Tasting Notes for ex-sommelier

(431 notes on 375 wines)

1 - 50 of 431 Sort order
Red
Simply comparing this to other Bourgogne Rouge at ~20$, this absolutely hits it out of the park, with a level of complexity and charm that definitely puts this a notch or two above its station and price (certainly compared to the commonly available Jadot or Drouhin BR).

Judging on its merits alone, it is a charming, semi-translucent Pinot Noir with enough soil and leafy tones to say burgundy, but still a quite ripe and fruit forward Pinot that is not meant for aging. I think this shows an extra degree of elegance and pose compared to California Pinot at this price point as well.
White
Nearly identical notes to last year, obviously still young, with lovely honeyed notes of citrus, green tea, and apple skin. Racy palate but perhaps a bit more sap to a year ago. Good stuff
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/17/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Drank well after a lot of air, still quite a few years in the tank, though in never quite rose above ordinary. Aromas of grilled herbs, mint, dark red berry fruit with a medium to full texture that really took time to flesh out. A solid, savory Sangiovese with some grilled meat.
Red
Light and snappy Pinot. With crunchy red fruit, earth, plenty of baking spice and herbs, this is a nice ready to drink pinot for this entry level price. Also a very good look at the house style as it feels stylistically consistent with their other offerings, just a bit more ready to drink and straight to the point. No rush however.
White
Delicious, well balanced Chenin Blanc. Bright, racy aromas of pineapple, orchard fruits, and flowers a juicy palate of citrus and beeswax; great acids and minerality all around but not austere in the least.
Red
11/1/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Dense and smoky, this had a fairly volatile nose and a lot of heat and pyrazines at first, but after ~3 hours settled down.

Around a core of dark plums and baking chocolate, this had savory, brooding notes of baking spice, pepper, and menthol. Palate was thick with coating tannin. A bit anonymous as far as region, felt like it could've come from the left bank or napa, but still stood up to a very full flavored steak au poive at home.

Plenty of structure in this to go another 10 years, and will probably improve some more. Decant for at least an hour.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heritage Sonoma Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
Back when this was released this was one of the best young Bedrock Heritage vintages I had tasted. Two years since this hasn't quite gone in the direction I would like, but it may just be in an awkward place for my preference.

The nose is still knockout, beautifully plummy with smoky undertones, medicinal herbs, and jam. The palate has gotten quite sweet seeming, liqueur like without as much structure to back it up, makes it a bit tiring to drink. Hopefully this will fade back into balance in a few years.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
Nice evolution as this opened over a few hours. Well defined through lines of minerality, tart cherries, honeycomb, and flowers. Delicate at first, but fills out with notes of turbinado sugar, smoke, and sagebrush. Palate is also fairly precise and filigreed until it's paired with food. This supercharges with food (braised chicken) showing fuller, meaty texture and intense violet perfume, but also loses some of that elegance.

