November 2016 - Eco-Friendly Wine Challenge

This month's Wine feature is Eco-Friendly Wine Challenge Wines
Eco-Friendly Wine Challenge Reviews
217410
La Quercia
2014 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC
Bright dark garnet black color. Earthy, fresh aromas and flavors of mulberry compote, dried apricot, nougat, and marinated meat and mushroom with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length spiced apple, cherry and pear, nut, and grassy earth finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A fun combination of fruit and earthy, meaty rusticity.
94 points $13 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217370
Opaque
2014 Darkness Red Blend Paso Robles
Dark garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of berry compote, baking spices, and toffee with a slightly chewy, lively, fruity medium-full body and a very long blueberry pie, caramelized peaches and citrus, and spiced apples and dried berries finish with silky tannins. A wonderfully robust and fruity red blend for now or later.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217422
Primanatura
NV Prosecco DOC
Bright yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of kiwi, citrus, melon rind, and straw and bread crust with a silky, vibrant, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, interesting, medium-length nectarine skin and lime finish with crunchy, fruit tannins. A crisp, flavorful Prosecco for casual revelries.
93 points $7.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217379
Benton Lane
2014 Estate Pinot Noir
Bright medium dark garnet color. Toasty aromas and flavors of chocolate covered espresso bean, dried cherries, and exotic spice and herbs with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, nuanced, medium-long cherry chutney, orange-peach marmalade, roasted chestnuts, and earth finish with silky, fruit tannins and light oak. A vibrant and delicious pinot noir that hits all the high notes of fruit and terroir.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217336
Handley Cellars
2015 Estate Vineyard Rosé Pinot Noir
Bright silvery pink color. Aromas and flavors of fresh strawberries in cream and nougat with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a compelling, watermelon sorbet finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A delicate satisfying rose.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217417
Hawk and Horse Vineyards
2012 Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of menthol mint lozenge, eucalyptus honey, berry chutney on toast, and chocolate fondue with pound cake with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, complex, medium-long currant custard tart, spiced peaches and apples, and black walnuts finish with soft, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A sleek, lively cabernet that will give a pleasurable lift to a fine meal.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217406
Bocelli
2014 Sangiovese
Dull dark garnet color. Interesting, fruity, savory aromas and flavors of dried cherries and berries sprinkled with cocoa, floral honey roasted chestnuts, and beef and mushroom consommé with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long caramelized orange and pear, delicate spices, and vanilla cream finish with light oak. A spicy, savory sangiovese that will shine at the table.
92 points $17 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217366
Verada
2014 "Tri-County" Pinot Noir
Dark garnet color. Spicy, savory aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and nuts, roasted beets, hint of bbq jerky, and alpine herb mint with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, distinctive, medium-long sassafras, orange blossom tea, and nuts finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A complex, savory pinot noir with lots of interesting flavors and pairing possibilities.
92 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217415
Carlton Cellars
2014 "Seven Devils" Pinot Noir
Dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and beets and praline with a silky, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, engaging, medium-length clementine, nut skin, and earth finish with light oak. A light, silky pinot with pure balanced flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217147
Grgich Hills
2013 Estate Chardonnay
Bright clear golden straw color. Toasty, tropical aromas and flavors of pineapple pastry, spiced apples, and roasted nuts and coconuts with a silky, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long kiwi and vanilla lime custard finish with crunchy, fruit tannins and moderate oak. A bright, refreshing chardonnay with good balance, acidity, and length.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217423
Art of Earth
NV Frizzante Prosecco DOC
Bright straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of starfruit, melon, lime, and chalk with a silky, crisp, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, brisk peach pit finish with no oak. A crisp, dainty Prosecco quaffer.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217335
Handley Cellars
2014 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay
Yellow straw color. Creamy, toasty aromas and flavors of fresh coconut macaroon, pineapple cake, and buttercream with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long nut brittle, lemon creme brulee, and spiced apple finish with soft, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, creamy and toasty chardonnay with a nice dollop of oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217412
Carlton Cellars
2012 "Roads End" Pinot Noir
Ruby color. Creamy aromas and flavors of berry custard tart, cherry chutney, and honey cranberry toast with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a medium-long salted nuts, marinated beets, and minerals finish with well-integrated tannins. A stylish dry Pinot Noir with a nice sense of place.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217323
Matarromera
2015 Granza Verdejo
Brilliant golden straw color. Citrusy, peppery aromas and flavors of grapefruit and green and yellow pepper with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long spiced apple and pear, clementine, pickled melon, and hint of herbs finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A clean, flavorful, well-balanced Spanish white reminiscent of a sauvignon blanc.
90 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217438
Paris Valley Road
2013 Founder's Blend California
Dark garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of berry pie, nougat, and floral honey drizzled cherries with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium body and a medium-long cedar finish with crunchy tannins. A juicy, chewy appetizing red blend that is sure to please.
