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Tasting Notes for Crunge

(280 notes on 229 wines)

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Red
1/2/2022 - Crunge Likes this wine:
95 points
Nearly five years since my last bottle and this has come along well. Modern style; totally clean with no earth. Cherries (as expected) but also with cocoa, which is something I've never had in a Grenache before (that's a Cab Sav flavor for me.)

Full-bodied, dense, and with a long finish. Delicious.
Red
12/31/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
91 points
Six years since my last note. Lighter than the typical Pegau and starting to show a bit of age. It has all the Pegau hallmarks: funk, cherries, blood, and barnyard, just in smaller amounts than the great vintages. A touch of sourness mars the finish.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/28/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
Delicious black fruit flavors and more spice than the previous night's wine (2015 Keplinger Cab.) A bit rustic with some baking spice/tar but they balance beautifully with blackberries and black raspberries. I got into Relic for their Petite Sirah and have grown to appreciate their cabs.
Red
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.
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
12/29/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
91 points
Similar to the April bottle but with less menthol on the nose. Blackberries, dark cherries, and blueberries in this full-bodied wine, and with enough earth to match the fruit. Tannins are more noticeable in this bottle than the previous one. Recommend a decant or hold for now.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/24/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
Tried a sip on open at cellar temp and found it a bit muted, but it showed promise. Decanted for an hour and consumed over the next hour. Some dark cherries and plenty of pepper and earth in this full-bodied wine.

Even though it's young, this seemed well integrated and was enjoyable. I will let remaining bottles age a bit as I suspect it will improve.
Red
2018 Marietta Cellars Christo Sonoma County Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
12/20/2021 - Crunge wrote:
90 points
Decent for the price. Full-bodied and the tannins are currently a bit harsh. Dark fruits and some pepper but the alcohol is noticeable as well.
Red
2017 Torrin The Maven Paso Robles Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
12/20/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
A year since the last bottle. On a PnP, the metallic aroma I experienced with the previous bottle was barely detectable in this one so it has faded nicely in the past year. The wine has also picked up significant weight since last year. Blackberry, slate, and alcohol are the dominate flavors. The tannins are still prominent so additional aging or a decant will serve this wine well.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/19/2021 - Crunge wrote:
I was excited to try this based on Yankeerobio's notes, and I've had several vintages of this wine and always enjoyed it. Unfortunately, this bottle disappointed and will not be scored as it was not a typical Keplinger. The first glass was a PNP at cellar temp and the wine was cloying. I let it sit for an hour and after it had warmed up and breathed, it gained some spice and lost some (but not enough) of the sweetness. I've had corked wine and cooked wine; is there a flaw that can cause excessive sweetness?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/10/2021 - Crunge wrote:
92 points
First glass was a PnP at cellar temp, while the rest was consumed over two hours. The first glass was the best, showing cocoa, dark fruits, oak, and just a touch of minerality. Unfortunately, as it either warmed up, got air, or both, the oak/vanilla came to the front. While drinking our last glass, my wife and I both commented on how prevalent the oak had become.

I wish I knew that aging for several more years would tame the oak, but given that it came to the fore over the two hours instead of fading, I am unsure that aging will help. A good wine but given the price, the QPR certainly isn't there today.
Red
12/4/2021 - Crunge Does not like this wine:
82 points
After the disaster that was the previous bottle, this one showed me that there is at least a wine in this bottle. Not a good one, but at least it was made with grapes. Still not sure about that previous bottle...

Consumed one glass on a PnP, second glass on day three after being sealed under vacuvin. This had the cherries you'd expect with Grenache, but it has an odd, medicinal flavor to it and finishes with a flat, artificial note. While drinkable (barely) it has one of the worst QPRs of any wine I've had; this should be a $7 bottle of wine. How WA gave it 94-96 is beyond comprehension.
Red
11/27/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
94 points
PnP at cellar temp and consumed over a couple of hours. Such a great Pegau. The fruit and funk are in perfect harmony; some of that old wood, manure, and garrigue combines with cherries and raspberries. It's an earthy wine that offers many layers of complexity. Aging well and many years ahead.

