90 Points SMART BUY Elegantly balances lively crispness with plush, rich fruit and notes of fresh cherry, baked apple and brioche, ending with a long, minerally finish.
90 Points Expressive and festive, backed by good structure with aromas of strawberry and gingerbread leading to crisp, plush red apple and spice flavors.
95 Points "Inky ruby. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur, peppery spices and fresh flowers, backed by a hint of olive. Supple and appealingly sweet, offering intense, deeply concentrated blackberry and violet pastille flavors and a suggestion of star anise. Finishes pure, sweet and energetic on the penetrating finish, showing outstanding focus and slow-building tannins."
100 Points "The aromas to this are multidimensional and fascinating with black truffles, bark, cloves, black currants and citrus - even ginseng. Full-bodied, yet reserved, even austere, with chewy and powerful tannins that remain polished and refined. The flavors are more umami and savory. Then there's forest fruits and red orange undertones. It lasts for minutes. A wine to age for a lifetime. It's an experience to taste this. A new classic showing its history and tradition as a source of the greatest wines ever from Napa. A wine to always enjoy."
95 Points Editors’ Choice "A magical blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, this estate-crafted blend exudes elegance, etching out silos of herb, lavender, cedar and earth around savory-laced texture. A powerful concentration of dark chocolate appears on the lengthy finish, the wine sourced from dry-farmed, impeccably tended vines."
96 Points Year's BestChampagne "Roederer invested in a separate winery to produce its rosé, the facility completed in 2007, taking its classic saignee method wines to a new level. An estate-grown blend of pinot noir from the clay soils of Cumieres with chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, this is an extraordinary vintage of Roederer Rosé. it’s a lithe wine, compelling for its precision rather than for any stylized complexity. In fact, it feels simple, naked, capturing the freshness of the grapes in pale pink energy. The transparent cherry and Honeycrisp apple flavors are inherently balanced and hard to resist."
95 Points Year's Best Port "As an outsider, it’s easy to know it when you taste it. There’s no mistaking the freshness in this wine, though it lives mysteriously in complete harmony with its aged character, provoking an immediate sense of pleasure (the yum response) followed by an extended moment of meditation. Are you tasting dried cherries? Smelling the scent of mushrooms in the forest? The fresh zest of an orange or the mineral sense of tannins turned to silk? Whatever that fragrant, delicate thing may be, it’s likely to catch your attention and hold it, suspending time while you think about another sip."
95 Points #36 of Top 100 2015 "Very fruity and fresh in aroma, this elegant wine has light, crisp apple and lemon flavors, fresh-baked bread accents and lively acidity. A layered texture seems to blend in accents of almond and vanilla, increasing complexity with each sip. It’s one of California’s bluechip bubblies."
96 Points "Aromas of ginger, sliced dried pineapple, mango and tea. Full-bodied, dense and intense. Really fresh and delicious. Tangy acidity. Very long and flavorful finish. A vibrant and delicious Cristal. Hard to decide if this is better than or the same as 2005. Drink or hold."
98+ Points "The exuberance and drama in the stunning nose of the dense plum-colored 2012 Dominus offers up notes of Asian spice, ripe, black currants, kirsch, tobacco leaf and Christmas fruitcake. It is full-bodied and opulent, with no hard edges, a seamless integration of acidity, wood and tannin and a density and richness that are built to go on for 25-30 years."
100 Points "The 2013 Dominus is, to my way of thinking, one of the most profound wines Christian Moueix has yet made in his rather brilliant winemaking history, both in France and in Napa Valley. This wine, with very low yields of only 3,500 cases and a final blend of 89% cabernet sauvignon, 7% petit verdot and 4% cabernet franc, offers up notes of cedar wood, forest floor, loamy soil and oodles of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Very opaque purple in color, super-pure and intense, this wine has low acidity, but ripe, noticeable tannins. This is a 30- to 40-year wine and a profound effort from this famous vineyard in Yountville. Drink it over the next 40+ years."
98 Points "The 2012 Dominus is a real head-turner. Flashy, voluptuous and intense, but with tons of underlying concentration, the 2012 is simply magnificent. A towering, vertical Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 Dominus is one of the most concentrated wines of the vintage, yet it also maintains considerable freshness, the signature of a late-ripening vintage with no heat spikes. Sweet red cherry, raspberry and floral notes add lift on the perfumed, expressive finish. The blend is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc."
100 Points "The 2013 Dominus overwhelms all the senses with its magnificent overall balance and towering intensity. Deep and nearly impenetrable in the glass, the 2013 boasts off the charts dry extract and overall power. Violets, smoke, black cherries, menthol, incense, crème de cassis and dark spices are some of the many signatures that take shape in the glass. Even better in bottle than it was in barrel, the 2013 is utterly magnificent. This is a remarkably vivid, nuanced wine considering its sheer size."
96 Points #73 of 2015 Top Italian wines "Lots of dark berries and flowers plus hints of fresh mushrooms. Full body with ultra-fine tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Dense and racy. Perhaps the best Il Bricco ever?"
92 Points "The 2011 Therra is a bend of the five red grapes grown at Podernuovo a Palazzone: Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano and Merlot. This interesting blend offers huge fruit character with dark cherry, pressed blackberry, spice, tobacco and leather. It's a truly lovely wine that makes for a perfect option for grilled steak or roasted leg of lamb. You get the tannic structure from the two Cabernet varieties and the fruity softness from both the Montepulciano and the Merlot. The Sangiovese contributes to the wine's bright acidic vein."
93 Points "The 2010 Riesling Grand Cru Kitterlé is very cool and flinty on the clear and elegant nose which also offers stewed apricots and yellow-flesh fruit aromas. The good fruit maturity and high concentration on the palate is sustained by a great finesse and a piquant acidity that seems to dance over the palate. This is a very pure and rather lean, very mineral Kitterlé with herbal flavors in the long and salty aftertaste."
95 Points #45 Top 100 wines of Alsace "A fabulous nose of sliced pineapple, honeysuckle, and mineral. Full-bodied, dry but rich, and wonderful depth of fruit. The mineral and tropical fruit is intense yet subtle. Mature style. Drink now."
94 Points #69 Top 100 Wines of Alsace "Fantastic aromas of sliced apple, pear and lemon with hints of spices. Full-bodied and dry yet rich and fruity. Very persistent and stylish. Outstanding quality. Drink now."
94 Points #77 Top 100 wines of Alsace "This is a rich and almost waxy riesling with sliced lemons and mineral character. Full-bodied, flinty and minerally. Long finish. Wonderful. Drink now."
95 Points "A sensational wine that's up with the creme de la creme of the appellation, the inky colored 2010 St Joseph Ste Epine was raised in 40-50% new French oak, with the balance in 2- and 3-year-old barrels. It has serious minerality in its graphite, chocolate, blackberry, currants and smoked herb aromas and flavors, and frankly, tastes more like an Hermitage than a St Joseph. Full-bodied, concentrated and rich, with big tannin and a great finish, it needs to be forgotten for 3-4 years but will cruise for 20 years or more."
95 Points "Wonderful purity of cabernet sauvignon fruit to this wine with blackcurrants, wet earth and pomace undertones. Full body, velvety and softly textured tannins and a long and flavorful finish. A wonderfully balanced Bordeaux blend of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot from the Tuscan hillside coastline. Drink or hold."
96 Points Editors’ Choice "This impressive bubbly has apple, caramel and toffee aromas, melt-in-the-mouth Bosc pear and spice rack flavors, a rich but firm texture, and long finish. It possesses amazing liveliness, body and depth, and seems to reveal more nuances and freshness with each sip. While terrific to drink now, it can be cellared through at least 2020."
98 Points #13 of 2015 Top 100 Wines "The aromas of this show an amazing freshness of flowers and herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and violet. Then it goes to raspberry, candy and currants. Black licorice too. A truly great wine on the nose. Full-bodied, racy and linear. So polished. It's like a red ruby. 86% tempranillo and 14% mazuelo in the blend. For release in September 2015. Great length and future. Give it three years or so. Or decant two hours in advance."
97 Points "You just want to smell this, with a polish and clarity that changes all the time. Aromas of walnuts, dark fruits, ginger, roasted seaweed, soya, iron, rosemary, and lavender. Full-bodied, yet polished and firm. Such tension and form. The length is phenomenal. As always, this is a selection of the best of the best. A blend of 90% tempranillo and 10% mazuelo. Almost all American oak. Aged three years barrel and then three years in bottle. Drink or hold."
95 Points "Aromas of white flowers, sliced pears, pineapple and chrysanthemum. Lilacs too. Full body plus mineral, stone and bright fruit flavors. It last for minutes on the palate. From a single plot of viura on the estate. It is barrel fermented and then aged 17 months. A great white. Phenomenal for the money."
97 Points "Taut yet wonderfully explosive, with fabulous energy, the 1996 captures all the best qualities of the vintage. In most 1996 retrospectives, Cristal makes a case for itself as one of the wines of the year, so it is not so surprising to see the Late Disgorged version show so well. Readers who can find the 1996 are in for a real treat."
97+ Points “Long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has produced yet another in a string of superb Champagnes with the 2007 Cristal. Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2007 takes hold of all the senses and never lets up. The aromatics alone are captivating, but then the wine opens on the palate, revealing layer after layer of flavor to match a multi-dimensional, kaleidoscopic personality that will leave Champagne lovers weak at the knees. The 2007 is 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir, which is to say a bit more Chardonnay-leaning than is the norm. The 2007 is striking today, but it should also age effortlessly for several decades. It is also without question one of the very finest new releases of the year.”
94 Points "Complex and elegant, with cherry, licorice, leather and incense flavors. The firm grip of tannins quickly takes over, but this is long, echoing leather and spice. Best from 2019 through 2035."
98 Points "This blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot (note that rarely is any Merlot utilized at the historic Napanook Estate in Yountville). The alcohol, by California standards, is a relatively modest 14.1%. Blending the best of French savoir faire with the brilliant fruit purity and ripeness of Napa Valley, Moueix has turned in another tour de force that seems far superior today than it did when it was first released. This is one of the vintage’s greatest wines. Dense purple and youthful, with a glorious nose of earth, blackcurrants, sweet black cherries and incense, the oak is pushed way in the background, as it is in all of the Moueix wines, and the result is a wine of terroir, of great originality and authenticity. This full-bodied classic from Dominus can be drunk now, but really won’t hit its prime for another 4-5 years and last at least another two decades or more."
93 Points TOP U.S. SPARKLING "This shows a sense of grace and balance that belies its complexity and sophistication. Delicate brioche and apple aromas lead to long and sleek flavors of spicy hazelnut, lemon and ginger that finish with an impeccably crisp mineral note. Drink now through 2016."
98+ Points "The 2010 Dominus is one of the unquestioned stars of the evening. While some of the 2010s can be enjoyed young, Dominus is a powerhouse that will require a number of years to soften. It is a bit of a shame the 2010 is served early in this dinner, as it is truly magnificent. Tasted over several hours and into the next day, the 2010 only continued to grow. A wine of baritone-like depth and explosive structure, the Dominus is a long-distance runner. On this night it is dark, imposing and totally vertical in its sense of structure. The firm tannins beg for patience. Today, my impression is that Dominus will be one of the last 2010s to open up."
98 Points "The 2006 Cristal Rosé is simply stunning. A vertical, towering wine, the 2006 Cristal Rosé is a thrill a minute, with a compelling interplay of aromatics and exquisitely layered fruit, all supported by a real feeling of phenolic intensity. While the 2007 is seductive, the 2006 is virile and imposing, with the statuesque lift of a Giacometti sculpture. All the elements meld together in a complete, alluring Champagne that will continue to drink beautifully for many decades. In 2006, the Pinot Noir was already being farmed biodynamically, while the Chardonnay was still under conversion."
98+ Points "Still a baby, the 2004 Cristal Rosé has begun to put on considerable weight over the last few years, which only serves to balance the focus and tension that have always been present. Even at eleven years of age, the 2004 Cristal Rosé remains tightly wound and a touch austere at times. Hints of orange peel, white pepper and cranberry add an exotic flair on the deeply expressive finish. Readers who can find the 2004 should not hesitate, as it is simply stunning by any measure."
98 Points "Rich, powerful and voluptuous on the palate, the 2002 captures the exuberance of the year in spades. Hard candy, cinnamon, spices, mint and wild flowers wrap around the resonant, opulent finish. A head-turning beauty, the 2002 has really blossomed since I last tasted it a few years ago.[...] I imagine the 2002 will reward readers with another 15-20 years of exceptional drinking, perhaps more. There isn't too much to say, except that this is one of the great wines of the vintage."
95+ Points "A worthy follow-up of the 2007, the 2007 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial will be released in late 2015. This is a cuvée of mostly Tempranillo with the balance of Mazuelo (Cariñena), a very important grape for Castillo de Ygay in percentages that vary depending on the vintage, and it's almost 15% in 2007. 2007 was not an easy vintage and in Ygay they had a terrible mildew attack and they lost 50% of the bunches. It's a cold, rainy year, but because of that circumstance the wine is concentrated. This is still a baby, long and with depth and tannins that should melt in a couple of years. Compared with the 2005 it is fresher, perhaps not as concentrated, but for me the extra freshness compensates and puts it at a very similar quality level. And the rule of thumb is to wait at least ten years after the harvest to start uncorking any Castillo de Ygay. Cheap it is not, but very good value it is, for the quality it delivers."
98 Points #56 of 2015 Top 100 Wines "Fabulous purity and clarity of fruit. Blackcurrants, blackberries and violets. Full body, big soft tannins and a chocolate, hazelnut and dark fruit character. Some hot stones. Fruit at the finish. Ripe and velvety finish. Better in 2020 but delicious to drink now. Wonderful Dominus."
95 Points "This is shows wonderful aromas of tar, asphalt, wet earth and pure cherries. Full-bodied, yet soft and velvety with a fine dusty texture to the finish. Fresh and austere. Dignified. This has no cabernet franc in it this year. Normally there is 3% to 5%. It’s 95% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot. Drink or hold."
95 Points "This is a fabulous young Barolo with a purity and beauty that is breathtaking. Full body plus a deep and subtle center palate of strawberry, light cherry and hints of citrus. Really superb. Drink or hold."
97 Points #46 of 2015 Top 100 Wines "A complex and complete wine with black cherry, mushrooms, wet earth and plum. Full-bodied, yet so refined and caressing in texture. Wonderful length and beauty. You want to drink it now but it will give so much more in the future."
94 Points "Bright, dark golden yellow. Captivating aromas of marmaladey noble rot, passion fruit, truffle, strawberry and grilled smoked pork. Bright, dense and suave, with fresh tropical fruit and grilled peach flavors. The clean, very long finish features a hint of bitter orange preserves. A true Alsace classic, the Cuvée Christine is almost always Schlumberger’s best wine--rivaled only by the Cuvée Anne--and it’s no different this year."
94 Points "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a ripe and fruit-forward expression that bursts with energy and red fruit intensity even at this young stage in the wine's life. Thick layers of cherry, blackberry, cassis, vanilla and cinnamon give the wine a bold, opulent personality. The tannins are super tame and docile, even for this more structured vintage. The wine boasts a medium build with bright garnet and ruby highlights. I think Castiglion del Bosco does a great job of executing and delivering this softer style of Brunello that works so well as a companion to the hearty, wintery foods we love most. You can drink it in the near or long term. It has that level of aging flexibility. The 2010 vintage is a great one to taste and buy."
95 Points Hot Wine "Red Rather tightly packed, with loganberry, bitter plum and raspberry coulis notes forming the core, while bay, black tea and anise accents add range and extend the finish. A lovely lavender hint echoes at the very end. Best from 2017 through 2027."
91 Points "If it’s possible for a Châteauneuf du-Pape to have Burgundian style, this would be a candidate. The cherries are delicate and herbal, with crisp acids and silky tannins that provide a wiry, peppery framework for the elegant fruit. Drink now–2020. "
91 Points YEAR'S BEST "This is the new inaugural release from a new winery founded by the Rouzaud family of Champagne Louis Roederer, a project that developed out of the family's long history in Anderson Valley via their Roederer Estate sparkling house. Jerry Murray, formerly of van Duzer, moved down from Oregon to manage the winemaking, working exclusively with the firm's estate vineyards. Reduced right now, it needs a vigorous decanting, but the fruit underneath feels healthy, shadowy and alluring, its generous texture pointed toward dark fruit, earth and a salty marine aroma that suggests a pairing with poached salmon."
95 Points "This has lovely layers of crushed fig, boysenberry and plum fruit, mixed with hints of anise, fruitcake and cinnamon. Gorgeous singed spice accents mix with a loamy element on the finish, adding treble and bass notes to the fruit's midrange. Sneakily long, with serious buried grip. Best from 2017 through 2027."
94 Points "Inky ruby. Vibrant cherry and black raspberry aromas are complemented by smoky minerals and suave floral pastille and spicecake qualities. Concentrated red fruit flavors are sappy and focused, with hints of cola and licorice adding depth. Silky, smoky and broad on the strikingly long, incisive finish, which features gentle tannins and lingering floral and mineral qualities. 2019-2035"
96 Points "A very perfumed, sexy red with blueberry, dark chocolate, walnut skin, cedar and hints of mahogany. This is very deep and dense with a wonderful core of ripe fruit and freshness. Some new wood showing now, giving it a vanilla undertone. Wonderful finish with a toasted-coconut and berry character. Single-vineyard Brunello."
93 Points "Elegant and harmonious, with bright acidity enlivening the refined and creamy mousse and flavors of pastry, creamed pear, crushed blackberry, spun honey and slivered almond. A streak of chalky mineral resonates through the wine and lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2028."
90 Points "Well-proportioned, with good grip to the wild cherry, plum tart and chocolate flavors, which offer lots of minerality notes. White pepper details show on the fruity finish. Drink now though 2022."
94 Points Highly Recommended "Tangy raspberry and black cherry fruit is underscored by smoke and mineral accents in this finely knit, racy rosé Champagne. Mouthwatering, with hints of apple blossom, lemon zest and creamed almond on the finish. Drink now through 2029."
93 Points "Sleek and minerally, this firm Champagne is softened by a swathe of silky texture, offering a tapestry of persimmon, pear, chalk and lemon zest flavors, with rich hints of pastry and chopped almond. Graceful and ethereal, this features a lasting saline impression that echoes on the finish. Drink now through 2026."
90 Points "Still young, but promising good things, this is a ripe and balanced wine. It’s a blend of grapes from two Douro vineyards (Duas Quintas), giving black fruits, a strong sense of minerality and a dark texture. The end promises aging and drinkability from 2016."
95 Points Cellar Selection "With its few years bottle aging, this is developing into a fabulous wine. From one of the top grand cru vineyards in southern Alsace, it has richness while still preserving a light touch that brings out acidity and tight fruitiness. To contrast, the mineral texture adds a tense factor, very crisp and allowing the wine to age further. Drink until 2025."
91 Points "The wine has a golden character, warm and ripe. Its rich fruits bring out honeydew melon and pineapple as well as crisper orange zest. The structure and the rich texture are already all there, although it will develop well until 2020."
93 Points Cellar Selection "A sweet Gewuztraminer, ripe while still delicate. It provides a fascinating take both on the grape, giving more honey than spice; and on the terroir that has produced a highly structured wine. With its concentration and the sense of acidity in the background, it will age, so drink from 2017."
91 Points "Not overly sweet, this offers a spicy character on top of a touch of honey and fresh lemon flavors. It’s surprisingly and attractively delicate for a Gewurztraminer, and ready to drink now."
94 Points "This is blockbuster Pinot Gris, a big wine in all senses. It has weight, superrich fruit and wonderful spice. While it’s superficially opulent, it also has great depth, bringing out the terroir of the Spiegel vineyard and allowing the flashy spice to become more sophisticated as it the wine ages. Drink now for its immediate attraction, but really wait until 2018."
94 Points "Perfumed and structured, this opens with a beautiful fragrance of intense violet layered with bright raspberry and balsamic notes. The palate has nice depth, delivering juicy wild cherry accented with vanilla, cinnamon, mocha and a note of Mediterranean herbs. It’s nicely balanced with bright acidity and firm tannins that give it an age-worthy structure. Drink through 2030."
92 Points "This attention-grabbing debut Chardonnay comes from a new sister winery to Roederer Estate in Mendocino County. It shows a vivid yellow-gold color, butterscotch and hazelnut aromas, butter and bosc pear flavors and tasty bread dough accents. Rich and full in flavor, it’s sleek in texture, but not too full-bodied."
94 Points #84 of WS 2014TOP100 "Marqués de Murrieta is among Rioja's oldest bodegas, but owner Vincente Cebrian recently completed a massive refurbishment to keep the winery at the leading edge of quality. This bottling represents a fusion of Rioja's traditional and modern styles. Castillo Ygay is produced from 80-year-old vines in the La Plana vineyard, located at the highest point within this historic estate. Tempranillo-dominated and Mazuelo-supported, the wine was fermented in both American and French oak, then aged for 30 months in barrel."
89 Points "Offers spice, savory, tea leaf, dried cherry and red currant aromas and flavors, with the tea edge and a blood orange hint holding sway on the elegant but persistent finish. Drink now through 2016."
93 Points "Reviewed last year, the 2012 Condrieu Clos Boucher offers exotic notes of lychee, mint, flowers, citrus and big minerality in its medium-bodied, fresh, focused and elegant personality. This team continues to knockout it out of the park. Run by Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud, all of these new releases merit serious attention."
91 Points "A classic Condrieu, the 2012 Condrieu La Galopine exhibits pretty apricot, flowers and tangerine in its perfumed, fruit loaded, textured style. Enjoy this full-bodied beauty over the coming year or two."
90 Points "A supple, polished and perfumed wine, the 2012 Cornas Chante Perdrix gives up plenty of black raspberry, peppery herbs, green olive and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, with good mid-palate depth, high-quality tannin, and an already upfront style, drink it over the coming 7-8 years."
95 Points "Showing even better from bottle than barrel, the 2012 Côte Rôtie La Landonne is a fabulous effort that oozes notions of cassis, black raspberry, violet, incense and spice-box. Medium to full-bodied, with a gorgeous mid-palate and building, fine tannin, enjoy this ripe, layered, textured beauty over the coming 10-15 years. Made from 100% Syrah aged in new barrels, it’s gorgeous."
90 Points "A medium-bodied, structured, savory and tannic effort, the 2012 Côte Rôtie Seigneur de Maugiron exhibits notes of smoke, dried soil, and leather to go with a black raspberry and blackberry core of fruit. Despite all of the tannin, it has a solid mid-palate. Give it 2-3 years in the cellar and drink bottles through 2027."
92 Points "The 2012 Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins is terrific value in northern Rhône Syrah. Offering more spice, cedar, and savory qualities, with loads of dried earth, saddle leather and sweet red and blackberry fruit, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, fantastic purity of fruit and a supple, forward style that will allow it to shine over the coming decade."
92 Points "Another classy, impeccably made wine from this team, the 2012 Crozes Hermitage Le Clos (100% Syrah aged 16 months in 40% new French oak) exhibits lots of spice, cedar and dried earth intermixed with savory red and black fruits. Medium to full-bodied, with plenty of tannin and excellent length, it too will drink well for a decade. "
90 Points "A classy, lively and spice-filled Syrah, the 2012 Crozes Hermitage Les Launes offers up lots of cedar, peppered meats and sweet red and black fruits, medium-bodied richness, and outstanding purity and length. Aged all in vat, drink it over the coming 5-7 years."
90 Points "I loved the 2012 Crozes Hermitage Les Launes Blanc. Made from a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne, it gives up classic white flowers, honeysuckle, citrus and crushed rock to go with a fresh, pure, medium-bodied style on the palate. More elegant than powerful, it will be versatile on the dinner table and drink nicely for 2-3 years."
95 Points "Just a small step back from the Les Bessards, the 2012 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is a stunning effort that exhibits blockbuster notes of toasted spice, leather, peppery herbs and sweet black and blue fruit. Seeing 16 months in 60% new French oak, it's a powerful, concentrated and full-bodied effort that has lots of tannin, but more than enough fruit to handle it. Like the Les Bessards, shorter-term cellaring is advised here and it will have over two decades of longevity."
96 Points "Reviewed last year, the 2012 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes Blanc didn’t disappoint this go-round. It’s a blockbuster white that will have two decades of longevity. Citrus blossom, pineapple, orange blossom and big minerality all emerge from the glass and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, stunning purity and blockbuster length. I love it."
97 Points "The star of the show is the 2012 Hermitage Les Bessards. Coming from the pure granite soils of the Les Bessards lieu-dit, on the western edge of the appellation, it’s made from 100% Syrah and spent 16 months in 70% new French oak. It’s an incredible wine that offers classic powdered rock-like minerality, loads of crème de cassis and black raspberry fruit, smoked meats, spice and dried-flower nuances. Complex, pure and perfumed, it’s full-bodied and seamless on the palate, with fabulous density, ultra-fine tannin structure and impeccable overall balance. Give it 3-4 years in the cellar and drink it over the following two decades."
93 Points "Just a step behind the Sainte Epine, the 2012 St Joseph Cuvee Francois de Tournon exhibits classic black raspberry, cassis, spiced meats and hints of licorice in its ripe, supple and beautifully pure profile. Aged 16 months in 30% new and 70% in 2- to 3-year-old barrels, it has medium to full-bodied richness, integrated acidity and building tannin. Drink it anytime over the coming decade."
95 Points "A blockbuster Saint Joseph that’s up there with the crème de la crème of the appellation, the 2012 Saint Joseph Sainte Epine offers awesome notes of crème de cassis, toasted spice, licorice and vanilla bean. Slightly modern styled, (it was aged in 40% new and 60% 2- to 3-year-old barrels), with full-bodied richness and a decadent, layered style, it stays firmly planted in the Northern Rhone with a granite-influenced minerality, beautiful purity and building tannin. This beauty will have two decades of longevity."
96 Points "Every bit as good as the 2012, the 2013 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes Blanc is 100% Marsanne that spent 12 months in 100% new French oak. Full-bodied, concentrated and layered, with subtle vanilla, honeyed citrus and mint, it has awesome purity, a big mid-palate and rock-star length. It too will have two decades or more of longevity."
95-97 Points "The two Hermitages both showed brilliantly. Certainly one of the top wines in the vintage, the 2013 Hermitage Les Bessards sports an inky black color to go with serious notes of liquid rock (I commented in my notes that drinking this was similar to licking a rock), cracked pepper, scorched earth, cassis and blackberry-like fruit. Concentrated, firm and structured, with medium to full-bodied depth and weight, it will need 3-5 years to round into form, and have two decades of longevity."
97+ Points “A towering, majestic wine, the 2012 Dominus is a real stunner. Opulent and intense, yet backed up by a classic expression of acidity and tannin, the 2012 hits the palate with considerable richness. Graphite, dark red and black stone fruits, tobacco and incense soar from the glass as this voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon shows off its irresistible sexy personality. Expressive floral notes add lift on the finish. The 2012 has become a bit more tender than it was last year, which is excellent news for Dominus fans, especially with super powerful 2013s lurking right around the corner.”
94 Points "Discreet nuances of vanilla and toast accent the core of cherry, raspberry and floral in this elegant, yet firm Barolo. Beautifully balanced, complex and long, with leather, tar and mineral elements emerging on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2028."
