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Comments on my notes

(91 comments on 74 notes)

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Red
2017 Booker Vineyard Syrah Fracture Paso Robles
1/19/2022 - DawgByte wrote:
I opened the wine and poured it in a decanter. I tested the nose and came up empty, so I poured some into a glass to see if anything happened. Nothing, so I sampled it on the palate, same experience. It was like the wine was in a coma. Two and a half hours later I detected hints of red fruit and smoked meats, but I really had to swirl the glass to coax any appreciable aromas. This wine never really opened up. I'm 99% sure it was not a corked bottle and was properly stored in a temperature controlled cellar. It's a shame, because I expected to sample a 92+ point wine.
  • Crunge commented:

    1/20/22, 4:32 PM - Thanks for the note, Dawgbyte. Interesting because Booker is normally approachable young. It could be going through a dumb phase or maybe it was just an off bottle (not corked, as you said, but something.) I had a bottle of this on Halloween evening in 2021 and while I didn't write a tasting note, it was typical Booker for me. Here's hoping your next one delivers as expected.

Red
2015 Keplinger Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
12/27/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
94 points
PnP and consumed over a couple of hours. Already well integrated and delicious. Dark fruits with a hint of cocoa and silky tannins. WOTN for all four of us.
  • Crunge commented:

    12/30/21, 12:38 PM - MJP, you're the Keplinger expert so I'll hold my next bottle to 2025 and try it then. I was pleased with how well this is already drinking, but time will likely improve it even more.

    I'm doing well; how are you doing? As for NYE, nothing too exotic; probably a rustic Chateauneuf (Pegau, most likely.) You?

Red
2013 Keplinger Sumo Amador County Petite Sirah
11/22/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
Full-bodied with blood/iron, black fruits, and a bit of slate. No pepper, which I often get with PS and Syrah.

Smoother than many PS, well integrated, and past the rough stage. Excellent depth and paired perfectly with lamb on the grill. I see no signs of this fading.
  • Crunge commented:

    11/23/21, 5:41 AM - MJP, this was from the recent library release. I bought some of the 2013 originally but had already consumed them all. I don't know your palate but I enjoyed this and feel it's in a good place. Curious to see what you think.

    I also bought some of the Mars so one of those is up tonight.

    I really enjoy the Keplinger wines but I have had numerous issues with their shipping/fulfillment. Have you ever had problems with them?

  • Crunge commented:

    11/24/21, 5:35 AM - MJP, I have had mis-picks, cracked bottles, some items double-shipped and others not shipped at all, and more. Unfortunately, I've had issues getting things resolved as well. So far things have been sorted out eventually but it shouldn't take 2-3 months of promises to fix it "this week."

    On a happier note, last night's 2013 Mars was delicious.

Red
2015 Torrin The Maven Paso Robles Grenache Blend, Grenache
10/14/2021 - morewineplease! Likes this wine:
91 points
Agree with Crunge. All cherries. Found it to be lighter than other Maven years; enjoyable, but not quite the heft of past vintages.
  • Crunge commented:

    10/15/21, 3:18 PM - Thanks for the nod, MWP. I actually found it a bit heftier than you did, so I need to do a small vertical and see what I think of the different years. Overall, I must admit I'm a huge fan of Torrin and might give them the benefit of the doubt at times.

Red
2016 Keplinger Basilisk Russian River Valley Grenache
9/19/2021 - MJP Hou TX Likes this wine:
96 points
Totally blown away by this bottle. Random cellar pull on a Sunday evening and I'm still thinking about this wine. I'm wishing I had more than one more left in the cellar. ugh!

Beautifully expressive nose with cool lifted blues on the palate. Long silky finish with some great structure to keep going. Time in the bottle has added the perfect amount of weight to this wine.

Damn this was good.
  • Crunge commented:

    9/21/21, 7:29 AM - MJP, thanks for the great tasting note. I've been impressed with the last several vintages of Basilisk. So impressed with the 2015 that I bought a 3L of the 2017 when it was available. Have yet to try any Basilisk 2017 so hoping they're as good. I am astounded that this is 100% Grenache; in a blind tasting I'd guess it had a significant amount of Syrah in it.

Red
2018 Booker Vineyard Oublie Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
9/7/2021 - Quiet Lion Likes this wine:
94 points
This is drinking beautifully young and alas, was my only bottle. Juicy ripe mixed fruit on the palate with silky body and fine tannins. I'm rarely disappointed by the regular Booker bottlings but the extended-age cuvees aren't as pleasing; perhaps they need a lot of cellar time that I haven't given them.
  • Crunge commented:

    9/8/21, 1:32 PM - I agree on the 22's (extended age) as I don't enjoy them as much. Like you, I'm guessing I need to let them age more. The regular Booker's are good young, but I find the 22's have more oak than I like, masking the fruit flavors. I'm sticking to the regular wines, which I find to be excellent.

Red
2016 Bevan Cellars Ontogeny Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
8/18/2021 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
95 points
I can see why there are such different opinions on this wine. If you don't treat it right you won't get its best. Obtained just a few days ago on a trip to Austin and flown back in my wine luggage, so some would argue against drinking it right away.....but not me.

