Tasting Notes for Why Yes

(70 notes on 66 wines)

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Red
2/27/2014 - Why Yes Likes this wine:
94 points
Lots of kirsch and cherry. Very ripe. Candied fruit. Wildly decadent and gulp-able. Disappeared much too quickly.

At first, is this Grenache? With time, settled into its Pinot lane. Exciting interpretation of the varietal, and absolutely delicious.
Red
7/18/2013 - Why Yes wrote:
91 points
91+(++)

First revisit.

Oh my, the intensity is, well, intense. Tons of deep, dark, black fruit. Chocolate, lavendar, and mocha. Currently, no classic Alban funk which is what I crave in these wines.

Showing thick, ripe, simple and monolithic.

If prior vintages are any indication, the upside on this wine is well worth a double plus. Huge fan of Alban.

Keep enjoying that juice.
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Red
1/26/2013 - Why Yes wrote:
90 points
Finally, another chance to revisit Bennett Valley. Ran across this wine at a local wine shop and could not help myself at the tariff ($15).

Upon first sniff was worried this wine was flawed as the bouquet and palate were dominated by sour/stewed notes. Set aside.

Revisted, after 15 minutes. Wine came together nicely. Pronounced stemminess coupled with riper fruit have integrated nicely to create an interesting flavor profile that lies outside either new or old world classifications.

Wanted more minerality and depth (which is what I enjoyed from prior examples from Bennett Valley), but that might not be a fair request given the price.

Well done.
Red
1/11/2013 - Why Yes wrote:
89 points
Possibly consumed too young.

Dominating FUNK presented by this bottle! Much like an intrusive oakiness or too much stemminess, this bottle showed a funk that was too distracting to merit a higher score. With a California palate I could be the wrong person to be rating this wine.
Red
1/11/2013 - Why Yes wrote:
Score Reserved.

Streaks on the cork, possible heat exposure. Reserving judgement for this reason.

Beautiful nose true to the Alban wines. Lots of spice and Earth with a fair amount of charred meat fat.

In the mouth, sour component that dominates and distracts. Keeps the wine from being complete. Possible heat damage. Hate to score this with potential less than optimal storage conditions. But did want to note the fact that this could be OTH.
Red
12/22/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
98 points
I loved the previous note, and feel a fool for writing anything after it....however, apologists have no place here.

This is a FANTASTIC wine that continues the SQN narrative. Upon putting this wine in your mouth, it is just an attack of the senses, and at this point most notably tactile. An ooze monster of the most delicate degree. Every flavor in the rainbow is here, and every feel of the spectrum as well. All you expect, all you want. This man is a master the likes of which few attain.
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Red
12/22/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
86 points
Oh no. No, no, no, no, no.

Fruit has faded and VA (dirty socks) has taken over the bouquet of this wine. Make no doubt about it, this wine was made from excellent fruit. However, it was vinted on the "razor's edge" of winemaking, and at this point the fruit is losing out, and it is hard to foresee it retaking the reigns.

However, I could be wrong. VA haters, beware.
Red
12/22/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
93 points
Ooooooooohhhh, la la. Much more distinguished than its 'lesser' appellation denotes.

Hermitage-like in its deep extraction. Black pepper, beef blood, blackberry, blacktop, asphalt, leather, smoked rosemary. Pure terroir. This is why I love Crozes. This is SO good. Ridiculous for the price.

I'm not sure what these other reviewers were tasting. If you love Northern Rhone, this is the wine for you.
Red
2003 Sloan Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/26/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
94 points
94++

Tasted double-blind and am astounded at the reviews being volleyed at this wine. How far have we moved from the center here? Granted I did not pay sticker, or anything at all for that matter, but this wine is not bad. Quite to the contrary.

Obviously hard and built to last, but one of the more structured and self-assured Napa Cults I have had in a long, long time. The structure will go away long before the fruit and what will be left is a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that will be hailed as one of the great examples of an age-worthy New World wine.

Yes, expensive. Yes, happy I did not pay for this wine. Yes, great. Yes, it needs time.

If this were a Bordeaux, they would be falling over themselves for it.
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Red
9/1/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
92 points
Getting close.....

Opened my second of 3 bottles last night, and found we are on the verge of something QUITE lovely. The only real question at this point is, will this wine age into the greatness it has hinted at all along?

