Tasting Notes for PJRONeill

(382 notes on 266 wines)

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White - Sparkling
5/27/2019 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
Lovely but maybe just a bit off the heights of the couple of bottles five years ago. Notes of orange marmalade and burnt caramel on the nose, but the palate was just a bit clipped and lacking in depth to be truly outstanding. Very enjoyable nonetheless.
White - Sparkling
3/31/2019 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
Consumed over two nights, a bit nondescript on night one, much better on night two with more evolved notes of coffee and brioche to add to the pear, apple and citrus notes. It's enjoyable and solid if not exactly profound, which largely sums up my experience with Ruinart over a number of vintages (specifically 96, 98 and 02).
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1985 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/3/2019 - PJRONeill wrote:
91 points
A delicious bottle, yet just slightly off previous examples, suggesting that this is perhaps on the downslope of its aging profile. A classic nose of cigar, strawberry jam, pencil and beef stock but on the palate it's beginning to show its age with the fruit becoming a tad dilute and the acidity a little more prominent.

There's probably a good 5 years of ideal drinking left in this one but I wouldn't be shy in consuming any remaining bottles over the next 2-3 years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
3/3/2019 - PJRONeill wrote:
93 points
A pale lemon color that suggests a still-young wine but on the nose it has the first hint of that candied pineapple note I get in Chablis with some age. This is clearly on the cusp of its proper drinking window - notes of citrus, Granny Smith apple and oyster shell and in the mouth it is nicely plump but with a bright acidic edge.

Delicious now, will be interesting to follow over the next decade or so.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
12/25/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
93 points
Drinking really well with notes of lemon, pear, chalk and iodine. Fruit and acidity are beautifully balanced, with great length on the palate. No downside to drinking these now and over the immediate future.
Red
12/25/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
95 points
Brilliant wine, hugely complex nose of beef blood, olives, garrigue, concentrated red and black fruits, multi-dimensional on the palate, with plenty of acidity to give it a lift and keep it fresh. In a wonderful place right now, no sign of it losing any steam.
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Red
11/22/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
Less overtly Cayuse-y than I recall bottles from the 09 and 10 vintages being, with a little more subtlety and restraint on the funk-meter. All the descriptors are there, but its has a quiet authority about it and is less in your face. Very enjoyable and ready now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1985 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/8/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
88 points
First of a recent auction purchase, decent enough but lacking the stuffing to merit an outstanding rating. Very green, as Englishman's Claret notes below and while I'm not averse to green notes, the lack of fruit in this one leaves it unbalanced and a little harsh. Hoping for better with the remaining bottles.
White - Sparkling
11/24/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
94 points
Bringing down the curtain on a great Thanksgiving weekend with this beauty. Lemon, red apples, yeast, lovely balance between the sweetness and the acidity and at a great stage in its development. Another terrific bottle, five years following the last one.
Red
11/22/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
95 points
The best wine on the thanksgiving table this year, a little musty at first but after a bit of slo-ox it blew off to leave a wonderfully expressive mature nose of eucalyptus, blackberries and blackcurrants. Similarly generous on the palate, with little sign of age and plenty of sweet fruit with some tobacco notes and a touch of mint. It finishes long and is in a perfect spot for current drinking. As good a red as I've had all year.
Red
11/2/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
This is just stretching into maturity, with some generous notes of red fruit, earth and balsam on the nose and a palate with plenty of freshness and lift. It's very easy drinking now (and worth trying) but given the structure of this, and also that my last Pertimali, 2 years ago, was a '93 in perfect shape, there's no danger that these will decline any time soon.
Red
10/27/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
90 points
Just a bit surly and cranky at the minute to my taste - all of the earthy-type elements (olives, brine, bacon) are here in spades but the fruit is taking a back seat and the palate is dominated by acidity. Better with food - specifically a pan-fried pork chop with loads of fat - but I thought this might show more development at age 11 and wonder if the fruit will ever get to a point where it balances out the acidity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
10/27/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
94 points
Beautiful champagne at the cusp of its maturity with notes of citrus, green apple, white pepper and just the tiniest hint of ginger on the nose.

