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Comments on my notes

(86 comments on 58 notes)

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Red
2010 Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
12/22/2022 - WineGuyDelMar Likes this wine:
93 points
Decanted two hours. Cab was forward initially but then the Merlot came out at hour four. Old World nose and medium body and mouth feel. Nice cassis, tobacco & leather notes. Excellent wine. Very smooth but nice complexity without being heavy handed. Nose after four hours was unmistakably Old World and almost forest floor funky. My kind of wine.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/17/23, 3:12 PM - Ha! Literally at the store and buying it now.

Red
2005 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap District
Pretty much on par for a good vintage SHS: rich, luscious black fruit married to high-quality, spicy oak. The fruit and texture are so exquisite you forgive the lack of complexity. Surprisingly easy to drink for such a rich wine and, in the final judgment, simply delicious.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/1/23, 8:07 PM - Well said. We enjoyed a bottle last night also.

Red
2019 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
11/28/2022 - KCProper Likes this wine:
92 points
Day one: subdued and dumb. Wanting more. We’ll see where it goes.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    11/30/22, 9:37 PM - Any update on Day2+?

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/20/22, 10:00 PM - Thx. First time buying this wine on recommendations.

Red
2019 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
8/5/2022 - sfwinelover1 Likes this wine:
96 points
First of 2 ($99.99) from the big box wine store about 6 weeks ago. On the nose and palate, moderate notes (which became explosive at the 90 minute mark, per the below) of chiffon-like red raspberries, earthy minerality, camphor and lighter notes of black tea, tar and garrigue. Medium garnet darkening and purpling over time, medium+ bodied, thick legs. Vibrant acidity already surprisingly well balanced and even integrated, medium+ tannins, and the most lithe 15.5% abv you’ll ever find (CT friend LotB’s point about it being almost Faively-like duly noted). Fairly primary off the pour but with increasing, and VG+ complexity over 3 nights, VG++ persistence, VG+ intensity. Well, sometimes you gotta break your own rules, and one of mine would be, as a regular drinker of different vintages of this bottling (in the past 5 years or so, 1998-2001, 2003-2011) much before its eight birthday, and often, well thereafter. But hey, I’m on CT for a reason, and when I see people whose opinions I trust bestowing 95-100 scores on something now, something which could close up at some point, or we could end up at sword’s point with some global bad guy which could threaten my wine cellar, or, well, more fun times with the Palo Alto Spa, not to mention that I have another bottle, and was considering, based on the notes, buying more, well, my corkscrew beckoned. While it’s hard to know handle the counterfactual of how I’d feel if I saved this bottle for 5-10-20 years, it hasn’t sucked the past 3 nights. Intense and focused with dancing red raspberries leading the way out of the bottle, the olfactory hit another gear with about 90 minutes of air, smelling like the finest Parisian parfumerie in the midst of a rose garden, with more red fruits (rhubarb, red currants, red and black cherries) and orange peel being joined by anise and some rocky minerality (Close des Papes notes so familiar to those from the aughts like funk, smoked meats, heavy garrigue and figs were almost or completely absent to my palate). Its complexity may have peaked at the 3 hour mark, at which point I recorked it, but this has held well over 3 nights, even if it didn’t change much, for better or worse, after the first 2-3 hours. A magical complement to lamb chops—making up for the exhausted ‘06 of this bottling last month—this is just great as a sipping wine, for those so inclined. While fluctuation seems to be more likely up than down over the medium to longer term, how much so, and how straight that path will be falls into the who knows basket; it’s not infanticide to drink this not only delicious, but beguiling, quaff stat. While my near term purchases will more likely be measured in bottles than cases—I mean, short of this being 100+ at the moment, which, per the below, it isn’t for me—is how I roll anyway, this is pretty great stuff and right there already with my favorite Rhones. Its youth has made it unusually hard for me to grade, as I’ve flip flopped between thinking that this is currently an excellent wine with potential for possible greatness (95+) to believing that it’s a monumental wine heading for the pantheon (98). I end up somewhere in the middle, 96+, CT consensus, and looking forward to my next date, probably in 5 years (yep, health issues aside, I’m one of the more patient folks on the site). Get some.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/3/22, 9:06 PM - Ha! Love this write up and it’s nuances. This vintage is my first purchase guided by the CT comm. I was in new territory trying this on ‘22 NYE (early), but looking forward to enjoying it in the future with friends.

Red
2005 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Calistoga
11/28/2022 - Papies wrote:
92 points
Very young still and almost a touch austere albeit overlaid with proper Napa fruit. The wine is good don't get us wrong but just we had that feeling that we rushed it and with time this would evolve into something so much more. The fruit is very much there but its even tighter than a 2005 Bordeaux now, has the power and all and the presence but would have loved some more complexity. a Solid 92-93 for now but we will wait quite a bit more for our next bottle.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    11/30/22, 9:36 PM - Ditto!

