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Comments on my notes

(35 comments on 30 notes)

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Red
2018 Cheval des Andes Vistalba Red Bordeaux Blend
12/13/2022 - Edeon Likes this wine:
95 points
Incredibly soft and round for such a young wine. Haven't had anything like this before. Nice balance. More licorice and and funky earth than fruit. Not a great value for me at that price.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    2/3/23, 4:09 PM - 95 points usually is great value under $100

Red
2018 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert Syrah
1/21/2023 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
88 points
Good but not great at this stage. Had the 2015 Hermitage Aine Blue the night before and were hoping for something closer in presentation. This 2018 Crozes was green with an anise flavor that seemed misplaced. The fruit is full and enjoyable but this wine needs more time to integrate. Will try and hold remaining bottles for at least 2-3 more years.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    1/24/23, 1:27 PM - @Dukes88, was only referring to the relative quality of the producer and hoping they'd delight across product lines (also have some hermitage blanc, gigondas, cornas and La Chapelle that we haven't tried yet). The Hermitage Bleue exceeded our expectations at $47 and the crozes-hermitage slightly disappointed at $27. Will have to wait a few more years to see if it improves.

Red
2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Selección Especial Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
8/18/2022 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
93 points
Brilliant. Shedded all the baby fat that was present nearly 3 years ago. Wine is refined and nuanced, the nose bursting with a plethora of aromatics. The clarity is evident from all the racking… all the wonderful elements of oak without the bitter tannins or angularity. This wine is holistic, charming, immediately accessible. Bravo
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    8/19/22, 5:20 PM - Pnp and ready to go from the first glass. Once the foil was removed I could see there was some white mold so quickly extracted cork to see if wine had spoiled. Luckily it was just the top 3rd of cork. Wine was so good on first taste we didn't bother decanting.

Red
2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
8/5/2022 - johnnyo Likes this wine:
97 points
This wine was showing beautifully! Still plenty on youthful rich fruit with near perfect balance.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    8/7/22, 10:17 PM - Thanks for the review. How long didit take to decant/open?

Red
2005 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
6/19/2022 - Jeff B wrote:
N/A
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    6/20/22, 8:35 AM - Was the bottle bad?

Red
2018 Château Gloria St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
3/19/2022 - tomoem Likes this wine:
92 points
Oak Knoll neighborhood wine tasting.

This one is restrained and lively. Totally different from the lineup tonight. More violet then red berry and absolutely French in style. Finishes with tobacco leaf and slight lead pencil.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    3/21/22, 4:26 PM - I have one bottle and have been on the fence about trying it now or waiting. Would you recommend opening? If so, how long a decant?

Red
2016 Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain
1/9/2022 - pakabear Likes this wine:
98 points
This bottle was better than the others, great dark blue and black fruits, loads of baking spices, dried violets, dried earth, medium + acid and medium + tannin that coat the mouth but sweet and fine grain. This has perfect balance and drinkable now but really needs 3-5 years. I love this wine.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    1/9/22, 7:48 PM - Great review. Does it need much air time or a decant?

Red
2018 Apothic Dark California Red Blend
12/7/2021 - CheviotCellar wrote:
85 points
Pitch black body. Coffee, chocolate, caramel on nose. Palate has chocolate, raspberry coulis and coffee liquor.

It has a smooth, velvetyness at room temperature and decanted. Little to no tannin and finish is a little funky.

We dont drink this type of wine but if stranded at a small market hotel or remote area this is acceptable.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    12/8/21, 4:23 AM - Thank you for letting me know. Definitely an accident and now corrected

Red
2007 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT Red Bordeaux Blend
11/1/2021 - MS86 Likes this wine:
89 points
Medium plus intensity ruby with some bricking at rim.
Somewhat closed with an earthy / barnyard character not noticed in any other vintages. New belt leather. Minimal fruit.
Tannins are very fine and just slightly chewy but wow is this hot. Acidity is medium – very modest compared to other vintages.
The hay / earth / barnyard note continues on the palate, accompanied by ripe black plum and black cherry, menthol and milk chocolate.
Good length.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    11/2/21, 4:24 PM - Curious if you gave this a decant, and over how much time you drank this over? I have a magnum of it and am thinking I need to drink up. Thanks!

