Comments on my notes

(247 comments on 205 notes)

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Red
1998 Penfolds Grange South Australia Shiraz Blend, Syrah
2/15/2020 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Dinner w/New Friends (Their house): Drank blind. This was opened and decanted. I was surprised at how very young this was. Grange is almost always my most favorite wine, but I do think it is a wine that requires a bit more contemplation and a bit less quick drinking. This was more of small pours trying throughout and I don't think I appreciated it enough.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    2/17/20, 9:01 AM - Actually for me good learning. We’ve had Grange in a similar situation before where it was small pours and shared bottle and not enough decant to start and I had a similar impression. So nice reminder that it does need a lot of air and that it shows better as a reflective wine.

Red
2013 Sine Qua Non Grenache ♀ Central Coast
Smokin Meat and Serious Syrah 2.0 (Westport, CT): It's a wine that has some special memories as I used it to celebrate a big work milestone a few years ago. And I'm generally partial to the Grenache. Some of the younger versions of these I've found to be fairly high octane, but this did seem quite drinkable. Again more hedonistic in style. There's a bit of the spices that helps with the fruit. All intense but with just a touch of later acid to add balance. I thought a bit overshadowed by Colgin Syrah tonight.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    2/15/20, 8:53 AM - You can pair with food but needs to be something that can stand up. I’ve had with steak and that worked. Could see game as well. But it also works as an aperitif on its own. Doesn’t need food.

Red
2016 Rasa Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon For The Love of The Game Wallula Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills
A Taste of Washington Wines w/Rasa focus (Our apt): This might have been my WOTN. It was just awesome. First time with it. The biggest standout was just the vibrancy of the wine. It dances across the tongue. Fruit primary now but it's young. There's a background that the secondary can get there. Would love to see again in 10+ years.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/24/20, 5:21 PM - Created a tasting story so you can see the full line-up. This was really rocking and while I see the big price tag, feels worth it to me. Would be going for some if we were buying younger wines at the moment (trying to skew our cellar towards more ready to drink).

Red
1981 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley
Another Year, Another Napa (aka Winter in Wineland IV); 1/5/2020-1/11/2020 (Napa/Sonoma California): From the 'vintage pour' at Press. This was great. First of all, not often that I get to do birth year wines and given the birth year not often when I do that they are actually good. But this was drinking very well. Old school Napa.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/13/20, 9:57 AM - It's definitely good and fresh for an old Napa and it probably gets a 'great' from me more from birth year than from actual where it is. Best birth year I've had is '81 Grange but it needed prob 3+ hours in decanter to get there. Beaucastel also makes a good one and when it's 'on' it's meant to be awesome although I always seem to get bottles that are so-so. But I hear you. Tough one to have.

Red
2016 Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Vineyard Napa Valley
Another Year, Another Napa (aka Winter in Wineland IV); 1/5/2020-1/11/2020 (Napa/Sonoma California): One of my favorites of the tasting. It's a more feminine style of wine (compared to the other Colgins) although still towards the intense style. Lots of dark sweet fruits, crushed black pepper, some baking spice, blackberry and black currant and saffron and ripe black raspberry. It continues to evolve in the glass and open up, but I'd still call it very young and needing quite a few years.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/11/20, 8:39 AM - Yes indeed. '16 is a very young vintage. Will be fun to see it in some more time. To PM you go to Discussions (in the top left hand corner of CT, 4th from the left). In Discussions you need a log-in (we use the same handle in there as well). Once you are logged in you can click on My Profile in the upper right hand corner third from the right and then My Inbox (sortof top middle of page) and then scroll down to bottom right for the options to send Private Message. We are unfortunately finished for this trip, but it's an annual event for us so would love suggestions as we always try to do about 20% of the places new per year.

Red
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR Oakville
Another Year, Another Napa (aka Winter in Wineland IV); 1/5/2020-1/11/2020 (Napa/Sonoma California): The 100 pointer (not sure if that breaks CT rules, but I won't give you any more details and it was fairly well publicized). What I'll say is, if you like this wine and appreciate the hundred points, drink other Bruce wines. This is great, but it's not greater than the other ones he's produced. He produces spectacular wines basically every vintage. If the critics just figured that out, good on them, but don't be a critic slave. What I love about this wine is similar to what I've loved about his others. There's freshness here. He's got real acidity. A plushy fruit character. A wine that has the chops to age (and personally, I think they all need the age, these are wines built to stand the test of time and it's not necessarily to consume them imminent to release). Class and structure. I see why this appealed to the critics. Compared to the past few years it's got the ability to drink early (I won't say what I think about critics where drinking early is the criterion). Balanced. This is a very well done wine. But like I pointed out earlier, it's a Bruce wine, so kindof of course it is.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/7/20, 7:57 PM - 2015 is a particular favorite, but I'd also put the 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 in that list. Don't think I've had the 2013. He just makes the one wine (I think it goes back to 2008 but I'm not sure I've had that although it's a favorite of mine in Napa years). But he just has the one wine. I'm just saying the critics loving 2016 is a bit silly. The other years were also great.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/7/20, 8:39 PM - We’ve had a bunch of others and all are great. Sounds like you’ve got a great line up. They need time, but I think most of the best napa wines do.