Red
2013 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/5/2022 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
94 points
For me this bottle was personally disappointing. One bottle shared with friends back in March of this year was a good 3-4 pts better. It was classy, refined and just all around very, very good. This bottle never quite did much f anything for me. It was ok. The nose was better than the palate. Don't get me wrong, this is still a nice 93-94 bottle but it's not 97. The fruit is nice, the balance is quite good, the backing acidity says there's more time. Just not sure why this bottle was so much different than one just 6-7 months ago? I believe they were both bought at the same time and from the same retailer, but this one just doesn't seem to have the layers or the pedigree of the last bottle of '13, nonetheless, it's quite enjoyable with friends and food and good music!
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    11/7/22, 9:15 PM - Certainly an interesting thread. I have way too much Insignia going back to ‘97. I can say my best path to an enjoyable experience is to open the bottle mid-morning and start decanting mid-afternoon. Certainly more airtime than many will recommend, but my experience is that inevitably the last glass of the night around 9 is claimed to be the most enjoyable of the evening. I have the 02, 05 an ‘11 on deck to open soon. The first two are from magnum. I’ll post after.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    11/7/22, 9:49 PM - Ahh- Such a bummer. Re my '97... Yeah, it became an 'experiment' a few years ago. Just a single bottle remaining fortunately. M

Red
2019 Cheval des Andes Vistalba Red Bordeaux Blend
10/13/2022 - watcheslover Likes this wine:
100 points
FA-BU-LOUS, The best ever made with the 2018

What else?
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    10/22/22, 8:44 AM - Just received 3 2018s. I’ll look for the 2019s. Thanks!

Red
1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
10/5/2022 - fcxj wrote:
90 points
Deep, violet fruit. Pleasurable, if not particularly nuanced.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    10/13/22, 7:40 PM - How much time did you allow for this to open up? Did you decant? Thx in advance.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    10/13/22, 8:08 PM - Thx. Have one that I need to open soon cheers.

Red
2018 Château Laroque St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/11/2022 - sfbikeguy Likes this wine:
92 points
Enjoyable for the price. I'll wait another year before I try another one.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    9/11/22, 7:14 PM - Yeah. First time trying this wine. I’ll look for the 19 this week. Thanks for the comment as I didn’t think about the 19 yet.

Red
2010 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
8/20/2022 - WineGuyDelMar Likes this wine:
95 points
Drank next to a 2009 Larcis Ducasse. This is a Classic St Emilion. Dark black fruits, dry and devoid of any sweetness. Lots of flavor layers and complexity. Chocolate & tobacco notes. Nice earth too. This is my style of St Emilion. Note to self…Please get more of this.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    8/28/22, 4:56 PM - WGDM, been trying to get a few more bottles of the 2010. Thoughts on this? Looks like Laguna Cellar had some and I missed it. KL Wines (local) is a no. Saratoga (NY) has it. Price is up there (~$170), but the wine is super nice....

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    9/2/22, 9:56 AM - WGDM, opening a bottle the 2010 Canon La G this afternoon for a blind tasting with some hitters this evening. Thinking about giving it 4 hours of air before transport. Open to thoughts on this. Also bringing a 2013 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc. This will be a first for me. Looking forward to the experience of both. Hopefully the group of 10 enjoy it. M

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    9/3/22, 12:56 PM - Updated my profile with with last night's lineup enjoyed blind. Right to Left, (except the port was last obviously). The '10 Canon La G was the most talked about red. 'Insanely good' was the fun comment. Both the year and Right Bank were called out. Notes later based upon their comments.

Red
2010 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Napa Valley
8/21/2022 - sfbikeguy Likes this wine:
92 points
Last bottle and it was great with a dinner at friends that ordered Snow's bbq. Decanted for 4 hours to get some air. Highly recommend this based upon my prior notes. Note on bottle prep: this wine has tons of fine sediment, so useful to do some decanting. Also rinsed bottle before refilling and transporting.

Sometimes a wine lands great with certain food, and this wine did that both before dinner and with bbq. I have some of the more recent years of the Phelps Cab. Hopefully they'll be as enjoyable. Cheers.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    8/27/22, 10:42 PM - Good to know. Thanks. BTW, I'm going to open another 2004 Backus soon. That bottle was one of the best wines I've ever had from my cellar.

Red
2010 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
7/29/2022 - Montesquieu Likes this wine:
95 points
First of 3 bottles and drunk over hours 1-3 post-decant. Nicely at beginning of drinking window now, with big, rich flavor and excellent length. Would rate it 93 today on its way to 95 at least at peak maturity in 5-10 years.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    7/31/22, 7:29 PM - Ha! I’m looking forward to my next bottle. WGDM, if you find the 2010, let me know.

Red
2010 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
7/21/2022 - zimmy07 Likes this wine:
98 points
One of the greatest noses on a wine, ever. The bouquet jumped out, remembrance to 1995 Angelus. This wine is young, but shockingly approachable with 4 hour decant. Cassis, graphite, mocha, and pure silk. Sexy AF! Still some tight, gritty tannin, but this is polished and fricking great! truly exceptional!
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    7/23/22, 12:28 AM - Nice. I’m actually opening a bottle of this tomorrow for a dinner at friends. Did you decant and how long was the bottle open before enjoying? Thanks in advance. M

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    7/23/22, 2:16 PM - Ah, apologies for my passive reading. Long week here. :).