92 Points "This red exudes sweet cherry flavors in addition to vanilla and toast elements from the light oak treatment. Elegant and persistent, with a bright beam of acidity, refined tannins and an aftertaste of iron, mineral and spice. Best from 2017 through 2028."
89 Points "Honeysuckle, green and yellow apple, melon, pear and bitter almond notes all weave together in this full-bodied Chardonnay, with a hint of matchstick lingering on the finish. Drink now."
90 Points "A plush style, offering flavors of hazelnut, dried apricot and butterscotch, showing good complexity and length. The long finish is richly spiced and smoky, with vanilla and marzipan notes. Drink now."
93 Points "Light, green-tinged gold. Vibrant and focused on the nose, displaying scents of fresh citrus fruits, anise, dusty minerals and white flowers. Fleshy and dry, boasting excellent depth and focus to its bitter lemon zest and pear skin flavors deepened by a hint of sweet butter. Shows a nervy, stony quality on the finish, which hangs on with outstanding tenacity and subtle florality. This is the first new bottling for Roederer since the launch of Cristal Rose in 1974. French designer Philippe Starck was heavily involved in the blending of the wine as well as responsible for the packaging."
92 Points "Pale yellow. Bright, mineral-accented aromas of candied orange and nectarine, complicated by an intense floral accent and a hint of ginger. Taut, penetrating orchard fruit and citrus zest flavors pick up spiciness with air and show very good depth. Finishes dry and stony, with excellent clarity and lingering mineral and floral notes. This impressively pure, balanced Champagne has the concentration to reward cellaring."
89 Points "Broad and firm, this white delivers quince, tangerine, quinine and blanched almond flavors, with good structure and grip. A bold, distinctive version. Drink now through 2015."
95 Points "The 2008 Blanc de Blancs offers a very subtle and substantial, multi-layered bouquet of wet chalk, hazelnuts, stewed apple, lemons, toast, jasmine. Full-bodied and vibrant, this is a highly elegant, very mineral, pure, fresh, tense and persistent Champagne of great complexity. It is still very young but has a great aging potential."
94 Points "Pale golden in color, the Roederer 2007 Vintage Brut offers a classic and highly elegant as well as intense and complex bouquet of tea, fruit and floral aromas indicating freshly cracked wheat grain, malt, ripe and slightly cooked apples, lime peels, quince, oranges and roasted almonds. The palate is pure, fresh, mineral, highly elegant, very vinous, complex and persistent. The aging potential is excellent here. "
92 Points "Green-tinged yellow. Fresh pear and orange on the intensely perfumed nose, with ginger, honeysuckle and smoky mineral notes adding lift. Spicy, penetrating and pure, offering vibrant orchard and citrus fruit flavors and suggestions of fresh fig and bitter quinine. Shows impressive vivacity on the finish, with the orange and smoke notes repeating."
96 Points "Locked and loaded with notions of buttered citrus, toast, flower oil, orange peel and licorice, this full-bodied, fabulously rich and textured white has superb purity of fruit, laser focus and terrific length. Enjoy it over the coming two decades."
94 Points "The 2012 Condrieu Clos Boucher, which spent 12 months in 30% new and 60% two- to three-year-old barrels, with the balance in tank, offers classic and gorgeous notes of spiced pears, flowers, citrus and vanilla bean to go with a medium-bodied, fresh and lively feel on the palate. Possessing textbook Condrieu richness, it is perfectly balanced and quite fresh. "
91-93 Points "This wine exhibits a black/purple color as well as notes of smoke, blackberries, licorice, camphor, charcoal and wet stones. Intense, full-bodied, opulent and already delicious, it should drink surprisingly well in its youth, and keep for 10-15 years."
94 Points "The 2011 Condrieu Clos Boucher is smoking good! Loaded with classy, pure aromas and flavors of flower oil, caramelized peaches, brioche and ample minerality, this medium to full-bodied effort has knockout purity, vibrant acidity and terrific length."
96 Points Cellar Selection "Bubbly doesn't get much better than this elegant, grand and sumptuous rosé. The color is pale salmon, while aromas showcase an exotic blend of spices and flowers. The flavor is vivid and enticing but not as simple as just saying cherries and ginger. Though this is dry, it's so mature and rich that it almost tastes sweet. A wonderful, ginger-cookie flavor lingers a long time on the finish. This will improve in a cool cellar through at least 2020."
95 Points Cellar Selection "A deliciously ripe wine, full of fruit as well as a great mineral texture. It completely expresses the exceptional 2008 with all its structure. Still young, it's all fruit and freshness that promise serious bottle aging. Drink this complex, serious wine from 2017."
95 Points "Still so fresh, this is fruity, yes, but it has such a depth of flavor with red fruits the starting point for an adventure in tastes and texture. Produced Roederer's own vineyard, it is ready to drink, although it will in bottle for many years."
94 Points "Tight with acidity and minerality, this is a precocious Champagne from a great vintage. Citrus and crisp apple flavors are allied to a strongly zesty character that brings out the chalk terroir of the Côte des Blancs in Champagne. Certainly the wine will age, so keep and drink from 2016."
93 Points "The latest vintage of Roederer Rosé shows all the finesse of which this producer is capable. It has fruit and the merest touches of bottle age. Red berries shine alongside the mineral texture and the pure line crisp acidity. It's beautiful Champagne that could age longer."
91 Points "Beautiful perfumed, this has ripe blackberry flavors and a relatively dry character. The spirit is now well balanced, giving a backbone to the violet aromas and spicy character of this still young LBV. It is good to drink now for its fruit, but it improve and show more complex flavors after 2017-2018."
97 Points Cellar Selection "All the benefits of maturity come through in this deliciously complex flagship sparkling wine of the French-owned estate. It shows very minute, slow-rising bubbles and a beautiful bouquet of ginger, cinnamon, cherry and fresh croissants. The flavors are layered, intricate, subtle but somehow rich. A lush and seemingly soft texture is supported by fresh acidity that encourages a long and delicate finish. Mature, but not old, it should be great through 2020 or longer."
91 Points "Beautifully balanced between maturity and freshness, this elegant bubbly combines appetizing cherry, almond and ginger flavors with a suave texture and long finish. It achieves a level of personality and sophistication beyond simple fruitiness."
91 Points "Complex and individualistic, this conveys a savory rather than fruity personality. Smoky, meaty aromas lead to spice-accented plum and berry flavors. It feels full-bodied but not hot, has a suave texture and lingering finish. The first vintage to be released from the new Roederer owned winery."
91 Points "Balanced and elegant, this red evokes cherry, rhubarb, tobacco, tar and white pepper hints. Linear and firmly structured, with dusty tannins on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2029."
95 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "Roederer's exceptional farming comes through in 2007, ripening the fruit for this wine toward yellow apple, feeling fresh and persistent with a luscious, creamy intensity. Notes of cedar and linden add to the wine's perfume, but it's mostly about the grounded connection to the soil. Complete and complex, this may not be a long ager, but it's a pretty great 2007."
92 Points BEST BUY OF THE YEAR "A quiet and firm 2008, this is closed for now, hidden behind a wash of pale limestone and a seashell-like minerality. Hints of flowers come on on in the scent, while richness builds in the finish. Youthfully lean, this should open up with bottle age."
94 Points BEST BUY OF YEAR "Chardonnay's chamomille and meadow flower scents race out of this wine's taut richness, its creaminess channeled along a chalk line of acidity. Clean and almost blunt in its youthful power, this wine has a terrific future ahead."
94 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "This delicate style of saignée Champagne is a Roederer specialty; the firm completed a new cellar in 2008 with a sole focus on rosé. What sets Roederer rosé apart is the beautiful freshness of a wine like this 2009. Its color is a light orange gold rather than pink or red. Its scent hints at pink grapefruit, the flavors ripe and tangy, deepening to red fruit. As a young wine, its austere structure is ideal for oysters. Cellar it and you'll have a wine for the dinner table."
94 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "Philippe Stark and Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon collaborated on the concept and philosophy behind this wine, a blend of three parcels on what Lécaillon calls a "single coteau" in the deep, cold clay soils of Cumières. He harvested all the grapes together, at the optimal moment for pinot noir when the meunier was a bit overripe and the chardonnay less than perfectly ripe, crushing and co-fermenting them (half the lot in large oak vats, half in stainless steel), eventually bottling the wine with low pressure (4.5 kilos of pressure rather than the typical six). It's a wine that needs decanting, gaining depth and roundness as it opens from extremely dry cider apple and barely ripe nectarine to red fruit flavors, roses and vanilla bean. The texture is what Lécaillon believes ties this wine to Roederer's style; here, that texture seems to me to fall somewhere between the cottony abrasion of chalk and a mouthwatering, cloud-like mist."
96 Points "Fabulous aromas of orange, peaches and mahogany follow through to a full body, with rich and chewy tannins and a long and flavorful finish. This is dense and tight and powerful. It is compressed and incredibly structured. Needs four to five years of bottle age to come out of it domancy."
90 Points BEST BUY OF THE YEAR "Seductively rich and round, this is also brisk and powerful. The only Roederer cuvéé with a portion of lots that have undergone malolactic fermentation, this is easy to drink on the surface, while tense and floral underneath."
91 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "From three estate blocks in Ornato, the Serralunda d'Alba cru, this spends three years in French oak (70 percent in new barriques, the rest in large format casks). The oak influence troubled some of our panelists, but I found it integrated, with plenty of fruit to last beyond the wood in dark cherry and anise flavors. The tannins are powerful even as they feel lean and elegant, creating a sleek, aerodynamic Barolo needing ten years to reach its cruising altitude."
91 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "As a young wine, this is all about texture - the silken feel of buttery have cheeks, the sweet, creamy richness of a blanquette de veau - and both the Spanish delicacy and the hearty French comfort food would be delicious with this barrel-fermented virura. It grows on the plateau at the top of Murrieta's Finca Ygay, at an elevation of 1.575 feet, where the vines have been exploring the calcareous clay and alluvial stones of an ancient riverbed for 70 years. Give it some age and the salted caramel scents will transform to a more savory essence of Ygay."
91 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "Carbon-black, this hides behind a formidable wall of smoky tannins, slowly yielding scents of pink grapefruit and black trumpets mushrooms, tea and forest floor. There's an elegant wine here; it just needs several years to mellow."
93 Points BEST BUY OF THE YEAR "When I tasted this wine in Alba this past May, it stood out as one of the best Barolo normale of the vintage. And it performed exceptionally well in our most recent tastings, expanding from a tight aroma to a big, open crescendo of flavor, from tart strawberry to orange peel, leather, forest floor mushrooms and deep anise-scented tannins. It's focused and pure. A classic."
94 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "This glossy wine sustains a delicate freshness in its floral fruit. That bright note of tart strawberries and jasmine holds to springtime, while the figgier richness and detailed tannins provide a structure that feels warm and autumnal. It's a delicious contrast, the elements finely interwoven, a satisfying tawny to extend a holiday meal."
93 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "Roederer Estate winemaker Arnaud Weyrich recalls the lead-up to the 2006 vintage well: Torrential winter rains caused mudslides and floods, and, for a few days, Anderson Valley was virtually cut off the rest of the civilization. That abundant soil moisture led to a bumper crop of plump, healthy berries. L'Ermitage Rosé draws on many of the vintage's choice lots of pinot noir and chardonnay, supported by barrel-aged reserve chardonnay from the 2003 vintage. This leads with leafy scent of barely pinot noir, autumnal and quiet, supported by a delicate toasty impression from seven years on its lees in bottle. With air, it blooms from cherry tomato skin and herbs into more lifted territory, suggesting red raspberries and rose petals, the fruit gaining plumpness and depth without losing its firm, vinous structure. It's a savory sparkling wine to decant or age, and it would provide a perfect partner for gently smoked salmon."
91 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "Composed of a near-even balance of chardonnay and pinot noir, this gains richness from barrel-aged wines from the 2003 and 2006 vintages. It lasts on a creamy, fruit-driven impression of spicy pear skin and juicy pear flesh, its texture generous yet airy - a sophisticated sparkling wine to to a sushi bar for an omakase dinner."
90 Points BEST OF THE YEAR "Roederer Estate's Brut is reliably open and delicious, this year's cuvée bursting with concentrated apple flavor. It's clean and dry with a long delicate finish enhanced by the barrel-aged reserve wines that winemaker Arnaud Weyrich blends in. Its bold flavors and vinous texture would be great with cracked crab."
90 Points "The 2012 Barbera d'Alba is quite pretty. Bright red cherries, flowers, spices and mint all lift from the glass in a striking, perfumed Barbera long on class and personality. The flavors are precise and finely sculpted throughout."
91 Points "Dark red cherries, plums, cloves, menthol and leather flesh out in the 2012 Barbera d'Alba Fides. Pliant and expressive on the palate, the 2012 is built on aromatics, texture and gorgeous fruit. Stylistically, the 2012 is quite a bit more lifted than it has been in the past. Here, too, the flavors are remarkably alive."
98 Points "From a single estate where a quarter of the vines are more than 80 years old: soft and seamless, boasting waves of dates, dried figs, brazil nuts and toasted almonds. Suave silky texture and wonderful savoury-sweet length. Supremely good. Drink 2014."
97 Points "Fantastic from the start. A colossal power of beautiful rumbling Pinot maturity. It's like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish: unmistakable Cristal essence of peach and mango sweetness, pineapple, coconut, vanilla, sprightly acidity and citrus blossom. Many similarities with 2002 but a clearer Pinot touch."
93 Points "Firm and focused by ample acidity, this is fleshed out by the refined and creamy mousse and flavors of pineapple, blackberry, tangerine, grated coconut and creamy almond. Well-knit and elegant overall. Drink now through 2028."
93 Points "The 2008 Brut races across the palate with gorgeous depth and resonance. Dried pear, spice, mint, anise and wild flowers meld together in the glass. Broad, ample and voluptuous, the 2008 possesses fabulous richness in all dimensions. Beams of acidity and minerality give the 2008 much of its energy and freshness, but the style is all about pure texture. 2015 - 2026."
93+ Points "Roederer's 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs is a powerhouse. There is a level of richness and overall intensity that almost suggests the presence of red grapes. Almonds, brioche, cooked apples and green pears meld together in an unusually deep, pliant Blanc de Blancs. All of that intensity carries through to a decidedly phenolic, layered finish supported by veins of insistent salinity. Weightless, tense and pulsating from start to finish, the Blanc de Blancs is a real head-turner in 2008. 2015 - 2026."
92 Points "The 2009 Brut Rosé is an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. Soft and supple on the palate, the 2009 captures the radiance of the year in its inviting, supple personality. Hints of smoke, chalk, red berries and rose petals caress the palate. There is plenty of acidity and overall energy, too, but a bit less of multi-dimensional structure and overall complexity of the very best wines in this range. Still, that is a small critique given just how delicious the wine is. 2015-2023."
92 Points "Aromas of wet soil and berry with hints of cherry and chocolate. Medium body with fine tannins and a lightly chewy finish. A balanced, savory red. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. Drink now."
91 Points "A modern style, boasting sweet cherry, raspberry and plum flavors shaded by toasty oak. Despite the added tannins this features plenty of bright acidity and intense, sweet fruit. Mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2018."
92 Points Editor's choice "This is a dark, plush Saint-Joseph, not an edgy, wiry, herb-scented version. Superripe plum and licorice notes are framed by soft tannins and hints of baking spices, but the wine’ essential Syrah nature comes through on the dusty pep- per-and-anise finish. "
97 Points "This shows minute, slow-rising bubbles, and a bouquet of ginger, cinnamon, cherry and croissants. The flavors are layered and intricate, subtle but rich. A lush texture is supported by fresh acidity and a long and delicate finish. Mature, but not old, it should be great through 2020 or longer."
93 Points "Spicy, stylish, red fruit nose. Svelte and concentrated, not too tannic, lively and well balanced, with integrated oak and fine length."
90 Points "An admirable effort, in a high-toned style, with ginger, white peach and green apple notes that race along, showing good length and focus. "
99 Points "Flirting with perfection, the 2012 Dominus is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Five thousand cases were produced, a relatively modest amount from this large vineyard’s big crop. Christian Moueix told me that there was plenty of heat in 2012, but there were no excessive hot spells that can plague Napa Valley vintners during the growing season and harvest. This wine’s opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a beautiful nose of sweet crème de cassis, a touch of background oak (only 40% new oak is used), spice box, cedarwood, black cherries and a hint of spring flowers. The complex, intense aromatics are followed by a deep, opulent, multidimensional, full-bodied wine with not a hard edge to be found. Everything is seamlessly crafted in this beauty and the vintage’s abundant richness is well-displayed. This 2012 can be drunk in its exuberant youthfulness or cellared for another 20-25 years."
94 Points "A delicious collaboration with France's guru designer of cool, this goes against the grain of Louis Roederer and has no dosage, making it very dry. It's dense and powerful with layers of fruit. It's also full and almost spicy with a long and powerful finish. Soft texture too. If you closed your eyes, it tastes like a red. Starck actually was involved with the blend; he says it's so good you almost don't need a bottle. But the bottle makes it. A blend of two-thirds pinot noir and one-third chardonnay. No malo. Drink now."
93 Points "Delivers a core of blueberry compote, plum sauce and melted black licorice notes that have yet to resolve fully. Ample ganache and graphite elements hold the finish down for now. This should meld and stretch out with midterm cellaring. An impressive effort from winemaker Jacques Grange."
90 Points "A winery style, with a core of raspberry coulis and plum paste lined with red licorice accents. Polished tannins and juicy acidity fill the finish while the fruit plays out."
97 Points "Tightly wound and linear in profile, this red is also rich and focuses its cherry, leather, menthol and mineral flavors with precision and intensity. The dusty tannins flex their muscles on the finish, which is long and fresh, echoing fruit, spice and mineral. Merlot. Best from 2016 through 2035."
90 Points "A fruit style, this exhibits cherry, raspberry, tobacco and loam flavors. Tightens up on the finish, yet the leafy, tobacco notes persist."
93 Points "Deliciously plump, with pear, peach and green fig notes bouncing along, lined with anise, chartreuse and melon rind accents. The long finish flows wonderfully."
92 Points "Pure, featuring green almond, fig, pear and fennel notes that race along, with a long, creamy finish that stays enticingly floral."
92 Points "Very lively, with makrut lime, Bosc pear, green almond and green plum notes forming the core, all backed by a fennel - and melon rind - tinged finish. Refreshingly unadorned."
93 Points "Round and plush, this rich white delivers pear, melon and tangerine flavors, with layers of vanilla, white chocolate and clove. Citrusy acidity keeps this fresh."
91 Points "Sanguine, with pepper and iron notes flow from the start here, with supple cherry and red currant fruit at the core. Olive, bay and iron hints line the mouthwatering finish. Textbook old school Cornas."
92 Points "The black tea, iron and steeped plum and black berry fruit notes are well-formed already, with enough taut graphite and charcoal elements on the finish to merit short-term cellaring. Rock-solid."
93 Points "Intense, with heather honey and creamed melon notes out front, followed by waves of white peach, candied citrus peel, verbena, honeysuckle and yellow apple. The long, mineral-infused finish balances the powerful flavors."
93 Points "This is fleshed-out, engagingly seductive, creamy-textured and rich in flavor, with purity, focus and depth, made special by supple, graceful nuances. Long, intricate and delicate on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot."
94 Points "Good attack with ripe, vivid fruit character, good intensity of flavour."
96 Points "Lively and fresh, but more open immediately showing greater richness, generosity and fruit intensity. Dense and concentrated with lovely balance and a long finish. Will age well."
94 Points "Initially remarkably fresh, this is a powerful, vinous Champagne that opens up in the glass to show a luscious, almost unctuous richness. As Lécaillon observes, it’s a wine still with a long future ahead of it."
95 Points "Opens with youthful intensity, with citrus and red berry fruit followed by secondary toasty notes plus a hint of chocolate. Attractive, dense, fleshy palate. Powerful but silky, showing the ripeness of a warm mature vintage but with freshness on the finish."
93 Points BEST BUY OF THE YEAR "Combining freshness and power in a gripping white wine, this is youthfully compressed. The flavors layer peach and pear over grapefruit zest, the wine's creamy suppleness hiding the intensity of its structure. A vintage for aging..."
94 Points "Structured and powerful, it features aromas of underbrush, leather, spice, plum cake and subtle oak. The concentrated palate delivers juicy black cherry and red raspberry accented with notes of espresso alongside tightly packed tannins and fresh acidity. Give it time to unwind. "
90 Points "Earthy, dry aromas of plum and cherry come with notes of vanilla, herbs, tobacco and leather. This feels fresh, acidic and generally well balanced. Flavors of spiced plum and berry are riper than many 2008s from Rioja, while a finish with tobacco and leathery flavors is solid and fairly long."
91 Points "Pale yellow. Vibrant aromas of lime zest, wet stone and white pepper. The first impression on the palate is that of nervous energy, with fine precision to the citrus and dusty mineral flavors. Taut in a classic Sancerre style, but with an inner balance that provides this sauvignon blanc with a certain distinction. Lively citrus flavors linger on the nicely focused, slightly edgy finish. "
90 Points "Vivid yellow with a greenish tinge. Inviting aromas of lime zest, pink grapefruit and pear. Firm and stony on the attack, with tangy citrus flavors vying with weightier orchard fruits on the middle palate. Nicely focused sauvignon blanc, with a stony persistence reminiscent of talc and white pepper."
91 Points "Greenish yellow. Complex bouquet of apricot, yellow bell pepper and hay. Rich, generous and powerful, with a sweet core of fruit and harmonious acidity over a distinctly tight but fleshy structure. Peach, grapefruit and abundant wet stone linger long on the spicy aftertaste. This dry sauvignon blanc shows how well the variety can age."
91 Points "A hint of gold in the yellow shows a first sign of age. Fleshy citrus aromas pick up notes of pear skin and honey with aeration. Velvety in texture, but with good lift to the sweet citrus and bitter fruit pit flavors. Still quite youthful, with a subtle minerality rising on the long, slightly sweet finish. From a classical vintage, this wine for the collection series was only bottled in 2013."
90 Points "Bright, green-tinged gold. Dried pear, vanilla, minerals and toasted grain on the deeply perfumed nose. Chewy and tightly focused, offering bitter pear skin and anise flavors and a hint of lemon pith. Stretches out with air and finishes spicy and long, with repeating anise and pear notes and bright, stony cut."
90 Points "Pale gold. Ginger- and mineral-tinged citrus and orchard fruits on the nose and palate, with a sexy floral nuance gaining strength with air. Fleshy and dry, finishing with firm cut and repeating minerality. This wine has the requisite heft to handle full-flavored food but it also has the vivacity to work with light seafood preparations."
94 Points "Bright red cherries, plums, spices, orange peel, tobacco and leather are some of the many notes that meld together in the 2010 Barbaresco. Lifted and aromatic on the palate, the 2010 impresses for its balance and total sense of class. Firm tannins support the classic-feeling finish. All of the classic Nebbiolo signatures are on display. Pio Cesare's Barbaresco is made from three sites in Treiso."
92+ Points "The 2010 Barbaresco Il Bricco is quite a bit deeper than the straight Barbaresco. Dark red stone fruits, menthol, spices, leather and cedar are all laced together in a powerful, textured Barbaresco built on volume. It will be interesting to see if the 2010 opens up with more time in bottle. I suspect it will. Pio Cesare has made significant strides in quality over recent years. The Bricco appears to still be a bit of a work in progress. In 2010, the Bricco was aged approximately 75% in cask and 25% in barrique."
94 Points BEST WINES OF THE YEAR "Christian Moueix and his team at Dominus have experience with rainy vintages in Bordeaux. They also farm a site that is particularly well adapted to draining excess water. So they produced a remarkable 2011, a late vintage challenged by rain close to harvest. It's proof that a challenge met can create something sublime - like this floral, red-raspberry-scented vintage of Dominus. It's tense chord of flavor incorporating green herb, tobacco, cassis and raspberry in lasting harmony. The sophisticated structure suggests it will age with grace, while the gentleness of that structure will make it accessible along the way. A great bottle for lamb."
98 Points BEST WINES OF THE YEAR "Few of the noble wines of the world have the effortless grace of Cristal Rose. The pinot noir for the blend, planted in the 1960s, grows in the center of the slope in Aӱ. Its flavor are more focused on the soil than fruit, as if the vines are bent on extracting the scent of fossilized seashells from the limestone their root explore, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon blends the pinot noir with 40 percent chardonnay from Avize, creating a wine with flavor that reach the horizon line, and ethereal fragrance that last for minutes after each taste, bright, weightless, elusive and grand."
91 Points "From one of Barolo's most storied houses, this concentrated wine opens with aromas of toasted oak, espresso, red berry, leather and baking spices. The palate offers up sweet oak, vanilla, toasted notes, mocha, roasted coffee bean and juicy black cherry alongside bracing tannins."
93 Points "Pio Cesare's 2010 Barolo is terrific. Dark red cherries, plums, lavender, smoke and savory herbs open up in the glass, followed by hints of orange peel and white pepper that add both lift and a hugely appealing element of exoticism. The firm, incisive tannins are going to need a few years to settle down. There is a lot to like in this classic, old-school leaning Barolo. The 2010 was made from less well-exposed parcels in Ornato, along with parcels in Collareto and Briccolina, both of which are in the same general area of Serralunga, plus dollops of fruit from La Morra and Grinzane Cavour, virtually all of it estate fruit."
96+ Points "The 2010 Barolo Ornato is quite possibly the best wine I have ever tasted from Pio Cesare's hillside site in Serralunga. Exotic, beguiling and constantly changing in the glass, the 2010 Ornato races across the palate with compelling nuance, brightness and energy. Red stone fruits, crushed rocks, orange peel, spices and white pepper all blossom from the glass in an exotic Barolo full of allure. The 2010 captures all of the mystique of what Serralunga is all about. This is a fabulous showing from Pio Boffa and the team at Pio Cesare."
Best in the World Named Supreme World Champion 2014 in the World by Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships
92 Points "Very pure, with a gorgeous beam of bitter cherry, plum and raspberry fruit, showing a chiseled feel thanks to the racy chalk and iron notes that run from start to finish. A charcoal backdrop adds depth."
95 Points "Rock-solid, with a classic Pauillac profile of cassis, iron and graphite. Layers of blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit cover the grip for now, but there's serious muscle for the longer haul, revealing a lingering pastis hint. Best from 2020 through 2040."
92 Points "Offers briar, blackberry paste, fig and anise notes, with lively, modestly grippy tannins holding the finish. Has solid dark fruit and the vintage's telltale brambly feel. Drink now through 2030."
95 Points "The 2010 Barolo is a great fall back wine for those who want to know the flavor profile of a classic,well-made Barolo. This is a textbook wine, especially in the exceptional 2010 vintage. Black fruit and prune is folded together with delicate tones of cigar ash, crushed mineral, licorice, white truffle and dried raspberry. The tannins are firm, but polished and the wine leaves a lasting imprint of dark fruit and cola on the elegant finish. Drink: 2016-2028."
99 Points "...full-bodied, rich, and still young. It is very much in keeping with this tannic yet ageworthy vintage for Bordeaux varietals in Northern California, especially in Napa Valley."
