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Comments on my notes

(39 comments on 26 notes)

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2013 The Napa Valley Reserve Red Bordeaux Blend
1/14/2022 - msuwine wrote:
92 points
The 2013 vintage in Napa sometimes reminds me of that old folk song, “She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes.” Despite its many verses, the song never describes the moment when she actually, you know, comes around the mountain, a circular futility that honors the song’s origins (originally describing the second coming, which - whatever your belief system - is still TBD). In vinous terms, the critics rain acclaim on the 2013 vintage, and some wines were open for business early. For others, though, we’re nine years in and still waiting for Godot.

This is the latter kind of wine. Dark purple in color and medium in body, the wine carries intriguing but cool aromas of blackberry, baking chocolate, graphite, and thyme. The flavors are still coiled and grumpy (as if to yell “get off my lawn”), with notes of blueberry skin, espresso, peppercorn, and volcanic rock, followed by a dark and peppery finish (think Turkish coffee). 14.5% alcohol. I decanted three hours, which only softened the dense wine around the edges. Wait until 2025 and, in the meantime, keep a lookout for those six white horses.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    1/17/22, 11:32 AM - I agree with the Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow assessment of the 2013s. Like the persimmons I sometimes buy that look and smell beautiful but never seem to get ripe enough to shed the astringency before they go off.

    I have tried many and I have long felt that the fuss around 2013s seems way overblown. Concentration and tannins are only part of what make a good wine. Balance makes them great. I far, far prefer the 2016 vintage of most everything. I expect 2018 will surpass 2013 as well but i havent started cracking those. I have a number of 2013s from fine producers and will continue to hold some but I doubt these ever live up to expectations.

    2025++ is probably spot on.

1998 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
1/1/2022 - johnh1001 wrote:
93 points
Perhaps my favorite CDP right now. Wonderful spice and grilled meats with sweet red fruit.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    1/5/22, 2:51 PM - Have you had the Laurence? The 1998 laurence was my favorite CdP for years and years but has started to decline rapidly since late 2019. I have one of the 1998 and one 2001 reserve left. Excited to open those next time I make lamb or goose or goat.

White - Sparkling
2002 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
1/3/2022 - dbkitc wrote:
88 points
Tiny bubbles, lacking generosity. A bit muted. Notable spine. Lacks depth. Disappointing bottle. (88)
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    1/5/22, 2:48 PM - Bummer. I've had nothing but super bottles of this and the 2002 p2.

2006 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
1/5/2022 - wrote:
95 points
This brunello is firing on all cylinders. Fabulous through the finish and many years to go. Sweet ripe fruit flavors with nice acidity. Could stand up to any 2nd growth bordeaux.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    1/5/22, 2:46 PM - Thanks for your review. I'm a big fan of this bottle too. Curious - did you decant? I found that about 75 mins of air did wonders for it and was interested to hear if your experience was the same. Thanks!

2010 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
11/22/2021 - Acalder9 Likes this wine:
93 points
Definitely not ready for prime time yet. Short decant so not ideal conditions, but clear that Tannins need more time to integrate properly.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    11/24/21, 12:06 PM - Thanks for posting this! I've been eyeing the case or two in my cellar and wondering. I have been assuming 2025+ but wasn't sure.

1989 Château Palmer Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
7/2/2021 - sirpat00 Likes this wine:
97 points
Magnum rarities tasting; 7/2/2021-7/3/2021 (Zunfthaus zur Waag, Zurich): Magnum rarities tasting hosted by a merchant and collector. The headline line-up of the main event featured 18 aged red wines from magnum which was preceded by warm-up tasting of a dozen aged reds. The highlights across both days were Chris Ringland 1998 (99), Montrose 1990 and Yquem 1948 (both 98). Also strong were Palmer 1989 (97), Cheval Blanc 1985 (97) and Léoville Poyferré 1990 (96). None of the wines were decanted prior to serving.

Tasting note:
Tobacco, espresso and marginally minty (less so than the 1983). This pretty much blew my mind with ripe and concentrated red cherry fruit, pepper, sweet spices and lots of personality. . Refined and detailed as befits this estates. Plenty of freshness, strong structure, appearing much younger than 30+ years of age. An outstanding Palmer which in direct comparison to the 1983 I scored 1 notch higher.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    7/24/21, 3:31 PM - The 1989 is pure magic. Classy yet super sexy... I have a few left. Need to pop one soon!

