August 2016 - New Release Wine

This month's Wine feature is New Release Wines
New Release Wine Reviews
215875
Casas del Toqui
2015 Barrel Series Reserva Chardonnay
Straw green color. Aromas and flavors of warm tapioca and baked apples and citrus with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long Meyer lemon sorbet, lime, quince, and nutskin finish with a suggestion of oak. A wonderfully tangy and refreshing chardonnay with zesty citrus fruit and a delicate hint of oak.
92 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215885
Casas del Toqui
2015 Gran Toqui Cabernet Sauvignon
Medium violet color. Fresh, roasted aromas and flavors of blackberry pie, coffee latte, and smoked bacon with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, compelling, long toffee and minerals finish with soft, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A plush cabernet with enveloping pure flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216061
Knob Hall
2013 Reserve Cabernet Franc
Dark dusty ruby color. Creamy, fruity roasted aromas and flavors of berry creme brulee, roasted chestnuts, and minerals with a supple, vibrant, dryish medium body and an even, appealing, medium-long cedar, cocoa, and pickling spices finish with moderate oak. A supple, savory, claret-like dry wine that will be fantastic at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215874
Casas del Toqui
2015 Single Estate Chardonnay
Straw color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of apricot pie and pineapple upside down cake with a silky, lively, fruity body and a graceful, stimulating, medium-long lemon curd, key lime gelato, apple, and praline finish with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A sensationally fruity and delicious chardonnay with mouthwatering acidity.
91 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216001
Marina
NV Espumante Alicante
Silvery emerald straw color. Floral, fruity aromas and flavors of honeyed peaches and apples, lychee, and honeysuckle with a supple, vibrant, effervescent, off-dry light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length lime curd and hint of chalk finish with no oak. A very fruity and refreshing off-dry sparkler that will be nice with spicy foods.
91 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215883
Casas del Toqui
2015 Coastal Mist Terroir Selection Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc
Bright light golden yellow color. Citrusy, savory aromas of Meyer lemons, loam gravel, lemon head candy, and lemon beurre blanc with a vibrant, dry medium-full body and a warming, elegant, crisp finish with well-integrated, earthy tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215884
Casas del Toqui
2014 Terroir Selection Gran Reserva Malbec
Dark violet color. Aromas and flavors of baked berries, caramelized yams, and hint of pepper jelly with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, stimulating, cheery dried sour cherries, Bartlett pears in cream, almond skin, and minerals finish with crunchy, dusty tannins. A well structured and flavorful malbec with a very distinctive and intriguing pear note.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215997
Laurel Lake
2014 Reserve Chardonnay
Golden yellow color. Toasty aromas of roasted pineapple, caramelized nuts, and spiced apple with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, interesting, medium-length vanilla oil finish with silky, fruit tannins and light oak. A brilliantly balanced and graceful chardonnay with lovely fruit and oak notes.
91 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215886
Casas del Toqui
2013 Gran Toqui Syrah
Bright opaque dark indigo color. Fruity, toasty spicy oaky aromas of dark berry compote, violets - turned earth, caramelized oak, and white peppercorns with a lively, dryish full body and a peppery, medium-length finish with earthy, firm, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215879
Casas del Toqui
2015 Barrel Series Reserva Carmenere
Dusty violet color. Toasty aromas and flavors of dark roasted nuts, creme brulee, and blueberry tart with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an even, interesting, medium-long toffee, huckleberry jam on raisin toast, and minerals finish with fine, silky tannins and light oak. A very tasty and poised carmenere that will be very versatile.
