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Red

2010 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese more

6/8/2015 - Dale M wrote: 92 points

Decanted for an hour as this was a bit of a impulsive move, more air certainly would have been welcome. There can be no doubt how great a vintage 2010 was in Tuscany and this bottle only fuels that opinion. A pure, joyful, and transparent expression that screams sangiovese and nothing else. Text book sour cherry that is brilliantly offset by just the right amount of savory earth, touches of shoe leather, and spices. All the while supporting acidity is always present, moving things along at just the right pace. Should age really well, problem is, I bought these to drink while my 10 Rancia sleeps, hopefully I can get one of these to 2025 tonfind out, but I wouldn't bet on that happening. Best $26 I have spent on red wine in the last 5 years.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    6/9/2015 10:50:00 AM - I think I am in for more as well Scott, I just cannot think of a wine that delivers this type of old world texture and feel at this price point. Be sure you have plenty of the 10 Rancia, it could well be the best Rancia made in the last 20 years.

Red

2006 Glaetzer Shiraz Amon-Ra Barossa Valley

more

10/26/2013 - Dale M wrote: 94 points

I can’t ever recall ever tasting a wine in this extroverted style with such balance and ….. grace(?) Yes, that’s the best word I can come up with. Unapologetically Barossa Shiraz, with powerful, dark blackberry fruit that leaves an immediate impact of enjoyment. But where a lessor wine would quickly burn out the taster with an excessive amount of a good thing, this wine somehow avoids that. I’m not sure how to be completely honest. But it did, it is very complex, multilayered, and just damn fun to drink. Sadly, I have yet to see Amon Ra fall the way of so many Australian Shiraz’s in the discount bin, which makes them an expensive acquisition for future purchases, but this is clearly some serious winemaking, and probably worth the current asking price.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    5/4/2015 10:41:00 PM - Very nice of you Mike, thank you. Have you had any recent vintages that I should be on the look out for? Dale

Red

2010 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese more

3/1/2015 - Dale M wrote: NR

Count me as another body interested in the recent WB thread on this wine, very eager to see what’s under the hood. Decanted a good 8 hrs. While the palate was pretty much as expected, tight, structured, a little Sangiovese fruit on the back half and finish. The tannic structure while firm was also very elegant and perfectly balanced with the acidity. The real surprise was the nose, very open and just flat out beautiful to smell. I agree with notion that we sometimes are kidding ourselves in guessing how wines will age, but is there any doubt whatsoever that this isn’t going to develop into a stunner? I thought not.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    3/23/2015 11:18:00 AM - Well Thank you!

    WB = Wine Berserkers wine forum, there was a lot of chatter recently on the 10 Rancia (all positive) which prompted me to try my first one a few weeks ago.

    Here are two threads:

    http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112772

    http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=94934

Red

2005 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Cuvée J

Willamette Valley more

1/26/2015 - Dale M wrote: 93 points

Decanted 1 hr. This wine is in a pretty good place right now, it certainly has put on weight since my last bottle in 2007, complex, red fruits, but rich and tasty. Tannin and acidity are well blended and in unison with the rest of wine. Should hold for a few years with ease, not sure if it will improve dramatically, so I’d be inclined to drink now and without reservation.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    2/25/2015 11:31:00 AM - Hi James,

    Yes, without question this will not only benefit but really needs time. With these high acid, red fruit OR pinots, I rarely get much enjoyment from them when they are young (Cristom makes the best high end but accessible pinot in the State), but they often blossom into beauties with a decade plus or minus two years.

    You going to Cayuse pick up this year? I really wish Christophe would quit doing it on Easter weekend as it throws a wrench in my ability to make it.

    Cheers!

