Tasting Notes for Insane Diego

(95 notes on 87 wines)

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5/15/2022 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
90 points
Still drinking well. Had a little steak and potatoes and the wine held it’s own quite well. Opened an hour before drinking. Did not decant.
Still very drinkable. Silky black fruit, a bit different then the last bottle a year ago as I rated it with red fruit.
Still not showing sediment or much age on the visual but fruit is very muted
Still a great wine, wish I had more
2/2/2022 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
89 points
Very drinkable simple $20 wine.
Changed considerably for the better by end of the hour. Do not drink this cold. Must be room temp.
1/25/2022 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
90 points
Nice bottle! Good black cherry nose and taste.
Some tannins make me think more change to come. Did not decant but wish I did. Sediment was medium and wine really did not fully open up until hour 2.
This is a full bodied wine with lots of flavors all at once. Finish was medium short. Balance just a little bit off but maybe just a phase. Will wait 6 months for the next one and decant for sure.
2014 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/25/2022 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
93 points
Very nice! Now glad I picked these up when I did.
Nice dark fruit slightly muted nose. No sign of age or sediment.
Opened 45 min early with no decant. Was going to decant if needed but didn’t this time.
Super smooth integrated tannins. All black fruit with nothing but good all the way through the med finish. This is a terrific blend at 87% cab.
Not an overpowering wine, but extremely tasty.
The muted nose and drinkablity today makes me wonder how much positive change is left.
No sediment
Have about 5 left so We shall see how it goes.
1 person found this helpful Comment
11/2/2021 - Insane Diego wrote:
Lost in cellar, unfortunately past the point of drinkability according to my wife. I however muscled through it and drank the bottle.
4/10/2021 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
92 points
Well this has really matured in the last 18 months.
Drinking spot on now.
Deep dark fruit with a hint of black cherry. Mid pallet brings black plum sweetness that coats the mouth.
Finish lingers a bit but tappers off fast.
Fun tasty wine. lots going on here, great acidity level and complexity is good enough that I could review each sip with new tastes.
We opened for 1.5 hrs, no decant and no sentiment.
No sign of age at all, so more change
To come for those that wait????
2005 Château de La Meulière Premières Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Insane Diego wrote:
90 points
Another solid zin from Biale.
A little lighter color and body than most, but good.
Had with chili, PNP.
12/15/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
91 points
Wow this wine really surprised us.
Dark deep color, nice dark fruit, muted profile with a bit of floral jasmine on the nose. A bit of deep boysenberry on the pallet with a hint of earthy dark chocolate.
A bit of pepper on the finish, still showing solid tannins that makes me think more complexity to come.
Good medium mouth feel. Should hold up for several more years.
We opened this about 30 min early and no decant.
No sediment and no sign of age
10/28/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
93 points
It’s taken me a while in my wine journey to really appreciate a good Pinot. This is a great Pinot.
Super deep red cherry on the pallet that lasts.
Great Balance with the med plus acidity and full mouth feel makes this one of my all time favorite Sonoma Pinots.
We had this with sea bass and it worked well.
Gave it 30 min of open time , no sediment, no decant.
No sign of Age, maybe no rush to open?
1 person found this helpful Comment
10/28/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
90 points
PNP this bottle and its drinking just excellent. Better than the 16 IMO. No sediment, good balance.
Med complexity and smooth med finish.
Fun, predictable, another Biale Star!
9/16/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
90 points
Another good Biale! We Just let this sit open about 30 min and first sip was about right so no decant. Feels like most of the Biale wines just give up too much in the decanter.
This wine was a red fruit explosion in a good way. Nicely balanced and fun all around.
7/29/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
91 points
Great Russian River Pinot. Great QPR IMO
Got this open for about 30 min before serving.
Color ruby red. No sign of age.
Bit of muted red fruit on the nose, some floral. Later as it warmed up got much more floral bouquet.
Med minus body Good balance , nice mix of acidity
Fun Pinot with a nice long finish. Worked perfectly with a salmon filet.
Just a hint of chocolate silk buried deep in that finish. Came out stronger as it opened and warmed.
One of the best sub $30 Pinot’s in recent memory for me.
No sediment
7/28/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
92 points
Decided to leave this one in the bottle, got it open about 45 min before first pour.
Wine was dark but with obvious signs of age. Funny how multiple bottles from the same case, aged in the same cellar can be a bit different. I guess that why old wines (not that this qualifies) are rated by the bottle! This time there was a bit more musty old cellar nose and a real golden brown age look to the rim. I would think the nose was intensified a bit by not decanting.
First taste was terrific, wine seems to have a bit more structure than last bottle, but probably due to my personal expanding pallet.
Medium Body very good balance, Black cherry/boysenberry fruit is a bit muted but the finish is still good and reasonably long with a bit of mid pallet silkiness.
I have a few bottles left but need to drink them this year.

