Comments on my notes

(75 comments on 65 notes)

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Red
2007 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills
1/11/2019 - pjhr Likes this wine:
92 points
Tasty red berry aromas with a silky smooth palate of red berry, earthy notes with a moderate finish and a bit of Brett.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    1/12/19, 10:13 AM - where would you place it in terms of maturity?

  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    1/13/19, 2:10 AM - thx! I have one left... will see what I do with it. cheers!

Red
2008 Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
DBYOB 3.0 The Rise of the Eternal Return (@swedish home): no notes but was very fruity cabernet nose on this with a lot of structure. Very good.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    1/8/19, 8:20 AM - Thx for commenting! We did the tasting in November and was not strictly on a scientific footing at this stage in the evening, so hard to be precise... but I do remember thinking that this was not unenjoyable at this stage, but also that there were many years left to go before peak.

Red
2015 Clos Saron Kind of Blue Sierra Foothills Syrah Blend, Syrah
1/6/2019 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
92 points
Very odd but lovely combination of pure racy cinsault [edit: no cinsault, although that's how the restaurant listed it, it's a mix of Syrah, carignan and cabernet, see note from winemaker as comment to this tasting note] fruit that does not bear much trace of oak or anything but a streak of sweaty horse saddle and some VA. Some similarities to a young Musar. we liked it just fine!
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    1/7/19, 9:09 AM - You are the winemaker I presume?! Many thanks for commenting, and further more, for your lovely wines! I had this wine at the excellent restaurant La Colline in Stockholm, Sweden. They had it listed as Cinsault.

    I guess the fact that it has some carignane and Cabernet Sauvignon explains why I felt the association to Chateau Musar. The only other of your wines that I have tried was the 2010 Out of the Blue which we drank 3-4 years ago and I have been looking for Clos Saron wines ever since. Not easy to find in Stockholm! This one was a little lighter in color compared to the Out of the Blue 2010 as I think I remember it and also different in expression. I really liked that one too.

Red
2005 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
DBYOB 3.0 The Rise of the Eternal Return (@swedish home): Really lovely, did not take notes so will refrain from scoring other than saying it was excellent and drinking really well. Clearly, has potential to develop and will drink well for many more years.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    1/2/19, 1:34 PM - thx! will definitely keep my eyes open.

Red
2010 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde Syrah
12/20/2018 - Philrose wrote:
86 points
Decanted 3 hours before being drunk but was very closed still. Overall I was disappointed with this and I hope my remaining bottle is better.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    12/21/18, 8:45 AM - I splash decanted and then it still only started to open up after six hours in the decanter. was very disappointed for the first four or five hours.

Red
2008 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barbaresco Vigneto Bordini Nebbiolo
10/16/2018 - Jonne Likes this wine:
93 points
Kanske inte en järnnäve i en silkehandske med det kombinerar blommig skirhet och mostrig parfym i doften med hög syra och rätt tuffa tanniner och beska. Man vill ha mat till, gärna svamprisotto.
FÄRG
Klar? Ja.
Färg: Ljus granat mot tegel.
Kant: 1 mm mot vattenklar.
Intensitet: Medel –.
Färgar glaset? Nej.
Gardiner: Rätt tunna.

DOFT
Korrekt? Ja.
Doftintensitet: Medel –.
Doft: Frukt - röda bär - hint av körsbär. Blommor - rosor, jasmin. Fat? - nysågat virke, fernissa och kanske lite tjära. Ålder - champinjoner.
Utveckling: Moget, drick!

SMAK
Torrt/sött: Torrt.
Syra: Hög.
Tanniner: Fina men in your face.
Alkohol: Viss halka (14 procent).
Fyllighet: Medel.
Smakstyrka: Medel +.
Smak: Frukt - röda bär - jordgubbar, hallon. Fat - beska.
Textur/balans/bubblighet: Nej.
Eftersmak: Medel + med rätt stor stjälkbeska.

SLUTSATSER
Kvalitet: Mycket bra.
Drickabilitet: Drick nu men håller väl fem år till.
Geografi: Barbaresco.
Pris: 200 kronor.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    11/2/18, 4:16 AM - fantastiskt utförlig beskrivning, stort tack! Men 200 kronor?? gissar halvflaska och priset du betalade för några år sedan?

White
2016 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Watson Ranch Napa Valley
10/6/2018 - spicy1 Likes this wine:
89 points
Think I will review the cork covering on this bottle, in the hope that the folks at Arnot-Roberts read these reviews (I know that Bedrock winery does). Instead of a foil covering, this bottle is covered with a hard, white plastic material. When you try to get to the cork the
plastic material comes apart. Some in chunks, some in white particles, some in dust. No doubt some of it gets into the bottle for later tasting. There must be some advantage to using this material but I'm thinking it's not worth the mess.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    10/7/18, 3:29 AM - Thx for the review! I just wanted to share on what in my experience is the best way to open these wax covered bottles. You hold the wax cover under warm water for 30 seconds, and then, when you use the small blade of your cork screw, the wax comes of in one piece like an apple peel and does not crumble. Took me a while to understand and before that I was equally frustrated with the wax!

