in our current issue
Issue: Tasting Panel August 2013 Newsletter
Blue Reviews EXTRA! August 2013

by: Anthony Dias Blue

WHITES

SAUVIGNON BLANC
90 Maimai Vineyards Ltd. 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand ($15)
Bright and fresh, juicy and clean with herbs, spice and racy citrus; deep, complex and bursting with fruit; long, complex and balanced.
PACIFIC PRIME WINES


90 Forrest Estate 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($18)
Bright gooseberry, juicy citrus and thyme; minerally, seamless and balanced; long and very lovely. 
PACIFIC PRIME WINES

90 Sebastiani Vineyards 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County ($19)
Clean, smooth and racy with notes of peach and citrus; fresh, vibrant and balanced with hints of vanilla. 
FOLEY WINE ESTATES

90 Atalon 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($20)
Tangy and fresh with vivid citrus, herbs and minerality; balanced and ripe with melon, lush texture and a long, balanced finish. 97% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Semillon
JACKSON FAMILY

92 Trione Vineyards and Winery 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, River Road Ranch, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County ($23)

Smooth and lush with ripe citrus fruit and dense structure; long, seamless and complex, tangy and balanced; lovely and elegant. 

90
Flora Springs 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Soliloquy Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley ($25)

Smooth and ripe with melon, spice and rich flavors; juicy, fresh and complex with depth and style; generous and long. 

91 Bell Wine Cellars 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County ($27)

Smooth and lush with tangy citrus and fresh, ripe flavors; juicy, rounded and rich; balanced and elegant with a lovely long finish. 

90 Stonestreet 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Aurora Point, Alexander Mountain Estate, Alexander Valley ($40)

Bright, smooth and juicy with grapefruit and tangy citrus; complex, minerally and rich; long and lively. 
JACKSON FAMILY WINES

CHARDONNAY
87 Elke Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay, Anderson Valley ($19)
Clean and fresh, simple, balanced with soft, mellow flavors; nice and smooth. 

90 Frei Brothers Reserve  2011 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County ($20)

Smooth and creamy with juicy apple and soft citrus; pretty notes of vanilla oak and precise flavors; stylish and delicate with depth and balance. 
GALLO

88 Thornton Winery 2012 Chardonnay, Temecula Valley ($22)

Lush and creamy with deep, ripe flavors and a good backbone of acidity; ripe and balanced, long. 

90 Cuvaison Winery 2011 Estate Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley ($25)

Smooth and balanced with juicy acidity, fresh fruit and racy style; lush and tangy with gentle style and plenty of finesse. 
TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL

90 Neil Ellis Wines 2011 Chardonnay, Elgin, South Africa ($28)

Lush and smooth with ripe citrus and tangy acidity; creamy, bright and juicy; long and balanced. 
VINEYARD BRANDS

89 Thornton Winery 2012 Chardonnay, Reserve, Temecula Valley ($28)

Smooth and creamy with ripe fruit and vanilla oak; fresh and showing good acidity; balanced and seamless. 

91 Dierberg Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay, Steel, Estate, Santa Maria Valley ($30)

Bright, fresh and juicy with no oak and pure fruit; creamy, balanced and elegant; long, lively and honest. 

90
Thomas George Estates 2010 Estate Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma ($34)

Ripe and juicy with lovely pear and tangy acidity; lush and elegant with depth and balance. 

90 Hanzell Vineyards 2011 Estate Chardonnay, Sebella, Sonoma Valley ($36)

Smooth and spicy with juicy acidity and delicate, ripe fruit; tangy, bright and balanced with clean, crisp flavors. 

91
Thomas George Estates 2010 Chardonnay, Cresta Ridge Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma ($38)

Bright and elegant with ripe pear and juicy acidity; rich, dense and balanced with lovely style. 

PINOT GRIS/PINOT GRIGIO
88 Old Coach Road 2012 Pinot Gris, Nelson, New Zealand ($15)
Fresh and clean with pear and tangy, lively style; silky and long. 
PACIFIC PRIME WINES

87
Mary Elke 2011 Pinot Gris, Donnelly Creek Vineyard, Anderson Valley ($16)

Smooth, dry and mellow with minerals, clean fruit and good balance. 

87 Thornton Winery 2012 Pinot Grigio, Temecula Valley ($22)

Juicy and tangy with basic, earthy flavors and a long finish; fresh and pleasant. 

90 Etude 2012 Pinot Gris, Carneros ($24)

Silky texture and aromatic style with tangy acidity and notes of vanilla and honey; smooth, lush and juicy; complex and charming. 
TREASURY WINE ESTATES

88 Tarara Winery 2010, Honah Lee White Vineyard, Virginia ($30)

Golden color; dense and creamy with rich texture and clean, smooth flavors; deep and long. 40% Viognier, 40% Petit Manseng, 20% Roussanne.

