Tasting Notes for nvandyk

(392 notes on 330 wines)

1 - 50 of 392 Sort order
Red
1991 Dalla Valle Maya Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
I love Maya. However I have had a growing concern that some of these rich fruit bombs in California don't age as well as some predict. We drank this along with a 2007 Maya and some other gems (a 1995 La Tache was corked, a 2002 Bryant Family was amazing, a 1996 Beringer Cab was also terrific). The 2007 Maya was a GORGEOUS wine. The 1991 was nothing but raisins and prunes. It tasted more like an overripe zinfandel than the beautiful wine that it is. Perhaps it was a bad bottle, although it wasn't corked or oxidized and had no off flavors. It had just become flabby in the extreme. Maybe it's my palate; perhaps others enjoy this state of the wine more than me. But it's rare -- in fact basically unheard of -- that I can't finish a glass of Maya, and I didn't get through this one. The 2007, on the other hand, is drinking beautifully right now. So for my money, somewhere between 10 years and 25 years this wine starts to change in character in a fairly pronounced way, and some will like it while others may not.
Red
12/31/2018 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
98 points
The first time I've had this wine, other than a memorable tasting at the estate courtesy of the lovely owners, where it really knocked my socks off. I can only guess that it integrates with a few years of bottle age (even in such a forward year) and what was once monolithic and over the top is now extremely rich and hedonistic but not at all out of balance. This is a lovely wine, dense, with a lot of chocolately soil coming through to go with rich Napa fruit.
Red
11/16/2018 - nvandyk wrote:
98 points
This is a phenomenal wine and was drinking quite well even though this is an early date relative to the prescribed drinking windows. I haven't had a Diamond Creek in 20 years -- I gather recent vintages have been a return to form for the winery but whatever the case, this is outstanding!

Very rich but not overblown; reminds me of a forward vintage of Araujo.
Red
11/6/2018 - nvandyk wrote:
97 points
This was surprisingly outstanding. I've been thinking some of the Kistler-created pinots have been a hair overrated recently so I thought before purging my cellar of these I would try one and I'm glad I did. It's an extremely rich, well balanced, well made wine. I hope I didn't drop off the mailing list!!
Red
7/7/2018 - nvandyk wrote:
flawed
CORKED!!! MON DIEU!!!!
Red
7/3/2018 - nvandyk wrote:
95 points
This is an outstanding bottle of wine from a producer that has only rarely, for me, lived up to the lofty expectations. This is Dominus-like in that it presents Napa fruit but in a way that is more elegant than bombastic. Drinking really well right now; I'm looking forward to my remaining bottles!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/11/2018 - nvandyk wrote:
99 points
Drank this a few weeks after arrival...knowing that it was awfully young despite its vintage because it spent 3.5 years in oak before bottling. That said, an early view is incredibly promising...

It possesses the richness one would expect from JW's wines, but a finesse and refinement that was even more surprising. This is simply extraordinary.

He challenged the good folks at Penfold's to a taste-off of any vintage of Grange head to head against his Ancient Way. Frankly I hope they accept -- because there won't be a winner or a loser, just two examples of the best that can be made in Australia.

Bravo, JW!
Red
1976 Penfolds Grange South Australia Shiraz Blend, Syrah (view label images)
4/30/2017 - nvandyk wrote:
98 points
Drank to celebrate Parker's acceptance at Marymount.

Based on my last note from a couple of years ago I was a little trepidatious...but while this seemed port-like upon opening, after an hour it was perfection. Even at this age, needs a decant of an hour before it starts showing properly. I think it's got a few more years left in it -- I've got one bottle left and am waiting for a sufficient occasion!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Peter Michael Les Pavots Knights Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/7/2017 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
98 points
At this particular point in its life, this is perhaps the best Peter Michael Les Pavot I have ever tasted. A big, big wine that never veers into flabby territory. Beautiful rich nose, wonderful red currant with a streak of chocolate from the cab franc tempered by a little sweetness from the merlot. A lengthy finish makes this a wine that you want another sip of before your palate is done with the previous one.

This is an absolutely marvelous wine. It shows no sign whatsoever of being tired at year 10, at least another 10 years of life ahead of it but drinking so well right now that I seriously doubt my remaining bottles will last that long.

