Comments on my notes

(45 comments on 39 notes)

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Red
2015 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Red Rhone Blend
11/5/2018 - Heynetty wrote:
Wine Dojo - Camerata Quickie: Tasted Blind

A: pale ruby
N: Medium (+) nose. Strawberry, red cherry, raspberry, violet, medicinal, black pepper, wet stone, juniper. Secondary notes of vanilla, clove and nutmeg. Tertiary aromas of mushroom, wet leaf and forest floor .
P: Dry, high acid, medium (+) tannin, medium (+) alcohol (14%) but well integrated, medium (+) body and pronounced intensity with long finish.
C: Can drink now but has potential to age. BLIC? Ticks all round. A really outstanding quality here.

Guesses:
I guessed old world as very earthy. Agh, the pepper put me in the rhone and the slightly lighter body made me think grenache based wine from southern rhone but the color was inconsistent. It aromas didn't support pinot noir or sangiovese but might have supported Nebbiolo as did the pale color. I went for Nebbiolo.

Mistakes:
There would have been a fuller body on Nebbiolo and the pepper wouldn't have been here. Lots of red fruit and florals yes, but the fruit condition would be riper and more stewed in a CDP.I just didn't analyze the fruit condition and gave too much credence to the color. Grenache is thin skinned and not got a lot of color intensity but thought the remainder of the blend would have rendered it much darker. A odd miss but i can at least see where i went wrong.
60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties.
  • hankj commented:

    5/1/19, 9:31 AM - Helpful note. I really like the vintages of VT that come across as Nebbiolo-like. Quite surprised that 2015 produced a VT with this profile. I see the 2016 reviewed as dark-fruited and deep with very high scores, but the '15 seems like my wheelhouse, thanks!

Red
2015 Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah Napa Valley
1/11/2019 - RSGreene wrote:
69 points
Light bodied. Very acidic. Drink with something sweet.
  • hankj commented:

    3/12/19, 6:27 PM - This is an off bottle, no question, as this is a big, rich wine with density and depth. Corked? That can cause thinness and an acrid acidity ....

    At any rate don't give up in this label!

Red
2006 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
2/18/2019 - hankj wrote:
95 points
This I coming into its own, still grippy but finer tannins. It will always have structure, but at this point you can call these bottles fully settled in and in the window. I think it's a long window though, no reason in a proper cellar that these won't also be wonderful in 15-20 years.
  • hankj commented:

    2/22/19, 6:37 PM - Sorry I'll fix it! Thanks

Red
2014 Derey Freres Fixin Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir
The nose is quite earthy with some tobacco aromas. Bright red fruit on the palate, with some of those rustic tobacco notes. Initially a very rough finish that smoothed out by the second glass, and opened up into a nice pleasant drink.
  • hankj commented:

    4/21/18, 12:28 PM - Thanks for the review! Did you set the CT drinking window for this wine? If so it seems short given the roughness until it got a lot of air. Does 2021-2026 seem reasonable to you? Thank you!

Red
2006 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
10/10/2017 - ChrisinSunnyside wrote:
95 points
Delicious, powerful, complex, long, tobacco, layers of fruit, ample tannins, beautiful package.
  • hankj commented:

    10/10/17, 11:33 AM - Glad to hear these are coming along Chris! I've got 7 of them left, started with 9. Drank one in '11 - pure infanticide. Then a second a year ago, which hit me as needing more time to shed a little weight.

    My opinion on when to drink Brunello has changed a bit of late though - it accelerates into the drinking window pretty quickly once it's close, and fades out of it pretty quickly too.

    I was going to wait for 2022 to try another - now I think I'll schedule that for Christmas time 2019.

    Thanks!

Red
2015 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette Gamay
10/4/2017 - Motz wrote:
92 points
Tasted over three days. The wine needed air to show its finest qualities. During the first hours open sweet fruit and moderate brett dominated on the bouquet and palate. With air, the wine showed greater precision, mineral depth, and grip. The brettiness receded on the second and third days, allowing the wine to show its substance, with raspberry, cranberry, lingonberry, blackberry, rooibos, hibiscus, black earth, and sous-bois. The impression of garnet gemstones provided highly appealing cut, lift, and tension. The wine held the same form on the third day. Overall, at under $20, an excellent value for 2015 Cru Beaujolais.
  • hankj commented:

    10/4/17, 4:57 PM - nice write up thanks, have also found this wine wants air to show its best aspects.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu Chenin Blanc
2/5/2017 - MartyL wrote:
90 points
Perfectly nice but was expecting more. Sweet notes of apples and litchi buttressed by acidity, it comes across as a little simple compared to previous vintages. I wonder if the 1er Trie is a big step up this vintage.
  • hankj commented:

    5/18/17, 6:56 PM - Hi the 1ere have much more residual sugar, ranging from 80 to 120 grams per liter depending on vineyard and vintage. By contrast regular Moelleux have 40-60. So the 1ere's are the nicest fruit, but harvested later and twice as sweet. Hope this is helpful!

