Comments on my notes

(224 comments on 213 notes)

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Red
2016 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
Been about 8 months since the last bottle and the character and profile of tonight's bottle reminds me a lot of the most recent. I recall Jeff telling me back in 2018 during our visit that this is about 1/3rd whole cluster, and in my view that was just enough to season the wine (for what it's worth, Alpine has been destemmed completely the past vintages. I saw that because there is still wrong info about how the vineyard is now made). Opened this about an hour ago, serving at 66f. The cracked spice aromatic is lovely on the wine, just as it was last year. There is a composed, smooth quality to the palate, joined by game, cranberry, cherry and something savory, just enough so to really crank up the flavor. The wine finishes with same polished feel, along with some strawberry and lavender tossed into the mix. This particular vintage of Alpine makes me stop and pause, to think about the flavors that are all wound so nicely together....finished the bottle and while the wine picked up some weight, it maintained the flavors I described above. Terrific vintage of Alpine.
  • fingers commented:

    2/22/20, 7:30 AM - Awesome insight, Frank. Thank you
    Bob

Red
2016 Quilceda Creek CVR Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
2/10/2020 - fingers wrote:
89 points
Followed for two hours open. It is simply too hot and ripe, and too wound up for me to enjoy. I’ll report back tomorrow after it has some time to breathe.
Day 2: well it certainly mellowed out some, but the profile remains monolithic and without much distinction of terroir. Time should still be on its side though, so if I had any more they would be resting for another few-several years.
5+11+15+8= 89
  • fingers commented:

    2/10/20, 8:10 PM - Yeah, I’m not real optimistic about the subject.

    We’ll see

White - Sparkling
2002 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Rare Champagne Blend
Very good, will improve, but needs time. I followed this for about 3 hours after the bottle was first opened; for my palate, certainly improves with aeration. Young, and coiled, but also well positioned for the next 5, or 10 years. An absolute joy to drink after it's had a chance to jettison the initial angst. While I was hoping this would be a little more ready, my guests didn't seem to mind either way. 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and it (PN) shows, rather in a nice, complementary way. I'm glad that this preceded the Krug 165eme, though. 12,0% abv., drink thru 2029, even if for my palate, I'd give it another 3-4 years of rest. highly recommended
  • fingers commented:

    2/6/20, 7:31 AM - Great note, fratello. I’ll hold this for a few more years

Red
2007 Massolino Barolo Margheria Nebbiolo
1/28/2020 - fingers Likes this wine:
93 points
Notes after 30 minutes open. Light ruby/garnet color with no sediment.
Lovely nose of cherries and light perfume, enhanced with a few wood and nut notes. Felt and velvet underlay the long, fruity palate where I also get licorice and sweet spice with an ever-present acidity. I think I’m in love. 5+12+18+8= 93
  • fingers commented:

    1/29/20, 3:05 AM - And likely, the next ;)

    Cheers!

Red
2004 The Seventy Five Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Amber Knolls Vineyard Red Hills Lake County
1/21/2020 - fingers Likes this wine:
88 points
Found this bottle at the back of a friend’s pantry and I volunteered ;) to examine it. Cork was intact, saturated about half way but not too bad for 14 yrs of passive storage. The color is quite tawny at the rim with a brown core and very fine sediment. Mild bouquet of flowers, tobacco, spice, and a bit of acetate that blew off and disappeared after 15 minutes open. The palate is still mostly intact, the fruit fading of course, but this modest little song from the Cali Coast still has something to say. Still drinking well at the 4 hour open mark. A properly stored bottle should be a pleasure to drink. 4+10+17+7= 88
  • fingers commented:

    1/21/20, 6:05 PM - Yes. If man had the faith of a Twinkie, all wines would be superb.
    :)

Red
2010 Genium Celler Priorat Red Blend
Well, we tried a second bottle, and this one was fine after a 3-hour decant, resembling the Priorat that others have described here (flavors and aromas of tobacco, leather, plum, black cherry, tangy grape, and oak spice, with a delicate floral grace note), so I guess Fingers was right....our first bottle must have been an off bottle. Judging by this one, the wine is just entering its drinking window, and has some years to run yet....so, it's good now, but there is no hurry to drink.

