Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New Wine Reviews Oct. 8th

WineSpectator Insider

October 7th, 2009

1998 Krug Brut Champagne: 96 Pts starting at $288.40

Gorgeous aromas of lemon, peach, toast, leather and spices. The attack is rich and forceful, backed by a racy structure that keeps it pure and drives the finish. Perhaps not as expansive on the aftertaste to match the attack, but long nonetheless, with spice and minerals lingering."

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2007 Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel: 93 Pts starting at $27.39

"Rich and powerful yet supple, ripe but still balanced. Though jammed with personality, this is focused and complex, approachable now, but better in a few years. Shows aromas of black cherry and licorice, with dense plum, cracked pepper and espresso flavors that finish with ripe tannins."

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2007 Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel: 92 Pts starting at $29.95

"Focused like a razor, with bright raspberry, cinnamon and licorice aromas and complex, zesty cherry, toasty sage and peppered beef flavors that linger toward ripe but firm tannins."

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Robert Parker - Wine of the Day

October 7th, 2009

2008 Clos de l'Oratoire : 89-91 Pts starting at $24.99

"Although yields were a low 29 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend was 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, this 2008 does not appear to be one of the top 3 or 4 Clos de l-Oratoires made since the estate was acquired by Stefan von Neipperg. That said, aromas of roasted Provencal herbs, licorice, black cherries, and black currants are enthralling. The wine possesses a deep ruby/purple color, beautiful sweetness, and excellent ripeness, but not the profound depth, intensity, or overall length of the vintage's finest wines"

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Wall Street Journal

Côte-Rôtie: The Taste of Autumn

October 7th, 2009

By Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher

2005 Domaine Jamet Cote Rotie starting at $89.99

"Very Good. Sleeker and smoother than some, with lovely, blackberry fruit and good pepper. We thought this was the wine we'd serve to the in-laws—it has stature yet is so drinkable they'd enjoy a lot of it.."

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2005 Paul Jaboulet Aine 'Les Jumelles' Cote Rotie starting at $63.29

"Delicious. Sage, tarragon, pepper and an earthy meatiness, all in a luscious package that goes down easy, with a relaxed sophistication. Gets better with air. Pull up a chair to the fire with a glass of this.

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2005 Domaine Georges Vernay 'Blonde du Seigneur'Cote Rotie starting at $46.30

"Delicious! Best of tasting and best value. Relaxed, confident and elegant. Lilacs, black pepper and roasted fruit, all distilled into a kind of soulful pleasure point. Raspberries, earth and the essence of great fruit. "It's not working hard. It just is," Dottie said."

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SF Chronicle - West Coast Riesling under $15

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by Lynne Char Bennett

2008 Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling starting at $6.99

"When this off-dry Riesling was first produced in 1972, it was labeled Johannisberg Riesling. Consistent, easy drinking and value-priced, with plenty of fruit, including green melon, cantaloupe and citrus; seamless acidity, pink grapefruit on the finish."

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2008 Fess Parker Santa Barbara County Riesling starting at $11.79

"Fess Parker's son, winemaker Eli, and head winemaker Blair Fox now oversee about 700 vineyard acres in Santa Barbara County. Tropical fruit, pineapple and lime; fresh, clean aromas and flavors; weightier body with a fruity, moderately sweet finish."

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2008 Pacific Rim Columbia Valley Sweet Riesling starting at $7.99

"Riesling specialist Pacific Rim indicates a wine's sweetness level on its back labels. This bottling - which hits the upper range of medium sweet - weighs in with about 6.5 percent residual sugar and less than 8.5 percent alcohol. Mouthfuls of sweet peach and tropical fruit are balanced with ample acidity."

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wine Reviews August 26th, 2009

WineSpectator Insider

August 26th, 2009

2006 Hundred Acre Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Kayli Morgan Vineyard: 95 Pts starting at $275.00

Shows wonderful complexity, purity of flavor, depth and concentration, with layers of mocha-laced currant, kirsch liqueur, blackberry and wild berry fruit that’s supple, graceful, harmonious and polished, ending with great depth, persistence and length. Offers hints of cedar and tobacco."

