Comments on my notes

(44 comments on 39 notes)

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Red
2013 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
4/24/2019 - pgrzesik Likes this wine:
90 points
Ridge always makes some good quality wines and this is no exception. Really nice zinfandel blend and very well made. I had this wine on day 3 of it being open and on the nose it had layers of graphite, smoked BBQ meat, and hints of eucalyptus. It is a medium bodied wine, full of flavor. It wraps your palate in great fruit that is not over the top and not underwhelming - but just right.

Only downside of this is the 14.7% alcohol - an unfortunate California trend of picking grapes towards the end of harvest to bring out more easily approachable wines designed to appeal to the masses - but cant blame them, good marketing.

Good wine nonetheless.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    4/25/19, 5:48 AM - I would agree with what MARKYDECKER has said, and I'll also add that the goal at Ridge seems to be not so much pandering to the masses but to making wines in such a way that they can be enjoyed on release, but that they will last and improve over the long haul.

    Cheers!

  • PNIELSEN commented:

    4/25/19, 7:23 AM - Love Nalle! I miss them (don't see them here in Nashville).

Red
2014 Jaffurs Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
3/30/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
95 points
I wasn't a Jaffurs member when the epic vintages in the late 2000's were released, but I have to think this one would be right up there with them. Intense nose of blueberries, chaparral and brown sugar. On the palate, it has fabulous vibrancy, intensity and length. The finish goes on and on, with an appealing liqueur-like quality to it that reminds me of Chambord. It's drinking great now, but man...this will be even more special once it settles out a bit more. My score might be a tad low.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    3/30/19, 2:49 PM - Hey thanks. I live in TN, which until a few years ago was a state that didn't allow any wine to be purchased from out of state. None. They finally changed the laws to allow wineries to ship here - if they wanted to put themselves through all the paperwork. Luckily the ones I am now a member of (Jaffurs, Ridge and Beckmen) got on board fairly early on. For long time though, we could only buy direct from wineries, not retailers. However, I am now seeing evidence that is longer the case, and so I may finally be able to seek out wines from retailers. The Wine Exchange in Orange County, CA (near where I am from) is a source I have missed ever since moving to TN.

    I haven't had the courage to seek out older vintages, as the provenance thing spooks me a little. But maybe I need to get over that.

    Thanks again for your comment!

Red
2015 Ridge Mazzoni Home Ranch Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
3/7/2019 - WetRock wrote:
Showing a nicely complex older school/world expression mixed in with some fresh California fruit. Like old barrel and leather notes among the brambly berries. Given this spent 17 months in barrel that's probably not a surprise. Much more tannin than I expected given the variety mix. Puts on some weight over night with that forward fruit taking center stage. This never shows much extraction though even with the weighty fruit. The translucency in the glass is a bit surprising. This is again one of my favorite of the ATP releases. This clearly doesn't have the density of the '14 but still has plenty of character. It seems about ready to go now or is just getting to that spot. It's not going to go as long as the previous vintage either. Medium term cellaring is fine though. Likely best over shorter term drinking.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    3/9/19, 8:31 AM - Now that is a helpful tasting note. Thank you.

Red
2013 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
3/5/2019 - fingers wrote:
This is my second time with this wine and it has not struck me as interesting or attractive to any great measure either time. Just kind of blasé and generic. Given that, it also seems young so I’m not sure how long you’re supposed to wait on these. I have one more that I’ll let sleep for awhile.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    3/6/19, 9:32 AM - Some tasters have commented about this wine being in a bit of a dumb phase. It was barking up a storm last time I had it about a month ago, but that was after it had some air. It definitely has stuffing and is still rather wound up. I'm curious to see what becomes of it in the next 2-3 years.

Red
2016 Kirkland Signature Zinfandel Old Vine Sonoma County
2/3/2019 - Mootsie Does not like this wine:
80 points
Very ripe fruit with a pepper finish. Syrupy. Will appeal to the Apothic Red crowd. Just too sweet for me. Not worth buying again.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    2/5/19, 9:20 AM - When I was writing up my original note on this zin, I really wanted to add something about there being perhaps some smoke and mirrors going on (which of course is the case with so many cheap domestic wines), but I didn't know how to say it in a nice way. You've inspired me to edit my comment.

