Tasting Notes for VeniceCalif

(1,015 notes on 909 wines)

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Red
11/7/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of zero sediment. Nice nose of bramble, black cherry, blackberry nectar, fine dust. Round & rich on the palate with moderate acid balance. Drying finish with light tannins. Pleasant.
Red
11/5/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
Decanted one hour ahead off of zero sediment. very deep garnet color, with no orange or purple. The nose immediately shows dark spices coffee blackberries a bit of tar and vanilla. On the palate, this wine is rich dry, and also lean. It has full berry flavors combined with the black fruits and spices finishing with light dusty tannins. It does not boast of its 15.9% ABV.
Red
10/18/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
Garnet color with purple flashes. Nice spicy nose, showing cherry and forest floor. Light-bodied by good flavors that include peach and oregano. Easy pleasant finish.
Red
10/11/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
93 points
Age paid off here. Color shows no brick or orange. Rich nose, with bramble, black cherry, white pepper, tea notes in a rich body with excellent structure. Could have aged longer.
Red
10/9/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
87 points
Very dark color, with little sign of age. Savory nose, showing white pepper, plum compote, a touch of tar. Smooth and a little cooked on the palate, with some heat. Finishes well, low grip, near-zero tannins. OK overall.
Red
10/3/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
Here I am a few months later drinking from this clear bottle. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Pleasant strawberry color, feeding at the edges. Nice nose, showing cherry strawberry dried herbs and a touch of earth. On the palate, this wine is bright but yet it is more full-bodied than you might expect given the light color. The acid balance is in a comfortable place, not excessively tart but certainly not soft. The finish is grippy and drying, but with very low tannins. Overall, we are looking at an excellent bottle here from a historic Vineyard in Southern California.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/2/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
Whoops this is Abba Vineyard. I entered the data wrong and I can’t delete, so we will do it this way. Decanted one hour ahead. Medium ruby color, showing brick at the edges. The reticent nose shows cherry and earth notes with hard spices; floral notes show up later. Medium bodied on the palate, this wine is lifted but yet round, not long on acidity. Flavors include a welcome touch of ink. Finishes fast, with light grip in very low tannins. Pleasant overall, and I will wear my reading glasses next time.
Red
9/17/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
92 points
Decanted 1hr. ahead off of a bit of sediment. Very deep garnet color that you can't see through. Nice nose, showing cranberry, blackberry, bramble, and herbal notes, with a touch of tobacco. Full-bodied on the palate, as cherry flavors lead. Good depth, with brisk acid balance. Finishes well, with grippy, dusty tannins. If I did not know that this was Refosco, I might have called it a Petite Sirah, a complex version. The ABV is 12.9%.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/10/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
Decanted one hour ahead. Medium garnet color with flashes of blue. Very nice nose, showing cranberry strawberry and herbs. Light to medium bodied on the pallet, with a wonderful deep spice flavor cropping up which seems to be a sign of the old vines of this vineyard. Finishes well with brisk tannins. I think this could improve with more time in the bottle.
Red
9/3/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
85 points
Made by Michael Benedict from the original vines planted in the 70s. Decanted one hour ahead off of a bit of sediment. Medium Garnet with orange flashes, fading at the edge. The nose shows plums, cherries, and exotic spices, complicated by a certain cedar quality. rich and polished on the palate, as cherry and plum flavors lead over wood. Finishes with a touch of orange peel light grip and low tannins. Is this wine great? No. is it interesting? Yes, definitely.
Red
2016 Markus Wine Co. Blue Lodi Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
8/7/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
Unlike previous versions, this is not Zin, it’s mostly Petit Verdot with some Cab and Malbec. It’s still good. Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of zero sediment. Pretty garnet color. Very nice herbal nose, showing cherry, plum, and forest floor behind. Medium body on the palate, with red fruits leading in an approachable acid balance. Finishes with light, dusty tannins. Delicious.
Red
2017 Sandlands Red Table Wine Contra Costa County Red Blend (view label images)
8/2/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
89 points
A tooth-stainer. Decanted 1 hr ahead off of a bit of sediment. Purple color, very deep. Cranberry, pomegranate, herbs, earthy notes. Bright and fresh on the palate with brisk acidity. ABV is an unbelievable 12.9% and when did you last see that. Grippy finish w tannins. This needs time and I am going to give it a few. Carignane + Mataro.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/30/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
84 points
Time has not been kind to this wine. It retains a nice nose with cherries and oak, but low acidity and high alcohol have yielded an ungainly bottle.