The citrus has a bit more of a candied quality to it on the palate, but there's plenty of acidity and salinity to keep it fresh. Good length - I just wonder that it may not have quite the depth of the truly great years but that's a minor nit. Plenty in the tank here, a couple of decades of development, at least, to look forward to.
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Red
10/2/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
94 points
Beautiful on opening and more promising than my first bottle two years ago; very Bordeaux - like with notes of pencil, cedar and red fruits but with time and air this shuts down pretty hard and still seems to need another 5 - 10 years to really open up and get into its groove. A good time to check in on this but the message is hold, hold, hold, ideally to 2022 or later.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
10/3/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
94 points
No letting up from my previous note last summer, this was entirely delicious but with a tad more mature notes, in particular a hint of candied pineapple which I get from mature Chablis and which I didn't note in July of last year. The length and persistence on this is really something. This has miles to go - it would be fascinating to taste it again in 10 years. Glorious wine and again a highlight of the year so far.
Red
6/3/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
89 points
This has settled down in the four years since I last tried a bottle. Not much evidence of age in the glass, it is still a deep red color with a nose of sweet red fruit, some oregano and a little grilled steak.

It hasn't entirely lost the spritz but it's less overt and again decanting helps. On the palate an initial hit of sweetness but there's acidity too and some drying tannin and the overall impression is of something that is somewhat balanced, a bit to my surprise.

Nothing profound here but given the state these were in when I last tried one four years ago, I'm happy that they've evolved into a solid every-day sort of wine that gives a certain amount of pleasure.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/19/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
89 points
I'm with those that get less Syrah and more Gamay or Pinot characteristics, this poured out light colored and a bit cloudy and had a very Cali-Pinot nose of rhubarb, red currant as well as a little bubble gum.

In the mouth it was similarly light-weight with notes of cranberries and red currants, a bit of earth and plenty of acid in a tart finish. It worked well with a spicy Moroccan chicken dish, the acid complementing the Harissa and the crispy chicken. A good, solid but unspectacular wine where what its served with will determine the pleasure it gives.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
5/17/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
94 points
Bought on release and cellared for five years, I thought it was about time to check in on these and get a sense of their evolution. I'm happy to have caught this when I did.

The nose is a lovely taut blend of cotton candy, lime, grapefruit, Granny Smith apple and a hint of gasoline. But it's on the palate that this shines. It has really amazing weight, just unfurling across your palate. After swallowing the dryness is immediately evident but the weight remains, as if it has changed from liquid to vapor form.

This is entirely ready in the sense that it provides a fantastic drinking experience at the moment, but it will evolve into a different kind of "ready" with time and will be fun to follow over the coming years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/19/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
First half on night one was pleasant if a bit reticent. Not decanted though.

Second half tonight had fleshed out beautifully. Sweet red fruit with plenty of structure and length on the palate.