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2007 Chateau St. Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape Collection Charles Giraud: 98 Pts starting at $59.94

"Dark roasted Kenya AA coffee, braised fig, charred mesquite, mulled currant and blackberry fruit all work together in this huge and muscular but seamless and velvety offering. Graphite, brown bread, mineral and espresso notes weave through the finish, which has loads of pepper- and loam-tinged grip in reserve. Grenache and Mourvèdre."

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2006 Roumier Bonnes Mares: 95 Pts starting at $209.99

"A touch of a vegetal element to the sweet cherry and woodsy spice flavors and a sinewy texture mark this red. It seems closed down now, with the structure dominating, but there’s a smoldering intensity and energy that powers the long aftertaste. Offers both elegance and depth. Be patient."

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2006 Lucie and Auguste Lignier Clos de la Roche: 95 Pts starting at $137.17

"Compelling aromas and flavors of blackberry, black currant, iron and spice combine with a dense structure in this ripe, powerful red. There’s still some oak to be absorbed, but this ends with an aftertaste of sweet fruit and spice."

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Robert Parker - Wine of the Day

August 12th, 2009

2006 Chalk Hill Chardonnay Estate: 90 Pts starting at $24.44

" A strong success in a challenging vintage, the 2006 Chardonnay reveals notes of spicy oak interwoven with tropical fruits, citrus butter, and orange oil. Full-bodied, layered, fresh, and lively, it can be enjoyed over the next 1-2 years"

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SF Chronicle - Recommends: Chianti Classico improves with new grape blends

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 by Lynne Char Bennett

2006 Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico starting at $17.59

"Piero Antinori's Tignanello was part of the original Super-Tuscan trend in 1971. Layered aromas with cherry highlights; lively palate of tart red cherry, smooth, well-behaved tannins and long finish. Includes 10 percent Merlot and Syrah."

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2006 Fonterutoli Chianti Classico starting at $21.24

"This historic estate has been owned by the Mazzei family since 1435. Dusky raw coconut, cherry, darker fruit and toasted pecan aromas with herbal hints; plum, tart cherry acidity and gentle tannins that escalate on the finish. Includes 5 percent Merlot, 3 percent Malvasia Nera and 2 percent Colorino."

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LA Times - Wine of the Week

2008 Cantina del Taburno Falanghina starting at $10.64

"Served well-chilled, it's refreshing with notes of citrus rind and white pepper. Incidentally, Falanghina is the name of the grape. It's terrific with spaghetti alle vongole, which goes together really quickly. Enjoy it with grilled fish or shrimp too, for easy summer drinking."

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hot New Wine Reviews: July 16th, 2009

Find the hottest newly reviewed wines on WineZap!

These are some of the highly regarded wine critics we listen to each week - Check out the latest wine reviews below and use WineZap to buy these great wines yourself.

WineSpectator Insider

July 15th, 2009

2007 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape: 97 Pts starting at $102.49

"Absolutely stunning, with a deep well of crème de cassis that’s thoroughly pure and captivating, while black tea, fig cake, hoisin sauce, incense and graphite notes weave throughout. The supervelvety finish lets blackberry, boysenberry and crushed cherry fruit take an encore-as if this needed any more fruit. A fantastic display of precision in a very opulent year."

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2007 Paul Autard Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee la Cote Ronde: 95 Pts starting at $43.50

"A stunner, combining the rich currant, fig and boysenberry fruit of the vintage with the region’s characteristic charred apple wood, graphite, aged tobacco and black tea notes. The long, invigorating finish is supported by riveting acidity and well-embedded grip. When power and finesse work together, it’s a beautiful thing."

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2007 Domaine Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape Renaissance: 95 Pts> starting at $64.99

"Very plump and ripe, with black cherry, plum and blackberry fruit flavors that verge on jammy before fresh spice, star anise and floral notes add definition and length. Flaunts the showy side of the vintage. Grenache and Mourvèdre."

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2007 Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape: 94 Pts starting at $55.99

"Crackles with an urgency atypical for the vintage, with juniper, cassis bush and tobacco notes that manage to be more prominent than the well of dark plum and currant fruit in reserve. Racy and invigorating, with the fruit’s sappy intensity offset perfectly by the mouthwatering minerality."