The 2003 Pegau was my first ever CdP and turned me into a huge fan. This bottle reinforces that love of Southern Rhone wines, and Pegau in particular.
8 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Keplinger Mars Moon Mountain District Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
11/23/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
Unlike the 2013 Sumo from the previous night, this one is starting to show its age just a bit. The color is tinged with brown.

The nose and palate lead with cherries and other red fruit. The fruit has faded a touch from my last bottle 3.5 years ago. More slate and earth is coming through now. Still in a good place and enjoyable, but I will drink my remaining bottles in the next two years.
Red
2013 Keplinger Sumo Amador County Petite Sirah (view label images)
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.
2 people found this helpful Comments (5)
Red
11/21/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
91 points
Typical Pegau flavors, just lighter than the meaty vintages like the 2010. Leads with funk and has raspberry cola backing it up. A nice introduction to Pegau to see if someone likes this earthy, stinky wine.

Side note: when I started dating my now-wife, she said she liked "earthy." I opened a 2003 Pegau and she loved it. That told me I had a winner, and we continue to enjoy the rustic, barnyard quality of Pegau.
4 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2016 Long Shadows Wineries Pirouette Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/20/2021 - Crunge wrote:
92 points
Last bottle was a year ago and I made a mental note that it wasn't ready. A year later and it's showing nice evolution. Coming together well with some cocoa and dark fruit on the palate and the tannins have mellowed. I'll try to wait another year for the next bottle as it is clearly heading in the right direction.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/30/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
PNP at cellar temp. Nose of red fruits and iron. Clearly a Grenache/Syrah blend. Cherries in the forefront with pepper and earth on the finish. Mild tannins and easier drinking than many Torrin wines. Delicious.
Red
10/24/2021 - Crunge wrote:
91 points
Full-bodied and spicy, as expected from the blend. There's some tea mixed in with the pepper and black fruits, but there's something sweet in this; too sweet for my tastes, causing it to lose a point or two.
Red - Fortified
9/25/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
Agree with Harry's note from 9/27: good, but no way it's currently 100 points. Inky black and full of concentrated fruit flavors, but I've enjoyed several other ports more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
9/10/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
Beautiful golden color. Aromas of pear and citrus. Flavors of citrus, green apple, and pear. Rich, thick, mouth-coating feel. I drink few whites but this one delivers. First glass by itself and the rest paired with lobster tails, asparagus, and twice-baked potatoes.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Torrin The Maven Paso Robles Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
8/27/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
94 points
On a PnP, the nose was cherries, cherries, and more cherries, which is typically how I experience Grenache. My wife described it as "heavenly."

Medium color and the flavors... black cherry, black raspberry, Luden's Cherry Cough Drops, and an undercurrent of pepper and slate. Or to quote my wife again, "delicious."

Scott really knows how to get the best out of Grenache. Excellent wine.
Red
8/20/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
91 points
Two years since my last bottle. It was quite tannic and had a bitter finish on a pop and pour. After an hour the bitterness had faded but the tannins were still in the forefront. Blackberries abound on the nose and palate, but those tannins... I'd recommend a hold for now.
Red
8/14/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
I like Booker. Plenty of flavor, perfectly drinkable even young, and I love the Rhone varietals.

Having had several of the 22's, both across Booker's different blends and vintages, I'm sticking with the non-22's. There's just too much oak in the 22's for my taste. I'll have to let my remaining 22's age for a number of years and hope the oak mellows.

This wine had blackberries and other dark fruits, plenty of pepper, and a nice undercurrent of slate. I would have loved it if the vanilla were not so prominent over everything else.