1989 Château Palmer Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
7/15/2021 - Cailles wrote:
96 points
Tasted alongside the 1983 Palmer. Both bottles were in perfect condition with top shoulder+ levels. In my book, the 1989 (96+ pts) was the clear winner as it was more open and ready, showed more mature and had that creaminess needed to make it sexy and harmonious. The 1983 (93 pts) showed young, fresh, more precise than the 1989 but still with some edges and missing a bit of sweetness. Both wines missed the enormous complexity the greatest wines of these vintages have. I had a bottle of the 83 a few months back (rated 96 pts) which needed hours of air to get there. To bad, this bottle wasn‘t given the air it would have deserved.

TN: Intriguing nose with ripe dark fruits, leather, tobacco, some hints of brett and herbs. Failry precise and quite expressive. Very round, soft, creamy yet airy on the palate. Super sexy with black truffles, tobacco, wet earth, brett around a dark fruit core. Good tension and freshness but that creaminess is the star. Very good length. All that pleasure brings this to 96 points but I don‘t think it has much upside from here and it has not the complexity to get to the 97+ category.

Decanting: Not decanted, no extensive decanting necessary.

Glass: Gabriel
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    7/24/21, 3:28 PM - Love the 1989! Still sitting on a few and this review is making me want to pop a cork!

White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
7/19/2021 - Whidah Likes this wine:
93 points
As ever, a stupendous wine. Difficult to find quite the right accompaniment so we choose to drink it alone after dinner, enjoying the multiple layers of taste and texture. Too sweet? Not for us. There is nothing quite like that botryrised taste.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    7/24/21, 3:27 PM - Perhaps it is an unusual pairing but I mated it with brown butter pan seared shrimp, dusted (not a lot at all) of ras El hanout and slivers of black garlic and fresh kumquats. No complaints...

    Agree with you on the layers. Really a fun wine.

2010 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
7/3/2021 - MarshallLi Likes this wine:
94 points
Medium ruby,medium(+) red cherry,blackberry,black cherry,green bell pepper,eucalyptus,ripe fruit,cloves,cedar,leather,mushroom,dry,medium(+) acidity,smooth medium(+) tannin,medium alcohol,medium(+) body,long finish,very good wine,suitable for bottle ageing
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    7/24/21, 3:24 PM - Hi there. Thank you for the review. Did you decant? If so for how long?

2001 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
7/22/2021 - Vancouver Likes this wine:
95 points
Drank at first in person tasting in 16 months!

Medium Ruby appearance. Just a slight lightening compared to a bottle drunk about 5 years ago. The first hint that this wine is evolving very slowly.

Classic and fully mature nose- black fruits, cassis, vanilla, tobacco and maybe a hint of red fruit and some kirsch. Reading up on the wine it was 45% merlot in this vintage which probably accounts for some of the red fruit notes.

Medium plus body. Medium plus acidity and well integrated tannins. Lots of black fruits, vanilla and tobacco on the palate. The finish is long with a satisfying savory element.

Just a great example of a top producer in a "forgotten" year. I have the 2000 Cos in my cellar as well and this one has consistently shown better then its more vaunted 2000 sibling.

Drinking well now and will likely keep almost indefinitely in a cold cellar. I don't think it will improve now, so recommend drinking up.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    7/24/21, 3:22 PM - I agree. Underappreciated. The 1996 Cos is my favorite "everyone knows all bdx is so-so" year but the 2001 is a close second. These wines give a lot of pleasure and marry wonderfully with food.

2003 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
7/14/2021 - robmatic wrote:
94 points
Gamey, super herbal, raspberry. Powerful in the mouth, sharp, extracted, long, serious. Perfect now. Drink this.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    7/24/21, 3:19 PM - I've got one bottle left. I love the 2003 and I've been wondering if I could hold it a bit longer. The delicate dance between drinking a last bottle of something you know to be great versus waiting to long! I will open this next time I make lamb or goat. Thanks for the review and the nudge.

2008 Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino Mendoza
3/28/2021 - Whisky&Wine Likes this wine:
93 points
This wine is so inconsistent. This is my third time having this wine in the last few years and each bottle is different.

