PRODUCERS: August Briggs, Bonny Doon, Pacific Star, Robert Foley and Villa Helena ERBALUCE: This ancient variety from Piedmont was first written about in 1606, and its grown on 780 acres. It can be made in a number of styles, but seek it out as a passito-style dessert wine. PRODUCER: Luigi Ferrando (Piedmont)

20 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

DAVID MALOSH; STYLING: ADRIENNE ANDERSON

thecrush
COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

Dreamed up by Nick Detrich at New Orleanss Cane & Table, this cocktail has dried-fruit and almond tones thanks to the oloroso Sherry, while the heavy dash of NOLA-native Herbsaint, an anise liqueur, provides a fun and funky herbal zing.

THE RAISIN CANE

ABOUT THE BAR


Entering the spartan interior of Cane & Table, with its weathered plaster walls and Shakerstyle stools, it's like stepping into a locals-only cafe in Old Havana. Run by the same team behind New Orleanss game-changing bars Cure and Bellocq, Cane & Tables focus is rum-centric cocktails, and has a Carribeaninflected bar-bite menu to match.

22 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

DAVID MALOSH

MARDI GRAS

THE RAISIN CANE


1 ounces Banks 5 Island Rum 1 ounces El Maestro Sierra Oloroso Sherry 1 teaspoon vanilla syrup 2 dashes Angostura bitters 1 dash Legendre Herbsaint 1 orange peel slice

Combine all the ingredients except the orange peel in a mixing tin, add two handfuls of ice and stir 30 times. (Yes, 30.) Strain into a chilled coupe. Twist the orange peel over the drink and gently rub it around the rim of the glass.

WINEMAG.COM | 23

thecrush
MARDI GRAS
MARDI GRAS MAVEN

THE QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS

The life and ongoing good times of Ella Brennan, the Big Easys matriarch of all things food and drink.

You met tiki legend Trader Vic, yes? We met him. He walked in the restaurant. We went to San Francisco, and he became my guide and flew us around California. Tell us some more rum stories. We used to go to Cuba, I think I went four or five times. We drank daiquiris at La Floridita. We brought back the rum, the sugar, the limes, even the icewe always wondered, Why does it taste so magnificent? Why arent ours as good? We never figured it out.

BAM! Ella hanging with a young Emeril Lagasse

I DRINK OLDFA S H I O N E D S D O N T DARE ANYONE PUT W AT E R I N T H E M !

ome might describe Ella Brennan, owner of Brennans restaurant empire in New Orleans, as the Forrest Gump of cocktail culture. Brennan, now 87, has seemingly seen it all including the current cocktail revolution going down in NOLA.
KARA NEWMAN

Whats your favorite cocktail? Sazerac. But I drink Old-Fashioneds Dont dare anyone put water in them! How did your family get into the bar business? My brother [Owen Brennan] bought a bar. My mother was disturbed that it was in the French Quarter! Do you remember when the drink The Hurricane was invented at Pat OBriens? It was during World War II. I was purchasing whiskey for Absinthe House women couldnt work on Bourbon Street. I bought a carload of rum and Scotch. We kept the Scotch. Pat bought some of the rum and made it into this successful drink.

NOLA has come a long way from the days when women werent allowed to work in bars. What do you think of the current crop of female bartenders? They are wonderful. They teach me a lot. Theyve earned the respect of people. I just think theyre fabulous. Its not a job anymoreits a career. Get Miss Ellas favorite Old-Fashioned recipe at winemag.com/ brennan
COURTESY OF COMMANDERS PALACE

Whats your earliest cocktail memory? During Prohibition, I had an uncle who would make bathtub gin. I loved putting the cork in the jar when I was little. You were making drinks as a kid? That was my job when people came to visit my parents.

24 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

thecrush
MARDI GRAS RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Bead tossing, spring breakers and bad beer not your thing? Enjoy the best of the Big Easy on Fat Tuesday (minus the Mardi Gras mess) with this wine-friendly shrimp-and-okra dish from Louisiana-born Justin Simoneaux, head chef at The Boxing Room in San Francisco.

BAYOU IN A BOWL
SMOTHERED OKRA & GULF SHRIMP
1 1 1 1 2 3 1 8 1 1 cup diced tasso cup diced onion tablespoon minced garlic tablespoons tomato paste cups ripe diced tomatoes cup tomato sauce cups okra, cut into -inch pieces bay leaf tablespoon salt

pound (1620) Gulf shrimp

Pinch of cayenne pepper

PAIR IT 2010 CAVES DUPLESSIS CHABLIS This wine is on the crisp side, but without being too austere, says Ian Becker, wine director of The Boxing Room. The mineral and citrus balance the richness of the okra without overpowering the sweet and delicate flavors of the Gulf shrimp.

26 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

BEN FINK; FOOD STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL; INSET: RITA MAAS; FOOD STYLING: ADRIENNE ANDERSON

Peel and devein the shrimp (after the shell is off, run a knife along the back of the shrimp and remove the vein). Put the shells in a pot and cover with 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil and simmer while prepping the rest of the ingredients. Heat a 6-quart pot (preferably cast iron) over medium heat and add the tasso. Cook until it has started to crisp. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions have begun to soften. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly so that the tomato paste doesnt burn. Strain the shrimp shells from the cooking liquid. Reserve all but 1 quart. Mix that quart with the tomatoes, tomato paste, okra and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 2030 minutes, or until the okra is tender. If the stew becomes too thick, add more of your reserved stock. Add in the shrimp, salt and cayenne and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve over steamed rice. Serves 46.

thecrush
DESTINATION

You may think Soho and its surrounds are only home to tourist destinations. But tucked within Central City are several spots quietly changing how the world drinks and eats. Heres your gourmet guide to its best-kept secrets.

CENTRAL LONDON CALLING

Dean Street Townhouse

Bob Bob Ricard

Eat
Indulge in pure decadence at Art Deco mecca Bob Bob Ricard, where each table has a Press for Champagne button. Really. Push, and youre delivered the Champagne and sparkling wine list, Petrossian caviar and traditional Russian-influenced fare, like smoky borsch with beetroot and venison tenderloin tartare. For traditional English pub grub with flair, try Dean Street Townhouse. The must-order: Twice-baked smoked haddock souffl. Retaining its original Soho sex-shop facade, basement Mexican restaurant La Bodega Negra is the late-night stop for soft-shell crab tacos and tasty Tequila and mezcal cocktails. If youre feeling homesick for the colonies, head to the nearby Mayfair neighborhood and drop some coin at diner-inspired Automat. It

Bob Bob Ricard

28 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

ANNABELLE KIRKLAND

Experimental Cocktail Club

The Connaught

CENTRAL LONDON'S MUST-TRYS Automat


La Bodega Negra

Bob Bob Ricard Bourne & Hollingsworth La Bodega Negra The Connaught Dean Street Townhouse Experimental Cocktail Club Marks Bar Meat Liquor Sommeliers Table Terroirs

boasts the best mac & cheese (cheddar, black truffle) this side of the Atlantic and several solid U.S. producers like Cakebread Cellars and Soter. For the big night out, go to the Sommeliers Table beneath chef Hlne Darrozes at The Connaught. Recipient of two Michelin stars, the seasonal tasting menu and pairings (culled from the 6,000-bottle cellar) are life changing.

Meat Liquor

Drink
For classic English charm, sip on Bourne & Hollingsworths Gardeners Tea Break cocktail, a cucumber-and-gin tipple served with a cucumber sandwich. Hidden behind an unmarked door in the heart of Chinatown, Experimental Cocktail Club offers herb-and-spice infused drinks like the Stockholm Syndrome, a mix of cumin-and-dill vodka and aquavit. Marks Bar features Early British Libations, with cocktails dating back to the 16th century. There are also modern takes on old standbys like the mojito-inspired Dragon, made with barrel-aged Pisco, mint, lime juice, sugar and Plymouth Navy-Strength gin. Terroirs offers a worldly selection of organic and biodynamic producers. Try the 2005 Chteau Musar from Lebanons Bekaa Valley. Mariel Reed

Mark's Bar

WINEMAG.COM | 29

viewpoint

BORDEAUX IS BACK
Why its time to give the worlds stodgiest wine region another chance.

or centuries, classified Bordeaux was what the upper crust drank: London diarist Samuel Pepys wrote about drinking Ho Bryan (Chteau HautBrion) in 1663, our own President Thomas Jefferson enjoyed Chteau Lafite, and Richard Nixon was known to have his glass filled with Chteau Margaux. More recently, it seems the stuff has become the favored tipple of Internet moguls, hedge fund managers and Chinese billionaires. So why should you care? Simply put, the vast majority of Bordeaux has never been better. Keep in mind that the wines from the 60 producers of red wine originally designated cru class in 1855 represent a tiny fraction of the worlds biggest wine region (by volume). Whats left after removing the classified growths from considerationmost of those wines have gotten too expensive for regular consumptionis a vast sea of wine, some good, some bad, most somewhere in between. But lately theres been more good than bad. For starters, most of the wines youll find in the market right now are from the excellent, superripe 2009 vintage, the more structured but still-ripe 2010 vintage or the charming 2011 vintage. Second, viticulture and winemaking have improved throughout Bordeaux. Yes, there are still some challenging vintages2012 and 2013 come to mind but for the most part, the days of thin, weedy, harshly tannic wines are past. Third, the wines are surprisingly affordable. Search Wine Enthusiasts online Buying Guide, and youll find hundreds of wines from the 20092012 vintages rated Very Good or Excellent (8793 points) for less than $40.

Finally, because of their generally refreshing acids, balanced use of oak and moderate alcohol levels, the wines are impressively versatile at the table. No, these arent reds to serve alongside Dover sole (what red wines are?), but they can ably partner anything from mild poultry to wild game. In a world of wine thats always focused on the latest and the greatest, its worth remembering that even a conservative wine region like Bordeaux changes over time. And now is the time to rediscover it.

3 REASONS TO DRINK BORDEAUX TONIGHT


Merlot is the most commonly planted grape variety in Bordeaux, typically making supple, accessible wines that dont require cellaring. CHTEAU CARIGNAN (PREMIRES CTES DE BORDEAUX): The 2009 is all suppleness and warmth, while the 2010 shows more structure. CHTEAU MAISON BLANCHE (MDOC): This Merlot-based wine is round and ripe. Superstar oenologist Stphane Derenoncourt consults. CHTEAU DE SOURS (BORDEAUX): Another approachable wine marked by plenty of ripe fruit and finely balanced oak.

Managing Editor Joe Czerwinski bought his first case of Bordeaux for cellaring when Meyney and ChasseSpleen could be had for less than $15 per bottle.

30 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

800.356.8466 WINEENTHUSIAST.COM

HOME BREWING
Whether youre simply a suds fan or want to be a craft beer baron, making your own brew has never been easier. And since this drinkable art was recently legalized in all 50 states, theres no better time to give it a go. Your beer adventure starts here.
BY

YOUR GUIDE TO

B uy A Kit
Youll need special homebrewing equipment, like a hydrometer and airlock. The best way to start is to buy a beginners ale kit, which has everything you need for your rst try, including the ingredients.

Clean & Sanitize


The No. 1 reason your homebrew will go bust (read: smell like diaper) is dust, specks of dirt or other particles (like naturally occurring yeast) inltrated your batch or bottles. So: you need to wash and rinse all your equipment like crazy and sanitize anything that will come into contact with the beer after boiling.

Boil
This may elicit a duh, but before ring up the brew kettle to make your wort, read through the entire recipe and have all your ingredients measured and at the ready. Scrambling to add stuff increases the risk of contamination and can lead to overboilinga one-way ticket to terrible beer. Trust us.

4 Shock & Stir

You need to cool your wort in a hurry (shocking it) before you can add yeast. So prep an ice water bath in your sink as your pot boils. Once cooled, pour the wort into a fermentation bucket. Stir vigorously to aerate it, add the yeast and stir it again .

5 6

Ferment
Once the yeast is added, seal the fermenter and put an airlock into the lid so carbon dioxide can escape as the yeast works its magic and converts the fermentable sugars into alcohol. It should rest, undisturbed, for 710 days, then transfer it to a glass carboy for another week or so.
ILLUSTRATION: MICHAEL DELAPORTE

LAUREN BUZZEO

Add Suds, Bottle, Shelve & Sip


Before bottling, you need to add fermentable sugar so the yeast can create carbon dioxide. After bottling, shelve at room temperature in a dark place. (Light is beers biggest enemy.) After a couple of weeks itll be carbonated and ready to pour.

32 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

Brewing Minus The Mess

Like custom-crush facilities for winemaking, DIY beer-making outfits are popping up across the country. Heres where you can go to batch your own brew.

Podcasts devoted to craft beer

136

325%
Increase in American Homebrewers Association members since 2005

New York

409
Openings of new American breweries and brewpubs in 2012

California
Brew Bakers Huntington Beach brewbakers1.com

Bitter & Esters Brooklyn bitterandesters.com

Oregon
You Brew & Pub Portland portlandubrewandpub.com

Colorado
Do Your Brew Westminster doyourbrew.com

Minnesota
Vine Park Brewing St. Paul vinepark.com

Florida
Longneck Brew House Stuart longneckbrewhouse.com

Connecticut
Cork & Brew Southington corkandbrew.com

Pennsylvania

Your Homebrewing Bible

Copper Kettle Pittsburgh copperkettlepgh.com

The No. 1 rule to making beer: Use The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, by Charlie Papazian, President of the Brewers Association. It has step-by-step guides and provides the simple-to-understand science and reasoning behind the processes. Originally published in 1984, several craft beer biggies credit the book for helping them launch their empires.

You Could Be Next


These founding brewers all began in their kitchens armed with Papazians book, a dream and a thirst for really, really good beer. Heres a few of their brewing tricks. JIM KOCH
Samuel Adams
Brew what you want to brew and the passion will come through. When i rst began, I knew the ingredients I wanted were harder to nd, but I didnt want to skimp.

KEN GROSSMAN
Founder, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Get your hands dirty, but keep your equipment clean.

SAM CALAGIONE
Dogfish Head
Dont be afraid to jump from extract brewing to partial-grain brewing. This involves a bag of crushed barley that you steep like tea before you boil.

TOMME ARTHUR
The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing
Treat your yeasts like they are your favorite child (not the red-headed stepchild), and your beers will be awesome.

WINEMAG.COM | 33

accidental wine
Grown in only a few of the worlds wine regions, dark, idiosyncratic Carmenre has found a comfortable home in Chiles warm valleys.
BY

the

MICHAEL SCHACHNER
P H OTO S

T
34 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

D AV I D M A LO S H

wo decades ago, Jean-Michel Boursiquot, a French ampelographer hired to help wineries in Chiles Maule Valley determine what grape varieties were in their oldest vineyards, dropped a bombshell on his clients. Thousands of acres that the Chileans had long thought were Merlot were actually an obscure variety called Carmenre. Carmen-what? the Chileans asked.

riginally imported from Bordeaux, Carmenre can be green and herbaceous if the grapes arent picked fully ripehence the uneven reputation of Chilean Merlot in the early 1990s. Yet today, Carmenreknown for its deep color, plush tannins and unique, spicy aromas and flavorsis poised to pass Merlot and become Chiles second most widely planted red variety after Cabernet Sauvignon. Many winemakers are working hard to turn it into a signature wine for a country whose global sales hit a plateau in recent years. Given that about 98 percent of the worlds Carmenre exists here, the grape is already inextricably part of Chilean wine, for better or worse. Its for the better if, like many in the Chilean wine community assert, Carmenre has positive attributes as a varietal red wine or as a component in Cabernet-led blends. Naysayers believe the wines are too loaded with olive and green characteristics to ever draw a serious following. The French were right to eradicate it, they say, and the Chileans are foolish for trying to make Carmenre into something itll never be: a world-class varietal wine. Carmenre requires sun-drenched,

THESE 12 EXAMPLES OF CARMENRE SHOW THAT

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Concha y Toro 2010 Terrunyo Block 27 Entre Cordilleras (Peumo). Mossy, lightly herbal aromas of blackberry and marzipan are attractive. This is rich and racy in the mouth, with vanilla, tobacco, plum and berry flavors that finish long and ride elegantly on a beam of slightly sharp acidity. Drink this fine Carmenre through 2016. Excelsior Wines. abv: 14.5% Price: $50 Santa Carolina 2009 Herencia (Peumo). Keeping with past performances, Herencia is again one of Chiles best Carmenres. This is bold, toasty and ripe on the nose, with tobacco and vanilla nuances. The palate is huge but in shape, while toasty, chocolaty flavors, along with herbal plum and berry notes, end chewy and

deep. Drink through 2016. Carolina Wine Brands USA. abv: 15% Price: $90

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Viu Manent 2010 El Incidente (Colchagua Valley). Lofty from the start, this extracted Carmenre pumps out toasty, herbal aromas of smoked meat, leather and black fruits. The palate feels flush and thick, while flavors of baked blackberry, herbs, spice, mint and pepper finish with a warm wave of mocha and chewy tannins. Drink through 2017. Baystate Wine & Spirits. abv: 14.5% Price: $50 Montes 2010 Alpha (Colchagua Valley). Everything about this mid-tier Carmenre seems right. The nose deals black-fruit aromas along with black olive, licorice and herbal notes. The mouth is round, friendly and

textured, with a mix of roasted plum, berry, herb, spice, olive and tomato flavors. On the finish, its balanced. Drink now2016. TGIC Importers. abv: 14.5% Price: $25

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San Pedro 2010 Tierras Moradas (Maule Valley). Plum, berry, licorice and balsamic aromas are earthy and classy. This feels chunky and heavy, but not ponderous. Flavors of prune, rooty spices, mint and chocolate finish with mocha and fig notes. Enjoy this ripe, full-bodied wine anytime through 2017. Shaw-Ross International Importers. abv: 14% Price: $45 Santa Rita 2008 Pehun (Apalta). With cool, herbal aromas of cola, pine, juniper, fine oak and savory berry fruits, this is a fine Carmenre. The palate is full, deep and still

fresh after several years in the bottle. Flavors of stewed cherry, baked plum and cassis come with no shortage of savory support, while the finish is saucy in taste, with raciness, gravitas and length. Drink through 2018. Palm Bay International. abv: 14.5% Price: $70

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Errazuriz 2010 Kai (Aconcagua Valley). This absurdly priced Carmenre is always one of Chiles best, and this vintage is just fine, with cherry, cassis, graphite, herb and eucalyptus-like green aromas. The palate is chunky and round in feel, with solid acidity and plump, herbal flavors of berry fruits, olive and spice. But what justifies a $235 price tag? You can be the judge. Vintus LLC. abv: 14.5% Price: $235

36 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

Carmenres History and Pioneers


Once fairly common in Bordeaux but not replanted there after Europes 19th-century phylloxera plague because of its propensity for uneven ripening, Carmenre celebrates its 20th birthday as a named entity in Chilean wine this year. Following Carmenres unexpected discovery in Chile, only a few wineries wanted anything to do with the grape. Most felt the name was unheard of outside hardcore wine and agronomy communities (they were correct). They were also a bit chapped to have lost all their Merlot, a variety that reached its apex in popularity during the 1990s. Marcelo Retamal was a rookie winemaker at De Martino in the mid 90s when he received managements go-ahead to bottle Chiles rst varietally labeled Carmenre, the 1996 Santa Ines. The vineyard had been planted in 1992 as Merlot, but we harvested it that year as Carmenre, Retamal says. Tesco, the large U.K.-based supermarket chain, purchased the entire production of that vintage. But the Chilean government, which hadnt updated its list of approved varieties, blocked the shipment. They told us we couldnt sell a wine that didnt exist, says Retamal. Shortly thereafter, Carmenre was entered into the books as a permitted variety. Alongside Retamal, I tasted this groundbreaking wine in December, and it was awful. It was dirty, slightly oxidized, leathery and, as Retamal himself said, intomable, which means undrinkable in Spanish. We then tasted another 10 or so vintages of De Martino Carmenre, noting that the wine went from rustic early on, to dark, extracted and overly tannic in the early 2000s, to a style today that emphasizes lower alcohol levels and more freshness. In general, such a style doesnt t what Carmenre inherently wants to be: big, muscular and chunky, with alcohol levels of at least 14.5%. But its a style thats attainable, as evidenced by other modern Carmenres that do the category proud. Alvaro Espinoza, a contemporary of Retamal who bottled Carmenre under the varietal name Grande Vidure (a French synonym for Carmenre) for Via Carmen in the 1990s, now produces a single-site Carmenre in Alto Maipo under his Antiyal label. Its a smooth, natural, full-flavored wine with just a touch of sultes and tartaric acid added for freshness. The wine sees no oak and is fermented in an egg-shaped cement tank. In 1994, when I made the Grande Vidure for Carmen, I was told by the big guys to shut up, says Espinoza. Youre hurting the reputation of Chilean Merlot, I was told. My feeling was, if people have liked our Merlot when it was really Carmenre, lets make Carmenre better and promote it.

THE VARIETYS FUTURE IS BRIGHT

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Lapostolle 2010 Cuve Alexandre Apalta Vineyard (Colchagua Valley). Opaque in color and superrich on the nose, it has dominant aromas of earth, leather, baked fruit and spice. It feels lush and chunky, maybe a touch soft, with earthy, naturally herbal flavors of dark fruit, plum and chocolate. The finish is smooth and warming. Terlato Wines International. abv: 14.3% Price: $25 Siegel 2012 Single Vineyard (Colchagua Valley). Minty plum and berry aromas are herbal but ripe, with a note of chocolate and black tea. This is lush and layered, with top-end mouthfeel and herbal, floral flavors of berry fruits and plum. A smooth, herbal tasting

finish is the finale to a well-made, flavorful wine. Kysela Pre et Fils. abv: 13.5% Price: $22

90

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Via Bisquertt 2010 Ecos de Rulo Single Vineyard (Colchagua Valley). Although this smells a bit flat and earthy, cool, herbal berry aromas as well as coffee and spice make this inviting and easy to like. A flush, jammy palate maintains its pulse, while a mix of spicy black fruits, licorice, espresso and chocolate flavors end long and lightly herbal. Drink this cuddly wine sooner rather than later. Prestige Wine Group. abv: 14% Price: $20 Undurraga 2012 Sibaris Reserva Especial (Colchagua Valley). Spicy, earthy cherry and

cassis aromas are true to the variety. This is juicy, bright and substantive in feel, with red berry, oak spice and herbal flavors. A minty, chocolaty finish full of herbs and spices provides for a good ending. Testa Wines Of The World. abv: 14.5% Price: $17

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Santa Alicia 2012 Reserva (Maipo Valley). Hard spice and minty green aromas heavily shadow the wines fruit character. In the mouth, its mildly creamy feeling, while the flavors suggest toast, herbs, chocolate and spicy berry fruit. This is a basic but honest representation of Carmenre. Halby Marketing. Best Buy. abv: 14% Price: $10

WINEMAG.COM | 37

dry growing conditions and minimal lateseason rains so that grapes can ripen well into May (the equivalent of November in the Northern Hemisphere). Also, if soils are too fertile, the vines can overproduce, leading to vegetal aromas and flavors. Carmenre ripens best in Apalta and Marchigue in Colchagua, Peumo in Cachapoal, Huelqun in the Alto Maipo, Pencahue in the Maule Valley and Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley. Low yields, along with dry conditions with easy draining soils, are the keys to getting Carmenre thats ripe, round and not green, says veteran winemaker Aurelio Montes, who has been working with the grape since the time when everyone thought it was Merlot. Too much vigor and itll be green forever, while the best vineyards are rich in iron and loam; the red color indicates that the ground is getting plenty of air, he says. Montess beliefs are shared by other winemakers who either dabble with or specialize in Carmenre, people like Andrs Caballero at Santa Carolina, Marcelo Retamal at De Martino, Marco Puyo at San Pedro, Francisco Baettig at Errazuriz, Alvaro Espinoza at Antiyal and Mario Geisse at Casa Silva. Baettig, whose high-priced Kai has consistently garnered some of Wine Enthusiasts highest ratings among varietally labeled Carmenres, adds that vine age is important in harvesting ripe berries. As Chileans embarked on a learning curve to understand the grapes characteristics and leanings, it has only been in recent vintages that winemakers have been able to work with vineyards in their prime. There really arent any [pure] oldvine Carmenre vineyards, Baettig says. Even the oldest places like Apalta and Maule are field blends, where the Carmenre is mixed in with other things. So, the good Carmenre vineyards are at most 10 to 15 years old, and more than almost any other variety, Carmenre needs to come from mature vines to be good.

38 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

Carmenre at the Table


Todays Chilean Carmenre is innitely better than the early wines made by the likes of Retamal and Espinoza. Its also one of Chiles most foodfriendly red wines. During my recent visit, I met with Andrs Caballero of Santa Carolina, whose Reserva de Familia and Herencia Carmenres regularly rate 90 points and above. We tasted these wines and a number of singlevineyard Carmenres from various spots throughout Chile. Then we tried the wines with a table full of Indian foodssamosas, curried chicken, tamarind sauce, etc. The combinations were superb, the inherent spice and sauciness in the wines playing perfectly off mild spice avors. Cabernet Sauvignon has high acidity and hard tannins; it needs meat, says Caballero. But with Middle Eastern and Indian food, even some Asian foods like ramen or beef in black pepper sauce, Carmenre is a great pairing, says Caballero. The tannins and acidity dont clash with the spices. Its one of the best foodand-wine pairings we have. After a week of trying more than 50 Chilean Carmenres, on top of years spent evaluating Chilean Carmenre, I concur. Carmenre denitely isnt for everyone, but its good qualitiesrichness, spicy notes, smooth tannins and compatibility with foodmake it well worth a try.

WINEMAG.COM | 39

From icy Sweden to tropical Southeast Asia, intrepid vintners are pushing the boundaries of the wine world. Bali
Founded by Bagus Rai Budarsa in 1994, Hatten Wines is located near Balis arid northeast coast. Indonesia is overwhelmingly Muslim, and since 1990, it has outlawed any new alcoholproducing enterprises. But Budarsa had a successful rice-wine business prior to the ban, allowing him to continue making wine. The grapes used are Probolinggo Biru (possibly brought to Indonesia by the Dutch), the French grape Alphonse-Lavalle, and Belgia, a Muscat grape.
MANFRED GOTTSCHALK/ALAMY

40 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

MOST EXOTIC ADDRESSES

WINES

Tahiti

Vin de Tahiti is the worlds only winery built on a coral atoll. Despite its tropical location at 15 degrees south latitude, the Rangiroa atoll, where the winery is based, has a relatively dry climate. Vin de Tahiti makes whites and ross
FRED GODEMET/VIN DE TAHITI

from ungrafted Carignan andMuscat Hamburg vines, chosen for their ability to tolerate heat. Because theres no cold-weather dormant season, the vines provide two harvests per year, in May and December.

WINEMAG.COM | 41

Kenya

Kenya, with two wineries, probably holds the record for the closest vineyards to the equator. South Africantrained winemaker James Farquharson runs Rift Valley Winery, whose vineyard is planted at 6,500 feet above sea level, 55 miles northwest of Nairobi. Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd. is the countrys other producer, making Yatta Wines. The Yatta vineyards were planted in October 1992, using cuttings imported from South Africa, including Ruby Cabernet. The rst harvest was in 1995.

Tunisia

The Phoenicians likely introduced wine here more than 2,000 years ago. However, production languished under Arab rule after the 9th century before being resurrected under French control in the late 1800s. Now, Tunisia boasts seven appellations growing mainly southern French varieties like Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault, although the whites and ross are better to sip while visiting the countrys famous beaches.

42 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

FRANS LANTING/CORBIS; STOCKFOLIO/ALAMY

Japan
Buddhist missionaries introduced grapes here in the 8th century, and in 1196, the local grape Koshu was given its name. The current winemaking industry dates to 1870, with 175odd wineries in 36 of Japans 43 prefectures. Notable producers near Mt. Fuji (and Tokyo) include Alps, Chteau Lumire, Chteau Mercian, Grace, Hayashi Noen, Ikeda, Izutsu, Katsunuma, Kitanoro, Kizan, Manns, Obuse, Rubaiyat, Sadoya, Sapporo, Soleil, St. Cousair, Suntory and Villa dEst.
JOHN WARBURTON-LEE/DANITA DELIMONT; LUIS MONTMAYOR/GETTY IMAGES

Scotland
In the spring of 2011, Scottish food writer Christopher Trotter planted 100 grapevines in the garden of his Upper Largo estate on the southern coast of Fife. His Rondo, Solaris and Siegerrebe vines are hardy enough to survive frigid temperatures. He aims to plant out a 2.4-hectare vineyard and produce his own Chateau Largo ros this year.

WINEMAG.COM | 43

Vietnam
Despite its French colonial heritage and long history of table-grape production in the Mu i N and Nha Trang regions, wine grapes were introduced to the highlands of southern Vietnam only about 20 years ago. Dalat Beco, a partnership of French viticulturist Daniel Carsol and the Dalat Beverage Company, planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah in 2007.

44 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

Hawaii

Volcano Winery makes wine from guava and macadamia nut honey, but also features an estate Pinot Noir. Retired Oahu veterinarian Lynn Doc McKinney founded Volcano Winery in 1986 and planted the Symphony grape (a crossing of Grenache Gris and Muscat of Alexandria). After a re destroyed many of the original Symphony vines in 2000, new owner Del Bothof replanted with Marchal Foch, Chambourcin, Cayuga White and Pinot Noir. Mauis Winery cultivates Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Syrah and Viognier.

NGUYEN DUY PHUONG/SHUTTERSTOCK; IDREAMPHOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK; AXIOM/DANITA DELIMONT

Sweden

In Skne, the wine-thirsty countrys southernmost province, wine production began in earnest during the mid- to late-1990s. Specially bred cold-resistant varieties like Solaris and Rondo are common, but theres increasing emphasis on sparkling wines using the traditional varieties of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Visit in the summer, when sightseeing can include golf outings and tours of historic castles. For more incredible wine destinations, visit winemag.com/bestdest.

WINEMAG.COM | 45

RHNES
These trailblazing Washington wineries have made the state into Americas top source of Rhne-style wines.
By Paul

RISE OF THE

Washingtons

I
46 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

Gregutt and Sean P. Sullivan Photos Richard Duval

n the past decade, interest in Washingtons Rhne varieties has exploded. In addition to Viognier, relatively unknown white wine grapes like Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Picpoul are being commercialized. Red Rhne-style wines, notably Syrahs, but also Grenache, Mourvdre and numerous blends, have taken the region by storm. The states 2012 statistics put Syrah at No. 3 among red wine grapes (behind Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). Grenache and Mourvdre, meanwhile, have been broken out of the Other category for the first time. Although the total annual production of Rhne varieties is just a fraction of the states 188,000 tons, the market impact is substantial, amplified by the vast number of boutiques that make numerous small lots of different wines. Duane Wollmuth, executive director of the Walla Walla Wine Alliance, estimates that over 60 wineries in the regionthe epicenter of Syrah productionmake at least one Syrah. Since Cayuse was founded in 1997, Syrah has become the fastest-growing and, in many respects, the most widely recognized and highly rated varietal in the Valley, Wollmuth says. While the Walla Walla Valleys reputation was built upon consistently outstanding Cabernets and Merlots in the 1980s and 90s, Syrah has become the attention-getter over the past decade, he says.

WINEMAG.COM | 47

Vintners (and its sister-label, Charles Smith) has specialized in Syrah and Syrahbased blends since opening in 1999. Up to a dozen smalllot, single-vineyard cuves are made each year, including the Royal City Syrah, the first Washington wine awarded a perfect 100-point score by Wine Enthusiast. It might seem that winemaker Charles Smith was taking a leap of faith with Syrah, but he doesnt see it that way. When I started back in 1999, there were 296 producers of Bordeaux varietals here in Washington, and just three producers of Syrah, says Smith. As a consumer, I know how great the Syrah grape is. I thought it would be more interesting to work with Syrah. I saw a lot more possibility for Syrah, he says. To me, it seemed like it was going to be the most wide canvas to work with. Along with Smith, the efforts of Frenchborn Christophe Baron have put the spotlight on the regions Syrahs. His Cayuse winery, founded in 1997, built its reputation on estate-grown, biodynamically farmed Syrahs from a half-dozen estate vineyards.

Finding different avors from different vineyards from the same area is pretty difficultthere are only a few places in the world that can do that, says Baron.
Barons game-changing idea was to plant his vines in the cobblestone-strewn soils west of Milton-Freewater, Oregon, where only apple orchards had grown. The Walla Walla River once ran through there, and baseball-sized cobbles lie just inches below the soils surface. At first, Barons vineyard and one other, belonging to vineyard manager Tom Waliser, were the lone outposts. But now dozens of small plantings are scattered throughout the region, and an application for an American Viticultural Area (AVA)The Rocks District of Milton-Freewateris in the works. There is no recipe at Cayuse, says Baron. You taste every tank, every day. You taste and taste and tasteevery year is a different vintage. Every vineyard is different. Authenticity and typicity is important.

