Comments on my notes

(78 comments on 70 notes)

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White
2015 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis
3/12/2020 - Lars Bars Likes this wine:
90 points
Beyond drinkable now. Excellent to cook with though
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    3/12/20, 7:26 PM - I opened a bottle a few nights ago that was fantastic. At peak.

Red
2013 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione Alta Valle della Greve IGT Sangiovese
Deep red and opaque, with black center. On the nose and palate was smoke, black fruit, flowers, and licorice. Extremely rich, without being too dense. Nicely balanced structure with ample acidity and very fine tannins.

Very enjoyable bottle that in no way resembles any other Sangiovese I've ever had. Appearance, flavor, and mouthfeel all indicate a SuperTuscan or other Bordeaux blend. My guess is that it is a blend.

Whatever it is, it's very high quality and a pleasure to drink. But it would be nice to know what varietals were used. Anyone know ?
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    1/24/20, 7:32 PM - It’s 100% Sangio. (My source: my friends are friends with Jurij Fiore and visit him every year to drink and dine with him.)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
1/3/2020 - Andrewbdc wrote:
90 points
Baked apples, cooked lemon, biscuit, brioche, honey, hint of nuts. Fully developed. High acidity, medium alcohol and body, rich palate, fine mousse, medium+ finish. Very good quality NV champagne, drinking nicely now. I don't think it will benefit from further ageing, but clearly no hurry to drink up.

Personally I prefer the Charles Heidsieck NV style, which I find fresher, but this is very good too.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    1/3/20, 1:24 PM - I agree! I love the Bolly, but the NV Heidsieck is just a little more in my wheelhouse. I wouldn’t say “no” to either of them, though. ��

Red
2010 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
12/5/2019 - Hi.its.Don.4.Wine Likes this wine:
98 points
Don Juan or Casanova

For the better part of my life I have been referred to as “Don Juan.” I’m not sure why as my prowess as a womanizer falls far short of that definition. Needless, there are those that to this day still use that moniker around me. I guess my reputation could stand “a little” shot to move things along.

Now the term “Casanova” has not been used in that same vein, it’s just a catchy tie-in to the wine that I had the other day.

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2010

Tenuta Nuova means “new property;” a place where nobody has planted Sangiovese before, and the wine named as such is considered by some, myself included, to be the flagship of their winery. Produced from 100% Sangiovese grapes, the grapes undergo meticulous destemming and hand sorting prior to fermentation. Afterward spending no less than 36 months in oak followed by one year in the bottle before it is allowed to be sent out for consumption by those who seek one of the finest examples of Brunello around. Others must also think so as this is only the second wine that I have had that achieved the high honor of receiving TWO 100 Point Reviews!

Breaking open, actually using the good ole Coravin to extend the pleasure received from this wine over a two-day non-consecutive period, the wine for a reasonably special occasion, I knew the wine would only heighten the focus and elevate the pleasure for the day. And it certainly did that!

The wine itself is nothing less than elegant and substantive; opening with deep dark black/blue fruit that melds with a rustic, almost forest-like, quality lending minerality to the wine. The tannins are present but nearing a softness that leaves you with a subtleness that combines with the near-perfect acidity, bringing you closer to a finish that unlocks a spiciness that stays with you for an extended period of time, long enough so you can bask in its magnificence.

You don’t need to be in a rush to open this wine, it has been masterfully crafted to allow many more years of aging to occur before you need to entertain that thought. Should you have multiple bottles on hand however, don’t be afraid to open one as this wine can add to your enjoyment now, just give it an hour or two of decant time.

Though my “Don Juan” status is still in question, there should be none concerning this wine. While the 2010s are probably very hard to come by, newer vintages should be available and from the samples I have had, compare very favorably to 2010, so enjoy.

