Tasting Notes for happytom

(150 notes on 136 wines)

1 - 50 of 150 Sort order
Red
8/8/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
90 points
Dark, inky, heavy, rich, dark fruits. Bordering on Amarone which he is known for. Thankfully the acidity makes it approachable now. Silky tannins. dark chocolate. Balsamic reduction. Still wound tight after 3 hours. Good structure but not sure it's worth the price tho. Don't open for 5 years. It should get better.
Red
8/1/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
93 points
Been almost 4 years since the last bottle. Still excellent. Full mouthful. The funk/barnyard is gone and is a bit more jammy. Still the blackberry reduction. Inky yes. Dark raspberries. A hint of leather. Great with grilled olives. Drink or hold. Plum now starting to come out.
Red
7/26/2020 - happytom wrote:
90 points
not super interesting but still good and solid. Good value. good winemaking. not flashy but get the craft. Cherry, blackberry, herbiness, A bit of chalkiness. After 2 hours a rosiness coming out. Seems to be getting better. Hold.
Red
7/17/2020 - happytom wrote:
89 points
The first bottle we had was definitely bad. This one is good. Not great. Tangy sourness to begin. Chalky. Rasberries with bittersweet chocolate. A bit thin. However, this wine may be great in 5 years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/4/2020 - happytom wrote:
87 points
Jammy. Wife loved it. I did not. Loamy. Some blackberries. Wife said there's enough structure that it could blossom in a few years. Have another bottle. I won't open for 10 years. If we live that long.
White
7/2/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
94 points
We usually don't drink white wines, but....we could drink this one all the time! Wife tasted blind and said immediately this is unique. White peaches, pears and nectarines with a citrus zing. buttery. complex. a mineral background that keeps it grounded. honeysuckle. silky and creamy. This wine is great! And happy that I have another bottle. But also sad that I only have one bottle left.
Red
6/21/2020 - happytom Does not like this wine:
86 points
Opened and first taste was...bubble gum! Cola. Bright sour cherries. Not in the mood for such a wine candy. So corked it back and opened a Pomerol. Now it's a day later and reopened. Still bubble gum and bright, somewhat sour cherries. Very disappointed. More like a simple bubble gum chewing air headed pinot from California, not Willamette Valley. A bit of raspberries. Very clean and bright. Did I mention bubble gum?? Have another bottle but won't open for years, hoping that there are tertiary flavors that may come out. But not holding my breath. At $50 a poor value. If you have a bottle, open it for the crowd that usually drink wine coolers. They will love it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/20/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
95 points
Truly exquisite and elegant. Initial smell was of caramelized lavender? Is that such a thing? Made us both go wow. Taste was was mulberry, blackberry and plum. Graphite. Earthy. Truffles. Tobacco. A creamy freshness. A faint hint of smoke. Drinking well after 30 minutes and now it's 3 hours later and getting better. Fabulous. Drink now or hold. Will be good for many years. Had with home made pizza dough with morels, caramelized onions, asparagus, roasted garlic, and spinach. Doesn't get much better than this!
Red
6/13/2020 - happytom wrote:
90 points
First opened and dry as dust. Then green came out. Finally raspberries started showing up. Tart raspberries. Wet earth. Blackberries. A hint of strawberry. A bit of herbs. Unripe plums that taste astringent. Had decanted for 3 hours. Got softer after that time. Don't open until 2024. This should get better.
Red
6/6/2020 - happytom wrote:
not rating. maybe a bad bottle. it does not live up to the CT ratings. Opened and very jammy. Then oak. Oak subsided. Wife tasted blind and when I said Cab, she said no way. It kinda sorta settled down after 2 hours. Sorta food friendly. Still jammy. After 3 hours wife said I kinda sorta get the cab coming out. ?
Red
? I read the other reviews and I had to check if I had the right wine and the right year. Sadly it checked out. It's not easy being green, is what I get. Green. Green herbs. Overpowering green. Even after 2 hours. Wife tried it blind and her response was ëwww...taste yeasty. So hopefully a bad bottle Unfortunately I have 3 more bottles. Wait a few years?
2 people found this helpful Comments (5)
Red
5/23/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
Rated 92 for now but will only get better. Opened and bouquet was chalky, cola, and raspberry. First taste was dark cherries, raspberry, and lip smacking acidity. Floral. It really filled out but never got heavy. Integrated nicely. Sweet tannins with cherries with a hint of bright, citrus sourness in the background. A freshness, that was there from the beginning and keeps going. After 3 hours of being decanted it keeps opening up. Great value. Introduce this wine to someone who wants to take the next step in wine appreciation.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
5/16/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
90 points
Opened and bouquet was closed. But it started opening up. First smell was or cola, which we do not like. But that quickly blew away and got raspberries. Taste...raspberries. Lots of juicy raspberries. Wife said this is "flat" which translates it does not have a lot of depth. Then came strawberries. Bright strong red fruits but then it really softened. Bay leaves. Strong fruits but still it is well balanced. This wine will be age for years.
