Tasting Notes for WaWineFan in TX

(149 notes on 115 wines)

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Red
10/12/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
91 points
I agree with many of the comments below regarding flavors and structure of this wine. Of note, I found this much better on night 2 with the tannins still very present on night 1. If opening this now would suggest at least a 1h decant.
Red
7/25/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
94 points
Believe the hype. Picked one up at Costco for 37.99 went home and tried it, went back and bought 6 more the next day. This is excellent and with a couple of years will likely blow your mind.
6 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White
6/13/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
92 points
Been drinking 375s of these and really enjoying them. Definitely more full bodied with a little more weight than the 2017 willamette valley bottling which is my only comparator from this winery. A touch oakier and more complex than the WV bottling. This producer is my go to for Oregon Chard but got to try a bottle of Hazelfern that was also excellent recently but more on the spendy side.
Red
6/1/2020 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
93 points
Bottle 3 - 3 hour decant served at 55F. Excellent. Very consistent with previous notes.
Red
5/6/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
90 points
Picked up at Costco for $15 and change. This is a very nice every day red with considerably more complexity than Im accustomed to at this price point. Considerable cherry upfront with minimal tannic bite. Definitely some wood lurking in there, but not unpleasant at all. Some spice tones finish off nicely in the back with enough acidity to keep it from being simple or jammy. It drank nicely on its own and paired well with beef tenderloin. I have minimal experience with Spanish Rioja and when I saw this with the 93pts JS review sticker on it at that price I figured it was a good time to start. This is a very nice start to my venture into Rioja and if this is any indication of most Riojas, Im going to enjoy them.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
4/16/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
93 points
On my second bottle of this over the past month. This is currently a very fruit forward wine with a bunch of layers and a very long finish. Tannins are definitely still there though fairly well developed and integrated and I wish there was maybe a hair more acid to balance out some of the fruit. The alcohol peeks out a little too much if warm. I saw the description of "spicy" from one of the reviewers and agree with that esp on p&p. This bottle really calms down nicely when you make sure to drink it cool and give it at least an hour of air. This stuff is delicious as long as you make sure to follow those last 2 steps. I've got the second half of this bottle currently waiting for 5pm today and will be very interested to see how it drinks on day 2.

Day 2 notes: Very consistent with night one notes. Tannins have smoothed out somewhat. This definitely has the stuffing to lay down for a while longer. If drinking it now, would encourage at least a 1 hour decant. Very good stuff.
Red
4/6/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
90 points
Picked this up at costco based on the strength of the 2016 vintage in France and consistent reviews among 3 of the major critics all putting it in the low 90s. Found it for 22 and change at Costco which looked like a good deal compared to online retailers. P&P and drank over the next 48 hours. Day one needs about 30 minutes in the glass with some good swirling to get it to open up, once it does - strawberry jam. On the nose and on the finish. Its crazy. Not a bunch of layers not a bunch of complexity, maybe a hair hot on alcohol but overall a very pleasant granache based rhone blend that I really enjoyed. Not any better or worse on day 2. For $22 and change I feel like its a good deal. Dont know that I'd be happy with this level of complexity at higher price points though and am a little surprised to see the high scores from some of the big names on this one. Would definitely buy it again at this price point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/6/2020 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
91 points
Agree with tasting note from DrWine2001 below. The possible exception to that agreement is that I'm not sure that this will get much better with time. Now on my 6th bottle of this over the last 6 months with very consistent notes. This is excellent with a good lasagna or any meat / tomato based Italian dish or really nice to just drink on its own.
