Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

New Wine Releases December 2010

New wine releases from around the world





Arroyo Grande Valley

2005 Brut Coquard; $28
13.5/20A clean and crisp wine, flavors of lemon citrus are touched by mineral water and tonic for a fresh finish.

Paso Robles

Austin Hope Winery
2009 Grenache; $42
14/20The spicy and earthy entry is followed by robust flavors of cherry, fig and licorice, leaving a smooth long finish of red berries.

Austin Hope Winery
Westside Red Troublemaker; $20
13.5/20Deep blackberry aromas lead to rich flavors of mocha and spice, followed by a long finish.

Liberty School Winery
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $11
14/20This fruit-forward selection from Paso Robles offers ripe red fruit on the nose, rich berry on the palate and a long finish.

Santa Maria Valley

Riverbench Vineyards
2007 Estate Pinot Noir; $28
13.5/20Riverbench's 2007 Estate Pinot Noir is ripe with strawberry and cherry on the tongue, leading to a lovely finish of the smoke and clove.



Woodbridge Winery
Brut; $10
12.5/20This sparkling wine displays flavors of green apple, ripe pear and bright citrus followed by a toasty finish.


Anderson Valley

Roederer Estate
Brut Multi-Vintage; $23
13.5/20Crisp and elegant with pear and spice flavors, this wine finishes with great depth and finesse.


Gloria Ferrer
2002 Royal Cuvee; $32
13.5/20Abundant flavors of citrus, ripe apple and toast accompany vibrant acidity that refreshes the palate throughout an extremely long finish.

Dry Creek Valley

Quivira Winery
2008 Petite Sirah; $26
13.5/20Known for its big, thick texture and powerful black-purple fruit flavors, the 2008 vintage is concentrated powerful flavor on entry that stays through the finish.

Rosenblum Cellars
2008 Rockpile Road Vineyard Zinfandel; $40
15/20Rich and robust flavors of blackberry, black cherry and raspberry mingle with aromas of spice, tobacco and vanilla.

Napa Valley

Bennett Lane Winery
2008 Turn 4 Cabernet Sauvignon; $19
13/20This NASCAR-inspired red is made with 100 percent sustainably-farmed grapes. Aromas of bright cherry, berry and sage are followed by flavors of chocolate and raspberry.

Domaine Chandon
2003 Étoile Brut Sur Lees; $40
14.5/20A lingering and creamy wine, the Étoile Brut boasts an attractive bouquet of ginger and brown spice.

Frank Family Vineyards
Napa Valley Rouge Champagne; $35
13.5/20Fun and festive with aromas of strawberries and lychee, an essence of orange zest and sparkling fruit flavors tickle the taste buds.

Grgich Hills Estate
2009 Fumé Blanc Napa Valley; $30
14/20A certified organic and Biodynamic wine, the 2009 Fumé Blanc is crisp and elegant with a long finish.

Kristian Story
2007 Warrant Red; $38
13.5/20This wine resonates with flavors of cherries, raspberries and mocha, finishing with notes of espresso and tobacco.

Mumm Napa
2001 DVX; $55
14.5/20Toasted brioche with a hint of oak spice greets the nose, followed by flavors of green apple and ripe peaches.

Patz & Hall Winery
2008 Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Chardonnay; $39
15/20A sophisticated and elegant Chard, made from only 40 percent new oak, this Patz & Hall offering pairs with a wide array of dishes.

Robert Mondavi Winery
2007 Robert Mondavi Winery Merlot; $23
13/20A sensual wine with a broad mouthfeel, this medium-bodied Merlot exhibits rich berry flavors.

2001 Reserve; $105
15.5/20Aromas of spiced gingerbread and brioche lead to the fruitful notes of peach and pear. Flavors of mandarin orange and red grapefruit meld with a creamy essence for a lingering finish.

Russian River Valley

Frei Brothers Winery
2009 Sauvignon Blanc ; $17
13.5/20This wine's lovely acidity is complemented with aromas of citrus and melon which extend through to the palate and culminate in a crisp, light finish.

