Comments on my notes

(178 comments on 130 notes)

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Red
2018 Bella Oaks Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
2021 Napa - June 9-12: What an opener, I’m buying this. There are wines you can smell and taste early in their development and just know you are going to have trouble waiting on them to develop into beauty queens. This is one of those. Darker fruit profile, structured and chalky tannins, not a very helpful description, but just know this was delicious. Put these away for 5-7 years (longer for me) and then decant.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/15/21, 9:31 AM - Excited 3 times over? JK, looks like a system error

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/5/21, 6:21 PM - September ‘21 release, heard rumors of $275 but with the WA 98, $300 wouldn’t surprise me

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/5/21, 6:26 PM - Thx for the confirmation, absolutely in

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/5/21, 7:35 PM - This was in the second tier of favorites, hard to compete in the top, solely occupied MacD tier!

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/7/21, 7:17 AM - The vineyard has been producing great wines for years (Heinz / Staglin) and with Nigel Kinsman making the wines, I am not surprised at the release price. I would be hesitant to buy had I not tasted this, but when it my palate, my body said ‘buy this’

    And to be frank, I too would rather pay Greer prices for Bella Oaks juice, but tis not to be

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/7/21, 9:03 AM - We had it as part of a dinner that included the 2018 Kinsman/Impensata/Bella Oaks, so I can’t speak to how it’s handled at Wheeler Farms.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    9/15/21, 6:41 PM - I am cutting back almost everywhere, but I am maxing out what I can get (750s and 1.5s) if that helps.

Red
2016 Realm Cellars The Tempest Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
9/10/2021 - MJP Hou TX Likes this wine:
95 points
Guilty pleasure. Not sure if this is made of grapes or more so chocolate milk. Silky smooth tannins, round plush fruit on the palate. semisweet but not over the top. Dark purple with ruby edges. This had me reaching for the glass.

Tempest, mistress or side piece. This is a fun wine.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    9/11/21, 8:34 AM - Definitely a mistress, elegant and lovely. The Tempest is not a fun side piece with biguns like a Caymus.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    9/15/21, 5:34 PM - 2014

Red
2008 Ovid Red Wine Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
9/9/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
100 points
I was expecting something great out of this wine based on the prior CT notes and my own experience, what I got, however, was truly exceptional!

Decanted 4 hrs but was worried it might too much—worry wrongly placed! Dark brown red in color, minimal bricking, though more viscous yet medium bodied than I remember. Oak and tannins fully integrated, acid at perfect levels for ideal drinking. Drank best at 60-65F

Nose of charcoal, touch of eucalyptus, lead pencil, ink, dried herbs, sage, hint of dried cherries, at 5 hrs after open, complimentary cola notes appeared.

On the palate, not a hard edge to be found anywhere. Everything was seamless across all facets. Blue fruit, red fruit, touch on unsweetened chocolate, dried blueberries, sweet red cherry, slight mineral/herbal streak. Medium-long finish with a hint of cherry liquer but not distractingly hot or alcoholic.

This threw off a lot of sediment. Still at or near the peak of its drinking window.

I hate being a points wh*re, but this was a perfect wine for my palate! As I write this, I am trying to think of a reason to find a flaw and a score of 99–there simply isn’t one. 100 pts, and there was never a doubt—not a flaw to be found. Such a great experience! Sadly my last bottle!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    9/11/21, 2:59 PM - I don’t know if it is bottle variation, time on its side, or just hitting lightning in a bottle. This ‘08 was definitely better than my prior bottles, everything simply came together. The ‘12 had more energy but this ‘08 just had ‘it’ going on to carry it through to perfection.

Red
2013 Riverain Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard Oakville
9/10/2021 - sfwinelover1 Likes this wine:
95 points
First of 3 ($68@) from an auction purchase a bit over 2 years ago. On the nose and palate, sweet blue and blackberries, morello cherries, plums and prunes, all with a slightly stewed quality, and cassis with anise, leather, dark chocolate, wet, loamy earth, dark florals a bit of smoke, oak, vanilla, forest floor and intense dark coffee on the end providing a nice, savory contrast. Dark purple almost to the point of blackness, medium to full-bodied, thick legs. Medium+ tannins and acidity, some heat on the finish which integrated per the below. Very good complexity, with loads of intensity and persistence. My unpaid CT consultant, who shall remain unnamed but has authored 2 TNs for this wine, on all things modern Napa told me I should let these rest a while, but he also said that the whole point of having multiple bottles was to open one early, so what was I to do? Obviously follow the second piece advice rather than the first! On the 1 oz pour, this came out of the bottle like my perception of an entry level Mike Smith/Kirk Venge wine: rich, ripe fruit, obstreperous, desultorily focused and boozy. I prayed to Dionysus that profuse amounts of Oh Two could turn this hot mess of a mid to high point 80s wine into a low to mid 90s point wine, and 3 and a half hours later (with an interim check halfway through, which screamed not ready), my prayers were answered, with an integrated, almost elegant wine which still stayed true to its powerful modern Napa core. Fulsome, very long yet with surprising subtlety, this wine weds a cult cab ethos onto a strong backbone, and, even with plenty of air, retained a wonderful youthful energy. Good complement to grass fed ribeye one night and lamb shank another, but even with its subtlety and structure, I think it still works a bit better alone, like Greta Garbo. In the conversation with the outstanding Cabs/Cab-dominant blends of the past several months--Chappellet Pritchard, the Leo, the Profile, the PM LP and the Sammarco (perhaps just a hair behind because of a bit less precision, higher abv--not fatal, but not preferred--and a touch more sweetness than I'd choose) and prior TRBs--3 vintages of the Outpost True and the Maybachs, and if it's just below them because it's ever so slightly less vibrant, hey, I paid, half or less for this what I paid for those. In a perfectly good drinking window if you give this enough air to get the Hindenberg skyward (as a side note, how on earth do you guys drink these modern cabs right off the bottling line with no air??? It's a feat more amazing to me than leaping tall buildings in a single bound.), but this should be drinking well into my senescence (not planned for anytime soon, but you never know). After the initial aeration, very constant over 3 nights. As another side note and continuing with the dog in the manger theme, I've noticed some skepticism about this vintage creeping into some TNs. While the final words haven't been written yet about '15 and '16--although both are highly promising--I think that '13 has the potential to be the best in the magical '12-'16 run, but like the '10 vintage in Tuscany and the Piedmont, it's slow-developing, highly structured and a bit difficult. With aeration, or, even better, bottle age, good bottlings from this vintage will be wondrous, but if you're ready to wave the white flag, I'll be standing by with a handful of C-notes more than willing to take your '13s off your hands! 94-95++, with possible upside in 3-5 years. Screaming qpr. (NB: I don't get the creosote Parker did, but is the label a quasi-hypnotic suggestion I should?)
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    9/10/21, 9:05 PM - Great note, these were a steal below $100 and one of the better renditions of Tench Cab. Too bad everyone else found out and the prices went up (though still a relative bargain)! The ‘13s are, in my opinion, the best of the bunch!

