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Reviews for 2014

September 2014 - New Release Wines - July

September 2014 - New Release Wines - July
This month's Wine feature is Out-of-Schedule Wines/Portfolio Reviews - July Wines

New Release Wines - July Reviews

Watanabe Sake Brewing Co.  "Horai Gokui-Den" Daiginjo Saké
96 points
$100
Pale silvery straw color. Mellow aromas of meringue, pear, and melon with a silky, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, very long, honeyed kiwi, delicately spiced custard, mineral, and water chestnut finish. A boldly flavorful and elegant saké that delivers maximum enjoyment.
Morais 2013 Cherry Wine Virginia
95 points
$17
Best Buy
Bright ruby color. Aromas of ripe cherry and honey with a silky, moderately sweet medium body and a smooth, interesting, very long, delicate spice and almond cookie finish. A delicious cherry dessert wine. Impressive purity and length.
95 points $17 Best Buy
Okunomatsu  Shizukuzake "Juhachidai Ihei" Daiginjo Saké
94 points
$150
Clear platinum color. Mellow aromas of rice pudding, Asian pear, geranium, and anise cookie with a silky, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long, pineapple custard, melon sorbet, mineral, and dried pineapple finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A superbly flavorful and complex sake that demands attention.
Morais 2013  Touriga
93 points
$23
Dark garnet violet color. Floral aromas of orange blossoms, apricots, huckleberry, and grape jam with a silky, fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-long, sour cherry and mineral finish with soft tannins. A distinctive and delicious floral, fruit driven red that is aromatically reminiscent of brachetto. Impressive.
Okunomatsu  Junmai Daiginjo Premium Sparkling Saké
93 points
$110
Hazy pale platinum straw color. Lively aromas of apple custard, overripe Asian pear, melon rind, and rubber sap with a lightly tannic, petillant, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-long, rice pudding, nectarine, lemon cream, and minerals finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A delicious and different sake experience that is especially suited to a broader range of food pairings than traditional sake.
Watanabe Sake Brewing Co.  "Horai Chougin-Shizuku" Daiginjo Saké
92 points
$100
Clear pale silvery straw color. Aromas of melon rind, bread pudding, overripe pear, and nougat with a silky, fruity medium body and a warming, medium length, dried pineapple, tapioca, mineral, and delicate Asian spice finish. A hearty, savory and fruity sake that will stand up to bigger dishes.
Brecon Estate 2013  Albarino
91 points
$19.99
Golden straw color. Fruity aromas of yellow apple, pear skin, honeysuckle, and orange blossom with a medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long, lemon, green apple, orange zest, and honeydew finish. Bright and refreshing acid kicks up the apple-honeydew flavors with a silky smooth roundness.
91 points $19.99
Morais 2013 Select Red Virginia
91 points
$23
Garnet color. Floral aromas of lilac, huckleberry, brown spices, and tomato with a silky, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long, marinated beets, craisin, apricot, and sandalwood finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. An intricate, fragrant, and delicious red blend.
Barking Dog 2007  Merlot
91 points
$28
Brick red color. Typical aromas of cherry, black currant, blackberry, and vanilla with a velvety, medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long, cherry, wild strawberry, currants, and baking spice finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. Everything you would be looking for in a Napa Valley cabernet with silky, sexy tannins and balanced oak.
Brecon Estate 2012 "Forty-Two" Paso Robles
91 points
$34
Opaque garnet color. Fruity aromas of black cherry, lingonberry, black licorice, and pomegranate with a velvety, dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long, black cherry, crushed plum, dried strawberry, and blackberry compote finish with soft tannins and light oak. Packed with dark, juicy, jammy fruit that manages to keep all in balance with finesse, structure and a bright cherry note through to the juicy finish and well-integrated taught tannins.
Maryhill 2013 "Winemakers White" Columbia Valley
90 points
$9.95
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Aromas of baked peaches and geranium with a soft, dry-yet-fruity body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, Meyer lemon and nectarine finish. A juicy, refreshing white for all occasions.
