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Comments on my notes

(92 comments on 75 notes)

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White - Sparkling
2015 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Noirs Brut North Coast Champagne Blend
12/26/2021 - Rockland Likes this wine:
92 points
Huge hit with charcuterie board.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    12/30/21, 2:22 PM - Does this wine have the 'bread dough', 'brioche' that the ads say? Thanks. With a preference to Bollinger, my taste runs to yeastiness.

White - Sparkling
2017 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blancs California Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay
12/26/2021 - heidoanddave Likes this wine:
93 points
Wonderful
  • Chris@77 commented:

    12/30/21, 2:22 PM - Does this wine have the 'bread dough', 'brioche' that the ads say? Thanks. With a preference to Bollinger, my taste runs to yeastiness.

Red
2019 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Garbro Ranch Russian River Valley
9/15/2021 - Chris@77 Likes this wine:
92 points
The date is approximate. Bought 4 of these, first 3 good but not prompting a repeat. The 4th one was terrific, all the RR PN flavors, open, balanced, long finish with wonderful red fruit flavors I love. So in the last offering I picked up 8 more when more were left. I'm surprised it took many months for the wine to open but glad I didn't miss the chance!
  • Chris@77 commented:

    11/5/21, 9:24 AM - To PA Cross: 2018 vintage drank 18 Equinox. Wonderful. 6 Garbros, liked a bit less so 4 for 2019 but after the 4th bottle, maybe drank too soon. 2019: 8 Equinox + 4 Garbros. Equinox a wee bit less attractive, Garbro OK, wonderful 4th bottle. Bought another 8 Garbros + 4 Goldridges. As sole drinker no longer buy Altamont, High Plains, Champs de Mars. Need to drink less. Weakenend for Goldridge and Octogon since the 2015 Octogon best CA PN I've had ... after years of Dehlinger, Swan, Rhys, Calera. Everyone has preferences, like the Dehlinger style and balance, flavors of terroir. VR or Volnay crus too expensive.

Red
2018 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
9/26/2021 - GrapeScott wrote:
94 points
Tasted twice, over several days. As per my go-to routine for sampling such young BDX, ~1/2 bottle was Coravin-decanted into a 16oz amber bottle ~4h before sampling on day 1. I followed up on it again ~24h later. Tasted alongside Langoa Barton, Gruaud Larose and Grand-Puy-Lacoste. Has a rich, almost meaty nose, laced with cassis, violets, crushed rocks and a hint of cigar smoke. Given the burly, black-fruited nose, this is deceptively pretty and red-fruited on the palate, showing red currant, pomegranate and wineberry (wild raspberries that could be found where I grew up in the Northeast). There is a lovely tartness to balance the abundant fruit, and with 30+ hrs of air/time, the velvety tannins just melt away on the long minerally finish. This, along with the GPL, are my favorites in this group.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/28/21, 1:57 PM - When do you think the drinking window will start (own the '15 and '16). I'm asking because I don't think I have a long window in contrast to the wine, but love wines. Thanks. p.s. I know from over 40 years of the game that this is tricky. Although I love old wines, this would not be drunk old.

Red
2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
10/24/2021 - nanoose wrote:
Part of huge extravagant dinner. Had this with the main of osso buco, and Chantrell risotto. After an 06 barbaresco, had this which sang with multiple layers of fruit and chocolate, long finish, then had ‘14 la Stella expressivo. Appies were local albacore sashimi and smoked sockeye with Perrier jouet grand brut, and a fois gras and chantrell crostini with 2015 sauternes (chateau armajan des ormes). Desert of French cheeses with a blackberry port and capped with the last of a bottle of 1960 marcel trépointe armagnac. What a night!!
  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/24/21, 2:28 PM - Wow! Good show!

Red
1989 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
9/10/2021 - Burgundy Al wrote:
93 points
Acker's COVID-Vaccinated BYO Dinner and Auction Simulcast (Craft - New York NY): Small glass, brief note. Spice, black plum and cigarbox all nicely combined in a rich, complex package. Great nose, good flavors are slightly less enticing or complete, but still very good. Best I can ever recall for this wine.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    9/21/21, 1:00 PM - I'm a little shocked at seeing this because about 5 years ago I swapped 5 bottles of 2000 ports for 5 older Bordeaux, some of which I had owned before divorce and all stored at 55. The '89 Las Cases was quite tannic which was worrisome (also '86 Cos from my case ... doubted this would ever be balanced). The wine of the group which was stellar, one I'd never collected was a shock ... 1989 Leoville Barton, better than the Pichon, my favorite and why I owned 6 vintages before selling my wines. Thanks for restoring my confidence in this wine.

Red
2018 Ridge Three Valleys Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
7/19/2021 - La Cave d'Argent Likes this wine:
91 points
This opaque crimson wine was Vinturi-decanted and consumed over a three-hour period. A blend of 70% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah, 12% Carignane and 4% Mataro (Mourvèdre) that was aged for 10 months in American oak (12% new), it delivers an intense package of dark bramble fruits, Bing cherries, black pepper, licorice and eucalyptus. Medium-to-full-bodied, freshly acidic and with nicely integrated alcohol (listed as 14.5%), it wraps its flavors with sweet oak and medium-weight, fine-grained tannins. Dense on the mid-palate and medium-to-long on the back end, this is a quality red that should show well throughout the decade. Give it at least an hour in decanter. Drink now-2030.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    9/16/21, 4:24 PM - Having read your reviews ... question, is this a wine I need to drink in next months or wait a few years? There is always the question for some wines that if you don't drink early, you lose the baby fat only having to wait. I don't want to wait although don't want to have to drink up. Best guess ... ?

Red
2018 Michel Magnien Bourgogne Côte d'Or Pinot Noir
3/14/2021 - acidqueen wrote:
87 points
Soft red fruits with plum skin. Fresh, rustic, earthy and very enjoyable before and with dinner. Not something I would keep more than a couple years but very pleasant now. Great perfume. Good value too.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    7/13/21, 2:53 PM - Short note to say thanks. When I see your name I value your reviews. Continue please.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Gaston Chiquet Champagne Brut Sélection Champagne Blend
12/24/2020 - mrgarreth wrote:
82 points
Incredibly aromatic on the nose with green apples and grapes, and strangely floral. It’s very fruity in the mouth, with sweet citrus notes up front. Toasty notes arrive after some time in the glass.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    4/2/21, 2:04 PM - Thanks for your note. If I'd been smart I'd checked before I bought at Costco. I think I'll cool and drink up. I was influenced by the Spectator rating posted.

Red
2010 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
Same as 3/12 except when drunk over 2 nights 2d night bordered on sink wine ... quite tannic with loss of aromatics. I wish I'd drunk all these young. If you are holding any, suggest drinking in a single night with a 1 hour decant. Each of us decides timing and holding but my new belief is tannins are dominant in this wine. What this means is the risk of holding increases in time, could turn out stellar in 5+ years or a flame out. I lack the patience, probably time, to wait. It's enjoyable now. I'm not going to post any more reviews because nothing is likely to change for some time.

