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

New Wine Releases February 2012

New wine releases from around the world

NORTH AMERICA

UNITED STATES

CALIFORNIA

CENTRAL COAST

Concannon Vineyard
2009 Petite Sirah, Selected Vineyards; $10
13/20This well-structured red wine offers plum, blackberry and black cherry aromas on the nose and firm tannins in the mouth.


Arroyo Grande Valley

Laetitia
2006 Brut Coquard; $35
13.5/20Composed of 80 per cent Pinot Noir and 20 per cent Chardonnay, this dry sparkling wine features citrus, peach and yeasty flavors.


Arroyo Seco

J. Lohr Estates
2010 Riverstone Chardonnay; $14
14/20This full-bodied white wine offers pear, apple and peach flavors with a hint of oak and a bracing acidity.


Paso Robles

Halter Ranch Vineyard
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $28
14/20Blended with traditional Bordeaux varietals, this potent and big-bodied Cabernet boasts ripe blackcurrant and purple plum flavors.


Halter Ranch Vineyard
2008 Côtes de Paso; $30
14/20This blend of red Rhône varietals offers berry and espresso on the nose with underlying herbal aromas of sage and thyme.


Sta. Rita Hills

Pali Wine Co.
2010 "Summit" Pinot Noir; $29
12.5/20This potent, full-bodied red wine displays rich berry and oak flavors that would benefit from further aging.


CENTRAL VALLEY

Madera

Fäsi Crest
2006 Syrah; $29
14.5/20This reserve red wine offers a multi-layered palate of blackberry, red currant, dark chocolate and a hint of smoke.


NORTH COAST

Anderson Valley

Breggo Cellars
2009 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, Savoy Vineyard; $55
15/20Featuring complex fruity and earthy aromas, this intense red wine offers cherry, pomegranate and cola flavors and silky tannins.


Carneros

Envolve Winery
2010 Carneros Chardonnay; $25
14.5/20This rich white wine offers fresh fruit flavors with a hint of vanilla and cedar.


Dry Creek Valley

Quivira
2010 Refuge Sauvignon Blanc; $28
15/20Offering orange, lemon and lime aromas on the nose, this crisp white wine reveals peach and mineral flavors in the mouth.


Wine Guerrilla
2009 Adel's Vineyard Zinfandel; $20
13/20This boldly flavored red wine offers blackberry, raspberry and black cherry in the mouth with hints of vanilla and spice.


Napa Valley

Robert Biale Vineyards
2009 Royal Punishers Napa Valley Petite Sirah; $39
14/20Named for an anagram containing the words Syrah and Peloursin, this 15.7 per cent ABV red wine offers intense blackberry and blackcurrant flavors.


Russian River Valley

Iron Horse
2006 Brut X; $50
14.5/20Composed of 75 per cent Pinot Noir and 25 per cent Chardonnay, this extremely dry sparkling white wine offers green apple, almond and yeast flavors.


Sonoma Coast

Cobb Wines
2008 Jack Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir; $68
14.5/20This aromatic red wine is earthy and spicy, featuring cola, mineral and vanilla notes and firm tannins.


Sonoma County

Duckhorn Vineyards
2009 Decoy Sonoma County Zinfandel; $22
14/20This spicy red wine offers a multi-layered bouquet of strawberry, raspberry, vanilla and pepper.


Sonoma Mountain

La Follette
2009 Pinot Noir Van Der Kamp Vineyard; $39
15/20Offering earthy aromas of sage, rosemary, pine and leather, this rich red wine reveals red fruit flavors and a touch of spice in the mouth.


Sonoma Valley

Lasseter Family Winery
2008 Amoureux; $40
14.5/20Blended from a base of Malbec with 26 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 per cent Merlot and 3 per cent Cabernet Franc, this full-bodied red wine offers berry and floral flavors balanced by earthier notes.


SIERRA FOOTHILLS

El Dorado

Lava Cap
2009 Petite Sirah Granite Hill; $32
14.5/20This well-balanced red wine offers ripe blackberry, plum and cocoa aromas on the nose, while in the mouth it reveals earthy, mineral notes with a touch of spice.


SOUTH COAST

Malibu-Newton Canyon Valley

The Malibu Vineyard
2008 Pinot Noir Rambla Pacifico; $30
14/20This full-bodied red wine offers ripe red fruit flavors with a hint of spice and a smooth finish.


Temecula Valley

Wilson Creek
Decadencia Dessert Wine; $29 (375 ml)
13/20Made from Old Vine Zinfandel blended with a touch of natural chocolate, this sweet dessert wine displays a surprising burst of vanilla and chocolate flavors.


MULTIPLE AVAS

Ironstone
2009 Obsession Symphony; $8
13/20Made from the Symphony varietal, created in 1948 by crossing Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris, this white wine is light and aromatic.


McManis Family Vineyards
2010 Malbec; $12
13.5/20This fruit-forward red wine offers raspberry aromas and flavors with hints of mocha and toast on the nose and moderate tannins in the mouth.


MICHIGAN

OLD MISSION PENINSULA

Black Star Farms
2010 Arcturos Riesling; $15
13.5/20A food-friendly wine, this light and crisp Riesling offers tangerine, peach and apple flavors.


Peninsula Cellars
2010 Dry Riesling; $17
13.5/20This full-bodied white wine features apple and peach flavors with a hint of minerality.


NEW MEXICO

MIDDLE RIO GRANDE VALLEY

Gruet
2007 Blanc de Blancs; $25
14/20This sparkling Chardonnay boasts aromas and flavors of apple, pear and citrus with a hint of toast.