  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    10/7/18, 8:33 AM - Yep, absolutely, I am a big A-R fan. Same style wax covered cork used by many new and trendy wine makers. They have a kettle kept on low heat and just dip the corked bottle in the molten wax and it hardens very quickly.

    Same type of wax btw as used in old times for sealing letters and packages, the idea being that you would know if someone broke the seal, and having experienced the hard crumbles of these wax sealing, one finally understand the meaning of the expression “break” the seal.

White - Fortified
N.V. Valdespino Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Don Gonzalo Oloroso VOS Palomino Fino
9/17/2018 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
95 points
Absolutely stunning nose full of caramel, toasted nuts and almonds, spice (nutmeg?) and slightly oxidized oomph. Saline on the palate and just so great and fresh and mouthwateringly elegant.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    9/18/18, 10:22 PM - Yup, really did like this a whole lot. Slight caveat that I have less experience with oloroso style sherrys so may also be influenced by the fact that I really liked the style.

Red
2013 Wind Gap Wines Grenache Old Vine Sceales Vineyard Sonoma County
4/16/2017 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
92 points
Delish! It was a while since I had this and I just remember how much I enjoyed this cool climate Grenache. No specifics though.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/15/18, 10:18 PM - thx!it was a very lazy tasting note in the first place.... Had this a while before jotting down the fact that I really liked and the only note was how great it was. now corrected.

Red
2010 Château Peyrabon Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/25/2018 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
Tasting the November 3, 2017 new releases (små partier) at Systembolaget (Stockholm): Classic Bordeaux nose with cassis, some graphite, ice coffee. good structure, decent fruit, balanced. Not the most complex but still good stuff. (86-88)
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    7/24/18, 6:55 AM - Thx for commenting! I agree completely.

White
2016 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Watson Ranch Napa Valley
5/10/2018 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
Not rated. Felt a little off compared to all other AR chards I've had. A lactic component that feels like it is dominating all other flavors and aromas. But texture is good and freshness is there so still a drinkable wine. Was a little thrown off to be honest by this.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    5/10/18, 2:09 PM - I don’t know enough to say if this is an actual fault or not, but I have so thoroughly enjoyed all AR Chardonnays I’ve tried before and this was just slightly off. Perhaps it will come back on stream or perhaps just bad storage and shipping but I would not recommend it as is. What I meant by texture is that in many structural aspects it is like a normal Watson but perhaps slightly more rich/weighty but that’s not at all to say it’s a big Cali chard, far from.

White
2015 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini
5/10/2018 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
86 points
I thought the 2016 version of this wine was amazing. This one has the same saline, citrusy freshness but feels much more clumsy, weighty, but not elegant, with hard acidity and a bitter extracted finish. It's good but not great like the 2016 vintage. We drank this from a magnum.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    5/10/18, 2:04 PM - The 2016 is just outstanding. Interesting with the vintage variation and thx for commenting.

Red
2014 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five Stags Leap District
3/25/2018 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
Tasting the November 17, 2017 new releases (små partier) at Systembolaget (Systembolaget, Stockholm): Luxurious Cabernet nose with amazingly vinous perfume. Dense, fruit forward, complex and lovely with the structure for decades of cellaring. It's really really good and I don't think the high alcohol bothers me as much as it usually does on these big pieces.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    4/24/18, 10:20 AM - That’s a funny comment given the name of the wine: “2014 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon one point five” ;)

  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    4/24/18, 11:17 PM - No worries, and thx for reading and commenting

White - Sweet/Dessert
1973 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume Chenin Blanc
2/3/2018 - thunberg wrote:
73 points
@BYOB, tasted blind
Soap, skin lotion, gorgonzola, biscquits, acid+
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    3/24/18, 10:27 AM - jag tycker det finns hopp! det var något litet orent över det hela - blöt ylle var min association (som säkert påverkades av att det var mitt vin och att jag snabbt gissade vilket som var mitt vin). litet stum på näsan men i övrigt riktigt bra. I mina anteckningar står det 92 poäng så jag måste ha rapporterat in fel eller ändrat mig i sista sekund (fast skillnaden mellan 91 och 92 är väl hårfin). Öppna i god tid!

Red
2009 Torre de Oña Rioja lat 42 Gran Reserva Tempranillo
3/3/2018 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
82 points
It starts out quite charming, with classic Rioja oak on the nose, but also fruit (sloe berries), but on the palate it's more about drying fruit, old wooden barrels, spicy bitterness, astringent finish.

It's not bad, but also not the bargain steal that it is sometimes made out to be here in Sweden [edit: including by me previously, in a note from 2013 concerning the 1998 vintage!]. Clearly, this is one of the better vintages, and it has a lot of varietal or regional typicality, while still not achieving the full aim of being interesting. On the other hand, this is close to competing with a Bordeaux a more than twice the price that I tried the other day so it's not necessarily the wrong choice for an everyday wine, with some grilled meats. It's just not very interesting.

