Tasting Notes for Dale M

(1,705 notes on 1,250 wines)

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Red
5/25/2019 - Dale M wrote:
91 points
P&P. At 7 years old this Syrah is in a nice place. Love the freshness, little if any new wood I think gives an energizing thrust to fruit profile, which is mainly dark raspberry. Perhaps a bit more mid palate would have been nice, but small quibble, really nice wine.
White
5/19/2019 - Dale M wrote:
89 points
Bright and spry, full of sunny star fruit and honeydew melons. Lots to like here.
Red
2007 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/19/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
P&P but allowed the first glass to be poured into the stem to breathe. In many cases WA Bordeaux blends can imitate that of Bordeaux, but that’s not the case here, and not a knock against this wine either. Sweet, perfumed, some very nice dark fruits mixed with sage and other fresh herbs, oak is fully absorbed and this appears to be at peak. Should hold, doubt it will improve.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/17/2019 - Dale M wrote:
P&P. Yet another really nice Sonoma Co Zin from Carlisle, I can't think of anything to add.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/17/2019 - Dale M wrote:
93 points
Decanted1hr. While I enjoy the Rotie reds, it’s really the white wines that normally make its way into my shopping bag. That being said, this 2010 N. Rhone was a really nice treat, and has performed well each of the three times I have had it. Snappy blackberry fruit rides a medium bodied palate, feels Rhonish, perhaps a semi modern St. Joseph would be the best Old World comparison. Clingy finish, and all around very solid.
White - Sparkling
5/14/2019 - Dale M wrote:
95 points
Spectacular.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/14/2019 - Dale M wrote:
94 points
Decanted 6 hrs and served with braised oxtails and chorizo, a superb pairing I might add. The 07 was my first Ygay, and while I really enjoyed it, this wine is a clear step above. Yes, the use of new oak is apparent on the nose and palate, but the shoe just seems to fit the foot so to speak, as it really works well, though give this some additional age and I bet some real fireworks will emerge. Dark berries carry a slight smoky edge, already expansive with a wide palate coverage, and a closing note of fresh earth and spices. Powerful yet elegant, again this is has great potential written all over it. If you have three or more bottles worth a peak, otherwise hold for at least 5 years – perhaps 10.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Rosé
5/12/2019 - Dale M wrote:
I can’t think of the last time I have had so much anticipation of a rose, and with good reason as this truly was a singular experience. Lots of notes on CT describe ‘paint thinner or ‘petrol’ which is indeed accurate, but by no means off putting, nor was it as oxidative as I had thought it would have been. Instead, this was exceed lying fresh, spry even, with a textural richness from the use of oak. My normal tool box of TN words simply break down here, as I can’t really describe this other than it had my 100% full attention and that I loved it. Don’t hesitate if you can find this for the proper release price $35-$50 though a head scratcher as to secondary market prices in terms of paying $250 for a rose, but simple supply and demand I get it. Outstanding.
Red
2009 SYZYGY Saros 126 Columbia Valley Red Blend (view label images)
5/9/2019 - Dale M wrote:
92 points
Solid red, liked the 07 at tad more.
Red
5/5/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
Strong wine for a basic Bourgogne, red fruited with balance, easy to enjoy and will probably develop well.
Red
2017 Cadence Coda Red Mountain Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/26/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
Decanted at breakfast - bout 10 hrs of air. After the immediate pop of juicy black cherry, this quickly shows its cab franc hand, though its only 25% of the blend (45% merlot - 23% Cab Sav - 7% petite verdot) - as lots of spicy, slightly stocky notes are balanced by some lovely red fruit - more elegant than previous Coda vintages, perhaps 17 was a cooler vintage? At any event, this is drinking well to no surprise, but should age well if one wanted to lay some down. I tend to drink my Coda’s Early and let the single vintage stuff rest for a decade plus.
Red
2015 L'Ecole No. 41 Ferguson Vineyard Walla Walla Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/22/2019 - Dale M wrote:
93 points
Decanted 6 hrs. I hadn’t had a L’Ecole 41 that was over $25 in at least a decade, but tasting this a couple summers ago at the winery and learning of the high elevation and volcanic soil, I was intrigued, smart purchase. The first word that jumps to mind is freshness; while the plums and blackberry fruit carried plenty of hedonistic pop, this was very light on its feet and just coasted across the palate getting a few ‘oh’ and ‘ah’s’ from my family at Easter dinner table. Some dark cocoa and dusty tones, already showing some layers, but this is flat out good Cabernet with many years ahead. Great handling of hot (in a long line of them) vintage, and I look forward to my second bottle in a decade and definitely looking at new vintages as they come out.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
4/21/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
Decanted 2 hrs, I can understand the less than stellar vibe on CT, certainly not a lot of upfront charm, but there is enough to work with if served with the right food. Pleasant if uncomplicated at present.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
4/20/2019 - Dale M wrote:
93 points
Delivers an immediate impact of fresh papaya and ripe pears; perhaps a touch of youthful chubbiness as the sweetness imparts a light honeyed quality. Snaps up quickly on the back half has the palate weight as light as vapor, but with a great wake of Mosel Slatey-ness. I’d give this a few years to settle in, but a terrific Spatlese nonetheless. Shocker I know.