97 Points "Deep pinot-driven presence is the first and lasting impression. Power with control. Superfine bead, bread and spiced biscuits, candied ripe red fruits and a sense of tight-knit complexity. Some grapefruit, lemon pith & gently flinty notes too - impressive nose. In the mouth it is rich, powerful, mouth-filling and flavoursome with a core of the same biscuity red fruit flavour, savoury nutty notes and a wrap of assertive, persistent acidity that holds rich powerful flavour deep and focused whilst maintaining a polished, gently creamy texture. Long chalky bread and biscuit finish. A superb pinot-driven vintage. "
99 Points "An exceptional vintage with the same piercing drive and precision as the scintillating 1996. Intensity and fine concentration are the hallmarks of this fine Champagne; chalky aromas, fine citrus and tight, minerally restraint, some quite concentrated stone fruits here, peach and nectarine, really assertive, some flint and mineral too. The palate is needle-like in its precision, piercing acidity and fine floral notes, clean and long. Not one to be missed. A concentrated vintage with wind dehydrating the grapes ahead of harvest. An exotically flavoured, yet tightly structured Cristal."
90 Points "A butterly style, with butterscotch, toast and spice details accenting the melon and apple flavors. Stays spicy, echoing the toast note on the lingering finish. Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc."
93 Points "Lean yet powerful, driven by piercing acidity that should help this go the distance. The flavors of fresh quince, crunchy apricot, honeysuckle, lanolin and ginger are subtle today but should become more expressive with time. Drink now through 2030."
91 Points TOP VALUE "Focused and vibrant, with aromas of creamy apple, cinnamon and hazelnut leading to complex, layered flavors of lemon custard, mineral and almond. The finish lingers."
97 Points "This extravagantly perfumed wine has great juicy, ripe fruits. The tannic structure is almost secondary in the welter of ripe fruits, but it is enough to promise aging. Acidity and rich fruitiness partner each other to give a wine that is both fresh and powerful. Drink from 2020."
93+ Points "After much anticipation, the 2006 Brut Nature makes its debut with a bang. All of the classic Roederer signatures are in place, especially in its utterly beguiling, expressive bouquet. Hints of lemon peel, pastry, wild flowers and Chamomile linger on the pointed, crystalline finish. The Brut Nature emerges from estate-owned parcels in Cumieres and Hautvillers, so it is a unique blend, totally different from any of the other wines in the range. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon plans to make the Brut Nature only in vintages that give him the natural ripeness he is looking for. The blend is 60% Cumieres Pinot Noir and 40% Hautvillers Chardonnay."
99 Points "This is a solid wine with a flawless nose of dark berries, sweet tobacco, tar and warm stones. Subtle and complex. Full body with a phenomenal mouthfeel and texture that is wonderfully silky. The finish is so incredible with caramalized orange peel, berries and lightly toasted oak. Very structured. Stony. Try after 2018."
93 Points "Offers lush flavors of melon, anise, Thai basil, honey and grapefruit sorbet, backed by racy acidity that provides fine balance overall, with a long, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2025."
93 Points "A dry, racy white driven by ample minerality and crakling acidity, with finely layered flavors of pink grapefruit, melon, star fruit and ground white pepper, which lingers on the finish. Drink now trough 2024."
91 Points "Bright and lithe, with well-meshed acidity and a solid base of minerality layered with flavors of ripe pear, salted almond, dried papaya, beeswax and honey suckle. Finely balanced, delivering a lasting, smoky finish. Drink now through 2024."
91 Points "This well-spiced, textbook Gewürztraminer is finely balanced by bright acidity, offering concentrated flavors of lychee, blood orange, candied grapefruit zest and honeysuckle on a silky palate. Drink now through 2020."
96 Points Top 100 of 2014 "This is extremely floral, with violets and roses and hints of ripe fruit. Full body with an intensely savory succulent fruit-acid combination. Mineral and earthy. Powerful."
95 Points "A dense ruby/purple-tinged color and restrained but intriguing aromas of kirsch, raspberry jam, wood spice, and mulberries are found in this full-bodied Petrus. An undeniable success in 2011, it is rich, layered and pure with light to moderate tannin, but seems slightly less muscular and tannic compared to its stablemate, Trotanoy. Forget it for a few years and drink it over the following 25 years. Made from 100% Merlot, it tips the scales at 13.5% alcohol. In short, it is typically open-knit and already showing very well. This is quite opulent."
96 Points Top 100 of 2014 "This is amazing character in the nose with tar and earth and floral character. Fruit too. Pure. Full body, with fantastic polished tannins and a finish that goes on for minutes. Great finish with ripe tannins and fruit. Serious wine. What a finish. Try in 2017."
90-92 Points "Bright purple. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of blueberry, cassis and potpourri, with an intense spicy topnote. Sappy and seamless in texture, offering sweet dark berry compote flavors that gain energy with air. There's a powerful spicy quality to the penetrating finish, which features smooth tannins and a lingering floral note."
94 Points "This is a perfumed, complex wine that veers between showcasing the freshest fruit flavors and hints of maturity. It’s fresh with berry notes and intense with acidity, but rich in texture as well. This is a wine to age much longer, so don’t drink before 2017."
92 Points "This is always one of the best whites of Tuscany, with a yogurt, apple and dried-pineapple character. Full and rich with beautiful fruit and a lovely texture and tension. Drink now. Made from biodynamic grapes. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco."
90 Points "Subtle aromas of minerals, pumice and citrus. Full body with lots of pears and spices. Dense. White grapefruit on the finish. Bitter lemon too."
96 Points It’s extremely backward and tight, showing very young, with a balanced nose between spice, tertiary and cherry fruit aromas. It’s a powerful, still young vintage, with plenty of glycerin, body, round tannins. An austere wine (is it the Mazuelo?), it is complex and ever-changing in the palate. It has a sense of harmony that only the best wines have. Very long and elegant. I loved its serious and austere overall feeling. 100,000 bottles produced. This is a true vin de garde which develops complex notes of violet and meat with time in the glass. This is a Gran Reserva greatly marked by the Mazuelo, which should give it great ability to age. At this quality level it represents very good value. Drink 2014-2030.
99 Points Even better and one of the top two to three wines in the vintage, the 2011 Hermitage Les Bessards (100% Syrah that spent 16 months in 70% new French oak) possesses an inky purple color to go with a fabulously rich, pure bouquet of smoked earth, ground pepper, underbrush and licorice that’s supported by awesome black raspberry and cassis-styled fruit. Full-bodied, seamless and layered, with masses of sweet tannin and notable structure, this beauty bucks the vintage stereotype and will need short-term cellaring to become approachable. It will have 2-3 decades of longevity.
95+ Points "The 2011 Hermitage Domaine de Tourettes is another blockbuster from this producer. Full-bodied, rich, layered and voluptuously textured, it offers up a beautiful bouquet of smoked herbs, leather, ground pepper and assorted meaty nuances that are grounded by a rich core of cassis and darker berry fruit. While a big wine, it has remarkable freshness and purity, serious mid-palate depth and silky tannin, all of which allow it to dish out loads of pleasure, even now. Enjoy it over the coming 15-20 years."
91 Points "The toffee and mocha flavors are concentrated and powerful in this rich tawny. Deeply spiced, filled with hints of white chocolate and allspice midpalate, this delivers a plush finish filled with orange rind and glazed apricot notes. Drink now through 2018."
90 Points "Roederer is one of my go-to champagne. It was a real pleasure to drink - not taste- a glass of the NV Brut Premier to start off this delicious lunch. The mushroom soup was perfect and a great match to the warm, nutty nuances of the Champagne. Sometimes simple is best, and that was certainly the case here."
93 Points "The real crowd-pleaser is the 2010 Argirio that definitely shows the highest degree of focus and elegance. A firm line of bright berry fruit, pipe tobacco and brimstone cuts straight thought the wine-s fleshy, pulpy fruit. What distinguishes the wine however, is the understated and linear quality of the mouthfeel. It tastes opulent without being overripe or chewy."
93 Points "The 2011 Batar is striking in this vintage. Peach, mint, jasmine, Chamomile, honey and almond notes all flesh out in the glass. Ample, resonant and rich on the palate, the 2011 impresses for its balance, class and harmony. Once again, Batar is one of the most distinctive Tuscan whites. Batar is 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Blanc, with the Pinot Blanc adding an element of freshness that was absolutely critical in this precocious vintage. The 2011 will be appealing young, but it is also a wine that ages very well, and I imagine it will be even better in another year or two. The 2011 was fermented in barrel, with some lees stirring, where it spent nine months prior to being racked into cement for blending and bottling."
96 Points "The aromas are full of white truffles, dark fruits and dried flowers. Blueberries too. Full body that kicks in on the finish. It goes on for minutes. Tight and very integrated with beautifully polished tannins and pretty fruit."
92 Points "There's an impressive purity of fruit with strawberry character and hints of cream and flowers. White pepper too. Full body, with polished, integrated tannins and a long flavorful finish. Beautiful fruit. Nougat with fruit. Orange peel. Polished and refined."
94 Points "A powerful red wine with an abundance of berry, dried fruits and hints of vanilla on the nose and palate. Full body, with chewy tannins and a fresh finish. Needs at least two or three years of bottle age to come together. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese."
90 Points "Fresh and clean wine with dried cherries and citrus fruit. Medium body, firm tannins and a medium finish."
92 Points "This is really beautiful with gorgeous sexy ripe fruit and chocolate character. It's a beautiful combination of fruit and wood. Full and velvety textured with a rich and intense finish. Made from 90% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese. ...From a top Brunello producer."
92 Points "Lots of pretty and aromatic fruit in this red yet it remains refined and polished. Full body, with a dense mouthfeel but is fresh and very clean. Made from organically grown grapes. Made from Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot."
92 Points "Very attractive aromas of black currants and flowers follow through to a full body, with lovely, fine tannins and an orange peel, chocolate and mineral flavor. Polished and pretty. A blend of Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. From the Bulgari family, the Italian jewelers.Better in 2015."
92 Points "With some extra weight, this is a solid, red currant and berry driven wine. Its fruit is right up front, backed by a mineral acidity that cuts through the richness. It’s definitely a food wine, and equally an impressive wine that needs to age for up to a year."
90 Points "Full in the mouth, this is a tight, caramel and red fruit flavored wine. It has tang and a textured character that suggests a light amount of tannin."
98+ Points "Fully saturated ruby. Knockout aromas of fresh black cherry, blackcurrant, exotic herbs, coffee and menthol, plus a hint of minerality. Juicy, fruit-driven flavors of dark berries and cherry are complicated by cocoa, vanilla and graphite and given laser-like precision by vibrant, harmonious acidity. Manages to be both fleshy and acidic at the same time, demonstrating uncanny depth and complexity of flavor. This strikes me as deeper and longer than the already magnificent 2009: it may well turn out to be the wine of the vintage. These two wines from Petrus make for an outstanding, back-to-back pair of vintages."
93 Points "A wine with layers of dried apple and pineapple character, with hints of chalks and light oak. Full body, bright acidity and a lightly chewy finish. Fascinating white. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco."
90 Points "A modern style, offering flashes of vanilla and toast balanced with rich cherry and loamy earth flavors."
93 Points "There’s a nice chewy feel from the start, with bay leaf, tobacco and bramble notes quickly followed by red currant paste, blood orange and singed apple wood. The tightly drawn, minerally finish shows an olive echo. Best from 2014 through 2024."
94 Points "Packed with lots of dark ganache, tapenade, tobacco, blackberry compote and freshly sliced plum fruit flavors, this really courses along with noticeable energy, while bramble, singed bay leaf and charcoal stud the finish dramatically. Best from 2015 through 2027."
90 Points "This 2008 LBV from Ramos Pinto has a very pure nose of dark cherries, bilberry and cassis that disguises its spirit extremely well. The palate is medium-bodied with a plush, silky smooth entry that is very focused, while the second half sees dark chocolate notes infusing the black fruit profile that is perhaps just a little “obvious.” Still, this is a pleasant, commercially-minded, approachable LBV for drinking over the next decade."
90 Points "In true Nebbiolo fashion, the 2009 Barbaresco brings out all kinds of delicate nuances with licorice, tar, anisette and pressed rose. The wine shows elegance and nicely firming tannins that are smooth and fine. Pio Cesare has done a good job of taming down some of ripeness of the warm 2009 vintage."
92 Points "A modern muscle is flexed with the 2009 Barbaresco Il Bricco that shows more evident oak spice on the bouquet. Juicy layers of dark fruit and dried cherry are pressed between layers of spice, cardamom and toasted almond. The tannins are on the sweet side and are surrounded by thick layers of ripe fruit. It’s a wine with a very likeable and approachable personality."
93 Points "Pio Cesare offers two very distinct expressions of Barolo. The first, the 2009 Barolo, shows classic lines and elegant characteristics of mild spice and forest berry backed by dried ginger, blue flower and anise seed. Its tight, crisp and finely textured mouthfeel appeal to those with a preference for traditional Barolo. Again, this producer has done a good job managing the warmer vintage conditions."
93+ Points "The 2009 Barolo Ornato, on the other hand, shows a “modern” approach with softer fruit layers and thicker, velvety texture. The fact that the fruit is sourced in the Serralunga d’Alba township (known for more opulent wines) underlines the wine’s open and overt personality."
92 Points "The estate’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Campo del Drago is materially more interesting and complex than the straight bottling. Freshly cut flowers, tobacco, mint, dark raspberries and smoke aromas jump from the glass as this vibrant, beautifully delineated wine shows off its class. The 2008 impresses for its vibrancy, nuance and detail. It can be enjoyed upon release, although the firm tannins require some aeration to soften. This is a terrific showing from Castiglion del Bosco and a major step up from the straight bottling."
92 Points "The 2011 Ramos Pinto has a lifted bouquet of black cherries, creme de cassis and licorice that is intense but does not quite have the delineation of some of its peers at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, a fine line of acidity and perhaps more pedigree than the aromatics. There is splendid weight here and an engaging harmonious finish with a sprinkle of white pepper and a little clove. Affording several minutes with this sample, the nose gains clarity with aeration, so I might be inclined to give this decanting before pouring."
95 Points "The 2003 Dominus is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot (14.1% alcohol). Remarkably, it is the 20th vintage for Christian Moueix. Always a Bordeaux-inspired wine with restraint yet substance as well as a textured richness, the 2003 exhibits a deep plum/ruby/purple color, a creamy, opulent texture, no hard edges, and a wonderful sweetness of foresty, black currant and cherry fruit mixed with underbrush and hints of Chinese black tea. Well-proportioned and full-bodied, yet never over-stated or out of balance, this is another beauty from Moueix."
90 Points “...elegantly smooth tannins, dryness and earthiness that accompanies the blackberry and casis fruit.”
90 Points "From the new estate run by Giovanni and Paolo Bulgari (of fashion and jewelry fame), this pure expression of Sangiovese shows very interesting aromas of bright red cherry, perfumed blue flower and a touch of sweet spice. The wine is focused, compact and crisp on the close."
92 Points "Therra is a dense and round blend of Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that offers pretty harmony between its dark fruit side and its exotic spice component. Lingering notes of cherry, chocolate and leather drive the long finish."
92 Points "...the tannins are velvety, firm and do a great job of supporting the bright flavors of black fruit and spice.”
93 Points "Deep gold in color, this is a finely perfumed, toffee-rich wine, with a tannic edge, wood flavor, intense acidity and great concentration. It’s a great example of aged tawny, and it’s ready to drink now."
92 Points Editors Choice "At 20 years, aged tawnies bear fruit and concentrated wood flavors, plus dry acidity. This is rich and poised, and it has a fine, full finish."
92 Points - Smart Buy "Fleshy, with mouthfilling plum, melted licorice, fruitcake and linzer torte pumping through the broad, well-toasted finish. A not shy-style."
97 Points "This feels dense and unyielding now, with loads of grip supporting a dark, muscular and very backward core of bay leaf, tobacco, plum, blackberry and fig notes. Powerful, fresh and racy, with a tarry edge adding vivacity and drive to the lengthy, raspberry-dominated finish. The raspberry spine seems destined to win out after extended cellaring. Best from 2017 through 2035."
93 Points ") Light gold. High-pitched, mineral-driven aromas of green apple, nectarine, ginger, violet and white pepper, with a sexy floral nuance gaining strength in the glass. Sappy and incisive, offering palate-staining pit fruit and mineral flavors that show impressive clarity and depth. Finishes spicy, stony and very long, with lingering floral notes."
91 Points "Aromas of plums and chocolate with hints of spices. Full body, with velvety tannins and a clean finish. Lots of cedar and nuts with fruit on the finish."
95 Points "Bright purple. Black and blue fruits, incense and candied violet on the heady, intensely perfumed nose. Sappy, penetrating and pure, its deep black raspberry and blueberry flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Stains the palate and shows uncanny precision for its power. Closes sweet and very long, with youthful tannins and resonating spice and floral pastille notes."
90 Points "A blend of two-thirds Chardonnay and one-third Pinot Noir, this emits an inviting whiff of caramel apple. On the palate, the frothy mousse is dry and balanced."
96 Points "Beautiful nose with ripe strawberries, red apple and vanilla. Wonderful floral notes too. Sumptuous ripe red fruit and juicy acidity on the palate with finely knit tannins. Full-bodied and very juicy with a soft silky texture and good length. It's hard not to drink it now. But much better in 2017."
100 Points "This a Petrus with extraordinary balance and depth. It shows such elegance in the nose with complexity of black olives, dark fruits, and flowers. The palate is full and ultra-velvety yet there is a cashmere quality to the texture. It takes your breath away. There's almost a Burgundian quality in the mouthfeel meaning it takes you deep into the soil and captivates your attention. Greatest modern vintage of Petrus ever?"
92 Points "This firmly tannic wine boasts solid structure and density. It has powerful concentration, due to very low yields. The fruit is ripe, driven by notes of black plum and berry. This is a wine with a long-term future."
96+ Points "This wine displays plenty of black raspberries, black currants, espresso roast, Asian soy and plum sauce along with some mocha and chocolate. Beautifully rich, firm, and full-bodied, with sweet but abundant tannins, this is a classy, noble style of wine that should be forgotten for at least 5-7 years and drunk over the following 20. Remarkably, the alcohol, like most of the wines in the J. P. Moueix stable of Pomerols and St.-Emilions, hit 14.5%. A tiny production of only 1,000 cases in 2010 (versus 1,500 in most vintages), its proprietor Christian Moueix has turned out a more tannic, structured, backward style of Hosanna than the 2009 or, for that matter, the 2008."
100 Points "The harvest at Petrus took place between September 27 and October 12, and the 2010 finished at 14.1% natural alcohol, which is slightly lower than the 2009's 14.5%. The 2010 reminds me somewhat of the pre-1975 vintages of Petrus, a monster-in-the-making, with loads of mulberry, coffee, licorice and black cherry notes with an overlay of enormous amounts of glycerin and depth. Stunningly rich, full-bodied and more tannic and classic than the 2009, this is an awesome Petrus, but probably needs to be forgotten for 8-10 years. It should last at least another 50 or more."
92 Points "A blend of 52.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, raised in 42% new oak, the de Pez 2010 has an understated but clean, fresh blackberry and bilberry nose with graphite and cedar coming through with aeration. The second sample at the property had a cheeky hint of raspberry cheesecake! The palate is firm and tannic on the entry, but there is certainly decent fruit concentration here with a pleasant, quite succulent finish that is long and sweet. Very refined."
95+ Points "A final blend dominated much more by Cabernet Sauvignon than usual. Structured, backward and tannic, yet showing a fat mid-palate that is more savory, broader and more expansive."
93 Points "Light golden color. Funky, wild, rich, creamy, yeasty, and earthy nose. The leaf mold character is fascinating. As it opens, sweetness balances against the strong sauvage character. On the palate, is full-bodied, dense, and chewy, with superb mouth feel. It’s particularly lively and seems to dance on the palate. We suspect that this is an outstanding food Champagne. Stressing power rather than grace and elegance, kept improving in the glass. Excellent quality."
97 Points Cellar Selection "The iconic Roederer Champagne, Cristal’s latest release, brings a perfect balance of richness and age worthiness. It is full of apple flavor, and the mousse is very fine and almost imperceptible. As so often with a beautifully blended wine like this, a few minutes breathing brings out extra complex flavors. It certainly should age over five years and more."
91 Points Top Wine "A pink bubbly that's both serious and a lot of fun. Lovely aromas of rose petal and strawberry lead to layered and succulent, but impeccably dry, flavors of cherry, citrus and cinnamon that finish on a crisp, minerally note."
93 Points #99 of "Wine Enthusiast 100" Best of the Year; "A structured, crisp and mineral-driven wine, this merely hints at raspberry flavors but is dedicated to a steely character. That suggests youth, and the wine, with its tense texture, could well age over several more years. For now, this is an impressive wine that demands pairing with food."
92 Points Cellar Selection "Roederer takes the natural elegance of a blanc de blancs to an extra level. This is so stylish, its white fruit and lemon flavors are touched with the minerality, and the acidity is nearly absorbed into the texture of the wine. Like many Roederer vintages on release, this should be aged, so give it 4–5 years."
92 Points "The 2010 Chardonnay, fermented and matured in French oak (50% new) has a vivacious nose of lime, melon and tangerine with superb definition and sense of joie-de-vivre. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh acidity, a vibrant seam of crisp lemon peel that leads to a refined nose with subtle tropical fruit that shimmer with excitement. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of South Africa’s grandees and winemaker, Chris Williams. Drink now-2016."
97 Points Top 10 Wines in 2012 Ranked #6- "Barolo is always on my list of great wines any year. And the 2008 single vineyard Ornato from Pio Cesare nails the wonderful aromatics, harmony and structure of the vintage for Barolo. It’s well priced and readily available."
91 Points Top Value Smart Buy-"Sleek and impeccably focused and balanced, with floral apple, cinnamon and anise aromas and crisp yet supple lemon tart, cherry and spicy hazelnut flavors."
91 Points Top Value Smart Buy-"Sleek, with pinpoint focus, this offers raspberry and butter cookie aromas, with crisp, elegant citrus and cherry flavors marked by ginger and spice."
92 Points “...it will age well. Beautiful and delicious, it is opening up now and becoming more expressive, while its lurking power occasionally rears its head.”
90 Points "...it is ripe, with sweet fruit, the sexy notes typical of this 2009 vintage. It retains good acidity, though. ...its sexy demeanor will make it lots of friends. It proved it has some structure and focus as well. It seems to be developing nicely.”
94 Points "The winery’s top rosé is a Chardonnay-Pinot Noir blend. It shows equal parts limes, pears, strawberries and raspberries, reflecting its parentage. What lifts it to greatness is the structure, so refined and creamy, rich in acidity, with a yeasty bitterness. It has that hard to define quality of finesse that makes it gorgeous to drink now with the finest foods."
91 Points Editors' Choice "This blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir is one of the best sparkling wines you’ll find at this price. It’s stylishly dry and fancy, with yeasty lime, strawberry and vanilla flavors."
90 Points Editors' Choice "From the yeasty, strawberry-tinged aroma to the brisk, doughy mouthfeel through to the honeyed, complex finish, this is a fine wine. It feels beautiful, clean and stimulating, just as a sparkling wine should."
98 Points "You might be able to make a wine like this if you had the foresight to buy vineyard land at the center of the slope in Aÿ, when the prices were still depressed by World Wars, and if you believed in sustaining old pinot noir vines and macerating their juice to create the color and flavor detail of a classic saignée Champagne. But even if you were a trained enologist and, like Jean-Claude Rouzaud, had inherited the Roederer estate, you still might need someone with the technical skills of Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon to attain the delicacy and fierce precision of this wine. Such efforts would be a fool’s errand, perhaps, when the formula for Cristal Rosé already exists, a mood-altering alchemy of power and finesse, fragrant red fruit, limestone gruffness and polish. This is a glorious 2004 with the drive of a great Cristal."
95 Points "...this is pretty great, an open, airy, whip-smart delivery of Cristal’s spark, a wine of formidable delicacy. The undertow is there, drawing down a wave of spicy oak notes and heady crème caramel to reveal glints of limestone, the bright shimmer of acidity sustained by the cool rootedness in the soil. In 45 words of my notes on this wine, there’s not a single mention of fruit. Instead, they focus on brightness, subtlety, lusty juiciness, balance and mouthwatering complexity."
94 Points "The range of sweet and savory scents follow through on their promise like mist rising off limestone. The bubbles seem to plump up the flavors of Asian pear, lemon pith and zest and lightly toasted sourdough baguette. Or, to be less specific, this is bright, fine, floral and mouthwatering. Essential chardonnay."
93 Points "The impact of this rosé’s freshness is immediate in the color, a light, copper-tinged pink refinement. ...fragrant woodland strawberry flavor, or the massive streak of acidity that will appeal most to geeks who realize the extremity of the structure makes this an unbeatable match for a soupe de poisson, or the pink flesh of grilled langoustines."
90 Points "A plump, rich take on the Roederer style, this is the pretty blond Parisian who manages a smile when you pass by: a little pithy, a little smoky, a little tangy with the scent of candied roses. The wine’s sweetness and acidity balance each other out, leaving a clean impression. A great start to a dinner party."
95 Points "The result is a rosé that has flavor depth without tasting fruity. It achieves the stylistic goals of Roederer’s wines from Champagne: freshness and finesse. This wine is delicate, with hints of caramel, subtle earthy complexity and fruit depth to balance it. Fine bubbles carry the flavors on a clean line. Classical, if such a thing can be said of a California sparkling wine."
93 Points "The 2009 Napanook is simply glorious. Sweek dark cherries, mint, tobacco, wild flowers and licorice all jump from the glass. The 2009 is a juicy, extroverted Napanook that impresses for its sheer pleasure and total harmony. Layers of fruit continue to build onto the huge, creamy finish."
100 Points "The uber-impressive 2010 Hermitage Les Bessards ranks alongside the perfect 2009. The strikingly intense powdered stone/granite minerality is apparent in this wine of great intensity, prodigious, almost skyscraper-like texture, massive body and high tannins. ... Filled with potential, it is one of the single greatest Hermitages I have ever tasted. There is no hint of its 100% new oak aging!"
98+ Points "Flirting with perfection, the 2010 Cote Rotie La Landonne offers up scents of black truffles, incense, smoked game, creosote, spring flowers and black fruits. Full-bodied with mouth-staining tannin as well as mouth-saturating extract and richness, this powerful, strikingly intense 2010 is young and unevolved, but it is filled with potential. Interestingly, Jacques Grange told me this cuvee was made from 100% destemmed fruit. "
96 Points "One of the finest Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes I have ever tasted is the 2010, which comes close to rivaling their prodigious 2009. A wine of great intensity, it possesses an inky/purple color, plenty of creme de cassis, licorice, lead pencil shavings, camphor, flint and barbecue smoke characteristics, and a thickness and viscosity that eclipse that of the 2009. Full-bodied and powerful with sweet tannins, a striking floral/mineral component in the mid-palate, and a huge, massive finish, this brilliant Hermitage should be consumed between 2018-2035."
91 Points "The 2010 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron has fleshed out since last year offering notes of black olives, garrigue, licorice, forest floor, bacon fat, raspberries and black currants. This medium-bodied Cote Rotie veers more toward a Burgundy-styled wine than its Syrah-based peers in the Northern Rhone."
96 Points "A blockbuster effort... A dense purple color is followed by notes of graphite, pen ink, blackberries and blueberries, and hints of raspberries, smoke and subtle oak. This full-bodied, classic, monumental St.-Joseph was aged completely in small barrels. ... Don’t miss it!"
