Tasting Notes for Praxis

(365 notes on 329 wines)

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Red
10/15/2021 - Praxis wrote:
96 points
Deep dark translucent reddish color with a clear watery rim. The nose is aromatic with rich dark black and blue fruits, with impressions of menthol, peppery spice, worn leather, boiled meat, earth, a hint of vanilla oak. The palate is full-bodied, rich, unapologetically big, bold and intense powerful yet very well balanced and integrated without any discernable alcohol (15.5%) standing out this time. This is a very flavorful wine with lots going on with a core of rich black and blue Barossa old vine fruits dominating but well supported with secondary notes of forest herbs, yellow acacia flowers, menthol, beef, blood, leather, strong black Arabica coffee, sandalwood, wet soil, and a brief yet beautiful flash of oak and graphite towards the finish. Wow, this is really rocking now after 18 years in the bottle! Very much improved since I first had this back in 2005 upon purchase (before my CT days) and when I last tried this in 2016. This kinda left me wondering why the CT community listed the drinking window as 2007 - 2016??? From the way things looked and tasted over the past 3 evenings with this particular bottle, it seemed like this wine is still very much alive with many years ahead of it. Looking forward to my final bottle in a few years time.
Red
2015 Domaine Bunan Bandol Mourvèdre Blend, Mourvèdre (view label images)
10/1/2021 - Praxis wrote:
89 points
Translucent reddish purple black with a moderate nose of red fruits, grassy herbs red meat and animal overtones. The palate is very smooth and mellow, rustic, medium-bodied, decently structured, sorely lacking in acidity otherwise this would be a fairly balanced and easy drinking wine with a surprisingly long finish especially after 30 minutes of expose to air. The flavor components include good quality red fruits, nondescript green herbs, immature twigs, a hint of coriander and camphor, meaty animal fur characteristics and dry earth with no discernible impressions of oak which was rather surprising. A lighter expression of a Bandol red but still a very sturdy wine which make this an enjoyable treat. 88 - 90.
Red
9/18/2021 - Praxis wrote:
92 points
Translucent reddish bricking color with a clear watery edge. The nose is delicate yet complex with notes of sour cherry, and other dark red fruits, with and interesting array of secondary characteristics including lots of herbaceous overtones, bitter herbs, wild game, worn leather and roast meat. The palate is very lively with plenty of acidity, and a distinctive bitterness which to me borders on over bearing at this juncture of its development, medium bodied, with some unresolved tannins suggesting a long life ahead. The flavor includes dried sour or savory fruits, forest floor, wet leaves, bitter herbs, dandelion juice, some meaty and gaminess and some residual alcohol which is a bit excessive but ends with dried fruity finish. This wine really needs to be accompanied with food, it’s definitely not a stand alone type of wine. I can imagine having this with a plate of hard Italian cheeses or pappardelle with lamb or duck and parmigiano reggiano. Much more balanced and better on the second day. The unbearable bitterness have become much more tamed tonight. Memorable wine while listening to Jessica Rhaye and the Ramshackle Parade's amazing cover of Bob Dylan's "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine", a total a surreal experience.
Red
9/4/2021 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Clear dark purple red in appearance with a clear watery edge. Initially the nose was reticent but after 30 minutes of aeration the red and blue fruits began to emerge with lots of meaty, animal characteristics, accented by menthol, cedar and vanilla. The palate is towards the fuller-end of the medium-bodied spectrum and initially quite rich, spicy, with lots of cedar, oak and vanilla characteristics shortly after opening. However, a few hours later in the evening as I re-tasted in for a more detailed assessment, it was quite apparent that this had transformed into a completely different wine. The once spicy, oaky, mentholated fruity richness now tasted greenish, acidic and primary without much of anything else. I’ve never had a wine that turned south like this so quickly before. It’s remarkable how this perfectly delicious wine had completely collapsed and fell apart into this incoherent plonk in just a few hours time. Therefore I decided to rate this based on my earlier impression of it while it was still drinking well. I will confirm tomorrow to see if this just a phase of its development or if it is just deteriorating. My suspicion is, this wine has much more to offer, will wait and see.

Well, well it's the 2nd night and this wine is back to it's old self again. It tasted a lot more soft and balanced than when I initially opened it and it also seemed to be of lighter textured than what I recalled from yesterday. It's really amazing what the wine goes through in terms of its chemical process which goes to show that wine is indeed a living thing which changes with time (and it's reaction to oxidation). The score remains as it is.
White
8/22/2021 - Praxis wrote:
86 points
Clear, light canary yellow with an aromatic nose of yellow pomelos, star fruits with a hint of canned lychees (it's certainly not fresh lychees), with a muted impression of a spiciness that is comparable to red stargazer flowers mixed with pomelo blossoms, and candle wax. The palate is clean, medium-bodied, quite sweet, and rather plain but pleasant. The flavors of sweet tropical yellow fruits as those mentioned in the above are present tough not as intense or clearly delineated as I would like or expect in this varietal. Nonetheless, it was a nice and simple treat since it's been quite a while since I had a Gewürztraminer.
Red
8/10/2021 - Praxis wrote:
93 points
This hadn’t changed much since I last tasted this last on Feb. 23, 2019 (see my previous CT note if interested). This time around, it was tight and angular with lots of vegetal notes on the first night but really settled down and transformed into an absolutely phenomenal, kinder and gentler wine by the second night. It's still got the rich core of black and dark blue fruit, plenty of structure, acidity and tannins to last for at lest 5 - 8 more years.
