Comments on my notes

(136 comments on 111 notes)

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Red
2015 San Giusto a Rentennano La Ricolma Toscana IGT Merlot
5/22/2019 - Eric Guido Likes this wine:
98 points
It’s always great when a wine that has received 100 points from a critic, actually lives up to its reputation. Not to say that I believe it is truly a 100 point wine in my book (something I reserve for earth-moving experiences), but the 2015 La Ricolma certainly came close. The bouquet presented a layered and remarkably fresh expression, savory at times and then sweet and spiced, showing dark red fruits accentuated by crushed stone minerality, hints of sweet curry, blueberry skins and undergrowth. On the palate, enveloping, silky textures gave way to lifting mineral-encased red berries, saturating savory spice, and youthful tannin, yet remaining fresh and vibrant. It finished long and intense, as a mix of minerals and tannins coated the senses, reminding me that this is a wine that’s built for the long haul. Beautiful.
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/4/20, 6:52 AM - Dear Eric, you say you reserve 100 points for earth-moving experiences but you haven’t given that score on CT. Have you had a 100 point, earth-moving experience yet?

  • Rollerball commented:

    1/22/20, 2:22 PM - What incredible news from Vinous today! Well-deserved.

    As a send off, I humbly submit for your consideration that you have already had some of the earth-moving experiences you seek.

Red
2009 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
1/9/2020 - up4wine wrote:
92 points
Took 1st in '09 vs '10 tasting, although I preferred the Branaire-Ducru '09 and '10. Maybe my taste buds were off that night. I kept getting a "baby diaper" nose (not soiled) that dampened my enthusiasm. Plenty of fruit and balanced on the palate.
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/17/20, 10:24 AM - Blind?

  • Rollerball commented:

    1/17/20, 2:19 PM - Interesting! Thank you up4wine!
    We did a non-blind malescot partial vertical five years ago: 00, 01, 09:
    https://www.cellartracker.com/event.asp?iEvent=27624

Red
1979 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/4/2014 - Rollerball wrote:
92 points
Perfect condition. No decant. Resolved and mellow but still bright-eyed and eager. Balanced from bouquet to quietly-crackling dissipation. Sediment caked into a corner of the punt. Lovely with chicken tikka masala.
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/16/20, 9:52 AM - .
    AjitK,
    You're right -- a common recommendation is to avoid tannic reds with spicy food becuase the spice brings out the tannins AND the tannins increase the heat. To some that's a "clash of flavors" but if you enjoy both spice and structure, the pairing can be exhilarating. One trick is often around the specific tannins: if there's a forbidding wall, then an Indian or other intense Asian dish will make it worse. But if you've got the rolling tannins of a lush zin, the velvety tannins of an 10-year napa cab, or the melted tannins of a well-aged bordeaux, then for some people (like me!) the pairing can be thrilling. Similar considerations around alcohol levels: I've never understood why people don't want a 15% grenache, nero d'avola, or viogner with a dish that they're happy to pair with sherry or even a cocktail.

    Hey I love tried-and-true partners too--spatlese riesling with Thai food just last night; big red with fatty steak. But non-conventional pairings are adventures to me. Here's another I adore: southern rhone with sushi. Bad if you're resisting the fish's ... fishiness ... but mind-blowing if you're open to the fish, its sensual fatty oils, and its minerality.

Red
2007 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
1/10/2020 - Rollerball wrote:
93 points
Well it’s certainly not purple anymore but there’s no real bricking either. This is in its prime and ready to drink, but can be enjoyed in fruit-fading phases for another 6-8 years. Bouquet of peppermint hard candy, basil, and Creme de menthe. Complex flavors and finish featuring numbing mint chocolate cherry liquor waves that transition over a couple of hours after pnp to more ground coffee tones with a long earthly harmony ... though the nose retains an Asian-spiced sweetness. Now-2025
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/11/20, 11:49 PM - John Dunlap!
    Happy New Year. Happy 2020.
    Good time to tell you how straightforward and vivid your reviews are. Thank you for that.

White - Sparkling
2006 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay
12/31/2019 - rocknroller wrote:
96 points
New Years Eve (Rocknroller's (Kevin & Vicki's Place)): Light gold color. Drank a glass at midnight to ring in 2020. This was a riveting bottle. One of the best in memory. Incredible nose, wonderfully toasted, vibrant pear and lemon, white flowers, almond, bread dough. The palate translates the nose beautifully with an ethereal blend of elegance and power along with an abundance of class and purity. Very long and riveting tonight. 96+ to 97pts.
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/6/20, 1:40 PM - @RnR, at what temperature did you serve this?

