Tasting Notes for DrewGoin

(70 notes on 65 wines)

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Red
3/13/2019 - DrewGoin wrote:
Opened one night before tasting. I found the '14 Neyers Carignan(e) to be significantly richer and more concentrated than the Contra Costa Mourvèdre wine I had alongside it. The nose shows muddled, brambly, dark berries (blackberries, Bing cherries), exotic sandalwood notes, and a tinge of alcohol.

The palate largely echoes the aromas. Distinguishing the individual flavor components can be a challenge, and the overall profile seems more in-line with a Zinfandel. The acidity is surprisingly low for a Carignan, the alcohol a little intrusive.

Perhaps more time will provide this bottling with a better opportunity for the disparate elements to harmonize. Neyers is a highly respected winery. In this instance, my expectations were not met. I have been pleased with the "Sage Canyon" blend in the past, but this single-vineyard Carignan falls short of the target.
Red
Opened one night before tasting. The nose on this wine is phenomenal! Immediately upon pouring my glass, intense aromas of red raspberries and crushed cherry (pie/coulis/compote) filling the air. I note flavors of wild raspberry preserves and some of Mourvèdre's classic meatiness.

The wine is not incredibly full-bodied, yet a sense of intensity is conveyed via a striking balance between the interplay of fruit and structure. Acidity and alcohol are in harmony, and I did not detect much in the way of tannins on the front end or mid-palate The tannins make themselves apparent in a dusty, powdery finish that invites another sip.

I wish I had paired this Mourvèdre with food; it undoubtedly would be an excellent partner with lasagna or pizza.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
The temptation of savoring a CoCo Mourvedre (er, Mataro) from legendary Zinfandel master Joel Peterson undermined my intentions of holding off the popping of the Once & Future "Oakley Road" Mataro. Yes, the grapes came from the Del Barba Vineyard but, as there appear to be more than one "Del Barba" property in Oakley, I appreciate the clarification this wine's moniker provides.

I opened the bottle and poured a glass out 24 hours before tasting, hoping to allow the wine sufficient time to show its best. Even so, I must preface my tasting impression with the advice of giving the "Oakley Road" Mataro a few more years before tasting. This is a very well-made red wine, surpassing most Contra Costa bottlings I have enjoyed in the past.

The Once & Future Mataro teeters between medium- and full-bodied. The nose is slightly reticent at the moment, although I smell dark berries, plum, and a little oak. The wine is mouth-filling. Some of the flavors remain unresolved at this point. I taste dark, rich raspberries, blackberries, and black cherries, as well as some of the oak notes present in the nose. The acidity is just enough to maintain structure while, for the most part, this is a seamless bottle of wine. I applaud the winemaker for this balancing act. The alcohol, though slightly detectable, is in no way intrusive. The distinctive flavors of a Contra Costa Mourvedre last for a long time after each sip.

Once & Future's "Oakley Road" Mataro is a young 20-months since its bottling. It would not be a unforgivable to open one now, but I suggest it be paired with a grilled ribeye steak or a dry-rubbed rack of pork ribs. Better yet, allow this top-notch old-vine red to age a few more years. I firmly believe further cellaring will benefit the unfolding of this rare Mataro's components.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
My high esteem for The Princess and The Peasant is sustained by bottlings like this.

Night #1: PnP, the nose was initially reserved, as were the first few sips. Over twenty minutes, dark berries, tinged with bramble and sage, and a tug-of-war between the acidity and tannins promised better things in store. The bottle was re-corked and left on the counter for the evening.

Night #2: The nose became an explosive mix of dark berries and plum. The palate yielded a fascinating combination of brambly red and black field berries, violets. The wine presented a pleasing medium-length finish. The tannins and acidity, not in any way overwhelming, instead contributed to the structure to a beautiful wine. I kept returning to the glass, picking up faint impressions of strawberries and earth, as well as a Pinot Noir-like sensibility in this old-vine Carignan.

The Princess and The Peasant's inaugural "Poor Ranch" bottling continues to deliver a balance of fruit and savor - a well-crafted wine for the price, guaranteed to please a broad range of wine drinkers.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
The Princess and The Peasant 2015 "Poor Ranch" Carignan is the winery's first bottling from this multi-generation Hopland area farm. The Carignan fruit, planted in 1942, comes from the oldest part of the organic, dry-farmed vineyards. Adjacent parcels of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Grenache are also found on the Poor Ranch, planted on the same SouthWest-facing ridges and hillsides at altitudes between 1,500 and 2,000 feet.

Popped-and-poured a little cooler than room temperature on the first night, this Carignan features a light-medium body, with bright plum-skin and pommegranate flavors. The nose, initially subdued, offers red cherries and dried cranberries.

On the second evening, the wine presents richer, gorgeous blackberry and cherry fruit, with a subtle earthy nutmeg and bay leaf(?) nose. The palate still delivers the lively red-fruited flavors of the first night, although a much clearer cherry profile asserts itself. The acidity is very clean, and no alcohol is apparent.

The Princess and The Peasant "Poor Ranch" Carignan's showing tears me in two directions. I can easily imagine that this wine will appeal to most red wine lovers. Its accessible, almost Pinot Noir-like sensibilities, will complement lighter fare beautifully at the table. On the other hand, the ephemeral hints of darker fruit aromas lead me to suspect that this old-vine Mendocino red wine might *fatten up* in the near future, presenting the drinker with a rounder, richer Carignan that will sustain its effortless balance due to the lower alcohol and harmonious acidity.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
12/11/2016 - DrewGoin wrote:
I gave this bottle to a friend - with strong advice to allow the wine to age for at least 6-months-to-a-year before popping. He decided to open it last night. My notes are from the bottle's second evening.


