Tasting Notes for The Drunken Cyclist

(3,791 notes on 2,383 wines)

1 - 50 of 3,791 Sort order
Red
9/29/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $42. 44% Tempranillo, 22% Graciano, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. (But the website also says "42% Tempranillo, 17% Graciano, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 7% Syrah. Aged 20 months in 45% new French and 55% neutral oak.") Big Ass Bottle. The first three wines I have tried from Spicewood have all been about the fruit, which was big. Really big. But that's OK as big fruit needs love, too. This wine, however, is less about the fruit (mostly berries: cherry, blackberry, cassis) and more about the acidity. If I had tasted this blind, I likely could have been convinced that this was an Old World wine, perhaps a Rioja (particularly given the predominance of Tempranillo and Graciano). Of all the Texas wines I have tried, this is clearly the most "un-Texan" (which is neither an insult nor a compliment) as it is a wine that requires both contemplation and food (perhaps slightly more of the latter). All that lovely acidity needs a foil, needs some animal fat, in fact, which might actually make it *more* "Texan" in the end. Grab a ribeye, char it up, pop the cork, pour a glass, enjoy. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/29/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
89 points
Retail $25. As I have mentioned numerous times, Sauvignon Blanc is not my go-to wine by any means, but I do like a well-made SB as much as many do. Well, this is a case in point. Great aromatics, not grassy (although a bit herbal) but laden with citrus (lime and lemon) on the nose. The palate is tart and angular, with significant acidity, and ladles of fruit. Very nice. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
6/25/2014 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $28. I received this wine from the importer/distributor and really did not think much about it at the time. Yes, I am a Pinot fan. But Pinot from Chile? I knew next to nothing about it (it might have been a little closer than "next to" nothing). Since I really did not have any other samples to group it with, I had it on its own one night with some grilled chicken. Wow. A bit dark as Pinots go, but bursting with great red berry flavors. Perhaps the midpalate was the most compelling of all aspects of this wine--after that initial burst of fruit, there were some subtle, but ample tannins and a bit of earthiness that matched the smokiness of the chicken perfectly. Medium to long finish. In the end, I was quite surprised by this wine. Outstanding. 90-92 Points. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
2/10/2017 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
92 points
Retail $40. Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d’Avola, Tannat, e altre uve (and other varieties). I did not try the two of these side by side (unlike other wine writers, I tend to drink wines one at a time, with a meal—you know, like “real people”), so I was surprised that I initially liked this wine a bit more than its more expensive brethren. Great fruit (fleshy red and dark berry), secondary aromas (tobacco and black licorice), and a full, luscious mouth-feel. As the bottle lay open for a while, the fruit subsided a bit, diminishing ever-so-slightly the overall impression (compared to the Mille e tuna Notte which gained steam with time). Still, this is a fabulous wine, particularly for near-term consumption. Outstanding. 91-93 Points. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
2/10/2017 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
93 points
Retail $55. Nero d'Avola, Petit Verdot, Syrah, e altre uve (and other grapes). I am not sure if anyone else blends together these three varieties, but if others do, it has to be a fairly short list. Nero d’Avola, Sicily’s signature black grape, can be rather coarse with firm tannins and require extensive oak exposure. Similarly, Petit Verdot (despite its name) can produce big and bold wines that can often be difficult to tame, which is why it is mostly used as a blending variety, as it is here. As a result, it is quite surprising how mellowly delightful this wine is: brilliant nose of dark fruit, rich mocha, and a dash of smoke. On the palate, this is completely approachable—no doubt the six plus years of aging have been beneficial. In fact, this is more than approachable, this is lovely. Alone or paired with just about any protein, this wine continues to evolve, causing more than its fair share of introspection. Outstanding. 92-94 Points. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
2/10/2017 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
89 points
Retail $15. 40% Tinta Roriz, 40% Touriga Franca, 20% Touriga Nacional. Like most people in the U.S., I guess, my exposure to Portuguese wines has largely been limited to Port (although I did serve a Portuguese red at my wedding). Thus, when I was offered to sample these wines from Esporão, I jumped at the chance. Like the white, this is much more restrained than wines from U.S. shores, and that is perfectly fine with me: Darker red berries (blue and black) seem to prevail on the nose with a smattering of black pepper and licorice (again, black). On the palate those dark berries transform into redder, less ominous fruit, which dances well with the acidity. This wine will not "knock one's socks off" with its power, but it is a perfectly delightful wine that would work well with a multitude of meals. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
