Wine Reviews

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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.

 

 

Maquis 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley

Posted by on 2:04 pm in South American Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Maquis  2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley

What do Chateau d’Yquem, Joseph Phelps, Leoville Las Cases, Champagne Roederer, and Dominus Estate have in common? They all share the same winemaking consultant,  Xavier Chone.  Originally hailing from Bordeaux, he is considered one of the world’s best living winemakers. The Maquis bottlings from Chile are a rare chance to experience his work without shelling out a fortune. Chone has worked at Vina Maquis for a decade  at this point, ever since the Hurtado family decided to build a winery on their 100 year old vineyard holdings in...

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Mas Doix 2006 “Costers de Vinyes Velles” Priorat

Posted by on 1:02 pm in Spanish Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Mas Doix 2006 “Costers de Vinyes Velles” Priorat

Valentí Llagostera of Mas Doix understands the concept of terroir. I was fortunate to be able to spend a day with him during a recent visit to Priorat with the Wine School. Valentí’s family has been in the wine trade for five generations. He came to wine as a business later in life. He was a director at the University of  Barcelona. He earned his masters in economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in the late eighties. His family has deep roots in winemaking in Priorat. As a boy, he worked at his family’s...

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Vall Llach 2009 “Idus” Priorat

Posted by on 12:24 pm in Spanish Wine Reviews, Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Vall Llach 2009 “Idus” Priorat

Vall Llach is the Spanish winery for people who love Opus One and Caymus Vineyards’ Special Selection. Their wines are dominate, glossy, and concentrated, and should be on the wine list of every upscale steak house.  Every self-respecting sommelier in Pennsylvania should be buying up this bottle for their restaurants right now. You should, too. Those are great reasons to buy this wine, but they aren’t why I am  recommending this wine, however.  It’s because of the people behind the label. The winery was founded in the early...

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Bouchaine 2009 Pinot Noir Carneros

Posted by on 10:29 pm in American Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Bouchaine 2009 Pinot Noir Carneros

Who are the Bouchaines?  It doesn’t really matter at this point. It was the maiden name of one of the original partners in this winery. The important question is who are the Copelands? If you are from Delaware, you probably already know.  They are well-known philanthropists in their home state. The founded the Delaware Art Museum. They also underwrite the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, The Grand Opera House and OperaDelaware. Native Delawareans, Gerret and Tatiana Copeland were part of the investment group that purchased the winery in...

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Ottimino 2009 Zinfandel, Rancho Bello Vineyard

Posted by on 9:26 pm in American Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Ottimino 2009 Zinfandel, Rancho Bello Vineyard

Ottimino was established in 1999 by Brad Alper and William Knuttel.  Their first bottling was from the Ranch Bello vineyard.  This is  Alper’s winery in many ways, but Knuttel is the name that makes this project very interesting. William Knuttel was the  winemaker for Saintsbury in Carneros for 13 years, Chalk Hill Winery for another 7 years. Then he went on to Dry Creek Vineyard, where he worked as executive winemaker until 2011. That doesn’t include his own winery projects, including  his eponymously named winery, and Tentadora...

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Pierre Legras Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne

Posted by on 8:31 pm in French Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Pierre Legras Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne

One of the great developments in sparkling wines in the last few years has been the emergence of small grower-producer Champagne houses.  They offer a level of quality and individuality that cannot be rivalled by the famous Champagne producers.. and at a lower price point.  Pierre Legras is a small family-run Champagne house that rarely shows up in the United States.   The Legras Family is also one of the oldest Champagne families, with a history of winemaking that dates back 10 generations. If you are every in the region, I strongly...

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Cantina Firriato 2011 Quater Bianco

Posted by on 9:01 pm in Italian Wine Reviews | 0 comments

This is not the first time we have reviewed a Firriato wine, and it probably won’t be the last. They bring classic Sicilian wines to the American market in a way that makes everyone happy. They use indigenous varietals and focus on classic wine styles. The winery is not technically in Sicily;  it is located on mountainous  island of Favignana, which is part of the Sicily DO. Winemaker Giuseppe Pellegrino has put together a fantastic portfolio of wines since the winery was founded in 1985.  In the nineties, he and his team brought in...

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Bodegas La Magdalena 2011 “Sueno” Tempranillo

Posted by on 8:04 pm in South American Wine Reviews, Spanish Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Ribera del Jucar is one of a dozen unknown yet exemplary wine regions in Spain. It’s an ancient wine region that was under vine during the Roman Empire. But it’s also one of the newest; it was only granted it’s Denominación de Origen in 2003. Before that, it was only labelled as an anonymous La Mancha wine. Bodega La Magdelena is the local co-operative, and has been producing bulk wine since 1958.  There are about 300 wineries involved which collectively own about 700 hectares of vineyards. This is a common means of wine...

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Chateau L’Ermitage 2012 “Sainte Cecile” Costieres de Nimes White

Posted by on 7:10 pm in French Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Chateau L’Ermitage is the classical type of French winery. Nothing exciting except the wines they produce. For the past thirty years, Michel and Jérôme Castillon have owned the winery and made the wine.  Their vineyards span 80 hectares through the Nimes region, which is on the southern side of the Rhone valley. They are the third generation of the Castillon family to tend the vineyards at Chateau L’Ermitage. The Castillon family clearly have  wonderful and tranquil life of tending grapes.  It just makes it really hard to write...

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Curtis Winery 2010 Heritage Cuvée

Posted by on 4:16 pm in American Wine Reviews | 0 comments

  I am not a fan of corporate wines. That is something most people in the wine trade know all too well. I am not a fan of large-scale wineries, even if they are run family-owned.  They don’t need my help in getting attention for their wines. They have marketing people for that. Firestone Vineyards fell into that category. Don’t get me wrong. They are really nice folks. I have nothing against them.  I simply prefer to seek out smaller wineries to write about. Curtis Winery in Santa Ynez Valley  is owned by the Firestone...

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