Red
2008 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
4/8/2017 - flwinos wrote:
flawed
Corked bottle
  • hankj commented:

    4/8/17, 7:20 PM - bummer! My condolences ;)

Red
2013 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Berserkers' Cuvée Willamette Valley
12/20/2016 - hankj wrote:
flawed
Mildly frizzante and gone-to-fat, over-the-hill tasting in the way OR Pinot can. Not corked nor improperly stored. Giving this the benefit of the doubt and calling it a bad bottle, but definitely not holding the last two much longer.
  • hankj commented:

    12/21/16, 6:07 AM - Tim thanks for noting replacement - I'm not too concerned about a 20 dollar bottle - fruit's a gamble after all :)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Champagne Blend
5/21/2016 - hankj wrote:
92 points
Solid but not transcendent. Fun label to pay for though - iconic connotation of celebration and the good life.
  • hankj commented:

    5/21/16, 6:01 PM - No Randy sorry, meant 92, must have poked my phone by accident. Thanks for the heads up.

Red
2012 Robert Biale Zinfandel Black Chicken Oak Knoll District
3/1/2015 - Dutradan Likes this wine:
91 points
Drink now or hold. Depends on where you want the experience. Great ripe fruit. Tannins inline and not overbearing. Strong backbone that could go several years. Drank after dinner with chocolate and it was perfect!
  • hankj commented:

    4/10/15, 8:58 AM - Does 2017-2020 seem like a reasonable drinking window given proper storage? Thank you!

  • hankj commented:

    8/26/15, 8:12 AM - thank you!

Red
2011 Domaine de Pallus Chinon Les Pensées de Pallus Cabernet Franc
9/16/2014 - kdsipe wrote:
89 points
Dirt, dirt, fertilizer and dirt. Hints of red berry, violets and capsicum. Shimmering aromas, clean and mineral. Light to medium bodied, powdery tannin, broad on the palate, great acid, seamless and full of class. Savory. Gains weight and sweetness with time in the glass. I think this will improve over the next three to five years. Classically styled Loire Cabernet Franc with out the rough edges. Lacks some concentration in this vintage but has good energy. Very claret like. Not for the dirt averse.
  • hankj commented:

    5/16/15, 7:07 PM - This is a great tasting note, too much emphasis on the earth when first open but then just spot on -- notices everything important about this terrific wine!

  • hankj commented:

    5/23/15, 9:42 AM - Same here - such interesting wines. I feel like I'm on to something special early with this one!

Red
2005 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Red Bordeaux Blend
3/28/2015 - cgrimes Likes this wine:
93 points
Dark ruby to purple. Nose of blackberry, plum, some cassis, some smoke. Palate with good depth of fruit, some minerality, and smooth tannins. This was a powerful wine with good balance. I enjoyed this wine very much.
  • hankj commented:

    4/10/15, 8:54 AM - I've got a couiple of these - what's the drinking window? Now? Wait a bit? Thanks.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Champagne Blend
From 375ml. I didn't expect there to be much difference between 375s and 750s and maybe there aren't generally but didn't seem quite as bright and toasty as some of the bottles we've had in the past. Still really delicious and wonderful, but will be interesting to see how the remaining 375s go.
  • hankj commented:

    4/10/15, 8:49 AM - Interesting! In an Enology course Peter Bos (the instructor) commented that sparkling wine is particularly sensitive to bottle size and that magnums seem to be a sweet spot for making the best, brightest wine. So fwiw your impression confirms another's.

Red
2004 Château Lascombes Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
Color holding fast, still a med-dark ruby. Aromas are just as lively as the color, with an even mixture of red and black fruits against a backdrop of turned earth, dust and purple floral. Medium-bodied, with good concentration, lively acids and slender, fine tannins that add welcome finesse. A lovely pairing with the grilled leg of lamb. 13,0% abv., thru 2021. recommended

Decanted for sediment (a fair amount, mostly fine), and returned to bottle after 1 hour aeration; served non-blind.
  • hankj commented:

    3/25/15, 10:04 PM - Thanks Tim nice review. I have one of these 2004's left and find it an underrated bottle.

