November 2015 - Eco-Friendly Wine Challenge

This month's Wine feature is Eco-Friendly Challenge Wines
Eco-Friendly Wine Challenge Reviews
212564
Amizetta Vineyards
2013 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque black violet color. Bright, attractive, fruity nutty aromas of cassis pie a la mode, toffee, creme brulee, and nuts and leather with a satiny, lively, fruity medium-full body and a smooth, complex, very long spicy meringue, nougat, and fine oak finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A remarkably plush, inky, and thoroughly delicious and balanced cabernet.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212562
Amizetta Vineyards
2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque black violet color. Lively, complex aromas of vanilla toffee, cassis tart, fancy olives, and baking spices with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, elegant, long spiced cherries, honeyed citrus, earth, and cedar finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and moderate oak. A voluptuous and delectable cabernet sauvignon.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212652
Candoni
2014 Organic Pinot Grigio
Silvery emerald straw color. Mild, interesting aromas of rice cake, honeyed peaches and apples, and toasted nut brittle with a silky, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, intricate, medium-long clementine, pickled melon, apple, and earth finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A superbly appetizing and nuanced pinot grigio.
93 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212792
Yealands Estate
2013 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
Minutely hazy dark garnet color. Delicate, fruity, oaky earthy aromas of lingonberry, wild raspberry, vanilla, and plum jam with a bright, dry medium body and a sleek, involved, medium-length plum, raspberry compote, vanilla, and shiitake finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. Fruit forward style with pretty raspberry, cherry and lingonberry aromas and flavors, silky tannins, generous, but balanced oak and a touch of shiitake mushrooms.
93 points $34.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212947
Bee d’Vine
2013 Demi Sec Mead
Straw green color. Bright, fruity, floral aromas of spiced apples and pears, melon gelato, and mint with a silky, off-dry medium body and a seamless, compelling, medium-long spiced nuts and wintergreen finish. A delicious, robustly flavorful mead.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212744
Quasar
2011 "Signo 1" Special Selection Syrah
Bright dark garnet black color. Delicate, interesting aromas of dried berries, cornichon, cocoa, and sandalwood with a glycerous, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, medium-long pomegranate, honeyed nuts, and marinated tomatoes finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A zesty, yet highly polished syrah.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212794
Alta Luna
2012 Phases Vigneto delle Dolomiti IGT
Bright medium deep purple color. Bright, fruity, minerally aromas of spiced berries and cashew brittle with a soft, bright, dry full body and a tingling, medium-length chocolate raisins, spiced cherries, mocha, and nutskin finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. An attractive, refreshing Italian red.
92 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212789
Peter Yealands
2014 Pinot Noir
Bright garnet color. Fruity, earthy jammy oaky aromas of blackberries, spiced cherry jam, black licorice, and smoky oak with a body and a graceful, delightful, medium-length dried raspberry, toasty oak, wood grilled portabello, and strawberry compote finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. Big and juicy style with generous dark, smoky, charred oak for a bold and masculine expression of pinot noir.
92 points $18.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212793
Yealands Estate
2014 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Silvery straw color. Citrusy aromas of grapefruit, green pepper, and passionfruit with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, compelling, medium-long salted lime, kiwi, and grassy earth finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A very crisp and mouthwatering sauvignon blanc.
92 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212738
Echeveria
2013 "Elementos" Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark ruby black color. Lively, fruity, creamy floral toasty aromas of blackberries, blueberries, red floral notes, and cedar with a lively, dry full body and a warming, nuanced, medium-length finish with firm, well-integrated, fine, fruit tannins and moderate oak.
92 points $29.90
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212787
Heavenly Hills
2011 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark dusty garnet color. Delicate, fruity aromas of dried berries, chocolate, marinated olives, and clay with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length peppery spices and berry custard pie finish with fine, chewy tannins and light oak. A supple and inviting Napa cabernet.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212741
Echeverria
2011 "Signatura 1" Special Selection Syrah
Bright dark deep purple color. Bright, savory aromas of baked berries, gherkin, and lit candle with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, elegant, medium-length chocolate and spiced nuts finish with firm, fine tannins and light oak. A silky, refined, smoky oaked syrah.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212929
Atam Winery
2013 Estate Bottled Barbera
Deep purple color. Lively, sweet, creamy fruity aromas of berry custard and jam, honeyed cranberry toast, and coconut cream with a silky, racy, fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length lime juice, pomegranate, spiced nuts, and conditioned wood finish with crunchy, grippy tannins and light oak. A unique, very tangy and zesty red that will be a great aperitif or table wine.
