Comments on my notes

(2,928 comments on 1,805 notes)

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Red
2003 Château Branaire-Ducru St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
3/31/2020 - djhammond Likes this wine:
94 points
This is in its prime drinking window, but a few hours in the decanter is absolutely essential to enjoying it at its best. It is not typical of the year and lacks the obvious opulence of other left bank wines from 2003. However, that said, it is an excellent wine. Cherry, plum and cedar dominate with a deep nose. The palate is well balanced and deep, but I do find the finish off kilter and slightly sour.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/31/20, 11:52 AM - Hey DJ....drank my last one of these 2 years ago and it was awesome. I have two left and very good to know it is still drinking well. Someday, we are going to have to get over to Ireland and open a few of these old beauties with you! Cheers! Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/31/20, 1:27 PM - Thanks, DJ! I know the feeling, my 1100 bottles are all in house, I'm still getting out and seeing patinets most days in my office but my wife is stuck at home currently. Since the lockdown started I seem to add as many bottles a week to my cellar as I drink. But hoping for retirement in the next year or two and the buying will lessen for sure.

Red
2013 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso Napa Valley
3/28/2020 - sirpat007 wrote:
94 points
I gave this a good 90mins decant which seemed about right. Ripe plum and bramble berry confit fruit, tons of sweet spices, baking spices, licorice, some dried herbs, black tea and dark chocolate. Round, fruity and enjoyable palate with tangible and not yet entirely integrated tannin. Very solid - and nearly unbeatable for the price - but didn‘t quite meet my expectations when comparing to my notes from a year ago. If you have a choice probably better to open the 2016 and keep the 2013 for later - as is the case with many 2013s.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/31/20, 6:37 AM - Thanks for the advice, much appreciated!

Red
2015 Gérard Raphet Morey St. Denis Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir
Really impressed with this wine. Not a fair comparison, but it blows away all those Oregon PNs I tried so hard to like during my conversion experiment. This wine had intense floral and fruity aromas, layers of red fruit, mineral and herbs on the palate and a long finish. I didn’t give a rating because my palate is off right now after being sick. But I think it is notable that nothing has tasted good to me and most smells dampened down, yet this wine was amazing. Hope I still like it when I recover!
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 7:52 PM - I am very curious as to what you have to say about this one when you recover and can fairly and fully report on it......there are very few OR pinots I like and yet Carol wants to take a side trip there this year!

Red
2017 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The O.G. Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard Oakville
3/26/2020 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
97 points
Surprising. Had the '16 a while back and graded it at 98 if memory serves. After having a '17 zin the other night that tasted like my dad's ash tray, this is beyond beautiful. Sweet fruit, great acidity/tannins and balance, this was indeed the WOTN. Beautiful nose, great weight, awesome structure. Mike Smith took a crummy '17 crop and made a great wine out of it. Thank you, Mike!
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/27/20, 5:04 AM - Hey msu/Jen......I swear Mark Carter must get the pick of the 3 best rows in all of TK every year for this wine. And Mike Smith knows what to do with it! Over 50% of the TK fruit was lost in '17 to smoke taint and still more was heat damaged. There is no flaw evident in this OG other than perhaps it lacks just a little silky glide and 1-2 points overall to the '16 IMO. This was my only bottle of OG, still have a couple of the other Carter 17's left but I know they won't be able to measure up to this one. Thanks for the well wishes, msu.....Jen-you keep getting better!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/27/20, 6:21 PM - cablover.....many of the '17s have way underperformed (as feared and expected), but not this one! If you have plenty, by all means open one now. Some will love it from the pnp, others are going to find one hour in that it sings, others will love it 3 years from now......just a point or maybe two behind the great '16, IMO.

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 7:37 PM - Yack Man.....much appreciate the kind words, thanks. I have been as guilty as anyone with running down the '17 vintage. I have tasted through enough now to realize that all the upper end stuff we like to drink was heat damaged in some way, to a certain degree and none of it smoke tainted. The cheaper wines much more smoke damaged as all those damaged grapes got sold off as bulk juice to somebody, put in bottles and now line supermarket shelves all across America. This particular wine is one of the few outliers thus far. It literally is just a point or two max behind the great '16 OG. I don't know what a year or 5 will do to these better high end '17 wines. I have a couple other Carter's left but no more OG. It will be a great learning experience for us all, I think. Cheers, my friend!

Red
2003 Château Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
3/30/2020 - jmoon Likes this wine:
92 points
Rich, ripe, quite open, strong fruit style, full bodied still. ok from pop n pour but improved over an hour or two. no hurry.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 6:31 PM - Great notes, thanks! Been 2 years since my last bottle, only have one left. May hold 1 more year then try.....

