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

2010 Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay Mount Carmel

Sta. Rita Hills more

5/25/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

This bottle is my last in the cellar. Opened yesterday, having another glass today. As to the previous two bottles which I enjoyed, this final bottle seems different, more distinct and lively, seeming to take on some better character and delineation, almost a wet stone texture as part of the finish. Getting the same lively green apple and mandarin orange and some residual oak that still peeks out within the wine, yet overall, this just drinks better to me. It seems have settled in and taken on a full character. Would like to check in on this wine in a few more years but I'll have to leave that to someone else.

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Red

2012 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

5/23/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Been a while since I opened up regular Summa. Opened yesterday, this has enjoyed a day of air and it's worth noting here that when first opened, the wine was a bit hollow and didn't have much of a finish but with air last night, by middle of dinner it had come around and it does fine so today, too. When cooler, it reminds me a lot of cranberry and then as it warms, it shows pomegranate, classic RM orange rind/citrus, with the finish filling in with spice and cherry hard candy note, and a distinct tartness. Very interesting showing for what I would expect to be a riper vintage and resulting volume but this is kind of coiled, exhibiting some youth. It's got the RM touch here but it's gonna show young, at least it does for me.

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Red

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch

Russian River Valley more

5/22/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

This drank better than the last bottle I had in January. I didn't get the heat signature of that bottle and it was certainly a preferred bottle last night on the table, as it was the first to get drained of the 4-5 we had out.

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Red

2013 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard

Santa Maria Valley more

5/22/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

I have drank this bottling from years ago, but it's been some time since I have seen a bottle of it open. I poured the wine, seemed pretty dark. Swirled it, smelled a lot like new oak, cinnamon and such. The palate? All about heavy fruit, and to me, reflecting very little delineation. It reminded me of a barrel sample. Lacked acidity that could help give it some lift. I guess we could argue that this is a 2013, a young wine that very well could be in a state that it's not ready to show what it's made of. That argument fails though when I think of the various 2013s I have had thus far, with lighter color, reflecting balance, acidity and much lighter frames. One thing is for sure, the Caymus people know their audience and this style of pinot noir, while no longer mine, does work for many, and some pro critics. Listed at 14.7% on the label, and I do personally believe that pinot that is allowed to grow this big, it really affects what's in the bottle, the subtlety and nuance that pinot can so beautifully deliver. Didn't care for this wine, but I know others very much do (as evidenced by the nearly 450 CT users of this wine), including a few at my table last night.

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Red

2007 Gamble Family Vineyards Syrah Old Vine

St. Helena more

5/22/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Enjoyed this bottle. It reflects a funky, smoky, old world kind of nose. Not bretty but kind a rustic, leather aroma. The fruit lies in the red spectrum, mainly cherry and medium plus body texture. Shows some newer world fruit but the quality of it and the acid it carries made for a solid glass of wine, the best bottle on the table last night, too.

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Red

2011 August West Syrah Rosella's Vineyard

Santa Lucia Highlands more

5/19/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

I had this a few weeks ago as part of the dinner we did for Ed Kurtzman. It came late in the evening after several wines ahead of it so I figured with my extra bottle, I would revisit the wine singly, with dinner tonight and over the next night or so, too. Opened this about 90 mins ago, it's been airing well in a big stem so plenty of air. Man, this is dark, as good Rosella's should be. Aromatically, black pepper and dark fruit, actually pretty robust for a 2011. The palate shows good density, with char, steak sauce, blue and black fruit and some of that whole cluster sage-like herb. Finishes juicy, tangy and showing the same rosemary and herb-like note. Been a while since I sat with an AW Rosella's syrah and this is pretty spot on. I know with Ed's version that I will get color, cluster and no oak. Not sure if air overnight will affect this wine as it seems pretty fleshed out but we shall see....yep, fleshed out nicely with the extra day. Plush, solid weight, fills the entire palate and finishes with a big blast of black cherry and blackberry fruit. The ripeness on this is perfect. Will age longer I am sure. Well done, Ed.

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Red

2004 Copain Syrah James Berry Vineyard

Paso Robles more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened from mag in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 65f. Man, the cork on this mag just 'sploded and crumbled it was so dry. Not a pleasant way to get this going. Listed ABV of 14.6%, can't see the winery ever making something this big again, which I appreciate. This exhibits right from the chute a light raisin quality, with some encouraging structure. It's got black fruit, but also some red to keep it contrasted. Aromatically, there isn't any heat here that I can find, and instead, just a touch of 2ndary notes that help suggest some age. Charcoal and tar frame the fruit, which also has some inflection of age too. Not sure how another 8 hours of air will treat this wine but we'll see over dinner later....over dinner, this seemed to strike a note with several at the table, all who had varying palate preferences. Whether it was the fruit from the bigger year (and I found no heat) or the cigar box/spice notes from the accumulating bottle age, it was unique and delicious. Wells reminded me when we were discussing it over dinner that he made this wine 100% whole cluster. Such a unique perspective on older Copain syrah, and James Berry to boot. My last one, goodbye old friend!

