Tasting Notes for IPT

(245 notes on 232 wines)

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White
7/6/2018 - IPT wrote:
flawed
Corked. Crap.
Red
5/16/2018 - IPT Likes this wine:
87 points
Color: Purple plums for the hues, lighter tinge. Somewhat transparent
Nose: smoke, oak, and brown sugar or molasses? Hit or miss with that last description - comes and goes. Nose is a bit hot.
Flavor: Fruit on the forward - jammy dark fruits - plums again, dark currents, a bit of pomegranate - along with anise, smoked oak, cracked pepper. Middle is brief - flavors meld together well but otherwise not much else going on. No tannins. A bit of heat showing up, will likely dissipate after a few hours of opening. Finish is brief - linger is 20 or so seconds. Dry, light bodied.

Interesting blend. Fruit forward, light, nuanced. Very decent melange of flavors, albeit a bit watered down. Went ahead and decanted and tried about 15 min, and imagine that will improve with a few hours of opening. Good OPR. Good to drink now or sit on for a few years. Overall, an interesting and somewhat non-traditional Cali blend. Producers have been doing this non-vintage for 25 years now and it's pretty apparent why.
Red
5/16/2018 - IPT Likes this wine:
88 points
Brief notes (drank last night and can't remember nuanced details):

Overall, good quality chamb - a bit more fruit forward than have had before, but good balance overall. Somewhat young, likely to improve over the next 4-6 years (rough guess). Better with some airing. Good QPR. A good, solid wine from this producer. Would recommend sitting on this one a little while longer.
Red
5/6/2018 - IPT Likes this wine:
92 points
Color: dark plum hues with lighter tinge. No transparency.
Nose: smoked, over ripe red fruits. Slight toasted oak.
Flavor: on the forward,smoked, jammy red fruits - think strawberries, blueberries, purple plums - along with burnt wood, green pepper, and bitter dark chocolate. Excellent balance from the get-go. Middle opens with a nuanced tannin structure; lightly chalky tannins delicately coat the mouth, helping to really spread the flavors out over the palette. Finish is smooth and linger is a good minute plus. Dry. Medium to full bodied (leaning more towards full bodied).

This bottle is an excellent example of a producer going above and beyond the standard expectation - the Zin varietal is very common in CA, and oftentimes one will get a bottle that is very fruit forward and high alcohol content that oftentimes leads to a hot bottle. With Ridge, they expand on the standard and bring the wine to a whole other level. As such, this is just a better Zin overall; the flavors are reigned in and the balance between fruit, wood and earth is just great. The bottle drinks well right after opening and improves with some airing. Great QPR. This bottle can sit another year or so in the cellar, but given that we are working with a single varietal Zin here, would drink before 2020, otherwise the wine may begin to fall flat.
Red
4/30/2018 - IPT Likes this wine:
85 points
Color: deep ruby hues with similar tinge. Transparent.
Nose: smoky red fruit and slight pepper.
Flavor: smoky, moldy bright fruit up front, followed by more smoke, slight fresh oak, pepper. Middle is really non-existent - watered down is a description that comes to mind; no tannin development; light overall mouth feel. Finish is fresh and linger is longer than expected - 25-30 seconds. Very light bodied. Off dry.

Very fruit forward, very light bodied. Different from other single varietal petite sirah bottles have had, but again, this is from PA. Not a bad thing all in all - this would be a wonderful example of "summer red." It's light and fresh, great complimenter for grilled pork/chicken bbq dishes. Given it's nature, recommend to drink now versus waiting. Unlikely to improve with age, and more likely to fall flat. QPR isn't great. Good to drink 30 min after opening, better to let it sit half a day.
Red
4/30/2018 - IPT wrote:
Turned. If in your cellar, need to drink it now or risk dumping down the drain.

Edit 5/7/18: I was ridiculed due to my very brief summation of this bottle I drank recently (you can see the comments, but I've gone ahead and pasted it for reading ease).

From ProperClaret:
"Your bottle may have been flawed, but your statement that it was 'turned,' and that others should drink immediately is pure foolishness. If you don't understand Rioja, and the fact that this one has decades of life left in it, you ahould hold off on reviewing them until you become better educated."

Ouch. So instead of getting into a potential pissing match, I thought it more productive that I clarify my previous statement.

I have tried numerous vintages and bottles from this exact producer, and have noted that there is a rather brief shelf life to this bottle on average. My troll is correct in his/her statement: Rioja wines can indeed last a decade or more in the bottle without turning, and indeed even improve with age over a long period of time. However, just because a wine hales from a certain region doesn't guarantee the same standard across the board. For example, you can have producers from different regions of the world that take harvests and, depending on various growing, economic, and other variables, will take harvests and make wines that are of the same year but ultimately of a different caliber. This is extremely common among larger producers across the world. The result: you may get two Rioja wines, for example, from the same producer that both were harvested in the same year and even in the same exact vineyard, and yet, have drastically different characteristics. One may last much longer in the bottle versus the second, or you may have a much more nuanced palate profile. The various differences, theoretically, are endless.

