February 2012 Newsletter

Blue Reviews EXTRA! February 2012

By: Anthony Dias Blue

I taste more than 6,000 wines per year. While only a small number of these can be reviewed in the print edition of THE TASTING PANEL, look for these Blue Reviews EXTRA! wines each month here on our website. Producers and importers may use the scores and tasting notes in their sales materials, or link to this page from their websites. —Anthony Dias Blue

 

DOMESTIC

90 Voss Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($17)
Juicy, fresh and nervy with notes of grass, spice and citrus; lively, bright and elegant with excellent balance and a long, lingering finish.
NEGOCIANTS USA

90 Tudal Winery 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($18)
Lush and fresh with smooth texture and tangy citrus fruit; clean, nervy and bright with juicy flavors and good depth.

89 Lincourt Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay, Unoaked, Sta. Rita Hills ($18)
Bright, fresh and showing juicy citrus and white flowers; brisk, minerally and balanced with charm and good structure.
FOLEY  FAMILY WINES

89 Chalk Hill 2009 Pinot Gris, North Slope, Russian River Valley ($25)
Floral and dense with hints of vanilla oak, peach and tropical notes; lush and rich.
FOLEY FAMILY WINES

90 Calera 2010 Chardonnay, Mt. Harlan ($30)
Smooth and minerally with ripe fruit, creamy texture and fresh tropical fruit; long and balanced, attractive and long.

90 Testarossa Winery 2010 Chardonnay, Dos Rubios Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands ($39)
Ripe and juicy with lovely rich flavors of pear and vanilla; minerals, oak and deep, lush style; long and balanced.

90 Zina Hyde Cunningham 2010 Chardonnay, Reserve, North Coast ($40)
Smooth and silky with ripe, clean, juicy fruit; creamy, lush and dense; long and balanced.

91 Grgich Hills 2009 Chardonnay, Napa Valley ($42)
Fresh and juicy with lively acidity and tangy fruit; complex, balanced and nicely made. Biodynamic.

90 Patz & Hall 2009 Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Carneros ($55)
Tangy and fresh with edgy, fresh and lively citrus and white flowers; crisp and clean, balanced and long.

90 Hannah Nicole Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill ($25)
Edgy and juicy with lively plum and cassis fruit; excellent, firm acid structure and a long, clean finish.

 
91 Wente Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Charles Wetmore, Livermore Valley ($25)
Smooth and lush with lovely depth of plum and cassis fruit; long, lush and seamless with lovely nuances of chocolate and oak; well-made and  an excellent value.

90 Gainey Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills ($30)
Smooth and juicy with ripe cherry, earth and spice; rich, balanced and charming.
WILSON DANIELS

90 Dashe Cellars 2009 Zinfandel, Florence Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley ($32)
Lush and smooth with blackberry, cherry and spice plus some interesting floral notes; rich, dense and juicy; long and balanced with lots of charm. 

 
92 Tudal Winery 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Clift Vineyard, Oak Knoll - Napa Valley ($40)
Smooth and lush with ripe plum plus some charming earth and spice;  seamless and elegant with notes of green herbs and spice. Great for cellaring.

90 Russian Hill 2008 Pinot Noir, Leras Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($46)
Dense and bright with lively cherry fruit; fresh and juicy, balanced and supple; long and charming.

91 Bella Vineyards 2008 Zinfandel, Barrel 32, Sonoma County ($48)
Smooth and velvety with ripe, juicy plum, black raspberry and spice; supple, spicy and long with depth, style and seamless flavors.

92 Ledson Winery & Vineyards 2007 Old Vine Reserve Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley ($60)
Rich and dark with blackberry, blueberry and spice; concentrated and powerful with good acid structure and notes of cinnamon; ripe and balanced with depth and style.

 
94 Merry Edwards 2009 Pinot Noir, Coopersmith Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($60)
Dark and juicy with lively black cherry and spice; racy, dense and quite Burgundian in style; rich, fresh and complex with lots of style and charm.

91 Dobbes Family Estate 2009 Pinot Noir, Quailhurst Vineyard, Chehalem Mountains ($65)
Elegant and tangy with lively cherry fruit and spice; supple, complex and spicy with good structure and juicy style; silky, long and aromatic.



IMPORTS

90 Cantina Valle Isarco 2009 Lagrein, Suditrol Alto Adige, Italy ($19)
Smooth and lush with ripe plum and raspberry; dense, juicy and long with lovely balance and depth.
VINITY WINE COMPANY

 
91 Tinto Negro 2010 Malbec, Co-Ferment, Mendoza, Argentina ($20)
Fresh and bright with tangy plum, blackberry and spice; juicy, supple and tangy; long, lively and complete.
VINEYARD BRANDS

92 Craggy Range 2009 Merlot, Gimblett Gravels, Te Kahu, Hawkes Bay ($21)
Silky and bright with tangy plum and berry fruit; smooth, lush and showing great structure and complexity; spice, depth and lovely balance; long and graceful.
KOBRAND CORP.

