Past Reviews

Storehouse of past reviews from the “Recent Reviews” section of Good Vitis.

2007 Domaine les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasse du Diable (France): Friday, October 21, 2016 – Needs a good hour-plus of decanting. Nose: slow to show itself, eventually it blooms with beautiful floral notes, blood orange, iodine, Birch soda, and cocoa. Palate: agree with the beef jerky and rhubarb comments below. There’s good doses of saline, blood orange and hickory smoke, too. There’s a green note on the back end, almost a green onion thing. Tannins are grainy but robust, acidity and body are medium. The finish is severely lacking, the wine erases itself quickly. High quality, interesting wine but a bit lacking in secondary flavors for a 9 year-old wine and lacking a finish. It has the stuffing to develop a finish, but I don’t get the feeling it’s guaranteed. At this point I’d stick remaining bottles away for a few years and revisit. 90 points. Value: B-

2014 Barkan Pinot Noir Classic Kosher (Israel): Saturday, October 15, 2016 – Nose: very expressive. Blueberries, blackberries and boysenberries. Big rose petals and Spring pollen. Smoke, iodine. Fruit punch. White pepper. Freshly tanned leather and young tobacco leaf. Licorice root. Beautiful bouquet. Palate: medium body, medium acidity. Integrated, modest tannin. Fruit is tart blueberries, huckleberries and red plums. Blood orange. Tar, hickory smoke. Herbs de Provence. Celery. Overall a very nice and still developing wine. Would be interesting to follow over the next 2-3 years, though I doubt secondary flavors will develop. Giving this an extra point for the extraordinary value that it is. 92 points. Value: A

2015 J. Mourat Fiefs Vendéens Collection (France): Monday, October 10, 2016 – Nose: pretty rose petals, cranberries, sea mist and baking spices. Fantastic and fresh bouquet. Palate: medium body with a bit of skin tannin, well integrated alcohol (quite low) and bright, juicy acidity. Sweet red fruits, almost to a fruit punch effect, but without being cloying or overbearing. Undertones of wet stone and soil, green onions and bell peppers. Finish: smoke and light cigar tobacco enter on the finish. Overall a brilliant bottle of inexpensive, quality wine that is easy and fun to go back to for each sip. That said, it would’ve been nice if they’d stopped ML prior to full completion as there’s a bit of butteriness that starts to encroach on the otherwise well balanced and lively acidity after a few hours of air. More fun with less O2. 87 points. Value: B+

2014 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (Oregon) – Thursday, October 27, 2016 – Nose: floral and high toned red, tart fruits of cranberry and huckleberries. Distilled grape alcohol, almost Moscato Grappa-like. Palate: medium bodied, smooth but rigid barrel and skin tannins and a sweet/sour tartness. Flavors are big on rose water, tart cherries, tar, smoke, saline and Oyster mushroom. Overall a pretty and refined wine that could use another 1-3 years in the cellar. If drinking now give it a 2 hour decant. 92 points. Value: A

2014 Weingut Steininger Gruner Veltliner (Austria) – Sunday, October 30, 2016 – Nose: big peach and lemon zest. Dandelion. Wet slate. Vanilla. Palate: medium and lush body. Bright orange flavored acidity. Big minerality and white pepper spice. Nice austerity and cutting crispness living nicely in Kapmtal’s comfort mid-palate zone. Overall a nice, inexpensive gruner. 88 points. Value: A

2014 Société Cooperative Castelmaure Corbières Col des Vents (France) – Sunday, October 30, 2016 – Nose: very ripe cherries, rose petals and thyme. Small wiff of smoke and tar. Palate: medium bodied, skin tannin and juicy acidity. Slightly sweet generic red fruits and smoke. There’s just enough to this that it retains some of your attention. The round and silkymouthfeel is the best feature of this $9 wine. Excellent quality for the price. 87 points. Value: A