White - Off-dry
4/16/2019 - Dale M wrote:
92 points
"A prime example of what I call “hidden sweetness” – residual sugar playing a supportive and catalytic role while not engendering any overt sense of sweetness – this will perform brilliantly at table as well as in your cellar.” David Schildknecht - I pasted this last part of DS's review on this same wine that perfectly encapsulates the perception of how the sweetness translates to the drinking experience; not troken nor Kabinett, it was very unique and damn tasty. Almost clear in color, I loved the smoky peach notes with biting grip. My first Halbtroken, my first Merkelbach, they won’t be me last. Yowzers.
Red
4/14/2019 - Dale M wrote:
94 points
My last go with this 04 PdF in 2012 didn’t leave that much of an impression with me, seemed a little flat and all in all dull. Whether it was due to an off bottle or just needed time, hard to say, but last night’s bottle was simply right on point. Decanted 90 minutes, this was a classic WA State Cabernet, lovely cassis / blackberry fruit that carried a both freshness and slightly dusty quality, and to great effect. Mid weight palate, fresh sage notes and touches of cedar, and just a lovely elegance through the whole proceedings. Certainly in the zone, perhaps still on the uptick, many years left. Outstanding.
Red
2013 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo (view label images)
4/13/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
Ditto previous note.
White
4/10/2019 - Dale M wrote:
92 points
Lovely Sancerre, chock full citrus and minerals, lively acidity though its somewhat deceptive. As it warmed to room temp, even greater complexities emerged. Fun wine.
White - Sparkling
4/10/2019 - Dale M wrote:
95 points
First Cristal, and it certainly lived up to pretty high expectations. Rich, with very expansive mouth coverage, slow to drink. Super duper good. Slight edge to the Krug 164, but that’s splitting the smallest of hairs.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
4/8/2019 - Dale M wrote:
94 points
Decanted 4hrs. The nose took a while to focus, but once it did, really lovely aromas emerged such as balsamic infused cherry, iron, a touch of leather, and cool mint leaves. The palate has an immediate impact of ripe, and very tasty cassis fruit, that carried both masculine and regal quality. In fact, I keep thinking this reminded of a Pichon Baron, and a strong vintage at that. The back half though leaves no doubt - as the acidity and tannin structure scream Chianti. Drinking well at present and if this bottle is representative, this is still on the upswing with many years of great drinking ahead.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/5/2019 - Dale M wrote:
94 points
Decanted 3 hrs. This easily cracks the Carlisle Top 5 young wine barrier, and with room to spare. Sure you have some of those sturdy and slightly rugged PS tannins floating around, but this is accessible and drinking so well already. The dark berry fruit is already suggestioning layers of complexity, not there yet, but it seems this flower will bloom sooner rather than later. Some well judged oak (as always) - snappy finish. Check, check and check.
6 people found this helpful Comment
White
3/31/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
I guess the VV version carries a touch of new oak vs. the straight Les Forets and this seems par for the course here. Beautiful light gold color, this was pure, clean and precise. Perhaps, a touch more oomph would have been welcome but perhaps that can come with age.
Red
3/31/2019 - Dale M wrote:
94 points
Decanted 6hrs. Showing small traces of oak on the nose, but very much in the background, allowing for the dark fruits to sit centerstage. Alluring spice notes as well. Exceptionally clean presentation on the palate, with the dark cherry pit fruit dominating, structure is clearly there, but subtle. As it fans out mid palate and the finish, we so more trademark Lopez Heredia-ish stuff kick in, such as orange peel, really solid acidity, and a closing note of funk. I really, really liked this. How could you not?!?!
8 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/30/2019 - Dale M wrote:
92 points
Dark berries and spices abound, good cutting acidity, not a good note but this was a very good wine!
Red
2014 Fontodi Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese (view label images)
3/23/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
Cork out for 6 hrs no decant. Bright and good energy to the red cherry fruit, some consistent spice notes throughout, a slight suggestion of leather and all in all very nice. I think I liked this a tad more than the general CT vibe. Served in the Reidel Vinum Chianti / Zin stem, I think this was a good choice as it seemed to give the wine a good focus – I did have a ¼ glass out of a larger tulip stem to test this out. As always, the standard issue with the Fontodi CC is the price; well made but a tad high in relation to its peers but this was on sale for $24 at JJ Buckley, so I’m a happy camper.
