December 2016 - Stellar Cellar Selection

This month's Wine feature is Stellar Cellar Selection Wines
Stellar Cellar Selection Reviews
217586
Peachy Canyon
NV Port Zinfandel
Dusty brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of buttery praline and toffee, honeyed berries and citrus, and suede with a satiny, tangy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length spiced cherries and apricots, honeyed golden raisins, sweet and peppery spices, and nuts finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and light oak. A superb, complex domestic port-style wine with long waves of rich berry, spice and honey flavors and an enticing layer of ice wine like stone fruits.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217703
Monte De Oro
2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty brick red color. Aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts and sesame, clay and Playdoh, peppered dried berries, and leather and polished wood with an bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, appealing, crisp dill pickle and gravel finish with silky tannins and light oak. A silky, elegant cabernet.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217673
Bichi Borghesi
2010 Riservva"COPPIOLE" Chianti Colli Senesi
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of black cherries, chestnuts, cherry butter cream, and planked oak and potters clay with an vibrant, dry full body and an intricate, medium-length finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. An outstanding example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217735
Von Schleinitz
2015 Weissenberg Single Vineyard Auslese Riesling
Straw color. Earthy, fruity, smoky aromas and flavors of spiced grilled lemon and peach, smoked nuts, and volcanic rocks and ash with a silky, tangy, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, stimulating, immediate honeyed apple, orange and apricot, golden raisins, and Meyer lemon and lime sorbets finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A vibrant and pure auslese riesling with rich fruit flavors and lip-smacking acidity.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217822
Villadoria
2012 Barolo DOCG
Burnt sienna color. Interesting, savory aromas and flavors of pressed flowers and dried mushrooms, spiced mulberries and cherries, marinated and roasted root vegetables, and conditioned leather with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long plum, cocoa, tomato-melon relish, and cedar mulch finish with fine, dusty, coating tannins and moderate oak. A complex, dry, earthy Barolo with a sinewy core of rich fruit, oak and mouth-coating tannins for the table.
94 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217678
Chateau Tour Saint-Christophe
2014 Grand Cru St. Emilion
Nearly opaque deep purple color. Artificial aromas and flavors of chocolate covered berries, roasted nuts, and subtle brown spices with a satiny, bright, medium-to-full body and a smooth, layered, long praline, beets, and sandalwood finish with light oak. A voluptuous, very ripe red Bordeaux wine with delicious chocolatey oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217775
Ledson
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark violet color. Aromas of buttery berry tart and toffee with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, distinctive, long spiced nuts and cherries, pencil shavings, and vanilla toffee finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. An elegant, super silky and satisfying cabernet with finely harmonized flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217741
Trinchero
2013 Forte Red Blend Napa Valley
Opaque violet color. Fruity, spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of savory herbs and flowers, pickled citrus peels, and spiced berries with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long dried cherries and blueberries, cedar, leather, and earth finish with chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak. A bold, spicy, herbal red blend with nice pairing and cellaring possibilities.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217747
Folie à Deux
2013 Zinfandel
Dark dusty garnet color. Fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of dried berries, spiced cherries, s’mores, and hint of incense with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a silky, engaging, medium-long vanilla cream, spiced oranges and apples, praline, and pepper finish with soft, chewy tannins and light oak. A nicely balanced and flavorful zinfandel with great versatility.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217600
Zonte’s Footstep
2015 "Baron Von Nemesis" Shiraz
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate espresso beans, toasted brown spices, and bubbly blueberry pie crust with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-long spiced berries and cherries, mint and herbs, singed lemon and orange peels, and peppercorns finish with silky, fine tannins and light oak. A deliciously spicy and layered shiraz for all occasions.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217825
Ruggeri
2014 Giustino B Prosecco DOCG
Bright yellow straw color. Earthy, fruity aromas and flavors of waxy honeycomb, spiced apple and pear, and nougat with a satiny, tangy, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, clementine and lime, delicate spices, meringue, and minerals finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A lush, full-bodied Prosecco with many layers of flavor and pinpoint acidity.
