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

2006 Palmina Nebbiolo Sisquoc Vineyard

Santa Maria Valley more

7/2/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 85 points

This wine shows some problems with the Parker approach. Decanted off of a bit of sediment. Bricky ruby color. Nice nose of red cherries, cedar, leather. Medium-bodied and lively on the palate, with rich flavors, but it's pretty intense and a bit hot at 15.5 ABV. Finishes with drying, raking, rather strong but velvety tannins that smoothed out after awhile in the glass. Wine Advocate gave this wine 93 points, called it "stunning" and gave maturity dates as 2012-2016. Well here it is mid-2015 and I see problems. Alc. heat seems to overshadow this wine's other very good characteristics. Right now it's interesting but not by any means great or stunning.

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Red

2011 McCay Cellars Cabernet Franc

Lodi more

7/1/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 92 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep garnet. Nice nose of dried herbs, plums, heat, iron filings. Medium-full on the palate, as herbal flavors lead over red fruits. Dry and firm but not tart. Finishes well, with drying light tannins. Rich and intense, but not flabby. Worth drinking.

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Red

2012 McCay Cellars Tempranillo Lot 13 Vineyard

Lodi more

6/29/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 90 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep garnet. Nice nose of cherries, blueberries, tea, a bit of smoke. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, as non-fruit flavors lead. Firm acidity gives the wine a rich texture amid the intense flavors. Finishes well, with a wave of dark red fruit, and low tannins. Very good, could be better in a few years. Has the intensity of Lodi.

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Red

2008 Yorba Zinfandel

Amador County more

6/17/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 90 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of some sediment. Very deep garnet color, not showing its age. Nice nose of black fruits, berries, and pleasant earthy tones with white pepper. Rich and full-bodied on the palate, with earthy fruits leading. Acid balance is neither soft nor tart, but just a bit on the soft side. Finishes well and with some length, with drying, light tannins. A traditional style of Amador zin, done well. Nicely structured through the addition of some Petite Sirah, it could still age longer.

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Red

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo Lodi

more

6/16/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 92 points

Decanted 90 mins ahead, and it took all of that to open up. Deep garnet color. Nice nose of pine, cherries, hard spices. Delicious and ingratiating on the palate, as red-fruit flavors lead over earth notes. It's medium-bodied with fairly firm acid balance. Finishes well with a bit of grip and low tannins. For about the first hour, this wine was fairly dumb, not showing much in the nose. Once it opened up, it vindicated my faith in Bokisch.

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Red

2012 Martian Ranch & Vineyard Cabernet Franc Martian Ranch

Santa Barbara County more

6/15/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 90 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Deep red-garnet color. Nicely spicy nose, as herbs lead over red berries and plums. Medium weight on the palate, but still a lifted texture, as bright fruit underlies the flavors without dominating them. Finishes quickly with low grip, low tannins. Very pleasant and ingratiating. Exc QPR at $24.

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Red

2012 Terra d'Oro Winery Barbera

Amador County more

6/11/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 86 points

Decanted 90 mins. ahead. Very deep garnet color. Nice nose of black cherries, hard spices, earth, and must. Medium-full on the palate, as tarry notes intrude on the black cherry flavors. Not firm on the palate, rather toward softness as extraction throws a hood over the varietal character. Finishes fast with low grip and very low tannins. Simple, dark, extracted, and--last but not least--drinkable.

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Red

2011 Andis Wines Barbera

Amador County more

6/11/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 87 points

My second comment, about 18 mos. later: Decanted 90 mins. ahead. Dark garnet color. Nice nose of herbs, cherries, sandalwood, red currants. Medium-bodied on the palate, not soft but veering toward softness in acid balance, as red-fruit flavors lead. It's not sprightly. Finishes fast, with low grip and near-zero tannins. Pleasant, moderately interesting; the fruit mix is the best thing about it.

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Red

2012 Birichino Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard

Lodi Mokelumne River more

6/10/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 88 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Medium ruby-garnet color, with purple flashes. Nice but shy nose of white pepper, red fruit, rhubarb, and spice notes. Light body on the palate, with a bright, lifted texture led by cherry flavors and spice. Acid balance is not tart, but nearly so; refreshing is a good way to say it. The finish is longer than you might expect for wine this light, as the drying notes prolong into very low tannins. Good, light-bodied, not too challenging. Completely pleasant.

