Comments on my notes

(146 comments on 137 notes)

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White
N.V. Gazela Vinho Verde White Blend
3/13/2019 - cuffthis Likes this wine:
86 points
Consistent with previous bottles I've tasted, this wine was straw in color with defined cloudiness showed lime zest, lemon and tart grapefruit on the nose. The mouth feel brought classic Vinho Verde fizz/spritz as well as copious levels of acidity. The finish was short but the effervescence, minerality and high levels of acidity left me wanting to taste and drink more. 9% abv.

Purchased for $5US, this was enjoyed while watching the Phillies Spring Training game from dvr today.

Imported by Evaton, Inc. Stamford, CT.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    4/2/19, 11:29 AM - I received a bottle of this as a gift. Surprisingly good on a surprisingly warm spring day. Your notes are spot on.

White
2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc Napa Valley
1/9/2017 - oakville72 Likes this wine:
87 points
Robert Mondavi pioneered the dry Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley. Before this wine, all the Napa Sauvignon Blancs were bottled sweet as Napa's answer to Sauternes. The only dry Sauvignon Blancs came from Wente and Concannon in the Livermore Valley.

Bubba (Mondavi) had visited the upper Loire and was smitten by the Fumé Blancs at the time, which spent some time in oak barrels (no longer true today). He liked the smokiness that the barrels imparted and reasoned that if he brought this character to a dry Napa Sauvignon Blanc, it would sell. And he was right.

While the current Constellation/corporate-driven Fumé Blanc is not the same wine as during Bubba's time, it's still quite fresh, eminently drinkable, pleasing, and not too sweet. Plus, I bought this bottle for about $12, which is a huge price decrease from the near-$20 price point the wine used to command.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    1/13/17, 7:01 AM - Thank you for the history lesson, I enjoyed it! For the money, this wine is delightful and a very good drinker. I can usually find it for about $15. Now having said that, give me a white out of the Loire Valley any day!!!

Red
2010 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
1/1/2017 - Arch57 Likes this wine:
91 points
I've checked my notes on CT and I have tasted 55 CdP's over the years with Clos des Pape and Pegau being my favorites. I've had several Beaucastel's and while they are very well made they never wow me. That being said this wine was decanted for about an hour and served through dinner and it did improve with air time as we watched a movie. Floral notes mixed with the dried fruit and a smooth finish. I am going to hold them for a few years to watch their development as I have the 09, 10 and 12 vintages.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    1/4/17, 7:37 AM - Personally, I've found Beaucastel takes more time to open than Pegau which I find more approachable sooner. This is true for me vintage wise as well. Either way, thank you for your note and best of luck on the rest of your Beaucastel and CdP holdings, enjoy!

Red
2011 Domaine du Coulet (Matthieu Barret) Cornas Brise Cailloux Syrah
4/28/2016 - ddingley Does not like this wine:
84 points
Upon opening the nose was somewhat promising, but a funky vinegar and bitter taste marred the palate at first. Let it sit for over an hour with the bottle down to the fat part and most of the unpleasant bitterness blew off to reveal just a touch of fruit, but still seemed out of balance. Was drinkable with the food, but I will try again with my next bottle in maybe 3 years.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    11/6/16, 12:17 PM - I had this last night at a restaurant and agree with much of your note. Very promising nose, but definitely an almost vinegar, very acidic, fruit taste and much better with food. If anything I think you're generous with the score of 84; closer to 75 for me. Hope your additional bottles improve with time, cheers!

Red
2006 d'Arenberg Shiraz The Dead Arm McLaren Vale
6/2/2016 - Andrew67 wrote:
89 points
This wine did not have the life I was expecting from a Dead Arm, though it had improved a lot by the last sip. Perhaps it needs a lot more decanting that I gave it. Overall I thought the fruit was a little muted. There was good structure to the wine, with firm tannins, so that gives me hope the next bottle will be better. I'll remember to decant properly next time.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    6/3/16, 8:13 AM - I opened one about two weeks ago and my experience was identical to yours. Perhaps the wine is in a little bit of a dumb phase; either way, I am confident it will continue to improve with time. Thank you for the note.

Red
2005 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes Grenache
3/15/2016 - Frank Schneider wrote:
flawed
badly corked !!!!!
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    3/15/16, 12:59 PM - Total bummer!!!!! How long had you had it?

