Tasting Notes for mpdonnel

(219 notes on 209 wines)

1 - 50 of 219 Sort order
Red
2003 Château Duhart-Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/19/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
92 points
Really nice, mich better than previous bottle earlier this year. Decanted 60 min. Dark fruits, cedar and smoke, tastes like a hot vintage but not too much. In a good place, should be for a few years.
Red
2003 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/1/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
Disappointing showing given the other reviews. Fruit nearly gone. Almost all secondary, with excessive cedar. Maybe a bad bottle, but stored since purchased en primeur.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/1/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
93 points
Best bottle yet. The alcohol has integrated nicely, so now a very balanced wine, with bright, smooth red fruit. Still seems very primary so interested to see where it goes from here. With the structure I think it has lots of life left.
Red
2012 Château Monbousquet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/1/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
Big wine for bordeaux. Dark fruits, cedar on the palate. Fruit a bit fading but still present. Still has some tannic discord. Overall good, not sure if it's getting better.
Red
9/1/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
90 points
Medium red fruits, a bit smoky which was unexpected. Nice smooth tannins and a good amount of acidity to keep it lifted. Great with food.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/1/2020 - mpdonnel Does not like this wine:
86 points
Dull aroma of cherry and cola. Palate is very thin and flat. Disappointing. I've liked the other vineyards from Ken Wright in 2014 so maybe it's just this one.
White
9/1/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
90 points
Interesting wine. Salmon color, but no tannins, very smooth with some slightly richer fruits. For me this was lacking just a touch in acidity and it came off a slighty flat. Really close to being excellent.
Red
8/5/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
flawed
Maybe a storage issue as I bought at auction, but wine was well past peak. No fruit, lots of oak notes. Tried it over 24 hours and never woke up.
Red
8/5/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
Good napa cab. Not a lot of complexity, but smooth tanins and ripe sweet fruit.
Red
8/5/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
89 points
Grainy and sweet, stewed fruits, lots of sediment. Seemed like it was past it's peak.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/5/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
88 points
Had a glass from coravin, and then remaining bottle over the course of 4 hours. I thought it was over-oaked, had a decent nose, but never opened up and had very little fruit on the palate. Possibly needs more time, but I'm not a big fan where it's at right now.
Red
1988 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/4/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
flawed
Over the hill. Tried it over 5 hours and it did not improve. Poured it out, life’s too short.
Red
6/3/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
92 points
Lovely expression of grenache, and great value. Light bodies, with bright red fruits, good acidity and a bit of structure, but very smooth tannins. Clearly meant to drink young, great with food and a nice alternative to a pinot.
Red
6/3/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
90 points
Holding up nicely, darker red fruits, but still fresh, smooth tannins. Not a lot of complexity, but an easy drinker. Enjoyed with ribs. Not a great value however.
Red
6/3/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
92 points
Stewed red fruits, tar, herbs, a hint of rose. Secondaries are emerging nicely, but the fruit is still present. After about an hour open it was in a really nice place. No hurry to drink.
Red
6/3/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
88 points
High toned red fruits, medium acidity, lacking some body and depth.
Red
6/3/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
Drinking well, but didn't seem to have a sense of place. Nice syrah, but as another review suggested, could be syrah from anywhere. Enjoyed the wine but won't be searching this one out.
Red
2017 Paul Lato Matinee GSM Santa Barbara County Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
5/22/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
Nice GSM blend, ready for action. Dark fruits, some herbs and earth. Very smooth on the palate.
White
5/22/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
90 points
This is a really nice entry level Chardonnay from Paul Lato, at a great price point. Initially the oak is evident, but not offensive. After an hour or two of air, it starts to integrate a bit, and orchard fruits emerge, with a nice crisp acidity. I'll be interested to see how this ages, but it drinks well now that my remaining bottles might not make it through the summer.
Red
5/22/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
Holding up well, probably on a slight decline. Stewed red fruits, some good funk, very smooth. Fruits seem to have faded a bit. I'd be drinking over the next year or two.
Red
2014 Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Willow Creek District Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
5/22/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
94 points
Big, bold, powerful, balanced. But I still think I drank it too young, or without enough air. Decanted for an hour, there was still a massive tannic wall. But also big purple fruits, some menthol and underbrush. It's a beautifully crafted wine. For my palate, I'd prefer a few more years of bottle age/settling.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
5/22/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
Orchard fruits, butterscotch, nicely integrated oak. This is more Burgundian in style, and has developed nice secondary characteristics, yet still has enough acid to keep it going. I like where it's at, and likely will drink the rest of mine over the next 6-12 months.
Red
5/22/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
93 points
Big fan of this wine, and this bottle was singing. Dark fruits, big and bold aromas, palate is very smooth and developing some secondary notes. May improve, but in a great place.
Red
5/22/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
89 points
Quite tight upon opening, oak and alcohol evident at first. It evened out after an hour or two. Dark red fruits, some chocolate. Even better on night two, with the fruit gaining a bit of sweetness (maybe more the tannins backing off). Good effort at this price point.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/3/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
89 points
Better showing on my third bottle. Nice clean bright red fruit. Went well with pasta. Good value.
