Tasting Notes for WineontheBarrelhead

(253 notes on 250 wines)

1 - 50 of 253 Sort order
Red
5/8/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
80 points
Lean, tart, and very-near insipid, with slight, simple aromas and flavors hinting of fresh-picked - and sour!- raspberries, herbs-de-Provence, tobacco, and iron-laced well water. I'm giving it some extra points for being solidly-made, but I just can't find any measure of depth, complexity, or enjoyment here.
Red
5/6/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
83 points
A highly quaffable red that seamlessly combines silky cocao butter & chocolate impressions of Malbec with tobacco & smoky notes from Syrah, and throws in some fresh, sprightly grapiness of Bonarda. Flavorful, Medium-bodied, and well-balanced (thankfully, no faky-faky oakiness here!), this would make for a nice, easy-going summer BBQ red - at an agreeable price.
Red
4/23/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
83 points
Was somewhat disappointed with this wine, after all the positive reviews. Very shy on the nose, with only slight aromas of red plum and flint peeking through. It's lush on the palate, though, offering notes of ripe black cherry, fruit punch, raspberry-infused milk chocolate, and an interesting whisper of tarragon on the finish. It's plenty fleshy in flavor and silky on the tongue, but in the end it comes across as a bit flabby - even syrupy. The acidity just isn't sufficient to counter-balance the ripe fruit. Fans of soft, juicy-fruity wines may like it (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Red
2008 Finca Sobreño Toro Tinta de Toro, Tempranillo (view label images)
4/22/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
flawed
Oxydized.
Red
2010 Château Roques Mauriac Bordeaux Supérieur Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/9/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
84 points
An immediately approachable and pleasant table Bordeaux, offering generous aromas of boysenberry and violets followed by flavors evocative of blackberry jam, fig, tobacco, and anise, with soft, approachable tannins, faint hints of toasty oak (thankfully not over-wrought!), and a supple finish. A well-made blend of Cabernet Franc (50%) and Merlot (40%), with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in for good measure. The Cab Franc contributes an aromatic - and quite delicious - floral element to the mix. Simply flavourful and nicely expressive, this is a "little" Bordeaux that falls into place quite nicely. A high QPR.
Red
2009 Château Bois Redon Bordeaux Supérieur Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/8/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
80 points
Shy aromas of dark berries lead to flavor earthy impressions of black tea, olive, and leather. Staightforward and open-knit, this a simple but serviceable table wine dominated by Merlot (75%), with the balance represented by Cabernet Sauvignon. Tannins are soft and the oak is well-integrated, so this a Bordeaux that's ready to drink young. Becomes even fleshier on the second day, so a little patience yields dividends of deeper primary flavors of crushed blackberries and sweet, cured tobacco. Not a blockbuster, but if you enjoy the Bordeaux style, this has a good QPR at around 10 bucks.
Red
4/5/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
75 points
Another attempt to give a serious Virginia winemaker the benefit of the doubt ends in disappointment. The first thing you smell in this wine is the signature "Virginia funk," followed by the same funky flavor profile on the palate. Some cursory expressions of green bell pepper and blackberry come through, but they're dilute, muddled, and don't come near overcoming the ever-present funk. The "funk" is not a taint, by the way, but a certain unpleasant aroma/flavor profile present in most, if not all, Virginia wines I've tasted over 20 years while living in Virginia. It's difficult to describe - just has to be experienced; not unlike the signature and equally unpleasant (and mysterious) "rubber" character found in many South African wines. I personally believe that in Virginia's case, it all boils down to the climate - which is no better suited to growing grapes for making wine than to growing pineapples or bananas. No matter how hard Virginia winemakers try - and they deserve much credit for their diligent attempts and investments - the age-old Virginia funk persists unabated.
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Red
2/28/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
It's a touch lighter, more sprightly, and simpler than the '09, but nevertheless offers-up plenty of that classic, meaty PS character. Aromas and flavors of blueberry, black olive, and mincemeat dominate, with hints of red grapefruit and black tea that freshen up the lot. Dark fruit flavors blossom and become more prominent as the wine opens up with a little air, but they never come across as heavy-handed. In fact, the wine comes across with a well-balanced, right out of the barrel freshness. Nicely done, as I would expect from this tp-notch Lake County producer.
