Comments on my notes

(29 comments on 29 notes)

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White
2014 Fritz Windisch Niersteiner Spiegelberg Riesling Kabinett Rheinhessen
Here was a quick whatever purchase by Jane who needed something to drink while I was finishing antibiotics, and she couldn't drink jewels from our cellar. Leftover since I've gotten better. Wow, neither of us like this Riesling at all. It's got a heat-damaged/acetyldehyde/band-aid thing going on with the finish, and is straight up unpleasant. Perhaps this bottle was indeed damaged at some point in the cold chain from GER to the wine shop; I honestly can't see anyone enjoying this. Sure, it's just $12, but that doesn't mean this needs to taste so bad. It should just be insipid at worst.
  • iByron commented:

    11/21/17, 11:07 PM - This doesn't sound very fair, especially as it's not a fresh opening. What was it like on first pop?

Red - Sweet/Dessert
2012 Adesso Cagnina di Romagna
2/2/2014 - Onthelees wrote:
82 points
Sweet and Lambrusco-like with a melange of fruity flavors and some balancing traits. Not my thing but my daughter will love it.
  • iByron commented:

    8/24/17, 4:24 PM - The most useful review of this wine yet. Thanks!

Red
2005 Twisted Oak *%#&@! Sierra Foothills Red Rhone Blend
7/21/2017 - HitAnyKey Likes this wine:
90 points
Quite wonderful and still boasting a good amount of fruit. Pouring through a filter into decanter helped with any sediment (plus, the cork broke). Well balanced, dark fruits, earthy components, and more. Really love Jeff's wines when aged.
  • iByron commented:

    7/22/17, 8:12 PM - Was just looking at my own two bottles of this wondering about them. Glad to know they still have something going. Might have to take one to Virginia in the near future (hint hint).

White
2013 Mouton Cadet Blanc Bordeaux Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
11/16/2014 - Papies wrote:
By the glass at the Cathay lounge in CDG.
Quite a grassy, fresh nose, light waxy feel. Well round on the palate, decent acidity and drinks just fine. Could use some more depth but still better than the White all things being equal. 88
  • iByron commented:

    8/27/16, 9:26 AM - What do you mean by "still better than the White?"

White
2011 Manni Nössing Kerner Valle Isarco / Eisacktaler
9/10/2013 - drwine2001 wrote:
Kermit Lynch Dinner-Recently Aquired Producers (Range, San Francisco): A fascinating wine which by turn had some florality and herbs, the lemony brine of Muscadet, the quinine, cyanic bitterness of some Chablis, and an additional layer of glossy sheen (like a Chenin Blanc) to boot. Very dynamic in the glass.
  • iByron commented:

    8/2/16, 12:14 PM - Glad to know I'm not the only one to use the term "glossy sheen" when describing a wine! :) Thanks!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Sous Bois Champagne Blend
I really like this. Super tasty. Brioche, toasty, toffee, it just got so much going on it's like a NY night club. This is a big bottle of bubbles that spacious with a lot of texture and movement. Great finish. Yummy.
  • iByron commented:

    9/8/14, 6:37 PM - "...a NY night club..."! Hah! I feel like I've drunk some already!

White
2012 Vollenweider Wolfer Goldgrube Riesling Kabinett Mosel Saar Ruwer
3/15/2014 - EndreS wrote:
Fresh and tingling. Gives off smell of green apples, lime and some stoney minerals. Very smooth and light, piercing acidity. Very easy-drinking and the balance is there but for the acid which sticks out slightly. Seems a bit raw.
  • iByron commented:

    6/7/14, 7:14 PM - Totally agree on the acidity. My take is that's what makes it a great Kabinett.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Gruet Winery Demi-Sec New Mexico Champagne Blend
9/23/2013 - fingers wrote:
84 points
Medium straw color. Fine, vibrant mousse. Buttermilk biscuit, apple, and citrus on the nose. A little out of balance until an hour or so open and then it smooths out to give a nice, off-dry texture with a light bite of acidity. Simple fruit and waffle notes on the palate. Short to average length on the finish. Pedestrian, but sometimes it's okay to walk ;) 4+9+14+7 = 84
  • iByron commented:

    12/30/13, 5:38 PM - "Pedestrian, but sometimes it's okay to walk"

    I like that line, and may use it in the future.

