Tasting Notes for Rieslingfan

(2,686 notes on 1,885 wines)

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White
10/17/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
About a year since my last bottle, and this one is flat out magical. It is perfect. A combination of burnished tree fruit, lemon cream, nutmeg spice, ginger and any number of other essences, it has endless layers of complexity. This does not do it any kind of justice. No words can do that.

Mind blown.
Red
10/16/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
I am not generally a fan of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. The regular Rhys Bearwallow wines do not impress me. Same for other producers.

This wine pushed some different buttons. I understand that it’s essentially a specific parcel of Bearwallow, but it presents as a completely different wine. It’s darker in fruit tone. It has more tannic structure. It’s less cola influenced, and has a more complete mouthfeel. The depth of flavor and structure puts it up close with Horseshoe (my favorite of the Santa Cruz area Rhys Pinots), and keeps pulling me back for more. It needs to age, as the fruit and tannin are both young and substantial. It’s a wine with a long road ahead.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
10/14/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
This was drinking well from the get go, and last night continued the trend. It's still very fresh, with that lemon curd note everyone talks about remaining the dominant fruit element. The oak is well managed and plays a light supporting role. It's not really noticeable, but if it wasn't there it would be missed. What struck me last night was a deep, persistent saline tone on the palate. It was not just a hint, it was a co-equal with the fruit. Mountain stream freshness was a mountain stream of salt water. Captivating. I have a glass+ left in the bottle. I wonder how it will show after 24 hours.
Red
10/12/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Test drive bottle from a case.

Classic Chinon, with crisp red fruit, a hint of green tobacco, and very fresh acidity. It’s clearly young, but still provides pleasure, and gets better the longer it’s open. Overall it is a medium bodied style, and the balance feels to me more like short to mid-term ager. That’s not an issue, as it is always good to have delicious wine to drink.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/11/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
The second of two bottles that I purchased from two different sources on release. The prior bottle was shot, clearly a victim of heat damage. This one was heavenly. Red fruit core was still dominant, but it was supplemented by leathery, herbal tones and a finishing anise note that increased complexity. Served over the course of two hours, the wine didn't move a whole heck of a lot, mostly accentuating the tertiary elements over time. The fruit/tannin balance was excellent, so properly stored bottles have plenty of time.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/8/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Consumed over two evenings, and it changed quite a lot from night one to night two. On first opening it was a wall of dark fruit, and nearly concealed its structure. Night two it opened up, showed more of its oak, but also a great deal of nuance to the fruit. It was a promising early showing, if completely primary. My remaining bottles will rest for several years, to see what the Heart reveals.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
10/6/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Pure impulse selection, and it’s really not the right time. Of course I knew that, but I wanted a bottle of Schaefer, and this was at hand. It’s very electric, with the 2015 acidity taking center stage. Still quite primary, with all those apple and stone elements, but of course no development so far. It’s all promise right now.
Red
10/5/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Still very early, but it drinks well, as there is ample red fruit to buttress the tannins. It even has an earthy, leafy streak that adds some youthful complexity. Lots of material here, so no issue waiting a few more years.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/29/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Pretty meh. Wish I had drunk it up sooner. I really dislike 2011 California Pinots.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
9/15/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
So what the heck is feinherb?

Who cares, this wine is amazing!

Combine the richness of a Grosses Gewachs, with the effortless balance that judicious residual sugar brings to so many German Rieslings, and you have a masterpiece. I drank it with a couple of courses, and it danced with each one. With one dish it seemed almost completely dry. With the other it showed a little more of the sweetness. In both cases it finished with a completely dry taste, and a lingering breadth of flavor. Expansive is the best word for it. With such immense depth and impeccable balance, this wine could potentially age for decades. There is no way I won't drink it all up long before it reaches some mythical apogee.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/10/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
No real plan for opening this, but it was close at hand.

Divine providence!