This one is worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as a 1994 Dominus -- maybe even the 2002 Harlan Estate: if not it's equal, it's pretty damn close. One of the best California cabs I've ever had.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2014 Morlet Family Vineyards La Proportion Doree Sonoma Coast Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
7/17/2016 - nvandyk wrote:
99 points
Profound. Far and away the best California white Bordeaux I've ever experienced. The high proportion of Semillon makes this less like a SB and more like…well, I dunno other than an extremely rich version of an Haut Brion blanc or something. I'm sure it doesn't have a 50 year aging potential like a great HB Blanc. I'm also pretty sure it doesn't matter.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Dominus Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/16/2016 - nvandyk wrote:
flawed
Corked!
Red
7/2/2016 - nvandyk wrote:
100 points
In this style, wine doesn't come better. Those who are afraid of big, lush, ripe cabs with more than 12% alcohol should run far away from this one, as it is a monster. But it's a velvety, delicious, profoundly rich monster!

We tasted this side by side a "regular" (i.e. essentially perfection as well, just spending less time in oak) bottling of the 2007 Kayli Morgan and found this to be a more profound version of the same wine, with the same characteristics...but the amplifier goes to 11.

I love that Jayson makes wines like this. He is a visionary and we are beneficiaries of his iconoclastic approach.
Red
7/2/2016 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
99 points
Essentially a perfect wine, if one likes this style. I'm withholding a point only because while this was perfect, the "Deep Time" version of it was even more intense and profound. So the 100 points goes to that bottling...but this is very, very close!
Red
7/2/2016 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
96 points
This wine outperformed my moderately high expectations. More approachable that most Mouton's that I have enjoyed, it benefitted from an hour's decant but was drinking pretty splendidly at that point. The nose is deep and rich and complex, with some telltale Bordeaux notes of pencil but also a very rich sense of fruit. On the palate this is Left Bank goodness, round and long lasting.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/17/2016 - nvandyk wrote:
97 points
This has the potential to be a magnificent bottle of wine, but it is quite young and needs significant decanting time to be approachable. It was decanted for 30 minutes before a birthday dinner recently and was quite tight two hours later. We brought some home and a (large) glass that was left out for 18 hours was showing significantly better than what was consumed the night before.

