April-May 2016

Blue Reviews EXTRA! April-May 2016

By: Anthony Dias Blue
Anthony Dias Blue

90Alois Lageder 2013 Pinot Blanc, Haberle, Alto Adige ($23)
Smooth and dense with dry, herbal style; lush, fresh and balanced.

90Astrolabe Winery 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Province, Marlborough ($21)
Intense cat and grapefruit nose; grass and sweet herbs; juicy and tangy with citrus and gooseberry; long and aggressive.

90FEL 2014 Chardonnay, Anderson Valley ($28)
Smooth and juicy with clean, bright flavors of pear, citrus and toasted oak; fresh, elegant and balanced, bright and fruit-forward.

90Kendall-Jackson 2014 Chardonnay, Grand Reserve, Estate, Santa Barbara and Monterey County ($22)
Smooth, silky and juicy with bright acidity and ripe pear fruit; mellow, balanced and long.

90Kendall-Jackson 2013 Jackson Estate Chardonnay, Camelot Highlands, Santa Maria Valley ($30)
Smooth and creamy with spicy pineapple fruit and toasty oak; supple and showing vanilla creme brúlée; lush and balanced.

90La Follette 2013 Chardonnay, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($38)
Smooth and juicy with toasty oak and fleshy style; rich and creamy with elegance and spice; long and balanced.

91Lazy Creek Vineyards 2014 Gewürztraminer, Anderson Valley ($22)
Aromatic and spicy with rose petals, lychee and white plum; juicy, bright and elegant.

91Lucienne 2013 Chardonnay, Lone Oak Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands ($40)
Round and smooth with creamy texture and rich fruit; balanced, elegant and long.

90Marimar Estate 2014 Chardonnay, La Masia, Don Miguel Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($35)
Silky and fresh with juicy style and elegant fruit; smooth and balanced, long and balanced.

91Pepper Bridge Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Walla Walla Valley ($36)
Smooth, rich and spicy with round, ripe fruit; lush and dense, deep and long.

90Peter Paul Wines 2013 Chardonnay, Bacigalupi Vineyards, Russian River Valley ($40)
Smooth and lush with ripe pear and dense style; rich and classic with creamy texture and a long finish.

90Rex Hill Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley ($33)
Smooth and juicy with bright acidity and tangy style; fresh, crisp and racy with lively pear fruit,

90Rutherford Hill Winery 2014 Chardonnay, Napa Valley ($25)
Lush, smooth vanilla nose; bright, rich and juicy with fresh, tangy fruit; balanced and mellow.

92Sonoma-Loeb 2014 Chardonnay, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros ($27)
Smooth and creamy with juicy fruit; elegant and lush with silky texture, lush vanilla, lovely balance and depth; long and elegant.

92Sonoma-Loeb 2014 Chardonnay, Envoy, Carneros ($38)
Smooth, lush and elegant with creamy texture and bright pear fruit; vanilla and toasty oak, juicy and dense, long and rich.

90Spell Winery 2014 Chardonnay, Dutton Sullivan Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($39)
Smooth and creamy, lush and fresh with rich texture and elegance; pear, tropical fruit and balance.

93Three Sticks LLC 2014 Chardonnay, Origin, Durell Vineyard, Sonoma Valley ($48)
A special Durell bottling that has been fermented in concrete eggs and aged in stainless steel barrels; silky and smooth with expressive fruit and juicy style; long and elegant.

93Three Sticks LLC 2014 Chardonnay, One Sky, Sonoma Mountain ($50)
Rich, smooth and toasty with lovely vanilla, oak and sweet pear; lush, balanced and long.

90Trione Vineyards and Winery 2014 Chardonnay, River Road Ranch, Russian River Valley ($34)
Crisp and bright with lively acidity, silky texture and tangy style; elegant and juicy, long and modern.

90Ventana Vineyards 2013 Estate Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco, Monterey ($22)
Smooth pear nose; silky and bright with crisp pear, tropical fruit and fine texture; clean, fresh and bright with fruit forward and lovely balance.