White - Sparkling
2002 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
Another Year, Another Napa (aka Winter in Wineland IV); 1/5/2020-1/11/2020 (Napa/Sonoma California): Somewhere in the last year I think we figured out bubbles. We always liked them, but now it's clear that you can have meals without reds and without whites and without sweets, but really not without bubbles. They are the ubiquitous wine that goes with everything. I'm going to disagree with someone who knows about a bizillion more things about wines than I do but at some point it's personal so take this as such. I like old champagne. I want some caramel and the bubbles to have softened and all of that. This to me is still young. It's still more acidic, more brioche, more toast. I like it, but I like it more still in that promise than currant state. But that's me and someone who knows A LOT more about wine in his pinkie than I do in all of me said it's ready to drink. So you decide.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/7/20, 8:36 PM - Yes. And big house vs grower. And PN dominated vs BdB. Or PM. Champagne is a plethora of options but I’m coming around to it being the best food wine there is.

Red
2015 Caladan Cabernet Franc Napa Valley
Another Year, Another Napa (aka Winter in Wineland IV); 1/5/2020-1/11/2020 (Napa/Sonoma California): Excited that we got a chance to try this since I love the right bank side of Bordeaux and have been interested to see what Napa can do with some of those same grapes. This is 76% CF and 24% Merlot. All sourced from Spring Mountain. Lots of darker fruits with just a hint of sweetness to them. A bit of spice. A decent acidity that keeps the mouthful almost a hint light compared to some of the cabs. Nicely constructed. A wine that we will keep following.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/7/20, 7:59 PM - It's awesome but needs time. Chris does make some great juice though.

Red
2016 Arkenstone Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Howell Mountain
Another Year, Another Napa (aka Winter in Wineland IV); 1/5/2020-1/11/2020 (Napa/Sonoma California): This wine is much less approachable than the NVD which makes sense given the winemaking approach. It's a touch more heat, but I think that will integrate and potentially even help the wine with some time. Lots of blackberry again. Very soft tannins. A bit of the sweetness in the fruit. Oddly the slight extra heat and just something else (maybe the precursor to being more secondary) was also there and made me think while the wine isn't ready to drink now, it will be lovely in the future.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/7/20, 7:54 AM - Yes at the winery, but we were the first tasting of the day and the wines had not been open all that long so I'd say we were awfully close to a pnp. I'm sure with more air this would have come together even more. To me though it also just needs some years in the bottle. And then definitely will be rocking.

Red
2016 Arkenstone Cabernet Sauvignon NVD Napa Valley
1/6/2020 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Another Year, Another Napa (aka Winter in Wineland IV); 1/5/2020-1/11/2020 (Napa/Sonoma California): Second year in a row with this wine but that is the risk you take when you come every year in these situations. Sourced from four different vineyards each of which seems to have a connection back to the Krause's of Arkenstone. This wine is remarkably approachable a year later in bottle. I think a few more years would add to it, but the tannin is so super fine and the flavors are all in balance and it's hard to call it a 'young' wine really (which is what I do with 90% of the wine on this trip). Lots of sweet blackberry fruit, very soft and gentle in the tannin, very approachable. Perhaps a slight background of white pepper. A quintessential Napa cab, but in a good way. Nice for the price point.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/7/20, 7:52 AM - Interestingly enough I've not had the '15. We tasted this one a bit ahead of time last year when we were at Arkenstone and then again this year. That was true of a few places last year since the crop in '15 was so small and the '16s were so generous and so there was a lot of interest in jumping ahead. Have seen these wines for cheaper than at the winery, but I also like supporting the winery since it's a good group of folks. Def a good value for the Valley.

Red
2013 CT Barrel Project Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mtn/Rutherford Blend Napa Valley
12/27/2019 - MC2 Wines wrote:
flawed
Two bottles purchased on release and stored in offsite for the last few years and both were completely flawed (fermentation style that starts to lend itself towards vinegar notes). Makes me think we should be bringing the others back so we're not wasting money on storage as seems like there's been some mixed approaches with these reading old notes.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/6/20, 10:36 PM - I can't argue with the logic although to be honest not sure what return to sender actually does. But yes, I think we're not storing these for the long run and they might be tested and released as we go. Unfortunate. The blend for CT barrel projects was always meant to be the fun one.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/7/20, 6:09 AM - Oh no! That's awful. Yeah. And I know there were troubles with a previous project. For us it was more annoying as we bought some of the 2009 barrel project after the fact and paid like 80% more than everyone else did which felt a bit tough. So I hear you. That is a lot of wine that doesn't drink well. We split our shares so thankfully don't have so many of these.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2013 Royal Tokaji Wine Co. Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos Furmint Blend, Furmint
1/4/2020 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Decent easy drinking sweet wine. It's much as I remember it being. Not something totally to blow one away (the Essenzia does do that, but as it was quite a bit more for quite a bit less volume we went with the more basic approach). This is good caramel and honey notes and works for a touch of sweet at the end of the meal.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/5/20, 4:59 PM - Very fair. Although part of it is at a restaurant with the 4x mark-up the 'quite a bit more' becomes just absurd money. Sometimes it's worth it, but hard when you have that multiplier.

