Winebar [1 Rosé, 3 Whts, & 8 Reds] from 08/09/19 + 4 Shared Bottles

Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA

Tasted August 10, 2019 by srh with 60 views

Flight 1 - Winebar from 08/09/19 (12 notes)

Rosé
2018 Château Minuty Côtes de Provence M France, Provence, Côtes de Provence
"Grenache, Cinsault, & Syrah sourced from a rigorous selection of the best 'Côtes de Provence' vyds; Vinified by direct pressing, rigorous settling, & low temp fermentation."

N: Flowers atop minerals with undertones of grapes

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) off-set by crisp acidity which DOES set the parameters into the LONG, balanced finish with a currently positive very, VERY slight bitterness. A food (rather than quaffing) style, thanks to the acidity, could potentially improve through '19, then drink through '21. 12.5% ABV; My EXC-, arguably more for QPR? 92 pts Wine & Spirits and 91 Suckling; [This vendor's $14.95 puts it @ the TOP of wine-searcher's large posting!]
White
2018 Sigalas Assyrtiko-Athiri Greece, Aegean, Cyclades, Santorini
N: Minerals, lemons, with notes of ginger?

P: LM body; RNDISH entry with NICE, almost swtish frt off-set by an acidity which subtly sets the stage into & through the LONG, very, VERY slightly bitterish, slightly tangy finish with occasional hints of swtness. A fairly tight wine that needs/DESERVES through '19 to unravel, then drinking through '22. My VG+/EXC-. [I saw no other source with which to compare this vendor's $17.95.]
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Brander Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Central Coast, Los Olivos District
"The 42nd vintage of our Flagship S.B., this wine is comprised of juice from 50% estate grown fruit, 40% Mesa Verde Vyd, & the rest from surrounding vineyards in the Los Olivos District. During harvest, grapes are picked at different levels of ripeness resulting in a wine that is balanced & has complementary levels of concentration, fruit, & acidity."

N: Slightly closed; Grass with hints of grn olives

P: Med, poss LM, body; NICE, almost swtish frt met by CRISP acidity which becomes the face of this wine into & through the LONG, TANGY finish with OCCASIONAL glimpses of impending swtness. LOTS of substance here, & I suspect 6-12 mos of improvement, then drinking through '23? My EXC-/EXC, the higher for the QPR of this vendor's $14.95, which puts it @ the TOP of wine-searcher's entries!
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White
2017 CrossBarn (Paul Hobbs) Chardonnay Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
"Hand-harvested grapes pressed whole-cluster; 92% stainless, 8% barrel fermented using native & selected yeast strains; 100% native malolactic fermentation; 5 mos sur lie with weekly bâtonnage; Assemblage: February 2018; Minimal SO2 additions; Bottled unfined;" 14.1% ABV; 23,313 cases made.

N: Butter with notes of toast & hints of spice

P: LM, poss Med, body; Very RNDISH entry with ALMOST swtish OAK/frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) NICELY counterbalanced by an acidity which evolves into a LONG finish with glimpses of a very, VERY slight bitterness that I fear shall increase over time. For now & through '20. My VG+, which will be on the low side for those more fond of malolactic. 91 pts ea WA, Suckling, & Vinous (Galloni), and 90 Points with "Editors’ Choice" from WE @ $27. [Check with this vendor if interested in their COMPETITIVE price.]

Note: Also tasted on 6/1/19, when I was thinking this MIGHT just need time...
Red
2017 Domaine de L'Arlot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Clos des Forêts St. Georges France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
"The Clos des Forêts Saint Georges [a monople] covers a surface of 7.20 hectares, all in one piece. Clos des Forêts Saint Georges is only made with grapes from its oldest vines."

N: Fragrant cherries, poss wild straws, with notes of tobacco & smoke coming on; Intensity lurking

