Tasting Notes for benjaminpaul

(394 notes on 341 wines)

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Red
5/19/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
Dark red with a purplish hue, decanted for an hour and poured from decanter through evening. Nose of blueberry pie, eucalyptus, bay leaf, rosemary, burnt but sweet cherry. Palate rich, thick and strong. Blood, heavy syrupy blackberry, reduced plum sauce and raspberry. It's heavy. Needs five years at least to let the fruits mellow out and ripen.

87+, this will have a higher score in future, but right now it wasn't that approachable.
Red
5/3/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
No notes, but this was great and a shame that Spy Valley has removed their Malbec vines.
White
5/12/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
87 points
Golden yellow. Not a heap happening on the nose, faint peach, apricot. Palate elegant and soft of tropical fruits in pineapple, mango, rock melon and stone fruits of peach and apricot and some fresh minerality. Finish is long and oaky, ending creamy and freshly buttery.
White
5/5/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
86 points
Golden straw. Old, metallic nose with faint apricot, oranges, pineapple, elderflower and peach - bready notes similar to champagne The palate is similar with stronger tropical fruits and citrus in pineapple, orange and mango. The finish is long with a marmalade tartness.

Drink now to enjoy what fruitiness this has left, there's a metallic, aged quality that is not so pleasant.
Red
4/27/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
89 points
Earthy and dark, dark plums, chocolate, coffee bean, menthol, dark berries and cassis. Palate long, smooth and inviting. Peaking now but comfortably years ahead for this, I wouldn't touch for another three to four.
Red
4/24/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
86 points
Plums, cherry and blueberry, some faint coffee notes. Palate similar but slightly thinner with a velvet texture and no tannins what so ever. Totally smooth, but really at drinking level now as the palate is a bit thin.
Red
4/23/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
flawed
Ribena and port. No structure. Flawed.
Red
4/19/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
84 points
Another destroyed cork, dry. Strained twice, lots of sediment. Served from a decanter. Once raisin funk blew off this opened to clear cherry, aniseed, old menthol, bookcase, old piano, strawberry and vanilla ice cream and kiwifruit pip. Palate is slightly reduced and short, of coffee bean, overripe and old blackcurrant and powdery plum. This is old, but still holding itself as the wine it was expected to be when young - which in itself is impressive. At $9? Great QPR and experience.
White
4/20/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
88 points
Golden. Nose of pineapple, caramel, overripe peach, mandarin liquor, orange and lemon concentrate, coconut. Palate similar, enticing and rich. Long and delicious. Yum. Drink now.
White
4/11/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
87 points
Golden brown. Cork broke in half in opening, strained the rest. Nose of thin grappa, old can of peaches, tiramisu lady fingers, old piano, vanilla, ripe orange zest, raisin box, overly fruited Christmas Cake, old floury apple, caramel, self saucing pudding and mandarin. Palate is rich and luscious of stewed peaches, Cointreau, concentrated apple, orange and pear juice, lime zest, fruit jube, Feijoa and almond, honey, oak.

Yes, it's at least 10 years past its prime but it's incredible how this opened up after an hour and really maintained its fruit. It changed from thin and grappa like at the start to full, expressive and fruity at the end. An amazing transformation.Wow, twenty year old Reisling from Marlborough really showing its stuff.
White
4/3/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
92 points
Same as last note, very, very good and holding up in cellar. An excellent example of Auckland chardonnay.
Red
4/8/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
91 points
Dark garnet, no clearing on edges. Aroma of dark plum, coffee bean, raspberry, dehydrated strawberry, chocolate, merengue, some woodiness in herb bush and a faint lipstick/makeup aroma. Palate rich yet elegant, of red and dark fruits, creme de cassis, fresh leather, slight green pepper, freshly ground five spice, cinnamon and dark earthy Ribena.

Day 2: Similar nose, although woodier and a brighter red berry on the palate, stronger confectionary notes. Smoother.

It's punchy and heavy, medium tannins giving a middle palate focus. Needs time to calm down and integrate a bit, it will be smoother. Slightly asleep? Time needed here, this was way too early, promising! 2022+
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/29/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
89 points
Some clearing on edges, with a floral nose in lavender, typical fruits of burnt and bright sour cherry, powdery ripe plum and earthier greener elements of rosemary bush and spice in liquorice. Palate brightly acidic initially with an unripe plum and cherry element, savoury notes of light mint and a slight earth and filtered coffee, cedar and eucalyptus finish. This has a very long finish and is generous, but has a sharp, singular mouthfeel. Acidity could calm down a bit with potential for greater integration, but drinking well now.
Red
3/8/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
89 points
Very dark purple. Nose of very dark fruits of blackberry, blackcurrant, earthier tones in coffee bean, eucalyptus, menthol and dark chocolate and cocoa, sometimes barnyard and a bit of funk. Palate is rich of stewed fruits, beef, Vegemite, liquorice, blackcurrant lolly and strong blue fruit tea. Medium long length with integrated tannins. This is an intense and rich wine, with notes in all directions from fruits to darkness to vegetal to meat. This could do with some cellaring for a few years and shows great QPR. Excellent if a little big, even at four years old!

