92 Patz & Hall 2006 Chardonnay, Zio Tony Ranch, Russian River Valley ($60)
Silky, smooth and mellow with nice fruit acidity and balanced flavors; long, fine flavors and structure.
90 Souverain 2007 Chardonnay, Alexander Valley, Sonoma ($17)
Creamy and rich with lovely oak, bright fruit and notes of vanilla; mellow, long and totally charming.
92 Robert Talbott Vineyards 2005 Chardonnay, Cuvée Audrey, Diamond T Estate, Monterey ($75)
Deep and seductive with creamy texture and ripe tropical fruit; rather extreme, but well-made and dramatic with power and finesse.
88 Persimmon Creek Vineyards 2006 Seyval Blanc, Georgia ($23)
Smooth and lush with bright, juicy citrus fruit and lovely, clean flavors.
90 Benziger Family Winery 2007 Signaterra Sauvignon Blanc, Shone Farm Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($27)
Nervy grapefruit and lime; brisk, fresh and racy with stylish flavors and complexity.
88 Michael-David 2006 Petite Petit, Lodi ($18)
Lush, dense with blueberry and spice plus nice structure; long, rich, spicy and balanced.
89 Clos du Bois 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($22)
Bright plum, blueberry and keen acidity; vanilla oak, spice and long flavors, balance and style.
91 Haywood Estate 2006 Zinfandel, Los Chamizal Vineyard, Sonoma Valley ($30)
Ripe, dense and bursting with rich blackberry fruit and tangy acidity; luscious and long with great texture and balance.
91 Matanzas Creek 2005 Merlot, Bennett Valley, Sonoma ($35)
Suave blackberry backed by tangy acidity; silky and bright with gorgeous structure and flavors.
JACKSON FAMILY FARMS
93 Stevenson-Barrie 2006 Pinot Noir, Shea Vineyard, Willamette Valley ($45)
Rich, dark and velvety with ripe black-cherry and raspberry; vibrant and long with lovely flavors.
88 Grove Mill Wine Co 2007 Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand ($17)
Juicy apple fruit and lively acidity; crisp, long and bright; from the world's only CarboNZero-certified winery. TWISTY
PALM BAY IMPORTS
88 Langlois-Château NV Brut Rosé Crémant de Loire, France ($20)
Refreshing, bright plum and raspberry fruit and hints of herbs; elegant and long.
TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL
89 Sella & Mosca 2006 Thìlion, Alghero, Italy ($31)
Juicy, dense and smooth with rich, ripe fig plus racy, crisp acidity; nicely structured, long and complex.
PALM BAY IMPORTS
91 Louis Latour 2006 Puligny-Montrachet, France ($69)
Creamy and bright with ripe fruit and smooth texture; dense, complex and balanced.
92 Bellavista 2002 Gran Cuvée Pas Operé, Franciacorta, Italy ($85)
A beautiful and elegant extra brut with pure fruit, great finesse and lovely style.
90 Bodega NQN 2006 Malbec, Malma, Patagonia, Argentina ($17)
Smooth texture and lively, soft acidity; balanced plum and black raspberry fruit.
92 Portia 2006 Ribera del Duero, Spain ($35)
Ripe blackberries and boysenberries with lovely structure and balance; a modern Tempranillo with excellent style and finesse.
PALM BAY INTERNATIONAL
90 Bodegas Campillo 2001 Reserva Selecta, Rioja, Spain ($36)
Dark, silky and modern with juicy black-raspberry fruit and lovely tension, spice and balance.
PALM BAY IMPORTS FAUSTINO MARTINEZ
91 Farnese NV Edizione Cinque Autoctoni, Puglia and Abruzzo, Italy ($46)
Dense, concentrated black fruit (from five native varieties) with velvety textureand intense notes of dark chocolate; multi-appellation wines cannot be vintage-dated in Italy.
90 Domus Aurea 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Clos Quebrada de Macul, Upper Maipo Valley, Chile ($55)
Firm and bright with plum and toasted green herbs; complex and beautifully structured.
GLOBAL VINEYARD IMPORTING
VALUE and BY-THE-GLASS RECOMMENDATIONS
88 Monkey Bay 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand ($11)
Herbal and bright with gooseberry fruit and spice; lively and clean. TWISTY
90 Dr. Loosen 2007 Dr. L Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany ($12)
Sweet and racy with bright acidity and lovely, nervy notes; tangy and bright with gorgeous purity and length. TWISTY
LOOSEN BROS. USA
88 Wishing Tree 2007 Chardonnay, Unoaked, Western Australia ($13)
Fleshy and dense with smooth texture and ripe fruit; bright and generous with luscious fruit and lovely depth. TWISTY
AUSTRALIAN PREMIUM WINE COLLECTION
88 Wither Hills 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough ($15)
Dense and herbal with ripe citrus fruit, lime and spice; complex finish. TWISTY
LION NATHAN USA
88 Macari Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay, Early Wine, North Fork of Long Island ($17)
Pale, racy and fresh with spice and zesty citrus fruit; peachy, long and lively with balance and stylish charm.
