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Tasting Notes for Squirreljam

(899 notes on 654 wines)

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Red
Cork soft and broke apart but not corked/tca tainted. Drank at a family dinner with a 2003 Leoville Barton; I preferred that but only by a small amount. This was a really nice wine; KL is my favorite/most missed departed winery.
Nose muted but at end of nose, mapley or caramel with also licorice; some sort of creamy sensation at end.
Great palate, nowhere near as rich and is more complex than most Napa fruit bombs. Currants, other tart fruits on palate. Better with air (3 1/2 hours at time of note). This has aged well but is perhaps more restrained than it was when 10 years younger.
Red
2003 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
First bottle from my now-19 year old son’s birthyear case. Took a picture of him opening OWC😆. Had for combo anniversary/kid goes back to college dinner, drank w a 2002 (marriage year) Karl Lawrence reserve beckstoffer to-kalon and grilled prime rib-steaks (fav dinner evar 😇).
Easy to tell it’s a hot year. Big nose w Pine and eucalyptus. Palate not as strong as nose but tastes great. More complex than KLR (not that that’s a surprise). Fruity still, plummy (not tart). Very smooth. No real aged characteristics except for smoothness.
Really excellent; preferred to the napa.
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
Excellent. Hadn’t given it much thought, just grabbed for dinner with my daughters. Possibly last bottle according to CT, bought on release, but I feel like I saw another in the cellar when I grabbed this. Anyway, at 21, it’s in a prime window - still grabs your attention up front but had the smoothness and flavors of a middle age wine. Nose still exuberant but at the back end has sweet balsamic and the palate still tart and juicy but shows loamy chocolate cherry on the finish. Absolutely worth drinking but can go a few years too (wouldn’t push past maybe 2030? Ymmv).
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1998 Château Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Damn, drinking this takes me back: 23-plus years ago was before the B2K craze, no kids, no wife. RP vintage charts have the ‘98 vintage in St. E. as the same as 2000 but I don’t recall the hubbub anywhere near the same. Anyway, maybe that’s what older wine is for, Proust’s madelines but with alcohol😆.

Anyway, I loved it at the pop, still rich fruit nose that later faded to eucalyptus and loam, hint of maybe sandalwood? On the palate, my kids (all born years after this was grown) commented on how light this was. I loved the still tart acid and earth; my wife did not, calling it muddy. Still rich ruby red with minimal bricking, it’s not likely improving but not at end of life yet. (Edited to add after reading my old tn’s - apparently I read this wrong in 2013 and it was either bottle variation or my bad palate that made me say it was going down 8+ years ago - ymmv)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Hmm nice wine, been cellaring for a while, brought home from Italy work trip in early-mid oughts. Cork crumbled but wine is good. Color still vibrant with some (but minimal) bricking. Nose has a bit of petroleum jelly up front tho it faded w/ time, rich fruit at the beginning, bit of eucalyptus, black berry. Nose richer than palate, which I like. Still juicy mouthfeel with great acidity, tart dark berries, cherry, and a long mouthwatering finish; still tannins but not obtrusive, hint of sawdust. There’s also a hide and seek hint of sweetness that I can’t pin down. Overall I love this.
Edited to add - this has a lot of life left, if you have some, no rush.
Red
Hmm, I would say needs a few more years in cellar. At first quite tight but after 90 minutes of air/dinner the nose started getting good with cedar, bit of eucalyptus and (hint of) cherry. Mouthfeel’s pretty tart, still cedar and tart cherry. Not super astringent, nor super long so it’s not (imho) decadal, but needs a bit. Liked it for potential and it kept me on my toes looking for its good points.
Red
When i first opened this and sipped, i thought it was amazing, maybe best Italian of the year (purch. on release, from premier cru😆). After an hour, hour:20 or so, I didn’t like it as much, seemed the fruit that mingled with the aged notes at the beginning had faded. Nose has some menthol and burnt sugar notes, palate is super smooth, nice tart acidity, iron cherry, maybe a hint of leather. Still good at the end, but not the elation at the pop.