One was super drying and heavy cranberry. I used it to make pasta sauce later in the week after disliking the first glass. (80)

One was rather unremarkable and came across as a reasonably good cab franc or malbec blend. Not bad but not remarkable. (88)

This bottle was great. Silky, powerful, rich and very engaging. Clearly a malbec and a rather voluptuous one at that. Light finish after a fruit forward attack and mid palate, with secondary flavors announcing themselves as the fruit faded away. Nuanced and interesting. It invited more tastes. I opened it because I wasn't feeling inspired and decided to head to the South American section of the cellar. A nice surprise.

I have a good friend who is very into Argentinian wine. He has visited the vineyards and knows some of the makers. When I texted him last night, just a pic and saying wow this really exceeded my expectations, he wrote back "yeah nice stuff but really inconsistent." So I guess it isn't just me.

I bought these on release from Zachy's and they've been perfectly cellared since. So I'm not sure why there would be such variation among my six bottles unless there are some quality control issues. Those should not exist in their flagship / at this price point.

One hour decant and serve at cellar temp.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    4/1/21, 5:00 PM - So I decided to open another bottle tonight. To see if it would.match up with the last one. Tastes 5+ years older. Far more tertiary notes. Same wine but yeah, inconsistent is the word. Thinking I'll avoid this producer in the future.

2009 Blankiet Estate Rive Droite Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/3/2021 - Whisky&Wine Likes this wine:
96 points
The 2009 continues to be an awesome QPR cab slayer. For anyone who thinks merlot is Melba toast or lacks depth and interest, this is the gateway bottle for them.

The Vieux Château Certan of napa, this is a great bottle of wine. Perfumy aromatics, plenty of fruit, precise balance with acidity and tannins and a silky mouthfeel make this a complete wine. This continues to get better. I expect it has another decade of joy to give.

Served at 59 farenheit after a decant, and like the 2004 and 2008, best as it warmed to room temperature.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    3/3/21, 6:54 PM - I have only had two vintages of it. I have a friend who buys it regularly. Both the 2009 and 2014 are enjoyable. Plum, plum, plum and some blueberry and raspberry are my recollections. Delish and ready to rumble with crowd pleasing fruit... (I'm sure people will cringe but I kinda think of plumpjack cab in the same way.) Does not have the same velvety mouthfeel or darker, jack handy deep thoughts elements as the grand vin. Anyhow that's my recollection. Would be excited to try 2010 or 2016. Have you had any more recent vintages?

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    3/3/21, 7:03 PM - Very interesting, thank you. I will look for the 15, 16 and 17 in the secondary market. If I can find nice pricing I'll snag a few and try a wertical. ( open 3 bottles in a week of the same wine from diff years and compare, like I did with the blankiet this weekend/ week.)

2004 Blankiet Estate Merlot Paradise Hills Vineyard Napa Valley
3/1/2021 - Whisky&Wine Likes this wine:
92 points
Pronounced red fruits with a nose of.leather and some candied violets. Complex, with tannins resolved and still plenty of life. The acidity of the midpalate was reminiscent of a torte pergole 2007 I had last year. Excellent wine to enjoy with rich or earthy foods.

Very enjoyable and at peak. Should be in fine form at least until 2023.

Not nearly as good as the 2003 at its peak or the 2008, 2009 or 2010, but still excellent.

Cork was hard to remove. Very tight. Decanted at 60 degree cellar temp for 2 hours before serving.

Tried with a nub of 70% cacao chocolate from Ghana after dinner. Really nice pairing.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    3/1/21, 7:35 PM - The 2009 is really singing at the moment have any. Sadly the last 2003 I had was past peak. Still enjoyable but no longer magic.

    Blankiet is my favorite napa merlot. Have tried a number of others which I have found to be too jammy. I love continuum proprietary red blend in years when it has less cab sauv and more merlot, pv and cab franc. If they ever bottled those latter 3 as stand alone wines I'd be excited to try them. But in the meantime, can snag 2014 continuum. Cepage for the 2014 as well as the 2016 and 2018 which I have not tried yet is low cab sauv on all three (~50%) and some of the merlot, pv and cf characteristics really shine through.

