Tasting Notes for scottj

(109 notes on 96 wines)

1 - 50 of 109 Sort order
Red
7/6/2020 - scottj Likes this wine:
90 points
An ATP wine. The back label note, from John Olney and Paul Draper, anticipates full development between 2015 and now. As is typical, that's very conservative. It's still an opaque, dark purple in color. The tannins are mostly resolved and red fruits - plum ?- are showing nicely. Not as "spicy" as I expected, this is rich and full bodied. Drinking very nicely now, and I wouldn't be in a hurry to drink if I had another bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Levy & McClellan Red Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (view label images)
4/25/2020 - scottj wrote:
88 points
Decanted for a few hours before serving. A fair amount of sediment.
Opaque, very dark purple in color, with no lightening around the edges. Plum, spice, and a hint of VA on the nose. Strong anise/licorice and earthy flavors initially evolving into something more pruney. Slight volatility evident throughout. Very full bodied and lush mouthfeel. Medium finish. Not a bad or defective wine, but not a top tier Cabernet either. It worked OK with a dry-aged NY strip steak with its own funky flavor.
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Red
Popped and poured. Dark red/maroon in color, with no lightening at the edges. Reticent nose of red fruits and earth. Soft and lush, deep fruit flavors of dried cherries and pomegranate. Fully mature and easy to drink. I'll open my last bottle sooner rather than later.
Red
1/24/2020 - scottj Likes this wine:
90 points
Rich berry and cola flavors. Heavy and flabby on the palate, with tannins fully resolved and no acid. A fine drink now, but my one remaining bottle will be opened soon.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
12/19/2019 - scottj Likes this wine:
98 points
This bottle was stunning ! Bright yellow straw color. Expansive aromas of tropical fruits which carry over onto the palate. Rich and viscous mouthfeel with added notes of caramel and spice. Smooth lingering finish echoing the lushness of this wine.
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Red
11/29/2019 - scottj Likes this wine:
92 points
Purchased on release. Like the last few bottles we've had, it's still drinking very nicely. Bright red in color, and medium bodied. Tannins totally resolved and silky over the tongue. Deep fruit flavors and a sweet aftertaste.

We're planning on opening a 6 liter bottle for our daughter's wedding next spring, and I'm really looking forward to it!
Red
11/29/2019 - scottj Likes this wine:
83 points
Purchased on release, and the $18 price tag was still on the bottle. Drinkable but very much on the decline. Mostly red with some browning in color. Sweet fruit on the nose. Almost port-like, without the heat, on the palate. I was undecided about rating this wine, or just checking flawed/defective due to its age. By the end of the night, the bottle was almost finished, so I did go ahead and rate it.
White
11/29/2019 - scottj wrote:
flawed
Unfortunately, this bottle was over the hill. Dark tan in color and notes of sherry on the nose and palate.
Red
8/19/2019 - scottj Likes this wine:
92 points
Purchased at or near release, based on the $10 tag on the bottle. High shoulder fill, with evidence of long past seepage. Cork wet almost to the top, and cleanly removed with an Ah-So. Dull red in color, with little if any browning at the edges. Shy nose, not giving up much. Medium-full bodied. Nice plum and cherry flavors with the slightest hint of acid. Virtually no cedar, leather, or other "old wine" notes. This was surprisingly good and much better than a bottle we drank about 5 years ago. If this was blind I would have guessed a 10-15 year old Merlot as there was no Zin berry/briar elements.
Red
7/9/2019 - scottj Likes this wine:
89 points
Birthyear wine, opened for my daughter's birthday. Purchased on release with the $27 price tag still on the bottle. Pleasantly surprised with how well this has held up. Deep red in color, with only the slightest browning at the edge. Very subdued on opening, but blossomed after about 30 minutes with aromas of cassis, old saddle leather and menthol/mint. Medium bodied, with red fruit (plum) flavors and a hint of spice. The relatively short finish didn't detract at all. A very nice well-aged Napa Cab ...
Red
2/7/2019 - scottj wrote:
As I write this, CellarTracker shows 96 bottles still being cellared. I say try them soon. This bottle was over the hill, with shrill, acidic notes and no fruit. Luckily, my last '07 ...
White
7/9/2017 - scottj wrote:
flawed
Over the hill ...Orange brown in color and completely maderized.

