Comments on my notes

(20 comments on 20 notes)

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2015 Bodegas y Viñedos Alión Ribera del Duero Tinto Fino, Tempranillo
10/6/2020 - bjamesclark wrote:
92 points
100% Tinto Fino from vines averaging 40+ years old.
Brough up in 95% French and 5% American oak (80% new barrels) for 12 months with additional time spent in bottle.
Sensuous on the nose with notes of leather and tobacco that come with scents of coconut, dill, baking spice, vanilla, rose petal, cherry, pomegranate, wild berry, licorice, herbs and earth.
The palate is full bodied with gripping-full tannins and bright acid structure. Spice notes play on entry with notes of baking spice, vanilla, toast, coconut and licorice that mingle with cherry, wild berry, pomegranate reduction, leather, earth, tobacco and herbs. The slightly dusty tannins build through the long finish.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    11/23/20, 3:02 PM - I'm thinking I really like where the Alion is at right now!

2016 Calera Viognier Mount Harlan Cuvée
5/2/2020 - bjamesclark wrote:
92 points
100% Viognier aged 14 months sur lie in 60% Neutral French oak, 30% Concrete vats and 10% Stainless steel.
Undoubtedly the most terroir driven Viogniers in the states.
Scents are full on the nose that show a chalky edge with hints of saline to the aromas of Meyer lemon, white peach, apricot, nectarine and tropical melon that show notes of rich meringue, lemongrass, jasmine, honeysuckle, acacia and river stones.
The palate is beautifully textured, full and supple. Rich Flavors coat the palate in notes of luscious peach, lemon curd, nectarine, apricot and meringue with notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, chalk and saline that are long on the attack. Juicy and fresh acidity help keep the wine balanced. Long and complex through the finish.
Damn good juice
  • bjamesclark commented:

    11/23/20, 3:01 PM - Thank you! I'm a fan of this wine as well!

2010 Revelry Vintners Cabernet Franc Weinbau Vineyard Wahluke Slope
2/12/2017 - bjamesclark wrote:
90 points
100% Cab. Franc from Weinbau Vineyard block 13. 4 tons harvested, two of the best barrels selected and 50 cases produced.
Aromas show raspberry, pomegranate, cherry, and strawberry notes that share scents of baking spice, herbs and vanilla with hints of tea dried flowers, bramble and underbrush.
The palate translates the nose with moderate intensity. Flavors of raspberry, cherry, cranberry sauce, pomegranate juice, toasty oak, herbs vanilla and hints of tea and bramble. Acidity is medium-plus with moderate refined tannins. Density is moderate at this stage.
Overall, definitely a step up in quality from the '09. Definitively representative of Weinbau Cab. Franc. A bit overpriced in my opinion. Drink now-2020
  • bjamesclark commented:

    3/1/19, 6:59 PM - Yes, it looks like it is the same wine

2010 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
12/9/2018 - BobbaWA Likes this wine:
89 points
Actually a bit of a disappointment, the QC website says this got a 98 from Wine Advocate. Our guests and we divined flavors of licorice, lead pencil, a long finish, structure, and balance, but the fruit was missing. Even after a 1.5 hour decant we were underwhelmed and opened something else. Expected epic, and enjoyed a slightly above average wine. Expected nuclear bomb awesomeness that I remember in the 2012 and 2013 vintages, but just not in the upper stratosphere with those wines.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    12/11/18, 8:56 AM - In my experience an hour and a half is nowhere near enough time to decant. These wines need 4+, even the '10. Just a suggestion for future bottles

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel California
10/28/2017 - bjamesclark wrote:
87 points
Hot on the nose at first, even with air time. Once past the heat aromas of mixed fresh picked berries, cola, spice, floral pastilles, pepper and a trace of chocolate and herbs.
On the palate juicy acidity and big dense fruit are met with high alcohol perception. A mix of blue, black and red berry flavors come with rich cola notes, floral pastilles, pepper, light herbs and tamarind flavors. The finish lingers.

