Tasting Notes for O'Meara

(230 notes on 172 wines)

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Red
This is in a good spot. Decanted the sediment and consumed over three hours. The acid and tannin are in check and complement the fruit, which is a rather classic take on Sangiovese. It has a bouquet of cherry with hints of leather, orange rind, and hints of forest floor. This easily could last another couple of years and may even improve from here. Would buy at $30 or $40, but not sure it’s worth more than that. A fine wine from a great vintage.
Red
This is approachable and easy to drink. It’s young and the oak is somewhat pronounced right now, but it’s still a very pleasurable drink. This very clearly has the balance of fruit, tannin, and acidity to go the distance. It reminds me of a first or second growth Bordeaux before it shuts down. I won’t be drinking any more of these bottles for many years, but I’m glad I opened this for a preview.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Moulin Saint-Georges St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
When I first opened this, I thought it had fallen apart. My last bottle must have had some variation because the oak overpowered the fruit entirely...which sucks. This one took nearly 3 hours in the decanter to really strut its stuff. Before then it was flabby and disjointed, so I thought the hot 2003 vintage was rearing its ugly head. Then it bloomed into a lovely right bank wine. It has a mineral streak that carries the dark fruit. A strong whiff of tobacco and creosote add depth to the dark fruit. The palate acidity is bright but close to perfect ph. I have two more bottles left of the case that I purchased, and I think I will drink them in the next six months. I am certain this has the ability to hold for a few more years, but why wait? It’s singing perfect now for my tastes. Drink up!

