Tasting Notes for PNIELSEN

(241 notes on 170 wines)

1 - 50 of 241 Sort order
Red
This is not a wine to open for immediate gratification. It has a great nose of dried cranberries, blackberries, coffee and evergreen that can be smelled from a foot or two away, but it is pretty wound up at the moment, with a tight entry and some drying tannins to be resolved. Definitely a cool climate impression this vintage. I think it would drink fine with a meal, but for enjoyment on its own, I would suggest holding off for a couple of years, maybe longer. I have a hunch this one will evolve into quite a beauty (92-95).
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Red
9/18/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
88 points
If you like Grenache, you owe it to yourself to try a bottle of this. Excellent QPR on this one, found at Trader Joe's for $7.
Red
9/13/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
What this wine is currently lacking in aromatic intensity it makes up for in complexity. Great mid-palate density, with an exotic flavor profile of strawberries, pomegranate, orange peel and an herbaceousness akin to sagebrush. It has softened considerably over the past 7 months and is in a great place right now, with just a little bit of tannin left to be resolved. I'll give my remaining bottle another 6-8 months.

I think the whole cluster inclusion really raises the interest level for the PMV Grenache, and I would welcome this as a standard treatment for the flagship wine.
Red
9/2/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
93 points
This is a formidable wine. Deep, dense and layered, with tons of coffee and mocha on the finish. This is very young, and 3-5 years are sure to reveal more complexity. I'll try to keep my hands off my remaining bottles for a good long while. (93+)
White
8/29/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
87 points
I love a good Torrontes, but I tend to forget to go down that aisle at the store! Colombe has always been a favorite. This is a bright, floral, food-friendly wine that is delightful on its own.
Red
7/27/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
This is a blend from several of BC's vineyard holdings. Impressive right out of the bottle for an appellation-level wine, but it really comes alive with some air and especially after one's olfactory senses are loosened up with a few sips. Very nuanced with impeccable balance. Lovely SRH pinot!
Red
8/24/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
93 points
Similar impressions as on 10/12/18. Wonderful mid-palate density. This was our last bottle, but if I had another, I would try to give it 2 years for optimal enjoyment.
Red
8/23/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
90 points
Man cannot live on Rhones alone, so I'm happy that Beckmen offers this well-made Cab. Made in the house style, it offers up a plush mouthful of warm, herbal fruit with adequate acidity. I will be buying more.
Red
7/21/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
Bright and savory with a very floral finish.
Red
7/4/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
93 points
Consumed over 2 nights, over which time the nose had really developed. Gorgeously pure with flowers and haunting earthy scents on the finish.

There is some great Grenache coming out of SB County these days, but Beckmen may be the standard bearer.
Red
6/21/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
Terrific. Complex aromatics and, on the palate, suave and open for business.
Red
6/15/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
87 points
Don't be fooled by the humble name of this bottling. I find this to be a delightful, versatile quaffer with even a bit of complexity. Good QPR at around $7 at Costco.
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Red
5/31/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
93 points
This is drinking beautifully right now, but those who like older wines should be able to enjoy this for many years to come. Great, pungent nose of blue/black fruits and clove. Very rich with great citrusy acidity. There is some heat on the finish, but overall a great wine. Wish I had more!
Red
5/19/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
At the risk of opening too early, we decided to pop one of these last night. I found this far more expressive than the 2016 rendition at this stage. Beautiful, exotic aromatics of strawberries and earth, with a fair lashing of oak which I think only classes up the wine. It has some tongue-clenching tannin, of course. This may be my favorite version of this bottling over the past 3-4 years. Stellar stuff.

