Tasting Notes for ajbergren

(513 notes on 392 wines)

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Red
10/19/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
86 points
Very deep ruby core with colour to the rim, high optical density and medium specular reflectivity. Aromas have good intensity, with strawberry, cherry, and bubble gum confectionary over light spice and warm wet gravel. Full bodied on the palate, with fresh acidity and a dense and even texture. Tannins are very soft on entry, with a firm-up on the back end that is broad-grained but not rustic or bitter. Flavours of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry on the attack, with a touch of sweet cream on top. The midpalate stays with a red fruited theme, but turns more candied and sweet. The final transition shows just a bit of spice and savory character, but still keeps the sweet red fruits before the tannins leave light earth for a clean and medium minus length finish of warm, unsweetened red-berry sauce.

This is surprisingly interesting wine. It's like it is almost trying to be a generic bubble-gum type of sweet red wine, but there is a lot more depth lying beneath the surface. Very fresh and juicy, but with enough tannin structure to hold it from becoming thick juicy fruit bomb. Definitely a fruit-forward and assertive wine, but with some character to the story. A very excellent value wine, this delivers above expectations, for an excellent every-day dinner wine.
Red
10/18/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
83 points
Pale ruby colour, thinning to clear at rim, with medium optical density and medium to high specular reflectivity. Aromas are medium intensity and low complexity, but certainly appeal, with sweet cherry and cola notes dominating over a bit of spice. The palate is light in body and fresh in acidity, with a very juicy profile. Texture is watery with a hint of light tannins that provide a touch of tea-like grip, but just so. Low density and concentration. Flavours of cherry cola and spice, with decent intensity and not much complexity. The attack leads with cherry fruit, with the midpalate showing spicy cola and tart raspberry before fading to a short finish of juicy red fruit and light confectionary and bubble gum. Overall, shows a good amount of sweetness.

Not layers or complexity here, but a very value-driven wine. Does show PN varietal character at least, with more of a juicy and candied character. At least this is not a fruit bomb type of over-extracted PN, and at this price ($11 CAD), a great wine for a crowded party. Definitely not a refined and soaring deep drink, but frankly outperforms some over-extracted new world examples of PN. So to that, I raise my glass- to understated sweet PN that still maintains a cool climate feel. Just don't expect too much.
Red
10/13/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
84 points
Deep ruby colour with medium plus optical density and medium plus specular reflectance. Nose is a bit tight, with dark fruit and dusty earth. Perhaps a bit of spice and florals. On the palate, medium to full bodied and medium minus acidity, with integrated tannins and a texture that is full and glossy. Flavours of muted dark fruits and subtle red fruits (plum, cassis, blueberry, and some light cranberry and ripe blackberry) on the attack. Intensity is medium. The midpalate shows a bit of floral earth flavours, with some subtle spice and is weaker in intensity. Finishes with some pie crust and light mixed fruit peels, with medium minus length. Overall, medium intensity and not a lot of complexity- simple and mostly a juicy and easy-going wine.

This is an elegant and simple wine, with a decently enjoyable profile, but is not a deep and complex wine. Definitely not an overdone candied power bomb, so useful where more subtle wine is wanted. Given it is a decade old, drinking reasonably well, but not a lot of interesting nuance has developed here. Just a decent, simple wine.
Red
10/12/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
90 points
Rich ruby with medium optical density, very high specular reflectance, and a slightly brown rim. Aromas have nice intensity, with juicy, sappy cherry, raspberry, and a mix of herbal spices and earthy florals. Medium complexity on the nose. Medium body on the palate, with medium plus acidity. Tannins are fine-grained and integrated, just enough for some structure and a clean profile. Texture is sappy and rich, with an elegant presence- very delightful. Flavours of cherry and plum on the attack, with good intensity. Floral notes support things here, before adding on a savoury herbal spice at midpalate, where some tart red apple adds on. Juicy raspberry and a touch of cranberry are there also, with some earthy forest floor and cherry pit. Some ripe but vibrant fruits shows up toward the final transition, with some balsamic and a twist of ripe olive. Very nice complexity overall, and a rich profile that is packed with layers. The finish is medium length and shows cherry and juicy tobacco.

Really nice wine here. This is intense, sappy, and has decent complexity, making for a NZ PN experience with depth. Shows some age, for an interesting and delicious wine that is easy to drink and yet quite easy to ponder and appreciate. Excellent varietal notes and a sense of place as well- this is a lovely single vineyard and cool climate PN that provides an outstanding experience. Probably note a long aging wine, this seems to be drinking very well right now, and I'd have no problem drinking now or in the next year or two. Really fun wine, this is what draws me to NZ PN- excellent value in a well made, fun, and expressive and elegant wine. Nice!
Red
10/11/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
From a 1/10th (375). Dark, rich ruby colour with some faint brown edges, high optical density, and medium specular reflectivity. Interesting aromas with decent intensity, showing raspberry, dusty rose pedal, and a spiced gravel note. Plenty of aromatic florals and a sense of the barrel. On the palate, medium body and acidity, with still firm tannins that yield a grippy texture that is weighty and rustic, yet retains a certain charm and elegance. Flavours of bright red fruits on the attack, with some support from forest meadow florals and stone. The midpalate brings on some spices and a twist of tart fruit peels and earth. Not huge intensity here, but okay. The final transition is savoury and as the tannins kick in there is a drying sense of mixed fruit juice before a medium length finish of new leather.