  • PNIELSEN commented:

    2/5/19, 9:36 AM - Thanks for the tip, I'll keep an eye out for it. I do love Spanish wines as well as the Rhone. For some reason, our local Costco doesn't always get the cool stuff, but maybe I'll luck out with this one. Cheers!

Red
2012 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
This is terrific - let it open for an hour, and you'll be richly rewarded. Paul Draper and his Zinfandel blends have it down - enhance the primary grape with Petite Syrah, Carnignan & Mourvedre... just like a Bordeaux blend, but with Zinfandel in the starring role. Excellent.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    11/30/18, 5:36 AM - Well put!

Red
2015 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
7/15/2018 - Birorganic Likes this wine:
92 points
Delicious. Blockbuster. Very dry. Ready now or will age 10+. Will go down in Geyserville history as one of the Top 10 of the first 50. Maybe top 5.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    11/22/18, 9:09 AM - I agree as well. The 2015 is very special. Not sure when I will open another of my 3 bottles.

Red
2013 Jaffurs Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
So I have had 5 corked bottles in the case....
Conveyed that to the retailer who begrudgingly gave me store
credit for 2 bottles.. insisted I should have mailed back each corked bottle to California... this after 10 years of order history without 1 complaint...this is a well known Cali retailer...
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    11/19/18, 7:18 AM - I second the vote to reach out to Jaffurs. I myself just had a recent experience with an "off" wine and they put up zero fuss in terms of replacing the bottle.

Red
2015 Ridge Zinfandel Boatman Sonoma Valley
11/11/2018 - Winegeek83 Likes this wine:
95 points
I agree with PNielsen on this one. I found this wine to be far better than some of the other tasters’ scores would indicate. This is my second vintage of this wine and simply put, it’s one of the BEST Zinfandels on the market! I’m finding the 15 vintage to be a bit more round and creamy than the 14 at this point. I got lots of raspberry cream with flecks of tobacco and later some pronounced eucalyptus with a touch of mint and other spices. Medium bodied with medium tannin. This wine seems to be a short term performer given how the 14 has behaved in bottle but I will certainly enjoy over the next few years. Absolutely fantastic Zinfandel.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    11/15/18, 8:59 AM - I couldn't agree more. My score may have been a bit conservative. I would have bought more, only it appears to have sold out already in the short vintage. It's a Zin I won't soon forget. Cheers!

Red
2012 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
8/15/2018 - spicy1 Likes this wine:
91 points
As mentioned in previous reviews, all the Ridge reds are consistently good and they always seem ready to drink. No need to mention that the wine should be held for a few more years, as with so many other vineyards. Just hope that with Mr. Draper pulling back from his long term involvement that the wines will continue to excel.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    8/17/18, 6:56 AM - In my opinion, John Olney has an equally sure hand as the head winemaker at the Lytton Springs facility. I think the Ridge wines are only getting better, and so does Paul Draper.

Red
2014 Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard Santa Barbara County
2/19/2018 - Mootsie Likes this wine:
94 points
Echoing my earlier notes. Drinkable young. Cola, anise, boysenberry, pepper. Little or no decant needed.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    2/20/18, 6:17 AM - Had one Sunday night but decided not to post a note. These are excellent, aren't they. I was at around 94 myself. Thanks for the note!

Red
2013 Jaffurs Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
1/18/2018 - KJD45$ Likes this wine:
93 points
Ok so now I am obsessed about assessing this...this bottle is good..
No corked-ness....and it's such a delicious wine gosh it's good...
But the corked ones suck....
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    1/19/18, 8:00 AM - Hopefully the retailer was able to help you out with your flawed bottles. These wines aren't exactly cheap. Cheers!

Red
2013 Jaffurs Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
1/15/2018 - KJD45$ wrote:
flawed
2 bottles. In a row with just a hint of being corked,...sone sips are ok
Some invoke a corked sensation....
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    1/16/18, 5:31 AM - I would definitely contact the winery. Yours hasn't been my experience at all. Best of luck!

Red
2016 Kirkland Signature Côtes du Rhône Villages Red Rhone Blend
12/19/2017 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
88 points
I'm not understanding some of the low scores for this wine. I think it's one you could pour into an empty bottle of CdR from a well-known producer as a ringer and impress your friends. Lots of apt descriptions have already been written here, so I'll just say this is one fantastic value for $6.99 (in TN). It's a testament to the quality of the 2016 vintage. It benefits from a little air, as it showed better on night two. That time in the bottle brought out some lovely delicate aromatics.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    1/4/18, 6:35 AM - Hey, thanks for your message and for the heads-up about the Costco blog. I wasn't aware of that. Cheers!