ITALIAN AND ITALIAN-STYLE WHITES
87 Braschi 2012 Sburoun Bianco Rubicone, Emilia Romagna ($15)
Smooth; ripe; minerally. 40% Trebbiano, 40% Pignoletto, 20% Chardonnay
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

87 Castelfeder 2010 Glener, Alto Adige, Italy ($15)

Light; crisp and lovely; clean. 100% Pinot Nero.
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

88 Braschi 2012 Albana Secco, Romagna, Italy ($18)

Dark and spicy; ripe and rich; minerally.
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

90 Inama 2010 Soave Classico, Vigneti di Foscarino, Italy ($24)

Lush and smooth with juicy, clean and slightly peachy fruit; lovely, deep and delicious. 
DALLA TERRA

88 Querceto di Castellina NV Livia, Toscana, Italy ($38)

Crisp; clean and juicy; fresh and bright 50% Viognier, 50% Roussanne.
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

90 Vienza 2012 Estate Arneis, Temecula Valley ($32)

Fresh and juicy with lovely flavors of bright fruit; smooth, silky and long with great balance and style.
EUROPA VILLAGE

87 Miali 2011 Fiano, Valle d'Itria, Puglia, Italy ($12)

Minerally and dense; strong, clean and long. 
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

RIESLING AND GEWÜRZTRAMINER
90 Valckenberg 2012 Graff Riesling Spätlese Graacher Himmelreich, Mosel, Germany ($17)
Bright and spritzy, sweet and tangy with juicy citrus; racy, nervy and fresh.
VALCKENBERG INTL.

90 Weingut Liebfrauenstift 2012 Dry Riesling, Rheinhessen, Germany ($18)

Dry and juicy with minerals, citrus and tangy acidity; silky and balanced, long and fresh.  TWISTY
VALCKENBERG INTL.

90 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt 2012 Estate Riesling, Mosel Valley, Germany ($19)

Spritzy, bright and juicy with tangy acidity and fresh citrus fruit; lively and long with lovely style. 
VALCKENBERG INTL.

90 Penner-Ash Wine Cellars 2012 Riesling, Willamette Valley ($20)

Bright, clean and juicy with racy citrus, stone fruits and minerality; tangy, pure and fresh.  TWISTY

90 Baron zu Knyphausen 2012 Riesling Ortlage Kabinett, Kiedrich, Rheingau, Germany ($21)

Ripe and juicy with tangy acidity and bright citrus; long and elegant.  TWISTY
VALCKENBERG INTL

90 Chehalem 2011 Riesling, Three Vineyard, Willamette Valley ($24)

Bright, fresh, clean and juicy with peach and tangy citrus; lively, crisp and balanced with a long finish and racy tension. 

90
Brooks Wines 2010 Riesling, Ara, Willamette Valley ($25)

Clean, tart and juicy with bright lime and racy acidity; crisp, dry and nervy. 

92 Schloss Saarstein 2012 Riesling Kabinett Serrig, Mosel, Germany ($27)

Fresh and racy with sweet peach and tangy acidity; spritzy and juicy with lively, nervy flavors; long and pure. 
VALCKENBERG INTL



92 Castelfeder 2012 Gewürztraminer Vom Lehm, Alto Adige, Italy ($18)

Rose petal nose; aromatic; lush and floral; juicy, dense, crisp, and long 
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

REDS

PROPRIETARY AND BORDEAUX/BORDEAUX-STYLE BLENDS
88 Lestage Simon 2010 Haut-Médoc, France ($23)
Smooth and ripe with tangy acidity, bright plum and black raspberry; juicy, supple and lively, long and balanced. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon.
ADVANTAGE INTERNATIONAL

90 Buty Winery 2010 Beast Wildebeest, Columbia Valley ($25)

Caleb Foster's playful syrah-based wine is forward and juicy with ripe plum and blackberry fruit; smooth and balanced with lots of character. 77% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc
TREASURY WINE ESTATES

90 Château Cantin 2010 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru ($43)

Silky, smooth and juicy with tangy acidity and bright blueberry and plum; balanced, complex and lush. 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
ADVANTAGE INTERNATIONAL

92 Saggi 2009 Columbia Valley ($45)

Rich and juicy with bright plum, raspberry and lovely floral notes; lush, meaty and spicy with profound fruit and graceful style. 62% Sangiovese, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah.
LONG SHADOWS VINTNERS

91 Chester-Kidder 2009 Columbia Valley ($50)

Dense and firm with fine structure and classic depth and style; ripe, tannic and beautifully balanced; meant to be long-aged; elegant and profound. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, 17% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
LONG SHADOWS VINTNERS

