Tasting Notes for rmcbrayer

(89 notes on 79 wines)

1 - 50 of 89 Sort order
Red
9/18/2021 - rmcbrayer wrote:
94 points
Still is a little tight and dusty on night one, but after sealing the second half of the bottle in a 375 overnight, it is open and plush. WineJan has an accurate note below, although I found also a hint of Rabaja iron. Very good and much improved within the last 24 months. My best bottle of this so far.
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Red
8/20/2021 - rmcbrayer wrote:
94 points
Racer117 has it spot on. I rarely score domestic pinot like this, but here I find an unusually vibrant, fruited,, and tensioned wine from a cool vintage. It confirms my admiration for MO. Really nice work!
Red
2/20/2021 - rmcbrayer wrote:
88 points
2008 Oregon Dundee Hilltop: Eyrie Daphne vs. White Rose Vineyard: Rich and oaky. I can see the similarity of terroir here but the winemaking is very different. The winemaker's notes say: "Our objective ... is to make [this] wine ... with more masculine character. We selected barrels with greater weight, structure and power. In order to achieve the desired effect, we included more barrels from the pressings" and noted that they used 100% new French oak. I do not doubt that was true and, in hindsight, would have liked to have tasted their regular White Rose site bottlings next to the Daphne. This had slightly more complexity buried in there - more mushroom, forest floor, and darker cherries to the Daphne's Maraschinos. But the oak was at the forefront and will probably not fade before the rest of the wine does.
Red
2/20/2021 - rmcbrayer wrote:
92 points
2008 Oregon Dundee Hilltop: Eyrie Daphne vs. White Rose Vineyard: A delightful example of aged Dundee Hills pinot noir. Aromas of dark cherries and sous bois. Flavors included the above plus a little maraschino cherry and leather capped by a long finish. A little thin though and unlikely to gain complexity. Completely integrated tannins. Just a delightful example of the Dundee Hills and a reminder of how well Eyrie's wines age.
Red
12/7/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
94 points
Concur with Gasdocvlad's note from three months ago. A stunning example of Oregon pinot. At peak, but I'm excited to drink my remaining two bottles over 3-5 yrs.
Red
11/26/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
94 points
Concur with Sourdough's note. But at a more general level, this is such a well structured, precise, and lifted wine. It seemed to have only just started to develop tertiary flavors of forest floor. Simply wonderful.
Red
11/17/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
93 points
It has been a year since one of RocknRoller or I reviewed this wine, so I cracked a bottle and found this one to be darker and more viscous than previous bottles. A great nose of dried cherries, Asian spices, orange peel and rose petals led to dark cherries, forest floor, and a hint of plums on the palate supported by still vibrant structure. Past bottles seemed to be getting a little thin but this one is surprisingly rich.
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Red
10/3/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
95 points
From Magnum. Double decanted 2 hours prior. The same burnt red cherry, spices, and iron as a Giacosa Falletto tasted alongside. A slightly richer wine at first, but less length as the Falletto opened up. Six hours later, it is showing less spice but more meat and savory aromas. A long finish and still-strong tannin. This bottle was showing well and helped answer questions about the ’89 vintage: well stored bottles continue to be vibrant and alive. The Produttori was fabulous and had years of pleasure left to give.
Red
8/4/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
90 points
It was a delight to pull an unusual bottle from the cellar. I concur with Neecies and MaryCamp - a remarkably fresh wine dominated by cranberry, tart acid, and a little forest floor. Better with fatty food. I can see now how Jura wines age forever if well stored. Will save my additional bottles for 5-10 years. For $20, a very interesting and rewarding purchase. 89 for the wine on its merits but +1 for its educational value.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/10/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
95 points
A wonderful nose of dark fruit and faint flowers. A little closed on the palate at first (I decanted only 90 minutes), but it gradually opened with tea, cherries, tobacco, and a hint of orange peel that faded in and out. A wonderful old bottle.
