Tasting Notes for MaineMark

(192 notes on 161 wines)

1 - 50 of 192 Sort order
White
10/14/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
92 points
Pear and spice on the nose was subtle bu inviting. Taste of buttery popcorn went down easily.
Red
10/12/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
91 points
Drank this one early to help inform future buying decisions. Decanted for about an hour, this was certainly still a bit young. Lots of red berries--strawberries and raspberries in particular--on the nose. The pallet added some coal and saline. We really enjoyed this but based on some very strong professional reviews, were actually a bit surprised we did not like it more (ahh... expectations...). It will be interesting to see how it comes together with a few more years in the cellar.
Red
10/4/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
90 points
Decanted 1++ hours. Nice California Cabernet. Currents, blueberries, some mocha, and vanilla. A pretty decent value overall. By the end of the bottle, it was tasting a little over oaked to me, but overall enjoyed it.
Red
9/22/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
89 points
Beautiful nose of raspberries, cinnamon and baking spaces on pop-n-pour had me quite excited. After time in the glass, the fruit became more muted, and notes of basil and sage seemed to overtake the fruit and spices, which was not necessarily to my liking. Lots of acidity, and very interesting to drink. I will wait to see what another year or two in bottle do.
Red
9/15/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
90 points
Enjoyed this much more than previous bottle. A 1-2 hour decant helps soften the tannins. Ripe fruit and tobacco leaf on the palate. Drink now with a decant, or hold a few more years.
Red
9/8/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
95 points
Incredibly good. Well integrated, and drinking so well now. I wish this wine was not so hard to find. Amazing wine, and real value.
Red
2015 Podere Poggio Scalette Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
8/24/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
91 points
Bright acidity and great fruit, this was easy and fun to drink. Great QPR.
Red
8/11/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
94 points
Seductive nose, delicious red fruits, fascinating layers, all wrapped up in a well integrated package that is so easy to drink. Yum!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/20/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
Tobacco, plentiful black and blue fruits, and quite sweet on the pallet (15% alcohol). This was our first Clos Mogador, and overall I would have to say we were a bit underwhelmed. Perhaps we we drinking it a bit too young? No question it can age for many more years. For tonight, it was certainly good with no notable flaws, but overall not terribly memorable. We will hold our remaining bottle for a few more years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
This was a crowd pleaser, and most of the guests really enjoyed it.

But, I am writing my own tasting note, and I did not enjoy it. Cloying sweet cherry pie was too much for me. I had a hard time finishing the glass (but hey, it was wine, so I finished the glass...)
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/4/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
92 points
Slow Ox for 2 hours. Really enjoyed this. Strong earthy aromas of olive tapenade are what did it for me. Ideally, it might not be quite so big and extracted, but overall drinking very well now.
Red
6/29/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
Decanted 1 hour. Dark brick in color--it looks a lot older than 9 years. Dark cherries and spices, this is most notable for the tartness and and rich pallet staining tastes. An intense wine, but the the age has made it very soft and smooth as well. The pros say it has not entered its drinking window yet. The color suggests otherwise, but the tart acidity suggests it could have a ways to go yet...
Red
6/23/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
93 points
Delicious. Big red fruits and soft mouthfeel. Perfect for summer BBQ.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Not really a fan of this. A bit too meaty and gamey for my tastes. Not that it is a bad wine, just not really what I am looking for. For experimentation purposes, I will tuck away my second bottle for 5++ years, and see how this evolves.
Red
6/7/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
Tasted single blind against the 2016 Wind Gap Nellessen.

All agreed the 2015 Sonoma Coast was the simpler, easier drinking wine. Great with food, and fun to drink. There was plenty to enjoy and contemplate, but overall, it was just a tart, easy drinking wine. The nice acidity suggests it has a few more years of development to go, if you have the patience to wait.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/7/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
Tasted single blind against the Wind Gap 2015 Sonoma Coast. An amazing difference between the two.

