Tasting Notes for Wine Grades

(95 notes on 80 wines)

1 - 50 of 95 Sort order
Red
2/22/2020 - Wine Grades wrote:
93 points
Seems to be some variation in bottles, but this is very good stuff.
Red
1/7/2020 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
93 points
I have a feeling there is a lot of bottle variation with this wine, but my bottle was excellent. I was concerned because cork was very odd upon opening and this may be the reason why others are finding this bottling to be poor. However, I found this a classic Barbaresco with flavors of tar, leather, and floral flavors. It is in a good drinking window right now IMHO.
Red
2013 K Vintners Guido Walla Walla Valley Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
I hate writing a tasting note without a score, but this one is hard to rate as it tastes nothing like a Sangiovese. At first, it is Pinot-like as others have noted. Then, it develops into a Cab Franc taste as it is savory, bell pepper, with a bit of peppery taste. I like it. Very interesting wine with different flavors, but not anything like Sangiovese if that is what you're looking for.
Red
12/26/2019 - Wine Grades wrote:
86 points
Not as good as I'd hoped. Prefer G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo.
Red
11/14/2019 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
94 points
This was sadly my last bottle. I thought these were fading so I drank the last two close together, but I think the second to last one must have just been an off bottle because this last one was fantastic. I think this is right in the drinking window and cannot imagine it getting any better. Everything you could want from a base Barolo in my opinion.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/22/2019 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
89 points
Thought it was very good, but seemed to need a lot of air. I don't understand the note that it is better as a PNP wine than one that should be decanted. For me, on the first day it was a bit lackluster but after being open was better on the second day.
Red
9/14/2019 - Wine Grades wrote:
85 points
Good but not my style and fairly non dimensional
Red
4/27/2019 - Wine Grades wrote:
What a difference since 9 months ago.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/24/2019 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
91 points
In the $20-25 price point this bottle is a rockstar. Certainly not as complex as a great barolo, but for daily drinking this is great. Even young it has a sense of complexity that is better than even some low quality barolos. Highly recommended!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/29/2019 - Wine Grades wrote:
95 points
Very tasty. Seems even better than the last bottle, much to my surprise. Unfortunately, this was the last one.
Red
1/29/2019 - Wine Grades wrote:
89 points
I was surprised to find this was better than the last time I tasted this wine. This time it was not so thin or hot. Some medicinal flavors, cherry, and a bit of fruit. The odd nutty flavor was gone. Maybe last bottle was somewhat flawed. I'd still say this is not an exceptional wine, particularly given other 2010s in Montalcino, but it is good. Wish I had another bottle to see if it gets better...
White - Sparkling
12/3/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
96 points
I'm usually not a big lover of cristal compared to some others but this tasted more like a classic old Dom Perignon to me. Fantastic stuff. Hope I can hold onto next bottle a few years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/3/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
94 points
Love this stuff. Great blue and red berries. Wish I had more.
Red
12/3/2018 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
92 points
This was great on day on day one and day two. Classic flavors of tar and flowers with smooth tannins. I think my last bottle was somewhat flawed as this one was more like the first bottle. Don't think this will get better but will likely stay good for another year or two.
Red
10/16/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
95 points
In a really great place right now. Not sure this will get much better but I think it will hold out at least a couple more years.
White - Sparkling
10/16/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
90 points
Very good. Has many of the same qualities of high end champagne, including DP and Cristal, although my one criticism would be that it is a bitter thinner with less aftertaste than those monsters, but then again, this costs more than $100 less on most occasions.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Pinnacle Ridge Veritas Pennsylvania Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/7/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
85 points
I wouldn't keep these much longer - not as good as the bottle I drank last year.
Red
8/26/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
88 points
This bottle not as good as last one. Didn't taste flawed, but just seems to be fading. Maybe it is fading?
Red
8/23/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
95 points
This is beautiful right now. Wish I had more to see how it evolves. Singing at high acidity with grainy tannins. Cherry and blackberry fruit underneath this gritty and earthy monster. Manages to feel light but also big at the same time. Amazing!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/23/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
90 points
I am confused by the reviews that state this wine is approachable when young. To me this seems like one for the long term. Upon opening it tastes a bit hot, definitely astringent with not much fruit. After a long slow oxygenation the flavors start to emerge after day 2. Tastes of cherry, hard candy, and syrup. Acidity comes to the forefront. Feels like something lurking under the surface. Cannot imagine opening another bottle for at least five years.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/8/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
90 points
Very good for a Chianti. I'm trying not to let price influence my score but this definitely is above the pay grade. Needs some air to open but, but very drinkable after that.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/8/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
89 points
Not as good as other '04s I have tasted thus far. Has classic barolo flavors of cherry, roses, tar, etc., but also tastes a bit nutty, which is something I'm not a fan of. Also a bit thin compared to others from this year.
Red
4/20/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
97 points
Consistent with prior bottle - delicious!
Red
4/11/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
On day one: Not as good as the last bottle. This time the tannins tasted somewhat bitter with less fruit. Cannot imagine this would be fading already. Maybe just in an awkward phase - very odd.

