Tasting Notes for dodongo

(59 notes on 55 wines)

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Red
12/30/2012 - dodongo wrote:
90 points
As usual, patience pays great dividends with even the entry-level Duckhorn wines. This is their "starter" Cab, nothing vineyard or estate designate about it, just good ol' Napa Valley Cab. Seven years post-vintage, this bad boy has aged only slightly, owing to the house style of unapologetic tannins with well-placed acidity and overall balance with respect to the alcohol presence. It's just great, and if you have more '05s in your cellar, you needn't be in any hurry, in my opinion. Just delicious!
White - Sweet/Dessert
2002 Oriel-Guiraud Ondine Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
11/24/2011 - dodongo wrote:
89 points
This was a lovely, albeit not outstanding, Sauternes. Frankly, I'd like to smell a bit more rot in mine (something a wine geek doesn't often get to say aloud)! It is quite lovely, though, showing massively condensed sugars evocative of various dried fruits, honey, etc., and an absolutely lovely body as one would expect from such a high RS wine. I can't recall much more in the way of specifics other than to say it seemed entirely on the mark for a slightly-aged Sauternes, and it filled its role in the dessert pairing really well. Shared it with friends tonight over a pumpkin pie with cream cheese in the filling, and it was absolutely outstanding in that role. Not in the upper tier of Sauternes, lacking in overall complexity a bit, but a solid value as an example of the style.

[EDIT: I wrote all that to take *major* exception to the recommendation that this wine be consumed "by 2011". No way in hell. If you've got 'em, hold on to them in the cellar. This guy's doing just fine, and will continue to evolve and be of interest for... I can't say how long. Maybe not forever, but probably decades yet, if the cork holds.]
Red
9/29/2011 - dodongo wrote:
I'm super surprised by this. If you are still fortunate to have this in the cellar, feel free to keep holding on. Tannins have smoothed really nicely, but the fruit is still super-present, and the wine is not in any danger of going over the hill as far as oxidation or tannin precipitation. It's drinking very elegantly and is quite impressive, but I don't get the sense that any hurry is necessary for this one just yet. Can go another year or two to peak, probably. Very nice! [EDIT: Only now re-reading my previous reviews, which I stand by and have me over the moon with respect to my earliest predictions. The acid has indeed come into balance with the wine. The tannins are but a touch astringent still, but this is *much* closer to ideal balance than in previous tastings. I was very wrong at the beginning on how long this wine could go, but rest assured, it's still going there, friends. Very good juice.]
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
9/11/2011 - dodongo wrote:
91 points
This is the most tannic white wine I've ever had. And I'm kind of in love with it. Interesting nose, which suggests you're about to taste grape skins; amazing on the palate, with a flavor that keeps on giving. Tannin and acid in balance in a way that no other white wine I've ever had can exhibit. I wonder if you had this in an opaque, blind tasting stem, what grape you'd call this out as. It ain't usual, but it's lovely, and it's just delicious.
Red
4/4/2011 - dodongo wrote:
90 points
Just lovely -- glad I held off on this as long as I did. Black pepper, graphite and pencil shavings on the nose along with abundant fruit, sweet wood, bacon fat and violets. Super lush fruit, but also the rustic gaminess of a good syrah. This bottle really hits the spot; glad I have one more remaining to enjoy even later on. I found this quite spectacular, though decidedly on the fruit-bomby side of things. Whatever, it's great. As it turns out, this is by far one of the better deals on a wine I've encountered in the last couple years. If you can find it, buy it. Doing really well right now.
Red
2007 Prospect 772 The Brawler Calaveras County Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
8/13/2010 - dodongo wrote:
92 points
Hedonistic, and wonderfully so. So much delicious fruit, wonderful nose. Not in the austere style but it is what it is, and that is, in a word, tasty!
Red
5/21/2010 - dodongo wrote:
More than 24 months after posting my suggestion to wait up to a year on drinking this wine ;) Yes, that was the right decision. It's quite tart which is a surprise, but it's aged so, so gracefully. Glad I have one more to go; will probably revisit fairly shortly with a dish I might normally go to pinot noir for -- good body, lovely fruit, and supple tannins, but a surprising acidity to boot.
