Comments on my notes

(50 comments on 40 notes)

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Rosé
2017 Domaines Ott Côtes de Provence Rosé Château de Selle Rosé Blend
8/20/2018 - BillyT wrote:
93 points
For me the Ott family of Rose's are truly overall the best rose's. Why? Balance, elegance, freshness, fruit, all in a well balanced wine that is both complex for the serious drinker yet easy for the newbie to understand and enjoy. Sure, I recognize there are many GREAT rose's out there but this one seems to be the most versatile and balanced of them all. Remember, just my personal feelings, doesn't make me right.
  • Mattshank commented:

    10/8/19, 8:32 AM - Hey Bill great note on this wine. I had it back in February and could not agree more with your assessment. Ott is like drinking Springtime in a bottle. Too bad so little comes to the US and I've never seen the Bandol version here. All the best.

Red
2013 Domaine Rossignol Trapet Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir
4/3/2019 - chablis28 wrote:
91 points
Experimenting with a 375 tonight and this completely reminds me of a previous 750 from June last year so why write a brand new review :). That said, this little btl dose seem slightly more harmonious then my last where the acidity and structure was slightly edgy. Said to be from 40 80 year old vines. Semi translucent red with some light amber on the very edges. Hint of forest floor along with earth and red fruit on the nose. Red fruit, mineral, earth, spice, and further forest floor notes along with mushroom on the palate. This is very Gevrey Chambertin in every way. 13% Alc.
  • Mattshank commented:

    8/7/19, 4:08 PM - Good review Craig. Was thinking of letting my 750's sleep a bit longer and your review of a 375 confirms that. Perhaps next year I'll open my first. Thanks.

Red
2007 Eeden Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District
4/26/2019 - jmoore431 wrote:
92 points
Mattshank's note says it all. Great value!
  • Mattshank commented:

    5/1/19, 8:46 AM - Thanks for the compliment man. Given the caliber of what you are drinking it says a lot. Cheers.

Red
2016 Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino Sangiovese
12/14/2018 - Eric Guido Likes this wine:
93 points
The nose was beautiful, even if a bit subdued tonight, showing blackberry, tart cherry, savory herbs, and minerals with dark floral perfumes, and hints of undergrowth. On the palate, I found silky textures offset by a mix of zesty acid, minerals and spice, with ripe blackberry, tart cherry, black tea and a twang of savory herbs. The finish was long showing saturating dark red fruits, lingering acids, minerals, herbs and hints of gruff tannin.

It's amazing to think that this is a Rosso, because it outclasses many producers Brunellos.
  • Mattshank commented:

    1/9/19, 1:16 PM - Good note Eric (no wonder I've named you a fav taster). Did you give this wine any air treatment prior to consumption, and if so what type (Vinituri, decanter, slow ox)? Thanks.

  • Mattshank commented:

    1/9/19, 2:25 PM - @Eric ~ Cool. So slow ox then. Good info. Thanks man.

Red
2010 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
12/12/2018 - Mattshank wrote:
91 points
2 1/2 hour decant (mag decanter). Nose: Complex aromas of black fruits, graphite, cedar and traces of tar and fennel. Palate: Very black fruited with the graphite showing along with very primary yet supple tannins. This wine is dychotomous in that the previous reviewers illustrate that old adage that “two things can be true at once”. While there are aspects of approachability in the soft tannins there is also a very primary quality to the fruit. Enjoyable now with a big decant, but the real vexing question is when to open the next one? Depending on its evolution this could be 92 points or higher. We shall see.
  • Mattshank commented:

    12/12/18, 6:42 PM - Thanks Mark. Glad you found the note useful. Depending on how many you have I would say open one, but give it lots of air and you will be happy. If you only have 1 or 2 then perhaps a couple years or so sideways might be better.

  • Mattshank commented:

    12/12/18, 7:01 PM - Did not note any green pepper nor do I recall others commenting on it. Heavy on the graphite though which I thought was cool. As I say decanting is crucial. Too many reviewers do not talk about their air treatment which makes me think many do a pop & pour. This is a mistake IMO. In many cases wine needs air.

