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Wine Reviews by Keith Wallace

Great Wines Available in Philadelphia and Beyond

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.  

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Elias Mora 2012 “Descarte” Toro (Spain)

I had a student recently who was adamant that I was too partial to Italian wines.  I was surprised at the comment, but he’s a smart guy whose come to many classes and an avid reader of the newsletter. I love all great wine regions, but in my heart my favorite...
The Full Review

Tenor 2011 “2:2” Red, Columbia Valley (Washington State)

This bottle is a strong argument for why Columbia Valley should replace Napa on steak house wine lists. This Bordeaux blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot) has the massive oak-and-smooth hugeness that lovers of Opus One dream about at night. Since this...
The Full Review

Solena 2013 “Domaine Danielle Laurent Reserve” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley (Oregon)

So the name of this winery is tricky. Solena was a side project that Laurent and Danielle Montalieu worked on while their vineyards matured. The plan was to eventually start making wines as Domaine Danielle Laurent, which is the name of their actually winery. However,...
The Full Review

Conceito 2012 “Contraste” Red, Douro (Portugal)

  The tension between tannin and acid is remarkable. This wine is tight as a guitar string, which brings a high toned musicality to the experience. A nose of crushed stone and white cherries warbles about, with the thunk-thunk of burnt vanilla just in the...
The Full Review

Maison Nicolas Perrin 2013 Crozes-Hermitage (France)

The Northern Rhone it the ancestral home to Syrah, and it’s dominated by family-run wineries. Names like Chapoutier, Chave, Perrin, and Guigal top the family tree here. There used to be another, too: Jaboulet, which was sold in 2006. Nicolas Jaboulet has returned to...
The Full Review

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The Wine School Blog

This is where we feature all our favorite things.  Great wines, top sommeliers, awesome winemakers, great articles,  and charity events at the Wine School. If we really love it, or we think you should know about it, it’s going to be right here.

Selections from our Wine Cellar

A few wine reviews from our archives. 

Smuttynose Baltic Porter

Baltic Porter Review   Dark as an empty movie theater, this porter sports a nose of Raisinets and buttered popcorn. On the palate, it turns into fresh figs with walnuts and dried blueberries. The finish turns up the dark malts with espresso, dark chocolate and licorice. The hops give a hint of rich earth to the...
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Tenuta di Castiglioni 2008 Cabernet, Tuscany

A bordeaux blend that leads with classic Cabernet notes of cigar box and mint. Gritty tannins and fleshy fruit round out this fine bottling. An excellent price for this wine.

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Buena Vista 2006 Pinot Noir Ramal Road, Carneros

Carneros wine review Grown at the very bottom of Carneros, which also happens to be the very top of San Pablo Bay (let that be a lesson in geography for you) I can imagine some Hollywood exec driving around LA in a  silver Bentley Continental. He’s in the back seat, drinking this wine from the bottle....
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Respect the Gris

For quality and value, one of the best white wines coming out of the USA is Oregon Pinot Gris. Problem is, it’s hard to find because very few wine shops sell the stuff.  That problem (and yes, that is definitely a #firstworldproblem if there ever was one) is about to be a thing of the past.  A few big players...
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Philly Wine Festival

Another year, another Philly Wine Festival. Looking for this year’s Tudori, looking past the usual suspects. Seeing old acquaintances and making some new ones. Learning more than a thing or two from representatives who were not just pouring and picking up a day’s pay but actually were engaged with and...
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