Red
2014 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà Nebbiolo
From magnum and served at the big family blow out event. This was next to a mag of fontanfredda barolo so everyone could see between the king and queen of nebbiolo. I've always felt like this producer was fine, but perhaps not been as enamored as others. I will say this drank quite well. Good young. Bottles were opened a few hours before pouring but not decanted. I enjoyed it but not sure I'd actively seek out. Got these because they were a good deal on mags and we had a big group of folks for the evening.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/2/20, 8:15 AM - It was a Serralunga d'Alba. I was very impressed with the Fontanafredda which was half of the price and I'd say extremely competitive with the Produttori. Was a mix of preferences on which performed better. To me they were about the same (and given the 2x price differential, that means Fontanafredda). Then again, Produttori is a producer that I don't seem to 'get' like some others do so that could have contributed.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/2/20, 9:11 AM - That's part of the fun of wine, something for everyone. And I get that the Produttori are well made, but they seem to be missing something for me. We've had great luck with really old Fontanafredda (like 50's and 60's). This might be my first younger vintage. I always thought they were a producer that didn't exist anymore and then we saw the mags available and had a big group for dinner so it was a great fit.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2009 Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
11/20/2018 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Here we go atruffling... (aka Piedmont... and Veneto); 11/16/2018-11/30/2018 (Alba, Guarene, Modena, Barolo, La Morra, Lake Garda .....): An interesting choice and always fun to see a Sauternes part of the way through the meal (I'm sure the head of Coutet who has often said it was for all parts would have been proud). This was meant I think to be the sweet fix to something that was a bit more salty and uname in style. Seemed to work alright.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    12/30/19, 5:09 AM - I find it's very difficult to do the scoring. Ideally what I'd want to see is that the wines that I give bigger scores to are better wine and vice versa. In reality so much of what a wine is comes from who I'm drinking it with and the experience itself (for example, different when one is in Piedmont with white truffles, etc. and experiencing Barolo than a basic off the glass list). So I found not rating to be a bit easier and have stuck that way.

Red
1971 Barisone Barolo Nebbiolo
A friend turns 50: I'd never heard of this producer, but I am a fan of old barolo and this one was nice. I think the bottle might have been opened earlier and prob should have had a decant for sediment (I had some chunks at the bottom of the glass) but overall it was drinking nicely. Bit more metallic in nature and that crisper structure.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    11/25/19, 9:24 AM - Interesting. Was not marked on the bottle. To be honest it was I think just so-so. Have generally enjoyed some of the older Rinaldi's a bit more.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    11/25/19, 1:25 PM - That is fair. And Guiseppe and Francisco slightly different I think. Have had some 50-60 old barolos that absolutely delighted and some others that were totally fine. I guess maybe some bottle variation, but at that price I don't mind so much.

Red
2008 E. Pira & Figli (Chiara Boschis) Barolo Cannubi Nebbiolo
11/23/2019 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Piedmont II - better and learnings; 11/23/2019-11/29/2019 (Barolo, Alba, others): We were pretty unfair to this wine. Stuck it next to some just straight up amazing bottles. And I'm not totally convinced on it. There was quite a bit of funk and barnyard which I don't think meant bad bottle but prob meant not the freshest profile. So for me this was stinky cheese and barnyard and old socks and all of that. Just the hints of black fruit. As I said, overshadowed, so I didn't totally get into it.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    11/24/19, 3:18 PM - I’m pretty sure just more aged than it should be. Also up against tough competition in the night.

Red
2014 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo Nebbiolo
11/23/2019 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Piedmont II - better and learnings; 11/23/2019-11/29/2019 (Barolo, Alba, others): I had super unfair expectations for this wine. There was a big Piedmont event the weekend before and many said this was the producer that stood out. But this is the most recent release and those wines were many years old. So this is darker fruits, some mineral, there's a great vibrancy and brightness tot he wine. It's really made to age. There's just this background that maybe with some time you will pick up on elegance, but it's not there yet. So it was nice, but not really drinking right now. Hold for a long time.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    11/24/19, 9:53 AM - I hear you and know many have felt that way. My wine of that line up was a Capellano which was also a 2014. I wonder if it was just too closed down and you.

