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Comments on my notes

(31 comments on 29 notes)

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White
2020 Gramercy Cellars Picpoul Blanc Walla Walla Valley
8/16/2021 - Trout Season wrote:
80 points
Sweet citrusy
  • ccotton8 commented:

    4/13/22, 9:06 AM - Thank you GC, I have two of these will get more.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionelle Brut Central Otago Bendigo Champagne Blend
10/15/2021 - StewartWent wrote:
87 points
Fine bead, easy going, freshly cut apples, sweet dry finish (does that make sense). Not French dry (if that makes sense!). Just a bit 'beginner' but I'm being a bit hard. Does prove that the general standard of Oz fizz is somewhat higher than NZ and I say this in the context that this particular wine is considered near top-of-the-tree for Kiwi fizz.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    10/18/21, 9:18 PM - What was the disgorge date on the bottle you had? Really enjoying my 2012’s right now.

Rosé
2020 Gramercy Cellars Rosé Olsen Vineyard Columbia Valley Rosé Blend
A perfectly nuanced/balanced summer sipper with serious intentions. 50% cinsault, 26% Grenache and 24% syrah. I bought some and they won't last until September, but bottles held over to next year should be even more interesting.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    4/25/21, 6:32 PM - Exactly why I have a few 2019s.

Rosé
2019 Savage Grace Wines Cabernet Franc Rosé Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley
Over a couple of days

Strawberry and watermelon acidity.

Crisp and refreshing with nice depth
  • ccotton8 commented:

    4/15/21, 1:39 PM - Savor these, no 2020 SG Rose. :-(

Rosé
2019 Tranche Cellars Pink Pape Blackrock Vineyard Yakima Valley Rosé Blend
5/30/2020 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Very light and basic rose. It doesn't totally jump out at me, but it's a pleasant wine. Easy to drink. Bone dry. I miss some of the fruit that has been in earlier vintages. This brings to mind almost a slightly herbal style. Very nice food pairing in general. We had it with empanadas and it did a nice job of bringing out the flavors.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    6/4/20, 9:32 PM - I agree, I miss the fruit and it looks like water in the glass. Picked up some Gramercy Rose today, hoping that hasn’t changed too much.

Red
2009 Force Majeure Collaboration Series I Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain Red Bordeaux Blend
A brawny, inelegant wine. At ten years old, heavy on the palate with more chocolate than fruit and a hot finish.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    1/21/19, 11:51 AM - Sounds like a gloppy mess, maybe its in an awkward phase. I'll probably let my last one slumber a while longer. Thanks for the note.

White
2016 Savage Grace Wines Chardonnay Celilo Vineyard Columbia Gorge
A very nice wine, but not what I was expecting. The wine is a little more "new world" than what Savage Grace usually produces. To be sure, the wine is eminently enjoyable. The nose is incredibly fragrant; I could immediately smell the bouquet from about 2 feet away upon opening the wine. The fruit is much more intense than expected on the palate. The oak, while noticeable, was not overbearing. The finish was long and the acid sufficient. A well made Chardonnay. Very enjoyable.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    9/28/18, 12:05 PM - I've found that it loses a lot of the baby fat around the 3-4 year mark for almost all chards from Celilo.

Red
2015 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Goldridge Russian River Valley
3/17/2018 - srh wrote:
Winebar [4 Whts, 8 Reds, + 3 Shared Bottles] from 3/16/18 (Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA): N: RIPE berries, poss with some stems? Almost a Central Coast character?

P: MF body; RNDISH entry with ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) braced by firming astringency that morphs into a LONG, very, VERY slightly spicy finish with hings of very, VERY fine tannins yet with that initial swtness remaining. I'd give this at least a yr in hopes it comes together, though it may have gone over the ripeness "edge", IMHO. However, if NOT, my G+/VG- is a definite underrate. [Tough to evaluate this vendor's $41.95 as this wine is currently not listed on wine-searcher.]
  • ccotton8 commented:

    3/23/18, 7:59 AM - That's cheaper than direct from the winery, very little of this stuff goes to retail so buy it if you like it. Dehlinger ages very well.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Delamotte Champagne Brut Champagne Blend
10/28/2017 - Patrik H Likes this wine:
86 points
On the nose: Citrus, apple and mineral
On the palate: Citrus, mineral, green apple
Medium + finish
  • ccotton8 commented:

    10/30/17, 12:54 PM - I know you're entitled to your opinion, but what is your reasoning for your assessment? Your descriptors are not bad characteristics for champagne, so it's not clear why the low score.

