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

2012 KITÁ Pinot Noir Hilliard Bruce Vineyard

Sta. Rita Hills more

5/18/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 91 points

A few more blind Cali Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Deep ruby colored. Nose of raspberries and blackberries, red and black cherries, along with loamy soil, sweet rose potpourri, pepper, vanilla, root beer. Very juicy, fresh and attractive nose. Medium-bodied, silky tannins provide a chewy feel, medium acid. The fruit is rich and chewy, black cherries, dark plums, blackberries, add in some vanilla cola, mocha, sweet chewing tobacco, black cherries in ice cream, but also some cracked pepper, loam and Portobello mushroom elements. Despite the forward approach, this shows a lot of subtlety and complexity. Could be popped now, but I would cellar this for three or four years. A lot in here to contemplate over time. I love high acid, and would like this even more if it had a tad more acid, but it’s still quite balanced. 13.1% alcohol, aged 18 months in 25% new French oak.

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Red

2012 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir

Santa Maria Valley more

5/18/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 90 points

A few more blind Cali Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Deep, medium ruby color. Nose of cola, black cherries, raspberry jam, violets, black pepper, tilled soil, charcoal. Full-bodied, dusty tannins with plenty of structure, moderate acid. A plummy wine, also full of black currants and cherries, combined with notes of cracked pepper, bay leaf, charcoal and loam. Juicy and rich but so structured. Notes of soy, charcoal, pepper and root beer add complexity. Full but refined, this will be even more beautiful in two-to-four years.

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Red

2012 Wrath Pinot Noir Ex Vite

Monterey more

5/18/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 91 points

A few more blind Cali Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Medium ruby color. Lively, refreshing nose of tangy strawberries and red currants, notes of bay leaf, tobacco, rhubarb and roses. Very bright and fresh on the nose but lots of complex elements going on. Medium bodied, refreshing acid, fine but structured tannins, a bright and zippy approach but plenty of fruit and richness to keep it attractive. Tangy red cherries, strawberries, red currants, some richer dark berries mixed in. Complex, lots of really interesting non-fruit notes: I get sweet cola, incense sticks, tobacco, cedar and red sprinkle pepper as well. Pure Cali goodness but impressive in its tangy, spicy character. From the San Saba Vineyard, this 13.2% alcohol Pinot sees 25% new French oak.

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Red

2013 Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir Jackson Estate

Anderson Valley more

5/18/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 87 points

A few more blind Cali Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Deep ruby color. Rich nose of dark cherries and raspberries, mixed in with cola, sweet oak, violets, loamy soil and caramel. Juicy and chewy feel on the palate, full-bodied, moderate tannins, medium-low acid. The fruit tends toward the black cherries cola and raspberry jam, mixed in with flavors of sweet coffee, caramel, rhubarb pie and root beer. Finishes with cedar and mocha notes. A bit heavy-handed and candied, but fun stuff. Aged in 40% new French oak, includes about 30% American oak as well.

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Red

2012 Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley

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5/18/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 90 points

A few more blind Cali Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Vibrant ruby color. Lots of spice on the nose (clove, white pepper, cinnamon), while the red raspberries smells bright and crunchy (mix in some wild cherry candies, coffee grounds). Medium+bodied, the acid helps keep this clean and the tannins are quite accessible. Smooth, velvety but stays soft in its approach. Raspberries, red and black cherries, gliding, smooth fruit matched with notes of cola, sweet coffee, cinnamon and clove, dusty earth, hints of tobacco underneath. Quite delicious, lovely moufhteel, showing near-term accessibility but strength to stay and complexity to unpack. Very pretty, forward yet elegant, and I love the spice tones.