The Nellessen was the much more complex and deeper of the two, and created a fair amount of disagreement amongst our tasters. An initial meaty nose with iodine and barnyard-type notes, described as intensely floral, like walking by a giant flower bush. On the pallet, it started with red fruits, but quickly became cranberry (yes, also a red fruit...) with sharp acidity, suggesting this wine may have a long life ahead.

After a few hours in the glass and decanter, several of us felt the cranberry gave way to a strong grapefruit juice flavor. Regardless, the floral, barnyard nose persisted, which was the real dividing line for the group.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/27/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
flawed
Overpowering barnyard and wet hay on the nose. Bottle must have been corked.
White
Pale yellow, floral notes and lots of apple and citrus flavors. The tart acidity and fruity flavors give it an almost Jolly Rancher-like feeling (but not sweet!). Very fun, and easy to drink with it relatively low alcohol (12%).
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
5/5/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
97 points
A blind taste-off between Aubert and Kistler, the Aubert was the clear winner tonight. Slightly hazy and pale yellow, there is still a lot of oak and strong buttery notes, with a nice mineral and acidic core. Yet, even at this young age, very well balanced. Decanted 4 hours prior to serving, I imagine this only has upside for the next 10+ years.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/28/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
95 points
Drinking great at 20+ years. Fruit, acids, tannins and alcohol all so well integrated, it is easy to drink and delicious. Some stewed fruits, but also cinnamon and red fruits. Decanted and served immediately. Followed over 1.5+ hours. Very good on its own, even better with food (Italian, red sauce). Wonderful now, and had to believe it won't last another 5+ years.
Red
4/26/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
89 points
Dark fruits punctuated by sharp acidity. Relatively high alcohol content is not fully integrated yet. This was great with food, but a little challenging today stand-alone. We wanted to try a bottle now, but will leave the rest for 2-4 years and see how things have come together.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
4/14/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
93 points
Engaging nose of pineapple and tropical fruits, with a soft buttery backbone. Drank very well as a young wine.
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
3/31/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
Raspberry Raspberry Raspberry.

Super concentrated bright red-raspberry color. Surprised to read other's notes saying there was not a lot of fruit or the nose was muted. For us, the nose was super-strong smelling like a raspberry tart just out of the oven--raspberries, cinnamon. The pallet was more raspberries, but then being overtaken by earthier flavors like lavender, mint, and maybe even some gamey-ness.

Tart acids left a lasting impression, and for us, maybe too much.

We were completely wowed with the first smells and sips, and then had hard time reaching for a second glass. We have three bottles left, and will stage them out over the next 8-10 years. I am thinking/hoping that the almost off-putting tartness and finish here will tame with time. But, only time will tell!
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/24/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
91 points
An expressive, perfume-like nose hints that this is going to be great with time. But, for our pallet it certainly needs time. Easier to drink and enjoy after a two-hour decant now, we look forward to trying again in 5-10 years. 91 now, potential for much more in a few years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
3/22/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
94 points
As others have noted, a particularly reserved Kistler on the nose. But, super balanced and smooth. Light tropical fruits on the pallet give way to a lingering butterscotch finish. Easy and fun to drink now. Not sure there is a whole lot to be gained with more age. Delicious.
White
3/17/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
92 points
Explosive nose of apricots and tropical fruits. Really enjoyed this over two nights--it did not lose much at all the second night. We loved this now, but have one more bottle, and we will save it for a couple of more years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/17/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
88 points
An energizing and intriguing bouquet and initial taste on the pallet gave way to... nothing. It was an odd experience, with such an interesting nose of red fruits and spices, and then to have it hit pallet and the flavors just stop. Nothing at all after that initial burst. Then, sharp acidity. We were sipping this, but likely it would have been better with food of some kind. We have one more bottle. We will save it for a few years.
Red
3/11/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
95 points
Loved this. Bright red fruits on the nose, and jammy on the pallet, but perfectly balanced with more earthy-flavors and aromas like lavender and juniper. This is drinking great now, but we will cellar our remaining bottles for a few more years to track the progress.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/9/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
Definitely a fascinating wine, but not one I will seek out again.