Red
2015 Ridge Carignane Buchignani Ranch Sonoma County
10/6/2017 - Birorganic wrote:
88 points
Nice wine but not great like most Ridge offerings are. Maybe it needs more time but I don’t think it’s going to get any better than it is now. It is what it is. An excellent example of natural winemaking. Nothing done to trick it up.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    12/27/17, 3:46 PM - I'm on somewhat of a mission to find California reds that are organically/sustainably farmed and not all gussied up with smoke and mirrors in an attempt to earn higher ratings or make the wine come across as richer than it really is. It's the reason I'm a Ridge member and a Beckmen member. I'm sure there are many others out there that farm naturally and take a hands-off approach to winegrowing and winemaking, but unfortunately it takes a lot of sleuthing to discover them. Thanks for the notes!

Red
2013 Jaffurs High Tide Santa Barbara County Red Rhone Blend
12/15/2017 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
93 points
I'm stuffing the ballot box a bit here, but if there is a better GSM blend coming out of Santa Barbara County, I'm not aware of it. This is a great vintage for this wine.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    12/21/17, 5:45 AM - Thanks for the tip, I will definitely check them out. I get to the SYV about once a year (with a couple of wine geek friends) and we're always on the lookout for something new. Happy holidays!

  • PNIELSEN commented:

    12/24/17, 5:52 AM - Thanks! I have a fondness for Ballard Canyon, not only on account of the killer syrah coming out of the Larner and Kimsey vineyards, but also the fact that my dad would take my brothers and me to visit the defunct Ballard Canyon Winery (now Rusack) back in the 80's, before I even cared about wine. It's one of my favorite spots on earth nowadays. Cheers!

Red
2013 Jaffurs High Tide Santa Barbara County Red Rhone Blend
3/17/2017 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
94 points
I used to buy Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the 90's until prices started to get way out of hand. Luckily, there are wines like this terrific GSM blend from Jaffurs, which I think is a real sleeper in their lineup. Aromatically, this is super complex, with ethereal notes of blueberry, strawberry, bacon, black licorice, celery, Bazooka bubblegum...I could hover over the nose forever. On the palate, it is not a blockbuster but rather elegant with refined tannins. I don't think it will be a long ager, but I could see it going 5-6 years. This is emerging as one of my "desert island wines." (94+)
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    12/21/17, 5:44 AM - Thanks!

Red
2014 Jaffurs Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
12/13/2017 - Mootsie Likes this wine:
96 points
One of the better Bien Nacidos in the last 10 years or so. Loads of dark fruit, cola, licorice and pepper.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    12/14/17, 5:33 AM - Thanks for your notes, always a pleasure to read. I take it there's no mistake in opening one of these now?

Red
2010 Ridge Petite Sirah Lytton Estate Dry Creek Valley
12/1/2017 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
I had vowed not to open another of these for a couple of years. Mission accomplished, although now I'm 2 years older! One of the sobering ironies of keeping a cellar, I guess. On to the wine...

This left moderate sediment in the bottle when I decanted it. Aromatically, it showed a bit of sulphur that blew off within a few minutes. A bit shy at first, it opens up to reveal the classic PS mix of black and blue fruits with a fair amount of oak (which I happen to like but others might find intrusive). A couple hours later, some tertiary notes of autumn leaves were there in the background, adding interest. Full-bodied and rich with wonderful mid- and back-palate intensity. Tannin is less brutal than before but it's still pretty tongue-clenching. I will hold off another year or two before opening my last bottle, although this definitely has the stuffing to go much longer than that. (92+)
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    12/2/17, 9:47 AM - Thanks for your note. I'd recommend that. It's softening, slowly, but it's still pretty rustic as you say. Cheers!

