Comments on my notes

(165 comments on 137 notes)

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Rosé
2018 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé Mourvedre Blend, Mourvedre
10/4/2019 - drwine2001 wrote:
Recent Releases from Domaine Tempier (Dig Wines, San Francisco): Light salmon. Typical, attractive glycerine. The aggressive pepperiness that I found objectionable early on has transformed to complex undergrowth. Excellent now. I seriously underestimated this vintage.
  • markydecker commented:

    10/5/19, 10:03 AM - Certainly a 180 from your previous note...

White
2016 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
10/2/2019 - AllRed wrote:
93 points
I intended to grab the '14 to pair with the lobster dip, but didn't pay attention and this ended up in the bag instead. Lovely apple and citrus with a terrific mineral spine. Balanced. Excellent.
  • markydecker commented:

    10/3/19, 5:42 PM - Damn I bet it was great with lobster dip! Love this wine...cheers

Red
2017 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley
9/20/2019 - tomlee wrote:
96 points
Purple in color. 14.6% ABV. 84% Zinfandel, 7% Petite Sirah, 7% Alicante Bouschet and 2% Mataro. Brilliant nose of jammy red fruits, peach and baking spices. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Brimming with bright, high toned fruits. Cherries, raspberry liqueur, earth and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. The best young Zinfandel I have had from Pagani Ranch and from Ridge for that matter. Just a stunner. Best over the next 4-6 years.
  • markydecker commented:

    9/20/19, 7:54 PM - Damn I wish the weather would cool down here so I can get my Z List shipment! Cheers Tom!

Red
2017 Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyard Russian River Valley
9/20/2019 - tomlee wrote:
92 points
Magenta in color. 14.6% ABV. 98% Zinfandel and 2% Petite Sirah. Savory nose of brambly black fruits, plums and pepper. Medium to full bodied with tremendous acidity. Crisp, jammy and well balanced. Blackberry, black raspberry, anise and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Glorious Zinfandel from a vineyard that sometimes gets overlooked in the Ridge portfolio. Best over the next 5-7 years.
  • markydecker commented:

    9/20/19, 3:21 PM - Thanks Tom! Ridge is holding mine since it’s still too hot to ship to Texas. Can’t wait to try it!

Red
2015 Turley Zinfandel Rattlesnake Ridge Howell Mountain
9/15/2019 - markydecker Likes this wine:
92 points
I like these to sit in the cellar for 4-5 years so the wine can settle down and integrate. One hour decant. Really nice acidity to balance big, voluptuous, spicy fruit. Heat blew off over the first hour, was noted but not off putting. Drink now or over the next 5 years. Some of the best Howell Mountain has to offer. Delicious.
  • markydecker commented:

    9/16/19, 10:00 AM - It’s my first of the 2015 single vineyard Turleys. My SOP is to order a case of Old Vines/Juvenile and drink those immediately while my Rattlesnake Ridge and Ueberroth sit for 4-5 years. Didn’t notice much variation over previous vintages. Cheers!

Red
2017 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
8/31/2019 - Hover low 64 Likes this wine:
92 points
Had with dinner at J Alexander in Oak Brook IL. When opened, it initially tasted thin, with light fruits and little tannins. After we let it breathe for about 15 minutes, it started to show its stuff. Great mouthfeel, robust fruit (black cherry, blackberry, and blueberry) along with silky tannins, good terroir and a medium finish. Only slightly peppery/spicy. A nice surprise for a $50 wine (retail). Hoping I can find some locally for my own cellar.
  • markydecker commented:

    8/31/19, 3:19 PM - Make sure you give it time. Will be much better in 5 years. Cheers!

Rosé
2018 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé Mourvedre Blend, Mourvedre
8/14/2019 - ricard Likes this wine:
94 points
Entirely accidental that I had this and the 2017 a few weeks apart. You can see with this gem why this is the world's benchmark rosé (or at least Provençal blend rosé, if we want to be pedantic). The 2018 is a notch above the 2017. It's even more refined and elegant. Intensely mineral and fennel-infused nose. Like the '17, there's a mountain stream freshness that's irresistible. The central fruit (strawberries, raspberries, apricots) is so impressively held together by this vibrant acidity, and then a finish with garrigue notes (thyme, oregano) - honestly, the structure is superb. It's a great wine. And it gets better as the bottle progresses. It's not a simple quick drink - it's a food wine through and through. Great stuff.
  • markydecker commented:

    8/21/19, 10:55 AM - Excellent note, thanks! Was concerned about some earlier negative reviews, my shipment won’t show up till October so I have not tasted yet. Cheers!