Red
2019 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena
9/9/2021 - csimm1161 wrote:
97 points
BLIND REDS - Bordeaux varietals (mostly Napa and BDX) - Over/Under $100: Holy shirtless Vladimir Putin on a Clydesdale! What sort of wicked concoction from the entrails of Hades hath been presented before me here? If Chris Hemsworth was a Starbucks barista in charge of vehemently hucking quadruple espressos down your slackjaw facehole, he might as well be flinging mags of the 2019 Bevan Crane at your noggin as well. Titanic black berry flavors broadsword fight with fresh black coffee grounds, cardamon, and char notes in an epic clash of evil versus evil. At once black and dense, and then insanely dynamic and fresh, this 2019 is the 2018 Crane on steroids (if you ever thought that was possible). It’s loud and proud in its current state, which should settle down with time, but its “settling down” means it will eventually just be a megatsunami instead of the current worldwide calamity of Poseidon.

Helpful hint: Make sure to bust out a crater-sized coffee filter to figuratively strain out some of the black murderous viscousness that pumps through the zombie arteries of this Tyrannosaurus tonic. Hold for a decade, unless you like the feeling of black tar peeling off the front of your face.

PS: I liked this wine quite a bit, but if you have even the slightest sensitivity to needing immediate nuance or have a propensity to get uppity about finesse in wine, don’t even bother with this. It’s great because its super rad, not because it’s cosmopolitan. In fact, if you actually use words like “cosmopolitan” or say “Namaste” to your yoga friends, or if you’ve ever taken a yoga class at all in your entire life, best venture elsewhere.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    9/9/21, 6:07 PM - I think this heavenly concoction will make the ‘18 version seem simple! It’s that good!

Red
2015 Realm Cellars The Bard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
8/27/2021 - j@$0n p€++y wrote:
86 points
I can't believe I buy this s**t! Smells of Amarone. Tastes like synthetic walnut extract. Big, oaky, over-extracted, highly manipulated bulls**t! C'mon, is this Caymus' evil f**ing twin?? YMMV.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/28/21, 7:06 AM - I appreciate the honest review, calling balls and strikes as you see it. The consistent quality factor on The Bard has gone down as production has gone up. I never know what I’m getting when I pull the cork!

Red
2019 Vice Versa Cabernet Sauvignon The Magnificent Seven Napa Valley
8/21/2021 - LiteItOnFire Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted for 7 hours, not tasted beforehand. No notes only impressions.

Wow this is a wine that deserves to be side by side with the big boys and based on the vineyard inclusions- is a wine that will transform throughout the years providing not only immense pleasure but also intrigue as the various vineyard sites evolve in bottle. I do not know of any wine that has these vineyard designates at this level of quality blended into one comprehensive kaleidoscope of flavors and sensations- that magically combine the essence of each terrior (or what at a minimum I love from the individual vineyard offerings) but in a way that effortlessly glides throughout the tasting experience shooting highlights or snapshots of what is most magical.

After the second sip I thought to myself- it would be hysterical (is it wrong to talk to myself, am I doing that now…) to have to watch a trained Advanced Somm taste this at a MW test. The rapid fire call outs of sensations, flavors and all the compelling three phases from attack to finish might cause the participant to run out of air with all he/she/they/them would have to articulate.

This wine is a killer in a 750ml bottle - and one that I simply cannot afford to buy as many as I would like as the desire to drink these every month throughout the next decade would be too hard to prevent, even if all stuffed in the offsite. Good news is the SVDs are knock your socks off as well and some of the best offerings in the valley. This was the best large singular winery horizontal vintage tasting I have ever had- period.

I will put this line on all of my tasting notes from this lineup- not sure if they have any left but if they do, jump at the chance to buy or at a minimum get on the list as this vintage and winery strategy is at an entirely new level (the LC shows how focused they are on the future).97++
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/23/21, 4:06 PM - LIOF - thanks for sharing. Glad to see not everyone has to wait for cooler weather! Any evidence of early shutdown?

Red
2014 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Few and Far Between Napa Valley
8/21/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted three hours and it needed every bit of it.

Simply amazing — on the nose, exotic spices, incense, dried blueberries, blood orange, ‘that BDX red cherry’ note that I can’t define. Translucent crimson medium bodied. Somewhat of a short to medium finish but not distracting in anyway.

Not a hard edge to be found anywhere, no apparent oak, tannins are fully integrated, I think this is ready to drink in the early part of the drinking window, plenty of acid though age for many years.

Drink better at cellar temperature, palate became somewhat muted when it got too warm.

My favorite of the Hundred Acre portfolio— this has been my best bottle thus far — 98 points— though 99 and maybe 100 in 5 years or so.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/22/21, 11:28 AM - The HA portfolio is full of great wines, but Jayson priced me out. They’re not $600+ delicious.

Red
2016 Kinsman Eades Cabernet Sauvignon Rhadamanthus Diamond Mountain
6/18/2020 - blarmston Likes this wine:
98 points
I need to find more of this, full stop.

Knowing that I was committing infanticide, I said F it and popped the cork. Decanted at noon, an ounce check in at 5pm and also an hour later, with first glass an hour after that.

This wine is among the best that I’ve had in recent memory. The score is for today’s experience, but it will improve with more slumber. In 8-10 years this could hit the Baller Mark.

Dark fruits, imposing structure, and just a sense of... HOLY SHIT this is good wine.

I am really kicking myself that I didn’t snag a magnum of this when it was offered two weeks go. In that format, this could be a thirty year wine.

As previous TN’s suggest, decant this for at least 7-8 hours, or hold for 5 years. Bravo Nigel, bravo...
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/16/21, 1:08 PM - Congrats—your note is now famous!

Red
2018 Lerner Project Cabernet Sauvignon Armstrong Vineyard Napa Valley
8/14/2021 - Mark1npt wrote:
91 points
Tasted at a Vine Vault tasting in Austin.......the third in a trio of green wines. Couldn't really appreciate much fruit. This bottle really closed down. Obviously needs more time. Maybe a hint of balsa wood? That's all I took note of other than the 'green' tones.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/14/21, 12:18 PM - I’m wondering if these weren’t aired out…or perhaps the ‘q8s have shut down in bottle. We tasted most of these in June and no greenies. Will be interesting to see if our experience tonite mirrors yours from Austin.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/15/21, 9:26 AM - Update from the HTX event…no green notes in the Lerner wines, the Armstrong was good but needed air, the RMS needs the oak to integrate. 3 way tie for WOTN - ‘18 Spottswoode/‘19 Tor VHR/‘16 Lerner Reserve.

