Comments on my notes

(13 comments on 13 notes)

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Red
2015 Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Sangiovese
10/5/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
94 points
Deep ruby red with medium plus optical density and fine, specular reflectivity. Slightly yellowish at the rim, but only just so. Aromas are deep, almost brooding, with a good intensity and an interesting array of items. Dusty dark berry skins and some lighter red (but a dark red) fruits appear over tobacco leaf and earth. Just a touch of dark tar supports the entire nose, providing a dark twist. Rich on the palate, with medium body and acidity, with weighty, sappy texturing that fills out the mouthfeel. Tannins are present at a fine-grained resolution with enough intensity to highlight the dry and deep wine on the frontend, and give a clean and ready palate on the backend. This combination provides an easy-going wine that is both electric and palate-coating; excellent tension in the framework. Flavours of mixed berries, tar, and tobacco on the attack, with really nice intensity- powerful and interesting from the start! The dark cherry seems to envelope ripe raspberry and tar notes, with a smoky and spicy tobacco lying just underneath until midpalate, when an herbal and tobacco flavour washes over the fruit. Earthy and interesting here, with roasted dark berry skins and some savoury, greek-spiced roasted meats add on top of everything already going on. The final transition shows dried leather as the tannins kick in, and finally there is a lingering sense of fruit skins and worn leather on top of a more delicate sandalwood and perhaps brine (iodine-tinged). The finish shows good length. Evolves delightfully in the glass, providing even more depth.

This is exciting wine, and very much has depth, interest, drinkability, balance, elegance, and many other factors that provide for an outstanding experience at any price. Extreme value here, for me. This is a seemingly very refined old world wine- not really modern, but not rustic and haggard. Seems to have that perfect balance of vivd, delicious fruit, and spiced tobacco and earth flavours that provide a great way to define fine red wine. Wow!
  • ajbergren commented:

    10/6/19, 9:18 AM - Thanks for the kind words! Indeed, this is fantastic- love that ethereal briny iodine note- one of my personal favourites!

Red
2014 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Te Muna Road Vineyard Martinborough
9/2/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
Beautiful deep red with medium minus optical density, low to medium specular reflectivity, and a watery rim. Aromas are intense, with sappy red fruits (cherry, ripe raspberry), rose pedals, and some light, fresh gravel. Plenty of aromatic lift. Medium bodied on the palate with medium acidity and very integrated tannins, for a polished and glossy texture. Enough structure to hold together, and definitely good density and concentration. Flavours of sappy red cherry and juicy raspberry on the attack. Fruit stays strong on the midpalate, with some darker flavours and earth coming in. A touch of spice comes in on the final transition, with some baking spices and leafy tobacco. Finishes with juicy red fruits, light fruit-laced tobacco smoke, and has medium length. Intensity is good through the attack and midpalate, and falls off from there. Complexity is medium minus, and has just a touch of depth to it- not oceanic, but more than a surface to it.

Nice wine here, delicious, easy-drinking PN, with terrific easy appeal. Fantastic as a treat alone, and certainly can complement food. Nice sappy character, which is a great framework for the classic varietal notes. Very much a wine of place and variety, with personality and style. Not mind-bendingly complex, but very enjoyable and contemplative at the same time. Very tasteful use of oak, allowing the wine to shine through. At the same time it shows classic notes, it does its own thing here- an honest and pure wine, with elegance and a whole lot to like. The lack of fathoms and fathoms of depth can be forgiven, as I think the purity invites looking with wonder at just what it is- well made, delicious, and straight-ahead fun Pinot Noir. Bravo.
  • ajbergren commented:

    9/3/19, 9:11 AM - Thank you so much for your comment! Indeed, the Te Muna Road seems to be consistently enjoyable! I need to pick up some more!

Red
2010 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Nebbiolo
6/5/2019 - Motz wrote:
94 points
Tasted over two days, alongside the 2012 vintage, which provided fascinating points for comparison. This is the leaner, more rustic, and edgier of the two. Whereas the 2012 features fleshy red and purple fruits up front, this wine shows tremendous purity of tart and sweet red berries at the middle and back.

This was the first time tasting this wine that it did not need an entire day to breathe, yet it still showed better on the second day. Pure Barbaresco, showing tangy and tart red fruits and berries, rhubarb, rosehips, orange marmalade, and wafting hints of petrol derivatives. Though restrained, the wine features riveting energy and piercing qualities. Intriguing combination of gripping weightlessness at the mid palate, turning notably tannic at the back.