Edit: Oh yeah, there is a lot of sediment.....
  • fingers commented:

    1/17/20, 5:24 PM - Just saw your note, E. Thanks for the shout out! I just drank an '09 Genium Poboleda Vi de la Vila and it reinforced my desire for more aged Priorat. ;)

    Cheers

White
2018 Francisque Lapandéry Vin de France White Blend
1/14/2020 - fingers Likes this wine:
92 points
An awesome little gem. Light straw in color with a bright, clear body.
Crisp, tart, and refreshing mouthfeel but still luscious enough to have significant length on the palate with flavors of apple, kiwi, mango, cumquat, and pineapple. The bouquet includes jasmine, citrus, and honey-roasted nuts. The alcohol is completely in check and balance. Blind, I would have called Chardonnay but I really don’t know what the blend is here. A great accompaniment to tonight’s swordfish.
5+11+18+8= 92
  • fingers commented:

    1/17/20, 7:45 AM - It was one of the daily offers from garagiste.com

Red
2010 La Serena Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
1/7/2020 - Tim Heaton wrote:
Very good, still developing. Roughly two and a half years since my last bottle, and this is now, mostly, in the secondary camp. That said, the palate offers lovely depth, and purity, yet the complexity I believe is inside will still require a few more years of patience before this has reached the beginning of its preferred plateau. Happy to have 3 more, and will likely begin looking at them in another 3+ years; drink thru 2035, at least. highly recommended

https://www.italianwine.blog
  • fingers commented:

    1/7/20, 4:53 PM - Good to see you writing again, fratello!
    Big love for the Serena

Red
2005 Cellers Baronia del Montsant (Clos d'Englora) Montsant AV14 Red Blend
12/14/2019 - capnfutsal Likes this wine:
88 points
Note: finished the bottle after it had decanted for up to 2 hours - this needs longer and I know it - but did not have the time and somebody's "drink by" said 2019 - it can go longer; see below. Pretty deep garnet color with minimal sediment. To the nose, oak more than leather or smoke, with forest floor/woods and very slight mushroom to start. Dark fruit (esp. dark cherries) when first decanted with red fruit increasing as opens up. Initial spices are a mix, almost garrigue-like. On the palate, dark fruit over red to start with red showing more as opens up. Spices are more discernible, with pepper more than sage, nutmeg and cinnamon. Strong tannins, still after 15 years, in shoelaces. Oak = leather, but these dissipate around the 1 hour mark. Medium mouthfeel and medium length for a Montsant. Took over one hour to mostly open up - I wish I had longer and I expect after 4 hours it would be even more expressive (and in 89-91 range?). Does NOT need to be drunk in 2019.
  • fingers commented:

    12/21/19, 8:12 AM - Excellent note, Capn! Worth more than the bottle ;)
    Cheers

White - Off-dry
2010 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Clos du Bourg Chenin Blanc
12/10/2019 - fingers Likes this wine:
93 points
Continues to perform beautifully and still on the way up, me thinks.
I paired this with a good old filet mignon with garlic-mashed potatoes and broccoli and it was fantastic. No need for the tannins, etc. of a red wine because there's so much depth to this demi-sec and I highly recommend trying this type of pairing. Quite enlightening.
Light gold color with a bright reflection and clear body.
Medium to profound nose of apricot and orange rind, apple and pear, a hint of wet rocks. Great balance on the palate where it never feels heavy or dominated by any one element. As others have said, "seamless". 5+12+17+9= 93
  • fingers commented:

    12/10/19, 2:33 PM - Thank you for the kind remarks, MJReb. Sorry about any confusion on my rating. According to most popular guidelines, 50 points is a base for any given wine and I’ve always been a little lazy in not including it in my formula.
    Cheers

Red
2013 Maison Ilan Charmes-Chambertin Aux Charmes Hautes Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Pinot Noir
12/5/2019 - NathanT wrote:
Popped the Maison Ilan branded cork, quickly double decanted the wine, poured back into the bottle, and recorked. Opened after 1 hour for dinner with grilled chicken and basmati rice.

Poured a translucent ruby red into a glass that turned dark ruby as the wine mixed with ambient environment, which stayed comfortably at 73F.

Nose of sweet red cherries at the initial bloom. Pure and singular. As the chemical reactions progress in the glass, a different aroma was noticed, more savory, darker, but keeping the sweet cherries characteristics. Some reminiscence of sweet oak, but much faded.

Like a sluggish person just awakened from a deep slumber, the wine seemed heavy and slow to excite the palate. Here the fruit seemed to be vacillating between the spicy, vibrant red and dull, dark plum. As the dinner hours started to wind down, the wine started to pick up pace, but too little, too late. The stomach had been filled and the palate was fatigued.

This wine is hard to judge as there is potential there, but time did not stop for potential to blossom at this dinner. Then again, when the wine was priced like it was in 2013, potential was already priced in. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the market has spoken loudly in the discounted price when potential did not materialize. The wine was fine to drink, however.
  • fingers commented:

    12/5/19, 8:07 PM - Excellent note, my friend.