Marvelous wine but wait to drink, or at least wait for several hours after opening to allow this to strut its stuff.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1983 Château Cheval Blanc St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/10/2016 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
95 points
Decanted ~30 minutes, minimal improvement in decanter but that's just fine as this bottle, at least, was still drinking magnificently. Minimal bricking, though this wine is in an "old school" claret style to begin with so it's a medium garnet. Still a nice and complex nose with brett and other traditional Bordelais characteristics. Somewhat light on its feet and neither particularly rich or long-lasting on the finish but this was delicious. Perhaps the result of favorable bottle variation, but this one had a few years left.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Colgin Cariad Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/27/2016 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
98 points
Astonishingly rich without being flabby. Thought I'd just sample with a coravin but with the help of my wife, ended up drinking the whole thing. The wine should have been decanted, in hindsight -- but this is a phenomenal Napa Cab with a fair amount of structure to it. Should please all but the most anti-Napa palate.
Red
2009 Promontory Red Wine Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/18/2015 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
97 points
Wow. Not sure I have ever had a "rounder" wine in my life. It's dense, silky-smooth, and delicious in that big, full-blown Harlan type way. A long finish, but not a terribly complex one (at least not at this stage). That said, this was impressive juice.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1976 Penfolds Grange South Australia Shiraz Blend, Syrah (view label images)
11/2/2015 - nvandyk wrote:
96 points
Rich and velvety, but rather port-like at this stage. Could be getting long in the tooth.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
10/25/2015 - nvandyk wrote:
flawed
This once glorious bottling is beginning to madeirize and is no longer enjoyable, unfortunately.
Red
4/25/2015 - nvandyk wrote:
86 points
Rather peppery and stemmy. Not what I expected from this estate.
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
11/29/2014 - nvandyk wrote:
86 points
Pleasant enough, but this is long in the tooth and a shadow of its former self. These do not keep 10 years, turns out.
Red
1992 Dalla Valle Maya Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/19/2014 - nvandyk wrote:
Extremely port-like. Did not taste madeirized but was strange relative to what I expected from the wine. Bottle variation? Age? Not sure...
White
10/19/2014 - nvandyk wrote:
95 points
Color is a honey, almost amber. Nose is deep and rich. The wine is honey and caramel and delicious but not like a typical chardonnay at this stage of its life. I brought it to accompany a white truffle pasta dish and it would have clashed. My friend believed it would go better with cheese; not being a cheese guy I can't say but it's almost a dessert wine at this point. Drink with this in mind and you'll love it; do not drink if you are expecting typical chardonnay, and do not drink at all if you want something from the Côte de Beaune.
Red
9/27/2014 - nvandyk wrote:
96 points
The best bottle of Barbera I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. I've had a few bottles of this over the years and it's always been good, but this particular bottle was a cut above. A rich nose, and the wine was satiny-smooth and rich while still being delicate. Not a rough edge or pucker anywhere involved. I'm not sure if this was just an exceptional bottle, or if the wine has reached a stage in its evolution where it is drinking unusually well (though it must be getting long in the tooth at this point). In any event, it was awesome.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/11/2014 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
99 points
This is now, after several years resting, a truly remarkable wine. I have always found the Kapcsandy wines to be good, but a little below their ratings. Not tonight. These wines need a little bit of age on them to strut their stuff. What we have here is incredibly rich wine, but with a strong backbone that keeps it from being flabby and a extremely long finish that provides good complexity for a fruit bomb. This falls somewhere in between an Abreu and a Hundred Acre in terms of the extensiveness of the fruit. Strong comps, but deserving ones. I'm thankful that I've got several more of these.
Red
4/12/2014 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
100 points
Utterly extraordinary. An equal to the 2002 Harlan, which to date has been my favorite approachable wine (thus excluding the 1947 Cheval Blanc which topped them both). I am not sure how I will get ahold of another one of these but it's worth whatever needs to be paid for it.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
3/17/2014 - nvandyk wrote:
97 points
This is an AWESOME bottle of Chardonnay. Vanilla custard and creme brulee. The alcohol is a little noticeable right now otherwise I would rate it even higher. In fairness, I love creme brulee and this is almost a "flavored" wine -- there isn't as much minerality or nuance here as more subtle bottlings. But WOW!
Red
1/24/2014 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
93 points
My first time with this varietal. Clear, dark purplish/ruby (or is it ruby-esque purple?) with a thick viscosity to the legs, throwing a bit of fine sediment and worthy of a careful decant. Nose seemingly gives off heat in excess of the 14.5% that the label indicates (which is no limp wine, to be sure, but it smells hotter). Beneath the heat, cocoa and cloves dominate the nose but it's rather complex. Fruit dominates -- full, ripe tannins that are lush but have good structure. Tastes like a big Spanish tempranillo meets Bordeaux meets a fruit-forward (as opposed to peppery or leathery) Syrah/Shiraz. An interesting combination and a nice grape. Very pleased with this, if not overwhelmed.
Red
1/21/2014 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
94 points
When I last tasted this wine, I was floored by it. This time, I found it to be quite nice but it wasn't the transcendent experience that I remembered. A function of raised expectations? Also possible that a decant is required as it was showing better 90 minutes after opening than when we started. A big wine, but not over the top. Lush but clean, with chocolate and vanilla and a lot of rich fruit. The monastrell tweaks it just enough where it won't be mistaken for a big rich cab, but that remains the dominant flavor profile. I will give the next one a two hour decant and approach it without the expectation that it would blow me away. It's certainly a very fine wine in any case -- but the last bottle struck me as much more impressive.
Red
2005 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/25/2013 - nvandyk wrote:
96 points
Drinking even better now than in my last note. Very rich, enough structure to hold up and complement a pretty nice piece of beef I cooked. Similar essentials so no need to repeat them. Drinking very well, likely at its peak but has enough stuffing to keep it here for several years.
Red
2010 Dancing Hares Vineyard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/15/2013 - nvandyk wrote:
Too early to be drinking right now -- tannins are too primary.
White
12/14/2013 - nvandyk wrote:
87 points
Well made, as are all Kistler wines, but this one has either lost something or is just made in a greener and leaner style than most Chardonnays that I enjoy. It's not that it's more mineral, although it is closer to a Burgundian profile than a typical rich Chard. But there's a some what medicinal note to the nose, and a fair amount of tangy apple in the flavor profile. Not my thing these days.
Red
12/14/2013 - nvandyk wrote:
98 points
Okay, first of all, this is a BIG EXRACTED wine so people that don't like that style will rate it lower than me. It's in the same general area a Hundred Acre and it makes no apologies for a lush mouthfeel and wave after wave of rich Napa fruit. Hedonists rejoice, lovers of pre-Parker claret, taste at your own risk.