Finding different flavors from different vineyards from the same area is pretty difficultthere are only a few places in the world that can do that, says Baron. That tells you that this area here in Walla Walla is very special. In our lifetime, well see hundreds more acres of vineyards planted in this area. That prediction, made just a few years ago, is proving true. But Columbia Winery winemaker David

Lake (now deceased) and Red Willow Vineyard owner Mike Sauer laid the foundation for Washington Syrah in the mid 1980s. In 1985, they put a few acres in the ground, using cuttings obtained from Joseph Phelps. As far as anyone knows, that was the first time Syrah had been planted commercially in Washington. Columbia began releasing varietal Syrahs with the 1988 vintage. A decade later, how-

48 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

ever, only a handful of others were being made, notably by Doug Gore (at Columbia Crest), Doug McCrea (at McCrea Cellars) and Rusty Figgins (at Glen Fiona). Both Gore and McCrea made their first varietal Syrahs in 1994. McCreas came from vines planted along the Columbia Gorge in the spring of 1990. He was also sourcing Grenache from the same regionfrom vines planted in the early 1960s. His styleripe, rich and seductive was a fine counterpoint to the more herbal, earthy Columbia wines. In the winter of 1996, an Arctic blast dropped temperatures in eastern Washington well below zero for days, killing the Grenache vines. Despite the prevailing notion that Washington winters were just too cold, the Syrah survived, proving that Rhne grapes could thrive here. Small Syrah vineyards started going in throughout the Columbia Valley. The surge was driven by winemakers curiosity. Figgins had learned his winemaking in Australia, and set up his Glen Fiona winery to focus on Syrahs. Glen Fionas Syrahs were the first to be labeled with a Walla Walla Valley AVA and to be cofermented with Viognier, in the spirit of Cte-Rtie, said Figgins at the time. Growers cajoled into planting Rhne varieties, like Dick Boushey, owe a debt to the Haas family, founders (with the French owners of Chteau de Beaucastel) of Californias Tablas Creek winery. Thanks to them, approved, virus-free cuttings of these varieties were available in America. We knew the vines we wanted to grow when we began our winery almost 25 years agoGrenache Blanc, Grenache, Syrah, Counoise, Marsanne, Mourvdre, Viognier and Roussanne, says Jason Haas. But almost none were available. Counoise and Grenache Blanc didnt exist, Hass says. Mourvdre and Grenache had really lousy reputationssuitable for jug wines only. And Roussanne was very suspectit later turned out that what we thought was California Roussanne was actually Viognier. So, the only way to go was to bite the bullet and bring in new cuttings. After more than a decade of intense work, certified cuttings from French clones were finally available. Among Washingtons early buyers were the owners of Alder Ridge,

Sampling Washington Syrah


Try these offerings, which range from world-class wines to great values.

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Gramercy Cellars 2011 Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). In 2011, the alcohol drops a bit (to 13%) and the fruit comes forward, stepping slightly away from the strongly herbal flavors of the 2010. Its reflective of the vintage, and perhaps more immediately approachable, without sacrificing any of the complexity or structure that typifies Gramercy wines. Strongly aromatic flavors of blackberry, black cherry, cola and licorice are all in play, backed with refreshing minerality. The wine should age beautifully for a decade or more. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 13% Price: $50 K Vintners 2010 The Beautiful Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). Cofermented with 3% Viognier, this Tablas clone Syrah offers red- and purple-berry flavors, deep and pure. Snappy and focused, it layers in smoke, dust, citrus, blood orange, baking spices and a vein of pure mineral. Beautiful indeed. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14% Price: $60 Owen Roe 2011 Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah (Yakima Valley). Sourced from arguably Red Willows finest block of Syrah, this is superbly balanced and remarkably concentrated for this cool site in a cool vintage. Cassis fruit is streaked with licorice and mocha, showing plenty of new oak influence without sacrificing depth or fruit. Drink soon, or tuck it away for a few more years. Either way, its a gem. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $55 Gordon Estate 2010 Estate Grown Syrah (Columbia Valley). If this wine carried a different winerys name on the label, it would sell for double or triple the price. So it goes in the wine biz. Cool-climate details of earth and herb join the peppery blue fruit, wrapped in sweet brown spices and toasty tannins. There is lovely concentration

and balance, with Rhne-like nuances of meat and pepper. Give this a little extra time and attention, and it will reward you. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.9% Price: $21

coffee and chocolate flavors that linger on the finish. Editors Choice. S.S. abv: 14.3% Price: $25

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JM Cellars 2011 Syrah (Columbia Valley). In this new vintage, the principal vineyard source is Boushey, with Stillwater filling in the last third of the blend. Ripe, meaty and dense with a concentrated mix of blue and black fruits, this fills out with dark flavors of espresso, cocoa, smoke, licorice and tar. The balance is maintained through a lingering, bakingspiced finish. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.6% Price: $38 Amavi Cellars 2011 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). Sourced from the oldest blocks in the vineyard, this mlange of boysenberry, blueberry and blackberry fruit is dotted with pepper and hints of brine and espresso. Young and compact, but complex and fascinating, this is a wine to tuck away for at least another five years. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 14.2% Price: $36 Dunham 2009 Lewis Vineyard Syrah (Columbia Valley). One of a trio of Lewis vineyard reds, this opens slowly, seeming at first a little thin, with herbal accents outshining the fruit. Stick with it, because it evolves nicely in the glass, filling in the plummy, peppery fruit, and adding barrel notes of clove, licorice and dusty earth. P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $75 Coyote Canyon 2011 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Tres Cruces Red Wine (Horse Heaven Hills). A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvdre, its an immediately appealing wine with notes of coffee, black olive, blueberry and smoked meat. Theres a pleasing texture and richness running from head to tail, with

Efest 2010 Boushey Vineyard Jolie Bouche Syrah (Yakima Valley). The Jolie Bouche is dark and brambly, fully packed with blackberry fruit, baking spices and a dusting of black pepper. The supple tannins carry a streak of graphite and clean earth. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.9% Price: $28

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Watermill 2009 Praying Mantis Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). The instantly recognizable label, sporting a bright green praying mantis on a plain brown background, is a quirky choice for a fine, estate-grown reserve. The fruit reaches blackberry concentration, with stiff, ripe tannins swathed in dark chocolate. Hints of earth and stem fade out through a lingering finish. Its drinking well, but could be cellared for another five years. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.9% Price: $30

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Southard 2010 Syrah (Columbia Valley). Previously, this Syrah was sourced completely from Lawrence Vineyard grapes. But here, they are mixed with fruit from StoneTree. Its a dark, smoky wine, with highlights of licorice around deep cassis fruit flavors. The chewy tannins finish with a pleasant streak of pretty cherry fruit. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $16 Snoqualmie 2011 Syrah (Columbia Valley). Long a strong suit at Snoqualmie, this new vintage does not disappoint. Its light and lively, with dusky flavors of plum and sweet tomato. Highlights of chocolate and cinnamon are delicately in focus. For the price, it would be hard to find a better Syrah in Washington. Best Buy. P.G. abv: 13.5% Price: $10

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WINEMAG.COM | 49

Beyond Syrah
Cinsault
exist.

Try these standout wines made from other Rhne varieties.


outwhat cropping level and when to pick itbut I think its the perfect oyster and seafood wine because it retains its acidity. Syncline 2012 Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc (Yakima Valley). Rich without being thick, fresh through the long and satisfying finish. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $24 Cinsault (sometimes spelled Cinsaut) is generally used as a blending grape in Washington, but varietal bottlings do Our rst Cinsault from StoneTree Vineyard was one of the most aromatically seductive wines weve ever made, says Chad Johnson of Dusted Valley. It was so beautifullike blueberry, oral bubble gum. Dusted Valley 2011 Stone Tree Vineyard Cinsaut (Wahluke Slope). This rare (72-case) bottling of Cinsault is silky, with dazzling freshness and purity. S.S. abv: 14.7% Price: $32

Roussanne

Most frequently used in white blends, Roussanne remains an under-the-radar variety in the state. The majority of people visiting the tasting room havent even heard of the grape, says Kit Singh of Lauren Ashton Cellars, who says the variety displays notes of tea, pear and lavender. Lauren Ashton Cellars 2012 Roussanne (Columbia Valley). An elegant, precise wine with a refreshing baseline of wet stone. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.5% Price: $25

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Marsanne

The amount of Marsanne remains limited, although some attention-grabbing wines exist. Marsanne exhibits razor-sharp minerality that masks all fruit until six-plus months after its fermented to dryness, says Sean Boyd, winemaker for Rtie Cellars. Up until bottling, you really dont know what youve got. Rtie Cellars 2012 Northern White (Washington). A racy, textural wine, tangy without turning sour, with a generous foundation of wet stone. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.5% Price: $28

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Grenache

Viognier

The profile ranges from full-bodied wines with abundant strawberry notes in warmer sites to lighter-bodied offerings with notes of white pepper and truffle in cooler locations. Grenache, for me, is a lot like Pinot Noir in terms of how it pulls out its terroir, says Jon Meuret, winemaker for Maison Bleue. Maison Bleue 2011 La Montagnette Upland Vineyard Grenache (Snipes Mountain). Complex, vivid and focused, with elegance and delicacy that evolves over time. Cellar Selection. S.S. abv: 14.3% Price: $40

Styles of Washingtons most planted Rhne white variety vary from lean, stainless-steel-fermented offerings to full-bodied, oak-aged wines. In the vineyard, says Mike MacMorran of Mark Ryan Winery, you have to walk that very fine line between retaining those beautiful floral and citrus aromatics, but not waiting until you start getting into tropical fruit punch. William Church 2012 Viognier (Yakima Valley). The lemon and lime, peach and apricot fruit really shines. P.G. abv: 14.2% Price: $23

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Mourvdre

Plantings of this varietyWashingtons third most common Rhne red grape have doubled since 2006, although total acreage remains small. White pepper, meat and herb notes mark many examples. More and more, I love wines that have a savory aspect, and Mourvdre denitely has that, says Mantone. Mark Ryan 2010 Crazy Mary Mourvdre (Red Mountain). Flint, plum, boysenberry and spice accented by light whiffs of barnyard, earth and rock. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 15.1% Price: $48

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Southern Rhne-Style Blends


common.

Grenache Blanc

In terms of reds, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvdre take the lead. Blueberry and strawberry fruit and peppery spices are Whites tend to be full-bodied, with notes of owers, stone fruit and pear. Blends of Roussanne and Viognier are most common. Force Majeure 2010 Collaboration Series VI (Red Mountain). A spice rack of aromas, with flavors of boysenberry and raspberry over crushed rocks. P.G. abv: 14.8% Price: $50 For full reviews of these and other Washington State wines, visit winemag.com/washwines

Plantings are currently limited, but that could be changing. I think its a sleeper grape for us, says grower Dick Boushey, who has helped pioneer Rhne varieties in the state. Its taken me a while to gure it

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Boushey, Coyote Canyon, Elerding, Lawrence and Morrison Lane vineyards. Since then, many others have been added. What makes Syrah so popular in Washington is its versatility. High-scoring Syrahs have come from grapes grown in numerous AVAs: Lake Chelan, Wahluke Slope, Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Red Mountain and Walla Walla. The grape ripens to interesting, though different, flavors in cool vintages, like 2011, and warm ones, like 2012. Sometimes cofermented with small percentages of Viognier (as in the northern Rhne), Washington Syrahs often show a streak of citrusa zesty lemon-lime acidity that adds lift and life to the wine.

Syrah ripens to interesting, though different, avors in cool vintages, like 2011, and warm ones, like 2012.

From certain sites, notably Boushey in the Yakima Valley and the Rocks region in Walla Walla, Syrah takes on intense umami flavors, along with cured meat, liquid rocks, mushroom broth, tightly wound berry fruit, earthy coffee grounds and even darker streaks of espresso, smoke and licorice. Given the wide range of styles possible with Washington Syrah, it helps to know the producer when matching with food. Some fruitier wines from warm locations like the Wahluke Slope will pair much as a rich, ripe Zinfandel from Paso Robles might. Pizza, barbecue, grilled meats and roast fowl are all good options. More complex, robust Syrahs, especially from single vineyards like Boushey, Lewis or Les Collines, complement the savory flavors of roast pork or lamb. Value, diversity, complexity and distinctive flavor profiles make Washington Syrahs especially compelling. But the best, says Smith, is yet to come. I wish I had an opportunity to work with old vines, he says. When we get to that point, were going to see nothing but improvement across the board. And in other places, where the dirt has not been turned over yet, were going to find great spots. So, were just at the beginning.

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Italys Best-Kept
Touring

Secret
BY P H OTO S

Le Marche is a microcosm of everything tourists love about Italybreathtaking landscapes, medieval architecture and terric wine and foodminus the crowds.
KERIN OKEEFE TRACY GRAHAM

S
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andwiched between Emilia Romagna and a sliver of Tuscany to the north, and Abruzzo and Lazio to the south, Le Marche, (pronounced lay MAR-kay) shares the Apennines with Umbria on its west and stretches east to the Adriatic Sea. Often translated as the Marches, this Central Italian region has it all. Pristine beaches and rugged shorelines hug the sapphire-blue Adriatic. Rolling hills lie covered with vines and olive groves. There are well-preserved medieval towns and cultural centers, wonderful cuisine and great wines. What you wont find are the throngs of tourists that descend regularly on Tuscany, situated on the opposite coast, although crowds do show up at the main beaches in peak season.

Umani Ronchi WINEMAG.COM | 53

erched on a steep hilltop, Urbino, whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is Le Marches most celebrated city. A cradle of the Renaissance, Urbino rivals even the most famous towns in Tuscany and Umbria for its grandiose architecture, rich history and impressive art collections. Many of Urbinos elaborate stone buildings were constructed in the mid- to late1400s under the rule of Duke Federico da Montefeltro, one of the 15th centurys most dedicated patrons of the arts. During his reign, Urbino was one of Europes greatest cultural centers. VisUrbino rivals even the most famous iting scholars, painttowns in Tuscany and Umbria for ers and poets would its grandiose architecture. stay at Federicos magnificent Palazzo Ducale, now home to Le Marches national art gallery. Renaissance name-dropping here can bring art historians to their knees. Sandro Botticelli designed the intricate inlaid woodwork decorating the Dukes private study. Among the masterpieces housed in the gallery are Piero della Francescas Flagellation of Christ as well as works by Raphael and Titian (known in Italy as Tiziano Vecellio). But Urbinos Renaissance connection goes deeper than one palazzo. Leonardo da Vinci planned the 15th-century reconstruction of the citys original Roman walls. In 1483, Raphael was born here. Visitors to the artists home can see a fresco that he painted at age 14. When visiting, stay at Albergo San Domenico. The 15th-century former monastery is ideally situated across from the Palazzo Ducale. For dining, go to Antica Osteria della Stella in the city center for homemade pastas The local wine is the generally simple and like tagliatelle with white truffles. quaffable Colli Pesaresi. Most common is a light, Urbino is just a short ride from Acqualfruity red made predominantly from Sangiovese. agna, which shares the title of Italys white In Pesaro, Fattoria Mancini makes wines truffle capital with the town of Alba in Piedwith greater elegance and depth, like its Colli mont. Set inside Acqualagnas Gola del FurPesaresi Focara, a red made using Pinot Noir lo Nature Reserve, Antico Furlo is celebrated propagated from vines originally planted in the for its truffle-based dishes and other locally area during the Napoleonic administration in the sourced ingredients, including mushrooms early 1800s. from the nearby Apennines. Theres also a Mancini, whose spectacular vineyards hotel on site. overlook the Adriatic, also makes a Colli Pesaresi

Urbino

Clockwise from right: truffles at Antico Furlo; Fattoria Mancinis Focara, a rare Pinot Noir; Alberto Melagrana, the chef and sommelier of Antico Furlo in Acqualagna; traditional costumes on display at Albergo San Domenico.

Urbinos Wines

Roncaglia, a white blend of the native Albanella with Pinot Noir. But, according to Alberto Melagrana, chef and owner of the Antico Furlo restaurant, the best wine to pair with the local white truffle dishes is Verdicchio. Contrary to popular belief, structured white wines pair better with truffles than reds, he says. A full-bodied 2 or 3-year old Verdicchio thats been aged in casks and has good alcohol content is the best.

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estled between mountains and the sea, Jesi is home to one of Italys greatest white wines, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Though there are no vineyards in the city itself, Jesi is the ideal starting point to tour the surrounding wine country. Its also not too far from the smaller Verdicchio di Matelica denomination. In the last few years, Verdicchio has received more awards and mentions from the Italian wine guides than any other white wine in Italy, says Alberto Mazzoni, director of the Istituto Marchigiano di Tutela Vini, the regions largest growers union. During the 1960s, a cheap, cheerful version of Verdicchio was one of Italys bestselling white wines both domestically and in major export markets like the U.S. But by the 1970s, quality nosedived as large firms churned out industrial quantities to satisfy demand. Verdicchios newfound respect is the result of massive investments in the vineyards and improved winemaking. In 1983, when I began bottling my production, I cut yields down to half of what the production code stipulates, says Ampelio Bucci, one of the leaders of Verdicchios renaissance. And instead of planting new vines or international grapes, I decided to work with old Verdicchio vines. Aged in large Slavonian casks, Buccis full-bodied, complex and mineral-driven wines, especially his Riserva, soon caught the attention of wine critics and connoisseurs worldwide. Encouraged, other producers started focusing on quality over quantity. These days, Verdicchio quality has never been better. Besides acting as the gateway to Verdicchio, Jesis maze of cobbled streets and ancient buildings are worth a visit. Leave the industrial sprawl below and go directly to the walled medieval center, the birthplace of Frederick II, one of the Middle Ages most powerful Holy Roman Emperors. The Palazzo Pianetti is a must see, noted for its rich collection of artwork, including those by 16th-century artist Lorenzo Lotto. Jesi also hosts the Enoteca Regionale, which carries more than 400 Marche la-

Jesi

Beefits whats for dinner at Innito. Below, owner Fabio Marchionni wields the pruning shears at Collestefano.

bels, making it an ideal introduction to the regions dynamic wine scene. Just a short drive away in the seaside town of Senigallia is Uliassi, recipient of two Michelin stars. Chef Mauro Uliassi serves creative interpretations of local seafood spe-

cialties like smoked spaghetti with clams and grilled cherry tomatoes. If staying in Jesi, the large Federico II has all the modern amenities, while hotel and restaurant LInfinito offers more charming digs in wine country.

Jesis Wines

One of Italys premier white wines, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi features peach and almond avors brightened by crisp acidity. Riservas, aged longer prior to release, offer moderate cellaring potential, up to several years. Top estates include Villa Bucci, Umani Ronchi and Garofoli.

In the Verdicchio di Matelica region, higher altitudes and a closed valley create a cooler microclimate than in the Jesi denomination, yielding wines with intense aromas, brisk acidity and marked mineral accents. Collestefano is one of the areas rising stars.

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e Marches most beautiful beaches are situated inside the stunning Conero Natural Park. Even though these seaside resorts draw crowds in July and August, youll have the beaches pretty much to yourself in May, June and September. Some of the more isolated and hard-to-reach beaches are never crowded, even during peak season. One of the most seductive spots along this strip of the Adriatic coast is Portonovo, once a simple fishing village. Located at the foot of Monte Conero, Portonovos white pebbly beaches, rocky shorelines and luminous green bay are set against a backdrop of the parks woods and dense Mediterranean brush. Just between the beach and park are two small salt lakes that attract rare birds and other species that thrive in the pristine reserve. After soaking up the sunshine and swimming in the crystal clear waters, take a short walk to the ancient church of Santa Maria di Portonovo. Surrounded by old, twisted olive trees, the church overlooks the bay. Built by Benedictine monks in the 11th century, the perfectly preserved structure is a jewel of Romanesque architecture. For a delicious meal on the beach, try Clandestino, a sushi bar and casual restaurant thats operated by star chef Moreno Cedroni. His main restaurant in Senigallia has received two Michelin stars. For unique lodgings in a superb setting, stay at Fortino Napoleonico. Located on the beach, the hotel was originally a fort built by the French during the Napoleonic era. It fell into ruin, but was revived as a hotel in 1969 after extensive restorations. Have dinner on the terrace overlooking the sea at the excellent onsite restaurant. Mezzavalle and Le Due Sorelle are two nearby destinations. From Portonovo, Mezzavalle is a 15-minute walk along a steep, rugged footpath, making it a haven for sea lovers and hikers looking for unspoiled beaches. Another wild, pristine beach, Le Due Sorelle is accessible only by boat. Heading away from the shore, Monte Conero offers numerous walking and mountain bike paths of varying levels of difficulty, offering stunning views of the sparkling sea below.

Conero Riviera

Clockwise from left: Antonio and Georgina Terni of Fattoria Le Terrazze; the bar at historic Fortino Napoleonico; the Fortinos terric tagliatelle.

Coneros Wines
Montepulciano.

Monte Conero is home to Rosso Conero, a robust red wine that must be made from a minimum of 85% Montepulciano and a maximum of 15% Sangiovese. Most producers use exclusively With its fruity sensations of black cherries and raspberries, Rosso Conero is usually best

enjoyed in its youth, especially if it hasnt been aged in wood. More structured wines from the Conero Riserva DOCG are usually best after four or ve years. Two producers to seek out are Moroder and Fattoria Le Terrazze.

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n the south of Le Marche, near the regions border with Abruzzo, Ascoli Piceno is one of Italys little-known jewels. The striking city center is made entirely of travertine, an ivory-colored stone thats been used here since Roman times, first to construct dwellings and temples, and later, churches, palaces and municipal buildings. Even the pavement tiles in the citys main square, the Piazza del Popolo, are made of travertine. Any visit to Walking is the Ascoli Piceno should begin here, at the beating heart of the city. best way to Flanked by the imposing visit the city gothic Church of San Francesco, and take in the 13th-century Captains Palthe numerous ace and the 16th-century vaultRomanesque ed Merchants Lodge, the piazchurches and za seems to glow when the light hits a certain way. medieval Many residents still walk in towers. the square each evening to catch up with neighbors and friends, a custom now abandoned in most Italian cities. Stop in at Caff Meletti, located in one corner of the square, for pastry and an espresso in the morning or an aperitivo in the evening. Its Liberty-style architecture is a nod to Old World refinement and charm. The recently reopened restaurant on the top floor serves delicious, creative interpretations of traditional cuisine, including olive allAscolanafried olives stuffed with a mixture of meat, Parmesan cheese, vegetables and herbs. This delicacy is made with the Tenera Ascolana olive variety, which, as the name suggests, are tender and fleshy. The local olive oils are among the best in Italy. Walking is the best way to visit the city Ascoli Piceno is in the Rosso Piceno denominaand take in the numerous Romanesque tion, which spans 120 towns in four provinces. churches and medieval towers. In Piazza Given the vast territory and the exible blending Arringo, stop at the Cathedral of Saint Emiregulations (varying amounts of Montepulciano, dio, named after the citys patron saint and, Sangiovese and other varieties), this red wine according to local legend, protector against generally lacks identity and also has variable earthquakes. Inside, marvel at the intricately quality levels. frescoed ceilings and vaulted crypt. One of the estates making good Rosso Piceno Outside of the town center, visit the Mais Le Caniette. Rosso Piceno Superiore hails only latesta Fortress and the Cecco Bridge, as well from the Ascoli province, which local producers as the temple of SantEmidio alle Grotte, maintain has the best growing conditions. built into the hillside. If staying in town, stay Yet, the most interesting wines from the at the charming Cento Torri. undulating hills around Ascoli Piceno are white,

Ascoli Piceno

Clockwise from top: a canine outing; Cento Torri; a street in Ascoli Piceno; Cocci Grifonis top rosso.

Ascolis Wines

especially the small production of Offida Pecorino DOCG. Nearly extinct in the early 1980s, the Pecorino grape was saved by local winemaker Guido Cocci Grifoni, who, after years of experimentation, made his first vintage of 100% Pecorino in 1990. Because of its intense oral aromas of acacia and jasmine, rich white-fruit flavors, creamy texture and mineral notes, more wineries are now producing this fascinating wine, which pairs well with sh and white meats. Top estates include Cocci Grifoni and Ci Ci.

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Exploring the wonders of pairing

Pinot Noir and pork.

BY

VIRGINIE BOONE BEN FINK


P H OTO S

The allure of Pinot Noir and pork is more than alliterative. They share a sweet succulence and smoky undertone. Bright in acidity, with medium tannins and a velvety texture, Pinot complements both porks lean and fatty cuts. Meanwhile, the wines subtle strawberry, cherry and raspberry notes play well with the other-white-meats favorite flavorings: the sweet, the savory and the tangy. These two tablemates match each other so well, theres a festival in Sonoma County devoted solely around celebrating this perfect unionaptly called Pigs & Pinotwhere top chefs and sommeliers from around the world gather and try to one-up each other with pork-and-Pinot pairings. To help you embrace this tasty wine-and-swine combination, we tapped three chefs from the upcoming festival to share their ultimate pork dish and its ideal partner.

WINEMAG.COM | 59

Bacon Lardon-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

With Pinot Noir-Braised Dried Cherries, Riz Rouge & Violet Mustard
Recipe courtesy Dustin Valette, chef de cuisine, Dry Creek Kitchen, Healdsburg, CA
1 pound bacon, skin off, whole slab

Kosher salt Fresh pepper 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 4 1 3 2 2 1 2 1 onion, peeled and diced small fennel bulb, cut into eighths, reserving the fronds for garnish garlic, whole head, cut in half carrot, peeled and cut into eighths bunch fresh thyme tablespoon whole coriander seed cups fresh chicken stock ounces Pinot Noir ounce red wine vinegar ounces dried cherries ounces olive oil cups Riz Rouge rice cup white wine cup toasted marcona almonds pounds pork tenderloin ounce violet mustard

Riz Rouge rice and deglaze with the white wine. Add the remaining 3 quarts of chicken stock slowly and in small increments until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is tender. Remove the rice from heat and gently stir in the toasted almonds and cooked dried cherries. Reserve and keep warm. Take the pork tenderloin and make a long slit down the center to make a hole inside without cutting through the sides (basically youre making a sleeve). Take the precooked bacon and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place the bacon inside the slit you just make in the tenderloin. Season with salt and pepper and roast in a pan over medium heat until cooked to about 160F. Since the bacon is already cooked, it just needs to be heated through. Once the pork is cooked, reserve in a warm area. Start plating by placing a line of the Riz Rouge in the center of the plate. Slice the cooked tenderloin, placing a couple of slices on top of the Riz Rouge, stacking one by one. Put a couple of artistic dots of the violet mustard on the right side of the plate and sprinkle fleur de sel. Place the fennel fronds on top of the tenderloin and repeat with the remaining three plates. Serves 4. Pair It
Rippon 2010 Mature Vine Pinot Noir (Central Otago); $40 Rippons powerful Pinot from some of Central Otago, New Zealands oldest vines is tightly textured, expressive in black cherry fruit, cola and brown spices. Its fine tannins will stand up to the bacon and completely complement the dried cherries, with a hit of herb on the finish racing neck and neck against the violet mustard for most-delicious honors.

red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into thick strips

2 cups chicken stock teaspoon salt teaspoon piment dEspelette or paprika

cup instant polenta 3 2 4 tablespoons mascarpone tablespoons vegetable oil cup dry white wine large basil leaves, torn

Salt to taste

Fleur de sel, for garnish

Season the bacon lightly with salt and pepper, and saut in a large pan until its golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the bacon from the pan and place in a deep casserole dish. Preheat an oven to 325F. Add half of the onions, as well as the fennel, garlic, carrots, thyme and coriander to the casserole dish. Bring 2 cups of the chicken stock to a boil in a separate pot and pour over the bacon. Wrap with aluminum foil and cook for 12 hours, or until the bacon is tender. Once cooked, allow the belly to cool in the liquid overnight, then discard everything but the bacon. In a medium-sized pot, bring the Pinot Noir and red wine vinegar to a boil, add the dried cherries and cook for 5 minutes at low heat. Reserve warm. In a medium-sized pot, add the olive oil and saut the rest of the diced onion. Once the onions become translucent, add the

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
With Creamy Mascarpone Polenta and Warm Roasted Pepper Salad
Recipe courtesy Charlie Palmer, chef and owner, Dry Creek Kitchen
6 6 1 3 sea scallops bacon strips clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced tablespoons olive oil

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FOOD STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL; PROP STYLING: BRIAN HEISER

Wrap a strip of bacon around each scallop. Slide rosemary twigs or bamboo skewers into the scallops to secure the bacon and to make the scallops easier to turn when sauting. Refrigerate until ready to cook. Toast the garlic in the olive oil until light golden-brown, swirling the pan constantly. Add the peppers and season with salt to taste. Cook just long enough to heat the peppers through, then tip them onto a plate and set aside. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Season with salt and piment dEspelette. Whisk in the polenta and cook for 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and fold in the mascarpone. Adjust the seasoning. Set aside, covered, until ready to serve. If the polenta cools, it will stiffen up. If this happens, reheat the polenta over low heat as you vigorously whisk in a little more stock to restore the creamy texture. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick saut pan until smoking. Season the scallops (leave them on the skewers) with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops, and then reduce the heat to medium-high once theyve begun to color around the edges. Shake the pan gently so the oil gets under the scallops; this helps them sear and color evenly. Flip after 3 minutes and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove the scallops from the pan and keep in a warm place loosely tented with aluminum foil. Pour the wine into the pan and simmer for 1 minute, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the peppers, and cook until the wine has fully reduced. Remove from heat and toss in the basil. Spoon a pool of polenta onto heated

3 3 1 4 4 6 1

tablespoons minced shallot tablespoons minced thyme cup diced carrot ounces Red Boat Fish Sauce ounces white wine cups peeled plum tomatoes teaspoon saffron

plates. Lay a skewer of scallops over the polenta and then pull out the skewer. Serve the warm pepper salad on the side. Serves 2. Pair It
Soter Vineyards 2010 Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir (YamhillCarlton District ); $55 The scallops call out for an elegantly structured Pinot from Oregon or the Sonoma Coast. The cooler imprint of these regions will impart a smattering of spicy pepper to the wines, subtly accenting the pepper salad without overpowering the delicacy of the scallop. Former California-based winemaker Tony Soter makes Pinot in Oregon these days. This one, from his estate vineyard, offers subtle richness and minerality, with scents of spice and sandalwood.

Fennel & Aleppo PepperSpiced Spare Ribs


With Saffron-Tomato Stew and Crushed Fingerling Potatoes
Recipe courtesy Louis Maldonado, executive chef, Spoonbar, Healdsburg, CA
2 1 2 tablespoons toasted and crushed fennel seed tablespoon Aleppo pepper tablespoons toasted and ground coriander

Combine the fennel seed, Aleppo pepper, coriander, lemon zest and 6 tablespoons of kosher salt. Heavily season the spare ribs and let sit overnight. The next day, preheat an oven to 400F. Pull the ribs out early so they can temper, wrap each rack tightly with foil and put into the oven for 2 hours. Remove and loosely open the foil to release the heat. Let the ribs cool to room temperature, and then cut the ribs individually. In a large pot filled with water, add the potatoes, garlic, 2 bay leaves and 4 tablespoons of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the potatoes are tender. Allow the potatoes to cool in the water. Remove and individually smash each potato like a pancake. Set aside. Cut the yellow onions in half. In a very hot cast-iron pan, burn the cut side until very black. In a large saucepot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the minced garlic, shallots, thyme, carrot and 3 bay leaves. Sweat for 25 minutes, deglaze with the fish sauce and white wine and reduce until nearly dry (au sec in French). Add the tomatoes, burned onions and 1 cup of water, bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Add the saffron and continue to cook for 1 hour. Constantly check the seasoning and keep adjusting the salt. In a large casserole, lay down the spare ribs and pour the tomato stew over them. Place the potatoes throughout and cover with foil. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes. Serve family style. Serves 6. Pair It
Rochioli 2011 West Block Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $72 To match the richness of the ribs and complexity of the saffron-tomato sauce, look for a velvety smooth, seductive Pinot from the Russian River Valley, like many by Rochioli, Merry Edwards or Kosta Browne. Rochiolis River Block from the 2011 vintage has the appellations classic cola spice and mouth-coating wild cherry notes, with enough brightness and structure to remain interesting over many years.

Zest of 2 lemons 10 tablespoons kosher salt, divided 3 racks of St. Louis style spare ribs

36 French fingerling potatoes 2 5 3 4 3 cloves garlic bay leaves, divided medium-sized yellow onions tablespoons olive oil tablespoons minced garlic

62 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

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The view of the vineyards from Wettolsheim in Alsace, home to three grand cru sites.

IN THIS MONTHS GUIDE 66 ALSACE 82 ITALY


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86 AUSTRIA 89 GREECE

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90 SOUTH AFRICA
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92 CHILE

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95 CALIFORNIA

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99 WASHINGTON
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102 SPIRITS 103 BEER

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acter floods the palate. Its clearly a wine to age, so dont drink before 2016. Vineyard Brands. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $42

White wine for spring? Come to Alsace.

