Tasting Notes for PaulusLoZebra

(837 notes on 585 wines)

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Red
4/9/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
91 points
This is infanticide. This wine should be consumed 2030-2040. I had the wine about five years ago and not only was it way too young, but I gave it a poor rating. I did not appreciate then what is apparent to me now, namely that this is an excellent wine built the traditional way for long ageing. It is deep, dark blood red with vivid crimson edges, showing not a hint of age after twelve years. Aromas of sweet plums fill the glass, with hints of forest and wet earth. It has a lot of structure, with a very sappy acid backbone and very prominent tannins and a medium-length finish. After about four hours a delicious sweetness emerged. Everything about the wine speaks of youth. If you do open it before 2030, decant 5-6 hours ahead of serving. Excellent QPR.
Red
4/8/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
Wow, what a difference five years makes ! That’s the last time I drank this wine. It is much, much better tonight, a nice California Cab, much smoother. Same sweet red and dark fruit aromas, but with a new earthiness, leather, underbrush, with a nice mid-palate, decent acids, fine grained tannins, and a sweetish finish with hints of créme de Cassis.
Red
4/7/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
94 points
Another great bottle, this is a very special and unique wine, very popular with everyone at table. Please refer to my previous notes for details. Not to be compared with typical “noble” wines like Barolo or Chianti, etc., for “serious” meals, but as a cocktail wine with finger food or at a relaxed meal with many different types of food. Would also be great slightly chilled in summer.
Red
2010 Melini Chianti Classico Riserva Vigneti La Selvanella Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
4/6/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
88 points
Melini’s 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva La Selvanella is surprisingly young for a relatively inexpensive wine, with a deep ruby core showing very little age at the edges. The wine needed a long time to open up, and in retrospect should have been decanted 2-3 hours before dinner. The fragrances of sour cherries, sweet cherries and plum are straightforward. It has a full body, with good acidity and a sweet mid-palate followed by prominent, drying tannins and a rather bitter bittersweet finish. The style seems to be a marriage of Chianti and Napa-wannabe Brunello, but not fitting easily into either place. What food for this? Big, simple, hearty fare. Good QPR, as there is a lot of wine here for the price, but it is an awkward wine. Will it perhaps be better in another five years?
Red
4/5/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
This is a wine of excellent quality and outstanding QPR, but it is not my style: too bright, too acidic. I like my Barbera extracted and pliant, so I normally avoid the normale and buy the Superiore. In the case of this Oddero, it is indeed a Superiore, but it's body and mid-palate are more like a typical normale from a high-quality producer. I'm going to keep another bottle until about 2025 and see if the wine gains heft and sweetness with age. It has a beautiful color, nice fruit, excellent structure, and a lip-smacking, bright acid backbone.
Red
4/4/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
This 2001 Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino was popped and poured. It had a deep, inky color with bricking at the edges. It took five minutes for the mustiness to blow off, and another 15 minutes to fully open. And then it was a delicious, glorious older Brunello, with sweet dark fruit and dried herb fragrances, a sweetish mid-palate, nice acidity, very gentle tannins, and a smooth, silky finish. It is a very nice wine for pan-roasted chicken and vegetables, and has a good QPR.
Red
2017 Agricola San Felice Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
4/2/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
89 points
The 2017 San Felice Chianti Classico is a very good wine for the price, and is an excellent daily drinker. That said, 2020 is too early, and I would suggest drinking 2022-2031. Also, this wine has substantial structure and so you can buy a case and forget it in the cellar for ten years and you can be sure it will hold up. It has deep color, nice fragrances of cherries and wild herbs, sappy acidity and prominent tannins. It is a medium weight wine. The one area of underperformance is the mid-palate, which is a bit thin, and which I expect will improve with age. It finishes with bittersweet and raw beetroot minerality. Better on night two. Excellent QPR. I suggest decanting one hour+.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
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.
3 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
3/28/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
93 points
Uncorked 4 hours ahead of dinner, then decanted 45 minutes ahead of serving, this wine did not hit its peak until an hour after dinner! That shows how much it needs air to shine. Delicious, aromatic, savory and highly structured Nebbiolo with classic tar and rose petal fragrances, and classic dried cherry and mineral finish, lovely balanced acids and tannins. Outstanding QPR. Perhaps even better on night two, as it was a bit heftier, sweeter and defintely more tannic.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/27/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
My second bottle, and I liked it much more than the bottle six months ago, which I had found lacking in aromatic complexity. No problem this time! It has a dark but transparent ruby color, lively cherry aromas complemented by wild herbs, sweet citrus, exotic and sweet spices. It has a medium body, with nice, sappy acidity and gentle tannins, and a long bittersweet finish that might be the wine’s great signature. There are not many Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wines with this kind of lifted, aromatic and medium-bodied structure, but this is where the wine world is headed, and we should rejoice. At $16 this is an outstanding QPR. It was perhaps even better on night two.
Red
2011 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
3/25/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
It has been seven months since my last bottle, and the 2011 Monsanto CCR continues to be delicious and in a great place. This was fragrant and savory after only 20 minutes of air, a record for Monsanto’s CCR in my experience for bottles bought and cellared properly upon release. It is a silky, subtle, complex and flavorful wine, with fragrances and flavors of bitter cherry, sweet cherry, red meat and minerals. It has sappy acidity and gentle, slightly dusty tannins, and tremendous balance. It is a perfect food wine, and an outstanding QPR.

