Tasting Notes for jgreco

(321 notes on 298 wines)

1 - 50 of 321 Sort order
Red
8/20/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
97 points
The 2012 Sine Qua Non “Stein” is absolutely stunning. A complex and layered nose of blackberries, black cherry, and fennel. “Stein” is a feminine-style Grenache with a silky smooth texture and great balance and depth. Blackcurrants, black cherry, licorice, and cracked black peppers flavors lead to a lengthy and generous finish. Drinking well right now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
8/17/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
96 points
You can smell the 2014 Ramey Westside Farms from across the room. Not usually a good sign for an elegant Chardonnay, but it is sublime on the palate. Lemon-lime and peach flavors supported by mouth watering salinity and a racy acidic streak. A touch of creaminess on the very long finish. This is my favorite Ramey of all time and a slam dunk to open if you like primary fruit in Chardonnay. There is no rush though as this won’t plateau for another 5 or more years.
Red
8/15/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
93 points
The 2009 Ridge Lytton Estate Petit Sirah hits you with an impenetrable wall of tannins initially. After an hour of air though, it settled down nicely with dark fruits, licorice, tobacco, and grilled meat flavors. Fine gained sandy tannins that are typical of Petite Sirah. You should be in no rush to pop this.
Red
8/12/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
91 points
The 2013 Jonata el Desafio starts strong with a gorgeous nose of red and black fruits, cracked black pepper, and graphite. Flavors of cassis, lead pencil, and the signature Jonata earthiness follow through on the attack. However, this bottle of el Desafio quickly loses its character, fading into the land of generic California Cabernet for the remainder of time on the palate. I was disappointed! The Jonata Cabernet Franc and Syrah is so distinctive by comparison. Perhaps, a few more years in the cellar will bring out more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/11/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
96 points
This 1998 Rochioli was a little reluctant at first, but it really came into its own with a little air. The nose is muted for a Russian River Valley, but the ripe red fruits (red cherry) are still present. Savory undertones of dark chocolate, earth, spice, and fresh herb are seamlessly integrated into the red cherry on the palate. This 1998 maintained its incredible tension throughout the evening. Remarkable at 21. I would recommend drinking soon as this matured years ago and is on a downward slope.
White
8/11/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
90 points
At first, this is promising with great underlying minerality and salinity. However, the wine is marred by overwhelming oak treatment. So much so that it feels like a cousin to an overloaded Sonoma Chardonnay.
Red
8/8/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
94 points
The 2013 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve keeps getting better with age. Lush and extravagant pure red fruits lifted by perfumed and floral characteristics. Red cherry, strawberry, licorice, peppermint candy, and vanilla flavors. Tight and unforgiving initially, the wine improved dramatically with a 2 hour decant.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/26/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
98 points
The 2009 Vine Hill Ranch "VHR" is one of the most interesting Napa Valley cabernets I have ever had and an incredible effort for only the second year of VHR. Featuring a dark purple core with a clear rim, the 2009 has a nose of blackcurrants, bramble, and a hint of smokiness. Tannins are well integrated and the wine's texture is silky smooth. Tertiary flavors are just beginning to supplement the black cherry and cassis with coffee bean, graphite, and charred earth. This is drinking beautifully now and should continue to do so over the next decade.

From the label: Blocks 4, 6, and 7 picked in the first half of October.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
8/4/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
92 points
The 2014 Ramey Ritchie is a hard wine to judge at this point as it is very closed at the moment. Well balanced, great acidity, and citrus fruits. Ramey has said in the past that he thinks his wine shows best after 10 years so I would be inclined to sit on any remainder for another few years.
White
7/28/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
88 points
Acidity turned up to an 11
Red
7/28/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
90 points
The 2017 Ceritas Porter-Bass is dominated by black fruits including blackberries and black cherry. The fruit is fleshy and gamey, which has more in common with a Sonoma syrah than pinot. The tannins stick to the teeth and the finish is long-lived. There is potential here, but I think you are going to have to be patient. I would recommend waiting another year or more for this to come together in the bottle.
