Tasting Notes for Matthesen

(54 notes on 53 wines)

1 - 50 of 54 Sort order
White - Fortified
6/27/2020 - Matthesen wrote:
95 points
One of my favorites. I find the 40-50 year old Madeira blends are insider wines. I first tasted this on Madeira at Barbeito ... and it stole the show.
Exciting nose with brilliant nutty notes plus butterscotch. Palate shows less sweet than more Bual, with strong acidity. Supposedly based on 1892 Bual, but an unusual Bual -- more Terrantez or Verdelho in terms of sweetness with such lovely acidity it keeps me coming back for more. Super long finish. Really just fabulous!
Red
5/19/2020 - Matthesen wrote:
94 points
Really pretty nose. Fill wasn’t great, but wine was great. Lovely palate and long finish. Fun surprise
Red
4/26/2020 - Matthesen wrote:
90 points
Color suggests some maturity.
Pleasant nose -- some fruit, but also earthy and a bit of menthol. Definitely not a fruit bomb. Quite nice.
Palate a bit lean for a Pomerol, with nice spicy notes. Still shows some tannin, but well integrated. Not going anywhere -- but don't know if it will get a lot better.
Good, not great. Pleasant drink on a Tuesday.
Red
4/22/2020 - Matthesen wrote:
92 points
Really quite nice. Nice dark fruit, smoky nose with a lot of complexity. Palate shows nice balance. Modest acid, well integrated tannin with a dry finish. Surprisingly good since 1998 isn't a great Napa year and Merus is supposed to be an early drinker. Pleasantly surprised. Nice finish.
Red
3/31/2020 - Matthesen wrote:
92 points
Light color but appropriate to a Barolo of this age. Nose is elegant with earthy and floral notes. Quite a lot of tannin with nice acidity. Long finish. A classic old-school Barolo that leads with structure more than complexity. Nice enough, but lacks a bit of personality.
Red
1979 Niebaum-Coppola Rubicon Rutherford Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/30/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Dark color with garnet rim. Quite dark for a wine this old.
Pretty nose of cassis, some leather and cigar box. Nice Bordeaux-like nose.
Palate shows nice intensity. Tastes a bit older on the palate with a hint of the sweetness old napas often have.
Red
8/11/2019 - Matthesen wrote:
92 points
Pretty nose of black fruit and cigar box. Really lovely mix of Napa fruit and Bordeaux complexity. Some tannin, but nicely integrated. Enough acid to balance. Long finish. Not as good at '91 and '92 ... but a tasty wine and great value.
Red
8/10/2019 - Matthesen wrote:
91 points
Lighter color -- consistent for Nebbiolo
Nose is a bit shy, with pretty red fruit and some raisin
Palate still shows significant tannin and med+ acid with med body. Nice red fruit that is still youthful and juicy. Med finish.
A nice wine that is tasty without being profound. Still quite youthful for 19 years. A great bargain for less than $30
Red
6/23/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
95 points
Bought on release.
Color indicates age -- brick red
Nose is very pretty showing black raspberry and minerals.
Medium body but quite tannic. Very long finish. Great intensity and youthfulness. Nice balancing acidity and pretty licorice and truffle notes. This was supposedly a monster in its youth (this is the first on my bottles that I have opened) but now is a very interesting wine with lots of potential. I think this has years in front of it.
Red
6/2/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
95 points
Showing some age in the color.
Nose shows dark fruit, raspberries, minerals, cigar box and a floral element. Big and bold but elegant. Really quite lovely.
Palate shows significant tannin, but well integrated. Nice acidic backbone and very long finish.
I know this was considered a modernist huge wine on release, but I find it to be a lovely wine with a great nose sand lovely palate. No reason to think this won’t go another 20 years and keep getting better. Lovely.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
5/14/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Tasted at Henriques & Henriques. Pretty nose and palate with good intensity. Crisp acidity and long finish. A nice Madeira showing intensity and balance with a lot of complexity. They are very proud of it and it has won many awards. Didn't really grab me though. For what its worth, the wine is mostly from the 1954 vintage.
Red
2/1/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
92 points
Bright ruby color. Pretty nose of mineral, dark fruit, slightly smoky note. Palate shows a strong tannic backbone, but also nice acidity. Clearly a wine that will age, but I like its purity and length. Nice balance and long finish. I think the tannin works now, but might be too much for some. Pretty acid helps it avoid being heavy or clumsy. Quite nice
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/26/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
92 points
Nice nose of cassis, graphite, and some black fruit. More mineral driven than fruit. Palate shows good structure and nice fruit. Quite nice wine with med+ finish. Tasty today. Not a fruit bomb, but lovely balance.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/26/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Compared my my recent tastings of 1981, 1984, and 1987, this is a much more robust wine.