Red
2015 Jarvis (California) Winery Cabernet Franc Napa Valley
8/14/2021 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
93 points
Tasted at a Vine Vault tasting in Austin.......probably too early to drink. I like their franc with 15+ years of age on it. Strawberry/cherry licorice follows the red fruited nose. Rather simple at this young age but appears to have potential!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/14/21, 12:11 PM - Thanks for posting notes, gives me a heads up for tonite’s edition in Houston.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/14/21, 12:46 PM - I saw that re Larkmead, disappointing indeed

Red
2005 Seven Stones Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena
8/14/2021 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
98 points
Tasted at a Vine Vault tasting in Austin.......bonus wine poured by our host, Michael.....classically aged SStones! Just beautiful......a perfumed, dark cherry, lead pencil nose.....to go along with the elegant, aged cab fruit...everything perfectly integrated with still a nice acidic backbone all the way through the ending, so many more years to go! Thanks for the pour, Michael.....
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/14/21, 12:13 PM - Maybe it’s time for me to have another look at Seven Stones . . . tonite! Great note. Today’s a flower day so maybe the wines will show better or perhaps find out the lunar calendar is horsespit

Red
2014 Blankiet Estate Mythicus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
8/6/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
94 points
On open, the cork pulled easily with little or no seepage into the cork. In fact, the color seepage on the cork looked more like a 2017 than a 2014. Not very giving on the nose either. In the decanter it went. Garnet in color, no light edges somewhat translucent.

Meant to decant 90 min, but life got in the way, and 2.5 hrs it was. Transformation successfully completed. Oak and tannins integrated. While still young, this was delicious. Black fruit, fresh crushed blackberries, black plums, black licorice, hint of dried blueberries. A hint of butter cream. A nice mineral/herbal compliment with upturned soil, dried sage. There is a whole bunch of other stuff going here that I can’t pinpoint. Fruit is acidic up front, a bit muted on the mid palate before a fluid flowing finish that shows a hint of orange citrus oil. The finish went on a good 45-60 sec. 94 for now, room for 96 in a few more years. ‘Restrained’ Napa at it finest, would interested to pair this with food, I think it could shine more.

As to the future, for me next bottle in 2024, I think these are going to be best for my palate at 10-15 yrs with potential for longer aging.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/6/21, 9:15 AM - In hindsight, I would have exercised patience. This was my first run with Mythicus so no reference points. I have ‘13-‘16 sitting in the cellar. Can’t speak to changes after Graeme took over, but ‘16 was the last year I bought. Prices ran up and my allocations went down so easy to pull back from Blankiet. Quality juice though.

Red
2013 Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Moon Mountain District
7/31/2021 - Shay.Aldriedge Likes this wine:
94 points
I’m between a 94-95 here. Not sure why I don’t buy more of these, especially at the price. Wow.

I poured this in a decanter upon opening, but it actually was quite nice at pop…then changed an hour later, and after corking to finish the remaining third later in the evening, it was even more of a beast. Bit of a chameleon, this one, in regards to its approachability. 100% cab. Dark royal purple in the glass. Aromatically it sports a lot of graphite, blackberries, black currant, mulberries, and espresso. Structure here is compact and big in style, but it’s so beautifully integrated. Palate shows the same type of dusty/graphite influence alongside the darker berry profile, with dark cocoa, and a streak of black cherry and mineral at the core that gives it some spice and lift. Good to open today if you can give it a 1-2hr decant, but easily cruises for the next few years.

This was poured alongside a 2013 Hidden Ridge 55degree slope and the 2014 Immortal (formerly Hidden Ridge). Since all three sported a good bit of Sonoma fruit, it was a cool experiment. The Kamen seemed the most balanced and structured, whereas the 2014 Immortal was the most extracted and over the top. The 2013 HR was in the middle.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    8/1/21, 4:55 AM - Great note. Thanks for the relative notes to Hidden Ridge! Kamen is consistent year on year and it one of the best underrated and frankly undervalued gems out there! But ssshhh, don’t tell everyone!

Red
2019 Vice Versa Cabernet Sauvignon The Magnificent Seven Napa Valley
7/27/2021 - csimm1161 wrote:
99 points
Vice Versa weekend and dinner: This is just so intense and concentrated that one can’t help but be utterly mesmerized by its commanding presence. Blackberries and scorched earth are spun together in a commercial-grade blender on HIGH and stuffed with cacao and charcoal before it all spurts out the top and crescendos in a purple-black juice Bellagio fountain; a stunningly choreographed wine-aquatic experience. It is worthy of its class and place as the top Vice Versa wine in the lineup. I have a personal affinity for the LPV (full disclosure on that), but the M7 is a loooooooooooong ride of blackberry, black soil, purple licorice, Baker’s chocolate, and spice flavors pumping lushness and drive over the palate with a “Now whatcha got, punk?!” sassy attitude.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/28/21, 7:19 AM - Great notes on your dinner. Appreciate the insights. I’m gonna have to roll with an Absurd vs. M7 cage match later this year when it cools down in TX.

Red
2019 Vice Versa Cabernet Sauvignon The Magnificent Seven Napa Valley
7/24/2021 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
100 points
Vice Versa Wine Dinner: This wine is flat out amazing. It managed to take the best elements of its three parts (TK, Crane and LPV) and showcase them in one place. That is not an easy feat when you’re blending them together, so bravo to Patrice, Philippe and the wine making team.

Gorgeous notes of violets, blackberries, crème de cassis, dark chocolate and forest floor. Super sophisticated on the palate, this takes the expansive power of LPV, the gorgeous purity and flamboyance of Dr Crane plus the focus and structure of TK and magically winds it into a wine that is at once powerful and refined. It gives you all the fruit you could want without ever going over the edge of extraction, and laces in huge levels of minerality and savory character to balance it out and bring sophistication with complexity. As with the other wines in the lineup, the texture is on point and the tannins are so pixilated and fine grained it’s quite amazing. Finishes for over a min. Amazing!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/28/21, 7:15 AM - Out of curiosity…what was room temp? In Texas in July that could mean anything from 70F to 82F. I’m guessing you were on the lower end of that spectrum.

Red
2018 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
Nose: [58°-64°+] Subtle tangerine skin, pleasant florals, subtle black currants, fresh dark red currants, forest floor, a light layer of new dried oak and a bit of forest funk (like wet and decaying shrubbery though this fades away with air time).