Red
2016 Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino Sangiovese
10/11/2018 - chablis28 wrote:
89 points
Opened about 2.5 hours prior to dinner and slow oxed. Unexpected semi opaque ruby red color. Usually the color is bit lighter for rosso from a traditionally styled producer. Expected to love this rosso from one of my favorite Brunello producers, but I didn't. At least not at this point in its early evolution. For my palate this is a bit precocious, ripe and rich currently. The other happy "problem" for me is my ongoing infatuation with Le Ragnaie's soulful, elegant, weightless 2013 rosso that is stuck in my record player. Now, every Rosso di Montalcino I try has measure up:). I'll drink more 2013 Le Ragnaie Rosso instead and likely end up wishing I had bought more of them. This wine is very nice now to be sure but hopefully it shed some baby fat with another year or three.
  • Mattshank commented:

    12/4/18, 1:31 PM - Good note Craig. Just picked up a couple of these. If I open in the next year or so I'll be sure to throw it in the mag decanter for a few hours. That other RdM you referenced sounds very interesting.

Red
2014 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
7/7/2018 - chablis28 wrote:
91 points
Opened at 2pm & decanted. Back into the btl at 4pm with cork out. Drinking with "the kids" between 6 - 9pm. Overall I found this balanced & restrained with most of its depth and corresponding intrigue submerged right now. Semi opaque ruby color. Smokey dark fruit nose with a hint of tobacco. The palate is mostly savory with earth,mineral and herb notes dominating a measure of dark fruit. Again a hint of tobacco. This is youthfully tight and in need of a good 10 years plus before it really struts its stuff and we know for sure what we bought. Alc 13.5%. This was an exploratory single bottle from my first grandson's birthyear. Otherwise, I'd never touch a Bordeaux younger than 2005 for myself. If I buy more of these it will be on faith as this didn't wow me tonight like it has other tasters here. For me, 90-92pts, right now.
  • Mattshank commented:

    11/10/18, 11:10 AM - Good note Craig.

  • Mattshank commented:

    11/10/18, 11:59 AM - You bet although probably not as good a wine as you have. Would be good to hang out again. Is your cell still ending in the digits 89? Or if you still have your old Frontier mail account? Want to respect confidential info on this public forum.

White
2014 Dierberg Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
10/23/2018 - Mattshank wrote:
90 points
Nose: Bright lemons and assorted citrus aromas. Palate: Bright and high toned with bracing acidity, lemon zest and a light to medium length finish.
  • Mattshank commented:

    11/3/18, 7:26 AM - Yes, quite the variation as first bottle kind of pre-mixed. Second one much better and representative.

Red
2013 Domaine Rossignol Trapet Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir
6/18/2018 - chablis28 wrote:
91 points
Said to be from 40 80 year old vines. Semi translucent red with some light amber on the very edges. Hint of forest floor along with earth and red fruit on the nose. Red fruit, mineral, earth, spice, and further forest floor notes along with mushroom on the palate. This is very Gevrey Chambertin in every way. The acidity seems slightly more prominent than it might in other vintages but seems to mellow very well with food and the final glass after dinner was elegant and harmonious. 13% Alc This is a very solid value at $46.
  • Mattshank commented:

    7/17/18, 1:08 PM - Thanks for the note Craig. I have a couple of these babies. Good to know there is no rush given your comments about the acid levels.

  • Mattshank commented:

    8/17/18, 10:22 AM - Good note Craig. I have a couple of these and good to know there is no rush on them. Maybe I pop one in a year. Hope you and Nita are well.

Red
2009 Blue Hall Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Camiana Howell Mountain
3/12/2017 - AMC Eagle wrote:
92 points
4 hour decant. Dark garnet in appearance; nose of cherry cola with some hints of spiced blackberry paste. On the palate, there are dark plums with some blackberries and cassis; hints of dark cocoa. Front palate tanins slowly dissipate with some time. Medium bodied with a medium finish; more layers of this wine is revealing itself as time goes on. Last tasted on Dec 2015.
  • Mattshank commented:

    11/4/17, 10:14 AM - Hi Eagle, always enjoyed your notes so not sure why I've not named you a fav taster......I have now. Cheers!

