Comments on my notes

(344 comments on 270 notes)

1 - 50 of 270 Sort order
Red
2013 Domaine Jean-Louis Tribouley Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Les Bacs Grenache Blend, Grenache
Still beautiful black/garnet hues, deep grape nose, a bit of funk---lots of sediment. Retta thought a bit too funky. Nice with cheese plate on Stratford porch, but would do better, as before, with rich roast, veggies and taters. ,
  • tward commented:

    9/18/20, 6:58 PM - The review is nice. Why did you score it as "flawed"?

  • tward commented:

    9/19/20, 6:05 AM - Thanks for responding. FYI, there is an (Edit) link next to your tasting note. You can use that to revise it. However, to change the status from "flawed" there is another easy edit option. The "Consumed" information in the right panel can be clicked and then in the new screen there is another Edit link which leads to the screen that shows the "Consumption Type". Changing the "Consumption Type" and clicking the "Save and Done" button would fix it. (For example, you could change it to the default "Drank from my cellar".)

White
2018 Tablas Creek Grenache Blanc Paso Robles Adelaida District
9/15/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Lovely showing again. Very nice on its own and paired against rich spicy butter chicken and it worked well. Solid on the second night, too.

Not sad to have a couple more bottles on order, just need to keep the hands off them for a year or so to see how it evolves.
  • tward commented:

    9/17/20, 5:19 PM - Nice. I recently had the '13 Patelin Rouge, which is also screwcap, from my own cellar (not their recent library offer) and it was excellent. I'm looking forward to holding back on a bottle or two of this vintage of GB.

Red
1985 Nervi Gattinara Nebbiolo
1/3/2020 - logos Likes this wine:
77 points
soft, elegant, refined nose is ripe and plummy, hint of tar. sleek, sprightly wine, more piquant and vibrant, with more delicacy than barolos drunk alongside. good acidity, excellent balance and length
  • tward commented:

    9/14/20, 6:55 AM - Bradetti - I came across another very low score accompanied by a solid TN review by this user. I clicked LOGO's profile to see all TNs and it is clear that this user does *NOT* conform to the 100-point scale published by CT (*).

    Other examples include:

    54 points "...flat nose improves a bit with air to simple ok fruit but with some tca. drinkable and fairly good at first, but declines"

    56 points "light pleasant nose of fresh red fruits; well balanced, not much tannin; simple, bit too clean, rather modern style; but good."

    68 points "Delicate, cristaline, lightly fruity nose is quite pleasant and very Burgundian
    Light body, seamless well-wrought structure. Simple, but very agreeable taste and clean finish. Excellent value"

    There are *many* wines scored in the "Avoid" range that are accompanied by TNs that indicate a solid if simple table wine or even a nice / good wine.

    Scores in the 70s (Below/Average) include many TNs that indicate good to very good wines.

    * https://support.cellartracker.com/article/49-tasting-notes-and-ratings

Red
2017 Domaine Giraud Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes Les Sables d'Arène Red Rhone Blend
8/28/2020 - lincholland Likes this wine:
90 points
Robin: loved it. Very pleasant. Medium to full body. Dark fruity undertones.
  • tward commented:

    9/8/20, 11:44 AM - I think you mis-typed your score: "50".

White
2018 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles Adelaida District White Rhone Blend
This might need a little more time in the bottle. On PnP and for quite a bit of time, it was quite good, but not particularly expressive, complex, or dynamic and even a bit thin. It seems to both perk up and add complexity and a bit of depth after a couple of hours. So the jury is out on this. Clearly a nice wine, very good, clean and high quality, but it was not engaging - I guess that is par for the course at the price point. But this wine might do better in a year or two and I've had Côtes de Tablas Blanc that drank better.

Aside: The Tablas Creek vintage chart is currently showing "Drinking Well: Youthful" with no indication to decant.
  • tward commented:

    9/4/20, 9:35 AM - Thanks, Jason. That's a helpful perspective. I do intend to pick up another bottle or two of this (before the end of the day!) to sit on for a couple of years.

    Over the decade I've been on CT, I've noticed that my TNs tend to include both pros and cons and more critical commentary than than the majority of CT users. Even when I find a wine "very good" (which is a high complement) I as often as not share at least one critical comment explaining why I didn't find it "excellent" or "outstanding".

    I also tend to stick to the defined meaning of the points scores as shown by cellartracker, so it's not uncommon for me to score a wine an '89' and note just how much I loved the wine (89 - very, very good) and don't adjust for QPR, choosing to note QPR in the text. This CdT Blanc experience would have been an '88' or '89', but since I expect further upside, I refrained from including a point score.

    Best wishes with the remainder of harvest.

    It's heating up. I feel a Tablas Vermentino coming on this weekend... :)

Red
2013 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
7/29/2020 - jonahfactor wrote:
Our last bottle of the ‘13 Patelin. A case buy and cellar stored since release. This offering has been a rewarding pour for many years and is past peak, in my opinion. Almost all tertiary with ripe plum, cinders, mulch and green tobacco with some weedy notes in the finish. Falls flat after an hour. Clearly in its drink-up phase. Pass as it sits in the glass today.
  • tward commented:

    9/1/20, 2:40 PM - Curious about the storage conditions. My storage conditions are good, but not ideal. Dark, but seasonal temperature fluctuations from mid-50s winter to mid-upper 60s in summer.