[edit: thx Lilja for pointing out that this wine is also to be found in the UK, as opposed to only in Sweden. I tried finding a trace of this wine on the producer's homepage but could not, so my conclusion is that this is a cheaper product that they concoct for some export markets and domestically don't want to interfere with the main brand]
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    3/4/18, 3:36 AM - bra där! I will edit the note to account for the fact that this wine is also found in the UK

Red
2014 Domaine Labet Côtes du Jura Les Varrons Clonale Pinot Noir
12/25/2017 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
95 points
This wine is marvelous in its purity of fruit, not compromising with its core, not giving away anything but its true identity - the Pinot fruit is not masked by luxurious oak, there’s no sous-bois, no earthy depth, no truffle like pungency - all the marks of excellence that we have come to know and love in delicious burgundy. But there’s Pinot perfume and aroma to give you your money’s worth. Just that it is all fruit, and some green stems. The smell is that of cutting through tulips stems and of running the tap for ice cold water. And of letting a mountain of raspberries and lingonberries slip through your fingers as you dig deep into the pile of berries, trying a couple in your mouth and feeling the saliva inducing tartness shock your tongue and palate. There’s a long tart finish, not unlike middle eastern pickles, creating the want for more. And yet, with all this depth of fruit, and curious acidic freshness that just feels like the most advanced food experience you ever had, the wine is so very light on its feet, alcohol levels low and color translucent. A sublime yet simple wine, elegance and purity combined in a minimalist piece of art.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    12/26/17, 7:35 AM - much obliged, jrick, much obliged :)

White - Fortified
N.V. Equipo Navazos Jerez-Xérès-Sherry La Bota de Amontillado Nº58 "Navazos" Palomino Fino
12/8/2017 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
94 points
lovely. Day five, this is truly singing. Nutty, with some dry figs on the nose, then a caramel note and a soft touch with quite some viscosity on the palate, which is broken up by the deft stroke of crisp fino freshness and a long, elegant finish.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    12/9/17, 7:59 AM - tyvärr slut nu efter en dryg vecka: bästa doften var från den millimeter som var kvar i botten av ett vanligt dricksglas på bordet bredvid barnens pepparkakshus. Doften imorse var så intensiv att jag undrade över hur mycket pepparkakshusglasyren egentligen kunde lukta! Denna borde du öppna nu och provsmaka över julen!

White
2016 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini
7/27/2017 - slywka7 Likes this wine:
92 points
Aromas of sea breeze, lemon, slate and mineral. Flavors of saline, star fruit, hint of lemon, sea salt and mineral. Ends with a very nice finish of 25+ seconds with the saline theme. A most unusual wine that is quite delicious. Feels more French is style but clocks in at 14% alcohol.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    7/27/17, 4:51 PM - Brilliant review. I was just sipping on this wine for the first time and my instincts were exactly down this alley.

Red
2004 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
7/25/2017 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
85 points
Sweaty saddle, new leather, sloeberries, some garrigue. Good tannic structure. But also something sweet (&sour?) and alcoholic that feels less interesting. Ok for now, hopefully more integrated in ten years. I believe it has more upside.

Edit: We opened it a good 3 hours before and decanted. By the time we were drinking it, most of the horse and leather was gone or at least pleasantly playing a minor chord, which I normally look forward to when drinking Musar. This time though I felt that the sweet&sour was a bit too much and felt it would do better waiting in the cellar. If I had tried this blind, I would have thought it was five years younger at least. I have so far preferred the 1988, the 2005, the 1995 and the 2009 (although the 2009 also needs a lot of time). But best not to make any too serious bets with this wine, I have learnt. There's a good texture and fine tannins so that bodes well for the future.

Ps my mom protested against this verdict and gave this two thumbs up! I am upping the score one point on sheer motherly authority.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    7/25/17, 11:50 PM - We opened it a 3 hours before and decanted. By the time we were drinking it, most of the horse and leather was gone or at least pleasantly playing a minor chord, which I normally look forward to when drinking Musar. This time though I felt that the sweet&sour was a bit too much and felt it would do better waiting in the cellar. If I had tried this blind, I would have thought it was five years younger at least. I have so far preferred the 1988, the 2005, the 1995 and the 2009 (although the 2009 also needs a lot of time). But best not to make any too serious bets with this wine, I have learnt. There's a good texture and fine tannins so that bodes well for the future.

Red
2014 Vegalfaro Syrah Pago de los Balagueses
7/19/2017 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
Impossible to rate since it was so early to drink this, no doubt, quite serious wine. Slightly chilled there's red and black fruit, but mostly violets, lilacs and some serious acidity and tannins. Some licorice and saddle oil. This is way too young to drink so hold your horses!

But what a surprise with serious high altitude Syrah from Valencia! The alcohol isn't shy at 14.5% but it isn't really noticeable either. If tannins soften and fruit stays this could be a 90 point wine in five, but if the tannins stay and fruit fades, it could be 80 point wine in same time. I have good hopes for the future but my strong recommendation for the winemaker is to change from 70% new oak/30% used oak barrels to the inverse.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    7/20/17, 12:55 AM - Thx for commenting. Yeah, they had a line up wth garnacha, merlot and Bobal (the local grape), and several bottling where they have blends of these grapes. I had only room for this bottle but they were all very reasonably priced so it seems like a producer to try if you have the chance.