This bottle came in a garish looking red plastic wrapper which had to be fully removed to open the wine and looked awful compared to the standard bottle and label. Not a great use of plastic, Penfolds.
Red
3/2/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
88 points
Decanted for an hour, double. Dark garnet, slight clearing on edges. Incredibly complex and unusual nose of plum, Christmas Cake, menthol, five spice, cinnamon quill, ink, blood and cold crushed river rocks, fresh bag of ground coffee, odder green notes of a ream of paper, pine, raw synthetic fibres, finishing with root and berry notes of liquorice and juniper. Palate is softer, quieter and less complex, but still elegant and juicy of blackcurrant, jam, cured meats and blackcurrant style cough syrup elements. It's smooth with present tannins, and medium in length.

Improved over the evening, with food it took on a stronger violet and cedar element, but was more enjoyable on its own. Drink now, don't see this improving much.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2/23/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
85 points
Clear gold. Faint nose of mandarin, peach and citrus peel. Palate is smooth of citrus (ripe lemon and orange), mango, fine oak and a nutty finish (cashew, almond). It's long, with concentration, but lacking a bit of finesse.
Red
2/23/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
92 points
Cork in excellent condition with only a touch of penetration. Double-decanted. Heaps of sediment, sat for about six hours in glasses, the rest back in the bottle. Dark purple/ruby, very small clearing on edges. From our decanted glasses was faint of cigar box, eucalyptus, menthol and coffee bean. Palate incredibly focussed of very ripe dark fruits in plum, prune, blackberry and blackcurrant. Our pour from the bottle changed markedly, the wine was more vibrant with greater eucalyptus, menthol, much darker, less ripe fruits and coffee bean and earth, forming a dark, liquorice and five spice jam. Big, dark and fully present with ripe fruits and fine tannins. Smooth, medium+ length. What surprised me is that for a 15 year old wine, this showed no fading in appearance, nose or palate. An excellent Coonawarra Cabernet with plenty of time ahead.

Double decant for sediment, one hour is enough.
White
2/22/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
86 points
Clear gold. Light nose of grass, passionfruit, honeyed yellow peach and orange blossom. Palate is more vibrant with sweet basil, lychee and some citrus. It's nicely made and quite mellow and regionally correct but in some ways, a bit boring and lacking expression.
Red
1/25/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
91 points
Same as last tasting note, delicious, juicy.
Red
1/25/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
92 points
Decanted for one hour, served from decanter over two hours.

Medium garnet. Elevated dark cherry and plum, cooling and earthy menthol and coffee bean and raisin elements in ripe prune and a faint sun-dried tomato aroma. Palate is punchy and vibrant of dark berries and fruits in plum, blackberry, cassis, glacé cherry and finishing with black forest chocolate and Christmas cake. Incredible depth, with full mouth feel and texture. While deep and dark, this wine still has a brightness to its fruit. Smooth tannins. The bouquet is slightly muted when comparing to the powerhouse of the palate which adds to the experience of each sip being so damn good. There's still a bunch of structure to this and I'm sure can be enjoyed for years to come.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/19/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
86 points
Decanted for one hour then served throughout evening. Dark garnet, no clearing on edges. Medicinal and earthy nose of dark cassis, menthol, dark berries, five spices, cinnamon and coffee bean, some green in rosemary and darkness in blood and graphite and finishing fruity with dark cherry and powdery plum. Palate chewy, loud, vibrant mix of ripe and under ripe red and dark fruits in raspberry, blueberry, and cool blackberry that again are quite medicinal. The finish is long with grippy and dominating tannins. Over the evening this became more tannic despite the fruit trying to present itself.

Day 3: stronger nose of ripe cherry and red berry fruits. Beefy, tannin rich still. Heavy and grippy.

