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

2007 Château Boswell Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Morelli Vineyard

Russian River Valley more

5/1/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 91 points

Still in relatively good shape -- showing only minor signs of wear in the form of a dark hue and very mild nutty note on the palate. The nuts are pleasant though, and a good foil for the primary bright lemon oil flavor. Some tropical fruit and caramel in the concentrated midpalate. Got better integrated as it warmed up.

I can see this being even better in its heyday, but solid now and would guess another year or two at most left before it really turns a corner.

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Red

2003 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Valley more

4/22/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 93 points

One of my most bittersweet wine drinking experiences. Bitter because it's the very last bottle I have that Jack and Dolores gave me in return for running amok in their cellar for a crush. Sweet because it's the best Cakebread wine I've ever had, and just singing for its age.

Elegant fruit starts with prickly blackberry -- what's left of the unresolved tannins. Quickly melts into plum, cherry, mocha, herb. The finish is long, smooth, and pretty. Layers of flavor, but nothing heavy here, and no heat. Instantly takes me back to the unsanctioned barrel samples we used to enjoy, except the new oak has faded perfectly into the background. Opened for mom and dad to share the last mile of the journey; they loved it too.

Overall, no regrets about popping the cork -- it's in an absolutely perfect place right now, and isn't likely to improve with more time. 93+ points officially, but it made for a 100 point evening.

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Red

2006 Harrington Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

4/9/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 89 points

My note ~four years ago said to drink up. Lo and behold, I still have another one, and it's still not giving up. Go figure. Anyway, this is hanging out on the crisp end of the spectrum. Cranberry and red delicious apple, mostly. Some cinnamon and licorice too. Charming, if not a bit lean, and oh yah, you should probably drink up.

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White

2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc

White Rhone Blend more

4/8/2015 - tomherer wrote: flawed

Second bottle of two totally cooked. What a shame.

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Red

2006 Haywood Estate Zinfandel Los Chamizal

Sonoma Valley more

4/3/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 91 points

This is holding up damn well for going on a decade. There's a thin brick rim, but no age shows up on the palate. Strawberries and leather on the nose. More fresh strawberries, cherry, cloves, cinnamon, and licorice for flavors. Long, delicate finish -- rides out almost like pinot. Since following the drunken cyclist a while back, I've aged more zin. Glad for it tonight.

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Red

2013 Meiomi Pinot Noir

California more

3/25/2015 - tomherer Does not like this wine: 82 points

Primary aromas and flavors for me are caramel and buttered popcorn. Some candied berries and plum are there as well. There's a fake vanilla extract layer that's there throughout. Feels hot for the stated 13.8%.

Gloopy, sweet, strange; I hate it. Have been reasonably happy with all vintages thus far, but something is wrong here. Feel like I have to give it a score in the lower good range for having some complexity and a decent finish, but subjectively, the flaws far outweigh the strengths, and create something hideous. Down the drain.

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White - Sweet/Dessert

2005 Château Rabaud-Promis

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend more

3/19/2015 - tomherer Does not like this wine: NR

First of two bottles. Disappointing. Like recent tasters, I'm getting cloying honey and noticeable heat. Also some Mott's apple juice. Finish is actually respectable, but doesn't carry much more than burning spice.

No score, since it's bad enough to suggest damage, but given the marked decline in CT sentiment lately, it could also just be time up.

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White

2001 Hugel et Fils Riesling Jubilee

Alsace more

3/17/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 91 points

Picked this up at the winery in Riquewihr and still tasting as fresh as that day almost a decade ago. Awesome trip down memory lane. Petrol, peach, white grapefruit. Chalky, stony, very bright, long finish. Defying age; wouldn't hesitate to buy again now.

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White

2012 Ninety+ Cellars Côtes du Rhône Lot 103

White Rhone Blend more

3/8/2015 - tomherer Does not like this wine: 81 points

I feel like they should re-brand as 80+ cellars so they'd have a bar they could consistently get over.