White
2/24/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
70 points
Another soft, tepid, buttery Cali Chard with too little fruit, and too little acid. There's no depth of flavor, body, or overall character. There are some hints of honey and banana, but very little else, sadly.
Red
2/23/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
84 points
Green pepper, fresh-picked herbs, and new oak aromas and flavors dominate in this wine, leaving the fruit a bit lost in the brambly shuffle. There are some nice hints of raspberry, tea, and cola, but on the whole it just comes across as too stemmy for my taste. Well-made for this price...and I'm giving it points for integrity...but it's just not my style of Cab.
White
2/18/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
75 points
Soft and flabby, with too much buttery oak and no discernable acidity to balance out the fat. Far from the "tart," "apple," and "bracing" characteristics noted by the wine press, this wine falls terribly flat on the palate. It's a limp biscuit not worthy of its $20 price tag. Tasted alongside Bogle's Chardonnay of the same vintage - and at half the price - and Bogle was preferred among all. An unfortunate disappointment.
Red
2/1/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
A well made, good value Malbec, staightforwardly showing all the typical aromas and flavors of this variety: brooding dark fruit compote, heavy-roasted coffee beans, cocao, vanilla bean, a tinge of wet tobacco, and just a dusting of crushed dried violet. Finishes firmly, if a bit bitterly. The oak is thankfully restrained, allowing the earthy fruit to dominate. It's a tad shy upon pulling the cork, but give it an hour and it'll open-up to you quite nicely.
Red
1/18/2012 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
An unusual and intriguing Italian red wine blended from several indigenous grape varieties you'll probably not recognize (I sure didn't), including Gaglioppo (45%), Greco Nero (15%), Nerello Cappuccio (15%), Magliocco Canino (15%), and (finally one I'm familiar with) Sangiovese (10%) . It features aromas of wet dog, dried flowers, and flint, followed by flavors of dark fruit, bitters, and crushed tomato - all couched in bracing acidity on a medium body. It's earthy and rustic, but offers a lot of character and complexity for a modest price. A great match for pizza or tomato-based pasta. Something different and quite tasty.
Red
12/19/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
90 points
Big, voluptuous, and fruit forward...a rambunctious and delicious expression of Pinot Noir from California's Central Coast. The level of extraction here will likely not appeal to those who prefer "delicate" Pinots, or to those who might wish to miraculously superimpose Burgundy onto the U.S. west coast. This is California Pinot in fine form - vivacious, flavorful, and pure...just as it should be. Therein lies its beauty and pleasure.
Red
2008 Bogle Vineyards Phantom California Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
An unusual blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Mourvedre. This vintage, as in past vintages, is somewhat puzzling - but ultimately pleasing - especially if you pair it with a hearty preparation of red meat. It's rustic off the bat, with aromas of fallen leaves and freshly-cut cedar, followed by earthy flavors of crushed dark berries, baking spices, and cocoa - all framed by hints of dried herbs and eucalyptus. Now, this isn't extremely complex or deep, but there are a lot of interesting flavors going on, and is therefore worth a try. Just don't forget the red meat.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
12/8/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
A great party white - California style - featuring a melange of ripe tropical fruit and a pat of butter, with no discernible oak (only 10% of the wine sat in oak). Vibrant and flavorful, with great acidity that brightens the fruit. It's a fun and bouncy Chardonnay, and I recommended it.
Red
12/8/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
80 points
Fat and fruity on the nose and palate, with full components of ripe boysenberry, sweet cured tobacco, and touches of woodsmoke and caramel, but flabby and sweet - almost syrupy. Unfortunately, the wine doesn't offer sufficient acidic structure to compensate for its near-cloying ripeness. It deserves some credit for purity of flavor, but I can't recommend it.
Red
11/28/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
88 points
The fruit used to make this wine was harvested from the oldest confirmed Zinfandel vineyard in California - planted in 1869. It sports a clear ruby hue, with aromas of crushed fresh red raspberries and cherries...and flavors of the same, with additional touches of vanilla, cinnamon, and black pepper. It's medium-bodied and quite subtle for an Amador Zin (as you might expect given the age of the vines), and is distinguished by remarkable purity and depth. It's light on its feet, but is deeply flavorful and lingers on the palate quite nicely. The wine is beautifully bottled and of historical interest, but only 307 cases were produced; it can be had only by ordering it directly from the winery. Recommended.