The Cruse Wine Company's 2015 "Rorick Vineyard" Dry Muscat is sourced from the Sierra Foothills vineyards of Forlorn Hope winery. The wine, 20 minutes out of the refrigerator, presents a nose of fresh white peaches and a hint of red apples.

The palate is not very well developed at such a young age. Simple apple flavors are coupled with a trace of peach and what I can only describe as a combination of traditional Muscat musk and dusty white pepper. This white wine is surprisingly mouthfilling for its low level of alcohol. The finish is pleasant and minus-medium in length, yet imbued with the wild qualities of the grape.

I did enjoy my glass of the Cruse Muscat, and I still am confident that the wine holds promise of positive development in the coming months/year. Please remember that my notes are from Day #2.
White
The Dirty and Rowdy 2015 "Familiar" Blanc is sourced from several vineyards across the state of California, with 28% Chenin Blanc, 22% Pinot Blanc, 18% Melon, 10% Roussane, and 10% Viognier. I have no idea how the final blend of grapes is determined by the winemakers, but this low-alcohol (11.5%), cloudy white wine is one of the most refreshing, popular bottles I have ever had the pleasure of sharing with family.

On this occasion, the "Familiar" Blanc was served at slightly too cool a temperature, in my opinion, to show its very best. Nevertheless, the contents were emptied during a turkey and sausage gumbo dinner in very short order between three drinkers. Whereas I believe that the 2014 was just a notch higher in fruit and body at this stage, the current bottling shares in the unique citrus brightness that makes this Dirty and Rowdy white so refreshing and food-friendly.

If you are in possession of a bottle or two of the 2015 "Familiar" Blanc, I humbly submit that you allow the wine to rest until next year as an accompaniment to a meal in the sun or as a light afternoon sipper - just don't chill it down for too long! ��
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
The "Ode to Lucien" red wine includes old-vine Contra Costa Mourvedre, Mendocino Grenache, and a small amount of Syrah. This is my third experience with Bedrock's initial homage to Bandol. Day #1 gives little hint to the depth of flavors hidden in this sleeping beauty: faint blackberries and violets are obscured by earthy tannins.

On Day #2, the wine is too enjoyable to reserve for another night's study. The nose offers fresh cherry, red berry, and delicate notes of dried leaves. The palate, obviously still developing at this stage, is lively yet rich.

The wine is beginning to reveal a complexity missing in my prior encounters with the "Ode to Lucien". The black-pepper-and-leather tannins are showing a steady integration with the beautiful, surprisingly delicate red fruit and floral notes. I believe that I will leave my last bottle alone for a few more years.

I am very excited about the future iteration(s) of this amazing wine.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White
Last evening, I poured a glass of the Markus Wine Company 2015 "Nativo" Mokolumne Vineyards white wine after allowing the bottle to warm up a little bit.

The nose was a little closed at the moment, but I did smell a hint of citrus, unripe white peach, apricots, and a unique saline/mustard note. The palate showed much more unripe peach and lemon flavors, along with touch of white pepper, stone-like notes, and salinity. The mid-palate was light-to-medium bodied, with a texture that seems to indicate the use of lees-stirring.

I certainly had not tasted a wine like this before, and I loved it. The components were all in balance, and I wish I had drunk it at a warmer temperature. Something about the Markus "Nativo" seemed to indicate that it will be even better with a little more time.

This is my first experience with two of the grapes in the blend (52% Kerner, 29% Riesling, 15% Bacchus, and 4% Gewürztraminer). I can easily imagine that the "Nativo" would be an excellent accompaniment with ham, seafood, or cold fried chicken on a picnic. I strongly recommend this wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
The Princess and The Peasant 2014 Mendocino "City of 10,000 Buddhas" Carignan. I poured out a couple of ounces (as the fill level is very high) recorked the bottle, turned it upside-down and back again, and left it to rest for 5 hours.

Drank one glass with dinner, and placed the bottle in the fridge for later today.

Day #1: Gorgeous darker color (for Carignan), scents of black, wet earth, blackberries, but still somewhat shy. The glass, with bean and jalapeño chimichangas, is pretty darn good - yet, the wine obviously is holding back.

The mouth feel is unexpectedly substantial (13.5% ABV). Initial flavors of strawberry, very subtle dried baking spices, and fresh blackberries - very dynamic, very fresh. Then, a sudden jolt into another world.

The wine abruptly changes gears: full, rich, dense. Dark berry flavors become more concentrated; the earthy/dusty notes dominate the mid-palate. I look at the reference sheet - 3.8 pH. The finish is a smooth continuation of the moderately full-bodied blackberry preserves and earthiness. There is no acidity dancing on the tongue, encouraging the drinker to take another sip.

This Carignan is not a typical, raspy, brambly, acidic table wine. It is aspiring to be something greater, but there is a discordant bridge between the front-end and the mid-palate/finish: they are not in sync at this point.

Day #2: The blackberry notes are completely missing; the "City of 10,000 Buddhas" Carignan now reveals only aromas and flavors of strawberry coulis with a nice dusty element and the baking spices of Day #1.

