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Comments on my notes

(71 comments on 54 notes)

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Red
2020 Clos Solène Fleur de Solène Paso Robles Syrah Blend, Syrah
This was entered in error
  • jeagle commented:

    11/20/22, 9:21 AM - FYI. If you tap the edit button on your review, you return to a screen which allows you to delete the entire note. Unfortunately, I have to use it a lot.

Red
2017 Force Majeure Tempranillo Force Majeure Vineyard Red Mountain
1/29/2022 - jeagle wrote:
Decanted for several hours the first night, but all this bottle offered was wood on the palate. Night two revealed fruit attempting to nudge all the oak aside with some semblance of success later in the evening. No sense of the varietal. Hopefully this will turn into something better.
  • jeagle commented:

    1/29/22, 11:51 AM - Thank you. The only other Force Majeure Temp I have tasted was the 2015 and I loved it. I did consider that this bottle was flawed, but it did not present the elements I typical find. I will contact the winery and, again, thank you. >John

  • jeagle commented:

    4/24/22, 7:13 AM - Thanks for the note. Me too. Force Majeure is my favorite Washington winery.

Red
2017 Andremily EABA Santa Barbara County Red Rhone Blend
12/1/2021 - jeagle wrote:
flawed
So disappointing.
  • jeagle commented:

    12/3/21, 7:56 AM - Hello. No, the bottle was not corked. In fact, there was a good amount of fruit, but there was an offputting flavor which I cannot describe well. Maybe medicinal/bandaid.

  • jeagle commented:

    12/3/21, 8:15 AM - Unfortunately, I tried waiting for night two also, but the wine was obstinate offering the same as night one, neither better nor worse. Maybe you simply had an oak presence which blew off.

Red
2018 Lerner Project Cabernet Sauvignon Project 18 Napa Valley
10/21/2021 - jeagle wrote:
90 points
I drank this bottle over two days. The first evening was practically worthless even with a 3 hour decant as it offered little flavor or comportment. Day two was better due to a satiny texture, however, the flavor profile, even though it progressed from the sheepish oak the night before, remained significantly subdued. I admittedly was surprised given the winemaker's reputation for boldness. Other reviews herein suggest significant bottle variation at this point. What seemed like a sure hit is now ensconced in question marks.
  • jeagle commented:

    10/23/21, 9:41 AM - Hey Mark, I wish I had gotten your first experience. This was my first engagement with a Bevan wine so maybe I just expected too much. I fear it has a long way to go, but wine is a funny thing and anything is possible.

  • jeagle commented:

    10/23/21, 9:52 AM - Hi DC and thanks for the comment. I sure hope it has more to do with shutdown. I rarely drink a Cab this young but I thought I would see for myself what was in the bottle. So maybe I deserved what I got. But I am always hopeful for the future.

Red
2014 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard 'Elysian' St. Helena
8/12/2021 - jeagle wrote:
Decanted for one hour then consumed over the next three. Right off, I am not a big fan of this producer. I enjoy some aspects of his place in the wine spectrum but have never been hooked on the entire package. Given the number of rabid fans and high scores, I keep trying. This bottle was quite smooth and nicely textured with a long finish. All delicious. On the other hand, I had problems with the sweetness and it cried out for acid as it strolled along on the lower part of the palate. I repeatedly feel an incompleteness in the experience. A void which I cannot seem to identify. Sometimes, I even get the sense that I am drinking an alternative beverage. But I have a little of the 2016 and 2018 so maybe. Nobody likes a quitter.
  • jeagle commented:

    8/13/21, 8:09 AM - Hi Nick. Thanks for the comment. I love big wines, but I am not sure Mike Smith falls into that category. Interestingly, I admire his mentor's wines but not his. Every one I have tasted has been sweet and acid starved, but I have only had his own label and a few from Scarlet. His great popularity defies my understanding. My cellar was Napa dominant until the Central Coast switched from Zin and mediocre Cab to Rhones. I have returned to Napa for more balance, but this "modern" approach is a bit bewildering. And yes, you should get all the Andremily and Torrin you can along with L'Aventure and Saxum.

Red
2014 L'Aventure For Her Paso Robles Willow Creek District Red Blend
8/10/2021 - jeagle Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted for 6 hours then consumed over the next three. Such an interesting wine. I believe this was the year when Paso unknowingly mislabeled bottles as Monestrell which serendipitously turned out to be Graciano. It has a strong supporting role in this concoction which also includes Viognier at an eye-catching 10%. And it all works in a dazzling way largely due to such competent and creative crafting. I cannot remember tasting anything like it. Presently, there is a slight imposition of tannin at the finish, but in a year or two, for me, this should approach perfection.
  • jeagle commented:

    8/10/21, 7:55 AM - Good morning Mark. I do find it thrilling to be surprised by a wine. I think when Jeb Dunnuck was tasting for the Wine Advocate, he gave this wine 100 points. I find him to be an easy grader (not as easy as Suckling, though), but he may well have gotten this one right. So enjoyable. L'Aventure is one of the early French emigrants fleeing the vinicultural regulations of their homeland (Stephan Asseo).

