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New Wine Releases January 2013

River Road wines from Green Valley of Russian River Valley

Find tasting notes, prices and ratings for recent vintages in our selection of January 2013 new wine releases. You can click on highlighted winery names to view a full-page review.





Baron Herzog
2010 Chardonnay; $13
14/20Displaying tropical fruit aromas on the nose, it reveals apple, pear and a hint of vanilla in the mouth.

Livermore Valley

Steven Kent
2009 Home Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon; $65
15/20Only 90 cases were produced of this well-balanced red wine characterized by blackberry and black cherry flavors.


Darcie Kent Vineyards
2010 Rava Blackjack Vineyard Pinot Noir; $18
13/20Potent at 15 per cent alcohol, this rich red wine offers plenty of blackberry, blueberry and cherry flavors on the palate.

Santa Barbara County

2011 Sauvignon Blanc; $18
14/20This crisp white wine features fragrant tropical fruit aromas on the nose and citrus flavors in the mouth.



Gnarly Head
2010 Old Vine Zinfandel; $12
13/20This robust Zinfandel offers dark berry flavors with a touch of spice and chocolate.

2008 Midnight Reserve; $30
13/20Composed of 47 per cent Petit Verdot, 45 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 4 per cent each of Merlot and Malbec, this dry red blend features dark cherry flavors and sturdy tannins.

{Noble Vines}
2010 337 Cabernet Sauvignon; $15
13.5/20This full-bodied red wine offers black fruit flavors with peppery notes on the dry finish.


Anderson Valley

Castello di Amorosa
2011 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer; $35 (375 ml)
13.5/20Made from botrytis-affected grapes, this sweet dessert wine boasts apricot and honeysuckle aromas.

Navarro Vineyards
2011 Pinot Gris; $19
13.5/20A dry white wine offering nutty flavors and good texture, it pairs well with dishes like honeyed ham and roast quail.


Domaine Chandon
2000 Pinot Noir; $N/A
14/20This medium-bodied red wine has aged well and shows integrated fruit flavors with earthy notes.

Gloria Ferrer
Sonoma Brut; $22
13.5/20Composed of 91 per cent Pinot Noir and 9 per cent Chardonnay, this sparkling white wine features apple and citrus flavors with a toasty finish.

Dry Creek Valley

Dashe Cellars
2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel; $24
13.5/20Blended with some Petite Sirah and Carignane, this full-bodied Zinfandel boasts jammy fruit flavors and supple tannins.

2010 Estate Malbec; $40
14/20A dry red wine, it features red fruit and floral aromas on the nose and rounded red berry flavors on the palate.

Knights Valley

2010 Obsidian Vineyard Syrah; $90
16.5/20This rich Syrah boasts excellent structure, complex fruit flavors and silky tannins.

Lake County

Gain Bay
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; $18
14/20An excellent Cabernet Sauvignon for the price, it offers fresh fruit flavors and moderate tannins.

Napa Valley

Educated Guess
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; $20
13.5/20Balanced by the addition of other Bordeaux varietals in the blend, this full-bodied red wine displays rich berry flavors with a touch of vanilla.

Frank Family Vineyards
2010 Napa Valley Zinfandel; $36
14.5/20This robust Zinfandel with 15 per cent alcohol features jammy fruit flavors with a touch of black pepper.

Grgich Hills Estate
2009 Zinfandel; $35
14.5/20A food-friendly wine, its full body and dry mouthfeel make it well-suited to pairing with red meats and tomato-based dishes.

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; $40
14/20This well-balanced red wine offers dark fruit flavors and supple tannins.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards
2010 Eisrébe; $50 (375 ml)
14.5/20Made from the Scheurebe grape, this luscious ice wine is low in alcohol and high in sweetness and flavor.

Mira Winery
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $48
14.5/20This full-bodied red wine boasts intense flavors of blackberry, plum and mocha and smooth tannins.

PlumpJack Winery
2010 Merlot; $52
15/20Up front fruit flavors feature sweet black currant with roasted plum and raspberry notes toward the mid-palate, while rich fudge, cinnamon and espresso notes linger on the finish.

2009 Chardonnay; $30
14.5/20Although its fruit flavors are sweet and lush, they're nicely balanced by citrus acidity and a lingering minerality.

