Frank Murray III

User #7,180 signed up 7/24/2005 and last accessed 7/7/2015

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  • 2010 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block

    I waited a couple years between bottles, with the last being in 2013. Opened this bottle last night, as I wanted something from the cellar that was a bit more fruit centric, plusher--so, go with the Papa's as this consistently delivers. Here is the thing for me with Mike's syrahs, what I like about them. They give me fruit with plusher textures. And yet, they have edges. Let's use this Papa's to make my point. First off, dark color, mainly a maroonish purple. There is the Carlisle texture, where there is a gentle, full palate presentation, not of the leaner side of things. This is labeled at 15.9% abv, and yet there is no booze nor distraction within the aromatic. And I wonder if the abv is lower, as I don't feel bonked the head after a glass, FWIW. And to the point about having edges, this wine exhibits the imprint of whole cluster--garrigue, cooked meat, steak sauce, pepper, yet wrapped around all that is the plusher, dark raspberry and blackberry fruit. Oh, and there's acidity too. This ain't flabby or unbalanced, as there is a lively zing that sits in the finish of the wine, along with good structure. All in, this is just great CA syrah. I'm really lasered down to just a few syrah producers, and really mostly the fragile palate stuff that lies in the low abv spectrum of things. However, with Mike's syrahs, with the Papa's, Rosella's and the AVA cuvees, these remain on my purchase list. Mike's syrahs provide a great counterpoint to Copain and Wind Gap, more like the Riverain syrahs, and all of them fit on my short list for syrah I buy now and enjoy. Love this 2010 Papa's.

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  • 2007 Carlisle Two Acres

    4 years in between bottles, what is a long pause for me typically, I opened this y/day and drew off a glass for dinner, and at that time, was struck by the level of acidity here. Bright and lively, I would think too much for some people. Re-tasting today, there is fruit here, and I'd call the weight medium plus, not lean or austere at all. Dark cherry and blueberry are the fruit impressions, then some sweet leather, peat, and plenty of citrus rind. I find the total collection of flavors here unique, as the fruit and texture of it is classic Carlisle, suave and plush, yet the leather and acidic red fruit tones create a juxtaposition which just doesn't work all that well for me. As to where this will head, there is plenty of acidity here to carry the wine so this can rest a few more years, I suppose.

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  • 2008 Clos Pepe Estate Pinot Noir

    My last one, over three years in between tasting this wine. Opened last night. Reminds me of the bottle in 2012, with a juicy profile. The fruit flavors remain tart, with some sweet blueberry and cranberry tones. I called it pomegranate in my 2012 note and that is here, too. This doesn't feel nor remind me of the Santa Rita Hills much anymore, if it ever really did. It instead comes off like a more soil driven Burgundy, actually. If someone poured this for me blind (which is always a humbling way to drink and check the ego), I'd guess Burgundy here and of course get it wrong. This reminds me more of good Arcadian than anything I have ever tasted made off of Hwy 246. This wine is going to keep trucking and I bet you it turns into a nice aged CA pinot, one that would distinguish the property and the chops of Mr Hagen.

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  • Charlie Carnes says:

    3/21/2015 1:14:00 PM - Hi Frank, I agree with your thoughts on Rhys re: customer service. The real question... when are we going get our "fragile" palates together?

  • haldolugr says:

    4/16/2014 4:54:00 PM - Frank - thanks for the comment on my tasting note. Will be interested to see your notes on the the wine once you open it.

  • jeagle says:

    4/4/2014 8:32:00 AM - Thanks for the comment. I would be interested in your assessment of the wine. I have been disappointed with all four of the Carlisle wines I have tasted from this vintage and am used to receiving comments from offended fans. Uh oh. I just noticed the magnum of Carlisle in your posted picture. Hey, I was a Santa Ana Saint.

  • short and confused says:

    11/17/2013 9:56:00 PM - Hi Frank, Very cool that you have been spending some time in Boston recently! I live a block from Boston but work on the South Shore, close to Marshfield. I head out your way in December for a few weeks to see family and friends. I love your notes and will continue to enjoy your reflections. Great work. Justin

  • stubbie999 says:

    6/22/2013 12:11:00 AM - Hi Frank - While I've been a CT user for a while now, I'm only just figuring out the social component of the new version. Comments and message boards and all that. I appreciate your notes a ton, and it seems like we travel some of the same paths- it's rare I find someone else's cellar I'd be as happy drinking through as my own. I encourage you to open that Wind Gap Mourvedre - it's really surprising, and I don't say that about a wine very often. I did get another couple bottles on the way from Pam and Pax, but they did mention that it's almost gone. Best, Marc

  • apspr says:

