Tasting Notes for WineKnut

(152 notes on 130 wines)

1 - 50 of 152 Sort order
Red
11/26/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
95 points
Tonight this CDP was singing. Perfect for our Thanksgiving dinner where we opted for sage and lemon pork loin in pan sauce, garlic mash, creamed spinach, clove and nutmeg candied yams and good old canned cranberry jelly. This bottle of the 2007 still showing quite a bit of power and enough breadth to match up with the entire meal of rich fall flavors.

Perfect cork. A beauty in the glass. Inviting nose. Rich mouthfeel. Complex palate. Long finish. Huge enjoyment. A true classic and enjoyable now

5+13+18+9=95

Came from a trusted reseller and this bottle obviously had the benefit of very good cellar conditions before it arrived at my table.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Château Giscours Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/23/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
92 points
Perfect 1mm penetration on the purple/black stained end of the cork. Garnet color and showing appropriate maturity and a perfectly clear rim.

Nose of licorice, star jasmine, berries, tobacco and a touch of vanilla.

Fruit on the first day was concealed, but on day two it was back... Good thing, too. Everything promised by the nose is now in the glass. Bitter tannins on day one turning a bit sweeter on day two and supporting a lingering finish.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/10/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
Solid effort again this year. This is full of blackberries and sage and gratefully also not as funky as the 2016 release. Nose is a little reticent, but it's early days yet. Tannins are very present but not overwhelming. Needless to say this was better on day 2.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/3/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
91 points
Clear cherry red. Nose of pomegranate, juniper, cinnamon, vanilla and just a whiff of cigar smoke... Some sweetness. The flavors are quite ripe, but bright and singing. Sour cherry and pomegranate. Lemon, stems, sweet basil, pepper and grainy tannins. Finish is stems, earth and plenty of spice.

Very Santa Rita and a very big Pinot.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
11/1/2020 - WineKnut wrote:
81 points
Wow... Lemongrass and cloying white concord grape. Finish lasts so long that you just wish it would end.
Red
10/24/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
This couldn't hold it's own against the 2009 Veedercrest and 2009 Von Strasser Sori Bricco that we also tasted. Quite muted fruit and lacking the power and better balance that the 2009's offered. Still a very tasty wine, just not great.
Red
10/24/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
93 points
Tasted against 2009 and 2006 Veedercrest Mount Veeder. This wine was dryer and more "old school" than the riper and more oak influenced Veedercrest. More prominent on the nose and similar black and red fruits, fennel and vanilla. Very strong showing and also no big hurry. QPR at $75 certainly not as high as the Veedercrest at $50.
Red
10/24/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
93 points
No comprehensive notes taken. Tasted against 2009 Von Strasser Sori Bricco and 2006 Veedercrest Mount Veeder. This was the most powerful and lush of the three. Napa fruit, licorice, tar and vanilla. Tannins still strong here. No rush.
Red
10/24/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
A tarot reading of sorts. Color and Clarity - The King of Cups, beautiful in the glass - 5. Nose - The Hermit, refusing to come out - 11. Palate - The Emperor, Dominant tannins providing protection and stability - 17. Overall experience - The High Priestess, yet to reveal her secrets - 7.

This is a wine shrouded in mystery and will require 3-4 years to emerge from behind a wall of tannins. I suspect that a lovely and elegant wine is in here, but at age 7 it's not even close to knowing it's own fortune. 88-92.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/18/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
92 points
Even more approachable than the 2016 was at the same stage. Nice strawberry and sour cherry fruit intertwined nicely in a bright herbaceous, stemmy and earthy body.

On open the nose was tight. First glass on day one was still really nice. Vacuum corked and sent back to cellar temp then revisited over the following two days. Best on day 3 for me. Hold or decant.
Red
10/15/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
Color is perfect. You can see the Bien Nacido fruit straight through this perfectly clear deep ruby pinot. 5

Nose is strawberry, cola, cedar, vanilla, pepper and some herbal qualities. 12

The flavors are somewhat muted and the mouthfeel is really light in this vintage. Tannic and grainy now, too. Cherry, lemon, herbal, earthy, balanced towards acidic. Nice long finish. 16

Overall this is a fine example of the region and good quality wine and the experience is quite nice, just not great. Given a few years, I would expect this to offer a more elegant and balanced expression of Bien Nacido. I really expected a more fruit forward quaff at this early age. 7

Cheers!
Red
10/13/2020 - WineKnut wrote:
89 points
I honestly think this has the stuffing to become something quite beautiful in 5 years. Seems a shame that I opened it when I did, but life doesn't always follow my plan. Sometimes there is a curve ball.