Red
3/28/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
93 points
I have not had much luck with the K wines or any of the other Charles Smith ventures that I have tried. That being said, Im on my second bottle of this separated by about 6 months and it is really good. Crazy long finish with excellent fruit flavors and a very interesting tea note on the finish. Im really enjoying this wine and will have to look for later vintages to see if this is something consistent.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/27/2020 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
94 points
This is an awesome wine in an awesome spot currently. I had this and a bottle of the 2014 AW blondes back to back. This is more mellow, more even, more smoothed, and absolutely delicious. If this isnt the best bottle I've had in the past 6 months, its really close. Lots and lots of layers with fruit, herb, and other tones perfectly balanced out and peeking through. The acid is there but smoothed out and the tannins have really mellowed, esp compared to the 2012 AW ciel. Love this wine, wish I had many more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/27/2020 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
92 points
This wine is currently HUGE on p&p. Big nose, tons of dark fruit, a finish that goes and goes, and still a good amount of tooth fuzzing tannin. Taking about an hour in the decanter to starting to soften it up somewhat but I'd be very comfortable giving this another year or 5 and think that it will hold up well and continue to mellow out a little. Great wine and cant wait to see where my last 5 bottles go. Just drank a couple of bottles of 2012 two blondes from AW and it is in a much more ready to go spot than this is. Great wine, scoring it a 92 at this point to encourage you to be patient, I think this has 95 potential.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/7/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
90 points
Really enjoying this. I have very limited exposure to Barolo but saw this at Costco with the JS 92 points sticker on it and knowing that 2015 and 16 were great years in Italy, thought it was worth a shot. It was really disappearing quickly as there were only 5 bottles left when I went back today. Lots of really nice dark fruit with drying tannins and balanced acidity. Reasonably long nice finish. Not sure whether there is much aging potential there, but for the price on a Saturday night, this is a really fun to drink wine with a bunch of things going on for a $20.00 bottle. In a blinded tasting I could have been convinced this was a good $40.00 wine.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Andrew Will Sorella Horse Heaven Hills Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/19/2020 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
96 points
This bottle is drinking absolutely amazingly currently. The nose as I poured it into the decanter was screamingly great. I loved just smelling the decanter. Did a p&p taste which was excellent and got a bit of grape bubble yum on the first taste but noted that the tannins are definitely still there with a definite drying note to the wine but in a beautifully balanced way. The palate is full of dark fruits with a definite blackberry note repeatedly appearing. Also noting soysauce notes and smoke lingering on the very long awesome finish. Long story short, this is a great wine in a great spot. Tannins suggest it can handle more cellar time, but decanting hasnt notably improved the wine over 3 hours. Drink up and enjoy, there is a reason AW is almost always awesome.
Red
12/24/2019 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
91 points
This is a very nice example of Dolcetto. After 3 bottles of this I think over the past 6 months I think I finally have it figured out. If you PNP it, then its definitely a little sharp, it definitely benefits from about 30 minutes in the glass and some vigorous swirling. After that, it becomes a real pleasure to drink and paired absolutely amazingly with an excellent meat lasagna from TC. I bought 3 of these based on the AG review and will be heading back to probably pick up another 6 pack to keep around the house for italian food with tomato sauces and meat or just to sip at.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
12/8/2019 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
94 points
This wine is absolutely rediculous. Everything that a great Oregon Pinot should be. The fruit is amazing and the nose and layers come along with it. This is my 3rd bottle of this wine and I just tracked down 6 more after having it with dinner at Recipe in Newberg the other night. I know that 2016 was an excellent year for OR pinot, but I have tried many from this vintage and few, if any, have been in the ballpark with this wine. I am intrigued by the reviews that suggest that this wine is on the young side to drink, if this is going to get better it will be completely mind-blowing because its already one of the best OR pinots I've ever had.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2016 L’Hêtre Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/8/2019 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
92 points
This is an excellent young bordeaux that can either work quite nicely right now, or has the stuffing to lay down for a few years. The tannins are definitely there also with some wood/earthy tones, but the fruit is there in spades. Notes are consistent over 3 bottles. Seriously considering going back and buying some more, was able to pick this up in the 20.00 range and for this level of complexity and wine it is an absolute steal at that price point.
Red
10/26/2019 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
94 points
Every time I open one of these I'm so impressed. Continues to be consistent with my previous notes. Does benefit from about an hour of air.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
First of all, this is marked down considerably because of the comparison to the 2009 AW Ciel that I had several weeks ago that was awesome. I've been sitting on 6 of these and knew that this was a bit of a gamble because of the challenges of the 2011 vintage but figured if CC couldnt pull magic out of the hat, no one could. That being said, this wine, esp with the 09 still clearly in mind, was a major disappointment. On PNP the aromatics are there and I was hopeful, but first sip revealed a thin wine that had some layers and some pretty muted fruit but I was hopeful that with time in the glass, things might improve. Wrong. Went to the decanter early and gave it a good 3 hours in the decanter as I sipped at the first half of the bottle. It maybe opened up a little but not much. I recorked and gave it 24h in the bottle before coming back and things had not improved much, if at all. Remained thin, fruit very restrained, still pretty tannic, acidity is OK. I realize this was from a tough year and I was taking a but of a gamble in buying 6 of these, but it appears I may have lost on this gamble. As typically a huge AW fan and given my recent experience with 09 ciel, this wine was a major letdown. I plan to let my remaining 5 sit in the cellar for at least another year before coming back and trying another one, but Im not optimistic.
