Cellar Notes | WYPR

Cellar Notes

Wednesday at 4:44 pm and Friday at 5:44 pm

Al Spoler and Hugh Sisson discuss their favorite wines, beers and spirits on Cellar Notes.

Archive Prior to 2014

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Torres Coronas Tempranillo '12 ** $  VALUE
(Classic tempranillo with a bit of cab thrown in, delcious)

Torres Altos Hibericos Crianza , Rioja '12 **1/2  $  VALUE
(Pure tempranillo, aged in American oak, very classy)

Torres "Celeste" Ribero del Duero '12  *** $$
(A tad pricy, but worth it... this is Da Bomb!...great quality)

Torres "Atrium" Merlot, Penedes '12  *1/2  $
(Decent value for straightforward merlot.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Wallace Brook Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley '11 * $
(Sketchy at first, but opened and came around nicely.)

Meiomi Pinot Noir, California, '13 ** $ VALUE
(As solid as it is popular, very good example of affordable pinot noir.)

Baileyana Pinot Noir, "Firepeak", Edna Valley '13 **1/2  $$
(An outstanding California pinot noir, impressive flavors and character.)

Cartlidge & Brown Pinot Noir, North Coast '13 **1/2 $  VALUE
(These guys always seem to deliver nice straightforward wine.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

 Jackson Estate Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley '13 **1/2 $$
(Silky, intriguing pinot with lush cool country fruit flavors)

Jackson Estate Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley '13
(Creamy tropical fruit, with complexity and fine structure)

Jackson Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley '12 **1/2 $$
(Affordable high quality Alex Valley cabbernet blend)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Martel Blanco Verdejo, Rueda '12 ** $ VALUE
(This is why Rueda is Spain's most popular white.)

Quinta do Casal Monteiro, DO Tejo, Portugal '13 *1/2 $
(Made from Arinto, perfect with seafood, a lovely easy drinking white.)

D'Arenberg "The Hermit Crab" McLaren Vale '15 ** $
(Reliable Aussie winery, a solid white made from Rhone varietals.)

Husch Chenin Blanc, Mendocino County '13 ** $
(A quality off-dry chenin blanc, perfect for spicy Asian cuisine.)

Fairview Goats do Roam, South Africa '14 *1/2 $  VALUE
(Inexpensive, loveable, unusual, a crowd pleaser.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Cordoniu Classico Cava *1/2 $  
(Ridiculously inexpensive for the quality) VALUE

Anna de Cordoniu Brut Rosé ** $  VALUE
(Delightful rosé bubbly at an incredible price.)VALUE

Anna de Cordoniu Brut ** $  VALUE
(Chardonnay based with a dollop of traditional Parellada)

Cordoniu Vintage 2012 ** $
(Pinot Noir makes an appearance in this very good wine)

Gran Cordoniu Reserva Chardonnay ** $
(Chardonnay based Cava, a first in Spain)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Bodega Angel Rodriguez "Martinsancho" Verdejo Rueda '13 *** $$
(This wine is distributed by Country Vintners.  The best Rueda out there.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com
 

Rioja - 7/1/15

Jul 1, 2015

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb   **** = elite

Lan Rioja Riserva '08  ** $   VALUE
(Great in true reserve qualtiy Rioja)

Marques de Caceres Rioja Riserva '09 **1/2 $
(Well aged, subtle but powerful red, autumnal quality)

Marques de Riscal Rioja Riserva '09 *1/2  $
(Lean red that shows much more with food)

Baron de Ley Rioja Riserva '09 *** $$
(Very complex, dense deep wine, special occasion wine)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Josh Cellars Merlot, California '13  ** $  VALUE
(Great buy in lush flavorful merlot, soft and approachable)

Josh Cellars Pinot Noir, California '13 ** $  VALUE
(As good as entry level Pinot Noir can get)

Barrymore Pinot Grigio, Monterey '13 **1/2 $    
(Drew Barrymore's wine, a fleshy melon flavored PG with class)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite
 

Tablas Creek Vineyards, Patelin de Tablas Blanc, Paso Robles '13  **1/2 $ VALUE
(Viognier dominated crowd pleaser, big body, off dry flavors)

Vignobles d'Azur Rosé, Cotes de Provence '13 *** $   VALUE
(Full bodied but delicate rosé, distributed by Washburn Wine Co. in Balto)

La Rioja Alta "Alberdi" Reserva, Rioja '08 ** $$
(A lovely, mature, ready to drink older Rioja with style and class)

Ravenswood Zinfandel "Old Vines" Napa County '12  ** $  VALUE
(Big enjoyable red zin that touches all the bases)

D'Arenberg "Darry's Original" Shiraz Grenache, McLaren Vale '10 **11/2 $ VALUE
(Aussie take on big Cotes du Rhone, powerful and fun)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Domaine des Herbauges Unoaked Chardonnay, VDP loire, 2013  ** $ VALUE
(A delightful well-made chardonnay for around $15)

Domaine de Saint Just  Saumur Blanc "Les Perrieres" '13  ** $
(Bone dry, but loaded with fruit flavors, 100% chenin blanc)