Having thus apologized for my unabashed love of this wine, I shall proceed to say that it's one of the best bottles of big Napa cab that I have ever had. I'll be honest and say that I've always enjoyed this wine and was on the list for some time -- their Zin is expensive (extraordinarily so for $120) but is age-worth and so much better than any other Zin out there that it's worth tracking down if you are inclined to take a flier in that price range. But the cabs -- which are very, very good -- simply haven't held their value at auction and it was distressing to pay $x for a bottle off the mailing list and see it selling three or six months later at a 30% discount to $x. So I stopped buying.

After tasting this, I am reassessing that decision and will at a minimum snap up some on the secondary market -- because when a wine tastes this good, you won't want to sell it. You won't care what the loss is at auction because the best use of this wine is drinking.

I could provide some more traditional notes but I think you can glean from the above what this is, and what it isn't. Hedging my score by 1 point because I drank it from a 375 and I'm not sure that the 750 has evolved to the same degree.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/12/2013 - nvandyk wrote:
97 points
Wow. This drank extremely well young but it should be a monster in a few years. Beautiful expressive nose, velvety tannins with enough grip to balance the fruit. Really lovely wine.
Red
2006 Colgin IX Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/29/2013 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
99 points
Wow. With respect to Bordeaux, this puts to shame the 2000 Cheval Blanc (itself a superlative wine) that I had last night.

Again, consumed from Riedel Bordeaux Sommelier edition. Decanted for 30 minutes. Dark, barely penetrable ruby. There's a smidge of heat on the nose which is why I'm giving this 99 points rather than 100. This is a thick, unctuous, oily red blend with a lush, full mouthfeel and none of the heat that one would expect given the nose. Good structure to balance the opulence. Velvety tannins without an angle in them. Long, long finish. Manages to be rich without being overbearing. A phenomenal wine.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Château Cheval Blanc St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/27/2013 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
96 points
'twas an interesting day. Drank this to celebrate walking away from what could easily have been a fatal auto collision (big truck with a flatbed auto carrier trailer clipped me and spun me around 540 degrees and across two lanes of a busy freeway, etc.) I can't say I saw my unconsumed wines flash before my eyes but I did think that it was time to have something special that I'd not had before. And voila, here's just the wine.

I had high hopes this would approach the 1947, which remains by a country mile the best wine I've ever had. This is a delicious wine, but it is not in the same league as the 1947. So I'll get that out of the way.

What this IS, however, is very nice. Inky, deep ruby color, with a light, oiliness (this is a good thing) that coats the glass evenly -- not legs, but a clean, slick coating that hangs there beautifully (I'm drinking this out of Riedel Sommelier editions Bordeaux glasses). The initial nose was cedar with a hint of Bordeaux Bandaid but that blew off after 20 minutes. The nose is reticent but broodingly dense, if that makes sense. You know there's something profound in the glass but it's not leaping from it.

The flavor is lovely -- it's still a young wine and there is a crispness coming from the tannins and a balanced acidity. For a wine that I expected to be quite rich, though, it's a feminine style. It's Bordeaux wrapped in a cloak of Burgundy, minus the stemminess that detracts from my enjoyment of much of that region. There's cocoa, ripe currants and a bit of the violets that I normally associate with Petrus in my limited experience with that wine. The real thing that makes this stand out, though, is the finish. It essentially never goes away. By the time it starts to fade, you'll likely have had another sip. I had one before I started this paragraph and I can still taste it.