    Started decanting at 2PST. Nose is beautiful but the wine still has a lot of opening to do. Dinner is going to be interesting. 2010 Poyferre vs a 2011 Opus. Old vs New World is going to be flipped at dinner with some Japanese (lean) beef.

Red
2012 Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
7/19/2022 - sfbikeguy Likes this wine:
93 points
After enjoying my first bottle a few weeks ago, I brought a second bottle to a friend’s for a steak dinner. I opened the Malartic a few hours before dinner and we decanted for an hour at his place. He opened a $100 2013 CA Cab that was very floral and nice before dinner. Once we started enjoying dinner, the Malartic won the night. It was a much more enjoyable wine with the steaks. Since the 2015 is available now, I’ll purchase a bottle this weekend and if it’s similar to the 2012, I’ll purchase 6. I highly recommend trying the wine, especially for the reasonable price. Cheers.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    7/23/22, 2:11 PM - Lots of great comments here. Thanks for the info. WGDM, I have not tried the other wines and while I have the DD Chevalier, I have the more recent years. I'll ask around my local friends if they have any 2012s.

    Sastewart: I will call out that with both recent bottles, the wine was much better with time open (including the next day on bottle 1), so maybe early in the overall window, but very enjoyable. I will keep my remaining for a few years from now. Great experience for me overall and I'll buy 6 '15s this weekend to hold.

    Stay cool this weekend everyone. Surprisingly reasonable here in Norcal.

Red
2012 Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
7/4/2022 - sfbikeguy Likes this wine:
93 points
Really nice wine. I’m pretty sure this is my first time enjoying a Pensacola-Logan. I was rushed on the first day as we decided to have steaks last minute. The wine was very approachable on opening, but was much better after 90 min and 3 hours. Kept 1/4 of the bottle to the next day and both of us thought it was more enjoyable the 2nd day. I have 3 more bottles, so I’ll stagger these the next 5 years? I also like the wine enough that I’m considering buying some late 2015 arrivals. The local NorCal store has the 2015s for $65, so start enjoying in 2025? Maybe. Looking forward to enjoying the next bottle with friends to see what they think.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    7/15/22, 10:26 PM - Lol, when Apple incorrectly changes the spelling of one of your words and you don’t realize for two weeks…. Good humor.

Red
2016 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
6/30/2022 - AaronMaxwell Likes this wine:
95 points
Tiffany says 93-94, I say 95. She prefers old world, but this is clearly not…

After an hour decant…Bright strawberry on the nose, but brooding raspberry beneath.

It’s settled down since sip #1 (which was all tight and dark).

The wine is well balanced with earthy, creme de cassis nose. Blackberries and blueberries dancing together over the stage of gentle tannins. Hints of cigar leaf, but doesn’t overtake the wine.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    7/2/22, 2:15 PM - I've gone to 8+ hours of air when enjoying Insignia. I have not regretted it yet and usually my friends are saying the last glass was the best. Thanks for the note.

Red
2016 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard Oakville
5/21/2022 - bestdamncab Likes this wine:
97 points
Phelps Customer Appreciation Day 2022 (Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Napa Valley): At Phelps Customer Appreciation Day. From magnum, nose of black forest cake, black berry, kirsch, and a touch of mint, intense floral nose and intense concentration on the palate, same on the palate, needs 4 years in the cellar, and probably merit 100 points, subdued, sublime, and rich tasting, almost elegant, very soft, silky tannins on the midpalate, and long finish. Retail $1440 magnum and $850 bottle.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    6/6/22, 10:37 PM - Nice. Phelps and their event is great. Enjoyed my first Backus last year with a friend. One of the best wines I have ever enjoyed from my cellar. It was a 2004. Have one bottle from almost every year from 1997-2016. Hope your summer is starting well.

Red
2019 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
12/11/2020 - watcheslover Likes this wine:
94 points
Little deception? I thindk it loosed a little of his splendour from june 2020
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    5/20/22, 3:00 PM - This just came back in stock at my local store. I don’t have any of the 2019 Canet. Now for a loaded question: buy this at $160 or the 2019 Clos des Papes for $100?

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    5/20/22, 10:06 PM - Thanks. Adding more Clos des Papes tomorrow. Have a nice weekend. M

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    5/21/22, 10:09 AM - Great. Looking now!

Red
2015 Château Giscours Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
Disappointing. It took the expected 2 hours to open up on Day 1. There is just not a lot going on here. On Day 2, it was almost flat. Focusing, I can get the profile of the wine, but this wine is just not worth the $60 I paid in June of 2016 and held in storage until today. If you balk at that statement, the same $60 invested in TSLA is worth $1,026 today (22x).

It's experiences like these that cause me to question the buying and holding of moderately priced wines. It's a tough game and it does not help when my local wine shop is ringing the bell on the wine and today offers it for $90. Sometimes is all Marketing.

