Tasting Notes for hankj

(511 notes on 401 wines)

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Red
5/17/2019 - hankj wrote:
78 points
I drank The Walls

and The Walls won (in that it managed to nearly entirely stay in the bottle with only a tiny bit finding my stomach).

I want to be fair to this wine - I've had heavier, more extracted, more muddled, more single-toned punch in the face wines from Washington State. Many of them. Significantly worse offenders. Gorman Albatross. But still, nope, not for me.

Stanley Groovy is basically a Douro blend. I'm utterly mystified why anyone would choose this over just buying a Douro red, which to my palate is about 300% better. Quinta do Crasto is solid and under 30 bucks.

The Douro varieties in this wine are grown on Red Mountain. Red Mountain is easily 800 growing degree days hotter than the part of the Douro where the dominant blend component Touriga Nacional is traditionally grown. in 2015 it was more than 1000 GDD hotter. It shows. I just read a study of the Douro noting that it's getting hotter and hotter there, and while the grapes are durable to heat, the wines will suffer unless vineyards are moved up hill and/or to northern slopes. It's kind of The Walls to pilot this problem in real life - much scarier than just the wolf-crying in the abstract.

What haunts me is that Red Mountain is getting hotter and hotter too. Yikes.

Also I found the label utterly annoying. I'm not sure why. It looks like an uncaptioned New Yorker cartoon. A middle-aged cartoon man -- shirt and tie, face mild-wearily propped on hand -- sits on straight-backed shaker-style dining chair, in black and white. He's little on a lot of white. There's a cartoon wife out there somewhere with whom he no longer sleeps.

I wanted to write my own caption. Maybe "I drank it and I can't get up." This wine should have a Viking on the label, giving you the middle finger.

I found the chance to try The Walls utterly delightful. I cannot thank CT user Skifree enough for actually going out and buying a bottle expressly for the purpose of pouring me a taste and watching me complain. Warmed my heart, even beyond the wink wink 14.5% ABV. Thanks!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/17/2019 - hankj wrote:
85 points
Nothing wrong with this bottle, perfect storage. Against a line up of good quality Right Bank and Italian Merlots this came across as one dimensional and dominated by heavy, cloying, average quality fruit with a mild note of organic decay. Too ripe and too extracted for the better quality of Merlot to come through; not pure and plush enough to drink with Napa-style fruity opulence.

Washington State is making less and less wine like this one, which, despite what the double-IPA-palates of the WA wine cheerleaders clamor for, is a good thing.
Red
5/17/2019 - hankj wrote:
92 points
This needs more time but is destined for if not greatness then really really goodness once it develops more length and tertiary character. Hold 5 years minimum.
White
2017 Château Ducasse Blanc Bordeaux Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
5/12/2019 - hankj wrote:
90 points
This is a killer value. More Sem than Sauv, it drinks like more Sauv than Sem, with the racy grassy crisp key lime aspect of Sauv Blanc but also the tropical floral aspects of Semillon. Great stuff for the price, no brainer case buy if you have a fan of crisp dry white in the house.
Red
2008 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo (view label images)
4/29/2019 - hankj wrote:
90 points
Rock solid juicy, dark, extracted Rioja, not too heavy, developing a little character as it ages. Not built for the long haul, but still has 5 years before it might start tipping down hill. In magnum anyway - not sure how the 750mls are holding up.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/21/2019 - hankj wrote:
91 points
holding up great, good acid, bight red fruit, good complexity, strong food wine.
White - Sparkling
4/16/2019 - hankj wrote:
92 points
Killer champagne, full, but still refined, good tension and complexity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/24/2019 - hankj wrote:
92 points
By damn isn't this in a wonderful place right now. Dead center peak drinking. This bottle's great strength is how bright it remains for fully-resolved, black-fruited wine. Deep blackberry and red currant fruit, Rutherford-like dust, green tea, pistachio nuttiness, clean forest floor. As with all of these LM's it drinks a little made on the bench, which is not at all a put down as this is fracking deliscious.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
2/18/2019 - hankj wrote:
93 points
Still young but so nice. Has shed just a little of its early opulence, but still creamy and tropical and yet still racy and tense. Out of the park home run pairing with a fancy cheese plate or Thai food.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
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.
4 people found this helpful Comments (3)
White - Sweet/Dessert
1/31/2019 - hankj wrote:
93 points
Still freaking delicious and a screaming bargain at msrp, much less the single-digit closeout Ben price I paid. The most interesting thing about this one I think is its botrytis aspect - Sauternes like in that aspect ( but clearly Muscat).
Red
1/31/2019 - hankj wrote:
93 points
My bottles have been in perfect cellar conditions from early on. This one was phenomenal, dropped weight and picked up tertiary aroma but still lush and pleasingly structured. It's a testament to the winemaker that one can pick up this bottle in most any decent supermarket on the West Coast for a mid-range price, and cellar it for more than 10 years, and it gets better and better.
Red
1/31/2019 - hankj wrote:
85 points
I certainly don't hate an austere bottle of burgundy, but this wine comes across as a wine that would work well if it was driven by fruit. But there's no fruit. I don't know if that makes sense, but my remaining four bottles are now "project wines" that I'm going to let age for a long time to see if they pick up some of the nuance that makes for enjoyable austere wine.
Red
1/10/2019 - hankj wrote:
92 points
From magnum. Spot on dead center in drinking window. Could fall off quickly, but this big bottle had dropped a lot of sediment and was perfectly mellowed and resolved without any rancid notes. Showed a little power and structure still, dark berry, leather, Christmas spice, eucalyptus, tea. Took it to a Christmas party, the band of Aussie's in the house were positively wild about this wine.
Red - Fortified
12/20/2018 - hankj wrote:
90 points
Really more similar to decent LBV than vintage port
Red
10/31/2018 - hankj wrote:
93 points
Slammed this one pretty quick right off the pop out of the cellar, with West Oz friends as night cap. Chewy, dark, masculine Syrah, neither overdone nor made soft. This is wine for hearty and fortunate men and women to drink together in good company. Black berries but not fruit forward, leathery bits, clean assertive floral aromas. A dense, serious expression of Syrah not manipulated with too much oak. It is simply superior South Oz fruit allowed to become what it was meant to be. Should be held for 10 more years minimum no question. But we were doing some drinking, and this was one hell of a nice wine to drink!

