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

New Wine Releases July 2012

New wine releases from around the world





Arroyo Grande Valley

2006 Cuvée M; $35
13.5/20A fifty-fifty blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this dry sparkling wine offers an excellent balance of fruit and acidity.

Livermore Valley

2008 Captain Joe's Petite Sirah; $30
13.5/20On the nose, this limited production wine affectionately named for founder James Concannon's son offers blackberry and black cherry fruit with enticing notes of bramble and clove.

Paso Robles

J. Lohr
2008 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon; $35
14/20This full-bodied red wine boasts intense black fruit flavors and a delightful complexity that will continue to evolve in the years to come.

Tower 15
2010 Grenache Blanc; $18
13.5/20This white wine boasts a hint of lavender on the nose and reveals lush pear, peach and apricot flavors in the mouth.

Viña Robles
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon; $24
13.5/20Some Petit Verdot and Tannat have been added to this full-bodied Cab, giving more balance to its dark fruit flavors and ripe tannins.

Santa Barbara County

Castello di Amorosa
2011 "Il Raggio del Sole"; $28
13.5/20Made from Muscat Canelli grapes, this sweet white wine is low in alcohol and features floral aromas on the nose and flavors of peach, orange and honeysuckle in the mouth.

Santa Lucia Highlands

Mer Soleil
2009 Chardonnay; $32
14/20This barrel-fermented Chardonnay is creamy and full-bodied, revealing vanilla and coconut flavors on the finish.

Santa Maria Valley

Wild Horse
2010 Unbridled Chardonnay; $23
13/20Made from Bien Nacido Vineyard fruit, this barrel-fermented Chardonnay features apple and pear flavors complemented by mineral notes.

Santa Ynez Valley

Stolpman Vineyard
2007 Late Harvest Viognier; $34 (375 ml)
14/20This creamy dessert wine displays delicious flavors of apricot and honeysuckle.


Dunnigan Hills

2011 Rosé of Tempranillo; $10
12.5/20A blend of Tempranillo, Syrah and Malbec, this dry rosé features complex flavors of citrus, cherry and watermelon.

Yolo County

Rock Wall
2011 Uncle Roget's Rosé; $18
13/20This brightly-colored dry rosé offers refreshing flavors of strawberry and watermelon with a hint of tamarind.


Hess Select
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon; $17
13.5/20Blended with small amounts of Syrah, Petite Sirah and Merlot, this fruit-forward Cab offers red plum and raspberry flavors followed by notes of caramel and tobacco.


Gloria Ferrer
2004 Extra Brut; $45
14.5/20Composed of 67 per cent Pinot Noir and 33 per cent Chardonnay, this dry sparkling wine displays apple, lemon and custard flavors that linger on the elegant finish.

Dry Creek Valley

Dutcher Crossing
2010 Proprietor's Reserve Zinfandel; $29
14.5/20This rich, full-bodied red wine offers jammy fruit flavors, supple tannins and a long finish.

2009 Syrah, Wine Creek Ranch; $30
14/20Unusually blended with some Viognier and Petite Sirah, this biodynamic Syrah displays dark fruit flavors with notes of smoke and pepper.

Mt. Veeder

Mt. Brave
2008 Merlot; $60
15.5/20This well-structured red wine features round red fruit flavors and mild tannins.

Napa Valley

Caymus Vineyards
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon; $59
14.5/20This fruit-forward Cab displays flavors of bright red berries, vanilla and spice with a touch of sweetness.

2009 Malbec; $49
15/20This robust red wine offers pomegranate and plum aromas on the nose and reveals red berry flavors and spice in the mouth.

2011 Reserve Selection Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc; $18
13.5/20This crisp white wine offers a fragrant bouquet of citrus, kumquat and honeysuckle and flavors of soft pear and apple alongside tangy grapefruit.

Russian River Valley

Iron Horse
2007 Wedding Cuvée; $38
14.5/20Composed of 88 per cent Pinot Noir and 12 per cent Chardonnay, this dry sparkling rose boasts elegant flavors of apricot and strawberry complemented by mineral notes.

Lost Canyon
2010 Ruxton Vineyard Chardonnay; $35
14/20A bright and zesty wine, it offers Asian pear and stone fruit aromas and flavors mingled with Meyer lemon and grapefruit acidity.


