Comments on my notes

(39 comments on 37 notes)

1 - 37 of 37 Sort order
White
2017 Te Mata Estate Chardonnay Elston Hawke's Bay
5/8/2019 - chatters wrote:
Standard worked chardonnay boxes all ticked…Plenty of oak, malolactic, a little peachy tending tropical fruit under this. Adjusted acid (?) is quite sharp, the fruit a little flat. Meh.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    5/20/19, 1:53 PM - I don't disagree with your tasting note but this will be interesting in 5 years.

Red
2013 Te Mata Estate Syrah Bullnose Hawke's Bay
4/20/2019 - seijaro wrote:
90 points
Not much varietal flavor here and light in style for a Syrah. Faded below 90 after 90 minutes, so we went to another wine after drinking half. Can't say it's a bad wine, just pretty much of a disappointment. I can't imagine why I tried NZ for a red, they own the SB grape and are pretenders with everything else.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    4/21/19, 1:31 PM - Steady on.

Red
2010 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Nebbiolo
4/2/2019 - dave747400 wrote:
92 points
With almonds & various cheeses night one, Steak & chip-shop chips night two.
Night one.... Poured one glass & ploughed through it with masochistic determination. Almost no nose and the very definition of 'tannic' in the mouth. Just a wall of dry tannin with something behind it, that no amount of swirling would penetrate. Cork replaced, in the fridge for 12hrs, then removed at midday the next day to come up to temperature.
Night two.... Enter stage left, miraculously transformed wine. Enticing sweet cherry & herb nose on pouring. Palate unrecognizable from yesterday. Full & sweet, cherries & red fruits all over the place but with burgundian lightness of touch as it glides over the taste buds. Tannins are present & correct, but part of the balanced whole. Gorgeous.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    4/2/19, 1:30 PM - So, if drinking now, 12 hour decant?

White
2016 Mahau Sound Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
9/24/2018 - Kevin Telaak Likes this wine:
89 points
Excellent. Just what you want from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    9/25/18, 1:56 AM - Too bad it's from New Zealand.

Red
2013 Seresin Pinot Noir Rachel Marlborough
1/16/2017 - k.lonis wrote:
88 points
New Zealand London Annual Trade Tasting (Lindley Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls): Red fruit, spices and sweet oak, the palate is light, tasty, red fruit and spices again, straightforward and easygoing, lacking complexity but would be nice to have on its own, med finish
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    7/18/18, 3:53 PM - Drinking window?

White
2016 Nautilus Estate Chardonnay Marlborough
5/10/2018 - cono_sur Likes this wine:
90 points
Highly aromatic with smoky-flinty notes followed by buttered popcorn, pear, and baked apple notes. The medium-full bodied palate is ripe and elegant with stone fruits, pear and gentle oak spice with just a touch of sweetness. Acids are very good, while finishing long.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    5/17/18, 2:18 AM - Time left?

Red
2011 Clos Cantenac Petit Cantenac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
5/10/2018 - dblogan Likes this wine:
93 points
Soft and supple with a balanced finish. Fully mature and excellent with a strip loin grilled steak, medium rare.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    5/14/18, 2:15 PM - Time left? PnP?

Red
2009 Sacred Hill Helmsman Hawke's Bay Red Bordeaux Blend
10/15/2016 - HowardNZ Likes this wine:
89 points
Again similar impressions to previously but a lower score. It's a good, well made New World Cabernet Merlot with no faults. However, I don't find any nuance or interest here. It is fairly linear. Perhaps it'll develop more interest as it ages? It's under screwcap so it'll be some years before any evolution becomes clearer ...
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    10/16/16, 12:52 PM - Interesting. I'm also surprised by how few bottles are in cellars on here, same goes for the '10 which I have (only 16 in cellars)...

  • benjaminpaul commented:

    10/16/16, 5:30 PM - I've only got two, so probably won't be opening the first one for a few years...better keep your eyes peeled around then for a TN ;)

  • benjaminpaul commented:

    11/20/17, 1:43 AM - Howard, I opened my 10. Interested to see your thoughts on my TN. Slightly disappointed...