93 Beringer Vineyards 2010 Quantum, Napa Valley ($60)

Smooth and lush with lovely ripe plum, blackberry and spice; soft herbs, sweet oak and excellent depth; ripe, complex and charming with length and style. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petite Sirah, 3% Petit Verdot.
TREASURY WINE ESTATES

90
HdV 2008 Belle Cousine, Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley ($60)

Smooth, lush and herbal with spice, depth and style; rich, balanced and rich with a long, balanced finish. 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.
WILSON DANIELS

CABERNET SAUVINGON AND OTHER BORDELAIS VARIETALS
90 Guenoc  2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County ($20)
Smooth, bright and juicy with fresh plum, raspberry and juicy acidity with good balance; long, tangy and a good value. 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc
LANGTRY ESTATE

90
Alder Ridge 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills ($25)

Smooth, bright and juicy with ripe plum and blackberry; dense and rich with good structure and depth. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% Malbec.

90
Round Pond 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($30)

Smooth and juicy with lively plum and cherry notes; supple, clean and long with depth and good balance. 

90 Taylor's 2010 Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon,  Clare Valley and Coonawarra, Australia ($30)

Minty, smooth and tangy with racy plum and raspberry; deep, rich, juicy and balanced; long and fresh. 
AMERICAN WINE DISTRIBUTORS

91 Atalon 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($35)

Smooth, ripe and juicy with spice, fresh plum and blueberry; lush, supple and complex; balanced and long. 14.8% Merlot, 4.9 Malbec, 2.8 Petit Verdot, 1.3 Cabernet Franc.
JACKSON FAMILY WINES

92 Freemark Abbey 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($44)

Smooth and ripe with plum, spice and herbal notes; complex, tangy and built to age; juicy and complex. 13% Merlot, 3.4% Petit Verdot, 1.1% Malbec, 0.2% Cabernet Franc.
JACKSON FAMILY WINES

93 Frank Family Vineyards 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa Valley ($85)

Smooth and velvety with rich plum, blackberry and cassis; ripe and seamless with great depth and tangy acid structure; lush, rich and generous; long and elegant. 

90
Frei Brothers Reserve 2011 Merlot, Dry Creek Valley ($20)

Ultra smooth with ripe blackberry and cherry fruit; seamless, spicy and balanced with rich flavors and elegant style. 
GALLO

88 Querceto di Castellina 2009 Merlot, Podalirio, Toscana, Italy ($33)

Juicy and bright; clean and earthy; long. 
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

91 Freemark Abbey 2011 Merlot, Napa Valley ($34)

Smooth, lush and ripe with plum, blackberry and spice; dense and balanced with good acid structure and a tangy finish; another solid Ted Edwards effort; long and stylish. 9.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 1.3% Cabernet Franc.
JACKSON FAMILY WINES

90
Peju 2009 Merlot, Napa Valley ($35)

Smooth and rich with spice, black raspberry, plum and cassis; tangy, balanced and harmonious; long and intense. 83% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 8% Zinfandel.

90
Kuleto Estate 2010 Malbec, Napa Valley ($55)

Dark, dense and juicy with tannins, spice and meaty notes; rich and balanced; forward, generous and vibrant. 76% Malbec, 14% Merlot, 6% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.
FOLEY WINE ESTATES

PINOT NOIR
89 Cambria Winery 2011 Pinot Noir, Julia's Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley ($25)
Smooth and juicy with ripe cherry and earthy notes; tangy, fresh and balanced with good length and style. 
JACKSON FAMILY VINEYARDS

88
Elke Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir, Blue Diamond, Donnelly Creek Vineyard, Anderson Valley ($34)

Dense and extracted with smooth texture and notes of earth and spice; elegant and long. 

90
Valerie's Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir, One-Acre, Carneros ($40)

Smooth and bright with juicy raspberry and cherry fruit; tangy and balanced with elegant style and good length. 

90
Robert Talbott Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highalnds ($42)

Smooth, lush and deep with ripe cherry and good acid structure; long, rich and balanced. 

89 Thomas George Estates 2010 Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma ($42)

Ripe and lush with rich, ripe black cherry fruit; smooth and earthy with bright, juicy flavors. 

91
Thomas George Estates 2010 Pinot Noir, Cresta Ridge Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma ($60)

Silky and showing bright cherry and hints of earth; ripe and dense with rich flavors and a long, balanced finish. 

89
Thomas George Estates 2009 Pinot Noir, Baker Ridge Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($60)

Dense and rich with ripe black cherry and some raisiny notes; velvety and long. 

