See CellarTracker's 2021 Year in Review

Comments on my notes

(92 comments on 73 notes)

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White
2019 Aubert Chardonnay Park Avenue Sonoma Coast
11/19/2021 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
Double decanted back into the bottle with about 4 hours of air total. This is a big vintage and a big wine. Very Aubert in every way - concentrated, complex, fairly massive and a bit overwhelming this young.

Aromas of pears, passion fruit, lemon zest, brioche and nutmeg. Full bodied, super concentrated, with many layers of flavor that will take a little time to unfurl, this wine is showing almost like a young cab that needs a couple years in bottle to calm down. Creamy texture, decent acidity and a ridiculously long, spicy finish shows the massive potential here. Lots of upside in the next few years.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/4/22, 7:33 PM - Cristal...any insight on how the 2020 vintage faired for Aubert in light of the 'fires/smoke'? I can't imagine the label would risk the reputation, but curious if you plan to buy as usual with the upcoming release? Personally, I wish every winery would just be upfront and address it as part of the release knowing it's on everyone's minds.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/4/22, 8:06 PM - Yeah, on the list w/ Myriad too and just posted a similar comment to Csimm under the '20 Elysian. In light of his original March '21 barrel sampling to the recent Jan '22, it doesn't reassure me given all the 'unknowns' that can reveal themselves post bottling - particularly since he sensed a few were 'not right'. It's actually off-putting that some reputable wineries are not addressing the proverbial 'elephant in the room', unless it will be part of the actual release emails....which we shall see. Suspect it will be similar to '17 in some ways....sure there will be some good ones, but as a whole, not really missing out by cutting back this round.

Red
2020 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard 'Elysian' Napa Valley
1/3/2022 - csimm1161 wrote:
I wrote quite extensively on my experiences with the 2020 Myriad barrel samples back in March 2021, so I’ll focus these most recent notes straight toward the issue everyone is likely concerned about. The following are a list of 2020 Myriad samples I had a chance to revisit; smoke taint was not directly detected in these four samples.

1. Dr. Crane: Whether this particular sample goes into the Elysian or the standard Crane has not been determined yet. Given that I’ve been fortunate enough to try many samples of Dr. Crane from essentially all of the producers pulling fruit from this site since at least the last decade or so, I can say that the front end of this sample is fairly indicative of what one would expect: A large front-end push of black cherry fruit (fairly fruity) with notable concentration mid-palate (though less intensity than the Myriad Cranes of past Goldilocks vintages). The back end of this sample was a little sleepy, with a muted and pared finish that slowed the cadence of the flavor push and clipped the tail. Was the finish a result of smoke taint, you ask? No, I do not think so. There was no straight astringency present, and I didn’t get that bitter pinch at the back of my jaw and top of my throat that I often associate with smoke influence (and that was considerably obvious in a couple of the other samples).

2. Georges III: The nose started off with a bit of an interesting funk, but the palate was all GIII. Plush, lush, and slathering fruit (the most overt of the samples). Jammy and fruity, with a complete attack that swelled into a broad and enveloping finish. Juicy and toothsome.

3. Peterson: Mostly muted, but with air it began to slowly open into a direct shot of controlled dark berry fruit. The Peterson was in a more academic mood with this sample. Finished direct and focused.

4. Kenefick: Rich grape jelly, with a jammy attack that was almost as plush as the GIII. A lot of yum factor with this sample. The finish geared down considerably into a more trimmed tail.

PS: I did taste two 2020 samples that I can confidently say were smoke tainted and/or flawed in some way: A Syrah and a sample from Steltzner. The Steltzner was especially interesting because it had all of the wonderful hallmarks of that site that I absolutely adore all the way up until the final tip of the finish, where it then abruptly became harshly astringent and bitter to the point that it washed away the front end fruit flavors.

PPS: I understand the 2020 Myriad Crane release is coming out this month. My 2 cents on that is pretty simple: buy what you feel comfortable with. If it stresses you out so much that you’ll lose sleep wondering if your bottles will turn into scary monsters in the middle of some dark and stormy night, then maybe pass this time around - and maybe see a therapist while you’re at it (since wine is a luxury item and is supposed to be fun and all). And if I know one thing about whatever you decide to buy (and this is true of any vintage), if it ends up that when you finally crack the cork and there is some goofiness in the bottle, always hit up the winemaker to discuss reparations. As I’ve said a million times, any winemaker/proprietor worth his/her salt should always replace the bottle or refund your money. I know some disagree with me on this (to include some winemakers who think it is unrealistic to “guarantee” their wine to the extent that any flawed wine should be replaced), but as a lowly peasant consumer, I think it is a reasonable expectation given the quality I think should be necessitated from these higher-end products.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/4/22, 7:52 PM - Thanks for posting Csimm. Not sure if I feel more or less confident about buying and just how deep to go. Given how sizable the impact of the fires/smoke was, particularly with Napa, I wish every winery would at least address it with their members on release and share their perspective around why they are confident proceeding (ie. picked early, dropped 70% of the bad fruit, testing they conducted,, etc.) knowing its on members minds. Shall I go as far as saying even consider cutting the cost on this year's prices? Ha, funny I know!..c'mon man, we're talking Napa, price goes upwards (good or smoke tainted vintages).

Red
2016 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The O.G. Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Oakville
12/24/2021 - iamandyc Likes this wine:
99 points
They should rename this wine OMG! This bottle was as amazing as my last one on Christmas 2018 and like that year, bested a MacDonald (2012 this time). Hit its stride with about 2 hours of decanting and kept improving in the glass until the end. It just has everything -- nose, glorious mouthfeel, dense yet weightless body, multifaceted fruit, layers of flavors, dusty minerals, beautifully integrated tannin/acid, long finish... Just keeps changing and makes me smile on each sip. Glorious. Saving a 100 point rating just in case I ever taste something better but hard to imagine. Only one left 😬
  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/26/21, 3:07 PM - Thanks for the review and decant time. Looking forward to trying one of mine, as I've yet to pull the cork on any. Curious, what was the total consumption time following the 2 hr decant?