  • Mattshank commented:

    7/7/18, 11:30 AM - Hi Eagle, hope you are well and drinking good wines. Thanks for the notes on this. I get the sense that time (and your massive decants) have been kind to this wine. Your notes should help me define my optimal window on my last bottle. Cheers.

Red
2009 Virginie de Valandraud St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
3/27/2017 - Collector1855 wrote:
93 points
Dark purple. Intense oaky, vanilla, blue fruit nose, unapologetic modern. The palate is lush and sexy, very competent for a second wine. The difference between this wine and a USA/Chile lush Merlot the Bordeaux terroir that ads character. Not my kind of wine but the crowd pleasing quality cannotbe denied.
  • Mattshank commented:

    4/15/17, 8:41 AM - Good note Collector. Always enjoy reading your notes. I agree on the modern aspects you sight in this wine. Part of the reason I state not needing to age beyond 4 or 5 more years. This was certainly not meant to be a 15-20+ year ager IMO.

  • Mattshank commented:

    6/24/18, 11:51 AM - @WineKnurd. Not sure where there is disagreement. Re-read my note as I say 4-5 MORE years (from my note in 2017) which puts me right in line with your observation as this wine was at age 8 when I last had it (8+ 4-5 more years = the 12-13 mark you reference).

  • Mattshank commented:

    6/24/18, 3:08 PM - Absolutely. Most importantly sounds like we're all liking the wine. I look forward to my next one in perhaps another year. Be well.

Red
2010 Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
6/12/2018 - Mattshank wrote:
88 points
2 hour decant (mag decanter). Similar to notes on 7/15/16. Still the same subtle spice, red fruited aroma and flavors but not much in the way of complexity. Cannot see how others who I respect a lot can give this 92 points or higher. I appreciate subtle, nuanced wines but this is not a compromise for complexity and character. Of all the BdM's I've had this ranks pretty low. Still 88 points and wish that were not so. I have one left in the cellar if anyone who's bullish on it wants to buy it.
  • Mattshank commented:

    6/13/18, 8:09 AM - @chablis28. I agree. To each their own. I certainly wish this had been 92 for me but I cannot invent what isn't there. Gave it plenty of air (and additional 2 years sideways) but it did not come out to play, hence 88. If you want to work out a trade Lonnie I'm all ears.

  • Mattshank commented:

    6/13/18, 2:31 PM - Craig V? Is that you? I'm not really stocking much in CdP anymore but rather Burgs. I like the nuance and lower alc levels. If this is you Craig V I still have your old contact info (house and cell) and maybe we can chat offline.

Red
2012 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Don Melchor Puente Alto
5/20/2018 - Mattshank wrote:
92 points
2 hour decant (mag decanter) Nose: Complex aromatics of loam soil, blackberry, pencil lead hints, and subtle violets with assorted herbs. Palate: Blackberries contrasted by firm acids, loam traces, pencil lead and some angular red fruits. Tannins are present but not over the top for such a young wine. The prevalence of acidity had me surprised as other reviewers have commented that this was a fruit bomb, but I'm not seeing it in this bottle. This is pretty balanced and given the high acidity I think this could age quite well. Next bottle will be opened at least two years down the road. Good effort. 92+ points.
  • Mattshank commented:

    5/20/18, 6:56 PM - Thanks for kind words. You obviously read my bio with the Tolstoy reference. This note may have been a touch more verbose but it needed to be said. Really enjoyed this wine and glad it was antithetical to what others perceived in not being a fruit bomb. I found it very Bordeaux-like. Look forward to my next two bottles.

Red
2011 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Saralee's Vineyard Russian River Valley
4/16/2018 - mflesh wrote:
93 points
The 89 Point average ratings given to this bottle are a travesty. This bottle is much more deserving. Definitely not your fruit in the face Pinot. This is more of a dried red fruit, pie spice in the middle, very long finish kind of pinot. The fruit is ever-present, just in a different kind of way . This is more of a brambly type of pinot, yet remaining rather soft from the front to the finish. Rather intriguing, and left you guessing from the start to the finish. If I had another case of this, I would consider myself unworthy!
  • Mattshank commented:

    4/16/18, 4:55 PM - Have not had this wine but I agree that Swan wines are often underrated given their focus on balance, acidity and finesse. All the Swan wines I've had reflect this.

