Comments on my notes

(17 comments on 17 notes)

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Red
2012 Copain Pinot Noir Wendling Vineyard Anderson Valley
3/9/2019 - egh Likes this wine:
91 points
Smooth and moderately proportioned yet with good concentration, saturation, and structure with an aromatic and flavor profile of black raspberry, blueberry, red apple, spices, and cloves. 13.6% abv.
  • egh commented:

    3/11/19, 6:58 PM - Hi Frank: I have one bottle remaining, and I will opt to drink it over the next 12-18 months. While there is some structure that could and should integrate/resolve further, I'm just not certain this wine is going to become more interesting or pleasurable than in its current state. For what it is worth, I tend to err on the side of drinking inaugural releases earlier (as you know, this was the first commercial release from this plot). Not sure if any of this is particularly enlightening but that's my thought process with regard to the 2012 Wendling. Cheers!

Red
2011 Rhys Pinot Noir Skyline Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
12/29/2017 - egh Likes this wine:
93 points
My first bottle of Skyline pinot noir and it did not disappoint. Refined, feminine, pure, lithe, and ethereal with a mineral underpinning and a spine of vibrant acidity that really anchors the palate and drives the finish. Offers up an aromatic and flavor profile of cool and controlled red fruits, flowers, whole cluster derived herbal and spice notes, and a suggestion of forest floor/earth. My only nit to pick is that the stems/whole cluster signature is still a bit out front. Possesses the freshness, balance, and structure to suggest a graceful evolution, so additional bottle age is recommended to allow the stems to further integrate. P&P, enjoyed over the course of four hours. 12.6% abv.
  • egh commented:

    1/1/18, 6:52 PM - Happy new year to you too Frank. I enjoy your notes as well, and have made a number of drinking and purchasing decisions based on your read and perspective. Cheers!

Red
2015 Carlisle Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard Napa Valley
8/9/2017 - egh Likes this wine:
92 points
15.0% alcohol. Inky, full bodied, powerful, intense, piercing, primary/grapey, and tooth staining with gobs of blue and black berries along with melted licorice, graphite, and flowers.
  • egh commented:

    8/14/17, 7:15 PM - Frank, I concur that this wine is already drinking well. Will this 2015 Palisades PS go 10 years? Absolutely. Will it go 20? Probably. Will it get more interesting? For my palate, I'm not sure. It shows structure to be sure, but is by no means backward or impenetrable at this stage. With that said, I can count on two hands the number of petite's I have sampled, so take my observation with that caveat in mind.

Red
2007 Copain Syrah Brosseau Vineyard Chalone
12/1/2016 - egh Likes this wine:
91 points
13.5% alcohol. Consistent showing with my last bottle, consumed about a year ago. Brooding, deep, gripping, fuller bodied, and rather rocky, rustic, and savory with the wine's dark blue fruits assuming more complimentary role to the black olive, creosote, chalk, and purple flower notes.
  • egh commented:

    12/4/16, 5:58 PM - Appreciate the comment, Frank. Have only had Wells' 2007 Brosseau, but the vineyard seems to have a distinctive profile and unique compared to his other syrah bottlings. Based on my experience with 2007, I ordered/added the 2013 from the last release. Look forward to popping a cork in a few years. Cheers!

Red
2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Russian River Valley
1/8/2016 - egh wrote:
88 points
13.9% alcohol. Consistent with my note from ~9 months ago. As with the previous bottle, this does not achieve the complexity, vibrancy, or excitement of the best examples of this bottling. Lighter to medium bodied, softer, smooth a bit subdued, and seemingly resolved with an attractive yet straightforward profile of cool red fruits and a protruding creamy oak note. Recommendation to drink.
  • egh commented:

    1/11/16, 3:39 PM - Rochioli Riverblock tends to be my favorite vineyard designate from W-S, it is indeed a strange and ultimately disappointing showing. For what it is worth, I have also tried 2007 Allen, Coastlands, and Ferrington bottlings in the past year - All drinking beautifully.

Red
2006 Copain Pinot Noir "En Haut" Kiser Anderson Valley
9/29/2014 - egh Likes this wine:
93 points
13.3% alcohol. This wine is in a terrific spot. Inviting nose of red apple, red cherry, spice, and a woodsy/earthy suggestion. Equally impressive in the mouth - balanced, controlled, refined, cool, tart, and texturally soft, silky, and lithe with red fruit, spice, and mineral notes. There is a nice spine of acidity which lends vibrancy and tension, and a lingering finish that echos beautifully. Committed to hold my lone remaining bottle until 2016.
  • egh commented:

    11/7/15, 12:19 PM - Thanks Frank. I too noticed some recent TNs suggesting this wine is on a downward trajectory. Am planning on opening my lone bottle sooner rather than later.

