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

2008 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon T6 Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Oakville more

1/27/2016 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 96 points

This really sucks. My computer rebooted while I was creating an epic tasting note for this wine, the first on CT (even though about 80 bottles have been consumed and 300 are in storage).

It was an hour-by-hour documentary on this wine. Oh well, no time to recreate it. Suffice it to say it had the following from beginning to end:
Kirsch, saigon cinnamon, ripe black plum, raspberry liqueur, leather, hints of tar, hickory smoke, glycerin. More red fruit than black, and it is good to go right now and will last for another decade. It went from about a 9.4+ to a 9.6 in the last glass after 4 hours.

Amazing stuff.

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Red

2009 TOR Kenward Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 6 Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Oakville more

1/22/2016 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 94 points

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COLOR: Deep garnet with medium garnet rim
NOTE: From the great To Kalon vineyard, and it is one of my fav clones for its velvety nature. Lovely nose of pungent red fruits, caressed by leather, tar and hints of dark chocolate. Mouth is rich, tannins are significant but well developed, nice glycerin levels and a good grip. The fruit is still prominent, but you do get some serious baking spices and dark cocoa powder in the mouth that leads the finish. Finish is a real ping-pong match between the fruit and structure. It goes on for 30+ seconds. I think this will be better in a couple more years and will last for a decade past that.

DECANT: 3 hours
GLASS USED: Bordeaux
TASTE: 9.4
COST: 157
VALUE: 6.0
TRY AGAIN: now-2025
CORAVIN'D: no
PRE-POUR LEVEL: n/a
PAIRING: beef
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Red

2008 Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cœur de Vallée Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Oakville more

1/20/2016 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 94 points

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COLOR: Opaque garnet with medium-garnet rim
NOTE: This is very Schrader-esque. It's great on pop-n-pour and just gets better as it gets more air. The nose ping-pongs between black and red berry fruits, featuring saigon cinnamon and oiled leather along the way. Hints of black peppered beef jerky. Mouth is rich but so elegant, more in the red fruit spectrum from here on out, like a wonderful mix of macerated red raspberries and pomegranate seeds. The finish picks up serious 70% dark chocolate as it glides along the red fruit for about 45 seconds. This is a great wine. Second time having it in about 6 weeks thanks to my Coravin. This is great now and will prob last another 5-8 years.

DECANT: 2 hours
GLASS USED: Bordeaux
TASTE: 9.4
COST: 150
VALUE: 7.5
TRY AGAIN: now - 2024
CORAVIN'D: Yes
PRE-POUR LEVEL: 85%
PAIRING: Braised short rib
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Red

2013 Ferren Wines Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

1/1/2016 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 92 points

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COLOR: Deep plum-purple, with light plum rim
NOTE: First vintage of this and very nice. Very good specimen of PN, with everything in the right place. Nothing too exciting, but nothing out of balance either. Nose has a lovely perfume of cranberry and pomegranate, cinnamon and oiled leather. Maybe even a little orange oil, like a good Old Fashioned. Mouth is med+ weight, nice glycerin, lots of red fruits including pomegranate liqueur, wild strawberries and what seems like a little bit of coconut (never detected this in a PN before). The finish has a nice level of acidic tang to balance out the glycerin/red fruit. Reminiscent of a solid KB in a good year. Really became most enjoyable about 3 hours after decanting.

DECANT: 3-5 hours
GLASS USED: PN
TASTE: 9.2
COST: 81
VALUE: 3.0
TRY AGAIN: now - 2020
CORAVIN'D: no
PRE-POUR LEVEL: n/a
PAIRING: Salmon in a rich sauce
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Red

2008 L'Aventure Estate Cuvée

Paso Robles Red Blend more

1/6/2016 - tp096255 wrote: flawed

My prior tasting note stands because this bottle failed after being Coravin'd twice over the past year. The wine today was barely drinkable, having become incredibly "porty" (like the 2009 Schrader Old Sparky disaster even though this was on its side the entire time).

Lessons learned:
1) Do not overpressure the bottle. Short, sharp bursts from Coravin are essential. Allow the bottle to relieve itself of the increased pressure before pressing that trigger again. If you do a full drag on the trigger it can cause a serious rupture in the cork's adhesion to the sides of the bottle. This then allows oxygen to seep in at a rapid rate. You may not notice it if you finish the bottle within a few weeks, but over several months it will destroy your wine. This is what happened with this bottle. It was one of my early experiments.

2) Do not Coravin more than half the bottle. You always want to keep the cork fully submerged in the wine. This bottle was fine until I dropped the level to about 50% and the cork was partially exposed inside the bottle. I believe this allowed rapid oxidization. This of course means that you should NEVER store a Coravin'd bottle upright. It must ALWAYS be laid on its side.