Red
2015 Ridge Zinfandel Dusi Ranch Paso Robles
11/22/2017 - WetRock wrote:
Big sweet flavored, jammy Zin. Speaks clearly of Paso. The kind of wine you are bit surprised Ridge would still make. There is a bit of warmth but not as much as you would expect for a wine labeled at a strong 15.5%. The fruit is rich and fairly dense. Light tannin. On the label they call out this as a ten year wine which is a good deal longer than they typically put on the Zin descriptions. Even for the big boys like the Geyserville and Lytton Springs. That probably speaks to the richness of the fruit. This was clearly a strong vintage for this vineyard. That being said I do not see that this would improve with age. It might given a very long aging curve when you could get to some tertiary notes. For me this is a drink with five years kind of wine. Sort of that classic California summer BBQ party type of wine. If you want to know what a full throttle pure Paso Zin is like, this is it. Not something I personally want a lot of but sometimes it fits the mood dead solid perfect.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    12/1/17, 5:33 AM - Great tasting note, thanks. I had a similar reaction but wouldn't have been able to articulate it all as well as you did.

Red
2013 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
11/21/2017 - SLOFred wrote:
89 points
Not as robust as I anticipated. It required 2 hours to open and achieve some fullness. I will reserve final comments after another bottle.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    11/22/17, 5:44 AM - I had a similar experience with the 2012 vintage, where I was underwhelmed the first couple of times I tasted it. Within the past few months, that one has really come together and become, as you say, more robust. Hopefully the 2013 will follow suit for you.

Red
2014 Trader Joe's Zinfandel Reserve Dry Creek Valley
1/10/2017 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
86 points
I rolled the dice on this and found it to be a pretty impressive zinfandel. Translucent ruby in color, it has a nice nose of dusty Dry Creek spice. Medium-bodied and rich with a decent finish. Here in TN (where everything is more expensive), it's $9.99 a bottle which is a great deal. I'm sure it's priced lower in other markets, making it a steal in my opinion.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    9/16/17, 10:43 AM - Thanks for your note. I tend to assume wine is cheaper in most markets because of the "sin tax" levied on alcohol here in TN, which makes stuff about 15% higher than, say CA (where I'm from). Another weird law here is that the state requires all retailers to apply the same markup, so really the only way to achieve lower prices is by buying in huge volume from the wholesaler or winery. The cards are really stacked in favor of the larger retailers (Costco especially). I don't see how this benefits the consumer, but it is what it is.

Red
2014 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
7/28/2017 - BarryPaulPrice Likes this wine:
93 points
This was part of an effort to give Zinfandel blends a try. These notes are from the perspective of a taster who is a newbie to Zins.

Visually: Medium plus intensity. Not quite opaque. Beautiful purple core with a nice ruby rim. Medium high viscosity with prevalent tears but thankfully does not appear to be syrupy.

Nose: Immediate raspberry, black cherry, vanilla, buttery pie crust, VERY pure fruit really stands out about this wine on the nose! Little hint of alcohol but restrained at least. More coming on the nose now... baked plums, very light licorice, touch of this dusty leather thing I get with good Rioja that I call 'ancient leather library books'. Maybe some mulled-wine spices in there sotto naso. Surprisingly complex nose, actually! I could smell this for hours. And, happily, I WILL BE!

Palate: Another surprise when this is not at all heavy on the palate. Medium plus weight. Black raspberry. Tannins I associate more with some whole cluster or neutral oak.. not tons of new oak tanning here. soft tannins -- so guys, if this is 'not ready' and needs to be laid down then it's gonna be OTHERWORLDY once it hits the real drinking window you see for it because this is already fantastic. which shocks me as a zin blend, since I have heretofore not been a 'Zin guy'. This is so blanaced though, with a slight peppery finish, black cherry and tobacco emerging with slight sarsparilla root. Little hint of sweetness but in the absolute most elegant way, and mostly dry. Medium acidiity and alcohol that disappears on the second sip. Think the carignan really helps balance the zinniness here.

SO seamless, SO seductive yet NOT plush! Really well made, harmonious wine.

Okay... okay.... I get it.

I get the appeal.

My wife, Anna’s immediate reaction (recorded and transcribed)

“[sniffs] Some kind of dark berry. Like raisiny but a little bit more berry than it is raisin. [pauses to sip] Wow. Not sweet. Not dry. Kinda really balanced and at the end, right at the finish, my mouth was full of saliva. It’s like a burst of flavor. It’s like when you bite into a fruit. You know when you bite into a fruit and it’s that rush of saliva that fills your mouth. It’s like that. It’s like biting into a fruit. [coughs a bit after catching a waft of booze] A lot of fumes though. Oh yeah, it’s perfectly balanced for me. Not too dry not sweet. It’s got some berries. Feels like the berry family but more the dark berries, blackberry, blueberry, raisins. Not syrupy at all. It’s a good one. Where’d you get this one? Let’s have it when Joe and Theresa are here.”

