Comments on my notes

(80 comments on 69 notes)

1 - 50 of 69 Sort order
Red
2017 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
12/8/2019 - Bob & Sue Atlanta wrote:
72 points
Wow, I really despise this wine. This is Molly Dooker from 2006! Manipulated candy fruit. I suspect wine making short cuts with sub standard fruit. Yuck! This is the once a great winery - Caymus in its Silver Oak sell out phase.
  • Wine G commented:

    12/8/19, 8:28 PM - I would agree with this sentiment regarding Caymus, but silver oak while in it's style is heavily oaked, is a bit more reasonable. I enjoy silver oak typically but not this

Red
2013 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Caravina Napa Valley
12/1/2019 - fruitvale3067 Likes this wine:
93 points
Received a holiday magnum and sent a 750ml of this vintage to a friend. We opened both last evening. He's never tried a Seavey so here is his exact quote: "Just cracked the 2013 Seavey Carvina Cabernet...Wonderful...Smooth from the get go. Sign me up!!!

I will agree with his comments. This is drinking really well right now. Could have used an hour decant but once it got some air this just kept getting better as the evening went on. Well made wine.
  • Wine G commented:

    12/4/19, 10:27 AM - You should check out their Merlot. It's kind of pricy, as they all are, but it's legit.

Red
2016 Shafer TD-9 Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/21/2019 - seijaro wrote:
90 points
The best we got to was 91 briefly, and that was being generous. It faded badly from there, enough that we quit drinking it in favor of something else. At $60 it is wildly overpriced (ugh, I paid $70). I guess if you really want to drink Merlot you have to step up and pet the pony with Pahlmeyer.
  • Wine G commented:

    11/21/19, 4:44 PM - Maybe give the PARADIGM Merlot a whirl - at $50 still not cheap - but it's great.

Red
2016 Shafer TD-9 Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/15/2019 - zylmanj Likes this wine:
94 points
This is a very soft but elegant merlot blend. I am very impressed with this wine and merlot lovers should buy a few bottles if not a case. if you don't like merlot you probably won't be a big fan. I like merlot but not as much as Cab. I think this is my favorite merlot blend in the States. This is drinkable today but will most likely get a little better in 2 to 3 years.
  • Wine G commented:

    11/21/19, 10:06 AM - Shafer is the most reliable, solid winemaker. I've Never had a wine from them that I didnt like. Even in "tougher" vintages.

    Their "Eighty Four" label has great bottlings as well.

Red
2016 Seavey Vineyard Merlot Napa Valley
11/18/2019 - simkodam Likes this wine:
95 points
Tasted at the winery. Atypical for a young Seavey Merlot. Bright, refreshing, prominent red berry fruit is prominent. Tannins and acid quite tolerable. A revelation.
  • Wine G commented:

    11/19/19, 1:19 PM - I really liked this as well. Their Cab is solid too, but I wasnt loving the Cab as much, especially at the price point. The Merlot is fairly priced.

Red
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR Oakville
11/3/2019 - shadow wrote:
93 points
Tasted against 5 other big cab's, came in fifth place.
Thin and watered down, touch of herb shaded the monotone ride.
Will not buy again.
the otherr wines
Billicart Salmon Rose Champagne, tasty
2018 Aubert Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, very good
2011 Domaine Perrot-Minot Charmes-Chambertin, nice Burg
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR
2016 Booker Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Ones, Great
2016 Fait Main Beckstoffer Las Piedras, WOTN
2016 Maybach Materium, Great
2016 Realm Bard, solid, to tanic tonight
  • Wine G commented:

    11/4/19, 12:26 PM - The competition looks to all be new world fruit bombs. I wonder if the VHR was in a tasting with super 2nd classified bordeaux, it would have shown differently. Or perhaps it may be shutting down as another taster recently noted.

Red
2015 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
10/27/2019 - MAXIMUM SATISFACTION wrote:
93 points
Always a solid go to at under $40 but questionable as we approach $60. Ripe black/blue fruit, cassis, anise, vanilla and fairly prominent oak. Needs time to smooth out but high octane and structured enough to pull it off.
  • Wine G commented:

    10/28/19, 12:40 PM - Totally agree with the value comment. Not great at "Retail" but should be able to get around $40 is a fair price, and a crowd pleaser.

White
2017 Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay Carneros
10/14/2019 - Ex-Ray Likes this wine:
95 points
Consistently our favorite chardonnay, never disappoints.
Ric
  • Wine G commented:

    10/15/19, 4:26 PM - Agreed! And reasonable QPR...it's good stuff.