Why the 92? My wife thought it was amazing and not too heavy on the oak.
Red
2015 Keplinger Basilisk Russian River Valley Grenache (view label images)
8/13/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
94 points
Three years since my last bottle. In a blind tasting I would have guessed Syrah. Yes, it leads with cherries like a Grenache, but this is so full-bodied and has a pepper kick on the end that it's still hard to believe it is 100% Grenache. Excellent wine.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red - Sweet/Dessert
8/8/2021 - Crunge Does not like this wine:
80 points
Open a small box of Sunkist raisins. Cram all the raisins in your mouth. You now know what this tastes like.
Red
8/6/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
Nose is dark fruits and alcohol. Flavors are black cherries and blackberries. Fairly clean with no real minerality, dirt, or other earthy characteristics. My wife finds it a touch jammy but this is not a criticism. We both enjoyed this wine and would definitely buy again.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
7/30/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
Young, but delicious. The nose explodes with dark fruits, a bit of pepper, and alcohol. A bit lighter on the palate than a typical Keplinger Syrah, but that means it's medium-bodied. Tart cherry, blackberry, and pepper flavors with plenty of alcohol coming through. Let bottles age another year or more.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
7/17/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
Consumed alongside a 2017 Booker Ripper. The Relic had a more expressive nose with equal parts candy apple and brambles. Likewise, the Relic was deeper and more complex than the Ripper. There is a lot going on here with strawberries, cherries, and both herbal and mineral notes. While all tasters liked the Ripper, all preferred the Relic.
Red
7/17/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
91 points
After an hour of slow ox, this was consumed next to a 2016 Relic Paras Grenache. The Ripper has raspberry and cherry flavors with a touch of pepper. There's little nose compared to the Relic. While I like the Ripper, it suffered by being compared to the Relic, which had more depth and body; the Ripper seemed a bit flabby in comparison. I will see if another year of aging adds weight.
Red
7/3/2021 - Crunge wrote:
91 points
Picked up weight (and a point) in the ~15 months since my last bottle. I still don't get the full-bodied experience and explosive nose that others mention, but it definitely has more body than my previous bottle. A fair amount of sediment and some firm tannins were immediately noticeable, and flavors of cherries and blackberries were there. Still not enough spice from the Syrah for my palate.
Red
6/3/2021 - Crunge wrote:
92 points
Nice, stinky wine. Lots of dirt and bramble. Blackberry is the predominant flavor. Full-bodied and delicious.
Red
5/26/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
Up a point. This is enjoyable, especially at the price point I paid (the current wine-searcher price is nearly double what I paid.) Good fruit but this one was backed up with more earth, which I prefer. Just the right amount of stone and dirt give this an extra dimension.

Already a fair bit of fine sediment, so decant or stand up ahead of time.

91-92 points, drinking nicely at this young stage.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/14/2021 - Crunge wrote:
90 points
Strong nose of manure. Lots of earthy flavors with a background of dark fruits. Not for everyone but if you like dirty, earthy Southern Rhone wines, this is a decent one.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/14/2021 - Crunge wrote:
flawed
Carbonated. Like wine cola.
Red
5/10/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
91 points
On day one, too much oak for me. It dominated the aromas and palate.

After two days under a vacuvin, the oak had settled down. None on the nose, but a decent amount on the palate. The dark fruits came through, though. Nice flavors, but it needs time to integrate. The tannins are very present at this stage, so I'll let other bottles age or use them as the last bottle on a night of exuberant overindulgence.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/10/2021 - Crunge wrote:
91 points
The lighter side of Pegau. The nose has all the funk that I enjoy in Pegau; the red fruit barely makes it through the brett. On the palate, barnyard, cherry, and raspberry. It's lighter than most Pegau vintages so it has the flavors, just not the bold flavors of the better vintages.

For the record, most people have raved about the 2015 and how bold it is. I'm in the minority; I've had two bottles of the 2015 and both were so thin and flavorless that the lightweight 2014 blows them away. The 2014 is perfectly drinkable but for better vintages, try the 2003, 2009, 2010, or 2012.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/8/2021 - Crunge wrote:
Do not open now.

PnP at cellar temp. No nose at all, despite swirling. Flavor was a bit of dark fruit with an unpleasant metallic aftertaste. Into the decanter.

At one hour, still no nose and still some metal.

At two hours the metal is gone but this just refuses to give up flavors.

