Comments on my notes

(178 comments on 143 notes)

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Red
2013 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
10/4/2019 - Cailles wrote:
95 points
Tasted blind. Tasting this wine from this mythical winery was a first for me and a great experience… but I would wish we would have done that in 10+ years. Unfortunately, our very generous donor picked probably the one out of many Screaming Eagle vintages in his cellar which is currently the least open and ready for party. So we got only a glimpse of what this beauty has in store. The highlight for me: the strong terroir expression and the very luxurious structure. 94 to 95 points with upside once mature. I wouldn‘t open any bottles before 2028.

TN: Rather muted nose with some slate and dark fruit. A bit more open on the palate with very well-delineated but not overly intense aromas of wet slate, dark fruit, with time more and more red berries with extremely soft and pure cherries and strawberries, some herbs and just hints of coffee and cocoa. Very soft and luxurious tannin structure and a good freshness.

Decanting: Decanted for roughly 3h which was not enough (I guess this one would currently need at least 8h+).
  • JEP007 commented:

    10/7/19, 8:15 AM - Sorry to hear about the experience. However, really appreciate the TN. The 2013 vintage as AG stated, is aging at a glacial pace. Sounds like CT drink window needs to be updated on this one.

Red
1982 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Pajé Nebbiolo
9/22/2019 - Nanda wrote:
93 points
~6 hour decant, and then back into the bottle, served 90 minutes later. Stunning bouquet of smoke, tar, dried fruit and spice. The palate is moderately concentrated with precise delineation. So complex and nuanced. Long finish.
  • JEP007 commented:

    9/28/19, 2:51 PM - Just curious, was this bottle part of the lot on WineBid back in late May/ early June?

Red
1982 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Pajé Nebbiolo
9/23/2019 - andreaskoeberl wrote:
flawed
I thought this started out quite nice with mushrooms, violets, and blood oranges on the rustic nose. Good structure with red berries, underwood, and mushrooms on the palate. Long finish. However, over the course of the night, this was pretty clearly corked, which I didn't notice at first, but it got worse and worse over time. Too bad, the first impression was great.
  • JEP007 commented:

    9/24/19, 9:52 AM - Bummer. Just purchased one of these on winebid. I'll let you know if I have better results.

  • JEP007 commented:

    9/24/19, 4:49 PM - Did you also get this from WB back on Jun 2?

Red
2010 Agostina Pieri Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
9/16/2019 - MQuentel wrote:
89 points
This bottle leaves me a little clueless. 2 years ago I was very enthusiastic about this Brunello from Augostina Pieri. The aromatic profile is still there, but this bottle develops (too early) light, tertiary aromas and the fruit gets light notes of oxidation and overripening. The still good structure and the character are still noticeable, but I am a little undecided about the evaluation; bottle variance, intermediate low or - contrary to expectations - already above its peak. In this constitution 89 instead of 94 points.
  • JEP007 commented:

    9/16/19, 10:47 AM - Thank you for the notes and sorry to hear about the unfavorable experience. I can't imagine this wine is out of dormancy. I could be really wrong, but I'd give this another 5-7 years to sleep before drinking window starts. These Pieri wines are super tannic, more than many of the other BdM producers I've tried.

Red
2013 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
9/12/2019 - sirpat007 Likes this wine:
95 points
Tasted blind. Dark bramble berry fruit but in a cooler and more refined way. Just a hint of spices. Mouth-coating tannins but well integrated and a dark fruit on palate. Good balance and medium length finish. Unfortunately came across slightly closed and hence lacked a bit in expression, but then the palate revealed incredible elegance and delicacy and not at all as wild as other Napa cabs from the 2013 vintage.
  • JEP007 commented:

    9/16/19, 10:25 AM - Appreciate the notes and thank you for taking one for the team! How long did you decant? Was this in a lineup or enjoying solely? Sounds like the CT early drinking window is off several years.

Red
2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà Nebbiolo
9/10/2019 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
97 points
The 2013 Rabaja is an epic wine. It will require many years to be at its best, but the quality of the wine is already immediately evident on the palate. On opening, the Rabaja is very closed on the nose, and with time in the glass, only a muted expression of dark cherries and licorice emerges. Upon tasting, it is an entirely different story. An array of black fruit, licorice, balsamic, and tobacco sweep across the palate. The fruit is so rich so as to entirely cover the tannins, making the wine quite elegant and shockingly drinkable at this stage. Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay to the 2013 Rabaja is that the wine I recalled when drinking it was the 2010 Rinaldi Brunate. I don’t think this quite rises to that level, but there is no doubt this is also a blockbuster in the making.
  • JEP007 commented:

    9/10/19, 7:13 PM - Great review! Hard to imagine, but wonder if the 2016s will be even better than 13 or 08.