1st hour......not very good, tight....restrained on the nose and palate.
2nd hour.....things begin to ease, all over.
3rd hour......fruit emerges, texture smoothes out, wine deepens and power begins to emerge. Dark raspberry/blackberry fruit, great florals on the nose.
4th hour.....the wine peeks. It is balanced, dense, sweet, deep, soft and smooth and swings way above its price point.
5th hour.....still doing well.
6th hour.....things begin to weaken slightly, starts falling apart slightly.

This is NOT Caymus. I HATE Caymus....this is not 'cherry cough syrup', as Caymus often is. This is actually a very good wine, but you must catch it properly to get its best. Every bit a 95 in hours 3-4.
  • Crunge commented:

    8/18/21, 8:20 AM - Mark, thanks for the note. I am one of those that found this to be the "cherry cough syrup" that Caymus is (actually, I'd say vanilla cough syrup, but the point is that it wasn't good.) I have been letting my second bottle age since my first tasting which was clearly one of my biggest wine disappointments. When I do pull the cork, I'll be sure and sample and if it isn't good, I'll taste it once an hour as you recommend. I really want to taste the wine that people on here describe. My first bottle was not it.

  • Crunge commented:

    8/18/21, 8:33 AM - I'd Rather Be Drinking Wine, drink what you like! I love dirty, earthy Southern Rhone wines and have friends that can't stand them. Such is the joy of wine.

    As for me, I used to enjoy Caymus. Then I had the 2012 and it was so over-oaked I couldn't stand it. I called it the 2012 Caymus Vanilla Extract. I know some people that love it, but it's not for me.

  • Crunge commented:

    8/18/21, 4:08 PM - RayT, I'm glad to see someone else that had an identical experience to me with Caymus. Liked it until 2012 when it became a huge disappointment. It was so bad I haven't had a Caymus since. Have you? Are all subsequent vintages made in the same style as the 2012?

Red
2016 Bevan Cellars Ontogeny Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
8/7/2021 - Neecies wrote:
80 points
Here's what I thought of the previous bottle we opened exactly one year ago: "Hypnotic blackberry and graphite nose with concentrated bing cherry and cola spice on the palate. Cashmere texture with backbone, superb length." This year? Opened on a Monday: extracted, sweet, sappy, little to no acidity; put it aside. Retasted several times over next four days, only minor improvements. Finally gave in and drank it on Friday: opaque purple-black, heavy, too sweet, Caymus-like. I have purchased my last Bevan.
  • Crunge commented:

    8/8/21, 8:30 AM - Neecies, "Caymus-like" is exactly what I thought when I tried it. Oak, oak, and more oak. I really wish mine had tasted like what others described, but I thought my first bottles (1 Dec 2019) was like a $9 bottle of bad cab. I'm letting my second bottle sit, hoping for improvement. Based on my first bottle, I just don't get this one.

  • Crunge commented:

    8/9/21, 3:17 PM - Neecies, I haven't had any other Bevan wines. I bought two of these and two of the 2016 Bevan Cellars EE Cuvée Tench Vineyard, which is still sitting and waiting.

    You have certainly given Bevan every chance to impress you. Since I've only ever had one, I'm hoping that my first bottle was off somehow. If that first bottle was truly indicative of Bevan's style, then it is not a good fit for me.

Red
2013 Torrin Akasha Paso Robles Syrah
6/18/2021 - norsktorsk wrote:
96 points
this is ready
  • Crunge commented:

    6/18/21, 8:43 AM - Norsktorsk, I had one Monday night. No review (long story) but I agree it is ready. Excellent wine!

Red
2016 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin Grenache
6/10/2021 - RhoneWho wrote:
97 points
Wow! Can’t believe this is a 100% Grenache wine. Exceeded my expectation what a Grenache can deliver without help from darker varietals (syrah or mourvedre)! Jeb D. is on the money.

In general, 2016 vintage is magical for CDP wines as well as for Alban wines (more notes will be posted) as their tannins are super-fine, rich ripe fruit flavor and sweet floral tone on the nose. The closest Grenache from CA to Janasse Chaupin (or its Vieilles Vignes as it has 10% syrah) is Alban Grenache Estate which has 20% syrah blended. Hence, this speaks loudly for Janasse Chaupin and how did they get blue fruit tone into the wine? 100 years old vines on sandy soil?

2016 Janasse Cuvee Chaupin is absolutely enjoyable, elegant and harmoniously balanced with beautiful dark color juice (ahem wine)!


Bouquet: Fairly aromatics with sweet/candy, ripe rich red and blue fruits intermixed aroma with hints of Asian spice and bouquet garni.


Palate: Weightless yet full bodied ripe red (cherry) and dark/blue (blackberry) fruits flavor intermixed with subtle cocoa/leather and herbs.

Texture: Seamless super-fine tannins with good acidity masked under juicy rich fruit flavor; yet it is velvety.

My recent project is to experience 100% Grenache wines from the 2016 vintage but there ain’t many out there to get hold of. The project involves Pierre Usseglio Mon Aieul, Alban Pandora (I think Alban is the only major super-star out there making 100% Grenache in CA) and Horsepower Sur Enchalas (but stylistically so distinctly different from all others) – will post my notes over time.

This wine may gain more concentration and the nose become more aromatics with more time in the cellar and may hit 99+. Factoring QPR and blue fruit tone in 100% grenache, this is a solid 97+!