90 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217414
Carlton Cellars
2015 Estate Auxerrois
Bright gold color. Aromas and flavors of toasted lemon peel, dried straw, dried fruits and peach, and lemon curd and white pepper with an bright, bone-dry full body and an interesting, terse almond finish with leafy tannins and a suggestion of oak. Nice attack, rich textural flavors, and European-style restraint and balance.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217413
Carlton Cellars
2012 Estate Pinot Noir
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of black raspberries, chocolate toffee, and floral honey on cherries with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-length vanilla nut brittle, spiced cherries, pickled beet, and minerals finish with earthy, crunchy tannins and light oak. A crisp marriage of fruit and savory notes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217263
Highwayman
2013 "Trailblazer" Red Wine Sonoma County
Dark garnet color. Roasted aromas and flavors of coffee bean, dried berry, and smoked nuts with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a medium-long chocolate cherries, delicate spice, and chocolate mousse finish with fine tannins. A silky juicy crowd pleasing red blend with enough stuffing to last.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217404
Les Hauts de Lagarde
2015 Bordeaux ABC
Dark garnet color. Smoky aromas and flavors of charred nuts, roasted berries, and clay with a satiny, crisp, dryish medium body and a medium-long nuts, craisins and cassis, and earth finish with woody, tannins. A fun earthy French red for the table or cellar.
89 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217357
Girasole
2014 Hybrid Red Mendocino
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of boysenberry jam and huckleberry pie with a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a medium-long orange marmalade and chiffon, sour cherry, and candied lemon and cedar finish. A crisp fruity red with ripe berry flavors and crunchy food friendly tannins.
89 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217355
Girasole
2014 Pinot Noir
Dark garnet color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and strawberries, chocolate toffee, and melted praline with a supple, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, cheery finish with a suggestion of oak. A supple, juicy pinot noir pleaser.
89 points $16 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217383
City Winery
2015 "Soho-vignon Blanc" Sauvignon Blanc
Pale emerald straw color. Fruity aromas of dried mango, grapefruit custard, apple, and jalapeño with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, compelling, medium-long lemon and pineapple, passionfruit, pickled melon, and grass finish with fine, chewy, fruit tannins and no oak. A refreshing, full-bodied sauvignon blanc with great tropical fruit flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217408
Edi Simcic
2012 Riserva Chardonnay
Gold color. Aromas and flavors of grilled lemon, crème brulee crust, and herbs with a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long finish spiced peach and melon, vanilla cream, and praline finish. A intriguing slightly smoky and herbal chardonnay.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217494
Stellar Organics
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet color. Roasted aromas and flavors of baked berry tart and hint of dried stone fruits with a soft, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a medium-length pickled beets and tomatoes, cedar, and dusty earth finish with dusty tannins. A crisp refreshing Cabernet that will be great with Italian meat dishes.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217402
Tarantas
NV Sparkling Rosé Spain
Steely pink color. Fruity aromas and flavors of baked cherries and strawberry and honeyed apples and melon with a supple, tangy, fruity light-to-medium body and a medium-long citrus, rhubarb, and wheatgrass finish with fine tannins. A tangy refreshing rose sparkler.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217407
Giocato
2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Pale silvery emerald straw color. Exotic, tropical aromas and flavors of sour sop, pineapple husk, spiced lime and pear, and bison grass with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, interesting, breezy pickled melon and minerals finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A very distinctive and interesting sauvignon blanc.
88 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217325
Sofos
2015 Greek White Corinth
Bright golden straw color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of spiced peaches, lychee, and potpourri with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, captivating, medium-length dried apricot and lemon finish with no oak. A tangy, lightly floral Greek white that will be good with seafood.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217134
Frisky Zebras
NV "Provocative" Pinotage
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of melted toffee, roasted berries, and hint of wood smoke with a dry-yet-fruity medium body and a medium-length mixed berry chutney, nuts, and pencil shavings finish. A tasty lightly smoky pinotage with a solid core of fruit.
87 points $7.95 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217136
Frisky Zebras
NV "Sublime" Chardonnay
Yellow straw color. Interesting aromas and flavors of papaya-mango relish, coconut water, and hint white chocolate mint with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, interesting, breezy spiced pineapple and orange and nut brittle finish with a suggestion of oak. A crisp and lively chardonnay sipper.
87 points $7.95 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217409
Poggio Vignoso
2014 Chianti DOCG
Medium brick red color. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate yogurt, coffee, and hint of toasted cherry-fig pastry with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, easy cranberry nut bread and cola finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A nice mellow sangiovese for everyday meals.
87 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217496
Pot de Vin
2015 Merlot
Nearly opaque ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of blackberries and black plums, planked cedar, and potters clay with a tangy, dry full body and an elegant, breezy finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Lovely integration of subtle oak with the fruity and earthy aspects of this wine.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217356
Girasole
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque violet color. Inviting aromas and flavors of spicy caramelized berries and nuts, smoked bacon fat, and black licorice with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, charming, medium-length tangerine custard, vanilla nuts, and cedar finish with soft tannins and light oak. A juicy, fruity, easy-drinking cabernet pleaser.
