Comments on my notes

(18 comments on 16 notes)

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Red
2012 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
5/10/2020 - Announcer wrote:
85 points
It was a little better than "ok" when consumed with pizza, but without food it was a bit of a dud. My wife thought it tasted like "barnyard", I did not get that, I thought the dominate note was just acid. Might be past its prime. Cork was very dry, broke in half upon opening, even though it has always been stored on its side.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    6/20/20, 5:51 PM - Most young Chianti Classico Riserva wines, and certainly Monsanto, need a LOT of air and are the worst wines to pop and pour - they can’t show any of their charms. I am drinking a 2012 Monsanto CCR tonight and it was triple decanted one hour ahead of dinner; it probably won’t even reach its peak of aromatic and flavor complexity until tomorrow night! Also, the high levels of acid and tannin mean that it must always be served with a meal; Chianti Classico Riserva is the worst wine to serve for cocktails.

    That said, Monsanto CCR is a wine to buy (in the US) when it is first released, because - I am told by some fine-wine retailers - their distributor / importer does not use refrigerated warehouses and trucks. I have had many bottles of Monsanto over the years that I suspected were not stored properly. For example, I have boticed a big difference in the 2012s I bought upon release and those I bought subsequently. But every bottle, regardless of vintage, that I bought upon release and stored in my cellar has been wonderful.

    I have been drinking Monsanto since 1979 (including the first vintage of 1962 and all the vintages of the 60s and 70s, and almost every vintage ever produced) and it is absolutely one of the great, reliable and affordable CCRs to buy every year. I don’t buy ANY of their other wines (the Poggio is too inconsistent for the price, but it great when the stars align) but I buy their CCR every year.

Red
2000 Clos Triguedina Cahors Malbec Blend, Malbec
I have ordered a few cartons for me and my friends mid 2012. We've opened separately at least 6 bottles: all were disappointing, like the wine has passed its time. Taste like "advanced maderisation", has lost its balance and perfume.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    6/7/20, 5:21 PM - I just drank a bottle that I purchased from the winery and stored in my cellar; it was excellent, 93+.

White
2014 A to Z Wineworks Chardonnay Oregon
Très simple. Fruits à chaire jaune. Un peu court. Pas très complexe. Pas de défaut notable pour moi, Pascale n'a pas aimé le côté boisé.
RQP **1/2
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    4/18/20, 10:22 AM - Ce vin ne touche jamais du bois, c'est son caractéristique clé (apart son prix très bon marché). Le gout "boisé" que Pascale n'aime pas devrait être d'une autre origine.

Red
2010 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso Guardiola Etna DOC Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese
3/31/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
93 points
Terre Nere’s 2010 Etna Rosso Guardiola at age ten has a transparent ruby color with a darker core, and is just beginning to show some age at the edge. It was decanted and at first was closed tight, with prominent tannins. After 30 minutes a delicious sweetness emerged along with some characteristic Etna aromas, but it did not reach its full elegant self until the end of the evening and was, in fact, better on night two. It is a light-weight wine, but with imposing flavors and structure. If in normal times Etna reds from Nerello Mascalese get compared with Nebbiolo wines from Piemonte, Sangiovese wines from Chianti, and Pinot Noir wines from Burgundy, this wine is definitely Nebbiolo-like. It is austere and structured, with some bright red fruit flavors, lip-smacking acidity, and very prominent tannins. This wine is much more about flavor than aroma, and much more about salinity and minerality than about fruit. It absolutely needs food. As mentioned, even better on night two. Very good QPR.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    4/1/20, 5:01 AM - Thank you @Gilrbo for pointing this out. This is a mistake, pure and simple. The wine was the Guardiola. I have edited the note to correct it. Thank you again.

Red
2017 Hahn Pinot Noir SLH Santa Lucia Highlands
1/15/2020 - GregGH wrote:
87 points
The sweetness will go away after a day or two of being opened ... and that lack of sweetness makes it a nice Pinot

Please ...need more. neutral Pinot's .... drop all Dr. Pepper type sweetness in Pinot's
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    2/6/20, 4:21 PM - Agree completely with your comments, although I will give this a higher rating because of its inherent quality. Thanks for such a clear and informative message, I hope that Hahn listens to you!!

