Tasting Notes for gunpwdr

(267 notes on 250 wines)

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Red
2017 No Girls Double Lucky #8 Walla Walla Valley Red Blend (view label images)
4/3/2021 - gunpwdr Likes this wine:
93 points
Nose: Sage, eucalyptus, strawberry and cherry compote, chicory, tobacco leaf, and hint of cedar box deep in the glass. This is a really beautiful nose with tons of action.

Palate: Boysenberries, sarsparilla, and bright red berries on the attack. Mid-palate features garrigue, violets, dark, dried fruits. Iron minerality forms the backbone throughout the palate. Finish features slightly bitter green peppers, hoisin/soy sauce, dark red berries carry the big, long finish.

Summary: Flavor profile shows tons of evolution from the attack through the finish. Tannins are well integrated for such a young wine and makes for great mouth feel. I could use a touch more acidity to prop the wine up and find parts of the palate a little sappy. Strikes me as a wine to drink young and not lay down.
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Red
1/14/2017 - gunpwdr Likes this wine:
91 points
Nose: Tobacco leaf, eucalyptus, hints of tar, bright red fruit, herbaceous notes. Palate: On the attack, cranberry tartness, bright cherries, along with hints of dark, dusty cassis. An interesting juxtaposition of fruit types. Fairly muted mid-palate, not revealing anything new but some detectable pencil lead and very, very faint hints of ripe cassis. Anise and tar linger on the incredibly long finish.

Texturally bereft, this came off as flat at the outset and produced no subsequent tannic structure. Time and air revealed some very elegant elements that ultimately made this a more subtle and cerebral drink. Did I enjoy the 2012 Leonetti that was sitting next to it more? Definitely. But this was eminently enjoyable.
White
8/30/2013 - gunpwdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Nose: Lemons, cedar, strong salinity, hint of almond paste and a hint of pineapple. Overall extremely dense, rich, and primary. Palate: Lemons/hard lemon candy, wood spice, touch of butter and some almond paste on the attack. Big acidity, slightly puckering, on the mid-palate. Hard lemon candy, sea breeze linger on the finish.

Overall, a very big chardonnay with tons of acidity, minerality, plenty of fruit, and good balance at this early stage. Next one won't be opened for at least a few years, at which point the (thick) baby fat should be coming off.
White
1/8/2013 - gunpwdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Nose: Wood meets minerals with fresh cut lemons and apples. Very ripe, dense, and fragrant overall. Palate: Sweet, acidic lemons on the attack. Stony acidity dominates the mid-palate. Toasted oak, lemon syrup, smoky flint on the finish.

Primary and rich at this point with plenty of cut and acidity. Oak spice is quite evident but not overdone. In many ways, the wood treatment frames the big fruit very nicely. Delicious.
White
1/25/2013 - gunpwdr wrote:
94 points
Nose: Honeyed lemons, big time petrol, caramelized apples, loads of minerality, hint of coconut creme and almonds. Big, beautiful nose. Palate: Honeyed lemons, caramelized apples, crushed rocks, figs on the attack. Acidity and salinity show up in abundance on the mid-palate and give way to sweet lemons and honey on the finish.

I fell head over heels in love with the 2008 version when I was first introduced to A.J. Adam by Phil at Macarthur Beverages so I went "big" on the 2009 only to be let down by a young bottle almost 2 years ago. Chalk it up to bottle variation or a different drinking window than the 2008, but the added cellar time has really allowed this kab to shed the baby fat and cloying sweetness. This kab is like a size 4 woman with a big booty and chest - lean and thick in the right places. I'm glad I bought a lot of this 2009 because it is truly delicious.
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White
1/20/2013 - gunpwdr wrote:
94 points
Nose: Steel, stones, chalk, ginger, fruit cake, honeyed, dried mango/citrus fruit. Beautiful nose. Palate: Smoke, ginger, golden apples and honeyed lemons on the attack. Honeyed lemons are joined by perfect levels of acidity on the mid-palate. Long, lingering finish of spiced fruit, almond paste, all with lip smacking acidity.

This Vouvray really has it going on. Makes me wonder if there's any point in drinking any other white when there's this. Tons of correct acidity, loads of fruit character, layers of flavors/complexity. Borderline ridiculous.
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White - Sparkling
12/25/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
95 points
Abbreviated notes on my wife's 40th. Just one of those nights. Nose: Tawny port, butter, caramel, hazelnut, quince, and caramelized apples. Palate:Golden apples, smoke on the attack. Tons of citrus-laced, salty acidity on the mid-palate. Roasted hazelnuts, lemons, and toast on the lengthy finish.

