Tasting Notes for tward

(2,143 notes on 1,681 wines)

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Red
9/17/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
88 points
Another overachieving bistro wine from Guion. Great at the table. Interesting, but not intrusive. $12 & 12% abv. Solid.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
9/18/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Really liked this. Vibrant rose-purple color with a touch of spritz on open. Wild strawberry, orange zest, some floral elements. Just a bit of natural funk. Leans towards the tart-sour side, but not over the top, so I think a broader crowd would enjoy it. My only complaint was a dip in the middle.
Red
9/18/2020 - tward wrote:
80 points
Good enough but kind of flat, a bit too ripe with some scorched earth and rubber. Not bad, but not at all interesting and in some ways off-putting.

Glad I got it at a sale price, no worry not finishing this bottle.
White
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.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
9/16/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
88 points
This was perfect with modestly spicy grilled chicken. It hit the spot with just a slight chill. Great purity here, not as rustic as most other renditions I've had over the years. Nice ripe fruit with some depth, but the profile is bright and energetic. Tannins are soft and slightly sweet as is the red fruit. This reminded me of "natural" versions of Grenache, sans naturale funk. A nice on-sale pick up under $15. I love a wine like this for the casual table. 13.5% abv (I'd have guessed 12.5 - 13)

Aside: The "BC" stands for "Before Cabernet". The País (Listán Prieto) having been cultivated in Chile for 215 prior to the first documentation of the EXISTENCE of the newcomer Cabernet Sauvignon.

Another aside: Per the back label, grapes are sourced from multiple vineyards that rarely mature at the same time. As vineyards are harvested, they are crushed and dumped onto the existing ferment, thus the "Single Ferment Series" designation.
Red
9/14/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
90 points
Like RYANSTOTZ says. I went long on an array of Scott Paul close-outs and this is the best experience with a La Paulée vintage to date, beating out the '15 & '16.
I got more of the sous bois on the second night. The first night it showed more red fruit brightness, zest, and spice and the second night it showed more of a dark Pinot rendition.

Sub-$15 screwcap excellence. Very nice QPR.
Red
9/14/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
I was surprised to find oak notes so prominent on PnP. I very good wine, nice varietal character, but too much overt oak for my taste. Then half the bottle sat for a few nights and when it was revisited all of the oak had integrated / blown off and I was left with a Norther Rhone ringer. What a nice wine for a SBC Syrah at $15. Maybe there is bottle variation, but if this weren't my only bottle of this, I'd consider laying another down for few more years to see what happens.
Red
9/11/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
91 points
No notes, unfortunately. Deep and balanced. Very nice and drinking well out of the gates and holds up over a couple of nights in bottle contact with air.
Rosé
I had little of this the first night and it was good. But about a glass left in the bottle was even better and more expressive the second night. A three year old rosé that benefits from extended air contact!
White
9/12/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
90 points
Thanks to the other two TNs I decided to decant for a couple of hours and that helped it open up a bit. Yet it remained coiled and reluctant, still excellent. Currently rigid, upright, with lemon, wild herbs, and mineral / dry stone. This shows very nice promise and the long drinking window is indicative of the wisdom in waiting. It shows like a fine Chablis made for the long haul.