White
2012 Sandhi Wines Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills
10/6/2016 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
92 points
Even better than a year ago; but still very Lemon and tart on the nose and first sip. Texture is world class, no trace of oak, perfectly balanced between zippy freshness and creamy fulness of ripe fruit. More elegant than I remembered. As someone noted before me, this has some serious tang to it. Only thing that keeps this from even higher score is that it is still quite tight and lacks complexity to some degree. And soapy bitter finish that actually isn't bad but also not as stylish as the intro.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    10/6/16, 9:41 PM - I think this will be even better in 2-3 years time, but I'm sure you could save it twice as long if you wanted to, and also enjoy it tomorrow.

White
2015 Thorne & Daughters Sémillon Paper Kite Franschhoek Valley
9/10/2016 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
93 points
The best white Bordeaux I've had this year - and it's from South Africa! Green apples, musk, sandal wood and vanilla on the nose, a fat body with some spice and very long fresh finish that just makes me happy.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    9/10/16, 10:22 PM - Thanks for commenting MW - Squirrel! You're mostly right, of course, it was just a figure of speech since the wine was so good and also (perhaps) could have been mistaken for a more upscale Bordeaux white from a warm year. However, just for info, a few producers in Bordeaux make a 100 % dry semillon but I think they sell under a more generic heading. Of course, some of the sweet Bordeaux whites are made with only semillon. Great stuff at any rate, this wine!

Red
2010 Mac Forbes Syrah Gruyere Yarra Valley
10/14/2015 - skurtz wrote:
This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petit verdot. Smells like garden vegetables, very green on the palate with mild fruit and acid. Not my style. 85 pts. Actually I think this must be Mac Forbes Hugh that I tasted since it was not a Syrah.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/1/16, 4:27 AM - Did you mix wines here? I am quite sure there's mostly or entirely Syrah/Shiraz here. You were probably referring to the Mac Forbes Hugh (also from Gruyere vineyard)?

White
2012 Mollydooker Verdelho The Violinist McLaren Vale
The nose is not so bad but the palate is just awful.

Like a cheap vodka and vermouth cocktail that someone decided to treat with 300% new oak (although that might be overselling it); harsh pulp mill vanilla esters, astringent bitter herbal notes, very high alcohol, oily texture.

We could not finish the glass.

Poured some of this into a cream sauce before tasting it (just smelled to see it was not damaged) and the sauce turned out quite well so that's what keeping my score above 70.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    7/7/16, 3:42 AM - jag skulle bli förvånad om du gillade denna. Men om man skulle få för sig att blindprova lacknafta skulle den stå sig relativt väl. Ibland blir nyfikenheten för stor för mitt eget bästa...

Red
2010 Barranco Oscuro Syrah Rubaiyat Vino de la Tierra Contraviesa Alpujarra
2/21/2016 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
91 points
If there's any oak, it's perfectly integrated. Elegant. Natural winemaking. In this case, freshness, leather, ripe red fruit, very tannic structure, a lot of stuff floating around in the bottle, slightly volatile acids.
Andalucian high altitude Syrah, quite the treat actually. Not as charming as the 2013 varetuo which may have been even better, but this is really good, and perhaps a more serious wine, too.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    2/23/16, 11:41 AM - Thx for commenting! I discovered this winery recently and have only tried these two wines so far, but I am mighty impressed.

  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    2/24/16, 8:29 AM - Yep, there's a Swedish distributor and retail they offer a package deal to buy 2010 rubaiyat, 2013 varetuo and 2010 Granata for equivalent of about 80 euros incl. tax. Given Swedish alcohol taxes seems about right given a quick search online.

  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    6/9/16, 11:01 PM - Yori - merci pour le commentaire bien interessant et precis! Il n'y a pas des barrieres lingistiques entre des amateurs du vin!

White
2012 Mollydooker Verdelho The Violinist McLaren Vale
8/5/2015 - BVal wrote:
77 points
Color: pale yellow with copious, long, spindly legs. Bouquet of grapefruit, spice, honeydew melon and pear. While the nose was fairly nice, the palate is an alcoholic mess. Overly big, blowsy, with a hot, acrid finish that obliterates any fruit, this is so not a real Verdelho. Go out at get some Spanish Verdelho. It'll probably be less expensive and almost assuredly a better wine.

BTW, when was the last time you had a dry white with 16% alcohol???
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    4/15/16, 3:17 PM - I should have seen your commentary... This was just... Nah, it's not worth it. Will not buy again.

Red
2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines California
3/21/2016 - JennyRayna wrote:
Moved to different shelf
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    3/22/16, 12:23 AM - Mysterious review 😀

Red
2012 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
1/7/2016 - MWiking wrote:
har ingen aning om betyg här, häller i Frun en flaska mot ryggvärk, verkar funka klockren, hög alkoholhalt som biter snabbt.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    1/7/16, 11:35 AM - Fantastisk recension! Den platsar på min all time high list! Hoppas ryggvärken släppte!