I only bought this because of a very generous Total Wine gift cert, but let me say this. The hype is justified. Never have I had a champagne that delivered as much richness and complexity as this NV Krug. I am a believer at this point.
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Red
2009 Château Cap de Faugères Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/20/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
89 points
Nose: Bright currants, pepper, tobacco leaf, licorice, bramble. Palate: Pencil lead, sweet currants on the attack. Drying tannins, more sweet fruit on the mid-palate. Licorice-laced currants on the finish.

So, this wine is a pretty good QPR. Ripe, sweet fruit, good structure, lots of tannins now that will integrate with a few years. Just enough acidity too. This would be the type of bottle I serve cheaply to guests that aren't attuned to Bordeaux and want to know what the story is.
White
12/17/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
79 points
Nose: Strong notes of quince and tropical fruit. Meyer lemon as well, all framed by wood spice and some reductive notes. Palate: Big acidity is joined by lemons on the attack. I struggle to stop my face from puckering up by the time the mid-palate rolls around as there is tons of acidity and a bitter, medicinal, sort of mineral element that dominates from here on out. The medicinal component lingers on the finish and I find myself wondering where the fruit is.

Big, rich, and packing a real puckering wallop, this chardonnay simply feels too big. The richness also doesn't manifest itself as pleasing fruit but rather tons of puckering and dry extract. Likely an off bottle but I won't be spending another $45 to confirm that.
Red
2009 Château d'Armailhac Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/16/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
90 points
Nose: Very focused and intense nose of ripe, cedary currants, pencil lead, fig sauce, hint of soy. Palate: Pencil lead, crushed gravel, currants on the attack. Strong, drying tannins along with ample acidity form the mid-palate. Tart currants and a hint of licorice linger on the finish.

Focused and taut, showing fairly accurate Pauillac character. Not overly ripe or lush as one might expect a 2009 to be. I would liken this to a 2005 more than a 2009 when I think about other 2009's I've had. This is to say that it is rich, not overly ripe, and quite structured. One worth keeping an eye on.
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White
12/10/2012 - gunpwdr Likes this wine:
91 points
Nose: Sweet but piercing lemons, smoke, and a hint of oyster shell and some wet stones, all framed by this delicate apricot membrane. Palate: Sweet, apricot-laced lemons and tons of acidity on the attack. Crisp and refreshing acidity forms the bulk of the mid-palate. Lemons linger strongly on the finish along with a very slight hint of oak spice and butter.

I've long shunned South African wines after a handful of unmemorable experiences with chardonnay and pinot, but this chardonnay, at ~$21, drinks a lot like something in between a Meursault and Chablis. I only picked one up to try on a routine trip to Costco, but I will be back for more.
Red
12/9/2012 - gunpwdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Nose: Loads and loads of pencil lead along with tobacco leaf, mulberry, currants, and hints of eucalyptus. Palate: Bright, brambly, ripe berries, and pencil lead on the attack. Big, drying tannins join big, juicy acidity on the mid-palate. Notes of pencil lead, herbs, and mulberry linger on the finish.

Young with big, sweet, ripe fruit but equally big, drying tannins. Drinkable now if you like big, structural beasts and primary fruit. The good news is that the fruit, tannins, and acidity are present in roughly equal amounts but do need time to integrate. Definitely worth checking out at ~$28.
Red
10/10/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
95 points
Nose: Clean and funk free with tons of sweet black cherries, wood spice, stony minerality. Palate: Sweet, red and dark, sappy cherries on the attack. Excellent, vibrant acidity on the mid-palate with just a touch of soft tannins and tons of fruit still bursting through. Sweet black cherries and wood spice linger past the long finish. Just gobs of ripe, sweet red/dark cherries throughout, excellent structure, impeccably balanced. Delicious.
Red
2005 Château Lascombes Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/4/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
91 points
Notes are from day 2 after a re-cork. Nose: Currants, white pepper, hints of licorice, soy sauce, tobacco leaf, and a hint of cedar. Palate: Slightly tart currants on the attack. Not as sweet as the day before. Good acidity and drying tannins show up on the mid-palate, then give way to currants on the finish.