So that being said, this wine is a bargain wine - aka, I paid $12 - which may mean that it is a truly fantastic wine, and I lucked out. Or it could perhaps mean that it is supposed to taste great early on but maybe intended to last too long in the bottle versus other Rioja wines. My experiences with this label have been as such: when drank 3 or so years form bottling, the wine has consistently been very good relative to it's price point. However it has also been my personal experience that with this label - and this has been tested with multiple vintages - that after 5 or so years, the wine just as good as what it was beforehand.

I will not sit here and say I am a master of Rioja wines, but this is my personal experience with these wines, and as such, it may benefit others that I document this information. So to my critic, I submit and say you are right: this wine isn't flawed, it just happens to go downhill faster than other Rioja wines. Still a great wine if you can get it and enjoy around 3 years after the vintage.
Red
4/9/2018 - IPT wrote:
flawed
Past its prime, definitely. Drink now or toss.
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Red
2014 G.B. Crane Disciples Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
3/25/2018 - IPT Likes this wine:
91 points
Color: dark purple-ruby hues. Slightly lighter tinge. Some transparency.
Nose: moldy red fruits and white pepper.
Flavor: on the forward, smoky dark fruits - plum and dark cherry - followed quickly by light fruits - white raspberry, cherry. White pepper, herbal, and a whiff of vanilla proceed into the middle where flavors blend in a nuanced fashion. Tannins are soft and coat the mouth, leaving slight chalky aftertaste. Finish is velvety smooth with a long linger, minute plus. Full bodied. Dry.

A pleasant surprise. Was expecting the wine to be good given the reviews, and sometimes that can color the review, but this one was refreshingly easy to be up front and honest. Tried wine strait after opening and again some hours later, and did improve wine overall. Fruit bomb to be sure, but very nuanced - much more so given it's mostly OVZ. Given the nature of the bottle, good to drink now and may stand for another 2 or so years, but drink sooner rather than later for best experience.
White
1/24/2018 - IPT Likes this wine:
86 points
Color: gold wheat hues.
Nose: butter and rosemary.
Flavor: simple - a bit of a dry chard representation (butter, bread, oak) along with a hearty helping of Mediterranean herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme melding together. Middle is consistent on the flavor. Finish is smooth. Finish 30 or so seconds. Dry.

Not too well acquainted with Greek style wines but have had a few before. Very much a different style relative to most other whites on the shelf in the States. Given the notable difference, can see why many reviews are less than stellar (hypothesis: lack of understanding what to expect). That being said, this is a very decent representation. Great QPR. Given that this wine is non vintage, it's not easy to tell how long the bottle has aged without researching, but have had this wine in the cellar for over a year and still held up well. Really enjoyed by itself but could see this wine really shining with a white meat protein dish (chicken, quail, lean pork cuts, you get the idea).
White
1/20/2018 - IPT wrote:
flawed
Wine is past it's prime. No fault to the producer, just really need to drink this within 2-3 years at latest. Strange bamboo flavor prevails otherwise (have drank this wine a bunch and well aware of this issue). this wine is still worth drinking if young; love the cement aging process. Hope the producer continues to do this.
White - Sparkling
1/20/2018 - IPT Likes this wine:
89 points
Normally leave detailed tasting notes, but had a few wines tonight so cannot accommodate. That being said, this is a wine worth sharing overall thoughts. Here goes...

Overall, a very nice surprise. Light bubbles, excellent flavor (Chardonel really needs more representation, an undervalued grape) and pretty good QPR for the bottle. The leese in the bottle really adds to the taste; greatly appreciated. Would like more bubbles, but given the method of making, can't expect the world. Haven't tried the regular Chardonel from this producer, so not sure if the regular Chardonel bottle from this producer is better overall (it was sold out when arriving, so maybe?). Still, given the potential in this bottle, really hoping that the producer puts more investment into this type of wine. Would love to see a high quality true sparkling wine from NOVA, and this wine is already is a strong contender. If the bottle has more fizz, would likely give this a 91+. All in all, very well done.
Red
1/11/2018 - IPT Likes this wine:
83 points
Normally put in detailed tasting notes, but honestly feeling a bit lazy but not enough to skip it entirely, so here goes...

For fruit component, more citrus/tartness red fruits than expecting, but not necessarily a bad thing. Not much else otherwise, other than a bit of vanilla and very light oak. Flavor component is simplistic throughout yet consistent. Dry, light bodied.

Decent overall, especially given how young this wine is. Reminiscent a bit of a Beaujolais. Not expecting it to really age much so drink or sit for a year or two. Given that the bottle was around $9, good QPR. This wine will be good in a social setting or an easygoing, weekday wine.
Red
12/25/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
89 points
Color: deep ruby hues and tinge with some transparency.
Nose: whiff of white pepper.
Flavor: A bit of dried fruit along with the earthy component - some old leather, wet bark, bitter dark chocolate, a touch of white pepper sprinkled on. Some acidity begins by the middle but overall, the profile really comes together with the help of a decent tannin structure. Finish is still a bit tart (a running theme) but overall enjoyable - linger is a good minute plus. Medium bodied despite appearances. Dry.