I do have one bottle left. I've set a note to 'wait' a few more years to see if my comments are off.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/10/22, 10:14 AM - Thanks for your comment. I'm definitely new to French wines. I started purchasing with the 2015s. Mostly St.Emllion's. It would probably be worth it for me to purchase an older bourdeax on auction to determine if the 'end game' is right for me at the market price. I see lots of people have the 2015 Giscours. I'm in my early 50s, so the clock is ticking... :)

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/10/22, 12:42 PM - Good comment jj. I'll keep that in my perspective going forward. Definitely becoming more interested in elegant wines. I have essentially stopped buying Napas as I have enough for a few years and enjoy them more when they have evolved.

    Racerchris, thanks for your comment also.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/11/22, 8:26 PM - OK. Set my note for the next bottle for 2030. Thanks. HNY.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    4/2/22, 4:55 PM - Fair question. I buy wine to enjoy it in the future. However, where the wine has to be held for such a long time to enjoy it, or you have a lot wine and it essentially becomes an investment just based upon total value, then I think there's a discussion to be had on what is the right strategy. There's also other costs to be considered, such as storage and the risk of a corked bottle. Net net I can handle a bottle I've held for 5-10 years not being something in my preferred experience, but I'm super skeptical doing the same where the wine is closed and it's uncertain when it's going to be ready to show itself. For the 90 points, I don't have a good answer. It was a few months ago and I can't remember the experience. I guess I just cringe on giving anything starting with an 8.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    4/2/22, 5:30 PM - Thanks. Hope you're enjoying a nice wine this evening.

Red
2015 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/29/2022 - Sanfoan wrote:
This is the third bottle I have opened since release all stored at 55 degrees and not moved from my cellar. This is completely closed at the moment and I don't feel like any amount of coercion will open this up. This was more "open" even just a few months ago. I would not revisit this until another few years minimum. I agree with MOTZ comment from a while back - I would not touch these until the 15-20 year age window.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    4/1/22, 6:07 PM - That's a bummer these are closed now. I have a few reasonable 2015's like the Cantemerle, Gisours, etc, but it seems like it's better to use storage space for higher priced bottles that need the same time. Thanks for your note.

White
2013 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
3/27/2022 - ElGreco Likes this wine:
96 points
DdC Blanc seems to absolutely kill it in the 9-11 year range. Similar in profile to the 2011 with perhaps a smidgen more acid. Like the '11 there is an elegant silkiness in its texture. On the nose one finds lime, stone fruit, herbs, nuttiness, wet stone, a big dose of lactones, and waxy cosmetics. Many of these come through on the palate in waves. The opening is a juicy lime/apricot mixture before a marked hazelnut surfaces in the mid. It closes out into a beautiful honeyed rain soaked stone finish. The kiss of oak combined with semillon waxiness really ups the luxurious tactile feel of this one. Exceptional with a simple pasta dish of chicken, peppers, white wine, and parmesan.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    3/28/22, 8:25 PM - Nice. I’ve pulled my first bottle to enjoy with friends soon. Have never tried this wine. Thanks for your note!

Red
2009 Château Larcis Ducasse St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
2/26/2022 - WineGuyDelMar Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted two hours. Wine is amazing chocolate, leather, tobacco but so super smooth. Alcohol is ZERO issue. Go buy Oregon Pinot if you think Bordeaux alcohol is too much. It’s not. So smooth And extracted. If you don’t like this wine then Wow. What do you like. I’m buying more of this for sure. Excellent.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/26/22, 6:33 PM - Nice. I purchased some '18-'20 based on your recommendation, but have not tried yet. Laguna still has the '09. I"ll pick up a few and try with friends. Thx. M

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/26/22, 7:50 PM - Nice. On it. BTW, might be in DEN soon. If I am flexible, I'll ping you. M

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/26/22, 7:58 PM - Maybe this week. Or after you're back. I'll ping you for sure. I stay with friends in DEN so I have flexibility.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/26/22, 8:03 PM - oh, I've been looking for more of the '10 Canon La G. Epic. I'll look for that too.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    3/18/22, 9:46 AM - Quick question on opening this. Totally going with the 1-2 hour decant prior to dinner tonight. Will opening the bottle around 1 be a bad thing? I enjoy the aroma therapy on my Friday pm's. Won't decant until 5. Thanks in advance.

Red
2009 Château Larcis Ducasse St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
3/17/2022 - ClaytonDave wrote:
Gifted.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    3/17/22, 9:27 PM - I just received by 6 yesterday. First taste tomorrow. I'll decant a few hours before dinner.

White
2012 DuMOL Chardonnay Chloe Russian River Valley
3/2/2022 - oncocyte wrote:
flawed
It's too late baby, it's too late......
Maybe just the bottle, but this one was too aged to be enjoyable.
Losing the fruit, some varnish, acidic finish, Nah.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    3/2/22, 7:56 PM - Hmm. Sorry to hear that. About 9 months ago, I found a box of six '12 Chloe's in my storage that were not included in my CT inventory. Started drinking immediately as I was worried, but the bottles ended up being excellent. 2 left and we'll enjoy this summer.