Red
2009 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
12/2/2021 - Jofie wrote:
98 points
A thoroughly great wine that is already a lot of fun to drink. Precise fruit, notes of chocolate, coffee and tonka bean are incredibly fine and densely interwoven with subtle wood spice. The wine is absolutely outstanding in its harmony and smoothness, has a lot of volume and long finish. With a little more maturity and complexity, this is probably 100 points.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/2/21, 3:11 PM - Thanks for the review! Thinking of popping one of these. Did you decant this at all?

Red
2018 Aubert Pinot Noir UV Vineyard Sonoma Coast
10/31/2021 - MAXIMUM SATISFACTION wrote:
96 points
Really excellent (especially with several hours of air). Ripe black cherry, juicy strawberry, slight earthiness and spice. It has a very dense weight to it but the freshness gives it lift. Still needs time and has potential for a higher score.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/19/21, 8:23 PM - Max - had this tonight and echo your review. Spot on.

Red
2016 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
8/18/2021 - g & t wrote:
98 points
Had to “check in” on this wine. Decanted and replaced into the bottle for 12 hours, decanted again for 2 hours and served.
While it had been 5 years, I still disagree with AG’s note. “Tightly wound”, “reticent”, and “lack of charm” do not describe this wine at all. They didn’t upon release, and they still don’t. The initial blast of crystalline red fruit and florals is still there, opening up to a mouthwateringly bright mid-palate of black cherry and red-fleshed pluots. A smidge of savory cigar and black tea keep it interesting before the seductively long finish. Things are coming together nicely right now - could use a few more years, but while some might start counting in decades, I just think if you wait too long you’ll miss out on the liveliness of the wine, which would be a shame.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    9/13/21, 4:53 PM - G & T - going to likely pop a bottle this Thurs for a guys dinner event. Would you change anything on your decant approach or stay true to your original aeration recipe? Thanks for the post!

Red
2014 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard 'Elysian' Napa Valley
8/15/2021 - Cabernet4me2 Likes this wine:
98 points
Was my contribution for a good friends 65th BD, and man oh man, did this wine give a great showing.

To set the stage, other wines opened that night '18 Rivers Marie Panek, 2018 Bevan Dr. Crane, 2018 Maybach Matrium, '19 Aubert Eastside, '14 Kisler, '18 & '19 Kindred Roses.

As for the reds, all were fabulous and at the end of the night, any one of those bottles opened on their own would have been a great night of drinking, but definitely interesting when compared up against each other.

It was unanimous from all in attendance, the '14 Elysian was noticeable better than the others in the line up and definitely the WOTN.

The Elysian got an hour or two decant, than was consumed over 5 hours (have no idea how we were able to portion pours to have it last that long!!) and the other wines except for the Bevan, all got the same treatment.

The Elysian was a mixture of Black, Red and Blue all seamlessly intermingled what i would assume was just like tasting a Wonka Everlasting Gobstomper!

In as it was a Birthday celebration rather than a tasting, didn't have time to jot down the components, but had an amazing mouth-coating feel from the first sip to the last 5 hours later, and just seemed to get better and better in glass. The mid palate was substantial and had at least a minute finish.

By far the best wine ive had all year!!

As we were drinking it, we messaged Mr. Smith who was telling us that '14 was a bit of a difficult year, but not one of us would ever have guessed it, as this bottle was 'outta the park'!! Bravo Mike!!

If you've got one, its a treat, and think this bottle has many many more years of excellence. Definitely looking forward to trying the other two in coming years to see if it might just hit that elusive perfect score!!
  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/18/21, 5:48 PM - Thanks for the review on this. Apparently I need to open one of these soon, as I haven't yet. Curious where the '18 Maybach fell in the overall line up for you?

Red
2012 Harlan Estate Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend
7/27/2021 - csimm1161 wrote:
100 points
Vice Versa weekend and dinner: I got all ramped-up to write about this wine and then just re-read my notes from 4/30/2021 that basically say it all (so, refer to those notes if you want to read my novella from April). This was probably my favorite wine of the weekend. It is just so perfectly balanced, smooth, and complex. The depth is extraordinary, as in EXTRA awesome. A 2015 Promontory (as well as a number of the amazing Vice Versa wines) were nipping at the heels of this Harlan, but I can’t deny my complete adoration and affection for this amazing wine. It is an emotional response for me.

When CT’er Cristal2000 said he was considering popping the cork on this bottle, I tried to play it off casually, like that would be a wine “worth exploring” or some sort of snobby academic reply that made me think I was saying something only mildly suggestive as to the merits of opening it for “the other people.” Of course, what I really meant was, “Um, I want. Me drink. Now please.”

And yes, I hear it constantly. “But is it worth it, really?” Hell, I dunno. Generally speaking, it doesn’t put a roof over my head or cure me from cancer, so in that vein, I guess it’s not worth it. It is for me. Well, is it a bummer that it is in the top price bracket that it is…as in, it’s own bracket, leaving almost all Napa Cabs in the fiscal dust for only the elite to sample? Of course it’s a bummer. But if a Ferrari was inexpensive and everyone had one, it wouldn’t be a Ferrari. Regardless, if I (meaning me…not anyone else) had to have just one wine before I die kind of thing, this is at the top of my list.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/3/21, 9:35 PM - Lite - how do I get invited to this dinner and which bottles above can I bring to the battle?

Red
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR Oakville
7/31/2021 - LiteItOnFire Likes this wine:
93 points
Didn’t have time to decant but wanted a great glass of wine and an excuse to use my new purchased Plum wine dispenser. Tasted at PnP while cooking and then let another glass decant for an hour. First off love my new toy that 100% don’t need but… do I need $250 VHR wine, no anywhoo

Wine is not showing as well as it did last year nor as well as recent reviewers but perhaps it’s the shorter decant or the recent Bordeaux tastings- regardless it’s a beautiful wine. Hold next bottle for another year.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/31/21, 9:22 PM - Agreed Mark. This easily needs a 5 hr decant, or better yet, 6-8 more yrs in bottle. Lite, maybe try pouring the next glass after breakfast and try around dinner.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/1/21, 7:00 AM - Mark…or you can get an iSommelier (by iFavine) and the 4-5 hrs can be 4-5 min! How much counter space you got left over there for more wine gadgets Lite?