Definitely a lot less complex on day 2 than day 1 where I was getting sweeter currants, cocoa powder, and a rounder feel. I was actually expecting this to improve in complexity with a day in the bottle but it definitely declined. Still, the material is there for a very good bottle, though I would drink it all in one night.
White
9/21/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
92 points
Nose: Lemons, slate, chalk, hint of peaches. Dense but piercing and extremely fragrant. Palate: Lemons, lemon curd on the attack. Monstrous acidity on the mid-palate followed by more acidity on the finish along with wet stones, giving way to hard lemon candy.

This is a big, dense, powerful chard with a brutish edge. A really good QPR play that drinks at a much higher level for chablis.
Red
2001 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/31/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
94 points
Nose: Currants, plums, tobacco leaf, leather, and eucalyptus. Fragrant, dense, very nicely fruited, and graceful. Palate: Ripe plums and currants hit you right away on the attack. Good acidity and smooth tannins show up on the mid-palate then give way to to more ripe and sweet currants on the finish.

This is a stunning example of a left-bank wine, nevermind that it's from a lesser vintage. Mature, smooth, excellent balance and structure, plenty of sweet fruit... delicious.
Red
2007 Nicolas Potel Latricières-Chambertin Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
6/30/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
91 points
Nose: Red fruit firmly planted in the middle of the bright and dark spectrum. Hints of sap, musk, and wood spice. Palate: Good acidity props up mineral-laced red berries on the attack. Tart acidity kicks in on the mid-palate along with a stemmy element. Unobtrusive tannins and acidity join sappy, red berries on the finish.

Elegant and lithe with ample acidity and just enough sweetness to the fruit. Quite good.
White
4/23/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
88 points
Nose: Lemons, chalk, granite powder, sea spray, fresh cut green apples. Palate: Lemon juice mixed with salt water on the attack. Piercing, puckering acidity and salinity throughout but strongest on mid-palate. Fresh squeezed lemons on the finish.

Good QPR play for those seeking a more classic Chablis profile with tons of cut and acidity. The nose definitely outshines the palate but despite being painfully bone dry, there is enough fruit coming through that suggests the wine would improve with extended decanting or better yet, 3-4 years of cellar time.
Red
4/20/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
93 points
On day 2. Nose: Musk, baking spices, orange marmalade, noticeable vanilla and oak spice action. Good core of stewed raspberry & black/blueberry fruit on the nose. Big and fragrant but not without noticeable oak creaminess to it. Some may not like that. Palate: Dark, tart red berry attack showing mostly raspberries and cherries. Good acidity off the bat is carried with the fruit through the mid-palate to finish, with the acidity kicking up a notch in the middle. Musk, violets, tart cherry, baking spices on the finish.

Heavy oak elements but it works well as the dense fruit material and abundant acidity work in concert. Let me not forget to mention that the fruit shows ample sweetness. Dense, fragrant, sweet, texturally pleasing. Delicious and eminently drinkable now.
Red
2004 Jacques Boyd Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/6/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
88 points
Nose: Started off with a good bit of funky, stewed tomato notes which 2 hours later have blown off. At the time of this writing, the nose shows the brighter side of cassis and plums with a hint of tobacco leaf. Not terribly complex but very refreshing. Palate: Cassis, bit of stemmy action on the attack. Very good acidity and mild tannins on the mid-palate, giving way to dry flowers and bright cassis on the finish. An unexpected treat for a bottle with poor provenance - it had been sitting at room temp in my father's kitchen for who knows how long. This second wine of Boyd Cantenac was sweet, refreshing, and very light on the palate and made for a very enjoyable aperitif.
Red
4/3/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
84 points
Nose: Scorched earth, caramel-soaked cedar, Chinese grass jelly, tar. Behind all the darkness are hints of strawberries, cherries, but the fruit is generally hard to pick up. Palate: Spiced, dark cherries, tar, crushed gravel on the attack. Good tannins and acidity on the mid-palate with hints of dark cherries. Tart cherries, cedar linger on the finish.

So dark and masculine right now, showing all structure with no real evidence of sweetness or ripe fruit behind it. Not even an iota of primary fruit on the nose or palate. This is all with 6+ hours in a decanter. I'm not convinced that there is stuffing here but the other bottles I have will need 5+ years. I will check in on another before then I'm sure but as it is today I consider this Alpine only decent with the possibility of becoming pretty good.
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White - Off-dry
4/3/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
93 points
Nose: Hint of coconut, sulfur, and smoke. Primarily giving off honeyed green apples, syrupy citrus, and flint. Palate: Creamy apples, honey, and citrus with loads of spritz on the attack. Big honey lemon salinity on the mid-palate. Impressions of lemon tart linger on the finish.

