January 2017 - New Release Wine

This month's Wine feature is New Release Wines
New Release Wine Reviews
218119
Château Élan
NV Port Reserve American
Opaque garnet black color. Baked, fruity aromas and flavors of berry-peach compote, spices, cocoa, and brown butter with a velvety, bright, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a complex, long caramelized nuts, prunes and fruit leather, sweet and peppery spices, and cedar and earth finish. A remarkable domestic recreation of a fine, well-aged vintage Oporto.
95 points $36.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218098
Maroon Wines
2012 Maroon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Indigo color. Aromas and flavors of berry compote, nougat, and clay with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, intricate, medium-long cassis yogurt, cedar, forest floor, and olives finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A sumptuous and nuanced cabernet with a very Old World like elegance and style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217872
La Croix Saint Jean
2014 Lo Paire Minervois
Dark garnet black color. Attractive aromas and flavors of melted toffee and buttery bubbly berry pie crust with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a subtle, long marinated beets and yams and vanilla nut brittle finish with well-integrated, chewy, fine tannins and light oak. An artfully crafted red wine with rich fruity and savory flavors and super fine tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217873
La Croix Saint Jean
2014 Lo Mainatge Minervois
Medium garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of creme brulee, roasted nuts, and pressed flowers with a satiny, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, long cherry custard and blood orange chutney finish with silky, fine tannins and moderate oak. A seductively silky and savory red that is sure to satisfy.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217831
Rubus
2014 Shiraz
Dark nearly opaque violet color. Spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of eucalyptus, menthol mint, and blueberry chutney with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long chocolate drizzled berries and cherries and toffee finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant, spicy Shiraz with balance.
93 points $18.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218115
Château Élan
2014 "Zyrah" American
Violet color. Spicy, herbal, fruity aromas and flavors of eucalyptus, blueberry-cranberry relish, and spiced nuts with a silky, fruity medium-to-full body and an effortless, long vanilla-tangerine custard, menthol-mint, and sandalwood finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, spicy, fruity red blend that is sure to please.
93 points $49.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217901
Publix Premium
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque violet color. Complex, inviting aromas and flavors of roasted cashews, mocha, spiced cassis, and hint of leather with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length huckleberry pie a la mode, nutskins, and minerals finish with firm, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, chewy cabernet with firm age worthy tannins.
92 points $34.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218113
Château Élan
2014 "Mameli" Signature American
Ruby black color. Fruity, earthy aromas and flavors of dried berries, clay, and nougat with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, spiced dried cherries and blueberries, chocolate orange peels, nutskin, and cedar finish with silky, crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, fruity red that will be very versatile.
92 points $49.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217874
Domaine Chabbert
2014 La Livinière Minervois
Nearly opaque violet color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of delicate potpourri, black raspberry torte, corn relish, and caramelized bacon with an vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long vanilla nuts and pencil shavings finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A delicious, seamless red that will be very versatile.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217875
Domaine Chabbert
2015 Minervois
Nearly opaque violet color. Fruity, interesting aromas and flavors of berry granola, toffeed nuts, and pressed flowers with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, appealing, medium-long spiced apples and oranges, cedar, ground almonds, and vanilla cream finish with chewy, dusty tannins and light oak. A rich, chewy Southern French red that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218111
Château Élan
2015 "Scarlet" Reserve American
Garnet black color. Roasted aromas and flavors of buttery nut brittle, dark chocolate, creme brulee, and berry jam on toast with a supple, vibrant, petillant, fruity medium body and a graceful, charming, medium-long watermelon, sweet spices, and cedar finish with fruit, crunchy tannins and light oak. A bright juicy red blend that drinks a bit like a ripe Italian red.
91 points $26.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218100
Maroon Wines
2013 Single Vineyard Reserve Merlot
Light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of spiced berries and pickled tomatoes and vanilla nut brittle with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length honeyed sour cherries finish with chewy, fine tannins and light oak. A bright, lively merlot with a nice spicy fruity core of flavor.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217891
Martín Códax
2015 Albariño
Pale straw green color. Aromas and flavors of baked peach, lemon chiffon, grass, and rice with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length green apple skin, limestone, and roasted chestnut finish with no oak. An excellent, crisp and refreshing albariño with great varietal character.
