Tasting Notes for BackroadsPDX

(832 notes on 826 wines)

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Red
9/28/2016 - BackroadsPDX Likes this wine:
96 points
Winner of the night in an evening of top shelf wines. Consumed in 2016 at the age of 12. This wine absolutely nails the mark and is standing the test of time.
Rich aromatics that shift and evolve. A moving target of desiccated blue and black fruits. Blueberry pie, vanilla spice, graphite, cassis - all made an appearance at one time or another. Developed fantastically in the 90 minutes it lasted.
The sheer power of this wine is staggering and believe it or not, I would say drink or hold - up to another 8 or more years. It still has that much fruit.
Red
9/28/2016 - BackroadsPDX Likes this wine:
95 points
Finally opened the one bottle I had been saving and coveting for a few years.
It did not disappoint.
Although - I will say, the aging was not particularly necessary. It was so well balanced and structured that it was just as lip-smacking in its youth as it was at age 9.
I had to wonder if perhaps it was in a little bit of a muted phase.
No bother, I still enjoyed every drop of this magnificent wine. Rich dark fruits, black olive, velvety mouthfeel, cocoa and light coffee notes.
If I had any more in the cellar I would hold for 5-8 more years to see if it got past this somewhat muted phase. I guess I expected a little more after being blown away by it in its youth and having the patience to wait this long for the other bottle.
But if you must open now, you certainly won't kick it out of bed. ;)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/4/2016 - BackroadsPDX Likes this wine:
91 points
I made a mistake opening this wine today. (It's 4/4/2016) While the aromatics have really developed nicely, the texture of the wine is in an awkward phase. It has lost its youthful vibrancy but has not yet moved into its aged velvety phase yet. It's in this in-between limbo that leaves the wine feeling a little dead and flat on the palate. It's certainly no fault of the wine itself - just poor decision on my part. If you have any of this wine in your cellar my advice is to hold. If I could have this wine back, I'd write "2020" on it and fuhgettaboutit.

On the nose: fruit cake, gingerbread, christmas spice, cocoa dust, and dried orange peel.

On the palate: thin, undeveloped secondary notes that hint toward perhaps developing into a nice cranberry compote with a smokey beef jerky finish.

Rated for its potential, not its current state.
White
2/17/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
93 points
Really phenomenal right out the gate. Acidity is already well integrated and plays flawlessly off the creaminess of the lees influence and all wrapped up in a perfect package of gentle oak. Ready to drink and enjoy!
Red
2/17/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
93 points
A very intriguing bottle with - dare I say - very "Burgundian" character.

What does that really mean? Well, I guess it's the heavy foundation of earth characteristics that hold this wine down. Forest floor, crushed rock, subtle baking spices from stem inclusion, mushroom, and a certain herbaceousness all make an appearance here along with a beautiful feminine floral component.

Acidity is strong and perhaps a little edgy, but that should really help carry this wine through a long aging process. I put a bottle in my cellar with the intention of opening at about the 15 year mark, as I believe that's when the true potential of this wine will emerge.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/17/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
94 points
Easily cements its place among the best of the vintage for Oregon. A voluptuous, hedonistic wine with grace and elegance holding it up. Layers of complexity peel off as it dances with the air. Flawless structural composition promises great longevity. Gripping flavor and texture ride all the way down the back and hang on tenaciously long after swallowing. Just gorgeous, and a real crowd-pleaser.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/17/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
94 points
I was really looking forward to the release of this wine - my favorite Eyrie bottling for a blockbuster year - and it did not disappoint.

Very restrained color and extraction for the vintage - elegant aromas of fresh cherry, deep earth, and a little bit of lovable funk from the wine's reduced quality. This blows off fairly quick and leaves behind sheer elegance.

Perhaps most remarkable was the structure of the wine - gripping yet gentle. This has all the calling cards of a wine that should enjoy a long life with incredible development of complexity. I can't wait to try this one through the years!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/17/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
94 points
Absolutely decadent wine. Rich colors, rich aromas, rich flavors - long lingering finish... it kinda has it all.