This wine was concerning at first: not great reviews, and when poured, more translucent than expected. Initial profile overly tart, but this was pretty much after opening so gave it some time. Much improved in an hour: profile not overly fruit forward - as tends to be the Cali style - but more earthy, bitter, peppery profile that can be expected from Southern France Grenache blends. Great balance. Really enjoyed this one; Great QPR and great shelf life. Would expect this wind to do well even 2 years from now. Wish I could get more.
Red
12/21/2017 - IPT Does not like this wine:
76 points
Color: Deep blood red hues and slightly lighter tinge. Little translucency.
Nose: muted red berry and a bit of spice.
Flavor: very citrus fruit dominating the forward - crab apple/cranberry, green apple, grapefruit. Very acidic overall with little else going for it. Middle is non-descriptive. Finish is rather abrupt and still tart. Linger is 20 or so seconds. Light bodied. Dry.

Bought this wine at the vendor tasting room in Philadelphia, and at the time, remember liking this wine more so than do now. Very used to Chambourcin single varietals and have to say, was disappointed with this bottle; just too acidic and tart for the palette. No real improvement upon airing. Tried another taste the second night, and no real improvement. Have a second bottle in the cellar and hoping for a better outcome with that one. Will see...
White - Sparkling
12/18/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
84 points
(12/20/17) Notes from memory:

Color: light golden hues with pale green undertones.
Nose: minimal - fresh green apple.
Flavor: light fruit on the forward - again, green apple, pear, starfruit, with light bubbles. Flavor consistent but overall, begins to diminish by the middle. Finish isn't very noteworthy other than the lingering bubbles. Dry and light bodied. Brief linger.

This is a Spanish Cava so don't expect that buttery, baked bread component. Flavor is decent - not exceptional - but still, for $10 a bottle this is a great party bubbly option - good QPR. Actually bought 6 of these for the upcoming Xmas and New Years. Will definitely do the job. Don't expect any improvement with age, but at the same time don't expect it to diminish in the next year or so, so that being said, drink or hold.

Happy Holidays!
Red
12/16/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
88 points
Color: dark, inky purple hues with slightly lighter tinge. No translucency.
Nose: moldy red fruits and some oak chips. Slightly hot nose.
Flavor: fruit forward - overly ripe, slightly smoked, tart red fruit blend of cherry, pomegranate, plums blend well with the rather lighter oak component. Middle is brief and not much to speak of - flavors flow and are consistent throughout. Touch of heat maybe? Finish is smooth with a good minute linger. Medium bodied.

Finney wines are a go to for myself and really enjoy the locations label. Was curious to see how the CA held up and was a bit worried that it would be another blended fruit bomb. Luckily it is, but in a good way: very good balance that brings back from the fruit overtaking the bottle. At the same time, this is a less impressive locations bottle and relative to the price (some places locally charge $29.99, no way in hell) the QPR isn't great. If you can find this bottle for $20, then put it back and get the F which usually runs the same price.

Ages well and needs an hour or more airing because of the heat on the nose. Sit or drink. Glad I tried and glad it's better than most Cali blends, but for the price, get me an F or D66.
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Red
11/22/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
90 points
Color: dark inky purple hues with minimal translucency.
Nose: jammy blackberries with toasted oak.
Flavor: for the forward - moldy blackberry, earth, and leather, immediately hit the tongue closely followed by light oak and a touch of white pepper, all very well balanced. The profile by the middle begins to show the weight of the wine - meaty, full bodied mouthfeel and chewy tannins. Finish is very smooth and the linger is a good minute or more. Dry. Full bodied.

A very decent Gigondas that has great QPR. Nothing exceptionally stands out, but instead all the check boxes are ticked: really good representation of the region. Good to drink now or let sit for years. Will continue to get this wine.
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White
11/18/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
89 points
Normally leave detailed notes for each wine drank, unless what happened last night happens, which is, drank the wine quickly and then went to sleep (AKA, got drunk). Still, the wine does deserve some mention.

Very good slightly oaky Chard from Cali at a very reasonable price, thus very good QPR. Rather standard chard flavor profile, with a bit of nuance. Rather high alcohol content that concerned me at first, but luckily it doesn't detract from the wine. Former Marine myself, so am biased but even so, enjoyed this wine quite a bit. Was also surprised that this bottle held up for so long (vintage '13 and still good 4 years later). If this is in your cellar, find a reason to drink it soon since it will likely not hold up for too much longer.

HOORAH!
Red
10/25/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
85 points
Color: deep inky-purple hues and with same tinge. No translucency.
Nose: meatiness - pork rinds comes to mind - with a whiff of light plum. (note: the meatiness lessens after a few hours)
Flavor: tart red-fruits hits the palate, along with some orange zest, followed by waxy oak and pork meatiness melded in. Flavor profile loses the meaty/oak component quickly but follows through with the fruit into the middle, and builds on that orange acidity into the finish. Crisp finish but a tad short. Light bodied. Dry?

This is a rather interesting red from PA. The nose is something that takes a second to get past and the body of the wine is lighter than initially expected, but it's fresh and enjoyable. Meaty nose falls off after a few hours of airing. Ideally, would keep this one in the cellar for another 2 years - likely to hit its peak by then. Decent QPR. Sat opened for an hour before serving, and was aerated, but would recommend further airing before serving (3 hours minimum).