Red
3/17/2019 - Dale M wrote:
94 points
P&P - and full disclosure, I had quite a bit of pre dinner festivities so not in the best frame of mind for a detailing the wine. That said, this was big, complex, and well enjoyed at theTornardo Steakhouse in Madison WI.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/14/2019 - Dale M wrote:
Decanted 6hrs. While this was certainly enjoyable, this really needs some time. Great dark fruits, but very masculine tannic structure. Hold.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
3/10/2019 - Dale M wrote:
89 points
Really nice, at full maturity - less saline more richness, great buy for $24
Red
3/10/2019 - Dale M wrote:
92 points
Decanted 6 hrs. Certainly no sneaking this by as anything other than a 2015, the dead give way of the deep purpled hue, ripe berry nose, and lots of other stuff indicating a forward leaning vintage. The blackberry theme continues on the palate, suggestion of fresh pastries, and a subtle rocky underbelly. While this not the most expressive Syrah at present, the balance is there, and it should blossom in time. Light on its feet two. Impressive.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/9/2019 - Dale M wrote:
93 points
Decanted 3 hrs. The increased delineation in the fruit profile vs my last go with this last April was striking; clear cut blackish strawberry fruit carries an ever so slight pulpy quality but its backed up with more than ample structure. I love the minty-ness, some cracked pepper, sweet violets, good acidity, all the boxes are checked here. Terrific.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/4/2019 - Dale M wrote:
93 points
While somewhat shy on the nose, this was still pretty open on the palate, at least for a young Barolo. I didn't this nearly as acidic or tannic as some other posters have cited, but this did clamp down near the three hour mark, so I'd guess this might shut down in the next year or so. But still, very classic and very good!
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White
3/3/2019 - Dale M wrote:
91 points
An attractive white peach core is quickly joined with an immediate acidic pop, which could rejuvenate even the most tired and fatigued palate. Good slate notes throughout, and a nice ending note of sweet honey. This is truly a wine to enjoy just about anytime for any reason.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 DeLille Cellars D2 Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/2/2019 - Dale M wrote:
91 points
Decanted 90 min, some initial oak settled back after an hour of air time, sweet, but good structure, enjoyed this.
White
2/24/2019 - Dale M wrote:
89 points
Day 1 this came across as tasty, but very much lacking in overall volume and came across as a tad thin. Day two was much improved, and food pairing no doubt assisted (fresh crab and shrimp on mixed greens a taziki dressing) - not an 'oceanic' type chablis, but rich and good mineral thrust. At $33 certainly fair value, but I would probably look at different option in this price range (Vocoret, Gilbert Picq etc).
Red
2/24/2019 - Dale M wrote:
92 points
Decanted 4 hrs. Mid weight Pauillac that is really in a good spot right now. Not a rock star, blockbuster, nor the 2nd coming, this is very comfortable in its delivery of gentle cassis fruit that caresses instead of conquers. There certainly is some nice complexities as well, graphite and subtly earthy tones are playfully doing there thing in the back ground. Some tannins for sure, but they are pretty tame and lend the necessary support and structure to make this all work and come together. Sure this could age further, but I’m glad to have drank my last bottle to capture the current state, it really worked for me. Even better, this was purchased for $47ish in 2015.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2/23/2019 - Dale M wrote:
91 points
'Unscrewcapped in the am drank around 7pm. Part of the PDX price dump, this certainly delivers. Bright and nervy, this carries a tasty edge of dark berries that have the acidic zip of a red fruit, such as a raspberry. Lovely overall elegance that certainly tips the hat that this Ms. Fox's handiwork. 2010 Structure is evident as this still tastes young to me, and a nice closing note of orange peel. Reminds me of a strong Gevrey Villages wine - and even at the regular price of $35(?) I would have been happy, at $18 a steal.
Red
2/11/2019 - Dale M wrote:
Consumed on a quick P&P, less than idea glass, but still delivered the goods. Have another one I'll do my wine thing on, and have a proper note.
White
2/3/2019 - Dale M wrote:
92 points
Ditto TN from 1-4. I doubt a better domestic Pinot Blanc exists.
