Montecillo 2008 Rioja Reserva

Posted in Spanish Wine Reviews

If I could figure out a way to turn the Wine School into a religious institution (think of it: best communion ever!), Rioja would be one of our holy lands. It’s a place where the modern and classical worlds of wine collide and fold into each other like some sort of temporal abnormality. In other words, heaven on earth. Longtime readers will know that I seek out Rioja for them to enjoy. Montecillo is a rather large winery, and their wines are typically in the middle of...

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Bodegas Eguia 2008 “Vina Eguia” Crianza

Posted in Spanish Wine Reviews

Our readers may be familiar with Bodegas Eguia, as we gave a high rating to one of  their Rioja Reservas  a few years back.  This is the crianza, which by definition is lighter and fresher than the more dense and oak-fueled Reserva. Founded in the 1920’s, Bodegas Eguia  is located in the basque town of Eltziego in  Rioja. It has passed through several families, and is now owned by Jose and Julian Murua of the nearby Bodegas Muriel.  The tiny town of Eltziego is home...

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Petra 2010 “Ebo” Val di Cornia Suvereto

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

I reviewed the Petra 2008 Ebo a few months ago and came away very impressed.  The Ebo is an underdog in the Super Tuscan category, but outperforms many wines that are twp or three times its price. I needed to see if the 2008 was a fluke. I am happy to report it wasn’t. This vintage of Ebo is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a splash of Sangiovese in the mix. Smoked currant and espresso on the nose, with a lethally awesome blend of lead and chocolate on the...

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Goose Ridge 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Posted in American Wine Reviews

The big four –Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, International Wine Cellar, and the Wine Advocate– all liked this wine. None of them loved it, but they all gave the wine a solid rating in the high eighties. Since they NEVER  agree on a wine, I had to pick up a bottle from my local wine & spirit shop. I am  glad I did. It starts off with a classic aroma of pencil shavings and pepper. That is followed by tobacco leaf and ocean air. Medium bodied, the palate goes...

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Piccini 2008 Sasso Al Poggio, Tuscany

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

This style of  Tuscan wine is turning into the most popular with American wine drinkers looking for good value in Italian wines.  This is something of an irony: It wasn’t too long ago that blends of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot were dubbed “Super Tuscans” and sported high price tags. These blends have remained, but the nickname and the high prices have faded from view. This bottle is a  blend of 60% Sangiovese,  with equal parts Cabernet and Merlot....

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Petra 2008 “Ebo” Val di Cornia Suvereto Rosso

Posted in Italian Wine Reviews

The Tuscan coast has become a hotbed of luxury wines in the past decade. This is the motherland of the so-called Super Tuscans that have captured the American imagination. Petra is one of the rising stars  of this unabashedly modern wine region. This bottling, like most Super Tuscans, is built on a foundation of  Cabernet Sauvignon, with additions of Sangiovese and Merlot.   It receives one year of aging in old French oak barrels. Dark crimson red, the wine offers up aromas...

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Los Boldos 2008 Amalia, Cachapoal Valley, Chile

Posted in Wine Reviews

Vina Los Boldos is an old winery at the foot of the Andes Mountains dating back to 1850. In 1990 the Massanez family from France purchased the property, turned it into a boutique winery, and hired winemaker Stephane Geneste from Chablis. Since then, the wines have been exceptional, although a bit impossible to find in the US. They are also quite pricey. I heard recently that the Massanez family had sold the winery to the Portuguese behemoth, Sogrape. As expected, volume has...

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Reserva de la Tierra 2008 Vega Escal

Posted in Spanish Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews

Reserva de la Tierra, a Spanish wine cooperative, has been working with a US importer for several years to craft a wine for the American market. The result is Vega Escal, an opulent offering at a very reasonable price. The juice is sourced from vineyards around the Priorat town of Gratallops, a place I visited with a cadre of Wine School students a few years ago. We saw firsthand why . Priorat wineries like Clos Mogador and Clos Erasmus are world famous. The abundance of...

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Rutherglen Estates 2008 Burgoyne’s Block

Posted in Wine Reviews

Australian Wine Review Deeply hued with aromas of fresh berries and currants. Secondary scents of caramelized fat and savory herbs are amazing. Rich tannin that softens in the glass but keeps a firm structure. Fresh plum balances out the chewy tannins with more berry notes on the mid-palate. The finish of lavender and smoke with a final layer of sweet fruit. A blend of Mourvèdre, Shiraz and...

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