Rosé
2011 Barranco Oscuro Vino Costa Vino de la Tierra Contraviesa Alpujarra Rosé Blend
3/27/2015 - Peter.a.hakansson Likes this wine:
92 points
Great wine!
Red fruits and some pleasant oxidation on the nose. Medium body, red fruits, balanced acidity on the palette. Good on its' own but great to dressed raw cauliflower, mayonnaise, sultan raisins, lumpfish roe and crutons.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    12/1/15, 12:30 PM - Love your entusiasm for the wine but the ingrediens to your food pairing sounds better on their own than combined ��

  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    12/2/15, 3:07 AM - Fantastic - I will have to try it!

Red
2004 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
11/7/2015 - Arch57 Likes this wine:
94 points
Celebrating my birthday "weekend" I was combing my cellar for something special, looking at my Cali-Cabs when I realized I haven't had a good Bordeaux all year. Checking my CT notes I last had a 2003 Château Haut-Maillet in May that I rated a lousy 83 and an '05 Pavie-Macquin that we had to ring in 2015 was underwhelming so I guess I shied away from Bordeaux for a bit after those 2 experiences.
Well glad I found ole reliable Leoville Barton waiting to restore my faith and love of aged Bordeaux. From the initial opening as I poured it into the decanter I zeroed right in on the nose that you takes you right to this region (I'm not good at the language of describing what I smell and taste with words like caramelized truffles, etc. but we all know that aroma that is unmistakably Bordeaux.)
After a proper decant I poured a glass for the best wine critic in our house my lovely wife who immediately said "wow". She is not a wine geek at all and puts up with my passion for wine but calls them like they are without bias (as I often have based on price, reviews, etc.) Anyway we drank this with grilled lamb chops, which was a perfect complement as the wine washed down the med/rare meat and provided a fantastic finish.
Alas it was my only bottle of this vintage as my modest collection of Bordeaux in my cellar contains 84 bottles but from 70 different producers so I rarely have more than one. I tend to be a wine explorer, trying lots of different producers and regions rather than a "collector" buying cases in a more narrow field but I now realize that great producers like Barton deserve a little more space on my shelves.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    11/8/15, 11:35 AM - Great, personal, educational and inspiring note. Thx

Red
2012 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble Anderson Valley
10/11/2015 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
88 points
Very lovely Pinot, has good fruit and some nice pinosity on the nose. Fresh, sweet berries on the palate, good balance. Very much warm climate Pinot with that sweet tooth Pinot style, however, it is really well done. The dinner company preferred this to a Cameron Clos Electrique 2010. For me it was the other way around.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    10/11/15, 2:16 PM - Fantastic, I basically wrote the same note as last year. Points for consistency if for not short term memory...

Red
2012 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard St. Helena
10/4/2015 - csimm1161 wrote:
94 points
Tightly coiled notes of cool, dark purple and dark berry, black licorice, chalk, graphite, and wet slate. Offered a nice zing of red fruit notes, with currant and ripe raspberry darting across the palate. This kept the wine more lively on the finish as well.

This took a little bit of time in the decanter to shed some of the chalky tannins, but after about an hour, the fruit flavors began to meld nicely with the licorice component. Will be an interesting wine to follow over the coming years. Shows that it has the stuffing to last a while, and will offer even more complexities in the next handful of years. Drinking fine after a total two hour decant. Either wait until 2017+, or decant for at least two hours. (A straight PnP would be doing a disservice to this wine).

A bit of a different animal than the 2012 RM Corona. The Corona is definitely a more earthy and darker wine for me, with notes of charcoal and forest floor. The Panek is more purple-fruit and currant dominated. Both interesting wines and good examples of TRB's expertise.

I gave the 2012 Corona a 95 because it showed a little more interesting flavor profile at this stage, with layered plum notes cut by fascinating sage nuances. However, the Panek is a solid 94+, and may ultimately surpass the Corona in 5-7 years, as the Panek seems to have more backbone and that "locked and loaded" quality about it, where it is just waiting to potentially explode with more complexities if given proper integration time in bottle.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    10/6/15, 12:22 AM - That's excellent advice, thx for the note!

Red
2013 Broc Cellars Vine Starr Red California Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
1/15/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote:
90 points
This wine needs a warning label: Innovative Winemaking Ahead. It defies expectations, but it's definitely well-made. Decanted 90 mins. ahead. Light-medium garnet color. Nice nose that is actually floral, with red berries, pomegranate, just a touch of hard spice. Light-medium body on the palate, with very nice flavors of cherry, plum, and rhubarb in a sleek acid balance. Finishes with drying, light and velvety tannins. This wine dares you to hate it. It's a zinfandel like no other, well maybe very few others. Chris Brockaway is rewriting the textbook here, taking zin to places it does not usually go. Executive summary: This is zin as pinot noir. Maybe all you need to know about it is the stated ABV: 12.5%.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    9/11/15, 9:50 AM - great note, thx. agree fully. loved it! glad I didn't open it with some sweet bbq!

