Comments on my notes

(34 comments on 28 notes)

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White - Sparkling
N.V. Champagne Fabiènne Prié Champagne Cuvée Brut Reserve Champagne Blend
For the last three years, I have coached my son's high school J.V. basketball team. If you have ever coached your child, you know how it can be both rewarding and maddening. This year, he was called up to the Varsity, for which I serve as the assistant coach. Up until recently, my son had not been called upon to do much as he was third or fourth off the bench on a team of just nine. The last couple of games, though, he has started and, for the most part, played rather well. Tonight, with his team down one, he grabbed the rebound off of the opponent's missed free throw, threw a perfect outlet pass and sprinted up the court. The ball was quickly moved up the sideline and into the hands of one of the better players on the team. He drove to the basket and hoisted a shot. It missed. It careened off the other side of the basket and into the hands of, yes, you guessed it, my son. Without hesitation, he grabbed the ball, jumped, and shot. The last second peeled off the clock and the horn sounded as the ball was in the air.

He missed. And we lost.

Both he and I were crestfallen (more my son than I--I have been around that block before). When we got home, I pulled some champagne. My son, incredulous, asked why I was celebrating and I offered up the oft-cited quote from Napoléon Bonaparte:

“In victory, you deserve Champagne; in defeat, you need it.”

A dark gold in the glass with notes of oxidated peach and pear, and freshly baked well-done croissant. The palate is equally if not more enticing with all kinds of yeasty, citrusy goodness. The sparkle is faint, but the flavors are not. Whoa.

I tried to get my son to try some, but I was worried his tears would dilute this rather extraordinary wine. thedrunkencyclist.com
  • Shrages commented:

    2/7/20, 4:51 PM - Sweet review! You had me on the edge of my seat.

Red
2015 Domaine Saint-Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades Red Rhone Blend
12/14/2019 - Dale Rattles Likes this wine:
91 points
A distinctive Rhône experience, fruitcake spices and black earthiness abound, with a distinctive fizz evocative of a Riesling Kabinett. I can’t say I’ve tasted anything quite like it. Nothing like a traditional CDP, not as rough as a typical Rasteau, this must be what they mean by “terroir” ��.
  • Shrages commented:

    2/2/20, 8:26 PM - Not sure fizz is what I’m looking for in my So Rhône’s! Surprised you still liked it.

Red
2008 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva Nebbiolo
3/30/2019 - Martin_G wrote:
89 points
N: cherries, soil, tea(?)
P: cherries, soil, jam
Med acid and concentration and med+ tannins. Rather short finish. Drink or hold.
  • Shrages commented:

    5/18/19, 10:18 AM - A bummer when a big name Barolo doesn’t measure up — which in my experience is often....

Rosé
2018 Jean-Paul Picard Sancerre Rosé Pinot Noir
3/7/2019 - studleytrey Likes this wine:
90 points
Received these today and got right into one, as it seemed a good option for Cuban marinated and spiced chicken with beans and rice, mango salsa, and fried bananas, and as it turns out, it was a perfect pairing.

Medium to deep pink color. Aromas of strawberries and cream, grapefruit, lime, and wet stone. Medium (+) body, acid, and finish, with flavors largely following suit. Maybe a little cranberry; definitely on the high toned red fruit spectrum. Drinking well nice and fresh and should be good over spring and summer, although the winery notes say this can be laid down for 4-5 years, so we'll see if I can hold on to any. This is a nice rose; I like it. 90+
  • Shrages commented:

    4/13/19, 7:20 PM - Ditto. A WTSO winner!

Red
2010 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne Nebbiolo
9/3/2018 - Eckie wrote:
This will be great, but I drank it too soon. Wait until 2022.
  • Shrages commented:

    12/10/18, 12:23 PM - The problem with Barolo - it's ALWAYS too soon!