87 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217135
Frisky Zebras
NV "Sensuous" Sauvignon Blanc
Straw green color. Tropical aromas and flavors of passionfruit, guava, and ruby grapefruit with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a rapid lemon zest, pickled green apple, and grass finish with no oak. A light and zippy sauvignon blanc quaffer.
86 points $7.95 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217132
Frisky Zebras
NV "Captivating" Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of smoked berries and nuts, potters clay, and spiced cherries with a fruity light-to-medium body and a carefree candied orange and lemon, melon, and nuts skin finish. A refreshing lighter style cabernet for everyday enjoyment.
86 points $7.95 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217495
Terra Viva
2015 Sangiovese
Brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of pomegranate, chocolate nuts, and green peppercorns with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-length dried sour cherries, clementine, nuts, and dusty earth finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A bright, juicy sangiovese with food friendly earthy tannins.
86 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217437
Paris Valley Road
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet color. Smoky aromas and flavors of roasted olives and cherries, roasted nuts and coconuts, and lacquered wood with a tannic, crisp, dryish medium body and a medium-long pickled berries and cucumber and cedar bark finish with woody tannins. A interesting, herbal oaky, cabernet for the table.
86 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217334
Handley Cellars
2013 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Ruby color. Baked aromas and flavors of cranberry, peppery spices, and earth with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a medium-length sour cherry yogurt, dried citrus, and nut skin finish with earthy tannins. A dry earthy Pinot Noir for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217131
Frisky Zebras
NV "Seductive" Shiraz
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of honey toasted cranberry bread and chocolate nuts with a dryish light-to-medium body and a breezy craisins and lime marmalade finish. A crisp and snappy shiraz with bright berry fruit.
85 points $7.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217133
Frisky Zebras
NV "Mystic" Merlot
Bright brick red color. Aromas of scorched gauze, baked plums, fruitcake, and planked oak with a tangy, dry medium-full body and a finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A better than average quality example.
85 points $7.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217326
Sofos
2014 Greek Red Corinth
Violet color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of raisin-cherry compote, coconut flakes, toffee, and hint of apple cider vinegar with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, delightful, medium-length whole nuts, pomegranate, and earth finish with dusty, firm tannins and moderate oak. A firm, dry Greek red wine that will shine at the table.
85 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217367
Charmed
2015 Rose Pinot Noir
Bright coral orange color. Fruity aromas and flavors of dried strawberries and nougat with a soft, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a breezy watermelon candy and clementine finish. A fruity, easy drinking rose.
85 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217322
En Memoire
2015 Malbec
Dark garnet color. Minerally aromas and flavors of roasted root vegetables, dried fruits, and potting soil with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a easy cedar bark and pickling spices finish with grippy tannins. A slightly rustic old world Malbec with flavors and tannins well suited for red meats.
85 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217324
Matarromera
2014 Granza Tempranillo
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of wet wood and chocolate berries with a dryish medium body and a breezy dried sour cherries and tangerine finish. A nicely balance tempranillo with bright fruit and food friendly structure.
85 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217138
Frisky Zebras
NV "Whispering White" Western Cape
Yellow straw color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of grapefruit, straw mat, and crabapple with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, easy lemon finish with no oak. A dry, dainty white.
84 points $7.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217139
Frisky Zebras
NV "Ravishing Rose" Western Cape
Bright Siam color. Aromas of dried berries, funky barnyard and yeasty notes, gauze, and cherry pits and clay with a bright, dry full body and a sparse finish with earthy tannins and a suggestion of oak. An average quality example.
84 points $7.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217436
Paris Valley Road
2014 Chardonnay
Bright gold color. Aromas and flavors of apple sauce, apple taffy, toasted coconut, and lemon curd with an crisp, dry-yet-fruity full body and an interesting, crisp finish with soft tannins and light oak. Soft inviting easy simple flavors.
84 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217327
Biokult
2014 Qualitätswein Zweigelt - Pinot Noir
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of spiced currants and pomegranates, herbs and peppercorns, butter roasted nuts, and tar with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, quick cranberry, cherry cider, and dusty earth finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and light oak. A tart, dry, firm Austrian red for the table.
84 points $13.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217403
Vertvs
2014 Tempranillo - Cabernet
Violet color. Toasty, earthy aromas and flavors of dried currants, cedar, and earth with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a smooth, brisk yellow apple and mulch finish with fine, dusty tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice dry red Spanish wine for the table.
83 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217137
Frisky Zebras
NV "Sultry" Chenin Blanc
Straw green color. Grassy aromas and flavors of dried citrus, nectarine pit, and grass with a lean, tart, dry thin body and a brisk wet stone finish with dusty tannins. A pleasant earthy chenin blanc for the table.
82 points $7.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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