Red
2013 Quintessa Rutherford Red Bordeaux Blend
3/30/2020 - GFischmann Likes this wine:
95 points
Dark full flavor of dark berries with oak and smoke with early tones of earth and leather.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 6:28 PM - Great minds think alike!

Red
2005 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
3/30/2020 - RichardP wrote:
94 points
Blackberry and camphor on the nose. On the palate, blackberry, black currant, and notes of blueberry, plum, and something smoky/earthy/spicy, with moderate fine tannins on the long finish, with nicely balanced acidity. This is outstanding, and it is only at the beginning of its drinking window, with room to improve. It was an excellent value at about $70; at the $110 I see it for now it is fairly priced. An expensive wine that is not disappointing is always a pleasure to find.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 6:24 PM - I agree completely!

Red
2013 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
3/29/2020 - Indywinefan Likes this wine:
94 points
Dark fruit and tannins. Very enjoyable wine.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/29/20, 6:15 PM - In total agreement!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 11:33 AM - srh, 2 years ago when I opened my last bottle of this it still took 2 hours to unfold over dinner. Will be curious to see what Indy did with this bottle. Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 1:14 PM - YW, srh.....I've still got a couple of these left. Had an '09 the other night that was really, really good. I tend to open these cabs too early when I first get them, but this can easily go a few more years and be quite good. I do have one '10 I want to try soon though......cheers!

Red
2009 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
3/29/2020 - MJP Hou TX Likes this wine:
96 points
The decision to open this bottle was prompted by Mark1pnt most recent TN. I completely agree with current development stage of this bottling. Primary fruit with a slight creep of secondary entering the fold. If I had more of this wine in the cellar I would open again in a year. We had this bottle open along side a 09 Checkerboard which was more introverted/backwards upon open and was finished just as the fruit came out of slumber. La Jota was a tick above the Checkerboard at this stage. Both bottles consumed PNP within a two hour window which is not the ideal for TN.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 9:58 AM - Haven't had the Checkerboard MJP....have heard good things though. Glad your bottle of LaJota was representing well, too. I always worry, that my notes on some wines won't translate to others' bottles. Jumped on the mag of the '09 I found online, right after dinner. Will def hold the larger format for another year before opening......maybe it'll make a good retirement bottle?

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 11:30 AM - lol.....poor Miles....whenever I get the least bit down, I just think back to him and realize my life is pretty damn good! Sideways was one of my fav movies ever, as much for the casting as for the content, but somehow I pass by Buellton/Solvang where it was filmed and always head straight to Napa/Sonoma. One of these years when I get back to San Luis Obispo and do the Central Coast again, I'm going to make sure we spend some time there.

    With regard to the '09 magnum......May 1st could be the 'special occasion'? It probably won't make it a whole month in my house.......lol.

Red
1996 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
3/29/2020 - liber Likes this wine:
91 points
4th of 12, decanted an hour, perfect cork and level, some development on rim since last bottle in 14, but nose and palate frustratingly backward, classical components there with nice touch of earth and even smoke, even decent length, but flavours rather disjointed, angular and thin given the quality of the vintage, maybe a phase particularly looking at some of the adulatory notes below. Just about F (17.5).
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 9:26 AM - I'm very much onboard with your score and our bottle. I was very disappointed last week. I gave it a 90. Like you, I suspect we have just caught these at the wrong time. Perhaps 5 more years in bottle will see them turn around? I hope so.

Red
2012 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/29/2020 - eboracum Likes this wine:
90 points
This is probably the youngest S-M which I have drunk with a meal. I have mostly first approached them round the 20 year mark. However, 2012 is mostly an approachable vintage in Bordeaux, so I took the plunge. The bouquet on the nose was a bit shy at first but the palate was open for business showing medium+ body, savoury fruit, graphite, earthy minerals, some generosity and still firm but quite ripe tannins on the finish. This last earned the comment "rough" from across the table but I felt they contributed indispensable structure. Room for more beneficial development but very good already.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 9:24 AM - Thanks for the in depth notes, good to know! Mark

Red
2009 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
3/28/2020 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
96 points
OMG! A perfectly aged Napa cab from Howell Mtn......this has it ALL together. For those of you who love a Napa cab in the primary/secondary window....this is it. The nose is deep, loads of lead pencil, classy and rich, right from the pnp. Classic. The fruit is still rich, sweet and powerfully restrained. It is dark Howell Mtn fruit, it is smooth. The tannins are also sweet and round and still in the back round. Goes exceptionally well with a pan seared prime sirloin, peppers/onions and a nice marsala mushroom sauce. This is a beautiful wine in a really good place right now. Thank you to CC for gifting it. It is so VERY appreciated.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 6:33 PM - I just now picked up a 1.5 of this and will hold for a few more years, but the 750 is in a great place right now if you like that primary/secondary window in your Napa cabs. If you are solely a tertiary guy then wait a few more years! Cheers, pal.....Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 7:12 AM - Great! Glad you liked it....will be checking out your note, too.

