Comments on my notes

(40 comments on 34 notes)

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Red
2015 Château Yvonne Saumur-Champigny La Folie Cabernet Franc
Don't usually choose Saumur-Champigny as a hanging around the house cocktail wine, but I'm doing taxes today and it's a 2015 that should be ripe enough and ready, so I rolled the dice. Glad I did, because this rips. Barnyardy for sure, but pretty classic Saumur cab franc herbal blue/purple fruit, clean floral breeze straight through the middle, and a touch of black pepper just heading into the finish. Stronger aromatics due to the warm vintage, and I'd attribute the slightly weightier body and finer tannins to the same warmth. Thankfully the heat didn't have any discernible effect on the acid, which is as taut and well-placed as one could possibly desire from Saumur-Champigny that's not Rougeard. Crazy value for this, and glad I have more to drink when I grill the first steaks of the year out on the patio.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    5/30/19, 7:20 PM - Opening this tomorrow at a Loire tasting, my first bottle. Great note, I really appreciate it, it will make me seem smart. And I am looking forward to the wine.

  • Tony Poli commented:

    6/1/19, 7:55 PM - It was indeed delicious stuff.
    I saw on your profile that you like the Piedmont region. Have you ever tried Nebbiolo from Valtellina, a valley in Lombardia near the Swiss border? If I am telling you something you already know, I apologize. But if you haven’t come across these wines, they are worth seeking out. There is even a Nebbiolo made in the appassimento style, the one I found was from Nino Negri, that was really interesting, though his regular Nebbiolo was even better.

Red
2013 Matuško Plavac Mali Dingač Pelješac
5/24/2019 - Claw Dee Puss wrote:
91 points
Just back from a week in Zagreb, and had this twice - once in a restaurant (Madera) and once in a bar (Bikers Beer Factory - yes, indeed).
Of course, we're on holiday, and this is very unlike the usual Portuguese wines we drink, but both times we found this to be most fine - lots of notes we simply weren't used to - an entirely different experience - on holiday I don't usually write notes, so this will have to suffice as an aide-memoire.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    5/27/19, 3:58 PM - Biker bar in Zagreb?? Impressive. We just got back, as well. We must have missed it. Brought a bottle of this home, looking forward to it.

Red
2015 Turley Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard St. Helena
4/2/2019 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
96 points
Impeccable.....classic Turley, so long as you give it 2 hours of air and let it warm to room temp from 59 to 75 degrees. It opens like a big beautiful, soft, red rose. Full of smooth black fruit and briar, gentle astringency, spicebox and white pepper component, make that pink peppercorn. This carries a beautiful nose, fruit, acidity and mouthfeel all the way through to a fantastic mouth watering ending. My one caveat, if you take it to 3 or 4 hours of air, the fruit on the ending develops just the slightest of tartness, some will find this glorious.......some wanting the modern sweetness all the way through, not. My second favorite of all the Turley vineyards. This floats my boat and then some......
  • Tony Poli commented:

    4/3/19, 4:54 AM - Mark1npt: Glad you liked it. Also glad you thought it was a "blast." How cool is it to get both a wonderfully informative note, and also a visceral gutsy reaction to a really good wine. Thanks.

Red
2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley
5/13/2018 - csimm1161 wrote:
93 points
Previous notes from last year apply. Quite flavorful, with saturated red raspberry, red and black cherry, spice, cedar/earth, and a nice evergreen note. A little simplistic on the front end of the entry, but it tries to make up for it mid-palate and on through the finish (where the spice and earth elements subtly show their characteristics). Not a total attention-grabber, but not a total slouch either.

Drink now and over the next year. 93-ish points.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    6/10/18, 10:21 AM - Thank you. Your thoughtful note helped us decide on a wine tonight. We are going to Superior Motors, a restaurant we will definitely not frequent (price and reservation availability), so we don’t want to gamble too much on the wine selection. It was this or a Williams Selyem Estate, I’ll post a note.

