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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.

 

 

Feudi di San Gregorio 2007 Serpico

Posted by on 4:22 pm in Italian Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Feudi di San Gregorio 2007 Serpico

Aglianico Wine Review Aglianico is an essential wine, creating some of the most expressive, complicated, and massive wines one can experience. I have reviewed the Serpico’s little brother the Rubrato recently, and for anyone looking for great value and an introduction to this bewitching grape, they should look there.  I have also reviewed wines from Feudi di San Gregorio on several occasions previously: here, and  here. . In Campania, this winery consistently  delivers high quality at a very good price point. What can I say? I’m a...

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Sella and Mosca 2005 Marchese di Villa Marina

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Sella and Mosca 2005 Marchese di Villa Marina

Sardinian Wine Review This bottle of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from 2005 is an excellent example of  a beautifully aged red. While in it’s youth, this bottle offers massive amount of fruit and aggressive tar flavors, it has turned supple and refined with age. On the nose,  jasmine, wild flowers, and game open into a note of eucalyptus.  Top notes of black fruit, honeysuckle, and firewood are juxtaposed to the porcini, horse hair and burnt orange elements that lie just underneath.  The finish turns toward rust and dark fruit. This wine is...

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Lanciola 2009 Le Masse di Greve Chianti Classico

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Lanciola 2009 Le Masse di Greve Chianti Classico

Chianti Wine Review A hedgehog playing in a pile of autumn leaves. This bottle starts off with a very specific wet fur-and-oak-leaf aroma that was both surprising and delightful. There is a question whether this was an element of brettanomyces  along with a dose of wood tannins, but that seems unlikely with a producer this well established. On the palate, a leaden element pushes through dark cherry, celery, and raspberry. The body is lush and forgivingly plump, like a hedonist in a prison cell. While that description may cause the reader to...

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Bertani 2009 “Villa Arvedi” Amarone della Valpolicella

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Bertani 2009 “Villa Arvedi” Amarone della Valpolicella

Amarone Wine Review Aromas of licorice and Cherry Coke on the nose with a shaving of bitter chocolate.  This is a very flirtatious aroma, with a hint of cardamom and white pepper beneath the surface. Then: flavors go big and texture go smooth and tannins go ripe. The structure is round and big and weighty. On the palate, this is medium to full bodied wine with a load of fresh cherries, a  hint of burnt clove, and a lush texture.  The finish kicks back the chocolate note and ends with a sleek spiciness. Wine Rating: 90 Points This is a very...

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Rocca delle Macie 2008 Ser Gioveto

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Rocca delle Macie 2008 Ser Gioveto

Super Tuscan Wine Review I often describe Italian wines like this as a conversation between Italian winemakers and wine drinkers in America. We ask for a taste of the old country, and they respond with a bottle like this. While it is thoroughly and completely Italian in style, it is also thoroughly understands the American love of Napa Valley, expensive oak and big bold flavors. It’s a cringe-worthy analogy, but I think comparing this wine to a  muscle car is spot-on.  Aromas of espresso, cuban cigars, and dark fruits turn jammy and...

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Erasmo 2009 Red, Maule Valley

Posted by on 5:59 pm in South American Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Erasmo 2009 Red, Maule Valley

Background European influence has always been a presence in the American wine trade. Up north the effect is more historic, but there are a few winemakers like Philippe Melka  still kicking about, making awesome wines. In South America, it’s a much more palpable influence. The last two decades have seen a great influx of European winemakers.  From Didier Cuvelier of  Chateau Léoville-Poyferré  to the Italian Count Francesco Marone Cinzano of Col d’Orcia estate in Montalcino. While Didier went to Argentina, the good Count Cinzano went  to...

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Feudi di San Gregorio 2010 Rubrato

Posted by on 4:54 pm in Italian Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews | 2 comments

Feudi di San Gregorio 2010 Rubrato

Background Feudi di San Gregorio is on of the top three wineries in the Italian province of  Campania. I recently reviewed  a winery in neighboring Molise that hired Riccardo Cotarella as their consulting enologist.  That is the case here, too, and it shows in the bottle. These are exceptional wines. The winery is located in the village of Sorbo Serpico in Irpina. Its top Aglianico is named “Serpico” after the town and nearby ancient vineyard. That is one of the finest examples of the grape, period. And this is one of  the most...

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Milbrandt Vineyards 2010 Grenache, Clifton Vineyards

Posted by on 4:15 pm in American Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Milbrandt Vineyards 2010 Grenache, Clifton Vineyards

Background Some of the best wine grapes in America are grown in the Columbia Valley of Washington State. Butch and Jerry Milbrand are two of the farmers that made it happen.  They were a top resource for winemakers in the Pacific Northwest. They still sell grapes to winemakers, but now they are holding back 10% of their grapes. After a decade of being grape growers, they now are bottling their own wines under the Milbrandt Vineyards label. This is the type of  project that often  ends with less-than-stellar wines: growing grapes and making...

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Landmark 2011 “Overlook” Chardonnay

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Landmark 2011 “Overlook” Chardonnay

Background At the Wine School, we don’t review  wines that are produced by big corporations. We only care about unique wines made by small producers. Because of that, this is very likely the last Landmark Vineyards  review we write. This Sonoma winery was sold to Roll Global in 2011, which also owns POM, Fiji, and Justin Vineyards in Paso Robles. Nothing against the folks at Roll Global, but corporate ownership of a winery almost always leads to a reduction in quality and individuality. Sure enough, Landmark’s winemaker, Eric...

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Di Majo Norante 2011 Ramitello

Posted by on 10:15 pm in Italian Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Di Majo Norante 2011 Ramitello

The Background Di Majo Norante is an Italian winery located in Molise, just off the Adriatic coast. The property dates back to 1859, and was the farm and vineyard of a local nobleman, the Marquis Norante.  The current owner, Alessio Di Majo, has been producing great wines for well over a decade now. One of the reasons for the Alessio Di Majo’s  success was hiring Riccardo Cotarella in the very beginning. Known as “Il Mago (the Wizard)” Riccardo is arguably Italy’s top winemaking consultant. Riccardo consults for 50...

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