Tasting Notes for What I'm Drinking Now

(223 notes on 198 wines)

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Red
1/27/2018 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
90 points
Perhaps the oddest thing about this wine is the fact that it has virtually no nose. When I dipped my nose into the glass, I could tell it was red wine but little beyond that. Given this experience, I was prepared to assume the wine wasn’t very good. However, I was pleasantly suprised that this is textbook Napa cab and a perfect Tuesday night wine. My palate is overwhelmed by black cherry, cassis and black currants. It’s pure fruits and no tannins. Perhaps it drank so well because we were crushing Southern Rhône wines which can be devoid of sugar. Good juice in a jam. Cheers!
Red
1/27/2018 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
88 points
Smith-Madrone makes great wine. In fact, their standard Cabernet bottling is a tremendous value - and I would stick with it. This wine featured intense red and brown fruit flavors, a fine structure, and a medium to full bottle. However, it lacked complexity given the price of the wine. After about two hours the flavors flattened out with little change in the overall palate feel so there is more time. In fairness, my hopes may have been too high given my affinity for their standard bottling. Cheers!
Red
1/27/2018 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
93 points
This is the best Châteauneuf du Pape I have had all year which means little since we haven’t made it through January yet. We have tasted a lot of wines from southern France this evening which has allowed me to confirm my theory that this region drinks like Macallan - the older the better! There’s candied raspberry, sweet cherry, tobacco, leather, clove, and a little toast. My patience was rewarded - this wine is fabulous! Cheers
Red
I had a chance to consume my last bottle of this wine and was disappointed to have waited a bit too long. In 2014, I thought this was one of the best wines I had ever had but the tannins and fruit have faded. There’s still a ton of tobacco and spice on the palate so it’s quite drinkable. However, the wine that I tried several years ago is gone. I’ll pass on rating this wine since it drank like a 94 and now feels more like an 87. This is a good excuse for me to put my Coravin to work on some of my other 2005s. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
I scored this wine at 88 several years ago and think it’s drinking just as nicely now as it did back then. It possesses the hallmarks of your typical southern Rhône wine and the structure to hold up like the Chateauneu du Pape that it is. The wine is bursting with raspberry and a bit of thyme but I do regret that none of the other spices present themselves. It’s got another 3 - 5 years easy but I don’t know how much it will evolve. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/17/2018 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
SWADE's description of this wine is spot on. I purchased a case ($18/bottle) of this at a tasting two years ago and it has proven to be one of the best value wines I have ever procured. It consistently stood up to far more expensive bottlings at blind tastings and even bested a few of the big boys. I would liken it to Long Shadows Feather in that it finds a balance between over-extraction and firm acidity.

Blueberry, vanilla, and cassis rule the day here. Cheers!
Red
1/17/2018 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
92 points
Branding Iron is my favorite Nickel and Nickel bottling outside of the winery only juice. I was disappointed that the cork was compromised and am hopeful that this had more to do with the wine store's handling than the winery.

This slight oxidation made for the flavor profile of an older wine. It drinks, like more Branding Iron, like textbook cabernet. There is a ton of cassis and purple fruit in this medium to full-bodied, opaque wine. The tannins were extraordinarily soft which may have been tied to the aforementioned oxidation. If not, the wine may not have the longevity of prior bottlings.

Cheers!
Red
1/1/2018 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
88 points
Happy New Year! Drank this wine at Toulouse and was underwhelmed. It is a bourdeaux blend that lacks body and depth. There was a lot of black cherry and minimal brush. Nothing to write home about but not offensive.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
12/26/2017 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
87 points
Vouvray’s are wonderful summer wines and also make a lot of sense when temps hold around 70s degrees in December - God Bless Texas. This particular bottling is not sophisticated. There’s a little honeydew and apple and the slighted hint of lemon-lime. I recommend chilling this one a bit lower than other whites since it can taste quite flat if it gets to warm in the glass. Costco had it for $10 and at that price, I would buy more. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/26/2017 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
85 points
Full disclosure, I don’t drink a lot of Pinot but keep a few bottles on hand for guest who prefer the varietal. The wine is not offensive but reminds me of a tall glass of Coca Cola with ice. I understand that this a hallmark flavor of the varietal and can be quite pleasant. My only concern is that the wine is devoid of any other real complexity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/26/2017 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
89 points
The 2012 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon is a beautiful purple hue and a medium bodied frame. We because concerned when we noticed the wine lacked any discernible fragrance and decided to drink the wine immediately for fear that it was dead. On the palate, the wine is in great shape and features dark red/blue and a toasty light oak touch. While the wine showed well I doubt that there is much potential for growth as it did not change much throughout the evening. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/10/2017 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
89 points
Grad school has gotten the best of me and I have had little time to review wines. However, given my break and the fact my brother is in town, we opted to open this wine to see how is drinking.