    Aromatically its got this tropical love thing going on.

Red
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR Oakville
10/7/2019 - GQG Likes this wine:
100 points
Maybe the wine of the '16 vintage right here for me, right up there at the top with the Carter O.G. and the Vice Versa Magnificent Seven. Amazing juice, and a revelation of sorts as this is my initial foray into the wines of VHR.

A lifted, floral nose worth contemplating is so fine that one is compelled to proceed. Purity of red fruit is the initial sensation but almost instantly, waves of dark, earthy, savory fruit combine with a wonderful jolt of acidity to fully energize the attack. No sleepwalking into the mid-palate! With all senses focused and on full alert, the core fruit somehow continues to expand beyond even heightened expectations! Velvety tannins add grip, directing the by now cascading waves of refined and pure fruit across the top, mid, lower, and nether regions of the palate. All of this complexity of red and dark fruit is pushed through and sustained on the lengthy finish by the energetic acidity and notable minerality. This is a special wine; perfectly balanced, intense, silky, flavorful, complex, energetic, and alive.

Needs about an hour in the decanter to really jump out of the glass. Trying one now is no crime; it's a revelation.
  • Wine G commented:

    10/8/19, 2:01 PM - I mean - it's like a stunningly beautiful woman - you have to throw out a "Perfect 10" once in a while, right?

  • Wine G commented:

    10/8/19, 8:58 PM - Aside from all that CT offers - this comment thread is a huge reason why this community is so hilarious and fun and worthwhile! Cheers

Red
2016 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
10/8/2019 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine:
95 points
Expressive right away with scents of pencil fillings and gravel. It's deceptively easy-drinking, smooth and supple but infused with plenty of tannin. It's also infused with a cigarette smokiness so evocative that it starts feeling like a wine you'd drink in some seedy bar in a film noir while a neon "no vacancy" sign flickers overhead till you catch the eye of a dame in a long dress who spells nothing but trouble. Except that it's not entirely in B&W film stock because it does have a very fresh and pure impression of mildly zingy currant and raspberry behind that smoky gauze.
  • Wine G commented:

    10/8/19, 8:56 PM - That is one helluva analogous tasting note!

Red
2015 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
10/5/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
I love what Leoville Poyferre is doing nowadays and the 2015 is no exception. Assertive, oaky, blueberry and currant nose. Rich palate but balanced by the acidity. The true greatness of this wine, though, comes through on the palate and finish where there is the most beautiful, lush, potent currant and cedar profile. Excellent. 94-95+
  • Wine G commented:

    10/7/19, 3:55 PM - Nice note. I just adore LP, think it's one of the best pound-for-pound values in the world

Red
2015 Château Valandraud St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/28/2019 - cltean Likes this wine:
94 points
Tasted at Total Wine in McLean, VA on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Higher alcohol and more fruit forward. Velvety tannins. 15% alcohol. $199
  • Wine G commented:

    9/30/19, 3:47 PM - well, that was quite generous of Total Wine & more

Red
2016 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
8/29/2019 - jmoon Likes this wine:
98 points
Double decant 10 hours prior.
Absolutely stunning purity and depth with an ethereal beguiling finish. Clean fresh and pure left bank lusciousness.
Best LP I’ve ever had... but the slow ox was crucial.
  • Wine G commented:

    8/29/19, 8:29 AM - Yes, definitely raising the anticipation level here. I have held off on cracking my 6-pack so far.

White
2017 Venge Vineyards Chardonnay Brown Ranch Carneros
7/6/2019 - mtolerico Likes this wine:
91 points
Intense, lemon, citrus acidic juices, yellow apple, salty rock, lemon garlic butter, it’s a bit cloying and has heavy heat at the end. Could be better in a year or two, but 91 right now.
  • Wine G commented:

    8/27/19, 4:44 PM - This tasting note is On-point...I recently drank this bottle and have the same experience. I like it , but as the wine comes to more room temp, the alcohol becomes more evident. Comes off a little cocktail-ish. Needs a little time, perhaps.

Red
2013 Harlan Estate The Maiden Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/17/2017 - Wine G Likes this wine:
95 points
Although not any good QPR in any way per say, Fulfilled my expectation. Savory and rich and robust and delicious and big - but silky smooth with great length and acidity to promote that palate watering. Pretty much ideal , hard to beat this. Although you can find close to this good of a bottle for about 1/3 the price.
  • Wine G commented:

    8/23/19, 12:46 PM - I have yet to try Bevan. But in the $80-90 range I would highly promote these two bottlings from a value standpoint:

    Paradigm Cab Sauv
    Shafer 1.5 Cab

    They compare in my opinion to other high quality 2nd/3rd growth Bordeaux wines that sell in that $75-125 range, but the new world versions.

