Comments on my notes

(639 comments on 530 notes)

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White
2017 Kutch Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
9/27/2019 - JM_MadTown Likes this wine:
92 points
This is a very enjoyable wine with good citrus and stone fruit, a little butterscotch, zippy acidity and a medium finish.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    9/28/19, 6:25 AM - Hey, this is Frank Murray III. We're in Madison for the game today. I saw your location so thought I would say Hello.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    9/29/19, 7:57 AM - Enjoyed yesterday. jim, is there a good wine store in Madison?

Red
2017 Carlisle Zinfandel Mancini Ranch Russian River Valley
I'll join the passion that Neras posted in his previous note, too. The bottle for my note here was opened on Saturday morning, and it's now Monday afternoon. We had so much left that I have just been working through it the past few days. The bouquet on this stuff leaps out of the stem. Bramble, floral, reminding me of the aromas that come from a barrel sample, just a joy to take in. The palate starts with crisper red fruits like cranberry and maybe some black cherry, with the latter giving the wine a juicy note. And even after 2 full days open, there is structure remaining here, too. I really do like the Mancini vineyard and like the 2016 that wowed me last year for similar red fruits and structure with acid, the 2017 is not far off from that same profile, which tells me I need to keep buying it. Delicious wine.........ah hell, one more update. Day 5 and this stuff keeps going. This is the end of the bottle from this past Saturday and it's rounded out well. Still some light structure but mostly now just a beautiful, pure red/black fruit with a zippy acidity. Damn straight, one of the best Carlisle zins I have ever had, and I've been drinking them for 15 years now. Awesome wine.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    9/16/19, 9:04 PM - Mark, not sure I understand you. For me, I appreciate the structure that persists, giving it some tension and aging capacity. This is a damn good wine that Mike has made.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    9/17/19, 3:25 PM - Mark, I opened the bottle Saturday, then simply left it under cork since then on my fridge door. I still have a glass left, so probably finish it tomorrow, which is Day 5. As for points, I don't use them and don't believe in the premise. It's why I write the narratives that you see, which is to help people identify with what I sensed, tasted and what I think the wine will do with more age.

Red
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast
9/16/2019 - Djfermentation Likes this wine:
97 points
Definitely a remarkable bottle of California Pinot. I usually would not open a restrained red this early but the glowing reviews had me too curious. We coravined about half of our first bottle two weeks ago and sipped after dinner. Then opened and decanted the other half last night to pair with teriyaki salmon. Both experiences with this young wine were special. Amazing depth and flavor at such modest ripeness. Lots of cranberry a little additional red fruits with some blue fruits and spice. Each sip shows a lot. I'm glad I was able to buy some additional bottles during the most recent release. A fantastic wine that captures what makes Pinot Noir such a beautiful grape when a lot of factors come together.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    9/16/19, 5:49 PM - Thanks for the note. The glowing reviews, which are well-earned for this wine, keep adding up. I appreciate seeing your write up, as we see this wine pretty similarly, too.

Red
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast
8/23/2019 - lbarnard wrote:
Jamie really crushed it with this one. Not only my favorite Kutch ever but likely one of my favorite CA pinots ever. Somehow so jam packed with flavor, yet restrained. I buy so little CA pinot these days, but really should have bought a lot more after seeing Frank’s glowing comments about the one producer I still buy consistently.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    8/23/19, 7:57 PM - It's a remarkable bottle of wine, and I may reach the same place as you, to call the wine one of the best ever CA PN, too. I am not there yet, as we need to see how some time treats the wine but I am convinced that it's the best wine Jamie has ever made, alongside some of his Chards, like the 2014. Contact him, as he may still have some for sale and you can add back what you missed.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Cuvée Rubis Champagne Blend
8/10/2019 - C Chen Does not like this wine:
88 points
Disgorged in 2017. The most disappointing bottle I’ve had. Thin, unyielding, and missing so much character and distinction on both the nose and palate. Disappointed, but not surprised.

With some air, it improved, but not enough. With Vilmart Rubis bottles always being just barely above average, I think this’ll be my last purchase from this producer. Onto better things.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    8/11/19, 10:05 AM - Curtis, if these are not doing it for you, then as recommendations, I would suggest Hugues Godme Rose, from Verzenay. I had another bottle tasted blind a few weekends ago and it was excellent. You can find these for less than Vilmart. Also, Mousse Rose Effusion or Marguet Shaman Rose. Not sure if you have tried any of these but they are all Rose favorites of mine.

White
2015 Kutch Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
8/4/2019 - Nanda wrote:
88 points
Very good with nice balance, but not up to the high standards of the 2014 version. Just not as rich, dense or bracing in acidity. A dialed down version.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    8/10/19, 1:02 PM - Rich, you found this dialed down in acidity? Interesting. the bottle i had week before last was electric in acid.

