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.  Cellar Notes is sponsored by Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.

Archive Prior to 2014

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

Rigo Nebbiolo d'Alba '10  $$  *1/2 - **
(A lighter nebbiolo, but  decant and let it breathe for two hours.)

Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva '10 $$  **
(A good if not spectacular Chianti, full of traditional character.)

Villa Puccini Vino Nobile de Montepulciano '09 $$   ** 1/2  
(Medium bodied, graceful, very flavorful, very classy.)

Zonin Valpolicello Classico Ripasso '11 $ **1/2
(Wine of the week!  A fabulous wine, buy by the case!)

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

Cambria Benchbreak Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, 2012 $$ **
(Very nice large-scale California style chard.)

Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay $ **1/2
(Hugh loves this big French influenced chard, at a great price...bargain!)

Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley 2012  $$ **
(Blend of vineyards, good well-structured pinot noir.)

Quality key:  * = good decent beer  ** = very good beer   *** = superb beer

Fuller's London Porter  ** 1/2
(A very complete porter, correct in all aspects and satisfying.)

Innis & Gunn Scottish Porter, oak aged  **
(Very tasty, but maybe too much of everything.)

McEwan's Scotch Ale **1/2
(Big, rich, complex thirst quenching, a classic.)

Samuel Smith Taddy Porter *
(A trifle thin, but a good effort, serve on the warm side.)

Darwin's Original Flag Porter **
(Very good porter, medium weight, complex and smooth.)

Many of these fine beers 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

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchaugua Valley '09   $$  **1/2
(A dandy cab, with a lot of class and correct varietal character.)

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon, Grande Reserve, Colchagua '11  $  *1/2
(No more than competent cab sauv at a good price.)

Norton Malbec, reserva, Mendoza '11  $$   **
(Refined malbec, well made at a affordable price.)

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

Thevenet et Fils "Virée Clessé" white, 2005  $$  *
(Not quite the star of the show.)

Carillon Bourgogne Blanc, 2012  $$ **    
(Good structure, nice flavors, worthy value at $21.)

Domaine Guyon Haute Cotes de Nuits 2009  $$ **
(Very good value in red burgundy, from a somewhat unreliable appelation.)

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

**Governor's Cup Winner - Bordeleau Cabernet Sauvignon "Amarone" 2008

Best Red Belnd - Little Ashby 2011

Best White - Old Westminster Albarino 2013

Best White Blend - Rockland Farms "White Oak" 2013
(Vidal Blanc 75% Chardonnay25%)

Best Off-dry - Linganore Traminette 2013

Best Rosé - Port of Leonardtown Chaptico Rosé 2012

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

Williamsburg Winery Act XII Chardonnay, Virginia 2011 $  *1/2
(Classic East Coast chardonnay.)

Williamsburg Winery Cabernet Franc, Hennings Statute, Virginia 2010  $$  **
(Full bodied, dark, with pronounced cedar notes.)

Williamsburg Winery Virginia Trianon, red blend, Virginia 2012 $$ **1/2
(Resembles the Cab Franc, only moreso.)

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

Le Provencal Rosé, Côtes de Provence 2013  *  $
(Pale pastel pink, pleasant picnic wine, grenache dominates.)

Ch. Pigoudet "Insolite" Rosé, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence 2013  **  $$
(Despite pale color, loaded with flavor, cab sauv based, very well made.)

Ch. La Mascaronne Quat' Saisons Rosé, Côtes de Provence 2013 **  $$
(Very pale but full bodied, loads of red fruit and peach flavors.)

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

Frei Brothers Reserve Zinfandel, Dry Creek 2012  **1/2   $
(Textbook Dry Creek zin, restrained scale, deep flavors, lovely aroma.)

Rosenblum Zinfandel "Old Vines", Sonoma 2009  **  $
(Big, juicy, rich zin, a well behaved fruit bomb.)

Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel, Napa Valley 2011  **1/2  $$
(Perfect Napa zin, with sturcture, deep flavor, restrained scale.)

Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi 2010  **1/2   $
(Shamelessly big and rich, a hedonist's delight.)

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

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

Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Blanc 2012  *1/2 $$    
(A very rare wine, informal chardonnay, very nice.)

Sylvain et Alain Normand Macon-La Roche-Vineuse 2012  **  $
(Good buy in a spicy, mineral Macon.)

