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

New Wine Releases April 2012

New wine releases from around the world





Arroyo Grande Valley

2008 Brut de Blancs; $28
13/20Composed of 80 per cent Chardonnay and 20 per cent Pinot Blanc, this dry sparkling wine boasts crisp apple and lemon flavors with a hint of honeysuckle.

Livermore Valley

Concannon Vineyard
2008 Nina's Cuvée Petite Sirah; $30
13.5/20This full-bodied red wine offers blueberry and blackberry flavors with notes of pepper and spice.


Robert Talbott Vineyards
2010 Talbott Chardonnay, Kali Hart; $19
14/20From the tropical fruit aromas on the nose to apple and melon in the mouth, this refreshing white wine is full of flavor.

Paso Robles

J. Lohr Estates
2009 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon; $17
13.5/20This robust, purple-colored wine features black currant, damson plum and black cherry aromas with a hint of vanilla and spice.

Vampire Vineyards
2007 Chateau du Vampire Midnight Rendezvous; $32
13.5/20Composed of 55 per cent Syrah, 20 per cent Grenache, 20 per cent Cunoise and 5 per cent Mourvedre, this is a full-bodied red wine full of dark berry, fig and chocolate flavors.

San Luis Obispo County

Four Brix Winery
2009 Zeductive; $28
14.5/20A blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, this full-bodied red wine boasts blackberry and plum flavors with peppery notes and a hint of cinnamon on the finish.

Santa Lucia Highlands

Belle Glos
2009 Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir; $44
14.5/20This rich red wine features dark fruit flavors and more earthy notes with good structure and moderate tannins.

Santa Ynez Valley

Beckmen Vineyards
2009 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache; $45
14/20Composed of 76 per cent Grenache and 24 per cent Syrah, this potent red wine boasts 15.5 per cent ABV, moderate tannins and spicy berry flavors.



Cantara Cellars
2008 Petite Syrah; $36
13/20Offering blueberry, blackberry and plum flavors with earthy notes, this full-bodied red wine features firm tannins that have been little tempered by aging.

Michael David Winery
2009 Petite Sirah; $18
12.5/20A blend of 85 per cent Petite Sirah and 15 per cent Petit Verdot, this full-bodied red wine offers dry black fruit flavors and firm tannins.


Fäsi Crest
2008 Syrah; $29
13/20This bright, sweet, open wine rolls across the palate with black currant, black cherry and plum dominating the flavors.


Alexander Valley

Field Stone
2010 Rosé of Petite Sirah; $18
13.5/20Made from grapes grown on vines planted in 1894, this refreshing dry rosé features lush cherry and raspberry flavors.

Anderson Valley

2009 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir; $55
14.5/20Made from 95 per cent estate grapes, this medium-bodied red wine features bright, red fruit flavors with earthy notes of tobacco and leather.


Hill Family Estate
2008 Stewart Ranch Pinot Noir; $38
13.5/20This ruby-colored red wine offers black and cherry and spice on the nose and raspberry in the mouth.

Molnar Family
2008 Chardonnay, Poseidon's Vineyard; $25
14/20A bold, New World kind of Chardonnay, it will appeal to those who like body, richness and length along with a bit of sweetness.

Dry Creek Valley

2008 Family Vineyards Petite Sirah; $16
13.5/20Offering blackberry and pepper aromas, this rich red wine is well-structured and should age well in the coming years.

Green Valley of Russian River Valley

2008 Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir; $50
14.5/20A voluptuous wine, it offers tasty strawberry and raspberry pie flavors along with bright acidity and an attractive floral note on the lingering finish.

Lake County

Hawk and Horse Vineyards
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $65
15/20Made from CCOF Organic- and Demeter Biodynamic-certified vineyards, this full-bodied Cab boasts complex aromas and flavors, excellent structure and supple tannins.

Mendocino County

2009 Garzini Ranch Petite Sirah; $36
13.5/20This rich red wine is bursting with dark berry flavors and would pair well with meaty dishes like carne asada, sausage lasagna and barbecue tri-tip.

Napa Valley

2010 Allomi Sauvignon Blanc; $16
13/20A crisp, white table wine, this Sauvignon Blanc features gooseberry and lychee aromas on the nose and acidic grapefruit flavors in the mouth.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; $62
15.5/20This robust, full-bodied red wine offers black cherry and blackberry flavors in the mouth and smooth, rounded tannins.

Trefethen Family Vineyards
2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $100
15.5/20Well-structured with a backbone of fine-grained tannins, the wine lingers impressively long with a dark fruit finish.

Russian River Valley

Iron Horse
2006 Classic Vintage Brut; $34
14/20Composed of 75 per cent Pinot Noir and 25 per cent Chardonnay, this dry sparkling wine offers crisp flavors of apple, lime and yeast.

Sonoma Coast

MacMurray Ranch
2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir; $27
13.5/20This medium-bodied red wine features round raspberry, cherry and strawberry flavors.

Sonoma County

Gloria Ferrer
Blanc de Noirs; $20
14/20A blend primarily of Pinot Noir with some Chardonnay, this non-vintage sparkling wine boasts strawberry and black cherry aromas with just a hint of vanilla.

Piper Sonoma
Brut; $20
13/20Composed of 60 per cent Chardonnay, 15 per cent Pinot Noir and 25 per cent Pinot Meunier, this non-vintage sparkler features crisp citrus and apple flavors.

Sonoma Valley

Korbin Kameron
2007 Merlot; $35
15/20This full-bodied Merlot, blended with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, boasts intense red fruit flavors with hints of toffee and mocha.


