Tasting Notes for ftc

(93 notes on 90 wines)

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White
5/11/2016 - ftc Likes this wine:
87 points
Light straw color. Mild citrus nose. White grapefruit, lemon candy and lemon zest. A strangely strong salinity. Good zing, fairly long finish. Only 12.5% ABV.
Red
2005 Château Barde-Haut St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/17/2016 - ftc Likes this wine:
92 points
Cork disintegrated during extraction. Lots of sediment stuck to side of the bottle.

Opaque black to dark garnet at the rim. Luscious nose of blackberry candy, anise, cigar box. Cassis, caramel, cedar on the attack. The midpalate is all about bright acidity. The fruit is light and soft: red currant, raspberry…oddly the fruit becomes the most expansive during the very long finish. Tannins are grainy and puckering. Pretty classic claret stuff, e.g. roast beef dinners in the Royal Navy captain's cabin circa 1800. This is not a buxom wine with a loud laugh-- very pleasurable in the old world style of light elegance and food friendliness. Seems like it could keep going based on acidity and tannins, but plucked this at a great time. The finish just keeps on going as I write this...
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/31/2016 - ftc Likes this wine:
92 points
Pretty, vibrant garnet, a touch of brick on the rim. Tremendous and promising amount of sediment both on the side of the bottle and loose. Silky texture. Red and black fruit, caramel and wood smoke on the nose. Mercifully restrained on the oak. Exuberant blackberry and cherry fruit, but definitely not over the top, just right. Secondary black tea and cedar flavors, nice bright acidity. The midpalate rises and rises, to a long, enjoyable finish like driving home after a good date. Very harmonious and balanced, tannins are just right. Somehow this bottle (1 of 1, sadly) called to me and said "I'm ready" tonight and I'm glad I waited-- and waited just this long.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/15/2016 - ftc wrote:
84 points
Lots of oak and some AV and sweaty socks on the nose. Bright acidity but too much acetic for my palate and not enough fruit or structure to balance it out.
Red
1/5/2016 - ftc Likes this wine:
89 points
Pop & pour. Nice light color although lacks a bit of saturation. Light body. All the right aromas for the varietal, black cherry and cola, not too much oak. Quite fragrant. Nice acidity on the attack, cranberry comes in early and stays through the medium short finish. Not much oomph in the middle-- the black cherry and raspberry are there, but just there. The flavor mimics the color - it's close to right but lacks concentration. Very slightly gripping tannins. Still a solid score for its loyalty to the varietal and its subtlety. Deserves credit for not going on steriods with the fruit or oak which happens too much at this price point. Similar to "lower priced" (i.e. at least 50 percent more expensive than this) Burgundies without the barnyard component. Would perform well with roast duck or pork.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
12/14/2015 - ftc wrote:
89 points
Light straw color. Pineapple and lemon zest on the nose. Intriguing blend of citrus flavors with quite a bit of rind. It has a lot of alcohol to cover and it doesn't quite do it-- would be a 90 if it were integrated better. Super choice for sushi.
Red
9/5/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
91 points
Very chunky sediment. Ruby to garnet color. Black cherry candy nose with a slightly piney herbal touch. Nice blend of black and red fruits, a little bit of chocolate, modern candied style, soft tannins, nice slightly bright acidity, solid momentum from attack to finish. Moderately long. Delicious, just what I'm looking for in a modern wine from this area. Could be mistaken for one of the newer styled CdRVs or a lighter bodied CdP. Tasted "price blind" - amazing QPR!
Red
6/15/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
91 points
Surprisingly, some chunky sediment. Dark garnet. Nose: if Jolly Ranchers came in blackcurrant flavor. New world attack of highly extracted cassis, with a bit of basement funk and red currant. Dips a bit in the midpalate but a fairly long finish. Pleasantly gripping tannins.