Red
2006 Château Beychevelle St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
Bordeaux 2014 en primeur with Winefinder (Munchenbryggeriet, Stockholm): much more classic nose, more restrained, lovely, soft attack on the palate but well structured, fresh and elegant, tannins fairly fine grained, medium finish. Recommended. Drink now or hold for quite a few more years.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    9/7/15, 1:52 PM - I liked this wine, and I think you can definitely drink it now if you consider the body and the well rounded tannins. The nose was however somewhat restrained (but very pleasant) so this leads me to think that it will find a sweet spot some years to come. So I'd say - if you have a few of these - crack one open at the ten year mark next year and then watch it evolve over another ten years. You'll be fine either way. With the caveat that I often appreciate the zing of freshness in younger wine over the autumnal complexity many years down the line.

Red
2006 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
Bordeaux 2014 en primeur with Winefinder (Munchenbryggeriet, Stockholm): good nose, structure but a little robust and simple in style.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    9/7/15, 1:46 PM - do you mean the langoa barton? Of the three st julien 2006 tried at this tasting was the leoville which I liked the best and also has most mileage left. The Langoa felt more like earlier drinking than both the leoville and the talbot. Which is the better between Langoa and Talbot? They were very different in style, and the langoa while not the most serious wine out there, did what it does rather well. I felt it is what it is, while the Talbot may still develop further, with a little question mark that if you like elegant, classic style clarets, which many of the 2006 are, this felt more like an outlier. if that makes any sense?

White
2013 Ceritas Chardonnay Pinnacle Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
5/2/2015 - *Vine* wrote:
Popped and poured, light straw flecked with gold. Very floral upon first pour, think jasmine & honeysuckle along with notes of sliced lime, apple slices, subtle medicinal phenols and an impression of briny minerals. Medium body. Where to begin with the multi-dimensional palate -- perhaps the notes of green apple, yeast and mild hops?? To some extent, almost like a quality weiss beer...! That said, with expressive fruit complimented by an impression of steely, saline minerals and razor sharp acidity, this is mostly reminiscent of great Grand Cru Chablis...actually, make that profound.
Epic CA Chardonnay in this bottle -- what more could you want?
Drink now with a decant or at least few hours of air, better to age this an additional 2-3 years and hope for fireworks immediately off the pop.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/30/15, 1:51 AM - Great review!

White
1986 J.B. Becker Eltviller Sonnenberg Riesling Kabinett trocken Rheingau
8/11/2015 - Chomsky wrote:
What was awesome about this wine was that I bought it at a hipster wine store in Williamsburg (not hating) for like $40 on the recommendation of the bearded and enthusiastic employee ("like aged white Burgundy") (not hating) and then when I opened it with Seth and we were both hoping for aged riesling nirvana-like transcendence the wine was corked so I brought it back to the store the next day and exchanged it for some Clos du Rouge Gorge and a super French hipster natural wine (not hating) that was only $10 when I knew it was usually about twice that and which upon opening had so much dissolved CO2 that it took at least 4 or 5 Mollydooker Shakes™ to get rid of the annoying carbonic prickle (hating) and which still wasn't that great.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/16/15, 1:05 PM - That's fun stuff all around the horn. I wish you many fabulous wine epiphanies and also the lows (like this) that make the highs even more pleasurable!

Red
2010 Fanti (Tenuta San Filippo) Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
8/11/2015 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
93 points
Brilliant wine. Pop and pour on homemade pizza Tuesday night to celebrate some good news in the middle of rainy summer Stockholm. Served at 15 degrees Celsius. From the get go this is very open for business with sweet, fragrant, cherries and dark juicy plums. The texture is seamless, there is ample tannic structure but it is so fine that the wine is velvety on the palate. The freshness and balance and fruit is there for this to go a long ways. The body is light/medium and there's an elegance to it that belies the exuberant nose,the 14.5 % alcohol, and all the ripe sweet fruit. Drinking just great on the fruit though. After a mere hour opened, but without a decant, there is new leather, licorice, violets, and more dark berries and also a hint of cacao and cream. The complexity will come with time. But you may also just want to get a case and drink it this fall.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/11/15, 12:46 PM - I tried to follow my own advice immediately after drinking this, but, alas, Sweden is out of 2010 Fanti, already.

White
2012 Kumeu River Chardonnay Estate
7/31/2015 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
92 points
What a find! Or rather, I guess it was a globally orchestrated marketing campaign where the serendipitous simultaneity of the glowing reviews of some world famous critics - out of the blue - and the sudden retail availability in far off places like Sweden probably was not a mere coincidence.

At the same time, tasting is believing. And I believe. Yes, I do believe!

Thx to Jancis R for pointing this gem out to us mere mortals. Worth a yearly subscription to the financial times purely based on this call I'd say.

Now, to the wine itself. Firstly - what pjaines and Marc said.

Secondly, I think this is a beautiful marriage of flinty Chablis and opulent meursault, of Burgundian precision and ripe new world Chardonnay fruit; steel and oak.

Perhaps this will not age as well as it's more well bred first cousins, such as the brilliant mate's vineyard offering, and perhaps the finish is not as long and as structured as could be. But, gosh darn it this is so pleasurable right now! Go get yourselves some, folks! For crying out loud!
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/1/15, 1:28 AM - Absolutely - completely agree again. And it's not like wines themselves were conjured out of thin air. I take it the winery and vineyards have quite a long history. Good for us that they are available so far from home! Have not yet come across the Kumeu Village, but it sounds great from your tasting notes, perhaps a good pairing for some North Sea seafood?