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lsace is one of the best sources for deliIf youre adding to your cellar, buy some 2010s cious, fruity white wines. As this months now and enjoy them after you have drunk the reviews show, there are dozens of great 2011s, although some of the top-scoring wines examples waiting to be bought and drunk, from the latter vintage will be exceptions to this in a variety of styles. Do you want fine dry Riesgeneral guideline. ling at a good price? Perhaps a sweet selection Theres another wine style from Alsace into enjoy for dessert? Maybe youre looking for cluded in this months Buying Guide: Crmant some of the best GewurztramindAlsace. These sparkling wines ers in the world, or a unique style are incredibly popular in France The 2011 vintage for the great values they typiof Pinot Gris? The answers to all of these needs are found in Alcally represent. Now its time has given us sace. for Americans to take notice. wines that are There are many wines from Although Alsace is centersoft and ready to stage in this issues Buying 2011 reviewed this issue. It drink, with just the Guide, it also includes stunning wasnt the greatest vintage in Alsace; 2010 and 2009 were betwhites from the Marche region right level of ter, as they were over almost all of Central Italy, as well as selecacidity. of France. But the 2011 vintage tions from Austria and Greece. has given us wines that are soft From the New World, check and ready to drink, with just the right level of out reviews of wines from Chile and South Afacidity. rica, plus hundreds of reviews from CaliforThe reviews also demonstrate that white nia, Washington and New York. And, as always, wines from Alsace can age beautifully in cerbe sure to check out our complete database, tain vintages. Wines (especially Rieslings) that with thousands more reviews, at buyingguide. are rated 90 points and above from the excelwinemag.com. lent 2007 vintage are still remarkably youthful. Cheers! Roger Voss

Domaines Schlumberger 2010 Saering Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). This is a perfumed, complex wine that veers between showcasing the freshest fruit flavors and hints of maturity. Its fresh with berry notes and intense with acidity, but rich in texture as well. This is a wine to age much longer, so dont drink before 2017. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $29 Domaines Schlumberger 2008 Kitterl Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). An astonishing wine, this showchases mature Riesling flavors with abundant fruit, a classic petrol character, and a strong, steely texture. Its structured with tight texture and intense acidity that lingers on the finish. Drink now. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $40 Ren Mur 2010 Clos Saint-Landelin Vorbourg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). So intense and concentrated, this wine epitomizes the essence of Riesling. Steely, tight, very nervy and bone dry, it is packed with flavors of citrus, orange zest, grapefruit and green apple skins. The texture of this young wine is beautifully crisp. Drink from 2016. Robert Kacher Selections. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $50 Domaine Albert Mann 2011 Furstentum Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). While still young and fruity, this has the potential to be a complex, long-lived wine. It boasts stone fruit and white flower aromas, a tight structure and a hint of sweetness. Drink from 2018. Weygandt-Metzler. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Domaine Charles Baur 2010 Brand Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). The sand and granite soil of the Brand vineyard gives an intensely structured wine thats tight and steely. Its rich with apricot and pear flavors made crisp with refreshing acidity. Drink from 2015. Grape News Importing. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $27 Domaine Ostertag 2010 Clos Mathis Riesling (Alsace). Full in the mouth, this is a warm style of wine. It has weight, ripeness and fruitiness with abundant apricot and pear flavors. It is enjoyable now although it will certainly age well. Drink until 2022. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Cellar Selection. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $42 Kuentz-Bas 2011 Pfersigberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). This is a deliciously rich RiesContinued on Page 78

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Domaine Weinbach 2011 Schlossberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). For full review see page 67. Cellar Selection. abv: 13.5% Price: $39

Trimbach 2007 Clos Ste Hune Riesling (Alsace). Clos Ste Hune comes from a small parcel in the Rosacker Grand Cru vineyard. It is a wonderful, ethereal paean to Rieslingcrisp while intensely perfumed with aromas of fennel and licorice. Its dry in style, with elegant citrus flavors and a straight line of steely acidity, but finishes with a hint of honey. While delicious now, its not quite mature and could continue to improve until 2025. Esprit du Vin. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $NA

Domaines Schlumberger 2009 Kessler Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). There is both wonderful bite and density to this great wine. It has a weighty texture full of ripe, rich fruit. At the same time, the wine is bone dry and crisp with acidity. It s just beginning to mature, and while enjoyable now, its better to wait until 2016. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $30

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Trimbach 2007 Cuve Frdric Emile Riesling (Alsace). For full review see page 67. Editors Choice. abv: 13% Price: $65

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Domaine Weinbach 2011 Cuve Ste Catherine Riesling (Alsace). This is a beautifully perfumed wine, that, while rich with fruit, maintains a crisp, steely and tight youthfulness. Its juicy char-

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66 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

The Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide


The Buying Guide includes ratings and reviews of new-release and selected older beverage alcohol products evaluated by Wine Enthusiast Magazines editors and other qualied tasters. Regular contributors to our Buying Guide include Tasting Director Lauren Buzzeo, Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa, Managing Editor Joe Czerwinski, Contributing Editors Michael Schachner, Anna Lee C. Iijima, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, Contributing Taster Andrew Hoover and Spirits Editor Kara Newman in New York; European Editor Roger Voss in France; Italian Editor Kerin OKeefe in Switzerland; Contributing Editor Anne Krebiehl in England; California Editor Steve Heimoff and Contributing Editor Virginie Boone in California; and Contributing Editors Paul Gregutt and Sean Sullivan in Washington. If a wine was evaluated by a single reviewer, that tasters initials appear following the note. When no initials appear following a wine review, the wine was evaluated by two or more reviewers and the score and tasting note reect the input of all tasters. Unless otherwise stated, all spirit reviews are by Kara Newman and all beer reviews are by Lauren Buzzeo. Each review contains a score, the full name of the product, its suggested national retail price, its abv as reported to us by the submitter and a tasting note. If price or alcohol content cannot be conrmed, NA (not available) will be printed. Prices are for 750-ml bottles unless otherwise indicated. TASTING METHODOLOGY AND GOALS All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind unless otherwise noted. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group ights of from 58 samples. Price is not a factor in assigning scores. When possible, products considered awed or uncustomary are retasted. ABOUT THE SCORES Ratings reect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a products special characteristics. The pinnacle of quality. A great achievement. Highly recommended. Often good value; well recommended. Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value. Acceptable 8082: Can be employed in casual, lesscritical circumstances. Products deemed Unacceptable (receiving a rating below 80 points) are not reviewed. SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS Editors Choice products are those that offer excellent quality at a price above our Best Buy range, or a product at any price with unique qualities that merit special attention. Cellar Selections are products deemed highly collectible and/or requiring time in a temperature-controlled wine cellar to reach their maximum potential. A Cellar Selection designation does not mean that a product must be stored to be enjoyed, but that cellaring will probably result in a more enjoyable bottle. In general, an optimum time for cellaring will be indicated. Best Buys are products that offer a high level of quality in relation to price. There are no specic guidelines or formulae for determining Best Buys, but wines meriting this award are generally priced at $15 or less. SUBMITTING PRODUCTS FOR REVIEW Products should be submitted to the appropriate reviewing location as detailed in our FAQ, available online via winemag.com/ contactus. Inquiries should be addressed to the Tasting & Review Department at 914.345.9463 or email tastings@wineenthusiast. net. There is no charge for submitting products. We make every effort to taste all products submitted for review, but there is no guarantee that all products submitted will be tasted, or that reviews will appear in the magazine. Wine Enthusiast reserves the right to publish any reviews of products submitted to or purchased for our tasting and review program. All samples must be accompanied by the appropriate submission form, which may be downloaded from our Web site. LABELS Labels are paid promotions. Producers and importers are given the opportunity to submit labels, which are reproduced and printed along with tasting notes and scores. For information on label purchases, contact Denise Valenza at 813.571.1122; fax 866.896.8786; or email dvalenza@wineenthusiast.net. Find all reviews on our fully searchable database at buyingguide.winemag.com Classic 98100: Superb 9497: Excellent 9093: Very Good 8789: Good 8386:

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Gramercy Cellars 2010 Lagniappe Syrah (Columbia Valley). Sourced from Red Willow, Olsen and Les Collines, this is the finest effort yet from Gramercy Cellars and one of the greatest Syrahs ever produced in Washington state. Think Hermitage with brighter fruit. Its intensely aromatic, dense and seamless, stacked with rich flavors of mixed berries, layers of smoke, earth and herb, and punctuated by citrusy acidity. Highlights of oranges and tangerines sneak into the finish, which lingers for an astonishingly long time. Exceptional in every way. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 14.2% Price: $55

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Joseph Phelps 2011 Quarter Moon Vineyard Estate Grown Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Credit the cool vintage for this Pinots mouthwatering acidity. The wine is rich but pristine with fruit, a testament to Phelps superb viticultural practices and attention to detail at the sorting table. Its dry and crisp, yet rich and delicious, with flavors of strawberry and raspberry jam, rosehip tea and cedar. The tannins give the wine a velvety grip. As good as it is now, it would be a shame not to cellar it. Your window of drinkability begins in 2019 and extends for 15 years after. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 13.4% Price: $75

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Domaine Weinbach 2011 Schlossberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). This is, quite simply, great Riesling. It has all the subtlety that the grape can produce, as well as a sense of longevity. Theres an intensity of fruitapples and citrusthat cuts through the texture, leaving a beautiful, lingering aftertaste. Still young, drink from 2016. Vineyard Brands. Cellar Selection. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $39

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Stone The Crows 2011 Three Twins Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). After a great inaugural 2010 vintage, this is another impressive Cabernet from this winery. The vineyard is in the Pritchard Hill area, and the wine is 95% Cabernet with 5% Petit Verdot. Its a lush wine thats rich in black currant, cocoa and plum flavors, enhanced by smoky oak. The wine shows enormous complexity, with layers of minerals and dried herbs that are hard to describe. It has a long life ahead of it, so drink now2022, at least. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $85

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Domaine Weinbach 2011 Cuve Laurence Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Laurence Faller is the family winemaker at Domaine Weinbach, and this wine is a tribute to her skills. It is a wonderful blend of rich fruits, warm spice and tight acidity, with a finish that lasts and lasts in the mouth. It is a very fine wine, designed for aging, and would be best enjoyed after 2016. Vineyard Brands. Cellar Selection. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $45

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Trimbach 2007 Cuve Frdric Emile Riesling (Alsace). One of Trimbachs top wines, this impressive Riesling, with all its bottle time, is maturing beautifully. It has that petrol character that is typical of aged Riesling, as well as a strong sense of steeliness and intense acidity on the finish. It is probably at its peak now, but will drink well until 2018. Esprit du Vin. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $65

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Cornerstone 2010 The Cornerstone Red Wine (Napa Valley). This wine is massively ripe, with black currant, dark chocolate and anise flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon brings a black currant note and tannic power, Cabernet Franc adds a cherried richness, and Merlot lends a soft, feminine touch. The result is noble, but big, thick tannins call for time in the cellar. Consider opening from 2017, although it will go for a decade or two longer than that. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.9% Price: $150

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Mountain). Dont look for this new producer to remain under the radar for long; this is the third successive vintage featuring beautifully crafted, distinctive wines. The Red Mountain fruit has that regions stony minerality. Immaculate, tart red currant and cherry flavors, still tight and young, are wrapped with lightly toasty notes from barrel aging. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $50

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Sante Arcangeli 2012 Split Rail Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains). With a pale color and mouthwatering acidity, this delicately structured Pinot goes well beyond its immediate flavors of raspberry tea, pomegranates, persimmons, orange peel, exotic spices and oak to offer a Burgundian touch of earth and mushrooms. Theres also a firm, stony minerality on the palate. This gorgeous Pinot was produced in tiny quantities of 300 cases and will drink well over the next six years. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $36

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Goldschmidt 2008 Game Ranch Single Vineyard Selection PLUS Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville). This 100% Cabernet is so rich with blackberries, black currants and oak, you might be tempted to drink it now. Dont. Its a wine that will develop over many years. The tannins are thick and structured, and the acidity balanced. Begin drinking this beauty in 2018. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $150

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2011 Cuve Arlette (Columbia Valley). Winemaker Kit Singh has tweaked this Right Bank-style blend, but it remains solidly anchored in 49% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc, with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Tart, young raspberry and pomegranate fruit flavors are set against vividly crisp mineral notes. Tannins are supple and proportionate and the flavors beautifully defined. On the finish, a delightful detail of carpaccio appears. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $50

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Bella 2010 Rocky Ridge Vineyard Zinfandel (Rockpile). The vintage was a good one for Bellas Zinfandels, and this one, which contains a splash of Petite Sirah and Carignane, is their best. It is quintessential Sonoma County Zin, dry, yet rich and heady, and floods the mouth with ripe raspberries, cherries, red licorice and exotic spices. Production was only 300 cases. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.3% Price: $45

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Hunnicutt 2010 9-3-5 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). A worthy followup to the splendid 2008 and 2009 vintages, this 100% Cabernet is a blend of grapes from St. Helena, Rutherford and Oakville. It defines Napa Cabernet with lush, intricate and complex favors of blackberry jam, cassis liqueur, milk chocolate and caramelized oak that finish dry and long. The tannins are refined, but thick. This is a wine for the cellar. Start enjoying it after 2017. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.6% Price: $125

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Owen Roe 2011 Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah (Yakima Valley). Sourced from what is arguably Red Willows finest block of Syrah, this is superbly balanced and remarkably concentrated for this cool site from a cool vintage. Cassis fruit is streaked with licorice and mocha, showing plenty of new oak influence without sacrificing depth or fruit. Drink soon or tuck it away for a few more years; either way its a gem. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $55

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Cornerstone 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain). Ripe, vivacious blackberry, black currant and oak flavors are folded into complex tannins in this dramatic Cabernet Sauvignon. Blended with 10% Merlot, its dry, firm and noble, but severely immature at this stage and will require plenty of bottle age. Give it six more years, at the very least. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.7% Price: $80

68 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

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Dunham 2010 XVI Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley). The sixteenth edition of Dunhams benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon bears a strong scent of new oakits aged in 70% French and 30% American. The wood is dominant, which is not surprising in a wine built for long term aging. Given plenty of time to breathe, bright red fruits, citrusy acids and a lovely mix of toast, caramel and clove accents emerge. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 13.4% Price: $45

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2011 Cuve Estelle (Columbia Valley). Merlot is the principal grape here, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot filling out the blend. This is an elegant, sculpted wine, built upon a sturdy foundation of supple, ripe Columbia Valley fruit. Raspberry and cherry flavors get a spicy lift from the Petit Verdot, while the Cabernet adds focus and heft to the tannins. P.G. abv: 14.3% Price: $50

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Woodward Canyon 2010 Estate Reserve Merlot-Petit Verdot-Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley). A blend of estategrown Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a juicy, liquorous wine wrapped up tightly around sweet and tangy blackberry and cherry fruits. The tannins are svelte and the finish long, while the barrel aging brings on substantial flavors of cedar, Bourbon and vanilla. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 14.8% Price: $79

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Efest 2012 Evergreen Riesling (Columbia Valley). Dry and crisply detailed, this delicious, bracing Riesling combines refreshing minerality with delicate yet complex fruit flavors of apple, pear and tangerine. Its full-bodied and drinking beautifully, but has the structure to develop over a decade or more. You decide whether to enjoy it now or tuck it away. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 12.8% Price: $20

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ONX 2011 Praetorian (Paso Robles). This blend of Tempranillo, Malbec, Grenache and Mourvdre offers such generosity of fruit, but manages to finish dry and clean. Tannins are grippy in the mouth, but flavors of dried currant, leather and black cherry jam burst through. What a great wine to decant for a few hours and serve up with rich beef dishes. S.H. abv: 15.1% Price: $45

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Black Cat 2010 Family Cuve (Napa Valley). This is a 50-50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Coombsville. Its dense with tannins, but theyre very finely woven, and the wine has a gentle grace. The flavors of blackberries are pristine and ripe, and accompanied by a new oak smokiness. Good as it is now, it will develop bottle complexity after 2016. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 13.8% Price: $48

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Gordon Estate 2010 Estate Grown Syrah (Columbia Valley). If this wine carried a more prestigious winerys name on the label, it would sell for double, even triple the asking price. Cool climate details of earth and herb join the peppery blue fruit notes, wrapped in sweet brown spices and toasty tannins. There is lovely concentration and balance, with Rhne-like nuances of meat and pepper. Give this a little extra time and attention and it will reward you magnificently. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.9% Price: $21

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Rodney Strong 2010 Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley). Theres a thick chocolate and blackberry-jam richness to this Cabernet that makes it delicious already. Its blended with a little Malbec and Petit Verdot, and boasts good structural integrity and ample grape tannins, while new French oak lends wood tannins and a sweet smokiness. As good as it is now, you may want to lay this wine down for 68 years, to let it express even more of a sense of terroir. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 15% Price: $75

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Black Cat 2010 Syrah (Napa Valley). This Syrah has a fine, complex structure of tannins and acids, with flashy black currant and oak flavors. Flavors of grilled meat sprinkled with black pepper lend a profile thats characteristically Syrah. Made from 100% Syrah from the winerys Coombsville vineyard, it will develop bottle complexity over the next six years. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $48

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Cornerstone 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Everything about this Cabernet argues for cellaring. With a little Merlot and Cabernet Franc, its enormously complex, with fruit flavors that range from blackberries and cherries to black currants. Theres also a pleasant herbaceousness that suggests sweet green peas. The tannins are significant, so let it develop bottle complexity until 2016. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $60

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Efest 2010 Big Papa Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley). The old blocks referenced in this pure Cabernet Sauvignon are sourced from a perfect pantheon of Washingtons finest vineyards: Klipsun, Bacchus, Sagemoor, Kiona and Red Willow. The wine has a charming delicacy, fragrant with tobacco and cherry, yet thick on the tongue with black cherry, cassis and cola. It finishes balanced, lively and deep. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $54

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Efest 2010 Upright Klipsun Vineyard Merlot (Red Mountain). This is the first vintage for Upright100% Klipsun Vineyard and 100% varietal Merlot. Thick and syrupy, its a full throttle wine, with deep flavors of berry, cherry and cassis. Red licorice lightly streaks through the back end, and the wine makes a smooth landing on a strip of Bourbon barrel notes. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 14.8% Price: $39

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Delgadillo 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). A blend of grapes from St. Helena and Coombsville, this is a balanced combination of warm, ripe fruit and cool-climate acidity. The flavors are ripe with black currants and new French oak. Its already throwing sediment, but it should reward additional time in the cellar. Give it until at least 2017, although it could still be rocking and rolling in 2025. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 15% Price: $85

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Efest 2011 Emmy (Wahluke Slope). Made from 71% Mourvdre, 16% Grenache and 13% Syrah all aged in neutral French oak, this pops aromatically, with abundant black pepper, rare meat and garrigue. Its full bodied and richly flavored, with a supple feel. S.S. abv: 15% Price: $45

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Hunnicutt 2011 Merlot (Napa Valley). Ripe cherry, blackberry, red currant, cocoa and oak flavors mark this lush Merlot. The grapes hail from the Coombsville region. The structure is just beautiful, a graceful integration of acidity, tannins and alcohol. Drink now2018. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $48

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Dry Creek Vineyard 2011 Heritage Vines Zinfandel (Sonoma County). This is a big, powerful yet well-mannered Zinfandel, blended with 16% Petite Sirah. The Zinfandel vines average 30 years of age, and its classically Dry Creek, with an exotic spiciness and briary, brambly notes of blackberry, raspberry and Dr. Pepper. The tannin-acid balance is just about perfect. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $19

Efest 2012 Feral Evergreen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley). The first Feral made by new winemaker, Peter Devison, continues a tradition of excellence. Natural yeasts and fermentation in neutral oak, combined with a superb vintage and world class vineyard, equal a gorgeous bottle of wine. Creamy, leesy, textural and deeply imbued with mineral-soaked citrus fruit, flesh and rind, this ultrarefreshing wine is a joy. Notes of cucumber and melon contribute further complexity through the long finish. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.5% Price: $20

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2011 Proprietors Cuve (Columbia Valley). Lovely aromatics push scents of espresso, cassis, truffle and bakers chocolate right up front. The wine is polished, fine-boned and balanced, with taut cranberry and raspberry fruit. It brings in subtle accents of chalk, earth, rock and lead pencil, building to a firm, beautifully structured finish. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $50

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Ochagavia 2011 Racies Nobles Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley). Crisp, spicy aromas of red fruits matched against oregano, basil and olive notes give this Cabernet a lot of character and points of interest. The palate is tight and well structured, while dark berry, spice, herb and chocolate flavors flow onto a toasty, minty, warm and tannic finish. This is a bit aggressive now; give it two years and drink through 2019. Santa Carolina. Cellar Selection. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $24

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Prime 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Coombsville). This is an excellent Cabernet thats dry, firmly tannic, and has fine acidity. Its a bit less flashy than the 09 and 10, but has better structure, and may well gain traction with six years or longer in the cellar. Its 100% Cabernet blended from three Coombsville vineyards. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 13.9% Price: $64

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Simonsig 2011 Redhill Pinotage (Stellenbosch). A decadent blend of ripe berries and rich oak characterizes this wine; sweet smoke and baking spice mingle harmoniously with notes of mashed raspberry and blackberry, accented by hints of hickory-cured bacon and raw cocoa nibs. The medium-weight mouth is structured and bold, with chewy tannins and heady flavors of plum and berry preserves, roasted coffee and sweet licorice. The finish is long and dry, and although this would certainly benefit from 510 years of cellaring time, its approachable now with decanting. Quintessential Wines. Editors Choice. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $36

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ONX 2011 Crux (Paso Robles). This blend is comprised of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvdre and Cabernet Sauvignon. The GSM combination gives it rich, accessible flavors of cherries, raspberries and red currants, while the Cabernet, at just 7% of the blend, brings dark, brooding fruit notes, as well as depth and tannins. This rich wine combines power with elegance. S.H. abv: 15% Price: $45

Rodney Strong 2010 Alexanders Crown Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley). This Cabernet is immediately succulent, with smooth tannins, gorgeous layers of oak, and intricate flavors of blackberries, black cherries, plums and mocha. The alcohol is high, giving this 100% Cabernet some heat, but it should pair well with char-broiled steak. S.H. abv: 15.5% Price: $75

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Viu Manent 2010 El Incidente Carmenre (Colchagua Valley). Lofty from the start, this extracted Carmenre pumps out toasty, herbal aromas of smoked meat, leather and black fruits. The palate feels flush and thick, while flavors of baked blackberry, herb, spice, mint and pepper finish with a warm wave of mocha and chewy tannins. Drink through 2017. Baystate Wine & Spirits. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $50

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ONX 2011 Mad Crush (Paso Robles). This is one of ONXs drier, leaner wines. Blended from Grenache, Tempranillo and Mourvdre, the raspberry and red currant flavors are grounded with notes of roasted meat, leather and tobacco. Its a fascinating, elegant wine to drink over the next few years. S.H. abv: 14.8% Price: $45

Santa Rita 2008 Triple C (Maipo Valley). Dry, leafy, herbal aromas come with berry power and spice. Triple C stands for Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon as well as Carmenre. This is a wide load on the palate, with smooth tannins and savory, roasted berry flavors that lead to a finish boasting chocolate, leather, spice and baked berry notes. Drink through 2017. Palm Bay International. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $40

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Dunham 2012 Lewis Estate Vineyard Riesling (Columbia Valley). At a medium alcohol percentage, this is a sweeter-than-usual vintage for this Lewis Estate bottling. Rich and full-bodied, with fleshy peach, banana and papaya fruit, its sugar is buoyed by refreshing acidity, and the flavors persist generously through a long, satisfying finish. P.G. abv: 11% Price: $20

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Dry Creek Vineyard 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley). This is so bold and rich, it could stop a tsunami of barbacue sauce and a herd of galloping babyback ribs. They say the age of the vines is between 90110 years. This wine is sheer lusciousness, with flavors of wild blackberries, cola and plums, along with a blueberry jam and black pepper finish. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $30

Ferrari-Carano 2010 Trsor (Sonoma County). Big-time tannins make this blend of all five classic Bordeaux varieties tight in character. Underneath the astringency are intense flavors of blackberries, cherries and currants that are liberally oaked. Dry and refined, the wine will develop bottle complexity after 2018. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.6% Price: $52

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Goldschmidt 2010 Yoeman Vineyard Single Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley). French oak influence is pronounced in this 100% Cabernet, lending notes of smoky, buttered cinnamon toast. Oak is offset by a powerful tug of ripe blackberry and black-cherry jam. Oak and fruit court each other, but havent yet consummated the deal. With rich, firm tannins and balanced acidity, its an immature wine than needs time in the cellar. It should be best after 2017. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.6% Price: $85

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Efest 2010 Jolie Bouche Boushey Vineyard Syrah (Yakima Valley). The Jolie Bouche is dark and brambly, packed with blackberry fruit, baking spices and a dusting of black pepper. The supple tannins carry a streak of graphite and clean earth. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.9% Price: $39

Fox Run 2011 Riesling 11 Hanging Delta Vineyard Riesling (Finger Lakes). Fox Runs Geology Series is a remarkable study of Finger Lakes terroir and winemaking, and the 11 Riesling is a particularly fantastic result. Inoculated using the pied de cuve method, this semisweet Riesling shows apple and floral notes. A lush, textured palate is brimming with apricot and peach flavors. Its a complex wine layered with minerality, fruit and floral tones, and has an exceptionally long finish. Editors Choice. A.I. abv: 7.8% Price: $40

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Gordon Estate 2010 Estate Grown Merlot (Columbia Valley). This round, rich and spicy estate-grown Merlot greets you with all the right stuff (and stuffing) from the first sniff. Clean berry and cherry fruit, with a light touch of peppery herb, rolls into silky tannins and pretty baking spices. A fine value. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.9% Price: $21

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Efest 2010 Ceidleigh Syrah (Red Mountain). Pronounced Kay-lee, this is sourced from Red Mountain, hence the graphite and grain in the tannins. Lush cherry, tobacco and earth flavors combine, with a whiff of smoke wafting through the wine from start to finish. P.G. abv: 14.6% Price: $39

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Glen Carlou 2010 Quartz Stone Single Vineyard Chardonnay (Paarl). Always a ripe and lush selection, this offers forward aromas of orange oil, pressed yellow flower, pear flesh, oaky spice and a touch of honeycomb. Tropical fruit flavors of pineapple, mango and melon lend richness to the palate, but lively acidity keeps the mouthfeel from feeling too round or flabby. Spice and toasted-nut accents linger long on the finish. Hess Family Wine Estates. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $45

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Hunnicutt 2012 Chardonnay (Napa Valley). Hunnicutt is known as a Cabernet specialist, but they know Chardonnay too, as evidenced by a string of successes since 2008. The 2012 is a rich, rewarding wine. Its extraordinarily ripe in peach, green apple and tropical fruit flavors. The grapes were sourced from cool Coombsville and warm Rutherford, giving the wine exceptional balance. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $45

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2011 Cuve Mirabelle (Columbia Valley). Grenache and Syrah are the anchors here, with just a splash of Mourvdre. Lush red fruits, long and balanced, capture a pleasing whiff of umami, along with nuances of cured meat, licorice and sea salt. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $50

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Longboard 2010 Dakine Vineyard Merlot (Russian River Valley). This Merlot, grown in prime Pinot Noir country in the northwestern Russian River Valley, shows bright black cherry, red currant and mocha flavors. Its distinguished by its balanced complexity. Theres a mushroom earthiness that adds richness, while the acid-tannin balance is near perfect. A portion of new oak barrels brings a touch of smoke. This is Longboards best Merlot since 2006. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $29

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Santa Carolina 2011 Reserva de Familia Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo Valley). This Cabernet delivers a complete package at an incredibly attractive price. Aromas of mocha, graphite and vanilla play nicely with core berry scents. Baked berry, vanilla and pastry flavors settle softly, with mellow tannins. Drink through 2018. Carolina Wine Brands USA. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $20

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Les Belles Collines 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Ripe cherry, blackberry and new oak flavors mark this gorgeous Cabernet. The tannins are strong but refined. Blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its a luxurious, elegant wine for drinking now and over the next eight years. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $65

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ONX 2011 Reckoning (Paso Robles). Theres a crazy mix of grape varieties in this blend Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Tempranillo and Grenachebut each grape brings its own unique voice to form a very complex chorus. While any of them, on its own, might be incomplete, the resulting whole is rich, full-bodied, warming and satisfying. The alcohol is admittedly high, but the wine carries it with style. S.H. abv: 15.3% Price: $45

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Santa Rita 2008 Pehun Carmenre (Apalta). With cool, herbal aromas of cola, pine, juniper, fine oak and savory berry fruits, this is a fine Carmenre. The palate is full, deep and still fresh after several years in the bottle. Flavors of stewed cherry, baked plum and cassis come with no shortage of savory support, while the finish is saucy in taste, with raciness, gravitas and length. Drink through 2018. Palm Bay International. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $70

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Les Belles Collines 2010 Les Sommets Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Enormously ripe blackberry, cherry jam, cassis liqueur and oak flavors mark this Cabernet. The tannins are thick, but complex, giving the impression of a young wine that still needs time in the cellar. Give it until 2017 at the earliest. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $85

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R&A Pfaffl 2011 Altenberg Reserve St. Laurent (Niedersterreich). There is something subliminally medicinal about these aromasthe ethereal lift of herbal tinctures alloyed with dark plum and a generous dash of white pepper. This is not for beginners looking for easy fruit notes, but rather for those who like to converse with their wine. This layered, compelling and balanced glassful will provide food for thought with its finely structured tannins, medium body and bundles of flavor. Palm Bay International. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $44

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Silverado 2010 Mt. George Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). This Cabernet is a guaranteed cellar candidate. Its enormously rich and extracted, with flavors of blackberries, currants, plums and mocha, but finishes firm, dry and tannic. Give it at least four more years in a cellar. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.4% Price: $56

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Via el Principal 2008 Memorias (Maipo Valley). Olive and herb aromas suggest juniper along with baked plum and berry. This is a muscular, saturated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenre that offers roasted, savory, saucy berry flavors in front of a toasty, coffee-driven finish. Drink through 2020. Regal Wine Imports Inc. M.S. abv: 15% Price: $28

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Boundary Breaks 2011 No. 198 Reserve Riesling (Finger Lakes). Another winner amidst Boundary Breaks exciting new lineup of wines, the No. 198 Reserve is exuberantly spicy and floral, with a beautifully concentrated palate full of ripe peach and tangerine flavors. Brisk and bright with citrus acidity, it finishes elegantly, with hints of jasmine tea and honey. Editors Choice. A.I. abv: 8.9% Price: $25

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Ferrari-Carano 2011 Siena Red Wine (Sonoma County). Blended with Sangiovese, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a big, exuberant wine thats full bodied and fruity. It offers ripe flavors of black currants, licorice, mocha and black pepper, with hints of raisins. Its luscious to drink now. Try with Szechuan beef or grilled pepper steak. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $23

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Walla Walla Vintners 2011 Sangiovese (Columbia Valley). Balance is what typifies all the latest Walla Walla Vintnerss reds. Here, the grapes natural herbal highlights are linked to well modulated acids and tart rhubarb and berry fruit. Young and full of life and lift, this excellent Sangiovese should continue to improve for up to a decade. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.2% Price: $25

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Dry Creek Vineyard 2010 The Mariner Meritage (Dry Creek Valley). This is a lovely wine, based on Cabernet Sauvignon, but comprised of all five classic Bordeaux varieties. Its smooth in tannins and soft in acidity, with luxurious black cherry, blueberry, cassis, plum and new oak flavors. Drink now2018. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $45

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Flying Horse Winery 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Oak and ripe fruit combine to make this a Cabernet to drink now and over the next few years. Its softly tannic and frankly delicious, with blackberry, cherry, currant and sweet oak flavors. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $65

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Bella 2010 Lily Hill Estate Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley). Blended with a little Petite Sirah, this is fruitier than your average Dry Creek Zin, with jammy raspberry and cherry flavors. But it has the varietys peppery spices and that briary, brambly character that suggests freshly picked summer berries. Great with Szechuan beef. S.H. abv: 14.6% Price: $40

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Ellman Family 2010 Jemma Red Wine (Napa Valley). Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 95% of the blend, along with 5% Merlot. Sourced from the Beckstoffer Georges III vineyard, this wine shows the enormous ripeness and softness that vineyard is known for, with rich, opulent black cherry jam and mocha flavors, balanced by acidity and tannins. Theres a lot of new oak. Drink now 2018. S.H. abv: 14.8% Price: $79

