Tasting Notes for KPB

(1,644 notes on 1,168 wines)

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Red
10/14/2019 - KPB wrote:
95 points
A richly flavored wine centered on black cherry aromas, a hint of sage, forest loam. Cassis fruit on a tightly wound core that gradually reveals layers and layers of depth. A really successful wine, second vintage under the Cornell label.
Red
10/14/2019 - KPB wrote:
96 points
Tasted side by side with the 2014, the 2015 initially seemed a bit austere but gradually opened with air to reveal a lovely balance that frankly is often lacking in Napa. If 2014 was about darker fruits, 2015 is more of a blend, with brighter red raspberry overplayed on black caps and cassis sorbet. The wine is ripe without a hint of overripeness, which must have been incredibly hard to pull off in a drought year. Austin Pitzer told me that the 2015 is the model they want to work from moving forward. A stunner, and a bold statement that balance and inner palate tension can go much further than the sort of overripe fruit bombs many others have been making in the valley.
Red
10/8/2019 - KPB wrote:
92 points
My TN vanished when I was about to update it! Ok, so this wine needs some air... open well in advance.

Inky black with a garnet rim, showing a nose of slightly minty sweet black cherries, black currents, graphite. Gains a creamy note with air. The palate shows ripe fruit, not at all over the edge, wrapped in a glove of firm acidity and soft tannins, rather long finish. I really like the sense of tension but balance here. I’ll call it 92 because it fades a little on the back end, but as it matures, I think it could really blossom. Best in about five years....
Red
10/7/2019 - KPB wrote:
95 points
Needed an hour to open up.

This is flat-out delicious! Medium dark ruby, very aromatic with a sweet nose of spicy berry compote, beeswax, lavender. On the palate, sweet-tart with a very long, silky finish, a bit saline. At peak but will last a decade.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/5/2019 - KPB wrote:
88 points
Darkly colored, the 2017 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Franc has a restrained nose of blackberries, granite dust and a hint of jasmine. The palate is tart and long with evident mineral support. No signs of the difficult vintage here.... Best in 3-5 years.
Red
9/24/2019 - KPB wrote:
95 points
Deep purple with a rose-tinted rim. The Greer 2016 has a soaring, dramatic nose showcasing black cherries, menthol, sage, lavender. Simultaneously sweet and tart, with a tannic midpalate and very long finish that ends on a sappy, saline note. There is a softness to the wine that reminds me of merlot even though I am certain this is pure cabernet sauvignon. Really outstanding, drinking super well even today, and will surely gain nuance as it ages.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red - Fortified
9/23/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
At age 22, the Dow 1997 is still a baby. Very dark and satiny, red current aromas and wax, coffee, but the nose is really pretty locked down. Rich with a sweet attack set off by tart acidity. Long finish, tannins are soft and s tiny big chewy. Best if you can resist and wait (try it in 10-20 years....). Potential 92-93 at maturity but right now, I’ll go with 91.
Red - Fortified
9/18/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
91 points
Pale ruby with a tawny hue, very aromatic but clearly quite an old bottle: I get rose petals, orange bitters, but also a distinct camphor note. On the palate most of the fruit is long gone, but the flavors are dominated by red currents or cranberry, white chocolate, and then a rather hot finish where I find surprising acidity that lifts and defines the port. Still has a story to tell...
Red
9/5/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
94 points
Needs some air, it just a fantastic syrah/durif blend. Too young to fully enjoy now, this is a wine that has the style and structure I look for in a top Hermitage, like the JL Chave rouge, with a balance of intensity and restraint that you find in the best French producers but rarely see outside of France. As the wine breaths it gains a heady nose of spice, creme de cassis, scorched herbs, and a concentrated sweet note that just blew me away. Very long finish.

