Tasting Notes for smphelps

(2,682 notes on 2,178 wines)

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White
3/21/2020 - smphelps wrote:
88 points
Interesting given the note of just over three years ago that the wine "appeared older than it was". Still does, now tasting older than it is. Fruits fully reserved, and a touch of unpleasant harshness is present. Medium length.
White
3/20/2020 - smphelps wrote:
94 points
Smells exactly like a pineapple, almost uncannily. Dense and delicious, but on the fatter side of the spectrum.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/19/2020 - smphelps wrote:
91 points
Tart but nice. Seems to me to be on the downhill slide. Not exactly the blockbuster the critics predicted, and not as dense or long as I remember from earlier bottles.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2/17/2020 - smphelps wrote:
90 points
nice, but not up to the challenge of day two drinking. I don't see this really getting better from here, which is disappointing given the provenance and style.
Red
2008 Lewis Cellars Alec's Blend Napa Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
2/4/2020 - smphelps wrote:
89 points
Beginning to show a bit of age. Dark purple garnet, browning edges, opening slowly with air but holding at a peak for a relatively short period of time. Dark fruit, mocha, bramble, some softness, medium length.
White
2/3/2020 - smphelps wrote:
94 points
Hazy off yellow. Pineapple and pear aromas with spice. Full and long in the mouth. Elegantly weighted.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2/1/2020 - smphelps wrote:
80 points
A fan of the pinots but I find this largely very difficult. Oak to the point of being harsh, overwhelming the fruit although the notes would leave you to believe otherwise (33%new followed by stainless). Little acidity. Just very mediocre, unlike the pinots that are typically very good. Not just this year frankly.
Red
1/7/2020 - smphelps wrote:
92 points
Very expressive aromas showing blueberry and violets. Best with time open, but bright and focused with layers of flavors ending long. Should continue to improve for 5-8 years.
White
1/6/2020 - smphelps wrote:
85 points
Nice easy drinking wine but very simple. Mostly lemon, tight nose, rather short. There are others better in this price range.
Red
1/4/2020 - smphelps wrote:
90 points
A bit past prime in my view, but not too far over the hill. Lighter garnet turning lighter with tan hints at the edge. A slight raisin smell greets you but burns away in the first 15 minutes. Tannins largely gone at this time. With time, nose turns to pepper, saline, olive, and darker fruits. Well into secondary and tertiary flavors now and to the short side on the palate. Drink now.
Red
1/3/2020 - smphelps wrote:
88 points
12.9% alcohol, dark ruby, light edges, with woodsy pepper aromas on opening. Cool climate offering that needs time and air to open much. Very reserved, limited fruit but plenty of non fruit-pepper, pine needle, salt,-flavors. Delicate. Unusual.
White
1/2/2020 - smphelps wrote:
94 points
A transparent yellow. Wonderful tropical nose of honey, melon, pineapple, lemon and apple. Deftly balanced as always with a firm fine core of minerals to give backbone to the fruit. Long and decadently elegant.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/1/2020 - smphelps wrote:
90 points
Held on to this a bit too long. Garnet, tan clear edges. Notes of raisin on the nose to go along with nice dark fruits, blackberry and blueberry. Soft in the mouth, little tannin, and as such feels somewhat unstructured. With air the raisin nose blows off.
Red
12/23/2019 - smphelps wrote:
92 points
Garnet with slight hints of tan. Rich dark fruits turning to coffee, leather, and mocha. Long and really good.
Red
12/11/2019 - smphelps wrote:
91 points
Nice crimson. Richly aromatic with black cherry mocha, vanilla, and plums. Better second day open, long, accessible now.
Red
2010 Château Angélus St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/1/2019 - smphelps wrote:
93 points
Just not even close to ready yet; wait at least 5-10 more years before trying. Very dense, somewhat unpleasantly so, with lots of length and complexity.
Red
11/22/2019 - smphelps wrote:
flawed
Not drinkable, as it's way over the hill. Hard to get clear on what happened to these wines, as they went from rather dense to completely loose in about 1yr.
Red
11/22/2019 - smphelps wrote:
82 points
I don't like this at all. Taste like cotton candy with red food coloring. Sickly and odd.
Red
11/22/2019 - smphelps wrote:
80 points
I don't know, terrible, I didn't care for this at all. Seemed past its prime and pretty inelegant.
Red
10/22/2019 - smphelps wrote:
93 points
I think this is a great wine. Very tightly wound and possibly entering a dormant stage.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/1/2019 - smphelps wrote:
88 points
Dark crimson/maroon. Young, plenty of vanilla, tannins not yet integrated, long with cherry and blueberry.
Red
9/23/2019 - smphelps wrote:
93 points
Deep garnet/purple. Rich with big dark fruit flavors bluebery and blackberry, light touches of caramel and saline. Long.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/21/2019 - smphelps wrote:
92 points
Excellent. Deep crimson, rich red fruit aroma, bold but deftly weighted. Nice acidity balances the big fruit.
Red
9/20/2019 - smphelps wrote:
90 points
Garnet. Smooth easy to drink merlot dominated offering that shows cherry, coffee, chocolate, and blueberry. Long, nice weight.