Red
2005 Robert Foley Claret Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
1/4/2016 - RHowardJr Likes this wine:
92 points
A Christmas gift from my boss. Definitely needed time to open up but when it did was a delight to drink. Soft tannins and full bodied. More please...
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    1/5/16, 6:31 AM - Nice boss! :-)

Red
2009 Xavier Vignon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Anonyme Red Rhone Blend
11/11/2015 - fingers Likes this wine:
90 points
Notes after 6 hours open in bottle. Dark, inky ruby color with very slow and lightly stained legs. Heavy amount of sediment.
I like the floral aspect of the aroma, which only appeared after a few hours of air. There were early green pepper notes that faded away with time in the glass. The mouthfeel is smooth and full, holding firm with some grainy tannins. The fruit still seems a bit compacted but even if it stretches out in future, I'm not sure there will be enough material, long term, to give it a higher score. The breadth of the blend is expressed in a moderately complex profile, though it would need richer density to hit the excellent mark, imb. But at this price it delivers in fine fashion. I thought the alcohol was nicely in check so I was surprised to see 14.5% listed on the label. I think they might have overpaid their taxes ;) 4+12+16+8= 90
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    11/12/15, 7:28 AM - Good note, thank you. I've found both the 2009 Cuvee Anonyme and Xavier CdP need plenty of air before they start to come alive. Both have had quite a bit of sediment as well.

Red
2008 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley
11/5/2015 - pdxwinefan Likes this wine:
92 points
Pop and pour at a restaurant. This wine deserves decanting. It has a pretty red berry aroma and taste midpalate, with a nice finish. There's a bracing acidity to the wine that mellows over time. Quite nice.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    11/5/15, 7:03 AM - So right, this wine opens up so nicely and becomes so much more complex after about 30 minutes of air. I don't typically decant a PN but the last two of these I have, I will. Thank you for the tasting note.

Red
2012 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel Red Rhone Blend
8/3/2015 - DRK III Likes this wine:
89 points
Great all purpose red. Goes with just about everything. What I love about this Cotes du Rhone is that it has all the varietal characteristics you'd expect and is terroir driven. Lots of fruit, earth, and baking spices. Nutmeg is dominant on the nose. This wine benefits from being drunk the next day, if you can manage not to guzzle the entire bottle on night one. Might be on the heavy side for some who like thinner, beaujolais sytle wines, but sure to be a crowd pleaser.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    9/9/15, 5:23 AM - Just saw your note from last month, spot on review. It really is my go to wine when I want something that goes with everything that isn't a Pinot Noir.

Red
2008 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley
7/26/2015 - John Dunlap Likes this wine:
92 points
I don't understand the divergence of opinion. This is a lovely wine and why Oregon often gets the nod for generally producing more Burgundian Pinot Noir than California.

Wonderful red color with a bit bit of bricking at the edge, but clearly within the optimal drinking zone for the next five years. Nose of cherries and raspberries and subtle notes of forest. Flavors mimic the nose (cherries and raspberries mostly) and include a wonderful trifecta of red licorice, plus high notes of watermelon and peony toward the end. Good acidity.

A gift from jeffreylubowski, who loves this wine and this vintage.

PS No cola element, which one associates with Russian River Pinot Noirs, which is neither a positive or a negative. Fortunately, I like both regions.

(Served with chicken and herb-raosted tomatoes in a pan sauce plus mash and white beans on the side.)
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    7/27/15, 6:20 AM - Good note, thank you. I too don't quite understand the divergence of opinion for this wine, maybe bottle variation as it ages(?) don't know. Sill the vast majority of reviews have given this wine a score of 90 or higher. I too enjoy CA and OR for their differing styles but do prefer Oregon. The '08 vintage for this wine was stellar (one of my favorite) but I'm not sure I'd let it go another five years, cheers!

Red
2011 Robert Foley Merlot Napa Valley
6/29/2015 - Schiffy Likes this wine:
92 points
Foley is the master at making Merlot. Drinking his Merlot today is like enjoying Pride, circa 1997. You must decant for an hour to fully enjoy the silky smooth tannins with the rich dark fruit. Beautifully balanced with scents of dark chocolate, notes of spice and cassis. Nicely concentrated and delicious.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    6/30/15, 6:46 AM - About Foley and Merlot, well said. I've tasted the '11 and bought six, but haven't consumed any yet. Looking forward to it. Oh, he's pretty good at making other varietals too!

