Winebar [4 Whites, 8 Reds, & 6 *shared* bottles] from 12/13/19

Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA

Tasted December 14, 2019 by srh with 30 views

Flight 1 - Winebar from 12/13/19 (12 notes)

White
2017 Robert Gilliard Fendant Les Murettes Switzerland, Valais, Sion
N: Attractive flowers & minerals

P: MF body; Very RNDISH entry (& a BIT of initial spritz?) with ALMOST swtish frt offset by an acidity which keeps things in check into & through the LONG, balanced, tangy/swt finish with POSS just a *hint* of very, VERY slight bitterness. For now & through '21? Somewhat reminiscent of a white CdP? My VG+/EXC-. 89 pts WE (11/1/19). [This vendor's $26.95 is $2 < wine-searcher's lowest.]
White
2015 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune
45 yr old vines mainly from the parcel Les Vermots Dessus

N: CLOSED; Lemons slightly atop butter?

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish oak/frt (no particular order) beautifully counterbalanced by an acidity which keeps things in check into & through the LONG, balanced, tangy/swt finish, ANY *poss* bitterness being fine with food, I'd suspect. ARTFULLY done for NOW & may well hold through '21. My EXC-/EXC. [I found no other U.S. source with which to compare this vendor's now $31.95.]
White
2017 Stonestreet Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
“A blend of several blocks on SE facing slopes, planted @ 500-1,000 ft. elev in the rock-driven vyd soils of the W ridge of the Mayacamas Mtns; Clones 1, Musque, & 376 planted 1997, but grafted in 2012 & 2010 to rootstock 3309C & 110R; Inoculated yeast fermenting in neutral FR oak barrels, foudres, & s/s tanks lees stirred monthly; Aged 5 mos in neutral FR oak; 646 cases bottled 4/18/18. 14.1% ABV, 0.62 g/100mL T.A., & 3.24 pH;”

N: Closed; A melding of grass, tropical frts, & toast?

P: Med body; Very RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) counterbalanced by an acidity fairly seamlessly leads into a LONG, balanced, tangy/SWT finish with POSS the *barest* HINT of a very, VERY slight bitterness? NICELY done, could improve a bit for 3-6 mos, then drink into '22? My EXC-; 91 pts Vinous (Galloni, 5/1/19). [Check with this vendor if interested in their *very* COMPETITIVE price.]
White
2017 Ojai Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
From “…the most coastal vyd in cool foggy Santa Maria Valley. It’s also the sister vyd to Bien Nacido… with extremely poor sandy soils… & only Dijon clones. Harvested 9/2/17 @ 22° Brix; Aged 11 mos in FR oak (15% new); 13% ABV, 0.1 G R.S., & 3.22 pH; 287 cases produced.”

N: Butter, SLIGHTLY atop lemons & minerals? Intensity lurking?

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt & oak BEAUTIFULLY counterbalanced by an acidity which subtly leads the charge into & through the LONG, BALANCED, tangy/swt finish. A potentially elegant style that I can see drinking through '22, poss more. VERY nicely done! My EXC-/EXC, easily the higher IF one takes into account the QPR. 95 pts Dunnuck, 94 WE (4/1/19) @ $37, 93+ Vinous (Galloni, 9/1/19), and 92 WA. [Check with this vendor if interested in their very COMPETITIVE price!]
Red
2013 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino Pelagrilli Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
From vyds > 25 years old in the N. area (Pelagrilli); Fermented in s/s @ controlled temps, then aged in 225 L FR oak for 24 mos, ff'd by aging in bottle; 14.5% ABV, 5.6 gr/lt T.A., & 3.5 pH; 1,660 cs made

N: Closed; Vanilla atop RIPE berries; Intensity lurking

P: Med, poss MF, body; RNDISH entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it morphs into a LONG, balanced, very, VERY slightly puckerish finish with a swtness to the DUSTY tannins. NEEDS a bunch of time (guessing through '23?), then making its 15th? My EXC, more with time? 96 pts Suckling, 92 ea WA & WS, 91+ Vinous (D'Agata), 91 WE @ $42, and 17 & 16/20 (2x) Jancis Robinson. [This vendor's $43.95 is $2 < wine-searcher's lowest.]
Red
2017 Mongeard-Mugneret Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Petits Monts France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
“Vines ave 50 yrs of age grown in calcareous, brown rendzina soils with low clay levels;” Typically, “Harvested exclusively by hand & hand-sorted in the winery; Destemming according to the quality of the vintage; Aged in 30-40% new oak barrels;”