5/5 Drank up remaining bottles given no expectation the CO2 spritziness would dissipate with time, or tannins would come into bound. The tannins issue is one I've encountered with 30 year old Bordeaux. In this case I admit it is a matter of judgment. Given the spritzy wine, I moved on.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    3/31/21, 5:12 AM - Yes ... either young or maybe not balanced as much as I thought relative to tannins. Here were the initial notes on drinking.

    Jeb Dunnuck
    The 2010 Chateau Musar is a sweetly fruited, forward, charming effort that’s loaded with sweet dark fruits, saddle leather, and garrigue-like aromas and flavors. With plenty of ripeness, some bright acidity, and a fruit-forward style, drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years. (5/2019)

    Jancis Robinson
    Bright ruby. Heady, rich and gamey on the nose. Very hedonistic and accessible on the nose with real density and lifted slight gaminess. An attractive singed character on top of very ripe fruit. Great balance and freshness (but not excessive acidity) on the finish. Very neat on the end. Something rather wild and Romany about this. Already accessible even if I'm sure it will develop even more complex tertiary aromas. (JR) (2/2018)

    Having read Robinson's writings and Purple Pages, she is one of the best along with Allan Meadows (extensive, intensive incl older wines). I also favored Neal Martin, and Steve Tanzer was very good (weakness in not reviewing older wines)

Red
2010 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
3/19/2021 - Keith Cooper Likes this wine:
91 points
Zoom tasting of Musar wines, hosted by Auriol Wine, Hampshire, UK with wines introduced by Elliott O'Mara of Chateau Musar UK. The second of three vintages in the tasting, the others being 2014 and 1998. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, cinsault and carignan. Dark plum colour. Menthol nose, spicy, oranges. Rich and full palate. Appearing very fresh and young, despite 11 years from the vintage, but typical of Musar which needs a long time in bottle to reach its peak. Leather, saddle, slight sweetness of fruit. Very good.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    3/28/21, 2:53 PM - Enjoyable now, it's not obvious this will ever be great wine. I offer 3 reasons: resid CO2 persists, significant tannin after 10+ years, average finish. I like it and am not sorry I bought it however, some '80's Bordeaux of great promise never fulfilled their destiny, well stored wines at 55. I suppose we could wait longer but 1986 was some time ago, a 1989 same. Wines that excelled were not all ones I assumed, and a 1982 Pichon Lalande was very good but not 100 points 15 years later. You pay your money and take your chances :-) This one is unclear but holding many, I am drinking.

Red
2007 Dehlinger Syrah Goldridge Russian River Valley
4/10/2019 - La Cave d'Argent Likes this wine:
93 points
From a bottle purchased upon release and cellared in pristine fashion, this Syrah's deep ruby appearance could be confused with a current release. Decanted off of its sediment and allowed to aerate for an hour, it reveals an intense bouquet of red and blue fruits, accented with attractive notes of lavender, black olive, grilled meat and pickling spice. Medium-to-full-bodied, freshly acidic and with nicely integrated alcohol (listed as 14.6%), it retains an optimal level of silky-textured tannins that (along with the acid) give the wine a nice backbone. The flavors mirror the nose and there is excellent density in the middle. Finishing smooth and with impressive length, this Syrah is clearly in its sweet spot. Well-cellared bottles should provide pleasure for another 4-5 years. Drink now-2024.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    1/31/21, 1:20 PM - I bought Dehlinger PN for many years, as the single drinker buy they young vines bottling and chard to drink young. Over years with Swan, Dehlinger, Rhys, Calera I learned as Rusty Gaffney documented extensively that very few PN develop interesting bottle flavors although they do become friendlier with years ... in contrast to CA cabernets of my 80's and 90's experience (and Bordeaux or Burgundy). I've long read your reviews ... do Dehlinger Syrahs develop bottle bouquet? Secondary/tertiary flavors? Thanks. Best, Chris.

Red
2016 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2020 - csimm1161 wrote:
88 points
Linear and thin upon opening, with a primary and somewhat watery delivery of red currant, cherry, vanilla, and light spice. A few hours in the decanter helped to ease some of the tension otherwise locking up any true expression of flavor, but it remained fairly bound up throughout consumption.

All in all, the overly snowflake profile came off not only primary in stature but also distractingly namby-pamby and diluted. Mid-palate was severely underdeveloped and lacking any real concentration. More translucent and Gamay-like in its build. This is definitely a recruit in need of some soldier fortitude and density. Hopefully 5+years in bottle will help build up some moral courage and meatiness.

Better with food. And yes, I know it's a Bordeaux and I know it was opened too early (so they say), but I've had far better expressions of 2016 BDX that show much more promise than this poor little puppy. And no, I'm not trying to make this into a Napa Cabernet or evaluate it by that standard. I can honestly say this was one of the lightest expressions of BDX or Margaux that I've had in a while. Frankly, I'm not sure how folks are getting much out of this wine right now.

To be fair, my girl said she liked it a lot. When asked why, she commented about how it was nice to have a Cab blend that went well with lighter fare. Well then, if you're looking for a Cabernet to pair with halibut, cucumbers, and quinoa, then I guess this is your wine. For me, I suppose I prefer being more confident double-blind that I'm drinking a Bordeaux and not a Beaujolais.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    1/23/21, 6:53 PM - Drank a bottle of the 2d label 6 months ago. Stunning. Many times Bordeaux’s go through periods of ‘being thin’ or lacking in richness if they don’t close up entirely. In my experience many close up for year(s). Best drink young or wait. Wait to long and it is necessary to wait many more years. I’m waiting with my cases of 2015/16, hopefully to live long enough to enjoy. Suggest wait at this point.

Red
2010 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
9/6/2020 - isaacjamesbaker wrote:
91 points
Social distancing blind tasting: Tasted blind. I got red plums, leather, "stoner's garage" and some band-aid, although that blew off. Bright acidity on the palate, tannins showing dusty grip. The sour plum fruit mixes with loads of menthol, rocky soil, grilled herbs, tar and a bit of tinny, tomato sauce tones. A friend threw out Musar, but I was convinced this was an early 2000s Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet - probably because the friend who contributed it might've thrown such a wine in. It really got more expressive with time and I found it really enjoyable.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    9/16/20, 2:25 PM - Good take! This does have the attributes of a Santa Cruz Mountains cab although the non-cab grapes give it away as well as the style. Good catch.

Red
2017 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
6/1/2020 - Chris@77 wrote:
I know this wine has been out for a while, and I bought several bottles in 2019. I drank several bottles of the 2017 Geyserville but chose not to buy to store. The 2016 Gville was stellar in my view. I'm completely unimpressed with this wine. The balance is fine, the flavor palate completely uninteresting. Maybe it is going through an odd phase but I've never experience a zin go through a dumb phase. A dumb phase is completely normal for Bordeaux and Burgs. I've never had it happen with a CA PN either and for some wines drank a bottle per year over 10 years. Maybe I lack LS experience.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    6/4/20, 12:35 PM - Toddmk,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. Based on your experience and my limited 100 bottle storage at 55 probably should have foregone this one. The 2017 Gville was nicely done, tannic so I didn't buy (2016 a better wine and more ready to go). Reading the reviews I thought LS would be ready sooner. If I weren't storing so many bottles needing to get to 2023++ this would be easier (bought '15, '16 Margaux). I realized the wine was not in a state to drink, why I chose not to rate it.

