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

2013 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Negra Terra Alta

more

7/25/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 88 points

Not decanted, consumed over 2-3 hours. Mixed berry/black cherry fruit, ripe but dry, with interesting savory/earthy notes on both nose and palate, reminding me somewhat of beef broth or maybe charred grilled veggies. Relatively polished for the ~$10 price range, and with enough depth to be a very nice daily drinker over the next couple/few years. I suspect we'll get more.

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White

2009 Talley Vineyards Chardonnay Oliver's Vineyard

Edna Valley more

7/23/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Consumed on and off over ~4 hours alongside a dinner of cream & parmesan pasta with shrimp and then on its own. Weighty chard, with decent depth and nice acidity, although the palate has a bit of a lemon furniture polish edge, and there's more malo-butter than I prefer (I'm admittedly sensitive to it). The richness of the meal was a nice foil, but I didn't enjoy it as much later on, without food and closer to room temp.

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Red

2012 J.L. Chave Sélection Côtes du Rhône Mon Coeur

Red Rhone Blend more

7/22/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, one glass consumed over ~45 minutes after it had been open a little while. Cherry pit, black currant, tar, licorice, a little smoky meat. Certainly a distinctive CdR with depth and complexity not usually found in this range. Good stuff, fairly priced at <$20. I didn't really pay enough attention to score this, but my gut says 89-90ish is about right.

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Rosť

2013 Celler de Xavier Clua Terra Alta El Solà d'en Pol

Rosé Blend more

7/19/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 87 points

Consumed in stages over ~3 hours while warming from fridge temp to room temp on a muggy evening. Like a tart liquid watermelon Jolly Rancher, but dry and with a note of something like cantaloupe or peach adding interest. Nice summer fruit finish, and longer than I usually expect from rose in this price range.

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Red

2008 Bisceglia Aglianico del Vulture Gudarrà

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7/18/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 89 points

Not decanted, followed over ~3 hours in small pours. Dark blackish red in the glass, mostly showing non-fruit notes on the nose - strong chocolate-covered raisins, hints of meat and smoke, an edge of something astringent or rusty. The palate adds some dark berry fruit but is otherwise consistent with the nose, all carried on a fairly rustic acid/tannin structure. This honest, earthy aglianico begs to accompany a bold and meaty dish, and I'm digging it this evening.

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Red

2011 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Red Rhone Blend more

7/12/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Consumed a small glass over ~45 minutes with our tasting group. Ripe red cherry/mixed berry fruit with some depth on the nose, definitely a modern-leaning wine from the get-go. The fruit notes carried through on the heavy palate, with a bit of menthol and occasional hints of other spices and gaminess poking through. A bit of heat showing - not enough to put me off, but enough that I wasn't surprised when I noted that the bottle listed 16%.

Not showing the elegance or restraint I generally prefer, but I think there is some potential to develop further complexity over the next couple of years. Others at the table enjoyed this more, and one mentioned that this wine 'pushed all his buttons.'

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White

2013 Brecon Estate Viognier

Paso Robles more

7/12/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Consumed a small glass over ~30 minutes with our tasting group. Lighter on its feet than I would expect from a typical Paso viognier. Floral on the nose with maybe a hint of musky melon, decent liveliness on the palate with nicely restrained citrus/melon notes. Poured blind for our group and tasted alongside an oaky CA chardonnay, guesses were all over the map for this one.

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White

2013 Floriana Grüner Veltliner

Hungary more

7/7/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 83 points

Consumed over ~45 minutes. Recent notes capture this well - dry, zesty enough, mild fruit, hints of white pepper/floral notes, simple but refreshing. $6 is fair, and 83ish seems about right.

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Red

2011 Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico Chianti Classico Riserva

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese more

7/5/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 86 points

Not decanted, one glass consumed over 45 minutes. I've noticed just a little bottle variation over three bottles of this, with one being more similar to the first/best one we tried. Basic but decent, especially if you like a hint of an oaky spice note with your pizza wine. 85-86ish.