Red

2007 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard

Walla Walla Valley more

2/24/2015 - Dale M wrote: 95 points

Decanted 3 hrs. When I last had this in 2010, this was a pretty intense, in your face wine, even by Cayuse standards. Though it is always a matter of personal preference with these wines, the additional 5 years of bottle age has certainly mellowed the wild beast; less overt smoky blackberry fruit, more of a pronounced mineral edge, trademark low acidity, but exquisite structure and balance. A distinct note of fresh vanilla bean emerged on the mid palate, and while surprising, it was by no means over done or cloying, unusual though. Still, a very complex and cerebral wine, I’m guessing that while it will hold no real reason to age further.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    2/24/2015 3:11:00 PM - 'Nine Eight' Jimmy Wags.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    2/24/2015 3:16:00 PM - Ok Jimywwaaggss

Red

2010 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog

Walla Walla Valley more

4/17/2014 - Jimywags wrote: 96 points

Drank at The Marc during Cayuse Weekend. Damn fine bottle of wine. When the dust settles, I think the vintages of 2010 and 2011 for Cayuse will be remembered as two of the finest in history. Minerals and iron, minerals and iron. 96 pts.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    4/17/2014 4:41:00 PM - " I think the vintages of 2010 and 2011 for Cayuse will be remembered as two of the finest in history"

    That's a bold statement there JIMYWAGS, time will tell of coarse. At any event, it would appear to be vintages to hide from the wife and girlfriends, let em have their Rombauer Chardonnay instead.

White - Off-dry

1995 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Brand Vendange Tardive

Alsace Grand Cru more

3/27/2014 - Dale M wrote: 95 points

Deliciously complex nose, which seems to carry a lot of botrytis traits(not sure if effected by noble rot) honey drizzled orchard fruits, jasmine, all framed by a terrific mineral core. Bright and fresh orange and tangerine flavors on the palate, and while the dark golden color had me assuming this was going to be one of those ZH palate heavy weights, I was quite taken with how light and feathery the wine felt on the tongue. Seamless and very precise, I suspect this had a lot to do with some serious acidity. While it couldn’t be tasted directly, the well documented ZH style of flamboyance and richness is perfectly integrated with an underlying tension and verve. I should add, this VT worked very well with the tables mixed assortment of starters, something I was a little apprehensive about before pulling the cork. Long and very persistent finish. 19 years in, I’d say this is clearly in a prime time drinking state, and should hold for at least another decade, perhaps longer.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    3/27/2014 12:45:00 PM - Hi Jeff, I was hoping to hear from you on this one ;)

    I still think fondly of your ZH weekend, which was almost 9 years ago!

    My how time flies.

Red

2008 Brick House Pinot Noir Les Dijonnais Ribbon Ridge

more

3/8/2014 - Vinsant wrote: NR

Love those BH aromas. Incense, 5-spice, moist earth, and red fruit. Compared to previous vintages, the 08 fruit is darker and more intense. Still very balanced though. Rocked with pork tenderloin off the Traeger with a splash of BBQ sauce and roasted curry cauliflower. Tart and fruity with a long finish. Strawberry, raspberry, and pomegranate. Long life ahead. Never disappointed in Brick House!

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    3/8/2014 10:33:00 AM - Nice Note Darren! I love Brickhouse but I haven't bought anything since this 08 LD. Can you recommend any recent vintages, and if so, what bottles (Evelyns)? Thanks! D.

Red

2004 Château Palmer

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend more

2/11/2014 - Dale M wrote: 93 points

Decanted 4 hrs. recorked lightly, served 5 hrs. later. The nose announces itself right out of the decanter, brilliant and very classic aromas of ripe cassis, cedar, and a little bit of lead pencil and damp earth. It’s scary to think how good this nose will be in a decade or so. Darker in color than I expected, and while the wine is certainly accessible if not flat out enjoyable, it’s not over done either. By far, the richest 04 left bank Bordeaux I have had, but again, pulls it off with a certain elegance that is hard to articulate. The back half displayed a sneaky tannic structure that struck like a tiger in the tall grass, but proportionate to the rich fruit, suggesting many years of good drinking lie ahead. My 93 score is very conservative, this was a great wine, I just wanted to give myself flexibility to add 2 to 3 points when this baby matures.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    2/11/2014 9:36:00 AM - Well thank you Tight L! over the years of writing notes in CT, I've tried to pen less technical jargon, that just gets boring and repetitive, and focus much more on the overall impression of the wine. Cheers!