  • Tony Poli commented:

    6/10/18, 8:01 PM - CSIMM1161: this was versatile, paired well with veal and black cod. I guess more concentrated is apt, it had more body than the simpler WS Estate that we had Friday, more refinement, elegance. We really enjoyed it. Thanks
    I must say, having read some of the comments on your profile, that I am jealous of your location. We live in what some call the Nazi state of PA - all of our wine stores are owned by the PLCB, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. It is not unusual to ask for help locating, say, a Chianti, and the civil servant clerk replies “Is that red or white.” Thankfully, the state has opened up a bit to shipping in, so we can get stuff from California a little more easily, without going through the PLCB system. Again, thanks for your informative notes.

Red
2011 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia Barbaresco Serra Nebbiolo
Recent vintages of Paitin's Barbaresco Serra seem to have an uncanny knack to be quite traditional in style yet accessible when young. The 2011 is no different. Mid-palate featured red raspberry, mint, and a touch of clove, followed by enduring notes of iron and underbrush. The tannins were muscular and well-integrated. The warmth of the vintage showed a bit in the modest acidity and subdued aromatics (even after a lot of air), but the wine was still elegant and totally balanced.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    4/22/18, 9:35 AM - Nice note. I received a bottle of this as a gift from my son. Looks like he did ok. I’m looking forward to drinking it after reading this.

Red
2007 Antonelli San Marco Sagrantino di Montefalco Chiusa di Pannone
9/16/2015 - lifeattable Likes this wine:
91 points
Montefalco Visit '15; 9/15/2015-9/20/2015 (Montefalco, IT): Similar to the '06, but a little lighter, more elegant, more floral, especially on the nose. Not as typical as the '06, but interesting and delicious.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    2/4/18, 6:30 AM - Songoose: good to see your name on a note on a wine still in my cellar. I didn’t get “lighter.” In fact, this was huge. We plan to let it sit for a while, I think it will be worth the wait.

Red
2007 Fontanafredda Barolo Serralunga d'Alba Nebbiolo
4/1/2017 - forceberry wrote:
88 points
14% alcohol.

Somewhat translucent black cherry color with a thin, colorless rim. Overall the wine looks relatively deep and dark for a Nebbiolo. The nose feels quite open and expressive with aromas both of classic Nebbiolo and more modern, oak-driven style. Overall the nose is dominated by aromas of sweet black cherry notes, some tarry smoke character, light toasted oak aromatics and a little bit of sour cherry, but behind these notes there are also subtle nuances of more developed Nebbiolo aromas of prunes and tobacco, as well as some sweeter oak notes of cloves, vanilla and cocoa. The wine feels dry and quite full-bodied on the palate, but rather firm and sinewy as well, thanks to the high, lively acidity and moderately firm and grippy tannins. Overall the wine comes across as quite fruit-forward with somewhat savory flavors of ripe black cherries and more bitter sour cherries, some herbal bitterness, a little bit of sweet toffee oak and bittersweet dark chocolate, light floral character of rose petals, a hint of pipe tobacco and a touch of savory, tarry smoke. The wine isn't particularly tannic nor tightly-knit for a Barolo at 10 years of age, but there are enough tannins to give the wine good sense of astringency, effectively drying your gums and emphasizing the sour cherry bitterness. The finish feels more savory and bitter than the sweeter and more fruit-forward midpalate with flavors of sour cherries, herbal bitterness, some stony minerality, a little bit of tar, a hint of oaky dark chocolate and woody bitterness and a touch of peppery spice. The subtler nuances fade away rather quickly, but the moderately bitter and spicy aftertaste lingers on for quite a while.

A decent effort for a modernist Barolo: there is enough of grip and structure and the oak aromatics, which have felt rather overwhelming in the past, have started to integrate with the fruit. There is still quite a bit of oak flavors for pleasure - especially as the wine breathes and opens up - but overall the main emphasis seems to have changed to the fruit department, which is also starting to show the first signs of tertiary characteristics. Overall not really my favorite Barolo, but most likely going to the right direction. Cellar-wise there is a lot of fruit and structure left to the wine, so perhaps they will overlive the oak, if given enough time. This wine is starting to drink nicely, but I'd leave it to age further just to push the oak further under the fruit and coax some more complexity out from the fruit. Even though not representing my favorite style of Barolo, I still must point out that for only 25,75€, this was a bargain.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    2/4/18, 4:27 AM - More a short story than a note. Bravo! This was a good read, and influenced my opinion of not just the Fontannafredda, but of other Barolos in my cellar.

