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

2005 29 Songs Syrah Back Porch Block Suscol Creek Vineyard

Napa Valley more

1/15/2011 - Dale M wrote: 91 points

Decanted 1 hr. I own exactly 0.0% bottles of either Napa or Sonoma wine, so what exactly lured me into a Napa Syrah from Garagiste? The good price? Cool label? Hard to say, but I was feeling frisky I guess, and was rather pleased to see this arrive in the warehouse soon thereafter, allowing me to see what was what. The nose threw off what can best be described as Duraflame tones, not bad mind you, just a little different. This soon subsided as more familiar waves of traditional campfire smoke, fresh picked blackberries, and violets took over. Fans of Copain (especially ‘the new style’) will certainly applaud what was in the glass here: Very elegant Syrah, classy raspberry dominated fruit that was backed by a brilliant streak of orange peel, odd descriptor I know, but it was there plain as day, and most definitely worked well within the context of the wine. I don’t think any full clusters were used during fermentation, as I didn’t pick up on the telltale resiny / olive notes one would associate with stems. Just a modest suggestion of wood rounds out the finish, satisfying and complete. Wish I had bought more of these. A great buy sub $30; perhaps I would be a buyer at the normal retail price which I think was around $45 or so.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    1/15/2011 8:11:00 PM - great tasting note - i'm just about to open this wine and will let you know what i think.

Red

1994 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

Washington more

8/11/2010 - Eric wrote: 92 points

This was a pretty typical example of 1994 Quilceda. Classic violets on the nose, bright and high-pitched. There is also a fair amount of cedar, perhaps more than I am used to with this wine. Clean palate, pure, austere, firm, and still quite tannic. Alex Golitzen has often criticized this wine as being too tannic, and this is one of the first examples where I agree with him. It's starting to dry out a bit too miuch.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    8/12/2010 8:45:00 PM - Thanks for sharing, Eric. Really enjoyed this wine.

White

2009 J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Gris California

more

7/29/2010 - rjhilgers Does not like this wine: 85 points

Sweet, not like a dessert wine, but so far from the crisp European Pinot Gris / Grigio that I like. Not my style, but if you like American Pinot Gris, try it - still average, but might be worthy of that style if you're a fan.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    8/5/2010 6:44:00 PM - Ha! Good point. The problem is that it's not a poorly made wine, just not to my liking.

Red

1998 Quilceda Creek Red Wine Columbia Valley

Red Bordeaux Blend more

6/22/2010 - rjhilgers Likes this wine: 90 points

I'm having a bit of a heart-wrenching couple weeks because I've finally set aside all the wines in my cellar that aret technically past their prime and am trying to go through them before they pass over to the other side. This Quilceda, in particular, is hard because it's the first Quilceda Creek that I could get my hands on and the wine that turned me on to them (well, that and all the crazy ratings and attention, but that is a much less compelling story). It's still a very good wine. A bit steely and metallic, but lively fruit and acidity still, with a touch of nutmeg, spice and chocolate. Has some leather on the nose as well. All in all, going to be sad to see this one gone. Cheers, '98.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    7/3/2010 11:44:00 AM - its so funny - my wife and i had this debate last night. i taste metallic fairly often, but she thinks it's more mineral, than metal. which is fair, especially since metal tastes are more traditionally found on stainless steel wines. but, it's still there and i still taste it on my palate. mineral and metal are different for me. can't say i dislike metallic like you do, but it's not my number one either.

Red

2007 Zero One Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon The Wild Sky

Walla Walla Valley more

7/1/2010 - rjhilgers Likes this wine: 90 points

Sometimes there's not much reason to reinvent the wheel, especially when someone else captured everything you were thinking - RobertDwyer is spot on on the description (below). The only difference for me is that I think it drinks more like a 90 than a 93, but, still, a very good wine.

RobertDwyer's note: Typical Cabernet Sauvignon density in the glass visually. It has a quiet confidence about its presence aromatically. Red raspberries and blackberries. Coffee. Some sage in the background. Moderate acidity and just a touch of tannic grip. A wonderfully balanced wine. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Drinking well now but would mellow out a bit and integrate with 1 year or more of bottle age.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    7/3/2010 11:42:00 AM - agreed. and you're the first note that i plagiarized in full... :-) but, when you're on, you're on...

Red

2007 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley more

5/5/2010 - smphelps wrote: 86 points

Certainly a nice wine, but nice is not the goal at this price. Lighter strawberry red color which delivers light cherry, mild spice, some faint strawberry and a hint of moss. But on balance somewhat thin, slightly offputingly tart, and generally a prime example of the tough year.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    6/19/2010 9:36:00 PM - "nice is not the goal at this price" - well put and exactly right.