What style of wine do you like? If you tend towards Napa Cab, Bordeaux and most Brunelli then you may find this boring and underwhelming. If you tend towards Burgundy, Etna and Nebbiolo then you will probably enjoy it very much.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/23/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
93 points
The 2014 Mamuthone is explosive in every way. It has a deep, dark blood red color with vivid purple edges, and an immediate nose of sweet dark fruits, especially plums and blackberries. It is a deeply concentrated wine, with those sweet dark fruit flavors enhanced by licorice, violet, rosemary, black pepper and sweet exotic spices, supported by good acidity and gentle tannins. It has a long, bittersweet, beetroot finish. Outstanding QPR. Given how much this has evolved since the last bottle I suggest drinking up, good to 2023.
Red
3/22/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
This needed about 30 minutes of air to show its berry, cherry and floral fragrances. It has a medium-light weight, very good acidity, gentle tannins and excellent balance. It has just enough sweetness to give the impression of heft and has a savory, spicy and long finish. It was perhaps better on night two, showing a bit more spice cake and a more mineral finish, but always with balance.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Murgo Etna Tenuta San Michele Rosso Etna DOC Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese (view label images)
3/20/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
88 points
Decanted, this took two hours to open up aromatically, when the tannins also emerged, along with a bit more weight and some additional sweetness. It showed bright, red fruit aromas and flavors – cranberry, raspberry, sour cherry - and lip-smacking acidity. This is a medium-light, subtle, savory, sappy Etna Rosso with a deep saline quality and a very mineral finish. In other words, this is a well made wine and very good for its style.