Big honeyed fruit with no shortage of acidity and spritz to keep things fresh. Really, really delicious and balanced. Quite possibly my favorite producer of riesling these past few years.
White
3/31/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
92 points
Nose: Honey, tangerines, beeswax, pate d'amande, impressions of ginger and fruit and nut cake. Palate: Pears, honey, figs, almonds, gingery citrus on the attack. Tense and lively acidity along with almond and citrus notes on the mid-palate. Hard lemon/peach candy lingers on the finish.

This Vouvray is so sexy and lithe on the palate, its fruit gliding effortlessly in a very feminine way but the acidity gives it this unbridled energy... like a young (fill in the blank). Truly outstanding.
Red
3/30/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
87 points
Nose: Black cherries, powdered strawberries, scorched earth, tar, stems, black pepper. Palate: Tart cherries, smoke, crushed stones on the attack. Big, puckering acidity on the mid-palate and slightly drying tannins immediately followed by red berries bridging the finish. Cinnamon spice, red berries, powdered strawberries linger on the finish.

Not a bad wine. Defined by tart, lightweight berries that fall on the red to dark-ish spectrum. Needs time to settle down.
Red
2006 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/29/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
89 points
Notes from day 2 after a recork. Nose: Currants, toasty oak, tobacco leaf, menthol. Palate: Dark currants, licorice, dusty tannins on the attack. Slightly drying tannins are joined by big acidity on the mid-palate. Currants and toasty oak, roasted coffee notes linger on the finish.

First off, the fruit material is sufficiently sweet and rich and I find myself nodding "mhmmm" as I drink this. However, at other times the wine is jagged and screams at you for waking it from its slumber. In my mind, a great wine to buy at $30 and lay down for 5-7 years for a great QPR cellar play. Were it better integrated now, it would have gained an extra point or two in my book.
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Red
3/26/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
91 points
Notes from day 2 after a recork. Nose: Cherries, cranberries, wet gravel, hint of stems, sous bois, dusty strawberries, wood spice. The nose was quite a bit brighter on day 1 but tilts a little more towards the darker side on day 2. Palate: Cherries, cranberries, tree sap, iron on the attack. Good tannins and acidity carry red berries from the mid-palate on to the finish where wood spice and sappy berries linger.

So, this Mercurey is really delicious. Rich, tart red berry profile with tons of acidity and enough texture on the tannins. Drinking great right now, especially on day 2.
White
3/26/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
89 points
Nose: Apricot, honey, wax, white flowers. Palate: Smoke, honeyed pears and apples on the attack. Fruit persists through the mid-palate but is cut off by big, citrusy acidity. Short finish. Good fruit and liveliness overall.
Red
3/23/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
92 points
Nose: Cherries, big pencil lead, tobacco leaf, eucalyptus, licorice, green/olive element. Blind, I would have guessed right bank Bordeaux. Palate: Sweet currants, cherries, pencil lead, crushed gravel on the attack. Lively tannins appear on the mid-palate along with ample acidity and the pencil lead still riding right along through to the finish. Dusty tannins, toasty cedar, currants linger on the finish.

This is a superbly structured wine with good balance and good fruit. I could see some finding it to be a bit angular but this would easily be remedied with extended cellar time to let the oak and tannins integrate. 5+ years and this will stand in nicely as a Bordeaux clone, sangiovese be damned.
White
3/22/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
85 points
Nose: White flowers, chalk, lemon/lime fruit, gravel. Palate: Lemons, dusty gravel, smoke on the attack. Acidity builds in intensity on the mid-palate to the point of astringency and being puckering and is joined by wood spice and pepper. Once that fades, lemon candy lingers and wood spice linger on the finish.

