Tasting Notes for wmccone54

(3,702 notes on 2,703 wines)

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Red
10/13/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
A perfect wine for a cookout or barbecue. Tonight it was St. Louis style pork ribs; the sweetness of the sauce paired well with the fruitiness of the wine. Fine grained structure dealt effectively with the fat in the meat. Can’t beat the price at $20.
Rosé
10/13/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
Lots of development over the last year. What had been “crunchy” red fruits have diminished and become “dried”. The fruits have been overtaken by more complex and savory terroir driven notes of smoke; red, mineral infused rock, asphalt, and leafy earth tones. Structure is very notable; however, if you’re looking for fruit, I’m guessing it’s going to fade over the next 12 months. Personally, I’d drink this soon if you’re looking for a fruit driven rose.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1998 Château Raymond-Lafon Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
10/12/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Really hitting on all cylinders at 21 years. Medium gold color, medium viscosity, sweet with pronounced aromas and flavors of apricot, grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, honey, and enough acidity to support and long finish. Great with cheesecake.
Red
10/12/2019 - wmccone54 Likes this wine:
92 points
Getting more of the sour earthiness and complex flavors than what I remember from 2017. Fruits are definitely red with some evolving austerity. Definitely traditional Oakville style. Balanced fruit, tannin, acidity and oak. Still developing, but may start to peak over the next year.
Red
10/12/2019 - wmccone54 Likes this wine:
94 points
I’ve been following this wine since soon after release in 2013 and it’s quite impressive so far. Well into the “development phase”; it’s definitely starting to settle down, the youthful “baby fat” is gone, and all the constituent pieces are well into integration.

Used an Ah-so cork puller, cork saturated at about 25%. Decanted with lots of sediment in the neck of the bottle as it was poured into a “duck” decanter.