Keywords: Balance, Rich, Delicious, QPR

Scoring range: 97-99
  • Crunge commented:

    6/10/21, 4:05 PM - Check out Keplinger Basilisk and Torrin The Maven. Unfortunately The 2016 Maven isn't 100% Grenache but the 2017 is. I know, that breaks your project, but...

  • Crunge commented:

    6/10/21, 5:27 PM - While I am a huge Torrin fan, the Basilisk is the wine to grab here. It's consistently good and I have a 3L of the 2017 sleeping away. I think you'll enjoy enjoy any vintage you can find. I'm always surprised there is no Syrah in it.

  • Crunge commented:

    6/11/21, 7:47 PM - RhoneWho, I LOVE the Mon Aieul. Haven't had the 2016 yet but fell in love with the 2010. Have one more 2006 and the 2015 and 2016 vintages waiting while I slowly drink the 2010.

Red
2016 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Trois Sources Red Rhone Blend
3/16/2021 - alber_tones Likes this wine:
95 points
My first of 16 bottles and believe it for not, my first CDP. This was an unforgiving tannic monster upon opening and a good 8 hour slow ox really did it some good. I have nothing to really compare this against but I did almost forget and think I was drinking an opulent $100+ Napa cab at one point. The high tannins along with the strong acidic backbone likely entails a long life ahead. I’ll give the next bottle another year or two and now I really can’t wait to open one of the 2016 Reserves.
  • Crunge commented:

    3/17/21, 8:52 AM - Alber_Tones, welcome to the wonderful world of CdP. Julienne makes some awesome CdP and you started with a great vintage.

    If you're going to explore CdP, there are many excellent ones to try. Two of my favorites are the Pegau Reserve (their "normal" CdP) and the Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Cuvée de mon Aïeul. The Pegau is incredibly earthy and not for everyone, but it's one of my favorites.

Red
2016 Keplinger Hangman's Carneros Syrah
2/19/2021 - YankeeRobio Likes this wine:
96 points
Blueberry, fennel, crushed stone, sweet anise, white pepper. Very nice wine.
  • Crunge commented:

    2/20/21, 6:51 AM - Yankee, I’ve been holding off on this based on the drinking window here on CT, but your reviews have me second-guessing that decision. Did you decant? Did you pair with food?

    And of course, thanks for the note!

Red
2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Not For You Red Rhone Blend
2/15/2021 - shadow wrote:
100 points
What to drink with a very rare gourmet cheese burger, sides of fries and bacon.
Its not for you, but was a hit with the Varsity club.
Enjoyed with a set of average 100 pointers, this girl stood out.
It wasn't the leather under garments or the smoky nose that grabbed me, it was the long long long wet kiss.
Chasing CDP down to its well spring.
Balanced like perfect SQN, rich and decadent like a smoky strip club before they were sanitized.
That perfect feeling, easy 100 pts
  • Crunge commented:

    2/15/21, 11:41 AM - Shadow, I have one of these. Only one. I am looking forward to tasting it and when I do, I'm hoping to find that "long long long wet kiss."

Red
2013 Hartwell Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve Stags Leap District
12/23/2020 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
The flavors are excellent but muted compared to the previous bottle, costing this a couple of points. Red fruit and a bit of cola and oak, with prominent tannins. No spice or earth in this particular bottle.
  • Crunge commented:

    2/14/21, 8:02 PM - Mark, thanks for the comment. I had a 2013 in March 2020 and loved it, but the one in December, while good, was not the same as the one in March. I guess I'll sit on the remaining ones and see if they come back.

    i don't have any of the 2014; maybe I'll find some and try it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Crunge commented:

    2/14/21, 8:25 PM - Mark, great point on the 13's. I remember 2013 being hailed as one of the all-time great CA vintages. I've had some good 13's, but I've had some rather pedestrian 13's as well.

Red
2014 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
2/5/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
Two hours in the decanter and it didn't last more than an hour once we started drinking. Red and black fruits and just enough minerality to support the fruit. Smooth tannins and just a pleasure to drink. Paired with charcuterie but would be perfect by itself. I appreciate Dunn bucking the trend and keeping the alcohol in check so the fruit can shine.
  • Crunge commented:

    2/13/21, 9:44 AM - ABECellar, I agree that they are approachable younger than they used to be. When I started buying Dunn, everyone told me not to touch one until it was at least ten years old. But, I found this 2014 ready to go with that two-hour decant. It was delicious.

Red
2017 Booker Vineyard Grenache The Ripper Paso Robles
Ok, WOW!. Not many times recently I have been surprised by a wine...in a good way. Huge Paso fan, but I have never tried Booker wines. Opened this tonight and was blown away. Haven't drank many Grenache wines before, but this one was amazing. This wine starts out like a Turley Zin, huge fruit and big flavor. Instead of continuing on the fruitbomb path, it takes a right turn and finishes completely dry. Love this wine. Glad I have five more. Joining their club to try more of their offerings!
  • Crunge commented:

    2/9/21, 6:39 AM - I got on the Booker train after my first bottle as well. I just had the 2016 Ripper 3 days ago and in my note said that Jensen is doing some great work in Paso. I’ve liked everything I’ve had from him so far (although my wife doesn’t care for the Tempranillo.) Thanks for the note and enjoy your other bottles.

