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New Wine Releases December 2012

Cave and racks at Schramsberg Vineyards in Napa Valley

Find tasting notes, prices and ratings for recent vintages in our selection of December 2012 new wine releases. You can click on highlighted winery names to view a full-page review.




Domaine Pinnacle
Apple Ice Wine; $30
14.5/20Neither syrupy nor cloying, it boasts flavors of apple, cinnamon and honey with a clean finish.




2010 White; $21
14/20A fifty-fifty blend of Marsanne and Viognier, it displays heady honeysuckle aromas and mouthfilling-flavors of orange, peach and apricot.

Wild Horse
2010 Central Coast Merlot; $19
13.5/20Mostly sourced from Paso Robles, this medium-bodied Merlot boasts fruit-forward flavors and soft tannins.

Arroyo Seco

J. Lohr
2010 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay; $25
14/20This full-bodied Chardonnay offers citrus aromas and butter and vanilla notes on the palate.

Livermore Valley

Concannon Vineyard
2009 Late Harvest Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc; $22
13.5/20Displaying floral and tropical fruit aromas on the nose, it reveals sweet apricot and honeysuckle flavors in the mouth.

Santa Lucia Highlands

Hahn SLH Estate
2010 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir; $35
14/20A rich and complex wine, it features dark fruit flavors with mineral notes and smooth tannins.

Santa Maria Valley

2010 Cork Jumper Blanc de Noirs; $45
13.5/20This sparkling rosé features vibrant flavors of strawberry and raspberry with a hint of grapefruit.



Clarksburg Wine Company
2010 Chenin Blanc VS (Vouvray Style); $24
14/20A dry white wine, it offers soft apple and honey flavors with a hint of almond and spice accompanied by a balanced acidity.


2008 Blanc de Noirs; $41
14.5/20Composed of 91 per cent Pinot Noir and 9 per cent Chardonnay, this vintage sparkling wine offers lovely aromas of apricot and honey.

2008 Crémant Demi-Sec; $38
14.5/20This sparkling wine's varietal composition is mostly Flora, a hybrid of Sémillon and Gewürztraminer, which gives it fragrant aromas and mouth-filling tropical fruit flavors.

Anderson Valley

Handley Cellars
2003 Brut; $30
13.5/20This sparkling wine's flavors include peach, lemon and an undefined tropical note with a touch of honey on the mid palate.

Handley Cellars
2006 Brut Rosé; $40
13.5/20Composed of 88 per cent Pinot Noir and 12 per cent Chardonnay, this sparkling rosé features slightly tart flavors of rhubarb and dried mango.


Benziger Family Winery
2010 Carneros Chardonnay; $16
13.5/20A certified sustainable wine, it offers bright peach and pear flavors and a lively acidity.

Isabel Mondavi
2010 Carneros Chardonnay; $25
13.5/20An aromatic white wine, it reveals a medium-bodied mouthfeel and flavors of apple, pear and vanilla.

Mira Winery
2010 Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir; $42
14/20This medium-bodied red wine boasts blueberry and cranberry flavors with earthy notes and smooth tannins.

Robert Mondavi
2010 Chardonnay Reserve; $40
14.5/20This crisp white wine boasts citrus and melon flavors with a hint of minerality and a creamy mouthfeel.

Dry Creek Valley

Bella Vineyards
2009 Belle Canyon Zinfandel; $35
14/20A robust red wine, it boasts ripe cherry and cranberry flavors with peppery notes on the finish.

Mendocino County

Testa Vineyards
2010 Charbono; $40
14/20The grapes that went into this bottling were grown on 60-year-old vines, giving this rich red wine complex black fruit flavors.

Testa Vineyards
2011 Rosé; $18
14/20This dry rosé made from estate-grown Carignane boasts fresh strawberry and cherry flavors.

Mount Veeder

Domaine Chandon
2006 Mt. Veeder Vintage Brut; $45
14/20Made entirely from Chardonnay, it boasts crisp citrus and pear flavors with a hint of marzipan.