90 points $9.95 Best Buy
Okunomatsu  Junmai Daiginjo Sparkling Sake
90 points
$10
Best Buy
Pale silvery straw color. Inviting aromas of almond custard, baked pear, and anisette cookie with a supple, effervescent, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, honeyed jicama and chalk finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A fun, zesty sparkling sake that’s really different; you should definitely try this.
90 points $10 Best Buy
Maryhill 2013  Viognier
90 points
$11.95
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Attractive aromas of peach, pear, ginger, and cantaloupe with a velvety, dryish medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-long, heirloom melon, peach jam, candied ginger, and ale yeast finish. Think chardonnay in a daring outfit, full and round but unafraid to show off its daring, spicy, edgy style.
90 points $11.95 Best Buy
Mackinaw Trail Winery NV Blueberry Michigan
90 points
$13
Best Buy
Bright ruby color. Fruity aromas of cherry pastry and berry sorbet with a velvety, fruity sweet medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, sweet cream and apple sauce finish. A fun, flavor packed fruit wine with nice purity.
90 points $13 Best Buy
Mackinaw Trail Winery 2013 "White Ibis" Michigan
90 points
$13
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Aromas of citrus yogurt, pickled pepper, and carnations with a soft, off-dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium length, orange blossom honey, peaches, and green apples finish with light oak. A delightfully fruity and fragrant off-dry sipper or table wine.
90 points $13 Best Buy
Mackinaw Trail Winery NV Razzberry Michigan
90 points
$13
Best Buy
Bright ruby color. Aromas of raspberry crumble and toffee with a silky, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, berry jam and toasted cranberry bread finish. A nice compliment to desserts and cheeses.
90 points $13 Best Buy
Mackinaw Trail Winery 2013 "Big Red" Michigan
90 points
$15
Best Buy
Dark violet color. Fruity aromas of apricot jam, huckleberry, and honey cream with a silky, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy, lime and apple finish with soft tannins and light oak. A wonderfully fresh, fruity and zesty sipper or table wine.
90 points $15 Best Buy
Okunomatsu  Tokubetsu Junmai Saké
90 points
$20
Clear silver color. Fruity aromas of overripe apple and pear, honeysuckle, and rice pudding with a soft, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy, banana, starfruit, mineral, and vanilla cream finish with fruit tannins and no oak. An elegant and balanced sake that will cover a lot of bases.
Morais 2013  Merlot
90 points
$22
Dark ruby color. Mellow aromas of flower patch, tomato on the vine, dried cranberry, and nougat with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, spice, mineral, berry custard, and sandalwood finish with soft tannins and light oak. A delicious and stylishly balanced merlot with a nice Old World charm.
Barking Dog 2008  Merlot
90 points
$28
Brick red color. Lively aromas of cherry, dried raspberry, crushed blackberry, and baking spice with a soft, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium length, cherry, wild strawberry, boysenberry, and vanilla finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. A Merlot that is fun to just drink, but will hold its own at the dinner table.
Maryhill 2013  Rose of Sangiovese
89 points
$9.95
Best Buy
Salmon color. Aromas of wild strawberries and cherries with a silky, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, simple, breezy, honeyed apple, earth, and orange finish with no oak. An attractive rosé sipper that is sure to please.
89 points $9.95 Best Buy
Soleil Pineapple Mimosa
89 points
$11
Best Buy
Cloudy bright golden yellow color. Fruity aromas of pineapple and custard with a supple, petillant, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, tropical fruit salad and chalk finish with no oak. A tasty pineapple treat.
89 points $11 Best Buy
Old Soul 2012  Petite Sirah
89 points
$13.99
Best Buy
Opaque violet color. Bold aromas of black raspberry, lingonberry, black cherry, and toasty vanilla with a velvety, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long, juicy plums, black raspberry, cherry jam, and cracked pepper finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. A surround sound of juicy, jammy fruit, cracked pepper, vanilla and toasty oak, all full and fleshy from start to the well balanced finish.
89 points $13.99 Best Buy
Robert Hall Winery 2013  Sauvignon Blanc
89 points
$14
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas of grapefruit, guava, and green pepper with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium length, lemon and grass finish. Nice vibrancy and varietal character that will sing with seafood.