  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/1/21, 7:19 AM - I’m probably going to pull the trigger on the iSomm and will report back. The 90% pure oxygen infusion seems effective and there are too many times we get together and realize a wine probably needed 2-3 hrs more decant time and the wine isn’t as good as it could be. If I can make that 2-3 min and soften the tannins, etc….it will be worth it’s weight in gold.

Red
2016 Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon VHR Oakville
7/1/2021 - City Squirrel Likes this wine:
97 points
97+. Blind tasted against a '17 MacDonald, '16 Vine Hill Ranch (VHR), '16 Cliff Lede Poetry, '14 Abreu Las Posadas, '13 Abreu Madrona Ranch. This and the Poetry had the best bouquet, ironically similar, but the Top 3 were for the majority of 6 drinkers was the VHR, Cliff Lede BTK and the Abreu Madrona. Hard to call a WOTN, but the VHR and Cliff Lede were both top contenders.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/2/21, 7:46 PM - For me and several others, the ‘17 McD was the least fav. There was a green pepper characteristic and felt it lacked a finish. Personally, I was surprised by the outcome, but calling it what it was in a blind line up.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/31/21, 5:53 AM - Thanks Lite. VHR was decanted for 5 hrs if I recall correctly. Definitely 4-6. Just popped a ‘15 Spottswoode last night thinking it would give me something on Pnp, but nope. Coiled up and hissing. It too needed at least that. Which got us talking about the “isommelier”, which turns hours of decant time into minutes. Curious if anyone has played around with that thing? I’d be curious to open a ‘16 VHR for 5 hrs and then put another in the isommelier for 5 minutes and do a blind.

Red
2010 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
7/15/2021 - LiteItOnFire Likes this wine:
99 points
2021 Bordeaux Tasting Trip; 7/12/2021-7/16/2021 (Bordeaux): A tasting in Bordeaux of 71 wines, some of the best I have ever had and others, umm, well were disappointing. If you read the Tasting story (and my grading history) I think it will do a much better job putting this in perspective.

DAJ in the below tasting note put it best and I should leave well enough alone but that’s just plain silly, like a sign over the big red button that reads don’t press so here I go…

Vieux Chateau Certan is not a Trophy wine that Americans buy to throw their junk on a table and show off (crude I know but reality), it’s a wine that really only knowledgeable wine drinkers are aware of and not well known to Americans. Further they do not advertise or market or do any publicly at all, they are farmers/winemakers and that’s what they know (FYI going forward same winemaker as Le Pin GT). If there was an ounce of marketing they would be priced 2x++ what it is today. First we tasted the 2020 second wine, La Gravette de Certan, then 2020 VCC, then 2010 and then the 2019 (requested a comparison after the fact). The suite of wines were outstanding, period- and they know it with a shy smile and a nod.

While the 2020 had the large price increase (like others) it made other much more expensive wines look like they were playing in little league baseball while VCC just won the championship. While I am not familiar with Petrus or Screaming Eagle (only familiar with the second wine) nor truly understand Burgundy, I can say without a doubt VCC was the wine of the trip and the best wine at the price- and one of the best wines we have ever had - and the 2010 brought home the top spot and will only get better.

The 2010 stole the show, still very young, but is one of my top wines I have ever had and it will only get better from here. I had the 2000 (too young and didn’t decant with MP) and two 2009s this year and while the 2000 was just ok, the 2009 was very very good (first one in Maui want decanter long enough), the 2010 is out of this world and at entirely different level … and 2020 might even surpass 2010… although might be hard to do.

The wine is near perfection, a chorus, better yet a symphony from the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. I won’t use flowery fluffy words to try and fail this wine, it just wouldn’t be right. It’s an amazing wine experience that is incredible now and will continue to involve and add complexity for decades. Wow.

If you have never heard of VCC, you will soon enough. If you haven’t tasted one, you are missing out on what wine is all about. If you haven’t had one in its peak drinking window, regardless if early or towards the end, I don’t think one truly has experienced all of what wine has to offer (while it may not be affordable, either save up and stop buying other wine or find a friend or pool some friends together and chip in to buy one- and if doing that, buy the 2010 as it’s firing on all cylinders and will only continue to get better every day- IMO (I purposefully left out humble). 99-100 Cheers!
  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/24/21, 7:46 PM - Lite - can’t wait for the Bordeaux experience in October and appreciate all of the background assistance thus far. Most of us have that “ah-ha” bottle of wine that showed us wine can be something so much more than we ever imagined. VCC was that bottle for me when it came to Bordeaux wines as it was the first time I really understood the true meaning of ‘velvety wine’ and just how good merlot could really be. Amazing wine and I also love the historical significance of the ‘pink’ capsule to help quickly identify relevant customers.

Red
2016 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
6/28/2021 - watcheslover Likes this wine:
100 points
Re-tasted yesterday, for me the best Figeac ever made just behind the future legend 2019 and better than 2018 and 2020
  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/17/21, 3:55 PM - Lite - how was the trip to Bordeaux? Heading there in mid October and would love to get some of your insights/recommendations. What’s the best way to DM you?

Red
2016 Saxum Cuvée Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Grenache Blend, Grenache
7/5/2021 - haldolugr wrote:
98 points
Decanted the magnum and wow. Just wow. Not sure what else to say. Everyone who tried it - loved it. Just a stunning wine. Depth of flavors balanced on a easy to drink core with a smooth as butter finish. Spice and fruit mixed with a touch of vanilla. Blue and black fruit driven. So delicious.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/7/21, 4:46 PM - How long did you decant? Thanks!

Red
2016 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Oakville
7/1/2021 - City Squirrel Likes this wine:
97 points
97+. Blind tasted against a '17 MacDonald, '16 Vine Hill Ranch (VHR), '16 Cliff Lede Poetry, '14 Abreu Las Posadas, '13 Abreu Madrona Ranch. This and the Poetry had the best bouquet, ironically similar, but the Top 3 were for the majority of 6 drinkers was the VHR, Cliff Lede BTK and the Abreu Madrona. Hard to call a WOTN, but the VHR and Cliff Lede were both top contenders.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/3/21, 2:47 PM - I didn’t try it on pop n pour, but took the advice of other CT reviewers and gave it a healthy 2-3 hour decant and it was drinking beautifully. If you have multiple, I would give one a go so you can enjoy it throughout its evolution. If not, don’t worry, plenty of yrs ahead. Great juice.

