Tasting Notes for Ron Slye

(706 notes on 472 wines)

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Red
10/20/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
Lovely wine. I definitely get the red berry jam notes of another reviewer. But there are some lovely earth tones, forest floor, even herbal notes. Lovely lively acidity, this seems to be in its prime drinking window, and thus can last a few more years if not more.
Red
10/20/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
This is still going strong. Stewed fruits, earth, with creamy coffee notes, but also some blood and some acidity. This is pretty smooth and focused, but almost too intense for me still -- it was a stark contrast to the 1999 Cote Rotie that accompanied it, which had more bright red fruits, some earth tones, and some nice acidity. The Cayuse was darker, more brooding, with more layers of complexity, but I keep thinking it would do well with some more age.
Red
10/16/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
94 points
Wow. This is just amazing. It is one of those wines that I opened by myself thinking this could be ok, not great, or amazing. It is the latter -- note to self, remember to have someone else around when I open something like this.

This has lovely deep red color, and after about an hour or so in the glass just opens up with lovely notes of mint/eucalyptus. Lovely subdued bright fruits, with some equally strong earth tones and mint. Still some fine tannins in the finish, suggesting this has years of life ahead of it. Sorry that this is my last bottle. I paid 170 Rand for this -- about US $17 back then, in around 2002 I think. Given the price, this is by far one of the best values I have come across. 3/4 of the bottle is recorked and back in the fridge -- curious to revisit over the next few days.
White
10/13/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
94 points
Oh this reminds how good white rhones can get. I don't think I have had a domestic version that comes close to this. On day two this is singing (note to self, hold other bottles for a few years). Very tight and focused flavors of meyer lemon, creme brulee, apricot, with notes of herbs and white flowers. This has such a lovely weight and density, but also a lightness that makes it a pleasure to drink.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1998 Château Raymond-Lafon Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
10/13/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
90 points
Very nice viscous wine, that is still drinking well. I find sauternes does not quite have enough acidity for me -- though this worked really well with some cheeses. Others should, and do below, rate this a bit higher and I have no doubt that their assessment is more accurate, particularly for those who like sauternes.
Red
10/12/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
94 points
Pretty much the same as my earlier note. This just has so much going on. Like most wines of this style it usually takes center stage. We had a really amazing older CA pinot (Kalin 2000) that was so subtle and just lovely with the roast lamb. The Armada was also great with it -- just different. More of a strong bass note that almost takes you away from the food and makes you want to jump into the glass. The pinot is more subtle, and more balanced, and complemented the food nicely. Both were good -- just different experiences.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/12/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
Wow. This really opened up over the evening. At first it seemed tired and over the hill -- a bit raisiny and austere acidity. But then after an hour or so this started to open up into a beautiful subtle experience. Lovely acidity, almost ethereal. Perhaps it would be nice with a little bit more complexity, but I just kept coming back to this over and over again and was very disappointed when the bottle was empty.
Red
9/27/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
88 points
PnP. After an evening with this wine I think it is still young for my taste. Some nice bright fruits, but almost like one is sensing them through a thin film of cream. Some nice earth notes along with the fruit, but there is perhaps slightly less acid at the moment to lift the flavors. The last glass, down to the last drop, was starting to develop beautifully -- I just smelled the empty glass for a while. I do think this needs a bunch more time to integrate all of the flavors that at the moment seem a bit muffled. The last drop and smell were in the 90s.
Red
9/22/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
90 points
Really lovely wine with some nice subtlety, which is perhaps owing to the vintage. Smooth red fruits, with some nice subtle notes of spice, with hints of cherry peeking out from underneath. This is lovely and balanced. There is not lots of complexity here at the moment, but my guess is that will come in a few years.

Edit: This blossomed over the evening, and as often happens with young wines, the last glass was the best. So upping this from 88 to 90. Still a bunch of up side here. All in all this is nicely balanced with some growing complexity.
Red
9/19/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
Still drinking really nicely. Some nice fruit, as well as lovely herbal notes. Pretty smooth -- perhaps a little bitterness at the finish -- but the finish is nice and long. This is still well put together, but lacks the complexity and nuance that would bring it to the next level. Still excellent -- still likely to last years more.