Red
2016 Torrin Tsundere Paso Robles Red Blend
7/31/2021 - Decanting Queen Likes this wine:
93 points
Dark and youthful in color. Floral and fruity on the nose, lots of structure, smoother on day two. Predominantly fruit on the palate with some pepper and and cinnamon. I like this A LOT but I think it will be even better with a few more years of cellaring. I need to try more Torrin!
  • jeagle commented:

    8/1/21, 9:01 AM - Hello Southeasterners. Stephan Asseo's L'Aventure, in my opinion, produces Paso's best Cabernet in vintages he decides to bottle it alone. In the 2019 vintage, he joined fruit with Vice Versa to produce Vice Versa's Les Cousin which the popular CSIMM1161 awarded 100 points in a review on 7/27/21. Given its scarcity and probable price tag, I expect to never taste it. Admittedly, most Paso Cabernet cannot compete with Napa, let alone Napa's best, but a couple can. And Jen, everything Torrin produces is wonderfully crafted. By all means, search it out. >John

Red
2015 L'Aventure For Her Paso Robles Willow Creek District Red Blend
7/29/2021 - Wine2372 Likes this wine:
96 points
Gorgeous, full-bodied Syrah blend, drinking beautifully at six years. Silky, balanced, elegant, with a stylish oak streak. Admirably hides its thermonuclear 15.9% ABV. A subtle Viognier-white wine softness at the end that’s really lovely. A big Paso Robles Rhone blend done extremely well. Well worth a hold, and glad I have another bottle. All estate, 50% Syrah 32% Graciano 10% Grenache 8% Viognier
  • jeagle commented:

    7/29/21, 7:20 PM - This is only a 10% comment, but what a number of Paso wineries purchased as Monastrel proved to be, in fact, Graciano. Most winemakers consider it serendipitous in that Graciano adds acid and is a promising blending varietal for the area. No way to change the existing labels, but all future labels have corrected the varietal. And, I love L'Aventure. Thanks for the update on this release. You have talked me into opening one. >John

  • jeagle commented:

    7/31/21, 6:26 AM - Now Mr. 2372, if you had not misled the CT audience by claiming 10% Monestrell in the blend, I would not have pedantically commented. Haha.

Red
2018 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
6/26/2021 - FransS wrote:
The tasting note below concerns the white wine. Sorry
  • jeagle commented:

    6/26/21, 7:05 AM - Just a hint, but if you hit the edit button, you are returned to the original screen which has a remove button so you can repair your damage and no one knows. I have to do this more often than I like. Cheers. >John

Red
2013 Kapcsándy Family Winery Estate Cuvée State Lane Vineyard Yountville Red Bordeaux Blend
3/23/2021 - tbabes wrote:
88 points
The fill was into the neck and the cork was pristine; double decanted an hour before dinner. Healthy purple core with no bricking. Introverted bouquet, reluctantly offering up notes of cassis, crushed stones, tobacco and earth. Quite austere and closed on the palate, with a short and astringent finish. This bottle was closed down tight, and lacked the aromatics, flesh, texture and concentration of previous examples. Going through a funky stage?
  • jeagle commented:

    3/26/21, 7:54 AM - 2013 was hailed highly by the critics as the best vintage in California in decades. I have not seen much movement in the wines since they were bottled. To quote a winemaker/friend I spoke with just yesterday when this topic arose, the 2013's may prove to be great in 20 years, but they remain all structure and offer little fruit at this point.

  • jeagle commented:

    3/26/21, 8:26 AM - Wow. That is good to hear. Your exception has been my rule. I would love to wade into the 13s, but I have been so disappointed to date that I am awaiting positive comments on CT. Better luck on your future bottles. Hopefully it was just flawed.

Red
2017 Torrin James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
At a four hour decant, alcohol remained quite evident. At 6 hours it was gone and at 7 hours the bottle was drinking beautifully. If Justin Smith is not producing wine from this vineyard then Scott Hawley is deservedly next in line. This bottle demonstrated a careful GSM management with each varietal recognizable but seamlessly immersed in the blend. It would probably be smart to wait another year or two but so appealing now.
  • jeagle commented:

    1/4/21, 7:57 AM - Probably my favorite, too. I did find the Seneshal to be an interesting departure. Torrin is really producing fine wine. It is sad he had to let his share of the Booker Vyd. go to purchase his estate as I find Booker and James Berry to be Paso's finest growing areas.

Red
2016 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
Decanted for 2 hours then consumed over the next four. I wish I had waited, kinda. I was itching to try a 2016 Bordeaux and this seemed as accessible as I could experience at this point. However, this bottle was all promise: the fruit tantalizing amidst the fogbank of tannin. Too young for me.
  • jeagle commented:

    12/13/20, 6:49 AM - Hello, Mark. I probably should have left some for day 2. Occasionally I would get a swallow that was mostly fruit so I think I kept looking for another one of those but killed the bottle in the process. I have to admit that it was kind of fun drinking this bottle so young. Maybe prurient curiosity. I just hope I live long enough to have another bottle closer to maturity. Thanks for the tip on the '15's. >John

  • jeagle commented:

    12/13/20, 6:38 PM - You have never identified what you are drinking. Is it a 15 or 16?

Red
2014 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena
7/3/2020 - jeagle wrote:
Popped and poured on night one. Refrigerated for night two. I am trying to love this wine and I am a bit stymied as to my resistance. This is my third review over three years. I have the 2016 Elysian, untasted, which may resolve the issue given its rating, but...Okay, the sweetness is offputting, but is that it? I love the texture. I am impressed with the envelopment across the palate. The flavors are not terribly complex but they are nice. I can't dis the finish. I always arrive at the same conclusion. There seems to be a lack of soul. Maybe it is a wine for the computer savvy, mechanical and by the numbers. Maybe it is just that I have been drinking wine seriously for 40 years and I am resistant to change. Whatever, I cannot revel in this bottle. It is good, but in a weird way which I cannot explain.
  • jeagle commented:

    9/23/20, 9:10 AM - Yeah guys, I think I am done with Mike Smith altogether. One of the most successful in the business, but.....I still have his highly rated Elysian which I should try before deciding.

  • jeagle commented:

    9/24/20, 7:02 AM - Allow me to insinuate myself into the conversation. I also highly respect a bottle which is close to immediately accessible and maintains its freshness as they say. But is the idea mere whimsy except on those occasions when it occurs naturally? Can wine be made to behave the way we desire it to without losing something important? Doesn't all the variables of a vintage determine how a bottle behaves? Winemakers like to say that they intrude as little as possible from picking to final product. I cannot help but think that the reason I don't appreciate Mike Smith's wines is the result of too much intervention in the process.