Rosé
2016 Tranche Cellars Pink Pape Blackrock Vineyard Yakima Valley Rosé Blend
Still one of my favorite Roses. It's very light and good minerality. Nice refreshing fruit (often get watermelon here). Paired with some pizza and was a nice combination. Great for the first really hot day of the summer.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    4/18/17, 11:46 AM - One of my favorites too, glad it's consistent with the previous vintages. I tried Arnot-Roberts Rose recently and now I put it up there with Tranche.

White
2014 Savage Grace Wines Chardonnay Celilo Vineyard Columbia Gorge
This chard is really hitting it's stride. Though on purchase 18 months or so ago I didn't think it had baby fat, our trip through this case, in which every bottle is better, firmer and more characterful, proves that it did.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    1/30/17, 7:36 AM - I agree with you, this Chard has become my favorite from Celilo. It also doesn't hurt that it is half the price of my other Celilo chard.

  • ccotton8 commented:

    1/30/17, 10:10 AM - I have not had the 15' yet, the 14' was my first chard from Michael. I have all of the other current release whites and so far i've enjoyed everything. I hear his Cab Franc is one of the best in the state, I may have to buy a couple to compare to Andrew Will's.

Rosé
2015 Tranche Cellars Pink Pape Blackrock Vineyard Yakima Valley Rosé Blend
One of my favorite roses hands down. This wine also punches above it's weight I think when it comes to price. It's again a very dry, Provence style rose. There's watermelon and lighter red fruit, but also this almost herbal quality to it that I can't quite put my finger on, but makes it a bit more interesting. Great wine. Glad that we bought the case this year.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    5/16/16, 12:29 PM - They age nicely too, working my way through 3 vintages.

Red
2012 Myriad Cellars Syrah 100% Whole Cluster Las Madres Vineyard Carneros
3/5/2016 - TastesGoodToMe wrote:
86 points
A lot of Brett here. The nose had too much barnyard funk for my taste. On the palate got red fruit with a lot of bacon, saline, and horse leather. The back end did not quite balance out the whole package. Not my cup of tea.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    3/5/16, 6:42 AM - Sounds delicious to me, good note though.

  • ccotton8 commented:

    3/7/16, 5:49 PM - Don't we all, all my favorite syrahs are in the 40-60 range. Wish I could find one for less than 30. I think my favorite note in Syrah is blueberry followed by bacon...love bacon, then the funk.

White
2014 Dirty and Rowdy California "Familiar" Blanc White Blend
2/4/2016 - *Vine* wrote:
Popped, vigorously shaken and chilled slightly below cellar temp. Pale straw, quite cloudy. Lively aromas of nectarine, grapefruit zest, tropical fruit juice, honeysuckle, beeswax, rainwater and a touch of green. Deceiving presence with a smooth mouthfeel, the plus acidity enhancing a peculiar, if not completely odd flavor-set of lime, under-ripened cherry, gooseberry, almond, raw carrot, the tropics, sweet tart and...? Kinda crazy.
Great with or without food, this unique CA white is delicious, fun and full of complex nuance.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    2/5/16, 10:31 AM - Why did you shake it? is this the new Aussie blender technique?

White
2012 Foundry Vineyards Chardonnay Oak Columbia Gorge
Pop & pour. Pale golden color. I'm a fan of Columbia Gorge wine and adding a small co-ferment of Maria Gomes prodded my curiosity & the purchase of this bottle. There is a little extra floral aromatic lift to go along with the citrus & light spice. Well balanced fruit & acid. One of those that doesn't jump out at you, but is highly drinkable & easy to enjoy. Good tension, decent concentration. It feels like it is caught between a new world fleshy Chardonnay & an acid forward mineral laden old world example.

A finessed wine, yet not the most nuanced or remarkable. The Columbia Gorge continues to be a well kept secret for balanced wines that show Grace & elegance. I'm interested enough by this to follow the producer a bit more closely.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    12/3/15, 10:00 AM - I love the wines coming out of the Gorge, i've had Maria's merlot so i'm excited to read your note on her Chard. I've heard Savage Grace is an up and comer out the gorge that i'm excited to try. So far my consistent favorite is Tranche whites sourced from Celilo Vineyard.

Red
2011 Scott Paul Cellars Pinot Noir La Paulée Willamette Valley
6/7/2015 - ccotton8 Likes this wine:
92 points
Nice bouquet out of the decanter with red berries and a hint of apple. We decanted the wine for an hour prior to dinner. The pinot is lighter than most but has nice medium body with balanced level of acid that rocked with smoked salmon. The wine has has nice sour cherry and raspberry flavors.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    6/7/15, 8:50 PM - Haha, You know pinot = unit in Apple language

White - Sparkling
2014 Cruse Wine Company Valdiguié Pétillant Naturel Rancho Chimiles Napa County
6/5/2015 - tooch wrote:
93 points
I think it's worth giving this wine a touch of air. The first sips were very lean and mean. Delicious...but LEAN. With some air, the wine seemed to flesh out a bit...flavors built up a bit and had a great watermelon, strawberry/banana tone to it. Very impressive.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    6/7/15, 7:17 PM - Totally agree, unfortunately went through the same evolution process to learn it.