91 points $17.95 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212743
Quasar
2013 Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Aromas of olives, roasted green pepper, and baked black fruits with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a graceful, complex, medium-length mocha, tobacco, and blood orange finish with fine tannins and light oak. A delightfully savory and appetizing cabernet.
91 points $19.90
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213138
Woodstock Winery
2014 Standing Stone Vineyard Merlot
Black garnet color. Bright, toasty aromas of cedar, olives, and roasted peppers and berries with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, interesting, medium-length chocolate nuts, dried berries, cedar, and earth finish with fine, chewy, crunchy tannins and light oak. A lush, very old world styled merlot with a savory table appeal.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213138
Woodstock Winery
2014 Standing Stone Vineyard Merlot
Black garnet color. Bright, toasty aromas of cedar, olives, and roasted peppers and berries with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, interesting, medium-length chocolate nuts, dried berries, cedar, and earth finish with fine, chewy, crunchy tannins and light oak. A lush, very old world styled merlot with a savory table appeal.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212946
Bee d’Vine
2013 Brut Mead
Silvery emerald straw color. Bright, interesting aromas of Asian pear and honeyed baked cheese with a silky, soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, elegant, breezy spiced green apple, edible flowers, melon, and wintermint finish. An intricately nuanced mead.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212751
Balduzzi
2013 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Bright, fruity, savory aromas of green pepper, chocolate nuts, olives, and berries with a silky, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length toasted herbs, creme brulee, and tobacco finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and light oak. A refreshing combination of fruit and green herbal notes that will shine at the table.
90 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212796
Alta Luna
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright light brick red color. Bright, fruity, earthy aromas of wild cherries, pencil shavings, vanilla cream, and gardenia with an even, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-length nuts, roasted beets, and earth finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and no oak. A wonderfully balanced dry pinot with light oak and great minerality.
90 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212955
Deshora
NV Brut Cava
Bright medium golden yellow color. Mild, creamy, fruity citrusy earthy aromas of green apple, lemon curd, grapefruit zest, and bread toast with a lean, crisp, effervescent, dry full body and a warming, complex, quick finish with fruit tannins.
90 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212563
Amizetta Vineyards
2012 "Complexity" Napa Valley
Bright dark deep purple color. Aromas of ripe black currants, damsom plums, chocolate covered raspberries, and sandalwood with a supple, crisp, dry full body and a smooth, distinctive, long finish with firm, well-integrated, fine, fruit tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212849
Tarantas
2012 Monastrell
Bright dark ruby black color. Fruity, woody earthy aromas of wine gums (grape gummy bears), ripe black cherries, dried violets, and blond tobacco with an crisp, dryish full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with chewy, earthy, fine tannins and light oak.
89 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212852
Les Hauts de Lagarde
2014 Bordeaux Rouge
Ruby black color. Rich, fruity, earthy savory aromas of black currant, pencil shaving, cigar box, and roasted cashews with an bright, dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long black currant, cherry toffee, toasted nuts, and coffee finish with medium, chewy tannins and moderate oak. Layers of coffee, cigar box and rich earth balance with classic Bordeaux pencil shavings and currants, all wrapped up with lightly chewy and well-integrated tannins.
89 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212788
Peter Yealands
2014 Pinot Gris
Silvery emerald straw color. Bright, citrusy aromas of honey peach, guava, and yellow apple with a silky, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length lemon cream and nougat finish with no oak. A delicious and delicate , fruity pinot gris.
89 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212928
Atam Winery
2013 Estate Bottled Gewurztraminer
Bright medium old gold color. Fruity, floral aromas of lychees, rose, and ruby grapefruit with an crisp, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, refreshing, quick finish with fruit tannins and no oak.
