Tasting Notes for brettay

(193 notes on 191 wines)

1 - 50 of 193 Sort order
Red
3/24/2021 - brettay wrote:
93 points
Incredibly aromatic nose of brine, liquid stones, graphite, iron fillings, and black currant. On the palate the fruits are still present, but the savory elements dominate and are wonderfully expressive. Still very tannic with a mouth puckering finish.
Red
3/10/2021 - brettay wrote:
87 points
Nice black cherry, roasted meats, earth and anise. Lacks some concentration and is a bit austere on the finish.
Red
3/2/2021 - brettay wrote:
92 points
Tastes like a 5 year old Cabernet, seriously. Super classic Napa Cabernet. Black currant, black cherry, cedar, violets, anise, graphite, and brown sugar. The only sign of its age is a bit of leather and tobacco. Great balance between the fruit and savory elements. A bit of an austere finish but overall an excellent wine that is much more youthful than expected.
Red
2/26/2021 - brettay wrote:
91 points
Incredibly aromatic with spicy cedar, fresh herbs, and minerals. The dark fruit had become much more savory in this 16 year old wine but it isn’t tired at all. The nose is really wonderful and expressive but the palate is a bit austere.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/19/2021 - brettay wrote:
94 points
What a great Cab. Dark black currant, black cherry, an intense minerality, aromatic cedar, cocoa powder and bell pepper. Complex and balanced with a broad spectrum of flavors.
White
2/18/2021 - brettay Likes this wine:
93 points
What a wonderful Viognier. Walks the line beautifully between richness and freshness. The grapefruit, lemon and apricot fruits contrast beautifully against the intense floral elements and cracked whit pepper. There is richness and the typical viognier oily texture but with fresh acidity and minerality. Tasty stuff!
Red
2/12/2021 - brettay wrote:
96 points
Classic Napa valley floor Cabernet. Black currant, black cherry, dark chocolate, marzipan, fig, tobacco, vanilla, and cedar. Rich, complex, but not overdone. Pretty much as good as California gets. Could use a bit more lift and savory elements to balance out the richness.
Red
2/10/2021 - brettay wrote:
87 points
Very solid but not amazing. On the nose great Syrah typicity with roasted meats, black cherry and a strong floral element. The palate echos the same flavors but lacks a bit intensity to take it to another level and has a bit too much mouthpuckering acidity on the finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/1/2021 - brettay wrote:
95 points
Dark, rich, complex, and powerful. Tastes more Napa than Washington to me. Dark black currant and black cherry, rich earth, soy sauce, minerals, and sweet spices. Rich although not heavy, with an aromatic lift from the sweet herbs and flowers. As good as washington Cabernet gets but doesn’t really give me a sense of place or belonging to Washington.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/31/2021 - brettay wrote:
96 points
Stunning but very Californian in its style. An old world traditionalist would absolutely hate it. Black raspberry preserves, violets, chocolate, and anise. Rich but light on its feet; seemless in its integration and balance.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/30/2021 - brettay Likes this wine:
89 points
While this is not my style, it is super interesting! A fascinating blend of black cherry, black currant, game, iron filings, iodine, and earth. Excellent balance between the fruits and savory elements. Lacks a bit of depth and concentration in its flavors, but it's complex and highly unique.
Red
2017 Realm Cellars The Bard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/27/2021 - brettay wrote:
92 points
Typical ripe and rich Napa Cabernet. Black currant, black cherry, cocoa powder, anise and violets. Well balanced and quite excellent but lacks that special something that takes it to another level.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/26/2021 - brettay wrote:
92 points
Great balance between the dark black cherry fruit and liquid stones. Such fragrance to the mineralogy which is beautifully pure and expressive. All of this is presented on the base of classic Syrah roasted meats. Stil has plenty of life and tannin left.
Red
1/24/2021 - brettay Likes this wine:
93 points
This is super tasty: so balanced, such great balance between the fruits and savory elements. Wonderfully complex.