Napa Valley

B Cellars
2009 Blend 25; $62
15/20Composed of 67 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 33 per cent Syrah, this full-bodied red blend is somewhat rough now but should mellow with age.

2008 Sagrantino; $50
15/20This thick red wine produced from a grape varietal native to Umbria is well-balanced and would pair well with rich meats and hearty stews.

2011 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc; $22
14/20Composed of 76 per cent Sauvignon Blanc and 24 per cent Sémillon, this white Bordeaux blend ofers fresh and lively citrus flavors and a crisp mouthfeel.

2010 Napa Valley Collection Chardonnay; $15
13.5/20This full-bodied Chardonnay features apple and pear flavors followed by a smooth, honeyed finish.

Franciscan Estate
2008 Magnificat; $50
15/20Composed of 69 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 23 per cent Merlot, 6 per cent Petit Verdot and 2 per cent Malbec, this well-structured meritage boasts rich dark berry flavors and a full-bodied mouthfeel.

Grgich Hills Estate
2009 Chardonnay; $42
14.5/20The estate-grown fruit that went into this crisp and vibrant white wine comes from vineyards certified as both organic and biodynamic.

Mumm Napa
Demi-Sec; $30
13/20Composed mostly of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes with a little Pinot Meunier and Pinot Gris, it boasts orange, mango and melon flavors with hints of white chocolate on the finish.

Mumm Napa
2008 Sparkling Pinot Meunier; $38
13.5/20This vintage sparkler made from Pinot Meunier features delicate flavors of peach, pear and honey.

2010 Napa Valley Old Vine Zinfandel; $15
13.5/20Some Petite Sirah and a little Carignane have been blended into this full-bodied, jammy Zinfandel that is both earthy and ripe.

2009 Merlot; $38
14.5/20A medium-bodied red wine, it features bright red fruit flavors with a hint of spice on the smooth finish.

Tyler Florence
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $25
13.5/20Resulting from a partnership between chef Tyler Florence and winemaker Rob Mondavi, this food-friendly wine features cherry and blackberry flavors and firm tannins.

V. Sattui
2009 Prestige Cuvée; $29
14/20Composed mostly of Yountville Chardonnay and some Carneros Pinot Noir, it reveals a dry mouthfeel and toasty notes on the finish.


2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; $90
16/20Made from excellent estate-grown fruit, this complex and well-balanced Cab is nicely weighted on the palate.

Russian River Valley

Biltmore Estate
2008 Blanc de Blancs Brut; $25
13/20This dry sparkling wine features a soft mouthfeel and ripe apple and pear flavors.

Gary Farrell
2009 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir; $55
15/20A well-balanced red wine, it boasts plum, cola and spice flavors with earthy notes and delicate tannins.

Iron Horse
2004 Chinese Cuvée; $98
15/20A dry sparkling wine containing little residual sugar, ots flavors are of baked apple, pear and custard.

J Vineyards
2003 Late Disgorged Vintage Brut; $90
15/20Composed of equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a little Pinot Meunier, this vintage sparkling wine is well-balanced and complex.

Sonoma Coast

2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir; $25
13.5/20This medium-bodied red wine offers bright red fruit flavors with floral notes and soft tannins.

Sonoma County

2010 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc; $18
14/20Fermented in stainless steel tanks, it offers fresh flavors and a crisp acidity.

Sonoma Valley

2009 Sonoma Valley Zinfandel; $45
14.5/20A robust red wine, it boasts rich jammy fruit flavors with earthy notes and a touch of pepper on the seductively smooth finish.


Temecula Valley

2010 Cabernet-Merlot; $22
13.5/20A dry Bordeaux-style blend, it offers bright red fruit flavors with a touch of vanilla and oak.

Wilson Creek
Cuvée Rouge; $20
13/20This sparkling red wine made from Zinfandel is on the lighter side at 11 per cent alcohol and offers soft cherry flavors.


Sweet Rosé; $12
12.5/20A mix of mostly red grapes, the resulting sparkling wine is well-balanced and features fresh strawberry and pomegranate flavors.