Red
2003 Ramey Jericho Canyon Vineyard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
3/21/2015 - WineWright Likes this wine:
95 points
Beautiful bottle. Full, expressive balance of aromas, feel, and flavors. Magnificent.
  • hankj commented:

    3/25/15, 10:03 PM - Drink or hold EW? I've got one magnum so one shot to pull the trigger at the peak. Thank you!

Red
2005 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
1/24/2015 - hankj wrote:
92 points
We decanted this and drank relatively unceremoniously. It came across as a good quality, balanced, not overdone in any way California BDX blend. Not mind blowing or particularly special but a really nice wine. Not a QPR wine but not at all disappointing at the price. Fwiw it drank to my palate better than the particular bottle of Bionic Frog alongside it.
  • hankj commented:

    1/24/15, 2:01 PM - I don't think so Tim - in 10 years it'll be older but not necessarily better. Was nicely integrated already, and not sure I'd swap less fruit and tannin for more tertiary aspects but then again I don't have an old wine palate. It's good wine to be sure; just didn't command adoration like a 95+ point wine does.

Red
2004 Bodega Numanthia Toro Numanthia Tinta de Toro, Tempranillo
11/11/2014 - skifree wrote:
90 points
Brought to CT SEA double-blind tasting with the theme of "odd wines". Very dark in the glass, long legs after swirling. Lots of anise on the nose, sweet deep fruit in the mouth. Long finish, with more anise and noticeable tannins. Double decanted 2.5 hours before tasting, and it was noticeably smoother than when I tasted just after opening. This was 6th out of 10 in the group, and was tasted just after an older Sangiovese (yin and yang!). Most people thought this was a young wine.
  • hankj commented:

    11/16/14, 7:22 AM - Yep this was my #1, 93-94 points. I'm surprised how many in our group really disliked.

Red
1990 Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
11/8/2014 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
A delicious wine. Starts with a slight hint of honey wine, but then really hits its stride. Still a nice bright color. Wonderful nose of old cabernet – cigar box, Tabasco, roasted meats, with some dark prickly fruits. Still some slight tannins in the mouth. Wonderful flavors of dark red fruits with hints of pencil lead, stewed blueberries. I am sorry this is my last bottle. But glad to share it with Henry and Cary.
  • hankj commented:

    11/10/14, 11:04 AM - Thanks Ron!

Red
2005 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve Napa Valley
9/28/2014 - rwilk_2000 wrote:
92 points
Drank very well tonight with prime rib. Tannins were well integrated and fruits were subdued. Drink now or in next few years.
  • hankj commented:

    9/29/14, 8:44 AM - Do you think this wine will run down hill fast after it peaks? For some reason I've not been able to make myself pop any of these bottles - something so regal about the label that it feel like it should be 20 years old. Not one to sit on for the long haul (note that I'm not really fond of faded old wines). Thanks!

  • hankj commented:

    9/29/14, 2:08 PM - Awesome thanks

Red
2007 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Red Rhone Blend
9/27/2014 - Christoffer78 Likes this wine:
95 points
A stunningly beautiful Télégraphe. This 2007 delivers a vivid array of dark mature fruit, raspberry, boysenberry and sun warm strawberry. the fruit is adjoined by subtle tones of maturity with the classical Asian spice box, sweet licorice and herbal infusion as the main ingredients. There is also a whiff of cinnamon in the end palate which adds that little "dot over the i". The palate is seamless, silky and totally integrated. Balance is the keyword here, and I am quite amazed by the power and elegance this wine exhibits. Tannins speak up a bit, but they are still not overly vocal and they just tell me the wine will continue to develop given it is allowed to rest. The overall impression is very positive. This is a true masterpiece with a lot of fruit and a stunning elegance. Bravo!
  • hankj commented:

    9/29/14, 8:45 AM - how long would you hold a magnum of this if you like nicely resolved but not too much fading of the fruit? Thanks!

  • hankj commented:

    9/29/14, 2:07 PM - mine is cellared property, preorder through a good wine shop in Seattle so i'll give it some more time. Thank you!

