Comments on my notes

(25 comments on 23 notes)

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Red
1998 Château Angélus St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
11/1/2019 - BBinSC wrote:
96 points
95-96: Really interesting place - follows the Mouton - perfumed, plump, generous, dense, intense, still maturing. It's stunning. The finish is a bit shorter than the Mouton, but it's got more layers. Gorgeous, but will improve with a little more time.
  • BBinSC commented:

    11/1/19, 5:48 PM - It's beautiful now, but you have time. It's in a great place.

  • BBinSC commented:

    11/1/19, 5:59 PM - Tonight is actually a retirement party, so yes!

White
2000 Di Meo Fiano di Avellino Selezione Erminia Fiano di Avellino DOCG
4/14/2019 - rocknroller wrote:
Funny, looking at the note right previous to mine from BBinSC and this bottle was the exact same situation. The last bottle we had was impressive, but that was 18 months ago. Is this falling apart or just bottle variation. Or is it not so much true bottle variation as "storage, cork, etc variation." I might lean that way, but regardless this bottle wasn't as much fun. Light medium gold color. Followed a glass over an hour. Got a little better approaching room temp. This was much more oxidative in character, lemon Pledge, white fruit, shellac, mineral. Very drinkable, interesting, but no verve or freshness tonight. Probably in the 88pt range.
  • BBinSC commented:

    4/14/19, 11:11 AM - Sorry! It's frustrating at this price range to see these variations.

White
2017 Liparita Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
2/4/2019 - kevrob822 Likes this wine:
87 points
Good, but my wife still likes Sequoia Grove’s Sauv Blanc better.
  • BBinSC commented:

    4/6/19, 10:34 AM - The "Secoya" bottling was the only I'd had, but it's by far my favorite new world SB

Red
2013 Palazzo Proprietary Red Reserve Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/23/2019 - elink00 wrote:
91 points
Definitely needs a long decant. Started with one hour decant and was still hot and closed. After second glass (and another 45 mins) it is now showing red licorice, bright red fruit on the nose. Medium body, medium tannins. Juicy red plums, milk chocolate, marionberry. Short finish.
  • BBinSC commented:

    3/24/19, 6:51 AM - I think you nailed it. It's been this wine's MO since inception. Makes me wonder about these scores, not that I ever put too much stock in ratings any more.

Red
2013 Durant and Booth Reserve Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/9/2018 - Huh wrote:
94 points
Bought at Last Bottle for $30. Available at the tasting room for $75 so I took a chance. It's a big cherry bomb with undertones of Bordeaux complexity from the blend. I think it is 15.2% alcohol which gave it full body and plenty of ripeness. Smooth finish with enough grip to bode well for 10 years plus. But not too tannic that you can't enjoy on a cold winter night. Honestly a big time winner at $30-$50. For $75 I would want more grip and more complexity. For example tasted some 99 pt. Chapellet Pritchard Hill (it was '12, '13 or '14)and 2010 Scarecrow and those wines don't give you any immediate enjoyment. if you like cherry and Cali's version of Bordeaux then this is your wine. Rich and full!
  • BBinSC commented:

    3/9/18, 3:23 PM - Great review - looking forward to trying it!

Red
2014 John William Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
10/11/2017 - BBinSC wrote:
Vintner Into/Jonathan Newman wine.
  • BBinSC commented:

    2/25/18, 5:37 PM - It’s a brand he owns. It’s a heads up since WTSO doesn’t tell you.

Red
2014 Robert Storey Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Napa Valley
10/28/2017 - BBinSC wrote:
Vintner Intl/Jonathan Newman wine.
  • BBinSC commented:

    2/13/18, 5:50 AM - No problem - I think it's important people know.

Red
2014 Beau Ridge Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
9/29/2017 - BBinSC wrote:
Vinter Intl/Jonathan Newman label
  • BBinSC commented:

    11/25/17, 8:03 AM - Whenever I see one of his brands I try to flag them for people. They can decide if they like them or not. At least wtso quit posting his over-hyped reviews that didn't note the wine was his.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
10/20/2017 - BBinSC wrote:
75 points
Easily the worst Caymus I’ve ever had. It takes all the vices of previous vintages and amps them up. The wine lacks balance, it’s sweet, cloying, lacking sufficient structure to balance out the persistent flavors of a highly manipulated wine. Awful - Caymus is laughing at us all the way to bank.
  • BBinSC commented:

    11/21/17, 8:08 PM - It used to be a reputable, reliable producer. I hear the later vintages are as bad.

