April 2017 - New Release Wine

This month's Wine feature is New Release Wines
New Release Wine Reviews
218991
Belasco de Baquedano
2015 Llama Old Vine Red Blend Bonarda-Malbec
Opaque color. Aromas and flavors of plums, cherry, and flowers with a lively, dryish full body and an appealing, long finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A superb full-bodied red with plenty of terrior, dark fruit flavors, kirsch notes, and well integrated tannins; this could easily pass for a top end red Bordeaux.
96 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218996
Axel
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of blue eucalyptus, menthol mint, and blueberry cobbler with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, engaging, long spiced berries and blood oranges, pistachio and cherry and watermelon gelati finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A rich, spicy cabernet with impressive complexity and depth.
94 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218945
Lawer Estates
2014 Betsy's Vineyard Syrah
Dark deep purple color. Minty aromas of Chinese 5 spiced plum, menthol, dried goji berries, and marinated red pepper with a dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a huge, very long acai, scotch oatmeal cookie, thyme, and sandalwood finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins. A rich and complex Syrah that is sure to delight.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218932
Vineyard 511
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque color. Aromas and flavors of dark cherry, graphite, and rocks with an vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a charming finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A full-bodied Cabernet with mild tannins and plenty of fruit with a touch of graphite.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218997
Axel
2014 Primero Red Blend Colchagua Valley
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of clay, pickled citrus peels, herbed berries, and butter roasted nuts with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-long blueberry pie a la mode, eucalyptus honey, and spiced nuts finish with fine, silky tannins and moderate oak. An impressive, spicy red blend with a stately, poised style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219130
Crane Family Vineyards
2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark ruby black color. Complex aromas of caramelized bacon, baked cherry, bourbon vanilla, and Thai coffee with a tannic, bright, dryish full body and a complex, medium-long baked plums, green pepper, toasted nut, and cigar wrap finish with well-integrated tannins and heavy oak. Savory red for pairing with rustic dishes
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219216
Tom Eddy
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque black garnet color. Inviting aromas of eucalyptus, wild mushrooms, bacon jam, and overripe black cherry and prune with a chewy, tangy, dry full body and a peppery, very complex, very long prunes, pickling spices, suede, and dusty cedar box finish with chewy, barky tannins and moderate oak. Open this wine in a few years for a special dinner celebration.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218990
Belasco de Baquedano
2016 Llama Malbec
Violet color. Floral aromas and flavors of geranium and lilac and boysenberry compote with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, compelling, medium-long vanilla toffee, citrus sorbets, minerals, and tomato chutney finish with fine tannins and light oak. A nicely layered, juicy and floral Malbec that is sure to please.
92 points $14 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218864
Thomas Henry Wines
2014 Pinot Noir
Dull dusty ruby color. Inviting, baked aromas and flavors of cinnamon and sandalwood, ripe bing cherries, cranberry sauce, and cola with an vibrant, dry light body and a subtle, medium-length cherry skin, cinnamon stick, red apple skin, and vanilla apple pie finish with coating, well-integrated tannins and light oak. A distinctive cherry-forward Pinot Noir full of Asian spice flavors
92 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218957
Kiara
2015 Private Reserve Sangiovese
Nearly opaque brick red color. Aromas and flavors of dusty black cherries, toasted chestnuts, crushed gravel, and planked oak and bubble gum dust with an tart, dry full body and an interesting, brisk finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Nice innate acidity will work well with tomato based dishes.
92 points $16 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219123
The Great Oregon Wine Company
2014 Pinot Noir
Dull dusty garnet color. Interesting, meaty, rustic, jammy aromas of dark fruit jam, Proscuitto, cling wrap, and black tea leaves with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a medium-length ripe cassis, earthy chocolate, and dusty shelf finish with medium, woody, coating, dusty tannins and light oak. A earthy yet juicy pinot noir.