2014 Realm Cellars The Absurd Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
2/17/2021 - sonodoc Likes this wine:
98 points
Plenty of red and black fruit, smooth tannins. Delicious!
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/21/21, 8:17 PM - Hi SonoDoc, did this need a long decant? I'm sitting on a pair of these in my cellar and have been wondering when they might be ready. Thanks, whisky&wine

2009 Blankiet Estate Rive Droite Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
Bottle 2/6. This one was decanted for a bit longer and better paired with the meal (1h+, goose with homemade plum sauce) than last time (30m, highly acidic meatball pasta). The wine was pretty spectacular offering an intensely long finish of bramble fruit and chocolate while still retaining the requisite Pomerol nose of plum and truffle. I can still taste the finish the next day. Out of 1,500+ tasting notes I’ve very rarely scored 97 or higher (and only two 98s: Petrus and Le Pin) and this bottle is definitely in that league.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/16/21, 12:52 PM - This is a great bottle. Still have 9 in the cellar. A couple 2003s & 2004s too, I think.

    Hands down, Blankiet merlots are my favorites in Napa. I enjoy serving these to cab supremacists who swear they don't like merlot (thanks, sideways!) to convert them. The decant time is key, as is serving temp. Thanks for the great note. Going to pop one of these in the near future.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/17/21, 9:54 AM - The 2003s were magic. Really great. But are now in steep decline.

    The 2004s are still excellent. I think they will be good at least until 2023 and then probably tail off through 2025.

    Skip 2005 & 2006 unless pricing is very sharp. Def not as good. 2010 is solid.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/18/21, 3:50 AM - My home in Houston lost power intermittently Sunday til late yesterday. I had shut off the water main, drained sprinklers and emptied pool below the level the pump etc could fill. Hope you guys are doing alright too. We will see how my outside prevention plan worked once everything thaws. Stay warm, gents!

2018 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch Oakville
11/11/2020 - #1Winelover Likes this wine:
97 points
This is a very rich and beautiful bottle of purple elegance. Translucent purple with body but nothing over the top. Sam has tamed these tannins and brought forth a wine that is full in flavor, rich in color and yet medium-bodied.

I am unfamiliar with Vine Hill Ranch, except a bottle from Cakebread Cellars but if this is representative of the vineyard, I can clearly see why the 3 proprietors from Memento Mori would seek this out. It's really stunning. Very different from Dr. Crane and Las Piedras yet equally on par with quality.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/13/21, 4:33 AM - Vine Hill Ranch is a really storied vineyard. Many acclaimed napa bottles have come from it since the 60s. If you liked this, try the VHR cabernet with 5+ years or a bottle of Bond Vecina with 10+ years of age. Both are sourced from this Vineyard (but different blocks). For me, I always get an edge of fresh, mouth watering cranberry-like acidity with VHR sourced grapes, and in the best years, great earth / minerality under the buoyant fruit. It's this nuance and balance that makes this site so good.

    I have 9 bottles of this in the cellar and I plan to.try the first one in late 2022. Right now, are into memento mori, the 2012s and 2016s are just awesome. I imagine 14 is as well but haven't had one in a while. To date, my fav bottle by MM is the 2016 LPV. Stellar.

    13s, 15s, 17s and 18s probably need more time.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/15/21, 12:03 PM - Yeah I think 2018 has a lot of people's attention. Great vintage by all accounts. I was never wowed by 2013 as much as critics were. I loved 2016. Sounds like 2018 has elements of both 2013 and 2016. I bought a fair amount of 2018s but won't be buying as much as I did 2016s. I think the 2016s aren't adequately appreciated yet.

    I also think people are drinking more wine or drinking at home due to covid and that has spurred demand for the cults, alongside a surging stock market and home values. This pandemic has been good to the net worth of the top two quintiles in the US. $225 bottle of wine? Sure, why not? Heck, one bitcoin buys you a barrel.

    Finally, some of these smaller houses are becoming collectible vs just tasty and known by a few people. I do think that is an element too. Fine wine continues to be a high performing investment category.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/16/21, 7:19 AM - I am not sure about those two in particular because I have not tried any 16s but I can tell you the MMs, Vangone, Lazy Susan Ranch, and the per us Alessio are good to go with a proper decant. Arkenstone, bond, fairchild, spring mtn, outpost, all need more time. Not sure if that helps but maybe you can triangulate from those to judge if your Bevan (he makes alessio) are ready. I generally think Schrader correlates with Fairchild.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/16/21, 7:25 AM - What do you guys think of Dana? I'm on their list but haven't bought recently. QPR seems out of whack.