90 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217943
Bocelli
2015 Tenor Red Toscana IGT
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas of ripe dark fruits and black currants, dark plums, nice minerality and salinity, and planked cedar and chest nuts with a lively, dry full body and an epic, medium-length finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. Subtle integration of flavors and the wine revealed more complexity as it saw more time in the glass.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218166
Abarbanel
2015 Lemminade Gewurztraminer
Straw green color. Fruity, floral, earthy aromas and flavors of lychee, honeysuckle and geranium patch, and clementine with a supple, tangy, fruity medium body and a smooth, captivating, medium-long apple and pear and hint of potpourri finish with fine, dusty, fruit tannins and no oak. A crisp, lightly floral and earthy gewurztraminer that pair nicely.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217803
Wine Spots
2013 Cuvee 38 Red Wine Napa Valley
Garnet black color. Toasty, spicy, attractive aromas and flavors of dark berry pie a la mode, buttery nut brittle, and cocoa with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-length spiced apple and pomegranate, creme brulee, and cedar finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A crisp, nicely layered red blend with chewy oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218112
Château Élan
2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque dusty garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of dried cherries and sultanas, plum pie, chocolate, and marinated grape leaves with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-long raspberry jam on scone, vanilla nuts, and mocha finish with fine, chewy, dusty tannins and light oak. A bright, tasty, very fruit forward cabernet that drinks like zinfandel and is sure to please.
90 points $34.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217837
Rubus
2013 The Terraces Collection Pinot Noir
Medium dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of roasted beets, chocolate yogurt, and dried cherries with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an engaging, medium-long vanilla nut brittle, delicate spices, and cherry cola finish with fine tannins and light oak. A vibrant and superbly refreshing pinot noir.
90 points $36.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218099
Maroon Wines
2013 Single Vineyard Reserve Malbec
Bright garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of pencil savings, berry pie, and chocolate with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, engaging, medium-long vanilla toffee, spiced cherries, and cedar finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A big chewy malbec pleaser with rich fruit and structure.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218097
Maroon Wines
2013 Douaihy Family Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque garnet black color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of cassis chutney, spicy boysenberry pie, and toffee with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an even, engaging, medium-length roasted nuts, cedar, and earth finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, chewy, cellar-worthy cabernet that will be even better in time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217833
Rubus
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright ruby black color. Earthy, fruity aromas and flavors of dried berries, chocolate nuts, mud and meat, and sandalwood with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length creme brulee and pencil shavings finish with fine tannins and light oak. A nice easy drinking Napa cabernet.
89 points $26.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217902
Witching Hour
2014 Red Blend California
Garnet black color. Interesting aromas and flavors of mulberry jam, minted cucumber, and delicate sweet spices with a supple, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and an even, interesting, relaxed vanilla nuts and cedar finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A crisp, spicy, very attractive fruity sipper.
88 points $7.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218073
OPTA
2015 Dao
Pale silvery emerald straw color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of lilac, apple, lychee, and tapioca with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length lemon granita, kiwi, and melon finish. An attractive fruity, lightly floral white wine sipper that is sure to please.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218114
Château Élan
2014 "Meritage" American
Dusty garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of raisin chutney, toasted cranberry bread, and hint of crayon with a supple, tangy, fruity medium body and a smooth, craisin, nutshell, and cedar finish with firm tannins and heavy oak. A bright, oaky red blend.
88 points $49.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217876
Domaine Chabbert
2015 Minervois Blanc
Pale yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of baked citrus, overripe nectarine, mossy earth, and carnation with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, relaxed melon rind, green apple, straw, and minerals finish with no oak. A pleasant, crisp, minerally white for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218117
Duncan Creek
NV Duncan Creek Red Muscadine
Brilliant ruby garnet color. Fruity, green aromas and flavors of grape reduction, spiced nuts, and dolmades with a lightly tannic, crisp, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, crisp grape popsicle stick, floral spice and honey, and nutskin finish with dusty, fine tannins and a suggestion of oak. An interesting sweet and savory, grapey dessert wine well suited for cheeses, dessert, or sangria.