Red
2008 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five Stags Leap District
8/21/2019 - Priorat Lover wrote:
93 points
This is still going strong. Good mix of red/blue fruit. Nose was somewhat dim, but the finish strong. Excellent value for the $55 I paid for it a few years ago.
  • Wine G commented:

    8/23/19, 12:43 PM - Any 1.5 that is within 10 years old, around $50, is a great value.

Red
2014 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
7/31/2019 - COWineLover wrote:
92 points
Poured from a 375. PnP with a slow ox of about 30 minutes. A young but developing Bordeaux. For me the predominant aromatic quality was vanilla and cassis. Has background notes of clove, graphite, smoke, espresso, and strangely white pepper. On the palate, this starts with a tart dryness from the tannin influence. It transitions into a dark berry compote with vanilla, cloves, dried herbs, and a streak of minerality as the finish extends. Very good length and this is enjoyable now, but is likely to improve with some taming of the tannins where the fruit can show through with more definition.

Drinkable, promising, cellar worthy, reloading on this.
  • Wine G commented:

    8/1/19, 10:05 AM - from my experience, this is a very well articulated tasting note, and quite on-point.

White
2018 Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay Carneros
Okay, here we go! We used to drink Rombauer Chardonnay by the case about ten years ago. Since then we've become all wine-woke and, like good AFWE oenophiles, we wouldn't deign to sully our lips with this syrupy, supersaturated fruit elixir. Or would we?

This is the 2018 product, apparently fresh off the vine, stuffed into bottles, and delivered straight to Whole Foods Market.

On visual inspection, this wine is much less concentrated than I remember. It used to be nuclear waste yellow. Now it's more of a pretty lemon color. Very clear, very bright.

On nose, this wine is also different than I remembered it. Yes, memory is fallible, but the scent is so tightly associated with personal history that any difference is noticeable. This is much more restrained than it used to be. Less melon, less caramel. More white fruit, passionfruit, a hint of butterscotch, and some smokiness. Even a bit of dustiness - is Rombauer turning into Chablis?

One sip and it's clear that the answer is no. It's a return to form on the palate. Very full bodied, bold new oak, buttery finish, melon, smoke, vanilla. Pow!

Two glasses of Rombauer before the art opening and that's a good night right there.

At the end of the day, this is actually a pretty okay wine (that's okay, not "oaky", which it also is). It is a great exemplar of a style which I once loved and which I will not admit still liking - no, never, never will I admit such a thing. But it's clearly a deliberately and well-crafted product, and I am appreciating every sip.
  • Wine G commented:

    7/18/19, 2:52 PM - So you are just too "woke" now about your chablis and AFWE preferences for allowing yourself to believe Rombauer is a good drink? Pretty hilarious concept.........

Red
2015 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
7/2/2019 - kevrob822 Likes this wine:
91 points
Decanted for about 2 hours and it got better and better over the next 4 hours it was drunk. This is a big, in your face, type of wine. Lots of big, ripe dark fruit and yes, Oak. Lots of Oak. Every vintage has Oak in spades. Just need to know it and open this wine when you want a big oaky wine. This is much more of a food wine then a backyard sipper. I think I’ve had the last 4 years of vintage and this might be my favorite so far.

A solid 91 Points and a Very Good QPR. I should point out, my price of $36 is about 45% off the winery price. That’s a solid discount (or is it just overpriced at the winery?). All being said, definitely get more.
  • Wine G commented:

    7/15/19, 2:17 PM - I like this wine too, great price at $36 buy that all day. The retail is probably a bit too high, but this is primarily the To Kalon fruit, I believe.

Red
2015 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
6/18/2019 - Woodbridge Brad wrote:
88 points
ASEV Presidents and Board Dinner (Napa Marriott): Way too oaky without any touch of finesse. My least favorite red of the night. No elegance just ham fisted winemaking using very nice grapes and new barrels.
  • Wine G commented:

    6/20/19, 4:05 PM - That is a good phrase, "ham fisted winemaking". You can tell it is quality fruit and lots of oak, reminds me of silver oak.

