Tasting Notes for cabrnay

(242 notes on 199 wines)

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White
8/4/2016 - cabrnay Likes this wine:
89 points
Nice, ready to drink chard, good price.
Red
8/3/2016 - cabrnay wrote:
88 points
In my opinion, dry creek, Sonoma cabernet all tastes the same, somewhat bitter, a little lighter in texture, and less memorable than napa valley wines and this has not changed my opinion. I wouldn't send it back if bought by the glass, but probably wouldn't order the second.
Red
8/3/2016 - cabrnay Likes this wine:
92 points
Does not taste like a cab franc at all. Good tannins and fruit balance, dry but with a fruit forward tilt.
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Red
11/6/2011 - cabrnay wrote:
84 points
Classic Steltzner style, lacking in body,good nose but just lacks the oomph
Red
10/17/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
88 points
A little thin, the regular Cab from Bennett Lane was actually better. I set this bottle aside for a day under some nitrogen. I though it was better the 2nd day. Good fruit and tannin balance, just not as full bodied as it's little brother.
Red
9/12/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
90 points
Better the r2nd day, need some time to bresthe. Was a it tart initially and smoothed out nicely after a day in the bottle. I did gas with Nitrogen. I don't think this wine has much more time left, need to get drinking these.
Red
9/8/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
89 points
Still holding up very welll, good fruit, nose and mouthfeel. I like this style of wine, my wife hates it.. Has the classic central coast taste profile but doesn;t show well until after it opens up a bit. I won't let the rest of my 2001's sit much longer, this is probably the last year this vintage will be enjoyable, you cna sense it starting to thin out a bit, sediment was heavy but the fruit was still prominent for an older wine. .
Red
9/8/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
75 points
Barely palatable... AV Silver Oak's just don't have hte staying power that it's Napa big brother has. I hope the 2001 and 2002 don't taste this bad.
Red
9/8/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
Yuck !! can you say Salad dressing ingredient ? 10 years is way too long to hold anything from KJ, god I hate wedding presents.
Red
9/8/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
92 points
A delightful Santa Barbara area Syrah. classic SB fruit, great body or what the Mollydookers of the world like to refer to as "Fruitweight". Nice SB style nose, very aromatic and extremely fruit forward, the fruit makes it seem a little lighter on the acidity and tannins. Very easy to drink. Reminds me a bit of Angeli from Stolpman vineyards which is ther high end Syrah based wine
White
8/29/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
92 points
This is a very nice chard, creamy, not overly oaked, nice balance, but the fact that people pay 70+ for this wine is just absurd. There are far to many $20+ wines that are just as good if not better then this. The Madigan Chardonnay is very similar and has a $20 price point. I do however have to give credit to the wine maker for keeping to a more tru burgundian chardonnay from CA and not letting the Oak and butter take over. This is a great wine for $25, an average wine for $75.
Red
6/5/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
81 points
Pretty average wine. I tend to give these Colorado wines a bit higher of a score since they are the home town underdogs and all, but the blend of grapes in this wine just leaves something to be desired.. A bit too tart, tended to become even a tad bitter the longer it sat out. This is also one of their more expensive Colorado wines as well, and to be frank, the Cab Franc is better since it seems to do a bit better in the cooler climate. Pretty much anything with cabernet in the blend here in Colorado isn't worth more then around $8.
Red
6/1/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
87 points
This Bottle held up better then most at this age, but it was still a little long in the tooth, a little on the thin side, but amazingly enough it had some decent fruit left in it. This is not my favorite wine to start with so I did not expect anything extraordinary, but I need to give the wine maker some credit for giving it some age worthyness.
Red
5/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
83 points
This may not be the wine's fault, but overall, this wine was very bland, poor balance, not nearly enough fruit, too much "Bordeaux Paste" flavors coming through for my taste. I had this wine out of my locker at Morton's, and hence it may not be the wine's fault. Morton's does not keep their wines in a cool enviornment, it;s usually kept in a room temp closet, which for what Morton's charges for their wines (it's obscene the markup they add to wines) it's a crime.
Red
5/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
91 points
A joy to drink, classic central coast fruit, bright flowery fruit flavors, unmistakeably Central coast... Not thin like many Pinot's, this one has some body and good balance, enough acidity to keep it as god wine with food, enough fruit to ignore the food.
Red
5/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
87 points
A bit too tart for me, was much better earlier on before aging, usually the sign of a wine that will end better then it started out of the bottle.