89 points $16.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212696
Pend d’Oreille
2012 Bistro Rouge Red Table Wine Washington
Violet color. Delicate aromas of chocolate berries, smoked nuts, and brown spices with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, charming, relaxed black raspberries, cherries, cola, and pepper finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nicely structured red for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212566
Alma Rosa
2013 Barrel Select Pinot Noir
Light ruby color. Fruity, oaky aromas of cherry, crushed plum, toasty vanilla, and mushroom with a satiny, bright, dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length raspberry, button mushrooms, cherry, and toasty vanilla finish with silky tannins and light oak. Juicy cherry and raspberry flavors are framed with generously toasted oak, a pleasing mushroom note and silky tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212960
Cottonwood Creek
2014 White Wine California
Yellow straw color. Bright, fruity, floral aromas of lemon blossoms and peach cobbler with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, ripe apple, orange cream, and nougat finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A delicious very fruit and lightly floral treat.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212736
Echeverria
2015 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc
White gold color. Muted aromas of tropical fruit salad and creamy nougat with a silky, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, appealing, breezy honeyed citrus finish with fine tannins and no oak. A zesty sauvignon blanc sipper.
88 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212653
Candoni
2014 Organic Merlot
Violet color. Bright, fruity, floral aromas of spicy berry chutney and waxy honeycomb with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length black raspberry, pomegranate sorbet, nutskin, and pencil shavings finish. A lively, zesty merlot that will shine with food.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212850
Pizzolato
2013 Chianti DOCG
Garnet black color. Bold, jammy, fruity roasted savory aromas of dark cherry, eucalyptus, black raspberry, and lightly smoky tea box with a lively, dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, intricate, medium-long grilled blood orange, cherry compote, vanilla soaked plums, and roasted cherries finish with chewy, earthy tannins and heavy oak. Delicious and generous cherry-plum-berry flavors and generous toasty vanilla oak are perfect for drinking now, but the excellent balance and chewy tannins will hold this together and reward the imbiber with proper cellaring.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212797
Alta Luna
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Bright pale yellow straw color. Bright, fruity, earthy aromas of cape gooseberries, lemon zest, gravel, and cats pee with a vibrant, dry full body and a peppery, nuanced, medium-length finish with fine, fruit tannins.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212966
Primosole
2013 Sangiovese
Dusty garnet color. Delicate, fruity aromas of dark berry compote and raisin cake with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, appealing, breezy blueberry, honeyed citrus peel, cedar, and earth finish with light oak. An appetizing Italian red with bright acidity for the table.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212584
Rare Earth
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep purple color. Bright, toasty aromas of toffee, berry tart, and mocha cream with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, captivating, carefree chocolate orange peels, spiced cherries, and nuts finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A nice toasty, juicy everyday cabernet.
88 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212953
Bles
2012 Crianza Valencia
Bright medium brick red color. Fruity, spicy toasty aromas of spiced dark cherries, wine gums (cherry gummy bears), blond tobacco, and mulberries with an crisp, dryish full body and a warming, subtle, easy finish with chewy, firm, fine tannins and moderate oak.
88 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212619
Koo Loo Loo
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark ruby black color. Bright, toasty, fruity aromas of creme di cassis, baked parchment, and plums with a chewy, crisp, dry medium-full body and a warming, brisk finish with grippy, firm tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212436
Stellar Organics
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark ruby black color. Bright, fruity aromas of mulberries, black currants, lightly smoked peat, and gauze with a crisp, dry full body and a warming, elegant, medium-length finish with firm, chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak.
87 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212851
Tarantas
2014 Sparkling White Valencia
Straw color. Bright, yeasty, earthy aromas of citrus cream, melon rind, and garden patch with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, crisp green apple and lemon finish with no oak. A well made and refreshing sparkler.