Red
2004 Elderton Shiraz Single Vineyard Command Barossa
8/23/2017 - BBinSC wrote:
91 points
Very nice, followed the Jemrose and the Terzetto. Very mellow, oak and tannins receding. This bottle was mature, but Cork had streaks and might have failed a bit. Good.
  • BBinSC commented:

    8/25/17, 5:57 AM - This bottle was cellar-kept, but I think it was a touch flawed at time of purchase. Corks on two bottles have had some measure of failure. Perhaps it's overfilling, but these bottles have lacked the intensity I expect from Command, although they are still very nice.

Red
2013 Maroon Black Label Meritage Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/27/2017 - pkbowen Likes this wine:
87 points
Interesting blend of 7̶4̶%̶ ̶P̶i̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶n̶o̶i̶r̶,̶ ̶1̶4̶%̶ ̶C̶a̶b̶ ̶F̶r̶a̶n̶c̶,̶ ̶4̶%̶ ̶C̶a̶b̶e̶r̶n̶e̶t̶ ̶S̶a̶u̶v̶i̶g̶n̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶4̶%̶ ̶M̶a̶l̶b̶e̶c̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶4̶%̶ ̶M̶e̶r̶l̶o̶t̶. USD$20 from WTSO.

EDIT 5/26/17: WTSO now says "74% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot."

Night 1: Decanted a half bottle for a few minutes before enjoying from Burgundy stems. Nice, bright aromas if a bit simple, including cherry pie filling, damp wood, and touches of blackcurrant. Bright and acid-driven on the palate with concentration more on the Pinot noir end of the spectrum than a conventional Meritage (unsurprising, given the blend). Acid sticks out a bit. Tannins are quite fine and mouth-coating. Stored the second half under ArT18 for the second day.

Night 2: Has gained depth on the nose with damp wood, struck matches, and brambly black cherries. Still seems to be oak-driven and lacking fruit concentration. Acid still sticking out on the palate. Tannins still present, though seeming more oaky than last night.

This is an interesting wine that seems to suffer from low ripeness, extraction, or both, and a slight overuse of oak. All things considered, though, it was enjoyable and a reasonable value at USD$20. "Very good," 87/100.
  • BBinSC commented:

    4/15/17, 1:22 PM - I've wondered about this blend, too. It's my understanding that you can't use "Meritage" for non-Bordeaux blends.

  • BBinSC commented:

    4/22/17, 5:27 AM - Check out http://www.meritagealliance.com/.

Red
2014 Sacred Hill Pinot Noir Marlborough
11/30/2016 - guribh wrote:
85 points
Just OK for me...Medium color, strawberries and some cherry notes. Not too syrupy. Rather plain. I do not have hopes of it turning into a swan, so no point in holding on to more bottles (let alone re-stock). Over-hyped by Last Bottle (my first purchase from this outfit, after many years of Wine Access and WTSO. I should have applied the same discounting factor to their excellent copy writing as i do with the creative writing of Wine Access and the point rating of JHN at WTSO...)
  • BBinSC commented:

    3/25/17, 8:05 AM - I've​ used LB and WTSO, for the most part I prefer LB. I've noticed that JHN isn't putting ratings out with some wines now.

    Your notes are an unfortunate example of why I hate to buy Pinot Noir on flash sites unless I know the producer. There's too much variation in style for me to feel confident in a producer, especially an imported PN. Thanks for the heads up!

Red
2013 Gordon Estate Syrah Columbia Valley
11/16/2016 - radiolysis wrote:
A very fruit forward syrah without the meatiness found in other versions of this variety. The wine didn't have much sediment poured to the glass, but did have a very strange sediment 'ring' around the shoulders of the bottle.

This wine not only red and purple fruits, but a eucalyptus note both on the nose and the palate. Good wine that would play well with many foods.
  • BBinSC commented:

    2/4/17, 7:16 PM - My first bottle has that ring too. Normally I would age this wine longer. Typical Gordon Brothers/Gordon Estate wines have these sediment stains/rings.

Red
2011 Davey Family Wines Shiraz The Gate McLaren Vale
10/2/2016 - BBinSC wrote:
89 points
Don't think I've had one of these since they first changed the name. Not as bold as I remember, but nice silky notes and a lot of raspberry. Good value.
  • BBinSC commented:

    10/5/16, 3:57 PM - The Davey family previously called this wine Gatekeeper, but apparently there was a dispute over the name. The latest bottles I've seen look more like the Davey Family/Shingleback label.

Red
2013 Havens Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
11/17/2015 - BBinSC Does not like this wine:
72 points
Disappointing - have been happy with other Havens wines, but this one is too much of a good thing. This wine is poorly balanced, way too sweet, and lacks varietal correctness. You'd think a Sonoma Coast PN would have decent acidity, but this wine has way too much vanillin and RS. From WTSO - another highly rated mess from HRH Jonathan Newman. Hate to know what the other 96% tasted like if this one passed.
  • BBinSC commented:

    12/28/15, 4:35 AM - Interesting - I know he owns a number of the wines he "highly rates," but I didn't realize he had an explicit stake in WTSO. I never put credence in his reviews, I bought this wine because the new Havens wines had been pretty good.