Perhaps with further cellaring it might improve, but it's pointing towards a tannic dominator at this point. Hold to see how it goes.
Red
1/5/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
89 points
Rich, opulent nose of Christmas cake, cola, dark chocolate, dark cherry, plums and cured meats. Palate is ultra smooth but full of flavour in classic cherry, fine oak and currants but depth heading into dark plum, baking spices and a woody, bushy characteristic of smoked Manuka. This is smooth but complex giving the extracted, climate allowed weight of a Central Otago Pinot. Yummy. Drinking vibrantly now but keepable for the next year or so.
Red
2009 Puriri Hills Reserve Auckland Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/4/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
91 points
PnP. Deep ruby, moderate clearing on the edges. An earthy, clean nose of menthol, eucalyptus and fresh liquorice. Dark fruits present underneath in cassis and dark raspberry. Over time this evolved from earthy to more spicy in mature cinnamon bark and five spice and clearer red fruits. On the palate it's juicy red and dark berries in cherry, raspberry, blackberry and cassis. Heading into earthier tones of coffee bean and dark chocolate with nut - like scorched almond chocolates. Right at the end there's a black pepper and umami character. A moderate moutfeel with present, long tannins integrating well with the fruit's juicyness and acidity. This is fine, long and elegant, delicate in its complexity. Drinking well now, but has time left in this beautiful Auckland blend.
White
1/3/2019 - benjaminpaul wrote:
87 points
Very clear gold. Light bouquet of peach, nectarine, minerality exhibited through orange. Has an Absolut Orange clearness to it. Palate is more engaging of fresh citrus (lemon and lime), zesty herbs in basil and some coriander, finishes with some stonefruits and sharp mango. It's clear and zesty but I find lacks a bit of expression like many Central Savvys.
Red
2014 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo (view label images)
12/29/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
89 points
Decanted for thirty minutes, cooled down in the fridge for twenty and drank over three hours. Deep ruby. Initial nose of fresh baking spices in cloves and cinnamon, dark cassis, earth and brewed coffee grinds. Clearing to a fainter, greener nose of unlit menthol cigarette, young cigar, fresh dark fruits and rosemary wood. The palate is warm and bright in red fruits, liquorice and finishing with a touch of olive brine. Its chewy and present tannins with some fresh acidity keep this from lingering too far into its heat and slight thinness on the finish giving it a medium length at best. Best just under room temp to keep the heat at bay and the flavours intact. Another two to three years in this lovely Rioja.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
12/26/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
91 points
Served around 8'C initially. Strawish. Kerosene and pool toy giving this an initial bright nose going into an evolving bouquet of candies, tutti frutti and feijoa, a range of citrus in lime pickle, under-ripe orange and lemon and fresh and preserved apricot and nectarines. Lingering florals of elderflower and orange blossom too. On the palate it is well balanced between sweetness in ripe peach and white nectarine and fresh acidity in green apple and lemon/lime sorbet. Its evolution was mostly from fresh and sweet when cooler to just sweet, more flowery and cloying when warmer. I suspect that if kept it will just get sweeter, I like them more balanced so, drink now and chilled. Pretty damn good!

Day three: largely similar, just more ripe apricot and peach and flowery notes.
White - Sparkling
12/24/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
90 points
Nose of white peach, apricot, light bread. Palate rich of white stone fruits, light strawberry and cream, brioche, rock melon and a slight minerality. Finish almost like a dirty martini?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
12/24/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
90 points
Nose of strawberry, cream and clear red fruit. Palate long rich and creamy. A delicious example.
Red
12/23/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
90 points
Burgundy. Nose of coffee bean, powdery plum, creme de cassis, menthol. Palate of earth, dark fruits and savoury notes.

This is a better showing than the last. Demonstrating great value. Don't decanter and I still think this is only good for another year or so.
Red
12/22/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
85 points
Light nose of red and dark fruits. Palate liquorice, blackcurrant, savoury notes. This didn't combine well with food but was delicious after dinner to sip on.
Red
12/22/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
88 points
Dark burgundy. Nose of raspberry, cherry, blackcurrant, coffee bean and earth. Palate long but full of juicy flavour and acidity. Introducing savoury flavours (charcuterie), pepper and further blackcurrant.

Keep to let flavours integrate, this is glamourously harsh.
Red
12/8/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
90 points
Garnet, slight clearing on edges. Nose of pepper, dark fruits (plum, cherry), brown sugar, vanilla - florals and herbs (lavender bush, rosemary). Palate introducing savoury (cured meats, roast herbs) and cassis. Generous in flavour, juicy. Medium length.

Yummy and drinking now but could go another year or two. Don't decanter.
White
12/7/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
88 points
Yellow straw/greenish. Nose of melon ripe peach and nectarine, touches of guava and mango. Palate is smooth and fresh of tropical fruit (mango, pineapple), orange liqueur, nuttiness (cashew, almond) and a bit of citrus (orange, ripe lemon).

Medium- finish and still some good acidity lingering. Good for another year or so but to be drunk within an hour of opening.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/29/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
84 points
Nose of rose, underripe red fruits (plum, cherry, berry) and leather/earth. Palate is acidic, tannic - darker with cassis, powdery dark plum. Finish is sharp and short - beefy and marmite like.