  • jeagle commented:

    9/24/20, 10:00 AM - FB.....I have a way of complicating everything as nothing seems simple to me. From a consumer's point of view, I can see an expectation of an early drinking window with an unblocked future of graceful development. I just don't see it as realistic. I see it more as an attitude of present generations who view things in terms of instant gratification. I don't mean to be petty, but sports cars are totally manufactured and thus controllable while wine depends on an agricultural commodity and the vagaries attached to it. I fear that a wine manufactured like a sports car will lose its mystery. And true, we purchase financial constructs with a (hopeful) expectation that they will reward us in the future, but is that not like the purchase of wine? The fact remains that some producers make wine that should not be touched for at least 8 years while others are accessible earlier so it would seem that a winemakers intent and process is involved in the traits of the final product. Personally, I am fine waiting a few years, but I am way too old to wait for Bordeaux to mature. Now I totally agree with you about opening a bottle that is not ready. I also fret over the appropriate decant every time. Too little and it will be oak dominant or too tannic, but too much and it will be past its garden spot and perhaps in an awkward window. It irks me when CT notes do not mention how long the decant was and unless I know something about the reviewer, I don't usually do not trust their view on drinkability either. But, in general, I find CT very useful.

  • jeagle commented:

    9/24/20, 10:08 AM - Hi Mark. Yep, I believe my return to Napa idea is coming to a close. I plan to continue with a few like Selah, and some French winemakers like Julian Fayard, Melka, or Touquette. But the wines are mostly overpriced and over - manipulated for my taste. Back to Paso Rhones. I see you do enjoy Turley. I was a member back when they were located in Napa. Somewhere, I lost my taste for Zinfandel. I think Syrah simply displaced it. But I purchased a lot of French and Italian wine over the past three years which won't be ready for another couple of years, but it will give me enough variety.

  • jeagle commented:

    9/25/20, 7:28 AM - I do get it. The angst of the wine buyer is quite appropriate. I typically would drink Napa Cabs at 7 or 8 years from the vintage. But now that I have decided to wade into many of the newly arrived winemakers, I have to taste earlier to see if I approve of the style, especially given the price of their product. Mike Smith makes so much wine, I decided to go with his own label. I totally disliked his Syrahs in a decent vintage and am now pretty much unhappy with the Cabs. I did try a Scarlett Reserve which I found too close to the Myriad style. I have not ventured farther than that. In general, I have always purchased from producers who provide a consistent brand. I would typically taste before purchasing, but I trusted their loyalty to the style. Throughout the 80's and 90's, I was predominantly a Napa Cab and Sonoma Pinot and Zin drinker. In 2006 I discovered Rhone wines from Paso Robles and became enamored. Names like Saxum, Torrn, L'Aventure, and Clos Solene consistently produce gorgeous wines, especially during this spate of amazing vintages. The most angst I now experience is with the Napa product due to my present inexperience with it. I will say, the best bottle I have experienced is the 2014 Outpost True Vyd. so I believe Thomas Rivers Brown is a keeper for me. It is one of life's mysteries that Mike Smith tutored under him.

  • jeagle commented:

    9/25/20, 7:35 AM - Mark, thanks for the info on the Selah 2017. Given the fires and the general quality of the vintage, I decided to go heavy on the 2018's instead. I even bought a bit of Myriad, I think I thought I'd try the Georges. I really seesaw on Myriad, kind of like a jilted lover, I can't seem to just cut it off, but I really should. I am at an age where I have to think about stopping the purchases altogether. I don't want to leave my wife with over a thousand bottles to deal with. Now I just have to break the buying addiction.

Red
2013 Drinkward Peschon Cabernet Sauvignon Entre Deux Mères Napa Valley
8/25/2020 - jeagle wrote:
94 points
Decanted for four hours then consumed over the next three. About as reliable a bottling as they come. I still think it could use another year or two of R & R to completely assimilate the oak, but it is sufficiently incorporated at this point. This bottle was a tidy package of earth, herbal, and fruit elements, nicely textured, round at mid-palate with a mild tannic salute at the finish.
  • jeagle commented:

    8/26/20, 8:08 AM - Hi Mark. I have been loyal to D-P for a long time. Always a solid classic. What do you think of 2013 in general? It was praised by critics, but I never really got it. More structure than fruit when young. Maybe the barrel was more telling as this bottle certainly developed nicely. I have only waded into the vintage.

Red
2013 Shutter Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Selection Napa Valley
8/10/2020 - SeaSmoke wrote:
88 points
Disappointing to put it mildly. @JUSTINNEAL654 is correct that this wine is completely devoid of fruit one expects with a Cab, particularly at this price point. I don't think this will improve with age.
  • jeagle commented:

    8/11/20, 7:41 AM - I commented on a bottle I tasted on 12/6/18 calling it liquid nothingness. It is striking that some early scores are very high with comments about big fruit. I fear that much of the bottling was tainted and we got hosed. I guess you don't want to buy the one I have left.

Red
2016 Force Majeure Syrah Force Majeure Vineyard Red Mountain
7/29/2020 - jeagle Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted for 6 hours prior to consumption. A delicious soft and round wine with luscious dark fruit and a touch of blood iron. Love the consistent quality this winery produces.
  • jeagle commented:

    7/30/20, 7:01 AM - Hi SRH. I agree, the decanting procedure is pivotal, but so many notes say nothing about it. I am constantly fretting over it most every time I open a bottle. I have to assume most people are pop and pour.....Force Majeur is my favorite Washington winery. Not so when I started with them, but they have changed style completely and are now estate.

