See CellarTracker's 2021 Year in Review

Comments on my notes

(48 comments on 43 notes)

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White
2017 Aubert Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons Carneros
6/18/2021 - NoahCap wrote:
My first Aubert Chardonnay. I've heard so much buzz about this producer that I admittedly came in with very high expectations. It's well made, in a nice place, but this style just is not for me. I understand the very high scores on CellarTracker, but I didn't really enjoy it myself.

First of all, this is a bruiser of a wine at ABV=15.2%; YIKES! It pours a pale gold, with just the tiniest hint of cloudiness. I busted out my fancy Riedel Sommelier Grand Cru Burgundy stems for this and swirling around that big bowl shows how concentrated, thick, viscous this wine is with thick tears.

The aromas are those of a warm climate Chardonnay made in a style to emphasize that warm climate- tropical fruits, esp pineapples, dominate the nose, along with mandarin oranges, kiwi, lychee, banana, and a sort of sloppy gob of vanilla on top. The wine tastes just like it smells; a big mix of tropical fruits, medium amount of acidity, along with vanilla and coconut from the oak. Even though the wine is not noticeably sweet-tasting, I'm reminded of a rich Mexican flan dessert.Reading through the CellarTracker notes, it seems like I am in the minority to think that the oak is overdone here. The finish is quite long, enjoyable for the most part except for the noticeable alcohol burn- it's definitely there but reasonably subtle, in fact less than I would expect at over 15%.

Along with Sonoma Coast Pinots, California Chardonnays are what initially got me initially into wine. But I personally am not a fan of these gigantic examples, instead preferring the lighter "cooler" styles. I know there are wines out there that are gigantic-er, but I already know that I won't enjoy them. Reading reviews, I was hoping that Aubert would strike a nice balance for me, but personally I found this too far on the side of overblown, over extracted, just too much. I can't think of a single wine, other than maybe a port, that I've enjoy that is over 15% alcohol. Given my taste, I should have known better when buying this. But at least now my curiosity is satisfied (I've been wanting to try Aubert for a long time), and I should count my blessings that I won't be chasing these expensive bottles.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    6/19/21, 6:56 AM - Good note. Love the reference to flan. I have 1 bottle left. I think you either like this style or not.

Red
2015 Alain Jaume Lirac Domaine du Clos de Sixte Red Rhone Blend
4/25/2021 - Ellen5181 Does not like this wine:
75 points
For the price drinkable but nothing special. I paid $26. Air and vinturi helps. The label makes you feel like it’s more elevated.

Appearance - clear, medium plus bordering opaque, ruby.

Nose - medium intensity, youthful, black fruits, ripe, blackberry, alcohol eye burn, perfume, that old lady perfume smell, vanilla,

Palate - feels disjointed, nose qualities on palate, initially I was getting more sweet red fruits. Got the Grenache but very one dimensional. With a few hours open, black fruits, ripe, jammy, alcohol is high, acidity is medium, intensity is medium plus. Black pepper, lots of it. Body is medium plus. Tastes much more new world Syrah than anything remotely French. Getting red fruits now. Bitter finish. It’s not nuanced.

Kudos to the label designer. The back talks about finesse. I see none in this bottle.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    4/27/21, 5:00 AM - The wine was not flawed but I don’t feel it was anything more IMHO than average for the price I paid. Perhaps review the definitions of the rating scales provided before you extend criticism towards others because you don’t agree with their rating. And even then, taste is relative. If you love this wine, lucky you. Personally, I feel too many people on the site over inflate their ratings. If every wine is deemed 90+, exceptional or outstanding, you are quite fortunate, but then isn’t that your average? Certainly if you are the wine maker, I apologize for hurting your feelings. I prefer a more balanced, nuanced, and less hot, GSM, where you can pick out the components to the different fruit. This felt more like a fruit smoothie to my palate.

  • Ellen5181 commented:

    4/27/21, 5:29 AM - Ok fair enough. Then I hope you continue to enjoy this wine. The beauty of this site, people who have similar tastes to mine, will maybe think twice before buying it. People who tend to agree with you, will enjoy it. Not a perfect science but it helps remove some of the mystery when laying down money on a bottle of wine. With so much to choose from, why get stuck with wine you don’t really enjoy? Cheers.