93 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217606
Z-Force
2014 Shiraz
Nearly opaque opaque violet color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of chocolate berries and apricots, mocha, and butter roasted nuts with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, amusing, medium-long chocolate orange peel, vanilla nuts, and marinated yams finish with moderate oak. A satiny, savory, and somewhat cerebral shiraz with sumptuous fruit and subtle spiciness.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217685
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate
2013 Reserve Chardonnay
Bright bright gold color. Aromas and flavors of golden delicious apples, wood putty, stone fruit, and gravel and dried canvas with an tangy, dry full body and a delightful, swift finish with papery, earthy tannins and moderate oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217686
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate
2012 Pinot Noir
Medium brick red color. Aromas and flavors of honey baked cranberries and cherries, chocolate toffee, hint of pencil eraser, and clay and rose hips with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, intricate, long dried blueberry, spiced nuts, reduced lemon, and cedar finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A rich, spicy pinot noir pleaser.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217776
Ledson
2013 Malbec
Nearly opaque violet color. Aromas and flavors of warm chocolate pot de creme, berry pie, and olives with a supple, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long creme brulee, spiced cherries, nutskins, and minerals finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A lively, juicy malbec with attractive richness and fine balance.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217670
Beppe Marino
2011 "Quatro Filare" Barbera d'Asti
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of melted chocolate, roasted chestnuts, and craisins with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long plum and pomegranate chutney, apple and blood orange, hint of baking and peppery spices, and cedar finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A finely tuned, ripe and stylish Barbera, perfect for serious sipping or the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217684
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate
2015 White Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains
Golden yellow color. Creamy, fruity aromas and flavors of peach-pineapple buttercream, nougat, and spiced white cherries and apricots with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-long coconut cake, vanilla caramel toffee, and sweet and peppery spices finish with crunchy tannins and a suggestion of oak. An elegant and flavorful white wine for all occasions.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217516
Taylors
2014 St. Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark violet color. Spicy aromas and flavors of menthol mint, chocolate toffee, blueberry tart, and mixed peppercorns and pickling spices with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, appealing, chocolate tangerine and lemon, cedar, and spiced almonds finish with silky, chewy tannins and light oak. A plush, fruity, spicy cabernet with lots of fun pairing possibilities.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217614
Casado Morales
2009 Gran Reserva Rioja DOC
Cloudy garnet black color. Earthy, spicy aromas and flavors of dried berries, wintergreen, menthol tobacco, and chocolate nuts with a silky, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length spiced tomato, cedar, and nutskins finish with woody tannins and moderate oak. A rich, spicy, cellarable Rioja with an intriguing wintergreen note.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217675
Domaine La Soumade
2014 Cuvee Prestige Rasteau
Violet color. Interesting, complex aromas and flavors of dark caramelized stone fruits and berries, spiced yams, carob orange cake, and clay with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, refreshing, medium-long cherries and citrus, nutskin, pencil shavings, and earth finish with soft, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A rich, complex French red with enticing fruit and spice flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217588
Bodegas Escudero
2008 Vidau Rioja DOC
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate coconut macaroon, blackberry pie a la mode, and delicate spice with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long sour cherries and craisins, nuts, and leather finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A supple and inviting Rioja that begs another sip.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217788
Nordby Vineyards
2006 Vintner's Reserve "Re dei Re" Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty garnet black color. Spicy, complex aromas and flavors of cassis chutney, vanilla spiced nuts, single village chocolate, and olives with a silky, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, nuanced, long blueberry cobbler, creme brulee, chocolate mint and nuts, and menthol finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A wonderfully flavorful and balanced mature cabernet that has been cellared beautifully.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217737
Paradise On Earth
2013 Divine Series "Radiant Red" Napa Valley
Dusty garnet color. Fruity, savory aromas and flavors of spiced berries, herbal olive tapenade, chocolate nuts, and forest floor with a satiny, tangy, off-dry medium-to-full body and a orange spice cake, dried cherries, cedar, and earth finish. A juicy, spicy red blend with nice length and structure.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217587
Bodegas Escudero
2008 Arvum Rioja DOC
Violet color. Toasty, tropical aromas and flavors of toasted coconut, berry pie, toffee, and slate with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length sour cherries and berries in cream, nutskin, and oak finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A silky, sumptuous Rioja for now or later.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217824
Ruggeri
NV Giall'oro Prosecco DOCG DOC
Bright yellow straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of lemon spritzed melon, yellow apple, and delicate spice with a supple, tangy, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, captivating, long sweet citrus and minerals finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A rich, sumptuous Prosecco with baskets of ripe fruit flavor and great mouthwatering structure.