2/10/2017 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
88 points
Retail $15. 35% Viosinho, 25% Rabigato, 20% Verdehlo, 10% Gouveio, 10% Arinto. My first reaction? There are a bunch of varieties in this wine that I am fairly certain have never crossed my lips. After getting over that wine-geek giddiness, this wine has very nice tropical aromas and flavors, with ample acidity and a flinty aspect that renders it even more refreshing. Not an overly complex wine, but there are moments in your life when less complexity is exactly what you need. Very Good. 87-89 Points. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red - Fortified
2/10/2017 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $29. Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão. Translucent amber with notes of fig, caramel, and hazelnut, this is sweet, but stops far short of cloying. The nutty, lengthy finish is divine, urging one to have at least one more sip. Outstanding. 90-92 Points. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
2014 Trivento Amado Sur Mendoza Malbec Blend, Malbec (view label images)
2/10/2017 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
88 points
Retail $14. 79% Malbec, 11% Bonarda, 10% Syrah. Trivento has to be near the top of high-value producers, and their Amado Sur might likely lead the pack. Excellent fruit combined with a racy attitude and a touch of backbone. One certainly could do a lot worse for $14. Very Good. 87-89 Points. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
2/10/2017 - The Drunken Cyclist wrote:
89 points
Retail $20. Rich yellow, but clearly short of golden with noticeable oak on the nose, vanilla and lemon rind also playing large roles. On the palate there is surprising acidity, given the nose, and, coupled with the fruit, this is really a solid quaff. Silky but tart, this might even be gangbusters. Nice. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points. thedrunkencyclist.com
White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château Dauphiné-Rondillon Loupiac Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
9/28/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
92 points
Retail $15 (375 ml). 80% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Getting a bottle of dessert wine this good (albeit a half-bottle) for under twenty bucks should be a crime. Tropical fruit along with tangerine and apricot (oh, the apricot!) are mere invitations into this wine. The palate is wonderfully rich and unctuous with intense fruit and sweetness which are quickly balanced by the lip-smacking acidity. Holy cow and giddy-up! thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/28/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $33. 100% Syrah. Aged 12 months in 25% new French oak, 15% new American oak, and 60% neutral oak. After tasting the Tempranillo, which, like this Syrah, was also quite big and fruity, the oft-used phrase "Everything is big in Texas" came to mind. Alas, that only reveals my Yankee origins as I have yet to hear a Texan utter those words with a straight face. Nonetheless, it applies here (I am going to stick with that) as there is a ton of fruit on the nose and the palate (mostly bright red berry fruit) along with a healthy dose of spice and more than ample acidity. The tannins are quite shy, rendering this wine imminently quaffable and delightful. Very nice. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/28/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
89 points
Retail $26. 100% Tempranillo. Aged in 20% new American, 18% new French, 62% neutral oak. If you are hoping for a taste of the Old World here in Texas, you should probably just skedaddle right along as there is little here to suggest even a distant relationship to Rioja or Ribera del Duoro. No, this wine is all about the fruit, and there is a *ton* of it. Ripe, jammy, and just short of "in-your-face," this inky dark wine exudes ripe black fruit (blackberry, plum, cassis) from nose to finish. While there is little evidence of tannin, there is some depth and quite a bit of acidity which does its best to hold all that fruit together. No, it's not a Rioja, but it never tries to be. It is a wonderfully fruity, pleasant quaff. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/27/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
94 points
Retail $45. A field blend of Riesling and Pinot Gris. Rotenberg is one of Deiss' celebrated Crus, which he had designated himself (he eschews the Grand Cru classification in Alsace as political and not quality-based). This is the last of the three bottles I purchased from Wine.com nearly a decade ago and despite the clear evidence that this bottle had some leakage and the color of the wine was a deep golden color, it was remarkable. Honeyed lemon, petrol, ripe peach, and minerality on the nose are all on the nose with a decided sweetness on the palate. But this is far from a "dessert wine" and would be welcome on just about any dinner table. Good fruit, balanced sweetness, and a lip-smacking acidity that really brings all the elements together seamlessly. Whoa. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/26/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
