Mike Kopanski

User #90,867 signed up 9/7/2009 and last accessed 5/29/2015

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Member since September 2009

Locale: Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Favorite region: Sonoma Valley, Provence, Chianti, Rioja
Dream wine: Old Vine Zinfandel
I was introduced to wine appreciation in 1990 by a Chinaman from Hong Kong who owned an Italian restaurant. I then read Alex Bespalof's book from cover to cover, did not retain very much, so read it again, and the light came on. Early on, I liked almost every wine, and drank mostly because I was thirsty. I started vacationing in CA wine country, and got really hooked on tasting. In 2001 I drove out to CA and worked a harvest in Sonoma Valley (and 2 more since), where I made invaluable contacts who have instilled in me the winemaking process from nursery, to bottled wine on the retail shelf. After visiting hundreds of wineries, tasting 10's of thousands of wines, from everywhere, but specializing in CA wines, my palate automatically analyzes the many components of the wine, compares them to previous tastes and comentary from professionals, to the point where I can usually piece together the path of the wine through the vineyard to the bottle. I can certainly find a majority of the flaws, and tell you why it is flawed. My biggest weakness is a limited sense of smell caused by working in a construction environment. Also, I don't have the resources to evaluate properly aged classic wines from basically anywhere.

  • 2014 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Natura

    From one of my favorite Chilean producers, we have tried this Sauvignon Blanc for many vintages now, and it always hits just the right tasting points. Pretty dark golden color for a Sauvignon. Noticeable grassy aromas, but also some honeysuckle and citrus on the nose. Pure Sauvignon Blanc lemon lime, gooseberry and grapefruit flavors with a touch of typical Chilean earthy mineral tasting funk. Just the right amount of balancing acidity. A little rustic on the finish with qa scuppernong skin flavor with citrus and something spicy.

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  • 2012 Domaines Sarrail Cité de Carcassonne Esprit de Sarrail

    Like the 2011, this 2012 is also 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Colombard. The Colombard brings just a hint of the typical Souhwest France rustic, mineral laden, lemon lime flavor that only enhances the moderate grassy herbaceousness of the Sauvignon. With a little air and time in the glass, the initial tart, leafy flavor diminishes and smoothes out. This 2012 is probably on it's downward spiral, having lost it's initial freshness and now is time to drink up. The bottle age has civilized the acid. The finish is surprisingly smooth and mature with a nice sensation of fresh squeezed lime all across the palate.

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  • 2012 Turn Key Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Pillar Heights

    A little to much residual sugar to be considered a serious wine. When you wine shop at Aldi you never know what to expect. For every undiscovered gem, there is one of these whose label gives no indication this wine is for amateurs. There is some indication of typical to Paso Robles, red fruit first on the Cabernet. Not enough acid, tannin or oak. These were probably decent grapes sacrificed to make a crowd pleasing, affordable red wine. Big disappointment.

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  • Scot Russo says:

    3/5/2013 12:53:00 AM - Hey Mike, you have a knack for writing about wine. I enjoy your input, and writing style, to bad you live on the east coast! As a Monterey native living in Hawaii I hope you don't have to over pay for CA wine like I do! Mahalo

  • Motz says:

    2/24/2013 1:53:00 PM - Mike, I enjoy reading your notes. I am not a social media guy but I would like to keep in contact. My email is on my profile page. Drop me a line if you're so inclined. Best Regards, Motz