Tell tale signs of Australian terroir with brambly, juicy, zingy black raspberry. Also some cigar leaf, plum eucalyptus and menthol. What sets this wine apart thought is its distinct coolness and restraint. Iis that minerality in there? I believe we have hints of granite, wet rock and slate as well. This wine will grow up to be crazy, crazy good. Possibly even another 3-4 points.

I'm quite excited to open my last bottle iin another 2-3 years!
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Red
9/1/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
92 points
Stellar QPR. Fun merlot, as the folks on Spring Mountain tend to do. Rich, chocolatey, mocha dark fruits, round mouthfeel. Just great. A perennial all-star.
Red
2008 Sanguis Polly-Anne Santa Barbara County Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
9/1/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
This wine flew too close to the sun. An attempt at greatness. A result of tragedy. A shame. Completely out of balance towards ripeness, volatility and alcohol. Generally I am a Sanguis fan. Not this time. Bummer. I do appreciate the irony of the name.

Day 3: Much of the volatility is gone, what is left is....significantly more enjoyable than day 1...though that may be damning with faint praise. Still very ripe. One of the most port-like wines I've ever come across.
Rosé
6/3/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
88 points
Pale salmon-flesh in color. In appearance, reminds me of a bandol. Label gives no indication of grape, but winery release notes say 100% Pinot Noir. This is not like other Pinot roses, much more akin to a rose made from Rhone varietals. Crisp, grapefruity, lemony, grapefruity, grapefruity. Would love a bit of cherry, cola, or any hint of Pinot Noir varietal correctness. Great for an afternoon sip.
Red
4/4/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
93 points
93+

100% Syrah. Tasted at San Diego Family Winemakers event. First time tasting at an this event and was surprised by how many 'good' wines were being poured there. Not surprised by how few 'great' wines were being poured there. This was 1 of the 2 'great' wines I tasted that day.

Seems to be some confusion within these notes. To be clear, there are 2 Westerhold Syrahs from 2008. A standard release and a reserve. This note is for the reserve which was left in barrel for 3 years!!! Poured by John Westerhold himself.

Dark purple in the glass. Thick legs after swirling showing obvious heft and concentration. You can smell this wine from almost an arm's length away. The nose if very, very lifted with notes of white flowers and freshly cracked pepper, bright and juicy raspberry and blueberry fruits along with chocolate and mocha. In the mouth the palate mimics the nose with an almost bottomless well of concentration. Great wine that still needs a bit of time to come together and figure itself out (hence the '+' in my score). John told me this was bottled just a few weeks ago so that is not surprising.

The other great wine I tasted was the 2008 Argot Syrah (also from Bennett Valley) which I preferred on this particular day. Both wines were great and there was a very obvious connection of terroir between the two. I think I might start keeping a closer eye on Bennett Valley Syrah.
Red
4/3/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
96 points
100% Syrah. Tasted at San Diego Family Winemakers event. First time tasting at an this event and was surprised by how many 'good' wines were being poured there. Not surprised by how few 'great' wines were being poured there. This was 1 of the 2 'great' wines I tasted that day.

I sought this table out due to a bottle of their Happenstance I loved a few months ago and was not disappointed. All the wines were great (keep your eye out for their rose), but this was just unbelievable.

Makes an immediate impression with its color in the glass. A vibrant, almost electric ruby. Not purple. Completely opaque and upon swirling just creeps down the sides of the glass with its viscosity. On the nose there is an amazing concentration that is almost Hermitage-like with aromas of tar, beef blood, asphalt, worn leather and dry,black earth. With more swirling brambly, black fruit begins to show itself deep in the mix along with accents of cinnamon stick, mocha and bittersweet chocolate. Once in the mouth, the only word that came to my mind was POWER. Holy cow did they stuff everything AND the kitchen sink in this wine. Gobs of black fruits, iron and asphalt with distinct notes of lavender, eucalyptus, menthol (the last 3 apparently attributed to the terroir of the vineyard). I was told that this was raised in 100% new oak, and almost couldn't believe it.

The winemaker said this wine will show its best stuff in years to come or with plenty of aeration. The bottle I tasted was popped and poured in front of me, and was already showing incredibly well, but the tannins will probably benefit from a few years in the cellar.

The other great wine I tasted that day was the 2008 Westerhold Reserve (which I had never heard of) also from Bennett Valley that the folks from the argot table turned me on to.