Iron Horse
2005 Ultra Brut; $50
14.5/20This sparkling wine showcases bright citrus flavors with a creamy mouthfeel.

J Vineyards & Winery
1998 Late Disgorged Brut; $65
15.5/20This bottle offers brioche and honey on the nose with spice, cinnamon and caramel flavors.


Amador County

Andis Winery
2008 Painted Fields; $22
13/20Flavors of ripe raspberry, white pepper and cocoa create a more full-bodied version of the 2007 Painted Fields.



Thornton Winery
1999 Brut Reserve; $38
14/20This sparkler has a nose of apple and yeast. Crisp, clean fruit flavors round out the flavor profile.


Red Rock Winery
2008 California Merlot; $13

13/20This wine exhibits aromas of ripe cherry and strawberry framed by a touch of vanilla. The palate is rich, giving flavors of blackberry and raspberry fruits.

2003 J. Schram; $100

15.5/20Weighty on the palate, the wine fills the mouth with rich, holiday flavors of caramelized apple, vanilla and spice with a hint of sourdough to add yeasty complexity.



Biltmore Estate
2006 Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs; $35

13.5/20 This refreshing sparkling wine displays citrus notes and a touch of yeast and honey.



Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard
2007 SP Blanc de Blancs; $26

14/20 Made from Kluge Estate's finest Chardonnay grapes and in the méthode traditionelle, this brut blanc de blanc is rich and creamy with a fresh citrus finish.



Hogue Cellars
Genesis 2007 Meritage; $15

14/20 Aromas of brambly blackberry and fig lead to a smooth palate of blueberry, huckleberry and spice. The long finish includes earth notes and cassis.


Domaine Ste. Michelle
Brut; $10

12/20 Bright acidity and effervescence cleanse the palate, while the delicate flavors complement a wide array of dishes.




Jackson-Triggs Vintners
2007 Proprietors' Reserve Vidal Icewine; $65
16/20Exhibiting aromas of papaya, mango and apricot and bold fruit on the palate, this lovely icewine calls for strong cheeses or foie gras.




Domaine Agapé

Crémant d'Alsace; $18
The spicy and floral bouquet has cider-like flavors of apples and spices accompanied by tart acidity.


Champagne Taittinger

2003 Comtes de Champagne Brut Rosé; $350
Ripe strawberry and raspberry flavors team with lemon and yeast to form a complex bouquet.

Champagne Bollinger
La Grande Année Rosé
; $160
This rich and full-bodied rosé has subtle bubbles and complex fruit flavors.

Champagne Delamotte
Brut Rosé; $105
Made by the traditional saignée method, this elegant wine has tiny bubbles with strong red fruit aromas and flavors.

Champagne Henriot
1996 Cuvée des Enchanteleurs; $215
An aroma of fresh fruit and candied citrus fruit is followed by an airy bouquet of dried fruit, caramel and spice.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
1999 Palmes d'Or Brut; $130
This Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend offers white flower aromas of acacia and honey with a clean palate, followed by a strong, lingering finish.

Champagne G.H. Mumm
Mumm de Cramant; $75
Elegant on the palate, this wine boasts fresh lime and grapefruit flavors with hints of fragrant white flowers.

Champagne Gosset
Grande Reserve; $64
Aromas of red blackcurrants, dried fruits and gingerbread meet the nose, while the palate is inundated with refreshing mineral notes and flavors of ripe fruit.

Champagne Perrier-Jouet
2002 Brut Fleur de Champagne Rosé; $299
This rich rosé offers a vibrant bouquet of strawberry and citrus, leading to a nicely balanced finish.

Champagne Perrier-Jouet
2002 Brut Fleur de Champagne; $150
Flavors of gingerbread, honey, and grapefruit dominate in this vibrant Champagne, finishing with a nutty note.