  • markydecker commented:

    8/22/19, 2:06 PM - Thank you Ricard! Cheers

White
2017 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
Winebar [2 Rosés, 2 Whts, & 8 Reds] from 07/26/19 + 6 Shared Bottles (Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA): 12% ABV; 23 barrels produced

N: An attractively toasty minerality with HINTS of butterscotch? Intensity lurking

P: Med, poss MF, body; RNDISH entry with VERY NICE, ALMOST swtish frt met by a slightly puckerish acidity which, without losing contact with the init frt, evolves into a LONG, VERY slightly tangy finish with hints of swtness to come. Approachable now (for acidophiles) with food, DESERVES 2 yrs or so of cellaring, then making its 10th. IMPRESSIVE stuff, & based upon my 2 tastings of the '16 vintage, MORE approachable @ this stage than I suspect the '16 was a yr ago. My EXC/EXC+, & could WELL hit some level of Exceptionality... eventually. 95 pts Vinous (Galloni). [DO check with this vendor if interested in their *very* COMPETITIVE price!]

Later: Did NOTHING but improve after ≈4.5 hrs in a small tasting glass! So, I'd say this is at LEAST a fair bet to make upper 90s SOMEWHERE down the line! :)
  • markydecker commented:

    7/29/19, 3:12 PM - Great note, thank you. Cheers !

White
2017 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Watson Ranch Napa Valley
5/5/2019 - mflesh wrote:
95 points
Shame on anyone who rates this a 94 or less! LOL. My goodness, I guess I must have just had this one on a day when it spoke directly to my soul. This Chardonnay is my spirit animal. The nose is green apple, lemon, a hint of buttered toast, herbs, Asian pear. Entry is robust in fruit, yet leaner in style. Yellow fruit, kiwi, lemon, green apple, hint of lemon, sharp acidity, crushed rock. The middle injects a buttered sourdough toast note on top of an already crazy wine. Finish is steely, mineral-rich, acidic. Close to rating this a 96. But honestly, structure is here to the point that I really want to buy 2 cases of this and forget about them all for 5 years.
  • markydecker commented:

    7/22/19, 6:42 PM - Great note, thanks. Love this wine. AR gets this right. Cheers!

White
2017 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Watson Ranch Napa Valley
7/22/2019 - davidb18 Likes this wine:
95 points
As good as it gets -- in CA. A wine that covers all the chardonnay bases. Medium bodied. Great nose of ripe fruit and minerals and none of the overly alcohol scent one sees in the overripe/overdone CA chards of current hype. Flavors of pineapple, lemon and cream without too much sweetness. Reminds of a top white Burgundy. Drinking well now, particularly after time in glass and after opening for an hour or so, but also age-worthy. One of the best of CA.
  • markydecker commented:

    7/22/19, 5:53 PM - Great note, thanks. Love a good cross of California power and Burgundian finesse...not easy to find. Cheers

Red
2017 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
7/14/2019 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
90 points
On the nose, there's raspberry jam, hints of licorice -- there's a high-toned quality that verges on acetone to me. Slightly more black-fruited on the palate, that's underpinned by some linear spice. Good, but didn't feel massively expressive.
  • markydecker commented:

    7/14/19, 12:55 PM - Way too young. Not an immediate gratification wine and neither is Lytton Springs. Revisit in 2022, singing in 2017. Cheers :)

  • markydecker commented:

    7/14/19, 4:30 PM - You bet. For further in depth info on these wines, if you have access to Vinous, see Stephen Tanzer’s “Vertical of Geyserville and Lytton Springs”. Both very long lived wines.

Red
2013 Alban Vineyards Grenache Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
7/11/2018 - mclanew Likes this wine:
94 points
Without any decanting this is a supercharged decadent wine with fantastic aromatics and a complex swirling palate of black jammy fruit, minerals, smoked meats, and spice. Medium bodied, fleshy with a long finish. The only thing that holds me back on this is it lack finesse and focus but ummm it’s very delicious.
  • markydecker commented:

    6/25/19, 6:26 PM - I throw finesse out the window with Alban wines and just wallow in the pure decadence... :) cheers

Red
2015 Alban Vineyards Grenache Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
6/25/2019 - jaylew1 wrote:
96 points
Early days. Black, black, black fruits. Extracted for sure but not to the extent of an SQN Grenache. Sort of in between CDP and SQN. I would wait a year or two if you can stand it. But nice long finish, reasonably light on its feet these days.
  • markydecker commented:

    6/25/19, 6:23 PM - Thanks. This wine is rare enough to not have much commentary. Looking forward to busting it open circa 2025... cheers!

