Comments on my notes

(126 comments on 110 notes)

1 - 50 of 110 Sort order
Red
2013 E16 Pinot Noir Bowland Ranch Bennett Valley
1/22/2017 - Halfeel Likes this wine:
91 points
Medium-bodied and well-balanced RRV Pinot. Would definitely buy again.
  • Halfeel commented:

    2/20/20, 10:48 PM - You are correct, however it is all that not far off geographically. Not too many have heard of Bennett Valley as a vineyard location. Cheers.

  • Halfeel commented:

    2/21/20, 9:19 PM - It doesn't really matter now. I can't find any vintage of this wine available from anywhere I can search (e.g., Wine-searcher.com and Vivino).

Red
2016 Maison Montagne Pinot Noir Napa Valley
12/20/2019 - vtpilot wrote:
84 points
Crimson colored with fast legs. There is no sediment in the bottle. Notes of strawberry, cranberry, cherry and vanilla. The body is light/medium. The wine has bright texture with a medium finish and low acidity.
  • Halfeel commented:

    1/3/20, 6:32 PM - Nothing you wrote makes it sound so terrible as to receive a 84 point rating (sounds like closer to a 88 point wine). It is extremely cheap which does make me suspicious that it might suck.

Red
2014 Fort Ross Pinot Noir Symposium Fort Ross Vineyard Fort Ross - Seaview
5/8/2019 - Halfeel Likes this wine:
92 points
Wish I had bought more when it was available.
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/29/19, 10:40 PM - Thank you Mr. Helper. That is indeed helpful!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Buena Vista Champagne La Victoire Champagne Blend
Probably the most boring Champagne I've had in a good long while.
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/25/19, 11:12 PM - Hi Ben,

    How does this comment reconcile with your previous note from July, 2019?

    I haven't tasted any of my bottles yet. Thanks.

    <https://www.cellartracker.com/note.asp?iWine=1675541&iNote=7792226&searchId=8194535A%23selected%253DW1675541_1_Kf5135a7e79ebfd1c54c99b08e3b380b9>

Red
2016 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
U.S. Pinot Noirs (1-'15, 4-'16s, & 1-'17) + 1 Shared Tasmanian '16 (Vintage Wines Ltd., San Diego, CA): Harvested 8/24-10/4/16 @ 24.5° Brix ave; 12-18 days fermentation @ 82°F; Aged 16 mos in 100% FR, med+ toast, Burgundy-style barrels (228 liters) from the Allier, Vosges, & Tronçais Forests (60% new, 20% 2nd use, & 20% neutral); 14.5% ABV, 0.53 g/100 ml T.A., & 3.79 pH; 28,000 cases made.

N: CLOSED, but I'd say *definitely* RIPE

P: LM body; Rndish entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by an astringent pucker which QUITE resolves by the LONG finish with a tangy/swtness to the few, firming, very, VERY fine tannins. For now & through '22. My VG+/EXC-; 92 pts ea WS & WE (9/1/19) @ $59, and 90 Dunnuck. [Check with this vendor if interested in their very COMPETITIVE price.]

Note: Also tasted on 4/13/19
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/7/19, 10:02 PM - Check with which vendor for a very competitive price? Thank you.

  • Halfeel commented:

    12/7/19, 11:44 PM - OK, Thank you srh. After searching on their website, I don't think yet are still offering this wine. Please let me know I you find out anything different. Cheers, 1/2-Eel.

Red
2017 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County
Light and bright strawberry/blueberry flavoring with hints of black tea on the finish which is moderately long.
  • Halfeel commented:

    10/8/19, 9:33 PM - Why such a low score? It doesn't sound that bad from your TN.

Red
2015 Château Hyot Reserve Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend
12/2/2018 - shoemakerks wrote:
83 points
Not Kent’s favorite. Gitte is okay with it.
  • Halfeel commented:

    10/1/19, 8:26 PM - I don't care what other people think. What do you think of the wine?

White
2018 Long Meadow Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford
8/16/2019 - Ejroberts54 Likes this wine:
85 points
Refreshing, crispy, flavorful but not overly sweet!
  • Halfeel commented:

    9/14/19, 7:50 PM - Based on your description, this doesn't sound like an 85 point wine to me. What was wrong with it?

Red
2012 Domaine Anderson Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
2/22/2017 - skurtz Likes this wine:
91 points
At 1862, head to head with '06 Clos Vougeot. Clearly well made, intense extracted berries, spice, and mineral. Very nice but I still preferred the softer more mature Burgundy.
  • Halfeel commented:

    6/29/19, 9:20 PM - Hi Skurtz, which specific Clos Vougeot are you referring to? There are quite a few of them on Cellartracker even when I narrow the search results down to 2006.

