Comments on my notes

(41 comments on 34 notes)

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Red
2011 Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles Paso Robles Red Bordeaux Blend
5/25/2020 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
Solid, serviceable, enjoyable, but plenty of better finds for the same price are out there. Flavors were more lively than the nose indicated.
  • millerarner commented:

    5/26/20, 5:38 AM - You got it at a great price . . . For $40 I'd probably grab a couple more. We paid $50, and I see it's now going for $60+. Don't get me wrong, I've always liked Justin, but in CA cabs, we usually find better values with Sbragia or Artesa, (for our tastes anyway). We also really like WA cabs, so Betz, Sheridan & Sleight of Hand come to mind. Dollar for dollar, Betz may well be our favorite Bordeaux style producer, because you can find some amazing deals if you're willing to shop aftermarket sites like WineBid. Looking at non-cab alternatives Muga (Tempranillo) & Paloma (Merlot) pop into mind as offering good QPR. That's a limited list off the top of my head, and tried to limit it to stuff that's relatively easy to find.
    I'm always up for suggestions too.
    Cheers.

Red
2016 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley
2/21/2020 - wineotim wrote:
91 points
This wine surprised me. If I'd tasted it blind I would have guessed an entry level Margaux. This is not your typical Napa Cab. It's not heavy or opaque, rather it's silky, elegant, long legged, restrained, with bright, lifted, minty fruit and finishes with notes of anise, mineral, and pyrazine and noticeable grip. I can't help but wonder if this was an outlier bottle.
  • millerarner commented:

    2/22/20, 8:06 AM - Wish I’d seen your note earlier. I was at B-21 and picked up a couple of bottles as cellar defenders. Maybe I should go back grab a few more.

  • millerarner commented:

    2/22/20, 9:12 AM - I just checked out Typesetter and it seems quite intriguing. Have you tasted it yet?

Red
2015 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Napa Valley
3/16/2019 - csimm1161 wrote:
79 points
IHOP blackberry syrup, milk chocolate, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and some wet oak char. Like a fat, syrup-slathered stack of cold, mushy pancakes flambéd with the chocolate tears of the Cadbury Creme Egg Bunny, this installment of the Caymus SS impresses for its sheer lack of complexity and overtly cloying mouthfeel.

A one-and-done singular note mic drop dull thud on the palate. Medium bodied all the way around, with a sloth-like attack that lacks energy and focus. Displays seemingly little acid, with the grip of a three-fingered infant. Finishes as it starts, with a round and simple syrupy tail.

Essentially lost on the palate, with no real reference to specific varietal or sense of place. The only terroir this “wine” speaks to is Hershey Pennsylvania.

On the upside, those who enjoy watching Honey Boo Boo and Mama June from the comforts of their mom’s living room sofa-bed will find pleasure here...
  • millerarner commented:

    12/14/19, 9:29 AM - Hands down, the best TN I've ever read. I read it 3 times, wiping away tears by the end. Thank you.

Red
2006 Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Tomahawk Vineyard Stags Leap District
9/29/2019 - ArlenP wrote:
Drink now or forever hold your peace
  • millerarner commented:

    9/30/19, 11:33 AM - I was hoping it wasn't so, but apparently these just fell off a cliff. We've thoroughly enjoyed many 06 Tomahawks over the years, but the last two, both this year, have been hugely disappointing. It's like they got really old and tired overnight.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu Chenin Blanc
4/11/2019 - millerarner wrote:
I’m reading all the remarkably consistent tasting notes by other CT community members and feeling like a joke has been played on me. Bottle was stored properly since purchase from a reputable wine store, but the liquid inside little resembled that experienced by the others. Had medium-minus acidity at best, with high residual sugar, almost as if someone added a large dose of a well aged Sauternes to the mix. The nose was dominated by the petrol notes you’d expect from a 15 year old Riesling, with the honey and fruit only showing faintly mid palate. Had a well sealed non-pushed cork, and no sign of taint. Bizarre.
  • millerarner commented:

    5/7/19, 4:29 AM - Thanks for the input. Certainly my consumption of Vouvray over the years has been infrequent, but the main gist of my note was puzzlement that many of the other tasters were reporting much higher levels of acidity than I experienced.