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Red

2010 Copain Syrah Brosseau Vineyard

Chalone more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened from mag in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 64f. Listed ABV is 13.0%. Eager to try this and get it some air too, as I know in its history it can be a beast from right bottle. Poured next to the 12 Baker Ranch, which is a different animal in color, as this Brosseau is several shades darker. This is indeed tight, with lots of red and blue fruit coiled up, along with charcoal and some rock. The blue fruit is laying underneath the structure, the acidity, for sure. The air this will need over the next 8 hours for dinner is going to be a big help.

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Red

2012 Copain Syrah Baker Ranch

Anderson Valley more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 66f. Listed at 12.4%, which I find unique given the ripeness potential that the 12 vintage permitted. Boy, right from bottle, this shows its structure and grip. Tannic. Aromatics show the lift of potpourri and graphite. This Baker shows the elegant style of the new era Copain syrahs, reminding me stylistically of the 10 vintage, where there is plenty of fresh fruit and then the finish allows for the game and meatier notes to fill in. Like the 10, the berry freshness and moderate color to allow the wine to be heavy. For me, what I believe is the real essence of the new era Copain syrahs is the ability to get lots of freshness at low ABV. Beautiful in the new Copain style.

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Red

2012 Copain Pinot Noir "En Bas" Kiser

Anderson Valley more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened from mag in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 66f. Poured next to the 12 Haut, with the Bas exhibiting just a bit darker color. The alcs are nearly identical at 13.3% FWIW. Man, this is juicy and zesty, which I did not find in the 12 Haut. Blueberry and raspberry just working together, ending in a zesty finish. Funny, if you blinded me on this wine, I'd guess 11 vintage, as I find this zesty quality to be unique to that vintage. What is clear here for me right now is that there is more present acidity in the Bas at this stage as compared to the Haut. The aromatics on the Bas here are more present, obvious than the Haut--more floral and brighter. My sense is this Bas is going to be the richer, more obvious and attention getting of the two wines but we'll see how air treats them both and re-taste later at dinner. For now, really good, really zesty and alive....wow. The extra air really brought the wine together, and it showed a smoother balance of black and red fruit when we poured it at dinner. Just classy and complete.

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Red

2012 Copain Pinot Noir "En Haut" Kiser

Anderson Valley more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened from mag in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 66f. Tasted next to the 12 En Bas for context. Both wines have nearly identical alcs of 13.3% (Haut is 13.2%). The Haut pours just a tad lighter color too, which is one data point for difference. The 12 Haut Reminds me of the 12 Wendling, showing plenty of dark, zesty fruit--apple, raspberry and some blueberry, too. Real good depth here, a brooding type of core that carries into the finish. Has the Haut underpinning of mineral structure, holding all the intensity of the wine together. Haut for me is often like the old phrase, iron fist/velvet glove. Feels like that here. Serving later so will give this bugger another 8 hours to soften and emerge....at dinner, this seemed to outclass just a hair the 12 En Bas. Hell, that wine is damn good but what you get with En Haut is more blue and red tones, and both a balance and awesome core, much like what great En Haut will do when it is on. For 12 Kiser, it's going to come down to what you want in the fruit. But man, this En Haut is such great stuff, like a rally to the iconic 07 that is still aging and getting better.

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Red

2013 Copain Pinot Noir Wendling Vineyard

Anderson Valley more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened from mag in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 66f. Tasted next to the 12 as well, so there is that added context here. The alcs on both wines are close for 12 and 13, with 13.6% and 13.3%, respectively. Immediately, I can tell a difference between the 12 and 13. The 12 is more sauvage, maybe more intense while the 13 is more polished, showing traits of barrel sample, with a touch of French oak showing and mainly just fruit. In this 13, the fruit is more pure red, with strawberry jam and red apple, showing different from the darker red tones of the 12. I don't get the game or herb notes of the 12 either, basically the depth or complexity the 12 is showing. Still about 8 hours before we serve this so back in with the cork and let's see how it does later.

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Red

2012 Copain Pinot Noir Wendling Vineyard

Anderson Valley more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened early in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 66f. Beautiful right out of bottle. Shows a dark tone of raspberry, dark apple, with a truffle tone in the finish. Think of red berries with a brushing of light smoke, herb and game, sitting in a mineral finish. Just so good, and this is again right out of the bottle with no air. Will pour later with dinner so letting some slow ox air do its thing........go, this is so good, it hurts. Truffle, dark fruit, powdered rock aroma. Intense, some zesty tones and such a standout on the table. When I was tasting through this at dinner, it just struck me how lights out good this wine is, and what is remarkable is that this was the first vintage the winery bottled. I can only imagine how much a player this is going to be against both Kiser and Bearwallow as the future unfolds. Wow, WOTY candidate, for sure.