Red
2014 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
6/18/2019 - tomlee wrote:
92 points
Crimson in color. 14.4% ABV. Awesome nose of brambly black fruits, anise and toasty oak. Full bodied and somewhat tannic with perfect acidity. Powerful, concentrated and well balanced. Crushed blackberries, earth, iron and plums on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish with extra grip and tannin from the Petite Sirah. Lytton Springs ages well and I have little doubt the '14 will be long lived. Best over the next 5-7 years.
  • markydecker commented:

    6/19/19, 2:27 PM - Thanks Tom! Glad I have 2 magnums sleeping:)

Red
2005 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
6/8/2019 - dase13 wrote:
flawed
Won/bought from WineBid.com. A bit off. Maybe slightly baked. Color of medium red. Scents of red fruits. Tastes were consistent with scents. Not as robust as the same wine I had purchased as futures.
  • markydecker commented:

    6/9/19, 9:39 AM - Agreed. If bottle is truly flawed, score should be withheld. Cheers to all Leoville Barton lovers!

White
2009 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest Chardonnay
5/25/2019 - acidqueen wrote:
91 points
A good bottle. Fine Chablis flavors of white flowers and lemon peel. Nice acidity as well. A bit more dilute than I remember from last bottles, so probably time to drink these. Not the density I find in typical La Forest years, but an enjoyable bottle nonetheless. Didn’t drink like a warm year, and I don’t find the same exotic flavors that I did several years ago.
  • markydecker commented:

    5/26/19, 7:34 AM - Thanks! I figured at the 10 year mark it might be time to bust these open...cheers!

Red
2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
5/20/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
94 points
This is my last bottle and it is absolutely stunning. The color is turning brown so I expected it to taste like it was on a downward trajectory. Boy, was I wrong. The 2009 packs incredible layers of fresh fruit flavors. Bramble fruit, cherry, lead pencil, and black pepper all seamlessly meld together. This is drinking beautifully but there is no rush if you have any remaining in the cellar.
  • markydecker commented:

    5/20/19, 5:12 PM - Thanks for the excellent note. My remaining bottles are in magnum...sounds like I’m in for a treat! These wines age extremely well. Cheers!

Red
2013 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
Opened for Game of Thrones night, and this was the highlight! No decanting needed it was beautifully layered with spiced red and blue fruits, sagebrush, mint, soil, and a beautiful salinity that I remember from my previous bottle some 4 years ago. Palate is quite fresh and the tannin, while smooth, is still making itself heard. This feels quite youthful though it is also in full on Claret mode and could sneak in a Medoc tasting with no one the wiser (and rank quite highly as well).
  • markydecker commented:

    5/14/19, 5:36 PM - Great note, thanks! I’ve had some 15 year old Geyserville that exhibited unmistakable Bordeaux nuances. Amazing wine, excellent QPR. Cheers!

Red
2016 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
5/8/2019 - Mark1npt wrote:
88 points
Call me not that impressed. It's just ok, this bottle.....it's a nice briar, black fruit on the nose and there's the requisite dark black in the glass and fruit profile in the mouth. There's some weight some acidity and some peppery notes. But it feels like an entry level zin from an inferior producer, not Ridge. I expected just a touch more power, more ZIN. Didn't get it.
  • markydecker commented:

    5/9/19, 5:49 PM - Geyserville and Lytton Springs both need AT LEAST 5 years in bottle to integrate. They are not immediate gratification wines. My mailing list SOP is to cellar the Geyserville and Lytton, and drink the Paso Robles/East Bench/Ponzo that comes with them on the Ridge Z List. Reference Steven Tanzer’s recent “Vertical of Geyserville and Lytton Springs” on Vinuous. Cheers!

White
2014 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
5/9/2019 - galewskj wrote:
91 points
Moslty Oregon and Burgundy (Kevin and Vicki's house): This is a very different chardonnay. While this wine is impressive in it's flavor profile, it isn't that friendly to me. There is significant sulfur, briny minerality and racy acidity. This is for acid heads.
  • markydecker commented:

    5/9/19, 5:42 PM - Perfect for me as I am an acid head from way back

Red
2014 Ridge Petite Sirah York Creek Spring Mountain District
2/1/2019 - Benj Likes this wine:
89 points
On pop and pour: deep ruby-purple color. Quite viscous. Nose: explosive fruit: cooked raspberry, black cherry, plum skin, spiced herbaceous warmth, slight pear skin, black pepper, touch of menthol. Palate: high acid, medium-high chewy tannin, high alcohol coming through, darker fruit than nose, long finish, bitter at the back.

After an hour decant: more balsamic and dark fruit on the nose, a little calmer, alcohol has calmed down; acidity down to medium-plus on the palate, oak coming through, an odd touch of rubber-plastic. A bit awkward at this point.

Two and a half hours into the decant, this is really getting somewhere - rich dark fruit and spiced wood, this reminds me slightly of an old memory of 1990 Lynch Bages: dark, inky, brooding. Plus some meatiness on the nose now. On the palate this is getting much, much better. Good integration, some tingling sweet fruit in the mid-palate, fresh wood and candied almond finish. The rich dark fruit and heat from the alcohol (though not overbearing now) give it a hint of LBV port in its character.