92 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217671
Beppe Marino
2012 "Freisa Brusia" Langhe DOC
Dusty ruby color. Fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of exotic spiced cherries, cedar and sandalwood incense, and pistachio nougat with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a polished, refreshing, medium-long goji berry, blood orange, nutskin, and minerals finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A delicious, fruit-driven Italian red with a lovely layer of spicy oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217664
Lawer Estates
2015 Betsy's Vineyard Viognier
Straw green color. Fruity aromas and flavors of apricot tart, peach yogurt, and nougat with a satiny, tangy, off-dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, involved, long cornucopia of tropical fruits, delicate baking spices, and cream finish with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A vibrant and pure viognier with enticing stone and tropical fruit flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217823
Papale
2013 Primitivo
Violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of berry compote, chocolate nuts, and baking spices with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, interesting, medium-long sour cherry pie, buttery praline, and mocha finish with silky tannins and light oak. A bright, fruity Italian red that is sure to please.
92 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217601
Zonte’s Footstep
2015 "Hills Are Alive" Shiraz
Dark deep purple color. Spicy, green aromas and flavors of chocolate mint, spicy blueberry pie, menthol lozenge, and cappuccino gelato with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, layered, medium-long spiced nuts, white toffee, and peppery spices finish with fine tannins and light oak. A lush, spicy shiraz that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217731
Von Schleinitz
2015 APOLLO Dry Riesling
Bright yellow straw color. Aromas of ripe nectarines, key lime cream, gravel, and hand milled soap with a lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and a complex, breezy finish with earthy tannins and no oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217821
Villadoria
2013 Barbaresco DOCG
Brown brick red color. Earthy, fruity aromas and flavors of olive skin, leather and clay, and spiced berries and cherries with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an even, subtle, medium-long nuts, bark, and flower patch earth finish with crunchy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A spot-on, chewy Italian red with great traditional flavor and structure.
92 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217518
Taylors
2015 St. Andrews Chardonnay
Golden yellow color. Tropical aromas and flavors of coconut custard, pineapple cake, and hint of vanilla candle with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and an even, interesting, medium-long pineapple-lime relish and spiced green apple finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A rich, pure chardonnay with bright zesty tropical fruit.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217517
Taylors
2014 St. Andrews Shiraz
Opaque dusty garnet color. Aromas of ripe mulberries and blackberries, bramble and dried flowers and violets, white peppercorns, and clay and baked oak with a crisp, dry full body and an appealing, brisk finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217612
Hawk and Horse Vineyards
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark ruby black color. Creamy, fruity aromas and flavors of warm chocolate nougat, berry pie crust, hint of cedar incense, and olive skin with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long blood orange, delicate spiced plums, cola, and earth finish with dusty, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, gutsy cabernet with plenty of stuffing for cellaring for later or hearty fare now
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217779
Soquel Vineyards
2014 "Intreccio" Library Selection Napa Valley
Opaque dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of black currants, black plums, leather and sandalwood, and pressed red flowers and turned earth with a tangy, dry full body and a complex, breezy finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak. Very complex enticing nose, big yet integrated flavors follow with a rich mid-palate.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217740
Trinchero
2012 BRV Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque violet color. Interesting aromas of crayon and clay, cedar pencil, spice rubbed meat, and tomato-cassis compote with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, distinctive, medium-long spiced blueberries, nutskin, cocoa, and earth finish with well-integrated, crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nuanced, fruit-driven cabernet with an earthiness and structure that will reward cellaring.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218127
Zina Hyde Cunningham
2014 Reserve Chardonnay
Yellow straw color. Tropical aromas and flavors of roasted pineapple, spiced apples, and toasted Hawaiian bread with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-long creamy vanilla, lemon curd, and pear finish with silky, fruit tannins and light oak. A delicate yet vibrant chardonnay with bright fruit and zippy acidity.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217745
Folie à Deux
2013 Merlot
Nearly opaque ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate and vanilla fudges, plum custard pie, and hint of dried meat with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length spiced praline, pomegranate, and mint finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. A savory, meaty merlot that will cover many bases.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217766
Great Frogs
NV "Red" Capital Series Maryland
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of clover honey, black raspberries, and toasted herbs and spices with a supple, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a sleek, interesting, medium-long roasted beets and root vegetables, dried cherries and pears, minerals, and toasted sandalwood finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A silky and subtle red with appealing savoriness and structure.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217780
John Robert Eppler
2014 "Rouge" Tradition Old Vines California
Opaque ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of funky dark fruits and mulberries, black raspberries, wood smoke, and tree bark and white peppercorns with a tart, dryish full body and a subtle, brisk finish with earthy, woody, firm, barky tannins and heavy oak. Big bold, interesting flavors, youthful but good depth and ample fine fruit tannins
