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

2012 Riverain Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville more

7/2/2015 - starkravingmad wrote: 95 points

Smooth, Deep fruits

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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6/29/2015 - Mike Dildine Likes this wine: 92 points

14.5% abv. Dark, almost opaque ruby. Aromatically expressive. Blueberries and black pepper dominate a lush, rich and deep palate impression. Lingering aftertaste. Excellent now, but will reward a few more years in the cellar.

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Red

2013 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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4/10/2015 - ageverett Likes this wine: 88 points

2015 Napa Trip - Day 2: 50% whole cluster

teeth-staining purple. Pepper and spice. Pretty solid grip.

Just seems a bit disjointed and overbearing right now.

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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5/25/2015 - Nanda Likes this wine: 94 points

Oh nelly, this is wine delivers the goods and stuffing. Big bold savory black fruit, bacon and black olive nose. Palate is full scaled and concentrated. Good acid structure provides framing and freshness. Loads of black fruit and meat. Long, long finish. This is just a baby and should age nicely, but outstanding now.

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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5/7/2015 - cjsavino Likes this wine: 94 points

To the eye this is a glass of black ink, staining the glass with each swirl. The nose puts out a perfume that is as compelling as the color, floral, balsa wood, and rich blue fruits. The palate has powerful tannins, orange spice, clove, and baked fruit cobbler, yet not a stewed or port like taste. This can simmer down for a few more years..

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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5/3/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened this about an hour ago, dumped to a decanter to breath a bit. After this short decant, poured off a couple ounces for this note. Shows the a dark, opaque quality. The aromatic is that beautiful assembly of aroma that only whole cluster can offer: olive, dried flower/potpourri and light smoke. This is the aromatic I really seek in syrah, and it's done to a tee here. Like the density of the color, the palate reflects a similar depth that is expansive and generous. Then, the structure and intensity pulls is it all back and it gets a bit juicy, loaded with black olive and plenty of tannin. The fruit is a blue and black mix, yet I don't find any booze or oomph that may come with syrah that might lie in this side of the fruit spectrum. Man, this is still so tight and reminds me that this 2012 is going to live a long, long time. Minerality, char, inky, iron. This is really just dynamite today, with a capital P for potential. I'll be taking this wine to an charity event later where I will pour it for the crowd. It will be the last in the lineup of 11 bottles, to ensure that it gets the additional air it needs. A bruiser with a killer trajectory ahead of it.

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Red

2013 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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4/8/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

As I had to add this to the database, you can conclude this is an early look at a young wine. I opened this last night, cooked a meal around it and drained off about 1/2 the bottle. One of those nights when I wanted a syrah that was dark, both color and fruited. I got that wine. Left the remaining 1/2 bottle on the counter under the pulled cork. Roll forward one day, retasting again with a glass that is at room temp (68f). For me, I like my wines a bit cooler served than this but the flip side is this temp allows a wine to show what's there, plus and minus. What's here? A light hint of heat and I would think that if served at say 65f, this would be no factor so simply saying, if you drink it, put a slight chill on it. Some may call me soft or fragile, which I am with my palate, so take my comment as you wish. That said, this is a bigger wine, certainly moreso than the 2011, and even a touch bigger than the 2012. For the record, I own both those wines and have dug drinking both of them over the past 2 years, with a few bottles of each remaining to cellar and try over the next few years, too. This 2013 will be the biggest of the three, and it does carry the dark color of the 2012. Where it differs from the 2012, which for me shows better structure, this 2013 is more plusher, more accessible now. Has a suave texture, a good mix of some red fruit but mainly black. Tar, light creosote, a molten quality. Some charcoal and black olive in the finish, presumably from the whole cluster it sees. Finishes with some light grip, which for some may be more grip then I sense, as I am often told I drink my wines too early, yet I also seem to tolerate and absorb structure differently than others. Again, take my comment as you wish. Do I like the wine? I do, although it's bigger than the other 2 vintages and I tend to drink my wines now in the lower register of things (more acid, less alc, leaner) and this reminds me more of the wine from my earlier years, bigger, sexier and certainly is going to draw in the crowd that likes a more flamboyant showing. Age window? I'd say 2016 to 2018, with the caveat that I seem to absorb structure and like my wines younger.

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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3/28/2015 - J @ y H @ c k Likes this wine: 92 points

A great BerserkerDay buy. Popped and poured then followed for 90 minutes. Got progressively better. The suggestion that giving a young wine air might make it shut down is wrong, at least for this wine. Nose of violets and blueberries. There is some heat on the nose, but the palate is well-balanced. Fruit driven blueberries and blackberries. Some pepper spice. Long finish. Interestingly, there is coffee on the nose at the very end. I hope to wait at least 4 more years for bottle #2. I believe that a lot more flavor will blossom.

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Red

2012 Riverain Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville more

3/19/2015 - Rktekt3 wrote: 95 points

Wow. You have got to be kidding me. And for $70.

This is a wine you need to have in your cellar.

Wonderful

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Red

2011 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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3/3/2015 - arthrovine wrote: NR

Pop'n' poured. Followed over 3 hours.