Red
2011 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve Rutherford
3/29/2020 - B&PBaker Likes this wine:
91 points
Nice earthy nose that I love. Nice mid with just enough sharp tannins. A little fruit on the finish. I'll drink another real soon to see if they may be fading.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 5:18 AM - Good to know, I have one left myself.....may try soon, too.

Red
2016 Bevan Cellars EE Cuvée Tench Vineyard Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
Nose: From the pour shows lots of almost sweet red fruits and a field of fresh grass. There's a little bit of a cola nose. Then comes some wood elements like stems, branches and bare oak, some river pebbles, a little bit of tobacco and some dried crushed herbs. With time though, everything seems to fall back into deep earth.

Palate: Rich, deep and dark earthy core enveloped by black and dark purple fruits with bitter tannin like heavily steeped black tea. There's some spiced oak and slightly savory minerals that linger onto the finish.

Attributes: Really dark ruby with some purpling. Dry with medium to medium-plus amounts of chewy yet slightly smooth tannin. Medium to medium-plus body with medium to medium-minus acidity. Good finish of about 20-23 seconds.

Thoughts: The main player here is the deep and rich earth (emphasis on rich) with the minerality and fruit complimenting it so well. Even with the few times I've had this already, the first few sips could not bring me back to recognize this at all. With time however, she was there.

Other notes: No decant, time in glass only but do try to give it some air time. Bordeaux glass. Served initially ~58° then ~67° and consumed over 2 hours. Again, something to note: this started showing its goods ~64°.. that's when it reminded me of those magical few times I've had this.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 5:15 AM - Wombat, thanks for the in depth notes. Much appreciated!

Red
2017 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard Paso Robles
3/28/2020 - tfesmgk Likes this wine:
89 points
Lots of fruit without the zin spice.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 6:43 AM - Disappointed to hear this, was hoping the Paso region would have better fruit/wine in '17 than up in Napa. Did you give it any air or drink over any considerable time? Thanks, Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/30/20, 5:09 AM - Again, thanks for the insight! This is always one of my fav Turleys....I hope it gains some weight with time in bottle. I have seen a couple of cabs from '17 that have done that, but not many.....here's hoping!

Red
2003 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
3/28/2020 - tbabes wrote:
90 points
The fill was into the neck and the cork was pristine; popped and poured. Purple core turning to deep garnet at the rim. Notes of blackberry, creme de cassis, and hints of earth. Medium bodied, with a somewhat stern structure, plenty of fruit; not showing all it has to offer. I should have read my last note; this needs double decanting at least a few hours in advance.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/29/20, 3:47 PM - Bingo...3-5 hours decant minimum!

Red
2003 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
3/29/2020 - djhammond Likes this wine:
96 points
In spite of the deteactors, I love the 2003 vintage for its left bank wines. For myself this is the best Pontet-Canet drinking, and it is now in its prime drinking window. It has the typical opulent nose of the year, and it is rich with wine gum aromas of cherry, blackcurrant and plum. On the palate you are reminded you are drinking a Paulliac, with a good tannic bite, but everything is seamless and silky smooth in the mouth. There is great depth and balance on the finish, but I do find it on the shorter side. I have no problem in consuming my remaining stock at a leisurely pace over the next decade.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/29/20, 12:02 PM - Preaching to the choir, DJ.......I have no problem with people blowing off this vintage......more for you, and me! Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/29/20, 2:48 PM - You too, DJ...stay safe and be well! Too many great wines left to drink!

White
2017 Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
3/25/2020 - Rob-Rah Likes this wine:
91 points
Nice. Restrained but focussed fruit. Zesty and refreshing. Oak is rather obvious at the moment. Recommended!
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 4:55 PM - I agree completely!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 9:19 PM - They are fantastic people and makes great wines. Had the opportunity to taste at Anthony and Olive's estate in SA last spring. Many great years of pinot and chard! Enjoy yours!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/29/20, 11:19 AM - No, I have not. We did not go to Constantia during our visit but when we had lunch at Hamilton Russell with Anthony and Olive he brought out a big bottle of the '08 Constantia Sweet white dessert wine for our group at the end and we eagerly devoured it. I have been buying it up since......