Foursight 2011 Charles Vineyard Clone 05 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley). Foursights 2011 Pinot, from a very cool vintage, is savory, with mushroom and herb alongside a streak of red cherry. Light in color and texture, its subtle yet expansive on the palate, with a peppery, juicy finish. Its a wine that can be enjoyed now, but put some away for a couple of years and the seams will come together even better. V.B. abv: 14.2% Price: $49

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Katherine Goldschmidt 2011 Crazy Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley). All the parts are here to make a good Cabernet. Flavors of chocolate, blackberry jam, cassis and smoky oak are framed in rich tannins. But the wine needs a little time to knit together. Should be drinking well by spring 2014. Its a great value for the price, and easy to find with more than 15,000 cases produced. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $20

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Nelms Road 2012 Merlot (Washington). This is a fine bottle of Merlot, released under Woodward Canyons second label, Nelms Road. Firm blackberry and cassis fruit flavors anchor a substantial wine that has accents of smoke, licorice, tar and toast. Delicious! P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $25

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Spier 2010 21 Gables Pinotage (Stellenbosch). This opens with a dense and intensely aromatic nose, boasting forward oak-derived fragrances of vanilla, caramel and sweet spice that are grounded by the black cherry and berry core. Firm tannins and a full structure lend power and grip to the palate, with skin-driven fruit flavors of plum, black cherry and currant. Hints of roasted cocoa nib and charred oak show good staying power on the finish, while ample final acidity offers a slight lift to the close. Drink now2018. Total Wine & More. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $28

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Last Light 2012 Derbyshire Vineyard Pinot Noir (San Luis Obispo). With zesty acidity, this Pinot shows all the marks of a wine that wants two or three years in the cellar. Right now, its delicately structured, dry and tart, with cranberry, sour cherry candy and ripe tomato flavors. A few years in the cellar will bring out a mushroomy earthiness that will make the wine extremely satisfying. S.H. abv: 13.2% Price: $34

Peju 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). A beautiful Cabernet for drinking now, this has softly luscious tannins framing flavors of ripe, elegant blackberry, cherry jam and mocha. Theres an enticing herbal richness and the finish is sweetly oaky. S.H. abv: 13.8% Price: $50

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Spier 2010 Creative Block 5 (Coastal Region). This Bordeaux-style blend, which includes all five classic Bordeaux varieties, opens with herbal aromas of forest berry, black-currant leaf and tobacco, all grounded in ripe, fruity tones of blackberry and cassis. The palate is concentrated and dense, with a full yet firm texture and flavors of black-plum skin, cherry, leather, bittersweet chocolate and anise that carry through to the long finish. Total Wine & More. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $23

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2011 Reserve Syrah (Red Mountain). Penetrating aromas of baking spices, cocoa powder, cassis and black cherry, along with a hint of cherry cola, define this reserve. It shows creamy, mocha-infused flavors that cant help but appeal. The time in barrel is dominant here, as the fruit, though ripe enough, falls on the lighter side. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $40

Rodney Strong 2010 Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley). This wine is 100% Cabernet, sourced from one of the winerys vineyards in a warm part of Alexander Valley. Its quite ripe, with flavors of cherry pie, red plum, currants, tobacco, cola and new French oak. The tannins are lush and soft, but the wine will develop for many years. Drink now2020, at least. S.H. abv: 15.5% Price: $75

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Three Rivers 2012 Steel Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). Named to reflect the unoaked style, with no malolactic fermentation, this hits the mark with good concentration and bright, snappy green apple, kiwi and cucumber flavors. Theres a pleasing push through the palate from the juicy acidity, and the finish remains focused and on point. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.9% Price: $17

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Les Belles Collines 2012 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). This is an interesting wine for its earthy mushroom and tea flavors accenting a backdrop of strawberry jam. In its youth, the wine is dry, tannic and acidic, but it may well be an ager; give it six years to come around. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.3% Price: $45

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Lawer Family 2012 Three Coins Betsys Vineyard Cannon Block Chardonnay (Knights Valley). This Chardonnay is tight and concentrated, with ample acidity and flavors of citrus, peach, apricot and tropical fruit. Theres a hint of minerality, and the finish is touched with toast and vanilla. Dont drink it too cold. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $26

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Murla 2012 Verdicchio di Matelica. This greets the taster with a heady aromas of yellow spring flowers, as well as whiffs of tropical fruit. The palate delivers intense peach, apricot and citrus flavors accented by notes of mineral and brine. Soilair Selection. Best Buy. K.O. abv: 12.5% Price: $14

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Waterstone 2012 Pinot Gris (Napa Valley). Just a touch of French oak gives this 100% Pinot Gris a soft, toasty creaminess. The fruit veers towards mouthwateringly tart Meyer lemons, nectarines and Asian pears. Its an elegant, versatile wine to pair with many different kinds of food. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $18

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Centanni Giacomo 2012 Offida Pecorino. Heres a pert Pecorino, with bright citrus and tropical fruit sensations of lemon, tangerine and pineapple. A subtle note of flinty mineral on the close jazzes this up a bit, but overall this is a simple and enjoyable wine to enjoy with everyday fare. Jonathan Zeiger. K.O. abv: 14.5% Price: $15

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Nodland Cellars 2009 Bad Attitude Red Wine (Walla Walla Valley). Its tough to find a Walla Walla wine at this price with this much concentration and power. In the mouth it has a plush, soft appeal, with a lush mix of fruits and generous barrel flavors of chocolate and baking spices. It was aged for two years in a mix of new and used French and American oak. Best Buy. P.G. abv: 15% Price: $15

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Murphy-Goode 2012 Pinot Noir (California). Its nice to see veteran winery Murphy-Goode craft its most successful Pinot Noir in at least 15 years. Dry and polished, its ready to drink now. The palate boasts a soft, silky texture and delicious cranberry and raspberry flavors. With production of 49,000 cases, its easy to find. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $15

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Centanni Giacomo 2012 Rosso di Forca (Rosso Piceno). A blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Montelpulciano, this offers berry and mocha aromas that come across round and ripe. Raspberry and sour cherry flavors are layered with chocolate and vanilla, ending quick and clean. Not for ageing; drink soon. Jonathan Zeiger. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $15

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Mancura 2011 Guardin Reserva Carignan (Maule Valley). Hard spice, fresh-cut oak and dark berry aromas make for a serious, stout bouquet. This is bright and lively in the mouth, with mouthfilling tannins and flavors of boysenberry and vanilla. A quick, slightly hot finish is aggressive but sturdy. MHW, Ltd. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $10

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BEST BUYS

BEST BUYS

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Santa Carolina 2013 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). Focused aromas of lime and green herbs are fresh and properly parceled. This shows nice acidity and punch, along with green fruit and mild bell-pepper flavors. A long, dry, peppery finish is tasty, like the rest of the wine. Carolina Wine Brands USA. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 13% Price: $12

KWV 2011 Classic Collection Pinotage (Western Cape). A solid and well-made selection, this offers a wide array of characteristics, ranging from ripe fruit tones of strawberry, plum and wild berry to earthy accents of forest floor, menthol and Thin Mint. Juicy berry flavors unfold in the medium-weight mouth, framed by medium tannins that provide a crushed-satin texture. Hints of milk chocolate and toasted oak dust the lingering close. KWV Intl. Best Buy. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $11

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Mandolin 2012 Chardonnay (Monterey). This is your basic California Chardonnay with oak, orange, Meyer lemon and papaya flavors. Produced without malolactic fermentation, the palate is vibrant with acidity. Best Buy. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $10

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Charles & Charles 2012 Cabernet SauvignonSyrah (Columbia Valley). Charles Smith and Charles Bieler have grabbed a tiger by the tail, ramping up their brand while keeping quality high. This blend perfectly matches two shining stars in the pantheon of Washington grapes, delivering a tasty, accessible, lightly leafy wine, with sassy berry fruit front and center. Broad, open and delicious. Best Buy. P.G. abv: 13.6% Price: $12

Mandolin 2012 Pinot Noir (Monterey). For this everyday price, youll get a delicate, lightbodied, dry wine, with bright acidity and subtle cherry and tobacco flavors. Despite the county-wide appellation, the grapes were sourced from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Best Buy. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $10

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Beach Kite 2012 Pinot Noir (Central Valley). Fresh, minerally red-fruit aromas set up a light but good palate. Modest oak and red fruit flavors are earthy and a bit warm, while the finish is easy, clean and fresh. For $7, theres almost nothing to take issue with. Puerto Viejo Wines. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 13% Price: $7

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Gnarly Head 2011 Authentic Red (Lodi). This is a rich, soft, decadent red, with flavors of dark chocolate, juicy red fruit and a hint of leather. Made from Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Sirah and a few other red varieties, this is a wine that will delight many. Stock up. Best Buy. V.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $12

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KWV 2011 Classic Collection Chardonnay (Western Cape). An attractive chalky accent graces the pure fruit aromas of white peach, watermelon rind and firm pear. Lightweight and clean, the palate boasts additional flavors of orange and green pear, which lend a refreshing feel to the wine. The mouthwatering finish offers a subtle hint of fynbos. KWV Intl. Best Buy. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $11

Via Requingua 2011 Puerto Viejo Single Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir (Maule Valley). Basic cherry aromas are fresh but scratchy. A spunky palate carries buttery, fatty oak flavors and generic red-berry fruit. Vanilla and buttery notes play off modest redfruit leftovers on the finish. Puerto Viejo Wines. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 13% Price: $10

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ling thats so ripe and full in the mouth, but dry in style. It has swathes of fruitiness, a sense of power and intense acidity. For such a complex wine it is surprisingly ready to drink. But waiting would be better, so hold out until 2016. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA of aged Riesling. It still shows a steely mineral quality contrasted with a complex mix of almonds, herbs, spice and honey. Its ripe, full bodied and totally ready to drink now. Classic Wine Imports, Inc. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $27 rich stone fruits that give the wine weight and flavor density. Apples and fennel lend freshness and spice. It should age longer, so wait to drink until 2015. Classic Wine Imports, Inc. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $27

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Domaine Franois Schmitt 2010 Paradis Pngsberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). This is a grand, complex wine, full of ripe apple, dried apricots and pear skins. It is just beginning to hint at more mature, complex flavors. With great acidity that cuts right through the palate, this serious, dense wine will age well. Drink until 2022. Riahi Selections. Cellar Selection. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $34 Domaine Marcel Deiss 2011 Riesling (Alsace). Here is a wine that is slowly developing the most beautiful flavors. It is so perfumed with a waft of white flowers that translates onto the palate. Its balanced by a firm, steely character and layer upon layer of acidity. Age this wine and dont drink before 2017. Angels Share Wine Imports, LLC. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $25 Domaine Ostertag 2010 Heissenberg Riesling (Alsace). This is a rich and round wine, full in the mouth with a youthful palate. There is a ripe, creamy texture full of apple and orange flavors that are balanced with an edgy, steely character. This promises good aging so drink until 2022. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Cellar Selection. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $45

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Willm 2011 Kirchberg de Barr Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). With great intensity and structure, this is a wine thats all about texture and potential. Its expressive with white fruits and perfume, but theres a richness thats still to come. Drink from 2016 and see how the minerality and acidity will come into balance. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $20 Cave de Kientzheim-Kaysersberg 2010 Schlossberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). This is a rich and full-flavored wine that still has plenty of aging ahead of it. It has a very floral character that is followed by green fruit and spice, and sustained by a tight, steely texture. Drink from 2016. Total Wine & More-Saranty Imports. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $28ne

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Bott Frres 2009 Rserve Personnelle Riesling (Alsace). The Rserve Personnelle line from Bott Frres decidedly greater intensity than the Tradition range. This Riesling exhibits great fruitiness allied with a very mineral structure and tight acidity. The wine has a future, so drink now and until 2019. Esquin Imports. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $22

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Domaine Allimant-Laugner 2011 Praelatenberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). A serious wine that needs aging, this is full and ripe while also having a steely edge to it. Very perfumed, floral and strongly textured, this is an impressive wine that does need extended aging. Drink from 2016. Vigneron Imports. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $22 Domaine Ostertag 2011 Vignoble dE Riesling (Alsace). From vines around the village of Epfig (E), this is a wonderfully pure wine thats fragrant and crisp. It has apple and citrus flavors lightly blessed by honey. Acidity cuts right through the fruitiness, giving the wine a tight and steely aftertaste. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $27 Domaine Ostertag 2010 Fronholz Riesling (Alsace). This single vineyard wine has a fine and fruity character that also has great intensity and fragrance. With a tight and taut texture, the wine is very straight, hinting at some toastiness. Drink until 2020. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $45 Domaine Pster 2011 Tradition Riesling (Alsace). This is a delicate, deliciously fragrant Riesling with just the freshest of fruits. Lemon and bright zest notes leave the palate totally refreshed. Vintage 59 Imports. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $29 Gustave Lorentz 2010 Burg Riesling (Alsace). This is a beautifully perfumed wine thats fragrant with white spring blossoms and flavored with bright fruit flavors. The palate has remarkable structure with intense acidity that lends zest and zing, and a fine, lively feeling on the finish. Drink until 2020. Quintessential Wines. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $34 Hubert Meyer 2011 Winzenberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). Not quite dry, this is an impressively rich wine. It has a strong mineral element that brings out the currant flavors and intense acidity. This is a wine that is still developing, offering an impressive array of flavors while still needing time. Drink from

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Dirler-Cad 2008 Belzbrunnen Riesling (Alsace). The wannabe Grand Cru of Belzbrunnen has produced this marvellously mature wine. Its fully ripe and shows its perfumed flavors strongly. The acidity is still very present, giving a tight presence to this impressive wine. T. Edward Wines Ltd. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $25 Domaine Albert Mann 2011 Schlossberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). This is a very mineral and structured wine. Strong citrus and white peach flavors are accompanied by a hint of toast, along with brisk acidity and a steely texture. Its a complex combination that promises aging. Drink from 2018. WeygandtMetzler. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Domaine Charles Baur 2011 Cuve Charles Riesling (Alsace). An aromatic wine with great depth, this is complex and concentrated. It brings out a great tangy, zesty, steely character that has freshness as well as richness in equal measure. White fruits and red currants leave a crisp, taut aftertaste. Grape News Importing. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $17 Joseph Cattin 2011 Hatschbourg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). Perfumed, and still quite youthful, this is a wine with potential both from its texture and its acidity. There is a strongly chalky, mineral element that lends structure to the aromatic, crisp white fruits. On the finish, the wine has a cool, elegant character. T. Edward Wines Ltd. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $25 Sipp Mack 2010 Rosacker Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). Developing well already, this is a textured, steely, very mineral wine that has also has

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Domaine Pster 2009 Engelberg Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). Round, rich and maturing well, this is a complex, perfumed, honeyed wine. The apple and quince fruits are now gaining secondary notes of almonds and green herbs, lending elegance and grace. This is a wine that will improve further,so drink until 2020. Glass stopper Vintage 59 Imports. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $49 Jean-Baptiste Adam 2011 Kaefferkopf Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes Riesling (Alsace). Old vines and a Grand Cru vineyard have produced an impressive wine. It is bone dry and very crisp, but also has swathes of dense fruit and texture. Its very mineral and steely in style with youthful acidity and pink grapefruit flavors, but this is a wine to age. Drink from 2016. Artisan Vines Distributing. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $43

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Rie 2009 Steinert Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). This is an elegant wine thats finely balanced with acidity and a chalky, steely texture. The wine is delicate, fresh and very perfumed. The acidity on the finish lends a highly-strung, tense aftertaste. Maritime Wine Trading Collective. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $NA Sipp Mack 2008 Rosacker Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). Now mature, this is fine example

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2015. H.Mercer Wine & Spirit Imports. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $19

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Lon Manbach 2010 Frankstein Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). Crisp and very dry, this is a floral wine with pure citrus flavors and some lively acidity. It is just turning towards maturity and away from its primary fruitiness. Drink now and until 2018. Astor Wines. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $18 Trimbach 2010 Riesling (Alsace). This is a fully mature wine with an attractive mix of fresh acidity and intense perfumes. Bright and crisp on the palate, this textured wine finishes with white currant flavor. This is ready to drink now. Esprit du Vin. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $25 Cave de Kientzheim-Kaysersberg 2010 Exception Riesling (Alsace). This is a ripe, delicately tropical and fruity wine with rich texture. It is smooth, rounded on the palate, but accompanied by a shot of acidity. The lemon aftertaste hints at a more steely character. Total Wine & More-Saranty Imports. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $25

Hubert Meyer 2010 Riesling (Alsace). Already showing some maturity, this is a finely perfumed wine, its fruitiness tempered by secondary aromas and flavors that bring out herbs and an edge of steel. The aftertaste with its juicy acidity, is totally refreshing. H.Mercer Wine & Spirit Imports. Best Buy. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $12

wine that is also finely balanced. Its sophisticated as well as rich, with spice and lychee flavors lifted by a crisp edge of acidity. Its complex in texture and should age well. Drink from 2015. Vineyard Brands. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $31

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Wunsch & Mann 2008 Hengst Grand Cru Riesling (Alsace). A wine that is mature already, this Grand Cru has some weight and richness. There is a perfumed character and flavors of white fruits. The wine has intense acidity that gives it a steely, tight character on the finish. Drink now. Vintage Wine Marketing . R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $30

Ren Mur 2011 Clos Saint-Landelin Vorbourg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace). This is a very fine wine with sweetness tempered with a great sense of structure and concentration. Lychees dominate the fruit profile but are supplemented with pineapple and pomelo flavors that are sprinkled with pepper. It is rich and full in the mouth. It needs some more time to age, so drink from 2016. Robert Kacher Selections. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $50

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Domaine Weinbach 2011 Cuve Laurence Gewurztraminer (Alsace). For full review see page 67. Cellar Selection. abv: 13.5% Price: $45 Domaine Weinbach 2011 Cuve Tho Gewurztraminer (Alsace). This is a remarkably spicy

Willm 2011 Clos Gaensbroennel Kirchberg de Barr Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace). From a parcel within the Kirchberg de Barr Grand Cru, this is a structured, serious Gewuztraminer. It has weight as well as sweetness, but its the potential and ageability that is so impressive. Spice and gingerbread notes, as well as fine acidity, lend complexity to the honeyed, yellow fruits. Drink

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from 2016. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $26

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Dirler-Cad 2007 Kessler Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace). This is sugary sweet with a rich spice-cake character, delicate acidity and a full, comfortable style. Its an opulent but balanced wine for dessert with a pleasantly astringent, tight aftertaste. APS Wine & Spirits. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Domaine Albert Mann 2010 Furstentum Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes Gewurztraminer (Alsace). This is a finely balanced, ripe wine. It is medium sweet and ripe with fruit, but counterpointed with taut structure and acidity. Its ready to drink, but will be better with some aging. Drink until 2020. Weygandt-Metzler. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $NA Joseph Cattin 2011 Hatschbourg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Dense and opulently ripe, this is a hugely spicy wine. There is a dry edge to this otherwise sweet wine, bringing out flavors of almonds and bright acidity. This is a wine to age, so drink from 2014. T. Edward Wines Ltd. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $25

Domaine Charles Baur 2011 Pfersigberg Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace). This is a sweet, very perfumed wine with pleasant candy flavors. Rich rosewater and spice notes add complexity, and chalk soils lend a crisp edge that cuts into the opulent character of the wine. It could age, not for long, so drink until 2018. Grape News Importing. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $28 Domaines Schlumberger 2011 Les Princes Abbs Gewurztraminer (Alsace). With its off dry character and richly spiced fruit, this is a wine with some weight and density. There is a good synergy between the tropical fruit and the dry spiciness. It is maturing well, and will be ready to drink at the end of 2014. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $25 Domaine Franois Schmitt 2012 Cuve Marie-France Gewurztraminer (Alsace). This wine is all perfume, an astonishing medley of sweet fruits, with lychees dominating. It is totally over the top, but have fun with it now. Its not likely to age. Riahi Selections. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $28 Frdric Mallo 2010 Cuve Saint-Jacques Gewurztraminer (Alsace). With up-front spiciness, this is an attractive, light and fragrant wine. There is no complexity, just pleasant off-flavors of honey and lychees. Drink now. USA Wine Imports. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $20 Trimbach 2010 Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Intensely rich, this wine is packed with flavors of spice, gingerbread and lychees. It has a full, rounded character with an intense spiciness that is anchored to a more structured texture. Drink now and until 2018. Esprit du Vin. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $25

wine thats warm and rich due to the ripening abilities of the Spiegel vineyard. It is spiced, concentrated and full of a smoky character that contrasts with its fruitiness. Its ready to drink now, although it will certainly age well. Drink until 2019. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $30

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Rie 2010 Steinert Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace). This is a textured wine with ripe and perfumed fruitiness. Honeyed in style and medium-sweet on the palate, its a complex, rich wine thats ready to drink now, but could also improve with age. Maritime Wine Trading Collective. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $28 Bott Frres 2009 Gloeckelberg Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace). While this wine does have sweetness, its great character comes from its structure and spiciness. It is rich, full in the mouth, ripe and concentrated. Even at four years old, it is youthful and closed still, and needs some time in the cellar. Drink from 2015. Corkscrew Imports. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $35

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Cave de Kientzheim-Kaysersberg 2011 Furstentum Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Although the sweetness is not indicated on the label, this is a medium-dry wine, edging towards the sweeter end. It has intense spice, intense perfume, and flavors of rosewater and tropical fruits. It should age well, so drink until 2019. Total Wine & More-Saranty Imports. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $28

Joseph Cattin 2011 Hatschbourg Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace). This is a full, perfumed wine thats medium sweet in flavor. It is rich in spice, packed with honey and lychees, and well balanced with light acidity. The wine has an opulence and a warming aftertaste. Drink until 2022. T. Edward Wines Ltd. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $25

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Domaine Albert Mann 2010 Steingrubler Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace). There is no mistaking the grape variety of this rich, medium-sweet wine. It has rosewater and lychee fruit flavors, along with a touch of vanilla and acidity. It is also a powerful, concentrated wine that will age, so drink now and until 2020. Weygandt-Metzler. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $NA

Cave de Kientzheim-Kaysersberg 2011 Schlossberg Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace). This is a rich, opulent wine with ripe lychee flavors. Forward and spicy, it is showing its flashy youth at the moment. While it will always be ripe in style, as it develops, it will become more sophisticated and complex. Drink until 2022. Total Wine & More-Saranty Imports. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $28 Kuentz-Bas 2011 Trois Chteaux Pinot Gris (Alsace). This is a rich wine that has flavors of spice, apricot and almond, along with a touch of honey. Rich and full on the palate, its a meal in itself, but finely balanced with intense fruitiness and light acidity. Drink now. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Rie 2011 Cte de Rouffach Pinot Gris (Alsace). This rich, boldy alcoholic wine has a pepper character that dominates fragrant fruit and spice notes. It should age well, so drink until 2020. Maritime Wine Trading Collective. R.V. abv: 15% Price: $24

PINOT GRIS

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Domaine Gresser 2011 Kritt Gewurztraminer (Alsace). From the stony Kritt vineyard, this is a concentrated, youthful wine. It combines fresh acidity with fruity richness with a dry, firm character. Its an impressive wine and certainly appropriate for aging further. Drink from 2015. Martines Wines. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $NA

Domaine Weinbach 2011 Cuve Ste Catherine Pinot Gris (Alsace). Characteristically perfumed, this Pinot Gris is full bodied with a richness of texture. It is complex on the palate with notes of nuts, spice and an edge of citrus fruit. Age this wine and dont drink before 2016. Vineyard Brands. R.V. abv: 14.5% Price: $47 Domaines Schlumberger 2010 Kessler Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace). This wine is medium sweet in style with a rich, complex character. It has notes of spice and honey that accent ripe peach and apricot flavors. The richness of the wine comes from its dense texture. It is ready to drink now, but will also age well. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $30 Domaines Schlumberger 2007 Spiegel Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace). This is a medium-sweet

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Klipfel 2009 Clos Zisser Kirchberg de Barr Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Certainly sweet, this is a rich wine that is maturing well. It has weight and spice and a soft, opulent texture. Its sourced from grapes grown on the steep slopes above the city of Barr. Drink now and until 2018. Wein-Bauer Distributing. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $30

Trimbach 2010 Rserve Pinot Gris (Alsace). This is a rich, full wine that is spiced but retains remarkable freshness. Crisp citrus and acidity gives it a fine sweet-and-sour character that min-

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gles with flavors of warm apricot and lychee fruits. Drink now. Esprit du Vin. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $25

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Wolfberger 2008 Rangen Grand Cru Pinot Gris (Alsace). This is a sweet Pinot Gris that is honeyed and very rich. Light spice notes are buoyed by explosive apricot and pineapple flavors, yielding a wine thats great for capping off a meal. Kysela Pre et Fils. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $32 Bott Frres 2009 Rserve Personnelle Pinot Gris (Alsace). On the sweet side, this is a soft, fruity, perfumed wine packed with flavors of baked apples, red currants and spiced pears. Bright acidity gives it a lift on the finish. It is now ready to drink. Esquin Imports. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $20 Cave de Kientzheim-Kaysersberg 2011 Exception Pinot Gris (Alsace). There is an attractive spiciness here, yielding a wine that is warm and rich. It has flavors of tropical fruits, lychees and rosewater. Its full bodied, concentrated and dense in texture, but maintains a freshness through the finish. Drink now. Total Wine & More-Saranty Imports. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $25 Domaine Pster 2011 Tradition Pinot Gris (Alsace). This is a light, fruity wine thats ripe with perfumed quince and tropical fruit flavors. The palate is satisfyingly balanced with tight, bright acidity. This is wine that is not for aging, and ready to drink now. Vintage 59 Imports. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $29

of flavor piled upon each other. Its a naturally opulent wine, thats sweet with tropical fruits and honey in equal measure. It is very ready to drink, but will also age well, so drink until 2021. Maritime Wine Trading Collective. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $45

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Rie 2011 Zinnkoep Grand Cru Vendanges Tardives Pinot Gris (Alsace). Gold in color and unctuously sweet, this is a dense wine. The sweetness is cut with a dry edge and some fresh acidity. It tastes delicious now with flavors of wild honey and apricot skins, but it will certainly age well. Drink until 2024. Maritime Wine Trading Collective. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $45 Trimbach 2007 Vendanges Tardives Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Sweet and rich, this is a wine that combines honey with a touch of toast and smokiness. The mid palate is filled with apricot and fresh lemon flavors. There is a fine acidity on the finish that gives a delicious lift. Esprit du Vin. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA

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Domaine Allimant-Laugner 2008 Slection de Grains Nobles Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Now gold in color, this is an opulent, finely made wine. With acidity transmuted into a memory of fresh fruit, it shows hints of its maturity. Honey and the rich texture dominate the palate. Drink now and until 2020. Vigneron Imports. Editors Choice. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $34/500 ml Rie 2010 Zinnkoep Grand Cru Vendanges Tardives Pinot Gris (Alsace). Richly sweet, this is a wine that has traded primary fruitiness with deliciously balanced honey flavor and lively citrus acidity. Its a wine that has richness, intense flavor and the ability to age further. Maritime Wine Trading Collective. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $45 Willm 2007 Slection de Grains Nobles Gewurztraminer (Alsace). The ultimate in spice and sweetness, this unctuous, full-bodied wine has developed a beautifully, smooth, honeyed texture that envelops and balms the palate. Yellow fruits are delicate in background, along with a touch of acidity. Its a wine to drink now. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $33/500 ml

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Ren Mur 2007 Clos Saint Landelain Vorbourg Grand Cru Vendanges Tardives Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Although certainly sweet, this wine is much more than that. Alongside the honey and syrup flavors are intensely bright pineapple flavors and lively acidity. Its the balance of this wine that is so impressive, with all the elements properly in place. Drink now and until 2020. Robert Kacher Selections. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $57/500 ml Rie 2011 Zinnkoep Grand Cru Slection de Grains Nobles Riesling (Alsace). This is a very young wine with a long life ahead of it. Its the ultimate Alsace combination of botrytis and Riesling. Brisk acidity and steely structure combine with flavors of ripe honey and dried apricots to yield an impressive wine. Drink from 2016. Maritime Wine Trading Collective. Cellar Selection. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $45/500 ml Rie 2011 Zinnkoep Grand Cru Vendanges Tardives Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Hugely perfumed, this is a ripe, very rich wine with stacks

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Cave de Kientzheim-Kaysersberg 2009 Slection de Grains Nobles Gewurztraminer (Alsace). Unctuous texture is the telltale sign of quality in a rich, sweet, botrytized wine. This wine has traded the spice of a Gewurztraminer with a palate full of honey and delicate lemon acidity. It is a fine, complex wine that is developing well. Drink until 2020. Total Wine & More-Saranty Imports. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $53/500 ml

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Joseph Cattin 2009 Vendanges Tardive Pinot Gris (Alsace). Although the producer indicates that this is a medium-sweet wine, it does seem to be sweeter than that. The concentration of berry, raisin and dried apricot flavors, and the layers of honey accentuate the sweetness. Its a wine to be drunk now, although it will age well until 2020. T. Edward Wines Ltd. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $35

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Vignoble des 2 Lunes 2009 Eclipse Crmant Blanc Brut Nature (Crmant dAlsace). Whether its the biodynamic vineyard or the ripeness of the fruit, this is certainly a rich, full-bodied wine. Its fruity and forward, although its structure and minerality lendimpressive character. The aftertaste is fruity, fresh and bone dry. Superb Wine International LLC. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $17 Willm NV Blanc de Noirs Brut (Crmant dAlsace). This is a deliciously ripe, full-bodied wine with all the red berry fruits, orange zest and acidity that you could want. Its finely made with a creamy mousse and a fresh and fruity aftertaste. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $NA Cave de Kientzheim-Kaysersberg NV Exception Brut (Crmant dAlsace). The wine has mature, ripe, tropical fruit and flavors, as well as rich acidity and a smooth, toasty edge. It is a full-bodied, complex wine thats full of acidity. This is a food friendly sparkling wine. Total Wine & More-Saranty Imports. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $28 Clment Klur NV La Crmant de Clment Brut (Crmant dAlsace). Made without any added sulphur, this sparkling wine shows maturity, a pleasant hint of oxidation, as well as spice and ripe apple flavors. It is rich with a forward, bright, fruity character. A.I. Selections. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $21 Jean-Baptiste Adam NV Brut (Crmant dAlsace). Citrus and apple flavors dominate this tight, mineral, crisp wine. It has a refreshing feel with acidity thats well integrated into the fruitiness, as well as a light texture. Drink now. Artisan Vines Distributing. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $18 Joseph Cattin NV Brut Cattin (Crmant dAlsace). Cattin has a speciality with sparkling wines and this is a good, fruity example. It has a lively, creamy mousse with apple and citrus flavors that come through strongly and cleanly. Its ready to drink. T. Edward Wines Ltd. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $20 Klipfel NV Brut (Crmant dAlsace). This is a ripe and fruity wine thats deliciously fresh and fragrant. It has a lively, creamy texture with apple juice flavors and a touch of nuttiness. Wein-Bauer Distributing. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $19 Wolfberger NV Brut (Crmant dAlsace). This is a really fruity, really refreshing sparkling wine. It boasts apple, citrus and a touch of apricot flavors, as well as tight acidity. It is fragrant, pure and clean, and very fresh on the finish. Kysela Pre et Fils. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $22

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Cave de Hunawihr NV Calixte Ros Brut (Crmant dAlsace). This light pink wine is warm, ripe and red-fruit flavored. It is soft and creamy with just the right amount of acidity. Theres a refreshing, light aftertaste. Solstars Inc. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $20 Domaine Franois Schmitt NV Blanc de Noirs Brut (Crmant dAlsace). There is definite structure to this wine, with its tight acidity and dry, apple skin and pear flavors. There is also a touch of spice that gives the wine a unique twist. Drink now. Riahi Selections. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $29 Domaine Franois Schmitt NV Ros Brut (Crmant dAlsace). Very pale in color, this spice and red-fruit flavored wine is refreshing and crisp. Its a light wine, cut through by acidity and floral undertones. Drink this attractive wine now. Riahi Selections. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $28

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Willm 2008 Vendanges Tardives Gewurztraminer (Alsace). This is a seriously sweet, gorgeously opulent wine made from late-harvest fruit. Spice notes fringe flavors of honey and fresh fruit. Its a wine to drink now, although it will age well until 2020. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. R.V. abv: 13% Price: $38 Domaine Allimant-Laugner 2010 Vendange Tardive Gewurztraminer (Alsace). This is a richly honeyed wine that has flavors of spice cake and sweet fruits that are balanced with a taut, firm texture. The wine is ripe, but has a delicate touch that makes it very attractive. Drink now. Vigneron Imports. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $34 Domaine Allimant-Laugner 2009 Vendange Tardive Riesling (Alsace). Notes of almonds and sweet fruit combine with steely acidity in this wine. It has both a bright, fresh character and honeyed smoothness. It is still quite youthful and could age well for 34 years. Vigneron Imports. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $34