Med red core with bricking -- but still looking quite youthful if not young. Nose showing nice black fruit, graphite, cigar box complexity with a purity. Palate shows nice balance with fully mature slightly gritty tannin. Finish is a bit short. Quite pleasant wine to drink now. By no means a blockbuster but also not dead yet.
Red
1/25/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
89 points
Dark garnet color. Nose shows smoke, graphite, and cigar box. Palate consistent with the nose with modest tannin. An OK wine. Despite the weak vintage, it is pleasant enough but not outstanding. Rustic and lighter than great Pichons. Better than 1984, less good than 1981.
Red
1/24/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
88 points
Pale garnet ... definitely showing its age and the vintage. Nose is quite clean -- not dead yet -- but also not that exciting. Palate shows a bit of dark fruit, graphite, a bit of cigar box. More mineral notes, not showing the forest floor / decay like the 1980 I opened yesterday. Palate was fine but not very interesting. Shows some structure, but light and likely not that interesting even when young.
Red
1/23/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
89 points
Garnet color -- definitely showing its age and weak vintage. Nose of cigar box and leather with a bit of decay. Delicate, but quite nice. Palate is lighter than most Pichons but pretty with a note of cigarette ash, cedar notes and more decay. Definitely a wine that requires you like old European wines. Not as good at the 1981 I had a couple of days ago but not dead and quite interesting.
Red
1/22/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Nice ruby color. Nose shows pretty fruit and floral notes. Palate shows more structure than fruit -- a more European profile than normal Napa. I like it. EMH is not a fruit-bomb wine and this one shows very nice balance and purity. Quite drinkable now, but it should continue to develop.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1986 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/20/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
93 points
Fair warning -- I generally don't like 1986 Bordeaux, prefer 1985. I do like Gruaud Larose.