Red
2016 Comando G Tumba del Rey Moro Vinos de Madrid Garnacha, Grenache
6/6/2019 - Eric Guido Likes this wine:
98 points
To walk through and witness the magnitude of the Rey Moro vineyard, and then taste the wine, was such an amazing experience all on its own. Here I found an absolutely stunning, savory and alluring bouquet, showing mountain and brush herbs, cracked pepper, smoke, crushed rocks, and embers, as the wine opened more in the glass, evolving into ripe strawberries fresh on the vine, rose petals, and exotic spices. On the palate, silky textures flooded the senses, laced with peppery spices, liquid florals, fresh strawberries, and saline-infused minerality, with energy in abundance as brisk acids made the mouth water, and youthful tannin slowly mounted. The finish was long, savory and almost salty with it’s intense minerality, darker fruit than the nose and palate, and lingering savory herbs. What an incredible wine, so unique, so fresh, yet so intense.
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/4/20, 6:54 AM - Sounds incredible young. When would you ideally drink this?

Red
2012 Lail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvée Napa Valley
11/9/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
96 points
Large standout in a weekend of drinking superb Napa Cabernets. This one not only shone beautifully as several others but also had a tractor beam draw that made people sneak sips out of each others glasses when they “weren’t looking”. That game and the forward leaning upbeat nature of this captivating wine worked together as the bottle earned its place in our book of special memories.
  • Rollerball commented:

    11/11/19, 8:19 AM - Fruit was dark and liqueur-like, sweet and broad but with espresso, anise, and other components adding dimension. I can only imagine you got an off bottle; it sounds so different from our experience. At these prices I'd call for a refund.

  • Rollerball commented:

    11/11/19, 8:34 AM - MJP I'll be curious to hear the Lail Robin's Nest team's reaction. Good luck!

  • Rollerball commented:

    11/12/19, 9:31 PM - Glad to hear it!

  • Rollerball commented:

    12/16/19, 10:36 AM - That's fantastic. Thanks for the update. Happy holidays MJP!

Red
2000 Château Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
12/11/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
Singing on pnp! Opened up for 30 and then consistently wonderful through dinner. Cab Franc gained some prominence toward the end. Great window for these right now.
  • Rollerball commented:

    12/14/19, 3:48 PM - Yes! So good. Opened up for 30 and then consistently wonderful through dinner. Cab Franc gained some prominence toward the end. Great window for these right now. Happy holidays Mark!

Red
2016 San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
11/14/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
flawed
First of two bottle was corked, turning a $29 bottle of wine into a $58 bottle.
  • Rollerball commented:

    12/12/19, 9:41 PM - Benchmark wine in Napa. They made an exception and refunded it instead of giving store credit. They claim to have a time limit on either remedy.

  • Rollerball commented:

    12/12/19, 9:48 PM - Happy holidays John!

Red
2005 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor Puente Alto
7/21/2018 - AllRed wrote:
90 points
4th Saturday Group: Global Cabernet Sauvignon (Our house): Blind. Notes of herbs and dark fruit with a hint of the citrusy grapefruit thing common in this wine when young. Made it easy to pick out as our wine. Medium tannins with flavors of dark fruit and eucalyptus. Needs a couple of years yet.
  • Rollerball commented:

    12/9/19, 11:57 AM - By blind (vs. double blind) do you mean you knew the wines beforehand but not which was which?

  • Rollerball commented:

    12/9/19, 4:34 PM - Here's what Wine spectator has to say:
    At Wine Spectator, all new-release wines are evaluated in blind tastings. However, there are varying degrees of blind. The most extreme is “double-blind,” which generally means that the taster has no information whatsoever about the wine in his or her glass.
    In our experience, double-blind tasting is inadequate for proper evaluation, because it eliminates context. A fine wine will deliver delicious and complex flavors, but it can also convey information about its growing season, grape variety and origin—in short, its terroir.

    This is why Wine Spectator employs a “singleblind” methodology. Our tasters know general aspects of the wine that provide context, which include vintage, appellation and grape variety where appropriate, but never the name of the producer or the wine’s price. The goal is to arrive at the appropriate balance: enough information to contextualize the wine, but not so much information that “imaginary references” begin to distort judgment.

    Rollerball Comment: I understand the need to know the varietal. But knowing the vintage must induce bias: a vintage that's been touted as incredible or horrible could be a self-fulfilling prophesy in non-vintage-blind scoring. Same with appellation: all I'm telling you is this is from the La Tache appellation, now go taste it blind!

