Tasting Notes for JamesSanders

(407 notes on 359 wines)

1 - 50 of 407 Sort order
Red
2006 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/29/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
Second bottle of six bought on release and stored at 56 degrees. The first bottle was undrinkably oaky. I'm inclined to think the wine may have been going through a dumb phase in 2010, as the fruit is now front and center. This was pop and pour. There's still plenty of oak, especially on the finish, which ends a little harshly. But there is ample primary, dark fruits and very lively acidity that is starting to balance it out. Best guess is that the oak flavors will continue to integrate into the background, while still providing the lifted texture that I have liked in earlier bottles of Ridge MB.
2 people found this helpful Comments (5)
Red
6/11/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
93 points
A Rimessa Roscioli wine club selection. Light bodied and classically structured. Aroma is a little shy at first, but gradually opens to a delicate and unmistakenly Italian nose. Flavors likewise start out a bit shy but the gradually fill out and the wine gains heft as it warms and really fills out with dinner (char-grilled flank steak, roasted gold potatoes and summer green beans). By the end of the bottle, we don't want to drink anything else. Outstanding.
Red
5/24/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
92 points
Bought on release. Pop and pour. Good deep color. Clear, with just a touch of bricking at the rim. Nose is still fairly primary, with cherry, black cherry fruit, menthol and a hint of pine. Deep and well structured. Cherry and cherry pie fruit flavors. Terrific grip. For those who like well-structured wines, at the beginning of the drinking window. I never get tired of Cortese's Rabaja.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
5/19/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
89 points
A Rimessa Roscioli wine club pick. It's an amphora wine from near Naples. 100% Catalanesca. Kind of a sneaky wine that grew on me over a few nights. Color leans towards gold, so it looks substantial. On pop and pour it seemed a little dilute and maybe a bit flat. Some chalkiness. Maybe even a bit of tannin? But with air and food it gained depth and additional richness. Mostly yellow fruits and some herbal notes. Long finish. Drank it with grilled steelhead, grilled teriyaki chicken thighs and homemade chicken noodle soup over four nights with Coravin preservation the first two nights. Distinctive and very good. This is the kind of wine that makes the Rimessa wine club so worthwhile.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
5/9/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
95 points
Out of a .375 (I guess we all loaded up on that same Envoyer offer). Salmon/peach in color with a lively, focused bead. Focused nose of wild strawberries and raspberries. A coiled spring of flavors match the nose. It's just alive. Long finish that calls you back. Lovely stuff and already in a prime drinking window.
Red
5/6/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
Still a youthful, translucent ruby, fading to rose at the rim. No hint of orange or amber creeping in. Lovely nose, dominated by earth and spice, with underlying red fruits, mostly cranberry and a bit of cherry/raspberry. Lovely mouthfeel. Reflective of 2010, it's leaner than your typical Oregon Pinot. Terrific wine that would be very hard to pick out of a burgundy lineup. I'm not sure anyone consistently does it better in the Willamette Valley.
White
5/4/2021 - JamesSanders wrote:
87 points
I'm not sure what to make of this. When I opened it, I thought it must be oxidized, as the color is halfway between a dark gold and amber. The nose is kind of goofy. A bit of marzipan, some quince and maybe dried apricot. Funny thing is it doesn't taste over the hill. It has good acidity and some richness. Held up over 3 days. Definitely not what I'm looking for in a 7 year old Condrieu, but still worth drinking.
Red
5/3/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
I don't drink much Rhone, and even less Southern Rhone, but I have a smattering of bottles from Clos du Joncuas, mainly because (a) Chambers Street, who I trust, likes it; and (b) Rimmerman, who is local, imports it. Score one for both Chambers and Garagiste, because this is really, really good. It smells like Southern France. Lots of wild herbs mingling with black and red pie fruits. If you care about grip, this has it. And just a perfect match with grilled lamb burgers.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/1/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
92 points
Almost New World in its weight and intensity. Purplish red at the rim, opaque and nearly black at the center. Still very primary on the nose, with brambly purple and black fruit notes dominating. Fruit is pronounced on the mouth, but it's very well structured, with a lovely, strong finish that calls you back. Years to go, but a very pleasant youthful drink right now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/28/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
93 points
The first Loire red I really loved was a 2002 Breton Chinon Las Picasses, so I go into this with some fond feelings and high expectations. This was a recent library release purchase from Envoyer, so not certain about the provenance.