Red
2017 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium Oakville
6/27/2021 - DrewWyman Likes this wine:
98 points
The best 2017 Napa Cab I've had to date. Night #1 was still pretty tightly wound but you could tell had mounds of beautiful fruit and a lot of power. Night #2 was eye opening, velvet smooth, fruit for days, just incredible. While I know there was been some question of '17 Napa, this should be tucked away for 10 years or given an 8+ hr decant.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/1/21, 6:42 AM - Agree with your assessment to give this ‘17 some decant. Had a .375 of the ‘17 & ‘18 side by side and surprisingly the ‘17 was more wound up, but classic Napa Cabernet in style where the ‘18 was more approachable, lush with dark blue black fruits and chocolate. Both excellent and IMO one of the top Napa cabs - particularly with regards to quality, consistency and longevity. Cheers

White
2018 Aubert Chardonnay Sugar Shack Rutherford
6/13/2021 - tonyhuang wrote:
88 points
Over ripe, overly oaky and spicy. the score is a reflection of my personal taste. It is well made, and it pairs well with risotto. But in its own, it is not a style that I like.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    6/15/21, 1:44 PM - A lot of Aubert chards are great on release too (depending on your preference of course). Always enjoy their Eastside Chardonnay early on; lots of acidity & minerality to balance the fruit.

Red
2016 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Weitz Vineyard Napa Valley
5/10/2021 - Yack Man Likes this wine:
96 points
The 2016 Carter Weitz is a lovely wine. This could have easily be a pop an pour experience, but I allowed the wine to breath for a couple of hours and that was beneficial. When I pop the cork there was thick purple saturation/ build-up on the cork… Good sign? In the glass intensely rich purple crimson color with an attractive violet/ floral bouquet. On the palate, dark ripe yet elegant berry fruit and good energy. Blue and blackberry fruit, dark cherry and cassis. This wine is full bodied with lovely extraction yet elegance and focus. This Weitz may be the best vintages yet from Carter Cellars and a few years in the bottle has benefit this wine. 96+ Points.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    5/11/21, 8:45 PM - Nice review and couldn’t agree more Yack Man. I think I bought 2 bottles direct from the winery, and then after having it, subsequently bought 11 more on the secondary. This and the ‘15 are great, along with the QPR, but the ‘16 is just stellar.

White
2017 Vice Versa Chardonnay Platt Vineyard Sonoma Coast
4/27/2021 - csimm1161 wrote:
It’s been nearly two years since I last had this wine. I’m absolutely loving it. The oak influence is so subtle that it’s barely detectable over the beautifully proportioned yellow citrus fruit flavors and accompanying acid. A top shelf Puligny-Montrachet with an extra bump in intensity. Outstanding!
  • City Squirrel commented:

    4/28/21, 9:09 AM - Thanks for the review CSIMM! Did you just pnp and get right into it? Sounds like I need to try one of mine, although I did have the fortunate pleasure of enjoying this with Patrice & Samantha at a local restaurant members event (pre-pandemic).

  • City Squirrel commented:

    4/28/21, 5:38 PM - Glad I grabbed some more on the secondary. CSimm is known to have a RP like effect on the market when he gives a rave review!! I’ll pop one soon.

White
2019 Aubert Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard Russian River Valley
2/26/2021 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted for two hours. A Golden, lightly honeyed colour. Papaya, flint, ground lava, mineral, pineapple, Granny Smith apples and fresh cut lilies. Full-bodied and an entry that is focused, with the ability to go completely panoramic. The finish sails for many, many seconds, and the mineral, along with citrus on the enticingly fruity palate is enchanting. Decant now or wait a few years, this has the backbone and pedigree to age. Possibly my favorite Eastside yet. So individual. Drink 2025 - 2039.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    2/26/21, 8:01 PM - Thanks for the review and decant time recommendation. Always one of my favorite Auberts and I heard the ‘19 was going to be one of the best vintages yet of Eastside. Can’t wait to pop one.

Red
2016 Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label Oakville
12/20/2020 - AGELVIS Likes this wine:
95 points
Eight hour decant. Very deep purple magenta color. Cherries jubilee, strawberry shortcake, rice pudding, cola, and subtle rye on the decadent, fruit forward nose. Dry, satiny palate. Firm, full tannins on the very long finish. This is already drinking great, but there’s room for improvement in the coming year or two.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    2/5/21, 4:39 PM - Let me know if I missed the zoom on this. Otherwise, I would love to be in on this as well gents!

Red
2013 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder
2/3/2021 - Winegeek83 Likes this wine:
96 points
Such great character and structure to this young wine that is just starting to open its eyes. Loads of dark fruit with Blackberry and Blueberry dominant, sweet violet florals and black licorice lend nuance with a kiss of earth. Beautiful wine that will continue to excite for many years. Give it a good decant now.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    2/3/21, 8:43 PM - Mark - I concur with Winegeek - awesome bottle of '13 Napa mountain wine. I had a few bottles late last year from my original winery purchase and have been buying up as much as I can on the secondary (unfortunately at a premium). I think I've added 4 mags and close to a case of 750s since that time, if that's any sort of endorsement. Highly recommend.

Red
2016 Arkenstone Estate Howell Mountain Red Bordeaux Blend
1/21/2021 - bubbachumps wrote:
96 points
Ken's High Flying Hermitage (Ken's Castle): Extraordinary wine! Massive scale and polish at the same time. Ripe berries, cassis, blackberry, currant and a touch of smoke, displaying a very complex bouquet. Gobbs of fruit on the palate without a pinch of excess. Very well put together, expansive and seamless. There is a alot of wine here, this should age very nicely but very good right now too. Drink or hold, you won't be diappointed!
  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/27/21, 2:11 PM - Agree Mark...had this last June and seemed like it needed a lot more time in bottle, so also curious on the decant.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/27/21, 3:33 PM - Appreciate the additional intel. That Coravin bottle might be ready now for PNP. I find that with Coravin’ing some wound up wines... a super slow ox process occurs which can help speed things along. Let me know once you revisit.