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White

2013 Aubert Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

1/4/2016 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 92 points

I like it, but this just isn't what Lauren means to me. It's great that all of the elements keep the alcohol in check, but it seems two dimensional. Good tropical fruits, lemon oil, and lovely jasmine and honeysuckle buds. Some nice smoke wafts in through there, but it's never inviting me for another sip unless I have something to eat (which was an amazing risotto today by the way). Very good Chard, but One of the least amazing Laurens in recent memory.

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Red

2008 Saxum James Berry Vineyard

Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend more

12/30/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 92 points

Took several coravin hits from this over the past several months. It is a great wine, but it has this underlying green streak, like stems or wet seaweed, that detract from it. That wasn't there early on in its life, but it is becoming more pronounced and does not disappear with hours of decanting. Sad.

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Rosť

2014 Archium Cellars Rosé

Santa Barbara County Grenache more

12/24/2015 - tp096255 Does not like this wine: 80 points

Unfortunately this was one of the most incipid Rose wines I have ever had, and I poured most of the bottle down the drain. It was made from 100% Grenache so I had high hopes, but this was just barely drinkable at all temperatures. Sorry Archium, I really wanted to love this but it was barely tolerable in the end.

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Red

2012 Bevan Cellars Pinot Noir Summit 2114

Sonoma Mountain more

12/9/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 93 points

No formal notes, but this was one of the best wine-food pairings I have had in a long time. The opulence, ripe red fruits and spices (cinnamon, clove) in this wine went perfectly with the glazed ham tonight. All of us agreed it was a perfect match. Sad this is my last bottle.

My note is lame, I know, but just read CSIM's note below and that guy/gal nailed it. Ditto!

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Red

2013 Orin Swift D66

Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Grenache Blend, Grenache more

11/9/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 91 points

Good but needs a very long decant, which it didn't receive tonight. Could maybe hit 93 under the right aging conditions or decant.

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Red

2012 Château Boswell Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley more

11/9/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 94 points

Only had a 3 oz Coravin pull on this, but it handily beat out the 2007 Revana CS. While Russell Bevan can only do his magic with good fruit, he obviously made sure this was good fruit. Very enjoyable on PnP and even though it was a bit too cold when I served it. This is the best Boswell CS we've had. It is ready to enjoy now and will last for another decade.

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Red

2007 Revana Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Helena more

11/9/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 92 points

Had this back in 08/12 and rated it 94 at the time, but this second bottle just never got above 92 (Coravin'd it multiple times). It's well-made but a bit more austere and not as pleasure-driven as many Napa Cabs. It just depends on what you're looking for.

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White

2011 Trimbach Gewurztraminer

Alsace Gewürztraminer more

10/27/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 92 points

I think this is an amazing wine and a great QPR almost every vintage.

We had the 2011 vintage at Opus in Lucerne, Switzerland, right on the water. It was spectacular with the slightly spicy dishes and pumpkin soup. The funny thing is that we stumbled upon Trimbach 4 years ago while in Alsace, in 2011, and managed to squeeze into the tasting room past trucks that were bringing in grapes (probably these Gewurz grapes). So here we are, 4 years later, drinking the wine that was produced by the grapes we saw coming in from harvest. Very fortuitous!

I love the medium+ density, floral nose, lightly sweet finish. It's great as an aperitif and food wine. I could just drink a chilled bottle of this about 10 months out of the year. so good!

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Red

2005 Lillian Winery Syrah Blue Label

Santa Barbara County more

10/23/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 92 points

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COLOR: Deep opaque purple, almost black to the rim
NOTE: This is a super-concentrated Syrah. At $120 it should be. The nose is loaded with creme de cassis, blackberry syrup, violets and a hint of honeysuckle (is there viognier in this thing?). It is a lovely nose. The mouth is heavy/rich with gobs of blackberry liqueur, nutmeg, cinnamon, leather and tar. It gets a little acidic and puckery though, which I didn't care for. The finish carries the same theme as the mouth. What's amazing is that this is the second time I tried this wine from the same bottle. The last time was 11 months ago, October 2014, using my new Coravin. I pulled about 25% of the wine out at that time, but unfortunately didn't make a tasting note. The wine today, 11 months later, seems very fresh. I can't detect any degradation. The ONLY time the Coravin method fails is when a bottle is stored upright after being accessed. I lost about $400 bucks worth of Schrader Old Sparky because of it, so I have learned my lesson. When you Coravin anything, be sure to store it on its side almost immediately afterward or be prepared to weep.