Cheers
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    12/6/19, 12:17 AM - I think you need to hire an editor. No one needs to read two paragraph all about you before you even begin discussing the wine. It isn’t interesting and it isn’t funny. As for the rest of the review: just because you can write 500 words doesn’t mean you should. Less is more.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
10/29/2019 - Kungcarl1980 wrote:
I
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/29/19, 7:44 PM - You

Red
2016 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Empyrean Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Rutherford
9/19/2019 - HowellMountainCru Likes this wine:
94 points
Coravined a glass to compare against a bunch of other wines tonight. Fully expected this to blow away the others. It was very good but not transcendent. Very full, smooth, opulent wine with wonderful cocoa notes and pleasant dark red fruit. OK nose and finish but nothing outstanding. To me this wine seemed to lack punch or energy and seemed just a tad low in acid.

a 94+ now and I would guess it has a bit more to give. Given the 97 - 100 point CT ratings earlier I just hope I didn't miss this wines peak window.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    9/20/19, 1:02 AM - No worries. It won’t even be close to hitting peak for another 10 years.

Red
1992 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Napa Valley
7/23/2019 - sunnylea57 wrote:
DOA. All acetone, balsamic and brown sugar.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    7/25/19, 4:09 AM - DOA is a common acronym for “dead on arrival” (Google it). Acetone (commonly caused by volatile acidity) is a flaw in wine, and balsamic, brown sugar and soy are found in wines that are oxidized and/or madeirized. No, not enjoyable. Dumpable.

Red
2014 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
7/23/2019 - pudding wrote:
89 points
A little bit disappointed. very tight tannis and decant for an hour. Subtle noise and deep ruby in colour. Texture is not Silky enough. Plum and Cedar. Perhaps it is too early?
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    7/23/19, 5:25 AM - Definitely too early. Give it 10+ years.

Red
2004 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
5/18/2019 - Barnaby33 wrote:
A hot mess of coconut and dill. Brought to Vintage for the, "wines you used to like but no longer do Friday theme." It fit the bill perfectly!
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    5/19/19, 4:11 AM - If I had attended that tasting I would have brought the same wine, for the same reasons.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Larmandier-Bernier Longitude Champagne Premier Cru Chardonnay
4/2/2019 - Wine Canuck wrote:
93 points
Love! This pours a medium straw with flecks of gold. The nose is rich and pleasing of barley sugar, fresh baked pastry, lemon confit, and chalk. Despite being a Blanc de Blancs, it leans to the richer side of things which I love. The palate has immaculate balance with medium acid and dosage and long finish build on fresh pastry notes. Gorgeous.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    4/3/19, 9:54 AM - Agreed! I liked it so much I went deep on it - a case of 12.

  • sunnylea57 commented:

    4/3/19, 10:22 AM - I originally bought 6 from Saratoga @ $48 US, then 2 more at the regular LCBO release price, and 4 more at the clearance price. Still have 5 left. You can still pick it up for $46-47 USD from NJ online retailers.

Red
2016 Marchand & Tawse / Pascal Marchand Bourgogne 47N Pinot Noir
3/16/2019 - ledocq Likes this wine:
88 points
Harmless.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    3/24/19, 7:54 AM - I think that’s their marketing tagline: “First, do no harm”.

Red
2014 Ridge Mazzoni Home Ranch Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
10/10/2018 - sunnylea57 Likes this wine:
92 points
This will likely be even better in time, but really, when it's this enjoyable right now, why wait? Tongue velvet.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    2/21/19, 7:00 PM - Thanks for the tip. I will investigate further.

White
2013 Pearl Morissette Estate Winery Riesling Cuvée Black Ball Twenty Mile Bench VQA
1/2/2019 - AWBryce wrote:
Petrol, citrus bomb, unripe nectarine. Chalky mouthfeel, mediocre palate, medium finish.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    1/21/19, 3:03 PM - Ouch! So, you didn't like it? ;)

White
2016 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis
12/1/2018 - Not647f wrote:
First bottle of the night at our Piemontese wine and food event. Our guests, two wine industry pros (writer/editor and PR person), as well as the spouse of one of those, really like this, so much they were taking pictures of the label to find more. Texas Bob and patwjr are pretty on point there. This may have gone through malo, is my guess, giving it a little added richness and smoothing out the edges. I should look for more, esp as I gave away a couple bottles at the end of the night.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    12/6/18, 12:44 AM - Thanks for the note. It’s a terrific wine. BTW, there’s no malo. Vinification in stainless steel, then it spends another 4 months in stainless and 1 month in bottle before release. Vines are 15-22 years old. I think the richness and creaminess comes from the age of the vines and when the grapes are harvested.