White - Sparkling
2006 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
11/7/2019 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Charleston V - the wooden anniversary; 11/6/2019-11/10/2019 (Charleston, SC (various locations)): Just the last little bit from the bottle so small note. I always feel bad drinking young Dom given I know what Dom with age can be. This is still very tight. Just a hint of the toast. It's a nice champagne, but at this stage the premium feels a bit high.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    11/14/19, 12:33 PM - Old Dom is just awesome. It's all nutty and slightly toasty and interesting and complex and something that you really want to go search out. Young Dom is a bit tighter (for my tastes) and so I find it less interesting and different and complex. The old stuff is hard to find and expensive as anything (champagne is perhaps the hardest to get the good old stuff it seems to me, prob because everyone I know drinks more of their champagne than they mean to and never age it as much as they want to). But I would say it could be an interesting splurge or at the least keep a bottle that you give 20+ years from release (some of the 90's is just starting to show the character I spoke about). But my two cents and I like wines old and you might try and decide you like the very fresh and young character :-)

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    11/14/19, 6:22 PM - I think the bubbles soften but as long as it's not super old they're still there. And even when still old it's like there's a ghost of them so it can be fun. Ideal seems to be 70-90's right now. And yep, sometimes the restraint resembles more of a 5 year old and I feel like that happens more with champagnes than any other category.

Red
1989 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
Charleston V - the wooden anniversary; 11/6/2019-11/10/2019 (Charleston, SC (various locations)): More in my wheelhouse with the extra years over the 2000. This again though was a touch overshadowed by some of those late night monsters (also because Cab I like, but Syrah is a true love).
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    11/14/19, 12:36 PM - I hear you and at time I have actually tried. I find though that there's so much tied into the score that isn't really the underlying wine and if at the end of the year I went back and looked at how I scored it isn't always the case that all of the top scoring wines were really my top wines of the year. So instead I try to give you some impression of how much I like the wine rather than a specific score. And one can of course always debate 'best critic in the world'. There's some folks who are less keen on Parker. But even if you like someone else, I suppose they do all manage to find a way to do the score. More power to them.

Red
1998 Penfolds Grange South Australia Shiraz Blend, Syrah
Charleston V - the wooden anniversary; 11/6/2019-11/10/2019 (Charleston, SC (various locations)): Hello my lovely. By this point in the night I was pretty tired and over the hill and still Grange just stands out. Yes, too young. Will be better with some more years. However for many this was WOTN and I'm no exception to that rule. This was awesome. It's everything under the sun in one bottle and just straight up delicious.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    11/14/19, 12:31 PM - Thanks for the comments. Always fun to know someone does read these :-)

Red
2015 Two Vintners Merlot Columbia Valley
Revisiting Washington (Woodinville): Beautiful and bright. Still more of a mouthful and some velvet going. A touch of alcohol as well, but I think it would blow off. The wine feels reasonably balanced. Pretty.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    10/24/19, 4:11 AM - Definitely my favorite winery of the visit. They seemed to be the most focused on balance and a bit of restraint which I appreciate. Of course could absolutely see how someone could like one of the others better. All good wineries. Just different styles.

Red
2016 J. Bookwalter Cabernet Franc Suspense Conner-Lee Vineyard Columbia Valley
Revisiting Washington (Woodinville): Maybe one of my favorites of the tasting. It's very much in the ripe format and yet it somehow keeps some of that bell pepper and green notes. It's got some great black fruits as well. Young but drinking well now and suspect it would get better.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    10/20/19, 4:08 PM - yes - definitely a very successful trip!

Red
1983 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle Syrah
This bottle was just drinking exceptionally well. It's in a nice aged spot (prob to me ideal drinking window). Very vibrant and intense, but also more in the secondary and tertiary. More earthy and leather and a bit of the iron ore style.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    10/10/19, 11:08 AM - Nice - we really liked this one. Was definitely a good bottle.

Red - Fortified
N.V. Cappellano Barolo Chinato Nebbiolo
8/16/2019 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Wow was this medicinal in style. Pretty intense. Almost a touch too much. Reminded me an awful lot of cough syrup and all of that. Prefer when it's a bit more tea leaves and other exotic spices standing out.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    9/30/19, 8:44 PM - Totally hear you. I don't mind a bit of that. But this was too much. Have had less intense versions from this producer. This one just reminded me of being stuck in bed drinking something that didn't actually taste all that good.

Red
1971 Giuseppe Contratto Barolo Riserva del Centenario Nebbiolo
9/13/2019 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Disappointing. I should have opened and decanted for sediment earlier in the day. I think some of that got all messed up during transit to the restaurant. Even then though this was that more port-like raisin-y style. Not exactly what it was meant to be. Drinkable and I wonder if it wouldn't have blown off with some more time, but for right now wasn't really singing.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    9/16/19, 9:52 AM - Thanks! That's really helpful insight.

