Tasting Notes for Shrages

(312 notes on 289 wines)

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Red
2010 Château Villars Fronsac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/9/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
Similar impression to last time. I guess I’m just feeling a little stingier tonight.
Red
8/6/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
Nothing subtle here. A huge, thick, black wall of fruit. Like a block of rock. Seems designed to win blind tastings. Hard to not enjoy at least a little bit, though. My recommendation— grill a steak to go with it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/5/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
Subtle and balanced. Mostly red fruit, initially muted nose, but opens up with more blue fruits and leather on nose at 1-2 hours. Long finish. Moderately high acid backbone. Best in 4 years.
Red
8/3/2020 - Shrages wrote:
89 points
Coming into its own now. Powerful nose of leather, meat, and minor (good) barnyard/sweat on the nose. Acid has finally faded now to only moderate-high. Medium+ body. Dark and gamey flavors. Still somewhat tight finish. ANOTHER 2 years to peak. Glad I didn’t give up on this wine after last taste.
Red
7/24/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Rich with fruit and mineral, with a cool backdrop. Solidity in the mouth, well balanced between fruit and tannin. Long, square-shouldered finish. Really well-made. Very good now but will improve for 4-5 years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/19/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Rich and sweaty and velvety yet still sorta light on its feet. Lots of earth, charcoal, and petrol — especially on second night under argon. Translation: I like it.
White
7/9/2020 - Shrages wrote:
86 points
There’s something deeply annoying about this wine. Expensive, and from a maker I cherish. Yet the flavors are unbalanced — both hot and sharp, with a deep hole of a metallic, cough-drop-like flavor that permeates from beginning to end. At least tolerable on the second day under argon. Flawed but not in a way that I recognize. Maybe others can help. Does Ridge only do red wines well?
Red
6/30/2020 - Shrages wrote:
88 points
Soft and non-linear for a cru Beaujolais. Feels kinda syrupy and late-harvestish. Low acidity. Rotting strawberry. Easy finish. Atypical but not unenjoyable.
Red
6/22/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
So, with a little age Barolo DOES actually soften up and become interesting. I learned something tonight that I had doubted. Cinnamon, baking spice, sleek.
Red
6/18/2020 - Shrages wrote:
89 points
A solid Beaujolais. True to type nose and flavors of strawberry/rhubarb. Slightly more extracted than most. Nice mouthfeel likely from the couple of years of age it’s got. Good brisk acidity. Very minor Bret not at all off-putting (and I’m very sensitive to Bret).
Red
6/15/2020 - Shrages wrote:
89 points
A STEAL on WTSO. Serious dark color, and dense, tarry nose. Rough and tumble mouthfeel and flavor profile. No elegance here, but a hell of a lot of grainy, tarry blackberry. What a great weeknight wine. $10 as part of a $120 case special. I feel like I stole something at the Woolworths.
Red
6/6/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Elegant and intriguing. this wine is unlike most Gigondas in that it has a lean frame, but it shines even without much weight. Medium dark. A black, tarry quality on the nose with also boysenberry and cranberry. Maybe some orange peel. Flavors unsettled for an hour but then very linear and precise, with cherry pit, bitter chocolate, but again without weight. Almost burgundy-like, but darker. Next time I’ll decant for an hour —not for sediment but to give it some air. Interesting and great with food. Best in 2-5 years.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Villars Fronsac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/1/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Concordant with my last review 2 years ago. An excellent wine. Still has some tannin to allow to fade, and the evergreen element feels a little more prominent at this date. Definitely decant. I’ll revise to still 3-5 years to peak.
Red
5/29/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
My first of these. Quite soft and early-drinking. Has a gentle almost sweetness. Not highly extracted — can see through it. Classic nose of pencil lead and saddle, but not impressively powerful there. Flavors true except a bit of hollowness in the middle. A touch of green towards the end. Enough tannin for 8-9 more years best in 4-5. Enjoyable but won’t blow you away.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/28/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
A nice, balanced cru Beaujolais. A bit darker than typical, but low viscosity. Mostly strawberry rhubarb with just a touch of blackberry. Mouthwatering acidity.
Red
5/24/2020 - Shrages wrote:
89 points
On the dark end of Pinot spectrum. Even a touch of orange at rim already, surprisingly. Medium legs. Nice bit of cinnamon and baking spice on nose. Flavors ok but with a bitter metallic note that needs to fade for a couple more years. Also a little hot. Almost feels carbonated on first few sips. Don’t see this ever being great. Good but not at $60!
Red
5/23/2020 - Shrages wrote:
87 points
Meh. Overextracted, simple, clunky.