Stephen Tanzer (Vinous) described this has having aromas of "liquefied lamb tartare." About as strange a description as I have seen (you can tell the difference in the smell between liquified and solid lamb tartare!?), but somehow apt. Insanely meaty, with a lot of iodine and salt. The first night, it was so unusual and challenging to drink, we decided to just leave it in the decanter and try again the next night.

It was better the second night with some fruit coming through, and the gamey-ness still there (which is fine) but calming down. If this is your cup of tea, I would recommend waiting another 5+ years, and then only drinking with something very meaty.

For me, drinking this is a bit like going to a very high-end restaurant, where all of the food is foamed and jelled. It is trying too hard for my tastes. I get that that is interesting, and unique, and I understand that some like it, but it is not for me.

If we were to rate it, the score would be sub-90. Lots of people love this. I won't leave a score to distort the average.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Another really nice bottle from Ridge. The soft tanins and overall integration suggest this just about at its maximum enjoyment level. We decanted, and served right away; drank over 1.5 hours. The pallet opened up with increasing dark berry fruits. Very enjoyable.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
3/1/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
87 points
Liked it, but did not love it. Fascinating wine. Very oily texture. Dark yellow color. Honeysuckle, yellow fruits. The Noble Rot adds an interesting element. I will cellar remaining bottles for 2-5 years.
Red
2/24/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
93 points
Our first Rancia, and it won't be our last. Very nicely balanced right now. There are fruit, earth, and savory flavors, and no overpowering alcohol. I understand this is a somewhat weaker Tuscany/Rancia vintage. If that is is the case, we are really looking forward to trying some from other more acclaimed years. Thoroughly enjoyed.
White - Sparkling
2/15/2019 - MaineMark wrote:
I always feel a little over matched when tasting Champagne; we just don't drink enough of it to have the proper perspective. What I can say: we liked it and it was easy to finish the bottle, but it was nothing I would run out to buy more of. The things you expect in Champagne were there: brioche and almond flavors, and very nice light crisp bubbles. Given the lack of experience, I won't put in a score to skew the results, but if I did, I would go with 89.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2/9/2019 - MaineMark Does not like this wine:
82 points
Very light straw color, aromas of apple and lemon. Very high acid adds to the overall unbalanced feel. This was drinkable, but as bland and boring a wine of a wine as I have had. I see others seem to like it, so maybe just not my style, but we could not finish the bottle, which rarely happens.
Red
2/3/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
95 points
What a difference a year makes. A year ago we described it as a watermelon Jolly Rancher candy. Today, it is almost perfectly balanced with fruit, acidity, tannins and alcohol are melding together wonderfully. Plum and cola on the nose and pallet, soft mouthfeel and incredibly smooth. There is still a tiny bit of heat from the alcohol on the finish.
Red
1/26/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
91 points
Beautiful wine and great value. An expressive, fruity nose and very fun to drink. Drank over two nights, and enjoyed it a little more the first night. Will save remaining bottles for a couple of more years.
Red
1/20/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
92 points
Way too young, I know, but we wanted to try this to get a sense of it, and to help inform future buying decisions.

Our conclusion: this was very, very good today, with loads of potential. Decanted for about 30 minutes, and drank over 2 hours. Wonderful mouthfeel aromas, but the alcohol is not well integrated yet.