Red
2005 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
12/19/2020 - harrie wrote:
88 points
Either not stored correctly, more likely in a sunset scenario. Had two bottles for dinner with friends. Great on the eye upon opening, yet even after an hour of air, the fruit did not break the acidity. Ok for the die-hard Bordeaux drinker, but a bit too young to give up for a wine at this price point for me.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    12/19/20, 4:12 PM - You seem a bit generous on the rating for such dissatisfaction!

Red
2018 Domaine de L'R Chinon Les 5 Elements Cabernet Franc
11/22/2020 - Doblk wrote:
89 points
Improves considerably in second hour after opening. Lots of fruit with some green underripe notes. Nice CF mouthfeel with a creaminess giving way to a typical chalkiness. Had some doubts but ended enjoying this.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    11/23/20, 3:05 PM - Better second day wine.

White
2016 Jordan Vineyard & Winery Chardonnay Russian River Valley
9/13/2019 - La Cave d'Argent wrote:
93 points
Since last being tasted 6/4/19, this wine has picked up a bit of weight but has otherwise not substantially changed. Jordan's 2016 Chardonnay was 51% fermented in new French oak, 49% in stainless steel. Only 26% of the wine was allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation. The entirety of the wine was then aged for 5-6 months in new French oak. Light golden in color at this point, it offers aromas and flavors of citrus, pit fruits, white flowers, green apples and wet stones. Medium-bodied, freshly acidic and with nicely integrated alcohol (13.7%), it delivers flavors in line with the nose and complements them with just the right amount of oak. The middle palate is impressively dense and the lengthy finish has good lift. This is a top tier California Chardonnay with impressive Burgundian character. The low-end of the CellarTracker scores are clearly from those who were expecting something more New World in character, which should be respected and noted by those who desire a more ripe, round, oaked Chardonnay. That said, for Francophiles, this is very enjoyable. Drink now-2024.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    11/7/20, 4:54 PM - Sounds like you have an agenda! Wow.

Red
2013 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
If tasted blind, I’d have guessed Turley Hayne Zin. Massive wine and clearly expensive but not my cup of tea. Not much varietal character, very hot on the palate and it stings the nostrils but not in a good way. Reminds me of Sex Panther Cologne by Odeon.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    8/22/20, 7:12 AM - I tried it last in March 2018 and keep hoping as I have another bottle. A friend who knows a bit about wine says the fruit will fall out and all I’ll be left with is the alcohol. Bummer.

Red
2010 Faiveley Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens Pinot Noir
8/21/2017 - Ellen5181 wrote:
88 points
Appearance - medium ruby. Clear

Nose - medium intensity. Ripe red cherry. Oak. Cedar. Clean.

Palate - fresh. Alive. Youthful. Medium tannins, medium acidity, dry, medium mouth feel. Its red cherry and cedar. Medium alcohol.

Feels young but drinkable. Curious as it develops. Feels like components are there.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    7/20/20, 6:30 PM - How do you know what wine I drank?

Red
2013 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
5/28/2020 - winelover1808 Likes this wine:
90 points
this was very hot/lots of alcohol when i first opened this; big and moat coating; as it opened, the perfume reveals itself and the heat on the nose dissipates; wild lilacs and violets; a really big mouthful; disjointed at first; smoothed out as it opened; i'll see how it does on the second night.
Second night - had this with grilled lamb chops; this was still super sweet and lots of heat; more harmonious and less disjointed; but too much alcohol and sugar for me personally; more of a dessert wine. very very big new world style. i think if thats what you're looking for, this will satisfy.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    5/29/20, 10:37 AM - Curious to hear. This wine is just too much work IMHO.

Red
2010 Renato Fenocchio Barbaresco Nebbiolo
9/10/2014 - lolo66 wrote:
had a quick taste. mid weight, decent balance between fruit and earth. just nothing all too exciting.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    1/13/20, 3:55 PM - I have been sitting on this for years even before I had the pleasure of meeting you! Recognized your screen name!