I, for one, am going to be keeping my eye on this project. Bravo!
Red
4/3/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
Had same evening as my 100-point 2004 experience. The relation between these 2 wines is obvious, however the 2006 is not nearly the wine the 04 was that night. Everything was there, just not in its right place. Disjointed, and at times a bit off. Judgement reserved for the time being. Happy to sit on my other bottles for a while.
Red
4/3/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
100 points
My first 100 point score! Absolutely magnificent wine. Have posted a note on this before that was less than flattering. This bottle was the picture of perfection. Everything of everything was going on with this bottle. The color was huge. The nose was a huge. The flavor was huge. The mouthfeel was huge. The finish was huge. The balance was exacting. Oh lord, if only more California Syrahs could reach these heights.

Opens with black to the rim color and obvious viscosity in the glass. Nose offers tar, blackberries, leather, violets and beef blood. Deep enough to leave your noised parked over the glass for minutes on end unwilling to take a break even to taste. Once in the mouth this is a seamless experience of taste, smell and feel. The palate offers more flavors than can be identified, but they are presented as a cohesive whole, almost as if it would be pointless to try dissecting the pieces apart. The texture is mouthcoating but stands tall on the palate as opposed to wide and flat. As for the finish, sit back and go for the ride. The core of this wine continues to reveal itself long after the wine is no longer in your mouth.

It is amazing how different 2 bottles of the same wine can be over the course of a couple months.
Red
4/3/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
96 points
Drank again, 1 year later. Consistent with previous note. Really has not moved. Probably built to go for years, but showing so good right now. Why wait.

Note: Both bottles I've had were clean and pure. Good to know when dealing with this house.
Red
4/3/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
89 points
A good wine, just not at all interesting for the price. I hate to post a sub-90 score, but I've had this wine 3 times and it is 5 years old at this point. It should be giving something more than lots of oak and generic fruit. Is this a 15 year wine? Maybe, but I paid up for this "only in the best years" cuvee and have not finished any of the 3 bottles I've opened. Again, not bad, for my palate, not worth the special designation.
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White
4/3/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
92 points
I'm just not on board with everyone else (or Parker for that matter) on this wine. Will it be great someday, I don't know and have a hard time pretending with these VV Beaucastels. Here is where it was at the night I had it:

In the glass, this wine looked like it was going to be one wild ride. Bringing the stem up to my nose the bouquet was certainly lucious, but not flamboyant. White flowers, marshmallows, white peaches all came out after a significant amount of coaxing. Almost nothing in the tropical or citrus family.

Once in the mouth the feel screamed Roussanne, pulling cashmere blanket over my tongue and muting all other feeling inside my mouth. Again, lots of marshmallow and white flowers, nilla wafer, buttercreme and a slight fleck of lime.

My guess is that this wine will be great at SOME point in its evolution but I'm not willing to stock up and try to hit that moving target at this price.
Red
1/18/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
98 points
Ohhhhhhhh...this was simply a magnificent wine....MAGNIFICENT. It was hard to get over the ample levels of concentration in fruit and power, coupled with the lightness and ease of access this wine offered. I haven't had a grenache like this in a long time and the timing could not have been better. Everything about this wine screamed of purity.

Immediately fresh and bright on the nose offering brambly red fruit and cinnamon/clove spice, coupled with just the right amount of freshly broken stone to complement the fruit and give it a deeper level of freshness. In the mouth, more of the same. Trying to nail down which fruit descriptor best describes the wine is like watching Rocky try to catch Mickey's chicken. Ultimately, it does not matter though. The point is, this is Grenache. If you want to taste one of the, if not THE greatest example of what this grape can do, get in line for the 05 Rayas
Red
2004 Château Croix de Labrie St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/18/2012 - Why Yes wrote:
89 points
A wonderful. classic, classy, right-bank Bordeaux, everything I was looking for tonight. Chocolate, graphite, bright red fruit and a whiff of clove and sandalwood on the nose. I could bury my schnoz in the glass for minutes at a time. Palate offers much of the same from a flavor standpoint along with a real lightness that allows for ease of sipping. The perfect school night wine!
Red
8/30/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
89 points
Beguiling nose of red cherry fruits and deep, enticing, pinot spices, interlaced with wood nuance. This is an absolute rockstar nose.

In the mouth significantly less exciting. The fruit is less electric than on the nose, a bit brooding and heavy. A bit of an alcohol burn. There is definitely alot of spice and brambly fruit here, but it is overshadowed by its heavy, ploddingness, tight grip and enormity.