2015 Abreu Thorevilos Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
1/2/2021 - MAXIMUM SATISFACTION wrote:
97 points
Decanted for 5 or so hours and remained very structured and tannic. Ripe California fruit with earthy and mineral driven Bordeaux character. Needs at least 10 years in an attempt to soften the structure. The price point is painful now but at least it delivers.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/12/21, 2:45 PM - I put thorevilos from Abreu and Bond Pluribus in the same category. They need a decade plus (maybe 15+) to start singing but then, they offer tremendous pleasure and complexity. I just snagged a case of the 2016 and I'm very excited to try it at the end of the decade!

2016 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
10/15/2020 - LiteItOnFire Likes this wine:
94 points
An absolute knockout wine but as I said in my last note needs time. It took two hours to come out of its shell and say hi but when it did it was excellent. It was Dark in all facets- dark 100% chocolate, coffee, leather, earth, black fruits, tobacco and it doesn’t let up from there. This is a 94-95 Wine with potential in the cellar. Don’t touch until 2022 but if you can’t help yourself give it two full hours. Well done. Crap this was Dr Crane not the regular.
Damn drinking and CTing.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    1/11/21, 3:31 PM - So from 2017, I bought very few napa wines. There were certainly pockets of intense quality. I plan to take a similar approach with 2019. For 2019 I feel like there is better value in BDX than napa.

    If you are going to buy napa wines for 2017 and 2019, be prepared for more suave and nuanced wines vs fruit powerhouses. At least in the 2017s I have sampled, they were more austere. Not a bad thing. But I think BDX does the lithe style a bit better than most napa houses at the same price point. If you are patient, I would focus on scooping well reviewed bottles from auctions later. 2017 will trade at a discount almost as deep as 2011. So many good vintages this decade have caused people to skip whole years (like I did!). That means value in the secondary market.

    I did buy smaller 2017 allocations from a few producers like memento, perus and a few other nuggets.

    I bought heavily in the 2016 and 2018 vintages. 16 doesn't get the love yet but I think within the next decade it will be recognized as having a disproportionate number of the best wines of the decade. Not quite as high average quality as some other years, but higher highs.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    1/11/21, 4:49 PM - Lite it on fire,

    What have tried for 2019? Curious what you plan to buy. My planned purchase list is pluribus, mm, perus (alessio). Unsure of others.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    1/12/21, 5:55 AM - I'm not sure on the 2019 vintage honestly. I have not tried any yet. I have read that it was a good growing year. I have also heard from some folks in the biz that it may not be as strong as several other top years last decade. I will wait to read / try a few before pulling the trigger on more than the core producers.

    Reading some critics and merchants, they've really worn out words like great, stellar, perfect, top vintage. Lotta hyperbole. In my view top names in 12 are some of the best values of the last decade. A good year but not 13 or 16 or 18. The 2013s I've tried - and I know I'm in the minority here - but they feel lopsided to me. Not as keen on 2013 as critics. 2014 top names can be outstanding. 2015 has some great wines and some bruisers that need time. 2016 to me is my fav vintage of last decade, at least so far.

    In terms of cab blend names to buy, I like MM, vangone, alessio by perus, abreu Thorevilos, bond pluribus, and I might get some fairchild stones 2 or 3. If continuum makes a cab franc heavy blend I will buy that too. Most of these will sit in the cellar for 4 years + before even being tried. The abreu and pluribus should be a decade.

    So if you're looking for something now, I'd go scour 2012 and 2014 auctions for top names in those years. If you're patient, I'd snag some of the names listed above. Or, if you're a degenerate collector like me, do both 😀

2017 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Las Piedras Napa Valley
5/15/2020 - ageverett Likes this wine:
98 points
2017 LPV taste off. Memento Mori, Carter "La Verdad," Fait Main and Vice Versa.

This Memento Mori was the WOTN. Most expressive nose, best depth on the palate, smoothest finish. Fabulous wine that was in a great spot. Surely can cellar for a while if desired but really drank well on this night.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    6/23/20, 1:15 PM - Sounds like a stellar evening!