2012 RdV Vineyards Friends and Family (Virginia) -Monday, October 31, 2016 – Nose: moderately aromatic, more Earth than fruit. Fungal, white pepper and celery are strong, then comes cherries and cranberries. Palate: light body, tart acidity. No discernible wood tannin, it’s fully integrated. Bit of skin tannin on the finish, though. Alcohol stands out with a slight bite, though this dissipates after an hour or two. Red fruit is slightly but pleasantly burnt. Smoke, tar and saline along with mushroom and bell pepper. Black pepper and tobacco suggest some petit verdot in the blend. Overall a well made wine and an excellent job of blending. No secondary flavors and a relative thinness are a bit of a setback in the context of the tartness. Enjoyable but overpriced, another example of Virginia wine failing to be price-competitive. 90 points. Value: C-

2013 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay Arthur (Oregon) – Wednesday, November 2, 2016 – Nose: just screams chardonnay with big lemon zest, honeysuckle and slate, though it seems underdeveloped. Palate: light bodied with bright acidity and smooth viscosity. There’s a bit of barrel creaminess but it’s quite minimal. It has lively citrus zestiness, a lot of Granny Smith apple, a lot of cracked white pepper and some reticent but lovely dried tarragon and thyme. The pepper spice is emphasized on the finish. This is quite lovely now and thankfully I have another bottle to sit on for awhile as I expect the nose to reach the level of the body with another few years of age. 91 points. Value: B+

2009 Beresan Winery Stone River (Washington) – Friday, November 4, 2016 – Recent Fullpull purchase. Nose: moderately aromatic, this is clearly a warm Washington vintage. Loads of dark berries and prunes. Bell pepper medley. Parsley. Black pepper kick at the end. Palate: medium bodied, well integrated; just a light-handed touch of tannin remaining that keeps the body substantive. Acidity is still bright and the fruit, in the form of blackberries, plums and deep, dark cherries, is just a touch sweet. There’s some herbaceous qualities as well. Bit of smoke comes in towards the end. This is a really nice, mellow and balanced wine with enough complexity and depth to keep you tuned in to the glass. It probably has another two-three years of good drinking but I get the feeling the brightness has already faded just a bit so I’d recommend drinking up now. 91 points. Value: B

2015 Cameron Pinot Gris Ramato Abbey Ridge Vineyard (Oregon) – Friday, November 18, 2016 – Nose: floral and a little musty. Strawberries and white pepper. Vanilla. Palate: medium bodied, Sweet fruit but not sweet wine. Big strawberries and red plums, there’s a tiny bit of fruit punch that seems emblematic of Abbey Ridge. There’s vanilla pudding and a good streak of acid that keeps it very lively. This is a fun yet serious ramato that will be great for a few years. 91 points. Value: B+

1999 Domaine aux Moines Savennières Roche aux Moines (France) – Thursday, November 17, 2016 – Nose: honeyed and a bit chemical with a lot of hay and warm afternoon sunshine. Meyer lemon. Palate: restrained sweetness and good acidity, it is full bodied but graceful and fleet-footed. Candied citrus rind, maybe just a bit oxidized but not to any detrimental effect. There are subtle streaks of limestone, white pepper and salinity. Doing really well for 17 years of age but it clearly has declined a bit. 91 Points. Value: A

2010 Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert (Oregon) – Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – Nose: pretty and delicate showing why it’s great to ferment Syrah with Viognier. High toned floral notes, cinnamon, ripe red cherries and a touch of oak. Palate: light bodied, very smooth with fully integrated tannins. The fruit is subtle, sweet and stewed and accompanied by baking spices and pronounced olive tapenade and smoke. Overall a pretty and elegant wine, it’s an Oregon doppelgänger of Saint Joseph. Only legitimate complaint is the relatively shallow depth of body and secondary flavors. It seems to be in a fantastic place right now with another year or so of top shelf drinking ahead of it. 91 points. Value: A

2015 Cameron Pinot Gris Ramato Abbey Ridge Vineyard (Oregon) – Friday, November 18, 2016 – Nose: floral and a little musty. Strawberries and white pepper. Vanilla. Palate: medium bodied, Sweet fruit but not sweet wine. Big strawberries and red plums, there’s a tiny bit of fruit punch that seems emblematic of Abbey Ridge. There’s vanilla pudding and a good streak of acid that keeps it very lively. This is a fun yet serious ramato that will be great for a few years. 91 points. Value: B+