Red
2013 Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes Syrah
1/28/2018 - Christine Havens Likes this wine:
91 points
Crafted from 60 year-old biodynamically farmed Syrah, Alain Vogue’s Les Vieilles Vignes Cornas 2014 is expressive, yet restrained. Blueberries and blackberries wind ’round earth, black olive, and pink peppercorn. As its opens, secondary aromas emerge: clove, cinnamon bark, cardamom, lanolin, spice, violets, incense. It’s poised, with all of the power Syrah commands, but there is freshness too. It ends on a decidedly mineral note, an arc of volcanic granite, long since decomposed. 13.5% ABV | Sample
  • Mattshank commented:

    1/31/18, 3:49 PM - Hey Christine, good to see you post again. I have the 2007 of this. Really like what Alain Voge does with this wine. Hope you are well.

Red
2013 Carlisle Syrah Sierra Mar Santa Lucia Highlands
10/26/2017 - Nutty08 wrote:
flawed
Horribly corked! First ever from Carlisle.
  • Mattshank commented:

    10/29/17, 9:24 AM - Bummer. Contact the winery. I had a corked Carlisle once and Mike made it right by replacing with the exact same bottle (he holds back a few from each vintage for such rare occurences).

Red
2015 Château Branaire-Ducru St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
4/21/2016 - NostraBacchus Likes this wine:
92 points
Tasted @ large primeur tasting. Perfumed aromatics of tobacco, dark berries, cassis, some crushed flowers. It has these super classic St-Julien aromatics and is usually one of my favorites. It's medium+ bodied with good freshness und medium-high acidity as well as medium-high tannin that is silky and ripe. Good length but I missed a touch of mid-palate density, it might well put on some more weight in bottle though. (91-93)
  • Mattshank commented:

    10/5/17, 10:18 AM - Great tasting note man. Been a fan for a while but no idea why I had not named you a fave taster. I have now. All the best.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
5/10/2017 - Mattshank wrote:
Kevin's (Rocknroller) Birthday Bash: Very dark, almost orange in color. Burnt aromas and deficient in fruit. Provenance questionable hence no score.
  • Mattshank commented:

    5/11/17, 9:09 AM - Hi Momus99~ I do not know the source as it was not a bottle that I brought. Sorry.

Red
2010 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
5/3/2017 - Mattshank wrote:
94 points
I've met a new girl and her name is Margaux. Just kidding....happily married for over 21 years, but wow what an amazing wine from my favorite appellation in Bordeaux. 2 hour decant (mag decanter) then back to bottle. Notes after 15 minutes added glass air time.

Nose: Very morphic (at one point it had cotton candy aromas...I kid you not) with graphite, pencil lead and earth. With glass air time added aromas of cedar, cherries, moss, assorted spices, flowers and blueberry. Just a spectacular nose! Could easily be confused as a first growth from a great year...yes, it's that good! Palate: While quite young with a great deal of decant time this shows very well with high toned acids, accessible tannins, and an abundance of dark fruits. Blackberries, blueberry and cherry hints all balanced by the big tannins, graphite, earth and a long finish. Very balanced even at this very young stage in it's life (with a big decant) this is a spectacular wine that has a very long life ahead. 94+ points for now w/ very real 95 or higher potential w/ age. Glad I have 6 more left. Bravo!
  • Mattshank commented:

    5/4/17, 9:44 AM - Thanks for the comment PT. Yes..we do party well here and yes, Rocknroller is a good friend and we drink some stellar vino for sure. This wine just re-emphasized why I love Margaux (at the high end) so much. Be well PT.