Red
2010 Château d'Issan Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
11/25/2018 - greedy wrote:
89 points
Not bad but not worth $190 cad. Most distinguishing feature of this wine is the super tannins. Not enough fruit for me. I still have only had a few really good Bordeaux. I don’t get it yet...

Top end Napa cabs are way better.
  • Wine G commented:

    11/27/18, 10:16 AM - Agree with the others...you may find St Emilion more attractive than some of left bank. While they grow merlot grape and Cab franc, it's different there.

    In general, you will come around. The Bordeaux exhibit more freshness and lift , in general. Napa, more ripe. The expensive napa wines over $100 and higher, sure most will be excellent and hopefully not overripe, but I would put up most 2nd growth Bordeaux you can get in the $50-75 range versus most napa cabs in that same price range.

    check out some 2015's also , as the more recent vintages seem to have some more new world characteristics. Try and seek some of these out: Canon la Gaff (or his 3rd wine, Clos de l'oratoire), Valandraud (or their 2nd wine Virginie), or maybe beau sejour becot. those are good St Emilion options

  • Wine G commented:

    6/6/19, 10:55 PM - This. What I is saying above. He is on point.

    More freshness with Bordeaux vs Napa. More aromatics, lighter palate. New world takes longer for the aromatics to emerge and won’t be as robust as Bordeaux, but the palate is much riper and usually more rich. Bordeaux overall has More options that are reasonably priced , 2nd-5th growth even the super seconds around $100 in some cases.

    You can also get really good Napa cabs, Merlot, can franc for $50-100 , but you have to find the gems.

    St Emilion is probably the gateway for a new world lover to dip the toe

    Try:
    Clos de l’oratoire (2nd wine to canon la gaff) $40-45
    Canon la gaff -$85ish depending vintage
    Virginie valandraud $45 (2nd wine for Valandraud)

    Good luck.

White
2015 Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch Carneros
11/25/2018 - Pontifax wrote:
90 points
A high voltage Napa Chardonnay.
On nose: hints of fresh baked bread , ripe bannanas and toasted walnuts.
On palate: a WHOLE other world : minerals , vanilla infused oak , apple , citrus and creme brulee...NOT a seafood wine....would work well with roast chicken or pork tenderloin.....the alcohol level ( 14.9%)! Drags down the rating ....a lot of heat in the finish...no one would mistake this for white Burgundy ....overpriced at $69.00 a bottle in Vancouver , Canada.
  • Wine G commented:

    5/9/19, 4:07 PM - $30 + tax/fee on Winebid right now......... $36-40 out the door excluding shipping.

Red
1993 Clos du Bois Marlstone Alexander Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/14/2019 - cupoverflowing1 Likes this wine:
92 points
very Bordeaux-like, with wonderful nose of minerals, earthy, tobacco; finish is a bit bitter on this one compared to the 1992 and 1994; 1992 is a bit smoother but thinner, but 1993 is thicker with more complexity; 92 and 93 are both excellent, but the 1994 wins... all 3 vintages are a great example of how good wines can age far longer than most of us think... this one has plenty of life left
  • Wine G commented:

    4/23/19, 9:38 PM - Wow... interesting... i appreciate your notes and insights on the mondavi offerings.

Red
2016 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five Stags Leap District
4/15/2019 - isaacjamesbaker wrote:
94 points
Deep purple color. The fruit is deep but tart on the nose, with waves of black currants and blueberries, laced with spicy pipe tobacco, violets, earth, mint, clove, vanilla. Full and velvety on the palate, serious structure but it’s smooth, and the acidity is quite fresh, keeping it vibrant. Laced with complex tobacco, dusty earth, with clove, earth, lavender, vanilla, cedar. An underlying graphite and mineral element that is so good. Just gorgeous now, but it will be a real treat with age. All Cabernet that spends 20 months in 100% new French oak.
  • Wine G commented:

    4/16/19, 5:01 PM - Was waiting for someone to chime in with a TN on the 2016 One.five.
    I Just got some in myself to stash away in the cabinet....just recently drank a 2016 TD-9 and that was so delicious, as well, I would expect more open for biz. Is this One.five 100% cabernet or is there a splash of merlot or PV in there? Feel like these will be good to keep away for a solid 5-10 years or longer.

    I think it is time to start enjoying the 2007-2012 vintages that I have.

Red
2014 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
11/14/2017 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
This is a super wine, and due to the uneven reputation of the vintage, it sells for a very fair price. However, the wine is already starting to shut down, so if you are thinking of tasting a bottle in its youth, to get the most out of the fresh, sweet, earthy, tobacco and cassis charms, full body and regal tannins, I suggest you pop a cork on this before the year runs out.
  • Wine G commented:

    4/9/19, 8:14 PM - Jeff - how long do you estimate this wine will stay shut down before starting to emerge?