Red
2009 Xavier Vignon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Anonyme Red Rhone Blend
5/4/2015 - JDV.DDSPHD wrote:
90 points
Weakest wine of the night for me. Just lacking that depth and body for me. Still a very good wine but I can't figure out why some of the wine reviewers rated it so high. I've had it multiple times but I just don't get it. I would buy so many other wines for the price.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    5/5/15, 6:57 AM - I agree completely. I've only had it once though, in February, but have several more in the cellar. I'm hopeful time will help it reach its supposed potential.

Red
2011 Bodegas El Nido Jumilla Clio Red Blend
4/20/2015 - RandomCoil wrote:
93 points
As my 8-year-old would say: Boom goes the cannon. This is BIG. No nuance, but still well-rounded by brute force.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    4/21/15, 7:53 AM - Fun note, made me laugh, thank you.

Red
2010 Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas Red Rhone Blend
3/22/2015 - CO_Roots13 Likes this wine:
94 points
Oh, my! This was my first Gigondas and I LOVED it. It was a little tight upon opening. Three hours in a decanter made a world of difference. Nose of flinty cherry, wild flowers and a little spice. The palette has complexity (even in its youth) and reflects the nose. There is substantial structure and back bone that will lend to aging. Red fruit and dark chocolate come through in the very long finish. Outstanding.
8-19-9-8
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    3/23/15, 6:22 AM - For your first Gigondas you picked a good one! One of my favorite regions, welcome to the club.

Red
2010 Domaine Le Colombier Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes Red Rhone Blend
2/28/2015 - gkharrin wrote:
I liked the first one I bought enough to buy three more for a party. But 2 of the 4 bottles had severe faults (acidic, almost effervescent). The other two were very enjoyable wines with depth, complexity and intensity. The inconsistency is bad enough that I will be staying away from Colombier in the future.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    3/2/15, 6:51 AM - Sorry to hear. I've enjoyed Colombier's wines in the past and have a few in the cellar. The effervescence can be secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle. Definitely a fault but is often times cured by actually shaking the wine in the bottle or decanter and lots of swirling. I haven't opened any of my 2010's yet but will be on the lookout for it, thank you.

Red
2010 Robert Foley Merlot Napa Valley
1/25/2015 - agrulich21 Likes this wine:
94 points
Possibly the best Napa Valley Merlot I've had in a long time. Great stuff. Long smooth finish and aromas of crushed rocks, minerals, berries, and mocha. Truly a delicious wine.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    1/26/15, 6:26 AM - Not being a huge Merlot fan (as there is a ton of really bad Merlot out there), I do have to say Robert Foley makes perhaps the best Merlot I've ever tasted. However, I really like pretty much all of Bob Foley's wines so I wasn't surprised when I tried his the first time and totally enjoyed it.

Red
2007 Comte Louis de Clermont-Tonnerre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Julie Red Rhone Blend
12/18/2014 - VTCellarDweller wrote:
91 points
This was decanted for one hour leaving a moderate granular sediment. It was served with dinner several days ago and I did not make written notes so these comments are from fading mental impressions.
The aromatics were quite prominent right from the get-go with suggestions of dark berries, garrigue, green olives, and a subtle floral component. It has a very solid mouth feel with luscious ripe well defined flavors showing some nice emerging secondary components hinting of blackberry, raspberry, licorice, briar, mineral, spice, olive, and seared beef. Length and balance were very good with noticeable but not obtrusive tannins peeking out at the end. While there was a hint of heat, it was not overbearing.
I was not expecting to be wowed by this. But to my surprise and while no challenge to Pegau or Beaucastel, it was a very pleasing bottle that is drinking well now and has the balance, depth, and structure to maintain for several more years and a good value.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    12/19/14, 11:19 AM - Nice tasting note, thank you.