Buy one of these for your boss for Christmas and expect a raise the day after they open it.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2007 Dominus Napanook Red Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/25/2018 - hankj Likes this wine:
Is it okay to like Napanook better than the Dominus flagship bottles? I find those to be over-extracted, over-alcoholic and over-oaked. Napanook is balanced, undercontrol, still complex and full of character, to my palate the better wine.
Red
2011 Abadia Retuerta Selección Especial Sardon de Duero Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo (view label images)
10/10/2018 - hankj wrote:
90 points
Likeable, down the middle good red wine. Medium fruity, medium tannic, with some dusty Spanish character and good enough acid to age or work with food. Drink now or hold 5 years +. All grapes - Temp., Cab S, and Syrah - contribute some positive aspect of their character, at the low cost of the bottle being also a little generically unremarkable. No one will not like this wine, and nearly everyone will deeply enjoy it. Well worth the price and a sure thing gift or take to the boss' place for dinner.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/6/2018 - hankj wrote:
90 points
the bottle I opened still showed a good bit of fine grained wood on the pop. It receded quickly, and was in a lovely spot, but structure and fruit is still there if you have a good cellar and want to hold these a bit longer. The CT drinking window is too short. With confidence I can say this should drink nicely until 2022 - you won't nees an "old wine" palate to enjoy this then.

Regarding tasting notes, this is a down the middle masculine Supertuscan of very good but not outstanding quality. It's what you'd expect, will work with the foods you'd expect - red meats, heavy red pasta dishes.
Red
9/24/2018 - hankj wrote:
90 points
this bottle was still pretty fresh, still fresh oak but not an oaky wine. Big, rich, smooth, just enough structure and complexity to be a serious wine. Good but nothing particularly special.
Red
9/22/2018 - hankj wrote:
Wow I don't remember this wine being so oaky! Too round and ripe for time to fix it, but I think 3 more years in a perfect cellar will allow the wood to fade just a little more before the fruit turns rancia.

Pretty good though, in that fruity woody rich bright Sonoma style.