Red
2013 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Napa Valley
8/25/2019 - tcosgriff Likes this wine:
93 points
Garnet color with a bouquet and flavor of sour cherries and mocha, with hints of grilled meat. Very intriguing with good nuance and depth but with balance that seemed slightly off. Moderate finish. For all the hype about Hundred Acre, the wine was a bit disappointing, but still very good. Drunk with a lovely dinner of roasted chicken with mushroom risotto and roasted parsnips at chez nous on a very hot Louisiana day.
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/26/19, 5:36 PM - This is the second post in a couple days where there was disappointment. I can only hope the wine's in a dumb phase. I went deep on 2013 HAs and haven't tried a single one. Very few high-end 2013s (which I've tried) are drinking well at the moment. I wasted a 2013 Realm Dr. Crane and Absurd a couple weeks ago as they were 5+ years too young...was a total shame.

Red
2016 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The O.G. Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard Oakville
8/18/2019 - Yack Man wrote:
100 points
An outstanding example of a perfect Beckstoffer Cabernet in my opinion, a total delight to the palate and aromatic senses. This 2016 is perfect in balance, fruit extraction and fruit purity. One of my favorites.
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/19/19, 8:59 AM - Taking one for the team, thank you! How long did you decant? It will be fun to compare with the 2013 OG down the road.

Red
2018 Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Inky garnet with purple accents in the hue, the depth of color reveals only part of the story. The perfume, with its violets, espresso, smoke, tobacco leaf and a sea of stand out ripe, dark red fruits ranging from blackberry to plum. On the palate, the wine is plush, dense and full-bodied yet it glides. Already expressive in the nose and mouth, the finish matches perfectly with its outstanding level of purity, extract and freshness. Is this better than the majestic 2015 or the strong 2016? Perhaps it is! I'm waiting for a blind tasting. Give it ten years or just a bit longer and this beauty will shine for decades after that. The wine was produced from blending 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, reaching 14.0% alcohol with a pH of 3.8. The harvest took place September 12 to October 11. The Grand Vin was made from 45% of the harvest. 97-99 Pts
  • JEP007 commented:

    7/22/19, 11:10 PM - Never tried this wine. Jeff, is this in the same league as Chateau Margaux?

Red
2013 Dominus Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
7/20/2019 - AGELVIS Likes this wine:
93 points
Three hour decant. Raspberry, shortbread, thyme, boysenberry, plum and black tea on the elegant nose. Super smooth, dry palate, with soft acidity. Firm, albeit low intensity, tannins on the long finish.

It’s a beautiful Napa/Bordeaux hybrid. I know it’s heresy, but I think that’s what prevents a higher score from me. The fruit was a bit too toned down. This is well balanced and beautiful nonetheless.
  • JEP007 commented:

    7/20/19, 9:04 PM - Probably needs another decade or two. Tried the 13 Dominus upon release and it was one of the biggest disappointments, there was a kaleidoscope of flavors so wound up that it was unenjoyable. I was lucky enough to try the 94 vintage a couple weeks ago and it was singing.

White
2017 Vice Versa Chardonnay Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast
6/8/2019 - csimm1161 wrote:
99 points
A much more complete animal than the barrel sample I had back in November. Initially, the first sips were certainly youthfully linear and hyper-focused. A massive cut and acid blast that was fortified with fresh squeezed lemon juice and white peach and pear notes. At first, this finished a bit nuclear, exploding on the back end with a lip-smacking acidity and radiating tension, quickly puckering-up the back of the mouth. The cheetah-like energy on this thing was super intense.

With a significant amount of open air and some vigorous swirling over the course of an hour or so, this really blossomed with more weighty yellow citrus, lime, peach, and pumice notes. The mid-palate found a center drop that enabled the flavors to exhibit some needed viscosity and depth. The expansion fanned-out with gorgeous gymnast dexterity, but also with balance and finesse. Ultimately, this finished with an exciting combination of verve and sophistication.

Compared to the 2016, the 2017 currently carries more sheer intensity and drive. I’m still tasting the finish on the 2017. The propulsion is crazy-energetic and penetrating. Such heightened momentum here.

A wild and awesomely invigorating wine right now (enhanced with air), but a wine that begs for a number of years in-bottle to really reach its optimum drinking window. But once it does, Holy Christ Almighty. Watch out for this one! 97-99+ points.
  • JEP007 commented:

    6/26/19, 12:45 PM - Glad I picked up one and will definitely wait a few years, thanks for the tip. Any insight on their 2018 Platt?

Red
2018 Château Laroque St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
Inky in hue, the wine looks like a dark gemstone with purple around the edge. With just one swirl, you get black and blue fruits, flowers, incense, licorice, dark chocolate and smoke. Powerful, full-bodied, concentrated, and intense, this vintage is at an entirely new level for Laroque. The wine manages to remain balanced between its opulent nature, incredible level of density, silky palate feel and length. The wine was made with 97% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, reaching 14.5 alcohol with a pH of 3.48. This is your hot tip of the day: Chateau Laroque is a diamond in the rough and the wine sells for a pittance despite the high level of quality. This will change as the wine gets discovered so buy it now if this reads like your style of wine. 93-95 Pts
  • JEP007 commented:

    6/23/19, 10:44 AM - Does anyone know their farming technique? Are they biodynamic, organic or still on blue food? I can't find anything online. There has to be a chart somewhere of all Chateau and their farming methods??

  • JEP007 commented:

    6/25/19, 7:47 AM - Thanks Jeff.