Blurs the line between old and new world impressively. Charismatic and elegantly simple. If I did a lot of entertaining, I'd seek this out since it has the potential to please both sides of the fence. I'd drink it young.
White - Sparkling
6/12/2015 - ftc wrote:
90 points
Outstanding value - drank with a fine Indian dinner and as a good Champagne does with this cuisine, paired wonderfully. Filled the place of a $30 sparkler just fine in this context.
Red
6/2/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
89 points
I bought this wine because it was a California Zin with just 13.5% alcohol. I was intrigued. This wine is off the beaten Cali Zinfandel track; blackcurrant on the nose but with an evergreen/pine aroma and some tar. Nice black berry flavors and a brighter than typical acidity. Lighter bodied than most. Scores strongly for originality but there is some disjointedness there as well.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/2/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
90 points
Almost black color. Time was kind to this wine. Second bottle, first consumed shortly after release and was almost undrinkably bitter and tannic with fruit hiding deep in the corners. The (not surprisingly) black fruit is now expressing itself in the nose and flavors along with black pepper. Tannins are still muscular and pleasantly puckering for a food wine. Interesting and enjoyable, screams to be paired with Cheshire cheese.
Red
6/2/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
90 points
Opaque black/purple/ruby color. Literally mouth-staining. Nose of oak and prune. Attack of bitter plum, red cherry and red currant, the red flavors carrying through a long finish. Tannins are soft. An enjoyable departure from the usual; would score it a 91 but things are a little out of balance: the oak is a bit much for my palate and there seem to be a number of secondary flavors clamoring for attention, but none rise up enough to define themselves clearly. Some aging might bring them out but I'm not sure it has the backbone to go more than a couple of years.
Red
5/30/2015 - ftc wrote:
86 points
Medium light ruby. Somewhat complex nose of cherry, red currant, roses, VA and some alcohol showing through.
On the PNP it showed feeble fruit, no midpalate and short finish.

After a day in a corked half full bottle improved dramatically. Nose became more open, dark cherry and cola showed through, slightly bitter with lightly gripping tannins. The midpalate still sagged a bit but the finish became decently long.

Definitely best with food. Even after the air, lacks some concentration though. The best part is the nose after a good amount of air.
White
5/30/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
88 points
Very light straw color. Lemony nose. Lemon zest with a little bit of lychee. Zingy acidity. Quite refreshing. The concentration and complexity are a bit low.
Rosé
5/29/2015 - ftc wrote:
83 points
Nice blush color. A strange bit of frizz. Not nearly enough fruit (strawberry and maybe pink grapefruit) to match with the alcohol. Overall had a rubbing-alcohol-ish quality that was pretty unpleasant, with or without a good amount of air.
Red
5/13/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
90 points
Extremely dark ruby- almost black. Cassis, honey, anise on the nose. Assertively fruit forward, admirable for taking it to the limit without going over the top. Interesting interplay of jammy black fruit on the attack with another layer of bright food-friendly acidity that lingers into the finish. Tannins are nicely balanced with the extracted fruit and pleasantly grippy. Drinks like a big boy but only 14 percent alcohol.
Red
5/1/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
88 points
Nice dark ruby color, bluish at the rim. Silky texture. Appealing nose of blackcurrant candy and rock dust. Black fruits, pepper and a little caramel on the attack that give way to redcurrant on the midpalate and the moderately long finish. Soft tannins. Outstanding value at under 10 bucks-- avoids the common pitfalls at this price point of jacked up fruit and oak. Only criticism is its lack of typicity for the varietal and region-- would have guessed a $25-30 zin if not for the lower alcohol level and bright acidity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/28/2015 - ftc wrote:
90 points
Popped and poured, but the alcoholic heat was brutal and the flavors disjointed. Drank a glass, corked the bottle and drank the next day (notes are based on day 2 tasting).

