March 2013 - US - Red Bordeaux Varietals

This month's Wine feature is US - Red Bordeaux Varietals Wines
US - Red Bordeaux Varietals Reviews
201428
PEJU
2009 Merlot
Tangy dark berries and a persistent "sense of place" on the nose. Deliciously rich fruit and oak spice flavors follow with great length and style. An elegant powerhouse of a Merlot.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201864
Maroon Wines
2009 Reserve, Maroon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Complex aromas suggest olives, leather, honeycomb, herbs, and spiced cherries with silky dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body a creamy vanilla, cassis, and incense accented finish with chewy tannins. A delicious, mouthwatering cabernet that is a sheer delight.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201521
Martin Estate
2010 Collector's Reserve, Puerta Dorada Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Dense aromas of herbs, spices and chocolate drizzled bacon, nuts and berries with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a tangy layered finish with notes of cassis, vanilla, peppercorn and minerals. A vibrant, lively wine with great table appeal; pair with prime rib.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201568
Castoro Cellars
2010 Reserve Malbec
Vibrant trumpet notes of black raspberries, ripe figs and watermelon rind with a delicate retronasal note of violets. Big rich flavors follow along with ample grippy tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201277
Amizetta Vineyards
2010 Terraced Hillside, "Complexity" Napa Valley
Very perfumed nose of violets, tree bark and cassis. Lively flavors follow with a grippy youthful finish. Very flavorful and balanced.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201427
PEJU
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep garnet color. Aromas and flavors of berry pie, vanilla custard, buttery spiced nuts, and peppercorn with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long, graceful, chewy tannin finish. A delicious, vibrant, and structured cabernet for all occasions.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201294
Jericho Canyon
2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Violet black color. Brooding aromas of cassis pie, toffee and Asian spices with satiny, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long seamless, fine tannin finish. A superb table wine that will shine with file mignon.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201569
Castoro Cellars
2010 Reserve Petit Verdot
Aromas of cherry cola, sassafras, herbs, and chocolate nuts and berries with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a blueberry pie, cocoa, cedar and menthol driven finish with supple tannins. Delicious and fun; try with spicy Asian beef dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201216
Conway
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet color. Aromas of salted caramel, chocolate berries, pecan pie, and pink pepper with a satiny, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a seamlessly smooth mocha, vanilla and mineral accented finish with extra fine tannins. Very tasty and very classy.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201410
Reynolds Family Winery
2009 Merlot
Mulberries and black currants with a light herbaceous note peaking through. Later a nice earthy "Graves-like" profile came to mind. Easy, rich balanced flavors. Ample fine tannins bode well for this wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201269
Schug
2008 Heritage Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet color. Berry custard and nougat aromas and flavors with a supple, fruity medium body and a tangy, very well integrated finish. Very elegant.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201535
Ledson
2009 Cabernet Franc
Garnet black color. Aromas of mocha custard and berry tart with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a gentle, dried cherry, rhubarb, and earth accented finish. A very nicely composed and elegant cabernet franc with great varietal character.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201106
Sagebrush Annie’s
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Candied black currants along with candied violets are the dominant scents. Later dried hay, earth and hint of cardamom. Polished flavors and silky fine tannins follow. Elegant and balanced finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201413
Reynolds Family Winery
2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Nice warm cedar scents lead and flavors of black currants follow with a soft texture on the full-bodied mid-palate. Ample fine tannins will allow this excellent wine to improve even more with age.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201405
RoxyAnn
2009 Merlot
Attractive aromas of baked plum, delicate spice, cocoa and honeycomb with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tangy, mineral and dried cherry accented finish. Great purity, directness, and sense of place. A fine table companion.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201343
Kitzke
2009 Malbec
Elegant nose, mocha and mulberries - nicely integrated. Rich juicy entry, very good length and balance. A lovely US malbec.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201915
Louis M. Martini
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Christmas scents come to mind along with a hint of pine cones and olives. A bit of bread crust, violets and later some spiced mulberries. Creamy entry and big front loaded flavors with a relaxed finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201391
Forchini
2009 Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Very vibrant nose of olives, chutney and a titch of earth and spice. Tangy ripe flavors are blanketed by velvety tannins. Very Old World in style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201463
Martha Clara Vineyard
2010 Estate Reserve Merlot
Lovely spicy aromas and flavors of cinnamon, eucalyptus, and cranberry coulis with a crisp, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a zesty, mouthwatering finish with chewy, food friendly tannins. A delicious and vivacious table wine.