Overall, intensity is medium and complexity is perhaps a touch short of medium. Things seem a bit disjointed, but not really in a bad way, more like in a rustic and understated character- not goofy, but just a bit different. Well made wine for sure, with old world character. A decent food wine that provides a classic experience, but do not go looking for a wow factor or extra special experience here.
White - Sparkling
10/6/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
85 points
Very light and pale yellow- low optical density. Bubbles are of medium vigour, and show a medium wide dispersion of size. Aromas of cream, yeast, pear, and tart apple. Simple, and not overwhelming. On the palate, vibrant acidity is quite refreshing, and the frame is dry and round. Flavours of tart apple and pear, with some light brioche. Very strong intensity on the entry of simple fresh flavours. Hollows out some at midpalate as the fizz begins to wane, things get pretty clean. Finishes with tart apple (with a hint of caramel) and some acidity on the edges of the palate, leaving a clean flavour slate with some texture that provides a bit of interest.

This is ok Prosecco. Fresh, easy, simple, this won't go wrong even if not extraordinarily expressive and deep.
Red
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!
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Red
10/4/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Dark red with a bit of brownish tinge, medium plus optical density and medium plus specular reflectance. Strong, intense, and appealing aromas of cherry, aromatic florals, light clean meadow earth, and tart raspberry and perhaps some tree fruits. With some air, aromas of demerara roasted over spiced sweet squash. Very nice complexity on the nose. Vibrant acidity on the palate with medium body, creating a dancing and nearly electrical sensation of tension and grace. Tannins are soft, and the texture is of polished elegance, but with enough structure to hold up and spread out the flavours. The attack leads off with red fruits (bright cherry and raspberry) and light spices. The midpalate is perhaps more complex in the fruit; still berries and red fruits, but with a sense of mixed savoury flavours that add some interest. Aromatic florals come on with the spices, and the final transition brings on a tart clay and spice mixture that is nice. Finish is medium minus in length. Intensity is nice, and complexity is okay- not stunning, but definitely a bunch going on here.

This is just fun, delicious, NZ PN. Very typical of the region and variety, and separate from that, a great red wine for a wide range of occasions. Easy to drink on its own, and delightfully refreshing with food. Not overly sweet and in general very well balanced, this is awesome. Complexity is perhaps the only thing wanting here, but at this price point, it does certainly over-deliver. Well made PN, and great value.
Red
9/28/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Dark ruby with high optical density and high specular reflectivity. Medium intensity of straight-ahead aromas, with strawberry, dark cherry, light dusty florals and gravel, and a touch of herbal savory, spicy pepper. On the palate, medium acidity, medium to full body, fine-grained tannins, and a texture that is open, but with a bit of grip. Dances across the palate, but without much tension or electricity. Flavours of light strawberry and tart darker black raspberry on the attack. Herbal and floral notes kick on at midpalate. Simple, and medium complexity, with good intensity of flavours. Finishes with green pepper and spicy charred black pepper. Medium minus length.

This is a nice and controlled red wine with a dry and commanding presence. Depth is not canyon level, more like a swift, waist-deep cool river. Sort of flows by to provide more interest, but the flavours stay in swift running lines. Really nice to find a Rhone wine with controlled EtOH, that is well balanced. While not being super ripe, this avoids excessive pyrazine content; it adds a zesty interest without distracting from the wine. Good for a big dry red occasion, but not a candy bomb in any way.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/27/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Dark, brooding ruby red with medium plus optical density and medium to high specular reflectivity. Aroma intensity is strong, with decent complexity, showing cherry, confected juicy red fruits, and a bed of gravel and aromatic florals. On the palate, fresh acidity, medium body, and very soft tannins provide a texture that is rich, but not quite sappy. Decent framework, with a medium density and a sense of concentration, but not overdone. Flavours of juicy cherry and rich ripe raspberries on the attack, with an underlying sweetness that is forward and almost showy. A bit of gravel underneath, but primarily red fruits. The midpalate shows a bit of evolution toward tart and a bit darker fruit, but still red juicy for the most part. Here is a bit of flatness; not hollow, but just a straight evolution with added depth. Final transition shows florals and light earth, with a touch of spice and savory flavours, to finish with a toffee and very light roasted coffee. Intensity fades for a shortish finish.

This is easy-to-drink and fruit forward wine. Has classic PN notes, but lacking a bit of depth. Still, it does show a certain personality at least, and is a plump and rounded juicy drink. Certainly a ripe feel to it, but still restrained and beautiful with elegant balance. Maybe a reflection on the vintage, but seems more fruit-forward than anything, making for a nice, easy and light wine that is ready to drink now. Would be likely to please a crowd, and I'd use this for hosting a party with diverse participants. Might look for a bit more depth at this price point, but honestly, it's quite fun and delicious, and ready to drink now, so have this for a rounded, red-fruited, and easy going PN experience.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/21/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Deep ruby red with medium plus to high optical density and medium plus primarily specular reflectivity. Very nice intensity of aromas, with cherry, roses, light tar, and an earthy (rock) spiciness (herbs and some baking spices). On the palate, vibrant acidity and medium minus body yield a nice tension. The tannins are light but certainly there to clean things up and separate some flavours. Just short of a sappy texture, this has a nice medium density and concentration; no sappy feel, but a broad and urgent framework. Very fine texture with a polished but still undulating landscape. Flavours of bright cherry on the attack, with spices and tart raspberry and floral meadow supporting. Some sweet tobacco comes in at midpalate, with moist fresh soil on top of the fruit. The finish is of light tart fruits and some spice, and is medium length and really nice intensity. Overall, a good amount of intensity and reasonable complexity (fairly straight ahead, but the depth it does bring is fun!) on this, with a sense of flair and panache.