Red
7/26/2021 - Praxis wrote:
91 points
Dark garnet with a clear watery edge. The bouquet is very vibrant and quite intriging with impressions of candied fruit, vanilla, cedar, oak and subtle game. The palate is on the fuller end of medium-bodied with an interesting and dynamic interplay of the ripe fruity freshness, fine grain tannins and acidity that is very much in the process of becoming, but sadly the alcoholic component is sticking out a bit too much for it’s own good. The flavors in this Cali Cab includes dark candied red and blue fruits, vanilla cream, a good amount of oak (especially with more exposure to air), menthol, wet forest undergrowths, dried tobacco leaves, with a hint of wild game. This is an aromatic and flavorful wine with a simple fruity, oaky finish with a bit more alcoholic heat that I would prefer. Nonetheless, it’s actually quite lively and enjoyable right now but it’s got the stuff to last for at least another good 5 - 8 years.
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Red
2012 Heartland One Langhorne Creek Cabernet-Shiraz Blend, Red Blend (view label images)
7/9/2021 - Praxis wrote:
93 points
Dark reddish purple in color with a vibrant nose of lively and intriguingly complex with sweet dark red and purple fruits, infused with vanilla oak, peppery spices, licorice, spider lilies (Hymenocallis caribaea) and something vegetal that I can’t seem to put my finger on. The palate is on the upper end of the medium-bodied spectrum, well-structured, lithe, and with a tad too much of alcoholic heat for it’s frame but finishes quite well and long. The flavor components includes dark cherries, mulberries, red plum and very well integrated vanilla oak which seems to enter quite unnoticeably but once it’s there it’s quite evident in a very good way. This is followed by a secondary layer of intense peppery spices, meat, menthol, and some brambly undergrowth with adds an extra dimension to this nuanced wine. A very interesting and flavorful wine by Ben Glaetzer, this inaugural vintage of this 60/40 Cabernet Sauvignon - Shiraz blend from Heartland which strikes me as stylistically different than his Godophin/Anaperenna. This is most likely is attributed to the differences in the regional micro-climate and soil conditions since this wine is from Limestone Coast which is somewhat cooler with it's maritime influence than the more warmer and arid Barossa Valley which is about 330 km to the north and east which is slightly more in land. Looking forward to trying the 2015 of this in a few years time.
Red
6/26/2021 - Praxis wrote:
94 points
Dark reddish purple with a slight clear watery rim. Initially quite funky upon opening but after about 30 minutes or so, it pretty much dissipated. The nose is reminiscent of mature red fruits, with lots of wild fowl game, leather and mild tobacco, oak and an mild oxidized quality which gives this an "old wine" feel. The palate is on the fuller end of the medium-bodied spectrum, very dry, well integrated enough though not as balanced and fruity as I would like, but interesting and drinking fairly decently now with some degree of complexity nonetheless as the evening progressed. The flavor is of matured red fruits (think sour cherries), black raisins, with lots of wild fowl, old worn leather, a hint of tobacco, lots of aged oak, mild oxidation (in a good old wine kinda way) and a fleeting flash of earthy minerality towards the moderately long and satisfying finish. While I understand that this Rioja Gran Reserva is already 16 years old but I feel that this tasted older that it should be, my hunch is, this was not stored properly or as ideally as it should have been before I bought this, but I'm not complaining its drinking very nicely after an hour of exposure to air. By the 2nd day, this wine was rocking! Overall the Gran Reserva became much more rounded, integrated and balanced while the earthy mineral finish has become much more pronounced. Very nice!
Red
2011 Kanonkop Paul Sauer Simonsberg-Stellenbosch Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/20/2021 - Praxis wrote:
flawed
TCA, poured rest of bottle down the sink. Too bad, I was really looking forward to trying this.
Red
2010 Château Fourcas Dupré Listrac-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/1/2021 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Clear dark ruby red with a slightly watery rim. The nose is quite vegetal, somewhat like cooked tomatoes, with cooked meat, wet game and earth which nicely complimented the stewed fruitiness of this 11 year old claret. The palate is on the higher end of medium-bodied, well-structured, intense, fairly balanced, not overly dry as anticipated with some fine silky tannins that has not quite fully resolved. The flavor profile is dominated by stewed dark red and black fruit that’s not overly jammy, with lots and lots of vegetal characteristics similar to what was revealed in the nose, boiled meat, wild game, with hints of vanilla oak, earthy minerals, cola, considerable cigar notes, and ends with a moderately long tobacco-y finish.
Red
5/16/2021 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Impenetrable dark purple red in appearance with a lovely nose of mature dark red and black fruits, menthol, a touch of menthol, wild game and some earthy stony overtones. The palate is rich, powerful, on the lighter end of full-bodied, just enough acidity, quite balance overall considering how it's sturdy frame was able to render the 14.5% alcohol is hardly noticeable, which make it very lovely at this stage in its development. The flavor components includes dark colored rich fruits, menthol, boiled meat, a mild touch of oak vanillin with lots of rocky soil and a nice long and lingering finish reminiscent of red table grapes but nicely accented with woody and rocky complexities. In short, this is a sturdy and full-flavored Catalonian red from the sun-drenched Priorat region that's drinking at it’s prime now and would perfectly compliment a nice platter of Jamon de Bellota and thinly sliced Fuet.
Red
5/4/2021 - Praxis wrote:
91 points
Deep dark purplish red in appearance with a young fruity nose of refreshing sweet yet slightly sour red fruits, which exudes a sense of youthful spontaneity and carefree spirit. The palate is on the fuller end of the medium-bodied spectrum, lean yet muscular, clean, rich, flavorful, with lots going on, a very inviting wine with an interesting an very fun and easy going personality. There seems to be some residual fine tannins that is presently still unresolved and plenty of alcoholic heat which in my opinion way too much for it's weight class (14.5%). Phenomenologically speaking - it showcases a very interesting continual vacillating interplay that is presently going on between its mildly savory and bitter profiles which makes this a very intriguing young wine to taste at this juncture. The flavor components in the Barbera includes red fruits like sour cherries, pomegranates, strawberry preserves and red currants, with a very tiny splash of Campari, some rich earthy overtones, with slight wood and sweet vanilla notes towards the finish. An interesting and well made wine that is in its youthful stage. Its exceedly fun to drink now but promises much more as it matures.