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White

2013 Copain Chardonnay Laureles Grade

Carmel Valley more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened from mag in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 66f. Tasted next to the 12, FWIW. I find that wine spicier, a bit creamier and so I wonder if the extra point of ABV on the 12 (13.5%) informs how that wine shows. This 13 is far more chiseled, showing more lemon, and not the lime skin I found in the 12. The acidity on this 13 is more square and dominant, joining zesty green apple and a big finish of energy. The 12 seems more opulent in this early look, whereas this 13 is like a laser beam of energy. Will re-taste over dinner, about 9 hours from now and lets see what some ox does to it.....at dinner, this stayed pretty true to the tasting profile I had captured in my note earlier in the day. I don't mind the 13 at this stage, but it doesn't have the overall complete profile that the 12 shows right now. Hell, the 13 isn't even released yet so when the wine is released later this year, we can see again how it is progressing forward. In total, I do think the 13 will be vintage reflective and show a more Chablis-like profile versus the higher opulence shown by the 12.

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White

2012 Copain Chardonnay Laureles Grade

Carmel Valley more

5/16/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Copain Dinner With Wells Guthrie In The OC (The Loft @ Montage, Laguna Beach CA): Opened from mag in prep for dinner this evening, poured at room temp of 66f. Tasted next to the 13, and FWIW, the alc on this 12 is listed just over a point higher than the 13 (13.5% vs 12.4%, respectively). This 12 is more creamy, spicier. Apple, mandarin orange, zesty and spicy lime skin. Really long finish....over dinner, showed the flash, creaminess and overall profile that seemed to hit the target with many at the tables where I was seated. For sue next to the 13, the 12 is far better put together and ultimately we will see if the 13 passes it with more age but right now, the 12 seems king.

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Red

2013 Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County

more

5/14/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

How Mike can keep cranking out this stuff for $20 is plain sick. I pulled the cork on this an hour ago and poured about 8 ozs to a stem, my glass for the night. Been sipping it down and it really shows so good. Flush with dark, plush berry, creosote, herb, char and light olive. Leans a bit to decadence, then the influence of the rustic part of the wine helps counter. Year after year he makes this stuff, like a magician. Finishes with some charred cherry, a bit of acidity and youth. Plenty for the next 2 days so we'll have a go at some slow ox and see what it do....Day 2, basically room temp, about 68f. Very similar to y/day, although the berry is mainly purple/black with a shading of red, so a nod more to the fresh dark, cobbler-like berry. A few people have commented in their notes about oak and alcohol. I really don't care for either of these in the wines I buy and drink these days, and I don't see these at work here. Yes, this is more CA new world styled with the fresh berry and opulent edges, but that tar/creosote note keeps it all together, and there is plenty of tarry tang in the finish. This bottle reminds me of how solid this represents QPR, at the pricing and style it offers. Like with the Rivers-Marie SC PN, show me a CA syrah any better for $20 than this one, year in and out. Next year, I will make the point to buy 6 of these and lock it in. Wonderful stuff.

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Red

NV Matthiasson Cabernet Sauvignon Quake Cuvee

Napa Valley more

5/13/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

First of 2 bottles. Pulled the cork on this maybe 30 mins ago, eager to taste and post an impression. For crying out-loud, it tastes like Cab, like something rather than mocha, wood and ripe fruit, which is personally how I view and experience most modern Napa cab these days. In fairness, what wood tones do show here come through a bit of oak lift in the aromatic, but it's a nice aroma signature. As to fruit ripeness, well any concern about this being over-ripe, I don't see any of that here. Even being the '12 vintage and wines that could allow/present the opportunity to get opulent or be taken that direction, this is not that way. The core of the fruit shows cherry, plum, acidity and some fresh, rustic-edged tannin. There is some youthful shading of fruit and what might be some new wood but it's pretty well-managed compared to the wines so prized by the pro critics and chased by many. I really appreciate that Steve and Jill can make a wine that is reigned in, and most importantly amidst their own personal impacts as felt through the Napa quake that they can use a wine like this to completely donate the proceeds back to quake relief. Great wine from classy people.

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Red

2010 Rhys Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard

Santa Cruz Mountains more

5/11/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Over 2 years since I had this at the winery and my TN then is pretty close to what I find in the bottle tonight after an hour of air. The aromatic is pumped up with black pepper, menthol and floral tones and cooked meat. The palate flashes up the same pepper, with steak sauce, campfire, rosemary and blueberry fruit. There is great acidity here that refreshes the finish. This style is really focused and reminds me a lot of Wind Gap, the core of those wines so if you like that style, this is going to fit well....add another day, just a bit softer and more plush with the fruit darkening to a more red/black mix than the blue of yesterday. Just love all the cool herbal notes, the pepper and steak sauce element. Plenty of grip still lives in the wine, so no rush to drink these if you have them.