Piercing to the point of being jagged, this white channels Alsace riesling for me, albeit with a little more fruit weight. I could use a hair more sweetness and definitely less of the massive acidity on its backbone.
Red
3/21/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
95 points
This wine, for a real barolo newbie like myself, is likely to be my barolo epiphany wine. This wine is rich, focused, sweet, structured, balanced, textured, well-oaked, and above all, incredibly delicious. It is quite tannic but its flavor profile is on full display, so do not be afraid to pop one open. I really am struggling to reconcile this drinking experience because I dare say that I enjoy this wine more than I have some pretty special Bordeauxs, and those are my go-to cellaring wines.
White
3/18/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
85 points
Nose: Fresh cut pears, white flowers, ripe green apples, apricots, gravelly minerals. Light and airy with soft, round white fruits. Palate: Chiseled white fruits, honeysuckle, bright acidity on the attack. Oak spice checks in on the mid-palate, along with some hints of grass as well as astringency. Apricots and pears linger on the finish. Starts off delicate on the palate then builds in intensity. Tasty but the overall flavor profile is a little confusing - bouncing from Nahe riesling to Alsace gewurz then back to a nondescript chenin blanc profile.
Red
2006 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/17/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
91 points
Nose: Bright currants, leather, pencil lead, tobacco leaf. Strong and fragrant. Palate: Currants, crushed gravel, pencil lead, tobacco leaf on the attack . Big, drying tannins, puckering acidity on the mid-palate. Tart currants, cedar, pencil lead linger on the finish.

Young, focused, and intense in its current state. This needs a good 5+ years but there is ample material to make this a standout.
White - Off-dry
3/17/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
92 points
Nose: Rich, honeyed pears, smoke, hints of dry grass. Palate: Ripe pears, white flowers, wet stones and rust on the attack. Almost painfully intense acidity cuts through the rich, honeyed fruit on the mid-palate. Warm bread, honeyed pears, and lemon tart linger on the finish.

Off-dry it is, but the minerality and structure give it an intensity that result in the wine hemming and hawing between luscious fruit and bracing acidity and minerality. Thoroughly enjoyable and delicious.
Red
2009 Coho Headwaters Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/16/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
91 points
Nose: Ripe, fleshy plums, mint, vanilla, currants, cedar box. Palate: Rich, sweet, currants, wild berry, smoke, black pepper on the attack. Big tannins, licorice, vanilla on the mid-palate. Creamy vanilla and plums linger on the finish. Even 60+ seconds later, vanilla and cedar notes are detectable on the palate.

Despite the creamy vanilla oak treatment, this wine's other elements show great focus, texture, and above all, sweet, delicious fruit. The tannins are pretty lively now and could use time to integrate, but with little acidity to balance things out, this is a wine to drink young as I can see this being a little flabby and syrupy once the tannins have receded. Fans of Napa cab should definitely check this bottling out though, particularly given its price point.
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Red
2007 Nicolas Potel Bonnes Mares Bonnes Mares Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
3/15/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
84 points
Nose: Sarsaparilla, smoke, cured meats, crushed gravel, black cherries. Generally dark, rich, and sappy. Palate: Black, tart cherries with moderate tannins on the attack. Mid-palate through the finish is pretty muted. Some sap on the finish but also hints of animale.

Overall, I find this to be quite rich with a tightly wound core, above average acidity, and well below average fruit. This will one day be dark and elegant but I don't see it aspiring to anything greater than a village level wine.
Red
2008 Château d'Armailhac Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/11/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
90 points
After a recork and 2 days. Nose: Black currants, plum sauce, soy, black pepper, tobacco leaf, hint of gravel & pencil lead action. Palate: Currants, plums, smoke on the attack. Anise, soy, smooth tannins appear on the mid-palate. Soy, dark currants, and pencil lead linger on the medium finish.

Definitely still a worthwhile buy, but I wouldn't go beyond its current selling price. I would stash a few away for 3-5 years for that moment you want to revisit the 2008 vintage in the form of Pauillac.
Red
2005 Sarget de Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/9/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
91 points
Decanted day 1, re-bottled and re-corked overnight. Notes are from day 2. Nose: Dark currants, soy, anise, green/stemmy/tobacco leafy element. Fairly rich and fresh at the same time. Palate: Currants, melted licorice, plums, bit of gravel and pencil lead on the attack. Seamless transition to and through the mid-palate where the fruit and smooth tannins persist into the finish. Excellent acidity throughout as well.

