See CellarTracker's 2021 Year in Review

Tasting Notes for mac-eye

(413 notes on 360 wines)

1 - 50 of 413 Sort order
Red
1/21/2022 - mac-eye wrote:
92 points
The release notes from Bedrock about this wine say "From the oldest plantings in McDowell Valley (1880s) this is a unique field blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Peloursin, Trousseau Noir, and Grenache that I have seen nowhere else in California." It's clearly a very well-made wine, and an interesting one. As you can see, it's not really a syrah, even though that's first on the list. I note some heaviness that is not syrah or grenache. It might come from the petite or perhaps from the peloursin or trousseau noir, which I have not tasted individually. As a matter of personal taste, this is not my favorite only because of the heaviness. This might explain why some people love it and others are really not so sure. Doubtless, it's very high quality. The varietal blend might not be for everyone.
Red
1/21/2022 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
Even better than in 2020. Really good. At or near its peak. Very well integrated, excellent balance. Tannins still evident, in a good way; expect tannins to soften a bit more over next few years. Improves greatly within 30 minutes of decanting. Exemplary of why Bedrock is such a great winery.
Red
1/12/2022 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
92 points
After a couple of days of air, this is really nice indeed! Intriguing, pleasant, no harshness, not too anything. Well balanced — a treat.
Right after decanting, it had some unresolved sharpness and the fruit tasted quite young. Apparently it was too reductive and needed some oxidation to soften and blend, which it did. After getting sufficient air, it merits the good reviews. And quite a QPR, at around $20! Much better than countless wines that cost much more, have good reviews and have enough age
Red
1/10/2022 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
Update: 2 days after opening, the youthful roughness has dissipated, but it remains too heavy to be really enjoyable. Dropping from 92 to 91.

Still very young in early 2022: quite tannic, deep dark black-purple with no visible signs of age.Flavors and aromas of young fruit still figuring out how to assimilate with whole and soften up. A high quality, intense, heavy pinot. Perhaps it's a good thing that the Kupe comes off as very pure. But it would be more fun if it had a little bit of earthy, funky notes. I suspect those may develop over the next several years. Drink from 2021 to 2028 or 2030.
Red
1/4/2022 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
95 points
Wow! This wine is awesome... truly fun to drink, extremely well balanced, complex, no hard edges... should have bought even more! Even immediately after opening & decanting it comes to life and is a blast. I wish I had the words to describe all the fascinating flavor elements. It's perfectly ready to drink now, and it should hold up for several more years. It does not have any excessive elements that might have needed years to soften up. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how it evolves over the next several years.
White
11/26/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
Really good, even right after opening, and it further improves from there.
Red
11/17/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
90 points
Highly over-rated. OK, but too sharp and not enough fruit density. Definitely not worth the price. It had plenty of age when opened - 16 years. It will not get better. The fruit will subside further and the sharpness will increase further.
Red
11/15/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
Excellent. Perfectly ready to drink now (BH says wait until 2022). Would love to find more.
Red
10/10/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
This has continued to improve over the years. Especially good now. Not anywhere near the end of its drinking window. Much more likable than many comparably priced Burgundies: significantly more fruit and better balance with acid.
Red
9/30/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
93 points
Very nice indeed! A real pleasure to drink. Excellent balance.
White
9/14/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
Very decent white. Quite pleasant, better with food but good on its own too. Mineral notes with mild citrus. Dry, without being astringent, rough or too acidic. No evident malolactic nor wood. More interesting and intense than many non-chardonnay whites. Worth seeking out.
Red
8/11/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
Remarkably good, especially for its entry level status. Beautiful and balanced combination of berry flavors, with a notable yet not excessive blueberry note. Fine tannins, slight sweetness and just enough acid balance it all. Drink now through roughly 2025.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Shafer Relentless Napa Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
8/11/2021 - mac-eye wrote:
90 points
Not my preferred style. Tastes intensely dark and alcoholic. Flavor seems dominated by petite sirah, even though it's only 3% of the blend. Liquid is darkly opaque, as if it had a lot of suspended solids.
Red
8/10/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
92 points
Aging very nicely. Somewhat light in color and texture, pretty depth of flavor. A bit Burgundian in style. There's a slight sweetness that brings out the fruit, and no astringency, in contrast with what you might expect from the color. Perfect age now, it might develop further over the next few years while retaining its charm.
Red
7/18/2021 - mac-eye wrote:
90 points
Surprisingly, I found this 2012 to be quite different from and worse than the 2006, 2013 and 2015 vintages that I reviewed previously. The 2012 was quite light and somewhat astringent in an unpleasant way. It does not appear to be too old - the color was still good, etc. I really loved the 2013 and was hoping this would be similar.
Red
7/17/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
89 points
OK syrah but a bit weak and even somewhat astringent.
A much better value is the Ch. de Sainte Cosme Côtes du Rhone, which is pure syrah and less expensive.
White
Unfortunately, I don't like viognier. If you are a fan of viognier and the other varietals in this wine you might like it quite a bit. The label does not say what the varietals are and I didn't know when buying it.
The varietals areL 40% viognier, 20% marsanne, 30% picpoul, 4% clairette, 3% ugni blanc, 3% bourboulenc
White
7/2/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
93 points
This is drinking very well now. I expect it will continue to improve for several years.