White - Sparkling
2014 Marie Courtin Champagne Resonance Extra Brut Pinot Noir
Disgorged 02/2018. 100% PN and no dosage. There are 2 disgorgements of this in circulation, as I've now tasted both over the past few bottles I have opened. Aromatics of red berries and crushed rocks. The texture here is lively, buffered by yellow and green apple, raspberry and ginger, then a lengthy finish of brisk, lively citrus of honeyed lime and a mineral note. The Marie-Courtin wines continue to reflect complexity, pure fruit, acidity and energy. Another rock solid bottle.
  • fingers commented:

    11/6/19, 7:42 PM - Killer note, Frank. Thank you :)

Red
2010 Antonio Sasa Barbaresco Jazz Nebbiolo
11/4/2019 - fingers Likes this wine:
92 points
Oh yeah, now this has got game. The gorgeous aroma has come out of hiding and the palate has a very nice balance of tannins, acidity, and fruit. Medium length finish that I wish would stretch out a little longer because the flavors are so wonderful. Medium ruby color, clear throughout with no sediment. This should be able to cruise along for several more years. 4+13+17+8= 92
  • fingers commented:

    11/4/19, 2:57 PM - Cin Cin, fratello

    We’ll need a smashing offline when you return!

Red
2014 Ca‘ Rozzeria Barbaresco Neive Nebbiolo
10/17/2019 - fingers Likes this wine:
89 points
Five months ago I said I was going to sock this away for awhile.. so much for that! I was in the mood for something light and bright and I knew this would meet that need. Cherry, rose, sweet cinnamon bouquet. A bit of earth and underbrush come in on the palate. Still drinking young and it takes some aeration to bring out the full bouquet. The cooler it was, the more the tannins showed so I preferred it close to room temp. Medium ruby color, about 60% saturated with a clear body and no sediment. 4+11+16+8= 89
  • fingers commented:

    10/17/19, 3:32 PM - But the pairing was very strong: In-N-Out Burger
    Maybe an ideal match ;)

White - Sparkling
2002 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Rare Champagne Blend
Showing young and vibrant, though not without some nuance from aging. Expressive ripe fruit with excellent acidic freshness. Great textures. Remarkable balance and energy to this Champagne. Delivers.
  • fingers commented:

    10/10/19, 7:16 AM - Yeah baby, nice one!

White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château Guiraud Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
10/2/2019 - spineguy Likes this wine:
90 points
Unfortunately for this bottle, I tasted it a few days after having an '03 d'Yquem. Consequently, my rating for this bottle was lower then my previous. Over all enjoyable but lacking in balancing acidity and fruit complexity. More candy like then the d'Yq, the later which had more great orange flavors.
  • fingers commented:

    10/2/19, 7:41 PM - Thanks for the honest assessment :)

White - Sparkling
2012 Paul Bara Champagne Grand Cru Brut Millésimé Champagne Blend
9/11/2019 - WetRock wrote:
Buttery bread on the nose with white grapes and berries. Sweet tart berry candy palate with a citrus kiss. Light bodied thought substantial in expression. Fresh and lively. The dosage sticks out a wee bit but I've never known Bara to be restrained there. This is delcious. Tough to put down.
  • fingers commented:

    9/12/19, 6:52 PM - Great note, Cris. I fully agree: hard to put down!

Red
2015 Elena Fucci Aglianico del Vulture Titolo
8/8/2019 - NickA Likes this wine:
89 points
Very young and there is considerable upside here - 89 is score for current drinking.

Really dark in colour, with dark fruits on the nose and richness on the palate - chocolate as well as redcurrant. Fine-bodied and polished, but still primal and tense.
  • fingers commented:

    8/8/19, 7:16 PM - Great note. Thank you for the insight!

Red
2012 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese
7/19/2019 - Francophile1 Likes this wine:
88 points
Hmm... this bottling was slightly off vs the last time I had it. Not typical of this producer, but there could have been a touch of TCA in the wine tonight. I detected it in the nose, but the fruit concerntration in the wine powered through on the finish and so I couldn’t detect it on the finish. The TCA was ever so slight on the nose so I consumed it, but it did leave me a bit perplexed. The finish on the wine was awesome! I decanted this for an hour and typically a corked wine progressively declines with oxidation, but this did not occur tonight.
  • fingers commented:

    7/20/19, 2:55 PM - You might consider marking it as flawed and not giving it a score.
    Have you ever tried the “plastic wrap trick”?
    I have found it can remove much of the taint, but the wine is never the same as a pristine bottle would be.
    Cheers

Red
2013 Chateau Margene Cabernet Franc Margene Signature Series Santa Lucia Highlands
5/18/2018 - fingers wrote:
90 points
Slow-O’d for about four hours and then followed for about four more before noting. Very dark purple color and very slow legs with a big amount of fine sediment. First tastes were unbalanced and hot but it became easier to drink as it opened up, though it never fully lost the high alcohol edge. Not particularly distinct as Cab Franc either, but a decent and enjoyable wine. I would like to give my other bottle two years and see what develops. 5+11+16+8= 90
  • fingers commented:

    7/7/19, 1:34 PM - But, of course, I drank my last one two months later against my own advice (funny how that happens!). You’ll have to let me know how it does when you two get to pop it.