Update: I just became aware that this bottling does not have Syrah in it, which might partially explain why it's relatively more accessible at this point.
Rosé
4/26/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
89 points
Beckmen has a sure hand with rose, and this vintage is no exception. It is lighter in color than prior versions I have had, a beautiful salmon hue. On the palate, it is also more delicate, with a whisper of flowers on the back palate. Lovely stuff, glad I ordered a case. Taking a few to the beach next week!
Red
4/13/2019 - PNIELSEN wrote:
Good as ever. Still needs time for the tannin to unclench a bit. Hope I can lay off my remaining bottles for a year or more.
Red
4/3/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
84 points
I will split the difference and agree with TJIN on this one. Not a bad value at $10.99 at Trader Joe's in TN. I may buy again.
Red
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.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
3/24/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
This wine apparently is not wowing everybody, but count as me a fan. I find this to be a rich, balanced zin with a dark fruit emphasis. It's an earlier drinker than some Ridge zins, which is a good thing to have on hand while waiting for the more tannic wines to come around. I just reloaded on more for the second time.
Red
3/22/2019 - PNIELSEN wrote:
An odd showing for this wine last night. We enjoyed it, but it came across as somewhat angular, with acid more prominent than usual and a nose that was dominated by an acetone smell for the first hour or so. I'll refrain from scoring and chalk it up to bottle variation.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/15/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
We thoroughly enjoyed this. It has an intense nose of cherry cola, roses and a certain pleasurable stemmyness that had me checking the technical notes on Foxen's website to see if a percentage of whole-cluster fermentation was at work. (I was surprised to find there is none.) Very suave and smooth on the palate, making for easy drinking now, but this will continue to drink great for a number of years. (92+)
Red
3/3/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
90 points
Rich with deep blackberries and mulled spices. Some may find the oak obtrusive at this stage, but perhaps it will integrate with time. This is a fine zin, albeit with not quite the QPR as in the past given the price increase over the last couple of years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
No detailed notes taken. This strikes me as a worthy successor in the line of wonderful recent vintages for this bottling that I have tasted (2012, 2013 and 2014). There is adequate acid lurking beneath the blanket of rich, exotic fruit. It could definitely use a couple of years to settle in, but the problem is that it is so dangerously easy to drink now. I'll refrain from scoring, but viscerally I put this in the 93-94 range.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/23/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
A lovely pinot with aromas of cherry, rose petals and a whiff of graham cracker. Gorgeous texture, finishing with a perfect snap of acidity. This has more stuffing than many, so it can definitely age for a few years. My score (for what that's worth) may be a tad low.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
2/15/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
Our last bottle of this was right in the zone for my palate. It is rich and smooth, with just a whisper of tertiary nuances starting to emerge. I recommend allowing the bottle to sit upright for a day or so before decanting, as it does throw a good amount of sediment.
7 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/15/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
My 5th bottle of this wine. On the palate, this has the purity, stuffing and intensity to be rated a bit higher, but the nose is somewhat subdued. It started off very closed at cellar temperature, but as it warmed in the glass, it began to give off the classic exotic strawberry fruit for which Grenache is known. This is still very young and needs time to settle in. I only have a couple bottles left. Hopefully I can keep my hands off them until this is truly ready, and I hope that more aromatics will be emerging by then. (91-93)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/8/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
88 points
My wife and I were really impressed with the lineup of wines tasted in the Dragonette tasting room during our recent visit to Los Olivos, and especially with this pinot. However, we might have been suffering from a bit of palate fatigue, as this is not quite as expressive as we remembered, aromatically and on the palate, and it comes across as lacking in acidity. It's a beautiful wine, but we came home with other Sta. Rita Hills pinots that I think are superior.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
2/3/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
94 points
This has to be about as good as it gets for Lytton Springs. This vintage is easily the best I've tasted in my 30 years of being into wine.

There was a good amount of sediment left in the bottle upon decanting. Initially the nose was rather closed, but about 90 minutes in, it was showing gorgeous, complex aromatics. It isn't a crime to drink now, but it still has a fair amount of baby fat and I suspect will show even better in 2-5 years. I will probably pop our last bottle during the holiday season in 2020.