Not sure whether to recommend hold or drink up.

good luck
White
8/19/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
94 points
Holy Cow, did this wine take me by surprise! It is not often a wine is put in front of me, from a California winery I have never even heard a peep about and it stops me in my tracks. According to their website, this blend is 70/30 Roussanne/Chardonnay.

The wine leaps from the glass with a nose of honeysuckle, lime, jasmine and Bananas Foster. It was hard to pull my nose out of this glass. The first sip is an assault on the senses, viscous and rich on the palate filling the mouth with honeyed textures foiled by the perfect balance of acidity and liveliness on the tongue. Once in the mouth the most out-front flavors are a richness in orange rinds, balanced by kaffir limes. Honey, coconut and lilacs make there presence known all while the faintest echo of black licorice (!?!) echoes in the background. The finishes lingers as all the oily textures cling to the palate and allow this array of flavors to dance in the mouth.

What a thrilling wine! Can't wait to try their other stuff.
White
8/17/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
92 points
Hands down the best expression of this varietal I have ever had from California. Wonderfully pure, well-made wine that expresses plenty of fruit character, substantial acid structure, and is just plain fun to drink. Very well done.
Red
7/23/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
This bottle showed a disjointedness I have never experienced with Alban syrah. Great nose with lots of intensity: black fruit, tanned leather, asphalt. Initial attack is promising, then things begin to fall apart. Mid palate is empty, with an almost stripped flavor profile. Everything seems to be in its right place, but there is just no flavor. Finish has an equally watery-wine like flavor. Very odd considering the sheer size and instensity of the wine.

I would love to see others share their tasting notes on this wine to see if this was an off bottle or not
White
6/20/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
94 points
Disclaimer, I am generally a big fan of the Sanguis whites.

This wine is AWESOME. Yes, if you do not like full blown, rollercoaster ride whites, this wine is not for you. Absolutely delicious with Roussanne dominating the palate on orange oil, lime zest, butterscotch, and a beautiful florality that gives great complexity. The mouthfeel is HUGE while still having great acidity and balance. Well, well done, Sanguis.

Of note is the blend, 58% Roussanne, 40% Malvasia Bianca, 2% Viognier. There should be more alternative whites such as this. There's no reasons the Rhone whites can't be blended up all crazy like the way the reds are. And frankly, this beats the pants off of any domestic Red Rhone blend I've had in ages.

Excellent.
White
6/17/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
91 points
Be VERY careful upon opning this wine and drinking as it shows MASSIVE screw-cap reduction qualities. Downright skunky and entirely unpleasant.

That being said! with air and patience the nose of this wine begines to resemble a freshly licked lemon Altoid--it is absolutely fabulous, and maybe a touch of zest and Pledge thrown in for good measure. A hugely acidic wine (which Prilosec lovers should avoid) which complments creamy, spicy guacomole (which Prilosec lovers should also avoid) quite wonderfully.

Floral, stony, bright, acidic and zippy.

I'm going to enjoy the rest of mine fresh from the icebox this rest summer, even though there is not even the slightest hint of decline here.
Red
2006 Torrin The Maven Paso Robles Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
6/3/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
91 points
Gift from a friend. A new label to me. 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, James Berry Vineyard. How have I never heard of this?

Night 1, tight, not worth scoring, needs air. Obviously lots of fruit and ripeness but the robust powdery tannins kept me away. In goes the cork, awaiting night 2.

Night 3, Missed night 2, wine stayed corked in fridge. Tannins relented to present beautifully ripe grenache kirsch-ness. Reminiscent of a HUGE CdP. It is a simple but delicious wine. One drawback is the tannin build--their chalkiness coating the tongue with each new sip. Ultimately closing down the palate and making the wine a bit difficult to taste.

All things considered a great wine for a new winery. Time will offer great things to this bottling. Really looking forward to following these guys as they grow.
Red
5/23/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
94 points
Wow. Put this in a lineup of greatest Rhones (new and old world, alike) and my guess is that it easily stands on the podium. Blind I would have a very, VERY difficult time calling the part of the world the wine hails from. My palate memory oscillates wildly between SQN, Cayuse and La Landonne--yes, it is that good.