88 points
Retail $25. Big Ass Bottle. As one might expect, this is dark. Really dark. There is a relatively significant subset of the wine world that absolutely adores Petite Sirah. I am not one of them. Not even close. But I do appreciate, on occasion, the well-made PS that, while big, still has balance. This Mettler is one of those. Big fruit. Big. A bit of spice, some earth, but this is all about the fruit. Big fruit. Holy cow. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/26/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
92 points
Retail $25. Big Ass Bottle. Another wine, of four, that I received with little information as to the blend but that's OK, it's how I roll. I think. I hope. Another wine, dark in the glass and on the nose with black fruit (blackberry, cassis, plum), black and white pepper, which meld together to create an inviting entrance. The palate, like the other Mettler wines I have sampled, is fruity up front but it is quickly followed by tartness and earth. Another winner from Mettler. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/26/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $25. Like the other Mettler wines I received, this bottle is extremely heavy, the information about the wine is scant, and despite the previous two points, I can't help but like it. Dark in the glass (the word on the street--the blend has some Petite Sirah), with dark fruit, spicy, and subtle earthy aromas. Good fruit and black pepper initially on the palate, with more than adequate acidity and just a touch of heat. Without question, this is on the "big" side of Zinfandel (an aspect which I normally eschew), but it all comes together nicely. Delicious. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/26/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
89 points
Retail $20. Zin blend. Gig 4. Big Ass Bottle. I do not know a whole lot about this wine other than it is a non-vintage blend of mostly Zinfandel and it is a solera wine (each vintage, new wine is added to the tank that contains wine from several vintages already, thus the *exact* blend is impossible to determine). Fruity, a bit spicy (black pepper), and a little hot (14.5% ABV) on the nose. The palate is equally fruity and perhaps more inviting--this is an easy, delectable quaff at a (relatively) easy pricepoint. thedrunkencyclist.com
Rosé - Sparkling
9/26/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $60. 60% Pinot Noir, 22% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Meunier, 14% red wine. I saw these on clearance at my local grocery store for $34 and I decided to take a flyer. Glad I did. While this is not the *best* non-vintage rosé that I've had, it certainly is solid, even better when closer to cellar temperature. Nice red fruit, healthy backbone, ample depth. Solid wine. $60? Maybe not, but under $35? You bet. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
2018 Château Tanesse Moelleux Premières Côtes de Bordeaux Muscadelle
9/23/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
89 points
2018 Château Tanesse Palissades Moelleux, Premières Côtes de Bordeaux. Retail $20(?). 85% Muscadelle and 15% Sauvignon Blanc. Decidedly sweeter than the Lion de Tanesse and more aromatic as well (due, no doubt to the Muscadelle). I tasted this first as part of a webinar on Sweet Bordeaux and it is abundantly clear that this improved as it warmed--serve at around cellar temperature (55° or even slightly warmer). At that warmer temp, this is quite tropical on the nose along with some lemon peel and minerality. Pretty fruity on the palate as well and while sweet, I would say this is closer to "off-dry" than it is to "dessert." Above-average acidity and a wide variety of pairing possibilities. Very Good. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
2019 Château Tanesse Lion de Tanesse Bordeaux Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
9/23/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
88 points
This is a relatively new wine (I think) from the Château and as such, information about the wine is scant. I know that it is a blend of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc but after that? Not much. I imagine it is in the $10-15 range. Delicate citrus notes (lemon and lime) and a bit of yellow apple on the nose, understated on the palate but the fruit is there as is a very nice tartness. Just a hint of sweetness, this is a pretty darned versatile wine: apéritif, light cheeses, charcuterie, and most fish dishes. Delightful. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
10/15/2015 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
88 points
Retail $15. Bright lemon and melon aromas lead to zesty acidity, citrus fruit, and a hint of butter on the finish. While this will not fool you into thinking it is a Chassagne-Montrachet, it is a solid drinker for every day (and with a price tag of at least 20% of that of a white Burgundy, you will not feel guilty about drinking it on a daily basis). As this wine warmed a bit in the glass, the flavors and depth were enhanced. I would not hesitate to put this on my table (or in my cellar for a year or two).