87 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212740
Echeverria
2015 Frizzante Moscato
Bright light yellow straw color. Bright, fruity, floral minerally aromas of ripe peaches, white flowers, lime wedge off of a salted rim, and well water with a lively, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, stimulating, short finish with fruit tannins.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212737
Echeverria
2015 "Unwooded" Reserva Chardonnay
Bright medium gray amber color. Bright, fruity, grassy earthy aromas of green apples, lemon head candy, cut grass, and turned earth with an bright, dry full body and a tingling, complex, medium-length finish with firm, crunchy tannins and light oak.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212439
Giol
2014 Italian Organic Merlot
Dusty garnet color. Delicate, fruity, woody aromas of pencil shavings, sandalwood, dark spices, and bright red berries with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, stimulating, easy cranberry and roasted nuts finish with light oak. A scrumptious, zesty red wine that will shine at the table.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212439
Giol
2014 Italian Organic Merlot
Dusty garnet color. Delicate, fruity, woody aromas of pencil shavings, sandalwood, dark spices, and bright red berries with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, stimulating, easy cranberry and roasted nuts finish with light oak. A scrumptious, zesty red wine that will shine at the table.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212441
Terra Viva
2014 Pinot Grigio
Bright light straw green color. Fruity, toasty savory aromas of ripe peaches, lemon curd, and green apple skin with a lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with fruit tannins and no oak.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212533
TreeHugger
NV Bianco Italy
Bright gold color. Lively, attractive, nutty baked aromas of almond toffee, vanilla salt water taffy, and caramel cookie with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy honey baked citrus and minerals finish with light oak. A nice toasty, dry white wine.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212534
TreeHugger
NV Rosso Italy
Dusty garnet color. Fruity, jammy pure confected aromas of black raspberry, cherry compote, vanilla, and spice cake with a creamy, tangy, dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-long black cherry jam, boysenberry, vanilla, and plum compote finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. Laser sharp cherry aromas turn into lush flavors with chewy, well-integrated tannins, juicy plum, sweet vanilla and a most pleasant tanginess.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212438
Zeroincondotta
2014 Barbera
Bright dark ruby black color. Bright, rustic aromas of ripe blackberries, red flowers geraniums, boysenberries, and potters clay with a tangy, dry body and a tingling, interesting, brisk finish with firm, well-integrated, fine, fruit tannins and light oak.
87 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212954
Bles
2014 Tinto Utiel Requena
Bright medium brown brick red color. Funky, fruity vinous peppery aromas of dried fruits, creme di cassis, molten plastic, and chocolate with an tart, dry medium-to-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-length finish with firm, clunky tannins and light oak.
87 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212956
Naked Earth
2013 Red Blend Vin de Pays d'Oc
Bright medium dusty garnet color. Fruity, nutty toasty aromas of black plums, blackberry cobbler, nutskin, and spicy oak with an crisp, dry full body and a peppery, captivating, easy finish with grippy, firm tannins and light oak.
87 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212837
Bonfire
NV Ignite White Blend California
Golden straw color. Bright, floral aromas of honeysuckle, apricot sorbet, and apple sauce with a silky, vibrant, off-dry light-to-medium body and a captivating, breezy finish with no oak. A fun, fruity, off-dry white that is sure to please.
87 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212927
Atam Winery
2013 Estate Bottled Riesling
Golden yellow color. Bright, fruity aromas of honeyed peach and green apple with a silky, tart, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy lemonade and apple skin finish with crunchy, fruit tannins. A very tart and apple-ly riesling.
87 points $16.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212961
Green Truck
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark black garnet color. Lively, fruity, toasty jammy aromas of cedar, baked berries, butter roasted nuts, and marinated cucumber with an oily, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, interesting, brisk cranberry and cedar pencil finish with firm, woody tannins and moderate oak. A rich, zesty oaky cabernet.
87 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212962
Green Truck
2013 Petite Sirah
Dark indigo color. Bold, fruity, jammy aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, toasty vanilla, and black pepper with a velvety, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, appealing, black cherry, vanilla bean, pepper crusted berry compote, and brisket finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. Big and juicy with satisfying tannins, a spicy black pepper note and jammy berry fruit that is long and satisfying.
87 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212739
Echeverria
2013 Family Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark black ruby color. Bright, fruity, funky minerally aromas of coffee, pickled root vegetables, and smoked nuts with an oily, lively, dryish medium-full body and a warming, delightful, relaxed craisins and mulberries, cedar, and earth finish with firm, chewy tannins and light oak. A nice smoky, well oaked cabernet.
87 points $20.90
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212618
Koo Loo Loo
2012 Chardonnay
Golden yellow color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas of pineapple yogurt and buttery praline with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, relaxed lemon curd and butter roasted nuts finish with fine, fruit tannins and light oak. A nice tangy chardonnay.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212651
Von Holt
2014 Terra Alta Viognier
Bright medium bright gold color. Bright, fruity, funky aromas of quince, musky peach, lemon butter cream, and tree bark with a chewy, racy, dryish full body and a warming, elegant, medium-length finish with fine, fruit tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212565
Alma Rosa
2012 El Jabali Vineyard Chardonnay
Bright medium light gold color. Lively, fruity, complex aromas of green apples, lemon zest, vanillin tinged oak, and turned earth with an tangy, dryish full body and a warming, captivating, medium-long finish with well-integrated, fine, firm tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211500
Arenal
2014 Carmenere
Dark garnet color. Fruity, jammy roasted rustic aromas of black plum, rich garden soil, toasty vanilla, and black licorice with a tangy, dry medium body and a warming, amusing, medium-length dried raspberry, tar, roasted cherry, and black licorice finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. Dark and chewy style with black licorice, chewy cherry and tar notes that give a bold and rich tasting experience yearning for bold, bbq flavors for dinner.