On day 1, this wine's nose was open but the palate was pretty reticent. I made it a point to re-bottle a big pour to make a better assessment on day 2. Turns out it was a pretty good move because I believe it resulted in this wine's true character being shown. Reviewers (myself included) love to describe a wine's balance, structure, and integration among many other things. I peeled those 3 out specifically because those are the characteristics that really stood out on Gruaud Larose's 2nd wine. Good enough fruit to make the wine actually taste good, but the wine's seamlessness and balance are what really impressed me.
Red
3/1/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
94 points
Nose: Blackberries, plums, sage, white pepper, braised beef, some floral notes as well. Beautiful nose. Palate: Raspberries, blackberries on the attack. Seamless transition to the mid-palate where big time tannins, sarsaparilla dominate. Everything dries out on the finish, with notes of sage and flowers lingering.

My justification for popping one of these open, despite the other CT notes suggesting it's closed, was that I have 6 of them. I'm not going to say that this syrah was completely open and showing all it has, but it was definitely not shut down for me. I'm also not going to say this is like Hermitage or Cote Rotie (although it is the next closest thing) but it is such a far cry from what I'm used to for California syrah. It's not primary, not creamy and lush, it's got loads of acidity and tannins, and it has that classic French syrah sage/floral action going. Rhys hype aside, this syrah is genuinely delicious right now and the only nit I would have is the relative lack of weight of the fruit. Ultimately, this is a structural beast that needs 7+ years in the cellar and should most definitely improve.
Red
2/28/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
94 points
Nose: Rich black currants, plums, menthol, tobacco leaf, dark cocoa powder, pencil lead... absolutely no subtlety or grace to this nose as it just explodes with aromas and richness. Wow! Palate: Rich, sweet, ripe and delicious black currants and plums on the attack. Smooth transition into the mid-palate where big, grippy tannins take over along with notes of crushed gravel, cocoa powder, and plums. My mouth is completely dry at this point, with my tongue poking around my mouth like a cocaine addict licking away the last of the blow. Not that I know that that's what a cocaine addict actually does... but it just looks that way in the movies.

Rich, primary, and tannic to a fault at this time... but this thing is just a baby. The amount of ripe, rich fruit that is on display and the insane tannins scream for a decade long slumber... which I will glady grant my other bottles. This is a seriously good wine.
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Red
2/27/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
88 points
Nose: Beautiful, bright, dusty red berries with a slight green streak and barrel toast lurking back there. Palate: Cherries, cranberries, crushed gravel on the cool and bright attack. Slightly astringent tannins and some seriously puckering acidity show up on the mid-palate. Cranberries and green peppers linger on the finish.

I wanted something cool and refreshing tonight so I reached for this bottle and was not disappointed. Seamless and integrated this wine isn't, but the underlying material is good if high-toned pinot is what you're after. I'd let these sleep for at least a few more years though... and you'll end up with a bright and lithe wine with good fruit character.
White
2/23/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
90 points
Nose: Lemons, green apples, wet stones, sea spray, smoke. Palate: Lemons, green apples, wet stones, and smoke on the attack. Big, salty acidity and smoke on the mid-palate dissipate into faint, hard lemon candy with a hint of apples on the finish.

Good fruit weight to go along with ample acidity and the good aspects of oaked chardonnay... this wine drinks way above its price point. These final comments are being written after the bottle has had 5+ hours of air and it has definitely put on some weight. For 18 bones, I see this wine satisfying most of my basic chardonnay needs.
Red
2008 Château d'Armailhac Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/18/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
90 points
Nose: Dusty gravel, plums, black currants, soy, pencil lead, tobacco leaf, eucalytpus. Palate: Bold, ripe, and fleshy currants dominate the attack, but are also framed by pencil lead and rich soy sauce. Excellent transition to the mid-palate and through to the finish. Some may find the tannins a little too drying but their texture and fleshiness augur well for this wine's future potential.

While virtually all the attention has moved on to the 2009 and 2010 vintage, I would advise against overlooking 2008. All the futures I have have received and tasted thus far have shown enough material for this vintage to warrant further exploration and purchasing. This D'Armailhac is a delicious wine and represents its appellation very well.
Red
2005 Château Labégorce Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/17/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
87 points
Nose: Ripe plums and currants dominate. Dried flowers, hint of tobacco leaf, wax, and graphite as well. Palate: Ripe (but not overly sweet) currants, graphite, anise on the attack. Smooth tannins and good acidity show up on the mid-palate. Currants, tobacco leaf, and plums linger on the long finish.

