Tasting Notes for BVal

(776 notes on 676 wines)

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Red
9/21/2019 - BVal wrote:
Almost 3 years on again and opening my last bottle.

Color: opaque inky ruby core -> slightly diffuse ruby rim; it's amazing how well these old Pax wines keep their color intensity -- no real sign of age yet. Bouquet of blueberries and blackberries, violets again and a touch of anisette and graphite. Hmmm . . . and as it sat and developed, a tinny/metallic note? Blueberries and a bit of leather on the palate. Finish hits me as a bit more coarse and shorter than I would like and shows those metallic notes I've not found in this wine in the past. I'd have to agree with those who are advocating drinking this now; I also don't see any upside to waiting any longer. Not rating this bottle as it might have been off . . . without the metallic notes 89-90.
Red
9/16/2019 - BVal wrote:
85 points
Wine was distinctly "fizzy' as others have noted; reminds me of the '07 and '09 Corini La Barla Barberas I have had. Supposedly Lorenzo Corino was making those wines with little to no racking . . . . Perhaps the problem here? I let the wine air out for a bit then decanted into 375ml bottles that I shook 3-4 times to release the excess gas. Seemed to work.

Color: medium-deep ruby core -> diffuse ruby/garnet rim. Bouquet of plums, cherries, a bit of iodine and leather. Leather & cherries on the palate. Somewhat coarse though and a finish shorter than I would like given the vintage and pedigree. Not feeling this, especially given the price; would much rather have spent the same amount on big brother Beaucastel. I'm not scoring this as 'flawed' because it seemed acceptable --though not great -- after the shake.
Red
9/11/2019 - BVal wrote:
88 points
Color: medium-deep ruby core -> fully bricked/garnet rim. Bouquet on PnP showed a lot of sulfer/rubber roti notes (somewhat like the '07 but less obnoxious) but most blew off within 20 minutes. What remained underneath was still a bit roasted with black cherries, plum, a bit of leather, kinda dark. Somewhat rustic palate showing black cherry again, leather, earth --just a bit coarse but still showing Barbera's great acidity. Certainly passable and still holding on with a reasonably long finish but not one of my favourite Dell'Uccellone's. Perhaps a bit past peak. Drink (already or) soon if you still have any.
Red
9/7/2019 - BVal wrote:
92 points
So . . . have enjoyed about a case of this so it's probably about time to pen a note here.

Color: transparent, light ruby core -> light, diffuse ruby rim; certainly an appropriate Pinot appearance --not like some of the opaque bruisers you sometimes find from Cali. Bright, forward nose on PnP of cranberries, pomegranate, strawberry and light cherries. Like the '12, very Beaune-like to my mind; kirsch and cranberries. No real sous-bois/earthiness or barnyard unfortunately. Lovely acidity though, with good Pinot elegance and great length on the finish. Absolutely killer Pinot Noir fix for a fairly reasonable price. 92.5
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Red
8/24/2019 - BVal wrote:
90 points
3 years on from the last note and I find this hasn't moved a lot; just a bit lighter . . . .

Color: light/medium ruby core -> diffuse, light ruby rim; no apparent bricking yet. Bouquet of watermelon, strawberry, a little earthiness and some (white) pepper. Light to medium bodied palate really showing off the pepper and earth aspects. Once again, a bit of midpalate bitterness and a little coarseness too. Moderately long finish with still some light, fine-grained tannins. Solid for an American Mourvedre; I like it.
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White
8/11/2019 - BVal wrote:
90 points
Color/App: clear deep yellow/nearing gold core/quite viscous. Not surprisingly bold nose of tropical fruits (mango/guava), honey, lime zest and a hint of petrol. Full bodied palate showing honey, tropical fruit again, a bit of lemon and lime. Good acidity and the alcohol (14.9% !) is actually hidden well. Nice, moderately long finish. My last bottle of the '13 and I'd say it's time to drink up as I don't see much upside from here . . . .
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/11/2019 - BVal wrote:
91 points
About 3 years on from my last note and time to break into that last bottle.

