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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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Rotie Cellars 2011 “Southern Blend” Red, Walla Walla (WA)

Impolite, brash, and barely keeping it together. The hot mess that is Rotie Cellars is the greatest thing in wine that I have seen in awhile. We all know the aristocratic wines of Napa and Bordeaux. Plus, too many folks in the wine trade covet the idea of uppercrust...
The Full Review

Lagar de Bezana 2011 “Aluvion” Gran Reserva, Rapel Valley (Chile)

A beautiful wine with dense smoke and incense aromas. It’s lushly textured with deep soft tannins and flavors that pool into creme de cassis and ocean air. The finish is long with saturated fruit and asian spices. A few other thoughts: When I teach at the Wine...
The Full Review

Castellani 2013 “San Michele” Valpolicella Classico Ripasso

Some call this style a “Baby Amarone” which is kinda like comparing a ribeye steak to a cheesesteak. Sure they come from the same place, and they both are damn delicious, but that’s where the similarities end. If you aren’t sure what an Amarone...
The Full Review

Castelli del Grevepesa 2011 “Clemente VII” Chianti Classico

This Tuscan co-op winery is making a habit of featuring its wines in the Chairman’s Selection. I am not complaining. The 2010 Chianti was amazing and their super tuscan was a great buy, too. If anything, the 2011 is even better. This is an old school style of...
The Full Review

Bodega Ovidio Garcia 2009 “Esencia” Crianza, Cigales

Cigales is located between two two of my favorite Spanish wine regions: Ribera del Duero and Toro.  That is probably why this is the first Cigales wine review I have written  in 15 years. I’ll try to do better, because these wines offer great value for...
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. 

Left Hand Brewing Co. Milk Stout Nitro

Last St. Paddy’s Day, I implored you to forgo Guinness and other mass-produced Irish imports for local brews that pack more freshness and flavor. One year on, my opinion hasn’t changed, and our local beer scene continues to improve and evolve. My first choice, in fact, on everyone’s favorite drinking holiday...
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Terlato 2009 Syrah “Block 9” Dry Creek Valley

Is this Syrah from Cornas or California? In most ways, this wine drinks like it hails from that awesome Northern Rhone cru. Yet, here we are in Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek Valley (DCV) to be precise. DCV is best known for producing great Zinfandel, but this bottling shows the region’s true potential. Dry...
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Hecht & Bannier 2010 Cotes du Roussillon Villages

This wine sports an inky hue with a perfume of dark fruit and orchid flowing easily out of the glass. The ripeness of the fruit is layered and soft as velvet.  Allspice and iron ore push into the mid-palate that soon opens into a bouquet fresh flowers. Olive tapenade and a seaside breeze add a layer of tension...
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Chateau de Roquebrune “Cuvee Reine” 2009 Lalande de Pomerol

The Guinjard family have been Bordeaux wine growers for five generations. Prior to 1970, most of that fruit went to other wineries. Over the past few decades, they have started making more and more wines under their own label, Chateau de Roquebrune in Lalande de Pommerol. The vineyard is quite small – fewer than...
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Erna Schein 2006 Petite Sirah

California Wine Review A bruisingly fun and deeply rich wine from the Spring Mountain AVA in Napa Valley. It is also pleasantly bruising. Possibly even richly deep. Like all Petite Sirah, this isn’t a thinking man’s wine. It’s more of a NSFW video on Tosh.0. A thick drape of purple, a velvet...
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