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Robert Parker - Wine of the Day

July 15th, 2009

2007 Hirsch Gruner Veltliner Heiligenstein: 90 Pts starting at $18.94

"Hirsch’s 2007 Gruner Veltliner Heiligenstein features lentil and green bean with a slightly grassy and floral overtone. Bright and tart, yet silken in texture, cool and soothing on the palate, this well-concentrated Veltliner then finishes with tactile bite of lavender and white pepper. Deep notes of tobacco, nut oils, and wet stone well up as the wine opens, and this should make for fine and versatile drinking over the coming 5-6 years. Johannes Hirsch was already done harvesting in 2007 on October 8 (after starting September 13), not far behind the Nikolaihof. And there is another connection with that venerable estate which may or may not be vital: Hirsch has been passionately pursuing a biodynamic path. I did manage to get a smile out of him when I suggested that he consider replacing the pile of cow horns he had accumulated with much rarer and surely more efficacious antlers of elk (Hirsch). “The clusters were beautifully golden-yellow, perfect,” he relates, so there was no need to wait, which meant missing out on the mid-October rains."

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Wall Street Journal

From France, a Refreshing Steal
Muscadet, the Loire Valley white, is a treat with seafood -- and surprisingly affordable

July 10th, 2009

By Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher

Domaine de la Batardière Muscadet starting at $7.99

"Charming and easy, with plenty of fruit—in fact, John thought it was a little too fruity, but Dottie thought it tasted real and true."

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Château de la Chesnaie Chéreau-Carré Muscadet starting at $8.95

"Ripe, fresh and clean, with a very tasty roundness. Mouth-popping, with fresh, ripe citrus and tart and fleshy kiwis and lychees. Balanced and very easy to pair with food.

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SF Chronicle - Recommends: Summer whites for $15 and less

Sunday, July 12th, 2009 by Lynne Char Bennett

2008 Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc starting at $10.97

"New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a go-to summer wine, especially to pair with green vegetables. This balanced bottling - a midpoint between the grassy, pungent style and a more fruit-driven approach - holds its own with pricier wines."

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2007 Branger Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie starting at $12.99

"This Loire Valley white was produced from vines that are on average 35 years old. Muscadet - made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape - is generally a good value. Left on lees for at least six months this is almost austere with mineral, lemon and brisk acidity; a perfect wine for oysters."

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Find the hottest newly reviewed wines on WineZap!

These are some of the highly regarded wine critics we listen to each week - Check out the latest wine reviews below and use WineZap to buy these great wines yourself.

WineSpectator Insider

July 1st, 2009

2005 Silvio Grasso Barolo Ciabot Manzoni: 96 Pts starting at $72.00

"Wow. Wonderful plums and blackberries, with Indian spices. Full-bodied, with powerful, chewy tannins and a dense, rich fruit depth. Long and rich. A solid, powerful and beautiful wine."

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2006 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo: 93 Pts starting at $500.00

"Ripe and decadent, with prune, spice and blackberry aromas. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and beautiful concentration. This shows structure, power and class."

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Robert Parker - Wine of the Day

July 1st, 2009

2006 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha Vinas Viejas: 91 Pts starting at $13.88

"The old-vine cuvee, the 2006 Las Rocas Vinyas Viejas, was recently reviewed in the Value issue but is worth reprinting because the 2007 has yet to be released. Aged entirely in French and American oak, it is purple-colored with a cedary, spicy, cherry and cranberry bouquet. More structured than the “regular” bottling, it has layered fruit, savory flavors, excellent depth, and a fruit-filled finish. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. The Las Rocas label has become synonymous with value in recent years."

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SF Chronicle - Recommends: Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc

Sunday, June 28th, 2009 by Lynne Char Bennett

2007 Frei Brothers Reserve Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc starting at $12.99

"Founded in 1890 by Andrew Frei, this winery is now part of E.& J. Gallo. Perfumed nose of lemongrass, sweet citrus and melon; similar flavors with slight lemon zest on the finish. Approximately half steel and half barrel fermented and includes 7 percent Semillon."