Red
2009 Lambert Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County
10/25/2019 - Ecb1456 wrote:
88 points
Fading fast. No tannins left. Fruit is dimming.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    10/29/19, 6:04 AM - I have 2 left. Better get cracking. Anything else you can share?

  • Ellen5181 commented:

    10/29/19, 8:42 AM - Thanks. Been “saving it” for that steak dinner I never seem to cook. This is helpful in terms of planning.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2009 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
9/4/2019 - Imagnu Likes this wine:
96 points
The highest I have rated a wine for a long time. Absolute knockout. Deep, rich, unctuous. Its not a wine you want to share with anyone. Wonderful acid balance moderates the effect of the very high sugar. Notes of honey and marzipan on the nose.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    9/12/19, 6:26 PM - Not want to share with anyone. That is helpful. Glad I have a half bottle.

Red
2013 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
8/13/2019 - Rockyii Likes this wine:
92 points
2nd day notes. 1st day very acidic, so long decant recommended if you drink now. Deep purple with a magenta rim. Strong nose of nail polish, blackberry, cedar and smoke. Taste is better than the nose with more blackberry, unripend plum, charcoal and notes of lilac coming through. Well integrated tannins give it a lush mouthfeel. Full bodied. Still pretty strong acidity. Think it could use another year or two to better integrate the acidity. About 92 for now.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    8/14/19, 5:16 AM - Totally get the nail polish note. Good one.

Red
2005 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
6/30/2019 - tom_wine wrote:
84 points
Opened for an hour before serving. Fruit is dried and tired. Fine and few tannins. Black fruit flavors with a good dose of anise. It's a pretty wine now and still tasty but I'm drinking it up before the fruit fades any further.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    6/30/19, 6:20 AM - That’s sad. Is it possible it’s in it’s sleeping phase st the moment?

  • Ellen5181 commented:

    6/30/19, 3:20 PM - I have 2 left as well. That is too bad, but a reminder not to wait too long. Ugh.

Red
2010 Cabot Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
5/17/2019 - Tubulus wrote:
Waited too long for this one. It doesn't taste old, just the various elements no longer are in harmony. Also a little poopy.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    5/18/19, 7:01 AM - Poopy? Hope you are well otherwise!

White - Sweet/Dessert
2009 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
3/7/2019 - UFGators Likes this wine:
96 points
This wine and vintage is impressive. It does not have the depth of d’yquem but at less than a sixth the price this wine is 99 percent as good. First growth quality. Drink or hold. Easy to want another glass
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    3/7/19, 5:10 PM - But that you are comparing to a y’quem says a lot!

Red
2014 Alban Vineyards Syrah Patrina Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
2/9/2019 - kwn70 wrote:
89 points
Still a bit harsh and in your face, which I found strange since this is supposed to be the Alban that’s more approachable in its youth. Inky with a bit of alcohol out of the gates. This smoothed out with some air, but still not super impressive or unique.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    2/10/19, 3:52 PM - Am struggling with these.

Red
2015 Azienda Agricola COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico Red Blend
11/17/2018 - Bearbus wrote:
Herbs and semi-rotten spinach funk, vitamin C, fresh…
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    12/27/18, 5:29 AM - Been saving a bottle. Can’t wait!

Red
2005 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
12/23/2018 - Billud90 Likes this wine:
90 points
Deep violet color. Mineral, dark fruit nose. Very tannic early taste with nice smooth dark fruit. Opened up amazingly after 45 minutes to a deep taste with nice long smooth finish then shut down surprisingly quickly. Interesting.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    12/24/18, 6:08 AM - The shut down part is disturbing. Hopefully a phase?

White
2015 Lyric by Etude Chardonnay Santa Barbara County
8/8/2018 - pgb67 wrote:
90 points
Really enjoyed this and it’s a wonderful value. You get more Chablis than Cali, with citrus, citrus zest, and lemon chiffon cake characteristics. But it nevertheless has a bit more flavor and fruit and less flint and seashells than you might see from a Chablis.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    8/8/18, 5:32 PM - Great note. This has been my summer standby. It has enough umph to stand up to most summer dishes. 2015 yet still very fresh and alive. It holds its own.