Red
2015 Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
1/22/2018 - Eric Guido Likes this wine:
97 points
The ‘15 Rauzan-Segla, to me, was the wine of the tasting. The nose was dark, animal, mineral, and intense, as crushed blackberry and raspberry tones gave way to infectious spice, minerals and dark earth. On the palate, I found rich, silky textures offset by a balanced acid and tannin mix, as dark fruits and inner florals tones saturated the senses. The finish was long with lasting minerality and fine tannin. The first thing I did following the tasting was to check where I could buy some for my own cellar.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    1/26/18, 12:31 PM - Interesting notes on the '15 Bordeaux wines. I was not surprised to see you are professionally involved with wine. These notes are quite helpful to me, a member of the amateur set. Thanks.

Red
2015 Ca‘ Rozzeria Langhe Nebbiolo Langhe DOC
12/6/2017 - cse Likes this wine:
92 points
Quite possibly the best $12 I've ever spent on a bottle of wine. Delicate, inviting nose suggestive of orange peel and flowers, light on the palate with pinpoint flavors and a long, gently tannic finish. Though missing the characteristic rosewater and tar aromas, this is unmistakably nebbiolo, and a very graceful rendition of its kind. So good!
  • Tony Poli commented:

    12/7/17, 10:16 AM - CSE: I tried this on day 2, after my initial 90 point note. I would modify my note to echo your sentiments, if I wanted to be an outright plagiarist. This is really good for the price. We drank through 6 bottles of 2010 Ca Rozzeria Barbaresco Nieve over the past two years, and it too was terrific for the price, about $20.

Red
2012 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors Russian River Valley
12/6/2017 - Barry Notes Likes this wine:
92 points
PnP, room temp, no decant. Clear, med purple/ruby color and legs. Med to full intensity nose. A continuation of CA style change from a decade ago. What used to be from the more premier producers was a fat, powerful, highly extracted product. Although the power is still there, this bottle drank much leaner with less cola, more red fruit and plenty of acidity. Good integration and balance, this will easily hold for years. Delicious, a wine you won't tire of drinking. Nothing off. $73
  • Tony Poli commented:

    12/6/17, 8:53 AM - Barry Notes: I have been noticing that the drinking windows on WS wines in CellarTracker seem short. I have been trying to keep my hands off these lately, allowing them to age, and with a few exceptions, I find your description of less extraction, good acidity, and ability to hold to be spot on, especially since what you describe as a CA style change of about a decade ago. I find myself buying fewer wines from mailing lists, especially the pricier ones, but Williams Selyem consistently rewards my investment.

White
2015 Pietradolce Etna Bianco Etna DOC Carricante
(Vin Italy, 2016) A new wine for Pietra Dolce, if my notes are correct. From 800m on the NE side of Etna, this is tank and bottle only, it's 100% Carricante and, no surprise, I'm in love. The nose is subtle at first, but just a few swirls in and it's already lively and vivid. The palate is textbook Carricante - mouthwatering, stony, fresh citrus notes. There's even some good length to this Bianco, which makes me wonder the age of the vines for this. 13,0% abv. recommended

Served non-blind. I tasted here first thing in the morning, when the wines are at their proper temps.

https://italianwine.blog/
  • Tony Poli commented:

    11/6/17, 10:22 AM - I just had the 2016 in Palermo. Your 2015 note is spot on for this one, as well. We loved it.

  • Tony Poli commented:

    11/6/17, 11:57 PM - Well, this one was lunch. While looking this up, we saw your note for Archineri. We had the Archineri at dinner. The restaurant was Gagini, it has a star, the glasses were Zalto, so none of that hurt. But the wine was ethereal, everything you said it was. We also tried the Archineri red, also wonderful. Thanks for your good wishes, we are enjoying Sicily.