Not a bug, huge, overdone Pinot, this is an elegant and simple, and honest, and delicious. Very excellent New Zealand Pinot Noir here, representing an outstanding value and in any case a fun, zest-filled experience. While the depth does not wander into the depths of Plato's honey head, it does invite some careful thought about sharing the bounties of life with some friends!
Red
9/20/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
75 points
Mid ruby red with medium minus optical density and medium mostly specular reflectivity. Aromas of stemmy cherry pit, dark red cherry, and earthy herbal spices (a touch of green basil). Juicy quality to the nose. On the palate, light in body and vibrant acidity dances across mouth. Tannins are light and texture is juicy with just a hint of sappiness. Flavours on the attack of juicy cherry fruits with a touch of light green pepper and gravel. Perhaps a bit green and stemmy, but not distractingly so for me, but could be for some. The midpalate carries the green pepper and cherry, but adds some spices and light oak. The finish is medium minus and shows very light power keg oak over green pepper.

This wine shows pyrazine, and perhaps reflects a cool vintage. While this is sometimes ok for my palate, it is about as strong as it could be before this would be flawed by my scale (a pyrazine flaw for me is defined by the inability to drink without some enjoyment- a drain washing bottle). A bit below what I expect from this producer, as horizontals from 2017's NZ PN have been much better. This bottle is really just ok, below average for sure. A good idea to save this for cooking, and if a good price, then totally fit for purpose. Otherwise, I'll be trying other producers.
Red
9/14/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
86 points
Pale, light red with low optical density and medium specular reflectivity. Aromas of cherry, strawberry, and light aromatic herbal and florals. Simple and with medium intensity. Light bodied on the palate with medium acidity and a light thin texture (tannins are way in the background and density is water weight). Flavours of light juicy cherry and strawberry on the attack, with a touch of darker cherry perhaps. Midpalate is the same, with a touch of flower pedals and spice. The finish is of simple red fruits and cherry pit, and is short. Very simple, and medium intensity at best.

This is an easy, simple, and mostly general Pinot Noir profile. Not overly sweet, but without much in the way of interesting complexity or nuance. A decent wine, perhaps an average example of entry level Oregon Pinot Noir, just without much depth.
Red
9/11/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
84 points
Very pale red with low optical density and medium specular reflectivity. Aromas of cherry and cola dominate, with a lighter note of roses and light, sweet earth. Light in body and fresh acidity, with a juicy texture and little tannin. Not dense and sappy, more a of thin transparent type of structure. Flavours on the attack are of spicy cherry cola. This is replaced by tart juicy cherry at midpalate, and quickly fades into a short finish of tart, bright fruits and cherry pits. Medium intensity, low complexity.

Fresh, juicy wine that is value-driven. About the bare minimum required here to be recognizable, entry-level, Pinot Noir- elements are all here, but without any depth. Very enjoyable, really, with a cut above average, generic wine, but just don't expect a soulful, expressive experience. Ready to drink now.
White
9/10/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Beautiful rich vibrant gold colour, star bright and clear, with medium optical density and very high specular, brilliant reflectivity. Strong aromas of rich, creamy fruits, spices, and fall meadow grasses (after the harvest and a freeze, nothing green about it). Full body, medium acidity, very dry, and a creamy texture that is not too thick, but certainly has density. Flavours of vivid fruits on the attack, showing light tropicals (a bit of pineapple with melon), creamy pear, and some spicy honeyed and then baked apple. The midpalate is interesting, with honeysuckle and sweet floral flavours coming on as the fruit pushes to the background. The finish is clean, with just a hint of tart fruit and cured dried flowers, some light citrus (lime over lemon) with medium length.

This is really well made, complex, and delicious wine. The look, aromas, and taste are stunning, with plenty to think about, and yet nothing is overdone. Definitely a creamy and robust wine, but not overly sweet and well balanced. Everything in the right place on this, for a smashing food-friendly and big, robust white that is still polished and elegant. Definitely pairs with robust food and cooler weather, as while it is refreshing, it is a heavier drink. Vivid, flashy, powerful, yet stylish and sophisticated. Seems to drink great right now!
Red
9/8/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
Dark brick red with high optical density and medium specular reflectivity. Nice intense aromas, with a fresh, juicy intimation. Aromatics, tart red fruits, and aromatic hydrocarbons, with a spicy and earthy twist (herbs and wafts of oak). Full bodied, with fresh acidity and a texture that is plush, yet juicy enough to not feel over done. Tannins are light and just enough on the back end for structure and a clean finish. Flavours of medium red fruits, with a bit of balsamic and olive providing a vinous character to the fruit on the attack. Not quite stewed, but just rounded off. The midpalate is ok, perhaps a bit of a hollow, but does show some cranberry and plum as the rounded ripe attack fades. The finish is of vinous herbal spices and browned fruits, with medium plus length. Good intensity for the most part, with medium complexity.