White - Sparkling
2008 Godmé Père et Fils Chardonnay Champagne Premier Cru Extra Brut Les Alouettes Saint Bets
8/4/2019 - WST wrote:
I didn't devote enough attention to this to write a full note, but the short impression was one of an austere, mineral driven wine with a bit more acidity than I'd prefer (and I'm an acidophile). Maybe it just needed more time.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    8/4/19, 7:55 PM - Appreciate this note, as I own a couple of these. Thanks for posting this Warren.

White
2010 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Clos du Bourg Chenin Blanc
My final bottle. After seeing a few recent notes about this wine perhaps not in the best shape, I figured I would open it and see what's there. We opened this yesterday and I brought back home last night with me the last few ounces so I could write a solid note today. As for how the wine shows, first off there is nothing wrong with the color, looks great. The palate is right on, too. There is some weight in the texture, slick and mouthfilling. The fruit expressions is lime, nectarine, peach, tart apple that is woven through some grapefruit and lime acidity, both lengthening the finish. Nothing wrong with this wine at all, and I am glad actually I opened it because I got to taste it and enjoy it. If anything, the acidity is still so bright that it might turn off some people but as an acid freak, I dig it. If this bottle is representative of the 10 CdB Sec (putting aside the bad bottles that others have logged), then I would think this vintage of it should last quite a while.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    8/4/19, 5:28 PM - Chris, I know. This is why, in part, I opened my final bottle. And if you look at the last 10 or so notes in the database, you were not the only reviewer who had an issue. It was a good decision, as if the bottle was going to be poop, I'd know it. Fortunately, it was good, very good actually.

White
2015 Rhys Chardonnay Bearwallow Vineyard Anderson Valley
8/1/2019 - spicy1 Likes this wine:
92 points
I should do some research on where the drinking range comes from on this site. Hopefully the winery! If 2035 is a good guess I shouldn't be drinking this now. Had my first bottle four months back and this has improved big time. Just the right amount of acid for me along with some dry mango and some nutty tones on the long finish. I have four more bottles and hope to spread them out (won't make 2035 for sure). This improved quite a bit by night three so I would either decant or open and let sit.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    8/1/19, 6:00 PM - SPICY1, this drink window is just stupid. Why are we going to sit on this wine and let it age that far out? The wine's acidity, fruit and balance make this lovely now and for the next several years but to think I would consider keeping these for another 15 years make no sense to me.

    Appreciate your TN.

Red
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast
July 2019 Kutch Visit (Jamie's Pad in SFO): Drank as part of a 5 bottle flight of Falstaffs (2010 non-blind, with the 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2018 tasted blind). I've gushed and gushed about this wine for almost 2 years now, both when I first had it prior to going to bottle, and since then from bottle several times. It's on my short list for WOTY for 2019 and it might stand in a tie with the 2017 Rivers-Marie Platt PN. We'll see later in the year when I do them side by side. For yesterday's bottle, some light stems on the nose. My notes then say 'intensity' with blue fruit, spicy, all mixed together. Then, 'purple purity and seductive'. Yet, in all of this perceived power, there is medium weight and balance. Youthful, juicy and delicious....retasting the following day from the leftover wine at room temp, damn I love this wine. There is structure, purity, balance, with some earth/soil, complexity. And yesterday when we had this blind, I knew this was the 2017 under the bag, as a wine that is unmistakable in how it translates to such pleasure and balance. Beautiful again. Damn.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    7/31/19, 10:53 AM - MTC2, I don't use those drink windows and I have never paid attention to them. I focus on the narratives of the TNs, of those who talk about structure, tension, those kinds of things that affect palate perception, etc. For me, two thoughts. One, you never know what tomorrow brings so open one and contribute to the discussion with a TN. This is what builds the narrative on the wine. And two, I believe the wine drinks with a flair now. It will evolve further yet drinking it now is going to give you pleasure, if you in part take my TN as one experience that you can use to decide.

Red
2016 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
7/28/2019 - MTC2 wrote:
85 points
As Goldmember wiuld say, “Tight like a tiger!” Dusty (obviously unfiltered) dark ruby color. Oh, so tart cherry palate. Some baking spices. Prickly mouthfeel. This is my first Kutch Pinot Noir, so I hope the others in my cellar show better.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    7/29/19, 9:37 PM - You're going to be ok. That 16 SC is a tough bottle, as i too have experienced that quality. Try the 2017s. Hell, use my TNs as a reference point if you like. Just don't lose hope as the Kutch wines are getting and better.