Red
Wow, this was really good tonight. From the pop, huge blackberry flavor (but not cloying like I sometimes get from the regular Lewelling; this has more spine). At the start, the nose wasn’t overly expressive but over a couple hours, got much bigger with plum notes and others - however the nose never got as expressive as the flavors, which were awesome. The palate also got more complex with time from just the blackberry, adding eucalyptus, plum and some other stuff. Tannins not prominent but are there, I think they just match the flavors very well.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Really good. This was the “13th bottle” of a birth year case for my daughter and since her two siblings are away at camp, game on😆 (much of this note is her suggestions, edited). 16 years have done well with this; any hard edges are gone, it has a deep rich soft palate but retains enough acidity on the finish to not be cloying. Deep soft dark red fruits on the nose and palate (tho the nose suggested more fruit than the palate delivered), blackberry and plum come to mind, maybe also some red sweet cherry. Some dark chocolate flavors but not the tannins that might go with that. Only quibble is the finish could be longer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/4/2021 - Squirreljam wrote:
Impression only, but this is in a good place, easy drinking
Red
Hmm, this is good at ~20 years from growing. Great nose (tho note I did drink from burg glasses as they were close and clean😆) with great notes of chocolate and cherries. Smooth on the palate eith front fruit, bit of aged leather and maybe some eucalyptus-y/licorice-y type finish. Only quibble is that the fruit seems short, disappears too soon. Funny note, I chuckled when I saw the Premier Cru strip label; it may have turned into a shitshow but I got some good wines at good prices.
Red
1/11/2021 - Squirreljam wrote:
Impressions only as I drank this last week over a few days. Nose stood out, it soared and really made me anticipate the drinking. Unfortunately, that didn’t rise to the same level. Stefania’s always had a juicy acidity that I love, and that’s still there, but the fruit was missing in action so the wine tasted thin. Not site if it’s in a hollow phase or past prime but I was a touch disappointed.
Red
12/1/2020 - Squirreljam wrote:
Hmm. Three years ago I liked this but noticed a missing nose. That still holds; not as much tho. Unfortunately this bottle’s palate isn’t as good. On the nose, hint of eucalyptus and chocolate covered cherries, while in the mouth, resolved tannins and tart cherries, nice and smooth but not a lot going on. Decent but not special; too bad, as it’s my daughter’s 15th bday and I picked this for dinner so she could have a glass.
Red
Nice. Soft nose, cranberry and some chocolate on the palate, no aged flavors but edges have smoothed out. Very nice and typical wine (good value too)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Thought this was excellent. Nice rich nose with a bit of bitterness to offset sometimes overly rich (to me) Pride style; also bit of eucalyptus. Hint of vanilla as the nose transitions to palate, strawberry then dark chocolate and cherry. Long smooth finish
Red
2007-vintage daughters’ birthday celebration. Per the new 13-year old, “dad, this is really good!” She’s right, too. Great dark fruit, some blueberry with hint of spice, smooth, long finish. My take is this may/will change but not improve. I know, not a very detailed note since we had it last night but...
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Really good, this may be the bargain of 01 Barolo, iirc it was under $30 on release. Drinking super well, tannins resolved but (this bottle) still had primary energy, though earth and loam were a little more than a few years ago; lapsang souchong tea still there (apparently that was in a note of mine from 07😆). Juicy and fresh while soft at the same time. In a good place; drink or hold depending on your aging preferences...

Edit - these were $23 in 05!! and it was earl grey in 07 but I stand by lapsang souchong now
Red
Damn I miss Karl Lawrence. This is really good, rich without cloying, fruit but with loam, cedar underlying dark fruit (plum, dark cherry), a hint of spice (clove). Tannins still there but in background, a bit chewy on the finish. The only negative is that toward the end of the bottle, after it had been open for a few hours, some of the exuberant fruit fades. CT says I have another bottle of this but didnt see it when pulling this bottle; I hope it’s not “missing presumed drunk” ;-)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Wow - I’ve had a lot of Galardi that I acknowledged was good or very good but this is the first one that made me go “holy schnitt, this is tasty.” Still tannic but really great juicy flavors of chocolate covered cherries and raspberries, hint of smoke and licorice. Rich plum-red color with a finish that’s still with me after typing this note, so at least a couple minutes.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Pretty much in line with a bottle I had in aug ‘17 (love that CT shows me notes I’d forgotten about); if anything, less evolved. Still felt primary, with juicy tannins, some tobacco, more cranberry, then some cherry and mint. Today’s bottle must be less giving than ‘17’s as I would say 90-91 not 92. Cork was a wee soft on removal.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Good wine, not great but perhaps it’s this bottle. After the pop, nice color with moderate bricking. Nose evolved quite a bit over a couple hours: flat at first, then expressive with fruit and pie spices and finally plummy and flat after a couple hours. Smooth on the palate, there’s still tart acidity/juiciness. Length moderate. Felt older than it actually is.
