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Reviews for 2020

May 2020 - US Red Blends, Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals

May 2020 - US Red Blends, Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals
This month's Wine feature is US Red Blends, Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals Wines

US Red Blends, Zinfandel, Italian & Spanish Varietals Reviews

Cedar Mountain 2017 Sblendorio Vineyard Reserve Primitivo
93 points
$35
Black ruby color. Aromas of mint chip gelato, dried rose, eucalyptus honey, vanilla pod, and graphite with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-length raisins, fig cookies, sour cherry compote, licorice, leather, and toffee finish with medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. A mature yet bright New World Primitivo that will certainly complement a rich meal.
Jarvis 2016 Will Jarvis Science Project Red Blend
93 points
$190
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis tart, pomegranate, fennel, and peppermint with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long finish that exhibits notes of chocolate ganache, fresh herbs, and caramel bread pudding with blistered berries with moderate oak flavor. A mouthwatering Cabernet Franc with skillful balance; pair away.
Maddalena 2018  Zinfandel
92 points
$25
Black violet color. Aromas of wild raspberry, hint of wild mint, and dried stone fruits with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, intriguing, medium-long tangerine zest, roasted pine nuts, and nutmeg finish with light oak flavor. A zesty and vibrant Paso Zin; dry for the table.
Dobson Family Wines 2016 Taurid Red Blend Napa Valley
92 points
$30
Black garnet color. Aromas of blackberry, fine leather, and lavender honey with a tannic, vibrant, dry full body and an intricate, long artisan cola, vanilla, and peppered endive with cassis relish finish with well-integrated, firm tannins and heavy oak flavor. Bold tannins and restrained fruit set this wine up for the long haul; finely tuned harmonious flavors that should blossom with time.
Frog’s Tooth 2016 Serendipity Red Blend Sierra Foothills
92 points
$36
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate silk pie, candied orange, cognac soaked figs, tobacco, and raspberry cordial with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, subtle, long finish with suggestions of granola with raisins and red peppercorns with moderate oak flavor. A bold and vibrant red that will pair like a dream; an elegant crowdpleaser.
Frog’s Tooth 2017 Serendipity Red Blend Sierra Foothills
92 points
$36
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of berry gastrique, acetone, cherry cola, cucumber salad, and chocolate cookies with a satiny, prickly, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, crisp finish with notes of raspberry crumble bar and honeyed almonds. A juicy red to serve with a slight chill.
McIlroy 2018 Watson Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley
92 points
$40
Dark ruby color. Aromas and flavors of wild berries, honey, fresh croissant with butter and jam, and toffee with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, appealing, long finish revealing touches of strawberry torte and spiced caramel apple with light oak flavor. A pure and generous summer-weather Zinfandel.
Opaque 2017  Zinfandel
92 points
$40
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of flourless chocolate cake, compressed watermelon, root beer, and vanilla creme with a round, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish with elements of blackberry jam, chai latte, and graham crackers with moderate oak flavor. A rich and satisfying Zinfandel that pleases with creamy oak.
Opaque 2017 Darkness Zinfandel
92 points
$40
Black violet color. Aromas of plum pudding and pomegranate with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, complex, medium-long raspberry sauce on bread pudding, cinnamon, vanilla greek yogurt, and chocolate-covered nuts finish with moderate oak flavor. A juicy, very food-friendly Zin that’s ready to accompany a ribeye.
Dueling Pistols 2016 Red Blend Paso Robles
92 points
$49.99
Black garnet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate drizzled blackberries, roasted nuts, honey, gingersnap, and charcuterie with a round, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, elegant, medium-long finish with accents of strawberry fruit leather, acai berries, vanilla-scented tobacco and peppercorns with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A bold red with steak-worthy tannins and luxurious flavors; drink now.
92 points $49.99
Lobo 2017 Wulff Vineyards "Howl" Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
92 points
$70
Black garnet color. Aromas of cassis tart, fresh peach, white flowers, and vanilla pod with a velvety, fruity medium body and a polished, complex, medium-long acai berry custard, black pepper, and sesame-honey candies finish with moderate oak flavor. A finely constructed Napa red for meaty fare.
Big Max 2017 Red Blend California
91 points
$24.99
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, raspberry crumble bar, cracker jacks, oak chips, and black licorice with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, breezy finish that exhibits impressions of vanilla-scented candle with woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A fruity, oaky crowd-pleaser.
91 points $24.99
Dragon’s Tooth 2017  Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
91 points
$65
Black violet color. Aromas of grilled meats, blackberry jam, tapenade on toast points, allspice, and vanilla bean with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long toasted nuts, toasted artisan baguette, and coffee beans finish with heavy oak flavor. A plush, smoky red that is a natural with barbecue; powerfully fruity and oaky.
Jarvis 2016 Estate Tempranillo
91 points
$90
Deep purple color. Aromas of ripe plum, wild strawberry, vanilla-scented tobacco, pine, and roasted coconut with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, subtle, long castelvetrano olives, raspberry jam, salted nuts, and chocolate wafer finish with heavy oak flavor. A concentrated and flashy Napa Tempranillo with generous oak.
Stephen Vincent 2018 Crimson Red Blend Zinfandel
90 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Aromas of butter-poached apple, black raspberry, cola, and frozen yogurt with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length dark chocolate, licorice, and charcoal finish with moderate oak flavor. An outgoing red blend with a bold personality.
90 points $14.99 Best Buy
1000 Stories 2017 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zinfandel
89 points
$19
Brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate-cherry fudge bar, raspberry compote, and pencil eraser with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a medium-length finish revealing touches of vanilla yogurt covered nuts, cassis cobbler with chocolate ice cream, and cedar. A juicy, jammy Zin that hits the spot.