Some definite oak influence here with baking spices and coffee/mocha notes - but it is really well-integrated and doesn't come off as over-done at all. Very balanced and supple, sexy and seductive. Delicious now, should develop nicely for up to 10-12 years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
95 points
Jammy cherries and blackberries on the nose and in the mouth. A little hot going down but no complaints. It's delightful. Finish of dried fruit or fruit leather. Very concentrated.
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
94 points
Smoked charred meat and bright cherry on the nose. Flavor intensity is out of control good with a perfect balance of acidity and supple tannins. Lovely.
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
98 points
Almost don't feel qualified to "review" this wine but here goes:

Certainly one of the best wines that has ever passed my lips. The richness of aromas cannot be overstated. Chocolate, cake batter, mole sauce, dank cave, and moist earth all made an appearance in my mind's eye as I sipped with my physical eyes closed.

Chewing on the wine in my mouth was not unlike softly puffing on a fine cigar. I really wish I had a fine cigar to go with this!

The finish I can only describe as a crescendo. It just built and built and then peaked to a point where it almost approached a hot sting, but falling just short of unpleasantness to leave me feeling absolutely thrilled.

Pretty much flawless.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
94 points
This wine is a jaw-dropper. One of the best in the Willamette from the 2010 vintage, in my humble opinion.

The earthiness is unparalleled. You can practically hear the vines talking. It's funky but friendly, like a crazy old friend. So much intrigue!

This wine as of Jan. 2015 is just entering its peak drinking window. Should hang out here a good 5-8 years. Enjoy!
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
92 points
This is a nice balanced, elegant wine - may not be what people have come to expect from the Shea Vineyard (big bold and jammy) It still has plenty of punch and even has a nice black pepper streak, but it also retains a sense of Pinot femininity. I really enjoyed the scintillating acidity on the finish.
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
91 points
Overall a very light and elegant wine. Kind of wispy. Nice perfumey nose with a touch of citrus. Nice supple tannins. This wine is only now just coming in to its peak. Should continue to develop nicely through 2020.
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
89 points
Hard candy, thyme, and maybe a little soy sauce on the nose. Nice robust flavor that carries all the way through to a very long finish. Good not great.
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
91 points
Really enjoyed this. Beautiful floral-driven nose with some mint and jasmine mingled in there. Body was light but representative of the vintage. Really opened up beautifully and blossomed with time. I particularly liked the citrus & clove finish.
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
90 points
Nice robust nose with some coffee and toasted oak aromas apparent, without being overbearing. Medium body, finishes light.

Solid wine for the money.
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
79 points
On the nose: Green herbaceousness - sage, basil. After some time reminded me a bit of "Hawaiian Punch."

Thin, weak body - acidity disjointed. Short finish and a bitter aftertaste. Pass.
Red
1/16/2015 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
93 points
Extremely seductive aromas right off the bat. Lots of layers and subtleties going on. I get some coffee grounds, herbaceous thyme and oregano, violets, lilacs. Really a lot to think about here, and winds up being the most alluring aspect of this wine overall.

Mouthfeel is soft - perhaps a little too soft but not in a flawed sense. Only in the sense that if it had a little more grip like I would prefer, I would have given it a massive score.

