Tasting Notes for charleshetzel

(147 notes on 137 wines)

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Red
6/16/2018 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
99 points
My third time enjoying the 2005 Sine Qua Non The Naked Truth. This Grenache is my all time favorite Grenache. While overwhelmingly 90% Grenache there is some Syrah (10%) and a tiny bit of Mourvedre. This is very indicative of the great Eleven Confessions Vineyard. What a remarkable display of fruit after a 5 hour decant – very fruit forward, again cherries and peppers, and boysenberries. Love the spicy black pepper mid-palate and I do detect some currants and black pencil lead here. The color of this wine is deep purple almost black like. It’s truly powerful, sexy, pure and what one would expect from a Grenache in barrel for over 38 months. A true ode to Manfred’s wife – Elaine – the Naked Truth reveals all that is great about Sine Qua Non. 99 points and I expect this to drink well for the next 10-15 years.
#sinequanon #SQN #grenache #ManfredKrankl #thenakedtruth
Red
6/15/2018 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
95 points
Recently had the chance to try the 2010 Chimere which is the inaugural release of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape made by Manfred Krankl jointly with Vincent & Paul Maureen of Clos Saint-Jean fame in conjunction with Phillipe Camble. This magnum was decanted over 30 hours and is it ever a big boy wine. The aromas of blackberry boysenberry dark baking spices and dark plums. The color was inky jet black even after Day 2. It is 95% Mourvèdre, 4% Grenache, and less than 1% white Grenache. Only 380 magnum were produced.
On the palate it was silky earthy dark black fruit driven with a medium finish. I got hints of the boysenberry and raisin like qualities. Soft to medium acidity and very very ripe.
I think this needs another 10 years to fully develop. 95 points
#sinequanon #sqn #chimere #2010 #manfredkrankl #clossaintjean
Red
4/1/2018 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
96 points
2011 Sine Qua Non "Patine - Eleven Confessions Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Grenache
97 points WA / 97 Vinous

Bought upon release. 750ml. Decanted 5 hours+ This wine comes from SQN’s Eleven Confessions vineyard site in Santa Rita Hills. A Grenache with 77% of Grenache, 22% Syrah and 1% Viognier. The Patine was aged for 2 years, 9 months in oak barrels. Color of dark blackberry. Nose of white pepper, deep blackberry and a herbaceous full body aroma. I love how concentrated the initial fruit is and its very well integrated, round mouth fill. The finish on this wine is gorgeous and feminine like most of Manfred’s Grenaches. I still cannot get over the fruit on this – wonder if that’s the whole clusters showing through? I would give this another 10-15 years and please remember to decant at cellar temperatures for about 4-5 hours and you’ll be very happy. (March 31, 2018) 96 points
2 people found this helpful
Red
2003 Château Angélus St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/18/2017 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted 2.0 hours then another 1.5 hours with cork removed. Deep dark opaque purple color. Sexy legs in the glass. Nose was violets, lavender, and black cherries. Great round mouth feel with full 30 second finish. Tasted blind and group ranked it top 2 of Bordeaux poured. All most all identified as Right Bank. The cab franc really shows well and is very characteristic of this producer. 98 points
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/18/2017 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted for 2.5 hours and then another 1.5 hour in bottle with cork removed. Absolutely decadent nose of licorice, cassis, pencil lead and tobacco. Amazing the tannin left in this wine. Gorgeous deep blackberry color in the glass. This fooled everyone blind as a 2000+ or younger right banker. As a 27 year old left bank Bordeaux I'd back the truck up for more. Incredibly long, delicious, robust dark plum fruit finish. 99 points.
Red
3/19/2017 - charleshetzel wrote:
99 points
My tasting notes for the 2014 Sine Qua Non Shakti Grenache. Decanted 2.5 to 3.0 hours. 14.9% alcohol. Multi-varietal (88% Grenache, 6% Mourvedr, 4% Petite Sirah and some Touriga Nacionale). Wine comes from SQN's Cumulus Vineyards and some from Eleven Confessions, the Third Twin, & Bien Nacido vineyards. I detect lavender, violets, and peppered flowers on the nose. Huge burst of ripe blackberries, hint of peppers and baker's spice. Gorgeous tannin and huge structure on the legs in the glass. Deep dark, concentrated, & voluptuous purple. The finish goes on and on. It was fun to get a shot at popping the cork on this one early, but I am holding my 6 bottles for another 5-7 years. Will only get better. 99 points by Hetzel.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/19/2016 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
100 points
Perfect bottle in an outstanding spot.