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Red

2013 Tolosa Winery Pinot Noir Estate

Edna Valley more

5/18/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 89 points

A few more blind Cali Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Dark ruby color. Tangy red and black plums on the nose, mixed in with rich currant fruit, a complex display of spice and earth elements that plays well together: black pepper, soy, pipe tobacco, paved roads, violets — all sorts of cool stuff going on here. Medium+ bodied, the tannins provide structure but are fine around the edges, moderate acid helps it stay balanced. … A darker approach, with black plums and currants, some blackberry and black cherry pits. The fruit is rich and chewy, backed up with notes of violets, flower pots, charcoal, fresh cracked pepper and asphalt. Seems structured enough for four to five years of aging, which would help coax out all the nuances buried in here. Aged one year in 1/3 new French oak.

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White

2013 Dierberg Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard

Santa Maria Valley more

5/13/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 92 points

Some Blind Cali Chards: Light gold color. Nose shows yellow apple, juicy peaches, lime zest, some honeyed tea and light almond elements. A creamy, richness to the wine but the acid cuts through and jolts it to life. Peaches, yellow apples, some papaya, kiwi, lime drizzled on top. Honeyed notes, along with almond and spiced tea, but it stays juicy and tangy. A lasting sense of mineral and river rocks, clean and bright, chalk and seashells. Very complex, could show a lot to the patient. A wonderful blend of sunshiny fruit mixed with pure, mineral elegance.

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White

2012 Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay

Santa Maria Valley more

5/13/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 90 points

Some Blind Cali Chards: Light gold color. Very nutty and toasty on the nose, nougat and crushed almond shells on top of yellow apples and apricot jam. Ripe, rich yellow apples and apricot fruit, acid comes in and cleans a lot of it up. Almonds, peanuts, nougat, vanilla drizzled with some lime. Add in some honeysuckle, lilies, chalk, quinine and white tea notes. A rich and forward wine but I like the depth, complexity and the lively acid to keep this interesting. Long, rich finish yet the acid keeps it refreshing on the palate.

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White

2012 Solomon Hills Chardonnay

Santa Maria Valley more

5/13/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 92 points

Some Blind Cali Chards: Medium gold color. Bright and vibrant on the nose with white peach, green and yellow apples, some kiwi, while the fruit is touched with honeysuckle, baby’s breath and crushed chalk notes. Clean, tingling acid meets a creamy, moderately rich body. The white peach, glazed pear and tangy kiwi fruit is bright but rich. I love the chalk, oyster shell, candied ginger and lime zest elements to this wine. A vibrant and fruity Chardonnay, but also very clean. Just enough toasted nut and buttered, flaky biscuit notes, but they don’t come close to overwhelming the other elements. A beautiful wine, highly complex yet effortless in its balance.

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White

2013 Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay Jackson Estate

Santa Maria Valley more

5/13/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 86 points

Some Blind Cali Chards: Medium gold color. Aromatically, we’re dealing with a high butter content, but it’s also very fresh with white and yellow floral tones, along with a fruit salad of yellow and green apples, apricot and pineapple. Full bodied and rich on the palate, almost oily, with medium-low acid. A high octane style with candied pecans, walnuts and cinnamon toast leading the way, backed up by baked pear and apple flavors, notes of honeycomb and lemon oil. Wow, I like plenty of big, toasty Chards, but you really need to love that style, in which case, buy this. If you hate that style, avoid this all costs. Aged nine months in 55% new French oak.

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White

2013 Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay Grand Réserve

California more

5/13/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 86 points

Some Blind Cali Chards: Medium golden colored. Buttery, creamy and rich on the nose, with yellow apple, mango, some floral notes and peanut shell. Medium+ bodied palate, acid in moderate doses. Creamy yellow apple, peach, some green melon mixed in. Interesting combination of nougat, honey butter and olive oil with notes of peanut shell. A rich style, but some freshness keeps and still food-friendly. From Monterey and Santa Barbara, aged nine months in 30% new oak, mostly French, some American.