  • tward commented:

    9/1/20, 4:12 PM - Thanks. Interesting. It sounds like your bottles were stored in better conditions than mine, assuming dark and no exceptional period way out of temperature range. Yet I had a really enjoyable experience with my final bottle a few months ago. Who knows? Wine gods? Bottle variation?

    Anyway, Tablas is offering as an odd library release, so I may go in on a bottle as part of a mixed case for $21/btl.

Red
2013 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
7/19/2020 - whudock wrote:
87 points
flat and not particularly interesting. Drinkable, but certainly not wonderful
  • tward commented:

    9/1/20, 2:41 PM - Curious about the storage conditions. My storage conditions are good, but not ideal. Dark, but seasonal temperature fluctuations from mid-50s winter to mid-upper 60s in summer.

Red
2013 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
4/11/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
90 points
A seven year screwcap wonder. The last of these I had on hand, I wasn't sure what to expect and I was very pleasantly surprised.

I'd have guessed this is a very Grenache-heavy SoRo and wouldn't have blinked if someone told me it was an basic CdP bottling from a decent house. Seriously. I'd have guessed 80% Grenache, 60% minimum, yet this is 45% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 22% Mourvedre and the balance Counoise. Though there are some background meaty qualities, it is the remaining brightness and spice of the Grenache that shine through.

This was best on PnP and as the bottle emptied, a couple of hours later the last bits did seem to flatten and dry up a bit. Really impressive QPR, particularly as I'd bought at a discount a number of years ago.

Note that my cellar is good, but not ideal, seasonally moving from low-mid-50s to low-mid-60s F. So an ideal cellar could hold this for years more. Wow.

[Edit: I see I have four other TNs on this wine. Five years ago it was an '87' and the same in late 2017, along with an '88', then an '89' two years ago. Now the '90'. Take points with a grain of salt, but it's clear I became more impressed as this entry-level screwcap wine aged. Impressive. It is also interesting to see my impression of the wine go from "Syrah begins to dominate with dark fruits" and "ripe profile, dark fruit dominates" to "I'd have guessed this is a very Grenache-heavy... the remaining brightness and spice of the Grenache that shine through". Interesting to see how the different varietals rotated through center stage.]
  • tward commented:

    4/21/20, 7:17 PM - I was impressed given the price, intent, and age of the wine!

  • tward commented:

    9/1/20, 2:39 PM - Tablas just announced this as a library wine available for sale. "Five years ago, we stashed about 100 cases of the 2013 Patelin de Tablas because we wanted to show how well even our entry-level Patelin de Tablas blend could age."

White
2017 La Chablisienne Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay
8/12/2020 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
87 points
Yellow fruit, pear/apple skin, a touch of smoke and savoriness. Medium+ acidity. More yellow apple flesh on the palate. This is pretty good value, though isn’t a downright steal. Solid, a touch indistinct, but quaffable, enjoyable, and nicely balanced.
  • tward commented:

    8/28/20, 8:39 AM - I agree, I think it's a deal at $15, but does get to steal at the $10-$11 discounted price I'm seeing locally.

Red
2018 Domaine Guion Bourgueil Cuvée Domaine Cabernet Franc
8/2/2020 - wmccone54 Likes this wine:
89 points
Chilled, then decanted prior to a dinner of grilled thick cut, boneless pork chops, and grilled tri-colored peppers, onions and mushrooms. Clear, medium purple color, full body, medium alcohol. Pronounced aromas and flavors of purple flowers, tart black and blueberry fruit, chocolate, iron, and subtle mixed herbs. Youthful, and fresh showing mostly primary flavors and some terroir infused iron, no signs of greenness or telltale tobacco at this juncture. Fruits are still tart, due to the notable acidity. Long, mouth puckering finish. Upside potential with additional cellaring. If enjoyed short term, this requires decanting and hearty food.
  • tward commented:

    8/27/20, 1:36 PM - And all that for circa $15. The wines from this producer consistently over-deliver and at the table they clown many wines at 2-3x the price.

Red
2017 Domaine Guion Bourgueil Cuvée Domaine Cabernet Franc
5/30/2020 - PDX-S wrote:
Oh, that classic Franc typicity. Green pepper, AND violets in this case, with a swath of dark fruits, black pepper, and bushel of herbage.
On the lighter side of medium bodied, the Zalto Burgundy glass opens it up, revealing a more delicate and nuanced wine.
Tongue coating, fine grained tannins walk along with enough fresh acid to hint at a relatively long time to go for this young wine.
While tasty tonight, still not revealing what is to come. Drink now for tight exuberance, or hold to see a more mature expression.
Self- wait for winter at a minimum... the longer the better.
  • tward commented:

    8/27/20, 1:33 PM - Great note. I love the enthusiasm for a wine that sells under $15. I'm often the same way with Guion's bottles and with many a Loire in general - smiling, sometimes giggling, living the bottles, waxing poetic about the simple goodness and integrity of the wines, how they are serious and casual at the same time.