2010 California Merlot; $12
12/20A dry table wine offering black fruit flavors, it would pair well with foods like spaghetti marinara, meatloaf and chicken tikka masala.

Truett Hurst
Fuschia White; $12
12.5/20Composed of 91 per cent Chardonnay and 9 per cent Viognier, this white blend boasts bright floral aromas and tropical fruit flavors with a touch of sweetness.



Ste Chapelle
Sparkling Riesling; $9
12/20This semi-sweet sparkler would pair well with frosted lemon cake or apple pie.



Bowers Harbor Vineyards
2011 Unwooded Chardonnay; $15
13/20Fermented in stainless steel, this crisp Chardonnay features fresh citrus flavors with mineral notes.



Demi-Sec; $14
13.5/20This non-vintage sparkling wine offers apple, pear and pineapple flavors and a light-bodied mouthfeel.



Chateau Frank
2007 Blanc de Blancs; $15
13/20Made entirely from Chardonnay grapes, this crisp sparkling wine is light on the palate and offers a soft, toasty finish.

Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars
2011 Gewürztraminer; $15
13.5/20Offering lychee, banana and floral aromas, this fruity white wine reveals a nice amount of residual sugar on the palate.



2011 Pinot Gris; $19
13.5/20A crisp white wine, it features apple, papaya and pear flavors and a creamy mouthfeel.

Sokol Blosser
2011 Pinot Gris; $18
14/20This organic white wine features apple, citrus and fig flavors with mineral and spice notes.



Manatawny Creek Winery
2010 Syrah; $16
13/20This dry red wine offers black fruit flavors with a touch of black pepper and spice.



2008 Columbia Valley Merlot; $10
13/20This red Bordeaux-style blend offers dark fruit flavors with a vibrant acidity and supple tannins.

Treveri Cellars
Sparkling Rosé; $18
14/20Composed of 85 per cent Chardonnay and 15 per cent Syrah, this non-vintage sparkling rosé offers citrus and berry flavors and a crisp acidity.


Kiona Vineyards
2004 Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon; $25
13.5/20This full-bodied red wine offers ripe plum flavors alongside earthier notes of black tea and smoke.




Grüner Veltliner Brut NV; $21
13.5/20This non-vintage sparkling wine displays intense citrus aromas that continue on the palate along with peppery and mineral notes.


Le Grande Courtâge
Brut Rosé; $25
13.5/20Featuring Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc and Gamay, the vibrant, versatile rosé pairs with a variety of foods, from roast chicken to wild game to pizza.


Crémant D'Alsace Brut; $22
14/20Composed of 90 per cent Pinot Blanc and 10 per cent Pinot Auxerrois, it features fine bubbles and finishes cleanly.


Château Climens
2005 Premier Cru Barsac; $135
16.5/20Flavors are as complex as the aromas, including raisin, orange peel, a touch of fresh stone fruit and white honey with more masculine, musk and spice notes at the back.

Château Climens
2007 Premier Cru Barsac; $95
16.5/20A fine dessert wine made from botrytis-infected Sémillon grapes, it displays honeyed aromas and candied apricot flavors.


Champagne Armand de Brignac
"Ace of Spades" Rosé; $475
16/20An impressive assemblage of sparkling white wine and still Pinot Noir, it features strawberry and blackcurrant aromas that continue on the palate.

Champagne Ayala
Rich Majeur; $40
13.5/20Composed of 45 per cent Pinot Noir, 35 per cent Chardonnay and 20 per cent Pinot Meunier, this demi-sec Champagne features apple, lemon and custard flavors with a hint of marzipan.

Champagne Billecart-Salmon
2004 Extra Brut Grand Cru; $90
15.5/20Composed of 70 per cent Pinot Noir and 30 per cent Chardonnay, it features apple, peach and lemon flavors with toasted brioche notes on the finish.

Champagne Billecart-Salmon
Brut Rosé; $84
15/20A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, this rosé Champagne displays tart citrus and red fruit aromas.