White
2009 Copain Chardonnay Brosseau Vineyard Chalone
9/13/2014 - egh Likes this wine:
93 points
13.7% alcohol. Just a beautiful expression of chardonnay that exudes tension, vibrancy, focus, balance, and refinement. Moderately proportioned with notions of lemon peel, orange oil, flowers, and limestone/minerals. Terrific cut, drive, length, and persistence on the finish. Popped, poured, and consumed over the course of 3 hours, with the wine really knitting together/coming out of its shell after about 30 minutes.
  • egh commented:

    7/26/15, 12:32 PM - Thanks Frank. I think Copain has really dialed in its chardonnay program. I was able to sample a 2013 DuPratt at the winery last week; it was terrific. At some point, I need to taste the three vineyard designates side by side to better understand the profiles and differences between the sites.

Red
2007 Copain Syrah James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles
6/15/2015 - egh Likes this wine:
94 points
14.2% alcohol. This was firing on cylinders for me this evening. Inky, penetrating, nervy, spicy, brooding, dense, powerful, and complex with an aromatic and flavor combination of blackberry, cassis/fig, melted black licorice, pepper and a menthol/medicinal note. The wine's structure and stuffing is still apparent on the long, gripping, and saturating finish. Terrific wine that is certainly worth a look now if you are sitting on multiple bottles. Be aware this throws quite a bit of sediment.
  • egh commented:

    6/16/15, 5:50 PM - Hi Frank: I did save a (generous) glass of the James Berry for tonight. Unfortunately, I left the bottle on the counter, so it pours a bit warmer than the previous night when I pulled it from the cellar. The wine is drinking similar, if a bit riper with the cassis, fig, and melted licorice tones more pronounced. Thinking/hoping this will continue to age gracefully on its structure and balance. Cheers!

Red
2010 Copain Pinot Noir Combe de Gres Kiser Anderson Valley
Forgive the twisted image (inside CT, as I tried to fix it but it loaded sideways, dang it). Drank from 375, opened earlier today. For clarity, this is a special, grafted massale section of Kiser, a sandstone block that is between so to speak between Haut and Bas. It mixes black cherry, blueberry skin and dried cherry all together, with a kiss of vanilla from what I presume is some new oak (I believe the Kiser pinots typically see about 1/3rd new wood). I drank both a 2012 and 2013 Rhys Bearwallow in the past few weeks and this Copain reminds me very much of that wine, most especially with the cherry fruit. What that signals to me is the terroir signature that is beginning to emerge from the best wines from the Deep End pinots, from like Copain and Rhys. And this Copain is 2010, yet that whiz bang great cherry core came from later vintages of Rhys so my conclusion is that we ought to expect the wines to continue to show and reflect this terrific fruit quality across vintages. With respect to this Copain, as it warms, the signature Kiser blue fruit comes forward and there is a decent amount of tannin in the finish that should allow this to age forward. Finally, good acidity here, which energizes the fruit and finish. I'd say this will drink best in another few years, say 2016/2017. I would be geeked to try it against the Rhys Bear, say in a vintage that was lean like 2011, and then with 2013. Very good.
  • egh commented:

    3/1/15, 10:15 AM - Very illustrative and helpful note Frank. Appreciate how you placed this wine both in the context of the Kiser vineyard, as well as the neighboring Bearwallow property. Maybe my memory is failing me, but I can't recall the Combe de Gres being offered/released to the mailing list. I do remember the Kiser En Bas- Greffieux being offered in magnum format (at a price point that forced me to pass, unfortunately). If you don't mind me asking, when did you acquire this wine? Thanks.

Red
2007 Copain Pinot Noir "En Bas" Kiser Anderson Valley
12/28/2014 - egh Likes this wine:
93 points
13.5% alcohol. Pure, controlled, focused, precise, balanced, and refined with a core of tart yet juicy red fruits - cherry pit, raspberry, and red apple - along with notions of exotic spices, flowers, and a hint of caramel/oak. Beautiful finish that lingers effortlessly. Terrific wine.
  • egh commented:

    12/29/14, 5:40 PM - Thanks Frank. I have a 2007 En Haut in the queue, excited to pop it open and see how it compares/contrasts with the En Bas. For what it's worth, I have also been impressed by the Wentzel and Hacienda Secoya vineyard bottlings from 2007. Wells really knocked out of the park with that vintage - syrah and pinot. Cheers!

Red
2011 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
No delay here, as I chilled this down a bit and then pulled the cork and started typing this note. As I look at the note from EGH below, he's called this wine spot on. There's a sappiness to the wine, yet an underpinning of cranberry and blueberry, pine needle and a similar meaty note that I flagged on the last note I wrote for the previous bottle I had. Juicy and and a bit astringent, at least with this shortage of air but the fruit does jam up a bit more when it gets a little warmer, more air. Very good, still young and I expect this can continue to age well and develop further.
  • egh commented:

    9/17/14, 5:51 PM - Good to read that you have a similar impression of this wine. I need to start pulling some corks on other 2011 CA pinots to get a better sense of how other producers - Copain, Rhys, and Littorai in particular - responded to the cooler vintage. Cheers!

White
2009 Copain Chardonnay Brosseau Vineyard Chalone
Chardonnay Blind--CA and France @ Tom Moore's Place (Tom's House): This didn't wow like I hoped it might. Tasted blind, Smoky, nutty nose. Lemon, fleshy, orange oil. Honeyed with moderate intensity.
  • egh commented:

    6/16/14, 3:50 PM - Appreciate your note Frank. Based on your recent experience, would you tend to give this more age, or recommend drinking on the earlier side? Thanks.

