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

New Wine Releases August 2011

New wine releases from around the world





Conway Family Wines
2008 Deep Sea Red; $28
14/20A vibrant nose of blackberry and plum aromas leads to a pleasant acidity and soft tannins on the palate.

2009 Central Coast Syrah; $10
13/20A mature and full-bodied wine, this Syrah boasts layers of dark berries, spice and vanilla on the palate.

The Vegan Vine
2010 Sauvignon Blanc; $10
13/20With racy lemon and lime acidity, this vegan wine cleanses the palate and quenches thirst with a background of subtle tropical fruit, lemongrass and just a note of minerality.

Arroyo Seco

J. Lohr Vineyards
2009 Fog's Reach Pinot Noir; $35
13.5/20Boasting aromas of strawberry, cherry and a touch of vanilla on the nose, this approachable Pinot Noir is bright on the palate.

Radog Wines
2007 Syrah; $28
14/20Made in the traditional Northern Rhone style, this medium-bodied red wine is balanced and smoky with notes of white pepper.

Monterey County

2009 Kali Hart Pinot Noir; $21
14/20Blueberry, cherry and plum flavors on the palate lead to a long and rich finish, with hints of vanilla and oak.

Santa Clara Valley

Solis Winery
2009 Vino Roseo di Sangiovese; $16
13/20Made in an off-dry rather than bone-dry style of rosé, this summery wine offers candied strawberry flavors with zesty lemon acidity.

Solis Winery
2009 Fiano; $20
13/20Crisp flavors of melon, green apples and orange peel are well balanced with a pleasant sweetness, followed by a long apricot finish.

Santa Lucia Highlands

2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir; $32
14.5/20Earthy aromas and flavors of dried cranberry, strawberry and rhubarb make for a rich mouth-feel and silky finish.

Santa Ynez Valley

Jorian Hill Vineyards
2008 Syrah; $24
13.5/20Aromas of black cherry, cinnamon and smoke on the nose lead to a rich, velvety mouthfeel and bright acidity on the palate.


Dry Creek Valley

Trattore Estate Wines
2009 Tractor Red; $18
13/20A blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, this robust wine pairs well with meaty lasagna, buffalo burgers and grilled lamb chops.


Clif Family Winery
2010 Climber Sauvignon Blanc; $14
13/20With the addition of Riesling, Viognier and Muscat Blanc, this crisp, acidic white wine carries delightful citrus flavors and a vibrant finish.

Napa Valley

Chateau Montelena
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; $49
16/20Plum, blackberry and blackcurrant on the nose lead to cherry and raspberry flavors on the palate and a spicy finish.

Frank Family
Blanc de Blancs; $35
14/20Crisp and dry, this sparkling Chardonnay goes well with appetizers like shrimp cocktail, prosciutto with melon or Waldorf salad.

2007 Blanc de Blancs; $36
14/20This dry sparkling Chardonnay boasts citrus aromas on the nose and flavors of green apple and honeydew melon on the palate.

2007 Study in Blue; $45
14.5/20A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot, this complex and expressive wine offers distinctive blueberry and black plum aromas.

Russian River Valley

Foppiano Vineyards
2010 Estate Bottled Sauvignon Blanc; $18
14/20Similar in style to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, this wine features a lively acidity and palate-cleansing freshness.

Iron Horse
2009 "M" Chardonnay; $48
14.5/20A potpourri of citrus and herbs on the nose gives way to lime and nectarine on the palate, leading to a long finish and dense mouthfeel.

Patz & Hall
2009 Dutton Ranch - Russian River Valley Chardonnay; $39
14.5/20Produced from some of the oldest Chardonnay vines in western Sonoma County, this wine boasts a dry acidity and crisp minerality.

2009 Dutton Ranch Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir; $45
14.5/20From one of the smallest appellations of Sonoma County, this full-bodied wine boasts tea leaf and Asian spice aromas.


Amador County

2007 Shake Ridge Red; $28
13/20A blend of Syrah, Primitivo, Petite Syrah, Mourvedre, Malbec and Merlot, this robust wine balances fruit flavors with hints of spice.


Big House Wine Co.
2010 The Birdman Pinot Grigio; $10
12.5/20Light and refreshing, with a whimsically illustrated bottle label, this wine pairs well with Thai basil chicken, smoked trout and spaghetti with clam sauce.

Domaine Chandon
Extra-Dry Riche; $22
14/20A honeyed, floral bouquet on the nose is balanced by peach, nectarine and apricot flavors on the palate.

Red Rock Winery
2009 California Pinot Noir; $14
13/20This robust red wine displays layers of strawberry, red cherry and raspberry balanced by hints of caramel.

Robert Mondavi
2010 Private Selection Pinot Grigio; $11
13/20Mostly sourced from Central Coast vineyards, this fresh, fruity white wine pairs well with California rolls, grilled chicken and Caesar salad.