Red
2011 Three Wine Company established 1885 Contra Costa County Red Blend
10/6/2017 - gcarl wrote:
92 points
My impressions pretty much match those of Tony Poli. Very nice wine and I wish I had more than one left.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    10/7/17, 12:36 PM - I appreciate the mention. Especially from a longtime and active member of the community.

Rosé
2015 Bonavita Terre Siciliane Rosato Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese
2/5/2017 - cadamson Likes this wine:
90 points
Excellent rose. Like sticking your nose and palate in a bowl of fresh picked strawberries. Good acidity. Should add that it really has nice structure. Came back to it on day 2 and had not moved an inch. Moving up to 91. Quite refreshing sitting on the beach!
  • Tony Poli commented:

    2/5/17, 5:25 PM - Since it is about 15 here in Pittsburgh, we are jealous of your drinking it on the beach. But you make us glad we bought some (delivered in November), and we are looking forward to tasting it in the warm weather. It will be the first Sicilian rosato we have had.

Red
2007 Elio Grasso Barolo Gavarini Chiniera Nebbiolo
1/20/2017 - Tony Poli Likes this wine:
92 points
Drank along side of a 2007 Silvio Grasso Turne, which is Silvio's most traditional Barolo, aged in Slavonian Oak casks. This is aged in barriques. Decanted about an hour. Typical nebbiolo color. Nice nose of red fruits and some spice. Softer of the two, rich mouthfeel, plenty of balance, lots of fruit with the structure to stand up to it. Long finish. Seemed young, could go a while.

Another member of the community, wine strategies, informs me that the Chiniera is in fact aged in Slavonian Oak casks. So, my bad. This was smoother and sweeter than the Silvio Grasso Turne
  • Tony Poli commented:

    1/30/17, 3:41 AM - Really!!? I wouldn't have guessed, based on the taste. Have you been there? Or is that information available online? My (quite knowledgeable) friend who has spent time in Piemonte dismissively commented on the Chiniera when I bought it "I don't like his stuff. He uses barriques." The wine was wonderful.

Red
2011 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
10/23/2016 - Magnum PI wrote:
91 points
First the above score is my opinion because I thought the wine was restrained, with subtle chocolate, and some spice. Not as powerful as many Chiantis, but well done and a decent value for the price. Had it with spaghetti and red sauce. I thought this was one of the more elegant Chiantis I have had, if maybe a bit light, particularly compared to the '10's. This would be a good bottle for company, when you are having a nice Italian meal, maybe with a good steak.

Now, for the rebuttal. Brookie thought it was not that special. We have six different cases of Chianti in the cellar, and drink Sangiovese all the time. This was her least favorite Chianti we have had together. She gave it an 87. Brookie tends to like a more fruit forward style of wine, so if you are like Brookie, you will probably not think this is a great bottle and should probably have a Fontodi or Il Grigio. I thought the finish was a click up from the usual, so I think it merits a low 90's score.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    10/24/16, 8:31 AM - This is a terrific note, especially for someone who doesn't know you or your cellar. We also drink a lot of Sangiovese, and have or have had the others suggested for the fruit forward among us. We are probably more in your camp, but we have Brookie style palates in the family and in our regular guest contingent. Good stuff to consider when pulling our next bottle of Chianti.

    (Great handle by the way. I was somewhat less creative when choosing mine...)

Red
2012 Luigi Pira Barolo Serralunga Nebbiolo
9/23/2016 - ecola Likes this wine:
92 points
Really good at such at young age. Dried cherry, clean earth, and soft floral characteristics come through. Tight now, but shows great potential. Monster tannins on the finish. Needs food at this time. Would like to put some away and forget about for a few years.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    9/26/16, 5:08 AM - Ecola: (did you know Ecola auto-corrects to "Evils??). Loved seeing your name come up on the home page for tasting notes on my wines. I have six pending, so I will take you up on that and sit on a few of them.