92 points $19.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218944
Lawer Estates
2014 Betsy's Vineyard Petite Sirah
Dark deep purple color. Curious, fruity, floral aromas and flavors of ripe cassis, violet, green pepper, and rhubarb with an vibrant, body and a gigantic, long sweet cassis, chocolate covered purple flowers, potted rosemary, and asian plum sauce finish. A lip-smacking fruity and floral Petite Sirah with a savory edge.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218868
Meadowcroft
2013 Zinfandel
Medium dark garnet color. Jammy, sweet aromas and flavors of balsamic glazed fig, hibiscus tea, cranberry gummy bear, and wet wood with a tannic, dryish medium-full body and a nuanced, medium-long grape confit, fresh basil, and cherry cola finish with grippy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A rich, flavor-packed, velvet brick of a zinfandel.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218956
Crane Family Vineyards
2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of menthol mint, dark chocolate, and buttery berry pie with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long spiced cherries finish with chewy, dusty tannins. A rock solid Napa cabernet with ample fruit and well balanced oak and structure.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219131
Crane Family Vineyards
2013 Cavaliere Reserve Red Blend Napa Valley
Ruby color. Fruity, jammy aromas and flavors of red fruit jam, sweet tobacco, and cedar box with an dry-yet-fruity body and an intricate, long subtle smoke and cinnamon stick finish with firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak. A big, inky red wine full of concentrated savory notes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218958
Kiara
2016 Private Reserve Viognier
Dusty golden straw color. Fruity, fresh aromas of fresh juicy pear, lychee syrup, and white blossoms with a soft, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, captivating, long pear tart, lemon and banana custard, nutmeg dusted bruleed meringue, and hint of anise finish with well-integrated, soft, coating tannins and a suggestion of oak. Juicy pear flavors shine in this silky Viognier.
91 points $16 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218966
El Olvidado
2014 El Olvidado Reserva Tempranillo
Medium color. Aromas and flavors of red fruit and herbs with a bright, dry light-to-medium body and a brisk finish with fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A simple red to serve with everyday fare.
91 points $16.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218995
Tinga
2014 Reserve Claret Colchagua Valley
Ruby black color. Spicy aromas and flavors of menthol mint, dried eucalyptus, spiced blueberries, and brown butter with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length nuts and cedar finish with silky, dusty tannins and light oak. A delightfully spicy and supple red blend.
90 points $12 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218965
El Necio
2014 Syrah
Garnet color. Peppery aromas and flavors of overripe strawberries and pink peppercorn with a lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a long blackberry pie and tar finish with chewy, grippy tannins and light oak. A peppery Syrah with ample fruit.
90 points $16.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218901
Heritage Vineyards
2015 Limited Release Chenin Blanc
Straw color. Earthy, grassy aromas and flavors of baked citrus and stone fruits, toasty yeasty pastry dough, kefir, and pressed flowers with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, captivating, medium-long honeyed dates and yellow apples, clementine and gooseberry, and earth finish with well-integrated, fine, fruit tannins and no oak. An intriguing and nicely expressive Chenin Blanc.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218960
Lorenzi Estate
2012 Estate Grown Cabernet Franc
Medium color. Aromas and flavors of cassis, green pepper, and herbs with an vibrant, dryish medium body and an engaging, medium-length finish with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice red with well balanced fruit, pepper, and herbal flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218903
Heritage Vineyards
2013 Vintage Brut Outer Coastal Plain
Medium bright yellow straw color. Lees, y aromas of toasted and buttered brioche, graham cracker, and honey drizzled dried pineapple with an lively, effervescent, dry light-to-medium body and an interesting, medium-length honeyed Belgian waffle, honeycrisp, and ground peanut finish with well-integrated, fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A toasty and vibrant domestic sparkler for everyday celebrations.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218866
Meadowcroft
2015 Pinot Noir
Medium ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and oranges, toffee, and berry tart with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, delightful, medium-long vanilla mint, delicate herbs and pickling spices, and sandalwood finish with fine, silky tannins and light oak. An enticingly spicy pinot with great versatility.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218942
Lawer Estates
2014 Hillside Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet black color. Dank aromas of blackberry, black pepper, leather, and chocolate nuts with a tannic, lively, dryish full body and a medium-length stewed blackberries, cigar box, vanilla extract, and dried cherries finish with woody, husky tannins and heavy oak. A round and enjoyable Napa cabernet.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219170
Craftsmen
NV Dark Red Blend
Dark color. Aromas and flavors of red berry and black pepper with an vibrant, dry medium body and an engaging, medium-length finish with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice juicy red to serve with hearty fare.
88 points $8.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218998
Vino de Eyzaguirre
2015 Syrah
Garnet color. Fruity, rustic aromas of blackberry jam, slate, mint bouquet, and saddle with a slightly chewy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and an interesting, medium-length blackberry compote, warm spices, vanilla bean, and mineral finish with woody, chewy tannins. A nice, dry Syrah with great minerality.
88 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219126
Replica
2014 Embellish Pinot Noir
Dull dusty ruby color. Baked, toasty aromas and flavors of blueberry pie, vanilla panna cotta, toasted cherry pastry, and carnation with a bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a medium-long berry trail mix and pencil shavings finish with barky tannins and heavy oak. Solid Oregon Pinot Noir
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219212
Cardigan Bay
2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Straw color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of grapefruit, green pepper, pickling spices and herbs, and jasmine rice with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length pickled lemon and nectarine and passion fruit finish with no oak. A crisp and easy drinking sauvignon blanc.
