Winebar [4 Whites, 8 Reds, & 12 *shared*, VERY impressive bottles] from 10/26/18

Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA

Tasted October 27, 2018 by srh with 233 views

Flight 1 - Winebar (12 notes)

White
2016 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Cf. the CellarTracker Article link [lower lft] to get specific info for this vintage, including acclaim.

Note: Be sure to read the addendum to my usual format!

N: A melding of butter & asparagus with notes of lemons

P: LM body; Nice frt met by BRACING, puckerish acidity which is also the defining element of the LONG, tangy finish with OCCASIONAL *glimpses* of bitterness. If ONLY more frt to match the acidity? My VG+, but ONLY for those who *LOVE* acidity. [This vendor's $39.95 is at least $3 < anyone else currently listed on wine-searcher!]

Addendum: At the behest of budosyu, I gave this another quick try before departing. By then it had probably been in a small tasting glass for pushing 5 hrs -- & I could then "see" there was, in fact, likely the frt to do "long term battle" with this bottling's UNIQUELY (at least for CA) *beautiful* acidity. So... do not, I repeat, do NOT give this bottling short shrift for being WAY out of the CA "mainstream"! Revised scoring: SAFELY my EXC-/EXC, & I think there's at LEAST a chance it will be up 1 or 2 notches in, say, 5 yrs or so -- in addition to being in its own CA league stylistically!
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
2015 Domaine Masse Pere & Fils Givry Clos de la Brûlée Givry France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Givry
N: Honey slightly atop butter with notes of lemon

P: Med, poss MF, body; RNDISH entry with ALMOST swtish oak/frt BEAUTIFULLY off-set by an acidity which controls the action into & through the LONG, crisp finish with a very, VERY slight bitterness. For now & through '21, + still might improve into '19. My VG+/EXC-, but ya' gotta' LUV acidity. ;) [I didn't see another source with which to compare this vendor's $18.95.]
White
2015 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
From 20 acres of estate Chard (Mt. Eden clone) which yielded 2.0 tons/acre; Numbers @ Harvest: August 14th-18th, 23.0 Brix, 3.30 pH, & 8.6 grams acidity; Barrel Regimen - FR Oak 50% new, 50% 1-year; 100% Barrel Fermented; 100% Malolactic; aged 11 mos sur-lie; 13.5% ABV; Bottling - July 2016; 1,807 - 750ml cs produced, 40 - 1500ml cs & 10 - 3 liters;

N: LOVELY oak-centric aromas with LOTS goin' on, but imposs to parse

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with very NICE oak/frt BEAUTIFULLY counterbalanced by an acidity which SEAMLESSLY transitions into a LONG, tangy, still developing finish with teases of the eventual frt swtness to come. Approachable now, this DESERVES into '20, then making its 10th without problem. My EXC/EXC+, very likely some level of Exceptionality eventually. 93 pts & a "Cellar Selection" WE @ $65. [DO check with this vendor if interested in their *very* COMPETITIVE price!]
White
2016 Terlato Colli Orientali del Friuli Pinot Grigio Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Colli Orientali del Friuli
13.0% ABV; 55,000 cs made

N: Minerals with undertones of pears?

P: Med body; Very RNDISH entry with ALMOST swtish frt off-set by a tart acidity that continues into & through the LONG, VERY slightly bitter finish with glimpses of burgeoning honey. For now & probably through '20, + MIGHT soften a bit. IF so, > my VG. 92 pts Tasting Panel, 90+ WA, 90 ea Jeb Dunnuch & WE @ $23, and 89 WS. [This vendor's $17.95 puts it in the top 10% of wine-searcher's postings.]
Red
2010 Château La Chenade France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Lalande de Pomerol
The 2nd wine of Chateau Les Cruzelles, this vintage supposedly 80% Merlot & 20% C.F. aged in 30% new FR oak barrels;

N: Floral, berries, earth, with notes of vanilla

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with ALMOST swtish frt met by astringent pucker which DOES pretty much resolve by the LONG finish with a tangy/swtness to the very, VERY fine tannins. Approachable now, I can see this holding through '22. Pleasant enough, but strikes me as atypical for the AOC. My VG+/EXC-. 16.5/20 Jancis Robinson, 14-15/20 Winedoctor, & NUMEROUS other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg. [I found no other U.S. sources with which to compare this vendor's $24.95.]
Red
2016 Domaine Daniel Rion et Fils Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
N: Vanilla dominant with straws underneath?