Palate: [58°-64°+] An intense rush of dark red and black fruits, pure earth from a forest floor, dark pencil lead, pleasantly spiced tree bark with a deep natural undergrowth flavors. Finishes with river stones, heavily steeped tea and a deep drop of lead at the tail end - like a dark horror trying to claw its way back up after sending it down whatever hellhole it came from (in a good way.. might've not been the best analogy).

Attributes: Clear dark medium ruby. Dry with high amounts of fine, grippy tannin. Medium body with medium-plus acidity. Decent finish of at least 12-14 seconds.

Thoughts: This was crazy. Straight from the bottle, this was high-toned with unripe tart cherries, bright cranberry skins and something like sour tobacco leaf. I thought it was a wrap for me, screwing up by killing a young bottle as always.. so I decided to exercised some patience and left this thing in a decanter for 3-4 hours at cellar temp and wow did this transform (proud of myself there). This was such an eye opener and finally a wine that really showed me what decanting can do. Previous high-toned notes were all gone. Tons of energy that brings liveliness and flavors to life. The flavors are intense and clean without being too big and fatiguing (is this what Bordeaux is really like?!). The reason this didn't get more points is because of the length on the finish. With so much acidity and tannin, you'd think that the tannin would act like a sponge that slowly oozes out flavors on the finish.. unfortunately, it doesn't. I think cellaring a minimum of at least 5 more years before opening or a hefty decant if drinking soon. 96-97+

Other notes: Bordeaux glass. Poured one glass, emptied rest of bottle into a decanter at cellar temp ~55° for the duration of consumption of ~7 hours. Recommend serving ~58°-64° and decant for 4-5 hours at cellar temp if serving now.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/19/21, 5:17 AM - Great note! You’re a bold one….I commend you for venturing into the unknown of young BDX. Glad to hear this will de delicious when I open one in 2033!

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/19/21, 10:50 AM - 15 yrs, ideally 20+, is my sweet spot where there’s still some fruit but the secondary and tertiary notes begin to develop. I’m not a fan of barnyard and sour cherry so patience is a virtue. Trial and (more than I care to admit) error has honed my preference.

Red
2018 La Pelle Cabernet Sauvignon Ceniza Coombsville
7/17/2021 - MJP Hou TX Likes this wine:
92 points
Family trip to Jackson Hole.

PNP- dark purple in the glass. Grippy tannins on the tongue which equated to instant palate fatigue. I was hopeful that the Coombville AVA would deliver approachable young wine but this was not the case. If you’re holding these I would sit on them for a least a few years. This bottle was open for 24 hours and was still a brick house on day two. 92++
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/18/21, 8:33 AM - MJP is spot on. Napa is crazy right now. When we went in June a lot of places were telling us they were already booked through October. I tried to get a friend into a place in August where I buy a lot and was told very frankly that there was literally not a single appointment not already booked.

Red
2014 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The G.T.O Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Oakville
7/11/2021 - msuwine wrote:
99 points
This is the greatest Carter I have tasted in years, with incredible richness and precision - adjectives that usually don't belong in the same sentence, but equally apply to this wine. Although this is my first GTO, I’ve followed the Carter wines long enough to know that this is supposed to be the biggest, baddest, most ripe and dense and delicious wine that Mike Smith can make from To Kalon fruit. And this wine is all that… but it offers far more restraint and class than I expected. I figured it would be big and tasty, but I had no idea it would be great.

Dark purple in color and full in body, the wine offers all-encompassing aromas (like surround-sound for your nose) of blackberry, freshly ground pencil lead (imagine opening a pencil sharpener container in your elementary school), espresso, and dried herbs (like, um, the whole spice rack - e.g., coriander, oregano, thyme, and on and on). The flavors are similarly layered, with notes of black cherry, mocha, gravel, and bay leaf, followed by a tannic and integrated finish that pulses with energy (read: acidity, sugar, tannin, all lingering in the mouth longer than anyone with a stopwatch and a sense of self-respect would dare to count). 14.9% alcohol. 99 for now, but this should reach perfection with another few years in bottle. Decant at least two hours. Still remarkable on second day.

Given the sheer uniqueness of the GTO (big bottle and all), we compared it with another wine we've enjoyed in the past - a 2014 Memento Mori, drawn from Weitz, Crane, and Piedras (6/20 - 95 points). And, yeah, it was no contest: the GTO offered a ripeness, intensity, depth, and lift that wiped the floor with the Memento. After a few hours, the Memento seemed to loosen and fade (consistent with the open-knit nature of the 2014 vintage), while the GTO just kept running up the score in terms of power and elegance. No doubt, the GTO is a modern wine of risk and ambition - not for those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat - but it succeeds, with grace and aplomb. What a marvelous wine.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/12/21, 5:39 AM - Love the note….the first paragraph describes my experience the first time I had the GTO! Will be interesting to see how/if this wine differs with Bevan taking over Carter’s winemaking this year.

Red
2009 Hidden Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Impassable Mountain Reserve Sonoma County
4/17/2020 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
flawed
For the 1st 30 seconds lovely nose of black tea and red/black fruit. Plunged downhill by the time I poured a glass into black tea and wet cardboard. Emergency air and extended time in the decanter ICU could not save her. Rest in peace last bottle!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/11/21, 11:09 AM - Absolutely! I still have several bottles from different vintages, but, for my palate, these need 10+ years and 2 hr of air to shine through. YMMV

Red
2018 Trespass Vineyard Cabernet Franc St. Helena
6/14/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
95 points
2021 Napa - June 9-12: Simply outstanding, no hard edges, lovely fruit, floral profile. No green notes. Best in class! Rumors of Trespass making one of the best CF in Napa are indeed confirmed.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/14/21, 6:31 PM - From the website, looks like everything but the 2018 cab is out

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/4/21, 5:05 PM - Aonair, Amizetta, ARNCYA, Turnbull, Trespass, Dakota Shy, Palazzo, Detert, Potelle, Paradigm, MISC, Realm all have a place. There are a bunch others that are delicious too. I’m more of a floral/fruit CF person (don’t like green pepper notes). If we’re talking cab franc dominated blends, then Brand Prop, Ovid, Bevan, Chappellet, William & Mary all come to mind.

Red
2018 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
6/14/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
93 points
2021 Napa - June 9-12: This will absolutely be better than the 2014 but it it ain’t there yet. Similar notes to the 2014, red fruit, bay leaf, herbal tones, but this seems to flow effortlessly across the palate. This was really good, Mrs Geaux’s favorite. I will take one for a spin soon. Room to run into high 90s in 7+ years.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    7/4/21, 4:55 PM - I sent you a PM on WB.