Red
2009 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
12/22/2016 - rocknroller wrote:
91 points
Pre-Holiday WDTS: Dark red color. PNP, drank 1 glass over an hour. Quite the brett and barnyard fest going here. This was one of the more pronounced examples I've seen in awhile from Pegau. Hints of effervescence and a tad bit of VA as well. This gets better over the hour and starts to show more balance with a good bit or Herb de Provence and tart cherry and kirsch. A little sharp on the finish.
  • Mattshank commented:

    4/15/17, 8:58 AM - Interesting note Kevin. Sounds like a far different bottle (in terms of provenance) than what I had a couple years ago. That bottle I had was stunning. Hope my remaining two drink like that one.

Red
2005 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir
2/10/2017 - vanpe003 wrote:
92 points
No detailed notes. Started out with a slight awkwardness on the pop, but wow....what a transformation over 30 minutes in the glass. Aromatic and perfumed on the nose, with a hint of sweet leather and wood. On the palate, rich fruit and lush mouthfeel. Balanced, with remaining structural components in the background. I don't see any reason to hold these based on the way it's drinking today. 92+ points.
  • Mattshank commented:

    2/12/17, 10:48 AM - Good note J. Always liked Girardin Burgs. Good house.

Red
2005 Louis Jadot Pommard 1er Cru Clos de la Commaraine Pinot Noir
5/22/2013 - Mattshank wrote:
90 points
Well, it's been 2 years to the day I had this last (5/22/11) but it's still tight as a snare drum even after being Vinituried into the glass. Nose: Ripe red fruited with the Burg funk. Palate: Still tight and acid focused with the cherries showing. Just like the last bottle I will re-cork and try on day 2 where I think it will show best, but for now it is the vinified equivalent of The Picture of Dorian Gray as it appears to have not aged at all. The acidity of this wine was a nice offset to the shrimp scampi with which it was served. Still 90 pts. for now. Addendum to follow on day 2.

Day 2 Addendum ~ Additive aromas of clay loam and acidity and tannins softened somewhat but qualitatively still a 90. There is no hurry on this Burg. My last bottle will be opened in 2-3 years.
  • Mattshank commented:

    1/4/17, 9:11 AM - Hi Maureen, no I have not opened it as it was still so primary several years ago so I'm in no hurry. I have a couple other '05' Burgs I'm sitting on...no rush.

White
2014 Kutch Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
12/18/2016 - isaacjamesbaker wrote:
95 points
Medium yellow color. What a crazy/awesome aromatic burst: lemon curd, lime peel, papaya, topped with crushed shells, chalk dusty, mountain stream, integrated notes of honeyed tea and toasted almond. Holy smokes. On the palate, this is medium/light bodied but not lacking in mouthfeel. So tangy and lively with its acidity, but balanced by richness of fruit (lemon curd, lime peel, tangerine). I get a complex host of sea salt, almond, floral perfume, chalk dust, mineral water, and kisses of cinnamon and green tea. Precise and nervy but so damned delicious, it tingles the palate for so long after the sip goes down. One of the most dynamic, thrilling and profound America Chardonnays I have tasted in a long time. A blend of two sites, Trout Gulch and Zayanta, this is barrel fermented (20% new oak) and aged 18 months.
  • Mattshank commented:

    1/3/17, 2:17 PM - Wow great note Issac. Precisely why I've named you a favorite taster. This wine is my first purchased from Kutch, and based on your review I cannot wait to try my first of three.

Rosé
2015 Château d'Esclans Rock Angel Côtes de Provence Rosé Blend
8/24/2016 - Derek Darth Taster wrote:
91 points
Wine Wednesday (Free & Easy) (Extra Space): Pop and poured. Drank over 1+ hour.
Appearance is clear, pale intensity, salmon-pink colour. Legs.
Nose is clean, medium+ intensity, with aromas of raspberries, garrigue, sweet herbs, rocky minerality. Youthful.
On the palate, dry, high acidity, medium+ alcohol (14%), medium body. Medium+ flavour intensity, with flavours of raspberries, red cherries, sweet herbal spices, rocky minerality. Medium+ finish.
Very good quality. In the serious Rosé category. Good minerality. Drink and enjoy.
Grapes grown from Chateau d'Esclans' vineyard. Mainly Grenache and Rolle (Vermentino).
  • Mattshank commented:

    12/2/16, 9:50 AM - Good tasting note Derek and good luck on your WSET3 test. Check out my notes and cheers.