Unless you a just curious, I can't really recommend opening this today, but I can highly recommend buying more, and cellaring for a few years. That is what we will be doing! For a Napa Cab, a very decent QPR.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/3/2019 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
91 points
De.Lic.Ious. This will be even better in 3-5++ years, but lots of fruit tonight and very fun to drink. Ridge does not disappoint with another great QPR wine.
Red
12/29/2018 - MaineMark wrote:
92 points
Beautiful aromas, deep rich flavors, and soft tannins with just enough bite left to suggest this can go a few more years in your cellar. We found the nose to be much more expressive on pop-and-pour, than after a brief decant. We certainly enjoyed this, but having recently purchased this from WineBid, we did not feel it was a great QPR.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
12/25/2018 - MaineMark wrote:
87 points
A truly wonderful nose gives way to a tannic monster. The harsh tannins make it a little hard to drink more than a glass over the evening. We will save our other bottles for a few more years to let it mellow a bit more, but unclear if there is enough fruit to see it really improve.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/16/2018 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
95 points
Simply wonderful. An eye-popping nose gave way to a soft supple pallet. This is drinking so well now, but it is not hard to imagine in continuing to evolve and improve (?!?) for another 5+ years. Thrilled to have drunk this now, but we will hold our other two bottles for a few more years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/8/2018 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
91 points
Big fruity Napa-like nose. One deep smell, led to a smile, and an "Ahhhh...." On the pallet, cherries and big red fruits give way to a licorice and black pepper flavor that left me with a furrowed brow. Not really my favorite finish. But, the complexity and flavor profile overall is really nice, with a quite a good QPR relative to Napa cabs.
Edit: Much better on the first night than on the second night.
Red
2000 Château Giscours Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/17/2018 - MaineMark wrote:
92 points
A very serious wine meant for drinking in an oak paneled room and contemplating the world. (Don't get me wrong, we drank it on the couch, watching TV.) A fascinating nose just after decant eventually subsided, so personally I would prefer to drink soon after pouring. Complex and deep, with a strong earthy-olive finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Delmas Syrah SJR Vineyard The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater (view label images)
11/12/2018 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
91 points
Strong red floral notes on the nose. The palate was deep and long, highlighted by an iodine and cedar finish that almost gave the wine a sweet medicinal feeling, but somehow in a good way. It was soft and buttery (one taster described it like a mouth full of whipped cream). We cracked this open because we had never had Delmas before, but we definitely leave the others in the cellar for several years. I am sure it will only improve on an an already strong showing.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1996 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/4/2018 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
92 points
Aged Bordeaux!

I am probably going about this all wrong... I have bought Bordeaux, I have it aging in my cellar, but this is the first time I have had a very nicely aged Bordeaux. Wow. We loved it.

Some bricking starting to happen with this bottle. Earthy, meaty flavors (bacon?) balanced with residual fruit. Smooth mouthfeel, but tannins are still certainly present, and even abundant.

If this is only pretty good" wine from a "pretty good" vintage, we are in for some really good stuff down the road. My future-self is going to thank me for the Bordeaux I have aging in my cellar now. What a treat.
White
11/4/2018 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
96 points
Apricot and honeysuckle at the forefront with so many delicious layers. Hints of buttery oak materialize as it sits in the glass. Excellent!
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
10/27/2018 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
92 points
At +/- $17, this is a real winner. Tasted blind against 3 other Chardonnays. One was a high-priced ringer (Kistler) which won the night. However, this was a close second, and had a similar flavor profile. Really enjoyed, and great QPR at these discounted prices.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
10/27/2018 - MaineMark wrote:
86 points
Blind tasted against three other Chardonnays. The other three were all California. One was a high-priced ringer (which did win the night). This was the least favorite. Very drinkable, but nothing special. Very light yellow in color, flat on the palate and not terribly memorable.
White
10/27/2018 - MaineMark Likes this wine:
93 points
Deep straw yellow, this bottle was very good, but starting to show signs of age. Blind tasted against 3 other lesser chardonnays, this easily won the night. Still, not our favorite Kistler at this time.
Red
10/20/2018 - MaineMark wrote:
Coffee, chocolate, and... honey. A wonderful wine with a soft mouthfeel, drinking great right now. I am sure it has years of life left in it, but if you like a little fruit with your aged wine, this is right in the sweet spot.
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