There's more to come here if you want to continue to lay these away but give them enough air/time in a decanter and they'll drink very well now.
Red
N.V. Henri Bonneau Les Rouliers Vaucluse Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
3/24/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
88 points
A pronounced nose of herbs de Provence, eucalyptus and strawberry jam. Similarly sweet on the palate, but with enough acidity to give it a bit of structure and stop it falling completely apart. Nice enough for what it is, and if you're looking for a second bottle to open to finish off the night or round out a cheese course its fine but don't go looking for complexity or nuance here.
Red
3/24/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
flawed
Suspiciously young and simple. Clearly a fake.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1/28/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
91 points
Still extremely young. Crisp and nicely structured with plenty of weight but in need of a decade on this evidence to become really expressive.
White - Sparkling
1/11/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
93 points
Maybe not as terrific as my last bottle a little over a year ago but still showing beautifully, a lovely golden color and plenty of complexity on the palate. Good bottles of this will drink well for another decade at least but are well in their drinking window now.
Red
1/1/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
Continues to drink beautifully with plenty of fruit and structure still in the tank. Highly enjoyable now and should hold at this level for another five years at least if stored well.
Red
2005 Château Langoa Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/5/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
Extremely impressive on first opening, it shut down pretty comprehensively after an hour in a decanter. The initial impression supports all the good things I have read about this though it needs a huge amount of patience.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1/6/2018 - PJRONeill wrote:
flawed
Not entirely shot but clearly a premox victim. Disappointing.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
10/29/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
90 points
Very nice, good depth, maybe just a tad cider-y suggesting it needs plenty of time but enough positives that I'll happily try this again.
Red
10/29/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
93 points
I have no patience - so much for holding for another 10 years.....but this was delicious with a 2 hour decant and will make old bones effortlessly.
White
10/7/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
91 points
An ice bath of a wine, this is incredibly brisk and refreshing. The nose is a little deceptive, there are slight hints of cotton candy amid the citrus but in the mouth its a rush, a blast of salty grapefruit that hits like a wave, with serious acidity. Drink now to take advantage of all this youthful exuberance, and particularly if you're looking for a great pairing with sushi.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
10/5/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
93 points
Fifth of six bottles and all in good shape with no hint of the pox. This one is just hitting its stride with good depth and delicious complexity on the palate - lemon, chalk and tons of acidity but also that candied, honeyed note in the background.

Early days in terms of its maturity but broaching one now makes perfect sense on this evidence, even without the specter of the pox.
Red
1999 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/30/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
93 points
Best showing yet, this is really in a lovely spot. A classic Graves nose and where previous bottles were a bit clipped this is fuller and more complete in the mouth. It's at a really nice point in its development and is entirely ready to drink.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
9/30/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
94 points
A delicious bottle, a beautiful golden color, deep and rich with a nose of red apple, honey, chalk and a little sea spray. Great weight on the palate with excellent structure and length. On this showing this has plenty of upside potential beyond its 20th birthday. November 2013 disgorgement.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/13/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
At Ma Peche for a casual Wednesday dinner, this performed pretty much as expected. It has tightened up a bit since my last bottle in early '16 and ideally needs at least a decade but it has the raw materials in spades and will likely provide plenty of pleasure in its youth without becoming surly. Usual descriptors apply....herbs, olives, meat etc. etc. A good opportunity to check in on its development notwithstanding the lack of a good decant. Evident class here.
Red
1990 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/30/2017 - PJRONeill Likes this wine:
96 points
Around 10 or 12 years ago I had access to a small stash of this at a reasonable price and I remember the second of three bottles drunk around that time being the best red I've ever had. Roll forward to last night and it remains absolutely spectacular and as good as red wine gets for me. Sweet red fruits, olives and cigar ash on the nose, beautiful line and length on the palate, graceful and refined with a terrific finish. A real privilege to be able to drink this and to have one more bottle to enjoy.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/21/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
89 points
I've been drinking a bit of Musar lately and there was a distinct resemblance here with an agreeable nose of red fruit, sandalwood and herbs. Sweet red fruit again on the palate and some meatiness but it falls away too quickly to be outstanding and there's no real finish to speak of.

Could be storage-related (the cork came out alarmingly easily) but on this evidence my note from 2012 represents the peak for me and this is now on the downslope.
White
7/22/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
94 points
No formal notes taken but this was just delicious, with chalk, minerality and citrus. Beautifully balanced with fruit and acid on a tightrope and terrific energy. This is early in the zone but with plenty of upside. I think it's the best white wine I've had this year. Drink or hold.
White
7/27/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
Surprising (positive) development since my first bottle back in the spring, this had an immediately expressive nose of citrus and apple and some pleasant heft on the palate with plenty of minerality, some candied citrus and a little salinity.