White
2007 La Pèira en Damaisèla Vin de Pays de l'Hérault Deusyls de la Pèira White Rhone Blend
10/15/2013 - pifcho wrote:
87 points
I changed my mind about a dozen times on this wine over the course of three nights. But I think that's just how I feel about white rhones. While I find their richness and nuttiness intriguing and appealing, most of the times they are just too big and alcoholic for me. This wine did get lighter on its feet with time and certainly worked well with richer autumn fare, but just sipping it - not my thing.
  • iByron commented:

    10/17/13, 7:35 PM - Yes, the French (all of the Old World actually) make their wines for food. "Sippin'" culture is a totally New World phenom.

White
2006 Schäfer-Fröhlich Riesling Kabinett Nahe
4/8/2013 - ob2s wrote:
90 points
Didn't wait 5 years, but drinking well still.
  • iByron commented:

    8/2/13, 8:25 AM - Haha! You're only human!

White
2010 Domaine Louis Michel Chablis 1er Cru Séchet Chardonnay
Opened about a 1/2 hour ago, dropped into the freezer to put some chill on it. Aromatics seem a little shy, but there is some faint marine notes here and lemon, but again subtle. The palate shows sea shell, orchard fruit--yellow apple, nectarine--then in the finish is where the citrus pith comes in, along with a saline/mineral water quality and some bright acid. $30 for these.....while I often wonder if I'd simply put the Michel dollars aside and pool them for a few Dauvissat or Raveneau, I seem to end up buying Michel yet again and enjoying the pleasure of having more of his cuvees, versus a couple single bottles of really GC chablis.
  • iByron commented:

    2/23/13, 4:23 PM - I like how you think (multiple 1er crus versus single Grand crus). Cheers!

White
2009 Fess Parker Viognier Santa Barbara County
8/5/2012 - DaveZack wrote:
90 points
We got this bottle from the winery's wine club in September 2011 for $16.67.

Bouquet: This wine exhibits white flowers, herbs, tropical fruits, oak, and suggestions of cream on the nose.

Tasting notes: This is a very nice white that makes for a fantastic alternative to the Usual White Suspects (Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc). And thanks to the inclusion of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Vermentino, this Viognier is much more interesting than most.

How does Fess Parker get away with calling this wine Viognier when only 83% of it consists of Viognier? In America (and other parts of the world), if a bottle of wine consists of 75% or more of one varietal, it is legal to label the wine whichever varietal dominates the blend (i.e. a wine with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% consisting of, literally, 50 other varietals, can legally be called/labeled “Cabernet Sauvignon”).

If you like rich, creamy, interesting Chardonnays but need something a bit more interesting, this wine should be on your VERY short list.

Viognier tends to share a lot of the qualities that are common with Chardonnay. This Viognier is likewise rich and creamy, exhibiting tropical fruit (pineapple and mango, along with mango’s spicy pepperyness (is that a word?!?!)), along with a basket of herbs like white pepper and an assortment of garden herbs. As rich and creamy as this wine is, it was (I’m presuming) aged at least partially in oak, which likewise adds additional cream, vanilla, and spice notes. Thanks to those other Rhone Valley French (Grenache Blanc and Marsanne) and Italian (Vermentino) varietals, this wine also shows wonderful mineral elements that add a touch more of a crisp, clean, brisk, vibrancy that your typical white wine doesn’t possess.

Pairing suggestions: We drank this wine with wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon filets marinated in white miso paste. I thought the wine went very well with the salmon (though Arthur didn’t). Thanks to the other minerally, crisp varietals that are in this Viognier-based blend, I believe this wine would also pair well with just about any other seafood (especially scallops, linguini and clams, shrimp tempura, and just about any fish filet dish).

Aging potential: This wine is drinking beautifully right now, but thanks to those previously-mentioned “other” varietals, this wine should continue to age well for another three to five years. If you have this bottle in your collection right now, I think this wine is as good as it’s going to get (i.e. it’s at peak maturity). Put your bottle in the fridge and drink it while the weather is warm and the food is fresh.
  • iByron commented:

    12/5/12, 2:32 PM - Scallops seems like an excellent idea for pairing; a recipe that includes a tropical fruit salsa would be near perfect. That creaminess (from oak aging and Viognier's natural low acidity...the latter not necessarily a quality shared with Chard) would compliment the scallop texture to a tee.

White - Sparkling
N.V. G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne Carte Classique Champagne Blend
3/27/2010 - The Drunken Cyclist wrote:
85 points
Must have a rather high dosage. Good, but there are much better NV Bruts out there.
  • iByron commented:

    4/23/12, 1:42 PM - Carte Classique is an Extra Dry, not a Brut. One should not expect Brut dryness in this wine.