DAY TWO

Visually the same. Nose has greater impression of chocolate/mocha, boysenberry, still some pie crust and vanilla, no alc heat on nose, red raspberry, hint of strawberry licorice.

Still midweight. Size of fruit has receded a touch, more soft dusty leathery tannins, exceedingly nice and begging for some steak today. Still some good midpalate fruit, a touch of length though not as mouth coating and lingering as on day one. Today the Carignan is more noticeably present and those zin characteristics are less showy. There is still some nice black cherry on this and a hint of pepper. The acid is nice and lively, keeping this from being heavy at all.

Today this wine really wants food!

A ribeye would be awesome, or bbq ribs but I think we are having turkey. Should actually be nice with turkey too. (I am already seeing how versatile a zin blend can be... wondering if a 100% zin would be nearly this versatile?)

DAY THREE (I have since learned I am better off finishing this sooner)

Still a lovely seductive nose that's lighter mocha with blueberry, raspberry, black cherry tones and vanilla. If you spend some time with it, perhaps some sweet asian soy glaze feel about it too and with it a small hint of allspice. Licorice has receded a good deal on the nose. No earthiness to speak of on the nose.

On the palate, some fresh raspberry fruit remains, but now more depth with dusty and tobacco-like tannins presenting with decent length. More noticeable tartness as the fruit has receded and the acidity is more assertive.

Would absolutely love this with bbq chicken wings that have asian glaze or a char-grilled salmon with glaze. Definitely liked this best on Day One.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    7/29/17, 9:11 AM - Now THAT's a tasting note! Thanks for taking the time to write it. Good stuff. And welcome to the world of Ridge field blends. They are a bit more aristocratic than most other zin-based wines, and there are some folks who don't "get" them. But in the long run, they stand head and shoulders above the crowd (along with a handful of other producers). Cheers!

Red
2011 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
7/19/2017 - OregonLoafer Likes this wine:
91 points
Surprisingly mature. I would drink this now. Lovely mix of savory coffee and earth with dark but juicy fruits. A bit of perfectly mature, mellow tannins. Finishes long and snappy with more than ample acidity to balance out the slight sweetness (or perception of sweetness). Went well with Ethiopian food!
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    7/19/17, 8:32 AM - Great note, and thanks. I was planning to open our last bottle at our wedding anniversary in September, so it sounds like perfect timing!

  • PNIELSEN commented:

    7/19/17, 10:06 AM - I've come to the conclusion that 6-8 years after the vintage is generally the sweet spot of drinkability for my taste. I'm not a big fan of tertiary aromas or flavors, which usually hit me more as "over the hill." I do have some Geyserville and Lytton Springs that I will sit on for a longer period of time, just to experience the "magic" that so many people talk about. Thanks again for your feedback.

Red
2009 Kenneth Volk Cabernet Pfeffer San Benito County
1/16/2015 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
89 points
This was the wine I took home from the tasting room after tasting through a wide range of eclectic wines from KV. In the glass at home, it did not disappoint. Translucent ruby in appearance (similar to a darker pinot noir), with an intriguing nose of strawberries, cherries and toasted nuts. Oddly, the wine had no strong impression of oak on the nose, yet it was very oaky on the back-palate (which I didn't mind). It tastes nothing like cabernet sauvignon but more like...I dunno...a cross between pinot noir and a peppery zinfandel(?). I'd buy it again for its uniqueness. Not a bad value either.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    5/11/17, 6:49 AM - Thanks for your comment! And agreed, it's a very interesting wine. I wish I had a chance to taste it again with a couple of years on it.

Red
2013 Melville Pinot Noir Clone 115 Indigène Sta. Rita Hills
11/4/2016 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
Textbook example of well-made Sta. Rita Hills pinot noir. I find it interesting that, despite the grapes having been destemmed, the wine still has a pleasant olive streak in its aroma and flavor profile. This should evolve nicely for another 3-5 years. (92+)
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    11/7/16, 6:57 AM - Agreed - It's hard to articulate, but I THINK I also can discern the unique character of the pinots from the SYV. Thanks for the feedback!