96+ Points "The sweetest and most succulent black cherries, plums, violets, graphite, cinnamon and cloves come to life in the 2010 Dominus, a wine that stands out for its superb precision and balance. There is a purity and sheer sweetness in the fruit that is completely striking. ...The 2010 Dominus is a model of class and elegance. I find it utterly compelling."
92 Points "The 2010 Napanook emerges with sweet floral notes, black cherries, menthol, cloves, pine and incense. Beguiling and beautiful, the 2010 impresses for its overall harmony and total balance. ...Exotic aromas and flavors continue to develop as the wine sits in the glass. This is a striking showing from Dominus."
90 Points "A hard edge underlies this cherry-, strawberry- and herb-flavored red ... shows balance, with a long, elegant finish."
94 Points "Vibrant and mouthwatering, this offers a range of patisserie pear and apple fruit, candied lemon zest, pastry dough and marzipan notes set on a finely detailed texture, which imparts a great deal of finesse. The lasting finish echoes a smoky mineral note."
93 Points "Finely knit, with a delicate bead and racy acidity framing subtle flavors of ripe cherry, spiced plum and pink grapefruit zest, with hints of brioche and date. This is very focused, yet elegant, with a minerally finish."
90 Points "Bright straw. Aromatic nose combines lemon, cured meat and buttery spices. The palate offers enticing tropical fruit and spice flavors and considerable early appeal. Smooth and tactile on the persistent, rich finish."
90 Points "Bright straw. Aromatic nose combines lemon, cured meat and buttery spices. The palate offers enticing tropical fruit and spice flavors and considerable early appeal. Smooth and tactile on the persistent, rich finish."
91 Points "Firm and finely meshed, with hints of passion fruit and pineapple mixing with poached apple, almond pastry and fleur de sel. Mouthwatering and lightly smoky on the lingering, refined finish."
94 Points "There's a melt-in-your-mouth creaminess to this lush version, which shows a core of lychee, pink grapefruit zest and mango flavors, accented by orange blossom, honey, chamomile and smoke. Vibrant, with seamless integration and refined texture throughout. Drink now through 2029."
91 Points "Dry and smoky, with subtle, lightly fleshy notes of white peach, kumquat, lanolin, grapefruit zest and a hint of honey. Well-balanced, with a lasting finish. Drink now through 2017."
91+ Points "Full straw-yellow. Cool aromas of lemon, lime blossom and minerals. Denser and sweeter than the Princes Abbes riesling, with very refined white stone fruit, mirabelle, mineral and floral flavors. Not a blockbuster but boasts sneaky concentration and very good balance."
93 Points "Light, bright yellow. Intensely perfumed bouquet of melon, pear, jasmine and iodine, with mineral and buttered toast accents. Deeply pitched, palate-staining orchard and pit fruit and lemon pith flavors are brightened by zesty acidity and pick up a smoky nuance with air. Powerful but lithe, finishing with excellent thrust and lingering floral and mineral qualities."
93 Points "Bright yellow. Fresh pear and citrus fruits on the intensely perfumed nose. Concentrated but lithe, offering a complex array of citrus and orchard fruit flavors with notes of anise, smoky lees and sweet butter. Closes with excellent clarity and thrust, leaving mineral and floral notes behind. This Champagne is still a baby and should age slowly."
94 Points "Bright yellow-gold. Heady floral-accented citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, with smoky mineral and floral overtones adding complexity. Velvety and chewy in texture, offering deep, juicy orange and poached pear flavors and suave honey and chamomile nuances. Blends precision with power, finishing with a distinct mineral quality and excellent persistence."
92 Points "Light orange-pink. Bright, energetic aromas of candied red fruits, orange zest and buttered toast, with a suave floral nuance gaining strength with air. Juicy, precise raspberry and cherry flavors show a light touch and are given spine by tangy acidity. Closes zesty and long, with lingering floral and spice notes."
93 Points "The 2005 Cristal stands out for its exceptional inner perfume and elegance. Soft, delicate and pretty, the 2005 is a relatively immediate Cristal with all of the signatures very much in the right place. The 2005 doesn’t have the opulence of the 2002 nor the focus of the 2004, but it is a very pretty, if somewhat small-scaled version of this iconic Champagne. I would drink the 2005 while the 2002 and 2004 age. Although Cristal has an impeccable track record when it comes to aging, personally I would not push it with the 2005."
93 Points "The 2006 Brut Vintage literally jumps from the glass with rich layers of deep, resonant fruit. A big, broad-shouldered wine, the 2006 impresses for its sheer volume and size, but at the same time it retains the characteristic Roederer finesse. The elegant and sheer polish of the finish is more than enough to make it impossible to resist a second taste."
92 Points #39 of Top 100 Smart Buys -- "Finely knit, with a vibrancy to the refined acidity that focuses the flavors of ripe peach, pear, guava and kumquat. Silky in texture, with a core of smoky minerality that pushes through on the lasting finish. Drink now through 2022."
91 Points "Dry and lightly juicy, this shows flavors of kumquat, star fruit, lychee, almond, ground cumin and white pepper. It's elegant, with good focus and an aromatic finish."
90 Points "Fresh and juicy, with a lovely creaminess to flavors of candied orange peel, star fruit, peach and lychee. Well-balanced, with a lingering, smoke-tinged finish."
93 Points "Though rich and leaning toward off-dry, like fine silk this is elegant and ethereal overall. Apricot, orchard blossom, guava, honey and pineapple notes are seamlessly meshed with vibrant acidity and notes of almond spice and smoke, which linger on the aromatic finish."
92 Points "Rich and creamy flavors of ripe pear, apricot, almond, smoke and dried papaya are set in an overall elegant package in this mouthwatering and silky white. Long, mineral-tinged finish."
92 Points "Dry and smoky, this finely meshed white is defined by razor-sharp acidity and offers flavors of white peach, grapefruit zest, beeswax, pine forest and star fruit. Fine length and texture, and a hint of toasted nut shows on the finish. Drink now through 2020."
90 Points "With a minerally nose, this aromatic white is framed by delicate acidity and offers a subtle weave of yellow apple and pear, almond, anise and stone notes, with a fresh finish."
91 Points "Juicy dark plums, tobacco, spicebox and leather all come together nicely in the 2008 Barbaresco. Proprietor Pio Boffa has crafted a lovely, mid-weight Barbaresco with enough juiciness to drink well for another decade, perhaps beyond."
94 Points "The 2008 Barbaresco Il Bricco is impressive. It boasts a serious core of fruit backed up by equally imposing yet well-balanced tannins. Despite its voluptuous, expressive fruit, the Bricco is a wine that truly captures the cool, insistent minerality that is the hallmark of the vintage. There is serious structure here..."
90 Points "Pio Cesare’s 2010 Barbera d’Alba Fides is quite beautiful in this vintage. Raspberry jam, cloves, mint and licorice meld together in a voluptuous, seamless Barbera supported by the vibrant acidity of the year. The fruit has more than enough structure to stand up to the French oak, something that hasn’t always been the case. The French oak is evident, but it is better integrated than it has often been in the past."
92 Points "Sweet rosemary, licorice and red berries waft from the glass in Pio Cesare’s 2008 Barolo. This is a fairly approachable vintage for the estate’s Barolo. Firm, young Nebbiolo tannins frame the long finish. ...the 2008 should provide plenty of enjoyment on the near and medium term."
93+ Points "The 2008 Barolo Ornato is pretty, precise and delineated. This is a more reserved style than has been typical of Ornato in previous years. The French oak seems less obvious than in the past, while the flavor profile is more classic. Layers of dark red berries, flowers, menthol, spicebox and rose petals wrap around the powerful close. Overall, 2008 is shaping up to be a very classic vintage for the Ornato."
98 Points "Stunning nose of lavender and flowers. Currants and raspberries. Subtle and intriguing. Full and dense but wonderfully balanced with firm and silky tannins and a persistent finish. Dusty texture. A wine so balanced that you want to drink it already."
91 Points "Balanced and soft with lovely savory fruit with raspberries and currants. Long and caressing. This is so drinkable. Gorgeous wine."
96 Points "Starting to take on the tertiary character of ripe fruit and savory components with dusty tannins. Full and round with a lovely texture and a light salty, meaty and tobacco character. Forest floor. Sweet and sour. Just opening."
91 Points "This is very precise and focused with red fruits with polished and round tannins. ...beautiful and delicious."
92 Points "Resplendent in aromas and flavors of peach and strawberry, this sparkler is a stunner, with creamy mousse, medium body and bright acidity."
93 Points "Delightfully harmonious given its intensity, with complex aromas of savory herbs, flowers, ripe and dried currant and berry, crushed rock and cedar flavors. Well-proportioned, focused and persistent. Very youthful and vibrant."
90 Points "Plum and blackberry flavors show herb and spice accents in this firmly structured red. The tannins dominate the finish now, yet there's plenty of sweet fruit. Best from 2014 through 2022. 7,500 cases made."
91 Points "Plenty of tannic power in this crisp style, offering flavors of raspberry and cherry and notes of bittersweet chocolate and citrus, which extend on the dense finish."
94 Points Cellar Selection "Pio Cesare is on a roll producing vintage after vintage of excellent Barolo. This shows enormous intensity and beauty with perfumed layers of pressed flower, wild berry, vanilla and spice. It boasts a dark, bold appearance and tight tannins that are supported by an excellent quality of fruit."
90 Points "Elegantly smooth in the mouth, like silk and velvet—this has rich, forward blackberry, black currant and oak flavors. It feels dramatic and complex, a white-tablecloth Cabernet for pairing with fine meats and cheeses."
90 Points "Light yellow. Complex, floral-accented aromas and flavors of pear, candied citrus peel, herbs and ginger. Textured but taut, with strong mineral backbone and a penetrating, spicy finish. This will be very flexible at the table, or it could be drunk by itself."
91 Points "Delicate and fruity with a blackberry and mineral character. Full body, with firm tannins and a juicy, fruity finish. Made from biodynamic grapes."
90 Points "The spice character in this wine is much less apparent than the superripe flavors of lychee and mango, which are layered with a delightful amount of freshness, resulting in a wine that is both rich and delicate."
93 Points "Beautifully balanced and racy, this is packed with spice and juicy fruit flavors. It layers currants and fresh fruits with a mature hint of toast. This finishes with a fine swathe of delicious fruit."
93 Points Cellar Selection "Schlumberger’s practice of aging wine before release means that this is a Riesling well on the way to impressive maturity. It is poised, with an aroma of currant and hints of toast and flower. While drinkable now, this would certainly be worth aging for several more years."
93 Points " Beautifully balanced and racy, this is packed with spice and juicy fruit flavors. It layers currants and fresh fruits with a ma¬ture hint of toast. This finishes with a fine swathe of delicious fruit."
95 Points "The 2004 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial has a delightful bouquet with scents of leather, mocha, freshly ground coffee beans and red berry fruit. It has a perfume that encapsulates everything there is to love about classic Rioja. The palate is a little viscous on the entry with hints of dried fig and dates. It is interwoven by a crisp thread of acidity and displays fine, slightly powdery tannins. There is abundant freshness and vitality: a Rioja speaking of its place with eloquence and clarity. This paragon of classic Rioja lives up to its evocative label."
92 Points "Notes of raspberry, wild strawberry, chamomile and pain grille are all well-defined and cloaked in well-integrated new oak. The palate is full-bodied with succulent ripe tannins that effortlessly carry the weight of its layered raspberry and wild strawberry fruit. The acidity keeps it balanced and fresh, lending the finish the requisite tension, while the finish is focused and lithe with subtle hints of brown sugar and mandarin. Drink this little beauty from 2014-2025."
92 Points "Cut from a (well-tailored) modern cloth, the excellent 2007 Dalmau has a dark broody nose with black plum, cassis and cedar. It demonstrates well-integrated oak and fine delineation. The palate is full-bodied with an unashamedly oak-laden entry that suffuses the blackberry, vanilla pod and blueberry notes that sweep over the mouth. There are subtle touches of pain grille and cooked meats underlying the dense black fruit, but what I admire is the focus and freshness maintained from start to finish. It has barely started to show what it can do, but I look forward to tasting this in ten years time. Drink 2018-2030."
90 Points "It exhibits greater intensity on the nose with elegant red fruit, mingling with lavender and terracotta aromas. It is well-defined and speaks of its place. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy, well-defined entry. Crisp red fruit, sage and a touch of orange rind vie for attention, while the oak is succinctly well-integrated. The cocoa-tinged finish is both satisfying and long. Drink 2014-2025."
93 Points "A fruity nose leads to powerful flavors of red berry and mocha that feature plenty of grip. Cherry and dried blueberry flavors, with notes of anise and pepper, envelop the powerful finish. Best from 2015 through 2030. 20 cases imported."
93 Points "Wonderful aromas of dried roses and berries with hints of peach pit and plums. Lively and focused with plenty of fruit and a lovely line of tannins to it. Drink now or give it two or three years to soften."
92 Points "A firm red with spices and berries and hints of cherries. Roses. Very stony. Full and chewy."
97 Points "Subtle yet complex aromas of peaches, plums and roses turn to walnuts, hazelnuts, and spice. Full-bodied, with impressive intensity and structure. A beautiful line to the wine with ultra-fine tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Super focused."
95 Points "Wonderful aromas of flowers and dark fruits with a hint of stones. Full-bodied, with wonderful structure yet the tannins are polished and beautiful. Sweeter and rounder tannins. Balanced wine."
90 Points "Good full red. Redcurrant, mocha and cedary, smoky oak on the ripe nose, with a hint of peppery lift. Lush, ripe and concentrated, offering a dense, thick texture for this wine and a hint of salty herbs. Nicely subtle and perfumed in the mouth. Finishes with suave tannins and sneaky length. A sleeper of the vintage, for drinking over the next 15 years."
95 Points "Deep purple-ruby. Knockout nose of black cherry, minerals, coffee liqueur and violet offers uncommon depth and complexity. The flavors of blackberry, black plum and minerals are complicated by a note of iron and given wonderful clarity and cut by harmonious, vibrant acidity. Finishes very long and pure, with distinctive balsamic nuances. There's lots of sweet fleshy fruit here but the wine comes across as amazingly refined and graceful thanks to its vibrant acidity, which really extends the flavors at the back. The best young Certan of the last 12 or 15 years."
94 Points "Deep ruby. Brooding nose hints at blackcurrant, violet, minerals and white pepper... a steely quality to the intense dark fruit and white pepper flavors. Finishes long and clean, with a return of the violet note and a repeating white pepper nuance."
93+ Points "Dark red. Aromas of dark cherry, currant and menthol are lifted by floral and mineral high notes. At once seamless and penetrating, with bright minerality giving definition and grip to the dark berry and black cherry flavors. Boasts sexy early sweetness and breadth for a wine from this property but a laid-back coolness as well. Finishes with noble tannins and outstanding persistence. This extremely youthful wine should evolve slowly over the next 20 years."
94 Points "Dark red. Sexy aromas of redcurrant, smoke, mocha, espresso and tobacco, with darker berry notes emerging as the wine opens in the glass. Rich, lush and seamless... this sexy Pauillac is sweet, shapely and remarkably accessible today. Finishes long, suave and palate-coating, with perfumed red berry flavor and an obvious chocolatey quality from the merlot component."
92 Points "With its Mourvèdre content, this is a big-hearted wine. It is finely balanced between its rich yellow and red fruits and spice and acidity. This is a great food rosé, textured and ripe."
92 Points "Light orange-pink. Sexy, spice-accented aromas of candied pit fruits, redcurrant and tarragon, with a smoky topnote. Weighty and pliant in the mouth, offering intense red fruit and peach flavors accompanied by herb and floral nuances. Finishes sappy and very long, with slow-mounting spiciness and chewy texture."
97 Points "Bright red-ruby. Reticent nose hints at plum. Fat, sweet and voluminous, with mouthfilling plum and cherry fruit flavors complicated by smoke and underbrush. This seriously concentrated and firmly structured wine is most impressive today on the long, insinuating finish, which offers terrific focus for a 2009 Pomerol."
93 Points "Ripe and flashy, with lots of roasted fig, plum and blackberry fruit, though it’s held in check for now by muscular ganache, maduro tobacco and freshly roasted espresso notes. Very grippy on the finish, but fine acidity is buried deep, boding well for the cellar."
92 Points "...A wall of mocha and charcoal in front of the core of currant, blackberry and linzer torte flavors, but there’s a racy graphite spine and a lipsmacking pastis hint at the end."
91 Points "A lively, peppery, mineral-driven style, with a strong iron note running through the core of crushed plum and blackberry. Features a lingering white pepper edge."
95 Points A Top N. Rhône Red "Dense and chewy, with lots of espresso, loam and roasted apple wood notes... backed by ganache, plum sauce and steeped blackberry notes. There’s lots of grip on the finish, with violet and anise notes deeply buried. On the dark side of the spectrum for sure, but with superior range nonetheless."
94 Points Highly Recommended A Top Northern Rhône Red -- "Very enticing, with roasted herb, olive and spice notes flittering in front of darker pastis, blackberry paste and briar notes. The long, grippy finish is iron-driven, with a lovely tangy mesquite note adding complexity."
91 Points "This has an enticing brooding quality to it, with rich, beefy aromas and sinewy flavors of dried raspberry, roasted plum and currant. Finishes with medium-grained tannins and notes of mineral and savory spice."
92 Points "Lusciously spicy, with flavors that roll off the tongue, including butterscotch, dried apricot, spiced cherry and white pepper. The intensely creamy finish is filled with hazelnut and cocoa. Drink now."
92 Points "Redolent of dried apricot and pear, with sage honey notes to the concentrated toffee and butterscotch flavors. The complex finish features dried mango and citrus. Drink now."
93 Points "This has a pretty amber hue, with complex flavors of smoke, honey, dried herbs and hazelnut. Long and rich on the finish, with zesty hints of anise and concentrated spice and toffee notes. Drink now."
90 Points "This fresh, pure red delivers mouthwatering cut, which keeps the plum, red currant and violet notes nicely defined. A whiff of mesquite chimes in on the finish."
90 Points "Ripe but pure, displaying solid intensity to the cassis, anise and blackberry fruit aromas and flavors, which are only kissed with hints of toasted spice and charcoal. The long, racy finish has nice underlying grip."
99 Points "Even better than I predicted seven years ago, this 4,500-case blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot has blossomed beautifully, revealing even greater intensity and potential than I predicted. A flawless, seamless integration of tannin, wood, alcohol and acidity is found in this dense, plum/purple-colored Dominus, along with copious notes of sweet black currants interwoven with kirsch, forest floor, unsmoked cigar tobacco, new saddle leather and forest floor. Full-bodied with velvety tannins, stunning elegance and a 45-second finish, this sensational 2002 rivals two of the all-time great wines made at Dominus, 1991 and 1994."
90 Points "In addition to its firmness, this is – in both aroma and flavors – a wine decidedly about mineral nuances: of stone, salt, diverse alkalis, iodine, and fusil oils. It also displays an admirable sense of buoyancy and transparency that permit those nuances to shimmer in an astringently zesty, fruit-pitted but also highly refreshing medium. Savory, saliva-inducing salinity has the lengthy final word, thereby assuaging the wine’s tendencies toward austerity."
91 Points "Leesy richness is signaled already the nose, but so is the tingling, pleasantly stinging, vibratory intensity of nettle, sage, huckleberry, fresh grapefruit, lime zest, citrus pip, and pineapple close to its core. This leaves one’s palate aquiver yet feeling scoured: a handsomely austere, bracing Sauvignon that demonstrates how to make a big statement at only 12.5% alcohol. Past renditions as well as the concentration and energy evinced at this stage point toward a wine that will be well worth following for at least another dozen years."
92 Points “Smoke and dark fruit, with a touch of drying mineral and softer background tones of chocolate and rum cake. There’s a very polished, dry feel to this wine. The oak notes are still integrating, and the finish is tight and firm.”
93 Points "Youthful, bright and direct in its bold cherry and blueberry aromas. Vinous, chewy and raw with more evolution ahead. Chewy density with bold concentration and ripe fruit."
90 Points Editors' Choice "This is a terrific super Tuscan blend (of 50% Sangiovese with equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) that drinks beautifully. Bright red fruit and cherry give the wine a lively, cheerful personality and the wine’s structure is perfectly balanced and smooth. It’s a one-size-fits-all wine for our favorite Italian foods."
91 Points "This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese opens with plush layers of cherry and blackberry and touches of spice and toast that are never overdone. In fact, the wine shows power and determination allied to delicacy."
92 Points Cellar Selection #100 of Top 100 Cellar Selections -- "One of the best vintages of Rubicon to date, and for the price it’s a fantastic value that’s great for building up your cellar. Right now, the wine is still young and tight, with firm, gripping tannins that need some time to mellow. Fortunately, there’s a great concentrated black-fruit core and enough acidity alongside the tannins to support long-term aging. Spicy and earthy, with accents of black tea, cedar and crushed violets."
90 Points "Good medium ruby-red. Cool, rather shy aromas of dark berries, licorice and pepper, with nuances of white fruits. Supple and spicy, with an herbal quality to the flavors of dark berries, spices and mint. Nicely fine-grained in the mouth but in a cool style. The slightly drying finish shows a good kick of tannins and calls for at least a couple years of patience."
95 Points "Good ruby-red color, more saturated than the Napanook. Knockout floral lift to the aromas of black raspberry, blueberry, blond tobacco, almond and mint. Suave, savory and extremely precise, with penetrating flavors of dark berries, licorice, minerals and cocoa powder. The petit verdot component acts as an amplifier of aromas and flavors, notes winemaker Tod Mostero, 'like a good seasoning.' Medicinal in a Bordeaux way. The finishes shows outstanding length, noteworthy juiciness, and firm, noble tannins. A great vintage for Dominus."
92-95 Points "Wonderfully seamless wine with broad, silky tannins and impressive chocolatey length. This wine was made from the vintage's most refined lots..."
94 Points "Really impressed how balanced and refined the wine is. The texture is so silky and beautiful, and the fruit pure, even more satisfying."
92 Points "A supremely ripe Port from Ramos-Pinto’s vineyard in the far east of the Douro. It is finely perfumed, with layered tannins upon structured plum skins and black cherry fruit. It’s in a fruity style, but the structure certainly promises aging."
96 Points Cellar Selection # 71 Top 100 Cellar Selections -- "With a structure that runs between acidity and dark smoky tannins, this is a wine with potential opulence. Very rich in character; dense and dark. The black plum flavors are dominant, along with excellent acidity. For the long-term."
91 Points Rated the #2 most popular sparkling wine by the Wine & Spirits restaurant poll.
90-92 Points "Opaque purple. Powerful, textbook syrah aromas of blackberry, violet and licorice, plus a smoky mineral note. Sweet and lush on entry, then spicy and firm in the middle palate, offering black and blue fruits and floral and spice qualities. Ripe and fresh, with a juicy, impressively long finish featuring notes of candied flowers and minerals."
90 Points "Dark ruby. Raspberry and cherry on the bright, floral-accented nose. Juicy and precise, offering sweet red fruit flavors that pick up weight and smokiness with air. A touch of candied licorice comes up on the finish, which shows good energy and length."
91 Points "Bright ruby. Red berry preserves and cherry on the pungent, floral nose. Deeply pitched but lively, boasting very good focus to its bitter cherry and licorice flavors. A spine of minerality adds cut and vibrancy to the long, spicy finish. I like this wine's tension and suspect that it will be a slow, graceful ager."
92 Points "Opaque ruby. Exotically perfumed nose offers dark berry liqueur, Indian spices and blood orange, plus a sexy floral note that gains strength with air. Juicy and precise, with very good depth to its sweet blackberry and mulberry flavors. Finishes with very good power and lingering florality. This sexy wine is already very easy to drink."
92+ Points (?) "Saturated ruby. Red berry preserves, cherry-vanilla and anise on the intensely perfumed nose. Sappy and broad, offering pliant raspberry and cherry flavors and suggestions of coconut and candied violet. In a distinctly exotic style and very primary right now. Finishes sweet and very long, with resonating vanilla and spice notes."
90 Points "Dark purple. Aromas of cherry compote and cassis are brightened by a zesty mineral quality. Rich but lithe, offering gently sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors and a biting note of cracked pepper. Shows a touch of smokiness on the seamless, nicely persistent finish."
91 Points "Vivid ruby. Red and dark berries and star anise on the fragrant nose. A juicy, seamless midweight that shows the elegant side of Cote-Rotie. Fresh black raspberry and cherry flavors put on weight with air while maintaining brightness. Closes with strong spicy cut and grip."
94 Points "An explosive, heady bouquet evokes red and dark berry preserves, incense, Asian spices and potpourri; you could scent a room with this stuff. Palate-staining raspberry and blueberry flavors are lifted by zesty mineral and spice notes and show outstanding vivacity and focus. Pure, energetic and sweet on the finish, which refuses to let up. Grange told me that the reason Delas doesn't make this wine every year--as in 2008, for example--'is because we want it to be a truly great expression of Cote-Rotie or not to exist at all. If it isn't superb, it doesn't get bottled, period.'"
91+ Points (?) "Inky purple. Deeply pitched aromas of cherry and cassis, with licorice and black pepper nuances adding complexity. Chewy and dense, offering bitter cherry and dark berry flavors lifted by a spicy note on the back half. Finishes with gentle tannic grip and persistent spice and smoke notes. Give this masculine, brawny wine at least a few more years of bottle age."
94 Points "Opaque purple. Heady scents of mineral-accented dark berries, cherry-vanilla, licorice and incense, along with a smoky topnote. Lush and creamy in texture, with incisive, palate-staining blackberry, blueberry and licorice pastille flavors. Silky tannins build on the finish, which leaves behind notes of blue fruit compote, vanilla and exotic spices. This wine is almost shockingly approachable now but is built for the long haul."
90-92 Points "Opaque purple. Powerful, textbook syrah aromas of blackberry, violet and licorice, plus a smoky mineral note. Sweet and lush on entry, then spicy and firm in the middle palate, offering black and blue fruits and floral and spice qualities. Ripe and fresh, with a juicy, impressively long finish featuring notes of candied flowers and minerals."
91-93 Points "Inky purple. Wild, highly perfumed aromas of candied dark fruits, incense and violet, with a vibrant overlay of peppery spices. Juicy, palate-staining cassis and blueberry flavors show excellent clarity, with a bright mineral note providing lift. Finishes on an intense floral note, with lingering mineral and spice nuances."
92-94 Points "Opaque purple. Mineral-accented black raspberry and cherry on the hugely aromatic nose. Sweet, penetrating red and dark berry preserve flavors show excellent depth and energy, with a late note of candied licorice adding a darker tone. The finish features excellent focus and cut, and resonating sweetness."
92-94 Points "Inky purple. Ripe, deeply pitched aromas of blackberry, violet, olive, smoky minerals and Indian spices. Large-scaled, dense and seamless, offering compelling flavors of candied black and blue fruits, dark chocolate and violet pastille. Lingers with real intensity and clarity, the violet note strongly repeating."
92-94 Points "Bright violet. Expansive bouquet shows boysenberry and blueberry liqueur, Moroccan spices, violet and woodsmoke. Lush, seductively sweet black and blue fruit flavors stain the palate, picking up suave spice and floral qualities with aeration. The finish shows a suave floral character and clings tenaciously. The tannins of this vibrant, rich wine are very nicely integrated."