Displays a deep ruby hue, full bodied with high alcohol, but not distracting with hearty food, in this case a chargrilled, medium rare ribeye. Balanced aromatics and flavors still tend toward black currant, cassis, blackberry, and black cherry balanced with dry, black earth, tobacco, bitter chocolate, and oak spice. Some of the “leanness” often notable in Oakville Cabernets is starting to show; however, as sometimes happen, the fruits haven’t transitioned to red yet. Structure is starting to smooth and integrate. Big, long, dry finish. This hasn’t peaked yet, and assuming the fruits don’t suddenly fade, this has another 7-10 years of cellar life ahead.
Beer
10/12/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
85 points
Good, not overpowering with the hops; however, also nothing unique either. Not a lot of malt to provide balance. Could be from anywhere.
Red
10/11/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Lots of development over the last 6-1/2 years, but far from mature. Still a very formidable wine. Classic Barolo with pronounced aromas and flavors of fresh roses; black tar; dark, tart cherry; briary blackberry; cedar bark; black, loamy earth; leafy, fresh mint; and wood spice, all wrapped around a chewy, tannic and acidic core. Full bodied, high alcohol, and some still, unresolved oak. Huge, dry finish. Requires both decanting and hearty food. This should easily cellar for at least another five plus years. Very good.
Red
10/10/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
flawed
Brett on the nose when poured into the decanter; lots of pungent, sour and moldy smelling earthiness with muted fruits. Poured into a second decanter with plastic wrap. Bretty aromas subsided, but fruit flavors were muted. Drinkable but unbalanced and can’t be fairly evaluated.
Red
10/6/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
89 points
No notable improvement from my 2017 note. This is very good, but has yet to reach its full potential.
Red
10/6/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
90 points
Enjoyed this at a family cookout with hamburgers, polish sausage, and grilled vegetables. Very approachable, smooth, and quite tasty. Not quite as aromatic as expected based on the style, and addition of Viognier; however, the fruit flavor was superb with more than enough underlying structure to stand up to the grilled food.
Red
2007 Agharta Wines Exhibit C North Coast Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/5/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
IMHO this seems to be going strong and has yet to reach full maturity. Displays excellent balance and complexity (primary, secondary, and tertiary notes in balance) with a mix of smoky, ripe black and red fruits, leafy tobacco, decaying forest floor, unsweetened chocolate, and spicy currant. Lovely finish. Very notable structure which should support another few years of cellaring assuming the fruit does fade.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/5/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
This started off very fruit forward and jammy. After about 45 minutes in the decanter, it settled down, came together and showed quite well, paired with a grilled ribeye steak. Displays a wonderful mix of black and red berries, cherries, cassis, cedar mulch, mint, and evolving earth tones. Although in development, there is considerable depth, structure, and intensity which should support many years of additional cellaring. Nice long finish. Upside potential.
White - Sparkling
10/5/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
82 points
Similar to my experience 3-1/2 years ago, this just isn’t very good. Comes across as sweet, with huge bubbles that dissipate quickly, little in the way of complexity, and a weak finish. Definitely a pass in the future.
Red
2010 Château Haut-Surget Lalande de Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/4/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
89 points
Much like the 2005 Bordeaux vintage, I’ve found most of the 2010’s still very tight and displaying gritty tannins, even with decanting. This falls in line with that observation as well my prior tasting notes and comments. This is a great wine, still in development and can easily cellar for another 4-5 years, maybe longer. The structural components of fruit, oak, and structure are still strong, but still shows rough edges. Begs for a big meal comprised of red meat.
Red
10/4/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
87 points
Medium ruby color, medium body. Decanted, and enjoyed with a salmon salad. It took about 30 minutes for this to begin to open. Quite an enticing, aromatic, and complex nose displaying aromas of red florals, spicy raspberry, dried cherry, leather, tobacco, mushroom, and scorched piney forest floor. Unfortunately, the corresponding flavor profile comes across as being somewhat thin, austere, and acidic. Great aromatics and structure, just not much satisfying flavor or a memorable finish.
Red
10/3/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
Even at fifteen years, this still exhibits lots of very ripe, stewed, jammy aromatics and “big, extracted fruit” on the palate. Mature (dried, and stewed) black and red fruits, powered cocoa, old tobacco, and dried, green peppers, with notable unresolved vanilla oak buoyed by chewy tannins, and medium acidity. Finishes strong. This could last another year, or as long as another five...the structural elements are there, but the extracted fruit might be a distraction and create a sense of imbalance for some. Far better with food than without.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2010 Château Sigalas Rabaud Lieutenant Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
9/30/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
89 points
Enjoyed over three days. This seems to be gradually improving with new signs of complexity and nuance. The color is starting to turn to a medium gold. Great QPR for around $12.
Red
9/30/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
This was decanted on Day 1 and enjoyed over three days with food. In spite of the decant, this bottle seems to be in a “dumb phase”, not very expressive on the nose or palate, but not corked or flawed. Aromatics and flavors were all very subdued throughout the three day period. I’ve had many vintages of this wine and I’m a big fan of the label. I’m sure this will eventually come around, given some additional time.
Red
2003 Château Grand Mayne St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/29/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Seems to be at full stride. Not sure why the drinking window was less than fifteen years; however, this is far from fading. Well balanced, with dry red fruits, well integrated tannins, and persistent acidity. Seems to have enough stuffing to last another 2-5 years.
White
9/29/2019 - wmccone54 Likes this wine:
92 points
This is quite good, if you enjoy the rich California Chardonnay style. At a price of <$15, this is exceptional. Lots of complexity, nuance and layers. Wonderful balance with fruit, acidity and oak, all in harmony. Finishes long and elegant.
1 person found this helpful
Red
9/28/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
88 points
Despite the poor showing of the last bottle opened in 2017, this bottle drank much better, but not great, clearly some bottle variation. Well into the “mature” phase. Opened with notable telltale signs of a middle aged Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon: aromatic red florals; spicy, dry red currant; stewed red berries; and dried cherries; with an undercurrent of dried tobacco, shriveled jalapeño pepper and old pine forest. Medium finish, with acidity starting to fade; still paired well with a grilled ribeye steak and asparagus.

I decanted this; however, given the maturity of this, and the fading acidity, it’s not recommended as this started to fade after about two hours. Recommend drinking over the next 1-2 years
White
9/28/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
I’m generally not a fan of White Rhône’s, as the few I’ve experienced in the past seem to lack acidity and often display a bitterness in the flavor profile. To my surprise, this was quite good and is a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Rousanne. Fermented in burgundy oak barrels, without undergoing malolactic fermentation; then aged in a combination of oak barrels and concrete eggs.

Displays a clear, medium lemon color in the glass with a medium body and medium alcohol. Mineral driven, white floral, orchard fruit, citrus and wood spice aromatics. Similar flavor profile with some ashiness, all spice and candle wax upfront, followed by poached pear, white peach, and lemon drop candy. The acidity is more subtle and really shows up to support a long finish. I don’t have enough experience in this area to guess on the aging potential; Wine Spectator recommends drinking by 2020.