Red
2014 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Her Majesty's Secret Service Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley
1/3/2021 - ageverett Likes this wine:
98 points
Stood up for an hour. Got some air under cork for another hour.

Just a stunner. Bright, gorgeous purple fruit. Great balance and finish that left you wanting more. Well paired with filet mignon. Can lay down for a bit, but lovely right now. Exceeded expectations (which were high!).
  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/8/21, 10:49 AM - AG - surprised at how different your experience (rating) was vs. others on this wine. I have 2 bottles from release, so I’ll need to try this soon with a filet and circle back. Thanks for posting!

Red
2013 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
12/12/2020 - Yack Man wrote:
91 points
The last bottle that I opened of this vintage was in November of 2017 and this much anticipated vintage for this label has been disappointing to say the least. Perhaps seven years in the bottle is not enough for this O'Shaughnessy? Over a 2 day period this wine is still showing tight, restrained with unresolved and under developed, with a slightly bitter aspect and some acidity. Perhaps this wine is an old school, built for longer term cellaring. Popped and poured, great dark color with aromas on the nose. Dark purple crimson color and on the palate, underdeveloped dark berry fruits black and blueberry showing mediocre fruit intensity. Some oak/ cedar aspects and tannins. I believe there’s hope for this wine, but when it will start to reveal it’s inner character and expression remains a mystery for now. 90.7 Points and disappointing. Not bad, just Meh!
  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/13/20, 7:51 PM - Yack, if you can, get your hands on a bottle of their ‘13 Veeder. 100% Cabernet vs the meritage w/ Howell. The ‘13 Veeder is excellent and showing extremely well now with plenty of life ahead. I’ve been scooping up as many 750s and mags as I can on the secondary after drinking several this year. Sub $150 - it’s a highly recommend/buy.

Red
2015 Wren Hop Pinot Noir Night Children Russian River Valley
Popped open the last one of these in my cellar and thoroughly enjoyed the nuanced spice profile that was front and center on the foundation of fully integrated fruit. This was like an acapella group hitting all the right notes and being flawlessly in sync. There seemed to be no individual elements here, but rather a fully formed drinking experience. Potpourri notes and a sachet of aromas as well.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/10/20, 8:03 PM - Air Guitar - thanks for the post. This has been my favorite Wren Hop wine to date and still sitting on several. Just curious if there was something driving the point drop since your last go with this?

Red
2016 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
11/30/2020 - Niagara wrote:
97 points
Amazing. Tasting this is like the moment the Wizard of Oz changes from black and white to color.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/1/20, 7:00 PM - Love the analogy! Hope I experience the full technicolor when I dust one of mine off.

Red
2016 Vangone Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Napa Valley
11/21/2020 - City Squirrel wrote:
Pnp 1/2 bottle over an hour. This is an oak monster...can’t recall the last time I’ve had a bottle with this much upfront oak (..and I drink mostly Napa Cabs). Certainly well made and there are gobs of dark black fruits buried beneath the oak...and you can easily sense the purity & potential this has with 5-10 yrs of further integration, but the oak is just dominating. I did enjoy the texture and mouthfeel of this wine along with its chewy tannins, but for now, stuck the cork back in the bottle and will see how this evolves over the next several days. NR.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/22/20, 6:55 AM - Definitely! This is sort of a whiskey lovers cabernet. Made me want to be sitting next to a roaring campfire on a cold night. The oak does give this wine some interest / character and can be a nice change of pace as long as you know that upfront and plan accordingly - caught me by surprise as I hadn’t seen that referenced. Going to need a lot of integration time....I’m curious to see if the other 1/2 bottle is today. Thanks for commenting - Cheers!

  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/22/20, 7:18 PM - 7 hr decant was the right call Agelvis! This needs a lot of decant time if drinking early. This is a completely different wine on day 2...in a good way. The oak has completely moved from the front to now being part of a well integrated and long lasting finish. So much more notable acidity and dark red & blue fruits are present on the pallet with notes of chocolate and dark bing cherry. The wine is much more harmonious and has completely redeemed itself for me. 96+ with upside over time.

Red
2017 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
11/19/2020 - TastesGoodToMe Likes this wine:
94 points
This is just a great damn bottle of wine! Not sure if they are for the long haul. So I am going to keep enjoying them now.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/19/20, 4:14 PM - So good for the price and always dependable. I posted a comment on the 18s which are equally as great. Certainly the top NV blend in the Mike Smith stables. Enjoy!

Red
2018 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
11/8/2020 - Yack Man Likes this wine:
94 points
The 2018 Becklyn an exceptional wine right now and will get better as it integrates with time. This may be the only 2018 Cabernet that I have tasted that is singing right out of the gate (thus far anyway). In the glass the wine exhibits an intense, a dense dark reddish purple color along with a very nice nose. On the palate it’s full bodied with ripe red and black fruits, dark berries, dark cherry, cream de cassis, with some plum and some hints of chocolate. The fruit purity is excellent for a standard Napa Cab. 94++ Points now and only because it a baby. This 2018 doesn’t show as sweet as the 2017 and shows a bit more finesse.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/9/20, 7:35 PM - Yack - nice to hear. I thought the '18 Quivet also showed very well out of the gate. On a blind, some thought it was so well integrated that it was drinking like a 4-5 year old wine. I felt like the 16s started this way early on too...open for business and then started shutting down after a year or so. Only time will tell.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/11/20, 6:33 AM - Thanks for the intel Jazz. Seems like the consensus is that the higher end single varietals need more time in bottle but the NVs are approachable for now. I intentionally bought extras of the ‘18 Carter La Bam, Verdad, OG and Carter Carter to try on release...so I’ll be sure to post something on those as well as I experiment.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/18/20, 7:03 PM - Had my 1st bottle of this less than a week after delivery with just a pnp. Thought it was excellent and I would put the Becklyn at the top of the Mike Smith NVs. As Yack mentioned... ‘18 is less sweet and there is a more savory characteristic on this wine that I love mixed with the blue/black fruit. May have been the bottle I had... but I think you would be hard pressed to find a $65 dollar cab that had the length of finish this did. Certainly never disappoints for the QPR.