Red
7/31/2019 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
91 points
Really agree with the previous review. Excellent value and a very nice wa Bordeaux based blend with nice layers. Definitely could stand a little cellar time and certainly surprisingly complex for this price point. No obvious flaws and drinking nicely with time in the glass. Added an extra point for the QPR.
Red
7/22/2019 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
95 points
Amazing! Been sitting on my last two bottles for a couple of years and opened them at El Gaucho with dinner a couple of nights ago. Everything is just singing currently. Perhaps improved slightly with time in the decanter, but was delicious from first sip. I really loved the amazing layers of dark fruit, chocolate, and beautifully integrated tannins with perfectly balanced acid. Just amazing with the steaks or by itself. Everyone agreed the wine was excellent. Really wish I had a couple more bottles. Hard to imagine this getting any better, but I don't know that there is a rush to drink it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/10/2019 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
92 points
Oh my goodness! This is excellent! Very nice acidity with sharp lines (but not too sharp) and excellent fruit flavors and long finish. If there is oak there, its really minimal. Extremely well done in this price range! I completely agree with and echo the below 2 reviews. Buying more of this in a hurry! The new house chardonnay!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/3/2019 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
91 points
So... I really like this wine but I like the 2015 coulee much more and I think I came in with my expectations a little too high based on the coulee experience and the reviews that I had read here for this wine. This was the first bottle that I have tried and I am looking forward to going back and giving this another shot in the not too distant future.
White
This wine was a major disappointment based on the professional reviews I was able to find. I picked it up at Costco and this has been the 2nd time recently that a highly rated (low to mid 90s) wine at about 20-25% off usual retail that I took a leap on was a major disappointment. We opened this about 3h prior to Christmas Eve dinner and the nose was good but other than that it was unpleasant, to be polite about it. The only word that came to mind was sour. It was also painfully unidimensional and thankfully brief on the back end. Furthermore, it didnt improve with time and air. Both my wife and daughter dropped "yuck" on it and the last half of the bottle went down the drain after about 3 hours open. Very aggravating for a mid-30 dollar bottle of white that was that highly scored.
White
11/23/2018 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
90 points
My go-to WA riesling year after year and it never disappoints. I dont know that this is the best PLR ever but it is very solid and is always a crowd pleaser. This was the white of the night for Thanksgiving this year, as always it went great with everything on the table.
Red
Bought this based on the strength of the performance of the 2015 in the 2018 Spectator Top 100 and had someone else tell me they really enjoyed the 4 graces wines. That being said, this wine was a real disappointment. Bought it at Costco for Thanksgiving, opened and tried it a couple hours before dinner, and kept trying it again as the night went along. Multiple people tried it and none were impressed. It was painfully thin, unidimensional, and not enjoyable at all. Hopefully this was just an off bottle, but it was very off, and I'd be hesitant to buy this again without trying it first.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
11/18/2018 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
90 points
Nice wine but certainly not seeing a 96 here. Two bottles over a month apart, similar impressions both times.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
Maybe I got a bad bottle here or something but this was completely overdone with the smoke tones and they got completely in the way of anything that might have been enjoyable in this wine. The person that I was splitting the bottle with agreed and I wont be tracking this one down again anytime soon. Seems to be a bit of an issue with some of the WA syrahs that they almost try to get TOO funky.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/3/2018 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
93 points
Two bottles over dinner with M&L at the Met several weeks ago. Definitely not as good as the 2000 we opened last night but not sure that's a fair comparison. Everyone really enjoyed it and it definitely compared very favorably to all of the cabs we had tasted in Woodinville earlier in the day.
Red
9/3/2018 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
95 points
Been sitting on this one for 15 years. Got it for A when she turned 18 and was headed to college. Cant believe we're finally at that point. Opened it and drank it with some medium rare prime filets. This bottle is excellent. It actually needed a good hour or 2 in the decanter and any suggestion that this wine is on the downhill side is way off base. I would suggest that with where this was last night that it could easily go another 5 or 10 years. This is the first time I've let a good WA cab go this long and I was really not disappointed. Excellent cabernet flavors, complexity, and fruit still completely intact. Extremely well done Leonetti!