Red
2016 The Mascot Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
2/22/2022 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
96 points
Pnp'd and had every intention of letting it sit as Agelvis has recommended for the full 6 hour decant.....but it just didn't work out. I started in at 2.5 hours and enjoyed most of it at hour 4, with dinner, but the tannins were much more prevalent in the early going. Kept a glass to enjoy after dinner. Beautiful slightly sweet, dark red/black fruit, some cassis and chalky minerality. In the first 4 hours the tannins are a bit grainy which eventually resolves and smooths out, but keeps some of its astringency intact. The fruit loses some of its rambunctiousness and settles in nicely. Throughout the first 4 hours there is a nice redwood/forest floor nose and feeling to the wine...kind of like when I first walked into the great redwood forests of northern Cali on one of my very first visits to wine country.

Fast forward two hours later after dinner, so now a full 6 hour decant and the fruit really settles in further, gets deeper/darker. Some tobacco, a little dark chocolate, maybe a tad of light coffee grounds. I can agree that this is a more masculine wine at this stage, but I am curious how it would evolve over another 10-20 years. It does get softer/silkier over the 6 hours of drinking and the balance to this young wine is actually pretty incredible. I was with Carol early on at 94. She never got to try again after dinner. But this is an easy 96 with 6 hours of air. Going to hold my remaining bottles and parse them out over the next decade+. I know that's wayyyy too long for my pal, Agelvis and his palate, but I feel these will only get better with time as even more depth and more character/complexities develop.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/27/22, 10:19 PM - Agree. I’m in the 23 hour decant category. Not all the time, but the Mascots are enjoyable aafter the extra airtime.

Red
2016 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
7/5/2021 - watcheslover Likes this wine:
99 points
Tasted yesterday for the first time. Very great Canon, for me better than the great 2015
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/19/22, 7:09 PM - I love your decant. Buying some now!

Red
2012 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Napa Valley
2/2/2022 - jzebrack Likes this wine:
90 points
I think the drinking window guideline for drink by 2021 might have been fairly accurate. We had a bottle in March of 2021, and it was better than the bottle we just drank. So, our advice is that if one still has some 2012's, drink now.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/12/22, 10:07 PM - Thanks. Made a note to pull a bottle to check in.

Red
2019 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
2/9/2022 - Francophile1 wrote:
85 points
Two words… monolithic & boring.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/12/22, 10:04 PM - Hmm. Was thinking that on my last bottle.

Red
2019 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
1/10/2022 - PIZZAandBAROLO Likes this wine:
97 points
Quite lively, fresh, and spritely off the initial pour.
Soft velvet tannins offer a pleasurable mouthfeel. Dark garnet red in the glass, the wine is medium to full body. Crashing ashore are waves of really elegant soft red fruits, raspberry, cherry, strawberry. Some red black fruit, plums and fig jam. Lots of sweetness over much acidity or tartness. Very little oak detected as well. And last, an elegant & long, James Bond walking slowly backward, Martini in hand, glancing over the crowd and stepping out the back door type of finish. As smooth as they come. Not to mix words, this wine is flat out delicious and finely crafted. Right now, I see no reason why it can’t be drunk now. Unless you’re actually drunk now and may not necessarily appreciate it... Aging on the other hand, and how this wine will evolve over time, is a different question and a personal preference. I kinda like these wine young and love the energy and freshness, but that's just me.
97+
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/14/22, 7:57 PM - Great creative writing! 2019 is my first try with this wine. Thanks for your notes.

Red
2019 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
11/19/2021 - watcheslover Likes this wine:
100 points
Sorry to be a little proud of myself, but I can't resist putting you below the comments of the best critics of the great wines of the Rhône. Already in sample, I had sensed the exceptional quality of this wine. I just bought a few bottles before the price exploded.

99/100 B&D: "Absolutely grandiose. There are no words to describe the obviousness of its harmony. Between its almost perfect creaminess, the strength of its fruit, the excellence of its velvety tannin, everything is perfectly in place. Ten years of custody, it could bring us a few tears. What an emotion. Thrill guaranteed! "

98/100 RVF: "The 2019 red is certainly one of the finest in this vintage for the appellation. The wine presents rare grace and finesse over a sunny and high-grade year, and we can only salute the management of the texture and its overall harmony. "

98/100 Decanter: "Lively and floral nose. The tannins are extremely fine, almost imperceptible, but very present, giving the wine a solid base for a long aging. It is perfectly balanced, long and deep. Rich but luminous, very complete , pure and without excess. "
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    11/20/21, 7:24 AM - I’m in per your recommendation! It’s still available and I’m thinking about purchasing some more.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/29/21, 5:37 PM - Just picked up my 8 bottles today. Considering opening a bottle for a friend's NYE party where he is serving an exceptional Beef Wellington. It'll give me/us the opportunity to purchase more. Prices have increased $10 to $109 in CA. If we open a bottle, I'll report back.

    Assuming opening and decanting first thing in the morning is the right move here...

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/30/21, 8:55 AM - Thanks a ton. I'll let you know how it goes and also look into your other recommendations. Happy New Year. -Mike

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/6/22, 10:35 PM - Thanks. For the Gangloff, I think I found it in the US. Do you mean the 2019 Gangloff - Cote Rotie Sereine Noire?

    update: Oh, now I see your tasting note. Great. I'll order tomorrow.