El Dorado

Lava Cap
2008 Petite Sirah Granite Hill Reserve; $30
14/20At 15.2 per cent ABV, this Petite Sirah is robust and dry, boasting complex berry and mineral flavors.


Clif Family Winery
The Climber 2010 Red Wine; $14
13/20Composed of 50 per cent Zinfandel, 36 per cent Cabernet Franc, 6 per cent Petit Sirah, 5 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 per cent Merlot, this multi-layered red blend boasts dry fruit flavors with spicy notes.

2009 Chardonnay; $10
13/20Blended from grapes in the North and Central Coast regions, this dry Chardonnay is light and crisp, offering pear and lemon flavors.

Extra Dry; $13
13/20This off-dry sparkling wine, blended from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Colombard, would pair well with dishes like papaya salad or Thai chili chicken.

McManis Family Vineyards
2010 Pinot Noir; $12
13.5/20This full-bodied red wine displays rich flavors of plum, raspberry and cherry in the mouth with hints of vanilla and oak.

Trinity Oaks
2010 Chardonnay; $9
13.5/20This aromatic and fruity Chardonnay not only represents great value for money, but the winery promises to plant one tree for every bottle purchased.



Chateau Chantal
2010 Pinot Gris; $20
13/20This fruit-forward white wine features tropical and citrus flavors on the palate with kumquat and licorice adding further nuance on the finish.



NV Extra Dry; $13
13.5/20Offering aromas of peach and marzipan on the nose, this crisp sparkling wine displays apple and lemon flavors in the mouth.



Chateau Frank
2006 Blanc de Blancs; $30
13.5/20Composed of 90 per cent Chardonnay and 10 per cent Pinot Blanc, this dry sparkling wine offers gentle pear and honeysuckle flavors and a creamy mouthfeel.



King Estate Winery
Acrobat 2010 Pinot Noir; $18
14.5/20This medium-bodied red wine displays bright pomegranate and blueberry flavors complemented by smooth tannins.




Glen Carlou
2009 Grand Classique; $20
14/20This blend of traditional red Bordeaux varietals offers concentrated cranberry and cherry flavors with hints of chocolate and brown sugar on the finish.




Laurenz V.
2010 Charming Grüner Veltliner; $30
14/20This clean, crisp white wine displays fruity and floral aromas on the nose and mineral flavors balanced by a tangy acidity in the mouth.


Loire Valley

Les Ligeriens
2010 Rosé d'Anjou; $38
12/20A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay and Grolleau, this off-dry rosé offers sweet strawberry and lemon flavors.



2009 Estate Riesling; $15
14/20A food-friendly wine, this dry Riesling offers green apple, tangy lemon and wet mineral flavors.


2009 Diva Riesling Spätlese; $17
14/20This clean, crisp Riesling displays an aromatic floral bouquet and flavors of tangerine, peach and pineapple.


Alto Adige

Cantina Terlano
Montigl 2009 Pinot Nero Riserva DOC; $35
13.5/20This medium-bodied Pinot Noir offers wild berry aromas, dark fruit flavors with toasty notes and smooth tannins.


Ascevi Luwa
2010 Pinot Grigio Collio DOC; $19
13.5/20A light and crisp white wine offering an aromatic bouquet it would pair well with crispy fried white bait and calamari fritti.


Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni
2009 Toscana IGT; $25
14.5/20Composed of 50 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 per cent Merlot, 10 per cent Cabernet Franc and 10 per cent Sangiovese, this full-bodied red wine features intense red fruit flavors and supple, rounded tannins.


Roncha 2010 Bianco del Veneto IGT; $18
13/20An aromatic bouquet of jasmine, peach and orange blossoms ornaments this crisp blend of Garganega, Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano di Soave and Durella grapes.



Las Rocas
2009 Garnacha; $14
12.5/20Made from grapes grown on steep, rocky slopes in Aragon, this robust red wine displays dark fruit flavors and firm tannins.



La Rioja

2010 Torrontés; $15
14/20Boasting an aromatic bouquet of citrus and wildflowers, this fruity white wine would pair well with pesto chicken pizza or roasted vegetables.


Santa Julia
2011 Chardonnay Orgánica; $11
12.5/20This medium-bodied, dry white wine offers a fruity bouquet of apple, pear, banana and pineapple.

San Rafael

Valentin Bianchi
2011 ELSA Cabernet Sauvignon; $9
13/20Much younger than the typical barrel-aged Cab, this medium-bodied red wine is fruit forward and fresh.


2010 Serie A Torrontés; $15
13.5/20This crisp white wine boasts an aromatic floral bouquet on the nose and stone fruit flavors and a lively acidity in the mouth.


Colchagua Valley

Casa Silva
2008 Los Lingues Gran Reserva; $22
13/20Made from Carmenère grapes, this robust red wine features flavors of raspberry, black cherry and toffee.

François Lurton
2008 Gran Araucano; $35
13.5/20This rich, complex Cabernet Sauvignon displays ripe black fruit flavors with hints of herbs and spices.

Limarí Valley

Viña Tabalí
2009 Reserva Syrah; $15
13.5/20Made entirely from estate-grown grapes, this full-bodied red wine boasts damson and red plum flavors and supple tannins.



McLaren Vale

Clarendon Hills
2007 Blewitt Springs Grenache; $50
14.5/20This full-bodied red wine is dense and complex, boasting flavors of black cherry, strawberry and chocolate with hints of spice.


Hawkes Bay

Alpha Domus
2007 The Navigator; $23
11/20Composed of 45 per cent Merlot, 28 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 per cent Cabernet Franc and 7 per cent Malbec, this Meritage displays harsh tannins that overwhelm its dark fruit flavors.

More New Releases

(Updated: 12/28/12 BH)

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.