Red
4/18/2021 - Praxis wrote:
94 points
Blackish red in color with clear watery rim. The nose is reticent though not absent with notes of red fruits, dried herbs, partially disintegrated autumn leaves, meat, loam, and what strikes me as mist or water as in the smell you get when you are at Niagara Falls. The palate is on the lower end of the full-bodied spectrum, silky smooth, balanced and nothing out of place, complex, feminine yet strong and super serious. The flavor components include dry and lively red fruits, dry pin oak (Quercus palustris) leaves, mild tobacco, boiled beef, earth and water vapor. By the 3rd night, complex oak and menthol notes were decernable. A very lovely and nuanced Hermitage by Stéphane Vedeau. This is a nice change for someone who usually prefers big, bold, in your face type of New World reds. This beauty is drinking extremely well now but have the bone to last for at least 5 or 6 more years or so. I can imagine pairing this with a nice flame-seared wagyu ribeye steak with this since it's not too big or too intense that it will over power the subtle flavors of the rich fatty meat as in the case of a full-bodied South Australian Shiraz or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
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Red
4/4/2021 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Dark blackish purple with a watery edge. Nose of black and dark blue fruits, mild vanilla, toasty cedary oak notes, menthol, boiled beef, nail polish with a bit of asphalt and rubbery overtones. The palate is quite lively, on the fuller end of the medium, quite easy drinking, slightly savory, with some residual alcoholic heat. It also taste a bit astringent but not in an overtly acidic sense - its more like the sensation of taking a big fast gulp of warm carbonated drink and sensation of the effervescence hitting you all at once in you mouth; good thing it completely dissipated by the 2nd day. The flavor components in this is in the order of black and dark blue fruits, moderate oak with menthol, meaty game, tar and an abundance of rocks toward the finish. There are some grainy tannins which haven’t fully resolved as of now but contains a little too much alcohol for its own good. But overall, it’s actually a sturdy and flavorful Barossa shiraz for the price.
White
3/21/2021 - Praxis wrote:
88 points
Clear medium golden yellow but slightly towards the shade of dijon mustard in appearance with a complex yet fruity nose in the order of apples, quince, Asian pears and white pomelos with hints of oak, toast, petrol which reminds me of a Clare Riesling. The palate is on the dryer side, medium-bodied, refreshingly piquant, simple and straightforward. The flavor components are pretty consistent to what was detected in the nose except that the apple - quince profile along with the dry and lively savory qualities dominates while other components like the mild oak, petrol and stony minerals are in the backseat but not unnoticed since it adds a really nice accent to this wine especially towards the finish. This is a definitely a food-friendly white Rioja. It really paired very well with my home-cooked gambas de ajillo tonight.
Red
3/13/2021 - Praxis wrote:
96 points
Dark reddish purple while the bricking is much more pronounced now as compare to the last time I tried this back in 5/10/16. The nose is quite generous with dark red, and purple fruits, freshly ground medium roast Liberica coffee beans, a touch of tobacco, and menthol, vanilla, oak, cedar savings, plenty of brambly twigs and weeds, and a distinct rubbery note emanates from its deep and polished core. The palate is on the lighter end of full-bodied spectrum, quite intense, powerful, sophisticated, round with a slight savory edge which makes this lovely wine so easy to drink. There’s just so much going on in this amazing wine especially after 30 minutes in the glass. The flavor profile includes a core of sweet ripe dark red and purple berries beautifully framed with fresh roasted coffee beans, new tobacco, forest undergrowth, menthol, vanilla, oak, cooked meat, dried cowhide, wet game (which became more pronounced as the evening progressed), rubber, and a flash of fine minerality toward its long and refined finish. This 11 year-old Don Melchor is really phenomenal tonight and much improved since five years ago. I believe the it's still got the stuff to last at for at least the short to mid-term. I will revisit this in about 4 years time with my last bottle.
Red
3/1/2021 - Praxis wrote:
92 points
Dark ruby red with an slight water rim. The nose is a very nice but rather reserved with moderate dark fruits with light cedar, mild leather, tobacco, and mineral notes. The palate is medium-bodied, very balanced, smooth and round texture and soft with the tannins, acidity and alcohol in its proper place which makes this a very, very appealing and easy to wine drink at this juncture of its development. The flavor components includes dark red and dark blue fruits very nice integrated with impressions of old leather, tobacco, cedar, oak, vanilla, wet forest undergrowth, and lots of fine but wet earthy gravel. It improved greatly and became more generous, opulent and nuanced as the evening progressed. Absolutely phenomenal on the second night. A lovely 2nd wine from Chateau Cantenac Brown from a very good vintage. Wish I had more of this.
Red
2/15/2021 - Praxis wrote:
87 points
Deep dark reddish purple in color with a nose of vibrant red and black fruits with mild oak and a deep earthy note. The palate is full medium-bodied, juicy but slightly watery, very lively with a refreshingly savory edge but generally balanced with hardly any trace of residual alcoholic heat considering the 14% indicated on the label. The flavor components include red and black fruits like sour cherries, ripe strawberries, wild blueberries and blackberries, mild oak, cigar box, brambly twigs, loads of cold wet stones and pebbles. On day 1, this was very lovely and interesting Patagonian Malbec at a very decent price point. However, by day 2, this wine became undone, the fruitless and balance had faded while the savory component had become a bit overbearing and the wine tasted much more diluted. Lesson learned: It's best to be enjoyed this upon opening. It doesn't have the stuff to go the distance.