Day #3: The Carignan provides a return in strength of the blackberry and earthy flavors with a hint of the strawberry on the dusty finish. The richness of the mouthfeel and the harmony of the flavors really tick off the right boxes! I do miss the characteristic acidity of the variety but, meeting the wine on its own terms, I have to say that it is a very tasty, unique product.

I believe that if it had come from any other place in California, the delicate balance would have tilted too much towards the heat of alcohol or that the spice and earth would not have framed the fruit with such subtlety. I am happy to have a few more bottles, but sad to hear that no more will be forthcoming. This singular vineyard's Swan Song might be more "Walking on Sunshine" than "Moonlight Sonata", but it is pleasurable all the same.

• The City of 10,000 Buddhas Monastery owns the vineyard land. The vineyard, predominantly Carignan grapes with a suspected interplanting of Valdiguie, Zinfandel, etc, rests along the Talmage Bench, about 400 feet above Ukiah. The site, planted in 1944, was neglected for years, with canopies approaching 12 feet in height! The Princess and The Peasant Winery bought and picked the grapes, ironically funding the demolition of the vineyard for the construction of a new building on the monastery's grounds.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Originally opened 5 days ago: 3 nights corked in fridge, 2 subsequent days corked at room temperature.

The Bedrock 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel is a strong testimonial for the source grapes and winemaking skills of Mr Twain-Peterson.

Unlike my previous bottle, recently consumed PnP, the additional time (with just a high-shoulder area in the bottle for slow-O2) allowed darker fruit aromas and flavors to take the forefront.

Dark raspberry/blackberry notes accompany a brambly, cinnamon/clove spiciness that, prior to this bottle, I have not detected in a Bedrock red wine. Very pleasant, good fruit-acid balance, with a touch of alcohol on the finish but - for a $25 btl of Zinfandel open for 5 days - nothing to sneeze at.

I have little experience with prior vintages of Bedrock's OVZ, yet this wine offers enjoyment now and is a strong contender for several years' life in a cellar.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/14/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
92 points
Very pleasant and, to date, the best California Carignan I have tasted. Initially heavy on the acidity, yet twenty minutes unveils a surprisingly full-flavored (at 12.5%abv), velvet textured delight. Soft, but pronounced notes of raspberries and black plums. I highly recommend this wine, as it exhibits some Pinot Noir sensitivities from a long-respected winery. The 2012 Cotes du Rosa is the last vintage for this Joseph Swan bottling.
Red
The Old Vine Wine Company 2012 Wirz Vineyard Carignan from Cienega Valley is best served with a very slight chill (60-65*F).

Day 1: The nose of cherries is slightly less prominent than six months ago, but remains pleasant. The palate delivers a non-sweet "candy cherry flavor" along with a hint of brambly raspberries. The dusty earth and subdued baking spice flavors ride the wave of refreshing acidity that permeates this Carignan.

Beneath the fresh fruit and the delicate balance is the rustic beauty of this often-overlooked grape.

Day Two: The Carignan has been stored overnight in the fridge with just cork replacement. Once allowed to increase to ideal serving temperature, the fruit appears to be more assertive and "darker" on the nose and palate. Medium/medium-light body, red cherries, blacker, brambly raspberry undertones, and the fruit/acid balance is beautiful, much less "tavola povera" than on Day 1. Medium finish, with a palate cleansing zip of acidity. Probably best served tableside with lighter fare, but wonderful by itself.

The Old Vine Wine Company Carignan is a product of the Alfaro Family, more known for its Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay wines. The Wirz Vineyard is one of several older properties being given new life by dynamic winemakers embracing the unconventional varieties found in the San Benito and Santa Clara Counties.
Red
Thomas Coyne Winery 2012 Contra Costa Mourvedre: served at room temperature after five hours of slow-O2. Initially very closed, the time with air has unlocked a truly varietal nose of funk, leathery and classic, betraying a hint of alcohol.

The palate delivers a medium+ level of acidity, typical of CoCo reds, born of wind and sand. The fruit is evocative of blackberries and sour cherries, with clean, surprisingly refined tannins that tickle the gums and cheeks.

The only negative comment I can offer is the noticeable alcohol. It is fairly integrated into the mid-palate fruit, but it asserts itself on the finish. I chilled the bottle by a few degrees in the refrigerator, and all is well.

The wine is a good example of the grape and the region, especially at $10.
Red
Dirty & Rowdy Family Wines 2014 Evangelho Vineyard Mourvedre: PnP, moderately cooler than room temperature.

The wine is a little darker in color than previous bottles of D&R, though significantly more translucent than most Contra Costa Mourvedre/Mataro wines. Nose offers crushed plum and slight red raspberry candy scents. The palate is a photocopy of red, red cherries, with traces of licorice root (?). The acidity is in balance with the fruit; this red wine is refreshing and seductive. I am resisting the urge to consume the entire bottle in one sitting.
She's still in immaculate condition after three (?) days, no pump, no refrigeration.

Third Night Tasting Notes: More cherry goodness with a little herbiness (is that a word?). I cannot stress how much the winemaker's technique makes this stand apart from all other Contra Costa Mourvedre wines. The minimalist approach to D&R's wines preserves a sense of freshness unlike all others.

If you have more than one bottle of D&R Evangelho, feel free to pop one now. Otherwise, I believe that this wine can go the distance.