Properly stored since release and had high hopes. Oh well ...
White
2/15/2017 - scottj Does not like this wine:
85 points
I held on to this one too long. I'm generally a fan of Maybach Chardonnays, but this is past its prime. Orange-yellow in color with some sharp acidic notes on the nose. Flabby and viscous, with flavors of overripe fruit and earth. Still drinkable, but I'm really glad this was my last bottle.
White
1/28/2017 - scottj Does not like this wine:
85 points
I've had this wine twice in the past few weeks, first at a tasting and again last night. The first showed hints of advanced age and last night's bottle confirmed it. There were clear signs of maderization in the darkening golden color and on both the nose and the palate. There was a sickly sweet element along with the fruit and the expected acidity was absent. Both bottles were purchased on release and properly stored in different cellars.

I was torn about rating this wine or calling it flawed/defective. It's definitely headed in that direction, but at least for now, I don't think it's undrinkable.
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Red
8/19/2016 - scottj Likes this wine:
88 points
Deep garnet in color, with the slightest hint of browning. Red currant, raisin, plum and dust on the nose, which are repeated on the palate. A little port-like. Medium/full body, smooth/velvety texture and a medium finish. Past its prime, but still very enjoyable.
Red
7/10/2016 - scottj wrote:
88 points
The '83 Merryvale was a birth year wine, opened for my daughter's birthday dinner. The bottle had a great fill and the cork was in good shape. The color was still red with just a hint of browning around the edge. I didn't decant and it took about 15 minutes to open up in the glass. Very smooth with nice dark fruit flavors - some plum and blueberry- followed by a bit of cedar and a rather short finish. Definitely on the down hill side, but still very enjoyable. I believe 1983 was Merryvale's first vintage and I bought this when it was released, sometime in the mid-80s, from a local supermarket in the SF bay area. It still had the $35 price tag on it, and that wasn't cheap in those days !
Red
From 375 ... Cork was solid, but stained about 3/4s of its length. Opened and poured about 2 hours later. Clear red with tawny overtones in color. Restrained nose of red fruits and earth. Light bodied and a bright feel on the palate. Good cherry/berry flavor moving towards sweet caramel on the finish.

This was definitely past its prime, but was surprising good. It still tasted alive and the changing flavors came across as pleasing complexity rather than signs of being over the hill.
White
3/15/2014 - scottj Likes this wine:
94 points
Taken to a tasting and tried a couple of times over an hour or two. Wonderfully integrated flavors of citrus, melon and stone fruit. Full bodied with a trace of crisp acidity. Lengthy finish. Last bottle and it was delicious.
Red
3/1/2014 - scottj Likes this wine:
91 points
I'm a big fan of Ridge wines and I really like the detailed labels, even if I find the drinking windows a little conservative. In this case, Paul Draper was really conservative ! In April 1980, he wrote "The result is an elegant wine that should show well within a year or two, but gain in complexity with three years of bottle age". After more than thirty years, it's still an elegant wine with considerable complexity !

Dark red in color with no browning on the edges. Reticent nose of earth and tobacco. Very smooth on the palate, with tannins fully resolved and red fruits still evident but fading. Lengthy finish.

Given the label notes, I thought we'd be opening the back up bottle immediately. We eventually did, but only after we finished and thoroughly enjoyed this wine.
Red
1/27/2012 - scottj wrote:
No rating due to excessive brett. Really too bad, as there seemed to be some lush fruit underneath the brett.
Red
10/15/2011 - scottj wrote:
92 points
Opened about an hour before serving. Very nice aromas of cassis and berry carry over onto the palate. Nice acidity and evident tannins. Medium bodied, with deep fruit flavors and well balanced. Not in the lush style seen in other '07 Napa Cabs. Excellent with a grilled prime NY strip steak. Should continue to improve and drink well for several years.
Red
10/8/2011 - scottj wrote:
Opened my last bottle for dinner with grilled flat iron steak. It wasn't offering much on the nose and had some unexpected flavors of lemon and citrus that eventually started to meld with the berry, but never disappeared. Wasn't bad, but not what I expected either. Not rated ...
Red
9/25/2011 - scottj wrote:
flawed
Last bottle, and something was definitely off ... Volatile aromas and pruney flavors; not at all like previous bottles.
Red
9/10/2011 - scottj wrote:
92 points
Grabbed a bottle to serve with some grilled prime strip steaks. Popped and poured, and it took about a half hour to begin to show its stuff. Delicious black fruit flavors, medium weight and well balanced. So easy to drink, we finished this one too quickly. Had to open a second bottle and it showed virtually identically.
White
8/29/2011 - scottj wrote:
flawed
The color on this bottle didn't look good, and pouring a glass confirmed it. Not bad, but obviously showing the signs of old age.
Red
7/9/2011 - scottj wrote:
85 points
From magnum ... Opened and decanted about an hour before serving with grilled prime ribeye steaks, for my daughter's birthday dinner. Still an opaque dark red in color, with just the faintest hint of browning. Initially, the nose offered a rather sharp acidic note, which wasn't encouraging. This wasn't evident on the palate, though. Subdued red fruit flavors, with some earthiness. Tannins seemed fully resolved, but perhaps still contributing to the slightly drying finish. This wine was clearly past its prime, but still offered a very good drinking experience and showed very well as a birth-year wine.
White
5/11/2011 - scottj wrote:
87 points
Found a few of these when reorganizing the cellar ... This was a delightful northern CA Chardonnay, but is just beginning to show its age. Color is a slightly deeper gold and the nose shows just a trace of volatility that, to me, is a precursor to maderization. Meduim-bodied with rich fruit flavors, and some remaining crispness. Still very nice, but I think this has crested the hill and is heading downward. My remaining bottles will be opened sooner rather than later.
Red
4/13/2011 - scottj wrote:
94 points
Opened about an hour before serving with a highly-seasoned grilled sirloin steak. In a word: delicious. Not giving up much on the nose. Medium bodied, with lovely red fruit and berry flavors and a lush, almost velvety mouthfeel leading to a lengthy finish. Drinking very nicely now, but no hurry.
Red
10/28/2010 - scottj wrote:
93 points
Opened about an hour before serving with a grilled prime sirloin steak. Deep, almost opaque, purple in color, nice aromas of mint and cassis. Medium-full bodied with rich flavors of blueberries and cassis. Soft and lush with a fine finish. A delicious wine, drinking very well now.

