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

New Wine Releases July 2011

New wine releases from around the world





Deep Sea
2008 Chardonnay; $24
13/20A fresh nose of citrus, apple and honey is echoed on the palate with layered minerality and hints of oak, vanilla and toffee.

Robert Mondavi
Private Selection 2010 Sauvignon Blanc; $11
13/20The gentle, citrus acidity of this crisp and zesty wine allows it to pair well with crab salad, calamari and roasted chicken.

The Vegan Vine
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $15
13/20Made entirely without animal products, this softer style red wine is distinguished by moderate tannins and a smooth finish.

Arroyo Seco

J. Lohr
2009 October Night Chardonnay; $25
14/20Lemon and vanilla aromas segue to a complex bouquet of pear and barrel spice.

Radog Wines
2007 Pinot Noir Monterey County; $28
13/20Flavors of blackberry, cherry, cola and spice combine with good acidity for a long, solid finish.

Paso Robles

Eberle Winery
2009 Steinbeck Vineyard Syrah; $21
14/20A rich palate of blackberry fruit, smoky oak and coffee combine with firm tannins for a full bodied wine.

Santa Lucia Highlands

2009 Sleepy Hollow Pinot Noir; $40
14.5/20Lush cherry and plum aromas are complemented by layers of cherry, blueberry, rose, violet and cinnamon on the palate.

Santa Ynez Valley

Beckmen Vineyards
2009 Cuvee Le Bec; $18
14.5/20This warm vintage is soft and bright with flavors of blueberry, grenadine, smoke and spice.


Alexander Valley

Bella Vineyards
2008 Two Patch Alexander Valley Zinfandel; $38
14.5/20With aromas of cola, raspberries and spice, this medium-bodied red finishes with blueberry and oak flavors on the palate.

Frei Brothers
2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $27
14/20Intense aromas of crushed berries open to flavors of raspberry, blackberry and cedar. Velvety tannins and a rich, round mouthfeel yield to a long, lingering finish.


2008 Estate Chardonnay; $25
14/20Acidic and concentrated, this elegant wine boasts vanilla cream and butterscotch on the palate, pairing well with white freshwater fish.

Gloria Ferrer
2005 Blanc de Blancs; $24
14/20The sweet perfume of lemon blossom and Asian pear greet the nose, leading to a creamy texture and flavors of pear, tangerine and white chocolate.

Dry Creek Valley

Eristavi Family Winery
2009 Zinfandel; $32
14.5/20Aromas of red cherry and raspberry lead to a silky mouthfeel with touches of dark chocolate and spicy oak.

2009 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel; $20
14/20Made by winemaker Hugh Chappelle, this organic, deep red Zinfandel, with a touch of Syrah and Cabernet, features a plum and briar patch character on the nose and mouth that pairs well with barbecued meats.


La Follette
2008 Manchester Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir; $50
15/20Cherry and hibiscus aromas are echoed on the palate with deeper notes of hickory and earth.

Napa Valley

2008 Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon; $135
15/20Leaning more in style toward Bordeaux than classic Napa Cabernet, the wine's flavors are rich and ripe with teasing red fruit acidity and layers of hazelnut, chocolate, clove and coffee.

J. Lohr
2007 Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon; $40
14.5/20Elegant aromas of cherry and current lead to a complex bouquet of black plum and cassis layered with hints of cocoa, cedar and coconut.

Sequoia Grove
2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $38
14/20Blackberry and black cherry aromas mix with rich spice on the nose, leading to ripe raspberry flavors on the palate and a long finish.

William Hill
2009 Napa Valley Chardonnay; $25
13.5/20Aromas of Meyer lemon and honeysuckle are followed by sweet flavors of white peach and pear balanced with refined acidity and hints of toasty oak, butter and brown spice.

Russian River Valley

Hayman & Hill
2008 Reserve Chardonnay; $15
13/20Mineral spice and green apple on the nose lead to flavors of honeydew melon and pear, with hints of vanilla.

Iron Horse
2005 Brut Rosé; $50
14.5/20A nose of raspberry, melon and tangerine opens to flavors of ripe strawberry and a dry mouthfeel.

J Vineyards & Winery
J Cuvée 20 Brut NV; $20
14/20Crisp lemon peel and honeysuckle aromas lead to apple and grapefruit on the nose, followed by a lingering pear finish.

California Champagne Chardonnay; $12
13/20Made according to the traditional méthode champenoise, this sparkling wine pairs well with chicken, seafood and creamy pasta dishes.

2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir; $25
13/20Dominated by black cherry flavors, this blend of local grapes is elegant, silky and smooth.

Sonoma County

Clos du Bois
2009 Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay; $18
13.5/20Aromas of spiced apple and jasmine lead to flavors of ripe pear and citrus touched by hints of oak spice and nutmeg.

Patz & Hall
2009 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay; $35
14.5/20The minerality, structure and stone fruit flavors of this vintage reflect its windswept coastal terroir.


Amador County

Eristavi Family Vineyards
2009 Syrah; $30
13.5/20This deep purple wine reflects its Amador terroir with richness and sweetness up front, rounded out by a big, earthy finish.