White - Sparkling
2014 Elio Perrone Moscato d'Asti Sourgal
Perhaps the best Moscato d'Asti there is. At least in my humble opinion.
Pure joy in a bottle, fizzy moscato grape smell and taste that can be overpowered by a dessert so keep them simple and above all lite.

I paired my last bottle with a simple and lite vanilla bavarois and lots of summer fruit, peach, apple, Kaki, cherry and strawberries.

The only issue is that one bottle isn't enough.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    7/24/16, 6:28 PM - Great opinion, especially the caveat. I couldn't agree more...

Red
2013 A. Rafanelli Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley
Classic, exceptional cabernet that screams California. 2013 was a benchmark vintage for California Cab and this wine proves the point. Deep dark purple with a hint of a lighter rim. Spicy, blueberry, blackberry fragrance. Rich, mouth feel with luxurious, voluptuous flavors of spice, berries and pepper with some heat, a touch of mint, eucalyptus and the earth. Incredible fruit...Wow! Silky, smooth. Everlasting finish. Outstanding! As good as I've tasted. Not sure whether to cellar ...I can't imagine it better than now.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    7/13/16, 6:59 PM - My experience with Rafanelli Cabs is that patience is rewarded, often handsomely. I have a few of these; glad to see you were so impressed so early.

  • Tony Poli commented:

    7/15/16, 7:18 PM - In Vino: we tried it at our Friday tasting group along with a 2008. And while it was a terrific wine, I think it will get even better. It absolutely blew away a 1997 Merryvale cab, a 2004 Rubicon, and a couple of right bank Bordeaux wines brought by others. Glad you talked us into opening this one.

White
2013 Bodegas El Coto Rioja Blanco Viura, Macabeo
2/28/2015 - Fwmsmeets wrote:
79 points
Very cold it shows a herbal full bodied white rioja, but once a bit warmed one starts totaste rotten fruit and sulphur. Another disappointing wine from Belgian discounter Colruyt.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    11/3/15, 1:32 PM - We are drinking this at a rooftop bar in San Migeul de Allende, Mexico. Perhaps it is the charming surroundings, but we would probably put this in the low 90's. Bright, crisp, and quite wonderful overall. No sulfur...

Red
2011 Kirkland Signature Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese
6/6/2015 - bretrooks wrote:
87 points
Not decanted, opened 30 minutes before pouring out & consumed over ~2 hours. No great depth, perhaps, but this is a solid wine with everything in its proper place for a baseline CCR - not-too-ripe cherry fruit, a bit of woody/peppery spice, decent structure & balance to work with food and maybe last a few years. Made by Villa Cafaggio, this is an excellent weeknight/cellar defender option at <$9.

P.S. Consistent notes from bottle #2...still solid, although I'm a maybe a little less enthusiastic about it overall. Still worth picking up a little more, which we recently did.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    6/9/15, 8:43 AM - Bretbrooks: Cellar defender? I have seen this pop up a few times lately (mostly by tasters who live in California, although this might be just a coincidence). Is it a wine to pull to save your better stuff for a more significant meal or occasion?

    Thanks for the research on the producer - I have some of this, and I was curious.

Red
2006 Cascina Bruciata Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo Nebbiolo
4/20/2015 - Vertigo wrote:
92 points
Lighter Red. It was initially a bit restrained on the nose but opened up after some time in the glass. Very smooth (again) with sour cherry and the first sins of some tertiary aromas (in a very pleasant way). Ready to drink. Unfortunately I only have one bottle left.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    4/20/15, 5:41 AM - Vertigo: where do you get this stuff? My source has closed up shop. I really like Cascina Bruciata wines, and the the regular Barbaresco is somewhat generally available, the Rio Sordo Riserva is hard to find.

  • Tony Poli commented:

    4/20/15, 7:08 AM - Thank you, we will try that. My wife and I have actually been there, and they were very nice. Francesco, the winemaker, spent some time in the U.S., making wine at a Virginia winery that grows Piemontese varietals. He speaks almost accent-less English. He says he has " a garden" in Barolo, a few rows in Canubi Muscatel, and makes a Barolo that we tasted there. It was also quite good.

