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

2011 Copain Pinot Noir "En Bas" Kiser

Anderson Valley more

2/4/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

The first 375 I opened had some TCA so dumped that one, grabbed another. This one is clean, drinking great. Opened about 2 hours ago, been sipping on it since at a perfect temp. With more of a chill, this drinks with all kinds of cool markers: dark flavors raspberry and apple, cherry pit, something loamy or maybe what is best described as mushroom and sour cherry finish. I bet that some tasters of this wine are not going to like the sour red and earthy note that is woven through the wine, and for me this is the beauty of the 2011 vintage making an imprint. As I think about my note from last year, and my comment about root beer, I don't find much of that here; instead, the earthier notes more prominent. Finally, as this gets to room temp (65f), it does fatten a little more but the flavors stay true. And with the Bas terroir, if finally lets off the zesty raspberry, and the rocky quality that makes both Bas and Haut so good. Lovely wine.

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Red

2011 Copain Pinot Noir "En Bas" Kiser

Anderson Valley more

2/4/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: flawed

From 375. Damn TCA. A mild case and if I am going to enjoy Kiser, I won't drink it at 80%. Down the drain, opened another 375, totally fine. Will post separate note.

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White

2008 Domaine Louis Michel Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux

Chardonnay more

2/2/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

This is the final bottle that I bought way back in 2010, and this one, along with the VV Butteaux, are iconic because they introduced me to Chablis and got me to open my mind to things other than CA. I last drank one of these in Sept 2011 so it has been a while. This has been open about 2 hours, has a light chill on it. When first opened, perhaps from being a bit cold, it showed fresh cut pineapple and slate. Now, the pear and green apple have come forward, the pineapple less evident, and some sea air aromatic and salinity in the finish. In total, this is a bit richer toned and less chiseled but the flavors are spot on and very Chablis-like. No fade in this at all, very nice. PS--there is sufficient acidity here, and I would edit by remark about lack of chisel. There is still good energy here.

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Red

2009 Copain Pinot Noir Wentzel Vineyard

Anderson Valley more

1/31/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened and got right to it, Burg stem and high 60's temp. Pours fairly dark. Smoky note frames up the aromatic. Suave texture, with the same smoky, gamy note in the palate. Plum, strawberry, dark flavors mainly, with some zesty raspberry helping to offset. This bottle shows better lift than the last one in 2015, with that one leading me to think I should have finished this one months ago. I waited, seems like it's fine. This is still squarely a bigger version of Copain, with the darker tones and plum not the usual marker for what I look for in these wines. The plusher texture still makes me think this one is ready to go. The smokey, gamey notes in this are what really still attract me and should this bottle change tomorrow, I'll update the note but I stand with the thought this is a wine it's time to get after and finish while all the pieces remain in check.

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Red

2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Old Vines

Russian River Valley more

1/30/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

My last bottle, drinking at 65f and it's cellar cool as I opened it about 30 mins ago. The aromatic has a fruit bowl character, like a blend of ripe fruit that lifts out of the glass. No heat, though. The core of this wine is pretty large, full of boysen and cherry fruit, with a syrup note. What I mean is that the ripeness of the fruit here gives the wine a berry flavor that comes off with a sweetness. And, there is some fuel in this wine, as I had a large bowl of chili with it and I can already feel the alc hitting my body with just a few ozs, even with the food. The finish shows a zip of acidity that buffers the fruit and keeps it fresh, some light chocolate, sweet earthy cherry, blackberry, a lot of flavor. I like the flavors but the alc I can feel and I won't be able to enjoy more than say a glass or so....Day 2, same tasting context. The alcohol is now present in the aromatic, joined with the fruit. It's got a bit more of the cherry syrup feeling and it's warm. This bottle isn't doing it for me, given it's fuel and richer edges and yet I know others will like it.

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Red

2012 Switchback Ridge Merlot Peterson Family Vineyard

Napa Valley more

1/29/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened from 375 and went right after it. Man, this bottle is so much better than the one from Halloween 2014 (which sounds like markcic's experience in his note--funny how we are identical on this point). Of course, that was 16 months ago but it tells an important truth that wine does change with time and in this instance, the wine went on a 180 from that last bottle. This smells and tastes like SR Merlot. Clovey nose from the new oak (and FWIW, no heat). The palate has a mix of dark chocolate and red cherry fruit, herb. The texture has a juicy quality. You know what, this is damn good, with a nice long finish. It has a measured decadence and it works.

