Tasting Notes for millerarner

(725 notes on 613 wines)

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Red
11/11/2019 - millerarner wrote:
92 points
Still in a great spot.
Red
11/11/2019 - millerarner wrote:
93 points
Well balanced for a powerful wine. Quite delicious. Wish I could find more.
Red
10/14/2019 - millerarner Likes this wine:
93 points
We tend to like Oregon Pinots, so this is big by comparison. In this case that's a good thing. Sill dominated by ripe cherries, but there are some beautiful secondaries too. Just lots of personality. Stood up well against bbq and didn't get overwhelmed at all (was actually quite compatible with both smoked turkey and pork ribs). If it get's a little too warm the alcohol starts to show, but otherwise no complaints.
Red
10/12/2019 - millerarner Likes this wine:
92 points
Tasty. Perhaps wanting a bit more complexity, but balanced and food friendly.
Red
9/30/2019 - millerarner Likes this wine:
93 points
From the list at Bern’s. Excellent pairing with all the cuts of seared dry-aged steak we were having. Seems to be at the front end of a long prime drinking window.
Red
2012 Paloma Merlot Spring Mountain District (view label images)
9/28/2019 - millerarner Likes this wine:
93 points
Once the gelatinous sediment is removed, and it gets sufficient time to open, a really tasty wine emerges. Not as concentrated & rich as other vintages of this, but that’s not a knock. Red cherry, black cherry, vanilla, and wood spice on the nose. In the mouth there’s good interplay between the tannin & acid, which fit well with the lighter body. I think structurally this has the ability to go years longer and evolve nicely along the way.
White
9/22/2019 - millerarner Likes this wine:
92 points
Expressive. Interesting. Balanced. Delicious.
Red
2010 James Cole Aliento Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/21/2019 - millerarner wrote:
94 points
Nose - 95. Palate-93. Enjoyed this, and it went way too fast. As often happens, by the last glass it really opened up to reveal a beautiful complex bouquet. Fresh baked cherry cobbler, caramel, cocoa, toasted coconut. Not much in the way of earthy elements, but still a lot going on with this one.
Red
9/9/2019 - millerarner wrote:
92 points
Two years since we last had a bottle of this vintage, and it seems to be aging well. Minimal tannins left, but it’s still holding together, and in fact held up against grilled steak. It’s always amazing how they can pack so much fruit, oak, and alcohol into this stuff and still end up with what I dare to say is a balanced wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Captûre Wines Harmonie Alexander Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/31/2019 - millerarner wrote:
92 points
Aged well, and ready to go. Tannins are soft & smooth. Minimal sediment. Slightly elevated, but well integrated acidity is what’s keeping it in a good spot. Don’t wait much longer on these.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/16/2019 - millerarner wrote:
Slightly corked. Depressing & a tease, because the taint was mild enough that we could tell a really nice wine was almost within reach.
Red
7/27/2019 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
Muted at first, then came around after an hour or so. Solid and serviceable, but lacking in personality.
Red
2013 Linne Calodo Problem Child Paso Robles Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
7/18/2019 - millerarner wrote:
93 points
Still good. Plenty of time left.
Red
7/5/2019 - millerarner wrote:
Second recent bottle of this that was well over the hill. Drink ‘em up. Still decent but seems to be fading quickly.
White
7/1/2019 - millerarner wrote:
Already scored this twice, so won’t again, but this last bottle was easily a 94. I understand some of the complaints about heavy oak, and am often on that same page, but dig a little deeper and this is so layered with good stuff. Elevated well integrated acidity and not too buttery, plus tart green apple and tropical notes make for an easy drinker with complexity. For me, an instance where the oak works for, rather than against the wine.
Red
2004 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/1/2019 - millerarner wrote:
93 points
Saw this on a restaurant list for darn close to retail and decided we had to try it. We’ve sampled various vintages of Monte Bello before at tasting events, but this was our first full bottle of one of America’s iconic “first growths”, and certainly the only one with any age. Consumed over two nights. First surprise was the color, which had minimal bricking. The nose was the star, and once it was open for business was hypnotic. Dried tobacco leaf and aged leather at the fore, with not-too-ripe dark fruit. Smooth palate with polished but present tannins. Our only small knock is that the slightly elevated acidity, which we generally prefer, wasn’t well integrated with the whole. Don’t know enough about these to guess whether more time will help resolve this.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/19/2019 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
Made the way good zin should be made (i.e. not too over the top). Vibrant fruit & well balanced with good zin spice. A hint of something woodsy too. No Mega-Purple in this one.
