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Tasting Notes for Big Juicy Red

(324 notes on 270 wines)

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Red
This one is interesting. Initially the nose was candied cherry and something sweet and sticky — almost bubble gum ish. But as it opens up some some blue/black fruit notes appear, along with just a hint of velvety soft pinot funk.

The taste (unfortunately in this case) mirrors the nose. It’s lighter bodied, but heavy on the candied sweetness, overlaying cherry, maybe some black fruit notes, and a bit of alcohol burn (13.5%). No tannins to speak of, moderate complexity and finish.

For the price ($23 on sale) it’s a good value if you like this style. Personally, I prefer fuller bodied, more earthy pinots, so I probably won’t buy any more. But another 6 months to a year in bottle will help things settle.

Update: On day 2 the candy notes have largely disappeared, giving me hope that with some bottle age they might temper. I’m changing my rating from Neutral to Like.
Red
1/19/2022 - Big Juicy Red Likes this wine:
88 points
My last bottle. Still only moderate / moderate (-) complexity, but good flavor intensity and finish. Simple, but quite pleasant wine that is drinking very well right now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
I'm a little underwhelmed by this wine. The nose has good pinot funk, but the taste is somewhat thin, and lacking in the mid palette. After a couple of hours, I also started noticing something vaguely medicinal in the taste. I have one more bottle, but I probably won't buy any more.
Red
2015 Castellani Chianti Classico Riserva Campomaggio Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
1/12/2022 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
87 points
Unimpressive. Low flavor intensity and complexity. I’ve got plenty of other Chianti Classicos (not even riservas) for about this price that I like a lot better.
Red
Interesting. My first Gran Selezion. Mostly vegetable notes — green bell pepper, celery, etc. Very little fruit, as if it’s a much older wine. Moderate to moderate plus complexity, moderate finish, velvety soft tannins.

Edit: After some reflection, I suspect (hope) this is an off bottle. If anyone else has a similar experience, please let me know.
Red
Needs 90 minutes to hit its stride. This is a big bruiser of a pinot — 13.8% with lots of rich, dense fruit notes closely followed by sandalwood, or what I think of as typical pinot funk. Moderate plus complexity and finish. Not my typical style, but very nice. I think this is in the prime of its drinking window, but it could still age for a few more years.
Red
Notes after being open about 4 hours.

Color: Medium purple, fading to light pink at the rim.
Nose: Medium plus intensity, full and rounded. This is a big wine.
Palate: Dry, maybe medium acid (hard to tell the difference between the acid bite and the alcohol. It's a bit hot -- 13.5%). Tannins are medium minus, and on the soft & chewy side. Full body, medium plus flavor intensity.

As for the flavors themselves, it's hard for me to tell. Several people have mentioned rose petals, which I get, along with some minerality. Maybe blueberry. But the flavors aren't at all distinct -- it's just a big wave of slightly rocky taste rolling across your tongue. The finish is long, but only moderate complexity.

For about $14 it's not bad, and strikes me as the kind of wine that beginning drinkers will enjoy (big flavor intensity), but it's nothing to write home about.
Red
1/3/2022 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
86 points
Dark, heavy, slightly tannic, moderate minus complexity at best. Meh.
Red
12/31/2021 - Big Juicy Red Likes this wine:
92 points
Not sure where to begin here. This wine is delicious, with amazing complexity. It needed an hour plus in the glass before it really came together, and the flavors continued to grow and evolve throughout the evening. Broad and deep palate of blue and black fruits with just a hint of earth underlying it all.
White
Residual sugar no longer noticeable. Acid is well integrated into the flavors, which are rich and deep. Quite delightful and aging nicely; I wish I had more.
Red
12/28/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
So I bought this on a lark about 6 months ago, mainly to see what a really aged Syrah might taste like. The tannins are certainly velvety smooth, and there aren’t any harsh edges at all. While there’s a lot of flavor, there isn’t a lot of complexity or length of finish. For me, at $27 it was one and done; an experiment that I learned from, but won’t repeat.
Red
12/25/2021 - Big Juicy Red Likes this wine:
89 points
I’ve had several BP pinots before (BP vineyard, which is my favorite, as well as Murto and their Willamette Valley), so I had high hopes for this wine. It’s a blend of declassified barrels from the Belle Pente and Murto vineyards.