Red
2015 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
2/7/2021 - cubswinws wrote:
Muted and seemingly closed. Never really opened up even after several hours. Will wait awhile on the next one.
  • Crunge commented:

    2/8/21, 2:16 PM - I've had this twice and had the same experience with both bottles. I read the reviews of it being a big wine and was sadly disappointed. It smelled like Pegau but tasted more like water.

Red
2016 Realm Cellars The Bard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/31/2020 - Crunge wrote:
96 points
As bad as 2020 was, I wanted to send it out the door while drinking a good bottle, and this didn't disappoint. Decanted for 2.5 hours and consumed over 90 minutes, every sip was delicious. Blackberry, cocoa, and a touch of tea with silky tannins. The tea was a bit more prominent at the end, but no complaints. This is fantastic and my wife said we need to buy more.
  • Crunge commented:

    12/31/20, 5:56 PM - Wren, she's always right. I learned that long ago!

  • Crunge commented:

    1/1/21, 11:51 AM - Mark, it is my first Bard ever and it is a fantastic wine.

Red
2015 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
12/22/2020 - Crunge wrote:
Seeking help here. As I experienced with my previous bottle, and Cab_Fran, Cbuhlman, and Swapdoc reported, this was another lightweight. It was better than my previous bottle but still easily the weakest vintage of Pegau I've had. It just tastes completely watered down, like taking the weak 2011 vintage and diluting it with water.

So... What can cause this? Someone told me heat damage, but that usually leads to stewed flavors and this has so little flavor I would actually welcome stewed fruits. All advice is appreciated.
  • Crunge commented:

    12/22/20, 3:52 PM - JBrandst, I don't want to throw the store under the bus as it may not be their fault. I got them from a well-known vendor in New York that starts with an 'S.' I've ordered from them for years and never had an issue. But, these bottles are clearly not the same as what others are drinking and I am wondering whether or not to contact them.

  • Crunge commented:

    12/23/20, 3:00 PM - AR, you might be correct. My concern about my bottles is that most people are reporting this wine is big and bold. I guess I will have to let the bottles sit another few years to know for sure, but right now this is the most disappointing wine in my cellar.

Red
2015 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
11/16/2020 - cbuhlman wrote:
much better than the first bottle we had a year ago.
a little sweaty saddle on the first sips but thankfully receded to allow sweet cherry garrigue tinged fruit to shine. a little savory as well and quite delicious with a moderately long spicy berry ester finish.
90-91
  • Crunge commented:

    12/5/20, 9:56 AM - I missed this when you first posted it, but it's good to see. My first bottle of this was so disappointing (thin, almost flavorless) that I've been hesitant to try another. Maybe it's time to give it another shot.

Red
2010 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes Red Rhone Blend
12/1/2020 - randyjc wrote:
98 points
I was in the presence of greatness with this wine. With a friend we drank this and the 2010 Janasse Chaupin side by side and spent over an hour with them. Fabulous. This wine is particularly spectacular and has many years ahead. I wrote in my notes that the wine “does not have an expiration date in my lifetime.” The nose is sweet flowers, spice and black currant. On the front end it is smooth black fruit, a blackberry compote sort of thing. There is a remarkable lushness and depth to the black fruit, earth and charcoal. On the finish, the wine is dark, dark, dark - chocolate, Turkish coffee, tar and charcoal. The tannins are long and chalky. Truly an exceptional wine.
  • Crunge commented:

    12/2/20, 10:01 AM - Thanks for the notes on this and the Chaupin. I have one bottle of each and plan on drinking them together as you did.

Red
2012 Torrin Akasha Paso Robles Syrah
11/27/2020 - jaumealaska Likes this wine:
95 points
PnP and drunk over 2 days. Purple with some lightening at the rim but fully extracted by appearance. Expressive nose of blueberries, some plum and touch of licorice and tobacco. Purity of fruit is impressive with balanced round tannins and acidity. Long finish. Nose slightly more expressive and savory notes more noticeable on day 2
  • Crunge commented:

    11/28/20, 9:34 AM - Great note, and good to find another Rhone fan that also loves Torrin.

Red
2014 K Vintners The Boy Washington Grenache
11/21/2020 - Lemari Does not like this wine:
86 points
Little to no nose. Few if any notable flavors. And a finish that disappears faster than a thief in the night. First prize for what may be the most nondescript juice I've tasted of late. You can do better, far better. Avoid this one.
  • Crunge commented:

    11/22/20, 6:09 AM - Exactly the experience I had with this wine. I don't understand it; I'm a big fan of The Hidden and The Beautiful, so was excited to try a Grenache from Smith and it is like drinking red-colored water. This wine and The Creator have made me question my admiration of Smith's work.

Red
2013 Mithra Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder
I was surprised to see 49 bottles consumed and not a single note. After having this, I think I understand why.

The wine was consumed over two days, and I will start by saying that both my wife and I thought it was good, but certainly not great. Neither my wife nor I could identify a single fruit flavor. She described it as "dark... something." I kept trying to find blackberries, plum, cherries, currants, anything, but never could identify a single fruit. My overwhelming flavors were cola with a background of tea. Oak was more noticeable on day two, but still rather restrained.