Red

2008 Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir

Central Valley more

5/23/2010 - Joshiemac Likes this wine: 86 points

Kicking this up a few points since the last bottle. Don't know if it was time or what I paired it with, but this was much more enjoyable than previous bottles. Nice soft red fruit with cola elements going on. Would like a little more acidity but can't complain. Drinks well above its price point.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/24/2010 8:12:00 PM - joshiemac, nice to see you're giving this another shot. still amazed by the qpr on this thing. hope all is well.
    rj

Red

2006 Del Dotto Pinot Noir Cinghiale Vineyard

Fort Ross - Seaview more

5/24/2010 - Anonymous wrote: NR

by far one of my all time favorite pinots. rich, dark, dusty with powerful but not overpowering finish. paired well with salmon w/course mustard glaze, and a dill havarti. just beautiful to enjoy on its own as well. cant wait for the new vintage...for me it was a 95

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/24/2010 8:11:00 PM - you ever make it out to the winery and the cave tours / barrel tasting? a must do. but, don't drive because as they say on the tour "you are not here to taste, you are here to drink." highly recommended.

Red

2007 Château Picau-Perna

St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend more

5/16/2010 - cns wrote: 88 points

OK for the price, but definitely just worth the money, not a bargain here. Don't really know what to say, but it has decent length, a lot of grip/tannins, fruit is a bit subdued, but that's just an old world thing, I guess. Overall, so-so.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 5:44:00 PM - yep, that's what i thought too. just so-so. decent price for sure, but it does drink like a value wine, which was a little disappointing to me.

Red

2006 Château Pontet-Canet

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

5/1/2010 - Clarkmeister wrote: 93 points

Wine Spectator's Grand Tour Las Vegas 2010 (The Venetian): Great as usual. Met one of the owners and she was very nice. This is just such a sick sick deal on a price/value basis every single year.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 3:54:00 PM - any idea why the price stays pretty constant on this? i agree that it's a great wine for the price.

Red

2007 Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon

Rapel Valley more

5/16/2010 - JROBAZZI wrote: 85 points

ruby coloured, on the nose I felt spices, currant and caramel, with medium intensity. Light bodied, tannins still need time to soften, a little "warm", meaning acidity doesn't counterbalance the alcohol, lasts 6-7 seconds in the mouth.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 3:33:00 PM - i agree - this one was pretty average. you have any of their other wines?

Red

2005 Caduceus Cellars Nagual de la Naga Ranchita Canyon Vineyards

California SuperTuscan Blend more

5/10/2010 - Kirk Grant wrote: 92 points

Color: Garnet/Ruby

Smell: Holly Sh!t! This wine has a killer nose of funk, earth, floral tones, and dark fruit.

Taste: Raspberry, cherry, dark chocolate, blueberry, black berry, clove, and cedar.

Overall: I really thought that I would be panning this wine...the last time I had it there was absolutely nothing special about it...and it seemed like a dull fit in the "new world" wine arena. However, This is anything but dull...and far from "typical" when I think of wines made in America. I'll be the first to claim that I'm more a Franc-o-file when it comes to wine...but this reminds me of something strait out of Tuscany...there are some sweet fruit notes on the nose after initially opening...but given time everything just seems to blossom. I could not be more pleased with this...and I wish I had save the other bottles I had of this. I hope the 2004 Sensi eventually hits this quality given some time sideways. I am so glad I have bought some of the 2007's before they are gone...I will be waiting until 2012 to check in on them...well maybe I'll have to look at one of them early on.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 3:18:00 PM - have you had any of the other caduceus wines? and, is this nagual de la naga using arizona or california fruit? i just had the primer paso from arizona fruit and i liked it more than i thought i would. would love to see maynard succeed in the southwest.

Red

2006 Two Hands Shiraz Bella's Garden

Barossa Valley more

5/8/2010 - RobertDwyer wrote: 84 points

Probably one of the most disappointing wines I've opened in a while. Went raisiny and pruney on me when I was hoping it would go blackberry and savory. Damn! I'll stick with their more affordable Angels Share line in the future which tastes much better to me.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 3:15:00 PM - are you a fan of shiraz? not really in my consideration set - too fruit forward for me, but would be interested to know of any that you really like.

Red

2005 Columbia Crest Merlot H3

Horse Heaven Hills more

4/29/2010 - RobertDwyer wrote: 91 points

After being impressed with prior vintages of the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot ('03/'04) and also the '07 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet I've been on the hunt for the H3 Merlot.

I found the '05 yesterday, which seemed like an old/back vintage of this wine so I was a little skeptical.

However, I think the bottle age of this wine is actually helpful and for my palate this wine is drinking really well right now. What I like about Columbia Crest wines (and this will play into whether you'll likely agree with my observations here and for what occasions this wine will be well-suited) is that they're so aromatic and flavorful from the moment you pop them open. No-fuss weeknight pizza/burger wine. Also great as a cocktail.

The flavor profile is very focused. Dark berries amply backed by bacon both on the nose and palate. The tannins are sweet- indeed the wine is probably too sugary for some. But it goes down dangerously easily.

I'm a big fan and consider Columbia Crest to be the premier value brand in the US market. For my palate, nobody delivers across all price points better than CC- and the good news it's available everywhere.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 3:10:00 PM - nice review, bob. wondering about the oak - i like the h3 cab, but found it to be a bit too oakey. do you think that about the cab? and, did the merlot have much oak on it? thanks!