1999 Domaine aux Moines Savennières Roche aux Moines (France) – Thursday, November 17, 2016 – Nose: honeyed and a bit chemical with a lot of hay and warm afternoon sunshine. Meyer lemon. Palate: restrained sweetness and good acidity, it is full bodied but graceful and fleet-footed. Candied citrus rind, maybe just a bit oxidized but not to any detrimental effect. There are subtle streaks of limestone, white pepper and salinity. Doing really well for 17 years of age but it clearly has declined a bit. 91 Points. Value: A

2010 Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert (Oregon) – Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – Nose: pretty and delicate showing why it’s great to ferment Syrah with Viognier. High toned floral notes, cinnamon, ripe red cherries and a touch of oak. Palate: light bodied, very smooth with fully integrated tannins. The fruit is subtle, sweet and stewed and accompanied by baking spices and pronounced olive tapenade and smoke. Overall a pretty and elegant wine, it’s an Oregon doppelgänger of Saint Joseph. Only legitimate complaint is the relatively shallow depth of body and secondary flavors. It seems to be in a fantastic place right now with another year or so of top shelf drinking ahead of it. 91 points. Value: A

2011 Waters Cappella (Washington) – Saturday, November 26, 2016 – Nose: green and herbacius with high tone red fruits. Little bit of tar and cigar tobacco. Palate: medium bodied, fine grain tannins and well integrated alcohol. Medium acidity. Herbal with green bell peppers, dark cherries, cocoa. Cracked black pepper kick. Overall a pleasantly structured and well integrated wine drinking very nicely. Good for the table. 90 points. Value: C

2013 Melville Pinot Noir Estate (California) – Friday, November 25, 2016 – Nose: very ripe strawberries and black cherries. Orange zest. Charcoal and wet asphalt. Palate: medium bodied, a little sweet. No discernible tannin after an hour decant. Dark and dirty flavors of black cracked pepper, cherry juice, sage, smoke and tobacco. Interesting California pinot, a bit of a shadowy version. I like it but it’s not my preferred style. 90 Points. Value: C-

2012 Bergström Chardonnay Old Stones (Oregon) – Friday, November 25, 2016 – Nose: pristine. Bit of ML and oak evidence. Limestone and saline. Not much fruit. Palate: medium bodied, nice acidity and just a bit of tartness. Smooth and semi-lush mouthfeel. Big Meyer lemon, vanilla custard. White pepper and a lot of Starfruit and Granny Smith apple. Overall a brilliant effort and value. 91 points. Value: A

2009 Gramercy Cellars The Third Man (Washington) – Saturday, December 3, 2016 – Nose: moderately aromatic with ripe dark fruits and baking spices. Iodine. Palate: full bodied with really pleasant sweetness and spice. Lot of plums and graphite. Overall a very nice wine drinking well now. It’ll be at its best for the next three years. 91 points. Value: C

2009 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah The Contender (Washington) – Saturday, December 3, 2016 – Nose: savory and dirty. Olive tapenade, big time. Black pepper and Sriracha. Dark smoke with emerging floral notes of rose and violets. With extended air comes salty meatiness. Palate: medium bodied but with a lush mouthfeel. Restrained, grainy tannins with in characteristically high acidity for 2009. Flavors are big olive juice and orange zest with spiced berry medley and a solid dose of sweetened cranberry sauce. Strong smoke with a saline cut and cured bacon. This is cool stuff and in a really good place, it’ll evolve for another 5+ years. 94 points. Value: B

1998 Torbreck Shiraz The Factor (Australia) – Saturday, December 3, 2016 – Still dark red, in fantastic shape. Nose: cinnamon, cherries and old, worn saddle leather. Herbs de Provence. Big orange zest. Touch of nutmeg and cedar. Palate: medium palate, nice acidity. Peppery and lush cherry juice with toasted cinnamon and cloves. Spearmint. Saline and hickory smoke. Nicely balanced and extremely pleasant, it’s still holding onto a bit of sweetness. Gorgeous refinement and very graceful for its age, it’s not done. 93 points. Value: B