Red
2011 Clos Cantenac Petit Cantenac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
11/8/2017 - C.Guzman Likes this wine:
93 points
Delicious!
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    11/10/17, 12:29 PM - Any idea of how much time left?

White
2015 Domaine Billaud-Simon Chablis Chardonnay
7/26/2017 - vlzat wrote:
90 points
The case is finished itself. Very enjoyable wine. So much lovely aroma of stone fruits, citrus, melon, flowers and grass with lingering mineral finish. Don't cool it too much.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    7/26/17, 3:57 PM - Time left?

Red
2014 Penfolds Shiraz Bin 28 Kalimna South Australia
7/20/2017 - Johanlofstrand wrote:
100 points
Den var ok men sparar de andra 2
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    7/21/17, 3:23 AM - 100 points?

White
2016 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
7/6/2017 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
83 points
Flight on a flight (SFO-AKL) (AirNZ): Medium minus yellow color (has a touch of color)
Pronounced nose with classic aromas of grass and grapefruit, and hints of passionfruit and ripe mandarin orange.
On the palate, it feels like slight RS, maybe 2-3g? (this is likely close - the 2015 had 4g/L according to the producer website).
Slightly elevated alcohol - feels 13.5%. Medium plus acid. No phenolic bitterness. Clear flavors and a clean finish.

A great example of entry-level Sauv Blanc.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    7/6/17, 9:46 PM - Nice to see you coming to NZ!

White
2016 Saint Clair Family Estate Chardonnay Winemaker's Blend Marlborough
6/16/2017 - TheBoojum Likes this wine:
75 points
Something a bit special
4*
Expected a bit more based on past experience
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    6/20/17, 2:35 AM - Four stars but 75 points?

Red
2015 Ten Minutes by Tractor Pinot Noir McCutcheon Vineyard Mornington Peninsula
6/14/2017 - chatters wrote:
GT Wine Top Tasting 2015 Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir (8 Danks street, Sydney): Slightly stalky and dusty over sweet red berry. Hmm nose. More of the same on the palate. Having said that it is pleasantly fleshy but the fruit is, perhaps, a little tight. Travels long, finishes savoury and grippy. There is something here that compels me to consume. Rather nice.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    6/16/17, 2:44 PM - Terrible name.

Red
2013 Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot Gimblett Gravels Red Bordeaux Blend
4/25/2017 - evanqian wrote:
91 points
79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% Merlot, 6.5% Cabernet Franc

Medium+ dark red. Dark fruits, chocolate and clear capsicums in nose. Same flavours in mouth, solid structure, medium grained tannins, a little alcohol warm, medium finish. Generally balanced but not mellowed yet, need time.

BC 95, RC 18.5+, SK 97, IWC 2016 - Hawke's Bay Cabernet Blend Trophy

Ap 5/5, Ar 12/15, Palate 16/20, Overall 5+3/10
Total 91+/100
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    4/26/17, 1:09 AM - Nice. Had my 2010 Elspeth CS on Sunday night - was incredible!

White
2015 Brancott Estate Riesling Waipara
2/17/2017 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
90 points
This is 'Montana Waipara Riesling by Brancott Estate', their bog standard cheapie brand. This is not the Brancott Letter series. Nor the Montana 'South Island' label.

Well chilled. Screw cap.

Bargain. For approx $nz 9.00 this is outstanding Riesling. Great concentration, lively acidity - if drunk early - lovely New World Waipara Riesling flavours. Spatlese-Kabbinett style. Finishes semi-dry, not really dry. Not hugely complex Riesling, but a bargain for the price. Outstanding 'quaffer.'

VFM? V good. Buy again. Drink young. If on promo for $8.99 a super bargain.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    2/19/17, 1:33 AM - Bought based on your recommendation, great stuff.

White
2013 Craggy Range Chardonnay Single Vineyard Kidnappers Vineyard Hawke's Bay
2/17/2017 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
82 points
approx $NZ 26.00
Screw Cap.

A bit ordinary, if I'm honest. New World chardonnay but done in the formerly fashionable heavy oak style. Wood on nose and wood in mouth.