White
2017 Kutch Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
July 2019 Kutch Visit (Jamie's Pad in SFO): Drank as part of a complete vertical of all Kutch Chards (14-17, to include Trout Gulch). Yellow apple, mint, some toast and supple, with what I recalled being the least of the 5 Chards in terms of perceived acidity. Spice, green apple, some lemon but not the lemon intensity of the 2015....retasted the following morning from leftovers at room temo, my notes from yesterday reflect the wine pretty well as it tastes today. Like the 2017 Trout Gulch, this seems a little more approachable than the other Chards. What I notice this morning is some yellow apple (which for me usually means a softer, less acidic impression of the fruit), some stone fruit, like a peach or nectarine. As the wine finishes, there is a mandarin orange kind of citrus that gently fills in. I believe for the 2017 whites, people will find them more gentle and less intense, which I do like but I will drink my 2017s before the earlier vintages,
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    7/28/19, 8:38 AM - Hmm, I don't think so. I liked them all for different reasons but if you made me pick, I'd say 2015.

Red
2015 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast
7/18/2019 - t_moderne wrote:
93 points
Pop and oour and initially asted with food and then on its own.
Ruby purple color. Clear.
The bouquet on this is wonderful. Lovely herbal note mixing in with black cherry and black raspberries, and pipe tobacco. Think borkum riff flavored tobacco. Ocassional saline note is in there too.
Good dark fruits with a slight bitter and herbal note similar to what you might fin in a light amaro. The texture is rich and velvety yet weightless. This has a stated 12.3% abv and shows its cool climate source. Fresh and lively wine. Delicious.
Re-corked and refrigerated the remainder and will update if second day impressions are different.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    7/18/19, 6:23 PM - Good note, T. Drinking another glass tonight and there is some good structure poking through tonight.

Red
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir Falstaff Vineyard Sonoma Coast
7/2/2019 - WineGold wrote:
96 points
Here is what I just emailed Jamie:

We are drinking our first 17 Falstaff bottle (I got four). Here is what I think:

It is the best wine of yours I’ve ever tasted.

It’s easily my favorite Pinot of the year so far, and I can’t think of a close second.

It’s probably my favorite wine of the year, including all manner of Pinot (including Rivers Marie, Scherrer, Copain, Aubert, etc), and Cabernet (Maybach, Outpost, Mike Smith wines, etc.).

And it’s quite possibly my favorite wine of the year.

Absurdly good. Might open a second bottle tonight, for just my wife and I.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    7/2/19, 5:45 PM - Genius! AMEN!

Red
2015 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
6/26/2019 - t_moderne wrote:
86 points
Pop and pour and tasted without food.
Bright ruby color. Clear.
Nose offers herbs and some cranberry.
Flavors of bright red berries (cranberries and wild strawberries) with some red cherries on the back end. The whole cluster usage is evident as the wine has a significant herbal note. While the whole cluster gives the wine added depth and a savory quality, it is a bit jarring and perhaps over done. I am not sure that green herbal element will fully integrate. At present, it is a bit of detraction from the wine.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    6/28/19, 12:16 PM - Interesting take, T. I've had this wine about 1/2 dozen times now and have always enjoyed it, one of the best SC bottlings he has made IMO. I'm going to visit Jamie and will retaste the 2015s as part of the wines we have targeted. Maybe we oughta do the wines blind and get some added perspective about them via that angle. I trust your palate so it's a note I appreciate. Hope all is well, man.

Red
2016 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
6/2/2019 - Charlie Carnes Likes this wine:
96 points
This wine, from 500ml, is singing light now. Call it the black fruited foil to my generally favorite red fruited Bearwallow. This, especially in 2016 will give Bearwallow a run for its money for me. This has brilliant dark red cherry fruit. It is lively and thrilling with pert acid, crunchy, earthy soil, dusty clay covered stones, Vosne-ish baking spices, and a swallow that is lovely, and full of lively energy, that beckons for more sips.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    6/2/19, 9:41 AM - Good stuff. I loved this wine in 2018 when we were at the winery tasting it. Miss seeing you, Mr. Carnes.

Red
2006 Copain Pinot Noir "En Haut" Kiser Anderson Valley
5/20/2019 - TMOVino2 Likes this wine:
94 points
Absolutely singing! Cork broke, but was otherwise in great shape.
Short 30 minute decant and it was stunning. Cherry, Cranberry and other red fruit notes. Tons of spice and so velvety smooth. This wine has to be absolutely hitting the pinnacle right now!
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    5/20/19, 8:05 AM - Very helpful. Have one bottle left any your pov is appreciated.

White
2010 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Haut-Lieu Chenin Blanc
The bed is clean! The bed is clean!
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    5/19/19, 7:14 PM - Too funny. Now, go open a 2012 and see if the bed smells!