Red
2003 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/14/2019 - Squirreljam wrote:
Last of mine, this bottle was overall just average. Fantastic from the pop with a rich nose and great mouthfeel with no hard edges but some residual sulfur. After an hour or so of air, it seemed to fade to flat, both nose and tastes. It did still retain a sulfur note the whole way thru, so perhaps some bottle variation. One of these I had about six months ago was a better bottle.
Red
10/6/2019 - Squirreljam wrote:
I loved this; wife thought it was jammy/plummy. Purchased around release from premier cru (remember them? :-), the cork on this bottle was pristine, capsule slid right off. From the pop, rich nose of still bright fruit and after a few minutes air, herbs and spices, perhaps a tiny amount anise. Color showed a bit of bricking but mostly a bright ruby red. All harshness had faded and I found lots of fruit, soft, but not descending into cloying or baked fruit (as my wife thought). Nice and juicy still, nice medium-length finish, really just loved this with broiled rack of lamb. I'm not good at exact scores but low-mid 90s for sure. I have one more left and will try to wait a few more years; while I don't think this needs any more time or will improve, it also should hold for a good while.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 La Gravette de Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Interesting, drank over two nights, with just a cork in it sitting on a shelf in the cellar in between. First night it felt very primary and still tannic and tart. Second night it had really blossomed into a sassy rich wine, soft mouthfeel with juicy acidity. Based on that, I’d say this has years ahead of it and will stick my 4 remainers back in the stack of longer term storage for another few years.
Red
3/19/2019 - Squirreljam wrote:
Nice wine. I don’t have much experience w Riojas; have generally perceived Tempranillo wines as funky. This one wasn’t. I found a perception of richness without sweetness on top of cranberry tartness and a buttery smoothness on the finish. (edited a couple weeks later to remove mistaken "flawed bottle" flag)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Yeah, I really like this - but note, needs air after the pop; I opened and was unimpressed but after 2 hours, a world of difference. After it opened up, nice nose with med.-strong eucalyptus, cherry and a hint of baking spice, clove or mace instead of cinnamon. On the palate, still has some astringency but also juicy acidity with really great flavors of dark-chocolate-covered sour cherries and red fruits. Very long finish that finishes soft with a little reminder of the baking spice. Very glad I bought these on release; sad the original Karl Lawrence is no longer.
Red
2003 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
(From a few days ago so don’t take this as gospel) Really good, even from the pop; maybe it softened a bit with more air, but no major changes. All rough edges worn off, soft mouthfeel with chocolate notes, hints of loam but also some dark red fruit. Not the longest finish but all in all a very good wine to have with dinner.
Red
This is drinking really well right now, a little aged but still juicy and just really pleasant. Tight from the pop, after maybe half hour of air it rounded out. Milk chocolate mouthfeel, very smooth, resolved tannins. On the palate, round feeling, similar to plum tho not actually tasting that much like plum. Medium length finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Soft cork, broke on pulling, but no compromise of wine. Nice nose, heavy eucalyptus with notes of cherry and dark chocolate. Great flavor with dark berry, raspberry with again dark chocolate-covered cherries. Medium length, soft tannins, really just a great dinner wine with grilled tri-tip
Red
1998 Château Béhèré Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
So... Wine has a way of surprising me, making me think, or even melancholy - grabbed this bottle, been an orphan in the cellar for years, had kind of forgotten its origins, needed something for burgers with kids while wife out. Foil stuck, cork soft with evidence of long past seepage, broke on pulling out. However, first sip magical; soft yet still juicy on the back of the palate,no astringency whatsoever,cigars and sour cherry notes. Finally looked at the label, “wow, 20 years old; should let the kids taste”. My 14 y.o. boy, “wow dad, hella good, no tartness left” (attaboy). My daughters (12,13), “huh, good,not as old as you though” (ugh).

Finish fantastic, this tn took me maybe 10 mins and I can still taste the sip I took when I sat down. Then, it turned out that I noticed that my last bottle of this was 10 years ago, within a month or so - guess stuff aligns sometimes. Anyway sorry for the tl;dr length...

For a $30 bottle from Garagiste in 2007, this was a fantastic view back, and forgetting the nostalgia, a really good bottle of wine
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
Short version - really tasty, a touch overbearing on the sweetness.