Champagne Henriot
NV Brut Rosé; $80
A wine full of freshness, this rosé features a complex bouquet dominated by raspberry and mineral notes, leading to a balanced finish.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
2003 Cuvée 225; $96
Abundant flavors of honey, spices, and yellow fleshy fruit lead to a fresh and well-structured finale.

Champagne Saint-Chamant
1999 Millesime Brut Blanc de Blancs; $80
Generous notes of white fruits, biscuit and chalky minerals dominate the flavor, finishing with a vibrant finesse.

Champagne Taittinger
Prélude NV Grands Crus; $75
Mineral aromas lead to floral scents and spicy cinnamon overtones, and the palate is intense with flavors of citrus and white peach.

Champagne Ayala
1999 Millesimé; $74
Consisting of 80 percent Pinot Noir and 20 percent Chardonnay, this unique blend provides the strength of the Pinot Noir with a light, fresh finish of Chardonnay.

Champagne G.H. Mumm
1998 Brut R. Lalou Cuvée Prestige; $150
Chardonnay grapes give fullness to this wine, while Pinot Noir grapes give it a powerful bouquet, blending into a lovely, long finish.

Champagne Gonet-Medeville
NV Rose Extra Brut; $69
This elegant wine is almost pastel in color and boasts subtle undercurrents of peach and raspberry.

Champagne Gosset
Brut Excellence; $44
White jasmine and honeysuckle perfume give way to flavors of sweet peaches and nectarines.

Champagne Henriot
Brut Souverain; $60
A lovely bouquet of white flower and citrus is followed by a well-balanced and harmonious palate.

Louis Roederer
Brut Premier; $45
This Champagne features flavors of grapefruit zest and citrus with a touch of toast. On the dry side, the finish has lingering notes of butter pastry.

Champagne Pol Roger
Brut Reserve 'White Foil' NV; $45
A delicate aroma of flowers and toast lead to a complex body that is balanced with a dry, harmonious finish.

Champagne Taittinger
Prestige Rosé; $45
Ripe strawberry and raspberry flavors team with lemon and yeast to form a complex bouquet that earns the “Prestige” of its title.

Champagne Veuve Clicquot
Rosé; $60
Based on Brut Yellow Label's traditional blend, this light Champagne has bright flavors of strawberries with a hint of smokiness, leading to a lengthy, intense finish.

Champagne Deutz
Brut Classic; $40
This well-rounded Champagne displays floral notes on the nose followed by aromas of toast and ripe fruits. The silky texture transitions into an intensely fruity finish.

Champagne Diebolt-Vallois
Brut Cuvée Tradition; $54
A blend of the region's three grape varieties (40 percent Chardonnay; 40 percent Pinot Noir; and 20 percent Pinot Meunier), this sparkler is fresh with lively notes of citrus.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
2004 Brut Blanc de Blancs; $46
Mineral aromas with touches of flower blossoms and acacia reveal a full-bodied and smooth palate.

Champagne Perrier-Jouët
Blason Rosé; $75
Ripe strawberries and raspberries dominate the aroma and lead to strawberry and citrus on the palate. Earthy notes lead into the long, persistent finish.

Champagne Pommery
Brut Apanage; $70
Aromas of fresh, buttery citrus fruits complement a creamy mouthfeel and flavors of hazelnuts, dried apricots and vanilla.

Champagne Saint-Chamant
Brut Blanc de Blancs; $56
This rich blend is introduced by vanilla and caramel aromas, followed by notes of peach and candied citrus. The lengthy finish includes a touch of coffee and roasted almond.

Champagne Ayala
Rosé Majeur; $52
This fleshy and vinous rosé is both an ideal aperitif and a great match for fatty fish or roasted lamb.

Champagne Collet
2000 Brut Millésime; $52
A clean nose of red currant and strawberry is a preview of the red fruit flavors in the mouth.

Champagne Diebolt-Vallois
Brut Rosé; $60
A lively pink champagne, the Brut Rosé has an aromatic bouquet of ripe raspberries, black cherry and pomegranate.

