Comments on my notes

(19 comments on 18 notes)

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Red
2006 Larkmead Vineyards Firebelle Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
5/24/2019 - Jimaronson Likes this wine:
96 points
Had this wine tonight with rack of lamb. The wine was compared to 2000 Leoville Barton. The Larkmead took an hour more to open up, but developed into a medium to full bodied, silky, wine with strawberry and complex attributes. A thoroughly enjoyable wine, and although it did not have the graphite and pony barn of the Barton wine, the Larkmead held it's own in it's own way, and was truly delicious.

It was the perfect comparison of French versus California. It's important to understand that the larkmead wine is not made like a typical young fruit forward cab. This was not a tasting to see whether one was better than the other. The comparison of the wines was really to see that each wine had perfection in its own way. The California cab could never be like the French Bordeaux. Vice versa, the Bordeaux could never be like the California cab. The Barton wine was so integrated and mature that it was not overwhelming. Neither was the larkmead super fruit forward without complexity. In the end, the group preferred the 2000 Barton over the 2006 larkmead because of the additional complexity, but that was only evident in the comparison in the wines and on their own they would have both rated similar scores.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    5/25/19, 4:04 AM - You reference the 2000 and 2003 Barton in this note. Which was it? Love the note in its comparison of Bordeaux v. California which gives each its due.

  • gew71walsh commented:

    5/25/19, 4:07 AM - You reference the 2000 and 2003 Barton in this note. Which was it? Love the note in its comparison of Bordeaux v. California which gives each its due.

Red
2006 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Red Rhone Blend
4/23/2019 - gew71walsh wrote:
86 points
Based on prior comments, don't know whether this is waning or result of bottle variation, because it was rather thin with the fruit rather muted. Seemed in balance, but no complexity. Drinkable, but not memorable.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    4/24/19, 2:39 PM - Decanted and drank over two days

Red
2004 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
4/22/2019 - gew71walsh wrote:
93 points
Dark, burgundy red in color. Nose of raspberries and other red berries. On the palate, fruits evident with mocha and leather. Smooth tannins that are almost silky. Finish is a light and delicate aftertaste. Very enjoyable with and without food.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    4/24/19, 4:58 AM - Decanted about two hours before and poured back into bottle to take to wine tasting event.

Red
2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
Something was off,must have been the bottle and how it was stored. Had an almost spritzy feel to it. Could tell it was complex beneath that but was almost undrinkable. Disappointing, and not just because of what was spent on the bottle....
  • gew71walsh commented:

    11/13/17, 7:54 AM - A number of CT comments have noticed the same thing, including me. My bottle had been stored perfectly from date of receipt. No one has been able to explain it to this point. I will attempt to inquire of the winery, as this seems to be a persistent issue, and let you know what I find. P.S. it was my first bottle of James Berry, so I have no comparable point of reference.

Red
2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
6/18/2017 - rpk99 Likes this wine:
93 points
The fizzy is disappearing, but no reason to pop another one for around 5 more years. Great juice, velvet fruit on entry resolving into a bit of a tannic beast. Yum yum....
  • gew71walsh commented:

    7/6/17, 8:53 AM - I have noticed a number of comments regarding a 'fizziness' to this wine. I experienced it in my first and only tasting of a 2012 Saxum James Berry and it was disconcerting. I did not know if it was flawed. Does it really go away with time, and what causes it? Anyone know?

Red
2000 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
10/20/2016 - jonanator wrote:
PnP'd, in hindsight, this would do well with a few hours in decanter. Gorgeous wine with a distinct St Julien nose. Didn't quite show as well as the bottle from last year, but could be the bottle preparation. Just seemed a little more closed than the last bottle.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    10/24/16, 1:53 PM - I had same issue between a bottle opened May of this year and one opened April of last year. Purchased same time, stored in same manner. Thought I would hold last bottle for a couple of years in hopes that it will come out of it.