2013 Luna Vineyards Merlot (California) – Monday, December 19, 2016 – Nose: high-toned strawberries, raspberries and orange zest. Bit of tar and smoke and a wiff of hot chocolate. Palate: medium body, high viscosity and quite smooth. There’s tannin in the backbone but it doesn’t assert itself. Acidity is bright but not out of balance. Flavors are darker fruits than the nose with cherries and plums, though the strawberries come through as well. There’s some darker wet soil here as well, and definite mocha. Overall a really enjoyable pop-and-pour mid-weeker. In a great place now I see no reason to wait. 88 points. Value: A-

2010 Clendenen Family Vineyards Nebbiolo Bricco Buon Natale (California) – Sunday, December 18, 2016 – Nose: bright raspberries, orange zest, petrol and dandelion. Wet soil. Palate: Medium body, fine grainy and integrated tannins. Bright acidity. Very smooth and lush mouthfeel. The fruits are red with raspberries, strawberries and plums. Also quince. Black pepper and Allspice. Tar. There’s a green note that’s both vegetal and herbal. With extended air comes watermelon. This is quite good but also quite difficult to rate due to its highly unusual profile. 93 points. Value: A

2013 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir Seven Springs Vineyard (Oregon) – Nose: bright cherries, wet topsoil and cola, there’s no mistaking this as pinot noir. Funky mushrooms and mulch. Slight smoke, bit of strawberries. I could sniff this all night. Palate: medium body, light, fine grained tannins and bright acidity. The fruit is ripe and red with a lot of raspberries and cranberries. There’s cinnamon and All Spice and anise. Also tar and fresh thyme. The profile is nice, but it fades quickly. The finish is disappointing. This has plenty of stuffing to go a number of more years, and I do think it has the promise of secondary flavor development. 91 points. Value: B+

2010 Fausse Piste Grenache Les Garçons (Washington) – Friday, December 30, 2016 – Decanted two hours. Nose: has NW all over it with graphite, cherries, blackberries, smoke and tar. Orange citrus is really bright. Gorgeous nose. Palate: medium bodied with bright acidity and fine grain tannin. The palate is quite similar to the nose with graphite, flint, sweet hickory smoked meat, thyme and tar. Boysenberries come out as well. Too thin for the amount of acid which detracts from the complexity and depth of flavor. Has the acid to last a number of years but the thinness doesn’t sell me on its ability to approve; it was probably better a few years ago. From a cold, difficult vintage but I’ve had plenty of wines that overcame 2010 much better than this one. 88 points. Value: F

2012 Rudius Fion Bainise Red Wine (California) – Monday, December 26, 2016 – Nose: dark sappy fruit, orange zest, smoke, tar and dark cocoa. Palate: full bodied with robust tannin. Well integrated alcohol and acidity. Big black pepper bite with dark cherries, strawberries and a hint of cranberries. Definite garrigue and just a bit of rare beef. Extended air brings out strong graphite. The palate clears out quickly, however, and the finish is underwhelming. Overall a solid effort with enough substance to be a versatile table wine that drew its own distinction. 91 points. Value: C+

2013 Latta Roussanne (Washington) – Monday, December 26, 2016 – Nose: a little musty, baked vanilla custard. Lemon zest and white pepper. Palate: full and lush. Medium acidity slowly builds by way of sneaky lime zest that puts a smile on your face and cuts an otherwise buttery palate. There’s sweet vanilla as well. Really great wine and very gulpable. This has another year or two of prime drinking. 92 points. Value: B+

2015 Domaine La Millière Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes (France) – Saturday, December 31, 2016 – Nose: sweet red fruit of strawberries and cherries with rhubarb and plum. Little bit of iodine and smoke. Black pepper. Big foundation of vanilla bread pudding. Palate: medium plus body with, after 3 hours of decanting, well integrated but robust tannins and a nice little bit of sweetness. There are big blackberries with cherries and again rhubarb. White pepper here plus sweet cream. This is really nice. It required several hours in the decanter to open, though I’m not sure it has the bones to develop with bottle age. Either aggressively decant or let it sit for 1-2 years and you’ll find fantastic value and enjoyment in this bottle. 90 points. Value A