I am a very satisfied customer. The grapes come from what is considered the best-known vineyard in CoCo, CA - reportedly planted in the 1880's. Though Mr Frank Evangelho grows Zinfandel, Carignan, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouschet, and a white variety or two, D&R selected only Mourvedre grapes for this bottling.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Bedrock's 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel was PnP, served slightly below room temperature. The tannins are pronounced - probably because I served it PnP and slightly below room temperature! The palate reveals bright cherry and berry notes , like the Platonic flavors of fresh fruit. I will have to revisit this bottle tomorrow and find out what it shows when given a chance to open up a little. My initial thought is to hold back on opening any other OVZ's until time harmonizes the components.

This Zinfandel asserts a unique quality, a nobleness (if that makes sense) of posture, in its presentation of fruit. How this is embued in the wine, I do not know. It's an "I know it when I see it" experience.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
The Bedrock Alta Vista Gewürztraminer is from a dry-farmed vineyard around 1,000 feet in elevation on Moon Mountain. Served slightly chilled and PnP. The fruit notes, subtle papaya, quince (?), star fruit, are not as prominent as the textural qualities. I anticipated a spicy apple cider zippiness, as found in many Gewürzt wines. Instead, I detect a presence of a used oak/cream element in the mouthfeel of this Moon Mountain white.

The sister-in-law commented that this wine reminded her more of a classic California Chard than a refreshing, baking spice-tinged Gewürztraminer. This is not a bad thing; the wine was pleasant.

I suggest that you hold the '14 Alta Vista for six months more and see what happens.

It asserts a unique quality, a nobleness (if that makes sense) of posture, in its presentation of fruit. How this is embued in the wine, I do not know. It's an "I know it when I see it" experience.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
The Idlewild 2013 Carignan Testa Vineyard was PnP, and consumed over two nights. This Carignan exhibits more blackberry/raspberry flavor intensity than I initially expected, despite the wine's relatively lighter mouthfeel. Pleasing herbal notes are present, adding complexity to an otherwise "pretty" wine. The finish is a little tight on the first evening, so it may benefit from more time to open up.

On the second day, the Idlewild Carignan fills the palate with fruit, from beginning to the finish, the acidity keeping the wine fresh and interesting. There is a slight presence of alcohol but, if served slightly below room temperature, I am certain that it would be unnoticeable. None of the flavors I have detected in other Mendocino Carignan-based wines are found here - short finish, unripe red raspberries, bitter, astringent oak leaf notes.

I have a great respect for Sam Bilbro & Co for crafting a pleasurable, educational wine. I now understand what winemakers have intended by implementing Carignan in Zinfandel-blends. A good Carignan not only contributes acidity to the mix; the "hollow mid-palate" some Zins suffer can be alleviated by the gentle touch of Carignans like this.

The pricing of many varietal Carignan wines may prevent this grape from getting its due, but Idlewild's bottling works for its money!
White
2013 Bump Wine Cellars Fortune Sonoma Valley White Rhone Blend (view label images)
Family gathering tonight for a BBQ smoked Pork Butt cook-off (Illinois vs Louisiana), followed by three homemade King Cakes.

The 2013 Bump Cellars "Fortune" Sonoma Valley white wine is a blend of 57% Roussanne, 18% Marsanne, 11% Grenache Blanc, 7% Viognier, and 7% Picpoul Blanc, sourced from a 35-year-old, one-acre, co-planted vineyard located on Castle Rd, just outside of the Sonoma township.

The wine was served slightly warmer than refrigerator temperature. "Fortune" is very light gold in color, and sports an alcohol content of only 12.3%. I detected scents of fresh lemon, hazelnut, and a tiny bit petrol note. On the palate, there is a light-to-medium mouthfeel, and a little bit of alcohol hidden in the zingy, medium-length finish (no overt oak flavors detected). I enjoyed the citrus, fresh, yet surprisingly well-moderated, waxy orange zest flavors with a hint of marzipan.

I enjoyed the Bump Cellars "Fortune" more as it had the chance to warm up more. I am confident that another six month will allow this wine to fatten up a little more, even if it is only 12.3% ABV. It seems to be a wine with something to offer everyone.

Bump Cellars is a small winery that showcases unique wines sourced from local vineyards (including a Bedrock Vineyard red wine), and exhibits a changing selection of artists' paintings at the cellar door. Keep your eyes on this producer!
Red
Carlisle Papera Ranch Carignan 2007: the rim of bottle around the cork had a white, crystalline lining, which I wiped off with a towel. The cork was "squishy" and semi-saturated with wine. Nevertheless, this 8 year old wine was a good, if not great, showing for Carlisle. Color was very deep purple. One guest declared that it was the best Carlisle she'd tasted so far (previous experience of 4 others). I tasted a pleasant "tart cherries stomped on by muddle work boots" flavor, with a long, slightly alcoholic finish. I bought the bottle from an online auction about six months ago. I would guess that my Carlisle bottle probably saw a little rough handling in its lifetime, but it performed better than many wines on the market today.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
The Dirty & Rowdy Familiar Blanc (39% Chenin Blanc, 28% Semillon, 21% Chardonnay, 8% Melon, 4% Pinot Blanc) was served at too cool a temperature, yet still was nice. Golden color in the glass, not as cloudy as I thought it would be. Zingy, citrus fruits, unripe nectarine, high acidity and very clean finish. Very reminiscent of a Loire white (but no ginger). Once the wine warmed up, it really showed beautiful, linear lemon and trace notes of white peach. I am firmly convinced that this blend needs more time to fill out. Ideal serving temperature should be around 65*F, IMHO. Everyone loved it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
The Three Wine Company has held my interest for some time, but this is only my second tasting experience. I am a fan of Contra Costa wines, and Matt Cline has a link with the best sites.