Russian River Valley

Ancient Oak
2009 Siebert Ranch Pinot Noir; $37
14/20A well-structured wine featuring red fruit flavors and a touch of spice, it would pair well with smoked salmon and wild game.

2011 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir; $40
14.5/20Offering vibrant cherry and rhubarb aromas on the nose, it reveals juicy cherry and cool vanilla flavors in the mouth.

2010 Collection Series Pinot Noir; $25
13.5/20This medium-bodied Pinot Noir offers sour cherry and vanilla aromas with a hint of baking spice on the soft finish.

Gallo Signature Series
2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay; $30
14/20A smooth, oaky Chardonnay, it features apple, lemon and ginger flavors and a creamy mouthfeel.

Gary Farrell
2009 Chardonnay, Westside Farms; $38
15/20A plush wine on the palate, its flavors include apple pie, ripe pear, lemony citrus and a note of baked bread.

Iron Horse
2007 Russian Cuvée; $38
14/20Composed of 75 per cent Pinot Noir and 25 per cent Chardonnay, this full-bodied sparkling wine boasts apple and orange flavors with a hint of hazelnut.

Sonoma County

Chateau St. Jean
2009 Cinq Cépages; $75
15.5/20This full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon features concentrated black fruit flavors with hints of anise and chocolate on the long finish.

2010 Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $19
14.5/20Blended with a small amount of other Bordeaux varietals, this value-priced Cab offers an excellent balance of fruit, acidity and tannins.

2010 Damaris Reserve Chardonnay; $40
14.5/20Oak-aged and unfiltered, this medium-bodied white wine displays pear, nectarine and gingers flavors with soft mineral notes.

River Road
2011 Reserve Chardonnay; $19
14/20This crisp Chardonnay offers fresh apple and peach flavors with almond notes on the finish.

Seghesio Family Vineyards
2007 Dionigia; $42 (375 ml)
13/20A red dessert wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel, it boasts complex aromas and rich fruit flavors.


Biltmore Estate
Pas de Deux; $18
12.5/20This sparkling wine made from Muscat Canelli grapes features an intensely floral nose of violets and lilies followed by crisp citrus flavors on the palate.

2010 Petite Sirah; $12
13/20A full-bodied red wine, it offers jammy fruit flavors and sturdy tannins.



Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars
2011 Grüner Veltliner; $18
14/20This aromatic white wine displays herbal and mineral notes on the palate followed by pepper on the finish.



North Valley
2011 Chardonnay; $30
14/20Offering tropical fruit aromas on the nose, this dry white wine reveals crisp apple and citrus flavors in the mouth.

Pali Wine Co.
2011 "Alphabets" Pinot Noir; $21
13.5/20This medium-bodied red wine features bright red fruit flavors with peppery and smoky notes on the smooth finish.



Apex Cellars
2011 Sauvignon Blanc; $15
13/20A crisp white wine, it shows citrus and tropical fruit flavors and aromas that would pair well with fish and seafood dishes.

Barnard Griffin
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; $17
13.5/20This rich red wine boasts cherry, blueberry and chocolate flavors balanced by acidity and firm tannins.

2009 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $25
13.5/20Composed of 85 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 per cent Merlot and 3 per cent Petit Verdot, this well-balanced red wine features bright red fruit flavors and soft tannins.




2010 Grüner Veltliner; $13
13.5/20This fresh, crisp white wine made from organic grapes pairs well with spicy foods.


Charles de Fère
Réserve Blanc de Blancs Brut; $10
13/20Blended from Chenin Blanc, Ugni Blanc and Colombard grapes grown in the Loire Valley, Charentes and Gers, this dry sparkling wine displays fragrant aromas and a toasty finish.


Pierre Sparr
2011 Riesling; $15
14.5/20A food-friendly white wine, it offers delicate citrus and banana aromas and mineral notes on the palate.


Château Clarke
2010 Le Rosé de Clarke; $16
14/20Made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes using the saignée method, it displays raspberry and lime aromas and a lively acidity.

Château La Louvière
2006 Rouge; $50
14.5/20Surprisingly ripe up front fruit flavors of plum, prune and raspberry lead the way to earthy, food-friendly cedar, spice and forest floor toward the back of the palate.