Red
7/17/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
87 points
Have you ever tasted a Shiraz from California? Decanted one hour ahead off of zero sediment. Pleasant nose, showing white pepper, herbs, and black cherries. Very smooth on the palate, with fruit flavors leading in an elegant texture. It has deliciousness. Finishes fast with light grip and low tannins. Easy overall.
Red
2016 Cooper Vineyards Barbera California Shenandoah Valley (view label images)
7/15/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
Decanted one hour ahead. Very nice nose, showing blueberry, blackberry and pomegranate notes, along with some sweet oak and herbal tones. Round and a delicious on the palatet, as fruit flavors mix well with herbal and wood notes in a very approachable acid balance. The finish is quick with a light grip and low tannins.
Red
7/12/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
92 points
This one rewarded waiting. Decanted off of some sediment 1 hr. ahead. Deep bricky garnet color. Somewhat closed bouquet, showing black cherry seamlessly blended with excellent herbal notes, plums too. Rich and delicious fruit-herb on the palate showing smoothed-out but still firm structure. Light grip on the finish, with low tannins. Excellent.
Red
7/10/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
93 points
A wine for the future. Decanted 2 hrs. ahead off of some sediment. Very deep garnet color, not at all brown or bricky. Closed and tightly wound at first, this took awhile to open. Very nice nose of plums, herbs, mushrooms, a bit of mint. Beautifully structured on the palate, with firm acids amid red fruits and abundant spices. The finish is grippy, drying, with ample tannins. I am very glad that I have more of this. Need to check back in a few years.
Red
5/30/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
Decanted off of a bit of sediment. Light garnet color, rusty at edges. Nice nose of rhubarb, cherry, raspberry. Pleasant on the palate, smoothed out from bottle age, delicious with red fruit and violet flavors. Medium light body is ingratiating. Drying finish with good length. This wine seems to be close to its peak which is a good thing because it’s my last bottle (of the last vintage). A fine exit.
Red
5/29/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
86 points
Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of a bit of sediment. Very deep garnet color. Nice nose of black fruits, roots, white pepper, and cola. Round and rich on the palate with voluptuous black fruits leading over earthy and root beer flavors. Stated ABV is 15.9 which could be a legally shaded total. Yes it does seem somewhat jammy after air exposure. Finishes with fat fruit and light tannins. Not sure why they bottled this as vineyard designate. 37 cases produced.
Red
5/23/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
92 points
Five years in bottle has done this wine a good service. Decanted one hour ahead, off of very little sediment. Very deep garnet color, with orange flashes. Very nice nose, with dark spices, cherries and blackberries. Rich and smooth on the palate, as fruit flavors mix well with spice notes and cooked fruit aromas. The years have a smoothed this wine out nicely. Finishes well, with light grip and very low tannins. I am glad that I kept this wine.
Red
5/16/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
89 points
Decanted 90 minutes ahead off of some sediment. Very deep garnet color, not showing any rust or bricking. Nice nose, showing floral and roasted meat aromas along with a strong herbal note. Full bodied on the palate, with black fruits in a firm structure. Very firm in fact, despite 5 years in bottle. This wine could still use more time.
Red
5/15/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
They say that clones don’t matter with Zinfandel, but this presents a case to the contrary. Medium deep ruby garnet color, with purple flashes. Nice nose, showing strong herbal scents along with black cherry and blackberry. Medium bodied on the palate, with red fruit flavors backed with herbal notes and elegant acidity, not tart. The finish is fast with brisk, light tannins. Completely worthy.
Red
5/14/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
89 points
Decanted off of a lot of fine sediment. Light plum color with orange-brown flashes. Fine nose of cherries, rhubarb, violets. Light bodied and lithe on the palate, with crisp focus. Quick finish with light grip.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Keplinger Lithic Amador County Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
5/9/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
94 points
Decanted 90 mins ahead off of some sediment. Very deep garnet color. Nice nose of black pepper, herbs, black cherry, earth tones. Quite firm on the palate without being tart. Metallic flavors, cherry, slate, good acidity, excellent structure. Long finish with rich but velvety tannins. This should be even better with time, say, at least 5 years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/3/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
91 points
Fab bottle. It’s clear! The wine is light in color, like a dark Tavel rosé or a pale Pinot. The Pinot kinship comes up on the nose, as this shows cherry, violets, and spices. Medium bodied on the palate, delicious, with enough acidy to keep things interesting. Red fruit flavors but well tempered by the spice notes. Finishes well, with a bit of grip and light tannins. Given that this is a So Cal vineyard that gets pretty hot in the summer, she really dialed it in well here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
5/2/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
Superb vino, light-bodied with strong flavors. Color is the palest lemon. White flowers lead on the nose followed by stones. Wonderful weight on the palate, showing some lees contact. I say that because it saw no oak, only stainless steel. Tasty, with grapefruit peel flavors amid good balance. Petrichor flavors too. The finish is clean, with a touch of grass. Markus is a Lodi leader.