Red
2013 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stardust Heaven Stags Leap District
6/23/2019 - SonnyChiba wrote:
flawed
Noticed some leaking so had to open and try. Serious bummer.
  • JEP007 commented:

    6/23/19, 3:26 PM - I'd recommend calling CL and requesting a replacement; I assume they will easily send you another.

Red
2015 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate St. Helena
5/29/2019 - jcampano Likes this wine:
96 points
Beautiful aromas of blackberries, black cherries and oak, followed by bold black fruit, plums, cherries and a combination of licorice and mocha. Exactly my type of wine. Bold, long finish. Decant for 2 hours if you plan to drink it before 2021.
  • JEP007 commented:

    5/30/19, 4:29 PM - Go Joe! Thanks for taking another for the team! Glad to have friends who love young cabs. How did this compare to 2010, does it have the potential?

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
5/23/2019 - jcampano wrote:
87 points
Smooth as silk but still has too much vanilla. Everybody at the dinner loved it except for me. I will give my remaining bottles away to my friends who like syrupy wine.
  • JEP007 commented:

    5/24/19, 8:07 PM - A true sign of testament that your palate has matured, lol. However, not a bad idea to keep the cougar juice on stand by for guests. Too many times have I popped a special bottle which non-wine drinkers do not appreciate, but you bust out the Caymus and all of sudden aha moments.

Red
2013 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Few and Far Between Napa Valley
5/23/2019 - jcampano Likes this wine:
98 points
This wine deserves the accolades it received by Robert Parker. Humming on all cylinders, it displayed aromas of blackberry, cherry and mint followed by a complexity of flavors with every taste, big black fruit, oak, blueberry and licorice and smooth through the finish.
  • JEP007 commented:

    5/24/19, 7:59 PM - Thanks for taking one for the team. Glad to hear it's everything proclaimed.

Red
2013 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras St. Helena
5/13/2019 - #1Winelover Likes this wine:
100 points
I haven't had this in over a year so I decided to re-visit and it is still an exceptional bottle of wine that is holding up nicely/perfectly. On the 1st night, it was very good but on night #2, it all came together. Note to self: decant, decant, decant!

Dark purple throughout, with a great and strong smell. The acid and tannins have all come together. Pronounced flavors from Las Piedras; including earth, stone, mineral, and lots of chocolate. There is harmony with this wine and there is so much going on, it is a pleasure to drink.
  • JEP007 commented:

    5/13/19, 8:28 AM - Still regret not backing up the truck for this wine. I only have one bottle left... thinking 2023 will be good year to pop in a horizontal tasting alongside some of the great 13's asleep at the moment.

    Note - Benchmark shows 9 of these available @ $208

Red
2018 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
Just when I was sure the 2016 Beau-Sejour Becot was the best wine ever produced at the property, along comes the 2018! Deep in color, the wine shows a strong floral and mint accent with dark chocolate, black plums and even darker cherries. This is the highest level of concentration experienced with their wine, but it is also remarkably energetic. There is lift, vibrancy, minerality and multiple platforms of fleshy, opulent, sensual ripe, dark pit fruits. The silky finish coats your mouth with flavor and the essence of pure fruit. This is perfectly balanced between power and sensuality. The wine is a blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, aging in a combination of 65% new, French oak with 35% of the wine raised in amphora and used oak casks. The Merlot was harvested from September 12-25 and the Cabernet's was picked between October 4 and October 10. 96-98 Pts
  • JEP007 commented:

    5/10/19, 4:49 PM - Jeff, for under $100 is this at the top of your list for 2018 for right bank? thoughts, I'm on the fence..

Red
2016 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium Oakville
5/4/2019 - Badmonkey wrote:
97 points
Decided to sacrifice a half bottle young in light of recent positive CT notes - quite impressive even at this youthful stage. Dark purple fruit - blackberry, dark currants, dark cherry, and a little dark plum. As usual, really nice depth/concentration and purity of fruit. Rich/vibrant flavors of dark berries, some spice box/licorice, and chocolate/cocoa. Fairly long finish. Decanted for two hours and drank over a couple more. Improved a little with time but drinking quite well after the decant despite its youth. Really enjoyable at this stage with a decent decant, however, I'm going to lay the other bottles down for a couple years to let the fruit soften/integrate/develop further. A nice vintage of this wine - I wouldn't be surprised to see the upper range of WA's 96 to 99 rating and Dunnuck's 99 rating with a little more time. 100% cab.
  • JEP007 commented:

    5/4/19, 1:59 PM - Popped a 375 a few weeks ago, I concur with the high scores. I really like this style of winemaking. Wished I purchased many more of these little guys.

Red
2012 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley
5/3/2019 - wino121 wrote:
92 points
Still an odd bird, but tasty, nothing like a true old vine Zin.
It has evolved from a Syrah like wine into a world class zin.
Drink now, with decant.
  • JEP007 commented:

    5/3/19, 12:07 PM - The last bottle I opened of this (about a year) I too noticed it has taken an odd shape since the enjoying one at release. I don't know if it will ever come together but will wait a couple more years and check in.