I will try to wait several years before opening my next one. It's going to be difficult to keep hands off all the bottles for twenty years or more!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/13/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Really loved this with fried pork chop with a topping of shallot and stone fruit macerated in Moscatel vinegar. The wines lifted, bright aromatics and fruity core and low tannins worked great. True to form this has a floral nose - roses, violets, geraniums - that is, fortunately IMO, not "too much". Vibrant red fruits and stone fruits in the mouth - some plum? Bursts of spice come out now and again. Clean finish.
White - Sweet/Dessert
9/12/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
91 points
Similar to two years ago. Great balance, not too sweet, the orange honey and stone fruit flavor and the texture works great with a cheese course. I don't think there's any hurry on this.
Red
9/12/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
This is just entering its drinking window and the oak is still noticeable, but not intrusive, adding a bit of high note pleasure. Cherry, cigar, touches of aged notes coming on. However, even with a couple hours slow decanting it seemed a bit closed over a couple hours of drinking. It seemed like there was more buried that needs time to come out. I figure another five years before opening the next one.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/12/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
92 points
This has entered a nice phase, the oak is well-integrated and playing a background role. Smooth and subtle with hints of cherry and red berries providing bursts of freshness alongside the developing tertiary flavors of leather and pipe tobacco. Elegant. Aging slowly with years ahead of it, I think.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/10/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
87 points
Still drinking quite well, but not as exuberant as it was just a year ago. Tamed funk, wild red berries, fine tannin, edge-of-cool-forest. Enjoyable, nicely balanced, good with not-quite-loaded faux-burgers. Questionable QPR at $30 USD.
Red
9/9/2020 - tward wrote:
85 points
Good 'natural' style with pleasing tartness and red fruits and some zippy acidity along with unfiltered texture and a thread of animal. Quite good at the table, but firmly overpriced in the mid-$30s. Good "pizza wine" and worth forgetting what you paid while you enjoy it casually.
White
9/8/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
87 points
Quite good. I think this needs air, as it was best on the back end of the second night. It starts out a bit thin and surprised me for the vintage. Nice, taut, lean, but difficult to coax much out of it to stay engaged. Some subtle complexity emerging the second night. Even though it's a quality wine, it is 'very good' more on a technical basis and simply 'good' on an enjoyment basis.
Red
9/7/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Finally picked up a couple more bottles that I'd ordered last December! Glad I did. Though the exuberant, zesty vibrancy of youth is mostly gone, it has put on depth and remained fresh. The nose remains expressively floral, just beautiful, while the body is now reminding me of Grenache.
Red
2017 L'Aventure Optimus Paso Robles Willow Creek District Red Blend (view label images)
9/6/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
90 points
Drank with great grilled steaks and it worked great. All really liked it. Nice ripe fruit and balance. Good stuff.
Red
2018 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Paso Robles Adelaida District Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
This was best on the second night and with some air. Tablas recommends a decant and I agree. This starts off high toned and a touch confectionery. Grenache (45%) and Counoise (12%) are in the spotlight with Syrah (33%) and Mourvedre (10%) off stage for most of the performance, making appearances towards the end of the bottle on the second night. So... better the second night and with some air, but you can still enjoy this PnP for a brighter profile.

Preliminary '88' (very good+) with upside. I've got another bottle to keep my hands off for at least four years.
Red
9/4/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
87 points
New world package with good varietal typicity with a strain of Cab Franc green underneath. The nose is bright and shows the ripe fruit that this has. Some new oak perceptible. Fruit driven and a good introduction to the varietal for the new world wine drinker. Though it probably isn't meant to age, I think a couple years could let this settle in further and integrate the oak. A nice wine. 13.% abv.
White
This is elegant, you know it's Chablis and that it is fine drinking it over a few nights. But it is quite shy, lean, nearly all mineral, pithy fruit, underripe citrus (and green papaya?), some crushed seashell. Really restrained, lots of tension, and something telling me this needs time. The CT drinking window would agree. I think I've got to keep my hands off of remaining bottles for at least five more years! (That said, I see William Kelly wrote "This won't be one of the longest-lived renditions of the Louis Michel Forêts, but it will make for very attractive drinking in the near term.")

Still, this is a lovely wine. Really beautiful. '90' for now. And with the blow-out / close-out pricing under $25, this is fine QPR in quality Chablis.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2018 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles Adelaida District White Rhone Blend (view label images)
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.
5 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White
8/30/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
A very nice wine over a couple of nights. Great balance. But it never really grabbed me. I think this needs more time, a couple more years I'd say. I see solid upside.
Red
2007 School House Mescolanza Spring Mountain District Red Blend (view label images)
Last bottle of the batch still drinking well, but I think it's on the downslope. This was an interesting Zin-driven (76% Zinfandel, 17% Petit Sirah, 7% Carignan). Bordeaux style Zin, I'd say, in some way.
White - Sparkling
8/29/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Very nice and a solid buy in Champagne. Best on the first night. This has fine bubbles with modest persistence and on the second night the fruit became a bit disjointed (but still drank well).
Red
8/30/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Drinking great now, like a BdM Jr. Great QPR for sub-$15. Great integrity and typicity here and if you'd told me it was a $35-40 BdM I'd have believed you. Great ripe Sangiovese with a rusticity that connects it to the soil, if that makes sense.

Great pairing with old school American mash-up red sauce Italian - Penne in red sauce, topped with chopped meatballs with sliced deli provolone melted on top.
White
8/28/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
88 points
Lovely wine that drank well over two nights. Great summer wine for sipping on its own, with casual apps, or for pairing with seafood. Stonefruit, citrus, a touch of citrus pith, and, particularly on the second night, lemon zest and lemon verbena.
Red
8/29/2020 - tward wrote:
I was in the mood for a deeper, riper Pinot and I found one with this wine. This retains varietal character, but the ripeness and style are dialed too far for my taste. I was even getting a brown sugar note along with an impression of sweetness. The lamb sirloin I paired this with would have been better served with a more classic Pinot, something more elegant.