Red
3/6/2010 - dodongo wrote:
85 points
This wine is not great. But that's never what this wine was intended to be. This wine is good, and it's damn good for the money, and *that's* what it was supposed to be. This wine is unidimensional from start to finish. Flavors don't evolve much at all but there's an impressively solid shot of fruit that even mingles with some oak (which I don't really think is necessary but I suppose I'll take it).

I would still, I think, be more pleased to see wines of this style embrace a little more the notion that they don't need to be made in the style of great agers, because that's not what this kind of wine is. But I have to say I'm impressed with how this has surpassed my expectations. It's a pup yet, and it should evolve quite quickly vis-a-vis bottle age. But I like where it is. I want to give this wine a higher rating but it doesn't merit it; on the other hand I adore the sentiment behind the construction of this blend and I wish more people would try to put juice of this quality in bottle at this price point. I wish there was a rating for that!
Red
3/4/2010 - dodongo wrote:
87 points
I really quite like this. The Cab Franc makes its presence delightfully known (is it Brett? is it Franc?) and the Syrah adds a nice extra coat of fruit and softer tannins that make this wine quite approachable and impressively not-astringent for no older than it is. Leather, smoky oak, dried fruits and some chocolate in this one, for me. I find the oak a bit unusual (is it American?) but not unusual in a bad way if that makes any sense -- just not quite what I'm used to.

This wine makes a strong case for the value wine segment coming out of Washington; with many more bottlings like this on offer from WA, this economic downturn could be a real bonus for them, as Bordeaux varieties from California will certainly have a hard time competing at $20 and under if this is at all representative. Strong QPR -- recommended!
Red
2/26/2010 - dodongo wrote:
89 points
A good syrah. Liked what seemed to be higher than average acidity. Good smoky game character. Surprised it wasn't more full bodied. Will age for a bit before opening another.
Red
12/29/2009 - dodongo wrote:
90 points
No secret why the reserve comes from this vineyard. Was a very worthy competitor in our tasting; outshone wines of high regard. Would be quite happy with a little aging but actually wasn't tasting too terribly young.
Red
11/30/2009 - dodongo wrote:
89 points
Viognier coferm shows, and it's nice! There is a surprising amount of (American, ya?) oak in here, perhaps to the detriment of the wine; seems a little out of balance and with the 15% ABV I think those lend to a bit of an astringency on the finish. Lovely color. Get some floral character on the nose along with cedar and pencil and something almost a little menthol. Cherries and dried red fruit. I also get a whiff of something almost cola or Dr. Pepper like. Dried red fruits persist in the mouth as well. Something a touch medicinal in the mouth but not off-putting. And lots of oak. Very good wine that, to me, lacks some balance and finesse -- but everything it does bring to the table is right-on, regardless of any relative disproportion.
White
11/7/2009 - dodongo wrote:
90 points
Lovely wine in a not-particularly-California style. Semillon blended in reduces the sometimes-searing acidity of SB. A bit of oak aging for a part of the wine, too, serves up a word you don't find much in re: sauvignon blanc -- this wine is opulent. Tasty.
White - Sparkling
10/25/2009 - dodongo wrote:
84 points
Better than the Brut Prestige (Mumm Napa's entry level sparkler), but not really anything to write home about. For a reserve, I'd expect more lees characteristics than this brings to the table. Still, good acidity and a pleasantly clean finish make this acceptable when you want something a notch above entry-level. Concerned about the QPR though. Confident that you can do just as well for nearly half the clams.
Red
10/10/2009 - dodongo wrote:
86 points
A good zin! Dry but with approachable tannins. The PS addition works wonderfully here, bringing additional spice and tannic heft without pushing anything out of step. Hunch, it may actually boost the flavor development as this ages, even early on. Hoping to put this away for 6 months or so before revisiting.