Red
2014 Giacomo Mori Chianti Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
1/12/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
91 points
Another good bottle, but with less cut and precision on the mid-palate than the last one I had about a year ago. I recommend a 45-60 minute decant. Sweet and sour cherry, rhubarb, cranberry and white pepper aromas; good acidity, gentle tannins, and a long mineral finish. Lovely smoothness. Great QPR. Equally good on night two, but different, with a bit less freshness and verve and slightly more heft.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    1/14/20, 10:22 AM - Hello Tim, Lucky you that you get to visit the winery ! Question to you about Mori’s consistency, because you know the estate so well: why haven’t the more recent vintages of his CC been as good as the 14 and especially the 13? Their 13 was for me one of the greatest QPR wines I’ve ever had. The more recent vintages seem to be a bit less structured, a bit looser. Thanks

Red
2010 Calabretta Nerello Mascalese Sicilia Vigne Vecchie
11/13/2019 - oldwines Likes this wine:
90 points
2 Coravin pours...Light to medium bodied, translucent medium garnet. Mild floral and red fruited nose. Low tannin, medium acidity. Palate has red plum, pomegranate and some light earthiness. Pleasant, well made, solid everyday wine. Not as impressive in my mind as the Vinous 94 point score would suggest, though to be fair I rarely agree with Ian D'Agata, pretty much in both directions. So what's the difference between 90 and 94 points anyway? Well, in my mind it is depth of flavor, texture, complexity, length of finish and age-worthiness. This wine is straightforward, clean and well made but not very complex, lacking in the finish, mouth feel and depth of flavor as well as ageability. A pleasant drink over the next few years. Frankly, most of the wines I have had from Sicily that get highly touted seem to fall into this category.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    11/23/19, 12:03 PM - Normally this is not the kind of wine that lends itself to Coravin piurs; in most vintages it needs air to shine. I’ve had this vintage of this wine once so far, and even though ithe ‘10 is made in an atypically elegant style I do believe it needs a lot of air. I would recommend trying another bottle with a long decant.

Red
2007 Calabretta Nerello Mascalese Sicilia Vigne Vecchie
3/24/2019 - westopherguy wrote:
86 points
Given other reviews here, I wonder if this bottle was somehow not 100%. One of my favorite and most trustworthy wine store managers recommended this, and it's not often you find a 12 year old wine at this great price point. But honestly, I just didn't find much here. The nose was fine but not complex, and the palate sort of thin and uninteresting. Surprising grip with the tannins for something with this much cellar time. Maybe I was just having an off day; I should try it again later given the original recommendation — and what everyone here seems to see in this one.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    5/11/19, 3:49 PM - Could be a bad bottle. I agree with the comment about decanting. I always decant Calabretta’s NMVV and indeed often (but not always) they perform well over 3-4 nights. Also, don’t let this wine get too warm, the alcohol comes out and it becomes disjointed; it should be served on the cool side. One question: how often do you drink Etna red? It may take a while to get used to the NM grape, and of course Calabretta presents the more rustic side of Etna reds, compared with other producers. Most lovers of NM, all styles if it, are also fans of Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. If those please you, stick with this one !

Red
2008 Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva Antonio Taurasi DOCG Aglianico
11/20/2018 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
24 hour slow-ox, then decanted and served; still young and restrained; deep, dark color, but with natural extraction levels; nose of dark sweet fruits, citrus, hints of violet and a light, gentle smokiness; excellent structure, with medium-full body, good acidity levels and silky tannins that become more pronounced with air; neither wood nor alcohol were obvious; smooth, balanced and a long aftertaste with balsamic and raisin hints; all things considered, this is a delicious wine but I was surprised with the restrained aromatic and flavor profile; a giant fist in a soft velvet glove, for sure; drink 2025 to 2035.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    3/22/19, 4:37 AM - Lucky you! A double-magnum, if stored properly, should last to #80 or #85 based on what I drank. Enjoy!

Red
2001 Calabretta Etna Rosso Etna DOC Nerello Mascalese
6/16/2018 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
94 points
Same score and similar notes from my last bottle two years ago, with perhaps a bit more forest aromas and a longer finish than I remember - although the finish is still powerfully infused with bittersweet cherry and minerals. Even if the wine is showing a bit more age than before, it clearly has many fine years ahead of it. Subtle, silky, complex, great structure - Outstanding.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    11/11/18, 6:38 PM - No, it does not, and thank you for pointing this out. That was a sloppy error on my part and once I had made it for bottle one, I kept going blindly. I've checked, and 14 of my 21 Calabretta postings are not listed correctly - I will have to get Cellar Tracker to correct them - what a hassle! Thank you again.

  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    11/19/18, 5:50 PM - CellarTracker fixed the problem. Thank you for finding the error, and thank you CellarTracker for fixing it.

