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

2012 Cline Cellars Zinfandel Ancient Vines

California more

8/13/2013 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 90 points

QPR home run! Picked up a couple of these Zins at Costco yesterday and popped one last night to accompany a spaghetti dinner. For a price slightly north of $10/bottle this is a shockingly good wine. While Cline refers to this wine as being "ripe," I found it to be pleasingly subtle for a mass produced old vine Zin. Lovely aromas of dark fruits and a pleasing hint of chocolate. Flavors revolve around more of those dark red fruits, a hint of smoke and a subtle vanilla note. This is a wonderfully satisfying wine that actually fits inside our budget! Way to go Cline!

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Red

2011 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

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7/19/2013 - smokeshowing wrote: 94 points

This wine is absolutely spot on for me. No formal tasting notes, but enjoyed the heck out of this one. What stood out for me was the wonderfully tart cherry and raspberry flavors that dominate. There's a bunch going on here and all of it positive. Here again, gotta stop kicking myself for not purchasing more of this beauty!

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Red

2011 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

more

5/19/2013 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 90 points

One word came to mind immediately upon tasting this latest edition of the Sonoma Coast bottling - lean. This is a sleek (light) Pinot Noir with substantial acidity that pairs well with salmon dishes.

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Red

2011 Torremoron Ribera del Duero

Tempranillo more

4/9/2013 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 83 points

This is a definitely a $10 bottle of wine that reminds one that sometimes, most of the time, you get what you pay for. Flavors of overripe cherry make this wine taste just a bit too sweet for my taste. Not a terrible wine, but certainly not one that I would seek out again. May please those that prefer a jammy style.

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Rosť

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé

Sonoma Valley more

3/29/2013 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 93 points

Just another fantastic rendition of the Ode to Lulu Rosé! Funny, this wine has become a feature of our warm weather months here in the South Bay (San Jose, CA), and since it's been some time since we have had the pleasure of enjoying this wine, I was eager to break it out today. Wonderful nose of strawberries and peach for me. The balance of fresh red fruits, minerality, and acidity makes this wine just sing!

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Red

2011 Drew Family Cellars Pinot Noir Gatekeepers

Mendocino Ridge more

3/26/2013 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 91 points

Beautiful aromas of freshly picked cherries combined with a combination of various spices. Floral flavors are highlighted by fresh red fruits, and very mild earth qualities. This is a wonderful wine from Jason Drew and we continue to be thrilled with the incredible quality offered in his releases.

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Red

2011 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

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2/27/2013 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 91 points

Another lovely effort from Sojourn. This edition of the appellation blend comes together beautifully with a nice array of red fruits - mild dark cherry, cranberry and plum. As others have said, good acidity rounds out this excellent package.

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Red

2010 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

Clements Hills more

2/26/2013 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 90 points

For my taste this is an incredible value at under $15 for club members. This wine pours a deceptively light translucent red. Reminding me to never judge a book by the cover, I fully expected a weak nose and dilute flavor profile. Was I ever wrong! While the aromas are just a bit muted the strawberry is certainly present. Notes of tangy plum and sharp cherry are nicely backed by an acidity that wraps the whole package up just beautifully. What a nice surprise!

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White

2011 Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc Old Vine Reserve

Stellenbosch more

2/24/2013 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 88 points

A very nice change of pace from our diet of heartier reds this winter. This is a QPR hit with a nose of apples and citrus fruits mingling with a mineral note. Flavors of melon and pear are backed by a nice hit of acidity that makes this a really enjoyable wine. For the price, unbeatable.

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Red

2011 Opolo Zinfandel Summit Creek

Paso Robles more

2/23/2013 - smokeshowing Does not like this wine: NR

Just not my cup of tea, or wine, for that matter. Overly sweet and cloying. No detectable structure makes this virtually undrinkable for me. I'm sure there's a market for this kind of juice, but it's definitely not a repeat purchase for us.