Red
5/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
82 points
Extremely over rated Zin. Poor balance, odd flavor profile
Red
5/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
88 points
Not nearly as nice as the 94, may need more time in the bottle. Classic Petite Sirah flavor which many may consider little tar-y with not as much of hte sweet fruit showing through like in the 94.
Red
5/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
92 points
Much better then the HALL red label which Parker seemed to love so much... far less manipulation, better overall structure and acidity with a nice fruit balance.
Red
5/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
65 points
The Alexander valley is just such a poor performer over long storage periods. Both the 97 and the 98 were well past it's prime even though it was kept in prisitine conditions.
Red
4/18/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
95 points
I've reviewed this wine several times now, so if you don't yet know that this wine and my palate are very good friends, let me remind you. Every time I open a bottle of this I have high expectations and never has it failed to meet them. This wine is a voyage... from first open to time to breath in the bottle, each glass is a unique experience. Usually my first glass is a disappointment, the Cab/Syrah/Verdot blend can be a bit finicky sometimes and at first can be a little odd, even thin, but the next glass is much different and within about 30 minutes or so this becomes so velvety soft and sensual that you feel like you're cheating on your date that came to the dance with... so many wines become more tart or thin, this wine does the exact opposite. Outstanding balance of fruit, acid and tannins, sensuous mouth feel, a perfect blending of cab and syrah flavors, (2 of my favorites) with a moderate to long finish and that nice warm fuzzy sensation you get with great cabs with good balance of acidity and tannins... There is however one major flaw in this wine, namely that the 750ml bottles only have 750ml of wine in them. I obviously should have purchased 1.5L bottles instead of the case of 750's.
Well behaved nose, enjoyable but not as in your face as some of the big aromatics in great napa cabs, and don't misunderstand me, I like the big aromatics, but this wine is all about the mouthfeel and the journey., now if you'll excuse me, I have 375ml left and I'd like to be alone.
Red
4/4/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
87 points
A very boring wine, somewhat flat, lifeless, no soul.. way too much fruit compared to acid and tannins, some oak came through although that's not what does it for me. I've always associated Howell mountain with being s little tighter then most Napa floor fruit but this was all fruit and no body. Add that to the fact that I had it at Morton's at their WAY overinflated price and this was not a pleasant experience. Every time I leave Morton's after ordering a bottle of wine I feel like I was just fleeced, talk about buyers remorse. The food and staff are wonderful, but there are restaurants out there who's prices are half of Morton's for the exact same wines, their food is just as good if not better in terms of selection (read more then just steaks) and they are doing a bang up business. Enough of the soapbox on Morton's, this wine was just plain boring yet for some reason it has a $55 - $75 a bottle price tag on line.. 86% cab, 13% Merlot and 1% Cab Franc, 100% French Oak, 46% new. I think French oak is overused in most cases but even in other wines with similar time in similar barrels I've seen much better balance and much more excitement. Oh, and Mortons...... just because the waiter is wearing a tux does not make your wines worth twice the money, it's time to re-think your pricing model, not to mention your wines by the glass model... Flemings, an upstart by comparison to Morton's has a 100 wines by the glass, Mortons... maybe 6-10 ? Time to recreate yourself before you become irrelevant.
Red
4/11/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
89 points
I think the last time I tasted this wine I was reasonably impressed, this time not so much. Still a nice Zin, but I could use a bit more acidity and some tannins to provide some structure, the fruit was a little overpowering compared to some. I'll have to give the next vintage a try and see if it's just the time spent in the bottle, it is after all 7 years old.
Red
4/6/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
86 points
A fairly basic Zin, not overly well balanced, kind of weak on the structure and acidity, a bit like koolaid with alcohol. It got a bit better over time, and certainly for the $14 or so price I can't complain too much, just nothing to write home about, it never grabbed my attention, kind of like the wines you get served at your basic charity event.
White
4/11/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
93 points
Not being a huge Chardonnay fan, I was quite taken aback when we first tasted this Chard at the winery. I'm sure being in the caves and just having an in-depth discussion on Burgundian style and "on the lees" while standing in front of the oak barrels and large number of bottles resting in nooks of the cave had a big influence on our perception, so I was very pleased when I experienced the same sort of appreciation for this wine while sitting in my cluttered office trying to whip out some semi-intelligent emails. This is a very elegant Chardonnay, fermented in oak barrels and stirring in the lees occasionally to get the most out of all the flavors of the maturing wines certainly seems to make a difference. This is smooth somewhat creamy yet not buttery Chardonnay, a nice balance of acidity and fruit not exactly common with so many Chards. A pleasure to drink, good nose and wonderful structure and balance. I might be a white wine fan after all.