Red
2015 Harlan Estate Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
11/13/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
The perfectly ripe, dense, black and blue fruits are the first thing you notice. But as you peer further into the caliginous wine, you find this cool, refreshing note combining dark red berries accompanied by incense, smoke, forest leaf and a light, background hint mint. On the palate, the wine balances power, restraint, elegance and purity. Complicated and concentrated, the wine is fleshy, rich, silky, mouth-filling and vibrant. The finish sits with you for close to one full minute. My instinct suggests 12-15 years in the cellar will complete the experience.
  • JEP007 commented:

    11/14/18, 7:25 AM - Any insight yet to 2016, I assume it's still in barrel?

  • JEP007 commented:

    4/22/19, 1:49 PM - @64Squares Can't wait to read your tasting notes, go for it!
    @JeffLeve Any more insight on 16' since your comments back in Nov? Can't wait to follow those TNs. Another note, do you know if they're releasing a 17? Have you barrel sampled it?

Red
2016 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
4/5/2019 - J.S Likes this wine:
100 points
Tasted at K. Laz in Napa valley alongside the Flight, Maya, and a number of other outstanding Cabs.
Opens with a large yet delicate bouquet of black currant, blackberry, christmas spice, and red cherry and plum. This wine is the definition of balance, absolute perfection from start to finish, with a full mouth coating feel of velvet, structured yet refined tannin, and a finish that legitimately lasted for 75+ seconds. Multi layered complexity, with fruit notes similiar to the nose, with added dark chocolate, caramel, and leather.
This is a stunning example of Cabernet Sauvignon at its finest. This is not the typical "Napa Cab", as its far more medium styled in structure, vs the full throttled Napa Cabs. Absolutely stunning example of elegance in winemaking....
  • JEP007 commented:

    4/10/19, 2:32 PM - Wow, sounds like quite an experience. How did the Maya compared to the Screagle?

White
2018 Realm Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Fidelio Napa Valley
4/3/2019 - csimm1161 wrote:
88 points
White stone and white melon. No display of yellow citrus, tropical, or lemon/lime zest notes. A small detectable grass note. Linear and straightforward on the attack, with a Pinot Grigio lightness that makes for a pedestrian finish. Light-to-kinda-medium-bodied, but the complexity struggled the most here. Finishes with a white melon and pumice tail.

A dead ringer for a $9 Nobilo at Trader Joe’s. Drink now?
  • JEP007 commented:

    4/3/19, 10:24 PM - Whoa, haven't tried it yet. Did you drink in one night? I've found these wines blossom after a few days of getting a little O2.

  • JEP007 commented:

    4/4/19, 3:16 PM - Just found out there is a tiny amount of Semillon in the 2018 vintage. Therefore, my only "blind" conclusion is that its in bottle shock after just recently being bottled/shipped, or it needs a lot more air than its predecessors. Similar to Morlet's white BDX blend, it never tastes as good as on the 2nd or 3rd day, IMO. I'll be visiting Realm in May and will report back.

Red
2010 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
4/3/2019 - ddingley Likes this wine:
97 points
Just a fantastic wine. Reminded me of a lighter 90s Araujo Eisele vineyard Cab with a combination of fruit and Cuban cigar. This was not overpowering, but rather fabulously deep in a midweight wine. Only drink this paying close attention, like a great Burgundy.
  • JEP007 commented:

    4/3/19, 10:26 PM - Great review. Guess it lives up to its 100pt review..

Red
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR Oakville
3/25/2019 - Griffeyfan04 Likes this wine:
100 points
WOTY so far for me. Pure silky fruit, hint of baking spices, tannins are just velvety to compliment the wine. Had two bottles and they both were outstanding, if you can break one open now and drink before it goes to sleep
  • JEP007 commented:

    3/26/19, 12:51 PM - Wow, can't wait to try but don't have the guts to pop this young. Thanks for taking one for the team! Wish I couldn't visited the winery this last Fall to sample.

Red
1990 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso Sangiovese
3/22/2019 - Rollerball wrote:
97 points
Gorgeous, multifaceted, and erogenously pleasurable. Then even better than all that with pork saucisson sec. Continually evolved over five hours in a wide-based decanter, last glass best. I went frighteningly out of budget for this from the Rare Wine Co. a few years ago; worth every penny.

Ten years ago, the 2001 wan't nearly this good. Does that mean we should wait 20 more to drink the 2010? Or have they moved to a more elegant style requiring less time to integrate the new oak (which was completely melted into the 1990 at this point).
  • JEP007 commented:

    3/23/19, 6:20 PM - I'm so glad to see your post. Stoked to know it's on fire. I took the plunge as well w/ RareWineCo on this wine. Do you think it is at its apex?

  • JEP007 commented:

    3/25/19, 3:19 PM - Thanks, only have the one and will likely open in the Fall alongside a 90' Livio Sassetti Pertimali. Seems like to 90' BdMs are rocking right now.

Red
2013 Scarlett Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Rutherford
3/20/2019 - csimm1161 wrote:
96 points
A serious wine indeed, perhaps even a bit too serious in its present state, with a Jack Nicholson “You can’t handle the truth” proclamation as soon as it launches its sword-forward attack on the palate. Direct, wired-tight, and a bit mean in its approach. But dammit if it doesn’t command attention when it walks in the room with its militaristic presence.