  • Chris@77 commented:

    6/5/20, 8:50 AM - Hi toddmk, stories to offer so you are wiser and don’t follow my failures.

    Bordeaux years 1978-1994 ended with divorce, favorites ($/value): Pichon Lalande 9v, Las Cases 3, Poyferre 2, Gruaud Larose 6, L’Angelus 4, L’Arrosee 3, Dominique 3. Never bought Margeaux’s, quality poor ex Margaux (’15/‘16e 2/3d growths). Golden years were FFranc almost 8:1 (1982 futures Pichon, Las Cases $240/case, Grand Puy Lacoste 125, GL 150), an ocean of cheap '70's Fr/CA wines, unaffordables Haut Brion / La Mission. + top CA cabs: BV Priv Res, Phelps Eisele, Mondavi Res, Montelena (6 v), (Monte Bello too expensive, 1 of top 3-4 'Bordeaux' in world), 4+ cases of 1970 and 1977 ports. All sold to KL and MacArthur’s 1995. Restarting … burgundies (Ric Hopper, “all roads lead to burgundy”), 96/99/00/02/04 Incl 11+ cases of prem cru 2005’s. After a 10 year old Faively Clos d’ Cortons with no change cellaring gave up, drank all, next CNDP then CA PN. R Gaffney’s PN experience (and mine - no improvement) ended this … drink young. This history illustrates how to lose your way (“lost but makin’ good time”). In 2006 a 1200 bottle friend swapped 5 old Bordeaux for 2000 Fonsecas: 1985 Cos nice - downslope, 1986 Cos tannic - doubtful future (sold him 6 in 1994), 1989 Pichon very good, 1989 Las Cases too young, 1989 Leoville Barton (never liked it) was stellar - drank the whole bottle (no suffering!). Later, my friend married at age 64 and his wife told him the wine had to go, tempting with more than fair prices but too high. At his engagement party a magnum of 1990 La Chapelle (sold him 6) instead of 1989 La Conseillante because I was curious. It needed >5 more years at age 27. Top wines need to be cellared well young to drink old to preserve (or much money to buy well stored … move to UK!). After a jog into Brunellos (because an old riserva at a dinner), stupidly weakened for 2015/16 grand cru Margaux’s (+1 StEm), hopefully maturing earlier. I wish you well, to do better. It’s been a wandering journey for a curious guy. Aside from ‘likes', learned a lot … where to find wines offering exciting bottle flavors and improvement … terroir, exposure, vines age, track record, etc. …, writers to trust.

Red
2016 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
5/23/2020 - Mustang1 Does not like this wine:
80 points
Bad taste
  • Chris@77 commented:

    6/1/20, 11:59 AM - I think you must have gotten a bad bottle. I've drunk this wine, typical big zin, and although it isn't my favorite it is well made. Try again for hit the 2017.

Red
2010 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
10/25/2019 - forceberry wrote:
94 points
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsaut, one third of each. The vintage 2010 in Beqaa was very dry to boot with very little snow or rain during January and February. Very promising spring was followed by a 3-week heat wave starting in mid-July, reaching peak temperatures of 48,5°C, causing the vines to shut and drying the grapes on the vine. Carignan and Cinsaut survived the heat wave quite well, but Cabernet Sauvignon was badly affected, making the harvest very small in part of very limited quantities of high-quality Cabernet grapes. Fermented spontaneously in concrete, aged in oak barrels for a year. Blended together in 2012, left to marry for a year and bottled in 2013. 2010 Musar was made in very limited quantity due to the small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon available. 13,5% alcohol, 2 g/l residual sugar and 6,3 g/l acidity. Decanted for a few hours before tasting the wine.

Deep, concentrated and somewhat opaque black cherry color. Savory, dusty and somewhat restrained nose with dark-toned aromas of wizened forest fruits and some dried figs, a little bit of crunchy chokeberry, light lifted notes of balsamic VA, a herbaceous hint of leafy greenness and a touch of sweet exotic spices. The nose seemed to slowly open in the glass, but overall this wine feels like it really needs air to open up properly. The wine is dry, medium-bodied and quite tightly-knit on the palate with flavors of ripe black raspberries, fresh red plums, some leathery funk, a little bit of wild strawberry, light autumnal notes of earth and leaves, a sanguine hint of iron and a lifted touch of nail polish VA. The wine is impressively structured - even for a Musar - with its high acidity and quite assertive, grippy tannins. The finish is firm, juicy and lengthy with long flavors of sunny dark fruits, sour cherry bitterness, some wizened forest fruits, a little bit of blood, light brambly notes of raspberries, a hint of leather and a touch of dried figs.

A very beautiful, attractive and noticeably tightly-knit vintage of Musar that shows those slightly lifted and funky undertones typical of the winery, but also remarkably fresh, savory and structure-driven character for such a hot vintage. Although Musar is supposed to be released from the winery only when the wine is deemed "ready" and this 2010 was a late release (released after the softer 2011 vintage) this is still a remarkably backward effort that feels less accessible than the surrounding vintages. This vintage is definitely for cellar, not for immediate consumption. Some people might find the fruitier and more approachable vintages more enjoyable, but for me this is hands down one of the greatest recent vintages of Musar. Definitely a wine for the long haul. Absolutely terrific value at 41,95€.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    5/17/20, 2:53 PM - I resonate with your input, even while being incapable of offering all the contribution. Thanks. I have many bottles, have been monitoring. I love them now and it is hard not to drink them, next one next Fall, one of 11 left.

Red
2007 Calera Pinot Noir Reed Vineyard Mount Harlan
1/15/2018 - oldwines Likes this wine:
92 points
Cali, Oregon and Burgundy Pinot Noir Blind Tasting (New Jersey, USA): Brought by a friend to our Pinot Noir Blind Tasting but not included in the overall tasting rankings and mostly drunk before everyone arrived. Nevertheless tasted blind by everyone else but him. It was light to medium ruby with some bricking throughout so that it clearly looks fairly old (probably a bit older looking than its 10 years would suggest). It is reasonably well structured with low-medium tannin and fairly high acidity. There is lots of earthy cherry, a touch of dried cranberry and some spice (white pepper). It really "popped" with cherry when paired with a dry rubbed grilled salmon.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    4/2/20, 2:39 PM - Thanks. I look for your name for reviews.

Red
2000 Kalin Cellars Pinot Noir Cuvée DD Sonoma County
10/12/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
Wow. This really opened up over the evening. At first it seemed tired and over the hill -- a bit raisiny and austere acidity. But then after an hour or so this started to open up into a beautiful subtle experience. Lovely acidity, almost ethereal. Perhaps it would be nice with a little bit more complexity, but I just kept coming back to this over and over again and was very disappointed when the bottle was empty.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    1/5/20, 1:30 PM - It was interesting to read this, heartening it has held up to be interesting. When the 1990 was issued I drank up a whole case. It was wonderful.

