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Wine Notes: April 2014

Jeffery Lindenmuth - April 2014

MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Central Coast 2011
A food-friendly and budget-friendly rendition that offers impressive elegance. With pretty fruit aromas of raspberry and strawberry at its core, this wine also offers violet-tinged floral scents and hints of earth and cola. The fruit is lively and plump on the palate, displaying delicacy and a touch of spice on the supple finish.
Score: 88
Cost: $174
Cases: 28,400

Jean Vincent Sancerre 2012
This Sauvignon Blanc smacks of spring, with its freshness and green aromatic notes unfurling like an herb chiffonade. On the palate, the bracing acidity strikes with flavors of lime and grapefruit, while the mouthwatering finish is utterly lip-smacking, revealing a flinty mineral quality.
Score: 88
Cost: $168
Cases: 2,900

De Loach Pinot Noir Central Coast 2012
Impressively rich, ripe, and firm, this red plays coy with subdued aromas of black cherry, lavender, and pine forest. The palate pours on plummy fruit, coupled with baking spices, chocolate, zesty citrus, and earth. Lively acidity, polished tannins, and a mineral note converge on the stylish finish.
Score: 89
Cost: $144
Cases: 6,000

Flowers Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2011
This is a trim and lean incarnation, revealing firm Asian pear, apricot, and apple notes, before delicate wisps of citrus blossom and fresh herbs begin to join in the aroma. Electric acidity meets flinty mineral and lemon flavors on the palate, revealing good length to the fruit before the nervy finish.
Score: 90
Cost: $400
Cases: 6,000

Two Hands Brave Faces Barossa Valley 2012
A decadent and lavish red—Grenache, Mataro, and Shiraz—featuring a core of ripe, molten red fruit, including flavors of kirsch and sweet raspberry coulis, laced with white pepper. Plenty of vibrant acidity keeps this slick wine honest, as fine, supple tannins caress the palate through the long finish.
Score: 92
Cost: $400
Cases: 2,000

Gloria Ferrer Anniversary Cuvée Carneros 2008
This Blanc de Blanc is vivid and bright as effusive aromas of brioche, citrus zest, toasted hazelnuts, and warming ginger bubble forth. The flavors come cascading in rich layers on the palate, ripe pear and Meyer lemon giving way to vanilla custard, as the persistent and fine bubbles contribute to a crisp finish.
Score: 93
Cost: $480
Cases: 1,400

Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello 2009
From a Barolo visionary comes this bright, yet very robust red, stacked high with aromas of black cherry, licorice, violets, and saddle leather and a flavor that delivers crushed berry and cherry—big, ripe, and chewy—with nicely integrated oak and spice. A blockbuster style that shows impeccably pure fruit, this still youthful wine is built to last.
Score: 95
Cost: $1,500
Cases: 250

Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Riesling Spätlese Mosel Piesporter Goldtröpfchen 2012
With richness and concentration as its hallmark, this ripe Riesling is redolent of fresh white flowers, dried stone fruits, and wet slate on the nose. The palate exquisitely balances sweet apple, pear, and tropical fruit with fresh acidity and lively lime notes. There is plenty to relish now, but this should transform over coming decades.
Score: 95
Cost: $460
Cases: 400

Shafer Relentless Napa Valley 2010
Dense, dark, and captivating, this California icon delivers a chewy mix of wild berries, black licorice, tar, cigar wrapper, and smoky meat. Crafted from 96 percent Syrah and 4 percent Petite Sirah, this red embodies the power and quality of Shafer Cab, with a different cast of flavors and immediately perceptible finesse.
Score: 95
Cost: $680
Cases: 3,300