Tasting Notes for ajbergren

(472 notes on 362 wines)

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Red
5/11/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
Deep rose with ruby at the core and amber at the rim. Interesting array of aromas, with red (and a touch of black) licrorice, cherry, sweet tobacco, and a savory twist of citrusy pine forest floor. Light on the palate with a fleet, dancing body and a dry and firmly tannic character. Fun and playful on the front end before turning quite serious. Really fresh acidity and a fine, elegant texture that shows very grippy tannins. Flavours on the attack of cherry and tobacco, with some black licorice coming on top. The fruit carries the midpalate before some spices and hot fruit add some momentum. Some very fine, elegant, and delicate fruits are hidden just below the surface. The final transition has the tannins take over and clean the fruit with a flourish of tar and tobacco spices. Finish is medium. Overall, the complexity is medium minus with intensity that is pretty high.

This is a very nice Barolo, very serious and well made. Very young at this point, but also quite welcoming in a very strange way. Such grip and such structure with a dancing stride and some vivid fruit makes for an interesting wine. Not a complex monster here, but actually a quite interesting one. With a ton of elegance, this makes you worth to puzzle out those flavours, but not a rich and concentrated wine. Classic Barolo, and a very great deal! Would hold this for a few years yet!
Red
4/28/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Brilliant ruby red with medium plus to high optical density and very high reflectivity. Intense aromas of bright cherries, mixed fruits, roses, and a spicy earth and mineral flourish. Vibrant acidity and medium body on the palate, with a youthful presentation. Tannins are firm, providing for a structured and a firm, broad texture with some medium grain, which really smooths out with some air. Really shows excellent framework, with nice concentration and a lithe density. Flavours of cherry and raspberry on the attack, with some smoky and spicy undertones. Some roses and tar dance above the fruit. The midpalate picks up some herbal spices and a juicy character, with a mineral-laced mixed fruit adding to the cherry and tart fruits. The final transition brings a floral and tobacco twist before finishing with cherry and a very light savoury tobacco char. Decent length. Overall, really nice intensity, and complexity is okay- some depth here, but not quite seamless.

This is a very nice wine. Really nice styling, with some strength and robustness in place of straight elegance. But definitely not over the top- just more new world than old. A thoughtful wine though, and one that can be considered carefully and enjoyed by considering thoughtfully. With time in glass, shows an increasing degree of cohesion, and gains some interest. Really nice wine here- probably can be held for a good bit and improve I would think. Really nice!
Red
4/21/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
94 points
Light ruby garnet with medium optical density and very high reflectivity. A tinge of amber on the rim, but just so. Beautiful floral and cherry aromas, with a delicate and sensuous character. The nose also shows is cherry and cherry pit, strawberry, ripe raspberry, rose hips, gravel, and earthy spices. Good complexity and medium intensity. Medium minus body on the palate, with a dancing, light footed texture that is broad and shows integrated tannins. Very lively, and yet in an elegant and graceful way- not in your face, but more of a "catch me if you can"- by the time you think you do, you wonder just how it managed to get away. Still shows fresh acidity (medium or so) with vibrancy, but also is soft and approachable for sure. Flavours of cherry and delicious red fruits on the attack. The intensity is soft yet present, with some sweetness and savoury notes on entry. Shows excellent density and concentration on the front end without any hint of too much. The midpalate evolves to bring on gravel and spices on top of the fruit, but very soft and supportive of the more delicate fruit flavours. Really shows some interesting complexity here, but very very elegant; requires careful consideration! The final transition shows some mouth-watering cherry pit and very light, clean tobacco smoke. Really nice finish with some lingering savoury-sweet fruit, good length, and very much interest-grabbing twist of dusty citrus. So well balanced, it just shows you everything laid bare, and begs for your attention to the various aspects (sweet, savoury, tart, fruit, spice, flowers, juicy tobacco, and aromatic nectar). If you pay attention to one, another might just pass you by. Just classic great wine!

This is showing a bit of age for sure, in a really nice spot. Can age longer I suspect for sure, but really nice at the moment. Has all the class and elegance you could want, with a delicious and just plain gorgeous profile. Gains even more with some air, and provides a pure pleasure to enjoy how ever you find yourself with an open cork of this!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/13/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
Dark purple-splashed red with high optical density and reflectivity. Medium intensity of aromas with decent complexity, showing cranberry, aromatic brush, dark raspberry, spices, and vegetable garden soil. Full bodied and fresh acidity on the palate with a juicy and yet punchy tannic texture. Really excellent framework. Flavours of cranberry and tart plum on the attack. The mid-palate shows some softer mixed berry fruit and some oak spices (nicely done on the oak here- present but not overly dominant, and quite typical of Rioja). The final transition shows some dried leather and tobacco before finishing with warm purple fruits, with medium length and a dry, clean end.

This is a very nice, straight-up Rioja with nice value. A serious wine with excellent intensity that can be aged for some time. Not tons of depth here, and this seems likely to improve with age. Thus, while not a super complex wine, this is totally typical of the region, and an excellent example of a traditional and elegant wine that shows enough personality to just peak above the average in this type of style.
Red
4/12/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Dark, beet red with high optical density and reflectivity. Aromas are delicious and immediate, with cherry, raspberry, roses, tar, and some light earthy tobacco leaf. On the palate it is medium minus bodied, with a light dancing presence, fresh acidity, and light tannins. The texture is juicy and dynamic, with a bouncy and clean mouthfeel and just enough tannins on the back end to clean the palate. Really dynamic and dimensional overall. Flavours show very nice intensity, with the attack providing cherry and roses and plenty of vivid red fruits (even some tart apple and raspberry here). The midpalate picks up spicy notes and tar, with a rich tobacco layering directly underneath the fruit. The final transition is a bit smoky and with an increasing spice level, showing some briny and savoury notes before finishing with cherry pit and tarry red fruits for good length. Totally delicious overall, with really fun intensity and presence, and certainly invites another drink.