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White

2013 Fontana Candida Frascati Terre dei Grifi

White Blend more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 85 points

Medium yellow color. Fairly neutral aromatics (white peach, some green melon rind), hints of faint honeysuckle and lemon peel. Creamy body, bright acid, flavors of green melon, yellow apple, lemon pith, white tea and honeycomb elements. Good weight on the palate. Not complicated, but very refreshing, a solid summer sipper with salads and grill-outs 50% Malvasia Bianca di Candia, 30% Trebbiano, 10% Greco, 10% Malvasia del Lazio.

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Red

2012 Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino

Sangiovese more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 84 points

Dull ruby color. On the nose, tangy cherries, red currants, mixed in with rose potpourri, rhubarb and cedar. Moderate tannic structure (they’re fined down around the edges), moderate-low acid, tangy fruit (red cherries, red currants), backed up by notes of anise, cedar and clove. A finish of loam and cedar. Not too complicated or thought-provoking, but it has a simple, easy-drinking appeal.

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Red

2012 Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir Estate

Chehalem Mountains more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 89 points

A few blind Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Medium ruby color. Nose of tart red cherries, cranberry sauce with spices, roses and rhubarb pie. Medium tannic structure, medium acid, a mouthfeel that is both smooth yet chewy. Nice mix of red and black plums and cherries, some strawberries too. Juicy and fresh yet bold, some toasted oak and roasted coffee mix in with the lighter notes of rose petals, clay soil and chewing tobacco. Quite a long finish with toasted oak, roses and coffee on the finish. Solid concentration, but stays pretty. This opens up a lot with air but could use a year or two in the cellar.

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Red

2013 Raptor Ridge Pinot Noir Barrel Select

Willamette Valley more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 88 points

A few blind Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Medium ruby color. Love the aromas, plenty of sour and red cherries, wild strawberries, matched equally with notes of pickle, bay leaf, barnyard and smoke. Fine, light tannins, brisk and refreshing acid, a precise approach. Sour cherries, strawberries and raspberries taste tart and juicy, backed up by flavors of beef broth, dusty earth, charcoal pit and some white pepper, hints of light roast coffee. Tangy, fresh, pretty and vibrant, ready to drink but enough structure to last a few years. 12.5% alcohol, aged nine months in 25% new French oak.

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Red

2012 Prats and Symington Douro Post Scriptum de Chryseia

Touriga Franca Blend, Touriga Franca more

5/5/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 88 points

Deep purple color. Rich plums, tart black cherries on the nose, rich violets and coffee grounds. Medium-bodied, I like the tartness of the wine, balancing with fine yet firm tannins. Juicy black cherries, plums, tart blackberries, blend in some pencil shavings, loamy soil, mixed with deep floral tones. Dusty, some nice sweet herbal notes and roasted coffee. Full and bold, it gets so much livelier with air but can easily develop and calm down in the cellar. Mostly Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca.

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Red

2011 Star Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara more

5/5/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 87 points

Some Blind Cabs: Rich, bright purple color. Nose shows tart red and black currants, black cherries, also some tobacco, bay leaf, charcoal and bitter coffee notes. Full bodied, the tannic structure is solid but they’re not too harsh around the edges, medium acid. The black currant fruit is plenty ripe but showing tart aspects as well, lots of spicy tobacco, charcoal, chicory coffee, root beer notes. A bold and structured wine, but still showing an approachable personality. I like the spice aspects. Toasty oak on the finish, but it doesn’t overwhelm the other aspects. A bit harsh upon first opening, but opens up and gets smooth.

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Red

2012 Bien Nacido Vineyards Syrah Santa Maria Valley

more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: flawed

Some Blind Cali Reds: Corked.

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Red

2013 Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise

Paso Robles Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 86 points

Some Blind Cali Reds: Medium ruby color. Bursting with ripe red fruits on the nose, raspberries, cherries, also some raspberry jam, red apple peel, pepper and clove. Light tannins, actually some acid to rein in the juicy red fruits. A snappy, tangy edge to the red fruit (wild strawberries, raspberries, McIntosh apple), notes of black tea, vanilla and coconut shavings. Not quite as baked and candied as the other two from this producer (which is why I liked it more). It’s still a forward, fruit-dominated wine with an easy-drinking approach for early consumption. 70% Zinfandel, 14% Syrah, 11% Petite Sirah, 5% Grenache.