Red
2016 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The O.G. Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Oakville
11/18/2020 - cbuhlman wrote:
This is a luxury cuvee of Napa Cab, but as I said on a previous note, many of these Carter Cellars wines are not food friendly. This OG is way too flamboyant, sweet and rich to pair with food. I mean the palate weight is unreal as well as the finish, which is easily, 2+ minutes long. (complaining about the richness and purity of this wine reminds me of the Snowbird ad campaign where they posted critical reviews tongue in cheek, of their terrain being "too steep" and "way too much powder")
I am beginning to reconsider my thoughts about the Carter cellars style, they are impeccably made, and delicious, but maybe as a Bordeaux lover, who values the relationship between wine and food, I will never be able to reconcile this dilemma.
Perhaps these wines calm down in another 5-10 years...
Love to know what others are thinking..
I said I cannot rate this wine, but will offer two ratings instead. I did not mention this wine was paired with steak au poivre, roasted potatoes and a beet salad)
98-100 drinking one+ glass on its own.
88-89 with food.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/18/20, 4:56 PM - Agree with Csimm here on the mood implications and when I think of classic ‘food friendly’ wines...I think higher acidity wines like most anything out of Italy. Cabernets wouldn’t probably be at the top of my list in a general food friendly sense - unless we’re talking foods higher in fat content like red meats & cheeses. Also, higher alcohol wines are arguably great for aging (ie. Port) especially if there’s sufficient tannins and residual sugars, etc. Well JD sprays 100 pt ratings, I do respect LPB reviews (99 pts here)...so no doubt this is a 95+ bottle of well made ‘Napa style Cabernet. I think that is also substantiated by the fact that at the time of this post there may only be 3 bottles on the secondary at double the release price. Carter is like Aubert...Napa style....and one needs to anticipate and rate it that way...because it’s never going to be Bdx or white burg.

Red
2014 Scarlett Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
11/4/2020 - Yack Man Likes this wine:
94 points
Delicious
  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/5/20, 3:57 PM - Good call Yack. Opened a bottle tonight based on the last two reviews and it's in a great drinking spot. What a value! Unfortunately, think this may be my last of the '14s. Still sitting on a few of the '13s though.

Red
2007 Soter Cabernet Sauvignon Tony's Last Cabernet Sauvignon 1977-2007 Napa Valley
10/11/2020 - OldHick95 Likes this wine:
92 points
A well crafted finale, indeed. Nose of blackberry, leather, cream soda, and, at times, licorice. In the mouth, blackberry and pomegranate dominate, with cranberry notes and milk chocolate in the background. The wine finishes short, with medium tannins and an echo of fresh raspberry.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    10/14/20, 1:09 PM - Thanks for posting a review of this Oldhick95! I’m still sitting on a bottle - what would you guess is the life span on this?

Red
2016 Greer Cabernet Sauvignon Greer Vineyard Rutherford
9/13/2020 - cab blends wrote:
96 points
Definitely the WOTN - NOT Blind

But it needed some decanting to truly show itself.

Cherry on the nose and powerful tannins (compared to the Togni and the Momento Mori) - The nose is also barky medium colored bark. Medium + bodied.

Rounded but still youthful but balanced acidity. I need to stop drinking all my bottles and let them sit for 5 or so years to really enjoy them later.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    9/17/20, 8:20 PM - Thanks for the review. Planning to open one up soon. 3 hr decant?

Red
2016 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard 'Elysian' Napa Valley
9/1/2020 - blarmston Likes this wine:
99 points
Hell Yeah- this is legit wine.

Drank this bottle last week and am just getting around to posting this TN. This wine is delicious. Full Stop.

I agree with everyone in that this wine threads the needle between a flamboyant fruit forward powerhouse, but still maintains excellent structure and is built for the long haul.

Just an impeccably made bottle of Napa Cabernet. A true tell of whether I enjoyed the wine is whether the next day (or following week), I still want to buy more of it. Well, needless to say, I do.

Now, if I can only find it for the price I paid at release :(
  • City Squirrel commented:

    9/3/20, 11:47 AM - Thanks for the post Blarmston. I haven't pulled one of these yet from the cellar - did you pnp or give this a healthy decant?

Red
2015 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Weitz Vineyard Napa Valley
8/27/2020 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
95 points
Close to WOTN, but not quite......

Redder, softer, but deeper with an hour or two of air. Ok at the pnp, but give it an hour, so much better! Drinking exceptionally well. Nice structure with plenty of backbone and acidity to go a while yet. Beautiful balance to this wine. My last one and I am quite sad :(
  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/28/20, 6:29 AM - Mark, thanks for posting. Always a favorite! Something about the Weitz that just never disappoints every time I drink it. Cheers.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/28/20, 7:38 AM - I hear you! I’m down to my last couple ‘15s myself and the secondary market is dried up on these unfortunately. I really enjoy the ‘16 Weitz too and curious on the ‘18s. I went deep on the ‘18 Carters. Actually shocked at how much still hasn’t sold out. Any other year and they would have been long gone.

White
2018 Aubert Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard Sonoma Coast
8/25/2020 - msuwine wrote:
95 points
This ripe and steely Chardonnay is a wine on its way up - this will get better with time, but it tasted fantastic, if a little unsettled, right now. Light yellow in color; medium in body; pungent aromas of quince, pear skin, creme de caramel, and freshly baked biscotti. The flavors are more subdued, with notes of lemon curd, orange peel, honeysuckle, and baked almond, with a nervy and briny finish (read: bright acidity, a little bouncy, but plenty of energy to age with confidence). Decant af least two hours. 15% alcohol.

I tasted this on the same night as a 2016 that came across as more creamy and layered (and, to be clear, more awesome). The 2018 shows the unevenness of youth, but the intensity and class here are undeniable. Give the 2018 another year or two (or, longer, if you are so inclined), and get ready for the fireworks. If you love any form of California Chardonnay, you owe it to yourself to try an Aubert Lauren. 94-95 for now, with tremendous upside in another few years.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/26/20, 11:40 AM - Nice review MSU and thanks for posting - 100% agree with drinking them just slightly above cellar temp and decanting. I've had both the '18 Lauren and the Eastside and the Eastside is ready to go on PnP and awesome - love the minerality, purity of fruit, butterscotch and the finish goes on & on. I agree the Lauren wasn't as captivating and needs more cellar time. I tried to get more of the '18 Eastside from the winery, but no luck, so I picked up another case on the secondary at a premium, but it's that good!.