Red
2019 Reeve Wines Pinot Noir Ya Moon Vecino Vineyard California
7/8/2020 - wardamnwine Likes this wine:
90 points
Nice wine, but nothing special.
  • tward commented:

    8/24/20, 2:47 PM - FYI, I think you mis-typed the score. You entered '90', which is "Excellent". Guessing you meant to enter '80', which is "Good"
    https://support.cellartracker.com/article/49-tasting-notes-and-ratings

White - Sparkling
N.V. Domaine Alice Hartmann Crémant de Luxembourg Champagne Blend
Crisp and darn tasty. A white flower element. But at $44?
  • tward commented:

    8/24/20, 7:11 AM - Astor (NY) put it on sale for $25 today.

Red
2012 Tablas Creek Tannat Paso Robles
8/17/2020 - Mooserun Likes this wine:
91 points
Did a tasting with 2 other Tannats: 2013 Lone Madrone & 2014 Brecon.
All three were wonderful...it was interesting to see the difference.
  • tward commented:

    8/18/20, 2:30 PM - Any highlights of the differences between them? (Notable that Tablas and Lone Madrone have the same principle winemaker)

Red
2017 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Paso Robles Adelaida District Red Rhone Blend
5/9/2020 - agnorger Likes this wine:
94 points
This is on fire right now. Where to begin? So well balanced. Warm spices. I could drink several bottles over an evening this so good. The best I can recall from Tablas.
  • tward commented:

    8/15/20, 5:42 PM - wilypod - Not sure why you're comment relates to the Panoplies here.

Red
2015 Domaine Jean David Côtes du Rhône Red Rhone Blend
6/3/2020 - Wahoo.HP81 wrote:
72 points
Like to try with a different meal
  • tward commented:

    8/10/20, 7:28 PM - Inquiring minds want to know. What meal did it not pair well with?

Red
1964 Fontanafredda Barolo Nebbiolo
Similar to my 1/22/2020 tasting note. Oddly, I was just as dumb this time in not starting the decant in the morning. Still, as it opens up and gains weight to balance out the acidity, really becomes pretty nice for a 55 year old bottle. Especially so at $85.
  • tward commented:

    7/25/20, 5:07 PM - $85 is a bargain. I felt like it was very fair at $100 and it's hard to pry much above $40 out of my tight grip for a bottle of wine. Do you mind sharing where you picked it up?

  • tward commented:

    7/28/20, 7:35 AM - Thanks. I also bought mine from Greg, but at $100. I see he offered at $80 a couple years ago and has since offered at $90, yet I managed to buy a couple of bottles in two separate transactions at $100. I guess I have an eye for a non-deal in aged wine. Well, who knows about these anyway. One was offered as a 720ml, the other offer didn't say. Both came with "import" labels declaring 750ml. In any case, I just hope my remaining bottle impresses as much as the first one. Cheers.

Red
2012 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
10/29/2016 - tward Likes this wine:
88 points
Disappointing vs. my prior May 2015 notes. Even though it's not in its "closed" phased per the Tablas Creek vintage chart, perhaps my bottles, stored ~65F since Dec. 2014, are. This was fine to drink, balanced, and pure, but fairly simple and with a modest finish. It was decanted for 30-60 minutes and at one point vigorously swirled for a minute to try to wake it up.

With such a light body and modest tannins, I am questioning my prior hope for a wine that will develop, but I haven't given up. I'll give the next bottle 6-12 months...
  • tward commented:

    10/15/18, 4:46 PM - FYI, recently had a bottle that was excellent after decanting for a couple of hours.

  • tward commented:

    7/26/20, 11:04 AM - citizen1,

    I'd encourage you to try another bottle. I really liked one in Oct. '18 and even though I see I scored last night's bottle the same at '93', I think last night's was qualitatively even better. It's in a nice spot. I hope you have the same positive experience.

Red
2012 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
7/13/2020 - ChateauDutremble Likes this wine:
92 points
Closed at first...then aromas of brioche, prune and apricot, rose petals and cooked veggies...and a hint of petrol. Smooth, fruity, sweet and soft. Flavours of cotton candy and toffee. Long yummy finish. No food required. Drink up...delicious!
  • tward commented:

    7/21/20, 8:12 PM - "Drink up". Did it seem like it was getting pretty far advanced on the aging curve?

  • tward commented:

    7/26/20, 10:57 AM - I popped a bottle last night and agree it's in a great place. My bottle has been stored around 65 F, so a bit further along that a bottle stored at ideal 55 F. That said, I'm hopeful for even more integration and development. As you said, more tertiaries will develop, but I wouldn't want this to be completely dominated by aged characteristics, which tend to be fairly generic across most aged wines, at least those of a given quality and varietal. The fruit is so great, why let it become just a shadow.

Red
2017 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
Winebar [1 Rosé, 3 Whts, & 8 Reds] from 12/06/19 + 7 Shared Reds: "Cinsault: 5%, Counoise: 10%, Grenache: 30%, Mourvèdre: 30%, Syrah: 15%, & Vaccarèse, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardan, Bourboulenc, Roussanne: 10%; Each variety is harvested separately and manually. Vinification takes place in oak fermenters for the reductive varieties (Mourvèdre, Syrah), and in traditional enameled concrete tanks for the Oxidative grapes (all the others). Once the malolactic fermentation is finished, the Famille Perrin blends the different varieties. The blend is then aged in oak Foudres for a year before being bottled." 3,500 cases imported.