Overall a little one dimensional, hot and definitely my least favorite version of this wine in a few vintages
  • bjamesclark commented:

    10/29/17, 4:02 PM - In comparison to the other vintages of this wine it is definitely more simple!
    Fruit-Cola dominate... You need to try and search for hints anything else.
    Compared to other wines yes I would say one dimensional....
    Try for yourself and come to your own conclusion

2013 Avenel Cellars Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley
1/17/2017 - bjamesclark wrote:
87 points
Tasted blind and decanted
More red fruit than black for myself on the nose showing raspberry and strawberry that both lean on the jammy side with notes of cassis that come with the hot presence of alcohol. Additional scents of toasted fennel, herbs, cardamom pod, rubber and flowers follow with a firm dry, hot wood note, reminiscent of a dry sauna.
On the palate a full bodied wine with, medium-plus acidity and wood tannins. Flavors transfer from the nose with jammy strawberry, cherry, raspberry, rhubarb, toasted fennel seed, dill, rubber band, vanilla and spice that pull through the moderate, somewhat clunky finish.

Overall a decent wine that just has some clunky elements.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    1/17/17, 5:49 PM - Yes, I was thinking some mix of sulfur compounds. Definitely something off though not an in your face flaw.

2015 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah North Coast
1/6/2017 - bjamesclark wrote:
92 points
Multiple hour and monitored decant due to the youth of this Syrah.
Aromatics are highly perfumed right from opening.
With air the massive blueberry and blackberry notes detected settle down and integrate in scents of black pepper, black olive, vanilla cream and sarsaparilla, baking spice, red meats with traces of bacon fat and floral accents.
Full and bold on the palate showing great concentration, depth and structure. Big creamy textures with moderate-plus tannins, acidity, alcohol and mid-palate density are impressive. Flavors of rich blackberry, juicy blueberry, plum and boysenberry come with vanilla cream, black pepper, floral pastilles, sarsaparilla, baking spice, black olive, grilled meats and bacon fat. Long and strong through the finish.
Overall, impressive...
This wine considerably over delivers for its price point.
All native yeast fermentation. 33-50% whole cluster. 11 months in 100% French oak.
Drink now through 2025 (at least)
  • bjamesclark commented:

    1/6/17, 9:44 PM - Yes decanted. For my taste it hit its stride between the 2 and 3 hour mark... though it was certainly approachable soon after opening. The more air the more meatiness, smoke and pepper come forward.

2013 Quilceda Creek CVR Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/8/2015 - bjamesclark wrote:
92 points
Extended decant given, which is required at this point.
Very dark in color showing garnet hues with medium-plus staining in the tears.
Aromas present with medium-plus intensity and show an early level of complexity. Herbaceous notes of bay leaf, tomato stem and thyme mingle with the fruit notes of currant, cherry, brambly blackberry and wild strawberry. Chocolate, smoke, cedar, graphite, coffee, spice and forest scents round out the nose.
The palate follows suite showing an early level of complexity. Full bodied with good structure. Medium-plus acidity matched with medium-plus to high grippy tannins. Flavors are full of herbs, coffee, chocolate, and wood. Fruits appear darker with dark cherry, blackberry, black currant and plum. Earth, spice, cigar smoke and rose petals follow through. The finish, like all Q.C. wines, is where this wine shines, showing length, intensity and complexity, leans on the savory side.

Overall,very approachable and as always delivers well above its price point. this wine will age well.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    11/8/15, 6:24 PM - Around 5 hours, but a day of air would have been best.

2011 Quilceda Creek Red Wine Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/6/2015 - davidandrose Likes this wine:
91 points
Pop and pour, bright fruit flavors at the forefront, classic QC blue notes. Smoke, light spice, While I love this wine and find it extraordinarily approachable, it lacks the depth and strength of other vintages. Not sure how quicklly this will degrade,but I think this will be one of the shorter-lived vintages of this I own (back to 99)
  • bjamesclark commented:

    11/7/15, 7:43 AM - How was your bottle flawed?

2012 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah The Tribe Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
9/7/2015 - El Tej Does not like this wine:
91 points
Pedestrian. Unfortunate case of hype that does not deliver.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    9/8/15, 9:37 AM - I my experience this wine is so young and tight it needs no less than 6 hours of air time to blossom. That was the case when I tasted it 2 weeks ago.

