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

New Wine Releases August 2012

New wine releases from around the world

NORTH AMERICA

UNITED STATES

CALIFORNIA

CENTRAL COAST

Bridlewood
2010 Central Coast Blend 175; $15
13.5/20Blend from Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Santa Ynez Valley, Paso Robles and Monterey County, this well-balanced red wine is fruit-forward and full-bodied.


Layer Cake
2009 Virgin Chardonnay; $12
13/20This unoaked Chardonnay offers pure and crisp citrus flavors with mineral notes for added complexity.


Paso Robles

Niner Wine Estates
2007 Petite Sirah, Bootjack Ranch; $28
13.5/20This spicy red wine boasts an aromatic bouquet, dark fruit flavors and silky smooth tannins.


Tower 15
2010 "The Jetty"; $21
13.5/20Composed of 62 per cent Grenache, 33 per cent Syrah and 5 per cent Mourvèdre, this full-bodied red wine offers cherry and blackberry flavors with a hint of vanilla.


Viña Robles
2008 Signature Estate Cuvée; $39
14/20A blend mainly of Petit Verdot with some Petite Sirah and a little Cabernet Sauvignon, this robust red wine displays black fruit flavors and generous tannins.


Santa Barbara County

Old Creek Ranch Winery
2009 Sangiovese; $32
12.5/20This earthy red wine offers aromas of pomegranate, blackcurrant and tobacco.


Santa Lucia Highlands

Rock Wall
2010 Chardonnay; $25
13.5/20Clean and crisp, this refreshing white wine offers tropical fruit flavors and a balanced acidity.


Santa Maria Valley

Belle Glos
2010 Clark & Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir; $44
14/20A well-balanced red wine, it offers sweet strawberry and cinnamon on the nose and pomegranate in the mouth.


Wild Horse
2008 Cheval Sauvage Pinot Noir; $60
15.5/20This small-production Pinot Noir boasts complex aromas and flavors, a voluptuous mouthfeel and a long, lingering finish.


CENTRAL VALLEY

Clarksburg

Baron Herzog
2011 Chenin Blanc; $8
13/20A well-priced bottle, it offers fragrant peach and apple aromas on the nose and a crisp acidity in the mouth.


Dunnigan Hills

Matchbook
2009 Tempranillo; $15
14/20A little Graciano and Cabernet Sauvignon have been added to this Tempranillo, which offers rich, spicy flavors that would pair well with a variety of tapas.


NORTH COAST

Benziger Family Winery
2011 Sauvignon Blanc; $15
13.5/20Aged in stainless steel, it offers fresh fruit flavors of apricot and apple with mineral notes on the finish.


Hess Select
2011 Sauvignon Blanc; $11
13/20This fragrant white wine displays a tangy acidity and flavors of lime, grapefruit and kiwi.


Carneros

Buccio Winery
2009 Chardonnay; $20
13/20Nicely textured, it is medium full-bodied with flavors of Bartlett pear, apple and citrus acidity with hints of bread dough and a heavy toasted oak note.


Dry Creek Valley

Ferrari-Carano
2009 Zinfandel; $29
14/20Blended with a little Petite Sirah and Carignane, this robust Zinfandel offers jammy flavors with a touch of spice and a thick mouthfeel.


Quivira
2011 Sauvignon Blanc; $15
14/20This crisp white wine offers pineapple, guava and passion fruit on the nose and reveals a bright acidity in the mouth.


Wine Guerrilla
2009 Coffaro Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel; $15
14/20Blended with some Petite Sirah, this robust Zinfandel is perhaps too alcoholic, but boasts great complexity and supple tannins.


Lake County

Line 39
2010 Sauvignon Blanc; $10
13/20This aromatic white wine offers refreshing citrus flavors and a bright acidity.


Mendocino

Girasole Vineyards
2010 Chardonnay; $13
13/20Made with organic-certified grapes, this vegan white wine offers lovely apple flavors and toasty notes.


Mt. Veeder

Mt. Brave
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $75
16/20Offering an excellent balance of fruit, acidity and tannin, it would pair well with wild game such as boar, elk or buffalo.


Napa Valley

Benessere
2008 Sangiovese; $28
13/20A medium-bodied and food-friendly wine, it displays ripe red fruit flavors and mild tannins.


Chappellet
2009 Cabernet Franc; $65
15/20Composed of 76 per cent Cabernet Franc, 16 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 4 per cent Malbec and 4 per cent Petit Verdot, this full-bodied red wine boasts depth and complexity.


