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:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Novy Family Winery Zinfandel, Russian River Valley '12  ** $$
(A sweet, jammy zin with tons of flavor, complexity)

Seghesio Zinfandel, Sonoma County '13 **1/2   $$
(Great young zin, big friendly, graceful, but full flavored)

Frei Brothers Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley '13  **1/2  $  VALUE
(Explosive aroma and flavor, reminds of Cotes du Rhone)

Folie à Deux Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley '12 **1/2  * VALUE
(Classic Dry Creek zin, supple tannins, abundant fruit, lush)

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

Chateau de Marjolet Cotes du Rhone '12 **  $  VALUE
(Classic, rustic style CDR, with deep grenache character)

Chateau de Marjolet Cotes du Rhone-Villages, Laudun '12 **1/2 $ VALUE
(A slick and elegant upgrade, shows how classy CDR-Villages can be)

Aureto Cuvée Maestrale, Ventoux, Red Blend '11 *** $$
(A Syrah heavy blend of old vines, big and wonderful)

Chateau Raspail Gigondas '12 **1/2  $$
(A little pricey, but this is a wonderful red from one of the Rhone's best)

Domaine Galivan, Combe Latour,  Vin de Pays Vaucluse '14 **1/2 $  VALUE
(60% grenache, from one of Hugh's favorite producers, solid value)

Domaine Galivan Chateauneuf du Pape '13 *** $$$
(A superb example of this prestigious red blend from very old vines)

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

Saint Cosme CDR '13  * 1/2 $
(Very basic CDR, humble, rustic, peasant wine, perfect for café food)

Domaine Paul Autard CDR '11  **1/2 $
(An old friend, classic CDR with notes of field herbs, rustic tannins)

Andezon CDR '11 **1/2 $
(Fruity, deeply flavored, fine grained tannins, first rate bistro wine)

Chapoutier "Belleruche" CDR '11 *** $ GREAT VALUE!
(Very elegant, refined CDR with true regional character, super buy!)

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

Stonestreet Chardonnay, Alexander Valley '12   ** $$
(This is what you think when you think California chardonnay)

Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley '12 **1/2  $$
(Dense, full bodied, elegant cab sauv from a great cab sauv appellation)

Stonestreet Sauvignon Blanc, Alexander Valley '14  ** $$
(Pear, citrus flavors, bright acid, full flavored)

Mount Brave Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, '11  *** $$$$
(Very expensive, but close to ideal Napa cabernet blend)

Fortress Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma '12 *** $$
(Cab blend with some syrah, lush, approachable, Saturday night wine)

Bootleg Red Blend, Napa '12 **  $$
(Off-the-wall blend with merlot/petit sirrah, but delicious)

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

Lido Bay Viognier, Paso Robles '11  *1/2  $
(Simple, autumnal, a perfect foil for anything with butternut squash)

Little James Basket Press Viognier, Vid de pays d'Oc '12 ** $
(A blend of viognier and sauv blanc, a well made all-purposed white)

McManus Family Vyds. Viognier NV, California *1/2 $
(Entry level viognier, every day white, good introduction to the grape)

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

Jean Perrier & Fils "Abymes" Cuvée Gastronomie White '14  **  $ VALUE
(Jacquère grape, delicate, crisp, good as aperitif, cheap price)

Lionel Osmin Cahors '12 * 1/2  $
(Good value for a malbec based wine)

Lionel Osmin "La Réserve" Cahors '11 **  $ DIRT CHEAP
(A better malbec than the regular Cahors, and very inexpensive)

Chateau La Bastide Corbières '13 ** 1/2 $  EXTREME VALUE
(80-20 Syrah/Grenache, dynamite wine, fine tannins, lively fruit)

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     

Old Westminster "Greenstone" '14 *** $$
(A super white blend of sauvignon blanc and viognier, firm and crisp)

Sugarloaf Mountain Reserve Chardonnay '14 *** $$
(One of the best chards ever made in Maryland, smooth, polished, classy)

Black Ankle "Feldspar" NV *** $$
A cabernet sauvignon dominated blend, deep flavors, refined structure, texture)