  • Rollerball commented:

    12/9/19, 4:34 PM - Yes, very helpful! We have a few versions of blind tastings similar to what you're doing here. I googled blind/ double blind to see what I could learn about how others use the terms.

    https://wineanorak.com/understanding.htm claims that "'Single blind' is when the list if wines to be tasted is known, but not the order; 'double blind' is when nothing is known about them at all."

    Outside the wine context single/double/triple blind seems to refer to how many of the parties (subjects/ researchers/ observers) know which is which: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinded_experiment.

Red
2005 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor Puente Alto
2/23/2019 - AllRed wrote:
87 points
Double blind. Plummy, raisiny dark fruit dominates the bouquet. Medium-bodied, with raisiny black fruit on the palate, ending a bit on the thin side. Shows slighty sour and acidic with air. Guessed Napa can sauv.
  • Rollerball commented:

    12/9/19, 11:56 AM - Love double blind tastings! Can you share the basics of your process?

Red
2015 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
10/15/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
93 points
A wonderfully-made cabernet with a silky flow of balanced red and black fruit, sweet tobacco, potpourri, tar, leather, and vanilla. Already chill but still on the way up, even better in a couple of years.
  • Rollerball commented:

    12/4/19, 12:27 PM - Yes and there are just so many interesting wines out there to taste, we don't have to ride that pricing escalator.

  • Rollerball commented:

    12/4/19, 12:56 PM - Thank you so much Mark!

Red
2004 Bodega Numanthia Toro Termes Tinta de Toro, Tempranillo
3/4/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
92 points
Bought a case on release for $18/ at Weimax in Burlingame. What a steal! Now on the seventh bottle and three years since the sixth. On the bouquet we found creosote, menthol, ripe raspberries, worcestershire; parched earth, fresh peeled birch, and char-roasted tomatoes. The palate is still youthful and concentrated--at least after two hours in a wide-based decanter--though its old fortress of tannins is starting to dissolve. The dense and staining flavors range from dried black cherry and blueberry to hot tar, flower petals, and medicinal roots with a mineral-infused finish. We were looking for an interesting pairing for redwine vinegar braised lentils with spicy flash-fried tofu, sweet potatoes, and avocado, and this definitely did the trick. The slow evolution and continued density here suggest a long life ahead -2027.
  • Rollerball commented:

    3/8/19, 2:52 PM - Yes, maybe a little higher, agreed.

  • Rollerball commented:

    12/4/19, 12:23 PM - thanks!

Red
2016 San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
11/1/2019 - Bluespolo wrote:
90 points
C’è qualcosa di antico, ma insieme attualissimo ed invitante nei Chianti annata di San Giusto a Rentennano; forse il naso fresco di frutti rossi e con una grazia appena floreale che sovrasta una mineralitá quasi polverosa, forse quella combinazione così territoriale dei profumi tipici del Sangiovese con un sottofondo di sottobosco, erbe aromatiche e fumé. Certamente si fa capire subito e i bicchieri si svuotano con grande rapidità e piacevolezza. questo 2016 poi mi sembra avere una marcia in più, forse grazie all’annata particolarmente favorevole. Al palato la struttura è media, lo stato giovanile aiuta la sinergia freschezza sapidità, e i tannini si fanno sentire con una presenza vellutata. Un po’ di cantina lo migliorerà ancora.
  • Rollerball commented:

    11/16/19, 3:56 PM - I [google] translated this beautiful review! I'm sure this translation is as imperfect as the technology ... but for everyone's benefit:
    There is something ancient, but at the same time very modern and inviting in the Chianti vintage of San Giusto a Rentennano; perhaps the fresh nose of red fruits and with a just floral grace that dominates an almost powdery minerality, perhaps that so territorial combination of the typical scents of Sangiovese with a background of undergrowth, aromatic and smoked herbs. Certainly one immediately understands and the glasses are emptied with great rapidity and pleasantness. this 2016 then seems to me to have something extra, perhaps thanks to the particularly favorable vintage. On the palate the structure is medium, the juvenile state helps the synergy freshness and flavor, and the tannins are felt with a velvety presence. A little bit of cellar will make it even better.