Important: This is much better when just slightly cool, e.g., 65 degrees F, rather than cold. When just cool, it hits all the right notes, with pure fruit, excellent acid balance, and hints of butter (malolactic) and fine oak. As others have written, there are notes of meyer lemon and stone fruits. There is enough acid to give it some buzz, and it perfectly balances the other elements. A treat!

If you taste it when it's too cold, it seems dull and flat. Could that be why many recent reviews rated it lower with few comments? If I had rated it when cold, I would have given it 89. Note, I tasted it warmer (70F) first and then got it cold, and then warmer again, so it's not just a matter of time in the air.
Red
6/7/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
93 points
Still wonderful. Agree with the text notes from J'Agnes but I believe it deserves this higher rating.
Red
5/31/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
92 points
Very nice indeed. Deep, dark color, with moderately intense fruit. Notes of cranberry and black cherry. Slightly sour in a very good way
that fits, not overly acidic nor thin. A real pleasure even upon opening and evolved nicely over the following couple of days.
Red
4/25/2021 - mac-eye wrote:
89 points
Decent but I'm not a fan of this style. Seems a bit imbalanced.
Red
4/21/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
The increased age certainly helped; seems much more balanced than bottles from 2020 and before.
Red
2015 L'Aventure Cuvée Chloe Paso Robles Willow Creek District Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
5/16/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
97 points
Wonderful. Extremely deep, rich syrah and grenache flavor. Tannins just soft enough an hour after decanting. Should last for many years, may further improve for the next few years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/15/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
Quite good now! Really opening up. Notably better than the bottle a few months ago, and much better than the one last year. Flavor components are well balanced now. Seems to be just hitting its peak now; anticipate pleasureful drinking until around 2024 at least.
Red
5/3/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
Awesomely good pinot! I'd love to have this very frequently if that were possible. Should be good for at least a few more years, not near the end of its window now.
Red
4/8/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
93 points
Very nice; a positive surprise. Seems to be at its peak or approaching - nowhere near the end of its window, which should go out to at least 2023. Lots of fine sediment; ran it twice through a Rabbit decanting screen to clear it out. If you don't screen and decant it might taste rough. This is a treat. Mature fruits still going strong, tannins very present yet fine and in balance, as is acid. No apparent sweetness but there may be some to taste the fruit.
Red
4/7/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
On the pleasure-to-drink axis this is about 94 pts, while on the interest-and-complexity axis it's about 88. Brightness from the acid is perfectly complemented by the notable fruit, slight sweetness and integrated, soft tannins. Notes of cola, black cherries, some cranberry, and red grapes, for lack of a better description. It's 14.1% but doesn't taste or feel like it. No astringency nor roughness, and adequate complexity. It makes for a fun and very enjoyable wine, both on its own and with a variety of foods. Leaves you feeling good later too, surprisingly. One of the rare inexpensive wines ($20, I think) where I'm happy to have bought a significant quantity and wish I had even more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/26/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
92 points
Really good. Far better than many other pinots that get higher CT and professional scores. Maybe we all expect more from decent Burgundies and hence curve the scores down?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/10/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
93 points
Really good stuff. Maybe 94. Ready to drink now, should hold up for several years. Deep, back of mouth intense dark fruit and tannins with very good balance of acid and barely perceptible sweetness. Complex flavors. No astringency. Should have bought more.
Red
1/27/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
Good but a bit forward-astringent, unlike their Sonoma cuvée. Just me? I'll taste another one later.
Red
2/27/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
93 points
Really good syrah! Ready to drink now. Lots of sediment (good). Not sure how much further it will improve; it should hold up well for several years. Yet another confirmation of why I like Ojai syrahs.
Red
2/16/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
Awesome, just like the previous several bottles.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/13/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
Decent syrah. Strong fruit, slightly sweet, high alcohol. Heavy flavor, primarily from the fruit which is more intense than the tannins. The warm southern climate may explain it. It's pleasant to drink but it's not terribly interesting and appears to have been overhyped by reviewers and retailers. I prefer northern Rhone syrahs and better California syrahs. Not bad for $30, but not a steal either.
Red
2/9/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
Quite pleasant to drink. Tannins are very soft, allowing the fruit to shine. Blue fruits, slightly sweet. Quite well balanced. On a pleasant-to-drink scale, about 92 - 93. Not complex nor terribly interesting. Now, at 5 1/2 years of age, this could be a real crowd pleaser. It should hold up like this for a few more years. If I remember correctly, the 2016 was rather hard a couple of years ago, wonder how they will compare now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/27/2021 - mac-eye Does not like this wine:
88 points
Bizarre. This would have been a decent syrah but it tastes as if they had literally soaked a bag of dried blueberries in it for a long time. Not just a note of blueberry, but the essence of eating a whole bag of dried blueberries. I do like wines, including syrahs, to have evident fruit, but this is way too much. This problem did not improve with several days of airing out after decanting. You almost can't taste the syrah underlying the dried blueberry flavor. It's hard to understand why this is apparently widely liked.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/31/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
90 points
Better than the bottle opened last month. Better balance. Individual bottle difference?
Red
1/30/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
92 points
This baseline Chanin pinot has definitely improved with age! The hard edges of youth have faded away and now the fruit shines through much better, finely in balance with the other elements. Chanin is better known for their single-vineyard pinots, which are considerably more expensive than this cuvee. This was already a deal, now it shows itself to have been a steal. If their later years are anything like this as a good price, I'd suggest getting several and socking it away for a few years or more.
Red
1/27/2021 - mac-eye wrote:
89 points
This would be a very decent syrah except for the medicinal-tasting aspect. That flavor did not diminish with time, even after airing out for couple of days. Perhaps some people like that, or don't mind, but to me it is a significant negative. Too bad, because otherwise this is quite good.
Red
1/25/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
INTENSE deep black-purple fruit. A fruit bomb. Good for when that's what you're in the mood for. Unfortunately, it leans way over towards the fruit, imbalanced, not particularly interesting.
Red
1/25/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
93 points
Very good indeed.
Red
1/25/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
92 points
Very nice California cab ... but ... a bit syrupy. Very good fruit, somewhat sweet, tannins completely softened, modest acid, modest wood. Color is excellent. Definitely not too old yet. Not especially interesting.
Red
2000 Carruades de Lafite Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/25/2021 - mac-eye wrote:
91 points
Decent Bordeaux. Nothing wrong with it. To my tastes, over the hill, insufficient fruit and slightly astringent. It might seem wonderful to those who prefer that style.
I am shocked to see on the sidebar that Benchmark is charging $304/bottle! Must be a fave for someone...
1 person found this helpful Comment
Beer
1/25/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
Really good Imperial stout, also sometimes called milk stout because of the milk sugar used in making it. Still wonderful in 2021 - 8 years! It might last for years and years.