Red
9/21/2009 - dodongo wrote:
78 points
Smoke, loam and a little alcohol on the nose (in no way hot tho). Maybe a bit of roasted nuts, almost hazelnut or pecan or something. Ruby in color leaning slightly to the bricked orange side, with a weak, nearly colorless rim. Wine tastes of smokiness, grape stems, raspberries and raspberry seeds. Finish leaves me with a stemmy hint and some stone fruit peel (like eating a peach's skin only). A bit flabby, seems like it really needs more acidity to sing. I could see this being dynamite with the right pulled pork barbecue sandwich. I did not particularly enjoy this wine.
Red
9/13/2009 - dodongo wrote:
82 points
I find it hard to know what to do with this wine; a Zin, as it's branded, I'd score this quite a bit lower -- I find it very off-putting with that preconception in mind. HOWEVER :) Knowing the pedigree of the wine, with the sweet port grape blend, and understanding this is designed to be its own beast... Chocolate, raspberries and port come through for me pretty clearly. Nose lets you know it's not dry, but is not headache-inducing. Frankly, I have to wonder how this would fare with a little more port grapes and then some brandy.... oh wait, that's called Port.
White
7/10/2009 - dodongo wrote:
84 points
I want more acidity if the wine's gonna be this sweet. I really should have more and write a cohesive tasting note, though, rather than just being a Negative Nancy :) Good enough for what it is, though I have to say this is the first Woot Cellars offering I've received that I feel is not a killer deal.
Red
6/14/2009 - dodongo wrote:
84 points
This wine definitley has some things going for it: I found the appearance of the wine to be quite lovely. The positively translucent Pinot red has plenty of orange to it, not just the purple end of red. Also, the oak integration seems tasteful but not ageworthy. I was surprised to find out it was something like only 20% new oak. There's clearly not a decade-level ageability to this wine, but I was pleased to find the oak notes along with the fruit.

Downsides: Pretty hot; not a PN designed to deal with the 14.5% ABV. The nose was downright scorching at times, even while at proper serving temperature. The wine was quite flat compared to other 2006es I've had, perhaps a reflection of the vintage in that particular AVA? The wine did leave a nice spiced, vanilla oak finish, which I commend based on the production notes and the overall lack of exposure to new oak, but I found the flavors on the palate rather lacking.

I guess from the CT notes this retails at around $30? If so, the price may, unfortunately, be an artifact of how the wine is Willamette Valley appellated. Once the wine had time to breathe, this was not a bad wine, but I'm afraid it's not what it is cracked up to be at that price point.
Rosé
6/6/2009 - dodongo wrote:
87 points
Nice rose! One of the great things about Jeff Cohn making the heavily-extracted, yummy Syrah that he does is that we also get some crazy saignee rose from no name heaps of dirt like "Stagecoach Vineyard" and "Rockpile". Pff. Try me again when you... wait... did you say "Stagecoach" and "Rockpile"?? It takes a certain level of crazy *and* acumen to end up with that assortment in your winery's cellar. I, for one, am glad they do. Glad this turned someone on to rose. Believe it or not, they do come better than this, although this does tick all the right boxes: clean fruit, nice acidity, refreshing served cold... Lovely. There's a weird streak of something herby or green or maybe just flat-out bitter in the midpalate; the nose is a little weak to me, too. But really, a nice effort here. I got this for a song, and am a rose fiend. A happy rose fiend at that!