Red
2011 Gargiulo Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon G Major Seven Study Oakville
11/9/2014 - mflesh wrote:
Even after two hours of decanting, the proper rating on this wine is NR. Lots of fruit on the front -- all young -- fermented grape juice. Traditional Oakville nose didn't even start to appear for 3-4 hours. For a 2011 produced on the Napa floor, this wine is going to be an ager. But I have a feeling that the window isn't going to be as wide. This one shows a nice violet color in the glass, wonderful Napa Cabernet nose, blackberry core with lots of secondary characteristics that are buried, but there. Acidic on opening, tannic on the 20-30 second finish. This wine is going to be VERY NICE in 5 years. I am going to go ahead and give it 94+ based on what I see here. I agree with the other opinion on drink date -- no sense in killing another one of these until 2016. Maturity 2016, drink by 2022.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    11/10/14, 6:30 AM - Good note, thank you. I tasted this in Napa two weeks ago and ordered a few (and added the drinking dates of 2016-2021) and I pretty much agree with you completely. I only purchased a handful of 2011's, but this was one of them.

Red
2009 Shane Syrah The Unknown Sonoma County
10/16/2014 - pgb67 wrote:
88 points
I had a bottle of this upon release and enjoyed it much more - the tannins and ripe fruit was a nice kick in the pants - now it's mellowed out but is less interesting.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    10/23/14, 8:28 AM - I drank one of mine last night and I have to agree with you completely! Spot on review.

Red
2010 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
10/17/2014 - La Cave d'Argent Likes this wine:
94 points
2014 New York Wine Experience Trip; 10/14/2014-10/21/2014 (New York City, NY): Deep ruby and very floral on the nose, this wine also offers notes of mixed bramble fruits, dry earth, licorice and garrigue. It is fresh and full-bodied, with medium fine-grained tannins, nicely integrated alcohol and subtle oak. The wine remains harmonious and balanced throughout the middle and closes with a very long, herb-laced finish. This is an outstanding iteration of Beaucastel. Give it a couple of years in the cellar and then enjoy it over the next 10-12 years. Drink 2016-2028.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    10/22/14, 6:22 AM - Another good tasting note, thank you. Hope you enjoyed the NYC trip. Based on the Tasting Stories write up, it certainly appears you did. You picked some nice places to eat too.

White
2010 Didier Dagueneau Blanc Fumé de Pouilly Pouilly-Fumé Sauvignon Blanc
Simply an amazing bottle of wine. Faint gold color with a distinct bee wax scent. Also crab apple and slate. Focused, and flat mid pallet but in a good way - it takes up space. Precise and layered. It's a cerebral wine and delicious. I'm not sure but I wouldn't be surprised if this wine was drinking incredible in 5 years time. I opened it up and put it on ice and drank it over a 4 hour window. Enjoying this watching my Giants take on the Pirates for the NL wildcard. GO GIANTS!!!!
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    10/2/14, 7:45 AM - Nice note, agree completely. Go NATS! :-)

White
2010 Far Niente Chardonnay Napa Valley
9/18/2014 - rocknroller wrote:
92 points
Light gold color. PNP, drank the bottle over 2 hours at trio bistro in Jackson, Wyoming with a medley of seafood paitings. I can not disagree enough with the recent comments regarding oak on this wine. This was so elegant and Chablis like tonight. Barely any hint of oak now. The nose is vibrant and brimming oyster shell minerality, white flowers, lemon, tangerine, and a slightly sweet top note. The palate is elegant and sophisticated, medium bodied, minerals up front with lemon oil, tangerine, citrus, light spice, very crisp and fresh. Medium plus finish. Loved it. This can go for 3 to 5 years. 92+pts.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    9/19/14, 7:47 AM - I agree that Far Niente is generally much more Chablis like. However, I've noticed a few bottles that are tending towards slightly more oak than I've experienced in the past. I'm hopeful that this trend does not continue! Good note, captures the wine completely.

Red
2008 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley
8/6/2014 - SpoochMan Likes this wine:
91 points
Last bottle of the '08 and it was a nice one. Consistent with previous notes. This has loads of red and black fruit combined with some cinnamon and spice notes, and a nice texture. This does veer toward being a bit sweet and jammy, but does not come across as over the top and alcoholic. I pairs well with BBQ. For those who tend to only like savory wines, this probably would not appeal. But very good for the style.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    8/7/14, 6:12 AM - Good note. I'm down to my last bottle. Drank one two nights ago and while I agree that the wine does veer towards the jammy side I found it no more so than previous bottles, cheers.