    Between the two of us, we have worked through all the 2010s now in the past 2 weeks, right? Have we saved the world? :)

White
2010 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Mont Chenin Blanc
5/17/2019 - winchester-xi wrote:
flawed
A pronounced brown tinge to the appearance and aromas of almonds. Drinkable, but barely.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    5/17/19, 9:39 AM - You seem to be having a bad run with the 2010s--tough to see. I just had a 2010 LM Sec this week and it was excellent. Is there a storage commonality with your wines? Just thinking outloud.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    5/17/19, 2:23 PM - Please keep posting these experiences so we can keep the portfolio of comments active. I was noodling on my last 2011 HL Sec coming up, and now maybe the 2010 CdB based on your note. I stopped buying the wines, along with Chidaine. What I do have left i hope holds up.

White - Sparkling
2012 Marie Courtin Champagne Efflorescence Extra Brut Pinot Noir
5/12/2019 - Puteljen! Likes this wine:
92 points
From mag.

This is nice and on the nose quite open with peach, hints of red berries and lemon. Also light vanilla and toast. On the palate quite young, with high acidity and prominent minerality. At the same time smooth, rich and candylike with again hints of custard. Would never have guessed this is zero dosage. Surprisingly delicate mousse. Medium + lenght. Good stuff! Will take further cellaring but does not really need it.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    5/13/19, 6:46 PM - Great note. Give credit to the farming here and the care that goes into making these wines. Terrific stuff.

Red
2014 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard Russian River Valley
5/3/2019 - spicy1 wrote:
89 points
First bottle of the Russian River and not my favorite of the Carlisle Zins. Maybe I am expecting too much based on the CT scores. Plenty of smooth fruit but nothing saying "I wish I had bought more".
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    5/3/19, 3:49 PM - Thanks for posting the note. You say "Russian River" but damn near all of Mike's Zins are sourced from the RRV. Did you drink the 2014 Carlisle Vineyard? I recall from my bottle back in 2017 this drinking with some class and energy. It's stupid to go tell someone else, "Hey, what's with your note, the wine can't be as you say...you must have had an off bottle". I'm not going to run that at you but are you a Carlisle Zin drinker, in general? You seem to own some of it so just wondering. For what it's worth, I see you have a few of the Rivers-Marie 2017 Occidental. Go open one of those and see how that wine speaks to you. I had one a few weeks ago and it was fantastic, memorable.

Red
2012 Copain Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard Yorkville Highlands
In a great spot. Floral nose, lots of ripe, juicy black fruit, and black pepper. Still sporting evident tannins and acid, but in balance. Finish is persistent and tasty. A restrained yet elegant CA syrah. Lots of life left in this beauty.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    4/26/19, 5:57 PM - Dig the note. Thank you.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    4/26/19, 6:05 PM - i always liked Hawks, but thought Brosseau was the best syrah work that Wells did. 2012 was a strong vintage too. I have one left so notes like this give me POV on how to think about the wine.

    Side note...sitting here tonight working on the rest of a 2015 Copain Wendling. Nice stuff. I'm continuing to thin out my still wine as I increase my Champagne inventory. But, with Kiser and Brosseau, those are my Copain bottles I will always treasure. We'll have to see what Wells does post-Copain.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    4/26/19, 6:15 PM - The 2010 Brosseau Syrah is iconic for me, and it has finally softened up. The 2012 is likely following in the path of that wine, too.

    For Champagne, that probably is going to be a long-term permanent shift. Given my age and the way I connect with Champagne, it's where I am going for good.

White
2016 Kutch Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
4/17/2019 - NickBurwood Likes this wine:
92 points
The first of my case and drinking very well.
Lightly viscous. Concentrated core of clean ripe grapefruit with a dash of more aromatic white cherry. Lime leaves, citrus zest in abundance and focussed granitic/steely minerality. A real blend of old and new world chardonnay styles and none the worse for it. Superb.
Will be interesting to see if will improve with a tad more bottle age but personally I like the way it is!! Will drink over the next 2-3 years.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    4/18/19, 3:17 PM - Brilliant note! Love it.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Hugues Godmé Champagne Grand Cru Rosé Champagne Blend
This is from 750, from a new batch of bottles I bought back in December 2018. The back labels on these seems to be in constant change with what I presume are new disgorgements. This bottle's back label has a disgorge date of October 2017, with a composition of 35% Chard / 65% Pinot Noir, yet there is no dosage info. This has a salmon color, and perhaps a little toasted aroma. The back label does say 40% done in wood, so not sure what the program is for this batch, but maybe the 'chene' is talking. Has a good spine of lime to provide acidity, along with some green apple and raspberry. Touch of saline passes through the finish, and all together, this is drinking solid for the $40 I paid for it. The NV Godme Rose, like Dethune, continues to be a strong performer for my cellar.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    4/17/19, 5:26 PM - This bottling is very consistent, which I enjoy, Viet. Plus, you get the assurance of biodynamic farming so if you support/value this way of farming and eco-view, then that's a plus with Hugues Godme.