Clif Family Winery
2011 Rte. Blanc; $20
14/20This crisp Sauvignon Blanc offers fragrant floral aromas and fresh flavors of apple, peach and pineapple.


Frank Family Vineyards
2009 Napa Valley Zinfandel; $36
14.5/20A little Petite Sirah is added to this spicy Zinfandel, which features smooth tannins and plenty of red fruit flavors.


Paraduxx
2009 Napa Valley Red Wine - C Blend; $48
14.5/20A blend of 62 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 38 per cent Zinfandel, this rich red wine is thick and jammy.


William Hill Estate
2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $35
14/20Blended with a small amount of other Bordeaux varietals, this robust Cabernet Sauvignon boasts blueberry and cherry flavors with a hint of nutmeg and vanilla.


Russian River Valley

Francis Ford Coppola Winery
2009 Director's Cut Russian River Valley Chardonnay; $21
14/20Offering guava, pineapple and honeysuckle aromas on the nose, this full-bodied white wine displays peach, apple and tangerine in the mouth.


Iron Horse
2010 Rued Clone Chardonnay; $48
15.5/20Distinguished by its heady floral aromas, this full-bodied Chardonnay features crisp lemon and lime flavors.


Joseph Jewell
2009 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir; $42
15/20An earthy and well-balanced Pinot Noir, it offers dark fruit flavors with hints of cinnamon and clove.


Duckhorn Wine Company
2010 Migration Russian River Valley Chardonnay; $30
14/20Perhaps a little too alcoholic, this full-bodied white wine features rounded stone fruit flavors and a soft acidity.


Rutherford

Round Pond
2009 Estate Sauvignon Blanc; $24
14/20Light and crisp, it offers an aromatic bouquet and luscious flavors of apricot, lemon and peach.


Sonoma Coast

Dunstan
2010 Chardonnay, Durell Vineyard; $40
14.5/20This full-bodied white wine offers fragrant aromas of melon, peach and vanilla on the nose and refreshing flavors of kiwi, pear and lime in the mouth.


Landmark
2010 Grand Detour Pinot Noir; $40
14.5/20A well-balanced wine displaying ripe red fruit flavors, it would pair well with dishes like rack of lamb, salmon en croute or duck confit.


MacRostie
2010 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay; $25
14/20This creamy Chardonnay features floral and citrus aromas on the nose and apple and pear flavors in the mouth.


Pali Wine Co.
2010 "Riviera" Pinot Noir; $20
14/20A medium-bodied red wine, it offers a mélange of dark berry flavors with earthy and spicy notes.


Sonoma County

Ferrari-Carano
2011 Bella Luce; $16
13.5/20A blend of seven white varietals, it offers abundant fruity and floral aromas on the nose and a multi-layered palate of tropical and citrus fruits.


SOUTH COAST

Temecula Valley

Tesoro Winery
2007 Elio Doro; $35
13.5/20This blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre displays cherry and raspberry flavors with a touch of sweetness on the finish.


MULTIPLE AVAS

Caricature
2010 Red Blend; $16
14/20Composed of 84 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 16 per cent Zinfandel, this full-bodied blend is rich and jammy.


McManis Family Vineyards
2011 Pinot Grigio; $10
13/20This light and crisp white wine offers floral aromas and citrus flavors that make it an ideal summer aperitif.


Redtree
2010 Moscato; $8
13/20At 9 per cent alcohol, this Moscato is light and sweet, making it suitable for enjoying with dessert or after dinner.


Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi
2008 Moscato; $8
13.5/20A blend of Muscat Canelli, Orange Muscat and Muscat of Alexandria, this slightly effervescent Moscato features sweet citrus and honeyed flavors.


OREGON

DUNDEE HILLS

Vista Hills
2010 Treehouse Pinot Gris; $18
13/20This dry white wine features stone fruit flavors with mineral notes and a crisp acidity.


WILLAMETTE VALLEY

Adelsheim
2011 Rosé; $19
13.5/20A rosé of Pinot Noir, it displays fresh strawberry and lime flavors and a lively acidity.


Hip Chicks do Wine
2010 Riot Girl Rosé; $15
13/20This fifty-fifty blend of Pinot Noir and Muscat has a creamy mouthfeel and a short finish.


R. Stuart & Co.
2008 Autograph Pinot Noir; $38
14/20Nicely structured with fine grain tannins, it features subtle cherry, berry and cacao nib flavors.


WASHINGTON

COLUMBIA VALLEY

Buty Winery
2010 Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay; $35
14/20This unoaked Chardonnay boasts a creamy mouthfeel and flavors of banana with a hint of coconut.