Wide open, stuffed with dark fruit, warm herbal tones, and a hint of meatiness that will surely expand in time. This was shockingly easy to drink, with every element in line. It caressed the palate until the very end when the tannins crept in. It was all I could do to not drink up the whole bottle, but it was in fact a weeknight. Morning alarm clocks don't care if the wine is delicious.
Red
9/8/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Rhys Pinots are the gift we’re always waiting for. They show so much promise, but they are always too young, too closed, too unevolved for pure enjoyment. The 2012 Horseshoe Vineyard Pinot Noir seems to actually be turning the corner. It’s aromatically gorgeous, as well as complex. Fruit is joined by herbal tones, and the elusive “sous bois” that is often talked about, but rarely experienced outside the rarified terroirs of Burgundy. There is still ample depth for further upside development, though it does not have much tannin left, so be careful.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
9/3/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Stern to the point of severity - this is currently for those who prefer their Riesling with a side of sharpened steel. It opened up a bit after 24 hours, but never developed any palate richness - it remained as focused as a cat on a fishtank. Give it time. Lots of time.
5 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
9/1/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Oh heavens yes, this is in a lovely place, with red fruit, soaring florals, earthy undertones and a long, long finish. It’s haunting and fascinating, gentle yet persistent. I consider myself lucky to have bought this on release, when pricing almost matched value. It’s a wonderful wine, with years to go, but yowza, current pricing is scary.
White
8/30/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Directly in its drinking window, this is elegant, only slightly sweet, and has an ethereal palate presence. Where it surprises it the finish, as long hidden acidity brings a jolt of brightness and freshness, cleaning everything up, and creating thirst for the next sip. This should be great drinking at the dinner table for the next several years.
Red
8/27/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
By the glass pour from a freshly opened bottle...

This is a baby, but clearly well formed, with a proper balance of dusty red/black berry fruit, spice and cedar tones from the oak, and a lingering finish of fruit and dusty herbs that echo a trip down a dry country road. It's already enjoyable, and could be monumental with some cellaring.
Red
2016 Idlewild The Bird Red Mendocino County Nebbiolo Blend, Nebbiolo (view label images)
8/26/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
It is ridiculous that this wine can be such a seamless match with a pizza. I have tried multiple, different pies, and it always works. Dusty red fruit, bright acids that cut through cheese and toppings, and a spicy, structured finish. This is a must have wine for me.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/22/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
I am glad that Rhys makes this wine, as it gives me something to drink while I endure the long wait for the SV wines. Deep cherry fruit and savory herbal/smoky elements come together in a seamless whole that is lightly but sufficiently framed by gentle tannins and modest acidity. It’s very drinkable right now, though it has plenty of stuffing, so more time won’t hurt. It’s just not necessary.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/21/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Damn, I blew through these way too fast. All gone and all delicious. I have a long history with the Teldeschi vineyard, and this was a gorgeous rendition, with silky fruit and a long, balanced finish. It was mouthfulling without being heavy. Zinberry, dusty herbs and new leather...haunting. Delicious.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/19/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
This is way too easy to drink. It’s all fresh black fruit, spice and dusty herbs. Nothing sticks out. It’s integrated and balanced. Just yum.
Red
8/17/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Fresh, supple, easy to drink Pinot Noir that also has a long, substantial finish. Early days yet, and this has some runway.
Red
8/18/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
This seems to be finally settling into a nice place. It's not mature by any means, but it has good definition, and carries its black fruit and spice tones very well. The structure is in balance with the fruit, there's a touch of silkiness, but it never goes over to the gloppy side. It's a touch plummy, but not pruney. Ridiculous value for $17 when Carole Meredith was blowing out the last few cases earlier this year.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
8/17/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
At peak, with a lovely blend of sweet fruit, brown spice aged tones and a stony finsih. Hard to fathom that such a fun, ageworthy wine was just $17 when it was released. The “little” wines from 2001 are showing very well now.
White
8/14/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
flawed
Corked. Grr....
Red
2011 Matthiasson Red Wine Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/14/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
I have had several bottles of this over the last few years, and it always impresses. It's not a big wine. It's balanced, red fruit focused, a little bit earthy, and with enough tannic spine to keep things together. Medium-bodied, and consistently fresh/energizing, it also has a long, warm herb infused finish. It's delicious, and fun to drink.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
8/13/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Getting towards nineteen years from an indifferent vintage, is this premoxed or just oxed...

Deep golden orange color, verging on copper - there's a ton of botrytis as well as candied orange peel and dried spice on the nose. It's flat on the palate, with no structural edges to hold onto. The flavors, initially interesting from an aged perspective, become tiring after just a few sips.

2000 is not a top vintage for Trimbach, or Alsace for that matter. There's also the looming specter of mistreatment by the regional distributor, so it's hard to separate time, vintage character and provenance. I'll just open another soon, and hope for the best.
White - Sparkling
8/12/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
30th anniversary celebration weekend, so go big!