Solid, enjoyable and delicious wine here. Not a stunning example of soaringly complex wine, but a delicate and elegant example of Rioja. Not overly-oak, allowing the wine to shine through, and not overly ripe, enabling the density and concentration speak of fruits and aromatics, not candied syrup. This is a style of wine I prefer, and here is a good example of a ready-to-drink big red that remains juicy and drinkable. Definitely regional in character and traditional at core. Very nice value, for a go-to any day sort of drink.
Red
9/6/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Very dark red with high optical density and high specular reflectivity. Very intense aromas, with savoury oak spices on top of fruit. Plums, cassis, and dark berries, with perhaps dark cherry pit. Coconut and dusty roasted nuts dominate the spices. On the palate, full bodies with a rich, dense texture and firm tannic structure. Very plush on the front, but drying on the back end (but in a good way, not astringent). Fresh acidity gives a lively bounce to things also; good sense of some tension in the texturing. Flavours of dark berries and oak spices (dill, coconut, American Oak here) on the attack. The sense on entry is this is a rich and powerful wine, with oak for sure, but not really too much (a lot, sure, but still somehow balanced). The midpalate displays lighter fruits (cranberries and sour cherry and raspberry), which is a nice transition away from darker fruits, and a lovely interesting way to stay strong. The final transition brings on the tannins, which allows some dried leather and fine cured dark tobacco to come through the fruit. Length is medium. Intensity throughout is pretty strong, with perhaps medium plus complexity. A bit of depth for sure, but maybe relying just a touch too much on oak for some "extras." But still certainly has a lot of interesting things happen to provide some thought.

This is a modern wine with a traditional flair of freshness. Vivid and dancing in flashiness, and yet very structured and powerful. Very much Rioja in styling (American Oak flavours with tart red fruits and black fruits), and a modern, clean, and streamlined. Definitely a nice wine.
Red
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.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
8/31/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
Dark, purplish red with high optical density and medium specular reflectivity. Strong aromas of plums, dark berries, and tart cherries and cranberries over a base of florals and some dusty gravel. Decent intensity on the nose. The palate shows medium plus body, medium acidity, and fined grain tannins with decent grip. Density and concentration are medium minus- more of a juicy texture than a sappy one. Flavours of tart cherry and cranberry on the attack, supported by delicate florals notes. The midpalate takes a while to come on (a touch hollow), but when it does, it shows a very interesting array of savoury spices and herbs. The final transition shows some dark liquorice and tobacco leaf, with some warm fruit lingering in the background. Finishes with dried leather and fruit peels, with decent length, but a tapering intensity of flavours.

Complexity is ok, but there is a lack of depth to things- like there are a bunch of flavours to enjoy, but they just hit at the surface and then disappear. So, a very enjoyable wine that is a pleasure to drink and a decent value. A lighter but still quite serious red wine here, with a sense of Rioja in a tastefully, less modern (and perhaps less typical for Rioja) use of oak- there is a nice presence, but a light blanket, not a heavy Oak Cloak here. Pretty fun really, and a delightful bottle. Would make a great food wine, but is easy enough to drink on its own.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/24/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
Deep red with tinges of purple, with high optical density and medium plus specular reflectivity. Aromas are medium intensity, and straight-forward, with red berries (strawberry and raspberry), plum, dusty earth and cured juicy tobacco. Full bodied on the palate, with an even, fine texture that does show some tannic grip. Density and concentration are softer, with an elegant but simple styling. Medium acidity, and a juicy framework for the most part. Flavours of red berries on the attack, with some dusty plum. The midpalate picks up some light spice (black pepper with a savoury side) and earthy fruit peels, and stays reasonably strong. The finish is of juicy tobacco and warm, but bright and crisp fruits (some cherry and plum on top of strawberry). Length is medium minus, and leaves a fresh, clean palate.

This is a decent CdR that is ready to drink now. Well-made, appealing, and with good intensity, but just not really much depth or complexity. Just a good, everyday wine here. Enjoyable if not memorable.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/18/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
Deep brilliant red with high optical density and very high specular reflectivity. Aromas are soft and show plum, dusty vegetable garden (celery seed and decaying leaves), and some aromatic spices. Full bodied and supple on the palate, with medium acidity and medium plus tannins, with just enough grip to balance the rich and supple entry. Texture evolves from soft toward more open-grained, and there is a sense of concentration and density, but not over-done. Flavours on the attack of plum, very ripe berries (blueberries and blackberries) and cassis. Some spices and sweet tobacco leaf comes on over the midpalate, before a finish of sweet fruits and dried leather, with medium length. Decent intensity throughout, and complexity is ok.

This is a nice red wine that has some interesting features and a bit of depth. Short of profound, but delivers a rich, almost hedonistic wine experience, but without too much sweetness and oak. An outstanding value wine with enough to show as a solid, well-made wine. Ready to drink now for sure!
Red
8/17/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Deep burgundy red with medium minus optical density and very high specular reflectivity. Very light bricking on the rim. Aromas are nice and appealing, with roses, cherry pit, tar, and some light and delicate florals. Very intense nose, with medium complexity. Light on body and with very fresh acidity. Tannins are firm and drying, for a texture that is juicy but with lots of grip. Flavours of bright cherries and spices roses on the attack. The midpalate stays with fruit, and adds on some tarry tobacco and spices, along with some rose pedals, sage, and zesty soil. The finish is of dried leather, and has decent length.