So, this wine's drinking window is most definitely open and probably on the early side of opening. There is stuffing, excellent integration of fruit, tannins, and acidity, but the overall sweetness and punch from the fruit isn't there. It really does have the stuffing of a 2005 - focused, dense, not lush... but the fruit character of a 2001/2004. Had I bought this for $20 as futures I would be much more pleased. As it is, this is a solid Margaux that is worth trying out once if the price of admission is under $40.
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Red
2/7/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
84 points
Right out of the bottle (and a 55 degree fridge), this LLC's fragrant nose gives off soy-tinged dried flowers, sweet currants, plums, tobacco leaf, eucalyptus, and pencil lead. On the palate, the attack shows tart currants and puckering acidity that lasts throughout. Transition to and through the mid-palate is seamless... with fine grained tannins kicking in then giving way to a long, lithe finish where dried flowers, more bright red berries linger. General impression is that of an aged but dense Bordeaux that is very acidic on the palate and without a whole lot of fruit.

Hours later, the nose is much the same but the wine, in its warmer state, comes off a little darker and less acidic on the palate. The tannins are front and center at this point with the acidity riding right behind it. The fruit however, is still quite lightweight overall and doesn't pull its weight relative to the other elements. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping for more and while the nose was wonderful, the rest didn't quite add up to the experience of other reviewers. My bottle was simply good and no more than that.
Red
2/6/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
94 points
This nose goes on forever... ripe, dark currants, cedar box, tobacco, menthol, graphite, and a hint of stems. Palate: Ripe, dense black currants, tar, licorice, and crushed gravel on the attack. Big, fleshy tannins coat the mouth on the mid-palate and give way to currants and plum sauce on the medium-long finish.

This wine is so big, so tannic, so structured, and so good right now but I would be lying if I said that things were seamless and integrated. Far from it actually. This wine is going to be so long lived and that much better when the tannins have integrated. If you have a few, then it's definitely worth popping the cork on one to check in on it but I would hold the others for at least another 7-8 years.
Red
1/31/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
78 points
Nose: Cherry syrup, white pepper, wood spice, ripe red berries. Palate: Ripe, ripe, and more ripeness on the attack - red berries, sappy cherries, baking spices. So ripe and rich for me, I'm practically begging for the mid-palate to come and bring tannins, acidity, something. Thankfully it does but the it drops off pretty drastically from there. Sappy, overripe, and too much oak for me. Blind I would have guessed Sonoma coast, not Oregon.
Red
2001 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
1/29/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
79 points
Decanted 6 hours the day prior then re-bottled and opened 18 hours later. Nose: Raisins, very port-like overall and not giving up much else. Palate: Smoke, sappy, spiced cherries, currants on the attack. Lively tannins, raisins, and cherries on the mid-palate. Currants and barnyard linger on the finish.

First foray into the Musar line and it's definitely a mixed bag for me. While there is good balance and structure, the wine is a Frankenstein of flavors for me. I totally see where the Bordeaux meets Burgundy comparisons come from, but there is also a very raisiny, Amarone meets port thing going on that props up the mid-palate. The barnyard and metallicness was extremely overpowering on day 1 when I took a tiny sip and while it did mostly blow off, it did partly frame the overall palate on day 2. A conversation piece sort of wine for me, unless this is simply an off vintage.
Red
1/27/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
90 points
Nose: Big, wood-spiced black and blue berries with sappy root beer make up the bulk of this monster of a nose, with hints of barnyard, green peppers, musk, and strawberry candy also hiding back there. Dense, strongly perfumed, and even a touch hot. Palate: Ripe red berries, tart cherries on the attack. Lively tannins and even livelier acidity kick in big time on the mid-palate. Once those fade, perfumed and candied cranberries, tart cherries linger on the long finish.

This wine was opened a good 4-5 years too early but the key elements are all there in abundance and will make for a very good wine down the road.
Red
1/26/2012 - gunpwdr wrote:
88 points
Nose: Currants, a bit of toasty oak, dark chocolate, menthol, hint of tobacco leaf. Palate: Currants and tart plums on the attack. Grippy tannins and anise show up on the mid-palate then give way to ripe currants, toasty oak, and vanilla on a medium length finish.

Right after opening, this wine was a bit jagged but some hours later it has settled in and shows pretty good balance. The oak influence is certainly noticeable and manifests itself with spice notes and definite creaminess, which I could do without from a Bordeaux. Despite this, the fruit weight is quite good... bright and acidic with good, ripe tannins. These elements should come together nicely in 2-3 years, but you could do worse than drink this now. 88 today with the potential to add 1-2 points and at $20, I recommend checking it out.
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