To me, the Blank wines are very distinctive Napa cabs and consistantly show the creamy blueberry flavor in every vintage. This is very attractive in their youth, but I don't like the way they age and have learned to drink them on the young side.
Red
10/11/2010 - scottj wrote:
92 points
Decanted for about an hour before serving. Deep ruby in color. Somewhat subtle black fruits on the nose, which carried over and expanded on the palate. Light earth and spices also evident. Medium bodied, with fine tannins still evident. Lovely lingering finish. An elegant wine, drinking nicely now, but the structure for further aging is there.
Red
7/31/2010 - scottj wrote:
91 points
Dark purplish-red, aromas of black fruits, earth and a hint of alcohol. Initially, the fruit was very reticient, but the flavors expanded nicely over a couple of hours, showing the same black fruits and earthiness. Meduim-full bodied and well balanced, without any heat. Drink now with some air and should develop nicely over the next few years.
Red
6/28/2010 - scottj Likes this wine:
89 points
Light reddish-brown in color; looks older, but definitely doesn't taste like it. Slightly subdued nose with aromas of cherry, earth amd spice. Light-to-medium bodied, with nice red fruit - cherries and pomegranate - flavors. A trace of acidity and a nice finish.
White
6/25/2010 - scottj Likes this wine:
94 points
Quite lovely. Medium bodied with great flavors, including hints of citrus and tropical fruits, no noticable oak or heat, and a trace of acidity. Really elegant and drinking exceptionally well now.
Red
11/20/2009 - scottj wrote:
91 points
Decanted for 2+ hours and served with grilled prime sirloin. Deep purple in color. Enticing nose with aromas of cassis and blackberry. Medium bodied, tasty black fruit flavors. Nicely balanced with fine tannins and not overly oaky. Try now with lots of air or hold for the next several years.

A great value with Neal's multi-case discount this year !
Red
8/10/2009 - scottj wrote:
92 points
For my wife's birthday dinner ... Splash decanted about 2 hours before serving with a grilled prime sirloin steak. Deep, dark purple in color. Restrained nose offered lovely aromas of cassis and blackberry with hints of earth, spice and vanilla. Somewhat monolithic on the palate, but still showing tremendous concentrated black fruits. Wonderfully balanced, with the oak and tannin beginning to integrate nicely.