Red
2012 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave St. Joseph Syrah
3/25/2018 - acyso wrote:
83 points
Cassoulet at Bill's (Wilmette, IL): Nothing like my last experience with this wine. One of our group always accuses this wine of tasting like grenache. I thought this bottle did too. It was ripe, sappy, and really fruity. But there weren't many actual syrah characteristics here: no spice, no smoke, no meat. The palate is a bit hollow and thins out on the back.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    3/26/18, 9:32 AM - Sad...but helpful as I’ve been holding two.

Red
2012 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave St. Joseph Syrah
2/20/2018 - Rezy13 wrote:
Tuesday Night Double Blind $40+ (Alpharetta, GA): Dark core with garnet rim; funky on nose, shrimp shell, fishy, mineral, chocolate, sun dried tomato, red apple skin, good mouthfeel, granite, still slight reduction; went '06 Cote Rotie.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    3/23/18, 9:12 AM - Interesting descriptors. Shrimp shell. I’m curious.

Red
2013 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
3/10/2018 - mtolerico Likes this wine:
94 points
Dark red and black fruits, ham, white pepper, silky texture, amazing purity.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    3/11/18, 7:45 AM - I will finally be opening mine at a dinner in a few weeks. Will look for these notes. Excited.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2009 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
Intense gold colour which is bright and sparkling. The nose has intense mushroom, botrytis, lime, orange, grapefruit aromas which all flows through on the palate with honeyed sweetness plus a powerful mushroom and earthy flavour with spiced oak. Long delicious finish and a wine which was perfect with our cheese plate.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    2/3/18, 7:01 AM - Great detailed note. Gave me a good mental image. Thanks!

Red
2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
12/28/2016 - Minne Lusa Likes this wine:
87 points
There is a very slight yellow tinge on the rim, with a noticeable haziness to its strawberry red color. There is a spiciness on the nose which reminds of warm fruit compote. This wine is a little light even for a pinot noir, but correct. Strawberry, baking spice, mild taste of died herbs, and brininess on a medium length tart finish.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    4/22/17, 3:35 PM - Trying today. Helpful note. I think it has opened up a bit more - fruit is powerful but could see this.

Red
2009 Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
12/1/2016 - IPT Likes this wine:
90 points
Color: black pitch hues and tinge. No translucency.
Nose: dried dark fruits, slight green, cracked black pepper.
Flavor: fruit consists of dried plums and dark currents with some underlying flavors to compliment - licorice, bitter dark chocolate, some pepper, and a touch of vanilla. Middle shows some chalky tannin structure doing an excellent job of coating the mouth. Finish is smooth and silky. Linger is a good minute or more. Medium bodied.

For the flavor profile, the fruit component seems to be the predominate element, but by no means is it overbearing. Excellent balance overall; a very fine Rioja. Given the vintage, more likely than not that this bottle is reaching the end of its journey so enjoy while you can.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    12/3/16, 6:04 AM - Great note! So nice for a change to read something that actually gives a visual of what to expect. Thanks!

Red
2013 Domaine Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône Les Champauvins Red Rhone Blend
12/3/2015 - Ellen5181 Likes this wine:
84 points
Appearance - clear, medium plus ruby

Nose - medium plus alcohol, eye and nose burn, medium nose, clean, dark ripe cherry, raspberry, strawberry, black pepper, wet leaves , raw meat, spearmint

Palate - (see, not to be confused with an artists palette) first hit with black pepper and dark cherry, medium plus alcohol, burn on finish that lingers along with tastes of the fruit, the pepper, and a smokiness from the oak. Tartness. Medium plus mouth feel, tannins are velvety and noticeable on finish, kind of coating your teeth. Medium plus acidity.

I sense this will come together a bit more with age.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    11/29/16, 2:36 PM - I read the rating guidance on the site and try to use that more religiously. Im saving my 90s for the really special ones. Then you will know I mean it!