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Red

2011 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot

Syrah more

1/29/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Decanted this about 4 hours before dinner and then served blind from bottle. Guesses at the table were CA syrah, in the Rhys vein, which I think is a great complement to the Rhys gang. This is dark, bigger boned but not out of balance. Little funk on the nose but overall I just could not get a feel for this too well. Wish I had more to taste today but we polished it off between the six of us. I won't rush to drink another, as it's got plenty of stuffing to go for some time.

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Red

2012 Copain Pinot Noir "En Bas" Kiser

Anderson Valley more

1/29/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Poured blind, side by side with the 2012 Kiser En Haut. Served at ideal temp, burg stem. No decant, opened about 4 hours before serving. Is more approachable than the En Haut, and like En Bas should be, it has the zesty core that I love. Raspberry, red apple and great depth. In 2012, the two Kiser wines are close in quality and the core texture of each wine is true to form. Good acidity here, no rush and it oughta age well.

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Red

2012 Copain Pinot Noir "En Haut" Kiser

Anderson Valley more

1/29/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Poured blind, side by side with the 2012 Kiser En Bas. Served at ideal temp, burg stem. No decant, opened about 4 hours before serving. Floral, violet aromatic. Blueberry skin, red apple and dark raspberry. And, true to the upper slope, this shows more tension than the En Bas, with more coil and rocky notes in the finish. Really good En Haut.

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White

2008 Bouchard Père et Fils Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières

Chardonnay more

1/29/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Just over three years since the last bottle and there is no sign of pre-mox here. Clean, pure. Floral, flint, green apple. As it warms, seemed to get some pear flavor, too. The balance on this was excellent.

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White - Off-dry

2008 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Tuffeaux

Chenin Blanc more

1/29/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Four years since my last bottle. Started off a little tropical in tone, with some viscosity. Peach and honey, yet solid acidity to cut the demi-edges. The balance on this was great, the table seemed to really enjoy it. I have one bottle left, I don't see any rush to open the last one.

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White - Sparkling

2006 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne

Chardonnay more

1/29/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

First bottle I have tried. Zesty, with a cool richness. Lemon peel and apple, hint of pie crust. Plenty of richness here, lemon oil and very well balanced.

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Red

1975 Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandel Old Vine

Sonoma County more

1/29/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Being curious, I picked this up on Wine Bid over this past summer for about $20. Poured blind next to a blinded 2011 Allemand Chaillot. One comment at the table was "these two wines are on each end of the pole", another was that this was older Bordeaux. Love blind tasting! The aromatics on this were varied, with a few at the table saying band aid, which was more like dusty old wine smell to me! I was more of the dissenter I think on the wine, as I kind of liked it for the old character it reflected and it even showed some fruit and life. Fun to drink something 40 years old.

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Red

2012 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block

Russian River Valley more

1/23/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened about 1/2 hour ago. Enjoying at room temp (67f), no decant, no food. Few things to note out of the chute. The aromatics...all over the place. Little volatile, smoky, bloody. The palate....just above medium weight, showing some vanilla, pure berry flavor and a gamey/tarry note. Decided to decant, as the wine just seemed to be asking for some help. With more air, the aromatic begins to get some white flower going and the gamey note that I found in the palate, that note shows up here as a whiff of bbq meat. The same air starts to energize the palate too, adding some weight. I returned the wine to bottle and am taking to dinner where it will get finished....over dinner, which was about 3 hours after opening and the decant, this unfolded nicely. Flowers, mainly dried purple (potpourri) and spice for aromatics and the palate picked up dark fruit, with a plush texture, tarry and riper toned. The acidity is moderate so I think this is a mid-term ager, a Papa's for the next 3-4 years.