Red
2016 San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
11/14/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
Today, the day WS awarded this the #3 woty, we opened our first two bottles of a case bought last June. In sum, the balance and quality of fruit stand out— and with time a beautiful hollow iron note emerges— but this is still quite young and tannic. Decant 2-3 hours if opening today; ideally wait until 2022-

It is impossible to objectively score something on the day it received a high-profile #3woty and 95 points. Note CT gives this an 89.8 right now. Let’s see how that changes. What if we all started exclusively rating blind.
  • Rollerball commented:

    11/16/19, 3:48 PM - Yeah, I can see that perspective. Great balance and stuffing though. And a friendly presence under all that good structure.

Red
2012 Matello Pinot Noir Souris Willamette Valley
10/11/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
92 points
What didn’t work in its youth— this dense earthy background note—has grown to form more cavernous, mossy, coffee-toned stone walls of a mineral airiness.
  • Rollerball commented:

    10/15/19, 2:13 PM - thank you!

Red
2012 Colene Clemens Pinot Noir Adriane Chehalem Mountains
10/4/2019 - JJYoyo Likes this wine:
92 points
Very satisfying Oregon Pinot. Nose full of sweet spice, blackberry, slight herbaceous edge. Taste dominated by a core of maraschino cherry along with some clove or cola. Sweet but not at all cloying. To me a very new world Pinot but a really delightful example with none of the ponderousness of some hot climate PN. Not as much complexity as a great Burgundy but just a blast to taste.
Score: 92. Relative to expectations: ++
  • Rollerball commented:

    10/4/19, 8:15 PM - You say score 92 but put score 87?

Red
2016 Envinate Migan Valle de la Orotava Listan Negro
9/20/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
93 points
Phenomenal wine. Intriguing, complex, and adventurously balanced; a shimmering hard candy.
  • Rollerball commented:

    9/21/19, 11:11 AM - We decanted it, which was helpful. And I bet it's even better in a year. But wow it was fantastic already.

Red
2013 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette Cuvée Tardive Gamay
7/31/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
91 points
An inky chalky pastel. Mineral and powdered cherry with Easter peanut. Medium length and just pleasantly tart. Chocolate cracker. I can’t see this improving. Drink now-2021.
  • Rollerball commented:

    9/21/19, 10:43 AM - WineScoundrel, none of your Beaujolais notes are for wines older than five years. So you keep "studying" and I'll keep actually tasting.

Red
2012 Paolo Bea Umbria San Valentino Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
6/21/2019 - soyhead wrote:
unique wine
nose- VA which i would describe more as decomposing fruit than acetone, yet still has a touch of that paint stripping quality
mouth - unctuous dark fruit, coats the palate, savage/rustic/wild.
explosively good
  • Rollerball commented:

    6/24/19, 2:38 PM - Soyhead, how long would you guess to peak?

  • Rollerball commented:

    6/24/19, 2:38 PM - Soyhead, how long would you guess to peak?

Red
2016 Almaroja Arribes Pirita Juan Garcia
6/8/2019 - slulkin Likes this wine:
91 points
Dark purple in the glass. Nose of strawberries and granite soaked cherries (if that's possible). Palate carries the fruit and minerality in a medium weight frame with grippy tannins on the finish. Served slightly chilled and went perfectly with burgers and grilled veggies.

Bottle threw off a ridiculous amount of sediment for such a young wine.
  • Rollerball commented:

    6/12/19, 5:29 PM - Sounds like a fascinating wine and delicious meal for a warm Michigan night. Wish I were there slulkin!

Red
2017 Envinate Benje Ycoden Daute Isora Listán Prieto
6/7/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
93 points
Ready to drink on pnp. Coffee-like. True and delicious. A beautiful wine. Wild and floral. Surprising length; fresh with sweet tannins. Dont have dessert with this; it’s diminished by anything too sweet. Crazy value at $22. Drink over the next four or five years -2023.
  • Rollerball commented:

    6/8/19, 5:52 AM - Corrected, thanks.

Rosé
2018 Arnot-Roberts Rosé California Touriga Nacional
3/8/2019 - slulkin Likes this wine:
92 points
Light salmon in color. Nose that just jumps out of the glass with aromas of peach, watermelon, fresh herbs. Should have bought a case.

Per Mike Dildine - who I think got it just right, "Delicate and energetic, yet penetrating, mouth filling and intense. One of my favorite roses year after year, and this is one of the best renditions yet."
  • Rollerball commented:

    5/8/19, 3:58 PM - Got six on your recommendation here slulkin and loved the first bottle! Won't last the summer, that's for sure.