93+ in 5 years. All the tannin and acidity needed to make the journey through time.
Red
10/2/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
Much more together after 2 days slow ox in bottle... bodes very well for long term cellar potential.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Zaca Mesa Z Cuvée Santa Ynez Valley Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
9/28/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
88 points
This is a pretty good representation of the Rhone blends, but loses a bit when compared to other vintages of the same cuvee. This is a bit timid on the nose except for the extra heat and acidity. At this point in the wine's development, it screams for food. Good solid red fruit and bright acidity leave me asking when this might balance out.
There was really good Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah estate wines available in 2015, so I hope this blend comes together to show the same potential as the separate components already have.
Red
9/25/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
89 points
Light and elegant come to mind here. Nose was cherry fruit and soft herbal notes. A tad green and floral, but not off balance. Light plus mouthfeel with young red fruits, white pepper and a stemmy finish that I really have grown to love. Reasonable alcohol, subdued tannins and just a bit flabby, so no reason to hope for long term improvement.

Nothing pretentious about it, just a nice honest bottle.
Red
9/19/2020 - WineKnut wrote:
88 points
Not surprised... I think I could rate most italian wines just using JS minus 4.
Didn't read anything about this blend ahead of tasting just to sharpen my chops. Frankly, I don't know much about Super Tuscan blends. I guessed 40% sangiovese 40% merlot 20% cab. Really merlot dominated right now. Actual blend was 50% sg 25% merlot 25% cab.
Fine for a weeknight at $16 and good with protein and stronger cheeses. Pretty approachable.
Red
2016 Tenuta di Renieri Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
9/4/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
I do really like this stuff. Just enough backbone, red fruit, oak, dry and nicely balanced. Just perfect with a little provolone. Good QPR at under $20 on sale. I'll come back to this again and again...
Red
9/1/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
95 points
I'm doubling down on my previous 95 at it's peak tonight. Another great bottle. Huge nose evident immediately after pulling the cork. 5mm uniform saturation. Deep clear garnet color evident while decanting. Huge chunks of sediment left behind in bottle. Super tight palate for about an hour, but when it opened up... wow.

After an hour chasing the dragon in the glass, this wine was complete. Surprisingly tannic, but not uncomfortably so. As my son poured a bit more in his glass he said that he finally understood "grippy" as a description for wine. Massive concentration of flavors with bold dry black fruit present with so much more nuance lurking behind providing good overall balance.

After two hours, I couldn't help but think that everything about this wine was big. Even the lingering finish was over the top, full of mint, graphite and cedar.

After 4 hours, the beauty had faded a bit. Knocked off balance by nothing more than air. Pity.

4+14+18+9 at it's peak this evening, but I admit that moment was fleeting. I'll match my next bottle with some serious protein to match the tannins for sure.
Red
8/30/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
89 points
Brilliant Burg color. This shined like a gem in the glass. Brilliant on the nose as well. Cherry, earth and maybe nutmeg? The palate was muted fruit, but plenty of earth, spice, woody stems, good acidity. Nice to have only 12.5 percent alcohol for sure. Definitely French. Clean medium finish and nicely balanced. Good QPR at $22 for sure. Better than a TON of Pinots at the same price point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/21/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
94 points
This bottle is challenging me. It is taunts me about my lack of words. It mocks my repetitious use of descriptors. It outpaces my ability to adapt to changing situations. It effortlessly demonstrates far more sophistication and heritage than I could ever hope to possess. It is better than I am quite frankly, and it knows it.

The cork sat down below the top of the bottle a good 1/8". That's right, it wanted to prove to me that it wasn't cooked. The cork was firm and came out with ease and was perfect. Very little sediment was left in the bottle after decanting, not wanting to waste a drop if it's own greatness. Deep perfectly clear garnet color.

The nose was shy on opening and the humble wine held back a little at first, not wanting to boast about the incredible aromas that it would reveal just a couple of hours after my first meeting it. The Mo Hopper fruit on Oakville soils are no match for me. The deep dark cherries, black currants, fennel, tar, marjoram, pepper all hit my nose at once, making me decipher the nuances as quickly as I could, but letting me know that I can never fully understand them all.