On opening, it shows a classic Bourgueil nose, with muted red fruits and a bit of herbal and green tobacco notes. Taste is a bit shrill and acidic right off the bat, though it was just a tad above cellar temperature. As it warmed in temp, it also warmed in flavor and texture, until the palate smoothed out and matched the nose. From then on, including night two, it was a true joy, with a perfect balance of herbal fruit and acid and the kind of velvety texture that I normally equate with well-aged Olga Raffault. The kind of wine that spoils you for anything else when you reach the end of the bottle.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
3/26/2021 - JamesSanders wrote:
88 points
Judgment reserved. This seems to have all the stuffing, but it is nowhere close to being ready to drink. Sharp and a bit shrill. I will let the other bottles sit for at least 2-3 years.
Red
3/24/2021 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
A Rimessa/Roscioli wine club selection. I was a bit worried a 2017 would be a bit sharp still, but this proved to be just what I needed to wash away the vestiges of a greasy burger. Sight is a clear, somewhat darker shade of red. Nose is just lovely. Bit of red fruit, mostly cranberry, but the dominant note is a foresty mint/menthol. Palate is lean, with a clean finish that calls you back. Night 2, the fruit has fleshed out and is more rounded, which cherry notes. Very nice and I bet it will improve in the next 5-10 years.
Red
2012 Frank Cornelissen Contadino 10 Sicilia Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese (view label images)
12/2/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
90 points
Back of the bottle says 2012 and it's Free Run import, so pretty sure that's Rimmerman. Always the first question for a Cornelissen: is it clean? For this bottle, yes. Maybe a touch of VA, but not enough to count as a flaw. Pure Etna red fruits, crunchy acid and just a touch of bitter in the tang. Really, really drinkable tonight and a perfect, lively match with an authentic meat lasagna from Via Rosa.
White
12/2/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
90 points
Gold, verging just a bit towards amber. Picking up in richness, but still fresh with good acidity. In the sweet spot of its drinking window.
Red
2005 Château Franc Grace-Dieu St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/22/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
Bought on release and stored in a 54 degree cellar. Immediately open and inviting on a pop and pour. Mostly cassis and red fruits. Good acid. No noticeable oak. Ready and drinking very well. Perfect match with grilled prime NY steaks. Just checked. I paid $12.97 for this. That is ridiculous.
Red
10/29/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
93 points
Last of 4 bottles bought on release and stored in 56 degree cellar. 60% Nero d'Avola and 40% Frappato. Drank over 4 nights with Coravin on night 1. Perfumed red and black fruits, with a bit of a baked pie character. Some savory notes add complexity. Tart and grippy with good mouthfeel and a long finish that calls you back. Hits the sweet spot for me with the fruit/acid balance. Still has years to go, I would think.
Red
2013 Monteraponi Chianti Classico Riserva Il Campitello Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
8/26/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
89 points
Bought on release and stored at 56 degrees. A Burgundian style Chianti--elegant, aromatic and acid driven. Also Burgundian in the sense that it seems completely shut down on the palate. Nose remains expressive, with red fruits and wood spice. But it's all structure in the mouth and just not a pleasant drink now. I will let my remaining bottles sit for 3-5 years before opening the next one.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/22/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
89 points
Not sure where I got this, so no info on provenance. Opened, decanted and then returned to bottle for about 60 minutes before pouring. Color shows dark and fairly deep. At first the tannins dominated, but after about 4 hours the fruit started to emerge. It never gained the complexity you'd hope for and was pretty four square.
White
8/17/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
89 points
This is probably a wine to hold right now. It's a perfectly good Fiano, but lacks the extra gear of young, fragrant fruit charm that the best examples of the variety show. And it's too young for the added weight and complexity that time should bring. I'm going to sit on my remaining bottles and check in again about 5 years from now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/17/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
Definitely on the elegant, red-fruited end of the spectrum. The wood is still not fully integrated, but it's getting there. Should be in its sweet spot in 2-3 years. Very nice.
