Comments on my notes

(92 comments on 70 notes)

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Red
2013 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Willow Creek District Syrah Blend, Syrah
5/14/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
2013 is without a doubt Saxum's year of even more infamy, and this chanteuse is no exception. Exceptionally long and polished, with an infinite depth. Lava rock, coffee grounds, red fruit, blue fruit and red spice, then a little raw peanut. This is complete infanticide and I would let this soon-to-be legendary bottle lay down for quite a few years. Drink 2022 - 2037.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    8/31/19, 8:55 AM - Hi Dave,

    Saxum, like Sine Qua Non is worth the wait. The wines are truly exceptional...like Bionic Fog. Cheers!

Red
2017 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Block 1910 Russian River Valley
6/17/2019 - Matt Scott wrote:
96 points
This awe inspiring Zinfandel paradoxically has a voluptuous body, yet with the right amount of acidity, this remains very fresh; the finish is very long, yet behaves like cordite. There’s black raspberry, hope chest, black walnut shell, red spice, blackberry and leather. Still a little latent, this deserves a two hour decant or a couple more years in the cellar. The middle palate is polished and quite refined. A mesmerizing wine that looks to be my favorite vintage yet for this bottling. The only draw back is the small production at 280 cases. This particular block - planted in 1910 - takes up 5 acres of the estate, and is interplanted with Syrah, Alicante Bouchet and Petite Sirah, to name a few. A legendary Old Vine Zinfandel that has the backbone and pedigree to age well. Drink 2021 - 2036.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    6/23/19, 7:05 PM - 1. Nowhere was it written that the wine “tastes” like the aforementioned nuances. I am describing the nose, and it is not uncommon to use descriptors that one would not necessarily want to taste. I would love to take credit for expanding the vernacular of wine nuances, however, that would be an outright lie, since others have been doing it for quite awhile. The fact that you find the verbiage to be so obscure is both puzzling and fatuous.

    2. We all have our own wine lexicons when it comes to pontificating about what it is we are drinking. Some are vast and others are quite small. However, please do not expect our hero to be as limited and conventional as you like to write.

White
2015 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Pure Roussanne
6/8/2019 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
94 points
Dried papaya, dried pineapple rings, salty mineral, lychee, ginger and lilies. A long finish, with precision and depth, that has such a tropical aftertaste. Although this is enjoyable today, a couple of years will help the completeness. Layered, pure and sultry. Drink 2021 - 2036.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    6/8/19, 7:55 PM - My absolute pleasure, Steve. This is such a delectable Roussanne.

White
2014 Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay White Stones Adrianna Vineyard Mendoza
12/15/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
94 points
Loaded with a panoply of citrus, creme brûlée, mineral, marble and white flowers. Succulent, with a wide range of flavor, this is long, complex and layered. Transparent and seamless, this percolates and seduces. Very unique and classy, and yet forward at the same time. Drink now - 2027.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/6/19, 9:39 PM - Thank you, Winot!

Red
2015 Andremily Syrah No. 4 Santa Barbara County
3/9/2019 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
Blueberry cobbler, eucalyptus, braised lamb, ground rock, raspberry liquor and black pepper. So complete and unctuous, with this emphatic expansion in regards to palate. Paradoxically heavy but light, which is a very attractive quality. The finish is absolutely perfect. Decanted for two hours. Through the vein there is a Turkish coffee element. This will age for many years, and I am challenged in finding an end date. The tannins are quite velvety. Drink 2022 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    3/11/19, 12:25 PM - Thank you, Steve! Such astounding juice.

Red
2016 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
2/20/2019 - Matt Scott wrote:
87 points
Yes, Caymus makes Cabernets, and I typically enjoy them. This bottle, which has no hard ages, and an enjoyable full body, has obvious residual sugar - at least from what my palate tells me. Sorry, it’s not my bag, even though the finish is long and there’s dark fruit, along with cassis. Drink 2020 - 2027.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    2/22/19, 9:54 AM - Wonderful comment, Mark1npt. Cabernet should never seem that sweet, regardless of the other positive attributes.

Red
2016 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
12/15/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
Opened the day before and finished the following night. Plum, terracotta, black cherry, rosemary, blood orange zest, currant and sun-drenched stone. The palate is almost perfect, with depth, dimension and every step is quite musical. An extremely long finish, with microfiber tannins and layer upon layer of noir fruit; I love how this is broad, yet remains racy. Still monolithic, this exquisite offering is beseeching the cellar. Even better than the epic ‘15 and ‘13, this is a hybrid of modern Tuscany in terms of showing both classic and modern tendencies. Full-bodied but exemplifies finesse within the same moment. A true cellar treasure. Drink 2024 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    1/17/19, 3:41 PM - Lay them down for awhile. Cheers, Steve!