Red
10/30/2016 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
98 points
Fantastic burgundy in s great spot. Bright raspberries tight open opening but great after 90 minute decant
Red
9/29/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
100 points
Perfection ...this Grenache was decanted for 8 hours and it was pure perfection
Red
1988 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/29/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
97 points
Was not expecting much from this 88 but wow did it exceed all expectations - drinking very well right now - loved the gravel, dirt, cedar, some leather. Gorgeous wine.
Red
2000 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/29/2016 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
94 points
Definitely in a great spot for a 16 year old Bordeaux. Was somewhat disappointed in the length of the finish. Cedar, tobacco, rich leather with hints of velvet.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/20/2016 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
94 points
I'm getting the typical notes of Howell Mountain fruit-forward, jammy black currant, deep rich chocolate, toasted red cherries, and delicious herbal finish. This is singing!
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/17/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
97 points
Fantastic super tuscan - should pair very well with our Italian food tonight at Balena in Chicago. Love the balance of fruit and tannin,
Red
3/27/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
Beautiful balance pinot noir. Paired very well with roasted lamb. After about 30 minutes of aeration.
Red
3/27/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
95 points
beautiful Rioja in a great drinking spot right now. Huge blackberries and dark fruit on the nose - with a finish of black licorice. meaty. went very well with roasted lamb.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
3/15/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
98 points
Beautiful rich luscious baby fat Chardonnay. Paired with halibut and it was incredible.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/1/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
80 points
Some fruit and jam left but tasted like flat Pepsi
Red
2001 Sine Qua Non Midnight Oil Central Coast Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
6/7/2014 - charleshetzel wrote:
100 points
Shared this folks last year after an event at our home. the nose was super sweet with hints of dark cherries and spice yet still plenty of dark raspberry fruit. This wine is maturing a bit, but still one of my favorite Syrahs. The color is almost ruby purple and the finish is still so strong!
White
2/28/2016 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
95 points
Drank out of 375ml bottle - loved the deep orange golden color. Beautiful nose of honey, honeysuckle, and apricots with a hint of fig. This wine was humongous and large yet balanced acidity. Loved the concentration in this wine and could drink multiple bottles of 750mls!
Red
2/10/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
92 points
drinking solidly - paired well with risotto - still plenty of ripe berry fruit left.
White
1/29/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
100 points
SQN White Birthday Weekend tasting in Vegas (Private Residence - Las Vegas, NV): Truly a Unicorn, try once in a lifetime, wine! I feel beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to taste this wine thanks to the generosity of our host DB. This is a difficult wine to explain. All I know is that it was not distributed to the full mailing list, but only to a few good customers some time around 2004. Some bottles were 1999 and some were 2000. We found the bottle shape to be similar to the 2000 Syrahs. The Gewürztraminer grapes were from Babcock Vineyard. My notes are short on this one because frankly this dry sweet wine LEFT ME SPEECHLESS. Truly the best Gewurztraminer I have ever had. The lushness just rolled over my tongue. In keeping with the theme of some of the SQN whites we enjoyed there were notes of smoke & sweet butterscotch intertwined. I loved the acidity and depth of the wine. This bottle was never formally offered and has a small circle area where the vintage should be written but wasn’t. This wine performed remarkably well and give its uniqueness & scarcity, I highly doubt I will ever have a chance to try this again. Not sure if this was the same fruit used for the Mr. K Gewurzt. I found this bottle which was spontaneously Popped n Poured to be alive, fresh, over the top vibrant and still very much youthful. It was as if Manfred jumped out of the bottle to say Hello to all of us enjoying it! I loved the brightness of its color and its residual sugary finish on the palate. 100 points all of the way for all of us! Blessed indeed.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
1/29/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
98 points
SQN White Birthday Weekend tasting in Vegas (Private Residence - Las Vegas, NV): Again this was also a first time SQN white for me and I loved it. A rare treat to enjoy as only a 100 cases of this 100% Roussane were produced. Definitely a first class White that has aged very nicely. Patience in cellaring this beauty has paid off handsomely. Also, very dry and Sauternes like for me. Huge hints of nutty, cirtrus like aromas. This was served at the best temperature possible and I loved all the nuances on this wine as it came to life in the glass. I would say balance wise this was a wine more in touch with Roussanne than the Omadhaun & Poltroon but not as much unctuous to it. I loved the honey but there were hints of some wood here which interfered with perfection for me. A truly out of this world wine. We are splitting hairs between #2, #3, and #4 in this lineup
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2013 Sine Qua Non Résisté Central Coast White Rhone Blend (view label images)
1/29/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
91 points