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Gustave Lorentz NV Brut (Crmant dAlsace). This is a delicious, ripe and fruity wine. It has all the right characters of freshness, a creamy mousse and tight, zingy acidity. Its a wine to drink now and enjoy its lightly perfumed aftertaste. Quintessential Wines. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $28 Willm NV Brut Ros (Crmant dAlsace). With just a touch of bitterness and structure, this is a finely textured wine. It has plenty of fresh red and white fruit flavors, a lively, busy mousse and a tight acidity on the finish. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. R.V. abv: 12% Price: $NA

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Cave de Kientzheim-Kaysersberg 2009 Late Harvest Pinot Gris (Alsace). More than just rich and sweet, this wine shows intense, complex flavors. It is full of ripe lychee and spice flavors, and boasts a rich, creamy texture with a finish that hints of dryness. It is maturing well and already ready to drink, but it will also hold for several more years. Total Wine & More-Saranty Imports. R.V. abv: 13.5% Price: $48

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VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO SUPERIORE

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Joseph Cattin 2009 Vendanges Tardives Gewurztraminer (Alsace). As a Gewurztraminer becomes sweeter, it loses some of its spice. What it gains, as here, is a more intense, honeyed and fragrant character that also allows space for acidity. There is some dryness on the finish, as well as a pleasant astringency. Drink until 2019. T. Edward Wines Ltd. R.V. abv: 14% Price: $35

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Domaine Pster NV Blanc de Blancs Brut (Crmant dAlsace). This is a fine, fragrant wine that is fresh and very fruity. It has a good balance of green and white fruits, a refreshing layer of acidity and a touch of toast. Its a great apritif. Vintage 59 Imports. R.V. abv: 12.5% Price: $30

Bucci 2009 Riserva Villa Bucci (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). From Verdicchios leading producer, this is the wine that started the denominations renaissance into Italys premier white. The 09 is beautiful, with an intense perfume of yellow flowers and stone fruits. The palate delivers concentrated peach, apricot and creamy lemon flavors, layered with mineral and spice accents. It already has stunning depth, but hold for more complexity. Drink through 2024. Empson (USA) Ltd. Editors Choice. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $55 Garofoli 2006 Selezione Gioacchino Garofoli (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Already seven years old when tasted, this stunning wine demonstrates the aging potential of

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top Verdicchios. It has a layered fragrance of dried acacia flower, broom and beeswax, while the palate delivers a lovely depth of flavors that recall ripe yellow peach, lemon drop, tangerine and sage, with a hint of honey on the close. Laird & Company. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $45

juicy pineapple flavors, along with mineral notes and a drop of honey. It has lovely depth and should evolve more complexity over the next 23 years. Specialty Wine Co. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $18

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Umani Ronchi 2012 Casal di Serra (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Notes of hawthorne, acacia and tropical fruit open this quintessential expression of Verdicchio. The fresh, juicy palate is loaded with pineapple, creamy white peach and lemon custard flavors, accented by hints of balsamic herbs and ocean-like salinity. Energizing mineral adds to the depth. Hold for 23 years to develop complexity or enjoy now for the fruit purity. Bedford International. Editors Choice. K.O. abv: 14.5% Price: $17

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Accadia 2011 Cantor (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This opens with an alluring fragrance of Spanish broom, wild flowers and a whiff of sea breeze. The palate delivers creamy white peach, juicy pineapple and lemon accented by hints of saline and mineral. Its still fresh and should develop more complexity. Drink now through 2015. Vinity Wine Company. K.O. abv: 14.5% Price: $22 Garofoli 2011 Podium (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This opens with lovely floral aromas accompanied by pure fruit sensations. The palate offers ripe yellow peach, lemonlime and almond notes. This can be enjoyed now or held for a few years to develop more complexity. Laird & Company. K.O. abv: 14.5% Price: $25

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Bucci 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore. This classic bottling opens with enticing floral aromas of Spanish broom, acacia and a whiff of flint. The palate delivers succulent yellow peach, citrus and almond along with mineral notes. It boasts impeccable balance and nice length. Empson (USA) Ltd. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $22 Montecappone 2012 Federico II A.D. 1194 (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Named after the King of Sweden who was born in Jesi in 1194, this elegant expression of Verdicchio opens with a bouquet of dried Spanish broom, sage and stone fruit. The palate offers peach, lemon zest and tropical fruit flavors alongside savory saline and almond notes, all supported by vibrant acidity. Salvia Bianca Imports. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $26 Pievalta 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore. Made from grapes grown with certified biodynamic viticultural practices, this delicious wine opens with floral and citrus aromas. The lush yet reserved palate offers mouthwatering peach, lemon-lime and sea salt flavors, along with mineral and almond notes. A white with real character and depth. Vignaioli Selection. Editors Choice. K.O. abv: 12.5% Price: $19 Umani Ronchi 2011 Casal di Serra Vecchie Vigne (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Heres a polished Verdicchio made from 40-year-old vines. It opens with an attractive bouquet of Spanish broom and acacia flower, along with hints of citrus and mineral. The palate delivers generous peach and apricot flavors accented by energizing mineral notes. Hold a few years for more complexity. Bedford International. K.O. abv: 14.5% Price: $35 Vignamato 2012 Versiano (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Opening with an alluring fragrance of acacia flower, Spanish broom and beeswax, this boasts fleshy peach and

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La Staffa 2011 Rincrocca (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This attractive wine opens with unusual but enticing aromas of spring flowers, dill and thyme. The palate offers lemon peel, lime, apricot and almond alongside bright acidity. It will actually benefit with a little more bottle age to develop depth and complexity. Drink 20152018. Classica. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $18

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Marchetti 2012 Tenuta del Cavaliere (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Heres a classic rendition of Central Italys premier white wine. It has a lovely fragrance of yellow spring flowers and spice, along with tropical fruit notes. The palate shows nice depth, offering juicy peach, pineapple and tangerine notes alongside spice and dried herb sensations. August Wine Group. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $16

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Marotti Campi 2012 Luzano (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Heres a nice expression that opens with typical varietal aromas of Spanish broom, chamomile and hay. The bright palate delivers crisp green apple, citrus and ripe white peach, followed by a bitter almond note on the finish. Villa Italia. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $16

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Moncaro 2012 Verde Ca Ruptae (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Heres a lovely Verdicchio with an alluring floral fragrance of acacia and hints of Spanish broom and sea breeze. The palate shows peach, citrus and pineapple flavors, along with notes of dried Mediterranean herbs and brine. Hold for 23 years to develop complexity. International Cellars. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $16

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Sartarelli 2012 Tralivio (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This attractive wine opens with Verdicchios typical aromas of Spanish broom and stone fruit, as well as a whiff of flint. The palate offers creamy ripe peach, citrus and pineapple flavors, along with hints of salinity and minerality that are brightened by fresh acidity. Massanois Imports. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $17

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Sartarelli 2011 Balciana (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This opens with aromas of butterscotch, lemon cream pie and ripe stone fruit. The palate starts off with rich apricot, apple and peach flavors, but it has a very warm palate thats dominated by evident alcohol sensations. It finishes on a bitter almond note. Massanois Imports. K.O. abv: 15% Price: $25

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Montecappone 2012 Riserva Utopia (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). Heres a firmly structured and suave Verdicchio that boasts alluring aromas of yellow flower, tropical fruit and apricot. The juicy palate offers up flavors of ripe white peach, citrus and slightly bitter almond. The rich flavors are freshened by crisp, cleansing acidity. Enjoy now or hold until 2016 for more complexity. Salvia Bianca Imports. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $37 Santa Barbara 2012 Le Vaglie (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). This opens with intense fragrances of peach and apricot that carry over to the palate alongside a juicy lemon flavor. It also boasts mouthwatering salinity and mineral sensations and, while its delicious now, hold for 23 years to develop additional dimensions of flavor. Solstars Inc. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $25 Umani Ronchi 2010 Riserva Plenio (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). Aged partly in oak, this firmly structured wine opens with lovely aromas of Spanish broom, hawthorne and tropical fruit, as well as a whiff of toasted oak. The palate delivers concentrated flavors of peach, lemon peel and apple layered with cinnamon-spice. Bedford International. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $35

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Tenuta di Tavignano 2012 Misco (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This lovely Verdicchio opens with an alluring fragrance of white spring flowers, Spanish broom and a whiff of sea breeze. The creamy palate delivers white peach, tropical fruit and lemon notes, all brightened by crisp acidity and mineral accents. de Grazia Imports LLC. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $18 Brunori 2012 San Nicol (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This pretty wine offers a fragrance of hawthorne, Spanish broom and a touch of tropical fruit. The palate delivers apricot, peach and citrus flavors that are energized by steely mineral notes and bright acidity. It has a crisp, quenching finish. Sussex Wine Merchants. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $17 Colonnara 2012 Cuprese (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This bright wine opens with an intensely floral fragrance of yellow rose and chamomile. The palate offers juicy peach, tangerine peel and green apple flavors alongside crisp acidity. It closes on a bitter almond note. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Garofoli 2012 Macrina (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). Heres an attractive wine that offers a floral fragrance of Spanish broom. Its bright and enjoyable, with yellow peach and apricot flavors that are punctuated by hints of savory brine and mineral. The firm structure is balanced by weightless texture. Laird & Company. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $15 Tenuta di Tavignano 2012 Villa Torre (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This opens up with a heady fragrance of apricot and Spanish broom. The palate offers fleshy peach and juicy lemon flavors, along with notes of pineapple and almond that support the wines bright acidity. de Grazia Imports LLC. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $14 Monte Schiavo 2012 Pallio di San Floriano (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore). This opens with pretty floral aromas of white peach and juicy pineapple accompanied by salinity and dried sage notes. Siena Imports, LAmore di Vino. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $18

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Andrea Felici 2010 Riserva Il Cantico della Figura (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). This opens with a heady floral fragrance of hawthorne and Spanish broom, with a whiff of stone fruit. It has delicious flavors of creamy peach, lemon and mineral alongside Verdicchios unique salinity. Peter/Warren Selections, Augustan Wine Imports. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $30 Andrea Felici 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico. Heres a delicious Verdicchio that opens with a floral fragrance of Spanish broom and stone fruit. The savory palate delivers creamy white peach, apple and lemon flavors alongside mineral and saline accents. The finish boasts an almond note. Hold for two or three years to develop complexity. Peter/Warren Selections, Augustan Wine Imports. K.O. abv: NA Price: $21 Cantina Ma.Ri.Ca. 2009 Riserva Aurato (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). This savory Verdicchio offers freshness and fleshy fruit flavors of creamy white peach, lemon and tropical fruit, all accented by mineral notes. The round structure is brightened by crisp acidity that leaves a cleansing finish. Simply Stated Wines. K.O. abv: 15% Price: $22

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Brunori 2012 Le Gemme (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). Heres a delicious and structured white that opens with an intensely floral fragrance of hawthorne and Spanish broom. The palate delivers flavors of fleshy white peach, apple and pear, along with a bitter almond note. The creamy fruit is brightened by crisp acidity that leaves a clean finish. Worldwide Cellars, Sussex Wine Merchants. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $14

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La Staffa 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico. Heres a quintessential Verdicchio from one of the denominations rising stars that opens with a fragrance of spring flowers, hay and flint. The palate delivers fleshy white peach, pear and almond flavors, along with mineral notes and bright acidity that results in a refreshing finish. Fun to drink now or hold 23 years for additional complexity. Classica. Best Buy. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $12 Marotti Campi 2010 Riserva Salmariano (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). This lovely Verdicchio has the wines trademark floral fragrance of broom and acacia flowers, along with a whiff of beeswax. The rich palate boasts creamy apple, yellow peach and tropical fruit flavors accompanied by energizing mineral notes and crisp acidity. Villa Italia. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $20

Montecappone 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico. This opens with floral aromas that recall white spring flowers while the palate offers peach, apple and citrus notes, along with hints of mineral and sea salt. Its bright and crisp on the close. Salvia Bianca Imports. K.O. abv: 12.5% Price: $14

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Pievalta 2010 Riserva San Paolo (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). Made from organically-farmed grapes, this structured Verdicchio has staying power. It opens with textbook aromas of yellow spring flowers, lemon and flint. The palate delivers notes of peach, apricot and aromatic herbs, all restrained by vibrant acidity. This is still young, so drink from 20152018 when its more developed. Vignaioli Selection. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $25 Casalfarneto 2010 Riserva Crisio (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). This opens with a floral fragrance that recalls yellow spring flowers and exotic fruit. The linear palate offers restrained

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Golden Delicious apple and lemon zest notes, along with a mineral accent. Enotec Imports, Inc. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $30

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Lucchetti 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico. Heres a pretty Verdicchio with the grapes classic fragrance of white flowers and stone fruit. The linear palate offers lemon, apple, white peach and mineral flavors alongside bright acidity that leaves a clean, refreshing finish. Columbia Distributing. Best Buy. K.O. abv: 12% Price: $12 Monte Schiavo 2010 Riserva Le Giuncare (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). This wine opens with sensations of yellow spring flowers and a whiff of citrus. The linear palate offers lemon zest and tart apple flavors, framed by racy acidity. Siena Imports, LAmore di Vino. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $30 Vicari 2012 Del Pozzo Buono (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). This attractive wine opens with intensely floral aromas of white spring flowers accented by whiffs of stone fruit. It has a linear palate, with juicy flavors of peach and lemon alongside crisp, refreshing acidity. Southport Wines. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $15 Vignamato 2008 Riserva Ambrosia (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico). This wine opens with aromas of oak, butterscotch and dill that carry over to the palate alongside flavors of vanilla, lemon zest and apricot. This would be a nice alternative for fans of oaked Chardonnay. Specialty Wine Co. K.O. abv: 15% Price: $22

odo classico, it has bright and delicious apple, tropical fruit and citrus flavors, with a walnut note on the finish. Its enjoyable now and the silky mousse makes this extra drinkable. Zig Zagando. K.O. abv: 12.5% Price: $35

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Santa Barbara 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Heres a charming wine that opens with delicate floral aromas of white flowers and stone fruits. The palate offers banana, pineapple and creamy white-peach flavors alongside freshening acidity. It finishes on a bitter almond note. Downey Selections. K.O. abv: 12.5% Price: $14 Conte Leopardi 2012 Castelverde (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi). This opens with lemon, lime and tropical fruit aromas that carry over to the palate alongside flavors of yellow apples, citrus and peach. Its linear, with freshening acidity and a drying finish. Pair it with lightly seasoned seafood. Acid Inc Selections. K.O. abv: NA Price: $19 Conti di Buscareto 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. This opens with a delicate and enticing fragrance of white and yellow flowers, hay and beeswax. The palate delvers flavors of golden apple, peach and lemon, with an almond accent. The smooth, weightless texture is brightened by fresh acidity. T. Edward Wines Ltd. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $14 Conti di Buscareto 2008 Ammazzaconte (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi). This Verdicchio opens with floral aromas of Spanish broom and acacia, along with a hint of petroleum that recalls Riesling. The linear palate is a bit lean but offers up lemon, bitter almond and mineral notes alongside bright acidity. Zig Zagando. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $23 Pievalta 2011 Passito (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi). Made from organically farmed Verdicchio, this dessert wine opens with apricot, pecan, tangerine and honey aromas that carry over to the syrupy palate alongside citrus, tangerine and almond flavors. Vignaioli Selection. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $NA/500 ml

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Santa Barbara 2009 Tardivo Ma Non Tardo (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi). Heres a delicious late-harvested Verdicchio that offers an intense bouquet of yellow rose and tropical fruit. The palate delivers juicy pineapple and fleshy peach flavors, with hints of Mediterranean herbs, clove and nutmeg. This boasts lovely depth and complexity. Drink through 2017. Solstars Inc. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $55 Fattoria Laila 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Heres a Verdicchio that shows off the grapes quintessential aromas of yellow spring flowers and whiffs of stone fruit. It offers creamy peach and lemon flavors alongside hints of sea salt and almond. Crisp, refreshing acidity leaves the palate feeling cleansed. Regal Wine Imports Inc. Best Buy. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $10 Colonnara NV Luigi Ghislieri (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi). This delightful sparkler shows the versatility of the Verdicchio grape. A met-

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ColleStefano 2012 Verdicchio di Matelica. From one of the top estates in the Matelica denomination and made from organically farmed grapes, this stunning wine offers a beautiful bouquet of acacia flowers, beeswax and stone fruit. The palate delivers flavors of creamy white peach, apricot and pear, all accented by aromatic herbs and mineral tones. Delicious now, with crisp acidity, this will develop complexity over the next few years. Multiple U.S. importers. Editors Choice. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $18

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Belisario 2012 Vigneti del Cerro (Verdicchio di Matelica). This textbook Verdicchio from Matelica opens with enticing aromas of yellow spring flowers, stone fruit and citrus. The delicious palate offers peach, tropical fruit and mineral flavors, with a hint of sea salt. Villa Italia. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $18

Pecorino offers juicy tropical fruit and lemon drop sensations accented by notes of mint and thyme. The ripe fruit is balanced by brisk acidity that leaves the palate feeling cleansed and refreshed. The Harvest Importing . K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $17

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Fontezoppa 2012 Verdicchio di Matelica. This beautiful wine opens with a heady floral fragrance of jasmine, broom, acacia and beeswax. The palate delivers succulent creamy peach and pineapple notes, with a hint of bitter almond. The creamy palate is brightened by mouthwatering acidity and, while delicious now, this will develop additionalcomplexity; drink 20142020. Multiple U.S. importers. Best Buy. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $10 Murla 2012 Verdicchio di Matelica. For full review see page 76. Best Buy. abv: 12.5% Price: $14

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Poderi San Lazzaro 2012 Pistillo (Offida Pecorino). Attractive floral scents of yellow flowers and Alpine herbs meld with juicy flavors of creamy peach, apple and lemon, all accented by hints of thyme and sage. Aging 25% of the wine in wood lends a touch of complexity to the savory flavors. Vinity Wine Company. K.O. abv: NA Price: $25 Villa Bizzarri 2012 Primo Cerchio (Offida Pecorino). Heres a delicious Pecorino that opens with appealing if unusual aromas of tilled soil alongside more classic floral notes of Spanish broom and acacia. It boasts ripe white peach, juicy pineapple and lemon custard flavors, along with almond and mineral notes. Siena Imports. Best Buy. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $14

Umathum 2011 Kirschgarten Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Flinty elderberry and crushed blackberry are the dark-fruited aromatics that pervade the nose and palate of this wine. There is a smoky smudge to the velvet tannins, making this intriguing and elegant. The tannic structure frames this medium-bodied charmer, and its superb balance and aromatic layers make you come back for more. Ready from 2016. Winemonger. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $46 Birgit Braunstein 2011 Felsenstein Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Initially tight and closed, a few minutes in the glass reveal ballet-like elegance, slender but defined muscle and tightly-packed, dark cherry fruit, along with the aromatic allure of elderberries. This is sleek and spicy and totally worth the wait with its seductive, ethereal aromas. Drink from 2015. Editors Choice. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Gernot and Heike Heinrich 2011 Alter Berg Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). This is a compelling red for those who like a bit of mystery: is it red or black cherry? Or possibly, dark, aromatic elderberry? Oak spicily supports this interchange of fruit, and firm tannins lend structure while the fresh acidity keeps it lively. Its almost like a whole cast of characters were lined up in this wine for your entertainment. The lingering finish is especially convincing. This will get even better with cellaring; drink from 2016. Winebow. Cellar Selection. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $100 Krutzler 2011 Reserve Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Alluring white-pepper spice, with nuances of dried thyme and seductive cherry fruit, make this a compelling choice with more depth than force. This is subtle and velvety, quietly convincing and very long. Firm yet ripe tannins provide structure and ageability. This will be even more elegant with a few years of cellaring; drink 20162020. Cellar Selection. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Birgit Braunstein 2011 Blaufrnkisch (Leithaberg). Black cherry and ripe blackberry would sumptuously lull you in if it werent for that tender frame of acidity and soft, supple tannins, keeping everything in check and making this a versatile food wine. This has immense charm and pure, long, peppery fruit. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Muhr-Van der Niepoort 2011 Spitzerberg Blaufrnkisch (Carnuntum). A great purity of lifted, wild blackberry, fringed by ivy leaves, makes a lasting impression on this mysterious, ethereal wine. Deeper down lurk darker notes of smoke, elderberry, tar and flint. A slender body with fresh acidity destines this for the table: wherever intriguing aromatics are required, this is the wine. Martines Wines. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $70

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Belisario 2012 Terre di Valbona (Verdicchio di Matelica). This opens with attractive aromas of yellow spring flowers and an assortment of white tree fruits. The vibrant palate offers lemon, tangerine, apple and pineapple flavors alongside fresh acidity. Artisan Wines, Inc. Best Buy. K.O. abv: 12.5% Price: $14

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Collevite 2012 Villa Piatti (Offida Pecorino). This opens with varietys signature floral fragrance of acacia and jasmine, accented by tropical fruit. The flavors of creamy lemon, pear, tangerine and lime are accented with hints of dried Mediterranean herbs. This is linear and focused. Park Avenue Imports. K.O. abv: NA Price: $22

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Guido Cocci Grifoni 2012 Colle Vecchio (Ofda Pecorino). From the estate that saved the Pecorino grape from extinction, this focused and refined wine intrigues from the start, with its floral aromas of jasmine and acacia, layered with whiffs of balsamic herbs. The palate demonstrates lovely energy and elegance, with peach and tropical fruit flavors accented by mineral and almond. Empson (USA) Ltd. Editors Choice. K.O. abv: 13% Price: $16

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Saladini Pilastri 2012 Offida Pecorino. Heres a bright and delicious Pecorino, with sensations of white peach, pear, tropical fruit and lemon zest. The savory palate is uplifted by a vein of energizing minerality. Pair this with pastas topped with shellfish. Saranty Imports. K.O. abv: 13.5% Price: $16 La Canosa 2012 Pek (Offida Pecorino). Made from 100% Pecorino, this offers floral aromas of acacia and jasmine. On the palate, it shows tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and banana, accented by notes of thyme, mint and a hint of vanilla. Vinum USA Inc. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $13

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Ci Ci 2012 Merlettaie (Offida Pecorino). This opens with Pecorinos classic floral fragrance of acacia and hawthorne, accented by whiffs of stone fruit. On the palate, it delivers ripe peach and apple flavors, with notes of ginger, almond and a drop of honey. Energizing minerality marks the finish. Villa Italia. Best Buy. K.O. abv: 14% Price: $17

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Clara Marcelli 2012 IRATA (Offida Pecorino). Made from organically farmed grapes, this lovely wine opens with intense aromas of acacia and hawthorne. The medium-bodied palate delivers tropical fruit, peach and pear flavors alongside crisp acidity. A delicate mineral note marks the close. Vinity Wine Company. K.O. abv: 14.5% Price: $23 Colli Ripani 2012 Rugaro Gold (Offida Pecorino). Bright and savory, this floral scented

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Krutzler 2011 Perwolff Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). The combination of just-ripe cherry fruit and fresh blackberries with bracing acidity distinguishes this clean-cut red. A totally winning interplay of refreshingly tart fruit in a gentle structure, carefully framed by oak, this shows immense purity and is joy to drink. Drink after 2015. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $NA

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Prieler 2010 Blaufrnkisch (Leithaberg). Red cherry fruit, with edges of white pepper, plays charmingly on both the nose and palate. The svelte figure of the wine belies its depth: this has subtle, Burgundian virtues and earthy undertones that provoke stimulating conversation and thought. An ideal accompaniment for subtle, nuanced dishes or a really good book. Michael Skurnik Wines. Editors Choice. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $58

incredibly appetizing wine. In sheer, unadulterated drinkability, this scores so well: Its fresh-faced and uncomplicated but very moreish. Magellan Wine Imports. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $59

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Iby 2011 Chevalier Blaufrnkisch (Mittelburgenland). If you expect coquettish flirting you must go elsewhere: this amply layered red will not give up its secrets easily. But engage with it and it will reward with poised, polished structure, subtle pepper spice and ripe but reined-in cherry fruit. The more time you spend with it, the more youll discover. Ready from 2015. Domaine Select Wine Estates. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $35

Prieler 2011 Blaufrnkisch (Leithaberg). Initially reticent, with just a hint of ground white pepper that also persists on the palate, this elegant and sleek red convinces with concentration of forest berries rather than with power. Its finetuned acidity makes it perfect for the table, while the soft tannins mean that it does not necessarily need fatty meat. Its peppery finish is delicious. Michael Skurnik Wines. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $58 Prieler 2011 Johanneshhe Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). A concentrated palate of black cherry and wild blueberry combine to give a full-fruited midpalate, with supple tannins and a juicy, moreish freshness. This strikes a convincing balance between rounded richness and refreshing lightness. Michael Skurnik Wines. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $23 Wohlmuth 2012 Hochberg Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Notes of juicy black cherries, a velvety texture and streamlined acidity make this a lip-smackingly lively wine, with a svelte but toned body. It is the sort of wine you are looking for when the food is hearty but not heavythis red will be an elegant accompaniment. Wein-Bauer Distributing. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $18 Judith Beck 2012 Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Tart morello cherries exert a strong, moreish pull on the nose and palate. The fruitiness is central but partnered with serious structure and food-friendly acidity. Ripe red-cherry flavor shows on the palate, as do supple, ripe tannins that never overpower the fruit. VOS Selections. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $20

Johanneshof Reinisch 2011 Frauenfeld St. Laurent (Thermenregion). A very intriguing nose of fresh dill and dried anise gives this plenty of aromatic lift, following through on the concentrated palate where ripe cherries join. Oak tannins lend additional structure but never dominate. While lovely now, this will certainly gain from a year or two in the cellar. Its soft, but full body is a triumph. Drink from 20162020. Circo Vino. Cellar Selection. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $40 Johanneshof Reinisch 2011 Holzspur St. Laurent (Thermenregion). The appetizing and enticing savoriness of freshly chopped dill runs like a faultline through this concentrated, yet elegant red. Ripe cherry hides behind the straightening tannins of oak and waits to burst out as this softens with a little bottle age. Very finely-knit tannins extend a gentle grip and frame a compelling, layered wine. Drink from 20162020. Circo Vino. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $90 R&A Pfaffl 2011 Altenberg Reserve St. Laurent (Niedersterreich). For full review see page 73. abv: 13% Price: $44

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Krutzler 2012 Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Dark cherry, blackberry and ripe blueberries vie for attention on the nose. The palate is elegant and tight, with some oak spice and soft but palpable tannins and food-friendly acidity. This is ideal for subtle dishes that demand a red wine with depth and quiet power. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $NA Wohlmuth 2011 Rabenkropf Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Red and black cherry and crushed blackberry unite with hints of cinnamon and clove in this medium-bodied wine. With ample depth and elegance, this takes time to open up but provides a lovely, velvety texture, with ripe but still textured tannins. This is ready now but will also benefit from cellaring. Wein-Bauer Distributing. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $40

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Birgit Braunstein 2011 Goldberg St. Laurent (Burgenland). A soft, light-footed entry is followed by extracted, yet still finely-knit tannins presently, black cherry fruit is hidden behind them, but a juicy acidity promises they will come to the surface before long. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $NA Hafner 2011 Classique St. Laurent (Burgenland). Highly aromatic, black elderberries explode on the nose. Blueberry follows against a backdrop of graphite and plays the same delicious accords on the soft, supple and juicy palate of this appetizing wine. Kosher. Apollo Fine Spirits. Best Buy. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $12 Kurt Angerer 2011 St. Laurent (Niedersterreich). Brooding and mysteriousgiving away just a hint of white pepper, dark plum and floral notes of peonythis richly purple wine gives up more of its secrets on the palate, revealing ripe plum fruit and sweeter spice from oak. Tannins are plentiful, ripe and supple, while lovely pepperiness carries through from start to finish. Weygandt-Metzler. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $NA Stift Klosterneuburg 2011 Reserve St. Laurent (Thermenregion). Gentle and elegant red cherry and plum smooth out the structured body of this concentrated, medium-bodied wine. Initially closed, this invites further inspection and conversation with the promise of plush fruit and

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Hafner 2012 Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Rounded, ripe and luscious cherry and blackberry fruit boast a meaty edge for added interest. The body is ample without any heaviness, pierced by a lively, appetizing freshness and shades of darker, smoky berries in the background. Apollo Fine Spirits. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $NA

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Iby 2011 Quintus Blaufrnkisch (Mittelburgenland). Cinnamon and ripe blueberry flash out from this concentrated, almost broodingly seductive red. It takes time to open up but fulfills its promise with a supple, generous body. Soft tannins have their counterpoint in ripe, almost luscious fruit that is as warming and soft as a velvet blanket. This works well with or without food. Domaine Select Wine Estates. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $40

Nittnaus Anita und Hans 2011 Kalk und Schiefer Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). A very quintessential Blaufrnkisch, this boasts a light-footed balance of cherry, dark berries, sprightly acidity and medium body in a sleek and elegantly silhouetted frame, with ripe, soft tannins. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $NA

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Pittnauer 2011 Ungerberg Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Ripe, sweet blueberries, black pepper and refreshing acidity make this an

Preisinger 2012 Blaufrnkisch (Burgenland). Crushed blackberry and smoky blueberry show a vibrant presence. This is luscious and velvety, without ever losing its continental-climate freshness and poise. Really refreshing and uncomplicated, but definitely not simple, this provides exciting fruit and is easy to drink on its own. Circo Vino. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $23

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a subdued, velvety finish. Leopold Imports LLC. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $NA liciousness. A versatile food wine, especially where there are fruity accents. Weygandt-Metzler. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA now, this will come into its own once time has revealed the deeper layers of fruit. Drink from 2016. Winemonger. Cellar Selection. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $39

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Brndlmayer 2011 Ladner St. Laurent (Niedersterreich). Subtle pepper and undergrowth notes play as strongly of a role as the gentle red currant fruit in this understated, lighter-bodied but spicy wine. Made in a very traditional vein, it is an unobtrusive, versatile red for lighter lunches where its pepperiness will score extra points. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $NA

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Nittnaus Hans und Christine 2011 Luckenwald Zweigelt (Neusiedlersee). Toasty oak and backed structure appear first, with lots of charming cherry fruit and savory notes of undergrowth, inside. Tightly knit and well made, with a dense core of red cherry and an appetizing length. Wein-Bauer Distributing. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $25 Weingut Christ 2011 Bisamberg Zweigelt (Vienna). A deep smoky red in color, this exudes fresh but tart blackberry, with hints of cinnamon on the nose. These flavors are pleasantly present on the palate, where low-level tannins are sleek and elegant. A juicy, concentrated, vibrant and refreshing wine from one of Viennas famous vineyards that delivers with its slender body, gentle tannins and good length. Carlo Huber Selections. Editors Choice. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $22 Hannes Reeh 2012 Zweigelt (Neusiedlersee). An incredibly balanced wine where red cherry fruit marries with velvety tannins, medium body and clean-cut acidity and cinnamon hints in the background. This is an ideal, unobtrusive but delicious food wine that will perform no matter what. Acid Inc Selections. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $34 Hannes Reeh 2012 Unplugged Zweigelt (Burgenland). Black, ripe elderberries, with a tart but supple body make this an appetizing, lighter wine that holds an unusual aromatic intensity. There is an intriguing hint of wilderness and a streak of fresh acidity that makes this soft wine an ideal match for lighter foods. Drink this while its young and vibrant. Acid Inc Selections. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $34 Anton Bauer 2011 Alte Reben Zweigelt (Wagram-Donauland). Fresh, friendly, straightforward red cherry fruit on the nose and palate, extend with pleasing concentration and a supple, balanced body. Peppery spice lurks in the background against a tightly-knit, but soft tannic structure providing additional interest and making this a versatile, fruitful and refreshing wine. Prescott Wines. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $18

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Anton Bauer 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir (Wagram-Donauland). Ripe, red cherry, with floral notes of rose, iris and a hint of cinnamon introduce this ripe and luscious wine that is already surprisingly open and generous. Its gentle, finely-knit tannic structure will allow this to age, but there is a pleasant, seductive mellowness already in the alternating layers of spice and cherry. Drink from 20142018. Prescott Wines. A.K. abv: 14.5% Price: $30 Fischer 2011 Premium Pinot Noir (Thermenregion). Everything about this wine is subtlein an orchestra, this would be the harp. The balance between red berry and cherry, medium body and fine acidity is supreme. There are notions of peppery undergrowth and the firm hold of finely woven tannin. This aromatic, disciplined wine will break out of its corset in time and display autumnal leaves and fruitthe persistent length is most promising. Ready to drink from 2016. Vignaioli Selection. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $37

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Netzl 2011 Haidacker Zweigelt (Carnuntum). A concentrated but restrained wine that is a bit like French couture: timelessly elegant, quietly confident but incredibly well-made and fitting. The tannins provide structure without being obtrusive. Oak plays a sonorous supporting role and dark cherry beckons on the nose and palate, all concluding in a peppery, long finish. Ready now but will keep till 2016. Select Wines. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $55 Schloss Gobelsburg 2011 Haide Zweigelt (Niedersterreich). This is a Zweigelt with an identity crisis that thinks it may be Pinot Noir. Its elegant and silky, with a gentle tannic touch, refreshing acidity and restrained but evocative redcurrant and cranberry fruit. Overtones of peony and iris make this more intriguing, while there is substance despite its light body. This is delicious now, but will reward cellaring for one to two years to let earthy, tertiary flavors develop. Drink from 2014. Michael Skurnik Wines. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $36