Red
2009 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel Red Rhone Blend
7/8/2014 - Derek Darth Taster wrote:
90 points
Popped and poured. Wife's free bottle from Hyatt sommelier.
Appearance is clear, medium intensity, ruby colour. Legs.
Nose is clean, medium intensity, with aromas of sweet ripe red fruit - raspberry, strawberry, and some leathery notes. Developed.
On the palate, dry, medium- acidity, medium+ alcohol, velvety medium tannins, full body. Pronounced flavor intensity, with flavours of ripe raspberry, strawberry, redcurrant jam, licorice, peppery spice, medicinal/Provencal herbs, toasted oak, and leather. Medium- finish.
Very good quality Cotes du Rhone. More rich and full-bodied than the usual CdR, and well-balanced at this age. Showing signs of age, this is not built to last, enjoy this now and over the next 2-3 years while the rich fruit is still alive.
Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    7/9/14, 6:26 AM - Well written note, thank you.

Red
2007 Col Solare Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
6/29/2014 - shorty01 Likes this wine:
91 points
Smooth and balanced with a touch of wood and dried fruit. It seems to have reached a point where waiting much longer to drink would not be advisable. Very nice wine, but over priced at $75.00.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    6/30/14, 6:24 AM - Wow, $75; I hope it was a restaurant and not a retail purchase! Col Solare is a fabulous wine, versatile and tasty but at $75 I agree, not worth it retail but I'd pay that at a restaurant. When I can find it here on the east coast (retail) it's usually about $40, so $75 at a restaurant would be a "fair" price.

White
2010 Didier Dagueneau Blanc Fumé de Pouilly Pouilly-Fumé Sauvignon Blanc
My first Dageneau, this is quite good, but different from most other Pouilly Fume I've had. The nose has explosions of passionfruit, fresh honeydew, fresh cantaloupe; there is still some underlying herbal/grassy notes and a hint of smoky minerality. The palate is fresh, crisp, yet has a little more finesse and almost roundness than many sauv blancs. Very tasty and interesting wine.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    6/24/14, 11:52 AM - A bit pricey but one of my favorite and consistent wines. I'd expect it to soften and round out even more with another year or two in the bottle. Glad you enjoyed it.

Red
2006 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Larkmead Vineyard Napa Valley
6/2/2014 - SMagowan Likes this wine:
94 points
Spectacular. Drank alongside a 2007 Tor CS Cimarossa Vineyard. The Ramey has the sweetest tannins and a delicate finish -- it is like the taste of a really fine cigar without the smoke. I give a 94 to the 93 for the Tor.
Do you know what I mean about the cigar taste? A great cigar tastes amazing, but there is always the smoke fouling your lungs. This was like that without the smoke.
Sorry that is the best I can do. I will not be asked to write reviews for Parker anytime soon. Ha!
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    6/3/14, 7:50 AM - The cigar analogy without the smoke is actually a very good one!

Red
2011 Adelsheim Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
5/13/2014 - hcnate wrote:
86 points
Felt like a basic Pinot. I wanted a little more than just the cranberry notes. Maybe longer in the bottle?
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    5/14/14, 7:12 AM - I've enjoyed Adelsheim's Willamette Valley PN for quite a few years. For the last couple of years though, it seems its quality and complexity has been on somewhat of a decline. I agree with your comment, a basic Pinot. I used to feel it was a notch above a basic Pinot for the price..

Red
2011 Duckhorn Vineyards Decoy Napa County Red Bordeaux Blend
4/15/2014 - yofog wrote:
88 points
40 cab s, 40 merlot, 20 cab franc. A nice expression, and the franc really shows through, which is what I'm looking for. A nice, structured, balanced, and food-friendly style. Ripe and broad-shouldered with lots of dark fruit, but nothing out of place.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    4/16/14, 6:42 AM - Pretty darn good bottle of wine for less than $20 isn't it? I had it at a party last fall and was impressed. Picked up four bottles at Costco for $15.99 as a decent quality midweek drinker. Done to one left.

Red
2007 Col Solare Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
4/12/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
Overly extracted but I love it,
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    4/14/14, 7:22 AM - Great note and comment on a wine for what it is, not what it "should" be.

Red
2007 Mas Foulaquier Pic St. Loup Gran' Tonillières Red Rhone Blend
3/16/2014 - Mama Barr Does not like this wine:
50 points
Very disappointed that this wine, delightful just a year ago, is now past it's prime. Cellar kept since purchase in 2010, no amount of time in the glass could repair the "cooked" quality, nor the bitter finish.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    3/19/14, 5:47 AM - Yikes! Thank you for the note. I have one left in the cellar and will put it on my "drink sooner than later" list.