SQN White Birthday Weekend tasting in Vegas (Private Residence - Las Vegas, NV): I want to be clear before you read my tasting note here - this is a fabulous wine and one that will turn out beautiful with much more aging to it. I first enjoyed the Resiste 1/20/16 at a fantastic tasting menu dinner at Schwa (1 Michelin star BYOB in Chicago) paired with a course of frog leg's/tobiko broth/toasted rice pandan/reduced cherries and the wine paired brilliantly with such a crazy course - the heat matched the dish. Then on 1/29/16, among all these gorgeous older SQN wines, she did not fare so well. After almost a 2 hour decant, Resiste greeted us with a ripe golden yellow color. Hints of lemongrass, smokey nuts, citrus, and tangerine on the nose. The texture was almost creamy and heavy on the oak and nut flavors. The heat was present throughout the course of the evening fading only near the end. I am struck by the imbalance of this wine, but perhaps this was just bottle variation or the awkwardness of it;s youth. Resiste (the label is a picture of an agave plant) is a Spanish word which means "to resist" or "fight against" - which is what all owners of this wine should do - resist drinking Resiste too soon! The varietals are 45% Roussane, 26% Chardonnay, 14% Petite Manseng, 10% Viognier, & 5% Marsanne. Hold Resiste until 2020-2025.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
1/29/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
95 points
SQN White Birthday Weekend tasting in Vegas (Private Residence - Las Vegas, NV): This is my 3rd time trying the Hoodoo and it's best summed up as it's no longer the monster wine it once was. That is not necessarily a bad thing. At a monstrous 16% alcohol and a blend of Roussanne, Viognier, & Chardonnay, it came off as a wine intent on changing in the glass. This was a pop n pour served at the perfect temperature while decanting in the fridge. We were greeted with a wine of mid-pale yellow color, buttery and oily at first. Huge floral and tropical fruit bouquet with hints of honeysuckle, roses and peaches up front. I loved the figgy fruit initial palate but what struck me most was the pure acidity in the glass. What a great food wine this has become. I truly savored the butterscotch candy and lychee fruit combo with a slight hint of spice as the wine warmed up in the glass. I much preferred this wine the more it warmed up in the glass. Superb wine by an incredible winemaker.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1/29/2016 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
96 points
SQN White Birthday Weekend tasting in Vegas (Private Residence - Las Vegas, NV): I believe this is my 4th time trying this SQN White since it's release. I believe I last tasted it in January 2015 and then prior to that in 2006 & 2007. The 4th time is a charm indeed. After approximately a 1 hour+ decant, there were still those familiar hints of petrol on the nose. The mid-palate of this dry 100% Roussanne wine was weighty, almost peach-like, with a spritz of smokey lovely orange jelly aroma. This is still a luxurious full bodied white who as a young Hussy from Alban Vineyards has matured a bit. She's starting to show some wrinkles, but hey that's ok. I actually enjoyed the less prominent alcohol this time around. The other note I detected here was the faint Orange Pez candy-like finish that hangs on at the end as if it's the one last tease as I empty my glass of The Hussy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1/29/2016 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
99 points
SQN White Birthday Weekend tasting in Vegas (Private Residence - Las Vegas, NV): This was my first time enjoying this older SQN white. A blend of Roussanne and Chardonnay dominated by Roussane grape. This wine was a short decant yet still was massive. At 15.2% alcohol I was shocked as how it likely has mellowed. This was was complex on so many levels. It changed multiple times in the glass and I kept coming back to it during our tasting. I was struck by it's almost Sauternes like color yet it's glycerin and citrus (mid palate was orange peels) were prominent. The nose was that of a nutty madiera and as full-bodied in the flavor. I've read reviews of it's chewiness texture but I saw none of that. While it takes a while to get used to this dry wine - I loved its complexity on so many levels. I feel like its in it's ideal tasting window - but again this is the only bottle I've ever enjoyed
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1/29/2016 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
100 points
SQN White Birthday Weekend tasting in Vegas (Private Residence - Las Vegas, NV): This was my contribution to Duncan Bastin's SQN weekend of whites & reds. This was my second time ever enjoying this 100% chardonnay from Manfred Krankl of SQN with the same group of SQN enthusiasts and dear friends. While ideally this SQN would have many more years of cellaring , it is just too over the top delicious (it's uber hedonistic) to resist drinking this gorgeous white wine. Scarcity (800 bottles?) and crazy auction prices aside, the joy of drinking this SQN white with dear friends made it all worth it. I was blown away by the overall balance of this wine. The nose after over an hour plus decant was full of Aubert-like aromas - ripe apple orchards, grilled peaches, fresh lemons, with just a small hint of "bread notes". It was tantalizing to enjoy the aroma before imbibing. Upon first sip, I got very deep, full bodied, round mouthfuls of fruit ... unctuous in the glass. The texture of the wine clearly hints at it's aging potential and I observed the bold, sexy "wine legs" you expect out of an age-worthy white. I love the finish on the Pearl Clutcher - it just sings on and on. This is a massive Chardonnay that will be in prime drinking spot in 2018-2020, but I still love it now! As I shared when tasting "Pearl Clutcher sings in the glass like an island full of Sirens!" It was a pleasure to share this wine with friends.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
1/29/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
91 points
SQN White Birthday Weekend tasting in Vegas (Private Residence - Las Vegas, NV): Love this Champagne. Opens with terrific green apple, pear, and extreme toasted bread with hints of lemon. This Champagne is a crowd please and has great depth, richness, and posture.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
1/12/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
90 points
solid Chardonnay - really enjoyed it's approach ability and this particular Vineyard source.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
1/6/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
97 points
Fantastic Sauternes. paired with foie gras with reduced blueberry sauce. also paired with a wonderful riesling soaked pear dish. absolutely stunning with both. This Rieussec has about 10 to 20 years left on it for a 375ml. In a great spot right now!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Peter Michael Les Pavots Knights Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/1/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
92 points
For a 15 year old Les Pavots I liked were this was last night. Wonderfully aged wine from Sir Peter Michael.
