Tasting Notes for rstark

(197 notes on 194 wines)

1 - 50 of 197 Sort order
Red
2000 Château Bellefont-Belcier St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/31/2020 - rstark Likes this wine:
92 points
This showed SOOO much better than in 2015 and 2018. Color was youthful, but this tasted like Bordeaux in its perfect drinking window balance: plenty of fruit, but dominated by earth, leather and cigar box notes. Great med+ mouthfeel, and long finish, too.
White
7/31/2020 - rstark Likes this wine:
91 points
I poured this blind at a dinner party and everyone thought is was a 1er cru! A little flint on the attack, leading to stone fruit and better acidity than would be expected for Macon. Beautifully rich without being flabby. The vintage surely helps.
Red
1/2/2020 - rstark wrote:
90 points
I served this at a wine party and it was a hit. Light cherry fruit, good acid, some interesting earthy characteristics. The folks that like forest-floor flavors were big fans. The cali-cab lovers, not so much.
Red
2015 Nino Negri Sfursat 5 Stelle Sforzato di Valtellina Nebbiolo (view label images)
1/2/2020 - rstark wrote:
93 points
This wine was so very interesting. The first impression was "light and elegant expression of Nebbiolo" with a nice layer of earthiness that appealed to my old-world sensibilities. But fortunately we had time to give it a couple hours to evolve and, it's a good thing we did ... that pushed my score up two or three points. The texture became richer (altho acid was still there), and the fruit profile went from reddish to dark-fruit, like one often finds with a complex Barolo. The leather became more pronounced, and this wine it even impressed our snobby dinner companions as it held it's own up against their high end Bordeaux.
Red
2000 Château Clinet Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/11/2019 - rstark wrote:
94 points
So much better than 5 years ago when it was a one dimensional fruit bomb. This time around, there was still the deep dark blackberry fruit. But the finish had plenty of leather and earth to say "Yes, I'm a Bordeaux!!" . Also quite balanced with a nice freshness at the end. Still a big full mouthfeel, but the syruppy consistency that JR talks about is no longer there. Very enjoyable, but far from traditional.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/19/2018 - rstark wrote:
89 points
Started out with very off-putting aromas of brett-stink plus hints of early oxidation. A pine-tar bitterness as well (leftovers from the heavy oaking?). Either way, this all blew off after a double decant and half an hour. Turned into a servicable northern rhone, but not a wowser. Lots of black olive, dark fruit. Missing some of the yummier grilled meat qualities of rhones at this price point. Tannins have resolved, very soft.
Red
1/5/2018 - rstark wrote:
flawed
Another 1986 Ducru with TCA taint from the issue that happened that year in the winemaking facility. (Google it ... there's plenty of info about it on the internet). It's sometimes very faint, but this bottle had to get dumped out. It's weird how when the taint comes from something other than cork, it behaves differently. We were fooled for a couple minutes, thinking it was just "earthiness" . But within 5 minutes it was all wet newspaper and all that other TCA jazz.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
10/26/2017 - rstark wrote:
94 points
Fabulous bottle of aged Barolo. Smoky aromas, mixed with dark slightly stewed fruit. On the palate, great blend of fruit and leather/smoke. Very robust and full with a long finish.
Red
2005 Château Verdignan Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/27/2017 - rstark wrote:
87 points
Should be more fruit considering the vintage. But instead of typical Bordeaux secondaries taking over, just tannin and acid (which would be fine if the other stuff was there to carry them).
Red
9/5/2017 - rstark wrote:
91 points
Still going strong in 2017! A little smokiness on nose. Attack of pure, rich, dark fruit. Acidity keeps it together with nice clean, long dark-plum finish.
Red
10/26/2015 - rstark wrote:
92 points
This was really classy juice and a very impressive inaugural offering from a new producer. Black olive juice nose, and pure dark fruit on the attack. Lots of grip with slightly bitter tannins that provide a nice contrast to the concentrated fruit. So well made that I'm sure the tannins will soften and the wine will integrate nicely in the future.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
8/13/2015 - rstark wrote:
flawed
Terribly pre-moxed. Another '05 down the drain. Ugh.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/27/2015 - rstark wrote:
90 points
For the price, this is a fabulous wine. Not surprising from such a great vintage. Well made and nice blend ... not overly extracted or over oaked. Poured it for a Bordeaux-loving friend, and he liked it very much because of the nice expression of Meritage fruits, medium weight, and nice hint of sage in the mid palate for an interesting secondary characteristic.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/4/2015 - rstark wrote:
93 points
Oh Man, I can't wait to pour this beautiful wine for my BurgWhore friends. I bet many of them will be fooled into thinking this came from across the pond. Lots of forest floor on nose. Neither red or dark fruit ... a real nice blend ... light plum or dark cherry? Between the wet earth/fruit , medium mouthfeel and long length, this is a really balanced wine all around.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/18/2015 - rstark wrote:
90 points
Definitely improved after half an hour. Nice dusty plum fruit with a nice grip at the end. I agree with others that for the price, this is pretty yummy and balanced juice!