This is really awesome wine. Elegant and tradition in style, this is fresh, vivid, and dynamic. Really lets the pure expression of the vineyard shine, with variety and location front and centre. A fun, juicy wine with intensity, but not a serious big-hitter that is over the top. This is really well made in a style that just hits everything I like about CC wines- tons of personality here. If there is a wine that gives refined elegance and class, energy and balance, with a really fun and easygoing presence, then this is it! Awesome! Drinking really nicely at the moment, and I think will age gracefully for some time!
7 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/7/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
93 points
Dark brownish ruby with high optical density and medium plus reflectivity. Aromas are medium intensity and classic PN, with cherry, aromatic rose pedal, and some savoury, herbals spices and earth underneath. On the palate it is medium in body with a very open and spreading nature. Medium plus acidity is fresh and vibrant, and tannins are present but soft and mostly fine-grained. Texture is very even and delicate, for a fantastic balanced and graceful mouthfeel- clean and even. Flavours are medium plus in intensity, with cherry, light raspberry, and mixed berry fruit on the attack (which all hold throughout). The midpalate shows a delicacy and adds some interest (not a hollow, but more complexity coming through without a powerful, over-extracted intensity coming on). Here, we find some balsamic and earthy spices under the fruit, along with some gravel and brush. Really excellent at this point with very interesting and nuanced character. The final transition shows some light smoked meat house and cherry, to finish with medium length and nice intensity. Very well balanced overall, with an elegant and refined presence. Flavours are melded together a good bit, and there are a lot of things going on that is hard to describe, because there isn't quite a specific flavour-describer, but interesting new flavours are lurking here!

This is just really fantastic wine. Very much varietally correct, and even showing old world and nuanced character. Very nice style that I certainly appreciate. Not an over-the-top powerhouse, this is more serious and thoughtful. Brings depth with interesting things happening if you look for it. Wow.... just really great wine! I think this is drinking very very well indeed at the moment!
Red
3/30/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Rich ruby burgundy colour with medium optical density and high reflectivity. Very appealing nose with medium intensity, showing cherry, roses, spices and herbs, and some truffle oil on the back end. Very nice complexity. The palate is light in body and fresh in acidity, with a very even texture with some tannin structure on the back end, but very integrated and mellow. Flavours of cherry and ripe raspberry on the attack, along with some darker red liquorice. The midpalate brings on the spicy herbal notes, with building intensity toward the finish. Things end with some light tobacco smoke and a light balsamic twist, even with a touch of vinous character that is quite nice. Shorter finish and intensity is lighter by the end, but still delicious and decent complexity and depth. Note a huge amount of concentration, this is more of an elegant and interesting wine than a thick and juicy wine, which I quite like.

Really well made PN, and showing its age very well, this is really fantastic single vineyard NZ wine. While it has a great sense of varietal character, it also delivers what is expected for the most part for New Zealand PN, and that is quite nice. At the same time, it has some real depth to it, and I sense this is from tasteful wine making more than anything. Great value wine and even more, just great Pinot Noir here- this is a treat! Would be great in a crowd I suspect, as it is well-balanced and has personality, but is still a fun and delicious wine. Fantastic! I would think it is best to drink this in the next couple of years, and it is drinking really nicely at the moment!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/28/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Deep purple-red with high optical density and reflectivity. Elegant and delicious nose, with dark fruits (plum, blackberry), cranberry, and vanilla-laced crushed nuts. Fresh acidity and full bodied on the palate with a youthful texture, with fine but open-grained tannins and a lot of structure. Very intense flavours on the attack, with tart dark berries and cranberry. The midpalate shows some vanilla and oak spices (not over done here, reasonably integrated, but still stands out) on top of the fruit, with takes on a bit thicker character. Toward the finish, things turn toward tart fruit and a bit of fresh tobacco, to finish with dry leather and cranberry skins. Overall, very intense flavours with lots of youthful exuberance and power. Not super complex, but definitely serious wine.

This is a very nice wine that should age for a time, and I think likely to improve. A nice, serious red at this point, it should really sing when some vinous character emerges- at this point, it is hiding, but you can seem to get some level of things. Really fresh and not overdone in any way, this is a very tasteful Rioja. Good value wine to cellar for a few more years!
Red
3/26/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
85 points
Deep purplish red with high optical density and medium minus reflectivity. Decent intensity of aromas, with mixed dark berries, vegetal garden (celery seed), and some green herbaceous notes (some spicy peppers and celery stock). Full bodied with medium acidity on the palate and a very broad, even texture with a dense and rich mouthfeel. Very easy going personality here, with mass appeal, but perhaps a bit unstructured. Flavours of rich dark berries (candied blackberries, cassis, and ripe plums) on the attack. The midpalate brings on some spicy green notes and a vanilla oak note on top of the fruit, along with herbal and leather flavours. The final transition brings some dried berries and the finish is short, with oak spices and warm berries. Overall, good intensity, and a stright-forward, easy to drink wine. Definite Chile profile with the green notes in the background, but not too much green. Still, comes off a bit shallow and flashy, with more candied flavours and a thick presence; not an elegant and complex wine.

This is a good value wine for those times when an easy to drink, big red that is also sweet and mild is needed. No old world profile here, but such wines have their place. Not my preferred style, but really not bad. Ready to drink now.
Red
3/24/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Rich ruby garnet with high optical density and medium reflectivity with an amber rim. Fairly fast forming and running years of medium plus thickness. Medium intensity aromas, with herbs, dark cherry, and light aromatic tar (some tobacco leaf and asphalt) mixed with earthy berries. On the palate, it is full bodied and rich, with a plush texture and a broad span. Medium plus acidity and integrated tannins provide a nice structure for flavours of nice intensity. The attack shows bright cherries, raspberries, and herbs, with some garden soil underneath the fruit. The midpalate brings on some spices and a savoury kick of pepper and baked fruits. Really full overall, with a nice amount of intensity of flavour. Complexity builds, as things start simple, but evolve to provide more depth on the palate. The final transition is a bit smokey, with light tobacco char and some warm cherry pit that builds to a crescendo of fruit-infused leather, with decent length, but better intensity.

This is a really nice value BdM. Delivers a pretty classic profile and lots of intense flavours and a good amount of depth. While not amazingly complex, there is a lot going on, and there are a few layers to this wine to explore. Aged very nicely at the moment, this seems to be balanced between power, elegance, and structure. A delicious dry red that is showing a touch of age now, this will benefit from decanting now or some more age. But, really delicious at the moment- a lot of freshness and some pizzaz! Nice!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/23/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
A pure mid-red burgundy with medium plus optical density and high reflectivity. The nose medium in intensity, and shows sappy dark cherry and earthy rose pedals. Pretty straight-forward, but certainly appealing and on-variety. The palate is light in body and dances across the mouth. Acidity is fresh, just shy of bracing. Tannins are present but not overly intense- medium plus, and this provides some structure and cleans things up nicely on the back-end. Texture-wise, this is light and sappy, with a juicy and rounded feel. Flavours of dark sour cherry and red plum on the attack, supported by mushroom and earth infused with light roses. Not overly complex, but interesting and with good intensity. The midpalate brings in some spicy notes, with light pepper and some savoury character, like a faint note of lightly charred bacon. Again, not too complex here, but complements the fruit in an interesting way. The final transition has some confectioned cherry, dried leather, and herbs before turning to some juicy cherry for a fresh yet short finish. Some lingering sappy cherry shows up as well. Again, moderate at most complexity, but interesting and delicious. This really goes through an interesting development on the palate, with flavours transitioning and weaving around each other, so while not a ton of complexity, there is a definite sense of depth that results from the evolution of things on the palate.