The mouthfeel, though thin on opening, showed the same consideration as the nose. This wine just didn't dare overwhelm a simpleton like me all at once with what is has to offer, it took it's time to get to know me before fully revealing itself. At first, the taste was very precise. All the wine's flavors hitting me simultaneously so I might think it was simple and youthful. Tickling all my taste buds at once, but somehow not overwhelming me. As the wine and I caught our breath, the flavors of mineral soil, abundant black fruit, sweet vanilla, leather, licorice and toasted wood came in multiple waves.

This wine is adept sliding over my tongue. Slippery glycerin and super fine tannin offering an incredibly pleasant mouthfeel leading up to the long and graceful finish. As the acids clean the fruit from my pallet, the woody tannins are left to remind me of how I wished there was more. The entire experience proving to me that there is so much more that I can learn.

90 on opening and 94 at about 3 hours decant time.
Red
8/15/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
89 points
Managing expectations... Entitlement is a trait this BV will not tolerate. You will not get something good without putting in a little bit of effort yourself. This wine requires patience. Followed two glasses over most of the night and the BV is just starting to reveal itself.

More purple than expected. Deeply saturated and mysteriously dark. Nose is straight cassis, tobacco, touch of fennel and gypsum. Quite muted, but attractive after 5 hours.

The mouthfeel is good and finishes with grainy tannins. Flavors are clean and match the nose. Balance is pretty solid given the early drinking window.

If you want complexity, look elsewhere for now. With a little work, you may get what you are looking for. At this time, the 2015 I opened last night is more complete and clearly the better wine.
Red
2016 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/8/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
93 points
Glad I caught this before shut down. Still tannic, yes. Fruit forward, glad it was. Sophisticated, not yet. Balanced, absolutely. Everything I ever wanted in a right bank Bourdeaux, probably never... but this is really close and getting closer every minute.
Red
8/1/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
92 points
Last of three bottles opened last night to check if I should restock. Decanted off of grainy sediment. Concentrated reddish purple in the glass. The color is so deep that I had to catch it just right in the light to see how perfectly clear it is.

Nose is bolder now. Offering fruit and tobacco several inches above the glass and adding smoky oak and dark chocolate as my nose gets closer to the rim of the glass.

The first sip is soft velvet over the tongue. Red and black fruit, vanilla, cocoa, leather and fennel. Glides over mid palate and finishes very bright and tannic. This bottle is somewhat less precise and less balanced than
what I remember from my last bottle, but still very enjoyable.

Good evolution in the glass and over the next six hours. All in all, suggesting that this will develop for several years.

In the end, I chose against buying in again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/21/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
95 points
I can easily see the Vineyard 29 influence on the vinification of outstanding St. Helena fruit. The Abbey's goal of making world class wine on their own property is met here. Perfect cork pulled before decanting off of some grainy sediment. Beautiful deep garnet color and perfect clarity. Nose is full throttle Napa with the tiniest bit of heat. All the trimmings here in good, but not quite perfect balance. Fully mature and drinking very well tonight.

Went back in for a couple more bottles...

5-13-18-9
Red
7/4/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
This wine has really come together in the past year and has the right bones to allow several years of further aging. Good balance, extraction and ripeness showing all the hallmarks of the varietal. If blind, I would have said this was a young Hermitage. I'd take that as a compliment. Enjoyed with a nice Stilton.
Red
7/6/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
92 points
I agree with many other tasters about how this wine picks up steam on day 2. Very little not to like about this blend. Little hot? Sure, but big flavors to balance it all out. Loses a point or three on the Paso jam nose on day 1. More sophisticated on day 2. Tongue coating decadence all around.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/1/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
There is so much honey in this... Almost like a dry still mead, plus ripe pear, green apple and some lemon zest. Some evolution in the glass over several hours. I think I liked this best after warming a bit, maybe around 50-55 degrees. Delicious. Will buy a bit more to see how this goes.
Red
6/21/2020 - WineKnut wrote:
90 points
Happy father's day... Grilled rib eye and cabernet on the menu tonight. Deep dark youthful color and decent clarity. The nose is black fruit, tobacco and cocoa. Medium minus mouthfeel and flavors of blue black fruits, mocha, vanilla, mountain air, mineral, saline and bright lemony finish. Good complexity, but without the depth that I wanted. Decent finish and less than decent QPR.

