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Reviews for 2016

December 2016 - Stellar Cellar Selection

December 2016 - Stellar Cellar Selection
This month's Wine feature is Stellar Cellar Selection Wines

Stellar Cellar Selection Reviews

Peachy Canyon NV Port Zinfandel
96 points
$32
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 finish manifesting notes of spiced cherries and apricots, honeyed golden raisins, sweet and peppery spices, and nuts with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. 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.
Monte De Oro 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
$80
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, breezy finish that shows notes of dill pickle and gravel with silky tannins and light oak flavor. A silky, elegant cabernet.
Bichi Borghesi 2010 Riservva"COPPIOLE" Chianti Colli Senesi
94 points
$35
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 flavor. An outstanding example.
Von Schleinitz 2015 Weissenberg Single Vineyard Auslese Riesling
94 points
$35
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, instant finish with notes of honeyed apple, orange and apricot, golden raisins, and Meyer lemon and lime sorbets with fine, fruit tannins and no oak flavor. A vibrant and pure auslese riesling with rich fruit flavors and lip-smacking acidity.
Villadoria 2012  Barolo DOCG
94 points
$39.99
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 finish with notes of plum, cocoa, tomato-melon relish, and cedar mulch with fine, dusty, coating tannins and moderate oak flavor. A complex, dry, earthy Barolo with a sinewy core of rich fruit, oak and mouth-coating tannins for the table.
94 points $39.99
Chateau Tour Saint-Christophe 2014 Grand Cru St. Emilion
94 points
$70
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 finish with accents of praline, beets, and sandalwood with light oak flavor. A voluptuous, very ripe red Bordeaux wine with delicious chocolatey oak.
Ledson 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$70
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 flavor. An elegant, super silky and satisfying cabernet with finely harmonized flavors.
Trinchero 2013 Forte Red Blend Napa Valley
94 points
$70
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 finish evoking elements of dried cherries and blueberries, cedar, leather, and earth with chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak flavor. A bold, spicy, herbal red blend with nice pairing and cellaring possibilities.
Folie à Deux 2013  Zinfandel
93 points
$24
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 finish that exhibits shades of vanilla cream, spiced oranges and apples, praline, and pepper with soft, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A nicely balanced and flavorful zinfandel with great versatility.
Zonte’s Footstep 2015 "Baron Von Nemesis" Shiraz
93 points
$28
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 finish with touches of spiced berries and cherries, mint and herbs, singed lemon and orange peels, and peppercorns with silky, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A deliciously spicy and layered shiraz for all occasions.
Ruggeri 2014 Giustino B Prosecco DOCG
93 points
$29.99
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, long finish with notes of clementine and lime, delicate spices, meringue, and minerals with fine, fruit tannins and no oak flavor. A lush, full-bodied Prosecco with many layers of flavor and pinpoint acidity.
93 points $29.99
Z-Force 2014  Shiraz
93 points
$44
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 finish revealing accents of chocolate orange peel, vanilla nuts, and marinated yams with moderate oak flavor. A satiny, savory, and somewhat cerebral shiraz with sumptuous fruit and subtle spiciness.
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2013 Reserve Chardonnay
93 points
$45
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, brisk finish with papery, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An excellent example.
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2012  Pinot Noir
93 points
$48
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 finish that shows nuances of dried blueberry, spiced nuts, reduced lemon, and cedar with fine, dusty tannins and light oak flavor. A rich, spicy pinot noir pleaser.
Ledson 2013  Malbec
93 points
$48
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 finish evoking notes of creme brulee, spiced cherries, nutskins, and minerals with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A lively, juicy malbec with attractive richness and fine balance.
Beppe Marino 2011 "Quatro Filare" Barbera dAsti
93 points
$50
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 finish manifesting notes of plum and pomegranate chutney, apple and blood orange, hint of baking and peppery spices, and cedar with silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A finely tuned, ripe and stylish Barbera, perfect for serious sipping or the table.
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2015 White Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains
93 points
$50
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 finish with shades of coconut cake, vanilla caramel toffee, and sweet and peppery spices with crunchy tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. An elegant and flavorful white wine for all occasions.
Wakefield/Taylors 2014 St. Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$50
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, long finish with suggestions of chocolate tangerine and lemon, cedar, and spiced almonds with silky, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A plush, fruity, spicy cabernet with lots of fun pairing possibilities.
Casado Morales 2009 Gran Reserva Rioja DOC
93 points
$60
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 finish that exhibits impressions of spiced tomato, cedar, and nutskins with woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rich, spicy, cellarable Rioja with an intriguing wintergreen note.