Red
2015 Coudert Fleurie Cuvée Christal Gamay
11/12/2016 - Ellen5181 Likes this wine:
88 points
Nose - sweet red fruit. Raspberry. A bit sugary on nose. Medium plus intensity. I guess I would say it has an ice cream smell to it.

Palate - nicely balanced. Medium intensity. Medium body. Low tannins. Notes are ripe red fruit, bit of black pepper, tastes fresh, medium acidity, it pops in mouth. Tastes juicy. I don't get the sugary ice creamy feel on palate. It has a ice mix of sweet and sour.

Curious to see how this one develops.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    11/13/16, 2:26 PM - Im going to say that this is a much better 2nd day wine!

Red
2010 Château Les Templiers Lalande de Pomerol Cuvée la Rollandière Red Bordeaux Blend
9/29/2016 - Ellen5181 Does not like this wine:
75 points
Appearance - inky ruby. Sediment in bottle around neck after first pour. In the glass, you get those see through little bubbles/particulates on the sides of the glass

Nose - when I first pulled the cork I worried a bit that it might be corked. With some air I'm starting to get more hopeful aromas but.....I may have a flawed bottle here. Ugh.

Ok - getting ripe blackberries. Wet dirt. Like the smell after you water a thirsty plant. Spearmint. Some alcohol burn on nose. Medium intensity. Smells...somewhat developing

Palate - medium plus intensity, medium plus acidity, tannins are a bit pronounced where you feel them line your gums. Fruit is there, again, the blackberries, and sort of jammy, but there is a real bitterness on the palate, not in a good way. The wine does not feel balanced, you notice components but things aren't working well together. There is s bitter pithy quality you might find from a grapefruit. The tannins feel like you are sucking on a tea bag. The finish is medium plus, but given all I've described, probably one where you actually would prefer it to fade pretty quickly.

The label touts this as an "elegant" wine. A "very elegant" wine. I'm going to disagree. At least not upon first open.

I went with the importer, Monsieur Touton, where I have had luck in the past. Would not buy again.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    9/30/16, 2:30 PM - Better day 2 - not corked or flawed. At this price point, I would want something low maintenance PnP

Red
2005 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
4/2/2016 - Eclipse1 wrote:
75 points
Hugely disspointing, AGAIN. Second tasting this month. Starts with great promise, big nose of casis and chocolate, but then fades revealing tired tannins and hardly any fruit. It is not over the hill, nor is it going anywhere. Just seems to hit a wall.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    4/2/16, 1:19 PM - That is depressing. Doesn't Bordeaux sometimes go to sleep and then wake up again? Could this be the case?

  • Ellen5181 commented:

    4/3/16, 7:22 AM - I've been sitting on a few bottles for a few years now so will remain hopeful. It would be quite disappointing to say the least. Thanks again.

White
2012 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc White Rhone Blend
1/21/2016 - Ellen5181 Does not like this wine:
72 points
I did read the history of reviews and assume the wine, while drinkable, is on the decline given how others have raved.

Cork has a little mold on the bottom that touched the wine. Bottle smells fine but I sense the wine may have been tainted.

Appearance - medium straw, not really bright or fresh looking, mostly clear with some tiny particles floating,

Nose - medium green apple (after a strong swirl). Nose dissipated pretty quickly, but as it has warmed up lingering more and getting pineapple. A bit of moldiness. As it is warming up, getting some toasty notes and nose becoming more pronounced.

Palate - acidity is still there. What you get first. Medium plus. Tastes crisp. Lemon pith and peel, there is a bitterness that is apparent and this lingers on the finish. Not effervescent, but there is a tingling feel on the palate, and this combined with the acidity is what makes it drinkable to me, but you are left a bit flat. I do get the lanolin and Minerality note.

I drank it with linguini and white clam sauce and felt the match wasn't great. Tasted bitter.

Past its prime for sure, especially based upon other reviews. If you have any left, I would drink it pretty quickly. Sense it is a "party wine" for those with a less trained palate.

