Comments on my notes

(16 comments on 16 notes)

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Red
2009 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph Syrah
13% alcohol. Shortish cork, but very dense and showing no wine penetration whatsoever. Decanted an hour ahead. Very dark colour with some thinning but no fading at the edge of the rim.
Intense nose with black olive and liquorice, as well as ink (as I remember it from the inkwell in my primary school days many decades ago). The mouth is just as good, with plenty of energy and excellent mouthfeel. This is so smooth and yet so full of energy, an unlikely combination and a great one.
Drinking well now, but showing no sign of decline.
Superb wine now unaffordable. No matter, plenty of other great wines available at more reasonable prices.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    3/22/20, 2:25 PM - The mania for Pierre Gonon wines has driven them into as you say the unaffordable range, which is too bad. I feel lucky to have a few, which seemed a little pricey then but nothing like now. Of course it's tempting to auction them and maybe make some money, but they are terrific and unusual wines, so...I don't think so.

White
2013 Domaine Les Mille Vignes Aude Les Pieds des Nymphettes White Blend
2/16/2019 - kdubler wrote:
This was a killer wine. Didn't know what to expect, had never had a Carignan Blanc... Also a white wine from the South of France didn't have the highest hopes.

Straw in color with a super clean and delicate nose. Medium acidity and a slightly elevated body. All the aromas are just a whisper, apricot, peach, honeysuckle and just a touch of lemon and a slight underbrush, almost phenloic quality. AT 8 years old this taste like it could live for another 20+ years, but hard to say for sure, drinking so well right now it will be hard for me to save my last bottle very long.

This was a great wine, it was powerful, yet graceful. Nothing was overpowering, but it had such depth while still managing to be so delicate.

Price for a white wine from Southern France is very high, but this blows away White Burg at twice the price.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    3/1/20, 8:02 PM - Just opened a bottle myself and I couldn’t agree more. This is a superb white, with so much to taste. It’s going to take the whole bottle to figure it out - or maybe it’s better to just turn the brain off and enjoy. Agreed it was not cheap, but I don’t think I have any other wines like this one.

Red
2018 Donkey and Goat Gigi El Dorado Syrah
God. I love these guys, but this wine sucks.
Imagine flat Lambrusco w too little acid and a really boring palate and you might have the fairest idea.

Fizz and funk and flat flavors.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    12/19/19, 9:28 PM - Bummer. I just bought one for $35. So much for whims. I have had a Donkey & Goat red and thought it was quite tasty so I thought I'd try this. I may let it sit in the cellar for a while since it's Syrah.

Red
1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Syrah
11/20/2019 - JonnyG Likes this wine:
98 points
A stunningly beautiful wine, from every perspective imaginable: producer typicity, maturity, taste and texture -- yet I still could see this benefiting from even more age, amazingly! A perfectly stored bottle that sang from the moment uncorked. Powerful, enticing nose with that Chave animal aspect, loads of sweet red berries, floral fragrance and spice, plus a little heat. Concentrated, powerful and seamless, with a rich mouthfeel and expansive finish. Each uninterrupted sniff-to-swallow, lingering tipping of the glass made time stand still. A tremendous accomplishment indeed, and a joy to get to taste.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    11/21/19, 3:54 PM - Sounds wonderful. I have a bottle - one bottle, so I want to make sure I "do it right." If you don't mind me asking, what food did you pair it with, if any? Thanks.

White
2013 Aubert Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard Russian River Valley
11/14/2019 - dcwino wrote:
98 points
Double blind Cab based wine tasting (Eddie V's - Tysons Corner, VA): Exquisite nose displaying pure succulent white fruit, pear, lemon curd, lemon candy, a hint of pineapple, beeswax, honeysuckle, a hint of flint, saline and limestone. Exceptional balance, succulent pure white fruit, surprisingly elegant and precise, bright acidity, strong limestone mineral and a seamless long white fruit driven finish with strong limestone at the end. I dare say this is very Burgundian. Really exceptional domestic Chardonnay.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    11/15/19, 6:49 PM - I agree. I think this is the best domestic Chardonnay I have ever had (although undoubtedly there are a lot of wines I've never had!). I have two more bottles. California wines don't age as long as French wines, so I'm thinking it might be wise to drink them soon.

