magnify Click image to view more.

Wine Notes: July/August

Jeffery Lindenmuth / July 2013

Viña Leyda Sauvignon Blanc Leyda Valley Classic 2012
A real thirst-quencher with plenty of character for its price, this wine perfectly represents Chile’s Leyda Valley, balancing tangy Key lime and citrus with vivacious herbal notes. The bright flavors, lively acidity, and juicy texture comprise an exciting mouthful, even before picking up hints of brine and mineral on the finish.
Score: 85
Cost: $115
Cases: 20,000

Novy Four Mile Creek North Coast White 2011
A white poised to join the success of creative red blends, this mélange of California Viognier, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay displays pointed aromatics of honeysuckle, passion fruit, and zesty citrus, echoed on the palate with its enticingly bright fruit, plump body, and juicy finish.
Score: 88
Cost: $120
Cases: 521

Cantina Clavesana Dogliani 2011
Pied­monte’s Dolcetto grape beams with exciting cherry, plum, and raspberry fruit, joined by the flirtatious fragrance of violets and cracked pepper in this red, showing impressive smoothness and power. Ripe red fruit, a silky texture, and a dry finish with some tannic structure lend great versatility at the table.
Score: 88
Cost: $105
Cases: 125,000

Château Lynch Bages Pauillac Echo de Lynch Bages 2010
The second label of Lynch Bages is distinguished by greater amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, lending it sleekness and elegance, with purity of fruit. A ripe core of molten blackberry and raspberry fruit is wrapped in pleasing oak and licorice notes, delivering considerable structure and power in an immediately approachable Bordeaux.
Score: 91
Cost: $550

Beckmen Grenache Santa Ynez Valley Purisima Mountain Vineyard 2010
Beck­men crafts this wonderfully expressive Gre­nache, brimming with raspberry and blueberry aromas with whiffs of spice, before delivering a mouthful of dense berry fruit and chewy palate-coating tannins laced with plenty of rustic intrigue.
Score: 91
Cost: $280
Cases: 500

DuMol Syrah Russian River Valley 2010
Dense and richly layered with fleshy fruit, this Syrah serves up crushed berries, cedary oak, and baking spice aromas, with savory wisps of black olive and smoked meat. On the palate, the fruit is fleshy and rich, the creamy cassis laced with coffee and nutmeg notes before turning firm on the finish.
Score: 92
Cost: $550
Cases: 1,050

Massolino Barolo Parussi 2008
Hailing from Castiglione Falletto, this red offers complex aromas, with hints of exotic incense, spice, and saddle leather lurking beneath the bold cherry and dark currant fruit. On the palate, it boasts impressive structure, the ample tannins well integrated through the wine’s silky texture and enduring finish.
Score: 95
Cost: $950
Cases: 100

Château Cos-d’Estournel St.-Estèphe 2010
This wine explodes from the glass with dark fruit—cassis and black plum—accompanied by complex nuances of black tea, toasted oak, tobacco leaf, and earth. While ambitious in its ripeness, density, and tannic grip, it remains lively, fresh, and nimble on the palate, with a long finish showing graphite and mineral.
Score: 95
Cost: $3,500

Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2010
With a modest proportion of Merlot (23 percent) versus other vintages, this wine is massive in its scale and breadth of flavors, with licorice, violet, charred wood, and tar peering from among the dark cherry and currant notes. The dense berry core is awash with supple tannins and mouthwatering acidity, while a brambly, savory edge appears on the finish.
Score: 99
Cost: $12,456