Domaine Cedrick Bardin Pouilly-Fumé '14 ** $
(Tasty sauvignon blanc, round, fruity with lemon notes)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    ****= elite

Beringer Chardonnay "Luminus"  Oak Knoll, Napa '13 *** $$
(A superb Napa chard, made with restraint, textbook and delicious)

Beringer "Quantum" Red Blend, Napa Valley '12 *** $$$$
(Expensive, but worth it, Bordeaux and Rhone style together, superb)

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon, Knight's Valley '12 ** $$    
(Very nice presentable cab, young now, can age)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Beringer Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley '11 **  $ VALUE
(Round, melon flavored SB with good balance, very refreshing)

Beringer Merlot, Napa Valley '12 **1/2 $$
(A pretty wine, with soft plummy notes and gentle tannins)

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley '11 **1/2  $$
(A big bodied cab with gritty tannins, long finish)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    ****= elite

Jeff Cohn Cellars - A new premium operation from California, featuring superbly sourced fruit.

Jeff Cohn "Smoke & Mirrors", California '13  *1/2 $
(Inspired by Cotes du Rhone, blend of big reds)

Jeff Cohn "The First Date", Napa Valley '12  **  $$
(Inspired by white Rhone blend of marsanne and rousanne)

Jeff Cohn "The Impostor", California '12  **1/2  $$
(Big red blend with a touch of viognier that ties it all together)

Jeff Cohn Grenache "El Diablo"h  Russian River Valley *** $$$
(Limited production, superb California take on grenache)

Jeff Cohn Zinfandel, Cassata Vineyard, Sonoma Valley '12 *** $$
(First class zinfandel, deep concentration, big and expressive)

Jeff Cohn Syrah "So Serene" Rockpile Vineyard '12 *** $$
(A superb interpretation of syrah, complex, refined, powerful)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    ****= elite

Bogle Pinot Noir, California '12  *1/2  $
(Pinot noir as an everyday red, good price, decent flavors)

Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon, California **  $
(Very informal, work-a-day Cab Sauv, mild tannin, big flavor)

Bogle "Old Vines" Zinfandel, California '12 ** $
(How can you get zin this good for this price?  Polished, very tasty)

Bogle "Essential Red" blend, California '13  ** $
(Rhone blend inspired, California flavors, big, complex and so tasty)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    ****= elite

Kendall-Jackson Pinot Gris, "Vintner's Reserve", California '13  *1/2  $
(Well blended PG with good melon, peach, mango flavors)

La Crema Pinot Noir,  Willamette Valley '12 **1/2 $$
(Greatly improved from 6 months ago, very complex and delicious)

Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay, Alexander Valley '12 ** $$    
(Dynamic, finesse, rich and creamy, perfect for lobster)

Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley *** $$
(Deeply flavored, opulent and rich, nice oak and cedar notes)

Stonestreet Cabernet Suavignon "Rockfall", Alexander Valley '10 *** $$$$
(Very expensive, but worth it; powerful concentrated)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    ****= elite

Monte Antico, Toscano I.G.T '10  * 1/2
(Chianti wannabe, well balanced with lovely fresh fruit)

Boordy Vineyards Petit Cabernet, Maryland '13 **  $
(Great flowing flavors, surprising depth, perfect for spring picnics)

Lan Rioja Riserva, Rioja '08    ** $
(Good alone, better with food, very pretty aromas and flavors)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Chateau Coustaut, white Graves '13  **  $
(Mouthwatering flavors, with 40% semillon)

Chateau Haut Dambert, white Rentr-deux-mers '14  *1/2  $
(Inexpensive French sauvignon blanc, crisp, floral, touch of mint)

Chateau Lauduc, red Bordeaux Supérieur '12 **  $
(Great value for a fairly serious Bordeaux, round, lush merlot)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Broadbent Vinho Verde Portugal NV  *1/2  $
(Totally charming, very light, sparkling, perfect for spring)

Husch Chenin Blanc, Mendocino '13  **  $
(A little off-dry, perfect for spicy Thai or Moroccan food)

Les Fosses d'Hareng Vouvray '12 **  $
(Perfect daffodil wine, slightly sweet, very fruity, with mineral notes)

Ruffino Orvietto Classico '13  **  $
(Light, round, supple and loaded with flavor, fresh as a daisy)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent   ** = very good   *** = superb   **** = elite

Knob Hall Vidal 2013 **
(Full flavored crisp white, think Chablis.)

Boordy Vidal, "Off-Dry" 2013 **
(Smells like viognier, drinks like a Vouvray.)

Crow Vineyards Vidal Blanc 2013 **1/2
(Intense, classy, drinks a lot like a Spanish Rueda.)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent   ** = very good   *** = superb   ****= elite

Anew Riesling, Columbia Valley 2012  *1/2  $
(Terrific value in crisp, flavorful riesling.)

Acrobat Pinot Gris, Oregon, 2013 *1/2  $
(Good value in good honest Pinot Gris.)

Acrobat Pinot Noir, Oregon, 2013 *1/2  $
(Good value for light, fresh, soft Pinot Noir.)