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Fritsch 2011 P Pinot Noir (Wagram-Donauland). Very subtle but ultimately seductive wild cherry notes captivate on the nose, while the body is luscious, rounded, generous and inviting, without an ounce of fat. There are hints of clove and anise, a deep, mellow cherry core and haunting floral hints. Drink 20152020. Monika Caha Selections. A.K. abv: 15% Price: $NA Brndlmayer 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir (Niedersterreich). Smoky cinnamon dominates the nose, on the palate where notes of red currant and cranberry become apparent. The palate is tightly gathered in its finely constructed, tannic frame. Time in glass reveals riper cherry fruit at the heart. In two to three years it will mellow and show its true aromatic colors. The substance is evident now, but the aromas bid you to wait. Ready from 2016. Michael Skurnik Wines. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $63 Loimer 2011 Anning Pinot Noir (Niedersterreich). It is white pepper rather than fruit that pervades the nose and palate on this wine, displaying a tight grip and slender bodynot to say that deeper berry fruit does not slumber in the depths. This still has to come out of its shell and is best served with subtle, nuanced food that will mirror its intriguing nature. This will certainly blossom in a year or two. Ready from 2015. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $NA Markowitsch 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir (Carnuntum). The vanilla and cookie-dough lick of toasty oak lends softness, warmth and spice

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Leth 2011 Gigama Grande Reserve Zweigelt (Wagram-Donauland). An unusually rounded, fuller-bodied Zweigelt in a rather successful marriage with oak. Cinnamon, clove and vanilla flesh out the fresh cherry and blackberry flavors to result in a harmonious, appetizing wine with supple, ripe tannins and a resonant finish. Domaine Select Wine Estates. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $70 Birgit Braunstein 2011 Goldberg Zweigelt (Burgenland). Crushed boysenberry is foremost on the nose and palate, while a rounded, supple but defined structure makes this a winning choice for subtle foods. There is both elegance and length and a lovely, integrated touch of well-handled oaky vanilla. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA Kurt Angerer 2011 Granit Zweigelt (Niedersterreich). An inviting combination of aromatic cinnamon with primary plum fruit that resembles a spiced plum tart straight out of the ovensimply irresistible. There is tannic texture and a concentrated, aromatic core of plummy de-

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PINOT NOIR

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Umathum 2011 Unter den Terassen Pinot Noir (Burgenland). Once coaxed out of the glass, there is something ethereal about this Pinot Noir in its compelling, lifted nose of elderberry, wild raspberry and aromatic nettle. It is deceptively light on the surface with translucent veils of silky tannins that draw you in. While there is engaging verve right

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to the red currant fruit of this slender, but elegant wine. Slightly more bottle age is needed for fruit and wood to marry completely, but it finishes with a wonderfully savory flourish of pepper and undergrowth. Ready from 2015. Weygandt-Metzler. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA

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Wine Art Estate 2011 Idisma Drios Assyrtico (Drama). Spice, vanilla and cinnamon aromas speak to the oak aging on this fresh white. On the palate, robust, yet refreshing flavors of fresh white fruits and vanilla offer complexity with food-friendly zest. Distinctive Imports LLC. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $24

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Hpler 2011 Pinot Noir (Burgenland). Subdued notes of clove and pepper mixed with tart cranberry make this an appetizing, fresh-faced red. The body is light but packs lots of flavor. What you see is what you getin the most charming way possible. USA Wine Imports. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA

(Agioritikos). Candied lemon and lush tropical fruits start this Assyrtiko, Athiri blend from an established producer in northern Greece. Fresh, fun and slightly sweet on the palate, the wine has a softer, more feminine touch than many Greek whites. Great with lighter fare like salads and grilled seafood. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 12% Price: $25

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My Big Fat Greek Wine 2011 Assyrtico (Santorini). Aromas of pineapple, white fruit and apple start this likeable white from Santorini. Citrus, tropical fruit and apple flavors on the palate are fuller bodied but still lively. A solid white for everyday enjoyment. Hellas Import Limited. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $15 Papaioannou 2011 St. Elias Vineyards Dry White Assyrtico (Corinthia). Lemon preserve and melon aromas are followed by peach and tropical fruit flavors, all balanced with telltale Greek acidity. Balanced and well made, and a good pairing with fruit, salads and seafood. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $12 Spyros Hatziyiannis 2011 Assyrtico (Santorini). Aromas of sea salt, pineapple and citrus start this lively Assyrtiko. It offers a fresh mineral character rounded by tropical fruit. Friendly and not fussy. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $13

AGIORGITIKO

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Kurt Angerer 2011 Pinot Noir (Niedersterreich). Primary red-cherry notes charm the nose, while gentle vanilla and hints of oak, flowers and clove build a framework. There is some grip in this medium-bodied wine, thanks to the finely-woven tannins. Weygandt-Metzler. A.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $NA

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Papaioannou 2005 Microclima Agiorgitiko (Nemea). This is a delicious example of what Agiorgitiko should becomplex but delicate, fresh but full of flavor. The nose starts with vibrant cassis, cherry and plum aromas, followed by flavors of blackcurrant, pepper, cherry and cinnamon that are rounded and layered. The wine ends with a lively mineral spin. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $40 Papaioannou 2004 Terroir Agiorgitiko (Nemea). Savory, smoked meat and clove aromas give this lively Agiorgitiko soul. Flavors of leather, smoke, spice and red berry are balanced and clean. A masculine pour that will pair well with dried meats, steak and burgers. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 14% Price: $50 Papaioannou 2006 Old Vines Single Vineyard Agiorgitiko (Nemea). Violet, crushed herb and mint aromas start this Agiorgitiko. On the palate, coca, vanilla, red berry and a savory spin give it depth. Fresh and friendly but substantive, this wine can age. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $30

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Nittnaus Hans und Christine 2011 The Pinot Puzzle Pinot Noir (Burgenland). This is one of those Pinot Noirs that play hide and seek with you: is that violet or rose? Is it Bing cherry or Amarena? There is red currant and cherry fruit at the center, with overtones of oak, bright acidity and gentle tannins. This will perform best if served with food. Wein-Bauer Distributing. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $30 Leth 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir (Wagram-Donauland). Heres a rather slender Pinot Noir, with soft cranberry fruit, hints of smoky mocha and a little clove. There is something chocolaty, and at the same time refreshing, about this wine, and the tannins are silky-soft in a light and restrained body. Domaine Select Wine Estates. A.K. abv: 14% Price: $35 Schloss Gobelsburg 2011 Alte Haide Pinot Noir (Niedersterreich). The gentle red currant and raspberry fruit in this subtly oaked red lurks amid notes of spicy pepper, undergrowth and autumn leaves. There is a gentle grip and a very natural, unforced sense of elegance to the structure. Michael Skurnik Wines. A.K. abv: 13% Price: $36

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WHITE BLENDS

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Estate Biblia Chora 2011 Ovilos White (Pangeon). Lemon zest, lime and melon aromas lead this elegant white blend. Zesty citrus and lush melon on the palate offers a refined character that is nonetheless fine for everyday enjoyment. The finish is expressive and slightly floral. Cava Spiliadis. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $38 A. Parparoussis 2008 Les Dons de Dionysos Barrel Fermented Assyrtiko-Athiri (Achaia). A nose of fresh-cut flowers, tropical fruit and melon leads this barrel-fermented white blend . On the palate, the wine has a lovely floral character but lacks some of the minerality that gives Greek whites their lively touch. Pair with fish or cheeses. Cava Spiliadis. S.K. abv: 13.2% Price: $25 Oenogenesis 2011 En Oeno... Sauvignon Blanc-Assyrtiko (Macedonia). This Assyrtiko, Sauvignon Blanc blend offers a zesty, poppy Sauvignon Blanc nose with pineapple, fresh peach and a mineral spin on the palate. Balanced acidity keeps it steady. Likeable and enjoyable, but not intellectual. Eklektikon, LLC. S.K. abv: 12.5% Price: $25 Tsantali 2011 Metoxi Chromitsa X Single Vineyard Assyrtico-Athiri-Sauvignon Blanc

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Tsantali 2009 Agiorgitiko (Nemea). This wine has a savory overall character, with clove, cinnamon and plum on the nose and espresso, red fruit and leather on the palate. A balanced spin of minerals gives it lift. Pair with roast lamb or poultry. A great deal and a good wine. Fantis Imports, Inc. Best Buy. S.K. abv: 12.5% Price: $10

RED BLENDS

GREECE
ASSYRTICO

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Greek Wine Cellars 2011 Assyrtico (Santorini). Fresh, clean and elegant aromas of citrus and flowers start this classic Assyrtiko. On the palate, balanced flavors of lemon, sea salt and white fruits offer food-friendly, quaffable character. A fantastic house wine. Nestor Imports. Best Buy. S.K. abv: 12.5% Price: $14

Tsantali 2010 Reserve (Rapsani). This appealing red starts with a nose bursting with exotic tobacco, cocoa and red berries, followed by a juicy palate of black fruit, cocoa and sweet smoke. The oak is obvious here, offering vanilla and spicy notes, but the round fruit character keeps the wine in check. Elegant and fun. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $23 Chatzivariti 2010 Staphylus XinomavroCabernet Sauvignon (Slopes of Paiko). This Xinomavro/Cabernet blend is elegant and approachable, with aromas of vanilla, tobacco and allspice and flavors of black cherry, cigarbox and wild

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black fruits. Integrated and smooth, with a leather spin on the end. Pair with grilled, spiced meats or ripe cheeses. Eklektikon, LLC. Editors Choice. S.K. abv: 13% Price: $22 ers leads the nose on this poised Merlot/Limnio blend. On the palate, the wine is elegant and laced with clove, mushroom and bright berry flavors. A unique wine at an unbeatable price. Fantis Imports, Inc. Best Buy. S.K. abv: 12% Price: $8 apple, but is graced with additional complex accents of hazelnut, toasted oak, orange blossom, lanolin and soft, chalky minerality. Pineapple, fig and apple-flesh flavors fill the palate, with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and ample acidic lift to the long, gently textured finish. Cape Classics. Editors Choice. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $20

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Estate Biblia Chora 2007 Ovilos Red (Pangeon). Blueberry, vanilla and cedar aromas start this rich, luxuriant red. On the palate, savory cigarbox and caramel flavors meld with bright red fruits and sweet vanilla. The wine finishes dry and will pair beautifully with lamb and beef dishes. Cava Spiliadis. S.K. abv: 14% Price: $55 Domaine Gerovassiliou 2008 Avaton (Epanomi). This Limnio, Mavrotragano and Mavroud blend is fun and fruity but at the same time, offers some serious character. Smoked sausage, fennel and clove on the nose lead into flavors of vanilla, red fruit and savory spice on the palate. Balanced, with good tannic and acidic structure. Ageable. Cava Spiliadis. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $55

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Tsantali 2008 Metoxi Chromitsa Limnio-Cabernet Sauvignon (Agioritikos). Leather, dry spice rub and crushed green herb aromas start this Limnio/Cabernet blend from northern Greece. On the palate, the wine is spicy and dry, with earthy undertones of spicebox and forest floor. Pair with lamb or robust cheeses. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $22

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Glen Carlou 2010 Quartz Stone Single Vineyard Chardonnay (Paarl). For full review see page 72. abv: 13.5% Price: $45 Hamilton Russell 2011 Chardonnay (Hemel en Aarde). Still in its infancy, this is a white that deserves some time in the cellar to truly harmonize and shine. Currently, its rich and woody, with assertive notes of creamy pear, apricot, red apple flesh, honeycomb and baking spice. The round and lush mouthfeel offers additional flavors of mango and orange oil, lifted by a fine thread of acidity. Toasty spice lingers on the finish; drink after 2014. Vineyard Brands. L.B. abv: 13% Price: $32 Bartinney 2011 Chardonnay (Stellenbosch). Bright aromas of crisp red apple and Anjou pear lead the nose of this wine, with touches of melon rind and clementine dancing in the background. Its clean and well balanced, with lively citrus and apple flavors. A hint of beeswax adds depth to the palate, while the finish is clean and refreshing. Cape Classics. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $25 Bouchard Finlayson 2010 Missionvale Chardonnay (Walker Bay). Aromas of woodgrilled peach, baked apple and sweet orange oil waft from the glass, all laced with threads of toasted oak and baking spice. The ample acidity keeps the palate lively and the finish fresh, although the woody accents dominate the close once the ripe fruit flavors subside. Terry Seitz. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $30 Bouchard Finlayson 2009 Crocodiles Lair Kaaimansgat Chardonnay (Overberg). This leads with oak-derived aromas of sweet smoke, toast, vanilla and baking spice, immediately followed by notes of lemon custard, melon and pear flesh. The mouthfeel is round and full, but zippy acidity rescues the finish from feeling flat or overdone. An attractive toasted hazelnut flavor lingers well through the finish. Terry Seitz. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $26 Springeld Estate 2009 Mthode Ancienne Chardonnay (Robertson). A mature selection by now, this offers initial scents of cantaloupe, mango and yellow flowers, with secondary hints of toasted nuts and brioche. Its balanced and layered, with subtle oak and leesy accents intertwined with pure, ripe fruit flavors. Enjoy this now while the

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Estate Biblia Chora 2009 Biblinos Oenos (Pangeon). Blackberry, plum, balsamic and leather aromas give this red blend an indigenous, masculine character. On the palate, a heady blend of tobacco, spice and pomegranate flavors are buoyed by balanced acidity. Pair with grilled meats, hearty soups, or charred dishes. Cava Spiliadis. S.K. abv: 14% Price: $35

Alpha Estate 2008 Alpha One Unltered Merlot (Florina). This Merlot from one of Greeces most exciting producers offers aromas of plum, black cherry and vanilla on the nose, followed by smooth, integrated flavors of black fruit, cinnamon, pepper and a spin of mint on the finish. Layered and elegant, with good acidity for food pairing. Diamond Importers Inc. S.K. abv: 14.5% Price: $59 Hatzimichalis 2008 Kapnias Vineyard Zygos Cabernet Sauvignon (Atalanti Valley). Aromas of red fruit, vanilla and cigarbox start this Cabernet Sauvignon from Greece. Its flavors are rich but balancedcinnamon, cedar, cherry and savory spiceand the wine finishes clean and dry. Elegant with ageable potential. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 14% Price: $24

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Estate Biblia Chora 2009 Red (Pangeon). Spicy black pepper, smoke and crushed herb aromas give this red an exotic feel. On the palate, lush red berry flavors mingle with herbs, pepper and vanilla spice. A distinctive wine and a great partner to dried meats, olives and ripe cheeses. Cava Spiliadis. S.K. abv: 14% Price: $35

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Skouras 2008 Synoro (Peloponnese). This Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Agiorgitkio blend is both authentic and versatile, with aromas of strawberry, cinnamon and cedar and robust flavors of mocha, cigarbox and red cherry balancing a firm acidity. A touch of smoke and leather adds earthy appeal. Pair with burgers or grilled lamb. Diamond Importers Inc. S.K. abv: 14.5% Price: $28 Tsantali 2009 Grand Reserve Hand Picked Grapes (Rapsani). Produced from indigenous red varieties grown on the slopes of Mt. Olympus, the Rapsani Grand Reserve starts with voluptuous aromas of blackberry, spice box and liquorice, offering full-bodied flavors of black fruit and olive on the palate. The fruit is well balanced by a spice and mineral backbone. A very good red for lamb, dried meats or stews. Fantis Imports, Inc. S.K. abv: 13.5% Price: $30 Tsantali 2010 Limnio-Merlot (Halkidiki). Red cherry, vanilla, spicebox and a touch of flow-

My Big Fat Greek Wine 2011 Xinomavro (Imathia). This Xinomavro offers red cherry, spice and black pepper aromas and layers of smoke, vanilla and plucky spice on the palate. Approachable and great for everyday drinkingthink lamb gyros or short ribs. Hellas Import Limited. S.K. abv: 13% Price: $15

SOUTH AFRICA
CHARDONNAY

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Bouchard Finlayson 2010 Kaaimansgat Limited Edition Chardonnay (Overberg). This wine boasts a lot of character and evolution, and is layered and complex. The bouquet leads with aromas of hay, beeswax, orange oil, wood-grilled apple and sweet spice. Medium weight, but with ample acidity to keep it balanced, rich fruit flavors are accented by notes of toast and wood that carry through the long finish. Its drinking perfectly now, but should last well through 2015. Terry Seitz. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $37 Buitenverwachting 2011 Chardonnay (Constantia). Despite its age, this white still offers upfront ripe-fruit aromas of citrus, pear and

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primary fruit is still shining. Vinecraft Distribution LLC. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $42

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Spier 2010 21 Gables Pinotage (Stellenbosch). For full review see page 75. abv: 14.5% Price: $28 Beyerskloof 2010 Reserve Pinotage (Stellenbosch). Ripe forest-fruit aromas are upfront, easily supporting the ample woody spice and toasted character. The palate is fruit-forward, with the black plum core taking center stage to the licorice and anise accents. The fine tannins and juicy fruit flavors make this approachable and enjoyable now. Total Beverage Solution. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $30 Fairview 2010 Primo Pinotage (Paarl). Initial brambly berry aromas are partnered with hints of smoky bacon and caramel sauce. The flavors are solid and ripe but not overdone, with attractive notes of blackberry and wild cherry. The medium tannins and ample acidity lend good balance and texture to the wine, while a pleasant astringency lingers on the finish. Vineyard Brands. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $29 KWV 2011 Classic Collection Pinotage (Western Cape). For full review see page 77. Best Price: $11

on the lengthy finish. Drink now2016. Vineyard Brands. L.B. abv: 15% Price: $36

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Elgin Vintners 2010 Third Edition Chardonnay (Elgin). This is a ripe and seductive Chardonnay, with great opulence to the palate and lush fruit characteristics of red-apple flesh, clovespiked orange and creamy pear. Hints of toasted challah and sweet spice add depth and interest, while ample acidity keeps the generous mouthfeel in line and the finish clean. Z Wines USA. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $19 Springeld Estate 2009 Wild Yeast Chardonnay (Robertson). Despite the age of this wine, its still bright and lively, with clean and upfront aromas and flavors of orange citrus, white melon rind, white peach and firm pear. The palate is vibrant and fresh, with mouthwatering acidity that follows through to the toast-laced finish. Vinecraft Distribution LLC. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $21 KWV 2011 Classic Collection Chardonnay (Western Cape). For full review see page 77. Best Buy. abv: 13.5% Price: $11 Neil Ellis 2011 Chardonnay (Stellenbosch). A clean and bright selection, this leads with direct aromas of green apple, lemon and soft grass. The palate is brisk and lively, with pineapple acidity and a tart green-plum accent. Overall, this is light, refreshing and easy drinking. Vineyard Brands. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $20

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Mullineux 2010 Granite Syrah (Swartland). Part of Mullineuxs new lineup of singlevineyard Syrahs, this is a nuanced wine, requiring time to fully open and thought to process the depth of character. Earthy tones of sous bois, fynbos and red forest fruit dance in the bouquet, while the medium-weight palate offers fine-grain tannins and tightly wound flavors of pepper, leather and cherry skin. Theres good acidic lift to the close, followed promptly by peppery spice. Drink now2018. Kysela Pre et Fils. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $128 Simonsig 2011 Merindol Syrah (Stellenbosch). This wine is immediately attractive and seductive, with forward floral notes of crushed iris and violet that are supported by a decadent ripe-fruit core of black raspberry, wild cherry and boysenberry. Woody tones of toasted coconut and vanilla add richness to the dense, fully structured palate, while hints of black pepper and cocoa nib blossom on the finish. Delicious now, but should age well through 2018. Quintessential Wines. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $42 Mullineux 2010 Syrah (Swartland). This wine opens with a strong herbaceous character, as scents of forest floor and menthol accent the red plum and cherry core. Fine tannins and medium weight make this an accessible wine now, with hints of black pepper and licorice spice that develop on the finish. Kysela Pre et Fils. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $33 Spier 2011 Vintage Selection Shiraz (Western Cape). Heres a dense and concentrated selection at an attractive price point, with direct aromas and flavors of black plum, boysenberry, bramble and violet. The palate is slightly lush and creamy, but texturized by medium tannins and spicy accents of licorice and toast on the close. Total Wine & More. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $20 Backsberg 2008 Pumphouse Shiraz (Coastal Region). Herbal scents of briary berry and forest floor mingle with notes of mulled boysenberry, raspberry, sweet smoke and cured meat. The finish is dry and gripping, with a peppery note that stays through the close. Marquee Selections. L.B. abv: 13.8% Price: $23

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KWV 2011 The Mentors Chardonnay (Elgin). Direct aromas of lime, green apple, melon rind and pressed flowers unfold in the bouquet, while flavors of orange zest, sweet spice and melon flesh develop on the palate. The medium-weight mouth could use a bit more lift, as could the flat finish. KWV Intl. L.B. abv: 13% Price: $72

The Grinder 2011 Pinotage (Western Cape). This is a lush, opulent and oaky Pinotage, with assertive aromas of mocha, raspberry cream and chocolate-covered cherry. The texture is satiny and smooth, with medium yet fine tannins and a richness to the palate thanks to flavors of raspberry coulis, mocha sauce, sweet spice and just a hint of pepper. USA Wine West. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $13

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Simonsig 2011 Redhill Pinotage (Stellenbosch). For full review see page 71. Editors Price: $36

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Mullineux 2010 Schist Syrah (Swartland). Part of Mullineuxs new lineup of singlevineyard Syrahs, this really expresses a sense of terroir, with a strong mineral streak that permeates throughout the wine. Pure, precise red-fruit aromas and flavors of small red berries and currants support herbal notes of white pepper, sous bois and savory herbs, with a hint of gaminess in the background. Still tight and reserved, this should shine after a bit more time; drink after 2016. Kysela Pre et Fils. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $128

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Simonsig 2010 Redhill Pinotage (Stellenbosch). Scents of ripe black cherry and raspberry are at the center of the bouquet, with attractive accents of fudgy brownie, caramel, coffee and baking spice. The palate boasts a velvety texture, with medium tannins and a lush, ripe blackfruit core. Hints of cured meat and toasty mocha linger long on the close. Quintessential Wines. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $36

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Fairview 2008 The Beacon Shiraz (Paarl). This wine is immediately attractive, with initial aromas of ripe cherry, plum and berry fruits that are spiced with hints of Thin Mint, licorice and black pepper. Plush, but not overdone, the mouthfeel is like crushed velvet, with black cherry-skin and raspberry flavors and fine yet structured tannins. Glimmers of sweet smoke and black tea unfold

CABERNETS & BLENDS

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Ernie Els 2008 Signature (Stellenbosch). This is a dark, dense and brooding Bordeaux-style blend, comprised of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc. Notes of cocoa, cigar tobacco and leather jazz up the black-fruit core of

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cassis, black plum and berry. The palate is full and gripping, with firm tannins that hang on tightly through the long and slightly smoky finish. Drink after decanting now, or enjoy through 2018. Terlato Wines International. L.B. abv: 15% Price: $95 mouth, with accents of ashy tobacco, foliage, pepper and just the faintest suggestion of vanilla bean. Medium weight, with dry, dusty tannins that lend grip to the finish. Cape Classics. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $35 astringent tannins. The finish is short, but clean. KWV Intl. Best Buy. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $9

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Kanonkop 2008 Paul Sauer (Simonsberg-Stellenbosch). A blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc and 9% Merlot, this is a dense and brooding wine, with dark notes of cassis, licorice, black plum, date and cigar-box spice on the nose and in the mouth. The palate is firmly structured, with medium tannins and balanced alcohol that lend the wine a crushed-velvet texture. Glimmers of charred oak and toasted spice linger long on the finish. Delicious now, but should develop more layer and nuance with time; drink through 2018. Cape Classics. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $50

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Spier 2010 Creative Block 5 (Coastal Region). For full review see page 75. abv: 14.5% Price: $23 Excelsior 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Robertson). A fragrance of crushed violet adds interest to the jammy blackberry, plum and cherry fruit core of this wine. Hints of licorice root, bramble and peppery spice unfold on the creamy palate, with ripe yet gripping tannins that remain on the finish. Cape Classics. Best Buy. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $10 Raats Family 2010 Red Jasper (Coastal Region). This Cabernet Franc-dominant blend, with additional splashes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec, leads with earthy tones of menthol, black-currant leaf and tobacco. Theres ample black-fruit flavors to support the herbal corethink blackberry, plum and cassisall framed by medium tannins and a clean, peppery finish. Drink now2016. Cape Classics. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $20 Riebeek Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Swartland). Vibrant and expressive, this offers initial aromas of blackberry, cassis and boysenberry that are matched with spicy hints of licorice root, black pepepr and cigar-box spice. The palate is round and slightly creamy, but framed by medium tannins and a long, toasty finish. Kysela Pre et Fils. Best Buy. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $10 Camberley 2009 Philosophers Stone (Stellenbosch). A blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a soft, red-fruited wine, with lively aromas and flavors of cherry, plum and currant, all laced with hints of tobacco leaf, toast and bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is creamy and the tannins fine and fleeting. Terry Seitz. L.B. abv: 15.5% Price: $26 Robertson Winery 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Robertson). Powerful notes of tobacco leaf and curing spice lead the bouquet of this value wine, with a backbone of cassis, black cherry and plum. Medium tannins offer grip and texture to the palate, while coffee and toasted oak flavors flood the finish. Indigo Wine Group. Best Buy. L.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $10 African Passion 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Western Cape). Aromas of blackcurrant leaf, plum and pepper are apparent on the nose of this value-priced wine. The palate is light but firm, with flavors of red plum and cherry wrapped in

CHILE
SAUVIGNON BLANC

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Leyda 2013 Single Vineyard Garuma Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). Snappy aromas of citrus and lime come with minerality on a bouquet thats pungent but doesnt punch. This feels clean, friendly and well built; flavors of lime, tangerine and mango finish persistent, with no breakdowns. This is what top Chilean SB is all about. Winebow. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $18 Leyda 2013 Classic Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). Tropical more than green and pungent, this fragrant wine offers powdery, sweet notes and stronger coastal ones. Its lean and angular in feel, with oceanic flavors of nettle, tangerine and lemon. A light green flavor and a chalky feel make up the finish. Winebow. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 12.5% Price: $11 San Pedro 2013 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). Pungent and snappy up front, with grapefruit and nettle aromas, this is classic Leyda Sauvignon Blanc on the bouquet. On the palate, this is fresh, juicy and upright. Well-cut flavors of green pea, lime and tangerine finish pithy and firm. Shaw-Ross International Importers. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $19

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Rust en Vrede 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch). Attractive fragrances of mulled berries, cassis and black cherry lead the fruity bouquet of this wine, with added interest from supporting notes of sweet smoke, pepper and licorice root. The mouthfeel is creamy and full, but with ample tannin and acidity to provide structure and lend a gripping texture. Ripe flavors of plum, fig, cassis, black tea and leather flood the palate and linger long on the finish. Drink now2018. Terlato Wines International. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $30

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Rustenberg 2010 John X Merriman (Simonsberg-Stellenbosch). Rustenbergs Bordeaux-style blend, made with 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc, is a complex and layered wine, with waves of black fruit and earthy spice that dance endlessly on the nose and mouth. Heady notes of blackberry, boysenberry, cassis and fig are spiced by accents of cocoa, tobacco and sweet, charred wood. Its balanced and well structured, with a velvety texture and a peppery finish. Drink now2020. Indigo Wine Group. L.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $30 KWV 2010 The Mentors Orchestra (Western Cape). A ripe and sultry selection, this offers upfront oak-derived notes of vanilla, toasted nut, sweet cedar and chocolate sauce. Fruity tones of brandied cherry, mashed raspberry and blackberry preserve provide a solid backbone for the woody, spicy character. The lush, full palate offers waves of tobacco and leather that carry through to the medium-length finish. KWV Intl. L.B. abv: 14% Price: $72 Raats Family 2010 Cabernet Franc (Stellenbosch). Pure and focused, Bruwer Raatss love of and attention to Cabernet Franc results in a wine that always impresses, and is a bit of an anomaly in the South African wine world. Bright notes of red cherry and currant unfold on the nose and

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Garces Silva 2013 Boya Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). Tight, gritty, steely aromas of nettle and ocean mist allow for a modest amount of citrus fruit to poke through. A narrow, high-acid palate may peel back the enamel on your teeth, while flavors of sour green apple and gooseberry finish shear and tart. Vine Connections. M.S. abv: 12.5% Price: $18 Santa Carolina 2013 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). For full review see page 77. Best Buy. abv: 13% Price: $12 Quintay 2013 Clava Coastal Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca Valley). Crisp, spicy, grassy, citrus aromas are all good. This is acidic and cleansing; zesty flavors of orange and pineapple finish nervy, pithy and a touch bitter. For patio-ready SB, this is ideal. Regal Wine Imports Inc. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 13% Price: $12 Via Bisquertt 2013 La Joya Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Colchagua Valley). Aromas of grass and green citrus fruits are just pungent enough. This is basic but lively in the mouth,

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with grassy flavors and citrus notes of grapefruit and lime. A chalky finish is cleansing. Prestige Wine Group. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $15

isfy; hold it too long and it will lose its fresh character. Regal Wine Imports Inc. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 12.5% Price: $10

CARMENRE

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Via Casablanca 2013 Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca Valley). Grassy aromas blend with tropical fruit notes to create a good but regular Casablanca bouquet. This feels lively and easy to take, while flavors of green herbs, grass and citrus finish a touch bitter, evidence of a cool vintage. Carolina Wine Brands USA. M.S. abv: 13.8% Price: $15 Anakena 2013 Enco Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). This is a bit vegetal on the nose, where nectarine aromas compete with greener notes of canned beans and asparagus. In the mouth, this is oily in feel, while flavors of green fruits trend toward herbaceous. A minerally finish with citrus flavors and herbal leftovers is what youd expect. Evaton, Inc. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $14 Anakena 2013 Tama Vineyard Selection Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley). This is adequately pungent on the nose, with a touch of the veggies. The palate is modest in acidity but not flat or flabbby. Flavors of green fruits mix with a hint of asparagus, while controlled capsicum and bitterness work the finish. Evaton, Inc. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $16 Arboleda 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Aconcagua Valley). Briny aromas of lime, jalapeo and minerals filter into a juicy, acidic palate with flavors that match the nose: briny citrus, lime and bell pepper. A narrow feeling finish turns pithy and bitter the longer this sits. Thinot USA. M.S. abv: 13% Price: $20 Mscara de Feugo 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Central Valley). Uncommitted aromas of citrus, generic green herbs and vanilla set up a fresh, slightly fleshy palate with lemon-lime flavors. Citrusy on the finish, this is good, functional SB to drink right away. Evaton, Inc. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $10 Palo Alto 2013 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Maule Valley). Every vintage this wine pulls the same score, so theres something to be said about consistency. This bottling is neutral on the nose, with hints of dust and melon. The palate is clean and citrusy in feel, with melon and green herb notes. An easy finish seems right given the precedings. Fetzer Vineyards. M.S. abv: 12.5% Price: $12 Tololo 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (Curic Valley). With grapefruit and orange aromas, this is on the ripe side, but the feel is fresh and flavors of citrus, white pepper, arugula and briny melon get the job done. Drink this quaffer soon and it will sat-

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William Cole 2013 Albamar Sauvignon Blanc (Casablanca Valley). Grassy, straw-like aromas offer bits of lime and orange. This is light, juicy and tangy. Flavors of lime, tart apple, grapefruit and kiwi finish with stony minerality and lasting lemon-lime notes. Global Vineyard Importers. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 12.5% Price: $11

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Concha y Toro 2010 Terrunyo Entre Cordilleras Peumo Vineyard Block 27 Carmenre (Peumo). Mossy, lightly herbal aromas of blackberry and marzipan are attractive. This is rich, loud and racy in the mouth, with vanilla, tobacco, plum and berry flavors that finish long and ride elegantly on a beam of slightly sharp acidity. Drink this fine Carmenre through 2016. Excelsior Wines. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $50 Santa Carolina 2009 Herencia Carmenre (Peumo). Keeping with past performances, Herencia is again one of Chiles best Carmenres. This is bold, toasty and ripe on the nose, with tobacco and vanilla nuances. The palate is huge but in shape, while toasty, chocolaty flavors of herbal plum and berry end chewy, stacked and deep. Drink through 2016. Carolina Wine Brands USA. Editors Choice. M.S. abv: 15% Price: $90 Viu Manent 2010 El Incidente Carmenre (Colchagua Valley). For full review see page Price: $50