Red
7/28/2018 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
94 points
2nd bottle - drank it with GRT3 and KD and after after a bottle of serious competition. Notes and impression remain the same as previous post.
Red
2012 Saxum Broken Stones Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
7/28/2018 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
95 points
An excellent bottle of wine. But it better be for that price point! This is a big boy syrah based blend and is excellent. It was given to me by a very good friend as a gift and he was in town so we opened it since the winery said to wait until at least 2017. I would argue that this should likely wait for another couple of years. It took a good 1-1.5h to open up and really start to show what's in there. Its an excellent bottle and certainly lives up to the press but make sure to give it a really good 1.5h decant or leave it in the cellar for another couple of years.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/9/2018 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
94 points
Oh my... This is really good wine. I joined the mailing list for this winery a couple of years ago based on reviews but have been slow to pull the trigger due to the price point on most of their releases. I finally broke down and ordered 4 of the Coulee based on the JD reviews this year. I opened the first one a couple of weeks ago and this is REALLY good at this 38.00 price point. I've had more expensive wines that were nowhere near this good. Very fruit forward with excellent layers and many of the familiar syrah and mourvedre tones and flavors. I'm a big fan of this wine at this price point and am so impressed Im going to have to seriously consider spending a little money on some of their spendier bottles.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/28/2018 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
92 points
So I bought 3 of these a few years ago when I also picked up some of the 2012 Ursa. I opened my first bottle about a year or so ago and was disappointed. I dug around on the web a little and found recommendations to wait until 2018 so I have been sitting on my last 2 bottles. Its 2018 and I wanted some wine tonight. This has come a LONG way from the wine I tried a couple of years ago. Those critics saying to hold a few years were spot on. This has really blossomed and most of the hard edges have come off. I would give this at least a 60 minute decant but I really think its starting to hit its stride. Great fruit and the blend of cab and syrah makes it a little unusual but Im really enjoying it. Im glad to see that my patience was rewarded on this one.
Red
11/29/2017 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
90 points
I can see why this made the spectator value list. Nothing terribly complicated but its a very solid wine with great syrah granache flavors. I would certainly buy it again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
11/29/2017 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
88 points
OK. Been intending to get around to trying this but when I want riesling I tend to go with Poet's Leap. Figured I'd take a shot on it this year since it always seems to review well and was a buck a bottle cheaper than the PL at costco. I must say both the wife and I were disappointed. Back to the Poet's Leap as our riesling.
Red
11/29/2017 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
85 points
Seriously disappointed. Drank this on Thanksgiving day and tried it with dinner. It didnt work well at all. Thin, really not much to think about, unidimensional. I've had much better luck with villages in the past. I think Im headed to pretty much drinking the cru beaujolais exclusively.
Red
11/29/2017 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
93 points
Drank this the Saturday after Thanksgiving while watching Bama vs Auburn. The wine was as good as the game which is saying something. Great fruit, great balance, great nose, REALLY drinking nicely currently. It was my last bottle which is a major disappointment, but it went out in style!
Red
9/13/2017 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
92 points
My 2nd or 3rd go round with this bottle first impressions were not good for a 35.00 bottle however it was likely because it was it was waaaay too young and I opened it right after the KW wine club shipment rolled in. It is now turning into a very nice complex medium weight cab sauv merlot blend. I would completely agree with the rec that 2018 is the beginning of the prime drinking window.
Red
8/24/2017 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
92 points
Pop and pour. Better after about 30 minutes in the glass with some vigorous swirling. Bought this based on the 94 point advocate score, the price point of $13.00 at Costco, and the fact that it was something I'd never heard of. A very solid right bank type red blend at a crazy good price point. I dont know that I've ever bumped into this level of complexity and flavor profile for under 35.00. The QPR on this stuff is ridiculous. It was almost gone at Costco when I picked it up but I will definitely be on the lookout for this when I go back.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/13/2017 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
93 points
I picked up 2 bottles of this wine at Costco based on the Spectator score, the reputation of the Itialian 2010s, and the price point (+/-$50.00). It did not disappoint. This is still very young with a ton of acidity however it drinks very nicely at this point with some vigorous swirling. Excellent up front aeromatics and complexity into the mid palate that ends with a very nice lingering finish. I finished the 2nd half of the bottle on day 2 and it was every bit as good as night 1, though maybe a little bit hollow toward the end of the mid palate. Overall an excellent wine that I wish I had a couple more of.