Color: medium-dark ruby core now showing some translucency -> deep ruby rim. Bouquet of blackberries, black cherries, milk chocolate, a touch of tobacco and white pepper. Sweet, plush, Booker-smooooth palate showing umami, coffee elements, mineral-driven black fruit; delicious, balanced and long. Tannins have faded from 3 years ago but are still somewhat noticeable. I still think this shows the varietal character of Tempranillo, though more plush and lush than its Spanish counterparts. Delicious now and probably for a few more years; no reason to wait as I think this is as good as it gets.
White
8/5/2019 - BVal wrote:
91 points
Color/App: medium yellow/good viscosity. Bouquet of grapefruit, marzipan, vanilla, a little toffee and lemon and yeah, some butter (though not nearly the level of the Joullian I had the other night). Really pleasant, medium-bodied, classic Cali-Chard profile. Everything in balance, good fruit elements, acid, body and finish. Quite well done and I don't think the oak is over-the-top by any means. Pretty much what I hope to get when purchasing a relatively reasonable Chard from a restaurant wine list.
Red
8/5/2019 - BVal wrote:
92 points
Two more years since my last note; last bottle of this lovely wine.

Color: medium cherry ruby core -> fully bricked, garnet rim. Delicious bouquet of sour cherries, leather, iodine and a little barnyard. Still showing quite the wonderful palate: medium-bodied, great acidity and a reasonably long finish at 20+ years of age. Grilled cherries, acidity, plums and some medicinal aspects make for a great final bottle of this vintage. Held up well over 3+ hours though the acidity was coming on pretty strong at the end there. Cheers to those who still have any and drink up soon I would say!
White
7/22/2019 - BVal wrote:
93 points
Color/App: medium yellow with excellent viscosity. Quite the lovely nose showing off a bit of lemon curd, vanilla, a little melon and oak and a touch of toffee. Wonderful balance on the palate with some depth and textural silkiness. This is quite polished and shows Forman's restraint in his oak treatment --it's there but just another element among many. Medium bodied, great acid level, I'd say this is quite the success. Given the balance, I could see this going further than most Cali Chardonnays. 93+
White
7/22/2019 - BVal wrote:
86 points
Color/App: pale yellow; viscosity on the lower side. Bouquet of lemongrass, lime zest, green apples; light at fruit-forward. Clean but light palate showing citrus and some minerality. Acid okay, length okay, in the end, just about everything okay. Decent price but hoping for a little more depth for their 20th anniversary bottling.
White
7/21/2019 - BVal wrote:
88 points
Color: light/pale straw yellow. Pleasant nose of lemon/lime zest, white flowers and perhaps a touch of honey. Medium-bodied with good acidity and a reasonably long finish. Citrus notes, flowers again and some minerality on the palate; hits all the reasonable notes for a nice Falanghina. Pretty decent QPR as well.
White
7/14/2019 - BVal wrote:
89 points
Color/App: light yellow, good viscosity. Reticent bouquet on PnP: white peach, lanolin/wax, honeydew melon -- very nice in a quiet sort of way. Medium to full-bodied palate. Honeysuckle, peach again, white flowers. Strikes me as very Grenache-Blanc forward with a dollop of Viognier and Roussanne thrown in to add complexity. Though understated, I like this quite a bit. With a long finish and just a touch of bitterness, I agree with others here (different vintages) that this could use a bit more acid. At $25, not exactly a steal but seems about the right price. I'd purchase again.
White
7/14/2019 - BVal wrote:
87 points
Don't know if this is the same wine with a slight change in label for the new vintage . . . instead of Valle d'Itria, this lists Salento in its place.

Color/App: light yellow with good viscosity. Fruit-forward notes of lemon and lime zest, nectarines and a bit of melon; pretty. Light/medium bodied palate of lemon, peach nectar with a touch of almond kernel bitterness on a moderately long finish. Good acidity but not a ton of personality. Would undoubtedly be nice with shellfish or oysters (but don't we have Chablis or Sancerre for that?). Reasonably priced but not a rebuy for me.
White
7/13/2019 - BVal wrote:
85 points
Purchased a spec bottle from a reputable local shop that had several cases on close-out, hoping for a (relative) bargain ($28).