This glass of Old Vine Field Blend, served slightly warmer than cellar temperature, is almost opaque in color/transparency. Initially the nose is muted but, after five minutes in the glass, notes of earthy, almost burnt baking spices emerge. Aromas of cherry compote, red raspberry, cumin and clove, as well as spent espresso grounds slowly become clearer. Palate reveals red fruit, cherry Jolly Rancher flavors (minus the sweetness), stewed plum, and zippy acidity. The finish is longer than I initially anticipated, yet heavily marked by oak and acid. The fresh oak was not apparent in the nose, the beginning or mid-palate, yet it is unmistakably dominant in the finish.

Day #2: The nose is somewhat muddled but fresh, with red, sour cherry and earthy, dark, coffee and chocolate elements. There is a much better harmony of flavor components. This is what I looked forward to! The acidity has melded into the berries and fruit, while much of the flavors have begun to sing in harmony, accompanied by a surprisingly long finish. As Carignan occupies more than half of the blend, I was anticipating a brief resonance of flavors in this red wine. Best of all, no oak is detected.

Day #3: The clarity of fruit is gone; the acidity is out of step with the palate. Alcohol, tinged with oak, gives the nose a bourbon-like presence (think Maker's Mark). The mid-palate is a gob of murky, stewed fruit and dark chocolate. The finish is hot.

I do not think that the wine is going to require early consumption, despite the notes herein. The 2012 Three Wine Company Old Vine Field Blend will live for at least another 5-7 years, if stored well. I believe that the red fruited acidity of day two can carry the wine into a better place than it is now. If served in the near-future, please enjoy it slightly below room temperature.
Red
11/29/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
90 points
Popped the bottle a couple of days ago and left it alone (minus a dram) until tonight.

Still kind of tight, with assertive acidity and fruit tannins. First taste made me think of Bojo, but, two days later, I find a different wine.

Light-medium body, medium tannins. Nose is an awesome floral, berry preserves-kinda thing. I always love the aromas in Mr Wallace's wines. Palate delivers a very primary red cherry-skin flavor. The balance of acids and tannins is the White Oak Flats' strength at this young age.

I want to chug the bottle, but a part of me feels guilty for killing it at such a young age. You have no business popping a bottle of this wine for a couple more years!
Red
6/26/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
89 points
Very friendly wine for casual pop-and-pour (or twist-and-pour). The nose does not give much away, but the wine exhibits no reductive notes from the screw cap. Palate is medium intensity, red-fruited, with a very pleasant licorice like element riding gently on the alcohol. Fine balance between alcohol, acidity and fruit tells me that this Zinfandel based blend is finely crafted from quality grapes and the deft hand of the winemaker. Highly recommended for the price.
Red
5/31/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
96 points
PnP, was impressed by the brilliant ruby color in glass. Nose initially of raisins and licorice. Palate was very soft, fresh, and balanced. Licorice, hint of tar on the finish, with a pleasant mix of subdued primary fruit flavors and secondary earthy tar (was not funky in traditional Beaucastel sense). I am pleased with the wine's current state, and confidently state that it can age for several more years with grace. I am waiting to taste the wine again in two days.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/30/2015 - DrewGoin wrote:
I did not rate the Coelemu Pipeno, as I have no frame of reference for this sort of wine. Dry-farmed in the Itata Valley, farmed by hand and use of donkey / horse, foot-pressed over bamboo framework into the fermentation tanks... This is old school wine.

The initial nose is muted, with little fruit and a zip of acidity on the palate. On the second day, I found wild strawberries and an olive grassy funk, as well as a lot of acid. Eventually, the Coelemu calms down and becomes easy drinking, low character wine. I know that pipenos do not typically age well, but this region's higher acidity wines could develop more over four or more years... Maybe.
Red
5/27/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
88 points
I almost don't know what to say about this wine. It is certainly a unique expression of my favorite grape. The first night it was very acid-driven, and I felt a warm, indigestion-like sensation in my stomach and throat after a few sips. The nose was amazing, with confected flowers and faint red raspberry, along with the strawberry touch reminiscent of carbonic maceration.