Red
2017 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
8/25/2021 - CheviotCellar wrote:
87 points
Drank head to head with the 2017 Tenuta Riserva, which we thought was significantly better than the Monsanto.

Ruby body with purple flares. Nose has musky oak, raisin, cherries, mineral and a prominent caramel note. Palate is acidic, with cherries and dark bramble. Soft mouth feel, and elegant delivery despite the high acid. Feels almost water vs. the Tenuta because of the relative lack of tannin. I think there are much better wines and Chiantis at this price point.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    8/26/21, 11:20 AM - I suspected this might be the case. We are inexperienced with Chiantis but are sitting on some 2015 Fontodi's and 2013 Il Grigios. Do you recommend any websites for finding older Chiantis? They seem harder to find than other aged Italian wines like nebbiolos.

Red
2014 Château Fonplégade St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
7/16/2021 - mmcleod Likes this wine:
85 points
Good nose and presentation. Full body great texture
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    7/19/21, 5:26 AM - You also rated this wine a 92 on the same day with a similar note. Which one is correct? Cheers

Red
2016 Château Labégorce Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
3/11/2021 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
90 points
Its nice, agree with the other reviews. Tannins are approachable but I think flavors will deepen and expand with more years. We’ll wait 3-5 on the next bottle. Probably needs 10 years but who has that kind of time?
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    3/15/21, 4:22 PM - I love the philosophical comments here. I really enjoy drinking wine. The delayed gratification of cellaring is always fun but so is trying a lot of wine, and at different points along their maturation spectrum.🙂🍷

  • CheviotCellar commented:

    3/28/21, 6:29 PM - Hi Jake. Im younger than you but also coming to the conclusion that buying older wine at a premium is worth it for a few reasons. 1) there’s higher assurance the vintage is actually good. Today everything from Bordeaux is “amazing”, an “incredible vintage”, “one to put away in the cellar” etc. Who knows if that will hold true in 20 or 30 years? If several folks rate an older wine as being in a good spot, it usually is worth buying. 2) if you buy a vintage wine and its corked, many vendors will do something about it within 6 months of purchase... good luck getting anything 20 years later, which is related to my next point 3) bottle conditioning isn’t my problem. What if the power goes out in July for 3 days, an earthquake, etc. Keeping anything in good shape for 20 years takes time and money, i.e electricity, storage space, opportunity cost of filling up one wine and not another. 4) inflation is a real thing... buy a ‘94 vintage today for $200 that was $40 at release. That sounds like a great deal but what if you put the $40 in the stock market, etc. You’d break even at worse and probably came out ahead by allowing your money to compound, plus you’ve eliminated risks 1-3 above. Really a fun topic to debate. I do have a decent amount of wines cellaring but pretty much everything we’ve bought in the COVID era is drink now.

  • CheviotCellar commented:

    3/28/21, 7:19 PM - JB... very interesting perspective on your dad and how tastes and circumstances change as we age. You never know when health could be different, or if you fall in love with Priorat and stop liking Napa cabs, etc. Hopefully one day my daughter will enjoy drinking what I can’t. But there are no guarantees even with a great family business or vacation home. Life can be fickle. All the more reason to buy and drink what you love now.

Red
2018 Double Diamond (Schrader) Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
3/14/2021 - Mark1npt Likes this wine:
93 points
Dark black fruit.....slightly thinner in the mouth than the Carter/Carter and less glycerin/glide. Excellent quality to the fruit and the winemaking....a little more smokey barrel char than the Carter. A nice wine that like most '18s probably will benefit from more time in bottle. Thanks again to HMC for opening!
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    3/15/21, 8:19 PM - I have the 2016 of the double diamond. What are your thoughts on opening now vs. waiting?