Color/App: deep yellow with gold tint; quite viscous. Interesting reading the recent notes on this regarding the use of oak; some describe it as light, others heavy. My bottle exhibited the oak monster from Scotland (smoky). A little lemon and some nuttiness but most of the nose was obliterated by oak. The palate fared better: oak noticeable but not as overwhelming. Citrus, lemon zest, some marzipan and a touch of toffee overlayed with oak. Don't know if this was super oaky in its youth and has never quite been in balance or if the oak has steadily grown over the years but I'm not a fan. Acidity is light but acceptable. It's drinkable but not my cup of Chardonnay.
Red
2016 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Paso Robles Adelaida District Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
6/26/2019 - BVal wrote:
88 points
Color: light, translucent ruby core -> diffuse light ruby rim; very light in appearance - definitely channeling CdR. Expressive, though light bouquet of cranberry, pomegranate, cherries and a touch of spice as it developed over 2 hours. Palate is also light Cotes-du-Rhone-ish with strawberries, cherries and cranberries. I think this mirrors its CdR counterparts well, albeit with slightly riper, sweeter fruit. This can give it a little more body than its French counterparts which is not necessarily a bad thing. Good acidity and a medium-length finish, I would opt to drink these now and into the near future.
White
6/26/2019 - BVal wrote:
89 points
Color: star-bright straw yellow with good viscosity. On PnP nose was aggressively oaky but settled right down with a little aeration. Melon, grapefruit, oak, lime accents; pretty nose though -- as with the palate -- not as intense as Varner's higher end SC bottlings. Pleasant palate; minerals, oak, a little citrus/lemon & lime zest and a touch of that higher-end SC Varner textural silkiness. Nice acidity and a moderately long finish. I knew going in this was 'entry-level' Varner and not to expect what I've enjoyed in the SC bottles over the years. Well made, quaffable and reasonably priced to my mind.
Red
2013 Cayuse God Only Knows Walla Walla Valley Grenache (view label images)
6/24/2019 - BVal wrote:
93 points
Color: translucent ruby core -> diffuse, light ruby rim; quite Pinot Noir in appearance. Very savoury bouquet on PnP: my usual thoughts veering toward a CDP/Burgundy mash-up. Iodine, saline, sage, rosemary, briney C-funk along with beetroot, cranberry and Grenache spice. Smooth, juicy palate showing beautiful acidity, a nice hefty midpalate and long finish with a touch of bitters. Once again, a lovely GOK showing spiciness, minerality, a little gaminess and sois bois, a touch of sandalwood and bright red fruit. While delicious and drinking perfectly now, this has the balance to last awhile. 93-94.
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Red
6/24/2019 - BVal wrote:
92 points
Last tasted 6/16 and that note, upon rereading, is still spot on.

Color: deep, dark ruby-> dark ruby rim. Bouquet of blackberries, kirsch, wet slate and white pepper. Big, big, palate of blackcurrant, blackberry compote, minerals and black licorice. Black fruit is still massive and presents a slightly sweet attack; no mistaking this for an old-world Syrah. Tannins have fully resolved at this point, the acidity is good and the finish is still quite long -- though there is a bit of alcohol/heat poking through on that finish (15.0%). Delicious still and I would say for plenty of time to come. A little sweeter (vs. savoury) than I would like, but still pretty good stuff. At a 92 the song remains the same . . . .
White - Sweet/Dessert
1986 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
6/23/2019 - BVal wrote:
94 points
From 375ml and not suffering at all coming from a split.

Color: mid/deep gold core with crazy long, viscous legs. Huge bouquet of caramel, barley sugar, honey, peach, butter and a pinch of lime zest. Still quite the sweet palate showing creme brulee, toffee, peach/nectarine and white flowers. Perfect acidity and with a towering, sweet finish, this is punching well above it's price and weight class (Lafaurie was pretty forgettable & inexpensive in the 20+ years prior to the '83).