The wine paired with everything, including charcuterie, cheese, beef, and sausage. Likely to continue its evolution for another seven twelve years, and even then there will be no hurry. Along with its 2012 stablemate, it tops the list of high QPR Barbaresco. 93-94.
  • ajbergren commented:

    6/5/19, 8:10 AM - Really nice note here- thanks!

White
2015 Le Vieux Pin AVA Okanagan Valley VQA White Rhone Blend
9/16/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Bright golden yellow with medium optical density and brilliant, bright reflectivity. Really enticing nose that jumps out of the glass, showing ripe banana, pineapple, and some lighter floral notes underneath a few ripe melon notes. Really intense and candied nose! On the palate it shows a full body, medium minus acidity, with a dense, concentrated mouthfeel. Very fine-grained texture with a creamy and taught framework. Flavours of mixed ripe pineapple (without the bite), light melon (honeydew mostly), honey, and some flower pedal infused tangerine- all dipped in light cream. Very intense flavours here overall, with decent complexity. The only short-coming of this robust wine is perhaps missing a bit of acidity, but still plenty vibrant. Just heading toward a very ripe and overly glycerine style perhaps.... but still really tasty and delicious and very nice to have with food.

Big, robust, ripe white here, with intense and honeyed fruit and cream. Certainly well made and I think ready to drink.
  • ajbergren commented:

    4/9/19, 9:07 AM - Nice catch- ooops indeed!

Red
2012 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Classique Okanagan Valley VQA
2/17/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Rich ruby red with very high optical density and medium specular reflectivity. Aromas mixed dark and red fruits with a wet gravel infused floral lift. Some forest floor and savory notes under the fruit, with a strong sea-side iodine aroma with spicy black pepper lingering underneath. Really mouthwatering nose, lots of appeal. The palate is medium to full bodied with medium plus acidity and some tannic bite on the back end. The texture ends up being a porous-grained but even nature, with good density and concentration, but some rustic notes in the details. Flavours of mixed berries on the attack, with some forest meadow and a savory kick of spice. The midpalate brings in more, with stone and some oak flavours contributing on top of the fruit. The flavours are intense and there is decent complexity. Less primary thought, showing the fruit as an even contributor to the spices and other notes. The finish is medium in length, with a dry character and light flavours of raw meat and charred leather.

Really nice, enjoyable wine here. Not completely knit together, I suspect this will improve in the cellar, but still quite delicious at this time. A great experience with depth and character driving the wine. Made in a very old-world style, this is like Northern Rhone in Canada! Well balanced and showing classic varietal characteristics, this is great Syrah!
  • ajbergren commented:

    2/17/19, 7:33 PM - Thanks! I agree, I would hold another 5 years. Would think it will be signing by then!

Red
2015 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Classique Okanagan Valley VQA
2/1/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
94 points
Dark purplish red with very high optical density and very high specular reflectivity. Aromas are vibrant and intense, with cherry, bramble, and blackberries providing a rich layered swirl around some tobacco and crushed nuts. Fresh acidity on the palate with full body and an even, polished texture that is very inviting. Intense flavours of mixed red and black berries on the attack, with a rich midpalate. Excellent density and concentration here. The flavours evolve toward forest floor and darker berries, with some floral and meaty character coming on. The final transition shows gravel and tar with some sea-side. Very alive and vibrant throughout, with excellent tension on the palate and a very balanced and elegant sensation. The finish shows some savory and dry notes of spices and with just enough tannins to clean up the palate nicely. Nice length here and still great intensity and complexity.

This is really great wine. Just fantastic, alive, modern and vibrant, but classic and elegant. One of my favourite styles and producers! This has a lot of life in it for the cellar, but is tough to resist, as it drinks so well now! Really awesome!
  • ajbergren commented:

    2/3/19, 8:35 PM - Well, thanks so much! It really means a lot!