Domaine La Soumade 2014 Cuvee Prestige Rasteau
93 points
$65
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 finish manifesting nuances of cherries and citrus, nutskin, pencil shavings, and earth with soft, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rich, complex French red with enticing fruit and spice flavors.
Bodegas Escudero 2008 Vidau Rioja DOC
93 points
$88
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 finish with notes of sour cherries and craisins, nuts, and leather with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A supple and inviting Rioja that begs another sip.
Nordby Vineyards 2006 Vintners Reserve "Re dei Re" Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$90
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 finish that exhibits notes of blueberry cobbler, creme brulee, chocolate mint and nuts, and menthol with fine, dusty tannins and light oak flavor. A wonderfully flavorful and balanced mature cabernet that has been cellared beautifully.
Paradise On Earth 2013 Divine Series "Radiant Red" Napa Valley
93 points
$95
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 long finish displaying notes of orange spice cake, dried cherries, cedar, and earth. A juicy, spicy red blend with nice length and structure.
Bodegas Escudero 2008 Arvum Rioja DOC
93 points
$115
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 finish manifesting notes of sour cherries and berries in cream, nutskin, and oak with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A silky, sumptuous Rioja for now or later.
Ruggeri NV Gialloro Prosecco DOCG DOC
92 points
$21.99
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 finish with suggestions of sweet citrus and minerals with fine, fruit tannins and no oak flavor. A rich, sumptuous Prosecco with baskets of ripe fruit flavor and great mouthwatering structure.
92 points $21.99
Beppe Marino 2012 "Freisa Brusia" Langhe DOC
92 points
$23
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 finish that shows notes of goji berry, blood orange, nutskin, and minerals with fine, dusty tannins and light oak flavor. A delicious, fruit-driven Italian red with a lovely layer of spicy oak.
Lawer Estates 2015 Betsys Vineyard Viognier
92 points
$24
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 finish with notes of cornucopia of tropical fruits, delicate baking spices, and cream with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A vibrant and pure viognier with enticing stone and tropical fruit flavors.
Papale 2013  Primitivo
92 points
$24.99
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 finish that exhibits accents of sour cherry pie, buttery praline, and mocha with silky tannins and light oak flavor. A bright, fruity Italian red that is sure to please.
92 points $24.99
Zonte’s Footstep 2015 "Hills Are Alive" Shiraz
92 points
$28
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 finish that presents nuances of spiced nuts, white toffee, and peppery spices with fine tannins and light oak flavor. A lush, spicy shiraz that is sure to please.
Von Schleinitz 2015 APOLLO Dry Riesling
92 points
$29
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, snappy finish with earthy tannins and no oak flavor. An excellent example.
Villadoria 2013  Barbaresco DOCG
92 points
$29.99
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 finish revealing shades of nuts, bark, and flower patch earth with crunchy, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A spot-on, chewy Italian red with great traditional flavor and structure.
92 points $29.99
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 St. Andrews Chardonnay
92 points
$32
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 finish that shows shades of pineapple-lime relish and spiced green apple with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A rich, pure chardonnay with bright zesty tropical fruit.
Wakefield/Taylors 2014 St. Andrews Shiraz
92 points
$50
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 flavor. An excellent example.
Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2012  Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$70
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 finish with notes of blood orange, delicate spiced plums, cola, and earth with dusty, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rich, gutsy cabernet with plenty of stuffing for cellaring for later or hearty fare now
Soquel Vineyards 2014 "Intreccio" Library Selection Napa Valley
92 points
$75
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, relaxed finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. Very complex enticing nose, big yet integrated flavors follow with a rich mid-palate.
Trinchero 2012 BRV Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$80
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 flavor. A nuanced, fruit-driven cabernet with an earthiness and structure that will reward cellaring.
Zina Hyde Cunningham 2014 Reserve Chardonnay
91 points
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 finish imparting touches of creamy vanilla, lemon curd, and pear with silky, fruit tannins and light oak flavor. A delicate yet vibrant chardonnay with bright fruit and zippy acidity.
Folie à Deux 2013  Merlot
91 points
$20
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 finish manifesting impressions of spiced praline, pomegranate, and mint with soft tannins and moderate oak flavor. A savory, meaty merlot that will cover many bases.
Great Frogs NV "Red" Capital Series Maryland
91 points
$20
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 finish that presents suggestions of roasted beets and root vegetables, dried cherries and pears, minerals, and toasted sandalwood with fine, dusty tannins and light oak flavor. A silky and subtle red with appealing savoriness and structure.