This had some nice elements, but no fireworks, and the nose is fairly modest. Despite the delicate showing at first it is more than robust enough to stand up to food, and was better for it.
Red
Lovely light Nebbiolo with a pale rusty color. A muted nose at first, but opened nicely to pomegranate, raspberry, and some earth. Some spice and bitter orange came with air. Palate is delicate but with snappy acidity. Quite light on the mid-palate and a short finish, but at this price its an excellent and characterful food wine, as well as a nice contrast to Langhe Nebbiolo.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/13/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
flawed
Widowed bottle, not on the list! Must have snuck into the cellar somehow. Somewhat corked however. Easy come easy go
Red
10/7/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Jammy, liqueur like red fruit, some herbaceous bitterness underneath. I still feel this is just a bit unbalanced and overdone compared to the last couple vintages.
3 people found this helpful Comments (5)
Red
This is charming, quite fruit forward on opening, red jolly rancher fruit, but settles down to a leaner mineral inflected profile with potting soil, red berries, and saucisson. A touch simple, with a lean short finish once that primary fruit settles down, but nice freshens that promises another 5+ years.
Red
10/2/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
More open than my last bottle. This one showed some good mid-weight strawberry fruit, nice higher toned quality and sappy texture. Simple but pretty tasty.
Red
I enjoyed this but quite young and bound up, more so than the 2013 I had a couple weeks ago. This has lovely sour red fruit, smoke, and teriyaki. Good balance of oak and fruit and freshness, but a more structured vintage that need a few years.
Red
This bottle was tough as nails, plenty of structure and sappy red fruit but its more closed up compared to my last bottle a year ago.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/13/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Medium bodied, with woodsy notes of garrigue and herbs, some dried berry fruit, cacao, and oak. Good strong acids, old school profile. Weaker vintage shows on the lean finish and somewhat dried out fruit quality. Less expensive than 'better' vintages however, and good with food.
Red
Bottle open for a few hours. Built like a tank, with a reticent nose of dark blue and purple fruit, graphite, smoke, herbs and spice. There's a higher tone quality underneath that keeps things lifted, also is a promising sign of its future. Despite the initial fruit forward hit on opening, this is built like a good Bordeaux, and not super enjoyable so young. Teeth coating tannin.
Hints of the layers and quality here, certainly well built, I'll be interested to see how things evolve with the following vintages with more of the vineyard. 2025-2040
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Based on reviews I assumed this would be a lot leaner than it was. Medium bodied sure, but terrific substance and balance. Violets, pepper, nice darker red berry fruit and a savory, smoky element. Really well done. Drinking well now with some air, but probably now through 2035
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Wine Papera Ranch Russian River Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
Dark and lush aromas of blackberry, plum, and chocolate. Good complexity on the fruit profile, with some pepper and grilled herbs poking through but pretty intensely fruity. Plenty of up front appeal and freshness though I suspect as with most of the zin blends this will be better at 5-7 years.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Disgorged 11/2019. Rich and generous on the nose, complex. Notes of rye, apple, plum, Greek yogurt, lemon curd, wildflower honey, almond, and a touch of ginger. Palate is similarly round and giving with a fairly delicate mousse and good vinous persistence. I love this.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White - Sparkling
8/16/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Very rich and intense nose, berry fruit, bread, even bitter cacao oddly enough. Palate is rich and smooth, with robust mousse. Distinct style, needs a few years
Red - Fortified
8/12/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Muted and thin, with medium or less sweetness, almost like a dried out ruby. Medicinal. I suppose for this price it's not too surprising but this doesn't have much going for it. I enjoy Niepoort's Colheita, so maybe I should find the 10y Tawny.
White - Sparkling
No detailed notes, but a lovely, linear Champagne with lemon curd, chalk, and hazelnut. More streamlined and citric than rich or yeasty, good food bubbly.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
8/2/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Soft and easy to enjoy Chardonnay. Really quaffable mix of orchard fruits and just a hint of caramel and lemon. New World yes, but not oakey. Good accessible Chard for the price.
Red
Aroma not bad, plum and chocolate with mineral notes, but the taste is god-awful. Cloying sweetness, herbal/medicinal numbing on the tongue. Undrinkable. The ABV is list as 13.5 but this tastes hot.
Red
Delicate color, with soft spiced red cherry, blackberry, grilled mushroom, tea, and baking spice aromas. Nicely put together, gained freshness and structure with air.
Red
Opened with an extremely mineral nose, loads of oyster shells and sour cherry but quickly softened into a nicely balanced profile of roses, cherry, lavender, oak spice, and more oyster shell. The fruit is quite plush and ripe but there is lots of mineral and herbal interest here. Little development as far as aging is concerned; young but approachable, and with years to go. Nicely composed. Would not have guessed 2011
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Finally got to open this with a friend. Nice comparison to the 17, and showed a consistent personality, though perhaps the personality of the varieties were a bit more intertwined in this vintage. Wild berry fruit, some soil tones, blood orange, iron, and chocolate were well knit together with a creamy mid weight texture. More time in the glass gave up spice plums, vanilla, violets, and more structure.

Individual notes aside this felt very well composed, deceptively simple but asks you to lean in. I like that there was a lot going on but no one element clamoring for space.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
White
Refreshing white, apricots and dried hay. A touch of barnyard, good minerality. Perhaps a bit expensive for what it is but a distinctive and engaging wine nonetheless.
Red
A dark brooding nose of blackberry fruit, charcoal, walnut husk, espresso. Palate was rich with good concentration but some alcohol heat and a shorter finish. Fresh and vibrant structure, though soft and well integrated tannin. This has a lot of heft but needs to find more balance as it ages.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
Delightful Chianti. Rich red plums, black cherry, and rhubarb, with mint and assorted hedgerow coming with air. Earthy and delicious, better than a lot of $40 Brunello that's for sure. I missed the 2015s, but this has better concentration and balance than 2014 for sure. It should age well.
7 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Rosé
Fresh but delicate, watermelon and grapefruit. Nice and easygoing Rose.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Discreet nose that benefited from air, and improved on day two. Very distinctive aromas of stone fruit, apple cider, chalk, white flowers, and citrus. The cider notes were just too strong for my taste most of the time, but a lot of interesting character in the wine. Texture was nice and full relative to Riesling, a phenolic character that gave it heft and complexity. Can stand to age for a few more years at least.
Red
A broad textured Barbaresco with some lovely fine grained tannin, white mushroom, and tart cranberry/wild strawberry fruit. Good substance that needed air to emerge (better on day 2). Lacks a touch of the purity and depth of a '14 or '16, but super enjoyable. I also agree with prior notes describing blood orange, and a certain glossiness to this vintage.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
This Sagrantino was a bit of a tease throughout the evening, but very nearly delivered everything I asked, though not at the level of some other vintages I've had. At first medium bodied, savory, medicinal, with cigar smoke, amaro, and camphor dominating for a couple of hours. Decanting brought the texture out and really highlighted the excellent concentration. Not a bruiser, but notes of coffee, grilled herbs, and burnt sugar colored a decidedly elegant frame. Alcohol was well hidden, until half the bottle was gone, oops.