I will say, as it is warming up (had been in regular refrigerator for weeks) it is getting more enjoyable so perhaps it was too cold, but I still feel I missed the window.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    1/21/16, 4:40 PM - I would revise my rating to one more positive now that it is warming. I sense it was too cold at first. Definitely more fruit is coming forward. Not my favorite....but probably more drinkable. Still has a bitter note that isn't my favorite. Fortunately, there are other things go to drink.

Red
2010 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
1/8/2016 - asvendsen wrote:
88 points
Served on the colder side. Think this wine is helped by the lower temprature. The palate shows a juicy and fresh blueberry and strawberry mix. The finnish is a bit disappointment after the initial flavours. A bit too ripe fruit and some heat.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    1/8/16, 6:51 PM - Hmmm. I wonder if aging will help? I hope so as I have a few bottles.

  • Ellen5181 commented:

    1/9/16, 6:02 AM - Ok thanks! I do tend to enjoy CNdP so feel a bit more optimistic. Think I will wait a bit more on it, and very much appreciate your perspective. Thanks!

Rosé - Sparkling
2014 Alfredo Bertolani Lambrusco Reggiano Rosé Secco
Appearance - deep pink

nose - medium - smells like nail polish, stinky cheese, and a bit of red fruit as an afterthought.

Taste - a bit sweet for my tastes. Don't taste much fruit. Carbonation. Maybe some watered down cranberry.

I probably wouldn't buy this again. I'm not a huge prosecco fan.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    1/5/16, 3:21 PM - Ha! Apparently my fingers typed Prosecco by mistake. Not a huge Lambrusco fan either.

Red
2013 Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato Terre Siciliane
11/30/2015 - Ellen5181 Likes this wine:
90 points
Appearance - clear, medium ruby

Nose - initially ripe red cherry. Freshness, floral notes. Going back to it later in the evening, started to find anise and the nose really continued to open up.

Palette- first taste had a bit of frizzante to it but as the bottle remained open, it disappeared. Tasted sour ripe cherry, black pepper lingers on finish. Wine felt very balanced, tannins were well integrated and didn't stand out in a grippy way. Nice acidity that works with food.

Agree with other reviewers, it's a lovely wine. It has a lightness to it that makes it delicate but enough structure to hold its own with a heavy flavorful meal. I enjoy a wine that evolves in the glass and this is one.

My only negative is, was it worth the price? I felt it was better quality than a bunch of the other bottles we had from this region (to me most felt heavily Oaked for my taste or had a strong tartness to the fruit and weren't as balanced), but for the price paid, I have to wonder if I might do better with wines from Northern itálian regions? It was a nice sampling of a quality wine from this region.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    12/1/15, 11:38 AM - Ha! You are correct on palate! Thanks. I've been lazy.

    I do pay NYC premium on wine and it may not have been the most economical store but many stores don't carry a lot here from this region. I am not sure it was worth $44 retail, though I did enjoy it.

Red
2014 Alamos Malbec Selección de Viñedos Mendoza
11/14/2015 - Ellen5181 Likes this wine:
85 points
Appearance - clear, medium ruby colored

nose - medium minus. Have to really pull it out. When you do, smells clean, black cherry, blackberry fruit. Fresh. Definitely smell the alcohol as a burn

Palette - no surprises here. Black cherry fruit, ripe blackberry, alcohol burn, lingering finish. Tannins aren't very noticeable, medium acidity, tastes juicier than on nose.

In summary, it's fine for easy drinking wine. drink now. I do sense with a little aeration the flavors might come out more.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    11/14/15, 6:19 PM - Addendum. A few hours in it has opened up quite a bit. I would describe it as a scent value Malbec. No surprises, what you would expect, nice fruit, dependable.

Red
2009 Lambert Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County
11/1/2015 - bobadopolis Likes this wine:
90 points
Decanted for about 5 hours. Young black fruit but predominantly red fruit on the nose and palate. Not sure of the EtOH level, but seems a bit hot. A ton of tannins make this wine difficult to fully enjoy at this stage, but I sense potential for something special. Certainly has the fruit to carry for several years. Will open next bottle 2018+.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    11/3/15, 4:39 AM - Thanks. I'm sitting on 2 bottles and also have a 2008, which I'll probably break into first. However, seems no rush.