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Red

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine

Sonoma Valley more

12/20/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 92 points

Wow! Here we go again...another wonderful release from what has become our absolute favorite producer over the past couple of years. This Zin has all of the hallmarks of what we have come to expect from Morgan's efforts. There's a lovely nose of spice and plenty of red and darker berries. Flavors of those very same berries come to the fore, but all is backed with a beautifully balanced stroke of acidity that suggests this wine can stick around in bottle for quite some time. As others have mentioned, outstanding value!

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Red

2008 Ravenswood Zinfandel Teldeschi

Dry Creek Valley more

7/4/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 90 points

Caught this spiffy Zin on sale for a measly $14 and that made this one the QPR hit of 2012 so far. Went perfectly with cheeseburgers on a warm summer evening. Lots of plum and blueberry on the palate. Just a flat out enjoyable wine!

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White

2010 Wind Gap Wines Trousseau Gris Piccolo Bastardo Fanucchi Vineyard

Russian River Valley more

7/4/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 88 points

This is such a cool wine, as much for its orange coloration as for its combination of spice and strawberry on the nose. Nicely balanced by acidity and an earthiness that makes for some spirited conversation. Sadly I never seem to be able to keep these bottles from disappearing.

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Red

2009 Unti Vineyards Petit Frère

Dry Creek Valley Red Rhone Blend more

6/28/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 88 points

Picked this one up at K&L and enjoyed it with homemade pizza. Popped and poured, super approachable GSM blend in the spirit of a fruit forward Côte du Rhône, that paired wonderfully with the tomato and mozzarella surfing a thin crust.

Another ideal mid-week sipper that is right at home paired with a wide array of dishes. Wouldn't hurt to let this one breath for a couple of hours prior to consuming, but not absolutely necessary. This particular bottling features Grenache as the primary varietal, and it shows, with a nice dollop of plum and currant. Definitely recommended!

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Red

2010 Kirkland Signature Côtes du Rhône Villages

Red Rhone Blend more

6/25/2012 - smokeshowing wrote: 84 points

Went to Costco this AM and grabbed a few wines for the week ahead. This Côtes du Rhône was a no brainer at $7, but with the price came a good bit of skepticism. Sitting in my backyard, not a cloud in the sky, temperature right around 74F, and I must say that I am not at all disappointed. In fact, while this wine is really young, it hits on all cylinders with the price taken into consideration. There's a goodly volume of fruit on the palate, and exactly what a previous taster noted - a muted nose. There are hints of plum that seem to battle the alcohol and acidity, but nothing that would make this wine a reject. While I might not wish to stock my meager cellar with this bottling, I certainly find this enjoyable at this price point.

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Red

2010 Novy Family Wines Zinfandel Russian River Valley

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6/23/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 89 points

Ah yes, a duo that hits all the right notes...Novy Family Wines RRV Zinfandel and perfectly grilled cheeseburgers on a mild summer's eve. The '10 Novy is one of my all-time QPR winners for bringing together spice, dark fruit, especially blueberry and raspberry, and just the right amount of acidity.

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Red

2011 Copain P2

Anderson Valley Red Blend more

6/13/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 91 points

In an ongoing personal effort to avoid falling into a Pinot Noir dominated wine rut, I find myself seeking out offbeat wines, and the Copain P2 fit the bill perfectly! As other notes mention, P2 is a cofermentation of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The result of this blending, for me, is a wine that captures the good stuff from both varietals. All of that hullabaloo to say that this is a really fun wine that will show incredibly well at all of your summer shindigs! To chill, or not to chill, is about the only quandary you'll face with this one.

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Rosť

2011 Cartograph Pinot Noir Rosé

Russian River Valley more

6/11/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 92 points

Good golly, this is what summer is all about for me. Warm evenings, great company, and a Rosé that just sings! Not much more to add that hasn't already been said by William Allen, but I'll throw in my .02 cents worth.