92Williams Selyem 2014 Chardonnay, Unoaked, Russian River Valley ($39)
Crisp, tangy and juicy with lively citrus and racy acidity; fresh, silky and lifted.

91Williams Selyem 2014 Chardonnay, Heintz Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($58)
Smooth and tangy with racy citrus and lively acidity; clean, juicy and lifted; long and pure.

92WindRacer 2012 Chardonnay, Anderson Valley ($40)
Silky and smooth with vanilla, mellow spice and lovely balance; bright and juicy with finesse and crisp acidity.


92Astrolabe Winery 2014 Pinot Noir, Province, Marlborough ($26)
Silky and smooth with tangy juicy black cherry and racy acidity; fresh and bright with depth, spice and finesse.

92Bonterra Vineyards 2012 The McNab, Mendocino County ($55)
Smooth, juicy with black cherry and cassis; soft herbs, toasty oak and vanilla; silky texture and excellent length. Biodynamic. 74% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, 3% Petite Sirah, 1% Cabernet Franc

90Byron 2013 Pinot Noir, Monument, Santa Maria Valley ($65)
Lush, ripe and juicy with raspberry, cherry and spice; deep, dense and rounded; earthy, complex and long.

90Castello Banfi 2010 Sangiovese, Rosso di Montalcino ($25)
Rich and dense with concentrated cherry, licorice and spice; silky, smooth and bright.

92Castello Banfi 2012 Cum Laude, Tuscany IGT ($40)
Smooth, lush and rich with lovely balance and juicy style; spicy, fresh and balanced with density and finesse. Cabernet, Merlot, Sangiovese

92Castello Banfi 2010 Sangiovese, Brunello di Montalcino ($75)
Dense, lush and rich with chocolate, spice and cherry fruit; deep, earthy and balanced; long and smooth.

90Concannon 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles ($20)
Smooth, dense and juicy with lush texture and ripe plum and cherry fruit; complex with notes of vanilla, spice and mocha. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Petite Verdot, 6.5% Petite Sirah

92Diora 2014 Pinot Noir, La Petite Grace, Monterey ($30)
Dark ruby color; rich black cherry nose; smooth and lush with sweet cherry fruit and hints of spice; juicy and rich.

91Diora 2013 Three Crowns, Monterey ($30)
Smooth and juicy with silky texture and ripe blackberry fruit; lush chocolate and toasty oak; long and rich. 84% Syrah, 8% Grenache, 4% Viognier, 4% Petit Verdot

92Duckhorn 2013 Goldeneye Pinot Noir, Gowen Creek Vineyard, Anderson Valley ($82)
Silky and smooth with crisp flavors of cherry, spice and bright acidity; deep and elegant, long and polished.

93Duckhorn 2013 Goldeneye Pinot Noir, Ten Degrees, Anderson Valley ($120)
Silky and ripe with lush, smooth texture and spice; rich with notes of brown sugar and earth; complex, elegant and long.

91Graffigna 2013 Malbec, Grand Reserve, Pedernal Valley, San Juan ($20)
Deep, dark ruby color; spicy nose; toasty and complex with elegance, ripe raspberry and vanilla; lovely structure and fine balance; made from fruit growing at 4500 feet and higher.

90Jacob's Creek 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Double Barreled, Coonawarra ($20)
Smooth and lush, elegant and smooth with toast and soft texture; aged in Irish whisky casks; subtle, smooth and complex; fleshy, dense and balanced.

Jacob's Creek 2013 Shiraz, Double Barreled, Barossa ($20)
Lush and meaty with spicy blackberry and ripe red fruits; smooth and balanced, aged in Scotch whiskey barrels; fresh and juicy, bright and deep; ripe and fresh.

93Jamieson Ranch 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Double Lariat, Jamieson Ranch, Napa Valley ($55)
Deep ruby color; smooth, lush and ripe with sweet oak and juicy plum and blackberry; rich and balanced.

92Jordan 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($55)
Smooth and lush with blackberry, cassis and soft herbs; complex and supple, long and juicy.

