See CellarTracker's 2021 Year in Review

Comments on my notes

(69 comments on 56 notes)

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Red
2020 Anne Sophie Dubois Fleurie Les Cocottes Gamay
1/4/2022 - grizzlywine Likes this wine:
93 points
Medium-light purple. Quite a funky nose on PnP, which remarkably comes off entirely with an hour's air. Resolves to bright red fruit, sour cherry, and light white pepper background. Medium+ acidity, negligible tannins, and super chuggable. Red cherry leads the palate, but there's beautiful sauvage complexity behind it. Killer natural ferment and obvious expert hand here, this most reminds me of great Guy Breton bottles. First bottle from this producer, and it's excitingly auspicious.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    1/18/22, 6:18 PM - I've had the 2018 and 2019 vintages of this wine, and it's consistently one of my favorite Beaujolais. I haven't tried the 2020 yet, but it sounds as delicious as her previous ones.

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    1/20/22, 8:04 PM - FYI, she makes at least two other Fleurie’s: L’alchimiste and Les Labourons. Both are heavier and darker than this.

Red
2019 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly Cuvée Zaccharie Gamay
7/30/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
93 points
Wow, the 2019 Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Zaccharie is a real eye-opener! The wine has everything going for it, great on the nose, beautiful ripe red fruit fruitiness that is beautifully balanced. We got a case of this for $19.99 at Zachy's, what a great deal, wish I had bought another case before they were gone at that price! They say these wines will age but as far as I'm concerned I love the way it tastes now! 93 points.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/15/21, 6:47 AM - Wow, where is Zachy’s? Is it still available at that price?

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/15/21, 8:37 PM - Drats. Figures. Thanks, though.

Red
2014 Sandhi Wines Pinot Noir Rinconada Sta. Rita Hills
12/9/2021 - Thebigbaby wrote:
85 points
I may have opened too soon. Very light in color and texture. Super tart, which I did not find appealing. Tasted over three days.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/13/21, 8:59 PM - I suspect you may have had a bad bottle, in which case i’s not fair to rate it.

Red
2016 Poggio Landi Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
12/3/2021 - dagij wrote:
85 points
This wine really started reflections on tasting wine, describing it, and scoring it. I bought this wine non-tasted on the quality of being number 12 on the Wine Spectator's list of wine of the year (score 97), and being available. The color is rather light, reminiscent of a (serious) pinot noir, with a hint of brown at the rim. The nose is rather muted, even after several hours in a carafe, but exudes tones of cherry and red berries with hints of dry earth. Medium bodied, nice balance, but doesn't have any punch as I expect from a Brunello. Fine balance, but the main impression is just of a modest wine in the mouth. The aftertaste does not fix the mouth impression; it's easy, light, and quite short. There is nothing wrong with this wine, it's just unimpressive, ordinary, and - well - quite boring. How anyone can rate this at 97 is beyond my grasp. If this is 97, how do you score a 1990 Latour or a 1988 Sassicaia? This is the last time I buy wines on recommendation from WS. Whatever; I now got some bottles for grilled sausages.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/5/21, 12:42 PM - I have a couple of bottles as well. It's still very young--the recommended drinking window doesn't start for several years. You might consider putting the remainder aside for a while, then trying again. The wine will likely be much improved with a year or two of age.

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/5/21, 2:02 PM - Fair enough. I appreciate the explanation.

Red
2016 Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
Good flavor intensity and complexity. Not at all grippy or tannic. However, flavor faded after a couple of hours, which has me a bit concerned. I’m still planning to buy a few more bottles and set them aside for a bit.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/3/21, 9:27 PM - Sorry, I’m not clear on all your abbreviations. BJR???

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/4/21, 10:17 AM - Never mind -- I just figured it out. Duuuhh.

Red
2019 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly Gamay
10/13/2021 - Amerique wrote:
92 points
Delcious, dark raspberry fruit with earthy flavors, ample acidity and finish, very enjoyable but lacking depth and complexity
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    11/17/21, 8:29 PM - Hi -- Can I ask, if you find this wine to be lacking depth and complexity, how does that merit a rating of 92 points? That score seems at odds with your description.