Red
2015 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Classique Okanagan Valley VQA
9/26/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
94 points
Dark rich red with very high optical density and very high specular reflectivity. Huge aroma intensity pours out of the glass, with dark fruits, dusty underbrush, violets, iodine-laced seaside, and roasted meats. Quite complex on the nose, with huge delicious yet thoughtful character. On the palate, it shows a very polished and even texture, with medium acidity and very full body and a very dry profile. In a way, quite a modern take on the textures with a vivid framework that provides a really delicious sensation. Flavours on the attack are a mix of dark and dark red fruits (black cherry, blackberries, cassis, and some plum) with really excellent intensity. Very vivid and lively, with an almost bouncy character to the entry. The midpalate stays rich, and brings in some savory spicy notes, with some smoked meats and floral-laced spiciness underneath the savory notes. The final transition shows iodine, with that rare meat sort of sea side thing that happens in Northern Rhone wines, which this certainly emulates well, just using really vivid New World Fruit. The finish has good length and intensity, with some dried leather and tobacco notes over a really excellent tannin presence that cleans up the palate and yet is not too much at all- just perfect!

Here is an astounding Syrah wine from Le Vieux Pin that reminds me why they are my favourite producer in the Okanagan. This wine just kills it- interest, intensity, complexity, depth, deliciousness, and a host of other characteristics that I find really pleasing. This Vintage (2015) is perhaps really easy to like at this age, as it is young, but can certainly age for quite some time to come. But just so delicious here, I find no reason to wait..... but yet I suspect it will only get better with time in cellar..... one of those treats that keeps me coming back to this style! Outstanding!!
  • ajbergren commented:

    10/7/18, 6:14 PM - Thanks! I appreciate the kind words!

Red
2012 Le Vieux Pin Merlot Équinoxe Okanagan Valley
2/14/2018 - Francois Le Mouel Likes this wine:
94 points
Wow, that was special...but so young. This is EXTREMELY concentrated, structured, rich, deep and very tannic (75 cases, 1.6 ton per acre). Complexity is currently medium+, but it still has a lot more potential. Unfortunately, this was my last bottle. I thought it would be in a good spot at about 5-6 years of age, but I was wrong; it was definitely too early to drink. I would recommend not to open your bottles before at least 2023. If you plan to open a bottle now, I would recommend to decant for at least 4-5 hours.
  • ajbergren commented:

    2/15/18, 7:55 AM - I've been holding mine..... I ran out of the 2007 and have been waiting for the 2012 and beyond, but it sounds like I'll need to be patient- thanks for the excellent review!

Red
2013 The Four Graces Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
8/21/2017 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Deep burgundy with medium to medium plus optical density, with very high specular reflectivity. The nose shows nice intensity and a classic profile of rose pedal and cherry, and mix of red and black berries, elegant oak spices and a touch of vanilla, along with some light aromatics. Medium body on the palate, with refreshing acidity and a polished rounded texture that shows just a touch of tannins on the back end- enough to clean up the finish, but with just enough presence to remain controlled and integrated. Flavours on the attack are of dark ripe cherry, baking spices, and some light forest notes. the midpalate stays firm, with some tobacco and juniper filling in for the fading fruit. The finish settles on some toast and is pleasant and medium in length.

Here is a very nice OPN, with a classic, elegant profile that brings a lot of enjoyment. Has enough richness that it provides a powerful and delicious example, but with a bit of an understated presence. This is excellent wine for some light snacks, or to enjoy alone- it is drinkable and provides enough thoughtfulness to ponder. Not huge in complexity, but definitely better than average OPN. Ready to drink now, this should also age in the medium term, but I see no reason to wait on this. Very nice wine!
  • ajbergren commented:

    12/14/17, 8:29 PM - Thanks! OPN is for Oregon Pinot Noir! Hope that helps, and thanks again!

Red
2007 Poderi Elia Barbaresco Serracapelli Nebbiolo
8/5/2017 - ajbergren wrote:
93 points
Dark ruby red with medium plus optical density and very high reflectivity, showing a slightly amber rim. The nose is quite perfumed and intense, showing juicy cherry, tobacco, and a few dark berries under where the sage brush and truffles lie buried in the forest floor. Really pleasing and enticing aromas! The palate is dry and structured, with a broad tannic bite that complements a full body and a rustic texture. There is not much gloss here, but rather a charming roughness that brings some character to things. Acid is medium and perhaps leave things a touch less lively than desired, but there is still enough tension from the elements of texture and punch to keep things interesting. Flavours are of cherry pit and tobacco on the attack, with some balsamic and forest floor filling in the midpalate. The fruits is actually really nicely balanced here, and shows a vivid character balanced by more earthy, mushroom-infused notes. The finish is medium in length, with a woodsy and dusty nature.