Red
1982 Château La Croix de Gay Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
9/3/2018 - Eckie wrote:
85 points
Finally had to nerve to open one up, given all the horrible ratings. The nose was not good, cooked vegetables or something. The palate was much better for a short while, a pretty good structure. Interesting to drink for a few minutes, then we flushed the rest.
  • Shrages commented:

    12/10/18, 12:21 PM - A major bummer. Maybe this one's truly gone bad, but even when not frankly "bad," I haven't had a year of this wine that I thought was more than middling (but I've only tasted a couple).

  • Shrages commented:

    12/10/18, 12:21 PM - A major bummer. Maybe this one's truly gone bad, but even when not frankly "bad," I haven't had a year of this wine that I thought was more than middling (but I've only tasted a couple).

Red
2013 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
All estate everything I am being told. All in Chilies Valley? Black fruit and olive, And gutsy and powerful and there it is. And then I just accidentally shot it out of my nose.
  • Shrages commented:

    10/18/17, 9:39 PM - Ha!

Red
2005 Château Caronne Ste. Gemme Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
10/12/2014 - Shrages Likes this wine:
92 points
Perennially underrated. Blinded, I'd guess this a 2nd growth pauillac or Mouton from a lesser vintage. Dense ruby color with only hint of orange starting to show at rim. Svelte, rich nose of dense fruit, leather craftman's shop, and a flaxen beauty's armpit (and I say that in a good way). In the mouth, same armpit, cool mint, tight dark fruits, perfectly firm tannins. Long but not yet gentle finish. I think this is a superb wine. Has a future too. Will buy more if I can find it. Later years (even 09) not this good.
  • Shrages commented:

    5/16/17, 10:28 PM - Thanks. "armpit of a beautiful woman" is my favorite wine descriptor.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2006 Domaine Jo Pithon Coteaux du Layon Les Quatres Villages Chenin Blanc
3/15/2010 - dhammer53 wrote:
86 points
A dark gold color typical of a sweetie, and sweet it was. A light weight compared to others that I've tasted, but for the price, can't complain. The wine did improve a little on the second night. It was 'thicker'. I'll bring my other bottle to a dinner that includes non-geeks.
  • Shrages commented:

    11/5/16, 5:29 PM - Why waste it on non-geeks? They won't even know what a CDL is!

Red
1995 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
5/18/2014 - PASimon wrote:
90 points
I gave this 90 minutes of air and drank it with a friend who brought a 96 Cos....The Cos blew it away! This was fine, but flat and one dimensional - certainly given the pedigree and price point.
  • Shrages commented:

    5/13/16, 6:20 PM - I bought a bottle of Las Cases, the only time I ever tasted it, for my wedding. It was totally underwhelming. simple and fruity is all. It was perfectly aged and from a great year. Could be one of the most highly overrated chateaux.

Red
2008 Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon Signature Mendoza
6/7/2015 - wormfarmer wrote:
87 points
This wine has evolved -- there are some tertiary aromas from its having reduced a bit -- but I'm not sure I'd say it's improved. Decent acidity, some bright, sweet fruit, and some menthol/camphor notes -- but at the same time it mostly drinks like a 20-dollar cab from Anywhere, Earth. The thing in its favor is that while it doesn't necessarily seem to smack much of place, it doesn't come across as spoofulated at all.

I wouldn't wait much on this, though -- CT says till 2017, and I wouldn't wait that long.
  • Shrages commented:

    11/1/15, 11:36 AM - Spoofulated??? Where's my dictionary?

  • Shrages commented:

    11/2/15, 3:08 PM - Now that I know what it means, I'd have to agree. Maybe only spoofulated to the extent that there's a hell of a lot of new oak.

Red
2010 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Viña Real Crianza Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
5/18/2014 - Xavier Auerbach wrote:
89 points
A lovely example of a young Rioja Crianza in the classical style. Ripe fruit of red berries and plums, smoky notes from the wood; has balance, freshness and poise, good tannic grip, harmonious flavours and very good length. This stylish and elegant wine will improve for a number of years and last with ease until 2020 - maybe even 2025. Amazing QPR.
  • Shrages commented:

    10/11/15, 7:48 PM - Nice review. Just tasted this excellent wine, and fully agree.