Red
2010 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Last of our 2010's. Simply lovely, great acids, high-toned fruits, orange peel, excellent mouth feel and super QPR. Year in, year out must buy.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    4/17/19, 5:25 PM - Thanks for the note. I have one bottle left, and I have not had any of the 2010 in the last 5 years so your note is very helpful. As a side note, I think am done buying the SC bottling, and will focus on Occidental and the 2 Summa bottlings going forward. With limited space in my cellar, I'd rather drink the Kutch Sonoma Coast for an AVA blend. I really like Summa, Summa OV and Ox, so those work well in my own cellar buying strategy. Blah blah blah

White - Sparkling
2008 Louis Barthélémy Champagne Brut Saphir Champagne Blend
What I enjoyed about this bottle was the balance I perceived. It seemed built well, gentle and while not overly complex, for vintage bubbly from 08, and 40 bucks US, drinking great now and a good value.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    4/14/19, 2:03 PM - Kirk, howdy. Thanks for the message. You know, that bottle was part of a flight of things I tasted at a Champagne event. It's been 2 1/2 years and that was my only pass at the wine so I would trust my note and drink it sooner than later, FWIW.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Moussé Fils Champagne Brut Rose Effusion Champagne Blend
3/27/2019 - Ekoostik wrote:
Very deep coloration here and a banging nose of juicy strawberries. A bit heavy and clunky on the palate though that really left me thinking more high end Cava than champagne. Stuffing seemed there, it just didn’t have any precision in its execution tonight. This was my first try at this producer though. Not much value for me at $60 local
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    3/27/19, 7:31 AM - At $60, you did overpay. I paid $35 for my most recent bottles.

Red
2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard Russian River Valley
Last tasted at the winery when we visited in July. I dug it then, and its drinking stellar again today. These bottles arrived a few weeks ago, and given the charity challenge running for our man Jason Hagen, figured this was a good bottle to honor him and his health. Opened this about 30 mins ago, dumped it into a nice stem, serving it at 66 degrees. Vintage after vintage, this is consistently beautiful stuff, a wine I have been drinking for 16 vintages. Distinctly juicy, with a bright core of acidity that frames the dark raspberry, some light vanilla and a finishing purity of cobbler-like fruit. The finish has excellent structure, with a final note of licorice. Delicious again, Mr Officer.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    3/19/19, 9:02 AM - JERB, glad you found the note helpful. I dislike the premise of scores and have never used one for any of my notes. I believe you will find the wine enjoyable now, with some aeration that would help, or age these for some time. Personally, I like to try one early one to get a personal baseline, which then helps me figure out how to drink the remainder. Nice to meet you.

Red
2013 Kutch Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast
3/12/2019 - Nanda wrote:
92 points
Attractive nose of cool black cherry that is infused with herbs. Palate echoes the nose. Sappy, bright red cherries. Good concentration but no heaviness.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    3/12/19, 7:45 PM - Love the note, Rich. Thank you.

White - Sparkling
2013 Marie Courtin Champagne Efflorescence Extra Brut Pinot Noir
Nicely balanced and reasonably energetic, but honestly was a bit disappointed. Probably mostly due to the fruit being a bit dull, by which I mean it just did not stand up and take notice. Actually was a bit better the next night. Have a couple more of these so will soon see if this was a fluke or is just lacking in the 'wow' department.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    3/11/19, 8:55 PM - Thanks for the note. I have drank the wine 2X and probably time to try it again. Several tries with a wine give you that 'spin' from experiences that differ.

Red
2012 Copain Pinot Noir Wendling Vineyard Anderson Valley
3/9/2019 - egh Likes this wine:
91 points
Smooth and moderately proportioned yet with good concentration, saturation, and structure with an aromatic and flavor profile of black raspberry, blueberry, red apple, spices, and cloves. 13.6% abv.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    3/10/19, 2:27 PM - EGH, what is your view about the aging potential? Is there structure left to integrate or is this in a good drinking window now?

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    3/11/19, 8:54 PM - Yep, and young vines. Your thought process seems wise. I like it.

    I am working down some of my still wine, as I want to get some of it from my cellar. I may pour this 12 at a dinner I am doing in 2 weeks. Would be blind.

Red
2013 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
2/4/2019 - msuwright wrote:
95 points
This elegant and complex Pinot is drinking beautifully right now, with an incredible level of depth and precision. At the risk of sounding unoriginal, I think Rhys is the best producer of lighter-bodied Pinot in California. This particular wine resembles, rivals, and probably surpasses many premier cru Chambolle-Musigny or Pommard wines in terms of depth, balance, and class. It's serious Burgundy coming to America via the Santa Cruz Mountains - what's not to love?