Red
2014 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyard Howell Mountain
7/28/2020 - jeagle wrote:
97 points
Decanted for four hours then consumed over the next three. It has been 2 1/2 years since I last praised this wine, and it certainly has taken a nice path on its way to maturity. Noteworthy now is the vibrancy and urgency at mid-palate, and it is interesting that its masculine presence is found in the red to blue berry spectrum. There appears to be no false step yet in the crafting of this beauty. As compelling as it is now, the near future holds great promise.
  • jeagle commented:

    7/29/20, 6:33 AM - Hey, thanks. I don't get that bowled over very often, but I gave the wine the same score when it was only potential. Frankly, I was surprised at the level of development. Be sure to give it lots of air and enjoy! >John

Red
2013 Law Estate Wines Mourvèdre Prima Paso Robles
9/22/2018 - jeagle Likes this wine:
93 points
Decanted for 4 hours prior to consumption. It seems to me only fair that if one rates a wine with an uncharacteristically low score, some explanation is owed to the readers and to the winery. The bottle my wife and I drank last night was a charmer. Dark, mouth coating fruit that moved lazily across the palate. Everything was in perfect balance, and if I had one complaint, it would only be that the some of the more feral aspects of the varietal were not in evidence, rather the wine presented itself freshly manicured while wearing a tuxedo from Hugo Boss.
  • jeagle commented:

    5/16/20, 7:32 AM - Yes, I learned about the great mix up in Paso. Despite the interesting aspects of Graciano, it depresses me that there appears to be no renewed drive to obtain Monestrel since I am a big Mourvedre fan. I have asked several winemakers and it is just not there.

Red
2016 Torrin The Banshee Paso Robles Willow Creek District Red Rhone Blend
4/24/2020 - Tyler C Likes this wine:
95 points
Just keeps getting better. I have such a man crush on Torrin right now. The accessible Saxum IMHO.
  • jeagle commented:

    4/25/20, 9:04 AM - For sure it is my wife's favorite and very near the top of my list.

Red - Fortified
2011 Dow Porto Vintage Port Blend
11/27/2019 - jeagle wrote:
Uncorked in the morning then consumed over several nights. Huh. I am in the minority on this one. A very smooth and tasty port certainly with potential, but at this point in its life, this bottle offered only very simple fruit flavors. Not much about complexity in the reviews below. More in the very low 90's for me.
  • jeagle commented:

    3/26/20, 12:40 PM - I agree it is too young. But the four reviews prior to mine rated it 94 to 98. The point of my review was that it did not merit those kinds of ratings at this point in its development. It probably will deserve such ratings later.

White
2015 Aubert Chardonnay CIX Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast
3/2/2020 - csimm1161 wrote:
93 points
Last summer’s notes apply, but it seems like the declination (or perhaps, rapid progression?) of this wine continues. What vivaciousness it had a few years ago has softened to the point it’s a bit chubby now. It does some moderate gushing on the palate, but does so in a way that is slightly clumsy and overly viscous, tiring the palate some.

I’m not necessarily mad at this wine (well, maybe a little), and the bottle was ultimately drained in good order, but again it seems to lack acidity, and thus, constitutes a frame that is missing formidable energy and scaffolding; becomes overly round right out of the gate. It is super yummy and flavorful, with that strong glycol-saturated lemon curd element that most Auberts seem to carry. It’s got a vanilla and marshmallow thing going on that is uber-fat kid lick your chops slathering good...and that’s where it ends. And for some, maybe that’s all that is desired. I was left wanting more zing and focus, and after the first few sips it was just another kinda decent Sonoma Chardonnay.

It’s delicious, the same way a Bananas Foster is delicious... when you’re 6 years old....

Drink now, before it becomes too ...gooey....
  • jeagle commented:

    3/3/20, 7:03 AM - Just a little random support here so no need to respond. I was compelled to read your Aubert review twice today, so complements. Your audience should be even larger than it already is. Not that easy to bundle outrageous humor with solid information. Thanks.

Red
2015 Château de l'Ou Syrah Secret de Schistes Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes
1/18/2020 - jeagle wrote:
92 points
Tasted over two evenings. This bottle was substantially better than one year ago and simply way more impressive than the price tag, Very deep and extracted but not weighty. It has a rustic field blend type of charm as it remains edgy and still a bit awkward. Tannin was more imposing on night 2 but the strands were long and not objectionable. Quite a bargain.
  • jeagle commented:

    1/20/20, 7:42 AM - SRH. Hello. I was quite happy to see the improvement, but I intend to wait another year or two for my last bottle. It is kind of hard for me to justify cellaring wine at this price point, but this bottle makes me want to do it.

Red
2017 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard Paso Robles
1/15/2020 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
94 points
I must say, I was a tad worried about '17, not just because of record heat and fires in Napa, but also figuring the heat would affect the Paso region badly as well. Well, I guess since Paso is so often bathed in heat, those vines are used to it and play very well in it. This is my first of the '17 Paso vineyards cracked open so here goes.......

I must preface this by saying both Pesenti and Ueberroth are my fav Turley vineyards in Paso. This has classic Pesenti acidity with brambly fruit, cherry and raspberry. Great from the pnp, the fruit may be just a tad less strong than '14 or '15, but as always an hour of air brings it out and all together so much better. I didn't get much heavy alcohol at this time and the profile is as good as any Pesenti vintage in recent memory. Happy to see that my bet on Paso was a good one for '17.
  • jeagle commented:

    1/16/20, 7:50 AM - Hi Mark. the 2017 vintage in Paso has been a surprise. I tasted just bottled wines which were all amazingly accessible but should still age nicely. However, the 2018 vintage is expected to "wow" and there is promising talk about 2019. Happy sipping. >John

Red
2012 Larkmead Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
10/8/2019 - jeagle wrote:
93 points
Decanted for two hours then consumed over two nights. A week ago I was disappointed with this wine, but this bottle was so much better offering dusty and soft ripe fruit wrapped around an impressive acid core. Lovely both nights. I guess the previous bottle was a lazy runt of the litter.
  • jeagle commented:

    12/9/19, 9:33 PM - 2 months later, I know. I plod. Smart insight that. I gave a wine my first 100 a while ago and am now afraid to try another one. I think it is the bottle plus mood, plus company, plus a myriad of unknowns. I seem to be chasing the epiphany, but I doubt I am alone.

