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

New Wine Releases June 2012

New wine releases from around the world





Monterey County

Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Francis Coppola Diamond Collection 2010 Chardonnay; $16
14/20This full-bodied Chardonnay offers aromas of pear, vanilla and cloves and tropical fruit flavors on the palate.

Paso Robles

Tower 15
2011 "Sunset" Rosé; $18
13.5/20A dry rosé composed of 93 per cent Grenache and 7 per cent Pinot Noir, it displays raspberry, tangerine and rose petal aromas.

Viña Robles
2008 Syrée; $39
14.5/20A blend of mostly Syrah and some Petite Sirah, this full-bodied red wine features dark fruit flavors with hints of mocha and firm tannins.

Santa Lucia Highlands

Mer Soleil
Silver Chardonnay; $24
13.5/20Packaged in ceramic bottles, this cement tank-fermented Chardonnay provides fresh fruit flavors and lots of minerality.

Santa Ynez Valley

Beckmen Vineyards
2011 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rosé; $18
13.5/20Composed of traditional Rhone varietals dominated by Grenache, this bright-red rosé displays fresh strawberry and apple flavors and a crisp acidity.

Stolpman Vineyard
2008 Sangiovese; $36
14.5/20This full-bodied red wine features ripe red fruit flavors and supple tannins for a long, smooth finish.



Les Deux Chats
2009 Roussanne; $22
14/20A full-bodied white wine with an aromatic nose, it reveals tropical and citrus fruit flavors on the palate.


Anderson Valley

2011 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir; $28
13.5/20This rosé wine made from Pinot Noir grapes displays fragrant aromas of ruby red grapefruit, strawberry and watermelon.


2010 Napa Valley Pinot Grigio; $22
13.5/20Tart, refreshing fruit flavors include fresh squeezed lemon, lime and apricot with a bit of minerality toward the back of the palate.

Gloria Ferrer
2008 Carneros Pinot Noir; $20
15/20This complex Pinot Noir displays dark fruit aromas on the nose and rich cherry flavors and rounded tannins on the palate.

Dry Creek Valley

2010 Sauvignon Blanc-Gewürztraminer; $32
14/20A fifty-fifty blend, it is a full-bodied wine with crisp citrus and green apple flavors leading to a lengthy finish.

Frei Brothers Reserve
2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel; $20
13.5/20A fruit-forward wine, it boasts round red berry flavors with peppery notes and soft tannins.

Lake County

Rock Wall
2011 Sauvignon Blanc; $18
13.5/20A light and crisp white wine, this Sauvignon Blanc displays an aromatic nose of pear and apricot followed by crisp acidity and mineral notes on the palate.

Mt. Veeder

Mt. Brave
2008 Malbec; $60
15.5/20From pomegranate and blackberry aromas on the nose to raspberry and spice in the mouth, this earthy red wine is full-bodied and complex.

Napa Valley

2007 Phenomenon; $50
14.5/20Composed of 49 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 38 per cent Sangiovese, 11 per cent Merlot and 2 per cent Syrah, this red blend is dry and robust, displaying complex flavors and firm tannins.

2009 Syrah; $38
14.5/20This complex Syrah, made with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, offers aromas of black pepper and smoke on the nose and flavors of black fruit and spice in the mouth.

Frank Family Vineyards
2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $49
15/20Blended with a small amount of Merlot and Petit Verdot, this complex and well-structured Cabernet Sauvignon features dark fruit flavors leading to notes of mocha and spice on the lengthy finish.


2008 Cabernet Franc; $58
15.5/20This full-bodied red wine boasts ripe blueberry and damson plum flavors with a touch of spice and silky smooth tannins.

2008 Merlot; $44
15/20An impressively crafted wine, it is well structured with bright acidity and a solid backbone of tannins.

Russian River Valley

2011 Pinot Grigio; $17
14/20A pale and crisp white wine, this Pinot Grigio offers an aromatic bouquet of lime, peach, apple and honeysuckle.

Gary Farrell
2009 Chardonnay, Russian River Selection; $32
15/20This full-bodied white wine features fragrant aromas of green apple, pear, citrus and butterscotch, opening to a refreshing acidity on the palate and a smooth finish.

Iron Horse
2003 Brut LD; $85
14/20A fifty-fifty blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this late disgorged sparkling wine is rather dry and acidic, offering tangy lemon flavors followed by yeasty notes.