I will let my other bottle age for several years. I hope this is just in a dumb phase. It's one of the most confusing wines I've ever had. When we finished it on day 2, we followed it up with a 2012 Dunn Howell Mountain, which was better than this wine in every respect.
  • Crunge commented:

    10/6/20, 9:32 PM - Too young is my guess. The 2012 is excellent but this one was just lacking in many ways. It wasn't bad, just nondescript at this point. Certainly not a fruit bomb.

Red
2015 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul Grenache
8/22/2020 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
In an earlier review I called this wine “the precocious little brother (or sister) of the mammoth 2016,” and that description really holds up quite well. Yes, that is how good it is. It possesses crazy amounts of ripeness, freshness, power and grip, and everything is deftly layered and balanced to produce a wine masterpiece. When directly compared with the 2016, the 2015 seems slightly smaller scaled yet equally compelling and delicious. I hasten to add that it is drinking beautifully at the moment and I anticipate at least a decade of positive development ahead. And lastly, I cannot believe it can still be had for a bargain price. 98 solid points.
  • Crunge commented:

    8/22/20, 2:52 PM - Wine Fool, great note. Question: did you decant, and if so, how long? I am a huge fan of the 2010 and have been holding off on the 2015 and 2016 so far. Thanks!

Red
2017 Torrin The Banshee Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
8/14/2020 - Crunge wrote:
No rating on this bottle because the wine isn't ready for a pop and pour. Closed and disjointed. What flavors were present were heavy towards earth, herbs, and spice over fruit, but this wine needs a decent decant if opening now. Hold.
  • Crunge commented:

    8/15/20, 9:44 AM - That's a good idea, JRockEsq. It really needed air. I've found the Torrin Le Devoir to be excellent, even on a PnP. The Banshee wasn't ready and would have benefited from a nice decant or by trying your suggestion.

Red
2015 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
1/15/2020 - cbuhlman wrote:
SWAPDOC absolutely nailed the review of this wine. with all credit going to him...
" disappointing wine. Could not find traditional southern Rhone characteristics in this wine -- tasted none of the hot earth, olives, raspberry, lavender. More of a slick, generic, polished Italian merlot. The fruit tasted under-ripe, thin, and covered up by slightly astringent wood tannins. Didn't feel like more years of cellaring would magically endow this wine with what is lacking now"-- a sense of place.

This is by far the worst Pegau I've had..and this based on 2 different bottles. Not sure what they're doing over at Pegau, but this is nothing like
2001, 2007 or 2009

87-88
  • Crunge commented:

    7/25/20, 8:40 AM - CB, it's now four reviews like this (you, Swapdoc, Afot, and me.) The word "thin" is used to describe this and that's exactly it. Is there some kind of bottle damage that can kill all the fruit? Heat, cold, something else? It smelled like a Pegau but had almost no flavor.

    Did you buy chance buy yours from a US based retailer that starts with an 'S'?

  • Crunge commented:

    7/25/20, 9:59 AM - Owl, I get that. Most descriptions here sound like a really good Pegau. However, the bottle I had was exactly what CB described, and as I point out, there are now four descriptions describing it as thin and having little flavor. I'm wondering if some set of bottles was damaged somehow.

Red
2016 Torrin Akasha Paso Robles Syrah
7/10/2020 - Roger Patterson wrote:
92 points
Big and balanced with dried meat, pepper and acid to balance. At tasting room with Toni.
  • Crunge commented:

    7/12/20, 7:50 PM - Roger, do you think this is ready to go? The drinking window on here is 3.5 years away. I love Akasha but haven't had a 2016 yet. Thanks!

  • Crunge commented:

    7/14/20, 12:24 PM - Roger, JRock, thanks for the comments. You've both convinced me to try one early. I was surprised to see the 2024 start date being recommended here because most Torrin aren't pushed so far out, but I must say the 2012 and 2013 Akasha are both excellent today.

Red
2013 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
5/5/2020 - wineotim Likes this wine:
94 points
Met my usual Dunn expectations, good structure and firmness, long finish, very dry. Not much on complexity yet, but delicious nonetheless. Not up to par with the 2010 though.
  • Crunge commented:

    5/6/20, 11:40 AM - Wineotim, thanks for the note, especially the comparison to the 2010. I put a review in for the 2012 a few weeks ago and said I enjoyed it nearly as much as the 2010. It's been a bit over two years since I had my last 2010... I'm thinking it's time to try again.

Red
2016 Torrin The Banshee Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
4/24/2020 - Tyler C Likes this wine:
95 points
Just keeps getting better. I have such a man crush on Torrin right now. The accessible Saxum IMHO.
  • Crunge commented:

    4/26/20, 7:00 AM - Big Torrin fan here too. My wife and I both love our Torrin wines. If you haven’t seen it, Torrin just started a YouTube channel. Scott and Viquel taste the 2017 spring release and my wife and I had to try the Le Devior after watching it. The link is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbwQi2B9-jI1m9rW5pCCu3w

Red
2015 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
4/6/2020 - Crunge wrote:
Not yet ready, and I'm concerned about where it might be headed. While it smelled like a Pegau, it was thin, light, and unimpressive. Very little fruit and nothing distinctive. Pales next to the 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2010. I hope it picks up weight with age.
  • Crunge commented:

    4/9/20, 2:11 PM - Thanks for the comment, thesternowl. I certainly hope it was a flawed bottle. I am a huge Pegau fan and have 12 more of these (one is a 3L) and I was disappointed by the weakness of this bottle, especially in such a strong vintage. I drank a 2010 early and was impressed, and I expected the same here. I didn't score it because I felt it could be an off bottle. CBUHLMAN and SWAPDOC have reported the same thing, so perhaps there are just some bad bottles out there.