The only negative is that it is noticeably sweet, apparently from the milk sugar. I would like it even better if it were less sweet.

Still, this is a steal.... or was when I bought it way back when. Strong competition for good wine. Obviously very different from any wine.
Red
1/23/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
96 points
This wine restored my faith in cabs! In recent years, my tastes have moved progressively towards syrahs and pinots, and away from cabs and Bordeaux blends. But this Anderson Napa cab is enough to make anyone a cab fan - if they were all in the same ballpark of goodness of this one, which of course they aren't.

After carefully decanting to eliminate the sediment, this is immediately wonderful. Perfectly balanced with ample fruit, present yet softened tannins, just enough acid to be interesting, and faint sweetness to support the fruit. Wood is subdued yet present. Perfectly ready to drink now. Will it improve further? Not for my tastes, although it might retain its beauty for several more years.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/1/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
Wow. A Bordeaux blend from Italy that, frankly, is better than the vast majority of wines from Bordeaux. It's quite a treat - coming from someone who is no longer a big fan of Bordeaux.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/7/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
92 points
I generally agree with @whitmanlholt's notes.
Quite a decent pinot. Not sure it is worth what I paid for it.
I have several left, so more tasting and notes in later months and years.
Red
1/2/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
91 points
Remarkably, this bottle is MUCH better than the last one I opened in late 2017. Perhaps the extra years served it well? Perhaps the other was in a dumb phase, or perhaps a bad bottle. Anyway, this one - 15 years old! - was really quite a good malbec. Reminds me of the bottles of the same wine I opened when it was much younger, but in a better place now.
Red
12/26/2020 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
92 points
A tannic, deep-fruited beast. Remarkably black-purple color. Intense tannins. It needs a couple of hours of air after decanting, and you have to be in the biological mood for it. It's really good when it suits you, but odd when it doesn't.

If you want to drink shortly after opening, this definitely needs a few more years. It will be interesting to see how it evolves over the next few years - I have another.

I love heavy, tannic, deep-fruited wines - syrahs more than petite sirahs - yet I think this wine is slightly over-rated.
Red
1/2/2021 - mac-eye Likes this wine:
94 points
Excellent. Ready to drink now. Will probably hold up for several more years.
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