92 points $32.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201499
PEJU
2010 Merlot
Enticing nose of blackberries and dark plums within a nice toasty framework. Rich entry and a long, warm, spicy finish. Very tasty.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201367
Heritance
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Inviting aromas of bacon-wrapped dates and chocolate drizzled berries with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a tangy, mouthwatering finish with nuts and fine tannins. Very tasty.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201575
Tom Eddy
2009 "Elodian" Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep garnet color. Aromas of currant, olive, toasty meringue and leather with a soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy, dried berry, milk chocolate, pepper, cedar, and earth accented finish. A stylish sipper or pair with T-bones.
92 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201401
Robert Hall Winery
2010 Meritage Paso Robles
Mocha, cassis, dark plums and dried leaves. Nice attack, lively acidify and ample fine tannins are discernible. Very Old World and claret-like.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201411
Reynolds Family Winery
2009 Estate Select Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep ruby color. Mild aromas of cherry butter and praline with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and blueberry tart, cedar, and creme brulee accented finish. Very tasty and nicely balanced for sipping or the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201293
Jericho Canyon
2008 Jericho Creek Block Cabernet Sauvignon
Aromas and flavors of chocolate craisins, nuts and coffee beans with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a pleasant dried berry finish with chewy, fine tannins. Will be great with a porterhouse.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201412
Reynolds Family Winery
2009 "Persistence" Napa Valley
Elegant nose of black currants, vanilla custard and toffee. Great balanced texture and acidity with just the right of amount of tangy fruit, oak spice, cocoa, and earth. Very nice and extremely flexible at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201278
Amizetta Vineyards
2010 Terraced Hillside Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep garnet black color. Rich aromas of cassis pie a la mode with a hint of honey menthol drop. Supple and tangy with a fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a crunchy red apple, spice and earth accented finish. A nicely balanced and refined cabernet for sipping or the table with prime rib.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201285
John Robert Eppler
2009 Cabernet Franc
Ruby black color. Interesting aromas of lingonberry jam and dried eucalyptus leaf with silky fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a tangy, praline, creme brulee and fine tannin finish. A robust and well structured cabernet franc for sipping or the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201134
Damian Rae Winery
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark purple black color. Aromas of toasty cassis pie and toffee with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body a long, graceful finish with notes of dried cherry, spice and apple and fine, chewy tannins. An excellent sipper or table wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201544
NICE
2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Ripe raspberry aromas and juicy flavors with hints of violets and cassis are very zin-like. Later a nice toasty cedary note. Good length and balance and will improve as the fine tannins evolve.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201493
Two Rivers
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet color. Aromas of dried flowers, ripe berries, chocolate and honey with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tangy craisin and spice finish. A delicious and zesty cabernet for sipping or the table.
91 points $16.25 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201403
Robert Hall Winery
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep garnet color. Aromas of chocolate covered graham crackers and nuts, berry pie, and pistachio gelato with a silky fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a graceful, mocha and fine tannin driven finish. Well balanced and flavorful.
91 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201913
Ghost Pines
2009 Winemaker's Red Blend California
Purple color. Honeycomb, berry compote, custard, and clay aromas and flavors with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a tangy, dried berry, nut and spice finish. Well crafted and very crowd pleasing for sipping or the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201417
Pend d’Oreille
2008 Reserve, "L'Oeuvre" Washington
Subtle nose of macerated fruits - cassis, black plums and blueberries. Big integrated flavors follow with a nice underlayment of refreshing acidity. Ample tannins bode well for this wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201270
Schug
2008 Heritage Reserve Merlot
Rich aromas of chocolate, boysenberry jam, and delicate spice with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body medium body and a honeyed apple, blood orange, and spiced praline nut finish with crunchy tannins. A wonderfully spicy and food friendly merlot that will be great with spicy lamb dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201476
Sugarloaf Mountain
2010 "EVOE!" Maryland
Garnet black color. Aromas of crusty berry pie and mocha cream with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a zesty black raspberry, candied lime and toffee finish. A very flavorful and lively red that will be great at the table with spicy pork and lamb dishes.