I think this reinforces the quality of the top echelon of the '86 Sauternes. Too many wrote off the vintage as light and/or early developing. With the exception of a few wines (Suduiraut come to mind), most of the 86's have aged tremendously well and show they have the sweetness and botrytis and stuffing to last many, many more years. Glad I have quite a few to enjoy over the next 10-20 years. If I had more room in the cellar I'd be searching for these at auction -- especially considering they're not much more expensive than the current vintages being released !
White
2016 Denner Theresa Paso Robles White Rhone Blend (view label images)
6/23/2019 - BVal wrote:
93 points
Color: medium-deep yellow core with excellent viscosity. Lovely bouquet of honeysuckle, grapefruit, a bit of citrus; very nice concentration. Body has plenty of finesse; lemon, citrus, slate/mineral component. Moderately long finish and good acidity. I agree with other tasting notes that this benefits with a bit of oxidation/age -- it needed the additional year in the cellar to shine. One of Denner's best wines to my mind and somewhat under-rated due to it being a mix of white varietals.
Red
6/16/2019 - BVal wrote:
flawed
Seriously??? Of all my Cayuse wines, THIS is the one that has to be corked/affected???

Color: opaque/dark ruby -> deep ruby rim with the barest hint of garnet.
Nose was distinctly off: stewed vegetables mixed into a generic red wine showing little to no structure and a short finish . . . .

Vacu-vinned and held for a day hoping things would develop positively but it was not to be. Purchased from Cayuse and while my other bottles have been stellar, this one definitely affected. Ah well . . . .
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Red
6/23/2019 - BVal wrote:
92 points
From magnum.

Color: deep ruby core -> fully bricked/garnet rim. Bouquet of sour cherries, cassis, leather, salinity and a bit of smoke; quite pleasant. Presented a fully mature palate; no tannins left to speak of. Medium-bodied, smooth Cali-cab profile--a touch of sweet fruit with cassis and maybe some earthiness. Very quaffable and loved by all. Almost assuredly helped by the magnum format; seemed bigger than other recent notes. (I'd probably pass on this if from anything less than larger formats at this advanced age.) Nice finish. Yum!
White - Sweet/Dessert
1970 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
6/16/2019 - BVal wrote:
93 points
Dessert for Fathers day 2019; my last bottle of the '70 purchased years ago at auction.

Color: deep, burnished gold edging toward amber. Luscious nose of apricots, toffee, butterscotch and creme brulee. Palate still showing a fair amount of sweetness demonstrating how well these old Sauternes can age. Caramel and brown butter mixed with burnt sugar lend some complexity.

Could there be a bit more? I think yes; this year was renowned for having a paucity of botrytis. It's very good -- delicious in fact. But while I think there was some botrytis at Suduiraut, I think this is showing as a very, very good low-botrytis Sauternes from a good vintage produced from plump, healthy, high-quality grapes. A lovely wine and one I would buy again for the bargain price I paid but perhaps not as complex as other vintages.
Red
6/16/2019 - BVal wrote:
94 points
Fathers Day 2019 and needed a new wine after the '07 Cayuse Bionic Frog came up short (affected/corked).

Color: opaque inky/indigo core -> dark ruby rim edged by a touch of garnet. Fabulous bouquet right out of the gate with violets, blackberry compote, roast beef, iodine and hoisin noted. Concentrated palate of primary blackberry/boysenberry fruit with roasted meat and a touch of smoke. Crazy looong finish that shows only a bit of warmth --expected more given the high Etoh. This is what one would definitively call a "Big Boy' wine but is surprisingly light on its feet; think cruiserweight boxing-class wine (!).
White
6/16/2019 - BVal wrote:
89 points
Color/App: light straw yellow with good viscosity. Pungent nose right off PnP showing lemongrass, melon, grapefruit and fresh cut grass. Palate spritely light with melon and citrus notes coming to the fore. Nice, moderately long finish with good acidity. Well done and should do nicely for a Summer sipper.
Red
6/16/2019 - BVal wrote:
93 points
I see it's been a year+ since my last note --time to get back to doing this regularly! Fathers day 2019 and time for some good stuff! This from a 375ml with fill into the neck; while cork appeared fine, I experienced my first total failure while trying to extract with the Durand. Cork disintegrated and the wine had to be decanted through a fine sieve.

