Tasting Notes for Wine Bonzai

(14 notes on 14 wines)

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Red
4/28/2012 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
92 points
Beautiful, coiled spring of a wine. Subdued fruit, low extract, low alcohol. Lots of minerality and iron. Athletic and muscular, yet graceful. Lots of limestone and stong, yet balanced, tannins. Aromatics, herbs, spices and floral components dominate this mid-weight wine. Drinks like a sinew-y Burgundy. This wine is for those that appreciate Old World styled wine that focuses on terroir - not fruit or cooperage.
Red
4/27/2012 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
88 points
Popped and poured. In the glass, rich purple hues. Drank over the course of several hours. Did not change much in the glass over time. Nose: Violets and lavender, very floral with a dash of herbs de Provence. Palate: medium-weight and structured but well balanced. Lots of red fruit - raspberry and strawberry dominate without being overly jammy. Subtle tannins balance the wine and prevent it from becoming a fruit bomb. A very young wine that drinks well and is probably not meant for long term cellaring. Good QPR. A nice crowd pleaser that would appeal to many palates and straddles old / new world styles. 88 pts.
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Red
6/20/2011 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
89 points
Popped and poured. In the glass: color is an inky, deep brownish-red. While it's not yet an old wine, it's starting to take on the brownish color seen with older wines. Nose: Some hints of pepper, lots of sweet pipe tobacco, leather and hint of soy...some red fruit makes an appearance. Mouthfeel: very silky, medium weight. Taste: Black plums, dried cherries, smoked meats and finishing with burned marshmallow. Integrated and moderately balanced with soft tannins. This is an easy-drinking wine that lacks complexity.

This wine rides the fence between the giant California cab fruit bombs and more serious wines. My first experience with this wine was several years ago when it was much younger. It has improved dramatically with some bottle age but I'm not sure where this wine will go with more time in the bottle...may have a few more years but that's about it. That's the general conundrum with many "drink now" wines. It's somewhat of a mystery as to what they'll be like with some bottle age.

In general, it's a crowd pleaser but seriously overrated and very expensive for what you get (I paid over $65). Served on Father's Day with steaks from the grill. (Note: looks like Robert Parker scored this wine 88 pts.)
Red
6/16/2011 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
91 points
First night: Popped and poured. Just received this wine shipment a week or two ago so I may not be giving this wine enough time to recover from shipping.

Color: intense magenta-purple..very deep hued wine. On the nose: lots of vegetal expression with hints of peppermint, rhubarb, rose petals and menthol....slightly burning my nose but not in an unpleasant way. Mid-weight mouth feel on the palate. Taste: tart cherries, cranberry, firm tannins give lots of structure. Tannin levels are a bit rustic for a Burgundy. This wine is still very young and is tightly wound on the first pour (may be opening this way too soon). Over the course of the evening (min 1+ hours later) is a much better experience. As the wine opens up and breathes, there's more dark fruit expression.
Second night: This is a completely different wine. It has softened and opened up. But, it is still pushing the envelope for a Burgundy as far as muscle-power goes. On the nose: the vegetal elements are almost completely gone and are replaced with currants and spice. Taste: Lots of dark fruit, blackberries, black pepper, spices and some leather. The finish is intriguing, turning more to raspberries and caramelized sautéed bits. Paired the rest of the bottle with a steak off the grill. Great wine for such a low price (approx $20).
White
6/12/2011 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
90 points
June 12-13, 2011 (drank over the course of 2 days)
Color: Deep, amber-hued, golden color, capturing light in your glass like the last fading, burnt-umber rays of sunset. At a young age, it’s already taking on the deep hues of a much older wine. On the nose, you’re greeted with layers of rich honey, sweet orange blossoms, vanilla, and then…even more honey laced with brown butter! On the palate, this wine is medium bodied but pushes the envelope just short of a fuller bodied expression.

Now comes the interesting part…after being teased by the sweet- honey nose, the first sip spins you around with a slap of crisp, lemony-lime tart citrus fruit laced with minerals and stone…tapering off to a lingering finish of apricot and lychee and something similar to petrol…wow. My tongue is still smarting from the smack of citrus lime acidity.
Those looking for a sweet Riesling – say in the spirit of a German auslese or spatlese – this is not that wine. The sweet nose on this wine belies the complex acidity and minerality that awaits in the glass. It’s a bargain wine with an incredibly low price-point. :) Enjoy!
Red
9/22/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
81 points
Popped and poured directly into glass with no decanting. Color is a very pleasing dark reddish-purple. On the nose I get a little bit of acetone...this wine definitely needs to breathe a bit before drinking. The wine is medium-bodied but borders on the thin side. Very tart cranberry with lots of tart acidity. I feel like I'm sucking on one of those 'sour patch' candies (!). There are some subtle earthy notes but they are buried under the tart fruit. This wine would stand up well to full-flavored cheese and hearty red sauce. It's a decent table wine and really needs to be served with food. I doubt it would be a crowd pleaser especially if your guests like fruity new world expressions in wine. I'm going to give it some time to air out and open up....stay tuned....

Poured it through a Venturi a number of times to speed things up... A 3 hour tour in the decanter helped ease the wine but it's still very tight.