89 points $14 Best Buy
Brecon Estate 2013  Viognier
89 points
$19.99
Golden yellow color. Bright aromas of ripe pear, preserved peach, pineapple, and melon balls with a creamy, dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, medium-long, peaches & cream, spiced pear, lemon skin, and quince finish. Spicy and lively with plenty of action in the nose and on the palate to enjoy on its own, but fun to pair with simple dishes as a contrast or exotic flavors for an experience.
89 points $19.99
Morais 2013  Sauvignon Blanc
89 points
$20
Golden straw color. Aromas of honeysuckle, orange blossom water, and golden plums with a silky, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, grassy earth and peach pit finish. A nice floral wine for carefree sipping.
Okunomatsu  Ginjo "G2" Saké
89 points
$25
Clear silver color. Bright aromas of creamy rice pudding, pineapple, and honeyed apple with a dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium length, nougat, vanilla cream, and water chestnut finish with no oak. A voluptuous and flavor packed sake that will pair well with heartier foods.
Big House Wine Co. 2013 Big House Red California
88 points
$7.99
Best Buy
Dark garnet violet color. Attractive aromas of frosted berry danish and orange marmalade with a silky, fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy, cherry pie and cedar finish with soft tannins and light oak. A tasty everyday sipper or pizza wine.
88 points $7.99 Best Buy
Maryhill 2013  Riesling
88 points
$9.95
Best Buy
Gold color. Inviting aromas of white peach, Anjou pear, pineapple, and yellow plum with a silky, fruity sweet light body and a tingling, interesting, crushed peach, pineapple, lemon meringue, and pear compote finish. Fruity and lively, brimming with ripe fruit and sweet citrus, like drinking a bright, vibrant fruit salad.
88 points $9.95 Best Buy
Maryhill 2013  Gewurtztraminer
88 points
$9.95
Best Buy
Silvery straw color. Floral aromas of lychee, rose, and peach with a fruity light body and a smooth, stone fruit and orange finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A lovely patio wine.
88 points $9.95 Best Buy
Maryhill 2013  Sauvignon Blanc
88 points
$9.95
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Aromas of dried citrus, baking soda, and melon yogurt with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, simple, breezy, quince, pomelo, and lime finish. A very lively sauvignon blanc with mouthwatering acidity.
88 points $9.95 Best Buy
Blazon 2012  Pinot Noir
88 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Garnet color. Lively aromas of cherry, raspberry, bacon, and baking spice-vanilla with a supple, dry medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, wild strawberry, mushroom, crushed plum, and cherry finish with light oak. Supple cherry and raspberry aromas are framed by notes of French Oak, mushrooms and spice with a silky finish that carries through the well structured fruit.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Old Soul 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel
88 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Opaque violet color. Rich aromas of black raspberry, plum, violet, and vanilla with a velvety, dry medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long, lingonberry, black raspberry, grilled plum, and vanilla spice finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. Richly textured with layers of sumptuous fruit, vanilla and juicy berry-plum flavors through to the juicy-smooth finish.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Mackinaw Trail Winery NV Blackberry Michigan
88 points
$13
Best Buy
Ruby color. Mellow aromas of berry phosphate and soda bread with a silky, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy, blackberry sorbet and chestnut honey finish. A tasty berry wine that will be fun as a wine and cocktail ingredient.
88 points $13 Best Buy
Morais 2013 Select White Virginia
88 points
$20
Silvery straw color. Aromas of flower bouquet and orange jam with a silky, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, simple, brisk, lemon, sweet pepper, and earth finish. A solid refreshing sipper.
Okunomatsu  Ginjo Saké
88 points
$20
Clear silver color. Aromas of Asian pear, spiced apple, and bread pudding with a soft, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, breezy, creamy tapioca, almond brittle, and cucumber finish with no tannins and no oak. A solid all purpose sake that is sure to please.
Moss Roxx 2011 Ancient Vine Zinfandel
88 points
$23.99
Opaque violet color. Lively aromas of black raspberry, boysenberry, dried plum, and toasty vanilla with a velvety, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, blueberry, pomegranate, black raspberry, and vanilla finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. Tastes like the color purple with juicy, opulent fruit that is round, plump and jammy, well-balanced body and all framed with a respectful amount of vanilla and spice tinged oak.