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Red

2013 Wind Gap Wines Syrah Armagh Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

1/21/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

My last look at the 2013 WGs. Of all so far, this start out the tightest, and interestingly, the highest ABV at 12.9%. If aligned to the ABV, the color shows darkest of them all, too. It's not opaque or anything crazy but purplish maroon. Texturally, this has the most weight of all the 2013s and the most tang. The fruit is a mix of cherry and blueberry. I'm doing just a glass + 1/2 tonight and this just doesn't feel ready to open and enjoy so I'll continue over a couple days through this note....Day 2, same conditions as yesterday (to be joined with food shortly). Aromatically, this is solid with flower, tar and a savory spice. The core of the wine is burly, round and blue fruited juicy with brine and olive. Of all the Wind Gap I have tried the past few years, this is the most in need of time, to let this come together, and my hope is that it will. It's not a matter of tannin but of pulling the parts all together.

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Red

2009 Nickel & Nickel Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyard

Russian River Valley more

1/18/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Dark raspbberry, kind of inky too, with a pretty good wollop of tannin (not sure how much air this saw) and drank pretty much even and down the middle. Would say this is ready to drink now.

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Red

2008 Novy Family Wines Syrah Susan's Hill Vineyard

Santa Lucia Highlands more

1/18/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

This bottle surprised me, as it's been a long standing favorite of mine without a doubt. When it was served to me, it came across ripe and big fruited in the aromatic. It was also quite cold too. When I then tasted it, I made the comment that the palate was better than the aromatic, finding lots of dark berry, iron and a bit of a roasted fruit flavor. As it warmed up, something good happened to it, as the whole cluster and aromatics that are indicative of the 2008 started to come out--the dried purple flower and rosemary. Then some olive in the wine, garrigue. Seeing it transform, I took home the last glass, which I will have tonight and close out this note...retasting before dinner, fresh palate. Really dark colored, which I missed last night in my note. I do get the ripeness tonight, call it flamboyance. A generous, dark berried swath of fruit that hits the palate, with some shadings of the whole cluster and fading structure. This has been open 3 days now and as the last glass warmed and came to room temp (around 66f), the wine lost the structure and was mainly just fruit. I will drink my remaining bottle this year and enjoy the wine will it is still fresh.

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White

2013 La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

more

1/18/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Have not drank any of this wine in some time. Initially, I liked this when it was pretty cold in the glass. It did reflect a good amount of toasted wood aromatic, and although while strong, I kept going to get the rest of what was there. In the glass, again cold, it showed a surprising amount of green apple acidity and the same toast, without the weight of the modern chard style. However, as it warmed up and hit an ideal serving temp (for me), the acidity and ripeness turn too much into a 7-UP taste for me. Not for me.

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White

2012 Vins d'Orrance Chenin Blanc Kama

Stellenbosch more

1/18/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

No history with this producer. This drank on the leaner side of things, with bit of green tropical, lime, citrus and zingy peach. Finished clean and refreshing.

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Red

2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch

Russian River Valley more

1/17/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened an hour ago, serving at room temp of 67f, without food and for context, this followed the 2013 Carlisle Compagni Portis so my palate has been plugged into the citrus acidity and stone fruit flavors from that wine. On first whiff, something high-toned here, liked a spiced red berry, without any booze or oak to muddy it up. The palate shows a juicy berry, with some tannic energy that dries out the finish (and I say this as complement, not a negative, as it is this structure and tension that gives the wine some contour, some edge). As it lingers, it has a cool cedar-like red cherry and berry note, again an energy. As it finishes, there is lots of zip in the wine, with the acidity really playing a main role and the fruit continues to stay in check. Let me also say, I do not find much black fruit here, as this is pure red fruited (at least with the air it has seen so far and my clean palate)--raspberry, cherry, maybe some light blackberry. if this can hold up with a few more hours of air, stay this way and not get darker, I'm going to feel real good about Papera in 2013 being a lot like the 2011, a standout....ps, this got finished over dinner and got a lot of praise for the way it tasted. It did fatten up a bit more with air yet it kept the cool fruit attributes together. Real good.

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White

2013 Carlisle Compagni Portis

Sonoma Valley White Blend more

1/17/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened this about an hour ago. Tasting (for now) without food, clean palate. First one of two bought from last year's direct shipment. Has a spicy, floral aromatic that I could associate with Gewurz and then some glossy fruit of peach flesh, lime, orange and apricot. All of this framed well by fresh lemony acidity that helps the wine finish long. At this stage, this is really about summer citrus and stone fruit with a bright acidity and a medium body wine. Not more to say other than delicious, drinking well now and zing to keep carrying it.