With all that air the wine settled down very nicely. Dark ruby color. Quite light-bodied. Cherry candy, barnyard funk, cloves and a bit of VA on the nose. Nice sour black cherry, a hint of tobacco, a touch of bright, almost apple-like acidity, nice tannic grip with no bitterness. The finish is quite long. Super QPR for this varietal.
White
4/7/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
93 points
Light golden straw color. Fragrant bouquet of lemon curd and spring flowers with oak and a little buttered popcorn. It is instantly identifiable as a white burg but stands apart from its lesser brethren with a very weighty midpalate filled with citrus and floral complexities. The midpalate rises rather than falls into the finish, which goes on and on for minutes. Texture is luscious. Don't cheat yourself by serving this at any lower than 55 degrees F. It showed its best at room temp - this wine has nothing to hide. Expensive but it tastes expensive.
Red
3/19/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
91 points
Strip of sediment in bottle. Garnet with a light touch of brick at the rim.
Silky texture. Pretty, fragrant nose of raspberry, leather and violets.
Fruit forward with dimension - black raspberry, cassis, black cherry. Anise and floral notes, some minerality. Bright acidity. Long finish with the cherry flavors hanging in there the longest.
Nice level of tannic grip, just right. Alcohol is fully integrated.
Picked the right time to open this. A light on its feet style of CdP, appealing and is showing well. The more air this got, the better.