Red
2014 Wind Gap Wines Syrah Sonoma Coast
4/5/2019 - slulkin Likes this wine:
91 points
A nose that just jumps out of the glass and grabs you. Dark sweet cherry, violets, cherry licorice, roasted coffee beans, damp spring time night air. Cherry, spice, and minerality dominate the palate with a balanced and lingering finish.

Great with LaMarsa deboned chicken and on it's own the next night.
  • Rollerball commented:

    4/8/19, 7:37 PM - OK we have the '15. Will try it tonight!

Red
2009 Descendientes de José Palacios Bierzo Pétalos Mencía
9/15/2015 - Rollerball wrote:
92 points
Loved this upon release And my opinion had declined since then ... Until now. What a beautiful bottle this has [again] become. And I think we solved an ancient riddle too: this paired with tomato soup!

Gorgeous quality at any price -- especially this one! A superb bottle.
  • Rollerball commented:

    4/7/19, 2:52 PM - Let me know what other reds you like with tomato dishes--soup, sauce, whatever--always looking for a good pairing. Often go with sangiovese but this mencia worked so well.

Red
2005 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
1/31/2019 - Purple Tooth wrote:
94 points
Lots of earthiness throughout the bouquet that carried through the violet and flowery botanical verve of the wine. The tannins are spot on right now, creating enough firmness to give you a nice caressing ending. I would say this is about 3 years from peak. Drink or Hold

**Made the mistake of serving it at cellar temp. These wines MUST come up to room temp to glow. By the time I got to the bottom of the sediment filled wine, this baby was firing on all cylinders and the glass was so hard to out down. I think if would have let this warm up it would have scored a point higher for sure.
  • Rollerball commented:

    4/6/19, 9:57 PM - With whites I feel like I’m cheating because I just use temperature to get it to my preferred level of acidity.

Red
1966 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Pinot Noir
8/31/2018 - Burgundy Al wrote:
Coche-Dury Lunch with a La Tâche Kicker, Then More Après Lunch Wines (Elements Restaurant at the Sanctuary - Paradise Valley, AZ): Almost everybody expected this was fake, given the number of questionable elements with the label, bottle and their respective conditions. Those expectations were correct. And the wine, while most likely from Vosne in a lesser vintage, was not particularly enjoyable. I would want to upload a photo of the label, but there is no way to indicate it as fake.
  • Rollerball commented:

    4/1/19, 10:51 PM - Idea: create a new wine called “DRC — 1966 FakeRC,” upload the photo of the fake label to that profile, and reference that profile in your tasting note here.

Red
2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Alberdi Reserva Tempranillo
2/15/2019 - RussK wrote:
91 points
Russk. 91 - points. Very drinkable, but a teeny bit Jami. I think I like the 2012 more. No reason to hold a lot of 2010s in reserve.
  • Rollerball commented:

    3/27/19, 12:54 PM - Russk, Looks like you accidentally scored it 98.

Red
1990 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso Sangiovese
3/22/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
97 points
Gorgeous, multifaceted, and erogenously pleasurable. Then even better than all that with pork saucisson sec. Continually evolved over five hours in a wide-based decanter, last glass best. I went frighteningly out of budget for this from the Rare Wine Co. a few years ago; worth every penny.

Ten years ago, the 2001 wan't nearly this good. Does that mean we should wait 20 more to drink the 2010? Or have they moved to a more elegant style requiring less time to integrate the new oak (which was completely melted into the 1990 at this point).
  • Rollerball commented:

    3/24/19, 5:56 PM - My bottle (my only one) might have been even better in a year or two; there might be some fine tuning there if I were willing to take some additional raisining and some initial decaying notes to get that final level of letting its guard down. But I also know with wines this old there can be bottle variation: after 30 years if one was aging just a little faster than the next, that impact compounds over time. So if you've only got one--and you've got a long afternoon or evening to enjoy and maximize its evolution in a decanter--I'd say open it this year or next. But if you've got a few, open one now, gauge it for your tastes and plan the remainder accordingly. Please let me know what you end up doing and how it goes!

    Actually JEP007 I just went and read a few of your tasting notes to see what you like as far as aging. You're not afraid to risk going over the hill for the chance at pushing to apex. So for you, if this is your only bottle, consider giving it 10% more age and drinking it in 2022. But it'll need a really nice decant even then, as it opened slowly like an aged barolo instead of quickly like an aged rioja.

Red
2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
3/15/2019 - slulkin wrote:
91 points
Dark crimson in the glass. Nose showed dark fruits with hints of chocolate, eucalyptus, mint and vanilla. Full bodied on the palate with the dark fruit notes, spice and oak coming through to a semi quick finish with nice grippy tannin. Paired nicely with grilled flank steak and roasted vegetables.
  • Rollerball commented:

    3/16/19, 8:39 AM - I remember loving the '08 of this in 2015. So I wonder if the '14 would be even better in a couple of years.