Red
2012 CT Barrel Project Syrah Upland Syrah Upland Vineyard Yakima Valley Snipes Mountain
6/10/2019 - recotte wrote:
PnP. If this were a song, it would be “Hot Hot Hot!!!” by the Cure. ABV is way out of balance tonight, and without balancing acidity, it’s just a hot, gloppy mess. Put the cork back in after one glass, put it in the fridge, and hoping that it’ll show better tomorrow. Will update if it shows improvement.

Update: on night two, and served much cooler, the alcoholic heat was significantly tamed, but still present. Lots of fruit showing through. Maybe a "high end barbecue wine," but hard pressed to think of what food I'd want to eat this with.
  • fingers commented:

    6/14/19, 3:47 PM - You know, I really liked this right out of the gate in 2016 even though the oak was over the top. Now, it sure seems like it never has and never really will find its balance.

Red
2012 Rôtie Cellars Southern Blend Washington Red Rhone Blend
No noticeable change from a year ago, which is just fine with me.
Nothing wrong with the wine - it's delicious - but I doubt I will rebuy these Rotie’s because the massive bottle size bugs me.
  • fingers commented:

    6/14/19, 1:30 PM - Yeah, I think the bottles are designed and intended to be kept by the bedside for personal protection, not for storage in a cellar ;)

Red
2011 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
6/1/2019 - dnnk88 wrote:
86 points
Drank from magnum: Cassis aromas, with slight lychee tertiaries. Tasted black fruits, gravel with bitter and minty finish. Tight and austere. Not for me tonight. Definitely needs more time - keep away for 5-8 more years at least.
  • fingers commented:

    6/2/19, 9:38 AM - I think you’re right. I’ve set my drinking window to start in 2026

Red
2010 Force Majeure Collaboration Series VI Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain Red Rhone Blend
A little uptight for the first two hours open, but the beauty was not to be denied from then on. Now coming across with more bold WA character than Rhone elegance, but there is ample seductive character in the fruit to draw me in. Killer with a big Angus ribeye.
  • fingers commented:

    5/14/19, 7:58 AM - Thank you, Neecies! Don’t know why I did that since my note from 2017 even compared the wine to Beaucastel.
    Error corrected :)

White
2010 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
4/30/2019 - Paul S wrote:
93 points
Dinner at Shishen Hanten (Shishen Hanten, Mandarin Orchard, Singapore): Still young, but this was good. The nose wafted out of the glass with lovely notes of green apple, ice-cream soda, ripe gooseberries, white peach, and a little tail of perfumed florals. Very pretty. The palate had an oily weight and texture to it, but a lovely spine of acidity kept it beautiful light on its feet, with a lovely burst of tropical fruit, guava, melons and white flowers springing out on the midpalate, especially when paired with a bit of seafood. Good finish too. Drier, more minerally, with a beautiful stony end, but still having a nice, plump fruitiness. Good stuff, but all still a bit primary and tightly wound - it needs a good 6-7 years yet.
  • fingers commented:

    4/30/19, 7:38 AM - Thank you for contributing another wonderful tasting note.
    I always love when you review a wine that I have in the cellar :)

Red
2010 Keplinger Syrah Kingpin Rows Knights Valley
Have you ever bumped into an old girlfriend a few years after breaking up, and all you see are the things that made you first fall for her? This wine was like that last night. Unlike the prior bottle a few years ago, when it wasn’t quite ready, this was beautifully layered, showing complexity, balance and grace, a lovely reminder of what I originally fell for in Keplinger wines.