Nose....wood! A bit of peaches and cream.

Taste .....again, wood! Med-dry wine. Good acid, feels mature at just 4 years old. Very settled, creamy. Just too much wood for me. Unbalanced? What, from the control-freaks at Craggy Range???? Nice almond flavour in there somewhere. Just a hint of minerals.

VFM? Not good. Will buy other CR whites again, not this one.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    2/18/17, 8:28 PM - I found this dissapointing in a recent tasting, there's just not enough going on. This is a Single Vineyard too!?

White
2015 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
1/18/2017 - evanqian wrote:
87 points
Classic Marlborough SB. All typical aromas and flavours, clear and clean in mouth. High acidity, more restrained and moderate palate comparing to other Marlborough or its previous vintages, but it goes over, making a sudden stop finish. It tastes more diluted in general. Disappointed under its reputation.

Ap 5/5, Ar 12/15, Palate 16/20, Overall 4+0/10
Total 87/100
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    1/18/17, 3:38 PM - I find Cloudy Bay becoming more and more disappointing too - potentially that other NZ SB's that are more modern have just eclipsed it...

White
2014 Villa Maria Chardonnay Reserve Marlborough
1/7/2017 - evanqian wrote:
91 points
Blind Tasting - Finest New Zealand Chardonnay (Epsom, Auckland): Opened this after blind tasting, pure and clear Palate, textbook style, stone fruits, nuts, oak, cream and subtle minerals. all balanced. Same quality level as blind tasting lineups tonight.

Ap 5/5, Ar 13/15, Palate 17/20, Overall 4+2/10
Total 91/100
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    1/17/17, 9:33 PM - Enjoyed reading these Chardonnay reviews.

White
2014 Leeuwin Estate Riesling Art Series Margaret River
1/14/2017 - Marc wrote:
90 points
Beautiful showing for this wine. Lime, high toned honey, minerals, classic Riesling fruit, lowish acid, quite developed, wonderfull balance, Drinks very well now. Certainly outstanding with Thai Beef Salad.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    1/14/17, 1:05 PM - Any thoughts on its aging potential?

Red
2006 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant California Red Rhone Blend
10/23/2016 - chatters wrote:
funky but in an enjoyable way, quite fleshy and pleasant. Nice.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    10/24/16, 2:15 PM - All I can think about is The Castle. We're going to Napa Valley?

Red
2014 Dry River Pinot Noir Martinborough
10/9/2016 - chatters wrote:
Pinotpalooza (Carriageworks, Redfern): Funky and meaty, slightly reductive almost; closed down. With work some fruit starts to come through though it does feel a little disjointed. More of the same on the palate - all the ingredients are there but it feels disjointed like watching a puppy on a slippery floor.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    10/15/16, 11:02 PM - Does that mean young?

Rosé
2014 Ohau Gravels Woven Stone Wairarapa Rosé Blend
10/11/2016 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
92 points
Ohau Gravels Rose' (Woven Stone label) 2014
Bought £7.50 promo price Sustainable Wines UK October 2016

Brilliant. Everything I want in a Rose': finishes dry after shed loads of fruit, beyond pink, solid medium-bodied, v good with food as well as natural quaffer, being well chilled doesn't dull its flavour. Fun.

C....beyond Pink, no insipid south of France/Provence AC rubbish here.

N....heaps of charming strawberry, plums, raspberry.

T....tons of fruit but balanced with cleansing acidity. Perfect picnic wine - if you can keep it chilled. I'm amazed it's still this fresh and exciting at 2 yrs old. Best Rose' I've had in ages, even a little better than the excellent Villa Maria's Private Bin Hawke's Bay 2015 Rose (£8.00 Tesco's).