Best with 5-10 years of age.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/23/2019 - KPB Does not like this wine:
89 points
Inky ruby, very aromatic nose showing roasted plums, blackberries, coffee, hints of menthol. Powerful with noticeable surmaturite, a bit harsh on the palate, almost bitter. Lacks balance. Not a great Beaucastel (at least at age 12).
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/20/2019 - KPB wrote:
87 points
A medium ruby red, this cabernet franc is light on its feet, with aromas of cranberries, basmati rice and sage. Ripe but with good acidity and a long finish that ends on a herbaceous note. Quite impressive for a Fingerlakes Cabernet Franc.
Red
8/11/2019 - KPB wrote:
91 points
In ripe vintages, Bressy's wines can be amazing to drink young, and this Gourt de Mautens fits that to a T. Drink it now -- not because it won't age but because it is already so irresistible.

The wine is a purple/blue with insane aromas of sweet ripe raspberries, crème brule, red licorice, fresh cut hay. Sweet and richly flavored with a slight note of surmaturite, this is a fairly big wine with a long finish, soft palate-coating tannins, and an assertive style. I was looking for a wine to open at a big party this fall, with BBQ pulled pork -- this is the ticket. We'll finish all 5 of my remaining bottles for sure.

I think this will still drink well at age 10-12, but honestly, I wouldn't hold it on the assumption that it would be better than. It probably is best right now -- this is just a wine made to drink with friends in its fruit-driven, primary state. The ultimate bistro bottle... You'll feel as if you've been transported to Paris.
Red
8/3/2019 - KPB wrote:
94 points
Another great wine from Ketan Mody.

The 2017 Beta Vare shows absolutely no issues with heat or smoke taint -- this is a highly successful mountain cab. Medium dark in color, with a nose dominated by wild berry aromas of cassis and fraise du bois. As you would expect, medium bodied and balanced... Flavorful and long with a strongly mineral-dominated finish, very complex and interesting. Could merit (94-95?) as it evolves.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/3/2019 - KPB wrote:
95 points
Another highly successful Montecillo red from Ketan Mody, and like the 2017, quite an interesting wine to taste.

Call this 95 now, (95-97) as it ages. The wine is medium bodied and less dark in color than many 2013 reds - Ketan says that Montecillo is cooled by ocean breezes and has natural subsurface humidity, and that this protects against drought and heat spikes. On opening the wine was a bit reticent but it blossomed with air. The nose shows red cherry and black cherry aromas, leather, sage. On the palate the fruit was harvested before it reached that point where acidity can drop, so you have ripeness but more structure than in many Napa cabs (call this "St. Emilion" in style). As the wine opens, you find layers and layers of complexity in the long and expressive finish. A great success, and will reward aging.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/3/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
96 points
For me, the 2017 was a remarkable and exceptional wine, and unexpected too (this was the year of the massive Sonoma wildfires, but also heat stress and a strange mix of very heavy spring rains with very dry summer conditions). From a barrel sample.

96 now, then (97-98). The wine was really good, and it stood out even side by side with other wines from more celebrated vintages. Dark in color, with a very expressive nose that reminds me of one of the wines in the Bond portfolio (Quella). Perhaps this isn't a surprise: Ketan used to be a winemaker at Bond. The nose shows a mix of what people are calling red, black and blue fruits (they have in mind red currents, black cherry and blueberry) -- I would actually have gone with "black caps" myself, which is a kind of stunted wild blackberry. You also fund loamy notes, hints of tobacco and cocoa, perhaps a touch of coffee liqueur. Ketan poured this cold but I kept the remaining half bottle and finished it later at room temperature with my family, and the palate evolved a lot during that time. On opening, a bit stern, with considerable structure. A few hours later, the acidity and tannins were softened and the fruit was far more prominent and had a lovely restrained sweetness. A long mineral-supported finish lingers for ages...