Red
4/4/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
93 points
I concur with WalkerJFW's note below. A wonderful expression of Oregon pinot and the Ribbon Ridge AVA, aged well with silky tannins. 93-94
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Red
3/20/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
93 points
nose and palate of bright fruit and asian spice. But this has a long way to go. Next bottle in 2023-25. 94-95 potential.
Red
2/29/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
double decanted for 2 hrs. A wonderfully fresh bottle. Dried cherries, tar, violets wrapped in nice acid and balanced tannins. Served alongside a '97 Giacosa Asili, and the '89 vintage showed brightly. Just wonderful, and with a well stored bottle like this, a wine that will drink well through 2030.
Red
1/19/2020 - rmcbrayer wrote:
87 points
Once the usual Cameron funk blew off, we were left with disjointed black plum juice. The nose is soft, and you get a hint of acid and hope of structure on the front of the palate, but it disappears quickly.

This is one of those 2012's Willamette pinots that are on the downhill.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
White - Sparkling
12/24/2019 - rmcbrayer wrote:
96 points
A wonderful bottle. I would not have picked this for a 20+ yr old bottle. Vibrant with great acidity. Light gold with no browning. Fresh aromas of apple, peach, honey, brioche and lemon. Just beautiful.
Red
12/24/2019 - rmcbrayer wrote:
flawed
We found a dominant aroma of moldy wood - like the inside of an empty, wet, funky barrel. This covered faint notes of cherry back there. But you would never had guessed this to be a nebbiolo. So, I a marked this "flawed" which implies a bad bottle, but I suspect this was a bad tonneau. Perhaps this bottle came from the bottom or was fill wine held in a bad barrique? I have just never seen a flawed bottle evolve such a funky barrel smell.
Red
2/3/2019 - rmcbrayer wrote:
94 points
An aging beauty. This bottle was more vibrant than the last two we've had, and was what one envisioned for this wine over the last 10 years. Ethereal on the nose - cherry, rosewater, light Asian spice, and a hint of orange peel. Really vibrant. In the mouth, the fruit is fading though. Not many secondary flavors: just muted cherries and earth that was best at hours 2-4 after opening. The nose remains strong and beautiful. This does not have ten more years, but it's at its aging best right now. I've said it before, but I wish Mark V. was still getting White Rose fruit, because the result is just beautiful.
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Red
1/2/2019 - rmcbrayer wrote:
91 points
Thought I would post an updated note now that we have returned to this 18 months later. This is still a big, juicy WV pinot, but the wood has faded and it's a bit more integrated. Blackberry and cherry, with very slight spice buried beneath the fruit. Some lingering dry tannin and a very long, juicy finish. Nice acidity here makes me think this will last a while. I don't think it gets a lot better because there is not much underlying complexity. But then again, I said below that this was a "mess," and it's not that anymore, so those with bottles might check in in 2020.
Rosé - Sparkling
2010 Soter Brut Rosé Yamhill County Champagne Blend (view label images)
11/23/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
92 points
Wow, has this really turned a corner! I was disappointed in the last 3 bottles - closed, tight, and not giving any appearance that there was anything there that might blossom. But now its showing strawberries, brioche, lemon, and violet on the nose and lemon, slight apple and darker berries, and brioche in the mouth. Nicely balanced with healthy acid. I'm glad we held a few back.
Red
11/16/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
92 points
My first bottle of Rhys. Am a longtime collector of Oregon pinot, having turned in that direction when I didn't like strawberries in many California pinots. I turned back to try this and was really delighted. Cherries, rhubarb, and forest on the nose, with that along with hints of cola, slight new oak, and nutmeg in the mouth. Wonderful acidity. Really well balanced. I'm glad I bought the mixed case of Rhys.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/28/2018 - rmcbrayer Likes this wine:
95 points
Just singing right now. PNP at a restaurant. It started with a nose of cherry, licorice, and faint mint or menthol. Very aromatic and jumping out of the glass. In the mouth it added a little leather. The finish was long and the only place slight dusty tannin showed up. It really blossomed after an hour open in the bottle though. Wow. Strong, sweet rosewater, dark cherry, menthol aromas and a little tar. Just beautiful. It lasted for another hour and then became a little disjointed as we finished the bottle. Based on that, I'd drink these now through 2025.