Color: translucent, light ruby core -> diffuse, garnet, fully-bricked rim. Perfectly lovely Pauillac bouquet of cigar box, leather, tobacco and a touch of smoke; really just everything you hope that old, old Bordeaux you've been holding will show. Though light on the palate, I think this is showing swimmingly for a lighter vintage. Some cherries and plum, leather and a bit of the barnyard demonstrating that this still has life! A moderately long finish belies its age (52!) and that it comes from a split. I'd have expected a shorter finish but this is fine--no bitterness and the acid level is appropriate. If well stored (as this was), I would think the 750 should have at least 5+ years left.
Red
4/29/2018 - BVal wrote:
93 points
Color: deep ruby core -> carmine/garnet rim. Lovely bouquet of dark berries, smoke and roasted meat. Palate showing dark fruit, touch of chocolate, roasted meat and smoke again. Good grip here but balanced; nice long finish with fresh acidity. Leaning towards new world in style but still distinctly Cote Rotie.
White
4/22/2018 - BVal wrote:
92 points
Color: deep, luscious yellow core with long, viscous legs. Opulent nose of golden raisins, butter, honeysuckle and a touch of caramel. Very fruit forward on the palate but with enough acidity to keep it on the rails. Apple pie, lemon curd, honey and butterscotch make this pretty enticing. Honestly, this reminds me of a really nice, high-quality Santa Barbara Chard and that's unexpected for a Monterey appelation Chardonnay. Don't know how well it will age but who cares? It's great now and for at least 2-3+ years. Kudos to the Wrath team for a delicious wine and at a reasonable QPR as well!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/22/2018 - BVal wrote:
88 points
Color: dark ruby core -> medium-deep ruby rim. Bouquet of blackberries, provencal spices, cherries; not the usual favorite Hermitage suspects here (no roasted meat, bacon, pepper, etc). New world palate of black cherries, wood, some spice. Medium-weight with acceptable acidity and a moderately long finish. Fairly nondescript for such a heralded vintage; I was hoping for much more. Perhaps this is just too, too young???

Vacu-vinned overnight but it was no different the next day.
Red
2012 Anima Negra Àn Vi de La Tierra Mallorca Callet (view label images)
4/22/2018 - BVal wrote:
91 points
My first time trying an Anima Negra wine -- have never tried these varietals before.