Red
2007 Alysian Wines Pinot Noir Floodgate Vineyard West Block Russian River Valley
This is drinking beautifully. Lovely nose of black cherry and baking spice. In the mouth, elegant and quite plush, with a close knit mouth feel and gloriously juicy black cherry fruit. Sails across the palate nicely, with refined acidity and a strong finish. A-
  • millerarner commented:

    11/22/18, 5:54 AM - Good tasting note

Red
2015 Château la Bienfaisance Sanctus St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
5/26/2018 - wineotim wrote:
89 points
Flowery aromas and flavors, medium bodied, decent structure of red raspberry like fruit.
  • millerarner commented:

    11/21/18, 12:51 PM - I picked up a couple myself. Good stuff for the price. I looked at name tags the other day at B-21, but never saw one that said "Tim". It's funny, I also thought the Ridge Geyserville was good and picked up a couple of them too.

  • millerarner commented:

    11/21/18, 1:20 PM - Yes, very hard to taste under those circumstances. The place was a zoo Sunday. I liked it better when they had the sit down seminars, because besides being interesting, it rotated the crowd in and out of the tasting area. I've got some friends who are into wine as well (I'm sure you do as well), so one of these days we'll have to organize a group tasting and introduce ourselves.

Red
2008 Robert Foley Claret Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
9/8/2018 - millerarner Likes this wine:
94 points
At ten years after vintage the fruit is still taking center stage, particularly in the mouth. Fairly primary, and I wish some more earthy/leathery secondaries had developed, but it’s fantastic juice anyway. Gobs of the chocolate & vanilla you’d expect in a big Napa Bordeaux blend that saw plenty of new oak. Good balance too (we’ve had younger Foley Clarets that were more lumbering in nature). The tannins are present and polished, but seem to be receding, so this may be starting its downside.
  • millerarner commented:

    9/30/18, 7:08 AM - I live in Clearwater too. Where’d you find it?

  • millerarner commented:

    10/1/18, 7:47 AM - That's interesting . . . 09 is turning out to be my favorite Napa vintage (we like it better than the more celebrated 07), so I may have to give it a try. On a side note, just bought our tickets for the B-21 Grand Tasting in November. Should be a good one.

  • millerarner commented:

    10/1/18, 11:56 AM - Absolutely. I'll be there with my wife.

  • millerarner commented:

    10/2/18, 5:09 AM - Yeah, that’s a fair analogy, provided we’re talking about Caymus SS from years back. Lately, I feel like Caymus has been pushing the envelope too far on ripeness & roundness, but that’s a whole other conversation. Like the SS, Foley Claret definitely strives to be a big pleasure bomb, and usually succeeds. They tend to have more tannins, and be a bit more burly when young, but IMO also age better/longer than SS, so it depends on when you like to drink them. On the vintages where they didn’t quite nail it, the alcohol tends to show as hot, but you can say that of quite a few Napa cabs (making a big wine that maintains balance is a high wire act). Before Bob Foley started his own label, he was winemaker for Pride Mountain, Hourglass, Switchback Ridge, and Paloma (one of our faves), so that should give you an idea of his style.

Red
2005 Château Plince Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
10/19/2016 - wine&roses wrote:
flawed
Scoundrel WineBid consignor. Not hard to write a program that rates consignors to auction sites without identifying them. You would just know that this consignor has one or two out of five stars for reliability of his description of the wine's condition--and you'd be warned accordingly. This would be completely separate from your rating of the wine itself.
  • millerarner commented:

    9/16/18, 7:07 AM - You got an entire lot that was bad? Sorry to hear that. Have you had other purchases that were bad? This is interesting, since we now buy much of our wine from WineBid, and have always had good luck. Just did a quick accounting and have purchased around 170 bottles, and consumed around 130 of them. So far, only one was bad. I like the idea of rating consignors, though.