Red
7/28/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
94 points
Wow. is all I can say! This wine has amazing exuberance for one coming up on its 16 years birthday.
Red
7/7/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
95 points
The 2011 Sine Qua Non Dark Blossom is a deep inky black color with aromatics of black fruits, chocolate, mocha, and graphite. This is a big and powerful wine as you would expect from SQN. Tannins are smooth and well integrated. Overall, a superb wine, but not a particularly good value. This is in a good spot to drink now, but will easily go another decade.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/7/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
89 points
Classic Sta Rita Hills profile. Good, but there are better for the same price in the area.
Red
2005 Jonata Winery El Corazon de Jonata Santa Ynez Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
7/7/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
94 points
This 2005 Jonata field blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more really shines with aromas of cherry, black currant, mocha, and graphite. Drinking really well now, but will easily keep for a few more years.
Red
7/2/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
89 points
2013 Foxen John Sebastian Vineyard is a very typical Sta Rita Hills pinot noir. A beautiful limpid red in color with a nose of sour cherries, black fruits, and asian tea spice. Rather earthy and gamey on the palate. This feels like it is in decline and I would start to drink any of these you have up.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
6/30/2019 - jgreco wrote:
93 points
The 2011 Ridge Lytton Springs is rich, juicy, and medium bodied with gorgeous red fruits and dusty tannins. Strawberry jam, rose flower, black pepper, and graphite seamlessly combine for a glass you won’t be able to put down. I would start
to drink these up as I think the 2011 only has a few years left.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
6/26/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
93 points
I have had a lot of bottle variation with my case of the 2013 Red Newt Tango Oaks Vineyard, but tonight it was on fire! Citrus, stone fruits, and wet rocks with a sneaky acidic streak on the finish. Give this a little air before pouring.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/25/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
90 points
The 2014 TOR Rogers La Herradura is fruit forward with black/blue fruits, along with lavender, lead pencil, smoked meat, and peppery notes. The wine is a bit leaner than you would except and hopefully this will fill out in the next few years, although I am doubtful.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/23/2019 - jgreco wrote:
92 points
With the first whiff of intense graphite, the 2012 Radio-Cateau Cherry Camp could be mistaken for a Sonoma Cabernet. Juicy bitter cherries, black olives, and spices round out a party pleasing, but complex flavor profile.
White
6/23/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
98 points
The 2014 Morlet Ma Princesse is an absolute stunner. It features a lovely nose of peach, apricot, and creme brûlée. The wine is rich and voluptuous, giving immediate pleasure like a classic California Chardonnay. There is an delicious earthiness with a touch of cinnamon and butterscotch on the palate that lingers through a phenomenal finish. This is drinking great now and should continue to give pleasure for another 5+ years.
White
6/21/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
88 points
Classic California Chardonnay nose and body, but very different from other producers who source from Durrell. The finish was a little flat and clipped. Perhaps this was a bad bottle.
White
5/30/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
92 points
The 2016 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Chardonnay explodes from the glass with bright flavors of lemon, orange peel, white flowers, almonds, and sea salt. Rich and creamy, the 2016 is a complete joy drink now if you like new world Chardonnay. This showed best after an hour in the decanter.