P: LM, poss Med, body; LOVELY, almost swtish frt, met by an astringent pucker which, without even remotely losing contact with the init frt, seamlessly evolves into a very LONG, balanced, very, VERY slightly bitterish, slightly tangy finish with the very, VERY fine tannins showing notes of the swtness to come. [Neither I nor a more experienced taster felt the tannins even CURRENTLY prevented enjoyment.] VERY impressive! My EXC/EXC+ with the potential for Exceptionality during its lifespan. Deserves/NEEDS through '22, then easily making its 10th... min. 91-94 pts Jasper Morris, 91-93 Vinous (Martin), 90-92 Burghound, & 16/20 Jancis Robinson (cask). [Check with this vendor if interested in their very COMPETITIVE price.]
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Red
2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
"90% Tempranillo from vines > 60 yrs old planted in Briñas, Labastida & Villalba, and 10% Graciano from our Montecillo Vyd in the municipality of Fuenmayor. The grapes were collected in boxes & transported to the winery in refrigerated vehicles to preserve all their integrity. After gentle destemming & crushing, the musts were put in s/s tanks where they underwent alcoholic fermentation @ a controlled temp for 18 days. Batches were selected & allowed to complete malolactic fermentation naturally over 94 days. In March 2011, the wine was transferred to 4-yr-old AM oak barrels (made in-house), where it stayed until March 2015. During aging, the wine was racked every 6 mos using traditional barrel-to-barrel methods. The final blend was bottled in July 2015." 12,500 cases made.
"We consider this vintage one of the best of the century. This vintage was officially rated Excellent as well."

N: CLOSED; Vanilla, toast, with berries underneath? Intensity lurking?

P: LM body; Rndish entry with NICE frt fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which seamlessly transitions into a very LONG finish with a potent, yet somehow subtle, TANGY/swtness (80:20, currently) to the very, VERY fine tannins with notes of soy/leather/oranges. [THANK you, "contributors", for alerting me to those last 3! ;) ] It's the acidity, rather than the tannins, that NEED resolution for this is to strut its stuff: Say, cellaring through '23, then making its 20th, quite poss more? My EXC/EXC+ with the potential for Exceptionality during its lifespan. 98 pts Suckling, 97 Atkin, 96+ WA (Gutiérrez), & 91 WS. [This vendor's $55.95 puts it @ the head of wine-searcher's already LARGE class!]
Red
2017 Lucienne Pinot Noir Lone Oak Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
"Winds are lighter at Lone Oak than further S, & fog burns off later in the day. The gentle slopes face E, catching the early morning sun. The site’s ancient Chualar loam soils are rocky, assuring excellent drainage." Pommard, 667, & 115 clones harvested 10/5/17 @ 25.2° Brix; Typically, "Once fermentation [open top fermenters] is complete, we rack the free-run juice into FR oak barrels (40% new, balance neutral) where the wine ages for 16 mos before bottling." 14.5% ABV, 6.4g/L T.A., & 3.54 pH; 527 cs made.

N: RIPE berries with a distinct herbal, almost grn note, & undertones of smoke; Intensity lurking

P: Med body; Rndish entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which morphs into a LONG, balanced finish with an alluring tangy/swtness to the few, innocuous, yet firming, very, VERY fine tannins. For now with food, but deserves another 12-18 mos, then drinking into, probably through, '24. Nicely done! My EXC-; [Check with this vendor if interested in their very COMPETITIVE price.]
Red
2014 Cusumano Sicilia Noà Italy, Sicily, Sicilia
40% Nero d'Avola, and 30% ea Merlot & C.S.; "Hand picked; De-stemmed & fermented @ 82-86˚ F for 10-15 days; Malolactic fermentation in medium oak; Aged for 12 mos in the same barrels;"

N: Slightly closed; Dust, earth atop ripe berries, poss with notes of pyrazines?

P: LM, poss Med, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOSTswtish frt met by an astringent pucker which, while staying in contact with the init frt, evolves into a LONG, BALANCED finish with a TANGY/swtness (60:40) to the dusty tannins. NEEDS/deserves through '20, then easily making its 10th. NICELY done! 15.0% ABV; My EXC-/EXC. 91 pts Wine Align, 90 WS, 89 WE @ $55, 86 Luca Gardini, & 85 @ '17 Decanter World Wine Awards. [This vendor's $29.95 is a STUNNING $14.44 < the lower of wine-searcher's 2 entries!]

