Tasting Notes for PaulH

(640 notes on 577 wines)

1 - 50 of 640 Sort order
Red
12/11/2019 - PaulH wrote:
93 points
Remarkably lively with a great traditional nose of tobacco.
Red
12/7/2018 - PaulH wrote:
86 points
Not much fruit, but lots of tannins and acid. Not dead, but not good.
Red
6/1/2018 - PaulH wrote:
80 points
Throwing off a tremendous amount of sediment, showing serious maderization. Drink up if you have any of these.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/3/2016 - PaulH Likes this wine:
92 points
Clear translucent garnet color. Wonderful nose of fruit and spice with a barest touch of oak. Medium body and a complex palette of cherries and spice with perfect balancing acidity. Long and very enjoyable finish. This is a traditionally styled wine bursting with flavor, and it is in a really great place right now.
Red
12/25/2015 - PaulH Likes this wine:
90 points
Ripe, but balanced with fully resolved tannins. Excellent minty spice on finish. A very enjoyable wine with many years left, I'd guess.
Red
12/8/2015 - PaulH Likes this wine:
92 points
This is the best bottle of Alesia Pinot Noir I have had. It is smooth, silky and balanced with just the right amount of sweet fruit to make it delicious. This was the last of my two bottles and I am ver sad that they are gone.
Red
4/15/2015 - PaulH Likes this wine:
93 points
Excellent balance. Good acidity and great structure. Still quite young but this will be a great bottle of wine.
Red
4/15/2015 - PaulH wrote:
87 points
Dark fruit, closed, angular. No obvious faults, just not very much fun.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/3/2015 - PaulH Likes this wine:
92 points
Pure clear red-purple color. Expressive nose of red fruits. Great balance of fruit and acid. Refreshing with no signs of age. This is a great bottle of California Pinot Noir made in a restrained yet expressive style.
Rosé - Sparkling
8/18/2014 - PaulH wrote:
80 points
Very funky both on the nose and palate. Life is too short to drink this kind of wine.
Red
5/17/2014 - PaulH Likes this wine:
91 points
Peppery, good acid and balance. A really nice wine. Good show!
White
9/16/2013 - PaulH Likes this wine:
90 points
Well made wine, fresh and full of spice. Completely different and a wonderful find.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2/25/2013 - PaulH Likes this wine:
95 points
This wine is amazing. It is clean, full of flavor, and in perfect balance. It is juicy fruity acidity with complexity. Also, it is no where near mature, or even at a plateau. It tastes as fresh as it did five years ago. I don't know what the magic is that makes some wines special, but this wine was touched by magic.
Red
12/4/2012 - PaulH wrote:
87 points
A New World style Pinot Noir with medium-full body, and a color moving into the brown end of reddish. This bottles was obviously into middle age. It has lost the exuberance of youth without replacing it with complexity or nuance. Drink now.
White
7/21/2012 - PaulH wrote:
87 points
Somewhat reminiscent of a Txakolina. Slight spritz that declined with time open. Sparkling clear silver-gold color. Eleven percent alcohol, light body, strong notes of grapefruit; refreshing. Chilled, a perfect summer wine.
Red
1/24/2012 - PaulH wrote:
90 points
Surprisingly good. Excellent nose of spice and classic pinot noir fruit. Flavor profile was remarkably like a Burgundy, with spice and mineral and loads of acid. The only give-away as to its New World origins was a somewhat forward fruitiness. As the evening wore on, a lack of complexity became obvious, but this wine must have been from fairly young vines. The wine showed very youthful, and five to ten more years of life seem conservative. I was surprised by the quality. I'm absolutely willing to try it again if I have a chance.
Red
4/24/2011 - PaulH wrote:
90 points
Should have read the other notes before opening this. Way too young, tannic and tight. I'm going to see if a few hours in a decanter will help.... It did. After four hours, things had moderated so that the tannins and fruit weren't sticking out as much and so obvious. Fairly restrained nose with noticeable lavender. This is a modern-styled wine, full of stuffing. Best to drink with strongly-flavored foods. I had it with a leg-of-lamb stuffed with lots of garlic. If you decant this, it is drinkable now, but I think it needs three years or so additional cellaring.