At first it’s very restrained, but after an hour in the glass it comes alive. Nose is velvety red fruit, currants, and maybe blackberry syrup. The taste is similarly rich, with primarily red fruit notes and a bit of syrup. It hides its 14.0 octane well, a sign of a well-made wine. Overall there’s a little too much sweetness for my taste, and not enough earth or typical pinot funk.

For around $30 it’s a decent wine, and it may improve somewhat with age. I’ll probably buy a few more bottles, but not sure it’s something I’d stock up on.
White
Definitely on the lighter side, both in terms of color and flavor. Right out of the fridge there was a bitter streak to it, but that went away as it warmed up a bit, so I'd recommend not serving too cold. It won't blow you away, but certainly a nice, pleasant wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/18/2021 - Big Juicy Red Likes this wine:
92 points
First, gotta love Drake & Chris. They're the only people I know who will be precise enough (and honest enough) to label a wine as 12.42% ABV.

Kick-On is my favorite of the Whitcraft pinots. To me, it has the best combination of funk / stewed mushrooms / forest floor (that I love) with a bit of fruit. This is my second vintage, and I think I like it better than the 2016 (although it's been a while since I had that).

The nose immediately screams pinot -- soft and fuzzy "funk". The taste leads with fresh and dried strawberry, followed immediately by pinot funk. After several hours (and most of the bottle), there's a hint of residual sweetness that comes across. Moderate plus to high complexity and finish, high acid, and almost no noticeable tannins.

This wine is absolutely delicious, and ready to drink now. It worked perfectly with a couple of pasta dishes we got carry out from a fancy Italian restaurant (one was wild mushrooms, the other buffalo mozzarella, tomato, cream, and chili flake).
Red
12/13/2021 - Big Juicy Red Likes this wine:
91 points
Delicious. Complex, funky (in the best pinot way), with maybe a hint of cola. Wish I had more.
Red
12/9/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
Mine bottles just arrived today from Garagiste. I haven't opened any yet, but wanted to note that it's 14.5% -- rather high for Beaujolais.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
The wine is much improved since my last bottle, back in February. The flavors have mellowed and integrated pretty well.

Where the wine is now, it's an interesting juxtaposition. At first I get dirt and maybe barnyard in a way that's almost reminiscent of Brunello or something much darker and heavier. But underneath that there's a layer of cherry, cranberry and maybe violet -- typical Beaujolais notes. The two layers are more noticeable and separate upon first open; after a couple of hours they both recede slightly and move closer together, providing a more harmonious whole.

Overall the wine is very enjoyable now. I've only got one bottle left, and will probably drink it within the next 6 months.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Bright, juicy, and still very young. While it's drinkable now, I think in 6 months to a year it will really come together with additional complexity and a slightly longer finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Carpineto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
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.
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
White
On the lighter side, but precise and quite delicious. This is my second vintage of this wine, and I really like it.
Red
Still very young and primary, as others have noted. Much more fruit driven than I was expecting/hoping for. Also not super complex, at least right now. Definitely needs more time, but I’m a little underwhelmed at the moment.
Red
A friend brought this to Thanksgiving. Big, bold red, with velvety soft but barely noticeable tannins. The 14.5 ABV is very well camouflaged; the sign of a well-made wine. It’s dark and concentrated, but soft and lovely. Not the most complex thing in the world, but quite enjoyable.
Red
It’s been about 6 months since my last bottle, and the wine seems to have come together a bit more during that time. It’s still part dark fruit notes, part herbal; but somehow the mix is a bit more harmonious now. Also, the alcohol bite is slightly less noticeable, at least with food. That, or my taste buds are in a different place tonight. But it’s more tolerable right now.

I’m going to give my last remaining bottle another 6 months to a year.
Red
11/11/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
PNP. Some good initial fruit, but noticeably thin on the mid palate. I’m hoping it will come together a bit more with some air. Or more time in bottle.

Update after 2 hrs: Wine has now opened up and become much more level across the palate, but I’m still finding the flavor spectrum on the narrow side (moderate complexity). There an odd bit of darkness — not quite bitter, but I’m not sure how else to describe it — on the finish that I don’t care for. Maybe @Beerzebub’s description of black tea and tobacco? Tannins are noticeably softer too. And the alcohol somehow seems to have more power then its modest 12.5% would suggest. To my taste tonight (and with a Chipotle burrito), it wasn’t really working for me.