Red
2004 Elderton Shiraz Single Vineyard Command Barossa
11/23/2013 - millerarner Likes this wine:
93 points
On a blind pour, thought it had a "Cali Cab" nose, but upon sipping there's no doubt this is a well made Shiraz (somewhere in the background of all of them is a telltale signature of black olive on the palate). Bold, yet refined. Quite extracted, but light in body. Tannins well integrated, yet no sediment. Agree with another taster who mentioned mocha and toffee. Also has the feel of a rich buttery blackberry cobbler. Don't know if it's quite worth $80, but at $65 I'll take it.
  • millerarner commented:

    9/5/18, 8:14 AM - It's funny, I bought that bottle five years ago from Wine Bid for $65.00, and just today I see Wine Bid has one for $65.00. Since it was so good, and since we like them with age, maybe I'll buy another.

Red
2012 Talbott Pinot Noir Diamond T Estate Monterey
9/21/2015 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
One of the few times we disagree. She thought it WAY too fruity, cloyingly so. While I agree it's rather ripe, and certainly not what I look for in a Pinot (or even varietally typical), I thought it had some other interesting things going on. Some savory, spicy, leathery touches hiding in the background. Decent balance too. I think this has enough structure that if left in cellar for 10 years it could turn into a stunner.
  • millerarner commented:

    7/28/18, 7:27 AM - I agree. Many times after having a bottle we end up saying “that could’ve used a few more years” or “should’ve put it in decanter a couple hours earlier”. The biggest problem with our wine collection is keeping our hands off it long enough to let it mature.

    We went through Monterey County in fall 2014 and Boekenoogan was one of our favorites too.

Red
2013 Booker Vineyard Vertigo Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
1/26/2018 - mattdathan Likes this wine:
95 points
Luscious, velvety, strong and elegant - all in one!
  • millerarner commented:

    1/29/18, 6:04 AM - That sums up my thoughts on the best Booker wines perfectly. One of the best producers at blending power with grace.

Red
2014 Quintessa Rutherford Red Bordeaux Blend
11/20/2017 - wineotim Likes this wine:
93 points
Deep violet with fresh berry aromas. Light on its feet but good dark intensity, nicely oaked. Tasted at B-21.
  • millerarner commented:

    1/16/18, 4:19 AM - Did B-21 have tastings last year? I never received notification or heard about any taking place in 2017, whereas I’ve gone to many in prior years.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
I am literally speechless. I have been drinking Caymus and Napa Cabs since the 1974 Vintage. I met Chuck Sr at the wine ray many years ago. Caymus was one of the bright stars of the late 70's and 80's. How far they have fallen.

I'd honestly love to have a conversation with Chuck Jr to see what he was trying to do and what exactly went completely wrong. This wine is a hot mess. It honestly tastes like a sweet $15-$18 Syrah or Petite Syrah and I'm not sure if I would have identified it as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine is black/purple and is so sweet I literally had one glass and I was done. I can't even drink this. My remaining 3 bottles are going to some wine shop that I will trade for something else. We drank a 2013 Kobalt last night which was amazing that I gave 94 points to. This wine is not even in the same Universe. I would have never imaged a winery of this status could even release a wine like this. It's an udder embarrassment and if Parker gave this 96 he has sold out completely because this is garbage.
  • millerarner commented:

    10/1/17, 6:42 AM - I always get a kick out of the harsh reviews. I agree that this is a severely overripe, heavily manipulated, flabby fruit bomb, but 75 points? While many can be justifiably appalled at what's in the bottle, it's still to me more of a stylistic difference than outright flaws (IMO, anyway). P.S. Unless this somehow relates to a cow's tit that you're ashamed of, I think you meant "utter embarrassment ". Don't ya hate when Siri hears you wrong?

Red
2010 Gianni Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Marina Cvetić
8/25/2015 - Alemany wrote:
91 points
Awesome albeit way too young
  • millerarner commented:

    10/2/15, 6:19 AM - I agree. Have you had older versions of this? I'm interested to see where this goes.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
7/4/2015 - zuluvino Likes this wine:
95 points
Here's another example of wines that are under-rated by members at large on this site and why I always add 2 or 3 points to the average rating. This is a great wine that is way too young right now. It is surprising soft and silky but the flavors are separated and racy. Color is a bright violet and the nose explodes out of the glass which should tell people a lot. I sacrificed one bottle out of a case to get a baseline of it's development as it ages. Nowhere near drinkable. It should get roughly 4 years time if you want to start drinking but I can understand if you can't wait. I drank this the same evening as an '06 Mollly Dooker Enchanted Path which was stunning (an easy 96) and showed why many wine lovers need to assess bottles at maturity instead of throwing out a score as it's tasting now that is not a true assessment of its potential.
  • millerarner commented:

    7/13/15, 2:09 PM - IMO, a wine should be scored on how it tastes at the moment, not its potential. That's the whole point of scoring, to assess a wine at a particular time. Even your own note indicates you don't feel it's currently a 95. Anyway, that's my unsolicited 2 cents.