White
10/15/2015 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $50. Subtle nose of white flowers with a bit of melon and a hint of clove. Over the lips, this is much more Chablis than Chassagne (i.e., it emphasizes brightness over creaminess). Clean and lean with lemon and verve. This likely would benefit from a bit of cellar time. Right now? Outstanding. 90-92 Points, but that could increase in a couple of years. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/22/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $30. 100% Carménère. TerraNoble has been producing these two different expressions of Carménère: one planted in the coastal range of Chile, and this one planted on the slopes of the Andes, about 40 miles away. Dark in the glass with wonderful fruit, sweet and inviting on the nose. There is also black pepper and a fresh herbal note: sage? mint? Regardless, it's fantastic. Rich, fruity, a tad herbal, and well-balanced. Even at thirty bucks, this is still quite a bargain. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/22/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $18. "Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec from Columbia Valley. Tank fermented then barrel-aged for 16 months in 25% new American oak." Another winner from the Aquilini Family who seems to have nailed the under-twenty-bucks pricepoint to the Castle Church in Benton City (OK, that was a huge reach, but if you got it, more power to you!). So there are *two* critters on this bottle--does that still classify as a "critter" (notice the singular) wine? I'm not sure as it certainly does not *taste* like one: dark in the glass, rich on the palate and nose, this is a steal for under $20. But Luther was against theft. Hmmmm. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
2018 Be Human Merlot Columbia Valley
9/22/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $16. 76% #Merlot, 11% Malbec, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc. Barrel-aged for 18 months. OK, let's be honest. Who'd ever list Merlot as their "go-to-number-1" wine? Right. No one. Well. We might want to reconsider. While this will never supplant the Right Bank in one's cellar, it's more than a solid choice for the "oh crap, my Uncle Cletus is here from Arkansas" kinda night. Surprisingly dark in both color & aromas, this presents itself as on the verge of brooding, which will surprise just about every Merlot drinker (all seven of them). Dark fruit, black pepper, dark earth, all on the palate. I prepared myself for a brutish tannic beast, but that never materialized, not even close. No, this is a wine for the now. Maybe the *right* now. Rich fruit, integrated tannins, depth. Sixteen bucks? Buy this before they realize that they could get a bunch more than that. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
2018 Roaming Dog Red Blend Columbia Valley
9/22/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
89 points
Retail $13. Under screwcap. 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Malbec, 31% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Another first release from one of the Aquilini brands, this (like the Chardonnay) punches well above its weight, no doubt due to the amount of Red Mountain fruit in this wine (no, I could not get a precise percentage). Thirteen bucks? OK, I am all in, I call your bluff here! No bluff, this wine has the nuts (poker term): dark in the glass with aromas of blackberry and mocha front and center. Quite drinkable, quaffable, even, this goes down far too easy, which I assume is the goal. Look, this is not a high-brow player in Sketchers, it is more of a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops, but holy cow is that a winning combo! thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/22/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $45. It has been a few years since I have tried this wine, and I have to say that it has faired rather well over the last five years in my cellar (including the trek from Philly to Houston). A bit darker in color with more spice (white pepper, cumin) than fruit (lemon curd) on the nose. The palate is refreshingly tart upfront, followed by a mellow wave of fruit, a few levels of complexity, and then the fruit comes roaring back in on the finish. While this is doing quite well right now, I would not prolong the popping of any remaining bottles much longer. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