Red
5/9/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
First opened and bouquet was dry as a bone but knew it would open up. And it did. Initially taste was chocolate! Then lavender. A hint of tar. Deep dark fruits. juicy boysenberry but an earthiness. A chalkiness. It's not a fruit bomb. Wife tasted blind and guessed old world with cabernet sauvignon. Very balanced. Bouquet now getting roses. Getting heavier after 3 hours but still balanced. This wine will age for gracefully for years. And I have another bottle!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/25/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
90 points
First taste is of raspberries. Do get some earthiness. Food friendly. Great with the tomato Posole stew I made. A bit of peppery spiciness. Plums. Fresh fruits countering the old world characteristics. Been opened for 3 hours and doing great.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/23/2020 - happytom wrote:
89 points
First taste was cherry cola. Similar to what you get at a Sonic Drive-In. Boring. Very clean and pristine. Not earthy at all. To me the quintessential California Pinot Noir. After 2 hours it did open up to deeper flavors. Now getting fresh raspberries. Not dark nor charred fruits...very fresh. It got deeper but then reemerged as more simple. So we poured into 3 different glasses. The classic Burgundy glass brought back the cherry cola in your face. The cabernet glass kept it more dark. Fascinating. Not bad nor good. We hoped it was food friendly but there was no chemistry. Salmon, white beans, mushrooms, and sorrel.
Red
4/18/2020 - happytom wrote:
89 points
A very different Cab. Initially underripe blackberries. A bit sour and tart. After decanting the sourness and tartness went away, mostly. Now it now reminds me of Double Bubble chewing gum which gives it strawberry-banana-punch flavors. Also getting a hint of butterscotch notes which reminds me of nearby Paso Robles. Now getting blueberries with lurking blackberries. Very heavy and not fruit forward. Some earthiness. Not bad. Not great. Drinkable.
Red
2016 Château Maillet Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/11/2020 - happytom wrote:
92 points
A unique Pomerol. Initially made your mouth pucker. Tangy. Camphor. Now silky. Earthy. Plums. Raspberries with a coat of chocolate. After 2 hours of decanting the chocolate is becoming more prominent. Can cellar for years.
Red
4/3/2020 - happytom wrote:
94 points
First smell was of grilled vegetables and mushrooms! Took wife a glass and she said "wow, is someone grilling?" Very nice. Taste. Dried cherries with juicy dark fruits such as plum and blackberries. Definitely mushrooms. Excellent structure. Velvety tannins. Smooth yet firm. Very food friendly. I made a homemade tomato sauce, homemade pizza crust, and brought out frozen grilled vegetables I had grilled last summer and had seal-a-mealed. Excellent. Ready now but will last for years. I have one more bottle and will wait 5 years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/28/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
smoothest lightest Barolo we've had in some time. First taste was super light, very acidic with a hint of raspberries. After an hour it gained weight. More robust. Raspberries, a hint of dark cherries and strawberries. Getting the slightest hint of tar finally. Minerality is definitely there in the background. A hint of prunes and plums. No mahogany nor cedar at all though. Not the most quintessential Barolo. In 2015 we had this wine and I reviewed it which you can see here. In that review I said I was a bit disappointed but that I predicted that in 2020 it will be great. One of the few times I have been right!! it will be great for at least another 5 years.
Red
3/21/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
Dark cherries, a bit of sour. Dark and brooding. Heavy on first taste. dusty limestone. Plums, dates, violets. A hint of tobacco. A tanginess on the back end. Lavender. Made a homemade tomato sauce. With polenta, onions, mushrooms, heirloom beans (Flageolet), balsamic vinegar reduction, Red bell pepper. Wife is vegan but I added ground hamburger to mine. Was great. Perfect wine collection. Wife HAPPY!! Yay!
Red
3/5/2020 - happytom Likes this wine:
93 points
Agree with the reviews here. Very easy drinking. Will get even better over the net 2 years.
White
11/30/2019 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
Bouquet was ripe white peaches. A hint of apricot. Fresh flowers. A backbone of minerality. Initially the taste was more subdued. But it caught up with the smell. Wife does not not like white wine but she was impressed with this one.
Red
8/15/2019 - happytom Likes this wine:
94 points
Opened and poured. Initial fruit bomb on the front end with a tangyness on the finish. After an hour it all started coming together and opened up. Gaining weight now. Fruity but not a fruit bomb. Juicy blackberries and boysenberries. Rose petal, A hint of mineral on the finish. Tangyness is gone. A bit of cedar, chocolate, and marshmallow. Kept getting better. Drink or hold.