N: Attractively RIPE berries with some unparsables (noting garrigue?)

P: Med body; RNDISH entry with very NICE, ALMOST swtish frt (HINTS of raisins?) met by an astringent pucker which stays within hailing distance of the init frt as it morphs into the very LONG, balanced finish with glimpses of a potentially elegant swtness to the DUSTY tannins. An impressively attractive bottling, I'm guessing it NEEDS through 2023, then "safely" making its 15th... min? 14.5%; My EXC/EXC+, the higher likely a lock... eventually. 95 pts ea WS (10/'19), Dunnuck (8/16/19), Jeff Leve (9/21/19),& Decanter (Walls, 10/31/18); 94 Suckling (10/'19), 93-95 WA (Czerwinski, 8/30/19), 18/20 (cask) Jancis Robinson (Hemming, 11/19/18), 17/20 Bettane et Desseauve (9/3/18), and 4*(*)/5 drinkrhone.com ! [Sadly, & **TOTALLY** atypically, this vendor's $83.95 doesn't appear to be competitive. :( ]
  • tward commented:

    7/24/20, 3:35 PM - *84 is indeed a poor price. K&L is offering magnums at $112 right now.

Red
2006 Faustino Rioja I Gran Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
7/19/2020 - djarcara wrote:
90 points
The Faustino I is a dependable good value go-to Rioja. However, there seems to be a discrepancy with the wine's promotion on its foil cap, which claims the wine received a 95 from Decanter magazine. As far as I can discover, as a Decanter subscriber, this particular 2006 Faustino I received a 90 point rating. The 95 point rating was for their 2014 Faustino I Icon Edition. ********* I stand corrected thanks to a more diligent CT investigator. Many thanks! The wine DID in fact receive a 95 & Gold @ the ’18 Decanter World Wine Awards. I have adjusted my score accordingly. I shall continue to enjoy Faustino I carefree!!
  • tward commented:

    7/23/20, 11:03 AM - I appreciate the diligence, but curious why you changed your own TN score based on what you learned about Decanter's review?

White
2017 Domaine Chambeyron Condrieu Vernon Viognier
Bad QPR Viognier/Condrieu. Lacking zest and acid which leads to flat taste.
  • tward commented:

    7/18/20, 2:10 PM - Thanks for the TN. The notes much more than the scores are what makes CT such a great community site. I saw WH offering 2+ btl purchases at $30/btl.

White
2018 Château Marjosse Blanc Entre-Deux-Mers Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
4/10/2020 - MicklethePickle Likes this wine:
91 points
Fine. Brilliant yellow-gold. Real melange of fresh fruit in the nose. Lemon, cream, a hint of lanolin. Bright fruit in the mouth. Really fine balance of mineral, fruit and acidity. Lively and juicy. Amazing at the reasonable $12.98 sticker. 5-12-16-8: 91/100.
  • tward commented:

    7/14/20, 12:54 PM - Nice review.

    $13! That's a deal. I'm up the 5 a bit from you. Where did you pick it up for $13?

  • tward commented:

    7/14/20, 6:58 PM - Thanks. I just double checked their site. Indeed sold out. Envoyer is offering at $17, which may still be a solid deal, just not a steal. Speaking of Wine Exchange, I've got a case sitting with them. I've got to either make the long drive to pick up or arrange for delivery! For only one case and the fact that I can't parlay the trip into Vietnamese food in Westminster, I may as well have the wine delivered. :(

Red
2015 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
7/12/2020 - RussK wrote:
87 points
Russk. I'm surprised. It did nothing for me. I dumped it.
  • tward commented:

    7/12/20, 6:43 PM - '92' and you dumped it?

White
2015 Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot St. Romain La Perrière Chardonnay
6/7/2019 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine:
94 points
This is a real jewel of a white burgundy and one of those bottles that proves there's seldom much of a reason to spend a lot of money on chardonnay. Everything that you want out of it is here, from pure, refreshing, lemon-inflected fruit to a very strongly pronounced Chablis-like oceanic element to the point you can practically imagine seagulls flapping out of the bottle.
  • tward commented:

    7/12/20, 3:08 PM - Great note, but instead of seagulls flapping out at me, I'd rather imagine seashells crunching beneath my feat on the beach besides a tide pool. The seagulls might try to steal my fries. Mollusks are easier to handle.

Red
2015 Fontodi Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese
4/9/2020 - bensony Likes this wine:
90 points
The 2015 Chianti Classico is opaque deep ruby in color. I decanted this for 3 hours and drank it over the following hour. The nose showcases aromas of black cherry, blackcurrant, black plum, red licorice, rose and violet, tobacco, truffle, scorched earth, mocha, white pepper, and sage. There is also some heat which throws off the balance and needs time to integrate. Once in the mouth, the wine displays notes of blackberry, jammy blueberry, rich black plum, black cherry, cigar box, graphite, dried chalky soil, ground green herbs, black pepper, and espresso. This is medium- to full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, grippy medium (+) tannins, and a long finish dominated by black and blue fruit. Needs at minimum another 5 years, as it’s kind of a kick in the teeth right now, but the quality is certainly there.