91 points $38.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201491
Zina Hyde Cunningham
2009 Malbec
Nice nose of mocha and restrained black berries. Juicy ripe flavors and toasty tannins make this a pleasure to drink.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201338
Alta
2010 "Oso Malo" Cabernet Sauvignon
Violet black color. Spicy aromas of vanilla peppermint bark, herbal lozenge and lingonberry jam with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a latte and tart berry coulis finish. A zesty, flavorful wine that will be great with spicy lamb and beef dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201292
Jericho Canyon
2007 Jericho Creek Block Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Aromas of chocolate yogurt, espresso gelato, and dried cherries with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a compact dried berry, nut, mineral and spice finish with chewy tannins. Give this a little time or a well marbled steak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201863
Maroon Wines
2009 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Dried herbs, toasty oak and a potpourri of dried flowers bode well for this wine. Dried straw mat scents and creamy cassis flavors come on with air. Big flavors and ample tangy tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201385
Canyon Wind
2007 IV Grand Valley
Embers and black currants dominate the nose. Brambly simple flavors follow with a jazzy upturned finish. Very fine tannins and this wine would work with elk steaks grilled over a hard wood fire.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201289
Peirano
2011 Heritage Collection Malbec
Steely ruby color. Bold aromas of dried cherries and raspberries and buttercream with a soft, fruity-yet-dry light-to-medium body and a buoyant finish with notes of sundried tomato, baking spices, and cocoa dusted nuts. A very attractive sipper that tastes a little like a lighter styled zin.
90 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201495
Two Rivers
2010 Vintner's Blend Grand Valley
Aromas of dried berries and tomatoes, honeycomb, cashew brittle, and buttercream with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tangy, cranberry, cocoa, pickling spice, and dolmades accented finish with fine chewy, earthy tannins. A very nice structured Old World styled red that will be great at the table.
90 points $16.25 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201914
Louis M. Martini
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty earthy scents first, later oak spice and cream de cassis come on. Supple blueberry and chocolate flavors along with chewy tannins. This wine opens nicely with air and picks up on a hint of anise. A real crowd pleaser.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201597
Morais
2012 Cabernet Franc
Deep garnet with a light violet rim - a pretty wine. Nice nose, very old world earthy/gravely notes lead. Crushed strawberries and red licorice follow. Good length and nicely balanced flavors follow. Very earthy fine tannins.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201402
Robert Hall Winery
2010 Merlot
Deep dark roasted fruit notes define the nose with a nice walnut skin back note. Richly textured and very well balanced. It has the requisite structure to improve with age.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201911
Frei Brothers
2010 Reserve Merlot
Brambly, dried twigs and a light plum scent defines the bouquet. Rich entry with refreshing tangy acidity lifting the flavors. Nice lingering finish. The wine is at its peak drinkability now. Moo Shoo Pork is the match.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201204
Maryhill
2009 Proprietor's Reserve Merlot
Very aromatic, ripe black currants and a nice mocha powder. Rounded supple flavors with a gentle finish. A fine wine to savor.
90 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201519
Sharrott
2010 "Trio" Outer Coastal Plain
Chocolate coffee bean and cherry, beef sukiyaki, marinated mushroom, and chestnut nougat aromas are very distinctive with a supple, dryish medium-to-full body and a clay, nutskin, and earth driven finish with powdery tannins. A remarkable food wine.
90 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201431
Exitus
2011 Red Wine California
Garnet violet color. Inviting aromas of boysenberry jam, milk chocolate, cedar and maple smoked bacon with a tangy, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a crisp, sour cherry, green apple, and whole roasted nut finish. Flavorful and poised for sipping or the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201386
Canyon Wind
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet color. Aromas of spiced berries, mocha, and vanilla custard with a tangy, medium body and a seamless cassis, apple, pepper spice and roasted pecan finish with fine, earthy tannins. A very nicely balanced table wine.