Red
9/21/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
92 points
Really beautiful right now. Dark cherry, Asian spices, and black tea. Has retained much more fruit and tension than many other 2010 Willamette Valley pinots I have had lately. This was very good.
Red
7/12/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
93 points
Slow ox'd for four hours prior to dinner. No one is going to mistake this for tight, cool year nebbiolo, but it manages to be well focused given the year. Aromas of cedar, leather, cherry and violet opened up to show more cherry after an hour. In the mouth, there is a lot going on. Nice structure and decent acid. Ample tannins still, but not overwhelming. Overall, it seems like it could integrate a little more and may benefit with another 3-5 yrs. Enjoyable enough now, but hold off if you have them.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/26/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
93 points
I agree with RGCM. A wonderful nose of dark cherry, forest, asian spice and, in our bottle, just the slightest amount of funk. A little brighter cherry and silky smooth in the mouth. Drinking wonderfully now but seems to have the stuffing to go to 2025. Very good.
Red
5/12/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
92 points
drank over two nights with fairly consistent notes. Aromas of leather, new oak, dark cherry, and violets. Obviously of the new style pursued by some in Piedmont back then. Still a little disjointed, however, as if it never quite came together. Good but not great.
Red
4/27/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
94 points
Slow ox'd for four hours. Dark garnet with a hint of browning, but clear. Powerful nose of dark cherries, rose and a little menthol. In the mouth, you get those with fig and licorice. Fabulous tension and energy. Tannins are muted until you get some dust on the long finish. This is drinkable and very good right now. I just had the sense that it was waiting to blossom even more.
Red
4/22/2018 - rmcbrayer Likes this wine:
91 points
This gem has triggered great relief in our house. Five recent bottles of 2012 Oregon pinot from various lauded producers made us despair for this vintage we have -- all were flabby fruit bombs. But here we found salvation in a well-structured, slightly spicy final vintage of Souris. Dark cherries, asian spices, forest floor over a good acidic backbone. I'm glad we have more bottles. Phew!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 21 Grams Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (view label images)
4/21/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
94 points
Slow ox'd for two hours, then decanted for 30 minutes at a restaurant.
A pleasant mix of cassis, graphite, and chocolate. Moderate tannin, long finish. I don't drink a lot of Washington Cab, but this was very nice. Drinks well now, but seems like it will last another 10 yrs.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/15/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
90 points
Slow ox'd for 30 minutes. Deep garnet and clear. The nose is wonderful - cherry, earth, nutmeg and green pepper. In the mouth, more cherry, with orange peel and spice. Silky, resolved tannins. But it lacks acid and energy, causing it to really fade mid-palate. Not sure these 2012's are built for much past 10 years. Drink now - 2022.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/14/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
93 points
A wonderful wine. Slow ox'd for 2 hrs. Dark garnet and clear in the glass. The nose is dark fruit -- black cherry and currant -- with slight orange peel, and leather. On the palate, dark cherries, leather, black tea, and sweet tobacco. Slightly viscous, but bright. Still primary in every respect. I wish there were a few more layers, but this has time - another 8-10 years at least. A great effort in a strong vintage. 93-95 potential.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/24/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
92 points
Slow ox'd for two hours. In the glass, it showed dark cherries, dusty tannins and a hint of raisin. But two hours in, it really blossomed: brighter cherries, violets, and leather. A very nice bottle that would have been good for another 3-4 yrs, but probably not getting better from here.