Day 2: I left a glass for science’s sake. It’s still holding together, the tannins are imperceptible, and the palate is still smooth. I would NOT recommend decanting/breathing this long because the wine loses some of its personality. However, it seems like we are about 2 moths away. It is and will be a srunerr
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Decanted for two hours and then drank over four. The last sip was the best! This is punching above its class. It actually seems like it may be in a dumb phase given how long it took to really open up. I have a couple more bottles, and I am saving them for some 2009 tastings. I have no reason to believe that these could not last another 10 years with five years of benefit. Have fun folks!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/2/2021 - O'Meara wrote:
This was not a great vintage in Napa, and Groth seems like it follows the trend of underripe fruit. It has a strong green pepper component and brittle tannins. The fruit is retrained and without the sort of depth you would expect from an Oakville Bench wine. It’s not a bad wine, but it suffers from the vintage. Drink with a two hour decant. I will not be seeking this out.
Red
2004 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
This is dang good juice and at its apogee. A lovely Bordeaux with all of the traits of a classic Pessac red. I double decanted for two hours and then enjoyed over two. It probably did not need the full two hours to open, but it held steady for the entire time it was open and did not fall apart. Drink up now and over the next few years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Double decanted and let breathe for 2 hours. Then consumed over 2 hours. A stunning wine that is just starting to unfurl. It glides across the palate and features lovely secondary and primary dark fruits with a myriad of classic St. J scents. Still it feels like it has better days to come; there is still that tension of a wine that is coming together. If you have few bottles, I would try one now with a decant. I bet that these really hit their plateau in 2-5 years and hold there. If you doubt the longevity of 2003, this might make you rethink your conception...otherwise feel free to sell me your stash!
5 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2004 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Similar to my last note. Ready from the cork pull, but it does seem to improve with 30 minutes in a decanter. My recollection is that it improved 90 minutes in a decanter, but, alas, it did not last that long. If you have this wine, I’d recommend drinking it now. It will probably hold and develop more nuance, but only at the expense of the fruit fading. Very fine juice!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/1/2021 - O'Meara wrote:
This is a well made but boring wine. Nothing is out of place, but it does not seem to express the appellation very well. It’s higher acidity than I typically find in a Pomerol and it’s red fruited, not dark fruits. There is certainly some life left, and I wonder if this will blossom with another couple of years in the cellar. I doubt it, but I will give my other bottle a chance. Drink or hold. Don’t buy it unless it’s less than $25.
Red
2015 Château Fonréaud Listrac-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
A nice Bordeaux for any occasion. It’s savory and has enough going on to keep it interesting, and it’s priced right for a crowd. A short, 30-minute decant from a 375 and this was ready to go. You could probably hold this splits for another few years, but no reason to be patient. 750 bottles are probably just unwinding. Drink up!
Red
Very nice second wine and a compelling QPR. This is deceptively drinkable as soon as the bottle is open, but it becomes significantly better after a two hour decant. The fruit is sweet and held together by a nice oak frame. Drink or hold.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/3/2021 - O'Meara wrote:
flawed
First bottle from a case. Corked, but still potable. The nose was wet newspaper...ugh. I drank a glass for the hell of it. The palate was dense and sweet. I’ll report back tomorrow. Need to open a new bottle.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Labégorce Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
From a 375. No decanting. This is still youthful but approachable and on the front of its drinking window. Very smooth on the palate. Not giving much on the bouquet at the moment. Maybe a decant would have helped that. I assume this will develop some secondary notes within a couple of years (for the 375s).
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
This is a unique and delicious wine. The color is an inky saturated purple, and this has a myriad of scents ranging from creosote to violets and blue fruit. The palate is full bodied and is just like the bouquet with a nice spine of tannin and acid that ensure a long life. I decanted the ample sediment and let it breathe for 90 minutes. Then I enjoyed it over the next three hours. Drink or hold. If you like complex, bold, and unique, this is for you.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 La Dame de Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
This is a nice, dense StE. Decanted for two hours, and it was drinking pretty well. While approachable now, it felt like the tannins still need a year or two more. Then this wine will be at true maturity. No harm in trying one now if you have a few bottles. Otherwise, I would recommend holding for another year or two.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Gloria St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Very nice StJ. Drinking very well with 90 minutes of air. Secondary notes are present, and the fruit is exuberant; clearly a great vintage for this chateau. This is at the beginning of its maturity, and I imagine it has a decade left before fading. Drink for vigorous fruit flavors or hold a few years if you want more tertiary notes.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
Quite nice. Popped and poured. Drank over two hours. A nice ripe Medoc feel in the mouth with some grainy tannins. This is a nice Bdx to open when you have no occasion, but want a nice Bdx. This has improved since I last had a bottle and seems to be integrating. I would not be expect greatness from this second wine, and there is no reason to wait. Buy a pizza and open a bottle. You’ll enjoy it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Château Fonréaud Listrac-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
From a half bottle. No decant. 30 minutes air. This is a nice claret from a great vintage. It has some nice brambley fruit with a charming rustic touch. It’s ready to open, although I’m sure this will continue to develop. For a weeknight beverage, this will do just fine.
Red
2.5 hours in a decanter and this is singing! Great QPR. Reminds me more of a St. Julien than a Pauillac. A nice down the middle claret that is just entering the mellow phase of maturity. Still exuberant fruit, not savory. If you like a more savory, tertiary drink, then I would recommend holding for a few more years. If you like your Bordeaux fruity and mature, open now and give a decant.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Duhart-Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Decanted for 2.5hrs. This is focused and symmetrical. The tannins are there but nearly imperceptible. This wine is like a wound coil. It’s primary, but it has energy and seems like it is ready to really blossom into a large wine. My experience with Duhart is that it usually is a wine of finesse. This is no exception for the moment, but perhaps in a three to ten years it will be the biggest wine that I have had from this chateau. No harm in opening these now, but I think the best is yet to come.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Quick decant to remove the sediment and then followed over three hours. It was ready to go as soon as I opened it. The fruit was unapologetic and bold, but it maintained a refinement that Ridge does so well. Still primary and vigorous, but I am left to wonder if the fruit will ever truly integrate with the oak and acidity. Oh well, it’s my last bottle from an enjoyable case, so I may never know. I’d buy this again in a heartbeat. It was a helluva value.
Red
2004 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
If you like savory, mature Bordeaux, this is for you. If you don’t, I can’t help you.