Red
2016 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
12/28/2019 - Chris@77 Likes this wine:
93 points
Saturday ... I drank 2 bottles of this before buying 6, all I could get. Not having any interesting wines I wanted to drink and wondering of this one, purchased early 2019, I grabbed one. Initially the wine seemed tannic, significant soft tannins but the nose was huge for a wine of this age. Tannins softening after airing to a wine of huge flavors. Having been open a while the tannin is now more evident. Having targeted this for extinction with enjoyment I'm now questioning my decision. I note the ambiguity of those who offer it is above average and not exceptional maybe with too much oak, and those who label it as a singular wine. I'm in the latter camp (with my nose in the glass). I'm enjoying it a lot, a field blend that works for me unlike the jammy zins which don't. I prefer the restrained and balanced wines of Ridge. The not overly berryish notes and vanilla appeals to me. To me, this is very well made, one I should keep. Second half of the bottle on Monday (this is Saturday, dinner out tomorrow).

Sunday ... I thought this would be Monday but home early. Today is much the same as yesterday, certainly toned down a little - vanillin notes from judicious oak (oak is in the nose of the drinker, for me too much acceptable in chardonnays and more tolerance (dissapative) in reds. What sets this wine apart relative to many zins (and the Lytton Springs) is the nose, balance (significant friendly, soft tannins), and long finish. In my view any great wine must have a long finish. To me this is an excellent wine. Wish I could have bought more. (I did this with the 2010 Chateau Musar, bought 15 bottles to enjoy over time.) To put the second day in perspective I drank a number of bottles of Lytton Springs over 2 days (a wine for me of lesser quality). The first day for each was enjoyable jammy, brambly fruit, well done in a balanced and restrained way. The second day was invariably fairly hard tannins and wine a lot less enjoyable. What's different? The 'soft' with Geyserville vs 'hard' for Lytton was not the only metric. There is also nose, palate, and finish. However, I suggest Geyserville has ample tannin, maybe comparable, but guarantees both long life and enjoyment within the entire lifeline envelope. You decide. For me, the dilemma on enjoyment near term or hold long.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    12/30/19, 2:16 PM - Sorry, I miswrote this. I don't have much tolerance for over oaked chards, more in reds. Relative to this wine my dilemma is whether to continue to drink it because I like it so much, or wait. The dilemma is waiting too long usually makes the wine less enjoyable than in its baby state. I faced this with 2005 burgs. With 100 bottle storage (down from 400 bottles) and having bought 12 cases of various PC wines, what to do? I'm embarrassed to tell you I drank them up. I'm embarrassed at the outcome but ... yum yum!

Red
1999 Bouchard Père et Fils Beaune 1er Cru Grèves Vigne de L'Enfant Jesus Pinot Noir
11/23/2019 - shifter Likes this wine:
90 points
Decanted and drank slowly over 3 hours. Cork fell apart. Classic burgundy on the nose from the moment it was opened. Nose was more expressive than the palate early. Started to open up after an hour, but really started to shine at 2 hours. Unfortunately shortly thereafter it completely faded and lost all fruit on the nose and became tart on the palate. Undrinkable after that. Enjoy it early.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    12/6/19, 3:24 PM - Sounds like the bottle wasn't stored well. Your experience is one I've had, unfortunately. Any insights on ownership record?

  • Chris@77 commented:

    12/6/19, 3:24 PM - Sounds like the bottle wasn't stored well. Your experience is one I've had, unfortunately. Any insights on ownership record?

  • Chris@77 commented:

    12/13/19, 3:25 PM - I'm only interested because saw them for $90 and wanted to buy for a gift, probably keep one myself but last big vintage for me was 2005, 12 cases of various PC (mostly Volnay,VR, GC). Unfortunately, or blissfully, I couldn't keep my hands off them.

Red
1985 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
6/22/2019 - oldwines Likes this wine:
94 points
In my cellar since release in 1988 when my records indicate I paid $56 for it at Morrell’s in NYC. Decanted around 4:30pm and enjoyed from about 8-10pm. Medium to dark translucent garnet color, only ever so slight bricking. Huge earthy nose that expressed a lot of chocolate while decanting then cigar box, cedar, black earth, sous bois, leather, violets, pepper and graphite. Medium acidity and well integrated tannin and a rich, soft and velvety mouth feel. Palate reflects the nose in its earthiness and shows some cassis and blackberry. Finish is long to very long with some cigar tobacco. So balanced layered, complex and earthy overall and perfect with a grilled steak. Plenty of life left on this too.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/29/19, 2:48 PM - Only drank on HB, several lMHB's, wines with unique flavors appealing to me (other is Eisele's '75, '76 Phelps). I'm envious. Reason for my comment in mining your reviews is having paid $56, envious. At this time I'd moved on to Cote d' Or (+ Volnay). My adventure ended in divorce but yours continues. Bravo!

  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/29/19, 2:48 PM - Only drank on HB, several lMHB's, wines with unique flavors appealing to me (other is Eisele's '75, '76 Phelps). I'm envious. Reason for my comment in mining your reviews is having paid $56, envious. At this time I'd moved on to Cote d' Or (+ Volnay). My adventure ended in divorce but yours continues. Bravo!

  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/29/19, 2:48 PM - Only drank on HB, several lMHB's, wines with unique flavors appealing to me (other is Eisele's '75, '76 Phelps). I'm envious. Reason for my comment in mining your reviews is having paid $56, envious. At this time I'd moved on to Cote d' Or (+ Volnay). My adventure ended in divorce but yours continues. Bravo!

  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/29/19, 2:48 PM - Only drank on HB, several lMHB's, wines with unique flavors appealing to me (other is Eisele's '75, '76 Phelps). I'm envious. Reason for my comment in mining your reviews is having paid $56, envious. At this time I'd moved on to Cote d' Or (+ Volnay). My adventure ended in divorce but yours continues. Bravo!

Red
2015 Château La Dominique St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
10/5/2019 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
92 points
Dark body, glass staining legs. Nose has cherry kirsch, cedar, plum, sweet perfume; requires several hours decant and swirling to get.

Palate has strong tannin, plump and deep fruit palate. Heady, lots of black cherry, plum. Some heat and spice in the long finish. Should settle down and become special with more time. Would give 5 years until trying again.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/21/19, 2:35 PM - Thanks. I was thinking of trying a bottle but worried it may be closed in, not a happy event. I still remember the first time this happened 35 years ago with an expensive wine ... Ponsot CdlR. Felt devastated. It never opened. Any chance of this?

White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
Had when we got home from the hospital with baby #2. This is the first decent/good bottle of champagne I've had in a while and the first of a new journey to learn more about Champagne, the region, grapes, houses, and processes.

Light golden color, complex on the nose with nuts and spices and stone fruits. Slightly oxidized entry, blends into apricot, brioche, nutty, spicy flavors on the palate. This stays with you for a while, great length and complexity. As it had air and warmed a little the complexity grew and the flavors blended nicely. Maybe some additional age will benefit.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    9/25/19, 6:38 PM - Try Lancelot Royer Cv de Chevaliers BdB. On the oxidised side Egly Ouriet. One more Billecart Salmon. Aside from Egly these all feature old wines with complexity, yeasty with brioche, vanilla etc.