Round Pond
2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; $50
15/20This full-bodied red wine offers lavender and plum on the nose followed by luscious berry and chocolate flavors on the palate.

Sonoma Coast

Cobb Wines
2008 Emmaline Ann Vineyard Pinot Noir; $68
15/20A complex yet pleasingly restrained wine, it offers upfront fruit flavors of cherry and raspberry.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery
2009 Francis Coppola Director's Pinot Noir; $20
13.5/20A blend of Carneros and Russian River Valley grapes, this medium-bodied red wine displays ripe raspberry and cherry flavors.

Sonoma County

2010 Overlook Chardonnay; $25
14/20Aged in French oak, this full-bodied Chardonnay offers the usual notes of oak and vanilla alongside crisp stone fruit flavors.

Sonoma Valley

Lasseter Family Winery
2009 Chemin de Fer; $40
15/20Composed of 48 per cent Grenache, 34 per cent Syrah and 18 per cent Mourvèdre, this well-balanced red wine features lush raspberry and blackberry flavors and supple tannins.


Temecula Valley

Tesoro Winery
2007 Mourvèdre; $34
14/20This rustic red wine offers plum and blackberry flavors with a hint of spice and sturdy tannins that should mellow with age.


Carlo Rossi
White Zinfandel; $15 (5 L)
8.5/20This inexpensive box wine tastes much like watermelon juice and lacks the tannins and acidity that would give it structure and body.

McManis Family Vineyards
2010 Petite Sirah; $12
13/20This robust Petite Sirah offers fragrant berry aromas on the nose with a hint of toffee followed by ripe blackberry flavors in the mouth.

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi
Brut; $10
12.5/20Made entirely from Chardonnay grapes using the less-expensive Charmat method, this refreshing sparkling wine displays flavors of green apple and Meyer lemon.



Vista Hills
2009 Marylhurst Pinot Noir; $36
14.5/20This medium-bodied red wine displays an excellent balance of fruit, acidity and tannin.


2010 Pinot Noir; $32
13.5/20This food-friendly red wine displays fragrant aromas and fresh flavors of cherry, raspberry and pomegranate.

R. Stuart & Co.
2011 Big Fire Pinot Gris; $16
13/20Light and crisp, it displays aromas of ginger, apple and guava on the nose and ripe stone fruit flavors in the mouth with a marked minerality on the finish.


Soter Vineyards
2009 Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir; $45
14.5/20On the nose, this nicely structured wine offers ripe black raspberry and black currant, mingled with rose petals and wild game meats.


Subarashii Kudamono
Asian Pear Wine; $15
13/20A mildly sweet wine, it offers lush banana flavors on the entry and low acidity and a soft mouthfeel on the palate.


Bashore & Stoudt Country Winery
Shiro Plum; $11
12.5/20This sweet fruit wine is light in color and would pair well with many dessert dishes and creamy white cheeses.

Manatawny Creek Winery
2010 Meritage; $22
13.5/20A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, this medium-bodied red wine features luscious red fruit flavors and smooth tannins.



Cross Keys Vineyards
2011 Fiore; $17
13/20Made in an off-dry style, this rosé of Pinot Noir offers delicate floral and candied fruit aromas.



2010 Winemaker's Select Riesling; $8
12.5/20This aromatic white wine is low in alcohol (10.2 per cent) and on the sweet side, featuring luscious apricot and pear flavors and a hint of apple pie.




Château Reynier
2009 Bordeaux; $12
14/20Well-balanced and medium-bodied, this fifty-fifty blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offers red berry flavors and soft tannins.

Château Marjosse
2009 Bordeaux Superieur; $13
14/20This medium-bodied red wine features a good balance of fruit and acidity that make it ideal for pairing with a wide range of dishes.


Le Pas de la Mule
2007 Mas Janeil; $60
14/20Composed of 60 per cent Grenache, 30 per cent Syrah and 10 per cent Mourvèdre, this thick red wine is potent (15.7 per cent), tannic and earthy.

Loire Valley

Domaine de la Pépière
2010 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine "Clos des Briords"; $16
13.5/20This old vine Muscadet is light and crisp with complex fruit flavors and soft mineral notes.