John Robert Eppler 2014 "Rouge" Tradition Old Vines California
91 points
$22
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 flavor. Big bold, interesting flavors, youthful but good depth and ample fine fruit tannins
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 Reserve Parcel Shiraz
91 points
$22
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 flavor. An excellent example.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 Jaraman Shiraz
91 points
$22
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 flavor. An excellent example.
JAX 2014 Y3 Pinot Noir
91 points
$24.99
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
Kirkland Signature 2011 Signature Series Brunello di Montalcino
91 points
$24.99
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 finish that shows impressions of spiced nuts and cherries, cedar, roasted lemon, and dried mushroom with dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice bright Brunello for the table.
91 points $24.99
Von Schleinitz 2015 NITOR Dry Riesling
91 points
$25
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 flavor. An excellent example.
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains
91 points
$32
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 finish that shows notes of nut skin and minerals with no oak flavor. An elegant and appetizing rosé.
JAX 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$45
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 finish with nuances of spiced blueberries and cherries, vanilla toffee, nuts, and cedar with silky, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A silky, ripe and juicy cabernet.
City Winery 2012 Brut Nature Sparkling North Fork of Long Island
91 points
$49
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 finish with accents of tart green apple, kumquat, nuts, and hint of herbs with a suggestion of oak flavor. A very appetizing and dry sparkling wine that wakes up the palate.
Chateau Montaiguillon 2014  Montagne St. Emilion
91 points
$60
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 finish conveying impressions of cocoa, marinated root vegetables, and cedar and earth with dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A super supple, savory and balanced Bordeaux red that will shine at the table.
Wakefield 2015  Shiraz
90 points
$18
Best Buy
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, crisp finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. An excellent example.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Taylor Made 2016  Chardonnay
90 points
$22
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 finish with accents of peach tart, honeyed pineapple, and lemon custard with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A lively, appetizing chardonnay with nice layers of fruit.
Napa Cellars 2013  Merlot
90 points
$24
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 finish that exhibits notes of boysenberry custard tart, cedar, forest floor, and pepper with fine, dusty tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A solid merlot for all occasions
Great Frogs 2015 "Red" Capital Series Maryland
90 points
$25
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 finish with nuances of pickled beets and okra, peppered berries, minerals, and tobacco with fine, crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. A supple, savory red that will shine at the table.
Von Schleinitz 2015 Weissenberg Single Vineyard Riesling
90 points
$25
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, buoyant finish with papery tannins and no oak flavor. An excellent example.
Ledson 2013 "Gunsight" California
90 points
$32
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 flavor. An excellent example.
Bichi Borghesi 2011 Bonico Rosso Toscana IGT
90 points
$39
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 finish with notes of chocolate chestnuts and earth with well-integrated, fine tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A delicious savory Italian red with nicely interwoven flavors and texture.
Laurelwood Reserve 2014 Hirschy Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir
90 points
$39.99
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 finish with notes of pickled watermelon rind, nectarine, nuts, and hint of coconut with a suggestion of oak flavor. A nicely balanced pinot with ample fruit and a good sense of place.
90 points $39.99
Great Frogs 2014 Meritage Anne Arundel County
90 points
$40
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 finish that presents nuances of fleur de sel, grassy earth, and peppercorns with well-integrated, fine, crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. A supple and savory red with nice structure for the table.
Gravel Bar Winery 2014 Estate Reserve - Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$45.99
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 finish with notes of mocha and vanilla cream and toasted herbs with well-integrated tannins and light oak flavor. A nicely balanced cabernet that will shine at the table.
90 points $45.99
Diamond Ridge 2013  Pinot Noir
90 points
$48
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, breezy finish with barky tannins and moderate oak flavor. An excellent example.
Trinchero 2012 Marios Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$50
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 finish with accents of vanilla nut brittle, chocolate, delicate baking spices, and cedar with silky tannins and light oak flavor. A spot-on Napa cabernet with great texture and rich fruit.
Monte De Oro 2010 Reserve Syrah
90 points
$80
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, medium-long chocolate orange peel and berries, spiced apples and cashews, sweet and peppery spices, and sandalwood finish with chewy, fine tannins and no oak flavor. An entertaining flavor ride that would compliment an adventurous meal.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015  Shiraz
89 points
$18
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, breezy finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very good example.
Folie à Deux 2014  Pinot Noir
89 points
$20
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of cherry compote, cacao nibs, and roasted nuts with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of creme brulee, delicate spices, honeyed beets, and sweet and peppery spices with silky tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A supple and tasty pinot pleaser.