Red
4/30/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
87 points
This note is a bit of a throwback. My 2nd tasting note that I posted to this site 9 years ago was the 2008 vintage of this wine. I have posted 800+ notes since then, so I am glad to revisit this wine. Guess what: It’s still a wonderful buy at $18. Very deep garnet color. Nice nose of black cherries, strawberries, charcoal. Rich and plush on the palate as black fruit flavors lead in a sumptuous texture. Finishes with light grip and low tannins. Totally worth it.
Red
4/24/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
Decanted off of very heavy sediment. Medium ruby color with purple and orange flashes. The nose is pleasingly herbal, with cherry notes and some forest floor. Lithe and light-bodied on the palate, with user-friendly acidity and strawberry flavors. The texture is gulpable like a light-bodied Beaujolais. Finishes fast with spices and zero tannins. Easy & fun overall, an interesting drink @c.$20.
Red
4/23/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
89 points
Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Garnet color, trending orange at the edge. Nice nose of black cherry, dried herbs, cedar. Medium-bodied and brisk on the palate, with redwood flavors leading over plum and ink. Finishes with light grippy tannins.
Red
4/15/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
Guess what: There are varying styles of Mission wines in CA. This one is from the lighter end of the spectrum. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very pale ruby with an orange edge, halfway between a Pinot Noir and a rosé. Nice but shy nose of cherry, white pepper, peach. Pleasant on the palate, with earthy and orange peel flavors leading. Quite light-bodied as befits the color, with easy acid balance. Finishes with light grip and low tannins. Only 2 barrels made.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2016 Story Winery Mission California Shenandoah Valley (view label images)
4/11/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
Decanted 1hr. ahead. Medium garnet color with purple flashes. The light but fragrant nose is spice-forward, what I might expect from an old-vine Amador Zin, but with cherry notes. Medium-light body with metallic flavors which set things back a bit. Acid balance is easy but not soft. Finishes with dusty but grippy light tannins. An interesting wine that I would buy again.
Red
4/10/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
85 points
Decanted 90 mins. ahead. Purplish cherry color. Pleasant spicy aroma along with red fruits. Medium bodied on the palate, not tart, not flat, just lifted acidity. Metallic flavors mar the proceedings, but the texture is pleasant and a little fragile, which is positive. Finishes with light grip and low tannins, more tinny flavors. This wine is def. interesting, which is not the same as good or memorable.
White
4/9/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
92 points
Tasted at near-room temperature, which is advisable. Medium lemon color. Nice nose of lemon peel, wax, grain. Strikes a fine balance on the palate between leesy flavors and citrus; both are there, along with a wonderful saline component that watches over from the background. The acid balance is also in a Mozartian place, which means very well perched between tartness and fat, shading toward leanness. This wine was made from the original S & B 1972 vines by Michael Benedict, who planted them. So it’s not only good but important.
Red
4/4/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
86 points
Decanted off of some sediment but still hazy. Not that that’s a problem. Medium-light garnet color. On the nose, candied cherries, earth, some funk. Pleasant texture on the palate, with cidery cherry cola flavors. An organic wine in other words. Good spice flavors & aromas. Finishes well, with light grip, more spices and near zero tannins. As such things go, this is better than a lot of them, but see the number.
Red
3/19/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
85 points
Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of zero sediment. Medium garnet color, fading bricky at edge. Very nice nose of strawberries, cherries, violets, pencil. Medium bodied and generous on the palate, as high alcohol (15.1%) shows up to lend a rich texture supported by red-fruit flavors. Finishes with light grip and smoothed-out tannins along with some alcoholic heat. Huber is one of the cooler climatic sites in SRH, but I think the level of extraction here undercut that. A bit of a miss here.
Red
2012 Castelli Vineyards Nebbiolo Fosco Green Valley of Russian River Valley (view label images)
3/14/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
92 points
Decanted one hour ahead. Light ruby color, with a bit of orange. Very nice nose, showing spices, cherries and even a floral note. On the palate, this wine is a light bodied and quite tart like a Nebbiolo should be. Cherry flavors and a bit of ink underlie the proceedings. The finish is drying, with ample dusty tannins. Executive summary: it’s fab. And it needs more time in the cellar.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/13/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
Decanted 1:20 ahead. Medium garnet color, trending orange at the edge. Nice but faint nose of cranberry, tart cherry, and a floral/piney note. Light bodied on the palate, with firm, bright acidity and a touch of oak flavor. Finishes well with light grip and very low tenants. You would not think that this was a Zinfandel; you might think it was Grenache. Interesting.