Fabrice Larochette, Chat. Chaintré Macon-Chaintré 2102  **  $
(Attractive peach, pear and mineral notes, well made, good value.)

Louis Jadot Macon Villages 2012 *1/2  $
(A very good value in Macon chard, from a reliable producer.)
        
Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  See sponsor tab.

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

**Wines are line priced at $20

House Swine Chardonnay, Santa Barbara 2011 *1/2  $$
(Classic Santa Barbara chard, creamy and loaded with good fruit.)

House Swine Zinfandel, Paso Robles 2011  **1/2  $$
(Superb zin, big but not massive, very complex and rewarding.)

House Swine Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, 2010 **1/2  $$
(Very Burgundian in style, supple, complex, graceful, impressive.)

These wines have been released in Maryland, and are available.  If you want to try them, contact your local wine merchant.

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

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

4 Vines Naked Chard "Unoaked" Santa Barbara 2012   **  $
(Great value in complex unoaked chard.)

4 Vines "Truant" Zinfandel "old vines," California 2011  ** $
(Fruity zin with good flavors, excellent with barbecue sauce.)    

Sean Minor Chardonnay, Central Coast 2012 **  $
(Very good for the money, style and flavor.)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine
        
Open Range Red Wine, California 2010  *1/2  $  
(well balanced, informal, a pizza wine)

Austin Hope "The Troublemaker", California, NV  **1/2   $
(A very good bargain for a masterful blend.)

Ch. Ste. Michelle "Indian Wells" Red Blend, Columbia Valley 2010  **1/2 $
(A classy, well sculptured red based on merlot, excellent value.)

Milbrandt Vineyards "Brother's Blend", Columbia Valley 2011 * $
(Cotes du Rhone like, rustic and simple, good burger wine.)

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

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

La Crema Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast  2012 *1/2  $$
(Light, fruity, rounded, good every day pinot noir.)

La Crema Pinot Noir, Monterey, 2012 **  $$
(A bigger, earthier pinot noir with good complexity.)

Wild Ridge Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2011  ***  $$
(Impressive, full bodied, well balanced, nuanced.)

Champ de Reves Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley 2011  *** $$
(Very complex, great body, very elegant.)

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

William Hill Chardonnay, North Coast 2012 * $
(Nice basic chard, nothing fancy.)

Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2011  *1/2 $
(A touch of complexity, good mid-level chard.)

St. Supery Estate Chardonnay, oak-free, Napa ** $
(Very nice, idiosyncratic chard, seems "German" in style.)

Arrowood Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2010 **1/2  $
(One of the classics, a steal at this price.)

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

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

Byron Chardonnay, Santa Barbara '12  *  $
(Very nice entry level chardonnay, good value.)

Byron Pinot  Noir, Santa Barbara '12  *  $$
(Very good varietal character, great value.)

Byron Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley '11  *** $$
(Creamy, rich, well balanced, textbook chard.)

Quality key:  * = good decent   ** = very good    *** = superb

Schniederweisss clear whiskey , Germany 1/2*  
(A curiosity)

Mackmyra "The First Edition", Sweeden *
(Decent)

Penderyn, Wales 1/2*
(Scotch-like, big rich flavor)

Reisterbauer, Austria 1/2*
(Bourbon-like, uninspired)

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

Whispering Angel, Cotes du Provence 2013 *1/2 $
(A charming well structured delicate rosé.)

Domaine de Corbillieres Rosé, Tourain 2013 *1/2 $
(Big soft rosé with nice fruit flavors.)

Commanderie de Peyrosol Rosé, Provence 2013 ** $
(Quintessential French rosé.)

La Manarine Rosé Cotes du Rhone 2013 * $
(Fuller bodied, with a bitter finish.)

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

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

Punta Final Malbec, Mendoza '12  *1/2  $
(Very nice entry level malbec.)

Punta Final Reserva Malbec, Mendoza '11  **1/2 $$
(Dynamic, hedonistic, very impressive and satisfying.)

Enamore Malbec, Mendoza '11  *** $$
(A co-production with Allegrini of Italy, robust, very impressive.)

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

Cline Syrah, Sonoma County 2009 ** $
(Very good value for a luscious red.)

Zaca Mesa Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley, 2008 **1/2 $
(Australian influence, has some age on it already.)

Corvidae "Lenore" Syrah, Columbia Valley 2009 ** $
(A good example of cool-country syrah.)