Red
2018 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
Dark, almost inky in color, the wine offers intensity, richness, velvet textures and purity of fruit. The array of black, deep red and nearly blue fruit with smoke, flowers, earth, espresso and licorice leaves a marked impression on the nose, on the palate and in the long, silky, polished finish. 95-97 Pts
  • Chris@77 commented:

    7/25/19, 5:20 PM - Did you really mean 2018? Same comment for d’Issan. This wine is not out yet, probably not even barrel.

  • Chris@77 commented:

    8/5/19, 5:17 AM - Thanks. Surprise. Since I wrote this the largest local seller wine manager and buyer traveled to Bordeaux and offered his notes ... labels 2018 best vintage of his drinking life. You may have met him ... "Bear".

Red
2016 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
7/1/2019 - LC17SMP Likes this wine:
94 points
Popped and poured. Very good right away. Plenty of fruit, silky smooth tannins and wonderful vanilla oak. Medium red color and full bodied but not heavy tasting. Day 2 this shut down completely. Tannins were very prevalent and fruit was subdued. Day 3 this was back in business. Nose was not quite a good as day 1 but overall the wine improved. I bought this at retail to decide if I was going to buy more as what I have is winery direct and waiting to ship. I will be ordering more!

Compared to the ‘17 Geyserville I had a few days ago I currently like the Lytton more. May not have the long term potential but it sure is tasty now.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    7/10/19, 11:09 AM - To me the 2016 Geyserville is clearly superior to the 2016 Lytton Springs. With this in mind I thought the 2017 Gvlle would be worth cellaring. For me, not. The 2016 Lytton is worth cellaring, even though (for me) the lesser vs Gville. I agree with you.

Red
2016 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma County
2/26/2019 - grapenomad wrote:
83 points
Seghesio is a very well-known winery in the US, dating all the way to 1895. Today, it’s easily placed among the top 10 producers of Zinfandel with some of the oldest vineyards in the game. Regarding the region, Sonoma County is not necessarily an indication of quality. It points out that grapes were picked from different AVAs, in this case a combination of Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley. Even though it states ‘Zinfandel’, traces of Petit Sirah are added to provide color and structure.

Damn, this was a tough blow, especially after hearing about and tasting many good examples of this fine establishment. Sweet, almost superficial aromas of blueberry, cotton candy and caramelised cloves, with some rubbery hints. Like putting a condom on a plum. No, you never did that? Ok, that’s just me then. It’s like that high school wine you thought was premium because it was $20 instead of your 7-dollar usual. Thick extract and fiery alcohol levels tiring out the whole structure. Take a load off, Seghy.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    3/1/19, 6:34 PM - Tend to agree with much of description although for me 88. Too fruity sweet and lacking balance and complexity.

Red
1976 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
10/13/2005 - Burgundy Al wrote:
90 points
Casual Dinner with Great Wine with Friends (Chicago IL): Great black fruit aromas, modest spice, surprisingly fresh for its age. Black cherry and currant on palate, also fresh with good tannins and acidity for structural support. Very food friendly.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    11/26/18, 2:45 PM - Sorry to see this description because to me means you had a bottle not stored well. I've had this wine several times, can be ethereal. The mineral flavors from the volcanic soil are unique. On the flip side maybe not your style. It's very different than Montelena, a winery I kept 6+ vintages and never - for me - has offered the aromatics or mineralization. Hope you get to try one again well kept. Mine were from the library but doubt they have many or sell anymore. Something that prompted this rare note is I never viewed this as a food friendly wine (not good but the singular taste experience made me want to drink it by itself, almost like I would an old '63 or '70 port). best wishes. I enjoy your notes.

Red
2016 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
10/13/2018 - Birorganic Likes this wine:
93 points
Spectacular. Ready now or will age 10+ years.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/21/18, 4:02 PM - I agree with you. Too many reviewers seek the high extract/tannin version of the Ridge old vine zins. While those are fine, they don't necessarily produce an enhanced experience with age.

Red
2001 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Octagon Vineyard Russian River Valley
7/1/2015 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
85 points
2001: A Wine Odyssey — Berserker Offline @ The Palace (The Palace Steakhouse, SF): Summary:
A correct New World Pinot with some complexity, elevated alcohol, and great purity of fruit.

Score: Around 8.5

Visual:
Clear, bright, medium-minus concentration ruby with no rim variation. No gas or sediment, moderate viscosity.

Nose:
Excellently ripe warm red cherry tone, with very slight reductive character and faint barnyard aromas. There’s a very light oak influence that I picked up after some time. Maybe 10-20% new oak.

Palate:
Medium bodied, with elevated alcohol (13.5? no - actually 14.6%, but holds it well). Savory, ripe red fruit, with a nice purity to it, as well as a slight burnt/reductive character. Acid is high, and tannins are diminished.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    8/8/18, 2:42 PM - I'm curious how the wine was stored if you are the original owner? Reason is it sounds a bit flat as if it wasn't damaged but didn't live in a 55 degree world. The vibrancy seems missing. My interest relates to owning younger bottles.

  • Chris@77 commented:

    8/13/18, 4:22 PM - After more than a decade of Bordeaux then Burgundy, CNdP, new world PN are only disappointing relative to developing the flavor palate of aging incl bottle bouquet. A small few do as evidenced by Rusty Gaffney's (princeofpinot.com) tasting of "cellar queens" a year plus ago. I cellared a couple that should (Calera), disappointed with tannin after 1-2 years, drank them up. Top burgundies don't typically display massive tannin except tough Pommard/Cortons. I no longer have the years nor the patience. e.g. After >10 years of Swan Trentons I concluded softer/easier, not more complex. Love the flavors, no need to age. Drink when ready. Aging is tricky, reminds of Bohr's quote ... "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future." Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  • Chris@77 commented:

    8/17/18, 11:33 AM - What's interesting about the 4 wines you experienced with bottle development is they are from different micro climates/soils/geology, different vintages, and winemakers. Trying to understand this I mentally extrapolated from Bordeaux and Burgundy (CNdP similar) where different a micro climate, soil, exposure, age of vines leads to varying degree of development. In Bordeaux it's the deep gravel of the Medoc crus, in Graves the type of soil/rock with only Haut Brion, La Mission, and Pape Clement having the complexity of minerality. In Cote d' Beaune Corton distinguishes and Chambolle was once called the Volnay of Cote d' Or for a reason. I have neither the education nor experience to have any inkling of what's going on, much less the years to figure it out. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Red
1986 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
10/21/2017 - acidqueen wrote:
94 points
This is now in a great place. Decanted 2 hours. Spicy tobacco, pencil shavings, mushroom and good black cherry fruit. A bit of horsey funk. Finishes a bit dry. Time to drink this, but will hold longer.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    8/13/18, 3:14 PM - Oh my gosh. When I began collecting wine in 1980 it was Bordeaux (when I had storage). GL was a top wine I could afford (thought it much better than Talbot), 1st vintage 1982 (with Pichon, Leoville Las Cases, Cos and Montrose). Wish I had them, went with a divorce and 5 cases of '70/'77 Graham and Taylor. I've had an opportunity to drink some 80's courtesy of a friend but not GL. Thanks for the memory of owning it.

