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

2011 Joullian Chardonnay Sleepy Hollow Vineyard

Santa Lucia Highlands more

2/10/2016 - tomherer wrote: flawed

Just barely rotten. Had a little less than glass, and it was drinkable, but a musty/iodine/cider vinegar streak was impossible to ignore. Stood up great in the white clam sauce though, and now lives in frozen blocks in the freezer in anticipation of sauces to come. Bought as a single bottle lot on Winebid, so who knows re: the provenance; probably just a one-off bad bottle.

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Red

2012 Bacio Divino Pazzo

Napa Valley SuperTuscan Blend more

2/8/2016 - tomherer wrote: 87 points

Bought on closeout, figured it would be good with homemade pizza. The pizza turned out great! Oh the wine, right, had already forgotten. It's red. Void of any varietal characteristic. Serviceable with food, nice concentration and barrel influence, but really takes the super out of Super Tuscan. Did a good job on the table, but at considerable opportunity cost given what's out there for half the price.

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Red

2013 The Calling Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley more

2/1/2016 - tomherer Likes this wine: 89 points

Another NH closeout deal; $20. My first try with this brand, and it's good. Given that its sale price is less than the going rate for that god-forsaken syrup called Meiomi, wasn't expecting much, but this is real Pinot. Smacks of authentic RRV -- started researching, and the winemaker is Dan Goldfield! No wonder.

Cola, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, vanilla, citrus pith. Hints of mushroom and forest floor. Finishes crisp, medium, dry. Will be better (and perhaps more of a crowd-pleaser) in a few years, but approachable now if you don't mind a few gritty tannins.

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White

2012 Sanford Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills

more

1/31/2016 - tomherer Likes this wine: 88 points

$16 at the NH state monopoly, and until yesterday, 15% off of a mixed case, so threw a bottle of this into the case I was putting together. It's very good. If you're in the minority of folks on CT shopping at these stores, definitely recommend you buy it, along with the Landmark Overlook (same vintage, a buck less) in the CA chard category.

Straddles the new/old world divide, albeit clumsily. The oak is a little blunt, and the acid a little loud, so they seem to pull apart. Lemon, white grapefruit and flowers, some butterscotch. The high notes take over the finish and stay there awhile. Better with food and well above fridge temp.

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Red

2012 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard

Arroyo Seco more

1/26/2016 - tomherer Does not like this wine: 74 points

Contrary to a recent taster's complaint, maybe this could go well with tomatoes. It is after all very tomato-ey. Pretty much all the nose has to offer is tomato, besides the same taster's mention of a complimentary nose grooming. But unless you're conducting some weird tomato-on-tomato experiment, do not drink this wine. Dump it, wait 11 months for an office yankee swap, clean your toilet with it, but do not ingest.

If you choose to anyway, you will experience a muggy swamp of tomato jam, stewed cherry, shoe polish, and shoe polish soaked in rubbing alcohol. I know, I'm being harsh, but so is the wine. I get that it's a tough call once you've grown, harvested, and crushed grapes, and then committed your production capacity to finishing them. Sometimes it doesn't work out, and you dump it on Last Bottle for a price that you're unhappy with but the customers aren't. This wine should never have made it even that far.

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Red

2010 Martinelli Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

more

1/25/2016 - tomherer Likes this wine: 91 points

Smells spicy. Is spicy. Bitter cola, acids, and a good assortment of tannins hit first, followed by strawberry, Chambord, cloves, cinnamon, and dirt. Pulses between rough and smooth on the palate. Finish is long, detailed, and hot. Perhaps not for everyone due to its intensity -- which may mellow in a few years -- but it's the whole package. I suppose you could have a taste and then dump the rest into a beef stew like a recent taster did, but...really, wtf?

UPDATE: Day two, and the bitter/roughness has almost completely resolved. Now just a lovely, lithe, fruity pinot with some baking spice and earth notes. Very appealing. Ticking up the score a point. Would give this quite a bit of air near-term or visit in 2+ years.

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White

2007 Zanzibar Cellars Chardonnay Playa Sol

Columbia Valley more

1/3/2016 - tomherer Likes this wine: 90 points

Didn't know what to expect since this has been forgotten in the back of the fridge for a few years, but needed a wine for pasta sauce last night so figured I'd give it a try. Fresh as a daisy, notes exactly in line with Bg3034's last Sept. Last of my bottles; these really outperformed from start to finish.

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White

2003 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Bourgeoise

Sauvignon Blanc more

12/6/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 92 points

Picked this up around a decade ago on a trip to the winery. Had the best intentions of consuming in its youth, but since that window came and went a few years ago, it's been in that small, scary box of wines that are most likely badly over the hill. And you don't know whether drinking the decayed version or owning the fact that you let it happen is going to be worse.

Ripped the band-aid off tonight and yah, sure, it's tired, but it's also like Gibson at the end of Braveheart. Exhausted, facing imminent death, but still a total goddam boss.