After officially declaring open season on Rosé, with Bedrock's Ode to Lulu and Copain's Tous Ensemble setting the pace, I am pleased to announce another grand slam effort with the '11 Cartograph Rosé! Strawberry and hints of watermelon are backed by a bright acidity that makes this a particularly satisfying wine.

To see that there were only 55 cases produced is a bit of a heartbreaker, but I will savor my remaining bottles...if I can muster a bit of self-control!

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Red

2009 Cartograph Pinot Noir Floodgate Vineyard

Russian River Valley more

6/8/2012 - smokeshowing wrote: 92 points

This is such a lovely wine with its aromas of cherry and spice. Lots of RRV characteristics on the nose. There is a nifty balance between flavors of strawberry, cherry, and mild earthiness that make this a truly satisfying Pinot Noir. Recommend this one without reservation and am looking forward to what is to come from Cartograph!

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Rosť

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé

Sonoma Valley more

5/8/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 92 points

This one hits all of the sweet spots for me. From the subtle nose of fresh grapefruit and flowers, to the citrus, peach, and strawberry flavors that offer up a crisp rosé that just sings on all levels. A big thanks to Morgan for crafting a real beauty!

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White

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Compagni Portis

Sonoma Valley White Blend more

3/24/2012 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 91 points

Before I launch into some overwrought missive about the exotic aromatics and richness of this California field blend of white varietals, I'll be up front in expressing my adoration for all things historical. This is especially true when it comes to California's wine history. There is no doubt that my enjoyment of this wine is heavily influenced by the story behind this particular vineyard. Then there's the notion that there are even some varietals included in this blend that have yet to be identified!

Okay, with the admission out of the way it's time to address the actual wine. As has already been mentioned, there is an immediate Gewurtzraminer hit on both the nose and palate. There is a nicely balanced roundness to the flavor profile, with Reisling and other varietals making their presence known throughout. I can't say enough about how approachable this wine is. This is certainly a dry wine, but with so much going on that it's hard to put this into a short, concise description.

I am so excited by what Morgan is doing that I just can't recommend his wines enough. A genuinely pleasurable experience, and what more can we ask for?

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Red

2008 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

12/31/2011 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 94 points

This bottle turned out to be the star of our Sojourn pinots. Popped for a Christmas eve celebration and here are the reactions:

1. WOW
2. NO WAY
3. GOD, THIS IS AWESOME
4. SANGIACOMO ROCKS
5. DO YOU HAVE MORE?
6. HOW MUCH WAS THIS?
7. ROUND, SUPPLE, CHERRIES, SPICINESS
8. WINNER

So here we have another one of those wines that my wife and I agree that we should have bought as much as Craig would have allowed. Ah yes, another New Year's Eve Resolution in the making!

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Red

2008 Scholium Project Gardens of Babylon

California Red Blend more

11/17/2011 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 93 points

This is what Bogle's '08 Phantom blend wishes it could be when it grows up. My second Scholium wine and I am perfectly satisfied to call this blend a wanton slut of a wine. Perfect for my current state of mind and feel free to read into that what you will. Not a heck of a lot to crow about when taking in the first sniffs of this little beast, but whoa doggy, do things change when this one is poured into the pie hole. One word sums it up...YUMMMMMY!

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Red

2008 Bogle Vineyards Phantom

California Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel more

11/17/2011 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 86 points

A fun blend of Zinfandel 51% - Petite Sirah 47% - Mourvèdre 2% from Clarksburg, Lodi and Amador. Upon opening we definitely had difficulty defining any specific aromas, but after an hour there was a discernible scent of backed dark fruit combined with notes of vanilla. Flavors of more dark berries combine with a bit of spice to make for a relatively simple, but enjoyable wine.

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Red

2008 Drew Family Cellars Pinot Noir Valenti Vineyard

Mendocino Ridge more

11/15/2011 - smokeshowing Likes this wine: 93 points

Molly and Jason Drew are some of the nicest folks in the business and I'm thrilled to give this wine another huge thumbs-up!

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  • Tasting notes: 138 notes on 137 wines

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