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Red

2011 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Dos Oakies

California Shenandoah Valley more

6/8/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 86 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Medium garnet, trending orange at the edge. Nice nose of black cherries, rhubarb, earth, cedary wood. Medium weight on the palate, with a very drinkable acid balance. Acidity is not tart but present. The finish is drying with velvety, lightly coating tannins. Not flashy, but definitely solid, respectable drinking.

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Red

2011 Mettler Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Lodi more

6/4/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 87 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep, opaque garnet. Closed-in nose, with hints of plum, black pepper, chocolate, sweet oak. Rich, full, and smooth on the palate, as strong black fruit flavors join spicy tones. The style is pure Lodi, which means extracted, dark, and full, but with a certain deliciousness. The finish is drying, with low tannins and coffee notes. Thoroughly pleasant on the heavy end of the scale.

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Red

2009 Vino Noceto Barbera Linsteadt

California Shenandoah Valley more

6/3/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 87 points

This wine has not exactly vindicated my hopes. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep garnet with brickish tints. Nice, meaty nose, with black cherries and cedar. Full-bodied on the palate, with dark, extracted flavors leading. Texture smoothed by bottle age. Finishes well, with cherry flavors, moderate length, low grip, zero tannins. 2009 was a hot year, and this wine shows it somewhat. It's dark, rich, and moderately extracted. Certainly good, but I was more enthusiastic a few years ago.

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Red

2012 Jeff Runquist Charbono "R"

Sierra Foothills more

6/1/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 87 points

This is a big wine. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep, nearly opaque garnet. Nose is sweet-fruit-forward, with red and black fruits vying for supremacy. Behind I get white pepper, some vanilla, a touch of coffee. Quite full-bodied on the palate, as clear fruit flavors lead. Acid balance is not soft, but close to it. The finish is longer than I would have expected, with a wave of fruit, low grip and very low tannins. This wine seems to want to emulate the high-powered, high-scoring Napa cabernets of recent years; it succeeds to a notable extent. However, if you have this one with any sort of a meal, it gets tiresome; I know because I did.

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Red

2012 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Lodi Native Soucie Vineyard

Lodi Mokelumne River more

5/28/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 89 points

A distinctive version of Lodi Zin. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep garnet color. Nose is very earthy, with soil, yeasty, tobacco, iron filing aromas along with zin-like blueberries. Fairly full-bodied on the palate, somewhat soft in the Lodi way, with more earthy flavors. Finishes fast, with a spicy tone and near-zero tannins. The winemaker calls this style "Soucie Dirt;" I get it. Of all of the Lodi Natives, this one strays the farthest from what I might expect as Lodi Zin. Thus it is quite interesting; an admirable effort at letting the rules of Lodi Natives take this wine where it will.

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Red

2007 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Riserva

California Shenandoah Valley more

5/26/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 92 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of zero sediment. Ruby-garnet color, tinged with orange. Pleasant nose but a bit closed, with cherry, plum, and a very nice secondary blast that I can only call floral-creosote. Medium-bodied and firm on the palate, not flabby or tart. Drying finish with very light and velvety tannins, more plum/cherry flavors. This wine has repaid the wait: it has both deliciousness and interesting secondary aromas.

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Red

2013 Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon

Central Valley more

5/15/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 81 points

Very dark garnet. Rather simple nose of ripe plum, grape jam, a bit of smoke. Easy texture on the palate, with some tartness. Flavors are nothing to get excited about. Medium body. Finishes with a bit of tartness and metallic tones. The texture of this wine is better than most cheap wines, but the nose is weak and the flavors are, well, not strongly present. Drinkable? Yes. Likeable? Not much. 81 = good.

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Red

2009 Yorba Shake Ridge Red

Amador County Red Blend more

5/14/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 92 points

How did they do this? Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of some sediment. Deep garnet with a little purple, no bricking. Very nice nose of plums, black cherries, black pepper, white pepper, wood. Mature texture, which means smooth and rich, with smoothed-out acids. Medium to full body. Finish is drying, with just a whisper of tannins and a bit of heat. I think they did it by careful attention to all the intermediary steps, and a good dose of bottle age. Very good QPR here.