In one sip I get the toasty oak-slathered, fruity wonderfulness of SQN; the next the stony, feral, black-fruited intensity of Crisophe Baron's wines; finally there is an ever present bloody/tanned leather flavor to the wine that I mark as La Landonne. The mouthfeel is all old world, with a lightness in weight, that carries a marked tannic kick.

My only gripe with this wine is that it DOES show the sur-maturite character this vintages is so well known for. Not in a sloppy or goopy way, but in flavors that are probably less fresh than this wine would show in other vintages.

All-in-all a fantstic effort that is a bargain at the $56 tariff.

Bravo.
Red
5/22/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
OK, I will take one for the team and tell you all what you already know...

STAY AWAY!!!!!This wine is SO not ready, it is an absolute crime to approach it.

Yes, the nose is already beautiful and full of cabernet wonderfulness, but the palate is beyond tight. Is the core of fruit there? Absolutely. Is the gorgeous, silky Colgin textures there? In spades. Are the tannins hard? Yes. They clamp down on the finish and stop this wine from being the elegant, chiffon ensconsed beauty it will some day become.

Please stay away, far away. This is a pup that wants no part of being opened. Colgin is beyond compare for Napa Valley Cabernet when firing on all cylinders. And it can show well young. This one didn't, but it will get there, but I don't care what else you read, it is not there yet. Come back later. I did it, so you didn't have to.
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Red
5/22/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
The L-M wines require patience, and very few Cali wines are begging patience right now quite like the 03 Napa Syrahs. Whether it's Paloma, Colgin, Lewis...or Lagier-Meredith, these wines just want you to wait, and I FIRMLY believe that.

There is alot of promise here. Dark, dark, dark syrah to the core in appearance, aroma and palate. This wine draw you with a nose that can only be Syrah. Bringing my lips to the glass, the promise was nerve-wracking in its breadth.

Rats! Palate completely tight and unforgiving. Hinting at the violet-y, feral, Cornas-goodness that lies ahead, but is not quite there yet. This wine is going to be one of the all-time greats, I promise. Hang in there. Check in in 18-24 months, or more. Drink your 04s in the meantime.

Awwwwrwwwrwww, Syrah goodness.
Red
5/16/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
96 points
As campbell's used to say 'Mmmm, Mmmm, good'. Oh my is this a tasty wine. If you're a Pinot purist, stop reading, close your browser window, and slowly walk away from the computer.

OK, for those of you still here this wine is more SQN than burgundy, and IMMENSELY better off for it. This wine isn't about transparency, elegance, or ethereality. No, no, this wine is about SKY-SCRAPING textures, DEEP intensity, mouth-coating UNCUTOUSNESS, yet is (amazingly) still Pinot Noir in flavors.

Don't fear this wine, don't hate this wine. Strap in and enjoy. Afterall, isn't that's what it's all about?
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White
5/16/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
91 points
Well I'll be damned if this wine doesn't significantly echo the traits of Mr Alban's old HdR running buddy Mat Garretson's Roussanne's from the early/mid-00s.

Tons of honeyed fruit, lots of citrus components dominated by lime, a bit of spearmint, and just a kiss of beatifully toasty oak (I wish there were a bit more!)

An obviously well-made wine that is currently not showing at the top of its game, probably due to its place in the aging cycle. I get just a glint of oxidation, and the wine is lacking a richness and mid-palate that I KNOW Alban strives for in his wines.

Yet another Roussanne that confounds and stupifies and forces me to continue to buy. Possibly the most intellectually challenging varietal made in California.

Stay tuned.
Red
4/26/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
94 points
60/40 - grenache/syrah - Seymour's Vineyard

An electric ruby-purple, opaque through the core. The nose is unmistakenly Alban-deep, dark and pure of fruit. A slight kiss of reductive aroma reveals itself in the background with persistent swirling-and-sniffing, adding to the freshness and vivacity of the wine.

The palate is much lighter than more recent Alban bottlings, intesity without heaviness. Black and blue fruit dominate with the classic Alban funk apparent. Represents fruit as much the dirt it was grown in. Currently, lip-smackingly delicious, but with years ahead of it. I can not even fathom the distance this wine will run. At 10 years it is sitll a pup, and in a great drinking window.
Red
4/9/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
93 points
11.5% alcohol?!?! per the label. Cool and, erm, cool.

Awesome wine.