A perfect liquid gold color, this is literally beautiful in the glass. A nose of white peaches and pineapple leads to a long palate with viscous mouthfeel and notes of pineapple mango peaches etc. Very balanced on the tip of the tongue, toward the finish it comes across as a little too sweet (maybe adds a guava note or similar); a bit higher acidity would make this one of the tastiest things I’ve had in the last 6 months.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Nice wine, very nice. KL came through again, wish they were still around with the same team. This a bit higher toned than some KL reserves, but still hit the right notes with prime strip steaks. Smooth milk chocolate with dark fruit flavors and a long length. Nowhere near over the hill but I don't think it needs more time.
Red
2004 Château Lascombes Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/18/2018 - Squirreljam wrote:
Hmmm, nice wine, still a bit tannic, not as fruity as I remember tho I could be confusing it with the hot year 2003. Still a bit tight, could go longer in cellar. Given about 90 mins of air before dinner. Notes of cranberry, bitter chocolate, medium length. I always seem to get a sulphur note when first popping a lascombes and that was apparent here too but doesn't persist.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Liked this a lot; popped and poured, enjoyed over maybe 90 mins. Young mourvèdre funk on the nose with a bit of rusty cherry. On the palate, chewy feel with cherry, iron and a hint of bitter chocolate on the finish. For me, a good example of what I like in old world wines - how the flavors come across yet seem lighter than new world counterparts. Less sweet, sure, but it's more than that, maybe less dense, more refreshing.
Red
Hmm, interesting - in the mouth, this was great, balanced, nice fruit but with excellent acidity and fine tannins on a mid-long finish. The nose however never showed up to the party - essentially nonexistent. If the nose matched the palate, I'd put this at 93-4 but as it was, I'll leave it blank.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/16/2017 - Squirreljam Likes this wine:
92 points
Pretty classic Bordeaux, drinking well but by no means aged. From the pop, nose of graphite and black fruit immediately strikes and with air, adds dark chocolate and some eucalyptus or mint. On the palate, light on its feet with cranberry a touch of cedar and later a hint of tobacco and some cherry. Medium long finish with some dry tannins in the corner of the mouth. Good enough to drink but there's no rush...
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/15/2017 - Squirreljam Likes this wine:
94 points
Excellent bottle. Still young but drank very well, morphing from one set of flavors/noses to another. At the pop, rich nose with black cherry, hint of loam and a very long palate with tons of dark fruit. After maybe an hour, moderately heavy eucalyptus came and went on the nose and dark chocolate appeared on the palate. The one constant was rich dark red to black fruit - it started with the pop and stayed to the end of the bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/1/2017 - Squirreljam wrote:
My last of a case, this was really good. This note is really impressions only as I'm catching up on CT updates from past bottles - but very nice nose, hint of eucalyptus on cherry and dark chocolate. On the palate, tannins have disappeared the perfect amount for me, leaving a very nice balanced palate with long finish and the juicy acidity I remember from when this was young still there, but as they say, greatly reduced in circumstances... As a side note, interesting to me that the bottle is a smoky gray glass instead of the usual green/brown.
Red
7/31/2017 - Squirreljam wrote:
Not a tasting note per se as I forgot to concentrate enough to remember (I'm posting about a week after I drank these). Had the '11 and '12 mourvedre side by side and the 12 won out decisively - more weight, more balance and better flavors. The 11 came across as a bit thin, and while I like mourvedre's sometimes funk, it had just enough to make the wine taste unbalanced. Aurelian over Cato the Elder here. Wish Paul was making more of this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/31/2017 - Squirreljam wrote:
Not a tasting note per se as I forgot to concentrate enough to remember (I'm posting about a week after I drank these). Had the '11 and '12 mourvedre side by side and the 12 won out decisively - more weight, more balance and better flavors. The 11 came across as a bit thin, and while I like mourvedre's sometimes funk, it had just enough to make the wine taste unbalanced. Aurelian over Cato the Elder here. Wish Paul was making more of this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/27/2017 - Squirreljam wrote:
91 points
Nose not much from the pop, with a small note of molasses or sweet syrup in the background and faint fruit, but the palate was very, very good, with almost perfect balance - I actually used the hackneyed word "noble" in my scribbled notes! Palate flavors were excellent, great black cherry and dark chocolate on the finish. Very nice wine, I just wish the nose had come around.