This is fully resolved and ready to drink with a quick decant to remove sediment. It does grow some in the glass, but this is really at the pnp stage. It’s great when Bordeaux does that. Classic graves character of savory Cabernet with some nuances of crushed stones and smoldering tobacco lingering in the background. It’s clearly from a good, but not excellent or great vintage; it’s missing some density of fruit. Nonetheless, it’s very enjoyable.

I’m sure this will hold it’s level for some years, but there is no reason to wait. This is begging to be drunk now!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/4/2020 - O'Meara wrote:
Magnum. This is definitely a lesser vintage of Beaucastel. Still a lovely wine to be sure. It does not have the depth or flavor nor the fragrance of fruit that I normally find with this house. Still, there are no flaws in this magnum. But it’s not that exciting either. Drink; no reason to hold.
Red
A very complete wine. It’s already approachable, but it is rather compact at the moment. Glossy purple fruit with notes of spices and leather just barely coming through. A very fine, almost imperceptible tannin structure.

I bet this will be a massive wine in a decade. Drink or hold.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2002 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
This is a nice down-the-middle StJ. Ready to drink with an hour decant. Definitely not the best vintage, but it’s a Barton, so it’s still a great wine. No need to wait. Drink’em if you got’em.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Valandraud St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Whoa. This is a big wine. It’s fairly closed right now, even after a 3-hour decant. Black and blue fruit with a taste of liquid minerals. This needs several years to come together, but it should be amazing when it does. Hold.
Red
Decanted for 3 hours before consuming. This is packed with layers of fruit. Very polished and dense. Right now this is rather closed, and it’s in that awkward stage of losing its “baby fat.” I will not touch these for another five years. I’m sure they will be a delight when they come around.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
A wine at its apogee! This reminds me of an unclassified St. Julien. A bouquet with notes of cassis, leather, green tobacco, beef blood, and a hint of vanillin. Smooth tannins frame the dark red fruit that lingers on the medium-body palate for 30 seconds. This is a very lovely wine, and it makes me wish that I had some bottles of the reserve wine.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
Amazing clear and lucid color. Vibrant. The bouquet and the palate are accessible but nowhere near ready. Still dense (for a Nebbiolo) and needing some time to grow up. Give this some years, not months, in the cellar.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
This throws a massive amount of sediment. Beware!

