Michael Schachner

Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from Argentina, Chile and Spain.

Michael Schachner is a New York-based journalist specializing in wine, food and travel. His articles appear regularly in Wine Enthusiast, for which he is a contributing editor and a member of the magazine’s tasting panel. In addition, he is a wine consultant and professional speaker. His areas of wine expertise include Spain and South America.

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94
points

Sierra Cantabria 2011 Finca El Bosque Tempranillo (Rioja)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $145

Burnt toast, mineral, raw char, pencil lead, tobacco and blackberry aromas make for a highly complex and powerful nose. Following on that theme, this is packed and intense on the palate, with smoky black fruit and licorice flavors that finish oaky, toasty and blackened. This is the epitome of a modern Rioja thrill ride. It will take its passengers now through 2035;…

 — M.S.  (2/1/2015)
94
points

Viñedos de Paganos 2011 La Nieta Tempranillo (Rioja)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $145

Deep, dense and penetrating on the nose with the power of graphite, blackberry and mocha aromas, La Nieta is a wide-awake, bright wine that’s chomping at the bit to get out of the bottle and run. Coffee, mocha and blackberry aromas are oaky for sure, with toast, vanilla and creamy notes driving a long finish. Drink through 2026.

 — M.S.  (2/1/2015)
94
points

Telmo Rodríguez 2010 M2 de Matallana Tempranillo Blend (Ribera del Duero)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $45

Everything about this wine is singing in harmony. The nose is fresh and pure, with raspberry, plum, spice and youthful rubbery aromas. The palate is elegant and impeccably balanced, while flavors of vanilla and coconut announce ample oak, with toasty, peppery plum and raspberry flavors waiting in the wings. Power, precision and elegance are draped all over the…

 — M.S.  (2/1/2015)
93
points

SignoSeis 2011 The Angel Oak Celestial Barrel Fermented Malbec (Valle de Uco)

  1. $75

Deep, ripe, smooth blackberry, prune, cola and earth aromas are elegant and harmonious. This small-lot Malbec (50 cases made) shows ripeness and freshness on the palate as well as lightly roasted blackberry, cassis and chocolate flavors. A firm, dry, on-the-money finish is the final note in this wine’s well-sung chorus. Drink through 2018.

 — M.S.  (2/1/2015)
93
points

Arrocal 2010 Selección Tempranillo (Ribera del Duero)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $38

Elegant yet ripe on the nose, this gets going in fine form via spicy, exotic, oaky aromas on top of primary berry tones. Powerful and oaky on the palate, with a creamy vanilla flavor, this brings on the blackberry, mocha, cocoa and toast as it works its way to a clean, long finish. One can drink this now, but the optimum window will be 2018–2021.

 — M.S.  (2/1/2015)
93
points

Mendel 2012 Unus Red (Mendoza)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $50

With oak-driven aromas of mocha, coffee, cedar and berry fruits, this blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot is effusive on the nose. Concentrated and huge, but well balanced, it offers high-volume berry, herb, chocolate and spice flavors—the lynchpins of excellent wines. Spicy, long and elegant on the finish, this is the real deal. Drink through 2021.

 — M.S.  (2/1/2015)
93
points

El Enemigo 2011 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Mendoza)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $110

This is the best Enemigo Cabernet Franc to date. It’s pure, heady, powerful juice with integrated smoky oak and spice aromas. Pure in the mouth, this is dense and full of quality. Blackberry and chocolate flavors are ripe and modern in style, while the finish is full, leathery, a touch salty and savory. Drink through 2019.

 — M.S.  (2/1/2015)
93
points

El Nido 2011 Red (Jumilla)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $130

Rich blackberry and graphite aromas are ripe and heavy but magnetic. The palate on this blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell is extracted and mega ripe. Baked black fruit, chocolate and fig comprise the flavor profile on this rich red that tips the scales as a heavyweight. Drink through 2018.

 — M.S.  (2/1/2015)
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