The second night, I found the fruit flavors to be much more pronounced, and the wine more balanced. Medium intensity, somewhat lighter bodied, and medium finish. I will certainly say that this is an intellectual exercise in wine tasting.
Red
3/5/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
93 points
Amazing wine, forgetting the fact that it is also an outstanding value! Big, rich, unctuous, but never flabby or hot. Aromatics give away the use of mixed blacks, and the wine exhibits a beautiful, long finish. The alcohol adds body and is merely the vehicle for the fruit to glide. Herbs and flowers, earthy but "purple", a living wine that slowly unfolds more and more streamlined notes of blackberry, raspberry, and black cherry. Buy a lot of it, as there is nothing like it in its price category.
2 people found this helpful Comments (5)
Red
N.V. Dutton-Goldfield Spectrum Russian River Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
2/13/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
87 points
Decent bottle of wine, but not worth $30. I enjoyed the fresh berry and hint of red plums on the palate. It is very peppery, but not overwhelmingly so. I tasted the Spectrum with a light chill, and it may have intensified the spiciness as a result of the cooler serving temperature. The Dutton-Goldfield Winery makes very high quality juice but, at this price, I can say that I will not purchase it again.
Red
4/13/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
88 points
Good and yummy. Simple, yet incredibly vibrant. The fruit expression was dominated by a cherry Kool-aid flavor that was surprisingly appealing. The clean acidity at the finish kept the impression of sweetness in check. I liked this wine very much, and it was quaffable in the best sense of the word, but I cannot reconcile the price with what you get. The Biale Barbera would be ideal for a summer sipper.
Red
1/23/2015 - DrewGoin Likes this wine:
93 points
Opened and poured without decanting /breathing. Rich, balanced, alcohol not overly aggressive at all. Amazing nose of violets and licorice, with fruit following after twenty minutes. Full-bodied, opulent yet balanced at all times. Brambly blackberries and earthy licorice that lingers on the finish. I was concerned with opening the bottle so soon, but have no regrets in hindsight. This gorgeous wine will last and continue to harmonize the flavor components over the next few years.
4 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
10/19/2014 - DrewGoin wrote:
85 points
Light-to-medium bodied, stemmy tannins, perky acidity, simple fruit (non-descript berries) and earthy notes (green tea, dried mushrooms). More body and fuller fruit the following day. Perhaps another year will allow this simple, disjointed Pinot Noir to get its act together.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/19/2014 - DrewGoin wrote:
90 points
Popped and poured from refrigerated cellar. Initial fruit-skin tannin grip on mid-palate which fades with a little air. Major kool-aid tootie-frootie cherry fruit flavor that fills the mouth. Medium bodied, medium finish. A light chill is the best way to do this delicious wine justice.
Red
9/22/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
86 points
The 2002 vintage Ponzo Vineyard Zin from Nickel and Nickel has crested the peak of bottle development and - as of now - has begun to shed its fresh fruit flavors. While the dark berry notes on the palate are brief and receding, the nose remains intriguingly powerful. Closing my eyes and sniffing the glass, I discover a bouquet reminiscent of red velvet cake - combined with sweet raspberry compote. So fascinating is the nose that I am able to forgive myself for holding onto this bottle for a couple of years beyond its prime. The short, tart finish is hard to get over, however. I do not believe the 2002 N&N Ponzo will remain drinkable for more than another year or so - Drink Up!
Red
9/18/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
88 points
Opened after chilling in fridge for twenty minutes. The tannins and acidity are more subdued than the last time I tasted this wine. Fresh, harmoniously vibrant, albeit a little simple. Nice nose of dusty cherries. No obvious flaws, which is more than I can say about many Burgundy reds available in this price tier. I will open my last bottle within a year, as I do not expect any miracles to occur.
Red
2005 Storybook Mountain Vineyards Antaeus Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
7/18/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
The Antaeus release from Storybook Mountain is quixotically gigantic, a seemingly dishonest release from a winery better known for its restraint - its preference of balance over hyperbole. This wine could easily have been a product of Siduri / Novy or Rosenblum.

Antaeus is a blend of Zinfandel and several Bordeaux-blend varieties. The wine is thick, dark, earthy, and it borders 15% in abv (it is not "hot", only very full-bodied). I would probably like this wine more if it was not bottled by one of Zinfandel's last sources of claret-style wines. The rich, palate-coating mouthfeel reminds me of a "black and tan" spiked with an ounce of Belgian raspberry lambic. The wine is mysterious, almost sinister, though I imagine a couple of years will bring further integration to the wine's components. If the acidity was a little higher, this release would not taste so muddled. Consider pairing it with a pot roast with root vegetables or fennel-spiced sausages).
Red
7/30/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
I have finally found a NZ Pinot Noir that lives up to the hype! Almost all of the island Pinots I have tasted have resembled cherry juice - sweet, light-bodied, and depressingly short on the finish. My first encounter with the Spy Valley Pinot Noir was during December 2006. The wine had been opened for at least two days and was earthy, intense, and full of dark fruit flavors. Today, I lightly chilled a bottle and cracked the screw-top. The wine was medium-bodied, bright in acidity and red fruits, and deceptively dark in color. The finish was long and clean, although the acidity made it feel a little nervous. After a couple of hours, the wine transformed from a "PG" Family Channel delight into a "PG-13" A & E mystery. The fruit hinted at something darker, more sinister, without ever becoming. I will taste it again tomorrow and see if it bears stronger resemblance to my first experience with the Pinot...
Red
7/23/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
88 points
Pop-and-pour experience. The liveliness of this Burgundy red is fascinating. Though it obviously could stand a few more years of development, this old-vine Pinot Noir from the village of Gevrey-Chambertin gives the impression of sweetness in its tart, almost candied red-raspberry flavors. The earth notes are overwhelmed by the acids. I have not tasted many Burgundies of age, but I anticipate that a few years will bring harmony to the wine's disparate elements.

BURGHOUND.COM (Allen Meadows) April 22, 2006 Issue #22
"Tasting note: A notably complex nose featuring ripe dark berry fruit, game and warm earth complements perfectly the rich, full and sweet flavors that are supple on the mid-palate but firm on the finish. There is good freshness and energy here with lovely finishing balance, all fashioned in a generous, indeed almost forward style. 88 points Drink: 2010+"
Red
7/26/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
88 points
Brought to a family dinner without prior knowledge of the main course - ribeye steaks with a mushroom / butter sauce. The Seghesio Barbera worked fairly well; the beef highlighted the wine's fresh grape and cherry fruit flavors. Due to Barbera's lively acidity, this wine needs food and, although I allowed it to chill in the fridge for about twenty minutes (lowering serving temperature to around 65-70 degrees F), the alcohol remained a little too assertive. Maybe it was the fact that this wine packs an abv of 15.4%....