Sediment was medium so pour low and slow or decant.
1 person found this helpful Comment
7/27/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
93 points
Really great Howell mountain cab. Bought a case of this at the winery a few years ago and really glad we did.

Pnp this bottle after carful cleaning the crystals from the neck. Surely needs some open bottle time, maybe an hour to peak.
Nose is really terrific, just a hint of musty barn and then a great light boysenberry
Good heavy feel, semi dry, starts off a bit silky but fades to a more mild tannin rich dry mouth longer finish.
The structure holds or builds on the back end.

Has a few kinks in the armor and a bit of pucker mid way but super fun and complicated.
Expecting the 2014 to be even better.
1 person found this helpful Comment
7/27/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
90 points
Not exactly sure how to rate rose.
This wine is golden color almost an oaky Chardonnay look.
Nice medium body
Great apricot honey nose

Semi sweet up front kind of a date or fig front end. Full heavy feel on the mouth fades to just a bit of dryness pulling my toungue to the roof of my mouth. Fun stuff by the pool.
Very Provence like IMO. Well made for sure.
This is the poolside style for folks like me who don’t like citrus “crisp” white wines.
7/22/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
89 points
Super nice rockpile zin.
We got it open and warmed up about 20 min, mostly in the glass.
Nose was just a light floral. Really nothing there to talk about.
First taste was a bit of green pepper and dark fruit fading to a semi dry peppery finish. Got some spicy almost hot earthy peppery finish a bit later on the 2nd pour.
Enjoyable and kinda “old school” zin flavor profile.
Fun stuff with some dark inky pasta!!
7/21/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
92 points
I have rated this wine many times and am about 20 bottles into a two case lot. Its been 6 months or so since the last bottle and at first i thought something had changed. But once opened up, she settled down into the familiar Pride Merlot i have been drinking for years.
Did not follow my own recommendations and drank this too early. Needs a good two hours open to get to the smooth fruit I yearn for.
By the last glass Pride perfection was reached!! No rush to drink my last 4 bottles. I expect they will be fine at least another 2 years.
Med sediment now so pour low and slow!
1 person found this helpful Comment
2005 Col Solare Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/20/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
92 points
Been sitting on this bottle of some of Washington states best red wine for about 6 years.
Got it open about 60 min early and then into about a 15min decant before first pour. Nice color still showing red fruit.
Nose was amazing...Barnyard dusty...even sparked a (good) memory of fruit stored in the basement. Every deep breath brought out something different and fun. (the whole point of this right??)

First taste had a mouth of intense but polished red mt fruit that slid away into a med dry silky long finish. Pretty much tannin free (integrated) now and extremely smooth. Spent a good hour sipping, smiling and laughing about the big bold fruit that is still soooo smooth, trying to make it last!! . I guess i need more of these BDX style wines in my life!! Good QPR
7/18/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
89 points
Medium body Napa cab.
Very Light berry nose, hints of floral. Almost fully closed.
Semi sweet little sour cherry thing going on fading into a nicer standard light Cabernet finish. Little bit of earthy tannins still there so maybe a bit more change to come.
No sediment.
We gave this just 30 min in the bottle but was solid room temp at serving. Enjoyable, but not memorable.
Not thinking decant will help. May try pnp next time.
7/13/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
89 points
Drank this on the mondavi grounds for a concert.
Pnp and had big blackberry right up both nose and first touch. Light oak, no vanilla (yea!) Med tannins med high acidity. Interesting pepper earth finish. (Zin like) We only had some nuts with it and that acid needs more food.
Should soften a bit with age.
Got better with 2nd pour so maybe open an hour or so next time.
7/15/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
85 points
Keep pulling these oldies out of the cellar that we should have drank years ago. Some age gracefully, and then there is this one.
Sure it was fine in say 2016....not working now.
Barely got through it.
7/11/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
92 points
Fun fun wine.
Lots of wood...oak..vanilla ..semi sweet with the silky chocolate cream finish. Definitely a modern style wine with a broad appeal flavor profile.