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2008 Kunde Family Estates Magnolia Lane Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc starting at $9.95

"The Kunde family - in the wine business since 1904 - named this wine after the 100-year-old magnolia trees that border their Wildwood Vineyards. Nose of ripe pear, honeydew melon and sweet Meyer lemon plus slight herb and lemon blossom. Gentle lemony palate; long, finessed finish. Includes 6 percent Semillon and 3 Viognier."

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"2008 Teira Wines Woods Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc starting at $9.99

Daughters Thea and Keira inspired the name of this winery founded in 2002 by Daniel Donahoe and Alexis Woods, both of whom grew up around food and wine. The Woods family has grown Dry Creek Valley fruit for 35 years. Lemony citrus, slight green herb and hint of mineral; very tart acidity. Dry Creek Vineyards winemaker Bill Knuttel ferments it all in stainless steel."

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LA Times - Wine of the Week

By Ricardo DeAratanha

2006 The Ojai Vineyard Syrah starting at $23.99

"Everything you want in a Central Coast Syrah -- ripe, beautiful fruit, wonderful balance and structure, flavors of dark, juicy berries, wild herbs and a touch of smoke. Adam Tolmach's 2006 Santa Barbara County Syrah is a stunner. One of the original Rhone Rangers, he's no newcomer to Syrah and has distilled everything he knows about the grape into his wine. A true artisanal winemaker, for the past few vintages, he's been blending the Syrah with a touch of Mourvèdre and Grenache to terrific effect.

It's the perfect 'cue wine, standing up to strong flavors and bold seasonings. But you'll taste more of the wine if you keep things somewhat subdued, or serve it with simple grilled lamb chops."

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Find the hottest newly reviewed wines on WineZap!

These are some of the highly regarded wine critics we listen to each week - Check out the latest wine reviews below and use WineZap to buy these great wines yourself.

WineSpectator Insider

April 18th, 2009

2006 Ramonet Batard Montrachet: 96 Pts starting at $199.99

"Tightly packed, yet also expressive this white features hazelnut, lime, white flowers, peach, spice and mineral aromas and flavors. It’s well put together, intense and very long on the finish."

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2006 Domaine Jean Grivot Richemourg: 95 Pts starting at $400.00

"Excellent purity and depth highlight the aromas and flavors in this reserved, aristocratic red. Concentrated flavors of cherry, currant, mineral and spice play out on the dense texture, and the fine, ripe tannins and long finish reveal its potential for aging."

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2006 Bachelet Monnot Batard Montrachet: 94 Pts starting at $136.96

"Stealthy in its attack, with pineapple, grapefruit, vanilla and stone flavors unfolding to a long, vibrant conclusion. It has intensity and a firm underlying structure matched to a straight profile. Excellent length."

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2006 Louis Jadot Corton Greves: 94 Pts starting at $61.99

"Pure and expressive, offering raspberry, red currant and wild berry aromas and flavors, mingled with mineral and spice. It’s elegant and well toned, with intensity and drive. The tannins add support
and length to the berry and spice aftertaste."

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Wall Street Journal

Grenache Enters the Spotlight

Long considered just for blending, the grape is getting new life in bold wines by American vintners

April 18th, 2009

By Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher

2004 Alder Grenache starting at $19.84

"Marvelous, intense nose of strawberries and raspberries. Tight and streamlined, without much weight, and a real brightness about it. Pure and intense."

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2007 Tensley Wine Grenache starting at $29.99

"More approachable than many, with great fruit, some herbs in a round, easy-to-drink package.

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SF Chronicle - The Chronicle Recommends: Red Languedoc

Sunday, April 19th, 2009 by Lynne Char Bennett

2006 Chateau d' Aussieres Corbieres Rouge starting at $10.97

"This chateau - a collaboration between Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Domaines Listel since 1999 - is considered by some to have been one of the great Roman-era estates. Its vineyards are now planted to Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Carignane. Elegant with well-fruited aromas of red cherry-berry and subtle oak; bolder, moderately full-bodied palate and smooth tannins."