DECANT: none
GLASS USED: Bordeaux
TASTE: 9.2
COST: 120
VALUE: 3.0
TRY AGAIN: now
CORAVIN'D: yes
PRE-POUR LEVEL:75
PAIRING: n/a
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Red

2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

Columbia Valley more

8/31/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 94 points

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COLOR: Deep garnet with medium-garnet rim
NOTE: DITTO FROM MY LAST NOTE: Lovely sandalwood-laced blackberry juice nose, cinnamon and tar, then medium+ mouth has nice bright black mulberry juice, acidic but in a good balancing way, that leads to the finish. This is NOT a 100 point wine but still maintains its solid core of fruit and structure almost the same today as it did 7 years ago when I first tasted it. Has hardly budged. This thing has another decade in it at least.

DECANT: 1-3 hours
GLASS USED: Bordeaux
TASTE: 9.3
COST: 120
VALUE: 6.0
TRY AGAIN: now - 2025
CORAVIN'D: previously about 2 months ago, was at 60%
PRE-POUR LEVEL: 60%
PAIRING: meat
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Red

2010 Denner The Dirt Worshipper

Paso Robles Syrah Blend, Syrah more

8/30/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 93 points

This blend is always good to great, and this vintage was great. 93+. It has all of the things I love about it in spades: honeysuckle, blackberry liqueur and char in the nose, opulent black berry fruit in the mouth, finishing with a hint of pepper and mocha. It totally goes toe to toe with the truffle burger at Eden Burger. Every vintage, every time. Great juice. Decanted for about 2 hours, and it needs it still.

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Red

2012 L'Aventure Optimus

Paso Robles Red Blend more

8/30/2015 - tp096255 wrote: flawed

We had this in the tasting room in June 2015 and it was great. We enjoyed it so much that we bought an extra bottle even though we already had some in our cellar. Unfortunately this bottle had a green, bell pepper type element in the mouth/finish that was unmistakable. Three of us picked up on it, so it wasn't my imagination. I hoped it was. So sad. I have never had a flawed wine that didn't present some level of flaw in the nose as well, but this one didn't. It smelled great, and even the mouth started out great, but as you transitioned into the finish it was evident that something was wrong. I thought maybe this bottle got a bit too much of a bad barrel of unripe Cab Franc (known for green/bell pepper) but there isn't any CF in this blend! Sigh.... At least I had a bottle of Denner Dirt Worshipper in the mix to redeem myself. This is the first time I have ever had a flawed bottle of L'Aventure in 15 years.

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Red

2011 Epoch Estate Wines Veracity Paderewski Vineyard

Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend more

8/30/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 94 points

Rocked with the truffle burger at Eden Burger. Pop-n-pour, was great straight out of the bottle. No decant necessary. Had all the ripe brambly fruit and savory goodness you ever want out of an Epoch. Better than most CDPs I've had. No heat anywhere. It was the last of 4 bottles opened and one of the first to be drained!

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Red

2010 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

more

8/1/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 90 points

Well, this thing really improved with another 7 months in bottle. Maybe a little Coravin argon gas helped? It shouldn't, but there it is. This wine isn't nearly as thin and green as it was back in January. Much more in line with what I expect of KB PN. Fleshy, fruity, layered, even savory. So glad I had another go-round with this one. Enjoyable on its own or with a hearty fish dish (salmon) or pork.

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Red

2009 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Oakville more

8/12/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 95 points

Had with Scudieris for our 25-Year anniversary dinner at Craft!

Not a lot of notes because we were just enjoying ourselves and had no time for scribbled contemplations. Nevertheless, it made a lasting impression, especially with food. In fact, without food it was a bit too austere/tannic/acidic. This is not one of those sultry, opulent, slutty Schraders that I soooo love to just enjoy all by itself. This one is like a liquid knife that cut through the unctuous layers of meat in the beef short rib as well as the buttery yukon gold mashed. It was transcendent. Highly recommend having this with fattier meats like the short rib or a ribeye. Do it justice man!

Gave it a 4 hour decant, but it seemed to develop even more in the glass over our 3 hour meal. This thing threw a lot of sediment, so you want to decant carefully.

When I use the word "blockbuster" this is the type of wine to which I'm referring. It has the massive tannic structure combined with acidity to go for 20 or 30 years without slowing down. Yet it still retains a very fruit-forward approach, which I prefer. The best of both worlds. If it had a hint of opulence it would have been a 97.

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White

2011 Aubert Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

7/1/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 92 points

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COLOR: Lemony-gold, translucent (by careful decanting!)
NOTE: Nose is sweet citrus followed quickly by burnt marshmallow, graham, poached apple/pear (like a funky fruit-based S'More). Mouth is medium+ and full of ripe citrus, creme brulee, a little heat into the smoky finish. Good acidity, but a bit oak-heavy. Got one more bottle but I think I will sell it.