White
2/1/2021 - Praxis wrote:
91 points
Clear light golden yellow with a intense nose of green apples, pears, pineapples and ripe yellow pomelo fruits with strong floral (think yellow freesias) lift and some mineral overtones. The palate is medium-bodied, very balance, refreshingly drinkable, very aromatic but gradually recedes into a somewhat sweet and oily but undefined watery blur. The flavor profiles include, ripe pomaceous fruits from the Maleae family; pineapples; ripe Southeast Asian citrus; a slight hint of smoke and earth. This Pinot Gris is very delicious and easy drinking wine that will go wonderfully with pan-seared scallops or any of the wide array of fishes (Red Snapper, Mahi Mahi, Halibut etc.) . Somehow, this reminds me of a very young and lively NZ Chardonnay more than the Pinot Gris that I tried last year in terms of its overall characteristics and appearance. I’m admittedly late in the drinking window according to CT but I think its still holding up pretty well. This is a simple but super tasty wine that is showing extremely well tonight!
Red
1/18/2021 - Praxis wrote:
91 points
Dark purple red in color with a lovely but somewhat shy nose of young savory red and blue fruits with a slight floral lift and herbal characteristics. The palate is on the lighter end of the medium-bodied spectrum, dry, quite balanced, fresh, clean, soft, smooth, lithe and light on it’s feet, deliciously drinkable largely because of its delightful earthy and moderately savory qualities. The flavors of fresh young blue and red berry fruits dominates, it is accented by notes of spring flowers (think daffodils and narcissus), dried green herbs, damp forest floor or what the French call “sous bois”, light vanilla oak and an earthy mineral profile which lingers on persistently through its long and delightful finish. This modest Bolgheri rosso is definitely drinking very well now. I don’t usually prefer this lighter and dryer style of Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines but this one I really like. Somehow, this reminds me of a Texas Hill Country Bordeaux blend that I tried several years ago.
Red
1/3/2021 - Praxis wrote:
96 points
Purplish red with moderate bricking along it’s slightly watery rim. The nose is very aromatic with very refined dark red, blue and black fruits with well integrated oak, tobacco, slight menthol and wet minerality which literally leaps out of the glass. The palate is silky smooth, medium full-bodied, low acidity, and super tamed and very far from the over-extracted and unctuous fruit-bomb as I expected this to be (which might be the case in its earlier stage of development) yet it's still quite a big, well-structured and powerful quintessential Barossa shiraz. The flavor profile is that of rich ripe black cherries, blueberries, blackberries, black plums, seamlessly framed in mild oak, freshly dried tobacco leaves, dried sage, black pepper, with a flash of freshly drained water-soaked granite gravels and a protracted smooth and complex finish. A very delicious and perfectly balanced wine with absolutely no rough edges and residual alcoholic heat at all. This amazing single vineyard bottling that is drinking at it’s peak of perfection now at age 17 and should be able to continue to please for at least another 3 - 5 more years given the right cellaring conditions. I still remember the time when I reluctantly purchased this “final” bottle of the “Greens Vineyard” in the store back in 2006, but now I am certainly glad that I did. A remarkably elegant and memorable wine to start off a hopefully better new year.
Red - Sparkling
12/31/2020 - Praxis wrote:
86 points
Bright, dark purple red with active effervescence upon the initial discouragement but quickly gave way to light but fine beading. The nose is that of sweet ripe dark red and blue berries with a bit of black pepper with a touch of oak. The palate was surprising dry, medium-bodied, mildly tannic, pleasantly fruity and quite simple. The flavors similar to that of your typical young, wood chip-infused and inexpensive Aussie shiraz with light to moderate bubbly action. I can imagine that this should work well with any Western comfort foods such as BBQ chicken, burgers or a basic cheese pizza. Overall, it’s just a fun and uncomplicated novelty drink that I chose on this occasion to close out this most unprecedented and outrageously strange year.
Red
12/24/2020 - Praxis wrote:
93 points
Dark blackish red with mild sedimentation. The nose is that of rich ripe black and blue fruits, a slight hint of peppery spice, oak, tobacco and oh so very, very inviting. The palate still intensely fruity but far from over the top, quite mellowed at 11 year age, full-bodied, very smooth and remarkably balanced despite its 14.5% alcohol content (although you can feel its effect in your head). The flavor profile is dominated by a rich core of slightly sweet black and blue dried fruits, accented by acacia flowers, a very faint touch of coriander seeds, black and green peppercorns, meat, mild vanilla oak, baker’s chocolate, old tobacco box, cedar, eucalyptus, and a very delightful watery mineral layer that seamlessly coats the mouth as the middle palate transitions and gives way to the delightfully long finish. An unapologetically big and bold Barossa Shiraz with big fruits and intense flavors. A lovely Amon Ra, reminiscent of the memorable ’03 version of this wine. A lovely and deep wine to enjoy on this silent and holy night.
White
12/18/2020 - Praxis wrote:
88 points
Brilliant canary yellow in appearance with an intensely candied-fruit nose of ripe apricots, green apples, ripe pineapples with a bit of citrus thrown into the mix. The palate seems to be on the lighter end of medium-bodied, moderately intense, fairly balanced, delightful, and for me, a slight step above the run of the mill wood-influenced chardonnays that I have tried in the past (which I must admit isn't many). The flavor components include a typical range of stone fruits, Asian pears, tropical pineapple, green kiwi fruits, citrus with moderate vanilla oak and a slight minerality towards the finish. Overall, this South African white is a pleasantly refreshing everyday drinker.