Red
4/7/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
84 points
Just too thin for me. Good overall flavor, just did not appeal to my palette.
Red
3/30/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
91 points
If you read my review of the 05' Cafaro Cab, then you know that my wife and I had the opportunity to taste all of the different varietals that Cafaro uses in it's cab and Merlot right out of the barrel while in Napa last week. We were blown away by the quality of the individual varietals, each one worthy of it's own label. Our only regret was that we never got to sample the finished product. After making quite a few phone calls to about 2 dozen better quality wine stores in Colorado, I finally found them at Primo Vino (Probably one of the best wine shops in all of Colorado) in Arvada... no small commute I might add, but in the long run, worth the wait and the cost of gas. I truly enjoyed the Cabernet from Cafaro, this Merlot did not disappoint either. Very similar to the profile of the Cafaro Cabernet, this wine too was bottled in 95% French and 5% American oak, 50% new and a blend of 90% Merlot, 3% Cab, 4% Cab Franc and 3% Petite Verdot. The blending varietals soften the wine considerably and gives it a more sophisticated feel then a straight Merlot, although I'd love to see a 100% Merlot from Cafaro's vineyards. A more subtle wine then the Cabernet, but still with that great nose and mouth-feel along with good balance of fruit, acids and tannins that are so important to a great drinkable wine. This is by no means a wimpy fruit punch Merlot, nor is is at overly tart tame Merlot.. not as big as a Twomey, but very nice. leaning toward a cab lovers Merlot and at a fraction of the price of the Twomey's . We'll be buying a few bottles to add to the cellar.
Red
3/29/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
93 points
We had the good fortune of tasting the individual Cafaro blending wines out of the barrel in Napa this last week and I was ready to offer to buy the individual varietals, they were that good. Unfortunately, we never got to taste the finished product.... until now. 91% cab, 6% Franc and 3% petite Verdot, just 427 cases produced. In our discussions with Joe Cafaro, owner/winemaker, it was obvious that he was targeting quality wines that go as well with food as with glass.. I think he met his goal. This wine has a beautiful nose, extremely aromatic, like a nice cognac, it can take your breath away. Fruit, acids, and tannins are in near perfect harmony, this is not an over the top, can only drink 1 glass before getting queezy wine.. this is a large wine with a great balance of fruit and acids, nice soft mouth-feel but not overly so.. Too many big cabs go for the Shiraz-like velvet glove texture that is so sensual at first but isn't a wine that you'd want to break out another bottle of over dinner with guests. I enjoyed the journey that this wine offered from first sip after being opened to the last sip given time to open a bit. With 50% new oak and 20 months in a combination of 95% French and 5% American using 50% new barrels, the oak is not overpowering, and I like the flavor that a little American oak gives the wines, a bit of an extra oomph on the tannins because if this, but never an overabundance of oak (and tannins) versus fruit. Overall a very nice job by a truly small production winery in Napa. Oh, and did I mention the price ? At $39 a bottle this is a much better wine then so many others at $50 - $75 a bottle. Joe Cafaro has been making wines for some time and his balance of all the appropriate nuances of a great wine is an obvious result of those years of experience.

Just as a side note... my wife and I tasted nearly 50 wines in 3 1/2 days in Napa last week... anyone who says finding great small production wines in Napa is easy should be put away, we're still recovering (The Cafaro cab helps).
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
89 points
Not a bad Zin, nice fruit, not too sweet, not bitter, not the heavy peppery taste with some zins... easy to drink, average price.
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
83 points
This is a classic example of a 1997 that just is so far beyond it's peak. I've had this wine for about 5 years, kept at 58-60 degrees, no light. 1997's just were not made for aging... this wine was so thin I almost added Shiraz to it... the fruit had disappeared and replaced by an overly acidic, too tart wine better suited for salad dressing than drinking.
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
79 points
Bitter, hard to drink, poor balance, no real structure, poor fruit showing... used for cooking
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
92 points
What a really nice pinot, classic pinot nose with more of a new world Pinot fruit forward taste... not thin like a typical Pinot, had some body and balance.
Red
2008 Orin Swift Saldo California Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
86 points
Peculiar taste... lacking in balance and acidity.
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
82 points
Below average, no soul... bad balance, no real structure.. fruit juice with alcohol.
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
93 points
Very nice..
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
82 points
This wine is everywhere in Colorado... I just don't get it. This is an under performing wine at an over performing price. It had a peculiar taste, no real balance, just plain unpleasant.