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217520
Taylors
2015 Reserve Parcel Shiraz
Opaque ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of ripe huckleberries, mocha and planked oak, malabar pepper, and pressed violets and cream with a tangy, dry full body and a nuanced, medium-length finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217522
Taylors
2015 Jaraman Shiraz
Opaque color. Aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries and blackberry cream, planked oak, black pepper, and turned earth with an crisp, dry full body and a compelling, swift finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217544
JAX
2014 Y3 Pinot Noir
Bright brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of baked black cherries and cobbler like, dried leaves, potters clay, and mocha and lemon pith with an lively, dry full body and a distinctive, brisk finish with leafy, earthy, woody tannins. An excellent example.
91 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217682
Kirkland Signature
2011 Signature Series Brunello di Montalcino
Opaque brick red color. Aromas and flavors of pomegranate seeds, wet clay, mocha, and herb focaccia with a silky, crisp, dryish medium body and a sleek, appealing, medium-length spiced nuts and cherries, cedar, roasted lemon, and dried mushroom finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nice bright Brunello for the table.
91 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217730
Von Schleinitz
2015 NITOR Dry Riesling
Bright golden straw color. Aromas of peach skin, lime zest, potters clay, and dried canvas with an crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a refreshing, brisk finish with cottony, earthy tannins and no oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217683
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate
2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains
Light coral orange color. Aromas and flavors of cherries and strawberries, hint of beeswax, and white chocolate toffee with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, appealing, medium-length nut skin and minerals finish with no oak. An elegant and appetizing rosé.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217546
JAX
2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of boysenberry pie, cassis jam, and chocolate mint with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length spiced blueberries and cherries, vanilla toffee, nuts, and cedar finish with silky, chewy tannins and light oak. A silky, ripe and juicy cabernet.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217515
City Winery
2012 Brut Nature Sparkling North Fork of Long Island
Light gold color. Earthy aromas and flavors of lemon rind, starfruit, and frosted peach scone with a supple, tart, finely carbonated, dry medium body and a sleek, amusing, medium-long tart green apple, kumquat, nuts, and hint of herbs finish with a suggestion of oak. A very appetizing and dry sparkling wine that wakes up the palate.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217677
Chateau Montaiguillon
2014 Montagne St. Emilion
Dusty garnet color. Toasty, earthy aromas and flavors of pencil shavings, clay, dried berries, and nuts and pipe tobacco with a satiny, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length cocoa, marinated root vegetables, and cedar and earth finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A super supple, savory and balanced Bordeaux red that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217525
Wakefield
2015 Shiraz
Opaque garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries and mulberries, pressed flowers and violets, potters clay, and malabar pepper with a tangy, dry full body and a complex, breezy finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. An excellent example.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217524
Taylor Made
2016 Chardonnay
Bright gold color. Aromas and flavors of baked apple and pear, delicate sweet and pepper spices, and white blossoms with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, long peach tart, honeyed pineapple, and lemon custard finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A lively, appetizing chardonnay with nice layers of fruit.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217751
Napa Cellars
2013 Merlot
Nearly opaque violet color. Aromas and flavors of baked berries, dark chocolate, and nuts with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, breezy boysenberry custard tart, cedar, forest floor, and pepper finish with fine, dusty tannins and a suggestion of oak. A solid merlot for all occasions
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217767
Great Frogs
2015 "Red" Capital Series Maryland
Brick red color. Aromas and flavors of roasted nuts and peppers, mocha, and dolmades with a silky, bright, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long pickled beets and okra, peppered berries, minerals, and tobacco finish with fine, crunchy tannins and light oak. A supple, savory red that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217734
Von Schleinitz
2015 Weissenberg Single Vineyard Riesling
Bright golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of ripe peaches, key lime custard, baked oak, and marshmallow with a lively, fruity full body and a complex, relaxed finish with papery tannins and no oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217777
Ledson
2013 "Gunsight" California
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, huckleberries, purple sweet tarts, and mocha and turned earth with a lively, dryish full body and an intricate, medium-length finish with earthy, woody, firm tannins and moderate oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217674
Bichi Borghesi
2011 Bonico Rosso Toscana IGT
Opaque dusty garnet color. Attractive, spicy, savory aromas and flavors of marinated berries and tomatoes, chocolate cherries and nuts, rhubarb pie, and fall leaves and earth with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, interesting, medium-length chocolate chestnuts and earth finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and a suggestion of oak. A delicious savory Italian red with nicely interwoven flavors and texture.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217639
Laurelwood Reserve
2014 Hirschy Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir
Dark garnet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of clay forest floor, honeyed cherries and berries, and banana nut muffin with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, captivating, medium-length pickled watermelon rind, nectarine, nuts, and hint of coconut finish with a suggestion of oak. A nicely balanced pinot with ample fruit and a good sense of place.