However, my appreciation of the wine is “intellectual” and not emotional, because on balance I would not buy it again. Despite my love of Etna Rosso, I find this style too bright and too acidic, and I don’t get the 93 rating from Vinous. When this light, ethereal style has soaring and complex aromatics (cf. Terre Nere) it is fabulous, but this one doesn’t reach those heights. It would be a great entry-level wine, but it isn’t up to the standards of a single vineyard or cru bottling. If the aromas of an Etna Rosso are going to be relatively straightforward (as with this bottle) then at least I want a fuller body, more complex flavors, and hints of sweetness. Hardly different on night two, it never developed the complexity I’m looking for in Etna Rosso. I recall that some earlier vintages of San Michele (2011?) were richer, so I will wait until 2023 to open the others in my cellar, and hope they develop.
Red
3/18/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
85 points
I don’t drink many highly extracted wines, but I needed one to accompany a Vegetable Risotto with (lots of) Cave Man Blue Cheese. This 2103 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon performed that task admirably, as its Port-like qualities of sweetness and acid backbone stood up to the intense, flavorful cheese. However, I have serious doubts about the intrinsic value of the wine. It has a huge, jammy, and simplistic style that was fun for me 25-30 years ago when such sweetness, extraction and size were novel, but which has long outlived its novelty and leaves no room for subtlety or complexity. In the end, this comes down to a question of style and preference. There are many people who really like this type of wine. I get that, and can even enjoy it on occasion, but for me it is much too simple and expensive for what it delivers.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
3/15/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
This 2012 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva is a great example of a style of Chianti that I love (and which is the antithesis of the “international” style of Sangiovese as represented by Brunello di Montalcino, at 2x-4x the price): high-toned, fragrant, medium-light body, balanced, silky, smooth, with a savory, sappy mid-palate and a sweet, mineral and long finish. It is in a perfect place right now. Excellent QPR.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/14/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
The 2017 Grand-Pere from Domain Nico is a lovely, medium-weight Pinot Noir with excellent red-fruit aromas, floral hints, a silky, balanced mouth-feel, excellent acidity, and gentle and integrated tannins. It has an understated sappiness and a very long finish. It needs at least a 45 minute decant, and was excellent on night two. At $26 or less, this is a good QPR, but I would resist paying more, at least for what is showing up today.
Red
N.V. Calabretta Sicilia Cala Cala Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese (view label images)
3/11/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
91 points
Another bottle of Lotto CLR14. Same notes and views as last year. Remarkable complexity of fragrances and flavors, remarkable QPR. It took about 20 minutes for the initial funkiness to blow off.
Red
3/10/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
The 2018 Loveblock Pinot Noir Otego was poured through a gravity aerator but took 90 minutes to open fully, and was MUCH better on night two. My conclusion is that it absolutely needs a full decant and one hour resting before serving. This is a delicious, savory, balanced wine with excellent red fruit and floral fragrances, a medium body, excellent acidity, gentle tannins, and a slight hint of dark fruit sweetness on the mid-palate before its savory and mineral finish. At $15-$22 I would buy by the case, but I see that the average price in the US is much higher, and that is a disappointment.
White
3/8/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
88 points
Wonderful and unusual wine, it is a white from Pinot Noir with a creamy texture, apparently thanks to using whole clusters, fermentation in oak barrels, and extended time on its lees. It looks and tastes like some orange wines that are very fashionable these days. It could be compared with a full-bodied pink wine, but even more likely to a full-bodied, oaked Chardonnay. Anyway, it is a delicious wine, with a big aromatic profile of ripe summer fruits and flowers, mineral hints, a medium+ body and a persistent creaminess. It has good acidity and length. It is a fun and delicious wine, but a bit too expensive. For future harvests I would encourage the winery to keep the whole clusters and time on its lees, but to reduce the new oak. Fell apart on night two.
Red
3/6/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
The 2015 l’Aurore des Côtes Chiroubles from Fabien Collonge is a deep, bright red with purple highlights. It opened up about 15-20 minutes after being poured through a gravity aerator and was fully open after about 40 minutes. It has a lovely aromatic and flavor profile dominated by fresh dark fruits and a persistent spiciness, with excellent body, a feint but luxurious sweetness rising up from the core of lip-smacking acidity and gentle tannins, and a very long, very mineral finish. This is a silky, balanced wine and everything a cru Bojo should be. Excellent QPR, excellent on night two.
Red
3/5/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
This is my first Vallana Boca 2010. It was decanted and poured and was completely closed for 30 minutes. Its full aromatic profile didn’t arrive until … the next day! Yes, it was excellent, perhaps better, on night two, which is one indication that it has a decade or more ahead of it. The big lesson is, DO NOT POP & POUR, it needs several hours of decanting.

It has a beautiful, transparent crimson color, with a dark core. Red fruits, flowers and sweet citrus come through in a taut, high-toned, structured, balanced and savory wine. It has great acid structure, significant but well-integrated tannins, and a floral, minty and long finish. With a touch more sweetness on the mid-palate, this would be a 94-95 wine!
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/3/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
My second bottle, the first was 26 months ago and the wine at that time was big, impressive, but way too young. It has evolved since then, but is still a wine with many years ahead of it. This is a highly extracted wine with a deep, dark color; fragrances and flavors of ripe dark fruits, with some black pepper spice and a hint of tobacco; and a medium-full body, with lots of underlying acidity, some tannins and a nice savory finish. There is less aromatic complexity than on some of the previous vintages of Vajra’s Bd’AS wines, but the delicious and intense fruit and the sappy, persistent acidity make it great to drink.