Red
2005 Lagier Meredith Syrah Mt. Veeder
9/24/2014 - LARich wrote:
90 points
First day was unimpressive, with no real character, but on day 2 was much better.
  • hankj commented:

    9/29/14, 8:49 AM - Surprised to hear this but always happy to pop a bottle of LM to check in on progress so will try soon. Any chance you had a corky bottle? Any musty smells? Thank you!

Red
2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Gamay
9/26/2014 - dcwino wrote:
93 points
I have always been extremely enthusiastic about the 09 vintage as with time, the opulent big fruit will lesson and the freshness will emerge. I think this is a very good example, crunch red fruits with a hint of black, cranberries, crushed blackberries, that give Gevrey like fruit impression. There is an unmistakable Beaujoulais animal note, also spicy spices, white pepper and earth. Warm and round, much fresher red fruit driven palate impression compare to a year ago, bright acidity and good finish with a hint of animal as the end note. I would love to try this in ten years. Will it gain a lot of tertiary notes? It you didn't care for the 09 ripeness, you will be pleased by the transformation.
  • hankj commented:

    9/29/14, 8:40 AM - Nice note. Lately I've been learning that warm vintage wines don't necessarily have to follow a short curve of big and fruity, settled in, then degraded and muddled. Agree that 09 Beaujolais is a good counter example - much heavier than normal vintage that still has potential to transform and improve with age. I think the X factor is juice to skin ratio - hot years that produce a lot of big or normal-sized super-sweet berries go down hill fast; hot years that thicken skins and reduce berry size (thus increasing skin to juice ratio) drink big out of the gate but then have potential to grow in the cellar. So nice review - wish I hadn't already plowed through my magnums of this wine :)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Champagne Blend
6/10/2014 - acyso wrote:
80 points
A really weird bottle this time around: not heat-damaged, not corked... This was very grassy on the nose and without any Krug signature (baked green apples and brioche is what I usually associate with the Grande Cuvee). The palate was thin and lacking in the usual intensity. One-dimensional. Finished short with notes of bitter almonds. Give this to me blind and I'm sure I wouldn't be able to place it as Krug. Sadly, a very pedestrian bottle of wine, and a complete failure as a bottle of Krug.
  • hankj commented:

    6/11/14, 5:21 PM - fruit gone, grassy notes intact and bitter? Sounds corked to me ....

Red
2006 Col Solare Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
4/12/2014 - brown57 Likes this wine:
92 points
Dark lush fruit and very silky as many others have pointed out. A very nice wine but expected more wow factor for the price. I have an '08 in the celler and will eventually see how that one fares in comparison.
  • hankj commented:

    4/19/14, 8:45 PM - tasted the '08 about a week ago. It's a more austere wine than the '06, could use 3 or 4 more years of cellar time at least.

Red
2008 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
2/26/2014 - hankj wrote:
won't score again as I don't want to skew the ratings, but reactions at the most recent CT Seattle event ranged from solid to WOTN. Drank this one between Copain and Kosta Browne and it was clearly the best, and significantly cheaper. Interestingly it drank a lot like the Reynvan and Cayuse Syrah, but was clearly Pinot.
  • hankj commented:

    2/26/14, 10:12 AM - TO be fair I thought the Kosta Browne was good (and the Dom too), and I don't have a lot of experience with that label. It seemed more serious and brooding without the high-tones Pinot is known for. Cali gets criticized sometimes for making Syrah-like Pinots (which I like); the Kosta Browne struck me as Pinot made in the mold of Cabernet.

  • hankj commented:

    2/26/14, 10:16 AM - y'Quem ... I have the luxury of trying a lot of nice wines sometimes declaring them overrated, but apparently my good fortune doesn't quite extend to the level of y'Quem. Only had it once, a lesser vintage that was dwarfed by the quality of the 2001 Rieussec we tasted it next to.

    Moral of the story is I need more friend who are popping y'Quem ;)

Red
2005 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco Nebbiolo
1/25/2014 - hankj wrote:
88 points
Good wine overall. Dense and brooding with an almost Cahors-like weight and extraction. The wood is distinctly Barolo, and there is a good amount of it. Kinda a Parkerized bottle but 10 years might help with that? Not sure it will vastly improve but will let sit 5 years before checking in again.
  • hankj commented:

    1/31/14, 8:32 AM - I might be persuaded to part with 2 bottles for trade at CT value ;)

Red
2002 Spring Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District
1/11/2014 - hankj wrote:
93 points
two bottles consumed - the first was a little dirtier than the second but both were excellent, deep, complex Mountain Cab. I'd drink them up in the next 3 years if I had more.
  • hankj commented:

    1/14/14, 9:36 AM - Thanks Robert - I love their Syrahs too. All of their wines definitely punch above their weight. Curious if you are the "real" Robert Goulet or if the staff hides just a little disappointment when you show up for a restaurant reservation? :)

Red
2007 Marcarini Barolo Brunate Nebbiolo
9/20/2013 - RDHudak wrote:
flawed
Bottle decided to take a header rather than be involved in my wine dinner. @$#$#%%@&
One of the thinnest bottles I have come across, especially for a Barolo.
  • hankj commented:

    11/15/13, 8:04 AM - I've got a double mag and you're right - it does feel a little like the wine is corked inside a giant lightbulb.

Red
2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Gamay
7/2/2013 - sawira wrote:
89 points
Good, not great. Muted. I still maintain these 09 Bojos are in a dumb period, and I wish I could follow my own advice and keep my hands off, but I have some vague background fear that the beautiful 09 fruit will fade and I'll regret not quaffing these.
  • hankj commented:

    7/16/13, 8:33 AM - I'm in the same head space (haha) on '09 - will the fruit fade and leave something ordinary? Guess we'll find out :)

Red
2009 Domaine Brazilier Coteaux du Vendômois Tradition Red Blend
5/24/2013 - indiscriminate palate wrote:
78 points
The fact that someone makes a bizarre, ripe, entirely unenjoyable, unnecessarily disjoint blend of grapes does not make it "geeky," or "interesting." In this case, it just makes it bad. "Fruit and earth" would be the euphemism for it was more aptly described as "rotting cherries." Also, currants, herbs, barnyard, loads of acid, and medium chewy tannin. Inspires not "yum" but "what IS that?"

Drinking it, I thought "Garagiste!" And indeed, Rimmerman's dial-a-prose machine landed on "wine geek, value and terroir," a wholly inapplicable set of words. If you ever thought "What would a $5 blend of cabernet franc and pinot noir taste like?" then this wine is your answer. I have never wondered that.
  • hankj commented:

    5/24/13, 3:01 PM - That was frickin' awesome. Not that I won't drink this wine, or particularly care about it enough to engage the mind in the process ....

Red
2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Gamay
5/10/2013 - Capt Cutlass wrote:
This bottle was disappointing: I can deal with the animal notes but it seemed volatile and unbalanced. I guess that is the risk of buying natural wines...
This was the "S" version but I guess that they use just a minimal amount so it is hard to have a consistent purity in each bottle. My other bottles were great despite the animal tones.
  • hankj commented:

    5/13/13, 9:12 AM - nice note. there's a lot or variation in these bottles because there's more than one bottling of the S (sulphured) version. One particular lot number stands out above the rest. And you are right that minimal amount were applied. For this reason good storage conditions are critical - if I didn't have a 55 degree cellar I'd drink these up sooner rather than later.

Red
2007 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
4/26/2013 - Uncle John wrote:
94 points
Slow ox. for 6 hours then decanted for another hour. For such a young Brunello this was drinking best after an hour into the meal. Beautiful red fruit smooth palate and fine tannins on the long finish. This was rounder than the 2006 with finer tannins but very close in quality. I find the 2006 has more structure in the mid-palate. This still needs a few years but with a healthy decant can be enjoyed today.
  • hankj commented:

    5/6/13, 7:17 AM - thanks for comparing to '06 - very helpful reference points that'll keep me from committing any more exploratory infanticide (for a while anyway :).

Red
2005 Lagier Meredith Syrah Mt. Veeder
5/3/2013 - Loren Sonkin wrote:
90 points
Lagier Meredith Vertical (1999 thru 2010) + (Loren's Home): Purple in color. The largest nose on the table. Lots of blue berries and blackberries with spice and pepper. On the palate, coffee, black raspberries, some heat, especially on the finish. Starting with this wine and for the rest of them, it seemed a wall of tannins rose up and really dominate the palate. I think this wine has a bright future. This got a huge Parker score. Glad to have some but wont check in for a while.
  • hankj commented:

    5/6/13, 7:13 AM - I've got only one 2005 left and was planning on drinking it soon, but since you've tasted the whole arc of LM's production and know better I'll hold out for a while. Does 3 more years seem like a safe bet? Thanks.

White
2009 Trimbach Riesling Alsace
5/5/2013 - UTPK wrote:
Fruit is getting thinner and thinner.
  • hankj commented:

    5/6/13, 7:07 AM - Six words, yet so helpful! Thanks.