White
2012 Copain Chardonnay Brosseau Vineyard Chalone
These came last month so it's a good time to test one out and I'll go first. Listed alc is 13.4% FWIW. This drinks solid and very much to this site's expression via Wells, showing light saline notes, alongside yellow apple, lime and a light note of citrus. At this stage, nothing is out of place and the wine is in good balance. Plenty of acidity in the finish but like the fruit, it's relative to the wines medium weight. No wood, glycerine or tropical notes here, just a balanced chard that drinks pretty terrific right now with an hour of air....at 3 hours open, this is really delicious. The texture expands and the palate becomes broader, with orange rind, lime and some wet stone. This is really a balanced and spot on....I had some left for a 2nd day. This picks up a honeyed, pear quality that really makes it shine, to go with the mandarin orange. Fault me for opening this wine so early but unless we get corks out of these chardonnays to create discussion and support producers that are removing the oak, butter and glycerine, then we'll be stuck with those other wines being in focus. For me, the style like this Brosseau and others like it are where I am putting my chardonnay focus these days. Drink window? Hell, this can be enjoyed now but there is acid and balance that ought to allow this to age for some time.
  • egh commented:

    4/23/14, 6:38 PM - Thanks for posting this note Frank and providing an early read on the wine. From how I interpret/perceive your note, the '12 seems to be in line with previous vintages from this site. Cheers.

White
2007 Littorai Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast
7/4/2013 - egh wrote:
87 points
13.7% alcohol. Shows similar to the 2007 The Tributary I had a few months earlier with its lavish, richer, rounder mouthfeel and denser, fuller proportions. With this Charles Heintz however, I found the fruit tending too far to the tropical end of the spectrum and the oak signature (manifested in creamy custard, butterscotch, and roasted nut aromatics and flavors) to be too pronounced on the palate, to the point where signs/attributes of freshness, energy, focus, or minerality were cloaked/obtruded by the fruit and oak. Wondering if these 2007 Littorai chardonnay's are in a 'dumb' phase, or if this is simply a reflection/product of the vintage.
  • egh commented:

    7/5/13, 4:11 PM - Appreciate your comment and advice Gordonium. Will try to heed it with the 2009 and 2010 vintages of this wine currently in my cellar and drink them sooner rather than later.

White
2011 Copain Chardonnay Brosseau Vineyard Chalone
Pulled this tonight to pair with ahi tartare and tabbouleh--@R and Kitchen in the OC for those who know the place. Showed terrific. Sea air, snappy green apple, lemon peel and a hint of grapefruit. The texture is smooth and the finish has a nice, spicy note. Pure and delicious, no butter, coconut or vanilla here. Have a good size glass for tomorrow, for a final note...a day later, about 6 ozs left so doing a repeat glass tonight. Seems a little tighter today, the wine have evoled to some different flavors, with dry pineapple in the fruit core this time, along with a good dollop of pear. Finishes with more mineral tonight too, and the same spicy note in the finish and the sea air. This is a really good chardonnay and continues the progression started from 2009, the first release. As a final comment, for those who buy and drink the Louis Michel chablis, this Copain reminds me similarly of what some of his cuvees show, similar profile. Real good.
  • egh commented:

    3/31/13, 12:13 PM - Hi Frank: How do you think the 2011 Brousseau Chard measures up with previous vintages? Thanks for the note; looking forward to opening up a bottle of this later this summer.

White
2010 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast
1/19/2013 - egh wrote:
91 points
Moderately proportioned with a crisp and invigorating spine of acidity, and more linear and precise than round in terms of its texture and orientation with aromas and flavors of lemon curd, tropical fruit, and roasted nuts with just a kiss of butter/oak. A very successful effort. With that said, based on the aging curve/trajectory of previous vintages, I would opt to drink this over the near term.
  • egh commented:

    1/20/13, 1:43 PM - Frank: I did like the acidity in this wine, although I don't think anyone is going to confuse it for a chablis. I should point out that I drank the R-M side by side with a 2010 Williams Selyem (Drake Estate) chardonnay which was clearly the rounder, richer, riper, more opulent of the two...so my perception could certainly be influenced by this contrast. Will be interested to read your note. Cheers.

Red
2009 Lemelson Vineyards Pinot Noir Thea's Selection Willamette Valley
5/20/2012 - egh wrote:
87 points
14.5% alcohol. Stylistically, this is to the riper, sweeter, juicier, rounder, and fleshier side of the pinot spectrum with notions of wild dark berry preserves, red currants, black cherries, spice, and just a trace of heat.
  • egh commented:

    5/22/12, 3:45 PM - I guess I would have scored it a bit higher had it had been not quite as ripe or round, with more earthiness and finesse that I tend to gravitate towards in Oregon wines. I enjoyed it, but it didn't rise to the level of say a St. Innocent Villages Cuvee or Siduri Chehalem Mts at a comparable price point.

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