White - Sparkling
5/26/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
92 points
PnP. The 2002 P-H Rare is a stunner. Lemon, green apple, brioche, sea salt on the nose. Light and airy, the wine melts in your mouth. Incredibly well balanced and integrated until the finish which is unexpectedly turns a little sweet. This pairs really well with Spring vegetables right now.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Bond Pluribus Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/25/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
97 points
The 2009 Bond Pluribus is wine of perfect balance and harmony. Cracked black pepper, cassis, chocolate, and licorice all come together seamlessly. The silky smooth texture is lovely and unlike the powerhouse I was expecting from a Pluribus. The 2009 is drinking beautifully now without the need for much of a decant.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
5/20/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
94 points
This is my last bottle and it is absolutely stunning. The color is turning brown so I expected it to taste like it was on a downward trajectory. Boy, was I wrong. The 2009 packs incredible layers of fresh fruit flavors. Bramble fruit, cherry, lead pencil, and black pepper all seamlessly meld together. This is drinking beautifully but there is no rush if you have any remaining in the cellar.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
5/17/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
92 points
The 2014 Williams Seylem Drake Estate Vineyard has an expressive nose of banana, kiwi, baking spices, and vanilla. This is reminiscent of a traditional “oaky” California Chardonnay on the palate, but it is not heavy and the oak does not overpower. Racy and energetic, the Drake Estate remains light on it’s feet throughout and offers a 30+ second finish.

This is in a good spot if you like to drink your Chardonnay with primary fruit and will make for some great summer drinking. However, there is enough acidity here to continue to drink well for a decade.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/12/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
90 points
The 2011 Pax Griffin’s Lair features dark red fruits, tar, tobacco, and earth/gravel build an intense and savory profile. The 2011 has a lovely mouth feel with firm sticky tannins. I do not think this will improve further so I would drink any remaining bottles over the next few years.
1 person found this helpful
Red
5/4/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
97 points
36th Birthday (Noreetuh): Wine #7. Another favorite of the group. The 2010 Jonata la Sangre is a powerful and masculine wine that can easily stand up to the richest of foods. Intensely perfumed blue and black fruits, grilled herbs, and black pepper. 45+ second finish. We drank with a 3 hour decant, but this wine is still a baby. You will be rewarded for waiting another 3+ years before popping another one.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Continuum Proprietary Red Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/4/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
97 points
36th Birthday (Noreetuh): Wine #6. The 2008 Continuum features the rich concentrated mountain fruit that Contniuum is known for. An ideal combination of red, black, and blue fruits. This was lovely with a 2.5 hour decant and should drink well for another decade or more.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/4/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
96 points
36th Birthday (Noreetuh): Wine #5. The 2003 Quilceda Creek was quite lovely and one of the highlights of the night for me. The 2003 has the classic Washington "tree bark" that is a signature of Quilceda Creek. Red fruits, caramel, and green apples round out the flavors. Soft pliable tannins made this easy to drink after a two hour decant. Incredibly long 60+ second finish. This will easily go another couple decades.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/4/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
98 points
36th Birthday (Noreetuh): Wine #4. The 2007 Sine Qua Non "Pictures" was easily the wine of the night for just about everyone at the table. The 2007 has an intense nose of blue and black fruit, ground pepper, smoked herbs, baking spices, and bright flowers. Layers upon layers of flavor and a finish that goes on forever. Impressive! This is still a baby and should last another two decades. We gave it a 2 hour decant.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/4/2019 - jgreco wrote:
94 points
36th Birthday (Noreetuh): Wine #3. We couldn't resist and popped this open. The 2017 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley is still pretty tightly wound, but there is a ton of potential here. A nose of plums, dark cherry, and tobacco leaf that follow through on the palate. For a village-level wine, this is quite impressive, with firm tannins and great structure that will support medium-term cellaring. I am really loving the 2017s, especially the estates that largely picked before the Labor Day heat wave.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
5/4/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
92 points
36th Birthday (Noreetuh): Wine #2. This is my second time trying the 2016 Lingua Franca Bunker Hill and it has changed a lot over the past six months. The apple, lemon and sea salt are still there, but gone are the crushed wet rocks and flint. The precise flavors and intense minerality have been replaced by smoother transitions and rounder textures. It is still enjoyable, but far less unique. I do not think this will benefit from aging and I would drink these up over the next couple years.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
White - Sparkling
5/4/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
92 points
36th Birthday (Noreetuh): Wine #1. The 2009 Cristal features a nose of citrus (meyer lemon) and a hint of smokiness. This champagne was a little tight at first, but opened up after a half hour. After opening up, the 2009 is round, smooth, and impeccably well balanced. No need to cellar this, you can pop and pour now. Overall, a bit of a let down and I do not think this has much aging potential.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/6/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
87 points
I am usually a huge fan of the Ridge Merlot Estate as it is a tremendous value and peak into the grand vin that will sit in your cellar for more than a decade. But the 2016 should have gone unbottled. This bottle was quite reduced to the point of unpleasantness. Similar experience over two days.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Jonata Winery Todos Santa Ynez Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
4/4/2010 - jgreco Likes this wine:
93 points
I would not have thought that a Syrah + Sangiovese + kitchen sink blend would have worked, but the 2010 Jonata Todos totally nails it. I am struck by how completely in balance everything is. Super long finish. This is a tremendous value. Drink now or over the next five years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/4/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
88 points
Reddish brown in color. Red fruits, light oak, and licorice all wrapped in a highly perfumed body. Not my favorite style of Napa wine, but hard to beat for $50.