Nice balance, good length. Very good wine overall - worthy of a special occasion and/or a spot in your long-term cellar.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/1/2014 - BackroadsPDX Likes this wine:
97 points
Stunning. Full and expressive yet restrained and elegant. Nose offered red cherry, rhubarb, rose petals, evolving into a certain nuttiness along with a geeky level of minerality which expressed itself as a certain "funk."
On the palate: flawless balance, silky smoothness weighty mid-palate and a virtually endless finish.
This is a rare wine. Something of unusual distinction. Even within the realm of Eyrie which I am well versed with, this is a particularly good vintage, and it's drinking perfectly right now. It won't fall apart any time soon, but there's really nothing left to wait for on this. Drink with wild abandon!
Red
10/16/2014 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
91 points
Very nice seductive nose with lots of layers and intrigue. I got fresh cut pine lumber, cola, vanilla creme soda, licorice and a hint of juniper.
At 11 years old, this wine is showing a nice shade of orange brick and the tannins are very well integrated. Only critique is it lacks a certain mid-palate "oomph" keeping me from going higher than 91 but I really love smelling this wine.
Red
6/11/2014 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
87 points
Disappointed. Very one-dimensional, run of the mill Napa Cab. Uninspired and average. Harsh tannins, rough and tumble mouthfeel. Nothing really stood out at all - forgettable.
Red
6/9/2014 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
90 points
Solid effort with a killer pricetag. Recommended hidden secret from the Willamette Valley.
White
6/9/2014 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
91 points
Great domestic Riesling. Slatey minerality and steely acidity balanced with just the perfect shade of residual sugar. Some hints of petrol already there which will develop nicely as this ages. Would like to revisit in 10+ years!
White
6/9/2014 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
95 points
Balance through and through. Minerality balanced with sweet spice notes. Acidity balanced with a silky round mouthfeel. Complex layers of aromas. One of the best domestic Chardonnays.
Red
6/9/2014 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
93 points
Rich, plush yet pretty and floral nose. Deep smokey flavors and a long luscious finish. Great QPR.
Red
12/13/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
93 points
Wonderfully fresh and deep nose that opened up nicely after just 10 minutes. This was followed by a drinking plateau of about an hour or so before it started to fall off a bit. I would like my wine to have a longer table life than this, but I can't take off too many points for it because while it was good, it was REALLY good!

The nose was highlighted by a blueberry note that I was just in love with, accompanied by smoke, black olive, bacon fat and graphite.

Mouthfeel was a little gritty still, but at 12 years old the flavor profile is showing nice maturity. The acidity is still lively and delicious.

Drink with some lamb or duck or enjoy on its own. Could go another 3-5 years but no crime in opening this baby up tonight.
White
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX Likes this wine:
93 points
What an awesome wine! Totally unlike anything I've ever had before. You might think I'm crazy but sticking my nose in the glass was just like sticking my nose in an empty pickle jar. Straight up pickle juice, dill and brine on the nose. This slowly evolved into an earthy mushroomy aspect and finally became somewhat waxy. Complex and intriguing, unique and one of a kind. Only slightly off dry so the beauty of the spice in the Gewurz was shining through, but despite the lack of copious residual sugars, it still had a lovely weight on the palate. Highly recommended for lovers of funky, unique wines.
White
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
91 points
A gushing bouquet of floral aromas alongside the typical heavy perfume of lychee. Big weight on the palate, a touch of that lovely Gewurz spice, heavy but not sticky. Very well done.
White
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
92 points
Tight, reserved nose but big explosive flavor! Beautiful balance and nice weight on the palate. Very elegant.
White
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX Likes this wine:
90 points
Very pretty nose on this - loved to smell it over and over with honeysuckle and other flowers bursting forth. A QPR favorite!
White
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
87 points
Very mineral nose with some floral qualities. Simple and light bodied and quite dry. Would be refreshing on a summer day with light summer fare.
Red
2009 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX Likes this wine:
96 points
The nose was a bit tight and wound up at first and really needed some decanting time and some coaxing in the glass for it to start offering up its intoxicating aromatics. This of course is a testament to its youth, but still the wine drank very nicely now - I can only imagine how it will be in another 15-20 years.
The aromas that finally came through were surprisingly on the sweet side of things - cotton candy, taffy, caramel... almost like standing in the middle of a county fairgrounds on a summer day. That evolved into some notes of violets and almost a citrus aspect. Very nice.
The star of the show for me however was the mouthfeel. Utterly mind altering. It had weight, it had extraction, it had perfection in balance between acidity and tannin. It rolled around the mouth with a certain viscous quality and would cling to the palate after you'd swallow, but not in a sticky way - because the acidity would then quickly vanquish any syrupy quality to it, leaving only a lingering echo of the myriad flavors dancing around. Pretty stunning!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Château Lascombes Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX Likes this wine:
93 points
Lovely nose of fresh herbs and flowers - like standing in a spring meadow... a freshness rarely seen in a Bordeaux - so this wine certainly stands in a class all its own.
The big gripping tannins need lots of time. Be patient on this one!
Red
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
94 points
Impressive stature on this bottle - deep and brooding, dark and rich. Full of plums, black fruits, and the color already tending toward brick.
Huge extraction on the palate with an incredibly balanced backbone of structure. Absolutely intoxicating.
Red
2009 Château La Couspaude St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
92 points
Just a beautiful, complex nose with layers of purple flowers - lilacs, lavender, even iris... plus a distinct moist earth element and base notes of leather and currant.
Muscular but rounded tannins coupled with a lively streak of acidity making the overall structure impressive - but it does need time to integrate.
Red
2009 Château de Fieuzal Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
92 points
Vary pretty nose - comes across soft and gentle and quite floral but with a caramel base note that alludes to some interesting potential for development and complexity as this bottle ages.