93-95 Points "Inky purple. Smoky dark berries and cherry-vanilla on the exotically perfumed nose. Picks up incense and bacon fat with air, along with suggestions of clove and star anise. Intense flavors of spiced cherry and blackberry are enlivened by zesty minerality and given shape by supple tannins. This plush, suave, alluring wine finishes with intense sweetness and a late jolt of fruitcake."
92-94 Points "Inky purple. Deeply pitched aromas of cassis, blueberry, Moroccan spices and violet, plus a strong note of smoky minerals. Lush, expansive black and blue fruit compote flavors are impressively fresh, with a lively mineral spine adding back-end cut. Very deep but surprisingly lively, with strong finishing sweetness, clarity and smokiness."
94-96 Points "Dark purple. Exotic perfume of candied dark berries, Indian spices and potpourri; so spicy that I'd have guessed this wine was made with whole clusters, but Grange destems all of his syrah. Bright and focused, offering sweet, palate-staining black raspberry and cassis flavors. Finishes sappy, spicy and very long, with lingering floral and mineral notes and outstanding clarity."
90 Points "The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino sweeps across the palate with layers of soft, textured fruit. Sweet red cherries, licorice, leather, flowers and tobacco are all woven together nicely. The 2007 should be approachable pretty much upon release given its voluptuous, caressing personality."
97 Points "This is a stunner, with gloriously ripe, succulent cassis, blackberry and fig fruit flavors backed by extra notes of plum cake, blueberry confiture and roasted wood spice. On the back half, the iron spine takes over on the hard-driving and extremely long, anise- and incense-tinged finish. An awesome expression of the modern style. Best from 2020 through 2040."
92 Points "Bright and ripe, with mouthfilling linzer torte and blackberry preserves pushed by black tea and toasty spice. This has the racy grip of the vintage, which builds steadily through the finish. Turns darker and denser with air."
97 Points "This is a stunner, with gloriously ripe, succulent cassis, blackberry and fig fruit flavors backed by extra notes of plum cake, blueberry confiture and roasted wood spice. On the back half, the iron spine takes over on the hard-driving and extremely long, anise- and incense-tinged finish. An awesome expression of the modern style."
93 Points "There is a lovely plush feel here, with roasted tobacco and fig notes carried by velvety tannins. Deceptively dense, with darker currant and anise notes blossoming through the finish, which still manages to stay supple and rounded. This steadily opens in the glass."
92 Points "...core of raspberry and cherry preserves framed by a healthy dose of lightly firm roasted vanilla. Very well-built, with sleek edges and good buried charcoal and tobacco, so cellar for harmony down the road."
99 Points "This offers a beautiful balance between its two sides: dark fig, roasted plum and toast flavors versus racy raspberry, cassis and perfumy black tea notes. Silky overall, but with terrific latent grip and a mouthwatering minerality that drives through the finish, pulling out extra fruit paste and charred spice hints. Very, very impressive range."
94 Points "Offers a dark roasted core of plum sauce, warm fig paste, melted licorice and singed cedar, while a mouthwatering iron edge and a lovely smoldering tobacco note add lift and length through the finish. A touch restrained now, but should blossom with cellaring."
91 Points "Remarkably lush and supple for the appellation, yet not lacking in density, with rich plum, cassis and blackberry confiture notes leading the way and flickers of charcoal, tobacco and singed iron keeping the almost-flattering finish honest. Approachable, but this should knit nicely with mid-term cellaring."
91 Points "Bright and sappy, with kirsch and damson plum notes streaking along, followed by tangy iron and floral notes alongside. There's good zip and cut along the finish, with a lingering mineral edge."
99 Points "This offers a beautiful balance between its two sides: dark fig, roasted plum and toast flavors versus racy raspberry, cassis and perfumy black tea notes. Silky overall, but with terrific latent grip and a mouthwatering minerality that drives through the finish, pulling out extra fruit paste and charred spice hints. Very, very impressive range. Best from 2018 through 2035."
94 Points "I would focus my wallet on... Chateau Certan-de-May 2008... the “dark horse” of the vintage: a brilliant wine that surpasses all expectations and proof of the pudding is its performance in blind conditions. Now, this is a great Certan-de-May. Very focused, classy..."
91+ Points "The Hosanna 2008 has a sweet and sour note that dissipates with time, coalescing into the classic liquorice-tinged, dark berried fruit laced with mint after time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with dry tannins, a little tough at the moment and the Cabernet Franc is very expressive. Sinewy and introspective at the moment, this is a long-term Pomerol."
97 Points "...a very intense bouquet of wild strawberry, raspberry and crushed stone. It has great precision, real intensity and sense of purpose. The palate is medium-bodied with very smooth, rounded tannins and it feels velvety smooth in the mouth... the wine is unfolding before my senses and you become aware that this will evolve into a top class Petrus."
90 Points "Tuscan dishes celebrate fresh, seasonal ingredients such as fava beans, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini and extra virgin olive oil. This structured white wine offers the richness of texture and aromatic intensity to pair with the best of that culinary tradition."
90 Points "This oak-aged blend of equal parts Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay opens with a beautifully intense bouquet of vanilla bean, peach cobbler and citrus mousse. White almond and toasted spice make for rich accents on the long fresh finish."
94+ Points (?) "Bright ruby. Sexy, compelling nose of blackcurrant, violet, white pepper and minerals is an absolute knockout. Then very refined on the palate, with a delicate spiciness to the blackcurrant, red plum and mineral flavors, but with noteworthy fleshiness and ripeness lifted by harmonious acidity. This is a very great and impeccably balanced Magdelaine in the making. Finishes long and silky, with a persistent strawberry note. Jean-Claude Berrouet considers this to be a classic Magdelaine: very well balanced and delicious. I think this is an excellent example of just how easy it is to misjudge Magdelaine on release and how well it develops in bottle in strong vintages."
94 Points "The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, very well knit, a little softer and more forward but very composed with a pure, velvety finish. This is a beautiful, filigree Pauillac that should repay extended cellaring."
93+ Points "Compared to its peers it is more forward on the nose: quite meaty and savoury, some expressive, slightly herbaceous Cabernet Franc here that I have not noticed previously. The palate is medium-bodied with good extraction: fleshy and supple in the mouth, a lot of creamy new oak... Very fine indeed although it will improve with bottle age."
100 Points "What a fabulous nose of currants, raspberries and Indian spices. Nutmeg and clover. Full-bodied, with an amazing precision and superb compacted fruit. Endless. Laser guided. Shows such intensity. Decadent and rich and changing all the time. Mystical wine. Dense, yet agile."
99 Points "Amazing aromas of blackberries, dark chocolate and hazelnut. Full body, with super velvety tannins, yet reserved and all in check. Fresh acidity and an orangy, lemon and chanterelle mushroom aftertaste. Then turns to black olives. Minerals and blueberries. Incredible."
98 Points "Stunning aromas of blackberries, dark chocolate, hazelnut and black olive skin. Full- bodied, with ultra-fine tannins that feel fine silky on my palate. Long finish of coffee bean, chocolate and dark fruits. Best Hosanna ever."
96 Points "What a great nose of blackberries, currants and spices. Hints of fresh herbs. Full body, with ultra-fine tannins and lovely fruit. Such finesse and beauty. Wonderful to taste. Reminds me of the legendary 1982."
93 Points "Ripe plum, with hints of sanded oak. Full-bodied, with a pretty core of raspberry and blueberry character. Silky and pretty. Balanced and subtle, yet intense."
90 Points "Very pretty and pure fruit here, with currants and berries. Full body, with fine tannins and a medium finish. Pretty balance and raciness."
93 Points "Spices, nutmeg, dark fruits on the nose, follow through to a full body, with very precise tannins and a long finish. A beautiful and racy wine."
95 Points Cellar Selection "A seductive wine, deliciously ripe with the softest, juiciest fruit over smoky new wood. The wine shows intense fruit as well as a soft Merlot core. The tannins are beautifully integrated in this ripely sweet wine."
90 Points "Lovely crisp nose of white pepper, raspberries and red currents. Very Burgundian in style with fine tannins. This was a pleasant surprise."
100 Points "An opulent Petrus very much in the stylistic family of the 1990, this 100% Merlot has a dense plum/purple color and a sweet nose of mulberries, black cherries, some subtle toast and licorice as well as a floral element. A wine of great intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel and full-bodied, stunning concentration, the 2009 Petrus is everything one would expect of it. Given the sweetness of its tannin, much like the 1990, I suspect this wine will always be “open for business,” appealing even in its youth. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2050+."
92 Points Cellar Selection "Superripe wine that wears its high alcohol easily. The fruit is so rich, with its plum and blackberry flavors, opulent and generous. There is a dark core of tannins that shows slowly through all the intense fruit, promising good aging."
94 Points "There is dense, ripe fruit here, although with an austere, serious edge. The wine has firm yet juicy blackberry fruits along with concentrated tannins. It is firm, dark, with the potential for good red berry fruits."
95 Points Cellar Selection "Impressively weighty wine, with a fine combination of tannins, full fruit and a solid, chunky core. The wine is rich, but it also has a sweet acidity. Powerful ageworthy wine, never losing sight of elegance."
93 Points "With layers of wood, this is a structured wine, driven as much by tannins as fruit. It will need time for the dark plum fruit flavors to come through—St.-Estèphe is always likely to be firmly textured."
90 Points "Vivid ruby. Pungent, energetic aromas of raspberry and cherry pit are accented by exotic star anise and flowers. On the palate, flavors of ripe red and dark berries and candied flowers are complemented by a touch of smokiness on the back half. Finishes smooth and long, the cherry and smoke notes echoing."
93+ Points "A bruising, black/purple-hued, full-bodied wine, the 2009 Certan de May displays notes of charcuterie, smoked game, herbs, black truffles, roasted meats, cassis and black cherries. This backward, robustly-styled Pomerol is loaded with tannin as well as extract. Give this full, powerful 2009 a decade of cellaring and drink it over the following 30+ years. I’m sure it is not better than the immortal 1982 Certan de May."
100 Points "One of the greatest young wines I have ever tasted, the monumental 2009 Cos d’Estournel has lived up to its pre-bottling potential. A remarkable effort from winemaking guru Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier, this blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot (33%) and a touch of Cabernet Franc (2%) was cropped at 33 hectoliters per hectare. It boasts an inky/black/purple color along with an extraordinary bouquet of white flowers interwoven with blackberry and blueberry liqueur, incense, charcoal and graphite. The wine hits the palate with extraordinary purity, balance and intensity as well as perfect equilibrium, and a seamless integration of tannin, acidity, wood and alcohol. An iconic wine as well as a remarkable achievement, it is the greatest Cos d’Estournel ever produced. It is approachable enough at present that one could appreciate it with several hours of decanting, but it will not hit its prime for a decade, and should age effortlessly for a half century."
99 Points "This is the finest Hosanna that proprietor Christian Moueix has yet made, produced from a 15-acre parcel that usually yields about 1,500 cases. The 2009, a prodigious blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, offers up an exquisite aromatic concoction of blackberries, plums, Asian soy, forest floor, truffles and graphite. Along with its stunning concentration, remarkably thick, juicy mid-palate and unbelievable complexity, its viscosity and opulence take this wine to new heights. This extraordinary wine is one of the superstars of 2009 and one to enjoy over the next three decades."
94 Points "A property that has largely been replanted over the last 25 years, the 2009 is one of the best the firm of Jean-Pierre Moueix has yet released from this estate. Eighty percent of this vineyard sits on the limestone plateau and 20% on the hillsides, and the 2009 displays a classic confiture of black cherries, some crushed rocks and spring flowers in a full-bodied, yet at the same time, ethereal and rather elegant style. The wine has gorgeous fruit purity, a broad, luscious texture, and more density and richness than one normally finds in this somewhat finesse-styled wine, which seems to have achieved more depth and potential in 2009."
100 Points "An opulent Petrus very much in the stylistic family of the 1990, this 100% Merlot has a dense plum/purple color and a sweet nose of mulberries, black cherries, some subtle toast and licorice as well as a floral element. A wine of great intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel and full-bodied, stunning concentration, the 2009 Petrus 2009 is everything one would expect of it. Given the sweetness of its tannin, much like the 1990, I suspect this wine will always be “open for business,” appealing even in its youth."
95 Points "A beautiful effort, the 2009 Pichon Lalande, a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, possesses copious mocha, lead pencil, unsmoked, high class tobacco, black currant, forest floor and herbaceous characteristics. It is a deep purple-hued, charming, surprisingly open-knit Pauillac with wonderful freshness, a plump, fleshy mouthfeel, opulence and unctuosity, medium to full body and a well-delineated, luscious style. More elegant than its nearby neighbor, Pichon Longueville Baron, and not as massive in concentration and extract, it is one of the great Pichon Lalandes of the last twenty years."
94 Points "The brilliant 2009 Les Pagodes de Cos actually has more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend than the grand vin (69% versus 65%) in addition to mostly Merlot and a small quantity of Petit Verdot. As powerful as the Cos in terms of alcoholic clout (14.5%), the full-bodied, round, generous Les Pagodes de Cos exhibits lots of creme de cassis and floral notes intermixed with hints of wood/barrique and spice. Juicy, succulent and remarkably fresh and well-delineated, it merits considerable attention from consumers. It should drink well for 15-20 years."
91 Points "Made from a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, the second wine, the 2009 Reserve de la Comtesse, exhibits notes of forest floor, white chocolate, licorice, black currants and vanillin-infused black cherries. It possesses a sweet, round, generous style given its high glycerin."
99 Points "This offers a beautiful balance between its two sides: dark fig, roasted plum and toast flavors versus racy raspberry, cassis and perfumy black tea notes. Silky overall, but with terrific latent grip and a mouthwatering minerality that drives through the finish, pulling out extra fruit paste and charred spice hints. Very, very impressive range."
93 Points "There is a lovely plush feel here, with roasted tobacco and fig notes carried by velvety tannins. Deceptively dense, with darker currant and anise notes blossoming through the finish, which still manages to stay supple and rounded."
94 Points "Offers a dark roasted core of plum sauce, warm fig paste, melted licorice and singed cedar, while a mouthwatering iron edge and a lovely smoldering tobacco note add lift and length through the finish."
91 Points "Aromas similar to pineapple ice cream and apples follow through to a full body, with lots of fruit and firm acidity. Delicious now, but better in 2012. Biodynamically produced."
92 Points "This is racy and detailed, showing raspberry, cherry, floral and oak spice aromas and flavors. Taut and well-structured, with a lingering aftertaste of sweet fruit, spice and mineral."
93 Points "Smoky and polished, this modern-style Barbaresco boasts cherry, plum, vanilla and bacon fat aromas and flavors, with licorice and tar notes underneath. ... Fine length."
90 Points "This shows mature green almond, plantain and butter flavors, but stays fresh, with lingering straw and gooseberry notes still flashing through the finish. Very tasty."
94 Points "Very harmonious, with the finely detailed texture and delicate acidity providing a crystalline frame for notes of dried cherry, wild strawberry, light biscuit, lemon zest and spice. This is all about subtlety and grace."
92 Points "Aged for around 30 years in wood, this wine has gained the most delicious toffee character to go with the old gold feel and wood acidity. There is a lovely rounded character, so smooth as well as intense. The Port is bottled ready to drink."
90 Points "Mid-gold color. Intense on the nose, showing lots of developed aromas of savory earthiness and honey, with hints of botrytis and spice adding complexity. Quite dry, with dominant earthy savoriness and spice following through on the palate alongside flavors of dried apricots and golden raisins. Smooth, rich and viscous but balanced by fresh acidity. Fairly full-bodied, with a fairly long rich finish."
90 Points "Light gold. Orchard and pit fruits on the fragrant nose. Broad and fleshy on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, with good depth to its spicy nectarine and pear flavors. A late note of candied lemon adds bite and lift to the long, juicy finish."
91 Points "Bright pink. Fresh red berries and flowers on the nose, with deeper notes of cherry and anise gaining strength with air. Juicy and palate-coating, with very good depth and vivacity to its raspberry and cherry flavors. A late note of blood orange adds bite and cut to the long, gently chewy finish."
90 Points "Light yellow. Bright, high-pitched aromas of orange zest, ginger, white flowers and white pepper. Racy and focused, with sappy citrus and orchard fruit flavors picking up smokiness and a touch of peach pit with air. Shows good energy on the refreshingly brisk, linear, long finish."
90 Points "...the Magdelaine 2009 is pure and very rounded on the nose, "spherical" you might say. Small dark cherries and a hint of Indian ink. Fine definition. The palate is well balanced with a powdery texture on the entry, a nice lifted of acidity and very silky on the finish that has a peppery kiss on the aftertaste. Mellow."
90 Points "Tasted at the Syndicat de Pomerol. Understated elegant bouquet with crisp red fruits, cassis and a touch of dark plum with well-integrated oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a little hardness on the entry, firm grip, quite a masculine Pomerol that deserves some ageing. Saline finish."
94 Points "The Certan-de-May 2009 has a lovely, composed bouquet with crisp blackberry, raspberry and wild strawberry with engaging underlying mineralité – very contained and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, very composed with well-integrated if prominent new oak towards its long sweet finish. There is a lot of substance to this wine, but it will need 5-6 years to really come into its own."
95 Points "The Hosanna 2009 certainly repays a little patience. Allowing three of four minutes to open up, it offers a very complex bouquet with crushed strawberry, violet, a touch terracotta tiles and a little white pepper. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins but real weight and dimension. Quite sturdy and stout, one of Christian’s 'grippier' Pomerol wines with enormous persistency towards the finish with a peacock’s tail of gorgeous spicy notes. This is one of the finest wines from Hosanna that I have tasted."
97 Points "The nose is very strict at first, but with great purity with blackberry, wild hedgerow, a touch of small dark cherries and with aeration a touch of crushed violet, an almost Margaux-like Petrus. The palate is medium- rather than full-bodied with a spicy entry, touches of black pepper and almost a slight burnt toast accent. There is great backbone here, more masculine than at primeur with an aloof finish that is a little drier than usual. This is a profound, very 'classic' Petrus..."
90 Points "The Bernadotte 2009 has a slightly subdued bouquet at first, but opens ajar, offering blackberry, cedar and crushed stone. Very fine delineation... The palate is medium-bodied with a subtle, peppery entry and shows good weight on the mid-palate. ...showing very fine purity with a vibrant finish. That bouquet should awake with another 12-18 months, but which time this will be a very fine Bernadotte."
90 Points "The Grand Vin has retained that exotic, lush, generous bouquet with very ripe dark berried fruits intermingling with dark chocolate and a touch of espresso. Moderate definition... The palate is full-bodied with grippy tannins, very intense dark fruits intermingling with mocha and dark chocolate. Firm grip, still New World in style whilst the spherical finish is missing a little tension."
91 Points "The Chateau de Pez has a very tight bouquet with blackberry, cassis and a touch of crushed stone... The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannins, racy acidity, red rather than black fruits (wild strawberry and a touch of raspberry.) Nicely focused towards the finish, perhaps more like Montrose in style in terms of its clarity and poise. This is very fine."
95 Points "Tasted at the château, the Pichon-Lalande 2009 has a taciturn nose that demands coaxing from the glass. The Cabernet Sauvignon that begins to open offering blackberry, graphite, freshly rolled tobacco and a touch of bay leaf. The palate is defined by its super-fine tannins and wonderful tension, a tangible symmetry that is reminiscent of the 1996. There is citric thread of acidity that lends the 2009 so much vivacity. It is extremely pure with blackberry, cedar and just a touch of pepper, firm grip on the finish and great persistency. This is a Pauillac to be reckoned with."
91 Points "The 2009 Reserve de la Comtesse has an intriguing bouquet with touches of undergrowth and a hint of liquorice underneath those ripe black fruits. The oak sticks out a little at the moment but it will integrate with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch of soy on the entry. It fans out nicely across the mid-palate, the Merlot very expressive at the moment with a dash of white pepper towards the cohesive finish. Nice length and posture."
91 Points Smart Buy "Lush and rich, with bright cherry and red apple aromas and crisp, layered flavors of raspberry and cinnamon that finish on a note of crisp minerality."
90 Points Smart Buy "Bright aromas of green apple and lime lead to vibrant, layered flavors of citrus, anise and creamy vanilla."
90 Points "Impeccably dry, with a delicate salmon hue and aromas of spicy strawberry and lime. Flavors are vibrant and crisp, showing notes of watermelon and graham cracker."
93 Points "This modern-style red features aromas and flavors of sweet vanilla, coconut, blackberry and tar."
92 Points "Firm and juicy, with a creamy mineral undercurrent to the flavors of yellow pear, light pastry, candied lemon zest, apricot and spice set on refined texture. Well-focused, with a lovely finish that echoes the fruit character."
92 Points "Vibrant and focused, with patisserie apple and pear, currant, nut and candied orange zest flavors, all accented by a spicy thread of anise, clove, ground ginger and nutmeg notes that linger on the finish."
96 Points #17 of Top 100 Editors' Choice -- "2003 was a great vintage for Roederer Estate. This, their top vintage wine, is very great, and the price is an absolute steal for this world class sparkler. It’s enormously rich in the strawberries from Pinot Noir and the limes from Chardonnay, while the toast and rich lees combine for a perfect Champagne-style smokiness. And so smooth, it’s like a kiss of silk. At the age of eight years, this wonderful wine is just getting started."
92 Points Editors' Choice "Great price for a sparkling wine this refined, and the fact that it’s a rosé makes it an even better deal. It’s rich in strawberry, orange and lime flavors, with that savory yeastiness that marks the best bubblies."
92 Points "This nonvintage 54% Pinot Noir- 46% Chardonnay sparkler is as good as ever, a beautiful peach color with peach and strawberry aromas and flavors that are not too overpowering, not too subtle, just right. The creamy mousse, medium body and bright acidity make it a stunner with food. Bring on the goat cheese fritters or tempura."
90 Points "A delicious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend from coolly grown Mendocino grapes that is equal parts golden apple and honey in both aroma and flavor. Creamy from full malolactic fermentation, this sparkler is full-bodied and plenty fruity with a caramel, vanilla tone on the finish. Will pair well with creamy, full-bodied foods."
93 Points "The ethereal style that is the Deutz hallmark is shown to great effect in this apple-fresh Blanc de Blancs. There is a wonderful series of the crispest flavors allied to citrus and a tight texture."
92 Points "A product of the 2003 vintage, the wine is rich, full, with a soft texture, ripe pears and pineapple..."
92 Points "The initial attack is rounded with a delicious pear flavor... Then tight mineral acidity adds its presence, producing a wine that is also very fresh, apple crisp, with a potential for aging and a long lingering aftertaste."
91 Points "A beautifully integrated wine that shows richness, even a touch of toasty age to go with apple and intense acidity. The acidity shows so well against the rich backdrop of ripe fruits and a final edgy texture."
94 Points "Refreshingly dry Champagne. With its tight strawberry flavors, it is forward and fruity. It has a fine burst of lime acidity to complement the red fruits..."
94 Points "This is an intense rosé, pushing forward the pink fruit flavors, the rich texture and red berry fruits. Dry, still youthful, it has considerable acidity and a complex and concentrated mélange of flavors."
95 Points #29 Top 100 Cellar Selections -- "A superbly rich and creamy wine, powered by ripe Pinot Noir, with elegance and élan. The wine is concentrated, powerful, packed with intense white fruit flavors and citrus. Always at the back is the richness. For aging."
94 Points "A dynamic rosé combining potent flavors with mouthwatering refinement, this has a structure that almost requires food. The pale copper rose color and sweet edges belie the power and tension underneath; its ripe fruit and strict minerality would stand up to coq au vin or braised goose."
94 Points "A heady vintage of this prestige cuvée, this is powerfully influenced by pinot noir. It's saturated with red fruit in the middle, overlain by juicy pear in the end. ...this gains freshness and refinement with air; it will benefit from cellar time or decanting for roast hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and game birds."
90 Points "This is a luscious wine with the broad savor of fat fresh almonds. There's a scent of gunflint to add tension, hinting at the structure that places it with food. A graceful chardonnay Champagne for salmon mousse."
98 Points "Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon is the master of Rosé Champagne. Following the style developed by Jean-Claude Rouzaud with the first Cristal Rosé in 1974, Lécaillon cold-macerates old-vine pinot noir from Aÿ then bleeds it off the skins to create the transparent color and to capture and preserve the moment of freshness at harvest. The wine is perfectly formed, the fruit as present as if eating fraises des bois in a sunny field. It has the bliss of great Burgundy and the delicate length of Champagne, lasting for minutes. It should last for decades in the cellar."
97 Points "The energy in this wine recalls the 2002 Cristal (I wrote 'energy' three times in my notes.) In 2004, it's explosive. The wine is saturated with flavor, from floral notes of rose to pale limestone and equally pale fruit. The flavors keep going, as if striding through doorway after doorway in a limestone cellar, the Champenois equivalent of Get Smart. Built to age as gracefully as Agent 99, this won't disappoint if you open it now with scallop crudo."
95 Points "Compressed in the mode of a great young vintage Champagne, this is a glistening brick of minerality. The floral intensity brings jasmine and the meadow flower scent of fresh cream to mind. The youthful tension makes it almost as potent as a ripe Epoisse."
95 Points "An open jazz riff on white limestone, this is so dry, austere and sumptuous that it defines umami. Cool, rich, mineral, mouthwatering. Pretty smart vintage Champagne: It's powerful in its flavor depth, though not as wildly powerful as Cristal."
92 Points "The pale rose color parallels this wine's pinot noir undertone of roses and sweet raspberries. It's brisk and earthy, with friction between the youthful acidity and the fullness of its flavor. A sophisticated rosé..."
90 Points Best Buy "There's tension in this wine between the lime of white earth and lime citrus. The flavors are pale, chalky, hinting at white mushrooms, freshly dug potatoes and spice. Reserve wines lend this depth, while the wine's freshness keeps it mouthwatering. For aperitifs, or a plate of Comté."
93 Points "A short crop of concentrated berries produced this grand vintage of Dominus, one that will need long aging to show its best. Decant it if you open the bottle now, allowing the initial cabernet franc scent of green herbs to integrate--Josiah Baldivino of Michael Mina in San Francisco described it as 'adding a fine detail, like a pocket square in a suit.'" Air brings out the full stature of the wine, its black cherry richness, violet scents and silken texture. For provençal lamb."
90 Points Best Buy "Spicy and bright with red fruit flavor, this is underlined by nebbiolo's sneaky tannins. They come on with an iron grip, then open to scents of roses. This is powered by alcohol, but well within the bounds of balance. Cellar it several years then decant for braised duck."
90 Points "Ambitiously oaked, this wine emphasizes dark coffee and bitter chocolate scents in its tannins. The fruit itself has more than enough stamina to stand up to the toastiness of the oak: It takes a straight path of red cherry that rounds out the structure, finishing clean and dry. Recommended for the cellar, where it will gain complexity. Or, if you like the forward character of new oak, drink this now with a steak."
92 Points "A supple Iberian pleasure, this viura gains buttery richness from time in oak. The fruit dominates, bringing litchi and pineapple notes to the finish while the wine remains completely dry. For a plate of hake cheeks."
93 Points "A formidable, old-fashioned gran reserva, this has the grace and dynamism of great Rioja, powerful without weight. The tannins are precise, focused on Moorish spice, hinting at crushed black peppercorn and cumin. Long and complex, this needs bottle age to fully develop. It should blossom into a great 2004."