90 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201395
Clarksburg Wine Company
2010 "Remenance" Clarksburg
Nice toasty brewers yeast scent, followed by ripe currants. Well balanced easy flavors follow ample fine tannins bode well for this wine. Monterey Jack Cheeseburger would work well with this red.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201404
RoxyAnn
2009 Cabernet Franc
Berry, creme fraiche and honeyed granola with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a roasted carrot and beet and dried sour cherry accented finish with very fine tannins. An excellent table companion.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201464
Martha Clara Vineyard
2010 Estate Reserve Petit Verdot
Aromas of cherry, green olive, beeswax, and sweet grass with a supple, dryish medium-to-full body and a tangy green apple, wintergreen, pomegranate molasses and marinated baby carrot and beet accented finish with big chewy tannins. A varietally explosive and savory petit verdot for the table.
90 points $32.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201573
Somersville Cellars
2009 Meritage Red Wine Sonoma County
Lovely vanilla bean and cream de cassis notes dominate the nose. Easy flavors follow. Plush, supple texture and good gripping tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201492
Zina Hyde Cunningham
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet. Aromas of cream de cassis and vanilla yogurt. A bit of gravel and red fruits with a supple and balanced finish and layers of spicy oak. Nice structure and style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201490
Zina Hyde Cunningham
2009 "Condeal" North Coast
Very clean scents of black currants and plums. Pretty easy flavors with supple texture and rich tannins in fine balance. A fine sipper or steak wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201536
Ledson
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nice nose black berry cobbler scents are enticing, a bit of red licorice - all framed out with toasty oak. Rich entry, good length and ample fine tannins will allow this wine to improve with age. Later a fun mocha-coffee liqueur scent comes on.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201290
Peirano
2009 "The Unknown" Lodi
Red juju bead candy, toasty pie crust and strawberry tart aromas round out the nose. Easy, well balanced flavors follow through to the finish.
89 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201445
Goyette
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nice nose of spiced blueberries and a bit of creme brulee and pencil shavings. Easy rounded supple flavors follow along with nice chewy tannins. Should age well.
89 points $22.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201462
Martha Clara Vineyard
2010 Merlot
Rich aromas of roasted coffee beans, grilled plums and tomatoes on the vine with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and roasted nut, mineral, and cherry-green tomato jam accented finish with dusty tannins. A very nice food wine.
89 points $22.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201217
Deep Sea
2009 Red Central Coast
Nice creamy notes lead and are reminiscent of a blackberry cobbler. Later a light leathery note. Rich attack and lengthy flavors follow. Ample fine tannins round out the finish nicely.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201344
Kitzke
2009 Cabernet Franc
Savory, herbal aromas of marinated cherries and tomatoes with a soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a crisp, blackberry, dolmades, and earth driven finish with dusty tannins. Nice poised and stylish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201205
Maryhill
2009 Proprietor's Reserve, "Serendipity" Columbia Valley
Nice smoky, toasty berry pie notes are the lead impressions. Muted fruits, black currants and tangy plums me on later. Quite extracted and gripping tannins coat the palate.
89 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201268
Schug
2009 Merlot
Black currants, gravely notes and later a hint of black plums and candied violets. Lean, restrained balanced flavors follow - very old world "right bank" style. Ample fine tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201208
Two Mountain
2009 Estate Grown, Reserve Cabernet Franc
Garnet black color. Rich aromas of dried berries and stone fruits, coconut yogurt, and praline with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy, blackberry and honeycomb finish with chewy tannins. A refreshing nice table wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201360
Hooker
2010 "Old Boys" Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep purple color. Aromas of mocha mousse, chocolate cherries, and delicate baking spices with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tangy, cassis and mineral finish with big, powdery tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201522
Bacchanal
2010 Red Wine Napa Valley
Dark forest aromas lead with tree bark, candied violets and cassis rounding out the nose. Tangy entry and light easy flavors follow through to the finish. An age worthy red, give this some time to really shine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201554
Brian Arden
2008 Delaney Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Aromas of raspberries and black berries, praline, and vanilla yogurt. Rich juicy entry framed out in toasty oak with ample chewy, dusty tannins. Big structure and a solid core of fruit.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201286
John Robert Eppler
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nice roasted herb notes, a candied jolly rancher cassis scent and a bit of mocha & toast. Simple flavors follow with a tangy finish.