Red
2006 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
5/5/2013 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
99 points
Decanted for four hours. Thick and enthralling are the operative words. She absolutely encompasses a duality of forward elements and elegance. Fine tannins with a velvety edge; the minute-plus finish just throbs. Licorice, plum sauce, blackberry, Earl Grey tea, basil leaf and lava. There are hints of all things coffee near the end of every sniff. The palate just oozes every flavor imaginable. My favorite Tenuta Nuova on multiple levels and I am utterly lusting after every sip. Drink 2018-.
  • hankj commented:

    5/6/13, 7:05 AM - Nice tasting note - given your drinking window then this is a 100 point wine in five years probably? I've only got a couple of bottles so will definitely wait. Thank you though for taking (tasting) one for the team!

Red
2004 Nicholas Cole Cellars Camille Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
5/5/2013 - rjm_va wrote:
90 points
Very peppery and paired nicely with Chimchurri salsa. Oak very present and alcohol is a bit too high.
  • hankj commented:

    5/6/13, 7:02 AM - Interesting it still gets an excellent score with the out of balance oak and alcohol. You are not at all alone in this but I just can't get past the heavy-handedness of this bottle to see it's better characteristics

Red
2007 Garagiste Mystery #4 Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
10/12/2010 - BurgundyHound78 wrote:
94 points
Having read a couple of negative reviews on this wine, I couldn't wait to try it as soon as I picked up my wine at Garagiste and find out for myself.

The color is a deep royal purple, and the aromatics are rather intoxicating. A touch perfumey, with violets, nutmeg, cigar box, and blackberry. Once on the tongue, the wine is massive on the palate with intense concentration. Here the youth shows, as the flavors here are condensed into black cherry and spicea and the alcohol is also rather pronounced. The finish is long and silky, however, and hangs on the tongue for a good minute plus. I left half the bottle for the next day and tried it again. At that point the perfume had faded a bit and the spices were more evident on the nose. The greatest change, though, was on the palate. The alcohol did not come across as hot and the flavors had opened up a bit. Now there were notes of boysenberry, graphite, black plum, and macerated cherries. The length on the finish had remained steady.

Overall, I think this wine has great potential. While it is very new world (and thus not for a hardcore Francophile's palate), it is balanced and graceful. At this age it is really little more than a barrel sample, though, as I think it needs another 3-5 years to show as the winemaker intended. At such an inexpensive price, this was well worth the investment.
  • hankj commented:

    10/17/10, 7:12 AM - New user has no bottles in inventory and this is his/her single review posted on GS. Is it feeling a little shilly in here?

    I'm interested in hearing from someone with a deeper resume here -- can Garagiste #4 rightly be called super-premium WA State juice? Is anybody who's consumed a lot of QC, Betz, Waters, Leonetti and other high-end WA wines I generally can't afford able to confirm that this is what I've been "missing"? (or at least some version of it?)

Red
2006 Betz Family Syrah La Serenne Columbia Valley
Wrote and lost a long critique but needed to say what some others seem to be implying but not saying out right. I'm going to be much shorter this time.

Apparent flaws (and I mean apparent): H2S (more than should be forgiven, even in Syrah); vinegar from acetobactor infection; too much sulfite (ostensibly to control the previous flaw)

issues: alcohol out of balance to level that will never fade before the fruit does; aroma/flavor profile dominated strongly by coffee and grape/wood tannins (too much French oak and on the skins too long). These components do not balance one another but rather push each other more out of balance; the fruit is cooked, stewed and muddled. A fresh component might have saved this wine.

On the plus side: nice anise and brush tones well-integrated.

Day 2: flattened out, but then was totally unremarkable and ordinary if big.
  • hankj commented:

    6/13/10, 10:20 PM - Hi -- Didn't mean to put anyone on the spot or be unduly harsh!

    This wine clearly shows flaws that aren't variable bottle to bottle. I know the label has a deserved good reputation and that Bob Betz is a very nice man and knows more about wine than all of us put together, but this Syrah is an exception to the rule.

  • hankj commented:

    9/27/10, 3:09 PM - I really don't want to be unfair so I'm going to retract my low score and some of my negative comments and speculation on attribution of the fruit source. Suffice to say that this bottle was to my taste way to full of sulfite and hydrogen sulfide and I couldn't get over the match-book and vinegar aspects. Maybe it was just my bottle.

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