JAX 2015 "Y3" Pinot Noir
89 points
$24.99
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 finish with touches of dried strawberry and citrus, nuts, and cedar with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A flavorful, dry and savory pinot noir with lots of pairing possibilities.
89 points $24.99
Bichi Borghesi 2014  Chianti Colli Senesi
89 points
$25
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 flavor. A very good example.
Cool Fish NV White California
89 points
$25
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 finish imparting shades of coconut, Meyer lemon and clementine, and gooseberries with crunchy, chewy, fruit tannins and no oak flavor. A vivacious, snappy white blend with lots of exotic tropical fruit flavors.
Lawer Estates 2015 Cannon Block Chardonnay
89 points
$26
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 flavor. A very good example.
ONEHOPE 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir
89 points
$29.99
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 flavor. A very good example.
89 points $29.99
Chateau Tertre de Viaud 2014  Cotes de Bourg
89 points
$35
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 finish imparting suggestions of cedar plank, cocoa, and potting soil with dusty, woody tannins. A supple, smoky Bordeaux red.
Great Frogs 2015 Tanyard Reserve Maryland
89 points
$35
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, medium-to-long finish displaying accents of pickled beets and carrots, nuts, and grassy earth with crunchy, dusty tannins and light oak flavor. A tangy, refreshing red with toasty oak that will pair nicely.
Nordby Vineyards 2008 Reserve "Il Re" Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$37
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 finish revealing notes of plum relish, chocolate berries, nutskin, and cedar with dusty, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice mature cabernet that is drinking well now.
Domaine du Grand Tinel 2015  Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
89 points
$80
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 finish revealing notes of nectarine skin, yellow apple, honeyed citrus, and minerals with fine, crunchy, dusty tannins and no oak flavor. A delicate and even sipper.
Great Frogs NV Chesapeake Blend Maryland
88 points
$20
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 finish conveying overtones of cranberry and green apple, nutskin, and borscht with fine, crunchy, chewy tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A crisp and savory red that will pair nicely with spicy meat dishes.
Pacific Heights 2015  Chardonnay
88 points
$20
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 flavor. A good quality example.
Pazo Castrelo 2015  Albarino
88 points
$21
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, breezy finish with accents of yellow apple and marinated cucumber with no oak flavor. A very round albariño with pure restrained flavors.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 Jaraman Chardonnay
88 points
$22
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 finish imparting notes of reduced lemon, praline, and earth with no oak flavor. A crisp, refreshing chardonnay well suited for fish and chicken dishes.
ONEHOPE 2012  Pinot Noir
88 points
$23.99
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 flavor. A good quality example.
88 points $23.99
DH Lescombes 2013 Limited Release Mourvedre
88 points
$24
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 finish with notes of creme brulee, spice, minted melon, and mocha with dusty, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A nice chocolatey, fruity red.
Pacific Heights 2015  Pinot Noir
88 points
$25
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 finish with notes of dark roasted nuts, dried berries, and pipe tobacco with fine tannins and light oak flavor. A chewy, savory pinot that will shine at the table.
Von Schleinitz 2015 Blanc de Noir Pinot Noir
88 points
$25
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 finish that shows touches of green apple, nectarine skin, melon rind, and hint of volcanic rock. An interesting dry rose of pinot noir with a nice touch of earthiness.
DH Lescombes NV "D" Danielle New Mexico
88 points
$36
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, medium-to-long finish that presents notes of reduced lemon, kiwi and white strawberry, and whit balsamic with a suggestion of oak flavor. A very savory and appetizing sparkler with interesting smoky tones and great mouthwatering acidity.
Daffodil Winery 2014 Eola Amity Pinot Noir
88 points
$39.99
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 finish that exhibits suggestions of black walnut, blood orange, and huckleberry with soft, fine tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A tasty pinot with a solid core of ripe fruit and supple texture.
88 points $39.99
Great Frogs 2015 White Capital Series Maryland
87 points
$20
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 finish with accents of coconut cream and spiced apple and pear with fine, crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. A crisp, crunchy chardonnay with nice fruit and a delicate style.
Folie à Deux 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
$24
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 finish conveying impressions of menthol tobacco, herbs, and cocoa-dusted nuts and currants with firm, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A chewy, light earthy cabernet for the table.
Napa Cellars 2014  Zinfandel
87 points
$24
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 finish with suggestions of spiced cherries, peaches and oranges, vanilla mint cream cookie, and toffee with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A very tasty, mouth watering, well composed zinfandel that is sure to please.