Red
1998 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
8/9/2019 - tedcholl Likes this wine:
94 points
One of my bucket list wines and one I enjoyed last week while on vacation. Dark Burgundy in color and brick colored around the rim. Nose was wonderful and so inviting. Med full bodied and smooth. Notes of blackberries, leather, smoke cedar, prune, raisin, forest floor, and faint floral notes. Decanted for 4 hours. You knew you were drinking a special and well made wine. I had probably unrealistic expectations for the wine so it didn't wow me like I had fantasized.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    8/13/19, 6:33 PM - Crazy thing, but for me I'd say 4 hours not a long enough decant for a '98. We've done that with some of the ones from the 80's and you just start to see the potential at that point. Had the '00 maybe a year or two ago and we also decanted like 4-5 hours and it was never not tight. These wines are definitely long term aging.

Red
2014 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
A Matter of Taste: New York (The Conrad NY | Del Posto): First Cayuse vineyard that was planted and one of the only ones that is on its own root stock. Blend of 94% Syrah and 6% Viognier. Again there's some of that Cayuse funk and more brine and meat and olives. Maybe background red fruits. Lots of tartness here. Touch of the barnyard. And lots of black pepper.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    8/11/19, 7:13 AM - We like our wine older and I’ve had one of the early vintages at 15 years old and really liked it. So I’d prob start trying it around 2029 if me. I suspect at this point wine could go 20-25 years and hit sweet spot. But I also know a lot of people drink their wine earlier.

Red
2016 Yeringberg Yarra Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
Return to Aus; 6/23/2019-7/5/2019 (Adelaide, South Australia wine regions, Tassie, Yarra, etc.): Again made in that very classic style that should have quite a reasonable life ahead of it. I get a bit of red currant and some lively spices and again that elegance to it. It's good but definitely in need of more time before it's really ready.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    8/9/19, 5:07 AM - Wow - thanks so much for your comments. They were super helpful. Yes - we had an amazing time. So many great spots! And really the wines were very impressive. We were traveling with some friends who tend to skew more old world and many of them were surprised by a lot of what we tried. Will keep an eye out for those others although another takeaway I had is much of the best stuff isn't making it to the US so easily.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    8/9/19, 1:49 PM - Ah - that makes more sense. The price jump has been extreme. Esp for those top wines. I'm a sucker for Grange, but hard to make the argument for it as it gets closer to the 4 digit figures.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    8/10/19, 9:09 AM - We visited there and I think they make some nice wines although the style didn't quite work as well for me. It's more full octane than I expected. Really enjoyed meeting the folks though as clearly lots of wine knowledge and really nice people.

Red
1967 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Corvina Blend, Corvina
8/3/2019 - N.Bonaparte wrote:
95 points
Purchased in 2012. Stored perfectly since. Stunning bottle. Perfect cork. 45 min decant. Dare I say fruit forward. This wine tasted no older than 15 years old. This bottle had at least another 15 years of life left. Certainly in prime and has great balance and finish. This exceeded my expectations based on prior reviews. What a great wine to celebrate my 36th birthday with my parents and one of my sisters.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    8/4/19, 9:09 AM - Sorry to not have sent any thoughts on prep. We were out of town this weekend. I am glad that you really enjoyed it though!

White - Sparkling
2012 Penfolds x Thienot Champagne Lot. 1-175 Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay
6/28/2019 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Return to Aus; 6/23/2019-7/5/2019 (Adelaide, South Australia wine regions, Tassie, Yarra, etc.): I didn't even know this existed until we were at the winery and talking about bubbles and Penfolds said they make Champagne too. So clearly we had to try it. I would say it wasn't quite hitting it for me at least from a QPR perspective. It's a nice wine. A bit on the tighter and closed side (granted we're only a few weeks from release). A touch lemony. Very high acid. It was a totally fine wine, but hard to justify price point (I'm guessing based on what it was on the restaurant menu).
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    7/6/19, 7:39 AM - Wow - that's higher than I would have thought. I expected release around 100 AUSD with a 3x mark-up. That price point is higher than I would have expected.

Red
2013 Henschke Pinot Noir The Alan Lenswood
Return to Aus; 6/23/2019-7/5/2019 (Adelaide, South Australia wine regions, Tassie, Yarra, etc.): My first time with this wine from Henschke. This is very fresh and fruity on the nose. Bit more dusty on the palate. In fact, I don't think the palate had quite caught up with the nose - it seemed to be a bit more tight and less expressive than I'd expected. Perhaps needed more time? Or in a dumb phase? A bit more time and there's a bit of musty and earth and herbal. Still not as open as I think it could be. Interesting as it is a wine that is not made every year. When it is made, it's typically taken from the middle blocks of a hill which tend to be in the middle of the harvest.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    6/27/19, 5:33 PM - Hard to say. This wine had been opened and decanted for prob 2 hours before we got to it and it was def closed. So if it was me I’d wait. Of course wine is so personal. I tend to prefer my wine with more age anyway so we might wait anyway, but if you like the brighter fruits maybe worth a shot as long as you have a lot of time for the decant.