This is absolutely great entry-level Oregon Pinot Noir. A solidly made treat of a wine with killer appeal that is fun to drink and gives a sense of variety and place, even with its simple profile. Gains some depth with air, but is really ready to drink now. Delivers a great experience and value!
Red
2015 Château Rousselle Côtes de Bourg Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/17/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Dark purplish red with high optical density and medium plus to high reflectivity. Medium fast forming and running tears of medium width. The nose is restrained, with blueberry, light cassis, tobacco leaf, and some chocolatey earth. Nice, understated and straight-forward. The palate is medium plus in body with fresh acidity and a dry framework with up-front dusty tannins. Medium concentration and density, with some even-keeled mouthfeel. Flavours are tight, and the attack shows some earth and tobacco up front, covering some light dark fruits. Very old school attack. The midpalate shows garden vegetables and dried leather, and the final transition brings on dried leather and a tannic dried earth, finishing with medium minus intensity and length. The overall intensity is medium, with a bit of depth, but not a lot of complexity.

This is an old school wine with a nice presence. Not fruit forward, this has more interesting things going on, and is a great value-driven wine. Classic Bordeaux profile with elegance and earthy flavours. Really, this is actually quite delightful and provides a ton of charm and enjoyment. Very well made wine here, this is balanced very nicely, with pleasant oak, fresh drinkability, but with a clear old world styling. Quite a pleasure, and quite a bargain!
Red
3/16/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Deep shade of ruby garnet with high optical density and medium plus reflectivity. Fresh, classic Pinot Noir aroma profile, with cherry, rose, cherry pit, earth, and some savoury spices underlying the fruit. Really nice nose. The palate shows fresh, vibrant acidity, medium minus body with a light character that dances across the mouth. Tannins are light and there is a sappy texture with some polished and refined surface. Flavours of bright cherry and raspberry fruit on the attack. Very elegant on the flavours, with some depth and intensity, but yet a light profile. The midpalate picks up some spices and meatiness, with a whole lot of fruit still apparent. The finish is light and short, with some charred tobacco and oak spices and some little bit of drying leather. Here is where things are weakest, as the wine fades away with a light and sweet ease that lacks a bit of depth.

Overall, this is fruit forward, fairly simple, and yet certainly delicious Pinot Noir. Easy going and easy to drink, this is fun, and a great value wine! Ready to drink!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 LaStella Fortissimo Okanagan Valley VQA SuperTuscan Blend (view label images)
3/10/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Dark red with purple tinges, very high optical density and medium plus to high reflectivity. Quickly developing medium plus width tears followed by very slow forming and running thin tears. Appealing aromas of blueberry, aromatic compounds (not quite tar, but lifted in nature), and rose pedals. The intensity builds over time, and develops some meaty-savoury components along with spices and leather. The palate is very full bodied, with fresh acidity and a dense feeling with some tannic bite. Texture is broad and a bit wrinkled; not rustic or open-grained, but rather polished with ridges. Very young feeling wine, with a lot of structure. Flavours on the attack are blueberry, sour cherry, and tart raspberry, mixed in a way that is juicy but savoury (definitely not sweet!). The midpalate picks up with spicy smoked meats and herbs- almost like wave overtaking the fruit on the attack, but still allow some mixing of the two at the interface...... quite interesting. The final transition shows dried tobacco and oak spices, with some warming fruit and plenty of spices and tar. Very raw and powerful in a sense with a tannic bite that leaves a lingering dried leather finish for medium length. Overall, the intensity here is high, and there is just a bit of complexity wanting, but not because there is no depth. I suspect just more age is the ticket.

This is powerful, big, young wine. Very flavourful and showing plenty of modern flair that Super Tuscans are known for, but in a very new way. While this certainly feels like an old world wine, there is something vivid and fresh here, with a character all its own. Actually, really really good wine, not generic blended power red. Awesome, and right up my alley. But, I would decant for an hour or hold this in the cellar a few years!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
3/9/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Dark red with some brownish-purple hue, with medium plus optical density and reflectivity. Aromas are intense and somewhat vinous, with sage brush, forest floor, aromatic flowers, and dark plum fruit. Full bodied on the palate with medium plus acidity, and a very plush mouthfeel, with well-integrated tannins. Feels dense and yet not at all syrupy. Concentrated with flavours though! The attack leads off with dark fruits and brush, with is augmented with some spicy notes of black pepper by midpalate. Some level of richness here, but very vinous and elegant in character, so harder to put specific identifiers here. Very delicious. The finish shows green olive and a twist of balsamic after a final transition of leather and cedar, providing for a nice finish that is medium in length and with dried leather.

Very nice Zin blend here with some definite aged character. This has a lot of old-world elegance and style, with a certain understated presence. Everything seems to have blended together to provide for a consistent, balanced, and smooth wine that comes across as thoughtful and interesting, but you have to work with it- savour and enjoy. Really feels like a well-made Rhone wine in many ways, I would be likely to pick Southern Rhone if blind. I would think this is ready to drink now, I'm not sure I'll hold my other bottle much longer. Beautiful wine that is a pure pleasure to drink!
7 people found this helpful Comment
White
3/8/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Pale straw yellow, clear, and very bright. Aromas are intense, with tropical fruits, bananas, and minerals. The palate is bracing in acidity and light in body. Flavours of grass, green apple, flowers, and packed tropical fruits. Really intense flavour and some depth. Very crisp and clean wine, with excellent flavours. Very nice!
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
3/3/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Purplish-hued ruby with medium plus to high optical density and high reflectivity. Intense, inviting aromas of violets, sage brush, plums, and slightly candied mixed berries (leaning toward dark fruits). Aromatic lift throws this out of the glass, with some potpourri and forest meadow aromas as well, and an almost searing array of aromatic compounds. Very nice complexity on the nose. The palate shows medium acidity and full body, with a broad and medium texture (even but with some granularity), and medium plus intensity tannins that are very much youthful. Density and concentration are medium, with some weight and heft, with not too thick. Flavours of violet-laden mixed berries (blackberry, raspberry, and some dark plum) on the attack. Very youthful and forward attack here. The midpalate brings in some black pepper and savory meaty notes, with iodine and gravel on top of the spicy pepper. The finish is intense and medium in length, with fresh leather and baked dark fruits lingering, and a touch of heat.