This is tough stuff. Apple juice dominates, with some weak viognier notes joining the party midpalate, but in an overtly disconnected way. Feels like they took bulk varietal juice from disparate sources and tried to stitch them together into something coherent.

Anyway, it's soft, simple, weak, and strangely salty. Won't revisit at the ~$9 price point.

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Red

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T 'n' S Hudson Vineyard South

Carneros more

2/22/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 92 points

Carafe pour at Glen Ellen Star. Love Beezer6's note -- so spot on. Bacon fat on the nose, olive on the end, and awesome red fruit in between. Brings old and new world together seamlessly. Classic.

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White

2013 Novelty Hill Januik Roussanne Stillwater Creek

Columbia Valley more

2/7/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 89 points

Glass pour at the winery. Solid roussanne with a dollop of viognier. Very aromatic. Good body, viscosity, and finish. Bosc pear, lemon, honey, almond. Pretty classic profile with some crispness. Good value at around 20 bucks.

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Red

2009 Mounts Family Winery Grenache

Dry Creek Valley more

2/2/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 91 points

Holding true to pvterroir's note 2.5 years ago. Additionally, getting some mocha after ~four hrs of air time. Bright, juicy, great with dinner. Long, rich finish, although the leathery dryness clamps things down some. That eased up with air, which makes me think its best years are late in this decade. Absolutely delicious now though; recommend a short decant.

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Red

2009 Jemrose Grenache Foggy Knoll

Bennett Valley more

1/28/2015 - tomherer wrote: NR

Enjoyed this a bit less than in 07/2014 -- A small portion of the fruit gave way to muddiness, and the clipped finish is more pronounced. Still a very good bottle of wine -- 87-89 if scoring -- but may be starting on a down slope.

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White - Sweet/Dessert

2011 Château Doisy-Védrines

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend more

1/26/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 93 points

Followed this over a few days to try and get a sneak peek into its long-term evolution. No dice; stayed consistent the whole way except for some initial spicy botrytis dropping off after a day or two. It's pretty sweet -- feels in the five/six puttonyos zone -- but the acid is nice and crisp. The overall impression is very lively.

Getting lots of pineapple, lime cordial, and toffee, with a hint of banana. The finish is decent, but the best part is the fuzzy apricot sensation that hangs out for at least a minute. Might put a couple away for my daughter's birth year; $40, and see no trouble with this holding up 'til graduation day.

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Red

2013 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Dairyman

Russian River Valley more

1/25/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 92 points

Redeems 2012gate, even at such a young age. Similar characteristics -- e.g. overt cedary oak and thick, plummy fruit. The difference this time is the balance they manage to strike and the secondaries they support. Wild berry, strawberry, anise, pebble, and a little moss work their way in pretty seamlessly. Already tasty, big, and approachable, with a medium-plus finish and a long drinking window. Decent QPR in the high $30s.

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Red

2007 Grey Stack Cellars Syrah Marie's Block Dry Stack Vineyard

Bennett Valley more

1/23/2015 - tomherer wrote: 91 points

Almost 1.5 yrs since danielbleier's note, and not a thing to add. This feels like it's in a nice, solid holding pattern -- could be many years before it hits its next phase. Very aromatic, in a snappy cool-climate style, with a nice juicy, zippy finish, and just a hint of garrique. Definitely tilting more towards the animal meat/blood end of the spectrum, which is not usually what I reach for in CA reds, but that's just preference and takes nothing away from the undeniable quality. A very good buy for fans of Rhone-y, rustic syrah.

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Red

2012 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Dairyman

Russian River Valley more

1/18/2015 - tomherer Does not like this wine: 85 points

Last bottle, and good riddance. Was hoping it would come around with a little more cellar time, but you can't polish a turd, as they say. Gloopy, saccharine, woody; just can't see how this resolves, ever. The core of pure fruit puts it a rung above apothic. I'm not exactly one of the pinot cognoscenti du jour that's turning their cellar over to 100% Rhys and keeps a pinup of Rajat Parr in my gym locker, either. Loves me a full-throttle RRV pinot, but this should never have been released for $45.