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with nice, ALMOST swtish frt which holds through the astringent pucker & does ULT show a pleasantness on the LONG, tangy, VERY slightly bitter finish with the oak reappearing. NEEDS through '21, I'm guessing, then making its 10th without problem. My VG+/EXC-. 17/20 Jancis Robinson (cask sample). [I found no other U.S. sources with which to compare this vendor's $81.95.]
Red
2016 Domaine Bart Marsannay France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Marsannay
N: Slightly closed, but SEEMS ripe; Intensity lurking? [Revisited much later, notes of straws/spice.]

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with nice, ALMOST swtish frt met by puckerish astringency which loses its bite by the LONG, slightly spicy, very, VERY slightly bitter finish with a swtness to the very, VERY fine tannins. NEEDS through '20, I'd guess, then drinking for 4 yrs more? My VG+/EXC-, which, while quite a "nice" showing, fell short of what a more experienced colleague felt. [This vendor's $21.95 is $2 < the only other wine-searcher listing.]

Note: Because of extensive frost damage, this producer apparently had to combine some of his vyd designate juice with this village bottling.
Red
2015 Cuvaison Pinot Noir Carneros USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
Fermented 9-25 days; Aged 11 mos in sm FR oak barrels (33% new); 13.5% ABV, 5.75g/L T.A., & 3.58 pH.

N: Slightly closed; Smoke slightly atop berries

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with nice, ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by astringent pucker which only somewhat resolves by the LONG, very, VERY slightly puckerish finish with a bitter/swtness to the still considerable tannins. Overly structured IMHO, I'd cellar through '20 to see IF it comes together. Otherwise, my VG-/VG. 91 pts ea Suckling & WE @ $42. [Check with this vendor if interested in their *very* COMPETITIVE price.]
Red
2015 Domaine Pichat Côte-Rôtie Le Champon France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Typically, 98% Syrah & 2% Viognier, 90% of the Syrah (planted in the mid-60s) from Champon, the rest all northern sector; Destemmed, then 3-4 week vinification; Aged 24 mos in 300 & 400-L casks (30-40% new, 60-70% 1-2-3-4 year) with but 1 racking; Unfiltered/Unfined; ≈ 825 cs made

N: CLOSED; RIPE berries, poss pyrazines; Intensity lurking

P: MF body; NICE, almost swtish frt quickly met by an astringent pucker which loses much of its astringency by the LONG, still VERY slightly puckerish finish with a distinct swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS a ton of time (guessing through '22, poss longer?), then at least approaching its 15th. Everything SEEMS there, though it's hard to imagine this as ever being even REMOTELY "elegant". My EXC, with potentially more for those who like 'em... BIG. [However, FYI, a more experienced colleague found this way more stereotypically CA-ish than what one would EXPECT from this AOC.] 91 pts Decanter's Panel & 4(*)/5* drinkrhone.com . [This vendor's $52.95 is a STUNNING $12 < wine-searcher's lone current entry!]
Red
2016 Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
Aged 10 mos in FR oak (60% new); 20,000 cases made

N: Slightly closed; RIPE, poss jammy, berries & notes of pyrazines

P: LM body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by some astringent pucker which does QUITE resolve by the LONG finish with a tangy/swtness to the few dusty dusty tannins. Nicely done in a drink now style (assuming one can tolerate the BRIEF early P "structure"), & should hold through '22. 13.9% ABV; My VG+/EXC-. 92 pts ea Vinous (Raynolds) & WE (with an Editors' Choice) @ $28, 91 Jeb Dunnuck, 89 WA, and 88 WS. [This vendor's $18.95 puts them in the TOP 10% of wine-searcher's LARGE listing.]
Red
2016 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
N: ATTRACTIVE plums, spice, & other unparsables

P: Med body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt nicely counterbalanced by an astringent pucker which QUITE loses its punch by the LONG, pleasant finish with a tangy/swtness to the scant tannins, & potentially an incipient quasi-bitter flatness. For now & the ff 4 yrs, & MIGHT improve into Fall '19. 14.8% ABV; My VG+/EXC-. 95 pts ea Jeb Dunnuck & Vinous (Galloni), 93 ea WS & WE @ $40, and 92 WA. [By all means, DO check with this vendor if interested in their **very** COMPETITIVE price!]

Note: Though the reviews above UNIVERSALLY say the opposite, neither I nor a more experienced colleague felt this was up to the level of their '15, my friend speculating that the '16 seemed disjointed.