Red
2016 K Vintners Syrah Cattle King Upland Vineyard Yakima Valley Snipes Mountain
3/13/2021 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
93 points
45 minute decant. Feminine nose, perfumed, spicy. Taste is rich, silky red and black berries contrasted with umami, au jus, cinnamon and anise. Never feels extracted or overdone, just full and controlled. Finish has some pepper, nuttiness, warm praline. Very nice wine that’s just getting started.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    3/15/21, 4:24 PM - Glad you enjoyed the review. We also had 2014 Force Majeure Estate Syrah (review coming). A real stunner and my favorite of the 3.

  • CheviotCellar commented:

    3/15/21, 8:11 PM - Each vintage is different but that timing sounds about right. I just received the 2016 Force Majeure Estate Cab today and will have to restrain myself from trying. Doubt I can wait until 2023...

Red
2015 Celler Vall Llach Priorat Porrera Vi de Vila Grenache Blend, Grenache
11/2/2020 - Hermosabritdad Likes this wine:
90 points
Having tried several Priorat examples when we were in Spain a couple of years ago, and being a little underwhelmed when we did, this is a nice counterbalance. Ruby color with garnet at the edge. On the nose there is a lot to like: Red fruit that over an hour or two transitions to some gentle back fruits of sweet blackcurrent, along with new saddle leather and some pepper and even a touch of cedar. Is surprisingly “warm” and round on the palette. Only 5 yrs old yet the Samso/Carinena is very much rounded out by the Garnacha. Previous review said it is 100% Carinena but my bottle says 77%. Either way it was a lot rounder (and rather “hotter”) than I expected. There is some acidity in attendance holding it all together - but way in the back. At 15.5% alc this is a pretty big-hitting warm Garnacha influenced wine despite the labeling. Liked it a lot, and definitely another good example of a well made Spanish wine that from a Quality to Price ratio POV has a lot going for it.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    11/5/20, 9:45 PM - Doesn’t sound flawed

  • CheviotCellar commented:

    11/6/20, 1:32 PM - Thanks. Was curious to know how you scored it. Cheers!

Red
2018 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
11/2/2020 - Vinnut Likes this wine:
93 points
Deep dark garnet in color, essentially opaque. Full, forward & attractive nose of ripe fruit aromas of dark cherries, blackberries & plums with briary overtones, spices, dried herbs, dark cocoa, pepper, minerals & a hint of vanilla in the background. Full bodied with a very good concentration of well balanced & smooth textured, plummy/jammy, ripe dark fruit flavors of cherries, blackberries & blueberries with spices, herbs, minerals, cocoa & a hint of vanilla. Long lingering finish. Drinks quite well at present with decanting & extended airing but has the fruit & structure to continue development with additional more years of aging if cellared properly. A blend of 72% Zinfandel. 18% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane & 2% Mataro (Mourvdre); Alc. at 14.5%. A more forward Lytton Springs than from years past.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    11/4/20, 10:31 AM - Thanks for the review. Did you decant and if so for how long? I’m excited to open this bottle but have never had Ridge before so want to make sure it goes well.

Red
2009 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
10/19/2020 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
93 points
Opened on a friday evening and didn't pair well with rare tuna steaks (not sure what I was thinking). The marinade had lime and fish sauce which completely collided with the acid of this wine. The wine tasted hot and past its prime/disjointed. Tried on its own and with some chocolate afterward and was pretty much the same. Vacu-corked and put back in cellar.

Two nights later with duck breast main and a blueberry pie dessert, this was the sophisticated, generous Pauillac we had been hoping for. The high acidity of the first night was perfectly tolerable with the flavorful duck and blueberries. Deep fruit palate with modest extraction, dry spices and wood flavors, and a long finish. Complexity is medium for a wine of this price point. Have 2 more bottles and interested to see how they evolve. Next time I will go classic for the food pairing.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    10/30/20, 4:50 PM - I wouldn’t call it primary, fruit is integrated but hasn’t gained much complexity of flavors. Would recommend waiting a few years or decanting 8+ hours and being thoughtful with the food pairing. Cheers!