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Red

2009 Sanguis Levity

Central Coast Grenache Blend, Grenache more

1/7/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 93 points

Coming off my first Sanguis experience, which wasn't great. This helps me understand what all the fuss is about. The blend of GSV is artistic. Big gushy cherry and berry fruit up front from the grenache, compact wild berry, herb, and river stone from the syrah, and a full-on floral wrapper from the Viognier. In a great drinking window with balance, polish, elegance, and power. Enamored.

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White

2010 Venge Vineyards Chardonnay Dijon Clones Maldonado Vineyard

Napa Valley more

1/6/2015 - tomherer wrote: flawed

Seems pretty far over the hill. Dark, apple-y, some acrid burn to it. Have another bottle to try out to see if it's isolated.

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White - Sparkling

2006 Moët & Chandon Champagne Grand Vintage Brut

Champagne Blend more

1/4/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 93 points

Such a treat. Fine, vigorous bead. Candied lemon, fresh apricot, pineapple, caramel apple. Definitely fruit-forward, but complex. Long, rich, satisfying finish adds some smoke and a hint of baking spice. Paid $50 at the state monopoly, which feels about right for this level of luxury.

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White

2013 Marqués de Irún Verdejo Rueda

more

12/31/2014 - tomherer Does not like this wine: NR

Off-putting nose of foil-wrapped jockstrap, honeysuckle, and lemon extract. The palate is better; Meyer lemon rind, honey, and lime. Acidity is piercing on the long finish. Refreshing, but simple, with some off-notes. This is BTG at JFK airport, so can't fairly score, as the bottle could have been open anywhere from a day to a month. 85 now, but imagine a fresh bottle could be in the 87-89 range.

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Red

2012 Novy Family Wines Syrah Napa Valley

more

12/30/2014 - tomherer Likes this wine: 91 points

Tasty bargain. Picked it up at the tasting room in Santa Rosa and it actually stood out of an underwhelming Siduri pinot lineup from the same vintage. Plus $5 per bottle was going to Napa earthquake relief; no brainer.

Gobs of tart, brambly blackberry. Zippy acids, flowers, and some plum wrapped around. Little bit of licorice and ginger snap too. Medium, energetic finish; no heat. Smooth for such a youngster. Bummed I didn't carry more home.

UPDATE: went back for another glass a couple hours later, and this has put on some creamy weight, with delicious smoky bacon. Upgrading the score, and will be looking for more of this through distribution. It's just showing off at this point.

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Red

2012 Maison L'Envoye Pinot Noir Attaché

Willamette Valley more

12/27/2014 - tomherer Likes this wine: 91 points

Very good pinot, but the WS fireworks aren't quite going off for me. Somewhat simple with a modest finish. Plum, wild berry, flowers, graphite. Pleasant funk on the nose as another taster mentioned. A wonderful smooth, rich texture with pebbly tannins is the highlight. Should develop nicely over the next few years; 91 with room to improve.

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Red

2011 Herman Story Grenache Late Bloomer

California more

12/26/2014 - tomherer Likes this wine: 92 points

Definitely on the same page with caeleric here -- very fruit forward, but also very pure and delicate. Never crosses over to jammy. Supported by plenty of mineral and tar, with the prominent fruit being raspberry, cherry, and some wild berry jolly rancher. Some creaminess around the edges, but in no way plump. A lot like the '11 OTR, but a hair more precise, clean, and pebbly. Also agree that while not cheap, you can pay a lot more for its CA counterparts. 92+, really like this one.

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Red

2007 Sparkman Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Kingpin

Red Mountain more

12/22/2014 - tomherer Likes this wine: 92 points

Still a baby but so good. Been open 1.5 hrs and just starting to sing. Roasted herb and mocha nose. Loads of black cherry on the palate, with raspberry, mocha latte, more herb, and clay/chalk tannins. Full body, medium finish. Can see this getting more polished/focused with time. 92 with room to improve. Would leave alone at least three more years.

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  • Tasting notes: 223 notes on 203 wines

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