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Leyda 2012 Single Vineyard Falaris Hill Vineyard Chardonnay (Leyda Valley). Peach, apple and oak aromas are true and good. This is full and ripe, but it also shows minerality and vital acidity. Melon and tropical fruit flavors blend in tighter and juicier apple and nectarine notes, while the finish is woody but honest. Drink during 2014. Winebow. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $17

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Chteau Los Boldos 2013 Cuve Tradition Chardonnay (Cachapoal Valley). Dusty apple aromas are nice for this level of wine. A round, solid mouthfeel is a plus, while flavors of melon, apple and nectarine come with light oak and vanilla offsets. A pithy, melony finish concludes this easygoing Chardonnay. Evaton, Inc. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $11

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Merino 2012 Limestone Hill Chardonnay (Limar Valley). Resiny oak, cinnamon and white-fruit aromas are solid. This is juicy and minerally in the mouth, with plenty of barrel weight for cushion. Flavors of apple, citrus and oak finish minerally but with some dilution of flavor. Drink during 2014. Vine Connections. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $30 Errazuriz 2012 Max Reserva Chardonnay (Aconcagua Valley). Hailing from a very warm vintage, this smells like buttered movie popcorn and baked apple. In the mouth, theres adequate acidity and a touch of minerality. Flavors of tropical fruits run sweet and woody, while the finish drips honey and banana flavors. Vintus LLC. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $20 Matetic 2012 Corralillo Chardonnay (San Antonio). Tropical fruit aromas come with nutty, oily grittiness. The palate is full and oaky, while core tropical flavors are barrel driven, honeyed and warm. This comes across as a warm-vintage wine, one with extra sweetness and an oily character. Quintessential Wines. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $20

San Pedro 2010 Tierras Moradas Carmenre (Maule Valley). Plum, berry, licorice and balsamic aromas are earthy and classy. This feels chunky and heavy but not ponderous. Flavors of prune, rooty spices, mint and chocolate finish with mocha and fig notes. Enjoy this ripe, full-bodied wine anytime through 2017. Shaw-Ross International Importers. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $NA Santa Rita 2008 Pehun Carmenre (Apalta). For full review see page 73. abv: 14.5% Price: $70 Chilcas 2010 Las Almas Carmenre (Maule Valley). Seductive aromas of blueberry, oregano and juniper are different than the norm. This is concentrated and inky, with intense blackfruit flavors as well as notes of juniper berry and lemony oak. A lush, fruity finish is pure and jammy but not overly complex. Drink through 2016. Old Bridge Cellars. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $50 Concha y Toro 2010 Carmn de Peumo Carmenre (Peumo). Inky on the nose, with feral notes of animal fur, this is a concentrated fruit bomb from start to finish. Given that 2010 was a cold year, its not surpising that this wine would be closed at this early state; yet with mossy flavors and minty, oak-based notes of carob and mulberry, its showing good signs. Drink through 2017. Excelsior Wines. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $200

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Siegel 2012 Single Vineyard Carmenre (Colchagua Valley). Minty plum and berry aromas are herbal but ripe, with a note of chocolate and black tea. This is lush and layered, with top-end mouthfeel and herbal, floral flavors of berry fruits and plum. A smooth, herbal tasting finish is the finale to a well-made, flavorful wine. Kysela Pre et Fils. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $22

blackberry, herbal notes, licorice and oak. TGIC Importers. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $25

Drink through 2015. Carolina Wine Brands USA. Editors Choice. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $70

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Arboleda 2011 Carmenre (Colchagua Valley). Raw-cut wood, vanilla, herbs and hard spice scents define the nose on this quality Carmenre. In the mouth, tomatoey acidity is offset by weighty berry fruit and creamy oak. Flavorwise, this is saucy, meaty, a touch stewy and herbal, just like the variety is known to be. Thinot USA. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $20

San Pedro 2011 1865 Single Vineyard Carmenre (Maule Valley). Spicy, tarry, gritty aromas of asphalt and olive drive the bouquet. This feels ripe and full bodied, with stewed plum, herb and cardamom flavors. Toast, dark-berry flavors and mint are the key notes to the finish. Shaw-Ross International Importers. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $19 Von Siebenthal 2010 Tatay de Cristbal Carmenre (Aconcagua Valley). Forgetting about the crazy price, this is a rustic wine with graphite, green herb, tobacco and marzipan aromas. The mouthfeel is hard and resiny, while flavors of blue fruits, graphite and oak finish green, candied and sweet. Overall, this is a particular wine that requires patience and digging. Vine Connections. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $200 Santa Rita 2009 Medalla Real Gran Reserva Carmenre (Colchagua Costa). Heady, oaky, pushy aromas of green-leaning red-berry fruits and coffee grinds are earthy and strong. This is concentrated in the mouth, and also pasty and resiny in feel. Flavors of lactic oak, cardamom and blackberry finish with vanilla sweetness and a lasting wave of wood. Palm Bay International. M.S. abv: 14.1% Price: $20 Ventisquero 2010 Grey [Glacier] Single Block Trinidad Vineyard Carmenre (Maipo Valley). Aromas are drawn and mildly green in nature. In the mouth, this is soft and stewy, with as much green herb and mint as berry fruit and richness. On the finish, this feels syrupy but tastes a bit like salad, with candied sweetness thrown in. San Francisco Wine Exchange. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $NA Via Tarapac 2011 Gran Reserva Carmenre (Maipo Valley). Savory, spicy aromas of saucy fruit, fennel and sausage are gamy, herbal and interesting. This is plush and big on the palate, with weight and depth. Flavors of spiced plum and berry are ripe given that 2011 was a cool year for warm-weather varieties like this. Tre Vigne Importers. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $18

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Koyle 2009 Royale Syrah (Colchagua Valley). Cassis, red licorice candy and leather are the key aromas on this full-bodied, ripe Syrah. Things run big but healthy on the tongue, while flavors of black fruits, toast, coconut and chocolate announce plenty of oak. A rich, persistent finish is just bright enough. Drink through 2015. Quintessential Wines. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $26 Ventisquero 2009 Pangea Apalta Vineyard Syrah (Colchagua Valley). From a warm vintage, this Syrah is raisiny and jammy up front but more staunch and structured as it opens. Aromas of baked fruits arrive at a big, saturated palate full of blackberry, vanilla and coconut flavors. Cherry, chocolate and graphite work the finish on this ripe, warm wine. Drink through 2016. San Francisco Wine Exchange. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $60 Montes 2011 Alpha Syrah (Colchagua Valley). Meaty, dry, lightly herbal berry aromas are reserved and not too pushy. This is choppy feeling on the palate, with pointed acids. Flavors of herbal berry, dark plum, coconut, chocolate and oak finish fresh, long, juicy and oaky. TGIC Importers. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $25

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Concha y Toro 2011 Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Ribera del Cachapoal Carmenre (Peumo). Olive, spice and black-plum aromas come with some grit and savory accents. This is well packed and voluminous; flavors of olive, plum and wild berry finish sturdy and smooth, with minty accents. For a good introduction to the positives of Carmenre, try this. Excelsior Wines. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $18

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Undurraga 2012 Sibaris Reserva Especial Carmenre (Colchagua Valley). Spicy, earthy cherry and cassis aromas are true to the variety. This is juicy, bright and substantive in feel, with red berry, oak spice and herbal flavors. A minty, chocolaty finish full of herbs and spices provides for a good ending. Testa Wines Of The World. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $17 Casa Silva 2012 Los Lingues Vineyard Carmenre (Colchagua Valley). Herb, spice, wild berry and wood aromas set up a round palate thats bigger than medium but not huge in size. Definitive Carmenre flavors of herbs, wild berry and spiced plum finish with moderate bitterness and tannic support. Vine Connections. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $20

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Santa Rita 2009 Reserva Syrah (Maipo Valley). Theres a lot of fruit to this New World Syrah. Cherry, cassis and berry aromas are fresh and forward, while in the mouth, this is full but not overly demanding or exact. Flavors of cherry and plum come with creamy oak notes of vanilla, while the finish is crisp in feel but generic in flavor. Palm Bay International. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $13 Santa Alicia 2012 Reserva Shiraz (Maipo Valley). Forceful aromas of pie crust and heavy berry fruits are clumsy but generous. Theres elastic tightness to the palate along with herbal berry flavors. The finish loses fruit while cranking up the toasty afterburners. Halby Marketing. Best Buy. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $10

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Koyle 2011 Reserva Carmenre (Colchagua Valley). Koyle Reserva shows the upside of Carmenre while not pushing too hard. Smoky aromas of roasted berry, graphite and olive are vociferous yet balanced. A layered, meaty palate is home to minty, resiny flavors of berry fruits, herbs and chocolate, while the finish is oaky, toasty and attractive. Quintessential Wines. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $17 Montes 2011 Alpha Marchigue Vineyard Carmenre (Colchagua Valley). Earthy, baked aromas of ripe berry, raisin and leather come with a tobacco note. This is nice given the cold weather that drove the 2011 vintage. Round tannins and overall balance provide bedding for spicy flavors of

SYRAH/SHIRAZ

PINOT NOIR

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Via Casablanca 2011 Neblus Syrah (Casablanca Valley). This cool-vintage Syrah is lightly herbal and complex up front, with blueberry and boysenberry aromas. Compact and tight in the mouth, this is firm and shows no leaks or weak spots. Herbal plum and berry flavors finish toasty, and the overall feel is firm, serious and in balance.

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Veramonte 2011 Ritual Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley). Cherry, strawberry and light candied aromas are good but basic. This feels full and creamy, with oak, dry spice, cinnamon and earthy red-berry flavors. Spice notes and a flat, chunky feel define the finish. Huneeus Vintners. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $20

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Leyda 2012 Lot 21 Pinot Noir (Leyda Valley). Medicinal, rubbery, oaky berry aromas are ripe by Leyda Pinot Noir standards. This is full in body and offers much-needed grip and structure. Beefy, maximum-ripe flavors of cherry and plum finish earthy, leathery and a touch salty. Winebow. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $40 Leyda 2012 Single Vineyard Las Brisas Vineyard Pinot Noir (Leyda Valley). Chunky cherry, cough drop and dusty aromas make for a ripe but alluring nose. This feels big and full, as will most 2012 Chilean Pinot Noirs; flavors of baked black fruits and raspberry are about as rich and sweet as Pinot should ever get, while a smooth, chocolaty finish is modest in terms of acidity. Winebow. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $22 Quintay 2012 Coastal Reserve Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley). Plum, cherry and strawberry aromas are light, true and minerally. This is a juicy, fresh, medium-weight wine with plum and raspberry. Nothing about this is pushy; overall, its a bright, lifted quaffer thats totally satisfying. Regal Wine Imports Inc. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $14 Undurraga 2012 Aliwen Reserva Pinot Noir (Leyda Valley-Maipo Valley). Leafy, dry, earthy aromas come in front of a bouncy, fresh palate. Plum, cherry and pomegranate flavors drive this in the direction of red fruits, while the finish is a little woody, dry and peppery. Testa Wines Of The World. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $13

a wine from a hot year, which 2012 was. Winebow. M.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $27

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Santa Luz 2011 Reserva Encinos Pinot Noir (Central Valley). Earthy, leathery aromas include rubber and olive along with plum and raspberry. This is medium bodied and good in feel, while flavors of earthy, slightly salty plum and berry finish blocky and monotone. The Country Vintner-Craft and Estate. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $13

Rusack 2012 Reserve Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley). This reserve wine was made from grapes grown in the same Bien Nacido and Sierra Madre vineyards as Rusacks regular 2012 Chardonnay, but it was produced in much smaller quantities, and its a distinctly richer wine. Aged in ample new French oak, it has a toasty, caramelized opulence that the underlying tropical fruit, apricot, pear and citrus flavors are easily able to handle. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $32

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Undurraga 2012 U Estate Grown Pinot Noir (Maipo Valley). Leafy, spicy red-berry aromas suggest asphalt. This is pleasant on the palate, with rubbery tannins. Flavors of rose water, raspberry and plum are light and floral, while the finish is easygoing. Testa Wines Of The World. Best Buy. M.S. abv: NA Price: $11

The Gardener 2012 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley). This is a fine Chardonnay thats brisk with acidity and dry, yet rich with flavors of tropical fruits, green apples, hazelnuts and toasty oak. Theres also a minerality that extends the finish beautifully. You might want to give it a year or two in the cellar. The grapes are from Marimar Torress esteemed Don Miguel Vineyard. S.H. abv: 13.7% Price: $35

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CHARDONNAY

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Alta Maria 2012 Bien Nacido Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley). This bottling shows rich kumquat, peach, pear and mango flavors, along with the brisk acidity of a well-grown Santa Maria Chardonnay. Yet it has the extra features of minerality and flintiness that make it especially memorable. S.H. abv: 13.7% Price: $38

Alta Maria 2012 Rancho Viedo Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley). This classic cool-climate California Chardonnay shows intensely concentrated kumquat, lime and peach flavors, off set by bright acidity. Theres quite a bit of oak on it, but its balanced, and adds a pleasant layer of buttered toast flavor. S.H. abv: 13.9% Price: $40

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Hunnicutt 2012 Chardonnay (Napa Valley). For full review see page 72. abv: 14.1% Price: $45 Rusack 2012 Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County). Flashy and opulent in style, this Chardonnay is full of ripe apricot, Meyer lemon, white peach and oak flavors. It would be quite a fruit bomb were it not for superb acidity and a mineral tanglike a lick of cold steel. The grapes are exclusively from the Bien Nacido and Sierra Madre vineyards, two of the best in the Santa Maria Valley. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $24

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Beach Kite 2012 Pinot Noir (Central Valley). For full review see page 77. Best Buy. abv: 13% Price: $7

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Indomita 2011 Duette Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley). Light strawberry aromas are a bit green and herbal. The mouthfeel is fresh but dilute, while flavors of oak and creamy tasting red-berry fruits finish firm but without a lot of depth. This is good for quaffing but doesnt go beyond that. Laird & Company. M.S. abv: 14% Price: $20 La Playa 2011 Block Selection Reserve Block N. 16 Pinot Noir (Limar Valley). Neutral aromas are clean but devoid of specific fruit scents. This is regular in feel, with a bit of chunky weight. Baked, earthy flavors of black fruits and cocoa lose steam on a finish that turns soft and a little sticky. Cabernet Corporation. M.S. abv: 13.5% Price: $12 Leyda 2012 Single Vineyard Cahuil Vineyard Pinot Noir (Leyda Valley). Baked, leathery aromas of animal hide and sun-drenched berries set up a ripe, slightly out of shape palate with flavors of raspberry, plum and apple skins. A sweet tasting, tutti-frutti finish is short and basic. This reads like

Fort Ross 2011 Fort Ross Vineyard Chardonnay (Fort Ross-Seaview). Made from grapes grown in a coastal, cool-climate vineyard, this Chardonnay is gracefully minerally and acidic. It has all the tart, wet-stone tang you could want, along with intense quince, golden mango and Asian pear fruitiness. This lovely wine is worth every cent of its price. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 12.8% Price: $42

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Fort Ross 2011 Fort Ross Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay (Fort Ross-Seaview). This is a big Chardonnay thats oaky and ripe with fruit. Flavors of cream, lees, toast, Mandarin oanges, apricots and stewed peaches all mingle together in a spicy, complex and dry wine. Four additional years in the cellar will allow it to integrate beautifully. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 13% Price: $60

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Sonoma Cuve 2012 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley). Put this Chardonnay in a blind tasting with Chards two or three times its price, and it will easily hold its own. Its dry, crisp and balanced, with a creamy mouthfeel framing Meyer lemon, lime, pineapple and papaya flavors. What a great price for such a sophisticated Chardonnay. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $18

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Three Sticks 2011 Durell Vineyard Origin Chardonnay (Sonoma Valley). This is possibly the richest, ripest unoaked Chardonnay ever made in California. Its so powerful with tropical fruit, lemon drop, lime, peach and honey flavors, it might just blow your mind. High acidity adds balance and gives the wine mouthwatering tartness. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $48

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Manzoni 2012 North Highlands Cuve Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands). Intensely ripe with fruit, this is Manzonis best Chardonnay yet. Previous vintages may have had greater elegance and precision, but this one shines spotlight on a rich mlange of tropical fruit flavors, along with peaches and cream. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $30

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Sonoma Cuve 2012 Chardonnay (Sonoma County). This Chardonnay takes flavors of Meyer lemon, lime, papaya and buttered toast, and carries them over the finish line with a drive of acidity, minerality and complexity. Finishing dry and crisp, its a wonderful wine with an everyday price that makes it a stunning value. Best Buy. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $13

Chardonnay, enough to give it hints of smoke and buttered toast. The palate is dominated by flavors of tropical fruits, citrus, peaches and green apples, balanced with crisp lime-juice acidity. Its an elegant, dry Chard at a good price. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $16 Three Sticks 2011 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Valley). Aged in 60% new French oak and made with a good dose of malolactic fermentation, this Chardonnay is dominated buttered toast and popcorn flavors. Its an opulent style of Chardonnay, but obscures pleasant flavors of tropical fruit, pear and apricot. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $50

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McFadden Vineyard 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Potter Valley). Aromatically reminiscent of creme brle, this delightful Mendocino-grown wine, made from organically grown grapes, is crisp, clean and bright with grapefruit flavor. Textured, and with some flesh to its bones, it should pair especially well with wintertime shellfish. V.B. abv: 13.5% Price: $16 Shannon Ridge 2012 High Elevation Collection Sauvignon Blanc (High Valley). While creamy in texture, and with rich vanilla, honey and pear flavors, this SB has a cleansing citrus mid-palate where its crisp, bright personality shines through. Well priced and well made, this is a good representative of Lake Countys new High Valley AVA. V.B. abv: 13.8% Price: $15 Alpha Omega 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). Cabernet specialist Alpha Omega is increasingly showing a knack with Sauvignon Blanc. This vintage shows crisp acidity and a dry palate with flavors of citrus, tropical fruit, grass, honey and oak. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $38 Angels Secret 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (High Valley). Theres lots of grapefruit and kiwi flavor here, as well as a touch of creme brle. High toned in style, it has a rounded body, along with a suggestion of herbs. The finish is long and satisfying. V.B. abv: 13.6% Price: $17

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Testarossa 2011 Cuve Los Gatos Chardonnay (Monterey County). Although priced considerably less than Testarossas single-vineyard bottlings, this Chard is nearly as good. Its rich with tropical fruits, vanilla custard, buttered toast and cinnamon spice flavors, all brightened by crisp acidity. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $23

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River Road 2012 Reserve Chardonnay (Russian River Valley). The 2012 reserve costs only $3 more than the regular bottling, but its a richer wine balanced with bright, citrusy acidity. The palate is dry with flavors of Bosc pears, green apples, vanilla cream and toasted marshmallows. S.H. abv: 13.7% Price: $19 Sante Arcangeli 2012 Bald Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay (Ben Lomond Mountain). This Chardonnay is almost Chablisianits bone dry, bristling with acidity, and modest in alcohol. Theres a lick of minerality to the lemon peel, apricot and buttered toast flavors that makes the wine tangy. Its ready to drink now. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $32

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Kobler 2012 Viognier (Russian River Valley). This is a very fine expression of Viognier, showing an intensity of flavors, but maintaining balance, elegance, and a dry profile. Waves of honeysuckle, oranges, limes, pears and oak are offset by minerality and acidity. Richly extracted, it will pair well with scallop, lobster and crab entres. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $32 Miraores 2012 Estate Viognier (El Dorado). While forward with stonefruit and honey, along with toasty oak and vanilla notes, this is a structured Viognier thats crisp and fresh. Drink with Thai food or buttery lobster. V.B. abv: 13.8% Price: $20 Stark 2012 Damiano Vineyard Viognier (Sierra Foothills). This wine was fermented half in stainless steel and half in neutral oak, and did not undergo malolactic fermentation. The result is a textured, rich explosion of honeysuckle, spice and lemon zest flavors that finishes with a minerally, flinty character. V.B. abv: 14.2% Price: $28 Larner 2011 Estate Grown Viognier (Santa Ynez Valley). This dry, powerful 100% Viognier dazzles with intensely ripe Meyer lemon, lime, peach, honeysuckle and oak flavors. With crisp acidity for balance, its an opulent wine for drinking now. S.H. abv: 14% Price: $28

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Alta Maria 2012 Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley). Alta Marias appellation bottling is a bit leaner than the winerys single-vineyard bottlings, but quite elegant, with flint, pink grapefruit, mango and spearmint flavors, enhanced by a touch of oak. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $28 Bianchi 2012 El Camino Vineyard Signature Selection Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County). Theres a little oak on this Chard, but you can hardly detect it. The flavors are all about ripe pineapples, oranges, peaches and apricots, accented by crisp acidity. A fine example of coastal California Chardonnay, it will marry well with grilled salmon. Editors Choice. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $16

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El Roy 2010 Nelson Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc (Dry Creek Valley). With flavors of grass, grapefruits and tropical fruits, this is a lovely wine to drink now. Its dry and savory, with a brisk hit of acidity. S.H. abv: 13.9% Price: $15 Merry Edwards 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley). High-toned gooseberry, pear, papaya and fig flavors mark this dry, but creamy Sauvignon Blanc. Its rich with fruit, yet dry on the finish with brisk acidity. S.H. abv: 13.9% Price: $32 Wellington 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma Valley). This beautiful Sauvignon Blanc is for drinking now. Its brisk in acidity, with pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, grass and vanilla flavors that are honeyed but finish dry. This tantalizing wine will nicely accompany todays Asian fusion fare. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $15 Kelly Fleming 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). Some oak barrel influence lends a creamy, smoky note to the citrus and tropical fruit flavors in this 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Its brisk with acidity and dry in style, making it a versatile wine at the dinner table. S.H. abv: 14.3% Price: $36

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MacRostie 2011 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast). The first impression this Chardonnay offers is of sweet oak with powerful notes of buttered toast and butterscotch. Underneath youll find flavors of pineapple and pear jam. Its not a subtle wine, but it is delicious. Drink now with lobster or crab. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $40

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River Road 2012 Chardonnay (Sonoma County). Theres just a touch of oak on this

One Three 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley). This is the kind of wine that tastes like no effort was spared in its production. Its impeccably made, with clean, ripe fruit, crisp acidity and a nice touch of oak. The palate is full of California-ripe Meyer lemons and peaches with a touch of New Zealand gooseberry. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $25

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Uppercut 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (North Coast). This is a light, tropical Sauvignon Blanc thats widely distributed. The palate is marked by pleasant layers of pineapple, guava and melon. On the finish a streak of lemon lingers awhile. A great wine for parties, picnics and other casual gatherings. Best Buy. V.B. abv: 13.8% Price: $12

pepper. The tannins are such that you want to age it for about six years. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $60

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Porter Family Vineyards 2010 Syrah (Napa Valley). This superb Syrah, is a great followup to the 2009 bottling. There are incredibly ripe flavors of blackberry jam, currant, chocolate and toast, along with notes of grilled bacon and black pepper. The tannins are so rich and fine, you can drink this wine now. S.H. abv: 14.3% Price: $49 Peju 2011 Syrah (Napa Valley). The Peju style is of soft, ripe voluptuousness, making this the kind of wine thats enormously attractive to drink now. This 11 Syrah is immediately appealing for its raspberry, cherry and oak flavors, but its the mouthfeel thats special. With modest alcohol, it feels smooth, silky and clean. Drink now. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $35 Joseph Phelps 2010 Syrah (Napa Valley). This is a fine Syrah from a producer with a long history of success with the Rhne variety. Its inky and dark in color with a palate thats tannic and dry, with long, deep, spicy flavors of blackberries, grilled meat, black pepper and toasty oak. It will provide good drinking with grilled meats and stews over the next two years. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $55

flavors of cranberry, plum and pepper. On the finish is a hint of smoky oak. Profits from sales of the wine go to the American River Conservancy Wakamatsu Colony Preservation and Restoration project. V.B. abv: 13.9% Price: $75

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Waterstone 2012 Pinot Gris (Napa Valley). For full review see page 76. Editors Choice. abv: 13.5% Price: $18 River Road 2012 Reserve Un-Oaked Pinot Gris (Russian River Valley). A note of petrol might make you think this was Riesling, but no, its Pinot Gris, and a fine one, with that oily note accompanying citrus, honey and white licorice flavors, leading to a dry, spicy finish. A minor criticism is that the acidity could be higher. But it will be wonderful with pan-Asian fare. S.H. abv: 13.2% Price: $16 Ferrari-Carano 2012 Pinot Grigio (Sonoma County). Theres a touch of honeyed sweetness to this Pinot Grigio, but it finishes dry and clean with acidity. The Meyer lemon, honeydew, peach and green apple flavors are sunny and rip. Its a nice wine to drink with southeast Asian and fusion fare. S.H. abv: 13.7% Price: $17 Santa Barbara Winery 2012 Thompson Vineyard Pinot Gris (Santa Barbara County). Rich and extracted, this Pinot Gris is full of flavors of tropical fruit, pear jam, vanilla, honey and buttered cinnamon toast. Its lush, if a little one dimensional, but brisk acidity gives it a bracing finish. S.H. abv: 14.7% Price: $17 Terlato 2012 Pinot Grigio (Russian River Valley). This is an easy, fruity wine with sharp acidity that balances ripe flavors of citrus, tropical fruits, peaches, honeysuckle and vanilla bean. It finishes a little off-dry. S.H. abv: 13.8% Price: $25

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Mi Sueo 2008 Syrah (Napa Valley). This 100% Syrah is drinking so lush and opulent now, its hard to see it developing any further. The fruit is from Coombsville vineyards, and the wine shows a brisk tannin-acid structure framing ripe flavors of cherries, currants, mocha and sweet new oak. Drink now2016. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $45 Ascension Cellars 2010 Mayhem Syrah (Paso Robles). Theres lots of upfront blackberry, currant and cherry fruit in this Syrah, along with savory, meaty notes of sweet bacon and charred meat. With complex tannins but fairly soft acidity, its an ambitious, delicious wine. S.H. abv: 15.7% Price: $56 Kobler 2010 Reserve Syrah (Russian River Valley). Theres lots to like in this Syrah. Although its severely tannic, it has fine blackberry jam, cola and plum flavors, brightened with brisk acidity and enriched with smoky oak. It doesnt seem like an ager, so enjoy now with beef. S.H. abv: 12.9% Price: $48 Richard Perry 2011 Syrah (Coombsville). Youll find plenty of crushed summer blackberries, black pepper and grilled meat flavors in this Syrah. Its dry in style and elegant in structure. The wine has a grip of tannins that suggests pairing with rich game. S.H. abv: 14.3% Price: $40 Sobon Estate 2011 Syrah (Amador County). This is a satisfying Syrah with profound notes of white pepper that ease smoothly from the nose to the palate. Beyond savory, earthy characteristics, there is also bright raspberry too. Priced fairly, theres no reason not to give it a try. V.B. abv: 13.8% Price: $16

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Larner 2010 Estate Grown Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley). The heat and glycerine of high alcohol are integral parts of this 100% Syrah. The wine is big, juicy, jammy and frankly delicious, offering endless waves of cassis, chocolate, blueberries, black licorice, black pepper and vanilla-scented oak that last through a long, spicy finish. Drink now2016. S.H. abv: 15.2% Price: $38 Morgan 2011 Double L Vineyard Syrah (Santa Lucia Highlands). The inky black color testifies to the intensely extracted, tannic flavors of this Syrah. Its gigantic on the palate with flavors of blackberry and blueberry jam, cassis and new oak that finish rich and fruity. Right now, its forward and brash, but give it a few years in the cellar to mellow. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $42 Signorello 2011 Estate Grown and Bottled Syrah (Napa Valley). This Syrah is exceptionally rich with flavors of cherries, blackberries, mocha and smoked meat, all touched with a hint of oak. Its tannins and acids provide excellent structure. A deliciously complex wine to drink now and over the next few years. S.H. abv: NA Price: $51 David Girard 2010 Okei-San Syrah (El Dorado). This is a European-style Syrah, cofermented with 2% Viognier. Its soft and round, medium in body, and has a savory midpalate with

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Black Cat 2010 Syrah (Napa Valley). For full review see page 69. abv: 14.5% Price: $48 Joseph Phelps 2010 Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard Syrah (Napa Valley). Phelps basic 2010 Napa Syrah is good, but this single-vineyard bottling is considerably richer. Its immense with flavors of Bing cherries, red currants, mocha and sandalwood, along with hints of bacon and black

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Westerly 2011 Cte Blonde Syrah (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara). This wine makes reference to certain vineyards in Frances cult CteRtie. The flavors are immaculate, suggesting fully ripened blackberries and currants, grilled wild mushrooms, black pepper and sweet oak. The tannins are thick and tough, but beautiful enough to warrant aging. One troubling aspect is acidity. Its very strong, and may take some time to smoothen out. S.H. abv: 14% Price: $45 Acorn 2010 Axiom Alegria Vineyards Syrah (Russian River Valley). Hugely extracted with blackberries, cherries, blueberries and chocolate, this wine immediately impresses for its sheer power. Oak and high alcohol are key components to

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this powerful wine, but pour it with barbecue, and nobody will complain. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $34 growing earthier and more complex. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $52 can drink it now if you want, but give it an hour or so in a decanter. S.H. abv: 13% Price: $42

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Morgan 2011 GI7 Syrah (Monterey). This is a new bottling for Morgan, and appeals for its reasonable price. Its blended creatively with Tempranillo and Grenache making it complex with flavors of cherry, currant, sweet tea, cola and exotic spices. Its dry in style with big, tough tannins and high acidity, but its not likely to develop in the cellar, so drink it now. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $22 Vie Winery 2010 White Hawk Vineyard Syrah (Santa Barbara County). Blackberry and blueberry jam and sweet oak flavors mark this young Syrah. Its dry, tannic and juicy, but a little soft in acidity. Drink it now and over the next few years. S.H. abv: 14.6% Price: $45

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Joseph Phelps 2011 Pastorale Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). The vineyard is located in the western part of Sonoma County, near the little town of Freestone. The cool 2011 vintage lends mouthwatering acidity to the wine, brightening flavors of red apples, pomegranates and persimmons. Right now, its juvenile and tight, with primary fruits that are unintegrated with oak. Give it at least eight years in the cellar, and it could be going strong at the age of fifteen. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $75 Dutton-Goldeld 2011 McDougall Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). This young wine needs some time in the cellar. Released at the age of two years, its mouthwatering in acidity with fresh, juicy cranberry, raspberry jam and persimmon flavors that finish spicy and long. The alcohol is refreshingly low, adding to the delicate mouthfeel. Drink 2017 and beyond. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $58

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Merry Edwards 2011 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). This isnt one of Merry Edwards single-vineyard Pinots, but who cares? Its a magnificent effort, and a classic expression of Sonoma Coast in a good vintage. The wine is dry and tannic, yet lilting in the mouth, with flavors of raspberries, cherries, pomegranates and mushrooms. Its not an ager, but an elegant, sophisticated Pinot to drink now. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $39

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Patz & Hall 2011 Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir (Carneros). The tannins and acids are pushy on this young Pinot, making it tough to appreciate now despite rich, savory raspberry, persimmon, rose and clove flavors. Give it three or four years in the cellar to let it mellow. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.2% Price: $65 The Gardener 2012 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). This is the richest and most rewarding of the winerys 2012 range of Pinot Noirs. Its classically dry and silky, with brisk acidity and delicious raspberry jam and cherry pie flavors that have the earthiness of pomegranates and persimmons. Its fine to drink now and over the next six years. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $45 Davies 2011 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley). A likeable Pinot from a stalwart Anderson Valley vineyard, this Ferrington is light in color but rich with baked strawberry and violet. With a distinct woodsy component remniscent of forest floor, its an ideal wine for wintertime meals adorned in mushrooms and herbs. Its finish is particularly sauvage. V.B. abv: 14.2% Price: $55 Foursight 2011 Charles Vineyard Clone 05 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley). For full review see page 74. abv: 14.2% Price: $49 Last Light 2012 Derbyshire Vineyard Pinot Noir (San Luis Obispo). For full review see Price: $34

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Merry Edwards 2011 Coopersmith Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). Whats so wonderful about this Pinot is the way it reconciles all sorts of opposites. Its dry but sweet in fruit, and delicate yet potent at the same time. Its totally accessible now, but enormously complex. Flavors of raspberries and cherries meld with pomegranates and persimmons, as well as mushrooms, tea and licorice. Its a joy to drink now, and should develop in the cellar for at least 10 years. S.H. abv: 14.3% Price: $60

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Merry Edwards 2011 Georgeanne Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). The grapes are from the winerys youngest vineyard, which may be why the wine, good as it is, is a little direct. Its brisk in acidity, with appealing, jammy flavors of raspberries, blueberries and ripe persimmons. Yet there are great complexities lurking beneath the surface. This surely is a bottling to watch in future vintages. S.H. abv: 14.4% Price: $57 Merry Edwards 2011 Olivet Lane Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). The flavors are deep and delicious in this Pinot with notes of cherries, currants and raspberries, along with a hint of raisins. Its tannic enough to warrant a little time in the cellar. Your window begins to open in 2016, but this isnt an extended ager. S.H. abv: 14.4% Price: $62