Red
2016 Rupert & Rothschild Classique Coastal Region Red Bordeaux Blend
3/28/2020 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
93 points
Wow! Was not holding out much hope for this $20 SA wine, bought it soley for its pedigree, knew nothing about it. Wow! Did I say that already? This was absolutely nothing special on opening. Thin, semi tart black fruit, very odd nose, was just ok....maybe an 87?

2.5 hours in.......Wow! Weight has increased threefold. The sweet round tannins are mouthwateringly good, combined with rich sweet blackberry fruit and perfectly matched acidity. The ending is a good 45 seconds long. How did I get so lucky?
94 right now....will see what the next 2 hours bring, cuz it's not gonna last much longer than that.

Addendum: 2 more hours of air for a total of 4.5 hours.....the wine has taken a step back. The fruit has become more bright red cherry, the weight a little lighter........everything a little more fruit juicier? Still very, very good, but clearly this hits a sweet spot at the 2.5 hour mark. Maybe a 91-92 at this stage. Just picked up another 6 bottles for myself at $15/bottle. Unbelievable. I'm adjusting my score down 1 point to a 93, but this wine is fun to ride.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/29/20, 7:07 AM - Yes, Jen...competely! Loads of time to do that 'perfect decant' now......Had bought only 2 of these on wine.com @$20. On JN's trip we went to the Anthony Rupert Winefarm. In fact, the wine barrel pic you did for your cellar is his vineyard at the top of the mountain after the heli ride. I did not know at the time he had partnered with the Rothschilds, as Mondavi did in Napa. I found it only a month ago. This wine reminds me of the BDX '16 Ch. Labegorce ($40/bttl) I opened a few months back. A dead ringer for the weight and fruit flavor profile, but only at that perfect 2-2.5 hr decant mark. The hard part is, I just bought 6 more bottles @$15 from another vendor and as I let them age a bit, I'll probably have to search out that perfect decant point yet again, because as we all know, things change! Make no mistake this is not a $200 first growth but it's nice to have this much fun with a wine and not have to spend $200 doing it.

Red
2017 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard Paso Robles
3/28/2020 - egh Likes this wine:
92 points
Full throttled, hedonistic, and concentrated yet fresh, bright, and high-toned with raspberry, kirsch, bramble, and black pepper notes along with a floral suggestion. The 15.8% abv pokes through on the palate. 92-93 points.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 6:14 PM - Thanks for the notes....still one of my fav Turley vineyards!

Red
2016 Turley Zinfandel Rattlesnake Ridge Howell Mountain
3/28/2020 - K&J Likes this wine:
94 points
Amazing Zin! Thick, chewy (a good thing here!), jammy (but not overly at all!), tons of fruit.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 6:13 PM - Was one of the few '16 Turleys that I thought was up to their standards.....

Red
2014 La Jota Merlot Restricted Yverdon Vineyard Spring Mountain District
3/28/2020 - Agvey88 Likes this wine:
96 points
This is a total winner. Medium bodied, beautifully silk smooth with super well balanced tannins. Really juicy mouthfeel, a few dark fruits, black cherry, creme de cassis, a touch of graphite. Finish is long though a bit hot at 15% alc. This is a really nice wine right now and will probably improve over the next 5 years.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 6:11 PM - Thanks for the notes, much appreciated! Mark

Red
2016 Chateau Potelle Zinfandel VGS Alta Vista Vineyard Sonoma Mountain
3/28/2020 - ralstenm Likes this wine:
96 points
Beautiful dark berries! Balanced, smooth with long finish.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 6:10 PM - This is an outstanding zin......so glad you got some!

Red
2016 Drinkward Peschon Cabernet Sauvignon Entre Deux Mères Napa Valley
3/5/2020 - MJP Hou TX Likes this wine:
97 points
Regardless of the QPR for this offering, Drinkward Peschon 2016 is a really fantastic bottle of wine. With full disclosure, I've become a Francoise Peschon fan. VHR, Cornell (16), Kelly Fleming etc... This hits my palate in a way that many bottles I've paid 5x for cannot touch. I opened this bottle on Sunday and I'll finish up today (Thur). The nose, fruit and structure are ALL in the bottle. I'm going back to the well and buying a case so I can share with friends. One bottle going to the MS over at Pappas as this should be on the menu. It's unfortunate these kind ladies don't have distribution in TX, but then again they might not need or want it. 97 today with upside in the cellar. This was a nice reminder that price does not always equal quality.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 1:30 PM - MJP....just picked up a few of these '16s for myself. Still drinking their '09s, '12s, '13s.......love their wines! With all the '16s I've bought up in the past 3 years don't know how I missed this one. Mark