100% Sangiovese; 15% ABV

NOTE: Some bottles display 14% ABV, others 14.5% ABV, and yet others (including mine) 15% ABV. I am waiting on an explanation from Fontodi.
  • tward commented:

    7/10/20, 6:49 PM - This seems like something to continue to pursue. Lots of shenanigans in wine. They should be held to account. Golly, kind of makes you wonder about those reviews of barrel samples, doesn't it...?

White
2014 Domaine Vincent and Sophie Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Le Charmois Chardonnay
Cracking! This bottle was a little more advanced than the previous bottles, but still awesome. So glad I bought all of this that I found on closeout for $30/btl. Drink or hold.
  • tward commented:

    7/5/20, 9:12 AM - Curious what your source was at $30. (I was able to buy some from Envoyer at that price at the end of 2019.)

White
2014 Domaine Vincent and Sophie Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Le Charmois Chardonnay
Nose was a bit muted but mouth real was creamy with butter and slight vanilla flavors.

Honestly this tasted a bit more new world to us because of the noticeable oak treatment (elevage is 100% in oak barrels with 40% being new). Does the oak integrate on white wines as they age like it does with red wine?

Pass on anymore bottles pending a bit of learning on oak treatment aging in whites.
  • tward commented:

    7/5/20, 9:08 AM - I'm not an expert, but in white burgundy oak can indeed be applied with the intent of integrating over a number of years, such that it will be too pronounced in the first few years after bottling. That said, I don't think this wine is meant to go out another decade, so the level of oak that you detect now might be where this lands. You can always lay another bottle down for a couple more years.

  • tward commented:

    7/5/20, 9:10 AM - Also, the pitch from the retailer I bought this from included a Burghound review (90), ending with "Drink starting 2020", so that would indicate we are just at the beginning of the drinking window.

Red
2013 Qupé Syrah Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard Edna Valley
2/22/2020 - wine247365 Likes this wine:
92 points
Excellent Rhone-style wine. Elegant, balanced, cooler climate style with a hearty dark-fruited core that clearly over-delivers at a $15 price point. Excellent QPR that I could drink every weekend. Will last into 2023. Buy more!
  • tward commented:

    6/23/20, 9:18 AM - Where did you find it for $15?! K&L is pitching for $20. I may buy some.

Red
2016 Domaine Olivier B. Ventoux Les Amidyves Syrah Blend, Syrah
3/29/2020 - PortlandSeth Likes this wine:
93 points
Really starting to turn the corner. Black plum, limestone, honey, cinnamon and fir needles. Sweet fruit with sneaky strong tannins. Acidity is a little low, but enough structure to avoid being flabby. Tastes young, still some upside in my opinion. A wow wine for me due to its depth of flavor, glad I bought 2 cases, especially for the price.
  • tward commented:

    6/11/20, 7:18 PM - I was happy I bought four bottles until I read your comment. Two cases! Good on you. Just cracked the first of my bottles and already see it was worth a case buy, peel one off a year for the next dozen years. For you I guess it'll be twice a year. Good work.

White
2013 Domaine Michel Caillot Meursault Chardonnay
4/16/2020 - Nojomoschwa wrote:
88 points
Have decided this is just not a very good wine (in the context of Meursault). The fruit seems under-ripe, or there is some other sort of astringence that just doesn't work. It smells very nice and correct, but it is just not that enjoyable on the palate for me. I guess that may be why it was still hanging around at Sherry-Lehmann and they discounted it to $25.
  • tward commented:

    6/10/20, 10:54 AM - Thanks for your note. It helped me not bite when I came across it at K&L for $35.

White
2013 Domaine Matrot Meursault 1er Cru Blagny Chardonnay
3/18/2015 - Burgundy Al wrote:
88 points
Some peach and baked apple aromas and flavors. Comes across forward and fat to start, but mineral and bright textures come through from the middle forward, providing energetic finish.
  • tward commented:

    6/10/20, 10:52 AM - FYI, K&L bought some and is offering at $50.

Red
2010 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Panoplie Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
4/9/2020 - jrkennedy37 wrote:
Consumed over three nights.

Night One: Drank two glasses over ~3 hours. Not very impressed - overly sweet, super muted, slightly thin. net-net was not drinking as well as the regular Esprit rouge bottlings. Disappointed after building up my expectations.

Night Two: Too many margaritas, passed out before sampling this bottle.

Night Three: Wow, perfectly balanced now and has gained weight. Nose is more expressive, as is the palate, with tons of depth in the fruit and a much longer finish. Minerals apparent as well.

I recommend waiting another 5-7 years before opening this.
  • tward commented:

    6/5/20, 10:55 AM - Great note. The key with this one is to have a glass on night one, drink margaritas on night two, and the perhaps decant on night 3?

  • tward commented:

    6/5/20, 12:22 PM - Interesting info, wilypod. Over my ~12 years of club membership, I only took the Panoplie as part of the club shipment. Then I moved to the white wine only club shipments, moving to selective purchases of reds and en primeur Looking at my purchases, the only vintages I've purchase the Panoplie (at en primeur) were 2014 and 2016!