White - Off-dry

2002 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Goldert Vendange Tardive

Alsace Grand Cru Gewürztraminer more

12/20/2013 - Dale M wrote: 94 points

It’s probably a toss between the Rangen and the Goldert as to my favorite ZH Gewürztraminer vineyard. The former being a text book example of the individual expression of site, the latter showcasing the grape. This 02 Goldert VT was a good example to this effect, as even though it carried 50% botrytised fruit, this screamed Gewürztraminer in unapologetic fashion. For a ZH VT, this was actually a tad on the dry side, though still sporting a ton of ripe, exotic fruit, but completely balanced by a still youthful tannic structure, a smoky mineral quality, sneaky acidity, and of course, a massive finish. First of three, I’d comfortably age the other two bottles up to 20 years. Superb.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    1/16/2014 11:37:00 AM - Glad to be of help! I'm curious, did you serve it as a dessert wine or with the regular meal?

Red

2011 Maison Bleue Jaja

Yakima Valley Red Rhone Blend more

11/4/2013 - Dale M wrote: 90 points

Very solid wine, spectacular price at Costco for $16. Ripe and complex, full of spicy red fruits framed by a light kiss of oak, should be flexible enough to go with a wide variety of foods, or even as a standalone red.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    11/5/2013 1:21:00 PM - Hi Chris, a buddy picked these up for me, but I'm 99% sure it was in SODO.

Red

2001 Château Cos d'Estournel

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

8/25/2013 - Dale M wrote: 93 points

Brought to Kinzie Chop House in Chicago (a wonderful, old school steak house) and decanted for about an hour. I was surprised about a couple of recent CT notes that have this in ‘drink up soon status’, which seemed odd, and suffice to say, this bottle seems to have plenty of life ahead. Very dark in color, with some modern leanings of new oak. A slightly heavier palate weight than I would associate with a classic St. Estephe, and tasty, dark, cassis themed fruits. But this is certainly not the complete picture. The core of the wine is still very primary and undeveloped; a very sneaky acidic presence had me thinking of a riper vintage of Rancia, certainly not a bad thing to be compared too. Tobacco notes and flavors are felt on the corner of the tongue, and a medium, but satisfying finish wraps things up in a nice package. While not earth shattering, I still think there is room for improvement with say 5 years or so additional cellar time.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    8/27/2013 2:06:00 PM - Thank you for the nice words and affirmation of holding my last bottle 5 maybe 10 more years. Sadly, the pricing of Cos is now beyond what I feel comfortable paying for grape juice, as I believe I paid $65 or so for the 01. Oh well.

Red

2006 Stoller Pinot Noir SV Estate Dundee Hills

more

9/12/2011 - Dale M wrote: 91 points

really sexy and ripe pinot, plenty of dark fruits and exotic baking spices, very consistent, oh, and discounted on a one time blow out deal for $10 :)

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    1/2/2013 12:10:00 PM - It was a secret handshake, I had to put something on the pricegun type of thing, it was a gift for all intensive purposes yes.

White - Off-dry

2006 Dönnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese

Nahe more

12/13/2010 - Dale M wrote: 93 points

This 06 Kirschheck never fails to disappoint, and Saturdays bottle was no exception to that trend. Beautiful, not to mention bountiful offering of flower wrapped cherries with that slight almond note is so damn intoxicating to me that I simply get giddy when drinking this. The undertones of minerality and late burst of citrus perfectly brings this to a full, satisfying Spatlese arc. I could drink this any time any where.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    1/22/2011 12:13:00 AM - Indeed! The ol double negative, gets me everytime.