10/15/2015 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $45. An inviting nose of tropical fruit–guava and pineapple with a touch of buttered toast. On the palate, very nicely balanced and while there is a creaminess and a hint of oak, it is by no means over-blown. In fact, the fruit and the acidity are really the stars of the show here, and it is a wonderful production. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
2019 Roaming Dog Chardonnay Columbia Valley
9/22/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
88 points
Retail $13. Under screwcap. This is the first edition of this wine from Aquilini, released just in the past few weeks. While the appellation is Columbia Valley, the vineyard is apparently just across the street from the Red Mountain AVA. Fruit dominates on the nose with oodles of ripe tropical and citrus notes. The palate is much of the same with guava and pineapple at the front, with some lemon rind in the shadows. While there is little oak influence, harbor no illusions, this is a big 'un. If you like your Chards big, bold, and affordable, here you go! thedrunkencyclist.com
Rosé
9/21/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Consistent Notes. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/21/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
88 points
Retail $20. 100% Sauvignon Blanc, aged sur lies in stainless steel for five months. Usually, when I see a Sauv Blanc this color (certainly golden), I get nervous, but no need for concern here. Fruity and rich on the nose, mostly on the citrus and tropical end of the spectrum (guava, ripe Meyer lemon) along with some ginger and white flower. The palate is quite ripe and *rich* with tons of fruit. Tons. Citrus (lemon and sweet Mandarin orange) dominate and while the acidity tries to keep up, it struggles a bit, particularly on the finish. There is just so much fruit! If you like your SB big and bold, look no further. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/20/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
92 points
Retail $35. It is rare that I actually get to taste this wine as it is one of my wife's favorites and, as such, she invariably pops one of these when I am off galavanting. Since I have not been able to travel at all these past six months or so, however, I was actually afforded a taste of this next-to-last bottle of this wine. The workhorse of Byron Kosuge's portfolio, this is an amazingly consistent wine vintage to vintage. Bright cherry fruit with a bit of spice and even anise on the nose with the same great cherry fruit on the palate along with vibrant acidity and plenty of earth (particularly for a Carneros Pinot. Delightful. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/20/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
94 points
Retail $40. 100% Chardonnay. Well, this is the last of four bottles that I purchased back in 2014 from Wines Til Sold Out for $18. And for perhaps the first time in recent memory, I drank the bottles in the more desired order: the first was, well, not very good, the second was certainly better, the third was excellent, and this last bottle was outstanding, on the verge of incredible. Only a slight amount of gold in the otherwise straw-colored wine with lovely aromas of golden delicious apple, lemon rind, an herbal aspect (celery seed?), and both salinity and minerality that have come to define the wines of the region. The palate, like all great Chablis, starts off subtlely with modest fruit and then is followed by balancing, crisp acidity. If it were to end there, this would be a fantastic wine but the finish is clearly the star of the show here: multi-layered (fruit, minerality, salinity) and long (at least several minutes), I almost did not want to take another sip until the last vestiges of the previous had completely dissipated (emphasis on "almost"). Outstanding. thedrunkencyclist.com
Rosé - Sparkling
9/20/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
92 points
Another fine bottle of bubbles from the oft-maligned largest producer of champagne. Excellent. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/18/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