This is very youthful and fairly powerful. Excellently made wine, with some Northern Rhone character for sure, but also a bit of new world flair. Very nice complex wine, but I suspect it will get much better with age, as it has pretty powerful tannins at the moment, and if these integrate and the flavours meld a bit more, this will be outstanding! As it is, this is really delicious and fun wine, for a serious and robust red. Has a definite kick of heat that finds the only thing that could be called out of balance, but in general, wow. Just hold on to this for a few years, I think!!
Red
3/2/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
93 points
Brilliant ruby shade with medium plus optical density and medium reflectivity. Aromas of cherry and other red fruits, rose pedal, spices, and fresh garden soil. Perhaps light hints of some savoury notes, like seared ham, but not astringent, very light. Very nice intensity, showing excellent appeal. The palate is medium acidity and body, and has a sensation of dancing across the mouth, with fine-grained, integrated tannins, leaving a texture that is glossy and even. Good density and medium concentration complete the framework, which is elegant and fine. Very nice way to support flavours. The attack shows red fruits, including cherry and raspberry, along with some darker cherry and black raspberry. Very lovely fruit here! The midpalate picks up some spice and earthy quality. Some notable juicy red fruit even adds in to complement the attack. Very nice! The finish is of rose pedals and light seared ham, and is medium in intensity and length. Overall, very nice array of flavours and excellent intensity.

This is really killer Oregon Pinot Noir. Drinking very wonderfully at the moment, it is really still fresh, but yet has smooth tannins (present, but adding to the clean nature of the wine and not becoming over-bearing). Also, has wonderful vivid fruit and intense aromas and flavours. Definitely a winner wine. Elegant and interesting, this is very Burgundian, but sort of with that new world exuberance. Very elegant, but robust in some ways. Really like this style of wine, and this just crushes it for me! Great on its own or with food, this is appealing, thoughtful, and well made wine!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/28/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Dark shade of deep red with high optical density and medium plus reflectivity. Slow running medium width tears. Nice, intense, and inviting nose, with light plum and mixed berries (more dark than red), and some subtle candied spices. The nose is nice and complex- some depth to the inviting aromas. Fresh acidity on the palate with full body, and a plush, polished texture with fine-grained and medium intensity tannins. Really rich and dense mouthfeel, with excellent concentration. Flavours of slightly dried plums and berries on the attack. The midpalate is full and stays rich, with spices filling in the fruit. Some forest floor and dark fruit comes in at the final transition to an intense and long finish of baked fruit, leather, and lingering brighter fruits, for an interesting twist.

This is really delicious and complex, with great intensity and depth to back up the power. Really nice wine here, with a definite old world flair and plenty of style and graceful elegance. Drinking really nicely at the moment, with plenty of freshness and yet some definite developed flavour. This is really great!
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2013 LaStella Fortissimo Okanagan Valley VQA SuperTuscan Blend (view label images)
2/24/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
Pale ruby with medium plus to high optical density, high reflectivity, and a browning rim. Developed nose, with plum, sagebrush, and bandaid. Very vinous in looks and aromas. Full bodied and still fresh acid on the palate, with a very dry tone and very present tannins. The texture is concentrated and dense, with some finer grit that lends some grain to the overall mouthfeel. Very much like an aged wine, perhaps this bottle went faster than normal? Flavours of plum fruit and dried cherry on the attack, with some balsamic and spices at midpalate. The finish is of dried leather and some baked plums, and is medium in length. Overall, flavours are pretty intense and complexity is interesting, if not high. There is a refined and aged sensation that comes across, with lots of interest, but perhaps in the case of this bottle, a bit beyond expectation.

Very nice wine, just perhaps a bottle with something going on.... but still plenty enjoyable. Not rated due to suspected outlier...
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/22/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
Deep purplish red with high optical density and medium plus reflectivity. The nose shows bramble, mixed dark berries, plum, and some spicy mushroom, along with some light aromatic florals. Full bodied and with medium acidity on the palate, the texture is polished and shows light to medium tannins with a fine-grained character. Density is medium with a not so concentrated feel, but still a fullness; no over-extraction here! Flavours of red berries and plum on the attack, with excellent intensity and an elegant profile. The midpalate stays with fruit, but adds some spices and oak flavours. The finish is medium length and shows tangy tobacco and light pepper.

Nice intensity and decent complexity. Not a ton of depth, but more than just a surface wine here. Delicious and easy to drink, and with increasing interest with some time in the glass. Shows a very nice balance and elegance for Zinfandel. Not at all over the top, this is a controlled style of wine that is really great. Drinking very well right now, with freshness and zest. While complexity is not huge, it is interesting for sure. Restrained but still a juicy drink, this is easy-going and great for many situations. Probably over-priced, at least in my market, but a generally fun wine that is certainly worth experiencing. Fun, easy-going factor alone earns the 90 here, as this makes up for any lack of depth and complexity, at least for me!
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
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!
2 people found this helpful Comments (6)
Red
2/16/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
94 points
Saturated and beautiful purple-red with very high optical density and very high specular reflectivity. Very intense and inviting nose, with luxurious notes of cassis, dark berries, and some brambly earthy undertones. Full bodied on the palate, with a rich, dense, and concentrated texture. Acidity is quite fresh and the tannins are present but very fine-grained and integrated nicely, to frame the wine quite well. Very much a plush and yet elegant textured wine with a fantastic mouth presence. Flavours of dark forest berry jam on the attack, which is quite intense and delicious. These flavours stick around through the rich midpalate. Spices and bramble come on in the middle, with a good bit of depth and intensity adding to provide for a sensation of power, yet with elegant restraint. Really deft use of oak, with some woodsy notes coming on toward the end of the midpalate, but very complementary. The final transition shows a some dried meat and savory tobaccco leaf, and even some smoky dry leather. Good length and really nice complexity on the finish. As it sits in the glass, even more depth and complexity emerge, providing for an exciting experience full of tension and vibrance. Powerful, but with graceful elegance. Just keeps adding layers and layers of enjoyment and depth.... impressive!