First time rating a PA red, and the characteristics are similar to a few reds tried in the Finger Lakes - AKA: light bodied, less nuance, more tart fruit/citrus, some meatiness, and just more of the terroir of NY (hate using the term "terroir" but it's apt here). Bought this bottle direct from the tasting room in Philadelphia and wouldn't mind at all returning for another tasting, if I'm ever in Philly. All in all, an enlightening and enjoyable experience in a bottle.
Red
9/29/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
Wine was noticeably corked at opening. Tried a trick to fix the issue (pour wine in a bowl with saran wrap bundled to "pull" out the chemical compounds responsible for the condition) but it didn't work. Ended up tossing the wine. Seeing as this can occur in any wine with a cork, did not rate the wine.
Red
9/15/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
Color: dark inky purple hues with similar tinge. No translucency.
Nose: Light on the red fruits with some minerality and a touch of pepper.
Flavor: under ripe bitter red fruits - cranberries - along with plums along with slight acidity, minerality, and a touch of cured meats. Decent tannins present in the middle - chalky mouthfeel. Finish is slight crisp and tart. Linger is longer than expected - 1 to 2 minutes. Medium bodied.

Didn't rate this one given not at all used to the varietal or the region. That said, a decent, tart red. Lack of real oak aging is notable so if you like steel aged reds, try this out. Good QPR. Good now or perhaps good for a few years to come (3 maybe?), however not expecting much improvement. Opened and tried immediately then a while later and didn't notice too much of a difference. If were to give a rating, probably would go for 83-85.

Update (9/23/2017): tried a bit of the wine a week later and held up fairly well. A bit more bitter jammy, some oxidation (not the wine's fault) but still similar to original tasting.
Red
9/8/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
87 points
Color: deep purple hues with slightly lighter tinge. Very little translucency.
Nose: faint - red fruits and oak (note: couldn't really smell at all at time of tasting)
Flavor: dark red fruits on the forward along with oak and prominent tobacco flavors (think tobacco commonly used in snuff). Delicate tannins emerge by the middle, co-mingling to make a decent mouth feel. Finish is smooth and linger is half a minute. Medium bodied.

First time trying a red from India. Better than expected; rather unique flavor profile. Not sure what the going rate is for a bottle so cannot comment on the QPR ratio, and do not know how long the wine was opened before tasting so not sure if there's a short or long wait after opening before the wine settles. Regardless, would be very interested on getting a few bottles in the cellar.
Red
9/6/2017 - IPT wrote:
78 points
Color: dark cherry hues and tinge. Quite transparent.
Nose: wood dust and slate minerality.
Flavor: on the forward - bitter red fruits, cranberry, crab apple, very minor - overlapped by a delicate combo of smoke, leather, earthiness and oak. Middle is mellow and unassuming - light on the tannins, a bit chalky. Finish is smooth, brief. Linger is around 20 seconds. Light bodied.

Rather unassuming Burgundy red. Past is prime and as such the QPR isn't any good. The profile would be good if it wasn't so watered down. To play devils advocate, this bottle does slightly improve over several hours. Original notes were at 1 hour of airing. If this one is in your cellar, drink it now. If you see this one on the shelf, look for something else less costly.

Update (9/7/2017): bottle holds up the second evening. This bottle definitely needs to breathe 4 hours or more (up to 12) to really open up. Left a decanter/aerator on the bottle overnight and didn't hurt anything.
White
2014 Treana Blanc Central Coast White Rhone Blend (view label images)
9/5/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
91 points
Color: Pale green/gold tones.
Nose: crisp green apple lightly coated in sauteed and then chilled butter. Bit of that yeasty baked bread nose thrown in as well.
Flavor: Lightly buttered fried, chilled green apples, along with a wheat-like component blending in the background along with a trace of pineapple. Consistent into the middle with just the slightest heat emerging. Crisp into the finish which is a touch creamy. Finish is 30 or so seconds. Medium bodied and Dry.

Story time: had a red blend from Treana several years ago and the experience was just so terrible, have been very leery of the label ever since. Wanted to give Treana another chance, so bought this bottle and am very happy to have done so. This wine has a lot of the typical flavor profiles found in Cali white blends, but the quality is such that this bottle heightens those profiles. Think Chardonnay meets pinot gris with best of both. The quality is notable - fantastic OPR (paid $19 for a bottle that would pay as much as $30) and really, this bottle does Cali white blends justice. Just really happy with this one, and will get more soon.
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Red
9/4/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
88 points
Color: dark inky red hues with lighter tinge. Very slight translucency.
Nose: overripe red fruits along with some minerality. Delicate nose.
Flavor: on the forward - again with the jammy, overripe red fruits (cranberries, cherries, raspberries) and meatiness along with the earthy components - vanilla and toasted oak, earth, cracked pepper. Flavors come together in the middle where the chalky tannins begin to emerge along with some alcoholic heat and acid. The heat continues into the finish which is otherwise pretty smooth. Linger is a minute or so. Full bodied.
Red
9/2/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
86 points
Color: Deep red hue with a red-purple tinge. Some translucency.
Nose: pervasive smoke with some jamminess.
Flavor: Lots of oak and smoke, with and underlying layer of overripe red fruits and cured meats. Very bold flavors - almost overwhelming in this vintage - that persist throughout the middle. The finish which is smooth and mellow. Linger is a minute plus. Medium to full bodied.

