Comments on my notes

(163 comments on 130 notes)

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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...

Red
2013 Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Oakville
10/19/2018 - Pynne wrote:
2015
  • JEP007 commented:

    10/19/18, 8:36 PM - What does that mean?

Red
2016 Realm Cellars The Bard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
10/19/2018 - shadow wrote:
98 points
Fresh off the truck Thursday, opened this for Alice, I was hosting the Burg group.
Tonight, sour spice, fruit on the nose.
First sip, wow, big girl in tight leather.
After a few sips, leather peels off revealing sweet black cherry, touch of tar.
This girl is serious and satisfying.
  • JEP007 commented:

    10/19/18, 3:09 PM - Good to hear, sounds levels above 2015 and 2014. Can't wait to try.

Red
2012 M. Chapoutier Ermitage l'Ermite Hermitage Syrah
10/3/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
This feels like an entire magnum of wine was somehow, crammed into a single bottle. Inky in color, this is so dense, it fills your mouth, coats your palate, staining your teeth and palate with a massive wall of fruit, tannin and crushed stones. There is a fabulous purity to the fruit and a lushness to the texture that lets you know, this wine means business. 2-3 decades are needed for this to really come around. But it will get there. However, unless you're young, you might be laying this down for your kids.
  • JEP007 commented:

    10/3/18, 1:38 PM - I'm glad I took a flyer on this, but haven't popped any yet. Compared to say a 2010 Guigal La Landonne, do find this at the same level or even better potential? I only specifically ask as I've tried that particular Guigal and it still remains the best N. Rhone I've ever had. My experience will Cru-level N. Rhone is limited.

Red
2013 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Few and Far Between Napa Valley
9/16/2018 - tcosgriff Likes this wine:
100 points
Deep purple color with a bouquet and flavor of black currants, blackberries, chocolate, and toasty oak. The wine was a monster, very dense and with a very long finish. It was still quite young with unrefined tannins. It would have benefitted from a longer decant, but no time. Drunk at Emeril's new restaurant in Sandestin, Florida, on the beautiful Emerald Coast with halibut and roasted brussels sprouts. It was a lovely evening after a lovely day.
  • JEP007 commented:

    9/24/18, 4:23 PM - Lucky you! Even though young, do you think it will match the 98 Screagle you reviewed?

Red
2012 Calera Pinot Noir Selleck Mount Harlan
9/18/2018 - RonniePiemonte wrote:
89 points
Dissapointing alcoholic. Hope its in an awkward stage.
  • JEP007 commented:

    9/18/18, 8:16 PM - It has to be in a dumb phase, it was singing upon release with so much holding back. I remember thinking this was a 20+ year wine when I last had it.

Red
2013 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
9/3/2018 - shaif wrote:
100 points
Top of the heap
Alex says too much cedar
Smooth, long finish, unbelievable
  • JEP007 commented:

    9/4/18, 8:21 AM - How long did you decant?
    Was this drunk standalone or in a lineup?

Red
2015 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate St. Helena
8/31/2018 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
99 points
Wow, this is such a great wine, even at this early stage. If you could take the best of Bordeaux and meld it with the best of Napa, this would be the outcome. Showing great notes of blueberries, mint, tobacco, fresh cut flowers and earthy notions on the nose. On the pallet this is nearly perfect, deftly balancing a ton of gorgeous fruit with exceptional acid and tannin management. The fruit is there, very present, really lovely, but it's restrained and structured to last a long time. Absolutely tremendous purity, terrific layers and epic persistence. This is so fresh, gorgeous and long. Just fantastic. 99+
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/31/18, 6:34 PM - I can't wait to try this. Love SW. The true Margaux of Napa.

Red
2016 Nine Suns Cabernet Sauvignon Houyi Vineyard Oakville
8/25/2018 - blarmston Likes this wine:
97 points
This is a seriously amazing wine.

Went to a Nine Suns dinner last night in Beverly Hills. Had a four course wine paired dinner and this wine was the clear standout. The other wines were the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, the 2015 Grenache and the 2012 Red Blend.

The 2016 offering- a full 100% cab, had only been bottled a week ago. I was amazed by the vibrancy of the fruit, the complexity at such a young age, and the balance. Sam Kaplan killed it on this one. Reminded me of his top tier efforts at Memento Mori. For fans of big, bold, modern, but perfectly integrated Cabs- this is right up your alley.

Shout out to Jason and Flora Chang for hosting an amazing event!
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/28/18, 9:42 AM - Bummed we missed this event. How was the Grenache?

Red
2014 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate St. Helena
10/30/2017 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
92 points
IMW - Cab / Cab Franc Walk-Around Tasting 2018 (mostly 2014 vintage) (Hyatt, San Francisco): 14.2% alcohol. Black in the glass. Intense, almost reductive blackcurrant. Shades of blackberry and blueberry. Complex. Fresh palate. Bright acid and aggressive but satiny tannins. Dense and nervous at the same time.

Very exciting to taste this after barrel samples last year! It's growing into a fantastic wine.
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/26/18, 7:37 PM - Wow, that was some tough grading. Glad to see how SW compared to the others. Was this your WOTN?

Red
2014 Opus One Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
My first time to have this legendary wine. What a disappointment. Was granted a taste at a restaurant that offered it by the glass. Frankly, it underwhelmed me. I've had many wines that I consider better balanced and more tasty for $30-$50 a bottle. Nose had oak, dark fruit and chocolate. Tasted over oaked in style, some fruit hiding in the back but mostly herbaceous notes and tobacco. Definitely a full bodied wine but the texture seemed nothing special either given the price point. Had a dry finish, not really long, not a big grip, not really smooth. Very disappointing. I'm so glad I didn't pay $50 for more of this.
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/21/18, 9:08 PM - I highly recommend seeking out an older Opus One, maybe 10-15 years old, which in some vintages may actually be less than the release price of the current vintage. This 2014 is holding back 100% of its goods and will need another decade, maybe two, to unfold its true beauty IMO. But for $300 a bottle and having to wait another 15-20yrs to enjoy, I agree, sucks.