By day three: this took forever to open up. Would wait a long time before opening any other bottles!
Red
4/6/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
90 points
Definitely better than the last bottle and seems like this could get better now. Almost has a Pinot flavor to it with ripe red fruits and lightness.
White - Sparkling
4/6/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
98 points
Never had a wine like this before. An explosion of tiny bubbles with lemon curd and toast. The finish goes on for literally five minutes!
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
4/6/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
86 points
Hard to rate... somewhat thin and hot. Some nutty flavors. I really cannot tell if this is going to get better or not. It could as flavors seemed to even out after being open for a day, but it could just stay like this.
Red
2013 Dominus Napanook Red Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/6/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
flawed
Pop and pour... Day one: wine came out so hot with alcohol I felt my mouth was on fire. There seems to be something special under there but couldn't taste it after only one glass. Stay tuned...

Day two: alcohol blown off, but nothing there. Tastes thin with no fruit. Heat damaged? I'm convinced this bottle was flawed in some way.
3 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
3/19/2018 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
93 points
I think this one punches above its class. Tastes like a good barolo to me. Tart cherry and raspberry. Grainy tannins. Dark coco. Nice balanced acidity. Mouth drying finish leads me to believe this could be aged for quite a while. Hope to buy more!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/16/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
92 points
This wine is kind of hard to rate. It is smooth and easy quaffing with almost a consistency and taste of milk. Little fruit to speak of but can taste hints of the grenache fruit in there. Some spicy notes on the nose, but not much in the mouth. Hard to say if this wine is going to get better or not, but who cares it is fun to drink now. Great value.
Red
1/13/2018 - Wine Grades wrote:
This bottle was significantly different from the one I opened two years ago. The last bottle opened strong with plum and this had faded when I first opened the bottle tonight. More tannic than I remember and earthy. Not really much fruit left. Not sure if this is going through a strange state or fruit has lost out permanently to the more chocolate/coffee flavors when I tried it this time. No more bottles left so don't know.
Red
12/30/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
97 points
Love the licorice flavor and dark brooding dark flavors here. One of my favorites. If you are reading this and want to sell some of this, please contact me. This was my last bottle and dying for more. That said, I don't think there is much time left in this wine. It is strong on opening, but feels like it is fading towards the end.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/22/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
94 points
This is a beautiful west coast pinot that drinks well young. Bright, sort of in your face fruit. Light body and well integrated. Red fruits. Flowers. Underlying test of liquor that has a nice finish. Wish I had more. This was the last bottle of three and I have one away!
Red
12/18/2017 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
93 points
This has improved in the past year. Initially savory and very strong green pepper taste. Gives way to olive tastes and green tomatoes. A good showing with savory notes from this one. Strongly recommended for those that like a typical cab franc. Great price point.
Red
12/16/2017 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
92 points
Very nice wine. A bit big and overwhelming on opening but calms to a nice place quickly. 10 years has done this well. I know a lot of notes indicate it will take much longer to integrate, but the oak tasted well integrated to me. Nice dusty/gritty tannins. Cherry and other red fruits. Long mouth fell. Average value for the quality.
7 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/10/2017 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
93 points
Bang and zoom out of the gate! Mouth watering aromas of flowers, cherry, dark fruits, earth/mushroom with well integrated tannins. Wish I had more of this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/3/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
85 points
Nothing special, but a fine wine for weekday drinking with a meal. No faults. A little bit of fruit. A little bit of spice. At $7.99 a bottle you cannot complain!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/18/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
88 points
A fine wine, but not as good as the 2014 vintage and not as good as the 2015 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila-Haut, which is around the same price point. This one lacks depth and fruit.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/12/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
85 points
I found this had no flaws and was perfectly adequate, but how in the world WA rated it 98 is beyond me. Maybe it tasted better young, but right now it tastes like a $10-15 wine and I could not imagine it getting any better. It is mildly tannic and flat. Some tart fruit but not much. Opened up with lots of alcohol. That burned off but nothing was left. I just have nothing impressive to say about this wine. I don't understand how after 13 years it is so disjointed and borning.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
11/5/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
79 points
A fine wine with some green notes and no flaws, but nothing of distinction.
Red
11/4/2017 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
93 points
I'm rating this strictly on taste, but would be even higher rating if it was price versus quality ratio. Blackberries and blueberries on the nose. In the mouth, medium body, little acidity, some viscosity to it. On the font end the Syrah shines with savory green pepper notes. Mid palate is all fruit with dark berries. Medium dry on the finish. Not the best QPR of all time, but in the top five for sure.