Oh, one additional note, recommend not drinking too cold, the wine shows best lightly chilled to allow the aromatics and flavors to show best.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/27/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Hmmm...what seemed to be a big, ripe, slightly extracted fruit bomb three plus years ago has morphed into something much more complex and notable, and now recognizable as a very good bottle of California Pinot Noir. The “baby fat” is gone, and this has settled down and shows lots of “middle age” maturity. Medium, clear ruby color, medium body and alcohol. Upfront aromatics and flavors of barnyard funk, decaying forest floor, dry cedar mulch, dirty red rocks, dried strawberry, tart raspberry, shriveled cherry, and ground all spice. Structure still notable, and will probably outlast the fruit. Super lengthy finish. Although I was unimpressed back in 2016, I knew this had lots of potential and patience has been rewarded. Enjoyed with baked pesto salmon.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/27/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
93 points
Quite impressive at eight years and certainly in a great place. Starting to enter the early phases of maturity with lifted aromas of funky barnyard, cedar spice, dried mulch, sweet cherry cola, very ripe strawberry, wild raspberry, stewed plum, and some drying red florals. There is definitely plenty of acid driven structure, with silky well integrated tannins. Very long, balanced finish.

Pleasantly surprised this is still drinking well, given the subpar vintage; an example of superb vintage management and outstanding winemaking. Has a few years of cellar life ahead.
Red
9/23/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
This is in a good place currently and is drinking very nicely. Similar to my experience back n 2016, except this is showing slightly better balance and overall integration. Decanted on day 1, and enjoyed over three days without it ever losing its stride. Very good and should easily cellar another five plus years.
Red
9/22/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
I was very surprised as to how good this is, and how unusual it presents itself for a California Syrah. Lots of different and varying notes. My best explanation for the variances relates to the description on the back label that states “whole cluster fermentation” which might explain the “red fruits”, the “lightness” and the Beaujolais style. Without an extended maceration, and lots of extraction from “punch downs” or “pump overs”, the wine would most likely be lighter texture, display primary red and blue fruits, lower alcohol, and exhibit a fresher style. I’m also assuming the winemaker didn’t go crazy with new oak during aging, as oak influence seems minimal. Regardless, IMHO this is an excellent wine and shows lots of freshness, acidity, red fruit, and a long finish. Hard to tell how long this might cellar, but it’s great right now!
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
9/22/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
89 points
Medium clear lemon color. I didn’t notice the “oakiness” from the neutral oak used in barrel fermentation in this wine, which seemed quite notable in the “Block A” enjoyed earlier in the summer. Recommend not drinking too cold, just chilled, so as to enhance the subtle and more nuanced aromatics and flavors: ripe yellow apple, lemon curd, and terroir inspired minerality and saltiness. Dry, with medium plus acidity which balances the ripe fruits. Finishes medium long. Given the barrel fermentation and aging, I think this can develop and improve significantly over the next few years. This is very nice and a wonderful example of a the high quality Chenin Blancs being produced in South Africa.
Red
9/21/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Decanted and enjoyed with a grilled medium rare ribeye. This wine continues to improve with age and resides in a very good place, but is not mature. Very balanced with fruit, oak, tannin and acid all in harmony. Showing some complexity with chocolate covered cherry, black coffee, and moist earth. Still displays lots of fruit. Not sure how long this will go, or whether fruit or structure will fade first, either way, I’m guessing this should cellar for another 4-5 years.
White
9/21/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
87 points
Love the aromatic and flavor profile, shows quite a bit of complexity: lemon, melon, ripe peach wrapped around a mineral and saline core. It just lacks the zippy acidity I like in an Albariño; comes across to me as being slightly rounded in style. I’m speculating the very hot vintage created lots of ripeness, but at the expense of decreased acidity.
Red
9/20/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
88 points
This is far from fading...in fact, this is still a very formidable and monstrous wine; still in development, even at eleven years! Decanted and enjoyed from a Riedel Double Magnum glass. Deep ruby and full body. Still tight, and comes across as slightly closed, with noticeable oak aromas, blackberry, black cherry, and charred earth. Drying tannin with a notable acidic backbone. It may take a few more years for the structural grip to loosen. This was a tough and cool vintage and I think the winemaker may have used a deep toast to offset the tannin...time will tell if this comes around, lots of potential.
Red
9/20/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Another pleasant surprise from Garagiste and a versatile food wine for less than $16. Comprised of 55% Garnacha (Grenache), 25% Cariñena (Carignan) and 20% Syrah. Decanted and enjoyed with grilled blackened salmon and grilled baby asparagus.