Red
2007 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
1/22/2014 - misternordin wrote:
92 points
Managed to get my hands on another 12 bottles straight from the cellar. Magnificent.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    1/23/14, 9:07 AM - Lucky you! Excellent wine, excellent vintage.

Red
2011 Bodegas Mas Alta Priorat Black Slate La Vilella Alta Grenache Blend, Grenache
Tart cherry vinegary nose. Medium bodied and well balanced, but fairly one dimensional taste throughout (even at 2, 3, 4 hour decant). The slight tart cherry and slightly vinegar at end of taste is disappointing.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    1/22/14, 8:19 AM - Interesting review in that you are the only who noted these characteristics. I had a prior vintage earlier this year and purchased the 2011 strictly on that very enjoyable experience. It will be interesting to see how I like this wine. And welcome to CT.

Red
2010 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
12/30/2013 - Motz wrote:
93 points
Tough to know what to make of this. It is very light for such a highly rated wine, medium body at best. Partially translucent crimson in color. Mourvèdre dominates the nose; it's quite pretty, showing oodles of red fruits and berries, pepper, and various teas...then again, it's Mourvèdre, and difficult to get excited about. Grenache comes across as a lesser percentage of the blend, not as equal parts to the Mourvèdre. Syrah is all but drowned out. Wafting notes of minerality, earth, salinity, and smoke fade in and out. Noticably high alcohol.

The palate shows loads of juicy red fruits and various teas; more traditional notes linger in the background. The mid palate features good acid, the back and finish good structure. Quite hot. It is a pleasure to smell and taste.

This fruit forward, showy, juicy wine leans heavily to the New World. Acid is solid, but structure and grip are moderate. If this is a 20 year wine, then I clearly do not understand the riddle that is Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I am glad that I did not buy this though. I do not think it will score higher than 93 points and I would not count on it lasting for twenty years, even 15 years may be iffy. Overall, it seems overrated and overpriced.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    12/31/13, 6:25 AM - Very detailed note, thank you. I always appreciate a tasters opinion on the aging potential of wines.

Red
2008 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
12/25/2013 - pifcho Likes this wine:
92 points
I really need to stick with "off vintage" CDP. This is Burgundian in texture yet with all the rich Grenache fruit, herbal and earthy profile. Super fresh and tasty. No alcohol sticking out, no overextraction - love it. Very developed and complex nose. Glad I have more.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    12/26/13, 6:02 AM - Tend to agree with you, the "off" vintages appeal to me many times as well. Beaucastel's 2008 Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet falls in the same category for me. Supposedly an off year, love it. Good note, do you think drink sooner than later?

Red
2009 Herman Story Syrah Nuts and Bolts Santa Barbara County
12/19/2013 - randyjc wrote:
I am not much of a California syrah fan - I own a few and occasionally like them alot. This is one of those times. I have to say this wine surprised me with its depth and balance. A bit of heat, but not discordant. Tarry, tobacco, black fruit, long finish. Would not have picked it blind as a California syrah which is about the best compliment I have for a Cali syrah. Not scoring it, but it's a low 90s wine. And it paired beautifully with sauteed sausages, peppers and onions.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    12/20/13, 1:35 PM - As a really big Syrah fan in general, you picked a really good wine to go with sauteed sausages, peppers and onions, it made my mouth water. Nice note.

Red
2007 Domaine Font de Michelle Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Etienne Gonnet Red Rhone Blend
12/15/2013 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
Forward, open and expressing its kirsch, licorice, earth and black cherry core, the wine is plush, round and inviting, finishing with sweet, ripe, spicy black raspberries. This is probably not a wine to age in the hopes its going to make old bones. It's really drinking nice tonight with dinner.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    12/19/13, 6:33 AM - Thank you for the note, the first in almost three years on the wine! I have two in the cellar purchased in 5/11 and have been wondering about them. It appears they may now just be my Christmas dinner wine.