Red
2013 Cirillo Grenache 1850's Old Vine Barossa Valley
Return to Aus; 6/23/2019-7/5/2019 (Adelaide, South Australia wine regions, Tassie, Yarra, etc.): Wow how lovely. Another wine that I'd love to see in the US. This was just great. It's very light in style. Almost see through when it pours. Lots of darker red fruits. A bit of white pepper. Some tannins but not overdone. And just this great light and fresh and pretty character throughout it. This is a wine that manages to do interesting and subtle at the same time. I really liked it.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    6/25/19, 5:04 PM - Not quite rayas level but in similar style. And great value. The vines were amazing too. All these small gnarled things. Super old. Very cool. (And we’re missing you!)

Red
2014 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District
5/26/2019 - chablis28 wrote:
93 points
Yep, I'm smitten with Smith Madrone Cabernet! I love this producer on many levels. Old school Napa Cab done right and fairly priced, which is so rare in NV. So happy it largely flies under the radar while so many Napa Cab lovers can't wait to shell out $100+ for latest mailing list darling. Tonight's blt saw little air out of necessity as my '79 Beuna Vista no showed. Served in a Riedel BDX glass this didn't skip a beat and rocked. Exceedingly well balanced and elegant. Sturdy but charming. Focused & super fresh with a; minerally earthiness,red fruit, cedar, spice and lead pencil. How do you beat this for $45??? Great with cast iron seared steaks. Founded in 1971, this wine likely comes from old vines by most Napa Valley standards. SM is also one of best stops in wine country if you don't mind a low keyed, no hype, experience. 93pts+
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    5/28/19, 2:48 PM - Me too! Love these guys. They age well too.

Red
2016 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
2016 CdP (and some other wines over dinner) (NY Racquet and Tennis Club): I do not have the same brett sensitivity that many do and that came through quite clearly listening to everyone talk about this wine. For me it's going back to the handsoap and the floral and all of that. It's got some red fruit as well, but that is more muted. Some more drying tannins. I will say more intense than I expected (that hand soap didn't strike me as the classy stuff found in upscale hotel bathrooms). But with time it started to open up and blow off a touch. Quite a few folks in the room got Elmer's Glue and I just didn't. With a bit of time there's a hint of barnyard. But I thought that was a nice counterbalance to the floral and fruit. Overall enjoyable. Has it's own style.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    5/28/19, 7:00 AM - Could be although what I found very interesting was how differently this wine portrayed for different people. Everyone in the group was tasting this a bit differently. Not sure if it was some taste buds more attuned to certain things than others. But definitely interesting.

Red
2016 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
2016 CdP (and some other wines over dinner) (NY Racquet and Tennis Club): Clear number one for the group and I'll say probably for me as well. This is what the best CdP should be like. It's not shy with the fruit - all up there in a darker more blackberry style which surprised me. And there's a hint of sweetness to it. More ripe than some of the earlier ones. But also this great freshness in the wine. It's moderate bodied. There's balance. Decent amount of tannin at the moment, but it doesn't detract from the wine. It's actually drinking nicely now although I suspect I'd like it a lot better with some age. Clearly well constructed. Mostly Grenache (the quote I heard was winemaker thinks of Syrah and Mouvedre as 'salt and pepper' - for flavoring only but should not dominate the blend). I liked this producer a lot when we visited a few years ago and nice to see that it does stand up quite well compared to brethren.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    5/24/19, 8:50 AM - Yes indeed - we did a tasting last night of 17 of the 2016s. Great vintage and fun to get to try everything side by side. Finished with a BYO aged CdP dinner that had a few northern rhones thrown in. Not a bad time!

Red
1998 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Bonnes Mares Bonnes Mares Grand Cru Pinot Noir
5/15/2019 - dchain Likes this wine:
91 points
For a $1000 bottle of wine you should be expecting fireworks. This is not it. Purchased on release. Quite subdued and tight. Not a lot going on, good structure, some wafts of summer pudding and light soil notes but if this was served blind rather than being label seduced you would call this an $80-100 Pinot from a decent producer. Certainly might develop further and seems to be in balance but let’s be honest there are so many better wines for this price or even half the price. May I tempt you with 2 bottles of Pichon 82, or a Chevalier Blanc 90, or 3 bottles of Palmer 89, the list can go on and on!
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    5/17/19, 7:38 AM - This seems to be the curse of burgundy these days... Hoping ours shows a bit better later this year when we pop it. But agree that it will be hard to live up to the price.