Drank side-by-side with Lascombes 05 (first of a 6pack for both). At first I thought this was better, and had the nose developed it would have been my preference, but after an hour or two of air, I ended up liking the Lascombes better, mostly because of this one's weaker nose.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Lascombes Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/27/2017 - Squirreljam wrote:
93 points
Nose great from the pop with cedar, sour cherry notes. On the palate, soft at first then firming up with cranberry and some of that sour cherry. Edges had all disappeared, some secondary flavors but still comes across as, at most, young middle aged. Open and soft from the pop but developed more spine with about an hour's air and was very good.
Drank side-by-side with Brane-Cantenac 05 (first of a 6pack for both). At first I thought this was too soft and preferred the BC but after an hour or two of air, I ended up liking this one better, mostly because the BC had a weak nose.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/14/2017 - Squirreljam wrote:
Excellent wine, really good, all around, with nothing standing out over anything else. Nose perhaps a bit muted, but... On the palate, just a super balanced wine with loam, raspberry mocha and a bit of meat. This will go for years, probably decades, but I thoroughly enjoyed it tonight with rack of lamb. Didn't decant; was good from the get-go, though it did get better over the couple hours we drank it.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/11/2016 - Squirreljam wrote:
Interesting experience, this one. I also got the fizzy sensation on pop n pour, though it went away after 15-20 mins. I had a glass and a half by myself (wife was traveling) and left the half glass on kitchen counter and the bottle uncorked in the cellar overnight. After wife got home next day, she saw the uncorked bottle, poured a glass and commented how she liked it - so I went and started with a sip from the half glass on the counter, then a pour from the bottle - and it was completely different. Had changed from rough to really nice earthy garrigue CndP. Flavors of rosemary and herbs, hint of smoke. Not that it was spectacular the second night but it had changed from lower 80s to high upper 80s with 20 hours or so of air.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
11/12/2016 - Squirreljam wrote:
I like drinking old stuff. Fall of 1981 I was in 9th grade so now at 48, it's a reflection point. Anyway, I like it for a 35 year old drink! Some small petroleum on the nose but not a lot, maybe some honey also. On the palate, a touch hollow at first but then really nice acidity, still juicy, maybe a bit of granny smith apple, but damn, it lingers for a while with the acidity. Cork was soaked but wine not oxidized. Bought these ~9 years ago from Garagiste and for thirty five bucks, glad I did.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
10/24/2016 - Squirreljam wrote:
Hmm, really good and really interesting (in the good way, not the "hmm...interesting..." way). Nose of petroleum, waxy fruit or flowers, anise or licorice and on the palate a bit of funk that leads to a really juicy tart finish with just a hint of sweetness that lingers in the back corners of your mouth for a couple minutes. Beautiful color too, very much the color of liquid gold. As someone else mentioned, this bottle also had a cork slightly protruding that was wet almost the whole way up but firm, no softness. The capsule pulled off so I don't think it was ever a leaker.
Red
10/2/2016 - Squirreljam wrote:
Nice, really nice, nose of red fruits, hint of cherry in with the others. On tasting though, the palate didn't match the promise of the nose - not bad, just didn't have the delight that I got from the aromas. Length medium, about what you'd expect from a village wine - but it's a bit expensive for the level, I would say the name has been baked into the price.
Red
2000 La Grange Neuve de Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/18/2016 - Squirreljam wrote:
Hmm, at 15+ this drank well last night. Not fully aged by a long shot, some of the youthful fruit has matured and is nicely balanced with a tart note on the finish. Great value. Nose was excellent, rich with black cherry or blackberry; on the palate, black cherry with a cranberry edge that tapers into a cedar/eucalyptus note on the finish.
Red
2005 Château Cambon La Pelouse Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/20/2016 - Squirreljam wrote:
Impression only from almost a week ago, but this was seriously good. The first of a six pack that hadn't been disturbed since release, I pulled this while moving stuff around, and very happy I did. Modern style but isn't cloying or overly rich, just deep flavor that still tastes youthful at 10 years. Long palate with no holes, satisfying finish, lots of dark fruit with some cherry and a hint of cedar. Nice, really want to drink another soon!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 La Gravette de Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/25/2016 - Squirreljam wrote:
Hmm, still firm but tasty; richly dark with deep fruit on the front end, and perhaps less length than I'd expect. Impression only, drank a few days ago so take that caveat. First of a six pack, probably let the rest sit for a couple more years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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