86 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212742
Quasar
2015 Frizzante Moscato
White gold color. Delicate, citrusy, floral aromas of honeyed pineapple and peaches and orange blossoms with a silky, crisp, petillant, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and an effortless, easy clementine and minerals finish with no oak. A nice off-dry sparkler.
86 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212853
Spartico
2014 Tempranillo
Bright violet color. Bold, fruity, savory exotic aromas of shiitake mushroom, cherry nut pumpernickel, curried papaya, and vanilla with a lively, dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, subtle, medium-long mushroom, dried cherry, vanilla spice bread, and plum jam finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. Exotic and a touch funky with loads of dark, chewy fruit, mushrooms, mocha and spice with a well-balanced framework and toothsome, well-integrated tannins.
86 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212958
Cottonwood Creek
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright medium dark garnet color. Lively, fruity, earthy aromas of chocolate covered berries and roasted beets with a creamy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, appealing, breezy dried cherries, dark roasted nuts, and earth finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A nice crisp, everyday pinot.
86 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212795
Alta Luna
2014 Pinot Grigio
Bright light pale straw color. Bright, fruity, funky savory aromas of peach pits, lemon saltwater taffy, minerality, and baked parchment with a supple, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, breezy finish with fine, fruit tannins and light oak.
86 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212965
Primosole
2014 Pinot Grigio
Straw color. Fruity aromas of nectarine skin, yellow plums, and pickled melon with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, carefree roasted lemon, minerals, and nougat finish with no oak.
86 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212790
Peter Yealands
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Bright light yellow straw color. Bold, grassy, fruity citrusy aromas of gooseberries, lemon grass, tomato leaf, and grapefruit zest with a tangy, dry full body and a tingling, elegant, brisk finish with fruit tannins and light oak.
86 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212964
Green Truck
2013 Zinfandel
Bright medium dusty garnet color. Bright, fruity, creamy vinous herbal aromas of baked berries, marinated root vegetables, and clay pot with a glycerous, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, engaging, cheery dried berries, chocolate nuts, and cedar finish with crunchy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A nicely structured zin that will be very versatile.
86 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212517
Chacewater
2013 Syrah
Black garnet color. Delicate, interesting aromas of cocoa, floury pastry, and dried berries with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, breezy spiced blackberries, cedar, and earth finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A pleasant everyday syrah sipper.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212518
Chacewater
2013 Zinfandel
Bright medium dusty ruby color. Minerally, fruity earthy floral aromas of black raspberries, red flowers - geranium, turned earth, and loess with a lightly tannic, lively, dry full body and a peppery, complex, medium-length finish with firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212520
Chacewater
2013 Merlot
Black garnet color. Delicate, fruity, creamy aromas of raisins in cream and toffee with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, carefree pomegranate, blackberry skin, earth, and olive-pepper relish finish with firm, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A firmly structured merlot that needs some time or a well marbled steak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212520
Chacewater
2013 Merlot
Black garnet color. Delicate, fruity, creamy aromas of raisins in cream and toffee with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, carefree pomegranate, blackberry skin, earth, and olive-pepper relish finish with firm, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A firmly structured merlot that needs some time or a well marbled steak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212791
Yealands Estate
2014 Single Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc
Bright pale yellow straw color. Bold, citrusy, fruity grassy aromas of grapefruit, lemon grass, ripe lemons, and gravel with a tart, dry medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, brisk finish with fruit, fine tannins.
86 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212969
Green Fin
2014 Red Table Wine California
Dusty garnet color. Bright, fruity, meaty aromas of chocolate berries and crispy bacon with a silky, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, relaxed buttery praline and apple sauce finish with fine tannins and light oak. A light and juicy everyday sipper.