If you're going to try this wine now, decant for several hours. I'm going let my remaining bottles rest for a minimum of 5 years and I expect at least 5 points of upside for this beauty.
Red
1999 Bond Matriarch Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/11/2009 - scottj wrote:
88 points
Decanted for 1 hour and served with grilled steak. Inviting nose of currents and spice. Rather simple and one-dimensional on the palate with close-to-overripe fruit flavors and a flat finish. Not nearly as good as previous bottles, but it didn't taste like it was headed downhill. No discernable evidence of TCA, but I guess it's possible this was very slightly corked, resulting in the muted flavors ?
Red
4/7/2009 - scottj wrote:
85 points
This is the 5th of 6 bottles I bought from PC about 3 years ago for around $17, all in. Light nose of barnyard, earth, and cherry. Nice flavors of red berries, herbs, hints of meat and pepper. Light-medium bodied, with a reasonably long finish, marred by a very slight metallic element. Thin and simple for a Pegau, but more complexity (and longer-lived) than a typical Cotes du Rhone. A horrible value at its release price, but not bad at what I paid, and a nice defender while my other Pegaus slumber ...
Red
3/28/2009 - scottj wrote:
95 points
Cork pulled about 2 hours before decanting for sediment and serving. Briliant reddish purple in color. Lovely nose of red fruits, tobacco, spice, leather and earth. Very plush on the palate, showing similar flavors and ending in a lengthy smooth finish. Medium bodied with great balance and fully integrated tannins and oak. A wonderfully elegant CA Cabernet that's in a great drinking window now. I don't see this improving significantly, but has the make up to last and drink well for several more years.
Red
3/28/2009 - scottj wrote:
91 points
Decanted for about 2 hours before serving with a grilled prime ribeye steak. Deep purple, almost black, in color. Expansive nose of dark fruits and intense cassis. Flavors of very ripe fruit, espresso and chocolate. Quite tannic, prominent oak and alcohol, and I also got a trace of VA. This was right on the edge of being overripe and disjointed, but it worked well with the flavors and richness of the beef.
White
3/5/2009 - scottj wrote:
91 points
This bottle seemed a little subdued and never seemed to open up. Still a very nice drink, and no evidence of aging in either color or flavor. Just not the typical rich, fruity Kongsgaard Chardonnay experience ...
White
3/2/2009 - scottj wrote:
Well, the best thing I can say is this isn't as bad as the last bottle we opened. Over the hill, showing lots of sherry characteristics. My final bottle of the '02 - Now I'll have to see how the '03s are holding on ...
Red
3/1/2009 - scottj wrote:
92 points
Decanted for about 2 hours before serving with grilled ribeyes. Just singing ! Full-bodied with lovely ripe fruit. Nice lengthy finish. With the air, the tannins have really softened. Drinking well now, and I'm not sure this will get any better. Still has great fruit, but not quite as bright as 6 months ago.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2002 Harlan Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/25/2009 - scottj wrote:
Opened and served in a blind tasting of other high-end 2002 CA Cabernets (mostly). Slight medicinal nose with aromas of spearmint and wintergreen. Big, overripe flavors of raisin and berry with hints of brown sugar and burnt caramel. No one guessed this as Harlan, and it was unanimously ranked last for the night. I don't think this was defective as no one detected any VA or other flaws but ???
Red
2/13/2009 - scottj wrote:
94 points
Decanted for about an hour before being served with grilled prime ribeye steaks. Showed a fair amount of sediment. Deep, bright violet in color. Reticent nose offering hints of blackberry and cassis. Initially, still a little tight with dominant cassis flavors. Blossomed over the next hour or so, adding great black fruit to the palate. Medium-full bodied with evident tannins still to be resolved. Great structure, and lengthy finish. This should continue drinking well for a number of years, or currently with at least a few hours in the decanter.
White
1/30/2009 - scottj wrote:
This bottle was way past ... Musty, salty nose. Flavors of olive brine. Not really drinkable. What a difference from the bottle last summer; I hope it's just this bottle, as I still have one more left.
Red
1/30/2009 - scottj wrote:
88 points
Hasn't changed much over the past year. A little more earth and funk on the nose, and the fruit is slightly diminished compared to previous bottles. Seems like it's time to drink up ...
Red
1/27/2009 - scottj wrote:
91 points
Still drinking extremely nicely. Cherry and baking spice flavors. Doesn't seem quite as rich as a previous bottle, but still med-full bodied and elegant. Probably starting to decline, but ...
Red
1/10/2009 - scottj wrote:
91 points
"popped" and poured. Medium ruby color. Red fruit and spice on the nose. Medium-bodied with lots of cherry flavors. Well-balanced with refreshing acidity. Drinking very nice, but no hurry to get into the rest of my bottles. Just starting to try my '06 Lorings, and this is my favorite so far.
White
1/9/2009 - scottj wrote:
92 points
Clear, brilliant yellow in color. Nose of minerals (I like the gun flint descriptor used below) and toast. Full-bodied with ripe fruit flavors, although I found the oak a little too obtrusive. I'll let my last bottles rest a while longer to see if the oak integrates any further.
White
1/8/2009 - scottj wrote:
88 points
Nice typical CA Sauvignon Blanc. A little on the light side (which is fine) with not-overwhelming new mown hay and nice crispness.
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  • Tasting Notes: 109 notes on 96 wines
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