Overall, a simple but delicious wine that shows an excellent entry-level Barolo. Not a ton of depth and complexity, but a vibrant, aromatic, and delicious serious red. Light in body and yet big on flavours and tannins, for a juicy wine with bite. Yet, in all this, still elegant and graceful, and traditional in style. This is definitely enjoyable now, which is great, but also would seem to have potential for several years in the cellar. Very ecellent value, in a stye of wine that I really like- lets the region and variety come through, and while there aren't tons of deep nuances, there is enough here to contemplate and delight as it sits in the glass. Well done!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/16/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Deep ruby red with medium plus optical density and medium plus reflectivity (mostly specular in nature). Aromas are strong and delightful- cherry, bright cola spice, moist soil, and some herb-infused gravel. On palate, medium body, good refreshing acidity (short of bracing, but very vibrant!), and firm tannins in the background. Density is medium and concentration is moreso, but not a complex concentration, more of a simple flavour concentration). Texture is not sappy, but juicy and electrical. Flavours of packed red cherries on the attack, with some juicy tobacco and herbal earthiness coming on after the intense fruit. The midpalate is nice, and as it begins to fade, picks up some tobacco leaf and light smokey notes toward, with a final transition back to bright red fruits. Medium length, and high intensity throughout.

Complexity is not high here, but there is a lot to like. Very vibrant, fresh, and easy-going, this is a really nice wine. Lacks a bit of depth, but at least this isn't sacrificed to over-ripeness. A fun, easy, and honest drink!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/11/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Dark ruby red with medium plus to high optical density and medium reflectivity (not quite specular, but not too diffuse). Slight amber tinged rim. Aromas are intense and appealing, with roses, cherry, and sappy red fruits along with a touch of spice. Very classic varietal notes, and very appealing and powerful. So far, so great! On the palate, medium body and acidity, with fully integrated tannins. Very rich, just short of sappy texture, with huge appeal. A bit of vinous character, but still fresh. Flavours of cherry and rose on the attack, with loads of spices and earth coming on at midpalate. Really full over the midpalate, maintains flavours really well. Some light tobacco and smoke come on at the finish, and things are juicy and show a touch of balsamic zest. Medium plus finish length, and nice intensity.

Really great, straight ahead PN here, with rich flavours and pure expression. Lovely, drinkable, elegant, and shows its age wonderfully.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/10/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Straw yellow with medium optical density and very high specular reflectivity. Medium size and vigour of bubbles. Aromas of cut grass and flower meadows and creamy pears. Some lighter citrus (prominent lemon and perhaps orange peel). Crisp, clean, and dry, with flavours of creamy pear and tart apple on the attack, with some underlying dough and floral dried grass notes. As well, a citrus note of lemon with lime cuts across the whole palate but is not obtrusive. Very refreshing, with a sparkling presence on the palate that rises to an upper-palate foam, and a clean and refreshing character. Zest and energy! Finish of tart fruits and savoury sour dough with medium length.

This is a nice, solid sparkling wine. A bit more depth than average, with the tart green fruits melding with a deeper toast and creaminess that yields interest. Well made and a cut above the average for sure!
Red
8/5/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Rich ruby core with medium plus to high optical density, medium reflectivity, and a slightly amber rim. Nose of dusty fruits and vegetal garden soil, with a touch of green pepper (but complementary way, not a flaw). Very woodsy and tart red fruit dominant. The palate is fresh in acidity (medium plus to high), medium in body, and with firm tannins and a texture that is open-grained. Electrical tension here dancing across the palate, building some excitement. Flavours of red fruits (cranberry, sour cherry) and celery seed on top of green pepper and soil on the attack. The midpalate is still rich with dusty fruits and some spices. The finish shows dried leather and moist pipe tobacco, and is short to medium in length.

This is very nice wine- enjoyable, and straight-ahead, it provides a fresh drink and a twist of spice. Balanced and juicy with interesting flavours and pretty decent intensity. Very tastefully made and vibrant, this is ready-to-go. Delightful, solid value.
Red
8/4/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Rich ruby red with medium plus to high optical density and medium reflectivity. Nice intensity of aromas, with cherry, rose pedal, and savoury spices. Rich red fruit-driven, with some aromatic floral lift and some small amount of tar and charred notes. Medium to full bodied on the palate, fresh acidity, with some rich and dense texture- just short of sappy. Tannins are firm but pleasant. Flavours of cherry and spice on the attack, with things turning juicy toward midpalate. Here, there are some earthy flavours mixing on top of the fruit. Medium in complexity and decent intensity. There are flavours of darker but sweeter fruit in the background throughout. Fresh green olives and plums come on as well, with a twisted saline savoury character. At the finish, things turn toward light fresh tobacco smoke and light leather. With a bit of air, things come together a bit, offering broader and more open-framework of flavours that meld together nicely.

Nice wine here- enjoyable, well-made, and solid value. Ready to enjoy now or cellar for the next few years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/3/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
91 points
Rich ruby core with medium optical density and a slightly amber rim. Very high specular reflectivity. Rich aromas of cherry, juicy tobacco, balsamic and herbal spices along with ripe olive and gravel. Medium bodied on the palate with good acidity and integrated tannins. Elegant framework that is open-pored for flavours, but not thick and dense with cooked fruits- very nice. Allows the wine to shine. Flavours of red fruits on the attack, with herbal support. Cherry and tobacco leaf on top of other red fruits, but blended together. Nice intensity, but not a slam in the face- more elegant. The midpalate is spicy and maintains the fruit, brining on a host of interesting forest floor and mushroom flavours. Things climb uphill the whole way here. intensity and complexity builds. The finish is a flourish of gravel and light tar along with some green olive and balsamic, and lingers for a really long finish. Elegant intensity here throughout allows the wine to show some evolving complexity, and provides for a thoughtful and tactful wine.