All in all, the wine is good, but there are much better wines for the money.
Red
6/20/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
94 points
No real changes from my last note... Just incredible...
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2014 Zaca Mesa Z Three Santa Ynez Valley Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
6/15/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
91 points
I really enjoy this blend! One or two point upside potential in about 1-2 years.
Red
2013 Zaca Mesa Z Cuvée Santa Ynez Valley Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
6/6/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
Best $9 wine I've ever owned...
Red
6/1/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
91 points
Solid Santa Rita magic. Good fruit, spice and herbs... Delicious.
Red
5/25/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
Deep purple core, tight nose even after 2 hours in the decanter, blackberries, cherries, some hints of secondary development, firm tannin, good balance and lingering finish...

Would be well worth a little more patience.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/25/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
Slightly less sweet than the 2015 to me, but sharing a similar level of complexity. I really think this is the better wine of the two vintages. Deeper and more complex than the 2016, too. Still in the fruit bomb class.

This bottle accompanied tri tip and baby backs quite nicely.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/21/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
93 points
Aging gracefully is not easy... Bottle 5477. Youthful color and perfect cork. Reddish purple core decanted from fine grained sediment. Courageous and honest immediately on opening. Blushing berries, soy, leather, tobacco and a touch of iodine.

Kissed with the wisdom of age. Tannins have softened to reveal the truth of the fruit, the influence of oak and the earth in the vineyard. Powerful and complicated dry wit, without being boorish. Incredible grace derived from solid heritage and from years of obvious careful nurturing.

Lingering bright finish layers unfolding through to the classic pencil lead finish.
Red
5/15/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
89 points
Big rich blueberries and plums, spicy and floral. The back bone providing proper posture to stand up to our pulled pork sliders tonight. Bone dry fruit against sweet smoky meat.

Great nose, nice balance, clean finish. I have no doubt this would be worth investing a little cellar space, though I liked the 14 even more.
Red
5/15/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
92 points
Oakville. Right in my sweet spot. 20 months on oak, 10 years of bottle age. 2008 showing just fine over two nights. Had to double decant and filter due to a soft cork and sediment, but it was well worth the extra step.

Color is deep garnet with no discoloration towards the rim. Really liked the nose right on opening. So much blackberry, plum, licorice, tobacco and pitch with just a hint of porcine.

Medium plus mouthfeel. Super flavor development at this point. Fruity with layers of secondary flavors and powerful tannin on open on open and after 2 hours, showing it's age and pedigree. Finish showing more mushroom and mineral notes as the night went on.

Still holding it's own on night two with little further development from the previous night. Enjoyed and shared with family and friends, just like the bottle says.
Red
5/14/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
88 points
This wine is sooo close to being really, really great, really... I so want to root for the underdog here. A big Paso Cab should deserve to get the big scores and the big pay day that Napa Cabs have earned, right?

After decanting about 3 hours, this wine has bowls of fruit, tobacco, asphalt, granite dust, saline and cedar. Decadent mouthfeel, beautiful and deep impenetrable reddish purple color, vanilla oak and sweet milk chocolate cherry nose.

A tannic finish that goes on for over a minute, ever evolving... evoking memories of High Sierra Treks in mid Summer around glacial lakes with clean mountain air filling your senses. Hints of alpine meadows mixing with evergreen forest below.

But, nope... it's too sweet. Over ripe in my book... So close.

On a separate note, I was going to hold this wine, but I'm glad I popped it tonight instead. Check out the leaky cork in the photo I uploaded... Really bad fit. Leaked all the way around... This bottle may not have held up to longer term storage.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/18/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
89 points
Just a little more depth than the wonderful 2016. Good solid fruit backed up by subtle spices, tannin and acidity. Clean finish. Surprisingly easy drinking considering the 14.9 percent alcohol. Perfect for Summer BBQ season.
Red
2013 Zaca Mesa Z Cuvée Santa Ynez Valley Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
5/6/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
I'm easily 90 points on this. At $9 at Costco on final markdown, I'm getting a case. As good or better than the last Coudoulet I bought at half the price... Just enough structure to make sure it will hold on for a few years and provide some evolution.
White
5/2/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
89 points
Even more integrated after laying down a few more months. Really nice and drinkable.
Red
2005 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/21/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
94 points
There is no time like the present and these are strange times, indeed.