Red
2012 Curlew Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
4/13/2014 - BBinSC wrote:
May or may not be good, but WTSO shoppers should note that Trademarkia lists JHN as the owner of the trademark, so take that rating with a grain of salt.

http://www.trademarkia.com/company-newman-wine-and-spirits-lp-3744988-page-1-2
  • BBinSC commented:

    8/23/15, 6:36 AM - I think most people now completely disregard any JHN rating as inflated. My friends and I completely quit buying from WTSO for this practice. That was about $20K a year between the 8 of us.

    It's a shame, because they sully great wineries with these ratings. Cervantes is a label from Chappellet, who are a great family and a fantastic producer, but people who don't know that or them just see a ridiculous JHN review with all the cut and paste nonsense he uses and thinks its the same quality as the labels he owns.

Red
2009 Kirkland Signature Rioja Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
2/28/2015 - Pointless wrote:
I agree with BBINSC's note. Good light/medium red table wine that was fine with chicken thighs with chicken liver. I like this better than the somewhat similar 2013 Kirkland Bordeaux because 1) it's 2 bucks cheaper and 2)it's identifiably European. Note to Costco wine buyer: put this kind of juice in 3 liter boxes and pass 1/2 the savings to your customers. At 15 or 20 bucks a box it'll fly off the shelves.
  • BBinSC commented:

    3/18/15, 3:55 PM - That's a great point -- never thought about it as a BiB format, but would be outstanding in that format.

White
2012 Loosen Bros. Riesling Dr. L Mosel Saar Ruwer
8/17/2014 - BBinSC wrote:
89 points
Outstanding bargain for $6 @ Costco. Nice acid to offset the sweetness.
  • BBinSC commented:

    8/18/14, 4:23 PM - Agreed - perhaps the finest Riesling producers in the world. I couldn't believe it was on closeout.

Red
2001 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
4/13/2014 - MarkMich wrote:
93 points
The more of these 01 left banks I try the more I like the vintage. Only wish I had more.
  • BBinSC commented:

    4/13/14, 1:13 PM - No doubt! 2001 is a super value, and the wines seem to have great aging capacity.

Red
2012 Laird Family Estate Pinot Noir Dignitas Sweetwater Ranch Oak Knoll District
4/4/2014 - BBinSC wrote:
Might be good or bad, but buyers from WTSO should know JHN is listed as owner of the trademark. Funny how he scores all his wines so high (Castlebank, Dignitas, and others), and you never know about his relationship to the "winery."
  • BBinSC commented:

    4/4/14, 7:35 AM - http://www.trademarkia.com/company-newman-wine-and-spirits-lp-3744988-page-1-2

Red
2007 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/21/2013 - BBinSC wrote:
93 points
93-94: This wine has taken a leap forward since I last tasted it last December. The tannins and acid have mellowed, but the fruit remains reticent. Dark, mouth-filling, and finishes long, but either isn't the bottle WS thought it was, or just needs time. Very good, but paled before the 2001 Cos that preceded it.
  • BBinSC commented:

    12/21/13, 12:53 PM - I will say this wine seems to be moving toward some secondary characteristics. Having had several older vintages of Insignia, I think holding is a safe bet for a big reward, but I'm not sure this bottle will measure up to the 2002.

White - Sparkling
1998 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame Champagne Blend
12/21/2013 - BBinSC wrote:
92 points
91-93: started off the Solstice celebration; elegant, refined, with nice fruit, some nutty/yeasty notes. The finish was decent but not exceptional. Excellent with dinner.
  • BBinSC commented:

    12/21/13, 12:51 PM - I wasn't part of the preparation, but I am guessing it was done right knowing the host. The Krug was certainly flashier, but this Veuve was beautiful and a bit delicate.

White - Sweet/Dessert
1995 Royal Tokaji Wine Co. Aszú Essencia Furmint Blend, Furmint
4/2/2011 - BBinSC wrote:
Dark honey color -- nose was sweet with clove, honey, and spice. Palate was sweet and assertive with decent acidity. Rich, thick, with an almost tannic quality, and lingering notes of black tea.

Interesting wine that I tentatively scored a 94, then slowly came down to the 89-91 range. Not sure what to think of this wine, mainly because I expect a wine of this caliber to excellent with food, and yet here I am stumped. Complex, layered, heavy, I think this wine probably satisfies the Tokay lover, but I am not sure if it works for the rest of us.
  • BBinSC commented:

    4/17/13, 2:38 PM - Thanks so much! Very interesting.

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