Clean nose with pretty dark fruit, minerals, leather, and cigar box. Very bright and focused. Medium body with a strong tannic backbone. A bit hard still -- showing the vintage -- but quite pretty and clean. Long finish. Not lush but also has charm. One of the better 1986s. Quite nice Bordeaux that is best with food, but very tasty and refreshing.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/15/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Nice wine. Still quite young, but shows nice balance. Graphite, blueberry, dark fruit on the nose. Palate shows moderate tannin and good acidity. flavors similar to nose with medium length finish. Nice drinkable wine with plenty of time left, just starting to get drinkable for me.
Red
5/23/2006 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
94 points
Medium ruby color – very youthful. Initially a bit closed, but nose opened to become quite exciting showing rich dark fruit, graphite, anise, cola, and cedar. Med+ body, med-to-high tannin, med+ acidity, med+ alcohol. Very young with lots of grip, but quite lovely nose and great fruit on the palate with excellent balance. Needs additional bottle age, but shows fabulous potential.
Red
5/23/2006 - Matthesen wrote:
91 points
Pale ruby with lots of bricking. Pretty nose of red and black cherry, cedar, anise, and menthol. With time in the glass, it became a bit more smoky. Med+ body, med tannin, med acidity, med+ alcohol. An elegant wine with lovely balance. More Bordeaux-like than the others, showing quite a bit of maturity. Finish a bit shorter than the others. Very approachable and ready to go now; a wine that almost anyone would like.
Red
5/23/2006 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
88 points
Dark ruby with some bricking at the rim. Nose of dark fruits, but substantial VA intrudes. Med+ body, med+ tannin, med acidity, med+ alcohol. Bold and intense on the palate finishing with dusty tannins. Suffers from VA on the nose and tannins over-power the fruit on the palate, making me wonder if the fruit will fade before the tannin integrates.
Red
5/23/2006 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
94 points
Bold ruby color – very youthful. Initially closed, but nose opened to become quite bold showing kirch, blackcurrant, anise, and jammy fruit. Med-to-full body, med-to-high tannin, med acidity, med-to-high alcohol. A big, bold, mouth-coating wine with great flavor intensity and long finish. The longer in the glass, the better it got. It was better on day two. This is still tight and needs additional bottle age.
Red
1/14/2019 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
93 points
Garnet core with a watery rim. A bit less dark than other vintages. Nice nose of graphite, black currant fruit, and some cigar box. A nice medium bodied wine showing medium tannin and moderate acidity. Much more European than Napa in flavors and style. Given the reputation of 2011 as a light vintage, I was impressed by the long finish and nice flavor intensity. Perhaps a bit more Harlan and Bond fruit in the mix than normal? Really quite a pleasant wine. Good on its own, even better with food.
Red
12/23/2018 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Opened and decanted.
Pretty nose of black fruit and mineral notes. Palate still youthful with well integrated tannin and nice acidity. Very drinkable and not as complex as the bigger wines but not at all boring. Really very enjoyable! Opened with a lot of people and it got a lot of compliments.
Red
12/15/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
93 points
Quite nice. Shows some age and maturity, but quite vibrant. Lots of cigar box and smoky notes with a bit of fruit. On the palate, it shows a nice balance with black fruit, smoke, and an earthy quality. The California nature comes through. Fully mature, but not over-the-hill. Quite nice now and likely will hold for awhile.
Red
8/30/2018 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Garnet color with a nose showing age -- a bit of oxidation, but nice graphite and dark fruit. Clearly a mature wine, but not falling apart. Palate shows a full body and quite a lot of energy. More acid than I had expected -- but quite tasty. Wouldn't recommend holding this longer. Quite good now, but drink up.
Red
8/24/2018 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
94 points
Really quite nice. Much better than I expected. I love the 1978s, but 1980 isn't generally considered a great year. Quite lovely nose with a lovely palate showing lovely dark fruit, mineral notes, cigar box. A bit of drying tannin, but Med+ finish. A very nice wine!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/16/2018 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
92 points
I have always liked this wine -- nice balance with good flavor and intensity, but not a fruit bomb and shows a really nice character. I hadn't had a bottle in 8 years, but still really nice. I have some magnums -- which I am happy about!
Red
2000 Château Charmail Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/9/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
flawed
Corked
Red
1996 Bernardus Winery Marinus Carmel Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/31/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
89 points
Pleasant nose of black fruit. Med body with some tannin. Pretty good balance with a med finish. A bit lean but not bad.
Red
1995 Bernardus Winery Marinus Carmel Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/30/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
90 points
Quite nice. Better than 1993 and 1994. Pretty nose of dark cherry with mineral notes. Palate shows nice balance with good acidity, some tannin and good finish. In a European rather than Napa style, but showing nice balance and finesse that makes it quite attractive.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1994 Bernardus Winery Marinus Carmel Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/29/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
89 points
Garent color with good saturation to the rim. Nose of dark fruit, graphite, and cigar box. Definitely a bit herbal, but not green. Med palate with good acidity and some tannin left. In a leaner style -- more European than Napa. Not bad, but not great.
Red
1993 Bernardus Winery Marinus Carmel Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/28/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
88 points
Bottle and cork in excellent condition. Nice garnet color. Nose of dark fruit, cassis, and a bit herbal. Palate shows a bit of oxidation (not intrusive) and a sharp acidic note. Not bad, but not great. Acid a bit too high, without enough nose and palate to make it very interesting. A more European style but the lean nature isn't balanced with complexity and sophistication. But not bad.
Red
7/24/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
88 points
dark garnet color. Nose herbal ... perhaps a bit green ... but also showing dark fruit. Medium body, showing more acid than tannin. Suspect it might have been acidified back in the day given the texture. Drinkable, but not particularly attractive. I like old Napa cabs, but this one is drinkable but not memorable.
Red
7/21/2018 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
92 points
Purchased many years ago from Winebid. Cork in excellent shape and fill was high. Decanted.