    Thank you, Halfeel.

Red
2013 Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino Tradizione Sangiovese
3/11/2018 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
87 points
James Suckling - Great Wines of Italy III - 2018 (The Presidio, SF): Red dried cherry. Has some midpalate weight - if I were assessing this blind, and trying to decide between Nebbiolo (Barolo / Barbaresco) and Brunello, I’d like to think the mid palate weight would take me away from Nebbiolo. Good acid. Slavonian oak - neutral barrels.
  • Halfeel commented:

    1/4/19, 11:38 PM - I'm confused by your statement: "would take me away from Nebbiolo"? This is a Sangiovese.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley Champagne Blend
12/2/2018 - ChinonRouge wrote:
87 points
Wine Spectator scored this wine 93 points and listed it as number 27 wine of 2018. They are smoking crack! This is a 88 point wine if you are already drunk. At the $24 price, it is decent value, but it is absolutely nowhere near the quality of a good Champagne. This wine is one dimentional and hints at wine beverage product.
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/23/18, 11:58 PM - "demential" ! ?

Red
2014 Gypsy Dancer Pinot Noir Cuvée Christine Willamette Valley
4/20/2018 - redmancge wrote:
89 points
First try of this Gypsy Dancer wine. A nice Pinot in a style we like for something different, a more med+ body smooth mouthfeel and seemed to show just a slight bit of cocoa....I know something you wouldn't expect but that's what I got. QPR was decent enough from WTSO at $20. For a different unique Pinot style I would buy again.
  • Halfeel commented:

    10/22/18, 11:58 AM - Your review of this wine sounds like you enjoyed it quite a bit. Why is it listed as "flawed"?

Red
2014 Maison L'Envoyé Pinot Noir The Attaché Willamette Valley
5/15/2018 - Double-A wrote:
85 points
Ripe, lush and fruity. Medium-bodied with a fruit-floral finish. Good length.
3/5
  • Halfeel commented:

    6/6/18, 11:00 AM - Your description better fits a wine that is above 85 points.

  • Halfeel commented:

    6/6/18, 5:53 PM - OK, Thank you for your clarification. Trying to decide if this wine is worth buying at the $30 price point and your rating was substantially lower than any of the others. Cheers!

Red
2010 Pico Cuadro Ribera del Duero Original Tempranillo
Past prime and has never been...
dense, unstructured, alcoholic, non-aromatic. If you make such a bad wine out of this great vintage I don´t know what went wrong.
  • Halfeel commented:

    3/1/18, 10:32 PM - I think you must have tried a bad (perhaps improperly stored) bottle. The wine I tasted in 2015 was very good and not at all resembling your description. I will need to open one of our remaining bottles soon and report back. Cheers.

Red
2008 Migration (Duckhorn Vineyards) Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
12/27/2015 - Halfeel wrote:
flawed
This wine was markedly affected by the heavy smoke from fires in the Anderson Valley during the 2008 growing season (see link below):

http://www.sfgate.com/wine/thirst/article/A-smoky-aftermath-for-Anderson-Valley-s-Pinots-3170566.php

I thought this was a great deal on $10.00 half bottles of the Migration Pinot but the smoke is very prominent (think heavily peated Laphroig Islay Scotch) rendering the wine completely undrinkable. . That is not what most people are looking for in a Pinot Noir. Wine Library must have known what they were selling. Shame on them. Returning all 6 bottles for a refund.

Do not buy this if it shows up in an offer again. Plus, you have to pack up and ship back the bottles to them in order to get a refund, wasting the buyers time for returning a flawed wine that never should have been sold in the first place.
  • Halfeel commented:

    2/14/18, 11:26 AM - Hi Hannah, The wine was returned. Cheers!

Red
2011 Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hill & Dale Premiere Napa Auction 17, Lot No. 142 Napa Valley
7/28/2016 - mflesh Likes this wine:
94 points
The first one of these uncorked tonight. And, all I can say is WOW. This wine is dark, deep, and complex. This is a mixture of Rutherford and Diamond Mountain fruit. After a 30 minute decant, the nose was graphite, blackberry, herbal. The entry is inky with great acidity and depth. The one word that keeps coming up in my brain is "thorough." Pencil lead, blackberry, soft, herbaceous with a hint of honeysuckle sweetness gave way to a darker, full bodied massive wine that finished with stiff, ample roasted cocoa bean tannin. WOW. Even after two hours of decanting, the acid on this one starts burning after 60 seconds so I know that this one is still "under construction." The herbal notes of this one combined with the darker notes paired perfectly with stuffed ravioli and sauteed mushrooms. I'd say that this one probably needs another 1-2 years before the second one gets popped......under the assumption that I don't buy another case of this! Drink or hold.
  • Halfeel commented:

    2/8/18, 9:23 PM - Hello, Can you let us know how much you paid for this wine? It would be helpful when comparing prices on available bottles. Thank you.