Red
2016 Bevan Cellars Ontogeny Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
12/1/2019 - Crunge wrote:
I drank this on 1 Dec 2019 and wasn't going to review, but as I continue to see positive scores and reviews roll in, I have to ask: Why didn't mine taste like what others describe? My bottle was all oak, completely masking whatever fruit it may have. It honestly reminded me of a $9 California cab that tries to use oak to cover up bad juice. I only bought two so I'll let the other age for 5+ years before I even think of opening.
  • Crunge commented:

    12/15/19, 5:39 PM - Wren, thanks for the comment. I was excited to try this (my first ever Bevan) and didn't get anything other than oak from it. My wife said it was "ok" which is pretty underwhelming. It sounds like it was an off bottle, which is why I didn't score it (I would have given it an 80, at best.) Perhaps you're right and I should drink the second bottle sooner rather than later; I had just thought I'd give it time and hope some of the overwhelming oak faded.

  • Crunge commented:

    12/22/19, 12:21 PM - Tward, thanks for the comment. I have had a few California cabs lately, including: 2015 Keplinger Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Ranch, 2015 Vineyard 29 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, 2014 Trujillo Wines Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Hartwell Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve, 2015 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon The Pact, 2013 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Kathryn Hall, and 2012 Bacio Divino Cabernet Sauvignon Janzen Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard. I have enjoyed them all. My problem with this wine was that it was all oak; I couldn't tell you a thing about the fruit because I couldn't taste any. I am going to assume I had an off bottle because the other reviews are so different. Also, although I didn't mention it, my wife was completely unimpressed with the Ontogeny too.

    I will say that based on your comment, and the one from wren460, I'll probably change my time horizon to 2-3 years. My hope is that, if this other bottle is also an oak bomb, some of that oak will fade.

Red
2017 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul Grenache
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
The black raspberries and garrigue in the nose start the show. But it is on the full, lush, deep, spicy, opulent palate that you find the wines true, black raspberry, pepper, jam, licorice and herb filled character. There is length, freshness and complexity found here. This should age quite well. The wine is made with 100% old vine Grenache.
  • Crunge commented:

    9/26/19, 3:21 PM - Jeff, I have a number of the 2010's, 2015's, and 2016's. I've only tasted the 2010 and it's one of my favorites. Can you tell me how you feel the 2017 compares to other years?

    Thanks for the note (and your many others.)

Red
2009 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Laurence Red Rhone Blend
6/28/2019 - Cailles wrote:
96 points
Like most 2009 CDPs this is in a very good drinking spot right now. Not so hot, ripe and extracted as 2001, 2005 or 2007s and more ready than the 2010s which need more time to soften and open up. Perfectly fine example dominated by the softness of Grenache along tertiary and some brett aromatics (which you have to like). Still quite some aromatic pressure but embedded in a very fine frame.

TN: Lots of barnyard funk, earth, leather and red fruit on the nose. On the palate additional aromas of herbs and savoury meaty notes but with a strong core of red fruit. Not to sweet or fruity, not to ripe, dominated by the grape and terroir expression. Nice intensity, medium+ delineation, very good length and lots of very fine tannins. Wonderful harmonious and a treat to drink right now.

Decanting: From double magnum. No decant needed. Was singing from the get-go.
  • Crunge commented:

    7/5/19, 4:39 AM - Cailles, thanks for the note. All I have is one magnum of this and I've been wondering if it is ready to drink. While I may still hold for a while, it's good to know this is in a good spot and I won't feel guilty if I open it soon.

Red
2012 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
8/21/2018 - henryd1 Does not like this wine:
89 points
This was a big let down. Served with friends who expect me to bring decent wine and no one paid this any attention at all. It may just be closed but no other tasters seemed to have come to that conclusion. In any case, as it stands, it's really quite non-descript. Quite full bodied, dark colour for a CNDP, generally quite mute... My recommendation would be HOLD, but without any great hope it'll ever turn into a decent wine. I seriously hope my 2015 is a step up as this is at present much worse than my 2012 bois du boursan at less than 1/3 the price. 89+
  • Crunge commented:

    8/22/18, 7:41 AM - Henry, how familiar are you with Clos des Papes? I've had the 07, 09, 10, and 12, and I just don't get the scores given here on CT. I love CdP, but Clos des Papes always leaves me underwhelmed. I think it just doesn't fit my flavor profile, and I wonder if it's the same for you. Anyway, thanks for the tasting note (and like you, I have some of the 15 and am hoping it is an improvement... if not, I'll quit buying Clos des Papes.)

Red
2015 Keplinger Mars Moon Mountain District Red Rhone Blend
5/1/2018 - YankeeRobio Likes this wine:
94 points
Great GSM. Blueberry, anise, cassis. Rutherford dust mouthfeel. Decadent wine
  • Crunge commented:

    5/2/18, 6:43 AM - Thanks for the note. Did you decant? Do you feel it's ready to drink? I ask because Helen normally makes wines for aging, but I've had several vintages of Mars while still young and they have all been excellent.