Red
2005 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
10/13/2015 - BuzzzzOff Likes this wine:
91 points
We preface our note with this: we are and have been for 20 years fans of Talbot. It is "our" wine...we occasionally are disappointed, but usually very happy, if not for any other reason than memories.

Four hours breathing in the bottle before she confidently sashayed onto the dance floor. Dark purple-red dress...dressed to slay. Pleasant and warm aromas of red fruits, liquorice, light smokey oak and sweetness. A barely legal, but ready to enjoy the fruits of her labours. Herbs, light tannins, medium-bodied, fairly straight-forward with a nice finish. Far from an overwhelming offer, but we feel the potential. This was our first of 12 bottles. We intend to sip until at least 2025...looking forward to seeing how she develops!
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    10/14/15, 6:50 AM - Lovely, poetic review! Thanks. I have 3 bottles that I've been storing with anxious anticipation. I'm wondering if decanting might help it open up more quickly?

Red
2009 Jean Foillard Fleurie Gamay
8/13/2015 - drwine2001 wrote:
Medium center with some fading at extreme edge. Pungent aromatics of red fruit. Tart cherry and black raspberry, more body than the usual Gamay. Beautiful thread of herbs and strong stoniness on the finish. Much more developed, complex, and less fruit driven than it was several years ago. Excellent!
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    8/20/15, 5:01 PM - Brought it to a wine dinner earlier this week. I let it sit for about 40 minutes uncorked before serving which made a huge difference in terms of opening up. I enjoyed it so much that I subsequently purchased 3 more bottles. I think it's a lovely summer red. Not your "typical" Gamay. I'm curious how it will age.

Red
2005 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
Absolutely singing right now - probably the first 2005 Bordeaux I've had that is not as hard as nails. This ticks all the St Julien cliches, and has the depth of fruit from 2005 to beef out its frame a touch. Beautiful balance, compact and showing some evolution. Lacks a bit of depth on the finish, but that is just nitpicking. Excellent right now. Good value.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    8/10/15, 7:08 PM - Thanks for the note. I purchased a few bottles last fall and trying to figure out when is the right time to break in. I enjoyed a glass at a wine bar last fall and thought about it for days later so figured it was time to purchase. Looking forward to enjoying it and this review helps convince me should be soon.

Red
2007 Lambert Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County
3/28/2015 - Ellen5181 Likes this wine:
88 points
I broke into it. Inky dark purple. Decanting at the moment but here is my initial review. There was sediment in the bottle. On nose, vanilla, cedar, blackberries, bramble fruit, medium on nose but suspect it will open in a little while and go perfectly with the steak. On palette, get more of the cassis vs. blackberry. There is a slight bitterness, definitely taste and feel the alcohol, medium body, medium clean finish. We are letting this sit for a while and then will return for another update. Stay tuned. I suspect it could still age.

i think decanting helped and we drank it along with another Cali Cab. This one opened up on the palette and seemed to get more balanced as it was exposed to air. The other one seemed to fizzle out. The one thing I felt it was light on was the tannins, which makes me wonder about more aging or if it is time to consume. Not a long finish. For me, this wine is a bit too fruit in your face, but fans of the Cali Cab should enjoy it.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    3/29/15, 10:17 AM - It benefited from decanting in that the palette opened up, and came together a bit a slightly more balanced way. However, I tend to favor a wine with more subtlety. This wine, lots of fruit, lots of wood, high alcohol, not high tannins. As another review stated, this is a BIG wine. Holds its own with a flavorful steak. Needs food.

Red
2009 Cantina Terre Del Barolo Barolo Nebbiolo
2/22/2015 - Ellen5181 Likes this wine:
87 points
Balanced. Ripe cherry on nose. Oak. Refined in palate. Holding back. Tastes balanced. Should age nicely. Ruby color. Nice finish.
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    2/22/15, 4:44 PM - It has opened up. 2 hours in. It's a nice "budget" interpretation of a typically expensive varietal. Good quality and value for price. A nice balanced wine.