    To your belief that this will get a whole lot better, and people should wait 4 years to drink it, that's a good opinion to share, and waiting is usually a good rule of thumb for a big Cali cab, but in this case I must disagree. Age worthiness in wine is product of acid structure, tannin structure, and the balance of all elements together. This has none of those things so I feel it's not promising for down the road. It will be fun to watch.

    I don't necessarily agree with the low scores, and think some are being particularly harsh to make a statement (kind of like you adding 2-3 extra points but in reverse), but I do think they have very valid critiques.

    Don't get me wrong, I've scored this a 90, and have enjoyed it, but the 2012 40th Anniversary is already flabby at such a young age. My last thought is this . . . . If you do wait, 4 years from now will put you 7 years from vintage, and in my experience that's right in the heart of the closed phase for most Cali Cabs. The fruit has faded, but the tertiary aromas haven't showed up yet. A lot of winemakers will tell you to drink 'em 3-5 years from vintage, or 8 plus years from vintage, but in those middle years it's usually shut down.

    That's a lot . . . Sorry. But I've been having a good time watching all the commentary on this wine.

Red
2010 Epoch Estate Wines Estate Blend Paderewski Vineyard Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
1/15/2015 - andrewdodd86 Likes this wine:
96 points
Coravin #2 - consistant with last go around. More of a cocoa nib/chocolate nuance going on this time. Still enamored.
  • millerarner commented:

    1/16/15, 5:29 AM - Coravin may well be the greatest invention since the wheel.

Red
2011 Bodegas Alto Moncayo Garnacha Campo de Borja
8/9/2014 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
Year after year this is one of my favorites, but the bottle we just had wasn't quite there. Our first try of the 2011 vintage was at a local wine store tasting, which also included 2011's of Veraton & Aquilon. All 3 were rich & concentrated, with all the fruit & secondary notes we've come to expect. Easily a 94 that day, however our bottle last night was a bit less of everything (nose, taste, body) . . . . Almost like someone thinned it ever so slightly with a nondescript white wine. It was still good, just more generic, and not the combination of complexity & hedonism it normally is. Interested to see how our remaining bottles turn out.
  • millerarner commented:

    1/15/15, 5:26 AM - Agree 100%. This is one of our go to wines when we want a rich treat that won't break the bank.

Red
2008 Moone-Tsai Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
3/28/2013 - wineotim wrote:
89 points
Can't see the hype here, acidity and alcohol would not yield to the fruit, even a decant and ribeye steak could not smooth this one out. Disappointed.
  • millerarner commented:

    11/1/14, 5:58 AM - I just had the same experience with this . . . . Right down to the ribeye. Where'd you buy your bottle? Got mine at Total Wine about two & a half years ago. Quite the let down.

Red
2009 Cayuse God Only Knows Walla Walla Valley Grenache
7/21/2014 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
Still not sure what to make of this. Our first cayuse & the wife nailed it blind as she new it would have a distinctive funk unlike anything else. Gave it plenty of air, then drank slowly over a long evening. Over time the funk gave way to lots of red fruit and a few secondary notes that defied specific definition. If was fun, interesting & unique, but was surprised by the lightness of body.

I once read that Cayuse tends to fare poorly when tasted side by side with another wine, so as an experiment we compared it to a Rioja opened & vac'd the night before. What once seemed interesting became dull in comparison to a wine that had seemed only above average the night before. Obviously not apples to apples, but the Cayuse made the Rioja more vibrant & expressive than it had been.

I can appreciate and enjoy this, but think it's overpriced for what it delivers.
  • millerarner commented:

    7/23/14, 12:00 PM - I agree. I think sometimes the exclusivity of being one of the few who can buy (due to the long wait list) causes one to overvalue the product. However, I won't pass judgement based on just one bottle, plus it was unique and enjoyable, but the prices . . . .