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Red

2013 Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts

Paso Robles Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 85 points

Some Blind Cali Reds: Bright ruby color. Smells of maraschino cherries, raspberry jam, fig cookies, some violet and light roast coffee notes. Juicy and forward on the palate, set against a backdrop of chewy tannins and low acid. Juicy raspberries, figs and red apples, mix in some caramel corn, cola, but also some coffee, cedar and black pepper sauce. Juicy, fun, straightforward, a nice grill companion. 64% Zinfandel, 21% Tempranillo, 15% Petite Sirah.

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Red

2013 Chronic Cellars Sofa King Bueno

Paso Robles Syrah Blend, Syrah more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 84 points

Some Blind Cali Reds: Light purple color. Nose shows blackberry jam, dark plum sauce, topped with sweet mocha, coconut, caramel, hints of earth and pepper underneath. Full-bodied and rich, medium tannin medium-low acid, a chewy structure. The raspberry, blackberry and plum fruit is ripe, a bit candied, backed up by elements of coconut cookie, hazelnut coffee and root beer. Ripe, chewy, a bit short on the back-end. Drink now. 47% Petite Sirah, 45% Syrah, 5% Grenache and 3% Mourvedre.

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White

2014 Star Lane Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara more

5/7/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 87 points

A Few Blind Cali Whites (My Place - Washington, DC): Light gold color. Nose: grapefruit, lime, white peach, jalapeno and crushed sea shells. Tangy, crisp, bright palate, moderate creaminess, but a tart citrus-driven wine (grapefruit, lime), hints of white peach. A clean, zesty feel with notes of chalk, white pepper, jalapeno and sea breeze. Acidity is really attractive and refreshing on the back end. Tart and nervy, begging for oysters and hot weather.

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Red

2013 Dierberg Pinot Noir Drum Canyon Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills

more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 92 points

A few blind Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Medium ruby. A bit tight on the nose, takes time to open up the tart red and black currants, more loamy, potting soil notes, deep sense of roses and violets, a hint of pepper. Dusty tannins, balanced acid, the fruit is velvety and rich yet maintains a tart edge, darker currants, black cherries, raspberries. A loamy, earthy aspect with hints of rhubarb and pepper. Rich and chewy finish with notes of roasted chestnut and cedar shavings. Could use some time to calm down (a bit more concentrated than the Dierberg Vineyard) but a very well-made Pinot with serious deliciousness, really opens up after a few hours.

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Red

2013 Dierberg Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard Santa Maria Valley

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5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 93 points

A few blind Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Bright ruby. Gorgeous aromatic display: freshest red currants, raspberries, juicy cherries, the fruit is complex and vibrant, backed up by a lovely blend of tobacco, chestnut, pickling spice and violets. Fine tannins, but plenty of structure, the acid isn’t too high but enough to balance the wine out. The fruit is pure and delicious (red cherries, currants, wild raspberries), toss in some bay leaf, spicy chewing tobacco, cigar box and chestnut. Some sweet cola and cedar, but maintains elegance throughout. A pretty and elegant Pinot now, but it could open up and evolve over the next three to four years.

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Red

2013 Carmel Road Pinot Noir

Monterey more

5/9/2015 - isaacjamesbaker wrote: 85 points

A few blind Pinots (My Place - Washington, DC): Pale ruby colored. Bright wild strawberries and tangy red cherries on the nose, along with some rose hips and cherry cola. Juicy and fleshy on the palate with medium-low tannins and acid. Strawberries, sour cherries, sweet currants and some candied elements to the red fruit, but backed up by notes of rhubarb pie. Sweet cola and toffee linger onto the finish. Simple, pleasant, fun for the price but nothing serious.

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  • Tasting notes: 6,268 notes on 5,707 wines

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