Tasting Notes for SWHighlander

(614 notes on 554 wines)

1 - 50 of 614 Sort order
Red
11/5/2021 - SWHighlander wrote:
90 points
I wanted to like this wine. It tasted refined and smelled great. But it was quite extracted for a Malbec -- guess it's the CdS style. It's just too young for me currently. Maybe very good in a few years or with the right food. It was served at a CdS special dinner, inexplicably paired with a chocolate flan dessert. Which was not a good pairing. Needs meat.
Red
2015 Corazon del Sol Soleado Valle de Uco Malbec Blend, Malbec (view label images)
11/5/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
88 points
Purple in color, very tannic. Reminded me of Carignan or Petite Syrah. Still way too young for me. Served at a CdS special dinner, paired with lamb asado and mashed potatoes with ranchero salsa. The wine overpowered the food, but the lamb definitely helped mellow the tannins. Might be much better in 5 or even 10 years. Not sure.
Red
Dark red with some moderate purple. As an Old World lover, I never would have picked this as a Cab Franc. More like a cab sauv from a hot climate. Way too extracted for me. It tasted hot with high fruit, high tannins. No pencil shavings, vegetal notes or game here. Served at a CdS special dinner, paired poorly with a carne asada salad with a vinaigrette. Completely overpowered the poor asada.
Red
11/5/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
92 points
Dark red with a touch of purple. Nice black and red berries, floral notes, and spice. High acidity and tannins, but just medium weight. By itself, it needs a lot of time, maybe will be nice without food. Not sure.

But with the right food, it's perfect now. This was served with morcilla (blood sausage) and Argentine chorizo and sauteed chiles in chimichurri (Choripan). The best pairing of the night. Fabulous. If I could get this version of morcilla, I would buy this wine just to serve with it. It was that good.
Rosé
11/5/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
92 points
Grenache Noir. Pale red. A very impressive rosé. Really, one of the few New World rosés I have ever had that I thought had the acidity and minerality to give interest and structure. Love it. On the other hand, at $50, it's priced the same as the best in Tavel and Bandol, which it definitely is not in that league. So if it was $35, I'd be buying a lot of it. At $50, no thanks. But it is a great wine.
Red
2006 Château Paloumey Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
89 points
Surprisingly, this bottle was showing better than the last one I opened in 2017. At that time, I thought the fruit was nearly gone and it’s time was up. Not this bottle. Still has good fruit. Moderate red, no rust notes. Significantly gelled fruit, tannins and acid. Leathery tannins when young are now pretty well integrated, making for pleasant drinking without meat at hand.
White
10/17/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
88 points
Very simple, light almost colorless, little complexity but nothing off either. At $9, it’s a pleasant summer supper, pairing with well with Moliterno Original Sardinian cheese.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Villa Sandi Glera Prosecco di Valdobbiadene (view label images)
10/16/2021 - SWHighlander Does not like this wine:
85 points
Nothing here to like or really dislike. Practically tasteless it’s so light, almost colorless, simple and undistinguished. The least flavorful Prosecco I can remember.
Red
10/16/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
90 points
Fruity, good acid typical of the region, tannins a bit on the mild side, which is good if you’re going to drink a Nebbiolo this young. Some complexity. Amazing value for a $18 Barbaresco.
Red
10/9/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
92 points
Wow. This may be the best Dolcetto I have had. Most I find a bit thin and lacking complexity, if darkly colored, with out of balance acidity over fruit, even for Italian wine. This one has the acidity it should be nice fruit, some complexity and just a really nice balance. Love it. 91 or 92 points.
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Red
Very acidic, almost vinegarized but similar if a bit worse than other Wind Gap wines I’ve tried thanks to Garagiste. So I don’t think it’s spoiled. Just bad.
Red
10/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
93 points
Maybe 94 points. Much better than my last bottle 2 years ago. No rust, fruit still nice, although definitely Old World with acidity, tannin and minerality dominating the fruit. A mix of red and black fruit, more red. Lovely.
Red
10/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
92 points
First tasted after accessing a bottle via Coravin. It has a barnyard funkiness to it that was not subtle. Not bad, not ideal. A week later, I pulled the cork and drank the rest. The previous funkiness was mostly gone. It is one of the lightest in style, color and extract that I have had in California and rivals the wines from the expensive high altitude vineyards of the Willamette, in a cool year. I might have picked this as Old World in a blind tasting. Impressive.
The fruit is just perfect, light bright cherry, a touch sour, and some strawberry. It does have a few off notes, otherwise I might have rated it at 94. Good acidity. Very enjoyable.
White
9/11/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
92 points
light yellow in color. Muted notes on the front of the plate, with mineralogy and a touch of lemon and moderate acidity coming through. Complex, with moderate finish. Very nice but imo a bit overpriced at the value listed on CT.
Rosé
8/6/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
90 points
Refreshing with nice Old World complexity and a bit of minerality, moderate acidity — more than I expect from a Loire PN. Moderate in color and extract for a rosé. Fruit. Very drinkable.
White
7/30/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
92 points
I've been opening bottles of this vintage since I first tasted it at the winery in 2012. Compared to the last bottle I opened 4 years ago, this one has gained significant weight and complexity. It is a moderate to darker gold. No oxidization, but has lost a significant amount of acidity. With that it comes off a touch flat, but not enough to ruin the wine. It's interesting-ness, however, has gone way up. Very enjoyable. I would give it a 94-95 for interestingness but 92 due to the lack of balance now.