Red
2015 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The G.T.O Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Oakville
8/9/2020 - Geaux Tigers wrote:
100 points
Part of a 14 bottle political protest. Oh my, wow! One of the 3 best wines I’ve had out of Napa ever. Double decant and slow ox for 60 min and that seemed to work. Took an initial sip from the decanter and initially it was a head turner, a beautiful lady even without her make up. 60 min later her hair was fixed, make up on and what a stunner. The nose was intoxicating, perfume intense fruit—even our casual wine drinkers couldn’t keep their noses out of the glass. Conversation literally stopped. On the palate, this is BTK no doubt, lovely exploding bouquet of red fruit, touch of black, lovely mineral streak to a long finish. Oak and tannin perfectly integrated, no edges or hot notes anywhere. This was a ‘15? Crazy good. Each sip was like walking by that beautiful lady, longing for her to graze by you again with her sophistication. Just Wow! That was the pregame.

When we pulled this for the larger group, I’ve never seen a bottle go so fast. Within two min, the mag was gone and conversations dwindled yet again...like a magic silencing potion. The group literally gushed over this even as other bottles were poured. I felt bad for a ‘13 Carter Weitz and ‘14 Vice Versa LPV that had to follow.

WOTN and there was never any question.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/11/20, 2:03 PM - Thanks for posting. I'm looking forward to opening one of these in the next few weeks. You think a 90 min full decant would be about right?

Red
2018 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
5/30/2020 - #1Winelover Likes this wine:
94 points
Drinking beautifully right now and easily the most open in Quivet's lineup. The combination of Kenefick black and red fruit and Pellet black and blue fruit works really well. PnP. I only had a coravin pour so my rating might change.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    6/2/20, 1:50 PM - Gents - great notes! Agree these are always a great QPR. Unfortunately for us, the introduction of ‘tax’ for the first time this year is driving the price up a bit (+6.25% more for me). Sans tax even made it a better overall QPR. However, not going to deter me :)

Red
2016 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
4/6/2020 - Yack Man Likes this wine:
94 points
Tremendous!
  • City Squirrel commented:

    4/7/20, 6:02 PM - Love these! Such a good QPR for < $100. Been trying to scope up these in the secondary market as best I can.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    4/7/20, 9:06 PM - Agreed! Loved the ‘17 too, which as you know, speaks volumes.

Red
2015 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford
2/27/2020 - ageverett Likes this wine:
99 points
Slow ox for two hours. Also had a 2016 MacDonald and a 2013 William Cole - Oakville Small Lot Series open.

The Scarecrow was just sexy. Mostly red fruit. Baking spices. Rutherford Dust. Classic.

We drank this mostly before dinner; the MacDonald was the big boy that paired best with the ribeyes. Returned to the last half of this bottle after dinner. I wouldn't say it opened up more - but certainly didn't fall off either.

If we didn't also have the MacDonald open, this might have been a 100 for me.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    2/29/20, 7:33 AM - Ageverett - thanks for posting. Renews my faith on the heels of some recent CT reviews questioning if this cult cab and its $400+ price tag is still worth the tariff. Are you planning to take your upcoming ‘17 allocation to stay on the list?

Red
2015 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium Oakville
1/17/2020 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
96 points
Another great wine opened for us by our host. Silky, velour red fruit, slightly herbaceous nose, with time a hint of blueberry emerges on the back end. A very feminine style of wine. Soft and in a good spot. High quality wine. I detected so much Asian spice on the back end initially, I thought perhaps there was a significant merlot component given the wine's velour like texture. It really fooled me. It should be a crime to drink this many great wines in one night!
  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/17/20, 2:13 PM - Gents - thanks for the reviews! With the ‘17s releasing next week, how do you feel about how well that will compete?

  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/17/20, 2:44 PM - As a whole, I certainly would not argue that point. However, there are some outliers, even Mike’s very own ‘17 Becklyn NV seems to be holding its own against its ‘15 & ‘16 siblings for some CT reviewers. Similar to ‘11, good winemakers with good fruit still managed to make incredible wine and I would expect Maybach to fall into that category...and like you, I didn’t hesitate on Carter. Do I think the ‘17 Maybach will trump ‘15 & ‘16, absolutely not...just debating how deep I go on the upcoming allocation.

Red
2014 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley
9/30/2019 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
31 months later — and what an improved difference. This was energetic and balanced, with a pleasant hint of barnyard/ funk. Highly enjoyable over three nights.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    10/1/19, 2:08 PM - Thanks for the note. Tried this early on and it was wound up and a bit acidic and tart. Glad to hear it’s coming together. Will have to revisit.

Red
2013 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon LPV Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Napa Valley
8/20/2019 - brianngibson wrote:
97 points
Stunning. (Totally shocked to see recent reviews that differ from my experience.) First bottle of 4 stored perfectly in the cellar since release. This offered a perfumed nose with crushed berry, currants, and oak. Tannins were velvety and smooth. On the palate the fruit was bursting in the mouth with soft oak influence. I just wanted to keep pouring more ...
  • City Squirrel commented:

    8/21/19, 4:47 PM - Thanks for the review Brian. How much air did you give this, if any?

Red
2016 Once & Future Wine Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard Sonoma Valley
7/4/2019 - NostraBacchus Likes this wine:
95 points
Wow.... deep dark fruit of black cherries, black plum, also sweet and savory spices, pepper, some herbal notes, chocolate, smoke leather, some flowery notes. It‘s full-bodied, rich and deep, but not over the top with nice medium+ acidity and medium-high tannin. Excellent length A superb, deep and complex wine, it‘s still very young but needs to shed some of its baby fat. I am pretty sure it will be great in a few years.... actually it already is.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    7/4/19, 6:15 PM - Thanks for the review post on this. Did you decant at all or just pop and pour?