White
2012 Tablas Creek Esprit Blanc de Tablas Paso Robles White Rhone Blend
6/1/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
93 points
This is a fantastic wine that has grown better and better over the years. Four+ years ago I compared it to a "decent Cotes de Tablas". Three years ago it was showing its stuff, but showed some alcohol heat. Two years ago it was a beauty, showing complexity and elegance. Though in some ways complexity today might be a bit diminished, it is simply beautiful now. It all builds on the honey and marzipan core, which is at once dense and light. There are various shades of honey, honeycomb, honeysuckle, marzipan, lemon curd (some baking apple pie). So it's really a layered expression of those notes with a long finish. Drank over two nights, first night using Coravin. It was a great pleasure both nights.

The only thing keeping this from "scoring" even higher was an near absence of the spice I like from Roussanne(-based wines). Spice was out there in the background, contributing, but very subtle.

This has enough acid to keep it firmly away from the flabby or blousy characterization, but if I had to be honest, a pinch more acid wouldn't hurt.

Note: I think this last bottle of '12 Esprit Blanc was received as a "library" release in April 2017. So it would have presumably been in ideal cellar conditions from release and then at good conditions upper-50s to mid-60s F for the past few years.
  • tward commented:

    6/2/20, 6:09 PM - You are correct. I believe that all of their cuttings are from Beaucastel. (Perhaps some of the recent additions of minor CdP varietals were not grown at the estate though. I'd have to check their blog.) I've been a happy member for over a decade.

Rosé
2018 Bodegas Los Bermejos Lanzarote Listan Rosado Listan Negro
World class rosé. Just exceptional weight and complexity; not a patio pounder. Strawberry, watermelon, sea spray, mineral cut across your palate with surprising grip yet this is not lacking acids. Just so darn interesting. Love it.
  • tward commented:

    6/1/20, 9:49 AM - Seems like this might have a longer drinking window than the CT ending 2020, no?

  • tward commented:

    6/1/20, 10:27 AM - Nice. Thanks for your original TN and follow-up comment. Spectrum (SoCal) is offering at $19 (plus shipping) and I think I might bite. You and every other CT taster really dig this wine. Sounds like it would be $30+ if from a better known Provencal producer.

Red
2007 Trader Joe's Cabernet Franc Petit Reserve Paso Robles
7/12/2009 - Cabfrancophile wrote:
86 points
An oak monster's wet dream. Can't really tell this is Cab Franc other than some tobacco, but it is decent. Lots of oak flavor, of course. Medium body, lots of oak tannin on the finish. At $6, maybe I'll pick up a few bottles to see where they go in a year or two. Could be a decent QPR if the oak integrates somewhat as '07 is reputedly a good vintage for Paso Robles.

Edit: Upped score after tasting on day 2. Not especially aromatic with a bit of black currant showing, but the creamy oak gives a nice effect as a sipper. There's some definite structure and good, balanced fruit there that smooth out and express themselves over time. This might turn out to be a crazy good $6 buy.
  • tward commented:

    5/27/20, 8:29 AM - I know this is a very old note, but "'07 is reputedly a good vintage for Paso Robles" caught my eye. I've been buying Paso wines for many years, particularly Tablas Creek and a handful of others, including finally buying more Giornata. Anyway... I've never been able to find any good information or chatter discussing Paso vintages. At best the "professional" sources might have a "Central Coast" designation. I find more about SBC. If you've got any thoughts on sources, I'd love to hear about them. Thanks!

  • tward commented:

    5/30/20, 9:18 AM - Thanks for your reply. I'm always on the lookout for more SBC and Central Coast insights. FYI, just this morning I read the following post on Tablas Creek's blog regarding their 2019 vintage. In that post, Jason Haas states his opinion that 2007 and 2017 were great vintages and that 2019 will join them. Now, that very well could be specific not just to Paso, but to the Willow Creek district, as Paso is really pretty extensive (and the "dividing line" isn't really the 101), or even Tablas Creek, specifically.

    Also, he seems to be basing the opinion on the "across the board" success of the vintages. Given the wide array of varietals grown in the region, it very well might be impossible to ever really generalize (unless there were particularly, universally bad conditions like rain and humidity during harvest). Generalizations are much easier in the Old World, where the varietal selection is often much narrower in each region.

    https://tablascreek.typepad.com/tablas/2020/05/does-a-great-vintage-like-2019-make-blending-easier-or-harder.html

Red
2015 Molino di Sant' Antimo Sant' Antimo Perpaolo Cabernet Sauvignon
4/25/2020 - unknohn Likes this wine:
85 points
I so strongly disliked this that I couldn't tell if it was flawed or I'm just seriously against the particular flavor profile. I can't give it lower than an 85 but I also can't give it higher than an 85. I feel like you (yes, I'm talking to you) should try it just so you know what one guy on the internet thinks is the worst wine he's ever had.
  • tward commented:

    5/25/20, 2:33 PM - FYI, on the CT scale an "85" is on the cusp between "Good" and "Very Good". (Sometimes if I dislike a wine, but I think it is purely a style issue, I just omit a score. If I feel like it's a bad wine, then it could go down into the 70s...)

Red
2015 Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
2015 Brunello di Montalcino, new releases (Montalcino centro): Benvenuto Brunello 2020, Montalcino

Earth, cherry, dust, fresh leather on the nose. The palate is traditional, with good, vibrant acidity; finish is med+ already. This shows the goods to age well, improving from here. Quite nice. Drink 2024 - 2042. highly recommended

Full 2015 Brunello report here https://wp.me/p7fulH-27j

https://www.ItalianWine.blog
  • tward commented:

    5/20/20, 9:41 AM - Thanks for the note, but I became a little confused when I clicked through to your report. The information below may be helpful for other CT users who click through to the report.