Blackberry, black plum, pyrazine, black and green peppercorn, crunchy pebbles, river rock, and unripe black cherry. A tannic but not unpleasant bite on the back end, with talc and pulverized granite dusting the tail. A slightly fuzzy but focused finish.

Surely a Scarlett built for aging, and seemingly built correctly. It just needs time. 99 by WA may make sense down the road, but probably not for another 4-5+ years. I say don’t even bother opening this if you don’t have to. Sure, you might be able to manipulate and massage it with various air treatments and get it to talk to you for a few minutes, but after a couple hours of attempted coaxing, it simply left the room.

95-96+ points in its current state. Think MACDONALD or Tynan or Staglin or Spottswoode when approaching this wine. A decade from vintage is needed before you even start thinking about approaching this soldier. It’s gonna be locked at attention for a decent clip.

By comparison, the 2014 is more open for business with its agreeable demeanor. The 2015 shows much more complexity and deliberate expansion on the mid-palate compared to its more linear and furrowed-brow 2013 brother. The 2013 may likely catch up and lap the 2014, but it’s going to have to really work hard to get even close to the likes of the captivating 2015.
  • JEP007 commented:

    3/21/19, 11:43 AM - Thanks for taking one for the team. I just thinking about cracking one this last week. I'll keep buried for a few more years. When I tried this one on release, it wasn't as enjoyable as other M. Smith 2013s, too flabby in my opinion. However, the stuffing was noticeable.

Red
1974 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Nebbiolo
From a very poor Chambers lot - the last bottle, and the only one with any hint of life. Not much of a hint, mind you, but the brown color has the slightest hint of red and the oxidized, sherried nose shows the slightest suggestion of cherry. Chalky palate, reasonable structure, but the poor conditions this bottle likely suffered make this a poor representative.
  • JEP007 commented:

    3/10/19, 5:56 PM - Was this a 750ml or 3.78L? I noticed they have a 3.78 for sale so I'm curious if you have any insight on whether or not this was from the same lot?

Red
2016 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Empyrean Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Rutherford
3/5/2019 - TastesGoodToMe wrote:
97 points
Told my wife to open a Myriad BS GIII - and she opened this by mistake not realizing the difference. Glad she did as I never usually drink the Empyrean's or the Elysian's before at least 5 years. WOW. Almost overwhelming - but in a good way. So much going on with this it is hard to describe. Gargantuan. There was a tension between the fruit, tannins, and acidity fighting for your attention yet each seemed to have counterbalance that offset it perfectly. Like an orchestra where each instrument has it's moment in the limelight for a solo before retreating and syncing for the chorus and a harmonious crescendo. Fantastic wine. Can hardly wait to try again in a few years.
  • JEP007 commented:

    3/8/19, 3:04 PM - Please let her know we appreciate her mistake. Thanks for sharing notes, can't wait to try in another 3-5yrs.

Red
2016 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard 'Elysian' Napa Valley
2/22/2019 - #1Winelover Likes this wine:
99 points
This is amazing. A rich, luscious, full-bodied Cabernet that seems to be drinking quite nicely right now. Purple, black and red in color, a nice mixture of fruit, vanilla bean, sandalwood, with mineral and chocolate notes on the finish. It's a rich wine that has integrated well and is easy to bulp -- I mean drink.

One of the best Dr. Crane Vineyard designate wines that I have ever had.
  • JEP007 commented:

    2/22/19, 7:10 PM - Thanks for sharing, love Myriad DrC. Haven't tried 16s yet. How much decant time?

White
2016 El Enemigo Chardonnay Mendoza
2/16/2019 - danseng wrote:
88 points
Tried this at the winery a few months back and loved it. Finally bought some and I’m not as impressed. I remembered more acid. The flavors are fine (tropical fruits and butterscotch come to mind) and it has a long finish but just a bit flabby for me.
  • JEP007 commented:

    2/16/19, 11:44 AM - I totally agree. I purchased several bottles after reading James Suckling's 98pt review. How could anyone give this a 98pt score?? It takes like exactly what it is...a good house chard for $25. I'd agree 88-90 score, not a point higher. No one will remember this wine after an evening. Personally, for the same price I'd opt for a Beringer Private Reserve.

White
2016 Morlet Family Vineyards La Proportion Doree Sonoma Coast Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
2/7/2019 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
This is just a terrific wine. Beauty of a nose with grapefruit, citrus plus a bit of pear and apricot. Super pure and concentrated, this shows remarkable depth for the varietals represented. It has velvety layers of flavor, with bright acidity and great tannin support. It finishes very long and shows remarkable potential for longevity.
  • JEP007 commented:

    2/13/19, 4:35 AM - Terrific, but not as amazing as 2014 out the gate. Can't wait to try the 2017's!

Red
2003 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
red colour, pale rim
Rather stewed-smelling on the nose and leather.
Firm tannins but not much fruit, feels like it's drying out a little. I preferred the Clos de Marquis from this vintage.
Maybe a little time in the glass would see it blossom.
  • JEP007 commented:

    2/7/19, 3:01 PM - I popped one about a year ago and drank over a few days. Either it was completely shutdown or the worst LLC I've ever had. Have a couple more, will wait another decade to find out..