    Searching for a Richebourg thank you gift for you... :). Thanks again. Mike

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/6/22, 10:50 PM - Yes, just saw they have both for 2019. $299/$189 here in the US. Yes, it's an expensive sport, but totally worth it when sharing with friends.

Red
2016 The Mascot Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
This was the disappointment of the evening and I really can’t understand the high scores. I saved half the bottle (it was that bad..) so I will try again tonight and re-score if it improves.
Very closed on opening, didn’t really open up until about 3-4 hours in the decanter. Nursed a glass or two over the next few hours so it had up to 6 hours of air and was never particularly good.
Some nice dark fruit, but not much structure or backbone. Almost syrupy sweet (dare I say new Caymus) at times, with a strange taste on the finish. Seemed bitter or cough syrupy to me. Paul thought it was more of a green/woody aftertaste although I didn’t get anything green. He also commented that it tasted like one of his 5.99 bargain buys. But even then he didn’t finish his glass (and he will drink a 5.99 wine)
This bottle did not taste like it had an obvious flaw or heat shock. Just not good. And maybe something in the blend giving it that lingering aftertaste (too unpleasant to call it a finish).
As I said, I will try again tonight and stay open minded!!
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/2/21, 8:57 PM - Missed today’s Zoom tasting. Any further comments from anyone? I have not picked up my 16s yet. BTW, I’m in the ‘23 hour decant’ camp with the exception of the 2015…. Full disclosure, have not opened a Mascot in a while. Will do for the holidays.

Red
2016 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
6/28/2021 - watcheslover Likes this wine:
100 points
Re-tasted yesterday, for me the best Figeac ever made just behind the future legend 2019 and better than 2018 and 2020
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    10/22/21, 10:49 AM - Just received an email to pick up my '15 and '16 Figeac order. Thanks. :)

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    10/22/21, 2:05 PM - I did. '18, '19 and '20 all purchased. Cheers.

Red
2005 Château Pavie St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/18/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
98 points
FIL came in town, so we pulled a hot young thing (‘15 Myriad Elysian Dr. Crane) and this mature elegant beauty queen. Opened and into the decanter. Notes of funk and fall forest floor emanated from the decanter. Only minor bricking on the edges.

Checked in first at a little under 4 hrs. This is a deep viscous powerhouse, easily visually confused with Napa but for the nose. Sweet delicious BDX nose of earthy dirt, funk, crushed blackberries and mushrooms. On the palate, still young and somewhat tannic structured. Cassis, blackberry, black cherry and complimentary hints of red raspberry and red cherry. Even with the decant, still much sediment to be found. 96 for now, needs more air.

At 5 hr, a touch of mint, spice box and burnt embers appear complimenting the prior notes. The palate does has flattened a bit becoming a little more linear with a bit more tannic bite. Still 96.

At 6 hrs when the Flannery filets were ready, this showed it bests and raced ahead of the competition. The hard edges gone everything in unison. A horse race, won at the stretch.

In this face to face battle, it’s a draw. Napa lovers will claim the Myriad won, BDX lovers will claim it was never close and the Pavie won. I just had two great wines—who cares what they think?
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    9/20/21, 7:20 PM - Awesome writeup and thank you. I have three 05s and have never enjoyed Pavie before. This will help with my planning. Cheers!

Red
2016 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/4/2021 - Cailles wrote:
95 points
Bordeaux 2016 - 5 Years On - 8 Top Reds: All wines tasted single blind. This tasting proved again that 2016 is an amazing vintage. Compared to many other recent vintages, the 2016s show no excess in any category (especially beneficial for right banks these days) but wines that are still fully ripe. The aromatic complexity and precision are off the charts and structural frames are luxurious. Compared to the more solar 2015s wines we tasted last year, the 2016s will need more time to integrate and open up and might be a tad less charming at this point, but the potential is immense. Group winner was an incredible Ausone, ahead of the Pichon Lalande and an incredible and singular Montrose (which for me was a tied #1 with the Ausone).

TN: Right after opening, the Figeac showed brilliantly with intense aromatics combined with an amazing purity, airiness and luxuriousness that has become the norm in recent vintages. A quick double decant and a few hours later it showed different, more muted, more in the dark fruit spectrum (compared to the sweet, pure, fresh red berry potpourri it had before) and didn‘t get good grades from the group. A few of us waited, did a lot of swirling and suddently the wine had a comeback (and higher scores from those who waited). It gained in expression and concentration with dark cherries, sour cherries, strawberries, minerality, herbs being the main aromas on the nose and palate. High precision but not as complex as the Ausone in the next glass. Probably it had a tiny hole mid palate but that is more phase than wine related, imo. As mentioned, the structure and texture are impeccable. This bottle proved again that these days, Figeac is a blue chip on the right bank, especially for those seeking elegance and not too much ripeness and extraction.

Decanting: A double decant a few hours before consumption which didn‘t help. I would not decant the wine at this point.

Group rank: #7 out of 8 wines
Group score: 94.3 pts
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    9/5/21, 10:48 AM - Thanks for your notes. I have just started purchasing Figeac with the 2015 but have not experienced any vintage yet.