Rosé - Sparkling
2010 Ultramarine Pinot Noir Rosé Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Chilled in the fridge for approximately 1 hour prior to serving. Pours a pale salmon-gold with very find bubbles. Intoxicating aromas of cranberry, blood orange, iodine, and subtle pie crust. Onthe palate the mousse is quite fine and vibrant. Similar flavors as the bouquet, with impeccable balance and a rich, delineated mouthfeel. The depth and persistence is incredible. I love the subtle savory element of the finish too, leaving me wanting another sip right away.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    3/22/15, 7:45 PM - Amen

Red
2012 Gramercy Cellars Syrah John Lewis Reserve Walla Walla Valley
12/2/2014 - StevePDX wrote:
From Greg Harrington - founder/winemaker for Gramercy Cellars on Dec. 2, 2014: The John Lewis release email is always a love/hate exercise for us. It’s always extremely exciting, as we have the opportunity to share a wine we truly love. We hate it because the quantities are extremely limited and this is a wine we want to share with everyone. The 2012 vintage, however, offers great news. First, it is an absolutely classic vintage. If a winemaker didn't excel in 2012, well, there is always... (insert other profession here). As we have said before, it is a vintage that will drink well in both the short and long term. Second, we were able to produce more John Lewis in 2012 than any other vintage, without making any compromises. It's still a mere 185 cases, but far more than the scant 90 from the 2011 vintage or the 50 from the 2008 vintage.

Its interesting to me that as I read last year's John Lewis release letter, I began with "the 2011 vintage was the year for the Rocks area of Walla Walla." The 2012 John Lewis could not be more different. 2012 is about hillsides. So, we return to the classic vineyard for John Lewis - Les Collines and the steep Block 46. While this block always finds its way into the blend each year, it was also the major block for the 2006, 2007, and 2009 John Lewis blends. So it means intense perfume over meaty funk. More elegant than muscular. Cote Rotie vs Hermitage. (Yeah, I name dropped.)

Our winemaking formula remains consistent: harvest early, ferment slowly in open top fermenters, stems, and leave it in a puncheon for 18 months.

The 2012 John Lewis is pure Syrah elegance. Right now, its all about the nose - raspberry, blueberry, sweet cherry, violet, white flowers, Asian spice, smoked meat, pepper, tobacco, slight vanilla. It's a bit more sour on palate, dominated by red fruits and a bit of stem. Both the acid and tannin are firm. Super long finish. Maybe the most Old World on the palate to date?

Although Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate hasn’t officially rated the wine, he did sample it last year during his visit:

“the 2012 Syrah John Lewis offers extraordinary aromas and flavors of blackberry, pepper, herbs, bacon fat and plum to go with a full-bodied, layered, deep and decadently styled profile on the palate. Possessing fabulous density and concentration, with an awesome finish that doesn’t lack for tannin or length, this rock star Syrah will benefit from short-term cellaring and drink well through 2032."

(96-98 pts)

While the 2012 vintage is much more open at this stage than the 2011 or 2010 was at release, we think holding this wine for at least 12 months will get the wine a chance to greatly improve. Currently, the nose is fantastic, while the palate is a bit backward and closed, showing mostly primary red fruit. We expect, however, that this will will be a long term ager - perhaps 25 years. From tasting past vintages, however, we find most of the John Lewis Syrahs start to blossom at 6-8 years after release.

Bottom line - both Brandon Moss (assistant winemaker) and I feel this may be the finest Syrah made at Gramercy to date.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    2/3/15, 7:18 AM - But what do you think of it? I prefer to read your thoughts on the wine not the release letter from the winery.

Red
2011 Force Majeure Collaboration Series II Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain Syrah Blend, Syrah
11/24/2014 - rylanreynolds wrote:
86 points
I'm not convinced on the Washington State wine scene. Subpar in my book. I was hoping for more from this maker.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    11/25/14, 1:39 PM - Looking at your cellar it appears you like bigger styled wines, FM wines take time to develop and 2011 is much too soon. I recommend Sheridan Vineyards Block 1 Cab, it's a beast and delicious. Andrew Will creates a lot of great Bourdeaux Blends as well. Both of these producers don't have a waiting list to buy.

    Post Edit: Ha, just saw you have a Sheridan, pop that bad boy. Just give it some air.