Here is a really good wine, pretty simple. Everything you want in a Cabernet, with nothing you don't. Not over-extracted, and showing the characteristics of the grape and the terrior, with twist of flair that provides excitement. This is just well-made, fantastic, and delicious wine. I enjoy this style very much, with great balance and a well-rounded presence. Drinking really really well, I think it will get even better! Wow!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/9/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
Purplish red with medium plus to high optical density and medium reflectivity. Aromas of plum, sagebrush, spices and flowers. Some mint leaf and gravel aromas also add-in with some time in glass. Decent complexity and appealing nose, with medium intensity. Full bodied and with refreshing acidity on the palate. Polished texture with nice concentration and a density that is medium, but still toward plush. Sensation of some moderate richness in the mouthfeel that is still transparent and not overbearing. The attack shows flavours of rich plum and black cherry fruit with some raspberry liquorice and underbrush. The midpalate shows some forest floor and spices come in, with nice richness here too. The final transition is almost candied in nature before the tannins kick in and dry out the sweetness and make tobacco leaf and oak spices more prominent at the finish, which is medium in length. Overall, the flavour intensity is high, and the complexity medium.

This is a nice, very modern-styled BdM. Evolves nicely and provides a lot of interest. While this is a definite modern wine, it is not over the top or gaudy; it maintains a sense of elegance within its core. This is also drinking very young now, it will evolve over time I sense to provide a very interesting wine. So, for now, this is a hold! While not my very favourite style (a bit modern for my tastes), very well made and enjoyable bottle.
Red
2/8/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Transluscent ruby with a rich colour, medium optical density, and medium to high specular reflectivity. Really intense aromas pour from the glass here, with sweet cherry, woodsy forest floor, rose pedals, and some light tar. Really delicious bouquet here! On the palate, medium body, refreshing acidity, and very polished texture, with a light character that dances across the palate. Tannins are well integrated here, providing a bit of back-end structure. Flavours of red fruits on the attack, with cherry and raspberry leading the way. Maybe just a hint of rubber after the initial attack, which flows into forest floor and some savoury meatiness by midpalate. A tart character to the fruit shows the vibrant acidity here still. The final transition shows some spices and woody flavours before the tannins kick in to dry things out at the finish of black liquorice and light tobacco smoke. The finish is medium in length and falls off in complexity pretty quickly. The aromas have more depth and complexity than the palate does, at least on first opening.

Overall, this has really nice intensity, medium complexity, and is definitely interesting. A light, elegant, and thoughtful wine with nice variety and regional character, but nice to drink and has a decent amount of depth. Not stunningly complex or nuanced, but really good at what it does. Not flashy, but sophisticated in many ways. Excellent style of wine for food with high enough acidity to refresh the palate, and drinking very well. This can likely age a bit more, which might tame the brightness a bit and lend a bit more complexity, but who knows? I really love Oregon Pinot Noir, and this bottle is definitely a cut above average! Probably priced appropriately for classic, well-made, Oregon Pinot Noir with more depth than entry level, even if not a show-stopper.
Red
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!
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
12/30/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
Brilliant rich ruby colour with high optical density and very high reflectivity. Aromas are intense, with red fruits above black and a dusty, vanilla-laced supporting scaffold that has florals and light tobacco woven in. Dense and concentrated on the palate, with full body and fresh acidity, with a dry framework and integrated tannins that provide for a plush and yet very fresh and young-feeling mouthfeel. Flavours of rich mixed fruits (cherry, cassis, and ripe mixed berries) and earthy floral-infused vanilla on the attack. The midpalate is firm and rich, with some fruit compote that is not baked, just concentrated. Garden soil and fresh tobacco show at this point. The final transition shows some spicy oak and ends in a warm fruit and pie crust finish with decent length. Very excellent intensity throughout with decent complexity.

More blended in character than layered, this is a very enjoyable and well-knit wine. Big and bold, but with character and grace, this is a big wine that is serious and powerful. Very much has an oaked character but one that is not too intrusive, although I'd like to find less personally. This takes a just a bit too much away from letting the variety and terroir show through, and makes it come across a bit eager and young. Time may tame some of this though, as it does seem vibrant and youthful, and with plenty of concentration and acidity to last a good while longer. Certainly can be enjoyed now, but for me, this is a strong hold, as I feel this will age gracefully into a really nice bottle. Old world in leanings but somewhat new world in styling. Very nice, decent priced, and cellar worthy wine here.
Red
12/22/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Deep purple shade with very high optical density and medium reflectivity. Very intense aromatics, with excellent complexity. Plum, chocolate, cherry, mint, and sweet spices. Rich, dense and concentrated on the palate with full body, medium acidity, and light integrated tannins. Flavours of rich dark, mocha infused fruits on the attack. The midpalate stays rich, with mint and spices and earth adding depth. Finishes clean, with a warm plum and sweet earth flourish with medium length.

Here is a surprising and excellent wine. Big, robust red that pairs great with cold winter and rich foods. Drinking very nicely at the moment, this is just well made, awesome wine!
Red
12/16/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
Deep, dark, purplish red with high optical density and low reflectivity. The nose is light, perhaps a bit tight, but appealing. Aromaticity, dark fruits, and dusty earth, with dark cherry, plum, and black raspberry. The palate is full bodied and high in density, with fresh acidity. Polished texture, with integrated tannins. Flavours on the attack of rich dusty plum fruit and dark cherry, and subtle earthy vegetal notes. The midpalate stays rich and consistent, with dark fruits and spices. Intensifies toward a finish of dark fruit and light tobacco smoke (clean and refined). Really blooms with some air, bringing out some floral lift.

Overall, a really nice wine here. Elegant and tastefully oaked, this has a nice drinkable character. Perhaps not the most complex wine, but has enough going on to provide some interest. Juicy and elegant before power and thickness. Good, but not great or particularly memorable. Definitely a nice one for a crowd at the moment, as it drinking very nicely.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/15/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Dark ruby shade with medium plus optical density and low reflectivity. Expressive nose of roses, red fruits (cherry, raspberry), and spices. Enticing and elegant aromas. On the palate, light in body and refreshingly high in acidity with a taught texture that is medium minus in tannins and fine-grained in character. Flavours of red fruits on the attack, with decent, controlled intensity. Cherry and sweet raspberry dominate. Roses and spices below the fruit. The midpalate shows some spices and a bit of savory meatiness, but is more subtle than the red fruit-driven attack. Really elegant but still a bit of depth and complexity. Perhaps a bit restrained? The finish shows some light, clean tobacco and spices over a candied red fruit, and has good length, but is clean and dry (not with tannins, but no coating or sweet syrup here). Definitely not over-oaked here, which is really nice.

