Comments on my notes

(11 comments on 10 notes)

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White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
Had when we got home from the hospital with baby #2. This is the first decent/good bottle of champagne I've had in a while and the first of a new journey to learn more about Champagne, the region, grapes, houses, and processes.

Light golden color, complex on the nose with nuts and spices and stone fruits. Slightly oxidized entry, blends into apricot, brioche, nutty, spicy flavors on the palate. This stays with you for a while, great length and complexity. As it had air and warmed a little the complexity grew and the flavors blended nicely. Maybe some additional age will benefit.
  • tak4 commented:

    9/12/19, 12:06 PM - Congratulations! Great way to celebrate arrival

2018 Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay Carneros
Okay, here we go! We used to drink Rombauer Chardonnay by the case about ten years ago. Since then we've become all wine-woke and, like good AFWE oenophiles, we wouldn't deign to sully our lips with this syrupy, supersaturated fruit elixir. Or would we?

This is the 2018 product, apparently fresh off the vine, stuffed into bottles, and delivered straight to Whole Foods Market.

On visual inspection, this wine is much less concentrated than I remember. It used to be nuclear waste yellow. Now it's more of a pretty lemon color. Very clear, very bright.

On nose, this wine is also different than I remembered it. Yes, memory is fallible, but the scent is so tightly associated with personal history that any difference is noticeable. This is much more restrained than it used to be. Less melon, less caramel. More white fruit, passionfruit, a hint of butterscotch, and some smokiness. Even a bit of dustiness - is Rombauer turning into Chablis?

One sip and it's clear that the answer is no. It's a return to form on the palate. Very full bodied, bold new oak, buttery finish, melon, smoke, vanilla. Pow!

Two glasses of Rombauer before the art opening and that's a good night right there.

At the end of the day, this is actually a pretty okay wine (that's okay, not "oaky", which it also is). It is a great exemplar of a style which I once loved and which I will not admit still liking - no, never, never will I admit such a thing. But it's clearly a deliberately and well-crafted product, and I am appreciating every sip.
  • tak4 commented:

    8/31/19, 2:51 PM - @Wine G - I think you misread my tasting note. I am admiring this wine for what it is - a well-crafted consumer product that is actually kind of tasty.

    @srh - you get it! I admire what they're doing and I secretly sort of like the wine....

2017 Aubert Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons Carneros
4/6/2019 - tak4 Likes this wine:
92 points
Popped and poured in the afternoon, despite Aubert's instructions to double decant and wait for four hours. That seems like overkill to me. Plus, we don't typically decant whites.

Wine is a pretty golden straw color.

I get green apples, grapefruit, american smarties, and butterscotch on the nose.

On the palate - whoa! Lots going on here. Lots. Wine is sound. Dry though there may be a tiny touch of sweetness (could be pseudosweetness). Medium high acid. Highly concentrated. High alcohol and drinks a touch hot. Super long finish. Mineral resolving to white pepper, grapefruit, melon, powder candy, all kinds of stuff.

I like this wine a lot but I don't think it's ready to drink now. It feels like a Kistler with all the knobs turned to eleven, but I'd prefer something a little mellower.

Wait - maybe this is why they asked for a double decant! Doing it now!!

(one hour later) Wine is definitely more aromatic. More melon and mineral now. Strangely it appears more deeply colored now. On palate it is definitely more intense. Rounder and more balanced, though. More citrusy now. It's much better now - wow. I would never have thought this to be the case.

Well, I'm a buyer, an ager, and a drinker. Can do nicely with some age or now.
  • tak4 commented:

    4/28/19, 11:05 AM - Yes I know some people on certain websites seem to think it's pedantic - I don't. I think it's a nice reminder that even young whites can benefit from some aeration. Anyway, now they have me double decanting everything I open LOL!

2017 Aubert Chardonnay Powder House Vineyard Sonoma Coast
4/9/2019 - buckeye76 Likes this wine:
96 points
Tasted at the winery, the inaugural vintage of Powder House was delicious even from young vines. Rich fruit. peaches, citrus, apples, and hints of spice. Long finish.
  • tak4 commented:

    4/10/19, 6:34 AM - Hi Buckeye. Did you visit Occidental and Aubert on the same day? I'm looking to do that in June, myself.