87 Bogle Vineyards 2006 Merlot, Lodi ($9)
Smooth, clean and plummy with lush fruit and some herbal notes; rich, long and balanced.
88 Snoqualmie Vineyards 2006 Syrah, Columbia Valley ($10)
dense and concentrated with smooth texture and ripe wild blackberry fruit; rich, long and nicely balanced.
STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES
88 Apaltagua 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserva, Estate, Colchagua, Chile ($10)
Smooth and lush with plum, black cherry and herbs; silky, long and lush with bright fruit and good balance.
88 Viña Perez Cruz 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserva, Valle del Maipo, Chile ($11)
Smooth and bright with juicy, bright plum and some green herbs in the background; fresh, nicely textured and long.
90 Filus Bodega & Vinedos 2006 Malbec, Reserve, Mendoza ($15)
Racy and bright with plum, spice and lovely blackberry fruit; lively and pure.
CLASSIC WINES OF CALIFORNIA
93 Karlsson’s Gold Vodka ($40)
Made from Swedish new potatoes; aromatic nose; lush, silky texture with lovely vanilla and a long, lovely finish.
90 Stolichnaya Stoli Vanil Vodka ($20)
Smooth vanilla notes on a creamy and balanced body; very nice vanilla-flavored vodka.
WILLIAN GRANT & SONS
93 Sagatiba Velha Esplêndida ($33)
Dry and spicy with fleshy, grassy, lively flavors of elegant vanilla and toast; mellow, rich and balanced.
92 Pendleton Blended Canadian Whisky ($27)
Soft, elegant vanilla and smooth oak; lovely, smooth and balanced with superb flavors of honey, caramel and spice.
HOOD RIVER DISTILLERS
91 Crown Royal Reserve ($45)
Luscious tropical fruit flavors with a lengthy finish of spice and citrus.
92 Bushmills 16 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($66)
Dark, creamy and lush with enticing spice and toast flavors.
92 Hirsch 28 Year Old Small Batch Reserve Bourbon ($447)
Smooth and mellow with lovely toasted grain, vanilla oak and honey; elegant, feminine and long with style and finesse.
90 Irish Mist Liqueur ($25)
Loads of orange, cereal and spice flavors on velvety textures; lingering finish.
Hand In Hand
Two Hands delivers the best of Australian Shiraz
Businessmen Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz formed Two Hands just a decade ago, but in this relatively short time, this negociant operation has become one of the most respected producers in Australia. The objective was originally to source the best fruit from various Shiraz-growing areas throughout Australia, although other varietals have also made their way into the stable as well.
Roseworthy graduate Matt Wenk is the winemaker; having worked in the California, France, Spain and Italy, he brings a global scope to the evolving and expanding lineup. These are some of the most exciting wines coming from Down Under today.
I sat down recently with Michael Twelftree to taste through recent releases from the impressive Garden Series, as well as the gorgeous Shiraz and generous Cab from the Single Vineyard Series. Here are my notes.
92 Two Hands 2006 Shiraz, Sophie's Garden, Padthaway, South Australia ($60)
Dense and tannic with rich texture and powerful black fruit and chocolate; ripe, edgy, long and needing some age.
91 Two Hands 2006 Shiraz, Max's Garden, Heathcote, Victoria ($60)
Bright and juicy with pure, linear cherry and red-raspberry fruit in lovely balance; racy, long and supple.
90 Two Hands 2006 Shiraz, Harry and Edward's Garden, Langhorne Creek, South Australia ($60)
Edgy, plummy and toast with cherry notes and racy, juicy acidity; tight, dense and long.
93 Two Hands 2006 Shiraz, Bella's Garden, Barossa Valley, South Australia ($60)
Smooth and dense with lush blackberry and spice; juicy, fresh and structured.
94 Two Hands 2006 Shiraz, Lily's Garden, McLaren Vale ($60)
Velvety and luscious with ripe, black plum and blackberry fruit; generous, long and hinting at chocolate, spice and vanilla.
92 Two Hands 2006 Shiraz, Samantha's Garden, Clare Valley, South Australia ($60)
Bright and juicy with lovely floral notes—rose petal, lavender—and black cherry fruit; balanced, long and suave with great depth.
97 Two Hands 2006 Shiraz, Coach House Block, Seppelstfield Road, Barossa Valley ($120)
Silky and intense with explosive plum, blackberry and spice with lovely texture and bright acidity; seamless, long and exquisite with depth, style and finesse.
92 Two Hands 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Coach House Block, Seppelstfield Road, Barossa Valley ($120)
Fresh and juicy with light herbs, fresh plum and bright acidity; racy, long and dense with chocolate and spice.
Two Hands wines are imported by Terlato Wines International.