    How long did you decant the MM?

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    6/23/20, 1:59 PM - Thanks for the info. Just opened a 2016 MM LPV for tonight. Popped and into the decanter about an hour ago. I plan to give it about 4 hours of air before taking a taste.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    10/26/20, 7:32 PM - Hey Dave, I posted a tasting note under the 2016 LPV. I have tried two bottles. It is just exceptional. Deeply fruited without being cloying. Aromatics are stellar. Minerality and nuance too. It is a sexy wine. Certainly one of the best napa wines I have had in the past few years. Now that it is getting cooler again, I'll get back to drinking more reds. May try another bottle around the holidays.

2010 Abreu Thorevilos Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/21/2020 - Whisky&Wine Likes this wine:
97 points
This wine has a very BDX vibe, in a great way. Tastes a bit like the two latours I've tried. That style. Napa but... not really? It is quite good. Cannot quite place it but i think it reminds me of a flashier version of the 2010 pichon longueville baron. More blackberry and less plum. Interesting and lots of upside with more years. I have two more bottles left and will probably wait until 2024 to crack another.

Many layers of flavor. Compelling and intriguing.

Still a little tight after 4 hour decant. Needs more years. But very tasty.

Will be saving half the bottle to try tomorrow night and will update tasting note as warranted.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    6/11/20, 1:52 PM - Hi LoB,

    I would open it at breakfast time and if you have a magnum decanter, use that. I think it will be singing by dinner time. I typically decant in the cellar so it stays at temp until serving. Not sure if room temp would change the time required.

    If you have some diff shaped glasses you may try that too. I have some bottega del vino amarone / aged bdx glasses and then the zalto bdx. The shape of the lip makes it hit diff parts of your tongue. Taste buds are not equally distributed. Very nerdy but I found it fun to try this from both glasses.

2017 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
5/19/2020 - Whisky&Wine Likes this wine:
94 points
I have had all the vintages of Memento Mori since 2012. This is the first year with the addition of Vine Hill Ranch grapes and the taste is different. A number of high end wines come from VHR. The most well known are probably Bond Vecina and the eponymous VHR.

Vecina and VHR always have a compelling cranberry tinged acidity to them. That same nuance is present here.

This wine is medium intensity compared to other MM vintages. I think it is a function of the vintage. I like it. Classic bdx-esque acidity and tannins to complement the fruit. Very suited to pair with food.

I'm curious to see how this ages and to try the single vineyard bottlings.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    5/22/20, 6:10 AM - Thanks guys. I look forward to trying the MM VHR SVD. I have a few sitting in my cellar now.

    I think a side by side by side tasting would be pretty spectacular. Have to wait a few years though; the bond wines are made to cellar. I doubt the vecina would show well until it has at least five years to sit and sort itself.

    In the interim I think the MM side by side will still be quite fun.

2009 Blankiet Estate Rive Droite Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/27/2019 - Wine2372 Likes this wine:
96 points
Beautiful Napa bordeaux blend. Merlot, with a touch of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, drinking well at ten years. Big cassis and black fruit that's lean and restrained. Slate and minerality, with a touch of cedar and tobacco. Elegant and precise, an excellent wine.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    4/16/20, 6:45 PM - The 2003 2004 and 2008 are still going strong. I still have a bunch of 08 and 09 bottles and a pair of the 2004s. Just had my last 2003 in mid 2019. I really like this merlot blend and I think the end date of 2029 is probably conservative. Window is now open with a decant and not close to closing. I expect this one will be fine into the early 30s if you have enough self control.

    If you have some different shapes of wine glasses it is interesting to try this wine from a burg glass rather than a syrah or cabernet glass. Different concentration on the nose and the glass steers the wine to diff parts of your tongue.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    4/17/20, 6:42 AM - I think we both went to the 2017 VHR launch at Pappas Brothers earlier this year based on your other notes. Nice to see we have similar taste!

    I have not tried the 2017. I did try the 2011 and prefer the 2008 and 2009. The 2011 does not possess the same level of concentration and richness.

    Have you tried Alessio from PerUs? That is another merlot heavy blend that is just wonderful. Both 2015 and 2016 are excellent. Have some 2017 in the cellar but have not tried one.