Red
1/22/2021 - brettay wrote:
85 points
I hope this is just closed but it is kind of harsh and austere at the moment. Dark black cherry, smoke, meat and earth. The palate is somewhat unforgiving with lots of oak, acidity and tannin. I feel like I usually can sense the power and potential beneath a closed wine but this just seems a bit thin. It’s not a bad wine, there’s just nothing to suggest that it might evolve into something great.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2002 Abreu Madrona Ranch Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/21/2021 - brettay wrote:
98 points
Still incredibly youthful but so complex and layered. Dark black currant, black cherry, soy sauce, rich earth, iron, liquid stones, tobacco leaf, fresh herbs, and cocoa powder. The endless complexity reveals something new each time it is experienced. As is typical of Abreu wines, the richness is so beautifully complemented by the aromatic lift and, in this particular wine, the prominent mineral influence, which I have not found in most Abreu wines. This is sublime stuff:rich and fresh with endless complexity. New world Cabernet doesn’t get any better than this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/21/2021 - brettay wrote:
87 points
Red and black raspberries, roasted meats, and intense smoke. Starts off really nice with a great balance between the fruits and other elements but then becomes austere and drying on the finish. The smoke is a little overwhelming. Very nice but not my style.
Red
1/17/2021 - brettay wrote:
91 points
Still incredibly youthful. Dark purple color with juicy black cherry and blackberry fruit, graphite and rich earth. Typical Petite Sirah with an impenetrable black color, loads of tannins, and a fairly simple palate of flavors. The alcohol here is a bit too much, but the wine is quite attractive for its juicy flavors.
Red
1/15/2021 - brettay wrote:
93 points
An excellent wine but a bit of an underperformer for Sine Qua Non. Very dark and brooding for a Grenache dominated wine yet still has that floral, flirtatious element. Kirsch, violets, roses, cocoa powder, and a rich earth element. Contrasts aromatic complexity against a structured and tannic brute of a wine. I generally like SQNs early, but this would probably be better in a another 5-10 years; I think.
Red
1/13/2021 - brettay wrote:
84 points
Reminiscent of a Rhone wine with that funky smell associated with many Chateauneuf du Papes and other Rhones. Dark black cherry, roasted meats, bell pepper, and garrigue. Nice balance and fairly complex but with an austerity that is a bit harsh.
Red
1/13/2021 - brettay wrote:
75 points
Incredibly alcoholic. Tastes fortified. Dark, deep and rich but the alcohol is overwhelming.
Red
1/10/2021 - brettay wrote:
91 points
Textbook Cabernet with delicious flavors, but it lacks those elements that push it to another level. Black currant, black cherry spiced cedar, cocoa powder, earth, and tobacco. Still a bit austere and lacking the voluptuousness of a high level Napa Cabernet. Very good but not great.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/9/2021 - brettay wrote:
93 points
A beautiful Burgundy. Rich earth, black cherry, anise and other sweet spices, and almond. The palate has a wonderful, rich, round fruit presence balanced deftly with the other elements. This is still quite youthful with plenty of tannic structure remaining. Simple but balanced, expressive, and beautiful.
Red
1/5/2021 - brettay wrote:
87 points
These old Pax wines are typically wonderful. This one is good, but not great. The tannins are going to outlive the rest of the wine. Dried black cherry and blackberry fruit are a bit tired compared to the tannic underbelly that is still quite prominent. Roasted game, spicy cedar, and a rich earthy element add complexity. The wine is quite nice with intense flavors, but a bit unbalanced.
White
1/3/2021 - brettay wrote:
89 points
Lemon, petrol and minerals. Clear and crisp flavors. Simple but refreshing and with good intensity of flavors.