Red
2015 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
My friend, g-man, have never had Scarecrow (neither have I) and wanted to see what the big deal was.

Good Lord. If I were to drink this blind, I would have guessed an average-below average Amarone. Clearly, there are loads of fruit which seems to appeal to everyone, including myself. But what were off-putting were the excessive vanilla extract and not enough acidity to balance it and the fruit. Bad pairing with ribeye and most other food probably unless you are having panna cotta.
  • JEP007 commented:

    2/6/19, 1:40 PM - I wonder if the wine has shutdown. I've had a few 2015 single vineyards which were mind-blowing at release and almost intolerable at the moment (ex: Carter Cellars LPV). How long did you decant? Just FYI, Jan 25 & 26 were both "Root" days.

  • JEP007 commented:

    2/6/19, 3:13 PM - 2.5hours would seem like plenty of decant time. However, a really wound-up new vintage SV could probably use 6-8+ hours to unwind if shutdown. Either way, sorry to hear it was a bad experience, especially at that price point.

Red
2015 Ceritas Cabernet Sauvignon Peter Martin Ray Santa Cruz Mountains
2/5/2019 - matthewearl wrote:
96 points
This is fantastic wine. Tasted at the winery, ordered and opened at home... popped and poured, it really doesn’t need a lot of air.

These vines are around 100 years old (per the winemaker), which is crazy... with that context, the minerality and microfine tannins make sense.

Initial nose is herbs (rosemary and thyme) and minerals (graphite and chalk)... fruit is blue/black. It’s just super balanced and delicious.

After about 2 hours of slow ox everything mellows out, notes of black cherry and chocolate.

Not sure this one is long for the cellar. It’s drinking great right now.

I know these guys are known for Pinot and Chard but they make a killer Cab...
  • JEP007 commented:

    2/5/19, 8:21 PM - Thanks for the TN, glad I picked up a few. Any insight on which 17' pinots they are "really" excited about?

Red
2013 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Few and Far Between Napa Valley
2/2/2019 - blarmston Likes this wine:
95 points
Had this last night at Cowboy Star in San Diego.

My Director was kind enough to offer this up as payment due for a bet made last year.

In a word- HOLD. This wine is a beast right now, and needs ample slumber to work itself out a bit.

Decanted for 90 minutes at home, back into bottle, and another half hour at resto. This is a full throttle effort with nice bouquets of black and dark fruits, a mouth filling mid, and slightly present tannins. The finish had a bit too much heat on it, and we both agreed that it begged to be paired with food.

When the wagyu skirt steak arrived, this wine perfectly accompanied the fat and texture of the steak. I wouldn't enjoy this nearly as much without a nice steak to offset some of the heft of this wine.

A nice effort, and it will improve. Hold until 2023 at earliest to let it shed some baby fat.
  • JEP007 commented:

    2/2/19, 12:27 PM - Was this the S&P 500 bet? Thanks for taking one for the team, I'll definitely let my 13 HAs sleep for several more years. I have a feeling the 2012 F&F is just as wound up.

Red
2013 Opus One Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
1/30/2019 - Claret & CdP Gang Likes this wine:
91 points
Drank with some big hitters 78 Margaux, 78 Las Cases, 85 Lynch, 96 Margaux, 97 Rayas, first time trying an Opus, not impressed, decanted for 2 hours, dark red, mocha, liquorice, a bit too manufactured, but balanced, powerful, painful young
91+
  • JEP007 commented:

    2/1/19, 10:53 AM - Fair competition would have been an older Opus (79, 87, 94). IMO the 13' will need another 10+ years before the signature floral magic will reveal itself. That Opus vintage is bound for glory, just painfully too young and monolithic at this point. Actually, even a 12' would've been night & day different in enjoyment as the 12' is much more accessible even upon release.

Red
2015 Realm Cellars The Bard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
1/26/2019 - hanasowner wrote:
94 points
Opened two hours in advance...very much ready to consume...dark fruit, chocolate, hint of sweetness...silky and long finish.
  • JEP007 commented:

    1/27/19, 3:02 PM - Totally agree, had one during the holidays and very much enjoyed how integrated the tannins were and how elegant it was, compared to how it tasted on release. Glad I scooped up some 16s.

Red
2013 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Three Kings Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard Oakville
1/6/2019 - csimm1161 wrote:
96 points
So here I am diligently scanning my CT notes from a year and a half ago that stated I should wait on opening this wine until at least 2019+. I thought to myself, “That’s pretty much now, right?!” ...Scratch off one bottle of ‘13 Three Kings on the ‘ol spreadsheet and head down to the cellar to grab the loot. After all, I suppose January 6 (less than a week into 2019) could be considered the “+” in this regard... right??

Alas, I apparently should have put “+++” or something even more specific such as “2021++” or “2022” or “2023” or......on my previous notes, because the all caps “WAIT” wasn’t enough to give me added pause. Timing error; fault goes to yours truly.

Though there is sure-fire quality brooding underneath its harsh exterior, this is still in a bit of a “I hate you dad” adolescence. It’s not full-on “Dad, I got arrested again last night for dealing meth...and it’s all your fault cuz you kicked me out of the house and made me live with Aunt Percy in Gatorville, Florida,” but it’s close...