Color: transparent mid-ruby core -> light ruby rim; a bit deeper/darker than pinot noir. Lovely bouquet right on PnP of cherries, mulling spices, rhubarb and a touch of oak. Well balanced palate showing off cherries again with some pomegranate and strawberries. Silky texture with great acidity and a long finish, I would say this is quite elegant. Grenache-like to my mind but perhaps a bit more subtle and approachable than a '12 CDP would be. Given the great balance, I'd love to see how this would age . . . .
Red
4/2/2018 - BVal wrote:
92 points
Color: light ruby core -> fully mature garnet/bricked rim. Sumptuous bouquet right on PnP of sandalwood and smoke, olives, bacon, leather, earth and roasted meat. Palate, as per my usual findings with mid-90's Chaves, distinctly a bit lighter than I'd prefer. That being said, still a lovely, feminine, fully mature expression of Hermitage. Palate showing roasted cherries, smoke, leather; the usual suspects. A bit drying on the medium-length finish, I think this should be consumed within the next few years lest you miss some of that old Chave magic. 92-93 & fully mature -- no reason to wait.
Red
3/25/2018 - BVal wrote:
92 points
From 375ml.
Color: opaque ruby core -> medium-deep fuchsia rim. Too small a bottle to let develop as long as it deserved -- lasted maybe 2 hours (yes, it's drinkably delicious now!!). Impressions based upon final glass. Bouquet of cranberries, pomegranate, cinnamon, mace and a hint of savoury herbs. Desperately needs more time to develop! That being said, palate was beautifully balanced showing how pure and lovely the fruit is here at Beaucastel in a great vintage: strawberries, almost a pinot-like beetroot, rhubarb and spice, spice, SPICE. It seems almost unfair to taste this wine at such a young age since most of my enjoyment is based primarily upon what I think is the Grenache component in the blend; it will take time for the Woolly Mammoth of Mourvedre to transform this '15. It does have a wonderfully long finish that shows a great acidic spine and to my taste, no alcoholic burn. A bit lighter than expected given the accolades for the vintage, I feel (hope!) this will probably only gain weight and complexity over time. After enjoying verticals of Beaucastel with my wine group where we narrowed down the "perfect" drinking window to be around 20 years, I would not be surprised to find this drinking perfectly a few years younger than that one-score time frame. 92 now + considerable upside (say 93-95+).
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/20/2017 - BVal Likes this wine:
96 points
Color: dark, opaque ruby core -> deep ruby rim. Absolutely classic Syrah bouquet of leather, roasted meat, gentle C-funk (which seems to be a commonality among the several vintages of Armada I've enjoyed) and a distinct note of white pepper. Full bodied, smooth, and non-tannic American palate of blackberries, olive tapenade, a touch of smoke and a little brown sugar. Delicious, lovely, ridiculously long and certainly drinking perfectly right now. Reminds me of a Syrah-burly Grand Cru Burg (think Bonnes Mares or Chambertin) in that it's built on acidity rather than tannins and slays your palate appropriately. Held up fabulously over 3 days in a vacu-vin.
American Grand Cru Syrah . . . ?
5 people found this helpful Comment
White
9/20/2017 - BVal wrote:
90 points
Year in and year out, one of my favorite go-to Cali Rhone whites; this again delivers at a very reasonable price point ($22). 48% Roussanne, 35% Marsanne & 17% Viognier w/13.4% Etoh.

Color: light straw yellow. Bouquet shows green apple, ginger, honey and lemon drops. Palate had just a gentle touch of sweetness; not too distracting but perhaps a note more residual sugar than previous vintages? Palate of kiwi, peaches, ginger and baking spices. Good acidity and a reasonably long finish. Winner in my book.
Red
9/10/2017 - BVal wrote:
88 points
Color: light to medium-deep ruby core -> medium deep ruby rim with garnet tints. Savoury bouquet of redcurrants, plums, green bell peppers (whaat?), sage and iron filings. Palate shows cherries, peppers again and a little leather. Some fine-grained tannins evident finishing off a nice, medium-bodied red that shows perhaps a little worse that expected given the CT scores. Finish is moderately long. Good wine, just a bit thrown by the green pepper element.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/10/2017 - BVal wrote:
89 points
Color: medium-deep/dark ruby core -> medium ruby/garnet rim. Nose on PnP was screeching tire rubber, smoke and some black cherries; waited a full 90 minutes before the acrid elements finally began to recede to the point where it was drinkable. Rustic palate showing black fruits, earth, smoke and more earth. Full bodied but a bit astringent with a moderately long finish. Not my favourite vintage of dell'Uccellone for sure; perhaps a bit too scortchingly hot in '07 to make a great wine.
White
5/31/2017 - BVal wrote:
89 points
Color: pale yellow with good viscosity. Grassy bouquet showing off white flowers, green apple and a touch of marzipan. Pleasantly medium-to-full bodied on the palate with minerals, fresh cut apple, some lemon and lime zest. Finishes long with a slight (but not unpleasant) note of bitterness. Quite dry, quite appropriately Rhone and quite Grenache Blanc dominated to my mind. Distinctly more austere than the white Rhone cuvees I usually enjoy from Paso but still very nice and near their price level.
Red
5/21/2017 - BVal wrote:
90 points
Color: dark ruby core -> medium-deep magenta rim. Slightly reduced bouquet showing rubber, black cherries and a bit of minerals and underbrush. Palate still showing some tanninc clout (it is only a '13 after all), black fruit, nice acidity and a reasonable finish. I appreciate what Nanda noted; not particularly complex -- reminiscent of a Paso wine -- though certainly well made and quaffable to my mind. Probably needs about 2 more years to knit itself together and shed some tannins (& maybe gain more complexity?). Nowhere near the Parkerland points though.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/21/2017 - BVal wrote:
90 points
Color: deep/dark ruby core -> deep ruby rim; no apparent aging at the rim other than some loss of density. Not much aromatically on PnP so I decanted and let sit for 90+ minutes before assessing. Sweet, not particularly complex nose of black raspberries, black cherries, boysenberries and iodine. Honestly, I felt the nose was disappointing: where's the beef? Where's the tar, underbrush, garrigue . . . ? Palate pretty much followed the nose with sweet berry fruit, nice acidity, light tannic structure and a long finish. Besides the lack of complexity, the biggest surprise to me was how well this wine hid the massive 16.7% alcohol level. It comes across as sweet, but reasonably balanced with just a touch of heat on the considerable finish. I'll go 90 here but I'm not convinced this has much more to say in years to come.
Red
5/21/2017 - BVal wrote:
88 points
Couldn't believe I still had a bottle of this hiding in the cellar; need to reorganize things in there! Opened with some trepidation considering my last unpleasant note but pleased to find a much better wine than before. I'd have to say there was considerable bottle variation at Neyers for this wine.