Not a hint of heat spike or smoke taint issues here. And the wine may merit 97-98 as it ages: this won't be sold for years and I may be the first to have tasted it outside the winery team themselves!
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/30/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
A good wine with Syrah blended to the base Cabernet. Brightly colored with a lively fruit/forward nose and a flavorful, intense palate. The Syrah lends a nice sweetness. This would be great for a bbq or a summer picnic. A fun wine that isn’t trying to be overly intellectual...
Red
7/30/2019 - KPB wrote:
93 points
This is the first vintage with Francoise Peschon consulting. The wine is dark, with sweet aromas of tobacco, toffee and forest loam. The fruit is a touch sweet here, hint if red licorice, but restrained, held back by soft tannins, medium finish. For my palate the oak is a touch too prominent, but the wind is very enjoyable. Best around 8-12 years out, I suspect.
Red
7/30/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
98 points
Exceptional. The wine is deeply colored with a nose that gradually emerges to show graphite and cassis sorbet aromas, underbrush, hint of menthol. Very richly flavorful with a striking sage note that works beautifully to set off the fruit, which is restrained and taut. Velvety tannins and a Long mineral lift. 98(-99?)
White
7/30/2019 - KPB wrote:
89 points
A light crisp white wine, elegant nose of melon and strawberry, quite dry, ideal for hot weather.
White
7/28/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
Very pale in color, with a lovely but restrained nose of white peaches and mirabelle plums, then quite dry with a lifting mineral finish.
Red
7/28/2019 - KPB wrote:
89 points
In a vintage market by heat spikes and ending with the smoke and fires, the 2017 dodged the risks entirely. This clean, light, varietally precise pinot noir “first taste” is excellent, with lovely balance, good acidity and a long finish.
Red
7/28/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
90 points
I really enjoyed this midweight PN. Very attractive medium purple color, with a spicy nose, hints of color, and a ripe but tart palate that showcases the fruit and minerality of the site.
Red
7/26/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
Quite good, although not at the level of the 2013. A bit sullen on opening, but with air the nose relaxes and reveals red currents, cooked rice and a hint of sage/lavender. Midweight, with a clean and modest acidity.
Red
7/26/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
A notch below the 2013, the 2014 Neblina opened up with air to reveal an enjoyable midweight PN with varietal aromas fred currents and basmati rice, hints of sage and underbrush, and a delicate, hard to pin down note that I’ll describe as creosote. Midweight, medium length finish, nice acidity, tannins are in the background.
White
7/26/2019 - KPB wrote:
89 points
Quite yellow with a pronounced aroma of quince, Meyer lemon and beeswax. Off dry, with a long palate-staining fruit-dominated finish.
Red
7/26/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
Lovely aromatics on this very primary Syrah, but I found it a bit closed on the palate, which is in a slightly lean, tart style. With a few years to unwind I think it could merit 92pts, but right this second I’m scoring more on the nose.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/22/2019 - KPB wrote:
89 points
Quite good, although in some sense the wine hasn't budged since 2014 (and maybe even slipped a hair: I'll go with 89 tonight rather than 90, which is what I opted for in 2014). Medium ruby. The nose is dominated by red currents and has a pronounced basmati rice aroma (if it were more intense you could call it sasparilla, but this isn't quite that far over). Medium bodied, tart fruit (again, red currents), long mineral finish has a nice lift. As mature as it is likely to get...
Rosé
7/14/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
89 points
A lovely rose! Pale pink, with a nose of rose petals and apples, medium bodied, long lifted finish. The fruit here is ripe but not sweet and the wine is bone dry... the whole story works really well, and will appeal to people who prefer a lighter style of wine. Definitely recommended (but probably not a wine to hold for more than a year or two).
Red
7/2/2019 - KPB wrote:
91 points
What a nice pinot noir, from exactly the Sonoma area I've biked around during my sabbatical year. The wine is a vivid medium ruby, with satiny finish and a nose that overlays just a hint of sasparilla on red currents / pomegranate fruit with a lingering note of candied berries and spice. Soft on the palate, with tart "crunchy" berries but very polished tannins, and a long finish. A steal if you can still find it!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/28/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
91 points