90 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217757
Great Frogs
2014 Meritage Anne Arundel County
Dusty dusty garnet color. Earthy, spicy aromas and flavors of spiced nuts, potting soil, cassis chutney, and roasted root vegetables with a silky, bright, dry medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long fleur de sel, grassy earth, and peppercorns finish with well-integrated, fine, crunchy tannins and light oak. A supple and savory red with nice structure for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217638
Gravel Bar Winery
2014 Estate Reserve - Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark violet color. Interesting, fruity, meaty aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts, marinated berries, citrus, mushrooms, chocolate pastry, and hint of grilled fish with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length mocha and vanilla cream and toasted herbs finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A nicely balanced cabernet that will shine at the table.
90 points $45.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217659
Diamond Ridge
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright burnt sienna color. Aromas and flavors of black cherries, beet root and raspberries, tree bark, and turned earth with a lively, dryish full body and a nuanced, relaxed finish with barky tannins and moderate oak. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217739
Trinchero
2012 Mario's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Indigo color. Fruity, inviting aromas and flavors of caramelized berries and yams, flan, blueberry pie, and menthol mint lozenge with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long vanilla nut brittle, chocolate, delicate baking spices, and cedar finish with silky tannins and light oak. A spot-on Napa cabernet with great texture and rich fruit.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217702
Monte De Oro
2010 Reserve Syrah
Dark garnet black color. Rustic aromas of barnyard mud and clay, butter roasted nuts and berries, toasted wood, and olive tapenade with a supple, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, chocolate orange peel and berries, spiced apples and cashews, sweet and peppery spices, and sandalwood finish with chewy, fine tannins and no oak. An entertaining flavor ride that would compliment an adventurous meal.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217521
Taylors
2015 Shiraz
Opaque deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries, planked oak and toffee, pressed violets and turned earth, and malabar pepper with a tangy, dry full body and a complex, cheery finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A very good example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217748
Folie à Deux
2014 Pinot Noir
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of cherry compote, cacao nibs, and roasted nuts with a satiny, vibrant, fruity body and a silky, interesting, medium-long creme brulee, delicate spices, honeyed beets, and sweet and peppery spices finish with silky tannins and a suggestion of oak. A supple and tasty pinot pleaser.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217545
JAX
2015 "Y3" Pinot Noir
Medium dusty ruby color. Fruity, spicy, savory aromas and flavors of cherry pie and marinated beets with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long dried strawberry and citrus, nuts, and cedar finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A flavorful, dry and savory pinot noir with lots of pairing possibilities.