Domaine Ste Michelle
Extra Dry; $12
12.5/20Composed of 88 per cent Chardonnay and 12 per cent Pinot Noir, this dry sparkling wine features pear, guava and kiwi flavors.


Snoqualmie
2010 Naked Riesling; $12
13/20Made from organic grapes, this semi-dry white wine offers refreshing flavors of pear and apricot.

EUROPE

FRANCE

Bordeaux

Château de Villegeorge
2009 Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois; $23
14/20Offering aromas of violet, cassis and anise on the nose, it reveals earthy fruit flavors and supple tannins in the mouth.

Loire Valley

Domaine de Belle Vue
2010 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine; $13
13.5/20This soft white wine offers citrus flavors with mineral and floral notes.


GREECE

Lesvos

Methymnaeos Winery
2010 Blanc de Noirs; $22
14/20Made entirely from red Chidiriotiko grapes, this unusual white wine is reminiscent of a dry sherry, displaying a thick mouthfeel and flavors of citrus and cashew.


HUNGARY

Villányi

Sauska
2010 Cuvée 13; $27
13.5/20Composed of 45 per cent Cabernet Franc, 34 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 21 per cent Merlot, this well-balanced red blend boasts ripe fruit flavors and firm tannins.


ITALY

Abruzzi

I Vasari
2008 Old Vines Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC; $20
13.5/20A dry red wine, it offers cherry, plum and blackberry flavors with a touch of spice.


Marche

Saladini Pilastri
2008 Rosso Piceno "Montetinello"; $18
13.5/20This full-bodied red wine displays sweet cherry aromas and flavors with notes of coffee and vanilla towards the back of the palate.


Umbria

Arnaldo-Caprai
2005 Sagrantino di Montefalco 25 Anni DOCG; $100
16/20This rich, velvety red wine offers complex, concentrated fruit flavors and a smooth, lingering finish.


Veneto

Pizzolato Fields
Prosecco NV; $13
13.5/20Made from organically-grown grapes, this non-vintage sparkling wine features fresh fruit flavors and would make an ideal aperitif.


PORTUGAL

Vinho Verde

Aveleda
2011 Alvarinho; $12
13.5/20Made entirely from Alvarinho grapes, this young white wine displays crisp, clean flavors of peach, mandarin and melon.


SPAIN

Rioja

Valserrano
2006 Graciano; $48
14.5/20An intense wine packed with character and flavor, it displays layers of aromas that include blackberry and black currant, leather, cocoa and tobacco.


Toro

Bodegas Fariña
2006 Gran Dama de Toro; $45
14.5/20This dry, full-bodied red wine offers concentrated red fruit flavors with earthy notes and a touch of spice.


Valencia

Tarantas
Sparkling White; $10
12.5/20Made from organically-grown Macabeo and Airén grapes, this light sparkler offers refreshing apple and lemon flavors.

SOUTH AMERICA

ARGENTINA

Mendoza

Doña Paula Estate
2010 Malbec; $15
13.5/20A dry, full-bodied red wine, it offers dark fruit flavors with plenty of spice.


Santa Julia
2010 Organica Tempranillo; $11
13.5/20This organic red wine boasts rich jammy flavors and soft tannins.


Zuccardi
2010 Serie A Malbec; $15
12.5/20This hearty red wine features dried-berry flavors with earthy notes and harsh tannins.


CHILE

Colchagua Valley

Hacienda Araucano
2007 Alka Carmenère; $50
14.5/20This robust red wine boasts complex aromas of fig, cherry and smoke, a thick mouthfeel and supple tannins.


Lolol Valley

Hacienda Araucano
2008 Clos de Lolol; $24
14/20Composed of 38 per cent Carmenere, 28 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 per cent Syrah and 14 per cent Cabernet Franc, this well-balanced red blend offers complex fruit flavors and smooth tannins.

AUSTRALASIA

AUSTRALIA

South Eastern Australia


FishEye
2011 Shiraz; $7
12.5/20This spicy red wine offers ripe blueberry and blackberry flavors and excellent value for money.


NEW ZEALAND

Marlborough


Brancott Estate
2011 Marlborough Pinot Noir; $14
12.5/20This medium-bodied Pinot Noir is rather thin and lacking in structure, but displays sweet cherry flavors.


Cloudy Bay
2009 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc; $50
16/20Sauvignon Blanc doesn't get much better than this wine, created in a lush, full-bodied and complex style.

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