90 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215880
Casas del Toqui
2013 Terroir Selection Gran Reserva Syrah
Opaque bright dark violet color. Fruity, toasty earthy peppery aromas of dark berry compote, saddle leather, planked cedar, and malabar peppercorns with a vibrant, dryish full body and a peppery, complex, medium-length finish with firm tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215882
Casas del Toqui
2013 Terroir Selection Gran Reserva Pinot Noir
Light garnet color. Fruity, earthy toasty aromas of morello cherries, cherry cobbler, cedar, and tree bark with an lively, dryish full body and a warming, intriguing, brisk finish with barky, firm tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216197
Chateau Rombeau
2014 "L'Eleve" Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Dark violet color. Fruity, savory aromas and flavors of black raspberry preserves, creme brulee, toffee, and wax and leather with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, delightful, medium-length cedar, ground nuts, minerals, and strawberries and melon finish with crunchy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A rich oak-accented red with good fruit and minerality; give this time to open up.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215907
Ela
2015 Vinho Verde DOC
Brilliant silvery straw color. Fruity, citrusy spicy aromas and flavors of lemon Greek yogurt, overripe nectarine and melon, marigold, and green pineapple with a supple, racy, petillant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, charming, medium-length grassy earth and lime spritzed melon finish. A racy, earthy white wine that will excel with seafood.
89 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215870
Casas del Toqui
2015 Single Estate Carmenere
Garnet black color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of berry custard pie, sweet pickled beets, and melted chocolate with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, appealing, breezy pencil shavings and smoked nuts finish with light oak. A tasty, spot-on carmenere with fine fruit and balanced oak.
89 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216005
Laudum
2015 Nature Tinto Alicante
Dark ruby black color. Fruity, toasty spicy aromas and flavors of spiced black cherries, planked cedar, black plums, and turned earth and tobacco with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry full body and a smooth, involved, medium-length finish with earthy, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak.
89 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215877
Casas del Toqui
2013 Barrel Series Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet black color. Earthy aromas and flavors of roasted peppers and sweet potatoes, dried berries, and whole nuts with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-length delicate spices and boysenberry finish with fine, well-integrated tannins and light oak. A stylish dry cabernet reminiscent of the old world.
89 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215943
Johnson Estate
2014 Freelings Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark violet color. Fruity, funky woody yeasty aromas and flavors of berry vinaigrette, berry tea, buttery roasted nuts, and hint of chocolate espresso beans with a supple, vibrant, dryish medium body and an effortless, compelling, medium-long dried currants, delicate spiced apple, cedar, and minty earth finish with soft, chewy tannins and light oak. A well rounded cabernet with appealing fruit and structure.
89 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215881
Casas del Toqui
2013 Terroir Selection Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of spicy blackberry compote and toffee with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, captivating, breezy nuts, coffee, and green olive finish with soft, chewy tannins and light oak. A nicely balanced, savory red that will cover a lot of bases.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215993
Laurel Lake
2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet color. Earthy, green savory aromas of olive pit, leafy tomatoes on the vine, chocolate fondue, and cedar with an body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length craisins and dried cassis, spiced mulberries, and nuts finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A crisp, earthy cabernet that will shine at the table.
89 points $25.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215908
Ela
2015 Rose Vinho Verde DOC
Medium ruby garnet color. Fruity, sour minerally aromas and flavors of ripe red berries, sour spiced cherries, granitic gravel, and lemon curd and salinity with a slightly chewy, tart, dryish full body and a peppery, nuanced, breezy finish with well-integrated tannins and no oak.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215873
Casas del Toqui
2015 Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Bright light golden yellow color. Bright, fruity, citrusy funky aromas of dusty basket of lemons, gravel, pressed linen, and grapefruit pith with a lean, crisp, dry medium-full body and a peppery, brisk finish with grippy, firm tannins and no oak.
88 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216091
Château Planeres
2014 Chantail Red Côtes du Roussillon
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of vanilla toffee, blueberry cobbler, and hint of coconut with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, captivating, medium-length dried strawberry, beet relish, and pencil shavings finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A smooth and balanced red for all occasions.
