CHATEAU CROIX DE LABRIE ST. EMILION GRAND CRU - 2007
One of the smallest St. Emilion producers. A garage wine of sorts made from close to 100% Merlot and aged in 100% French new oak. TASTING NOTES: Black fruit, charcoal, oak-char, black cherry, mocha, leather, baking spices. Rich, smooth, elegant with plum notes on the finish. SCORE & RECOMMENDATION: 93 PTS This is a sensational wine with tremendous character and style. Terrific hidden gem of the vintage.
13.5% alcohol. Willamette Valley. TASTING NOTES: Light red color with raspberry and black cherry notes. Clean, crisp with good acidity. SCORE & RECOMMENDATION: 88 PTS Easy to drink, but lacks complexity. Simple, light and enjoyable but short on the finish and depth. Retails for around $20.
Known more for its Sauternes, Chateau Guiraud's Le G is a dry white wine, barrel fermented in one year old Sauternes barrels and aged for six months on the lees. 80% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon. 13.5% alcohol. TASTING NOTES: Golden yellow with aromas of meadow grass, peaches, nectarines, and citrus. On the palate there's persimmons, creamy melon, grapefruit and pear. Smooth, dry finish with lots of minerality and composure. SCORE & RECOMMENDATION: 92 PTS For $16 this is serious, sophisticated wine. You don't come across this kind of layered complexity, ever-evolving in the glass kind of wine at this price point. A wonderful wine. Triumph.
100% Viura grapes, barrel fermented and aged 4 months in French Oak barrels. 13% alcohol. TASTING NOTES: Straw-gold color with floral lemon aromas. Peaches, honey, minerals, and lots of citrus. Candied apple-pear on the finish with oak undertones. SCORE & RECOMMENDATION: 91 PTS A really unique and satisfying white from Spain. There is a deliciousness here. A long finish. Great balance and acidity. You can't ask for much more from a wine that costs $15 a bottle.
13.5% alcohol. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 6% Syrah, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec. From Columbia Valley, Washington State. TASTING NOTES: Dark fruit on display as blackberries, black currants, blackberry, licorice, plum and lots of oak are packed into a left hook. There's creamy cherry-vanilla notes and chocolate, big tannins and explosiveness with restraint and finesse. SCORE & RECOMMENDATION: 91+PTS This wine is raw, bold, naked and amusing so in a way it could be Lena Dunham wine. But all kidding aside, it is a terrific wine with "trutina" which means balance in Latin. For around $22 a bottle, this is superior stuff from one of my favorite wine regions on Earth. Washington State delivers great quality at a more affordable rate than a lot of California wineries.
14% alcohol. Made from 90% Sangiovese. TASTING NOTES: Dark red color with aromas of black fruit and charred oak. Black currant, plum, blackberries and hints of cherry/mocha on the mid-palate. Relatively smooth with dusty tannins, leather and spices accenting a round finish. SCORE & RECOMMENDATION: 90 PTS Nothing that will thrill you, but this is a well made wine with a good price tag. It lists for around $20 but you can find it on sale for around $17. Not sure this will really improve with aging. Quality fruit, approachable now, but leaves you wanting more excitement because all the right ingredients are there but it just doesn't completely come together.
Greek white wine with 12% alcohol. Grown in volcanic soils. TASTING NOTES: Crisp and floral with pear, apple and citrus notes. There's peach and melon underneath well-balanced acidity and minerality. SCORE & RECOMMENDATION: 89 PTS Stellar Greek white for $13. Some nice complexity and depth with a lovely floral nose. Easy recommendation given the price point as you won't find to many complex whites for under $15.
Seductive aromas. Tannic, oaky, sleek. Rich black fruit of plums, blackberries, black currant, creme-de-cassis, licorice. Distinctive Pomerol smoked earth.
SCORE & RECOMMENDATION:
91 PTS I love good Pomerol wines and this wine seems to deliver year after year. 2005 is a great vintage and this one pops dynamically in the glass. Getting up there in price near $40 although this was a steal on futures when acquired.
90% Sangiovese, 7% Canaiolo, 3% Colorino with 14% alcohol. Instead of large Slavonian casks the wine was aged for 18 months in French oak barriques.
Dark red and black fruit, with lots of tobacco, cherries and leather. Plum and spice round out the ends with soft, ripe tannin.
SCORE & RECOMMENDATION:
91+PTS Balance, structure and finesse. This is a great wine that flies under the radar. Previous vintage made the Wine Spectator Top 100 list, yet the price on this one did not escalate. Retails for around $17 making it a solid buy.
WINE REVIEWS FOR THE EVERYDAY WINE DRINKER: No snobbery, no spit bucket, just honest thoughts on the wines I drink to help you become a smart wine buyer, drinker and enthusiast.
About Me & My Wine
I Am: Winecentric
Wine that started my love affair with wine: 1997 Catena Alta Luca Chardonnay
Wine that most recently impressed me: Quinta Do Vale Meao Meandro Douro 2006 (amazing stuff!)
Wine I wish I had in my cellar but don't: Movia reds from Slovenia, 1995 Chateau Musar
Number of bottles in my cellar at all times: About 100
Most exciting wine moment: Meeting Nicolas & Laura Catena at the NY Wine Experience
To send wine samples for review, comments or questions, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org