    Roberta's reserve from Kapcsandy can be excellent too but is less balanced / more fruit forward in some years.

    Also, not merlot but if you like this flavor style /profile, try continuum in any year with a more balanced cepage. 2014 stands out for heavier petit verdot and cab franc and is my favorite. I find the continuum is so much better in the years that are less cab sauv heavy.

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    4/17/20, 7:21 AM - I agree the Roberta is probably not worth the money except in the very best years.

    Very cool on continuum! Sounds like I have been overpaying!

2012 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
7/20/2019 - Whisky&Wine Likes this wine:
96 points
I have tried about a dozen of the top tier 2012 cabs from napa, and the memento mori is among my two favorites. It is rich, deep, and lingering, showcasing the fruit, but most of all, it is balanced. Great concentration and not over-extracted or wobbly with fruit overshadowing the nuances and subtleties. It is elegant and silky with secondary aromas of cedar and ash beneath the pretty cab nose. The balance and elegance is what sets it apart from some of the more bombastic cab offerings in the cult space.

Decanted for 5 hours at cellar temp.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    12/16/19, 4:57 PM - Hi msuwright,

    I also love the 2012s and they are solidly in the window to enjoy now! The other favorite is the Fairchild stones no. 1 Las piedras. It needs time to open but is great once it hits its stride. I would give a slight edge to the MM but it is more of a stylistic choice.

    Here are all the 2012s I can remember trying. I'm sure I am missing a few. Thankfully I am on a few of these lists and have generous friends who are on some of the others. It's fun to get together and taste - blind or otherwise.

    Dark matter
    Mondavi to kalon
    Cade (white label)
    Cade reserve (grey label)
    Carter og.
    Carter 3kings.
    Carter grand daddy.
    Adamvs teres
    Scarecrow m etain
    Dunn Howell
    Napa valley reserve
    Fairchild sigaro
    Fairchild g3
    Moone Tsai
    Chimney Rock
    Levy McClellan
    Cimarossa (think it was rian)
    Ramey pedregal

    2012s in my cellar I am waiting to try

    Abreu Thorevilos
    Bond pluribus
    Ghost horse fantome

    2012s I would like to try

    Schrader lpv
    Phelps Insignia

  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    12/16/19, 5:16 PM - Sounds like we have similar taste. Pluribus is the best bond wine in my opinion ( at least for 2006+) and I have almost every year of it in my cellar. I really like the power and the layers of interesting flavors. I usually give them more cellar time to get ready as they are made for the long haul. Exciting to hear that the 12s are drinking well already. Thst may be a new years eve wine for me this year!

2016 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
4/1/2019 - blarmston Likes this wine:
97 points
Had this last THU while enjoying The Madness.

This has the potential to be MM's best vintage yet. Still young of course but this blend exhibits all the lovely traits that has catapulted this label to the tippy top of my favorite Napa producers.

The epitome of a modern CA cab, but never pushing the envelope, it is perfectly balanced with fruit quality that is off the charts.

Having had all three wines (Las P and Crane SVD and this blend) now outside of the tasting room and in a controlled environment (on my couch), I think that as of now, this blend gets my first place vote.

Thankfully I have a bunch more of this so I can allow the SVD's to catch some ZZZ's for the next couple years.

Remember To Live, and to drink this wine often.

97 now with an 90 minute decant, with upside likely down the road.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    4/7/19, 5:59 PM - The 2012s are amazing right now. Had folks over in March and did a Carter 12 OG, Myriad G the 3rd and the MM. The MM was the clear winner, with only one person preferring the Carter. I have a bunch of the 16 MM and the single Vineyard. It's an exercise in self control to keep them in the racks and off the table (or couch).

2010 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
10/22/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Stunning! Yes, it is young and primary. But the fruit really coats your palate hitting you with wave after wave of rich, fat, juicy, pure, ripe, concentrated berries that taste, feel and smell great! This is a future legendary vintage for Pichon Baron.
  • Whisky&Wine commented:

    2/9/19, 5:05 AM - I had a glass at a Christmas party last year (from a magnum). It is stellar juice but it is not ready yet. I dont think the window will really open until 2025 on this one. Enjoyable now but worth holding off.

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