Note: A markedly > + TN than on just 7/20/2019, 1 poss explanation MIGHT be that this iteration had significantly more time in a small tasting glass: I'm thinking 2+ hrs.
Red
2016 Johann Michel Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
100% Syrah; "A blend from 2 different vyd sites: - 60% from vyds located on the hillside (16 yr old vines on the 'coteau') which are planted in sandy soils, decomposed granite with some rocks; - 40% from the bottom of the slope (40 yr old vines on the 'pied de coteau') which are planted in sandy soils. Yield: 33 hl/ha; Manual harvest, 100% destemming, fermentation in tanks for 3 wks, daily remontage & pigeage; Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels & aging on the lees for 12-18 mos in 2-4 yr old barrels;"

N: RIPE plums with an animal-like funk from time to time

P: Med, poss LM, body; RNDISH entry with very NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which stays in contact with the init frt as it fairly seamlessly transitions into a LONG, BALANCED finish with a subtle swtness to the unoffensive, yet firming, dusty tannins. For now with food, + may improve a bit for 6-12 mos, then drinking through '23, poss '24? VERY nicely done! 13.5% ABV; My EXC/EXC+. 95 pts Dunnuck, 89 WA (Czerwinski), & 3*(*)/5* drinkrhone.com . [This vendor's $41.95 puts it #3/4 current wine-searcher postings.]

Note: Had > air (≈2-1/2 hrs in a small tasting glass) than when I'd tasted it on JUST 7/13/2019, so MIGHT that explain WHY I found it > approachable/CLEARLY nicer than I did then? [I decided to split the difference on drinking window.]
Red
2016 Château Faugères France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Typically, 85% Merlot, 10% C.F., & 5% C.S. [though this vintage may be 80-M & 15-CF], from "vines ave 35 yrs old, planted in a limestone plateau (asteria limestone subsoil) dating back to the upper Oligocene, and a limestone & clay slope (limestone soil on clay-limestone molasse) dating back to the upper Eocene and Oligocene; Vats filled by gravity, cold prefermentary maceration, temperature-controlled wooden conical vats, 50% of the malolactic fermentation in new barrels, slow vatting over a period of 3 wks. Aged 14 mos (50% in new FR oak barrels, 50% in 1 wine barrels);"

N: Slightly closed; Vanilla atop ripe berries with pyrazines coming on; Intensity lurking?

P: Med, poss LM, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt quickly met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it evolves into a LONG, BALANCED finish with a distinct swtness to the DUSTY tannins. NEEDS through '23, I'd guess, then potentially a candidate for its 15th? Impressive stuff! My EXC/EXC+; [This vendor's $49.95 puts it in the bottom 1/2 of wine-searcher's currently (?) somewhat limited postings.]

Note: The Ch's site has an EXTENSIVE list of reviews (pro *&* con) SHOULD anyone be interested. ;)
Red
2016 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyards USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
"A blend of our best Mayacamas Mtns vyd sites from 400-2,400 ft elev; Handpicked, destemmed, primary ferment in stainless, two pump-overs per day, Malo-lactic fermentation in barrel; Aged 18 mos in FR oak barrels (37% new);" 12,618 cases bottled 6/7-18/18. 14.1% ABV, 0.61 g/100mL T.A., & 3.70 pH;

N: RIPE berries with notes of vanilla & undertones of pyrazines

P: Me, poss LM, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which somewhat resolves by the LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/SWTNESS to the DUSTY tannins. NEEDS through '21, I suspect, then approaching its 10th? Nicely done! My EXC-/EXC; 93 pts ea Vinous (Galloni) & Dunnuck. [Check with this vendor if interested in their competitive price.]

Note: Today, unlike on 7/6 & 8/30/2019, I felt this NEEDED cellaring & would be longer lived.
Red
2015 Hickinbotham Shiraz Brooks Road Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
"After the hand-picked, 100% Shiraz clusters were delivered from high country (210-230 m) by Viticulturer Michael Lane, Winemaker Charlie Seppelt destemmed & sorted the whole berries into open fermenters. The cold soak was 4 days, the skins plunged 3x/day, & the minimum time on skins was 18 days. The wine was then basket pressed, its free run & pressings kept separate. To minimize filtration at bottling, 3 rack-and-returns were conducted over 15 mos as the wine seasoned in a mixture of Burgundy-coopered barrels." 14.5% ABV, 6.30 g/L T.A., & 3.72 pH; 1,260 cases made, 235 cases imported.

N: Closed; RIPE berries; Intensity lurking

P: Med, poss LM, body; Rndish entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which only somewhat works itself out by the LONG, balanced finish with a potentially ELEGANT tangy/swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS through '20, probably '21, then easily making its 10th. My EXC-/EXC; 96 pts James Halliday, 95 The Wine Front (Walsh), 94+ WA & 94 WS, ea @ $75, 92 Decanter (Panel), and 17/20 Jancis Robinson (Hemming)! [Check with this vendor if interested in their *very* COMPETITIVE price.]

