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Comments on my notes

(27 comments on 24 notes)

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Red
2014 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Eighteen Seventy-Three Napa Valley
12/26/2022 - Leroy de Hove wrote:
89 points
I think this probably delivers everything the maker intended it to but for me it’s just too big, too hot in alcohol and is lacking the subtlety or nuance that for me are the hallmarks of fine wine.

It’s clearly a great terroir and I wonder what this could have been if they had harvested a few weeks earlier and kept the alcohol at (or preferably below) 14.5%. Just because grapes can ripen to this level in Napa doesn’t mean that they should, or that they make a better wine by doing so. Cabernet should be refreshing, I think. It shouldn’t taste like port.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    10/22/23, 10:18 PM - Yep, good take — I didn’t feel like it quite got towards Port, but it’s definitely very big.

Red
2018 Fattoria Nittardi Chianti Classico Casanuova di Nittardi Vigna Doghessa Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese
1/9/2023 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
93 points
Hyper fragrant on the nose — lots of tar, ripe cherries, fennel seed, celery salt, herbal notes, incense. Much of what you expect from a Chianti Classico, but with striking aromatic intensity. The palate is definitely rich, with black cherry that starts to go towards blackberry — with lots of herbal notes and incense. Not hyper structured, but definitely doesn’t feel bloated or flabby.

It maybe has some new world style, but I think this wine is excellent — highly enjoyable and clear Chianti Classico character.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    7/26/23, 8:30 AM - Mystery winner! My dad got some of their 2016 Riserva from a mystery pick and that was an insane value at $20. Haven’t been let down by one of their wines yet.

Red
2019 Crous St. Martin Gigondas Les Espaliers Red Rhone Blend
7/11/2023 - OaktownRush wrote:
To me a basic CdR-level Gigondas — nose is a little muted with some herbs, a bit of ethanol and berries. The palate has rhubarb, berries, some zippy spicy berries and a dusty newsprint quality, nothing out of place but it lacks a little edge, clarity, depth and drive for me. Medium/medium-minus acid. It’s not bad, but it’s just missing a tightness of structure and drive on the palate.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    7/12/23, 7:43 AM - Garagiste got me again. Feeling a little duped with this one.

  • OaktownRush commented:

    7/13/23, 1:26 PM - I'm just as bad! I don't know what it is about the $10-$20 mystery picks where I just can't help it. I'm beginning to feel that if you average the price for the good ones and the bad ones it's just a simple fair deal.

Red
2017 Cave de Tain Crozes-Hermitage Les Hauts du Fief Syrah
10/28/2022 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
90 points
Took a while to come alive, and was actually better on night two. Dark fruit, some grilled meat, tar, hints of lavender around the edges. On the palate it’s a savory core of meat, tar, and ripe black fruit — with subtle florals and herbs around the edges. Nice acidity, medoum+ body. This definitely has a serious vibe and for the close out price it punches above its weight.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    11/12/22, 11:50 AM - Thank you!

Red
2013 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heritage Sonoma Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
6/26/2021 - NoahCap wrote:
My first Bedrock (producer or vineyard), and I do have to say that I like it quite a bit. It's less straight-up zinfandel-y than I expected, which is not good or bad necessarily, just different than my expectation. Tastes like a true field blend!

Bottle looks pristine, cork soaked only a few millimeters and comes out easily. Color is quite dark, magenta rim, not a touch of browning. Incredibly fragrant; I can smell this wine before I stick my nose in the glass- a few swirls and the whole kitchen smells like wine! Nose of dark berries and cedar. The flavors are not as overtly fruity as many zins, though the characteristic spices are there. Blackberries, mulberries, cardamom, clove, orange oil, with a finish of spearmint and menthol that is medium in length. Really nice. I usually think of zinfandel as a perfect pairing with sweet and saucy bbq, but this is more a steak wine in my book. Day two was even more savory and minty on the finish.

Here is a (sort of) relevant aside: When I was a kid, my parents would bring my sister and I to the public pool, and right outside the fence surrounding the pool was a huge old mulberry tree that would drop these plump juicy black mulberries all over the sidewalk. The branches were too high for me to reach, so I would pick the good looking ones right off the ground and eat them, warm, just a tad sweet, a little bitter. That mixture of wild mulberries that were probably a touch fermented, the ground covered in berries that were straight up rotting, and the distant smell of a chlorinated pool is vividly seared into my memory. And though this wine is not at all sweet, framed by mint and spice, and made 2500 miles away from where I grew up, there is something about this wine that triggers a remarkable sense memory of eating those warm mulberries as a 7 yr old. For me, the wine was worth it just for that.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    9/2/22, 11:19 PM - I really love this write-up — truly captures part of what makes wine great and how it can evoke memories. Super cool note.

Red
2016 Vietti Barolo Castiglione Nebbiolo
4/17/2022 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
94 points
Expressive and pronounced notes of cherry, strawberries, light wood shavings, florals. The palate is tight and focused, with a ripe cherries leading directly to a dry finish with notes I couldn’t quite place. I did find the palate to be a touch tight in the mid-palate, seems like there’s more to show — but it’s endlessly drinkable now. It’s extremely elegant now, and the tannins feel very nicely integrated. Excellent wine.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    4/21/22, 4:30 PM - Thank you!