88 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201652
Frey
2011 Biodynamic, Field Blend Mendocino
Garnet violet color. Intriguing aromas of herb-rubbed meat, incense, honeyed nuts and spicy berry compote with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a grilled pineapple and sweet potato, straw, and nut shell accented finish with a slight agave-like quality. Different and fun.
88 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201567
Castoro Cellars
2010 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
Attractive aromas of mocha buttercream, toffee, and currant pie with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body chocolate craisin, cedar and spice accented finish with firm, dusty tannins. Serious structure here and a solid value; pair with flank steak or ribs.
88 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201432
Austerity
2011 Proprietary Red Wine California
Deep garnet purple color. Interesting aromas of dried berries, dulce du leche gelato, Asian spices, and faint jerky with a silky, fruity medium body and lively, spicy apple-cherry sauce and toasted nut finish. Tasty.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201552
Moniz Family
2010 "Cuvee Olívía" Sonoma County
Spiced black currants a bit of panne grille (toasted bread crust) and a dried leaf note. Quite tannic with piercing acidity. Grippy finish
88 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201390
Kitzke
2007 "Janaina Sensação Red" Columbia Valley
Warm vibrant nose, black fruits along with a light herbal note, menthol and a hint of violets. Ripe fruit flavors follow with a really pleasant integrated oak component.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201593
Morais
2011 Merlot
Limpid ruby color. Aromas of honeycomb, cherries, pressed peony, and tomato on the vine with a soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy, craisin, cocoa, cedar and earth accented finish. A refreshing and earthy merlot for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201518
Sharrott
2011 "Tango" Outer Coastal Plain
Ruby color. Very savory and herbal aromas of marinated and roasted root vegetables, okra, and sour cherries with a touch of cajeta and chestnut honey. Supple with dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy, cedar, peanut nutshell and firm, dusty tannin finish. A visceral dance of flavors; pair with rabbit stew.
88 points $18.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201598
Morais
2010 Estate Reserve, Red Wine Virginia
Aromas and flavors of gourmet olives, beeswax, and craisin with a silky, dryish medium-to-full body and a savory, dolmades, nut and earth accented finish. A nice table wine for Mediterranean food, especially pasta with red clam sauce.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201418
Pend d’Oreille
2008 Cabernet Franc
Red brick color. Aromas and flavors of pickled tomatoes and cherries with a soft, dryish medium body and a tangy, dried berry, nut, and spice finish. Different, but fun and very food friendly. Try with boar and elk.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201203
Maryhill
2009 Proprietor's Reserve Malbec
Roasted grains "Wheaties" is the initial scent. Black fruit scents come on later. Easy flavors and a supple finish.
88 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201311
Chatom
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright nose of resonant cassis, chocolate, and subtle memories of mud flats. Creamy cherry driven flavors follow along with chewy tannins and hints of herbs and cedar.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201910
Frei Brothers
2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Dried straw, high toned yeast and cassis aromas and flavors. Nice balance of fruit and oak spice. Grippy tannins round out the finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201396
Clarksburg Wine Company
2010 Cabernet Franc
Garnet black color. Attractive aromas of dark chocolate mousse and cranberry compote with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a crisp, sour apple, cherry, and tobacco leaf accented finish with firm tannins. Give this a little time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201342
Kitzke
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Purple black color. Candied violets, praline and brandied black cherries aromas come to mind. The candied theme follows on the palate as kriek lambic meets cherry powder. Flavors are supple and in balance.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201534
Ledson
2009 Mabec
Restrained nose of fresh pressed linens black berries. Retro-nasally more of a forest floor, dried leaf scent. Would like a bit more of a fruit component. Should work well with a mushroom quiche.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201656
Illinois River Winery
NV Claret Illinois
Purple Pez candy scent leads. Later a grapey scent peeks through along with a dried straw/hay aromas and flavors. Cranberry and orange zest flavors are balanced and the underlying acidity is refreshing. Finishes with with lots of rustic earthiness, dried flowers and olives and silty tannins. A great choice for game.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201655
Illinois River Winery
2011 Dry Hill Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Herbaceous, heather and resonant black raspberries are the three main impressions from the vibrant nose. Rounded, yet tangy flavors follow. Grippy finish shortens up the flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201916
Mirassou
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Brambly dried twigs, black currants, sassafras, rhubarb and a reductive hint of pencil eraser. A fairly easy drink with a lightly oaked framework.