    I also have a Widow Maker 09 that needs more bottle time, so we'll see how that turns out.

Red
2010 Elio Altare Barbera d'Alba
5/3/2014 - StefanAkiko wrote:
85 points
Paid the Japanese price premium for this one. It came out polished, with absolutely no edges, no personality, easy-drinking and . . . bland.

Young fruit on the nose, towards violets and Southern France.
In the mouth this has M++ acids to marry all things with tomatoes. The tannins are just like the rest of this wine: Charming, but without personality. Almost as if this wine was a J-pop or K-pop star... Beautiful label, but not much contents...
(I still have no clue about HOW to identify Barbera in a blind tasting.)
Wife: 87p (for drinkability)
At local La Verdura with kohai running the restaurant for the GW-week.
  • millerarner commented:

    7/8/14, 8:05 AM - Your note is spot on. I too have a hard time identifying Barbera, and this one in particular has no distinguishing marker to tell you what it is. If I ever guess one blind, it's more often due to acid and weight than any particular note.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
7/5/2014 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
Been reading all the commentary on this with great interest (and amusement), so we were eager to try one. First thought is that the CT average of 90 is right on, although I think those giving this scores in the low 80's or less are being a bit too harsh in order to make a point. Setting aside stylistic differences in taste, I agree this does fall short of what Caymus was shooting for, but 80 points?? C'mon . . .

Second thought, based on all other TN's is that this may have some wide ranging bottle to bottle variance insofar as the flavors go. For instance, yes there is a ton of oak, but on our bottle it didn't manifest at all as over the top vanilla or coconut, rather it was a sweet chocolate & roasted coffee/toffee note. It was actually quite nice, unfortunately it utterly dominated all else.

To me this is a hedonistic pleasure bomb (or attempts to be) that I'd give more points to if it wasn't so one dimensional. As many have noted, it lacks both acid and backbone, so holding this for more than a few years is iffy. Will hold at least one, just to see what happens.
  • millerarner commented:

    7/6/14, 2:47 PM - Luckily we have 3 more, so don't face that dilemma . . . .
    If you have one, I'd drink it fairly soon, after letting it decant for an hour or so. Right now, it's very easy to find, so if you like it or think it can lay down for a few years, you can easily get more.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
6/21/2014 - Crunge wrote:
83 points
When I drink a Caymus, I usually know what to expect. Caymus is one of the in-your-face, oaky fruit bombs. There's nothing wrong with this style, and when you're in the mood for power over subtlety, Caymus is usually a safe choice.

For me, the 2012's fruit is hidden by oak at this point. On a pop and pour, the nose and flavor were all vanilla. I like vanilla and don't mind it in my wine as one of the flavors, but I don't care for it as the dominant flavor. Over the course of an hour, the vanilla changed to coconut. Strong, unpleasant coconut.

After a night sealed with a Vacu Vin, the vanilla had faded ever so slightly. It was still the dominant flavor, and fortunately the coconut didn't reappear.

There is an undercurrent of black cherries and plum, but the vanilla is far too strong at this point for my tastes. The rest of my bottles will sit for a year or more to see if it mellows out.
  • millerarner commented:

    6/23/14, 6:27 PM - I'm worried too . . . . While the oak & fruit will mellow & integrate with age, MANY tasters have commented on the lack of acid & tannic backbone. At least one of those elements should be present for long-term aging . . . . Therefore I worry that these will fall apart if laid down for awhile. Any thoughts?

Red
2008 Paloma Merlot Spring Mountain District
6/16/2014 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
Utterly shocked at how different this was from 2 other bottles we've had (in late '12 & mid '13). Same vintage, same supplier, but this time it was thinner bodied, lighter colored, more transparent & more acidic, by significant amounts, than the others. Certainly more changes than another year of age should have caused. Not flawed either. Whereas the first two were deep, rich & concentrated (think Robert Foley, but better), this time I'd swear I was drinking a hybrid style Rioja if I hadn't poured it myself. All in all it was still decent, just not the complex hedonistic pleasure bomb its siblings were.
  • millerarner commented:

    6/18/14, 9:02 AM - No, disappointed isn't quite it, although there was little bit of that . . . . Just shocked at how different, in all aspects, it was from the other two I'd had. The 90 simply represents my opinion of that one bottle, independent of prior experience with the same vintage. Keep in mind too, that last year I gave it a 94.