    That report contains a similar, but clearly different, note for the 2015 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino. Also, there is a wine listed in the report, "2015 Sesti (Castello di Argiano) Brunello di Montalcino", which has a note that is even closer to this one in CT, but is also a different wine.

    Those two similarly named wines in the report are the following two wines in CT (both different from this wine and both including Mr. Heaton's notes from the report):
    https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=3107197
    https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=2941308

    The report does not appear to contain this wine.

Red
2014 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir Brasserie 19 Eola - Amity Hills
4/26/2020 - Woody18 Likes this wine:
91 points
Excellent, balanced, smooth Pinot Noir. Very high QPR.
  • tward commented:

    5/15/20, 10:10 AM - Thanks for your helpful note. I'm a buyer of a couple of bottles from Garagiste at $14/btl.

Red
2010 Château Le Borderon Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
4/20/2017 - Ebrim Does not like this wine:
83 points
Short note - blackberry, juicy, some pepper, tobbacco, medium tannins, well structured but a bit bitter in finish. Very good quality. 83-84p
  • tward commented:

    5/10/20, 6:05 PM - There aren't many TNs on this and I am looking at an offer on the wine. I guess since your note is three years old, you might not remember, but it seemed odd that you indicated that you did NOT like the wine, wrote that it is "Very good quality" and assigned a score of 83 points, which is in the middle of the "Good" range ("Very good" being 86-89).

  • tward commented:

    5/11/20, 6:17 AM - Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. (I've had similar comments section conversations with people about different approaches to scoring. For example, a meaningful segment of CT tasters use their score as a QPR rating, while others, including me and, it appears, you attempt to score on an absolute basis, excluding price, using the note's text to communicate QPR thoughts.) These and other differences support the importance of the TN text over simply the score. (I use average score as a starting place and then scan the text to find out which notes have meaning to me. The worst is when a single CT taster posts serial score-only TNs - usually something like 96, 95, 96, 96 over a couple of weeks - pushing good content ~below the fold and clearly over-scoring decent wines.)

Red
2013 Cristom Pinot Noir Louise Vineyard Eola - Amity Hills
Friday Tasting Group; Unthemed (Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA): From a Vyd, 290-440 ft elev, planted to Dijon (113, 114, 115, 777) & Pommard cones, with differing, distinctive soil profiles in its "Upper" & "Lower" blocks; 32% whole clusters with no cold soak before primary fermentation with native yeasts; 1-3 punch downs daily in 1-5 ton open-top fermenters; Gently pressed in a pneumatic bladder press & moved to barrel by gravity, never being racked, unless necessary; Full malolactic fermentation in barrel; Aged 18 mos in FR cooperage (42% new); 13.5%, 6.0 g/L T.A., & 3.69 pH; 800 unfiltered cs bottled April 29, 2015;

N: Closed; Straws, poss blk rasps?

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by a BIT of astringent pucker which slowly morphs into a LONG, POSS very, VERY slightly bitterish finish with a tangy/swtness to the minimal, very, VERY fine tannins. IMPRESSIVE stuff for now & approaching its 10th! My EXC/EXC+. 94 pts ea Vinous (Galloni) & WE with a "Cellar Selection" @ $58, and 91 Wine & Spirits; [As of mid Mar '19, wine-searcher still shows 2 vendors @ $48.50 & $70.]
  • tward commented:

    5/9/20, 1:24 PM - K&L is offering it at $40 today.

Red
2014 Samsara Pinot Noir Rancho la Viña Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills
4/4/2020 - yatchisin Likes this wine:
93 points
Much preferred to the earlier bottle--did it need more time or was this just the right night for it? Candied cherry, blood orange, spice rack. Definitely got better as the evening went on, too, deepening into some profoundly delicious. Long finish.
  • tward commented:

    5/8/20, 12:44 PM - Thanks for you note. On sale for $27 locally (on 2+ bottles) so I was browsing the CT TNs after looking at (and discounting) the professional reviews selectively presented by the retailer. Anyway, Jeb Dunnuck's Aug. 2017 included "...will be better with 2-3 years of bottle age". Your two TNs would agree!

Red
2016 Chalone Vineyard Pinot Noir Estate Grown - Heritage Bottling Chalone
2/8/2020 - Fiddletown Robin Likes this wine:
92 points
Smooth and very grape forward. Not overly complex, the taste of Pinot shines through. I would not let it sit too much longer. The color is starting to turn, while the flavor does not show any oxidation, the color does.
  • tward commented:

    4/1/20, 8:24 AM - FYI, Wine Exchange (Orange County) is offering for $13 ($12 for a case), FYI. (I'm not buying, in part due to your note, as I've got enough near-term drinking wines in my cellar.)

  • tward commented:

    4/17/20, 9:58 AM - Thanks for the heads up. I see they're pushing this hard with about a dozen staff reviews.

Red
2016 De Forville Barbaresco Nebbiolo
1/4/2020 - BigDaddy1 wrote:
Boring. High tannin. Let decant for at least 2 hours.
  • tward commented:

    4/16/20, 4:15 PM - Did it ever come around after a long decant?