On open, I noticed that the wine had started to climb the cork but never made it to the rim. Thankfully the wine was not oxidized but it lacked any significant notes on the noise. The juice is light to medium bodied in the glass with minimal sediment and a light purple/red hue.

Upon tasting, red and unsweetened blue fruits lead the way but never really take hold on the finish. The wine is very delicate and well balanced - it’s a good effort but a bit of a disappointment from the hearalded 2007 vintage. I have had far better In the same price point.

Cheers!
Red
5/26/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
88 points
After raving about the 2010 BV Georges de LaTour I was confident that the far superior 2009 vintage would just blow me away but sadly - I was mistaken.

In the glass the wine host a more redish hue than it's younger sibling but the nose is more like warm plum sauce. On the palate the wine is a wrecking ball just packed with fruit and tobacco. Unfortunately, it's heavy and disjointed from front to rear palate.

I can taste purple, blue and black fruit. There is also some tobacco and heavy vanilla. If this one was held together more tightly it could be nothing short of 95+ points but today if falls pretty far short.

After an hour in the glass the wine calms a bit but never really comes into good form. I have two more bottles and remain hopeful that I visited this bottle far to early. In the interim, I will refrain from buying future vintages until I have tasted them.
Red
5/24/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
94 points
Easily one of the best 2009 Cabernet's that I have tried to date. The dark fruit permeates from the glass and invades the lungs much like sulphur but pleasant. On the palate there is black fruit...all black fruit with just enoughs sweetness to make it easy to drink. The medium to full frame flows effortlessly over the palate and makes no apologies for its heavy handed brut force. It's such a dramatic wine...not the best I've ever had but just a great wine! The company wasn't bad either. Cheers!
Red
2009 Col Solare Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/18/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
89 points
Wine Spectator Grand Tasting (Washington, DC)

Col Solare is one of the most consistent bottlings from Washington State and I have bought several bottles of the last several vintages. However, the 2009 is out of joint which I am hoping is merely a dumb phase for this otherwise outstanding wine. Make not mistake...this is a decent bottling of wine but falls short of expectations for this wine house.

All of the typically red and blue fruits are featured prominently in the wine but it possesses a medium palate that is atypical of Col Solare. The mid-palate is sound but the rear is a little fleeting and leaves me wanting more. Perhaps the oak is overwhelming the fruit and that's why this one taste a little off but for now it is an average bottle of wine. I plan to amend this note when I have a chance to try another bottle next year. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/18/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
Wine Spectator Grand Tasting Event (Washington, DC)

Again, not a fan of 2010 Cabernets but Hall's signature bottling is evidence that great wines were made. I tasted this one after the BV Georges De LaTour which was the high water mark for the evening so it's likely underrated here.

This lacked some of the depth that I have tasted in prior vintages which may be due to the vintage. However, it still possesses laser-like cabernet focus and an extended finish. In the glass the wine is a full bodied and has a beautiful nose of dark black and blue fruit that stays true on the palate. The front, mid and rear palate are all fully engaged with good acidity, soft sweetness and balanced tannin that make this a fund one to drink. My guess is that this wine will age quite well and warrant a much better score in later years. Cheers!
Red
5/18/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
85 points
Wine Spectator Grand Tasting Event (Washington, DC)

Jeff hit the nail on the head. One of the reasons I attend the Wine Spectator event is to try higher end wines that I would like to taste prior to committing over $100/bottle. I couldn't have been more excited about Caymus Special Selection since previous bottles have been outstanding representations of what Napa is capable of.