Sept. 25, 2010: Sampled over the course of 3 days. By the third day it was much better but still is a wine that needs to be to paired up with food. Wine could benefit from a few more years in the cellar. If opening now, be patient and give this wine lots of time in the decanter.
Red
9/22/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
87 points
Deep purple hue. Smooth and silky mouth-feel. Soft tannins provide a nice balance to the flavors of black cherries and plums. There's also hints of carmel, vanilla and some nutmeg. Some oak with this wine but it's soft and balanced, not a heavy, overdone treatment. Nice finish with hints of chocolate. I was not expecting to like this wine as much as I did given my tastes trend toward an old world style. Easy drinking, nice crowd pleaser.
Red
9/22/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
94 points
Lovely garnet color. On the nose, complex herbs, violets and spicy perfume. A medium bodied wine that bends the rules for Californina pinot. Not quite an old world style and not a fruity version of new world pinots, this wine is a complex conundrum that leaves me wanting more and wishing that I'd purchased a few bottles to try over time. Lots of currants and cranberry fruit, some sweet spice character and green tea. Tannins are somewhat soft yet I believe this wine would age well. Not quite as delicate as an old world Burgundy, this wine stretches beyond the old world boundaries and expresses both power and delicacy. Very interesting wine.
Red
2006 Langmeil Three Gardens Barossa Valley Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
9/22/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
84 points
Tasted this wine on the heels of a GIANT aussie fruit bomb so I may be a little more reserved in my opinion than I would had I tasted this on it's own. Deep, dark purple color. This Shiraz is softened by the addition of Grenache and Mourvedre. The blend helps to bring "some" balance but I'm still not keen on the level of residual sugar. Seems high in alcohol but didn't find % on the label. Lots of dark fruit on the palate, some chocolate. Not a very complex or exciting wine for my taste. I rank this slightly higher than the typical Aussie new world fruit bomb. Again, another wine I bought years ago when I first started collecting. I'm definitely not feeling the love for this style. There's no excitement or complexity to this wine. Boring and pedestrian. The blend helps save it which is why I rate this a little higher than the typical 100% Shiraz wines.
Red
9/22/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
80 points
Deep, inky dark color. Lots of sweet red fruit on the nose...get prepared for a big dose of sweet raspberry jam in this giant fruit-bomb. Did someone cook down a jar of Smuckers and pour it into my glass? This wine is true to it's Aussie new world style and this wine will not disappoint those who enjoy this style. Full bodied, thick, velvety mouth-feel makes this wine seem like dessert. The residual sugars make this wine too sweet for my palate but will be very appealing to some. I bought this wine years ago when I first started collecting and my tastes have definitely changed over time. This wine works for those that like a big, sweet, heavy wine.
Red
9/22/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
90 points
Dense and deep ruby red in color, the nose is loaded with luscious aromas of currant, blackberry and licorice. Full-bodied and rich it is a classic ripasso-style wine. On the palate, this wine offers raisin and black currant with some new leather and a hint of sweet tobacco. Full-bodied and velvety mouth-feel make this a great "library wine" without the heaviness of too much alcohol. At 13.5% alc, this wine is beautifully balanced. Would pair well with grilled meats, pungent cheese and full-bodied sauces. I regret opening all of my 2004 bottles and wish I had left one in the cellar to age another year or two. This wine is perfect for when a port or Amarone is too heavy yet you're still seeking the silky richness of a wine with impact.
Red
9/22/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
94 points
The wine is classic Pinot Noir in a distinct Old World style. Delicate aromas and flavors focus on red berries, delicate spice and subtle earth as the wine opens up and gains complexity with time in the glass. Medium bodied and silky soft tannins make this a lovely, balanced wine to drink without pairing up with food. This does not strike me as a typical Italian wine. Soft, round and delicate it would not pair up well with hearty Italian fare but would complement lighter dishes which may be indicative of the unique source of the wine: high in the Alps near where Switzerland and and France meet. Candied cherries, hints of chocolate and delicate spices. Velvet in a glass. Complex and unexpected, this is a wonderful wine.
Red
8/16/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
94 points
Monday, August 16, 2010. Popped and poured - did not decant. The color is strikingly beautiful: a rich vibrant garnet. Nose has lots of red fruit, raspberries and strawberries, laced with white pepper. sweet tobacco smoke and figs...over the course of a half hour it mellows into an incredible perfume with a hint of garrigue. On the palate, the fruit gives way to complex layers of soft earth, with subtle hints of dark chocolate and old leather. Back in the day when I was a kid in the country, we used to chew on our leather laces... I guess we did it because we liked the sweet, complex flavor. The wine is medium bodied, complex and balanced. It makes you use your brain "...what am I tasting now?...where was I when I last experienced...?" This wine transports...foreign places, sights and sounds come rushing back. The finish is soft and inviting - that longing feeling you get when you realize it's the end of summer and yet there's the promise of fall. This is the type of wine that reminds me of why I fell in love with wine in the first place. The finish lingers...more leather from the horse barn...dark chocolate...something carmelized from the bottom of the saute pan. This is an old world wine that wouldn't work for everyone. Unfortunately, this is my last bottle but will savor it over the next few days...
White
2009 Château Luau Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
8/15/2010 - Wine Bonzai wrote:
81 points
Poured from the bottle straight out of the fridge. Not feeling the love. Too much citrus, like I'm sucking on a lime. Everthing is on the front end. Stops short with no finish - giving me a little whiplash in the process. 13% alc. but it tastes - and I can feel - like it's much more. Color is beautiful to behold, a delicate pale hue of yellow. After about an hour in the glass, this wine completely changes with the Sauvignon Blanc making a big appearance: grapefruit, honey suckle and pineapple, again everything is up front. Still no finish to speak of except for the heat of alcohol. This wine needs to be served only slightly chilled, it's much softer once it warms and breathes in the glass.
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  • Tasting Notes: 14 notes on 14 wines
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