Red
2008 Colgin Cabernet Sauvignon Tychson Hill Vineyard Napa Valley
6/26/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
97 points
PnP and ready from the get go. I really tried to find flaws in this but alas I kept coming back to refined, integrated, sophisticated, elegant. She was a beauty tonite. Cedar, lead pencil, pencil shavings, woody, blueberries, hint of red berries, saline. No oak and no tannins. In the zone and no sense holding these unless you don’t like fruit notes. 97 and that might be conservative.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/27/21, 6:17 PM - This showed really well and Colgin deserves the praise it receives, I just wish they weren’t up near $600! Will keep looking for deals in the secondary.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/27/21, 8:23 PM - Well I’m a moron too (at least for now)! Keep a careful eye on KL and other auctions, there are deals to be had for the patient! Not for the 16’s or 18’s (just yet) but keep your eyes peeled for back vintage auction items.

Red
2019 William & Mary Cabernet Sauvignon Shifflett Ranch Oak Knoll District
2021 Napa - June 9-12: Recently bottled, there is no shutdown in the W&M wines just yet. The nose and palate jumped out of the glass. This seemingly can be drunk now with air until (if) it shuts down in bottle. From the first, this one made me pause the conversation and admire the handiwork! I told Will I think this may be his best yet!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/15/21, 10:47 AM - When I mentioned it, he seemed reluctant to go there, but I wasn’t. It was weird, the WMs and RMs had both been bottled recently, but the RMs were completely locked down and the WMs were beautiful…crazy stuff

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/15/21, 6:06 PM - But it was manly blush!

Red
2019 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena
6/14/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
96 points
2021 Napa - June 9-12: PnP, redneck decant and delicious-just simply delicious. Just bottled weeks ago, but not yet shut down. Purple fruit, white flowers, touch of bittersweet chocolate and Black Forest cake. Dr. Crane profile with the Russell touch. No step down from 2018 and may actually be better, only time will tell. 96 as it is, room to potentially run to perfection in 5+ years.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/15/21, 10:47 AM - That Ecotone! Crazy good

Red
2018 Kinsman Eades Cabernet Sauvignon Rhadamanthus Diamond Mountain
2021 Napa - June 9-12: This was the biggest of the Kinsman wines. Fruit peeking through the tannic structure but plenty of acid to age gracefully. More open and less tannic than I remember the 2016 at a similar stage. Shae suggested drinking ‘17 before ‘16 or ‘18. I agree and will let these babies rest for 7 years if not more. I think AG hit this spot on…in 7-9 years, and for a long drinking window. Patience is your friend for optimal results and buy, buy, buy, if you can find it!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/15/21, 10:44 AM - Thanks, Shae mentioned it might be a good time to take for for a run soon! I will oblige when we get out of the heat.

Red
2018 Kinsman Eades Cabernet Sauvignon La Voleuse Du Chagrin Calistoga
2021 Napa - June 9-12: Sophisticated, more red fruit and more fruit forward than Bella Oaks, glided elegantly over the palate. Tannins are holding this back and this is nowhere near ready for optimal early consumption, but oh boy am I glad I jumped on this. A fabulous effort here! Too bad this is a 2018/2019 two-trick pony for the time being with Geeslin being replanted. Keeping my hands off this one is going to be a big problem!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/14/21, 5:44 PM - Just posted the Trespass notes, did not try the 2018 cab (tried the ‘16 blends) but bought the pure cab based on the 2018 CF.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/14/21, 7:33 PM - @LIOF We’re back in 2022, I’m game if you are!

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/15/21, 5:21 AM - Come’on

Red
2014 Checkerboard Vineyards Aurora Vineyard Diamond Mountain Red Bordeaux Blend
6/14/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
95 points
2021 Napa - June 9-12: We closed with a library Aurora and what a finish. This was like getting a 23andme report on the 2017 Aurora. Red fruit, definitely Diamond Mountain, tannins have started to recede but provide a lovely backbone for a long finish. No need to wait here, even with PnP, though I think this still has room to get even better. 95 pts for now with 96-98 future potential.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/14/21, 6:32 PM - Definitely, awesome visit even if you don’t end up liking the juice!

Red
2018 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Calixtro Tench Vineyard Oakville
6/4/2021 - Shellswinescript Likes this wine:
99 points
Bevan, this wine is your jam! Wow, what an amazing wine and a privilege to be the first to community review it on CellarTracker! This balanced and structured wine opens like a “blossoming flower” in my husband’s words, within an hour of decanting. It has scents of dark fruits with a hint of sawdust and flavors such as black currant, blackberries, vanilla and menthol on the finish. This wine is exactly the type of Napa Cab I like to enjoy and it has staying power to get even better.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/4/21, 8:29 PM - Great note, Calixtro always delivers!

Red
2018 Lerner Project Project 18 Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
5/29/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
Into the depths of the Unknown (a/k/a Mostly wines we have yet to taste); 5/27/2021-5/29/2021: Wanted to try this in view of our upcoming trip to Napa to determine whether to pick up a few more. 4 hr decant. Deep dark and silky, yet inky. Oak and tannins are still dominating. Cabernet Sauvignon from Tench. Merlot and cab franc from Sugarloaf. I absolutely should have not opened this but I am glad I did. The Merlot is dominating everything else right now (reminds me of a very young Bevan Sugarloaf) but I think this goes places once everything starts to integrate, which will take a few years. The pieces and parts are there. I’m guessing the final tally will be between JD’s 97 and VM’s 92, which make this worth more, particularly at the $95 price point.

Fellow drinkers all commented this is one they want to revisit in 5 years—as do I!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/29/21, 8:21 AM - You may be right, ready in a minimum of 2-3 yrs, but I’m thinking 7-9 before it hits the sweet spot. I think the 18s are less beastly than the 13s which still in many cases have not come around completely—though a 13 Myriad Crane I had last week would disagree. Time will tell!

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/30/21, 6:39 AM - @jen yes, will pick up more, if I had more room I would get a case, but will likely only get a six pack

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    6/4/21, 10:41 AM - $75? You have my attention! Definitely room for a case at that price!

Red
2018 Matt Morris Wines Charbono Shypoke Vineyard Napa Valley
5/29/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
Into the depths of the Unknown (a/k/a Mostly wines we have yet to taste); 5/27/2021-5/29/2021: PnP. This one yielded a lot of oohs and aahs and more conversation than any of the other wines. Comments were all over the place. Nose smelled like a champagne with a hint of Riesling. Palate was dark fruited, one taster noted a raisin finish (positive!) on the back end which I didn’t get.

Now I know what Charbono tastes like! I still don’t know how to fairly score and put a number on this, so I won’t. In all fairness this was served later and went up against some very stiff competition. That being said, it went quick and not a single negative or meh comment.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/30/21, 10:23 AM - I agree, upon reflection, I think the Heritage is better, it’s more complex, and for my palate the PS and Malbec compliment the blend.