I opened this to pair with my sous vide prime rib and it was a total waste of a bottle. Opened a Condrieu to go with me wife's sea bass and when a Condrieu has more nose AND flavor than a CdP from an epic vintage, you know the CdP is closed for business.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
5/8/2021 - Crunge wrote:
90 points
Strong nose of lemon with a hint of cat urine. Flavors were a bit different from most viogniers that I've had. Lighter and crisper than I'm used to, with lemon and honeysuckle and a bit of melon. Decent, but I'd prefer a bit more body.
Red
5/7/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
90 points
PnP at cellar temp. Strong bouquet of dark fruits. Flavors of minerality and pepper and was extremely dry. As it warmed up, some blackberry came through, but so did the alcohol. The heat was disappointing, so let this age or keep it chilled while drinking.
Red
4/16/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
91 points
Taking one for the team. No surprise that this is young so I'd recommend at least a year or a long decant. Consumed over a two-hour period from a PnP. The nose is full of candy apple and cherry. The palate is more restrained with red fruits and a bit of jam, specifically raspberry and strawberry. It's slightly bitter on the finish but again, it's a baby. My wife and I both like it so I'll let the other bottles age and try again in a year.
Red
4/9/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
Reticent nose. Funk on a PnP but that blew off within 30 minutes. Very dry, a bit tannic. Blackberries, meat, with a fair amount of earth. My wife gets a metallic aftertaste, while I do not. I like it, but it definitely improved over the two hours of drinking, so hold for now.
Red
4/2/2021 - Crunge wrote:
91 points
Heavy menthol on the nose. Black fruits on the palate. Strikes a nice middle ground between fruit and garrigue, with just a touch of spice. Not too dry, and the oak is completely in check.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/2/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
Modern style, no funk and just a bit of pepper. Cherries and strawberries dominate. Finish is very dry. Drinkable now and will be interesting to track over the next few years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/28/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
93 points
Inky in the glass, with flavors of blackberry, other dark fruits, and chocolate. Less spice than I'd prefer but the fruit is delicious. Firm tannins and the acidity is in check. Shows no signs of aging so while it's perfectly drinkable now, it's safe to hold as well.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/25/2021 - Crunge Does not like this wine:
75 points
Bottle gifted by a friend (perhaps now former friend.) I have had numerous good bottles in the $15-$20 range, but this was, without a doubt, one of the worst bottles I've ever had. I took one sip and was done; the sweetness was cloying and there were no pepper or zin characteristics distinguishable behind the wall of jam, glycerin, and sugar. Without saying anything, I poured my wife a small amount and she went to the sink and spit out her first (and only) sip.
Red
3/25/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
94 points
Nose was musty old furniture and a hint of dark fruits, so I was surprised that the flavors were rather fruit-forward and it seemed quite youthful. Cherry and raspberry fruit with only a slight hint of earth. Having also recently had the 2010 and 2015, this is more in the style of the 2015, while the 2010 shows more earth. Medium-bodied, smooth tannins, and matched up well with sous vide lamb. 93-94, and my wife gave it a "yum."
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Keplinger Sumo Amador County Petite Sirah (view label images)
3/22/2021 - Crunge wrote:
92 points
The nose was like a bowl of fruit: blackberries, raspberries, and cherries. Full-bodied with chewy tannins, dark fruits, and a long finish. Paired with pork tenderloin and stood up to a variety of sauces, including a habanero sauce. Would pair beautifully with a curry dish. Delicious wine from the talented Helen Keplinger.
Red
2016 Booker Vineyard Oublie Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
3/21/2021 - Crunge wrote:
92 points
On open, there's actually some funk on the nose. It blew off quickly but it did give me some Pegau flashbacks (a good thing.)

Cherries, blackberries, pepper, and plenty of earth and crushed gravel. I would have absolutely guessed CdP if tasting blind.

Full-bodied and delicious now, it should last several more years. As close to a Southern Rhone as I've had in a California wine. Well done!
Red
3/20/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
92 points
Smells like blackberry cobbler. Grape juice and blackberries with a fair amount of slate. Borders on jammy but that's not a negative here. Impressive QPR. 92+
Red
3/20/2021 - Crunge Likes this wine:
90 points
Too young at the moment. Blackberries and raspberries dominate this full-bodied wine, but it's bitter and unbalanced at this stage. Let this rest another year or more. Definitely has promise for the future.
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