Red
2013 Cascina Roccalini Barbaresco Riserva Roccalini Nebbiolo
2/26/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
94 points
Tangerine cinnamon, raspberry, watercress, marshmallow, and mint on the beautiful bouquet. On the mouth: slightly cooler and much drier ... but long with strawberry, clove liquor and a long brown sugar graham cracker finish. Give this two years to shake those drying tannins. 2021-2028.
  • Rollerball commented:

    2/27/19, 8:31 AM - Thanks sternowl! Decanted for just minutes before pouring. Same treatment on two consistent bottles.

Red
2009 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
2/2/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
94 points
Enjoyed next to the '89. Two warm vintages, 20 years to melt the tannins in what was a fascinating lesson in texture. What was gravelly and velvety in the '09 was silky in this '89, which did show some tertiary characteristics but was no where near over the hill. Assuming this '09 has the advantage of more advanced techniques in the vineyard and cellar, it's at least a 35-year wine. -2044
  • Rollerball commented:

    2/5/19, 7:44 AM - True, true! Great point lrjshabaz.

Red
2006 Campogiovanni (San Felice) Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
10/6/2018 - df1962 wrote:
95 points
PnD let air for 4 hrs.

Fresh complex delicious and balanced. So much going on. Wish I had a case.
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/26/19, 2:00 PM - Got it thanks!

Red
2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
11/19/2017 - Rollerball wrote:
95 points
May have solved the flawed/not-flawed debate by serving this to 6 others last night to drastically varying responses. Conclusion: I believe this is simply a matter of taste / individual preference as opposed to bottle variation.

To some, this one bottle was unappealing, stewed, and oxidized; to others: gorgeously dark, autumnal and savory, tar-like, pruny, deep and luxurious with fresh, cooked, and dried berries, licorice, and a sublime texture of sweet, velvetty tannins. One person in the middle described it as primarily about the smooth, sweet tannic structure, pierced by the sherried, dark-berry liquor aspects. While it does seem more evolved than I'd expect, it's not past peak and I do remember its offering tertiary notes for many years. Personally I loved it and expect to feel both thrilled and melancholy upon drinking my last bottle some time by the end of 2020.

Wine reviews are like movie reviews. Find a critic you agree with, or who makes you think, and follow them. And consider the source: if this is the reviewer's first aged brunello I'd take an extreme score in either direction with a grain of salt.
  • Rollerball commented:

    4/14/18, 1:16 PM - Thank you John!
    Eager to hear what you think of it when the time comes ...

  • Rollerball commented:

    1/10/19, 2:54 PM - Thanks for remembering. Very thoughtful, as was your 12/31 review.

Red
2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
12/31/2018 - John Dunlap Likes this wine:
93 points
Very excited to try this wine. The 2001 was stored in my cold cellar since release. Cork was in great shape and tight. Wine was decanted and, in hindsight, this was a good idea as there was a fair amount of sediment in the bottle, though none clung to the interior.

Color was exceptional and seemed unusually dark (see downloaded photo of wine in pinot noir-shaped glass). The center was dark and rich with some change in coloration at the rim. You would have no idea this young looking wine was a 17 year old BdM.

Initially, I got notes of cherry and minerality on the nose, but with time the cherry elements continued to dominate while the minerality seemed to step aside and reveal more richness. Also, I noted leather that lasted throughout the evening as well as something perfume-like that was more fleeting.

The flavor profile was quite nice with good acidity supporting lots of dusty dried cherries and a touch of kirsch nigh notes. Has that “old cellar” taste of a mature wine with base notes of balsamic richness, in addition to dried cherries, rose, leather, almond, licorice, plum, teriyaki, and orange citrus rind.

I am a big fan of Casanova di Neri and think the 2001 is a lovely wine made more remarkable because of how well it has aged. In complete disclosure, my all-time favorite wine from this producer was the 1999, which I have not consumed recently. At this stage, the 2001 with 17 years of bottle age, reminds me a lot of the 1999 that I consumed on 12/17/2015, with 16 years of bottle age; both have/had similar secondary/tertiary flavors; both seemed to have peaked at their respective ages; moreover, both offered lots of enjoyment and will respectively last/ed a few more years depending upon what you like from an older BdM. At the is stage, I would start to drink up unless you are lucky to own larger formats.

