Wine Reviews

Wine Blog Awards

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.

 

 

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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Bodega Goulart 2010 “The Marshall” Malbec

Posted by on 3:27 pm in South American Wine Reviews | 0 comments

This wine is a bit of Argentine history. The Bodega Goulart vineyard was originally planted by Gastao Goulart in 1915 to Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.  At the time, he was a Brazilian political exile living in Argentina at the time. Soon after, he became a South American legend when he returned to  his homeland  and led it’s Constitutional Revolution in 1932.   The vineyard was  lost to time and war, but the vines somehow thrived on their own. Flash forward to 1988, and  Goulart’s granddaughter, Erika Goulart, discovered the deed...

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Poggio Scalette 2012 Chianti Classico

Posted by on 6:36 pm in Italian Wine Reviews | 0 comments

The Greve Valley is lined with terraced vineyards. Looking across the valley from this winery, those stone walls can look like a giant scallete (ladder, in Italian).  At least it did for the wineries original owner.  We will never know where he thought that ladder would take him. He disappeared a long time ago and his winery fell to ruin. Only much later, in 1991,  was Poggio Scalette  raised again, by none other than Vittorio Fiore, one of the greatest living winemakers working in Chianti. Greve is one of the great Crus of Chianti Classico....

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Rosenblum Cellars 2010 “Harris Kratka” Zinfandel

Posted by on 5:48 pm in American Wine Reviews | 0 comments

No matter it’s pedigree, Zinfandel is big, dumb and fun.  I don’t mean that in a pejorative way. There should  always be a place for fun. This is the wine for unsophicated meals. I couldn’t imagine a better wine for the smokiness of Texas pulled pork or the tang of Carolina-style brisket. Conversely, it’s the perfect wine for sophisticated parties.  It’s the wine for smart people having a good time: the type of party where Sartre quotes and dirty limericks are equally likely to emerge. The Harris Kratka vineyard...

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Evening Land 2011 Pouilly Fuisse

Posted by on 3:58 pm in French Wine Reviews | 0 comments

Way back when I was in my early twenties,  Pouilly-Fuissé was all the rage. The restaurant I was working at had  three on their wine list.  One of the greatest points of being a chef at such a young age was that I got to experience a lot of great wines early on.   Drinking good wine didn’t mean I knew anything about wine, but  I did know that Pouilly-Fuissé was the finest Chardonnay I had ever experienced by that point.   And like all guys in their 20’s, I spouted off my knowledge with the same level of aplomb as the  Phillie...

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Contino 2007 Gran Reserva Rioja

Posted by on 1:49 pm in Spanish Wine Reviews | 0 comments

A number of years ago,  I was  fortunate enough to have a one-on-one tasting with Maria Larrea, the CVNE winemaker. A wonderfully gracious woman, she took me through her entire portfolio of extraordinary wines.  My favorite CVNE wine has been the Contino every since the 1996 vintage, the very first Gran Reserva. I even featured it on my long-gone Philly.com show Philly Uncorked.  I gushed and slobbered over the wine like a half-crazed bassethound. It wasn’t until after I returned from Spain that I realized my massive faux paux. Of all...

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