Red
2005 White Rock Vineyards Claret Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
92 points
Sampled in the White Rock Vineyards Caves, this may have flavored our tasting a bit, but I think I can honestly say this was a very nice, very subtle, classic white rock vineyards style claret at a very reasonable price of $32.50/bottle (case price). I'm not sure of the exact blend, obviously cab based it had a very good sense of Napa fruit with a White Rock Vineyards acidity that permeates all their wines. Great nose and mouth-feel, a superb addition to anyone's cellar.
White
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
93 points
Billie and I have never had a "Burgundian" style Chardonnay. Fermented in Oak, "on the Lees" for 10 months this Chardonnay has a very sophisticated style, very subtle fruit and citrus flavors, nice soft texture and due to limited malolactic fermentation, nice acids to provide a great balance to go with food. Not the typical Chardonnay coming from Stainless steel with vivid citrus flavors, this is an entirely different animal, much more elegant and refined. At $30 a bottle retail, it's by no means an inexpensive white that you might be thinking of throwing back out on the deck in the spring, no, this is more of a French Laundry type of Chardonnay.. I'm looking forward to sharing this with some friends when all this damn snow finally melts !
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
91 points
Billie and I had the opportunity to taste Mr. Vandendriessche's Cabernet at his 20 something year old caves while in Napa. We were both very impressed. This cab has such an elegant balance of fruit and acids with some nice low key oak thrown in for good measure (~30% new oak for 22 months). This is not a huge chewy wine from the cult wannabe's, this is a classy wine that is made to be consumed with food. A very nice soft feel, a little lighter then many fruit forward chewy wines from Napa cab growers, great nose and very easy to drink. This is actually more of a blend then a straight Cab, at 75% cab, 20% cab franc, 3% Merlot and 2% Petite Verdot this is really more of a Meritage and therefore is a little more subtle then a typical Napa cab.. At $50 this won't break the bank and it won't disappoint.
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
91 points
Another classic Broman Napa Valley wine.. subtle smoky flavors very much like his Cab, very nice balance between fruit and acid, good tannin base, great structure, a more new world Syrah, no tart fruit here, 100% Syrah, almost 15% alcohol, 28 months in French oak, I suspect 30% new since I can actually smell the fruit unlike so many new "cult" wines. At 28 months, you can see that Broman tends to hold onto his wine a bit longer then most, so his 2004 is his current release, just like his cab. I'm beginning to sound like a broken record as it related to Broman, but this is a really nice drinking Syrah and at $24 it's worth every penny. Nice soft velvety mouth-feel, just enough oak to seduce you into the bottle.. another classic Broman style Syrah. I'll be stocking up on this one.
Red
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
92 points
I was down to my last Syrah when we finally got to Bob Broman's to taste his wines. I remembered the Cab as having a subtle smoky flavor but with great acidity and fruit balance. So many wines try to be the next big think by cramming wine into 100% new oak, pumping up the fruit to where there's no acid left. Broman Cabernet's are a great balance between lush and subtle, dry and fruit and always seem to have a nice soft tannin base. Great nose and mouth-feel. I've been out of this cab for some time so I'm looking forward to re-stocking. At $48 this is one of the better Cabernets in Napa. Join Bob's wine club and get 15% off on a case ($40/bottle), I can't remember the last time I had a $40 bottle of Napa cab that I was this enthused about.
White
3/28/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
91 points
We tasted this at the Broman "Estate". 100% stainless steel, 100% Sauv Blanc. I'm not one to opine about the aromas within the wines such as lemon zest, pencil lead and all that hooplah, but this did remind me of a wine that should be drunk in Key West, with Key Lime pie no less.. subtle flavors of lime, really nice fruity flavors but still with enough balance to enjoy drinking. At a whopping $17 retail this is a really nice Sauvignon Blanc for the spring and summer months to come. Bob Broman has always impressed me with his Cabernet and Syrah and now I'm a fan of his Sauv Blanc as well. At only 460 cases, I doubt this will last the spring.