White
2013 Littorai Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast
1/26/2015 - A6Rover wrote:
97 points
Stunningly beautiful Chard -- actually gave me goosebumps. Supreme clarity in the expression of fruit with a backbone of what seemed to me like minerality and earth. A substantial mid-palate burst of flavor.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    6/26/15, 3:27 AM - to both of A6Rover: could not agree more. this was what happened to me as well. Just an outstanding effort.

Red
2012 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph Syrah
Drunk over two days. This wine has everything I expect from Gonon SJ. Very complex with dark and pure fruit, minerals and earth tones, a floral note, meat and blood, black pepper, olives. This wine is wonderfully detailed and terroir-expressive in an unmistakable way.

In all of this, however, it is more quiet than it has been in recent vintages. It feels similar to the 2010 to me in its balance and expression, but it's as though the volume is turned down to 7 instead of 10. It's all in there, but it shows more quietly. I think it has the acidity to last and develop well, and I bet will offer a lot of pleasure over the years. Sometimes I want the music turned up, but sometimes I want excellent music, but played quietly.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    5/15/15, 9:53 AM - I think you very aptly describe the way it works, on a more general level, with wine and preferences as well as with music btw. And otherwise good TN, as always.

White
2012 Liquid Farm Chardonnay Golden Slope Sta. Rita Hills
9/1/2014 - ashegedyn wrote:
Hmmm - not sure about this wine. First off I am surprised on the number of notes for this. I thought the production was similar on the order of Burgundy producers. Kind of weird to have so many notes on Cellartracker.

Nose is muted at first - does not give up much. Starts off leesy. then as it opens: a bit of hazelnut, hints of allspice, and hints of coconut and dried tropical fruits - not really Cali overblown tropical fruits though. On taste you get lots of citrus with a medium body. At first some tiny bubbles on the tongue which emphasize the acidity unfortunately. It has a bitter undertone which reinforces some of the saline minerality - bitter in a good refreshing way. Gives an impression of getting some of the pith of an orange or grapefruit. You can see some pineapple that is not too ripe and sweet. Nuances rather than in your face tropical fruit.

In sum there are a lot of nice threads going on with this wine, but they are not knit together. My problem is that it is a bit disjointed and all the pieces don't work. The acidity seems to be a bit of a problem here. It is noticeable - it does not just brighten the wine it hurts a bit. I have no idea if the different threads will stitch together or not. As it opened up for a few hours it did get smoother.

It was very interesting to try. This is an interesting wine with a good effort from Liquid Farm. Does not strike me like a typical mass-produced Cali chardonnay. Great fun.

The rub is that if you are looking for Chardonnay at this price point there are more elegant and complex wines from Burgundy. (PYCM or Hubert Lamy for instance). Still, a nice interesting exercise.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    3/1/15, 12:42 PM - First off, I am a fan and think your reviews are always really good and with that fine balance btw a critical point of view and some real joie de vivre.

    As to why there are so many reviews of this compared to some high end burgundy producers - CT is still very dominated by americans, although the site is by now truly global in scope. Also, I am guessing that the burgundians will (normally) produce a higher number of different vineyard designated releases compared to cali producers.

    As for me, I have very little experience with californian wines, indeed, only discovered the region this year (and now I am trying to make amends by drinking as much as I can get my hands on here in distant Sweden). Liquid Farm's 2012 White Hill was a trigger. When I asked, I was told that the 2012 White Hill sees 10 % stainless steel and 90 % neutral oak, whereas the '12 golden slope sees 15-20 % new oak and the rest neutral oak. That said, I bought three times as much H. Lamy St Aubin En remilly as I bought Liquid farm, at exactly same price point. I am not totally disagreeing with you :)

Red
2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Tina Marie Vineyard Russian River Valley
8/3/2014 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
88 points
This is high end RRV pinot - I understand that these folks came from the Williams-Selyem crew at one point and was curious to learn if they would go more to cherry cola or strive more for elegance and restraint than what I feel is currently being produced by the mothership on west side road.

Lots of pinosity on the nose (chill the wine! otherwise the seams come undone and the warm fruit takes over...), soft, sweet fruit with a lot of new oak. Very good freshness, but if you think in terms of the two worlds of pinot noir - on the one hand more elegant, pure pinot noir, and on the other hand, the sweet blackberry, cinnamon/vanilla/nutmeg/cola deeply expressive modern/new world pinot - this is unmistakably warm weather Cali pinot.

Now, I have no stylistical loyalties. I learnt to drink pinot noir in the US, and I think there is a place and time for austere Lafarge Volnay and for this type of pinot. The Anthill farm 2012 RRV Tina Marie PN goes down very easily and you can not go wrong with this pleasurable wine.

However, this is far from the stratospheric levels reached by the likes of Littorai, Hirsch, Ceritas these days.

So, on the whole, this being my first Anthill Farm PN, I must say I am slightly dissappointed.