Red
3/12/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
89 points
Decanted 1:30 ahead. Medium cherry color. Nice spice on the nose, with plum and dust. Tart cherry flavors lead ahead of spice notes in a light body with firm acidity. After 2 hours it really opened up nicely. Finishes well with good grip and light tannins. I have more of this. I will put it away for a few. It will probably improve.
Red
2/21/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
86 points
Decanted one hour ahead. Faint nose showing cherries, spices. Medium to light bodied on the palate, with black cherry and metallic flavors. Nondescript. Fast finish. Forget that you are drinking Cabernet Sauvignon, and you can work with this.
Red
2/6/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Deep garnet color, fading toward the edge. Fine and fragrant nose of cedar, cherries, earth tones. Medium body on the palate, with very brisk acidity typical of Sangio. Fairly tannic on the finish, with powdery but coating tannins. This is not the winery’s top sangio (it’s not vineyard designated), but even so it could use more time to soften. Ambitious.
Red
1/31/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
89 points
Popped and poured over 90 mins. A dark, dusky and user-friendly version. Nice nose of herbs, oak, licorice, black cherry, plums. Medium-full on the palate, with somewhat soft acidity that some tasters might see as smooth or approachable but I find a drawback. Finishes with very light dusty tannins. This is for near-term consumption.
Red
1/29/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
Decanted 1 hr ahead and sampled over the next 2 hrs. Very nice nose of dried herbs and cherries. On the palate, darker fruits and earth tones join in a medium-light body. The acid balance is soft and round, holding this wine back. Finishes with light grip and some tannins. Maybe the problem is the grape variety. Grenache can be low-acid and I think that’s what we have here.
Red
1/28/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
85 points
Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Medium-pale ruby color. Nice but faint nose of cherries, violets. Today it’s a bit watery on the palate. Some of the delicacy has fallen away. Black cherry flavors in a light body, too light. Finishes fast. I liked this wine a year ago but it’s hollowed out now.
Red
1/23/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
92 points
Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Nice nose of hard spices, plums, blueberries, and a saline hint. Medium body on the palate, as spice and fruit flavors join amid well-balanced acids. The finish is a bit chewy with grip and tannins, which bodes well for the future. Excellent overall.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/22/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
97 points
Gosh. An amazing wine. Decanted off of some sediment. Intense floral and violet notes jumped up immediately, followed by cherries and wet wood. On the palate, it’s medium bodied, rich, with black cherry fruit
leading over moss and blueberry notes. Acid balance is delicious, in a sweet spot. Finishes well, with earthy tones and light grip, near-zero tannins. This is a fabulous bottle, at its peak. They hit it out of the park here.
Red
1/17/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
88 points
This wine dialogs nicely with the Lodi Native Project without being part of it. It’s made from 80 year old ungrafted vines. Decanted 1:30 ahead. Very deep garnet color. Nice nose of white pepper, blackberries, coffee, iodine. Rich and full on the palate as brambly tones lead over fruit, a good sign. Acid balance is firm. Finishes well with good grip and light tannins, and some heat. This is Big Zin, done well. Somewhat strong, but well.
Red
1/15/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
86 points
Medium dusty-cherry color. Nice nose of allspice, cherry, earth tones and a touch of iodine. Medium-light on the palate, with cherry flavors and herbal notes. Flavors seem uncomplicated and quaffable, with a juicy acid balance. Fast finish. Pleasures and pitfalls of natural winemaking.
Red
1/8/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
86 points
This wine is of exceptional historical importance. It tries to duplicate a style of Nebbiolo that people were drinking centuries ago. The aromas show cherries and red berries predominantly, with a bit of spice in the background. It’s light bodied and pleasant on the palate, with bright fruit flavors leading. Acid balance is juicy, not tart, but pleasant. Finishes fast with near-zero tannins. Because Darrel Corti was involved in this, I bought it. And it’s interesting. Not by any means wonderful but interesting.
Red
1/2/2019 - VeniceCalif wrote:
93 points
Decanted 90 minutes ahead. Very deep garnet color. Excellent nose of plums, black cherries, hard spices, and dried herbs. Full-bodied on the pallet, as black fruit and spice flavors mingle in a firm texture. Finishes well, with good grip and light tannins in moderate length. This is one of their better new releases and will improve for several years.
Red
12/27/2018 - VeniceCalif wrote:
87 points
A pleasant wine that you won’t see in the magazines. Pretty cherry color. Fruit-forward nose of red berries, cherries, a touch of herb. Medium body in an easy acid balance, with a quick finish. A quaffer.
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