Comments on my notes

(9 comments on 8 notes)

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2015 Ch√Ęteau Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
11/16/2018 - Henry Miller Likes this wine:
93 points
Too young to judge at this point, but clearly shows a lot of restraint in a big fruit forward vintage. Maybe designed for the long-haul, but this is not a big, ripe wine, i.e., this is not 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014, to name a few vintages. The exotic, decadent side of Ducru is lurking somewhere I suspect--just not showing right now in this med-bodied, closed-down version.
  • Henry Miller commented:

    4/22/19, 6:23 PM - The 2014 La Croix du Beaucaillou, a knockout Saint Julien is the solution. Not really a second wine, but an adjacent a fraction of the price of the Grand Vin. Will renew your faith in Bordx

2014 Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake Hill Spring Mountain District
5/17/2017 - Henry Miller Likes this wine:
98 points
Dripping with fruit, cascading down a solid core, into a plush, hedonistic, cab-fest. Apart from Insignia, it would be hard to find a Napa bottling that provides such resonance of the varietal, without being monochromatic. A national treasure of a pre-phylloxera vineyard, sadly in the twilight of its years. (Rattlesnake was not replanted during the phylloxera epidemic. P-resistant new rootstocks have been planted next to the old vines, but will need to mature.)
  • Henry Miller commented:

    5/17/17, 6:59 PM - Sorry...Rattlesnake was never replanted with the rest of the estate (and most of Spring Mountain), and is afflicted by phylloxera. New vines are planted next to the old vines, but they need to mature. There probably will continue to be declining yields until the new vines mature. The problem can be tracked with a look at escalating price.

  • Henry Miller commented:

    5/18/17, 1:39 PM - Phylloxera is a death sentence, so yields from the old vines will of course go down over time, regardless of vintage variations.

2013 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
3/29/2017 - Henry Miller Likes this wine:
93 points
Ripe and rich, but not plush, this has a graphite spine that keeps the wine soaring. One of the few bottles at this price point that manages to transcend the varietal character and show a sense of place. Top flight Nap Cab at half the price of most of its peers. Best showing ever for this bottling. For early to mid-term drinking.
  • Henry Miller commented:

    5/17/17, 5:05 PM - Sadly, this may be the last vintage. Vineyards sold to Plumpjack group, grapes probably going into Cade and Odette.

2013 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis Napa Valley
12/27/2016 - Henry Miller wrote:
87 points
Simple, oaky, flabby cab. Better than most, but there is no personality here, and no sense of place or style. Light years from Fay, SLV, Cask 23 bottlings.
  • Henry Miller commented:

    12/27/16, 10:27 AM - Other producers have sequenced their quality much better from entry level "Napa" through "Reserve," through sub-AVA bottlings and single vineyard: Phelps, Shafer, Chappellet, Groth, Turnbull, Snowden, Lewelling, Faust/Quintessa, Robert Craig, Hall/Kathryn, Freemark Abbey, even Raymond, Hess and Clos du Val. Often the entry level is even estate bottled, and some Napa releases outperform their bigger brothers from the sub-AVAs. The gap between the quality of the 2012 Fay and the recent vintages of Artemis is, to me, and to many, just too vast. It makes the Fay look reasonably priced, which it is not (but worth it nonetheless).

2011 Les Vins Jean Claude Debeaune Fleurie Chateau des Deduits Gamay
1/24/2016 - logos Likes this wine:
67 points
quite rich and intense for a fleurie; silken texture with moderate, soft tannins well integrated with tasty fruitiness. enticing but bit reserved, slightly floral nose. promising, needs a couple years to open up.
  • Henry Miller commented:

    2/4/16, 9:57 AM - Did you mean 87 pts? 97pts?

2006 Cantina Sampietrana Salice Salentino Vigna delle Monache Riserva Red Blend
1/4/2015 - Henry Miller Likes this wine:
93 points
A rare treasure of a wine, fully mature and complete. Like Rioja or Barolo/Barbaresco or great California Zin, it is singular and inimitable. Soft, rich, but not heavy, with great resonance on the palate. Dark black fruits, prunes but no reduction. A streak of licorice on every sip and Amaro liqueur on the dry finish. Red sauce not a perfect match, but wild boar in rosemary would be perfect, as would venison or perhaps a nice, exotic country terrine.
  • Henry Miller commented:

    9/8/15, 8:00 AM - Do you know where to find more of this? Wholesale distributor is in West Babylon, NY.

2012 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Home Ranch Alexander Valley
7/5/2015 - Henry Miller Likes this wine:
96 points
This one hits the jackpot. Soft,creamy mouthfeel with medium weight but a boatload of flavor. Exotic berries and bramble, blossoming into a raspberry parfait made with crema Catalana, but without the sugar. Just when you are thinking of pouring this over vanilla ice cream, it finishes with just enough acidity to lift it over your already overworked palate. This a California gem that could be made nowhere else in the world but Sonoma. The stuff of pilgrimage. One of the New World stations of the cross.
  • Henry Miller commented:

    7/5/15, 11:35 AM - Thank you for alerting me. I really meant to give 96pts but there was a typo

2009 Red Newt Cellars Riesling Davis Vineyard Seneca Lake
6/20/2013 - Henry Miller Likes this wine:
94 points
This defines the Finger Lakes style: dry, slatey, with real lift and zing, and a touch of delicate sweetness on the finish. Textbook trocken, mit the faint petrol pedigree, but clean. Subtle flavors of quince, lime, slate, and spring flowers. This will age even further, and it shows what the AVA and Davis fruit can do.
  • Henry Miller commented:

    6/30/13, 10:32 PM - I just tried over 200 Rieslings of the 2012 German vintage, and I am still unsure about the Feinherb designation. From what I understand from the proprietors and winemakers whom I spoke with, the Feinherb designation will replace whatever is left of the Halbtrocken designation. That said, Halbtrocken was never a consistent style. From what I can see from the Feinherbs that I have tasted over the past few years is that they are: 1)just off dry, drier than the traditional Kabinett Pradikat, but not Trocken; 2)they have higher ABV than Kabinett, but usually slightly lower than Trocken; and 3)they have more body and may be more unctuous than Trocken. That may make the Red New Davis more like a Feinherb, but I find the Red Newt in this vintage to be leaner, with a trocken like body and texture. Nevertheless, there is still some (wonderful) sweetness in the wine, invoking the Feinherb character, and making Herr Rosenberg's point quite valid.

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