N: Smoke slightly atop blk rasps; Intensity lurking

P: Med body; Rndish entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which somewhat works itself out by the LONG, BALANCED finish with a tangy/swtness to the firming, dusty tannins. I suspect the frt is currently masking the underlying structure of this. IF so, NEEDS through '21 min, then @ least approaching its 10th. My EXC-/EXC. [This vendor's $84.95 is an ASTOUNDING $25 < wine-searcher's only current posting!]
Red
2017 Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
“From Nebbiolo grapes grown in vyds of calcareous soils situated @ 1,116 ft elev in Serralunga d’Alba, & typically yielding 2.6 tons/acre. In great years, only the fruit from the young vyds (those up to 10 years old) is used, while in weaker vintages fruit is added which fails to express complexities which we consider to be sufficient to wear the Barolo label.” Typically, “Harvested manually in the 2nd 1/2 of Oct; Ave fermentation & maceration lasting 8-10 days, very similar to that used for Barolo. It ages in traditional barrels for > a year.”

N: CLOSED; Guessing flowers (roses, poss violets?); Intensity lurking?

P: Med body; Rndish entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt fairly quickly met by an astringent pucker which transitions into a LONG, balanced, slightly puckerish finish with notes of swtness to the DUSTY tannins. NEEDS through '22, poss '23, then making its 10th. My EXC-/EXC, poss even higher for this "baby" Barolo... eventually. 92 pts Suckling, 91 WA (Larner, 6/28/19), & A- VinePair (Beavers, 12/3/19) @ $28. [This vendor's $23.95 puts it in the middle of wine-searcher's 3 current postings.]

Note; 1st tasted on 12/7/19
Red
2018 Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir Australia, Tasmania, Coal River
“From a 50 acre vyd with light silica over sandstone soils planted in 1988 with NE exposure @ 132-198 ft elev, which yielded 2.4 tons/acre; All hand-picked & fermented as a combination of whole berries & whole bunches in open top, s/s fermenters for 10 days @ up to 90 °F; Cold soak maceration for 15-30 days with gentle plunging; Aged 11 mos in 228-500L FR oak (new to 3 yrs old), then 8 mos in bottle; 13.5% ABV, 0.3 g/L R.S., 5.8 g/L T.A., & 3.6 pH; 14,000 bottles produced.”

N: FRAGRANTLY *ripe* blk, poss red, rasps

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it seamlessly morphs into a very LONG, BALANCED finish with an already elegant swtness to the very, VERY fine tannins. Deserves/NEEDS through '21, then easily drinking through '25. Impressively done! My EXC/EXC+; 95 pts Suckling (6/'19) & 94+ The Wine Front (Mattinson, 9/'19). [This vendor's $52.95 is a *stunning* $10 < wine-searcher's lowest!]

Note: 1st tasted on 10/26/19
Red
2014 Robert Gilliard Dôle des Monts Valais Switzerland, Valais
A blend of P.N. & Gamay; Noted a BIT of browning on the rim

N: CLOSED; Poss RIPE straws with notes of minerals & oranges?

P: LM, poss Med, body; RNDISH entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it fairly seamlessly evolves into a LONG, balanced finish with a TANGY/swtness (& POSS *hints* of raisins?) to the few, yet firming, very, VERY fine tannins. For now with food, but DESERVES 12-18 mos, then making its 10th. Texture-wise, reminiscent of a Cru Beauj? [I had no idea of grapes used when I tasted it.] My EXC-/EXC; [This vendor's $29.95 is $5 < the lower of wine-searcher's 2 listings.]
Red
2016 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
86% C.S., 13% Merlot, & 1% C.F.; "Barrel aging: 16 mos in FR & E. European oak, 35% new;" Bottled Apr '18, released Spring '19;

N: VANILLA atop RIPE berries with undertones of pyrazines; Intensity lurking

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it fairly seamlessly works its way into the LONG, BALANCED finish with a potentially elegant tangy/swtness to the dusty tannins. NEEDS through '21 (POSS '22?), then at least approaching its 10th. Classic C.S. for the AVA, + with QPR as well! 14.2% ABV; My EXC, + I'd listen to pleas for higher based upon QPR for this AVA. 92 pts ea Vinous (Galloni) & Dunnuck. [Check with this vendor if interested in their *very* COMPETITIVE price!]

