Big Top Closeout Deal Wines

Minneapolis/ St. Paul MN

Tasted November 22, 2018 - February 24, 2019 by with 131 views


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Not happy with Woodward Canyon Merlot as this is one of the most disappointing wines in a while. Tastes like it was aged in a Bourbon barrel.

Added a Two Hands for $10 and Jamsheed for $10. Great values from Australia.

The 2005 Cristal for $125 went right away. Sorry I bought that one!

John Glas

Flight 1 (11 notes)

2015 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir Essence of Oregon USA, Oregon
90 points
Thanksgiving wine. Drinking well on the screw twist and pour. Cranberry, dust, subtle spice and earth. Really solid every day Pinot Noir. Drink now to 2022.
2010 Ardal Tradicion Ribera del Duero Reserva Selección Especial Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero
92 points
Day 1: Drinking well on a pop and pour. Between the classic and more modern style. Nice fruits featuring sour cherry and blueberries. Vanilla, saddle wood and leather. Nice floral component on this medium plus finish. This is a real solid wine and one of the better QPR wines of the year. 92 points
Day 2: Very good featuring cherries, blueberries and raspberries. Again picking up the saddle wood, leather but less vanilla/oak. Wine is complex and very flavorful. I like this wine a lot and am glad 12 more are coming. Great QPR wine. 92 points
2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Cold Creek Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
92 points
Day 1: This is an exceptional bottle of this wine. Far superior to any others I have tasted. Graphite, cassis, spice box, gravel and mild oak. Nice floral notes on the palate and good acidity. This is the Cold Creeks I tasted back in the 90s. Wonderful wine and wish they all drank like this. 92 plus
Day 2: Wonderful again with mint, cassis, cigar, floral and earth. Medium plus finish and balanced. 92-93.
2015 Bodegas Breca Garnacha Breca Spain, Aragón, Calatayud
88 points
Day 1: Grabbed a bottle out of the closeout bins at Sid's. Nice nose of earth, raspberries and dust. On the palate a touch of sweetness along with spice, crushed rock, dust and a floral note. The finish is a little harsh and is the only thing detracting from the experience. This represents a good value for the quality. If you just drink this and don't think too much it is even better than 86. 86 points
Day 2: Better and for the price point means new everyday wine selection. Spices, floral, raspberries, flint and crushed rock. While a touch of sweet fruits on this wine it is balanced and extremely enjoyable. For $12.99 a bottle more please! 88 points
2012 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
91 points
Day 1: Really drinking well with funk, raspberries, leather, earth and tobacco. Medium plus finish and good acidity. Really well made. 91 points
Day 2: More funk on day two and acidity is even more impressive. Balanced wine and at a perfect window right now. Nice mix of fruit and earth elements. 91 points
Day 3: Even better on day 3. Sublet funk, leather, raspberries, blueberries and earth. Medium plus finish and balanced. A wonderful old school Rioja. 92 points
Recommendation: Drink now to 2024. This has some serious life left.
2013 Spring Valley Vineyard Frederick USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
90 points
Day 1: Pop and pour. Perfect serving temperature as it was pulled from the passive cellar. Something I always need to remind others and myself when drinking red wine. Not the most balanced effort featuring earth, leather, subtle fruits and spices. Shorter finish and just not that interesting. I am thankful I spent only $27 for this wine. Maybe more promise on day 2 or 3. 85 points
Day 2: Better and more open for business. Perfume, floral, spices, chocolate, dark fruits and tobacco. Classic case of a wine that is not ready to drink but most would discard it. Day 2 shows a lot of potential and this could be a blockbuster Washington State Bordeaux Blend. 90+ points
Day 3: Dust, chocolate, spice, dark fruits and floral notes. Medium plus finish and balanced. 90 points
Recommendation: Hold until 2021 and beyond.
2013 De Loach Pinot Noir Le Roi USA, California
84 points
Day 3 Review: Decant Pinot with spice, scorched earth, floral and ripe strawberries. Does have some Pinot Noir character and is not the sweet stuff produced by Meiomi. Based on my rating system it is a decant QPR wine.
Recommendation: Drink now. $6.99 on closeout.
2014 Jamsheed Syrah Harem Series La Syrah Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
91 points
Day 1: Pepper, spice, funk and sour fruits. Good acidity and a rare quality in an Aussie Shiraz which is sour on the finish. Light to medium concentration and love the funky nature of the wine. Drink by itself or good pairing with ribs or steak. Really nice find. 89 points
Day 2: Pepper, spice, raspberries and strawberries. On the palate shows nice complexity and good acidity. Almost refreshing. Shorter to medium finish. Balanced and an exciting new find. 90 points
Day 3: Even better. White pepper, gravel, raspberries, floral and Asian spices. Medium plus finish and good acidity. This is such a great find as I have never heard of this producer but will be seeking out more of their wines. 91 points
Recommendation: I would cellar these for a few years and try from 2020 to 2025. Very solid!
2010 Woodward Canyon Merlot USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
82 points
Day 1: Menthol, roasted coffee beans, dark fruits and cedar. High tannins at the moment. Really dry wine and will need some time. Score withheld for now as a heavy decant is in order for this wine. NR
Day 2: Put this pour through the Vinturi and it has sat in the glass for 3 hours to try and open this tight wine up. Spices, wood, cherry and mint. The finish is hard to swallow as it tastes like this wine is from a charred Bourbon barrel. This wine is not impressing me at all. I normally love Washington State Merlot but the finish is hard to swallow. Gut impression. 81 points
Day 2.5: Trying to beat some quality descriptors out of this wine. The latest pour is starting to show some cherry, plum but still has a lot of spice, cinnamon and charred Bourbon barrel. Maybe a point better. 82 points
Day 3: Getting some more fruit but again this charred Bourbon barrel impact. I am hoping this is an off bottle as I have 5 more of these but this is no where near the 91 average on cellar tracker. 82 points
I will revisit on day 4 and 5 to see if anything has changed but can't imagine this wine needing 9 years to open up.
Day 4: Softer wine but still lacks fruit. This wine is not flawed but heavy on spices and the charred oak. Not sure if this wine will improve over time. I hope so as I have 5 more bottles. 82 points
Recommendation: Easy pass on this one. I will probably open another one soon and if it is similar returning the rest.
2014 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
89 points
Day 1: Blackberries, black licorice, floral and tea leaves. Good acidity on this one with some nice sour cherries on the finish. Very balanced wine overall and well made. Not a fruit bomb or over the top alcoholic Aussie wine. For $10 hello every day drinker!!!!!
Day 2: Spices, blackberries, blueberries, black pepper and tea leaves. Medium plus finish and decant acidity. While this is not at their single vineyard level it represents a great everyday drinking wine. 88 points
Day 3: Nice development over 3 days. More soy and tea leaves on day 3. Fruit is toned down. Very enjoyable and solid wine for just $10. 89 points
Recommendation: Drink now to 2022. Solid overall wine.
2015 Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
Heat damage. Tasted like burnt Carmel and had heavy sediment on the first glass.


A to Z $9
Ardal $10.99
Cold Creek $15
Breca $11.99
Muga $8
Spring Valley $27

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