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Over two thousand wine reviews! While most of our reviews focus on great wines under $20, we also offer reviews of luxury and collectible wines. As we are located in Philadelphia, most  wines reviewed here are available via PLCB Wine & Spirits Shops in Pennsylvania. Our main reviewer is Keith Wallace, the executive director and founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia.

 

 

Vignobles Bulliat 2014 “Cuvee du Colombier” Morgon

Posted by on 8:34 pm in Featured, French Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Vignobles Bulliat 2014 “Cuvee du Colombier” Morgon

The Beaujolais wine region is located at the bottom of Burgundy; and Morgon is smack in the middle of the best winemaking villages in Beaujolais. It’s should come as no surprise that the adjective most used with these wines is “Burgundian”. This bottle offers up plenty of Burgundian qualities. Notes of  burnt sage and earth open into flavors of fresh berry, exotic white fruit, and  crushed wild flowers. The acid and tannic structure make this an exceptional food wine.

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Tua Rita 2012 “Perlato del Bosco” Sangiovese

Posted by on 10:17 am in Featured, Italian Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Tua Rita 2012 “Perlato del Bosco” Sangiovese

Super Tuscans were born on the Italian coast, and warm Maremma is the cradle of a  great many modern wines. The region is known for massive Cabernet Sauvignon, with the depth and breadth of Napa’s Rutherford Cabs they so closely resemble. Perlato del Bosco hails from the region, specifically the  town of Suvereto, overlooking Corsica across the Tyrrhenian sea. This is different. This is fully Sangiovese, the grape of Florence and Siena. Here, though, it doesn’t offer the angularity of Chianti, but is truly a Super Tuscan. The...

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Familia Zuccardi 2013 “Q” Malbec, Mendoza

Posted by on 10:14 am in Featured, South American Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Familia Zuccardi  2013 “Q” Malbec, Mendoza

Zuccardi is a rock solid winery in Argentina. If you take a Level 3 wine course with me, I just might use this bottle or their Tempranillo as an example of modern Mendoza winemaking. One of my favorite points of this wine is that it is evolving vintage by vintage.  I love how Zuccardi is pulling away from the “Melted Chocolate and Licorice” profile that has become the generic uniform dressing up most Mendoza Malbecs. The “Q” offers minerality, Earl Grey tea, and fresh wildflowers. Densely tannic are balanced with...

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Koyle 2012 “Gran Reserva” Carmenere, Colchagua Valley

Posted by on 10:29 am in Featured, South American Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Koyle 2012 “Gran Reserva” Carmenere, Colchagua Valley

Koyle is one of those wineries that pops into the marketplace once or twice a year, only to disappear as quickly as it came.  The wines are fantastic, but inventory is clearly an issue. I recommend picking them up when you see them. This is a classic Carmenere; one of the original grapes of Bordeaux and a kissing cousin to Cabernet Sauvignon.   Aromatics of pipe tobacco and pencil shavings are offset by a core of dark fruit. Flavors of Earl Grey tea and cassis move into iron shavings and lush chocolate and vanilla. A very pretty bottle of...

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Burgo Viejo Licenciado 2008 Rioja Reserva

Posted by on 10:25 am in Featured, Spanish Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Burgo Viejo Licenciado 2008 Rioja Reserva

A full metal wine label? That is a badass as it comes. This bottling hails from the Baja region of Rioja. The winery–which started as a cooperative back in the ’50’s— is located in  Alfaro, the easternmost Riojan town, at the border with Navarra. If you relied solely on wine textbooks, you would never have tasted this wonderful wine.  You would have read that Rioja Baja produces good and quaffable wines, not exceptional ones. You would have read that cooperatives don’t make great wine.  You would have missed out...

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Domaine les Verrieres 2008 “Les Pierres Plantees” Coteaux du Languedoc

Posted by on 10:10 am in Featured, French Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Domaine les Verrieres 2008 “Les Pierres Plantees” Coteaux du Languedoc

A straight line connects Bordeaux to Languedoc: Just follow the Pyrenees Mountains from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. It is the narrowest point in France, a mere four hour drive between two points, ocean to sea. That may be why Bordeaux winemakers on holiday tend to stay. After all, it is not a world away, so they stay for a harvest or two. A few years out of cold damp winters cellars of the Medoc, a few years of sunshine and olives. What could be the harm? In my soul, that is what I hope happens when a gentleman like Olivier Groux...

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Maison Henry Fessy 2014 “Sous La Roche” Pouilly Fuisse

Posted by on 10:09 am in Featured, French Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Maison Henry Fessy  2014  “Sous La Roche” Pouilly Fuisse

Pouilly-Fuissé lies at the southernmost border of Burgundy, just above Beaujolais.  The town is famous for its Roche de Solutré: the limestone ridge that is the basis for the town’s famous calcareous soils. The Sous La Roche  vineyard means “under the rock”  which can be taken literally:  the vineyard is located downhill from Roche de Solutré. The Henry Fessy is a  pure expression of white Burgundy. The slightest hint of butter is quickly overpowered by elegant pear aromas. On the palate, crisp tree fruit and river rocks make way to...

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Chateau Gramond 2011 Haut Medoc

Posted by on 10:16 pm in Featured, French Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Chateau Gramond 2011 Haut Medoc

There are famous towns in the Haut Medoc: Margaux, Saint-Julien, and Pauillac. And then there is Listrac. This town isn’t famous, but it is producing high quality wine. The last few vintages from Chateau Gramond have been exceptional, and one of the last good values in left bank Bordeaux. The Cabernet Sauvignon is dominant in this wine, with a tannic backbone that opens into a tightly structured wine that will greatly improve over the next decade. Dark plum and red cherry are balanced with clean acidity. Cedar and crushed stone are...

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Byron 2012 Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley

Posted by on 1:35 pm in American Wine Reviews, Featured | 0 comments

Byron 2012 Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley

Here is the knockdown over-the-top cream bomb. It will will drown your sorrows in a bag of cotton candy tucked into the wheelbase of an out of control roller coaster. It’s a style that has more devoted fans than Coldplay, and  gets just as little respect from everyone else. Let’s back up a bit. Buttery Chard is an overplayed style, true, but there is a reason so many knock-offs exist. They are mimicking a classical style that is very alluring and worthwhile. This is one of the classics. Buttery richness is counterbalanced...

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Cascina Chicco 2011 Barolo Rocche di Castelletto

Posted by on 1:19 pm in Featured, Italian Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Cascina Chicco  2011 Barolo Rocche di Castelletto

A note about this wine: there is much more of it on the Main Line than in Philly. For reasons unknown, this is often the case. It’s a shame since there are at least 20,000 people in Philly who read our newsletter and there is rarely enough of the great wines to go around. There are several towns that produce Barolo the wine. One of those towns is Barolo, the other four are La Morra, Castiglione. Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, and Monforte d’Alba. Monforte is where this bottling hails from.   These wines are typically massively...

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