I don't drink much Cristal, but this was not at all what I expected. It was a firm, steely, imposing wine for several hours. Eventually it opened up, and filled out, with tree fruit and light toast, though it never stopped being an imposing, powerful beast. Is this a phase, or is this what the 2002 Cristal is like? Doesn't seem like it would be much fun for anyone except a hard-core wine geek (e.g. me).
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White - Sparkling
8/10/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Same exact note from precisely one year ago, except this time we had it alongside steamed lobster with lemon, which perfectly balanced out the dosage. Great match!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/10/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Early, early, but fun to drink. The balance is perfect, with ripe blackberry fruit, sage and earth tones. There’s a little tar on the finish. Tannic structure is present but not drying. Probably a good five years from prime drinking.
White
8/5/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Three+ extra years in the cellar, and this has developed a broader palate presence than it had on release, but it's still quite firm/hard. There's also a notable touch of heat on the finish, so I am concerned about any substantial further aging. Judgement reserved, though at nearly six years post-vintage, I guess I can say this wine did not hit the mark.
Red
8/4/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Very heavy sediment required a careful decant, even so leaving the wine a touch cloudy. First sip was all road tar, roasted meat and underbrush. An hour later, the wine cleared up, and a hint of blackberry fruit was added to the mix, alongside some worn leather. It never got into bacon fat territory, but was still classic, aged Syrah. Medium body, balancing acidic structure, and a long, meaty finish kept me going back sip after sip until it was gone.

I don't normally say this with ESJ wines, but I think this bottling is at the drink up stage. It's lovely now, but does not have the extra depth for further aging. I have one more which I will open within the next year.
White - Off-dry
8/3/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Last night was the best bottle of this wine I have ever tasted, and I have has a lot of this wine and this vintage. It was captivating. Still possessing lots of youthful fruit, it also had a subtle creamy edge. What really set it apart, and put it right up as one of the greatest Rieslings in my recent memory, was the endless depth of flavor. There was no way to touch the bottom. I kept tasting, and there was always more flavor, more aroma, more substance that remained. I felt as though I wasn’t ready for this wine. It was beyond comprehension. The 105 (at the time) year old, ungrafted vines knew too much. They had seen too much, and learned too much to transmit through one bottle of wine.

Bottles of course vary, but this one indicated that this vintage could be immortal.