Red
2009 Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet California Red Blend
2/5/2012 - alexandersford wrote:
88 points
Very solid pinot particularly for the price. It's on the bigger side, but had a nice level of complexity.
  • iByron commented:

    2/8/12, 10:21 PM - This is not a Pinot. There is no Pinot in the blend either.

White - Fortified
N.V. Casa Pedro Domecq Pedro Ximénez Venerable 30 Years Old Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
1/22/2012 - andtheodor wrote:
95 points
The color and weight of iodine, this literally stains the glass orange. Heavy, rich, luscious and lithe, this is undoubtedly one of the greatest dessert wines I've ever tasted and competes with Dal Forno et al. A neverending finish of espresso, sorghum, chocolate, caramel. Otherwordly.
  • iByron commented:

    1/22/12, 1:08 PM - It is truly the king!

Red
2004 Château Desmirail Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
10/3/2008 - VinAmante wrote:
86 points
Disappointing and overpriced..
  • iByron commented:

    11/20/11, 10:39 PM - Why?

White - Sparkling
1999 Charles Ellner Champagne Brut "Seduction" Millésimé Champagne Blend
I got suspicious when opening the bottle. The cork was quite easy to remove and was totally soaked all the way up to the waist. Hay color but a hint of Madeira to the nose. All the good stuff was there, bread, apples and some yeast but the light oxidation was like a wet blanket over the bouquet. Drinkable but not my kind of Champagne.
  • iByron commented:

    11/13/11, 9:19 PM - Sounds like this bottle was flawed. Fair to judge?

Red
2004 Kent Rasmussen Petit Verdot Esoterica High Valley
10/16/2011 - PolarBear22 wrote:
84 points
Rating may be that this is still too young. This was extremely tannic still, but after about three hours it opened up and was smoother. I have more to try tonight and may make an adjustment. I plan to keep the second bottle for several years before opening.
  • iByron commented:

    10/17/11, 9:46 PM - Wow! Still heavy on the tannins? I have two unopened bottles yet.

Red
2009 Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet California Red Blend
11/28/2010 - jimkay21 wrote:
85 points
A blend of 47% Zinfandel, 29% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petite Sirah. Dark black/purple. Zinfandel is obvious in the nose. There's also a slight tinge of something like varnish or plastic. Fleeting, but it's there. Palate has black fruit but is short with a hollow finish where the flavors seems to turn to water. No finish. It is plush, i.e. low acid, and drinks like juice. Not unpleasant and probably has more umph than other wines in this price/category. Would make a good reception wine as long as you don't spill any on your clothes. I'm pretty sure the stains wouldn't come out.
  • iByron commented:

    7/24/11, 12:25 PM - Where did you find info on the composition? It's not on the bottle and doesn't seem to be on the web site.

Red
2007 Anima Negra ÀN/2 Vi de La Tierra Mallorca Red Blend
10/18/2010 - Wamrod Does not like this wine:
77 points
I rarely have such a bad reaction to a well-rated wine. Tremendously disappointing from the start, not remotely what I expected from a Spanish wine in this category. Drank with company last night and did not take detailed notes.

Color looked wrong, and the nose was horrible. Funky and very little fruit. Rotten eggs and grass, yet over ripe fruit as well. I can't decribe properly. VERY off-putting. I do not believe the bottle was corked, as there was no evidence of leakage of any other damage.

About the only redeeming quality was that the taste was very tame and had no rough edges, which also meant it tasted flat and had no finish. It also tasted stemmy and green, while overipe and rotten at the same time. I've never experienced this combination before.

After an hour, a little fruit appeared on the palate but the nose was still horrible.

Very disappointing - WHERE did these scores come from? Sorry Jay Miller, but I don't see it. Maybe these bottles were cooked before delivery, but there is no evidence of that. I will NOT be trying any of the other 5 bottles I bought - I'll be getting back some cellar space where the other bottles are...
  • iByron commented:

    6/14/11, 10:19 PM - Rotten eggs and grass is not what this wine is supposed to smell like. That is not a characteristic of Callet. Something was clearly wrong with this bottle.

White
2007 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée de Serrant Savennières-Coulée de Serrant Chenin Blanc
1/22/2011 - sonofabacchus wrote:
94 points
I did not take detailed notes but was very impressed with this wine. Fruit, honey, and aromatic spices. Superb balance and length. Really a well presented ollafactory experience.