Red
11/17/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
88 points
Replete with notes of dark and ripe plummy fruit, toasted coconut, and roasted almonds and Brazil nuts...with a touch of kalamata olive thrown in on the finish. Medium to full-bodied, it has a viscous mouth-feel that is somewhat, well, "oily" in its impression (hence, the Brazil nuts), but not in an off-putting way. Rather, the toasty, roasty, oily character of this wine is what I've come to expect from a well-made PS. How enjoyable this wine would be sitting before a campfire, roasting marshmallows...or perhaps chestnuts. A fitting winter wine, indeed. Lake County, California - where this wine's grapes were grown and the wine itself was made - excels in PS, and this wine is a worthy starting point for exploring what this emerging wine region is capable of. The winery - and its staff - are delightful, as well.
Red
11/8/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
Fresh, mouth-watering, and mid-weight, with brightly-pitched notes of bing cherry, orange peel, and an undercurrent of red plum. There are some hints of blood orange, or perhaps red grapefruit, on the back palate, as well. Not as fine as some critics have made it out to be, but solid, enjoyable, versatile, and a good value. Grenache is coming up in the world as a single-varietal, especially in Spain, so give this (and others like it) a try. The Spanish economy needs your business!
Red
2009 Bodega Amalaya Tinto Calchaquies Malbec Blend, Malbec (view label images)
10/10/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
Unusually lively and flirtatious for a Malbec, with notes of boysenberry, graphite, and the slightest hint of lavender on the nose, followed by flavors of dried stawberries and cranberries, cinnamon, and hibiscus tea. Medium-bodied, with a silky-smooth texture. A good value at around $15, and recommended. Those of you in Alexandria can find this wine at Unwined in Bradlee Center.
Red
2009 Rupert & Rothschild Classique Coastal Region Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/10/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
65 points
Funky, tarry, rubbery...traits I always fear in a South African red, and which is unfortunately all too common in them. What fruit may be there is obscured by the funk. Not good; not recommended.y
Red
10/7/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
87 points
Those of you who think Italian wines are too thin and acidic - take heed: this is a deep, delicious Italian red. Consisting of Four-fifths Negroamaro (a variety that flourishes in Puglia, the "heel" of Italy), this wine is chunky and intensely flavorful, bursting with notes of black fruit compote, dark chocolate, and black olive, with just a touch of baking spices and mincemeat (believe it or not, the latter is a very good trait). If you have a "New World" palate, you should enjoy this juicy, fruity Italian job. If you have an "Old World" palate, you might consider it overbearing. I sure like it, and highly recommend it. It's a great value at around 16 bucks. You guys in Alexandria can find it at Unwined in Bradlee Center.
Red
10/7/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
83 points
A quirky wine, with soft, pleasing aromas and flavors of red plum, sour cherry, and a touch of cranberry. Lots of red fruit here, for sure, finished in an medium-bodied, open knit, "international" style. Appealing on its own, but also versatile with food. A good value at around $15. Recommended. Those of you in Alexandria will find this at Unwined in Bradlee, as well as at the Butcher's Block in Old Town.
Red
10/5/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
75 points
This value-priced blend of traditional Portuguese vareities has admirable intensity and mineral-driven earthiness, but the sawdust up front, bitter flavors in the middle, and a thin, astringent finish sorely detract from the wine's character. I love a good Portuguese blend...but this just isn't pleasant. Not recommended.
Red
2005 Fall Creek Vineyards Meritus Texas Hill Country Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/4/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
I've tasted a number of '05 and '06 Cabs and Bordeaux-inspired blends from Texas over the past couple days (depleting an aging collection, which I bought in Texas), including "Viviano" from Llano Estacado, and Becker's Reserve Cab - and have been left sorely disappointed. I'm from Texas and would love for its wineries to succeed, but more often than not, their wines leave me forlorn. The Viviano and Becker Reserve Cab are among the most expensive (and reputedly among the "best") wines produced in Texas, but after just 6 years, they taste faded, tired and, well...downright funky. Thankfully, Fall Creek's '05 Meritus blend - consisting of 77% Merlot, 18% Cab, and 5% Syrah - proved to be a welcome exception. At 6-years old, it's not only intact, but quite tasty - even complex, offering earthy aromas of graphite, fig, and book-dried violets, followed by flavors of aged fruit compote, sweet cured tobacco, a touch of kalamata olive, and well-integrated toasty oak. It has caramelized over 6 years and is, interestingly, somewhat Old World in character, with a retrained, structured earthiness and medium body that's reminiscent more of a "Super Tuscan" blend from Italy than anything you'll taste from California or elsewhere in the New World. Kudos to the winemaker: "nicely done."