PnP, consumed over 4 hours. Drinking well on initial pour, and continued to evolve throughout. Seems like it will hold for another few years at least.
  • fingers commented:

    4/5/19, 1:11 PM - Excellent metaphor

Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
3/30/2019 - wayfarer Likes this wine:
93 points
This wine was intoxicating, as in captivating and elevating, setting a mood of high interest and pleasure. That's about how it guided the evening and made for a delightful dinner. Opened about 3.5 hours before dinner, decanted last 30 minutes. Definitely helped bring out depth and integration for the rich aged fruit, wood/earth/forest/leather hints. There was a lovely back and forth between fresher red fruit, cherry, strawberry, black cherry, with the more aged tone. Moderate full body, long finish, nice balance, rich and nuanced. Three years plus air time seems to have been beneficial.
  • fingers commented:

    4/1/19, 3:07 PM - Excellent note. I can't wait to cue one of these up
    Cheers

Red
2016 Château La Conseillante Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
3/14/2019 - Cailles wrote:
97 points
Chateau La Conseillante 1982-2016: Vertical of eight vintages from four decades with winemaker Marielle Cazaux. While it might not come as a surprise that the Conseillante impresses with its seductiveness, the level of freshness and tension in all wines is remarkable. Unsurprisingly, the four best wines came all from great vintages: The 2016 stands above all the other wines and is a future star and so good to drink right now, the 2009 needed time but became better by the minute and came in close second, the 2005 is fantastic with so much intense tertiary aromatics and precision and the 1990 is in a great spot and better than the Mouton or Lynch Bages I had in the past few weeks.

TN: This is a fantastic wine! I had it a few days earlier at a larger Bordeaux 2016 merchant tasting and liked it (95 points) but this bottle was a clear step-up. The main difference was certainly that the wine at this dinner was served at the perfect drinking temperature whereas the former bottle was served too warm and therefore felt much more opulent. On the nose expressive red fruit (cherries, rose hip, strawberry candy), herbs and wet slate. Ripe but highly precise, cool, and balanced. On the palate some additional layers with dark soil and rocky minerality, inky notes, hints of smoke and some fine and well integrated oak scents accompanying all the fruit. Not yet as complex as the 2009 or other 2016s (such as the Pichon Lalande) but very seductive and highly elegant (much more so than a few days earlier) with a perfect acidity and silky tannins.

Decanting: The wine has not been decanted but opened an hour prior to consumption. As it improved with more time in the glass, I think one or two hours in the decanter could do good things.
  • fingers commented:

    3/27/19, 2:57 PM - I give your note 97 points, too! So helpful and well-written.
    Cheers

Red
2012 CT Barrel Project Syrah Upland Syrah Upland Vineyard Yakima Valley Snipes Mountain
3/25/2019 - fingers wrote:
89 points
Very clumsy for about the first three hours or so open - prominent alcohol with a bitter bite at the fore. But it did settle down with a nice balance of fruit and tannins with mellow oak after a lot of air time. The acidity does, indeed, show a little flabby and I sense this may be starting to really fade. 5+11+16+7= 89
  • fingers commented:

    3/27/19, 2:53 PM - Yeah, it seemed like the fruit was heading for shallow waters compared to my prior bottles. And the balance overall never fully coalesced the way I expected/hoped. Not really bad, but I just lost a little faith in its future.

White - Sparkling
2008 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Vintage Champagne Blend
3/17/2019 - grapenomad wrote:
88 points
Pale lemon in the glass, showing fine bubbles. Medium expressive nose (usually vintage Veuve has more pronounced aromas) with focus on green/citrus fruit and a good chunk of biscuit, vanilla & cream. Medium-bodied supported by a strong acidity well-integrated with the alcohol. Doesn't have the complexity I was expecting, although it will develop nicely over the upcoming years. No insane potential due to the lack of depth.
  • fingers commented:

    3/18/19, 7:09 AM - Spot on review. I feel the same way about this
    Cheers!

Red
2010 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/11/2019 - fingers Likes this wine:
90 points
After an hour in decanter. Very dark ruby color with a fading hint of age at the rim and a small dash of sediment in the bottle. Beautiful, medium-powered nose of cassis, lavender, bramble, butterscotch/caramel and more flavors of plum, cherry, and graphite on the palate. A big wine that is still light on its feet and goes down easy, in large part due to nearly undetectable alcohol. A good experience at $20. 5+12+15+8= 90
  • fingers commented:

    3/16/19, 8:30 PM - And that really says something, Motz. Thank you for the comment!
    You too, Tim. Thanks for the recommend (enablement)

Red
2013 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
3/5/2019 - fingers wrote:
This is my second time with this wine and it has not struck me as interesting or attractive to any great measure either time. Just kind of blasé and generic. Given that, it also seems young so I’m not sure how long you’re supposed to wait on these. I have one more that I’ll let sleep for awhile.
  • fingers commented:

    3/6/19, 5:46 AM - Thanks much... this would be another bad example of CellarTracker drinking window values. Way too early on this

White - Sparkling
N.V. Solemme Champagne Premier Cru Terre de Solemme Champagne Blend
This bottle disappeared too fast for a real tasting note. I liked it a lot, maybe even loved it, but a rating shall remain withheld for a future bottle.
  • fingers commented:

    1/9/19, 10:10 AM - Yep, pretty hard to beat <$40
    I'll have to do a proper note on the next bottle
    Cheers!