Major props to John Olney for this beauty. (94-95)
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Red
2/1/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
No notes taken, but from memory: The wine has an intense aroma that can be smelled from a foot or more away. On the nose, there is black cherry, flower petals and a hint of pleasant stemmyness, which I assume is from some whole cluster integration. The wine is rich, long and savory, with a distinctly smooth texture that makes it just so inviting. Really a lovely example of Santa Maria Valley pinot noir.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/20/2019 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
The bottle had a little over half-inch fill. The nose was somewhat muted, but it gave up notes of baked dark fruit and flowers. Texturally, the tannin has finally started to soften to point where it comes across as rather round and smooth on the palate into the second glass. The fruit is still plenty ripe but is starting to take on the piquant flavors of an aged wine. Moderate sediment was left in the bottle after decanting (I allowed the bottle to stand upright for a few days prior to opening). This was my last bottle, but I could see this providing pleasurable drinking for anywhere from 5-8 years, depending on what flavors you are looking for in your wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Minassian-Young Black St. Peter Paso Robles Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
If you have not tried this wine before, just be prepared for an ultra jammy, late harvest style of wine. Personally I think it would be best served to accompany chocolatey cookies after dinner. For drinking with a meal or even on its own, it's not my thing.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/18/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
The nose on this wine reminds me of a holiday potpourri of clove (tons of that), orange peel and dried cherry, with some brown sugar in the mix. Great aromatics. The wine is a bit more elegant and not as much of a bruiser as most Jaffurs syrahs. It is medium-bodied, bright and rich. Unfortunately it was my only bottle, but I'll remember it fondly! (91-92, with time)
Red
2012 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
12/16/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
For me, this wine has just entered its prime window of drinkability (so of course this was our last bottle). It still has some tannic grip, but some tertiary notes are starting to emerge in addition to the piquant bramble fruit and spice. The nose was not quite as expressive as on most other Ridge bottlings. As others have recently noted, this may be in a somewhat mute phase. Still very enjoyable, though. (92-93)
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/8/2018 - PNIELSEN wrote:
92 points
This was our last bottle. If I was sitting on more, I would try to hold off 2-3 years before opening. It is drinking nicely but is still rather tannic and needs to settle out a bit. Great aromatics though. (92-94)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/5/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
93 points
Gorgeous high-toned aromatics on this one. Enjoyable already but would benefit from a year or two in the bottle to soften the sinewy tannin somewhat.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/28/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
85 points
Well made in a lighter style. Not particularly deep or expressive. I think there have been better values at Costco where I purchased this (the Kirkland CdR Villages in particular).
Red
11/25/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
Consistent with May 2018 tasting. This is a gorgeous grenache.
Red
I'm always a little startled as this wine comes out of the bottle, the color is just so dark. Typical of Jaffurs PS from Thompson, this is a formidable wine, but I find it rather monolithic at the moment. I would give it 2-3 years in the bottle (91-93 in time).
Red
11/21/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
My impressions were pretty much in line with GRAVEDEE's comments. This hearty wine is hard to resist already, but it is pretty primary. It should shed some baby fat and offer up greater complexity given 2-3 years in the cellar. If only I had more of it! (91-93)
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White
11/18/2018 - PNIELSEN wrote:
This was rated 93 by Suckling, which is absurd. But it is a super tasty, pure expression of Chardonnay and a killer value. Buy by the case.
Red
11/9/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
We opened this way too early and consumed it way too fast. No detailed notes taken, but this is drinking very well already. Given the price point, I think it would be wise to sit on this for a few years to let it develop additional complexity beyond the already gorgeous fruit and sweet herb/tobacco notes. (92+)
White
11/5/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
90 points
A very nice chardonnay. I suggest serving it with only a moderate chill, as the aromatics and flavors don't really come forward until the wine has had a chance to warm up a bit.
Red
11/5/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
89 points
This wine is beautiful to look at and has wonderful purity of fruit, but the nose remains very muted. It's puzzling because that hasn't been my experience with the 2016 PMV Grenache or 2016 PMV Grenache Whole Cluster (at least recently). I do hope it becomes more expressive with some age.
Red
11/3/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
95 points
This was firing on all cylinders last night, with a kaleidoscopic nose of just about every scent syrah is capable of. I will try to keep my hands off my remaining bottles for a while to let it settle in a bit more, but it won't be easy. One of the finest wines in my cellar.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/2/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
92 points
My experience with this wine was different from some of the prior tasters. I am pretty high on this wine. The nose of overripe plums, coffee and mocha belies the vibrant palate of crunchy red fruits, overripe peaches and orange peel. There are floral and vanilla notes on the long, tantalizing finish. This is a rich, medium-full bodied zinfandel with great energy and verve, quite different in style from the 2014 version. I love it. (92+)
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/26/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
I have been a Ridge ATP member (on and off) for decades, going way back to the days when they were sourcing grapes from Park-Muscatine, Alegria, et. Al. I'm always intrigued when they release a new wine that doesn't come from one of their own vineyard holdings because, every so often, one comes along that is right in my wheelhouse. The 2014 Boatman zin was one, and this is another. My favorite zins are those that have a somewhat darker profile and are lush while retaining good acidity. This has a beautiful nose and glass-staining glycerin. Very drinkable now, although another year or two in the bottle will help resolve the medium tannins. Kudos to John Olney for bringing forth another beauty. I will be ordering more.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/12/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
93 points
Similar impressions as on 5/29/18. I love the gorgeous high-toned aromatics on this one. That said, I'm inclined to sit on my remaining bottle for a year or more to let the tannin unclench a bit. Another stunner from the Jaffurs team.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/8/2018 - PNIELSEN Likes this wine:
91 points
Similar impressions as my prior note, except that the wine is maybe a bit more open after 8 more months in the bottle. Great future ahead for this one.
Red
Right up there with my prior tastings. Glad I reloaded on a few more, but looking forward to getting the 2015 soon. (92)
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  • Tasting Notes: 241 notes on 170 wines
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