This is a very nice bottle of BdM, with a traditional character and a touch of age. Drinking very nicely, with plenty of freshness, but a knit-together wine at this point with some definite vinous flair. Still seems like it could evolve though. Graceful and delicious, this is just a spot-on well-made and enjoyable wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Ridge Geyserville Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
7/28/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
93 points
Dark, rich ruby red with medium plus to high optical density and high reflectivity. Strong intensity of aromas with a southern Rhone flair, with aromatics (floral and balsamic) on top of some dark fruits (blackberries, plums, and some cassis. There are also some spices in there, including caraway, along with some molasses sweetness and dusty crushed nuts. A bit of toasted tobacco on the back end. Very interesting nose for sure, decent complexity and some definite vinous character. The palate is full bodied and broad, with a bright medium acidity and integrated tannins that are strong in intensity, but just act to spread the density of the wine across the palate. Very nice overall mouthfeel, with density and concentration that shows heft, but a balanced and elegant weightiness. Flavours of dark fruits on the attack, with blackberry, mixed dark berry jam, and some spicy cassis. The intensity just picks up from there through the midpalate, bringing plums that seem soaked in molasses and some more herbal spices. A dark set of flavours that is light and almost sticky sweet, but yet is savoury and interesting. the finish is of warm light jammy fruit and some red and black licorice, and shows medium length. Overall, really good intensity and impressive complexity- evolves on the palate nicely, and shows a honest and pure expression of wine. Not overly sweet, but definitely packed with fruit and interesting ages character.

This is really excellent wine- showing a fun and zesty Zin blend that is made to show the vineyard up front. In a very nice spot at the moment, this provides a sense of the traditional old world (i.e., Southern Rhone) in a package that is fresh and fun. Interesting and thought-provoking at this stage, just totally enjoyable. Outstanding, a style that I love and at a stage that is just beautiful!
10 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/26/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
86 points
Pale ruby red with medium optical density and high reflectivity. Aromas have good intensity, with light rose pedals, cherry pit, and red tart berries with some loamy earth below. Light in body with a thin, watery texture, fresh acidity, and light tannins. Easy going all the way. Flavours of cherry and spicy cola on the attack, supported by tart raspberries. The midpalate fades just a bit, and keeps the the red fruit and spices before coming out of the hollow to yield and herbal and spicy finish that lingers with tart cherry and just a touch of light toast. Medium minus on length. Overall, decently well balanced, decent in intensity, and pretty simple.

This is a nice light and fresh Pinot Noir from New Zealand that is widely available. Price is reasonable, and the value is there. Not a super intense heady wine, but a simple and easy summer delight. Not a cellar wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/13/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Dark, rich ruby red with very high optical density and medium dull reflectivity. Aromas of red berries, cranberries, and crushed hazelnuts over top of a bed of oak spices (coconut and dill with some baking spices). Some hints of floral aromatics as well, hidden behind the fruit and oak. Rich and full bodied on the palate, with fresh acidity and firm tannic structure. The texture is broad but open-grained, with plenty of grip, balancing out the juiciness. Flavours on the attack of cranberry, dill, and sour cherry, with a darkness to the red fruits. The midpalate shows heavy spices, with some black pepper and cloves, along with a bit of softer vanilla toward the final transition. At this point, the spiciness yields to dried herbal notes (tobacco leaf) and some light char, settling on a finish of dried leather and warm (and now brighter) red fruit. Medium length finish. Overall, complexity is medium and intensity is good.

This is a decently balanced and serious red. Plenty of oak here, providing a classic Rioja experience, but with enough restraint that things are not overly oak-dominant, but it is certainly up-front. Fresh, structured, and still hints of juiciness provide for a food-friendly wine that is a fair value. Classic Rioja, and a Crianza-level wine that performs closer to the Reserva level, just with a certain purity of spirit. Nice.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
7/6/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Brilliant ruby-red with medium plus optical density (with a touch of glow due to the rich transmitted light), and high, fine specular reflectivity. Aromatics are intense, with bright cherry, some savory darker berries, earthy dried leaves and herb, and a bit of sharp bacon dust. On the palate with medium body and an electrical, dancing presence. Bright acidity and fine tannins that are more like pollen grit- there and firmly holds together, but with smoother and lubricated type of grip. Overall the texture is rounded from entry to midpalate, before an interesting twist to some lightly more acute angles (still probably rounded though). Flavours of bright cherry and raspberry on the attack, with some lighter strawberry and tart dark berry in the background. The midpalate picks up a savory roasted meat note, with mushroom and earthy herbs. The final transition shows spice and dried herbs, ending with a finish of sour cherry pit and tobacco, and lingering for a decent bit.