Red
6/6/2009 - dodongo wrote:
88 points
I know people seem to like this with pizza, but I'm more of a Syrah / Zinfandel with pizza kind of guy. This is, however, an incredibly good, incredibly priced pasta-with-red-sauce wine. Whatever you're having with your pasta, as long as it's got a tomato sauce on it, this wine is for you. Clean flavors, absolutely not overly tannic, absolutely not the "Super Tuscan" thing where people blend in Cab and Merlot and God-Knows-What into their Sangio so it drinks more like a big-body California fruit bomb. Nope, this is medium-body, tart, red fruit. Can you imagine why it would work with tomatoes so well? :-P Not a complicated wine, but a wine that I genuinely admire, and a wine I hope A) Vino Noceto is very proud of and B) doesn't fiddle with much in future years :)
White - Sparkling
6/6/2009 - dodongo wrote:
89 points
Disclaimer: I love this wine. Not as a critic but as a fan, this is my favorite non-DVX wine Mumm has on the shelf today. Now, as a critic, I've gotta throw down: this wine is disappointingly one-dimensional. It's crisp, it's tart, it's citrusy, but just as I love Sauvignon Blanc for those traits, I have to take Devaux Ranch down a peg for its lack of complexity. It is kind of a one-trick pony (OK, two, cuz it sparkles). The flavor profile it has opens the door to a great variety of food pairings that are obvious and pages long, but while that makes it a very good wine, it doesn't make it a great wine. I think an extended tirage version of this wine could be incredible as supporting notes to the clean-cut citrus could really develop. Looking forward to seeing how this ages, too. Until then, I'll go with an 89.
White - Sparkling
N.V. Mumm Napa Santana Brut Napa Valley Champagne Blend (view label images)
6/6/2009 - dodongo wrote:
86 points
For an off-dry sparkler, you can do a helluva lot worse. This is a fine mimosa sparkler (which I do not use as a pejorative; few things could be a more noble destiny for a sparkling wine than to produce mimosas for a lovely brunch!) and not bad on its own, especially if you have company that doesn't much care for the driest of the dry. Probably also has some excellent cocktail implications as a result. But I digress -- as a wine, this is so-so; I'm sure it has its place, though I prefer most other Mumm wines to this, as I generally enjoy predominantly brut-or-drier.
White
5/2/2009 - dodongo wrote:
84 points
Can't believe I'm taking the time to review a cheapie from Beringer, but this was surprising. One thing you do get from cheaper Chardonnay is that it is simply unaffordable to put it through the wringer as many oft-maligned California Chardonnays are (I'm not judging that STYLE here, mind you, just this particular wine!). So what I found in my glass after pouring a drink was a chardonnay that gives off plenty of oaky-buttery big body characteristics, but refreshingly heaves a load of fruit over your palate along with that. Still, it's a cheap CaliChard, so there's some weirdness like a surprisingly long, but disappointingly grape skin bitter finish. That said, I think it takes some cajones to even attempt a finish of that length on a mass-produced $11 Chardonnay.

The real coup here may be the potential to exploit this in a restaurant setting. I would bet this would do nicely as a "house" Chardonnay, by the glass for $5 or $6 , especially in some of the more wine-naive areas (as compared to here in the Bay Area where you can't sell a wine without declaring vintner, vintage and variety). A while back I was in the Midwest and Olive Garden tried to sell me on a Kendall Jackson Chard for around that price range. I found this much more appealing, especially while thinking of creamy dishes, white fish, chicken (picatta, esp.), maybe even eggplant parmigiana.
Red
4/23/2009 - dodongo wrote:
91 points
This wine, ten years out, is still rocking. As Adam puts it, "drinks like a wine half its age". The recommended consumption date is way off on this -- it's '09 and the wine seems like it could take 5+ years easy.
Red
2006 Prospect 772 The Brawler Calaveras County Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
4/8/2009 - dodongo wrote:
Opulent and amazing. Killer blend, great wine. Wish I'd bought more!
Rosé
3/16/2009 - dodongo wrote:
89 points
One of my favorite roses. IIRC this is mostly merlot, and it's more than mostly delicious!
Red
3/16/2009 - dodongo wrote:
Probably my favorite of the JanKris Woot shipment, save perhaps for the Riatta. A little hot, but it's Paso Merlot so don't have a heart attack on account of that surprise. The wood was really spicy, almost a pine note or something. I wonder if this was "oaked" teabag style? Or maybe some weird drop-in treatment. Didn't really strike me as oak barrel tannin extraction which, at this price point, is consistently what you *don't* get anyhow.
