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Interesting Whites Score Well in Wine Enthusiast
February 16, 2016

Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide

Wine Enthusiast
April 2016

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

92 pts/EDITORS’ CHOICE               Plantagenet Riesling 2014
Based on this example and a few other informal tastings, 2014 will be a top vintage for Rieslings from Western Australia. Aromas of lime sherbet and wet stone lead into a crisply focused palate loaded with citrusy tartness that lingers on the mouthwatering finish. Drink now with shellfish, and consider holding some for up to 10 years.

90 pts    Plantagenet Omrah Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2013
Despite its youth, this is ready to drink, combining hints of tobacco with notes of dried cherries and dark chocolate. It’s fairly full bodied, with firm tannins and a long, dusty finish. Try it with herbed roasts of lamb or beef.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

90 pts    d’Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling 2014
Unlike most Australian Rieslings, this one is a bit sweet (off dry, really). Hints of honey and bergamot bring complexity to the ripe, peachy flavors of this muscular wine, finishing with a dusty, tactile sensation. Drink now-2025.

90 pts    d’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz/Viognier 2010
I admit I was a bit disappointed by this wine’s performance once it was revealed. It’s still an excellent wine, but enough greenish notes intrude to keep my enthusiasm restrained. Alfalfa and mint notes on the nose lead into a combination of green peppercorn, cherry and roasted meat on the palate. It’s round in the mouth, finishing on a dry, ashy note.

VICTORIA

88 pts/BEST BUY               Frisk Prickly Riesling 2014
Light, off-dry and refreshing, this would make an ideal poolside sipper. Hints of damp moss and fern add complexity to green apple and citrus flavors.

OREGON

91 pts    Dobbes Family Estate Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
This vineyard is often featured in designate bottlings from some of Oregon’s best producers. Here the black fruits impress immediately, with dense and powerful black cherry and cassis flavors. At first tight and slightly chalky, this wine responds very well to aggressive aeration, and the AVA’s typical minerality emerges.

90 pts/EDITORS’ CHOICE   Dobbes Family Estate Crater View Vineyard Grenache Blanc 2014
The winery lays claim to the first planting of Grenache Blanc in Oregon, and has established a track record for consistent quality. Here is a rich, ripe and generously fruity white wine, substantial enough to pair well even with your creamiest sauces. Fleshy pear, apricot and tropical fruits are set against juicy acidity. This is a winner!

90 pts        Dobbes Family Estate Fortmiller Vineyard Syrah 2012
This fascinating wine comes from one of Oregon’s highest vineyards, which grow at 2,000 feet. Superdense and impenetrably black, the fruit is steely and detailed, the flavors of black raspberries defined with crystal clarity.

89 pts    Dobbes Family Estate Quailhurst Pinot Noir 2012
Asian spices, plum jelly and milk chocolate flavors combine in this solid effort, which lacks only a bit more midpalate weight to really excel. As it stands, it is a tasty wine with a slight dip between start and finish.

88 pts    Dobbes Family Estate Eola-Amity Cuvee Pinot Noir 2013
Juicy and bright, this pushes snappy raspberry and cherry fruit front and center, with a tasty touch of spice as well. It’s a good introduction to the more elegant style of the 2013 vintage wines.

87 pts    Dobbes Family Estate Griffin’s Cuvee Pinot Noir 2012
A limited production blend, this opens with tart, brambly fruit flavors accented with mild herbs. The finish continues down a brambly, peppery path. Best to give this until 2017 or so in bottle.

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