Red
2004 Eagles Trace Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
12/8/2013 - Arinbraghe Likes this wine:
90 points
From a 375 ml bottle. In this format, perfectly à point and ready to be drunk. Completely resolved but still fully plush of fruit, this betrays its age only on the finish which is a bit bonier and more splayed-out than either the attack or mid-palate. Old-school Cali style with new(ish)-school 14.5% alcohol that you couldn't detect if you tried. In fact the only complaint one could have here is that the wine's a bit too binary: the attack and mid-palate put you in mind of ribeye, but the finish is a touch frayed and retiring, such that you'd much rather match with root vegetables or pulses. Have not had this in 750 ml format but if the backside is anything more like the front end in those bigger bottles, you have runway model-grade material on your hands right now.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    12/9/13, 8:15 AM - Good note, thank you. I've had quite a few of these from 750's and don't really see the fall off on the back end described.

Red
2007 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
12/4/2013 - pigdaddy wrote:
91 points
decanted 30 min. pretty ruby red w/lightening at meniscus; cherry, red berries, low key herbaciousness, white pepper & sandalwood; med-full body; ripe, sweet cherry liqueur, herbs, earth & a little peppery, ok acids; fairly rich w/out feeling ponderous, particularly for this vintage. always feel like this bottling is at its best in the earlier stages of life; consume remainder relatively soon. 8 of 12.

turkey hash w/sweet potatoes, collards & guanciale; fried yard eggs sunny side up w/sirachaioli

05/22/14 decant 30 min. warm red fruits compote, lavender & thyme; med-full bodied; kirsch, cherry pie w/herbs, earth & pepper, sense of alcohol in its warmth, still attractive at this stage, but consuming sooner seems best. (90)

wood-grilled bison burger w/Amish blue cheese & curry ketchup, homemade brioche bun; sauteed sugarsnaps w/spring onions, shaved radishes & pea greens, miso vinaigrette
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    12/5/13, 6:18 AM - "always feel like this bottling is at its best in the earlier stages of life" I agree with you completely. Excellent point, good note.

Red
2010 Keplinger Grenache Basilisk Russian River Valley
1 hour decant, consumed 70-30 over two days. really tough for me to place my finger on what I was smelling and tasting. maybe some florals, oak spice, red and black fruits. the nose never measured up. it was "loose," just not focused and a little boozy. but that fortunately did not carry to the palate. tasty in the mouth and very enjoyable through the finish. it was good to very good, but overpriced. it should be cleaner and more focused at this price point. if scoring, 88-90. it was better on day 2, so maybe a few years of rest will help. I just feel like there's similar quality elsewhere for half the price.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    12/3/13, 6:03 AM - "...there's similar quality elsewhere for half the price." That can be a tough balancing act especially when you really like a producer and their wines! Good note (as usual), thank you, and I'm hopeful a few years will help.

Red
2007 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel Red Rhone Blend
11/11/2013 - floating_cellar wrote:
91 points
A little tight on opening but mellowed out nicely, classic Rhine flavors. High quality cdr and just as good as some CdPs. Was even better on night 2.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    11/12/13, 5:31 AM - Your typo (Rhine) made me do a double take on the wine. I was like, What?! wasn't it a Beaucastel? lol

Red
2008 Keplinger Syrah Kingpin Rows Knights Valley
Decanted 3 hours, consumed over 6 hours. I have always been hesitant to revisit this wine, as it was so extraordinary the first time around and I was fearful that it couldn't get any better. for now, in sorry to say that I was right. plush and deeply fruited, but too much alcohol, especially on the back end. it picked up some gamey and earthy aromas and flavors as the night wore on, and I did find myself enjoying it more and more, but it's not as good right now as it will be in another few years. if scoring this bottle, 89-91.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    10/21/13, 6:33 AM - I've really been struggling to keep my hands off these bottles because I think they'll do nothing but get better over the nest two to three years. Thank you for the updated tasting note.

Red
2007 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
10/18/2013 - cliffkol wrote:
93 points
Light red color, Medium body. Layered flavors of dark fruits, stones, nuts, spices. Rich, elegant. Tannins are totally resolved, balanced. Prime drinking. Luscious finish. Delicious! (2 days later: Still delicious. Has lost an edge of the layers but still concentrated flavors, balanced, rich)
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    10/19/13, 11:53 AM - Had one of mine last night as well and your tasting note is spot on.