Red
3/7/2009 - dodongo wrote:
76 points
Reminiscent of a mix of concord grape --EDIT: No, actually, strawberry -- and rose jellies on a Toll House cracker, served on a cedar plank. And you eat everything. Including the plank. Atrocious corks they use in these bottles -- did they order TCA in the composite mix or was that an accident? I know, I know, I paid like $8 for these... But I know what value I can get for $8 and even then these are disappointing.
White
3/7/2009 - dodongo wrote:
Really sharp wine. Crisp, lively, refreshing, almost seems like it's ever so slightly sparkling in mouth-feel (it is a still wine, however). Good juice.
White
2007 Two Mile Viognier Central Coast
3/3/2009 - dodongo wrote:
flawed
Sadly, this bottle was corked. Normally, a really interesting Viognier. I had the good fortune of finding their tasting room utterly on accident and, while I loved their amazing Sangiovese, this guy really intrigued me and seemed fairly priced at $20. Winemaker says fermentation happened in new oak for 1/4 of the juice, which really plays well with the generally-creamy/viscous nature of Viognier, and the present but not overwhelming oak is a neat riff on a wine I generally enjoy anyhoo. Good stuff.
Red
1/26/2009 - dodongo wrote:
92 points
What a dandy, tasty, impressive syrah this is. My tasting notes, as usual, suck because I wrote nothing down, but let it be said that Carneros fruit can be quite lovely and Nils Venge really did a number with this batch. Got 2 bottles, no regrets :)
White
1/25/2009 - dodongo wrote:
Aged increeeedibly over the course of about a year in the cellar. Turned into a much older Chard in very little time. Still a very interesting and enjoyable wine -- but it screwed up the pairing :)
Red
1/23/2009 - dodongo wrote:
Boy am I glad we had this bad boy when we did. The cork was hella wet and came out alarmingly easy. That said, the wine was fine and dandy. It liked a few swirls in the glass to reintroduce it to the air of the outside world, but what was left behind was a real treat. Elegantly aged, not overpowering Napa Cab. Very nice stuff. An excellent birthday treat!
Red
12/29/2008 - dodongo wrote:
84 points
Tight, tight, tight. Decanting *and* running this thru the Vinturi made it quite nice, but I guess I should learn sometime that patience is a virtue. I guess my overall reaction to this is "not super impressive for the price". Not bad, but for the cash I'd expect more, hence the relatively lower score.
Red
12/9/2008 - dodongo wrote:
This is just stupid good wine. I could critique the structure and flavors but there's really nothing to be critical of. The blend here is full, rich, and just, well, delicious. Don't tell Ty, but I think this is my favorite of his wines. We'll see how TyTanium ages :)
Red
12/9/2008 - dodongo wrote:
Delish! Super QPR. Doing tasting notes well after having the wine and now I've forgotten quite a bit. But I love Lucas & Lewellen -- and Adam says so too.
White - Sweet/Dessert
12/7/2008 - dodongo wrote:
There is another entry for 2005 Miel from Duckhorn; however, that is called "Semillon" which this cannot be called -- it's 58% Semillion, 42% Sauvignon Blanc, which is how Duckhorn chooses to label it rather than just "White Wine" or somesuch. 15.5% RS on this bad boy.
White
12/7/2008 - dodongo wrote:
Yummy Chardonnay without new French oak or malolactic fermentation. What's a Californian to do when you discover Chardonnay doesn't have to be pounded into submission by the winemaking equivalents of rock show pyrotechnics and laser-light effects? Enjoy. And wonder why more places don't do it this way!!
White
11/29/2008 - dodongo wrote:
85 points
Tart and citrus-zingy, with minerality reminiscent of the smoke from a sparkler on the Fourth of July. Lots of malic acid; thinking Granny Smith apples and maybe a hint of pear. I don't know much about Gruner Veltliner, but as far as wines in general go, this one is decent.
White
7/6/2008 - dodongo wrote:
Very different and delicious! A little of the character of Pinot Blanc with some of the character of Sauvignon Blanc and something else that's hard to put my finger on... Crisp and delicious; glad I got the chance to try it (thanks, Nils!)