Red
6/17/2019 - millerarner wrote:
93 points
Even at nine years from vintage still on the youthful side, with years left. Classic Booker traits; big, bold, concentrated, yet smooth. Sexy nose. As before, give it time to breathe for the best showing.
Red
6/9/2019 - millerarner wrote:
89 points
If I’d read my own note on this from last year, I wouldn’t have opened another one yet. More unbalanced than before. Still showing young as far as color and fruit character, so there’s no rush in that regard, but presently it’s too awkward. Also quite reduced as others have mentioned, apparently to the point that in-bottle development is stunted. The body & nose make it seem more like an old world Mourvèdre than what it is. Served blind, even an experienced taster might be unlikely to identify this as a Pinot in its current state, and if I was scoring this strictly on varietal typicity I’d knock off a few more points. Long exposure to air did help, so hopefully time will resolve some of the issues.
Red
6/8/2019 - millerarner wrote:
flawed
Corked. Very sad. Had been looking forward to this one.
Red
5/28/2019 - millerarner wrote:
93 points
Absolutely perfect pairing with grilled Wagyu burgers.
Red
5/18/2019 - millerarner wrote:
92 points
Showing well right now.
Red
5/13/2019 - millerarner wrote:
92 points
This one surprised us by seeming younger, fruitier and more primary than the ones we had in '15 & '16. Color very youthful, as well. All said, still yummy, stilled balanced (for a big wine), and still lots of life ahead, if stored properly. Betz is always solid.
Red
5/12/2019 - millerarner wrote:
4th bottle of this. It just keeps getting better.
Red
5/5/2019 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
On the lighter side for a Napa. Medium plus acidity and vibrancy makes for an easy drinking food friendly wine.
Red
5/4/2019 - millerarner wrote:
94 points
Very big and very bold, but still possesses a wonderful balance, even a bit of finesse. As one taster already noted, lots of fruit, but not a fruit bomb. Delicious.
Red
4/27/2019 - millerarner wrote:
88 points
Past peak, but well within its window.
Red
4/25/2019 - millerarner wrote:
89 points
For our tastes this is on the young side, and could stand a dash more acidity, but it’s still a well made good value. Lots of stuffing, with an exotic nose, and firm polished tannins, this should appeal to those who like big fruit driven wine that doesn’t veer into overripe territory.
Red
4/20/2019 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
Still years to go on this one, and a long time in decanter prior to imbibing is needed. Quite concentrated with dark fruits leading the way, followed by cocoa & earth. Fragrant and tasty, the only knock is a bit of astringency on the back end.
White - Sweet/Dessert
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.
4 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
4/11/2019 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
Tasted this upon release and recall it being a rustic style heavy on pepper, so decided to give it a long rest to soften the rough edges. The bottle time has worked wonders. Still has hints of peppery rusticity, but now much more restrained. After decanting off heavy sediment and giving a bit of aeration, it was well balanced with good character. We don’t often drink P.S., as it often becomes cloying halfway through the bottle, but this went quickly and left us wanting more.
Red
2009 Denner The Dirt Worshipper Central Coast Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
4/1/2019 - millerarner Likes this wine:
94 points
Had been sitting on this for years because the winemaker’s note said this should be good 2018-2024. Decided to open now based on a couple CT notes suggesting not to wait anymore. Really happy we did. The elevated acidity wasn’t a problem, and in fact without it I fear the wine would’ve peaked a few years ago. Had thrown a fair amount of sediment & the tannins are almost completely resolved. Quite food compatible with a nose that was fantastically expressive. First thought was to score 93, but gave it another point just for having character.
White
3/31/2019 - millerarner wrote:
88 points
Solid
Red
2009 Jonata Winery Tierra Santa Ynez Valley Sangiovese (view label images)
3/23/2019 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
Takes some time to open. Early on it’s grippy and unbalanced, but with patience it comes around. Interesting evolving nose. Still on the young side.