Red
2010 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Viña Real Crianza Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
2/10/2015 - yofog wrote:
Tart red fruit, tough tannin, hint of oak and spice. This has better bones than the 09, and could use a few years in the cellar. In fact, demands it. This hardly gave anything up until the third day open, when it was quite delicious with a big oaky vanilla and cherry nose and lush palate. What's strange is that I remember this wine back in the day being a great pop & pour, ready to go, not needing any time before it unleashed big classic Rioja flavors. Shouldn't that be what $16 Crianza does? On the other hand, maybe I should rather be impressed that CVNE is putting out $16 vins de garde. I just don't know.
  • Shrages commented:

    10/11/15, 7:42 PM - Nice review. Helpful and intelligent. Thanks.

Red
2010 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Viña Real Crianza Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
9/8/2015 - Fat Lips Likes this wine:
88 points
A well-made Crianza, savory with some youthful excitement that could take a few years of bottle age. An attractive purple color with damp soil, red berries, and a hint of tobacco on the nose. The palate is invigorating with vibrant acidity and low tannins. It offers raspberry, sour cherry, mushroom, damp soil, a hint of tobacco, and baking spices. The finish is rather short but carries a hint of plum and vanilla.
  • Shrages commented:

    10/11/15, 7:35 PM - A spot-on review. I had just about the same impressions, though worded it a little differently.

White
2011 Roland Lavantureux Chablis Chardonnay
This lovely lass kisses you with lemon lips, then caresses with a sturdy earthy body that takes you to the ocean where the clean, crisp breeze lights up your senses as you eat a delicate and delicious fish dinner at sunset.
  • Shrages commented:

    9/12/15, 11:57 AM - Very cool review.

Red
2010 E. Guigal Gigondas Red Rhone Blend
3/6/2014 - cephomer Likes this wine:
91 points
Drank at Solo in Stratton. Dark ruby color, nose of flowers, white pepper and berries. Medium body, nice dark fruits on the palate, some leather there too with good acidity level. Nice rustic quality to this wine, which though a bit on the young side, showed quite well. A bargain at $60 in the restaurant too.
  • Shrages commented:

    9/12/15, 11:30 AM - No bargain there. Restaurant abuse, actually.

Red
2008 Bodegas Muriel Rioja Vendimia Seleccionada Reserva Tempranillo
4/11/2015 - hsacks Likes this wine:
90 points
Deep red color. Aromas of black cherries and oak. Ripe, somewhat primary fruit in the mouth with very good depth and length and well-integrated tannins and oak. This wine has "New World" style fruit but has traditional style oak. Though young, delicious to drink and a very good value.
  • Shrages commented:

    5/21/15, 7:17 PM - Exactly how I experienced this wine too

Red
2007 Domaine de Trévallon Vin de Pays des Bouches-du-Rhône Syrah Blend, Syrah
4/15/2015 - Pascal Likes this wine:
93 points
Délicieux même si un peu enterré par le plat qui l'accompagnait.
Tanins fondus, belle longueur
  • Shrages commented:

    5/10/15, 5:17 PM - This wine, from I think 1990, was one of my first great wine experiences. I remember finding it compelling, but a bit raisiny. I think it cost $13, which was a lot for me at the time. I don't think I've tasted another bottle since, but I would love to. PS - my Mom was french, so I can read your reviews!

Red
2008 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
11/9/2014 - Shrages wrote:
88 points
This is a decent Napa cab with no real flaws, but very little excitement either. It's the kind of wine someone who doesn't know wine very well will be sold as a gift for their boss by a guilty-feeling and slightly unscrupulous wine-seller who knows that it's overpriced for what it is.
  • Shrages commented:

    5/10/15, 5:14 PM - Glad SOMEONE appreciated it!