Red
12/5/2020 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Dark blackish ruby red in appearance with a live nose of of dark blue and red fruits, low sugar fruit jams and touch of menthol. The palate is medium full-bodied, a tad on the savory side, oak fully integrated into the fruit, mouth-filling, medium intensity, not as sweet as expected with a light yet noticeable presence of alcoholic heat. A good amount of sedimentation on the bottom of the bottle. The taste and flavor components of this McLaren Vale Shiraz is dominated by what reminds me of stewed blue and red fruits with on sugar added, herbaceous overtones, a lovely albeit short-lived but intense explosion of menthol, oak and inky minerality hitting you all at once then giving way to a refreshingly savory finish with lingering favors of dried fruits to finish. A good G.A.M but not in the same level as those vintages from the first-half 2000s that I used to enjoy years ago.
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Red
11/27/2020 - Praxis wrote:
93 points
Dark blackish purple with a clear water rim. The nose is reticent but opulent with notes of ripe brambly red and dark blue fruits, with tobacco and some fresh roasted Robusta coffee characteristics. The palate is on the fuller end of the medium-bodied spectrum, quite powerful yet soft despite the occasional sensation of a light and watery mouthfeel, a little on the sweet side, very smooth discounting the residual alcoholic peaking through at 14.5%. The flavor components include ripe brambly fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, and plums, with impressions of dried tobacco, fresh roasted coffee, forest vegetation, and a powerful flash of minerality and menthol towards the refreshingly delicious finish. The oak is very well integrated into this wine that is definitely well in its prime. A very pleasant and well-made Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy on Thanksgiving in the midst of a crazy year with lots of things to be grateful for.
Red
2010 Viña Marty Clos de Fa Pirque Cabernet-Shiraz Blend, Red Blend (view label images)
11/16/2020 - Praxis wrote:
96 points
Deep dark blackish scarlet red with a restraint nose of lively and luxurious black and blue fruits, violets, menthol and a hint of oak and minerality. The palate is full-bodied, quite round, precise, very well balanced and intensely delicious. The flavor components in this Chilean Cabernet-Syrah blend is dominated by ripe dark black and blue fruits, a bit of floral and menthol lift and lots of meaty, vanilla and earthy mineral characteristics very intricately woven tightly together. It seems like it hasn't really changed at all since the last bottle I had last year. I think I will wait for at least another 3 years before I have of these again. A very deep and flavorful wine with lots of power and finesse. Very memorable moment - sipping and savoring this amazing wine in a cool dark room while listening to Faure’s Requiem “In Paradisum” on earphones.
Red
10/31/2020 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Deep dark blackish purple color with slight bricking along the outer edges. A lovely nose of ripe black and blue fruits, phenol, slight menthol and sage, a little gamey funk framed in old wood. The impression on the palate is quite smooth, moderately structured, on the fuller end of the medium-bodied spectrum, soft texture, some residual heat (14.5% alcohol), with a light but flavorful watery mouthfeel. The flavor components of this Clare Valley red is fruit forward with black and blues fruits such as cassis, blackberries, blueberries and black plum dominating accented by a strong herbaceous presence. This is complemented by a secondary layer of menthol, wild game, deceptively mild oak (considering that it spent two years in wood!) and a wet earthy-loamy finish. This particular bottling is the debut vintage of this producer’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon. Initially upon opening, this ten year old wine was drinking marvelously, however after a couple hours of air revealed that the fruits had faded terribly while the alcohol became too disproportionately high for its structure. Nonetheless, I can’t think of a better wine to have on this Halloween’s day that this. Then again, what better song can one listen to while having this beguiling wine than the classic song that inspired the name of this wine by the legendary Carlos Santana.
Red
10/16/2020 - Praxis wrote:
95 points
Blackish red color with slight bricking and watery edge. The nose is quite interesting and complex with pronounced vegetal and herbaceous overtones, while the fruit is beautifully integrated with a meaty. tobacco, menthol, and lots of graphite. The palate is very well balance (despite the 14.2% alcohol), it seems to be on the fuller end of medium-bodied spectrum, a powerful wine with a soft and almost silky mouthfeel. The flavor profile of this Western Australian Bordeaux blend includes lots of quality matured blue and red fruit that has seamlessly integrated to lots of herbaceous and vegetal qualities (but it's not "green" as in a negative sense), boiled meat, wild game, eucalyptus, lavender, and newly shaved pencils, slight sea salt and a protracted stony minerality finish. This is a very lovely and nuanced Margaret River red that is drinking delightfully well right now at 13 years of age but should continue to improve for at least the short to mid term. This was at it's best on the 4th day, with well integrated oak flavors and amazingly lively tannins really coming through and in my opinion, made this really complete.
Red
10/3/2020 - Praxis wrote:
89 points
Dark garnet in appearance with a watery rim. Nice nose but faint of red and blue fruits with very slight oxidation but in a good way, raw meat, some wild game and no discernible oak. That palate is very lively and fresh, on the heavier end of medium-bodied, with some residual alcoholic heat peeking through. The flavor profile includes red, dark blue and even black fruits, tobacco, forest herbs, moderate vanilla cream and toasty oak, good amount of minerality especially towards the zippy and refreshing but slightly alcoholic finish. A very tasty and highly drinkable Marques de Riscal Reserva at this juncture but could certainly see the benefits of medium term cellar time. It paired extremely well with a plate full of sliced Manchego Semicurado. Although far from being the most complex Rioja Reserva out there in the market, but it’s certainly hard to be beat in terms of quality and price.