87 points $11.95 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217838
Rubus
2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Pale yellow straw color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of grapefruit, passionfruit-mango relish, and grass with a silky, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and an effortless, breezy nectarine skin and lemon cream finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A nice crisp, sauvignon blanc.
87 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217836
Rubus
2014 Old Vines Zinfandel
Nearly opaque garnet black color. Aromas of dried straw, black raspberries, raisins and turned earth, and malabar pepper with an crisp, dry full body and an interesting, brisk finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Big jazzy fruit flavors need a bit of time to meld.
86 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218168
Abarbanel
2014 Unoaked Chardonnay
Light gold color. Aromas and flavors of bubble gum dust, green apple, pineapple gravel, and dried canvas with an tangy, dry medium-full body and an interesting, brisk finish with cottony, earthy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A better than average quality example.
86 points $13 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217903
Witching Hour
2014 Deep Red Blend California
Brown brick red color. Roasted aromas and flavors of grilled berries, bbq woods, and olives with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, carefree blackberries, nougat, and cedar finish with barky, firm tannins and heavy oak. A crispy, tangy, oaky red quaffer.
85 points $9.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217839
Rubus
2014 Proprietary Reserve Red Australia
Dark violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of huckleberries and nougat with a silky, fruity light body and a sleek, snappy melon, apple, spice, and root beer finish with a suggestion of oak. A nice fruity red.
85 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217834
Rubus
2015 Chardonnay
Bright golden yellow color. Aromas of green apple, clay, dried canvas, and lemon pith with a lively, dry full body and a brisk finish with cottony, earthy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A better than average quality example.
85 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218167
Abarbanel
2015 Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby black color. Roasted aromas and flavors of char-roasted nuts, espresso, and cocoa with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, brisk grilled cherries and apples and bark finish with crunchy, firm tannins and moderate oak. A crisp, oaky cabernet quaffer.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217832
Rubus
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of melted chocolate, roasted peanuts, and toasty cedar with a supple, bright, fruity body and a smooth, breezy flan and oak finish with chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak. An oaky, fruity sipper.
84 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217977
Bella Mente
2015 Pinot Grigio
Pale straw color. Interesting aromas and flavors of bison grass, spiced lemon and apricot, and creamy almond nougat with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, relaxed green apple, lime, and chalk finish with fine, crunchy tannins and no oak. A nice easy drinking pinot grigio quaffer.
84 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217835
Rubus
2014 "Icon" Malbec
Opaque violet color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of pickled peaches and berries, cocoa, peppercorns, and polished wood with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a sleek, interesting, cheery olive tapenade, dried sour cherries, and nutskin finish with fine tannins and light oak. A nice juicy, lightly savory malbec.
84 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217799
Falkner
2014 Vintner's Reserve Sangiovese
Medium garnet color. Roasted aromas and flavors of char-roasted nuts, espresso beans, dried berries and vine tomatoes, and bbq woods with a supple, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, grilled beets, roasted root vegetables and greens, walnuts, and cedar finish with crunchy, earthy tannins and light oak. A dusty, savory sangiovese for the table.
84 points $59.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217804
Brass Tacks
2013 Merlot
Dark garnet color. Aromas of roasted berries and nuts and mossy earth with a body and an effortless, brisk honeyed cherries, nutskin, and cedar paper finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A dry, light merlot quaffer.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217898
Love Noir
2014 "Satin Red" California
Dusty garnet color. Toasty aromas and flavors of berry jam, roasted nuts, vanilla cherry pastry, and latte with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a brisk honeyed apple and oak and cedar finish with firm, woody tannins and heavy oak. A light, oaky red blend sipper.
83 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217840
Rubus
2015 White Blend France
Brilliant light yellow straw color. Earthy aromas and flavors of overripe peach and apple, grass, and rice with a soft, tart, dry light body and a seamless, brisk lemon rind, nettles, and twigs finish with no oak. A dry, lean, very earthy white for shellfish.
82 points $9.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217924
Frey
NV Rosé Redwood Valley
Dark tomato bisque color. Curious, interesting aromas and flavors of roasted berries, toasted cedar plank, gherkin, and brown brown with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, easy buttered toasted baguette and pomegranate and craisin finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and light oak. An interesting toasty rose.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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