And I wish very much that I had picked - for the last US pinot noir on this trip, and at the same price as the Tina Marie - the Cameron Abbey Ridge 2011 Dundee Hills, OR, PN sitting next to this bottle at Vinyl Wine (on Lex just above 96th street).
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/11/14, 10:36 AM - Thx for commenting - that would explain why the wine and my expectations were not synced. Sadly, the availability of small scale US quality producers through retail in Sweden is not the best. Guessing it will be a while before I get my hands on another AHF wine (or a Cameron for that matter, which, right now, still feels worse).

  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    11/20/14, 11:36 AM - chris, thx for good ideas! I was on my way to visit with Joseph Swan but ran out of time, Dehlinger I have not tried yet but look forward to trying. Fully agree on Rhys! excellent stuff

White
2010 Cameron Blanc Clos Electrique Oregon Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay
9/20/2014 - Floyd77 Likes this wine:
95 points
Honeysuckle, peach nectar, kiwi -- incredible wine ... perfectly balanced. Oregon's best chardonnay? It's the best I've ever had ...
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    9/21/14, 9:51 AM - I agree - such a fine chardonnay! To rival the very best. For Oregon, Eric Hamacher is the only one whose Chardonnays I feel are a match for mr Paul

White
2010 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc Paso Robles White Rhone Blend
7/31/2014 - charliesea wrote:
88 points
The golden color teased the eye, promising a density and mouthfeel that was much more subdued. Pleasant with hints of honey and citrus, but nowhere as substantial as expected of Tablas Creek. Where is the character that others found? I tasted it warmer than cellar temp, and well above fridge temps!! Is my bottle unusual?
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/22/14, 1:08 PM - chill the wine and the freshness and complexity comes out

White
2012 Matthiasson White Wine Napa Valley White Blend
8/12/2014 - Ismann wrote:
90 points
Hello, Matthiasson white wine. I find you to be extremely pale in color. On the nose, I smell a wet spring stone and a fruit that I can't quite identify. You have a biting acidity that is reminiscent of licking a freshly cut lemon. Hints of pineapple too. Nice weight and finish. Perfect after a long summer day.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/13/14, 10:50 PM - Stylistically innovative, crisp and honest review, seems like a perfect reflection of the winemaking style at this domaine. Excellent. Makes me want to try more wine from matthiasson and to read more reviews from #ismann

Red
2012 Littorai Pinot Noir The Pivot Vineyard Sonoma Coast
8/2/2014 - Richard Jennings wrote:
93 points
Medium dark cherry red color; savory, dried roses, dried cherry nose; tasty, tart cherry, spice, iodine, mineral palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    8/8/14, 9:49 AM - Richard, I just came back from visiting Sonoma and Napa, and not having a whole lot of experience with Cali pinot, I would be interested in your views on how the Littorai Pivot 2012 compares and what your top list of pinot producers in California would look like. From my visit, the 2012 pinots from Littorai and Ceritas were in a class of their own. And of those I tried, the Littorai Pivot and the Ceritas Hellenthal were showing really well.

Red
2012 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Etna DOC Nerello Mascalese
5/20/2014 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
90 points
The nose is unyielding. The balance is perfect. There's freshness, fruit and a tannic structure that you only feel when you think about it but when you feel it you know it's adequate for the long haul.

Similar to a young Lafarge Volnay (though the Etna wine has darker fruit and slightly more tannic structure) - you know that there are more charming and immediate pleasures to be had, still you sense the elegance and the potential that lies within and persuade yourself there's greatness just waiting to express itself.

At worst, this is an 85-87 wine - fresh, balanced, well made, but with no real wow-factor in terms of complexity. At its best, this would develop into something more in the neighborhood of 90-92 - touching excellency and sweet magic. My feeling right now, considering how very food friendly this is, and how price worthy, is that I can drink a lot of it and not get tired!
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    7/20/14, 8:31 PM - Thx guys

Red
2011 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Bucher Vineyard Russian River Valley
7/19/2014 - Omar Khayyam wrote:
88 points
Williams Selyem (At the winery on Westside Road): Very complex and interesting wine. Earthy green notes on the nose which I like, but also an off note of sweet red beet root, which I found on several russian river pinot noirs. Soft middle and strict finish. Did not do the trick for me, but for sure a serious pinot noir that with some luck may develop into something even better.
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    7/19/14, 5:00 PM - That sounds entirely plausible - there was a lot of good stuff in the Bucher pinot, and I believe they put some of it in the Westside neighbours, which I bought. I basically liked all of the wines at Williams Selyem, although they were bigger in style than Littorai and Ceritas, which were my favourite chardonnay/pinot producers among those I visited this time. Disclaimer - this is the first visit to CA for wine tasting. A lot of fun!

Red
2011 Domaine Léon Barral Faugères Jadis Red Blend
6/8/2014 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
92 points
fresh, full of fruit and licorice root and just plain gulpable, which is what we did at oaxen slipen last night!
  • Omar Khayyam commented:

    6/15/14, 11:43 AM - I think I bought a bottle of the 2010 but was advised to keep it cellared for a while. Feels like the perfect wine for a couple of lamb chops on the grill.

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