Red
2000 Château Langoa Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/12/2014 - rstark wrote:
93 points
Very very earthy, made in the traditional style. Just the right amount of stank to remind those of us that love Bordeaux why we prefer Cabernet from France over the jammy fruit bombs of Napa. Long mouth-filling finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Clos Manou Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/23/2014 - rstark wrote:
91 points
This is an outstanding wine for the price. It's still way too young, and needs either a triple decant or 4-5 hours to show it's stuffing, but what comes out is a very nice dusty plum fruit balanced with cigar box secondary characteristics, and a little old-world earthiness in the finish. Dusty tannins aren't harsh and give it a nice backbone.
Red
4/18/2014 - rstark wrote:
93 points
Poured for some major wine snobs that only like their Syrah "Rhone and Northern", but they were intrigued in seeing what Thomas Rivers Brown is doing with this grape. The wine was impressive out of the chute, with a great tar / graphite component that balanced very well with the very dark fruit. Plenty of extracted mouthfeel, but none of that over-the-top syrupy or alcohol thing that usually accompanies it. Very enjoyable, and after an hour, it really came together into something that I'll be looking forward to try 6 months from now.
Red
2009 Proprietà Sperino Uvaggio Coste della Sesia Nebbiolo Blend, Nebbiolo (view label images)
2/24/2014 - rstark wrote:
90 points
Tart, red fruit. Light bodied for a Piedmontese wine. Hard to believe it's 65% Nebbiolo. A little green, too. But after an hour some very interesting smoky and white-pepper characteristics emerged. Turned out to be a pretty and interesting companion next to the Prodduttori.
Red
2/22/2014 - rstark wrote:
85 points
My first reaction was "this has the same rancid pickle juice characteristic that I get in Silver Oak Alex Valley". All that American oak (3+ years???) has turned this into a dill-infused mess. So hard to detect the fruit, which had a stewed quality anyway, so it's not like we were missing anything. Very disappointing as I've had Muga in the past that didn't taste like this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/19/2014 - rstark wrote:
90 points
Just the right amount blend of "horse sweat" and fruit. Tastes more like something that Kermit would bring in, than from a huge negociant. Pour for your natural-wine-loving friends.
Red
1999 Château Larrivet-Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/21/2014 - rstark wrote:
88 points
Yes, cigar box all over the place, and plenty of tannins turning to dust that leave a finish in the front palate. But c'mon folks ... this is not a 90 point wine! It has the qualities of an OK wine from a Not-Very-OK year. In other words, missing the fruit in both the front and the finish, that make it delectable.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1986 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/22/2012 - rstark wrote:
93 points
Definitely starting to appear like the almost-30 year old wine that it is. The cigar box characteristics begin with the nose and follow all the way to the finish. Nice dusty plum fruit in the mid palate. Tannins aren't totally fruit filled, but close. This wine reminds me why I pray every day that they go back to making more traditional Bordeaux than the Napa-like wannabes of the more recent vintages.
Red
1990 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/22/2012 - rstark wrote:
96 points
This wine is really coming into it's own. The fruit has married perfectly with the earthy, barnyard characteristics and the tannins have absorbed the flavors so that they provide a yummy but firm structure. After a couple of hours, an earthy chocolate characteristic developed. I've had quite a few bottles in the past years and there does seem to be some variation (read: levels of brett), as often happens to St Estephes (maybe their typicity leads to that).
White
8/22/2012 - rstark wrote:
flawed
Horrific VA taint ... maybe the worst I've ever experienced. Heavy nose of nail polish remover
Red
6/29/2012 - rstark wrote:
90 points
Came in 2nd place at a large blind tasting of reds where many were in the $35 price range, so this showed a great QPR that day. Bordeaux-like nose, and nice hint of earth on attack and through the finish. Compared to a lot of wines that day made of overripe fruit, the fruit here was balanced and correct. Tannins are sweet not biting, and make for a nice structure. Long finish for a wine this price.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/7/2012 - rstark wrote:
90 points
I wouldn't call this jammy, as others have, but the dark red fruit is quite apparent. Medium bodied with a long finish, and has a nice essence of baking spice at the end. Very enjoyable, elegant wine, especially for the price. Makes me think that more people should try growing Syrah in Sonoma.