Big Cork Petit Verdot '13 *** $$
(A big bruiser of a wine, loaded with great flavors, density and class)

Turkey Point Late Harvest Vidal Blanc '14 *** $
(Essence of white peach and apricot in a bottle, sweet, balanced, impressive)

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

Carmel Road Chardonnay "un-oaked", Monterey '14  *1/2  $
(Subtle, understated, everyday chardonnay)

Carmel Road Pinot Noir "Drew's Blend", Monterey '13 ** $$
(Drew Barrymore helped design it, light, bright pinot)

Carmel Road Pinot Grigio "Barrymore", Monterey '13 ** $ VALUE
(A wonderful, loveable pinot grigio at a great price)

Carmel Road Pinot Noir, Monterey '12 **1/2 $$
(Sleek, stylish, classic, well-structured, a lot of pinot for $21)

Carmel Road Pinot Noir "Panorama Vineyard", Monterey '11 *** $$
(A tad pricy, but very much worth it, intense flavors)

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

Schloss Rheinharthausen, Erbacher Honhenrain "Old Vines" Riesling '12 *** $$
(A superbly crafted wine at a very attractive price...buy and keep)

S.A. Prum Riesling, Mosel River '13  * 1/2  $
(A good maker turns out a reliable everyday riesling)

S.A. Prum Riesling "Prum Blue" Kabinett, Mosel River '13  ** $
(A soft but full-flavored off-dry riesling from Germany)

Pacific Rim Riesling, Columbia Valley '12 **1/2 $ VALUE
(Good value in riesling, a nice enjoyable wine)

Mercer Canyons Riesling, Yakima Valley, * $
(Good simple riesling for a bargain price)

Ch. Ste. Michelle Riesling, Columbia Valley '13  ** 1/2  $  VALUE!
(Masters at crafting great affordable riesling)

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling, Alsace '12 *** $$
(One of the great wine makers turns out quality riesling again)

Trimbach Riesling, Alsace '12 ** $$
(Lean, mineral, tart approach to dry riesling)

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

Hullabaloo Zinfandel, Lodi '12  **1/2  $
(An easy drinking, flavorful, youthful zin with tons of flavor. VALUE)

OZV Zinfandel, "Old Vines" Lodi '13 **1/2   $
(Dignified, powerful, with sweet, complex fruit flavors.  TREMENDOUS VALUE)

Klinker Brick Winery Zinfandel, "Old Vines" Lodi '11 ** $
(A jammy, almost shiraz like approach to zin, dense and tasty.)

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

House of Mandela Sauvignon Blanc, Western  Cape, '14 * $
(A very nice good simple suav blanc, easy drinker)

House of Mandela Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape '12 * 1/2 $
(A somewhat scaled down cab with good flavor)

House of Mandela Shiraz, Western Cape '12 ** $
(Delightful scaled down shiraz with character) VALUE

House of Mandela Chenin Blanc, Vusani Series, Western Cape '14 *** $
(A very impressive chenin, with classic flavors and classy presence)

House of Mandela Pinotage, Vusani Series, Western Cape '14 ** $
(Surprisingly good version of this checkered grape, very likeable)

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

Old Westminster  Greenstone, white blend, South Mountain '14  *** $$
(A first class blend of sauvignon blanc and viognier)

Old Westminster Viognier, South Mountain '14  **1/2  $$
(A very nice, crisp, firm viognier with a ton of class)

Old Westminster Albariño, "Two Vineyards" '14    ** $$
(Very well made wine, great acidity, modest fruit)

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
  
Torres Mas la Plana Cabernet Sauvignon, Penedes '10 *** $$$$    
(A great wine, inheritor of the old Black Label Gran Coronas)

Torres Pazo das Bruxes Albariño, Rias Baxias '13 ** $  VALUE
(A very good albariño for the money, elegant and pleasing)

Torres "Salmos" Priorat '12 ** 1/2 $$
(A tad pricey at $35, but a very good wine from a great Spanish region)

Torres 10 Gran Riserva Brandy ** $$
(Classic Spanish brandy at an affordable price)

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

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)

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