A really lovely Gigondas with a lot of potential, although the 18 bottles I purchased will probably all be consumed this September at a wedding (and it won't be infanticide...). Medium purple/red with a blackish core, slightly satiny look in the glass. The nose is warm and inviting: freshly baked plum torte, cassis liqueur, herbes de province, red licorice, and then a kind of brambly brush aroma at the very end. Lively and nicely delineated on the palate, with the fruit ripe yet still tart, light-bodied, nice tannic structure, long mineral finish that lasts for easily 2 minutes. Call it 91 now, 92-94 if you give it time to mature a bit. I would hold for two years if you don't have a reason to drink it all in September, like me!
Red
6/23/2019 - KPB wrote:
89 points
I’m used to rather big pinot noir reds lately, from California and Oregon, where the wines bake in summer heat and get very ripe and jammy. But this Forge pinot is totally different: almost a dark colored rose ( but very light for a pinot noir), with a lovely nose of rose petals and oranges and cherries, a very restrained, light body, some spice, long finish. Really delicious and actually rather refreshing.
Rosé
6/23/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
Remarkably good, caught me somewhat by surprise. A lovely pale pink, with a nose that seems floral and fruity from the start, with rose petals and orange and strawberry aromas. A tart yet ripe palate, rather restrained, with a nice level of crisp acidity.
White
6/23/2019 - KPB wrote:
Tasted from the bottling line, a bit reduced hence not rated. This was quite good considering the difficult vintage conditions (heavy rain during the late summer, literally washed away part of one vineyard and flooded another). Should be a great food wine, but to drink early.
White
6/23/2019 - KPB wrote:
92 points
Pale gold, with a nose that offers a strong petrol aroma overlaid on bitter orange, lime marmalade, ends with the barest hint of musk. Very lively, delineated palate. A really interesting wine, very successful.
White
6/23/2019 - KPB wrote:
89 points
Pale yellow. Aromatically floral but without much of a citrus character, soft long palate has flavors of Bosc pears or perhaps gala apple, will pair wonderfully with pulled pork, spicy dishes. The score doesn’t really do it full justice because this genuinely is a pleasure to drink right now. Call it 91 this very second, but a wine to drink soon. I bought six of these for a wedding in the fall.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
6/23/2019 - KPB wrote:
91 points
30% stainless steel, remainder in neutral oak. Pale straw. Lovely nose offers floral and pink grapefruit aromas. Light bodied, tart, long finish reveals crushed seashell, saline structure. 90(-91?)
Red
6/22/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
96 points
A stunning mature Napa Cabernet from an iconic vineyard. At 25 the Cakebread VHR is a burnished brick red with a tawny rim. The nose soars from the glass with aromas of creme de cassis, toasted brioche, toffee, yielding to hints of shellack and Madeira at the tail end. On the palate sweet yet still showing a nice tart tannic wrapper, long finish lifted by a gravelly mineral support.
Red
6/21/2019 - KPB wrote:
89 points
Impressive Fingerlakes merlot! Dark color, nose shows bright cherry fruit and sweet red peppers, a slight grenadine syrup note and a bit of ash/flint. Medium bodied, tart but ripe, medium length finish. Drinking well now.
White
6/21/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
90 points
A very clean elegant wine, quite successful. The 2015 is very pale in color with a nose that seems slightly floral, lifted, very elegant. Crisp acidity and a really long mineral finish.
Red
6/21/2019 - KPB wrote:
88 points
Pretty good! Like a cry bourgeois from Bordeaux. Fairly deep color, nose has a sweet black cherry aroma, then raspberries and spice, just a hint of bell pepper (but elusive), palate is tart, but the fruit is ripe. An impressive red for the area.
White
6/21/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
Watery straw... Light petrol notes, slightly musky note, lime zest, slightly underripe yellow plums. Tart, medium length, good mineral structure. Needs a few years to open up.
White
6/21/2019 - KPB wrote:
89 points
Weaker performance than the ‘10 and ‘11, this wine has a muted nose with a sharp petrol aroma, yellow gooseberry fruit hidden behind that stronger petrol note. A bit short on the palate
White
6/21/2019 - KPB wrote:
91 points
Straw colored with a nose of orange marmalade, hints of petrol, burnished walnut aromas. Rich mouthfeel again with that hint of petrol. Much more simple and soft than the 2010, acidity fairly low. A food friendly mature Riesling.
White
6/21/2019 - KPB wrote:
93 points
Pale gold, with a citrus/lime dominated nose showing hints of yellow gooseberry, pine nuts, wax. Palate is rich and tart, very long, quite complex. Outstanding mature Riesling!