89 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217672
Bichi Borghesi
2014 Chianti Colli Senesi
Bright brick red color. Aromas and flavors of wild cherries, roasted nuts and chestnuts, red licorice and cream, and potters clay and oak with a vibrant, dry full body and a complex, medium-length finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A very good example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217736
Cool Fish
NV White California
Yellow color. Floral, fruity aromas and flavors of spiced apricots and mangos, orange blossom honey, and exotic tropical fruits with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, compelling, medium-long coconut, Meyer lemon and clementine, and gooseberries finish with crunchy, chewy, fruit tannins and no oak. A vivacious, snappy white blend with lots of exotic tropical fruit flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217665
Lawer Estates
2015 Cannon Block Chardonnay
Bright bright gold color. Aromas of baked yellow apples, butter cream, turned earth, and pencil erasers with an lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and an engaging, medium-length finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A very good example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217725
ONEHOPE
2013 Reserve Pinot Noir
Bright burnt sienna color. Aromas and flavors of raspberry and cherry, rhubarb, dried twigs, and dried canvas and gravel with an tangy, dry medium-full body and an appealing, brisk finish with earthy, cottony, barky tannins and moderate oak. A very good example.
89 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217679
Chateau Tertre de Viaud
2014 Cotes de Bourg
Ruby black color. Green, roasted aromas and flavors of toasted herbs, dark roasted nuts, and grilled green pepper with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length cedar plank, cocoa, and potting soil finish with dusty, woody tannins. A supple, smoky Bordeaux red.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217764
Great Frogs
2015 Tanyard Reserve Maryland
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate espresso beans, berry pie crust, and nut brittle with a silky, bright, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, pickled beets and carrots, nuts, and grassy earth finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and light oak. A tangy, refreshing red with toasty oak that will pair nicely.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217789
Nordby Vineyards
2008 Reserve "Il Re" Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty garnet black color. Interesting, meaty, spicy aromas and flavors of summer sausage, dried berries, chestnut honey, and spiced olives with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, intriguing, medium-length plum relish, chocolate berries, nutskin, and cedar finish with dusty, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A nice mature cabernet that is drinking well now.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217676
Domaine du Grand Tinel
2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
Yellow straw color. Fruity, interesting aromas and flavors of spiced papaya, melon, and pineapple, vanilla nuts, orchid, and earth with a silky, bright, dryish medium body and a tingling, medium-length nectarine skin, yellow apple, honeyed citrus, and minerals finish with fine, crunchy, dusty tannins and no oak. A delicate and even sipper.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217769
Great Frogs
NV Chesapeake Blend Maryland
Ruby black color. Spicy, herbal, earthy aromas and flavors of spiced mulberries and cherries, toasted herbs and nuts, and flower stems with a supple, tart, dry light-to-medium body and a silky, interesting, breezy cranberry and green apple, nutskin, and borscht finish with fine, crunchy, chewy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A crisp and savory red that will pair nicely with spicy meat dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217749
Pacific Heights
2015 Chardonnay
Bright light gold color. Aromas and flavors of stone fruit and peaches, buttered toast points, gravel, and pressed linen with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity full body and a complex, medium-length finish with cottony, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A good quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217589
Pazo Castrelo
2015 Albarino
Pale golden straw color. Fruity, tropical aromas and flavors of papaya-mango relish, dried pear, and salty nuts with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, appealing, relaxed yellow apple and marinated cucumber finish with no oak. A very round albariño with pure restrained flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217523
Taylors
2015 Jaraman Chardonnay
Golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of creme brulee, nougat, and apple pie crust with a supple, tangy, fruity medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length reduced lemon, praline, and earth finish with no oak. A crisp, refreshing chardonnay well suited for fish and chicken dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217724
ONEHOPE
2012 Pinot Noir
Bright dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe cherries, red rhubarb, dried leaves and planked oak, and oak with a tangy, dry medium-full body and a stimulating, brisk finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A good quality example.
88 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217716
DH Lescombes
2013 Limited Release Mourvedre
Medium garnet black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of melted toffee, spiced berries, and roasted chestnuts with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length creme brulee, spice, minted melon, and mocha finish with dusty, fine tannins and light oak. A nice chocolatey, fruity red.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217750
Pacific Heights
2015 Pinot Noir
Cloudy dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate espresso bean, berry pie crust, and cedar with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, engaging, medium-long dark roasted nuts, dried berries, and pipe tobacco finish with fine tannins and light oak. A chewy, savory pinot that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217733
Von Schleinitz
2015 Blanc de Noir Pinot Noir
Pale steely amber orange color. Earthy aromas and flavors of straw, white strawberry and mulberry, peach pit, and bread dough with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, charming, medium-length green apple, nectarine skin, melon rind, and hint of volcanic rock finish. An interesting dry rose of pinot noir with a nice touch of earthiness.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217715
DH Lescombes
NV "D" Danielle New Mexico
Pale golden straw green color. Roasted, smoky aromas and flavors of dark roasted nuts, grilled apples and pineapples, and lit match with a supple, tangy, spritzy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, captivating, reduced lemon, kiwi and white strawberry, and whit balsamic finish with a suggestion of oak. A very savory and appetizing sparkler with interesting smoky tones and great mouthwatering acidity.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217637
Daffodil Winery
2014 Eola Amity Pinot Noir
Dusty dark garnet color. Earthy, fruity aromas and flavors of clay, cherry fruit leather, and suede with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length black walnut, blood orange, and huckleberry finish with soft, fine tannins and a suggestion of oak. A tasty pinot with a solid core of ripe fruit and supple texture.
