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Please note: We review wine, beer, and spirits. We don’t sell it. Prices may vary significantly due to shipping fees and state taxes, and some items may be hard to find.
96 • Alba 2011 Chambourcin, Warren Hills $16.99. Best Buy.
Dull dark ruby black color. Oaky aromas and flavors of roasted nuts, coffee beans, cranberry pie crust, and flower patch earth with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, engaging, medium-length finish with notes of pickled beets, cherry custard, and delicate spice with silky tannins and light oak. A delicious and mouthwatering red that will be great with a wide variety of dishes; chambourcin doesn't get much better than this. (tasted on Aug-28-2014)
96 • Shenandoah Vineyards 2012 "Special Reserve", Zinfandel, Amador County $11. Best Buy.
Ruby black color. Bright, herbal, attractive aromas of marinated olives and raspberry tart with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a warming, nuanced, long sour cherries, tangerine sorbet, spiced apple, and herbed nuts finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A fantastically flavorful and stylish zinfandel in the classic, hedonistic style. (tasted on Apr-20-2015)
94 • Wakefield/Taylors 2013 Shiraz, Clare Valley $19. Best Buy.
Blue violet opaque ruby color. Savory aromas and flavors of spiced black currants, saddle leather, and pepper with a lightly tannic, bright, dry-yet-fruity full body and a peppery, prodigious medium-long finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A rich, balanced, restrained yet spicy red from the Clare Valley. (tasted on Aug-25-2014)
94 • Wakefield/Taylors 2014 Merlot, Clare Valley $19. Best Buy.
Dark violet color. Delicate, fruity, creamy aromas of berry custard pie and toast with a supple, tangy, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, carefree buttercream, spiced plums, eucalyptus, and caramelized carrot finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and a mouthwatering merlot that is sure to please. (tasted on Mar-23-2015)
94 • Wakefield/Taylors 2014 Shiraz, Clare Valley $19. Best Buy.
Dark violet color. Bright, interesting aromas of berry tart, violets, spiced chocolate, and dried apricot with a glycerous, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-long marinated beets, blood orange custard, and spiced nuts finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A scrumptious shiraz that is sure to please. (tasted on Mar-23-2015)
93 • La Playa 2013 Estate Series, Carmenere, Colchagua Valley $8. Best Buy. Sustainable Agriculture
Garnet color. Rich aromas and flavors of vanilla peppermint toffee, cassis, eucalyptus, and chocolate peanut butter fudge with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a savory marinated root vegetable, spiced apple, and mineral finish. Fantastic complexity and balance and a steal at this price. (tasted on Jun-13-2014)
93 • Cedar Creek 2012 Syrah, American $17. Best Buy.
Garnet black color. Aromas of smoked nuts, crispy bacon, and blueberry gelato with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a tangy, tangerine, limestone, and pepper accented finish. Nice balance and varietal character. (tasted on Jun-23-2014)
93 • Calini NV Ruche di Castagnole $17.99. Best Buy.
Ruby charcoal gray color. Aromas and flavors of dried peaches, honey, and raspberry tart with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tangy citrus sorbet and nut finish. Very distinctive flavor with excellent structure and table appeal. (tasted on Jun-23-2014)
93 • Calini NV Albarossa $15.99. Best Buy.
Garnet color. Aromas of dried mulberries, tobacco, olives, and floral honey with a silky, dryish medium body and a blackberry vinaigrette, nut, and marinated artichoke heart accented finish with fine leafy tannins. A old school, savory red for rustic game dishes. (tasted on Jun-23-2014)
93 • Calini NV Rosso, Italy $7.99. Best Buy.
Pale ruby color with a bone gray mousse. Aromas of raspberry phosphate and cherry sorbet with a fruity, frizzante medium body and a zesty candied citrus and limestone accented finish. A lively, fruity sweet red sparkler; try with chocolate mouse. (tasted on Jun-23-2014)
93 • Echeverria 2012 Gran Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon, Curico Valley $13. Cellar Selection. Best Buy.