Red
2013 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
2/11/2022 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
89 points
Ripe raspberry, eucalyptus, vanilla, clove, some wood and bark — the nose wasn’t super expressive and took some time to open up. The palate to me seems near its peak, some fleshy texture, but mainly integrated tannins and medium acid. It’s not unstructured, but it doesn’t feel firmly structured either. The palate ends with more clove cinnamon stick.

I liked it more than others did, but did notice the oak as others commented. That said, I didn’t like it as much as the 14 or 15.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    2/16/22, 8:17 AM - Seems like maybe I should have left it open a little longer. Might have to go track down another bottle of this.

Red
2019 Mas de Valeriole Beauduc Vin de Pays des Bouches-du-Rhône Marselan
I’m going to say that I’m pretty into this wine, but my notes can’t quite get at why. It’s got some herbal, spicy notes on the nose, but the palate just has the super pleasant, open, easy-going vibe with crunchy red fruit, citrus rind, and a fleshy texture. It’s not made in a super serious style, but it works for me.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    2/2/22, 7:51 AM - No banana scents for me. I know it's natural, so maybe there's some big bottle variation?

Red
2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
10/10/2019 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
92 points
Flint, red and black fruit, and an herbal note that's tough to classify -- reminded me of a combo of basil and green tea. Very elegant on the palate with a linear and direct quality, there's nothing out of place here. Medium bodied. Great length.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    6/11/21, 2:43 PM - Ah! I love to learn more about a wine! Love your notes on it.

    I actually had this in Barcelona while on a vacation and probably should have dug a little deeper into it. I saw this wine by the glass and knew I couldn't pass it up. Cheers!

Red
2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Oakville Farmhouse Red Blend
5/7/2021 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
96 points
A truly intriguing wine with a ton going on — pronounced aromatic nose of eucalyptus, sage, florals, red and blue fruits, baking spice, almond cookie, and black tea. There’s a ton going on. The palate is medium-bodied with well integrated tannins, there’s seamless structure. The same red and blue fruits come across with the savoriness notes on the palate. The palate really holds the promise of the nose.

Really evocative wine, really nothing I could accurately compare it to. Also super unique to taste the terroir come across in varietals you don’t usually get from Oakville. This wine is great, and will also please a lot of palates — a rare statement.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    5/8/21, 10:00 PM - Sure didn't! Must have typo'd on the mobile app. Thanks for pointing that out!

White
2019 Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett Mosel Saar Ruwer
4/13/2021 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
89 points
The nose feels a little bit tight as it opens up but I get citrus, and a touch of something that reminds me of pine sol. Focused citrus fruit and lots of ripe peaches, pretty rich and unctuous on the palate — definitely some sweetness that really kicks in towards the finish. Not the most descriptive comment, but this wine is quite tasty, paired very well with a stir fry.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    4/14/21, 2:47 PM - Yeah, and I'll admit that I don't have quite enough Riesling experience to really accurately predict where a wine is headed -- so appreciate you mentioning that. Cheers!

Red
2014 Covalli Barolo Nebbiolo
This didn't do much for me -- I could taste a few of the Nebbiolo-specific notes, but they felt faint and out of focus. There was also an underlying stewed / cooked fruit quality and not much structure, in other words, it felt like it was on the decline to me.

Not like I'm outraged at $13, but the $13 could probably be better spent elsewhere.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    2/26/21, 10:55 PM - Appreciate the note! Yeah, this wine was a good reminder that if a Barolo is $13, there’s usually a reason why.

    Cheers!

White
2017 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara County
7/19/2019 - wilypod Does not like this wine:
81 points
Chemical/oaky signature obscure decent ripe pear and baked pear fruit. Serve cold to mute the alcohol/oak.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    12/14/20, 6:52 PM - Didn't find this in the bottle I had -- possible it was just a bad bottle.

White
2017 La Chablisienne Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay
8/12/2020 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
87 points
Yellow fruit, pear/apple skin, a touch of smoke and savoriness. Medium+ acidity. More yellow apple flesh on the palate. This is pretty good value, though isn’t a downright steal. Solid, a touch indistinct, but quaffable, enjoyable, and nicely balanced.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    8/31/20, 8:58 AM - Yeah, for $10 it’s a must-buy.

Red
2016 KivelStadt Cellars Charbono Native Son Venturi Vineyard Mendocino County
4/20/2019 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
89 points
Pronounced nose of red plum, sweet cherry, raspberry jam, tar, and some natty qualities. Medium+ acid and medium+ tannins. Drier with a bit of pepper on the finish -- shorter length finish than I would have liked.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    12/7/19, 7:07 PM - Not crazy! From what I've heard a lot of their wines have that quality.