Red
2015 Selah Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
Decanted for a couple of hours prior to consumption, but the wine kept filling out over the next three hours. Famously, the final sips were the best, but this bottle was a joy from the start: a perfect size medium, Nothing feels big about this wine at this point, but it certainly feels polished. For mountain grapes, there is an alluring softness about it which I find insidious in a good way. To be this savvy at this age is certainly promising. I definitely will be coming back for more.
  • jeagle commented:

    11/26/19, 6:24 AM - Thanks Mark1npt. You should get a referral fee.... I was surprised a mountain TRB wine would be that accessible in 4 years. I was expecting more oak influence than I wanted, but this bottle was not heavy-handed at all. I hope it continues to move in the same direction. >John

Red
2014 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena
10/18/2019 - jeagle Likes this wine:
93 points
Decanted for an hour and a half then consumed over two nights. It has been nearly two years since I approached this wine. It has improved in flavor profile and finish, but there remains something about the style that goes against my grain. I can't really express it well, but the wine feels stylistically manufactured rather than artisanal. I admittedly found it to be delicious but ever so clean with the structure too well hidden. Too pretty? It definitely resonates a more feminine treatment of the grape, and maybe that is my problem since I view Cabernet in more masculine terms. Oh well, still a very nice bottle. Night one was my preference as everything was in bold and underlined whereas night two was softer across the board.
  • jeagle commented:

    10/20/19, 7:54 AM - Sorry for the late response, but I have been on the road. The only other Mike Smith Cab I have had is the 2015 Scarlet Reserve and it was very similar, and I was not fond of his Syrah under the Myriad label. This style does seem to be the "modern" approach with varying amounts of residual sugar. With younger wines, I used to find improvement on night two, but these wines do not appear to have the endurance.... I see you visited Selah. I will probably switch over from Outpost based on its sale as well as the appealing smallness and now your impression of the winery. Thanks for the response. >John

Red
2011 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Vigneto di Monte Lodoletta Corvina Blend, Corvina
Decanted for several hours and consumed over two nights. I don't really understand this wine. I cannot see it ever becoming anyone's epiphany. Yet it is eight years old and hardly drinkable. The oak remains dominant and the tannin and acid seem to force the fruit to cower. One reviewer recommended cellaring to 2026. Is this bottle really worth that kind of investment? I don't think so.
  • jeagle commented:

    10/4/19, 4:26 PM - Thanks for the comment. It is nice to know that I am not a lone voice. >J

Red
2006 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
Decanted for an hour then consumed over three days. There certainly is wine to meet every taste, but this bottle is apparently in direct opposition to mine. To me, it was post-apocalyptic in style, a dry tannic terrain with listless fruit.
  • jeagle commented:

    7/18/19, 6:02 PM - Yes, it may have been an off bottle. I do have a couple more so stay tuned. I probably will wait a bit and try again. Thanks for your comments. >John

Red
2013 Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Paso Robles
6/28/2019 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
91 points
It's a solid wine.....don't know how it made it to the WS top 100 but I think you know.....if it can be had at a decent price it's a nice drinker. Good fruit, well balanced, just not a well endowed, dramatic, powerful wine.
  • jeagle commented:

    6/29/19, 7:46 AM - Daou being in anyone's top 500 is a mystery to me. Beautiful Cabs are made in Paso at L'Aventure and Clos Solene, but they are rarely accessible early. There are Cab/Syrah blends from Torrin, Law, and Booker which are worth experiencing....btw, I enjoy reading your reviews thanks. >John

Red
2015 Torrin Akasha Paso Robles Syrah
6/4/2019 - jeagle wrote:
100 points
Decanted for six hours, but the initial impression was muted compared to around two or three hours later. And then the magic. I have been fortunate to have experienced many of Paso's finest including most vintages of Torrin. This bottle, however, was simply startling in its effortless power, beguiling texture, depth of flavors, elegant push across the palate, and echoing finish. I cannot get it out of my mind. I have always been reluctant to give a wine a perfect score, but I just cannot find any shortcoming.
  • jeagle commented:

    6/4/19, 10:38 AM - I later remembered that Jeb Dunnuck had given it a 100 score, but I did not know if that was from barrel or bottle. I expected it to be big but tight. Interestingly, it started out as well-made but medium bodied with no hint of what was to come. Like so many wines, one hopes to find its garden spot rather than finish the bottle too soon or decant it too long. When it came around, I was truly stunned. If you get to Paso, my favorite wineries aside Torrin are Law, L'Aventure, and Clos Solene / Benom.

Red
2014 L'Aventure Cuvée Chloe Paso Robles Willow Creek District Red Rhone Blend
Tasted and decanted four hours prior to consumption. Very promising, but simply too young. The oak is not yet resolved and the structure is too persistent. Maybe two more years.
  • jeagle commented:

    5/1/19, 6:10 AM - Thanks for the comment. It seems I am waiting for too many bottles to become ready. I was just venturing into the Paso 2014's, but that door is now closed for awhile. It always feels a bit wasteful to open a nice bottle too early, but I don't have confidence in the long term effects of using a Coravin. Aaargh!