Red
2014 Covalli Barolo Nebbiolo
9/26/2021 - jayw wrote:
flawed
Overpowering fumes of nail polish remover make this wine undrinkable. Volatile acidity the likely cause.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    10/15/21, 5:49 PM - @srh: Do you write (or have an affiliation with) the Costco Wine Blog referenced in your link? Or is it merely something you came across?

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    10/16/21, 8:57 AM - @srh: Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification — I’m very conscious of bias when I read wine reviews. Separately, I’m amused that there’s even a site reviewing Costco wines. I had no idea such a thing existed, but I probably shouldn’t be surprised.

Red
2019 Kelley Fox Wines Pinot Noir Mirabai Dundee Hills
As others have noted, it’s rather light with really high acid on first open. Let it breathe for an hour or so, then it becomes much more drinkable. A soft, wide wave of dark cherry, tart cherry, and strawberry flavors flow gently across my tongue. There’s good flavor intensity, but I would say only moderate complexity and finish. Additional time in bottle will probably help.

It’s very fruit focused. There’s a bit of the traditional pinot funk on the nose, but it doesn’t come across when tasting. Overall it’s enjoyable, but not my type of pinot.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    10/11/21, 1:32 PM - Touché. In truth, my "handle" no longer reflects my current tastes, but it's what the few people I'm in touch with here know me by, so not worth changing.

Red
2016 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Sangiovese
Nose: toast, and something woodsy

Taste: toasted oak, dry mushroom and earth. Very little fruit, low (but still firm) tannins, moderate plus alcohol. Nice, but still very young. It needs to soften and relax some, and hopefully show a little more fruit before I’d call it excellent, but the potential is there.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/23/21, 9:17 AM - Thanks, I've read that distributor note. Do you have any sense of how this is likely to evolve over time?

Red
2014 Sandhi Wines Pinot Noir Rinconada Sta. Rita Hills
6/19/2021 - Kerosene Does not like this wine:
87 points
I found this to be a bit acidic at first taste. It seemed to calm down a bit after half an hour, but it wasn't nearly as good as anticipated. My guess is that it is past its prime or wasn't stored appropriately at some point since bottling.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/4/21, 6:25 PM - I just had a bottle tonight and it was delicious. Full of life and flavor. It sounds like you may have had a bad or improperly stored bottle, in which case may I suggest that it is not fair to score the wine based on a spoiled sample?

Red
2020 Storm Point Western Cape Red Blend
8/12/2021 - Al Ehrhardt wrote:
This was our fifth bottle of this over the past 5 or 6 months. For $14, it's a solid and enjoyable choice for something inexpensive. Definitely red fruit driven, no Rhone funk, it's clean; don't mean that negatively, love and drink a lot of Rhones. At least for me, not overly ripe, just walks the line. And no oak chips or saw dust. I really enjoy cinsault's and carignan, combined, these are most of the blend, maybe another reason for my enjoyment of this wine.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    8/31/21, 11:10 AM - Is that Ernst’s brother?

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/1/21, 5:14 PM - Ernst Storm is a Santa Barbara wine maker, originally from South Africa (https://stormwines.com; I love his pinots). I know he has a brother who is also a winemaker back in South Africa. Just wondering whether it's the same family.

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/1/21, 8:56 PM - Ahh, I see. Thanks for clarifying. Did you get that here in the Chicago area?

Red
2016 Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Sangiovese
6/26/2021 - Arch57 Likes this wine:
94 points
If I had a budget of $30 bottle for a wine I had to drink for the rest of my life this would be at the top of my list. This is food friendly with enough acidity to cut through many types of cuisine.
We’ve enjoyed wines from this producer and the quality is there. Such typicity and place with Tuscan vibes that bring you back to a memorable trip we took years ago.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    8/26/21, 8:54 AM - Thank you @srh for the informative and detailed link. I'm going to try a few bottles.

Red
2017 Jean-Michel Dupré Morgon Le Griottier Gamay
Drank my second of four bottles tonight. Notes similar to before, only less smoke this time and all the flavors seemed a bit softer. Still a great value for $16.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    8/23/21, 7:37 PM - Hmm... intriguing. I'm not in California. Will have to see if they ship to the Illinois.

Red
2016 Garagiste Brunello di Montalcino D.E.A.R. Mystery Sangiovese
Can someone who has accepted delivery let the rest of us know what this actually is?
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    8/18/21, 9:19 AM - Excellent! Thank you for this.

