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Wine Type Vintage Name Variety Locale Date Posted Score Helpful Comments Comment Date Community Score More...

1999 Michel & Stéphane Ogier Côte-Rôtie Cuvée la Belle Hélène

Syrah more

1/2/2015 - Jeff Leve wrote: 98 points

Tasting surprisingly young, blind I would have been shocked to find this was 16 years of age. Splash decanting brought its floral, earthy, espresso, blackberry, dark cherry, stone and barbecue notes. On the palate, the wine is powerful, concentrated and in balance. The fruit is fresh, crisp and sweet, and oh so young, leaving with a a long expression of minerality and purity in the mouth. This requires at least 3-5 more years before maturity settles in. As a point of comparison, it was less developed than the 1999 Guigal La Landonne it was paired against!

  • Comment posted by Old Vino:

    4/21/2015 10:34:00 AM - Do you think it will head into a dumb phase anytime soon?

  • Comment posted by Old Vino:

    4/21/2015 11:59:00 AM - Because I have 3 bottles I paid high $ when I bought them in 2005! I didn't want to take chances. Thanks for your prompt reply.

  • Comment posted by Old Vino:

    4/22/2015 10:00:00 AM - I popped a bottle of their "inaugural" Belle Helene 1995 back in 2010 and it had just started to open up. I still have few bottles and a magnum. I will try a sip (now that I have coravin) next time wife is roasting prime rib. Let me know if you are interested and I will ship you a bottle !!


2008 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Oakville more

11/1/2014 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 96 points

COLOR: Deep purple garnet with some translucence, esp near rim.
NOTE: This smells almost identical to the 2008 Bevan Danger D. Lovely berry liqueur notes, mixed with minerals and leather, hints of Mexican sage. You could smell this all day. Glad I used the Coravin on it so I can have this experience over and over in the months to come.
Mouth is rich and velvety, but not heavy, and the black berry fruits burst forth, followed by some tar and leather, fine black pepper. It gets a little more peppery in the finish, but the black fruits still shine through. It's a very satisfying wine, but there just isn't much glycerin from the mouth to finish. It's definitely more austere than the plump 2008 Bevan Danger D. Well-balanced and ready to enjoy at pop-n-pour now or with several hour decant. Lots of stuffing here folks. Surprised that this didn't outdo the 2008 Bevan Danger D.

CORAVIN NOTE: I now understand why you're instructed to use small bursts with the Coravin. I was doing full "drags" on this magnum, meaning I hit the Coravin lever until no more gas would come out, then I did it again, then I did it a third time. By the third hit the bottle became so pressurized that the wine started to seep out around the cork because it couldn't get through the needle fast enough. I've now compromised the cork. Fortunately I plan to drink this bottle in its entirety over the next few weeks. Lesson learned. Small burst, wait until it slows to a dribble, repeat... I think I need to make a video about how to use the Coravin on upright bottles versus sideways bottles.

CRITIC REVIEW: I found it funny that one of the premier critical reviews was actually blasted on its own website by a forum of peers and this wine was downgraded to a 91 as a result. It wasn't a blind tasting, but neither are most of my tastings. 91 is way too harsh for this wine, so the group obviously had a different collective palate that day, but it sure is interesting to see this kind of result showing up on a professional's website without editing. Kudos to Mr.....Anonymous....

DECANT: 3 hours
GLASS USED: Bordeaux
TASTE: 9.6-
COST: 385
VALUE: 6.0
TRY AGAIN: now-2018
Inquiries can be addressed to

  • Comment posted by Old Vino:

    12/22/2014 4:47:00 PM - Please be kind and post video of Coravin use when you have a chance. I have used it for a year and skills continue to evolve. You might want to consider different caliber needle (sold separately, or discounted in a set of 3 different calibers). Thanks - George.


2002 Abreu Cabernet Sauvignon Thorevilos

Napa Valley more

10/31/2014 - Jeff Leve wrote: 100 points

California Cabernet Sauvignon at its best. That sums this bottle up. If you're seeking perfectly ripe fruit with so much intensity of flavor you can eat it, silky, velvety textures and a finish that lingers long after the wine has been finished, this is for you.

  • Comment posted by Old Vino:

    11/6/2014 7:34:00 PM - Potential for ageing? Lots of california cabs are big and bold today, oak and alcohol tomorrow!


1998 Greenock Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Roennfeldt Road

Barossa Valley more

11/16/2004 - Joe Belmaati wrote: NR

1998 Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz, Barossa, Australia
This cuvée was magic in the hands of Chris Ringland. With Ringland no longer the wine maker, this wine has lost some of it's magic - at least judging by tonight's showing from the 1998. This wine is simply too much. There is simply too much of everything here, except style and grace, and most importantly - drinking pleasure. I jokingly exclaimed that this was like being knock-outed by Mike Tyson and others around the table agreed. No one seemed to enjoy it that much.

  • Comment posted by Old Vino:

    8/5/2014 5:49:00 AM - This tasting note belongs to '98 Greenock Creek Roennfeldt SHIRAZ, not Cabernet. Please cut and paste in the right place (link below):


1994 Dominus Estate Napanook Vineyard

Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend more

10/4/2013 - Old Vino Likes this wine: 95 points

Pulled 6 oz (Coravin) from a magnum. I see why so many others flunked blind tastings guessing old world. Incredible wine perhaps a tad behind the 1991 Dominus. Nose and palate of a 25 year old Pauillac. Depth, complexity, and enjoyment in a glass!

  • Comment posted by Old Vino:

    10/7/2013 5:32:00 PM - A wine so enjoyable such as this one won't have a chance lasting a whole month! Thanks for the advice. Bob Parker considers Coravin a "transformation in the history of wine". He mentioned that when he hosted the Coravin inventor Greg Lambert (MIT graduate). Greg pulled some wine from an Ermitage Blanc bottle in 2008 and re-taste it again with Bob Parker May 2013. According to both folks, wine was well preserved. Watch:


2005 Juslyn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Spring Mountain District


1/25/2013 - Coupe 60 Likes this wine: 94 points

PnP at Pairings restaurant with a braised Short rib dinner. Wow...there must be some bottle variation with this. Almost an order of magnitude better than the last bottle I had over a year ago. Still on the softer side, but way more expressive,dark red fruit is pure, prominent, and nothing short of delicious. Well integrated and finely balanced, no matter how hard you try you cannot drink this wine slowly. The wine just disappears from the glass. Relatively low acidity, Finish is long with soft tannins.

Mrs. Coupe said it might have been the best wine she ever drank. It was definitely up there for me. Too bad it was my last bottle

  • Comment posted by Old Vino:

    5/14/2013 12:37:00 PM - Ever wondered about a "dumb phase" this wine might have? Well documented for Bordeaux and Rhone but certainly not unheard of for others including CA cab and Piedmont. If subsequent bottles continue to show improvement, then this disproves the bottle variation theory. My 2 cents on the subject (refer to my note 10/7/2012).

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