Red
2016 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard St. Helena
4/3/2019 - blarmston Likes this wine:
96 points
Decanted three hours and it needed it. Not nearly as tight an unforgiving as the 2015 Panek, but this baby is in need of 5 years to come into its own.

This wine is like Zion Williamson- while its talented right now, I can just imagine how good it'll be in 2024. An unstoppable freight train, balanced skill set, and the best representation of its craft.

96 now with clear upside.
  • Wine G commented:

    4/4/19, 12:40 PM - That is a funny note. Good analogy!

Red
2003 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
3/11/2019 - Vino_Veritas wrote:
87 points
Prior bottle 10 years ago was nowhere near ready. At age 16, still disjointed, and personally, don’t think it’s going to ever come together. Very extracted - black cherry, bordering on cough syrup (maybe that’s the 15.4% alcohol), vanilla oak, tobacco, smoke and saddle leather. Decanted and consumed over 3 hours without material improvement or sense of harmony.
  • Wine G commented:

    3/19/19, 10:27 PM - Ouch! I have been looking to try some Seavey, but I have trouble to find any vintage for a decent price.

Red
2012 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Coeur St. Helena
2/22/2019 - Grinner wrote:
flawed
Serious VA and down the drain...good thing it was free ("Anniversary Gift" from their wine club). Denise agreed, Vegasoenophile agreed!
  • Wine G commented:

    2/25/19, 8:42 AM - Oh, great! I got one of those too "gifts" too!

Red
2016 Venge Vineyards Merlot Kenefick Ranch Calistoga
2/23/2019 - Wine G wrote:
94 points
Delicious, concentrated, chewey.. fruity... sugar sweet , some big cedar baking spices on the nose. Delectable!!
  • Wine G commented:

    2/25/19, 8:41 AM - By all means you could lay this down for a few years up to 5 or so, but personally I think Venge in general is made for early consumption. I don't see this getting much better in time, it is great right now!

Red
2014 Robert Mondavi Winery Harvest of Joy To-Kalon Vineyard Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
12/6/2018 - cupoverflowing1 Likes this wine:
93 points
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc, 14% Malbec, 14% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot; 100% new French oak, very well made, but just a bit expensive compared to peers
  • Wine G commented:

    2/13/19, 9:55 PM - Hi Veraison. Grabbed a case of this stuff - i see you review a lot of mondavi wines. Would you say this is one of their best offerings?

  • Wine G commented:

    2/14/19, 11:20 AM - Thanks for sharing! I bought the Harvest of Joy of Kalon 2014, but now I am thinking to also get some 2014 Stags leap.

    IF those 2 were the same price would you still say Stags leap? does one stand above the other? Sounds like you like them both but have Stags leap above due to price, but assuming they were the same price?

  • Wine G commented:

    2/14/19, 3:12 PM - Thanks V-40! The BDX is not on my list of options. I'll roll the dice on the Harvest of Joy knowing that it is the TO Kalon fruit. Also on the Stags leap I was wrong -I can get the 2013 not 2014. what do you think about the 2013 stags leap?
    Thanks for sharing your notes and guidance!

  • Wine G commented:

    2/18/19, 2:00 PM - V40 Thanks for your notes, and expertise on the Mondavi lineup. Very cool. Received the Harvest of Joy 2014, letting them marinate for a few weeks before I pop one. Looking forward to it. I'll try to get some of the Stags Leap and BDX as well when I get the opportunities. Cheers!

White
2017 Eighty Four Wines Albariño Albarino Carneros
1/25/2019 - mattdathan Likes this wine:
91 points
Crisp & lovely
  • Wine G commented:

    2/10/19, 8:51 PM - Great QPR

Red
2012 Château Valandraud St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
10/22/2017 - Collector1855 wrote:
94 points
Chateau Valandraud Masterclass with Jean-Luc Thunevin (Singapore): A big step up after the 2011. This wine is dense and deep, lots of stuffing, lots of aroma, gingerbread, plum, flowers. The tannins are demanding though as well. Not an early drinker this one but should be great once mature. A very good 2012. I would not touch this before 2025 either.
  • Wine G commented:

    2/7/19, 10:36 PM - This comment is very accurate to my experience right now. Nice!

  • Wine G commented:

    2/7/19, 11:37 PM - The note I made earlier was before I saw your note. Not the same, but some similarities.