VFM? Bargain at £7.50 promo price. Worth twice that. Kicks over-priced tasteless Provence AC Rose into the ditch.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    10/12/16, 10:44 PM - Brilliant

Red
2015 Peter Yealands Pinot Noir Reserve Marlborough
10/6/2016 - hughcmagee Likes this wine:
83 points
Characteristically pinot noir to look at - light red, almost translucent. A strong nose of plum and other dark fruits. Very smooth taste at the start (almost a little too so). Not much flavour mid-way through, though a tad more oomph towards the finish. A very soft aftertaste, which may not be to your liking if you prefer dry wine. Probably would go well with an inexpensive Indian, red meat curry.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    10/6/16, 2:00 PM - Interesting. The 2014 was the Gold/Champion Pinot Noir at New World Wine Awards 2015 and I found it quite exquisite. Perhaps 2015 ain't their year?

Red
2015 Sileni Pinot Noir The Plateau Hawke's Bay
9/25/2016 - Duncan wrote:
89 points
Dark ruby. Translucent, but fairly intensely coloured. Attractive nose of black cherries and something medicinal. On the palate there's a balsamic tang offsetting the sweet fruit. Quite long, good acidity, more (fine) tannins than most NZ Pinots; a food wine, though pleasant by itself too. There's a nip of heat, surprising as it's only 13.5%. Overall, a very pleasing New World Pinot, worth paying attention to. Screwcap.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    9/25/16, 3:50 PM - Hawke's Bay Pinots are certainly something to keep an eye on...

White
2015 Lay of the Land Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
9/19/2016 - Lobonick Likes this wine:
86 points
I'm amazed to be praising a NZ Sauv Blanc. Powerful guava and tropical fruit on the nose with just a bit of dried grass. Palate is balanced and has an earthy note. (Thank goodness there is no pornographic "grassiness" or gooseberry or even worse, cat pee!) Really a nice wine. I'm startled about where it's from.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    9/19/16, 11:21 PM - Sounds like you don't like what Marlborough SB is known for! Might I recommend trying some Hawke's Bay or Martinborough SB's from NZ - they don't tend to contain the pornographic notes :)

Red
2014 Taylors Merlot Promised Land South Australia
7/17/2016 - evanqian wrote:
83 points
generally juicy and smooth. black currant and subtle mint notes, light bodied with some powdery tannins. good acidity. some greenish notes, a food friendly table wine.

Ap: 5/5; Ar: 11/15; palate: 14/20; overall: 2+1/10
TOTAL: 83/100
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    7/17/16, 5:03 PM - Always find the Promised Land labels a good buy.

Red
2009 Château Le Grand Verdus Grande Réserve Bordeaux Supérieur Red Bordeaux Blend
6/24/2016 - EMAZurich wrote:
90 points
Einmal eine erste Flasche kosten...
Ja, weder Nase noch Gaumen wirklich aufregend. Nullachtfünfzehnbordeaux, glatt, international - nicht schlecht aber nicht gut. Naja...
Ein veritabler Mitwochenwein aber für den Jahrgang enttäuschend. 89

Tag 2 - heute deutlich schöner. Schwarzbeerig, Teer, Lakritz mit schöner Mineralik und leichtem Honighauch im Finale. Heute 91, belassen wir das finale Voting im Moment bei 90...
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    6/25/16, 11:13 PM - Probably requires a decanter as suggested from the other tasting note. Glad to see a good rating for the 2nd night.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
12/24/2015 - benjaminpaul wrote:
92 points
On the nose orange, lemon, lime, white flesh fruit, green apple. Palate is similar with minerality, and slight toasty characteristics that don't dominate the beautiful fruit. Wonderful drop.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    12/27/15, 10:44 PM - I don't know too much about Champagne but this certainly was exceptional.

Red
2010 Cristom Pinot Noir Sommers Reserve Willamette Valley
5/24/2015 - Anonymous wrote:
89 points
Actually could use more time as nice but complexity lacking but has the stuff to improve.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    5/26/15, 8:13 PM - I believed that the complexity lacking was a hint towards the fact it was starting to thin out - not going to improve...?