Red
2013 Metz Road Pinot Noir Mesa Del Rio Monterey County
5/15/2017 - Neecies Does not like this wine:
80 points
Cooked, jammy, soft red fruit, no structure, no sign of the Pommard clones supposedy involved. Could not drink a second glass.
  • Halfeel commented:

    1/17/18, 12:27 PM - Thanks Neecies, I might have bought some if not for your review.

Red
2010 Canto dei Mori Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese
4/4/2017 - WC Winer Likes this wine:
90 points
Smooth fi ish full bodied r,crllent with pasta csrbonora with mushrooms.
  • Halfeel commented:

    1/14/18, 9:42 PM - Spellcheck? Winecheck? ;-)

White
2014 Domaine de la Denante Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnay
7/15/2017 - oakville72 Likes this wine:
91 points
Yellow-gold with a subdued nose reflecting a certain maturity at its young age. Flavors exhibit more lees contact and lactic acidity than fruit, but the finish is round, full and creamy, along with an apple-tart finish. At this point almost like a full-bodied still Champagne. Better at room temperature than cold, a wine that demands food. Tasted several times: The more I taste it the more I like it. (Certainly superior to the 84 that Roger Voss gave it in Wine Enthusiast.)
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/31/17, 5:17 PM - Thank you. Your review is a great example of one that is helpful. We are letting the wine warm up a bit and it is tasting better that the we first opened it and getting ready to enjoy it with some appetizers. Cheers!

Red
2014 Soléna Pinot Noir Grande Cuvée Willamette Valley
8/6/2017 - WineGuyFL Likes this wine:
91 points
I am still on a different page than other reviewers. To me, this is a really good wine with a 90 handle, not an 80 handle. Cannot explain it, as I am usually near the pack on ratings.
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/21/17, 8:36 PM - You are very near the pack on Cellartracker in your rating of this wine here. The average score is ~89 points with only one really low rating of 82 points out of 24 tasting notes. The next lowest was 86 points and there were a lot in the 90-92 range.

Red
2004 Bodegas Neo Ribera del Duero Neo Punta Esencia Tempranillo
11/12/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
85 points
I found this had no flaws and was perfectly adequate, but how in the world WA rated it 98 is beyond me. Maybe it tasted better young, but right now it tastes like a $10-15 wine and I could not imagine it getting any better. It is mildly tannic and flat. Some tart fruit but not much. Opened up with lots of alcohol. That burned off but nothing was left. I just have nothing impressive to say about this wine. I don't understand how after 13 years it is so disjointed and borning.
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/11/17, 10:22 PM - I hope your review of the 2004 Neo Punta is not reflective of the wine iI have been saving n my cellar, but due to an incorrectly handled/stored bottle somewhere along the supply chain over the past dozen+ years Cheers. .

White
2015 Società Agricola Nativ Greco di Tufo Greco di Tufo DOCG
7/11/2017 - studleytrey Likes this wine:
90 points
Light to medium yellow color, maybe a shade away from straw color. Aromas of banana, pineapple, yellow apple, pear, and herbs. Full body, medium (+) acid and finish, and flavors of banana, yellow apple, pear, herbs, and minerals. I'm no Italian expert, but I'm not quite 94 on this one, but it is a solid effort for the ~$15 paid.
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/9/17, 8:42 PM - Luca Maroni is the equivalent of an overrating shill for Italian wines as is James Halliday is for Australian wines. Don't trust reviews from either of them. I bought and hated a syrupy totally unstructured Nativ red wine "Iripinia" that Luca Maroni awarded 99 points.

Red
2014 Beau Ridge Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
9/29/2017 - BBinSC wrote:
Vinter Intl/Jonathan Newman label
  • Halfeel commented:

    11/24/17, 9:47 PM - Thanks for the info. This means it is not a real winery, but a fake created by Jonathan H. Newman for WTSO to fool buyers into thinking they are buying wine from a bonafide small winery. WTSO does have some excellent wines and great prices, but you need to be able to sort out those from the JHN associated shill offerings.

Red
2014 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
11/22/2017 - yaCellar wrote:
89 points
Others’ reviews confirm my experience. Bright, spicy, alluring nose. Palette has bright acidity and unripened fruit, and then falls off a cliff. No interest or depth. Probably best with food.
  • Halfeel commented:

    11/24/17, 5:25 PM - Kind of a high rating (89 points) for a wine that has "No interest or depth".