The Three Kings is certainly not without its churlish Baby King attributes at the moment. PnP was a waspish attack of thistled black raspberry, unripe blackberry, cassis, black rock, and alcohol. The frame was at the front end of the attack, with grippy acid and tannins arm-wrestling with the fruit to get some palate-playtime. Not a complete Geico caveman, but certainly primary in most ways, especially on the crunchy finish, which shut down the fruit and left the back end biting and grippy.

With some heavy petting, the core fruit began to show signs of unwinding, but not without some stomping feet and tightly crossed arms. It took about four hours before the furrowed brow and boo-boo lip really started to ease up. However, we were still operating in the “leave me alone and let me go back to bed” mode for most of consumption.

Not unlike a number of 2013s still finding their ways, this 3K can be put in the same camp as the rest of the monster Cabs that are in need of more time to fully come together. A decade from vintage is actually probably the best fortune telling forecast I would make here.

I put 1/4 of this baby in a corner to cry it out for 24 hours, so I’ll have to see how that shakes out on its second round. Until then, the rest of ya’ll need to continue to do something I should’ve done earlier...... “WAIT!!”.....!!

DAY 2: Well, as Gomer Pyle might say... “Surprise, surprise, surprise...” This was quite a bit better on Day 2. Much more open and giving in the fruit department. 93-94 on Day 1. 95-96+ on Day 2. Still, hold for a couple-three years. Great promise here.
  • JEP007 commented:

    1/7/19, 8:57 AM - Lol, thank you for taking one for the team. I contemplated opening a 2013 TKs during the holidays and went with a 2016 OG. Even after a three hour decant, I felt like flogging myself for committing infanticide. It's the strangest thing, for the last several years I'll visit Carter in Aug/Sept and have this raving experience during the tasting and look forward to popping a bottle during the holidays to mimic the experience with friends and family who know I'm a Carter-fanatic! Almost every time, the wines are all of sudden coiled up. My hypothesis is that my palate by Christmas is totally different than in the Fall which is start to my heavy red wine drinking season and by the holidays it's lost it's edge and any pronounced heat is amplified. I can't figure it out. Someone introduced me to the WhenWine app and this holiday season every night I opened a unicorn, the app said "Good Wine Day: No" and sure enough I didn't have any near spiritual wine experience. I'm coming into the notion that I'm going to keep my 2013 & 2016 Carters for a min of 10 years and nip off the 2015s until then. Just thoughts..

Red
1985 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
12/27/2018 - napasoutherner Likes this wine:
97 points
To me this wine says everything about what great old Napa wines are about. Bordeaux driven in style with that Napa fruit you can't miss. Elegant, with a long pleasurable finish. Lots of pencil shavings and graphite. Black fruit and cassis abounding; however, it's a 33 year old wine so there was lots of maturity on it. However, it still has a decade to go. Thank you Randy Dunn!
  • JEP007 commented:

    1/6/19, 7:57 PM - Do you mean it's apex will be in a decade or it can hold-up for another decade? I have a magnum I secured from an estate sale. It will be the oldest Dunn I'll have ever tried, so I'm following this CT thread vigilantly to make sure I hit the mark.

Red
2013 St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Alexander Valley
1/1/2019 - DMET wrote:
91 points
not impressed. needs more rime in bottle. no real standout point to be made. 91 probably too high, but my last bottle (2008) was outstanding.
  • JEP007 commented:

    1/1/19, 1:27 PM - Bummer to hear this, but glad I didn't pop my bottles this holiday season. I'll tuck away for a few more years, have a feeling the 13s are dead asleep still.

Red
2015 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Sassicaia Red Bordeaux Blend
12/21/2018 - jpbach13C wrote:
flawed
terrible turned milk aroma. undrinkable.
  • JEP007 commented:

    12/22/18, 8:53 AM - Not good, who was the importer? Where purchased?

Red
2016 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon La Verdad Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Napa Valley
11/12/2018 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
100 points
Escaped fires in my area and decided to have some fun. No formal notes and will just summarize my thoughts and conclusions from having the 2015 Realm Absurd, 2016 Myriad Elysian, 2016 Carter La Verdad and 2016 Quivet LPV all back to back.

My order: Carter La Verdad barely over Myriad Elysian, followed by Realm Absurd and then Quivet LPV. The Verdad showed even better than when I had it a few months ago, and is easily 99-100 all day long. It's a bit more tightly coiled and structured than the 2015 version, with tons of depth and earthy mineral driven layers that continue to change and unfold in your mouth over time. It's got epic purity, no hard edges and finishes super long. In comparison, the Quivet LPV (obviously same vineyard and winemaker as Verdad) had a lot more upfront fruit, was really great but lacked the structure and complexity of the Verdad. I'd say 95-96. The Absurd was super unresolved, showed boat loads of oak and dense pure fruit, but really needs time to come together. All the stuffing is there, but it was the least ready to drink - 96-97. And finally, the Myriad Elysian showed by far the most scorched earth and crazy black tar mineral driven notes, with insane levels of power and concentration that really showcased just how incredible that site can be. For me 98-100
  • JEP007 commented:

    12/19/18, 5:40 PM - @Cristal2000 - I'm popping a 16' Carter LPV for Christmas Eve. What decant time do you recommend for ultimate one hour drinking window?