Red
2016 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
12/28/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
A different animal from the wonderfully concentrated ‘15, this exhibits noir fruit, raspberry, pork shoulder, violets, red lava, stout beer and chocolate orchid. There’s an idealistic purity of fruit, with beauty and precision. Very silky tannnins and the finish is savory, with length. I love the aftertaste of mixed berries and herbs. Decanted for three hours and capable of a long study. The body is paradoxically transparent and suave, yet there’s density and a raciness. Drink 2022 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/29/18, 1:55 PM - Hi Momus99,

    Like barnyard, granite, sea breeze or other descriptors used to discuss nuances of a wine, the reference has more to do with the nose. I have experienced many wines with barnyard aromatics, however, they do not necessarily taste like it - thankfully.

  • Matt Scott commented:

    1/11/19, 5:08 PM - PortlandSeth: No. I do mean lava. Have you ever walked on a lava bed? I spent a fair amount of time on the Big Island of Hawaii, and when you walking on a relatively recent lava bed, pick up a crumbling lava rock, grind it in your hands, that is the nuance that I get. There’s nothing quite like it. Red lava from Mount St. Helens is quite different in its own right as well.

Red
2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch Russian River Valley
11/26/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted for two hours. So complex and evolving on the nose, with blueberry, boysenberry, cumin, tobacco, river rock and flower shop. There’s an addicting freshness during the long finish. The front and middle show a full body, and distinct layers. Possibly the best Papera yet, this will have no problem aging and deserves a solid decant. An absolute must. Drink 2020 - 2032.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    11/27/18, 1:03 PM - Thanks, John. I found a bottle at retail and had to get it. I’ll be picking up my order this weekend at the winery.

Red
2016 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
11/16/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted for two hours. Complexity and purity are the first two words I think of while spending time with this chanteuse. Very expressionistic, the nose displays dried raspberry, melted licorice, mineral, chiseled chalk, rosemary, rattan, white pepper and dark berries. Effusively long and classicly balanced, with sweet tannins that glimmer, and folding layers of fruit and stone. Legendary and almost ageless. Drink 2023 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    11/20/18, 7:05 PM - Thank you Steve and Vinomazing. It was undoubtedly infanticide, however, a real stunner all the same.

Red
2015 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Napa Valley
5/31/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted for an hour. Stunning purity, poise and length. The nose is of boysenberry, vanilla, tarragon, plum, lava rock and tool chest. A true hybrid, this is modern Napa with some old school tendencies. The depth is evident, along with the microfiber tannins. Delicious. Drink 2019 - 2032.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    11/16/18, 12:07 PM - Cheers! I hope you enjoy. Please let me know your thoughts

Red
2015 Château Brane-Cantenac Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
Decanted for an hour. A Bettie Page style, with ripe, lecherous mannerisms, along with a full body and polished tannins that are well-layered - not to mention the voluptuous middle, which ultimately captivates. The finish is exceptionally long. Blackberry, coffee cake, sous bois, dried tobacco leaf, red cherry and lava bed. My favorite from here during the modern vintages (starting from from the legendary 1982 performance). A mere baby, she will age for longer than a fortnight. 2025 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    9/22/18, 12:11 PM - I woke up this morning obsessing over how stunning this was.

Red
2015 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
9/6/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted for an hour. A long and lavish finish that is sublime. Fresh plum, garrigue, mineral, dried blueberry, Szechuan sauce and dried pine mulch. The body is medium to full and the structure is stupendous; the tannins are fine, evident and so attractive. This goddess will age for many years. Drink 2021 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    9/6/18, 9:57 PM - Beaucastel can be a bit elusive. By design and pedigree, this cuvée can demand the cellar to properly integrate. During off vintages, or mediocre ones for that matter, CdB can still rock the casbah, but it needs time. The classic vintages show from the onslaught until the dawn.

    The optimum wine window, as far as peaking is: 2024 - 2039. However, if this was drinking well at 2050, I would not be surprised...

    ‘10 and ‘15 are stunning vintages to cellar. If you ever see any ‘05s and ‘07s, don’t hesitate to grab a bottle.