90 Bucci 2009 Pongelli, Rosso Piceno S. Fortunato ($25)
Smooth and clean with ripe, dense and fleshy plum and berry fruit; lush, generous and intense with depth and style; long and balanced.
EMPSON USA

90 Silver Wings 2006 Vincenzo Old Vines, Central Victoria, Australia ($28)
Velvety and lush with tangy acidity and dense, dark plum and blackberry; juicy, racy and rich; long and balanced; 60% Mourvèdre, 40% Shiraz.
MARQUEE SELECTIONS

 
90 Terrabianca 2007 Campaccio, Toscana, Italy ($28)
Silky smooth and tangy with lively plum, spice and juicy acidity; racy, crisp and nervy with clean, long flavors and good balance.
EMPSON USA

92 Maison Nicolas Perrin 2009 Saint-Joseph, France ($33)
Smooth, fresh and juicy with tangy acidity, bright black raspberry, wild cherry and pepper; deep and charming with style and finesse; a lovely wine from the Northern Rhône's sleeper appellation.
VINEYARD BRANDS

92 Baron de Ley 2007, Finca Monasterio, Rioja, Spain ($45)
Ripe and juicy, modern, rich and showing lovely blackberry, spice and balance; intense, supple and very appealing.
FREDERICK WILDMAN

91 Wakefield Estate 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Andrews, Clare Valley, Australia ($50)
Bright and edgy with tangy acidity and lively plum and black raspberry fruit; nervy, fresh and intense without being heavy; balanced, racy and long. 
AMERICAN WINE DISTRIBUTORS

 
90 El Coto de Rioja 2004 Coto Real Rioja Reserva, Spain ($55)
Lush and dense with lovely plum, spice and notes of leather; rich, ripe and intense with long, deep flavors.
FREDERICK WILDMAN & SONS



VALUE AND BY-THE-GLASS RECOMMENDATIONS

89 Jermann 2010 Chardonnay, Venezia Giulia, Italy ($19)
Peachy, fresh and tangy with bright, pretty fruit flavors; racy, lively and long.
EMPSON USA
                   

90 Villa Russiz 2009 Sauvignon, Collio, Italy ($19)
Smooth, dense and fresh with tangy acidity, citrus and spice; elegant, lush and ripe, crisp and balanced; long and stylish.
EMPSON USA

 
90 Villa Matilde 2010 Fiano di Avellino Tenute di Altavilla, Italy ($20)
Lush and creamy with citrus, stone fruits and some tropical notes; dense and minerally with style, complexity and balance; long and rich.
EMPSON USA

90 Villa Matilde 2010 Tenute di Altavilla Greco di Tufo, Campania, Italy ($22)
Lush and dense with peach and almonds; minerally, tangy and mellow with restrained elegance and style; long and lovely.
EMPSON USA

91 Craggy Range Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Te Muna Road, Martinborough, New Zealand ($21)
Smooth and juicy with tangy citrus and lively acidity; fresh, clean and balanced with style and a long, lively finish.
KOBRAND CORP.

92 Cloudy Bay 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand ($25)
Silky and juicy with citrus, peach and gooseberry fruit; tangy, fresh and elegant with spice, purity and exquisite depth; still a paragon.
MOËT HENNESSEY USA

92 Loosen Bros 2010 Riesling Kabinett, Erdener Treppchen, Mosel, Germany ($26)
Spritzy, crisp and showing deep concentrated peach and citrus; elegant, minerally and long; lovely.
LOOSEN BROS. USA

 
90 Robert Weil 2010 Tradition Riesling,  Rheingau, Germany ($30)
Spritzy and crisp with pretty, off-dry peach fruit; fresh, juicy and charming; long and nervy.
LOOSEN BROS. USA

91 Loosen Bros 2010 Riesling, Spätlese, Ürziger Würzgarten, Mosel, Germany ($32)
Sweet, lush and silky smooth with spice, peach and citrus; rich, dense and bracing with depth and elegance.
LOOSEN BROS. USA

90 Robert Weil 2010 Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau, Germany ($38)
Crisp and juicy with minerals, peach and racy acidity; lively and elegant, long and pure.
LOOSEN BROS. USA

92 Jermann 2008 Vintage Tunina, Venezia Giulia, Italy ($60)
Creamy and lush with rich, mature fruit and a nice background of juicy acidity; layered, complex and peachy with beautifully crafted elegance and style; long, balanced and delicious.
EMPSON USA

88 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi 2010 Merlot, California ($8)
Smooth, bright and spicy with juicy plum and clean flavors; fresh, balanced and appealing.
CONSTELLATION WINES U.S.