Red
2010 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde Syrah
12/9/2018 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
93 points
First 6 hours this is tight as a nut. Feels thin, sharp, acidic, but very good fruit material. No trace of all the opulence that was there upon release. This is what a Syrah tunnel feels like! Then, almost like magic, the wine starts to open up and the last glass is marvellous, with all the floral perfume as well as some sweet, cinnamon tinged dark fruit that just overflows the glass with its aroma. And the wine feels softer on the palate as well. Wow. This will be great in ten years time but if you drink it now, make sure you decant and let air for a day before serving!
  • JEP007 commented:

    12/9/18, 8:52 AM - Totally agree with this review.

Red
2010 Adobe Guadalupe Rafael Valle de Guadalupe Red Blend
11/24/2018 - Adamsmt25 Likes this wine:
88 points
Plush blackberry, tobacco, lower tannins, fruit forward.
  • JEP007 commented:

    12/7/18, 11:46 AM - Do you think another 5+ years will help it? I have one bottle left and last time I opened one (about 3 years ago) I thought it still needed some cellar time to round out the tannins that were still kicking.

Red
2013 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon The Ark Vineyard Napa Valley
11/30/2018 - buckeye76 Likes this wine:
95 points
Blackberries, black currants, chocolate, and licorice in the nose with hints of earthiness. Blackberries, black cherries, plums, licorice, and a touch of spice in the flavor. Full bodied, nice complexity, and a long finish.
  • JEP007 commented:

    12/3/18, 11:27 AM - Do you feel this wine is in its drinking window yet? How long did you decant?

Red
2012 Hourglass Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Napa Valley
11/23/2018 - Siebs Cellar wrote:
89 points
Consistent with my prior post on this wine.
  • JEP007 commented:

    11/24/18, 8:48 AM - Do you think this wine could be in a dumb phaze? I tried this upon release and it was great. As a reference point, their 2002 is drinking fantastic right now.

White
2015 Hartford / Hartford Court Chardonnay Far Coast Vineyard Sonoma Coast
2015 HARTFORD COURT FAR COAST VINEYARD SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY- Magnum; tasted blind; the one who brought it purchased it for its recent high scoring Parker hype; this is very cool climate Chardonnay located on the coast; 14.7% abv; 100% French Oak with 37% new, aged for 16 months; it had a light yellow colour, fresh floral and citrus fruit aromas, lemon zest, pineapple and kiwi fruit with noticeable oak influence; later, I got some pine and vanilla notes as well.
  • JEP007 commented:

    11/13/18, 6:37 AM - I believe the hype was from Dunnick, not Parker. Did you enjoy it?

Red
2013 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon Monsieur Ètain Rutherford
11/11/2018 - SAS54 Likes this wine:
98 points
Following a 2013 Maya, a 2013 Dalle Valle Cab, and a 2013 Futo SL/OV, this bottle jumped out. Tart, grape jolley rancher kickoff, followed by a black licorice center, and a dusty finish were a surprisingly enjoyable combination.
  • JEP007 commented:

    11/12/18, 5:58 AM - If the M. Etain is drinking this well, I can only imagine how insanely good the flagship bottling is going to be.

Red
2013 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras St. Helena
10/21/2018 - csimm1161 wrote:
99 points
There's a big part of me that almost grows tired of anointing super high scores to some of these Napa Cabernets. Maybe I should stay in that agreeable 94/95 realm when something is really good, just so I can seemingly maintain some sense of "objectivity" (albeit boring) when it comes to my feeble attempts to evaluate wine. Alas, when it's great, it's great. And this wine is indeed a great wine. It is the best vintage of Fait Main I've had to date. Much more complex than the 2014, and a whole lot more focused than the 2015 (at least at the moment). This 2013 is exactly what I was looking for from the word 'Go.'

Purple and black (with some dark crimson red fruit) core fruit, with blue river rock, black asphalt, bitter dark chocolate, dark cassis, and faint hints of incense. A perfectly balanced and weighted wine, with a complex delivery that purposely washes over the palate with flawless cadence and intensity. The minerality works amazingly well with the grip to keep the fruit exactly in the middle of the flavor lane, drawing a refined line right down the center of the mid-palate.

The only thing that kept this particular bottle from being a perfect score was a slight alcoholic tinge that lingered on the back end. It pretty much dissipated after the first hour (this was a PnP without any decant - which worked fine). And really, what's the difference between a 99 and 100 at this level. Ultimately a wonderful wine that delivered in just about every perfect way imaginable. Drink now and over the next 5+ years. A fantastic representation of the LPV site. 99+ points.
  • JEP007 commented:

    10/22/18, 10:35 AM - I tried this at Realm's new winery shortly after it was released. I was not familiar with FM at the time. My review of this wine was of simple words, "this is a perfect wine". Our host for the tasting, MS Desi Echavarrie, nodded in agreement. I only purchased one bottle thinking I needed to save dollars for other tastings we had scheduled throughout the week. In hindsight, I wished I had backed up the truck. Now the only big decision is "when" should I drink it...

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