90Kendall-Jackson 2013 Grand Reserve Estate Merlot, Sonoma County ($26)
Smooth and luscious with black plum, cassis and notes of chocolate; rich, deep and dense with sweet oak and toast; long and balanced.

91Kendall-Jackson 2013 Grand Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County ($30)
Dark and smooth with ripe plum, cassis and black cherry; supple and showing mocha and spice; lush texture and good length.

93Kendall-Jackson 2013 Estate Pinot Noir, Outland Ridge, Anderson Valley ($35)
Lush and spicy nose; smooth, lush and showing smoke, raspberry and savory notes; a bright, juicy and stunning Burgundian wine.

92Kendall-Jackson 2012 Jackson Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Hawkeye Mountain, Alexander Mountain ($55)
Dark and smooth with black cherry and cassis; rich, chewy and seamless with vanilla, depth, softness and balance.

93La Follette 2013 Pinot Noir, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($42)
Pale and balanced; elegant and smooth with sweet oak and brown sugar; elegant, refined and very Burgundian; long, complex and subtle with great finesse.

90Lazy Creek Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, Middleridge Ranch, Anderson Valley ($48)
Bright and smooth with ripe cherry and clean, juicy style; fresh, tangy and long with balance and notes of earth and spice.

92Lazy Creek Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, 5 Barrel, Anderson Valley ($68)
Smooth, ripe and lush with bright cherry and rich texture; juicy, dense and tangy; long and balanced.

90Lucienne 2013 Pinot Noir, Hook Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands ($50)
Smooth and lush, dense and round with ripe berry fruit and spice; clean, balanced and long.

90Hahn SLH 2014 Pinot Noir, SLH, Santa Lucia Highlands ($30)
Smooth and juicy with bright cherry and racy acidity; dense, spicy and long.

90MacPhail 2013 Pinot Noir, Pratt Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($49)
Smooth, ripe cherry mounted on juicy acidity; smooth, rich and dense; spicy and long.

91MacPhail 2013 Pinot Noir, Wildcat Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($49)
Smooth, juicy and lush with spice, structure and a long, rich finish; deep, spicy and long.

90MacPhail 2013 Pinot Noir, Toulouse Vineyard, Anderson Valley ($49)
Silky and bright with notes of earth, raspberry and spice; lush, balanced and long.

92MacPhail 2013 Pinot Noir, Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley ($49)
Bright and juicy with lush texture and lovely balance; ripe cherry, spice and long flavors.

91MacPhail 2013 Pinot Noir, Sundawg Ridge Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($49)
Smooth, toasty and fresh; juicy with ripe cherry, spice and notes of earth; long and balanced.

93MacPhail 2013 Pinot Noir, The Flyer, Susanna's Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($59)
Smooth, lush and ripe with rich texture and a long, creamy style; spicy, fresh, balanced and elegant.

90Marimar Estate 2013 Pinot Noir, Chico's Run, Dona Margarita Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($48)
Deep color; smooth and spicy with notes of earth and flowers; silky and smooth; crisp and long.

91Nicora 2013 Central Coast ($50)
Smooth, dense and earthy with concentration and spice; rich, deep and balanced. 53% Grenache, 28% Syrah, 19% Mourvèdre.

90Nicora 2013 Buxom, Paso Robles ($50)
Dark, lush and, yes, buxom; rich, concentrated and tannic with intensity and depth. 96% Syrah, 4% Grenache.

90Nicora 2013 Euphoric, La Vista Vineyard, Paso Robles ($55)
Smooth and mellow with spice, depth and balance; rich, dense and juicy with concentrated flavors of black fruit and earth. 92% Syrah, 8% Grenache.

91Pepper Bridge Winery 2013 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley ($50)
Smooth and lush with ripe plum, blackberry and cassis; rich, deep and balanced; long and polished. Sustainable.

90Pepper Bridge Winery 2013, Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley ($50)
Smooth and spicy with rich plum, soft herbs and a mellow, seamless style; long and dense. Sustainable. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot.

90Peter Paul Wines 2013 Pinot Noir, Gravenstein Highway, Russian River Valley ($34)
Soft spicy nose; juicy raspberry and cherry fruit; smooth and ripe with lush texture and lovely balance.