Red
2010 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
9/4/2021 - michigan dogs Likes this wine:
97 points
Took to dinner so the bottle just got a very short decant. Excellent. Exceeded my expectations and was the best Insignia I have had. So well balanced and smooth, in it's drinking window now!
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    9/5/21, 10:38 AM - Nice! One of my next Insignias to try. I’ll give it 8 hours of time.

Red
2019 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
8/27/2021 - watcheslover Likes this wine:
100 points
I was incredibly lucky to be able to compare some great Saint-Emilion 2019 (samples) and 2018 (bottles). I don't have time to comment on everything below but the general opinion of the tasters is that it seems that, unlike Pomerol and Left Bank, the year 2019 may well be the better of the two. . Of course, it is too early for this advice to be final.
Well, not surprisingly and "at that time" Figeac 2019 dominated all the others for the majority of people present.
Here are the best notes. I will add others, soon, directly to the wines concerned, especially if my first "en primeur" notes have moved in one direction or the other.

1) Figeac 2019 100/100
2) Cheval Blanc 2018 99/100
3) Ausone 2018 98-99 / 100
4) Figeac 2018 97-98 / 100

And for information, we had fun giving a "gold palm" at the best value for money of the evening and it is the Larcis Ducasse 2019 which is on the podium (96-98 / 100)
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    8/27/21, 10:02 AM - Nice and thanks. Just purchased some 2019 Figeac futures last night.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    8/28/21, 9:52 AM - Super excited to try Figeac. Never have. I have 15,16,20 and now 19 en route. I’m pretty sure my initial purchase was based upon comments by you. Thank you. Also just picked up a few bottles of the 19 Papes. Thanks in advance for all your insight.

Red
2010 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
8/6/2021 - jkwoodward Likes this wine:
95 points
Fantastic. Really nice red fruit nose with a long finish. Wonderful.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    8/6/21, 6:57 PM - How long did you let the wine breathe for?

Red
2004 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard Oakville
I'm drinking my first Backus with a friend tomorrow over steaks. I have one of each bottle from 1997-2016. Planning on giving it 4+ hours of airtime. I'll probably open the bottle around noon and start a decant around 3. Open to thoughts ahead of time! I'll post after.

- Punted dinner to next day.
- pulled cork @1. Noticed cork was very soft on putting in the cork screw. Despite being very careful, cork broke.
- The immediate nose on this thing is MASSIVE. I won't taste yet. Just going to enjoy the bouquet the next few hours as I work some work done. :) I'll taste and consider decanting around 3.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    7/9/21, 5:44 PM - Great. I'm lucky enough to have purchased 3 2004s back in the day, so I'll be able to try this again. Thanks!

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    7/10/21, 11:31 AM - Ah! Pushed dinner to tonight! Better for both sides! I'll post initial thoughts after I open it.

Red
2001 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
5/14/2021 - jkwoodward Likes this wine:
97 points
Lyon 2021 Birthday Bash; 5/14/2021-5/15/2021 (Bear Creek Woodward/Lyon Den): This bottle was spot on. Coffee and dark fruit, with cassis at the forefront. Good structure for 20 year old Napa blend. Tannins were soft, with a loooong finish, which made it my WOTN. I don't think it could have drank better at a different point in its evolution, just differently.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    5/16/21, 8:14 PM - Can you comment on how long you opened prior to drinking? I've been going on the long side, 6-8 hours of decanting and still the last glass is always better... Thx.

Red
2007 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
9/12/2020 - sfbikeguy Likes this wine:
92 points
Nice wine. Drinkable as soon as it was opened. I'd drink it again, but I am unsure it's worth the price.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    5/4/21, 8:55 AM - Ha! Funny to see this thread. Quick side note, my comment on price was thoughtful, not skeptical. Enjoying wine at the right time has certainly become a more pricey exercise between timing of purchase, storage, opportunity cost, and then there's the auction market. My very recent dabble in St. Emilions certainly has exasperated this.... When I did enjoy the CdP, I definitely said to myself I wish I had purchased more than 1 bottle at an early price. Cheers!

Red
1995 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
3/27/2021 - bestdamncab Likes this wine:
93 points
Nose of black berry, plum, and mocha, same on the palate, big body, very tasty, slightly tired but showing all of its Silver Oak Napa fruit, mouth filling fruit, wine to sip and savor, Justin made great wine, brings back memories of Release Day Partys with friends, long, flavorful finish and aftertaste.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    4/11/21, 8:43 AM - Lots of good memories from those events. Thx for the reminder.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    4/11/21, 9:57 AM - I had a few magnums signed by Justin back in the day. Really nice guy. Also met a lot of super nice people pouring wine.

Red
2008 The Mascot Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/20/2021 - Alongfield Likes this wine:
94 points
100% audacious and bold. Lots of Cab but I suspect the presence of some Petite Syrah and Petit Verdot. Even though it’s 13 years aged, I suspect it could age for 30 years or longer.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    3/26/21, 8:26 PM - Thanks. I have one bottle left. Will probably drink it with some other Mascot vintages as a last hurrah.