Aside from that, the wine is in a great spot and should be drunk. It has stewed cherries and candied fruit that is stacked with fine tannins.
Red
Concentrated bouquet provides a sense of what is in store for those with patience. A more modern style of barolo that still hits the mark for excellent Nebbiolo. This is approachable now with a 2-hour decant, but I would recommend holding for at least two years...maybe five. Right now it is missing the roses and tar that I have come to love in barolo. I am looking forward to this wine when it matures.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
A lovely and delicate style of Pinot. Double decanted and let breathe for about 90 minutes. Excellent red fruit and some spicy characteristics. It could have a few more years of development, but why wait?
Red
This is coming into early maturity. I decanted for a couple of hours, and this opened right up. Layered fruit and a substantial finish. Somewhere between old world and new world in style. This has years to go, and I suspect will reward patience.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Château Larcis Ducasse St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
This is in a great space. Last bottle from a case that I’ve enjoyed during the last five years. Ready to go with a 90 minute decant. Secondary flavors are at the fore and are balanced with excellent fruit. Drink up!
Red
1995 Château Duhart-Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
A fine Pauillac. Clearly ready to drink. Last bottle from a case that has been quite enjoyable. Decant 90 minutes and enjoy.
Red
1998 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Quintessential crushed gravel notes. Secondary and still lively, even with four hours of air. The color shows some age. The tannins have a few more years to even out. The finish is a little short for the pedigree. If I had more bottles, I would hold them for at least three years before opening another.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/16/2020 - O'Meara wrote:
Decanted for two hours and drank over the next four. This is approachable, but I am afraid that the tannins are going to over take the fruit before it gets really interesting. The tannins are sharp and brittle. Certainly the fruit could develop more nuances, but I would be careful about holding this one. I’ve got three bottles left, and I intend to drink two of them with a nice fatty steak within 24 months. The last one I’ll hold for another five years to test my theory. All in all, this is a fine wine for a lack luster vintage. Worth the $50 I paid for it.
Red
2000 Château d'Issan Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
This is incredible right now. It’s open for business as soon as you pull the cork. Thrilling levels of sweet tannin and cassis with that ethereal Margaux bouquet. It’s mature and in the zone. If you have some, drink some!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Pedesclaux Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/25/2020 - O'Meara wrote:
Still not ready. With 3 hours of decanting, the nose was reticent and the fruit was still dominated by the new oak. The tannins are in check and approachable. This is rather light for the vintage, and I doubt that it will keep pace with any of the other classified Pauillacs. Check back in 3 years.
Red
This is in the drinking window. The fruit is not as overtly
dark as some of the other 2009, but delicious and round. I decanted (with a strainer) for 2 hours before enjoying. This threw a lot of sediment. The tannins are polished but firm. Some secondary notes are present, including a slight menthol whiff that lightens the entire bouquet. Very good QPR considering that I bought this at $40. I would buy again if it was $65 or less.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Château Peyrabon Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/5/2020 - O'Meara wrote:
This was fine, but nothing notable. The second day it had become dull, though still fruity. Not sure this is a good vintage for Peyrabon.
Red
2009 Château Meyney St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Decanted three hours before serving. The most rustic of the bunch. The tannins were a little course, but the fruit was mineral laden and dark, almost blue. Overshadowed by the competition that evening, but still enjoyed by the group. These will likely develop moderately over the next five years, but you could easily enjoy them now. Great QPR.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Château Gloria St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Decanted three hours before serving. Refined and typically StJ. Polished tannins. Somewhat closed and dense nose that only provided glimpses of its profile. Very fine. I would guess that this will re-emerge in a year or two.
Red
2009 Château Giscours Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
A fragrant yet masculine Margaux. Three hours in the decanter. Sappy and concentrated. Notes of charcoal and flowers with a tad hint of green pepper. This has years of evolution ahead of it.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Château d'Armailhac Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Three hours in a decanter before serving. A fine wine in its drinking window. Juicy, sexy, voluptuous. Dark fruited. Mint, cedar box, and tell-tale graphite scents. Could easily go another decade.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/28/2020 - O'Meara wrote:
This was a nice wine, but not open for business. The tannins are dusty, and I wonder if the fruit is sufficient to withstand the cellaring that would be needed to tame the tannins. Could be a dumb phase for this nebbiolo. Would buy again at $40 or $50.
Red
A very fine new world Pinot with some exotic spice elements that I associate with Vosne wines. Decanted this 2 hours before drinking, drank it over 2 more hours, and it kept improving the entire time. It certainly has a good balance of fruit and acidity to take some additional years in the cellar. I imagine the tannins will mellow with 3 - 5 more years, maybe more, and then this will be a great, plush Pinot experience.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/22/2020 - O'Meara wrote:
Still very oaky. After four hours of breathing, there is a faint whiff of white pepper, but no grilled meats or olive tapenade that I associate with the varietal. I saved a glass for tomorrow. Let’s see if this develops with another day of air. If not, I’m not going to buy this again.
Red
This is too young to truly appreciate, but it’s still very nice. Despite its forward flavors, there is more to come and every few minutes, you get glimpses of the secondary notes. The texture is already there. I’m looking forward to revisiting...in five years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
This is a straight forward nebbiolo. Juicy and bright, but lacking the acidity and tannin to make it special. Worth $20 or $25; not $30+. Pop and pour for a week night.
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