Red
2013 Cade Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Howell Mountain
3/28/2020 - jmottern Likes this wine:
92 points
Deep dark big wine. After about 45 minutes the high quality Howell Mountain fruit comes through. Plum, blackberry and other dark fruits smoothly put together.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 12:32 PM - Much appreciate the notes/time details, ty! Mark

Red
2013 Jarvis (California) Winery Merlot Napa Valley
3/28/2020 - Blackwa Likes this wine:
93 points
Great balance but a bigger Merlot at 14.7%. Nice core of darker fruits and some tar like aromas which show the secondary aging. Lots of tannins in the bottom of the bottle. Will probably wait for 2 more years to open my next bottle.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 12:31 PM - Thanks for the info. Much appreciated! Mark

Red
1996 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
12/31/2019 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
95 points
Paired with the main course at NYE dinner - beef rib roast. This '96 outperformed the '95, which never developed as did the '96, remaining a bit austere throughout dinner. Both bottles were given about a two hour decant before dinner, and the '96 was clearly the star, with beautiful aromatics, cedar, creme de cassis, dark fruits.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 6:44 AM - Good to know, ty!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 12:31 PM - So far so good down here in FL, Gary. Stay safe, and drink the good stuff this weekend!

Red
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR Oakville
3/21/2020 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
97 points
Ok......the WOTN brought by HMC to the dinner tonight but it took a while to get there. Maybe 4 hours. Just a point better than the Fourmeaux. Got better over the 3-4 hours of air. The wood/tannins had to calm down a bit to reveal the fruit and acidity for what it was. There is a bit of shoe leather and shoe polish here on top of the fruit at the end. This is a big wine, but you can't just pnp. There is some prodigious sediment in the bottle so pour carefully. Curious to see what my lone bottle of this does over the next 2-3 years.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/21/20, 8:41 PM - wren.......it is a very well made and very nice wine.....just not sure it ever gets to that 100 pt. score that a few people gave it. You will definitiely enjoy it but give it some air time.....cheers! Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/21/20, 9:15 PM - jimyeni....you are most welcome. This is a nice wine but probably needs more time. Worth the price IMO.

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/22/20, 1:17 PM - MJP......I have always been a fan of Drinkward Peschon, and really like the style of the VHR now, too. Francoise seems to really know her stuff! Cheers my friend! Be Well....Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/22/20, 6:34 PM - Thanks, MJP.....will do!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/23/20, 12:20 PM - EDR.....agree the '16s, they are a funny bunch. We noted some shutting down last summer but open again when tasted in the last month or two. That's a short shutdown! Still, many of our nice B Cellars cabs are really shut down now. I'll wait a year on some and try again......this is a very nice wine and will only benefit in years to come.

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/24/20, 7:13 AM - Jen, the Fourmeaux and the VHR----2 very different wines, separated by a single point in score and as with all our great wines (and especially the '16s) seem to all have their best sweet spot at different times of being open. Maybe in 3 years the Fourmeaux scores 2 points higher??? The one thing I'm appreciating/understanding more and more is that nothing is the same and nothing is truly comparable. Yet, if you are drinking 2 wines with dinner, you always compare and grade them off one another. You can't help doing it! Unless you are going to open each and every bottle at the same time, eat with the same foods, consume at the same rates over the same 4 hours or 8 hours, it's all relevant only to that one individual bottle of wine and where it is in time and space at that given moment that you choose to grade it. The subjectiveness vs objectiveness in grading is becoming even more overwhelming to me with these truly great vintages. There is no wrong answer, score or rating. Maybe that's why some on here just write, "this was good juice!" or "had it at Dave's"?

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/28/20, 6:29 AM - Agree completely Jen......never dreamed I would drink bottles like these or learn this much or enjoy the process as much as I do. It's a whole new world of adventure (for an adult anyway!).

Red
2013 Cimarossa Cabernet Sauvignon Rive di Cimarossa Howell Mountain
3/27/2020 - chuckos77 Likes this wine:
93 points
PNP the first evening and found quite tight and although good wine, really overly dry. Corked and waited 24 hours and it is still tannic but nuances are now developing. Pencil shavings and floral are now more noticeable. Would really suggest letting this sit or very long decant.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/27/20, 4:05 PM - Thanks for the in depth notes, Chuck.....seems like certain selective '13s from Napa are really taking their time coming into their own. I've got the feeling some of them are going to be way more long lived than orifginally thought.

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/27/20, 6:23 PM - Well, that's what we have to do! Can never stop trying drinking wine!

Red
2012 Clos Fourtet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
3/22/2020 - Red Devils Likes this wine:
90 points
Not great, particularly on day one. Tanic, tobacco heavy notes.