Overall, medium intensity and complexity, with elegance and red candied fruit dominating some baking spices. Thoughtful and easy going, this is easy to drink alone or with food, but is a unique take on Oregon Pinot Noir. Very much like a like well-done Bourgogne, with variety and elegance dominating things. An expressive, subtle wine that is still able to show some depth. Would think this is good drinking now!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Le Vieux Pin AVA Okanagan Valley VQA White Rhone Blend (view label images)
12/8/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Clear, bright and highly reflective, with a light straw gold colour. An intense fruity nose, with aromas of banana, passion fruit, and a light floral-laced tropical undertone. Full bodied on the palate with medium acidity and a rich mouthfeel. Broad and dense, with intensity and a concentrated character, with some cream texture that just stops short of too much. So not syrupy, but it could get close to that territory. Flavours of ripe tropical fruits, with some cream-dipped pineapple, smooth ripe banana, apricot, and other perhaps roasted or grilled fruits. Some nice florals as well, and some honeyed spice, with a clear influence of oak, but certainly not overdone. The finish shows some minerals and a light spiced fruit cake perhaps. Very tastefully made for sure!

Here is a robust and delicious white. Rich and powerful, but with a thoughtful nature and some decent depth. Not the most complex, but certainly an interesting wine. Very intense though, which is where this one comes on- a great robust wine for a meal. Very well done here!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/17/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Dark red shade with high optical density and medium reflectivity. Strong aromas of dark plum, coffee, leather, and spicy floral notes. Full bodied and polished texture, with refreshing acidity and integrated tannins. Very nice medium plus density, and full concentration without any overextraction at all. Rich dark fruits on the attack, with plum, black raspberry, and cassis. The midpalate hangs on and adds some grip, with dark roasted coffee and cacao. The finish shows spiced fruit cake and fresh leather. Really excellent intensity, and thoughtful delicious flavours. Medium complexity, showing a refined, elegant character with an easy-going nature. Oak use is deft and balanced, for a complentary effect, with terrior and variety first and foremost on display.

This is just delicious wine with good depth. A great Merlot, with a unique modernish dressing, but an old world elegance and polish. Really outstanding wine here! Drinks very nicely, and yet should age with grace, so this is a cellar worthy for sure. Great old world salute in a new world style and terrior.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/11/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Pale ruby with medium minus optical density, an amber rim, and medium reflectivity. Nice and intense aromas of cherry, roses, tar, and balsamic, with some spicy forest floor and tobacco underlying. Medium bodied with refreshing acidity, and showing firm grip on the back end with is nice for cleaning the palate. Texture is fine and polished but with firm tannic bite on the finish. Flavours of bright cherries and other red fruits on the attack. Simple and straightforward, but delicious. The midpalate picks up some savory spices on top of the fruit along with balsamic notes, before turning to a finish with green olive and light tobacco smoke. Good length and intensity on the finish.

Quite pleasant overall, with excellent intensity. Complexity is not amazing here, which creates a bit of a lack of depth perhaps, but still, a solid tasting wine. Definitely a bargain Barolo, with all of the characteristics, so provides great value wine. Old world in style for the most part. Only missing some depth and complexity, but a really great wine to have around, with nice and intense red fruits, fresh acidity, and a very typical profile for Barolo. Seems like there is plenty of aging potential left here- although not drinking bad at the moment, some additional cellaring probably won't hurt.
Red
11/9/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
A nice royal ruby garnet with am amber rim, medium optical density and high reflectivity. Aromas just jump out of the glass, with cherry, roses, tar, red berry fruits, and forest floor. Really nice, intense, and still delicate for a complex bouquet. Refreshing acidity and medium body on the palate, with a light and polished texture, with very fine melted tannins. Really elegant palate with some vinous character to it- refined and delicate, and just lets the flavours shine through. The attack shows red fruits (cherry, raspberry), tar and roses, and some earthy spices. The midpalate brings on some green olive and truffle oil, and is complex and delicate and elegant. Really picks up a really nice aged character, here. The final transition shows light spices and tobacco, with a savory, meatiness with some herbal char, and things settle on a long finish of light, clean tobacco smoke over the spicy herbs.

This is a very fine, elegant CCR that shows a really great aged. Things are in harmony and balance, with really nice complexity and elegance. Delicious and thoughtful, this is a really fun wine to drink, and shows very classic flavour profile in a moderate age category. Really great value, this is just legitimately fantastic wine, and drinking remarkably well!
Red
2012 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages Sonoma County Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/28/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Very dark, royal red with very high optical density and medium plus to high reflectivity. The nose is a bit tight at first, with an appealing array of candied dark fruits. Confection, rich cassis, and a jammy forest mixture comes across as a rich array of aromas. On the palate, full bodied and fresh acidity with integrated tannins give a luxurious mouthfeel. Very broad and polished on the palate, with a hint of grain from the tannins. Comes across as a big, rich wine with a polished and plush texture. Flavours of rich dark fruits on the attack, with some confection and jam mixed in. A bit of brush and forest floor comes in at midpalate, along with some spices and florals. The finish shows some heat and oak spices, and has medium length.

Overall, medium in complexity, but big and intense. Easy to drink, and with excellent delicious factor, this is a fun, easy-going, and yet big and "pushy" wine. It does have a certain restrained elegance to things that provide more depth beyond just a surface effect, and yet not quite in the special category. While it is very dry and bold, shows a lot of sweetness to the flavours, and a big candied fruit character. Here is a very well made wine that can definitely be aged to improve things. Certainly a tasteful use of oak here compliments the style, and provides a thoughtful take on a Sonoma-based Bordeaux blend. Very nice, and just short of outstanding. Would be a great food wine to share, as it will go over very well in a crowd- a big red that does not totally over power things, and is just a bit flashy and delicious without being too much in your face. Firm, well-made, bold, and still easy to drink!
Red
10/26/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Dark, regal purplish red with high density and high specular reflectivity. Intense nose that just pours out, with dark fruits (blackberry, plum) tinged with spicy and savoury character along with some delicate florals (violets and meadow). There is also some vegetable garden soil and celery seed on the back end with some cracked black pepper and a touch of brackish iodine. Really appealing and complex nose- a great start! The palate shows full body, and a broad polished texture that is plush and even a bit decadent. Fresh acidity throws a brightness into things that lend a juiciness to the mouthfeel, and tannins that are pretty tame and melted in make this easy to drink. Flavours on the attack of dark berries and cedar with a sweet and floral character. Very intense and moderately complex here. Toward midpalate, there is some forest floor and a touch of meatiness added. The spices come on in the final transition, where some black pepper comes in and a very clear seaside brackish finish sets in. Really good complexity overall, with a package that is really easy to drink. This is excellent wine, made in an approachable and modern style, but with restraint and elegance that indicates there is thought about letting the varieties and terroir stand out. Really a fun, enjoyable, and thoughtful, complex wine that is a great example of a Rhone-Style Syrah out of the Okanagan. Impressive!
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/6/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Medium burgundy ruby with medium optical density and high specular reflectivity. Appealing and delicate aromas, with cherry, roses, and some light spices and rich mixed berries on the back end. Medium minus body, with tannins that have melted in, creating a fine, even texture. Acidity is bright and refreshing. Flavours of cherry and juicy mixed berries on the attack. Very vivid and fruit-forward. The midpalate brings in some florals and light aromatic forest floor, and is really interesting, but delicate. The finish is of light spiced berries and clean, fresh tobacco smoke. Medium length here. Overall, medium intensity and complexity, but a thoughtful elegance that is perfect for pairing with food.