94 Points "This wine captures the cool tones of Anderson Valley fruit in a sophisticated sparkler, the marriage of pinot noir and chardonnay flavors transformed into lemon curd, white raspberry, bright apple and lasting spice. The tight balance keeps it fresh, while reserve wines add to its richness (the blend includes four percent of reserves from 1999). There's nerve underneath the luscious texture, extending the sense of richness into finesse."
91 Points "There's lovely precision to the light strawberry notes in this wine, a clean parallel to its pale pink color. The finish is spicy and gentle, with a creamy undercurrent that lingers on fruit. Chill it for prawns."
93 Points "Like a diamond in the rough, this wine's fruit has facets and edges that glint with mulberry, elderberry, cracked black pepper, tart peach skin and tar. The texture is luscious, making this a high-powered wine with grace. Wild fruit flavor energizes the finish as the wine takes off."
97+ Points "The 2009 Dominus flows from the glass with layers of highly expressive fruit. The wine possesses stunning richness, power and depth. Dark red fruit, tobacco, flowers and spices are woven into a seamless, beautifully articulated finish. Elegance and intensity are in perfect harmony here. This is a thrilling wine from Dominus."
92 Points "The 2009 Napanook is rich, powerful and seductive. This is a more radiant, brighter style than the 2008. There is considerable fleshiness as the wine opens up in the glass. The 2009 is a very sexy Napanook endowed with tons of personality and sheer class. Despite its generous fruit, there is more than enough underlying structure to allow the wine to drink well for a number of years."
93+ Points "...this 2009 has a voluptuous opening on the palate before the tannins begin to ratchet up. Inky/purple-hued, layered and full-bodied, it offers notes of smoked meats, duck, Chinese black tea, blackberries and licorice. It is an enormously inky, thick wine that needs to be forgotten for 5-6 years and drunk over the following 20-25 years."
98+ Points "As I reported last year, the black/purple-tinged 2009 Cote Rotie La Landonne is an extraordinary effort. Made in a more open-knit, exuberant, flamboyant style, it possesses many of the same characteristics as the 2010, but with silkier tannins and lots of glycerin, smoked meat, violet, black currant, licorice, pepper and charcuterie characteristics. With super intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel, lower acidity than the 2010 and sweeter tannin, it should drink well for 30+ years."
96-100 Points "The black-colored 2010 Cote Rotie La Landonne displays notes of charcoal, black truffles, creosote, blackberries, incense, subtle barbecue smoke and hints of espresso as well as white chocolate. This amazingly complex, full-bodied, powerful 2010 will need 7-8 years of cellaring, and should last three decades or more."
93 Points "The 2009 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron exhibits lots of spice, raspberry, cassis, licorice, incense, Christmas fruitcake and fried bacon notes. The smokiness, seductiveness, lusciousness and medium to full-bodied, round, generous texture make for an endearing, sexy Cote Rotie to enjoy over the next 10-15 years."
91-93 Points "The 2010 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron reveals crisp acidity as well as lots of black raspberry, bacon fat, forest floor, licorice and Provencal garrigue-like notes. Deep, medium to full-bodied and rich, with terrific delineation as well as personality, it does not reveal any of the unevolved, slightly reduced character of many of the bigger 2010 Delas wines."
92 Points "There is a lot of good stuff in the 2010, but the real stunner is the 2009 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins. Revealing abundant notes of tar, cassis, black raspberries, tapenade and earth in its rich, full-bodied, stunning personality, it should drink well for 10-15 years."
90-92 Points 90-92+ Points: "From an estate vineyard, the 2010 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins is primary..."
93 Points "There is no problem understanding the 2009 Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos. Aged completely in small French oak barrels, it boasts a striking minerality, a wonderfully dense ruby/purple color and sweet notes of creme de cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed rocks and spring flowers. Full-bodied and dense, with some tannins still to shed, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and is capable of lasting two decades."
90 Points "The finest Crozes-Hermitage Les Launes to date is the 2009. Its dense purple color is accompanied by sweet strawberry and black cherry fruit notes intermixed with hints of tobacco leaf, licorice and smoke (even though this cuvee is all tank-fermented and aged.). A sleeper of the vintage as well as a great value, it should drink well for a decade."
98 Points "The magnificent 2009 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes boasts a black/purple color as well as a wonderful nose of creosote, incense, charcoal, blackberry jam, acacia flowers, white chocolate and a hint of espresso roast. Full-bodied and unctuously textured with low acidity and magnificent density, this 2009 can be drunk in 5-6 years or cellared for 30-50 years."
95-97 Points "The opaque black-colored 2010 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is followed by notes of creme de cassis, barbecue smoke, graphite, spring flowers and grilled meat. With superb concentration, acidity, extract and richness as well as a boatload of tannin to shed, it will need 10-15 years of cellaring and should keep for half a century."
100 Points "The most prodigious wine I have yet tasted from the Delas portfolio is the brilliant 2009 Hermitage Les Bessards. Its inky/purple color is followed by abundant notes of acacia flowers, blackberries, black currants, new saddle leather, roasted meats and graphite, amazing concentration, a skyscraper-like texture, supple but significant tannin and low acidity. The result is a perfect example of Syrah from this great vineyard site in Hermitage. It will offer immense pleasure for 40+ years."
96-100 Points "The 2010 Hermitage Les Bessards offers up scents of lead pencil shavings, barbecue smoke, black currants, blackberries, licorice and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, powerful, rich and extremely tannic, it should only be purchased by connoisseurs with cold cellars and abundant patience, as it requires 10-15 years of cellaring, and should still be drinking beautifully in 50-60 years when most of us are pushing up daisies."
94 Points "The 2009 St.-Joseph Francois de Tournon is showing even better than it did last year out of barrel. An inky/purple color is followed by notes of graphite, smoke, blackberries, cassis, road tar and truffles. With layers of fruit, an unctuous texture and tremendous purity and depth, this stunning effort is a great sleeper of this fabulous northern Rhone vintage. It should drink well for 10-15 years or longer."
90-92 Points "...one can sense the weight, richness and depth it possesses. There is more acidity, which makes the tannins slightly more noticeable. Nevertheless, this should turn out to be an outstanding effort..."
96 Points "The blockbuster 2009 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a remarkable nose of black fruits, graphite, ink, incense and subtle barbecue smoke. Elegant yet massive and rich, with an unctuous texture and good underlying acidity..., this deep, full-bodied, powerful 2009 should drink well for two decades or more."
91-93 Points "A limited production offering from older vines planted in one of the finest terroirs of the appellation, the 2010 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine possesses outstanding fruit, depth, power and purity along with zesty acidity, a striking minerality and a long finish."
93 Points #55 of Top 100 "Elegant and sleek, yet complex, with cinnamon and green apple aromas that lead to rich flavors of pear and lemon custard layered with brioche and mineral."
91 Points "Ripe and driven, with a lush edge to the lemon curd and lemon pound cake notes, backed by verbena, grapefruit zest and peach. The long finish has nice cut through the middle."
93 Points "The 2006 Brut Rose is flat-out delicious. It boasts gorgeous inner perfume, striking fruit and exceptional overall balance. This is a hugely delicious wine that at once shows the delicate and more powerful sides of Rose Champagne, if that makes sense. The wine can be enjoyed as an aperitif, but it also has more than enough richness to stand up to a range of foods. I loved it."
91 Points "The 2005 Brut Vintage blossoms on the palate with layers of deep, expressive fruit. The weight of the Pinot comes through loud and clear in this rich, textured Champagne. Ripe red berries, pears, hazelnuts and spices are some of the nuances that are layered into the rich, textured finish. This is another fabulous showing from Roederer."
92 Points "The NV Brut Premier is a gorgeous wine that stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of wines in its price range. Apparently, it is quite possible to make great Champagne that doesn’t cost a small fortune. Ripe pears, smoke, spices, dried flowers and herbs are some of the many nuances that emerge from the glass. The Brut Premier shows lovely mid-palate depth and fabulous overall balance. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has done it again. This is a fabulous Brut Premier."
90 Points "The NV Extra-Dry Carte Blanche is based on the Brut Premier, but receives a higher dosage of 16 grams per liter. Even though the Carte Blanche naturally shows a bit more sweetness than the Brut Premier it also maintains considerable focus and energy. Here the expression of fruit tends towards brighter, more floral white fruits, green apples/pears. The wine’s balance and length are first rate."
91 Points "The NV Brut Rose is fabulous. A sweet, open bouquet leads to expressive fruit in this rich, textured wine. The Deutz Rose is a serious wine that can be enjoyed as an aperitif, but it also has more than enough power in reserve to drink well at the dinner table. Floral notes reappear to round out the finish."
91 Points "The 2004 Brut Blanc de Blancs is a beautiful wine that captures the essence of the year. Lemon, mint, jasmine and crushed rocks are some of the nuances that inform the bright finish."
92 Points "Racy and fresh, with a piercing, stony edge cutting through the red currant, plum and cherry notes, all laced with hints of garrigue and tobacco on the finish."
94 Points "Very Bordeaux-like in its makeup and structure, this firm wine has good acidity and tight tannins, offering complex loamy earth, vivid dried currant and berry, with anise and mineral sprinkled in. This is my favorite young Dominus of late."
90 Points "This round red is full of sweet cherry and plum flavors, with hints of licorice and spices. The richness is offset by dense tannins..."
90 Points "There's an aromatic floral note to the flavors of apricot, ripe apple, smoky mineral, kumquat and lemon zest in this firm bubbly, which is fine-grained and balanced, with a lively, moderate finish..."
91 Points "This graceful rosé shows black raspberry, apricot and orange zest notes, with a refined texture and a thread of spicy mineral that lingers on the creamy finish..."
92 Points "A pretty note of apple blossom runs through this elegant Champagne, which is bright and juicy, offering flavors of green and yellow apple, tangerine and ground ginger, with a hint of graham cracker. Shows lovely texture, with a mouthwatering finish..."
100 Points "Classic Cos with so much spice and fruit, yet refined and sexy. Powerful with super silky tannins. Full bodied, yet incredibly compacted. This is so tight and rich with layers of fruit and tannins and a finish that last for minutes on the palate... Fab."
94+ Points "What a nose of dried spices, even chilies, with currants and blackberries. Full bodied, with ultra-fine tannins and a compacted fruit structure. Pretty length. Very fine indeed. Classic nose with the Petit Verdot spice."
92 Points "Another fine Dominus, dry, well-structured and ageworthy... rich enough to drink now, and should develop over the next six years. Rewards for the depth of blackberries, cassis, blueberries and cedar, wrapped into plush tannins."
94 Points "Faint straw, salmon color; fresh, vibrant, red fruit, mineral aromas; ebullient on the palate; dry, fine acidity, well balanced; delicious red fruit flavors, tight and young in the finish."
91 Points "Rich, inviting, smooth, with decidedly ripe appley and light mineral flavors; generous aftertaste."
93 Points "Bright yellow-gold. Deeply pitched aromas of poached pear, peach pit, chamomile, honey and brioche, with a spicy overtone. Impressively concentrated orchard fruit flavors are complicated by smoky lees, herbs and a hint of beeswax, and lifted by a floral topnote. Shows a marzipan nuance on the long, clinging, spice-accented finish."
91+ Points 91(+?) Points - "Pale orange color. Aromas of red currant, orange zest and anise, with high-pitched spice and floral notes adding complexity. Taut and mineral-driven, with bright red fruit flavors and notes of bitter orange, anise and white pepper. Juicy acidity provides energy and lift to the long, spicy finish."
90 Points "Bright red-ruby. Cassis, black cherry and licorice on the rather medicinal nose. Concentrated and savory; nicely balanced and dry, showing none of the vintage's hot side. Finishes saline and long. A very good showing."
92 Points "Good deep red-ruby. Ripe aromas of currant, coffee, mocha, licorice and minerals. Rich and mellow, with dark currant and chocolate flavors complicated by an intriguing yeasty nuance. At once chewy and refined. Finishes with substantial mouthdusting tannins and a touch of anise."
90 Points "Good full red. Aromas of dried flowers and menthol dominated by coffee oak; raspberry and currant slowly emerged with air. Sweet, lush and broad, with very good freshness of fruit. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins and good subtle length. 'Two thousand seven is a great, forward, rich, plummy vintage, but not '97-like,' notes Pio Boffa. 'You can drink the wines now with food but they will age.'"
91+ Points 91(+?) Points - "Good deep red. Very closed but pure nose offers currant, marzipan, mocha and a whiff of truffle. Quite sweet on the front half and almost surprisingly round and opulent. Then turns more dry and classic toward the back, finishing with serious, dusty, fine-grained tannins."
94 Points "Quite closed on the nose, with the oak element in the foreground. Then hugely rich and opulent in the mouth, with an utterly smooth texture that goes beyond the other 2007s here. The concentration of plummy red fruit is accentuated by the wine's energy. Explosively long finish saturates the entire mouth with rich tannins."
90-92 Points "Moderately saturated medium red. Perfumed, high-pitched aromas and flavors of raspberry, redcurrant, rose petal, tobacco, orange peel and exotic spices. Juicy, dense and suave, with a light touch thanks to superb inner-mouth energy. Finishes firmly tannic, long and perfumed, with the structure for a slow evolution in bottle."
90-92 Points "Moderately saturated medium red. Red cherry, marzipan, minerals and underbrush on the nose; perfumed... Finishes with dusty, serious tannins, a savory chewy quality, and lingering notes of red cherry and camphor. Like the Barbaresco, this displays the energy of the vintage's better examples."
94 Points White Wine of the Month - "This wine captures the cool tones of Anderson Valley fruit in a sophisticated sparkler, the marriage of pinot noir and chardonnay flavors transformed into lemon curd, white raspberry, bright apple and lasting spice. The tight balance keeps it fresh, while reserve wines add to its richness (the blend includes four percent of reserves from 1999). There's nerve underneath the luscious texture, extending the sense of richness into finesse."
90 Points "This refined white is driven by finely tuned acidity, with a smoky, minerally undercurrent and subtle notes of Gala apple, orchard blossoms, apricot and dried papaya. A tang of salt plays on the long finish."
90 Points "A floral version that's just off-dry and lush, backed by juicy acidity and a smoky undercurrent. This layers candied orange and pineapple notes with pleasantly bitter hints of pink grapefruit peel and green papaya, with a touch of curry spices. A rich style, but balanced nonetheless. Drink now through 2020."
92 Points "A fresh Riesling, with bright and tangy acidity and flavors of passion fruit, kumquat, quince and black licorice snap. Well-integrated, with a sweet, smoky layer running through the wine and lingering on the mouthwatering finish."
92 Points "It displays good lift on the nose with very pure blackberry and raspberry coulis intermixed with graphite, underlying mineralité coming through with aeration. The palate has a peppery entry, fine tannins and good weight, cohesive with lovely ripe tertiary flavours towards the finish. Very fine."
88 Points "This aromatic Riesling shows aromas and flowers of spring blossom, ripe Gala apple, smoky mineral and lemon zest. Light-bodied and fresh, with a modest, stony finish. Drink now through 2014."
91 Points Best Buy One of the 100 Best Buys of the Year -- "This estate-grown blend of chardonnay and pinot noir gains added richness from oak-aged reserve wines. The reserves broaden the texture, contributing almond tones to the clean, fresh apple and pear flavors. A festive aperitif, this delivers far beyond its price."
93 Points "The 2007 Barbaresco Il Bricco is a powerhouse. Layers of black cherries, espresso, mocha and spices emerge from this large-scaled, powerful wine. The oak is beautifully integrated in this vintage, always an excellent sign for how the wine is likely to evolve over the coming years. There is plenty going on in the glass, as this dark, mysterious Barbaresco continues to develop with air. This is another strong showing from Pio Cesare."
91 Points "Starts out a bit flat, with milk chocolate and raisiny aromas. With airing it evolves and expands, showing snappy flavors of berry, raisin and brown sugar. Very solid on the finish and elegant as an aged Rioja gran reserva should be."
90 Points Editor's Choice "Ample black cherry fruit is enhanced by layers of floral and herbal complexity, while the tannins are supple, allowing the flavors to linger elegantly on the finish."
94 Points "This luscious blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese shows bright cherry and blueberry characteristics backed by smooth richness and velvety texture. The wine is soft, dense and delicious overall. It presents a beautiful portrait of Tuscan wine."
91 Points "Light yellow-gold. Deeply pitched aromas of white peach, pineapple and pear, with toasty lees and a vanilla note adding complexity. Lush, sappy and oak-spicy, with very good intensity and focus to its pit and tropical fruit flavors. Picks up a zesty lemony quality that adds bite to the long, spicy finish."
90 Points "Bright ruby-red. Cherry, black raspberry, vanilla and cracked pepper on the highly perfumed nose. Sappy, incisive dark fruit flavors are lifted by tangy acidity and pick up smokiness and oak spices with air. Finishes on a gently sweet note, with very good clinging length."
92 Points "Deep ruby-red. Ripe red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by vanilla, pipe tobacco and potpourri. Fleshy, palate-coating redcurrant and cherry compote flavors deliver solid punch and pick up floral pastille and smoky nuances with air. The long, seamless finish repeats the deep cherry note and leaves dusty minerals and spices behind. This is delicious now but has the depth and balance to age effortlessly."
92 Points "The 2007 Barbaresco is a gorgeous, inviting wine graced with exquisite dark fruit and a supple personality. Fine tannins frame the fruit through to the finish. The Barbaresco is already quite open and accessible, but the tannins remain a touch firm and there is enough freshness in the glass to suggest the wine will be even better in another year or two. This is a very typical 2007."
93 Points "The 2007 Barolo is inviting, sweet and open, yet has plenty of underlying tannins to provide support. It shows terrific balance in a style that reconciles the traditionalist leanings of this bottling with the ripe quality of the year. Sweet hints of tobacco, spices, leather and herbs add complexity on the textured yet grippy finish. Pio Cesare’s straight Barolo doesn’t seem to get the attention or spotlight it deserves, but it has truly been one of Piedmont’s under the radar jewels for some time."
95 Points "The 2007 Barolo Ornato is striking. It shows marvelous delineation in it aromatics, tremendous breadth on the palate and fabulous balance. As always, the Ornato is a plush Barolo, with tons of Serralunga character and muscle. Rose petals, crushed flowers and spices add complexity to the dark fruit, while the French oak is very well-integrated. This is one of the most polished wines I have ever tasted from Pio Cesare."
91 Points "The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Haute Pierre (65% tank-aged Grenache and 35% barrel-aged Syrah) boasts a dense ruby/purple color along with sweet notes of roasted meats, new saddle leather, espresso, cassis and black cherry jam. This classic, full-throttle Chateauneuf du Pape can be enjoyed over the next 15+ years. As I noted last year, there has been tremendous progress and a definitive amelioration of quality with respect to the Chateauneuf du Papes being produced by Delas."
90 Points "This plump red bursts with plum, cherry, chocolate and toast flavors, framed by soft tannins and gentle acidity. A juicy wine."
93 Points "A concentrated red, with chocolate, berry and currant character. Full and chewy. Layered and rich. Made from organic grapes."
95 Points Cellar Selection "Pio Cesare and the 2007 vintage marry beautifully to produce a layered, opulent, textured, rich wine that is bursting with zesty red fruit, sassy spice, leather and toasted espresso bean. What really sets this wine apart is the dense smoothness of its texture. Save this bottle in your cellar 10 years or more."
94 Points Cellar Selection "Ornato is an opulent, modern expression of Barolo with lush oak tones that will require at least 10 more years to find perfect harmony. The 2007 vintage offers extra pulp and chewy cherry concentration that this wine upholds very successfully. You’ll love the plumpness and overall chocolaty richness available here."
90 Points "This white embraces the traditional style, featuring notes of coconut and vanilla from oak balanced by dried pear, almond and herb flavors. Firm, with very bright acidity that keeps this lively."
91 Points "This silky white delivers lightly honeyed flavors of apricot, orange gélee, smoke and just a touch of toffee. Racy acidity finds precise balance with the wine's riper flavor profile, resulting in an elegant wine offering a long, spicy finish."
90 Points "This aromatic Pinot Gris shows pretty apple blossom, spring forest, star fruit, lemon curd and smoke notes. Bright and tangy acidity keeps this lively and well-balanced. The anise-tinged finish lingers."
90 Points "There is real character on the nose of the Magdelaine 2007 with broody but well defined dark berried fruits with redcurrant, cranberry, leather and an almost 'animally' accent. The palate has a smooth and cohesive entry...it displays crisp acidity and good focus."
90 Points "A vivid Chianti Classico, with dark cherry, violets and berries on the nose and palate. Fresh finish. Made from Biodynamic grapes."
90 Points "The 2009 Chianti Classico Querciabella floats on the palate with layers of sensual red fruit, flowers and spices. It remains an essentially mid-weight wine graced with exquisite finesse and class, reflecting a stylistic change from some of the bigger vintages of the past. Floral notes reapper on the finish, adding lift and harmony."
91 Points "Clear aromas of blueberry and light jam. Full bodied, with silky tannins and a citrus, plum and berry character. Rich yet balanced and very pretty."
92 Points "The 2008 Palafreno is another delicate red. It is an attractive, mid-weight wine layered with sweet dark cherries, flowers, mint and minerals. There is plenty of freshness in the glass."
90 Points "A rich, fat wine, with the weight of concentrated red fruits laced with pear and a touch of spice. There is a vanilla layer that adds extra complexity."
90 Points "Produced from the Clos Mireille, within sight of the Mediterranean, this fresh-faced wine shows peach and citrus flavors rounded by ripeness, although with an attractive tangy aftertaste."
93 Points "Dark fruit, spices, leather and tobacco are some of the aromas and flavors that take shape in the glass. Mineral notes appear later to frame the long, vibrant finish. The 2008 shows lovely balance..."
90 Points "The 2009 Chianti Classico Querciabella floats on the palate with layers of sensual red fruit, flowers and spices. It remains an essentially mid-weight wine graced with exquisite finesse and class, reflecting a stylistic change from some of the bigger vintages of the past. Floral notes reappear on the finish, adding lift and harmony."
90 Points "The palate is well-defined with subtle lime, green apple and apricot flavours. The oak is well-integrated lending the taut finish an attractive creamy veneer."
91 Points Smart Buy "Hints of smoke, lemon curd and fresh forest floor add layers of complexity to the flavors of white peach, pink grapefruit and spiced orange peel in this well-cut white, which is elegant, with fine focus, a silky texture and a tangy, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2019."
91 Points "Light, bright peach skin color. Lively, mineral-accented aromas of orange zest, strawberry and honeysuckle, along with a hint of herbs. Nervy and refreshingly brisk on the palate, offering pure red berry and citrus flavors underscored by a chalky quality. Finishes dry and clean, with strong cut and lingering florality. I really like this wine's balance and focus."
91 Points "The 2000 Barolo has a very classic feel to it. Hints of rose petal, spices, licorice, and tobacco lead to red cherries and flowers in this delicate, subtle wine. The fruit unfolds beautifully through the mid-palate and finish. This is an impressive, totally delicious Barolo."
91 Points "Aromas of toast, baking spices, almonds, butterscotch, and melon lead to a smooth-textured, rich, savory wine with well-integrated acidity that cleans the palate. This lengthy effort is capable of evolving for several years and is likely to drink well through 2021."
94 Points "Deeply colored, spicy, elegant and complex, the wine has great volume and grip as well as exceptional length. It can be approached now but will easily have a 30 year lifespan."
92-95 Points "It is a fragrant, enticing, already complex offering that will continue to evolve in the bottle for several more years. Rich, savory, and ripe, this beautifully balanced wine will also have a 30+ year lifespan."
94 Points "Dense purple in color, it exhibits aromas of pain grille, graphite, lavender, spice box, and assorted black fruits with a hint of balsamic and chocolate. Savory, spicy, and well-balanced, this layered offering has plenty of silky tannins and a pure, seamless finish. It will continue to blossom for several more years and drink well through 2025."
93 Points "It offers up an expressive nose of sandalwood, mineral, balsamic, incense, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it displays considerable complexity... Savory, ripe, layered, and long, this outstanding wine will offer a drinking window extending from 2015 to 2027."
90 Points "Asian spices, incense, mineral, smoke, black cherry, and blackberry are some of the nuances that appear as the wine sits in the glass. Savory spices, ripe tannins, and layers of black fruit flavors lead to a seamless finish in a wine that will evolve for several more years and drink well through 2027."
90 Points "The 2010 Pazo Barrantes Albarino is a fragrant white that spent several months on its lees. Aromas and flavors of jasmine, lemon, and tropical notes are displayed on a smooth-textured platform featuring lively acidity, plenty of spice notes, and excellent balance. This lengthy effort will deliver pleasure for the next 3-4 years."
95 Points "This is very pure fruit for Dominus. This will be interesting to see how it develops in the future. 2008 was a very small crop. Very perfumed and beautiful, with currants, flowers, and notes of mint. Full-bodied, with round velvety tannins that lead up to a chocolate and ripe berry finish. This is showing great fruit, and a great finish."
91 Points "A balanced and pretty wine with blueberry and minerals. Medium to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a delicious finish. Dried flowers, milk chocolate and spices. No need to wait for this; it's ready."
90 Points "Still on the young side, with pure, chiseled straw, gooseberry and flint flavors that are backed by a long, stylish finish, where a fleur de sel note lingers. Should age gracefully."
91 Points "Stylish, with lots of mocha, spice and black tea aromas backed by velvety-textured blackberry and raspberry fruit. The long, suave finish stretches out nicely, with the fruit and spice hanging on."
90 Points "A delicate Champagne, with spring blossom, smoke, yellow apple and anise flavors set on a fine-grained texture. The moderate finish is fresh and juicy, with the smoky note lingering."
98 Points "A brilliant showing for Christian Moueix’s well-known Napanook Vineyard, the 2001 Dominus is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. A classic in the making, this is a flawless, seamless example of elegant, complex Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that possesses a Bordeaux-like personality. This gorgeous, sexy, opulent, dense ruby/purple-colored wine reveals sweet caramel, mocha, creme de cassis and kirsch notes intermixed with a hint of espresso roast as well as underbrush. Ripe, long and full-bodied with well-integrated tannin, acidity, alcohol and wood, this prodigious 2001 is drinkable now and over the next 25+ years given this estate’s longevity track record. A virtually perfect wine, it is one of the most complex 2001s at present."
93 Points "Love the nose on this with nutmeg and other spices, not to mention the ripe fruits such as currants and plums. Full and wonderfully balanced with ultra-fine tannins and a bright finish. Bright and tannic. Delicious already."
97 Points "Dark color with lovely ruby red edge. What a nose of blackberries, blueberries and hazelnuts! Full bodied, with amazing tannins that are velvety and gorgeous. Oranges and plums in the aftertaste. This is the best Ornato ever? This is the new 1958."
91 Points "Fragrant, delivering sandalwood, incense and floral aromas as cherry and plum notes emerge on the palate. This is open and lush, despite its dense tannins. Very suave and harmonious, needing time to really come together. Excellent finish."
90 Points "Ripe fruit, with sweet tannins. It is quite light with fresh acidity and attractively balanced, with flavors of dried raisins and final acidity."
97 Points Cellar Selection -- "Gorgeous, smooth wine, perhaps even more intense than in past vintages. The tannins are totally enveloped by the ripe plum and damson fruits. Complex, powerful, layered and opulent, this is a wine for the long term."
93 Points Cellar Selection -- "Austere wine, its tannins pushing forward to give power and structure. It is dense, concentrated, with layer upon layer of bitter coffee and dark fruit flavors, acidity and sweet tannins."