Red
10/4/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
A straightforward and pure Syrah, with ample aromas and flavors of blackberries, chocolate-covered cherries, smoked meat, and vanilla. A medium-bodied, easy drinker, and terrific value. The oak is very well integrated and nuanced for a wine at this price point. It would serve you well as a hearty, crowd-pleasing party red. Recommended. In Alexandria, you'll find it at Unwined in Bradlee Center.
Red
9/25/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
85 points
A solid Cabernet for 15 bucks. The nose is a bit shy, offering only hints of dark fruit and new oak, but flavors of black raspberry and spice, complemented by a dusting of dried herbs, tea, and cola, shine on the palate. You may even pick-up a wee bit of dark cherry-chocolate if you hold it on your palate for a minute. The oak is rather splintery when first opened, and upon a second tasting several months later the wine even bordered on harsh and stemmy when first opened, but unlike some other Argentinians at this price point it becomes more nuanced and pleasurable with some time and air. Certainly a good value, and recommended. Those of you in Alexandria will find it at Total Wine on the west end.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/15/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
88 points
A blend of Cab, Pinotage, and Syrah. Very Tight and splintery upon opening (28 months in barrel!), but relaxes appreciably after several hours in decanter or a day in bottle. After the funk blows off it's quite delightful, offering cedary bramble and gunmetal on the nose, followed by flavors of black currant, black pepper, and a touch of black cherry and licorace. In other words, this wine is chock full of deep, dark flavors, and is delightful. Manages to avoid the rubbery overtones that afflict so many SA reds, if only by a hair. If anything, Warwick could scale-back the wine's time in barrel a bit.
White
9/13/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
82 points
Simple but refreshing, medium-bodied and light on its feet. Primary notes of banana, melon, and a tinge of musk are bolstered by crisp acidity, floral undertones, and a pleasant viscosity that lends mouthfeel. There's a slight minerality on the mid-palate that transitions nicely from the tropical fruit up front. Unique, and worth a try on a warm day. Would pair well with scallops and other sea fare.
Red
8/4/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
83 points
Pleasant aromas of crushed red fruit, graphite, and dried herbs lead to flavors that evoke ripe black cherry, cured tobacco, and sun-dried tomato. Medium-bodied, with typical Italian acidity that gives it a fresh-on-its-feet character, but there are also undertones of dried dark fruit, loam, and mineral that add appreciable depth. A solid value,
everyday Italian at around $12.
Red
7/24/2011 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
80 points
Now I know why Pinot Meunier is traditionally used as a blending grape. Drinkable, but it just doesn't quite come together own its own. Faint aromas of strawberries and funk lead to thin, simple flavors red berries and crushed tomato. Definitely Old World in style, with an acidic edge, but one-dimensional and nondescript.
Red
2008 Falesco Vitiano Umbria SuperTuscan Blend (view label images)
Thin and insipid, cut from the same rustic mold as many Italian wines at this price point. Not even worth the $8.00 I paid for it.
Red
8/3/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
78 points
Vegetal and harsh, with an aroma of flat cherry cola followed by simple blackberry flavors tinged with celery and bay leaf, and ending much too abruptly. Surprisingly, it's not over-oaked as are many Chilean wines, but heavily green, unbalanced and unappealing nonetheless.
Red
6/21/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
83 points
Aromas of blackberries and crushed black pepper lead to flavors of chocolate-covered black cherries and cola. Lightly earthy, with lively acidity and great purity of flavor ~ a Sobon trademark. It packs quite a bit of flavor and body on the front end, but ends a bit short.
Red
6/21/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
82 points
A nose of woodsmoke and brandied fruit leads to flavors of charred meat, black plumb and bitters, with a bite of black olive on the finish. Landing just barely short of pruney, it would pair competently with BBQ and other grilled meats ~ although it's a bit dense for hot weather sipping.