White
9/19/2019 - smphelps wrote:
89 points
Light gold. Challenged aromatically, but a nice mineral peach slightly oily in the mouth but nonetheless crisp on the finish. Not shy in the glass, nothwithstanding the reserved nose.
Red
9/18/2019 - smphelps wrote:
89 points
Dark cherry red. Nice weight, medium length, cola cherry flavors. Fair value.
Red
9/17/2019 - smphelps wrote:
88 points
Seemed a little tired to me. Prunes, raisins, with some woodiness underneath. Not nearly as refined as other Auberts I've had.
Red
9/5/2019 - smphelps wrote:
90 points
Adding weight with time in the cellar. Lighter hazy ruby purple. Taut, with tart cherry and nice spices.
Red
8/30/2019 - smphelps wrote:
87 points
Fruity, and somewhat vanilla sweet. Fair value.
Red
9/4/2019 - smphelps wrote:
90 points
Very dark maroon. Interesting with the significant use of Tannat resulting in a weighty fruit driven wine showing mostly blueberry and blackberry with scents of baking bread.
Red
9/4/2019 - smphelps wrote:
91 points
Gaining a little weight after a year and filling out. Nice presence, still a lighter color, clear crimson, showing cherry, spice, hints of strawberry, light plum.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Booker Vineyard White Paso Robles White Rhone Blend (view label images)
9/3/2019 - smphelps wrote:
93 points
Really interesting and odd, with lemon zest, orange, and spice. The Roussanne gives a lot of weight and oiliness, while the viognier lifts and perfumes. Pretty cool wine, but not at all normal.
Red
9/3/2019 - smphelps wrote:
87 points
really pretty average, though I had high hopes for this. A little flat, a little too earthy and muddy.
Red
8/27/2019 - smphelps wrote:
89 points
Slightly past peak with a certain softness. Elegant, with plums and blueberry. Opens in the first 30 minutes.
Rosé
8/27/2019 - smphelps wrote:
88 points
Pale orange perhaps showing signs of age or oxidation. Reserved melon fruits with hints of savoriness. Would have preferred a bit more freshness, which may have been present in the past.
White
8/24/2019 - smphelps wrote:
90 points
Good but not great, with some spice and complexity. Certainly very fine in the mouth--pure and long. Just not at all interesting, I think, which one would expect at this price.
Red
8/24/2019 - smphelps wrote:
88 points
Pretty rough on the palate, with sharp acids and and some real angular flavors. Kind of a bummer given that some of these we've had have been totally stellar. In general, mencia confuses me; seems to be a very up and down grape, with lots of volatility regardless of the price point.
Red
8/24/2019 - smphelps wrote:
95 points
kind of mystifying. To me this take like a synthesis of hermitage and burgundy, with fine elegance but deed, salty and meaty notes. Really odd and totally delicious.
Red
8/24/2019 - smphelps wrote:
94 points
pretty delicious, with a real greenness that is uncommon in cali pinots--and frankly hard to make palatable. Lots of complexity and refinement here, however.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/24/2019 - smphelps wrote:
91 points
at 35$, this is a great qpr. elegant and little earthy, with good red fruit and poise.
Red
8/14/2019 - smphelps wrote:
88 points
Maroon. Ripe. Needs time to come together. Tannins too rough at present. Rich red berries and brambles.
White
8/12/2019 - smphelps wrote:
89 points
Faint light gold. Odd slightly off-putting sulfur like aromas at opening that seem to dissipate with air. Firm unripe peach, tart lime citrus, with nice brightness.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
2016 FitVine Rosé California Rosé Blend (view label images)
8/11/2019 - smphelps wrote:
84 points
Probably over the hill. Odd green tint to a soft pink. Light rose scents, raspberry, less crisp that preferred.
Red
8/10/2019 - smphelps wrote:
93 points
Deep garnet. Bold aromas of ripe plum, black cherry, latte. Full, long, bold but silky. Contemplative wine, good with food but also good by itself.
Rosé
8/8/2019 - smphelps wrote:
86 points
Darker salmon coler. Watermelon nose with some herbaceous qualities that were slightly off putting. Watermelon, cherry, green leaf. Meaty, not tart.
White
8/7/2019 - smphelps wrote:
85 points
Pale greenish off white. Slightly oily nose shows green apple and orange zest. More weight than expected, probably better young, but acceptable value.
Red
8/5/2019 - smphelps wrote:
91 points
Ruby. Spice cherry nose with a touch of a saline quality. Nice weight, good length, cherry, salt, cola, and clove.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
8/3/2019 - smphelps wrote:
86 points
Dark blood salmon color. Weighty for rose' with limited crispness, more tannin, and darker flavors, very ripe strawberry, cherry and the like. Less of a summer sipper than most.
Red
8/2/2019 - smphelps wrote:
90 points
Nice value. Dark ruby, spice, moss, black cherry fragrances. Nicely weighted, more elegant than appearance would suggest.
White
7/18/2019 - smphelps wrote:
87 points
Let this get way from me a little bit. Now a darker tanish gold, with a slightly oxidized nose that otherwise shows pineapple and ripe pear. Slightly sweet, a little nutty to go with the pineapple in the mouth. Better 2-5 years ago.
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