Red
8/14/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
93 points
This may be one of those wines that never shuts down. Still primary and powerful, with lovely red fruits and, for my tastes, a nearly perfect balance of tang and grip. The finish is a little clipped, but hard to tell if that will prove to be a cap on how good this gets, or whether it's just partially muted now. This is drinking better now than the 2008 or the 2011. Years to go.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/26/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
97 points
Great, great bottle. Hue is about halfway to orange. Good saturation to the rim. Wildly aromatic. Like walking into a tea shop in the 1970s Haight. Very good after a short decant, but just explodes when paired with lamb ragout caramelle pasta and grilled American Wagyu Ribeye cap. Bought on release and stored at 56. In the drinking window.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/11/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
93 points
A Rimessa Roscioli pick. This is insanely good. Cannonau is genetically identical to Grenache, but you would never pick this out as a Grenache. This just bursts with tart red fruits and it has the herbal nuances of a top Provence, plus a little jasmine. But there is power alongside all this liveliness. Plus, it lasts. I'm on day 3 and finishing the bottle now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/11/2020 - JamesSanders wrote:
84 points
Bought on release and stored at 56 degrees. Pop and pour on night one. Classic and clean, with hints of graphite and cassis. Nose is a bit shy, but it is drinking very well. Very much in a claret style. Well-structured with good acidity and just a touch of screech on the tannins. I opened this with flank steak in a mood for a BDX and this scratched the itch nicely. Upon opening poured half into a 375, recorked and put back in the cellar. Night two results in a lowering of the score. There a stewed vegetal note in the nose that I noticed on opening, but is more pronounced on night two.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/30/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
90 points
Pop and pour. This has the lip smacking quaffability of a good cru BoJo, but the extra structure of a rustic burg. Nice blend of dark red fruits. Big punch of sweetness in the middle. They say these age well, but I'd have a hard time keeping the hands off.
Red
6/6/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
89 points
Bricking at the edges, trending slightly towards amber. Strong maderized notes dominate the nose, with a little menthol. Tastes better than it smells. Still plenty of fruit here, with a bit of balsamic and some maderized flavors. Very smooth. Drank well with grilled New York prime. I can't recall where or when I got this, so I don't know the storage before purchase. It's been in a 56 degree cellar for at least 10 years, though. Based on this bottle, I would drink now.
Red
6/3/2020 - JamesSanders wrote:
93 points
Lovely, traditional Brunello that stands out for its fresh acidity and lift. These typically drink well young and that's certainly true here as this was ready for business on pop and pour. Bought on release and stored in a 56 degree cellar. A screaming deal from WTSO. Wish I'd bought more.
Red
5/30/2020 - JamesSanders wrote:
93 points
From magnum. Purchased from Brown Derby about 12 years ago, so some travel and uncertain storage history. Translucent cherry red, with just a bit of bricking at the edges. Typical Dundee fruit profile. Maybe a bit of secondary notes starting to emerge. Very good.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
5/30/2020 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
92 points
Very youthful color, maybe just a hint of light gold. Focused and structured. Seems to be in an awkward, middle phase. Fruit is starting to recede, but it is not yet developing mature flavors. This bottle had years to go.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/9/2019 - JamesSanders wrote:
87 points
Not showing much, including on night two. Hopefully it is just shut down or in that awkward phase before the non-fruit elements emerge. Hold remaining bottles. (Bought on release, stored at 55).
Red
11/6/2019 - JamesSanders wrote:
93 points
Square in its prime drinking window. This is open for business on a pop and pour, with a perfect balance of tart, yet sweet red fruit. As always with Cameron, goes down so easy.

Bought on purchase and stored at 55 degrees.
Red
8/4/2019 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
90 points
Red fruited, medium body, still fresh. Tannins are a bit drying right now. I would give this another 5 years or lots of air.
White
3/10/2019 - JamesSanders wrote:
flawed
Early stages of premox. Caramel/dark gold color. Slight oxidative/maderized nose. Still drinkable, even enjoyable to a degree, but not what this wine should be at 9 years. Too bad.
White
12/19/2018 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
Medium gold with just a hint of amber. Pretty nose. Lemon, bit of beeswax, seashells. Rich in the mouth, with just a bit of saline. Stored in a 54 degree cellar since purchase on release. So not sure how much time these have left.
White
12/10/2018 - JamesSanders wrote:
92 points
Forgot I had this stashed in a wine cooler at the office and needed a bottle. Wow, this is the kind of wine that reminds you that well stored, value wines from France can deliver the goods. Just a hint of gold in the color. Matchstick initially on the nose that gave way to lemon, stone fruits and a slight nutty character. Definitely some richness developing, but retains good precision. Very, very nice wine and a very good value.
Red
2004 Château Quinault L'Enclos St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/16/2018 - JamesSanders Does not like this wine:
78 points
Not sure how I ended up with this St. Emilion, but we were having grilled flank steak and a 2004 BDX seemed like a good choice. This tastes for all the world like a Parker BDX. Lots of oak and the other components are loud, but don't seem all of a piece. Not at all what I look for in a BDX. Not recommended.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
8/14/2017 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
Excellent upon opening and even better the second night. Cherry to dark fruited profile, with some savory notes. Very substantial in weight and texture. Open and generous. Definitely in a prime drinking window, but shows no sign of fading.