94 Cambria Winery 2010 Pinot Noir, Barbara's Clone 667, Santa Maria Valley ($80)

Rich, juicy and deep with black cherry, caramel and soft oak; lush and dense with finesse, elegance and complexity; long and lovely. 
JACKSON FAMILY VINEYARDS

RHÔNE-STYLE VARIETALS AND BLENDS
88 La Vieille Ferme 2012 Rouge, Ventoux, France ($8)
Bright, fresh and juicy with blackberry, plum and spice; tangy, lively and quite attractive with good balance and length; a terrific value. Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah TWISTY
VINEYARD BRANDS

90 Stolpman Vineyards 2011 Estate Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley ($30)

Smooth, rich and spicy with a core of bright juicy acidity; dense, ripe blackberry and cassis; seamless and vivid, long and balanced. 98% Syrah, 2% Roussanne.

88
Thornton Winery 2011 Estate Syrah, Temecula Valley ($32)

Twinge of mint in the nose; smooth, crisp and juicy with bright plum and spice; long, balanced and smooth. 

92 Stolpman Vineyards 2011 Estate Syrah, Originals, Sanya Ynez Valley ($38)

Smooth and juicy with lovely depth and flavors of plum, blackberry and spice; supple, dense and tangy; vibrant and lovely; long and balanced. 

92 Stolpman Vineyards 2010 Estate Syrah, Hilltops, , Santa Ynez Valley ($48)

Rich, dense and spicy with lovely notes of blackberry, cassis and mocha; concentrated and powerful with balance and great depth. 

93 Stolpman Vineyards 2011 Syrah, Gli Angeli, Santa Ynez Valley ($68)

Velvety and dense with ripe, rich blackberry, blueberry and spice; powerful and balanced with huge aging potential; vivid, complex and long. 

ITALIAN AND SPANISH REDS

88 Querceto di Castellina 2010 Chianti Classico L'Aura, Italy ($18)
Smooth, fresh, and juicy; long and balanced. 
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

90 Querceto di Castellina 2008 Chianti Classico, Italy ($33)

Mature, rich and complex; long and earthy; lush and layered; juicy. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot.
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

89
Braschi 2011 Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Il Costone, Italy ($20)

Smooth, juicy, and ripe with spice and blackberry; tangy and long. 
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

91 Castelfeder 2009 Lagrein, Burgum Novum, Alto Adige, Italy ($24)

Smooth, rich, and showing fresh blackberry and raspberry; toasty and dense; rich, balanced, and long. 
LYRA FINE WINE IMPORTERS

90 Bolero Cellars 2011 Tempranillo, Temecula Valley ($48)

Bright and juicy with fresh, tangy acidity and excellent structure; lively, crisp and totally charming. 
EUROPA VILLAGE

ZINFANDEL


88
Renwood Winery 2011 Zinfandel, Amador County ($15)
Smooth and juicy with dense, meaty style and bright acidity; clean, balanced and ripe. 10% Primitivo, 2% Roussanne, 1% Mourvèdre, 1% Souzau.

90 Renwood Winery 2010 Zinfandel, Premier Old Vine, Amador County ($20)

Smooth and dense with lush fruit, spice and good structure; rich, balanced and spicy. 5.8% Syrah, 1.7% Souzao.

88 Renwood Winery 2010 Zinfandel, Fiddletown ($25)

Smooth and spicy with lively cherry and blueberry; dense and ripe with good acid structure. 9.9% Syrah

87 Thornton Winery 2011 Zinfandel, Huis Vineyard, Temecula Valley ($28)

Pale and floral with tangy acidity and juicy style; fresh and clean with light flavors and some charm. 

90 Renwood Winery 2010 Zinfandel, Gold Crest, Amador County ($40)

Silky and juicy with violets, spice and ripe cherries; smooth texture and good balance; long and stylish. 

90
Renwood Winery 2010 Zinfandel, Grandpère, Amador County ($40)

Juicy, rich and spicy with blackberry, cherry and plum; smooth, ripe and balanced; long and balanced. 

90
Howell Mountain Vineyards 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley ($45)

Smooth and rich with velvety texture and bright acidity; soft oak, spice and balance; long and fresh. 


ROSÉ AND DESSERT

88 La Vieille Ferme 2012 Ventoux Rosé, France ($8)

Pale pink; floral and smooth with juicy raspberry and strawberry; fresh and dense, bright and balanced. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault.
VINEYARD BRANDS

90
Kale Wines 2012 Syrah Rosé, Sonoma County ($22)

Deep pink; smooth and juicy with lovely depth of fruit and bright acidity; balanced, lush and dry with tangy flavors and a lovely rich finish; vibrant and long. 

90
Haak Vineyards & Winery 2010 Blanc du Bois Dessert Wine, Texas ($40)

Bright amber color; smooth and creamy with toasty notes and sweet, clean flavors; orange blossoms, spice and lovely balance. 


92
W. & J. Graham's NV Porto Aged 20 Years, Portugal ($59)

Deep ruddy amber color; smooth and toasty with rancio and pure, sweet fruit and lovely balance; long and complex. 
PREMIUM PORT WINES

The "twisty" icon denotes wines sealed with screwcap.


Back to Top