Color is between thick urine and orange marmalade. Nose is, actually, of orange marmalade. Palate is the same, but joined by delicious lime curd, and yellow grapefruit. The finish is as persistent and silky as the day I first tasted it. All things considered, a triumph.

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Red

2012 KITÁ Spe'y Camp 4 Vineyard

Santa Ynez Valley Red Blend more

12/4/2015 - tomherer Does not like this wine: 85 points

I love Grenache, even when it veers towards ripe and candied, but this is a chore to drink. Flabby plum, candied flowers, and some minerality as it gains air. A sticky, ponderous sweetness overwhelms and doesn't encourage another sip. Will labor through my remaining bottle and move on.

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White

2010 Bennett Lane Chardonnay Reserve Sangiacomo Vineyard Carneros

more

11/20/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 88 points

Pretty good, but not aging with as much grace as you'd expect from this producer. Inviting nose of ripe apple and lemon oil. Palate is baked apple pie and lemon curd. Creamy body and a nice finish, but with some raw oak and heat that haven't managed to integrate over the years. Satisfied given the price I paid on the auction circuit, but would certainly be let down near full retail. Drink now.

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Red

2011 JC Cellars The Impostor

California Red Blend more

11/20/2015 - tomherer wrote: NR

This was drinkable but inconsistent with the other reviews I've read. VA, spritz, rich fruit, and heat on night one. Just VA and heat on night two. Have one more bottle with which to test for variation.

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Red

2006 Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel Lancel Creek Vineyard

Russian River Valley more

11/12/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 94 points

Following this for ~five hours and it's been amazing from start to finish. Reminds me a lot a finer Carlisle in terms of delivering cellar-worthy zin at an Everyman price.

The fruit is still the star almost 10 years in; raspberry that's so light and delicious it's hard to describe, along with blackberry jam. Cinnamon, melted licorice, and bitter chocolate. Textbook RRV zin, but in a rare way that amplifies all the best attributes without coming off "big". Authentically briary even with the tannins mostly resolved; genius. One of the best zins I've ever had.

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Red

2008 Baer Winery Ursa

Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend more

11/3/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 93 points

I don't get it. So many reviewers are in the good-not-great camp, but this was and still is a "wow" wine for me. Soft and perhaps a little understated, yes, but no less complex and persistent for it. Tasted this at the Woodinville tasting room on release, thought it was special, and grabbed a (this) bottle. The reviews came out shortly after.

Been saving it for a special occasion and/or Tuesday night, and here we are. Soft Bordeaux aromatics greet you from a distance. Coffee, plum, cigar box, cherry, damp earth. The palate follows evenly, but with a thin wall of spicy tannin, even after a few hours of air. The finish is, in a word, remarkable.

Bottom line, this wine is is a solid notch above excellent, and a testament to the fact that WA wine is a real player on the world stage. If you have some, good for you, and absolutely no rush; if anything, peak is a few years out.

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Red

2005 Fleming-Jenkins Choreography

Yountville Red Bordeaux Blend more

10/31/2015 - tomherer wrote: NR

Thought this was long kicked, but found a straggler in the cellar tonight. Wasn't really in the mood for it, but figured, what good fortune.

Too bad it's shot to hell. Which really surprises me, since these bottles have consistently overdelivered over the years. Would have figured another five years of life left at least.

Anyway, has a stewed plum, rotten tobacco, and mild paint thinner profile. More or less undrinkable. Terrific, balanced, and restrained blend in its heyday, but the cycle of wine life spins on.

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White

2013 Two Arrowheads Viognier

Paso Robles more

10/30/2015 - tomherer Does not like this wine: 82 points

I think I'm commenting on the right wine, altho I don't think there's enough Viognier in the blend to be called that outright. Moreover, can't taste a single one of its varietal characteristics. Anyway, this basically just shows like sour lemon candy and defeats either varietal as well as the purpose of blending them. Blind, I couldn't hazard even the wildest guess as to what this is. There's nothing offensive here, but nothing the least bit compelling either. Hard pass, even at $15.

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Red

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley

more

10/28/2015 - tomherer Does not like this wine: NR

Getting all the downside of Loren's note, but just reading it now. I.e., not really enough wine left for a meaningful redux tmw. Tonight, it's raspberry jam, licorice, and hot lava. Wish I'd followed his advice and kept some in reserve. As of this moment, this is the only Carlisle that I haven't relished. No score, given the reliable testimony that infanticide has been commited.

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Red

2010 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge Vineyard

Mendocino County more

10/27/2015 - tomherer wrote: 91 points

Notes from night two. Was tart to begin with, but is close to shrill now. Don't get me wrong, it's lovely, but the starting fruit:acid ratio is such that I don't necessarily think age and/or air will do this much good.