Red
1/8/2017 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
93 points
First time I have tried anything from this winery and I picked this up based on the recommendation of a friend. I need to listen to this friend more often. This was an excellent bottle of wine that REALLY opened up and showed beautifully after an hour decant. The nose after one hour was excellent and the palate matched it, very nice complexity, fruit, acid and structure. The winery is currently selling this for $65.00 but I found it for considerably less and will be going back to buy the remaining bottles. Well done and a winery I need to try further bottlings from.
Red
5/29/2016 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
93 points
Pop and pour last night. On opening, the nose coming from the bottle was amazing. Some vigorous swirling for about 5 minutes prior to drinking the first glass resulted in a huge (in a good way) wine still full of dark fruits, some earthy undertones, and a small amount of vegetal and spice tones. Overall, a ton of fun to sit and smell. The bottle didnt last long, it was drinking so beautifully and was such a hit with J and I that it was probably gone within an hour. I was thrilled to see how this bottle had held up, it easily could have gone several more years with no problem. The acidity was also very impressive for an 07. I wish this wasnt my last bottle, but reinforces why I continue to buy AW wines.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/24/2016 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
93 points
See my previous review on this wine, spot on. This bottle is now drinking beautifully and can clearly still handle another several years in the bottle.
Red
This is my second bottle of this with consistent notes. I picked this up on sale and now I know why it was on sale. Its a disaster. Very unidimensional, unpleasant nose, thin, and barely drinkable. A definite pass at any price point. Tastes like cheap wine at its worst.
Red
2012 Shatter Grenache Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes (view label images)
11/30/2015 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
92 points
I can see where this is getting the professional reviews that it is. Big bright fruit on the nose, tons of bright red fruit on the palate. I saw the review below that commented that it tasted like an australian shiraz, I think thats a bit of an exaggeration. This is a very nice wine for the 15.99 its currently going for at costco and it definitely earns a point or 2 for the price. J, N, and A, all approved with thanksgiving dinner and I'm planning to pick up another 6.
Red
2012 Dunham Cellars Trutina Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/5/2015 - WaWineFan in TX Likes this wine:
92 points
2nd bottle of this over about a month. Similar to how I recall the first bottle. P&P, clearly evolving in the glass as I write this. Helped one point by the price. 23.00 at Costco. This stuff is an absolute steal. Great Fruit/smoky/herbal tones on both the nose and the palate. The complexity is just awesome with several different layers going on. Very unusual for a wine at this pricepoint. I highly recommend this wine and will head back to costco to grab another half case.
White
Very disappointing at this price point and it loses 2 additional points in the score for that reason. Very unidimensional, not much going on, quite a bit of wood and alcohol bite. If I had tasted this blind, I would have guessed it was a $8-10 dollar bottle. I will not be buying this again.
Red
9/22/2015 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
91 points
An excellent QPR wine with some very distinct flavors moving across an surprisingly complex palate for this price point. A very nice midweight red blend with some very distinctive, but not in any way unpleasant wood, smoke, and berry, amongst others flavors. I've been wanting to try this wine for several years based on the professional reviews but have never run across it in a store. I will definitely buy more next time I see it.
Red
8/30/2015 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
92 points
A delicious bottle of wine that is in its prime drinking window currently. Very smoothed out tannins with very big, almost jammy, fruit. Some very mild black pepper tones hiding in the finish mixed in with the delicious fruit. FF zin is one of those bottles that everytime I drink it, I wonder why I dont do it more often. They seem to be consistently delicious from year to year and I can typically find it for 30ish per btl. Shout out to P&K for introducing us to the LPR!
Red
8/10/2015 - WaWineFan in TX wrote:
92 points
This is REALLY good and will likely get better with bottle age. Probably my favorites of the 3 vintages of this wine I have tried. Very nice smokey overtones, plenty of juicy dark fruit, and mild earth tones. Nothing over funky or odd which many of the wa syrahs tend to do. Kevin is the bomb and this is once again an excellent wine that is crazy good for the price you pay. I wouldnt be upset at having had paid twice - but dont tell KW, I dont want the price to go up!
2 people found this helpful Comment
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