Should've decanted wine for 3-6 hours. Or waited 3-4 years. Nice acids which were refreshingly cool. Moderate tannin. Definite 'cool climate' profile here.

Edit: I forgot to say that I liked this wine and have full confidence it's going to morph into something terrific. A sip this morning revealed more going on and a hint of some of the benefits of air and aging. This wine is probably even better drunk the next day if consuming in the near term. 92++ points

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Red

2012 Riverain Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville more

2/27/2015 - DaButtah Likes this wine: 95 points

Needs a long time in the decanter to open up but when it does, it's a WOW wine. Massive and slightly brooding right now, there is gobs of dark fruit that emerge and ends with sweet, supple finish. This needs some serious time in the bottle to evolve and I can't wait to see the results. Only going up from here.

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Red

2012 Riverain Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville more

2/24/2015 - brigcampbell wrote: NR

Falltacular 2015 (FMIII in the OC): Another winner here, awesome. Classic Napa cab with big structure wrapped with cassis.

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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1/28/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened y/day in honor of Berserker Day. Took to a small dinner where it got lost on the table but not lost on me, as I dragged the 1/2 full bottle back with me and simply kept it under open cork to taste again tonight. As I have wrote before but to confirm again, this is dark stuff, pitch black and if poured blind, I'd guess petite sirah. The aromatics exhibit the whole cluster treatment but there isn't any menthol or stemmy green tones in the aromatic, just that cool note of cracked spice, garrigue. The palate does then pick up the chase a bit with the stems and has a bit of grainy structure, along with a plush dark fruit that is framed with black olive. Even with the air of last night and sitting in the glass tonight for about an hour at room temp (68), it has tightened a bit and so all of that dark fruit, the glimpse into the plushness of that fruit, it sits in some light chalk and moderate structure. Finishes with some earthy and plush dark blueberry, charcoal and some tapenade. All together, this is really a terrific marriage of new world CA fruit (sans the blowsy oak and booze) and the application of whole cluster and suave texture. Drink window? With air, this does pretty well but for those who want to age the wine, I'd say another 4 years. I'm not much into the romance of aging wines and all of that jazz so you can take my drink window as you wish.

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Red

2011 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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1/21/2015 - Mike Dildine Likes this wine: 93 points

12.8% abv. Dark ruby red. Spice and black fruit aromas. On the palate black cherry, smoke, black pepper. Nice mouthfeel, excellent depth and length. A fine effort from an outstanding vineyard and a cool vintage. Should continue to improve.

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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12/19/2014 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened yesterday, no decant. Saved 1/2 bottle for today, as the wine last night reflected structure and grip so I figured the aeration would bring the wine more completely out of its shell. Let me begin with a few observations. First, this wine is intensely dark, virtually pitch black in the stem. Aromatically, lots going on with an intriguing duality of both bacon fat and flowers in the aromatic, which is a combination I have found in some of the cooler climate Copain syrahs, for a comparable. With air, this fades out leaving some olive, purple flower and potpourri. The texture? Dense, stuffed, with a charcoal-laced, earthy dark berry, boysen and black cherry fruit. Buried in all that is red fruited acidity, which for some at the table last night was a bit too much. However, I will say that the bottle that was getting all the attention last night was the Caymus 40th Anniversary cab, which seemed to have no acid and while I didn't want to spoil that experience for the table, the Riverain clearly crushed that wine across the board, including on the acidity. Back to tonight, as this wine sits, the stuffing mellows a bit more and the wine starts to smooth out with a glassy quality, yet there is a pile of iron and dark tinged fruit in parallel. FWIW, at no time in my tasting here did the wine get gloppy, hot or boozy. If I recall, this is made in old barrels, with a good amount of whole cluster, which adds an herbal, green olive quality in the wine, as well. For full disclosure, the label is owned by a close friend but to dissuade any pessimism or perceived bias, I bought these bottles from my friend and created this note on my own accord—I’m not shilling here, just telling the story of my glass. Putting that now aside, CA syrah should aspire to drink and express in the way this wine is crafted. If enjoying color, acid, depth, removing wood and booze is wrong for wine, then color me wrong and this wine all right! Drink window? Hell, I suppose this wine could sit open for 4-5 days and be just fine so drink now with a decant/slow ox to get a sense for the depth and quality, but know it's going to go another 5-8 years for sure.

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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10/30/2014 - P Monty wrote: 92 points

I was impressed with the wine last night. It's similar in style to the 2011, but with a level more concentration and density (though not sweetness) reflecting the vintage difference.

It is a masculine, Northern Rhone styled syrah. There are deep, dense black and blue berries buried in there which are probably a few years away from really emerging to the forefront, and the wine for now is more about a wild mixture of lavender, black olive, graphite, cool rocks and pepper. The tannins are a bit aggressive for now, and I think prime drinking for this wine probably begins 2-4 years from now, though it is approachable now with a steak and a decant. I would expect the wine to age well for 10-15 years at least, probably longer.