Red
2010 Domaine de Pallus Chinon Les Pensées de Pallus Cabernet Franc
9/18/2014 - budosyu wrote:
85 points
Nose of an old cigar caked in dirt and some tar that was then roasted in the oven; some sappy dark fruit notes with a faint hint of herb/rosemary. Medium bodied with sour cherries. The mid palate turns smokey mixed the sappy dark fruit flavors and faint hint of herb seen on the nose. Soft yet mildly drying tannins on the finish.

Seemed like a wine stuck between new and old world without getting the clear benefits of either. Didn't get the riper fruit of a west coast/washington cab franc, and didn't get the strongly vegetal, herbaceous profile of a more traditional chinon. Perhaps an attempt at a stylistically more approachable chinon with an earlier drinking window.
  • Shrages commented:

    3/13/15, 8:47 PM - Good review but I disagree. I loved it. Has a little bit of the best of both old and new worlds, in my mind.

Red
2010 Domaine de Pallus Chinon Les Pensées de Pallus Cabernet Franc
2/21/2015 - Z1nnfull Likes this wine:
89 points
Character of a mid-range Bordeaux one year away from perfect drinking point. We let it breathe, but on sampling decided not to decant. Dark appearance, earthy cellar smell of fruit, taste of brambly black fruit. Medium finish, we did the entire bottle, it was that good. For the $22 we paid for what is a 100% Cab Franc, we were pretty pleased...have three bottles left. The Cab Franc had a little tannin and seemed drier than mostly Merlot-based Bordeaux...yes, I know this is not Bordeaux, but it is next door. Plan to explore other Chinons. Welcome any comments or advice as this is a new wine area for us. Another bottle on May 25, 2015 and it is still a little tight. Hold until 2016.
  • Shrages commented:

    3/13/15, 8:44 PM - Agree it's an excellent wine. You will unlikely to be as lucky with most Chinons. They Tend to be quite a bit lighter and higher in acid than this bottle. Stick with the best vintages and the better makers, though, and Chinons can be killer buys.

Red
2010 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia Barbaresco Sorì Paitin Nebbiolo
10/26/2014 - Shrages wrote:
87 points
I feel like Wine Access, normally a reliable source of well-priced wine special deals, took me for a ride on this one. I paid $34 (with case) for this, which sounded from the pro reviews as though it would be a steal for a high-class barbaresco. But though it does have nebbiolo typicity, it does not hold together as a solid wine as a whole. Traditional, but still -- does that mean it has to be tough from entry to finish? Little body, medium to light color, strong new oak, not enough fruit in my opinion to hold out the at least 10 years it will take for the oak/tannin/acid to come into integration. Sorry friends. Didn't enjoy this, and I doubt I will in the future. Anyone want to buy 11 bottles from me?

Retasted 2018. Same rating. 8 years old now. Less unyieldingly tough, yes, but this is not developing into the beauty my nebbiolo-loving friends promised. Still overly dry, now raisiny and even hinting at the dreaded cough-syrup. Still not a fan.
  • Shrages commented:

    12/1/14, 2:06 PM - If true, that would be extremely disappointing. I have to say that, in general, among all of the online discount sites, I've found wineaccess to be the most reliable (before this Barbaresco). It's possible that I'm just not a sufficiently experienced taster of young nebbiolo, but it's hard for me to imagine this one coming around.

  • Shrages commented:

    1/25/15, 10:57 PM - No. In fact, I'm haven't found that opening a bottle and tasting it after a day or two or three is anything like keeping it in the cellar and tasting it after a year or two or six. Not at all similar in my opinion. I've pretty much never enjoyed a dry red wine more on day 2 than immediately after popping the cork.

    I'm not touching this stuff for another 4 years. Then I'll give it another try and report out. But I'm not anticipating great things.

Red
2000 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
12/14/2014 - Shrages wrote:
86 points
Remarkably disappointing. Reading the other reviews here, I have to wonder if I got a fraudulent bottle -- but that seems highly unlikely given the special "millenial" engraved bottle it came in. This was stored in my cellar at perfect conditions -- mid-neck level still.