Red
2013 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Southing Sta. Rita Hills
5/3/2019 - JonnyG Does not like this wine:
85 points
Beyond tart, this wine was bitter and ungenerous, without any indication it would improve with age. Just a hair shy of flawed. I would have regretted it but for the fact that it was a gift.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    5/7/19, 5:38 AM - That sounds flawed for this wine. The knock on it would typically be too fruit forward and lacking in restraint. Perhaps bad storage/bad bottle?

Red
2016 Penfolds Bin 389 South Australia Cabernet-Shiraz Blend, Red Blend
Penfolds tasting w/Kevin Zraly (Sherry Lehman): This wine will always have a special place in my heart. It's the first 'fine wine' that I ever fell in love with. When I was in university it was actually affordable for a university student as a big splurge. And on the wine list at the favorite restaurant in town at a very moderate price so always something that I viewed as a 'go-to'. All that is to say, I'm sure I'm a bit biased here. But I did like this. I am not sure I still agree that it's really the 'Baby Grange'. Even the blend doesn't work for that (51%/49% I believe Cab-Shiraz). But there's a certain balance (still so young!) and a certain level of potential that makes one think this wine could age for quite awhile. The oak very much there. The fruit not quite as ripe as the Bin 28 but also very much there. It's an interesting one. Wonder what 15 years would do to the wine. Think it needs at least that much.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    4/26/19, 9:09 AM - How fun! I used to buy it back in the early 2000's. With the 50 cents to the AUSD exchange rate it was slightly less than $20 so definitely a splurge but not totally unthinkable. And on the restaurant menus usually went for around $45-50. I have more fond memories of how it tasted than I had last night, but I've also been lucky enough to be exposed to a lot more wines in the last 15-20 years.

Red
2016 Bruno Giacosa Nebbiolo d'Alba
2/13/2019 - acyso wrote:
88 points
Piedmont; 2/11/2019-2/15/2019 (Alba, Italy): Bottled last March. Made from grapes purchased from the Roero area, with somewhat sandier soils. According to Sophie, Bruno thought that this area's nebbiolo grapes were fresher, which was a boon to this style of wine. Indeed, this is fresh and light, with a lovely bright disposition that makes this a very easy-going wine. Certainly, it's not deeply complex, but there's that simple no-fuss deliciousness that I love. If I drank more at home, this would definitely be a staple nebbiolo.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    4/22/19, 2:47 PM - Dare I ask how you managed to get an appointment? We are planning a trip later this year and would absolutely love to visit.

Red
1979 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
The big 4-0 (Ristorante Morini): This was opened and decanted early and poured on the later side and still I think this wine is one of those monsters that just needs more years. It pours a dark almost purple color with zero perception that the wine has aged almost at all. Lots of darker fruits and spices and you can sort of get an oak grain to it but a bit more closed. With some time in the glass became a bit more expressive, but this is definitely a wine with a long window. Will continue to hold on ours.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    4/18/19, 1:40 PM - Sommelier did all of the opening so unfortunately I didn't see it.

Red
1998 Penfolds Grange South Australia Shiraz Blend, Syrah
3/24/2019 - Charlie Carnes wrote:
85 points
Man I just don't get Grange, and I really want to. Pulled this 21 year old out of the cellar to give it a try. It just seems so average to me. It is dark and big boned, with plenty of dark red and black fruit. There is a strong -not spoofy, if that's possible, here- oak and vanilla wood perception. There is a strong saline perception in this wine as well. It is quite drinkable, as it is smooth, and the fruit has at least a little coolness to it. It's just meh at best. Has Grange always been like this?
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    3/25/19, 6:20 PM - How long did you decant? This wine especially is pretty young and I think can come across as a bit closed down.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    4/1/19, 5:47 PM - Just a thought - I think the '98 is one of the best years of this wine and I love it, but it is a beast. And if you prefer a bit more old world in style I think you can like this wine, but it needs a good amount of age and then it needs a lot of air. Every time I've had Grange it's been WOTN, but it's not uncommon for that to be where it ends the night rather than where it starts. So depending upon how much you decanted and how much time you gave it you might find you feel differently later. Or maybe not. The great thing about wine is it's personal and we all like different things.

Red
1982 Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard dinner (Culture Center in NYC): Last set of wines and I can tell my note taking took a turn for the worse. This was enjoyable though. Seemed to be lighter on the brett than some of the other Pinots we had this night. More clean. The savory seems to come more from the age. Like an old library style.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    3/17/19, 10:45 AM - Definitely fun. Was a great event.

Red
2012 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Foothills Reserve Walla Walla Valley
3/9/2019 - miruhland wrote:
75 points
I know I know completely opposite from everyone else who has scored huge on these wines. I have drank many Reynvaan wines and have really enjoyed them. I have opened three of these bottles and everyone is so unbelievably over powered by rubber smells and bitter flavor. I hate to do this but every bottle has been like this. Makes me wonder what good bottle is actually like.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    3/14/19, 7:57 AM - Is it possible that these are flawed? Sounds like they were different from your other Reynvaan experience (and generally from the experience we've had with them).