Retail $25. I have to admit that I get more than a bit giddy when I see "Pinot Gris" on the label. More often than not, it means that the wine has been made not in the, at least at times, insipid Italian style, but rather in the richer, Alsatian style. Full disclosure: I studied in Alsace and have much more than a "penchant" for the wines from the region. Light straw color, peach, pear, apricot, and considerable salinity on the nose bode goodness. While the palate might not be as rich and unctuous as my favorite Gris from Alsace, this is a lovely wine: tart, balanced, delicious. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/18/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $35. A bit of color here, but still in the "light straw" end of the spectrum. Lemon rind, acacia flower, almond, and a bit of oak on the nose--a lot going on here. The palate is perhaps a bit more subdued or restrained than the nose would suggest. There is plenty of fruit, but it is in concert with the zingy acidity and a wonderful creaminess that one finds in the best Chardonnays. My only gripe here is the rather large, heavy bottle. Why on earth is that necessary? thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/17/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist wrote:
87 points
Retail $16. Pam is Ron Rubin's wife and she does not like oaked Chardonnay, hence this wine. Evidently, Pam prefers rich, very fruity (ripe red apple, ripe peach, and a minty element), and slightly sweet Chardonnay. I looked for the specs on this wine, but could not find the amount of residual sugar on this wine, but it is noticeable (perhaps >5g/liter?). This Chard does have some decent tartness and quite a bit of body and is, honestly, fun to drink. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/16/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $38. Part of the Cliff Lede family of wineries, FEL represents cool-climate varieties (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, etc.) from the Anderson Valley. On the dark side for a Pinot, both in color and aromas, the latter also incorporating both herbal and savory notes. The palate is particularly acid-driven with fruit and earth notes, as one would expect from the variety. The tannins are supple and largely integrated, resulting in a delightful finish. Excellent. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/16/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
95 points
Retail $65. A bit of a Big Ass Bottle. I have been a fan of Byron Kosuge's wines for a long while now and, coincidentally, I have been convinced for essentially the same amount of time that the Hirsch Vineyard is an American Grand Cru--one of the nation's premier sites for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Those two views come together in this wine, which I purchased from Byron back in 2016 and this is the first bottle that we have cracked. Nearly translucent in the glass, but still with rich color and fantastic aromas: black cherry, earth, maybe some clove. The palate is delicate and refined, which runs in contrast to the Hirsch Vineyard which, just a scant few miles from the Pacific Coast, can be a bit harsh and rugged. The tannins are nearly integrated, the balance is impeccable, and the finish is lengthy and delightful. Whoa. Yeah, I was pretty much right about both Byron Kosuge and the Hirsch Vineyard. I like being right. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/16/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $20. A bit of a Big Ass Bottle. While I have never been to the Chalk Hill tasting room, but I have ridden by it, up Chalk Hill Road, countless times. It's a punchy little climb, less than a mile long, but requires attention and usually takes my breath away. I feel somewhat similar about the wines I have tried from the winery. While this is certainly not among the top Sonoma Chardonnays I have tried, I'd be hard-pressed to find a much better value. Lemon zest, a bit of white peach, freshly bloomed flower, and a touch of oak. The palate is certainly on the oaky side but certainly in moderation. Again, for twenty bucks (which means around $15 at retail)? Yeah, I can do that. thedrunkencyclist.com
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Red
9/15/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist wrote:
91 points
Retail $35. 100% Montepulciano. While information on this wine is scant, I am fairly certain that this wine is indeed 100% Montepulciano (and not Sangiovese). A bit of a Big Ass Bottle (B.A.B.) houses this delightful wine, which is dark in the glass with fruit (red and dark berry), earth, mint, and cola notes on the nose. The palate is a bit dark, as well, but also on the dark side with close-to-brooding fruit, menthol, mocha, and wet, rich soil. Of the four wines from Duchman that I have tried, this is likely the best (and that is a relatively high bar). thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/14/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist wrote:
89 points