The nose presents itself with all the typical notes that have become synonymous with the low alcohol Syrah movement in the cooler climes of Sonoma County. I first encountered a nose of this type with Pax's first Majik bottling, which was just TOO brambly, bright and edgy for my palate. This A-R Clary is more refined and less abrasive. The nose is all about whole cluster fermentation, bright, floral, woodsy, bright and floral (yes, I typed that twice on purpose). White flowers are the lasting impression here.

The palate is SO fresh and light, with nothing to weigh it down or distract from its lift. I expected pepper but arrived at flowers (lilacs, lily of the valley), along with tobacco leaves, herbs de provence and thyme. Most notably, however, is how damn fruity this wine is! Not the juicy, jammy fruit of the cultier Syrahs, but a crisp, pure, firm profile of fruit. No compote here. Deep,dark blackberries, that are still firm to the touch, and require a small tug to get off the bush.

Rumors had this wine being the opposite of my experience. The rumors were wrong, they definitely got this one right. I would guess little new oak, and 100% whole cluster from smell and taste, but don't know for sure. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Red
4/9/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
94 points
45% syrah, 35% grenache, 18% mourvedre and 2% counoise (according to Tanzer)
$32

I wonder if the name is a nod to the 4 of 13 S. Rhone varietals included in this bottling. Regardless, this is a beautiful bottle of wine. Easy to pull the different components out of the nose: brambly strawberries from the grenache; dark fruit, slightly reductive character of the Syrah; earth and iodine from the Mourvedre. The winemakers seemed to have choosen a perfect balance amongst the varietals.

The palate is completely alive in the mouth. Soft, supple tannins, crisp acidity, velvety mouthfeel. Bright flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and bit of animale from the mourvedre deep, deep in the background offering subtle complexity. Finish is long and lingering with lots of black tea and an raw honey nuance (not sweet, but flavor nuance).

Again, this is a great wine. I'd happily pay up for this over any CdR I can think of and easily keeps pace with any entry level CdPs. The best domestic S. Rhone look alike I can think of for under $50. Well done!
Red
3/26/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
Open for 4 hours.

Nose a bit disjointed showing simple cherries, pine needles and quite a bit of heat.

In the mouth, pure pinot flavor, red fruit, massive acidity. Creosote and pine tar on the finish. Disappointed by the lack of either elegance or intensity. This wine was overpriced for my palate. Plenty of $30-$40 pinots out there that can surpass this wine.

A small central coast label that has garnered a great deal of attention due to HUGE Parker scores. I believe the wines to be meticulously made and often delicious. This one was a letdown.
Red
3/26/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
This wine has heft and density, but is not overdone in any way. Plenty of fruit and texture but currently this wine's character is hiding behind its oak. Good things ahead for this bottle, but now is not the time.

I love what Bedrock is doing with these "heirloom" bottlings. One of the more interesting projects going in Sonoma county right now.
Red
3/25/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
91 points
2nd bottle.

A wine with considerable levels of, ...components. I hesitate to call it complexity, as I feel that hints towards integration--I just don't get that from this wine at the moment. Maybe it needs more time to come together to allow the synergistic energy to develop amongst the different pieces of this puzzle. I'm guessing all 3 varietals are from different sites, and I can not imagine this was a coferment.

More reminiscent of a Languedoc than a southern Rhone. Showing feral tonight with a high level a brightness contributed by the Marsanne--this combination perplexes me. Iron, kirsch, cherry and dandelion own this wine. Strong acid structure and smooth silky tannins. Minerality in spades. Animal fur and black cherry as well.

A wine that will certainly benefit from age. How long, not sure but think the sky is the limit.

I would recommend buying this wine if you can find it, but be willing to lay it down for a minimum of 5 years.
Red
3/25/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
91 points
Purchased from winery on release. Stored perfectly since. My last bottle.

Upon first opening, this seemed to be one of the better Red Cars I have had. Nose and palate synced up on menthol, kirsch, blueberry, mocha and cigar leaf. Full, smooth mouthfeel. Long candied, full flavored finish that hinted at a bit of heat (which I'm OK with).

Over the next two days this wine began to fall out of balance and show its wood, VA and alcohol. At 6 years of age, for this wine, I have no problem with that. This isn't Hermitage. I've never been confused about how long to age Red Car's Syrahs.

If you got 'em, drink 'em. At this point, it all comes down to storage conditions.
Red
3/9/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
93 points
This wine is absolutely ROCKING right now, especially considering the $15 (?!?!?) price tag.