Earthquake Syrah, Lodi 2006 **1/2 $$
(A great California syrah with tons of flavor.)

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

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

Ponzi Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley '13 *1/2 $
(Very good value in a Ponzi staple,  bright, elegant, crisp)

Ponzi Reserve Chardonnay, Willamette Valley '12 **  $$
(Subtle, firm, complex and delicate; typical quality Oregon chard)

Ponzi Pinot Noir, "Tavola" '12  ** $$
(Lean, balanced with good falvors)

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

Blanck Pinot Gris, Alsace 2011  **1/2 $$
(Dense, earthy, off-dry, almost majestic.)

Blanck Pinot Blanc d'Alsace 2011 ** $
(One of your better pinot blancs, with earthy citrus notes.)

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

Ferrai-Carano Fumé Blanc, Sonoma '12 ** $
(An old stand by, big, blowsy, fruity sauvignon blanc)

Ferrai-Carano Sienna (Cal-Ital red blend) '11 **1/2  $$
(One of their flagship wines, a very convincing Italian taste-alike)

Ferrai-Carano Chardonnay, Sonoma '12 **  $$
(Blended from different quality sources, traditional California chard)

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

Laurence Féraud Côtes du Rhone 2011 *1/2  $
(Great example of the affordable café style of CDR.)

Domaine La Manarine Côtes du Rhone 2012 ** $
(Café style with a touch of class, good grenache influence.)

Les Galets de Sauveterre Côtes du Rhone 2011  **1/2  $
(Huge bargain in a textbook CDR, with lots of "garrigue" notes.)

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

Beringer Knight's Valley Cabernet Sauvignon '11  **1/2  $$
(Concentrated, firm tannins, a good Napa cab)

Beringer Chadonnay, Napa Valley '12 ** $
(Classic California style, good value)

Beringer Reserve Chardonnay, Napa Valley '12 **1/2  $$
(Same style as the Napa, but more of everything, a big chard)

Beringer Quantum  (red blend) NV *** $$$
(Expensive, but worth it)

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

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

Conundrum California white wine blend 2012  **1/2  $$
(Always a crowd-pleasing big plump white.)

Joel Gott Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2012  **  $
(Lighter version of the Alsatian style, full of flavor, good dinner wine.)

Daniel Gehrs Chenin Blanc, Santa Barbara 2011  * 1/2  $
(Dry with a late burst of fruit, Albariño-like.)

Markham Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2012 * 1/2 $
(Nice easy drinker for the spring.)

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

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

Le Nez Pinot Noir, Yamhill, Oregon, Lenné Vyd. 2012 **1/2  $$
(Silky smooth, with deep red fruit flavors, classy)

Lyric Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara 2011  *1/2  $
(A very good entry level California pinot noir)

Stoller Pinot Noir, Dundee HIlls, Oregon 2010  **  $$
(An upper end entry level Oregon pinot noir with great complexity)

CalStar Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2010  **1/2  $$
(Big, soft, silky pinot noir with wonderful flavor and texture)

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

Hugh shared his thoughts on the true meaning of brand names in wine.  No recommendations this week.
 

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

Ch. Tuilerie Pagés, Bordeaux 2010 *  $    
(Light, inexpensive Bordeaux for current every day drinking)

Ch. La Landotte, Médoc 2010 **  $$
(Classic petit Bordeaux, suitable for laying down for aging)

Ch. Gachon, Montagne Saint-Emilion 2008  *1/2  $
(5 years old, nearly mature, decent fruit, significant tannin)

Ch. Les Vielles Pierres, Lussac-St. Emilion 2009 **  $
(A very good value in petit Bordeaux, merlot dominated)

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

Riesling - 4/2/14

Apr 2, 2014

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

Ch. Ste. Michelle Riesling, Cold Creek Vineyard, Wash. St. 2012 *1/2  $
(Good soft texture, good fruit, decent acidity, very food friendly)

Ch. Ste. Michelle Riesling, "Eroica", Columbia Valley 2012, * $$
(Made with Mosel's Dr. Ernst Loosen, still a work in progress)

Karl Erbes Riseling, Urziger Wurtzgarten Spatlese 2012  **1/2  $
(Great value in balanced, off-dry fruity food friendly Riesling)

Schmitt-Sohne Riesling, Piesporter Michelsberg Auslese 2009 **1/2 $
(Another wonderful value in rich, fruity German Riesling)

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

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