Nose is a little reticent, but if you get right amongst it, it finally offers up soft strawberry, clove, and cinnamon. The flavors are along the same lines, with crisp cranberry, earth, and green pepper joining the party.

Texture is pure silk, and the finish is long and delicate. Extremely austere for CA, and not my normal cup of tea, but the high quality is obvious regardless of preference. A Burgundy lover's pinot from top to bottom.

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Red

2009 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah In the Rocks

Walla Walla Valley more

10/27/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 94 points

Notes from second night; no change since the first night. I've got limited experience with the WA "rocks" region, but this impression of terroir feels as distinct as any I've seen from around the world.

Nose is really expressive -- invites you in from at least a foot away. It's like being at a pig roast in a grove of eucalyptus. On the palate, the black cherry and plum fruit is direct and pure. Olive, beef jerky, and chipotle bring up the rear. The tannins are like polished river stones. Every sip demands contemplation. Life is good.

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Red - Fortified

2007 Domaine du Mas Blanc (Docteur Parcé) Banyuls Rimage La Coume

Grenache Blend, Grenache more

10/19/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 89 points

Good wine, and very interesting. Has the tannic grip of a VP, the chocolate-covered raisin profile of an LBV, and the animal funk of southern France. Simple, not too sweet, nice finish, and unlike any wine I've ever tried. Win.

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Red

2005 Clarendon Hills Syrah Hickinbotham

more

10/8/2015 - tomherer wrote: NR

Had a bottle of this ~five years ago. Was so fascinated with it that I sourced another one (this one) at great expense. It unfortunately hasn't gone the distance, and I doubt others will either.

Nostril-stinging heat on the nose, and a hot, port-like palate character. It's got terrific intensity, character, and world-class Syrah typicity, but it's struggling to stay on the rails.

This originally was Daedlus for me, but now is Icarus, and he's on a collision course. Drink now or never.

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Red

2014 Alloy Wine Works Pinot Noir

Paso Robles more

10/4/2015 - tomherer wrote: 85 points

Really want to like it a lot, but only like it a little. Muted, hot, dusty nose. Simple, sweet, tasty palate; cherry and caramel, some wild berry. Absolutely perfect flavor profile and format for a party, but probably won't purchase again for personal use.

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White

2013 Charles & Charles Chardonnay

Columbia Valley more

10/4/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 90 points

Scanning reviews on this; feeling like I'm on a different planet, drinking a different wine, or both? At least it's not zinlady's planet; that looks like a scary place.

Anyway, this is absurdly good chard for $10. As the last taster mentioned, this is a go-to value white, and continues to be mine for as long as it's available. Steiman's review for WS is so precise -- the tobacco, pineapple, and coconut are all right there, and meshed together nicely. Midpalate lift, solid finish, medium silky body...hard to understand the ambivalence here, but more for me, I guess.

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White

2012 Landmark Chardonnay Overlook

Sonoma County more

10/2/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 89 points

Getting the exact same experience bval describes. Giving it the same score. Bought it at the same store, for the same price, so...what else can I say that's useful?

Not much really, although for what it's worth, the wine is holding up great, the NHLS still has truckloads of it, and it's a screaming deal worth the trip from an adjacent state to pick up a case. It's also been really versatile at the dinner table -- held up multiple times to smoked salmon and vegetables off the grill this summer, and was perfect with butternut squash and fried sage soup tonight. Nicely-made Chardonnay, drink it.

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Rosť

2014 Alloy Wine Works Grenache

Central Coast more

10/1/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 87 points

Love the branding, packaging, and size format. Can see buying a lot more to nestle between the craft beer cans at the next party. As Martin said, portable, $7, 500ml, freaking kidding me?

Out of the ice bucket, the nose is forward but the palate is completely shut down. Warmed up a little to 48-50 degrees, the palate is much more forward, but giving off a little sugar and flab. I bet there's a sweet spot in the middle, but looking for it takes a lot of the fun out of a basically fun wine, amiright?

That said, it really is a complete and solid rose. Right now, tasting the orange peel Martin noted, macerated strawberries, watermelon with rind, and a faint exit of key lime. I'm looking for the minerality you want in a great pink, but it ain't there. Finish is respectable, nose is attractive...on balance, this is a great discovery to be tried if you can find it.

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Red

2012 Siduri Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

more

9/29/2015 - tomherer Likes this wine: 91 points

I'm with arch57 -- this is the real deal for a fraction of the price. Genuine spicy, mineral-driven, tart Sonoma coast character with a good dollop of over-the-top Siduri richness splashed in.

The nose explodes off the bat -- fruit and flowers in spades. Flavors of strawberry, wild berry, pomegranate, crushed rock, and flowers, with persistent spiciness. The finish is delicate but respectable, with some heat poking through. Would be surprised if the stated 14.1 etoh is telling the whole story.

Unbelievable buy on authentic, high-quality SC Pinot for $21 at the NH state monopoly.

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  • Tasting notes: 265 notes on 242 wines

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