Red
2005 Peter Michael Les Pavots Knights Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/2/2021 - brettay wrote:
94 points
Still very youthful but at a beautiful stage. There is a nice melange of black currant, black cherry, spicy cedar, anise, leather, and cocoa powder. Very balanced between the juicy fruits and other elements. Smooth, balanced, deep, and layered. Textbook California Cabernet.
Red
1/1/2021 - brettay wrote:
93 points
Classic dark brooding Syrah. Roasted meats, dark cherry and blackberry fruit, minerals and graphite. Dark and rich but with an impeccable balance between the fruit and savory elements,
Red
12/26/2020 - brettay Likes this wine:
94 points
Made in an austere and structured style that emphasizes the floral elements, fresh herbs, and strong minerality. That being said the fruits are still quite nice with loads black and red cherries. Excellent intensity and complexity. Quite good for those who appreciate a style that emphasizes the non-fruit elements.
Red
2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/25/2020 - brettay wrote:
93 points
Very typical Insignia. Dark black currant, black cherry, cocoa powder, bitter chocolate and fig. It’s very spicy with layers of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and a bit of cayenne pepper. Rich with ripe black fruits and a fairly heavy oak treatment and all of the elements that come along with that. This is excellent but lacks that extra special something that elevates it to an outstanding level.
Red
12/20/2020 - brettay wrote:
93 points
Delicious Syrah. Roasted meats, supple black fruits, a wonderful graphite/mineral edge. Rich, fresh, complex, great varietal typicity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
12/18/2020 - brettay Likes this wine:
94 points
This is at the perfect stage of evolution with a combination of youthful black cherry fruit that contrasts against the more aged elements of tobacco, leather and fig. The classic anise laced herbs seen in Tuscany add a beautiful fragrance. The complexity is impressive with minerals and chalk adding additional layers. I think this is an outstanding wine and if you have it, drink now.
Red
12/13/2020 - brettay wrote:
95 points
This is really, really good. Still is quite youthful but has developed complexity and balance over the years. Black cherry, roasted nuts, bacon, and minerals. Absolutely impeccable balance between the fruits and savory elements but also with such beautiful fragrance of Syrah typicity. In such a great place now but plenty of life ahead.
Red
2003 Gemstone G Yountville Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/13/2020 - brettay wrote:
92 points
Surprisingly traditional in its style for a California Cabernet. Dusty cedar, black cherry and currant, anise, and herbs. The palate is still quite structured and walks the line between new and old world. A surprising amount of tannin is still present. This could have gone a lot longer and I can’t perceive any tertiary elements at this point. If you have a bottle that has been stored properly I’d say wait another 5-10 years.
Red
12/11/2020 - brettay wrote:
91 points
Still quite youthful this is one mouthful of a delicious Alianico. Black cherry, loads of anise, and a earthy mushroom elements represent a diverse group of flavors, but ones that meld together very nicely. This wine contrasts supple fruit with an earthy underbelly very nicely. Very well done.
Red
12/10/2020 - brettay wrote:
89 points
Quite nice. Dark and ripe; the Cabernet definitely dominates the Sangiovese here. Dark black cherry, bitter chocolate, anise, tobacco and herbs. Supple, very new world with loads of dark fruit. The Sangiovese adds a bit of complexity but it is quite mild and probably not identifiable blind as a 50% component of the blend.
White - Sweet/Dessert
12/2/2020 - brettay wrote:
100 points
One of the most stunning wines I have ever tasted. Orange marmalade, apricot, candied ginger, sweet spices, honey and minerals. The palate is so intense and sweet but with incredible fresh acidity. The finish is endless and keeps pumping out later after layer of flavor. The balance between the incredibly intense flavors and freshness is what makes this experience so unbelievable. Wow, wow, wow!
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/1/2020 - brettay wrote:
86 points
Good but not great. Dusty cedar combines nicely with ripe and spicy red raspberry and cherry fruit. Simple but with some pleasant flavors.