Addendum: Felt this had GREATLY improved by 1/12/2019! :)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
90% C.S., 7% Merlot, & 3% Malbec "predominately from two Stags Leap District sites — Shafer’s hillside estate vyd & “Borderline” Vyd located about 2 mi S. of the winery." Harvested @ 23.5°–25.5° Brix; Aged 20 mos in 100% new FR oak barrels (Allier & Tronçais); Released March 1, 2018

N: Closed, by RIPE, poss jammy, berries with smoke

P: LM body; Nice frt fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which transitions into a LONG finish with a tangy/swtness (& VERY slight bitterness) to the very, VERY fine tannins. NEEDS through '20, poss '21, then should make its 10th. While nice enough, I'm NOT seeing either the HIGHEST reviews or the QPR -- even @ this vendor's $81.95, which puts it in the TOP 10% of wine-searcher's LARGE field. 15.3% ABV; My VG+/EXC-. 97 pts & an "Cellar Selection" from WE @ $95, 95 Suckling, 93 ea WS & Vinous (Galloni), 92 ea Decanter & kenswineguide.com , and 91 WA.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - Shared Bottles (12 notes)

The last 4 had been opened for ≈ 24 hrs.

Red
2005 Frederic Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Estournelles-St.-Jacques France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
Dr. Tom, thank you, THANK you for this *unparalleled* opportunity to taste a most BEAUTIFULLY aged Red Burg! :)

N: Barnyd (at least init), then mushrooms, finally spice

P: LM body; LOVELY frt met by a BIT of pucker which fairly seamlessly transitions into a VERY LONG finish with a slight spiciness & a refined swtness to the scant, very, VERY fine tannins. Drinking FABULOUSLY right now -- & should "safely" hold for another 3 yrs or so (though a couple of FAR more experienced tasters were speculating 10 addt'l yrs of life left!). 13% ABV: My EXC+/Exceptional-. 90-92 pts Burghound, 90 ea WS & Tanzer, and 16/20 Jancis Robinson. [Apparently purchased from this vendor @ $134.95 earlier that day, though it's unclear whether they have more.]
Red
2006 Norte 32 Cabernet Sauvignon 10th Anniversary Mexico, Baja California, Valle de Guadalupe
¡"Mil gracias" for THIS absolute *treat*, Arturo! :)

≈ 10 yrs in FR oak (?), then 2 yrs in bottle

N: Vanilla atop berries with earthy notes, poss some smoke?

P: Med, poss LM, Body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt firmed by the SLIGHTEST hint of astringency, but without losing its initial swtness as it fairly seamlessly transitions into a LONG, BALANCED finish with a tangy/swtness to the barest hint of tannins. My EXC+, poss more. Simply put, likely *the* MOST appealing wine I've yet to taste from this appellation! ¡¡BRAVO!! :)
Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Oscar, THANK you *so* much for sharing this STUNNING wine! :)

"Tempranillo (90%) & Graciano (10%) from vines over 40 years old in vineyards in Briñas, Labastida and Villalba. Alcoholic fermentation took place in s/s tanks @ 28°C & lasted 15 days. Batches were selected & allowed to complete malolactic fermentation naturally over 38 days. In March 2006, the wine was transferred to 4-year-old AM oak barrels (made in-house), where it stayed until March 2010. During ageing, the wine was racked every 6 mos using traditional barrel-to-barrel methods. After a settling period, the final blend was bottled in November 2010 [but not released until October 2015]." 13.5% ABV, 1.4 g/l Reduc. sug., 5.3 g/l T.A., & 3.61 pH.

N: Smoke, earth, vanilla, with notes of flowers

P: LM body; BEAUTIFUL frt/oak met by a pucker, yet retaining the frt as it fairly seamlessly transitions into a LONG finish with an elegant swtness to the minimal tannins. My EXC+/Exceptional-, & EVERY *bit* deserving of its phenomenal press, IMO! 90 pts Decanter, 17 & 17.5/20 (2x) with a "Good Value" from Jancis Robinson, 96 pts, an "Editors' Choice," & WE's #1 Wine of '16 @ $50, plus NUMEROUS other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg. [Wine-searcher still shows 2 U.S. sources in the $55-$60 range.]
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Château Lafon-Rochet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Torben, you're TOO generous for sharing this! :)

38 ha of vines (≈ 55% C.S., 38% Merlot, 3% C.F., & 2% Petit Verdot), ave ≈ 37 yrs of age, grown in gravel, clay, sand, limestone, & marl soils.