Overall I’d say this is ok — fair at best. Far from my favorite Chinon, or even my favorite of Olga Raffault’s Chinon’s.
White
My first bottle of this Garagiste pick, and I was quite delighted. Bright, crisp, focused with excellent flavor intensity. Paired very well with soft cheeses and crackers as appetizer.
Red
Still very dark and brooding. Needs more time. Unfair to rate it this young.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
I’m constantly in search of pinot that’s got more funk / earth / moss / forest floor notes, and less fruit driven. Unfortunately, this isn’t it. There’s some of that on the nose, but the taste is too much extracted / candied red & black fruit notes. It gets better after being open for a couple of hours, but still far too fruit focused for my tastes. Granted, it doesn’t suck by any means; just not to my flavor profile. For $33 US it’s a pretty decent value for those who like the style.
Red
10/27/2021 - Big Juicy Red Likes this wine:
87 points
This is my 10th bottle. In an absolute sense it's got a lot of generic dark fruit notes, and a little jammy. It lacks the complexity and finish to be a serious wine, but (as others have said) for $12 or so it's a bargain.

For whatever reason, the alcohol bite was much more apparent on this bottle (it's 14.5%). I don't know if that's age or bottle variation, but I don't recall noticing it before.
Red
When I first tasted this wine in early 2019 it was a big bruzer. I remember thinking it drank more like a Zin than a Fleurie. Now, 2.5 years later, it’s coming into balance. The tannins have faded, but so has some of the big fruit.

When I first opened the wine, it showed some typical Fleurie pomegranate and blue/black fruit notes, but they faded after 30 minutes. The nose still says Fleurie, but the taste is darker, stealier and more mineral driven.

This is my first experience aging a Tardive, so it’s been interesting to see how it evolves. I’ve got two more bottles that I think I’ll sit on for a few more months and see what happens.

As for a subjective evaluation, it’s nice, but not quite my cup of tea. I prefer the lighter and brighter style. If it’s going to be dark, it needs more complexity and a better finish, like a good Morgon.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/23/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
Nothing special. Only moderate complexity and flavor intensity. The 2017 Claude Riffault Sancerre Rouge La Noue I had recently was far superior.
Red
10/15/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
86 points
Meh. Largely forgettable. Price agnostic, it’s not noteworthy.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2018 Bibbiano Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
I largely agree with @Vinnut. It’s rich and fruit forward, with hints of herbs on both the nose and taste (I almost get a faint hint of ‘weed’, but not in a bad way). Velvety soft on the front of my tongue, the flavors have a strong attack, but not as much on the sustain or decay (with apologies to the musicians out there).

I still find it pleasant and easy to drink, and will probably buy more. Very food friendly.
Red
10/2/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
Bought one bottle as it was a super deal at Costco. Not sure what all the fuss is about. The wine had vey little aroma, low intensity flavor—just some generic blue/black fruit notes overlaying a core of bitterness. Medium minus complexity and finish at best.

I hope this was an off bottle, but I wouldn’t buy it again.
Red
Flavors very similar to my previous note on 1/25. Initially there was a strong yeasty smell to it, but that blew off in about 15 minutes. Then there's sweet dried cherry and blackberry. The wine is a little softer and rounder than I remember from 8 months ago, especially after opening up for 45 mins or so, and it's still delicious and easy to drink.