Red
2014 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Trenton Estate Russian River Valley
11/5/2017 - acidqueen wrote:
93 points
I loved this at the winery, so had to try a bottle 6 months later at home. Lower alcohol for Swan Trenton, which I liked, so not as rich and plush at this age as usual. Good cranberry, raspberry fruit, but in a more restrained, leaner style. I think this one will improve well with more time, and so I won't touch my case for at least 5 years. Good upside. Decant for now.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    6/27/18, 3:00 PM - thanks. I've read your reviews. thoughtful.

Red
2015 White Hart Pinot Noir Central Coast
11/23/2017 - Marvin1 Likes this wine:
92 points
Best $20 I ever spent. Nose of red fruit and sweet vanilla with hints of earth that makes you think you bought an expensive old world Pinot. Smooth on ththe palate with a medium finish. Went super well with everything on the thanksgiving table all the way to dessert.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    6/24/18, 1:55 PM - Agree with you ... $18 at Costco. Shockingly good buy. Always have to restrain myself because get tired of it after a few bottles. Hopefully, not sold out.

White
2013 Domaine Matrot Meursault 1er Cru Blagny Chardonnay
3/18/2015 - Burgundy Al wrote:
88 points
Some peach and baked apple aromas and flavors. Comes across forward and fat to start, but mineral and bright textures come through from the middle forward, providing energetic finish.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    3/16/18, 6:03 PM - $66 at Costco. Clearly overpriced. Wholesalers trying to move it.

Red
1989 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle Syrah
12/18/2017 - acidqueen wrote:
89 points
2 hr decant. Good cork, high fill. Earth, animal, some muted red fruit. Tobacco. Still tannins. Good but not great. This wine should really be better than this. Disappointing.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    2/28/18, 4:30 PM - I dont know if this is useful to you but I drank the 1990 from a magnum a couple years ago having sold the offerer half a case. I was curious although he offered an alternative ‘89 La Conseillante. It was 5-10 years too young, pleasant but much more time. This wine needs decades. I am too old, why I sold.

Red
2007 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Great Oak Vineyard Russian River Valley
Sadly I am moving away from the sentiments from the other tasters. Recently drank a 2009 Zinfandel from Swan and 2 of these and have to wonder if the style now is not what Joseph Swan was doing when Joel Petersen became enthralled. These are ageing. And they have a lot of compelling virtues. But they are not taming the non-virtues of California. Maybe my palate is changing? Sad.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    12/4/17, 3:09 PM - This is a late comment but my belief is one of the aspects you are experiencing is almost overwhelmingly but a few, CA pinots can age well but don't gain bottle bouquet and complexity over time. This is distinctly different than old world wines. My experience is 70's and 80's Bordeaux that become wonderful but I've also drunk a couple old burgundies and CNdP. The issue is if you have the proper temperature storage, time and willingness to age. Buying on the open market can work, tough depending on location. The provenance of the wine is unknown. Last comment. This contrasts with CA cabernets that can produce a wonderful (different) experience from Bordeaux. My old cabs experience is with BV Private Reserve (70's), Joseph Phelps Eisele, Montelena. I miss these. Love old wine ... when it becomes more complex. Swan wines live long, are very enjoyable over time (my experience Trenton PN) without gaining significant complexity and new flavors (they are more friendly :-). I hope this helps instead of confuses since I haven't proofed this note.

Red
2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast
11/20/2017 - TC16 wrote:
92 points
A lot more complete of a wine than what I remember. I find that Anthill can be a bit hit or miss. Either it's moderately profound or just another unmemorable wine. This is definitely the former. The acidity and orange peel are much more in balance with crunchy cherry and raspberry. A little citrus and finishes a touch hot.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    11/29/17, 6:10 AM - I think you hit exactly. AH is very good or an average dud, why I stopped buying from them directly when formerly buying by the case. It's unfortunate because I've talked with and like the guys, overall support the style of the wines. It isn't clear if the problem is in the vineyard or wine making but either way I'm not buying in quantity anymore, and singles aren't available where I live. This morning I was reading an older issue of Allen Meadows (his quarterlies on burgundies are the only wine letters worth buying but he also tosses in CA and OR + champagne periodically), and thought I would check some notes. Yours was my experience, even after exploring the vineyard I preferred over years of tasting and drinking. I was an early "subscriber" but have bowed out. Some day maybe I'll try again. The Demuth has particular refinement but can lack richness, the Tina Marie can have complexity and depth or be an average dud. It has never been the vintage that is the problem.

Red
2001 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Octagon Vineyard Russian River Valley
12/1/2015 - ozziewine wrote:
This bottle was on the edge...teetering on the edge...peering into the abyss! It felt like if I'd waited one more day to drink this it would have been gone. Maybe it was just this bottle judging by recent CT reviews. The cork broke while extracting it but there was no obvious seepage.
The color was a dark burgundy going to brown on the edges indicating its' age. The aftertaste was your typical "almost gone" essence. Two of us drank most of the bottle, but ultimately poured the last glass down the drain.
I wish I had been able to drink this bottle a few years ago because it leaves the impression that it was fantastic at one point. And this review reflects this specific bottle (your drinking experience may vary) which may not have been stored properly. I received it a few weeks ago from K&L out of a "Private Cellar". No knock on K&L as those folks do a great job, just an observation.
First time I've never given a score because it would be low and, most likely, not indicative of the true quality of this wine.
The main message here is, drink today as drinking it yesterday is no longer an option!
  • Chris@77 commented:

    11/20/17, 5:21 AM - My experience is if the cork breaks with a wine of 14 years old, the problem is storage. Although it may or may not have been at the proper temperature, it was stored so the wine was not in contact with the cork. A couple of years ago over a few months, I opened 5 premier cru Bordeaux from years 1985-1989. Corks were still fully competent. Correspondingly, 2 years ago I bought a case of Swan Trenton 2005 from a store that stands up bottles. Although assured the wine had been stored "upside down" (fills were all high), more than half the corks disintegrated and were very difficult to extract, some pieces left in bottles. Corks can dry out in standing bottles in 1+ months. I no longer purchase from this merchant (largest in the city) unless the wine has recently made its debut. I could be wrong, just a guess from what I've seen over almost 4 decades.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Champagne Blend
3/15/2015 - forceberry wrote:
flawed
An NV bottling with uncertain age, but the bottle is obviously quite old, judging by not only from its worn-out appearance, but also from its outdated label. The most noticeable element of the label is emphasis on the big black "REIMS" text. There is also CLICQUOT WERLE insignia in the place of VCP insignia present in the modern labels. Estimated to be from the late 1970's but can be anywhere from mid-1970's to mid-1980's.