Domaine de la Tourmaline
2010 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie; $14
13.5/20A light white wine, it features fresh citrus flavors, a crisp acidity and yeasty notes.



2010 Villányi Rosé; $19
14/20A blend of Kéfrankos, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Pinot Noir, the resulting wine is well-balanced and features fresh strawberry flavors.


Alto Adige

St. Michael Eppan
2009 Lagrein; $18
13.5/20A dry, full-bodied red wine with firm tannins, it would pair well with spicy pizzas and pastas.

2010 Pinot Bianco; $14
13.5/20This acidic white wine features fragrant apple aromas on the nose and nutty flavors on the palate.


2009 Montefalco Rosso DOC; $23
14/20Composed of 70 per cent Sangiovese, 15 per cent Sagrantino and 15 per cent Merlot, this full-bodied red blend features ripe red fruit flavors along with a hint of vanilla.


La Marca
Prosecco NV; $17
13/20This non-vintage sparkling wine displays fragrant floral and citrus aromas on the nose and reveals crisp flavors of lemon, apple and grapefruit in the mouth.



2011 Rosé; $13
13/20A fifty-fifty blend of Syrah and Aragonês (Tempranillo), it displays aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry and blackberry.

Vinho Verde

Quinta da Aveleda
2011 Vinho Verde; $9
13/20Light and acidic, this young wine blended from Alvarinho, Loureiro and Trajadura grapes offers tropical fruit flavors with floral notes.



Las Rocas
2009 Red Blend; $14
13/20A blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Syrah, this robust red wine is medium-bodied on the palate and offers jammy fruit flavors with a hint of oak.


Mas Fi Cava
Brut Rosé NV; $13
12.5/20This light and refreshing sparkler offers floral aromas on the nose and strawberry and blackcurrant flavors in the mouth.


Martin Cendoya
2007 Rioja Reserva; $22
14/20Composed of 80 per cent Tempranillo, 15 per cent Graciano and 5 per cent Mazuelo (or Carignan), this dry, full-bodied red wine boasts complex and concentrated fruit flavors.


Sparkling Rosé; $10
13/20This organic sparkling rosé is made from the Bobal grape, which offers refreshing strawberry and red currant flavors.




2010 Red Blend; $13
13.5/20This well-balanced blend of Malbec, Tempranillo, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah features dark bery flavors with earthy notes and supple tannins.

Clos de los Siete
2009 Red; $18
14/20Composed of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot, this robust red blend boasts bold fruit flavors and ripe tannins that should mature well with age.

Santa Julia
2010 Reserva Malbec; $12
13.5/20A full-bodied red wine, it offers heady aromas of fig, plum and blackberry with notes of coffee and smoke.

2008 Q Cabernet Sauvignon; $22
13.5/20This robust red wine features a good balance of fruit, acidity and tannin that would pair well with steaks, ribs and sausages.


Colchagua Valley

2010 Gran Reserva Carmenère; $14
13.5/20A fruit-forward red wine, it offers plum and cherry flavors with a hint of red pepper and chocolate.

Casa Silva
2011 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc; $12
13/20This crisp and clean white wine offers bright citrus flavors and a gentle acidity.

Limarí Valley

Viña Tabalí
2008 Reserva Especial Red Blend; $23
14/20Composed of 74 per cent Syrah, 12 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 14 per cent Merlot, this full-bodied red wine boasts dark fruit flavors with hints of smoke and spice.

Lolol Valley

Hacienda Araucano
2010 Syrah; $13
13.5/20This Syrah packs plenty of punch with 15 per cent alcohol, robust red fruit flavors and a long, spicy finish.



McLaren Vale

Clarendon Hills
2007 Onkaparinga Syrah; $75
15/20This rich, full-bodied red wine features complex earthy flavors and firm tannins that will continue to evolve over the coming years.



Brancott Estate
2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; $12
13.5/20A crisp, fruit-forward white wine, it offers complex aromas of melon, gooseberry and grapefruit that continue on the palate.

Cloudy Bay
2011 Sauvignon Blanc; $25
14/20This crisp white wine features fresh citrus and stone fruit flavors marked by a lively acidity.

More New Releases

(Updated: 01/02/13 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.