Red
1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
12/8/2016 - Lype Likes this wine:
94 points
A very special wine, worth the praise, people who know their wine tell me Dunn HM requires a lot age but this is ready to drink, meditative, mystic like Big Sur forest, fairly short aftertaste compared to various vintages of Dominus and Opus One consumed in the same tasting but it does not bother me or maybe the aftertaste was simply on the light side compared to the rivals. Heaven.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    11/19/18, 5:14 PM - A very special vintage of a great wine. Glad it showed well for you.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Grand Cellier Brut Champagne Blend
11/12/2018 - sunnylea57 Likes this wine:
90 points
Clean and lemony. Enjoyable but painfully young.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    11/13/18, 4:13 PM - It was indeed. October Classics.

Red
2016 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Rutherford
11/8/2018 - Rob_Sutherland Likes this wine:
95 points
Superb. Large but not massive with a great balance. Certainly not a overwrought cult cab that uses extraction to gain points but this isn't a small wine. Great acidity, fresh, dark fruit, wonderfully smooth tannins.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    11/8/18, 1:53 PM - I put all my Myriad in long term storage, figuring I'd start pulling them out in 4 or 5 years. Think I should open them sooner?

Red
2010 La Dame de Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
11/8/2018 - ledocq wrote:
flawed
Possible heat damage.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    11/8/18, 1:53 PM - Well that's a drag.

White
2012 Domaine Dujac Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay
10/8/2018 - sunnylea57 Likes this wine:
94 points
These have been wildly variable, some sublime, some with overwhelming struck match that wouldn't dissipate. This bottle was on the sublime side of the equation. Just gorgeous. A whiff of matchstick, a palate comprised of lemon, grapefruit, melon, a hint of apricot, some of that saline/minerality/seashore stuff, mouthwatering acidity, and a totally pleasing viscous mouth feel. No sign of oak. A bottle that makes me wish I'd opened it with my wine geek friends, but that also makes me glad I don't have to share it with anyone except Mrs. Sunnylea.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/8/18, 3:13 PM - I thank you for the tip, kind sir!

White - Sparkling
2006 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay
10/3/2018 - rustyRudy Likes this wine:
97 points
Drank to celebrate my wife's birthday . Had with fresh fruit, cheeses and cured meats. I have to agree with Frank Murray III that the finish is the most remarkable attribute of this wine. I did not think it was too sweet or rich for my personal taste however. Great bubbles. Tart lemon and lemon curd, well balanced from start to finish. Terrific bottle of wine but there are other bottles that come close to matching this for less $.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/5/18, 3:20 PM - The NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve is also in the same league as the Bolly NV. It ain’t Comtes, but it’s delicious.

Red
2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert Syrah
9/2/2018 - coremill wrote:
88 points
Certainly suggests N. Rhone, with its nicely savory black fruit. Not horribly oaky, but showed enough wood that it seemed muddled and blurry to me, lacking definition and distinction. This wine got crazy critical reviews, and I don't get that at all.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/3/18, 5:15 PM - Had a 1990 about a year and a half ago that was on fire. Stunning. So yeah, I’d expect this will age very well with proper storage.

Red
2004 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
8/25/2018 - SommJourney05 Likes this wine:
93 points
Deep ruby with garnet hue at the rim. Black currant, licorice and blackberry provide a nice dark fruit component to this wine with leather and cocoa powder playing nicely with the fruit. Cigar box turned pencil case show nicely in this cooler vintage wine with whispers of dried herbs completing the picture. Tannins have softened quite a bit, but they still show a little grip hinting at more life ahead. Very well done.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    9/3/18, 3:53 PM - Good TN. I’m drinking a bottle right now and your description is bang on. I’d also add plum to the palate.

Red
2008 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry Stags Leap District
3/24/2018 - sunnylea57 Likes this wine:
92 points
Drinking very well now but likely has another 10 years ahead of it. Dark cherry, licorice, unsweetened dark chocolate, good acidity, resolved tannins. Velvety.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    9/2/18, 2:55 PM - Just drank a second bottle that was nowhere near ready to drink.