Red
2017 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette Griffe du Marquis Gamay
Initial nose was Old World farm, but it blew off after about 30 minutes. The taste is broad and soft—big and bold in the attack, then becomes very soft. Only 13%, but there’s a bite that suggests it should be higher. Black cherry, A hint of coffee, and notable presence of heavily toasted oak. Drinks more like a new world pinot than a Beaujolais. Lots of flavor on the attack, but the sustain is lacking, and modest finish.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    8/13/21, 6:05 PM - Makes sense, as Cru Beaujolais don't usually spend a lot of time in fresh oak. Perhaps I misidentified it.

Red
2018 Dominique Piron Morgon Côte du Py Gamay
WSET Level 3, Session 7: Red Wines of Burgundy and the Red and White Wines of the Northern Rhône Valley (Online): Appearance: clear medium ruby
Nose: clean, medium intensity, secondary, youthful. Strawberry jam, cooked cherry, cranberry, rosehip. Earth, mint, dried herbs. Raisins. Cloves, coffee, cedar, nutmeg, butterscotch. Confectionery?
Palate: Dry, low tannins, medium acidity, medium alcohol (13,5%), medium bodied. Medium intensity, secondary, medium(+) length. Strawberry jam, cooked cherry, cranberry, rosehip. Earth, mint, dried herbs. Raisins. Cloves, coffee, cedar, nutmeg, butterscotch. Confectionery?
Assessment of quality: very good. Drink now, but suitable for ageing.
Level of readiness for drinking: drink now, but suitable for further ageing
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    7/26/21, 8:48 PM - Several other reviewers have noted this as 13.5%. My bottle says 14.5%. Did you notice any unruly bite from the alcohol?

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    7/30/21, 7:48 PM - Sounds good. Thank you for all the detail.

Red
2018 Bergström Pinot Noir Cumberland Reserve Willamette Valley
7/20/2021 - JBLevinson wrote:
89 points
Disappointing after having some similar Oregon options in this price point (eyrie, belle pente, Cristom, evesham wood, good fellow). This was a bigger but simpler Pinot, with not much finish. Inoffensive but not something I wish I had more of.

A few hours of air helped, but I think there are better options at the same cost.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    7/23/21, 6:18 PM - Which Belle Pente did you have? I love their wines.

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    7/23/21, 7:13 PM - You've hit all the ones I've had. I recall doing a side by side tasting of Belle Pente vineyard vs. Murto. While both were good, the consensus was the BP was better. I've got a 2015 Estate that I'm sitting on, but haven't tried yet. Their entry level Willamette Valley wine is only fair, IMHO.

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    7/24/21, 12:57 PM - I'm rather particular about my pinots. My tastes run towards more earthy, funky, mushroomy ones, rather than the more fruit-forward style.

    Having said that, a few of my favorites (in no particular order):

    * Patricia Green Weber Vineyard.
    * Ken Wright, specifically Tangier. I've had also had Bryce, Freedom Hill, and Guadalupe. The Tangier was by far my favorite of them (all 2014).
    * Lemelson Meyer & Stermer. They need a LOT of air first (several hours), but then they open up nicely. Not a fan of the Thea's.

    In the Santa Barbara region:
    * Presqu'ile Steiner Creek, specifically the 2012 vintage. Lots of whole cluster. Marvelous. Although this is Santa Barbara region.
    * Most of the pinots from Ernst Storm (John Sebastiano, Donnachadh, and to a lesser extent Duvarita).
    * Domain De La Cote (their Memorious, which is hard to get now)
    * Chanin

    In California:
    * Patz & Hall Chenowith (RRV)
    * Kosta Browne RRV & Sonoma Coast. I used to subscribe, but gave it up this year. The wines are certainly nice, but no longer worth the huge $$
    * Fess Parker (some of the single vineyards -- Ashley and others I can't find notes for right now).

    Hope this is helpful.

Red
2019 Domaine Bart Marsannay Es Chezots Pinot Noir
More depth, and more sausage on the nose. But not both together.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    7/17/21, 7:14 PM - Sorry, I’m not sure what that means. Can you clarify?

Red
2011 Cantina Sociale Cooperativa Copertino Riserva Negroamaro
4/3/2021 - GrandeSerataFuori wrote:
90 points
So neutral. So real. So good on it's own or with multiple foods. This will prob cost double soon.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    6/22/21, 10:11 AM - I suspect that won't happen. I've been drinking this across several vintages now, and the price has remained fairly constant. If anything, I paid less for my 2010's than previous vintages.