Note: 1st tasted on 6/29/19, when I didn't notice the level of structure that I did today.
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Red
2014 Jaffurs Syrah Kimsey USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
N: RIPE blkberries with notes of blk cherries; Intensity lurking?

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which seamlessly works its way into & through the LONG, balanced finish with few, fairly unoffensive, dusty tannins. A perplexing wine for me in that from early mid-P *all* the way through there's NO ebb & flow. While I commonly view "seamlessness" as a +, THIS goes beyond the pale, IMHO. For now & through '21? 15.1% ABV; My VG+, which *may* be a HORRIBLE underrate. 92 pts & "Cellar Selection" WE @ $50. [Check with this vendor if interested in their competitive pricing.]

Note: 1st tasted on 12/15/18, when I thought CONSIDERABLY > of it.
Red
2018 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
N: Slightly closed; RIPE berries with choc & notes of pyrazines; Intensity lurking?

P: MF body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt (suspect threshold R.S.), acidity trying to balance as it evolves into a LONG, reasonably balanced finish with a tangy/swtness to the precious few, quite UNOFFENSIVE, slightly firming, dusty tannins. For now with food (without EASILY within the next 6 mos), & then through '22. 13.9% ABV; My VG/VG+, but only for those enthralled with the AVA, R.S./immediate drinkability, *&* willing to overpay for the privilege™. [Check with this vendor if interested in their COMPETITIVE pricing.]

FYI, quoting from my TN of 5/25/2019 on the '17, "™From my perspective, **WHY** spend 3/4 of a C-note (IF you shop prudently) for something that drinks as well as it EVER will upon release, & is HIGHLY unlikely to age more than several yrs after that? But, since it's OBVIOUSLY working for the Wagners... :("
Then a new bit from a major vendor re this '18: “There's no wine like Caymus C.S., &… legions of hard-core Caymus fans will not be disappointed by this latest rendition!”

Flight 2 - Shared Bottles from 12/14/19 (6 notes)

White
2015 Vignobles Mayard Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc La Crau de la Mere France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
A blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 30% Clairette, 20% Roussanne, & 10% Bourboulenc (vines ave 45 yrs old) from up to 4 different parcels of Alpine diluvium, sand, & mainly clay soils; Typically, varieties are fermented apart & aged (in new 228 & 600-L & some 2 -yr-old 300-L oak casks) for 7 mos with lees stirring; Malolactic blocked; ≈400 cases produced.

N: CLOSED; HINTS of lanolin (almost an oiliness?) with apricots POSS underneath?

P: Med body; Very RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish rt met by a balancing acidity which stays in contact with the init frt as it fairly seamlessly evolves into a LONG, balanced finish with an OCCASIONAL *glimpse* of a very, VERY slight bitterness that would likely be a + with food. VERY nicely done for not & poss through '22? 14% ABV; My EXC. 90 pts Decanter (Panel, 5/8/17), 18/20 La Revue du Vin de France, 14/20 Bettane et Desseauve, & 4*/5 + a "What One Wants" from drinkrhone.com (9/'16). [This vendor's $27.95 would appear to be VERY competitive, although, unless they bring in more, this was there last bottle.]
Red
1985 Il Poggiolo (Cosimi) Brunello di Montalcino Podere Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
José, THANK for sharing this MARVELOUS wine! :)

N: Init orange peel pushed aside by emerging, ripe, yet sour, cherries with distinct notes of smoke, poss toast; FRAGRANT

P: LM body; Rndish entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which pretty much resolves by the very LONG, very nicely BALANCED finish with a bit of tangy/swtness to the unoffensive, yet still firming, dusty tannins. Drinking BEAUTIFULLY right now, & may WELL approach its 40th, being serviceable with food for most of that. IMPRESSIVELY done! 13.5% ABV; My EXC+/Exceptional-.
Red
2017 Bodega Rolu Nebbiolo Mexico, Baja California, Valle de San Vicente
THANK you for sharing this DISTINCTIVE wine that we'd not have been able to try otherwise, Arturo! :)

"RoLu... is only sold in Mexico & distributed by Wagner Wines. Luis Rodriguez, a winemaker at Caymus Vineyards in Rutherford, Napa Valley, grew up in Mexico and moved to the United States when he was a teenager looking for a better education and job. In 1990, Chuck Wagner, winemaker, winemaker and owner of Caymus, hired Rodriguez, 19, to work in the winery's bottling line. Through the years, Rodriguez made his way to the position of winemaking assistant he now occupies. Chuck Wagner states: 'Luis came to the ranks because of his love for wine. I consider him one of the best winemakers in the world today, an unknown hero of this highly competitive fine wine industry.'