Red
2004 Vietti Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza La Crena
The second bottle I’ve opened and this one was extremely advanced. Heavy prune on the nose, dried fruit and leather on the palate and lingering celery on the finish. Good acidity helped to make this somewhat drinkable, but it wasn’t enjoyable. Poured blind for some knowledgeable folks who thought it might be a late 70s or 1980s Bordeaux blend.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    5/3/18, 2:13 PM - Also from Envoyer. I think I’ll send a note to Greg.

  • sunnylea57 commented:

    8/24/18, 11:31 AM - Greg opened a bottle and said it was excellent. Very fresh. So that was the end of that. I'm a bit surprised that he wasn't willing to do anything about it, but c'est la vie.

White
2014 Caroline Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs-Gain Chardonnay
Wow.

Nothing more articulate than that.

Oh: takes about 90 minutes to get there. But you'll know.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    8/8/18, 3:18 PM - Too funny. I read this tasting note without noticing who wrote it and I knew immediately it was you.

Red
1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
12/2/2017 - WinoRick wrote:
95 points
Several years ago a good friend did a tasting of some old Dunns. I thought they all were tight, tannic and not yet ready. I was worried that they might never be ready.
Nevertheless, last night I opened the '87 Howell Mtn to have with a grilled steak and WOW. It was outstanding... spicy, complex with a long, long finish. No rush, but this baby is finally ready to go.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    12/2/17, 2:50 PM - One of my all time favourite wines. Every 87 Dunn HM I've had has been stunning. Glad yours showed well!

Red
2000 Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso Bolgheri Superiore Red Bordeaux Blend
5/6/2017 - bablues wrote:
94 points
After reading ronte bello's note I checked my bottle and to my surprise, it is 100% Cab Franc. I left a tasting note in 2014 stating that the Cab Franc (at 30%) was really showing. Little did I know then that it was 100% CF. Anyway, this was an incredible bottle. Old world style as you would expect. Cherries and earth dominate with some ash, tobacco and more cherries. Fabulous!
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/15/17, 10:15 AM - It wasn't 100% CF until 2001. The 2000 was 70% CS / 30% CF. I expect that your US distributor mislabelled the bottle. Distributors will typically have their own label on the back.

White
2010 McWilliam's Mount Pleasant Wines Sémillon Single Vineyard Lovedale Hunter Valley
Green gold appearance. Opulent expansive bouquet of lime, mandarin, hay, white flowers, wet earth and a hint of lychees.Balanced palate with vivid definition of flavour. Great balance and length. Drunk at 8 degrees C. Best after 10 minutes in the decanter and starts simplifying at 35 minutes. Riedel Bordeaux glasses. Score 100
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/8/17, 7:25 AM - I like your tasting notes, but I was surprised by your 100 pt score on this, so I took a look at your other scores. I'm curious how every wine you've reviewed has scored 95 points or higher, with a very high percentage scoring 100. How is that possible? Seems like a bit of wishful thinking (or score inflation).

  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/10/17, 5:13 AM - "For me this is a 100 point wine." That says it all. You are not following the standards established for grading wine. A 100 point wine is flawless in every way, with unsurpassable depth, complexity, length, balance. And absolutely perfect expression of the wine. And yet, for this wine you say it "starts simplifying at 35 minutes". You've just established it's not a 100 point wine. Please get over yourself and learn how to grade properly. You're doing a disservice to the community with your scores.

  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/11/17, 6:09 AM - Fair enough, but could I make a request? If you post multiple tasting notes for the same wine, only post your score once. For subsequent notes, you could include your score in the body of the tasting note. The reason: when you post a score multiple times for the same wine, it skews the overall score. An example is the 2007 Woodlands "Margaret". There are 38 tasting notes, and 12 of them are yours. The average community score is 93.1. If you eliminate your 12 scores, the average score is 91.4. You can see how your multiple scores affect the average, and how it is no longer an accurate reflection of community opinion.