Very delicious without being jammy or overly juicy, but there is fresh and vivid fruit here for sure. Really nicely balanced overall, and while not the most complex wine, it is certainly a delight. This can age further without much doubt, and while there is a hint of vinous character here now, it seems like it is just entering a phase where it could be absolutely great, but for now it falls just short of that. Like it is just peaking its head up from behind the peak and saying "I'll get there soon!" Nice, old-world styling on display here, for a classic 1er Cru experience. Not otherworldly, but solid, drinkable, delicious, and very typical. Tough to rate, because it is missing the "it" factor perhaps, but yet, it is just so good!
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
10/6/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Clear, brilliant star bright and pale yellow-gold. Huge aromas of honey-dip tropical fruits, creamy peaches, and a grassy floral field. Really enticing nose! On the palate, dry with bright acidity and a nice intense and medium complex flavour array. Tropical fruits with grassy flowers, and a cream-laced honey base. Light and easy to drink, but also serious and refined. Very very nice!
Red
2011 Agricola San Felice Chianti Classico Riserva Il Grigio Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
10/4/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Ruby red with medium high optical density and low reflectivity, and a faint browning rim. Medium minus intensity aromas on opening, with warm berries and dusty sage underbrush. Cherries, roses, and a bit of tar wafts through on the back end, very subtle, but seeming to want to jump out, along with some vegetable garden soil. Fresh medium plus acidity, medium plus body, and very dry on the palate. Texture is medium grained with strong tannins that frame out the wine. Dark cherries and bright raspberries on the attack, with a warm berry mixutre coming at midpalate. The final transition shows some spices, oak, and leather, with a finish of freshly tanned leather that lingers for good length. Complexity is medium, with some power and strength that serve as the focus. With some air, a bit more freshness comes in, and things improve. Provides even more depth with time, with a melding of flavours, so not much gain in complexity, but things sort of come together here.

This is a modern-styled wine to be sure, and one that provides a good experience, if a bit general. So, a really good wine, but does not knock my socks off at this point. Decent value, but much better wine exists at this price point. At the same time, this has a lot more aging potential, and could actually be great at some point. Would decant or hold.
Red
9/30/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Rich ruby red with medium plus to high optical density and brilliant reflectivity. Good intensity and interest on the nose, with candied red fruits, confectionary, and a flourish of floral and forest notes in the background. Fresh on the palate, with full body and bright acidity. The texture is open-grained, and yet tight-grained at the same time- not quite rustic, but not pure polished gloss either- somewhere in between. The tannins are very present, and perhaps need time to be tamed a bit, but at the same time, this complements the very dry nature of this wine, to yield a big, bold, hearty red. Flavours of red fruits (raspberry, bright cherry, and even some strawberry) on the attack, but with some hints of darker fruits hiding below the surface. Very fruit-forward and even mixed with some candied character, although not stewed or dried here- just big and juicy red fruits. The midpalate stays firm in candied fruit, but adds some spicy florals and herbal brush to the mix, providing a good bit of interest. The final transition shows more of the candied red fruits and forest floor as things turn toward a finish of cracked black pepper and a just a touch of smoked meat. Decent length and intensity on the finish. All of the flavours here are interesting and bold, with a layered type of experience (rather than a homogeneous mixture), and some nice tension in the balance of bold fresh fruits, vivid acidity, and firm structure. This provides plenty of interest across the palate, and provides a really modern take on some old world varieties.

Not really an old world Rhone-type wine or a Bordeuax, and not even a super-tuscan, this mixture of 43% Cabernet Franc, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, and 15% Syrah, is decidedly modern and yet with no new oak, is a refreshing take on this style. And each of the varieties used can be sensed here, making this one an absolute delight and a triumph of wine making for me. So unique and delicious and rich, with interest and boldness, but all in balance and not over the top. Really great wine! Can be cellared for sure!
White
2016 Le Vieux Pin AVA Okanagan Valley VQA White Rhone Blend (view label images)
9/29/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
Brilliant, star-bright golden yellow. Intense aromas of baked ripe fruits (pineapple, banana, and some pear juice) with some creamy and spicy tones below that. On the palate, there is a full body and medium acidity, with a creamy texture that frames the intense flavours. Very fruit-forward, with ripe yellow fruits dipped in cream, and hints of roasted, caramelized pineapple and fresh pear juice with some honeyed flower pedals lingering over the top in a delicate way. There is an even and wide range of flavours throughout the entry to the finish. Some apparent oak here completes a robust and powerful white wine. Excellent food wine, and very complex in styling. Excellent!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
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!!
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2012 Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
9/23/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Rich royal red colour with high optical density and high specular reflectivity. The nose is appealing and has good intensity, with warm red fruits (cherry, raspberry), woodsy cherry pit, and some forest floor and tobacco. Sense of tasteful oak here. Maybe even some plum. On the palate, full bodied and with fresh acidity, the texture is full and yet fine- plush but certainly not over ripe. Very nicely integrated tannins and a framework that supports flavours very nicely. Refined. Flavours of warm dark cherry and ripe raspberries on the attack. There is some tobacco smoke that comes in with forest floor notes at midpalate, and overall there is excellent intensity. Flavours meld together nicely, and make a delicious, if straight-forward wine. Not overly complex, but elegant and polished. The finish is dry (but not too tannic), with some spices and oak over the fruit. Medium length on the finish with decent intensity. This bottle has aged very nicely, and is in a very good drinking window at the moment, although it should be able to age further I would think.