My experience with this appellation is not strong. So when I saw 5 bottles in the supermarket clearance cart marked for ten bucks, I just figured it was some knock off or high production mixed juice bottling. Stuck it in the fridge instead of the cellar for the next white wine dinner opportunity, with a bottle of Torrontes along side in case it was not palatable. I was impressed from the taster's first sip and decided to return to buy the rest. This morning I decided to check it out online and found the high scores as well as the $100 price tags. Well, there was a single bottle left, thankfully, when I returned and it is now inthe cellar for the right time.
  • iByron commented:

    5/30/11, 10:54 PM - Are you saying you got this for ten bucks!? I need to shop where you shop!

White
2008 Nicolas Joly Savennières Les Clos Sacrés (Les Vieux Clos) Chenin Blanc
12/27/2010 - mikeaukenbals wrote:
91 points
Took a day to open up. Great on 2nd day, tasted oxidized and no nose in 1st day, even with 2 hr decant
  • iByron commented:

    5/21/11, 7:48 AM - Joly actually recommends a "vigorous decant" of about 24 hours for his wines. You've discovered why.

Red
2006 Bacio Divino Pazzo Napa Valley SuperTuscan Blend
9/19/2010 - jcsf420 wrote:
89 points
Nice $10 Napa Cab, great QPR.
  • iByron commented:

    3/20/11, 10:52 AM - Pazzo is primarily Sangiovese, normally upwards of 70%.

White
2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc California White Rhone Blend
2/9/2011 - SonomaWilliam wrote:
91 points
LOVE this Roussanne, Grenache blanc blend. Brought to dinner.
  • iByron commented:

    3/4/11, 9:05 PM - What did it taste like? Any development/change six months from your last note?

White - Sparkling
N.V. Luis Pato Maria Gomes Espumante Vinho Regional Beiras
10/8/2009 - amphorisc wrote:
85 points
If you read the back label, you will learn that this is not NV; my bottle contains wine from the 2008 vintage. Simple but very satisfying sparkling wine, with a dry, creamy finish. Nose and mouth dominated by apple and honey.
  • iByron commented:

    3/3/11, 8:00 PM - Regarding his Espumante wines, Luis Pato notes, "Although being from single vintage, does not show the year in order to observe the legal norm." So officially, the wine is NV.

    The number on the back is a "Lot" number which may or may not be the same as the vintage. He doesn't explicitly say either way (and as Portugal is northern hemisphere, it *could* be the year of release), so we can't count that as a vintage year.

Red
2004 Château Flotis Fronton Elles Negrette
2/8/2010 - alexrad wrote:
90 points
Dark fruit complemented by wonderfully smooth tannins. This is a middle-aged tough wine with a velvet glove.
  • iByron commented:

    10/16/10, 3:44 PM - "...tough wine with a velvet glove." I think you've summarized a good Fronton perfectly!

White
2008 Pine Ridge Vineyards Chenin Blanc Viognier Clarksburg White Blend
8/30/2010 - Wino from Michigan wrote:
88 points
Kalyn and Nana with fajita's.
  • iByron commented:

    8/31/10, 7:38 PM - So what did you (and Kalyn and Nana) actually think of the wine?

Red
2005 Château d'Aydie Madiran Tannat
7/5/2010 - Chomsky wrote:
This is about as good as a young Madiran gets. So classy and polished, superbly balanced and savory with smooth tannins, and a beguiling and ever-shifting nose of spicy and fruity scents along with a panoply of other elusive high-toned aromas. The nose is simply brilliant. A masterwork.
  • iByron commented:

    7/5/10, 10:11 PM - Good to know this is as expected. Also good to know I'm not the only one drinking these in the heat! Can't wait to get to my own.

Red
2005 Mirabile Syrah Sicilia
This is the Menfri which is Nero, Tannat and Cabernet. Soy, tomato leaf and massive fruit. Tomato is a fruit ya know. Smells of working in the garden. Light palate for all of that international variety stuff showing in there. Seemless through the crazy varietials. Funky (in the good way) finish that lasts. What an unsual, yet crazy wine.
  • iByron commented:

    4/7/10, 9:17 AM - We need clarity as to what this wine is. Mirabile makes four reds under Sicilia IGT. Menfri, the blend, has a blue label, but the picture here is a white label (which Mirabile uses for both their Syrah and their Tannat, also Sicilia IGT). GBM (below) has rated the Syrah while Ben here is rating the Menfri.

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