Red
2/3/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
94 points
Cafe Juanita Monfortino / Asili Dinner (Cafe Juanita, WA): Decanted for 30 min and served alongside a 2001 Monfortino during a long Piedmontese dinner. Dark red with no bricking. The Asili smelled like cherries and menthol with a touch of oak., and had more expressive aromas than the Monfortino all night. In the mouth, it tasted like dark cherries, forest floor, and roses, with dusty tannins. Nicely balanced, but it lacked the acidity and oomph to stand up to richer dishes. A great old world Barbaresco to be sure, and it is drinking well right now. But the Monfortino bested it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/3/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
96 points
Cafe Juanita Monfortino / Asili Dinner (Cafe Juanita, WA): Double decanted for 3 hours. Clear and no sign of bricking. Reticent nose of slight rose and tar, but it was faint. The nose opened very slightly over an additional three hours at dinner. It tasted like black cherry, leather, and faint cedar. Silky but firm tannins. Perfectly balanced. It stood up to every one of the robust Piedmontese dishes we had, whereas the 2000 Giacosa Asili Riserva we also had lacked the acid and structure during the richer meat dishes.. The Monfortino was the WOTN. But I felt like it never gave up its secrets.
A more explosive set of aromas remains hidden in there somewhere.
Decades to go.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/12/2018 - rmcbrayer wrote:
93 points
Amazing. It started off tight, vibrant, and a little funky in a good way for 30 minutes. But it then blossomed into black cherry, raspberry, 2010 black tea, and after two hours, a little spice. Smooth tannins. Got a lot more going on than most 2010's. Years left.
Red
12/5/2017 - rmcbrayer Likes this wine:
91 points
A good Barbaresco that, to my inexperienced Piedmont palate, seems a little heavy. Upon opening, it had muted cherry aromas and dominant, dusty tannins. After 30 minutes, the wine was singing with aromas of darkening cherry and licorice, with leather and slight cedar added on the palate. After an hour, it was dark cherry, cedar and spice. Viscous, with a very long, albeit uncomplicated finish. Would have gone well with osso bucco at that point in the night. Seems like it has 5-10 years left in the tank, but it not necessarily getting better.
Red
11/23/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
92 points
From magnum. A nose of dark fruit and Asian spice is followed by faint tannin, solid acid, tastes of black cherry and forest floor. Balanced and rich. Really wonderful.
Red
11/12/2017 - rmcbrayer Likes this wine:
92 points
A very smooth but unspectacular 2010 OPN. Like others, it smells like dark fruit and black tea, but has a hint of orange peel. In the mouth, you get a little more cherry and spice. Moderate tannins still, but not a lot of acid. It's a little soft on the finish and makes me think this is at its peak. Have cellared PDN's since 2010, and the smooth style makes me wonder how they'll age past 8 years. Will report back after opening a 2011.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/7/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
90 points
A reticent barolo. A nose of cherry, rose and anise, but it does not exactly leap out of the glass. In the mouth, the tannins have moderated a bit, but the fruit stays a little hidden behind the tannin. Slightly sour finish. It was OK on its own but paired well with rich food (pheasant in a rich sauce).
Red
11/4/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
88 points
SO'd for three hours. A powerful nose of forest floor and faint fruit. In the mouth, there is dark fruit but it is quickly overtaken by gripping tannins. It improved a little over four hours, but the fruit never emerged from behind the tannins. Not sure they ever will, but I have five more bottles to investigate over time
Red
11/1/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
92 points
This wine offers crazy QPR and a different perspective on Oregon pinot. A nose of light cherry, tea, spice and orange peel, and a mouthful of delicate, dark fruit and a little rosewater. Perfectly balanced with wispy tannins. This drinks wonderfully right now.
Red
10/11/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
90 points
A good but not great aged OPN. Its nose shows dark fruit, slight blueberry, mushroom, and forest floor/meat. On the palate, it tasted like blackberry and faint cherry, with slight cedar and orange peel. Certainly a good effort in a hard year. But drink up. this is just past its peak.
White
9/24/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
93 points
Really in a nice place. Nose is crisp, sweet apple, pineapple, and apricot. Oak and butter are absent. In the mouth, you get more green apple, light acidity, and a loooong finish. Nice increased viscosity at this point too. Am excited to see how this evolves, as it has years to go.