88 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215942
Johnson Estate
2014 Estate Grown Traminette
Pale silvery emerald straw color. Fruity, perfumed aromas and flavors of lychee, peony, and fruit cocktail with an oily, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a silky, amusing, breezy finish with no oak. A delightfully floral and relaxing fruity sipper.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216000
Marina
2015 Alta Alicante
Pale straw color. Floral aromas and flavors of peony, spiced nectarine and apple, cream cheese, and moss with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, crisp green apple and pear, lime juice, and minerals finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A nice appetizing white wine to enjoy with seafood.
88 points $13 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216002
Marina
NV Espumante Rosado Alicante
Brilliant siam color. Toasty aromas and flavors of strawberry tart and praline with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, sweet medium body and a seamless, charming, medium-length sour cherry sorbet and watermelon jolly rancher finish with no oak. A very attractive off-dry sparkling wine that’s loaded with boatloads of honeyed fruit.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216004
Marina
NV Espumante Brut Alicante
Light silvery emerald straw color. Fruity, tropical aromas and flavors of honeycomb and overripe peaches and pineapples with a silky, lively, effervescent, fruity medium body and an effortless, captivating, medium-long coconut custard, guanabana, and passionfruit finish with no oak. A fun, fruity tropical bubbly with appealing flavors.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215878
Casas del Toqui
2015 Barrel Series Reserva Pinot Noir
Medium bright ruby garnet color. Aromas of dried black cherries, planked cedar, blond tobacco, and dried leaves with a bright, dryish medium-to-full body and an even, complex, breezy finish with leafy, well-integrated tannins and light oak.
88 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215876
Casas del Toqui
2015 Barrel Series Reserva Merlot
Deep purple color. Toasty aromas and flavors of coffee beans and honeyed berries and plums with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, relaxed black raspberry jam on buttered nut toast and dark chocolate finish with soft, fine tannins. A round and tasty merlot pleaser.
88 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216196
Chateau Rombeau
2013 "Cuvee Elise" Vielle Vignes Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts, dark chocolate, dried berries, and mocha with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, easy earth finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. An easy drinking red with a nice balance of fruit and earth.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215996
Laurel Lake
2012 Reserve Pinot Noir
Ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of tomato on the vine, red cherry, and pickled beet with a silky, tangy, dryish medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length vanilla yogurt nuts, mulberries, birch bark, and earth finish with soft, dusty tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice dry pinot with a savory table-friendly core and lively acidity.
88 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216062
Knob Hall
2013 Petit Verdot
Bright brown brick red color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of dark ripe mulberries, black plums, planked cedar, and gravel with a slightly chewy, lively, dry full body and a warming, layered, buoyant finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215871
Casas del Toqui
2015 Single Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Medium ruby black color. Toasty aromas and flavors of baked cherries and berries, roasted nuts, and earth with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, breezy pickled beets and honeyed nuts finish with a suggestion of oak. A nice juicy cabernet quaffer.
87 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215872
Casas del Toqui
2015 Single Estate Merlot
Violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of boysenberry compote, spiced plums, and toffee with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, breezy vanilla nuts and delicate brown spices finish with light oak. A pleasant, well made merlot that is an easy choice for everyday enjoyment.
87 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215952
La Catrina
2015 La Catrina Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright garnet black color. Earthy, jammy aromas of clay, dried goji berries and cranberries, and melted chocolate with a satiny, soft, fruity medium body and a captivating, snappy plum skin, cedar dust, and parchment finish with soft, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A juicy red wine with an easy drinking appeal.
87 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215956
La Catrina
2015 Red Blend Sonoma County
Dusty garnet color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of blackberry pie, praline, brown spices, and sandalwood with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a silky, fast sweet cherry-cranberry relish and nutskin finish. A nice tangy, red that will work with a wide range of food.