Paired very nicely with a fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, and grilled swordfish served with tomato basil beurre blanc at Marina Café in Destin, Florida.
White - Sparkling
7/30/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
88 points
Light in color and on the palate, taste like about 3 atmospheres of pressure similar to a Prosecco level of effervescence. Light fruit with some acid. Pleasant, good value.
White - Off-dry
7/14/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
91 points
Still a nice wine 7 years after my last TN, but the acidity seems to have fallen off while the fruit, body and minerality remains. Wishing for a bit more acidity, but still an enjoyable wine.
Red
6/21/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
94 points
Like most Italian wines, this is not ideal to drink by itself — too acidic and a bit tannic. With a hamburger, tomato sauce with macaroni dish — it’s amazing. The tannins melt away / blend in. The acidity matches the tomatoes. Nice dark cherry fruit. Some complexity. A great value!
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Red
5/29/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
91 points
Very impressed with this Southern Rhone red with a $13-15 price point in the U.S. Much better than many Cote du Rhone wines I've had for upper teens. No chalkiness in this bottle, unlike some other CT notes. Full bodied red fruit, acidity and mild tannins. Short finish, but that's to be exacted for a Lirac at this price. Would buy again.
Rosé
5/3/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
89 points
A nice bottle of provençal rosé, that I paid $21 including shipping, but in France would go for under €10. So too much here, but that’s the way it tends to go for rosé in the US.
Red
4/30/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
90 points
Decanted briefly. Dusty, leathery notes overshadowing the fruit. Complex and interesting, but not as enjoyable as a very young 2019 Caymus that preceded it. Would like to try again with a couple hour decant or after a 2-3 more years aging. Fruit is still tight. I don’t think this has peaked.
Rosé
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
94 points
Moderate extraction and color for a rosé. Mostly dry finish, with a barely percetible RS. Complex, great flavors going on. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This was one of the standouts of the night at a tasting of many of the less commercially known AOCs in France.

Fun story about this winery. Chateau de Goulaine is a Loire vintner whose family has been making wine on site for over 1,000 years. The chateau was originally a castle built to keep out Normans. They are the oldest known winery still in business, the oldest European family run business, and the 3rd oldest commercial enterprise in the world. Wow. Kudos.
White
4/10/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
93 points
Light golden / darker straw in color. Subtle fruit notes of apricot and pineapple, but stronger notes of minerality. The nose is subtle in the way of a white burgundy, but has complexity. This has character.

The grapes come from the En Beaumont parcel mostly within the Château Chalone region (famous for is oxidative Vin Jaune, also from the Savagnin grape). This is only the 3rd vintage released by Patrick and Sophie Ligeron, a Jura native and Swede, who live in the hamlet of Menétru-le-Vignoble and now own 10% of all the plantings in Château Chalone. It's aged on the lees for 18 months in wooden casks and bottled without fining or filtering. I love unfiltered whites, which -- as a rule -- are unfortunately hard to sell in the U.S. because they look cloudy.

Subtle oak which is nice, but may meld into the fruit more in another 5+ years. Moderate acidity, not as much as I was expecting for this sub-alpine climate. Some have said their a bit of salt on the palate, but not sure I noticed that. Moderate body, moderate length finish, no off-notes, beautiful balance. This is a really good wine.