Red
2011 Cantina Sociale Cooperativa Copertino Riserva Negroamaro
3/20/2021 - GrandeSerataFuori wrote:
90 points
Rustic Funk. 10 years old. Camphor, leather, soil, oregano. A good bit of the brett blew off after a few hours and it got prettier with some juicy black cherry emerging.
Don't know how this is so affordable. How can they grow, pick, vinify, bottle, label, ship and profit from wine at this price??
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    5/28/21, 5:51 PM - It's been an underground sensation for years.

Red
2014 Covalli Barolo Nebbiolo
Note to self - be careful with Garagiste "value" Piedmont wines. This was a dud and I'm not hopeful for much upside.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    5/5/21, 8:39 PM - @Big Texas -- Was your Ken Wright mystery the four pack? I got that one as well; it's one of the few Garagiste mystery wines that I've been happy with. The rest -- especially Oregon & Washington -- have largely been duds IMHO. I'm staying away from his mystery offers in the future.

Red
2017 Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva
5/3/2021 - jsternh Likes this wine:
87 points
This is a very intetesting grenache at a great qpr. This is not chianti or sangiovese so it doesn't have that acidic profile. It is very soft and floral with a hint of a Tuscan profile. Worth a try if for nothing else to expand your palete profile.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    5/5/21, 8:34 PM - I find these very rustic, and quite enjoy the contrast between the fruit and farm / barnyard notes.

Red
2017 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
4/6/2021 - birdeaux Likes this wine:
91 points
As the years go by, I’m less impressed by the “standard” KB bottlings. Generally I do prefer the RRV to Sonoma Coast; yet it seems the quality of the boutique single appellation wines that they launched with the 2016 vintage are the current focus. The last couple of standard vintages have been less remarkable than they were 5+ years ago, possibly due to the change in winemaking style or change in ownership, or my preferences and palate. In any case, I think I’ll reduce the volume of my purchases from KB going forward and pickup a little Cerise, Treehouse, and Bootleggers here and there.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    4/7/21, 8:55 PM - I also agree with your analysis. I gave up my allotment this year. I've still got plenty of older ones waiting to be drunk, but I just don't see the value any more.

Red
2015 Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino Tradizione Sangiovese
12/25/2020 - davidjclardy wrote:
$75 comparable price.
96 points by JS
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    1/21/21, 6:33 AM - It’s available online from several retailers for $35.

Red
2016 Walla Walla Vintners Merlot Walla Walla Valley
11/24/2020 - davidga75 wrote:
This is a cabernet lover's merlot. The nose starts with red and black fruits, as well as some spicy bell pepper and herb notes. The palate is medium bodied, with noticeable structure - both tannin and acid. The finish lingers for a little while and the wine definitely rounded out with some air. One thought is that it will probably disappoint fans of richer, riper merlot. The other thought is that it has enough balance to develop in the cellar and could become more interesting with a year or two.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    1/19/21, 10:00 PM - I would add that there’s a fair amount of oak, but otherwise I think your description is very accurate.

White
2019 Oltretorrente Colli Tortonesi Bianco White Blend
1/4/2021 - Nojomoschwa wrote:
88 points
Not sure about this one. Very herbal, quite statuesque. Maybe too young? Would wait before opening if you have them. Minerally and fresh but not much more than that for me right now.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    1/19/21, 9:38 PM - I just opened one tonight. I found it rather restrained, but nice. Not too crisp like a Chablis, but not soft like a Chardonnay.

White - Off-dry
2019 Hofgut Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese feinherb "Onkel Peter" #4 Mosel Saar Ruwer
12/14/2020 - Rieslingfan wrote:
There’s something about feinherb, and the balance of delicate sweetness and Riesling acidity that is achieved by producers working in this mode. The 2019 Falkenstein Spätlese Feinherb has a delicate touch that provides immense flavor impact. It’s surprisingly round in palate expression, given the early comments on the acid profile of the vintage. Fruit is more in the yellow/orange rather than the expected Saar-typical green spectrum, but it’s still bright, and crystal clear. Persistent and consistent through the mid-palate, it falls off just a touch on the finish. The center is strong though, so a little (or even a lot) of cellar time can fill out the profile. Excellent value, no matter how you look at it. Glad to have more.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/19/20, 12:12 PM - Almost all the HF and even Donnhoff Rieslings that I've been able to find in the Midwest USA have been in the off dry to sweet range. I have one 2017 HF Kabinett trocken that's fantastic, but haven't been able to find any subsequent vintages.