Red
5/19/2020 - Shrages wrote:
87 points
Disappointing. The flavors are appropriate for Gigondas, but this wine lacks any density in color, nose, flavors, or body. No major flaws, just an underwhelming French country wine that shouldn’t be honored with what I consider to be a high-quality village name attached to it.
Red
2009 Château d'Aurilhac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/14/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Ditto my previous review. Excellent. A baby Lynch Bages. Decant this wine! Still rich and soulful even with the sediment left back in bottle. Saddle leather, underbrush and broken branches, mushroom, a bit of a petrol-type thing, and just a touch of underarm. At or just before peak. Also tastes a lot like one of my other favorite off the beaten path Bordeaux— Caronne Ste Ghemme
Red
5/12/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Really very fine. Rich, fruity, and very clean on the front end. You most definitely get the American oak here, but also with sigificant acid uplift on the back end that raises this wine well above usual modern-styled rioja fare. Brings a smile to the face. Will peak in 2-3 years. I almost gave it a 92, but then I realized I gave an amazing Dunn Cab only a 93. I need to spread out my score compression a bit!!
Red
5/2/2020 - Shrages wrote:
87 points
Soft, even flabby. Dominant nose and flavor is overripe strawberry. Maybe even rotting strawberry. Has also an off-putting medicinal l quality.
Red
4/21/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
This wine has the deep, gamey note of a great Syrah, particularly on the generous nose, yet with the richness of warm-weather, southern Rhône Grenache. A really good wine. I would have guessed 60-70 percent Syrah but apparently it’s mainly Grenache. You will not wish you had your $22 back.
Red
4/18/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
Decanted. Rich, earthy, and musky. Can almost taste the winemakers sweat. Full of potpourri, clove, star anise as well. Murky and warm despite the decant. I have loved this defunct winery’s Anderson Valley Pinots. They are, in a word, characterful.

Retasted 2 months later. Ditto. Rich, musky, full of mushroomy earthy character. A treat. A rare Pinot you must decant - major sediment that’s easily disturbed and will destroy this wine if not carefully handled.
Red
2015 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
4/15/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
Wow. This is just classic, great Chianti. Tastes and smells like the history of rural Italy. Absolutely spot on and delicious. I am just loving this tonight.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1970 Château Croizet-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/12/2020 - Shrages wrote:
84 points
It was fun to taste this old thing, but not something I’d want to make a habit of. Was able to get the cork out in (almost) one piece with a bellame. Looked like a 20 year old, lightweight Pinot, but browner. Initial nose was essentially diarrhea — very sorry, but that’s what came to mind. Thankfully, that blew off after about 2 hours in decanter (couldn’t get near it before that!). At that point, some rotting coconut on the nose, and on palate it could pass for a bad oloroso sherry.
Red
4/10/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
Saucy and sexy. Boy is this juicy and primary. Maybe a hint too much American Oak. Otherwise a beauty.
Red
4/7/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Deep, dark, and satisfying, yet still maintains a nice sense of balance and restraint. Nose is immediately captivating, with bass notes of blackberry and wood, and just a touch of heat, but also something more lifted like raspberry. Less full-bodied than you’d expect based on the nose. Actually goes elegant (for a dao that is) on the palate, with solid fruit in the raspberry/strawberry/celery seed vein. Just enough tannic bite on the finish. I like it. A lot. Near peak now if you like things fresh, but might improve for 2-3 more years.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/31/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
A great value as always. Not as full and blue as some prior years I’ve tasted, but quite good. Mostly raspberry, mustard seed, celery. A bit Cru Beaujolais-like. Great with food.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 DeLille Cellars D2 Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/30/2020 - Shrages wrote:
flawed
Corked. Bummer.
Red
2015 Château Tour Saint-Christophe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/12/2020 - Shrages wrote:
89 points
Modern, highly extracted, overdosed with new oak. Not very thought-provoking, but satisfying. Has a lovely, classy label. Best in 3-5 years.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White
3/11/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
This is really very fine, and almost at peak. Gorgeous nose of honey, white flowers, honeydew melon. It actually overpowered the scent of ACTUAL flowers blooming around the porch where I drank it. Has a clean richness with silkiness too on the mouthfeel. Flavors mimic the nose, and they go on and in to a still nice acid structure finish. I totally unexpectedly loved this wine. I need to find more aged, dry chenin. Will peak in a wonderful way in 1-3 years.
Red
1999 Château Coufran Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/6/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Incredibly fresh and polished. In peak zone now, has 10 more years before it starts to fade.
