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Tasting Notes for SoCal GMan

(25 notes on 23 wines)

1 - 25 of 25 Sort order
Red
6/4/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
91 points
On the nose, I find smooth oak, some leather and blackberry. On the palate, I find a well-balanced syrah, with plum, blackberry, and a long fruit finish.
Red
5/30/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
93 points
On the nose, I found a sweet fruit with a slight blackberry and chocolate. On the palate, I found blueberry and some leathery oak, with mid-low tannins and a smooth finish. Not as long as the 2015, but let’s see where it goes in 2021-2022.

I decanted for 15 minutes, but this wine is good right out of the bottle. It will probably hold up through 2027.
Red
5/29/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
94 points
Well balanced and medium-full to full body blend. On the nose, I found blackberry and seasoned oak barrels and a slight hint of butter toffee. On the palate, I found plum, vanilla and spices that remind me of Thanksgiving. Very good blend on this one. For me, the Merlot and Malbec are more subtle in this 2016 vintage versus the 2012.

If you like Justin’s Right Angle, Steinbeck’s Crash, Tobin James’ 5 Varietal, or Opolo’s Reserve Rhapsody, you will like this wine.

I decanted for 10 minutes. This wine is great now, and should cellar nicely for another 7-10 years. I cannot wait to see where this one goes year to year!
Red
5/28/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
92 points
After Westerly’s 2013 Bordeaux Blend fell short a few weeks ago, I called Mike at Westerly. I learned that their Fletcher’s Red and their Cab are much better wines for my taste. So, I bought some Cab and Fletcher’s. Mike was correct about the Cab; I tried it tonight.

I found this Cabernet to be a medium-bodied treat. On the nose, I find dark cherry, vanilla and a buttery milk chocolate. On the palate, I find some peppery spices and a jammy taste of ripe fruit, but not sweet. The tannins are balanced, and the finish is longer than expected. After stealing a bite of chocolate brownie from my kids, I tasted dark cherry and vanilla in the finish.

I decanted for 15 minutes, but there is really no need. I would put this Cab up against some of the non-reserve Paso cabs from Justin, Eberle and Daou, as well as a few Napa medium cabs.

Very impressed, and the price point is hard to beat. Drink Now through 2023, in my opinion.
Red
5/27/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
95 points
This delightful Pinot seems to be at the top of the peak, looking down at many other Pinots. On the nose, I find black cherry and a slight hint of strawberry, sage, and spice. On the palate, I find a velvety balance of complex tastes of raspberry, and the same spice I found on the nose. This wine finishes long and supple, and I cannot imagine it getting better than it is right now in 2020.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/23/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
89 points
MUCH better than when we opened a bottle on Christmas Day 2018. The cellar aging has done it’s job, and this wine has matured into a smooth wine, with smoky spices, cherry and another light fruit on the nose; perhaps blueberry. On the palate, I would call this a medium body, softer tannic wine, with hints of rootbeer or cream soda, and ripe cherry, but not enough to consider this wine sweet.

Brian @ Presqu'ile was absolutely right when he advised me that 2020 would be the peak for this wine. Well done!
Red
5/22/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
92 points
We did not find the cola or butter-roasted nut aroma that others mention, but our noses did find vanilla, light pepper spices, and bolder or brighter fruits. I had a difficult time identifying the fruit, but boysenberry was my first thought.

Our palates discovered a delightful full body, with heavy fruit, but not as sweet as we had read from others. Perhaps the vanilla and spice overtones balance the fruit.

We enjoyed this with bacon-wrapped filet and grilled asparagus.

I cannot imagine this getting any better... Drink in 2020!
Red
2014 Tobin James Big Shot Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
5/22/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
90 points
When I called TJ and asked about the aging of this wine, I was told to drink it now... So I did! We had just finished dinner with a Petit Verdot, and wanted something a little sweeter. Surprisingly, while the fruits come through sweet on the nose, the palate finds it smooth, softer-tannin, and perfectly balanced fruit. My nose found sweet plum and cherry. My palate found the fruit taste to be more of a blueberry and raspberry. Delightful!
Red
5/21/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
92 points
This is a beautiful, deep-red Syrah. The nose for me is blackberry and plum and sweet oakey caramel. On the palate, I taste a bold and smooth balance of fruit, hints of pepper and vanilla, and with light acidity. I think we opened this Babcock Syrah at the perfect time.
Red
2013 Westerly Vineyards Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/21/2020 - SoCal GMan wrote:
70 points
This wine fell short for us. Decanted the first bottle for 15 minutes. After tasting, we decanted for another 20 minutes. We dumped it and opened a second bottle. Same issue. It is a bold wine with soft tannins, but failed to provide the fruit and spice structure that it claimed to have.

It may be good for some college kids trying to catch a buzz, but this vintage passed it's peak.
Red
5/20/2020 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
93 points
DRINK NOW! The 2014 Primitivo has been in our cellar for @ 4 years. We purchased a case while visiting TJ. We have opened a bottle each year only to find this wine too young and sweet… UNTIL NOW!

My nose finds black cherry and plum, with vary light hints of spiced soil prior to tasting. My palate finds a rich, jammy taste but not the sweetness it had when it was opened too early. I taste cherry, blueberry and plum. Again, I was concerned about the sweetness I had tasted when we opened this vintage last year and in years prior, but 2020 appears to be THE YEAR to open this wonderful surprise.