Unfortunately, this wine was not very good. Expanding on Jeff's points, the wine featured cinnamon, vanilla and even some nutmeg but there was not fruit to be found. It really did taste candied or like it was artificially flavored. I have stayed away from 2010 (personal taste preference) and 2011 due to the difficult whether and this tasting reinforced my stance. If Caymus can't make a great wine in the 2011 vintage....who can?
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
5/18/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
93 points
Tasted at Wine Spectator Grand Tasting Event (Washington DC)

Full disclosure - I am not a big fan of 2010 Napa Cabernets but this is a tremendous bottling that would stack up well against the best Napa has to offer in any vintage. The dark purple hue of the wine is serves as subtext to the beautiful macerated dark fruit fragrance from the glass. On the palate this wine has everything you'd expect from this benchmark Napa cab: cassis, blueberry, lead and cedar. The wine is full bodied and finishes strong (60 seconds). Perhaps the most impressive attribute of the wine is its drinkability despite it's weight and flavor intensity. Cheers!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/18/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
I haven't been a fan of this particular bottling during earlier taste (once in Napa upon release and last year with friends (bald bull). However, last night we opened a bottle and let it decant for a while prior to enjoying with cheeses and fruit and it was great. The wine possesses Oakville character (cedar, lead, tobacco) and features dark black and purple fruit that is in perfect balance with the medium frame and moderate acidity. This is not a Caymus type wine but rather a Mondavi Reserve like bottling without all of the horsepower. Cheers!
Red
Very impressive juice that appears to be entering a very good phase. There are lots of cranberry and orange flavors that dance on the mid palate with sugar and light spice. The wine is medium bodied with a high ruby red hue that reminds me of the apples I used to give my teachers in hopes that it would give me some advantage. I would open now to taste for yourself. Cheers!
White
4/21/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
85 points
Mira made this wine in stainless steel and it shows. It's a really crisp and acidic wine that pared really well with oysters. However on its own it leaves a bit to be desired. You can find better examples of Unoaked California Chardonnay for the price.
White
4/21/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
89 points
Met the wine maker about a week ago at Vienna Vintner and she was lovely. Her Chardonnay was good too - especially for the price. I prefer her 2010 and still have a bottle but tried the 2011 to see how she managed the more challenging vintage. It drank just like a chard from a better harvest albeit it very light bodied. The wine is in good harmony and drinking well with a medium finish. Here are light citrus and pineapple undertones.
Red
2008 Col Solare Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/21/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
92 points
I have never met a bottle of Col Solare that I didn't love and this one doesn't dissapointed. It's a little different than some of the other vintages I had recently - more expressive with quite a bit more depth. It's dark red black fruit is tempered by good acidity that makes the wine enjoyable with food but still strong on its own. Having said all that, the finish is as strong as ever. If you can find this for under $50 buy a few bottles. You won't be dissapointed. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Great bottle of Chardonnay which is not overwhelmed by oak...but not what I expected of this wine. I think it is in a dumb phase and will reserve judgment. I have high hopes for future tastings.
White
4/19/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
87 points
This wine drank quite a bit like it did during my first taking in 2011. There is lots of lemon and green apple with the slightest bit of petrol. I'm still not writing home about the wine but want to compliment it for holding up so well over the last three years. I would venture to guess that I could have waited 1 -3 more years and don't think in it's prime yet - despite the fact it's prime is likely to still be average. Cheers!
Red
4/18/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
92 points
This amarone drinks more like a high end Ripasso than Amarone but it is extremely tasty. The flavor intensity is just perfect featuring enough acidity to drink a couple of glasses without exhausting the palate. I taste a lot dark purple and black fruit on the front and mid palate...the typical raisin and prune but ironically they both morph into over-ripened cherry throughout the finish. Great buy at $35/bottle. Cheers!
Red
2007 Col Solare Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/12/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
Overly extracted but I love it,
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
1/4/2014 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
What a solid Barolo! Great entry-level nebbiolo from this winery that features intense flavors of blackcherry and raspberry from start to finish. It drank fairly well right out of the bottle but became more expressive after an hour of air. I would highly recommend this bottling at $30 on any day of the week but would love to pair it with truffles. Cheers!
Red
2007 Dominus Napanook Red Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
This is what all Bordeaux should taste like. The nose is quite fragrant and smells like dark red fruit. On the palate the wine delivers more purple and blue flavors but finishes with sour blueberry that echoes for 60 seconds plus. Make no mistake, This is not Dominus....but taste pretty darn good for the price. Cheers!
White
12/17/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
82 points