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Red
10/1/2020 - Praxis wrote:
87 points
Blackish reddish purple with a watery rim. The nose is pretty much dominated by greenish brambly and herbaceous qualities which seems to overpower the fruit and a touch of wet earth with some rubber tire notes. After an hour of aeration, a meaty animal funkiness emerged. The palate is medium-bodied, relatively well-balanced, quite fresh, with a slight savory finish. The flavor components of this Andalusian red made from their native Tintilla de Rota variety (a.k.a. Graciano in Rioja) is quite similar to the nose mentioned earlier. Lots of herb-inflected brambly fruits, slight menthol and green tobacco, raw, meat and finishes with a good amount of delightful earthy minerals, old rubber tires. This is a pleasant drinker and somewhat different from my usual varieties. It sort of reminds me of some of the Spanish wines from the Tarragona, Catalunya region that I have tried in the past. This is one of the three single vineyard expressions of the indigenous Tintilla de Rota grape made by the producer. This is one from Carrascal while the other two are from Balbaina and Corchuelo located in and around the VT Cadiz appellation. Much better on the first night; by the second evening, the fruit started to show and the greenish herbaceous qualities disappeared. However, the alcohol became so overbearing then everything started to fall apart.
Red
9/15/2020 - Praxis wrote:
88 points
Ruby red with a faint watery edge and a nose dominated by red brambly fruits, with some herbaceous qualities, cedar, wet animal fur and graphite. This young Cru Bourgeois is on the lighter-side of the medium-bodied spectrum, dry, light and easy drinking with a nice savory edge which is very well suited for foods such as charcuterie and cheeses. The flavor components includes red cherries, raspberries, red plum, cedar shavings, low-lying vegetation, forest floor dry earth, and a dry but satisfying finish. An honest to goodness traditional claret at a reasonable price.
Red
2012 L'Esprit de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/13/2020 - Praxis wrote:
87 points
Deep dark blackish purple red in color with a fairly pleasant nose of fresh young blue dark and red fruits with a noticeable greenishness with no discernible oak. The impression on the palette is medium-bodied, quite balanced, good structure, a bit of peppery spice, generally agreeable with reasonably decent length on the finish though somewhat simple and primary. The flavor components include fresh sour cherries, red plums, with some green herbaceous characteristics, very faint loam, and very mild vanilla oak. A well-made 2nd wine from a prominent Pessac-Leognan (Graves) producer but a bit underwhelming tonight.
Red
8/30/2020 - Praxis wrote:
93 points
Light clear red with a slight salmon orangey tinge and a watery edge. The nose is delicate and aromatic dominated by sweet red fruits intricately combined with some wild herbaceous and mild floral notes (which reminds me of the smell that you get when you are standing in the middle of the fruit section in the close vicinity of the vegetable and florist sections in a supermarket during the summertime when all the ripe summer fruits are in season). The palate is medium-bodied, refreshingly savory, deceptively light in appearance but quite robust in the mouth when it comes to structure and tannins but quite balanced in relationship to the acids, alcohol and quality of fine delicate yet powerful fruits. The flavor components of this young Barbaresco is first and foremost fruit-driven (primarily that of ripe red fruits), some damp forest floor, slight menthol, a subtle floral components and a good bit of earthy minerals and chalky tannins especially towards the backend. This is a highly drinkable and delicious wine at this juncture but can certainly stand to improve for at least another 6 - 8 more years in the cellar. Very well made wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
8/18/2020 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Clear, very light straw color with an aromatic nose of white peaches, lime and ripe pineapples. The palate is on the higher end of the medium-bodied spectrum, with a good amount of refreshing acidity, somewhat spicy on the tongue (or is it spritzy?) with a clean and dry finish. The flavors are mostly dominated by white and yellow stone fruits, tropical fruits and a hint of citrus and green apples with a trace of minerality. This Astrolabe Pinot Gris with the "Province" designation has plenty of charm and piquant qualities really served as an ideal and wonderful compliment to a board of soft, semi-firm and firm cheeses. A memorable wine and a wonderful cool quiet, and candle lit evening with Jim Chapell’s melancholic “Alone” playing in the background - simply magical!
Red
8/9/2020 - Praxis wrote:
88 points
Dark blackish ruby red in appearance with a restrain nose of muted dark red fruits, with some roasted meaty, and somewhat gamey characteristics. The palate is full medium-bodied, refreshingly acidic and quite drinkable at this juncture but does contain ample fine-grained tannins to last for at least the midterm. The flavor components of this red Rioja is dominated by savory dark red fruits with lots of rich vanilla cream (American oak?) with secondary characteristics of boiled meat, animal fur, cumin powder, peppery spices, without much minerality as I was expecting. These impressions were taken literally after uncorking the bottle with less that 30 mins of aeration. I’d love to try this again tomorrow, perhaps a little more air would open things up a little bit more.
The brambly characteristics became more prominent while the acidity became more overbearing on the second day. Somehow the acidic qualities became way too much for my liking.
Red
7/19/2020 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Translucent ruby red with a slight orangey tinge and a clear watery rim. The nose is lively and fruity with notes of tobacco, rosemary, forest floor overtones and overt gamey characteristics. The palate is medium bodied, fairly well-balanced despite the 14% alcohol and drinking quite well upon opening but still with ample amounts of grippy tannins which tells me that this will keep for at least the midterm. This Gigondas is dominate by matured red fruits, followed by notes of wet leaves, dried herbs, tobacco box, boiled meat, wet fur and a herbaceous finish. A very well made and lovely Southern Rhone wine.