Let me also say we drank this Neyers in a field of 12 Syrahs, including two $100+ Northern Rhone, and this wine is very very obviously not European. It is though very clearly NorCal, which is just fine!
White
9/20/2018 - hankj wrote:
Getting a little more open but still a long time before in the prime window.
Red
8/10/2018 - hankj wrote:
89 points
I totally get everything positive our community says about this wine. But to my palate a low acid Pinot can't be excellent. Good wine though, smooth berry smoky goodness :)
White - Off-dry
7/13/2018 - hankj wrote:
Slight musty aspect first day (not corked). 2nd day it had blown off and wine was singing. Bodes well for aging. I'll wait until 2021 to pop another.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/30/2018 - hankj wrote:
This is in a great place right now. Pop and pour was fine.
Red - Fortified
6/28/2018 - hankj wrote:
91 points
Solid littleport for $13. Has the licorice laced masculinity of it's house style. Drinking fine now if you let it get over Bottle Shock, this will also last and probably improve for decades. Speech-to-text comment sorry for the typos
Red
6/1/2018 - hankj wrote:
90 points
Strong, enjoyable bottle, if a little simple. Opened up nicely with some air over a couple of hours, but certainly doesn't need more time in the cellar. Juicy and brushy meet in a harmonious middle with this one.
Red
6/1/2018 - hankj wrote:
92 points
Gonna give credit - this bottle came off much better than the previous two, which I fairly aggressively panned. Typical high end Napa Cab, cherry, currant, mint, chocolate, saddle and refined tannin. Took its age nicely - in a great window. If I was holding more I'd feel good about drinking them soon.
Red
5/28/2018 - hankj wrote:
84 points
From double magnum. Hard to come up with a lot more than this is pretty average wine. Not offensive yet has a "bulk" quality to it. Simple, and nothing wrong with it but just comes across as a little lacking. It falls into the nicest condo in a crappy town category - should have spent more or spent less.
White
3/2/2018 - hankj wrote:
92 points
Last bottle of a case. This took age very well, and I suspect it would continue to do so for up to another 10 years.
Red
1/26/2018 - hankj wrote:
86 points
This bottle might have been a little corked. The somms said no, dining companions no, but I got a little cardboard must and a bit of flat palate. If not then a hair over the hill, at least this last bottle. If I had a bunch of these I'd check in to make sure it's not on the downslope.
Red - Fortified
1/2/2018 - hankj Likes this wine:
92 points
I was pleasantly surprised to be impressed by this modest bottle of Port. Dark, sweet, brambly berries, anise, integrated leather and tobacco. Very dusty. It came across like a tuned-down version of Fonseca Vintage, a little softer and less concentrated, delightfully drinkable. Not built for the ages, but stored properly it's drinking great now and will for 15 more years.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
12/26/2017 - hankj wrote:
90 points
Son of Sam this is a massive mofo of a Syrah. It's practically a Port. Fun funk that's like smelling a distant farmyard through the open window of a very clean hospital room. Ripe till over the hill blackberries. Ruby red grapefruit peel. Not too complex, in that way giant wines tend to be a little simple. and not at all a bad choice for getting 3 people a little tipsy on one bottle.
Red
12/26/2017 - hankj Likes this wine:
92 points
Massive wine that nonetheless remains just under control. Lots of structure but not so acidic - needs few more years.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/9/2017 - hankj wrote:
This is nice wine but shut down hard and not close to ready. 5 more years minimum to soften up a little.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
10/14/2017 - hankj wrote:
90 points
Not sure why tasters are so down on this bottle - very good, highly typical if modern Chianti Classico.
Red
10/4/2017 - hankj wrote:
92 points
Drank a week after Monte Bello of the same vintage, and this compared nicely. Build a little more fruit forward, oak a little more modern/hanging out there compared to the Monte Bello's finesse. Fruit not as deep either. But at half the price this is 80% the wine, built for less closely considered, more opulent drinking. Great stuff.
White
7/7/2017 - hankj wrote:
93 points
very slightly low acid, but super deep and some fabulous botrytis character. It will age and last a long time.
Red
7/7/2017 - hankj wrote:
83 points
this wine's low acid caught up with it - bottle was well over the hill for my taste - flat, hollow, flabby and decaying. Not a flawed bottle, stored in an ideal cellar, happy I don't have more.
Red
7/7/2017 - hankj wrote:
This last bottle had fallen off the cliff compared to previous bottles. An over the hill mess. Two years ago was the right time; this one got dumped after one glass. It was a good wine while it lasted, but they all expire eventually. Stored at 56 degrees.
White
6/18/2017 - hankj Likes this wine:
93 points
A mild fuel note permeating all aspects of this wine works as a modifier of baseline descriptors, both mine and some from previous tasting notes. So not Meyer lemon but Meyer lemon curd; not saline but sea spray, not apple but bruised apple, not pear but floury green pear. Riper, more exotic elements dance across the nose too - pineapple, spicy mango, jasmine, a little honey. Has a firm grassy green element as well, with a touch of dry herb lending some more structure.

Acid is strong +, finish already longish, aftertaste of tart key lime pie and slight medicinal notes.

Very good wine that's gonna go off the Richter as tertiary aspects develop in the cellar.
Red
5/23/2017 - hankj wrote:
90 points
Solid, ordinary, quality Burg. Has the stuffing to age 5 years and hold for a while from there, and will benefit greatly from it, will pick up needed depth and dimension. Great value!
White - Sparkling
5/23/2017 - hankj wrote:
93 points
All GC fruit, and it shows. High end of dosage regulation for Brut. Hazelnutty, little funky, bright, fruity and long. Screaming value.
Red
5/23/2017 - hankj wrote:
91 points
Many years in front of these bottles.
Red
5/16/2017 - hankj wrote:
93 points
wow I thought these might be getting a little long in the tooth, but this last bottle was just banging on all cylinders, still fresh and bright and grippy but resolved and evolved too. If you like 'em mushroomy this had at leastg another teen years with proper storage. Right now though was splendid.
Red
4/17/2017 - hankj wrote:
86 points
Developed a nice nose eventually but quite backward to start, then had too much pepper and funk for the light strawberry fruit.
Red
4/1/2017 - hankj wrote:
91 points
Deep, forward fruit with just enough acid, tannin and umami to keep it from being a bomb. Soft, pleasant, nice quality wine that's taken on a decade in the cellar well. Absolutely no reason to hold this any longer - not built for really long aging and that's fine.
Red
3/25/2017 - hankj wrote:
flawed
Just a little corked. Shame, nice wine behind the basement
Red
2/7/2017 - hankj wrote:
93 points
Hell of a nice bottle of Cab - paid $55 and would call it great qpr at that price. Good food wine but not insubstantial either.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1/28/2017 - hankj wrote:
94 points
drinking through a case. Tropical notes but also great mineral and salinity. This is a fabulous, rich white Burg with a kaleidoscopic nose. Varies bottle to bottle from solid to great.
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