Medium to deep ruby color; full body, and high octane (14.5% alcohol). Developing, highly aromatic and lifted with extremely fresh flavors: smokey, ripe strawberry, spicy black raspberry, black tart plum, ripe cherry cola, and vanilla with some underlying notes of dark rocky earth. Although still primary, it seems obvious this has lots of acidic, tannic, fruit and oak components which will support long term cellaring. Ends lengthy and persistent.
Red
2006 Col Solare Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/15/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
This wine is still developing, maybe in the early stages of midlife maturity. Very balanced. Clear, dark ruby color, no signs of bricking. Pronounced aromas and flavors showing a mix of juicy and ripe black and red fruits, with secondary and tertiary characteristics: ripe blackberry, spicy raspberry, dark cherry, dark chocolate, black coffee, cigar box, and dark mulchy earth. I’m not noticing any dried, stewed, or cooked fruits which leads me to think this still has many more years; oak, tannin, and acid all display balance...structure still in tact. Finishes long, along with some savory notes. Best guess is this could go another 3-5 years, maybe more depending on cellar conditions. Drink or hold.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
9/15/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
87 points
Although the packaging with inverted fluted bottle design and frosted glass seems very appealing, like the other Château Sainte Roseline roses sampled this summer, this also was quite underwhelming. Color is a very pale salmon, almost a pale dirty gold color. Producer website says this is comprised of 40% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre, and 25% Tibouren. Aromas and flavors reflect a simplistic and subdued melange of papaya, mango, cantaloupe, peach, and diluted strawberry. Lacks intensity, complexity and “sense of place”. Good and inoffensive, but completely unmemorable.
Red
2001 Vecchie Terre di Montefili Bruno di Rocca Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT SuperTuscan Blend (view label images)
9/14/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
88 points
This was very good with the pepperoni pizza, but seemed a bit muddled and disjointed without the food. Decanted. Mature, shows solid structure but the fruit lacks verve.
Red
9/14/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
flawed
Brett, the Saran Wrap trick didn’t bring the fruit back
White - Sparkling
9/14/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Bone dry, very tart, and youthful...probably too young to drink for at least another 2-3 years. If you drink now, I would highly recommend food to neutralize the bracing tartness and high acid. Although the front label doesn’t specify either Blanc de Blancs or the vintage, the back label shows all the material from the 2013 vintage made from 100% Chardonnay. Apparently, the wine didn’t meet the minimum aging requirement prior to disgorgement and subsequently couldn’t display this as “vintage”. Fresh and lively with a wonderful mix of citrus, peach, and orchard fruits. This is going to be really great after a few more years if cellaring. Excellent now just needs some food.
Spirits
9/13/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
89 points
Nice XO offering. Dark amber color. A bit green on the nose, but the palate is typical with maple syrup, sweet caramel, dried orange rind, vanilla and cinnamon spice. Great QPR.
Red
1996 Terreno Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
9/13/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
Enjoyed this subsequent to the 1998 Drei Dona "Pruno" Riserva. Both were decanted and enjoyed with food. Both exhibited a classic mature Sangiovese profile; however, this showed slightly more notable rusticity, sourness, and acidity than the Drei Dona. Whereas the Drei Dona still had substantial mature red fruits, the fruits here are starting to fade and the structure becoming more prevalent. This is still very good and at twenty-three years, it’s quite impressive this has hung on so long. Recommend drinking over the next year before this slowly fades into oblivion.
Red
9/13/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
93 points
Fully mature, very complex and quite nice at twenty-one years. Used an Ah-so cork puller given the age, and to prevent cork disintegration or breakage. Decanted with lots of gritty sediment in both the bottle and the bottom of the decanter. Some signs of oxygen intrusion on the cork, but far less than the first bottle enjoyed back in 2015. Color has turned from ruby to medium garnet. Very floral potpourri aromatics with all tertiary aromas and flavors: dried cherry; baked plum; stewed raspberry; old, worn shoe leather; dry, powered cocoa; and old, dried, decaying pine forest. Structural elements are still in play: tart acidity and fine grained tannin support a very long finish. Although this has reached peak maturity, and is unlikely to improve with further cellaring, this wine could drink well for another 2-3 years, assuming the fruit doesn’t completely fade. Excellent in all aspects! Enjoyed with Italian sausage with pasta in a garlic wine sauce.
Red
9/8/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
90 points
Much more expressive and open than it was two years ago; better integrated with the rough edges gone. Clear, medium ruby color. Upfront aromatics displaying floral violets, ripe black and red berries, sweet cola, pepper, and black, moist mulch. Much more delineated on the palate: juicy, tart strawberry; tart, wild blackberry; zingy raspberry; cherry cola; spicy black pepper; chewy, black earth. Medium plus acidity provides freshness and structure, tannin is relatively low. Lengthy finish. Excellent food wine accompanied with grilled salmon burgers and grilled vegetables. This should drink well for another 4-5 years if cellared properly.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
9/8/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
I’m really enjoying this; juicy strawberry, watermelon, raspberry, and peach aromas and flavors with a touch of minerality. Nicely balanced with plenty of structure to support a long finish. Perfect patio sipper on a hot day. Worked perfectly with the grilled salmon burgers, grilled Brussels Sprouts, and jalapeño poppers
Red
9/7/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Still shows a lot of gritty tannin with the black fruits and evolving complexity providing balance. This wine demands a a big piece of red meat to maximize enjoyment.
Red
9/6/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
88 points
Not much to add from my 2017 note...jammy and extracted Pinot Noir, not offensive, but showing little in terms of complexity or differentiation. Pass in the future from this producer.
Red
9/7/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Decanted and enjoyed with a chargrilled ribeye; last time I enjoyed this was back in 2014.This showed very well tonight. Deep ruby color, full bodied. Dense, massive, and extracted but showing a good balance of black fruits, tannic structure, and acid. Evolving complex mix of cassis, black currant, blackberry, black coffee, tobacco and dark earth. As noted in 2014 the extraction creates a slightly jammy finish. Very good with a few more years of life ahead.
White
9/6/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
Very enjoyable Chardonnay made in a “bigger” California style. It was poured into a chilling decanter prior to and during dinner of a shellfish medley in a white queso cheese sauce. The unresolved oak spice is notable without food, but much easier to deal with with the food. Recommend enjoying with a butter or cheese based seafood dish.
Red
9/2/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
This is the last of six 375’s purchased back in early 2015. All were excellent and consistent from bottle to bottle. Discernible as being a mature Oakville Cabernet with very, dry dusty tannins; mostly dry, red, and some cooked black fruits, with dry, red, cracked earth and a well framed structure. “Old school” style and a long finish. If you’re looking for a big, modern, juicy fruit bomb, this isn’t it!
Red
2011 Gemstone Estate Red Yountville Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/2/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
92 points
Due to the cold, wet vintage in 2011, most Napa reds became “tainted” through the wine press; and as such, many knowledgeable consumers avoided the vintage. Subsequently, there were a number of high quality, outstanding wines that sold at a huge discount...this is one of those wines.