I've not written a tasting note in some time and have overdone it with this one. Add 3 points to my score if you don't like big California Cabs like the Hundred Acre I had last night. But I am a sucker for rich claret and this is lacking just a little stuffing in the mid palate for me, which keeps it from being the perfect wine that Parker rates it. And again, it's not the 1947...but what is? (if you know the answer to this, message me!)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/13/2013 - nvandyk wrote:
91 points
Deep, almost opaque purple. Nose shows a good balance of earth and fruit. It's a very well made wine but has a bit of a green / peppery streak in it that tasted a little out of place. Fans of French-styled Bordeaux might rate this higher -- it reminded me a bit of Gruaud Larose. That said, purists will still find the fruit to be very new world.
Red
10/13/2013 - nvandyk wrote:
95 points
Very, very good wine and somewhat overperformed my expectations. I have found some of David's cabs to be heavily tannic but this was supple and velvety with a full, round mouthfeel. Good color, expressive nose. Missing some complexity on the finish or the score would be even higher but this was a remarkably good bottle (hence my remark). Har har.
White
6/3/2013 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
99 points
For my palate, certainly one of the top few Chadonnays I've ever had and I bemoan its loss as my final bottle. Structured but silky, there's a nice balance between fruit, minerality and a hint of toasted vanilla oak that may turn off traditionalists but will appeal to fans of Parker-styled California Chard. Long finish. Absolutely fantastic. Drinking at its peak new but still has life to it.
Red
1/19/2013 - nvandyk Likes this wine:
98 points
This is a fantastic wine for those who like the new world style. Deep ruby, rich nose of dark fruit, velvety tannins with a soft, round mouthfeel and a lengthy finish. Extremely good in this style. Utterly outclassed the also-very-good 1996 Dominus we had with it. Tannins were so round and soft that we were surprised it's all cab. Terrific wine!
Red
8/12/2012 - nvandyk wrote:
97 points
Over-performed, drinking incredibly well last night with about 30 minutes of air and a great steak. Still a deep garnet color, no bricking even after 20 years of aging. Extremely mellow tannins. The Napa fruit is there, but it has receded into a nice harmony with other flavors that enhance the complexity and bring this more in line with older Bordeaux than a fruit bomb (cedar was prominent last night, as an example). A big hit with everybody at the table. Seems like it has several years left but the fruit is declining so I would drink in the next five years.
Red
8/4/2012 - nvandyk wrote:
flawed
Corked. Sad...there's a lot of rich fruit here.
Red
1999 Yalumba The Signature Barossa Valley Cabernet-Shiraz Blend, Red Blend (view label images)
6/10/2012 - nvandyk wrote:
94 points
Rich, complex cab / shiraz blend. Deep reddish purple, with earthy berries on the nose. Oak pretty fully integrated. Very round after about 10 minutes. Went well with steak -- good QPR.
Red
1999 Yalumba The Signature Barossa Valley Cabernet-Shiraz Blend, Red Blend (view label images)
6/10/2012 - nvandyk wrote:
flawed
Corked, sadly...
Red
2006 Ovid Red Wine Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/19/2012 - nvandyk wrote:
92 points
A well made cab blend that hit all the right notes but was outclassed by a 2007 Maya (an unfair comparison). From Magnum. Nothing wrong with it and I will be watching to see what Ovid does over time and with stronger vintages (though there's nothing wrong with 2006). Not as complex or as long in the finish as the absolute best Cali cabs (Abreu being my ultimate benchmark).
Red
2007 Dalla Valle Maya Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/19/2012 - nvandyk wrote:
98 points
This wine was drinking stupendously -- it even impressed the selective palate of my dear brother whose proclivities run more to right bank earth than Napa fruit and oak. Chocolate and currants with a sixty second finish. The cab franc is noticeable but there is a lot more nuance going on than just the primary notes from that varietal. Finish went on and on and on. Not an angle to be found. A marvelous wine, drinking so well now it's hard to imagine it will improve but it should certainly keep for a long time.
White - Sparkling
4/18/2012 - nvandyk wrote:
90 points
Drank to celebrate my diagnosis with skin cancer, which I'm going to kick the s*** out of like I did blood cancer. Drank with the wife. Medium deep color, medium-large bead. Nice yeast on the nose, some minerality as well. A good bottle but I think this may have seen its best days.
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