Red
2012 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
6/17/2016 - Chainthroer wrote:
92 points
The tannin doesn't seem especially resolved in this tasting - still an appreciable acidic sting on the tongue. This abates a little with Pizza. Like a year ago: "aromas and flavors of blackberry, black currant, earth, spice, hints of cinnamon and licorice. Fruit is ripe, intense and rich." Viscous in the mouth. Finish is longer than when last tasted. There is no rush to consume this Zin.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    6/18/16, 9:14 AM - Great notes, thanks.

Red
2013 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
6/16/2016 - chablis28 wrote:
92 points
Also served at grandson Keegans 2nd Bday dinner with weber grilled burgers on the deck. This was delicious and totally in my 31/32 yr daughter and son in law's wheelhouse. Might be a while before they "get" red Burgundy :). I am pleased that they do enjoy cool wine though. Smokey cedar creosote nose. Vanilla on the palate. I just slow oxed this for a few hours but in hindsight I should have decanted it for at least a couple hours as the oak does resolve fairly well 2 hours after actually pouring. Its big but the structure keeps it pretty fresh. Concentrated, not really a fruit bomb, more savory and earthy but still some dark fruit too. Cedar carries over on palate too. 14.2% Alc. I wouldn't drink this every week but a blt or 2 year is fun. More depth and subtlety than many straight 100% Zins. The 27% field blend of Carignan, Petite Syrah and Mourvedre adds character and complexity. I served this with bit of chill for dinner on our east facing but still warm deck and my adult "kids" noticed and loved it in the low 50s.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    6/18/16, 9:14 AM - Great notes, thanks!

Red
2012 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
2/4/2016 - markydecker Likes this wine:
90 points
Suggestive of future greatness, but needs to sleep until 2020 (note the comments on the back label, which over a few decades of experience with Ridge wines, are quite accurate). Wine is in a dumb phase and needs to integrate. The '12 Lytton is more drinkable at present. Stressing that both Lytton and Geyserville are not usually instant gratification type wines. Give them some time and they will surprise you with lovely Bordeaux style nuances. The '12 Geyserville will be a great wine.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    2/5/16, 5:37 AM - I second that. So many are willing to dismiss these wines as simple when they are young (although I found this 2012 Geyserville delightful when I opened it over a year ago). They are not for the immediate gratification crowd.

Red
2013 Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard Santa Barbara County
12/28/2015 - ElSol Likes this wine:
96 points
Still love this. I've been accused of inferior taste but this is a fruit bomb and I am drawn to that. Its a little hot. Modest tannins in this bottle, not a lot of complexity. But fruit for miles. Yum. I'm stocking up with a case for the long haul.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    1/8/16, 6:16 AM - I have realized that, when I'm having a bottle of wine, I'm usually looking for something to appreciate about it. I can enjoy wines of virtually any style, and I think this petite sirah is an impressive example of this genre. When did "yummy" become a bad thing? I think this wine will still be going strong in 15-20 years and will transform into something quite special.

Red
2012 Ridge Zinfandel Jimsomare Santa Cruz Mountains
9/15/2015 - Mike Dildine Likes this wine:
93 points
Does it get better than old vine Zin from Monte Bello Ridge?
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    9/15/15, 6:44 PM - 2009 was quite the anomaly, but the wine is exceptional, isn't it. Happy to be sitting on 2 more of these!

    Oops! I just realized you were talking about 2012. Pretty great also!

Red
2011 Jaffurs Syrah Verna's Santa Barbara County
8/31/2015 - Mootsie Likes this wine:
93 points
Still young ish, but moving more into the drinkable range than the last bottle we had a year or two ago. Floral nose with a hint of orange and spiced clove. Spicy, raspberry, plum fruits with anise and a mineral edge. You can taste the whole cluster inclusion which adds the complexity and the character. These should improve for years yet. Drink or hold.
Day 2 update. Better on day 1. More acidity/tannin to balance the fruit. A little flatter on the second day.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    8/31/15, 6:47 PM - Thanks for the note. This is good news, cuz I had a distinct green bean thing running through my first bottle (per my note). I take it none of that in yours? Yay.