On night two it is almost the same, which bodes well for its longevity but perhaps presages that it will never develop the aromatic complexity that I prize in this wine’s greatest vintages (07, 09, 10 in my memory). We’ll see over the next ten years.
Red
3/2/2020 - PaulusLoZebra wrote:
flawed
Only my second wine from Julie Balagny, and both have been flawed, with a slight fizziness upon opening and a strong burnt rubber aftertaste.
Red
2/29/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
The Ken Wright Cellars McCrone Vineyard 2014 was popped and poured through a gravity aerator and showed a medium red, transparent color. As it took over an hour to open up, in retrospect I wish that I had decanted an hour ahead of dinner. That said, the wine had a fairly muted aromatic profile throughout. It showed much more personality in its flavor profile, with bright red fruit flavors, a hint of candy, and very nice spiciness. It also has very nice body and mouth feel, is very well balanced, with nice acidity and well-integrated tannins, and a long, sweet and bittersweet, mineral finish. It is a good food wine. On night two it had excellent flavor and body, and the sweetness had morphed into a much more pleasing bittersweet-ness, but it had even less aromatic charm than on night one.

The key for me is that the wine lacks the aromatic complexity needed for a higher score. This is a very good wine, but not special, and is too expensive.

In terms of my own education, I try to understand the house style of each producer in the context of Pinot Noir from around the world, even if such labels often have limited value, especially as California is now making lots of lighter and more aromatic PN than in the past. But these labels are at least directionally useful when seeking out wines on restaurant lists or new purchases for the cellar. While I’ve had a few Ken Wrights, I haven’t had enough to form a strong opinion about his “house style”. Re this bottle, on color and alcohol (13.5%) I was expecting something firmly Oregonian or Burgundian, and its body and balance confirmed that. However, the creaminess and the sweet finish seem more Californian to me, and not cool-climate Californian. Can those with lots of Ken Wright experience tell me what is the house style?
Red
2010 Agricola San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva Il Grigio Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
2/27/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
San Felice’s 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva Il Grigio took about 20 minutes to open up, then came dark cherries, plums, spice and herbs. On the palate there is firm acidity, nicely integrated fine-grained tannins and a long, bittersweet finish. This is a lovely CCR with typical fragrances, flavor, balance and body, and is an excellent food wine.
Red
2/24/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
88 points
Better than the last bottle. Nice all-around weeknight wine, genuine, lacking complexity but showing medium+ color, medium+ body, nice extraction, excellent acidity, and drying tannins on the long finish. The wine has enough structure and substance to handle many different foods. Drink up, the wine will not improve, although it will probably be fine for another two-three years.
Red
2/24/2020 - PaulusLoZebra wrote:
flawed
Popped and poured; dull crimson with a dark core, which is a color I recall seeing in Bojo only in cru bottlings of +10 years; closed and awkward at first, after about 20 minutes the aromas emerged, with red fruit, smoke, violet pastilles and a persistent floral quality, with flavors of sweet red fruits. The wine evolved remarkably over two hours, even going through a strange period when it tasted sour, only to emerge as a savory and earthy wine with plenty of acidity but an overall softness. On night one no one wanted to drink the wine, and only a committed wine lover was willing to re-taste over two hours to experience the wine's bright moments, and on night two it was undrinkable, with a burnt rubber and sour taste and smell.
Red
2/22/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
94 points
I have already enjoyed many bottles of Vallana’s 2006 Gattinara, and luckily I still have some in the cellar. This is a high-toned, structured, savory Nebbiolo with tremendous depth and complexity. It has aromas of sweet cherry, leather, exotic spices, raw steak and fennel; a succulent, savory, and big tannic body; and a succulent, mineral, nectar-like and very long finish. A great wine with many years ahead of it; perhaps better on night two.
Red
2/20/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
93 points
The 2010 Albe is in a beautiful place right now, still youthful, but delicious and subtle. Dark color; floral aromas, pine tar and menthol emerge from the ripe red fruit; sappy, savory, balanced, smooth, medium++ body with firm structure and plenty of acid; big tannins, mostly fine-grained but finishing firmly tannic; long, savory and mineral finish.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/18/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