Third vintage tasted now and unfortunately the nuances in flavor that existed with the '13 and '14 vintages aren't as present here. This vintage is just too close to becoming overwhelming for the palate. Still, this is an enjoyable wine - good QPR - that presents a somewhat different albeit interesting take on the old vine zin persona. Would highly recommend letting age a bit further, perhaps trying in a year or 2. Will very likely get a few bottles and sit on them for a while.
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Red
8/25/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
88 points
Color: Deep inky purple hues and tinge. Almost no translucency.
Nose: Overripe red fruits with a bit of smoked wood with a touch of cracked pepper on the end.
Flavor: On the forward - cherry/raspberry preserves for the fruit component that is compliments the smoky/earthy tones - smoked oak, dusty minerality, and pepper. Middle is very smooth with the flavors melding together creating a good mouth-feel, with a bit of heat (more chalky/chewy tannins at first opening, but this mellowed out after a few hours). Finish is a smooth with that heat persevering. Linger is a good minute or more. Medium bodied.

Notes are based on second night of opening but not much variance from the original taste. Indeed, shows the stability of the wine after opening. As it stands, this is an organic Rioja that stands firm and has good overall quality at a very reasonable price. Definitely a good candidate for mass storage. Good-to-go now and can likely hold up well another 3 or 4 years easily.
Red
8/13/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
89 points
Notes from memory:
Color: dark garnet hues with little variance in tinge. Little to no translucency.
Nose: earth, leather, pepper with touch of red fruit.
Flavor: for the forward - light on the fruit component with its fresh strawberries and blackberries. Main component is the earthy profile - old shoe leather, tobacco, earthy oak and iron, along with that wiff of cracked black pepper. Good balance into the middle with soft tannins emerging. Finish is smooth with a decent linger of a minute plus. Medium bodied and dry.

Standard style Bordeaux blend. Highest selling point is the QPR which is great given the quality. A bottle that is good to go after a bit of airing or good to sit on for another few years. Will get a half case of this one.
Red
8/12/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
87 points
Color: inky purple hues with lighter tinge. Some translucency.
Nose: over-ripe red fruits with a slight whiff of smoke.
Flavor: for the forward - again, overripe dark fruits - strawberries and sweet spices predominately with come crab apple bitterness afterwards - along with some smoked oak. Flavors consistent into the middle but not much else going on. The finish is smooth. Linger is half a minute or so. Light bodied and dry verging on off dry maybe.

Overpriced for what the wine accomplishes. Not great QPR, but still enjoyable, consistent Cali pinot noir. Given the region that the wine hails from, was hoping for a bit more subtlety and complexity. Other pinots out there that are of this quality for half the price. Will not get again. Drink now or hold for another year or so.
Red
8/5/2017 - IPT wrote:
78 points
Color: inky purple hues with red tinge. Some transparency.
Nose: slight nose; overripe red fruits with a touch of green.
Flavor: moldy reds fruits with a bit of Asian pear making an appearance (byproduct of acid and green showing up in the front pallet) immediately overtaken by smoky oak. Middle had some chalky tannins that start off rowdy but mellow out. Finish is smooth with the tannins flowing. Medium bodied, dry. Linger is 30 or so seconds.

First taste was decent but a sense of complacency takes over. Not much improved with airing. Cheap wine that could work with a large group of people whom don't care too much about wine.
Red
2014 Shatter Grenache Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes (view label images)
8/2/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
91 points
See original notes for 6/7/2017.

Wine holds up consistently well. The previous notes are pretty much spot on with one exception: the bold fruit component from the previous tasting is more reigned in and now there's an excellent balance to the bottle. This may be in part because used a rabbit aerator after opening. End result is a better overall experience that warrants a higher rating than from before. Just love this wine and will always have a few of these bottles in storage. Can't recommend the wine (or the aerator) enough. Salute!
Red
2010 Château Paloumey Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/25/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
91 points
Color: thick blood red hues with slightly lighter, purple tinge. Slight translucency.
Nose: light - rvery slight red fruits up front, quickly overtaken by wooden, leather earthiness.
Flavor: elegant balance of fruit and earth on the front - bitter dark cherry, couples with, leathery, viney, oaky earthiness, topped with cracked black pepper. Chalky tannins emerge by the middle - not necessarily harsh -
and really carry on throughout. Finish is pretty smooth and linger is a good minute or more thanks to the tannins. Medium bodied and dry.