Champagne Gonet-Medeville
NV Blanc de Noirs 1er Cru; $60
The intensely mineral nose displays green apple and citrus, which persist through the impressive finishing lift.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
Brut Réserve Particulière; $30
The fresh opening has floral notes with a predominant white fruit flavor. Touches of apple and almond lead into a balanced finish.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
Brut Rosé; $48
This well-balanced rosé features raspberries, blackberries and strawberries in the light and elegant bouquet.

Champagne Perrier-Jouet
Grand Brut; $45
Aromas of tropical fruit and spice lead into flavors of fresh apples and lemons.

Champagne Taittinger
Brut La Francaise; $40
This rich Champagne with hints of toast, yellow fruit and coconut milk offers round flavors of peach and honey that lead to a long, dry finish.

Champagne Ayala
Brut Majeur; $39
A pale golden color, this sparkler offers appealing fruitiness and a long finish.

Champagne Besserat de Bellefon
Cuvée des Moines; $50
Floral aromas open to fresh fruit flavors of apricot, pineapple and bush peach for a long and assertive finish.

Champagne Collet
Brut Rosé; $45
This Champagne mixes Pinot Meunier in with the regular Pinot Gris and Chardonnay to help contribute to its unique flavor.

Champagne G.H. Mumm
Brut Rosé; $55
Intense summer fruit aromas are followed by rich flavors of red fruit, caramel and vanilla.

Champagne G.H. Mumm
Cordon Rouge; $30
Notes of peaches, pears and green apple are followed by the freshness of candied lemons and apricot on the palate.

Champagne Gonet-Medeville
NV Brut Tradition; $54
Aromas of strawberry, lemon, and honey lead to juicy red berry and orchard fruit flavors.

Champagne Bonnaire
Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs; $30
Powerful on the nose with floral scents, this Champagne has strong flavors of apple leading to a crisp, long finish.


Marquis de la Tour

Brut Rosé; $9
Elegant notes of strawberries and raspberries are followed by red fruit flavors, leading to a long finish.



Ridgeview Estate
Bloomsbury 2007; $35
14.5/20Chardonnay dominates in this English sparkling, bringing crisp fruit freshness and toasty notes all the way to the firm, short finish.



Antinori Montenisa
Franciacorta Brut DOCG; $37
13.5/20Intense aromas of white peaches and apples are enhanced on the palate by ripe fruit flavors.


Sparkling Asti; $15
12/20Produced entirely from white muscat grapes, this refreshing wine has a delicately sweet character.


Brut; $25
13.5/20Flavors of ripe golden apples, wild flowers and yeast lead to a pleasant finish of ripe fruit and a hint of bread crust.

N.V. Lunetta Prosecco; $11
13/20Fine bubbles and enticing aromas of apple and peach are present in this sparkler. Crisp fruit flavors are followed by a dry finish.


Rose Spumante Veneto VSAQ; $13
12.5/20The wine has powerful aromas of flowers and bananas, followed by fresh and fruity flavors.

Nino Franco
Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG; $18
13/20Fruity and floral, this wine features a fine bead with a persistent creaminess that retains crisp acidity.



Rosado Cava Seco; $12
13/20This fresh and silky Cava Seco offers a smoky, citrus aroma that balances nicely with flavors of peach and brown sugar.


Torre Oria
Cava Brut; $13
13/20A crisp, brunch-style sparkler, the Cava Brut has a medium-fine stream of bubbles and a clean finish.


Bodegas Farina
Peromato Tempranillo; $9
12.5/20This medium-bodied Tempranillo from Spain offers easy drinking with pure, juicy fruit. Flavors of blackberry and licorice are accompanied by bright acidity.





2008 Malbec; $20
With ripe black fruits and black pepper spice on the nose, this bottle has blackberry and currant flavors mingled with a touch of leather.

Extra Brut; $15
The wine shows aromas of apples and pineapples with a toasted bread note. In the mouth, the Semillon and Malbec create a full, crisp character.

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