88 points $23.99
Barking Dog 2010  Merlot
88 points
$28
Opaque color. Bold aromas of black currant, blackberry, black cherry, and licorice with a creamy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium length, black raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, and dried cherry finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. A fruit-a-palooza that can hold its own as a dry sipping wine, but with enough structure to enjoy at the dinner table.
Okunomatsu  Sakura Daiginjo Saké
88 points
$30
Clear silver color. Mellow aromas of melon rind, pear skin, and pineapple husk with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, breezy, sweet cream and almond skin finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A nice lighter styled sake for sipping.
Nuvino 2013  Malbec
87 points
$3.99
Best Buy
Opaque violet color. Bold aromas of black raspberry, dried plum, fig, and cherry pie with a velvety, dry medium-to-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium length, black cherry, plum, pomegranate, and vanilla finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. Big and chewy with decadent black raspberry and vanilla flavors that are bold from start to middle to the zesty, dry finish.
87 points $3.99 Best Buy
CK Mondavi 2013 Willow Springs, "Blonde Five" California
87 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Floral aromas of baked peach, dried flowers, and nut brittle with a silky, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy, dried apricot and spiced pear finish with soft tannins and light oak.
87 points $6.99 Best Buy
Maryhill 2013  Pinot Gris
87 points
$11.95
Best Buy
Straw color. Bright aromas of lemon blossom, pineapple, pear, and white peach with a supple, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, peach, pear, honeysuckle, and green apple finish. Bright and fresh with lively green apple, white peach and Spring blossoms followed by an uplifting and zingy finish.
87 points $11.95 Best Buy
Mackinaw Trail Winery 2013 Late Harvest Riesling
87 points
$15
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Lively aromas of pineapple, Charentais melon, lemon blossom, and nectarine with a silky, off-dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long, yellow peach, mango, candied lemon, and ginger finish. Summer in a glass: Pineapple upside cake and just enough lime zest to balance it all out.
87 points $15 Best Buy
Maryhill 2011 Proprietors Reserve Grenache
87 points
$19.95
Garnet color. Bright aromas of cherry, blackberry, plum, and cracked pepper with a lightly tannic, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium length, blackberry, plum, brown spice, and bramble finish with soft tannins and light oak. Juicy and fruit filled with a spicy chunky crushed blackberry core that finishes robust and zesty.
87 points $19.95
Brecon Estate 2013 "Conviction" Paso Robles
87 points
$19.99
Golden straw color. Mild aromas of pear, baking spice, apple skin, and almond with a soft, dry medium body and a warming, interesting, medium length, pear skin, grapefruit zest, almond, and dried apple finish. If a white wine had tattoos, this one would have them all over, intriguing fruit and spice, but not flowery, more intentional, bold and confident.
87 points $19.99
Barking Dog 2009  Merlot
87 points
$28
Ruby color. Typical aromas of cherry, black currant, vanilla, and baking spice with a dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, boysenberry, dark chocolate, wild strawberry, and blackberry finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. Classic Napa Merlot with plenty of red and black fruits, soft tannins and generous body.
CK Mondavi 2013 Willow Springs Pinot Grigio
86 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Silvery straw color. Mellow aromas of peach, Meyer lemon, and melon with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy, toasted nut finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A refreshing, carefree sipper or salad wine.
86 points $6.99 Best Buy
CK Mondavi 2012 Willow Springs Moscato
86 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Mellow aromas of flowers, peaches, and honey butter with a silky, off-dry light-to-medium body and a interesting, breezy, apricot sorbet and nutskin finish. A tasty off-dry sipper or bbq wine.
86 points $6.99 Best Buy
Big House Wine Co. 2012 Big House White California
86 points
$7.99
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Aromas of honeysuckle and fruit cocktail with a oily, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, vapid, breezy finish with no oak. A nice carefree sipper.
86 points $7.99 Best Buy
Maryhill 2012 Proprietors Reserve Chardonnay
86 points
$16.95
Golden yellow color. Oaky aromas of yellow apple, pear, vanilla, and honeydew with a silky, dry medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, apple, pear, white pineapple, and vanilla finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. Classic barrel aged Chardonnay with brioche and vanilla notes that lead to apple, pear and white melon flavors, finishing dry and toasty.