Red
4/5/2011 - PaulH wrote:
90 points
1994 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - purchased thirteen years ago in a supermarket in Charlotte for $20/ea. A bit of bricking at the rim and the tannins are very soft, but there is no oxidation, and everything that is still here is in perfect balance. Not a lot of complexity, but still has plenty of fruit, great acidity, and a nice finish. I was expecting a ghost and found something very much alive and fun. Two left.
Red
8/8/2010 - PaulH wrote:
86 points
There is nothing really wrong with this wine, it doesn't taste old, and it has no obvious wine making flaws, but it isn't a lot of fun to drink. It is obviously cabernet with cedar and casiss on both the nose and palate, and it is amazingly young given its age, but it is glaringly green-tasting and stuffed with tannins and acidity without the fruit to support it. I don't think this will improve with age, so if you have some, get some unctuous beef or lamb (which the acid will help to tame) and have a wonderful dinner.
Red
8/7/2010 - PaulH wrote:
85 points
Big wine. Overripe, getting flabby with age. Drink now if you have any.
Red
7/29/2010 - PaulH wrote:
93 points
Really excellent and well-balanced.
Red
6/6/2010 - PaulH wrote:
82 points
Color, darkish red/brown. Nose shows advanced age. Medium-full body; noticeable alcohol on the finish. Palate of stewed/oxidized flavors, with very little fruit or acidity. Lots of tannins, though. Drinkable in a pinch, but not a lot of fun. I don't think this bottle had any flaws that weren't there on bottling.
Red
5/31/2010 - PaulH wrote:
88 points
Medium color and transparent. Nose of stewed overripe fruit. Medium body, moderate acidity, alcohol sticks out a bit. Palate of spice and fruit, but not much complexity; slighty bitter aftertaste. I don't think this will go anywhere but down hill. Drink now.
Red
4/6/2010 - PaulH wrote:
82 points
Stewed prunes. Overripe, no acid, should have been drunk young like a Beaujolais. Leftovers are going into Coq au Vin.
Red
8/9/2009 - PaulH wrote:
83 points
Big, dark red brooding color, but a bit of transparency at the edges. Initial nose was closed except for some alcohol. Initial taste showed a big red with gritty tannins almost completely lacking in any Pinot Noir character. I poured the bottle into a decanter and left it for about 90 minutes. With time it is still closed, lacking ripeness. The fruit is dark and angular, hiding behind acid and gritty tannins. This could theoretically eventually turn into something pleasant to drink, but I'm not holding my breath. It isn't really flawed, just unrecognizable as pinot noir.
Red
6/2/2009 - PaulH wrote:
flawed
Badly corked. I love Ojai wines and I especially hate to lose a bottle this way. This is the first corked bottle from Ojai out of more than four cases consumed.
Red
3/24/2009 - PaulH wrote:
83 points
Dark red purple and opaque. Full bodied with gritty tannins and overextracted super ripe flavors. Would never pick this out as a pinot noir in a blind tasting. Not very enjoyable, and definitely not my kind of wine, though probably good with jerked BBQ'd short ribs or something else that took your mind off of the wine.
Red
12/28/2008 - PaulH wrote:
92 points
Garnet red color, light and translucent. Floral nose. Palate shows moderately ripe fruit, medium body, oak noticeable but not objectionable. Elegant, restrained pinot shows breeding and complexity without showing off fruit, extraction or alcohol. Excellent wine.
Red
12/27/2008 - PaulH wrote:
91 points
Dark purple-red color, shows clear with light behind. Rhubarb, cranberry and plums plus oak on the very nice nose. Meduim-plus body showing a core of obviously ripe and sweet fruit, but it has good acid, and everything is in balance. Very smooth and velvet like with moderate finish and a hint of smooth ripe tannins. The wine is in a good place now, drinking well, and not in danger of going downhill any time soon. A very good moderate modern-style RRV pinot.
Red
9/27/2008 - PaulH wrote:
90 points
Still deep ruby/purple color. Slightly closed nose of ripe blueberry fruit. Very tannic and extracted, but with good balancing acidity. Medium-full body, very structured, still needs a lot of time.
Red
6/14/2008 - PaulH wrote:
Still in good shape, no oxidation but little complexity. A fairly simple Pinot Noir that has aged well.