Day 2. Significant improvement. Bouquet and initial strawberries on the tongue, excellent long finish.

Hoping this improves for the next bottle. Needs a minimum four hour decant
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/26/20, 6:57 PM - Your notes are much appreciated! Thanks!

Red
2009 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
3/25/2020 - JustBert wrote:
93 points
08 was very good and this vintage is supposed to be that much better. Save these and drink the other vintage.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/26/20, 6:52 AM - The '05 and younger HB are staring to drink very well....I would suspect these '08, '09 and '10s that are so good really need at least another 5-10 years to show their potential. 12-15 years of age seems to be the bare minimum for their wines.

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/26/20, 6:31 PM - No worries, Bert! All is good, especially when drinking these great wines!

Red
2013 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District
3/25/2020 - Smooth Jazz wrote:
Closed for business so hard to judge where this is headed - quite closed even 24 hours after opening

Will revisit post 2025
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/26/20, 6:47 AM - Thanks for the notes. I just picked up a couple of these and knew I'd have to wait for some time......now 5-10 years seems very reasonable!

Red
2017 Michael-David Vineyards Zinfandel Freakshow Lodi
3/24/2020 - Mark1npt Does not like this wine:
75 points
Lol....if anybody thinks they like this they should have their palates examined. They must have bought every ounce of smoke tainted zin they could find to put in this.

This wine is so full of smoke taint, it ain't even funny! If you like a little bit of black fruit with a pack of Marlboro ashes from your dad's ashtray in the back of your throat, finishing for a full 2 minutes, please go buy this wine and enjoy!
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/26/20, 6:44 AM - Jen.....I agree completely. I think the higher end guys/gals were able to get the relatively good smoke free '17 fruit and stay away from the bad. Huge operations like Freakshow who produce 500,000+ cases a year, have orders to fill and probably buy so much bulk juice every year in order to meet demand, that they can't possibly test or monitor it well. To the average wine drinker in America, they may think this is simply barrel char. Not so. This is completely different and very off putting. Imagine a tongue full of cigarette ashes stuck in the back of your throat. For anyone who's ever wondered what 'smoke taint' is like, this would make a great exemplar for them to try to familiarize themselves with it, so they knew what to look for in future troubled years. Now, I will accept that perhaps all 500,000+ cases don't taste this way, but I'm not willing to experiment more than once!

Red
2010 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
1/11/2020 - Omar Khayyam Likes this wine:
91 points
Very good and classic Bordeaux with 55 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 40 % Merlot and 5 % Cabernet Franc; excellent nose with some cassis, plum, tobacco, licorice. On the palate seamless, lean body with a fresh core, with a nice grip and decent finish and most of all purity of fruit. Drinking really well right now to food (we served it with grilled lamb chops), but for really mature complexity I am guessing you have to wait five-ten years. For me this is what I look for in Bordeaux (as opposed to overly woody, spicy and sweet&tannic monster cabs).
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 7:45 AM - Your notes on this one are much appreciated. Looking forward to what the next 10-15 years brings...Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 12:37 PM - You too, Omar......I see you have had a lot of Chris Alheit's chenins. I met him last year in SA and tasted through about 11 of his wines. Really nice stuff!

Red
2016 Château Gloria St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
3/23/2020 - Mtl2323 Likes this wine:
84 points
Didn't open up. Fruit was missing, a little harsh.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 7:40 AM - Just curious...how much time did you give it overall?

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 10:07 AM - Mtl....I hope you just had an off bottle....this is supposed to be some good juice. Guess I'll just let mine sit a few more years before trying? Maybe they'll come around by then. I like to decant my BDX anywhere from 3-5 hours normally. Seems like that's about a bare minimum.

Red
2015 Turley Zinfandel Cedarman Howell Mountain
3/21/2020 - Bryan49 Does not like this wine:
87 points
Love Turley (and most of the Howell Mtn wines) but this was disappointing. Closed down, muted and quite acid with minimal fruit. Guess more time or air required - or just a rare off bottle based on CT reviews. Will give the remaining bottles more time.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 8:44 AM - Bryan....I don't think you're far off. There was def something amiss with the '15 Turleys as a whole. I've had 3 different bottles of this one and all were a bit different. Other '15 Turleys were big disappointments to me. As much of a zin fan as I am, I've rarely had one that's been 'shutdown' as other reds can be. As weird as the '15 Turleys have been I've seen similar 'off' bottles in the '16 Carlisle zins. Very weird. Not sure what could have transpired in these 2 cellars but something did in those 2 vintages. This doesn't appear to be normal fruit variation and '16 especially was such a strong year, so there's no reason for a Carlisle to taste like battery acid. Many of the '15 Turleys just tasted watered down or washed out, IMO. Some of their '16s were 'just ok' too.