Château Frank
2002 Blanc de Noirs; $29
13.5/20Made mostly from Pinot Noir grapes, with a small amount of Pinot Meunier added to lighten the color, this dry sparkling wine is full-bodied and well-structured.

Château Frank
Célèbre Rosé; $20
12.5/20This sparkling wine, made entirely from Pinot Meunier grapes, is bright and fruity.


FlipFlop Wines
2010 Washington Riesling; $7
12.5/20This sweet, medium-bodied wine carries peach, apricot and melon flavors on the palate, leading to a smooth, satisfying finish.



Zniber Vineyards

Les Trois Domaines
2010 Gerrouane Gris; $10
13/20This refreshing rosé wine made from Cinsault grapes is characterized by currant flavors and a gentle acidity.




2007 Classic Merlot; $12
13/20With ripe plum and strawberry aromas, this well-structured red wine boasts smooth, rounded tannins and is Kosher for Passover.



Le Grande Courtâge
Grand Cuvée Blanc de Blancs Brut; $20
13.5/20Light and fresh with citrus and floral notes up front, this sparkling wine finishes with a more sophisticated yeasty note.


Joseph Drouhin
2009 Brouilly; $18
13.5/20With supple tannins and a long finish, this versatile Gamay pairs well with all kinds of food, especially simple and flavorful dishes.


Château Ballan Larquette
2009 Bordeaux Blanc; $13
13.5/20Equal parts Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, this dry white wine boasts dominant apple aromas and flavors.

Château Garrineau
2008 Bordeaux Rouge; $19
13.5/20Two-thirds Merlot and one-third Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a pleasant, full-bodied wine with firm tannins.

Château Lacombe Cadiot
2007 Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge; $17
13/20Grown on an estate formerly owned by King Louix XIV, this red wine is warm and smooth with moderate tannins.

Château Lamothe-Vincent
2009 Bordeaux Rosé; $10
13/20Inspired by their namesake, St. Vincent, patron saint of wine growers, this family-run winery makes a crisp and refreshing, dry wine.


Cerdon Bugey; $20
14/20This rare, sparkling rosé from a little-known corner of France boasts fresh fruit flavors and a bright acidity.


Domaine Caillot
2007 Meursault Les Tessons; $52
15.5/20Hazelnut, honey and vanilla aromas and a creamy texture are balanced by stoniness and minerality.


Domaine de Nigri
1997 Jurançon Moelleux; $52
14/20With aromas of fruit and honey, this soft sweet wine pairs well with smoked salmon, pheasant and foie gras.



2009 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo; $11
13/20This medium red wine is well-balanced, boasting red fruit, prune and vanilla flavors on the palate.


Castello Ducale
2007 Pallagrello Nero; $24
13.5/20This dry red wine boasts cherry flavors, prickly tannins and a touch of vanilla.

Tenuta Cavalier Pepe
2006 "Opera Mia" Taurasi; $49
14.5/20Full-bodied and complex with firm tannins, this rich red wine pairs well with roast meats, spicy salami and mature cheeses.

Beneventano Falanghina; $16
13.5/20Made from grapes grown on volcanic highlands, this crisp, acidic wine boasts a minerality balanced by melon flavors.


Torre di Giano; $15
13/20A light acidity and intense floral aromas make this white wine an excellent accompaniment to risottos, fish and seafood.


Garbèl Brut Prosecco; $15
13/20In local dialect "garbèl" means a dry, crisp and acidic wine, and this sparkling wine certainly fits that description.

Secco-Bertani Ripasso; $19
13/20From prime estate vineyards in Verona's Valpolicella Valpantena district, this dry and well-balanced red wine is made using the traditional ripasso technique.



2005 Selección Especial; $46
14/20A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Mazuelo y Graciano varietals, this full-bodied wine boasts both black and red fruit flavors.




Santa Julia
2010 Malbec; $10
13/20This full-bodied red wine offers good structure and complexity, with notes of vanilla, coffee and chocolate on the nose.

Xavier Flouret
2007 La Pilar; $15
13/20Black ripe fruit, violet and spices on the nose are balanced by moderate and smooth tannins in the mouth.

Uco Valley

DiamAndes de Uco
2010 Malbec; $20
13/20Made from grapes grown at an altitude of more than 3,600 feet, this robust red wine is resplendent with pepper and spice.


Colchagua Valley

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon; $20
13.5/20Aromas of ripe black berry fruit and a hint of oak on the nose lead to a long finish with smooth, firm tannins.

Maipo Valley

2007 Character Cabernet Sauvignon-Carmènére; $20
13/20With its spicy nose and rich, earthy flavors on the palate, this red blend pairs well with black pepper-marinated steak or corned beef hash.

2010 Chardonnay; $12
13/20A multi-layered bouquet of white peaches, butterscotch and mineral notes gives way to grapefruit flavors and a crisp acidity on the palate.

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