88 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219213
Pico Andico
2016 Special Selection Malbec
Brown brick red color. Fruity aromas and flavors of berry and citrus sorbets, chocolate craisins, and honey butter with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, cheery nuts finish with fine, chewy tannins and light oak. A nice, pure, berry-driven Malbec.
88 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218967
Dharma
2014 Petit Verdot - Malbec
Nearly opaque color. Aromas and flavors of cassis and plums with an bright, dryish medium body and an appealing, breezy finish with fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice juicy red with dark cherry, strawberry, and earthy flavors.
88 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218964
la Mano Derecha
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of berry tart, buttery nut brittle, and black licorice with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a graceful, refreshing, carefree dried berries and figs, smoked nuts and green peppers, and cocoa finish with chewy, firm tannins and moderate oak. A chewy cabernet for the carnivore’s table.
88 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218906
Heritage Vineyards
2013 Merlot
Medium color. Aromas and flavors of plums, green pepper, and earth with an vibrant, dryish medium body and an engaging, medium-length finish with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A well-balanced, juicy red. Plum notes with pepper and earth flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218867
Meadowcroft
2015 Pinot Noir
Medium dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate toffee and fudge and cherry custard pie with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length pickled beets finish with soft tannins and light oak. A nice combination of fruit and savory notes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218865
Meadowcroft
2015 Pinot Noir
Medium dark garnet color. Spicy, savory aromas and flavors of dill marinated beets and tomatoes, chocolate orange peels, and butter roasted nuts with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long baking spices, vanilla nougat, and floral incense finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A wonderfully savory and mouthwatering pinot that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218992
La Playa
2016 Un-Oaked Chardonnay
Bright yellow straw color. Citrusy, earthy, smoky aromas of grapefruit peel, sod, lit match, and lemon lime soda with an soft, dryish medium-full body and a peppery, engaging, medium-length green apples, marzipan, wheat grass, and green peppercorn finish with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. Fresh green flavors combine with smoky intrigue in this wine for the table.
87 points $8 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218905
Heritage Vineyards
2013 Syrah
Medium color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, tobacco, and black pepper with an lively, dryish medium body and a refreshing, medium-length finish with medium tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice juicy Syrah with red fruits, tobacco, and pepper notes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218993
La Playa
2016 Estate Bottled Dry Rose Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright light Siam color. Candied, fruity aromas and flavors of watermelon candy, ruby red grapefruit, sage, and smoked sandalwood with a vibrant, dry light-to-medium body and a medium-length sour watermelon candy, slate, and jasmine tea finish with earthy, medium tannins and no oak. A straightforward watermelon-y rose.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218870
Kingman Estates
2015 Viognier
Pale golden yellow color. Floral aromas of lime blossom, fresh moss, mountain creek, and wool sweater with a lightly tannic, soft, dryish medium body and an appealing, medium-length candied honeysuckle, crushed walnut shells, lime peel, and vanilla cream of coconut finish with soft, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A smooth Viognier with nice floral aromas.
85 points $19.50
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219181
La Playa
2015 Carmenere
Dark color. Aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and spice with a soft, dry medium body and a breezy finish with fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A simple juicy red to serve with BBQ.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218999
Vino de Eyzaguirre
2014 Merlot
Medium color. Aromas and flavors of red fruit, earth, and stones with a soft, dry light-to-medium body and a brisk finish with fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A juicy easy to drink red for burgers.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218994
La Playa
2015 Late Harvest Estate Bottled Dessert Wine Sauvignon Blanc
Bright golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of lemon blossoms, dried straw, lemon pith, and toasted yeast and botrytis and turned earth with an lively, fruity sweet medium-full body and an appealing, short finish with earthy tannins and no oak. An average quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219125
Replica
2015 Label Envy Pinot Noir
Medium light garnet color. Smoky aromas and flavors of cherry tart, charred nuts, grilled apple, and chocolate with a supple, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a silky, cheery marinated beets, nuts, and cedar finish with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice toasty, savory pinot.
84 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218904
Heritage Vineyards
NV Painted Horse Cuvee 5th Edition Outer Coastal Plain
Bright burnt sienna color. Aromas of ripe mulberries and meaty, ripe black raspberries, sandalwood, and turned earth and pepper with a tangy, dry full body and a layered, cheery finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. An average quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218961
Lorenzi Estate
2012 Lopez Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel
Bright burnt sienna color. Aromas of baked black raspberries, mocha and earthy minerality, clay, and pepper with an lively, dry full body and an interesting, short-lived finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. An average quality example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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