Red
2013 Drinkward Peschon Cabernet Sauvignon Entre Deux Mères Napa Valley
Decanted for three hours then consumed over the next three. Probably the most impressive bottle I have had from this producer. Although it drinks well right now, I would leave it alone for another two years to firm up the back end.
  • jeagle commented:

    3/9/19, 6:34 AM - I have no idea where they source their grapes, but in strong vintages, they are quite impressive. I don't think they have had much of a price increase at all since their beginning.... My wine voyage began one night with a 1976 Heitz Martha's Vyd. and a 1980 Pine Ridge. Major eye opening. I remained a Napa guy until I discovered the Rhones out of Paso Robles. I will tell you, everything changes in your 70's when life expectancy becomes a meaningful specter. You realize you cannot just lay wines down for the future. Fortunately, the vintages from 2013 through 2016 have been strong allowing me to binge on Bordeaux, Southern Rhone, and Italy as well as a return to Napa. Huh. Not sure why this is all spilling out as it is not a direct response to your comment, but thanks for reading my review. >John

  • jeagle commented:

    3/9/19, 7:27 AM - Since I appear to be in a crisis mode this morning, allow me to impose one more comment to which you need not respond, and I will leave you alone. I have concluded that perhaps the most magical wines are produced by talented European winemakers using the best California fruit. My favorite Paso and Napa wines are those reflecting the raciness of our fruit overseen by European sensibilities with a couple of exceptions, of course. Okay. I am done with proclamations. Thanks for your patience. >John

  • jeagle commented:

    3/10/19, 7:56 AM - Eerie. It is so unlike me to engage as I am essentially an old curmudgeon. I am also unaware of St. Potelle. Don't know how I missed it, but I am sure there are many others. Your trip sounds great. Later. >John

Red
2006 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
12/25/2018 - DrBad Likes this wine:
95 points
Beautiful wine. Smooth, plush and velvety. Drinking perfectly, hard to believe it can get any better than this. Black cherry, plum with some pepper on the finish. Great accompaniment to Christmas dinner of filet mignon with port sauce. Decanted about 2 hours.
  • jeagle commented:

    12/26/18, 7:03 AM - No response required. I just wanted to thank you for the decant information. Sometimes I think it should be a requirement for any rating post because it is probably the most important single piece of data to me.

Red
2013 Saxum Broken Stones Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
8/25/2018 - Redguy wrote:
Decanted 8 hours. Lush and integrated. Large scaled but with feminine elegance. Lovely, if still primary. One of the better Saxums I've had in awhile.
  • jeagle commented:

    8/29/18, 6:31 AM - Three bottles on Saturday night! Did I miss the party? Ha. Lisa and friends arrive Friday. If she reads about this, I am going to have to crack a bottle. Keeping up with the Jones's jones. Poor me. >John

Red
2014 Scarlett Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
4/29/2018 - jeagle wrote:
90 points
Consumed over four hours. I seem to be swimming against the stream, but I have concluded that I do not favor Cabernet being sexualized which this bottle certainly is. Maybe feminized is more accurate. Very silky with polished tannins and too much sweetness in the delivery. It is a style which California has adapted nicely in some cases to Pinot Noir, but when applied to Cabernet, I have an awkward feeling that the grape is being clad in a cocktail dress and high heels while trying to sport a prominent Adam's apple.
  • jeagle commented:

    4/30/18, 6:08 AM - Hey, thanks for the note. A couple of years ago I commented on a review you wrote about the ebbing quality of KB as represented by their 2012 Russian River release with which I wholly agreed (and left them though they have not slammed the door). I have been following your entertaining impressions since, and when I felt compelled to re-enter the modern Napa Cab era, your impressive breadth of key wineries has been my road map. Just wanted to thank you for that. Although Mr. Smith's style has not set the hook, I have been wowed by T.R. Brown, and Touquette and Melka from the French invasion so far. Again, thanks >John

Red
2014 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena
1/2/2018 - jeagle wrote:
92 points
Decanted for two hours then consumed over the next three. This is my first Myriad Cab, and my lack of history will most likely effect my present thoughts. I enjoyed the silky delivery and the flavors which were impressive upon entry to mid-palate but ended with just a small echo at the finish. Unfortunately, the wine never grabbed me. It seemed to me to be sleepwalking across the palate. I wanted personality, a life of the party, but the glass gave me a slinky Stepford wife. A pretty wife, for sure, but lacking in spark or soul. My sense is that it is missing the feel of structure, especially an acid nip at the finish. Perhaps it is a stylistic thing with me, but hopefully more time in the bottle will alter my opinion.
  • jeagle commented:

    1/2/18, 5:22 PM - Thank you for the comment. I have read a number of your reviews and respect your opinion. Over the last year or two I have been attempting to get back into Napa Cab after some seven years immersing myself in Rhone varietals from Paso. Thus, I have little history with the wines I have acquired. I am finding it a bit difficult not popping some of them, especially since I have to make decisions on whether to invest even further in a producer I have never experienced. I will probably continue with the Myriad 2016s and take the advise to leave the 2014s alone for another year at least. Thanks again.

Red
2012 Carlisle Syrah Rosella's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
10/15/2017 - csimm1161 wrote:
85 points
Linear and flat across the palate from start to finish. Some purple berry fruit and fleeting hits of black olive (like the kind on a Roundtable pizza). Lackluster indeed (and not "off" in terms of being technically flawed in any way that I could tell). Fairly one-note, even after an hour+ of air.

This is unfortunately a product of a style transition from the late 90's to present, where what would be the core, ripe fruit seems to be pulling back so much in the name of balance that it has been robbed of some of its flavor and concentration potential. More than a bit of a bummer really, as Carlisle used to be my go-to for PS and Syrah for the last 15 years. Maybe I just need to rethink what Carlisle brings to the consumer now: a more basic table wine that isn't designed for geeking-out on or displaying flavors that might offset the medium and easy going balance it is apparently trying to achieve.

85-ish? points. I suppose leaving this alone for 2-3 years might allow it to put on some weight, but who knows what the fruit will be up to then. I was hoping that after having this a year ago, some time would broaden its spectrum. Not so. In fact, the opposite effect has occurred. Either it's in a dumb phase, or I'm in a dumb phase. Regardless, this wine and I didn't jive.