2006 Zinfandel; $28
14.5/20Robust and full-bodied, with firm tannins, this bold wine tastes of blackberries, raspberries and cherries.



Thornton Winery
NV Cuvée Rouge; $26
13/20Plum and black cherry aromas lead to a mouth of big red fruit flavors with a touch of lavender and white chocolate.


Apothic Red
2009 California Winemaker's Blend; $10
13/20Strong aromas and flavors of black cherry are complemented by undertones of vanilla and mocha.

Barefoot Bubbly
Premium Extra Dry; $10
13/20This medium-bodied sparkling wine boasts ripe apple aromas, a creamy texture and tangy tangerine and lime on the palate.

Big House Wine
2009 Cardinal Zin; $9
12.5/20Intense flavors of blackberry mingle with touches of oak, vanilla and dry herbs for a decadent, spicy Zinfandel.

Concannon Vineyard
Pinot Grigio; $9 (1.5L)
13/20A light-bodied wine that bursts with citrus and melon flavors, this Pinot Grigio would pair well with spicy cuisine.

FlipFlop Wines
2009 Pinot Noir; $7
11.5/20Cola and vanilla aromas lead to flavors of bright cherry and spice, culminating in a velvety finish.

Mirassou Winery
2010 California Moscato; $12
13/20Mostly sourced from San Luis Obispo County vineyards, this sweet white wine boasts intense fruity aromas and flavors.


Finger Lakes

Shaw Vineyard
2006 Chardonnay; $15
12/20This crisp Chardonnay exhibits floral aromas and bright flavors of citrus with a buttery base.



Biltmore Estate
NV Brut Blanc de Blancs; $24
12.5/20Plum and black cherry aromas lead to a mouth of big red fruit flavors with a touch of lavender and white chocolate.




Domäne Wachau
2009 Riesling; $18
13.5/20This refreshing wine displays zesty stone fruit flavor balanced by firm acidity.



Château Le Grand Verdus
2009 Bordeaux Rosé; $10
13/20This crisp and refreshing wine made on the estate of a sixteenth century chateau reflects the richness of its terroir.

Domaine de Cantemerle Montcabrier
2005 Bordeaux Superieur Rouge; $22
14/20This wine exhibits fine tannins and rich red fruit flavors of berries and plum with undertones of earth.


Joseph Drouhin
2009 Rully; $20
13.5/20Refined, restrained and distinctly French in the mouth, this Chardonnay finishes reasonably long with an interesting hint of spice.


Pinot Evil
Pinot Noir; $24 for 3L
12.5/20From the Ile de Beauté, this boxed wine is light-bodied, with ripe cherry flavors and a smooth finish.


Georges Duboeuf
Pouilly-Fuissé; $20
14/20A bouquet of roasted almonds, lime tree and verbena is supple and fruity with hints of vanilla.


Joseph Drouhin
Saint-Veran; $17
13.5/20An intense, flowery nose leads to refreshing flavors that would pair well with charcuterie and shellfish.


Cupcake Vineyards
NV Prosecco; $14
13/20White peach, grapefruit and honeydew melon on the nose give way to light and refreshing lemon flavors and a toasted brioche finish.

Da Vinci
2009 Pinot Grigio; $14
13.5/20Aromas of citrus and tropical fruit lead to flavors of ripe apples and lemon in the mouth balanced by minerals and vibrant acidity.

La Marca
2008 Prosecco Spumante; $17
12.5/20This sweet, sparkling wine from Northern Italy carries citrus and floral notes on the nose with a light, crisp finish.


Tenuto Cavalier Pepe
2009 "Nestor" Greco di Tufo; $21
13/20This light, crisp white wine pairs well with grilled seafood and steamed mussels.

Castello Ducale
2010 Pallagrello del Ventaglio; $19
13/20Honey of acacia and vanilla scents lead to a well-balanced warmth on the palate, with aromatic notes that melt together for a pleasant finish.

Tre Venezie

Ecco Domani
2010 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie; $12
13/20Delicate floral aromas lead to light citrus and tropical fruit flavors, ending with a crisp and refreshing finish.



Quinta de Roriz
2008 Prazo de Roriz Douro DOC; $14
13/20A well-balanced palate of raspberry and black cherry are accompanied by bright acidity and a mineral edge.


2007 Tempranillo; $9
12/20Intense flavors of plum and violets with a hint of orange peel are rounded out with fine tannins and a balanced, lingering finish.



Dry River
2006 Late Harvest Riesling; $45
14.5/20Pure and powerful, this Riesling displays bright and spicy aromas of lime zest and minerals.




Tupungato Passo Doble 2009; $14
13/20Firm and full-bodied on the nose, the Malbec character comes through with flavors of plum, cherry and balsamic herb.

Santa Julia
2010 Torrontes; $10
12.5/20Fresh fruit flavors and a light body make this a balanced wine for a balanced budget.

Valentin Bianchi
New Age Rosé; $9
12.5/20Aromas of wild raspberries precede the sweet red fruit and violet flavors, with the dryness balanced by fresh effervescence.

More New Releases

(Updated: 05/17/13 BH)

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