  • PNIELSEN commented:

    8/31/15, 7:05 PM - Well, there is always more to learn. I suppose there's a chance that's the case, but this was pretty distinctive Bird's Eye green beans (my wife, who's not the wine geek in the family, nailed it). Anyhoo, I have high hopes for my next bottle.

    Love your notes, and your enthusiasm for Jaffurs. Been a fan for a while, a member for only 6 months or so.

Red
2013 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
8/22/2015 - Loren Sonkin wrote:
Allowed to breath for 30 minutes. This is much too young at this point. I won't assign a score. We did not enjoy it, but its day will come. The nose has some fruit but lots of vanilla and coffee. On the palate, there is a lot of fresh cut lumber with good fruit. Its a bit hot. The cork was replaced and it will be consumed tomorrow (or Sunday).
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    8/22/15, 6:17 AM - My reaction was much the same as yours, although we did enjoy it for what it is at this point. I almost feel as though Ridge released the wine too soon in order to stick with their usual release schedule. Thanks for the notes.

Red
2013 Ridge Zinfandel East Bench Dry Creek Valley
5/28/2015 - eluebchow wrote:
88 points
Definitely on the ripe and generous side, with a big palate of sweet blackberries and vanilla, but remains in balance with some firm acidity and tannins; An easy-drinker that I enjoyed which may pick up some complexity over the next few years
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    5/29/15, 3:34 PM - You really know how to write a tasting note. Always very clear, concise and actually informative. Thanks!

Red
2010 Ridge Petite Sirah Lytton Estate Dry Creek Valley
3/15/2015 - Tyler C Likes this wine:
92 points
Wow, very surprised. My first Ridge Petite and outstanding. Massive oak and massive fruit - works very well together for a BIG wine. Love it. I'll hunt for more.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    3/16/15, 8:36 AM - Thanks for the note. Did you find the wine very tannic at this point? When I popped one of these a couple of years ago, it was pretty hard and dry on the finish. I made a mental note not to open one for a good 4-5 years.

Red
2012 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
3/13/2015 - egh Likes this wine:
91 points
71% zinfandel, 19% carignane, 7% petite sirah, 2% mourvedre, 1% alicante bouschet. 14.4% alcohol. Despite being 70%+ zin, it does not dominate or take over the wine. To that point, the aromatic and and flavor profile really resonates 'field blend' for me with purple/blue fruits, licorice, spice, pepper, and a kiss of oak. Offers depth, balance, character, refinement, and rather moderate proportions with some sneaky tannins that grip and frame the finish. Just terrific after about two hours of air, but with the backbone/structure, stuffing, and history/track record to warrant time in the cellar. 91-92(+?) points.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    3/14/15, 9:17 AM - Now that's a useful tasting note. Thanks.

Red
1994 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley
2/9/2015 - Cmainardi wrote:
95 points
Third bottle just like the second bottle.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    2/9/15, 6:19 PM - Lucky you! Sitting on one myself, and I'm thinking of popping it on Valentines Day. Hope my experience is like yours...

Red
2012 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
9/18/2014 - Neecies Likes this wine:
92 points
Bought and tasted same day. Young but wide open, displaying the friendly sophistication that is the Geezer's hallmark. Good vintage! Been a long time since we luxed out with a baby Geeze; glad we did.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    9/18/14, 5:49 AM - Friendly sophistication. What a great way to put it!

Red
2010 Hanna Cabernet Sauvignon Red Ranch Alexander Valley
7/21/2014 - Merky_Waters Likes this wine:
90 points
90-91.
fabulous cab in the $25-30 price range. not super tight on pop and pour but give it a little time and this is just textbook california cabernet.

black cherry, blackberry, oak, vanilla and currants on the nose. similar on palate but with more pencil shaving and cooling mineral notes. medium body with a slightly grippy finish but unfortunately no dusty tannin.

what i love about this cab is how characteristic, yet balanced it is for California. the dark fruit, oak, acid, and tannin are all in check. to the non wine drinker this will go down easy, but to a trained palate you'll see a well-made structure that comes off as effortless.
  • PNIELSEN commented:

    7/22/14, 7:11 AM - Thanks for the note. My wife was gifted with a bottle of this only because her maiden name happens to be Hanna. I don't know much about it, but I've been putting off opening it on account of how structured the vintage is in general. Good to hear it's a quality cab!

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