Developed golden yellow color. The carbonation has seeped out from the wine, which is evident in the lack of effervescence in the glass. The nose is very mature and somewhat dusty with sweet aromas of roasted nuts, beeswax, honeyed dessert wine tones and oxidative Tawny Port hints. The wine is dry, light-bodied high in acidity on the palate with intense flavors of steely minerality, ripe citrus fruits, some yellow raisins and oxidative nutty and caramel flavors of Tawny Port. No carbonation. The finish is dry and mouth-cleansing with persistent oxidative flavors of caramel, roasted nuts and some fresh but slightly bruised apples.

This wine has obviously reached its peak years ago and gone downhill for a long time. Probably the wine has been stored so that the cork had dried out, letting the carbonation out and oxygen in. Although unfit for a rating, I must say this was surprisingly enjoyable a wine despite its overmature character - the wine really didn't taste faulty but instead like a light-bodied, dry tawny port with high acidity. I can imagine this wine could have been a wonderful pairing with right food.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    6/10/17, 1:02 PM - Non-vintage champagne typically won't keep this long, even if stored at proper 55 degree cellar temperature. With unknown storage there is little chance of a sound bottle. I've concluded anyone buying older wine is unlikely to be satisfied unless from a colder region of the country, and even then wine may be poorly stored. Here in the Gulf Coast I look longingly at late 1980 and early 1990 Bordeaux but am unwilling to take a chance on a $125-200 bottle for a special occasion only to be drinking mediocre wine.

  • Chris@77 commented:

    7/1/17, 10:21 AM - I'm going to take a shot at a modest priced one that I think has aging potential and store a few bottles at 55 ... Pertois-Moriset Grand Cruller BdB at $35 (buy 6).

    Old wines are very expensive here when you see them, in stores unlikely to be well kept. Restaurants only carry recent vintages, not ready for prime time drinking. To explain, we're going to a nice Italian restaurant tonight and the vintages for Tuscans are 2012-14.

Red
2005 La Pousse d'Or Corton-Bressandes Corton Grand Cru Pinot Noir
8/19/2012 - Chris@77 wrote:
Drank first bottle about 2 years ago after reading Allen Meadows update (his worry overly tannic). The bottle of 1+ years ago was open, still primary but developing, rich and redolent, became tannic and astringent after extended opening. This year having bought too much wine for controlled storage, decided to drink another, expecting a pleasant experience but still on the young side, Corton a long lived burgundy. I tasted briefly then decanted the wine about 30 minutes. The wine was open, not closed, but extremely tannic even after an hour. After 2+ hours it seemed more tannic. In the last 30+ years I've made a point to try wines during their development to gain a sense of how a particular wine ages (mostly Bordeaux). Initially, I didn't agree with Meadows impressions; I do now. I doubt this wine will ever realize the potential I initially believed. It is too tannic.

2011 was a year when I drank a half dozen older Bordeaux - wines perfectly cellared since purchase - that were tannic disappointments so I'm tuned in. In 2011 the big disappointments were 1986 Cos and 1989 Las Cases, both highly rated and praised. Duds. Not bad or flawed, just too tannic. I'm not going to rate the Pousse Bressandes. I don't want to dilute the data. Those who own bottles ... you decide. I hope I'm wrong, that this is NOT a dud.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    5/12/17, 5:22 PM - essconsults:

    Agree. My take is the '86 Cos doesn't make it (I sold my case to the guy who gave me back the wine, cellared perfectly). The '85 was pleasant but we waited too long. Of the '89s the Barton was stellar. I was shocked at how good it was, a wine I never bought or collected. It had years to go if cellared properly. The Pichon Lalonde was good, not singular. The Las Cases - as you note - a huge disappointment (esp since I bought the '82, ended up selling it). I have no idea if it will come around. Having read Broadbent high reviews (and others) it's a wine I pursued when the price hit me as OK. After drinking the '89 I have no regrets at having sold it. My only regrets were around selling the 6 vintages of Pichon and 5.5 cases of port, 4 1977. All this as a result of a divorce. Maybe OK since '77s didn't turn out as well as forecasted, and '85s better (as I thought when I first tasted them). Should have gutted up and bought '63s. Funny.

Red
2013 Cristom Pinot Noir Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Eola - Amity Hills
11/19/2016 - Chris@77 Likes this wine:
86 points
Somewhat shocked at the high scores because this wine lacks richness and complexity with below to average finish. This is a good workmanlike PN, pleasant but nothing special. It has adequate to good PN flavors, albeit simple, reasonable acidity, mild tannins, uninteresting but average finish. I would score it lower if there were flaws. There are none however, certainly nothing to distinguish it. It's worth buying at the Costco price, not too many bottles. Not worth rebuying. For $10 or less there are much better alternatives in PN, more so in SRhones. This is on par with a lesser Savigny at a lower price, missing the old vines. As such, worth buying but not much.

I've noted the 'score' escalation in Cellar Tracker, appears to be compressed to about 10 points in a 100 point system. Since I 'grew up' with 20 point scoring, e.g. Broadbent, I find this amusing. Parker invented the 100 point scale however, his 85-86 point wines were worth buying, and he rated many wines below 80 (check the old ratings for Pichon Lalonde, one of my favorite wines before moving to burgs). CT users, are you "using" the 100 points?! This is not a venue of tasting only top wines, dissimilar to Tanzer. This tasting note is not the forum to pose this question but I lack the interest in seeking another. Anyone reading this, please pick up the gauntlet.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    2/20/17, 5:56 AM - McMalbec ... Rickshaw 2013 for one. Was sold at Costco for $9.50. Chilean, haven't had a recent one. Admittedly, it is difficult to find low priced pinots worth drinking, and I don't do it often, many lower priced like Meiomi too fruity sweet. If you want to play in this space, suggest start mining Chilean, most aromatic from Patagonia area. Otherwise, drink CdR or find low priced Vacqueras. I have respect for Cristom wines from the past, was quite disappointed in this one (maybe a poor bottle but it wasn't flawed), even for about $18-19 at Costco. To make support your point I've stopped trying to save any $$ with PN, buy favorites direct from wineries because I now only have 100 bottles of temp controlled storage, down from 400 of the 70's-80's. Wines must be very good in the value order ranking to enter and remain for years.

  • Chris@77 commented:

    5/12/17, 5:13 PM - McMalbec:

    I'm not your wine buyer but right now Costco is selling the 2015 Palon Vacqueras for 11.8X. It's a nice wine and I would prefer it to drink than this one. Pinot noir it is not, but it is a good value (disclosure: I think I bought the Jefferson Cv at Costco for about 18 and change, would rather have the Palon). Nothing wrong with the Jefferson, just not interesting. I would rate them about the same, maybe even a point higher for the Jefferson even though I would not prefer it. Your choice but wanted to flag a wine I thought would be interesting. Cheers.

White - Sparkling
2007 Roederer Estate L'Ermitage Brut Anderson Valley Champagne Blend
4/10/2017 - whudock Likes this wine:
92 points
well crafted and elegant, but the key with these sparklers is whether the particular taste profile is what one seeks. This one is a good match for my palate. Golden delicious apple and bosc pear fruit, biscuit and bread dough notes and a long creamy finish. Pin point bubbles.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    4/14/17, 3:33 PM - Funny! Your description hit on the exact profile that works for me.