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White

2010 Copain Chardonnay Brosseau Vineyard

Chalone more

1/16/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Opened and immediately tasted. Had a cold all week so this is the first glass of wine I've had, so fresh palate and without food. Can't say my beak is fully recovered from the cold but it's clear and I do smell what seems like an aged chard quality, along with the Brosseau powdered chalk. The palate is glossy, polished, with light tangerine, lime zest, honeyed edges (like say good chenin) and a mix of yellow and green apple in the finish. I've found this vintage of Brosseau to be bigger and less chiseled and this bottle stays that direction. Finishes with some fennel...retasted 90 mins later, some sea breeze now in the aromatic. Yellow apple, light mineral, a drizzle of tonic water and lemon peel with the same, moderately glossy texture. This is in a cool place now, I'd say the best bottle yet since release, as it's got some edges to it, character. I have one bottle left, I am going to let it sit for another 2 years and then I'd say based on everything I find today that this additional age should put this in a great place.

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Red

2013 Wind Gap Wines Syrah Majik Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

1/10/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

First one of three, and with nothing yet TN'd here, I'm the first brave soul. The ABV # on this is listed on the bottle at 11.4%. This intrigues me, and while I have grown accustomed (since the 2006 vintage when Wind Gap was launched) to their low ABV wines, this to my memory is the lowest of anything Pax has crafted. FWIW, this vineyard is super close to Falstaff (think Kutch), and there are flavor similarities in this wine to Pinot Noir, where more gentle Syrah can cross into the same flavor spectrum. I opened this about an hour ago, just poured off a small taste to start this note, serving at room temp of 66f. Initial aromatics reflect cool climate, as I'd expect: pepper, spice, some stem (I know this is made with neutral wood and 100% whole cluster). Soft red cherry, almost like a hard candy impression, and some gentle acidity. Surprisingly, I had thought the wine might reflect a more rugged side but it's really quite gentle. Little tang in the finish, along with the red fruit. As a 'what does it remind me of' rmarker, think Copain Baker Ranch, with similar styling and weight. Interested to see if this adds some weight or cool climate notes overnight...Day 2, this is fleshed out pretty well. For one, it has tightened down and some tannin has come through. The fruit is a bit more juicy and the hard candy note is now seasoned up well by some whole cluster and minerality. I find it more savory (think olive) with a good dollop of the same red cherry and strawberry fruit from y/day. For a consume now approach, it drank better y/day and for an aging approach, today's flavors show it has some structure once it sits with some air. I still feel like this shares some of the road with pinot noir, like say the Copain Baker Ranch, showing delicate fruit flavors and for sure nothing black. Finally, as to the low ABV #, do not let that fool you into thinking this will taste weird or unusual. It is neither of these and to me it drinks great.

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Red

2013 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

more

1/10/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

Open and immediately poured a taste. Pure aromatic, no stem or whole cluster to speak of (yet I know the wine contains 100% whole cluster), with light crushed rock, spice and strawberry. Just delicious right out of the chute with pure and vibrant red cherry, blueberry and strawberry and a brushing of whole cluster. Really quite approachable with no air. Finishes with light minerality.

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Red

2007 Copain Pinot Noir "En Haut" Kiser

Anderson Valley more

1/9/2016 - Frank Murray III wrote: NR

4 months since the last bottle. I felt like that bottle was showing some age, with the riper tones of the vintage overtaking the structure that while previous years was present, was starting to fade in this last bottle. And with pjhr's recent note and his comments, I wanted to check in again. This bottle was flying solo, no other wine to compete with tonight. Opened about 30 mins ago, I got right to it. Floral and some riper-tinged fruit, and as pjhr mentioned, I too find a shading of raisin. The core of the wine drinks fairly saturated, with a mix of blackberry and raspberry, showing some nice finishing astringence, which surprised me given the absence of it in the last bottle we had.....later with dinner, and the wine around room temp (68f), it showed to me better than the bottle this past summer. Not as 'aged' as that one, but continued to exhibit the riper vintage qualities with light structure. I still believe this bottle is ready to go, unless you want to age your CA PN and see where it heads. Personally, in a more forward vintage like this one, and given the progression of this wine (as opposed to the 2007 En Bas, which to me is aging much better), I would drink this 2007 En Haut over the next 1-2 years.

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