Right now this is a lovely weirdo. Plenty of stuffing, should be great but needs to chill out before proper evaluation or enjoyment. We will leave our other bottle for a couple more years at least, but I’m guessing the optimum drinking window will be mid-2020s. 15.1%, $35. 89+
  • markydecker commented:

    4/28/19, 1:24 PM - Great note, thanks! I have experience with older vintages of this wine...it ages VERY well and really needs 15-20 years. Had 82, 85, 88, 92 and 99 in a spectacular vertical several years ago...all the older ones were SINGING. Cheers!

Red
2013 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
4/24/2019 - pgrzesik Likes this wine:
90 points
Ridge always makes some good quality wines and this is no exception. Really nice zinfandel blend and very well made. I had this wine on day 3 of it being open and on the nose it had layers of graphite, smoked BBQ meat, and hints of eucalyptus. It is a medium bodied wine, full of flavor. It wraps your palate in great fruit that is not over the top and not underwhelming - but just right.

Only downside of this is the 14.7% alcohol - an unfortunate California trend of picking grapes towards the end of harvest to bring out more easily approachable wines designed to appeal to the masses - but cant blame them, good marketing.

Good wine nonetheless.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/24/19, 6:48 PM - Great note, thanks! From what I’ve read, it’s difficult to vinify the Zinfandel grape successfully at much less than 14-14.5 ABV...it the nature of the grape and its natural sugar levels...Cheers!

Red
2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
4/22/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
This was just dynamite. Slight browning at the edges gives away its age, but the nose was just lovely, with plenty of the fresh cracked pepper and blackberry you'd expect from a zin, but with lovely earthy and mushroom tones that give it an almost Bordeaux-like flair. Silky, sweet, and effortless on the palate, but not without some sneaky structure (from the big petite sirah proportion in the blend?). Great with burgers off the grill; this bottle disappeared quickly. In a perfect spot, but could easily go on a few more years without losing its edge.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/23/19, 3:53 PM - Excellent note. Geyserville and Lytton are tremendous values for longer term aging. So many drink them too young. They sing with 10 years in bottle....

Red
2016 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
1/4/2019 - Mark1npt Does not like this wine:
82 points
Since some people on here don't take comments on their comments, I'll add another comment of my own on my previous comment, for good measure. My score on this wine STARTED at the pnp at 92. The wine DEVOLVED considerably over time to where it finished at an 82. I make no 'assassination' attempts on anyone. I report what I find and I'm man enough to open my comments to comments and am willing to discuss with anyone. I doubt that my one review is going to put any dent in the fine Wagner machine. Though this is THE most mass produced and overpriced juice in the industry today, IMO. Drink what you like. This, I don't like. Same goes for The Prisoner. Dave Phinney got great grapes and made a helluva zin blend when he had it but once production went from 25,000 to 125,000 cases with the new owners and new grapes, it never resembled the original wine. Yet, people still drink it by the bucketloads, just because of the name. If you like it drink it, but I've got one bottle of it left as I do the Caymus and they are both going to be gifted to someone down the line.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/21/19, 7:52 PM - Your review is accurate and on point, Mark. I’m amazed how skewed to upside the scores are on this wine. Most all vintages of this wine since 2012 barely resemble Cabernet as it should be made. Sadly, this was previously one of the best examples of the genre pre 2012. I find literally all of the Wagner lineup undrinkable these days. Cheers!

  • markydecker commented:

    4/21/19, 8:42 PM - Quite accurate!

Red
2016 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
10/22/2018 - peterjames Does not like this wine:
75 points
I have not been a fan of this style of wine but see the appeal that makes this wine popular. However, the '16 I found too be such an exaggeration of that style as to be undrinkable.

A sappy, sweet texture and an artificial, cough syrup finish. I have never had a Caymus Cabernet this bad. Would never serve it to my guests.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/21/19, 7:59 PM - Your review is on point. Aging this will just make it into old cough syrup. It’s awful.

Red
2016 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
12/8/2018 - Mark1npt Does not like this wine:
82 points
(Note:this first part was written before much time had passed) This is some lighter weight juice, not much depth but a winning formula with lots of cherry on entry with a bit of a candied cherry nose. Oak and tannins are perfect right now for a very drinkable porch pounder or in my case a jacuzzi pounder along with a nice cheese plate and my wife........not necessarily in that order. 90-92 for starters.