Red
2012 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors Russian River Valley
2/16/2015 - suarezd wrote:
89 points
Good, but I was expecting more from a single vineyard. Perhaps I drank it too early. I enjoyed their Russian River Valley Pinot a lot more.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    2/17/15, 9:27 AM - Suarezd: this is not actually a single vineyard wine. It is sourced from three or four different sites along the Westside Rosd (I think, check the website) in Russian River. A bit more exclusive than the Sonoma Coast, or Russian River or the like, but not from one vineyard. I have found this one and the Eastside Road Neighbors a bit uneven. Maybe next year?

Red
2009 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard Sonoma Coast
1/9/2015 - Ibchappy@hotmail.com wrote:
84 points
Turd. Prunes, dank, not good. Had to break out the wasabi to filter the dankness. Otherwise, it was wine. 2 out of 10 Ws's miss the mark. The rest are thumbs up. Next
  • Tony Poli commented:

    1/10/15, 5:53 AM - I actually like the 09 Coastlands. But this note is hilarious, wonderful. Made my day.

Red
2007 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
10/31/2014 - HowardNZ Likes this wine:
91 points
I have largely given up on Châteauneuf-du-Pape so opened this wine, from the often overdone 2007 vintage, with low expectations but was pleasantly surprised ... Colour deep, impenetrable garnet. The bouquet is attractive: a gutsy, smoky melange of aromas of red and black fruits particularly sour cherries and blackberries, barbecued bloody meats, red liquorice, Provençal herbs, Middle Eastern spices, umami and warm earth. Perhaps some brett on the nose, but not at an offputtlng level for me. On the palate, opulent, ripe (but not sur maturité) with a large volume of fruit. Slightly rustic to my palate, with some brett adding savoury complexity and the tannins visible and a little chunky. The wine has serious dry extract and is held together, in my view, by decent acidity, which provides some balance and focus. Flavours of savoury cherries, blackberries, grilled bloody meat, fig, thyme, lilac and other herbs, warm soil, rusted iron and iodine. Alcohol under control at 14%. This wine has the stuffing to cellar 20+ years, easily. I know people who like this style would rate it much higher than 91.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    10/31/14, 9:11 AM - A very thoughtful and well thought out and presented comment. I strive for this level of complexity when I write notes, but rarely achieve it. Unlike you, I am really into southern Rhones right now, particularly Chateauneuf du Pape. Quite provocative, thank you. I have only one bottle, I will let it sit for a while.

Red
2009 Conti Sertoli Salis Valtellina Superiore - Grumello Nebbiolo
5/27/2014 - Tony Poli wrote:
83 points
Interesting blend (nebbiolo, merlot, pinot noir, rossola, brugnola). Tasted pretty good out of the bottle, but became harsher and less pleasant as it took on air. I'm less inclined to be adventurous after trying this. Even at the nice price point, I would probably rather buy a decent Rioja.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    6/4/14, 10:41 AM - Yeah, and I really like nebbiolo. I just haven't found any at this price point ($12.99) that I find very good. I can find wonderful Tempranillo at that price.

  • Tony Poli commented:

    6/6/14, 7:33 PM - Songoose: glad you liked it. If you noticed the importer, it is Piccola Cantina, Pittsburgh. A friend of mine's son and daughter have started this business. He, Andrew Lacenere, is in Pittsburgh, and his sister, Alexandra (I think) lives in Italy, and has recently passed her Master Sommelier. They might be worth a blog entry. If you need any contact info, let me know at tonypoli@me.com.

Red
2012 Trousse-Chemise Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
While we are generally well furnished with Willamette Valley wines through personal connections, this Wine Access offer seemed intriguing and it was the 2012 vintage which by all accounts is a good one.

Dark purple red and quite densely extracted. The nose was a bit unresolved with lots of jammy, spicy qualities that I would more closely associate with hotter wines from CA. It isn't in the Burgundian zone that we crave.