88 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217768
Great Frogs
2015 White Capital Series Maryland
Yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of honey roasted nuts, apple butter, pineapple marmalade, and caramel rice cake with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an even, compelling, medium-long coconut cream and spiced apple and pear finish with fine, crunchy tannins and light oak. A crisp, crunchy white wine with nice fruit and a delicate style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217746
Folie à Deux
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Violet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of spiced dried berries, pencil shavings, and earth with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy menthol tobacco, herbs, and cocoa-dusted nuts and currants finish with firm, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A chewy, light earthy cabernet for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217753
Napa Cellars
2014 Zinfandel
Dark deep purple color. Fruity aromas and flavors of chocolate raspberries, linden honey, clay, and geranium with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, amusing, medium-long spiced cherries, peaches and oranges, vanilla mint cream cookie, and toffee finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A very tasty, mouth watering, well composed zinfandel that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217781
Los Ranchos Winery
2013 Sangiovese
Burnt sienna color. Interesting, meaty, savory aromas and flavors of beef chili and pie crust with a soft, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, amusing, buoyant spiced cherries and raspberries and cocoa finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A meaty, fruity, interesting red for spicy meat dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217759
Great Frogs
2015 Vintner's White Anne Arundel County
Golden straw color. Earthy aromas and flavors of caramelized nuts and fruits and leaves and bark with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long dried apple and pear, salted papaya, and lemon pepper finish with dusty tannins. An savory, earthy, slightly rustic white blend.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217669
Villa Giulia
2013 Chianti Classico Riserva
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of dark cherries, chestnuts, planked oak and clay, and pressed violets with a tangy, dry full body and a subtle, buoyant finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A fairly good quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217756
Great Frogs
2014 Vintner's Red Anne Arundel County
Dusty brick red color. Herbal, spicy aromas and flavors of pickle relish and roasted cherries and beets with a supple, bright, dry medium body and a tingling, breezy nutskin and earth finish with light oak. A dry, restrained red for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217742
Napa Cellars
2015 V Collection Chardonnay
Bright gold color. Aromas of green apple skin, apple butter, minerality and gravel, and lemon curd with an tangy, full body and an involved, cheery finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A fairly good quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217743
Napa Cellars
2013 V Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark violet color. Inviting, savory aromas and flavors of dried cassis, olive tapenade, leather bound chair, and delicate green grass herbs with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a captivating, medium-long sandalwood and spiced berries finish with dusty, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A subdued and spicy Napa cabernet that will reward cellaring.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217754
Napa Cellars
2014 Pinot Noir
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas of black cherries, cranberries, planked cedar, and dried leaves with a lively, dry full body and an elegant, breezy finish with leafy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A better than average quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217770
Great Frogs
NV White Capital Series Maryland
Light gold color. Grassy, yeasty aromas and flavors of apples on the tree, Greek yogurt, straw, and stewed fruits with a supple, crisp, dryish medium body and a sleek, brisk spiced citrus and melon and salty nuts finish with light oak. A soft, savory, earthy white wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217826
Nicolas Potel
2015 Pouilly-Fuissé
Pale golden yellow color. Curious aromas and flavors of porridge with cream, dried apple coconut granola, pound cake, and latex caulk with a silky, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, interesting, breezy coconut water, green pineapple, nougat, and lemon chiffon finish with a suggestion of oak. A solid French white with nice fruit and good balance.