Red
N.V. Result of a Crush Christmas Cuvée Walla Walla Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah
12/28/2015 - fingers wrote:
85 points
Notes after a day open, though not much change in character past the first few minutes. Light to medium dusty ruby color with clear, slow legs and no sediment. Hi-toned nose of cherry jelly, lots of spice, earth, soot, and charred meat. Jammy and a bit candied on the palate, it supplies plenty of dark luscious fruit and a smattering of tannins, along with the strong, smoky oak notes. Short and sweet finish. Though I appreciate some nice flavors here, the structure pushes me off of the "I Like It" button. Not exactly my thang, . 4+11+14+6 = 85
  • fingers commented:

    12/28/15, 11:31 AM - Hi Chris. The wine gives me a very creamy glycerin-like body (I know, likely just alcohol & ripeness) and not enough acidity or tannins to support it, for my tastes anyway. I find a similarity with Menage a'Trois, if that tells you anything. But, of course, this is much better and is actually drinkable. I wouldn't be discouraged by my 85. If I thought it "looked" better (re:my 4 out of 5 on appearance) or had better potential to age (re:my 6 out of 10 on overall) this would be more a high 80's in my book. Hairline judgements, really.
    Maybe I'm getting the palate of an old coot, like Dennis! ;)
    cheers

  • fingers commented:

    12/15/18, 7:03 AM - Ha! I guess I was a little off about this having any future potential!

Red
2015 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
11/12/2018 - mymauiwine wrote:
95 points
Big Bold and Velvety. Black Fruit Cassis, Cedar, Leather and Chocolate. Well balanced structure with enough acid to keep it lively. Although very young right now with some time this could be over 95 pts. I would definitely buy this again and lay down for a bit.
  • fingers commented:

    11/13/18, 12:19 PM - Very good note.. you should write more often!
    :)

Red
2010 Mollydooker Shiraz Velvet Glove McLaren Vale
11/10/2018 - dase13 wrote:
93 points
Dark in color, almost purple. Not too much sediment. Scents of ripe blue and black fruit. Taste of blueberry and blackberry, which was quite balanced and smooth, with a medium finish.
  • fingers commented:

    11/11/18, 6:42 AM - Sound like the wine was good .... are you sure it was flawed?

  • fingers commented:

    11/11/18, 9:36 AM - Your welcome, and thank you for the good note. I feel like I know what to expect when I finally pop this baby!

Red
2016 G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso Langhe DOC Nebbiolo Blend, Nebbiolo
10/18/2018 - chablis28 wrote:
88 points
Said to be a blend of; 30% Barbera, 30% Dolcetto, 20% Nebbiolo, 10% Albarossa & 5% Pinot Noir with minor tweaks between vintage. In other words, a mutt of a wine. And like dogs often the blend can yield a more interesting result. My affection for this wine bounces around depending on vintage and, my guess on the impact, of the 30% Barbera in each vintage. I'm not the world's biggest fan of the stingy bright acidity common to Barbera wines. And in this vintage its hanging out there a bit for my liking. I'd prefer 10% more Nebbiolo & 10% less Barbera. That said, this is still a versatile and intriguing food friendly red that everyone should try in every vintage. Some vintages are 92pts for me and others like this one are 88pts, so far. I also think this sees some btl variation. Its entirely possible I'll admire the next one a bit more :). Opened about 3 hours before dinner and allowed to slow ox. I also chilled this in the frig for a good 20 minutes to get a temp range of 55-62 degrees during our dinner. Berries, spice and underbrush on the nose carry over to the palate where you pick up some stingy brightness and a sense of heat from the Barbera's acidity. Alc 13% Paid $12 on sale and have two more for down the road six months to a year. If not for the Barbera's impact this is easily 90pts+ for me.
  • fingers commented:

    10/19/18, 7:16 AM - Many thanks for this descriptive and insightful note (as the vast majority of your notes are!). Having just drank the 2014, I had no idea of the blend protocol for this wine and I will certainly be hunting down other vintages.
    Cheers

Red
N.V. Result of a Crush Christmas Cuvée Walla Walla Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah
This has held up well as a baby-Reynvaan. Olives, brine and Rocks funk continue to be evident. Good on PnP, held up fine overnight for day 2. This will easily hold on for another 3-5 years, but nothing wrong with drinking up now.
  • fingers commented:

    10/18/18, 10:09 AM - Nice to hear that this is still doing well since I did not have much faith in it two years ago. Have one left to burn for this Christmas season. Thanks for the note, E!