Red
2011 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Il Vino dal Tralcetto
2/18/2015 - Ellen5181 Does not like this wine:
70 points
Medium purple color. Like the prior reviewer, I do get ripe blueberries on the nose. A nice surprise in dead of winter. Smells fresh but a bit medium minus on nose.

On palette, a lot stronger than I expected based upon nose, which suggested something better. I feel alcohol burn, and taste more sour and bitter than something fruit specific. I'm actually going to say the fruit might not have been ripe enough.

Personally, don't feel the wine is balanced. The packaging was kind of cool but wouldn't buy again.

Maybe as the bottle warms up it'll taste more pleasant??
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    2/18/15, 6:45 PM - As it warmed up I taste more fruit on palette but I still don't love it. Still a lot of alcohol on palette for 13%. Not good balance IMHO

Red
2012 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Syrah
1/14/2015 - Barolo Drunkard wrote:
91 points
For me the Syrah grapes most interesting and profound expression are to be found in the wines from the Northern Rhone valley. New World, please, don`t be offended, it`s just that my palate is borned and raised in Europe, so it does have sometimes difficulties to understand, wines from abroad, so to speak. But I`m all in for learning. So if somebody has some recomedation for a Syrah from the New World that isn`t a totally and utterly a showy, fruitbomb explosion, has some structure, earth, depth, complexity, and not over-the-top ripe, jammy fruit, I`m all ears..
Northern Rhone Syrah, for me, at it`s best, is unpretentious, elegant, strucured and profound. It can be at the same time brutal and earthy, with all the peppery gaminess, and still full of silkyness and finess. And true to the "terroir".
An area I could truly see myself going crazy about to be honest. Ah, so many wines, so little time. Oh, well..

Quite nice, and purple color.
Really, really blackpeppery on the nose, classic Syrah of course, also very soily and earthy with some toffee, blueberries, and hint of oak in the mix.
Really fresh on the palate, strawberries, blueberries, surrounded with peppery earthy notes. Very lively, with nice acidity and firm but polished tannins. The freshness really surprised me here. Combination of freshness, liveliness and meaty, earthy, peppery notes, really appeals to me. Nice finish and aftertaste with some minerality, strawberries and quite a bit of grassiness with hints of Bellpepper.
Elegant and unpretentious wine. A textbook Northern Rhone Syrah true to it`s "terroir".
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    1/17/15, 5:24 AM - Not saying all, but some of the Central Coast, CA Syrahs, can be nice and worth a try. There seem to be two main styles, fruity or more peppery. The peppery ones are my favorites. Some of the winemakers are producing some interesting Rhone style blends.

Red
2011 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Rosso di Montalcino Sangiovese
1/15/2015 - Ellen5181 Likes this wine:
87 points
Nice ruby color. Either decant or let it sit after corking for at least an hour but the longer it is open, the more notes appear. Initially it seemed tight.

Ripe red fruit on nose. You smell wood. High alcohol so my guess is it might continue to age. I may have opened a little too soon but reading other reviews made me think it might be time.

On the palate, taste a lot of pepper. Would say that predominates. Nice acidity. Pairs well with food. I drank it with pasta. I don't taste as much ripe fruit as I would have liked, and this makes me question aging much more. Definitely a green pepper quality which makes me think underripe fruit. I do think the alcohol and the acidity are there. Velvety Tanin feel on the palate. Smells more ripe than it tastes.

A drinkable wine but nothing stellar. Comes up short IMHO. Been cellarimg it for 1.5 years. Wonder if it got better?
  • Ellen5181 commented:

    1/17/15, 5:15 AM - Update to my review. I had 1/3 left in the bottle which I consumed the next evening. Much better and what I had expected from this wine. Definitely got the signature sour cherry candy flavor on the palate as well as meatiness and much complex spices. So it does open up eventually. Suggest you give it time to breathe or even a decant. I would buy it again but just need to let it sit open for longer before consuming.

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