86 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217787
Nordby Vineyards
2003 Estate Reserve "Envy" Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty dull indigo color. Aromas and flavors of warm raisin-fig compote, pickled berries, hint of leather, and soy and olive with a supple, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, breezy nut skin and pomegranate vinaigrette finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A mature cabernet for the table, drink up.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217701
Monte De Oro
2015 "Bolle De Oro" Temecula Valley
Clear yellow straw color. Interesting aromas of overripe melon and lemon, rubber leaf, green nectarine, and geranium with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, buoyant warm apple-peach compote, spiced nuts, white toffee, and banana finish with a suggestion of oak. A round, spicy sparkler.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217623
Los Ranchos Winery
2014 Tempranillo
Minutely hazy dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate dark roasted nuts, roasted berries, ink, and clay with a lean, crisp, dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, rapid cedar bark, potting soil, and dried blueberry finish with dusty, firm tannins and light oak. A very dry, savory red for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217668
Villa Giulia
2013 Chianti Classico
Bright brick red color. Aromas and flavors of spiced cherries, chestnuts, potters clay, and baked oak with a tangy, dry medium-full body and a nuanced, swift finish with earthy, papery tannins and moderate oak. A better than average quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217744
Napa Cellars
2014 V Collection Pinot Noir
Bright brick red color. Aromas and flavors of spiced cherries, dried leaves, red licorice and star anise, and planked oak with an lively, dry full body and an interesting, buoyant finish with woody, earthy, leafy tannins and moderate oak. A better than average quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217510
Pollak Vineyards
2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet black color. Green, fruity aromas and flavors of cassis tart a la mode, green leaves and herbs, and orange blossom beeswax with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, snappy craisins, pencil, and grass finish with dusty, woody tannins and moderate oak. A savory, rustic cabernet for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217758
Great Frogs
2015 Chardonnay
Gold color. Curious, earthy aromas and flavors of clay, spiced apple, nutshell, and hint of mint gum with a lean, tart, sweet-and-sour medium body and a tingling, relaxed lemon and salty dark roasted nuts finish with dusty, earthy, fruit tannins and moderate oak. A very savory, earthy chardonnay for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217519
Taylors
2016 St. Andrews Riesling
Bright golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of spiced yellow apples, clay and baked oak, and lime pith with an lively, dry medium-full body and a delightful, momentary finish with papery, earthy tannins and no oak. An average quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217763
Great Frogs
2015 Syrah
Dull dusty ruby color. Smoky, earthy aromas and flavors of grilled tomatoes and root vegetables, lit match, tomato leaf, and bloody meat with a silky, soft, dryish medium body and a smooth, brisk toasted herbs, dark roasted nuts, burnt grape leaves and stems, and cranberry vinaigrette finish with barky tannins and heavy oak. A very green, savory, rustic red for the hunter’s table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217732
Von Schleinitz
2015 Pinot Noir
Medium brick red color. Earthy, grassy aromas and flavors of wet haystack and stones, roasted chestnuts and berries, brown butter, and hint of fuel with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, brisk cherry pits and melon rind, burlap, and bark finish with dusty tannins and a suggestion of oak. A dry, earthy and austere pinot noir for the hunter’s table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217717
DH Lescombes
2012 Limited Release Petit Verdot
Medium brown brick red color. Funky aromas of rubber, burnt nuts and berries, and lit match with a supple, crisp, medium body and a seamless, somewhat odd, short cranberry, lit cigar, and cedar mulch finish with heavy oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217714
DH Lescombes
NV "H" Hervé New Mexico
Medium ruby black color. Fruity, meaty aromas and flavors of cranberry chutney, chocolate cherries, beef bouillon, and grilled pepper with a silky, dry-yet-fruity body and a smooth, breezy finish with crunchy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A rustic, woody red for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217771
Great Frogs
NV Rosé Capital Series Maryland
Coral orange color. Earthy, floral aromas and flavors of carnation patch, Asian pear, yeasty cranberry bread, and twigs and leaves with a supple, soft, dry medium body and a tingling, intriguing, medium-length pickled apple, citrus and melon finish with no oak. crisp, very dry, earthy rose for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217752
Napa Cellars
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Violet color. Unusual aromas and flavors of fish oil, berry trail mix, pressed flowers and linen, and hint of shoe polished leather with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, brisk dark berry compote, cola, birch bark, and parchment finish with dusty, barky tannins and moderate oak. A dusty, dry, Napa cabernet for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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