Red
2009 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph Syrah
5/19/2019 - Jimskiw wrote:
95 points
Excellent but glad I did not pay current price...
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    5/21/19, 8:48 AM - There is a cult mania right now about Pierre Gonon wines. They are very difficult to find except at exorbitant auction prices, which are going up and up. I have some that I bought at the $30 range as well...tempting to sell. However, the St. Josephs are excellent wines and a pure reflection of the terrior and that style. That said, when I served one at a dinner party, two guests admitted that they did not like the wine. Perhaps they're not for everyone.

Red
2013 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
5/4/2019 - Cailles wrote:
95 points
I tasted this Monte Bello upon release 18 months ago. At that time, the wine showed its immense potential (rated 97 points) mainly thanks to its incredible complexity. We found the wine for a reasonable price on a restaurant list and the temptation was just too big to not check the progress since then (I will not touch my own bottles for at least 10 more years). On our request the somm decanted the wine for approx. 12 hours and boy, the wine showed again great. Very, very deep, complex, quite singular aromatic profile, high precision and good but dense structure which has to mellow. Potential for 97-100 points is definitely there. The wine is not yet there but still, it was drinking very good with this long decant and was at least a 95 point experience.

TN: Lots of fresh pine tree, graphite, pencil shavings, black tee, melted licorice, dark forest berries, some sweet brighter berries, coconut hints. Every nose and every sip revealed new flavors and a mix I’ve never had before. The precision is remarkable. The structure is dense with big, noticeable but smooth tannins, a high but very well integrated acidity. Here lies the biggest upside. More time will mellow the structure and with all the stuffing the wine already has, it will become a masterpiece by then.

Decanting: Give it at least 10 hours in the decanter.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    5/10/19, 12:37 PM - Thanks for your great review. If you don't mind me asking, what restaurant has this wine on their list? I'd be tempted to go there if it's in the vicinity.

Red
2010 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin Red Rhone Blend
Château de Beaucastel Dinner & Tasting at Jeroboams, Walton Street. Limited notes.
Gross infanticide: virtually shut for business (just a whiff of mint) on the nose. A massive hit of almost syrupy blackberry/dark hedge fruits the overwhelming element on the palate with merely a hint of the spice and rustic herbs etc lurking in the background. A truly great wine - but very much in the making at present. Bought 3.
Hold till at least 2025 - I'm 64 and this will probably outlive me! 95+ potential.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    10/12/18, 10:56 AM - That's an issue some of us face, isn't it? I ask myself sometimes why I should buy great wines (e.g., Port, Bordeaux) from recent vintages if they are not likely to hit their peak until I'm quite old and have lost my taste buds or am even gone from this earth! I suppose the answer is that they could be nice things for the kids to discover when I'm gone.

Red
2016 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas Yorkville Highlands
3/13/2018 - blakel Likes this wine:
92 points
Couldn't resist popping one of these fresh off the truck. Another wonderful vintage of Alturas. On opening, an unfamiliar mineral note which quickly blew off, but also the dark fruit and slightly-sweet floral note typical of Alturas. On the palate, deep blue and red fruits, some meat and black pepper, herbs and subtle flowers/violets. A little less flowery than other vintages at this early stage. Tannins are significant and drying, but not unpleasant.

Day 2: Somewhat mellowed and smoother, but still compelling and completely fresh.

I enjoy Alturas both young and with some age. You basically can't go wrong with this wine. So, so good.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    5/21/18, 4:35 PM - Thanks for your descriptive review. Wouldn't a wine like this be better with several years in the cellar? Like 10? I guess I think of Syrah as a wine that needs aging. But this is good young?

Red
2013 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
3/9/2018 - rexmerlot wrote:
92 points
Nice, but not sure about price
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    3/11/18, 5:30 PM - I've got some, but figured it won't be time even think about drinking one for a few years. Perhaps it's way too soon to drink as they will improve (that is, realize their value) with age? I admit I've never had a Monte Bello; I bought on reputation alone. Are they that much better than a $40 bottle? Who knows.