I drink this as an aperitif and then with dinner of almond-encrusted red snapper with mild curry sauce. The curry was a bit spicy for it, but still it was an enjoyable pair.
White
4/9/2021 - SWHighlander wrote:
87 points
Tastes like a low end Fino Sherry, like a G Byass, but at 3 times the price
White
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
91 points
Nice Chardonnay. This has a freshness from thr acidity, and is mineral driven in good Old World fashion, but does not taste like a Burgundy or Chablis. The altitude shines, and has apple and pear notes, and thankfully no malo notes. Minimal if any oak.
Red
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
90 points
This is funky. Moderately extracted fruit typical of cabernet franc. Strong notes of green bell pepper, and less strong pencil lead, mushroom, and a touch of smoke and barnyard. Like others have said, this is not for everyone but it has lots of character and sense of place.

Sprayed it with N2 overnight and tried it on day 2 as well. Oxidized.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
90 points
My first Poulsard single varietal. Light red in color and extract, lighter than Burgundy pinot noir. Cherries and strawberries, balancing acidity, some minerals. Not very complex, but more interesting than plonk and many moderately priced New World reds. Didn’t love it, but might be nice to have around occasionally.
Rosé - Sparkling
4/4/2021 - SWHighlander wrote:
87 points
Light, acidic, frothy, light oink. Simple, not
much going on. A bit too tart for me to enjoy as an aperitif.
White
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander wrote:
87 points
This a striking wine. The first time I've had a Cour-Cheverny / Romorantin grape wine. It had both aromas and palate flavors of pomegranite syrup (~ grenadine) which seemed a bit bizarre from a normal looking white wine, but kinda fun. The wine tasted like it had had a touch of oxidation to me too. Unusual wine, but not particularly yummy.
White
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
89 points
Straw colored. This is a very interesting wine, but very tart. Too much for my group to enjoy as an aperitif. The Jacquère grape along with the alpine vineyard stands out with some complexity and interesting notes though. When paired with creamy alpine cheeses (Gruyére and Comté), it worked great and was enjoyable to me, if not some others in my tasting group.
White
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander wrote:
87 points
Very pale yellow. Fresh acidity stands out much more than the fruit. Simple without much complexity. As an aperitif, it's tart and not fun. But balanced with some creamy alpine cheeses (Gruyere, Comté), it works quite nicely. Still, priced in the high US$20s, it is not a good value, but maybe a fun one-time tasting for friends to break away from the usual international varietals.
White
This is a not a good showing for a Chasselas. Medium yellow and at 12.5% alcohol, is too extracted and not nearly enough acidity. Dry finish. Simple, lacking complexity. Nothing really positive going for it. This would be a poor showing in Alsace or Switzerland in the $10 range. For the high $20s that it goes for in the US, it's terrible. I've heard this is one of the better examples of Chasselas in Alsace from this formerly Swiss vintner, so I think I'll just avoid this varietal in outside of the Alps.
White
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
88 points
This a pleasant low end dry Alsatian white wine blend. The blend changes each year, but typically Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Granite and alluvial soils. Mild yellow in color. Mild to moderate acidity, a bit too low for perfect balance. Simple, not complex but no off notes. It has some medium viscosity and glycerol, but no perceptible RS to me. A pleasant, but forgettable day drinker that is probably $10 at the winery and WAY overpriced where I bought it in the U.S.. Drank well on day 2 as well.
Red
Decanted for 3 hours. A light red violet in color. Many of the same flavors as Cru Beaujolais on the front of the palate, finishing on the end of the palate with some darker fruit and spice (like the classic Syrah-Gamay mix the Mondeuse varietal is famous for). It has some complexity and it's definitely interesting, unusual for someone who has not had Mondeuse Noire before. On the downsides, it's quite thin in viscosity and the standout characteristics are tartness and tannin. Out of balance. It's standout flavors are barnyard and banana, like carbonic maceration that's a bit overdone. So not really enjoyable to drink.