Easily the most boring wine that I have had all year!!! It comes across as flat and dull in every. I don't mean to offend the wine maker but was totally uninspired by this wine.
Red
12/8/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
This bottle embodies all of the ripeness of Napa's 2007 harvest. It is full of dark red to purple fruit and is a little overwhelming. Despite that, it is a well made wine that just dodges being one-dimensional but revealing a number of nuanced flavors as it opens up in the glass prior to evolving into deep concentrated black currant. The finish is just as strong and will remind you of most of Michael Rolland's best efforts. I have another bottle that will wait for late next year but don't wait too long since this one didn't need a decant at all. Cheers!
Red
12/8/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
This was a high quality Barolo that showed well for the 2007 vintage. The wine is medium to full bodied and full of the fruit flavors that are typically of nebbiolo. There was lots of raspberry and cherry on the front end that held up well on the mid and rear palate which provided for a very pleasant finish. The only thing lacking on this wine was the orange rind flavor that I find in the higher quality bottlings but this was still quite good..especially for the price. Cheers!
Red
11/29/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
90 points
This was such a pure wine. It was void of over-ripened and over-extracted fruit but full of intense flavor and terroir. Dark ruby red in color and medium to full bodied the wine possessed textbook Oakville flavors of black currant and black cherry which filled out the front and rear palate before finishing with soft fruit flavors. Cheers!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/27/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
87 points
I bought 4 bottles of this wine for Thanksgiving since we have a tendency to go through quite a few bottles despite the fact some don't even like wine and after several bottles the importance of quality slips. This isn't a terrible wine at all and taste like a fairly well made Malbec although I should warn all that popping and pouring is a mistake. On the second night, the wine featured more blueberry and milk chocolate than the night prior. This medium to full bodied effort should appease the masses and drinks quite a bit like a crowd pleasing merlot. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!
Red
11/23/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
90 points
This is a great entry-level Barolo as it has all of the hallmarks of far superior bottlings and nice intensity. It's medium bodied and ruby red in the glass with a beautiful nose of sour cherries and tar. The nose is true to the palate but also features rasberry and a small amount of orange rind. Most of the flavors are on the front palate as the rear seems a little hollow but this is a quality wine.
Red
11/8/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
89 points
This was a decent pottle of wine that was recommended by my wine guy at Vienna Vintner. I think it was a great bottle of wine from a value perspective as it incorporated all of the hallmarks of Spring Mountain. The 2009 vintage features more red and purple fruit instead of black and blue in mountainous regions as demonstrated by this bottling. While it does not have the depth of higher end bottlings, it is a great introduction to Spring Mountain. As to the wine, it is medium to full bodied with good staying power and a slightly sweet finish. Cheers!
Red
11/8/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
92 points
I have always been a fan of Plumpjack and Cade but find the Cade Mountain Howell Mountain Cabernet to be their best value. We purchased 4 bottles in hopes that we would drink towards the end of the decade but in a weak moment we decided to open one to have a peek. Shame on us since this wine is, literally, a baby and the flavors haven't come together. After a 2 hour decant the wine finally started to show its true colors and a preview of great things to come. It's a burly full bodied wine with lots do red and purple fruit that carry lots of Howell Mountain terrior and Napa ripeness. I think this wine will be a 92+ after 2016 but will report back at that time. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
10/26/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
84 points
I drank a bottle of this wine earlier in the year and hoped that it was shocked or that it might improve. Unfortunately, it taste exactly the same. It's no offensive but is certainly one of the most boring wines that I have tasted all year.
Rosé - Sparkling
10/20/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
88 points
After tasting this reserve I have to admit that I preferred the Standard Mumm Valley Rose. We bought it at the winery thinking it would be ever better which seems to be the case upon pouring. It's a much darker bubbly than the standard bottling and is highly perfumed. The blooming red flowers and strawberry on he nose was by far the best part of the wine since it taste like a generic brut. The good news is that their standard Rose is only $20 vs. this one at $42. It is also more widely available. Cheers!
Red
10/19/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
88 points
Opened this bottle for a friend that is into Rhone wines and she really liked it. This light to medium bodied wine features all of the hallmarks of southern Rhone but has relatively muted spices which is why I rated it an 88. There were lots of red berries and a hint of balsamic vinaigrette that warmed the palate before the savory finish tailed off. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/16/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
91 points
I hadn't heard of Trione before Mike Good of Timeless Wine started promoting it via e-mail offers. I didn't bite but one of my best friends did and we opened his first bottle a few days ago. We were blown away by how good this wine was and would have assumed that it was Napa Cab given it's ripeness. 2007 was obviously a very generous year.