White
2012 Domaine Dujac Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay
12/11/2015 - Mrbuzz Likes this wine:
92 points
I've had a few of the Dujac Monts-Luisants Blanc…but never the Bourgogne. Very little of this is made, maybe 3 barrels….and someone noted the fruit comes from the Poisots climate in MsD…but I couldn't find that? Anyone know for sure?? This is a big white…rich in minerals…little sulfur stank out of the gate…match strike…ripe melon, peach, baked apple, lemon, crushed minerals on the nose…..that palate is oily rich, but not too so, just noticeable…..the fruit is white peach, apple, pear, lemon….great intensity of chalky minerals, savory…..plenty of lemon citrus to liven…pretty florals of white flowers, lemon grass, honeycomb wax. Kind of reminds me of a Carillon Les Perrières, Leroy Aligote blend?? Very fun and tasty stuff here!
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    9/12/17, 11:08 AM - The 2012 is available from nywines.com - but they only had 24 bottles. There's very good info about the Dujac Bourgogne Blanc in this thread: https://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=122407 including some posts with background info by Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac.

Red
2008 Château Haut-Bergey Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
8/12/2017 - bullmrkt wrote:
85 points
First of my four bottles and one magnum--this has got to be a new record as far as cost to time in the cellar before opening the first bottle goes (it shouldn't, but it still seems odd to extensively age a $25 bottle). Anywho, I was optimistic given the prior notes and decided that tonight's duck sausage pizza and caprese salad was the time. The nose is a promising waft of classic Bordeaux cassis, and I'm trying to describe the fruit but I'm struggling to put aside the toweringly stiff, bitter, and drying tannins. I have a high tolerance for structured wines (and Bordeaux is among my favs), but these tannins are tough as nails. Drinkable, but a ways from enjoyable. It's difficult to reconcile my experience with the recent notes here, and I want to chalk it up to bottle variation, but this definitely isn't corked. I'll let the others sleep a bit more and cross my fingers that those tannins drop to the bottom of the bottle so the others elements can come forward (assuming they haven't faded themselves).
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    8/12/17, 7:27 PM - I haven't opened one in 2 1/2 years, but my last bottle needed 48 hours to open up. Barely drinkable at first.

White
2010 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Chardonnay
I am too much of an idiot about white wine to do a serious evaluation of this, but: I bought it as a test to see if I could tell the difference between this and a $20 well-regarded bourgogne and a $30 chablis. Answer: not at first. But as it warmed up, the initially clipped finish was longer and more complex. Proved itself capable over the night. So I get why it's $50, but the educational part for me is that the increase in quality is still not enough for me to buy it again. I've bought a few other chablis that people seem to like, and I'll be trying those for the same reason.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    8/9/17, 10:56 AM - A friends shared a 2004 Fèvre Les Clos a few months ago and it was a revelation. So much so that I'm seeking out more Grand Cru Chablis with 10-12 years of age.

White - Off-dry
2007 Weingut Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese Mosel Saar Ruwer
Confirmed: I'm not a riesling guy. Your mileage will definitely vary.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    5/18/17, 12:23 PM - Is it the sweetness that's a turn off? Spatlese Riesling has sugar levels in the range of 200 g/L. Considering that a high dosage Champagne is perhaps 15 g/L, I can understand why you're not a Spatlese Riesling guy.

    But you may be a Trocken Riesling guy: very dry at less than 10 g/L.

Red
1993 Dunn Vineyards Petite Sirah Howell Mountain
5/1/2017 - buckeye76 Likes this wine:
94 points
Have had several bottles of this, but had not tasted for five years, so we picked up some more while at the winery, and it continues to be very impressive. It seems to have not aged a bit since our last tasting. Rich, deep berry fruits in the nose and flavor, nice complexity, and a long finish. This is a great Petite Sirah for drinking now and I'm guessing another five to eight years.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    5/14/17, 6:59 PM - Are they still selling the 93 at the winery? What about the 92?

  • sunnylea57 commented:

    5/18/17, 6:01 AM - Thanks. It appears that they still have the 93, but the 92 is now gone.

Red
2001 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 890 'Selección Especial' Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
10/29/2016 - psmith wrote:
89 points
Even by LRA standards, this is an insane amount of dill. Some pretty, dark, sour cherry notes on the nose and a headiness that begs attention, but the palate is in a tough spot. Medium bodied but a somewhat sour, bitter profile that's not so attractive. Super-firm acidic framing. Needs food. Unimpressive 890 at this stage, and I'm increasingly skeptical of LRA's 2001s.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/31/16, 9:40 AM - That's disappointing. I had hoped the excessive dill was only an issue with the 904.