N: Init barnyd with (naturally) oxygenated notes of oranges (?), blows to berries with pyrazines, with notes of leather

P: LM body; LOVELY frt met by a BIT of astringent pucker which beautifully evolves into a LONG, balanced finish with a bitter/swtness to the few remaining tannins. Likely fully mature, though > 1 experienced taster felt it could poss hold for another 10 yrs? 12.5% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-. 90 pts WS, 88 WA, & 87 Jean-Marc Quarin.
Red
2002 Ross Estate Shiraz Reserve Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
¡Muchas gracias, Arturo! :)

N: Slightly closed; RIPE with milk choc notes, also some smoke; Intensity lurking

P: MF, poss Med, body; RNDISH entry with ALMOST swtish frt icely counterbalanced by an astringent pucker which fairly seamlessly morphs into a LONG, VERY slightly tangy finish with a bitter/swtness to the dusty tannins. For now & probably 5 yrs more, + I can even see it potentially improving a tad for another 6-12 mos. My EXC+. 89 pts ea Tanzer & RJonWine, Gold @ '04 Mundus Vini, but ?? Jancis Robinson.
Red
1994 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Once again, this was just *too* THOUGHTFUL of you, Dr. Tom! :)

68% C.S., 29% Merlot, & 3% C.F. grown in a hillside terroir of deep gravel, sand, & clay soil;

N: Init fairly potent barnyd evolves into leather, poss tobacco, with notes of pyrazines

P: LM body; LOVELY, UNBELIEVABLY *bright* frt firmed by just a TAD of puckerish astringency which slowly transitions into a LONG, balanced, bitter/swt choc finish that is remarkable for its elegance. For now & should at least approach its 30th, though I doubt further improvement. 12.5% ABV; My EXC+, poss Exceptional-. [Would have scored even higher WERE the finish on the same plane as the init frt.] 91 pts WA, 86 Jean-Marc Quarin, 84 WS, & 16/20 La Revue du Vin de France
Red
2002 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
THANK you for sharing this *great* choice, Dan! :)

N: BARNYRD, though spice/earth with time

P: Med, poss MF, body; NICE, almost swtish frt firmed by just a TOUCH of astringency which, without losing the frt, transitions into a LONG finish with a distinct swtness to the dusty tannins. Drinking beautifully right now, & I can see this EASILY making its 20th. IMPRESSIVE! My EXC+/Exceptional-. 90 pts WA, 88 Tanzer, & 86 WS. [Wine-searcher still shows 4 U.S. sources ranging from $99-$120.]
Red
1967 Poderi Lanzavecchia Barolo Barolo, "Riserva Speciale" Serralunga d'Alba Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
José, THANK you for sharing this INCREDIBLE *delight*! :)

N: Orange peel with an attractive (natural) oxygenation; COMPLEX, but tough for ME to parse; Seems QUITE rich!

P: LM body; ALLURING, almost swtish "frt" firmed by the BAREST hint of puckerish astringency as it seamlessly transitions into a LONG, spicy/swt finish that poss fades JUST a tad on the end. For now & the next several yrs. My EXC+.
Red
2006 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
N: RIPE berries with notes of oak? Tough to parse

P: LM, poss Med, body; NICE frt firmed by some astringent structure which morphs into the LONG finish where it ULT resolves into a spicy swt veneer for the dusty tannins -- & with a bit of quasi-bitter flatness. For not & through '21. My VG+. 94 pts ea Tanzer & WA, 93 WS, + several other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.

Note: Had been open ≈ 24 hrs
Red
2010 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Supposedly 80% Grenache, 12% Syrah, 4% Mourvedre, & 4% misc varietals; 14.8% ABV

N: Closed, but seem ripe; Intensity lurking

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by astringent pucker which pretty much remains into through the LONG, slightly puckerish finish with a swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS through '21, I'm guessing, then for __ yrs more? My EXC-. 97-99 pts WA, 18/20 Jancis Robinson, & NUMEROUS other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.

Note: Had been open ≈ 24 hrs
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
N: RIPE, with notes of blk olive, but also with an ODD, almost a turpentine-like aroma?

P: LM body; Nice frt quickly met by an astringent pucker which transitions into a LONG finish with a swtness to the dusty tannins -- & OCCASIONAL hints of a very, VERY slight bitterness. NEEDS through '21, perhaps longer, then for __ yrs more? My VG/VG+, which MIGHT be charitable given the N. 93 pts WA, 16.5/20 Jancis Robinson, & NUMEROUS other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.

Note: Had been open ≈ 24 hrs
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage
From 50-70+ year old vines "grown on pebbly terraces that are glacial in origin, with the bedrock close to the topsoil;"

N: RIPE berries with earthiness & notes of choc; Intensity lurking

P: Med body; NICE, almost swtish frt met by astringent pucker (but still with the frt) as it transitions into a LONG, BALANCED finish with a tangy/SWTNESS to the firming, very, VERY fine tannins. For now & __ more? 13% ABV; My EXC/EXC+. 88-90 pts WA, 88 WE @ $43, 16.5/20 thewinedoctor.com , + other solid reviews listed on wine-searcher's "Tasting Notes" pg.

Note: Had been open ≈ 24 hrs
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