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/28/20, 7:43 AM - Vinomazing -- Thanks for that. Are either of those national retailers? Or ones who will ship to most states?

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    1/2/21, 5:31 PM - Thanks, I'll take a look. I'm in Illinois, FWIW.

Red
2015 Domaine de la Côte Pinot Noir Memorious Sta. Rita Hills
12/28/2020 - mikemboutiquewines wrote:
84 points
Brett and funk! NG.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/30/20, 9:03 PM - Is it possible you had a bad or “off” bottle? If that’s the case, it doesn’t seem fair to assign a score.

White - Off-dry
2014 Trisaetum Riesling Ribbon Ridge Estate
11/10/2020 - Château de Farmer Likes this wine:
88 points
Very respectable Riesling with a bit of age. Nothing special, but good value at ~$15. More bitter and grassy, less tart than a German example. Still has several years of life but no reason to wait.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/3/20, 10:26 PM - Have you had their Coastal Range Dry Riesling? I thought it was excellent.

Red
2018 Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes Côte de Brouilly Cuvée des Ambassades Gamay
12/2/2020 - Not a Somm Likes this wine:
85 points
2016 vintage: This wine is a medium garnet in color with a med(-) intensity if arroma. The nose is composed of dark cherries, hazelnut, rose pedals, perfume. and homey. This wine is dry with med+ acidity, med tannin, med body, and a med finish. I taste hazlenut,/apple skin, amd light roast coffee. Overall, this wine is a good wine that's already past its prime. Not suitable for further aging.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/2/20, 9:27 PM - Is it possible that maybe you had an off bottle? I've had several bottles of the 2017 version, and it's quite nice with more than enough acid and structure to age for several years. I also have some 2018, but haven't opened any of them yet.

Red
2014 Evening Land Vineyards Pinot Noir Brasserie 19 Eola - Amity Hills
11/15/2020 - Château de Farmer Likes this wine:
90 points
Insane value on this. Nothing special or standout, but at this price it delivers very well on all the basics. Nothing overripe or over extracted, but still smooth. Clean red fruits with a little earthiness. Acidity medium.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    11/16/20, 5:40 PM - You’re right — this is surprisingly nice for a modest pinot. Wonderful nose and well-balanced flavors.

White
2015 Trimbach Riesling Alsace
Still drinking nicely. Plenty of acid and structure left.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    11/5/20, 4:41 PM - Thanks, I'll take a look. I have several vintages of the Trimbach Riesling and they're nice, but personally I think I prefer Germany, especially Mosel. That's where I'm doing most of my exploring at the moment.

Red
2005 Spring Mountain Vineyard Elivette Spring Mountain District Red Bordeaux Blend
A treat and drinking well. Fruit profile was in a really good aged place. Green pepper on the nose and cocoa on the finish. Acidity still high, tannins moderate, and a clean line of vanilla that hadn't fully settled in. Could definitely age longer, which could smooth out some of the oak/tannin, but the fruit was good now and doesn't need any more time.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    11/1/20, 5:58 PM - I would add that I was impressed with how well balanced it still is, and a finish that lasted for days.

Red
2015 Chanin Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard Santa Barbara County
9/11/2020 - RGCM Gananda Likes this wine:
93 points
Prior bottle was 10 months ago and the wine has improved in that time. Medium bodied with a combination of red cherry and red berry and some deeper red raspberry highlights both upfront and through the middle. Mid-body was improved over my prior bottle with purity and clarity of the fruit notes as well as impressive balance. Backside continues to show tart redfruit notes and good acidity, before finishing with minerals, earth and integrated spices. The more "young" notes of tea and spices are better integrated with the mid-body fruit. Overall, I thought the improvement through the middle (in terms of fruit expression) and the balance overall merited moving it up slightly. Pleased with how this wine has opened up. Next bottle for me will be Summer 2021, perhaps either June/July.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    10/29/20, 1:26 PM - How would you compare their Los Alamos vs. Bien Nacido vs. Avni? Asking as I see you've written tasting notes for several of the Avni pinots.