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Rosť

2013 Antichi Vinai Etna Petra Lava

Etna DOC Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese more

7/5/2015 - bretrooks wrote: flawed

Very slightly corked...not even corked enough to create a good educational moment with the friends we had over. A couple of people who had some wine experience said they could just detect it but only after it was mentioned, and most either couldn't detect it or didn't mind. Aside from that, the wine seemed consistent with my 5/12/2015 impressions.

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Red

2012 Cameron Hughes Lot 467 Lodi Field Blend

Red Blend more

7/3/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 84 points

Not decanted, consumed over 1 1/2 hours. Ripe cherry fruit and a brambly/slightly oaky spiciness, fair acidity, some tannic structure. While not badly made, the fruit-forwardness and overall simplicity keep me from being more enthusiastic. Still, if you're looking for a crowd-pleasing BBQ wine in the $6 range, you could certainly do worse.

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Rosť

2013 Wagner-Stempel Spätburgunder trocken

Rheinhessen more

7/3/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Consumed over ~1 hour. Beautiful, lively rose. Creamy pineapple, almost-ripe strawberries, maybe a hint of something floral on the nose. On the palate, this shifts gears, with the fresh acidity making the pineapple seem more like grapefruit and with apricots overtaking the tart berry note on the finish. Very good stuff for the price paid.

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Red

2008 Tolo Cellars Leros

Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend more

7/2/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Decanted ~2 hours, consumed with friends over ~1 hour. Similar to my 5/23 note, from which I learned...we opened this one alongside a dessert of dark chocolate, nuts, figs & berries drizzled with honey and cinnamon. It worked better in this context than with the dinner we had with the last bottle.

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White

2013 Domaine Saint Romain Vin de Savoie Jongieux

Jacquère more

7/1/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 88 points

Our first Savoie wine, I believe. Consumed over ~1 1/2 hours while warming from fridge temp to cool room temp alongside a light picnic-type dinner (good cheeses, crackers, salami, garlic toasts, a few anchovies). This poured a pale yellow with a bit of delightful effervescence, giving off a pretty nose of white blossoms and maybe a hint of melon rind. Fairly dry and delicate, with maybe just a little more body than I expected carrying gently tart apple/melon citrus fruit. Not great with the salami or blue cheese, but this played nicely with basically everything else. We both liked this and are intrigued to try more from the Savoie.

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Red

2013 Kirkland Signature Côtes du Rhône Villages

Red Rhone Blend more

6/30/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 84 points

Not decanted, consumed over 1 1/2 hours. Simple, correctly-made red wine but without too much character. Red/black cherry fruit with an undercurrent of red meat eventually coming through. Decently drinkable with air, and not especially out of balance in any way, but not really a memorable bottle either. Made by P. Lesec.

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Red

2011 Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico Chianti Classico Riserva

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese more

6/6/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 87 points

Not decanted, opened 30 minutes before pouring out & consumed over ~2 hours. No great depth, perhaps, but this is a solid wine with everything in its proper place for a baseline CCR - not-too-ripe cherry fruit, a bit of woody/peppery spice, decent structure & balance to work with food and maybe last a few years. Made by Villa Cafaggio, this is an excellent weeknight/cellar defender option at <$9.

P.S. Consistent notes from bottle #2...still solid, although I'm a maybe a little less enthusiastic about it overall. Still worth picking up a little more, which we recently did.

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Red

2009 Paro Pinot Noir Indindoli Vineyards

Russian River Valley more

5/25/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 91 points

Not decanted, a small pour consumed over ~15 minutes with our tasting group. About two years since opening our last one, this showed very well alongside pork chops with a cherry balsamic reduction including fennel and rosemary. The rich, dark red fruit I noted in 2012 has shed some of its youthfulness and gained depth. Black tea notes and a warm spiciness added complexity, and its food-friendly acidity was welcome. This is drinking very nicely right now.

