While they’ve made their name in value Riesling, this wine is every bit as satisfying and exciting, especially with spicy ethnic dishes that will embrace its hint of sweetness. Highly aromatic, the rose petal, lychee, and spice notes lead to a soft and juicy palate featuring melon and mandarin orange.
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Wine Notes: May

Jeffery Lindenmuth / May 2013

Acrobat Pinot Noir Oregon 2011
Sourced from organically and sustainably farmed vineyards in western Oregon, this Pinot, crafted in a light and fruity style by King Estate, makes a great by-the-glass pour, with its floral and primary fruit nose, characteristic bright berry flavors on the palate, and subtle hints of toasted oak and coffee.
Score: 88
Cost: $165
Cases: 32,000

Hahn GSM Central Coast 2011
Bearing the initials of the familiar southern Rhône trio Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, this youthful California red blend brings bright raspberry, blueberry, and plum fruit together with peppery spice and mineral notes. The juicy fruit core is buoyed by bright acidity and wrapped in drying tannins.
Score: 88
Cost: $120
Cases: 5,000

Pacific Rim Gewürztraminer Columbia Valley 2011
While they’ve made their name in value Riesling, this wine is every bit as satisfying and exciting, especially with spicy ethnic dishes that will embrace its hint of sweetness. Highly aromatic, the rose petal, lychee, and spice notes lead to a soft and juicy palate featuring melon and mandarin orange.
Score: 89
Cost: $114
Cases: 5,000

Château Arnaud St.-Estèphe 2010
Solid, dark, and dense, the aromas of smoky plum and blackberry fill the nose, while the palate serves up an abundance of ripe fruit, including cherry preserves and creamy cassis, nicely cut by acidity and framed with solid structure, while the long finish displays chalky mineral. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Score: 90
Cost: $400
Cases: 1,000

Podere Brizio Brunello di Montalcino 2007
Time continues to shine upon this wine, displaying classic Sangiovese flavors, with its dark cherry, tobacco leaf, spice box, and licorice aromas, joined by secondary notes of menthol and dried herbs. The palate is slick in texture, revealing plenty of ripe red fruits, joined by dusty tannins on the long finish.
Score: 90
Cost: $450
Cases: 1,600

Cune Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva 2001
With the revival of interest in traditional Rioja, this mature red, with captivating aromas of cigar box and spice, will find fans. On the palate, the wine exudes elegance, the rustic dried cherry fruit tinged with orange peel and mineral. With ample acidity and modest tannins, this wine revels in grace and sophistication.
Score: 93
Cost: $600
Cases: 8,000

Gaja Langhe Sperss 2008
With pure ripe fruit and toasty oak, this wine invokes modern-styled Barolo in its suave and powerful approach. Following an aroma of dark cherry with characteristic tar and licorice notes, the dense, full-bodied palate is awash with bold fruit and toasted spice that linger through the long, supple finish.
Score: 94
Cost: $2,450
Cases: 600

Marcassin Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Marcassin Vineyard 2007
Big, broad, and full, yet showing refinement and grace, this Pinot presents a barrage of bright and jammy ripe fruits—plum, blueberry, black cherry—while an undercurrent of earth, smoke, and savory soy lends intrigue. For such a ripe and commanding wine, it carries incredible balance and nuance.
Score: 96
Cost: $1,500
Cases: 1,250

Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Hillstone Vineyard 2010
Purity of fruit is at the core of this Cab, the rich mixed berry, cassis, and black cherry forming a foundation for cedary spice and graphite, mocha and licorice, that cascade across the palate. While it shows some serious muscle, the tannins are wonderfully ripe and supple on the long finish, with its impressive encore of flavors.
Score: 96
Cost: $1,560
Cases: 200

Note: Wine Spectator rates on a 100-point scale. 95–100: Classic, a great wine. 90–94: Outstanding, superior style and character. 80–89: Good to very good, a wine with special qualities. Prices listed are average wholesale case prices. All ratings are taken from Wine Spectator with permission. Wine Spectator School professional courses are now free with a WineSpectator.com membership ($49)