White - Sparkling
1999 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon Champagne Blend
3/1/2019 - Arch57 Likes this wine:
92 points
We don't drink much champagne at all yet a bottle of Dom has been on my "Drink before I croak" list for some time and my dear wife gave me this bottle for Xmas in 2007. So at the 20-year mark we thought it was appropriate to share the bottle with 4 other dear friends on a mid-winter trip to Mystic CT where we also announced our daughter is expecting and we will be grandparents for the first time!
The wine was a pleasing golden-yellow color with fine bubbles. Nose of some tropical fruit and a bit of smokiness. Nice tingle on the palate and a savory finish. It was a nice treat and the occasion to toast with dear friends made it memorable.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    3/5/19, 4:25 PM - Congratulations!

Red
2004 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
2/22/2019 - Romol Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted 3 hours. Still very young and seemed a bit closed at the moment. I guess this needs a few more years in the cellar. I will wait 2-4 years before I open the next bottle. 93-94 pts now
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    2/25/19, 11:08 AM - Definitely a personal preference thing, but I find these are wines that need more like 30 years to show well (and even then with a pretty extended decant). Not the same for everyone (I think there was a note on this recently that thought it was drinking perfectly), but something to consider when to pop future bottles.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    2/25/19, 11:08 AM - Definitely a personal preference thing, but I find these are wines that need more like 30 years to show well (and even then with a pretty extended decant). Not the same for everyone (I think there was a note on this recently that thought it was drinking perfectly), but something to consider when to pop future bottles.

Red
2010 Argiano Suolo Toscana IGT Sangiovese
An absolutely stunning wine, velvety tannins and fantastic in all aspects! Hope the Brazilians will continue with this wuality!
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    2/25/19, 7:47 AM - My understanding is they were planning to stop the Suolo in favor of a more classical Brunello Riserva (which I think they plan to charge more money for).

Red
2012 Stéphane Ogier Syrah La Rosine Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
12/20/2017 - MC2 Wines wrote:
A very basic and fine Syrah. The kindof wine that seems right for a cold weather night. A bit more body. Fairly one dimensional and nothing really jumped out at me. Not a great one and not one that I'd look to order again, but it was alright.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    2/4/19, 6:28 AM - We were at La Tablee this past weekend in NYC and I will say that I was totally taken with some other wines from this producer. Esp the Lancement vineyard one. To be fair, this was not bad for price point.

Red
2013 Elio Grasso Barolo Gavarini Chiniera Nebbiolo
11/24/2018 - MC2 Wines wrote:
Here we go atruffling... (aka Piedmont... and Veneto); 11/16/2018-11/30/2018 (Alba, Guarene, Modena, Barolo, La Morra, Lake Garda .....): As this had been our first visit of the trip and because of the way 2014 worked out we hadn't actually tried the official barolos it seemed like a good idea to order this off of the Barolofriends wine list. I'm surprised at how high the community score is. To me this was ok, but nothing really stood out. It's got lots of dark fruits and some decent tannins and maybe a hint of the wood. Has not really integrated and comes across as a bit basic. Maybe with some more time?
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/8/19, 11:08 AM - Interesting. Wonder if we got early or too late in the bottle and you got the sweet spot. But glad to hear you liked it!

White
2016 Alvear Montilla-Moriles 3 Miradas Pedro Ximénez
Off the by the glass list at Brothers Food and Wine in Toronto. The place is known for bringing some more interesting wines to the Canadian market so I asked for a glass of something off the beaten path. This is basically sherry in a white wine. Many of the same flavors, but lower alcohol. A bit of oxidation and some more caramel and the like. Interesting wine. Good for sipping (much like a sherry). I enjoyed it.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/4/19, 8:55 AM - Don't think it was an off bottle. The somm at the bar (which is mostly focused on odd wines) proactively suggested it as something that was a bit different. I'd have to look to find my picture of the bottle. Was not sweet though.

  • MC2 Wines commented:

    1/5/19, 8:00 AM - Interesting thing - we just had a white yesterday with the same grape typically found in sherry and I didn't get the oxidation or the sherry notes in it. Very different from how I remember this glass being. Wonder if there was something different with that bottle... Hmmm... Although not same producer (it was a Canary Island white).

Rosé
2017 Rôtie Cellars Mourvèdre Rosé Walla Walla Valley
12/25/2018 - MC2 Wines wrote:
This was a hit at the family gathering. It's an easy rose. Light and sweet and still maintaining some of the fruit. Bottle went quickly.
  • MC2 Wines commented:

    12/26/18, 11:33 AM - You make a valid point. We're down in the Outerbanks so hadn't brought multiples of this, but many bottles were opened yesterday. We came well stocked.

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