Château le Thil Comte Clary
2008 Pessac Léognan Blanc; $18
14/20This dry white wine displays fragrant floral aromas and on the nose and tropical fruit flavors on the palate.

Crémant de Bordeaux Cuvée de l'Abbaye; $15
12.5/20Composed of 70 per cent Sémillon and 30 per cent Blanc de Noirs, this dry sparkling wine offers fragrant aromas and a creamy mouthfeel.


Champagne Lenoble
Cuvée Intense; $44
14/20Composed of 40 per cent Chardonnay, 30 per cent Pinot Noir and 30 per cent Pinot Meunier, it shows citrus flavors in the mouth and mineral notes on the finish.


"Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux; $12
13/20No dosage is added to this fresh-flavored sparkling wine made from 90 per cent Mauzac, 5 per cent Chenin Blanc and 5 per cent Chardonnay.

Gérard Bertrand
2008 Grand Terroir Tautavel; $19
14/20Composed of 50 per cent Grenache, 35 per cent Syrah and 15 per cent Carignan, this bold red wine boasts black fruit flavors and sturdy tannins.



2011 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese; $21
14/20This late harvest Riesling is low in alcohol and shows sweet tropical fruit flavors and a creamy finish.

Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler
2011 Noble House Riesling; $12
13.5/20This crisp white wine boasts apple and citrus aromas and a clean finish.


Weingut Machmer
2010 Bechtheimer Gewürztraminer Spätlese; $15
14/20At 10.6 per cent alcohol, this late harvest Gewürztraminer displays fragrant floral aromas and flavors of passion fruit, apricot and ginger with some residual sugar.



2008 Asij Barbaresco DOCG; $43
14/20Made from Nebbiolo grapes, this earthy red wine features fresh red fruit flavors with hints of spice and supple tannins.


2009 Ilatraia; $60
14.5/20Composed of 40 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 40 per cent Petit Verdot and 20 per cent Cabernet Franc, this bold Bordeaux blend boasts dark fruit flavors with a touch of vanilla and spice on the finish.

2008 Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico; $25
14/20Made mostly of Sangiovese with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this full-bodied red wine pairs perfectly with a wide variety of Italian dishes.

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia
2010 Le Volte dell'Ornellaia; $30
13.5/20Composed of 50 per cent Merlot, 30 per cent Sangiovese and 20 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, this dry red wine is well-structured and delicate in the mouth.


Tre Venti Rive di Ogliano Prosecco Brut; $26
13.5/20This vineyard-designate Prosecco features crisp citrus and pear flavors and a lovely texture.



Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut; $18
13/20Composed of 85 per cent Pinot Noir and 15 per cent Trepat, this sparkling rose displays fragrant raspberry and blackberry aromas.

Rías Baixas

Adega Condes de Albarei
2011 Albariño; $12
13.5/20This dry white wine shows complex aromas of citrus, melon and tropical fruits with notes of cut grass and minerality.




2010 Estate Malbec; $26
14.5/20This full-bodied red wine features blackberry and plum flavors with a touch of spice and supple tannins.

Susana Balbo
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; $25
14/20Composed of 90 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 10 per cent Malbec, this rich red wine is well-balanced and would pair well with grilled steak and roast pork loin.



Khao Yai

PB Valley Estate
2000 Khao Yai Reserve Shiraz; $N/A
14/20This well-structured red wine has aged well and shows good integration of earthy fruit flavors and tannins.




Jacob's Creek Reserve
2009 Barossa Shiraz; $12
13.5/20Dry and full-bodied, it boasts concentrated black fruit flavors and sturdy tannins.

South Australia

2009 Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz; $26
13.5/20Ripe and robust, this full-bodied Shiraz features complex berry flavors with hints of chocolate and licorice.

South Eastern Australia

2011 Moscato; $7
12.5/20Light-bodied and sweet, it features fresh peach and pineapple flavors that would pair well with spicy Asian dishes.



Kim Crawford
2011 Pinot Noir; $19
14/20This medium-bodied Pinot Noir displays bright cherry and strawberry flavors and soft, smooth tannins.

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