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Reviews for 2020

November 2020 - New Release Wine

November 2020 - New Release Wine
This month's Wine feature is New Release Wines

New Release Wine Reviews

Monte De Oro 2016 Unique Elements Red Blend Temecula Valley
92 points
$32
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries, seville orange, honey, basil, caramelized mushrooms, and black pepper with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish with light oak flavor. An almost off-dry red packed with yummy hot-climate flavors; skillfully blended.
Maroon Wines 2015 Reserve Zinfandel
92 points
$60
Dusty garnet color. Complex aromas and flavors of cinnamon, dried rose, espresso bean, dark chocolate, and hints of spearmint with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, interesting, medium-long finish that presents suggestions of red peppercorns, hints of coconut cream, almonds, candied fennel seed, and dried herbs with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A distinctive Zinfandel with just-baked fruit character.
Denada 2018 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$14
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of black cassis, blueberry preserves, chocolate-covered raspberry, pencil shavings, and carob with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish with impressions of caper berries and baking spices with crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A pleasing, concentrated Cabernet.
91 points $14 Best Buy
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2018 Diablo Single Vineyard Petite Sirah
91 points
$32
Dark black violet color. Aromas and flavors of blueberry pie, plum tart, melon sorbet, hints of fruity olives, and mint with a tannic, vibrant, dryish full body and a warming, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of thyme with firm tannins and light oak flavor. A bold, fruity and intriguing Petite Sirah with aging potential.
Monte De Oro 2017 Vigna Vicini Red Blend Temecula Valley
91 points
$38
Dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cinnamon-spiced toast, black licorice, blackberries, rose, and cherries with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, appealing, medium-long finish revealing suggestions of white pepper and ginger with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A juicy, spicy, peppery Red Blend that’s a great match to a charcuterie plate.
McIlroy 2019 Bembey Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 points
$40
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, blackberry, cola, and sarsaparilla with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, captivating, medium-long vanilla gelato, rhubarb custard and graham cracker finish with moderate oak flavor. Vivid fruit and creamy oak shine in this wide-appealing RRV Pinot Noir.
Stephen Vincent 2018  Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$23
Black garnet color. Inviting aromas and flavors of mocha latte, cranberry sauce, salted caramel, dried herbs, violet, and leather with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, subtle, long finish with notes of hazelnut creme, candied ginger, suede, and ganache with firm tannins and heavy oak flavor. A spot-on sexy Napa Cabernet that will evolve with time; decant or cellar.
Kenwood 2019 Rugged Elements Andrews Vineyard Chardonnay
90 points
$38
Yellow straw color. Oaky aromas and flavors of caramel, apple fritters, brioche with pineapple preserves, cardamom, and white mocha latte with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium body and an effortless, complex, medium-long finish with well-integrated, coating tannins and heavy oak flavor. A sultry, oaky Chardonnay with layers and layers of flavor.
Kenwood 2019 Rugged Elements Stone Ranch Petite Sirah
90 points
$38
Black violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of crushed blackberries, white pepper, fresh baguette, chocolate, licorice, and orange liqueur with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry-yet-fruity full body and a polished, interesting, medium-length finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A bold, inky Petite Sirah for robust pairings.
McIlroy 2018 Chock Rock Vineyard Pinot Noir
90 points
$40
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of cherry confection, herbal tea, tonka bean, violet, and milk chocolate with a satiny, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish with accents of spice cake and buttercream with a suggestion of oak flavor. A spicy, palate-pleasing Pinot Noir with silky texture and great table presence.
Kenwood 2017 Rugged Elements Bavarian Lion Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$50
Dark garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry tart, spiced cassis preserves, strong old fashioned coffee, and bell pepper with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a warming, amusing, medium-long finish with elements of carob, black tea, and peppered nuts with light oak flavor. A bold, dry and restrained Cabernet that will play well with food; decant.
Contempo 2019  Barbera
87 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cherry, compressed watermelon, blackberry custard, hints of rose, carob, and earth with a vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length finish that presents accents of bay leaf with a suggestion of oak flavor. A rock solid Barbera with a nice blend fruity and earthy notes.
87 points $9.99 Best Buy
The Abarbanel 2019 Les Chemins de Favarelle Chardonnay
87 points
$14
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of soft apple, apricot, fondant, hints of popcorn, and praline with a satiny, bright, light body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length finish with shades of puff pastry with moderate oak flavor. An oaky but restrained Chardonnay that will pair well with fish.
87 points $14 Best Buy
Les Dauphins 2018  Côtes du Rhône Rouge
87 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of strawberry pie, bright cherry, hints of tonka bean, licorice, and suede with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry medium body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-length finish with suggestions of dried cranberry and herbal tea with light oak flavor. Decant or cellar this rock solid Cotes du Rhone to unveil further complexity.
87 points $14.99 Best Buy
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
$15
Best Buy
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of blistered cherries, pencil shavings, sarsaparilla, blueberry handpie, and incense with a chewy, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a carefree finish that shows accents of cedar shavings with woody tannins and heavy oak flavor. A chewy, oaky Cabernet for weeknight beef.
87 points $15 Best Buy
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2019 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
87 points
$15