White
2008 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre Chardonnay
2/20/2015 - HowardNZ Likes this wine:
93 points
Under cork. Drunk over three evenings (in the fridge with the cork in between). Did not change over that time. Old gold, light colour. Nose of baking spices, wet slate and limestone, stainless steel, limes, calcified oyster shell and sea spray. Gorgeous sparkling acids on palate provide surgical precision and focus. Great acidic cut. Similar flavour profile to the bouquet: citrus, green apple and rock salt mixed with steel, crushed granite and chalk. Grand cru level dry extract, complexity and power. A long, dry finish. A match made in heaven with a good blue cheese. I've had a couple of good MdTs lately - including '10 Billaud-Simon and '12 Patrick Piuze - and this is head and shoulders above. Ideally, give it another 3+ years.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    2/21/15, 3:06 PM - Beautiful tasting note.

Red
2010 Azienda Agricola Cos Sicilia Maldafrica Red Bordeaux Blend
11/14/2014 - Christoffer78 Likes this wine:
94 points
An absolutely stunning effort made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a slight amount of Frappato as the "dot over the i". The first impression is very intense, flowery and clean with the nose full of red berries, citrus zest, mint and green strawberries. There is also fresh herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary. This nose is just amazing and it keeps improving the more air the wine gets. The palate is just as good with a very outspoken and vivid acidity integration will improve with time, but there is certainly enough structure to compensate. Tannins are not very vocal, but they linger on in the backend. This is a lovely wine, which will benefit from being paired to food. Will last for years in the cellar.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    11/26/14, 12:48 AM - Great tasting note.

Red
2012 Santa Cristina (Antinori) Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
9/22/2014 - Woodbridge Brad Likes this wine:
85 points
Slightly green and rough around the edges it is still a very enjoyable red. Reasonable fruit and development, nice value at $10.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    9/23/14, 12:23 AM - You're right about how green this is, for some reason I think this is why I took such a liking to it. Agree with your score!

Red
2011 Ata Rangi Célèbre Martinborough Red Blend
12/28/2013 - evanqian wrote:
87 points
Classic NZ Wine Trail - Martinborough (Martinborough): unusual red blend: 60% Merlot, 30% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, though it's been there for many years.

dark red/purple. still young. intense flavours. strong Syrah pepper spice and Merlot dark fruits. CS contributes powdery tannins as backbone in the quite grand but weird structure. heavy and powerful, long woody finish with chocolate and vanilla. but I think there is less harmony among different flavours, tastes just like a quick mixture. reluctant to say it's balanced, maybe this style is too weird to be my cup of tea.

Alc 13.5% , TA 6.0, pH 3.5

Bob Campbell 90(Apr 2013) 93(Jun 2014), Sommelier 2014 Gold, Michael Cooper 4.5 stars

AP: 4/5; AR: 12/15; Palate: 14/20; overall: 3+4/10
TOTAL: 87+/100
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    9/17/14, 6:48 PM - Perhaps drunk too young?

Red
2003 Bodegas Navalon Valdepeñas Anciano Gran Reserva - Aged 10 Years Tempranillo
5/13/2014 - Michael Grey Likes this wine:
95 points
It's all in the bottle!
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    7/26/14, 11:26 PM - Are you serious?!

Red
2012 Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir Gold River Central Otago
6/3/2014 - Marc wrote:
85 points
Earthy and stemmy/spicy nose of sour cherry. On the palate, correct to its Central Otago terroir with a nice balance for an entry level wine. Refreshing and lingering with sour cherrie on the finish. Very well judged.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    7/25/14, 6:35 PM - Agree with the scoring on this review. You're right, a nicely balanced wine for entry level but IMO at mid level price.

Red
2012 Terra Sancta Pinot Noir Bannockburn
12/8/2013 - graemeg wrote:
NobleRottersSydney - Christmas Lunch 2013 (DavidC's house): {screwcap, 13.5%} (Gordon) Mid-garnet. Polished cherry nose over a dark earthy foundation. Classic Otago mix of brightness and earth. Sweetly-fruited, with gentle gritty tannins. Blossoms like a flower on the palate. The sweetness of the fruit flavours is surprisingly contrasted with a very dry and quite austere finish. Medium-bodied. Very good but needs some time to mature.
  • benjaminpaul commented:

    6/29/14, 10:57 PM - Spot on.

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