White
4/20/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
This is the second bottle I've had of this, last one about a year ago. I agree with other note that this may be a bit past prime. It was very nice, balance, but lacked the tension that these can have. Paul Lato has become one of my favorite new world chardonnays, but this one was not quite there.
Red
4/20/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
flawed
Unfortunately this bottle was bad. Auction purchase where others were great. It happens.
White
4/20/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
89 points
Pleasant surprise for a villages level burg. Nice orchard fruits, a touch of oak, and good acidity. Lacked depth on the mid-palate, but that's not to be expected at this price point. Really great value.
White - Sparkling
4/20/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
90 points
I was expecting the Brut Nature to be more acidic and crisp, but this is clearly not from Champagne. It had more round fruits, a bit tropical, with decent acidity, and a bit of sweetness from the fruit. A really good value for an everyday bubbles.
Red
2013 Saxum Broken Stones Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
4/17/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
94 points
Huge wine. Had via coravin as dessert, then the rest a few days later. Big dark fruits, powerful tannic structure. It's very well made, I'd prefer to wait a few years for it to mellow a bit, but certainly not too young to drink.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/13/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
In a good place. Typical CdP red fruits and garrigue. Palate very smooth, if a bit thin.
Red
2000 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
4/13/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
92 points
These wines always seem to need a decant. Gave this one about 2 hours and it opened up nicely. Rich, red fruits, some spice and funk on the nose. Palate was smooth, roasted red fruits. These are great.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/13/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
87 points
I don't really get it. Big fruits, lots of funk, not a lot of balance.
Red
4/13/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
94 points
This wine is singing right now. Sweet red fruits, a bit of earthy tones developing. Smooth on the palate with a great finish.
Red
4/13/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
93 points
In a great place. Candied red fruits, beautiful nose, incredibly smooth. Only complaint is that it's a bit light on acidity. Perfect match for roast salmon.
Red
4/13/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
89 points
I was a little disappointed with this wine. Came across a bit disjointed. Deep purple. Grainy tannins. Dark red fruits, some gamey notes.
Red
4/13/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
My experience with this cuvee across vintages is that it's highly variable. This bottle was really nice, especially after some air. Lifted red fruits, minerality, some floral aromas. Great with food.
Red
4/13/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
This is a very pleasing wine, if not overly complex. Agree with others that it's not a typical pinot, very big in style, but is also very integrated. I will gladly drink this wine again as I have a second bottle that was gifted, but would not buy it at this price. Far better wines out there for half as much.
Red
3/27/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
Unlike first bottle, drank this over two nights. Same notes for first night, but this got much better on the second night. Really nice aromas of dark red fruit, earth and tobacco. Palate was very smooth and everything seemed to drop into balance. Great value.
Red
3/17/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
90 points
No notes. Good with food. Wife liked much more than I did. Avg out to 90.
Red
3/17/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
90 points
Part of a mixed lot auction purchase that I figured may be a pour-out, but was pleasantly surprised. That said, it was nothing special. Good dark cherries, garrigue, some funk. Palate was rich stewed fruit (not in a bad way) and spice, but had a bit too much heat from the alcohol. Even after a few hours it didn't dissipate. I would drink these sooner rather than later.
Red
3/17/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
93 points
Tasted on opening and was tightly wound. After decanting about 2 hours, lovely aromas of rose, tar and mid-toned red fruits. Palate was very smooth, tannins were tame. Cherry fruit on the palate, but definitely evolved. I think this is in a great place, and should remain for a number of years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/16/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
89 points
Good value super Tuscan. Not a lot of complexity, mostly red fruits with some acidity from the Sangiovese. Went well with lasagna.
Red
3/16/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
flawed
Was excited to try this to compare with other Rhone 78s. Unfortunately this bottle was gone - despite perfect storage since release a sunken cork and it was undrinkable.
Red
3/16/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
95 points
This is about as good as Gigondas gets. Even at 13 years still very fruit driven and primary. Dark red fruits, spice, seamless balance. Quick decant and it was great, though I suspect this could benefit with more time in a decanter.
White
3/16/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
92 points
Stone fruits, petrol, good minerality. I've had a number of these over the past few years and to me it's in an in-between phase, not primary, but not quite enough tertiary notes to be really interesting as these can get. Still very good, but I'm going to give the next one some more time. 92 today, 94 potential.
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
3/10/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
92 points
In a really good place. Bright red fruit, typical CdP garrigue, incredibly smooth on the palate with a nice finish. Only complaint was that the finish was a bit hot. That could improve with some additional time, but really like where it's at today.
Red
3/10/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
89 points
Disappointing, especially given the price. Decent on the nose, with red fruits, but really disjointed on the palate. Maybe a bad bottle. Wouldn't buy this vineyard again.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/10/2020 - mpdonnel Likes this wine:
91 points
Nice for a lesser vintage. Deep, dark fruits, earthiness, some grainy tannins. Nose didn't give too much, but the palate was quite smooth. Maybe gets a bit better with time, but good now.
Red
3/10/2020 - mpdonnel wrote:
87 points
From coravin and then finishing bottle. Smells like new oak. Still astringent on the palate. This is my third bottle and I just don't quite get what others like about it. Even after being in glass for a few hours didn't yield much. Maybe it's too young.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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  • Tasting Notes: 219 notes on 209 wines
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