Red
2013 La Massa La Massa Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
9/11/2018 - fingers wrote:
90 points
A big leap in its journey over a year ago. More depth and intrigue/complexity while there’s still a dark, brooding profile peeling off layers through the finish. Just getting ready for prime time... and I burned through my 3 already. For shame. 4+12+16+8= 90
  • fingers commented:

    9/11/18, 8:39 PM - That's right... you turned me on to this!
    Fanks, my frend

White - Sparkling
2002 Bollinger Champagne R.D. Extra Brut Champagne Blend
9/17/2015 - forceberry wrote:
96 points
Pale yellow color. Somewhat sweet-toned, poised and dark-toned yet not at all heavy nose with nuanced aromas of toasty autolysis, roasted nuts, caramel, ripe citrus fruits, some red apples, a little bit of English toffee and a red-fruited touch of cherry-driven Pinosity. The wine is rich, quite noticeably toasty and robust on the palate with full body and wonderfully bold flavors of pronounced autolytic toast, apple pie crust, syrupy molasses and burnt sugar, ripe and spicy red apples, oxidative nuttiness, some sweet-toned spice, a little bit of ripe, zesty citrus fruits and a hint of oven-fresh apple cobbler. The wonderfully high acidity lends wonderful sense of structure and freshness to the wine, keeping it from coming across as excessively heavy. The mousse feels very fine, smooth and creamy. The finish is extremely long, toasty and very mineral with focused yet noticeably toasty flavors of chalky bitterness, oxidative nuttiness, maple syrup, some bright and zesty citrus fruits, a little bit of tart green apples, a hint of smoke and a touch of toffee.

Holy moly this is an impressive blockbuster of a Champagne. Despite its immense power, gravity and robust character, the wine is still remarkably vibrant and light in its feet - thanks to the spectacular acidity and crystal-clear mineral core. The wine is exhibiting some developed, nutty and slightly oxidative characteristics, but they feel more like the result of the style, not of the bottle age per se. Most likely this wine will continue to develop for many more years, probably even decades. Stunningly beautiful; not only one of the greatest Bollinger wines I've had, but also one of the most spectacular Champagnes I've tasted. So very highly recommended.
  • fingers commented:

    7/27/18, 7:36 AM - A supreme note for a supreme bottle!
    Thanks force

Red
2005 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
7/20/2018 - dsheahan wrote:
flawed
I held this wine for three years in cool dark conditions. I saved it for a special occasion, my 50th birthday. Overall, this was a major disappointment for the four of us who tasted it. I found the dominant taste of petroleum. I can only imagine that this bottle was bad, considering the overwhelmingly positive reviews from others online. The other tasters said it was drinkable, but not an enjoyable experience.
  • fingers commented:

    7/23/18, 8:38 AM - I’m wondering how long you let the wine breathe before trying, and how long you were able to follow it open? I would guess this needs a good amount of airtime to really show its best.

Red
2012 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges Cabernet Franc
5/23/2017 - fingers Likes this wine:
88 points
Very dark purple/ruby color, almost fully saturated with a thin rim and just a dash of sediment. Very grippy and tart for the first two hours open and then the fruit showed up to the party. Cherry kirsch, bell pepper, fruit cocktail in the bouquet and the palate is suave and vibrant with acidity. I get more hickory than vanilla oak notes as the finish recedes. I think it has several years of enjoyment left in the tank. 4+10+16+8= 88
  • fingers commented:

    7/17/18, 7:20 AM - Thanks force, I did not know about the (lack of) oak regimen. I know I just found something “woody” about it and the flavor did not match up to what I normally associate as oak.
    Cheers!

White - Sparkling
2009 Pere Mata Cava L’Origen Gran Reserva Brut Nature Macabeo-Xarello-Parellada Blend
7/15/2018 - fingers Likes this wine:
92 points
Tasted the trio over the weekend: the zero dosage, dosage, and dosage +must. This was extra Brut crisp, clean, and very delicious. Who knew a 10-yr old Cava could develop so wonderfully.. not I. Vibrant mousse, light straw color. It had kiwi and pink grapefruit notes and strong salinity and slate through the palate. On all fronts, except maybe the nose, this was as enjoyable as many high-end Champagnes. Highly recommend. 5+11+17+9= 92
  • fingers commented:

    7/15/18, 12:28 PM - I think these are probably really in their prime and this producer seems to know how to get this varietal to achieve its true potential. It was very educational try all three simultaneously!