2005 Bodegas Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero Malleolus de Valderramiro Tempranillo
12/23/2014 - BrunelloBob wrote:
90 points
PnP. There is some complexity here, but a doubtful QPR. Or I drank it too young...
Spice, dark fruit, black and red licorice, pepper, a bit too much oak. Better with a bit of air.
Saving a glass for tomorrow.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    3/22/15, 11:10 AM - Why would you ever PnP this wine?

1994 Le Vigne di Zamò Friuli Colli Orientali Pinot Bianco Tullio Zamò
3/8/2015 - bjamesclark wrote:
94 points
Deep yellow color is clear with no visible sediment. medium viscosity and day/star bright.
Aromas of medium+ intensity show beautiful oxidation and barrel notes; Dried leaves, weathered oak, butterscotch, popcorn, starfruit, melon, golden raisins and white fig with hints of dried pineapple and papaya, light honeycomb, river stone, spice, moist golden leaf tobacco and chalk scents are gorgeous and complex.
The palate is complex and unrelenting in balanced flavors. Chalky minerality laces the palate followed by brioche, cinnamon, popcorn, butterscotch, golden raisins, white fig, caramelized pineapple, honeyed butter, almonds, stone fruits vanilla and white tea/ jasmine flavors. Acidity keeps it balanced and alive.

Drink Now… No reason whatsoever to wait!
  • bjamesclark commented:

    3/20/15, 4:41 AM - Of course, and I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah North Coast
5/26/2014 - BordeauxBuff Likes this wine:
88 points
Popped and poured...average CA syrah, nice pizza wine...nothing too complex....could do better in this price range
  • bjamesclark commented:

    5/27/14, 7:32 PM - If you were to give this wine some time in a decanter I think you would be surprised at the layers and complexity this wine reveals. I have found that these Syrahs need about 6 years in bottle develop or at least 2-3 hours air time in this stage of infancy. Not the best of the bedrock line up but still recommend air time.

2007 Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Reserva Finca Ygay Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
3/12/2014 - bjamesclark wrote:
90 points
Aromas of eucalyptus laced cassis, with a little VA that adds complexity (and I personally find appealing). Additional aromas of vanilla, oak, cassis, fig and rum soaked dried blueberries.
On the palate, a reductive style, concentrated with moderate+ intensity, moderate+ acidity and chewy moderate+ tannins. Flavors of cassis, fig paste, prune, dark cherry, leather, and sweet pipe tobacco, with a twinge of pomegranate molasses, vanilla and cola notes. finishes with moderate+ intensity and length with ripe chewy tannins, and flavors of fig, cassis and tobacco with hints of eucalyptus.

Overall a reductive style, not typical of Rioja, but one my palate finds very enjoyable. Should age well for a decade. rating is based on quality of wine and not my personal taste
  • bjamesclark commented:

    3/12/14, 10:52 PM - 4 point spread in less than 5 months with the same tasting notes.... Come on RJ.

2009 Orin Swift Machete Napa Valley Grenache Blend, Grenache
1/29/2014 - Joegish Likes this wine:
89 points
See recent note from markandsusanw...I agree.

I generally like OS wines, the fruit is fading a little here...I do not detect a lot of secondary characteristics developing that would make this more interesting, so I would recommend:

Drink 'em now if you got 'em!!
  • bjamesclark commented:

    1/30/14, 7:44 AM - Did you decant this wine?

2009 Department 66 D66 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Grenache Blend, Grenache
5/26/2013 - bjamesclark wrote:
85 points
Opaque and deep purple color showing heavy concentration and bright reflections.
After 4 hours decant the alcohol starts to subside, allowing lavender scents to come forth with wood, white pepper, blackberry liquor, blueberry, spices, burnt toast and hot rock aromas.
The palate is enormous, with wood, vanilla, blackberry reduction and blueberry syrup with spice. This wine starts with the oak and ends with the oak.
Acidity and tannins are moderate but play a back seat to the high alcohol content. The finish is intense with heat, sweet over ripe fruit, vanilla and oak.