Not super complex, but a well done, straightforward Beaujolais. For $20 (from Garagiste) it's fabulous. For $32+ that I see now online, not so much.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound Stellenbosch Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Part of a Mulderbosch treo. Initially this was second choice, after 2001, but after time as that faded, this became ascendant and more interesting. FASCINDATING how it developed,
Red
2003 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound Stellenbosch Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/26/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
Part of a Mulderbosch vertical — 2001, 2003, and 2004. This was universally the least interesting and enjoyable at this point. Similar bell pepper nose and velvety soft tannins, but less complex than the others. More steward fruit, and other end of life markers. Went downhill pretty fast.
Red
2001 Mulderbosch Faithful Hound Stellenbosch Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Mulderbosh vertical tonight: 2001, 2003 & 2004. Initially this was the universal favorite, but after being open for an hour or so it faded pretty quickly, becoming dark and syrupy. Still really interesting for that first 90 minutes or so, and quite enjoyable. Notes of bell pepper, big velvety soft aroma, moderate complexity and moderate plus finish.
Red
9/26/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
I don’t know whether it’s time or bottle variation, or something else, but this bottle was completely different than the last one I had about 6 months ago. The Syrah is now dominant, and the carbonic maceration only faintly evident. It’s now much darker and heavier than it was back in March, and I have to say I don’t like it as much now. The lightness, elegance, and fun are gone; replaced by something much heavier, darker, and not as interesting (IMHO).
Red
9/24/2021 - Big Juicy Red Likes this wine:
88 points
I’m happy to report that the wine has improved considerably since my last bottle back in December, 2020. The same basic flavors are there (pomegranate, violet, a bit of pepper on the finish), but the candied / syrupy bit is gone. So is the hard bite that I thought was alcohol, but was probably just the pepper note. It’s still only moderate / moderate minus complexity and moderate finish, but now it tastes more like a typical, if not especially interesting, Fleurie. But for $17 I can’t complain.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
9/22/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
Maybe I had an off bottle, but not sure what all the fuss is about. It was completely closed and unremarkable, even after 2+ hours.
Red
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.
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
White
I mostly agree with @Aravind. Upon first opening the nose is very fruity — pear, citrus, etc., while the taste is very lean and closed. Let it sit for a couple of hours, and it improves drastically. Either I’m getting congested, or the nose is fading considerably, while the flavors are blossoming. Pear, white peach, some lemon, cut grass, maybe persimmon and a hint of bitterness to bind it all together. High acid, moderate to moderate plus complexity and a crisp, clean finish.

I’m not familiar with this grape or region at all, but in the absolute this is a nice wine. Paired nicely with pesto and cheese omelettes.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Oh, the burn! Alcohol is all I notice for the first hour. Eventually some cough syrup cherry notes appear, but there's no complexity, no finish, not much of anything. Only vaguely reminiscent of pinot noir. This is my third of four bottles, and all have been consistent, so it's not just a bad bottle.
Red
Initially it’s all rich dark fruit notes and high alcohol. Decant it for an hour or so and it evolves into a lush, complex wine with lots of pinot funk and a long finish. Primary fruit is starting to fade, but this is still quite delicious. Down to one bottle; wish I had more.
Red
This is a weird one. Forget everything you know about pinot; this wine bears no resemblance to any of that. For starters, it’s deep pink and not initial much nose. Just a bit of strawberry and strawberry jam. As it swirls over my tongue, I’m surprised by a hint of effervescence. Following on are more strawberry and light red berry notes. As @Al Ehrhardt said, it’s crisp, fresh, and not very complex. Drinks more like a rosé than anything else. I’d also agree that it’s fun and refreshing, and would make a nice addition to a summer afternoon / evening in the back yard, or your favorite outdoor venue with friends. For what it is at a very modest price point, it’s enjoyable. Nothing serious or contemplative; just a lighter, fun, easy-going wine. I’ll enjoy my remaining 3 bottles, but probably won’t buy any more.
Red
First, this was delicious. No hesitation on saying that.

Let it sit in glasses for about an hour. Aromas of tart cherry, sandalwood, and pinot funk. The taste is high toned red fruits, some dark cherry, sandalwood, with velvety soft tannins underneath. There was a bit of savory spice at first, but it faded as the wine opened up. Moderate to high complexity, moderate plus finish, great structure and acidity.

I wouldn’t hold this for 20 years (as @vagenius suggested), but I suspect it will continue to be a well balanced wine for at least 2 or 3 more years.
Red
Still bright and lovely. Give it 30 - 60 mins of air first, then it screams "summer" to me. When ever I bring it to someone's house for dinner, it's always the favorite wine of the evening.
Red
This is my fourth vintage of this wine, and I'm a big fan. This one seems a little more on the lush / rich side; more jammy, less Old World funk than previous vintages. That balance of fruit and funk is what I really enjoy about this wine, so my initial enthusiasm for it is somewhat tempered. However, this vintage was just recently released here (USA) and this is my first taste of it, so it's possible that will change with time.
Red
2018 Agricola San Felice Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
8/22/2021 - Big Juicy Red wrote:
I'm on the fence on this one. It was very tight and still seems young, although not super tannic. Flavor intensity was lacking for the first couple of hours, after which it became a little more interesting. It never evolved into anything truly interesting; only a very restrained, moderate complexity and finish Chianti. Fresh and clean, but still seemed lacking. My hope is that with additional age it will blossom into something truly worthwhile, but at the moment IMHO it's not ready for prime time.
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