    Personally, i like my wine on the more youthful side, but still i say now until 2030ish ??

Red
2012 Muscardini Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cassata Sonoma Valley
12/18/2018 - Esteve63 wrote:
88 points
If I did a blind tasting I'd say it's a zinfindel, ripe and ready. 92 pt zin, 88 if cab.
  • Wine G commented:

    12/20/18, 10:48 AM - But you gave it a 99 in your point system???

Red
2014 Harlan Estate Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
8/26/2018 - Collector1855 wrote:
95 points
During a Wine Advocate Matter of Taste walkabout tasting, so only brief impressions. Concentrated but stayed fresh. Aromatically a bit uneventful but then, still very young. Ridiculous QPR. 95+
  • Wine G commented:

    11/13/18, 4:29 PM - Ridiculous as in good? Or Ridiculous as in way too expensive?

Red
2015 Réserve de la Comtesse Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
11/11/2018 - RockinCabs wrote:
91 points
Coravin pours about a month ago, and finished this bottle. Remains so fresh and vibrant in its blackberry, cassis and berry notes, slight florals, pencil and sexy oak treatment. Let this sleep for minimum 5-years. Tannin is not harsh, but definitely has teeth. Pretty serious for a second wine.
  • Wine G commented:

    11/13/18, 10:24 AM - pretty great QPR

Red
2013 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five Stags Leap District
10/26/2018 - Squilber Likes this wine:
93 points
Very good Cab and nice value. Dare I say it tastes (and costs) like a poor man's Hillside Select, which is no insult.
  • Wine G commented:

    10/26/18, 10:27 AM - So then the question becomes........Would you prefer to have 3-4 bottles of any given vintage of the 1.5, or 1 bottle of the Hillside of that same vintage??

Red
2007 Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon Special K Reserve Napa Valley
3/23/2012 - wallstreet wrote:
94 points
Great bottle of wine that still needs time. You can tell it was much smoother than the regular 07 Kobalt. A very nice wine indeed, deep , dark and full bodied. Loved it.
  • Wine G commented:

    9/25/18, 4:29 PM - You like dark, full bodied fat chicks in bikinis?

Red
2008 Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
3/4/2017 - WineGuyDelMar wrote:
95 points
Amazing!! I will put this Cab against all comers regardless of price. If you haven't had Kobalt wines you are missing out. I love Spottswoode and would tell you Kobalt is right there.

Purple/black color, amazing extraction but beautifully integrated tannins. A flavor explosion of chocolate and amazing balance. The finish goes on forever. I will buy this wine every vintage & make sure that it is ALWAYS in my cellar. From the winemaker who started Merus. Wonderful
  • Wine G commented:

    9/25/18, 4:27 PM - Rick -- You arent messing around with your message to me.....I'm going to seek out and try a vintage or 2 for fun. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Cheers, WineG

Red
2013 Venge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Bone Ash Vineyard Calistoga
10/24/2016 - amauryc1 Likes this wine:
92 points
Opened and let it slow Ox for 3hrs at 64degrees before pouring on the glass. This 2013 Bone Ash was dark purple almost black on the glass with a full body viscosity and dark purple/slightly crimson legs. The nose was like a punch of black berries, super ripe blueberry jam, and cassis. There were slight hints of licorice, and vanilla extract but these aromas were overwhelmed by the fruit. The pallate matched the nose with a heavy dose of black fruit, creme de cassis, some vanilla and licorice that added an interesting sweetness. The fruit and sweetness were lifted and balanced by surprisingly lively acidity, and velvety tannins that increased in strength over the next 3 hrs and led to a very long sweet bitter finish of cocoa.

In similar fashion to my notes on the Family Reserve, this is not my preferred wine profile but it is still very nicely made, with surprising balance and provides high quality in the $75-100 Napa Cab range. Initially I would say this wine is a drink now wine, but considering the increasing strength of the tannins and the bright acidity I feel/hope this wine may improve over the next 5-10 years. I would expect it to evolve by mellowing out the fruit and adding secondary characteristics of cloves, chocolate, increased presence of licorice and reduced sweetness. Or it could just go flabby :)...I'll take that chance and give it 5 years
  • Wine G commented:

    8/25/18, 3:56 PM - Based on how the 2010 bone ash is drinking now , you will be rewarded for your patience with 2013.