Red
2011 Ca' Marcanda (Gaja) Magari Toscana IGT Red Bordeaux Blend
5/17/2016 - gew71walsh wrote:
90 points
More of a new world style. Fresh red and black fruits. Balanced and somewhat complex. Drank with other Tuscan wines (Sangiovese based as well as Super Tuscans) and paired with various Tuscan meats and cheeses, bruschettas and crostinis.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    7/3/16, 5:13 AM - Glad to be of assistance. Don't know who your team is, but Go Iceland from my perspective.

Red
2011 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Seventy Four - Forty One Napa Valley
Very good for a 2011. Pretty firm with some red and black fruit hiding behind some strong tannins. Needs time, and I would like to try another vintage.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    3/21/16, 5:05 AM - I agree with the comment on the 2009s. Also have tasted the 2012, which is excellent, but still needs time to integrate.

Red
2012 Round Pond Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
2/4/2016 - wineotim wrote:
91 points
Too soft and oaky for me. Oh...and no Rutherford dust.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    2/9/16, 7:07 AM - Got your comment on the Caymus. We are on other side of Fla., but at some point need to get to Bern's Steakhouse--my son sent me a picture of their wine cellar and stated my little "closet" doesn't measure up. Also have this Round Pond in my little "closet" so interested in your take on it. Email is fangiant@cfl.rr.com for future reference.

White
2013 Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay Carneros
1/27/2016 - vintage1949 wrote:
94 points
Sorry if I elaborate on this wine. I only do so as I am worried the best part of this wine is missed. First take out of the refrigerator and decant it for 15 minutes. This is not a wine to be hurried. I use (and anything will do) Bordeaux Riedel glasses. Fill the glass about 1/8 full. If you take the palm of your had while swirling and you get a good chill the wine is too cold. I find taking my time releases incredible aromas that are balanced with perfect acid to be refreshing. I cannot tell you how many times a guest at our house comes back with a glass that has been nursed for an hour-Dave-you have to smell this-this is incredible-please take a taste. Of course that magic window does not last forever. Simply filling up a glass halfway and drinking it is like pulling the turkey out of the oven a couple hours to early. Well that was not the best metaphor but you get the idea. The wines charms for some reason-needs to be beguiled out of the glass. But the slow process warms the senses and soul. Dave
  • gew71walsh commented:

    1/29/16, 4:20 AM - It appears you have uncovered what most Americans do incorrectly according to experts-- drink their Burgundy/Chardonnay too cold right out of the refrigerator (about 37 degrees F.). Such wines smell and taste much better at 45 degrees F.

Red
2012 Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
1/28/2016 - vintage1949 wrote:
89 points
Something has happened to this wine. Years ago it was a little on the sweet side but balanced with dark fruit with some complexity. To my taste it now does not have that full rich fruit and is lacking in complexity. Maybe a bad bottle but it just does not match up to years ago. Is it just me? Dave
  • gew71walsh commented:

    1/29/16, 4:16 AM - See if your recognition of change in this wine coincides with it no longer being produced by Orin Swift (two or three vintages ago). I enjoyed it more when it was an Orin Swift wine.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
1/28/2015 - Maleko wrote:
Saw the bottle on the shelf at Safeway. Read through some of your comments and have decided it may not be worth the risk.
They are asking $74.99, is that too high?
  • gew71walsh commented:

    1/29/15, 6:04 AM - Before having major concerns about the significant number of bad reviews, notice that a substantial number of them are contributed by reviewers who review and/or own very few wines--in a number of cases, it is their only review. There appears to be a herd mentality here that allows some CT people to feel comfortable bashing a wine only because others have done so.

Red
2010 Quilceda Creek Red Wine Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/4/2014 - iamandyc Does not like this wine:
88 points
I don't get this wine at this point -- thinking it could get nice in many years but isn't this the "drink now" Quilceda?? Very tight, tannic that tastes like sucking on dirty dark chocolate covered charcoal briquettes. Tried over three days. Performed best on day #3. Long bitter finish. Nose is pure graphite and heat. Score reflect day #3.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    12/5/14, 7:22 AM - Saw that we had substantial overlap in wines in cellar. Added you as friend. Look forward to your future reviews.