Red
2010 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
6/2/2020 - R.Jos.Valent Likes this wine:
96 points
Great vintage! Top notch wine making. Solid backbone of Rich Black fruits, truffles, and just a well balanced acid profile too. Lengthy finish not overly tannic. Has many years ahead.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    6/3/20, 1:35 PM - Any suggestions on how long to decant (or not)? Thanks!

Red
2015 Bodegas Sierra Cantabria Rioja Colección Privada Tempranillo
12/7/2019 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
91 points
Decanted for 3 hours then drank over the next 4 hours.

This is a very good wine, though is modern in style for Rioja. Heavy usage of American oak here somewhat disguises the underlying fruit. What I can tell though of the fruit is that its nice quality and silky.

Nose has roasted notes, tobacco, chocolate, lead.

Palate has similar along with blue and black fruits. Stronger tannins. We found them enjoyable, but you may want to wait a few years for this to settle down.

QPR at $40 seems spot on. I've heard some comparisons with La Rioja Alta Ardanza or even 904 but I don't get it; the nose complexity and tertiary flavors of LRA are a completely different class ahead. Then again, those wines don't come to market until they're 8-10 years old, so will be worth checking back on this Sierra Cantabria in 5 years to see if its matured.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    12/12/19, 1:52 PM - Appreciate the feedback; thanks for weighing in!

Red
2015 Château La Dominique St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
10/5/2019 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
92 points
Dark body, glass staining legs. Nose has cherry kirsch, cedar, plum, sweet perfume; requires several hours decant and swirling to get.

Palate has strong tannin, plump and deep fruit palate. Heady, lots of black cherry, plum. Some heat and spice in the long finish. Should settle down and become special with more time. Would give 5 years until trying again.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    12/4/19, 12:41 PM - I don’t think so. They way modern Bordeauxs are constructed, it will go through a shy phase and eventually bounce back with time and/or heavy decant. There is not an oppressive tannic structure holding things back. At this price point, not much downside trying one now.

Red
2009 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
11/30/2019 - brewnello wrote:
93 points
Much better than 6 mos ago. Dried cherries with touch of layers - iodine, bark, balanced and integrated with long finish. Cucumber?
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    12/2/19, 9:15 PM - How long to decant?

Red
2014 Cimarossa Cabernet Sauvignon Rive di Cimarossa Howell Mountain
11/3/2019 - CheviotCellar wrote:
91 points
This is inky, very dark stuff. Don't be scared to give it a long decant, more than 4 hours if possible. It was rather closed through the first few hours and was more drinkable on day 2. It worked better with food than on its own. As dense and concentrated as the blue and black fruit flavors are, this wine is simply too hot to be considered high end. While this might work in a Rhone blend, in a 100% cab sav, it does not. Even with food, we felt this wine was too astringent and edgy (not in a good way). Time will tell if it gains tertiary flavors and complexity, but high alcohol typically doesn't bode well. For the price and tasting experience, I wouldn't buy this again.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    11/4/19, 7:33 AM - Mark, I hope my comments weren’t too cautionary. My 91 rating does reflect some dense, pure fruit flavors. I just felt it lacked the smoothness of some of its competitors at this price point. That said, we’ve had very few wines from Howell Mtn. Is the higher abv common for the 2014 vintage there?

Red
2010 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) Red Bordeaux Blend
8/2/2019 - sean7711 Likes this wine:
89 points
Blind tasting Cab & Cab blends around the world
Served 6 of 9
My Rank 5 of 9
Overall Rank 8 of 9

Definite earthiness, tart cherry, light, not overly fruity. Called Bordeaux. Others did not like this, but was not surprising given what I know from their palettes.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    8/6/19, 3:54 PM - Can you share some of the wines it was up against? I haven’t had this yet but do have some bottles in cellar.