Red
7/4/2019 - happytom Likes this wine:
93 points
Opened and the bouquet was very jammy. Taste was very dry! Total disconnect. Would it open up to be so fruity to be undrinkable or open up and and be deep. Wasn't sure at first. Suspense. Over 3 hours later. Wet forrest floor. Dark cherries. Great food wine. Brooding in a good way. Wet leather. Cedar. Rosemary. A hint of apricots. Juicy but not too ripe boysenberries. Will only get better over the next 5 years.
Red
5/12/2019 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
very dark fruits. First taste wife guessed a Malbec. Good guess! After an hour the cabernet came out. Very tannic at first. Tangy on the back end. The tannins softened. Fruit came more pronounced. Dark cherries. Good structure. Very enjoyable
Red
5/4/2019 - happytom wrote:
97 points
Wow. Dark and brooding yet with a lightness. Smoked meats, leather, prunes, raisons soaked in port. Dark fruits. Chalk and limestone. Earthy. Good acidity. Tannins are coming out now after 30 mins. Tangy. 1 1/2 hours later tannins are smooth.
Red
2/9/2019 - happytom wrote:
89 points
Reading all the other reviews I thought I had the wrong wine. Our experience was different. Very light. Very light in color. Probably the lightest Bordeaux blend I've ever had. Looked like a Pinot Noir. Initially a bit sour. Fresh. After an hour it mellowed out. Very dry. Minerality. Rose pedals at the beginning. Tobacco and a bit of leather now. Dried fruits. We get the potential. But I recommend waiting for several years to open. Or open it very early.
3 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2009 Miner Family The Oracle Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/3/2019 - happytom wrote:
88 points
Took a bottle to friends house last night. It seems to be going through a dumb phase. Seemed shut down. Very disjointed. After a couple of hours it got somewhat better. I see a couple reviews here recently saying something similar.
Red
1/30/2019 - happytom Likes this wine:
91 points
Randomly found in my cellar. Cork broke. Uh oh. Poured and strained through the hole in the remaining cork. Very nice! Even tho it is from high elevation and from a cool year (2003) the fruit was very present. Berries. Lots of cool berries. Blackberries. Structure is great. Still fresh. After an hour it is opening up. A thin layer of pencil. A bit of tangyness to balance the berries. I had expected it to have been past its prime but drinking great now and can last for a few more years.
Red
12/31/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
Opened. Initially very austere. Rustic. Dark and heavy and flat. But we knew it would open up and be very food friendly. More old school Barolo than new school for sure. 2 hours later. Limestone. Dark cherry reduction. Balsamic and tar. VERY food friendly. Elegant. Had with a tomato sauce. Tastes lighter with food. Acidity to match the tomatoes? 3 hours now and its just now opening up. More sour cherries. Lavender becoming predominate now. GREAT! This wine can last for many more years but still enjoyable now.
Red
12/30/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
96 points
I just realized that i posted my review to the whole wine! So here it is...from Nov 26, 2015

Bottle 410 of 771. One word...wow. This is why I love Barolos. Opened and poured. A lighter reddish orangish color. A bit of brown bricking. Tasted light but oh....you knew the power would emerge. Quintessential Barolo. Strawberries, raspberries, cedar, mahogany. Tasting fresh and bright. After time the tar, sweet balsamic vinegar emerged. It did gain weight. A little darker in color now. The backend actually has a hint of apricot. A hint of prunes and rosemary after two hours. A hint of orange peel on the nose. Strawberries, raspberries, and cedar dust still there for the taste. Soft tannins. At three hours rose petal emerging. Could go on and on but down to our last sip now. Ready for drinking now but will last for years in the cellar. Drink or hold. Bought it at the Museo Cavatappi in Barolo which I believe was bottled for the Museum.
And what makes me happy is that I have bottle number 411 in my cellar!! Something to look forward to.
Red
12/9/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
No notes. We were having a good time with friends. But we all thought it was a great wine. perfect with the lamb stew i made.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Clos de Sarpe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/22/2018 - happytom wrote:
90 points
Definitely old word. We forest floor (no raking), mushrooms, limestone. The fruit is roasted raspberries. A bit of rose water. Herbs like cardamon. If you like modern wines dont look here.
Red
11/19/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
90 points
Very pleasant. Light in body and color. Cherries, roses with a hint of earthiness. A good combination of fruity and earthiness. Very food friendly. Had at a Kurdish restaurant. Good acidity.