We opened for 30 min and decanted for 10min.
2nd pour muted the wood a bit so maybe a coupe hours open would bring out a bit more flavor hidden behind the oak.
1 person found this helpful Comment
7/10/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
91 points
Good bottle with a bit of surprise .
Lighter body that expected, But extremely smooth and just a bit of silkyness. Not as much power as we have come to expect from to kalon wines, but still a solid good wine. Lots of earthy spice in this one which was unexpected.
7/5/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
90 points
Great Brunelo! Dark berry nose, full and fragrant.
Good front end with med dry, med length finish.
Bit of spice and dark fruit. Fun....structure strengthened over the hour or so....makes me think more open time needed. Next bottle will get at least 90 min open and maybe try decant. Really opened up once temperature came up.
6/15/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
89 points
Pale straw colored. Floral and soft citrus on the nose. Light bodied with bright acidity. Tropical with sweet pineapple and peach.
5/27/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
88 points
Easy drinking fun wine.
This $25 bottle scores big on value for a light easy drinking Amador county wine.
Light colored primitivo.
PNP this bottle and after it warmed up a bit it was great with our simple summer chicken salad.
Bottle was gone before we knew it. No notes, no wine talk, just an empty bottle and a good night.
2012 Double Eagle Napa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
5/11/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
88 points
Little bit of disappointment. My wife said it’s a double
Little oak and cherry on the nose.
Red fruit, semi dry, just a hint of stewed plums coming through and a bit of pucker. Finish is dry and good structure but a bit short.
We opened this for two hours but did not decant.
Possible it could get better with decant and will try that next bottle.
I really wanted this to be better.
We finished the bottle, it drank fine but
Just not good value here , or maybe just this bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
2006 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/10/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
92 points
This is a great bottle and well described by others here.
Nose is honeysuckle but fairly light.
This was after 3 hours open and another 1 hour in the decanter so that might not be fair.
Big bold on first touch, semi dry, good black fruit with some spice, and a bit of earth.
Taste was solid but lacking the chewy velvet finish structure I expected and would need to rate higher.
Still an really great bottle, but just a bit overhyped.

If I appreciated this wine more as a Bordeaux and not as a cab then maybe that smooth lean finish would not disappoint me. Still working on evolving my tastes!

We had it with a big shareable wagu cut.
Same time we also drank a 2004 and the 2006 was just a bit better in the groups opinion.
2004 bottle had a questionable history so maybe not a fair test.
1 person found this helpful Comment
5/10/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
93 points
Super delicious wine!
Drank this unknown to me cab out of a friends cellar and really enjoyed it. We all rated it higher than 2 vintages of pahlmeyer we also opened.
Opened for 2 hours no decant.
Nose was semi floral.
Taste had black sweet fruit right up front with a long complex dry finish. Good chewy chalk finish, lots of structure and very balanced.
Lots of stuff going on with this and very fun.
Really had the character of a 5star Napa cab product.
For that reason I say this is good value.
5/6/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
90 points
Super impressed by this Paso Robles Blend. It’s a straight 65% cab 35% merlot blend. In the tasting room it was good, but now a few years later I am thinking it is better.
Nose is light floral, bit of honeysuckle. Really my favorite nose on a light or medium bodied wine.
Color was darker, deep dark black ink, than expected.
Opened this one about 90 minutes before dinner with no decant.
Paired well with our Mac crusted halibut with sweet soy glaze.
Got some cherry and floral brightness on the front but slightly softener finish that lingers a bit. Although I don’t think this is an ageable wine, I do think it may get a bit more BDX like over the next 2 years.
Fun BDX attempt and good value.
2007 Quintessa Rutherford Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/28/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
93 points
PNP this half bottle on a special picnic with some good cheese.
Great nose of solid blackberries, just a bit of dust/earth.
Nice nose right in that first glass.

