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



New Wine Releases March 2016

The first buds break in early march at the Vineyards

Find tasting notes, prices and ratings for recent vintages in GAYOT's selection of March 2016 new wine releases.

NORTH AMERICA

CALIFORNIA

NORTH COAST

Napa Valley

Grgich Hills Estate
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon; $65
15/20This Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with hints of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, all sourced from certified organic vineyards. The resulting wine is full-boded with a rich mouthfeel and flavors of blackberry, cherry and chocolate.


Realm Cellars
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon; $230
15/20Since 2002, Realm Cellars has used the limited Beckstoffer To Kalon grapes to create high quality wines. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon has been aged for 25 to 30 years and is a complex layer of baking spice, licorice and Christmas fruitcake.


Smith-Madrone
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon; $48
14/20Smith-Madrone's Cabernet Sauvignon stems from vines planted at the top of Spring Mountain in Napa Valley. A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 8% Cabernet franc, this wine boasts flavors of dark berry and cocoa with a long, silky finish.


CENTRAL COAST

Santa Barbara County

Consilience Wines
2012 Grenache Blanc; $25
14/20Hailing from the sunny vineyards of Santa Barbara County, the Consilience 2012 Grenache Blanc boasts flavors of red apple and baking spice. It has a long and complex finish thanks to aging for 14 months in French Oak barrels.


Cambria Estate Vineyard and Winery
2013 Benchbreak Pinot Noir; $22
13.5/20Cambria is a family-owned estate winery located in the heart of the Santa Maria bench in Santa Barbara County. The 2013 Pinot Noir is a deep, dark purple wine with abundant red fruit and dark berry flavors. The underlying earth character compliments its solid tannin and long, fruity finish.


WASHINGTON

Columbia Valley

Soos Creek Wine Cellars
2012 Stampede Pass Cabernet Franc; $30
14/20Soos Creek 2012 Cabernet Franc is lush and silky. It has a complex palate, featuring red berry flavors and a sweet, lingering finish.

Piggyback Cellars
2013 Blush; $30
13.5/20Piggyback Cellars is a "garagiste" winery specializng in very limited production wines. The 2013 Blush is a blend of 50 percent Syrah and 50 percent Roussanne, aging in neutral oak. It offers rich flavors of dark cherry and blueberry from the Syrah, and sweeter pear and honey notes from the Roussanne.

NEW ZEALAND

SOUTH ISLAND

Starborough
2014 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; $15
13.5/20 The circular koru decorates this vivid green bottle. This starfish is a traditional New Zealand Maori symbol that means growth and strength. On the palate, the Sauvignon Blanc offers crisp citrus notes and round stone fruit flavors.



EUROPE

FRANCE

BORDEAUX

Médoc

Château Patache d'Aux
2009 Château Patache d'Aux Médoc; $21
14/20Descendants of the Comtes d'Armagnac, the Chevaliers d'Aux, were the first owners of this estate in 1632. Today, countless Bordeaux wines are produced from this winery. The 2009 Château Patache d'Aux Medoc is comprised of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. This robust red wine has hints of cherry, black currant, thyme and tobacco with an earthy and soft finish.


NORMANDY

Arpents du Soleil
2011 Auxerrois; $15
13.5/20This dry white wine produced from the grape variety, auxerrois blanc, is dull to the nose but has flavors of yellow-fleshed fruit, honey and sweet spices. It is best paired with oysters and other varieties of fish and shellfish.


ALSACE

Crémant d'Alsace

Allimant-Laugner
2013 Crémant d'Alsace Brut; $20
13.5/20The Crémant d'Alsace Brut is a blend of 50% Pinot Blanc, 25% Pinot Gris and 25% Riesling. This tri-blend of varietals makes for a prominently bright, fruity flavor with a soft finish. The slightly acidic grapes lead to a lemon aroma and a rich taste that appeals to the palate.



ITALY

LOMBARDY

Sforzato di Valtellina

Nino Negri
2011 Sfursat Carlo Negri; $32
14.5/20Valtellina wine-grower and producer Nino Negri, has used hand-picked Nebbiolo grapes to produce wines for over a century. These grapes, which are left to dry for 3 months, contribute to the Sfursat Carlo Negri's full-bodied flavor and prominent acidity. The wine's aroma of cloves, stewed plum, and cinnamon blends with its licorice and hazelnut flavors. Sfursat Carlo Negri is best paired with red meats and cheeses.


TUSCANY

Toscana IGT

Poggio Casciano
2012 Ruffino Super Tuscan Modus; $25
14/20Made from a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot, and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Super Tuscan Modus aptly portrays the three noble grape varieties of the Tuscan wine territory. The Sangiovese offers a refined base with
a berry aroma, the Merlot adds a delicate smoothness with a hint of blackberry and the Cabernet Sauvignon rounds out the wine with sweet structure. This wine is best paired with steaks, pastas and other dishes with prominent flavors.


SPAIN

CATALUNYA

Emporda

Mas Oller
Mas Oller Pur 2011; $15
13/20Made from a blend of Syrah, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Mas Oller Pur is aged for 3 months in French oak barrels. This full-bodied wine has hints of vanilla, berries and black ink in its aroma. The dark fruit flavor and soft tannins make a harmonious finish.



SOUTH AMERICA

CHILE

Casablanca Valley

Casablanca Valley Estate
Ritual Pinot Noir Harvest 2015; $19
13.5/20This medium-bodied Pinot Noir has bright fruit flavors with floral, cranberry and raspberry aromas. Made with hand-harvested grapes and fermented with a wild yeast, the wine has a silky, velvety finish.


More New Releases

wine.com

PLH21216
UPY6316


Sip on GAYOT's picks of the best small-production craft beers.

Sip straight or mix up a margarita with GAYOT's picks of the best tequilas under $100.