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2005 Domaine Sainte-Eugenie Corbieres Rouge starting at $10.99

"This domaine's wine region - the Fontfroide district - has an 800-year history of viticulture. This wine is made from free-run juice, which is vinified by varietal, blended, then aged for up to 15 months in small oak casks. Initial red raspberry and loam aromas open up to include red cherry and touch of leather; bright palate follows nose; soft tannins. Forty percent old-vine Carignane with 30 percent each Grenache and Syrah."

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2006 Domaine de l'Hortus Bergerie Classique de l'Hortus Pic Saint-Loup starting at $9.99

"This bottling contains fruit from a vineyard surrounded by wild herbs and pine trees and located at the foot of Hortus mountain, which inspired the name. With the estate's purchase in 1970, producer Jean Orliac began the replanting his 50 acres. Light red fruit and clean, sweet black cherry nose with a tart palate that will take on a medium-rare burger. 60 percent Syrah, 30 Grenache and 10 Mourvedre."

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Find the hottest newly reviewed wines on WineZap!

These are some of the highly regarded wine critics we listen to each week - Check out the latest wine reviews below and use WineZap to buy these great wines yourself.

Advertisement- sponsored by JJ Buckley Fine Wines

2006 Penfolds Merlot Rawsons Retreat Merlot - $3.99 (reg.price $8.99)

Alex Lallos, JJ Buckley: "Opaque ruby core, lighter rim. Fresh cherry and raspberry fruit up front complimented by subtle aromas of licorice and freshly picked plums. Some woody aromas round out the nose nicely. Soft upon entry then fleshes out into something promising. Lots of fruit throughout with low but round and integrated tannin. A note of espresso presents itself on the moderate finish. Nicely made wine!"

WineSpectator Insider

April 8th, 2009

2005 Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon: 91 Pts starting at $35.98

"Starts ripe and supple, with pure, ripe cherry, plum and blackberry fruit, then firms up, revealing chewy tannins. Full-bodied and well-balanced, with a complex finish."

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2004 Ciacci Piccolomini Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso: 92 Pts starting at $48.99

"Very fruity aromas of raspberry, plum and fresh flowers lead to a full-bodied palate, with round, soft tannins and lots of juicy, delicious fruit. Very attractive. Hard not to drink it now."

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WineSpectator Advance

A sneak preview for the May 31st Issue, 2009: Here are some highlights.

2007 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc: 96 Pts starting at $28.99

"A rocket beam of vibrancy, with effusive honeysuckle notes and ripe honeydew melon, citrus, pear and apricot
flavors that have amazing structure, depth and body. Ripe flavors end with a mouthwatering finish, where the
mineral and spice details echo on and on."

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2006 Andrew Will Sorella: 95pts starting at $60.99

"Tight, focused and distinctive, this sharp-edged Washington red shows ripe currant, spice, tobacco and coffee
flavors that sneak up on you. They start slow, but swirl through the mildly grippy tannins into the expressive finish,
making for a beautifully compact and complex wine."

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2005 Chateau Pibarnon Bandol: 95pts starting at $43.99

"An intense, focused red, with concentrated mineral, plum and dark cherry flavors flanked by tobacco box notes.
Lithe yet powerful, with an elegant, finely chiseled finish of slate and white pepper."

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2006 Carlisle Syrah: 93pts starting at $30.75

"Very rich and concentrated, this is dark, potent and full-bodied, offering layers of blackberry, wild berry, currant and hints of cassis, ending with a blast of pepper, mineral and cedary oak."

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Wall Street Journal

White Bordeaux, Well Worth Seeking Out

The crisp, lively French wine rewards those who find it with mouthwatering tastes at good values

April 4th, 2009

By Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher

2007 Chateau Graville-Lacoste starting at $12.99

"Best of tasting. Mouthwatering. Lime, mango, grapefruit and sunny acidity, with a nice, round weightiness to it and a tiny hint of honey. Long, fruity finish. Complete."

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2008 Chateau Lamothe de Haux starting at $10.99

"Good/Very Good. Boing! Young, fresh, grassy and lively -- great for summer. It's so young and aggressive at this point that Dottie said she'd decant it. John said, "Sure, dear

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