Trust me I know what I was in for, Normally a fan of Dave Phineys wines, but this is a palate wrecker, monolithic in its enormity with none of the subtleties that make Grenache what it is.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    5/30/13, 3:37 PM - Thanks for the note Que syrah syrah. Abstract was a much better wine for me.
    As for the Owen roe's, 2011 was a very "pretty" vintage for them. Both the Ex Umbris and the Rosa Syrah were complex, strong and yet very graceful. I hope you get to try them!

2009 Force Majeure Collaboration Series IV Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain Red Bordeaux Blend
4/21/2013 - bjamesclark wrote:
92 points
Deep dark red core that is opaque. Bright reflections and medium-high concentration to this wine that also displays moderate viscosity.
Aromas, after 1 hour+ decant, are clean and moderately-plus intense. Youthful bouquet of plum, cassis, blackberry liquor, and dark berries are layered with aromas of ash, flowers, chocolate ganache, vanilla, spice and toasty oak notes that wraps everything up nicely.
The palate is full and luscious with good weight and silky texture. Flavors of blackberry, ripe black plum, and currant with a spice note and hints of graham cracker are well integrated with flavors of wood, vanilla and dark chocolate. The finish is moderate-plus in intensity and length lingering on toasted oak, vanilla and concentrated berry flavors. Tannins are moderate plus and very well integrated with the acidity and alcohol.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    4/21/13, 8:29 PM - Thanks for the note. Yes this wine is very young in general I find it takes 6 years in bottle to flesh out... Good thing I have more! It is always good to determine wether the investment pays off! In this case yes. This wine should age exceptionally well.

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T 'n' S Blocks Hudson Vineyard South Carneros
3/31/2013 - bjamesclark wrote:
90 points
Dark and inky purple. Showing moderate-plus viscosity and bright reflect

Smokey aromas of charred game meat, tar and lava rock mix with aromas of crushed rock, gun metal, dried and fresh mix of berries, dried herbs of thyme, marjoram and oregano. Ancillary notes of rendered bacon fat, violets, earth and juniper.
Muscular palate of dense black fruits, charred meats, dried herbs, lavender, espresso, bramble and earth that combine with moderate-plus acidity, and firm nicely integrated tannins. Dense in the mid palate that pulls through the long finish which is accentuated by the firm acidity and tannins.
See comment for more info.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    3/31/13, 12:36 PM - As all bedrock wines I have experienced from Morgan, this is way to young to drink. One must however determine if the wine has what it takes to come into its own down the road to be worth the continued investment. Otherwise This wine should not be opened until at least 2015 or '16. If you decide for any other reason to open early it will require a 3-4 hour decant minimum to open up. This is not a PnP!

2009 Mark Herold Wines Flux California Red Rhone Blend
11/23/2012 - bjamesclark wrote:
88 points
Clear dark ruby color with medium viscosity and day bright reflections.
Aromas of cherry, pomegranate and cranberry mingle with aromas of wood, wild flowers and incense.
On the palate, snappy, with tart red fruit; cranberry, pomegranate, bing cherry with wood undertones. moderate-plus acidity with medium tannin level that lead into the finish.
  • bjamesclark commented:

    11/23/12, 1:13 PM - Nowhere near the points given by WS. Another reason why the opinions of one should influence another.
    Though the mob is not generally sufficiently educated in wine, and most people only score in terms of their likes, it needs to be said that it all comes out in the wash... Thats why platforms like CT work so well!

2008 Schild Estate Shiraz Barossa Valley
6/3/2012 - bjamesclark wrote:
92 points
Dark purple color with opaque core. medium viscosity.
(Decanted) Nutty aromas and tabacco frame plum, dark cherry wood and a hint of sassafras extract.
The Palate is full throttle delivering more than the nose alludes; Firm, well integrated tannins, bright acidity, and velvety texture; Structured. Concentrated flavors of blackberry, cherry and plum flirt with spice, wood, chocolate, vanilla and blue fruit. The finish is long with drying tannins. pleasant
  • bjamesclark commented:

    6/3/12, 1:26 PM - Only judging the wine in the bottle, not whether I think this is the first, or second bottling of the wine. The ratings of others should never influence personal tasting of a wine. Judge the wine in the bottle.
    (Fact:In any case most Americans will only ever see the original anyway, the subsequent bottlings were primarily not for export).

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