This is a very nice PN from the new world. It has personality and grace, with a twist that is fun and different. Sort of like a fitted tux on that awesome dude that has face tattoos. Not a complex drink that tends to evolve and emerge in layers on the palate here- this is a straight-ahead flavour experience, but there is a lot there. So interesting depth here, but not of the sort that is transcendent and alive, more so in that it is just wine that is not afraid to be itself and give all of the flavours right up front and proudly. This is fun, while still leaning to the classic PN from Burgundy (No Golden State cooked Pinot-Shiraz here). Really nice value here too- a great wine to drink alone or with food, no hesitation in drinking this now!
Red
2015 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
6/30/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
Dark shade of brick red with high optical density and reflectivity. Aromas are simple and decent in intensity, with dark cherry, garden soil, and tobacco leaf dominating and a hint of aromatic tar lifting things. Fresh acidity and lighter body on the palate, with an aqueous texture before the tannins dry things out with some strong grip. Flavours on the attack of mostly red fruits with some hints of black. Dark cherry, plum, and tart blackberries. The midpalate picks up smoked meats and oaky spices with some fresh juicy tobacco. Toward the finish, some tart fruits provide a twist into a finish of dried leather and cherry pit. There is an overall pretty good intensity and things lean toward a red fruits, but still a lot of influence from darker fruits for sure. As well, it is pretty simple and easy to drink with plenty of oak. Not over-the-top oak here, but certainly a modern use of oak.

This is a decent, international-styled modern Riserva that is a good value. Fresh and vibrant with some deeper things going on, but not a high level of complexity- just enough to gather a bit of interest, but dependent on the interplay between the oak and the varieties used here. Balance is decent, but on the bigger and dryer side- a robust and modern CCR well-suited as a food wine.
Red
6/22/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
86 points
Brownish brick red with medium minus optical density and very high reflectivity. Aromas are intense, with tart red fruits (strawberry, raspberry), rhubarb, light fresh earth, and some cola spice. Very fresh acidity and light in body on the palate with a lean and easy presence. Not much in the way of tannins, providing a texture that is lithe. Flavours of tart red fruits on the attack with pretty decent flavour intensity. Things halt a bit in the fruit as the spicy cola and earth come on, and there is a bit of weakness in the midpalate, which shows less intensity and vibrancy, although there is a bit of depth providing some interest, as things turn toward vegetal notes and cola-dominant spiciness. The final transition is again tart red fruit (berries and apple) and acid-laced, with some tingling electrical flourishes before a quickly fading finish. Very decent intensity up front, and interesting wine that is easy-going and pretty straight ahead.

No sappiness and limited depth, but somehow more interesting than some other generic PNs out there.... this is a decent value for NZ PN, but is not particularly special- everyday wine that won't go wrong, but don't save it for a special occasion. If you're looking for a vibrant, food-friendly refreshing wine for summer, this is a safe bet.
Red
6/16/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
85 points
Deep ruby red with purple splashes, medium optical density, and high reflectivity. Aromas are light and pleasant, with bubble gum confection, dusty candied red fruits, and gravel. Medium minus body on the palate with fresh acidity and a rustic texture with some tannic bite on the back end. Very dry. Flavours of red fruits (cherry, raspberry) with herbs on the attack with good intensity and a very simple profile. The midpalate fades away some, with dusty leather notes overtaking the fruit. The finish is short and dry, with tobacco leaf and just a faint hint of bubble gum. Very simple, plain, and with a certain charm, this is decent in intensity and a refreshing everyday wine.

Well made, value-driven wine. Not a lot of personality or depth, but definitely won't go wrong at the price.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/15/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Deep burgundy red with high optical density and reflectivity. Really appealing nose with good intensity. Red fruits and spices swirl around, with raspberry, cranberry, and some sour cherry over an earthy baking spice bed. A sense of rhubarb and cinnamon as well. Decent complexity. The palate is fresh, with vibrant, almost bracing acidity and a light, dancing body that races around. Tannins are there but muted, allowing a plush and even texture to shine through the zingy acidity and tang. Flavours of bright cherry and raspberry on the attack with nice intensity but pretty flat complexity. Juicy and easy going entry. The midpalate picks up some spices on top of the fruit and some light and clean tobacco smoke, but stays pretty simple. Things finish with a twist of tart cherry and lightly spiced toasted notes, but fall off quickly and leaves a clean short finish with some tangy sappy character. Overall decent intensity in a simple format, with classic PN notes and a bracing NZ styling.

This is nice. Not amazingly deep or contemplative, but easy to drink and super refreshing. Well made and fun, this provides a very New Zealand experience and represents a decent value. Ready to drink and enjoy now, this is a red you can pair with a warm day and light and fresh foods.
Red
6/8/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Very dark red shade with medium plus to high optical density and high reflectivity. Aromas are medium minus intensity, with a nice array of dark fruits (plum, berries), oak spices, and some lighter aromatic earth. Some celery seed and and hint of light, sweet petrol swirl around each other in the background. The palate is full bodied and medium plus in acidity, with an inviting broad and polished texture with firm but yielding tannins. Surprisingly supple and easy going. Flavours of brighter fruits on the attack, with some dark cherry and cranberry leading off into a juicy midpalate that has tart cranberry continuing and some warm blackberries with oak-spices supporting (light vanilla, dill, and cream soda). Things then turn toward a touch of petrol and green tobacco leaf at the finish, which shows warm, tart fruit and light tobacco smoke with medium length. Intensity of flavours are medium to high, and complexity is medium to low, but nice depth on both, really.