Color: medium-deep ruby core -> full garnet/brick rim. Complex bouquet of kalamata olives, leather, road tar, meat and a touch of black pepper; really pretty classic Cali Syrah nose. Soft, sweet black fruits in the mouth; olives, earth and underbrush but a little too berryish to my mind. Still a slight green/astringent element here but much, much less than that last bottle from '12. Reasonable medium-length finish that is still showing some nice fruit. This is so much better than before; anybody having any left it's time to drink and good luck to you in which side of the bottle variation line you fall.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/20/2017 - BVal wrote:
92 points
Color: deep ruby core -> fairly dense ruby rim. Seemed too primary and grapey on PnP so decanted for 90 minutes then tried again; it needed the time. Bouquet of black cherries and blackberries, smoke, earth and vanilla-oak. Palate has an inviting smooth attack with a plush midpalate and medium-length finish. Black fruits again with kirsch, olives and anisette. As the wine developed over time, it coarsened up just at bit and the fruit started to drop out. I would certainly plan to enjoy these over the next couple of years rather than waiting if I had more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2015 Enkidu "E" Cuvee MS Mendocino County White Rhone Blend (view label images)
5/20/2017 - BVal wrote:
87 points
40% Roussanne, 40% Marsanne, 20% Viognier, all from the Alder Springs Vineyard, 240 cases.