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Red
7/4/2020 - Praxis wrote:
89 points
Thick blood-red color with a slightly orange tinge. This nose is rich and voluptuous with notes of dark blue and red fruits, dark chocolate, dried herbs, green peppers, peppery spices, menthol and a thick rich layer of toasty vanilla oak. This glass and teeth staining Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied, thick, luscious, with ample amounts mount of fresh acidity and residual tannins with a much, much bigger alcohol than what it actually printed on the label (14.5%) [I know because I can definitely feel the buzz after finishing one 4 oz. glass with dinner]. The flavor profile of this big, bold red includes ripe blue berries, dark cherries, dark plums framed in cedar, rich vanilla cream, dried herbs, bell peppers, with baker's chocolate, and ends with a good amount of earthy minerals towards the finish. Unfortunately, the big drawback for me is that it starts out with lots of intense and opulent flavors which a gives it a real sense of gravitas. But soon it quickly fades into an off-balanced and rather uninteresting wine where the greenish herbaceous components dominate after a few hours of exposure to air. I found that this was consistently with earlier tastings back in 2013 and 2014 which I didn't bother to write CT notes for. But surprise, surprise, just when I was about to dump this out, I gave it one last taste. Amazingly it was much more mellow without the harsh greenish and herbaceous notes although not in the same degree of intensity as when I first opened it. Perhaps this goes to show that this sort of wines is intended for the long haul - as in at 12 - 15 years of cellaring before it all comes together? Anyway, it was an interesting to experience this remarkable transformation.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/27/2020 - Praxis wrote:
93 points
Dark cherry juice color with an aromatic nose of sweet red dark fruits, licorice, fresh coffee grinds, some brambly characteristics and a hint of toasty oak. The palate is very medium full-bodied, well balanced, fruit-forward, with a good amount of fresh and lively acidity which makes this all too easy to drink. The flavor components include black cherries, red plum, fresh ripe strawberries, with secondary layer of medium roast coffee, dark chocolate, wet forest floor, rich vanilla oak, a hint of black pepper and a quick flash of minerality towards the finish that became more intensified with more aeration. It is drinking exceedingly well now at 10 years of age but should continue to drink well for at least the midterm. This was once sourced from a single (Kalimna) vineyard but now it is classified as a multi-regional South Australian Shiraz. It did not become a benchmark wine and earned a place in the coveted Langston’s “Excellent” classification status by mere coincidence. Rather, it was the combination of careful fruit selection; skillful winemaking and long tradition of excellence that went into this iconic label as well as in all their other middle and upper-tier "Bin" range that this renowned brand is noted for.
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Red
6/13/2020 - Praxis wrote:
92 points
Dark inky blackish red with a restrained nose of stewed brambly black and blue fruits, camphor, no noticeable oak or vanilla nose but a dominant rubbery characteristics. This medium-bodied old vine Shiraz is quite smooth and balanced at this juncture but does contain a good amount of silky tannins and definitely not a “fruit bomb” by any means. The flavor profile is dominated by dark brambly fruits, some black pepper, Liberica coffee, capsicum, fresh tomato leaves, boiled meat, new tires, a good amount of savory acidity which gives this wine a considerable appeal and drinkability then finishes with some wet mineral overtones. Unlike my previous experiences with the 2003 and 2008 versions of this wine but this one seems to be drinking at its prime. Although this is good, yet somehow I always expected more from this iconic winery but never seem to get what I was looking for in this range and quality of South Australian Shiraz.
This Dead Arm is having its best showing on the 3rd night. The rubber tire notes have completely dissipated as a whole become much smoother and more integrated then the previous two nights. This merits a slight increment in score.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/31/2020 - Praxis wrote:
89 points
Light translucent orange red color with a clear watery rim. The nose is deep and lively with dark cherry fruits backed by dried herbs, with some peppery spices and animal funky characteristics. The palate is quite dry, on the upper end of light-bodied spectrum, fairly balanced with plenty of intensity and bursting with vibrant concentrated flavors of red fruits like sour cherries, cranberries, pomegranates and strawberries along with a noticeable degree of spiciness, brambly herbaceous characteristics and a slight hint of summer wildflowers and earthy mineral profile. This is a lovely Victorian Pinot Noir, one that looks deceptively light and demure in appearance but this baby can definitely pack a powerful and flavorful punch.
Red
5/23/2020 - Praxis wrote:
89 points
Clear bright red in appearance with a vibrant nose of red and blue fruits, vegetal overtones and touch of black pepper. The palate of this cool weather shiraz is medium-bodied, very well balanced, well-structured, bold and assertive, mouth-filling, with some unresolved tannins and plenty of lively acidity, and oh very appealing even at this young age. The favor components are driven primarily by fresh brambly fruits like cherries, mulberries, raspberries, cranberries and blackberries underscored by lots of forest undergrowths (and yes, along with those young green leave, twigs and all), a touch of citrus, a nice floral lift and concludes with a mild mineral flash on its protracted finish. This is a very well-crafted Rhone-style Syrah/Shiraz. I guess those who are fans of this finesse-oriented style of Aussie Shiraz/Syrah would really dig this but unfortunately I'm not one of them.
Red
5/15/2020 - Praxis wrote:
91 points
Day 1: Dark inky red in color with a light clear rim. The nose is deep and opulent upon opening with impressions of dark fruits, dried herbs, menthol, peppery spice, damp forest floor, and minerality but surprisingly became more reticent and shut down after an hour of air. The palate is well-structure and with weight somewhere on the higher end of medium-bodied and the lower end of full-bodied with a good amount of concentration, intensity and power but the considerable presence tannins and alcohol suggests that its best years are yet to come. The flavor components of this South African red blend is dominated by a core of fresh dark blue and red fruits, with lots of vegetal and herbaceous qualities, green tobacco, damp leaves, menthol, meat, and no discernible oak. A very interesting wine but notoriously difficult to delineate. I guess the best way to describe this wine is like the sensation one gets while standing under a grove of deciduous trees on a cool, damp and drizzling late October morning in the North American Zone 6. We’ll have to see how this is tomorrow. Day 2: Tasted much more integrated and fruit-forward as compared to the first day where the damp herbaceous qualities dominated.