Note to self regarding the remaining bottle: Pair this with the heartiest or deepest flavored meal. This could pair well when thinking about a CdP.

I'd rate it a very good wine, an '88', but I can see how fans of the style favoring very deep, ripe, sweet fruit would rate this wine higher, because it does show nice balance and varietal character along with those characteristics.
Red
8/28/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
88 points
"Stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge". But not too long. Just a slight chill and relax. Flexible food wine. Nice red fruits, a touch of spice and minerality. I like it.
Rosé
8/27/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
91 points
A fantastic showing over two nights. Hitting its stride. Nice value in top end rosé. Even though this is in the lowest price tier of Tablas's wines, I think it's top notch. Everything you want in Provencal rosé and putting on some depth and weight that gets it into seriousness territory. On its own, with a salad, heck with poultry or duck. Maybe I'm a little overzealous here, but this was in the groove.
Red
8/26/2020 - tward wrote:
82 points
OK, oaky enough. Solid supermarket aisle with lots of up front ripe fruit, not a ton of varietal character. Held up over two days spaced apart, but did not finish the bottle. Good, boring, not much complexity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/27/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
88 points
This wine continues to evolve and as mentioned in Oct. '19 has shed the intense floral nose. Notes similar to Oct. '19 but this time less "slathered" with the fruit staying lifted even though it's dark fruits and it is now bringing the funk in a good way. Loving this at $10! It's a fun, pleasurable wine, but is not generic.
Red
8/25/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
88 points
Very nice CdR old school goodness and a nice $12 buy. Ripe, high quality fruit, easy to drink, dark fruits, touch of garrigue, medium finish, clean, a step up from simple fruity. What CdR should be. Great match with homemade pita "pizzas" each with a wide variety of toppings.

Per the retailer this is Grenache, Syrah, Counoise, Mourvedre and Carignan.
Red
8/21/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
92 points
Aged beauty, classy wine. The bottle was in fine condition. Dark cherry, forest floor earth, lingering background spices, something reminiscent of autumn.

This was at its best and at its most interesting a few of days after opening. Upon opening about 2/3 of the bottle was consumed over a couple of hours with a meal and on its own. The remainder was closed and set in cellar conditions for a few of days. The nose came out with some smoke, dried porcini mushroom, subtle cooked strawberry, damp fallen autumn leaves, caramelized orange and plum, some leather. Really intriguing to sip over an hour on its own.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/24/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Great combination of the ripe, deep Tannat fruit and herbaceousness and mint. Warmth of fruit and a coolness of character makes this nice at the table. It would pair with a wide range of dishes. Tannins are getting well integrated. This may be near peak, but would go out several more years, I think. Really nice QPR - picked up a couple in the upper-teens and a couple at close out $11 USD.
Red
8/22/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
91 points
Intense, deep, dark, and layered, this avoids the cloying, mouth-coating effect you get with less capable renditions of the hedonistic, rich style. A slightly sweet, exuberant nose of forest floor, ripe berries, and exotic spices followed seamlessly by a body that shows layers of ripe dark and red fruits, pipe tobacco, cedar, dried herbs, and cocoa nibs. Holds its 14.9% abv well.

Smooth, but still wound up pretty tightly. Even though this seems made in a style to enjoy shortly after release, I wonder whether this won't be even better in a few years as it unwinds in bottle.

This is not my normal style, but I was offered it and really enjoyed it well with hanger steak. It's a wine that draws you in - a real pleasure wine. As I mentioned, even though it is a big wine, it doesn't get tired after half a glass, you can keep going! A really fine wine that fans of the style will surely score higher than me.

Aside: As you'd expect, this comes with the Big Heavy Bottle. I compared the weight of the completely empty bottle to both a full bottle of a U.S Pinot and a full bottle of a Spanish Baga and the weights were the same!
White
8/22/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
No notes, but a fine deal at $20, showing best the second night. Super clean, medium body, nice aromatics. Enjoyable on its own and with food. No hurry here.
Red
8/23/2020 - tward wrote:
82 points
Some nice cool climate notes on the nose, but a bit flat and confectionary in the body. This benefited from some air and a little chill on it. Even at the upper-teens USD close-out price the QPR is not impressive. That said, with a slight chill, the soft tannins and fruit make it a versatile food wine. This makes a good choice for a mixed crowd with a mixed grill - burgers, kabobs, BBQ chicken, whatever you want.
White
8/21/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
90 points
Still surprisingly fresh on PnP, no pre-mox here. On the first night it was a nice but not much was popping, a pretty, subtle wine. On the second night in unwound a bit more and I noted the purity, some floral honey, caramel, "green marzipan", apricot, lime zest, cooked lime, and a sneaking quenching acidity. A very nice bottle.