'The vyd is in the middle of nowhere,' Rodriguez said. 'It is identified only by the 1 kilometer coordinate of Highway 105.5. I decided to include it on the label.' The name RoLu is a game with the names & surnames of the winemaker. For now, he divides his time between Caymus & RoLu, sharing some of the responsibilities of his new winery company with his son, Luis Jr."

N: VERY *ripe*, PLUMMY, quite poss JAMMY, CHOC, + something I can't quite ID; VERY intense!

P: Med body; VERY RNDISH entry with NICE, SWTISH frt (quite suspect threshold R.S.) with acidity trying to balance as it seamlessly works it way into & through the LONG finish with a tangy/SWTNESS (40:60) to the virtually negligible dusty tannins. For now & probably through '21. Decent enough, though ONLY for those seeking swtness in their reds. 13.9% ABV; My VG/VG+, the higher for those "into" the apparent stylistic choices™ this wine embodies.

™Imagine a Caymus C.S. -- on steroids.
White
2016 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay Arthur USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Arturo, THANK you for providing the opportunity for me to taste this label of which I was aware, but had never previously sampled! :)

“Produced from 100% Dijon clones, 1st planted in 1990, & harvested 8/30 – 9/28/16; Hand-picked into small totes, & then whole-cluster pressed, it was partly fermented in FR oak barrels, the rest fermented & aged in s/s. After blending the 2 portions, it was as if one brought together elements of a pure Chablis & an elegant Meursault. 3,300 cases produced & bottled Sep ’17.”

N: Closed; Toast, POSS butter with notes of a frt I can't quite I.D.

P: Med body; Very RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish oak/frt met by a fairly crisp acidity which serves as the face of the wine into & through the LONG, balanced, tangy/swt finish with POSS an *occasional* HINT of a very, VERY slight bitterness which may very well NEVER be a problem. Nicely done for now & through '21, I'm thinking. 14.1% ABV; My EXC-, & an argument for > based upon QPR would not be out of line. ;) 94 pts Suckling, 93 John Gilman, 91 WA (Brooks, 8/31/18), and 90 ea WS (Fish, 11/15/18) & WE (8/1/18) @ $35! [As of mid Dec '19, wine-searcher shows numerous sources from $28-$40].
Red
1992 ZD Wines Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
José, THANK you for sharing this wine! It was PARTICULARLY memorable for me as I've long been aware of the producer, but never had the opportunity to taste any of their wines. ;)

N: Leather, hints of orange peel, with ripe cherries underneath?

P: LM body; Rndish entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which pretty much resolves by the LONG, BALANCED finish with an alluring TANGY/swtness (60:40) to the fairly unoffensive, still firming, dusty tannins. *May* not QUITE have peaked yet? POSS a candidate for its 35th, most of that remaining time being able to accompany at LEAST lighter fare? Impressive stuff! My EXC+ (94,95/100 using that metric).
Red
1982 Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
José & Oscar, THANK you for sharing this GEM! :)

Likely a “blend of the Monfalletto Estate vyds with SE & SW exposures in the town of La Morra, 250-300m elev, planted in clayey & calcareous soils (with significant magnesium oxide & manganese);”

N: *Fragrant* ROSES, cherries, smoke, poss a bit of leather, & definitely some unparsables

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which QUITE stays in contact with the init frt as it fairly seamlessly transitions into a very LONG, *beautifully* BALANCED, very, VERY slightly puckerish finish with its swtness extending all the way through the few, firming, dusty tannins. Not even REMOTELY "tired", this marathon runner should still work with food approaching its 45th, & may WELL still be lively @ age 50! Quite an IMPRESSIVE wine! 11% ABV™; My EXC+/Exceptional-, trending towards the higher. 93 pts Huon Hooke (5/16/12) & 17/20 Jancis Robinson (Speller, 6/6/12).

™Wines like this should be REQUIRED tasting for those CONVINCED that wines of SUCH low ABV couldn't **possibly** be flavorful! ;)
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