Red
3/18/2019 - millerarner Likes this wine:
91 points
Really good for the price. The oak imparts a smokey toasty note that is seductive. Overall decent balance and structure. Seemed like the right time to be consuming this.
Red
2014 Pollak Vineyards Meritage Monticello Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/10/2019 - millerarner Likes this wine:
93 points
We should learn to stop being surprised by how good Virginia wine can be. Monticello is our go-to AVA in the eastern U.S. and Pollak one of our favorite producers. This was approachable, complex, and balanced. Good concentration yet elegant, and one of the best noses we’ve encountered the past half year. Enjoyable both with and without food.
Red
2/17/2019 - millerarner wrote:
89 points
Seems more akin to an OR Pinot than a CA version. Light body, juicy acidity, plenty of cherry cola at the fore. Wants a bit for complexity at this time, but seems to have aging potential.
Red
2/9/2019 - millerarner wrote:
94 points
This one hit all the sweet spots for me. Yes, it’s a big wine, yes it’s extracted, and yes it’s showing young, all of which are traits we generally try to avoid. Those qualities can also (more often than not, it seems) lead to a clumsy wine, or at minimum one that needs much further aging, but this just worked. While this obviously has years ahead of it, and will yet improve, it was a great companion to the perfectly seared ribeye we had last night. Enticing nose, with plentiful but polished tannins. Others mentioned that this is still primary, but to me that implies a simplicity or lack of development that our bottle wasn’t guilty of.
Side note: Ours had thrown TONS of very fine sediment that was still suspended, so use great care when decanting.
White
2/9/2019 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
Nice mix of fruit & minerals, with the right amounts of acid & oak.
Red
2/3/2019 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
Interesting to read some of the other recent reviews. Our bottle showed young & primary, perhaps a bit closed, even after decanting & a couple hours of air. Fruit, however, was not an issue, as it dominated (particularly on the palate). While this wasn’t as over the top as so many Napa cabs tend to be, elegance & balance aren’t descriptors that come to mind. The acidity is currently a bit out of whack, and it’s not fully expressing the secondary notes that need further development. This needs years more.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/28/2019 - millerarner wrote:
90 points
Definitely had the tart cherries mentioned by others. Deeper color and more body than the Pinots we’ve been drinking lately, and not much varietal typicity. Also on the backside of its arc. Setting all that aside, it had character and was enjoyable.
White
1/7/2019 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
Well balanced, with personality. Seems that age is improving this and adding layers. Citrus still the primary, with floral and nuttiness. Good texture.
Red
2009 Booker Vineyard Alchemist Paso Robles Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
1/6/2019 - millerarner wrote:
93 points
Big, big, big, but avoids being clumsy or overbearing. Could use a pinch more acidity to keep things lively, but that’s borderline nitpicking. The nose is a bit restrained, particularly considering how flavorful it is in the mouth. For a 9+ year old, it’s showing quite young. Overall a great cocktail wine.
Red
12/31/2018 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
These tend to be too fruity (for our tastes) when young, so giving 5-7 years rest puts them in a good place. Still plenty of tart red berries at the fore, but now they’re not so dominant or jammy. Not very complex, but has excellent balance with silky tannin and slightly elevated acidity.
Red
12/25/2018 - millerarner wrote:
92 points
Should’ve paid more attention, but recall it working really well with BBQ.
Red
12/21/2018 - millerarner wrote:
Another great showing. Will be quite sad when we run out of this.
Red
12/17/2018 - millerarner wrote:
92 points
Nicely done. Considering it was made from two varieties that often produce overripe flabby fruit cocktails incapable of aging, this had none of those issues. Graceful for a big wine, with an appealing savory element, and at least a couple more years of quality drinking. I’ve had more than a few cabs with bigger price tags that didn’t hold up as well.
Red
12/14/2018 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
Decanted off a substantial amount of fine sediment. Expressive nose that’s still fruit forward. Tasty, but for a seemingly full bodied wine, is a bit weak in the middle, with a short(ish) finish.
Red
2005 Château Sanctus St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/6/2018 - millerarner wrote:
91 points
Still on the primary side, with polished but plentiful tannins, for a finish more drying than grippy. A bit closed at first, and never fully opened, but obviously the more it was able to breathe, the better it got. The thing that impressed most was the remarkable purity of fruit. For our taste, this needs ten more years in the cellar for full development.
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