White
7/6/2008 - dodongo wrote:
A real crowd pleaser, this Sauvignon Blanc is bright and crisp, but not so acidic as to be overwhelming. With summer upon us, this is a definite candidate for a nice evening patio cool-down with some good company. Excellent Sauvie B., NoCal!
Rosé
7/6/2008 - dodongo wrote:
Amazing strawberry-rhubarb nose. Among the best roses I've had, this one is a real treat, and I wish I had purchased more, actually. Pure saignee of Cabernet Savuignon, this brings an incredible amount of fruit to the nose and palate, but does so without being sweet in the least. Beware, I had a particularly bogus cork in one and it leaked, so damn if I didn't have an excuse to crack open two of these on successive very-hot evenings. (Is it a flaw? Is it a feature??)
Red
7/6/2008 - dodongo wrote:
90 points
Ohhh my. What a delicious wine. An amazing value, and (sadly) a wine that under another label would probably wow reviewers off their thrones. Ty Caton's field blend doesn't take me to the heights of some wines, but I can say without qualification that this wine is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end, and for that, it deserves major props. It's majorly North Coast fruity, but don't let that put you off -- there's depth and complexity here that makes me giddy to think what this will be like if I can manage to cellar the remaining bottles for a few years.
Red
7/6/2008 - dodongo wrote:
There are other tasters who've noticed a musty, off smell. I'm detecting a bit of cork taint and I wonder if that's not where those comments are coming from. That said, this wine definitely has a nose of CS with a bit of wood to it. And while the flavors present tannins and some acidity... I have to say, this is not my favorite cheap wine. Or in other words, I'm knocking this one for being $8 when there are unquestionably better wines I've had for half the price; an evaluation metric I feel applies equally to $100+ wines as much as < $10 wines. Could've passed for a cheap house wine, which is what it was made for, but I can't say much else in the positive...
Rosé - Sparkling
7/6/2008 - dodongo wrote:
Ate this tonight with a pepperoni pizza. Would probably have been more satisfied tonight with a standard Champagne cuvee brut, but this is my general fall-back sparkler, and though it is not the fanciest drink on the block (or in my cellar), I adore it every time I find proper occasion to pop open a bottle.
Red
6/15/2008 - dodongo wrote:
Very, very nice Syrah, with a little bit of age on it. I really enjoyed this bottle for showing the elegant swagger of a little bottle aging that California Syrah, to my experience, rarely gets the chance to wear. Ready to be consumed, but could probably be stored properly for a few more years and pick up a bit more of the glow of a lovely wine in maturity.
Red
5/17/2008 - dodongo wrote:
I liked this one a lot in their tasting room. When the bottle is freshly popped, it presents all these sort of happy characteristic Pinot Noir traits. Pleasant wood-and-fruit combinations that signal something like a decent PN palate coming together... but give this bottle an hour and prepare to be dismayed. I've never found a wine to utterly fall apart -- no, *collapse* -- so quickly as this, which is really disappointing, given my affinity for Cline, the sister producer to Jacuzzi.
Red
7/6/2008 - dodongo wrote:
Not sure how to rate this... Mendocino County warehouse scrap-bottles find. Pretty amazing, high extraction zin that would fit more in Dry Creek Valley than anywhere else. Chocolate or carob or something on the midpalate made me really hesitate to have this with pizza, but it was open, and thankfully, the pizza in question had a slightly-sweet sauce, so the sweetish flavors of the wine were neutralized and blended perfectly with the tomatoey-acidy flavors of the sauce instead. Hard to find anyone selling 02 Zin around here, let alone Mendocino County, and let alone delicious Zin at that.
Red
5/28/2008 - dodongo wrote:
85 points
A decent wine that tastes surprisingly old after ~ 3 years in the bottle. I'm certainly enjoying this, but I have to say my love for their Tuscan approach leaves me shedding no tears that the Ferrero Ranch no longer produces Zin for them. Plant some Sangiovese and call me when it's ready :)
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