Red
2011 Domaine Virginie Thunevin Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend
4/4/2017 - Dobi77 Likes this wine:
86 points
Elegang, konsentrert, lang fin vin. Kjempekjøp! 86-87
  • Halfeel commented:

    10/18/17, 8:17 PM - DOBI77, Thank you for your tasting note: "Elegant, concentrated, long fine wine. Excellent Buy".

    This is far more useful than Roesel's score of 79 on this wine which was 89 4 months previously. Such a reduction of a score of 10 points merits a comment/explanation regarding what changed with the wine between tastings, e.g., perhaps just a bad bottle/corked, etc.

Red
2007 Bodega Los Aljibes Selectus Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Red Blend
8/14/2017 - CMN wrote:
83 points
Purple colored with a scents of purple fruits and some medicinal notes. The palate is more complex than the nose suggests, with flavors of plum, iodine, green herbs, coffee and a bit of tar. A bit thin with slightly coarse and drying tannins.

Not a showstopper by any means, and certainly not worth the "94 Parker Points" that the label exclaims. A fine wine for a Monday and a good QPR at around $7/bottle, so long as you give a healthy decant.
  • Halfeel commented:

    8/21/17, 7:40 PM - I don't get all of the comments about this wine being "cheap" like $7 or $13, etc.

    There are only two vintages available on Wine-searcher.com:

    1) The 2010 vintage is available for $35.50 from a shop in the very part of Spain where the wine is made (La Mancha).

    https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/los+aljibes+selectus/2008

    2) The 2008 vintage is $66 from a retailer in Portland, OR and $85 from one in Seattle, WA.

    https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/los+aljibes+selectus/2008

    Can someone please help explain this weird discrepancy? Thank you.

  • Halfeel commented:

    8/21/17, 9:10 PM - CMN, Thank you for your comment and info.

    I figured the 2007 was available at Costco given that there are over 100 ratings for this vintage on CellarTracker. I still don't understand how a wine that sells for ~$35 right where it is made in Spain on a different continent can sell for $7/bottle at Costco across the U.S. It's kind of insane and baffling at the same time

  • Halfeel commented:

    10/8/17, 8:47 PM - I have not yet tasted my bottle which was a gift from my GF's parents. My theory on this wine is that this batch from 2007 got unevenly "cooked" due to some cellar failure or shipping exposure to the high summer heat of La Mancha. Since the whole lot was exposed, they cut their losses and sold all of it to Costco for next to nothing. Hence the discrepancies between the Costco price for the 2007 vintage and the far higher prices for other vintages of the wine, both in Spain as well as in the U.S. (OR and WA). The very uneven scores here on Cellartracker (and high score of 94 points from RP) likely reflect some bottles being much more affected/cooked than others, in addition to the personal taste preferences of the many raters here.

White
2016 Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford
6/26/2017 - Douglas Martin Likes this wine:
82 points
Delicious pool side on a hot summer morning
  • Halfeel commented:

    8/20/17, 9:28 PM - If it was so "delicious" why did you give only 82 points?

Red
2012 Torbreck (Cuvée) Juveniles Barossa Valley Red Rhone Blend
2/10/2017 - Z1nnfull Likes this wine:
88 points
Third bottle, same notes:
Not as spectacular as the 2011 vintage. 2012 lot some of its luster.
Fruit forward, with an element of smoothness and elegance, but I would still rate this as a click less than robust. Drink now, see no aging potential, no oak on this I am pretty sure.
Second bottle: July 27 - about the same - did get a little more by giving it a lot of air, breathe and decant, but still not as good as prior vintages
Third bottle: February 10, 2017, same notes. There are other good Rhones in the $15-20 price range that are as good or better than this.
In 2011, this was a superstar for the price, not so for 2012.
  • Halfeel commented:

    7/10/17, 8:28 PM - "In 2011, this was a superstar for the price, not so for 2011".

    I believe you mean, not so for the 2012.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Charles Mignon Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Comte de Marne Champagne Blend
8/21/2016 - winepog wrote:
91 points
Fresh and bright on the nose, nice mouth feel - pretty bubbles. A touch of lemon and yeast. No regrets except that the bottle is too heavy:)
  • Halfeel commented:

    4/29/17, 12:06 AM - Why would you care how heavy the bottle is if the wine is very good?

Red
2012 D'Isanto & D'Isanto I Balzini Black Label Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT SuperTuscan Blend
3/24/2016 - wineracquet wrote:
This received a 94 point score from the increasingly generous wine critic, James Suckling. None of the past 8 vintages have received even a 90 on CT, so let's say I'm sceptical of a 94 rating. Cellaring mine for at least one year.
  • Halfeel commented:

    4/27/17, 9:36 PM - WINERACQUET, It's been a year. Have you opened a bottle and tasted yet? Thanks.