Just stunning.
Red
8/2/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Prompted by the announcement of the next Dirty & Rowdy release, I grabbed a bottle of this and pulled the cork. Immediately it was a riot of flowers. Bright red fruit followed, then dusty, sun-drenched herbs. After a small glass, I put it aside for a couple of hours. With the extra air the elements came together as a seamless whole, and added a touch of freshly grilled burger. The fruit also darkened a bit, becoming less strawberry, and more dark cherry. There was not too much tannic structure, with vibrant acidity largely keeping things aligned. The mouthwatering finish focused on the savory. Drink now and for the next decade. Glad I have a bunch to follow.
White
7/31/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Interesting wine, and not at all what I expect from any US Chardonnay. This was lighter in weight, showing more minerality/salinity, and the fruit, while tropical in impression (pineapple, guava), was not ripe and sweet, but more tart and crisp, with a spritz of lemon thrown in for good measure. Good balance of acidity, that was very well integrated into the wine. It's drinking very well right now, and does not prompt me to consider cellaring it, as while I have no doubt it would handle some aging, I don't see that there is any need for it. Drink up, have fun.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
7/28/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Fourteen years from the vintage, and this is not yet into early maturity. It was always a very ripe Spatlese (hence the *), and still shows lots of ripe peach and tropical fruit. It is finally starting to slim down enough to show a little structure, but even more cellar time is needed to get to any real definition. With spicy Indian food it's a fun drink now. Real aged complexity is still 5-7 years (or more) off.
White - Off-dry
7/27/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Relatively unevolved for an 18 year old wine. It was also a bit simple. Lots of peach and tropical fruit, but not much else going on. Good balance, but either in need of a lot more time (still plenty of fruit left), or it’s just never going to be all that interesting.
Red
7/26/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Accompanying a pizza, this was youthfully vibrant, a little volatile, and explosively flavorful. It’s still quite drying on the back end, so more cellar time is warranted. The fruit is there to support the aging.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/25/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
From vines planted in 1992, the 2018 Massican Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay is a direct window into grape and place. Dan Petroski handles the grapes a little bit differently than in some other Hyde chardonnays, with larger oak barrels (300 liter versus 225 liter), made with less aggressive wood that sees a lighter toast than sometimes used for Chardonnay. The wine does not go through malolactic fermentation, so it has a laser-like focus, with fresh, crisp fruit tones, and a mouthwatering, salty palate presence. The oak is not noticeable, expect for a bit of richness on the finish. It’s interesting to contrast this rendition of Hyde with something such as David Ramey’s version, which does go through malolactic and sees a more typical oak regimen. The Massican is the better wine for summer, and also for more basic preparations (someone bring me a plate of oysters), whereas the Ramey would suit a richer prep. I love the contrasts, and am happy to own both. The 2018 Massican has the depth for a number of years in the cellar, and that should cause it to unfold a bit, but it’s still a great pleasure to drink now.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
7/22/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Settling into an early maturity, this has developed significant bottle aged complexity, and also a texture that is both suave and energetic. There’s a golden edge to the fruit, partly honeyed and partly a bit of toasted spice. It’s wholly integrated, white light, that is clearly a sum of all its colors.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/20/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
I finally figured out how to wait a little while before ordering a bottle of Sandlands. I misplaced this one, and thought I had none left. Trousseau is not a grape I think about cellaring, as I enjoy the bright, fresh red fruit of its youth. A tiny bit of cellar time left the red fruit intact, but polished the texture. The initial attack was very silky, and it was only on the finish that the wine took on a more acid-driven style. It went from caressing to refreshing in the same mouthful. Interesting wine. I hope I misplaced another bottle.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/19/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
This was an early look at what seems to be a potentially long-lived wine. The fruit and structure are properly balanced, and it already has some interesting meaty and earthy tones. On the palate it’s currently d9minated by deep red fruit. The additional flavors come through on the back end, along with a hint of bitterness. Hopefully that integrates over time.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
7/17/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Rich, ripe tropical fruit with spicy oak overlay - this is not in my wheelhouse, but there are days when it just hits the spot. This is one of those days.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/16/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
I always associate the Skinner White Oak Flats with the Skinner Stony Creek, but the 2016s are wildly different wines. The White Oak Flats is a more delicate, nuanced wine, with less power, but more elegance. It’s fruit focused, but not simple. Tannins are light, and the balance rests more on acidity. The finish adds depth without heaviness. Whenever I try to focus on flavors I am pulled right back to texture.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
7/14/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
1. Mix strawberries, pineapple and lime zest.
2. Dust with cinnamon
3. Add a pinch of salt
4. Connect electrical cables
5. Turn on the power
6. Drink
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
7/14/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Nine years from the vintage, this remains quite youthful, with the bright, bracing 2010 acids setting the tone. It’s very rich and sweet for a Kabinett, but that is typical for the ultra ripe 2010 harvest. It’s still amazing how much acidity was retained at such high ripeness levels. This feels like ripe Spatlese, and is likely immortal. Oh yeah, it also tastes really good, with honeyed citrus fruit and salty finishing tang.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/13/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
I opened a bottle of this a year or so ago, and it was too unfocused and rather grapey. Tonight’s bottle had knit together, and settled down, allowing some glimpse of the structure, which gave the wine a much better balance. Dark red fruit, hints of cinnamon and licorice, with fresh acidity, and a long finish that highlighted the spice. Nicely done.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/10/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
A little more than a year after the last time I had this, and that time in the bottle was beneficial to the wine. It's still a black fruit focused Pinot, with some interesting minty/herbal nuances, but time has focused the fruit a bit more, and the structure is now on an even playing field. Aspects of my wine background have caused me to focus more on structural elements when evaluating Pinot Noir, and I thought this bottling hit the right balance. Probably best to drink it over the next 2-4 years, and enjoy every sip.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/9/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Fifteen years from the vintage, and this is singing. It still has primary pear and peach fruit, but it also has the burnished edges of maturity, and a shockingly long finish. Quite a showing for the “basic” Riesling, but that’s Boxler, always punching above its weight class.
White
7/7/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
Stunning bottle of wine that combines the palate richness of Chardonnay with the bright fruit tones of Friulano and Ribolla. It’s so much more expressive than in the past. It’s an explosion of flavor, and a fascinating expression of Californian winemaking and Italian grapes.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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