...It's always hard to break up with a wine when you have more bottles still sitting in the cellar.
  • jeagle commented:

    10/16/17, 6:50 AM - I rarely comment, but after your review a couple of years ago of the 2012 KB Russian River being pedestrian which was also my impression (I dropped them), I had to offer support. Here I am again. I became so tired of writing negative Carlyle reviews, I dropped them, too. I think I have one bottle of Pallisades PS left. You will probably receive a few responses from their avid fan base. No group has been more moved to respond to my negativity than them, typically polite but with a sense of restrained anger. I started to write one person back, but then I noticed their picture had them posing with a Carlyle magnum. Keep up the good fight. <John

Red
2014 Force Majeure Syrah Force Majeure Vineyard Red Mountain
7/4/2017 - jeagle wrote:
Decanted for 12 hours before consumption in hope that it might open up. It did not, but it did offer exciting promise. At this point it is a silky mouthful with a blood iron core and only hints of the deep fruit underneath. It requires time that will constantly challenge the immediacy of my desire to open yet another bottle.
  • jeagle commented:

    7/13/17, 8:04 PM - Hello. It is difficult to stay away from it realizing the great rewards are several years down the road. I hope you have a bunch because this is really exceptional. I question myself whether at the 4 or 8 hour mark it was showing more than at the 12 hour mark. Wine is so unpredictable as it moves in and out of accessibility. I hope to wait a couple of years but I will need to be distracted. Thanks for reading my thoughts. >John

Red
2013 Torrin Akasha Paso Robles Syrah
12/25/2016 - jeagle wrote:
94 points
Decanted briskly eight times then allowed to rest in a wide-bottomed decanter for 12 hours. Apparently it liked the rough treatment, because this bottle yielded the depth and richness one typically expects much further down the road from this producer. Wow...Hark the herald angels sing.....
  • jeagle commented:

    12/27/16, 7:17 AM - Thanks. I hope it works for you. I never had to worry about aeration exactitude until I discovered Paso wines. Now I fret over whether I should decant the night before, leave it in the decanter or return it to the bottle to slowly oxidize or a combination of both. It usually seems to be when guests arrive that I have chosen the wrong option. I am just starting this multiple decant on bigger, slow developing wines. I, too, am hoping it accelerates their accessibility. >John

Red
2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
11/21/2015 - csimm1161 wrote:
87 points
PnP with soft, muted notes of creamy strawberry, rhubarb, red plum, raspberry, and only a faint touch of the signature cola flavor often indicative of KB Pinots.

Slow O2 for approximately an hour, with similar notes. Nothing much had changed, with the flavors somewhat lackluster. Fairly hollow on the back end, totally absent any interesting spice or layered red berry notes. Depth in the mid-palate was lacking as well. After about an hour in the glass, the fruit had faded, and the wine had become a vanilla-tinged, watery texture. Absolute zero complexity to speak of. Truly felt like I was drinking a $10 Pinot.

I have been a list member with Kosta Browne for nearly a decade, and an enormous fan of their previous vintages. However, this is the kind of wine that not only gives me pause, but truly makes me reconsider going in on my next allocation. Not only have they dialed-it back in recent years (as mentioned in a previous CT note), but they have seemingly become lost in this whole "in the pursuit of balance" movement, which has caused many producers to pump out would-be "balanced," but totally forgettable and lackluster wines. This is a definite miss for KB.

I will likely off-load my current supply of this particular wine now (hello auctions!), rather than wait for another year with it in the cellar in futile hope that it will emerge into anything more than what it is now. Obviously I'm not at all confident that time can fatten this up in any way possible; either way, there is almost no stuffing in this wine to turn it into anything worth getting excited about. Not a technically "flawed" wine per se, but unfortunately a complete disappointment for the KB label. Yet another small producer that has grown to the point where its quality control has begun to suffer.
  • jeagle commented:

    11/23/15, 7:05 PM - Thanks for the thoughtful note. I was quite disappointed when I tasted the 2012 RR expecting something interesting from a promising vintage. I think I went into some kind of denial and explained away my reaction. I tried the Sonoma Coast bottling tonight experiencing the same sense of disappointment. It reminds me of when Arrowood sold to Mondavi in the 90's. The denigration was quick and fatal.

Red
2013 Nicora Buxom Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
11/21/2015 - Qventoid#11 Likes this wine:
94 points
PNP - tight, flat, very limited fruit scent. Just drank one glass. Next day it was open, tea, pomegranate, blackberry, just a gorgeous Syrah. My first Nicora - hope they're all this good!
  • jeagle commented:

    11/21/15, 8:05 AM - They are all that good. I always decant Nick's wine the night before. In fact, I believe most of the wine out of Paso benefits from a long decant. The 2012 Nicora Shadow Canyon, I felt, did not hit its stride until about the 36 hour mark. Nicora is still the best deal and most unrecognized wine in the area.

Red
2011 Law Estate Wines The Nines Paso Robles Grenache
3/15/2015 - jeagle wrote:
Decanted 12 hours before tasting on day one and 36 hours passed before approaching the wine on day two. This wine was tasted side-by-side with the 2011 Torrin The Maven. There is a high probability the reader of this review has both wines so let me just say you are a lucky soul. The 36 hour decant was necessary to begin to glimpse the potential of this wine. Rich fruit but cottony rather than dense, nimble across the palate with a sense of poise and restraint. Already I would judge it to be the equal of my finest Grenache experiences with a rating in the upper 90's.
  • jeagle commented:

    7/5/15, 7:36 AM - Thanks. If you decide to pop one, believe me, the long decant makes such a difference.