94 Points "Stylish wine, balanced, intensely elegant. It has freshness and also weight, encased in a structure that is poised, beautifully integrating black currant fruit and chocolate flavors."
91 Points "Sweet and spicy, displaying a viscous texture that envelops the cherry, menthol and allspice notes. Firm, upright tannins on the finish keep this honest, and the spice lingers, along with notes of mineral."
93 Points "A touch of wood adds warmth and spice, with vanilla and smoke notes accenting black cherry, licorice and leather flavors. The muscular tannins add power to this Barolo's well-toned profile."
92 Points "A rich, muscular red, with interesting notes of cream and pomegranate to the ripe dark plum and cherry flavors. There's a full-bore finish of smoked maple and mocha."
91 Points "Very sanguine-tasting yet elegant, with a strong spicy element to the dried berry and cherry flavors. Intriguing notes of paprika and pepper linger on the creamy finish."
93 Points "Lots of forest berries and flowers in the nose. On the palate, it is thick and very rich, with big plummy fruit and a light raisin aftertaste. Chewy, round, and very generous on the palate."
95 Points "The sweet berry and iodine character on the nose is fascinating. Intense aromas of stone and fruit. Full bodied, with chewy yet polished tannins. This is long and stylish, powerful..."
98-100 Points "Delas's two luxury cuvees are both candidates for perfection. As good as the single vineyard Cote Roties of Guigal, the 2009 Cote Rotie La Landonne...is a sublime wine. A dense blue/purple color is followed by aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, white chocolate, vanilla and a hint of spring flowers. The wine exhibits fabulous fruit intensity, a wonderful medium to full-bodied mouthfeel...beautiful elegance and purity."
92-94 Points "A strong effort, the 2009 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron is the softest of all Delas's 2009 Northern Rhones, offering up notes of black olives, lychee nuts, raspberries and black currants. This finesse-styled, elegant red should provide delicious drinking..."
92 Points "The 2009 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins spends time in both barrel and tank. ...it boasts a dense purple color along with an impressive bouquet of camphor, graphite, spring flowers, tapenade and creme de cassis."
91-93 Points "Aged 100% in small French oak, it exhibits a striking minerality as well as copious notes of cassis, acacia flowers, licorice, herbs and spice. Combining power, intensity and elegance, this full-bodied 2009 should drink well for 12-15+ years."
91 Points "An amazing bargain, it is the finest wine they have yet produced under this moniker. Seductive notes of black cherries, cassis, licorice, tobacco leaf and pepper are followed by an opulent, consumer-friendly but authentic Northern Rhone to drink over the next 5-6 years."
99-100 Points "Delas's two luxury cuvees are both candidates for perfection. One of the vintage's greatest Hermitages is undeniably the 2009 Hermitage Les Bessards... Built like a skyscraper, it boasts a black/purple color as well as notes of barbecue smoke, burning embers, creme de cassis, blackberry liqueur, white flowers and powdered rocks. Full-bodied, dense and enormous in the mouth with perfect harmony..."
95-97+ Points "One of the top wines in this portfolio is the 2009 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette. Aged in 50% new oak, it exhibits abundant aromas of creme de cassis as well as hints of acacia flowers, crushed rocks and graphite along with massive concentration, full body, a dense style, a boatload of tannin and enormous extract. ...Jacques Granges thinks this is the finest example of this cuvee he has yet made. I can't think of any reason to disagree."
92-95 Points "One of the top three or four wines of the appellation, the 2009 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine is a seriously endowed, opaque purple-colored effort revealing notes of ink, lead pencil shavings, blackberries, toast, licorice, pepper and a liqueur of minerality."
91-93 Points "The dense purple-colored, gamy 2009 Cornas Chante Perdrix offers up scents of duck confit intermixed with notions of burning embers, black fruits, new saddle leather and savage animal-like notes. There is extraordinary intensity and abundant tannin, but enough fruit to balance out the wine's structure."
91-93 Points "Ratcheting up the level of concentration, power, extract, tannin and intensity, the 2009 St.-Joseph Francois de Tournon exhibits licorice, cassis, graphite and earth in its full-bodied, rich, well-balanced personality."
92 Points "The 2009 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins spends time in both barrel and tank... it boasts a dense purple color along with an impressive bouquet of camphor, graphite, spring flowers, tapenade and creme de cassis."
93 Points "A touch of wood adds warmth and spice, with vanilla and smoke notes accenting black cherry, licorice and leather flavors. The muscular tannins add power to this Barolo’s well-toned profile."
93+ Points "Tasted at JP Moueix. The Hosanna 2008 outstrips my expectations out of barrel. As suggested back then, it is much more "classic" and even "austere" on the nose than recent vintages of Hosanna in their youth. Red-berried fruits, a touch of cigar box, smoke, liquorice and later some attractive mint aromas emerge. The terroir is more transparent compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, dry but supple tannins, very good fruit intensity with great weight and density towards the finish."
98 Points "The palate is medium-bodied with exceptionally fine balance, linear at first but my God, the back-palate does not know what has hit it! The 2008 has a multi-dimensional finish with cranberry, graphite, dark cherries, citrus peel and a tincture of liquorice. Incredible length... Very fine cashmere texture and great length; this is one hell of a wine."
96 Points "A modern day classic? I think so, here, the wine transcending the potential it showed in barrel. ... Well integrated oak here, with subtle cedar and graphite scents developing with time. Good definition. The palate has vibrant, animated entry with fiery red-berried fruits, superb acidity and wonderful harmony, cashmere tannins caressing the mouth. It lingers for an extraordinary amount of time on the back palate with real structure and focus. Hints of black pepper sprinkled on the aftertaste. Brilliant."
90 Points "Fig, clove and tobacco flavors are dark and alluring in this muscular red, which has a thick, muscular texture, but a core of plum and currant fruit keeps it all lively."
93 Points "This has texture and range that's a step up from the pack, with a gorgeous, silky feel to the ripe but restrained cherry, raspberry and damson plum notes that are layered with hints of black tea, incense and mineral. The long finish is more about poise than power. Lovely."
91 Points "Muscular and solid, perhaps a bit chunky now, this big red shows toast, coffee and loam notes over a core of black cherry and fig flavors that struggle to emerge from gripping tannins. There's purity and depth that bode well."
91 Points "Builds slowly, as the mesquite and roasted plum aromas slowly give way to more layers of tobacco, hot stone, cassis, chestnut and graphite. The long finish really stretches out with mineral and tobacco notes."
97 Points "It is a powerful, structured Cristal layered with considerable fruit. ...Readers who are willing to spend some time with the wine today will find a super-impressive, complete Cristal. ...the 2004 Cristal has come together beautifully and is shaping up to be a truly great, monumental Champagne."
90 Points "The NV Brut Premier is a soft, creamy wine that captures the essence of the house style in its refined mousse, precise aromas and flavors and compelling overall balance. ...Year after year, this is one of Champagne’s most reliably outstanding entry-level wines."
91 Points "The 2004 Brut Blanc de Blancs offers up gorgeous varietal fruit in a fairly rich style for a 2004 Blanc de Blancs. Textural finesse, brilliance and a total sense of harmony are the hallmarks of this suave, finessed Champagne. The small bubbles caress the palate from start to finish."
93 Points "The 2005 Brut Rose is a gorgeous wine blessed with compelling inner perfume, layers of subtle yet expressive fruit and phenomenal balance. Clean, chalky notes frame a precise, crystalline finish. This mid-weight Champagne can be enjoyed on its own or with food."
91 Points "...the 2007 continues to show wonderful elegance, sweet finesse and ripe Napa Valley fruit."
93 Points "The 2008 Napanook...may be one of the greatest Napanooks made. It is a deeper, richer, more intense wine with full body, an endearing texture and a long, pure finish. These two are 'take your pick' vintages, but wine enthusiasts would probably be remiss in not having both 2007 and 2008 in their cellars."
98 Points "The 2007 Dominus, the quintessential model of haute couture, is pure elegance exhibiting a seamless integration of wood, tannin, alcohol and acidity as well as a complex bouquet of cedar, new saddle leather, sweet kirsch, black currant and plum fruit and a notion of licorice. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years."
99 Points "Made in a more masculine style, the 2008 Dominus has all of that along with bigger body and more structure, fat, density and texture. Both [the 2007 & 2008 vintages] are brilliant wines and they represent the finest back-to-back vintages for Dominus since 2001 and 2002 or 1990 and 1991."
92 Points "Lovely nose of Merlot with milk chocolate and raspberry aromas. Lots of mineral character too, but subtle. Full body, with fine and silky tannins and an already delicious dark chocolate and berry aftertaste. Balanced and pretty. Give it two or three years. Hard not to drink now."
92 Points "Wonderful nose of blueberries, spices and light meat, with hints of chocolate as well. Full bodied, with a beautiful structure of ultra-soft tannins and subtle yet rich fruit. Loads going on here."
90 Points "A spicy red, with plum and currant bush character. Medium to full body, with fine tannins and a fruity finish."
93 Points "Floral, citrus and spice aromas and flavors are at the forefront of this filigree, delicate Champagne. This is harmonious and well-defined, with a long aftertaste of roasted nut and toast."
92 Points "Aromas of peat announce this grand dowager, with polished dried cherry and berry flavors that feature notes of lemon zest and plum pudding. The long finish oozes fig paste, caramel and chocolate. Very silky."
93 Points "Very rich and full of pure-tasting flavors of toffee, butterscotch and caramel, with light fruity notes of dried cherry and apricot. There's a long, glorious finish of hazelnut and cream."
90 Points "A ripe style, with rich, well-integrated flavors of toffee, marshmallow and dried plum. Offers cream and butterscotch on the lush finish."
90 Points "Very grapey, with dense, concentrated flavors of dark plum, chocolate, cherry and spice. Mocha and dark chocolate notes, with raisin hints, linger on the finish."
90 Points "A firm Champagne, displaying a floral quality to the biscuit, pear and light spice notes. This shows fine balance and good drive to the acidity, straight through to the delicate finish."
94 Points "There's so much floral and berry character on the nose and palate here. It's full-bodied and very dense with lots of fine and delicate tannins. Winemaker Oliver Berrouet calls it a classic Bordeaux in style and I have to agree with him because of the fine tannins, fresh acidity, and beautiful reserve fruit. Lovely sweet berry and chocolate finish to the wine."
97 Points #16 in the Top 100 Cellar Selections -- "Easily the greatest Dominus in memory... Lacks for nothing in complexity and sheer deliciousness. Tantalizes with blackberry tart, cherry, carob bean and a Pinot Noiresque cola-rhubarb richness that retreats behind rich tannins and an earthiness suggesting sweet blond tobacco and dried sage."
90 Points "Youthful, tart wild berry flavors mark this pale pink rosé. It’s brisk, and while the fruit is still a bit primary, the flavors finish with an intriguing limestone earthiness that lends sophistication. Enjoy this as a young wine with roast duck."
97 Points "A pale beauty with delicate power, energy and dimension, the 2004 Cristal is an impressive follow-up to the 2002. Scents of apple blossom hint at the depth and clarity of the fruit, layered with ginger and spice in a flavor delivered over the course of several minutes. The freshness of the wine comes through in a subtle hum rather than anything as overt as a buzz, bright, airy and unstoppable."
95 Points "This is pure, essential Champagne, limestone rock captured in liquid form. Its pale, fragrant citrus flavors are sleek and generous, etched into a stony structure that supports them completely without any overt acidity or tannin. All that’s perceptible is the wine. Age this to let the flavor detail develop, or enjoy it now for the beauty of its youth."
93 Points "The quality of Roederer’s viticulture shows in the freshness of this 2003, capturing the generosity of the vintage without superripeness. It’s lively and firm, soft to the touch, with a flash of acidity that lengthens its red fruit flavors and lends it a warm glow. Open a bottle for the turkey this Thanksgiving."
93 Points "A lovely, generous rosé... It shows the kind of pure red fruit clarity that is rare in the vintage, along with complex hints of mushroom. Tangy acidity contrasts the wine’s full flavor, bringing it to a dry finish."
90 Points "The firm, toasty richness of reserve wines lends depth and structure to this nonvintage brut. The lemon-curd fruitiness is round, edged by mineral and wood tones. For aperitifs."
90 Points "This pale pink rosé has scents of linden and a meaty, curry-like spice. Its earthy, stony flavor has heft and weight, cut by acidity with the sharpness of a shiso leaf."
94 Points #42 on the Top 100 Cellar Selections -- "With a few years’ aging, this is beginning to show its almond and toast side. The fresh acidity is now melding beautifully into a soft, ripe texture with layers of spice and acidity. Certainly worth aging further."
92 Points "The 2004 Brut Blanc de Blancs emerges from the glass with exotic beauty in its fruit. This rich, multi-faceted Champagne possesses dazzling complexity, with endless layers of fruit and a beautifully chiseled finish. This, too, is a fabulous effort from Deutz."
95 Points "The 2000 Brut Rose Cuvee William Deutz emerges from the glass with a big, masculine expression of fruit. Darker, baritone notes develop in the glass, adding weight and richness. A broad-shouldered, expansive wine, the Rose Cuvee William Deutz is beginning to show early signs of tertiary development, although it has the stuffing to age well for a number of years."
92+ Points "The 2006 Brut Rose is a gorgeous wine endowed with an expressive bouquet suggestive of roses, spices, minerals and crushed berries. It possesses wonderful richness, depth and clarity in a cool, beguiling style. [...] It is a huge over-achiever in its price range."
90 Points "The NV Brut Rose showcases the classic Deutz style in a soft, approachable fruit. Mint, flowers and crushed berries are some of the nuances that flow from this delicate, mineral-laced rose. It’s hard not to fall for this delicious wine."
90 Points "The NV Brut Classic is a pretty, entry-level wine. Warm, generous fruit comes together beautifully in this rich, expansive, mid-weight Champagne. The bouquet, texture and purity of the finish are all first-rate."
94 Points "The wines included a recent ‘go-to’ Champagne, the crisp, very flavorful 1999 Deutz Rosé."
91+ Points "The 2007 Barbera d’Alba Fides is one of the best versions of this wine I can remember tasting. It is also unusually closed and tight for the vintage, but over time layers of ripe, perfumed fruit emerge with superb clarity and precision. The Fides reveals gorgeous persistence on the palate and terrific overall balance."
91 Points "The 2006 Barbaresco is an attractive, mid-weight wine. Red berries, sweet spices and crushed flowers are some of the nuances that emerge from this plump, juicy Barbaresco. With a little air, this is already drinking quite nicely. Sweet notes from new oak linger on the pretty finish."
94 Points "The 2006 Barolo offers up a super-classic profile of tar, roses, raspberries and licorice, all wrapped around a firm core of tannins. Fresh and vibrant throughout, the Barolo impresses for its superb balance and poise. ... This is a magnificent, impeccable Barolo from Pio Cesare, but it will be even better in a few years."
94 Points "The estate’s 2006 Barolo Ornato expresses the power and masculinity of Serralunga in a rich, opulent style packed with dark fruit. The Ornato shows marvelous concentration and vibrancy, with added layers of dimension from the French oak. It is a fascinating wine to contrast with the straight Barolo, as each of these 2006s reveals a different shade of nuance. There is a marvelous intensity to the fruit, along with substantial grip on the finish."
91 Points "Both [the '07 and '08 vintages] had graceful mid-palates, elegant and showing considerable finesse. ... Beautifully structured and quite nicely put together, this is another in a string of nice DQ Reservas."
91 Points "Garnet in color, with a traditional sour cherry and oak scent, this wine grows at the Ygay estate in Rioja Alta. It’s smooth and plummy, with spicy red fruit tannins laying in wait for a steak. The minerality lasts, hinting at complexities to come with bottle age."
99 Points "Made in a more masculine style, the 2008 Dominus has all of that along with bigger body and more structure, fat, density and texture. Both are brilliant wines and they represent the finest back-to-back vintages for Dominus since 2001 and 2002 or 1990 and 1991. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years..."
90 Points "Ripe and dense, but sleek and focused, with a lovely core of mulled black currant, warm fig paste and tobacco, laced with mouthwatering dark olive and iron notes that help the finish stretch out nicely. Has solid grip in reserve, too."
90 Points "A lively wine, with a raisin bread-like note to the ripe current, nut and whole-grain toast flavors. Fresh and vibrant, with a clean, floral finish."
95 Points Best Sparkling Wine "...racy, as well as delicate, layered, savory and gently sweet. ...This is a breakthrough wine for California...Don't miss it."
93 Points Cellar Selection "Concentrated to the max, with young, closed aromas of coconut, charcoal, mint leaf, leather, hot pavement and black fruit. The palate is juvenile, full and warm, and it delivers a jolt of meaty black fruit, licorice and baking-spice flavors. Toasty late, with no shortage of structure and oak. Should age well for a decade or so."
92 Points "The latest release, a blend of chardonnay (60 percent) and pinot noir, shows that depth in penetrating flavors of green apple, tart pear and raspberry—the fruit fragrant and fresh against more mature notes of yeast."
95 Points "[...] it is delicate and precise as a fine Champagne, but rather than being grounded in Kimmeridgean limestone, it’s marked by the coastal, forested hills of Mendocino. This is also one of our 100 Best Wines of the Year—for its own refreshing reasons."
90 Points Bargain Sparkler "A beautiful rosé bubbly, from the copper-salmon color to the final finish. Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it's dry and refined, with complex orange, raspberry, vanilla cream, mineral and brioche flavors. Gains extra points for the smoothness of its bubbles."
90 Points Bargain Sparkler: "Great price for a brut this classically structured. Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it's dry and crisp, with a fine mousse that gives it a creamy smooth mouthfeel. The pineapple, raspberry and vanilla flavors are delicious."
100 Points One of the best Cham "There is no singular flavor, but rather a resonant chord, a series of oppositions that create the invisible intensity of an electric current, the power of the charge balanced by the elegance of the flavor and the structure of the wine. You could describe it as light and brisk, or bold and intense; either way you'll still be tasting it ten minutes later."
100 Points One of the best Cham "If a wine could ever make you want to pull the top down on your '68 Ferrari convertible, rip off the rearview mirror and take off, this is it. ...All the scents and flavors seem to emanate from limestone, as does the acidity, which hints at the front of the mouth and powers through the wine with the kind of solar energy that lifts mist off the white chalk on a cool morning in Cramant....It's already irresistible, and will only improve with ten, 20, 30 and 40 years of age."
95 Points "Roederer’s Brut Rosé, a maceration of unusually ripe, low-yielding pinot noir from Cumières blended with about 30 percent chardonnay, is consistently an exceptional rosé Champagne, perhaps the finest value in the house’s portfolio."
100 Points "A typical Cristal requires several decades to show its best, yet a great one such as the 2002 shows a refinement, complexity and harmony that make it seductive in its youth as well."
100 Points "Elegant and exquisitely detailed, the ’02 Cristal Rosé is the finest rosé Champagne currently on the market."
92+ Points "Bright, incisive and impressively pure, offering silky citrus and floral flavors underscored by dusty minerality and a touch of bitter pear skin. This is a baby but shows excellent potential, with strong finishing thrust and creamy persistence."
90+ Points "...offering tangy redcurrant and wild strawberry flavors and a kiss of orange peel. Smoothes out on the finish, which repeats the red fruit and floral notes."
93 Points "Deeply pitched citrus and red berry flavors are complicated by notes of candied rose and white pepper and gain spiciness with air. Finishes on a refreshingly bitter citrus pith note, with excellent persistence."
92 Points "Juicy citrus flavors show a silky quality, with spice and floral notes adding complexity. Gains flesh and sweetness with air and finishes with excellent clarity, cut and chalky persistence. This is balanced to age."
94 Points "Taut, linear lemon and orange rind flavors give way to deeper pear in the mid-palate and pick up notes of honeysuckle and toasted grain with air. Still very young but shows excellent promise. Finishes with good mineral cut and sappy persistence."
91+ Points "Nervy, dry and precise, offering fresh raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and an exotic candied rose quality. The long, mineral-accented finish features a late note of cinnamon."
91 Points "L'Ermitage 2002 ... is sleek and creamy, with pinpoint focus and long, complex apple and spicy, yeasty flavors."
93 Points "L'Ermitage Rosé 2003 ... has delicate floral aromas of strawberry and peach, but also deep, opulent raspberry, toasty vanilla and mineral flavors."
91 Points "The current release ... is the wine's best version ever, with bold, spicy apple aromas and rich, layered flavors of baked apple, pear and crème brûlée."
93 Points "This expressive white is fragrant with almond blossom, citrus peel, apple, vanilla and spice notes that sail through the palate, carried on firm acidity that gives the wine a lithe, muscular texture. Fresh and long. Drink now through 2020."
91 Points "Pure and racy, with mature notes of paraffin and lemon curd that weave in with the zestier mineral, white asparagus, lemon zest and honeysuckle flavors. The finish is long and stylish. Lovely."
92 Points "Very silky and suave, delivering gorgeous cocoa and tobacco aromas that lead the way for blackberry, fig and plum sauce flavors, all carried by velvety tannins. A lingering iron note extends the finish."
90 Points "Its pear flavors tinged with a distinct sea salt minerality. Delicate and firm, it's balanced for sole amandine."
91 Points "The 2008 Batàr is rather pointed and focused in this vintage, which also happens to be one of the most elegant I can remember. There is wonderful purity and energy in the ripe peach fruit with subtle undertones of flowers, minerals and French oak that add complexity. The oak seems dialed down in 2008 and what comes through is the exceptional beauty of fruit planted on these high-altitude hillside vineyards. Batàr is 50% Pinot Blanc and 50% Chardonnay aged in French oak barrels, 50% new."
90 Points "This is a bit more compact than some of its peers, with firm acidity wrapped around a core of smoke, mineral and spice notes. Flavors of apricot and apple blossom flitter through the wine and linger on the finish. Drink now through 2017."
90 Points "The 2008 Chianti Classico Querciabella is a very pretty, attractive wine laced with fragrant red fruit. This is a finely knit, small scaled vintage of the Querciabella with beautiful balance and a long, harmonious finish. A beautifully delineated, crystalline finish rounds out this wine that shows the more delicate, Burgundian side of Sangiovese."
91 Points "The 2008 Batar is rather pointed and focused in this vintage, which also happens to be one of the most elegant I can remember. There is wonderful purity and energy in the ripe peach fruit with subtle undertones of flowers, minerals and French oak that add complexity. The oak seems dialed down in 2008 and what comes through is the exceptional beauty of fruit planted on these high-altitude hillside vineyards."
93 Points "Crushed flowers, berries and subtle French oak are woven together in a fine, silky fabric of notable class. The 2007 possesses terrific clarity and focus..."
90 Points "Delas Freres has produced two other outstanding sleepers of the vintage, and both wines dramatically over-deliver for their appellations. The brilliant 2009 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit is the best Cotes du Rhone I have ever tasted from Delas. ...The wine has great fruit and a sweet raspberry and black cherry nose with some herbs, licorice, and pepper. Aged all in tank, the wine is medium to full-bodied and possesses sweet tannin as well as a long finish."
93 Points "A dark, smoldering style, exhibiting cocoa powder and braised fig notes up front, followed by additional espresso, mulled currant, melted licorice and graphite notes that push through on the muscular finish."
90 Points "Alluring mocha and mulled cherry aromas give way to a supple palate filled with black cherry, sandalwood and anise. The silky finish lets the black cherry fruit take an encore."
90 Points "Nicely ripe for the vintage, with braised fig and blackberry preserve notes laid over cocoa powder, mocha and licorice snap notes that extend through the velvety finish."
91 Points "Bright and juicy, with a mix of damson plum, fig and licorice snap notes backed by chocolate-covered cherry and pepper hints. Stays tangy, with the licorice and pepper lingering through the finish."
91 Points Cellar Selection "As befits a Bandol, this rosé has a good depth of flavor, rich and smoothly textured with acidity integrated into a serious and complex wine. The structure and acidity suggest a wine that could age for 2–3 years."
90 Points "A dusty-textured wine, its fruit like grains scattered over the surface of a fresh crisp structure. The freshness is palpable and so is the depth of flavor. A food-friendly wine."
91 Points "This has nice polish for the vintage, with racy blueberry, raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors well-supported by graphite, fruitcake and licorice root. A spicy edge lingers nicely on the fleshy finish."
92 Points "This plush, modern red is rich with raspberry and blackberry fruit, garnished with chocolate and spice and a lingering finish of bergamot and lilac. Offers fresh acidity and well-integrated tannins."
92 Points "The ’07 is more elegant and refined, a bit more modern and approachable, [...] yet still with some steel and tannin underneath as it airs out, make no mistake there. [...] As the oak integrated, it showed an unusual amount of grace and elegance that winemaker Joao Nicolau de Almeida attributes to the vintage conditions rather than a stylistic change."
96 Points "An explosion of fruit emerges from the 2004 Cristal, making a strong and very positive first impression. This is a wine of incredible finesse, length and balance that promises to develop beautifully over the next several decades."
90-92 Points 2009 Blend: "This shows lovely balance in a rich, round style I find highly appealing. The Brut Premier looks very promising at this stage."
92 Points "Here is an exceptionally fresh and pristine blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco from a biodynamic vineyard in Tuscany with buoyant aromas of honeysuckle, stone fruit, apricot and white mineral. The wine is crisp, sophisticated and lasts many long minutes in the mouth."
90 Points "This serious rosé has a pretty coppery color, with full-bore flavors of dried mango, cherry and plum that are flanked by rich glazed ginger notes. Shows hints of white chocolate and coffee on the finish."
97 Points "From a great vintage in Champagne, the 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal is spectacular. It is a young champagne with lots of brioche, honeysuckle, and nectarine notes presented in a full-bodied, rich style."
92 Points "On the palate balsamic and other savory notes make an appearance along with plenty of succulent black fruit. It has outstanding depth, concentration, and balance and should evolve for another 4-5 years. It is likely to have a 30 year lifespan."
93 Points "It still has a deep cherry red color along with an aromatic array of underbrush, brier, tobacco, incense, and blackberry. It has slightly sweeter fruit and livelier acidity than the 1994. This lengthy effort is at its peak now where it should remain for another 20 years."
90 Points "Suave on entry... with an edge of acidity to the black raspberry, redcurrant and mocha flavors. Slightly dry tannins. There's solid density here..."
94 Points "Thoroughly integrated acidity and enticing inner-mouth floral lift... Very suave and complex, finishing with noteworthy rising length and very sweet, fine-grained tannins. This beauty has the balance for a long and graceful life in bottle. "
91-94 Points "Boasts pure, intense black fruit flavors and good inner-mouth perfume."
90-93 Points "Dark ruby-red. Highly fragrant and enticing red berry and smoky mineral aromas. Like a cocktail of red fruits on the palate (red cherry, strawberry, plum), complicated by spices and minerals, with harmonious acids providing excellent lift and definition. Utterly charming due to its very ripe fruit, yet comes across as light and lively, finishing layered, smooth and long, with noble tannins. Probably the best de Pez made since the outstanding 1966."
90 Points "There’s no extraneous tannin to get in the way of the rose scents, the strawberry and musky cherry flavors—just a fine structure and clean, fragrant length of flavor."
90 Points Outstanding 2007 Red at 90 points: "Aromas of chocolate, toasted almond and dark fruits follow through to a full body, with soft, silky tannins and a pretty finish. There's lots of delicate fruit, with outstanding length."