2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
6/10/2018 - tak4 Likes this wine:
89 points
Pop and pour. Delivered from Ridge 10 days prior. Ruby purple with touch of bricking at edge. Nose - strawberry, cherries, leather, stewed fruit (ketchup?), pluminess very deep. Low acidity, tannins still evolving but softened, plums, tomato, leather, cedar, black pepper. Very nice wine!
  • tak4 commented:

    7/27/18, 5:45 AM - 7/13/18 - had another bottle at Getaway House in NH. Consistent with prior notes

2015 Walter Scott Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley
6/28/2018 - tak4 Likes this wine:
89 points
Decanted since tasting notes on CT suggested it could use a little air. Deep crimson. Cherries, allspice, tobacco, touch of vanilla. Palate - good acid, medium tannin, drinks medium alcohol, well balanced. Short finish. Tannins are actually moderately soft. I can see how this will improve with age but I do think it’s drinking well now.
  • tak4 commented:

    7/23/18, 4:16 PM - 7/22/18 - Had this wine again and notes were consistent with prior. This is a good wine but not overly attractive. I think I prefer the things I have in my cellar.

2015 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Cuvée Classique Ampodium Syrah
6/20/2018 - tak4 wrote:
Had half-bottle at restaurant a few days ago. Unfamiliar style to me at this point. Strong pepper, tannins, spice. I can see why people call these 'meaty' and 'masculine.' Not sure if I love this style yet but I do have a couple of similar things in the cellar to try over the coming weeks.
  • tak4 commented:

    6/23/18, 2:53 AM - No, it was a newish spot in Palo Alto called Protégé. I recommend highly!

    Craigie is a favorite, though - I have had some superb wines there over the years including my first Premier Cru Chassagne-Montrachet. Wonderful place.

2015 tobias wein.gut (Tobias Schmid & Sohn) Cuvée Blanche Rheintal White Blend
9/2/2016 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
88 points
Wines on a Plane (Zurich - SFO):

White wine of Riesling, Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir.

Pale gold in the glass. Aromatic (M+) nose of honeyed underripe apricot. Ripe fruit but relatively neutral in style (aromatic esters though). Slight terpenes but not Riesling level. Slight peach. Estery white flower and pear notes-due to youth. The slight reductive cherry fruit of the Pinot seems barely perceptible and bridges well with the reductive stone fruit.
Slight RS- maybe 10g. Medium body. Moderate alc - 12.5%. Medium acid. Moderate phenolic bitterness. Slight frizzante. Moderate plus finish of raw apricot, ripe peach, slight almond. A quality wine in a clean unbotrytized Pinot Gris style.

It's a clean floral Pinot Gris with a bit lighter sweetness, more verve, and a confusing twist of red cherry.

Similar in balance to an Albariño but with RS.
  • tak4 commented:

    5/14/18, 8:41 AM - Having it on ZRH-BOS myself!

  • tak4 commented:

    5/17/18, 2:36 AM - I liked it but airplanes ruin my palate, so I couldn't really do a detailed tasting. Great tasting note by the way!

2016 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
5/12/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Long, fresh, graceful, elegant, pure and refined, the layers of silky, cashmere textured fruits just doesn't quit. The wine has a uniqueness of character you can feel, taste and smell. This is a stunner and it still sells for a song. If you are not hip to what is going on with Les Carmes Haut Haut Brion, you should be!
  • tak4 commented:

    5/14/18, 4:51 AM - Nice note. Especially gratifying because I have a case on the way myself!

2015 Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay Pinot Noir
Beautiful pale ruby. Burnt cherry, spice, earthy, ripe strawberries. Balanced with good acidity and super fine tannins that sneak in on the finish. What a deal.
  • tak4 commented:

    5/5/18, 11:17 PM - Nice review! When do you think this is optimal to drink?

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