Light red in color and light in body, the wine offers aromas of dried strawberry, orange peel, warm straw, and fresh rose petals (yeah, ha ha, silly person using words to describe wine... but try this and tell me you don't smell fresh flowers!). The tastes are layered and delicious: cranberry, raspberry, black tea, rhubarb, and fresh moss. The soft, lingering, and balanced finish is endearing, since it's not bitter, acidic, or tart - common issues, for me, with CA Pinots of this ilk (e.g., Hirsch, Knez, Domaine de la Cote). 12.5% alcohol. Decant at least two hours.

I've had a few Rhys misfires over the years (especially at the appellation level), but - across the board - no one in the CA Pinot world can so ably float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. I often lean towards CA producers on the fuller end of the spectrum (e.g., Morlet, Cirq), but attention must be paid to a wine this good: it's a fantastic Old World Pinot that offers complexity and balance in a graceful and nimble package. 94-95 for now, with upside in 2020 or later.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    2/5/19, 3:30 PM - Frigging awesome tasting note. Bravo.

White
2006 Copain Roussanne James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles
1/31/2019 - JonnyG Likes this wine:
90 points
2006 Retrospective (Central Coast, CA): Fresh and energetic, with a neat combo of lanolin and anise notes alongside some honeyed apple and ginger. At this age, the acidity is outweighed by the fruit, making it a touch flabby. An easy drinker with lots of life left, if lacking in the complexity department.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    2/1/19, 5:39 PM - Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I had this a few years ago from mag, and it was drinking fine then. I still have a single 750 left, I am kind of attached to hanging onto it and seeing where it will go so your note is helpful and appreciated.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Moussé Fils Champagne Brut Rose Effusion Champagne Blend
1/12/2019 - C Chen wrote:
90 points
Second time with this Champagne. First was with Frank Murray and the OC Wine Crew, second time with Lily.

Bright cherries, strawberries and cream, rich and high toned fruit, hints of cola, candied red fruit, and ocean spray on the nose. Compelling and exciting. The palate is more straightforward: Strawberry, grapefruit, some bitterness, Mugnier funk, nice acidity, and that signature Mousse salinity that I love.

For $34.99, this checks all the boxes for an inexpensive, value packed grower champagne. Delicious effort from Mousse.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    1/12/19, 2:10 PM - Awesome note, Curtis.

Red
2012 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Vineyard Sonoma Coast
1/8/2019 - pjhr Likes this wine:
93 points
Lovely tart red cherry, earth, pine, and a hint of grapefruit on the nose and palate. Long delicious finish with refreshing acidity.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    1/8/19, 9:16 PM - Great note!

Red
2005 Copain Syrah Garys' Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
1/3/2019 - sw92130 Does not like this wine:
80 points
Not sure if this is just too old; I was hoping for the best, but I couldn’t detect much pleasurable about this bottle. I do have another bottle - I’ll update this after trying that sometime soon.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    1/3/19, 6:56 PM - Ouch. I too own a bottle, and had been saving it to pair with a 2005 Loring Garys', which was the only syrah Brian Loring ever made (and probably ever will!). I recall the 2005 Copain Garys' being stemmy in its youth. Did you sense any stem inclusion impact?

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    1/6/19, 12:31 PM - SW92130 (I would dig knowing your actual name!), keep your bottle and know I appreciate the offer. I'd tell you to trust your senses and perceptions. The more recent versions of Copain syrah (keeping in mind that Wells has moved on from Copain) show less stemmy quality, and in my view, the stems are well integrated. From about 2008 on, the stem inclusion became better managed and while I think still at around 50% for the syrahs Wells made, the impact of the stems was part of the total canvas of flavors. 2005 pre-dated the change. In fact, if you try the 2013 or 2014 vintages of his syrahs, these are beautiful wines with a marrying of acid, color, weight and alcohols, and stems!

Rosé - Sparkling
2012 Marie Courtin Champagne Allégeance Extra Brut Pinot Noir
1/1/2019 - rocknroller wrote:
91 points
New Years Day: Vrai Champagne, Third Annual Edition: Deeper sockeye color. This is a bold wine, cherry, tart, fuller body, a bit strict on the finish. I think I'd have preferred just a straightforward brut version of this. 90+ to 91pts.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    1/2/19, 7:33 PM - Thanks for this TN. have just a single bottle of this so the TN is really helpful.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    1/2/19, 8:26 PM - Blind....the great humbler and leveler.