98 points
A big, luxurious wine, slightly less decadent than the last bottle of this that we had. Decanted and served, it exploded with sweet, ripe red fruits, yet there was substantial freshness as well; plenty of wood smoke and exotic spices and succulent acidity. On the palate both ripe and fresh red fruit, tar and black pepper. This has size, structure It is a big, structured, intense, vibrant, sappy and savory wine with smooth, beautifully integrated tannins, and a mineral and bittersweet finish of remarkable length.
White
2/18/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
95 points
Decanted and served, it reached its height at about 35 minutes. Deep yellow, its initial aromas were of orange peel and orange oil, but by the two-hour mark there was almost no fragrance left at all.The flavor, on the other hand, was great right from the start and got better: complex, spicy and fascinating. The wine has very little acid, a lugubrious mouthfeel, and gives a sense of weight, substance and heft. Very long finish with many bitter elements.
White
2/18/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted and served, it surprised me with a big, piercing aromatic profile right away, and that grew bigger for the next 30 minutes. The tremendous perfume of white fruit, flowers and citrus was followed by zippy, sappy acidity, a beguiling slight hint of botrytis or something similarly complex and spicy, with a long, long and cristalline finish.Magnificent.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2/16/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
90 points
The 2017 Two Messengers is a bit darker than most entry-level Oregon Pinot Noir wines. It took over an hour to open up, and shows very nice spiciness along with fresh black cherries, floral fragrances and a mild, typical pinot noir cola. It has medium+ body and concentration, nicely integrated tannins, sappy acidity, good length, and excellent balance. Nice bittersweet, mineral and raw beetroot finish.
Red
2/15/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
93 points
Melville Winery’s Pinot Noir Estate Santa Rita Hills 2016 is fabulous. It needed an hour after decanting to open up, and would probably be best 2022-2032. It has a complex aromatic profile of red fruits, flowers, herbs, citrus and spices; a medium-weight body with succulent acidity, structure and persistence; and a long, mineral and bittersweet finish. It was still delicious on day three.
White
2/11/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
Another great bottle, this wine is in a perfect place right now. It shows lots of youth, vigor and tension, with white fruits, a hint of citrus, good acid underpinnings, structure, and a very nice mineral finish. It has just enough oak to give it a nice Burgundy character and bite, but everything here is in balance. Excellent QPR.
Red
2/9/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
89 points
The 2018 Bodega Chacra Pinor Noir Barda from Patagonia is a lovely, delicious PN with personality, albeit on the understated side. It has a transparent red color and needed 45 minutes of air to show its aromatic and flavor complexity. There were cherry, raspberry and pepper notes in a savory, spicy, slightly earthy and medium-weight style, with a hint of raw steak that I like in many of my favorite Pinot Noir and Nerello Mascalese wines. It has gentle tannins that add structure, but it is not a wine for “big” foods – it is a very subtle and nuanced wine. At about $22 it has an acceptable QPR, even if it was less interesting on night two. I am curious to see how it will evolve in the cellar, but I guess it is a wine to consume now until 2023-24.
Red
2/8/2020 - PaulusLoZebra wrote:
flawed
Decent aromas but odd, sour flavor. Undrinkable.
Red
I won’t give a rating for this because we consumed it under less-than-ideal conditions: the wine was popped & poured and served in small, bistro glasses. That said, given the price and the Santa Duc reputation we were expecting more. It had muted aromatics and lacked flavor complexity. The wine is obviously well-made and was very smooth and balanced, and is a bit hot but not overly so. Certainly it needs a good decant and good glasses to show its stuff, and I look forward to having it again under better conditions.
Red
2/6/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
89 points
My first Hahn SLH Pinot Noir. I agree with several other members here that this wine’s flavor is too much Californian and not enough Burgundian / Oregonian. Despite that, I am impressed with its aromatic complexity and savory flavor, excellent acidity, long finish, gentle tannins and very good QPR. This wine has character, and if Hahn could find a way to reduce the sweetness a bit it would become one of the world’s great PN values.