This got so much better as the night progressed. The last few sips were a good step up from the beginning; One of those wines that you can just sit and contemplate. So much better than the 99 Guigal Cote Rotie Brune Blond that I had recently. I am upping this from a 91 to 93.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/15/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
Very similar to my last note. Perhaps a bit more subtlety than I remember from the last bottle. Smooth and palatable. Nice focused fruit with some lovely structured acidity, and some nice earth notes.
Red
9/12/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
Lovely nose of tar and burnt wood that continues on the palate, but is immediately balanced with lovely vibrant red fruit. This is a lovely and smooth package at the moment. On the border between an animalistic and feral wine and smooth balanced and intriguing fruit. Still some very fine grained tannins. This will last a while longer. It will only get better for those who love old wines with lots of subtle tertiary flavors. For me this is in its sweet spot.
White
9/11/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
88 points
Nice medium-crisp chardonnay -- with some hints of lemon, stone. Not quite as bracing as chablis, but on the more mineral side of things. Lovely mid week wine for a quick salmon dinner.

Upping the score from 86 to 88. This has started to develop a more integrated lemon/lemon curd, still with some bracing acidity. A tight package at the moment that may benefit from a few more years of bottle age.
Red
9/10/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
This is really lovely now. A tight restrained nose with notes of blackberries/black cherries -- there is a brooding element of dark wood. All of these flavors carry over to the palate, which has some nice bright acidity that lifts the fruit up and makes it a bit brighter. A lot of power and restraint here -- and a long lovely finish. I think I am discovering that 2011 is one of my favorite WA syrah vintages!
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White
9/8/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
89 points
Really strong showing. Lovely acidity, with some strong steely fruit. Again, am hoping this will improve with some nice age.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/8/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
90 points
Still drinking really well. Opened to support Nadal at the US Open -- embarassingly I have few Spanish wines! This was very nicely integrated. Oak is noticeable but well integrated. Just a very pleasant wine with which to watch a very close and exciting match!
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/7/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
Wow This is really beautiful. I disagree with the last note that the fruit is fading on this. In fact the 2014 description is close to what this bottle is like. Really love fruit, with those mid palate spices noted in 2014. This is really well integrated. Reminds me that Washingtonsyrah outside of the rocks can be excellent. Kudos to Ryan and the tram at Kerloo. I am glad I have one more bottle. Wish I had more. This has at least a few more years if not more. I definitely think this could improve.
White
9/2/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
This very tight and young. A small hint of matchstick. Some braving acidity. Lovely lemon and even lemon curd, slate, salinity. With some time in the glass the tight rough edges start to smooth out. I hope I can wait three more years until my next one.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2008 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
8/31/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
Lovely wine. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did. Really nice balance -- some good sweetness (sometimes I find sauternes to be not sweet enough), with some nice acidity to balance. Glass pour at Canlis -- went really well with the apple and cheddar dessert.
White
8/31/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
94 points
Wow. This was lovely. Glass pour at Canlis. Lovely and rich. Smoke, slate, with wonderful precision. This was a real treat.
Red
8/31/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
Really lovely wine for anniversary dinner at Canlis. This opened up beautifully in the glass. Lovely subtle fruits, some earth and spice. Kept developing subtly in the glass. Very elegant and persistent. Curious to know how this would be the next day, but we left the bottle with the excellent wait staff as a thank you.
White
8/31/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
flawed
Beautiful golden color in the bottle. Cork fell apart. Color went from golden to dark brown pretty quickly. If you closed your eyes and thought you were drinking sherry it would be fine. Luckily we had some back up bottles.
Red
8/25/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
90 points
Still a solid and enjoyable aged bordeaux. Not much of a wow factor, but worked really well with steak dinner. Did not take detailed notes, but this is very solid and enjoyable. I dont recall the bitterness that I noted in my last bottle. There were some nice fruit and earth notes.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/19/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
This is really lovely right now. Some sweet fruit on the nose and palate, with some subtle tar and leather, and slightly less subtle rubber. Not the harsh and tannic notes from the last bottle. This may be at peak for me now. A lot of life; some lovely subtlety; and still some structure suggesting it will be fine for at least a few more years.
Red
2015 Château L'Etoile de Clotte St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/18/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
86 points
Very solid Bordeaux. Not overly complex at the moment. A bit closed as some noted. Not sure if it has the stuffing to improve. Good qpr. Some nice fruit, though a little hot and tart on the finish. This note is after 8 or so hours open. I think it was better earlier. Suggesting again this may be a good short to medium term prospect.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/18/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
91 points
This is really lovely. Shows how Bordeaux atbyhe low price point can be a great deal. Lots of lovely fruit and earth. This is the sort of the wine that will not be confused with new world. Nice tannic structure. Medium to long finish. Some dusty tannins. This will be even better in 2 to 3 years. Great qpr. I would call this a daily drinker but it can stand in for a special occasion.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/18/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
94 points
Brought to the SWG checking in tasting. This was much better than I expected. Double decanted about 24 hours before -- then a bit of slow ox (about 6 hours) the next day. Lovely complex nose of green pepper, forest floor, some dark fruits. Palate was equally complex and approachable. As someone said at the tasting, I could sit and smell this wine all night. A very nice showing. While I don't think this is on the downhill curve yet, I am not sure it will develop to something greater than it already is -- which was pretty great.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
8/16/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
Wow. This has got to be one of the best domestic Chardonnays I have tried, and an amazing qpr. This has that nutty matchstick flavor that I most often associate with em remilly. This has some lovely acidity, and some nice lemony citrus notes. Very compact and laser-like in its flavors, with a great long finish. I dont know enough to tell how long this can age, but frankly I am not sure I would want it to change from where it is right now. I can't wait to try the Richards!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1997 Fontodi Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese (view label images)
8/11/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
94 points
This is what makes this hobby so much fun. I set this to open, but given its age and that it was a $20 purchase back whenever I got it. So I had another bottle in reserve just in case this was dead. It was not. It was really exactly what one wants in an old wine. In fact I would say this was drinking exactly at its peak. And it was steadily there throughout the evening -- not great the first few minutes then falling off a cliff, as some do. Here is the note I wrote while drinking it:
Wow – this is just beautiful. Lovely laser like nose of cherries, leather, with hints of rubber and brown spices. The palate is very smooth, with all of the flavors of the nice enveloped in a nice structure provided by some acid and very fine tannins. I really expected this to be dead and had another bottle lined up. That one is going back to the cellar!