Champagne Billecart-Salmon
Brut Sous Bois; $90
15.5/20A unique cuvée vinified in oak, its aromas are a mouthwatering mix of holiday flavors including vanilla, butter, baking bread, citrus and dried stone fruits.

Champagne Charles Heidsieck
2000 Brut Vintage; $100
16/20Displaying a pleasantly floral bouquet, it reveals a medley of berry flavors in the mouth with just a hint of chestnut.

Champagne Collet
Demi-Sec; $40
13.5/20Composed of 50 per cent Pinot Meunier, 30 per cent Pinot Noir and 20 per cent Chardonnay, it features delicate fruit flavors with floral and mineral notes.

Champagne Delamotte
2002 Brut Blanc de Blancs; $75
15.5/20Sourced from just three Grand Cru villages in the Côtes des Blancs, it boasts a creamy mouthfeel and flavors of peach, pear and apple.

Champagne Diebolt-Vallois
2006 Blanc de Blancs; $79
15.5/20This vintage Champagne features flavors of pear and apricot with a hint of nutmeg.

Champagne Duval-Leroy
Brut Rosé; $60
15/20It displays cherry, fig and floral aromas that continue on the palate, lending the wine richness and complexity.

Champagne Gosset
2000 Grand Millésime Brut; $100
16.5/20A burst of citrus and pear flavors hits the front of the palate with nutty, earthy notes lingering on the exceptionally long finish.

Champagne Gosset
Grand Brut Blanc de Blancs NV; $100
16/20Featuring fragrant floral and fruity aromas on the nose, it reveals apricot, citrus and honey flavors in the mouth.

Champagne Gosset
Grand Rosé; $85
16/20An impressive multi-vintage Champagne, it features bright strawberry and raspberry flavors and a full-bodied mouthfeel.

Champagne Henriot
Blanc de Blancs NV; $60
14.5/20This non-vintage Blanc de Blancs displays floral aromas on the nose and flavors of apple, honey and brioche on the palate.

Champagne Lanson
2002 Gold Label Brut; $90
15/20Made from equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it displays dried fig, apricot and pear aromas on the nose and a full-bodied mouthfeel.

Champagne Lanson
Ivory Label; $40
14/20A demi-sec Champagne composed of 50 per cent Pinot Noir, 35 per cent Chardonnay and 15 per cent Pinot Meunier, it features ripe fruit flavors with a touch of baking spice.

Champagne Lanson
Rose Label Brut Rosé; $33
14/20Boasting rose petal aromas and flavors of tart strawberry and redcurrant, the wine is full-bodied and well-structured.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier
Demi-Sec; $40
15/20This demi-Sec bottling harkens back to an era when wines were sweeter, offering honeyed aromas and candied fruit flavors.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier
Grand Siècle; $150
16/20A fifty-fifty blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it displays notes of honey, almond and brioche on the nose.

Champagne Lenoble
Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs; $49
14.5/20Made from Grand Cru Chardonnay grapes grown in the Côte des Blancs, this buttery Champagne features floral aromas and stone fruit flavors.

Champagne Roland Champion
Brut Blanc de Blancs; $54
14.5/20A blend of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 vintages, it offers baking spice aromas on the nose, while the palate reveals apple, pear and mineral flavors.

Champagne Stéphane Coquillette
Brut "Carte d'Or" Premier Cru; $56
15/20A blend of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay, this dry Champagne offers fragrant floral aromas.

Champagne Stéphane Coquillette
NV "Cuvée Les Clés" Blanc de Noirs Brut; $65
15.5/20Made entirely from Grand Cru Pinot Noirs grapes grown in Äy, it features fragrant aromas, soft fruit flavors and a lingering finish.

Champagne Stéphane Coquillette
Marie Aimer Brut Rosé; $80
15/20A rosé de saignée made entirely from Pinot Noir grapes, this dry Champagne is medium-bodied and features fresh strawberry and melon flavors.

Champagne Veuve Clicquot
Demi-Sec; $60
15/20Displaying aromas of candied apple and brioche on the nose, it reveals a palate-pleasing softness and a good balance of sweetness and acidity in the mouth.