Color: pale yellow with reasonably good viscosity. Pleasant, if restrained nose of white flowers, fresh linen, golden raisins and a bit of glue (Marsanne?). Lively, acidic palate that struck me as nice but a little quiet and foursquare. Didn't hit me as decidedly Rhone, just okay generic white wine that would probably go well with seafood due to the acidity. Expected more and definitely a little disappointed, even for the reasonable price . . . overcropped?
Red
2000 Château Charmail Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/19/2017 - BVal wrote:
91 points
Color: medium-deep ruby core -> reasonably deep ruby rim. Really nice nose on PnP of coffee, violets, cassis and a little pencil lead; classic Bordeaux nose if not quite as intense as higher class wines. Soft, well balanced palate showing black cherries, plums, blackberries and some leather. This has developed quite nicely over the last 17 years; still good acidity, a reasonable level of alcohol and a touch of tannin on a medium-to medium-short-length finish. Purchased for $20 (or slightly less?) on release, this totally delivers. At peak now and feels like it will certainly hold for at least 2-3 more years.
Red
5/17/2017 - BVal wrote:
92 points
Color: black-as-midnight core -> dense magenta rim. Lovely bouquet of boysenberries, raspberries, black cherries and a touch of licorice. Palate follows what I have come to think of as the Booker "house" style: lush, plush, intense and accessible. Berry (see nose) palate with black cherries again and a bit of underbrush. Good acidity with still notable tannins though they're light, fine and reasonably well-integrated. Finish is long with a note of alcoholic burn at the end (15.9%). It's quaffable, delicious, far too easy to drink and not really all that complex for a 10 year old Syrah. Seems to be more puppy-like than mature to my mind though I'm really not sure any further complexity is forthcoming. Enjoy now for its continuing youthful exuberance . . . .
White
5/10/2017 - BVal wrote:
89 points
Ooops! Another one of those I seemed to have forgotten to review even though I've gone thought 4-5-6 bottles?? Mea Culpa !

Color: Pale yellow core showing moderate legs/viscosity. Fresh, lively bouquet of lemon zest, lime, apples and crushed rock/minerals. Light/medium-bodied palate of minerals, pears, fresh-squeezed lemon/lime juice and a touch of agave. This is really young and fresh and delicious on PnP -- though it gets better as it warms toward room temp -- wonderful with most entrees and especially seafood. Lacking only in the complexity department, this would be a wonderful companion with most dishes and fairly reasonably priced.
Red
5/10/2017 - BVal wrote:
90 points
Last bottle of this. Decanted for about 2 hours and showed improvement over that time; totally agree with Collin that on PnP this presented with overly sweet, candied fruit that needed time to firm up.

Color: opaque ruby core -> dense ruby rim with no bricking evident. Nice bouquet of blackberries, minerals, asphalt, meat and a touch of black pepper. Savoury (with time in decanter), large-scaled palate showing mostly black fruits with good midpalate, acidity and length. This is one of my favorite single vineyard Syrahs from Wrath vineyards these days (called KW Ranch now), so a lot of fun to try the same vineyard fruit from 10+ years ago. I do think Wrath does it a little better tho . . . .
Red
2007 Cayuse God Only Knows Walla Walla Valley Grenache (view label images)
5/8/2017 - BVal wrote:
94 points
Looking back over my notes for GOK I see I've rated 7 different vintages and always between 92 - 95; pretty consistently awesome wine to my palate I guess. First time for the '07 . . . .

Color: light, transparent ruby -> diffuse, light ruby rim; looks like Burgundy. Once again, smells like the quintessential amalgamation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a touch of red Burgundy; saline-iodine-brine-funk (that Cayuse thang), game meat, pomegranate, earth and an alluring CDP-like spiciness. Absolutely lovely wine (not-over-the-top Cayuse garrigue) that really blossomed to near perfection at about 60 minutes. Smooth, juicy palate showing beautiful acidity (almost Burgundian you say?), a nice hefty midpalate and long finish. This vintage of GOK skews distinctly in the direction of Grenache (as it should) showing spiciness, earth, minerality, gaminess, a touch of smoke/sandalwood and deep red fruit. Delicious and drinking perfectly now . . . no reason to wait; my eighth vintage and certainly one of the best (yep, and still at 92+).
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/7/2017 - BVal wrote:
90 points
Color: deep/dark ruby core -> medium deep ruby rim with a touch of garnet. Classic GL bouquet of leather, barnyard, blackcurrant and tobacco. Medium to full bodied palate showing cassis, cigarbox, leather and earth. For me, classic old-school Bordeaux profile that, unfortunately, shows the shortcomings of the vintage. Finish is a bit short and coarse with an unpleasant tannic slap (still). I'm thinking the rough tannins will outlast what I'm seeing as fading fruit here. Pleasant enough today with food though (duck, brussel sprouts, wild rice w/pecans & cranberries).
1 person found this helpful Comment
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