Great with parmigiano-reggiano and charcuterie.
Red
3/14/2015 - ftc wrote:
86 points
A good light ruby color is obscured by notable cloudiness. Oak and cherry candy on the nose. Appropriate but uncomplicated cherry flavors with a little cola. I would have guessed an inexpensive California PN based on the fruit focus with no earthy or barnyard funk, or tannic backbone, to tell me otherwise. Overall the wine comes across as flaccid, but works as a food wine. QPR is very good for the region but could probably find something comparable or better for about the same $ from a new world producer. Definitely a drink now.
Red
2/23/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
93 points
Tasted this "price blind" (didn't check how much I paid before tasting). Every aspect of the wine told me "expensive." Dark garnet, almost opaque. Raspberries, oak, cassis on the nose. Intense attack of cherry syrup, red currant and some fig, anise, dried herbs and tapenade, which swells on the midpalate into a minute plus finish. After several hours of air, unexpected flavors of cedar and tobacco surfaced. Nice waxy glycerin level. Tannins perfectly balanced at this point, barely drying. 1 of 3 bottles in the cellar and thinking I will enjoy them all soon, as I am not sure there will be a payoff to waiting, particularly with some recent disappointments with grenache-based wines that have had some time in cellar.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/21/2015 - ftc wrote:
89 points
Lovely dark ruby with a bluish tinge at the rim. Fairly tight nose even after several hours of air - some rose petals and red raspberries. Cherry cough syrup and red currants, a bit of anise and light floral touches. There is some nice, typically bright acidity, with just a touch of VA. Tannins are soft. This wine has some appealing flavors but seems unbalanced towards fruit rather than vegetal notes-- I look for these to be more in parity with Nebbiolo. At 20 bucks, exceptional QPR for this varietal though.
Red
2004 Calabretta Etna Rosso Etna DOC Nerello Mascalese (view label images)
1/17/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
92 points
Maroon to brick. Smells like a smoked baseball mitt and dried rose petals. Sour cherry and caramel are heavily counterbalanced with cedar, tobacco, wood smoke and leather. This turned heads at an Italian meal - was a recognition of how amazingly different a bottle of fermented grape juice can be when you step outside your comfort zone. Timing seems just right, tannins in the sweet spot. 92+
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/8/2015 - ftc wrote:
88 points
Showed much better than the last bottle. Older and wiser but not tired. Nice bright acidity and the dark red fruit still bold with cigar box.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
1/8/2015 - ftc Likes this wine:
89 points
Nice expression of the flavors that make me love this varietal, at a fantastic price point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/22/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
90 points
Appealing dark ruby color, orangeish at the rim. Black cherry, a bit of acetic on the nose. Blackberry and cherry candy, fruit forward but not too much so, nice concentration and momentum through the midpalate. Not much typical vegetal flavors though. A little tapenade and some smokiness. Nice lightly waxy texture. Soft tannins. Good with or without food. Just not super complex or strikingly typical for a CdP.
Red
10/13/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
92 points
Consistent with previous notes from a year ago; actually a bit more subdued this time.
Red
10/13/2014 - ftc wrote:
86 points
Dark garnet to purple at the rim. Lots of oak, some blackberry, a good dose of acetic whiff. Bitter plum, blackberry, unripe cherry. Moderate length, slightly drying tannins. Intense but disjointed flavors with a strange combination of clashing acidities. True to the varietal and region, but too much oak for me. Decent value.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/2/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
91 points
Dark garnet to maroon at the rim. Nice abundant aromas of cigar box, plum and cherry, roses. Black plum and dark cherry, tobacco, anise, pine sap. Just a bit of alcoholic heat showing after a 40 minute decant. Approachable now (possibly a drink now) with good fruit intensity and length, structured but ripe tannins. Presses the right nebbiolo buttons-- gets a 91 for hitting the right notes that make me love this varietal, and nice that this is drinkable now and a good price point for this DOC.
White
9/1/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
89 points
Medium straw color. Lemon candy, flint and watermelon rind on the nose. Strong, bracing acidity: lemon, lemon zest, mineral, a faint floral layer underneath. Not complex but intense and interesting.
Red
8/29/2014 - ftc Does not like this wine:
86 points
Very dark garnet. Artificially flavored grape and sour cherry candy are abundant on the nose. Modern fruit bomb style, would have guessed Australian. The fruit– cherry, some blackcurrant– also has a weird sticky lollipop fakeness to it. Tannins are pretty soft. Positives: nice texture, oak is admirably restrained. This has an interesting combination of flavors I haven't experienced before. Many will like it; just not for my palate.
White
8/29/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
91 points
Pale straw - very light. Lemon custard, pink grapefruit nose. Great combination of citrus flavors, red apple, flint, mineral. Long finish. Oak is very restrained (which my palate appreciates). Super value at $21.50 USD. Regret not getting more...
Red
8/23/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
91 points
Fruit forward but with nice complexity. There is a lot going on here from the blackberry cobbler to the anise to some floral and herbal components. What doesn't hit it out of the ballpark is that it all comes off a bit disorganized. But a wine that helps you appreciate how one-dimensional many wines are. Not super QPR at 43.00 USD though.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/23/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
89 points
Watch out for sandy textured sediment. Almost opaque blackish garnet. Super jammy black fruits and a moderately long finish. Tannins are just slightly drying. A drink now-er. Probably a bit too fruit forward for a food wine, but enjoyable.
Red
8/15/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
90 points
I'm impressed with the way this wine pulls off a new world fruit-forwardness but retains its own likeable identity, especially given the price point. Very dark garnet. Blackcurrant syrup, oak, smoke, flowers on the nose. Gobs and gobs of blackcurrant and wild cherry candy with a touch of rosewater, cedar cigar box. The rise and fall of the fruit is very nice: powerful, but doesn't just smack you in the face and disappear-- swells up, sustains then exits slowly on the long finish. Seems at its peak. Really a 90+.
Red
8/15/2014 - ftc Likes this wine:
93 points
I hand wrote tasting notes and a score on this wine and then checked Cellartracker…I think I'll do that from now on since it's interesting to compare without having looked up previous notes first, particularly when not much time has passed since the previous tasting. Color: Very dark garnet. Nose: Red currant, black cherry, oak. Taste: Big, long wave of red currant, cherry cola, raspberry with a savory meatiness. Really nice momentum and long finish. Wonderfully silky texture and lightly gripping tannins add to the charisma of this wine. I wouldn't wait!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/25/2014 - ftc wrote:
72 points
Sweaty socks, acetic acid present (reminds me of dyeing eggs with Paas), very unappealing. After 4 days in a half full, corked bottle became drinkable but not likable.
Red
6/18/2014 - ftc wrote:
88 points
Color: Dark garnet to brick. Smell: oak, black raspberry (muted), Asian spice, alcohol. Taste: anise, prune, dark cherry, black raspberry. Tart acidity. Soft tannins. This has good concentration and balance as a food wine and I would say good typicity because it clearly expresses the "angry" characteristic I consistently experience with decent to good Vacqueyras. Shortish finish. Give it a few hours of air.
Red
5/19/2014 - ftc wrote:
89 points
Somewhat disappointing compared to previous vintages-- more fruit forward but less complex.
Red
5/19/2014 - ftc wrote:
90 points
Color is a stunning dark ruby. Very new-world style, massive blackcurrant syrup, other black fruit and raspberry behind it. A bit much for my palate-- would recommend sit-and-sip rather than as an accompaniment with a meal. However, the texture is extremely silky and appealing and the alcohol is very well integrated.
Red
4/20/2014 - ftc wrote:
93 points
Leather, tea, blackcurrant on the nose. Quite a bit of sediment. Medium bodied. Taste: Cassis, cranberry, raspberry, charcuterie. Nice complexity and charisma, good typicity, very well balanced. Tannis are soft-- see no reason to wait. For thirty-ish bucks a great value.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Pujanza Rioja Hado Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo (view label images)
12/22/2013 - ftc wrote:
86 points
Nose of Asian spice and black cherry. Pretty nice blend of vegetal flavors-- cigar box and that Asian spice-- with black cherry, plum and a little black berry. Uncomplicated but at under 11 bucks a good value.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château La Fleur de Boüard Lalande de Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/4/2013 - ftc wrote:
89 points
Pretty dark garnet to black color.