Quite good on day two.

Happy New Year’s everyone!

(Served with blackberry braised beef short ribs (a Ridge Vineyards recipe), along with mashed potatoes, blacked-eyed peas, and glazed carrots.)
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/10/19, 2:50 PM - Great review John. Put me right there with you!

Red
2016 Moric Blaufränkisch Burgenland
11/16/2018 - Winedog1 Likes this wine:
92 points
Delicious. Tannic. Peppery.
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/6/19, 3:06 PM - Seems you could not have enjoyed the 2016 in 11/2015 ...

Red
2000 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
12/9/2018 - PMJak11 Likes this wine:
99 points
My mind was blown!! As close as your getting to get to first growth at an insane price! PnP and reminded me of Haut Brion. Dusty, earthy, and smokey with some tar. Velvet on the palate with an insanely long finish. I’m speechless and in somewhat disbelief!!
  • Rollerball commented:

    1/5/19, 4:14 PM - Thanks PMJAK11. Did you aerate and for how long?

Red
2014 Crater Tacoronte-Acentejo Listan Negro
12/16/2018 - Rollerball wrote:
91 points
Salivating bouquet of piquant, dark-roast notes and burnt peach. Similar palate with bark and aggressive cherry made enjoyable by its medium weight and its ringing, increasingly harmonious tail. Not getting worse than my last review; I just think for some reason I had a more favorable impression on the first bottle than any of the—still outstanding—remaining five. Lots of oomph left here though the fruit has been secondary from the get-go. Drink now- 2020.
  • Rollerball commented:

    12/17/18, 9:53 AM - Also I have to confess susceptibility to context, company, and mood. Plus to be honest: expectations, labels, and prices. So even when we do out blind tastings together, there are factors other than the juice itself.

Red
1999 Fanti (Tenuta San Filippo) Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
12/8/2018 - Rollerball wrote:
96 points
Started with quiet persistence and over a two-our dinner became more plump, offering dark chocolate notes and a chorus of mature, gorgeous fruit. A deep sweetness and comfortable consistency purr to the very end of the long finish.
Last bottle :(. Drink now.
  • Rollerball commented:

    12/9/18, 4:24 PM - That mag has the holidays written all over it!

Red
2007 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà Nebbiolo
9/6/2018 - cct wrote:
An unfortunate volunteer magnum that broke in the cellar tonight made the drinking choice easy. Not the ideal timing or prep for the bottle. Crack and pour if you will.

Ripe on the nose, and for me a little too ripe. The fruit is bordering on plum with tar, iron, and some subtle florals, but mostly plump fruit. Broad stroked texture but it still has some freshness to it, albeit less than I would prefer. Medium full bodied with power and some elegance. Admittedly, this was not an ideal time to drink this, nor the ideal bottle preparation. I hope this comes together and gains focus. For now, a bit foursquare and coarse. Judgement reserved.
  • Rollerball commented:

    10/26/18, 11:14 PM - Been there!

Red
2015 Frank Cornelissen Contadino Etna DOC Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese
7/18/2018 - fcxj wrote:
88 points
Wife called it bong water.
  • Rollerball commented:

    10/26/18, 10:11 PM - haha love it. Call it like you see it, wives!! Mine always does. :)

Red
2005 Château Gloria St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
11/13/2016 - Rollerball wrote:
88 points
Classic profile with some complexity but not especially inspiring. An excellent accompaniment to a meal with various elements.
  • Rollerball commented:

    12/10/16, 8:16 AM - Thank you Baron. Updated the note with an 88. It's very good.

  • Rollerball commented:

    12/10/16, 11:37 AM - No kidding! Sounds amazing. Have you tried the '82? The '70 (my birth year)?

  • Rollerball commented:

    1/6/17, 4:05 PM - Baron, we're going to pull an '05 Gloria for brussel sprout carbonara tonight!

  • Rollerball commented:

    10/24/18, 9:19 PM - Baron Slick hope you are still on CT ... thinking of you as we loved this even more two years after our last discussion!

Red
2000 Château Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/22/2018 - Rollerball wrote:
94 points
Oh! Is this drinking great right now! An abundance of comfortable fruit; tannins just right. On its own or with food. i think these are better now than they will be at later stages of maturity, so -2025.
  • Rollerball commented:

    9/23/18, 7:36 PM - Cheers Mark! Your notes and comments always make me smile.