Very youthful yet is part of it: a lot of tart fruit, a lot of earthy spicy components, moderate tannins. Revisit in a couple of years.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    4/21/14, 7:05 AM - Nice to read such a thoughtful note. Different than the WineAccess hype, so I thank you for sparing me the opening of one of my bottles so young. I will wait a bit before trying this.

White
2011 Malvira' Roero Arneis
1/22/2014 - Phenol73 Likes this wine:
89 points
Notes of baked pears, green apples, vanilla and toasted brioche. Fresh with great acidity but without being tart. Great value and a wonderful grape variety (Arneis), which makes such a welcome change to all the usual French grapes that dominate the white wine world.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    1/23/14, 6:17 AM - Arneis is truly a treasure. I am looking forward to trying this after reading your note.

Red
2006 Domaine du Cayron Gigondas Red Rhone Blend
1/16/2014 - Tim and Bonnie wrote:
90 points
Long couple of days of meetings at HQ in San Diego, and instead of hanging with the 20+ people who are going who knows where for the eve, I came back to the hotel to dine and watch the sun disappear beyond Mission Bay. Snowed in Richmond this morn, Bonnie sent pics. Gorgeous here, but the eve brings a slight chill which the fire pit to my right perfectly resolves. Studied the wine list and utilized the advice of my unknown friends on CT to select my wine.

Bonnie's at home, and I miss her. So used to asking her thoughts on what we're going to order or just enjoyed, but tomorrow when I get home to Richmond, God willing, we will sample one or two just-arrived bottles that have good promise, especially the Chateau Guiraud.

I didn't want a dinner conversation, which is unusual for me, but I also didn't want to be alone, so Providence has provided the perfect interaction, a somm who is from Antibes, France, the country that in one visit became the heartbeat of my dreams. They were out of the Vacqueyras (try spelling that without Google) I was itching for so my new friend guided me toward this wine. His accent, style and comments about the wine make me miss being in France with Bonnie even more.

Gigondas. Duck confit.

This wine put me, actually, in an undesired spot, because I love diversity but have a tendency I despise. Although I'm not immovable in my menu selections at certain restaurants, I do notice that I find something I like at a particular restaurant and then order that item with embarrassing consistency. Darn. And tonight, I found a perfect pairing, which means I will be hard pressed to go another direction the next time I am here.

Duck Confit with roasted root vegetables, and Domaine du Cayron 2006. I have to say, rarely does a pairing work this well for me. The wine is not the NASCAR version of Gigondas I tend to enjoy...alcohol, fruit and herbs boiled in creosote, and deglazed with...creosote, this has more finesse, more polish and is a bit lighter. I really like it and would order again. But if there are not ducks waddling through the rows at Domaine du Cayron if I visit, I will be terribly disappointed, because there should be.

Miss you hon, see you tomorrow!

Meanwhile, I'll listen to the guy behind me try to impress his woman by talking about how he's going to order her the steak "tarter" he thinks will be awesome. And I'll watch the beautiful twenty-something girl with the mane of dark hair try to pay attention to the guy I don't think has her attention.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    1/17/14, 7:15 AM - Was intrigued by this note. But, ultimately I was disappointed. How does "What a meal!" turn into a 90? I find the Cayrons to be pretty rustic, especially in their youth (and they last quite a bit longer than the typical CT drinking window, especially if properly stored. They smooth out considerably with age).

    I guess I needed to hear more about the wine. Your description of the NASCAR Gigondas is probably what I think of when I taste a young Cayron. So what is more NASCAR than this one?

    My disappointment was not sufficient to prevent me from becoming a fan. I hope I see more notes in the future...

White
2010 Turley The White Coat California White Rhone Blend
1/2/2014 - BigSchmove Likes this wine:
91 points
one of my fav chards oak and butter nice make up to me...
  • Tony Poli commented:

    1/3/14, 3:19 AM - Southern Rhone blend, Marsanne/Roussane

Red
2009 J.L. Chave Sélection Côtes du Rhône Mon Coeur Red Rhone Blend
12/5/2013 - bullmrkt wrote:
90 points
Earthy garrigue nose and palate, dry spices, dark fruit, herbal...finishes with tannins that are just crunchy enough in keeping with the character of this wine. I'm a fan of the dominant syrah here, but the Grenache is equally detectable and does its thing to make the wine. Very tasty!