White - Sparkling
1995 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Blanc des Millénaires Chardonnay
10/23/2016 - aagrawal wrote:
92 points
K&L Champagne Tent Tasting (K&L, San Francisco): Integrated, elegant but rich nose; palate is full bodied, excellent richness with high fresh acid, nice fruit, overall well balanced but expensive for the price of $200. 92
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/24/16, 7:14 PM - $110 elsewhere.

White - Sparkling
2002 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année Champagne Blend
4/13/2016 - sunnylea57 Likes this wine:
95 points
A superb Champagne. Oct 2010 disgorgement. Deep golden yellow colour with a fine yet persistent bead. Rich and full nose and palate that starts and ends with pungent yeast notes. Plenty of other notes that evolved in the glass including mushroom, green apple, lemon curd, a hint of bitter nuttiness...
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    5/25/16, 4:30 AM - I haven't opened a 2004 yet. Resisting temptation. But I've been buying more 2002.

White
1992 Fiorano (Boncompagni Ludovisi) Sémillon Botte 46 Vino da Tavola
5/8/2016 - ledocq wrote:
flawed
Cork came out intact, but from the first pour, red flags: cloudy, unhealthy looking, dehydrated. All apple cider vinegar, no pleasure. Damnit!
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    5/21/16, 8:25 PM - I've had a few bottles that were weirdly compelling and a few more that were much like your experience. The most disappointing thing about this wine is that I have 8 bottles left to drink.

Red
2012 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 555 Rutherford
Keeps getting more integrated. I figured out it's my Thursday wine, meaning a glass Thursday night, two glasses Friday and something to share on Saturday before moving onto something else. Good stuff.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    4/15/16, 12:52 PM - I approve of this plan.

White - Sparkling
2010 Graham Beck "Premier Cuvee" Brut Blanc de Blancs Coastal Region Chardonnay
12/4/2015 - bombolieri wrote:
Clear, medium intensity, lemon green color.

Youthful nose with a medium intensity. Aromas of tropical fruit, lemon juice, green apple and rubber tire. Some autolytic character and notes of oak, baking spice and toast as well.

Dry with a medium acidity in a medium body. Medium intensity with flavors of lemon zest, green pear and toast. Slight bitter, medium finish. Lacking a bit in structure and feels quite flabby. However a decent bottle of bubbly in a bit more rich style.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    3/25/16, 6:51 PM - Thanks. I'm in complete agreement with your note.

Red
2013 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch Atlas Peak
So, yes, I liked it, but there was a point on the second day where, having had enough of the dense alcoholic medicinal flavor in my mouth, I started to wonder if I was actually enjoying the finale of the experience, which was shockingly like the aftertaste of a mai tai at the Tonga Room in the Fairmont Hotel. It's not a rhetorical question - I really do enjoy that feeling, but it's just not the normal wine experience, if that makes any sense.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    3/6/16, 4:59 AM - One word: Ridge.

Red
2004 Tenuta Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio al Vento Sangiovese
2/6/2016 - Wine Canuck wrote:
Chris' Housewarming (Hamilton, ON): A good bottle, but at this stage it seems to be showing a fair bit of oak via coconut and suncreen. Also ripe dark cherry, leather, cassis, and blackberry. The palate is primal and tannic. I think we just caught this one in an awkward spot as I've loved this wine in the past.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    2/7/16, 6:22 AM - Thanks WC. I've been very tempted lately to open one of these, but I'll give it more time.

Red
2014 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Cuvée Marcel Lapierre Gamay
11/19/2015 - chatters wrote:
Beaujolais tasting (Ivy Bottle Shop, Sydney): Medium minus sweet cherry and slight cedar. Savoury cherries, spice as well with some fine, talc-textured tannin. Okay
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    12/23/15, 6:31 PM - How long had it been open? I was underwhelmed the first night, but 24 hours later it was singing. These young Lapierre Morgon can take 2-3 days to come around.