White
11/28/2020 - brettay wrote:
93 points
I must disagree with many of the other mediocre reviews here and say this is a stunning wine with all kinds of complexity that cascades over the palate in waves. Lemon, lime, green apple, liquid stones, fresh white flowers, roasted nuts, and petrol. Such purity and freshness to all of the beautifully proportioned and sharply delineated flavors. This is really excellent.
Red
11/26/2020 - brettay wrote:
89 points
Still going strong but I don't think it will get better. While the tannins have softened it still shares the same dark fruit profile that it did in its youth. Loads of smoky bacon accompanies the fruit. While tasty, it is a bit on the simple side and still has drying tannins that probably won't dissipate for a long time.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/25/2020 - brettay wrote:
88 points
Dried black and red cherries, raspberries, soy sauce, anise and other herbs. Has a really nice aromatic presence. On the palate the supple fruits and anise infused herbs are very nicely balanced. Very good but not amazing IMHO.
Red
2012 Abreu Rothwell Hyde St. Helena Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/18/2020 - brettay wrote:
95 points
Abreu wines are stunning, even this “entry level” blend. The addition of Cabernet Franc to Abreu’s wines is one factor that distinguishes his wines from other Cabernet Sauvignon cuvees. This wine is still incredibly primary with oodles of black currant and black cherry. It tastes much younger than an eight year old wine. The Franc gives it such a wonderful olfactory presence with loads of crushed violets and tobacco leaf. Spicy cedar, bitter chocolate and a rich earthy element round out the experience. Rich, complex, voluptuous, aromatic, and powerful are the defining characteristics of this wine. Absolutely delicious!!!
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
11/15/2020 - brettay wrote:
87 points
Simple, but pretty with red and black cherries, sweet spices, dusty cedar and a bit of almond. Nothing overly impressive but everything is in the right place.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/13/2020 - brettay wrote:
89 points
Very tasty but a bit muted. Juicy red and black fruits, Indian spices and some herbs. Supple fruit, nice integration.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/12/2020 - brettay wrote:
88 points
Very evolved. Loads of juniper, earth, leather, and dusty red fruits on the nose. The palate is much more supple than would be expected from the nose, and emphasizes anise-infused red cherry and red raspberry fruit. Still has a reasonable tannin presence on the finish, but I wouldn't wait too long.
Red
10/28/2020 - brettay Likes this wine:
96 points
In a nice place displaying a deft balance between the primary and tertiary elements. Clearly Napa Cabernet but with a subtlety and complexity that masks the 16% alcohol. It combines black cherry, black currant, tobacco leaf, baking spices, anise, menthol, bitter chocolate, and minerals. Viscous mouthfeel but with a nice lift of freshness, and so many layers that it reveals new elements each time you sip.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/21/2020 - brettay wrote:
95 points
Elegant, subtle, balanced and beautiful. Red cherry, red currant, roses and loads of other flowers, anise, herbs, earth, and spicy cedar. Very complex but impeccably balanced. Really good but it forces you to concentrate and think a bit.
Red
2013 Donelan Cuvée Moriah Sonoma County Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
10/20/2020 - brettay wrote:
85 points
Reasonable but lacking anything really distinctive. Dried black and red cherry fruit, almond extract, and earth on the nose. The palate is medium bodied with a nice fruit earth combo that balances well but is somewhat austere. Nice but not great.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Abreu Thorevilos Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/11/2020 - brettay wrote:
97 points
Still incredibly youthful with a primary bouquet of black currant and black cherry fruit accompanied by spicy cedar, smoke, tobacco leaf, roasted meats, Indian spices, and cocoa. There is so much power on the dense palate but the aromatic Cabernet franc influences add a great lift. Something unique about Abreu wines are the way they balance power and finesse exemplified by aromatic intensity and complexity. This wine is still very backward with loads of primary fruit and a mouthful of tannins. This wine will last for ages.
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  • Tasting Notes: 193 notes on 191 wines
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