Red
2015 Domaine Diochon Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes Gamay
3/13/2017 - chablis28 wrote:
86 points
Only, buy this if your intent is let it sit for at least 3 years or if you're accustomed to regularly drinking crunchy Lorie reds :). For me, 5-10 more years would likely be ideal. Right now, the granny tannins on the finish are too prominent for my liking. That's even after a quick and vigorous double decant and drinking over 4 hours. Pretty decent with food but still begs for more time to bring its structure into balance. I'd bet a dollar against a dime the producer would look at you like you're a fool if you praised any drinking of their wines while they're really young. This is as old school as Beaujolais gets. This has been my experience with this producer on a couple other vintages I've tried too. I was just hoping that a nice ripe balanced vintage like 2015 might give us something a little more friendly from the get go. LOL! Initially, a little grapey, turns more savory over the night. Chewy dark fruit, earth, rock and herbs right now. Did I mention the structure. Proceed at your own risk. 14% Alc. Dark, almost purple color. Right now, zero finesse. This is an ager. Tempted to buy one more btl, hide it in that left over space on the bottom of my cabinet and open it in 2025 when I'm 70. If you've never had Beaujolais and wondered why guys like me love it so much, don't start here. 180 degrees different from Kermit Lynch's more; elegant, ethereal and feminine Chanrion and Thivin Cote Brouillys I favor and love. Paid $19.
  • Halfeel commented:

    4/25/17, 10:09 PM - What a great example of an interesting and useful review.

    I am curious if you have tried and have an opinion on this modestly-priced Beaujolais?:

    https://www.cellartracker.com/notes.asp?iWine=2355523&searchId=419FA3D8%23selected%253DW2355523_1_Ka4bb3dc408eac13ca5fc7c9b2bc70852

  • Halfeel commented:

    4/26/17, 11:29 PM - Hi, Sorry the link didn't work. Here is the name and vintage of the wine I was referring to:

    Domaine Diochon Moulin A Vent Vieilles Vignes (2015)

  • Halfeel commented:

    4/27/17, 10:13 AM - Sorry. I meant this one: Georges Dubœuf Morgon Côte du Py (2014).

Red
2009 Pujanza Rioja Hado Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
1/10/2016 - logos wrote:
54 points
soft, ripe, black cherry nose with touch vanilla is a bit coarse and somewhat vegetal at first, but opens to some pleasant flowery notes and becomes brighter and more velvety after an hour. straightforward, slightly tannic attack with good acidity and a bit thin but ok fruit,hollow middle, and crude finish. a simple wine, but quite drinkable, and might improve.
  • Halfeel commented:

    4/11/17, 10:53 PM - From your tasting notes it seems closer to an 84 point wine than 54 points, which would mean essentially undrinkable (pour it down the drain) and not even use for cooking.

Red
2006 Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
2/18/2017 - Halfeel wrote:
89 points
Not sure about this one yet. The cork was not in good condition, so wine may have been slightly oxidized. Will evaluate more fully with the next of 5 remaining half bottles. According to notes here, this wine should have a couple more good years left.
  • Halfeel commented:

    3/22/17, 6:44 PM - Yes, from Wine Library/Cinderella. Let's hope that the poor corks and oxidized wine is an uncommon occurrence with this one. I will open another bottle soon and report back here. If there are more off bottles, then WL may owe us all a refund. Cheers.

White
2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Fumé Blanc Napa Valley
3/9/2017 - fc1910 wrote:
A short Afternoon with some New World-wines (Mövenpick retail store, Hamburg): starting with flavours of wet grass, very fresh therefore on the green side of white wine, granny smith apples, lacking some finesse but rather fullbodied, ending long, for the next 3-5 years? too expensive in Europe for what it is (20€)
  • Halfeel commented:

    3/13/17, 10:47 PM - I like it better than you did, but I do agree 20 Euros is too pricey for this wine. Happy that I can find it for around $12 here in California. Cheers

Red
2008 San Polino Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
11/15/2014 - Loren Sonkin wrote:
78 points
This was brought back from Italy by a friend of a friend. I am sure it tasted better on the veranda in Tuscany. First off the cork was difficult to get out of the bottle. I could hardly get a worm in it, so I tried my Durand which it bent while cutting my finger. So we went back to a traditional screw and the cork literal split as it exited the bottle. Weird. The wine had an odd nose of cheese while also having some slight cherries. Better on the palate, it was thin and dilute cherries but no off qualities. Overt acidity. My wife dumped her glass after a few sips. Sadly, she dumped it into my glass which I did not finish. Maybe it needs time to sort out, but I don't think this will ever be to my tastes.
  • Halfeel commented:

    3/2/17, 9:05 PM - Sounds like your friend possibly got a flawed bottle/faulty cork. At least three of the professional reviews for this wine/vintage are significantly better:

    http://www.wine-searcher.com/wine-67388-2008-san-polino-brunello-di-montalcino-docg-tuscany-italy

White
2014 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
1/24/2017 - PanosKakaviatos Likes this wine:
95 points
Tasting Bordeaux from bottle in New York City (Cipriani in New York City): Certainly fulfills the promise from barrel and then some. Such refined elegance, with white floral notes, subtle wet stone, like a very fine white Burgundy, and focused through to a long finish. Superb.
  • Halfeel commented:

    2/22/17, 9:09 PM - Just to note that this wine is a white Bordeaux (Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc) and not a white Burgundy (Chardonnay).

Red
2011 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Right Bank Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/14/2016 - StainedGlass wrote:
89 points
I was surprised how quickly the 2011 Right Bank has showed its age. It already has a lighter red cherry fruit profile than most vintages, and while it is easy and enjoyable to drink now, it is not particularly complex and fruit is starting to fade. Good, but I don't see it improving from here. Drink now - 2017.
  • Halfeel commented:

    2/21/17, 8:41 PM - Your review is posted for the 2011 (not 2007) vintage.

Red
2014 Bollina Athos Toscana Rosso Corte Medicea Toscana IGT Merlot
8/22/2016 - Zweder wrote:
89 points
Weekly tasting group #226; A mixed set fully blind tasted. (@ The factory by MN): The most impressive part of this wine is the weight of the bottle; immense! The bouquet is very perfumed with vanilla and cherries. On the palate a lot of everything (except complexity); primary lemonade like fruits, a lot of sweetness and sweet spices, ok and mild acidity and tannin. Concentrated and a mouth full, but not overly interesting. For tonight 88 – 89.
  • Halfeel commented:

    2/17/17, 6:19 PM - Thank you for your balanced assessment of this wine. Luca Maroni's 99 point rating is not at all good enough for me. I purchased another wine he rated at 99 points and did not like it at all. It appears he throws around these very high ratings all the time for Italian wines. It is similar to the overly inflated ratings James Halliday gives for many Australian wines. Very few wines warrant ratings of 97-99 points.

Red
2014 Renwood Zinfandel Premier Old Vine Amador County
1/2/2017 - pbbarraza Likes this wine:
91 points
Double air rated and then let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Definitely taste better then coming straight out of the bottle
  • Halfeel commented:

    2/15/17, 6:50 PM - "air rated" = aerated?

Red
2011 Neudorf Pinot Noir Moutere
4/5/2015 - StefanAkiko Likes this wine:
91 points
Pinot noir extravaganza (Stockholm, Sweden): Light red.
Nose: Supermarket soap and a stale red wine that you can be served as a glass wine in a pub in the forgotten village of Loch Olcrombie.

Palate: First taste
Stalks and tannins and no balance *sigh* put it aside.

Palate: Second taste
Ah? But? This is becoming a fine wine. The raw wood is worth mentioning. There is superb concentration, but the balance never quite arrives at some kind of conclusion.

(Wish I had written more as I can't remember this wine today.)
  • Halfeel commented:

    2/3/17, 8:36 PM - Kind of a weird review - Did you drink the whole bottle on your own?

  • Halfeel commented:

    2/3/17, 10:29 PM - OK, Where is the "forgotten village of Loch Olcrombie"? Does not come up on a Google search.

  • Halfeel commented:

    2/3/17, 11:34 PM - OK, Thank you. Sounds like it is somewhere in Scotland.

    Let me know if you are ever traveling to Northern California. My GF Kaili and I would love to taste some wines with you in Napa/Sonoma/Sierra Foothills. Closest we came to any wine experience in Tokyo was $15 per glass for very a small pour of Sancerre when were staying at the Imperial Hotel a couple of years ago. We did go out and find some decent wines at a market to bring back to our room and had some good wines on nights when we were hosted at an Italian and a Spanish restaurant a couple of evenings. Drank more beer and sake otherwise.

    Cheers and best wishes,

    Halfeel

Red
2013 Carel Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville
Minimal fruit with astringent aftertaste.
  • Halfeel commented:

    1/7/17, 7:58 PM - If you bought this from WTSO, you should contact them and request a refund. In my experience, they always provide a refund for unsatisfactory wines with no questions. Never buy any wine on WTSO based on Jonathan H. Newman's rating. JHN owns WTSO. He therefore has a conflict of interest and his ratings cannot be trusted, period. He rated the Carel Cab at 91-92 points, Look here on Cellartracker and for other professional reviews via Wine-searcher.com, etc.