87 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201917
Mirassou
2010 Merlot
Deep ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of spicy berry compote and cake with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a zesty citrus, mineral and roasted nut accented finish.
87 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201209
Chessman
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Funky berry yogurt, dried hay and strong cedar scents lead. Black currants and candied violets come through retro-nasally. Later a nice roasted brazil nut note. Flavors have good weight and balance. Ample chewy tannins.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201287
Peirano
2011 Heritage Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
Spiced berries, minerals, chocolate and faint matchsticks. Rounded earthy notes balance out the creme de cassis and vanilla cream flavors. Very tasty.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201291
Peirano
2010 "The Other" Red Lodi
Dusty berry notes lead along with a hint of cream. Rich earthy flavors linger nicely on the palate with dusty tannins on the finish.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201494
Two Rivers
2011 Merlot
Aromas of waxy honeycomb, chocolate, and plum pie with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a crisp, tangy, plum skin, pear and melon accented finish with chewy, dusty tannins. A nice choice for steak fajitas or Latin steaks.
87 points $13.40 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201585
Gain Bay
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ripe black currants a nice herbal note, roasted fennel and a bit toast. Easy flavors and grippy, chewy tannins bode well for this wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201595
Morais
2011 Cabernet Franc
Light bright garnet with a pale pink rim. Complex, old world nose (Chinon) of lignated stems, toasty yeast and ripe raspberries. Tangy taut balanced flavors follow. Vegetarian lasagna would be the pairing. Ample fine tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201419
Pend d’Oreille
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet charcoal gray color. Funky ripe black currants, mocha, pimento olive, leather, and a pressed linen note. Hints of candied violets with in a nice toasted oak framework and no shortage of tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201800
Barefoot
NV Cabernet Sauvignon
Nice nose, red licorice, a bit of tree bark and cassis. Simple, balanced easy flavors follow.
86 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201807
Barefoot
NV "Impression" Red Blend California
Nice nose of toasty, smoky dark fruits. Rich ripe fruit flavors follow and toasty bread crust flavor comes on in the finish. Ample tannins coat the palate.
86 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201827
The Naked Grape
NV Harvest Red Blend California
Warm toasted yeast and dark fruit aromas and flavors of black berries and dark plums. Easy fruit flavors are lifted by tangy acidity on the zippy finish. Pleasant.
86 points $7.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201820
Redwood Creek
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Warm nose of wood smoke, red licorice and cassis. May be a bit of syrah or petite syrah in the mix. Dried twigs and a pleasant green herbal flavor. Soft tannins are in check.
86 points $8 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201834
Turning Leaf
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Tree bark, black currants and a hint of red licorice. Easy tangy flavors follow.
86 points $8 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201833
Turning Leaf
2011 Merlot
Garnet color. Aromas of mocha and pie pie crust with a soft, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a spiced apple and honey accented finish. A pleasant sipper or burger wine.
86 points $8 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201288
Peirano
2011 Heritage Collection, "Six Clones" Merlot
Medium-light ruby robe with a strawberry cast. Subtle notes of toasted twigs/bramble. Green plum notes and a bit of turned earth. Easy simple flavors make this a nice sipper.
86 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201912
Edna Valley Vineyard
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet color. Soft aromas and flavors of currant, chocolate cake and pepper with a supple, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a breezy, nutty finish.
86 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201541
Heron Hill Winery
2008 "Eclipse" New York State
Roasted coffee bean, cacao nib, berries on the bush, and tomatoes on the vine aromas with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy, pickled okra, and dusty road accented finish. A nice rustic red for the table; pair with lamb tagine.
