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

2009 Epoch Estate Wines Authenticity Paderewski Vineyard

Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend more

7/5/2014 - Redguy wrote: 92 points

Decanted 20 hours. Opened up quite nicely. A bit simple from a flavor standpoint with its dark blackberry and plummy fruits and flashing earthy and herbal veins. Woven in is a pleasant streak of integrated acid that keeps the wine fresh. But it is the mouthfeel where this shines with its completely round and generous presence, where the silky texture belies the full body, concentration, and power. Nothing wowed here, but a well balanced big ole boy that drank quite well after the decant. Hopefully additional cellar time will add some complexity.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    7/8/2014 3:43:00 PM - A fair question. The wife and I get industry discounts at local wineries as she is the tasting room manager at one of them. As such prices for the Central Coast "Elite" are much more palatable. Epoch is priced in line with its peers but I tend to place Torrin above them in both quality and value, Booker can be as well when they get it right, while Nicora and to a lesser degree Paix Sur Terre are the best quality to value on the Central Coast in my opinion. To answer more succinctly, I do not think I would buy much Epoch at retail.


2010 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosemary's Vineyard

Arroyo Grande Valley more

2/28/2014 - SMZ wrote: 94 points

Spectacular. Beautiful nose of vanilla and berries. Everything is in perfect harmony. I've now had the Talley Rincon and Rosemary's vineyards ... Both excellent, really high end, bursting with flavor.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    3/3/2014 12:30:00 PM - I couldn't agree more SMZ. I'm lucky enough to live ten minutes from Talley and am blown away how this top shelf pinot and chard producer can remain so under appreciated. Tasted their '12 estate wines last weekend and they were excellent. The buzz i'm hearing is to expect greatness from their '12 svd's. We shall see.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    3/3/2014 2:34:00 PM - Talley is open for tastings 7 days/week. No appt needed. Tastings and wines by the glass. Nice little picnic area. Usually their svd pinots are released in the fall. Right now they are pouring their estate wines and second label, Bishop's Peak (which I do not recommend as spending up to the first label is a big jump in quality, imho). They have some intereting less expensive wines on tap, like a SauvBriesling (SB/Riesling blend), but again, the real reason to go is the estate and especially the svd's.

    If you're looking for strictly pinot in the area I recommend going to Lompoc (thirty miles south of Talley). Brewer Clifton is one to try as is The Lompoc Wine Ghetto. A dozen or so producers in one industrial building. Of course 40 miles north of Talley is Paso. Lots of great options there. My wife is the tasting room manager of Sans Liege, an excellent Rhone Ranger producer in Pismo Beach, which is 10 minutes north of Talley. Lots of great options. Feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions as we're pretty well dialed in to the local winery scene.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    3/3/2014 3:11:00 PM - Forgot to mention: Clos Pepe is a good stop as well.


2007 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel

Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend more

12/1/2013 - fdaner wrote: flawed

2nd one that was full of spritz and VA. Undrinkable and down the drain. NR

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    12/4/2013 1:57:00 PM - You're right about the spritz...these have shown co2 since day one. I've had quite a few encounters with this wine and all have had it. I can also say in all of them it has blown off with a few hours air time. I can't speak to the va but I can say these are years away from their prime window. TC's website lists these in a closed phase currently. I would decant atleast twenty four hours... fwiw.


2009 Herman Story Grenache On The Road

Santa Barbara County more

8/29/2013 - Redguy Does not like this wine: NR

Huge, fat, and sluggish...massive extract, lots of wood, and the warmer aspects of the vintage are taking over and pushing this into Willy Wonka land. This is a 10+ on the richness scale, and shows little poise or balance and even less freshness. At this point the profile is dominated by brown sugar, dark wood, basalmic, and earthy notes. Similarly port-like and portly as the '09 Larner Grenache I had a month ago. Loved these 2009 HS wines on release but I do not like they way least the grenache based ones.

All that being said is not enough to tarnish my overall appreciation for Russel and his wines. A top flight producer of outstanding wines that are a great value and pale only to the warmth, friendliness, and generosity of the man himself. One of Paso's finest.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    8/30/2013 3:44:00 PM - Fingers, I agree completely. Interestingly though the Tablas Creek, Booker, and Epoch reds from Paso have shown little to no growth at this point. Makes me wonder if they too will fall apart before reaching maturity. That was a wierd vintage on the Central Coast.