Ps...addendum 1-2 hours later.....disappointing. I'm giving it an 88 now. It's not measurably better than a $20 bottle of Freakshow. Not any deeper or more complex either. This is the most popular kid at the Snowball Dance, who it turns out really doesn't have any dance moves.......can't believe people pay what they pay for this stuff. Why? Just goes to show you what name recognition does for a business. I might as well be drinking a pitcher of Kool-Aid.

6-8 hours in.....even worse, as someone on here commented, like the old Cheracol cough syrup. Yuk! Final score 82. And not a penny more. Now, who can I give my other bottle to???
  • markydecker commented:

    4/21/19, 7:56 PM - Bottle it in 375’s and sell it as a dessert wine. Or pour it over pancakes or ice cream.

Red
2015 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Napa Valley
3/20/2019 - LiteItOnFire Likes this wine:
92 points
PnP and then 2.5 hour decant at W Hotel Playa Conchal. The full line up (2015 Lewis Hillstone Reserve, 2015 Caymus Special Select, 2013 Colgin Syrah and 2015 Keplinger Fuego y Mar.

Ok where to start... on the PnP it was similar and only slightly less sweet than the regular Caymus... that’s like saying I use brown sugar because it is healthier and less sweet than white sugar. Tangent, WTF happened to one of the pinnacle wineries of our era? This was, hands down one of the best wines/wineries ... anyway back on topic. First 30 minutes it had a sweet dark fruit front and then trailed off where all of the other wines had noticeable middle and ends. This did burn off some of the sweetness by the 2.5 hour mark and gathered more steam for the three phases but was more linear than I like/expect. Will be curious to see how this progresses over time by shedding its 300lb baby fat as long as the acid/tanin structure can hold (unsure at this point in time). If this was at a cheaper price point I would use this as a gateway wine but not at this $$. Net net much better than the regular Caymus which I am unable to drink but at this price point I would expect more. Oh where oh where has my Caymus of old gone?
  • markydecker commented:

    4/21/19, 7:37 PM - I miss the old Caymus as well...cheers

Rosé
2017 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé Mourvedre Blend, Mourvedre
4/20/2019 - minndavid60 Likes this wine:
94 points
1st of 6 bottles bought last summer and opened to celebrate a glorious Easter weekend in Minneapolis. Looking at my notes, this may be the most complex Tempier rosé I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Fat and sweet but not all all cloying, with peach, cherry pit and fleeting but still palpable notes of macadamia nut, crushed rock, freshly sliced sweet basil and a salted taffy finish. Great glycerin. As an earlier poster noted, some noticeable alcohol that doesn’t really detract but perhaps gives this a bit more heaviness than usual. As always, the gold standard in rosé.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/21/19, 5:53 PM - Outstanding note. Thanks!

  • markydecker commented:

    4/21/19, 5:53 PM - Outstanding note. Thanks!

Red
2015 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Napa Valley
3/16/2019 - csimm1161 wrote:
79 points
IHOP blackberry syrup, milk chocolate, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and some wet oak char. Like a fat, syrup-slathered stack of cold, mushy pancakes flambéd with the chocolate tears of the Cadbury Creme Egg Bunny, this installment of the Caymus SS impresses for its sheer lack of complexity and overtly cloying mouthfeel.

A one-and-done singular note mic drop dull thud on the palate. Medium bodied all the way around, with a sloth-like attack that lacks energy and focus. Displays seemingly little acid, with the grip of a three-fingered infant. Finishes as it starts, with a round and simple syrupy tail.

Essentially lost on the palate, with no real reference to specific varietal or sense of place. The only terroir this “wine” speaks to is Hershey Pennsylvania.

On the upside, those who enjoy watching Honey Boo Boo and Mama June from the comforts of their mom’s living room sofa-bed will find pleasure here...
  • markydecker commented:

    3/19/19, 8:06 PM - HA excellent review. Just had a glass of the ‘14. Poured most of it back into the decanter.

  • markydecker commented:

    3/20/19, 6:20 PM - I long for the days when this was actually a great wine. 99-05. It’s a hot mess now.

  • markydecker commented:

    4/20/19, 3:15 PM - Well said! Tragic downfall of a once great winery.

  • markydecker commented:

    4/21/19, 7:22 AM - Love it :)

White
2009 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest Chardonnay
4/17/2019 - drwine2001 wrote:
Deep yellow. A blast of honey and truffle right out of the bottle receded after about an hour of air, and then the aromatics became a bit fuzzy with yellow apple and rich broth. Full bodied for Chablis, enveloping feel, yellow orchard fruit rather than citrus, average acidity, strong soil component. Maturing, definitely not thrilling, and honestly could use more zip, but my initial concerns about oxidation were not borne out. Last tasted 2 years ago. My reactions to this over the years have been mixed, but I felt more excited about the bottle I drank in 2016.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/17/19, 8:32 PM - Excellent note, cheers

White - Sparkling
2009 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
4/16/2019 - Somm David T wrote:
93 points
Got the Emirates attendant to save my palate and grab me a glass of 09 Dom out of 1st Class.