Red
11/5/2018 - happytom Does not like this wine:
88 points
This was the worse quality to price wine I have ever had. Lackluster. Boring. Got the violets and perfume (sort of). If you have money to burn, sure. Go ahead. But I'm into wine that drinking above it's pay grade these days.
Red
11/5/2018 - happytom wrote:
flawed
Flawed. Initial nose was ok. Got violets but it had a metallic bitter aftertaste. Was hoping it was just funk that needed to blow off but it got worse. Served blind to the wife who scrunched up her nose and said Ewwwww. Had a 2002 Margaux to replace. See my review there. Hint. It's not a positive review.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Château Le Thil Comte Clary Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/21/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
90 points
Nice. Not great but very pleasant. Smoked meats, limestone, plums, licorice. A bit of tartness on the finish. Earthy yet fresh. After an hour it has become very integrated. More plum now, less tart finish. Good value.
Red
9/29/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
95 points
My review is the same as MRichman n 5/29/2018. I would add that it had a hint of chalky limestone in the background. When first opened there was a bit of dark cherry.
Red
9/22/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
93 points
ready for drinking. Leather, raspberries, drenched cherries. Definitely aged. Drink up now. After 2 hours it died and became sour. But it was great up until then.
Red
7/7/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
93 points
I noticed it had leaked through the cork so I was concerned. Opened and poured and WOW! Was good. Blueberry pie, raspberries, a hint of funkiness. Prosciutto. A hint of leather. A bit of gravel. Tannins are ultra silky. Great from the start. Did not evolve much but held great for 2 hours.
Red
6/23/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
94 points
Poured and the color is blueberry. Wife tasted blind and guessed French Syrah. Correct! So it is what you would expect from a Syrah from Northern Rhone. Blueberry, roasted meats, leather, dark cherries, huckleberry reduction, raspberries, chalky limestone. Smooth tannins. Great now and will only get better.
Red
6/10/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
Opened and poured. Wife tasted blind and guessed Shiraz! Correct. Dense yet thin at the beginning. Tight. Rounded out over time. Get scorched blueberries, leather, plum, cedar, red currants, a hint of raspberries, minerality. Great lip smacking acidity with clean flavors. Whatever food you have with it, it should have rosemary! Tannins are very smooth. 92 now but will only get better.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Elderton Western Ridge Barossa Valley Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
6/3/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
91 points
A new world version of Grenache Carignan blend. Very fresh and clean. Not earthy. Definitely get garrigue and spices such as white pepper. Bursting with pomegranate and raspberry. A touch of minerality. Nice acidity making it lip smacking. Initially very very light. Gained weight though. If you like more traditional Grenache from France DON''T drink this. But it is a great expression as to what Grenache can be. I leaned something about Grenache with this wine.
Red
2005 Bond Pluribus Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/14/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
94 points
Initially milk chocolate and raspberries. The chocolate faded. Now cassis, graphite, a hint of cigar box, vanilla. Tannins are silky smooth. Well integrated. Can age more but is ready now.
Red
5/7/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
95 points
Ordered Mediterranean food to go and took to a wine bar. Juicy Rainer cherries. Tea leaves. Long leather finish. Dried herbs. Those flavors go great together. Just excellent.
Red
5/5/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
Tobacco and leather. Dark rose. Tart cherry. Clean. A tiny hint of orange zest and limestone. After an hour it is gaining weight. Good now but I would recommend holding for 3-5 years. It will get better.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/21/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
94 points
I wrote a tasting note in 2015. At that time I said upon opening it was very oaky and very awkward and after an hour it all came together. Today I opened opened another bottle and it all together immediately! Very elegant from the start. Dark fruits, a hint of raspberries, chalky, minerality. Tannins are soooo smooth. Acidity is nice. I visited the vineyard and tasted the 2005 in barrel and was very refreshing. Higher elevation and that seems to be reflected in the wine. Definitely not from the Napa valley floor. A great Bordeaux expression from California. It's been open for 3 hours now and holding great!
Red
4/15/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
90 points
First 2 hours, very light, thin and not much fruit but a beautiful crimson color. Tannic. But knew it would open up and it did. Gained weight. Muddled roses, barely ripe strawberries, leather. Earthy. Now cherries are coming in and then....it passed! Strong cherries for about 5 minutes and passed. Wow. Now back to leather. Softer and getting rounded. A bit of sourness. Bouquet of rose water. Minerality. very nice.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/7/2018 - happytom Likes this wine:
92 points
Opened and bouquet was surprisingly vanilla, butterscotch, and taffy. First taste was totally different though. Very dry. Thought it was past prime. But no. After an hour it really opened up. Raspberries, tobacco, black currants. Limestone/gravel/minerality. In a perfect spot now. Great with dinner.
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