Tasting Notes for billhike

(25 notes on 25 wines)

1 - 25 of 25 Sort order
White
5/6/2020 - billhike wrote:
87 points
Nose of lemon and clean cotton, with a touch of honey. Zingy but not harsh acidity. Mid-weighted and lively, with citrus being the dominant fruit flavor. While this is mostly on the light/bright side, it does have a bit of an “oily” finish, with some beeswax/honey coming on late. Decent but not especially memorable.
Red
5/3/2020 - billhike Likes this wine:
93 points
Cracked the first of my three bottles. Pop and pour, then followed over a few hours. It showed some alcoholic heat early on, and it’s a ripe, “modern” wine for sure. That did settle down a bit. I’m in the minority on this forum, but I’m good with this style of southern Rhône. No barnyard at all. Ripe berries, dark fruit, dust and damp earth on the nose. Some hints of tar and black licorice. Medium weight mouthfeel with a good balance of acid and tannin - some grip, but generous. Similar fruit flavors as the aromas, with the addition of ripe plum skin. A bit hedonistic but not over the top for my palate, and a moderately long finish. 93 if you’re not a fruit-hater. �� Good to go now IMO.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
2/12/2020 - billhike Likes this wine:
92 points
Writing after about 2 hours of decant time. I recently bought two with a Binny’s coupon and forgot that I ordered three from another LWS. We were ordering pizza tonight, so with “bonus bottles”, I decided to give one an early try.

Pretty medium/dark color. Nose of ripe cherries, baking spice, leather and damp soil. A hint of menthol, too. Medium + on the weight/mouthfeel. The tannins are quite prominent (obviously) but not harsh, and the acid is also in balance. A mix of dark/ripe and tart cherry is the dominant fruit flavor, which is all up front. At this point, it’s much more accessible with food than without, and shows more fruit that way. On its own you get more tannin and it dries out quickly. Clearly an excellent wine with it’s best days ahead. I think the WS 97 might be a stretch, but admittedly my Chianti experience isn’t very deep. That said I’m glad I have four more to cellar.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/27/2019 - billhike Likes this wine:
91 points
Decanted for an hour plus, but it hasn’t changed from the small sip I poured upon opening. Typical violet/purple Syrah hue. Crushed berries, violets, blueberry jam and espresso on the nice. Great balance of acid, fruit and tannin. 15.2% alcohol isn’t evident. Dark fruits are the dominant flavor with hints of spice and something akin to orange peel. Not showy but very solid. For my palate it’s at peak and should stay there for a couple of years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Domaine Lafage Cuvée Centenaire Côtes du Roussillon Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
7/16/2019 - billhike Likes this wine:
88 points
Straw color a bit on the pale side. Nose of lemon oil and stone fruits. Nice mix of tangy acid and fruity richness. Flavors of citrus and peach with a mineral streak. Great value.
Red
I recently discovered that I have three of these instead of the two I expected to own, so I decided to take one for the team. HOLD!!!

2-1/2 hour decant. Deep opaque red. Nose of berries, tar, pencil shavings and violets. Medium-bodied with an amount of acidity that works for my palate. However, there is a wall of tannin still locking down the good stuff underneath. Crushed berries, dried herbs and espresso are the flavors trying to peek through. I think this will be fantastic when ready, but I’m guessing it’s still at least 4 years out.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
1/28/2018 - billhike Does not like this wine:
84 points
My second bottle of 6 purchased. Thin and acidic like the previous bottle. Not sure what the appeal is for those rating this high. Nice aromas, but for me it ends there.
Red
9/10/2017 - billhike Likes this wine:
93 points
2+ hour decant. Gorgeous nose with a lot of complexity. Crushed red berries, cedar, smoked meat, pencil shavings and campfire smoke. Still somewhat firm tannins, but not enough to detract from the pleasure of drinking this wine. Tart raspberry, cherry, bacon fat and dried herbs on the palate, with nice grip. Still a couple of years at least before fully ready, but damn enjoyable now. 93, with upside.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/4/2016 - billhike Likes this wine:
92 points
From Magnum. Decanted for about two hours, mostly for sediment. Medium ruby, no bricking. Nose of garrigue, black licorice, dark berries and tar. No barnyard. The flavors mostly mimic the nose, with the addition of some pepper. No game or smoked meat notes. Tannins are nearly integrated, but still noticeable though not unpleasant. Nicely balanced; not overly ripe. 92. Glad I have two more magnums. Thinking 2018 and 2020 for the others.
Red
3/7/2016 - billhike Does not like this wine:
80 points
Yuck. Strawberry jelly mixed with cola.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
3/3/2016 - billhike Does not like this wine:
83 points
Possibly the first time I really disliked a CC wine. Dominated by oak and cream, with some tropical fruit in the background.
Red
2010 Stefania Nueva Casa de los Padres Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
8/27/2015 - billhike wrote:
84 points
There are some nice characteristics buried in this wine. Unfortunately, they are hidden beneath too much tart acidity.
Red
8/16/2015 - billhike Likes this wine:
92 points
Inky purple. Nose of violets, dark ripe fruits and a hint of brown sugar. Not a heavy mouthfeel; wonderful balance of acid, dark fruits and tannin. Dark cherry, blueberry, blackberry and plum skin. Any oak flavors are fully integrated. Excellent showing. 92.
Red
8/8/2015 - billhike Likes this wine:
91 points
2008 Penner ash Shea vineyard. Light-medium ruby. Nose of tart cherries, ash, cinnamon and a hint of smoke. Tannins and acidity are nicely integrated. Cherries and pomegranate are the fruit flavored I get. The finish lingers in a grippy way, with hints of bitter baking chocolate. Refined and understated; definitely NOT big and showy. 91.
Red
6/22/2014 - billhike Likes this wine:
91 points
Noticably darker than many Oregon Pinots. Also a nice earthy aroma along with dark cherry and perhaps some tobacco that reminded me more of Burgundy (in my limited experience) than Willamette. Palate was mostly ripe red fruit, with good acidity and a nice lingering finish. Unexpected but enjoyable.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/7/2014 - billhike Likes this wine:
89 points
Decanted for about an hour and served with grilled burgers. Really nice fruit but with more tart acidity than I would like. That seems to be a recurring theme with the last few Stefania bottles I've opened, including a 2010 Nueva Casa a couple of months back.
White
1/14/2014 - billhike Likes this wine:
91 points
Beautiful medium-gold color. Aromas of pineapple, creamy lemon, stone fruits. Lightly sweet with fantastic, lively acidity that isn't sharp or harsh. Flavors of tropical fruit, orange, grapefruit and a bit of honey. Fruit and acid both linger on the long finish. Excellent, and a great value at $13-$15. Plenty of life still. 91-92.
Red
1/12/2014 - billhike Likes this wine:
92 points
Interesting blend with the vast majority being a combo of Tempranillo, Carignan and Petite Sirah, with Syrah and Cab. Sauv. making up the final 10%. My note is on the second day this was open, being re-corked ovenight.