Red
2010 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/24/2020 - Ianjaig Likes this wine:
90 points
Mouldy cork and a tad musky initially. After that a beautiful nose of cassis and tobacco. Red currants and chocolate coming through. Classic in style but perhaps not as traditional as I was expecting with the ripe fruit from the vintage obvious. Liquorice dominant as it opened up. Took 4 hours in a decanter to fully reveal itself. Became more classic and tannic as the evening wore on.
Day 2 of what was left - surprisingly raspberries & blackcurrants come through and the tannins much more in the background. This will definitely appeal to those who prefer more traditional Bordeaux (as I do) but it didn't wow me.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 7:43 AM - Thanks for the notes on this one. Much appreciate knowing the decant time! Mark

Red
2016 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch Atlas Peak
A huge wine even by Turley standards. Cherry compote, molasses, cinnamon toast and blackberry jam. A rack of spices melts into it. A surprisingly quiet bouquet, but the action takes place on the palate and in an abundant finish. Drinks well by itself and with a meal. Drink now to enjoy the explosion of fruit and spice. Outstanding.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 7:41 AM - Much appreciate the notes!

Red
2015 Hartford / Hartford Court Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards Sonoma Coast
3/24/2020 - Jkuryak Likes this wine:
95 points
Wow delicious. Big flavorful Pinot!!
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/25/20, 7:40 AM - Agree...these '15 Hartfords are drinking exceptionally well right now.

Red
2010 Château Branaire-Ducru St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
Sour cherries, raspberries, tea leaves on the nose. Medium tannins, slightly tart, but well balanced. Beautiful wine.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/24/20, 4:16 PM - Good to know! Did you decant much?

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/24/20, 4:37 PM - Thanks a lot! I usually find BD to be really great at 15 years of age but am thinking of trying one soon. I appreciate your input! Mark

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/24/20, 4:57 PM - chris...I don't care what the vintage, BD (and Bechevelle right across the street) seems to always do best with 15 years under its belt......I might hold off a few more years but let me know what you find when you try one! Mark

Red
2017 Sojourn Pinot Noir Reuling Vineyard Sonoma Coast
3/23/2020 - Darjeeling Likes this wine:
93 points
Nice heat punch (listed as 14.4 but seems closer to 14.8), luscious fruit from some heritage pinot noir clones or vines. Lively, bright red fruits and some dark black fruits starts with strawberry, goes through to cherry and raspberry and resolves to blackberry and a touch of blue berry. Fleshy fruit and high heat. Served at 63-65 degrees nice not to cold, did aerate it. Just as good on days 2-3 heat punch yes, but good blue and black fruit and long finish.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/24/20, 7:16 AM - Thanks for the details in the notes. Good to know!

Red
2011 Château Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
3/24/2020 - tbuysse wrote:
94 points
Still quite young. But, what a great wine.. Is already so good now - and so well made! Full bodied, creamy texture, deep garnet colour, moccha, lots of clear fruit, intensity and soft tannins balanced with a refined vanilla flavour. Great !
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/24/20, 7:15 AM - Agree completely....this is my fav '11 BDX to date.

Red
2015 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/23/2020 - ev3rthesame Likes this wine:
95 points
Drank across 6 hrs with the 6th hour being the best. I let it decant for 3 hrs before drinking and it was still so tight and closed. Wish I let it breath much longer. Forrest floor, very green tasting, barely any fruit until 4th hour. The initial velvet vanilla oak that I tasted in the first sip was gone which I was unhappy about. Are with a filet mignon. Still a great wine, but very young.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/23/20, 12:50 PM - This is a tricky one.....I double splash decanted and drank over 3-4 hours and I still don't think it showed its best.....

Red
2016 Rupert & Rothschild Classique Coastal Region Red Bordeaux Blend
3/21/2020 - Fausto_Coppi Likes this wine:
92 points
Full bodied, well balanced mix of rich black fruit, including damson, black cherry and black current flavours plus liquorice, leather and cinnamon. Soft velvet like tannins add complexity and will help the wine improve over the medium term.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/23/20, 10:46 AM - Good to know, thanks for the notes! Mark

Red
2013 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder
3/22/2020 - Geaux Tigers Likes this wine:
97 points
PnP and blossomed as we drank. Last sips were best, but recommend keeping this at cellar temp while drinking. Some tannins showed up as it warmed in the bottle. I think a short decant would have made this even better!