Tried it the next day, now a touch oxidized without any change in the tannin/acid/fruit balance.
White - Sweet/Dessert
4/2/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
93 points
Dark gold in color with a hint of orange/red. Viscous. Not as sweet as I was expecting. Not nearly as much perceptible sweetness as a Sauternes or even other Alsatian SGNs I've had. Drank with a triple berry crumble with ice cream, and it was not a good pairing. The wine itself is beautiful, complex, very long finish. No off notes, like other CTers had the misfortune to experience. No perceptible acidity, though, which I was suprised by. Overall, very enjoyable but not what I would normally think of from an SGN, but it's the first Rangen de Thann I've had and the only Zind Humbrecht late harvest this old.
Red
3/28/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
94 points
This is a fabulous wine that is drinking beautifully right now. The fruit is present if mellow, the acid is moderate and tannins are too. Better with meat than as an aperitif. Bold for a sangiovese, more in line of Montalcino than Chianti. Should drink well through 2025.
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White - Off-dry
1/25/2021 - SWHighlander wrote:
92 points
Nice wine but not as spectacular as I was expecting from Huet. Lightly sweet. Paired with with pasta and sausage with an alfredo sauce, in an Alsatian style, as well as a blue cheese course afterwards. Light in color, moderate acidity. The fruit and minerality are a bit subtle compared to an off dry Alsatian white.
Red
1/23/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
93 points
This is a beauty. The top of the cork was dark, quite dry and might have had a touch of fungus. I was worried it would disintegrate on the way out, but the lower ⅔ of the cork was in great condition. The wine was rust brown in color, very little red left. The taste was complex, balanced and lovely. Not much fruit left. It had not just a touch of brine, strongly reminding me of an amontillado sherry. In fact, I could not have blind tasted this as a cab. Acidity and tannins were present and balanced. I will be excited to open my next bottle with other friends who can appreciate such an experience as this unusual bottle.
Red - Fortified
1/23/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
89 points
Fun to go back and taste something I haven't had for 7 years and compare notes. Remarkably the same to my nose and palate as from my CT notes 2014: Red fortified wine with herbal and strong wood notes. Flavors of cloves, mace and cinnamon. (Mace I think even more than cloves.) Reminds me of Mamajuana from the Dominican Republic. Pairs well with a dark chocolate pot de creme. Too medicinal and over the top for several oenophiles with me over dinner, but I really enjoyed it. Showed well after the bottle had been open 2 days later as well.
White - Off-dry
1/23/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
97 points
Lots of sediment, which I love when producers will let a white wine sed out and not filter it. Adds such richness. In this case, like one CTer noted, a mustiness, very slight yeastiness. It tastes old. Full bodied, fairly darker gold. This was off dry, tasting like it had an RS of 15-20 maybe, but such great acidity still that the sweetness effect is so much less than a Sauternes of even 10 years would be. Nicely paired with blue cheese. My favorite wine of several great bottles opened over a long dinner with friends.
Red
1/23/2021 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
95 points
Very enjoyable to drink, showing perfectly right now. Blackberries, licorice, mineral with a velvety texture. Fruit forward with matching acidity and mild to moderate tannins. Very dark red in color. Nice job to Chateau Cheval Blanc.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/26/2020 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
92 points
Mostly flavors of black fruit, violets, tar with moderate acidity and milder tannins. Not high alcohol extracted style. Enjoyed it but did over power a rack of lamb. Wished I had gone with a grenache-based wine.
Red
12/10/2020 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
90 points
A mix of red and black fruit. The fruit has mellowed a bit compared to the acid. Not as hot or extracted as their 2018s. Nicely balanced. Not super yummy or complex though.
Red
12/10/2020 - SWHighlander wrote:
87 points
Roughly 50% Napa cab, and 50% Bordeaux Merlot and another Bordeaux red varietal. okay. Lacking complexity and balance.
Red
12/10/2020 - SWHighlander wrote:
89 points
Dark red and black fruit flavors. Less viscosity then the standard VGS cab sauv. Tasted more like a Petit Syrah.
Red
12/10/2020 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
92 points
Dark red to black fruit and color. Jammy fruit balanced by moderate acidity and tannins. Nice wine.
White
12/10/2020 - SWHighlander wrote:
89 points
Medium yellow in color. Flavors of pineapple and guava. Moderate oak notes (80% new French, 20% stainless). Buttery, suspect 100% malo. Low acidity and minerality. Nice for a New World chard.
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
12/6/2020 - SWHighlander Likes this wine:
90 points
PNP. Dark color, lots of fruit, moderste complexity, and moderate acidity — higher than most — with a hint of effervescence that dissipated over the first half hour. Mild to moderate tannins, approachable now but may improve over another 5 years. Enjoyed as a digestif with my wife, who usually is turned off by big reds unlesss there is some red meat to pair with the tannins.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2010 Château Cantegril Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
11/28/2020 - SWHighlander wrote:
90 points
Certainly pleasant enough to drink. Lighter in color than many Sauternes and a little thin on taste too. Lacking in complexity, but nothing off about it. Quaffable.
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