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Red

2013 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Berserkers' Cuvée

Chehalem Mountains more

5/24/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 89 points

Not decanted, but poured out in a few stages and followed over ~3 hours. Youthful dark ruby in the glass, showing floral notes on the nose (chamomile and maybe white tea or honeydew rind) moreso than black cherry/blueberry fruit. Medium-light weight in the mouth, with just a prickle of CO2 upon opening and a good tart acidity. The palate, like the nose, is delicate and not especially fruit-driven; there is some cherry/tart red berry, but floral/tea notes are just as prominent, and there's some subtle mushroom as well. I can see how fans of "California pinot" might find this thin or slight, but we enjoyed it.

While a little young/simple at the moment, this is still a pretty wine and should drink well as it comes together over the next few years, at least. We'll probably wait a few months before opening another. 89+ for now.

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Red

2008 Tolo Cellars Leros

Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend more

5/23/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, consumed over 2+ hours. Viscous garnet red with a noticeable brown tinge. An unusual mix of ripe fruit, walnutty oxidized notes, and maybe a little hint of barrel. Decent acidity and a touch of heat. Sweetish on the palate, strongly putting me in mind of a red table wine mixed with a generous splash of tawny port.

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White

NV Espiral Vinho Verde

White Blend more

5/12/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Two small pours consumed over ~1 hour, warming from fridge temp to room temp. Slightly effervescent at pour, showing lemon/lime notes and maybe a hint of melon or peach. Refreshing acidity. Yes, it's fairly short and simple, but for $4.49 at TJ's, if the current release consistently shows like this, I can see us picking up more throughout the summer.

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Rosť

2013 Antichi Vinai Etna Petra Lava

Etna DOC Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese more

5/12/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 89 points

One glass consumed over ~45 minutes, warming from fridge temp to room temp. I was struck by how bright red this was in the glass, looking like liquid candy. The nose showed ripe strawberries and bright cherries, with floral notes also adding to the mix. This was drier on the palate than expected from the nose, with an edge of cranberry acidity, and I think Dbunk's mention of hibiscus is a good one as well. Medium-bodied, and very enjoyable.

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Red

2004 Cantina Rotaliana Teroldego Rotaliano Clesurae

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5/8/2015 - bretrooks wrote: 87 points

Not decanted, consumed over 1 1/2 hours. My first time with teroldego. For a 2004, this still showed relatively youthful, with dark grapey/plummy fruit alongside bittersweet chocolate and subtle spiciness. Fairly large-scaled wine with decent acidity. Good overall, if somewhat limited in complexity and with a flavor profile that didn't particularly draw me in. 86-87ish.

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White

2012 Betwixt White Saralee's Vineyard

Russian River Valley White Blend more

5/8/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

One glass consumed over ~30 minutes, warming from fridge temp to room temp. This reads correctly as marsanne/roussanne, showing floral & baking spice components with muted white fruit but without much brightness or liveliness to counterbalance the heft. For my palate, not as successful as the Betwixt grenache we opened previously.

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Red

2004 Tolo Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

Paso Robles more

5/2/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Decanted 3+ hours, consumed over 2 hours with grilled steaks & balsamic gorgonzola baked brussels sprouts. Similar to the bottle from 12/25/2013, still a little porty and just a touch candied, but with oak more integrated and everything working together better than in any previous bottle we've opened. No rush on these.

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Red

2012 La Mano Bierzo

Mencía more

5/1/2015 - bretrooks wrote: NR

Not decanted, consumed a small pour over ~30 minutes. This showed a little bit of muted dark berry fruit, but it really was more about dried herbs, humus, and tomatoes, in an interesting but wouldn't-want-to-drink-it-all-the-time way. Not especially exciting, but more than fair for $4 at TJ's, as long as you know what to expect.

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  • Tasting notes: 720 notes on 539 wines

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