Red
2012 Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
3/25/2014 - JustOneMore wrote:
88 points
Upon opening, a hint of classic manure aroma from good pinot. However, the lush, jammy plum predominates on the palate. This is almost like a "plum butter", taking away from structure. Won't stop me from finishing the bottle, but not my favorite pinot.

Yes, I know it's a Zin now, but you couldn't tell. On Day One, it was more like a Poorly structured pinot.

Day Two: preserved only with cork, no VacuVin. The dark plum has become more like blueberry, and some of the spiciness has developed. Still not my favorite.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    3/26/14, 7:52 AM - Check your notes on this wine--it is a zinfandel blend, not a pinot noir.

Red
2006 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
12/13/2013 - GTFreek wrote:
Just had a taste but obviously quality stuff. Lots of fruit, mid-palate, and structure. Blew an '07 Caymus off the table.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    12/14/13, 4:30 AM - I would not make this comment to the amateur reviewers onCT, but to you as a professional. Therefore, I hope you take it as helpful and not critical. Palette is an item on which you mix paints; palate is the roof of the mouth that provides the ability to taste. I look forward to your future reviews.

Red
2010 Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
12/3/2013 - bacchus wrote:
93 points
This wine was served at the antinori dinner at Undici Restaurant in Rumson, New Jersey. I had a few sips. Chose to drink at the end of the meal without food which was a bit too rich to pair well. The wine had been poured 30 minutes before serving and remained in the glass for two hours. Also had a few subsequent pours from open bottles. I found the wine to be very approachablbe. Not overly tannic. Dark color. Beguiling nose with multiple layers unfolding over time. Luscious fruit as well as dusty cocoa. Each sniff and taste leaves you wanting more. Vic Rallo says it is like kissing your first girlfriend. Can't wait to see how this develops. Although I am not sure it will go 15 years, it will certainly evolve over the next 8 to 10 years.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    12/6/13, 7:16 AM - Don't normally chat with people, but two things intrigued me. We are New Jersey shore people from way back and were regulars at the predecessor to Undici in Rumson, the Hook, Line and Sinker. Will have to give Undici a shot, if he runs Antinori dinners, etc. We are still in central NJ, but mostly in northern Fla, in Palm Coast, between Daytona and St. Augustine. Second intriguing factor is your dream wine of Insignia--I am a similar lover and have a vertical from 2002 through 2010 (have already consumed 1994 through 2001). I notice that our cellars have many similar labels, albeit with yours having older vintages. If you are traveling through on your way to southern Fla (we are exit 289 on I-95), let me know if you would want to get together to down some Insignia.

Red
2008 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
9/15/2013 - IGN WINESNOB Likes this wine:
91 points
Good not great from JPInsignia. Finished day 2 and about the same. Not sure if the brain was shut off or what. Waiting on others for a while.
  • gew71walsh commented:

    9/17/13, 1:21 PM - I have been an Insignia fan for about 15 years. I started with the 1994s and have been drinking ever since. My believe is that you should not drink these too young, ( I noticed that you have commented on a number of the more recent vintages), but should give them between 10 and 15 years. I just finished my 1997s and 1999s (wish I had more), but have not yet touched the 2002s on up. If you have patience with them, they are superb in that drinking range, even though the drink well at an earlier age.

Red
2008 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
5/23/2012 - Button Yang Likes this wine:
95 points
Amazing. I used to be an anti-new-world drinker but this wine, however, made me less subjective when drinking new world wines. Complex,deep, concentrated. The 2008 is already accessible but it will enter dormant period in the following 5 years. I have had a 1996 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon before, which impressed me a lot, who can tell me how long will it take to reach fully-developed stage? Monster!
  • gew71walsh commented:

    9/17/13, 8:33 AM - I have had a rolling vertical in Insignia since 1994, but have only 2001 through 2010 remaining. My personal opinion is that they drink well at just about any time, but are at their best between 10 and 15 years. I have not had one later than that, but I am sure that they can hold up for a longer time--I tend to get impatient and want to drink mine while I still can.

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