Tannins were gritty but in a fine way - should round out nicely in another 5-10 years. Big, full extraction and a long leathery finish. This one's a keeper!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Château Bernadotte Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
88 points
Nice nose predominated by herbal notes - herbs de provence and a little lavender. Yummy but simple. Medium weight and extraction. The tannins were very harsh though and not sure if time will take care of all that.
Red
2009 Château La Fleur de Boüard Lalande de Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/9/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
90 points
Sharp funky mineral notes with some lily flowers on the nose. Big extraction but soft on the palate. Definitely some vanilla oaky characteristics coming through. Long, jammy, blackberry finish.
Red
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
89 points
Dark and brooding - understated and complex. A very stout wine. Has great balance and a long layered finish but just lacking a certain "oomph" to bring it over the top into the 90's.
Red
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
87 points
A nose of caramel, dry dusty dirt and honeysuckle. Comes across quite complex. The caramel aspect crosses over into the flavor profile with a medium body. Flavor falls flat on the mid palate leading to a disappointingly short finish. Expect more from CdP.
Red
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
85 points
Dark brooding nose with black cherry, dark plum and minerals to boot. Pretty straightforward on the palate - nothing jumping out at me. The finish was regrettably bitter which was just enough to drop this wine into the "forgettable" category. Shame.
Red
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
86 points
Licorice, clove, cinnamon and cedar on the nose. Nice structure, but the acidity is a bit disjointed and leaves an overly tart aftertaste.
Red
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
82 points
Lovely plush nose at first with rose and geranium notes. Unfortunately lacking structure to live up to that first impression. With some air time, this wine completely falls apart and leaves you with something resembling 2 buck Chuck. Flat.
Red
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
70 points
Nose smelled like dirt - not in a "terroir" way but in a really unclean unrefined way. That opens up into a cheapo chemical smell after breathing rendering this wine nearly undrinkable.
Red - Fortified
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
91 points
Very nicely balanced, great acidity. Fresh berries coming through which is refreshing and nice. Clean finish - not syrupy. Very well put together.
White - Fortified
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
Love this wine and all the Historic Series Madeiras!!! They all have complex nutty, grassy and caramel aromas and beautiful balance between the sweetness and the mouthwatering acidity. Highly recommended.
White - Fortified
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
92 points
Love this wine and all the Historic Series Madeiras!!! They all have complex nutty, grassy and caramel aromas and beautiful balance between the sweetness and the mouthwatering acidity. Highly recommended.
Red
1/2/2013 - BackroadsPDX wrote:
93 points
Such a pretty nose on this wine! Elegant and feminine. Creamy strawberries and pie cherries and flowers. Silky smooth and creamy on the palate. Light to medium light body. Peppery finish just to add a little intriguing twist at the end. Great wine.
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