Admittedly I have had my share of wines of similar age at a similar price point that were dead. Nice to find one that is not. Now if I had just had the foresight to have bought much more of it!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/4/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
91 points
Absolutely lovely syrah, especially at the $30 price point. In fact this drinks like a much more expensive syrah. Typical black pepper and spices, with some very nice acidity and fine tannins to provide good structure. Not overpowering as I find some domestic syrahs – this has a delicacy and seemless integration that suggest it will drink well for the next few years – and might be up for the long haul. This was in a list of best domestic syrahs on WB – I had never heard of it, and given the price decided to grab four of them – glad I did!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/29/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
91 points
Not as amazing as the last bottle. Some nice if slightly sweet fruit. Some anise, clove, and even cinnamon. Opened at family vacation so did not spend much time with it.
Red
7/29/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
Really lovely on PNP. Opened at family vacation and it was gone before I got much of it. One relative said it was the best thing he had put in his mouth in 60 days. Lovely smooth and complex. 1997 is a good vintage to drink while I wait for the 1996s.
Red
7/28/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
89 points
This is lovely. Some nice black pepper and dark fruits on the nose. this is lovely and rounded. Some nice smooth creamy fruit with a bit of black pepper. Still a bit primary.
Red
7/28/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
88 points
PnP. Very intriguing and savory at first -- rustic notes that I sometimes associate with a Bdx Cab Franc. This quickly become a bit pruney, Still a pretty dark and bright color. There is some nice depth here, some white pepper and brown spices dancing around, but I can't thinking that blind I would find this too reductive. Perhaps this will improve. I suspect it will last a bit, but not sure if it will get better over time or not.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/28/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
91 points
Really lovely wine. As noted, some nice acidity. Notes of sea shell, lemon curd. There is some nice subtlety and tension here. Not as much depth as I would like -- and a long pleasant finish that has a slight very subtle bitter note. Maybe this needs a few more years? This is definitely worth pursuing given the price point.
White
7/28/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
This was really lovely. Yes, very dark golden color; very oxidized; but the flavor is so smooth. Yes, I can see the sherry comparison, but this seems a bit different. It is a bit like a dessert wine without the sweetness. This was great at the end of an evening -- as a post dinner drink by itself. Lovely nutty flavors, very smooth. Curious about how this well develop but will never know, as this is my last bottle.
Red
7/26/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
90 points
This was slightly less enjoyable than at the winery, but still a lovely wine. Still very aromatic with violets, orange pith, and other interesting flavors. Someone wrote about drinking this chilled, which I privately scoffed at. Then put this in the fridge -- the next night, chilled, this was gorgeous. It really brought out the dark fruits and spiciness in a way that was quite complex and refreshing. That may be what I do with my last bottle.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
7/4/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
89 points
This started off rather plainly -- a bit of oak, and not overly complex or interesting. After about two hours though this really started to open up, everything starting to fall into place to make a very nice balanced chardonnay. I would wait at least another 1-2 years to try this again -- I think there is still some upside to come.
White
6/26/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
94 points
Wow. This is really the best Riesling I have tasted from the New World by far -- and perhaps one of the best ever. Complex flavors of tropical fruits (passion, papaya, tart citrus), with amazing steel like acidity. This is both round and taut -- a melding of fruit and acid. But all packaged together in a way that works seemlessly. A lovely lovely wine.