Red
8/2/2017 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
92 points
These 2011 Arterberry Maresh Pinots, as a group, are some of my favorite Oregon Pinots ever. Still beautifully structured, this is really starting to open. The nose just pops with bright red fruit, mixed with some more savory notes. Taste is also red fruited, think sour cherry and cranberry. Still room for improvement as the fruit and structure are not perfectly seamless. But that's a quibble and only makes me look forward to drinking the next bottle a few years later. Blind, I would think this was a very good village burg from a medium warm year.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2012 Cameron Blanc Clos Electrique Oregon Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay (view label images)
7/24/2017 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
93 points
Perhaps the American wine that consistently comes closest to Grand Cru quality fruit. The 2012 is a little less intense and a bit more approachable than the 2010. Otherwise, this has the classic Clos Electrique profile of lemon and restrained tropical fruit. Drinking very well, but seems to have years to go.
Red
2014 Domaine Ledogar La Mariole Corbières Carignan Blend, Carignan (view label images)
2/1/2016 - JamesSanders wrote:
90 points
Pulled this out of a mixed Garagiste case to go with roast chicken, winter squash and sauteed beet greens. I never remember these little one off wines, but it was from Southern France, and I avoid the ripe stuff Rimmerman occasionally offers, so figured it would work. Lovely match. This has the color and weight of a warm climate wine (think Gigondas), but the cut, breed and freshness of a young Chinon or cru Beaujolais. Really a fine brasserie wine. Checked afterwards. $11. I'll go long next time this one is offered.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
1/30/2016 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
Bought on release and stored in a 54 degree cellar. Color is right between gold and amber. Not especially intense, but what is there is very nice. Still has good apple fruit and there's a sweet spice element I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe allspice? Still drinking very nicely.
Red
Smells and tastes like the feminine side of Nebbiolo, but it is dilute and lacks any grip or structure. Gets tiresome to drink very quickly, which for me is really unusual. This is the kind of wine Rimmerman usually hits for me, but this is a big miss. I've had two bottles now, several months apart and didn't like either.
Red
Purchased off the shelf from a wine shop in Aix. A second bottle on the shelf showed signs of seapage, so it's possible there was some heat damage. The nose was beautifully fragrant and typical. But on the mouth, the wine was tired and lacked acidity and grip. One data point, but based on this, I'd plan to drink these young.
Red
4/19/2015 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
94 points
Boy is this in a good place right now. Still lots of fresh red fruit, with earthy/mushroom notes. Very lively.
Red
9/10/2014 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
91 points
A wine that disproves Parker's adage that wines must be delicious when young. These were hard as nails on release, but patience has been rewarded. Warm red fruits with late summer herbs. Terrific grip. Very, very good weeknight wine with sauteed chicken thighs, roasted beets and sauteed beet greens. Years of life left. You won't find many better wines than this for $11.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/29/2013 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
93 points
Now this is a wine that makes you sit up and take notice. Lightly colored, bright and translucent. Apart from an initial whiff of sweet red fruit of the kind that I usually associate with Dundee Pinot, the aromatics are unlike anything else I've had from Oregon. Fragrant and woody, with spice and red fruits. Flavors are lean, precise and very focused, with just a bit of bitterness on the finish. Easily the most elegant Pinot I've had from Oregon, I'd challenge anyone to pick this out blind among a group of whole cluster burgs. Held up very well over a second night. I will be very interested in seeing how this develops, but right now I'm a fan.
Red
7/22/2013 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
87 points
Upon opening madeirized notes predominated. As it warmed to room temperature, classic but ripe flavors emerged, though the madeirized note never went away. Drank over 2 nights. Not optimistic that more time will help.
Red
2003 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/7/2013 - JamesSanders wrote:
92 points
A terrific Cabernet. Still youthful. Deep red, all the way to the rim. Nose is all cassis, pencil lead, and maybe a bit of cedar. Bracing acidity and ample tannins. At 10 years this is a baby, but terrific tonight with grilled rack of lamb.
White
2010 Cameron Blanc Clos Electrique Oregon Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay (view label images)
6/1/2013 - JamesSanders Likes this wine:
95 points
Right now is showing mostly lemon, grapefruit and pineapple. Amazing intensity and depth. If prior vintages are any guide, it will gain richness with time. Year after year, my favorite American chardonnay.
2 people found this helpful Comment
1 - 50 of 407
More results
  • Tasting Notes: 407 notes on 359 wines
© 2003-21 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close