Red
3/2/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
A+ nose giving away that it’s from SLH from a mile away. A sweet, luscious little Pinot with cherry and spice. Silky smooth. Even better on 2nd night under argon, when the spicy finish had melted away a touch. Killer value at WtSO.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/9/2020 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
This wine is super now. 3 years ago I actually disliked it as a short, iron-heavy French bistro wine. Tonight my wife presented it to me blind and I guessed a medium-high-end California Pinot with high extraction. I’m really enjoying it with airplane-cut pan roasted chicken. It’s pure and clear ruby red. Mostly high-pitched red-fruited nose, but also with some tar/asphalt and cinnamon. Deep flavors with a touch of deft oak, I think. Long with low tannin. Really tasty. A steal.
Red
2015 Château Vrai Canon Bouché Canon-Fronsac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/29/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
Polished, clean, and tightly knit. Balsa and plum on nose. Very good legs and fantastic mouthfeel. Mostly dark fruits on palate, but definitely needs some time. Blackberry and sage after 2hrs. Will be really very fine in 4-6 years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/24/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
This wine screams “Armpit of a beautiful woman.” Awesome.
Red
2015 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/22/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
Totally unexpected. From a Demi. Smells and Tastes like a Chinon or even an old-vines Beaujolais to me. Overwhelmingly red-fruited nose and flavors, with strawberry and even some cranberry. Very little dark fruits or wood tones. Fine grained, tight, but not tough, tannins. Will become easier but not a ton better over time. Hard to believe it’s a Pauillac.
Red
1/22/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
This bottle has minor seepage due to storage in a warming closet, so may have been (beneficially) 3-4 years ahead of the expected aging curve. However, it is delicious. Nose of grilled balsa, warm (not hot), rich dark fruit flavors. Long and generous.
Red
1/10/2020 - Shrages wrote:
88 points
Has a more mature-feeling, bass-note, deeper, component to it than a typical 4 year old chianti - particularly in its impressive nose. Does, however, still have substantial drying tannins. The minor Bret note works well in this wine. Probably best after 2023.
Red
1/8/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
Purple with brown hints. No legs = Light-medium bodied. Very natural, earthy palate and finish. An honest, naturalistic Beaujolais— less fruit than iron/sand character. This is less of a crowd-pleaser than other reviews suggest. I wouldn’t serve it to the casual wine drinking friend who loves rich Cali cabs; save it for a broader-minded, wine-knowledgeable friend who will appreciate it.
Red
1/7/2020 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
I just don’t get many of the prior reviews. This is a highly perfumed, delicious, mouth coating, warm, balanced Cabernet. Very fine. Best non-vineyard-designate wine I’ve had in a long while.
Red
2015 Château Puygueraud Francs Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/3/2020 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
Enjoyed this wine. Has a bit of good funk in the nose. Flavorful and moderately rich, with a nice mouthfeel. Dark fruit and saddle leather and sweat. Like a baby Lynch Bages. Gentle but present tannins. Probably 2-4 years from peak but quite nice with dinner now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
12/29/2019 - Shrages wrote:
flawed
Corked=Bret/premox. No number. Yuk.
Red
2015 Bibbiano Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
12/25/2019 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
There’s a bit more sweetness and fruit in the nose here than in your average Chianti, and that must account for the 93 WS score. Because apart from that minor elevation, this is pretty standard fare for even a non-riserva Classico. Clean, sleek, pretty, and high-acid and short.
Red
12/24/2019 - Shrages wrote:
92 points
Confirmed prior impression with another try of this excellent wine.
Red
12/24/2019 - Shrages wrote:
93 points
A great wine. Even better than last review. Still has 4-6 years of improvement in it, at least.
Red
12/16/2019 - Shrages wrote:
90 points
Nice bright cherry nose and opening flavors, with a bit more red fruit depth than a middling chianti Classico. Proper, low density body. Still, however, quite acidic, and a bit of cough-drop on the finish. Nice, like most chianti, with food. Will improve for 2-4 more years. 89

Retasted 6 months later. More depth, less acidity, hits the chianti craving solidly. 90.
Red
2015 Château Haut-Brisson St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/24/2019 - Shrages wrote:
91 points
Impressive, deep nose of black fruit and oak. Nice acid balance on the palate, with less dark notes and less viscosity than you’d anticipate based on nose. Very fine, but I don’t expect a particularly long life. Peak in 3-6 years
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
11/13/2019 - Shrages wrote:
86 points
Retried (I unfortunately have a few). Flawed. A little Bret and a little VA. This winery charges a lot and never seems to get it quite right. Agree also with others’ mention of “petroleum” (great for Riesling- not so much here) and “medicinal” qualities.
Red
11/6/2019 - Shrages wrote:
87 points
A little too much American oak, a little clumsy, a little too much Almond-skin bitterness. But wudduyuwant for $12??? Not baaaad.
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