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

2012 Navarro Vineyards Chardonnay Table Wine

North Coast more

2/6/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 85 points

Consumed over ~2 hours with pan-roasted chicken. Down-the-middle chardonnay - apple, a little pineapple, a little oak astringency, and a decent hit of lemon acidity. Despite that, it did come off as somewhat flat and heavy, especially as it warmed up. Nothing special, but a nice enough match for dinner. Drink soon, and keep it chilled. 85ish.

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Red

2012 J.L. Chave Sélection Côtes du Rhône Mon Coeur

Red Rhone Blend more

2/7/2016 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Poured out early but not decanted, consumed over ~2 hours. This bottle was slightly marked by VA...still quite drinkable, but showing less depth and savory nuance than the previous two. Wouldn't stop me from purchasing more, if that says anything.

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Red

2011 Navarro Vineyards Zinfandel

Mendocino more

2/5/2016 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. Dark red in the glass, maybe just a hint of bricking. Dark berry/cherry notes and a little bit of char/cocoa on the nose. On the palate, similar notes with moderate structure, showing rich (but not candied) dark fruit and a little oak, leaving a finish reminiscent of blackberry pie. Maybe a bit anonymous and not as spicy/brambly as the zins I most prefer, but this was pretty good overall.

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White - Sweet/Dessert

2010 Château Raymond-Lafon

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend more

1/30/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 89 points

1 small pour from 375 consumed over ~1/2 hour. Consistent with 12/27/2015 note - a solid, simple sauternes for relatively near-term drinking. A great basic introduction to the style. 88-89ish.

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Red

2009 García Carrión Rioja Reserva Antaño

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

1/30/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 84 points

Not decanted, consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. I found this similar to the bottle described in my 8/16/2015 note, although with the fruit generally drying out and the palate being more marked by oak and non-fruit flavors. Not terrible at $8 if you're okay with oak and non-fruit flavors, but it does seem to be steadily losing its charm.

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Red

2011 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Les Garrigues

Red Rhone Blend more

1/24/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 88 points

Not decanted, consumed over ~2 hours. Somewhat consistent with my 1/3/2016 note, although this time my main impression of the fruit was intense wild strawberry rather than cherry, and the spice notes notes on the end were distinctly anise and dark chocolate. While certainly enjoyable, it left an unusual impression I don't quite know how to describe - perhaps it's best to just say that I sensed an unfilled gap between the bright and dark notes in this bottle. I'd still call it 88-89ish, I think.

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Red

2013 William Hill Winery Pinot Noir

Central Coast more

1/23/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 85 points

Simple baseline pinot, ripe but not overripe or sweet, just lots of red fruit and enough acid to get by. Satisfying but not remarkable in any way. 84-85ish.

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White

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Chardonnay Edna Valley

more

1/23/2016 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Consumed at cellar temp at a restaurant with some very nice pesto & sausage pizza. More lively than the last one, still showing lots of lemon and a bit of cream but with more zing to it. Simple, solid chard, significantly more enjoyable than the last bottle.

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Red

2004 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Bosconia

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

1/22/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 91 points

Not decanted, consumed over ~2 hours with mild homemade Mexican food. I love the style on this - aromatic but lean, earthy, shot through with acid and dried cherries and leather and spices...yum. Not everyone's cup of tea, maybe, but it certainly is for me. 91, maybe higher if it decides to unfurl a little bit.

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Red

2013 Minassian-Young Beyond the Pale

Paso Robles Red Blend more

1/17/2016 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, tasted over ~1/2 hour after using a little for cooking. Slightly spicy, but this is mostly about maraschino cherry fruit, with a noticeable hit of RS. There's a little bit of acid, but very little tannin showing. Too sweet for me.

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Red

2013 Opolo Zinfandel Mountain Zinfandel

Paso Robles more

1/15/2016 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Opened for a small party - not decanted, one small glass consumed over ~20 minutes. Big, dense, dark, sparks of acid & alcohol with each sip. Mostly ripe black cherry fruit and maybe a bit of pepper, but thankfully, not syrupy sweet like the last Opolo I tasted (a few years ago). Just slightly corked...little enough that I don't think anyone else noticed. Not my style of wine, but I could certainly see some of my friends eating this up.

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Red

2012 Château du Hureau Saumur-Champigny Tuffe

Cabernet Franc more

1/14/2016 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. Similar to our bottle from 12/21/2015, although more loam/soil than leaves or brush showing in this bottle. Most of this one was consumed without food this time, and the acidity stuck out more, making this a bit less enjoyable, although it had mellowed out some by the end. Still a solid CF at $15-16.

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Red

2011 Quinta de Foz de Arouce Vinho Regional Beiras Tinto

Baga more

1/10/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 89 points

Not decanted, consumed over 2 1/2 hours. Dark and rich but also poised and delicious, in its way. A welcome acidity lifts the palate, keeping notes of blackberry/black currant and baking chocolate from becoming too brooding. I like this and am glad I took a chance on it...might have to pick up some more. 89ish, and I don't have experience with the baga grape, but I expect this will drink well for at least the next 2-3 years.

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White

2013 La Ferme Julien (Perrin & Fils) Blanc

France White Rhone Blend more

1/9/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 83 points

Consumed in small pours over multiple days. This is a perfectly acceptable, unassuming white Rhone which fulfills its role at $5 without any pretense. Stone fruit, a little something floral, enough acid to get by. 83ish, maybe even a tick better than that tonight.