12:15 PM Time to pull this cork. A perfect cork comes out clean with no tartrate and 2mm of uniform penetration with no seepage. Sweet fruit and floral perfume trapped for so long fill the air from the neck of the bottle, trapped no longer. Moderate sediment is found in bottle as the deep ruby wine is decanted.

12:30 PM Just a taste in the glass. Deep ruby red with slight garnet rim. Tears move down the sides of the glass so slowly they stop, trapped in time, never reaching the liquid below. Disappearing instead against the sides of the glass. Street market nose of dark boysenberry syrup, floral oils, leaves in the bottom of a fortune tellers cup and grilled beef kabob.

12:45 PM Time for first impressions and I'm met with tongue coating tannin dominating leading to refreshingly bright fresh fruit. Not austere by any stretch of the imagination. Stone and rose petals not far behind and lighter than expected mouthfeel.

6:45 PM Dinner time. 6 hours have passed in the decanter and tannins are back where they belong. Flavors of red crunchy fruits, blackberry, cassis and a nose of licorice, soy sauce and roses.

10:30 PM Bed time. Iron oxide, touch of smoke, stems, raspberry, dusty saddle and all that had come before. Time is a funny thing. Time changes everything. Time, like wine, once spent is gone. Leaving only memories...
8 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2015 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
4/26/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
89 points
Heading in the right direction. Still a decent value. Spaghetti Bolognese and pizza was the pairing. Cliche for sure.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/25/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
92 points
This is Syrah played on a Fender Strat through a Marshall stack. Deep Purple. Colson Canyon provides some powerful fruit in 2016 and Tensley lays down the licks.
Power ballad of thick blackberries, mediteranean breezes, olives, maybe a bit of new oak and a little heat. Unavoidable given how ripe the fruit is. With fine grained tannins and a bright tempo to make sure this is not a one hit wonder, but one for the aging. Clapton solo finish, lingering and nuanced.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
4/15/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
90 points
Still delicious. Dry, rich, fruity and dusty, just a little more tannic than my last bottle. Begging me to hold my last 2 bottles for a few years. Good QPR at $30.
Red
4/18/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
92 points
Slightly soft cork broke off while pulling with the corkscrew, but I was able to tease the remaining bottom third of the cork in one piece out of the bottle with the old ah-so. The bottom of the cork was covered in thick sediment and tartrate.

Concentrated purple hued and youthful color. Thick slow tears.

Nose was cinnamon topped blueberry cobbler with earth undertones.

Medium minus mouthfeel. Tasted of blueberry, candied apple, lemon and dark chocolate. The finish was bright and woody strawberry seeds and black tea.

The balance was very nice, nearly perfect. I just wish the nose was a little more open.

Still amazing at this age and a well preserved bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/4/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
94 points
Tasting through some really great bottles this month... What a find the 2008 Paradigm turned out to be.

Rich deep purple color. Great nose typical of Oakville with dark fruit, leather and tar. Just enough bottle age for my liking. Decadent full mouthfeel and tastes of black currants, vanilla and cocoa. Beautifully chewy and delicious.

Lingering finish... Nothing overdone. Nothing missing.
Red
3/28/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
93 points
This was a well stored bottle purchased through K&L from a private collection. Perfect cork.

Color is translucent deep bing cherry skin red. The V.S. bottling may be slightly darker in color than the estate bottling. Absolutely no discoloration at the rim.

The nose was sweet cola, rose petals, sour cherry and clean earth.

Flavors of dried apple, lemon grass, toasted sage and strawberry on the tongue with medium mouthfeel.

Balance was absolutely perfect.

Finish was ever evolving showing vanilla, fresh cut grass and black tea.

Unbelievable QPR at $40. An exceptional bottle at or near peak.
Red
3/15/2020 - WineKnut wrote:
94 points
This was my hunker down weekend bottle... Providing the same experience as my previous bottle. Just plain delicious.
4 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
3/8/2020 - WineKnut Likes this wine:
93 points
This wine is ridiculously good. Plush Santa Maria fruit, black tea, stems, spice and beautiful bright finish. Still developing and should stay in a nice drinking window for several years. Wish I had more.
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