White - Sparkling
2007 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Pétillant Brut Réserve Chenin Blanc
Like lemon, golden apple, and honey, with a touch of brothy savoriness; nice combination of freshness and rich aged character. Good acidity and stony minerality seem to tie everything together. Versatile with food, and quite enjoyable. Seems to be in a good place for drinking.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/24/18, 8:15 PM - Really helpful note. I've had a bottle of this in my cellar for going on 8 years now. Been wondering about when to drink mine.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/25/18, 3:05 PM - Well, patience isn't my best virtue but for some reason this has survived my impulse when I was looking for something. I suspect then I will open this in 2019 for the wine dorks in my group and bag it blind to ensure they have no frigging idea what it is. Sounds like a perfect choice for them!

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/26/18, 10:14 PM - Fun, with a nice dose of humility. Blind makes the senses use truth.

White - Sparkling
2013 Marie Courtin Champagne Resonance Extra Brut Pinot Noir
12/24/2018 - carlwhat wrote:
lot of brioche when first opened. too much so... not enough cut for me as previous vintages have been more in line with my acid freak palate. that said, the wine did evolve into something more memorable and enjoyable for me the longer it was open. not lacking in personality.... that is for sure.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/24/18, 8:13 PM - Thanks for the note. Have you tried the 14? It is solid, very good

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/26/18, 10:13 PM - Worth a shot. I admit to not yet being tuned enough (as I am with red still wine) to sort out vintage differences but am getting there. Like anything, it takes lots of corks out and getting bias out of the way to get things in perspective.

Red
2010 Copain Pinot Noir Monument Tree Anderson Valley
12/16/2018 - alanr wrote:
88 points
Fairly dark garnet color, just some slight lean toward brick red; a lightly sweet floral nose, palate is on the bright side, with a mix of darker raspberry/strawberry fruit, just enough seamless acidity, and a hint of fine grained tannins. Very pleasant and drinkable, though not showing a lot of complexity or interest.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/25/18, 3:04 PM - Spot on with your note, Alan. I just opened one and it's been breathing in my glass for about 30 mins. I find the red apple here as usual, although you didn't mention it. Your TN helped me fstop grousing around for a good fit for tonight's red so thank you. Merry XMAS, buddy.

Red
2013 Roar Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
I guess the critics force good Pinot to be made in the Cabernet style. Many will enjoy but this is not my style. The elegance of the grape is lost unfortunately.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/1/18, 5:18 PM - Dig this note. Bravo. Well said.

Red
2012 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Dairyman Russian River Valley
12/1/2014 - xdbk11 Does not like this wine:
85 points
Not at all what I'm looking for in a pinot noir. Big parkerized pinot. No thanks.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/1/18, 5:16 PM - Agree with you here. To take the beauty and inherent delicacy of this grape and produce these kinds of styled wines is horrible to me. I won't touch these wines as i dislike them. However, many people dig these Belle Glos pinots and buy lots of it.

Red
2015 Kutch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
12/1/2018 - BradE wrote:
Drank these in a party setting, and all six bottles disappeared quickly, so I'm out. Which is too bad, as I sense this vintage will benefit more than others from time in the bottle. Restrained, and very much in the Kutch style.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    12/1/18, 1:41 PM - Congratulations, Brad. Wonderful for your daughter. A great way to treat your guests well. I'd dig any wedding with Jamie's wines as the anchor.

White - Sparkling
2012 Savart Champagne Expression Nature Pinot Noir
Disgorged 01/2017 (handwritten date on the bottle back label, too) with 0 g/l. 100% PN from 60 year old vines grown in Ecueil (the western end of the Montagne). Holy smokes....I loved this bottle last night. Black cherry, citrus, with a beautiful coil of strength and energy running through it. Light salty and lemony into the finish. It also had a similar dried herb note, maybe a little 5-spice too, that really gave it a distinctive touch. I'd say this is one of the top 3 Champagnes I have tasted all year, without a doubt.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/23/18, 7:47 AM - Equally to you, too. I found 4 more bottles of this earlier in the week. I have been looking for it for a few months and then it popped up. Quite likely my wine of the year for 2018. Amazing stuff.