Red
2009 Château Arnauton Fronsac Red Bordeaux Blend
1/27/2019 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
88 points
Pours deep garnet, brown tones show age. Nose has red cassis, stewed strawberry, chocolate, cigarette smoke, and sandalwood. Palate has red rich currant, plum, eucalyptus, light tannins, medium-light acidity. Decent finish. Slight metallic note that drops this down from a 90. Finely mature bordeaux at a great price: 88.5-89. No rush, 2-5 years left.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    6/10/19, 6:00 PM - I suspect my bottle was not as well kept as your bottles. I only purchased it in January from a retail store where it had been on the shelf for an unknown amount of time. For a decade old bordeaux with these qualities and modest price, I agree this is a very good value.

Red
2017 Luigi Pira Dolcetto d'Alba
3/9/2019 - RobinHeimdahl wrote:
87 points
First bottle was corked.

Second botte - good.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    3/10/19, 7:44 PM - Where did you buy it from?

Red
2015 Château Fleur Cardinale St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
1/2/2019 - Lahontan Likes this wine:
89 points
I know it is early to drink, but even with that in mind it was a disappointment (especially after some of the dithyrambic reviews out there from well-respected tasters). Feels completely closed. Nose and palate totally muted, perfumes v. faint. The only plus is texture which reminds you that a good, high-quality wine is lurking somewhere around there. Here's hoping it will reemerge someday.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    1/2/19, 3:58 PM - I had a similar disappointing experience. More new world than expected. We wil wait a few more years before trying the next bottle. Perhaps the one we had was off.

Red
2007 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
1/19/2018 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
93 points
This bodega has the most amazing aromas in their wines. Recently had the 904, and the Ardanza is in the same class. The cork had enticing aromas of spruce, dark chocolate and raspberry.

Pours dark cranberry, also with orange hues like the 904. Nose has leather, brown sugar, chocolate, fresh caramel, orange peel, golden raisin and faint plum. Perfect look and nose.

Mouth feel is a little lighter than I was expecting, mild tannins. Palate still bears lots of rich fruit and appropriate acid: plum, dark cherry, brown sugar, oak. I think it's in the prime window over the next 2 years.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    2/23/18, 11:53 AM - James, I am not sure. LRA wines don't last past day 1 in my house (unless finishing it just after midnight counts) :)

    I would not be surprised though if it degraded after 24 hours. Already more than a decade old, I think it is losing life and will not hold up like the 904.

  • CheviotCellar commented:

    7/9/18, 12:04 PM - Yes, The 2007 probably will hold up for some time. I've had a couple of bottles from this vintage and they are accessible with a 1-3 hour decant, unlike some other wines of this age that are tight are closed off on fruit. It will be really interesting to see how this further evolves a decade or more from now.

    I will also say that I am less impressed with the 2008 and am not sure about its cellaring potential.

Red
2010 Blankiet Estate Prince of Hearts Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/13/2017 - bonedoc wrote:
92 points
Ditto last note
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    7/5/18, 8:41 PM - How long do you recommend decanting?

Red
2010 Bodegas Baigorri Rioja de Garage Tempranillo
1/29/2016 - macaujames Likes this wine:
93 points
This wine is superb value at under 30 Euros. Simple but broad aromas of raspberries, strawberries, cloves, coffee and menthol. Has a full bodied palate with superb concentration and lushness underpinned by great freshness and good oak. Ends longish, fresh and aromatic. Impressive.
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    2/23/18, 12:43 PM - Goes for $80 USD in Washington, DC bottle shop! I'm jealous.

Red
2008 Gamache Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
2/5/2015 - gorvetzi Likes this wine:
92 points
I've bought over 10 bottles of this 08 Gamache cab, and every single one has been excellent...I only have two left, and will include more detailed notes after consuming those. However, if you're a lover of fruit bombs, this is one of the biggest and most dense I've ever had, yet it carries it all very well, with great silky tannins. Perhaps it is somewhat monolithic and hedonistic, but its a very fun bottle of wine and when you're in the mood for a high quality fruit bomb, I haven't had much luck finding anything better in this price range. 92-93
  • CheviotCellar commented:

    2/23/18, 12:11 PM - I just picked up one of these. Very interested to see how its drinking now, 3 years since the last review. Have you tried it again?

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