Red
2014 Montalbera Fuori Catalogo Piemonte DOC Red Blend
3/28/2017 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
85 points
This wine is 30% Barbera and 70% Ruche', and sees no wood. It has a medium color, lots - but not too much - residual sweetness, and normal alcohol. For me this is a winning formula, but the wine seems a bit over-worked and flat, with very modest aromatics and modest structure from acids and tannins. At $15 I like this wine, but not enough to buy it again until Montalbera figures out to give it a bit more aromatics and structure. Until then, there are many other great wines in this price range, especially Cotes du Rhone and Chianti, but also many others, that have more complexity and freshness.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    6/13/18, 7:02 PM - Thank you, Jeffrane. You are absolutely right about the grape mix, and I knew it all along - I typed it incorrectly and never re-read the review, so I didn't catch the error. By the way, last week I had their Ruche' l'Accento, which I like much more than the Fuori Catalogo. Thanks again.

Red
2010 Château Rollan de By Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
10/22/2016 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
Second bottle. I re-confirm my previous tasting notes and vote, and recommend a decant for 30 minutes prior to serving. Tonight both the oak and the acid sappiness seemed more prominent to me, as well as the big, sweet dark fruit mid-palate, and mineral finish. A real mid-Atlantic style: dense, extracted wine with soft tannins but also with lots of great acidity, and a great QPR.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    12/3/16, 8:03 PM - The 2010 Rollan de By is probably at its peak now, but because you have the big format the wine has surely aged more slowly, so I think that you have a few more years before it starts to fade. I've had five or six vintages of this wine and the 2010 is probably the best, but I've no experience keeping them past 6 or 7 years of age, so this is just a guess.

Rosé
2015 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Il Rosé di Casanova Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
9/11/2016 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
88 points
Light color belies a full-bodied rose that needs food. Peach and strawberry aromas give way to full flavors with strong mineral elements, good acidity. Improved significantly with 30 minutes of air. A bit expensive, but delicious. Will buy again by the bottle, but at a slightly lower price point I would buy by the case.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    9/12/16, 4:16 AM - Fully dry, no residual sweetness.

Red
2010 Château Rollan de By Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2016 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
Straightforward, delicious New World style Bordeaux that is well balanced and has a very good QPR. Deep, dense, dark ruby color; big, pleasing sweet dark red fruit fragrances, with hints of leather, oak, vanilla, mint, coffee; nice acid backbone and prominent but fine tannin with sweet undertones throughout; rather short finish. 90 but trending higher, let's see what the other bottles offer.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    5/26/16, 5:56 AM - Yes, I'm sure it will be delicious now, but it will also keep well and possibly improve in the next few years, especially in that big format you have, if you decide to wait. I've always liked this wine, but previous vintages have been inconsistent and not long-lived, either. This is their best wine that I've had, not surprisingly given the vintage. Your guests will like this for sure, it has a big forward style and lots of personality. I wish I had bought more!

  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    5/26/16, 3:50 PM - Wow, that is a nice tradition you have started, very nice indeed ! I'll write you separately.

Red
2009 Domaine Richaud Cairanne Cuvée l'Ebrescade Red Rhone Blend
4/5/2016 - Roughl wrote:
92 points
Great bottle of wine, completely open for business but still years ahead. My wife loved this.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    4/7/16, 4:46 PM - I'm glad that the 2009 is still so good, I have two more left in the cellar. As much as I do like Richaud's wines young, this vintage shows how lovely they can evolve. Is there a better l'Ebrescade than 2009 ?

Red
2011 G.D. Vajra Barbera d'Alba Superiore
3/17/2015 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
88 points
This wine was a real disappointment for me. I've had the previous three vintages which were all special wines, with varying levels of intensity, complexity and spiciness. This wine was flat, one-dimensional and only worth about half the retail price. In absolute terms it is a good wine, well made, but relative to previous vintages and to its price it is a real under-performer.
  • PaulusLoZebra commented:

    3/18/15, 5:20 AM - You're right, and the confusion stems from the incomplete nature of my notes, which were written in haste, and my particular use of the 100 point scale. 88 is my rating on the wine as a stand-alone assessment. My comments reflect disappointment compared to the three previous vintages of this same wine, which I rated 93, as well as to the price. I find it hard to justify $40 for any Barbera d'Alba Superiore, but I could accept it for this wine in 08, 09 and 10, which are joyous, complex and rewarding wines. The QPR on the 11 is, unfortunately, poor.

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