This is a nice wine that is drinking very nicely at the moment. Easy to like, and a pretty classic Rioja that gives a sense of character and control. Oaked very pleasantly, showing plenty of American Oak character but yet not in such a way that it distracts. Just softens the texture and provides a bit of creaminess that makes it easy to approach. This would be a crowd-pleasing big, robust, bright, and yet softer-than-expected red, and is a really fun wine to drink. I would think this could be cellared for a few years, but no reason to wait- ready to go!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/2/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
87 points
Dark purple-tinged red with high optical density and reflectivity. Nose is a bit tight, with dusty dark fruits (plums and some blackberries), juicy, confection-laced cherry, and some lighter florals and oak notes. Medium bodied on the palate with fresh acidity and a firm structure that is dry with medium plus tannins. Texture is soft and polished on entry, with some rustic, open-grained character on the back end. Flavours of juicy fruits on the attack, with a very simple nature. Plums and cherries. The midpalate adds a bit more, with some earthy oak-spiced notes adding on top of the juicy fruits. Pretty straight-forward. The final transition shows some dried leather and cherry pit, along with some dusty tannic bite that leaves a short finish of fruit peels and oak.

Nice simple wine here, with some nice appeal. Juicy and delicious with structure, this is pretty well balanced and easy to like. The oak is reasonably well done- present but not overwhelming. The fruit is vivid but not dominant, and all of the elements come together. Nice for its simplicity and easy-to-drink nature, but despite not having layers and layers of depth, it is still well-woven together and provides an excellent experience of an IGT. Ready to drink and good for a few years in the cellar I would think.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/1/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
95 points
Dark shade of vibrant purple-red with very high optical density and very high reflectivity. Deep aromatics with excellent complexity and a delicious appeal. Dark fruits (plum, dusty blackberry, and cassis), aromatic tar, savory spices (black pepper), and some violets and forest flowers swirl around with very nice interplay. Full bodied on the palate with medium acidity and a broad, polished texture that is concentrated and dense, and shows integrated tannins that clean things up, but are not intrusive. Very interesting and refined mouthfeel- elegant and packed with flavour. The attack shows plum mixed with berries (blackberries, blueberries, and very dark cherry). The fruit is intense and has depth. Things transition to aromatic tar and florals such that by the midpalate there is a mix of intense fruit and charred violets. At this point, things really pick up interest, with some savory meatiness and iodine coming on at the back of the fruit and florals. Really a sense of seaside and mossy shorelines toward the final transition. Delicious and depth with complexity! The finish is medium plus in length, with warm dark fruits and gravely brackish spiciness with a bit of black pepper. Really great depth, intensity, and complexity overall.

This is really fine wine. Northern Rhone in Canada, with enough depth, concentration, and interest that it defies old world and new world descriptors- it is just plain delicious. Vivid fruit, fine balance, and easy to drink, but in a way that requires thought. So easy to savour and contemplate, with a quality that stands out. Feels mellow and soft, with a seductive appeal. Really in a fantastic spot at the moment! Wow, this bottle just totally crushes it!
Red
5/25/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
88 points
Pale ruby red with medium optical density and reflectivity. Aromas have good intensity, with a delicious array of red and darker fruits, dusty aromatics, and some confectionary swirling around garden vegetable notes. Fresh and lovely nose. On the palate, fresh acidity and medium body, with an even texture that is pretty rounded, with some medium tannins present. Concentration and density are medium minus, for a sensation that is juicy more than anything, and works very well in balance with everything. Flavours on the attack are of mixed fruits (plum, tart raspberry, and dark cherry) and cranberry, with some spicy oak providing roasted hazelnuts and toffee. The midpalate is tart and things transition to an earthier flavour, with some soil and tobacco-based oak spices. The final transition is juicy and tart, showing cranberry and smokey oak, and things finish with some leather and tart red fruits lingering for decent length.

This is a really excellent value wine. Juicy and easy-going, but a serious red with some refreshing acid character to pair with food. Really typical of the region, and shows the expected oak profile, although this is not over done in this wine- firmly present oak is not overdone. Drinks very fresh and lively with an array of interesting flavours, and more depth than might be expected (based on price and Crianza classification). Seems to be very well balanced and while it isn't mind-blowing, it is just pure, solid, excellent wine for a nice price.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/20/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
89 points
Very deep ruby red with high optical density and reflectivity. Very nice nose, with cherry, pipe tobacco, light tar, garden soil, and some forest florals. Very interesting with some depth here and medium intensity. Medium bodied on the palate with fresh acidity and a vibrant, light dancing presence. The texture has some open-grained and dusty tannins that are definitely present, but there is a roundness to the grain that leads to a solid, full, and concentrated mouthfeel. Really nice balance of everything in the palate. Flavours of bright red fruits (cherry, raspberry) on the attack with a nice intensity on entry. The fruit is really vibrant and juicy without being overly sweet. Some forest floor and fresh tobacco lie underneath the fruits, providing some depth and interest. Flavours are consistent through the midpalate, where toward the end some fresh tobacco and savory notes come on, along with some baking spices. Really picks up and builds interest at this point. Some rose pedal florals kick in at the final transition, leading into a finish of dry leather and spicy tobacco with medium length and tapering intensity, with a dry and clean end.

Really nice bottle of wine here. Fun, vibrant, fresh, youthful, and delicious. Enough depth to be quietly interesting and yet enough intensity to demand immediate attention. This is an excellent value-driven wine that is tastefully made and provides a Tuscan experience with some modern flair. And yet Very tastefully oaked so that the vineyard shows through. Perhaps some depth is sacrificed for a juicy, easy-going appeal, but it is nice to have a moderate and restrained wine in a modern kind of way. Really nice!
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!
8 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.
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