White pepper, violets, lavendar and crushed rocks. So, so beautiful. Everything is frighteningly in its right place with this wine, but not in a stepford way. Still tons of soul here. It must be northern rhone wines such as this that created the impetus in California for low alcohol, full stem-inclusion Syrahs that is so in vogue right now. The difference is none of those wines approach this for beauty, flavor and precision--and the Murinais is less than half the price.

In short a kick ass Syrah, ...back up the truck.
Red
3/6/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
96 points
Picked up a couple bottles in '03 for $150, those were the days. Rested quietly in my cellar since. A beautiful wine that is showing fantastic now, still youthful, but open for business. Silky mouthfeel that massages the palate with no weight whatsoever, very Margaux. Nothing profound or eye-opening if you are used to drinking wines of this pedigree, but rock-solid and enjoyable to the end. Classic cedar notes abound, with lots of red fruit and pencil lead. Incredibly classy and easy, the perfect Claret experience, in my opinion.

This wine left me nostalgic for the pre-2003/2005 days when first-growth Bodeaux was within reason, price-wise, as a very special wine. I like Bordeaux, but have never had a bottle (and I've had them all) worthy of the prices they fetch on the open market these days. Always supposed to be a gentleman's wine, and sadly those days are gone. I believe ALOT of money is being spent on these wines that will ultimately leave many buyers scratching their head as to why they paid so much. Oh well, so be it. I certainly prefer capitalism and free-markets over my being able to drink Bordeaux...(sorry, a bit preachy)
Red
2003 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/27/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
Another Harlan experience ruined by VA and over, overripeness. Brown fruit, stewed aromas, zero complexity. Just nothing pleasureable for me here. Clearly a style that appeals to many people. Not I. Oh well.
White
2/27/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
An over the hill bottle. Deeply golden showing nutty, sherried characteristics that do not appeal to my chardonnay palate. Major bummer, I was excited to drink this. Poured down the drain.

Could have been an off bottle, could have been due to winemaking decisions. A demeter (biodynamic) certified wine. Because of this, I believe sulfur levels tend lower than in most non-certified wines on the market. This could be what led to the pre-mox condition of this bottle.

Would love to hear other recent impressions.
Red
2/25/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
92 points
A really fabulous California Pinot. Pure in cherry fruit, but without the distracting cherry cola characterisic that has become so distracting in many of its RRV brethren. I enjoyed the hell out of this wine. Will it get better in the long run? Maybe, ...probably. But bsased on thiis tasting, I see no reason to wait.

Certainly a project worth keeping your eye on.

Get in there.
Red
2/25/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
96 points
This wine is in an absolutely excellent place right now, off the hook good with 60 mins of Oxygen. Mr Allemand creates some of his best wines in 'off' vintages (believe Kermit) (the '02 is the best wine of the vintage). After said hour I could not pull my nose out of this glass, it was absolutely singing in all of its glorious Northern Rhone-ness--pepper, violets, meat, leather, black fruit, white flowers. Upon taking the wine into the mouth, this is absolutely gorgeous, with a mouthfeel that lies perfectly half-way between water and oil, and a palate that mimics the nose. Go to town on this wine, it is in a good place. However, if you truly enjoy old bones, this one will get there, no problem.
Red
2/19/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
96 points
A fabulous california pinot noir. All power and fruit. Dense in its structure and flavor profile with black and red fruits, a kiss of RRV cola character, pine needle, sous-bois and toasty oak. This wine struck me as significantly more Sonoma Coast in character than RRV with its pine forest flavor profile and the strictness of its structure. A great wine that merits plenty of attention.
White
2/19/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
Way TOO early. As of right now this wine wants to sleep so its oak can learn to integrate with the fruit of the wine. Significantly too young to assign a rating too. If you have any of these I HIGHLY recommend you put them away in a dark corner of your cellar. They are not ready.
Red
2/19/2011 - Why Yes wrote:
95 points
A truly great Cabernet. Black currant, cassis, round mouthfeel, long, supple tannins. Plush and supple. Not a hint of Cabernet green-ness, quite the contrary with gobs of black fruits and ZERO sur-maturite character that other vintages of this wine have been known to show. I am very impressed with the clean, true-fruit character of this wine. What a Cali cab!
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  • Tasting Notes: 70 notes on 66 wines
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