Red
2010 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvée du Papet Red Rhone Blend
10/1/2013 - Mr.Overhill wrote:
98 points
Amazingly plush and beguiling in its rich depths. Everything a winner from this vintage should be - on the fuller side of black fruit, yet not overpowering, soft supple tannins and wonderful balance on the mid palate. The garringue is playing peek a boo and the blackberries are dancing all over, but neither one overpowers. I think that WS underrated this one with their 95 point review. Hope it only gets better.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    10/11/13, 6:08 AM - I'm a big fan of the Mont-Olivet wines and especially so of the Cuvee du Papet (of course). Glad to see the community scores and comments are living up to the professional reviewer's scores, Parker's 99 point score comes to mind. I only have two for this vintage and hopefully won't touch them for at least three more years.

Red
2010 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard Eola - Amity Hills
10/11/2013 - Ckaz44 Likes this wine:
90 points
Bright ruby. Smells of sweet spices, red fruits and oak. On open, tannins are tight and oak dominates but after an hour really opens up nicely. Red fruits, graphite, spices. I also get a somewhat buttery malo taste which I found somewhat strange. Medium plus acidity, medium plus body, medium tannins and a medium finish with some nice green notes. Needs another year but a fine wine that should age 5 years or so.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    10/11/13, 5:58 AM - Good note and completely agree that another year will help the wine tremendously. I really like the St. Innocent line of pinots.

White
2009 Château Gaudrelle Vouvray Clos le Vigneau Chenin Blanc
9/30/2013 - Wino73 wrote:
Mmmm I'm getting totally different aromas and flavors than other reviews. On the nose I'm getting more earthy and mineral qualities, like the smell of rain when it just drizzles and gets the pavement wet, a hint of cat pee, and a little musty smell. On the palate it starts with the mineral quality tingling in my mouth but then a butteriness starts and then "bam" this huge flavor of I don't know what. Then instant heart burn. Whoever said they wish it had more acid... oh it's acidic!! Im not sure yet if I like this. Gonna let it open a little further and see how it develops.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    10/1/13, 11:16 AM - Nice review, good descriptors. Would be good to know what the "bam" was so I'll keep an eye out for it when I drink another!

Red
2011 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
9/28/2013 - La Cave d'Argent wrote:
82 points
Light in color, this wine is also somewhat "light" with respect to aromas and flavors. The nose and palate are characterized by strawberry, earth and orange peel, but there is not much olfactory or gustatory verve. Fresh acidity, light sweet tannins and seamless alcohol (13%) make this wine friendly, which somewhat mitigates its lack of vibrancy. However, the thin middle and terse finish bring the taster back to reality. This one is simply not exciting. Drink now-2015.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    9/30/13, 8:37 AM - This is a wine I enjoyed many years ago and recently picked up a few bottles. I agree with your assessment completely; a good wine but not as good as I remember. 'Meh' comes to mind.

Red
2007 Paraduxx (Duckhorn Vineyards) Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
9/28/2013 - mhenry Likes this wine:
90 points
The previous 375 ml bottle we consumed was clearly flawed. This was nothing like it. The wine has continued to improve. Still a nice zin nose and flavor, but the heat and pepper has lessened to just where I like it. Glad that I still have a few bottles left. (Que Syrah Syrah will be happy too.)
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    9/30/13, 8:35 AM - Glad this one didn't disappoint, hope the rest follow suit!

Red
2007 Paraduxx (Duckhorn Vineyards) Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
9/23/2013 - mhenry wrote:
flawed
Very weird bottle. This was a 375, and I stored it perfectly, yet it was like drinking port: thick, licorice...not the Paraduxx I expected. Perhaps it was already aged when I received it. Not bad, but port and pasta were not a great combo. Better try my other half bottles soon.

Followup: Que Syrah Syrah talked me into marking this bottle "flawed" rather than weird. It wasn't anything like the other Paraduxx's I've had. I agree, and will try to drink another of my 375's to see what's going on.
  • que syrah syrah commented:

    9/24/13, 5:40 AM - Total bummer. I have one left of a case of 750's purchased in July 2011 and all have been fine though a 375 will age faster (drank one of my bottles as recently as late last month). I also have a magnum that I think will last even longer. One question, is this an instance where the wine should be marked flawed and not scored? Good luck with the remaining bottles!

  • que syrah syrah commented:

    9/25/13, 5:40 AM - Looking forward to hearing how the other bottles turn out. I really hope it was just the one because the '07 was really good and it would be a shame if the rest were like this one.

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