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White - Sparkling

NV Les Caves du Sieur d'Arques Crémant de Limoux Toques et Clochers

Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay more

1/8/2016 - bretrooks wrote: NR

I should say this up front: my wife and I are not regular bubbly drinkers. For us, the good ones are too expensive, and the affordable ones are generally unexciting. That said, this is one that we enjoy and certainly find worth the $10/bottle. Bestdamncab describes this well - it's good clean fun in a bottle, a nice simple starter wine showing tart apple, citrus, white flowers, mineral, just a slight hint of off-dryness.

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Red

2014 Domaine Faury Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes

more

1/7/2016 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, a few sips consumed over 1/2 hour. The nose seems to be generally in line with what I'd expect from a young Rhone Syrah (dark berries, earth, floral hints), but I'd agree with cj802 that there's something of a Beaujolais character here - underripe blackberries, some fresh metallic acidity, a hint of smoke or rubber (reduction?). Not really pleasant to us out of the gate. My wife thought it was flawed, but I'm not sure and will be curious to test the remainder of the bottle after a day on the counter.

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Red

2011 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Les Garrigues

Red Rhone Blend more

1/3/2016 - bretrooks wrote: 89 points

Not decanted, consumed over ~2 1/2 hours. A big, dense red that manages to carry its 15.5% abv fairly well. Medium translucent but blackish red in the glass with a slight hint of brown I wasn't expecting. Black cherries and a whiff of vanilla and/or chamomile on the nose. Rich, dark red fruit sits heavy on the palate, with lowish levels of tart acid and papery tannin. A slightly astringent note of something like cinnamon or anise appears alongside the fruit, coming through more clearly on the finish.

Closer to CdP than CdR in perceived quality, and I wouldn't mind trying another vintage, but I'm still not inspired to pick up more of this than I already have. 88-89ish, and we'll probably finish ours within the next year (if not this winter).

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Red

2013 KivelStadt Cellars Carignane Olde Wyve's Tale Cooley Ranch

Alexander Valley more

12/29/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 90 points

Not decanted, consumed over ~2 1/2 hours. A beautifully lean and lively red with a metallic/mineral edge and cranberry/tart cherry fruit prominent versus background notes of herbs or brush and baking spices. Pretty translucent in the glass, but I can imagine this aging gracefully for some years. Very well done and one I'd rebuy at $20. 90+

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Red

2004 Calabretta Nerello Mascalese Sicilia Vigne Vecchie

more

12/28/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 91 points

Opened at a restaurant while celebrating with friends. We've opened two of these from the updated Vigne Vecchie bottling, and both have been in line with the bottles of Etna Rosso we opened in late 2014/early 2015. Dried (but not dried-out) cherries, earthy dried herbs & tea, decent acid, maybe the most broadly food-friendly red I've had in recent years. On this occasion, it shows wall alongside, of all things, a short rib burrito with red sauce at an upscale-ish Mexican place. 91, maybe edging towards 92 for me.

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White - Sweet/Dessert

2010 Château Raymond-Lafon

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend more

12/27/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

1 glass consumed over 45 minutes, warming from fridge temp to cool room temp. Simple, satisfying, textbook Sauternes with apricot jam/marmalade notes and a recognisable hit of botrytis. A bit short on acid and probably not for aging, but a nice dessert accompaniment to share with friends this evening.

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Red

2012 Enkidu Zinfandel Bedrock

Sonoma Valley more

12/23/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, 1 small pour consumed over ~45 minutes. Big, brambly berry fruit, some warmth from the 15.2% alcohol, but not over-ripe and with enough acid and (slightly rough) tannin structure to maintain balance.

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Red

2012 Château du Hureau Saumur-Champigny Tuffe

Cabernet Franc more

12/21/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, consumed over ~2 1/2 hours. Quick impressions: Nice and lean, showing a beautiful balance of tart cherries and something like brush or dried leaves. Lithe enough to complement our light dinner nicely - chicken with artichoke/mushroom wine sauce, "cheater risotto," and green beans. Not especially deep or complex, but a very nice little red Loire at $15.

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White

2011 Evening Land Vineyards Chardonnay Edna Valley

more

12/19/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

1 glass consumed at cool room temp with dinner. Lots of lemon showing, a hint of oak, more butter than I prefer. Less tropical and with more crisp acidity than many CA versions, but simple and not really my style. I'll try the next one chilled. Low 80's and not a rebuy for me, although I understand others scoring it a bit higher.

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Red

2006 La Antigua Clasico Rioja Reserva

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

12/13/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 90 points

Not decanted, consumed over ~2 hours. Meaty, with tobacco and spices alongside deep cherry fruit on the nose, joined by a bit of cocoa and wood influence on the palate. Medium to medium-plus weight and nicely balanced for a wine which seems to straddle old-school and new in many ways. A well-made Rioja which delivers a good amount of pleasure at $20. 89-90ish.

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Red

2011 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Rhone Blend more

12/11/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, 1 glass consumed over ~1 hour. Showing similar to my 7/12/2015 note - big, hefty, full of cherry & overripe strawberry notes with hints of anise and spice. No overt heat, but in every other way reflecting the 16% wine this is.

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  • Tasting notes: 776 notes on 575 wines

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