Red
2005 Rotllan Torra Priorat Tirant Grenache Blend, Grenache
This is either flawed or gross. It smells and tastes like cognac. I guess maybe some people are into that but I'm very confused. I haven't had a corked wine like this before so I'm assuming it's not corked. Stay away.
  • Halfeel commented:

    1/6/17, 11:04 PM - No one lease agrees with you except for one other member who tested it and found it to be oxidized: https://www.cellartracker.com/note.asp?iWine=774762&iNote=3818191.

    Assuming you received a bad bottle because, the majority here are rating this wine at a very high 92-93 points. Lowest scores appear to be around 88 points,

    Check and see if any other bottles in your cellar might have the same issue. If so, you should consider asking for a refund on your purchase. I would.

Red
2009 Amavi Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
2/9/2013 - Hayweed33 wrote:
75 points
TASTE - Black Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Mint, Spice
SMELL - Black Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Mint, Spice
  • Halfeel commented:

    12/19/16, 10:06 PM - "Black Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Mint, Spice"

    None of those smells/tastes are considered bad in a Cabernet blend. What in the world are you finding so wrong this wine that would make you give such a horrible score? I just popped and poured a bottle to have with a grilled grass-fed flank steak and think this a really great 92-93 point Washington state Cab blend.

Red
2011 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Carter Vineyard Eola - Amity Hills
4/23/2016 - Halfeel Does not like this wine:
82 points
Disappointing Ken Wright single vineyard selection. Disjointed and lacking in fruit. Requesting refund from WTSO. Hoping the bottles from the other single vineyards are better than the 2011 from the Carter Vineyard.
  • Halfeel commented:

    11/16/16, 11:12 PM - Yes, I purchased the Ken Wright Carter Vineyard as part of a 4 pack in 2013. WTSO provided a refund. Have you tried one yet? Cheers!

Red
2012 Ladera Pinot Noir Pillow Road Vineyard Russian River Valley
10/26/2016 - Halfeel Likes this wine:
91 points
Excellent QPR at $20.00.
  • Halfeel commented:

    10/30/16, 7:59 PM - I bought it on WTSO: https://www.wtso.com/how-we-work

    The offer will probably come back if you keep checking. They usually don't really "sell out", they just change to a different offer a few times per day.

    Some of their wines are a great deal while others just suck. The good thing is that they will refund the purchase price for any wine that you are not satisfied with. However, don't trust any ratings by Jonathan H. Newman. He owns WTSO and his reviews are completely bogus.

Red
2005 Bodegas y Viñedos Escudero Rioja Vidau Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
Delicious aged Rioja. Well integrated, with a lingering finish. Would buy again for $20 from WTSO.
  • Halfeel commented:

    10/5/16, 6:47 PM - So, Based on your review, why did you check that you "do not like this wine"?

Red
2014 Storm Chaser Cellars Pinot Noir Reserve Willamette Valley
6/22/2016 - stags22 wrote:
85 points
Confession, this was a pure label purchase (I don't do this often...honest) Pnp sip and it burned hot, lots of alcohol. Let it breathe for an hour, and some of the alcohol blew off, but still there. Definitely a meh. Occasionally some interesting fruit finished on the end, but overall fell a little flat to me. I'll save the remaining wtso bottles for stormy nights and gag gifts.
  • Halfeel commented:

    9/10/16, 1:37 AM - I would call WTSO and ask for a refund. In my experience WTSO has always offered refunds for wines I have not been satisfied with. That label would have made me skip this offer from the beginning. It looks like it is trying to compensate for something that is not there in the bottle.

Red
2011 Schild Estate Merlot Barossa Valley
8/30/2016 - Wilbur1 wrote:
81 points
This is very, very close to its use-by date. No wonder WL were selling it off cheap. Starting to brown, cloudy on the colour. Way too sweet with candied raisins to the fore. Even at $10 not a good buy. Regret getting a case and no idea how I will get rid of it!
  • Halfeel commented:

    9/3/16, 10:23 AM - Tell WL that the wine sucks and return it for a refund.

Red
2011 Château de l'Annonciation St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
8/29/2015 - Epicúreo Does not like this wine:
56 points
Dark garnet, black core; with skinny legs.
Big bodied, with intense aromas of black fruits, black pepper, allspice and hot peppers.
Woodsy; with salt water taffy, celery, leafy greens nuances.
Short finish.
  • Halfeel commented:

    8/5/16, 10:49 PM - From this description, it sounds like I would be disgusted and my girlfriend Kaili would detest it because she really hates celery:

    "Woodsy; with salt water taffy, celery, leafy greens nuances.
    Short finish."