On day 2 the wine had not last any of what makes this good. I think this could go another 20 years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
10/31/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
85 points
Not a bad value for cost as many places have this at around $10 or less, but is a bit bitter for my taste. Typical citrus NZ SB otherwise.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
10/31/2017 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
89 points
Easy drinking. Dry but hint of sweetness. Tasted of buttered bread with hint of sweet cream.
White
10/31/2017 - Wine Grades Likes this wine:
92 points
One of my favorite white wines. This is dry with only the slightest hint of sweetness. Great minerals. Nice acidity. Rounded fruit flavors. Not too much citrus or fruit. Just a great, well made wine that fits exactly within its price point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
10/31/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
88 points
Consistent with prior year. This wine is a little on the sweeter side for my palate, but still very good. Tastes of pear and granny smith apple. Crisp and mellow. This is the first year they have used a screw cap instead of cork.
Red
10/27/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
93 points
Tart cherry. Cola. Mouth sucking tannins. Blackberry/grape fruits/figs. Long and big finish. A little bitterness/astringent on the finish. An excellent and strong wine, but probably not too many years left. Drink now to 2020.

This bottle had a surprisingly large amount of sediment in the bottle. Not sure if it is just my bottle or this is common with this wine, but be careful when pouring!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/15/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
90 points
Pnp in large goblet wine glass. Dark blood red in the glass with no signs of age. A bit closed, but some tartness/cherry and mouthdrying tannic.

On second day, even better with strawberry, balsamic flavors, some spices. Not much fruit other than the strawberry and less cherry on day two. A little bit too hot (alcohol) but otherwise tannins are well integrated enough that this is clearly in the drinking window now. Still has at least a couple years left if not more. Wish I had more at this price point of $25 as it tastes more like a $40-50 bottle. Great for a Chianti Classico.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Pinnacle Ridge Veritas Pennsylvania Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/23/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
88 points
Surprisingly good for a local PA Bordeaux blend. At first opening a little bit bitter and hot, but with some air opened up. Not particularly complex, but nice tart cherry taste.
Rosé
10/7/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
85 points
Dark pink. Some floral notes on the nose. Strawberry. A bit heavier than expected and tasted a bit hot, but refreshing on a hot fall day.
Red
9/8/2017 - Wine Grades wrote:
85 points
PnP. I can see why some think this is too oaky/vanilla. On opening it is somewhat overwhelming with underlying flavors that are a bit too covered up. Secondary flavors of mildly sweet cherry cola, milk chocolate, metal. A hint of mint. Medium to light weight. Not tannic. Don't know that it will get any better given that oak has limited integration after 10 years.

Day two - less oak, but still prominent and secondary flavors did not become more prominent unfortunately.
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  • Tasting Notes: 95 notes on 80 wines
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