Flight 2 - Shared Bottles from 08/10/19 (4 notes)

Red
2007 Palmina Nebbiolo Sisquoc Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
Robert, THANK you for sharing this eye-opening (at least for ME) CA Nebbiolo! :)

N: A medicinal (?) note that I found unattractive blew off with swirling to notes of cherries/earth, picking up notes of orange rind with even > air;

P: LM body; Rndish entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) met by an astringent pucker which stays in contact with the init frt as it seamlessly transitions into a LONG, POSS very, VERY slightly bitterish finish with an enticing tangy/swtness to the firming, dusty tannins. I suspect @ its peak (or a BIT beyond?), but SHOULD still drink acceptably 'til '23 or so. 14.9% ABV; My EXC for a NICELY done wine that's THE best CA version of this varietal *I* can recall tasting! :) 92 pts Tanzer
Red
1997 Giacomo Grimaldi Barolo Le Coste Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
THANK you for allowing me to revisit this GEM, José, Oscar, & Arturo! :)

South-west facing with chalky clay soil, Le Coste is a historic Barolo cru owned by the Grimaldi family since 1930, & "...long considered one of the most important in the area. As far back as the 19th century the wine made here was blended with that made in the Cannubi vineyards."

N: Slightly closed; Attractive cherries & flowers (violets?) slowly emerge with air/swirling, poss with undertones of tar? Intensity lurking

P: LM body; Very NICE, almost swtish frt met by a bit of astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it seamlessly morphs into a very LONG finish with a persistent, though low key, slight bitterness that should allow it to age further *&* be potentially DYNAMITE with food. SPECIAL stuff! 14% ABV; My EXC+, with a GOOD shot @ some level of Exceptionality down the line. 93 pts WS, 87 Tanzer, & 14/20 Vinum, who'd advised drinking it by 2004! NOT considered much of a vintage in Piemonte, though I guess when you're an experienced producer dealing with the Cru you've owned for over 60 yrs... ;)
Red
2016 Fattoria Le Pupille (Elisabetta Geppetti) Maremma Toscana Saffredi Italy, Tuscany, Maremma, Maremma Toscana
Dr. Tom, THANK you for sharing this GORGEOUS "Super Tuscan"! :)

Supposedly 60% C.S, 30% Merlot, & 10% P.V.

N: Slightly closed; Smoky, toasty, earthy, chocolatey notes; Intensity lurking

P: LM body; RNDISH entry with very NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which, without even remotely losing contact with the init frt, seamlessly evolves into an unbelievably LONG, BALANCED finish with already an elegance & hints of swtness to the dusty tannins. This should REALLY blossom down the line! My EXC+/Exceptional-, the higher with time. 99 pts Suckling, 98 WA, & 93-96 (Galloni). [This vendor's $75.95 is now $4 < wine-searcher's current lowest!]
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Melville Pinot Noir Estate USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
THANK you for sharing this, Brian! :)

"100% Melville fruit from our Sta. Rita Hills estate, a collection of 16 P.N. clones (667, 777, 828, 113, 114, 115, 459, 943,2A, 9, 16, Pommard, Calera, Mount Eden, Swan, & Merry Edwards). 40% of the fruit was fermented as whole-clusters with 60% gently de- stemmed in small (1.5 ton) open-top fermenters. Total skin & stem contact averaged 30 days (7 days cold soak, 2+ weeks of fermentation, & 1+ week extended maceration). From the press, the wine was transferred directly into neutral barrels (10+ year old FR oak), where it remained sur lie without sulfur until June, when it was gently racked for the first time & prepared for bottling in August & release in November 2018. Yields were 2.4 lbs/vine (2.2 tons/acre)."

N: Definitely barnyd; Intensity lurking?

P: LM, poss Med, body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by just a BIT of astringent pucker which quite resolves by the LONG, balanced finish with a tangy/swtness to the few, firming, very, VERY fine tannins. For now & through '21, + could improve for 6 mos or so. 14% ABV; My EXC-. 93 pts WE @ $38, 91 ea Vinous (Galloni) and Wine & Spirits, and 90 ea Jeb Dunnuck & WA. [Check with this vendor if interested in their very COMPETITIVE price.]

Note: UNDOUBTEDLY had > "air time" than my previous taste on 1/5/2019, when it was basically PnP.

Closing

The Winebar reds were UNIFORMLY of interest quality-wise! :)

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