This is considered a medium wine by many, but I would put it on the fuller side of medium. Last year, I considered this a wine falling in the 89-90-pt range. I value it much more today.
Red
2012 Opolo Fusion Paso Robles Red Blend (view label images)
2/11/2019 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
89 points
Initially, it tasted young. However, the fruit came alive after decanting for 30 minutes, with the Cabernet overpowering the Syrah, but the tanins were mild. I experienced deeper berries, such as blackberry and blueberry, as well as some vanilla and dark chocolate. There was also a hint of fresh-cut wood and leather on the nose, mixed in with the fruit.
Red
2/12/2019 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
92 points
Bolder than expected, with blackberry and plum prominent, and a slight hint of dark cherry. Initially, the aroma and flavor is earthy with some hints of spice or leather. Well done TJ!!!
Red
1/20/2019 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
92 points
What a treat! The fruit in this wine is absolutely perfect right now. The start is almost like raisins or prunes, with a hint of chocolate, and a bold berry finish. However, it is not as sweet as it smells, and has a very smooth flow from start to finish. My other bottles of the 2011 tasted good a few years ago and rated in the high 80s, but this one is truly impressive. I had feared that I had laid this Zin down for too long, but the gamble was worth it. We enjoyed this after dinner, which was served with a 2013 TJ James Gang Reserve Malbec.
Red
1/20/2019 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
95 points
Wonderfully smooth and balanced Malbec! I laid this down from day-one, and it has paid off! Fruit forward, with no earthy or peppery flavors. I would say it more medium-bodied than most Malbecs I have tasted. There is a sweet plum-like nose periodically, which reminds me of my youth. I truly enjoyed this one, and will be calling my friends at TJ to check inventory and (hopefully) set-aside a case!
Red
12/31/2018 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
92 points
It was tough to measure this cab subsequent to enjoying our 2010 Isosceles with dinner, but this Cab proved to be an excellent choice for our post-dinner festivities and desserts. Decanting was slightly longer than normal, at @ 45-mnutes, so that may explain the surprisingly smooth, yet rich cab taste. The tasting notes referred to more of a bold spice than we experienced. This is likely one of the better cabs we have enjoyed from Justin.
Red
In March of 2018, TJ's winemaker had advised me to open and enjoy ASAP. Sadly, I waited until NYE and this wine turned. I was surprised, as it has been laid down in my 56-degree cellar from day-one.
Red
12/31/2018 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
97 points
As always, my ISO collection never disappoints. We started the evening with a hard-to-top 2011 Starr Ranch Terrestris, so the bar was set extremely high before we moved onto this 2010 Isosceles. We decanted this nose-friendly blend for 30 minutes prior to enjoying with our dinner of grass-fed filet, organic fresh asparagus, same-day-baked ciabatta garlic toast, and a feta-infused sweet caesar salad. The Cab in this blend carries this wine through a heavier protein like filet, and it was the ideal choice. The 2010 Isosceles was the perfect match for our New Year's Eve dinner.
Red
12/31/2018 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
93 points
Truly a delightful surprise. I had tasted this same vintage 3-4 years ago, and it fell short of greatness. However, laying it down has truly paid off. The sweet cherry aroma comes through on the front end of tasting, as well as the back end. I smell vanilla, but do not taste it. The middle has a solid Cabernet Sauvignon taste and texture. This wine needs 7 years of aging in your cellar.
Red
12/26/2018 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
94 points
At the risk of opening too young, we decided to uncork this bottle on Christmas night. After decanting for 20 minutes, the initial pour was excellent, and subsequently the flavor improved. Silky-smooth fruit with the perfect blend of spices and chocolate. This wine is incredible!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/25/2018 - SoCal GMan Does not like this wine:
72 points
Earthy, spicy and tart-fruit. This wine is a very light red color, and seems to be too young to open. We decanted for 30 minutes and tried again, and the fruit became less bitter, but we were still not impressed. I plan to contact the winemaker for advice. Presumably, I will be told to cellar the rest of these for a few more years.
Red
12/24/2018 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
87 points
Full body and full of rich, bold notes of fruits, leather, tobacco, chocolate and dark cherry. Fruit forward with a peppered tannin finish.
Red
2013 Opolo Montagna-Mare Paso Robles Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
12/24/2018 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
89 points
From the moment I opened this wonderful blend, the aroma was patented Opolo. This wine is fruit-forward with plum and a berry (some said cherry and others said raspberry), with a medium-body and a slight pepper finish.
Red - Fortified
2013 Eberle Port Paso Robles Port Blend (view label images)
Excellent dessert wine. Bold, yet not too sweet. Rich flavor and great paired with all chocolates, as well as creme brulee.
Red
12/24/2018 - SoCal GMan Likes this wine:
93 points
I have been a Sea Smoke member for years due to their incredible Pinots. However, this Deborah's Pride Pinot from Ken Brown shows why he is considered 'The Godfather of Pinot' by his peers.
The wine looks ruby colored. The legs are medium.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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  • Tasting Notes: 25 notes on 23 wines
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