2012 Eric Morgat Savennières Fides (France) – Monday, January 2, 2017 – Nose: Aromatics of straw, high toned lemon, marzipan and apple pie. Palate: full bodied and lush, very smooth. Really nice acidity and mild sweetness. Big lemon and tangerine with just a touch of vegetal qualities. Mango and canned mandarin orange juice. Green apple juice. Slight bit of chili flake spice with developing slate and Angle Food cake. Gorgeous focus on the fruit at this stage but a bit one-dimensional. Opened this much earlier than planned (mistook it for another Morgat I meant to pull); had planned to keep it another 3+ years. Not particularly thrilling at this stage, though it does seem to suggest prospects for secondary and maybe tertiary flavor development. Still prefer Morgat’s L’Encos, however. If drinking in the next few years make sure to decant for several hours. 92 points. Value: B+

2012 Adelsheim Syrah Calkins Lane Vineyard (Oregon) – Friday, January 6, 2017 – Big nose of savory and brambly notes: iodine, roasted meats and lot of smoke with blackberries, bramble berries and black pepper. Body: medium bodied but dense with flavor. Nice acidity that isn’t overwhelming, it’s just a little juicy with underripe blackberries, raspberries, red plums and orange. Savoriness is abundant as well, especially on the finish with iodine and beef jerky. Also graphite and a bit herbaceous. The tannins are a bit coarse, it isn’t the smoothest of wines but it’s still very good for $20. With an hour of air the tannins integrate a bit but expose the wine as being a bit thin. Decent value and fun but nothing to write home about. 89 points. Value: C+

2014 Domaine Marc Morey & Fils Bourgogne Blanc (France) – Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Nose: quite aromatic with classic chardonnay notes. Vanilla bean, butter and a big lemon zip. Just a bit of chalk and slate, and with extended air marzipan emerges. Palate: medium bodied with a good balance of weight, acid and alcohol. Flavors are leaner than the nose would suggest. Similar flavors to the nose but the addition of honey and underripe banana broaden the palate. Overall quite nice and a good Burgundy value. Decanted this for 30 minutes which I’d advise. 89 points. Value: B+

2013 Redhawk Winery Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills (Oregon) – Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Nose: big and beautiful aromatics dominated by sweet cherries, cola and graphite. Nice floral notes and hints of toasted oak, black pepper and cigar smoke. Palate: full throttled body here with barely a hint of tannin (from the skins during the press?), juicy acidity and undetectable alcohol. Very well balanced. Fruit is red and sweet with cherries and strawberries. Nice doses of cola, graphite and mild pepper. Not a ton of complexity but with so much primary fun I’m not sure I’d advise waiting to see if secondary notes develop. Reasonably priced quality pinot at $25. 90 points. Value: A-

2014 Syncline Subduction Red Wine (Washington) – Friday, January 13, 2017 – Nose: bright red fruit including raspberry, plum, and strawberry jam. Just a bit of balsamic and fig. Graphite. Palate: medium bodied with substantial tannin, moderate acidity and well integrated alcohol. Flavors are more savory than fruity with big saline, iodine, smoke and herbaceous qualities. Fruit is slightly tart but pleasant, mostly red. Overall very nice with a few years of evolution ahead of it. I’m going to hold onto my last bottle for another 1-2 years. 89 points. Value: A-

2012 Hedges Family Estate CMS (Washington) – Friday, January 20, 2017 – Nose: each of the CMS components come through. The toasted oak, blackberry and just a hint of licorice represent the C. Cocoa and cherry rep for the M. And smoke and iodine come through for the S. Palate: full bodied, juicy, a bit sweet and nicely integrated alcohol. No perceptible tannins at this point but they are there because the structure is solid. Flavors are dark fruits, including blackberries, cherries and plums. Maybe a little bit of rhubarb. There’s pretty heavy smoke, too, and just a bit of saline. Overall a great pop and pour value, and with the decent acid this isn’t bad food wine, either. 88 points. Value: A