    Thanks.

Red
2017 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette Griffe du Marquis Gamay
9/19/2020 - eoin harkins wrote:
Really dark fruit profile black raspberries, dark cherries, slight cooked notes, spice and dark minerals, good fruit on the attack with medium plus acidity, bit of a grippy mid palate and good length
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/27/20, 11:13 AM - I have one bottle. Would you recommend drinking it now, or further bottle age?

Red
2015 Domaine Piron & Lafont / Piron-Lameloise Chénas Quartz Gamay
9/12/2020 - Will Devize wrote:
85 points
This wine is socially awkward.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/12/20, 3:48 PM - HAhahaha. I would have said 'unimpressive', but that works.

Red
2012 Presqu'ile Pinot Noir Steiner Creek Vineyards Santa Maria Valley
4/29/2019 - Eric.S Likes this wine:
91 points
Decanted 3 hours and it needed every minute to plump up to med light to med bodied beauty. Acidity was jarring at first, but settled. Definitely leading with the earthy, decaying leaves, floral potpourri, then red apple skin, cherry, and light cranberry. Mostly followed up on the palate, same muddled fruit, plus some wc spice (not green), rose water, and as others mentioned, herbaceous and a killer saline note. I would be curious what type of soil composition is in this vineyard - definitely a mineral component throughout.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/5/20, 10:08 PM - I know they were doing whole cluster fermentation through the 2012 vintage, then stopped. That may account for some of what you’re tasting.

White
2015 Trimbach Riesling Alsace
Dry, acidic, notes of pear, tart apple and citrus. Moderate complexity, moderate finish. My first Trimbach, as I explore dry Riesling. Quite nice. Would happily buy again.

UPDATE: I have since purchased a few more bottles -- a couple more 2015, and also a 2016.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    3/18/19, 9:02 PM - Thanks. So far the only similar wine I can recall that *was* too acidic was a gruner veltliner “Little Buteo” by Michael Gindl. If you have any other dry Riesling’s that you think I should try, please let me know.

  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/5/20, 2:15 PM - I see there are a number of reviews, but I can't access them without a subscription. While the Trimbach's are nice, I've found that I have a slight preference for German Rieslings, but I will investigate Hugel. Thanks for the suggestion.

Red
2017 Lingua Franca Pinot Noir AVNI Eola - Amity Hills
Really good. Thought it was overpriced going into it, but the bottle lived up to the value. Great earthiness with cleansing-but-not-overwhelming acidity. Burgundian. Surprising amount of (good) mushroomy funk on the nose given the age. Ready to drink now.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    7/23/20, 9:12 AM - Interesting. I didn't get much mushroom. Mostly rock & mineral type notes. Glad you liked it though.

Red
2012 Pinino Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
Big win here at $24 from the local liquor store. In good shape, maybe slightly over-mature due to heat/light, but still very tasty. Gained some body, complexity, and floral notes as it opened. Fresh tart acid, mild tannins.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    7/10/20, 9:46 AM - Where did you find this?

Red
2013 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Chenoweth Ranch Russian River Valley
6/17/2020 - Château de Farmer wrote:
flawed
Corked. Nose was totally messed up. Palate actually wasn't awful (even drinkable) but hard to get over the wet woody dog corked nose.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    6/21/20, 9:50 PM - What a waste. I love this wine.

Red
2012 Wind Gap Wines Pinot Noir Sun Chase Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Completely closed. No nose at all, and almost no taste for the first hour. At 90 minutes after opening there was a bit of spice and a strong bite of alcohol (I know it’s only 13.5%), but that’s about it. If I tasted this blind I couldn’t even tell what varietal it was. I’m disappointed, and hoping maybe this is an off bottle, as I’ve got 2 more.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    6/4/20, 9:15 AM - This is the first pinot of theirs I've had, so I'm glad it's not just me. I tried one of their Chardonnays several years ago, and remember liking it.

Red
2016 Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva
3/21/2020 - GregB57 wrote:
81 points
Might have been a bit off. This one has a slight odor of bandaids, suggesting bret and not really in a good way. I’ve enjoyed other vintages of this more.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    3/31/20, 12:10 PM - If you think this bottle was bad, may I suggest not assigning a point rating? It's not fair to judge a wine by a spoiled example.