 
88 Redwood Creek 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($8)
Dark and ripe with rich plum and blackberry fruit; juicy, fresh and showing notes of vanilla and mocha; balanced and attractive.
E&J GALLO

87 Toscolo 2010 Chianti, Italy ($10)
Smooth, juicy and bright with tangy, feminine expression of red plum and raspberry; charming and a good value.
EMPSON USA

88 Badia a Coltibuono 2010 Cetamura Chianti, Italy ($10)
Clean, crisp and tangy with juicy, red fruit and lively acidity; a terrific value.
DALLA TERRA

88 Castello di Gabbiano 2010 Il Cavaliere Chianti, Italy ($10)
Bright, spicy and fresh with tangy plum, raspberry and juicy acidity; bright, lively and charming.
TREASURY WINE ESTATES

88 Cline Cellars 2009 Syrah, Sonoma County ($12)
Fresh, spicy and tangy with lovely cherry and black raspberry fruit; spicy and crisp with length and style.

 
88 Liberty School 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles ($13)
Smooth and clean with light plum and spice; mellow and balanced with supple texture and balance.
HOPE FAMILY WINES

88 Alois Lageder 2008 Lagrein, Alto Adige, Italy ($14)
Smooth, bright and spicy with dry, juicy plum and berry fruit; clean, fresh and balanced.
DALLA TERRA

88 Concannon 2008 Conservancy Merlot, Livermore Valley ($15)
Silky, smooth and bright with lively plum and berry fruit; clean, fresh and juicy.
THE WINE GROUP

89 Columbia Crest 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, H3, Horse Heaven Hills ($15)
Lush, dense and showing deep blackberry and raspberry fruit; lovely sweet oak and notes of cocoa; smooth, rich and balanced with a long finish.
STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES

 
88 Loredona 2010 Riesling, Monterey ($10)
Smooth and silky with sweet, ripe flavors of white peach and ripe melon; clean, mellow and balanced.
DFE WINES

88 Bogle Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay, California ($10)
Rich, ripe and juicy with sweet oak and tangy acidity; bright, lively and dense; a terrific value.

88 Frenzy 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand ($10)
Juicy citrus, stony and minerally; nervy, crisp and tangy with delicate flavors; balanced and bright.
WILSON DANIELS LTD.

89 Pieropan 2010 Soave ($10)
Bright and fresh with crisp apple fruit and lovely silky texture; tangy and juicy with balance, depth and good length.
EMPSON USA

90 William Cole 2011 Albamar Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile ($11)
Smooth and juicy citrus with tangy citrus with round, bright fruit flavors; clean, pure and delicious.
GLOBAL VINEYARD IMPORTERS

88 El Coto de Rioja 2010 Rioja Blanco, Spain ($12)
Fresh and bright with tangy apple fruit and nice aromatics; dense, balanced and lovely.
FREDERICK WILDMAN & SONS

89 Peñalolen 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley ($12)
Fresh, clean and juicy with spice, citrus and minerals; tangy, nervy and long.
GLOBAL VINEYARD IMPORTERS

89 Noble Vines 2010 Chardonnay, 446, San Bernabe Vineyard, Monterey ($13)
Bright and juicy with racy, persistent acidity and smooth, ripe fruit; fresh, tangy and balanced; long and lively.

88 Rock Hollow Vineyards 2010 Vintner's Selection Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County ($13)
Smooth and juicy with notes of tropical fruits, bright acidity and citrus; mellow, balanced and tangy.

88 Toscolo 2010 Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Italy ($14)
Smooth, minerally and showing pears and floral notes with citrus and almonds; juicy, fresh and long.
EMPSON USA

88 Adler Fels 2010 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley ($14)
Smooth, mellow and toasty with ripe fruit and minerals; lush with vanilla and good balance; long and complex.

 
88 Lander Jenkins 2010 Spirit Hawk Chardonnay, California ($15)
Ripe, creamy and dense with sweet oak and rich, tropical fruit; mellow, lush and balanced.
RUTHERFORD WINE COMPANY

89 Loosen Bros 2010 Red Slate Dry Riesling, Mosel, Germany ($16)
Racy and dry with tangy citrus and green peach; bright, nervy and minerally with a long, clean finish.
LOOSEN BROS. USA

89 Cocci Grifoni 2010 Podere Colle Vecchio Offida, Marche, Italy ($16)
Floral, juicy and bright with apples, spice and minerals; aromatic, fresh and complex; charming and long; made from the Percorino grape.
EMPSON USA 

   The "twisty" icon indicates wines sealed with screwcap or other non-cork closure.



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