Dark, inky and purple color in the glass. Blackberry, blueberry, plum, damp earth and mint on the massive nose. A little lighter-bodied on the palate than the color and scent would lead you to believe. Nice acidity, too. Dark plums and black fruit flavors with firm, grippy tannins. Much more open on day 2 and less in need of food (think grilled red meat) than the day before. This wine was a gift and I had never heard of it before. I will buy a bottle or two if I come across it and maybe hold 1-2 years before opening another, or give it several hours in a decanter. A nice surprise, and more balanced than expected given the amount of Petite Sirah. Excellent. 92.
White
1/6/2014 - billhike Likes this wine:
92 points
Deep gold color. Butterscotch, caramel, pear, custard and mango aromas. Awesome combo of acidity and ripe fruits that include pineapple, melon and citrus with vanilla cream on the long finish. Beautifully rich and balanced with what to me is perfect use of oak. Not oily or flabby at all. Outstanding. 92. This paired well with crostini of multi-grain baguette, canteloupe, fresh mozzarella, walnuts and drizzled honey.
Red
12/29/2013 - billhike wrote:
85 points
Vary dark red; almost a tinge of purple. The somewhat weak nose is mostly crushed berries. Very full mouthfeel. Decent acidity with huge red and black fruit flavors along with black licorice. It turns a bit pruney at the end. This shows the ripeness of the vintage, and I'm guessing fans of more traditional southern Rhone wines would hate this. It's drinkable, but lacking in the spice and herb components I expect from this region. A bit too new-world.
Red
12/27/2013 - billhike Likes this wine:
88 points
Dense dark red. A little tart and thin at first, but it has opened up nicely after an hour and a half. Aromas are a nice combo of cherry and dark berries. Medium weight with nice acidity. Cherries and plums are the prominent fruit flavors. A little pepper/spice and a bit longer of a finish might push this wine close to outstanding. Pretty nice though, and fun to drink after it got some air.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/19/2013 - billhike Likes this wine:
90 points
Pop and pour, but writing the note after it's been open an hour and a half. Deep, dark red. Aromas of violets, crushed berries and a slight hint of leather. Perhaps some graphite also. Moderate acidity and firm tannins - thinking maybe another year or so for them to fully smooth out, but more grippy than harsh. Plum skins, dark berrries and dry cocoa powder on the palate. The wine seems just slightly tight, so I would reccomend a couple of hours of decant if drinking now. 90, with probable upside.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
12/7/2013 - billhike Likes this wine:
91 points
Really nice. It had a good amount of bread/dough aroma that you could smell a two feet from the glass. Nice firm structure, fine bead, citrus. Crazy value at the current Binny's sale price of $15.99.
Red
11/25/2013 - billhike wrote:
80 points
Third bottle in a row that is a foul-smelling mess. I bouught 5 of them on close-out for $7 or so. Thankfully only two more to try if I even bother. Some decent Grenache spicy fruit on the palate, but I just can't get past the aroma - and I like a bit of Rhone funk. It also appears a little cloudy in the glass.
Red
4/28/2013 - billhike wrote:
86 points
I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn't an overly ripe Cali Pinot. Strawberry, cherry, dried herbs. Horrible QPR. This was gifted to us. I would put it on par with something like A to Z from Oregon. Decent, but nothing memorable.
1 - 25 of 25
  • Tasting Notes: 25 notes on 25 wines
© 2003-20 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close