Red
2013 Odette Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Stags Leap District
8/18/2018 - blarmston Likes this wine:
98 points
Had this at a dinner along with a 2014 Opus One, 2014 Realm Absurd, and a 2008 Schrader Beckstoffer To Kalon CCS.

This flavor profile exemplifies what I love about Napa Cabernet. Decanted for about an hour, then sat in decanter at restaurant. We first approached this about a half hour in.

Amazing bouquet that screams Stags Leap. I've never been great with my specific descriptors, but it had a nose of dark fruit, blackberry perhaps. The mid was plush with hints of mocha and chocolate, and a powerful finish of refined tannins. 30 seconds later and I was still appreciating the finish on this.

Putting this aside, we then tackled the Realm and Schrader.

Towards the end we revisited this wine, and it had only improved from an hour earlier. This wine will continue to develop complexity with time in the cellar. The group had the CCS as the WOTN, and while it also was tasty, I preferred the Odette. I can only imagine what this will look like in 10 years.

If you decide to crack one now, please allow at least a 3 hour decant. But if you can forget about this for 8-10 years, ideally 15, this has the makings of perfection.

I have had the regular Odette bottling, but this is clearly on another level (something that cannot always be said for a producers "reserve" effort).

KUDOS to Odette- they crushed it on this one.

98-100 potential
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/19/18, 10:55 AM - Definitely on another level from the regular bottling, but what do you expect for almost 3x the price. 8-hr decant was probably necessary, as it clearly had the most tension of the bunch. Either way, it was outstanding and can't wait to try again with you around 2030.

Red
2016 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Empyrean Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Rutherford
8/4/2018 - csimm1161 wrote:
100 points
Sine Qua Non (SQN) Magnum Extravaganza + Bevan, Mike Smith, Sparkling/Champagne, and others (Calistoga): From magnum. Decanted and aerated over the course of 3+ hours. Final sips were the absolute best.

Electric black and purple core fruit, with a vivacious and explosive (but deliberate and sophisticated) display of blackberry and black cherry liqueur, Amarema cherry syrup, black raspberry, blueberry pie crust, freshly ground cardamom pod and coriander seed, and subtle dust.

Coming off like the most attention-grabbing barrel sample of GIII ever created, this particular magnum of ‘16 Empyrean shot out like a flavor-rocket on the front end and then cascaded with a rolling thunderous, palate-coating concentration on the mid. The unreal finish kept pumping flavors through the back end. Masses of fruit (and not as much baby fat at the standard GIII by comparison); elevated purity and control of ripeness were notable as well. One of the sexiest wines I’ve had in a while (competing with a ‘16 Bevan Wildfoote that was also a super sultry beast).

Will this wine be better in six months, a year, two years? I say who the f*** cares?! Tonight, this bottle was absolutely rockin’ like a liquid Hendrix at a wine Woodstock. If you’re a timorous one who “fears the flavor,” then please see my recent notes on the vertical of Philip Togni wines and occupy yourself with a fibrous swishing of leather and dirt. But if you own your palate for the modern cult-loving vino-fiend that it is, then grab yo-self a hunk of this Empyrean-lovin’ and celebrate a Kool & The Gang grand opening in your fervently parched skull cave.

Translation: I liked this wine.

97-100 points. We shall see how this shakes out over time. But tonight, this wine showed signs of a perfection that represented the best of GIII, likely more than I’ve ever personally experienced (and this is after tasting through 20+ mags of amazing SQNs and a handful of powerful Bevan reds).

I also had the 2016 Myriad “standard” GIII the other day. By comparison, the Empyrean showed more concentration, intensity, and sophisticated/complex barrel influence over the GIII. Not sure what Jeb Dunnuck used as a rubric to rate the Empyrean below the GIII?! ...Because the Empyrean is next-level indeed!

For those who are familiar with the 2015 Empyrean, this 2016 is seemingly more powerful and intense than the 2015 was at a similar age (fairly recently bottled). Especially at first glance, I’m loving this 2016; yet another example of amazing juice coming out of the 2016 vintage in Napa!
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/10/18, 4:03 PM - I wish I attended that wine Woodstock. Great notes. I'll be up there with Blarmston in Oct, sounds like a festival in the making, maybe Mike and Leah Smith can rally too.

Red
2016 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon La Verdad Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Napa Valley
7/27/2018 - csimm1161 wrote:
98 points
Carter: Love this wine! Previous notes apply. So focused and deliberate in its delivery of flavors, and also so texturally seductive on the palate. The front end is incredibly giving with its silky fruit flavors and voluptuous mouthfeel. Excellent weight. Gorgeous purity of fruit. A nice strike of minerality, with the core fruit circling back on the mid-palate and taking over the reigns more at the moment. Not as overtly bombastic as Bam right now, this Verdad has a sophistication that perfectly straddles hedonism and refinement.

I’ll undoubtedly pop one of these in the near future in a more controlled environment to really dive into it, but ideally this should sit for another year+. For those lucky enough to acquire, hold your stash for mid/late 2019+. I’ll sacrifice a bottle sooner than that of course because my hypocrisy knows no bounds when it comes to drinking window advice!
  • JEP007 commented:

    8/2/18, 2:55 PM - Lucky you! Was this decanted or PNP?

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