Red
2007 Blackbird Vineyards Illustration Oak Knoll District Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/24/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
87 points
This appears to be a cult sort of wine, but to be honest, I'm not sure why... my wife and I tasted this at the ma(i)sonry art and wine collective, nice place, but lacks the feel and knowledge of the winery and winemaker. In any case, all of the wines from Blackbird reeked of oak, to the point where I really couldn't smell the wines. It was also one of those now classic wines that you just can't drink much of, it leaves me with a sort of sick feeling in my stomach, I relate it almost to Foie Gras, VERY rich, high flavor profile, lots of fat and makes you sick if you conume too much of it. An obvious attempt (an apparently successful) at appealing to the new age crowd who like to be beaten about the head and neck with flavor and viscosity as opposed to finesse and a long slow finish. All the Blackbird wines are Merlot based, the Illustration is 70% merlot with 20% cab franc and 5 each of Malbec and Cab Sauv. This is a VERY soft velvety wine, lots of fruit and lots of oak, over the top in my book, but I bet my kids would like it :-) I honestly have no idea how this wine commands such a high price. My hats off to the marketing team there.
Red
3/24/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
89 points
As mentioned in a previous tasting note on the 2006, this vintage has a much more fruit forward feel to it, this viscosity is noticeably different then the 2006, reminds me of a Mollydooker and their term "Fruit weight". Very lush mouthfeel, good acidity, heavy dose of fruit. I don't think this vintage will do as well in 10 years as the 2006. It reminds me of the 1997 vintage, very ripe fruit, very showy early on, fades quickly after 8-10 years. Of course only time will tell. I was also struck by how much more vanilla flavor was in this wine then the 2006, again, the fruit weight plays into this I'm sure. Vanilla is not my cup of tea when it's in wines, so I could not get past it, my wife loved it, so of course we'll stock it and I'll be interested to see how these do in a few years. At $90 a bottle and limited availability, this is not a wine for the faint hearted, but if you're not a vanilla-phobe like me, then this will be a star in your cellar. Roughly 900 cases made, $90/bottle, 14.3% alchohol, grapes are all from the property of roughly 6 acres in the heart of St. Helena.
Red
3/24/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
91 points
Anomaly is a very interesting wine and winery. Started by some folks who came to Napa to retire in 2000 only to find themselves with a small plot of grapes and some time on their hands, poof, their winemakers ! We had the pleasure of tasting both the 2006 and the 2007, they sell out every year and 85% of so goes to their wine club, with right around 900 cases of wine each year, that's a great business !! The 2006 is a little lighter then the 2007, I think it will be a better wine over time then the 2007. Good balance of fruit and tannins, a bit too "black Cherry" for me, I have a very sensitive palate to Vanilla flavors and this wine definitely had a noticeable vanilla slant, if not for that I would have rated this much higher. Everything else, the structure, balance, nose, mouthfeel, all enjoyable, I just could not get past the Vanilla notes. If you aren't as sensitive to Vanilla as I am, this is a killer Napa cab. Anomaly only produces 1 wine, their cab, and they do a very nice job.
Red
3/24/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
88 points
We tasted this at the Ma(i)sonry in downtown Yountville. Apparently Brown does not have a tasting room, but this worked out just fine. When you drink a wine, for me the first "taste" is the nose, a big whiff of this Zin and your a bit confused... there's just so much oak in this that it's hard to get to the grapes. We tasted the Zin as well as the Chaos Theory from Brown, the Zin was much less fruit forward, a little "lighter" then some typical Napa wines, not thin, just not as seemingly viscous. It was a nice drinking wine, but I don't think I could consume much of this at any one sitting. 36 months in oak !!! holy crap.. For 30 something, this would be a Zin I'd be willing to have sit in my cellar for a few years to see if all that oak can mellow out. Not a classic peppery Zin, good fruit levels not overly dry. Should age very well. Both my wife and I think this wine falls into the "New Age" category of wines... BIG oak, Big Fruit, High Alcohol... overall not bad, but certainly not a classic.
Red
3/2/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
85 points
This is a very different wine. When you first open the bottle and taste the wine with no chance to open up, it's actually not bad. When given a chance to open a bit, it becomes very soft and too fruity. Of course any winery that receives high points from Parker you know it's going to be fruit forward, this was no exception, it's a bit over the top on fruit but there was just something off about it that was hard to place. My wife had half a glass and couldn't drink anymore saying that she thought it would make her queasy. This wine doesn't feel natural, like it's been artificially enhanced. I stopped my wine club membership to Hall because of the way the 96 point Kathryn Hall Cabernet tasted, similarly overly fruity but with too much vanilla, an obvious attempt to Parkerize the wine.
Red
2/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
87 points
Tempranillo is a bit tart for me, but overall this wasn't bad.
Red
1999 Blason D'Issan Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/27/2010 - cabrnay wrote:
83 points
I keep trying to find a Bordeaux that I'll like... haven't found one yet.
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