The wine features dark red/black cherries and a bit of ripened plum on a medium to full bodied frame. The front palate is where all of the action takes place but there is enough acidity to keep the wine from tasting flabby. It's a very drinkable wine with a long, sweet finish. We drank over approximately one hour and agreed it was good juice. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
I recently purchased several bottles of the 2009 Coach Insignia and decided to try the 2008 when I found it at The Bistro in Findlay, Ohio while traveling. Sam is the restaurant's proprietor and stocks several high end bottles that are not on the menu. He is also a dear friend but I digress. Coach Insignia is one of the reasons I have such a large collection but this particular vintage falls short of what I, and many others, have come to expect from Fisher. I remember going to certain restaurants just because they had it the bottle on their menu.

As is typical, the wine taste more like Bordeaux than a Napa Meritage and features more red fruit than black or blue. It maintains a sweeter profile which makes the wine more drinkable than its French counterparts. However, the wine taste a little diluted. The finish is pleasant but fleeting. All of the right flavors are there but lack enough intensity to shine as brightly as I would have liked.

All that said, the wine is still above average and make no mistake...Fisher makes outstanding wine. I would liken this bottle to Babe Ruth hitting a single....a base hit is a base hit but you expect a homer every time he's at bat! Cheers!
Red
10/13/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
92 points
Boy is this wine drinking well! It makes me regret that I didn't buy more at the price that was available at the time. Others are correct about the crystalized sediment around the cork which was pristine upon opening. The wine has a huge nose that is full of tobacco and macerated dark fruit and berries which are echoed on the palate with toasted oak plum sauce. However, what's most impressive about this wine is the acidity which is why it has held together so well. Howell Mountain is arguably the best mountain fruit in Napa although Pritchard Hill dwarfs all other peaks in the right years
Red
10/12/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
90 points
Piancornello is always a great value and this one doesn't disappoint. It has finally come into its own right after pouring from the bottle but still benefits from 15 to 20 minutes in a decanter. The nose is that of bright red under-ripenned, crushed cherries and tea leaves which develop into darker cherry and raspberry on the palate. The wine is medium in body but full of flavor. Cheers!
Red
10/7/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
92 points
Wow! This wine has come into its own with time. I rated this an 88 about a year ago and realize that I just drank it way too early. The nose is that of Russian River pinot with intense cherry and some cinnamon notes. The palate is all cherry cola with a candied finish which is just amazing. I can't believe how much this wine changed over the year but that's why you should always buy multiple bottles. Unfortunately, this one was my last. Black cherry in color, medium bodied with a strong front palate and extended finish. Cheers!
Red
9/28/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
90 points
This is by far the best Grove that I have ever had....of course everyone in Napa made incredible wine. There is a lot of dark cherry and unripened cherry flavor on top of a medium toasty finish. I would recommend this bottle for <$30 if you can find it or at $60 on a restaurant wine list if you can't find any sure bets. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
9/28/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
92 points
Wow! Hirsch is so good. This wine, like others, drinks more like a European wine than a California Chardonnay. It bodes well for the juice as you recognize and appreciate the depth of this wine. The finish is over 60 seconds long with a good blend of butterscotch and caramel. I was a little dissapointed that the wine tailed off after an hour but I have found that with many of the 2010s. Good juice nonetheless. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/22/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
87 points
I was a little disappointed with this wine since Faust typically makes such great wine. It tasted more like standard light-medium bodied Napa cabernet than the intense and full bodied juice of year's past. I hope this was an anomaly.
Red
9/7/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
90 points
Great Bordeaux styled wine! It's reddish-purple with medium legs and smells like red currant/blueberry. Unsweetened blueberries dominate the palate. The body is medium and very smooth texture.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/11/2013 - What I'm Drinking Now wrote:
92 points
Tasted this one at the Viader Winery which has the best view on Howell Mountain and one of the best in the valley altogether. It was one of the best cab franc I had ever tried at the tasting so I bought a case and was anxious to get it home to make sure I wasn't bowled over by the wine steward and surrounding beauty. Thank goodness that wasn't the case. The difficult growing year that was 2011 produced an incredible cab that I would liken more to its Washington counterparts from the likes of Andrew Will but will very limited herbaceous tones. I can't wait to taste the others after a few years. Cheers!
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