Lost Canyon
2009 Morelli Lane Pinot Noir; $45
14.5/20This lush, food-friendly red wine features cherry and rhubarb flavors and soft tannins on the palate.

Wine Guerrilla
2009 Clopton Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel; $35
14/20This single-vineyard varietal wine from boutique Zinfandel producer Wine Guerrilla is nicely balanced with juicy flavors up front and earthy notes toward the back of the palate.


Rubicon Estate
2010 Blancaneaux; $46
14.5/20A blend of estate-grown, certified organic Rousanne, Marsanne and Viognier grapes, this luscious white blend boasts complex floral aromas on the nose and flavors of apricot and citrus in the mouth.

Sonoma County

2010 Sonoma County Chardonnay; $18
13.5/20A blend of fruit mostly fermented in stainless steel tanks, providing a less oaky flavor than barrel-fermented bottlings, it reveals a racy acidity in the mouth balanced by soft mineral notes.

Sonoma Valley

Lasseter Family Winery
2010 Enjoué; $24
13.5/20Composed of 64 per cent Syrah, 31 per cent Mourvèdre and 5 per cent Grenache, this well-structured and refreshing rosé features a racy acidity and enduring finish.


Temecula Valley

Tesoro Winery
2009 Il Terrazza Rosso; $28
12/20This light-bodied Syrah displays bright red plum, cherry and cranberry flavors and is best enjoyed chilled.


Barefoot Bubbly
Pink Moscato California Champagne; $10
12.5/20This sweet, sparkling rosé is low in alcohol content and makes for a refreshing aperitif or brunch wine.

Peter Vella
Delicious Red; $11 (5 L)
8/20An inexpensive box wine, this generic red blend lacks complexity and tastes little different from fruit punch.

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; $8
13/20This fruit-forward, full-bodied red wine displays ripe red plum, cherry and raspberry flavors and firm tannins in the mouth.

Robert Mondavi Private Selection
2010 Meritage; $11
13.5/20A blend of traditional Bordeaux varietals made predominantly from grapes grown in Monterey County, this full-bodied and complex red wine offers great value for the money.

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi
Extra Dry; $10
12/20Composed of mostly Chardonnay and a tiny amount of Viognier, this dry sparkling wine displays apple and pear flavors and a crisp acidity.

Layer Cake
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon; $15
13/20Made from grapes grown in Paso Robles and the Alexander Valley, this dry red wine offers dark fruit flavors with more earthy notes and a thick mouthfeel.



Shaw Vineyard
2008 Riesling; $16
13/20Left on the lees for three years, this semi-dry Riesling features tropical fruit flavors, yeasty notes and a creamy mouthfeel.


2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $24
13.5/20This medium-bodied red wine features complex aromas of black cherry, bramble, prune, cedar and spice and rounded tannins in the mouth.



Christopher Bridge
2009 Estate Pinot Gris; $18
13.5/20Made from organically-grown grapes, this dry white wine offers an aromatic nose and stone fruit flavors on the palate.

David Hill
2010 Estate Pinot Gris; $16
13.5/20This clean, crisp white wine displays citrus and tropical fruit aromas and a lively acidity in the mouth.

King Estate
2010 Signature Pinot Noir; $27
14/20A representative Oregon Pinot Noir, it boasts red fruit aromas and flavors complemented on the palate by lavender and vanilla notes and soft tannins.



Cross Keys Vineyards
2011 Joy White; $16
13/20Made from Vidal Blanc grapes, this aromatic white wine is on the sweet side and offers refreshing peach flavors.




Morgenster 2003; $30
14/20A blend of traditional Bordeaux varietals, this bold red wine boasts ripe berry flavors with hints of mocha and a thick mouthfeel.




Château Climens
2007 Sauternes; $95
16.5/20A Premier Cru of the 1855 Classification, this delicious dessert wine made from botrytis-infected Semillon grapes displays honeyed aromas and apricot flavors.

Château Durfort-Vivens
2009 Margaux; $50
15.5/20A Deuxième Cru of the 1855 Classification, this blend of 70 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 per cent Cabernet Franc and 24 per cent Merlot is complex enough to be enjoyed now, but will improve even more with age.