Day 3 -- very strong flavors of passion fruit. This is really a lovely amazing wine. Passion fruit integrated with lovely acidity, and finish that just goes on and on.
Red
6/24/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
90 points
This is a lovely aged Syrah -- some nice plum with notes of black pepper. Everything seems nicely integrated and put together now. There are very fine tannins, but this does not appear to have a lot more depth or complexity waiting to emerge. But it is drinking really nicely on pnp. This is a great value at the $30 or so I paid -- I would probably feel ok at 60 -- not very good at 100, which is how much one place I saw is selling it.
Rosé
6/22/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
Wow. This is a lovely rose. I find this one more like the 2016, and less like the 2017. It underscores why Seven Hills Rose sells out quickly in some years. This is really tight and focused. There is a lovely (and I do mean this) note on the nose of fresh rubber -- that is the closest I can get to it. Cool, lovely -- my wife says Granite, though she then backs away from the descriptor. Definitely notes of watermelon and strawberry, all supported by some lovely acidity -- and a finish that goes on and on. Next year-- not so sure where this will be. But now, lovely.
Red
6/22/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
93 points
This is a lovely wine -- coming from somone who is not a big fan of Gamay. Lovely notes of cherry, pomegrante, some nice brown spices, and lovely acidity. This is drinking really nicely. I am not sure how it will age, but curious to follow it for a few years. Really lovely. If you are looking for a bright young tasting wine that is accessible but also has lots of interesting depth and structure, I cannot think of anything better at the moment!
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/19/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
96 points
So I feel like I am outlier. This was just an amazing wine tonight. It was so smooth and integrated -- to be honest, I don't know why I am not giving this a 100, but for the price I paid and the other reviews. This has a lovely seemless palate of subtle dark fruits, black pepper, hints of eucalyptus, and a finish that literally goes on for minutes. It is humbling to see my first note on this wine -- a fruit forward Aussie shiraz that I dislike -- evolving into this. For the first time I really think I have tried a wine at "its peak." I don't think this will fall apart in a year or two, but not sure it will get better. Maybe it will? There are still some soft tannins, but boy is this lovely right now.
Red
6/15/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
I would agree on the start of the tasting window. This still seems a bit young. Tight nose of cherry, mint, with some nice earth tones. Lovely cherry/mint/earth on the palate -- with some nice fine granular and dusty tannins. Lovely long finish. This will develop nicely I think. As this sits in the glass it gets better and better. Try again in two to three years.
Rosé
6/15/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
88 points
Really light pink in the glass -- this has some nice flavors of watermelon and strawberry, though subtle. As skifree notes, a lovely sipping wine.
Rosé
6/15/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
88 points
Really lovely dry Rose. Enough interesting going on to make it worth just sipping, or pairing with grilled vegetables or chicken.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/15/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
92 points
Tasted at the winery. This has a lovely crunchy fruit and violets, with some nice black pepper thrown in. As others have noted, this is a very aromatic and enjoyable wine -- I preferred it to the more premium versions they had, though not sure how long this will last -- so the next two years as someone suggested sounds good to me!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
6/15/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
91 points
This is a lovely restrained burgundian style chardonnay. It has that nutty minerality that I associate with en remilly, though not quite as sharp. It seems a little thin in parts -- not sure if there is more there that will reveal itself -- but boy is it nice to drink right now. I may wait a few years on my next ones.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/4/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
94 points
This was my last bottle, and I am happy to report that it was a good one. This has some lovely notes of eucalyptus/mint, some lovely cassis, all supported by some fine grain tannins and lovely earth notes. This just reminds me of how older Cali cabs can age quite gracefully. There is some nice brambly fruit, and it all works really nicely together with the earth and eucalyptus notes. As a sobering side note, this was tasted in two glasses: the 1855 Grassl, and the Riedel Sommerlier Bordeaux glass. At first, the Grassl was the better; but with time the Riedel was better. At the end of the day this was a lovely wine to spend the evening with – first with lamb burgers, then just on its own.
Red
6/4/2019 - Ron Slye wrote:
Nose has hints of vanilla, leather, mustiness, violets. Toasted oak/vanilla on the palate – this is showing the heavy use of oak that SO is criticized for. With age it has mellowed a bit, though still a bit overpowering on the palate. After a few hours in the glass this mellows out a bit, but there is still that oaky woodiness that, while now a bit subtle, is still very present. So while I appreciate that the wine is perhaps a bit more integrated than before, it is still not my cup of tea.
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