Red
2009 Torrin Akasha Paso Robles Syrah
2/24/2015 - jeagle wrote:
89 points
Decanted through an aerator 10 hours prior to tasting. The muted fruit tasted mature through a heavy haze of tannin so I doubt this wine will ever come together. Personally, I think this style is a mistake and certainly eliminates all but the most optimistic of the senior crowd. So many Paso wines are beautifully accessible after several years. I truly wish this producer were one of them.
  • jeagle commented:

    2/25/15, 6:57 AM - That is a good question. I looked back at my tasting notes. In Dec. 2014, I had a 2007 Akasha which is the oldest Torrin I have tasted. It was in balance but the fruit was still tight, so the Akasha appears to take a long time. However, I had a 2009 Banshee last January and it was much more open so I think it depends on which bottling and even which year. Last month I tasted a 2011 Law Vyd. and it was already approachable. I am hoping that is due to a change in style and not just reflective of the vineyard or vintage. I fear the Tsundere is in the Akasha class, whereas Maven should be more forthcoming.

  • jeagle commented:

    2/25/15, 7:23 AM - Yes, once decanted the Torrin wines do not progress in a straight line, another frustration. I plan to try another 2011 soon to learn if the Law Vyd. was an outlier or whether Torrin is taking a more modern approach. Thanks.

Red
2009 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
12/1/2014 - Bryan&Auður wrote:
88 points
Maybe I am missing something or taking the WOTY into too much consideration but this was just decent for Kosta Browne. Where the F was the fruit?! Earth, spice and cola on the nose...bits of fruit on the nose...palate just earth and spice with decent acidity for an hour. Maybe this was great years ago and that is why it was the wine of the year, meaning it has to be drunk within the year because the more this was left open, just turned to a sad excuse for a 95 point super highly touted wine.
  • jeagle commented:

    12/4/14, 7:14 AM - I drank this wine a year or two after its release and it was sublime. I held my others until this year. Big mistake as it has deteriorated badly. I now drink KB wines early.

Red
2011 Nicora Buxom Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
8/28/2014 - Mootsie Likes this wine:
92 points
Deep color, great savory/ smokey nose. Not as complex as Nicora's GSM blends, but certainly well made and enjoyable. Blue fruits with an underlying black cherry cola element, anise, smoke, pepper. Dense, smooth, but still somewhat young.
I think in another 4 - 5 years it could be 93 - 94.
Reminds me of Jaffurs' Santa Barbara County Syrah with a few years on it.
  • jeagle commented:

    8/31/14, 7:34 AM - I did the vineyard tour with Nick yesterday and had the opportunity to taste the upcoming Fall release which had been decanted the day before. To my mind, his 2012's are, overall, his best to date and barrel samples of 2013 were even better. He is a yet undiscovered gem.

Red
2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard Russian River Valley
Decanted 8 hours prior to tasting. Pleasant zinfandel nose, but the immediate palate impression is assertive acid creating lemon-like red fruits. This follows through to a substantial bite at back palate. At this point, it presents itself as difficult to approach unless one favors high acid reds.
  • jeagle commented:

    4/4/14, 8:12 AM - Thank you for the comments. It is difficult to go against the tide, especially when it is a highly reputable winery with an avid following. This is my fourth 2011 Carlisle, and I believe it was a very problematic vintage for them. They were not alone.

Red
2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Saitone Ranch Russian River Valley
2/6/2014 - jeagle wrote:
85 points
Decanted through an aerator 5 hours prior to consuming. This appears not to be my vintage nor my producer or both because I have not understood two syrahs and now a zinfandel. The wine began with some promise, nice red fruits and spice, but by mid-palate it was gone, completely, no flavors echoing across the palate, no finish, just a disappearing act. Not the type of magic I look for.
  • jeagle commented:

    2/6/14, 7:24 AM - Hopefully. It is confusing to read other reviewers whose present experience is so different from mine. I did expect the zins to be fairly approachable, but I will have to let them sit. Thanks.

Red
2007 Rasa Vineyards QED Walla Walla Valley Red Rhone Blend
12/14/2013 - jeagle wrote:
94 points
Decanted 7 hours prior to tasting. Day one was dark and brooding with gamy, beef au jous, darkly roasted coffee flavors, imposing, even unsettling with its deep, mysterious palate and strong acid core. Day 2 was friendlier with red and dark fruits at the forefront, impeccable balance. I am new to this winery, but what a ride this wine offered. Wow.
  • jeagle commented:

    12/14/13, 11:13 AM - Looking forward to others. Being new to me, what do you consider their prize releases. Thanks.

Red
2010 Maison Bleue Syrah Liberté Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley
11/20/2013 - jeagle wrote:
90 points
Decanted overnight. Initial palate impression was very pure and refined, blueberries and red fruits, nice minerality, sleek mouthfeel. By mid-palate, however, the acid emerged quickly transforming the flavor to tart cranberry and the texture to something lean and sharp. If that start could have pushed through to the finish, this bottle would have been truly memorable.
  • jeagle commented:

    11/21/13, 5:52 AM - Thank you for the comment. It feels odd to have a different tasting experience than others who have rated the wine. I believe you are most likely correct, too.

Red
2009 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
10/24/2013 - Outplaying wrote:
Put me in the dissenters camp. I can see the appeal but my tastes have just moved too far from this style. Ripe, big, brown sugar, soft. Ann on the other hand loved it. I checked the website to see what the percentage of syrah might be, or if there is any, but it doesn't say anything about other varieties. It also doesn't say 100% Pinot on the fact sheet. Anyone have any insight? I'd sell my remaining KB but I'm afraid Ann would not be happy.
  • jeagle commented:

    10/25/13, 7:18 AM - It has been my understanding for many years that blending anything with pinot noir is sinful. I would be stunned if a serious producer such as KB "tainted" any of their bottlings.

  • jeagle commented:

    10/25/13, 12:57 PM - I can only conjecture that KB would consider 100% pinot noir a given, much like the true Burgundians. The mere thought of tampering is heinous akin to the evil incarnate in the Harry Potter series whose name must not be spoken. I subscribe to several other pinot producers who, as I recall, do specify 100% pinot noir on their specifications.

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