Château de Cruzeau
2006 Pessac-Léognan; $28
14.5/20Composed of 55 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 43 per cent Merlot and 2 per cent Cabernet Franc, this full-bodied red wine boasts dark fruit flavors and supple tannins.


Joseph Drouhin
2009 Chablis; $23
14/20This full-bodied Chardonnay offers an aromatic bouquet and marked mineral notes on the palate.



Bert Simon
2003 Riesling Beerenauslese; $36
15/20This sweet dessert wine boasts floral aromatics, lush tropical fruit flavors and mineral notes on the palate.



Chateau Dereszla
2010 Tokaji Dry; $15
13/20Composed of 85 per cent Furmint, 10 per cent Hárslevelu and 5 per cent Muscat, this dry white wine features fresh fruit and mineral flavors and a lively acidity.

2009 Cuvée 113 Tokaj; $24
14/20Composed of 60 per cent Furmint, 28 per cent Chardonnay, 7 per cent Sauvignon Blanc and 5 per cent Hárslevelu, this dry Tokaj is clean and crisp, displaying fragrant fruit aromas.


Alto Adige

Kellerei-Cantina Andrian
2007 Rubeno; $29
14/20This red wine made from the Lagrein varietal offers plum and dark berry aromas with an underlying layer of smokiness.

2009 "Turmhof" Pinot Nero; $22
13.5/20This full-bodied Pinot Noir displays dark berry flavors with earthy notes on the palate and smooth tannins.


Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile DOC; $12
13.5/20Low in alcohol and semi-sweet in style, this aperitif wine features bright red fruit flavors that would pair well with charcuterie.


2009 Nero d'Avola; $15
14/20Made from a varietal native to the region, this dry red wine offers black fruit and peppery flavors.


2011 Grecante Grechetto dei Colli Martani DOC; $20
13.5/20Made entirely from Grechetto grapes, this full-bodied white wine features floral and fruity aromas on the nose and would pair well with seafood, veal and grilled chicken.



2009 Reserva Branco; $20
14/20A blend of Antão Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro grapes, this full-bodied white wine features tropical fruit aromas and a lively acidity.



Carta Nevada Semi Dry; $9
13/20A traditional blend of Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada grapes, this cava is midway between sweet and dry, displaying creamy peach and custard flavors.


Bodegas Muriel
2005 Rioja Reserva; $25
14/20Made entirely from Tempranillo, this spicy red wine offers dark berry aromas and flavors, revealing firm tannins and a thick mouthfeel on the palate.

2005 Garnacha; $48
14.5/20This robust, dry wine boasts ripe red fruit flavors with a hint of chocolate and firm tannins.


Farina Vino & Arte
2010 Primero; $9
12/20Made from Tinta de Toro grapes, this dry red wine offers the usual berry aromas alongside dried banana, revealing harsh tannins in the mouth.




2008 Malbec; $20
13/20A Port-style wine, this fortified Malbec reveals sweet flavors of plum and dried figs on the palate with hints of cinnamon.

Piedra Negra
2008 Malbec; $30
14.5/20This robust, full-bodied Malbec boasts complex black fruit flavors with earthy and peppery notes.

Santa Julia
2011 Tardío; $12
13.5/20Composed of 85 per cent Torrontés and 15 per cent Viognier, this sweet dessert wine features fragrant aromas and delicious pear, peach and apricot flavors.

2010 Q Malbec; $22
13.5/20A dense red wine offering dark fruit flavors, it would pair well with grilled steaks and barbecued ribs.


2011 Torrontés; $13
13.5/20This crisp white wine features floral aromas on the nose and refreshing fruit flavors and a lively acidity on the palate.

San Rafael

Valentin Bianchi
2010 Malbec; $12
13/20A food-friendly wine, this robust red wine features plum, cherry, coffee and vanilla aromas and firm tannins in the mouth.


Central Valley

Hacienda Araucano
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon; $11
13/20This full-bodied red wine offers dark fruit flavors and firm tannins that should mature with age.



McLaren Vale

Clarendon Hills
2007 Brookman Cabernet Sauvignon; $50
15.5/20This complex, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon displays rich flavors of black cherry, blackberry and raisin with just a hint of tobacco.


Hawkes Bay

Alpha Domus
2010 Unoaked Chardonnay; $12
13/20An aromatic white wine, it offers mouthfilling stonefruit flavors with soft mineral notes.

More New Releases

(Updated: 12/28/12 BH)

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