Red
6/20/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
82 points
Aromas of fig and black cherry lead to flavors of black plum, charred meat, dark chocolate, mincemeat, and black pepper, with a touch of Kalamata olive on the finish. This is one of those dark, brooding, and somewhat murky reds, but its earthy and full-flavored, pairing well with BBQ and anything else from the grill. For fans of the style, it's a good value.
White
6/4/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
93 points
A very fine rendition of Carneros Chardonnay, with aromas of honeysuckle and stone fruits followed by unctious flavors of peach, kumquat, Macadamia nuts and honey dew mellon, with beautifully integrated toasty oak and a smidgeon of roasted vanilla bean. Full-bodied, ripe, layered, and mouthfilling.
Red
2005 Cameron Hughes Lot 119 Alexander Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/4/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
75 points
Excessively green and stemmy, with notes of asparagus, green pepper and fresh-cut grass that drown-out any fruit that may lay underneath. Unbalanced and just nearly-undrinkable.
Red
6/4/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
88 points
A gorgeous blend of red and black fruit aromas and flavors, offering notes of black cherry, woodsmoke, black pepper and plum. It has an intriguing musky character that adds depth and character. Unfortunately, the price has nearly doubled for the next vintage.
Red
6/4/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
82 points
A nose of briar and spice leads to mingled flavors of red cherries, pomegranate and thyme, which are nuanced by tinges ot tomato and sweet red grapefruit. It's medium-bodied with generous acidity, showing an overall touch of green that is more herbal than vegetal. It's not a complex wine, for sure, but it's well-crafted and at $10 beats many a Chianti sold for twice the price.
Red
6/4/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
87 points
Bright, deep and pure, with expressive aromas and flavors that ring of boysenberry jam, spice, red licorice and red zinger tea. Medium-bodied and ruby-colored, his wine offers great purity of flavor and character. A deft, nuanced expression of Amador County Zinfandel.
Red
6/18/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
80 points
Simple, but pure and refreshing, offering notes of raspberry, cherry cola, and milk chocolate. It's medium-bodied, with a smooth mouthfeel and supple acidity. A well put-together quaffer that'll make for a tasty summer red. A nice little bathtub blend of Zinfandel (32%), Cabernet Sauvignon (27%), Barbera (18%), Syrah (14%), and Petite Sirah (9%).
White
4/16/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
87 points
Jazzy, with honeysuckle on the nose followed by flavors of lime, almond oil, and quince that explode on the back palate. Medium-bodied, with a silky, elegant mouthfeel. Unusual, complex and delicious.
Red
4/16/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
80 points
A nose of smoke and bramble lead to somewhat funky flavors of burnt coffee grounds, bitters, sage and orange peel. It has a roasted character, which is not itself unpleasant, but there's not enough substance underneath. It thins out quickly and becomes rather insipid.
White
4/16/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
87 points
Crisp and elegant, with a rather shy nose of orange blossoms followed by lush flavors of tropical fruit, ripe pear, buttercream and almond, with a judicious dash of vanilla from oak ~ but not at all an oak monster. Medium-bodied and complex, with good length, and a high QPR. The folks at Chateau Ste. Michelle have created another great value.
Red
4/6/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
82 points
A deep, enticing nose of boysenberry and vanilla leads to lesser flavors of raspberries and almond essence, with a hint of quince on a tartr finish. Light in color and body for a Zin, with sufficient acidity, but it trails off rather quickly. Decent, but serves as another example of how Zins struggle at this price point.
Red
4/2/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
75 points
Sharp and metallic, with some modest notes of candied cherries, cinammon and dried herbs, but overall out-of-balance and finishing hot. Not sure whether this is high plains terroir, careless winemaking or just a bad crop (I hope the latter), but whatever the case may be this wine is just plain off. Have thoroughly enjoyed some of Becker's other wines - especially the Viognier -- so this was a disappointment.
White - Sparkling
3/25/2010 - WineontheBarrelhead wrote:
88 points
Rich and effusive, with notes of creme brulee, biscuits and apricot, all carried by a delightfully delicate mousse. A luxurious sparkler at a bargain price.
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