Retail $20. 100% #Catarratto. I have made it known on several occasions that I am a huge fan of Sicilian #wine and Catarratto is one of the top white wines from the island off the toe of the boot. Lemon dominates on the nose, with white peach, acacia, and even some papaya. The palate is fruity, loaded with salinity, and possessing a savory element. A fun return to #Sicily . thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/14/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $20. I Googled, I Binged, I even Yandexed. But I could not find much about this wine other than the price (20 bucks). So we will just have to go with what is in the bottle (yeah, I know, a pretty novel idea). The nose is characterized by oodles of fruit: citrus, tropical, exotic. The palate is also quite fruity, but also zingy and tart with an angular focus. Yum. Not your "typical" Sauv Blanc. thedrunkencyclist.com
Rosé
9/14/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
91 points
I liked this #wine a lot upon release and it is still going strong as many True Rosés will. The fruit has slipped a bit, perhaps, but only a bit. Still fruity, crisp, precise. Really well done. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/12/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist wrote:
93 points
Retail $25. Big Ass Bottle. In many ways, this is a curious wine. I bought four bottles of this wine from Wines Til Sold Out way back in 2013 and I have tried exactly one, within days of receiving the wine. And it was chockful of Bret. Tons and tons of Bret. So I put the other three bottles in my cellar and forgot (ignored?) it. Until today. I figured I'd give it another shot. No Brett. And close to a whoa. Fruit (red and dark), herbs (sage), and earth (well, earth). Pair all of that with great acidity and balance? Fantastic. And a whoa. thedrunkencyclist.com
White
9/12/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $25. This is the second vintage of Bibiana González Rave's Chardonnay and both have been stellar. This iteration is a lovely straw color with a slight golden hue in the glass with fantastic aromas of lemon curd, ripe pear, and green apple. The palate is all about the fruit, and there is plenty of it: apple dominates, but there is also that pear and citrus. The acidity eventually pushes through the fruit on the mid-palate and works hard to balance out all that fruit. This is a much more muscular approach than the previous vintage, but it still works well. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/11/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
92 points
Retail $30. 100% Carménère. Holy Crap is this a Big Ass Bottle. TerraNoble has been producing these two different expressions of Carménère: one planted in the coastal range of Chile, and this one planted on the slopes of the Andes, about 40 miles away. Dark in the glass with wonderful fruit, but also a vegetal note. Not so much green pepper as jalapeño and black pepper. The palate is big, fruity, and a tad spicy (jalapeño is once again apt). While the 2016 was delectable, this might (might) be a step up. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
9/11/2020 - The Drunken Cyclist Likes this wine:
90 points
Retail $20. 100% Carménère. A bit of a Big Ass Bottle. This is the flagship wine for TerraNoble and it is a lovely quaff. Dark color in the glass with aromas of dark berry fruit and pepper, more black than green. The palate is rich and layered with plenty of that dark fruit and oodles of the black pepper. While the tannins are supple and mostly integrated but are definitely recognizable on the finish. As I said, this is a very nice wine that should continue to improve at least for the next three years or so and for the price? Buy a case. thedrunkencyclist.com
Red
2016 Chapelle de Barbe Bordeaux Supérieur Red Bordeaux Blend
Retail $18. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Another wine from the Richard Family portfolio, and another winner. Dark, opaque in the glass, with dark berry fruit, black pepper, spice, a gaminess, and hints of oak and anise on the nose. Fruity on the palate. In fact, so fruity that most would assume (I venture) that this is not a Bordeaux. But harbor no illusions, this is not a fruity "I-wanna-be-a-new-world" Bordeaux. No, it *is* fruity, but there is also restraint (if that is possible), hints of earthiness, and a decided tartness. Look, there are a TON of Bordeaux wines out there. Some at this pricepoint are complete, well, doo-doo. Not here, this is a fairly remarkable wine regardless of price. Do yourself a favor: buy a case. Drink a third by the end of the year, another third by the end of 2021, and the remaining four bottles at some point after that. You can thank me at your leisure. thedrunkencyclist.com
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