Red
2007 Mollydooker Shiraz Velvet Glove McLaren Vale
11/28/2013 - dogsbrekky Likes this wine:
93 points
HUGE wine and somewhat less constrained then other Molly Dookers.. still on a value for money basis I can name 10 other South Aussie producers who do Shiraz better... still a name that is loved by Wine Spectator and other USA tasters..

Beautiful nose, very smooth, deep purple, and enormously strong aromas and typical McLaren Vale squid ink/purple colour.... deep blueberry and plum flavours with a spicy overtone (which I like)... fine yet strong tannins... I think this will last another 8-10 years

I actually think the Carnival of Love will give you similar "power" and joy for 1/2 the price..... and if you love this at $150+ a bottle, try the Rockford Basket Press Shiraz
  • millerarner commented:

    2/3/14, 3:47 PM - Where do you purchase the Rockford Basket? From what I've seen on a cursory look, it's mostly available in Oz.

Red
2011 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love McLaren Vale
11/25/2013 - junglejuice wrote:
71 points
I am definitely in the minority here on this one. I found this wine to be disjointed, alcoholic and hard to drink on the first night. On the second night the alcohol settled down a lot, however, the flavor profile was not great with notes of dark berries, the taste not sensation of grain alcohol and a strange off balance allspice/clove note that threw me off and tasted completely artificial. The only other Carnival I have had is the 2005, which I have had a few times and each was a massive slap you around crazy bombastic experience that was delicious expression of this huge, manipulated massive style. The 2011 was just flat out not good. Not even for the style.
  • millerarner commented:

    1/31/14, 3:38 PM - I think JungleJuice is on to something. I just grabbed a 2011 COL and should have checked Cellar Tracker first. This vintage is scoring less than the others, and the average value is much less too (in fact the store where I purchased had just knocked $10 off the price). Must be an off vintage. Now I'm bummed.

Red
2008 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto Tempranillo
10/23/2013 - farinas Likes this wine:
94 points
Dark red garnet color with purple tinges and big tears. Intensely concentrated aromas of dark balckberries and blueberries, violets, bloody steak, creme de cassis, loam, and licorice. It is almost a hypothetical blend of St Emilion and Napa. Palate is also intense with plenty of dark fruits, glycerin, nice vanilla-flavored new oak, toffee, some warm milk some heat, and plenty of pasty/sticky tannins that glue the flavors all together. This bold effort finishes medium long with fruits, dulce de leche and new oak. This wine could earn more points as it ages, it is clearly on the younger side of its development. 94+
  • millerarner commented:

    1/17/14, 12:11 PM - Great review. Thanks. Gonna give it a couple years but looking forward to it.

Red
2010 Pahlmeyer Jayson Red Wine Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/20/2013 - wineotim wrote:
90 points
Very similar tasting experience to the '05 Jayson I opened in '09. The acidity is too sharp in an unappealing way, and the mid-palate is hollow. Weak nose. Expected better based on other CT tasters. -87pts

Update: This redeemed itself on the second night, it came together nicely, enough for a 90pt score.
  • millerarner commented:

    12/20/13, 7:46 AM - Sorry to hear that, as I have one I was looking forward to trying after a bit more time in the bottle. For economic reasons, I'm always searching for those rare $40-$50 bottles that drink above their price. More often than not I find CT average scores to be more reliable than the pros (provided multiple users have given scores). Noticed you live in Clearwater . . . I was born in Morton Plant and went to Clearwater High. Live in Palm Harbor now, so haven't made it very far from home.

  • millerarner commented:

    12/20/13, 3:00 PM - Thanks for the recommend on Ridge. Love their zins, and some day I'll pull the trigger on a Monte Bello, but will definitely try to find one of their cabs.