Red
2000 Château La Tourette Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/29/2012 - rstark wrote:
92 points
Really starting to bloom. After 1 hour decant nose showed secondary characteristics of smoke, cigar box. Dark plum fruit on attack followed by bacon fat smoke. Nice long finish with slightly prickly tannins that probably would have softened more with a couple of hours. I don't consider this as Parkerized as many other 2000's.
Red
3/29/2012 - rstark wrote:
92 points
Beautiful! Rich and dark fruit ... beautiful expression of Humboldt syrah without tasting like overextracted raisin juice. Complex with essence of secondary characteristics, none of them overpowering (meat juices, pepper). Dusty fruit-soaked tannin grip makes for a long finish.
Red
2003 Château Trotanoy Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2012 - rstark wrote:
90 points
Came out of the gate with so much promise. Dark plum nose with asian spice overlay. For 45 minutes great blend of fruit and spice, medium finish. Just hardly any tannin. 45 minutes the nose turned to worcester and the fruit had completely left the building. No structure, no grip. Will drink whatever '03 Poms and Margs I still have within the year and plan to finish up the left banks (which are still showing nicely, esp the Leoville trio) by 2015.
Red
1/6/2012 - rstark wrote:
90 points
Great nose of dark fruit and earth. I agree that there is funk, but it's not overpowering. THis is a well balanced wine. Beautiful prune/fig fruit with full mouth feel and long finish. Am perplexed by the claims of tartness and low scores on this wine.
Red
12/20/2011 - rstark wrote:
Big dissapointment. I remember tasting this a year ago and feeling that it showed high-pedigree fruit and a good acid structure. Today it just seems like another TRB syruppy mess. Too sticky-sweet, too flabby, and whatever structure was there gets lost in the overloaded front palate. No score since many people like this style.
Red
1996 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/9/2011 - rstark wrote:
94 points
Man, this wine is right in my wheelhouse. Great nose of pencil lead, dark fruit, just the right amount of earth (of the wet variety). Palate is delish plum/deep berry fruit, some minerality and nice balanced finish, altho a little "too elegant" for the Cali-whores I was drinking with. Just one more example where '96 SOOOOo eclipses '95. How could Parker and WS got the vintages so wrong? Every '95 I've had lately tastes watery and next-to-no secondary characteristic. Buying as much '96 as possible.
Red
9/21/2011 - rstark wrote:
91 points
Pretty nose which promised strong fruit and minerality. On the attack, tons of licorice/tar and green olive components blended with thick dark berry fruit. Too much alcohol on the finish. In my opinion, I don't like such a syruppy mouth feel and didn't find any acidity and the secondary characteristics taste a little man-made instead of from terroir. I brought it to a tasting and it was quite controversial .... people either liked it a lot or hated it. Not my style, but for the SQN crowd, this is a nice alternative for half the price.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2003 La Mondotte St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/31/2011 - rstark wrote:
95 points
Put this up next to a 1994 Harlan and it stood up pretty darn well (well, at least it wasn't obliterated!). Not as huge and rich as some of '03's. I wouldn't hold this for over 5 years as there is less acidity than your typical Bordeaux, but there is certainly structure. Nice dark fruit, great cedar box components and a little bit of mineral in the finish. Elegant for a wine from this scorcher year.
Red
1994 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/31/2011 - rstark wrote:
99 points
Gotta agree that this is a near-perfect wine. It is in its prime but I dont' see it going downhill anytime soon. Was already round and rich right out of the gate. Dark plum and blackberry fruit. Nice earth, chocolate and cedar box tones, but fruit dominated. We paired it with La Mondotte which helped highlight the Bordeaux like aspects of this wine. I didn't notice much evolution over the 3 hours that we drank it, especially in comparison to the St. Emilion, but as my friend says ... when it's this good, who cares if it changes in the glass?
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
5/9/2011 - rstark wrote:
flawed
Undrinkable. Huge VA taint.
Red
1985 Azienda Agricola Montevertine Il Sodaccio Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
1/9/2011 - rstark wrote:
92 points
Color: seems crazy that there was hardly any bricking. Still bright ruby and a promising nose of old-world Sangio fruit. Mouth filling fruit, dusty tannins, bright acidity, long finish. Another example of the importance of storage ... this was bought on release and never left the cellar until today. Was still showing well 3 hours later.