Red
2016 Faiveley Mercurey Clos Rond Pinot Noir
Delicate and fresh Mercurey with a Beaujolais like sense of fun to it. 100% meant for today, I wouldn't even age this for a year. Red raspberry, iron, damp soil. No discernible tannin, and enough freshness to give it some lift. Not at all serious, and fairly priced at ~23. Nothing special but it's more well made and interesting than you'll find in California at this price point.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    11/3/19, 6:13 PM - Nice note -- totally agree.

Red
2017 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
Pronounced notes of dark fruit, but with hints of dried red fruit as well. Medium+ acid and medium tannins. There's loads more dark fruit on the palate, with a finish that gives way to hints of spice.

I've heard the Lytton wines age well, so I look forward to coming back to it.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    10/28/19, 7:25 AM - This makes me want to seek out some older ones to try! Cheers!

Red
2018 Field Recordings Wine Pinot Noir Wonderwall Edna Valley
10/8/2019 - daveyk39 wrote:
87 points
Medium/Pale Ruby. Strawberry and raspberry, hint of leather and mushroom, dried herbs. Tart red fruit on the palate,light body, satin texture. Loved the 2016, but may be a bit of an outlier.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    10/11/19, 11:10 AM - Nice tasting note -- I had the same thought about not enjoying this vintage as much.

Red
2016 Alain Hudelot-Noëllat Vosne-Romanée Pinot Noir
7/20/2019 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
93 points
Pronounced notes of strawberry and raspberry with some spice and fennel frond underneath -- fruit-forward with some depth. The palate has the same notes with a little additional citrus. High acid and medium tannins with some grip, lighter bodied wine. Long finish with some minerality that hangs on longer than anything else.

Very fresh and enjoyable now -- really enjoyed this wine.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    7/25/19, 7:22 PM - appreciate that!

Red
2017 Ridge Geyserville Alexander Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
7/14/2019 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
90 points
On the nose, there's raspberry jam, hints of licorice -- there's a high-toned quality that verges on acetone to me. Slightly more black-fruited on the palate, that's underpinned by some linear spice. Good, but didn't feel massively expressive.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    7/14/19, 3:17 PM - Yeah? That's good to know, this wine and the Lytton Springs I had a few weeks ago didn't grab me immediately. I'll definitely revisit!

  • OaktownRush commented:

    7/15/19, 6:18 PM - Also good to know. My buddy was thinking about getting a Vinous account -- now I'll really encourage him ;)

Red
1989 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Clos de l'Olive Cabernet Franc
1/9/2019 - KeithAkers wrote:
93 points
Cab Francs that are ready for a Bar-Mitvah (and older) (Chez Simo Bistro, Chicago IL): Nose: The nose is highly aromatic and balanced from the get go with red cherries, leather, tobacco, herbs, vegetable tones, earth notes, cranberries, and some raspberries. The tones have melded together beautifully with time and there is a lovely layering effect to it all as well.

Taste: Medium bodied with medium tannins and medium+ acidity. The structure itself is fairly resolved, but the tannins and acid are still there for support. The feel is refined with red cherries, raspberries, leather, tobacco, vegetables, herbs, and earth tones.

Overall: This was a gorgeous and mature Chinon. I don't see how this can get better and while it doesn't feel like it is hanging on by a thread, it is at it's peak right now and it should be fully enjoyed.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    6/1/19, 5:41 PM - Nice review! Surprised this didn't move the needle as much with others as you and I.

Red
1990 Château Clos de Sarpe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
5/18/2019 - drwine2001 wrote:
K&L Bordeaux Tasting (San Francisco): Light ruby fading to a mature tawny color. Very disjointed, stalky nose. Initial fruit is quickly cut off by herbs, strident acidity, and funkiness. Awful finish. This reeks of dirty barrels. Awful.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    5/19/19, 10:33 AM - We clearly tasted this at the same event but felt super differently -- maybe there's much variation in the bottles?

    Always enjoy your reviews!

  • OaktownRush commented:

    5/19/19, 3:51 PM - Another reviewer seemed to see it the same as you, so perhaps it's me who is off. Regardless, always fun to hear another opinion -- maybe I'll run into you at one of the K&L tasting sometime.

Rosé
2018 Arnot-Roberts Rosé California Touriga Nacional
5/4/2019 - OaktownRush Likes this wine:
90 points
Medium intensity nose of watermelon, kiwi, green melon and a hint of a sweeter spice. High acid and a little more pronounced palate intensity than aromatics. Quite good.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    5/8/19, 10:11 PM - happy to help!

White
N.V. Bibi Graetz Casamatta Bianco Toscana IGT Vermentino
3/8/2019 - mike l. wrote:
i'm here to confirm this is, in fact, wine.

i paired it with cardboard disguised as "truffle pizza", also from grocery outlet.

all said, a pretty terrible friday night.

edit: totally satisfying the next night. mineral, weird fruit, and a slight oiliness. deleted my score.
  • OaktownRush commented:

    4/8/19, 9:05 PM - From Grocery Outlet to weird fruit, this completely sums up my experience with this wine.

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