The Emirates experience is very good overall. The car service pick up is excellent. The comfort in Business Class is quite spacious and comfortable. Service is good. The food was hit or miss depending on what you ordered. Overall, it could be better. Where they really missed; there were no hot towels before meals, wi-fi horrific and the Business Class wine list needs to be much better.

Green apple, slightly bruised Bosc pear, lime candy, light color citrus blend, pineapple, ginger soda, baguette crust, beautiful firm pronounced chalkiness, penetrating grey volcanic minerals, well done acidity and an elegant, rich, well balanced finish that goes on & on.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/17/19, 7:05 PM - “Slightly bruised Bosc pear”? LOL

  • markydecker commented:

    4/17/19, 7:39 PM - Don’t understand your comment...

  • markydecker commented:

    4/17/19, 7:48 PM - Just humor those of us who own this wine...what’s the difference between, say, moderately/heavily bruised Bosc pear and lightly bruised? We really want to know....

White - Sparkling
2009 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
4/16/2019 - sduraybito Likes this wine:
95 points
Can't find nuttin' wrong wit it.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/17/19, 7:06 PM - LOL

White - Sparkling
2009 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
4/5/2019 - BillyT wrote:
93 points
I hosted our company dinner party last night and ordered a bottle of Bollinger. They came to the table with Veuve Clicquot. Well, while VC is ok, it was not the level I wanted to offer my staff. I wanted something I thought was special (not that VC isn't, it just wasn't what I wanted). So I look on the menu and the only option was DP. So they bring the DP and it is the 09 vintage which I had not had as yet.

Well, all the others sharing notes are correct, young but extremely approachable, creamy full mouth feel with great balance in minerality, fruit of apricot and peach with great structure and a lingering after taste. GREAT DP with a long life ahead.
  • markydecker commented:

    4/8/19, 6:32 PM - Well done sir. You are a class act. Cheers,

White
2017 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Watson Ranch Napa Valley
3/22/2019 - chablis28 wrote:
93 points
This has become one of my 2 or 3 favorite CA Chards over the past few years. Strikes a truly unique balance of old world zip & minerality with a hint new world richness. Thankfully absent the too often overdone oak spice & vanilla. 12.4% alc is amazingly low, not only for CA, but even Burgundy. Must tie into the San Pablo Bay terroir? I can't say enough about the harmony, silky elegance and lift that defines a lovely layer of citrus and tropical fruit. This really is spectacular and oddly seems to escape wine media and wine board hype. Yea! If I'm one of the few smitten with it, all the better for my wallet. Love the 2017! 93pts+

Watson vineyard was planted in 1990 and dry farmed in marine deposits over limestone with a view of San Pablo Bay. Whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless steel by native yeasts and aged in neutral French oak barrels. Full malolactic. Hands off winemaking that lets the site and fruit do the talking.
  • markydecker commented:

    3/23/19, 6:08 PM - Excellent review. I too am a huge fan of this producer. Highly underrated.

Red
2014 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Napa Valley
4/3/2018 - WineForRob wrote:
87 points
I had the 13 SS last year and was pleased enough with it to grab a bottle of the 2014. I gave up on the regular bottling of Caymus like most others on here since they went over the top, but thought the SS would still be safe. I was mistaken. On pnp the nose was candied and sweet with some alcohol and got me nervous immediately. The first sips were fine and sort of eased my concern. Black fruits some definite oak present but had some energy and a decent finish. With about 15 minutes of air the sweetness kicked in. The nose remained and the wine just became extremely cloying and unpleasant. I somehow finished the glass and returned the bottle to slow ox at 55 degrees.
Day 2 the nose was still somewhat off putting and way too sweet. On the palate the sweetness subsided to the point of being drinkable but never reached anything overly enjoyable. I guess the SS is out for me also.
  • markydecker commented:

    3/19/19, 8:01 PM - Same reaction here. Really surprised the wine scores this high.

Red
2014 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Napa Valley
12/14/2018 - JLuch1 Likes this wine:
93 points
Ordered off a steakhouse wine list and bottle decanted for 45 minutes before drinking.

Dark purple fruit, stewed plums, blueberry, red velvet cake, vanilla, baking spices. The wine is more on the sweet side of dry, mouthfeel is silky and the tannins are fine and not obtrusive. Finish is medium plus and enjoyable.

It is a consistent with other younger Caymus SS wines I have had. For an evening filled with a variety of drinks and a smorgasbord of rich food, the Caymus SS has the oomph to cut through the fat and provide you with the childish nostalgia of sipping your freshly pierced Capri Sun while sitting at moms dinner table.