    5/1/2013 7:28:00 PM - Hi Frank, I thought about you and our previous correspondence as I was writing this note. Now that I have I looked at what others have written in the last few weeks, you should probably take what I said with a big grain of salt. For all I know this bottle was just a little off, and the wine is still firmly in its window. Or maybe our accompaniment wasn't ideal, but unfortunately it was three or four weeks ago and I just can't remember what we had. You have one bottle left, correct? I'm sure there is no great rush to drink it, but I also don't know if there is too much point in waiting a lot longer. If you pop it, let me know how it turns out-- Best, Tim

  • ScottPreston says:

    2/12/2013 12:30:00 PM - Frank, on your oxidation question on the Chidaine. I have had a ton of Chidaine over the last 3-5 years. This was the most oxidation i have had on one of his wines. I don't mind a little oxidation. In fact some of my favorite wines from the Loire are from Nicolas Joly, which i find have oxidation. Could have been an off bottle, but i will probably drink my Chidaines a little younger going forward.

  • oenophilemoose says:

    2/3/2013 10:04:00 PM - Frank...thank you for your input and I'll follow your advice and purchase some of the vintages you recommended. I'm still somewhat of a novice and trying to accumulate a diverse cellar and continue my journey of new and different wine experiences. Cheers! Moose

  • chatters says:

    1/14/2013 2:09:00 AM - G'day Frank, thanks for your question...I find until the tertiary/age characteristics start coming through at some level that Vouvray and, to a lesser extent, Savennieres lack complexity and thus I find them a little simple, but still good, wines. They tend to exhibit, for me, a little citrus or green apple, some minerality, perhaps some lanolin touches and plenty of acidity. What I prefer is what happens with time, when notes of nuts, honey, sometimes figs, and spices start to come to the fore. With that in mind, I'd leave this for a few years as it has some minor honeyed notes on the nose but this isn't on the palate yet - I've got a couple of the 05's that I have no plans on opening in the immediate future (probably in 5-10 years). The big sticking point will be the quality of the cork/seal and storage conditions but I've had 20 year old Vouvrays that have been wonderful, rich and complex and I see no reason why this couldn't last that long. Of course, if you prefer them crisp, fresh and crunchy with a plate of fresh sashimi or oysters I'd get tucked in! cheers, chatters

  • moudy says:

    1/12/2013 2:54:00 PM - Good afternoon. I would suggest you try a good Cru Beaujolais. The 2009 are great and 2010 are pretty good. Stick with the region of Morgon or Brouilly. Lapierre is a good Morgon and Chateau Thiven is a good Brouilly. Don't get your expectations set too high, but they are a fun, really light red wine. I especially like serving them at parties when the majority of the crowd knows little about wine.

  • DonDon says:

    12/28/2012 4:15:00 PM - Hi and thanks for posting a comment on my note on the Pax CK Ranch. No one has ever commented on one of my tasting notes so its taken me a day or two to work out how to best respond to you! Yes I am aware of Wind Gap and fortunately I do own 5 bottles if the 09 Griffins Lair so am delighted to hear I have the right one for me as I am waiting a bit before opening one. I do also have some if the wind gap Chardonnay and I must admit I found it a bit disappointing. On the Pax tasting note by heat I meant that I felt the alcohol was not totally integrated with the wine (I may have used the wrong phrase as I am relatively new to leaving tasting notes). I did still enjoy it but for me the 06 Paz Terraces Alder Springs is just in a different league. I live in London so it is sometimes hard to get great Cali wines in the UK but I go to Napa sometimes and ship back plus I know where to buy here as Californian wines are my first love more than any other region. Have you tried any Palmaz? It's Cab Sav rather than Syrah but if you have not had I completely recommend you try as it is stunning and not the usual fruit bomb you might expect from Napa. Anyway hope you are well and have a great New Year. DonDon

  • Matt Scott says:

    12/26/2012 11:56:00 PM - Hi Frank, I appreciate your kind comment in regards to the tasting note for the '08 Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir. It is undoubtedly one of the best Pinots that I have ever tasted from my home state. I can see that you also appreciate Gary's wines as well, along with some other stunning gems from Cali. I always enjoy reading your well-said, and thoughtful notes on a plethora of wines. The 100-point scale can seem a little contrived and corrupt - I get it, really I do (especially when a wine jumps up in price because of a number it was so fortunate to receive). I find it as an honest gauge for myself and it can seriously help for a easy reference. I don't like all the pretentiousness that can be attached to it, but if it wasn't that (the 100-point system), it would be something else. I typically see it as a decent comparative to the letter-grading that we all grew up with. I always break down the palate, nose, colour, finish and "x factor".