This was served after a 24 hour slow-ox, without decanting. Because it was better on nights two and three (as other members have noted) I believe that it should be decanted several hours before serving, or perhaps should be double-decanted a day ahead of time.
Rosé
2/3/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
93 points
Another great bottle, previous detailed notes apply. Intensely mineral, with complex white fruit and exotic fruit notes in the background. A truly great food wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/31/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
94 points
This is my fifth bottle, and the biggest difference since September is an enhanced savoriness. With a 90 minute decant it is drinking beautifully. On night two it was heftier and more savory, but less aromatic. I recommend putting some aside to drink 2025-2035. It has a brilliant and transparent ruby color and is highly aromatic, especially of ripe red fruits and flowers. It has lip-smacking acidity, medium-light body, lots of fine-grained tannins, and a very savory, mineral and long finish, now showing classic Nerello Mascalese hints of raw steak and beetroot. This is an elegant, fragrant, very savory and highly structured wine built for the long haul. Excellent QPR.
5 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
1/31/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
89 points
Popped and poured though a gravity aerator, consumed over three nights. My third bottle, and much less appealing than the first two, this one remained restrained, even closed, compared to the earlier ones. It has a relatively dark color, but a medium-light body, with light red fruit and floral fragrances, good acid, gentle tannins and a silky-smooth mouth-feel, and a relatively short, mineral finish. This wine is pristine and well made, but it appeals more to my intellect than to my emotions, and needs something more - a bit more aromatic complexity, or spiciness in the flavors, or extract - to win me over.
Red
1/28/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
92 points
The 2017 Hyland Estates Pinot Noir Petit Estate McMinnville Willamette Valley has a transparent, bright ruby color and opened up after about 30 minutes of air. It has aromas of fresh and ripe red fruits, and a beguiling, light baking spice note, with bittersweet cola flavors. The wine has medium body, a firm acid backbone, and slightly puckering tannins. It closes with a savory and very mineral, bittersweet and long finish. Excellent QPR. On night two it was less aromatic, but richer. Lovely.
Red
1/25/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
86 points
My last bottle, but the first I've had since 2014. Unfortunately, I am disappointed to report that the wine did not evolve much. It is still energetic and vibrant, and does feel as though it still has many years ahead of it, but I don't have any particular confidence that it will improve. Check out my detailed 2014 notes for my views of its aromas, flavors and structure. Unlike what I wrote in 2014, I now believe that this is too expensive for what it is. It is not a good QPR above $20. Night two: syrupy, 86 vote.
Red
1/19/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
94 points
Four hour slow-ox, then served. This has intense aromas of sweet dark berries, and its flavor profile is even bigger than its aromatic one, with lush, ripe dark fruits followed by exotic mid-eastern spices and a very long, bittersweet finish. There is an intense minerality about this wine that infuses it at every step. It has a medium+ body, excellent acid, well-integrated tannins, and no excess alcohol (showing 13%). Excellent QPR. Strangely, given my previous experience with this wine, it was much less interesting on night two.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/17/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
94 points
My fifth bottle of this vintage and the best yet. Decanted for 45 minutes, then served, it was magical immediately and fully open at 90 minutes. A wine with a great aromatic profile and an intense, beguiling flavor profile, it is meant to be sipped and savored with a meal, so that every part of its intense savoriness and umami can be enjoyed. This is the pinnacle of Nerello Mascalese "rustico".

Same notes as the previous bottle, except that the acidity and savoriness of this bottle seem bigger and more intense, as do the sweet tobacco leaf and smokiness: complex fragrances and flavors - cherry, dried cherry, plum, earth, minerals, leather, raw red meat, and an exotic spiciness; medium body, very savory; good levels of acid, and gentle but firm and slightly dusty tannins; very good length.

This wine has many great years ahead of it, but I am not sure if it will improve; 2006 seems to be, for Calabretta, a vintage with a slightly shorter - say 20 years - drinking window.

Exceptional QPR.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/16/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
93 points
Seven hour slow-ox. The 2009 Farconnet is a big-ish, delicious, balanced wine with classic but subtle Syrah and Northern Rhone qualities. It is drinking beautifully right now. The wine seems to be more about body and flavor than about aromatic complexity, but it is definitely not a New World style fruit bomb. The red and black fruit aromas and flavors also release a spicy floral fragrance. The wine has a great acid backbone and a nice sappy quality, with tannins that are present but not intrusive, and a nice bittersweet finish. I recall that the year was a hot one, but the 14% alcohol is well-integrated. A delicious wine, yet (at least at ten years of age) it does not deserve a $70-90 price tag, so not a good QPR. It will shine for many more years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Giacomo Mori Chianti Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
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.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
1/4/2020 - PaulusLoZebra Likes this wine:
87 points
This is a particularly weak vintage for this wine. It has some size, extraction and balance, but lacks aromatic and flavor complexity. Even in the best years (such as 2015), this wine is slightly overpriced, probably because the mere name "Montepulciano" allows for up-pricing.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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