Red
2017 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
To be fair, this was consumed during one of those evenings of vinous debauchery where good food, good friends and encouragement lead to some level of overindulgence. While I often think my tasting notes come more from an emotive than technical standpoint, this probably is the case as well with this wine. It was good, but it didn't shine. It was clearly well-made, beautifully crafted and of great quality- but it did not really grab my attention. You may say, an appellation wine is not supposed to, but I feel at this price point it should at least get a second look or spark some additional interest. It is solid. It was worth drinking. I would drink it again, and will. But daresay I was looking for more- just a nuance or a piece or an element that I would be stating that this is well worth the price of admission. I realize everyone has their own definition of QPR and price points vary with the means we have to pursue them. I wish I felt this was more than nondescript. I probably was not in the optimum position to taste with clarity. While the price/valuation continues to escalate, my peer CT drinkers seem to generally rate this where I did.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    2/17/20, 8:28 PM - Hi -- I appreciate your review, but to me there's a disconnect between your description and your score. A wine that rates a 92 should be far above "nondescript" and absolutely grab your attention.

Red
2010 R. López de Heredia Rioja Crianza Viña Cubillo Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
1/11/2020 - charles.demange Likes this wine:
90 points
An excellent value in Rioja. Nice bouquet, still full of fruits, a very good example of Spanish tempranillo. Goes to the Good value wine under $15 list without any doubt.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    1/30/20, 9:50 PM - I agree with sleepyhaus, plus Napa reds are expensive here in the U.S. as well. Binny’s (large Chicago-based chain) currently has it on sale for $22, down from $25.

Red
2013 Kessler-Haak Pinot Noir Sanctuary Sta. Rita Hills
12/12/2019 - wcf1946 Likes this wine:
89 points
Good, not great. A little overpriced at $22 from WTSO. Typical CA pinot flavors. Dark color and smooth, some structure and short finish.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    12/30/19, 9:01 AM - Thank you; this was helpful. I saw this in their Last Chance wines, and was thinking of trying it. You have dissuaded me.

Red
2017 Soter Pinot Noir North Valley Willamette Valley
A little darker than most pinots — medium ruby — and clear (meaning no particulate matter). Not much nose, other than dark cherry. Taste is dark cherry and blackberry. Also some mid-palette fruit, maybe a bit of bramble and minerality. Moderate plus acidity, moderate complexity and finish. Nice, but still fairly simple and not very expressive. I can see why the ideal drinking window doesn’t start for another year or two.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    11/20/19, 6:36 AM - It’s possible that I had an off bottle, or that my palette was off that night. However, in this price range I still prefer the Hamacher “H” pinot noir. That hits all of the flavor notes I like in Willamette pinot.

Red
2016 Storm Wines (California) Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County
10/3/2019 - brian_r93 Likes this wine:
88 points
Opened up and after a quick swirl and taste knew it needed 30 min to an hour to soften a bit.
Ruby red color with toasted dark cherries, cola and some background of musty forest floor on the nose. Taste, Bright red fruit with a quick burst of muttled cherry and blueberry. Medium length finish for a Pinot Noir. Over all a great grape leads to good to great wine. If you like Santa Barbara Pinot Noir this is good but nothing to boast about.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    10/3/19, 8:52 PM - Hmm... you didn't get any smoke on it? I remember tasting lots of smoke, which I didn't quite care for. I've got one more bottle left.

Red
2015 Flaneur Pinot Noir Flanerie Ribbon Ridge
5/27/2018 - Burgundy Al wrote:
Willamette Valley Weekend Visit; 5/26/2018-5/27/2018: Tasting at the winery. More interesting and nuanced flavors vs X-Novo just tasted, but without the same concentration. Good potential for a young vineyard.
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    10/1/19, 6:46 AM - Did you like the wine? Would you buy it at a discounted price? It’s on WTSO today.

Red
2014 Bogle Vineyards Phantom California Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
9/17/2019 - Love4zin Likes this wine:
90 points
very good year.. wish I could find more
  • Big Juicy Red commented:

    9/17/19, 8:44 PM - Heh. Not any more. You've got to grab a bunch of the current vintage (usually released around October. I see the 2015's listed now), then stash half of them away for at least a year. They age well for at laest 4 or 5 years. I still have a few from 2011, 2012, and 2013.

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