2011 Château Pontet-Chappaz (France) – Friday, January 20, 2017 – Decanted for two hours before this started to taste passable. The nose is nice enough but the palate took a long time to come around to being something I was interested in sipping. That it did positively evolve may suggest more cellaring would bring it around, but I’m not sure it has the heart to get there. 85 points. Value: F

1996 Marc Brédif Vouvray Moelleux Nectar (France) – Sunday, January 22, 2017 – Mellow aromas of lemon curd, vanilla, mandarin orange juice and some plastic/new gym shoe rubber. Palate is lightly syrupy, full bodied with pleasant sweetness, bright acidity that comes in at the end, and just a hint of tannin. Nice vanilla, marzipan, lemon custard. Also some grass and baking spice. This is really cool and has more years of good drinking in it. 92 points. Value: N/A (family gift)

2013 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc (Washington) – Sunday, January 22, 2017 – Drink at a dinner party, no formal notes. This needs at least another year or two, however, before it’ll hit its stride. Right now the barrel notes dominate the nose and palate, even after several hours of air exposure. There’s a lot more complexity in this wine than it’s presenting now. 91 points. Value: C

2014 Saviah Cellars Syrah The Jack (Washington) – Monday, January 23, 2017 – Aggressively aromatic with notes that are undeniably syrah, including bloody steak, olive tapenade, blackberry and smoke. Little bit of a barrel note as well. The palate is full bodied with nice acid, a touch of sweetness and fully integrated tannin and alcohol. The flavors are unmistakably syrah here, too. Loads of iodine, olives, black pepper, smoke and just a bit of dark, brooding fruit. The emphasis on savoriness is a bit singular and will turn off some, but it’s hard to believe this is ~$15 as many are happy to spend multiples of that to find this profile. 90 points. Value: A

2013 Jaffurs Grenache (California) – Friday, February 17, 2017 – Nose: very pretty, this isn’t CdP grenache. Light red fruits: raspberries, sugary cranberry sauce and huckleberries. Tar and pastel flower petals. Sandalwood. Fair amount of alc heat, a little schnap-sy. Palate: Medium bodied, well integrated modest acidity and tannins. The fruit is slightly sweet and darker red: strawberries and cherries with just a bit of the raspberries. There’s a vanilla quality that’s a bit unusual but nice. Cinnamon and (actual) maraschino syrup. Just a hint of rosewater. Overall a really nice and fun wine. It’s big alcohol (15.4%) that it wears subtly on the palate but, unfortunately, not so subtly on the nose. It’s drinking nicely right now but I get the feeling that it’ll benefit from 1-2 years of aging and then drink nicely for another 5. 91 points. Value: B.

2014 Arizona Stronghold Vineyard Chardonnay Dala (Arizona) – Friday, March 3, 2017 – Neutral oak and partial malolactic fermentation. Nose: prototypical chardonnay nose. Bit of toast, bit of butter, bit of lemon, bit of peach pit. There is a hint of parsley and some slate to add some variety. Palate: medium body, nice bright acidity but balanced out by a welcomed dose of buttery fat offering a glycerin sensation to fill out the mouthfeel. Meyer lemon, grapefruit and lime sorbet provide a nice variety of citrus. Definitely stone minerality as well and a brief hit of honeysuckle. Overall a really enjoyable mid-weight table chardonnay offering generous amounts of simple pleasure. 88 points. Value: A

2012 Robert Craig Chardonnay Durell Vineyard (California) – Sunday, March 5, 2017 – This needed 30 minutes to open up and then offered a Chablis-like nose of high toned citrus, stone minerality, starfruit and pineapple. The palate is more New World but classy and restrained. Medium bodied and fully integrated at this point it offers juicy acidity and nice weight but without any fat. It offers nice salinity along with sweet lemons, Spanish almonds, honeysuckle, mandarine orange, cantelope, mango and small hits of smoke and parsley. A compelling California chardonnay that straddles New and Old World, it will continue to shine for another three or so years. 92 points. Value: A