Red
2012 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Goldridge Russian River Valley
11/24/2016 - La Cave d'Argent Likes this wine:
92 points
Medium ruby and packed with raspberries, red licorice, orange zest, and spice, this Pinot remains thoroughly enjoyable. Medium-bodied, freshly acidic, softly tannic and with well-integrated alcohol (14.9%), it gains traction in the middle and finishes medium-to-long. Beautifully balanced and with gorgeous purity of fruit, this is one that is difficult to resist. Drink now-2020.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    2/17/17, 2:40 PM - I value your reviews. Thanks.

Red
2013 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Cahill Lane Russian River Valley
11/21/2016 - River Rat wrote:
Color on this wine is more transparent than the Ladd I popped earlier with a dark cranberry hue. The nose is forest floor, mulch, walking through the trees after a rainfall. Inviting and floral but tense at the same time. The more I swirl this I don't want to call out TCA but there is a definite musty note to the nose. I swapped glasses and tried another whiff. It's still there. Not off-putting but the seed has been planted in my mind. The palate is dark fruit, black cherry, focused but delicate in texture. A slight RRV cola note balanced out by some juicy acidity. The tannins are a touch bitter and there is a lot of tension in the finish. I would throw these in the back of the cellar for 4-5 years. This has the potential to be a real gem but needs time to soften up and mellow.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    2/12/17, 6:19 AM - Of the 13 bottles of this wine I bought and drank, 3 showed varying signs of being "corked", one faint and I drank it, others dumped. I provided feedback to W Hansel. To their credit they offered a payment for corked bottles. Since I purchased at Costco - not from the winery - I declined. Costco doesn't treats wine well but doesn't take returns. However, it sold at 15% less than the winery, didn't require paying shipping.

  • Chris@77 commented:

    2/15/17, 6:28 AM - Sorry typed too quickly ... my Costco DOES treat wine well, cool area and bottles laying down, but returning wine is not in the program. Other than purchases direct from JSwan, Dehlinger (& ordered 2014 North and South from Hansel after splendid 2012's), I'm buying from Costco because they do it well and I've become agnostic about bottles for everyday. Here in the near tropics I can ill afford wine standing up on shelves which seems to be prevalent. No, you aren't losing it, corked bottles come up (even in an expensive restaurant at the Broadmoor ... who graciously quickly replaced it).

Red
2013 Calera Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard Mount Harlan
11/18/2016 - rjonwine@gmail.com wrote:
91 points
Medium red color; savory, cranberry, red berry nose; tasty, savory, cranberry, red berry, cinnamon palate with good balancing acidity; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points
  • Chris@77 commented:

    2/14/17, 9:27 AM - Apology for tapping you ... Is this wine worth buying for the price? Is damned with faint praise, with only the trade saying it is "great". I bought the 2012's: Jensen, Mills, Reed ... love them but 2013 de Villiers was underwhelming so I drank up 6 young. Thanks.

Red
2014 Sante Arcangeli Family Wines Old Vine Zinfandel Santa Clara Valley
12/30/2016 - rjonwine@gmail.com wrote:
93 points
Dark ruby color; aromatic, black raspberry, black cherry, black fig nose; delicious, black cherry, black raspberry, wild berry, black fig palate with good balancing acidity; will go 15+ years; long finish (14.5% alcohol; from 106-year-old vines) 93+ points
  • Chris@77 commented:

    1/6/17, 6:02 AM - Sounds interesting but I don't have enough years left! On a more positive note your estimate of readiness for wines would be helpful.

Red
2014 Etude Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros
11/18/2016 - rjonwine@gmail.com wrote:
91 points
Medium dark cherry red color; savory, tart raspberry, strawberry, clove nose; tasty, savory, tart raspberry, strawberry, clove palate; needs 1-plus year; medium-plus finish 91+ points
  • Chris@77 commented:

    1/4/17, 3:13 PM - Good assessment. Had this wine in an excellent restaurant after reading about it. I was very taken, and maybe it was the food. After buying a case at a good price, I'm not disappointed that the money wasn't well spent but the wine is less good than I imagined. Nice nose and entry, less richness and complexity in the middle, average finish at best. It's a wine to drink and enjoy. I tagged this note to this review because it was a very good summary. My take 90+, close enough.

Red
1989 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
7/1/2016 - aChave Likes this wine:
95 points
Dinner with Dan, Manette and Evan (Dan & Manette's house): Ahh, aged Bordeaux. Has the approachability and fragrance of the 1989's at this point, but also the freshness and structure of Leoville Barton. Best of both worlds. Medium weight with good combination of red and blue fruit (more red, really). Drinking well out of the bottle; didn't go downhill over 2 hours. Decant not necessary, but helped open somewhat over 30 minutes. Gorgeous wine. Classic St Julien, classic Barton. More, please.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    12/31/16, 2:10 PM - I've been reading other underwhelming reviews, wondering how the bottles downrated were stored. This is the wine I drank 1+ years ago. It was spectacular and I was never an LB collector (shocked, my wine was Pichon Lalande). Since my wife doesn't drink I had to exert all my willpower not to finish the bottle!

Red
2013 Domaine Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône Les Champauvins Red Rhone Blend
12/3/2015 - Ellen5181 Likes this wine:
84 points
Appearance - clear, medium plus ruby

Nose - medium plus alcohol, eye and nose burn, medium nose, clean, dark ripe cherry, raspberry, strawberry, black pepper, wet leaves , raw meat, spearmint

Palate - (see, not to be confused with an artists palette) first hit with black pepper and dark cherry, medium plus alcohol, burn on finish that lingers along with tastes of the fruit, the pepper, and a smokiness from the oak. Tartness. Medium plus mouth feel, tannins are velvety and noticeable on finish, kind of coating your teeth. Medium plus acidity.

I sense this will come together a bit more with age.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    11/29/16, 2:01 PM - Congratulations on writing a positive review and lowering the scoring escalation. I should do this more. I used to buy 84-86 point wines in the early 80's before the big rise.

Red
2004 Domaine Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Pinot Noir
3/7/2013 - Burgundy Al wrote:
88 points
Zachys La Paulee Auction, Day One (Smith & Wollensky - New York NY): Dark cherry aromas with some earthiness. Blackberry and cherry flavors, also meaty and earthy, but an unmistakable green element is clear on finish.
  • Chris@77 commented:

    6/10/14, 1:46 PM - Stunned to read this, and pleased I drank my bottles of this young. Bought a lot of the 2004 vintage on pre-arrivals after reading about it being good. What a mistake. Decided to drink all young while the primary fruit was vibrant (and ... yup ... green except for this wine at the time). Your note tells me I did the right thing.

  • Chris@77 commented:

    10/21/16, 3:32 PM - Nubian,

    In general I can agree with your view on drinking early however ... I live in a sub-tropical climate with limited temperature controlled storage (by choice). Each bottle must earn its place, and those sacrificed early are enjoyed and help by making way for a better vintage. Re this wine ... I bought one bottle. Based on my drinking experience I would have held the remaining ones. Best, Chris.

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