Red
2/3/2019 - Dale M wrote:
92 points
Decanted 5 hrs. The initial lack of aromatics had me concerned this might have been corked or otherwise damaged, but thankfully the first sip removed such doubts, just youthfully stubborn on the nose. Bright and energetic, lovely dark cherry fruit that had just the right amount of flesh that I normally find in BdM vs. that of something from the Chianti region. A little wood is felt mid palate, but its more of a textural feel than anything crossing into vanilla flavors etc. Medium acidity, some nice minerally stuff going on in the finish. Again, the freshness here is the real key, should be really something in 5 to 10 years. At $42, a really good allocation of your wine $.
Red
2/2/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
Decanted 6 hrs. A pretty big blast of herb infused strawberry and underbrush arrives in welcome fashion on the nose, a little funk too for a little extra kink. Immediate wave of acidity hits first then crests into a pretty well behaved and charming Burg. Yet to really take shape, this still has a lot of interesting things going on: tart red fruit that is tamed by our salmon, savory, good mineral thrust on the finish. Assuredly to improve after being kept sideways for a few years. Excellent and a very good value at $42
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/27/2019 - Dale M wrote:
91 points
P&P though this really developed nicely over the 2 hrs. or so it was open, I'd have given it an hour of air if I could do a do over. At first this came across a tad non discreet, but quickly blossomed into a fine, almost 20 year old Left Bank specimen. Fragrant black currant is nicely off set by subtle earth tones, medium bodied, a bit of tobacco here and there, and all in all a very fine claret. If this bottle is representative, certainly in its prim drinking window and should hold for a good while, probably a matter of personal preference at this point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1/26/2019 - Dale M wrote:
93 points
A bit of cringe when pouring. The deep amber color would normally be a disaster, though this producer would be the one safe house from the golden hue pre-oxidation gremlin, I was still worried. Unfounded, the bottle was completely sound and fresh. The transformation in the first 120 seconds this wine was poured in the glass was pretty remarkable in how quickly it came together. Lots of perfume floating around this guy, evoking orchard fruits that had a very rich and even savory quality at times. A bit of peat that I normally associate with the Rangen vineyard was certainly felt mid palate. A very slight drop off on the finish kept me from scoring this higher, but this was still darn good. Some perceived sweetness but still came across as dry, but flirting with the border. I think this is ready to go.
Red
1/20/2019 - Dale M wrote:
91 points
Cork was popped about 6 hrs before, but not decanted. One of the really fun aspects of being on the list with Bedrock (and Carlisle of coarse) is the sheer quantity of sites that one gets to try, and as the old saying goes, no two wines taste alike. True here as the fruit profile had a unquie cherry / loam quality that I could quite place in my memory of Bedrock / Carlisle wines. Deceptive acidity keeps things humming along, and all in all this is very nice and drinking well right out of the gate.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/17/2019 - Dale M wrote:
91 points
Served as a blind ringer and to great effect!
Red
1/17/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
Pop and Pour, would have benefited with more air but still enjoyable.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/13/2019 - Dale M wrote:
94 points
Decanted 6 hrs. Pure, clean, delicate, and lovely came to mind in describing the bouquet, all wrapped in wild strawberry shell. Decieptivley light and lithe on the palate, spices are added to strawberry profile, and the way this gained weight and traction in the glass with a perfectly paired double cut pork chop and wild mushroom risotto was remarkable. Loaded with potential, but drinking so well already. My first Kelley Fox Pinot. I’m a believer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/12/2019 - Dale M wrote:
Decanted 6hrs. Really soft and easy going, with tons of jammy blackberry fruit and an rockstar finish. Not even close :) The only thing I could really detect this was from a riper vintage was the nose, somewhat fragrant backberry and a slight pepper touch. Pure young Levet on the palate, the first glass was tight, masculine tannins, firm acidity, uncompromisng. The 2nd glass did open up somewhat, a black cherry profile could be felt around the edges, the ol Parker ‘beef blood’ adjective was certainly accurate, but this was balanced, and still fun to drink. Maybe fun isn’t the best descriptor, but I’m glad I gave this a go.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2015 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc Columbia Valley Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
1/7/2019 - Dale M wrote:
90 points
Always a solid bet, the 15 is no exception to a versatile, food friendly WA State Bordeaux Blanc blend. I think its about 75% Sav Blanc / 25% Semillon, this does carry a fairly assertive acidic edge, but nicely buffered by the back ends richness and mineral-esque spine. I can’t believe I’m typing this next sentence, but I think I like past vintages a little more, more specifically, they seemed to have a higher (or perceived) percentage of new oak. There is something about a Sav Blanc / Semillon blend that really works well for my palate with a decent (but not excessive) use of new barrel. That out of the way, this was still very fine, and a very good buy from JJ Buckley at $24.95.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/6/2019 - Dale M wrote:
89 points
P&P. Some oak on the nose had me thinking this would be spoofed up some, but surprisingly, no, good underflying structure and tension. Enjoyable.
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