Red
2010 Château Cantenac Brown BriO Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
11/10/2015 - Motz wrote:
92 points
Drank over three days. Elegant and precise perfume of blackcurrant, forest berries, black and blue berry preserves, crème de cassis, berry infused dark chocolate, espresso beans, mint, and graphite. Focused juiciness, 'sweet' grainy tannins, pipe tobacco, graphite, and crushed granite star on the palate. Medium plus to full bodied, medium plus acid, excellent balance, definition, and lift. A traditional Marguax, perhaps slightly leaning to the modern style. It should evolve for three to five years and drink well through 2025+. Pure pleasure! 92+.
  • Mattshank commented:

    8/21/16, 10:25 AM - Hey Motz...great tasting note. I really like the detail and feel this is how notes should be written. I look forward to trying one of my 4 bottles of this in the future. Be well.

Rosé
2014 Château De Guiranne Côtes de Provence Rosé Rosé Blend
4/19/2016 - RMapou Likes this wine:
88 points
Agree with mattshank's description, except would not describe as "bone dry," as there was plenty of fruit overtones.
  • Mattshank commented:

    6/8/16, 1:02 PM - Bone dry wines can still have fruit expression and often do as I commented.

Red
2012 Carlisle Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard Napa Valley
6/5/2016 - Mattshank wrote:
90 points
Nose: Complex aromas of moss, charcoal and graphite. Palate: Dark fruits with a touch of alc heat and soft tannins. Medium finish with some spice. Very soft and elegant, but also not much complexity on palate. Very good but considering a it's a top end Carlisle not very impressive. Not sure how the Tracker average is 92+ on this. For me it's well made and a good 90+ points.
  • Mattshank commented:

    6/6/16, 2:20 PM - @csimm. Thanks for your post and for now being a fan. With regard to this wine I'm not sure about it getting more complex in bottle, but as you know wine is a fickle thing and more time sideways could prove beneficial, but when I evaluate I try to look for core components that will show improvement potential and in this wine I think it's a case of "It is what it is". With that said it's a nice feminine wine but maybe not the best QPR in the extensive Carlisle portfolio. I really like Carlisle wines and think Mike and his winemaker Jay Maddox are a great team.

  • Mattshank commented:

    6/7/16, 8:01 AM - @csimm. I'm with you all the way on that one which is why I tend to focus on the Papa's Block and Sierra Mar offerings versus many of the other SVD's. Also really like the whites (Derivative and Gruner) and base bottlings for their exceptional QPR.

White
2014 Domaine Raoul Gautherin et Fils Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons Chardonnay
11/3/2015 - Mattshank wrote:
75 points
Wow! I haven't given a score this bad in many years. I cannot believe I was sucked into this WTSO purchase, but in my defense, it is a Vaillon which enjoys a great reputation and I've enjoyed many good wines from this sub-apellation before (granted far more well known and respected producers like Fevre). This wine smells and tastes like drinking liquid Downy (yes, the fabric softener)! I would call it billeous but that would be offensive to bile everywhere. Buyer beware...do not buy this!
  • Mattshank commented:

    2/11/16, 7:39 AM - @Yosterizer That is very interesting. I will certainly not place any cred on the Tastvinage designate going forward even though that was not a metric that drove me to buy that wine. It was mostly the Vaillon designation, which as I noted, enjoys a great reputation.

Rosé - Sparkling
2012 Schramsberg Vineyards Brut Rosé California Champagne Blend
9/25/2015 - Christine Havens Likes this wine:
92 points
Ebullient and certainly not lacking in verve, the 2012 Schramsberg Brut Rosé 2012 is a testament to what cool climate viticulture in Carneros and the Sonoma and Marin coastal AVAs can achieve. As with the other Schramsberg sparkling wines I’ve sampled, this lovely rosé manages to be delicate and focused with pretty overtones of sweet cherries, raspberry brûlée, nougatine and mandarin orange. The mousse quite fine, with bright and brisk acidity bolstering pomelo and crushed shell notes at the close. 13.0% ABV Sample
  • Mattshank commented:

    2/4/16, 8:47 AM - Hi Christine, I really like your note taking abilities and have added you to my favorite tasters. Be well.