A very well balanced Bordeaux that has fantastic QPR ($20). Aerated when served which is advised and let sit an hour or so before serving to let the tannins mellow out. Sit on a few more years or drink now. Will go out and get a case of this; a definite must to have in the cellar.
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Red
7/15/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
87 points
Color: blood-red hues and tinge. Some transparency.
Nose: heavy dark red fruits with some tartness/earthiness.
Flavor: on the forward, bright red fruits - think strawberries and rainier cherries - that dominate, followed by a touch of pepper and green. Middle is very brief and nondescript. Finish is a touch tart with a linger that's exceedingly brief - 15 seconds at best. Light to medium bodied. Dry.

This one is strange. Profile is almost polar opposite of previous châteauneuf-du-pape bottles tried. Young; needs time to age. Not amazing but still intriguing. Would like to see what happens with another year and see what happens.
Red
7/4/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
89 points
Color: dark inky purple hues with lighter purple/red tinge. Very little translucency.
Nose: black cherry preserves with smoke and pepper.
Flavor: for the forward - jammy dark fruits and kirsch, smoke, toasted oak, dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Middle has good balance and good tannin structure. Finish is smooth with a bit of the dark chocolate tartness following to the end. Linger is 30 or so seconds. Medium to full bodied. Dry.

Went into this bottle with high expectations (hate doing that). While not quite what was expecting, still a solid Malbec. Let sit for an hour and appreciate. Given the $50 dollar price tag, not the greatest QPR. Not so sure if this bottle will appreciate well over time, but still have 2 other bottles so will find out. Glad I finally got this wine but not so sure I'll look out for the Voyage 4 if Wagner Wines will make it.

Update (7/5/2017): tried this bottle the second night. General improvement overall, but especially with regards to the nuances in the flavor. Would likely add 1-2 points as a result. Lesson learned: let this bottle sit after opening maybe 8 hours or more. Well worth it.
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Rosé
7/1/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
82 points
Color: light pink gold hues. Suggests possible oxidation.
Nose: almost non-existent - very light red fruit and some brick.
Flavor: bright red fruits with a touch of oxidized brick, not enough to detract, more like a light port. Forward is rather delicate all in all. Middle is brief and finish is short with some crispness. Off-dry.

This bottle is way past its prime but not bad. Would recommend not letting future vintages store for too long.
Red
6/25/2017 - IPT wrote:
81 points
Color: dark red garnet hues with same tinge. Very slight translucency.
Nose: overripe red fruits.
Flavor: Heavy on the fruit - again, overripe red fruits: raspberry jam, dark cherries, and some slight strawberry jam - along with slight oak and vanilla. Consistent through the middle. Finish is fruity and smooth. Linger is 30 or so seconds. Dry to off dry and medium bodied.

Typical mid shelf cab sauv. Very, very fruit forward - think old vine zin, but a bit more so, hence the reason why I think this is off-dry. Not sure of the price but not something that I'd reach for in general for cabs. Decent to serve to large parties. Not a personal preference; will never buy myself.
Red
6/25/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
93 points
Color: dark plum hues with same tinge. Little translucency.
Nose: bright red fruit nose with vine bark and leather.
Flavor: for the forward - black cherry and crab apple for the fruit - earthy component is old shoe leather coated in rich butter, fresh French oak, slight wet slate and minimal black pepper. Middle blends flavors in a delicate fashion and brings out the light bitterness inherent in the petit verdot berry. Light tannins emerge to help the process coat the mouth. Finish is smooth and delicate. Linger is a minute or more. Medium bodied verging on full. Dry.

This is an excellent petit from the NOVA region. Note: this is 100% petit verdot and this is worth noting. Much of the "red single varietals" are not 100% of that variety (many region laws allow for slight blending to "improve" the wine without changing designation) so to put out a 100% of any varietal can be a gamble, and to do so for PV - which is classically used only in slight blending due to the inherent nature of the grape - is so much more so. Therefore, to compliment this bottle so much truly means something. There's a finesse here: the wine is nuanced, it has fantastic balance, and has a delicate nature that oftentimes cannot exist with NOVA PVs. Not sure of the price, but if less than $45, then fantastic QPR. Good to age or enjoy and good to go after 30 min opened. Will definitely stock up on this one.
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Red
2014 Château La Grange Clinet Grande Réserve Premières Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/25/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
91 points
Color: deep ruby hues with slightly lighter tinge - watered blood. Some translucency.
Nose: Light nose - bright red fruits and minerality.
Flavor: dark cherry, dark currents, For the fruit complimented by hefty earthiness - burnt French oak, lease and leather, bitter dark chocolate. Good middle - flavors blending with light tannins, creating good mouthfeel. Finish is very smooth with good long linger - 1.5 to 2 minutes. Light to medium bodied. Dry.

Fantastic QPR Bordeaux. Nuanced, rather delicate front end feel that creeps up as you go. Good potential for aging but good to go now. Let air for 1 hour plus. Will stock up on this.
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Red
6/22/2017 - IPT wrote:
80 points
Color: dark garnet hues with lighter tinge. Some translucency.
Nose: very mutted nose - rover-ripe plums, wet slate minerality.
Flavor: Light, exceptionally tart red fruits - tart cherry, mulberries, and crab apples - make up much of the front along with a bit of cured meats, oak and vanilla. Middle is brief with profile maintaining consistency - very little tannin structure. Finish maintains tartness and finish is rather brief. Light bodied and dry.