86 points $16.95
Nuvino 2013 Red Blend Swan Hill
85 points
$3.99
Best Buy
Dark ruby color. Bright aromas of plum and cocoa with a supple, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy, spiced pear and toffee finish with soft tannins and light oak. A nice easy-drinking red in an innovative package for those on the go.
85 points $3.99 Best Buy
OZV 2012  Zinfandel
85 points
$10.99
Opaque violet color. Rich aromas of black raspberry, bramble, black cherry, and smoky vanilla spice with a velvety, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium length, blackberry, black plum, toasted pumpernickel, and vanilla finish with soft tannins and heavy oak. Generous new oak with its classic smoky-vanilla-spice frames dark, chewy, ripe fruit that finishes full and soft.
85 points $10.99
Maryhill 2013  Moscato di Canelli
85 points
$11.95
Pale golden straw color. Bright aromas of peach yogurt and cheese rind with a supple, off-dry medium body and a smooth, breezy, spiced apple and melon sorbet finish. A nice light dessert wine.
85 points $11.95
Silk Oak 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel
85 points
$14.99
Opaque violet color. Lively aromas of blackberry, plum, boysenberry, and toasty vanilla with a supple, dry medium body and a warming, medium length, black cherry, baking spice, coconut, and blackberry finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. Generous toasty oak and classic chewy Zinfandel black fruit and spice.
85 points $14.99
Morais 2013 Battlefield White Virginia
85 points
$19
Straw color. Lively aromas of apple blossom, sliced peach, yellow plum, and white raspberry with a soft, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy, apple, pear, and lemon finish with no tannins and no oak. A pretty and floral nose leads to a soft, dry and simple, but pleasing finish.
Morais 2013  Cabernet Franc
85 points
$21
Ruby color. Fruity aromas of cherry, strawberry, lingonberry, and white chocolate with a soft, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium length, strawberry, lingonberry, oregano, and apple skin finish with soft tannins and light oak. Berry rich flavors are complimented by dried herbs, lively acidity, soft tannins and a smooth finish that has a hint of iron-rich minerality.
Claiborne & Churchill 2012  Pinot Noir
85 points
$28
Ruby color. Aromas of cherry, plum, boysenberry, and spice with a silky, dry medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium length, cherry, cranberry, blackberry, and baking spice finish with soft tannins and light oak. Cherry and cranberry notes with a touch of spice and generous body.
Jarvis 2012 Estate Grown, Cave Fermented Tempranillo
85 points
$80
Opaque violet color. Bold aromas of black raspberry, pomegranate, black cherry, and violets with a velvety, dry medium body and a warming, interesting, medium length, blackberry, boysenberry, black plum, and cherry skin finish with medium tannins and light oak. Dark, chewy fruit and toothsome tannins frame this robust and ’macho’ red.
Nuvino 2013  Chardonnay
84 points
$3.99
Best Buy
Gold color. Mellow aromas of baked peach and honey with a soft, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, brisk, pineapple husk and leafy earth finish with light oak. A pleasant chardonnay in an innovative, easy traveling package.
84 points $3.99 Best Buy
CK Mondavi 2013 Willow Springs Chardonnay
83 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Mild aromas of grilled stone fruits, vanilla nuts, and grassy earth with a soft, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, brisk, baked apple and dried citrus finish with soft tannins and light oak. A reliable sipper.
83 points $6.99 Best Buy
Grande River Vineyards 2013  Sauvignon Blanc
83 points
$13.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas of grilled peaches, melon yogurt, and flower stems with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tingling, simple, medium length, pickled peppers and grass finish.
83 points $13.99
Morais 2013 Rosé Virginia
83 points
$18
Red color. Aromas of grilled strawberries, peppercorns, and dried flowers with a soft, light-to-medium body and a tingling, simple, short, prunes, molasses, and lemon finish. A soft, relaxed rosé.
Nuvino 2013  Sauvignon Blanc
82 points
$3.99
Golden straw color. Lively aromas of white grapefruit, lime skin, yellow plum, and lemongrass with a soft, dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, breezy, white melon, yellow plum, and apple finish. Citrus and white melon flavors and aromas are crisp, light and refreshing.
82 points $3.99
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