Red
2008 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse Yakima Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
5/6/2013 - ClubTerry Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted for 24 hours before tasting. Red and Blue fruits bit of smokiness and mocha, with layers and complexity throughout with a supple soft finish. This is a well made wine.
  • millerarner commented:

    11/4/13, 3:41 PM - I'm curious . . . Does such a long decanting really make that much difference? And you obviously don't worry about it falling flat? I usually decant 2-3 hours, then consume over the next 2-3. Do you think I'm missing the full potential if I do so for this wine? Or on any cab of similar age and pedigree for that matter. Your input would be much appreciated.

Red
2008 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse Yakima Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/20/2011 - MindMuse wrote:
98 points
Took to my wine group dinner. Decanted 4 1/2 hours, (following it with occasional sips because it was impossible not to) then double decanted about three more hours.

Ruby, clear. Beautiful polished nose with expressive layers of violets, black raspberry, expresso, chocolate, raspberry liqueur, cedar. dusting of cocoa powder. Medium and lively body that echoes the nose. This delivered an amazing coherent depth and breadth of flavors robing the palate. It is sophisticated, not bombastic or opulent, but just arresting in its seamless complexity, long etched finish, and utter harmony.

My Wine of the Year.
  • millerarner commented:

    11/4/13, 3:36 PM - Just curious . . . . In your opinion do you think such a long (and multiple) decanting is needed to maximize this wine's potential? Or any big cab of similar age and pedigree for that matter? I usually try to give at least 2 hours, then consume over the next 2.

Red
2005 Penfolds Shiraz RWT Barossa Valley
9/29/2013 - millerarner Likes this wine:
93 points
Had this one dining out so no notes, but what a superb bottle. From the beginning the nose was singing. The tannins are well resolved and it has a velvety mouth feel. If the palate matched the nose this would be a 95.
  • millerarner commented:

    10/2/13, 6:21 AM - It definitely has some life left in it. That said, to my taste it's at or near it's peak, so while it could handle more age with no problem, I don't feel it will improve any further.

Red
2010 Lapostolle Carménère Cuvée Alexandre Apalta Vineyard Colchagua Valley
3/10/2013 - gino'svino Likes this wine:
91 points
This is the darkest Carmenere wine that I have yet tasted. The color is a deep purple blue. It is very dark. The fruit is moderate, and there is tannin which will have to be smoothed out over time. This wine can age I think. But, I give it a 91 for the color alone. Maybe with 5 years or more, the rating can increase to a 92 or more. I don't know if the fruit and acid will outlast the tannin, but the color sure will last a long time.
  • millerarner commented:

    8/23/13, 8:14 AM - I'm now eager to try this. As a general rule Carmenere is quite light on tannins so this should be interesting.

Red
2010 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos
1/18/2013 - jwolniak Likes this wine:
88 points
Drank @ Cafe Babareeba - $44* menu price. We both loved it and were happy to see it sub-$15 online.

Grenache is a rare visit for me, but I enjoy it each time I do. This must be paired with food. Stands up to richness with a bit of spicy character. Very juicy; seemingly more French than Spanish.

I like it sub-$15 and is an approachable heavy food wine.

*Edited to correct price from $48 to $44.
  • millerarner commented:

    2/2/13, 5:38 PM - Actually prism, in many states restaurants pay higher than retail due to taxes and regulations on alcohol, but I have a question for jwolniak . . . . I'm interested in your comment about the wine seeming more French than Spanish. I will admit that my experience with French wine is very limited, but so far it has led me to believe that most of their wines are far from fruit forward. They seem more heavy in earth, herb and mineral. Am I wrong in my assessment?

  • millerarner commented:

    2/3/13, 10:34 AM - Prism, do restaurants in NY allow you to bring your own wine? In FL most places let you bring your own, provided it hasn't been opened, and they charge around a $10-$20 "corkage" fee to open it for you. The nicer ones even provide a decanter.

Red
2010 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Campo de Borja Tres Picos
12/23/2012 - a0788735 wrote:
88 points
Smokey, meaty nose. Thick and dark with lush, ripe fruit almost to the point of seeming sweet. Strong charred oak leading to carmel notes and shows a bit of spice. Although generally not a style of wine that I prefer, it's a high quality and good value given the price point.
  • millerarner commented:

    2/2/13, 5:51 PM - You have the tasting note we most agree with on this wine. We had toffee instead of carmel, and also a bit of chocolate maybe. If you drink this one again, think of slightly burned coffee and see if that comes through.

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