This needs to breath for a while before serving. I would double decant and then let it sit for 3+ hours. Overnight worked really well for a recent bottle here.
Red
6/7/2019 - KPB wrote:
91 points
Quite a nice wine. This was best when I finished the leftover half bottle after a day (24h) open, so give it a long time to breath before serving if you try it soon.

Medium bodied, with a dominating red cherry aroma and a palate that reminds me of a good Bordeaux. Gained complexity and developed a soft, rich, mouthfeel on day two. Will certainly improve in the cellar, and my score would be (91-93) if CT allowed ranges.
White
5/31/2019 - KPB Likes this wine:
94 points
Best yet from Ovid in their incredibly innovative series of white wine experiments. All are blends, and very hard to describe. The 2017 rendition (experiment 4, hence W4.7) is very pale in color but with assertive, complex aromas of nectarine, freshly cut hay, green table grapes, and a very slight waxy/nutty note. This leads you to expect a sweet wine, but in fact it is quite dry with a fruity ripeness but little r.s. if any. The palate is also surprisingly assertive, with quite a bit of power behind the fruit, and a lingering slightly bitter finish. Really nice.
Red
5/28/2019 - KPB wrote:
90 points
Slipping (two years ago I rated this 94), the Usseglio mon Aieul is still sweet and lush, but has subtle maderized notes and is starting to feel less balanced, syrupy and hot. With air, I noticed very mild hints of stewed fruit. Drink up while it is still enjoyable!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/16/2019 - KPB wrote:
92 points
This is an excellent Napa cabernet, very much in the style I favor: rather restrained and focused on making a statement about balance and elegance rather than sheer power. Dark ruby, the wine has an exuberant nose of mulberry and spice cake, overplayed with subtle notes of white chocolate, licorice and and forest loan. Medium bodied, not at all flamboyant, medium length finish. Very enjoyable, even if not the best ever from this estate. 92 now,: maybe 93-94 at peak (around age 10).
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/9/2019 - KPB wrote:
87 points
Quite impressive for a Fingerlakes syrah! The nose here is very striking and interesting, with a note I took to be viognier over red currents. On the palate, the wine seems very young with a slightly grassy flavor (or perhaps chives?). Light but nicely balanced.

The score I'll give doesn't really do justice because the Fingerlakes region really isn't what you think of as a syrah zone. So 87 for this bottle, but very promising in terms of where this could go as the vines mature, and if our summers trend towards a longer growing season and a hotter mid-summer period.
Red
5/9/2019 - KPB wrote:
92 points
An interesting and promising wine, but it needs more cellar time. We popped and poured but took our time, and it was noticeably more integrated after an hour, so I would definitely open this well before serving.

Still very young, the Stonessance earns its name with a rather intense profile showcasing black/red stone fruits. Interesting floral aromas overlay the plummy backdrop, some sort of sweet aroma floats past as well, call it candied cherries. The palate was initially rather "cubist" in the sense of having a sweet side, a mineral side, an acidic side, and a trailing note of bitterness. The fascinating thing was to watch it all come together in the glass as it aired. By the end of dinner I was enjoying this very much. Probably will merit a significantly higher score 5 years out.
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