Red
2013 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate St. Helena
10/10/2017 - #1Winelover Does not like this wine:
88 points
Well, I can't figure out Spottswoode. I had the '12 around a month ago and it was just awesome. I had this wine tonight and it was the opposite. Hum...
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    2/24/18, 1:57 PM - What about the 2014 vintage? How does that compare?

Red
2012 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate St. Helena
12/11/2017 - Jmf17 Likes this wine:
92 points
Heady. Not the Spottswoode of 25 years ago, perhaps, though. Rich, but not a syrupy mess like Caymus. Rich and clean. I'd compare it with Dunn. A high-quality Calif Cab. What can one say beyond that?

Calif produces some lovely wines when they're not of the hyped, cloying variety (which is becoming all too frequent even among higher-end bottles) but can't make the leap to the level of depth and complexity -- not to mention longevity-- one finds in French and Italian wines...
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    2/5/18, 5:24 PM - Vive la difference, though! I basically agree, but high-level California wines such as this one still have their unique charms. Plus, as high as the prices are for CA excellence, European excellence has become as if not more expensive...or inflated, depending on perspective.

Red
2013 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
1/2/2017 - BigTex22 wrote:
When I arrived home from the airport last night, much to my horror, I saw an empty bottle of this sitting on my desk. My wife had a girlfriend over while I was out of town, and they decided to open a cab while watching the kids play outside. She left the empty bottle on my desk because she knows I like to track inventory in Cellar Tracker. She commented that it was "too young" but "pretty good" and her friend "really liked it". There may have been some chips and salsa they paired this with - not sure. I later explained to my wife the cost of this bottle and read her the many glorious critic reviews that all stated to wait ten years or more before opening. Needless to say, I will be locking my wine cabinet going forward. Excellent wine, but suggest holding...under lock and key.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    1/10/17, 3:32 PM - Funny story! Well, I have done this to myself, so no need to blame my wife. I once reached into the cellar in the semi-dark, intending to pull out a good but not great Chianti to PNP with some pizza or something. I for some reason just did not look closely at the bottle when I opened and poured it out. I had a sip, had another and thought, my what a nice Chianti. It turned out to be an aged Brunello Riserva I had been saving for a serious occasion. You can't put it back in the bottle! I said nothing to anyone but myself. Sure was good...and gone fast.

Red
2006 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Corvina Blend, Corvina
10/6/2016 - tomoem Likes this wine:
97 points
Tasted at the WINEBID.COM 20th anniversary NYC tasting.

One of the WOTN. A very aromatic Amarone. It is big and juicy yet subtle in the flavor profile. An earthy up-front taste of blackberry & cedar wood. Quickly dominated by sweet blackberry jam with an amazingly long finish of graphite and berries. Just a terrific showing !
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    10/9/16, 8:19 PM - Must have been an amazing event. Stunning list of wines. Did you actually taste all of those wines? That would make my head hurt. :)

Red
2010 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese
Bought from Costco for $21. Figured it was a deal I couldn't pass up. Popped and poured. Fresh but subtle Dark and red cherry. Not in your face but subtle and feminine in quality. Tannins slightly drying but nicely balanced. Plenty of acid. Enjoyed but definitely a step below the Rancia. But...$21!!
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    1/22/16, 2:38 PM - I bought one for $27 or $28 at Whole Foods...figures that they'd mark it up!

White
2012 Jacques Puffeney Arbois Cuvée Sacha Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay
10/15/2015 - Milliontown wrote:
79 points
Hmm... I love Jura whites, but something about this bottle was off to me. Not corked, but has aromas of damp clothes, urine, sweat and pineapple. Doesn't really change much after being open for a few hours either. Palate has kind of a washed rind cheese thing going on, very oxidative but without the nutty savoury notes I expect from this style. Its all sour and salty tang, kinda vaguely fruity but not much in the way of structure or length. Disappointing. This was actually really hard to drink.
  • Tranquility Base commented:

    12/30/15, 7:10 PM - Describes my experience with it as well. Not undrinkable, but not enjoyable either.

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