Red
2015 Virginie de Valandraud St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
7/24/2018 - Gabriel Geller Likes this wine:
93 points
Château Valandraud, Virginie de Valandraud, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, 2015: Reading the other reviews about this wine made me feel like I had tasted a completely different wine... And you know what? I did. This kosher cuvée is 100% Merlot, whereas the Château’s Cuvée is a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Nevertheless, this is a damn good wine, perhaps better than the Château’s? I hope I’ll get to taste it to verify my assumptions... Deep purple in color, with on the nose, red cherries, ripe bramble, pipe tobacco, as well as a hint of smoke. Medium to full-bodied, with a silky texture. On the palate, layers of ripe crushed berries, cassis, a touch of earthy minerals, pencil shavings, juicy plums, anise, very elegant with great balance between the medium acidity and almost sweet, round tannins alongside notes of Dutch cocoa on the very long and racy finish. Elegance and class here with remarkable balance. Very impressive quality for a 2nd wine, I won’t be shocked if it’s better than its non kosher non-identical twin. 14% Abv. Drink 2021-2029. 93-94.
  • Wine G commented:

    7/25/18, 11:03 AM - Valandraud is the....bomb. They are a standout producer amongst bordeaux that I have tried that are within my reach. And I agree that the Virginie is better than other chateaux, but not than the main label at Valandraud. I have subdued my excitement of Valandraud/Virginie in light of their low production (more for me!).

    Now, Are you sure about the 100% merlot in the Virginie? My understanding was Valandraud crushed all their estate grapes together, then separate out the "premium " tasting barrels for the first label, and the others for Virgine. Maybe i was given bad information?

  • Wine G commented:

    7/25/18, 12:11 PM - Interesting, didnt even know about this Kosher line....where did you find it?

Red
2014 Alban Vineyards Syrah Patrina Alban Estate Vineyard Edna Valley
7/18/2018 - Arch57 Likes this wine:
91 points
I drank this over 2 nights as I contemplated my offering from Alban figuring the 2014 Patrina would show some of the characteristics that would show in the 2014 Reva being offered. The nose was fantastic on the first night, exotic fruits and spices. I reminded me of Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz 2005-2009 vintages, which I was quite fond of. On the second night it had lost the fragrant nose but also smoothed out the spicy tannins as one would expect. A great QPR for Rhone lovers.
  • Wine G commented:

    7/19/18, 3:15 PM - Must be a tenure thing - i've been on the list about 2 years now and was offered the Reva and the Mag Reva (but No pandora).

Red
2012 Paradigm Cabernet Franc Oakville
7/11/2018 - mflesh wrote:
95 points
This wine is in a very good spot right now. Ridiculous complexity. Dark purple pour. Nose of flowers and black cherry, cola, mint, and oak. Entry of black cherry, sweeter fruit. The middle is rounded and allows the fruit in this wine to shine. The finish is a bit peppery. Oaked influence on the finish. This wine is beautiful, and complex, and I am really kicking myself for not buying this wine beyond the 2012 vintage.
  • Wine G commented:

    7/12/18, 12:59 PM - My wife doesn't drink a lot' and is really picky, but this is her favorite and she says it smells like "Crushed rubies". I thought that actually sounded pretty darn good! Nothing better than drinking melted gems.

    I dont know if the 2013 and 2014 Cab Francs will ever get this good though, although these are fantastic oakville vines made by a great winemaker!

Red
2015 Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
6/18/2018 - Purple Grillz Likes this wine:
91 points
Good wine to be sure but I am not as enthusiastic as many about this. It is ripe but its a baked slightly. The nose has a really fun red candy aspect to it that made me very excited to sip but once in the trap, there was too much stem for me. The tannins are forgiving for such a young wine but the stemmy green center of this is too distracting for my taste. It could just be me today, because I haven't seen anyone talk about this. It is long, it is well made but it seems more like Washington State than Pessac. This a pass for me at $50+. 2015 has many better values.

JS96 VN96 WE96 DC94 JD92 RP92 WS92
  • Wine G commented:

    6/18/18, 10:19 AM - What are some of your better values of the 2015 Bordeaux vintage?

Red
2015 Château d'Issan Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
6/11/2018 - MicklethePickle Likes this wine:
95 points
Popped and poured. Very dark and viscous. Very nice nose of charcoal and dark chocolate; palate is much the same. Has plenty of tannin, but it is fine-grained and chewy. Rich and luxuriant overall. Hard to beat this for value, a great wine for less than $55. Will revisit when it has opened more. NEXT NIGHT: In the nose, coffee is apparent in the nose, as is cedar and graphite. Has deepened in complexity. The palate now unfolds expansively to reveal lots of lush, rich fruit that is also very complex and compelling. The finish is exquisite. This is a fabulous wine for the money! Unbelievable it can drink this well this early in its evolution with the addition of a bit of air. A screaming buy. 5-14-17-9: 95/100.
  • Wine G commented:

    6/12/18, 11:14 AM - Where did you get this less than $55? I've seen it around $65 and still thought it was pretty fair QPR at that price.