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of dried pear and lavender with a supple, crisp, dry light body and a polished, fast finish that shows impressions of lime and minerals with no oak flavor. A crisp, dry quaffer for anytime sipping.
87 points $15 Best Buy
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2017 Thirty Eight Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
$32
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of red plum, cedar, earth, black licorice, and coriander seed with a slightly chewy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length finish conveying shades of spice cake with coarse tannins and moderate oak flavor. A woody, chewy Cab with plenty of yummy spice notes.
Monte De Oro 2016 Estate Grown Tempranillo
87 points
$32
Dusty dark ruby color. Aromas and flavors of spiced plum, castelvetrano olives, and orange zest with a silky, crisp, dryish light body and a smooth, medium-length finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A solid domestic Tempranillo that will play well with Mediterranean fare.
Sand Point Family Vineyards 2018  Pinot Noir
86 points
$12
Best Buy
Light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cherry lozenge, spiced plum, smoked mushrooms, sesame, and chocolate with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a polished, medium-length finish with moderate oak flavor. A simple Pinot Noir with wide appeal.
86 points $12 Best Buy
Caricature 2018 Old Vine Zinfandel
86 points
$15
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Woody aromas and flavors of raspberry jam on graham cracker, scented tobacco, cedar shavings, and leather with a slightly chewy, vibrant, medium body and a warming, medium finish evoking elements of sugared plum tart. A chewy, oaky, juicy Zin for anytime sipping.
86 points $15 Best Buy
ONE LEAF 2018  Shiraz
85 points
$9.99
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry tisane, bay leaf, peppercorns, and clove with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a warming, medium-length finish with moderate oak flavor. A simple but juicy California Shiraz for weeknight sipping.
85 points $9.99
ONE LEAF 2019  Malbec
85 points
$9.99
Deep purple color. Fruity aromas and flavors of blackberry coulis, sweet tea, pomegranate, and kirsch with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, medium-length finish with notes of charcoal with moderate oak flavor. A berry-packed juicy Malbec that will hit the spot.
85 points $9.99
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2019 Estate White Moscato
85 points
$15
Straw green color. Aromas and flavors of pear, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit, and honey with a satiny, crisp, petillant, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length finish with chalky tannins and no oak flavor. A bright, somewhat serious Moscato to pair with delicate desserts.
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2018  Pinot Noir
85 points
$20
Pale dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of plum preserves, cranberry sauce, and incense with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a sleek, brisk finish with nuances of hints of chocolate and anise with light oak flavor. An easy Pinot Noir quaffer for weeknight sipping.
ONE LEAF 2018  Chardonnay
84 points
$9.99
Straw color. Unusual aromas of golden apple, cinnamon candy, and herbal essence with a supple, bright, dry light body and a tingling, quick over-steeped tea finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A funky white quaffer to serve with a good chill.
84 points $9.99
ONE LEAF 2018  Pinot Noir
84 points
$9.99
Light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of rose tisane, dried cherry, chocolate-covered coconut bar, smoke, and green pepper with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length finish with light oak flavor. A food-friendly Pinot Noir that will really deliver at the table.
84 points $9.99
Sand Point Family Vineyards 2019  Pinot Grigio
84 points
$12
Yellow straw color. Aromas of lemon lime confection, struck match, water chestnuts, and thyme with a supple, tangy, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length sour orange finish with no oak flavor. A fruity everyday quaffer to serve with a good chill.
Sand Point Family Vineyards 2019  Sauvignon Blanc
84 points
$12
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of struck match, underripe pineapple, geranium, and pencil shavings with a supple, crisp, dryish light body and a medium-length finish with notes of metals with no oak flavor. A simple quaffer to serve ice cold.
Sand Point Family Vineyards 2017  Merlot
84 points
$12
Dusty ruby-garnet color. Oaky aromas and flavors of charred oak, cedar chips, blueberry hand pie, and tobacco with a coarse, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a peppery, medium-length finish that shows impressions of ground almonds with clunky tannins. A very oaky Merlot for weeknight beef.
Caricature 2018 Red Blend California
84 points
$15
Black violet color. Aromas of cedar shavings, chocolate soft serve, vanilla pudding, and clove with a lightly tannic, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, medium-length berry jam, milk chocolate, and nut skins finish with heavy oak flavor. An oaky weeknight pleaser with a jammy center.
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2019 Estate Rosé Sangiovese
84 points
$15
Bright pink coral color. Aromas and flavors of grilled watermelon, ripe tomato, and blackberries with a supple, crisp, dry thin body and a sleek, brisk finish with no oak flavor. A nice balance of fruity and savory notes make this a fun Rosé to pair with food.
Les Dauphins 2019 Rosé Côtes du Rhône
83 points
$11.99
Steely amber color. Aromas and flavors of dried strawberry, citrus candies, and struck match with a lean, vibrant, dryish light body and a tingling, short finish with no oak flavor. A gulpable quaffer to serve ice cold.
83 points $11.99
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2019 River Ranch Rosé Aglianico
83 points
$22
Pink coral color. Green aromas of dill pickles, strawberry jam, and shiitake mushroom with a supple, crisp, dryish light body and a silky, medium-length watermelon candies finish with no oak flavor. A savory, weedy Rosé that will be fun to pair with.
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards 2017 Railroad Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
83 points
$32
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of cedar dust, plum pie, and green tobacco with a coarse, crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-long finish that shows notes of toasted oak with gritty tannins and heavy oak flavor. An oak-centric Cab for hearty weeknight meals.
The Abarbanel 2018 Les Dolmens Rouges Cabernet Sauvignon
82 points
$14
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of crushed nuts, raisins, dried figs, geranium, and sandalwood with a lightly tannic, bright, dry medium body and a medium-length finish manifesting notes of straw with light oak flavor. An everyday red for the table.
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