White
2012 Carlisle Grüner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard Sonoma Mountain
4/25/2015 - sawira wrote:
91 points
Well made Gruner. Classic notes of green bean/peas, waxy honeydew melon, and lots of depth, glycerine and length to complement the substantial, well-balanced mid-palate. Not an Alzinger, but superb for a North American Gruner. Kudos, and keep these coming, Mike!
  • Mattshank commented:

    1/23/16, 10:30 AM - Hello, I was looking back at my notes on this wine and saw your comments. Also reviewed your other notes and they are well written. You've been added to my favorites. Be well.

Red
2011 Robert Keenan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 35th Anniversary Napa Valley
Over riding nose and taste of mildew, yuck. The cork was in good shape and not flawed.
  • Mattshank commented:

    9/5/15, 1:26 PM - You describe a clearly flawed bottle. I would say a corked bottle by your descriptor. Would you not consider changing your score from 80 to Flaw in order to preserve the statistical integrity of what is clearly not an 80 point wine, but rather an anomaly?

Red
2010 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District
8/14/2014 - isaacjamesbaker wrote:
91 points
Deep and complex on the nose, with rich cherries, black and red currants, dusted with cedar, pencil shavings, mossy rocks and tobacco. Juicy and fleshy on the palate, with fine tannins and tangy acid. Crunchy red currants, some black cherries and strawberries. Lots of tobacco, bell pepper, graphite and charcoal notes. The sweet vanilla and cedar is well-integrated. Bold but also quite elegant, with tons of length on the finish. Could develop complexity with age, but I’m impressed at how well it’s showing now. Includes 10% Merlot and 6% Cab Franc, this wine is aged 24 months in 50% new French oak.
  • Mattshank commented:

    9/9/14, 8:58 AM - Now THAT'S a tasting note! Good description without being overdone AND a score. Others please take note...this is how it should be done and it is precisely how I do things as well. Kudos Issac.

Red
2006 Kistler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
10/9/2013 - bonedoc wrote:
88 points
Fairly disappointing for a kistler. I overrated this wine in the past, but really never liked it. Frankly, hot, bitter, and lacking acidity and fruit - pinot Noir should not be this way. It's not a bad wine, just not up to Kistler standards.
  • Mattshank commented:

    10/9/13, 6:44 PM - Having rather extensive experience w/ Kistler your bottle sounds like it was flawed. Kistler is usually very high in acidity as it's made for the long haul and your descriptor of little fruit also seems to indicate an off bottle. Notify the winery although given their arrogance sadly they will probably dismiss it. For many reasons I'm no longer on their list. I must say though they do make stellar wines.

  • Mattshank commented:

    10/9/13, 9:06 PM - Your reply made me want to check my Kistler notes for '06' but I have none so will rely on your assumption (perhaps after I ended my relationship with the winery). Either way glad to hear from you they are now resuming the style of winemaking that got them noticed in the first place.

Red
2010 Amusee Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Alexander Valley
4/17/2013 - Mattshank wrote:
87 points
Nose: Bright red fruits and vanilla. Palate: Soft styled with surprisingly bright red fruits for a Cab. Decent acid levels but not much complexity and a light finish. OK food wine but even at $20/btl this is not worth the price. Another WTSO wine that is not worth it. Just OK.
  • Mattshank commented:

    8/9/13, 8:34 AM - Thanks KVS. It should be noted that overall I really like WTSO and feel they have many great values, but as with everything one has to be careful. Their customer service is also first rate.

Red
2010 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Offerus Syrah
8/1/2013 - Mattshank wrote:
91 points
Take this job and Chave it! (Sunfish Cellars, Lillydale, MN): Nose: Burnt toast quality with black fruits. Unique but interesting nose. Palate: Black fruits and pepper with white pepper as well. A more amped up version of the Silene IMO. Medium length finish. Very elegant and balanced. 91+ points.
  • Mattshank commented:

    8/8/13, 7:38 AM - Hi Mark, yes we did sit together at this one. It was a great tasting for sure. Thanks for adding me to your favorite taster list.