Red
1/1/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
98 points
Served with beef tenderloin on Christmas Day dinner. This 10 year old Napa Cabernet is still fruit forward. Typical Bryant - lovely tannins, soft on the approach with a long finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
1/1/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
92 points
Served with Caviar on Christmas Day. Beautiful sparkling wine!
White - Sparkling
1/1/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
92 points
Beautiful Blanc de Blancs served with Oysters on NYE 2015. This was drinking wonderfully tonight,
Red
1/1/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
97 points
Oh Larry Stone you out did yourself here. Enjoyed on NYE 2015 with sous vide salmon. Spectacular wine. Wish I had bought more. Huge nose of blueberries, some Seven Springs dusty soil, with a beautiful round burgundy-like fruit finish!
Red
1/1/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
91 points
I love aging Syrah's and this proved my point. In a great spot right now. Gorgeous Syrah fruit.
Red
1/1/2016 - charleshetzel wrote:
96 points
Really in a great spot. Fruit forward, still some soft round tannins. Blackberry and coffee with a hint of mountain mint. Drink up!
Red
2001 Pahlmeyer Jayson Red Wine Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/20/2015 - charleshetzel wrote:
94 points
The 01 Pahlmeyer Jasyon was is a great spot tonight.
Red
2006 Cain Vineyard & Winery Cain Five Spring Mountain District Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/1/2015 - charleshetzel wrote:
88 points
Popped and poured. Liked it better Day 2 and 3. Nose of plums and vegetation. Some spicyness to it. Some cloves. High acidity. Medium to lower fading tannins. Bretty on the finish. Needs a few more years or past its prime?
Red
2004 Bond Melbury Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/1/2015 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
98 points
Truly an epic Bond wine. Bill Harlan knows how to maximize the vineyards. Decanted for well over 2 hours. Deep dark plum like wine with very round soft tannins. Love the cassis, plum, and blackberry nose. Enjoy through 2020. 98 points.
Red
9/1/2015 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
97 points
Enjoyed this at Braxton Cellars. Purchased from Knightsbridge Wine Shoppe. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the older vines of the estate. Popped and poured. Enjoyed over two hours. This Cab is very intense with great dark chocolate and blackberries. I believe this is St. Helena grapes but the terroir seems like Pritchard Hill. Great well structured wine with plenty of acidity. Extremely long finish. 97 points but keep this until 2020 in the cellars.
Red
9/1/2015 - charleshetzel wrote:
96 points
Enjoyed at Braxton Cellars with friends. Popped and poured. Upfront dark blackberry, cherry, and cedar undertones. Great round finish. This Bryant will last for 5 to 50 more years. 96 points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1996 Opus One Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/17/2015 - charleshetzel wrote:
89 points
375ml - been aged too long. Tired, flabby and no fruit.
Red
2007 Checkerboard Vineyards Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/17/2015 - charleshetzel wrote:
99 points
Amazing 2007 vintage. Decanted for 15 minutes. Deep dark chocolate blackberry fruit. One of the most fruit forward amazing Napa cabs ever!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/1/2015 - charleshetzel wrote:
98 points
Our first exposure to Bettina - this was an excellent Cabernet but not so sure it's worth $465
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/1/2015 - charleshetzel wrote:
97 points
fabulous fruit forward, great acidity, and great balance
White - Sparkling
6/18/2015 - charleshetzel Likes this wine:
97 points
Spectacular bottle of bubbles yeasty yosst nutty nose and typical Churchill profile
1 person found this helpful Comment
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