Red
2011 Avennia Syrah Arnaut Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley
7/10/2018 - ChrisinCowiche wrote:
85 points
A bit cloying and even notes of prune. Maybe some heat damage. Bought from retail in 2014 so it had a couple of years on the shelf. I have another bottle that likely is in same condition. Not sure if its the wine or storage, but a disappointment.
  • fingers commented:

    7/10/18, 4:11 PM - Based on the other notes, it looks like September is the right month to have this wine.. ;)
    Sorry to hear it was a slouch bottle... hope your other is fully alive
    Cheers

Red
2010 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux Cabernet Franc
6/19/2018 - fingers Likes this wine:
93 points
This has really taken off for flight since my last tasting 3 or 4 years ago. Fine texture with profound pepper and coriander, brambles, and extra dark berry. I still have yet to taste a Cab Franc from America that gets close to this true definition. Amazing stuff to put before a novice and watch their reaction. 5+13+17+8= 93
  • fingers commented:

    6/19/18, 7:46 PM - No sin in busting one now, brudda.
    I actually liked it a little warmer... right at room temp.
    See you soon / buon viaggio

Red
2016 Sandler Wine Company Pinot Noir Boer Vineyard Chalone
6/4/2018 - t_moderne wrote:
89 points
Pop and pour and tasted with food (lentil soup with angel hair pasta, and roasted chicken wings, in case you were wondering).
Dark ruby red color.
Nose shows dark fruit and brown spices.
Nice flavors of dark fruits, some cherry and plum notes. There is a nice spice element to this (think cloves and nutmeg). Good fruit with a nice core of acidity. A slight smoky note on the finish. Nice way. Enjoyable.
  • fingers commented:

    6/5/18, 3:33 PM - Thanks for the always excellent notes. I appreciate that you include appearance as it is often overlooked in wine reviews.

Red
2007 Arcadian Pinot Noir Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
5/23/2018 - fingers wrote:
flawed
Just the slightest touch of TCA, barely noticeable on the nose and finish. Otherwise, this was quite nice and I drank it anyway..... cuz I’m too cheap to open something else ;) but actually, the flaw was so minor I spent most of my time debating whether it actually was there or not. The underlying wine was exactly as I remembered and has a few years left at cruising altitude.
  • fingers commented:

    5/26/18, 6:42 AM - Thank you, Motz. It is quite the conundrum, isn’t it? There are these cases where it’s so slight, that it shows as just a little celery stalk instead of the usual chemical/moldy cardboard. Or, maybe it isn’t even a flaw but actually part of the wines signature profile. I only remember my WSET instructor saying, “If you can’t tell whether it’s TCA or not, it probably is”.
    So that’s what I went with ;)
    Cheers!

Red
2004 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Bosconia Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
11/4/2016 - bretrooks wrote:
flawed
Decanted 2+ hours. Slightly slightly corked, just enough for me to notice it wasn't correct. I thought my palate might just have been off, but then I detected a subtle whiff of cardboard about halfway through the glass and couldn't shake the impression after that. Not corked enough to make it undrinkable for our guests (who are not inexperienced with wine), but still a little bit sad.
  • fingers commented:

    4/15/18, 12:25 PM - I just had the exact same experience and there are a bunch of similar reviews. Bring on the screwcaps! ;)

Red
2003 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
4/13/2018 - dbg wrote:
Cellared since release, perfect cork and fill. Takes about an hour to open up. Tonight, the 2003 Pontet Canet does have a strong streak of tannins that get a bit gritty on the back end but it’s far from drying out. It’s nowhere near approaching mature complexity but it’s a bit more open than my last bottle 2.5 years ago. Still plenty of fruit, not over-ripe or roasted, full bodied. I’m half way through the case and would say I’m still expecting it to develop into something more. Very good on opening, reaches excellence after 60-90 minutes.
  • fingers commented:

    4/13/18, 7:20 PM - Great perspective.. thank you!

Red
2016 La Palazzetta (Flavio Fanti) Rosso di Montalcino Sangiovese
Benvenuto Brunello 2018, Montalcino centro; 2/16/2018-2/19/2018 (Montalcino): (Benvenuto Brunello, 2018, Montalcino) Gorgeous. Brick red>ruby. Powerfully perfumed, the nose is open and giving already. This is just beautiful, with a continuous cascade of red fruits, warm spice, soil and forest/mushrooms. The entry is bigger than expected, the middle is warm, generous, yet structured; this is one heck of a Rosso wine. So much potential, still, probably even better with just one more year of integration. A true baby Brunello if there is such a thing. Impressive length and depth. 14,5% abv., drink 2019 thru 2028. highly recommended

https://www.ItalianWine.blog
  • fingers commented:

    4/9/18, 4:05 PM - Just asked for three from garagiste

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