Ruby color. Aromas of vanilla custard, olives, nougat, and berry tart with a silky, body and a warming, interesting, medium-long, cedar and peppercorns finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. A zesty, refreshing cabernet with lots of Old World character. Impressive. (tasted on Aug-04-2014)
93 • Grande River Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Franc, Grand Valley $17.99. Best Buy.
Ruby color. Bright aromas of tomato and pepper jelly, cranberry sauce, pickled beets, and vanilla cream with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, medium length, honeyed nuts, earth, bubblegum spice, and flowers finish with light oak. A zesty and savory cabernet franc that will be fantastic with spicy meat dishes. (tasted on Aug-05-2014)
93 • VAV 2011 Single Vineyard, Malbec, Mendoza $19.99. Best Buy.
Dark violet black color. Lively aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and berry pie with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, charming, medium-long finish with impressions of vanilla custard and roasted beets with chewy tannins and light oak. A delicious and savory table companion. (tasted on Sep-22-2014)
93 • Wakefield/Taylors 2013 Merlot, Clare Valley $19. Best Buy.
Medium ruby color. Fruity aromas and flavors of restrained blackberries, ripe plums, and toffee with a creamy, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a smooth, very complex long finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A delightful juicy red from down under. (tasted on Aug-25-2014)
93 • Twisted Paso 2012 "Matriarch", Paso Robles $20. Best Buy.
Dark garnet black color. Complex aromas of spumoni gelato and spiced berries and nuts with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, interesting, medium-length roasted mango and cherry, pickle, and earth finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A lovely, savory red that will be a fine table companion. (tasted on Aug-25-2014)
93 • Grande River Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Franc, Grand Valley $17.99. Best Buy.
Ruby color. Interesting aromas and flavors of sweet pickle relish, cherry cider, roasted nuts, and mesquite honey with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long finish with touches of borscht, earth, and blueberry cobbler with chewy tannins and light oak. A fun, flavor packed cab franc. Impressive. (tasted on Aug-25-2014)
93 • Cardella 2011 Fattoria Cardella, Vineyard 22, Ruby Cabernet, California $20. Best Buy.
Dark ruby color. Interesting aromas of dill pickle, exotic spice, and berry pistachio torte with a satiny, vibrant, off-dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long creme brulee, peppercorn, earth, and cedar finish with silky tannins and light oak. A superbly flavorful and complex red that will be a home run for any possibility. (tasted on Aug-22-2014)
93 • Penman Springs 2010 Syrah, California $18. Cellar Selection. Best Buy.
Dark garnet color. Bold aromas and flavors of black raspberry, eucalyptus, black licorice, and morello cherry with a velvety, bright, dry medium-full body and a smooth, involved, medium-long finish with notes of dried plum, black cherry, chocolate, and vanilla with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. Massive and generous amounts of chocolate covered dark fruit flavors with licorice rich aromas, a vanilla bean and dried plum finish and all in balance with fine tannins and bright acidity. (tasted on Aug-28-2014)
93 • Frey 2013 Biodynamic, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino $20. Best Buy. Certified Organic-Demeter Certified Biodynamic
Opaque garnet violet black color. Interesting aromas and flavors of roasted peppers, toasty cedar, toffee, and cassis custard with a silky, vibrant, fruity body and a smooth, complex, medium-length finish with touches of sandalwood, rhubarb, and earth with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant and exotically flavorful cabernet. (tasted on Oct-13-2014)
93 • Frey 2013 Biodynamic, Syrah, Mendocino $20. Best Buy. Certified Organic-Demeter Certified Biodynamic|Next| |Find-a-Wine|
Dark violet black color. Aromas and flavors of blueberry cobbler, candied oranges, and honeysuckle with a satiny, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, engaging, medium-long finish conveying impressions of chocolate cream, spice, and nougat with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fun, fruity, flavor packed barbera. (tasted on Oct-06-2014)