Red
2012 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Few and Far Between Napa Valley
3/16/2018 - SAS54 Likes this wine:
98 points
It is the olive finish. No one but JW does it right.
  • Crunge commented:

    3/17/18, 10:28 AM - SAS54, did you decant this? If so, how long? Thanks.

Red
2012 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
12/10/2017 - Double-A wrote:
85 points
Ruby colour. Fruit-centric, dark berry nose. Med-full-bodied palate; dark, ripe berry finish.
3/5

*sampled from 375mL bottle as a vertical tasting: 1990, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2012
  • Crunge commented:

    12/18/17, 11:20 AM - How did this compare to others in the vertical? Do you think it can improve with age?

Red
2014 K Vintners The Boy Washington Grenache
12/18/2017 - CMz Does not like this wine:
88 points
The 2014 The Boy Grenache Syrah blend was the first disappointing entry in an otherwise stellar series of the new 2014 releases. A light ruby in the glass that portends the emerging overall perception of thinness and lack of substance on the palate. The nose is a lovely Grenache varietal montage of red berries, smokey Prime Rib, leather and flowery notes that continue into a light but distinct mix of berries and smokey meats on the palate. The wine seems almost too light to support the sense of high alcohol and acidity which disrupts any finesse to this bottle. The finish is smooth and lingers - perhaps the only part of this wine i actually enjoyed - unfortunately delivering only on the finish is not enough to swing my score into the 90's - it's just not there now. Perhaps with some age in the cellar this one will come into it's own. If you already own it, lay it down; otherwise move on to some of the other stunning K 2014 releases.
  • Crunge commented:

    12/18/17, 11:17 AM - CMZ, you are spot on. I've had three bottles of this and it's thin and light; nothing like other K wines and a shadow of what Grenache can be. I'm letting my other bottles rest for several years, but I don't know if it can beef up any or not.

Red
2009 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Laurence Red Rhone Blend
5/19/2017 - WineWimpie wrote:
96 points
An explosion from what we call in Belgium 'cuberdon candy' smell: a mix of raspberry and menthol (pharmaceutical) aroma. The complexity on the nose increases with time in the glass/decanter to include more spices. Beautiful soft tannins and enjoyable acidity are intermixed with nice fruit flavours. Wow! Already very enjoyable but will improve further ...cuvée Laurence seems to be the Top cuvée in the off-Da Capo years and I like this, because the price is much more accessible!
  • Crunge commented:

    5/19/17, 2:07 PM - Thanks for the note. I just have one bottle, a magnum, so I'll let it sleep a few more years per your comment on further improvement.

Red - Sweet/Dessert
1959 Antonio Ferrari Solaria Jonica Puglia IGT Primitivo, Zinfandel
2/23/2017 - bablues wrote:
96 points
Finally had the opportunity to open this and I was amazed. Such a deep concentrated nose and palate. The grip on the finish is truly outstanding. Hopefully more will become available and very sorry I didn't pull the trigger on multiples of this when they were available.
  • Crunge commented:

    2/24/17, 3:18 PM - One of my favorites. Currently No Limit Fine Wines has some in stock. I've had good luck with No Limit but otherwise I have no affiliation.

Red
2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Alberdi Reserva Tempranillo
2/14/2017 - shleepy Likes this wine:
90 points
Dark ruby (but not super dark or with any orange tinging at the edges that I can see). Fresh dill on the nose. A lot more dill and vanilla in the taste. I think Rioja Alta's policy is that there can never be enough American oak. Ever. The mouthfeel is very smooth, somehow. For an oak bomb, it somehow feels... light bodied? Maybe all this dill is just making me crazy.
EDIT: About an hour or two after opening, I noticed that the wine gained quite a bit of complexity, with dark berry/fruit notes. I recommend keeping it open for a little while.
  • Crunge commented:

    2/18/17, 7:08 AM - Thanks for the review. I like a touch of American oak, but only a bit. Your comment about this being an oak bomb convinced me to stay away.

Red
2008 Clarendon Hills Astralis Shiraz Blend, Syrah
10/1/2016 - bonedoc wrote:
96 points
Perfect pairing for grilled ahi tuna, ponzu, fried rice.
  • Crunge commented:

    10/1/16, 8:19 PM - Awesome pairing. Sorry your other bottle was flawed.

Red
2009 Lapostolle Clos Apalta Colchagua Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
1/16/2016 - Bam_Man Likes this wine:
94 points
Brought with us to Seared 1200 Chophouse in St. Pete Beach ($10 corkage). We gave this almost an hour of air time and that seemed to be enough. Shows a pretty - though subtle nose of crushed dark berries, earth and a hint of cassis. An attractive dark crimson in color, right up to the edge. Full-bodied and rich, but not over done. So incredibly velvety in texture. Bursting with delicious, mouth-watering plum, boysenberry and dark currant fruit, backed by a moderate acidity. Displays excellent depth and intensity, without an excessive amount of weight. Finishes extremely long, with loads of ripe, sweet fruit, and hints of oak, violets and spice. The tannins are fully-integrated and silky smooth. Big, rich and delicious - yet so balanced and refined. Mostly Carmenere, but drinks very much like a fine Bordeaux. A gorgeous wine that paired beautifully with our Porterhouse for two. 94+
50+5+12+18+9=94
  • Crunge commented:

    1/17/16, 7:48 AM - Bam_man, can you explain the scoring system you use? I've seen it a few times but don't know what each number means. Thanks.