At first I thought the tannins had outlived the fruit, but on the second day this was a different wine, with graphite and tobacco tinged dark plums/blackberry dominating, and a fairly plush and full bodied palate.
A distinctive wine that was even better with a tri tip roast. These wines require a lot of air however.
Red
6/25/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Intense black pepper aroma, not much fruit underneath. This was the last pour at the winery so maybe wasn't performing as it should. Palate was tart and mid-weight with a savory character. I enjoy cool climate Syrah but I do need more fruit and depth to enjoy it.
White
Oak aged Sauvignon Blanc. Unlike some other examples in California, I felt the oak actually improved this SB, adding richness and texture without the oakey notes that I find out of place in Sauv Blanc. This was bright and fresh with pleasing tropical and white orchard fruit and a subtle herbaciousness with some time in the glass. Very enjoyable and mid weight Sauvignon Blanc.
Red
6/25/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Similar profile to their SRH Pinot, but tighter and more bound up. Brooding nose, oak spice, dark fruit, black tea. Acid and tannin are well proportioned but this was too young to evaluate.
Red
Bright berry fruit, strawberry/blueberry, a touch of cola, tea, spice. I can't quite put my finger on what makes SRH Pinots distinctive on the nose, but this has that signature for sure. Fruit is quite primary and acid is med+ so give this another year or two to settle down. I enjoyed this quite a bit but the price at the winery seemed steep.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/19/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
Not quite as explosive and complex as my last bottle, took longer to come out of its shell and wasn't quite performing tonight. Showing typical Beaujolais character but a bit monolithic. Try again in a year.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Not showing much development compared to my recent 2012, other than a touch of soy and leather right after opening. As it breathed it showed bright red fruit, red licorice, floral perfume. Palate was snappy with fine sandy grained tannin and a long finish. This is definitely open and delicious but not yet middle age.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Balanced, old world vibe with good freshness and herbal undertones, though still some ripe mocha spiced plums in there. Honestly felt like it would have benefited from more time , a few more years at least.
White
Consistent with last year; asian pear and grapefruit pith, a slight bitter note like almond skin, with a fresh and light, but still honeyed texture. As easy and satisfying as any Italian white, with enough complexity to leave me impressed.
White
No specific notes, definitely a bit more rounded compared to others in the lineup, almond skin, orchard fruit, nice herbaciousness. Needs another couple years sideways.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2014 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heritage Sonoma Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
Aroma is a lovely combo of lavender, saucisson, black licorice, black fruit, herbs, and a touch of smoke. Palate is heady and rich, with a relatively short finish with a nice touch of salinity. Ready to drink as far as the structure is concerned. Very satisfying release of this wine
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
Decent, but still not enough to win me over to Chardonnay. Discreet oak, tropical and orchard fruit, good minerality and baked apple. Nice food friendly acidity. More open than the 2016 I had last year at the same age, and more enjoyable. Definitely shows better as it warms and aerates. No rush to drink these.
White
Despite the 'Sonoma Coast' part on the label, this was a fairly ordinary California Chard. Oaky spice, caramel apple, with moderate freshness on the palate. Not my style, and even less so for 30 bucks!
Red
Ruddy, ruby color, with Nebbiolo like clarity. Smelled very classic Etna with wild strawberries, balsamiche, crushed rocks, maybe some red licorice. Palate was snappy and fresh, not mature but very very enjoyable. Was worried with the price this would be somewhat international in style but was true to the region. Regardless, price tag seems way too high for any wine from Etna.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/9/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
More of a Russian River Pinot profile than what I'm used to from SLH. Cola, spice, vanilla, dark fruit. Too much oak I think, masking that nice fresh fruit that SLH Pinot can have. Tasty and easy to drink, but not remotely worth the list price. I bought this on a steep clearance at a grocery store so the price was great, but at 30-40 it's a no.
Red
2017 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Wine Evangelho Vineyard Contra Costa County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
4/8/2020 - ex-sommelier wrote:
I always enjoy this one; Orange peel, stone fruit, red plum, a bitter stemmy note as well. Palate is smooth and integrated. This definitely lacks the extra level of the 2016, as well as much structure, but it's a pleasant enough wine that will hold for the next 5 years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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  • Tasting Notes: 431 notes on 375 wines
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