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New Wine Releases December 2014

Grapes on the vine at the Billecart-Salmon Estate in France

New Wine Reviews - December 2014

Find tasting notes, prices and ratings for recent vintages in our selection of December 2014 new wine releases.





Caraccioli Cellars
2008 Brut Rosé; $49
13.5/20Youthful and round with a balanced crisp acidity that couples nicely with soft fruitiness.

Napa Valley

Chateau Montelena Winery
2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $50
16/20Young but approachable, this Cabernet Sauvignon has a pleasing barrel spice coursing through the black and red fruits which dominate the palate. The nose opens with aniseed before matching the palate with aromas of blackberry and cherry.

2012 Jayson Cabernet Sauvignon; $75
14/20Produced with hand-selected and de-stemmed grapes, this dark garnet offering emits aromas of black cherry and orange zest before giving way to flavors of dark berry and cocoa powder. Strong tannins and a velvety mouthfeel promise evolving complexity as the wine ages.

Russian River Valley

Dutton-Goldfield Winery
2012 Pinot Noir; $72
16/20Layered with complexity, the 2012 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir entices your nose with sultry Asian spices and greets the palate with a combination of red currant and black raspberry that leads to a prolonged finish. 613 cases.

Santa Barbara County

Stirm Wine Co.
2013 Kick-On Ranch Riesling; $24
15/20Using grapes sourced from the cool and windy Kick-On Ranch near Los Alamos, this confident first offering from the fledgling Stirm Wine Co. is a crisp, dry Riesling with a hint of effervescence. The bright flavors pair well with ramen and Thai food. 75 cases.

Santa Ynez Valley

La Cheffe Wine Co.
2010 Sillix Grenache; $36
14.5/20A wine that strikes the balance between being structurally rich and aromatically nuanced, the 2010 Sillix Grenache is vibrant and fruity with strong notes of Provençal herbs.

Lieu Dit Winery
2013 Sauvignon Blanc; $28
15/20A collaboration between Justin Willett of Tyler Wines and Eric Railsback of Michael Mina's RN74 restaurant, the Lieu Dit 2013 Sauvignon Blanc offers grassy citrus flavors with hints of lime peel and white flowers. Try pairing it with shellfish, salads or charcuterie.

Sonoma Coast

Sojourn Cellars
2012 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay; $48
14.5/20Produced with 100 percent Old Wente clone, and exuding robust aromas and flavors, this Chardonnay is a great sidekick for a seafood supper.

Temecula Valley

Temecula Hills
Frisson Sauvignon Blanc Sparkling Wine; $19
13/20Frisson means "an intense moment of excitement" in French, and that's exactly what you get everytime you sip this scintillating sparker. Crisp and clean notes of lemon zest make it a peppy addition to any special occasion.


Columbia Valley

J. Bookwalter
2012 Subplot 28 Red Blend; $25
13.5/20The 2012 Subplot 28 red blend is a ripe table wine composed primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, along with smaller amounts of Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. A rich bouquet of red and dark fruit is echoed by flavors of raspberry, black cherry and hints of cinnamon that lead to a smooth finish.

Brown & Haley
Almond Roca Cream; $15
13/20A cream-based wine with natural almond and toffee flavors; the Almond Roca Cream can be be enjoyed over ice, as a traditional wine or mixed with coffee.




La Face Cachée de la Pomme
Neige Première 2011 Apple Ice Wine; $30
15/20A blend of 80 percent McIntosh apples and 20 percent Spartan apples, the Neige Première makes for a delightful apertif. Sharp cheeses and desserts couple with this apple ice wine, or cider, quite nicely.




Champagne Billecart-Salmon
Brut Réserve; $55
15/20The Brut Réserve is made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, and boasts aromas of pear, fresh fruit and floral notes. On the palate, the flavors are fresh and light with fine bubbles, making it easy to enjoy as an aperitif or as a companion for a celebration.



Ecco Domani
2013 DOC Prosecco; $13
13/20 Floral notes play a supporting role as the sensory spotlight shines bright on the fresh citrus, honey and green apple. This Prosecco is sweet and creamy, but balances it well with a robust acidity and a silky smooth finish.

Champagne Duval-Leroy
Brut; $43
14.5/20 With its golden appearance, this Brut stands proud with aromas of chocolate and a well-structured yet soft palate. Light bubbles make it an easy choice for a celebration.



Raventós i Blanc
2012 L'Hereu Brut Reserva; $22
14/20Catalan winemakers Raventós i Blanc left the CAVA DO in favor of their own appellation, Conca del Riu Anoia. Their 2012 L'Hereu is a prime example of the good that can come from taking a chance. Soft citrus aromas on the nose add to a balanced and smooth palate.

Segura Viudas
Reserva Heredad; $24
14/20 A blend of 67 percent Macabeo and 33 percent Parellada, the Reserva Heredad is best paired with meat dishes and creamy pastas. The palate is flavorful and loaded with dried fruits, while the nose offers touches of bread and hints of honey. This Cava is also a great choice if you are looking for a Champagne alternative during the holidays.

Rías Baixas - Galicia

Bodegas Terras Guada
2013 O Rosal; $24
14/20 This is the flagship wine of Terras Guada — and for good reason. Hints of peach and orange peel generously combine for a nose that complements the round mouth of an Albariño meant to be paired with seafood and creamy dishes.



Margaret River Region

Leeuwin Estate
Art Series Margaret River Riesling; $25
14/20Aromas of fresh cut limes and apples combine with floral notes to entice the nose. The mouth is bursting with mirrored flavors as jubilant acidity runs throughout the palate.

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