Taken Wine Co. "Complicated" Chardonnay, Sonoma **  $
(A decidedly good value in full flavored classic Cal-Chard.)

Round Pond Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, Napa 2012  ***  $$$
(Pricey, but really worth it:  great classic Napa Cab.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent   ** = very good   *** = superb   ****= elite

Breca "Old Vines" Garnachia,  Calatayud 2011  **1/2 $
(Great value for a wild and wonderful Spanish red.)

Scala Dei "Negre" Priorat 2012  **1/2  $$
(A very good entry level wine from an important wine region.)

Gregory Perez "Brezo", Mencia, El Bierzo 2012 **1/2  $
(A very dynamic, lively medium bodied red with personality.)

Buil & Giné "17.XI" Montsant 2011  **1/2   $$
(Great region for value, sweet dark and lush red with lots of garnachia.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    ****= elite

Villa M Rosso (Brachetto) 2013 *1/2 $
(A light, spirited wine with a fun-loving personality.)

Pioiero Arneis "Cascina Pioiero"  2013  ** $$
(A light, delicate white with floral notes and crisp acidity.)

Palladino Barbera d'Alba Superiore DOC 2012  **  $
(A dry, lean wine that opens up amazingly with food.)

Palladino Nebbiolo d'Alba 2011  **1/2  $$
(Like junior varsity Barolo:  fragrance of rose petals, earthy flavors.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Castiglion del Bosco Chardonnay '12   *1/2  $$
(Crisp, nutty white with considerable interest...an Italian chardonnay!)

Castiglion del Bosco "Dainero" 2010 **  $
(Merlot, Sangiovese, a good value in a well-structured Italian red.)

Castiglion Rosso di Montalcino 2009 *1/2 $$
(Decent wine, but pales in comparison to the Brunellos.)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Menhir Albanegra, Rosso Salento IGP 2012  ** $$
(Cotes du Rhone meets Zinfandel in Italy.)

Jean Royer "Le Petit Roy", Southern France, NV **1/2  $$    
(Deliberately a mystery wine, rustic, old-fashioned, yummy.)

"The Cleaver" Red Blend, California 2012 **  $
(Big classic Cal blend, perfect for Sunday roast.)

Quinta do Alqueve, Tradicion, Tejo Portougal 2009 **  $
(Vibrant, medium-bodied very food friendly.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Byron Vineyards Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley '12 **1/2  $$
(Stylish, elegant light and supple)

Wind Racer Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley '11  **1/2  $$
(medium bodied, understated and elegant)

La Crema Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley '12 **1/2 $$
(A new Oregon offering from a very good pinot producer)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Michael David "Pette Petite" Petite Sirah, Lodi 2011 **1/2 $$
(Big, jammy Shiraz look-alike)

Marietta Petite Sirah, Alexander Valley 2009 ** $$
(Informal, personality-laden big red)

J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah, Paso Robles 2011 **1/2 $$
(A very refined, complex, elegant big red)

Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi 2012 **1/2 $$
(Blockbuster style, tons of fruit)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Chateau Mont Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape '10 *** $$$
(Ultra smooth and refined, pricey but worth it)

Chateau Mont Redon Cotes du Rhone '11  ** $
(Grenache dominated, refined CDR)

Domaine Galevan Chateauneuf-du-Pape '11 *** $$$
(Dense, well structured, magnificent)

Domaine Galevan Cotes du Rhone "Paroles des Femmes" '11 **1/2 $
(Dynamic, rustic up-front fruit, very classy, great value)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Ports - 2/4/15

Feb 4, 2015

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Fonseca Ruby Port ** $
(Delicious, sweet, lighter bodied, supple)

Taylor-Fladgate LBV Porto 2008 *** $$
(Fabulous value, with  tons of flavor and complexity)

Taylor-Fladgate First Estate Reserve Porto *** $$
(A "reserve" ruby, with more depth and complexity)

Graham's Six Great Reserve Porto **1/2 $$
(A very reliable and familiar brand)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Rodney Strong  Zinfandel Knotty Vines", Sonoma '12 ***  $
(A very strong effort with tons of flavor)

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley '12 **1/2 $
(Good Alex Valley cab, with good fruit)

Rodney Strong Chardonnay, Chalk Hill '13 **1/2 $
(Terrific value in chard from a prestigious appellation)

Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc "Charlotte Home" '13 *1/2 $
(Fruity melon style)

Rodney Strong Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley '12 ** $$    
(Good representative pinot from a strong appellation)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Old Westminster "Greenstone" '13  white blend ** $$
(Drinks like an Albarino)

Sugarloaf Mountain Reserve Chardonnay '13 *** $$
(Uncanny resemblance to Puligny-Montrachet)

Big Cork Viognier '13 *1/2 $
(Bone dry approach to this popular grape)

Linganore Redskins Reserve  Red Blend '12 *1/2 $
(Pizza wine par excellence)

Old Westminster Channery Hill Red Blend '12 **1/2  $$
(Lucious merlot dominated blend)

Basignani Lorenzino Red Blend '08 **1/2  $$
(Classic Boredeaux style)

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