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Wine Notes: May 2014

Jeffery Lindenmuth - May 2014

Marqués De Riscal Rioja Reserva 2008
Offering great value with a prestigious Rioja pedigree, this medium-bodied red (Tempranillo with additions of Graciano and Mazuelo) shows freshness and the polish of bottle age, revealing aromas of cherry, dried herbs, vanilla, and coffee that carry through on the palate, with its firm tannins and dry, zesty finish.
Score: 85
Cost: $198
Cases: 50,000

Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2012
Shimmering and bright, this lively Italian Pinot Grigio has all the character lacking in more insipid renditions with its bounty of flower blossom, green apple, melon, and citrus aromas, joined by stony minerality on the palate, which also offers generous creamy texture, thanks to aging on the lees.
Score: 88
Cost: $145
Cases: 21,100

Bogle Phantom California 2010
Casual wine lovers can’t get enough of red blends, and this big, juicy red (51 percent Zinfandel, 47 percent Petite Sirah, 2 percent Mourvedre), smacking of crushed black and red berries, coupled with peppery spice, tobacco, anise, and herbs will win fans, by-the-glass or with paired hearty foods. Bold, full-bodied, and generous in both flavor and structure.
Score: 88
Cost: $180
Cases: 62,000

Argyle Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012
Even at the entry level, Argyle Pinot exudes balance, grace, and harmony, just a few of the characteristics that make this cool-climate red a silver bullet for food pairing. Pretty aromas of red cherry, leather, and tea lead to a gentle palate, featuring lithe red fruits and hints of savory spice, underscored by mineral and supple tannins.
Score: 90
Cost: $230
Cases: 26,685

Dr. Loosen Riesling Spätlese Mosel Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2012
A concentrated nose of melon, stone fruits, and mandarin orange leads to a palate that balances the depths of juicy fruit against a rush of acidity, with herbal notes and honeyed nuances appearing on the mid-palate. The fruit lingers nicely, bathing the palate in gentle sweetness before getting swept up in the racy finish.
Score: 91
Cost: $340
Cases: 800

Ridge Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Monte Bello 2010
Aromas of white flowers and lemon curd lead to a richly layered mélange of juicy fruit—peach, melon, and nectarine—before deeper notes of toast, fig, and honeyed fruit emerge. The opulent fruit builds through the finish, as a saline mineral streak chimes in, contributing to the fine balance.
Score: 92
Cost: $600
Cases: 675

Massolino Barolo 2009
Despite a generally challenging vintage, Massolino has turned in an impressive effort, a traditional style Barolo boasting nicely integrated flavors of cherry, cedar, and tobacco. With its generous body and vibrant fruit riding above fine tannins, this savory Barolo should show more staying power than many of 2009.
Score: 95
Cost: $432
Cases: 3,165

A. Clape Cornas 2010
A landmark effort that portrays power, structure, and strength, this northern Rhône gem is an inky portrait of Syrah’s potential, with a core of blackberries and currants, draped with flavors of tar, charcoal, and tobacco. Lurking beneath the dense fruit is a gravelly bed of mineral and graphite, while an exotic spice note adds even more intrigue.
Score: 97
Cost: $1,000
Cases: 228

Dow Vintage Port 2011
When investing in your cellar, this powerful, yet refined, wine currently offers an abundance of black plums, cherries, and cassis that will pay dividends for decades. Chewy, rich, and unctuous, the dark fruit comes laced with pretty spice and dark chocolate, flowing through the long finish, where the tannins reveal their firm grip.
Score: 99
Cost: $800
Cases: 5,000