2014 Forge Cellars Riesling Classique (New York) – Sunday, March 5, 2017 – Gorgeous nose of apricots, peaches, vanilla, dandelion, petrol and grass. The palate is medium bodied with juicy grapefruit acid, sweet vanilla, toasted almonds and celery seed and with extended air takes on tropical flavors. This has a long and health life ahead of itself and is a fine example of what Finger Lakes riesling is capable of achieving. 92 points. Value: A

2012 Steindorfer Cuvée Klaus Beerenauslese Seewinkel Neusiedlersee (Austria) – Sunday, March 5, 2017 – Beautiful nose of honey, strawberries, honeydew melon, rubber, mango and crystalized apricot and ginger. The palate is thick but balanced with good acidity, offering honey, vanilla, pineapple, mango, plantains and a big dose of marzipan. Very enjoyable now, this will evolve over the next 10+ years. 92 points. Value: A-

2014 Old Westminster Winery Anthem (Maryland) – Wednesday, March 29, 2017 – Hedonistic smokey, savory nose featuring iodine, hickory smoke, green bell pepper, dried cranberry, parsley and just a bit of coriander. The palate is medium bodied with light fine grained tannins and appropriately metered acidity. The flavors hit on saline, iodine, sweet cherries, pomegranate seeds, beef jerky, and black pepper. Really great salt of the Earth stuff here, just wish it had a bit more concentration to prolong the finish. 91 points. Value: B

2013 Jaffurs Roussanne Stolpman Vineyard (California) – Pours golden. The nose has huge Asian Pear and honeysuckle along with pineapple, mango, apricot nectar and white peach. There’s also crushed rock and white pepper on this gorgeous nose. The palate is medium bodied and lush with vanilla. The acidity is bright and adds juiciness to the Bosh Pear, sweet pineapple, apricot and lemon. Bitter dandelion greens and parsley keep it balanced. Well executed. 91 points. Value: C

2010 Eric Morgat Savennières L’Enclos (France) – Sunday, April 9, 2017 – Honeysuckle, lemon, Starfruit, brine and smoke jump out front on the nose, followed by flint, crushed rock and white pepper. It finishes with creme brulee. The palate is medium bodied but driven by crisp, juicy acidity that strikes a fine balance with just a bit of sweetness. The flavors include Meyer lemon, cantaloupe, peaches and cream, Star fruit, honeysuckle, smoke, saline, graphite and a bit of wet dirt. Another brilliant Morgat effort that stands up to the test of time. 93 points. Value B+

2013 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Carneros (California) – Sunday, April 16, 2017 – The nose offers fleshy cherries and raspberries with rose water, damp Earth, graham cracker and high toned pepper and allspice. The palate is medium bodied with dense, very fine tannins and juicy acidity framing gushing red fruits, baking spice, graham cracker, and small hints of fungal and vegetal flavors. While not exactly complex or layered, this is an impressively complete and polished pinot at a very good price that has another 2-3 years of prime drinking ahead of it. Would happily drink this any night. 91 points. Value: B

2010 Baer Winery Arctos (Washington) – Thursday, April 20, 2017 – Bountiful nose of juicy red, black and blue berries, very sweet tobacco, thyme and black pepper. The palate coats the mouth with lush, polished and sweet tannins. It’s fully integrated and gorgeous. Sweet raspberries, cherries and blackberries swirl around with undercurrents of tobacco, graphite, cassis, nutmeg, cocoa, black currant, and rhubarb. Absolutely fantastic and pleasurable profile, it’s in exactly the right place. 94 points. Value: A

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs (California) – Thursday, April 27, 2017 – Bountiful nose of rose water, lavender, pomegranate, cranberries, cherries, dark cigar tobacco, zinc, graphite and funky mushrooms. The palate is full bodied and lush, but the acid remains strong and maintains a nice overall finesse. The fruit is full of red plums, prunes, dark cherries. There is tobacco, black pepper, and bitter edible Spring flower mix. This seems to be in a perfect place in it’s evolution. It’s definitely shed weight and found a svelte figure, but the tannins are still just robust enough to keep it well-framed. It delivers hedonism with a delicate touch. I wouldn’t sit on this any longer. 93 points. Value: A