Red
1988 Château Meyney St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
12/6/2015 - nytiger wrote:
91 points
Drank my last 2 bottles of 18 I bought from Sherry Lehman in 1996 for 16.95 and 18.95. Both excellent fine nose color and flavors.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    12/6/15, 7:14 PM - Typo?? You bought 1988 Bordeaux in 1986?

Red
1982 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
10/16/2015 - Rosengoo wrote:
95 points
This was drank with friends at a private home after 90 minutes of decanting. The wine was very clear for it's age and a not too deep orangey red in colour. The nose had quite a bit of citrus on it. In the glass was a great bottle of Petrus with flavours of oranges, lemons, chocolate and some cherries. The tannins and acidity were there but both were quite light. This bottle was certainly showing well tonight and although I think it still has quite a long lifespan ahead of it, I don't think that it can or will improve anymore with time. What a treat to drink!
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/17/15, 7:03 PM - An unforgettable experience. Thank you!

Red
1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
10/10/2015 - WoodieBayArea wrote:
90 points
served at the USC Marshall Partners Casino Party at our place, this was double decanted 24 hours ahead of the party (60 mins in decanter and then back to bottle and gassed), this was just a tad too earthy to rate higher... seems like the fruit was in the far back seat, still another great experience with an old Cali cab... such a goldmine for those of us living in CA, also had the '86 and the '96 on this night
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    10/14/15, 3:16 PM - Perhaps decanted for too long? I've had 3 or 4 bottles of the 87 in the past year, and at most it only needed a slow ox or a quick 1 hour decant.

Red
1966 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
8/23/2015 - ledocq Likes this wine:
93 points
The score? Arbitrary. I could have picked a 92 or a 94 just as well. The question you'll have if you encounter a bottle in the wild is "might it still be any good?" The answer: hell yes. If you find some of this and it looks like it was stored well, take the plunge. This is my third 1960s classified Bordeaux and it was easily the best (the other two, a 1964 Haut Brion and a 1966 Latour, were both in different ways rather tired). I have noticed tasting notes for 40+ year old Bordeaux cite leather and spicebox and tobacco -- sure, why not. I suppose this tastes like that. I did not separate components out -- this was just a full-on inchoate, inexpressible experience that in a way isn't finished yet.

I am starting to understand that very good Bordeaux begins to share a common thread as it gets older, and this bottle was right on the beam that way, a post-fruit, post-exuberance, mellow, lengthy, hypnotic gaze into vast natural processes like growing sequoias, the ocean etching into sea glass, a river turning granite into canyon. I kept thinking "fifty years ago, this tasted like a grape, then it tasted of fruit, then it probably shut down, then it had secondary characteristics and now it shares more in common with the '64 Rioja I had than with any wine made after 1982." If you think of Bordeaux aging like a spectrum, this is into the ultraviolet of taste, something so far beyond the visible that it taxes the imagination to describe. This is what the view from Pluto looks like.

The image on CT of this bottle is the bottle I drank - it has the Cruse sticker on it. The fill was shockingly high, just too the neck, and we wondered if it was refreshed at some point. Maybe. But the cork was a freakin' disaster, so maybe not.

Served at Park Tavern, SF, by a very nervous somm who took a good five minutes to get the cork out (soaked, intact) and who noted that he was afraid to decant it. Good idea. We had small pours all night. The aroma was that vivid old motorcycle jacket and men's club kind of thing, and the opening taste surprisingly just a tiny bit tannic. But then it opened up (hey there, TRUFFLES!) and my companions and I -- both of them very experienced with elderly wines -- were excited. This was easily the best Bordeaux from the '60s they'd had, too. Great with blue cheese and some manchego-like sheep cheese. I worried it was going to die, but 90 minutes later, it was still good -- but sure, it was fading a little. At the end there was so much sediment we probably had to give up an ounce or so to Bacchus, but really, not a problem.

As I think about it more, I realize too that this is not the ultimate wine experience for me. In other words, I don't think my 2010 Bordeaux is going to be most enjoyable in 2059 -- as many others have already pointed out, one of the joys is exploring what it means as a wine progresses along that spectrum from infrared grape to ultraviolet gerontology.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    8/24/15, 9:12 AM - Lovely. You took me there with you.

    Bonus points: it was likely the first TN to describe the wine experience as "full-on inchoate". Wa-hoo!