Nice blackberry taste slightly muted fruit, bit of cassis, maybe some cocoa....really excellent balance, good acidity and a fun long finish.
I was laughing at the way the finish marched down my tongue and just turned it all to velvet. Love that!!
Not a huge power wine IMO, but worked very well with our late afternoon picnic cheese spread.
I was not laughing when I wanted another glass from the half bottle that was now empty. No idea what I was thinking when I bought a half bottle!!
1 person found this helpful Comment
2012 Paloma Merlot Spring Mountain District (view label images)
5/1/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
91 points
Paloma Merlots...lots of fond memories of tastings in the Richards living room.
The winery warned us years ago that the 2012 vintage would need to be filtered and that is still true. But whatever that glob is that is filtered out, does not affect the taste.
Nose is a bit softer and more muted than other vintages.
Light boysenberries and some honeysuckle or floral.
We filtered into a decanter after about 30min of open.
Careful slow poor helps keep the filter from clogging quickly. Lots of weight in the sediment glob so support the filter well or you have to start over. Don’t ask.

More standard Merlot character to me than other Paloma vintage, which for sure seemed to have a more Cabernet tongue feel. The black fruit is still solid and slides off
Into the silky smoothness, but with just a tiny hint of the chocolate cream silk that I always get with Paloma.

Maybe more will come over time.
May try a flight of several vintages next party and see what we get.
4/20/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
92 points
Tried a double decant on this bottle based on fair amount of sediment.

Got the wine back into the bottle after about 10 minutes of decant and then two hours in the open clean bottle. Fun to see how this changes things since we have been drinking this wine about once a month of late.