87 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216006
Castillo de Alicante
2014 Tinto Alicante
Dark brown brick red color. Fruity, complex spicy toasty aromas and flavors of candied black cherries violets, blond tobacco and dried plums, spiced wine gums, and planked oak and turned earth with a chewy, lively, dry full body and a peppery, involved, brisk finish with earthy, firm tannins and moderate oak. Lots of delicate flavors are deftly integrated.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216165
ONE LEAF
2013 Pinot Noir
Ruby black color. Toasty aromas and flavors of berry pie crust, chocolate nuts, and roasted beets with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length toasty cedar plank and nutskins finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A well made, nicely balanced wine that delivers everything you would expect from a California pinot.
86 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216003
Marina
NV Espumante Tinto Alicante
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of baked berries and delicate spice with a satiny, tangy, effervescent, off-dry medium body and a smooth, brisk blackberry pie and sorbet finish with no oak. A pleasant dark berry like sparkler.
86 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216092
Château Planeres
2013 La Romanie Côtes du Roussillon
Violet color. Fruity, rustic aromas and flavors of freshly picked dark berries, chocolate espresso beans, and green olive with a silky, bright, dryish medium body and a smooth, refreshing, cheery sour cherry, spiced nuts, rhubarb, and earth finish with dusty, chewy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice dry earthy offering for the table; give this some time.
86 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216234
Chateau Rombeau
2015 Cotes Catalanes France
Medium garnet color. Fruity, earthy toasty aromas and flavors of dark cherry berry, turned earth, dried twigs, and candied violets with a lightly tannic, tart, dry medium-full body and a warming, intriguing, swift finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215953
La Catrina
2015 La Catrina Vineyard Chardonnay
Golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of honey roasted apples and nuts with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, breezy whole pineapple finish with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A pleasant, easy chardonnay sipper with nutty oak.
85 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215955
La Catrina
2015 La Catrina Vineyard Pinot Grigio
Medium gold color. Fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of musky peaches, peach syrup, tree bark, and green straw with a creamy, tart, fruity medium-full body and a warming, refreshing, brisk finish with barky tannins and a suggestion of oak.
84 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215944
Johnson Estate
NV May Wine Vidal Blanc
Pale silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of poached apple and pear, fruit tree branches, grass, and pressed flowers with a silky, crisp, petillant, off-dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, carefree lime, vanilla-coated peach, melon rind, and earth finish. A pleasant, earthy off-dry frizzante wine that will go great with cheeses and spicy foods.
84 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215998
Laurel Lake
2015 Pinot Gris
Light golden yellow color. Fruity, funky grassy green aromas and flavors of dried peaches, gravel, lemon grass, and cumin with a slightly chewy, tangy, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, appealing, brisk finish with earthy tannins and no oak.
84 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215954
La Catrina
2015 La Catrina Vineyard Moscato
Straw color. Baked aromas and flavors of roasted peaches and apples, pistachio oil, lanolin lotion, and eraser with a satiny, soft, off-dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, stimulating, breezy apple sauce, orange spritzed melon, and edible flowers finish with soft tannins and no oak. A soft and fruity off-dry summer time sipper.
83 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215994
Laurel Lake
2012 Cabernet Franc
Burnt sienna color. Green, earthy aromas and flavors of stewed berries, roasted nuts and branches, plantain, and tomato on the vine with a silky, soft, light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, crisp finish with light oak. A rustic, earthy, dry table wine.
83 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215995
Laurel Lake
2012 Merlot
Dark brick red color. Oily, savory smoky aromas and flavors of olive pit, tar, and grilled tomatoes and cherries with a satiny, tart, petillant, dryish medium body and a quirky, crisp cranberries, pine needle, and gravel and leaves finish with dusty tannins. A very earthy and savory red for the table.
82 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
215941
Johnson Estate
2014 Estate Grown Dry Riesling
Pale silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of fallen apple, brazil nut, and leaves with a lean, shy, bone-dry thin body and a short lemon and apple bobbing water, fruit pith, and apple core finish with leafy, cottony tannins and no oak. A very dry, light and austere wine for oysters.
81 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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