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Red

2012 Copain Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard

Yorkville Highlands more

5/8/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Been drinking this bottling for a lot of vintages now, and I have watched the wine's expression evolve over time. The wines are not as dark and brooding as Wells used to make them, say the 06. So as I think about this 12, which I opened about 30 mins ago, it's what I'd say is an elegant, polished form of CA syrah. What I find right from get-go is moderate color, so say in between something that you can see through, with red and purple tones. Aromatically, has an essence of purple flowers, light potpourri and fresh berry, sans any real whole cluster signature that would be akin to say the older vintages. Not sure how much w/c is in this vintage but it can't be a lot. The fruit is pure, a gentle but bright mix of red cherry, blueberry and cranberry. Juicy and gentle, there is some game here and some decent back end structure. Like many of the new era Copain syrahs, this is in terrific balance with zero wood or alcohol intruding in the expression. Finishes with some cran and raz acidity. More to come as air I am sure will add some other things....a day later, the wine shows the benefit of aeration. While it maintains the flower qualities of y/day, it's filled out in the middle, adding some plumper features, light olive and even some bacon fat and smoke in the aromatic. Some added structure of tar and mineral in the finish too, where the acidity remains bright, in place. I'd call this medium weight, as it doesn't have possess any of the dark fruited and glycerine that would render it full bodied. Damn good. As to drink window, approachable now and will go for a while, another 5-7 years I'd guess.

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White

2010 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Clos du Breuil

Chenin Blanc more

5/7/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

This showed pretty well, although it didn't have the level of precision that I was expecting. As it warmed up and aired out, it did improve for me but it didn't hit the heights I was hoping for. Peach, lime mango and a brushing of finishing acidity. I got 2 left, have to think about what I want for drink windows on the remaining bottles. Ps.....showed improvement on day 2, as it picked up energy and thr acidity is better present. Very good today.

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White - Sparkling

NV Jacquesson & Fils Champagne Cuvée No. 736

Champagne Blend more

5/7/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

When I bought these several months ago, I should have read my own TN from last summer and bought more than I did. I say this because the bottle we opened last night, man was it good. Loaded with cut, showing lemon and zesty, lean flavors. Crisp. Bread dough in the finish and just a refreshing, spot on style that I really enjoy these days. Lights out good.

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White

2010 Domaine Louis Michel Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos

Chardonnay more

5/7/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Well, a bit disappointed here. This is the first bottle I have opened since purchase, which was a couple 750s and a mag. I found the wine to be a bit flat and duller than I was expecting. There are nuances of marine here, some light salinity too in the finish, and some lemon but the energy seems lacking. I guess I am looking for it to connect with me more, to be say more like the 08, but I have to see the wine as a 10, and maybe it's just going to be a gentler version of Michel Clos.

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Red

2007 Carlisle Carignane Papera Ranch

Russian River Valley more

5/7/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Given the vintage, I expected this may have some bigger tones, and it did mainly in the aromatics. It's got a bit of that cologne/soapy aromatic that I associate to wines that exude higher ABV. A bit of that was here. What I found cool with this bottle, however, is that when I paired it up with food, it for me transformed. The red fruit, the cracked spice and the remaining acidity went great with the spinach salad we had, which may sound odd. It was dressed with a poppy seed dressing, raspberry and strawberry. And, I found the wine still very youthful, in that the finish reflected some real structure. Not much of this was made but for whomever may still own these, my advice would be to decant, recognize there is some size here but this went well with dinner and I enjoyed it.

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Red

1999 Domaine Michel Gaunoux Beaune

Pinot Noir more

5/7/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

As good as the bottle 18 months ago, and for a wine now that has passed its 15th birthday, it remains as fresh as something 10 years younger. Floral, with cherry fruit and no browning of color or any aged notes, it's just cruising right along being a great drink. At $40, it remains such a steal for me.

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Red

2006 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard

Syrah more

5/7/2015 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Decanted to and from bottle one time, then took to dinner and served from decanter. so all in, about 5 hours of air time. It also showed a bit more density than I was expecting, which was a lighter frame. What's here is classy, though, a mix of pepper, spice, game and tangy black cherry fruit. I still think is too young to really show what is here, or it needs far more decant time than I to let it be respected properly. One thing more. Opening these bottles has to occur so we can all have some baseline and aggregate discussion about potential and readiness. Some who say we need to buy and then put bottles away for long periods of years, I don't agree with that approach as a general rule. In service of my perspective, it was good to get this wine open, and on a weekday night with close friends, have some Allemand that has a pretty good life still ahead of it.

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  • Tasting notes: 3,772 notes on 2,372 wines

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