The nose is Veeder, the palate is Veeder. Very distinctive. Red fruit, damp forest floor, pine, touch of coffee. Oak, tannins and fruit all in harmony. WOTN.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/22/20, 9:18 AM - Glad you got to experience this, it's a really nice wine!

Red
2016 Chateau Potelle Jean Noel Fourmeaux Mt. Veeder Red Bordeaux Blend
3/21/2020 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
96 points
Oh boy........this has such a different feel than so many of the other Napa '16s out there. It has depth, along with the sense of great fruit and integrated tannins and balanced acidity...it has Napa fruit with BDX class. What a fantastic wine! Glad I have a few more of these!
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/21/20, 8:29 PM - Glad you enjoyed! My second WOTN for sure!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/22/20, 7:47 AM - Jen......as you know, so many of the great Napa '16s have this big fruit and power to them. Some have prodigious wood, others have forceful tannins, yet others may have more bracing acidity. This wine was much like many of the great B Cellars in its 'glide'. Silkier than most, maybe not as sweet or as high alc as the B Cellars and even at this young age the wood/tannins/acidity and its weight were all in balance. If pressed I would have said this '16 was a '12. Not one edge to the wine anywhere. It was very classy. I wonder what the next 10 years will bring and how it will behave then? This is just a different type of '16. Has it backed up any? I don't know. It did drink best at 2-4 hours as the nose was just slightly muted on the pnp. Tonight's VHR by comparison was more powerful, more tannic, more unresolved and took longer to come together but did flash the more typical '16 power Napa cab profile and did score quite high with both myself and HMC. If I remember HMC's second WOTN was the Fourmeaux also by a point. But again very different wines in different places for both being '16s. Hope this helps explain???

    addendum: I just thought of something else, Jen. If pressed I would say the VHR was masculine and the Fourmeaux softer, more feminine. Very much like the difference between hard and soft water. That's the feel I got from it.

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/22/20, 8:21 AM - I'd be really curious as to your take, Jen. Went very well with a pan charred ribeye, grilled brussel sprouts ala Coopershawk, baked potato/skins, etc. Yummy! Maybe a bit of a celebration of life last night with all the food and wine? Who knows what the next week may bring for so many.....

Red
2011 Hand of God (Mano de Dios) Malbec Old Vine Stolen Horse Vineyard Mendoza
3/20/2020 - jenmermaidia Likes this wine:
90 points
Tastes very mature to me, for my tastes I would drink up sooner rather than later. Rich plummy fruit, some spice, cedar, big alcohol. Went well with burgers and quarantine.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/21/20, 9:12 PM - lol...burgers and quarantine......precious!

Red
2015 Mt. Brave Cabernet Franc Mt. Veeder
Drank half the bottle yesterday via Coravan; the balance of the bottle was a pop and pour, followed over 2+ hours.

Nose is tight even two hours after uncorking (not decanted) though there’s a faint musk and oak aroma. Nice mouth feel that’s well-balanced; dry mid-to front-palate with black and blueberry flavors. Finish lasts a good 20+ seconds. There’s no rush on this, and I can easily see this becoming one of my favorite cab francs. Two remaining, will buy more.
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/21/20, 8:34 PM - Good to know...thanks for the notes! Mark

Red
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR Oakville
3/21/2020 - HowellMountainCru Likes this wine:
96 points
PNP and then drank over 3 hours. Up against a formidable lineup of Cabs and cab francs. To my surprise was not head and shoulders above the other wines tonight. Having said this, this is an excellent. refined, modern Napa Cabernet. It has a solid nose of bramble fruit and cedar wood which is echoed on the palate. It has great glide and mouth filling fruit, which is hard to pin down but really a unique combination of blue and red. At first I described it as elderberry but not sure that quite nails it. In any event the fruit is well balanced with almost perfect acidity. Finish was very good but not outstanding.

What can I say, excellent wine but certainly not the 100 pointer I was hoping for. Not even sure it was better than the 2013 Del Dotto we had as an afterthought. 96+
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/21/20, 8:12 PM - I had it better by 1 pt. over time.......a tough call. A great night of food and wine and friends.

Red
2015 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
3/21/2020 - Gdubya Likes this wine:
92 points
Decantered at 3pm. Drank over 2-5 hours later.

Big whack of cherry on the nose. A bit missing from the mid palate. Slightly drying tannins. Nice, but not spectacular. Probably needed a longer decant. 92+

Note to self. Don’t try another bottle until 2025
  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/21/20, 3:02 AM - I would agree, 2025 may be the earliest to get a decent representation out of this one......though I am tempted!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    3/21/20, 2:02 PM - It will, just takes time......this is a chateau on the rise for sure.

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