DECANT: 0-1hour
GLASS USED: Bordeaux
TASTE: 9.2
COST: 84
VALUE: 5.5
TRY AGAIN: now-2017
CORAVIN'D: Yes
PRE-POUR LEVEL: 100%
PAIRING:
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Red

2009 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes

Red Rhone Blend more

7/1/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 94 points

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COLOR: Deep purple-garnet with medium garnet rim
NOTE: MUST DRINK THIS BETWEEN 60-65 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. Below that temp range you wont get the nuances in the nose. Above that range the alcohol simply dominates the other elements, esp in the mouth and finish. In the zone the nose is like singed pink rose petals (that's a first), garrigue, raspberry liqueur, amarena cherries, anise, cherry pipe tobacco, dark-chocolate-covered candied orange peels (yep). This is one of those amazing Janasse wines. But keep it cool y'all! Mouth has a nice medium-heavy weight, somewhat puckering tannins (that takes a couple points off and may melt away with a few more years in bottle), full of fresh black cherry, pomagranate, red currant jam, cracked black pepper, tobacco and leather. The mouth really strikes me as being more of a Pinot Noir, but just a little more edgy/peppery. The finish is just lovely at 30+ seconds, but still quite tannic like the mouth, and I get a lot more Zinfandel-like brambly black and red berry fruit along with the tobacco.

It's a lovely wine that will probably improve a couple points with a couple more years, though it drinks well now with a 6-10 hour decant. Just be sure to keep it at the optimal temp range or you won't get the enjoyment you should. This is a much "fussier" VV than Janasse usually puts out.

DECANT: 6-10 hours
GLASS USED: Pinot Noir
TASTE: 9.4+
COST: 110
VALUE: 6.5
TRY AGAIN: now-2025
CORAVIN'D: no
PRE-POUR LEVEL:
PAIRING:
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Red

2009 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Oakville more

7/1/2015 - tp096255 wrote: NR

Coravin Lesson #1: Do not access a bottle, overpressurizing it in the process, then stand that bottle up at room temp. Fortunately I drank about 60% of this bottle before it turned all porty. And by all porty, I mean ALL PORTY. Like a bad version of a Cabernet Port you probably had from some cheezy winery in a bad wine region. It's such a shame because this was a great wine, but this shows you what improper handling will do. I had planned on finishing the bottle in short order but then ended up on a restricted diet for the next several months. Now I went back to this same exact bottle from my earlier note and the wine is destroyed. It's essentially undrinkable but I'm trying to drink it as my punishment. Just so I remember what I did to that poor little wine. All those berries gave their life for me and I did them wrong. So sad. I am a bad dog. I have learned my lesson.

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Red

2012 Vines On The Marycrest Syrah

Paso Robles more

7/1/2015 - tp096255 wrote: 93 points

This was the hit of the Garagiste event. Everyone raved about it. The best way to describe this particular wine is blueberry pie with Saigon cinnamon. Fruit forward in every way, dense, engaging, lovely. All of the wines poured were great, but this outshined all of them. This was the best winery of the event, followed by Pulchella.

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Red

2010 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Rhone Blend more

7/1/2015 - tp096255 Likes this wine: 95 points

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COLOR: Deep ruby-garnet, with ruby rim, translucent.
NOTE: PnP smells like Flintstone's Vitamins, no joke! But that's at about 50 degrees. As the wine warms up it loses the fake candy note and starts to show its bad self. I Coravin'd this into my Riedel Somm Burgundy glass since it was already in use and it's acting like a de-facto decanter, and a mighty good one at that. Gives me a good bead on the color and nose. With minimal time it's already filling the massive bowl with amazing red forest berry fruits, serious kirsch, garrigue, tar, and rosewood dust. I've never been a big fan of Clos de Papes reds, but this is shaping up to be something special.

I don't have enough time to let this evolve throughout an entire day (which it deserves), but I will tell you this: No heat anywhere. Nose is just plump and lush with deep mountain berry fruits, super-concentrated. All the same other elements mentioned earlier in this note are still present. Mouth is rich, round and opulent. It's like a liqueur of small wild mountain strawberries, mixed with some fine herbs, hints of cabin smoke. Delicious. The finish carries the same profile but does clamp down with a tannic bite, though it's lovely at 30+ seconds. This is an amazing CdP now and will just benefit from 2-5 years of aging. Give it a nice decant now and you won't be disappointed.

Put this thing with some grilled meats and watch out. It's good on its own but begs for some food to slice with its tannins.

DECANT: 0-3 hours
GLASS USED: Riedel Somm Burgundy (the big boy!)
TASTE: 9.5
COST: 95
VALUE: 8.9
TRY AGAIN: now-2025
CORAVIN'D: yes
PRE-POUR LEVEL: 100%
PAIRING: n/a
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  • Tasting notes: 987 notes on 830 wines

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