Decanted and enjoyed with smoked beef short ribs. Wonderful aromatics displaying black coffee, wet earth, mint, purple violets, sweet cinnamon, graphite, blackberry, black cherry, and black plum. The primary flavors are more in a support role, which piques my interest. The balance is there with structure in equilibrium with fruit and oak. Long finish. Still in development; cellaring should easily support another 5-7 years of enjoyment.
White
9/2/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
93 points
Poured into a chilling carafe/decanter. Displays a clear, medium pale lemon color. Classy, elegant, and more subtle aromatics with salty sea spray, citrus blossom, sweet honeysuckle, fresh white pepper and some chalky minerals. Expressive palate with lemon curd, sour grapefruit, a touch of honey, ground white pepper, and salty white rock. Comes across as being slightly rounded in the mouth, but don’t be fooled, as the nicely balanced, fresh acidity will show up and support a very strong, persistent finish. At eight years this still shows lots of freshness, verve, and balance. It’s hard to say how much longer this will last, I think it’s probably in the early stages of being mature, but at the same time, it shows lots of freshness. At minimum it should drink well for a couple of years.
Red
9/1/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
Not your typical “soft and fruity” or “fun and cheerful” Dolcetto; this is a very serious wine. At this juncture, it requires decanting to provide aeration and time to settle; food is recommended. Youthful aromatics with red florals, black plum, black raspberry, and dark cherry fruits. Mostly primary flavor characteristics. Very notable structure with tannin, acid and oak not yet integrated. Intensity, and length are there; complexity will develop, and balance will come with additional cellaring. Recommend holding for another year, or decant and enjoy with food.
White - Sparkling
9/1/2019 - wmccone54 wrote:
91 points
As noted back in November 2018, this is a wonderful Prosecco, a number of notches in quality above those from the the larger, more generic Prosecco DOC. This product comes from the Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG and demonstrates more depth, complexity, intensity and quality than the more mass produced products. Excellent.
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