Red
5/17/2008 - PaulH wrote:
94 points
The initial commercial release of Joseph Swan Pinot Noir, made from vines that were four years old at the time. (Those same vines are still there). Medium dark brick clay red color with medium translucence. Nose still shows elegant pinot noir fruit with some dust and forest floor. With the tannins fully resolved the palate shows a smooth and luscious wonder of a wine, that despite the claimed 12.5% alcohol coats your mouth like raspberry velvet with a long smooth finish. Clearly an older wine, the exuberance of youth has been replaced by elegance and seamless balance. It lacks only the layers of flavors and complexity of the world's greatest wines. An absolutely wonderful pinot noir.
White
5/17/2008 - PaulH wrote:
90 points
Moderate copper-gold color. Nose shows a bit of oxidation/maderization along with fruit and a bit of minerality. Palate shows a fully-alive age chardonnay, with enough fruit, layers of flavors and balancing acid to carry its age with dignity. Good long finish with no off flavors.
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White
5/17/2008 - PaulH wrote:
92 points
Very light green-gold color with characteristic Aubert unfiltered slight cloudiness. Big, flavorful wine plenty of acidity to balance the ripeness and alcohol. Good balance and fine finish. Does not have the wow factor I associate with some earlier vintages. Perhaps some bottle age will integrate things and make this better.
White
5/17/2008 - PaulH wrote:
89 points
Mid-dark gold color. Very reserved nose with faint traces of ripe pear and a perception of sweetness. A big mouth-filling thick and viscous wine, without a lot of varietal character, but showing a bit of pear behind the moderate sweetness. Finishes clipped and with a bit of bitterness. Full of texture, but lacking the layers of flavor that you get with great wines from Zind.
White
5/1/2008 - PaulH wrote:
87 points
Very light straw gold color. Good acidity and minerality with a medium light body. Nice finish with fruit and mineral elements in balance. If you are expecting an aperitif, look elsewhere. If you need a nice crisp bottle of white wine with a meal, this is perfect.
White
4/29/2008 - PaulH wrote:
94 points
Dark gold color, crystal clear and gem-like. Flinty nose of ripe fruit and minerals. Medium body with layers of flavors including baked bread, and citrus, with honey on the finish. Clearly new world, but made in a very refined style. Beautiful fresh wine with elegance and complexity.
White
4/29/2008 - PaulH wrote:
92 points
Deep golden color, slightly cloudy indicating no filtration. Fairly reserved nose of ripe fruit and vanilla. Medium-full body, big full tropical and lime flavors with just noticeable oak. Good finish, but ultimately lacking finesse and complexity.
Red
1997 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
4/30/2008 - PaulH wrote:
93 points
From a 375ml bottle. Deep brick red color with some lightening at the rim. Clean expressive nose of plums and spice. Palate shows beautiful smooth fruit, acid, and integrated tannins with everything in perfect harmonious balance. A beautiful mouthful of wine at absolute peak right now. This is the kind of wine that makes everything all right with the world. The best Ridge Zins have a restrained elegance that reminds you of a four-star hotel... just like top quality aged Bordeaux. Excellent.
Red
3/29/2008 - PaulH wrote:
92 points
Color was a dark and opaque deep red-black with little or no lightening at the rim. Nose was very expressive showing herbs of provence, reserved elegant fruit, and cold-climate pepper. The palate showed completely dry with no California pruniness or overripeness at all. There were tastes of rich dark berries, spices, minerals and marked pepperiness. The wine showed great balancing acidity, and initially there were prominent tannins on the finish. After 20 minutes or so, the tannins began to integrate and the wine really opened up. It was still obviously Californian, but closer to a Northern Rhone profile than any other California syrah I've ever tasted, save for Edmunds St. John. No obvious oak, and certainly no excessive alcohol. Although delicious now, this has great structure and is still young with years ahead of it. Most excellent.
White
2/6/2008 - PaulH wrote:
Very light pale gold color. Nose was restrained a bit of acid and minerals and hardly any hint of oak, as it warmed it started showing a bit of cotton candy / banana (which are probably fermentation esters which will disappear with time). Palate was also restrained and tight, but it had a good foundation of fruit and that bracing and characteristic acidity and chalky minerality. This was intentionally throttled back compared to prior vintages, with 14.1% alcohol and only 40% new oak. I think this wine was too young for me to tell much about its eventual development, though it seems to have the potential to be the best one yet.