2013 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume (France) – Monday, May 1, 2017 – The nose has big aromas of crushed stone, honeysuckle, peach, lemon, dandelion greens and arugula. The palate is similarly classic Chablis. It’s medium bodied and palate coating with lush and zesty sweet lime sorbet, green apple, chalk, basil, white pepper and just a bit of saline. This is well-integrated and the acid finds a fantastic balance with just a little of the famed Chablis swerve that comes in at the end. Not the most interesting of the Fevre line up but in an underwhelming vintage it’s a very pleasurable wine. It will probably see some evolution over the next 5 years as well. 92 points. Value: C-

2015 Penner-Ash Viognier (Oregon) – Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – Re-upping my prior note. This is big on honeysuckle, white pepper, sweet tropical fruits and fennel. Previously I said late 2017-late 2018 would be ideal but it’s developed quicker than I anticipated. Still benefits from 30+ minute decant but I’m not sure it needs more time on its side. Quite good. 92 points. Value: B+

2007 Arns Syrah Melanson Vineyard (California) – Thursday, May 25, 2017 – The nose offers olive brine, concord grape juice, green pepper corns, smoke and blackberries. The palate is very refined and smooth, though there is still enough tannic structure to keep the wine well framed. It starts a bit rigid but really softens on the mid-palate. The cherries and blackberries are still a bit sweet but secondary to savory flavors of olive brine, saline, hickory smoke and hazelnut. The finish lingers nicely. This is really good stuff, though it’s clearly beginning its decline. 92 points. Value: B-

2014 For a Song Syrah (Washington) – Monday, May 29, 2017 – Nose: dark plum, boysenberries, cherries, smoke and caper juice. The palate is full with bright acidity and moderate, grainy tannin that smooth integrates. The fruit is ripe and sweet with red plum, raspberries, and dark cherries. There’s dusty cocoa, sweet tobacco, graphite and lavender. Not a ton of complexity but a very cool combination of textures and flavors. Even though it has the acidity, tannin and weight to suggest age worthiness, I don’t see it developing a more compelling profile. I imagine it’ll be at its best in the next one to two years and then deliver diminishing returns. 90 points. Value: A

2014 Cameron Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge (Oregon) – Thursday, June 1, 2017 – This benefits from time in the decanter but really does deserve several years of cellaring. The nose has brilliant cherries, cranberries and raspberries to go along with big cloves, violets, funky wet soil and cocoa. The palate is medium in weight with a sheen of dense tannins and nicely balanced acid. The fruit is red and pleasantly sweet. There’s black pepper, baking spices, green bell peppers and scallions, lavender and a hint of petroleum. This is an expertly made wine with fantastic pedigree that’s showing a lot of promise. Hold this for three, maybe five, plus years to see it at its best. 92 points. Value: A

2014 Beringer Vineyards Chardonnay Luminus (California) – Monday, June 12, 2017 – No formal notes. Couple of observations: definitely Californian; definitely not as fat or buttery as many California chardonnays; definitely well made; definitely without personality. Much more interesting $30 chardonnays out there, and if looking at that price point in California there are much better options. That said, not especially overpriced and not especially worth shunning as one could easily do worse. 88 points. Value: C

2016 Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc (California) – Sunday, June 11, 2017 – The nose offers lemon curd, dandelion, Starfruit, limestone and chalk. The palate is medium in stature but well structured with significant skin tannin and racy acidity. Big Meyer lemon, bitter spring greens, apricot, Granny smith apple and a lot of white pepper spice. This is great stuff would be fun to follow over the next five years. 91 points. Value: B

2010 Syncline Red Mountain Mourvedre (Washington) – Friday, June 2, 2017 – The nose has beautiful blue fruit, smoke, graphite and sea spray. The palate is lean with good acidity but made dense with grainy tannins. There’s cedar, mint, blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries, and, of course, a lot of black pepper. It finishes with a modest but unfortunate alcoholic spike. I agree that this needs air, but given the absence of significant body or structure I don’t take that as an indication that it will improve with further aging. The flavors and aromas suggest it should be worth more points but it’s just a little unsatisfying in the end. 91 points. Value: C-