86 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201594
Morais
2011 Select Collection, Red Wine Virginia
Limpid ruby color. Aromas of marinated rhubarb and tomatoes and honeycomb with a soft, dryish medium body and a gherkin, nut, and dusty soil accented finish. A direct, savory wine for the table, especially gourmet burgers.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201596
Morais
2012 Merlot
Rich ruby color. Aromas and flavors of Montmorency cherries, sweet pepper, and honey gelato with a crisp, tangy medium body and a honey spiced nut, apple, cherry pit, and firm, earthy tannins. Need a little time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201574
Somersville Cellars
2011 Meritage White Table Wine North Coast
Wet straw, ripe apple skin, richly textured palate with brooding berry flavors and a somewhat tannic finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201461
Martha Clara Vineyard
2010 Cabernet Franc
Bright light garnet robe with nice tears. Nice nose of crushed raspberries and a hint of red licorice. Rounded easy flavors and a fairly brisk finish.
86 points $26.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201201
Maryhill
2009 Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Nice pure creme de cassis scents lead and as an added bonus, hints of cocoa, black walnut skin and leather. In spite of a rich entry, the flavors are clamped down a bit by tannins.
86 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201858
Mia Nipote
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Mild mulberry aromas. Big shouldered and somewhat heavy texture with spiced black berries flavors and thick tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201821
Redwood Creek
2011 Merlot
Ruby garnet color. Mild aromas of craisin, cocoa, and plum with a soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy, toasty finish. A nice sipper.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201822
Redwood Creek
NV Winemaker's Reserve, Rich Red Blend
Sweet candied cherry scents and flavors come on nicely with vanilla and chocolate notes and a relaxed finish. Ripe, easy flavors are sure to please the crowd.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201480
Crow River
NV Merlot
Red brick color. Aromas of chocolate plums and pepper aromas with a soft, fruity-yet-dry medium body smooth, tangy honeyed baked apple finish. A very pleasant sipper.
85 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201430
Unionville Vineyards
2010 Artisan Series, "The Big O" Red Montage New Jersey
Deep purple black color. Dense aromas suggest coffee, lingonberry sauce, and chocolate craisin with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy, nutshell, vanilla bean and grassy earth accented finish.
85 points $28.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201796
Barefoot
NV Merlot
Violet garnet color. Aromas of chocolate graham cracker, plum pie, pencil shaving, and faint honey baked ham with supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and crisp, tart, earthy finish with dusty tannins.
84 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201540
Heron Hill Winery
2010 "Classic Series" Cabernet Franc
Funky toasted brewers yeast scents lead with a dusty red currant back note. Gravely grippy tannins and flavors follow.
84 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201551
Park Avenue
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Toasty notes lead, some cassis and sour cherry notes. Flavors fall off with a bit of quickness.
84 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201537
El Pistolero
NV Cabernet Sauvignon
Unusual aromas of chocolate, roasted nuts, and sauerkraut with a tangy fruity-yet-dry medium body and sweet pickled beet, cherry preserves, and cedar accented finish. Different.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201429
CK Mondavi
2010 Wildcreek Canyon, "Scarlet 5" California
Very vinous nose. Green stemmy notes detract from the wine, black currants and nelco wafer flavors came through retro-nasally. Easy tannins don’t detract.
83 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201823
The Naked Grape
NV Cabernet Sauvignon
Muted nose, dried leaves, dusty blackberries and light short flavors follow.
83 points $7.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201341
CalNaturale
2009 French Camp Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Aromas of root beer float, pomegranate sauce, and peppercorns with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tart currant, vanilla, nutshell and spice finish with powdery tannins. Slightly angular, but interesting; try with rabbit stew.
83 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201812
Carlo Rossi
NV Cabernet Sauvignon
Lots of burnt firecracker scents dominate the nose. Later lignated stems along with "berries & cream". Easy simple flavors follow with an impression of sweetness.
82 points $5.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
201813
Carlo Rossi
NV Merlot
Ruby color. Mild aromas of berries and wax with a very soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a crunchy green apple and nut skin accented finish. A simple quaffer.
81 points $5.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Shortcut: http://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Wine/Review-2013-03-03-US-Red-Bordeaux-Varietals.aspx