  • tward commented:

    4/16/20, 5:44 PM - Thanks. I think I'll skip it at this point.

White
2016 Davide Spillare Garganega Bianco Rugoli Vecchie Vigne Veneto IGT
2/26/2020 - Tony Ling Likes this wine:
93 points
PNP into Spiegelau tasting glass (“Leaf” day): Pale orange and slightly cloudy.

Deeper nose than the 2017 tasted in Japan before which was more fruit forward with golden apple notes.

Very slight skin fermentation detected, adding a lot of depth in this wine. Orchard fruits that is slightly preserved in a nice way, very nice white florals on the nose.

Very much like a very light orange wine here. Very mineral, and well integrated on palate.

93-94 points.
  • tward commented:

    4/15/20, 5:15 PM - Great note, thanks. Looking forward to popping my other bottle soon.

    FYI, you need to write another public TN ASAP - you're at 666 TNs now!

Red
2013 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
2/5/2019 - TashNYC wrote:
These were great for $16 but are now all gone
  • tward commented:

    4/12/20, 7:39 AM - Just had my last bottle of a nice discounted multi-bottle purchase from Tablas years ago. This one was the best one yet. Hard to believe. (I think they really over-delivered on the PtD in this vintage. I'll bet they "dial it back" a bit these days!)

Red
2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
3/20/2020 - fc1910 Likes this wine:
94 points
Bought this bottle yesterday, curious to know if there is something new to spot on the LRA horizon, as you might have read I am among the critics of the for me "new" or lets say "everybodys darling" style from Rioja.
Since the 2001 vintage I found most of the filled bottles from LRA too less Rioja origin style, which means not really made for the long haul, low ABV, very elegant without much weight, and for a long life ahead if young with a demanding acidity, we or better I cannot escape the fact that most of the LRA Gran Reservas y Reservas come along with a juicy fullbodied fruit to impress young since 2001,
after this introduction of my thoughts lets pnp!
Initially this shows a strong note of licorice and tar, but in a very good way, on the palate licorice again, the american oak with nutty, earthy and smoky aromas, fresh, no....., lets say lively fruit on the midpalate, more red fruit driven at the moment, the again 13,5% alcohol is very well covered and balanced by the enormous pronounced acid, mouthfilling after swallowing, ripe tannin, this wine is a baby so far but that delicious tonight, cause in this case the bodega has found the right proportions between drinkability young and if you like, to cellar this one easily two decades(+), since the 2001 vintage the first really great showing in my honest opinion, highly recommended! **(* *-*****), 93-96(+) potential in a decade+!

And I forgot to post something about the incredible QPR, this is one of the blue chips from the whole wine world, you can buy this for around 35-40€, dollars, pounds etc, you get an extraordinary quality and for me the best argument, you are free to enjoy this bottling during the next decades, so there are many reasons to purchase at least one whole case.

Update 24 hours later: nothing has changed essentially, refined showing with great elegance, fresh fruit and this vibrant mouthwatering acidity!
  • tward commented:

    4/5/20, 9:42 AM - Thank you for your excellent note. The use American oak makes me nervous, because I often find that producers who use American oak are applying a lot of toast to the barrel which results in very strong vanilla flavors and also something I detest in wine, coconut. In particular, European producers who favor American oak are usually aiming a an "international" style generally and more specifically the sweet, heavy, ripe style that has been favored by American wine critics and thus has formed too many people's expectations and preferences.

    But if I read your note correctly, you indicate that this vintage returns to a more "classic" style.

Red
2016 Luigi Oddero Langhe Nebbiolo Langhe DOC
12/19/2019 - Eriklainen wrote:
More oak than PIRA Lange 2016. There is a slight funky note to it, perceive it as a little annoying. Hides the fruit. Grape pit more than rosehip. Initially I thought it was a syrah, but after an hour it started to behave more like a Nebbiolo. Another style of Nebbiolo, undoubtedly, but it fails to give me those Nebbiolo vibes that I look for.
  • tward commented:

    4/3/20, 8:10 AM - Great note, helped keep me from buying, as I want varietal representation. Sounds a bit "international".

Red
2014 Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses Cabernet Franc
despite cooler vintage, acid is still lacking and the wine comes off as in need of more freshness. good, but not one for long ageing
  • tward commented:

    4/1/20, 4:33 PM - Surprising to hear given the wine's reputation. Suffice to say you disagree with the current CT drinking window of 2024 - 2065!

Red
2017 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Paso Robles Adelaida District Red Rhone Blend
2/27/2020 - SLOFred Likes this wine:
91 points
Great wine considering it is TCV third line wine. Really tasty!
  • tward commented:

    3/30/20, 4:11 PM - The Côtes de Tablas is the 2nd line wine. For a long time Tablas Creek had only two lines for the red and white blends (*), the Côtes de Tablas and the Esprit (**). Those use estate fruit. Several years ago they introduced Patelin de Tablas which is the "3rd line" and is made from non-estate fruit.

    * The varietal bottlings have no additional designation beyond the name of the varietal (with the past Bergeron and Antithesis being exceptions). There is also a blend, En Gobelet, that stands alone.

    ** The Esprit was Esprit de Beaucastel and was later renamed to Esprit de Tablas

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