I will continue to buy this wine, as it is always a crowd-pleaser. Barberas are usually too light to stand up to a steak. However, the Seghesio winery's overall fondness for crafting full-bodied, high-alcohol red wines with generous new-oak flavors allowed this marriage to take place in relative harmony.

I have tasted several California Barbera-based wines in recent years. I have found those from Seghesio (in Sonoma County) and Montevina (in Amador County) to be the most pleasing. I only wish that the Seghesio winemaking regime utilized less new oak in the creation of this wine and their Zinfandels. In regard to 2005 Zinfandels, gone are the caramel richness and dark, jammy fruits found in the monsters of 2004. Therefore, winemakers have nowhere to hide high alcohol levels. I am not opposed to high-proof wines as long as the flavors still deliver some sense of balance.
Red
12/28/2006 - DrewGoin wrote:
84 points
Given the consistent quality and sense of balance found in the regular Caymus Cabernet year after year, I was disappointed by the Special Selection's Las Vegas "Pro"-file. This red wine is monstrous! Huge, chocolate-covered cherry sweetness overwhelms the earthy nose. Subtle is not a fitting descriptor for the Special Selection. The acids are low, the alcohol is high, and one glass is all you need - or want. The tannins are gentle, so I wonder what ten years will do to this wine. I assume that it will age just as a hardcore party-girl will - time will not flatter her features and she will appear well beyond her years.

I must state that the wine retained its character over four days (no gass, no vaccuum-pump), so the Special Selection might go the distance in the cellar. If so, I will be greatly surprised!
Red
7/22/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
85 points
With regard to the price, the Jadot Pinot Noir (basic Bourgogne bottling) is a relative value, though it does not display regional typicity. The bold fruit present on the front and mid-palate is truly enjoyable. The cherry fruit gives the impression of sweetness in an otherwise dry red wine, and the oak is almost impossible to detect, save for a hint of spice. The absence of wood in the flavor profile detracts from the wine, as the finish is abrupt and heartbreaking. No one would assume this was a Burgundy in a blind tasting, yet it tastes better than many New World counterparts in the under $20 price range. As mighty as the Bourgogne begins, it ends with a whimper.
Red
7/22/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
90 points
The dominance of fresh fruit and vibrant, balanced acidity in the 2005 Mont-Redon Cotes-du-Rhone takes center stage over the characteristic game and leather notes of traditional Rhone reds. The more subdued qualities of most wines from this producer (the 2003 vintage excluded) are absent in this year's Grenache / Syrah / Cinsault. The Kobrand website credits Chateau Mont-Redon with holding the highest (360 feet) altitude property in the area, a factor that may bear influence on the wine's acidity and beautifully sculpted fruit. Do yourself a favor and try the 2005 Mont-Redon Cotes-du-Rhone!
Red
7/22/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
87 points
Though not as delightful as the 2005, this vintage of the Mont-Redon Cotes-du-Rhone is an example of what a consistently delicious red table wine should be. I do not understand why more people do not choose to drink more of the real thing instead of the ever-popular Californian spin-offs. For $13-15, the Mont-Redon CdR is simple and refined. Though lighter bodied than many of the newer Southern French imports, the gamey flavors of the Rhone are here, with leather and sandalwood accenting the alluring raspberry notes.

I tasted the 2005 CdR from the same winery three days ago. If given the choice, opt for the 2005. The vibrancy of the fruit is outstanding. You get the impression that the wine is truly alive, bursting forth with bright berry flavors and complementing acidity. It appears that the Rhone wines enjoy the quality of the vintage across all price tiers.
Red
7/22/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
90 points
Mont-Redon's 2001 vintage Chateauneuf-du-Pape tastes beyong its years in maturity. Typically more elegant and subtle than many of its neighbors, the simple, silky style adopted by the winery has left this wine with few tannins or copigments to eat while it sleeps in the bottle. As a result, the color and flavors resemble a wine much older than 6 years.

Do not confuse my statements with an assertion that this wine is past its prime. Rather than tasting tired or insipid, the Mont-Redon CdP 2001 exhibits flavors and aromas of dried flowers (rose petals), dried fruits (berries) and leather. The tight tannic structure common in more expensive wines (i.e. Beaucastel) in their youth would continue to obfuscate the ripe fruit flavors of a CdP of similar age yet, even without decanting, the tannins in the Mont-Redon have long since melted away. The color of the wine in the glass is brick red, with slight browning around the rim. I tasted this same wine in the summer of 2005, and the fruit was fresh and dismissively simple, soft. Two years later, the wine has evolved into something much more complex.

Enjoy your bottles now. With such rapid development taking place, I fear that it will not take long for the wine to begin its downward journey.
Red
2004 Adelaida Version Red Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
7/21/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
88 points
The Adelaida "Version" Rhone-style wine appeals to my weakness for Mourvedre-dominated reds.

I simply cannot turn down a Californian homage to the wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Cotes-du-Rhone. The "Version" offered by this Paso Robles winery is 34% Mourved, 22% Syrah, 18% Grenache, 14% Counoise, and 12% Cinsault. The acohol is 14.8% by volume, a little too high to hide behind the beguiling fruits, delightful baking spice flavors (nutmeg, clove), and black pepper notes. The usual qualities assciated with Mourvedre (leather, "brett" sweat) are negligible. The warm weather of the Paso Robles region, even in a high altitude area like the Glenrose Vineyard, has endowed the "Version" with blackberries, plums, and relatively low acidity. This wine is not syrupy or jam-like; it remains fresh, although a little "hot".