Rosé
2013 Liquid Farm Mourvèdre Rosé Vogelzang Vineyard Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
8/18/2014 - tederf wrote:
88 points
This didn't stand out to me. It was an OK Rosé. A bit too dry with not enough flavor. Not off-putting and did go well with our food.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    8/18/14, 7:16 PM - I agree with your note, I had high hopes based on the hype but it was just okay.

White
2010 E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane Viognier
I drank a bottle just to see what it taste like now. It is not ready to drink. Need more time in the bottle.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    2/18/14, 4:55 PM - I have one more bottle of this, what qualities are hoping for this to develop?

Red
2009 Vineyard 7 & 8 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Spring Mountain District
11/11/2013 - KeithSurg wrote:
87 points
Decanted 1-2 hrs and poured through Vinturi. Nice aromatics of sage, eucalyptus and mature dark fruit. Palate still somewhat closed and tannic. Short, uninteresting finish. Overpriced if drinking at this stage. Hold.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    11/11/13, 10:29 AM - I've found that using the vinturi reduces quality of the wine in most cases, especially wines with considerable tannins. I've stopped using the my vinturi and let oxidation occur at its natural rate.

Red
2011 Meiomi Pinot Noir California
9/22/2013 - SFDoug wrote:
80 points
Fruity Pinot good for the masses. Miles above other inflight wines I've had recently. Soft palate, lingering medium finish.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    9/23/13, 8:38 AM - If you like big wines try the Clark & Telephone or the Las Alturas from Belle Glos. I have to admit your rating is consistent with everything else you've rated, just seems a bit low.

Red
2009 For a Song Syrah Columbia Valley
6/20/2013 - ccotton8 Likes this wine:
91 points
Wonderful dark fruit with some mineral meatiness, but the wine is light on the palate that will pair very well with most meals. Had with spaghetti and it complimented the dish very well. Glad I have couple more.

The cork was very saturated, so probably these need to be consumed sooner rather than later.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    6/23/13, 10:24 AM - I had this over three days, the second day the wine gained some weight with fruit still vibrant. Third day the fruit faded a little but the wine maintained its structure.

White
2010 E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane Viognier
This wine is normally all about exhuberant and very explicit elegance. Tonight though, it is a bit too creamy and actually "oaky". A first sniff reveals the classy white flowers, elderflower blossom and lilac. But then then the tones of vanilla just takes over completely and the wine reminds me of a Roussanne/Marsanne. The palate is nicely integrated and there is absolutely no sense of heat. Of course this is a wonderful wine and the first sniff certainly puts in the high 90s, but we made a big mistake and served it to food - which it really cannot take because of the very low acidity. My suggestion is to serve the Doriane as an aperitif before dinner to get the lovely fruit to speak for itself. Despite being full-bodied and rather "immense", the fruit in the Doriane balances on the verge of elegance. It is easily pushed over the limit if served to even the gentlest food.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    6/6/13, 7:13 AM - I found your note very helpful, thank you. Did you decant or slow-ox in the bottle before serving? I suspect as the wine approached room temp the vanilla took over, which is usual for any white with some oak treatment.

Red
1998 Château de Bellevue (André Chatenoud) Lussac-St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend
1/15/2013 - SkeBum wrote:
84 points
Wine is past it's prime, very little left on the nose and the palate, kind of lifeless.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    1/15/13, 6:53 PM - I agree, just popped a bottle, not a whole lot going on.

Red
2007 Vineyard 7 & 8 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Spring Mountain District
Shockingly shut down: closed, tight & tannic despite a several hour decant, something other tasters did not note. Does this wine go through a dumb phase in anyone's experience?
  • ccotton8 commented:

    12/20/12, 7:41 AM - I have not had any of my bottles yet, was wanting to pop one tomorrow. Based on what i've read on the wineries facebook page and CT notes that wine drinking fairly well. Did you bottle decant or large decanter? I suspect that this is one that needs to slowly unwind for it to shine, if you saved some for the second day I bet it will singing.

White
2007 Quill Wines Viognier Pritchard Hill Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley
10/23/2011 - DonWinspear wrote:
92 points
Stunning. Initial nose of delicate lemon curd. Palate reveals rich textures of citrus, apple, melon. But all in a delicate, refined manner. Wonderful acidic balance. Overall drinkability of this wine is exceptional - it's one where you you will wonder a) where did it all go and b) why is there not more? Moderate finish that remains balanced and does not exert the palate. If you see it, buy it.
  • ccotton8 commented:

    10/24/11, 6:37 AM - I bought a couple from Grailey's, can't wait to pick them up. Would you pair it with anything?

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