Overall, this wine is super interesting. Lots of intensity and a lot of developed flavours that provide for a good amount of depth. There is a vividness going on, although things have taken on enough vinous character to make for a delightfully charming wine. This is really nice wine, and drinking perhaps near peak I would think. The density and intensity are there, perhaps with just some rough edges that rather than detracting from things, add to an experience of thoughtfulness and elegance (although an elegance that comes from a ruggedly powerful position and not an understated polished one). Really nice wine- the type I tend to like a lot!
  • ajbergren commented:

    8/5/17, 6:48 PM - Thanks! I have not had those, but will look for some!

Red
2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
8/8/2016 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Deep purple-ruby with high optical density and slight browning at the rim. Big intensity on the nose, with dark fruit, balsamic, coffee bean, and toffee-infused earth. Bright acidity on the palate, with full body and a smooth texture showing firm backend tannins that stay smooth on the attack. Flavours of rich red and black fruits, earthy grilled fruit peels, and aromatic compounds from florals and a bit of tar. The midpalate shows a lot of stuffing, and overall, there is a lot of intensity and complexity of flavours here. Really nice wine that is fresh and easy-drinking, but intense and with some secondary notes coming in. Great balance with everything in the right place for an enjoyable wine that has a lot of character. Controlled wine that displays fresh, vibrant fruit, but with old-world character all the way. Seems to be in a really nice spot for drinking!
  • ajbergren commented:

    8/9/16, 7:57 AM - Thanks for the encouraging comment! Certainly glad the note was helpful, and I will continue to challenge myself to put words behind the experience!

Red
2008 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
7/16/2016 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Dark purplish red with high optical density. Beautifully elegant yet intense nose, with dense purple fruits and savory spice that winds around earthy forest floor and aromatic florals (with lots of bramble). On the palate it shows refreshing acidity, full body with a very smooth texture with well integrated tannins and a concentrated, dense mouthfeel that is also elegant- palate-coating yet not syrupy. It is really quite dry, but shows enough fruit flavours to provide a sensation of sweetness without the residual crystalline sugar that can be bothersome to me. Shows a very nice balance, and has aged into a really nice spot. The attack shows flavours of purple fruits (blueberry, plum, with some black raspberry notes) that build toward the midpalate, when some savory spices come in (light herbal notes fried in butter). The midpalate is quite full in flavour and evolves over time, bring a variety of pleasant flavours. Toward the transition to the finish, some aromatic asphalt and florals come on strong along with vanilla and oak spice. The finish is lengthy and has a smokey, grilled dark fruit character. The alcohol is there, but not overpowering. Overall, this is a really great wine, and is in a really great spot, but not fading at this point. Enough complexity for interest, but it really soars for its intensity of flavour. Very nice to drink before dinner or with rich flavourful foods. Great QPR for a single vineyard wine, this delivers a lot of pleasure.
  • ajbergren commented:

    7/16/16, 7:26 PM - If you like aged wine, save it. Should be great in 2020, as it still has a lot of freshness!

Red
2009 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Okanagan Valley
5/7/2016 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Dark ruby red toward purple with high optical density. Very intense and complex nose, with bell peppers, florals (violets), graphite, bramble, black licorice, and dark fruits mingling and evolving in the glass to reveal increasing interest over time. On the palate, it hits with a smooth, mouth-coating texture, where the tannins have resolved in a beautiful way to support a dense and plush full body. Medium acidity and well integrated alcohol show a northern Rhone style, which speaks to the cool climate terrior of this producer. Still shows a freshness of fruit flavours, with dark berries on the attack that are supported by spicy floral and pepper notes. The midpalate shows a great fullness, with increasing intensity of the initial fruit and spice flavours being complemented by some graphite minerality and some light dried fruit flavours. The finish is lengthy, with well-worn leather and cracked black pepper covering the still-lingering fruit leaving a persistent sensation of black licorice. This is really well made, drinking at or near peak, and is excellent to drink alone or paired with food. Old world styling with vivid and delicious fruit combine to bring a controlled and elegant Syrah that is also complex and concentrated- this is a stunner!
  • ajbergren commented:

    5/7/16, 3:12 PM - Yes, I visited last year, and plan to go back! I agree that they are making some of the best wines in the Okanagan (especially their Syrahs!), and I actually credit Le Vieux Pin with getting me seriously into wine. The 12 CC is very good, but I think best to wait a few more years on it! I also agree on the SB, have a couple bottles waiting for later!

    Thanks for the comment!!

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