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

2007 Schrader Cellars Zinfandel Vieux-Os Old Vine Tofanelli Vineyard

Napa Valley more

6/14/2010 - mtennenbaum wrote: 92 points

Very birght fruit core. Initial bitterness blows off after a few minutes. Great structure with reasonable alcohol content makes this a very enjoyable example of a well-harnessed zinfandel.

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Red

1999 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard

Napa Valley more

8/13/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 85 points

May have been a bad bottle. The fruit was overripe to the point of tasting like raisins, which may have been a result of storage issues before I acquired this bottle. The rest was fine, so I am hopeful the next bottle will be better.

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Red

2006 Jonata Winery Pinot Noir La Poesía de Jonata

Santa Ynez Valley more

7/23/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 88 points

The winemakers at Jonata must havie been schoolyard bullies becasue subtlety is not in their vocabulary. This highly extracted brute showcases real intensity with sharp acids, feeling more like a Rhone than a Burgundian effort. I used it to help braise a Bison brisket, which it matched beautifully. Don't know that this will ever be more than a curiosity, but it is a tasty one. This will most likely improve with some cellar time.

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Red

1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

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7/23/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 95 points

Ever want more proof that Randy Dunn build them to last, the soft edged, vibrant and fruity '87 will convert you. Showing beautiful bottle age with mounting complexity as the tannins slowly fade away, I think this wine will further improve as the intense mountain fruit is gently intergrating all the earthy enhancements from its time in the barrel. A real pleasure.

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Red

1998 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

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7/23/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 84 points

Could be abad bottle as the barnyard funk of brett dominated. Normally, a little brett puts the fun in funk, but in this case a "k" is more appropriate than an "n". Very disappointing after tasting the ethereal '87 Howell Mtn.

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Red

2005 Oakville East Cabernet Sauvignon Exposure

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7/12/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 91 points

Initial sweetness and fruit nicely framed by tannins that dio not overpower. Time in the glass brings the fruit front and center to this wine. Not as complex as my llast tasting and probably indicative of an evolutionary stage rather than a wine growing more simple. Still very good but I believe patience will be rewarded.

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Red

2001 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir Vigneron Select

Sta. Rita Hills more

6/22/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 87 points

Fading fruit with nicely supporting earthy and spice flavors made this a nice bottle, but less than I had hoped for.

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Red

2001 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan

Napa Valley more

6/3/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 96 points

Monumental effort of sophistication and vineyard expression. This relative youngster sprang from the bottle and never looked back. Fruit edged with layered earthy flavors yielded a distinctive flavor profile I only find among the best cabs. I've got to get some more of these.

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Red

1998 Sine Qua Non E-Raised

Central Coast Syrah Blend, Syrah more

6/1/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 97 points

Monumental effort. The fruit still seems so fresh and the developing structure, finely integrated tannins and lengthy finish make this such a memorable bottle on which to finish an the 11-course tasting menu we prepared at home. The primary imprint on the palate is fruit-purity. It is so deep and so well framed by earthy notes that it blows away the very fine and younger offerings from Jonata (the newest venture from the Screaming Eagle folks). As with all the SQN Syrah wines I've tried, it is a truly artistic and profound experience.

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Red

2004 Jonata Winery La Sangre de Jonata

Santa Ynez Valley Syrah more

6/1/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 92 points

Still evolving, this has a long life ahead. Really enjoy the sense of balance and depth of fruit in this inaugural effort.

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White - Sweet/Dessert

2001 Château Rieussec

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend more

5/24/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 98 points

Wow, great nobility followed some impressive white wines tonight. The Rieussec displayed classic botrytis character with a solid but forgiving framwork. This wine continues to gain complexity, to deliver sweetness without being cloying and to balance all the elements into a desert so good, nothing could follow. I am still haunted by its flavor.

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White

2005 Hyde De Villaine Chardonnay

Carneros more

5/24/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 91 points

Displays the great fruit from Hyde vineyard, but the structure seems less harmonious right now, with the aicds shortening the finish more than I had expected. Still a wonderful bottle, just not as good as last year.

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White

2007 Aubert Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard

Sonoma Coast more

5/24/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 93 points

Tight, with brimming fruit and solid structure. This followed a 2005 HdV and handily bested it. A great wine poissed to improve over the next few years.