Red
2007 Craggy Range Sophia Gimblett Gravels Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/30/2020 - Praxis wrote:
94 points
Dark reddish purple with an aromatic nose of aged fruits, wild game funkiness, moist soil and lots of earthy characteristics with slight yet ever so pleasant oxidative element. The palate is very soft, smooth and silk, very well integrated and balanced, very dry yet unmistakably New World right bank Bordeaux-style Blend and on the lower end of the full-bodied spectrum. Flavors of dark red and blue fruits, seamlessly complimented with notes of dried herbs, wet leaves on the forest, wild gamey meat, an ever so slight yet noticeable vanilla oak, wet loam, and a flash of Gimblett Gravels minerality towards the finish. The alcohol is hardly discernible now and very much improved in may ways since I last had this back in ’16. A richly nuanced and sensual Kiwi red that is at its apex. Sipping and savoring this deep wine in a cool dark night while listening to “Aerial Boundaries” by late great Michael Hedges is as cerebral and aesthetically sublime as it gets.
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2011 Château Sansonnet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/17/2020 - Praxis wrote:
92 points
Dark impenetrable reddish purple color with an intoxicating intense nose of dark ripe cherries, blueberries, blackberries, acetone, wild game, with plenty of vanilla oak with a noticeable watery mineral edge. The palate is rich, medium full-bodied, with good balance with just the right amount of savoriness which makes this wine so, so easy to drink. The flavor component includes ripe dark fruits, some nail polish, some tobacco, medium roast coffee, some floral and aromatic herbal qualities reminiscent of cumin, wild game, and lots of inky minerality especially on the backend. This is a big and modern St. Emilion and a very well-made wine that is definitely well in its drinking window but with plenty of years to go. It is definitely drinking much more integrated and the tannins mellow considerably now than I last had this 5 years ago. Especially enjoyable is the protracted complex oak-inflected, mineral-infused, fruit-driven finish. Yum.
Red
4/5/2020 - Praxis wrote:
92 points
Clear, moderately deep reddish purple color with a friendly nose of fresh young red fruits, with a considerable degree of vegetal qualities and a slight hint of wild game and modest oak. The palate is quite approachable, refreshingly savory, medium-bodied, with a some intensity and freshness. The flavors in this Mendoza red blend is overtly fruit-driven with notes of sour cherries, red currants, raspberries, along with plenty of green and slightly bitter herbaceous characteristics, mild oak, with a generous amount of wet soil and pebbles towards the medium finish. I would also add that this Argentinian blend is quite unique in terms of its flavor profile, but a little too primary and rustic in my opinion as compared to some of the more refined examples of new world "Bordeaux-style" blends that I have tried over the years. In short, this a very decent and drinkable yet somewhat too simple despite what the marketing/packaging (e.g., heavy gauge, oversized and seemingly expensive bottle) suggests. In essence, it is what it is - you get what you pay for. (88)

Addendum: This wine had gone through a huge transformation by the third day! On day 2, this wine tasted pretty disjointed. Expecting that this would be be completely undrinkable by the day 3, to my surprise that it tasted much more integrated and balanced with much more precision that it did on the first day. It was just amazing to note that all the pieces came together literally in the last 24 hours and actually became a very enjoyable wine. Perhaps a little more cellar time, say 2 to 3 more years is needed will help put things in place. For this I will bump up the score another 3 points. (91)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/9/2020 - Praxis wrote:
87 points
Blackish purple red in color with a nose of dark brambly fruit with some greenish elements, cedar, slight menthol and brown sugar with a very mild touch of oak. The palate is medium-bodied, still quite young at this juncture, dry despite the impression of sweetness on the nose, a touch of residual alcohol, very silk and creamy in texture but a bit too diluted or watery for my taste especially towards the middle and the finish. The flavor profile includes dark black and blue color fruits, brambly and herbaceous qualities, with a pretty stony earthy finish. Albeit young, I was a bit disappointed that this wine is not as intense, nuanced or serious as I was anticipating especially approaching the middle portion. An overall decent wine but definitely underwhelming at least this time around. In fact, this wine reminds me of a Bordeaux Superior on an above average vintage with a few years of cellaring time. Perhaps another 5 years will help? We’ll see.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/29/2020 - Praxis wrote:
94 points
Dark blackish burgundy red in appearance with a thin clear meniscus. The nose is rich, intense and complex with notes of stewed fruits, aged balsamic vinegar, dark black coffee, old cigars, forest floor, raw meat, earthy minerality, subtle oak and a slight hint of menthol. The palate is unapologetically full-bodied, voluptuous and viscous yet fairly well balanced, intensely flavorful with a slight oxidized (in a good way) and ends with a refreshing savoriness. The flavor components in this Coonawarra red is dominated by a thick layer of rich ripe dark red and black fruits, complimented by notes of very old balsamic vinegar, old leather, aged tobacco, dried leaves, sous bois, uncooked meat, well-integrated oak and lots of minerality. Although there is a bit on sedimentation forming on the bottom of the bottle, but it looks like this serious 16 year-old wine still have plenty of life ahead of it. Unfortunately this is the last of the three bottles that I had the good fortune of having over the past 3 Leap Years! I guess I will have to find another "Leap Year wine" and begin a new tradition starting 2024.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/16/2020 - Praxis wrote:
90 points
Clear dark garnet in appearance with an enticing nose of elegant red and purple fruits, vanilla, leather, tobacco and earthy minerals. The palate of this lively Rioja red is medium-body, flavorful, vibrant with a deceptively well-balanced and easy-going nature despite the 14.5% alcohol (which is virtually undetectable in the mouth during the tasting but literally “knocks you upside your head” sometime later). The flavor profile of this extremely well-made, yet modestly priced bottling is driven by an initial taste of luscious dark cherries, red hawthorn berries, ripe red and purple plum, followed by secondary characteristics of tobacco, vanilla, toasty American oak, and a very distinctly inky asphalt-like minerality noticeably throughout which seems to serve as the unique signature of this bottling. Though drinking remarkable well now with only a half-hour of decanting, I’m certain that this is sure to improve with another 5 years of time in the cellar. Overall, this is a wonderful accompaniment to a memorable Post-Valentines Spanish dinner out with the family.
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