Briefly, there's a bit of depth and bass notes in the nose, but after that, very little to enjoy. Dried fruit with little depth, thin mouthfeel, dried out, short finish. It even has some of that rusty iron flavor that a lot of cheap and awful French wines have.

This is the third Mouton I've tasted, and none have been worth writing home about.

I've had many more interesting and more enjoyable wines for $13, and I think this one is worth $1700.00 on the current market. I guess we set ourselves up for disappointment with wines like this. Boy, I wish I had sold this bottle and taken a trip to Bordeaux instead!
  • Shrages commented:

    1/14/15, 1:15 PM - Come ON! You're kidding right? Where does one find this calendar.

Red
2012 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
10/12/2014 - Bandreas wrote:
Medium ruby color, purple tinge. Powerful and fruity nose (too much so for my taste)
On palate some pepper and some bitterness.. The wine finishes dry and with noticeable bitter tannins.
  • Shrages commented:

    12/29/14, 5:50 PM - This is the latest wine access offering. Appreciate the truth-telling as a counterpoint to their advertising. Anyone else tasted this yet?

  • Shrages commented:

    12/29/14, 5:51 PM - This is the latest wine access offering. Appreciate the truth-telling as a counterpoint to their advertising. Anyone else tasted this yet?

  • Shrages commented:

    1/13/15, 9:57 PM - A good plan. I always ck both pro and CT ratings before I buy from them now.

Red
2003 Château Cambon La Pelouse Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
4/28/2014 - bear Likes this wine:
92 points
This was an incredible wine for being an inexpensive Bordeaux. It had lots of current, and some cedar, really soft tannins, length on the palate and more length! From the first taste to the last, it showed levels of complexity that just don't show up in a $20 bottle of wine! This was a gift, so I don't have any more. It has to be at its prime for drinking. We enjoyed it with flank steak, potatoes, and green beans. This is almost assuredly the best bottle of wine I have ever had for the price. Certainly, there have been better wines, but not at $20 and not from Bordeaux.
  • Shrages commented:

    12/25/14, 10:53 PM - I couldn't agree more. Hell of a complex wine for the price, isn't it?!

Red
2005 Kapcsándy Family Winery Estate Cuvée State Lane Vineyard Yountville Red Bordeaux Blend
1/1/2009 - drycab wrote:
81 points
Decanted 1 hour. This had a slight nose of flowers and red fruits but no fruit on the palate, even after 2 hours more in the decanter. However, there was an abundance of cedar on the palate with some harsh brambly flavors accompanying them. This wasn't corked, just not a good wine and definately a rip-off for what I paid for it. I'm hoping it was just a bad bottle as it is the first Kapcsandy I've had and I have 3 left!!
  • Shrages commented:

    11/12/14, 8:18 PM - I think you drank it about 10 yrs too early

Red
2005 Kapcsándy Family Winery Estate Cuvée State Lane Vineyard Yountville Red Bordeaux Blend
5/20/2012 - Qventoid#11 wrote:
92 points
Great structure, smooth, not overwhelmingly powerful, but very clean. Not the greatest value for the price, but a very good wine.
  • Shrages commented:

    11/12/14, 8:03 PM - Right on target

  • Shrages commented:

    11/12/14, 8:04 PM - Right on target

Red
2011 Brancaia Tre Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
10/2/2013 - Delli wrote:
88 points
Lighter red/crimson color than I'd expect from this blend. Nose of sour cherries and sage; the Bordeaux grapes don't show. Light in body with little acidity and meandering tanins. Not sure this will improve much with age so I wouldn't encumber the cellar. 5+11+15+7=88
  • Shrages commented:

    10/31/14, 6:11 PM - You are dead on with this wine. My review almost identical (if more long-winded and generous). I'm gonna follow you Carestenf!

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