Red
2016 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
4/11/2019 - Badmonkey wrote:
94 points
Decided to revisit because I'm considering buying more and wanted to see how it would show over two days. However, I didn't get to day two - too darn good on day one. Quite an improvement from around a month ago - the fruit has softened/opened-up some more and the glaring plum profile of the 3 Twins fruit has really subsided. In addition, the dark cherry/currant profile of the McGah/Scarlett fruit appears to be coming around . Dark ruby fruit - blackberry, dark currants, dark cherry, blueberry, and a little plum. Smooth mid-palate with solid depth/concentration and purity of fruit especially for the price point. Vibrant flavors of dark berries and some spice box/baking spices. Fairly long finish. Popped/poured but drank out of a decanter for a couple hours. Not much improvement with time but drinking extremely well right away. 100% cab.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    6/4/19, 4:20 PM - Gents - any reservations on the '17 release and how do you think it will fare against its older siblings?

Red
2013 Saxum Broken Stones Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
1/27/2019 - OG-Wino wrote:
I'm with MOREWINEPLEASE! and CABERNET4ME2 on this one.

Based on the other notes, I cracked this open about 4 hours before dinner, and decanted into a wide-base decanter. I did sneak a taste right at the start, and I'd say that I enjoyed it more 5 minutes in than I did 3-4 hours later. While some of the heat had blown off after 4 hours, it seemed rather simple (much more so than at opening) and while I sensed a lot of potential, I wasn't as impressed as I was with the first bottle which I PnP'd back in 2016 or the first sip of the night.

In short, I'd definitely wait another year or so on this one... Even 4 hours decanted isn't enough...
  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/28/19, 7:49 PM - OG-WINO...agree with you and others on giving this another year or two of lay down for better integration. I needed a Pnp on Sunday to enjoy with the wife and decided on this based on some current reviews. It was high octane out of the gate in terms of alcohol. Some high fat cheeses and meats seemed to settle it down, but I just felt it isn’t quite ready for prime time just yet...at least on its own. Thanks for posting the comment!

  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/29/19, 1:07 PM - Marcic - thanks for the tip! Are you pnp’ing your 09/10s and is the all day decant typically for newer releases...or both?

Red
2016 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras St. Helena
11/30/2018 - csimm1161 wrote:
97 points
Fait Main: Black and red cherry liqueur, purple plum skin, electric blackberry, scorched earth, and some cardamom and cinnamon spices. An alluring interplay of fruit and earth notes, with the gravelly elements of the LPV site just starting to peek through. The finish is remarkably smooth for such a youngster.

A great deal of finesse and focus here, with an elevated sense of sophistication that is currently stunted in the still-evolving 2015 sibling LPV. Good verve and energy, coupled with a textural silkiness that coats the palate like a little furry Gremlin (when they are fuzzy, way before midnight... not when they turn all green and gross later).

Rides just a little high right now as youth holds its deeper tonalities at bay for the time being. However, this is a superbly crafted example of LPV simply in need of some bottle age. Lay this one down for 3 years and then let the fun begin. Best after 2022+.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/21/19, 6:35 PM - CSimm...you find the ‘16 to be a buy @ $200 per (ship/tax)? Don’t know why, but struggling to pull the trigger this year. Maybe it has to do with 6+ wineries all choosing Jan 15th as their release date this year...damn! That and the field keeps getting wider and you’d better be making something special once you push the $200 threshold.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/23/19, 7:50 AM - Thanks CSimm. Still on the fence and will probably secure at least a 3 pack, but happy to reappropriate more funds on some others for now. I’m sure you’ll agree it’s been a brutal month on the wallet! Thought I was in a reprieve this year with ‘17s, but still a lot of ‘16 allocations with the marquee labels.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    1/23/19, 8:12 AM - Yeah, right there with you on all those. Don’t forget Saxum and Rivers...although I’ve been weaning on RM lately...there’s a few standouts...but I’ve gotten much more selective.

Red
2015 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Oakville
5/19/2018 - csimm1161 wrote:
93 points
TRB wines (SF): Black and red core fruit, with notes of black and red raspberry, black and red cherry, vanilla liqueur, black rock, and some cedar. The mineral note shows up again on the back end (thankfully), saving it from its already overly fruity profile. Weight and balance are in check, however, it's a walk in the park kind of delivery at this stage. Flat and medium mid-palate, with a round, mellow finish.

Not a blockbuster, especially when compared amongst others in the same league...and especially for a BTK. A '15 Pulido-Walker Panek served right before the CCS had more interesting mineral notes for me personally. This CCS's complexity seemed to suffer quite a bit. It plays as a solid wine, but then kinda peters out at the end. 91-93 points depending on when you catch it on the palate. Hold for a few years in hopes it figures out what kind of wine it really wants to be. Some potential here, but...
  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/12/18, 1:00 PM - CSIMM / Cristal - I find myself at the crossroads this year on the ‘17 Schrader allocation. I have Constellation and Fires on the mind, along with LPB’s early thoughts for roughly $255 a bottle. I think CSIMM is taking a pass - Cristal? Do either of you know what happens at Schrader if you pass on a vintage?

  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/13/18, 9:28 AM - Then Jeb comes along with 100 pt ‘17 barrel scores...ironic timing.

Red
2014 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
3/30/2018 - csimm1161 wrote:
92 points
PnP. Displaying some older world characteristics, with red currant, cedar, and dust. Some purple plum, brick, and dried cranberry also emerged. Medium-bodied with a decent mid-palate, but still a bit youthfully linear.

I continue to believe that even though this is an NV, it needs at least another year or two in bottle to reach its full potential. Not unlike Pott’s SVDs, this NV kicks out some grip/acid that is in much need of integration with the core flavors in order to show a more complete profile.

Hold until mid-2019/2020.
  • City Squirrel commented:

    11/17/18, 4:26 PM - CSIMM - think this is in a better place now. At least the bottle I tapped.

Red
2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
9/29/2018 - City Squirrel wrote:
93 points
Seems to have all the fixings, but Wow!, can't believe this is still so wound up for a 2012. Decanted for close to 5 hrs back n forth between decanter & bottle and it just started releasing closer to the 4-5 hr mark. My guess is this would be fantastic day 2 and maybe even day 4. Similar to my previous notes... no need to rush this, plenty of life ahead or decant, decant, decant!
  • City Squirrel commented:

    9/30/18, 7:48 AM - Thanks for the current vintage drinking window tip! Makes sense in light of my last two attempts with this feisty youngster. Will wait another 3+ yrs before making another go at it.

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