This would be interesting in a few years, but could just be a grippy bugger.
Red
11/23/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
91 points
Nose of cola, rhubarb, cherry, rosemary, charcuterie, mint, real savoury and apple pie spice. Palate is insane, of dark fruits (cherry, plum), menthol, caramel, lipstick, roast lamb crackle, strawberry gummi, rose, and sweet Christmas cake. This has length, elegance and beauty and plenty of time on its side.
Red
11/20/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
86 points
Nose of rose, cherry, plum, juniper, powdery tannins, menthol and a minty oakiness. Palate is a little cooler, spice and dark fruits dominate with a liquorice finish. Pretty good but thin in the middle which is a bit disappointing for a 2015.

Bit worried about the 2015's lightness compared with the depth of the 2011 and 2013s that I've had.
White - Sweet/Dessert
11/18/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
91 points
Golden syrup colour. Nose of overripe apricot and other stone fruits, toasted orange zest, Cointreau, bag of raisins, overripe fruit bowl with feijoa and a bit of pool toy. Palate syrupy with strong acidity, sharp lingering finish. This is damn good and ever drinkable on day 3.

Glorious.
Red
2009 Man O' War Vineyards Ironclad Waiheke Island Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/13/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
89 points
Slight clearing on edges but not much. Nose of cassis, menthol, coffee bean, plum, eucalyptus and again lots of cassis (Jagermeister, cough syrup, Ribena). Palate introducing some savoury notes (stewed fruits), sultana and a bit of a green finish in the form of Pernod (aniseed). Medium- length, smooth, very ripe fruit.

Amazing nose, palate was a bit over the hill but still - good stuff - but should be drunk now.
White
11/8/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
88 points
Nose of nectarine, granny smith, mango skin, apricot and sour peach. Palate introducing lime, heaps of it, orange, lemonnand lemon zest and tropical fruits with a strong, acidic finish. This really has potential to age due to its acidity and backbone. Will buy more of this intriguing stuff.
White
10/30/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
92 points
Golden. Nose of roasted pineapple, ripe lychee, apricot, lemon, orange blossom, spiced roast banana, Turkish delight. Palate very similar with generous overripe tropical fruits and some secondary flavours (toffee, caramel, passionfruit syrup) a hint of pear and walnut. Full mouthfeel, medium-long finish. Quite beautiful and not cloying.

Drinking now, faded a bit over the evening. Some beautiful Marlborough qualities in this wine - which I really like.
White
10/25/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
87 points
Got better through the tasting. Nose of overripe stone fruits (apricot, nectarine, peach) and florals (honeysuckle, orange blossom) and ripe citrus (orange, lemon). Palate introducing clear minerality, lime and a slight mango. Finish is medium+. Not bad, bottle went down easy.
Red
10/20/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
87 points
Deep garnet, clear edges, some browning. Nose of flat cola, herbs (rosemary bush), ripe plum and a smokey edge. On the tongue it's savoury flavours, charcuterie, with dark cherry and brown sugar. Nice finish. This is simple and has an elegance. Tannins are keeping this structured, but drink now, not to be kept any longer.

Recent Seresin kept wines have been disappointing, they just don't have the depth to keep.
Red
10/20/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
87 points
A better showing, muted nose but beautiful light and elegant palate of dark fruits. Good stuff, bit still, poor QPR.
White
10/19/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
89 points
Such great value, clear gold. Nose of light peach, nectarine, honey. Palate mineral, with sharp mango, mango skin, and some light spice including star anise? Yummy and always reliable, my first choice NZ Chardonnay.
Red
10/18/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
90 points
Similar to previous although picking up warm cola, stronger spice notes of cinnamon and liquorice, slight coconut on the palate and a long, juicy finish.
White
10/18/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
87 points
Light gold. Nose of white fruits including peach, nectarine, apricot and rock melon. Slight honeysuckle and jasmine. Mineral quality behind it. Palate is fresh and virbant with a slight buttery finish and notes of overripe orange.

This is always consistent, and good QPR when discounted. Only let down is the commercial element of it.
Red
10/18/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
85 points
Nose of ripe plum and cherry, golden syrup, maybe a little dark chocolate. Palate of dark fruits, a little spice and cherry cola with a bright lingering finish. This stuff has great QPR. Yum.
Red
10/15/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
88 points
Day 2: dark red fruits, strawberry, cherry, charcuterie, ripe plum and ink. Palate similar introducing stronger plum notes, florals. A pip note lets it down a bit, but this is damn good QPR, medium- finish.
White
10/14/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
87 points
Clear straw. Nose of BO, green capsicum, basil, tomato leaf, passionfruit, underripe apricot and mango skin. Palate introducing stronger tropical and stone fruits, long length and a really good finish.

Earlier reviews demonstrate early tastings - this is damn good stuff.
White
10/11/2018 - benjaminpaul wrote:
86 points
Poor QPR. Mostly creamy peach and other stone fruits. Yeah it's delicious but for this price point, I'd like a bit more going on please...
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