It will also do the job without food as it kind of goes down like candy on its own.

93pts based on the wine as it is and most likely intended by the winemaker.

Disclaimer; If you have not had Caymus before and you typically yearn for wonderfully aged and delicate BDX loaded with terroir, do not waste your time here or this wine will offend you.
  • markydecker commented:

    3/19/19, 7:58 PM - HA you are correct, I was definitely offended when I had a glass of this. I couldn’t finish it and poured it back into the decanter.

Red
2016 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
3/10/2019 - 1966sandyt Likes this wine:
81 points
Very good
  • markydecker commented:

    3/10/19, 6:10 PM - Has to be a typo :)

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.
  • markydecker commented:

    3/5/19, 6:32 PM - Best with 10 years cellar time.

  • markydecker commented:

    3/6/19, 6:46 AM - Thanks gentlemen. If you have access to Vinous, look up Stephen Tanzer’s “Double Vertical of Geyserville and Lytton Springs” on this topic. These are wines built for the long haul. Cheers!

Red
2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
3/3/2019 - MLipton wrote:
Classic Lytton Springs flavor profile: ripe, plummy fruit and pencil lead with a distinctly tarry nose. First whiff proved to show some oak, but with a bit of air it rounded into form. Still youngish, this has some life ahead of it, but if you like the primary fruit of Zin you should probably think about drinking it up.
  • markydecker commented:

    3/3/19, 6:29 PM - I like the secondary...so my mags will sleep a little longer.

Red
2015 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
3/1/2019 - unrelenting wrote:
89 points
Not ready to drink. Super tight. Doesn't even taste like Zin. Hope this improves.
  • markydecker commented:

    3/1/19, 7:37 PM - These generally need at least 5 years to come around. Best at 10.

Red
2014 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
2/27/2019 - grapenomad wrote:
89 points
Personally, I would have been saddened if Ridge didn’t make it to this tasting. This a true icon of Californian winemaking, a winery that shot to fame after stunning the world by their triumph in the 1976 Judgement of Paris. Today, they continue to amaze with examples as fine as top-quality Bordeaux and Burgundy.

Lytton Springs is “party up front, business in the back”. A blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan and Mataro. Showing lots of unripe fruit on the nose and a bit of a green character in the mouth. Medium complexity. As we were progressing through the fruit bombs, I expected this to be fat, moderately-flamboyant and over-extracted, but instead I get this nuanced, structured, Old World-cellar-smelling and tasting thing which I would EASILY stack up against a solid dare I say, Pauillac or Pessac-Leognan. Not outright Zin character and maybe a bit young, but perfectly integrated on all fronts. God bless America.
  • markydecker commented:

    2/27/19, 3:14 PM - Yes, God bless America indeed. Love these wines.

Red
2013 Alban Vineyards Syrah Seymour's Vineyard Edna Valley
2/13/2019 - 9 and 3/4 wrote:
97 points
enjoyed this with friends pre-college ladies basketball game

hard to say there is anything better out there, but we are non-AFWE :)

deep brooding color, great nose and tastes great, minerality, medicine cabinet, dark berries, unique!
  • markydecker commented:

    2/14/19, 5:59 PM - Non-AFWE?

  • markydecker commented:

    2/16/19, 3:29 PM - That is a GREAT acronym! That means I am non AFWE as well! Love the Alban style...big and hedonistic but somehow still in balance without being over the top. Cheers!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Réserve Champagne Blend
1/25/2019 - Mark Dignam Likes this wine:
92 points
Billecart is one of the very best NV champagnes, and with NV as good as this, I rarely bother with prestige cuvees.
I have a habit of ageing NV champagne for a few years as I like the honeyed, bready complexity it gives. So I have drunk 6 of these over the last year with similar notes, all stored in a wine fridge at 55 degrees. Lovely nose of citrus, honey, quince and toast, very well balanced and refreshing, without the overt sweetness of many NV and with more power and depth than most. A lovely drink any day in balmy Singapore.
  • markydecker commented:

    1/25/19, 9:22 PM - Tastes great in balmy Dallas TX also! Cheers

White
2014 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Meursault Les Narvaux Chardonnay
9/24/2018 - markydecker Likes this wine:
90 points
In Sun Valley over Labor Day, late tasting note. Full bodied and viscous, nose of wet stones and citrus zest. Mineral infused lemon oil, stones and citrus for miles. Very young, confidence is high that 2-3 years in the cellar will bump score up well into the 90’s. Excellent.
  • markydecker commented:

    1/6/19, 6:41 PM - I wager this will be SINGING in ‘22...well played! Cheers :)

White
2016 Kistler Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard Sonoma Coast
12/23/2018 - Otaku Oenophile Likes this wine:
95 points
Best chardonnay and white I've had so far.