2009 Herman Story Grenache Larner Vineyard

Santa Ynez Valley more

8/21/2013 - The Wine Write wrote: 89 points

Popped and poured. A bit disappointing. There just wasn't the oomph I expect in HS.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    8/21/2013 9:26:00 AM - Randy, your experience with this wine was eerily similar to mine last month and confirms my fears that this is heading in the wrong direction. The 2009 vintage seems to be a strange one on the central coast. Booker, Torrin, and Epoch 2009's have shown very little development since bottling, while some HS and McPrice Myers I've tasted recently seem to be falling apart already. I plan to pop a 2009 HS OTR soon as I'm curious see if this is isolated to the Larner or more widespread. We shall see...In the meantime, keep tasting and writing the great notes!


2010 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem

Grenache Blend, Grenache more

1/23/2013 - TSBWine Likes this wine: 91 points

91+ Points. Honestly, this wine was a real trip and very enigmatic in the glass. Serially tasted over about 3 hours with ever-changing characteristics and seriously dynamic fruit characteristics. My view is that this is a quality wine that is not quite resolved in the bottle. There's a power struggle here between the Syrah and Grenache that feels like a constant wrestling match. At this point neither grape is quite complementary to one another and until the Grenache takes a back-seat with bottle age the only real enjoyment of the wine will come as an academic exercise.

At first pour the wine is intensely "grapey" on the nose with some pleasing meat/animal notes behind it. On the palate the wine the Syrah is very dominant with intensely dark fruit, dusty gravel, graphite and a fine limestone sinew running throughout. Clearly very primary, the fruit can't seem to get out of its own way and pushes off some of the secondary characteristics that seem to be lurking on the midpalate. With some additional aeration the fruit takes on a very wild character that speaks of both ripe blackberry and raspberry. The wine touches briefly touches on some baking spice notes but the wine is a bit brawny to show any sophistication.

Over time the wine evolves in a somewhat unstable way. Fruit notes drift back and forth between wildberries, blackberry, grape, black currant, raspberry, red currant and black cherry. On the mid-palate the gravel notes came and went along with characteristics of limestone, graphite/iron, faint notes of licorice, cola spices, thyme and oregano (never got to "garrigue" for me which is far more distinctive). With extensive aeration there were also some notes that were difficult for me to decipher on the palate. My best approximation is oil cured black olive but at that point many of the characteristics weren't quite delineated.

My perspective is that this is a quality wine with lots of potential but isn't quite "there" yet. It's overly primary at the moment and it needs some bottle age before it comes together in a harmonious way. It's too disjointed and suffers from a lack of focus. At the same time, it has a fine textural elegance that speaks to a finer, more sophisticated wine. There's enough acid here to keep it fresh and a vein of limestone that helps lift it from being too heavy on the palate. An intriguing wine that could be going places. I would give it another 2 years for the Grenache and Syrah to come together in a more harmonious way. Possibly a much better wine with maturation, right now though it comes across as an angst-ridden teenager.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    1/23/2013 12:43:00 PM - That is a seriously well thought out and constructed tasting note. I've got a case maturing in off-site storage so I found this most helpful... thank you.


2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

White Rhone Blend more

12/22/2012 - gmbdds wrote: flawed

Oxidized. Apple cider color upon pouring was the first bad sign and the taste was just not right. Too bad.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    12/23/2012 3:25:00 PM - I have this same wine so thanks for the heads up. If you have any remaining bottles I wouldn't open them for a few years. Sounds like it may just be going thru its roussanne closed phase, which these tend to go through. They get very dark and nasty... oxidized like. I have experienced this several times with other vintages. If curious, look at recent notes from the '04 Beau Blanc. In the mean time be patient

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    12/24/2012 9:16:00 AM - Yes, when roussanne based wines emerge from their slumber the color will absolutely lighten (lighter than before their closed phase) and the flavors will be less intense but more refined. This wine was rocking in its youth so should be exquisite when it comes out the other side. Going to take some time though. I made the mistake of dumping some that I thought oxidized before.


2004 Château Malescot St. Exupéry

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend more

11/28/2012 - beezer6 wrote: 92 points

Yummy pink peppercorns, balanced palate. Feminine character.
Some sweet modern styling with softer tannins. Drinking well now.
Great fruit on the attack then lends a more rustic back end. Really nice showing of an underrated vintage in my opinion.

  • Comment posted by Redguy:

    11/29/2012 11:37:00 PM - Agree completely... about both the wine and the vintage. There's a beautiful gravelly perfume and a certain politeness about this wine. Lovely stuff.

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