    And yes, great note.

  • Crunge commented:

    1/17/16, 1:10 PM - Thanks! I'd figured out the 50 but wasn't sure on the others.

Red
2012 Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
11/29/2015 - Mech-E Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted 4 hours. Poured inky black and viscous. Drank next to the 2012 Mount Veeder.

Nose is more impressive than the palate but the mouthfeel is insane here. Oak is present and maybe too in the forefront, similar to the Veeder, but is more in balance than the less expensive Veeder.

Fruit is more upfront here as well. Tannins are also less severe but certainly could get this puppy through till 2020 and beyond.
  • Crunge commented:

    11/29/15, 8:15 PM - Thanks for this and the Mount Veeder review. I have six of each on the way and am looking forward to them.

Red
2011 Torrin The Banshee Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
11/26/2015 - rustyRudy Likes this wine:
96 points
Blind Syrah tasting followed by retasting after being open for several hours. Big wine, filled with some red fruit, but more blueberry and dark fruit, black olive, cinnamon, and desperately needing the extra time to open up. Decant if you drink now. Was my favorite in the blind tasting.
  • Crunge commented:

    11/26/15, 7:11 AM - I have both this and the Saxum Broken Stones in my cellar so it was nice to see your notes on both.

    Have you ever tried a Torrin Akasha? Give that a try if you haven't.

Red
2013 Relic Wines Petite Sirah Old Vines Napa Valley
11/6/2015 - tfharris Likes this wine:
92 points
Very young and needs some time in bottle. However, day 2, it had mellowed and was delicious. This is a great wine.
  • Crunge commented:

    11/6/15, 3:38 PM - Thanks for the note. I've been a big fan of the Relic PS since tasting the 2009. I have 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 sitting in the cellar, and can't wait to do a (slightly broken) vertical.

Red
2010 Torrin Akasha Paso Robles Syrah
9/27/2015 - Cow Town wrote:
flawed
Corked. Ugh.
  • Crunge commented:

    9/27/15, 10:41 AM - Cow Town, what a shame. That's a great wine, and to have one corked... ugh.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
8/19/2015 - WineGuyFL Does not like this wine:
82 points
I bought 6 bottles of this late last year and have been watching the bifurcated reviews with interest. I had a glass of this wine at a dinner from a bottle brought by another guest to a party a few months back. That glass merited a rating of 93-95. The bottle I had tonight was syrup.....awful stuff. If the cause is my wine room, how do you explain that I opened a bottle of top cabernet a couple of nights ago, and it was terrific? That bottle has been in my wine room for years, not months. I have also had at least 3 other bottles of various reds over the past ten days from my wine room that have been up to expectations. Only one of those bottles have been in my wine room for less time that the bottle of Caymus I opened tonight. The source for my bottles is a reliable retailer from which I have purchased countless bottles without incident. I find it hard to blame their storage or shipping based on this past experience. I have had my share of wine that tired before the time forecast by the pro reviewers. I have had bad corks (in fact had one over the past couple of weeks with a French white Burgundy). I have kept a few bottles too long that were tiring when I drank them.......my fault. My experience tonight was none of the above.....what I drank was not really wine. I can conjure up a handful of explanations of how this all happened, but they all center on Caymus, storage of a large part of the production before shipment, and, possibly the transportation of a large part of the 2012 production. I do not believe the bad reviews come from people who mistreated the bottles, are bad reviewers, or just do not really like the style of cabernet associated with Caymus. I hope that Caymus is trying to understand what got off the rails here.
  • Crunge commented:

    8/20/15, 6:14 AM - WineGuyFL, it isn't your storage. I've had two bottles and they were very different. The first was a disgusting purple vanilla extract, and the second was a decent, but pedestrian, wine. Nothing like the Caymus I've enjoyed for 20+ years. I won't be buying any more of the 2012, nor will I buy the 2013, at least until I've tasted it several times. I'm not sure how Caymus managed to mess up the 2012 so badly, but shame on them. And how Parker gave this a 96 is beyond me.

  • Crunge commented:

    8/30/15, 5:08 PM - robertdtwo, you're certainly correct about Howell Mountain. Dunn, Cade, O'Shaughnessy, Robert Craig, and many others are producing amazing cab savs from Howell Mountain.

    As for the Caymus, some people on here give it 95-100 points. I'm glad they like it, and they'll be happy that I'm not buying any, so they will have more available.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
Finally got to drink a bottle and I now understand the see-saw of opinions about this wine. Personally, I hated the wine, but I can see why some people love it! "artificial" would be the best word I can use to describe this wine. Felt like I was drinking a glass of Welchs grape juice mixed with root beer. Going to age my other bottle to see if somehow magic happens and it becomes worthy of it's anniversary tag.
  • Crunge commented:

    8/11/15, 7:16 PM - Couldn't agree more. A manipulated, over-oaked train wreck. I have been drinking Caymus for over 20 years but this vintage has ruined me on it.

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