It seems like this process softened the fruit a bit to my liking but preserved the nose. Still very full body and holding up well. My highest rating for this vintage. All the things that say Caymus are still there but the evolution of time seems to me to be pushing this towards a more traditional flavor. Or maybe i am just over thinking it, hahaha.... Either way its dam good and fun.
4/24/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
88 points
Pulled this oldie out of the back lost corner in the cellar.
Expected nothing. Got it out to cook with....Surprised and happy to report that it drank just fine.
Nose was musty old barn but pretty light. color still strong and dark,
Fun to drink these older wines that really were not meant to age.
Nice solid zin even at 15 years.
4/19/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
87 points
Simple everyday red.
Decanted 30 min mainly to warm it up. Probably not needed. Not complex, very light red berry, smooth finish.
No sediment. Afternoon wine, sunset on the deck.
4/18/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
90 points
Unity wine from Fisher...stumbled across this label in a restaurant in 2008 when my choice was not available. We liked it then, visited the winery, got the story of the blending of Cab grapes from different parcels each year. Came back to Fisher in 2009 and got engaged (surprising everyone) during a family lunch under the winery trees.
Well we were getting married in 2010 blending 2 families, and this WINE seemed like the perfect choice. So we bought 20 cases.
Still drinking a couple each year and when celebration of our anniversary.
Last nights bottle was still drinking well.
We opened for an hour and decanted another 30 minutes. May try a longer opening time on the next one. Nose is a bit harsh at first with a bit of chemical/farmhouse going on and then the herbal/berry comes on.
Taste was good (but i am biased!!) This wine needs big food to soften the still prevalent tannin's IMO.
Black fruit still hanging in there and the finish is smooth and a bit short, but seems to have lost the SILKY smooth or velvet texture i remember. Easy drinking with the some spicy Elk Sausage Chile, but only remarkable because of my personal connection~
Hope to be enjoying this wine, and my marriage another 25+ years!!
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
4/15/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
90 points
Strong effort from Temecula!! This wine has softened up now and the already integrated tannins are now mostly all gone. Nice cherry/burnt cherry cinnamon light nose.
Equally light red and black fruit, more cherry and some woody thing, with good simple balance. Right up there with the best wines of this region IMO.
4/7/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
88 points
This wine has softened up and is drinking better now than ever. Sort of back handed compliment.
3/28/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
89 points
Fun wine
Big red berries on the front, medium high sweetness with some good acidity to back it up. Not usually a style I would pick but I do like it.
Enjoyed this one with tangy bbq chicken and it was a good evening.
2014 24 Brix Amador County Red Blend (view label images)
2/18/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
88 points
Fun Syrah petit sirah blend. Easy drinking and good value. We opened for 30 min and that’s fine, pnp should be fine also if tempature is correct.
2/15/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
91 points
Nice Napa cab. Very solid and the tannins are balanced well with acidity. Agree with others this will be fun to see where it goes from here.
2/17/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
90 points
Restaurant wine from a short list. We enjoyed a cocktail and got the bottles opened for about 30 min before pouring. Opened up better at about 60 min.
Definitely had some sweet plum on the nose and some wood or oak and vanilla.
Sweet plum/boysenberry on the front with a more traditional silky finish. Out of balance for some reason but I can’t describe. Not the taste I look for in stags leap district cabs but enjoyable . We had two bottles at the table and to be sure I had some from both.
Almost seems like an attempt to make caymus like wine? As with a caymus, many at the table raved about the wine.
3 people found this helpful Comment
2/10/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
88 points
Just a couple bottles left of this fun zin. Had a blast drinking this the last few years at only $9.00 a bottle.
Definitely not the dinner wine but it pregames ok!!
Needs 30-60 minutes open in the bottle no decant.
2/10/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
86 points
Opened 60 min before pouring.
Nice light lilac flower on the nose.
Light berry front end but nothing after that.
Very light and not much fruit left.
Worked fine with some sunset cheese.
2/5/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
94 points
Stags leap CAB at its best! Fantastic wine hitting all the boxes now and maybe some room to grow.

Opened for 90 min and decanted for 10. Great nose of berry and some musty earth. Big on the front with some chewy ness, tannins still present but softening, nice velvet smooth texture on the back end with good finish.
Complex enough to find different flavors throughout the bottle. I had blackberry's and a bit of cooked plums and then later I had distinctly green pepper and even some watermelon. Super enjoyable and complicated for this amateur to describe.
I think this will continue to age well, although I can’t imagine how much better it could get!!
1 person found this helpful Comment
2/4/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
92 points
Very enjoyable and predictable.
Opened 30 min then decanted 10. Needed more time to warm up and open up and got better for 2nd pour.
I am thinking 90 min in the bottle next time.

Light boysenberry and a little oak or wood on the nose.
Lighter then expected.
Fruit has mellowed much and is now IMO a medium bodied wine. Not a lot of complexity but balance is fine and has a short silky smooth finish.
At this point in its life i don’t think it needs much for pairing. Simple cheese, chocolate or a steak. Feels pretty much like its downhill from here so we will open remaining bottles soon.
2 people found this helpful Comment
2/3/2019 - Insane Diego wrote:
88 points
Opened about 20 min then drank over an hour or so.
Light plum nose. Black fruit, plum, green pepper and a bit of dust. Just a hint of stewed prunes made this not my favorite vintage of this wine.
Still a good Biale offering but Probably a bit past it’s prime.
1/30/2019 - Insane Diego Likes this wine:
90 points
Opened the first bottle of a case and really enjoyed it. Let this one sit open about 90 min then decanted for 10 min. Probably did not need the decant. Dark ink in color and a nice boysenberry smooth nose.
Med Dry and relatively easy drinking now. a bit oaky, Tannin's still present, just a bit of silkyness on the finish, which is short but sweet. A reasonably good Sonoma CAB that scores big on Value at $25.00. Starts off big and bold but tapers a bit. Balance may come back over time.
We had this with a bison casserole and it enhanced our meal.
Happy to be a Beringer customer for this one!
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
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