91Peter Paul Wines 2013 Pinot Noir, Hawks Roost Vineyards, Russian River Valley ($45)
Silky and smooth with ripe raspberry and cherry fruit; elegant, juicy and lush with balance and finesse; long and tangy, fresh and lifted.

91Quivira Vineyards 2013 Grenache, Wine Creek Ranch Estate Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley ($32)
Smooth and fresh with tangy acidity and bright raspberry fruit; spicy, bright and lifted. Biodynamic.

90Quivira Vineyards 2013 Elusive, Dry Creek Valley ($36)
Juicy and spicy with dense flavors of spice and blackberries; smooth and rich, long and balanced. Biodynamic. 49% Syrah, 27% Mourvedre, 18% Grenache, 6% Counoise

91Rutherford Hill Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($50)
Dark and lush with ripe plum and blackberry fruit; intense, balanced and rich with depth, style and finesse; juicy and balanced with ripe flavors and no herbaceousness; deep and long.

88Sagelands Vineyard 2014 Merlot, Columbia Valley ($11)
Smooth, fresh and juicy with cherry, spice and good balance; long and bright.

90Sanctuary 2013 Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley ($40)
Smooth and juicy with bright raspberry fruit and juicy acidity; fresh, clean and balanced.

92Sanctuary 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford ($40)
Smooth and lush with plum, spice and ripe berries; juicy, fresh and integrated; long and rich.

93Sanford Winery 2013 Pinot Noir, La Rinconada Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills ($63)
Smooth and ripe with rich cherry, spice and juicy acidity; elegant and Burgundian with savory, bright style; long and balanced, tangy flavors and racy.

93Sanford Winery 2013 Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills ($63)
Lush and dense with ripe cherry and smooth texture; deep, juicy and balanced; complex and long.

90Santa Margherita 2011 Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva, Italy ($26)
Lush and juicy with deep flavors of plum, violets and spice; clean, dense and rich,

90Sonoma-Loeb 2014 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($27)
Deep ruby color; bright and crisp with black cherry, spice and earthy notes; smooth, balanced and long.

92Sonoma-Loeb 2014 Pinot Noir, Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley ($40)
Deep ruby color; silky, crisp and racy with bright cherry fruit and tangy acidity; fresh and linear with tangy style and a bright finish.

90Spell Winery 2013 Pinot Noir, Umino Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($48)
Lush and ripe with dense, rich and deep flavors of cherry, earth and spice; savory and long.

92Spell Winery 2013 Pinot Noir, Weir Vineyard, Yorkville Highlands ($48)
Smooth and juicy with tangy cherry and bright acidity; silky, crisp and snappy with lively structure and a long, clean finish.

90Spell Winery 2013 Pinot Noir, Alder Springs Vineyard, Mendocino County ($48)
Silky and bright with wild cherry and earth; smooth, spicy and balanced.

91Spell Winery 2013 Pinot Noir, Terra de Promissio Vineyard, Sonoma County ($58)
Lush and complex with spice, cherry and earth notes; complex and bright with depth and balance.

92Tongue Dancer Wines 2013 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($45)
Lush and smooth with ripe cherry and spice; savory, rich and balanced; long, silky and elegant.

91Ventana Vineyards 2014 Rubystone, Monterey ($28)
Juicy and generous with ripe, bright berry fruit; fresh, tangy and bursting with red fruit, spice and tangy acidity; long and bright. 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah

88Ventana Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, Estate, Arroyo Seco, Monterey ($32)
Soft berry nose; smooth, juicy and savory with balance and toast; long, balanced and notes of earth, rhubarb and spice.

88Vinum Cellars 2014 Pinot Noir, Monterey ($16)
Smooth cherry and spice; earthy and savory; a pretty nice effort at this price.

90Vinum Cellars 2013 The Insider Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles ($21)
Ripe, jammy and smooth with dense blackberry and spice; try to get past the astonishingly ugly label; balanced and rich, long and deep.