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White

2006 Kongsgaard Chardonnay The Judge

Napa Valley more

5/21/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 97 points

A romantic evening at Melisse in Los Angeles, the wine was very smooth with a deeply fruited/mineral nose right out of the bottle. After 20 minutes, the structure emerged. It was as though I were eating an intense fruit enveloped in wet stones. This wine's minerality is unlike any other California Chardonnay I've tasted.

Coming back to the glass over the 4 hour dinner, the Judge paired with a wide variety of flavors without overpowering the meal. A tour de force that any serious wine drinker should experience.

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Red

1985 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

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5/18/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 91 points

This much maligned bottle continues to impress 24 years later. Resolved tannins reveal mature and complex fruit with earthy components framed by cedarbox notes. Very smooth, like an old tap dancer who while having lost power, retains enought agility and finesse to deliver joy from the first sip. Nose was consistent with taste on the palate.

It is holding very nicely, I would think this is a peak period for this wine.

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Red

2001 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir Vigneron Select

Sta. Rita Hills more

4/21/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 91 points

Nicely resolved, lots of fruits and earthy spice. Cherries emerged on the palate after a half hour and the long, balanced finish brought us back for more. Not consistent with others' notes so I will see how the next bottle is before taking a firmer stance.

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White

2001 Clos Pepe Estate Chardonnay

Sta. Rita Hills more

4/2/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 88 points

OK, the fruit still hanging on against encroaching heat. Not as impressive as the last bottle, but still proves the point that CA Chard can develop and age far longer than the conventional wisdom.

Still, this bottle was on the back nine, maybe the 17th hole, and worth enjoying.

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White

2006 Jonata Winery La Flor de Jonata

Santa Ynez Valley Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend more

3/27/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 93 points

Paired with 2 dozen ousters, 6 varieties and assorted condiments. The falvor concentration in this wine is way off the charts for a Sauvignon Blanc. Not steely like or a fruit bowl like a Kiwi S.B., this is a unique vairetal statement IMHO.

Great acids provide support as the finish lingers for more than a minute. This is a fabulous effort.

Later tried Caymus Conundrum to compare and the normally reliable Caymus tasted washed out next to the Jonata.

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Red

2001 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan

Napa Valley more

3/26/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 95 points

Star of the evening, muscular yet refined, packed with fruit and earthy elements beautifully supported by enough tannin to hold it together without seeming hard. A magnificent wine that seems well poised to improve over the next several years (if you can wait).

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Red

2005 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard

St. Helena more

2/28/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 95 points

Opened at Jar over dinner. Had the sommelier join us in tasting it. This wine drinks so well so young, it is tempting to drink it more liberally. Bright, juicy fruit with milk chocolate and earthy spice notes that are beautifully framed by softening tannins, Has the structure to improve for years, but also one to drink as it evolves since it delivers so much pleasure early on.

Yes, I'm a big fan of Realm, who has just moved to a waiting list becasue demand has grown so quickly for this newcomer. I believet their wines are worth a look despite the many, many quality producers in the area.

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Red

1986 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate

Napa Valley more

2/27/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 94 points

I recently watched Bottle Shock, so it was natural to open a Montelena. Caught a strong whiff of Brett which was also present on the palate. While controversial, I find some brett adds to the taste and complexity, which I found to be the case here. The fading fruit, cedar-box and earthy elements all combined for a very thought provoking wine. This should be, IMHO, on one's wines to drink up list.

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Red

1996 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard

Napa Valley more

2/27/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 94 points

Beautifully resolved and ready to drink with lots of brimming fruit and complexity. This is a wine worth seeking out at auction as prices continue to fall.

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Red

2006 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Diamasche

Napa Valley more

2/13/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 94 points

Ok, it's been about another year that I've let this rest. Much more approachable, with gobs of sweet fruit, some develloping complexity and a solid wall of tannins at the back end. I am thrilled it how this is evolving since it was a blend I created.

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Red

1983 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection

Napa Valley more

2/13/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 95 points

Majestic and resolved, this still vibrant and complex offering was drunk so fast that there was no opportunity to see how it would have developed over the hours. If you have some, it seems to be in peak condition.

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White

2006 Kongsgaard Chardonnay

Napa Valley more

2/4/2009 - mtennenbaum wrote: 93 points

Continues to really impress me with its concentration, pinpoint balance and layared flavors. A real joy to drink.

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  • Tasting notes: 94 notes on 75 wines

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