Red
4/4/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
92 points
The 2017 Pax Sonoma Hillsides has some beautiful color with a ruby red rim with an inky black core. Huge aromatics with grilled meats, lavender, and black pepper filling the entire room.

This is my second bottle and it was not nearly as good as the first. I fear this is going to take the same path as the 2016 with the best bottle being drunk on release and every bottle after that getting worse and worse. The Sonoma Hillsides do not seem to have the stuffing that CKR or Griffin's do.
Red - Fortified
4/7/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
89 points
This wine will come up if you lookup "port" in the dictionary.
Red
3/29/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
95 points
The 2016 Patrina, the entry-level wine from Alban, is total knockout. Featuring a deep purple core with a huge nose of black pepper, lavender, and black & blue fruits. Blackened grilled meat and cigar box round out the palate. The peppery finish is unbelievably long. For $50, this is a total bargain and you should backup the truck to drink these while you are waiting for your Reva's to mature.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/21/2019 - jgreco wrote:
flawed
This bottle might have been flawed. There is a tin metal taste underlying everything.
White - Sparkling
4/6/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
92 points
Brioche bread, lemon curd. Fantastic energy and tension.
Red
4/19/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
93 points
Deep purple in color. Blue and black fruit with lots of graphite. A little heat and spice mid-palate that builds into a long generous finish. This is phenomenal and shows just how great the 2010 was across the board in Napa. Drink now with an hour decant.
Red
4/11/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
94 points
The 2013 is inky black in color. It has an intoxicating nose followed by layers and layers of flavors on the palate: crème de cassis, black pepper, wood smoke, cocoa power, and more. A strong mid-palate structure is supported by Rutherford-like fine-grained dusty tannins. This is built to age, but you may not be able to resist cracking open a few today. If you do, give it a two hour decant.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/7/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
92 points
Inky black in color. The 2006 bursts from the glass with a complex aroma of spice box, graphite, tobacco, and green pepper. Tannins are backloaded and still quite firm after a two hour decant; which makes me think there this has another decade of evolution in store. The finish is a tad too acidic for my palate. I tend to prefer the more recent vintages of Jonata (e.g., the 2013 el Alma is one of the greatest Cab Franc’s I have ever had) which are stylistically evolved from the winery’s early days.
White
4/4/2019 - jgreco Likes this wine:
91 points
One of the best Ridge Chardonnay Estates, which far too often suffers from tropical flavors that overwhelm the palate, in years. The 2017 features stone fruits, white flowers, light oak, and burnt matchstick. This is classic California Chardonnay, buttery smooth and creamy on the palate. Long acidic finish. You can drink this now.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Bourgneuf Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/28/2019 - jgreco Does not like this wine:
90 points
Sweet cassis, tobacco leaf, and medicinal notes. Coarse, grainy tannins. A pleasant, but uninteresting finish.
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