A few things about this bottle. Rather harsh up front so definitely let sit an half hour minimum. However even afterwards, this wine is still rather average. There are other CDRS out there for lesser that are just as good or better. Not sure if age will improve. Would recommend a pass on this unless you get it for $10.

Update (6/23/2017): wine holds up well the second night. Actually sees a bit of an improvement; smoother and better balance of flavors. Just reinforces the notion that this bottle would do well to air a good while (4 hours would be great). As is now, would rate an 84-85.
Red
6/20/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
90 points
Color: dark purple hues with same tinge. Very little translucency.
Nose: overripe dark fruits along with bark, earthiness and dark chocolate.
Flavor: fruit component is minimal - dark fruits (plums and strawberry are the first thought), dark currents, very clean - along with lightly toasted, young oak and a bit of red pepper flake bitter dark chocolate. Tannin structure shows quickly in the middle, really helps to give an excellent mouthfeel without overwhelming. Finish is smooth with a linger of a minute or so. Medium to full bodied and dry.

This was a spur of the moment purchase. Originally for cooking, this wine proved to taste really good and pair well with the dish (pork tenderloin along with Indian mustard greens). Great QPR, great contrast to a lot of heavy fruit forward Riojas. Given the vintage not too likely to get much more from aging so appreciate now. Only regret is wasting 1.5 cups for cooking...
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Red
6/18/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
83 points
Color: dark burgundy hues with lighter red tinge. Slight translucency.
Nose: earthiness, vine bark, and cracked pepper.
Flavor: Light on the red fruits with a greater focus on the earthiness - toasted oak, heavy bitter dark chocolate, cracked black pepper, a bit of green. Middle shows structured tannins - rather heavy - coating the mouth. Bitter/green presence carries though. Finish is smooth and linger is long, good few minutes thanks to the tannins. Medium bodied, dry.

Nice every day toscana that is a bit pricy for the quality ($18 a bottle). Definitely decant and let sit an hour or three to improve overall presence. Tried this right after opening and did improve with time. Not really a wine to sit on for any length of time so best to enjoy now.

Update (6/19/17): wine holds up well the second night with a more mellow profile and no trace of that bitter component that detracted before.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/9/2017 - IPT wrote:
78 points
Color: inky dark purple hues with slightly lighter tinge. Very little translucency.
Nose: jammy dark fruits - plums, raspberry - with a bit of green at the end.
Flavor: heavy fruit forward - candied plums, mulberries, and raspberries coupled with bitter dark chocolate notes and rather prevalent vine green. Middle shows some hefty tannin presence that coats the mouth like wet chalk. Finish is smooth. Linger is a half minute. Medium bodied and off-dry? Seems it.

This is an interesting bottle in that it behaves like an off dry red with a strange tannin backbone. Decent palette but something seems just off. Produced in Missoula, Montana but the fruit comes from Washington. A bit disappointed by this; first time trying Montana wine and wanted to see what the local terroir could produce. Given the price ($28 at a local shop) would definitely not recommended this wine. Not much else to say.
Red
6/8/2017 - IPT wrote:
80 points
Color: deep ruby hues and tinge with slight translucency.
Nose: Light - typical red fruits and minerality.
Flavor: balanced forward - Cherry, dark currents and earthly minerality along with very light pepper. Middle shows some tannins creeping up, coating the mouth. Finish is a tad bit tart and the linger is 30 or so seconds. Light bodied and dry.

Typical Italian red - good balance on the pallette but that's about it. Nothing really stands out otherwise. Not sure of the typical bottle price so would say $9 is the top end someone should go for this.
Red
2014 Shatter Grenache Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes (view label images)
6/7/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
89 points
Color: blood-red tinge and hues with mild translucency.
Nose: molding red fruit, earth and slight pepper.
Flavor: bold fruit on the forward - jammy strawberry, cherry, raspberry, some sweet spice - fairly well balanced against the earthy component - vine bark, slight earth, oak and a touch of pepper and vanilla. Flavor profile consistent into the middle with a bit of heat emerging. Finish is mostly smooth with the heat bringing some countering bite. Linger is a good minute or more. medium to full bodied. Dry.

Yet another vintage consumed and for good reason. This is a staple for my cellar. Each vintage has similar characteristics but still show individuality. This vintage is still a bit young so could definitely do with some aging, 2 years min. Still very enjoyable; great QPR. Ideally, let the bottle sit out opened an hour before enjoying. Will help settle the hot nose.
White
6/6/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
87 points
Color: pale green gold wheat.
Nose: baker's yeast, hint of butter, and touch of star fruit.
Flavor: Light fruit on the forward - kiwi and star fruit along with white table grape, some butter mixed in (malolactic fermentation) and some light minerality afterwards; think wet pebbles. Flavor profile consistent throughout the middle and into the finish which is a tad bit tart. Nice linger - close to a minute. Light to medium bodied and dry.