90 Points "Fresh mushroom on the nose, with dark fruits and berries. Full-bodied, with soft, velvety tannins and a rich, fruity finish. Balanced and pretty, with lovely length."
91 Points "This is lovely this year, refined and velvety, with the firm backbone this estate usually provides, plus impeccable balance and flavorful fruit. It is a very fine performance and it should age well."
90 Points "It shows admirable concentration and depth of flavor, but also a lot of finesse, as the fruit is fully ripe but still very fresh and pure. Red and black fruit notes are very nicely intertwined with the wine’s acidity and tannin, and oak notes are virtually undetectable, emphasizing the sense of purity that is the wine’s most prominent characteristic."
92 Points "This is an excellent wine at a price that is quite attractive in relation to its quality and also in relation to the current going rate for high-end reds from the Duoro. [...] the toast oak notes are very well integrated with the wine’s dark (blackberry and black current) fruit. Acidity and tannin are both notably present but are likewise well balanced and integrated, making this a wine that can be enjoyed now with robust food but also kept for at least a decade. Impressive!"
91 Points "This famous estate and its amazing Château de Nozet have become such fixtures in the world of wine that one could almost forget that it is also the source of some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc. If you’d hesitate to buy a Pouilly-Fumé from 2006 (which is indeed the current release), this is a bottle to buy especially for that reason, since the wine can teach a valuable lesson about the capacity of top Loire Sauvignons to acquire additional complexities with age while still remaining taut and fresh. In this instance the core of lemon/lime fruit is enhanced by lots of little nuances and a very prominent minerality in the finish. Highly detailed, this is an enduringly interesting drink that seems to unfold a new element with every successive sip."
90 points "A subtle white, with a delicate floral fragrance and finely woven acidity. Shows dry, smoky flavors of white peach, dried apple and fresh earth, with a touch of beeswax on the lightly juicy finish."
92 points "Almost as pale as a brut, with a touch of salmon color, and deeply flavored, this Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend has subtle, inviting flavors of cherries, strawberries, orange zest, vanilla and freshly baked brioche. It's very fine in the mousse, with a silky mouthfeel. Really marked by elegance and structure."
94 points "This is as fine a rosé sparkling wine as has ever been produced in California. Almost 50-50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it has rich flavors of cherries, raspberries, vanilla, toast and creamy lees, in the style of Champagne, and is completely dry and very crisp in acidity."
90-92 points "As often, Magdelaine is a wine that is on the austere side, emphasizing minerality... opening slowly to blackcurrant flavors."
95-97 points "The wine is finely balanced, with an impressive tension between sweet fruit, acidity and tannins. A wonderful waft of perfumed minerality, just ripe fruits, finished with dark tannins. Obviously for long aging."
92-94 points "It may seem surprisingly light to begin with. But this wine has depth, richness, hinting at wood straining through the sweet fruit. It is firm, fresh, but properly tannic."
93-95 points "A solid, almost chunky wine, but well balanced, the tannins fine and tight. The overall effect is of a wine that is warm and ripe, but there is also a tension there."
90 points, A Recomme "Shows blueberry and floral aromas, with hints of sandalwood. Full-bodied, with cream and vanilla character."
91 points "A little subdued now, but impressive chocolate, coffee and ripe berry aromas follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and lots of fruit. Big and juicy. Structured."
92 points "Very fresh, exuding aromas of graphite and pencil shavings followed by ripe peach, grapefruit and mineral notes. Vinous in character, with a vibrant structure and a long finish. A terrific 2003."
92 Points "Finely tannic, this is a solid wine, full of dark fruit skins, dry, dense and impressive in structure. It shows every signs of aging potential, from its solid tannins to its tight, red berry fruits and black fig flavors."
93 Points Cellar Selection "Right now it shows blackberry, black currant, cedar and baker’s chocolate flavors. Will slowly open and reach maturity after 2011, and could easily develop for far longer."
92 points, Best Buy "Fragrant fruit ripeness lends this wine penetrating flavors of raspberry essence, tart pear and green apple, a fine mesh of pinot noir and chardonnay. The texture is smooth, the bubbles bringing a touch of yeastiness and almond flavor to balance the freshness of the fruit."
90 points, Best Buy "This is a pale, dry sparkling wine with a robust pinot noir scent. The yeastiness leaves an impression of smoky richness, with a stony mineral note."
90 points "An elegant wine with tart and juicy sour cherry flavors, this has the full fatness of ripe California fruit. Yet it's harmonious, not aggressive, a finely balanced sparkler for duck meatballs."
95 points "Intricate scents of herbs, roses and citrus blossoms start of delicate and build into the graceful flow of the wine, creating a beautiful presence on the palate. ...Delicious as a young wine, this will likely be at its best ten to 12 years from the vintage."
92 points "The bold fruit flavors make this a wine of primary colors for now, from peach to kiwi, grapefruit and strawberry. The fruit is fragrant and lush while the wine's acidity keeps it mouthwatering and completely dry. A zesty Champagne that's built to age..."
91 points "This has the ripeness and broad richness of the 2003 vintage, while the wine remains savory and dry. The scents are floral, light and lifted, the flavors more substantial, creamy and firm."
90 points "Reserve wines add rich, toasty complexity to this blend. The fruit flavors have a red cast, the structure transforming the juiciness of the wine into a mouthwatering, soft line."
91 points "The 2005 Brut opens with a wonderfully expressive, sweet bouquet that melds into an expressive core of fruit. The wine possesses a crystalline purity I find especially appealing, along with pretty notes of mint, minerals and red berries that linger on the close."
90 points "The 1999 Brut Cuvee William Deutz offers up ripe, tropical fruit, sweet spices, butterscotch and toastiness in a big, extroverted style."
90 points "The pale-colored 2004 Brut Rose flows with subtle, silky layers of perfumed fruit. This is an understated, almost shy wine, although its class and pedigree are evident."
90 points "The 2004 Brut emerges from the glass with attractive layers of fruit that come together in a gorgeous expression of perfumed fruit. This silky, textured and totally finessed Champagne is another impeccable wine from Roederer."
95+ Points "The bouquet is beautifully woven into a fabric of layered, ripe fruit. With some time in the glass, the wine’s textural beauty becomes more apparent, but this is a Champagne that needs bottle age."
91 points "The 2003 Brut Blanc de Blancs is another terrific Champagne from Roederer. Here the heat of the torrid vintage is beautifully balanced by the wine’s minerality. A soft finish rounds out this caressing, creamy Champagne. ...The wine’s overall balance is impeccable."
92 points "The 2007 Napanook...exhibits the Bordeaux style that proprietor Christian Moueix has fashioned from this legendary vineyard in Yountville. Its deep plum/ruby color is accompanied by sweet aromas of cedar, black currants, cherries, spice box, and earth. Lush, fleshy, elegant, and pure, it should drink nicely for 15+ years."
90-93 points "...the 2008 Napanook is equally seductive. It offers soft, round, silky tannins as well as abundant red and black currant notes intermixed with hints of kirsch, spice box, and unsmoked, high class cigar tobacco."
98 Points "A prodigious example of Dominus, the 2007 represents a hypothetical blend of a Pomerol, Pauillac, and a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby/purple-colored with a sweet nose of incense, cedar wood, black currants, black cherries, licorice, and a subtle hint of roasted herbs, it is an expansive, savory, opulent wine with a full-bodied mouthfeel, silky tannins, and sensational concentration. A legend in the making..."
93-96 points "This lush, flamboyant, opulent effort is an anomaly for this Napa vintage. It shows outstanding density, richness, a savory flavor profile, and an enduring texture. This full-bodied beauty should drink well young, and evolve for 20+ years."
93 Points Best Sparkling Wine Buying Guide 2010 -- "This wine combines remarkable freshness with elegant richness, so that even after it's been open for several days, the flavors are still evolving, the fruit still brisk as an autumn breeze. It needs that time for the blunt chalkiness of the structure to mellow, for the cool apple and pear flavors to develop and lengthen. Built to age, this is an exceptional vintage of L'Ermitage."
91 points, #95 of To "Light and lively, featuring apple, toast, ginger and light vanilla flavors. Balanced and on the dry side, with a creamy texture and a lingering butter pastry aftertaste."
90 Points "This is very fruity, boasting apple, cherry and berry flavors, making it open and approachable. There's concentration as well, with a vibrant structure and a berry aftertaste."
91 points "Deep and toasty, with apple, grapefruit, ginger and spice aromas and flavors. A combination of intensity and finesse, with a firm, chalky finish."
91 points, Smart Buy "A rich version, loaded with spicy cinnamon notes. Bold apple aromas, with a whiff of yeast, lead to complex, layered pear, crème brûlée and baked apple flavors that linger."
90 points "Crisp and green, in a grassy, verdant way. Shows plenty of lime, orange peel and apple notes, with a touch of fresh-cut grass or chive. Balanced and elegant, with subtle length."
93 points "Rich yet delicate in style, with a soft salmon color and graceful aromas of strawberry, peach and yeast. Flavors take on complexity, balancing crisp acidity with mature yet opulent raspberry, toasty vanilla and mineral flavors."
91-93 points "Good deep red. Sweet but lower-toned aromas of mocha and nuts. Powerful, broad and rich, with a plush texture to the flavors of plum, coffee and mocha. There's something distinctly old school about this wine and yet there's a pliancy to the middle palate. Finishes with suave, building tannins that reach the front teeth."
91 points "...[I]t’s the best release since 2003. Dry and well-structured, it offers complex flavors of black current and sweet grill oak."
90 points "Sweet berry and raspberry aromas follow through to a full body, with soft, silky tannins and a clean, caressing finish. Harmonious, with pretty fruit."
92 points "A stylish combination of currant and cassis on the nose, with a hint of rose petal, turning to licorice. Full-bodied, with chewy yet polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Polished and very pretty."
90 Points "This dry version is beginning to show its age nicely, with dried orange peel, quince, clove, smoke and nut notes. Well-meshed right now, with bright acidity, a refined texture and a lovely lingering finish of smoke and orange marmalade."
92 Points "Refined texture disguises the underlying power in this well-packaged version, which displays a pronounced mineral-tinged smoky edge to the quince, peach sorbet, honeysuckle and grapefruit notes. The subtle acidity leaves a mouthwatering impression on the palate and a lingering finish. Drink now through 2020."
94 points, Part of t "The 2006 Napanook...is transparent, its beauty easy to see. It may, in fact, be the best vintage of Napanook we’ve tasted on release--all black currents and peppercorn spice, lifted, savory, dark and intense."
93 Points The Year's Best Cabe "Youthfully floral and tight, this vintage of Dominus is a big wine that holds all of its weight behind a powerful structure. And it’s the power of that structure that is front and center...Stay with it and the wine's earthiness begins to meld with the blueberry and chocolate richness."
90 points "The 2005 Barbaresco is a very pretty wine that combines elements of flowers, sweet spices and dried cherries in a firm, structured style."
91 points "The 2005 Barbaresco Il Bricco is a very elegant wine. Layers of perfumed dark red fruit, spices, French oak and roses come together with notable depth on a classic, sturdy frame of impeccable balance."
91 points "The estate’s 2005 Barolo is pretty and sensual in its dark fruit, menthol, spices and licorice. This mid-weight Barolo reveals gorgeous balance and a long finish and a relatively accessible personality for this bottling."
92 points "The 2005 Barolo Ornato shows outstanding depth and complexity in its note of licorice, iron, plums, prunes, French oak and minerals. ...[I]s lighter in body than has been the case in the past vintages, which renders the wine quite classic in feel."
93 Points "Very ripe fruit aromas, with sultana, prune and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with seamless yet chewy tannins and a long finish. Lasts a long time."
95 Points A Top-Score "Very pretty aromas of sweet strawberry pie, with hints of plum and flowers. Full-bodied, with polished yet chewy tannins and bright acidity. A big, juicy wine. A Barolo for the cellar."
95 Points A Top-Score "Shows pure plum on the nose, with a combination of violet and smoke. Full-bodied, with layers of ultrafine tannins and a very long finish. Caresses the palate. A wine of strength and elegance."
91 points "Although this tastes younger than some recent bottlings of this great non-vintage, it is still a fine wine. Its apple flavors meld effortlessly with citrus, grapefruit zest, and just a touch of toast to show the depth of flavor that will emerge after a few more months in bottle."
90 Points Recommended as a "recession-beating Champagne" from a Champagne House
91 Points Editors' A value sparkler for summer sipping
92 points "Medium red. Impressively complex bouquet of dried red fruits, tobacco, cedar and potpourri. A spicy, subtly sweet midweight, offering lively redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors and very soft tannins. The smoky finish features a strong echo of cedary spice."
91 Points "Plump up front, with nice depth to the lemon verbena, straw, chamomile flower and mineral notes. The long, graceful finish really struts its stuff after some airing in the glass."
90 Points "Tangy and fresh, with nice drive to the citrus peel, grapefruit pulp, herb, straw and mineral flavors that race through the lengthy finish."
90 Points "A lengthy, pure, unadorned style, with a beam of citrus peel and floral notes that is backed by hints of straw, wet stone and mineral. The finish is long and very stylish."
90 points "...With time this serious Rioja unveils toasty raspberry and mineral-tinged cola and plum aromas and flavors. There’s natural snap to the wine courtesy of bright natural acidity, but also some beef and body that manifests itself in a controlled creaminess that houses herbal, chocolaty finishing notes."
90 points "This traditional white shows some oxidation, with nut and dried apple flavors. Marzipan, lanolin and floral notes add complexity, and there's weight and liveliness on the palate. Harmonious and distinctive."
90-92 points "Enticing flavors of plum, red cherry and minerals are given a laser-like precision by bright acids. Not a powerhouse, this is an even lighter and fresher version of Magdelaine than usual but it has great balance and purity. Lovely persistence with a hint of gingerbread on the finish. Presents a classic example of what merlot can do on calcareous soil."
91-93 Points "Massively rich wine, featuring ripe black fruit flavors, tobacco and sweet spices. Finishes very long and seamless, with silky tannins."
93-95 points "Full and voluptuous on the palate, this boasts exceptionally ripe, decadent red cherry flavors lifted by soy sauce and cinnamon nuances. Very long and silky, with unbelievably fine-grained tannins. With its texture of liquid velvet, this should make a memorable Petrus."
90-92 points "Quite suave on entry, then densely packed and vibrant, with mouthcoating flavors of blackberry, blueberry jam and licorice. Finishes with ripe, integrated but still noticeable tannins and a lingering violet perfume. Always a supple, flamboyant wine..."
92-94 points "The bouquet is adorable: wonderful definition with maraschino, wild strawberries, a touch of orange liqueur and violets. The palate is full-bodied, very powerful and focused with fine tannins, very good backbone and wonderful purity. Blackberry, wild strawberry and blueberry pie. ... Superb."
94 points, #65 of To "Il Bricco is a blockbuster wine with extraordinary intensity and impressive concentration. It's a dark, spice-driven wine with oak aromas of vanilla, cinnamon and powdered spice backed by black currants, forest berry, pressed flowers, curry and turmeric. Austere and brooding, it’s the kind of wine you’ll want to pair with a heavy winter dish that can stand up to its thick, luscious mouthfeel."
98-100 points "The 2008 is destined to be one of the greatest Petrus’s ever made...It possesses a formidable personality of great intensity, awesome texture, amazingly well-integrated sweet tannin, and a freshness and precision that are hallmarks of this vintage."
91-93 points "A classic Certan de May, the 2008 reveals notes of cedarwood, roasted herbs, graphite, underbrush, and copious amounts of creme de cassis and sweet black cherries. Muscular and full-bodied with sensationally ripe tannins as well as purity..."
90-92 points "A big time sleeper of the vintage, this may be the finest De Pez produced in over 40 years. ...A deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by dense creme de cassis, cedarwood, and earth characteristics, a plush, full-bodied texture, superb concentration and purity, and sweet tannins."
95 points "The 2006 Pichon Lalande, which blows away the 2005, represents a return to the velvety-textured, rich, sexy style most readers would associate with Pichon Lalande. This blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon and 36% Merlot no Petit Verdot was included in the final blend exhibits a dense purple color as well as abundant aromas of chocolate, coffee, cedar, black currants, and a subtle touch of smoke, a rich, savory, full-bodied mouthfeel, plump, fleshy fruit, and a superb finish. This is a 21st century version of the brilliant 1996."
92 points "With its age, this has developed complexity and subtlety, very much a hallmark of the elegant Ramos-Pinto style. The wood flavors are evident, not quite dominant, leaving room for bitter orange and spice along with acidity that could come either from the aging or the fruit. The finish is properly long, fading gracefully."
90 points "This single-quinta tawny comes from Ramos-Pinto’s vineyard in the Torto valley in the heart of Port country. It shows the warmth and richness from the super-rich fruit, balanced with wood aging and lively acidity, at the perfect moment to be enjoyed. The finish is fresh, the dry wood lifted by fruitiness."
92 points "Fully ready to drink now, this dry brut shows the classy elegance of a fine Champagne. The Chardonnay contributes white peaches and apples, while Pinot adds a subtle note of cherries with spicy, yeasty nuances....it’s a notable achievement."
90 points "An impressive Cabernet, the winery’s best effort in years. Dry and firm in tannins, it shows a Bordeaux-esque elegance and balance, with sage and cedar notes framing underlying red currant fruit."
98 points "This is an exceptional wine, as is the vintage. The fruits--grapefruit, crisp red apple—-are balanced with a fine yeasty character. There is a great depth of flavor, the fruits going in a pure line of freshness. ...Age this wine for at least four years."
93 points "What a creamy Champagne, its mousse bursting around the mouth. Impressively, all this creaminess is well balanced by full, dry fruits, flavors of pear and fresh bread and finished with crisp apples. This is not a wine for aging, but it is ready to go with many meals now."
90 points "With its good bottle age, this bone-dry Champagne from Roederer has gained impressive complexity. The wine is certainly dry, but toast, vanilla and ground almond flavors add to the fruit. The apple skin texture holds this delicious wine together."
91 Points "While this is quite rich in body, its fine acidity and stony minerality buttress the ripe peachy flavors, keeping them firm and lively. The fruit takes on more nuance and dimension as it sits in the glass, and promises to develop greater complexity with a few more years in the cellar."
96+ Points "This beautifully-sculpted Champagne possesses notable clarity but with the additional depth of fruit that is characteristic of this vintage. It is a gorgeous, seductive Cristal of the highest level."
92 points "The 2006 Napanook...is made in a riper, more California style than usual, displaying more exuberant, up-front notes of kirsch, black currants, and plums. Deep and full-bodied with low acidity, sweet tannin, and a fleshy, succulent personality, it tastes like a classic Napa Cabernet."
90 points "The color is a light tone of salmon. Layers of sweet perfumed fruit flow onto the palate effortlessly as this sexy, feminine wine opens up in the glass. This is a fairly accessible style of rose, but it has the signature Roederer finesse in spades."
92-94 points "It reveals a deep ruby/purple color in addition to a gorgeous nose of black fruits, spring flowers, licorice, incense, lavender, and grilled Provencal herbs. Dense, full-bodied, flamboyant, and chewy, with that terrific freshness and purity that characterize this great vintage in the south, it should drink well for 12-15+ years."
91 points #81 of Top 100 Wines of 2008, "A rich, round wine, with plum and berry character and soft tannins. Full-bodied, with berry and dark chocolate character and a long finish. Juicy. Outstanding value. Drink now through 2012."
93 points "Blackberry, blueberry and lavender aromas follow through to a full body, with supersilky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Polished and beautiful."
92 points "The 2004 Barbaresco is a beautiful wine endowed with expressive aromatics and an attractive core of ripe red fruit. Subtle notes of spices, smoke, tar and licorice add complexity. The wine possesses outstanding length and refined tannins that will only become more elegant with further bottle age. ...Anticipated maturity: 2009-2024."
90 points "The amazing 2007 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit...reveals a northern Rhone orientation, but it is loaded with spice and black fruits, and displays a beautiful opulent texture as well as a gorgeous finish with impressive purity."
90 points "Delicate florals surround the firm red berry flavors of this wine. The tannins are gravelly and the fruit is fresh, lingering with a gentle persistence and adding silkiness."
94 points "This is wonderfully floral and fruity on the nose. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a long, long finish. Chewy yet polished. Plenty of ripe blackberry, light toasty oak and vanilla on the finish. Best after 2011."
96 points "Very pretty and focused, with lots of subtle aromas, from black cherry to freshly cut flowers. Full-bodied and powerful, with chewy tannins and a long, rich finish. All to come here. Best after 2011."
95 points, Editors' "This is a spectacular wine in every sense of the word. The nose blends alluring scents of smoke, asphalt, rubber and black fruit. The palate is saturated and smooth, with black cherry and blackberry flavors leading the way. Coffee, berry pie and mocha help the finish hold court and then fade away. Already good but best from 2010-2020."
91 points, Editors' "Lucid yellow in the glass, yet lightly oxidized on the nose. A spacy, unique Viura. There’s dry apricot and peach pit flavors, and mouthfeel and acidity are impeccable. A treat for explorers; eschews all blueprints for modern white wine."
90 Points One of the Year's Best Sauvignon Blancs (June 2008 issue) "Vibrant and lively, this show fragrant aromas of peach, pear and guava packed into a sleekly muscular frame. It's rich in body yet never feels heavy, supported by crisp acidity that balances the weight and elongates that flavors on the finish."
98 Points "Black color, with aromas of orange peel, new leather, currant, berry, Christmas pudding. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long finish of fruit and spices."
91 Points "Has berry and chocolate character, with hints of spice. Full-bodied, yet reserved and refined, with silky, tender tannins. Pretty and subtle. Best after 2013."
90 Points "Delivers blackberry and pretty, toasty oak, with flowers. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, long finish of ripe fruit, espresso and a hint of licorice. Balanced and refined."
92 points "This is certainly rich, packed with youthful green and white-fruit flavors, but it still has that seductive elegance that is the hallmark of Deutz."
96 Points "The 2005 Dominus...has come of age, and is one of the strongest efforts they’ve made. It is possibly the best Dominus since the 2001, and perhaps even the 1997 or 1991. A beautiful, sweet nose of roasted coffee interwoven with kirsch, black currant, cedar, and spice box emerges from this deep ruby/purple-colored wine. The wine has fabulous intensity, a layered, opulent, full-bodied mouthfeel, well-integrated acidity, and a stunningly long finish. The layering of this wine as it builds incrementally on the palate is something to behold. An outstanding, sexy, ageworthy Dominus, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring, and last for at least 25 or 30 years."
93 Points "This elegant wine offers a panoply of flavors, with peaty earth and coffee notes underscoring dried apricot and bergamot, with a hint of basil. Off-dry, with well-integrated acidity and a tinge of grapefruit on the finish. Drink now through 2020."
90 Points "There’s a spicy edge to the dried apricot and grapefruit flavors in this white, accented by racy acidity and a thread of honey. Delicate, with finely tuned balance. Drink now through 2018."
Outstanding, 90 Poin "This 100% Merlot cuvee has put on weight since I tasted it last year. It reveals a beautiful, exotic, coffee bean, sweet cherry, and cassis-scented bouquet as well as superb charm, lushness, and fruit. Reminiscent of a lighter-weight Le Pin, this beauty can be drunk now or cellared for a decade. It will not make old bones."
90 Points Outstanding "More structured and tannic than usual, the 2004 Hosanna reveals a noble bouquet of spring flowers, cedar, menthol, and caramelized sweet black cherries and currants. The flavors are rich, savory, and medium to full-bodied, but strong tannins appear in the finish, suggesting 3-4 years of bottle age will be beneficial. It should drink nicely for 12-15+ years thereafter."
92 points "A hugely rich, concentrated wine for 2004, packed with ripe black plums and berries. This is a great success, with dry tannins balanced by delicious sweet fruit, finishing with a fresh, currant fruit aftertaste."
94 Points "The 2003 'Duas Quintas Reserva Especial' has a pungent nose, and sappy, young fruit, but the tannins take over the wine fairly quickly. The mid-palate is elegant, but the power indicates that this is a wine built for aging, and I think it will age very gracefully. ...I predict that this is going to be utterly delicious when it is ready to drink."
91 Points "Renowned for its Riesling, the Kitterle vineyard in Geubwiller benefits from southern exposure, meaning the fruit is generally able to ripen. This 1999 is impressive in its developing complexity, showing layers of petrol, fine acidity, minerality and elegance. Give it an other three or four years."
91 Points "Light gold. Bright, tangy citrus aromas, with touches of jasmine, acacia, marzipan and oyster shell. Fat and creamy in the mouth, showing precise pear and apple flavors along with more exotic hints of mango and fresh pineapple. This has very good concentration and focus, finishing on a lively note of lemon-lime, with the slightest hints of smoke and truffle."
91 Points "Pale copper-pink. Fresh aromas of rose, floral honey, peach and nectarine, with subtle mineral and dusty talc notes. Rich and smooth, with good underlying structure. The dense, juicy peach flavor is complemented by an exotic cinnamon note and carries through the long, velvety finish."
96 Points "Copper-tinged pale pink color, with a strong mousse. Powerful aromas of honey, wild strawberry, blood orange, brioche, cinnamon toast, candied ginger and subtle clove. Remarkably concentrated, dense rose with kaleidoscopic fruit flavors ranging from citrus to orchard to tropical. Spicy, dense and very long, with deep smoky and cherry tones carrying through the supple, velvety but vibrant finish. As usual, a stunning wine of great depth and impeccable balance."
94 Points "Pure nectar. Ripe with apricot and mango aromas and flavors, augmented by grapefruit, rose and burnt sugar, all on a lively, concentrated framework. It maintains grace and harmony, too. Nice smoky note on the finish."
99 Points "Christian Moueix and his talented winemaking team continue to rewrite the definition of a Napa Valley reference point wine. I have had a difficult time keeping the corks in my bottles of 1994 Dominus. The 1994 is a strikingly thick, compellingly rich wine with the texture of a great Pomerol, despite being made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine exhibits a dense purple color, and an incredibly fragrant nose of jammy black fruits, spice, smoke, and loamy, truffle-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, with thrilling levels of extract and richness, but no sense of heaviness or harshness. This seamless Dominus possesses no hard edges, as its acidity, tannin, and alcohol are beautifully meshed with copious quantities of ripe fruit."
93 Points "Spices, nutmeg, dark fruits on the nose, follow through to a full body, with very precise tannins and a long finish. A beautiful and racy wine."
92-pts Points “...it will age well. Beautiful and delicious, it is opening up now and becoming more expressive, while its lurking power occasionally rears its head.”
90 Points "Schlumberger’s 2008 Pinot Gris Kitterle reveals lovely depth and well-balanced sweetness. Grapefruit and pineapple lend juiciness to baked peach, Persian melon, and quince preserves, while maritime salinity and a smoked meat component add mouthwatering savor and an expansive, subtly creamy palate. This displays the most stimulating, nearly invigorating, finish of any Schlumberger wine I tasted, its peach kernel, melon rind, and pineapple core serving for piquant and pleasantly sizzling counterpoint to its sweet ripe fruits. I would expect it to drink well for the better part of a decade."
90+ Points "Gold-tinged yellow. Nuanced nose offers scents of tangerine, peach, ginger, smoke and floral honey. Rich and round in the mouth, with silky-sweet, suave stone fruit flavors complicated by a repeating smoky note. Finishes with good lift and verve."