White
2/6/2008 - PaulH wrote:
93 points
Clear and sparking light gold color. Nose shows ripe fruit and acidity/minerality with a bit of spicy oak. The palate is lush, oily and unctuous with good bracing citrus-like acidity. This was my favorite of the four vintages at the tasting, as it showed the best combination of concentration and balance. I didn't note much of the characteristic minerality on the finish, but I took the last of the bottle home and when I tried it three days later, it still showed great balance and this time, had a complex chalky character to the long finish. I'd say "buy this wine" but since there were only 200 bottles made, if you don't already have a bottle, you are probably out of luck. 14.9% alcohol, aged in a (single) one-year old barrel.
White
2/6/2008 - PaulH wrote:
92 points
The fourth time I've tasted this wine, but this time it was in the company of its three siblings ('03, '05 & '06). Color is clear silvery gold, quite light. Nose shows a bit of funk, interesting, but not as clean and refreshing as the other bottles, I think it is the oak poking though. This is possibly the ripest tasting of the four chards, but it is well balanced by the citrusy acidity; and there is a chalky minerality on the finish.
White
2/6/2008 - PaulH wrote:
90 points
Color is a slightly greenish gold, with a bit of leesey cloudiness. The nose is clean with marked acidity and a hint of breeze from the seashore. Nice ripeness with obvious yet balanced acidity which seems characteristic of all the Rhys chards. Made from fruit from two year old vines, this is well balanced and Chablis-like, but is less complex and interesting than the later examples.
Red
1997 Peter Michael Les Pavots Knights Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/5/2007 - PaulH wrote:
94 points
Celebrating Repeal Day with Twelve California Wines (1968-2005) (Acme Chophouse, San Francisco, CA): Red black color, with a good nose of fruit and chocolate. Great extraction with ample tannins, but there is a lot of complexity here and superb balance. A very well made with from excellent material, this was the best of the modern-monster wines at the tasting.
Red
12/5/2007 - PaulH wrote:
88 points
Celebrating Repeal Day with Twelve California Wines (1968-2005) (Acme Chophouse, San Francisco, CA): Color is inky dark purple-red. Nose shows eucalyptus, green grass, and some stems, hovering above monster stewed fruit. Body full plus, like Port. Super extracted flavors of chocolate and blueberries with a forbidding wall of tannins. Palate and finish both seem sweet. This wine is just too much for me. It will probably eventually turn into something I would like better, but for now it is a perfect monster to appear as the poster child of the modern CA Cab style. Not my thing.
Red
12/5/2007 - PaulH wrote:
93 points
Celebrating Repeal Day with Twelve California Wines (1968-2005) (Acme Chophouse, San Francisco, CA): Color is opaque and deep purple-red, almost black. Nose and palate both show super ripeness with fruity blueberry and chocolate flavors hiding behind endless ranks of ripe tannins. Super primary still, and a bit simple right now. Waiting five or ten years before trying again seems like a good policy.
Red
12/5/2007 - PaulH wrote:
95 points
Celebrating Repeal Day with Twelve California Wines (1968-2005) (Acme Chophouse, San Francisco, CA): Wow, another example of what a superb year 1974 was for California Cabernet. This wine smelled and tasted remarkably youthful. There was great fruit with a wonderful blueberry and bittersweet chocolate core. The body was medium plus. rich and mouth coating with a chewy texture. There was great balance between the fruit, acid, and tannins. and the wine had a lingering sweet finish. A wonderful mouthful of wine. Close to unanimous WOTN.
Red
12/5/2007 - PaulH wrote:
90 points
Celebrating Repeal Day with Twelve California Wines (1968-2005) (Acme Chophouse, San Francisco, CA): Color was dark garnet, almost opaque. The nose was quite advanced age-wise, but clean and without faults. The wine had a medium body with brambly fruit and tastes of dark chocolate. Structure was classic, with good acid and tannin balance. Finishes well, and without any bitterness. Not terribly complex.
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