Smell: Tight on opening but with air a lovely bouquet of black and red fruits, caramel, asian spice and black tea.

Taste: "Brooding" comes to mind-- blackberry, black cherry, bitter chocolate, some tobacco. Significant tannic bitterness but not astringency. There is a modern-ness to this wine but it could have some potential for development over the next couple of years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/7/2013 - ftc Likes this wine:
90 points
Very fine sediment.
Smell: Clearest and most intense expression of prunes I've ever experienced.
Taste: Prunes and dried zante currants, still has a lot of intensity. Anise and a trace of roasted meats. It showed best after 3 days open, oddly. The fruit is powerful but has a soft edge. Long finish. The tannins have mellowed to a light astringency on the lips and gums. Drink it now, give it plenty of air.
Red
2005 The Colonial Estate Emigré Barossa Valley Shiraz Blend, Syrah (view label images)
10/25/2013 - ftc wrote:
90 points
Nose of cassis, massive vanilla and some rock dust. The wallop of blackcurrant syrup and strawberry jam along with vanilla custard tell you this comes from the place where the varietal is spelled with a "Z" at the end.

Things are reeled in by a good tart acidity, luxurious glycerin levels, black pepper. Very soft tannins. The 15.5 alcohol is well hidden. This is for sipping and going "wow" rather than with a meal.

I'm happy I let this sit for a while, since if I drank upon release I would probably have dismissed as a nuclear fruit bomb-- unfairly since it has the integrity to evolve with time. Second bottle will sit for another year or so-- the acidic backbone is promising but the complete invisibility of tannins is not.
Red
10/21/2013 - ftc wrote:
88 points
Aromas of cherry jam and marzipan. Concentrated fruit (raspberry, dried cherries) but with a soft edge; cloves. Alcohol is well integrated. Died in the corked (not pumped) bottle overnight-- most of the fruit vanished.
Red
1996 Maison Champy Bonnes Mares Bonnes Mares Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
10/21/2013 - ftc wrote:
89 points
Brick color with both coarse and fine sediment. Soft aroma of dried fruits and anise. Raisin, prune, raspberry flavors, spine of solid cranberry acidity. Flavors are gentle and sleepy but enjoyable. No oak showing through, just fruit and incense. Likely past its prime.
White
10/1/2013 - ftc wrote:
87 points
Smell: uncomplicated citrus. Taste: lemon zest, white grapefruit, river stone. Has some personality and confidence. Alcohol showing a bit for 12%. Better than your average "patio pounder."
Red
10/15/2013 - ftc wrote:
90 points
Smell: cherry, raspberry, smoke and vanilla. Taste: Pine Bros cherry cough drops, raspberry syrup and a nice earthiness. Uncomplicated but loyal expression of terroir and likable. Low acidity, soft tannins. Drink now. 90+
1 person found this helpful Comment
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