Tasted this for my best friend's wedding. Given the price this is a fantastic chardonnay to serve large scores of people. Profile isn't nuisanced but instead very consistent. Great porch wine. Not sure about the age of the grapes (non-vintage) so purchase and serve quickly.
1 person found this helpful
Red
2014 Argami Montsant Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
6/3/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
88 points
Color: Dark purple hues with slightly lighter tinge. Little transparency.
Nose: over ripe red fruits - jams - and smoked meats.
Flavor: heavy fruit on the forward - blackberry jam, with a bit of cured meats and toasted oak. Middle sees consistency in the flavor profile, with the protein and oak elements taking a back seat to the fruit component which really fills the mouth. Finish is silky smooth with a decent linger, easily a minute plus. Medium bodied. Dry.

Smoky goodness. Easy, consistent drinking wine that doesn't need to breathe to enjoy. Great QPR for what the bottle conveys. Only downside is that sometimes the overall profile seems a bit thin. Likely to see little improvement with aging, so get a few bottles to have a consistent supply on hand.
Red
6/3/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
89 points
Color: dark cherry with lighter tinge. Semi-transparent.
Nose: Light; tart cherry, cranberry. Some vine bark on the back end.
Flavor: Light fruit profile on the forward - bright fruits, cherry, raspberry, and white cranberry. A hint of Italian earthiness afterwards. The middle brings out some tartness along with some tannins that lightly coat the mouth, creating good mouthfeel. Finish is smooth with a nuanced, long linger which is a surprise, given how light this bottle is. Light to medium bodied. Dry.

This bottle is a nice surprise. Not an overly fruity or earthy Italian red, but instead well balanced. Light, but with some very decent character. Good to drink pretty much immediately after opening. A light airing is all that's needed. Good QPR. Likely to do well with some additional aging but good to drink now.
Red
5/28/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
88 points
Color: dark inky purple hues with violet tinge. No translucency.
Nose: blueberry preserves, tart , a bit of cracked pepper at the end.
Flavor: Forward is balanced fruit and earth - dark fruits (blueberries and raspberries) violet petals and fennel, along with, lose soil, bitter vine, and French oak. By the middle, the tannin structure beings to really show, coating the mouth. Finish is smooth. Linger is about a minute. Medium bodied.

First things first: if you have a decanter, this bottle will need it. There's a lot of sediment and even though I love this, others will no doubt find it overwhelming, so decant and sit for an hour minimum. Now on to the wine: fruit forward but well balanced. The wine hits hard but the overall experience is somewhat anticlimactic. Overall, very drinkable and a good representation of the syrah grape. Good QPR. Drinkable now or good to sit on for another year or two.

Update (5/29/2017): tried wine after 24 hours decanting. Still holds up well the second evening. Profile very much the same with a bit of the bitter element subsiding.
Red
5/27/2017 - IPT Does not like this wine:
78 points
Color: dark raspberry hues with lighter tinge. Some translucency.
Nose: red fruits and sweet spice. Light oak/earth.
Flavor: for the forward - heavy on the fruit: sweetened strawberries and cherries, along with a bit of vine bark and young oak. Profile begins to dissipate by the middle; watery. Finish is a tad tart. Linger is very brief; 10 seconds at most. Very light bodied. Verging on off dry.

This bottle is a bit something of a disappointment. Extremely fruit forward and sweet, thus the nuances that can inhibit this grape are lost. The wine is thin. Paid about $12.50 for the wine but with the issues, cannot say that this bottle has good QPR. If you want to give this a try, let the wine sit opened 30 minutes to let the bit of tart subside. Don't sit on this bottle; unlikely to improve with age.

Update (5/28/2017): tried wine second night, hoping for improvement. Not so much; profile more-or-less the same, but a bit of a burn at the end. Shame.

Update (5/29/2017): finally after day 3 the wine showed some slight improvement.
Red
5/15/2017 - IPT Likes this wine:
87 points
Color: Deep pitch colors with a deep purple tinge. Very little translucency.
Nose: mulled spices, figs, and a whiff of smoke.
Flavor: heavy fruit on the front - fig and plum jam, licorice - with some bitter chocolate, vanilla, and smoked wood. Middle finds the fruit component subsiding and the chocolate/earthly tones becoming more prominent along with a bit of heat coming through. The finish is creamy and smooth. Lingers is about a minute. Medium to full bodied.

Very reminiscent of the earlier vintages ('13 and '12, see previous vintage notes). However, would say that this bottle doesn't seem to have quite the character of previous bottles. Ideally, would like to wait another year before opening this bottle again. Good QPR. Given that this flavor profile is just so prevalent (really just tastes like an old vine zin with a bit of cab mixed in) not too sure that will get another bottle since can find just this type at a lower price. Who am I kidding? Given who the producer is, will most likely break down and get a few bottles anyhow, especially if can find for $20. Curse you Wagner Family and your fruity yet delicious wines!

Update (5/19/2017): normally don't do this but didn't finish the bottle the first night so tried four nights later. Bottle was sealed properly and kept in a cool, dim place. Wow, bottle became something else entirely, and that isn't a good thing. Overly ripe, very port-like nose; sickly sweet, turned taste. Long story short, not appetizing. Recommendation: if you open this bottle, enjoy it in its entirety the first night.
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