However, despite some evolution and technical excellence, it was not a "wow" bottle of wine and the QPR is questionable at best at $90 --- this is an issue in Meursault 1er generally, I think - the "good" bottles are simply overpriced and the truly remarkable ones are so expensive that only a very, very narrow set of wine drinkers (even a narrow set among true wine lovers with enough income and willingness to spend to taste fine wines) can afford to taste them regularly if at all.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
8/15/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Lovely wine, upright and mineral. Great pairing with steamed clams in a simple wine sauce. Nice on its own. Versatile, also drank nicely a couple days later finishing the bottle with arugula salad with lemon and parmesan. Very nice sub-$15 QPR.
White
8/16/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
87 points
It'd been some time since I'd had a kiwi SB and this his the summertime spot. Telltale from the first sip, but I thought this was a solid step above typical entry level examples; it did not have a sharp or even metallic edge to it, it was ripe enough and less acidic and while I wouldn't call it soft, I'd say the finish was more continuous. Nice, versatile. Good sub-$15 buy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/16/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
87 points
Great with good grilled burgers. No notes, had casually. Had a rustic edge to it.
White
8/14/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
90 points
A friend brought this and I was glad to have had a glass. Really nice if you're in the mood for a fuller, richer style done well. This shows balanced ripeness with floral notes and Chardonnay spice and oak spice around the edge. Not a butter bomb, closer to a nice mid-range Beaune. I really liked it. 13.5% abv. Drink in the 50 -54 F range?
Rosé
8/14/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
88 points
No notes, another nice vintage of the Patelin rosé. Shared this over a couple of nights, all liked it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/15/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
89 points
Lovely wine. Soft with blue fruits touches of spice and some fine tannins that have a slight bite on the back end. Super drinkable and at the same time elegant enough to hold your attention. Though it comes across as low acid and is not tannic, it has real structure, like an underlying stone minerality. A great choice for an outdoor red when grilling - worked great with a fattier cut of beef along with simple cannellini beans.

This is 60% Blaufraenkisch, 30% Zweigelt, 10% St. Laurent. 13% abv.

The back label recommends drinking at 15 C (59 F) and I agree. It showed so well cool.
Red
2017 Tablas Creek Syrah Paso Robles Adelaida District (view label images)
8/13/2020 - tward wrote:
Tried hard over a few hours to get into the groove with this, but neither of us succeeded. Certainly not bad. I'm looking at my note from late 2019 for the same vintage Esprit Rouge and there are some similarities. Something not "together", some feeling of intervention running through it. This had a confectionary quality, perhaps due to new oak? Some red fruits and spice. I didn't find the depth and character of SoRo Syrah nor the soul of NoRo nor the charm of the cool kid coastal and mountain crunchy style. All in between and anonymous.

Again, a good wine, but right now I see it for casual, outside, with mixed grill including some spicy eats. Maybe put just a slight chill on it? There could be real underlying potential here that I'm not seeing - one should give Tablas Creek the benefit of the doubt. I should probably pick up another bottle and lay it down for five years with the intent of comparing to this initial impression.

If I were rating now, I'd give it a solid "Good". I attempt to adhere to the absolute rating scale that CT wants users to follow, so that would be an '83'. QPR questionable.

I didn't like writing this note.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White
8/8/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
91 points
Wish I'd have made notes on this, but all enjoyed it and it was excellent over two nights. No hurry.
Red
8/8/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
92 points
Paired great with cast iron-finished steaks. No notes here, but this was enjoyed by all. I don't think I was as impressed as a prior note indicates (94!), but this is excellent and was a really solid by at $31 USD. Glad to see a couple more are squirreled away. CT window indicates 2019 - 2026. I'd say this is drinking great right now. We'll see where it goes.
White - Sparkling
8/8/2020 - tward Likes this wine:
92 points
Wonderful stuff that only gets better in the glass and better was the bottle remains open. Fine bubbles, brioche, yeasty, textured crisp and cooked apple, spices on the back end. Wonderful on its own but also with food. Sub-$30 I thought this was a nice deal.

Note: I'm not entirely sure of the disgorgement

I ordered in Nov. '17 and received in Dec. '18. The email pitch includes:

Neal Martin on last year’s disgorgement (WA, June 2017): “The NV Brut is a blend of one-third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier that is matured entirely in stainless steel.

WOZZA's TN claims that "This current Wiston Brut NV, disgorged August 2018, is made up of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in equal parts, from 2013 fruit"

Back label indicates:
Selected by: GARAGISTE, WA, USA.

My guess is that I received that Aug. 2018 disgorgement.
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