Red
9/3/2017 - rmcbrayer Likes this wine:
91 points
PnP at a restaurant. Terrific Barbaresco aromatics - rose, cherry, and cedar - for the 2 hours of dinner. It had slight, dusty tannin for 10 minutes, but those blew off. In the mouth, we found cherry, leather, and a little earth. Decent structure still, and it did not deteriorate over 2 hours, so it seems like this still has a few years left. Probably not getting better, but in a nice place.
Red
8/26/2017 - rmcbrayer Likes this wine:
93 points
This bottle only confirms my belief in Mo Ayoub's winemaking. I have been drinking a lot of 2010's lately. Most are in great spot - cool year black tea aromas and muted cherry flavors. But the last dozen bottles lacked just a touch of vibrancy that makes me wonder if they peaked. This wine, however, is full of tension, great acid and tannins, and freshness. It had bright cherry, spice, and even slight funk on the nose (which blew of after an hour). It tasted like cherries, a bit of raspberry, cedar, baking spice, and earth. Very balanced. And then the second day, it was still going strong. The spice flavors had faded a bit, but the other aromas and flavors were vibrant and alive. A very good wine that should last another five years at least. A good omen for the higher end bottlings with Ayoub estate fruit too.
Red
8/24/2017 - rmcbrayer Likes this wine:
91 points
This wine made me sit up and take notice. In the past, I found this a good, if fairly simple 2012 Dundee pinot. Good, but meh, the winemaker started with easy fruit to start with. Now, however, the wine is starting to gain complexity I did not sense before. The first night it was as before, but the second night, the wine was still vibrant and started showing more raspberry along with the cherry, and added black tea, spice, and slight orange peel notes too. My last bottle of this will go in the "drink after the 10-yr point" part of the cellar because it intrigues me. More importantly, my heart is more optimistic that 2012's can improve with age into the realm of very good,. 91 with upside.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/25/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
91 points
More experienced consumers of Oregon pinot will not be shocked, but I am a little tired of the Evenstad Reserve formula. It lacks a sense of place, and seems a bit contrived. Raspberry and currant aromas, with a hint of baking spice and leather lead to a balanced mix of dark fruit and bit of mushroom and cinnamon (or in some years, clove) flavors and smooth tannins. BUt this can be said of most years. The 2008 I had tonight was barely distinguishable from the more lauded 2010. So, they get an A+ for consistency but the wine tops out here for its lack of place and complexity. To be sure, this is a good wine if you drink Oregon pinot one night every two weeks. But for more targeted consumers, this seems like a merely good melange that lacks the ability to reach greater heights expressed by others who are dedicated to the terroir. 91-92, with a long time to go, but not improving.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/24/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
91 points
A solid brunello - integrated at this point, with perhaps a bit of oak left to resolve. Not getting better from here, but a good QPR that will drink well for five years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/14/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
89 points
A solid bottle for routine pizza nights. On PNP, it was a little dusty for 20 minutes, but then opened up into cherry and violet aromas and a balanced flavor typical of barbaresco. It might improve a little (90?) with time, but this is not as tannic or acidic as other 2013's I've had (Produttori, etc) and seems set up for the short term. That said, if you're looking for a weeknight barbaresco, this is pleasing.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/7/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
Agree with B. Clark that this needs air. Upon PnP, it was very tart (even for the vintage). it opened up after an hour, but was still dominated by cranberry more than cherry or darker flavors. A good effort in a cool year, with grapes that Mo did not farm. Interesting and good. But don't open it expecting a normal Dundee PN. Will save my last one 5+ yrs.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/6/2017 - rmcbrayer wrote:
91 points
PNP with BBQ leg of lamb. Started with slight aroma of cassis and oak with dusty tannins that faded after 15 minutes in the glass. It evolved after 30 minutes into fairly straightforward Italian cabernet aromas (cassis, cedar and a little plum provided by the 20% merlot). Overall, a good effort that lacked complexity by the time we finished it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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