I don't know if this rapid development suggests a short shelf-life but on this evidence I'd be happy to drink more of this in the immediate term. Very pleasant.
Red
1967 Château Palmer Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/20/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
90 points
High shoulder fill and bottle in great condition, this turned out as well as I could have hoped. Lovely expressive nose, smelling of old mulch with hints of vegemite and dried flowers. The palate wasn't quite as expressive but had plenty of subtle pleasures and held itself together pretty well over a couple of hours. Not decanting it was probably the right move. Drink now.
White
6/27/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
89 points
Better than my last one, but 09 is really not a great vintage in Chablis and there's nothing particularly distinctive about this. It has a medium-plus lemon color and a nose of pear and red apple, with citrus taking a bit of a back seat. It's weighty on the palate and there is some acidity but all in all there's not much to distinguish this from a competently made Bourgogne AC. Not sure this has anywhere to go from here. Drink up.
White - Sparkling
6/25/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
91 points
Three and a half years since my last bottle and this has developed quite positively with some time in storage. It will never be a blockbuster but it has acquired some depth and a bit of personality which were utterly lacking back in 2013. Medium aromas of lemon, yeast and chalk, on the palate it has put on weight but lacks the depth to be memorable. That said, its not the abject disappointment I reviewed back in 2013 and so has to represent a pleasant surprise. Drink now.
Red
6/6/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
90 points
Drwine2001's note below reflects my experience almost to the letter. Very little development here, perhaps just a dumb stage in its development but not showing any sense of when it might open up.
Red
1995 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/21/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
89 points
Technically fine but utterly soulless. Some hints of tobacco and smoke on the nose, a little olives and plums but on the palate its disappointingly mute with absolutely no depth or presence. After an initial glass I held it overnight in the fridge to see if it might shift gears but on the second night it has not budged an inch. A tough vintage, seemingly reflected all the way to the first growths.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
5/14/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
90 points
Once again this is perfectly fine but a little disappointing in the context of the vintage. A very pleasant nose of lemon, apple, pear, yeast and nougat, however on the palate it remains a bit simple and there's very little depth or complexity in the mouth. My fourth bottle with relatively consistent notes.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
5/10/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
91 points
Vindictive's note below is spot on. I also get a little grilled cheese on the nose, there's plenty of tension on the palate with good acidity and while there will likely be further development with age I don't think you want this losing any of its cut. Very nice with grilled salmon and one to drink in the near term over the summer months.
White
4/19/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
93 points
Tight as a drum on day 1 but after 48 hours in the fridge this was really hitting its stride. Round yellow fruits and a little candied pineapple which to me is always the hallmark of maturing white burgundy, but with plenty of acidity to give it drive through the palate and keep the drinker coming back for more. No premox issues with this whatsoever - if you feel brave, hold bottles for another 5 to 10 years. If drinking now, extended aeration is a must (meaning at least 24 hours open in a fridge before serving).
White
4/23/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
86 points
Disappointingly mute and not showing much of anything on either the nose or the palate. A little lemon water and a hint of seashell but really very unexpressive. Opened for four hours with no real development. No sense that it's corked so either heat damaged or in an in-between stage but hard to see anything positive developing from this.
Red
4/23/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
90 points
Had a couple of these over the last week and they are really very appealing with bright red fruits (raspberry, cherry and a hint of rhubarb) and some depth to the palate. Nothing wrong with enjoying these now though I am sure 5 years will bring out some enjoyable nuance. Drink or hold.
Red
4/22/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
91 points
Lovely semi-mature aromatics (red & black fruits, provencal herbs, leather and a little barnyard), there's a nice initial attack to this on the palate but it fades out quicker than I would like. Very nice but the hollow mid-palate is just a tad underwhelming.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
4/16/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
92 points
Drinking really well out of half-bottle, red and black fruits, sandalwood, plenty of savory notes on the palate, good line and length. Most enjoyable. Drink now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
4/16/2017 - PJRONeill wrote:
90 points
Super-young, all reserved and angular with notes of citrus water, a little salt and flinty edges. It is showing very little now and I think it needs a fair bit of time but I wouldn't necessarily write it off just yet. In one of those "chicken and egg" moments, it reminds me a bit of a young Arnot Roberts california chardonnay, which can be uncompromisingly linear in their youth but develop plenty of nuance over time. This is neither a dud nor a rock star, but hopefully something in between. Hold.
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