This seems to be very underrated here by CT. Looks to be a case of wide bottle variation...possibly rampant mishandling due to its lower price?
  • Tony Poli commented:

    12/6/13, 8:25 PM - Bullmrkt: I think the scoring reflects the fact that it is a Cotes du Rhone more than bottle variation. Chave is a superb maker, and Mon Coeur always performs. I am in a tasting group (we taste weekly, mostly French) and Mon Coeur is highly respected.

Red
2007 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
10/29/2013 - kenhoeve wrote:
NR. My wife opened this without clearance. Hot, brooding, and brutally closed. 2nd day not much different. Ouch.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    10/30/13, 7:10 AM - Wives...

Red
2008 Turley Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard St. Helena
10/20/2013 - ogres3 Likes this wine:
93 points
Deep purple hues. Good nose. Lush well balanced fruit - tannins and alcohol integrated to the point the wine is smooth and takes on some cab characteristics. Excellent bottle of wine. Worth the price?
  • Tony Poli commented:

    10/20/13, 7:45 AM - Turkey has not raised prices in years. Granted, this is their most expensive bottle, but I find them, including Hayne, to be good values that consistently perform above QPR.

Red
2009 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
9/8/2013 - mjnickel wrote:
90 points
I opened this bottle tonight for two reasons. The first is that I didn't want to wait any longer, and the other is that I'm celebrating some very exciting news. According to my latest Tarot card reading, I'll be the new lead singer of The Dixie Chicks in 2017. If anybody knows all the words to "Goodbye Earl," please forward them to me tout de suite. I'm bad with memorization and really want to hit the ground running with this new gig.

I carried this bottle with a chicken breast stuffed with shallots, goat cheese and thyme. Then, I made a sauce with tawny port and figs and put that on my chicken. Figs, y'all, they don't just come in Newton form. Did you know they're also a fruit? It's true.

By the way, here are three things overheard today while buying the figs at Whole Foods:

1) The cakes here are so good; they're made with free range eggs.

2) Excuse me. What kind of cheese are you sampling today?

3) That cupcake dog is the most adorable thing ever. And so is that cupcake pig.

Incidentally, Cupcake Pig is what the other Dixie Chicks and I are going to call Natalie Maines when I'm the new lead singer. Seriously, though, she's very talented. The three of us wish Cupcake Pig all the best.

Now, onto the wine: I would have been rewarded with another year or two of patience. The acid was stronger than expected, which is a good sign, as I like acid in my reds, just as with my whites. But with all that strawberry, cherry, rhubarb and sassafras, I would have liked the acid to settle down into some interesting spicy notes. Still, an excellent wine. Drink it. Drink it. Open a bottle and drink it.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    9/8/13, 2:57 AM - Great note. If I had a clue on the words, I would send them. The wine comments were worth the wait. I have some - I will drink it (at least one of them anyway, might be patient with the others).

Red
2007 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes Red Rhone Blend
3/9/2013 - Palette49 Likes this wine:
100 points
Palette49
When I was a young man I bought overpriced wines I could not afford. Now that I am older, I buy overpriced wines I can afford. In this case I got a bargain. This is the real deal and I'm ready for it. Duck breasts on the grill, Greek salad in the making. Sam Cooke. This wine is outstanding. A big swish and swirl and I get the full frontal effect. Don't bother to sort through the spices and fruit. This wine is art, just let it flow over you. Now I know what Charlemagne was fighting for. Nice. Very nice.
  • Tony Poli commented:

    6/8/13, 9:05 AM - Fabulous, delightful note, Mr. Palette49. I was able to get a bottle on auction. Having been to Aachen, and having seen the grave of Charlemagne, this makes me look forward to it even more.

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