Los Ranchos Winery 2013  Sangiovese
87 points
$29
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 finish revealing notes of spiced cherries and raspberries and cocoa with fine, dusty tannins and light oak flavor. A meaty, fruity, interesting red for spicy meat dishes.
Great Frogs 2015 Vintners White Anne Arundel County
87 points
$30
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 finish imparting nuances of dried apple and pear, salted papaya, and lemon pepper with dusty tannins. An savory, earthy, slightly rustic white blend.
Villa Giulia 2013  Chianti Classico Riserva
87 points
$35
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, breezy finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A fairly good quality example.
Great Frogs 2014 Vintners Red Anne Arundel County
87 points
$40
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 finish displaying accents of nutskin and earth with light oak flavor. A dry, restrained red for the table.
Napa Cellars 2015 V Collection Chardonnay
87 points
$40
Bright gold color. Aromas of green apple skin, apple butter, minerality and gravel, and lemon curd with an tangy, full body and an involved, breezy finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A fairly good quality example.
Napa Cellars 2013 V Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
$55
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 finish with overtones of sandalwood and spiced berries with dusty, crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A subdued and spicy Napa cabernet that will reward cellaring.
Napa Cellars 2014  Pinot Noir
86 points
$24
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 flavor. A better than average quality example.
Great Frogs NV White Capital Series Maryland
86 points
$25
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, rapid finish revealing accents of spiced citrus and melon and salty nuts with light oak flavor. A soft, savory, earthy white wine.
Nicolas Potel 2015  Pouilly-Fuissé
86 points
$29.99
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, buoyant finish with notes of coconut water, green pineapple, nougat, and lemon chiffon with a suggestion of oak flavor. A solid French white with nice fruit and good balance.
86 points $29.99
Nordby Vineyards 2003 Estate Reserve "Envy" Cabernet Sauvignon
86 points
$65
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 finish manifesting notes of nut skin and pomegranate vinaigrette with dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A mature cabernet for the table, drink up.
Monte De Oro 2015 "Bolle De Oro" Temecula Valley
85 points
$22
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, crisp warm apple-peach compote, spiced nuts, white toffee, and banana finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A round, spicy sparkler.
Los Ranchos Winery 2014  Tempranillo
85 points
$27
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, brisk finish with touches of cedar bark, potting soil, and dried blueberry with dusty, firm tannins and light oak flavor. A very dry, savory red for the table.
Villa Giulia 2013  Chianti Classico
85 points
$29
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, fast finish with earthy, papery tannins and moderate oak flavor. A better than average quality example.
Napa Cellars 2014 V Collection Pinot Noir
85 points
$50
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, breezy finish with woody, earthy, leafy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A better than average quality example.
Pollak Vineyards 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
84 points
$24
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, breezy finish with notes of craisins, pencil, and grass with dusty, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A savory, rustic cabernet for the table.
Great Frogs 2015  Chardonnay
84 points
$30
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, carefree finish imparting notes of lemon and salty dark roasted nuts with dusty, earthy, fruit tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very savory, earthy chardonnay for the table.
Wakefield/Taylors 2016 St. Andrews Riesling
84 points
$32
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, short finish with papery, earthy tannins and no oak flavor. An average quality example.
Great Frogs 2015  Syrah
84 points
$35
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 finish manifesting touches of toasted herbs, dark roasted nuts, burnt grape leaves and stems, and cranberry vinaigrette with barky tannins and heavy oak flavor. A very green, savory, rustic red for the hunter’s table.
Von Schleinitz 2015  Pinot Noir
84 points
$35
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, quick finish with notes of cherry pits and melon rind, burlap, and bark with dusty tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A dry, earthy and austere pinot noir for the hunter’s table.
DH Lescombes 2012 Limited Release Petit Verdot
84 points
$38
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, fleeting cranberry, lit cigar, and cedar mulch finish with heavy oak flavor.
DH Lescombes NV "H" Hervé New Mexico
84 points
$38
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 light-to-medium body and a smooth, snappy finish with crunchy, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rustic, woody red for the table.
Great Frogs NV Rosé Capital Series Maryland
81 points
$25
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 finish that shows overtones of pickled apple, citrus and melon with no oak flavor. crisp, very dry, earthy rose for the table.
Napa Cellars 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
80 points
$30
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, rapid finish manifesting impressions of dark berry compote, cola, birch bark, and parchment with dusty, barky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A dusty, dry, Napa cabernet for the table.
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