85 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212970
Green Fin
2014 White Table Wine California
Pale golden yellow color. Interesting, nutty aromas of hazelnut and cashew brittles and caramel apples and lemon peels with a supple, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, crisp melon and delicate spice finish with leafy tannins and light oak. An interesting nutty white quaffer.
85 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212967
Green Fin
2014 Grenache Rosé
Bright medium reddish amber color. Lively, fruity, earthy aromas of cherry-berry, dried wild strawberries, dusty oak, and lemon zest with a crisp, dry full body and a warming, complex, breezy finish with fruit tannins and no oak.
85 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212959
Cottonwood Creek
2014 Red Wine California
Garnet black color. Delicate, meaty aromas of cherry tart and caramelized bacon with a soft, bright, off-dry light body and an even, cheery vanilla toffee, spiced apple, raisins, and nuts finish with chewy, fine tannins and light oak. A nice and zesty easy drinking comfort wine.
85 points $9.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212957
Cottonwood Creek
2013 Pinot Grigio
Emerald straw color. Delicate, interesting, nutty aromas of hazelnut and cashew brittles and caramel apples and lemon peels with a supple, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and an even, relaxed melon and delicate spice finish with light oak. An interesting nutty white quaffer.
85 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212836
Bonfire
NV Ember Red Blend California
Garnet color. Bright, fruity aromas of berry cake and vanilla toffee with a silky, tangy, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, brisk cherries, honey, spiced nuts, and cedar finish with light oak. A light and easy drinking everyday red.
85 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212519
Chacewater
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty garnet color. Bright, fruity, meaty aromas of raisins, pot roast, and chocolate cherries with a supple, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, crisp baked berries and apples, dark roasted smoked nuts, earth, and green coffee bean finish with coating tannins and moderate oak. A fruity and meaty cabernet for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212440
Arcania
2014 Pinot Grigio
Bright medium amber beige color. Fruity, savory aromas of peach yogurt, lemon salt water taffy, salinity, and baked parchment with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, stimulating, brisk finish with fruit tannins and no oak.
84 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213140
Woodstock Winery
2012 Apple Honey Wine American
Hazy golden amber color. Fruity, citrusy medicinal aromas of spiced apple - pine apple husk, ripe lemons, cardamom, gauze, and sultana raisins with a crisp, moderately sweet full body and a warming, charming, brisk finish with firm, papery tannins and no oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212697
Pend d’Oreille
2014 Bistro Blanc White Table Wine Washington
Golden straw color. Delicate, fruity, toasty aromas of peach lemon tart and nougat with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and an even, medium-length pineapple cake and grape leaves finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A pleasant white wine quaffer.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213139
Woodstock Winery
2014 Standing Stone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark black garnet color. Lively, curious aromas of baked berries, pickled vegetables, chocolate coffee beans, and waxy honeycomb with an oily, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, cheery meat, nutskins, earth, and glued wood finish with barky, firm tannins and moderate oak. An interesting, spicy, and somewhat rustic cabernet.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212968
Green Fin
2014 Merlot
Dusty ruby color. Bright, roasted aromas of dark nuts, mocha, vanilla nuts, and berry tart with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a sleek, breezy cedar and toffee finish with firm, woody tannins and moderate oak. A firm, very fruity red for pub grub.
83 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212968
Green Fin
2014 Merlot
Dusty ruby color. Bright, roasted aromas of dark nuts, mocha, vanilla nuts, and berry tart with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a sleek, breezy cedar and toffee finish with firm, woody tannins and moderate oak. A firm, very fruity red for pub grub.
83 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212654
Candoni
2013 Buongiorno Organic Red Blend Primitivo Syrah Italy
Black ruby color. Mild, spicy, earthy aromas of spiced berries and clay with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, brisk earth and cinnamon finish with dusty, coating tannins and moderate oak. A sturdy, earthy red for the table.
83 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212963
Green Truck
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Emerald straw color. Toasty aromas of citrus pastry and praline with a soft, shy, dry-yet-fruity light body and a fleeting lemon and chalk finish with no oak. A soft, pillowy sauvignon blanc sipper.
83 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
212437
Stellar Organics
2015 Chenin Blanc
Bright medium old gold color. Lively, funky, fruity sulfurous aromas of firecracker, yellow apple, under ripe peach ski, and honey suckle with a lean, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, short-lived finish with fruit tannins and no oak.
80 points $9.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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