White
2007 Talley Vineyards Chardonnay Rincon Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley
12/26/2012 - vanpe003 wrote:
93 points
Pop/pour. On the nose, an earthy slightly sulphuric tarry funk. On the palate, nice balance between fruit and acidity, with the latter coming across as quite smooth. Evokes a sense of Burgundy. 92 points.

Update: after 4 hours opened, this has really opened up. At a minimum, I will spash decant the next bottle if opened in the near term. These last sips show a really elegant, smooth and refined chardonnay. 93 pts.
  • Mattshank commented:

    12/30/12, 8:17 AM - I really like the Talley wines. All the ones I've had have been well made. They make really nice Pinots as well.

White
2010 Carlisle The Derivative White Sonoma County White Blend
12/17/2012 - vanpe003 wrote:
This one is just difficult to describe. It could well be named "Conundrum" if that name weren't already taken. Rich, exotic musky fruit on the nose...tropical fruit with a bit of a sense of pineapple upside down cake married without the overt sweetness. On the palate, a real dichotomy, as impressions bounce around from rich (deep fruit) to bright (balancing acidity) back to rich again (long, deep slightly resinous finish).

92 points for now. I could see this coming together and further integrating with 12-24 months of further time in the bottle.

For me, this reminds me of the aforementioned Conundrum, back many years ago when it seemed to be more finely crafted than it is today. Different in overall style, but similar in terms of its inherent complexity, and the head scratching that goes on when the taster tries to determine "what the heck is this????".
  • Mattshank commented:

    12/30/12, 8:00 AM - Thanks for the notes on this one Jim. I have two bottles (my full allotment from Mr. Officer) and had the sense it needed time so it's good to see that validation. I think this could be a nice one to enjoy on the deck when the weather breaks in 2013.

Red
2004 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
11/25/2012 - drwine2001 wrote:
Half bottle. I was surprised to see that although I own it, I had never tasted this before. Medium red. Wonderfully old fashioned Chateauneuf aromas-gamy red fruit, sour licorice and an array of green herbs. Light to medium weight in current southern Rhone terms, savory, spicy, peppery flavors, and crackling acidity which is so often lacking in contemporary southern Rhones. Gently building sweetness of fruit without any artificial sugariness or overripeness. I was stunned at how good this was, a welcome throwback to pre-2003 Clos des Papes.
  • Mattshank commented:

    11/25/12, 7:49 PM - Thanks Dr. Wine for the update on a wine I've not had in a couple years (two 750's left in my cellar). Also, a good point about today's modern, southern Rhones lacking the vibrancy of the old school (in terms of acidity). I very much agree and would add they also lack a lot of the secondary (ex. dirty, funky) nuances. I think Donjon still embraces the old school attributes so perhaps there is hope :-).

Red
2008 Rhys Alesia Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
11/16/2010 - vanpe003 wrote:
91 points
Tart sweetness with florals and a hint of stems on the nose. Quite sappy without being heavy, with a nice balancing tartness on the palate. Finishes with nice length. Will likely be better in a couple of years, but is hard to resist now.
  • Mattshank commented:

    11/19/10, 5:55 PM - Thanks for the notes on this one Jim. I have two bottles and it's good to know it was a good acquisition.

White
2004 Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Altenbourg Cuvée Laurence Alsace
5/11/2010 - vanpe003 wrote:
92 points
This bears little resemblance to any Italian version I've ever had. Closer to a gewurztraminer without the spice.....

On the nose, pear, some soft acids and a creamy sweet aroma. On the palate....rich, trending toward sweet. Somewhere between Kabinett and Spatlese to me re: sweetness. Lush mouthfeel kept lively by acidity and a sense of minerality. This is not a summer quaffer, but rather a serious wine that demands either big food or a roaring fire.
  • Mattshank commented:

    5/14/10, 4:45 PM - This sounds great. I love Alsacian Pinot Gris. I have had the Gewurtz version of this. I like Weinbach wines.

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