Clos Siguier
2009 Les Camille Vieilles Vignes; $16
13.5/20This dry red wine from Cahors is made from Malbec and offers vegetal notes on the nose.

J. Laurens
Crémant de Limoux Brut; $14
12.5/20Made in a Blanc de Blancs style, this crisp sparkler features toasty flavors and a dry finish.

Racines de la Terre
2009 Malbec; $10
13/20A value-priced wine produced from grapes grown just outside Carcassonne, it is well-structured and food-friendly.


Luc Belaire
Rosé; $35
13.5/20A blend of 90 per cent Syrah, 5 per cent Grenache and 5 per cent Cinsault, it's an easy-drinking, fruit-forward and elegant wine.

Rhône Valley

Muscat, Clairette; $15
13.5/20Low in alcohol and high in sugar, its aromas and flavors are of citrus fruits with marked floral notes.



2008 Pinot Blanc Kabinett Dry; $22
14/20This dry white wine features floral aromas on the nose and citrus and mineral flavors in the mouth.


Riesling Extra Trocken Sekt NV; $20
14/20This extra dry, elegant Sekt offers a nice, fruity Riesling profile.



if you seek kay
2010 Italian Red Wine; $20
13/20Composed primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon with some Petit Verdot and Primitivo, this unconventional bottling is full-bodied and ripe.


Prosecco Brut; $25
13.5/20Bright, fresh and lively on the tongue, it offers lemon, lime and grapefruit at the front of the palate.

La Bellanotte
2010 Armonico Bianco; $15
13.5/20Composed of 30 per cent Malvasia Istriana, 40 per cent Friuliano and 30 per cent Chardonnay, this aromatic white blend offers fresh citrus flavors and a full-bodied mouthfeel.

Re Midas
2011 Soave; $10
13/20This dry white wine displays floral aromas and fresh citrus flavors with a hint of minerality.

Prosecco; $15
13/20This non-vintage sparkler offers fruit such as pears and apples on the nose, while on the palate you get delicate bubbles and lingering fruit.

Prosecco; $17
13.5/20This creamy Prosecco features aromas of honeysuckle and notes of green apple, melon and ripe peach on the palate.

Prosecco; $15
14/20This crisp sparkling wine features a floral, fruity nose and almond on the palate, imparted by the 100 per cent Glera grapes it was made from.



2008 Brut Vintage Reserva; $14
13.5/20Made according to the Méthode Champenoise, it is composed of Macabeo and Parellada grapes.

Juvé y Camps
2007 Reserva de la Familia; $16
14/20A blend of Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parellada and Chardonnay, this rich cava is a great match for traditional Spanish dishes as well as creamy pâté.




Don Miguel Gascón
2011 Malbec; $15
12.5/20A full-bodied red wine, it boasts dark fruit flavors with a touch of spice and sturdy tannins.

Sparkling Brut; $18
13/20Fragrant and sweet with bright tropical fruit flavors, it is a fifty-fifty beldn of Pinot Noir from the Calle de Uco and Chardonnay from Lujan de Cuyo (both in Mendoza).

Santa Julia
2010 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon; $12
13/20This full-bodied red wine features black cherry and plum flavors followed by more earthy and herbal notes.

2010 Q Chardonnay; $22
13.5/20An aromatic and full-bodied white wine, it offers citrus and tropical fruit flavors and a crisp mouthfeel.



Khao Yai

PB Valley Estate
2000 Khao Yai Reserve Chenin Blanc; $N/A
13/20This bone dry white wine is now past its prime, but still offers nutty flavors reminiscent of a dry Sherry.



South Eastern Australia

2011 Pinot Noir; $7
12.5/20This young, medium-bodied red wine displays fresh raspberry flavors with a touch of sweetness.



Villa Maria Estate
2010 Private Bin Pinot Noir; $20
13/20Displaying a bouquet of cherry and raspberry, it reveals ripe fruit flavors and soft tannins in the mouth.

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