91Vistalba 2014 Corte B, Finca Vistalba, Mendoza, Argentina ($30)
Smooth and lush with seamless flavors of blackberry, plum and spice; toasty, vanilla and spice. 80% Malbec, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Bonarda.

92Westwood Estate Wines 2014 Estate Syrah, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Sonoma County ($40)
Dark and smooth with spice and lovely blackberry; balanced, deep and long.

92Westwood Estate Wines 2014 Pinot Noir, Estate, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Sonoma County ($44)
Bright and silky with notes of vanilla, oak, spice and black cherry; smooth, lush and dense with lovely texture and long flavors.

92Westwood Estate Wines 2014 Estate Grenache, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Sonoma County ($46)
Smooth, lush and juicy with bright raspberry and racy spice; fresh, clean and tangy; balanced and long.

94Westwood Estate Wines 2014 Estate Mourvèdre, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Sonoma County ($48)
Lush, deep and spicy with rich blackberry and plum; sweet, dense and complex; perhaps one of the finest examples of this under-appreciated varietal.

91Westwood Estate Wines 2014 Pinot Noir, Pommard Clone, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Sonoma County ($54)
Smooth, dusty and ripe with bright cherry fruit and tangy flavors; mellow. balanced and lush with spice and style.

93Westwood Estate Wines 2014 Legend, Annadel Gap Vineyard, Sonoma County ($64)
Bright and tangy with juicy style; crisp and showing raspberry and blackberry fruit with racy acidity and fresh fruit; 45% Tannat, 44% Syrah, 11% Counoise.

91Z. Alexander Brown 2013 Uncaged Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast ($20)
Soft herbal nose; smooth and lush with vanilla and toasty oak; ripe and balanced with plum and racy acidity; juicy and long.

91Z. Alexander Brown 2013 Uncaged North Coast ($20)
Lush and smooth with spice, blueberry and plum; deep, rich and balanced with lovely flavor, depth and length.


90Stoller Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé, Dundee Hills ($25)
Bright pink; racy and crisp with dry, clean juicy flavors of raspberry and tangy acidity; sleek and lively.

90Tablas Creek 2015 Patelin de Tablas, Paso Robles ($25)
Silky and smooth with juicy raspberry and tangy flavors; dry, fresh and balanced with bright Grenache berry fruit. 68% Grenache, 13% Counoise, 11% Mourvedre, 8% Syrah.

91Tablas Creek 2015 Dianthus, Paso Robles ($30)
Deep rosé color; smooth, lush and showing watermelon, raspberry and strawberry fruit; dry, juicy and dense; balanced and long. 49% Mourvedre, 37% Grenache, 14% Counoise.

93Armand de Brignac Brut Champagne Gold ($300)
Smooth and elegant with lovely balance; complex and fresh with round, rich flavors and great finesse; long and refined. 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier.

92Armand de Brignac Demi-Sec Champagne ($360)
Clear, smooth and rich; intense, sweet, smooth and crisp with juicy, fresh style; juicy, floral and long; only Demi-Sec prestige cuvée. 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier.

94Armand de Brignac NV Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($675)
Smooth, floral nose; rich, elegant and smooth with freshness, depth and length; lovely and showing great finesse and style, 100% Chardonnay.

90Castello Banfi NV Brachetto Rosa Regale, Piedmont, Italy ($18)
Bright rosé color; sparkling and fresh smooth, sweet and juicy with tangy acidity and a basket of fruit - peach, raspberry and rose petals.

90Ferrari 2008 Perlé, Trento DOC, Italy ($24)
Smooth and juicy with bright, tangy fruit and smooth texture; long and balanced.

90Taylor Fladgate 2011 Late Bottles Vintage Porto, Oporto ($25)
Dark ruby color; lush, spicy nose of blackberry jam; smooth, lush and mellow with rich, sweet flavors of dense chocolate and spice; long and deep; a remarkable value.

THE TASTING PANEL, 6345 Balboa Blvd, Ste. 111, Encino, CA 91316
Content ©2016 THE TASTING PANEL magazine. All rights reserved