Oak Farm Vineyards 2019  Fiano
89 points
$26
Silvery straw color. Aromas of pears in cream with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, brisk wet stone and white flowers finish with no oak flavor. Don’t let the mild aromas fool you, this crisp and refreshing white blooms with minerality and a pretty floral finish; ideal for seafood al fresco.
Oak Farm Vineyards 2018  Sangiovese
89 points
$35
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate-covered blueberries, Swisher Sweets, and vanilla creme with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and an even, interesting, medium-long finish with nuances of honey-cranberry toast with moderate oak flavor. A flashy, new world Sangiovese expression that’s sure to please lovers of bold, fruity California wines.
VARA 2018  Albarino
88 points
$27
Golden straw color. Aromas of peaches with honey and lemon custard with whipped cream, with a velvety, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, appealing, medium-long molasses cookie, mango conserve, and baked apple finish. An atypically rich Albariño with uncharacteristic but appealing notes of molasses and toast; unique and shareable.
VARA 2017  Tempranillo
88 points
$39
Dark garnet color. Aromas of dried cherries, spice rub, and olives with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-length roasted berries, walnut creme, baguette with tapenade, and gherkins finish with moderate oak flavor. A tasty New World Tempranillo with good varietal character.
Paradise Ridge 2015 The Posse Red Blend Russian River Valley
88 points
$54
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of raspberry jam, charcoal, prunes, olives, and earth with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a peppery, breezy finish with notes of black pepper, pomegranates, and starfruit with moderate oak flavor. A spicy, fruity explosion that covers a lot of bases.
Barefoot NV Rich Red Blend California
87 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Black violet color. Aromas of mixed berry jam, cola, cigar wrapper, pomegranate juice, and red and black licorice with a supple, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a breezy root beer and chocolate soft serve finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A quaffable red for effortless sipping.
87 points $6.99 Best Buy
Pend d’Oreille 2018  Albarino
87 points
$19
Pale straw color. Aromas and flavors of lemon shortbread, finger lime, white lilac, and fruit cup with a supple, crisp, fruity thin body and a smooth, relaxed finish with touches of wet stone. A very light and silky Albariño for ethereal pairings.
Frog’s Tooth 2017 Red Blend Sierra Foothills
87 points
$36
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of cherry-vanilla granola, black raspberry tart a la mode, green beans, agave nectar, and dried figs and dates with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a relaxed panettone, lemon curd, and cherry shrub finish with light oak flavor. A mature, table-ready red blend.
Frey 2016 Organic Sangiovese
86 points
$15
Best Buy
Ruby garnet color. Aromas of scorched earth, raisins, raspberry leaf, and pencil shavings with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-long fine preserved cherries, chocolate drizzled toffee, and salted nuts finish with light oak flavor. A one-of-a-kind Sangiovese with interesting nutty character and true-to-life fruit flavors.
86 points $15 Best Buy
Oak Farm Vineyards 2018  Primitivo
86 points
$35
Dark violet color. Aromas and flavors of minestrone, earth, haricots verts, and black tea with a satiny, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a warming, medium-length finish displaying notes of cacao nibs with well-integrated tannins and light oak flavor. A savory, earthy New World Primitivo for rustic Italian fare or cigar pairings
Dueling Pistols 2016 Red Blend Dry Creek Valley
86 points
$49.99
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of red and black licorice, roasted beets in pomegranate vinaigrette, and minestrone with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, intriguing, medium-length finish with light oak flavor. A rich and savory red for the table.
86 points $49.99
Paradise Ridge 2016 The Confessor Red Blend Rockpile
86 points
$60
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of crimini mushrooms, raspberry compote, sarsaparilla, roasted bell peppers, and dried bananas with a satiny, crisp, dry light body and an effortless, brisk finish manifesting notes of cranberry jam on toast with grippy tannins. A food-friendly, chewy red for winter fare.
Barefoot NV  Zinfandel
85 points
$6.99
Ruby black color. Jammy aromas of raspberry compote, honeycomb, chocolate sauce, and cigar wrapper with a round, bright, fruity medium body and a warming, medium-length toasted hawaiian rolls, cherry jam, and hoisin sauce finish with moderate oak flavor. A jammy Zin that will certainly satisfy lovers of the style.
85 points $6.99
Oak Farm Vineyards 2019  Albarino
85 points
$19
Golden yellow color. Aromas of cheese-dusted popcorn, pear yogurt, dried lemon wheels, and white grape jelly with a supple, vibrant, dryish light body and a sleek, medium-length crushed stones finish with no oak flavor. A food-friendly Albariño.
Big Red Monster 2017, 2018, 2019  Paso Robles
85 points
$19.99
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of cassis pie, dusty pencil shavings, bell pepper, chocolate buttercream, and moss with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, captivating, medium-length finish with notes of berry compote and spiced and pickled watermelon rind with moderate oak flavor. A bold and juicy red blend with lively spice notes.
85 points $19.99
Frey 2016 Organic Dolcetto
84 points
$15
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of raisins, honey, sesame, and peanut paste with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, medium-length finish displaying notes of pine and fruit cake. A carefree take on Italy’s little sweet one; fruity and pairable.
Frey 2018 Biodynamic Tempranillo
84 points
$16.50
Dusty violet color. Interesting aromas and flavors of añejo tequila, ancho chile pepper, dates, black plum pastry, and smoked chocolate with a satiny, crisp, dryish light body and a polished, medium-length finish that shows accents of roasted root vegetables and nuts with moderate oak flavor. A funky New World Tempranillo for the table.
84 points $16.50
Frey 2018 Organic Charbono
84 points
$18
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, stewed plums, parmesan, clay, waxy chocolate, and musk with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium body and a buoyant finish with accents of black pepper and toast with chewy tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. Dried fruit and nuts take center in this atypical Charbono.
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