Very nice wine- not the most complex or amazing CCR, but really great value, and a really solid bottle to have on hand in any cellar. Great food wine, but can also stand alone. Excellent old world styling with a refined elegance. Nice!
White
2015 Le Vieux Pin AVA Okanagan Valley VQA White Rhone Blend (view label images)
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.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
8/25/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Dark ruby brown with very high optical density an medium minus reflectivity. Very strong aroma intensity, with a delicious profile of mixed red and black fruits, florals, and some forest floor. Raspberry, blackberry, and some light celery seed are dominant, with some undertones of roses- really appealing and quite fresh. The palate is dense, with very nice concentration and medium acidity. Tannins are well integrated, with enough presence to melt everything together. Flavours of rich raspberry and plums on the attack, with support from tobacco and oak spices that are present, but just restrained enough to not be overdone. That said, there is a lot of oak here, but it is complementary and does not overwhelm. The midpalate stays rich, and adds some interest from forest floor and vegetal notes before finishing with spicy smoked meats and warm berries. Overall, really nice intensity and medium complexity, with a noticeable amount of age showing in a very good way. That said, I think this can certainly age a few more years at least!

This is a great bottle of a style that is new world all the way, but with some elegance and restraint. I would not get old world at all, but I do get a nice sense of balance that makes it worthy of some contemplative tasting rather than a straight up flashy wine. Really excellent value here!
5 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé
7/14/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Nice rich aromas of fresh citrus and light cherry. Easy to drink and full flavoured, with a dry framework and an elegant and fruity profile. Very nice!
Red
6/24/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
93 points
Dark and rich ruby red with high optical density and very high specular reflectivity. Aromas pour out of the glass, with mouthwatering and intriguing mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries), some candied fruits, and forest floor. There is some lighter sage brush and herbal notes here as well, and overall shows a really nice appealing nose, but with underlying complexity. The palate is full bodied, with fresh acidity (medium plus), and a very elegant and polished plush texture. Really great density and concentration without being at all syrupy. Just delightful mouthfeel. Tannins are present for sure, but add depth and dimension, and allow a clean feeling to the full and concentrated flavours. The attack shows candied berries and some light garden soil. Dark fruits mostly here, but fresh ones, not stewed. Mostly dark berries with an herbal support that transitions toward a spicy midpalate, where the forest notes come on to complement the fruit. There is a nice richness at midpalate, and yet things transition for more of a different wave of flavours rather than layers. That is a really nice thing here! The finish transitions toward a clean, light tobacco smoke and some lingering fruit, with some leather and earth as well and has good length and intensity. Overall, a really interesting, complex, and delightful wine with a lot of depth and character, but yet still a really delicious drink.

Really really nice wine here! Drinking beautifully, but with enough to age further- it is still pretty primary, and not showing much age. That said, I don't think aging is a requirement to enjoy this wine, but it may bring on enough interest to make it worth holding on to these in the cellar for a while. Just fantastic!
Red
6/17/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
93 points
Dark ruby shade with high optical density and medium to low reflectivity. Medium intensity and good complexity on the nose, with violets, purple fruits (with a fresh and not dried profile), and some light, clean smoke over a spicy vegetable garden soil background. Rich and full bodied on the palate, with medium acidity and a plush texture that is rounded and polished, with integrated tannins and a dense and concentrated mouthfeel. Really excellent texturally. Flavours of rich and layered fruits on the attack, with dark mixed forest berries, cherry, and some earthiness to support. The midpalate melts together some savory meatiness and some light brine, along with some spices (black pepper and other types of herbs and peppers also) and more forest floor here. The finish shows light tobacco leaf and shows nice intensity, and medium length, but with pepper lingering on the lips for a nice flourish.

Overall, this is really really nice! It has a good amount of complexity and remains elegant. Shows some aspects of age, and has done so gracefully and has a really rounded and integrated profile. Rich and hedonistic, but not at all modern- this is where the vineyard shows off! One of the styles that I love so much- elegant and graceful, but delicious to drink so that you want more.... full and dense, but not overly powerful. Many dimensions to this wine, and it is drinking so very very well. Awesome!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/16/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
Deep shade of jewel ruby red with medium plus to high to optical density and low reflectivity. Aromas are medium intensity upon initial opening and show appealing dark fruits, brackish sea, and spicy earth. Enough layer and swirling of aromas to provide a good amount of interest. The palate is rich and full bodied, with refreshing acidity and a lively character that shows both a juicy texture and a firm tannic backbone. Flavours of dark dusty fruits on the attack that are slightly dried, but not stewed, including plum and blackberry, along with some licorice flavours. The midpalate here really picks up spicy earth, with tobacco-laced herbal spices layering on to the dusty dried fruits. Toward the finish a flourish of oak spices (well oaked for sure, but seems complementary and not overpowering) hits before warm baked fruit, black licorice, and smoked meat fades for decent length. Overall, medium intensity and slightly better than medium complexity, but definitely not mind blowing. Drinking really well now, this is a great wine to serve with food and a crowd, as it is a a big, bold, and yet juicy drink.

This is a nice Rioja that is different from the standard lines. While certainly I get some sense of Rioja, I can see this style as being more modern and out of the ordinary. Really a nice experience, as it shows a nice variation on an old world varietal. Really nice value here also, with an outstanding QPR, so really a winner all the way around.
Red
6/10/2018 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Rich ruby red with high optical density and medium reflectivity. Aromas of lifted florals (violets and forest tree flowers), mixed red and purple fruits, and some twists of savory, roasted vegetable garden soil. Some hints of iodine and pepper swirl beneath. On the palate, it is very full bodied, with medium acidity, and a dense and concentrated feel with very well integrated tannins that support a clean and dry character, but have melted away to let the flavours shine. A very plush and even texture. Flavours of sour cherry and plum on the attack, with good intensity. The midpalate stays strong, with the fruit giving way to some spices and sea salt, providing a taste of rare steak on top of the fruit. The finish finds a transition to florals, herbs and spices, with some tobacco leaf and a dry leather flourish. Good length and intensity here, which highlights just a touch of a midpalate dip, but still enough interest to not detract from things.

This is a really well-made, elegant, and well styled wine that shows a refined and polished implementation of new world Syrah. Old world character with vivid fruit- total winner. This is starting to show some age here, with a delightfully softer character to the tannins and the fruit showing a lot more depth to it. There is not a hint of a young and untamed wine here- just a perfect drinking Okanagan Syrah! Shows varietal notes and the region- this is fine wine! It may gain a bit more complexity with some age, but it may be drinking near peak here- hard to tell for sure, but I wouldn't hesitate to drink now! Really great Syrah from a great maker!!
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