Red
1999 Castelgiocondo (Marchesi de' Frescobaldi) Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
4/5/2015 - Vilim Uzicanin wrote:
95 points
Once I said Italians can't mature for more than 10 years. Now it's time to admit that I was wrong. Castelgiocondo 1999 has proven that.
Colour still impenetrable, after 15 years. Little of brick rims but that's all.
Obviously perfectly matured in my cellar for more than 10 years, ready for drinking now.
Italian aristocracy and the best old Brunello I have ever tasted.
Different, taste like old Bordeaux 1996 or 2000 left bank. Cigar box, cinnamon, cedar and even trace of fig marmelade. Harmony and pleasure in every sip. Paired with roasted lamb for an Eastern lunch. Frescobaldi...cappello giù!!!
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    4/5/15, 6:05 AM - Glad you saw the light re: aged Italian reds. Barolo from good vintages is barely drinkable for at least 10-15 years - especially those from traditional producers. And 1999 is still a relative baby for a good Barolo or Brunello.

  • sunnylea57 commented:

    8/6/15, 4:33 PM - I just opened the first of my 99 Castelgiocondo. What a sublime treat! Your note comparing it to a left bank Bordeaux is bang on. And despite what others have said, this wine is still in its prime. It is definitely at its peak, but I don't think it will be fading any time soon.

  • sunnylea57 commented:

    8/10/15, 3:26 AM - Thanks for the recommendation. I already have the 2010 Cavallotto B. B. in my cellar and I'll look forward to trying it at some point in the future!

Red
2009 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
7/13/2015 - ledocq Likes this wine:
97 points
First from a case bought at auction. Decanted and kept chilled in a tub of water for 5 hours (which is crucial). For the hell of it, I had a sip at pnp, and the nose was magificent and mysterious, with the familiar PC cedar and depth...and then more depth, sort of like realizing the mineshaft suddenly has a whole new vein you didn't know about if you had the '03 or '06 or '08. I actually had the thought "Oh my lord, I'm smelling eternity." Tasting it, however, was stupid. It was like being flung into the middle of a Jackson Pollack of confusing elements that finished with a cassis blowtorch. Five hours later, however, I was having an experience that seems pretty much like most people's from their notes: a little bit of "uh-huh" and a whole lot of "oh yeah." It kept getting better and by the 8th hour open, it was elegant yet robust, and the finish was endless, sun goes down moon comes up, oh it's still going on. And this might sound nuts, but I was starting to get notes that reminded me a bit of the '66 Haut Brion in that post-fruit, post-exuberant maturity. Not that it's anywhere near there, just that like seeing on-coming lights on the highway, you know there's something out there, approaching, eventually. This is magnificent and all that they say.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    8/1/15, 2:16 AM - To think you have a caseful (less one) of these experiences ahead of you!

Red
1990 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric dël Fiasc Nebbiolo
7/21/2015 - sunnylea57 wrote:
flawed
DOA. Tired, soy-driven palate. Undrinkable.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    7/22/15, 8:11 AM - Likely just this bottle. I had a second bottle from the same source back in December 2014 and it was very good.

Red
2004 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
6/22/2015 - Old School Fan wrote:
83 points
Very, very odd bottle of Ardanza. It was certainly off -- extremely oaky and almost no fruit. I suspect it was slightly corked as I know cork taint can manifest itself by killing fruit without its usual "damp basement" characteristic, but I'm not 100% convinced at this point.

I'm a bit concerned about La Rioja Alta wines in general. Of a recent case of Vina Alberdi 2007, I'd say 5-6 bottles showed similarly -- very oaky vanilla and coconut and almost no fruit. They were actually very unpleasant. Now, I've tasted a similarly odd bottle of Ardanza. I've drunk too much great Ardanza (and Alberdi) so I know these bottles aren't typical, but I've had too much bad LRA lately.

I did not mark this as "flawed" even though I am almost certain it is, because I'd like any feedback from others on what I've been experiencing with LRA.
  • sunnylea57 commented:

    6/22/15, 6:21 PM - Haven't had any issues with 04 Ardanza, but the last few bottles of 2001 LRA 904 have had an overpowering level of dill from the oak. Undrinkable. And a friend reported the same thing.

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