Red
2013 G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe Nebbiolo
9/15/2018 - Rollerball wrote:
92 points
Very interesting with suckling pig with smoked and fried eggplant, especially because next to it we had a glass of the much leaner Moric 2012
Reserve Blaufrankisch. The sleek but cozy Barolo with its plush, sweet tannins wrapped the pig like a blanket while the Blaufrankisch brought it out in the open like a spotlight.
  • Rollerball commented:

    9/20/18, 8:41 AM - Yeah, same! So fun.

Red
2011 Benanti Etna Rovittello Etna DOC Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese
7/12/2015 - Rollerball wrote:
93 points
Lunch with Salvino Benanti (Benanti Winery, Etna, Sicily): Cinnamon; warm berries, cherries. Farm smells. An intensity of berries. Nice acidity. Volcanic and mineral. Really delightful. Drink through at least 2025.
  • Rollerball commented:

    8/31/18, 10:24 AM - I had the 2000 in 2015 and it was still singing!

Red
2010 E. Fuligni (Cottimelli) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Sangiovese
6/23/2018 - UFGators Likes this wine:
100 points
Another outstanding showing for this wine! Decanted for 4 hours before first sip. Intoxicating aromas can be detected from the glass 5 feet away. This wine lets it’s presence be known. Hard to describe the complexity of this wine that will emerge with even more bottle age. Tanins are present but smooth enough to be enjoyed now. Hard to imagine a better brunello. Drink or hold.
  • Rollerball commented:

    8/28/18, 1:29 PM - UFGators, a few of us had an interesting exchange recently--which changed how I do reviews--regarding posting multiple notes / scores on the same wine within a short time period. Check it out and do with it what you will!

    https://www.cellartracker.com/note.asp?iWine=921519&iNote=7107140

    tl;dr: When drinking several bottles of the same wine in a short time period, it doesn't add much to the community's information to repeat your score. As a matter of fact, it skews the average and misrepresents the community's impression. Professional reviewers handle this with comments like 'Three bottles, consistent notes.'

    I personally am adopting an approach suggested by SKIVER81: not including a score in each of multiple notes if trying the wine repeatedly within a short time frame.

Red
2005 Poggio il Castellare Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
8/16/2018 - slulkin wrote:
90 points
my lucky night - casual dinner at a friend's house when he pulled this out of nowhere.

Dull ruby core to a reddish brown miniscus. Nose of tart cherry, leather, and some floral hints. Tannin seems resolved and seems to show more tertiary flavors.

Definitely at the edge of enjoyment for my palate.
  • Rollerball commented:

    8/27/18, 7:49 AM - In what regard is it at the edge of enjoyment for your palate?

Red
2014 Girolamo Russo Etna Feudo Etna DOC Nerello Blend, Nerello Mascalese
8/14/2017 - Rollerball wrote:
94 points
Four 2014 Girolamo Russos (Dinner over a few nights at home): Crackling cherries on the nose and, with air, the most classic etna rosso bouquet. High alcohol and pie crust palate. Juicy and handsome; debonair. Soft at first, then inky, then singeing on the intense and spicy, long, lady-killer finish. Let this chill and then enjoy 2020-2030.
  • Rollerball commented:

    7/30/18, 9:10 AM - Thank you. Unfortunately not visited but after discovering this producer at A16 it’s become one of my favorites.

Red - Fortified
1966 Fonseca Porto Vintage Port Blend
7/4/2018 - Rollerball wrote:
99 points
Oh my goodness: YUM!! Smells, tastes, and feels like heaven then sinks for minutes into the most comfortable, delightful finish, as if into a soft leather couch. So much going on yet perfectly internally complementary ... not to mention scrumptious. Like swimming in a rainbow. I will never forget the first sip of this, where I was standing, where the sun was in the sky, everything. It's been a while since a wine took my breath away like this.
  • Rollerball commented:

    7/8/18, 10:53 AM - Thank you OTL

Red
2014 Pietradolce Etna Vigna Barbagalli Etna DOC Nerello Mascalese
2/24/2018 - Rollerball wrote:
95 points
Ridiculous texture and harmony. Expands through significant length.
  • Rollerball commented:

    3/5/18, 10:01 AM - Haha love it. Sounds like you two already know! ;->

  • Rollerball commented:

    6/1/18, 12:37 PM - With some aeration it's gorgeous in its youth. Its wonderful energy is a huge plus right now. And it's not as tannic as say some of the tenuta delle terre nere crus of the same vintage. So I would not say it's too early. But if you only have a bottle or two and you like them once some of those etna tannins have melted away, I'd say one now and one in 2022.

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