White - Sparkling

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut

Champagne Blend more

5/16/2010 - jbehrendt wrote: 89 points

Served at fund raising dinner with appetizers of crisp rounds with Ricotta cheese and cavier. Nice pairing with a nice, reliable Champagne.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 3:05:00 PM - do you know how long this champagne will keep? i have four bottles from a few years back and not sure if they're worth saving or if we should dig into them now.

White

2007 Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay Belle Terre Vineyard

Alexander Valley more

5/14/2010 - europat55 wrote: 88 points

Very nice California style Chardonnay, but I don't think that it would be worth more than $20.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 12:06:00 PM - for under $20, you think it's worth the money?

Red

2004 Neal Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley more

5/16/2010 - deltacop wrote: 90 points

Just read the review from Grape-ape. I'd put these off another 3 years still. This was my last bottle. Enjoy!

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 12:05:00 PM - couldn't agree more. i only have one bottle left and i'm trying to hold out for as long as i can.

Red

2007 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five

Stags Leap District more

5/15/2010 - Pinot Evil wrote: 93 points

Liked this even better than the last time

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 12:04:00 PM - so nice to hear. i just picked up 6 bottles of this and am really eager to dive in. i guess i'll wait though, to see how they age.

Red

2006 Havens Wine Cellars Merlot

Napa Valley more

12/26/2009 - puppetclause wrote: 70 points

Tasted like tin and chemicals. After a few hours mellowed out a little but was still pretty bad. Opened their Syrah right after and it tasted similar, really bad.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 12:02:00 PM - thanks for posting this - you're the only other person that gave this wine a 70. i gave all three bottles a 70. not good wine at all and i'm completely amazed by how smitten people are with this wine.

Red

2006 Havens Wine Cellars Merlot

Napa Valley more

2/12/2010 - peter_sichel wrote: 75 points

Barely drinkable, almost crap. Not worth the $7.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 12:01:00 PM - thank you! i'm amazed by the high 80's and even 90's ratings on this wine. i completely agree with you - after three bottles, they're all bad. what am i missing here?

Red

2006 Havens Wine Cellars Merlot

Napa Valley more

5/16/2010 - jpinsb wrote: 88 points

Classic California Merlot with complex finish. Havens apparently made this for a higher priced market before the economy placed this on the market at this bargain price.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 11:59:00 AM - i've had three of these bottles now and everyone of them has been bad - not corked, but just plain bad wine. i wonder if somehow i got a bum batch, because it seems like everyone else who tastes it likes it.

Red

2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

more

5/16/2010 - Aquinas wrote: 92 points

Need to be opened no less than 1 hr before. Little sour on the noses but drank well

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 11:56:00 AM - good stuff. have you had the '08?

Red

2008 Owen Roe Sinister Hand

Columbia Valley Red Rhone Blend more

5/12/2010 - rjhilgers wrote: 87 points

I have been a fan of Owen Roe wines for a long time now (see http://www.rjswineblog.com/search?q=owen+roe), but I'm finding that the lower end wines are starting to taste diluted to me. Not sure if there's a specific reason or if my palate is starting to move away from wines like these, but the '08 Sinister Hand just isn't what I expected or wanted it to be. Bummer. I guess I'll stick to the higher end Owen Roe wines.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 11:55:00 AM - so true. i'm struggling with this right now as we just finished our cellar. we have a lot of wine from years ago that may or may not match my palate in the years to come. but, i also can't have the cellar look empty, so need to keep putting wine in it. i guess i'll learn a lot in the next 2 - 3 moths as a bunch of my wines are coming of age - will be fun to see how much they match my palate now.

Red

2008 Chariot Gypsy

California Red Blend more

5/7/2010 - rjhilgers Does not like this wine: 75 points

$5 and not worth the money. I can't believe how hyped this wine is - it's sweet, unbalanced and diluted. Don't believe the hype.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/16/2010 11:52:00 AM - i had the last vintage and i thought it was terrible too...but, this wine has a huge trader joes cult following...i have yet to figure out why...maybe the first vintage was great and they established a reputation based on a wine i haven't tried...then again, maybe it's top of the heap for really cheap wines.

Red

2007 Chappellet Mountain Cuvée

Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend more

4/28/2010 - rjhilgers Likes this wine: 89 points

I had this wine about 4 months ago and was really underwhelmed - flat, one dimensional, oakey...if I remember correctly. But, we bought another bottle this week, mostly because it was one of the least expensive reds available to us on our vacation in Hawaii (prices vary in Hawaii, but most of the wine is more expensive than on the mainland). And, this time, I really liked it. Rich, multi-dimensional, dark fruit, with just a touch of oak, but plenty of tannins and life. Really enjoyed this wine - to the point that it's definitely back on my radar. In retrospect, I wonder if the last bottle we bought had someone gone wrong.

  • Comment posted by rjhilgers:

    5/5/2010 7:20:00 PM - please do - i'd love to see what you think of the '07. if you like it, i may order some to have in the cellar.

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