Enjoyable as a pop-and-pour wine, I recommend brief decanting in order to draw out more of the wine's subtleties. The slightest of chills (20 minutes in the fridge) will tame the alcohol. I have drunk many CdR's and CdP's in the last few weeks, and I would not confuse this with the real thing. Nor does it attempt to imitate. Forgive Adelaida for the misnomer.
White
7/21/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
89 points
I love Adelaida Cellars' wines, yet this one is not my style. Yes, it's a little fat. Yes, it lacks clearly defined fruit flavors. But no one can claim this wine is not transparent (reflective of its terroir / source). I can firmly assert that the Adelaida Grenache Blanc / Roussanne tastes of its source vineyard (Glenrose Vineyard). The high-elevation Glenrose Vineyard is carved into a terraced structure reminiscent of a Mayan pyramid, wherein the subsoil materials have been exposed and planted upon in a carefully calculated manner.

The richness of this white wine is grand in stature - like a mouthful of whole milk. The low acidity and well-concealed high alcohol (14.9%) of Grenache Blanc contributes to the impressive body / creamy mouthfeel of the wine. Anyone who has tasted a white Priorat from Spain or a Meursault from France will feel at home with this giant. The fruit flavors are not as assertive as I would have hoped, yet there is no dominant presence of oak (thankfully).

The wine's redemption is in its finish. Flavors of smoke, chalky minerality, and an ashy texture appear in a striking fashion. As with many of the Adelaida reds, the geographical traits of the Paso Robles region contribute to the limestone and mineral flavors of the Glenrose white wine. Yummy? Not really. Fascinating and Unique? YOU BET!!!
Red
7/21/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
87 points
Thoroughly enjoyable at this stage - additional aging is not necessary. The flavors are intriguing: black fruit, juicy acidity, smooth finish. As Barbera is characteristically high in acidity, the most enjoyable element in the Montevina Barbera's flavor profile is the assimilation of the acids into the mid-palate. The finish is not tart or disappointingly short. Instead, the integration of this red wine's various elements is awesome (for the price = $9.99). I can only assume that the freshness of the fruit has faded a little since bottling, but the result is a smooth wine whose liveliness has been preserved by the acidity.

I recommend this wine to anyone who has become jaded by the symptoms of "blah blah" bargain red wines:
> the Zinfandel-based red that is all jammy fruit, no structure
> the Cabernet-based red that bears the signature traits of overproduction (herbaceous & diluted flavors)
> the old-vine blend of Carignane, Zinfandel, & Petite Sirah (muddled notes of tar and stewed fruits - from a hot, hot, hot growing region)
Red
7/11/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
91 points
My tasting experiences with Ribera del Dueros has remained limited, though - after tasting this wine = I hope to change that. The color of the wine was purple-black, starkly contrasting the Vina Alarba Old Vine Grenache I tasted alongside the Cepa. Everything I read about Emilio Moro was flattering, though most of the bodega's wines are best after 5 to 10 years of age. Nevertheless, this experience was pop-and-pour.

The nose was somewhat restrained, though this adjective belongs nowhere in the description of the palate. The Cepa Vente-Uno (21) is full-bodied and intense, providing flavors of black, black fruits and a subtle whisper of oak. The finish was incredibly intriquing - all smoky pencil lead/charcoal/scorched earth. I am amazed at the accessibility of the Ribera del Duero wines I have tasted. I have always been told that they are best after years of development. Furthermore, critics warn of over-oaking on the part of modern winemakers. I have not suffered exposure to such wines - yet. Perhaps it is because of the price range of my selections ($35-50) or my reliance on the works of certain importers, namely Jorge Ordonez (this wine) and Eric Solomon/European Cellars.

I would like to offer praise to the makers of this wine, as the back label provides details that are very helpful to drinkers: producer, alcohol by volume, vintage, capacity of bottle, vinification (28 days maceration!!! 14 months in 90% French, 10% American oak; no cold treatments), recommendation of service (serving temperature, decanting, drinking window (NOW-10 years). If only more producers would abandon the poetic blahblahs of meaningless self-promotion in favor of telling customers what it is they are about to drink.
Red
4/19/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
90 points
The hype surrounding Novy Syrahs appears to be justified, as this pleasant wine is only their regular release. The nose remains muted, with subtle earth and black fruits hiding behind the alcohol (14.2%). The palate exhibits dark fruit flavors, loam, a touch of black pepper, and a creamy texture. This Syrah is tremendously full-bodied. There is almost no detectable oak, and the acidity is minimal. I believe another 6 months would help bring the flavors into harmony as it appears to be a little disjointed / simple.
Red
4/16/2007 - DrewGoin wrote:
94 points
As with the 2003, I am impressed by the wine's ability to thrive in the face of oxidation. This particular bottle was opened almost a week ago and, without any gassing or vacuum-pumping, it continues to impress. The alcohol is definitely noticeable, yet the dark cherry/berry fruit persists. Oak flavors are barely present. The mineral taste of limestone remains once the wine is swallowed, providing a wonderful sensation that commands another sip. Sadly, the alcohol has nothing to hide behind, and the stomach begins to warm up.

I know of few wines that retain their identity after so many days following uncorking. I believe this wine will age for over a decade.
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