Red
2012 Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Moon Mountain District
5/29/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
97 points
Into the depths of the Unknown (a/k/a Mostly wines we have yet to taste); 5/27/2021-5/29/2021: PnP, last wine of the night and WOTN which I think is the first time the last bottle finished first for us. We were surprised how this immediately made the Kobalt seem less robust even though it was delicious.

Black and red fruited, silky on the palate with a lovely textured and long finish. Oak and tannins fully integrated. Blackberry, black raspberry, hint of red cherry, black cherry. Seems some bottle variation on these Kamens but tonite that worked in our favor.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/30/21, 6:41 AM - Agreed, though in all fairness we were trying to use the Cerro Sur as the early bar, but it failed to deliver

Red
2012 Favia Cerro Sur Napa Valley Red Blend
5/27/2021 - Hi.its.Don.4.Wine Likes this wine:
100 points
A Perfect Wine

If I was a recognized wine reviewer, I can only think of what a “Perfect Wine” review might mean. Alas, I am not, and as such, it will be those of you that read my words and know of what I speak. Also, understand that “Perfect” is based on my taste buds and knowledge of wine, each of us owing to genetics, how we taste.

What makes this wine so perfect, and more importantly, what wine is it?

As for the latter, the wine is the Favia Cerro Sur Napa Valley Red Wine 2012

Created by the husband-and-wife team, Andy Erickson and Annie Favia, the winery started in 2003 in an area in Coombsville in Napa Valley. It should be noted, but too numerous to mention, each person’s credentials as they relate to whom they worked for prior, but both becoming a force in the wine business today.

What makes this wine so perfect? A blend of 62% Cabernet Franc and 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and coming from vineyards situated high in the mountains known as Rancho Chimiles, the vines, now in their mid-thirties, produce wines with a bold aromatic profile which leads you to a wine that is lush, deep, rich and smooth, what more could you ask for? Red fruit, soft tannins, and mouth-coating with an undertone of earthiness but perfectly balanced. Ending in a luxurious and spiced finish. Coming from the excellent 2012 Vintage, the stars aligned to help create this masterpiece.

While the wine received a 97 Point review upon release, and Favia’s La Magdalena (another wine using the same grapes) receiving a 100, the Cerro Sur has transformed into what I still consider to be “That Perfect Wine!”

Cheers
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/27/21, 4:15 PM - Great note, you inspired me to pop another!

Red
2018 Kinsman Eades Cabernet Sauvignon La Voleuse Du Chagrin Calistoga
5/13/2021 - sean7711 Likes this wine:
98 points
Napa 2021 Trip; 5/10/2021-5/13/2021 (Napa Valley, CA): ...what csimm said. I mean, this is not a joke. Possibly the highlight of my trip was being able to taste this beautiful wine with Shae at Charter Oak - so immediately accessible. Tons of creme de cassis, crushed flower petals. Silky smooth, pure fruit, you can tell the tannins are there but ever so slightly. Glad I have 6 of these coming my way. I'll say it again for the people in the back - get. on. the. list.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/17/21, 7:14 PM - Great trip notes, thanks for posting! T-minus 23 days till we head over! All these trip notes got me jazzed up!

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/25/21, 7:12 AM - The first rule of Coterie . . . nevermind

    @gymnastpro Reach out and see if you might wiggle a Coterie invite, the worst thing that can happen is they say no, but at least you’ve expressed interest should it open in the future.

Red
2010 Constant Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain Vineyard
5/23/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
95 points
PnP and ready to roll. Nose of red fruit graphite slight herbal tones some blood iron as well

Lovely texture viscous without being thick dark with slightly red edges

This is the wine you can smell and simply know it’s going to be good

Medium to long finish on the palate, red berry fruit dominating somewhat hollow on the mid palate, some cranberry Notes overtaking red raspberry and sour red cherry

Went back and forth between this and ‘09 Brand as WOTN. This was slightly better for my palate but #2 for others.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/24/21, 4:57 PM - Our host who provided the wine lamented that the ‘foreigners’ (my term not his) ruined the ambiance and experience of one of the best properties in Napa.

Red
2004 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
5/23/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
96 points
PnP and ready to rock from the start. Only ever so slightly bricking on the edges deep dark crimson at the core

Forest floor earthy mushrooms red fruit on the initial knows definitely old-school Ludens cough drops red cherries simply delicious oak and tannins completely integrated

Dunn is just simply consistent year on year on year these are some of my favorite wines in Napa Valley, and the 2004 is definitely evidence of that

94 on open, 96 after 90 min air in bottle
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/24/21, 4:54 PM - Find what you can and enjoy thoroughly!

Red
2016 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Saunders Vineyard Oakville
5/23/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
96 points
This is a milestone 1000th tasting note posted here on CT ... exciting stuff

Been on a string of up and down wines some good some bad some surprisingly good and some very disappointing it was time to reward my palate and come in with heavy artillery this wine was not that plan as it was a whim decision but the 2016 Saunders killed it anyway I’m glad I opened it. The heavy artillery still awaits

PNP and into the decanter initial notes on open Initial nose of crushed raspberries blueberries dirt earthy notes some spice a little boozy on the nose One of the lighter colored Bevan Wines I’ve ever had

Juicy fruit profile black raspberry red raspberry very good sort of a clipped finish Great mouth feel very silky just glides over the pallet medium to long finish

No hard edges the tannins seem tamed but seems to be lacking the acid associated with the higher pitch fruit profile Bevan Wines. Given the location, very similar profile to Dalla Valle which is a compliment

Great start 95 with no air

At 30 minutes the wine is just as good showing more earthy herbal elements dare I say almost like a Bordeaux delicious spiced plum charred pine embers touch of brandy 95 points and holding

At 60 minutes, the nose becomes more expressive sort of a fruity perfume but in the background the earthy notes persist. I would say the nose gives away a sense of place unlike any wine I’ve ever smelled before this is so much better and frankly very different than the 2015 Saunders I had last year the surprise benefits me

The palate is complex the fruit the earth in herbal notes are all in harmony tenants in the background oak is integrated I’m not sure if I’m drinking a restrained Napa or a Bordeaux from a warmer year...I don’t care it’s simply delicious

At 90 min and 2 hrs this didn’t improve further. 96 for now with room to run 97-98 in 2-3 yrs.

This drank better at cellar temperature 55 to 65F, above which the brandy notes said hi

Agree with prior notes that this seems to lack enough acid to be a long-term ager for me —not an issue I don’t think these will last that long in my cellar but, these can sit in the cellar another 10 years no concerns. Now, they’re so good why leave them in your cellar?
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/24/21, 4:53 PM - Thanks! Happy to contribute what I can. The collective notes of all us winos is what fuels the beauty of the CT platform.