Red
1/9/2011 - rstark wrote:
92 points
Man, this was nice. Dark dark fruit with a slight essence of mineral and black olive. Little bit of Northern-Rhone like tar blended on top of long finish. Was still fresh after 3 hours, no fading
White
1/1/2011 - rstark wrote:
flawed
undrinkable because of VA. Not a problem with the first bottle. AAUUGH!
Red
2004 Clos Fourtet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/19/2010 - rstark wrote:
89 points
Dark fruit and tobacco on nose. Attack of dusty plum, a little minerality and heavier on the cigar box. Medium-to-lightweight, and softened tannins, not surprising for the vintage. The CT notes on this wine are all over the map. Scorched earth, oaky and portlike fruit? Hard to believe it's the same wine! $35 is the most I would pay for this.
Red
12/3/2010 - rstark wrote:
88 points
Blind Cabernet Face-Off, USA vs. France (Meritage Wine Market - Rancho Santa Fe, CA): The fruit was either too tart or too tight. Alcohol on the finish. Nothing integrated, but not sure it ever will. Last place out of 6 wines, and the most expensive by a long shot.
Red
12/3/2010 - rstark wrote:
94 points
Blind Cabernet Face-Off, USA vs. France (Meritage Wine Market - Rancho Santa Fe, CA): I LOVED this wine! Perfect blend of smoke/earth/fruit on the nose. Could tell that it had a little age on it. Mouth filling with light dusty tannins and deep long Bordeaux finish. Was amazed to see this was the same wine given to me by the owner of MSE the month before when I was in Bordeaux! (picture in tasting event note). I loved it then and am going to snag up more of it. WOTN for sure.
Red
12/3/2010 - rstark wrote:
Blind Cabernet Face-Off, USA vs. France (Meritage Wine Market - Rancho Santa Fe, CA): Too big and bouncy for my liking. But people-pleasing for Cali-loving friends so I won't leave a score since it's not to my personal taste, but is just what the doctor ordered for many Cal Cab lovers. Very soft with a long finish. I would have guessed there was some Merlot in here. At $25 blowout price this is a Cali-Cab steal.
Red
2003 Château Les Ormes de Pez St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/3/2010 - rstark wrote:
90 points
Blind Cabernet Face-Off, USA vs. France (Meritage Wine Market - Rancho Santa Fe, CA): Modern enough that I wasn't sure whether it was Napa or Bordeaux. A slight earthiness on the nose but then the deep blackberry kirsch fruit took over and it had a very int'l style finish. I guessed it was either a $70 Cali or $35 Frenchy.
Red
12/3/2010 - rstark wrote:
88 points
Blind Cabernet Face-Off, USA vs. France (Meritage Wine Market - Rancho Santa Fe, CA): Nice blend of fruit and earth (ok, brett) on the nose. Dusty plum fruit, but either a little too light on the palate and finish or too closed to be completely enjoyable. Now that I know it was an '06 I'll guess that it ain't ever going to open up.
Red
12/3/2010 - rstark wrote:
90 points
Blind Cabernet Face-Off, USA vs. France (Meritage Wine Market - Rancho Santa Fe, CA): This is what I want to taste in a Napa Cab. Not over-oaked, not over-ripe. Slightly tart, but plenty of dark plum fruit. Medium bodied. Good QPR and nice expression of Cali-Cab fruit (instead of what many winemakers do, which is make wine out of raisins or pencil shavings).
Red
11/23/2010 - rstark wrote:
91 points
Nice dark black fruit and long finish but with some alcohol on the top. Harsh biting tannins that were turned into chewy fruity ones with the Venturi. God, I hate writing those words.
Red
10/2/2010 - rstark wrote:
92 points
Took a good hour after decanting to come together, but even out of the gate, it showed a lot of promise. Cranberry/cherry fruit, some baking spice and a pretty flowery finish. The people that like pinots with red fruit characteristics liked it better than the others. Very angular at first and not that enjoyable, but two hours as we were finishing it, everyone felt the flavors, weight and acidity had married beautifully.
Red
9/9/2010 - rstark wrote:
88 points
I'm rating this wine on QPR, which was not good. Dark fruit, leather, dusty light tannins. Just the right level of "stank" (for me. way too much for howard hughes types). Medium-Light finish. Tasted like a fifth growth in a good year, or a third growth in a so-so year. Perfectly fine at $35 but unfortunately this is a $50 wine and not worth it!
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