Perfect mix of vibrant acidity, lemon peel, chamomile tea and chalky minerality.

It's not lacking in flavor, acidity or complexity.

So sad I only got one =(
  • markydecker commented:

    12/26/18, 8:47 PM - Never get just one :)

Red
2011 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
12/9/2018 - buckeye76 Likes this wine:
94 points
Not my usual tasting note. Home alone tonight, so I opened a half bottle of 2011 Monte Bello with a burger. Deep rich color, though a bit monolithic when opened. However, it completely changed over a couple of hours. Rich fruit, blackberries, black cherries, plums, black currants, leather, and earthiness. Complex wine with a long finish. This was a very good wine from a supposed "weak" vintage.
  • markydecker commented:

    12/10/18, 6:45 PM - 375 of MB + cheeseburger = great night home alone :)

Red
2013 Alban Vineyards Syrah Patrina Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
3/17/2018 - markydecker Likes this wine:
95 points
A baby Reva, this wine delivers excellent QPR. Dense purple, full bodied and lush. Blackberry jam on the nose with some forest floor. Highly concentrated and pushes the limits of extraction, as all Alban wines do, but the acidity keeps it in check. Massive without being overbearing. Perfect match with the short ribs at Elbow Room Fresno. Damn great Syrah....
  • markydecker commented:

    12/9/18, 4:11 PM - I have a pronounced weakness for Alban

Red
2013 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
11/29/2018 - Todd French wrote:
Yes, babykilling...I know...but 'the boss' (my wife) insisted on drinking a Monte Bello if I was to keep buying them vintage after vintage, and this was the first vintage I bought into, and a good 'early drinking' example, so this was it.

Decanted for two hours, no sneak previews whatsoever, and upon first pour the nose was explosive in its perfume, really expressive and unique. There are obvious Cab Sauv/Bordeaux blend characteristics like kirsch, sandalwood, bright red fruits, but there's a really unique quality to it, perhaps fennel? It's one of those aromas that is so complex you need a PhD to outline each specific scent - black, red, and blue fruits, cedar, oak, smokiness (but not too much), heavily tanned saddle leather, and a MASSIVE dose of what I would call nearly-baked sugar cookies - doughy but not raw, parts from both but if you pulled one out you'd get a lot of vanilla but also that toasty cookie goodness. I know this is meant to enjoy in 20 or more years but holy hell is it wonderful right now.
  • markydecker commented:

    11/29/18, 8:08 PM - Sometimes baby killing is fun :)

White
2016 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
11/18/2018 - Vinnut Likes this wine:
92 points
Light golden yellow in color. Full, forward & fragrant nose of ripe fruit aromas of apples, lemons/limes & grapefruit with overtones of floral & mineral notes, stony, some hazelnuts & a subtle hint of vanilla. Medium-light bodied with a very good concentration of well balanced & smooth textured, crisp, ripe fruit flavors of green apples, lemons/lime & some grapefruit, minerals & a slight touch of vanilla. Lingering crisp finish. Drinks quite well at present but given its tight structure, it should continue to develop with further aging. [SRH is correct, this wine needs time to open & develop as it blossoms beautifully.]
  • markydecker commented:

    11/19/18, 5:29 PM - Excellent note, thanks

White
2016 Arnot-Roberts Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
10/27/2018 - srh Likes this wine:
Winebar [4 Whites, 8 Reds, & 12 *shared*, VERY impressive bottles] from 10/26/18 (Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA): 13.5% ABV; 22 barrels made

Note: Be sure to read the addendum to my usual format!

N: A melding of butter & asparagus with notes of lemons

P: LM body; Nice frt met by BRACING, puckerish acidity which is also the defining element of the LONG, tangy finish with OCCASIONAL *glimpses* of bitterness. If ONLY more frt to match the acidity? My VG+, but ONLY for those who *LOVE* acidity. 96 pts Vinous (Galloni) & 93 WA. [This vendor's $39.95 is at least $3 < anyone else currently listed on wine-searcher!]

Addendum: At the behest of budosyu, I gave this another quick try before departing. By then it had probably been in a small tasting glass for pushing 5 hrs -- & I could then "see" there was, in fact, likely the frt to do "long term battle" with this bottling's UNIQUELY (at least for CA) *beautiful* acidity. So... do not, I repeat, do NOT give this bottling short shrift for being WAY out of the CA "mainstream"! Revised scoring: SAFELY my EXC-/EXC, & I think there's at LEAST a chance it will be up 1 or 2 notches in, say, 5 yrs or so -- in addition to being in its own CA league stylistically!
  • markydecker commented:

    11/9/18, 5:41 PM - Excellent TN. Glad that not all California Chardonnay drips with butter...

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