Red
2015 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate St. Helena
5/14/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
97 points
From a 375 with no decant. Elegance shown best—a good mix of Napa and BDX with the best of both worlds, no specific notes, other than Wow! Mrs Geaux loved it! Easily kicked ass over a 2012 Gargiulo OVX, which was excellent in its own right!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/24/21, 4:52 PM - I think the 375s are ready to rock, interested to see where the 750s are and if air needed. Look forward to your upcoming go!

Red
2013 Memento Mori Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
5/19/2021 - #1Winelover wrote:
93 points
This was okay last night. It was fruity and jammy and I couldn't get past that. I did try to work with it; I decanted it, I used an aerator but it tasted the same. Not sure if it is past its peak or if I had a bad bottle. It looked nice and it smelled good. Weirdly, it tasted more like a Smith wine than a Kaplan wine.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/19/21, 11:08 AM - You’re a brave man opening a ‘13! Thanks for taking one for a spin. Sounds like I need to hit 2014 well before 2013 on these!

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/19/21, 4:45 PM - Inspired by this note, I pulled a ‘14 for a weekend golf trip. Will report back.

Red
2012 Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Moon Mountain District
5/13/2021 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
95 points
Been almost a year since my last bottle which wasn't in the best of shape, however, this is an exceptional bottle. Cork in much better shape than the last. Slight stewed plum on opening, this leaves very quickly. No hint of aging after that moment in time. Very nice right from the pnp but a half an hour of air improves it further. Dark, rich berry fruit, a tinge of graphite and forest floor. Soft integrated tannins and well integrated acidity, too. A very well put together bottle, solid from start to finish.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/14/21, 6:01 AM - Old faithful!

Red
2012 Christopher Tynan Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines Meleagris Gallopavo Napa Valley
4/23/2021 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
98 points
Getting a chance to taste this wine was a real treat. Chris' wines are so built for age that it can be hard to get a real good read on them early. This showed without a doubt that these are going to age gracefully and gain significant complexity over time.

What I found unique and interesting about this wine was its ability to show off really massive levels of concentration without it being dominated by fruit. Reminded me a bit of Harlan in that respect, although I am not ready to put this wine at that level.

TN: Blackberries, forest floor, loamy soil and hints on smoked meat and char on the nose. Concentrated and super savory on the palate, this is a bigger version of a nicely aged BDX. Showing super complexity, deftly integrated tannins and plenty of freshness, it's still a baby in the lifecycle. I expect it to get better for another decade, and that's not common in Napa.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/12/21, 6:58 PM - Great note! Patience is indeed required. I’m excited for the future of these! I think 10 yrs is a good threshold for seeing the curtain finally opening on these and fully agree on gaining complexity as the secondaries emerge.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/13/21, 2:56 PM - I think this is one where critics should not be allowed to formally score until it’s at least 10 yrs old.

Red
2012 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Signature Napa Valley
4/1/2021 - Marshmallowman Likes this wine:
91 points
Two snuck out of my wine cellar ... how does that happen??? 😉
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/9/21, 8:53 AM - I know how it happens....either a drunk spouse with friends over or one of your friends with a license to pull anything!

Red
2015 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon The Ark Vineyard Napa Valley
5/9/2021 - El_Dougo Likes this wine:
98 points
First of the cults for me.
Decanted 75-80 min. Drank over one hour with steak dinner at restaurant
Beautiful light ruby red in the glass. Surprising translucency, none of the dark opacity that I traditionally see in the big cabs. More like a (darker) California pinot.
Unique nose of vanilla, red fruit, birthday cake, smokey dark chocolate. A sweetness pervades (bordering on the too sweet for me, but that’s personal taste).
Complex palate of black fruit, red fruit, earthiness.
The biggest surprise is how light it was overall. The fact that it’s a young ‘15 boggles the mind. Nothing like any other big cab I’ve had.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/9/21, 8:51 AM - I started with older vintages and then tried younger ones. When I first tried the younger ones, I had a what the f moment. Like you, I had two surprises, the lighter color and the ‘saccharine’ like note when these are young. Older vintages seemingly integrate the sweet note.

Red
2018 Matt Morris Wines Heritage Napa Valley Red Blend
4/24/2021 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
93 points
Public Enemy once rapped ‘Don’t believe the hype!’

They weren’t talking about this wine.

This was fine as a PnP though the sweet vanilla notes from the oak were present. At first the acidic notes from the Malbec overpowered everything, but in 10 min, this blossomed nicely and everybody started playing nicely in the glass. This is a deep, dark, viscous, inky wine—petite sirah in play on the color here.

Into the decanter it went and at 30 min—red berry focused, mid palate a bit underwhelming, but a long finish. Hint of melon, metallic notes, muted fruit, slight herbal. Drank better at 60-65F than 55-60F.

At 2 hrs, soil/earthy and dark and milk chocolate notes showed up, but the wine started tasting like every other young Napa wine at cellar temps. Brought it outside while grilling Flannery hangers and it transformed as it warmed, see earlier, but as it warmed loveliness emerged, lesser fruit, slightly more herbal. Nice, but not improved with air.

93 for now, interested to see where this goes with time. Top 3 under $60 for my palate.

I hate infantcide but those of you on CT with similar palates (don’t lie, you know who you are!) to mine ‘forced’ me to buy these wines, then ‘made’ me see what the fussin’ was all about.

This was just fun to drink—not too sweet, not too easy, not too complex, but just right for this simple minded wino

Damn you all! I’d pull the trigger again...if I had space and not enough wine to get me through retirement. Maybe I will anyway!

P.S. I still don’t know what Charbono tastes like...I guess I tastes like the parts that ain’t Malbec and ain’t Petite Sirah.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/25/21, 7:02 AM - I got both SVDs from ‘18. Will put one in play in the coming weeks.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/25/21, 8:41 AM - I wish that was the case! I’m on a weight loss journey, so wine is the reward at various milestones...back on the wagon living through you guys in the coming weeks or until I hit another milestone

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/3/21, 5:48 PM - @MM—Wow, great story/info—thanks for sharing!

Red
2012 Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Moon Mountain District
5/2/2021 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
93 points
Bottle variation in play here. Opened and into a decanter. On open 89, heavy secondary notes, blackberries, dried blueberries overpowered by smoke, charred embers, graphite, pencil shavings. Not bad, but earth 1 fruit 0, but not like Kamen either.

At 1 hr this finally hit its stride. Macerated blackberries, black cherry, hint of black raspberry, asphalt. No oak or tannins in play. 95 and held there until done. 93 for poor early inning performance
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    5/3/21, 5:47 PM - Kamen is the best kept secret for Sonoma cab! Always a crowd favorite too for group tastings!