Red
2013 Masterpiece Vineyards Zinfandel Russian River Valley
3/13/2016 - Wapayne wrote:
By Jonathan H. Newman*
Masterpiece 2013 Russian River Valley Zinfandel by Windsor Oaks
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
VARIETAL: Zinfandel
VINTAGE: 2013
GRAPE: Zinfandel
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Russian River Valley
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14.50%
POINTS: 91
I recently met with the Windsor Oaks team in the Valley to sample the new releases in their portfolio. Top producers have had contracts from their marquee vineyards and over the past several years the Winery decided to produce their own label to grow their iconic brand. The Masterpiece is a well-made, easy-drinking Russian River Valley Zinfandel from Windsor Oaks’ estate Vineyards. The Windsor Oaks vineyard is the go to location for Kent Rosenblum and Bill Knuttel’s Ottomino Zinfandel. A classical Zinfandel profile of cherry liqueur, blueberry, dark plum, vanilla oak, black raspberry jam, currants, and red flowers with cinnamon and black pepper. Pair with barbequed ribs, seasoned Pork chops, London broil, savory chicken dishes, Lamb curry, Brisket sandwiches with horseradish, or blackened Catfish. Enjoy now and over the next several years.


By Masterpiece Vineyards
2013 Zinfandel, Russian River Valley

Technical Details
pH 3.75
TA 6.36 g/L
Alcohol 14.50%

Winemaker Notes
Our Estate Vineyard, Certified Sustainable, has almost 17 acres of Zinfandel planted in 6 separate blocks. The lower block showcases 10 Zinfandels that are grafted to the Shaw Clone of Zinfandel which originates from Mendocino County. We blended them with the DuPratt Clone of Zinfandel that grows at a higher elevation in Block 35; where soil is a bit richer, but rockier. The Shaw vines give peppery, cherry flavors, while the DuPratt vines boast bigger, juicier berries with intense raspberry character. Since Zinfandel has a thin skin and sometimes needs a boost of color and tannin, we added a splash of Petite Sirah (1.2%) to the final blend.

Tasting Notes
We aim for a claret style Zin with medium toasted French Oak and just the right degree of ripeness to produce ample fruitiness and pepper with balanced acidity and reasonable alcohol levels. Assmanhausen yeast is often used to confer spiciness during fermentation. Oak aging is moderate in length to merge seamlessly with the fruit and give the wine a long and silky mouth feel. The 2013 has gorgeous color and a perfect weight in the mouth. Lovely berry fruit by mouth and a black pepper and raspberry nose make this an exquisite Zinfandel.

Vineyard Notes
The vineyards of Windsor Oaks are located in Sonoma County, in the foothills and benchlands overlooking the Russian River Valley, between the cities of Santa Rosa and Healdsburg. The entire property is in excess of 700 acres, of which approximately 350 acres have been deeded to the Sonoma County Open Space District and are designated "Forever Wild". The remaining 250 acres are uniquely situated in both the Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill appellations, representing two of the most recognized growing regions for outstanding quality wine grapes. Windsor Oaks has always been a passion; a journey the owners Bob Stein and his wife Renee want to share. For the past 20 years, under the stewardship of Bob and his estate manager Douglas Lumgair, Windsor Oaks has flourished. Julie Lumgair has been responsible for the crafting of all Windsor Oaks wines made through the 2011 harvest, while 2012 saw the addition of Margaret Davenport, well known for her work at Clos du Bois and Passalaqua, as winemaker. With a deeply connected customer following, the objective has been and will continue to be, to explore the full potential of the Estate grapes by selling them to highly regarded wineries for their own fine wines and by producing small lots of hand crafted wines. While holding to so much that has drawn existing and devoted customers to this hidden gem, there is a commitment to exploring new winemaking opportunities, hospitality facilities and guest experiences in keeping with a renewed Estate Vision. It is the aim of Bob and Renee Stein to bring together talented individuals that understand the highest standards of food and wine production and service; a team that will leverage all of the unique elements and essence of this little-known 710-acre Sonoma County Estate; a team that embodies the stewardship of our journey for all future visitors to the Estate. Bob is looking forward to taking a more active role in the management of the Estate, and has already begun the process to expand its horizons. Most notably, Douglas will continue his long-term relationship and management of the estate vineyards and farming, with Margaret heading the winemaking team. We look forward to you joining us on this exciting journey.
[Information provided by J.H.N.]
  • Halfeel commented:

    6/23/16, 7:22 PM - Why in the world would you just copy and repost Jonathan H. Newman's review from the WTSO website? JHN owns WTSO and is a shill for the wines sold there, i.e. he has a huge conflict of interest, kind of like Donald Trump shilling for Trump "University".

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