OREGON

WILLAMETTE VALLEY

King Estate
2010 Pinot Gris; $17
13/20Offering aromas of green apple, white peach and honeysuckle, this crisp white wine reveals pear, melon and citrus flavors in the mouth.


Oak Knoll
2008 Gewürztraminer; $12
13/20This dry white wine offers citrus and lemongrass flavors with a touch of raspberry on the finish.


TEXAS

TEXOMA

Messina Hof
2009 Cabernet Franc Private Reserve; $22
12.5/20Blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this smooth red wine features blackberry and vanilla flavors with a touch of spice.


WASHINGTON

COLUMBIA VALLEY

North by Northwest
2009 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $25
13.5/20With some Merlot and Petit Verdot in the blend, this full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon features plum, cherry and coconut aromas.

EUROPE

AUSTRIA

Kamptal

Kurt Angerer
2009 Kies Grüner Veltliner; $18
14/20This crisp white wine offers peach, apricot and raisin flavors with a touch of spice.


FRANCE

Bordeaux

Château Veyry
2005 Côtes de Castillon; $37
14.5/20This full-bodied red wine boasts concentrated black cherry flavors with hints of oak and firm tannins.

Gascony

Beret Noir
2009 Saint-Mont; $9
12/20Composed of 70 percent Tannat, 15 per cent Pinenc and 15 per cent Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this full-bodied red wine offers raspberry and red currant flavors.


Château d'Aydie
2008 Madiran; $15
13.5/20Made from Tannat grapes, this spicy red wine features cherry and blackberry flavors with notes of vanilla and coffee.


Limoux

Vampire Vineyards
Je T'Aime Brut Rosé; $20
14/20This salmon-colored sparkling wine features bright strawberry and raspberry aromas and flavors.


GERMANY

Baden

Dr. Heger
2009 Pinot Gris Spätlese Dry; $18
13/20This dry white wine offers tropical aromas, crisp acidity and stone fruit and honey flavors with strong mineral notes.


Mosel

Mozelle
Redbreast Riesling; $13
13.5/20A fairly sweet white wine, this Riesling boasts lemon, apple and apricot flavors.


Pfalz

Reichsrat von Buhl
2008 Riesling Sekt Brut; $21
13/20This sparkling white wine is light and fruity with citrus and yeast aromas.


Rheinhessen

Lorenz Vineyards
2010 "Symphony" Dornfelder; $17
13/20Composed of 90 per cent organic Dornfelder and 10 per cent organic Cabernet, this medium-bodied red wine offers rhubarb and black cherry flavors.


HUNGARY

Tokaj

Royal Tokaji
2006 Aszú 5 Puttonyos; $34 (500 ml)
14.5/20A blend of Furmint, Harslevelu and Muscat grapes, this sweet white wine reveals apricot, orange peel and honey flavors in the mouth.


ITALY

Piedmont

Rizzi
2005 Nervo Fondetta Barbaresco DOCG; $49
14/20Made from Nebbiolo grapes grown in Rizzi's Nervo Fondetta vineyard, this full-bodied red wine boasts fruity and floral aromas with hints of licorice and spice.


Tuscany

Antinori
2007 Cervaro della Sala; $48
15/20This well-structured Chardonnay boasts intense aromas of citrus and pear with floral notes and a hint of vanilla.


Luce della Vite
Lucente 2009; $29
14/20Composed of 75 per cent Merlot and 25 per cent Sangiovese, this dry red wine offers aromas of cherry, strawberry and black pepper.


Veneto

Avissi
Prosecco DOC; $12
13.5/20This light sparkling wine boasts a floral and fruity bouquet, making it an ideal aperitif.


PORTUGAL

Alentejo

Herdade do Esporão
2008 Reserva Red; $25
13.5/20A blend of Aragonês, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet, this rich red wine boasts red berry flavors and firm tannins.


SPAIN

Penedès

Freixenet
Carta Nevada Brut; $9
13/20Composed of equal parts Macabeo, Zarel-lo and Parellada, this dry cava boasts refreshing peach and apricot flavors.

SOUTH AMERICA

ARGENTINA

Mendoza


Tikal
2010 Natural; $20
14/20Made entirely from organically-grown Malbec grapes, this full-bodied red wine offers raspberry and cherry flavors with a hint of mocha.


Bodega Elena de Mendoza
2010 Chardonnay; $11
12.5/20This dry Chardonnay offers apple and tropical fruit flavors and would pair well with roast chicken, ceviche or empanadas.


Valentin Bianchi
2011 Elsa Torrontes; $10
13/20This dry white wine made from Torrontes grapes offers a fragrant and floral bouquet and crisp fruit flavors on the palate.


CHILE

Limarí Valley

Viña Tabalí
2010 Reserva Viognier; $12
13.5/20Offering aromas of citrus and spice, this crisp white wine reveals peach and pear flavors in the mouth.


Santa Cruz

Montes Alpha
2004 M; $95
15.5/20Composed of 80 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 per cent Merlot, 10 per cent Cabernet Franc and 5 per cent Petit Verdot, this full-bodied red wine boasts bold dark fruit flavors and supple tannins.

AUSTRALASIA

NEW ZEALAND

Martinborough


Cobblestone
2009 Pinot Noir "Te Muna"; $34
14.5/20This medium-bodied red wine offers cherry and raspberry flavors with herbal notes up front and wet stone on the lengthy finish.

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