Red
2017 Kinsman Eades Cabernet Sauvignon Rhadamanthus Diamond Mountain
4/23/2021 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
95 points
Kinsman goes 2 for 2 on the very challenging 2017 vintage. LPB's 89+ with the much feared ? after it to indicate potential smoke taint gave me pause on release, but I can definitely say there was no trace of it in this bottle. As with the Anjea, this was one of the top 2017's I've had to date.

Lovely aromas on the nose are driven by black olives, black cherries, rose petals, crushed rock and earthy notions. On the palate, this has a serious mineral streak running through it, with exceptional freshness and tension. The tannins are still quite prominent, but you can get at this wine much more than the 16 Anjea I had alongside. It's fairly high toned with red and blue fruit per the Diamond Mtn source and vintage. The finish is long and satisfying.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/25/21, 7:26 PM - Thanks for sharing!

    We’re gonna need to see the rest of those notes/impressions. Some of us just got back, and some of us (me) are going soon!

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/26/21, 4:29 PM - MJP can attest, a benefit of a four hour flight home, apart from a recovering liver, is to put down fleeting memories into coherent tasting notes!

Red
2018 Bella Oaks Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
4/23/2021 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
Fortunate to get an early preview of this wine. Obviously Bella Oaks has a storied history with Heitz and then Staglin, so I was super curious to see what Nigel and company was able to produce. Despite making some wine in 2016 and 2017, this was the first vintage that met the high standard necessary for release, and it's a knockout.

I was able to follow this over two days, and it kept getting better and better with more air. Clearly the sign of a very good wine. A blend of mostly cabernet with little parts cab franc and petit verdot, the nose shows red cherries, violets, tobacco and loamy soil. Showing bright acidity and seamless freshness, this rides a bit higher on the palate than the Kinsman wines, but over time continues to put on weight and shows compelling levels of concentration and depth of flavor. The fruit is mostly blue and red, and the acidity and structure really shine. There's a nice mineral driven streak that shows on a long finish. This is another crazy good first vintage like Kinsman La Voleuse.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/25/21, 7:43 PM - Great note, this one I am looking forward to trying in a few weeks. Any discussion of forthcoming release price?

Red
1995 Château Latour Grand Vin Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
11/26/2020 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
75 points
Summary: this bottle sucked.

Based on prior notes I decided 3.5 hr decant would do the trick. Early nose had rhubarb, soy, musty earth, mushrooms faint red fruit. I was optimistic.

First sips at 3 hrs. Wet cardboard and mold. WTF? Maybe needs more air. Optimism still there.

4 hrs. Poured wine and had a Bloody Mary come out, complete with alcohol, tomato juice and the veggies. Now I’m just pissed. We’ll see if Benchmark honors its guaranteeds. Thankfully there’s a 2012 Pott Incubo to keep me company.

Will try again later and report back if a miracle occurs. I expect not to

At 5.5 hrs, no miracle. Poured it down the drain, the drain choked!

75 or flawed, you pick!
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    11/27/20, 5:30 PM - @O’Meara yep you got that right! A nightmare and a bad dream

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/23/21, 3:59 PM - Unfortunately they will stand behind bottles for only six months, I was outside that window

Red
2013 Bevan Cellars EE Cuvée Tench Vineyard Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
4/16/2021 - msuwine wrote:
93 points
No matter what the millennial marketers say, the story and the wine are not the same. I love the story of this wine. The name “EE” comes from an early customer of the Bevan wines. Russell and Victoria had cashed out most everything they had, and they were worried they would have to skip the 2009 vintage due to lack of funds. When he found out, “EE” hosted a wine dinner for Bevan, where they sold tens of thousands of dollars of wine - enough to keep the label going. Much respect to “EE.”

Even though I love the story, I didn’t love the wine, with a linear coolness that I don’t often associate with Bevan’s wines. Garnet in color and full in body, the wine offers aromas of blueberry, rhubarb, strawberry, and ground pepper. Though it is only about one third Cab Franc, the flavor profile made me think there was more, with notes of boysenberry, coffee bean, grilled ribeye, and cocoa powder, with a high-toned finish. Blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Cab Franc. 14.7% alcohol. This is more integrated but also more closed than when I had it three and a half years ago (7/17 - 94 points), so my guess is just wait (perpetual advice for many 2013s, I think). 92-93 at the moment.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/16/21, 2:33 PM - Good note, glad to see you call it like you see it. I have a love - hate with EE, either it’s on and outstanding or simply just okay. Very frustrating. When it’s on, it’s just damn good.

Red
2014 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyard Howell Mountain
4/11/2021 - csimm1161 wrote:
Four years ago this wine was strutting it’s stuff in all sorts of interesting ways, most notably of course in the full-of-flavor department. This go-around I have to say I feel as though this is a perfect example of a ripe, opulent wine that over time has now become a really, really, really ripe wine. It carries a plum/raisin core that is mixed with some heavier spice notes. Another CT’er likens it to Caymus, to which I unfortunately don’t disagree.

What was really rockin’ four years ago definitely became the candle that shines twice as bright and burns half as long. Now I feel like I’m left with a rotund and globby anthropomorphic Grimace shuffling over the palate with his purple butterball load. There is just no speed to speak of at all. Just.....ripe......ripe blueberry goo.

Two hours in the decanter helped to smooth-ish things out, but the sissified spine combined with the dehydrated prune and squashed plum notes just made for a Stand By Me pie eating contest experience for me. At this point, I can’t even call this a “style” preference. This is just a 100 point wine on spring break that too-soon became a summer school bummer.

Traditionalists would gladly cite this as another example of why Parkerization on the front end leads to disappointment on the back end. I don’t know about all that necessarily, but this flash-in-the-pan has already well exceeded its 15 seconds of fame in my book. Whenever the optimum window was here (perhaps within the first year of bottling??), I clearly missed it. Whoever says, “Just give it time,” I say good luck with that.

Sorry to be a killjoy here my friends, but for a wine that is pulling $300-400 on the secondary market right now, this is acting like....um.... not that wine.
  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/11/21, 10:11 AM - Thanks for sharing and the potential warning! So I had a similar experience with a pair of True Immigrant blends and sold off my holdings. I hope yours was a one-off bottle—I’m still holding a number of bottles for post 2022.

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/12/21, 4:32 PM - I second MJP’s request...we’re off to Napa in June and looking for insights in advance

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/13/21, 10:55 AM - Baller trip indeed, post notes! Fully agree on Tynan’s MG, tannic monster for many years. Had a ‘12 a few weeks ago that was just entering the zone and it was really good—patience rewarded!

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/15/21, 6:14 PM - You fell off the cliff after the question mark....I fell off too laughing. A visual I can’t unsee

  • Geaux Tigers commented:

    4/15/21, 6:21 PM - I may have to find a way to make an orange speedo reference or insert a pic in the next Kinsman discussion on WB

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