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Joseph Phelps 2011 Quarter Moon Vineyard Estate Grown Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). For full review see page 67. Cellar Selection. abv: 13.4% Price: $75 Sante Arcangeli 2012 Split Rail Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Cruz Mountains). For full review see page 68. Editors Choice. abv: 14.1% Price: $36

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Fort Ross 2010 Bicentennial Bottling Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). This commemorates the original Russian settlement of Fort Ross. The wine is dry, intense and delicious, showing brisk acidity and tannins that frame ripe raspberry, cherry and pomegranate flavors. Its fine to drink now, but will develop bottle complexity over the next 56 years. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $46 Fort Ross 2010 Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Released a year after their spectacular Sea Slopes bottling, this small production Pinot shows the elegance of the far Sonoma Coast, and also the ageworthiness of a fine wine. Dry and crisp, it has deep flavors of cherries, pomegranates and persimmons that are fresh and tart. It will have no trouble negotiating the next six years,

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Black Kite 2011 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands). The new oak on this Pinot Noir dominates now with aromas and flavors of buttered toast and caramel. But underneath all that is a wine rich with raspberries, cherries, red licorice and mocha, and balanced with vital acidity. Give it a few years to let everything integrate. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.9% Price: $55 Fort Ross 2011 Sea Slopes Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir (Fort Ross-Seaview). Youll find deliciously ripe raspberry and cherry flavors in this wine, making it instantly appealing. Yet its so bright with acidity, and so deeply complex with earthy, mushroomy notes, its sure to gain some traction in the cellar over the next few years. You

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Patz & Hall 2012 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Its hard to imagine any Pinot Noir being richer or riper than this one, which is made from a blend of vineyards from throughout the countys cooler areas. Its explosive with jammy raspberries, cherries, boysenberries and pomegranates, along with plenty of new French oak for buttery, toasty complexities. It will hold for a year or three. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $46 The Gardener 2012 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). This is a good value for a Sonoma

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Coast Pinot of this quality. The wine is dry, crisp and clean, with complex flavors of raspberry jam, pomegranates and heirloom tomatoes, which lend a satisfying earthiness to the fruit. New French oak is applied judiciously, and crisp acidity gives it delicious bite. S.H. abv: 14.4% Price: $35

ness with age. Pair now with a pork roast smothered in mushrooms. V.B. abv: 12.8% Price: $48

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The Gardener 2012 Pinot Noir (Carneros). With a silky texture and mouthwatering acidity, this is a polished Pinot Noir. Its dry and spicy, with raspberry jam, Dr. Pepper, red plum and sandalwood flavors that finish with an earthy touch of mushrooms. Makes for lovely drinking now, and should age well for eight years. S.H. abv: 13.7% Price: $35 Witching Stick 2011 Gianoli Vineyard Pinot Noir (Mendocino Ridge). Former longtime Edmeades winemaker Van Williamson is offering the world his take on cool-climate Mendocino Pinot Noir with this and his Cerise Vineyard bottlings. This one is light in color but weighty on the palate with rich, spicy notes of raspberry-vanilla wafers and earth. V.B. abv: 14.1% Price: $48

Artesa 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir (Carneros). This wine, which hails from the Napa side of the sprawling Carneros appellation, is somewhat heavy and full-bodied for a Pinot Noir. Yet its dry in style and the tannins are light and silky. It might improve with a year or two in the bottle. S.H. abv: NA Price: $40 Davies 2011 Londer Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley). This Londer Vineyard Pinot exudes a faint aroma of rose water. Its light in color and texture, but has a palate thats meaty with notes of earth, raspberry and cherry, along with slight herbal undertones. On the finish, ripe tannins impart a sense of strength. Enjoy with a BLT. V.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $55

Artesa 2012 Pinot Noir (Carneros). Bright and perky with acidity, along with a delicate, silky mouthfeel, this is a pretty Pinot for drinking now with steak or char-broiled salmon. It has delicious flavors of cherries and pomegranates, along with earthier notes of ripe heirloom tomatoes and sauted wild mushrooms splashed with Balsamic. S.H. abv: NA Price: $25

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Gary Farrell 2011 Stiling Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). This bottling is curiously at odds with the winerys other 2011 single-vineyard Pinots. Its less ripe, with a mushroomy earthiness alongside flavors of raspberries and pomegranates. You might call that Burgundian, but it does cut down on the wines opulence, and seems to limit ageability. S.H. abv: 14.5% Price: $50 Murphy-Goode 2012 Pinot Noir (California). For full review see page 76. Editors Choice. abv: 13.5% Price: $15

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Crossbarn by Paul Hobbs 2012 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). This is a rich, flamboyant Pinot for drinking now. The raspberry and cherry flavors express California heat and sunshine, but youll find brisk coastal acidity for balance, as well as a luxurious layer of oak. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $35

Kastania 2010 Proprietors Reserve Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Accented with lime notes, this tart, young Pinot is dry and complex. Flavors of sour-cherry candy, pomegranate and persimmon are deliciously ripe, yet marked with acidity. Astringent tannins suggest two or three years in the cellar. Cellar Selection. S.H. abv: 14.7% Price: $45 Lafond 2010 Lafond Vineyard Pommard Clone Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills). Pinots this soft and forward are unlikely to age, but that doesnt mean its not a lovely wine to drink soon. Dry and fairly tannic, it has lush flavors of raspberry and cherry pie, cola and smoky oak, with a savory earthiness. S.H. abv: 15.2% Price: $50 Three Sticks 2011 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). The fruity, jammy forwardness of this Pinot makes you think it will develop in the cellar, but its a little too soft for extended aging. So give it a good decanting, and enjoy the raspberries, cherries and opulent new oak over the next year or two. S.H. abv: 14.6% Price: $60 Truchard 2011 Pinot Noir (Carneros). This Pinot Noir is rich and elegant, but somewhat straightforward with flavors of raspberry and cherry wrapped in a pleasant coating of smoky oak. Its less ageable than Truchards 2010 vintage so decant and drink now. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $35

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River Road 2012 Stephanies Cuve Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). This Pinot is a little tough in the mouth, but the tart red cherry, cranberry, strawberry jam and sandalwood flavors are complex and enjoyable. Give it a few hours in the decanter and drink up. S.H. abv: 14.3% Price: $23

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Gary Farrell 2011 Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). This low-production Pinot shows off the elegance and balance you expect from this famous vineyard. The wine is dry and tart in acidity, with drink-me-now cranberry, pomegranate, mushroom and new oak flavors. Decant it for an hour or two. S.H. abv: 14.3% Price: $70 Les Belles Collines 2012 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley). For full review see page 76. Cellar Selection. abv: 14.3% Price: $45

Schug 2011 Estate Pinot Noir (Carneros). This Pinot is all about brisk acidity and ripe, jammy fruit. The flavors of raspberries and cherries, enriched with oak, are direct and luscious, and will drink well now with a great tuna or beef steak. S.H. abv: 13.5% Price: $45 Terra Valentine 2011 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Terra Valentines Pinot boasts fruit with long hangtime, and ripe flavors of raspberry and pomegranate. Its rather soft and oaky though so drink now. S.H. abv: 14.9% Price: $48 Testarossa 2011 Cuve Los Gatos Pinot Noir (Monterey County). Testarossa blends this wine from grapes sourced from multiple vineyards. Its pretty tasty with a palate thats dry, silky and tart with acidity, along with flavors of cherry, cranberry, mushroom and lush oak. Drink up. S.H. abv: 14.1% Price: $27

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Three Sticks 2011 The James Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills). This vineyard blend shows the riper, oakier side of a Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Rich, fruity and direct, it has luscious raspberry, strawberry and oak flavors, with a touch of sauted mushrooms and heirloom tomatoes. Drink over the next few years. S.H. abv: 14.6% Price: $60

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Witching Stick 2011 Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley). The Cerise Vineyard is aptly named, producing wines that are fragrant with cherry, sage and earth. A soft, lightly structured wine, its still tight around the edges, but shows the potential to take on waves of voluptuous-

Alta Maria 2011 Pinot Noir (Santa Maria Valley). This Pinot kicks off with a burst of mouthwatering lime acidity, before flavors of cherry, cranberry and cola settle in. The palate finishes richly with some new French oak, making it a great companion with steak. S.H. abv: 12.7% Price: $28

WASHINGTON
CHARDONNAY

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Cloudlift Cellars 2012 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). Sourced from the Bacchus vineyard, this shows terrific improvement from the previous vintage. Firm, focused, spicy fruit is framed by a mouth-cleansing minerality. A lick of toasted

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BUYINGGUIDE
hazelnuts and a hint of butterscotch add to the finish. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.6% Price: $18

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Dunham 2012 Shirley Mays Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). Excellent concentration and depth elevate this young, tight Chardonnay. Flavors of lemon custard and caramel-coated apples abound, making it downright irresistible. 30% was aged in French oak, the rest in stainless. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14% Price: $24 Tamarack Cellars 2012 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). A well-integrated mix of grapes from a broad range of vineyards across the entire Columbia valley, this outstanding value proves that good Chardonnay does not have to be strengthened by age in new oak barrels. Stone fruits, hints of tropical papaya and banana, contribute to a complex, fruit-driven, well-balanced wine with medium-term aging potential. Best Buy. P.G. abv: 13.4% Price: $15 Three Rivers 2012 Steel Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). For full review see page 75. Editors Choice. abv: 13.9% Price: $17 Woodward Canyon 2012 Chardonnay (Washington). Round and succulent, this nicely-defined Chardonnay is built around a core of apple butter with a slight suggestion of pineapple. A streak of butterscotch fills in the finish. P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $44

Bergevin Lane 2012 She-Devil Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). No information was given as far as whether this was entirely stainless fermented, but that is the clear impression. Light fruit flavors of apple, pear, and green banana combine in a crisp wine that is modest in scale, balanced and fresh. P.G. abv: 13.9% Price: $20 Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay (Washington). This is a new offering for Columbia Crests Grand Estates lineup. Fresh fruit flavors emphasize lemon, lime and pineapple, backed with moderate acidity. A nice spicy lift informs the finish. Light and lively. Best Buy. P.G. abv: 13.5% Price: $12 Vin du Lac 2012 Barrel Select Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). Pleasing toasty notes greet your first sniff, followed by apple pie fruit flavors with hints of plum and banana. Its a light, creamy, easy-drinking confection. P.G. abv: 13.3% Price: $25

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Bergevin Lane 2012 Love-Struck Viognier (Columbia Valley). The 8% splash of Roussanne in this blend, contributes to the lovely complexity of the opening aromas. Sweet citrus, honey and tea flavors combine, while keeping the palate light and focused. Complex hints of lemon meringue, vanilla cream and toasted coconut keep it lively and interesting through to the finish. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.9% Price: $20 Stottle 2012 Elerding Vineyard Viognier (Yakima Valley). This is bone dry, with a tongue-tickling minerality underscoring floral highlights. The honeyed fruit flavors focus around peaches, with good length and a clean, fresh finish with gin-like, botanical complexity. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $25

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Efest 2012 Feral Evergreen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley). For full review see page 70. Editors Choice. abv: 13.5% Price: $20

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Dusted Valley 2012 Chardonnay (Ancient Lakes). Aged in 20% new French oak with half of the wine undergoing malolactic fermentation, its direct and appealing with peach, melon and buttery spices that lead to a warm finish. S.S. abv: 13.7% Price: $29

Charles Smith 2011 Lawrence Vineyard Viognier (Columbia Valley). The most floral and lemony of Charles Smiths trio of Viogniers, this received extra time in barrel, yielding a more Burgundian mouthfeelrich and creamy. Just 10% saw new oak, which seems to be exactly right, adding a hint of toast without clobbering the floral subtleties. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $40 Tamarack Cellars 2012 Viognier (Columbia Valley). Sourced entirely from the Sagemoor vineyard, this richly endowed Viognier smothers the palate in a lush mix of fat, candied citrus and tropical fruits. Honeysuckle and orange pekoe tea flavors trickle into the lingering, lip-smacking finish. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 13.4% Price: $24 Charles Smith 2012 Stoneridge Vineyard Viognier (Columbia Valley). This brings bracing minerality into the forefront, in a terroir-driven wine with excellent penetration and depth. A fresh mix of citrus and stone, this elevates Viognier into the top echelons of Washington white wines. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $30 K Vintners 2012 Viognier (Columbia Valley). Now one of three Viogniers produced by Charles Smith, this is from Art den Hoeds Yakima Valley Vineyard, and was barrel fermented in neutral French oak. Clean and pure fruit aromas lead into fresh, natural, tree fruit flavors of peach and apricot. Theres a nice kick of citrus in the vibrant acidity. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $25

Woodward Canyon 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc (Walla Walla Valley). A rare Walla Walla Sauvignon Blanc, this is rich and round in this new vintage, fully-ripened to lush flavors of apple, pear and papaya. Great concentration and length are in play, though the ripe fruit shows none of the lovely herbaceousness generally associated with this grape. P.G. abv: 14.3% Price: $26 Apex 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley). Fermented and aged in stainless steel, this 100% varietal wine is bright and focused with notes of herbs, citrus and kiwi. Its ripe and full of juicy fruit flavors with a spine of citric acidity running throughout. Give this some time to open up. Editors Choice. S.S. abv: 13.1% Price: $18 Bergevin Lane 2012 Linen Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley). This lovely blend of Sauvignon Blanc, and 14% Roussanne, is as crisp and fresh as its name implies. Bright fruit flavors of lemon, lime, orange and pineapple speak to the success of this unusual blend. Its a bracing, palate-cleansing white wine that will be appealing all year round. Best Buy. P.G. abv: 13.5% Price: $10

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Boomtown 2012 Chardonnay (Washington). This is spicy and sharp, with excellent focus and snap. Green apple flavors dominate, aided by suggestions of pineapple and grapefruit. Its crisp and refreshing, with a good, clean finish. P.G. abv: 13.7% Price: $16

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Efest 2011 Lola Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). This 2011 Lola is light and creamy, with hints of buttered apple, from aging in 18% new French oak. It finishes soft, supple and lightly spiced. P.G. abv: 13.4% Price: $30

Apex 2012 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley). Barrel fermented in French and eastern European oak, this is lightly aromatic with notes of butter, vanilla and cardamom with a creamy feel, showing some heat on the finish. S.S. abv: 14.5% Price: $20

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K Vintners 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley). A first for K Vintners, this fruit was sourced from the Sunset and Evergreen vineyards, and supervised by winemaker, Brennon Leighton. Cool climate characteristics are shown in the form of unripe berry and juicy acid flavors. Theres a slight natural herbaceousness, as well. P.G. abv: 13% Price: $20

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Three Rivers 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley). The fruit sourcesKlipsun and Gamacheare excellently displayed in this white that includes 8% Smillon. A bracing, cool blast of citrus, white peach, melon and cucumber is buoyed with crisp minerality. The wine spent seven months in 15% new French oak. P.G. abv: 13.4% Price: $16 Snoqualmie 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley). Apple and pear fruit is set in a frame of citrus, grapefruit flesh and rind. Skin flavors are well modulated, with a hint of minerality, as well. This is wine is drinking nicelyclean and persistent. Best Buy. P.G. abv: 13.5% Price: $8

my, peppery fruit and adding barrel notes of clove, licorice and dusty earth. P.G. abv: 14.1% Price: $75

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K Vintners 2010 Cougar Hills Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). Dark and earthy, with a streak of soy and a hint of funk, this complex effort opens powerfully, then turns more subtle, with plum and chocolate highlights. Its one of those wines that never stops evolving in the glass. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $50 K Vintners 2010 Phil Lane Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). Just one barrel was made from this vineyard, which suffered losses from frost and wildlife in 2010. A shame, because the wine is terrific, delicate for Syrah, with boysenberry, raspberry, piercing acidity and refined tannins. Built to age. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 13% Price: $70 Efest 2010 Jolie Bouche Boushey Vineyard Syrah (Yakima Valley). For full review see page 72. Editors Choice. abv: 14.9% Price: $39 Efest 2010 Ceidleigh Syrah (Red Mountain). For full review see page 72. abv: 14.6% Price: $39 Bergevin Lane 2011 She-Devil Syrah (Columbia Valley). This excellent Syrah captures much of the depth and complexity of higher priced bottles. Boysenberry fruit provides a concentrated core of flavor and rings of licorice, earth, coffee, smoke and vanilla circle through the lingering finish. Tannins are a bit on the crunchy side. P.G. abv: 14.4% Price: $24 K Vintners 2010 M.C.K. Syrah (Washington). M.C.K. stands for Motor City Kitty, and along with the winerys Milbrandt Syrah, this is the entry-level offering in a vast portfolio of single vineyard bottlings. Tasty, toasty, supple and fruity, this carries slight hints of citrus, earth and stem and wraps its appealing, forward flavors in a light coating of milk chocolate. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $35 K Vintners 2010 Morrison Lane Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). The fruit is sourced from the first Syrah plantings in the Walla Walla valley. Tannic and dense, it marries plum fruit flavors to streaks of earth, herb and licorice. A hint of green olive comes into the finish, bolstered by high alcohol and sharp acidity. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $45

they are mixed with fruit from Stonetree. Its a dark, smoky wine, with highlights of licorice around deep cassis fruit flavors. The chewy tannins finish with a pleasant streak of lovely cherry fruit. Editors Choice. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $16

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2011 Syrah (Columbia Valley). A solid, well-made example of Columbia Valley Syrah, this shows mixed boysenberry and raspberry fruit flavors that are accented lightly with peppery spice. Its a modest wine in terms of volume and density, but proportionate and true to variety. P.G. abv: 14.5% Price: $35 Dusted Valley 2011 Tall Tales Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). From the Stoney Vine vineyard, this shows the effects of a cool vintage on young vines. Theres a lot of citrus and pineapple throughout, and the berry fruit flavors, characteristic of Syrah, are present in the background. There are pleasing accents of carpaccio and peat moss, and just a hint of Bourbon from the third-use, Wisconsin oak barrels. This definitely needs extensive breathing time, or further bottle age. P.G. abv: 14.7% Price: $53 Hawkins Cellars 2011 Reserve Syrah (Columbia Valley). Sourced from the Kiona vineyard on Red Mountain, and vinified in Oregon, this features a brambly, berry-strewn mid-palate with dried leaves and spices adding further interest. It rolls pleasantly across the palate into a tart, fruity finish. P.G. abv: 14% Price: $30

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Gramercy Cellars 2010 Lagniappe Syrah (Columbia Valley). For full review see page 67. Cellar Selection. abv: 14.2% Price: $55 Charles Smith 2010 Royal City Syrah (Washington). This wine headlines the Charles Smith lineup, and has established a breathtakingly complex and rich style, that varies in saturation with each vintage but remains consistent in its flavors. Clove, baking spices and maple syrup flavors trump the ripe fruits that remain more in the background. Delicious now, or cellar for a few more years. P.G. abv: 15% Price: $140

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Gramercy Cellars 2011 Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). In 2011 the alcohol drops a bit and the fruit comes forward, stepping slightly away from the strongly herbal flavors of the 2010. Its reflective of the vintage, and perhaps more immediately approachable, without sacrificing any of the complexity or structure that typifies Gramercy wines. Strongly aromatic flavors of blackberry, black cherry, cola and licorice are all in play, backed with refreshing minerality. The wine should age beautifully for a decade or more. Cellar Selection. P.G. abv: 13% Price: $50 Owen Roe 2011 Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah (Yakima Valley). For full review see page 68. Editors Choice. abv: 14.1% Price: $55 Gordon Estate 2010 Estate Grown Syrah (Columbia Valley). For full review see page 69. Editors Choice. abv: 13.9% Price: $21 Dunham 2009 Lewis Vineyard Syrah (Columbia Valley). One of a trio of Dunhams Lewis vineyard reds, this opens slowly, seeming at first a little thin, with herbal accents outshining the fruit. But it evolves nicely in the glass, filling in the plum-

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Knight Hill 2010 StoneTree Vineyard Syrah (Wahluke Slope). With 20% Petite Sirah blended in and aged in a mixture of American, French and European oak, barrel notes of vanilla and sweet spices play nicely against plump, jammy red fruit aromas and flavors, with the oak leading the way on the finish. S.S. abv: 14.4% Price: $25 Tildio 2009 Syrah (Lake Chelan). A fruit forward, appealing wine with notes of fresh cherry, cranberry and dried herbs. Its soft and textured in feel with pure flavors, an elegant styling and a tart finish. S.S. abv: 14.4% Price: $25 Two Mountain 2010 Copeland Vineyard Syrah (Yakima Valley). Fresh fruit flavors of boysenberry grab your attention here, interwoven with peppery spices. Theres a suggestion of clean earth in the well-managed tannins. Not a big Syrah, so drink soon while its fresh and youthful. P.G. abv: 13.9% Price: $25

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Lauren Ashton Cellars 2011 Reserve Syrah (Red Mountain). For full review see page 75. abv: 14.5% Price: $40 Southard 2010 Syrah (Columbia Valley). Previously this Syrah was sourced completely from Lawrence vineyard grapes, but here

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SPIRITS
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Slinte! Heres to springs perfect spirit: Irish whiskey


e know that St. Patricks Day is growing Many serious cocktail bars dont have even near when buzz about Irish whiskey starts one single bottle of Irish whiskey, laments Sean to build, but this spirit deserves yearMuldoon, general manager at New Yorks Dead round attention. Rabbit Grocery & Grog, noted for its outstanding Gentle, drinkable Irish whiskey has been collection of Irish whiskeys. Even Irish coffees building a fan base on American often are made with Bourbon. shores. Whats the appeal? Sheer But theres good news. YoungIrish whiskies are er drinkers are warming to Irish approachability, experts say. Goldlight and fresh, en Irish whiskeys are light and whiskey, driven in part by Jamefresh, often fruity and grassy, with sons steady marketing push. often fruity and little peat influence, if its even grassy... Yet, theyre Bartenders, too, are embracused at all. Yet theyre still coming the spirit for its mixability. A still complex plex enough to hold a drinkers number of classic cocktails made enough to hold a using Irish whiskey have resurinterest. And theyre often reasondrinkers interest, faced recently, such as the Tipably priced. not to mention, Youll find blends and single perary (equal parts whiskey, dry malts among the reviews below vermouth and Green Chartreuse) theyre often yeah, you read that right, single reasonably priced. and the blackthorn (a Manhatmalt isnt only for Scotch. In fact, tan-esque mix of whiskey, verBushmills, our Wine Star Spirit of mouth, Angostura bitters and a the Year for 2013, is near the top of this months splash of absinthe). At the same time, bartendreviews with several of its single-malt bottlings, ers are creating new libations that showcase Irish as well as its blended Black Bush. whiskeys light, appealing character. Although the spirit has enjoyed enviable Theres never been a better time to have a growth over the past couple of years, theres still drop of Irish in your glass. room to grow. Cheers! Kara Newman

Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix (Ireland; William Grant & Sons, New York, NY). Teasingly sweet on the palate, this easy-drinking blend has a dark gold cast and notes of honey, rich vanilla, fruit and spice. The finish is long and warmingnote the high proof. Its delicious but not too precious to mix into cocktails. abv: 55% Price: $55 Bushmills 21 Year Old Single Malt (Ireland; Diageo, Norwalk, CT). This aged spirit shows Irish whiskeys dark side. It retains the enticing fresh-fruit aroma of younger bottlings, plus a luscious layer of butterscotch. On the palate, its oaky and drying, with complex notes of toffee, dark chocolate, toasted nuts, caramel and a spicy finish. The whiskey is aged for a minimum of 19 years in former oloroso Sherry and Bourbon barrels, then transferred to Madeira casks for the final two years of maturation. Treat it like Scotch: add just a splash of water to open up the flavors. abv: 40% Price: $125 Bushmills 10 Year Old Single Malt (Ireland; Diageo, Norwalk, CT). Though its a workhorse whiskey, its still full of surprises. The sweet, bright aromas of honey, vanilla and pear and the velvety feel belie the rich, bold salted-butterscotch umami on the palate. abv: 40% Price: $40 Kilbeggan (Ireland; Beam Inc., Deereld, IL). Light and fresh, this golden beauty has a mild white-floral note in the aroma and a gentle softness on the palate. Honey, vanilla and almond wash over the palate, with a moderately spicy finish. Price: $24 abv: 40% Malloye Whiskey (Ireland; W.J. Deutsch & Sons, White Plains, NY). This light gold whiskey has fresh scents of apple and pear, followed by a light smokiness on the palate. Smoke accelerates into the finish in a pleasing way, with a prickle of ginger. abv: 40% Price: $21 Bushmills Irish Honey (Ireland; Diageo, Norwalk, CT). More of a honey-spiked whiskey rather than a liqueur, this is ideal for mixing or introducing beginners to the pleasures of Irish whiskey. Authentic honey richness comes through on the palate, but its subtle and not overly sweet, and doesnt lose the pleasures of the fresh, lightly fruity base spirit. abv: 40% Price: $24 Concannon Irish Whiskey (Ireland; The Wine Group, San Francisco, CA). This venture from Cooley Distillery and Concannon Vineyard brings a whiskey aged in ex-Bourbon casks for at least four years, then rested for at least four months in barrels that previously held Concannon Petite Sirah. The end result is light-bodied and silky, with smoky flavor and touches of vanilla and lemon zest on the finish. Some might hope for a more wine-like profile, but its pleasing nevertheless. abv: 40% Price: $25

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Bushmills Black Bush (Ireland; Diageo, Norwalk, CT). This elegant, super-soft sipper is a blend of grain whiskey and malt whiskey that was finished in oloroso Sherry casksthe emphasis on the latter. The Sherry influence shows in the baked apple and dried apricot flavors that round into caramel and butterscotch tones on the finish. abv: 40% Price: $29

fresh-apple scent. On the palate, apple and ripe pear meld with butterscotch and a touch of banana on the long finish. Meant for savoring straight up. abv: 46% Price: $249

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Bushmills 16 Year Old Single Malt (Ireland; Diageo, Norwalk, CT). This robust single-malt whiskey is matured in Sherry and Bourbon casks before finishing for several months in Port barrels. Look for a balanced mix of creamy caramel, maple, dried apricots, a subtle raspberry jam note and a rounded, spicy finish. abv: 40% Price: $75

2 Gingers Irish Whiskey (Ireland; Beam Inc., Deereld, IL). A newcomer to the marketplace, thi s velvety blended Irish whiskey offers sweet, malty flavors that incorporate baked apple, honey and warm butterscotch. Best Buy. abv: 40% Price: $20

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Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy (Ireland; Pernod Ricard, Purchase, NY). Intended as a tribute to Midleton Master Distiller Barry Crockett, this delicate, silky whiskey has a golden hue and a lovely

Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel (Ireland; Pernod Ricard, New York, NY). Like a liquid (if boozy) apple pie, this blended whiskey offers bold, rich aromatics, with lots of dried and stewed fruit flavors and butterscotch. The drawn-out finish incorporates touches of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and even a mouthwatering sprinkle of salt. abv: 40% Price: $35

102 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

CLASSIFIEDS

BEER

Brown is the new black

rown ales are nothing new to the beer to expect from any given American brown ale. world. Traditionally an English style, Some may be brewed in a more traditional style, brown ales were spawned from mild ales while others might be more of a hybrid of the as sweet, malty selections of full body and brown ale and IPA styles, even though official medium alcohol. The hop profile of these selecstyle guidelines for American-style brown ales tions is typically lowlight on aroma, flavor list low to moderate hop characteristics. Aland overall bitternessallowing the malt charthough sometimes labeled as Brown IPA, your acteristics to take center stage best bet for knowing what to and truly shine. Some producexpect is to read the beers laTraditionally an ers prefer a leaner profile, with bel for indications of style or cleansing carbonation to lift the English style, brown IBUs, or check out the producroasty characteristics, while ales were spawned ers Web site for more recipe others might drill down into the specifics. from mild ales as rich, malty, nutty goodness that In addition to these brown sweet, malty some people cant get enough of. beauties, we also reviewed a American versions are often handful of seasonal selections selections of full quite similar to their European body and medium for this issues Beer Buying counterparts, although they ofGuide. Some are winter releasalcohol. ten use American ingredients, es while others are scheduled to including hops. Like most Amerhit shelves this spring, but eiican beer styles, the hop profile ther way, theyll get you through is often amped up a degree or two (or even three the change of season with plenty of ease and or four) from traditionally styled examples, and good taste. Becuase we didnt have enough with that might also come an increase in alcoroom to share them with you here, be sure to hol, especially for producers looking to make visit buyingguide.winemag.com to check them imperial-style selections. out online. These hop additions can result in some Prost! blurred lines when it comes to knowing what Lauren Buzzeo

SOFTWARE
WINE CELLAR SOFTWARE.

Cellaring guide plus inventory management with rack display. Charts and reports show cellar contents, wines added or consumed. Decanter called it good fun. Free trial from www.uncork.biz

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Smuttynose Durty Mud Season Hoppy Brown Ale (American Brown Ale; Smuttynose Brewing Company, NH). This new brew originally comes from one of Smuttys Short Batch releases, but makes its seasonal debut this spring. Its a wonderful balance of rich, toasty brown-ale characteristics and bright, citrusy hop notes. The hop profile leads on the nose, with forward scents of grapefruit peel and pine resin, while the malty core of caramel, toffee and brownbread flavors flesh out the creamy palate. The finish is dry and astringent, with good length and a kiss of bittersweet cocoa flavor. abv: 8.4% Price: $9/12 oz 6 pack

dried hops. The spicy yeast notes of clove and pepper, as well as a touch of banana, unfold on the creamy mouth and linger through the close. Despite the rich, sweet aromas and flavors, its well balanced, clean and easy to drink. abv: 6.3% Price: $10/12 oz 6 pack

WINE TOURS
LA DOLCE VITA WINE TOURS:

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Karl Strauss Fullsuit Belgian-style Brown Ale (Belgian-style Brown Ale; Karl Strauss Brewing Company, CA). Aged on French oak chips, this leads with toasty aromas of roasted nuts, charred wood and vanilla-caramel sauce, with supporting notes of brown-bread dough, toasted malt, toffee and

Uinta Bristlecone Brown Ale (English Brown Ale; Uinta Brewing, UT). A refreshing and well-balanced selection, this is a smooth and clean brown ale that also happens to be quite sessionable thanks to its easygoing profile and low alcohol. Flirty scents of caramel malt, peanut shells, weak coffee and brown bread dance in the bouquet and continue through to the light-bodied palate. Brisk carbonation keeps the mouthfeel bright and lively, with just a notion of bitter, earthy hop that unfolds on the finish. abv: 4.3% Price: $9/12 oz 6 pack

Explore Italy, Rioja, the Douro Valley. New in 2014: Amalfi for Wine Lovers / Parma, Piedmont & the Salone del Gusto. Great price/value! www.dolcetours.com 888-746-0022

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lastdrop

A recent study (again) confirms what grandmothers have known for centuries: A drink can be good for you.

TAKE TWO SIPS AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING

Ingrid Steffensen

104 | WINE ENTHUSIAST | MARCH 2014

BERT HARDY/STRINGER/GETTY IMAGES

hen I first read the recent Harvard School of Public Health study declaring that a couple of drinks a day is not only not bad, but can actually improve your health, I imagined my non-cursing German mother muttering under breath, No scheisse. To this day when she overfills her belly with too much bratwurst and strudel, she takes a nip from an itty-bitty bottle of Underberg, an alcoholic German elixir that tastes like Fishermans Friend cough drops with a tinge of alpine meadow. Developed in 1846 using a secret herbal recipe and process mysteriously referred to by the brand as semper idem, Latin for always the same, its packaged exclusively in 2-centiliter bottles, each carefully wrapped in a twist of straw-colored paper like a grand cru Bordeaux. I myself was once given a homemade dose of high-proof pinecone-infused zirbenschnaps that cured my head cold while on a visit to Austrian ski country. For ages, alcohol was used to make water safe for drinking, and it was the top medicine in the Middle Ages literally called aqua vitae, or water of life, a term preserved by the Danish caraway-flavored liqueur, aquavit.

A Carthusian Monk testing some long-life elixir.

The French liqueur Chartreuse, still produced by Carthusian monks, traces its complex herbal sip back to a recipe for the elixir of long life. Absinthe also began as a medicinal product. Its controversial ingredient is wormwood, which was used as far back as ancient Egypt to treat anything from indigestion and fever to menstrual cramps. Patent and side show medicines made during the 19th century were usually heavily alcoholic (sometimes

with other ingredients like opium and cocaine). Plenty of spirits are still categorized as digestifs, from Italian amaros to my moms beloved Underberg. While I cant stand the taste of Underberg, preferring Rolaids to soothe my stuffed stomach, I relish the fact those white lab coats at Harvard are just now catching up to what my mother, and her mother before her, have long known.

2014 Clos Du Val, Napa, California