Red
2006 Copain Pinot Noir Monument Tree Anderson Valley
11/16/2018 - PIntag wrote:
13.0% abv. Recent WineBid purchase.
Cork in surprisingly good shape (especially after seeing the previous note describing it as "disintegrated"), as it came out in one easy piece and was barely stained a few millimeters up.
In any case, the nose was pretty reticent but showed some earthy and yes, graphite as noted below. Not particularly attractive, but interesting.
On the palate, this had nice, silky mouthfeel but the fruit was really faded. Acidity was lacking a bit as well which left this seeming a bit flat and over-the-hill. Not bad at all, but not super enjoyable. An interesting look into a well-made domestic Pinot that is not ageworthy. Not sure what factors into this, inferior fruit; young vines; wine-making technique? Some of each?
Edit: Also, virtually no sediment at all. Not really scoring this since it is obviously well past peak, but would be 85-86 if I was.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/17/18, 4:29 PM - Dig the note. Hell, it's been 5 years since I opened one and the recent TNs prior to yours are sparse. Might be convinced to open this tomorrow and check it out, then say goodbye to it as my final bottle.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/17/18, 6:32 PM - Just posted my note. Have about 1/2 bottle for tomorrow. This is drinking pretty well, IMO.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/18/18, 10:00 AM - Compromised? Never. Informed? YES! Haha

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/21/18, 2:54 PM - I've got a few 2006s left I need to open and finish up. Beyond that, I don't have anything older and didn't source any of the stuff that was coming through the auction pipe. I am certain though that those older Copain wines were coming right from a true, single source, stored well (there could have been another smaller cellar perhaps get mixed into that group of things but the lion share should have been spot on). That 2000 sounds like it treated you well.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Marguet Champagne Grand Cru Shaman 14 Rosé Champagne Blend
11/21/2018 - Charlie Carnes Likes this wine:
94 points
Drank these in different places under different circumstances. I love these growers! Fresh, quenching red fruit, and pretty mineral. Cannot believe this is 0 dosage, which can at times seem forced, but not the Shaman. Fresh, refreshing, full, downright delicious and excellent!
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/21/18, 2:52 PM - We're doing a Marguet event in a few weeks, with about 10 different things, all blind. Should be a gas. Glad you found these wines. The misconception that 0 dosage is not good or isn't as good as the dosed stuff coming from the large producers, is just not true.

Red
2011 Copain Syrah Brosseau Vineyard Chalone
11/18/2018 - GrapeScott wrote:
88 points
In general, I like the circa 2006 shift in Wells' style toward picking at lower Brix, but sometimes it just doesn't seem to work, and this is one of those wines. Coravin'ed, so not much chance to look at how this evolves, but I've had 2 glasses over a couple nights and my impressions are the same. Reminds me of some Texier wines, very high-toned, acidic, and lacking up front fruit. Like some Texier wines, this might just need more time, but right now it comes across as thin and a bit one-dimensional, showing all bright red fruits.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/19/18, 4:25 PM - I also think it is the vintage. 2011 didn't produce the wines of say 2012 or 2010. I am basically done with my 2009s and 2011s, as I just don't see any reason to age them. Drink them and make space for other things. Your note's descriptions given the vintage doesn't surprise me.

White
2016 Kutch Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
11/17/2018 - West Coast Wine Likes this wine:
90 points
Clear, straw color and lemon / citrus on the nose. High acid and clean clean clean wine! Enjoyed the straight forward lemon, minerality and bright acidity of this wine. Not very complex and not a very long finish or much body but a very well made Chardonnay especially for the price. Obviously young and would like to see how this evolves but I think the acidity is a real plus so not sure would want this to age to long.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/17/18, 4:30 PM - Interesting TN. So, if this was to be complex as you reference, what would the wine need to show? I had this a few weeks ago and was very impressed with it, and do think it will age well enough, at least in my view.

Red
2015 Kutch Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast
Kutch and Model Farm dinner at my place in the OC (My House In The South OC): Holy crap this is drinking beautifully. Exotic aromatics with just a light imprint of whole cluster. Dark, powerful, with incredible intensity. Iron, herb, dark red fruit and solid structure. The acidity and fruit carry this wine through a long finish. I have some leftover from last night, plan to taste later today and see what the additional aeration did for the wine but clearly my WOTN from the dinner and yet another testament to the quality Jamie made with the 2015 vintage (for which the 2015 Sonoma Coast, although not tasted last night, remains one of my personal favorite PN wines I have had all year, too).
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/4/18, 2:02 PM - My son in law and i are going to work through most of the wines in a bit. Have little league to finish up and then get cracking. I like the 16 but that 15 was fantastic last night. Pure, awesome depth. Will update my tns from last night once we can work through them.

  • Frank Murray III commented:

    11/4/18, 6:18 PM - I just put my story and notes in CT here, as well as on Wine Berserkers, with photos. Hope that helps.

Red
2016 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Drank one of these last night, as part of a dinner with colleagues so the bottle was shared across the large table. My reaction to this is similar to what cpsmith33 says below, in that I found this bottling rich with some density. There is nothing to retaste today so my TN here is quite abbreviated but my recall was a wine of dark color, intensity and not yet showing the definition of the better years of the SC bottling.
  • Frank Murray III commented:

    10/27/18, 9:13 AM - Thanks for the comment. The 16 Summa is drinking excellent FWIW.

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