Red
2007 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
2/7/2021 - fingers Likes this wine:
94 points
Wonderfully described by many others here so I'll just add that what I find so alluring is the mouthfeel and texture, in addition to the beautiful dark fruit , tobacco, and floral profile. The world needs more wines like this
5+12+18+9= 94
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/9/21, 8:55 PM - Nice! I moved a bottle from storage to my fridge recently to drink with friends. Any recommendations on how much air time to give the wine?

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/10/21, 8:00 AM - Perfect. Thanks.

Red
2005 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap District
2/7/2021 - WildeMeeuw wrote:
94 points
Kleur: Diep ondoordringbaar donkerrood. Aroma / bouquet: Het kenmerkende, verleidelijke en loepzuivere bouquet van een ultiem gepolijste wijn die zelden teleurstelt. Donker fruit, vooral kersen en vooral cassis, chocola, mokka, donker gedroogd fruit. Smaak / Afdronk: Ook in de mond is deze Napa-klassieker onberispelijk en verleidelijk. Zachte zuurgraad, perfect gerijpte tannines. Grootste, mondvullende wijn met een fantastische balans. Ook in de mond indrukken van geconfijte kers, bramen, vanille en cederhout. Lange afdronk. Algemeen / potentieel: Hillside Select stelt me nooit teleur.Ook deze 2005 is prachtig. Nu drinken! 50 + Kleur: 5 + Aroma / bouquet: 12 + Smaak / Afdronk: 18 + Algemeen / potentieel: 9 = 94/100

Color: Deep impenetrable dark red Aroma / bouquet: The distinctive, seductive and flawless bouquet of an ultimate polished wine that rarely disappoints. Dark fruits, especially cherries and especially cassis, chocolate, mocha, dark dried fruits. Taste / Finish: Also on the palate, this Napa classic is impeccable and seductive. Gentle acidity, perfectly ripened tannins. Largest mouth-filling wine with a fantastic balance. Also impresses in the mouth of candied cherry, blackberry, vanilla and cedar wood. Long finish. Overall / potential: Hillside Select never disappoints me. This 2005 is also beautiful. Drink now! 50 + Color: 5 + Aroma / bouquet: 12 + Taste / Finish: 18 + Overall / potential: 9 = 94/100
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    2/9/21, 8:57 PM - I have this wine on deck for my next get together with friends. Thanks for the notes.

Red
2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
1/17/2021 - gossba Likes this wine:
92 points
This wine is losing its fruit. Drink now
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/19/21, 9:51 AM - How long did you let the Insignia open for? My experience is that it benefits from at least 8+ hours. I have two bottles left, but magnums, so different story.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/19/21, 10:16 AM - Interesting. I'll move this up my list to open up this year. Thanks.

Red
2010 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
11/13/2020 - sfbikeguy Likes this wine:
94 points
The wine is fantastic. It was a different experience from other wines I've enjoyed. I had it about a month ago, but did not post a note. I will be purchasing this wine each year going forward. Have some 2010s, 15s and 16s currently. High recommend.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    1/8/21, 4:23 PM - Thanks @wineguydelmar. I'll research those this weekend.

Red
1992 Franciscan Estate Zinfandel Napa Valley
6/23/1994 - bestdamncab Likes this wine:
93 points
Zinfandel Tasting (Lafayette, Ca.): Big, rich nose with cigar box, cedar, and camphor, well balanced, needs 5 years to peak, big body. My #1.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/10/20, 9:47 PM - Interesting. Thanks.

  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/11/20, 8:39 AM - Yeah, that was weird. I was browsing your notes. Not sure how I missed that.

Red
2012 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
amazing forgot I had a 6 pack in the cellar and have never even tried it, having with my wife's fabulous stuffed shells and arabiata sauce
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/10/20, 9:36 PM - That's awesome! Double win!

Red
2015 The Mascot Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/9/2020 - AGELVIS Likes this wine:
95 points
Eight hour decant. Very deep dark magenta color. French silk pie, black cherry, and wild strawberry on the nose. Smooth, velvety, cool, fresh palate, with great acidity. Firm, full tannins on the longish finish.

This is surprisingly accessible for The Mascot. It may only need a two hour decant to hit its stride.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/10/20, 9:35 PM - Agree that the 2015 may need less of a decant. Have not posted my notes from the virtual tasting yet, but the glass we had a dinner (after bottle was open for 4 hours) was thoroughly enjoyable. My wife said 'as smooth as velvet', and she has the better palette. Sneak peak, wine was just as nice after 24 hours at dinner the next day. Soft and enjoyable, but still very present. Great bottle, but agree, more more approachable earlier. Here's to sharing great wine with friends.

Red
2014 The Mascot Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/1/2020 - AGELVIS Likes this wine:
95 points
23 hour decant (your eyes are not deceiving you). Very deep dark magenta color. Nutmeg, cream cheese, mulberry, and evergreen on the heavy, powerful, but refined, nose. Very creamy, velvety, and very dry palate. There is nice acidity and barrel spice throughout. Voluptuous tannins on the long finish.

Truly a classic and really terrific for this price point. Anyone who thinks they don’t love this has not given it enough air.
  • sfbikeguy commented:

    12/2/20, 3:07 PM - Ha! My 2015's arrive in the next few hours. Need to plan for that tasting next week. About 23 hours of planning...

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