Good color -- garnet with good saturation to the rim.
Nose of cassis, blackberry, cigar box, and a bit herbal (but not vegatal)
Palate shows a strong backbone of tannin and acid -- seems much younger than its 33 years. There is fruit there, but restrained. Nice mineral note. Much more Bordeaux than Napa in texture and taste. Decanted, but still quite tight. Good classical wine, but more structure than seduction. I like the 1994 more -- seems to be another Quilceda that isn't ready.
Red
6/13/2018 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
88 points
Nose of dried fruit -- particularly cherries with dark fruit and even a bit of bitter chocolate. Alcohol noticeable on the nose. Full body sweet fruit and alcohol, backed with quite a bit of tannin, but balanced with enough acidity to not be heavy. Med+ finish. A big wine, but pretty tasty. A bit too bold to make me want to drink multiple glasses. A bit port-like in flavor profile without as much sweetness.
Red
3/9/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
97 points
Lovely wine. Still youthful, but showing a bit of maturity. Very refined and smooth, but quite powerful. Fruit, leather, minerals come together nicely. More fruit in the nose than palate. Suspect this is just starting to show what it can do ... better in time.
Red
2/28/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
97 points
Really get the Cabernet Franc in the nose ... bright and open with a floral element. The palate quite strong but finesse over power. Great flavors and quite different than the cabs we also opened.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Dalla Valle Maya Oakville Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/28/2018 - Matthesen wrote:
97 points
Still shows significant tannin. Great nose, lovely palate. Very long. Focused and a bit tight (will see how time in the decanter helps). A great wine only just starting to show some hints of age. Hard to believe a Napa cult cab at 18 years old shows this young and strong. Very much like the best 1989/1990 Bordeaux.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2/10/2018 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
96 points
From Magnum. Very tasty. Lovely nose. Lighter palate than the 1990 Yquem, but lovely balance and more refreshing.
Red
12/25/2017 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
96 points
Dark color showing little sign of age. Quite pretty nose. A bit restrained, but lovely dark berry fruit, graphite, and a nice mineral note. Palate has a robust Med+ body with lovely balance and long finish. Nice acid and tannin. Tastes like a Bordeaux of the same age but with a bit more fruit. Really quite nice. One of the nicer Quilceda I have tasted. Even better than the 1994.
Red - Fortified
1/26/2016 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
97 points
Really pretty nose. Only decanted 20 minutes or so, but lovely fruit and earthy notes. Palate shows lovely balance. Some alcohol notes with the acidity enliven the tongue. Nice and mature -- with lovely balance and very long finish. One of my favorite Port vintages that many folks ignore.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Les Pagodes de Cos St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/19/2016 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
89 points
splash decanted, then poured. Nose is tight, but pleasant with smoky notes and cassis. Balanced palate, but not very intense. Enough tannin that it isn't likely to fall apart anytime soon. A nice bottle of wine for a Tuesday ... not a blockbuster, but ready to go and nice to drink
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/6/2016 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Pretty nose with pretty cassis and anise notes. Palate is a bit hard -- a bit tannic despite the rest of the wine seeming ready. Not sure this will ever lose its hard edge. Nice licorice and a bit of mint/eucalyptus. Med finish. Pleasant, but not earth-shaking. Don't think it will fall apart, but not sure it will get much better.
Red
11/29/2015 - Matthesen Likes this wine:
91 points
Definitely showing its age. Quite strong acid. But interesting favors and certainly not dead yet.
Red
2/11/2012 - Matthesen wrote:
96 points
Very youthful color at nearly ten years old. Quite opaque purple with only a tiny bit of ruby at the rim.
Very pretty nose. Granite, black fruits, tobacco and cedar. Quite lovely and complex.
Dense palate with full body and significant extract. Powerful, but balanced. Showing a strong tannic backbone, but lovely complexity and balance. Definitely not a fruit bomb. Drinking quite well right now, but definitely has the stuffing and balance to age and improve. The texture is a bit gritty almost fom the tannin and extract with a bit of a sour cherry / Asphalt note on the palate.
Really quite tasty. I hoped it would be good, but this was really very nice. The 2003 vintage in Napa was tricky, but Araujo did a masterful job! I suspect this will be even better in ten years!
Red
6/3/2011 - Matthesen wrote:
93 points
I bought this after the initial excitement from the Butterfields tasting (not sure how many people remember that).

Pretty nose. Quite smoky with rich fruit and minerals. A bit closer to young Bordeaux than napa on the nose. Quite interesting.
Med-full body with nice balance between the fruit, tannin and acid. No heat. Still plenty of tannin, but showing balance. Still has plenty of time left. Quite tasty. Sweet fruit (but not too much), nice mineral notes, and showing real complexity. Finishes well.

I am quite pleased about how this has aged. It had become a very nice wine with additional potential. I know many people who bought this wine after the blind tasting results were disappointed, but I like it quite a bit.
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