Red
2013 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Eighteen Seventy-Three Napa Valley
5/28/2018 - TXRDW wrote:
96 points
Last bottle... best bottle. Finally lived up to the WS Top 100 hype. I was really down on this wine till this tasting. Well integrated, smooth. I’m really amazed at how improved this wine is since my last bottle. Make sure to decant and you will be rewarded.
  • Wine G commented:

    5/30/18, 4:11 PM - great article about Dunn...and back to Hall and the new world Napa cabs around 15% and up, which I do like all these big wines, but they do all taste the same. That's why I go with the coeur and 1873 over Jack's and the pricier offerings they have, as far as Hall goes.

    Definitely a good reminder to start with the lower alcohol % wines and move up from there

Red
2014 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2017 - Cathair Chaladinn Likes this wine:
93 points
I was curious to taste the 2014 Cos d Estournel as some wine critics had suggested trying the wine in its youth to enjoy the fruit in its youth.You certainly feel some excitement upon opening a case with the gorgeous label displayed. If you like me have significant holdings of this wine you would be doing no harm in sampling the contents. So If you do intend doing so may I recommend decanting this wine well ahead of dinner even first thing in the morning because it requires serious aeration for the wine to soften somewhat and for it to be enjoyable. Its superbly structured and built for the long haul, dark crimson purple in color the nose is a little muted initially but opens up to reveal a cornucopia of exotic aromas. In a blind tasting it would be entirely possible that I would not have recognized this as being a Bordeaux from St Estephe. Its just such a baby and needs serious time in the cellar for me, I will wait at least another 5 years before opening another bottle unlike some other 2014's which are much more approachable in their youth. Never the less it was educating and enjoyable exercise. I have no doubt that the wine will merit a higher score with time but for me it did not necessarily give me that instant sense of sensual enjoyment but it was getting better and better the more time it sat in the glass.
  • Wine G commented:

    5/30/18, 12:45 PM - In your opinion , Sir, what are some approachable good 2014 and 2015 boredeaux? Preferably left bank...

Red
2014 Walla Walla Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard Select Walla Walla Valley
3/25/2018 - Wine G Likes this wine:
93 points
In a blind tasting compared to a Leo Poyferre, a Zinke Syrah, this was easily the consensus as the best wine. Maybe aromatically the Poyferre was the best, but the palate, richness, flavor profile all were quite impressive from this WWV cab.
  • Wine G commented:

    3/29/18, 1:12 PM - In a blind tasting compared to a Leo Poyferre, a Zinke Syrah, this was easily the consensus as the best wine. Maybe aromatically the Poyferre was the best, but the palate, richness, flavor profile all were quite impressive from this WWV cab.

Red
2013 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
3/25/2018 - Wine G Likes this wine:
90 points
Great nose, quite aromatic. A little thin on the palate, but still enjoyable.
  • Wine G commented:

    3/29/18, 1:06 PM - Great nose, quite aromatic. A little thin on the palate, but still enjoyable.

Red
2015 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
3/12/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
Taking a big leap from barrel to bottle, this is a beauty. With a serious depth of color, the wine offers velvet textures, waves of concentrated, perfectly ripe, sweet, dark fruits, length and purity. The wine coats your palate, and hangs in there, with an expansive, fruit filled finish, leaving you with blackberry, cassis, licorice, smoke, tobacco and the essence of wet earth. .
  • Wine G commented:

    3/13/18, 9:48 AM - This sounds awesome, I can't wait...Poyferre the treasure trove!!!

Red
2014 Château Valandraud St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
10/22/2017 - Collector1855 wrote:
93 points
Chateau Valandraud Masterclass with Jean-Luc Thunevin (Singapore): Tasted during a Valandraud Masterclass as part of a WA event "a matter of taste". This is a soft and caressing version of Valandraud. Not as deep as the best vintages but very nice to drink. I would call this a restaurant vintage. Good enough for most palates and you don't have to wait till doomsday. 93+
  • Wine G commented:

    2/8/18, 2:13 PM - Funny comment...no waiting till doomsday.

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