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Wine Notes: June 2014

Jeffery Lindenmuth - June 2014

Sterling Syrah Central Coast Vintner’s Collection 2010
Featuring bold black cherry and blackberry, laced with notes of vanilla and toasty oak, this wine represents a big, fruit-forward California rendition that also embraces Syrah’s sultry smoky side. Offering persistent ripe fruit flavors, hints of spice, and a zesty finish, this red will be well-received by the glass, paired with meat or pasta.
Score: 87
Cost: $150
Cases: 10,000

Piccini Extra Dry Prosecco NV
While suitably priced for sparkling cocktails or brunch duty, this bubbly shows impressive character, matching melon and pear aromas with those of pastry and almonds. On the palate, the bright, citrusy flavors show lots of verve, while the texture is delightfully creamy, contributing to lovely balance.
Score: 87
Cost: $100
Cases: 60,000

Cline Cashmere California 2012
This red blend (Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache, and Petite Sirah) is far more raucous and rustic than its name implies, delivering raspberry and cherry fruit, dripping with secondary notes of herbs, roof tar, scorched earth, and tobacco. On the palate, juicy red fruit meets peppery spice, dark chocolate, and firm tannins.
Score: 88
Cost: $152
Cases: 47,300

The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2010
An unusually cool vintage imparts atypical finesse to this Mount Veeder Cab, lending a graceful finish to its characteristic rich mélange of dark, chewy fruit laced with mocha, cedar, toasty oak, and nutmeg. Small additions of Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute complexity to this seductive and cellar-worthy wine.
Score: 92
Cost: $480
Cases: 266

Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Stiling Vineyard 2011
Hailing from the site of a former apple orchard, this single-vineyard Pinot offers tantalizing layers of red fruit—cherry, raspberry, and pomegranate—with intriguing aromas of rose petal and black tea. On the palate, the wine shows good intensity, while remaining lithe, with silky tannins and lively citrus notes on the finish.
Score: 93
Cost: $500
Cases: 266

Girard Petite Sirah Napa Valley 2011
Mastering restraint in crafting this notoriously powerful varietal, Girard delivers potency with polish, deftly balancing vibrant raspberry and plum fruit against smoked meat, black licorice, cigar box, cocoa, and spice. Drinkable now, but built to last a decade or more.
Score: 93
Cost: $240
Cases: 4,432

Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan 2011
Despite a challenging year defined by early heat and late rain, this premier cru classé emerges as a star of the vintage, with notes of chewy fig, blackberry jam, currant paste, and tobacco leaf. A lively and energetic finish contrasts with the dense fruit, lending a mouthwatering sensation and impeccable balance to this full-bodied red.
Score: 95
Cost: $5,600

Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District Hillside Select 2009
This wine stands tall with rich intensity of dark fruit flavors, as crushed berries define the dense, fleshy palate, with its underlying tobacco, cedar, mocha, and rocky mineral notes. Ripe tannins seize the fruit on the long finish, balanced and drying, flaunting impressive polish.
Score: 96
Cost: $2,160
Cases: 2,400

Château d’Yquem Sauternes 2011
Rich, creamy, and resplendent with tropical fruit flavors of mango and guava, this lush dessert wine strings together sensational flavors of citrus blossoms, fig, toasty nuts, and pie crust that sail on and on. The palate smacks of chewy marmalade, ending with a blockbuster finish of ripe persimmon and spice.
Score: 99
Cost: $4,000