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Red

2011 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Hillside

California Shenandoah Valley more

5/5/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 88 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Pretty cherry with some brick. Nice nose of cherry, cranberry, spice, oak. Light-bodied, with bright acidity, which means not tart but lively. Red-fruit flavors lead in a lean and pleasant texture. The finish is drying, low grip. A little fuller than the Misto that I had yesterday. Absolutely good.

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Red

2011 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Misto

California Shenandoah Valley more

5/4/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 86 points

2011 was a lean year, and this is a lean wine. Decanted 45 mins. ahead. Cherry color with brick. Spicy and cedary nose, followed by red cherry and smoke notes. Light-bodied on the palate, as hard spice, cherry, and pomegranate flavors roll in. Texture is lean, not quite tart, with good flavors. Finishes with a bit of drying grip. Completely pleasant.

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White

2013 La Clarine Farm Petit Manseng

Sierra Foothills more

5/1/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 85 points

Pale amber with tobacco flashes, a bit of haze. Nice nose of earth, wax, citrus. Lemony acidity grabs the palate, along with touches of mushroom. It's tart, quite tart, but flavorful. Not light-bodied, toward medium, with pineapple notes. Tart lemon-peel finish. Interesting.

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Red

2011 McCay Cellars Carignane

Lodi more

4/29/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 89 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Pretty, medium-dark cherry-garnet color. Pleasant but shy nose of cherries, white pepper, earth tones. Lively and delicious on the palate, with red-fruit flavors leading. Acid balance is juicy and pleasant. Finishes well, with good grip and low tannins. This wine has deliciousness, and if I had more I would keep it for a couple of years just to see what happens. A nice product which at $32 may be a bit expen. But def. good.

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Red

2011 McCay Cellars Zinfandel TruLux

Lodi more

4/28/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 84 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep, nearly inky garnet with some red. Dusky and dark on the nose as well, with black peppercorn, coffee, currant, blueberry, blackberry. Full-bodied, rich, and smooth on the palate. Acid balance is soft, which I gather is typical of Westside Lodi Zin where the weather is hot; vanilla notes. Finishes quickly, with some stony flavors, very low grip, near-zero tannins. A monster.

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Red

2012 Cedarville Vineyard Syrah

El Dorado more

4/22/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 92 points

California Syrah: What is it, exactly? This wine is a fairly "classic" version, if such could exist. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Ultra-deep garnet color. Nice but somewhat closed nose of violets, black fruits, spice tones; it opened up nicely later to include black pepper and Worcestershire sauce aromas. Full-bodied and rich on the palate, but with firm acidity that keeps it in place; firmness leads here in a good structure. Black cherry flavors with licorice overtones. The finish is long, with drying hints of iron filings, graphite, and moderate tannins. Will be better with a few more years in bottle.

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Red

2013 J. Brix Grenache La Libresca

Santa Barbara County more

4/21/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 90 points

A distinctive essay in Grenache. Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of a bit of sediment. Interesting, light ruby color with a definite orange-tan tinge. Nice nose of violets, pomegranate, spices. Light-bodied and delicious on the palate as cherry fruit joins. Finishes quickly with orange peel hints, light grip and very low tannins. A light-bodied and delicate version of the grape, it reminds me of Pinot Noir in a good way, with firmer acid balance. Interesting and delicious.

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Red

2011 Martian Ranch & Vineyard Syrah Red Shift

Santa Ynez Valley more

4/16/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 89 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of some sediment, and sampled over the next hour. Very dark opaque garnet. Shy but interesting nose of black pepper, black cherry, white pepper, olive; pretty closed-in. Rich on the palate, as cherry and green pepper flavors lead. Acids are quite firm, not tart, supporting a full body. Finishes well, with some grip, some length, and low to moderate tannins. I may be robbing the cradle on this one; it may have potential for the future. The number is a compromise between what I taste now and what I can imagine in a few years. Well, maybe several years.

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  • Tasting notes: 612 notes on 557 wines

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