It's an admirable effort with tremendous character. It is more of a cerebral wine-geek / sommelier type wine at this stage, but I expect it will integrate and the fruit will show through better starting in a few years, or possibly with a long aeration now (we only had it within about two hours of the bottle opening, and without pouring into a decanter).

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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10/30/2014 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Nice to get a chance to see what's under the cork here, and having just drank another one of the 2011s last month in Philly, was eager to see how the 2 vintages expressed themselves. So, to think aromatics, and even with the nearly 2/3rds whole cluster used in the 2012 (which is about double the 2011), the wine just eats it up. The aromatics instead here have a molten quality, like a dark fruited, iron and lavender. In fact, the wines stains the glass like a mutha. The palate? Hot rocks, iron, full of ink with blue-based fruit and an earthy blackberry. A finish then closes with rocks and some black olive. The wine sees zero new oak, as well. I dig the 2011, for it's black pepper and black olive and acidity, and yet this 2012 seems to honor the vintage with color, depth and throttle. And if there is a thought to whether the color and fruit portend booziness, put that thought to bed. I sensed none of that here. I got three for the cellar, these are beauties.

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Red

2012 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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10/30/2014 - brigcampbell wrote: NR

Kutch '12 vs '13 Pinot Blind Tasting - Something for Everybody (Maro Grill, Laguna Beach): Pop n pour. Crazy dark colored core with a rim of magenta where the wine meets the glass. I swirled this around in the glass to aerate and noticed the legs were very prominent, not that they were unusually large but they stuck around for a long time as we were working our way through a huge Kutch lineup. I wrote this note over an hour with the same pour and the wine really moves around or evolves over time which I guess is expected with such a young wine. The aromas are blue fruit and an unmistakable black olive which everyone at the table identified. Palate is driven by some red and blue fruit initially but after time the blue really runs the show. The oak shows as charcoal or graphite, very linear across the palate. FMIII and I debated an iron note, his take, but I was leaning towards a rusty nail or iodine and all are fair takes. Might be even more acidity at this stage than the '11 which was also superb. Lots of complexity here. The finish lengthen over the hour, quite impressive, but the youth is exposed with prickly tannins and a dry note. This is approachable at this point but I'd open the night before or in the morning for the next year.

I bought some...

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Red

2011 Riverain Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville more

10/1/2014 - Uglypinga Likes this wine: NR

The nose has some oak, cherries, and a hint of fig. The palate is medium to full with red fruits and nice acidity. Nice tannins with a bitter edge. Young but promising. Very trb.

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Red

2011 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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9/17/2014 - Outplaying wrote: NR

This showed very well last night. Initially I thought it was more red fruited but as it opened the fruit turned darker, and seemed more black in tone. I think this is 30% (?) whole cluster and it showed with quite a bit of white/black pepper and some black olive accents. I really enjoy this cool climate style of Syrah with the dialed back ripeness and alcohol.

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Red

2011 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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9/16/2014 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

The wine is showing good evolution forward. With about 90 mins of air, some good dark red and black fruit qualities, a weightier black cherry would be a good descriptor. Good presence of black pepper and black olive and still good structure and acidity. Lovely at this point with great color and only upside ahead.

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Red

2011 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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5/9/2014 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened about 8 hours ago, allowed to sit with the cork inside, not decanted. At this stage, and with a light chill (as room temp is about 78), the wine shows distinct character. Cooked meat, roasted red cherry fruit and pepper. All of this through a crappy, heavy wine glass with a 2 inch bowl. Will be taking to dinner where I can hustle down a finer stem to really form an impression to complete my note....over dinner, this smoothed out and the tar came out, along with the olive and the fruit lends more towards black cherry. I think this is at it's best in 2 years, as that allows for the residual structure from the tannin to integrate. I enjoy the Northern Rhone quality of this vintage, the color, the acid and low alcohol. For me, that makes it stand up well.

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Red

2011 Riverain Cabernet Sauvignon

Oakville more

5/2/2014 - RMundell Likes this wine: 93 points

Very nice.

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Red

2011 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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4/30/2014 - Outplaying wrote: NR

This seemed like an appropriate bottle to open on an incredibly rainy day. There are rivers running through my yard. Popped the cork about an hour ago and the wine is still pretty tight. On the nose, I get some smoke, floral notes, tar and charcoal. On the palate, some tart black cherry, darker fruits, light black olive and as others have said, a rocky note. Shows the cool climate with good acidity, medium weight, and lower alc. Pretty smooth texture with lighter tannin. I have a little less than half a bottle for tomorrow. Pretty good now. We'll see what happens with some air.

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Red

2011 Riverain Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley

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4/18/2014 - rstark wrote: 93 points

Poured for some major wine snobs that only like their Syrah "Rhone and Northern", but they were intrigued in seeing what Thomas Rivers Brown is doing with this grape. The wine was impressive out of the chute, with a great tar / graphite component that balanced very well with the very dark fruit. Plenty of extracted mouthfeel, but none of that over-the-top syrupy or alcohol thing that usually accompanies it. Very enjoyable, and after an hour, it really came together into something that I'll be looking forward to try 6 months from now.

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  • Tasting notes: 34 notes on 5 wines

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