Red

2007 Copain Syrah Thompson Vineyard

Santa Barbara County more

6/13/2010 - Dale M wrote: 91 points

Popped and poured. Perhaps decanting would have helped, but at present, this wine is very tight and not ready to put out. Darker in color, and denser in texture than the 06, this dark hole of a Syrah has collapsed in on itself, sucking in all matter of expressiveness and personality in its primordial core. Ok, Im being a bit over the top and having some fun, but there is excellent, excellent material here, I can see less wood influence than previous vintages, and just a raw, pulpy wine that is begging to be put down for 5 years (or more) to really see its day in the sun. Easy 2 to 4 points for improvement later.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    6/13/2010 5:26:00 PM - He he, yeah maybe too many sci / space programs Frank, and I certainly think a good decant would have helped as well. I agree with you that it certainly has the potential to be the best Thompson yet, but its gonna need a few years.

Red

2004 Copain Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard

Yorkville Highlands more

4/26/2010 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

This bottle is ready and it's not going to age, really old style Copain or maybe old style plus big vintage. Pretty smooth and ripe, forward so drink now. Is not like the 2003.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    4/28/2010 7:17:00 PM - FM-III, very interesting as I was sure this would have needed at least 5 years from the initial release date to hit its prime time window, which I figured would be around 2011 to 2012. Your note has me curious, I think I will give one a go soon, thanks, Dale

Red

1996 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

4/7/2010 - Paul D wrote: 93 points

Decanted 1/2 an hour. Deep ruby core, medium pale ruby rim. Aromatic, open nose, pure, ripe cassis fruit, showing some development too with a bloody edge, tobacco and spice. Medium bodied, sleek and fine on the palate with very fine, integrated tannin, smooth and harmonious but with great mid-palate length. Showing classic claret cassis, tobacco and cedary notes on the mid-palate where a lovely fresh savouriness emerges before a long, clean, sweet fruited finish with just a hint of lingering caramel. This is very fine - elegant, classy and aristocratic yet relatively feminine (for a Pauillac). Excellent, drinking really well but still with potential for improvement as it becomes more complex.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    4/8/2010 1:50:00 PM - Great note Paul! I think I will let my last two bottles sleep a little longer yet.

Red

2004 Conterno Fantino Barolo Sorì Ginestra

Nebbiolo more

4/2/2010 - prasm wrote: 95 points

Consumed at Brother Sebastian's with Linda and Tony. Decanted and poured, consumed over 2 hours with dinner. Nose: Wow! Initially cherry and rose petal aromas jump up the nose and grew in intensity over time. Palate: Youthfulness shows here as the palate was somewhat muted, did get some red fruit and tanin. Finish: Comes on strong and was gaining strengh when the last sip was swallowed after only two hours of opening. I can only imagine how good this would have been had we given it 4 to 6 hours of air. Even with our mistreatment of this baby Barolo it was still an amazing experience.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    4/3/2010 8:19:00 AM - Prasm, opening a 04 C. Fantino Mosconi tonight, here's hoping it shows as well as the SG did for you. I have three of the SG's, but I think I will let them sleep a good spell yet, but love the note, thank you.

Red

2007 Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard

Walla Walla Valley more

3/20/2010 - Dale M wrote: 94 points

Classic Cayuse on the nose, combining wet animal fur and smoky black fruit with the dreaded tell tale note of the En Chamberlin Funk. The palate sings a slightly different tune and is surprisingly open and lush for such a youngster. Almost spherical, the taste of of the Syrah essence is very consistent from start to end; while the acidity is its very typically low self for this prodcuer, an invisible component, 'a dark matter' if you will, provides serious structure and backbone, but is very difficult to articulate with words. Though the Bionic frog seems to reap the freakishly big scores from the critics, I've always felt the EC was its qualitative equal, and this vintage is no exception.

  • Comment posted by Dale M:

    3/23/2010 8:58:00 PM - slavet2thevine, I was referring specifically to the Cayuse wine, though I too normally seek acidity as a balancing agent to buffer the animal /ripe nature of the syrah grape. And that's the paradox here, my note should say that the low acidity lead to flabby, tensionless drink, but that simply was not the case, for reasons I cannot seem to define, go figure.

    rjswineblog, go for it! Normally the EC doesn't show this well young, but this did; I haven't been the only one that has noticed this, as a good friend popped one within a week of this and commented the same thing, both to our mutual surprise.

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