Red
2015 Benovia Pinot Noir La Pommeraie Russian River Valley
8/31/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
95 points
Marvelous concentration and layers, with a wide range of profiles, this Russian River Valley goddess extenuates all things Pinot. Ripe cherry, salty pebbles, teak chest, potpourri and dried hay. Long and the acidity adds so much delight, with this being quite approachable and new world. Drink now - 2029.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    9/1/18, 12:59 PM - I could not agree more.

Red
2013 Vérité La Joie Sonoma County Red Bordeaux Blend
2/25/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
99 points
See previous note. What an honor to have the opportunity to drink this stunning goddess again. I notice a lot of truffle, with the lavender and pencil lead, sous bois and blackberry. Almost perfect, with one shy point in regards to the lovely finish. Designed for a long haul in the most deserving cellar. Such scrumptious fruit. Drink 2025 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    8/23/18, 12:21 PM - RA1, thank you. I would buy a case of the ‘13. It will last forever. There’s so much structure and depth.

Red
2014 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
1/25/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted for three hours. I absolutely adore the blue and black fruit, with juniper, lilac, rose petals, fresh roof tar and eucalyptus. Delineated and each layer is precisely folded, with cottony tannins and an enchanting focus. Even better than ‘03, ‘98, ‘04 and ‘00, this is my favorite ‘14, thus far. I would wait at lest six years, and then enjoy over the next forty. The finish shows a fine fabric and a crescendo, with a lovely cadence. The terroir really comes through, propelling a feminine quality. Truly epic. Drink 2024 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    7/27/18, 2:08 PM - It’s a mythic HB. I hope you enjoy, but please decant, as it is still rather tight.

Red
2015 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
7/7/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted for two hours. An almost opaque colour, with a garnet core. Blackberry, dark cherry, antique walnut, tobacco and cassis. A full body, with silky, layered tannins. A gliding finish. Drink 2022 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    7/15/18, 9:49 AM - Such a strong pedigree. This wine will shine for many, many years...

Red
2000 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
5/11/2015 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
95 points
Decanted for three hours. Of the Lynch Bages pantheon, this is the most backward left-bank chateau from the legendary vintage, and ultimately compelling. Slowly revealing pencil lead, blackberry, raw steak, rose petal and cigar box. The finish sails into any stunning sunset. Fine grained tannins in copious proportions, with a silky edge. So much aristocracy and ageless. Ending with spearmint. Decant or wait a few more years. Drink 2020 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    5/12/15, 9:31 AM - The '03, '05 and in some ways the '09 are more approachable. The '00 reminds me of the '82 Las Cases in that it will be backwards for awhile.

  • Matt Scott commented:

    7/8/18, 9:24 AM - Thank you, JJYoyo. Such a classic bottle.

Red
2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert Syrah
5/17/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted for two hours. Dark berry, lavender, braised duck, white pepper and ground granite. Latent at first, the nose and palate open up well after about three hours, with both displaying a lot of dimension. Succulent tannins, with a feathery frame. This causes a seditious feeling for those who say that Crozes-Hermitage is a mere shadow of its illustrious neighbor. Decant. Drink 2021 - 2034.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    5/18/18, 7:18 AM - My pleasure. This will age quite well.

  • Matt Scott commented:

    5/18/18, 1:12 PM - I could not agree more. Cheers!

  • Matt Scott commented:

    5/19/18, 10:00 AM - In regards to the Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage offers the best value. Alain Graillot can be found for under $30 and is a fine go-to.

White
2016 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley
8/20/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
This is absolutely sensational and even better than the classic '07. Perfectly concentrated, with tiers of flavor. Orange blossom, honeydew melon, cat urine, sage brush, chalky mineral and wicker. Exceptionally long and just all around gorgeous: I can't get over how delicious this is at such a young age. American Sauvignon Blanc rarely is this magnificent. Drink now - 2025.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/10/18, 8:50 PM - Hi John,

    I hope you are well.

    It definitely has the ability to age, however, I can’t see it improving with age - maybe just showing some secondary nuances and evolving.

Red
2016 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block Russian River Valley
4/1/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
99 points
Blueberry cobbler, braised duck, portabello mushroom, vanilla bean, blackberry capote and Chinese five spice. The palate is salient during the front, middle and back; the tannins are microfiber, and the ostensibly echoing finish continues for minutes. Typical of Russian River Valley Syrah, the acidity is evident, and in this case, at the perfect amount. Many levels of depth are within. This soon-to-be legendary bottling is even more enthralling than ‘14 and ‘11. Absolutely iconic and my favorite Carlisle yet. This is near perfection. 2016 might possibly end up being Carlisle’s best vintage ever. Drink 2019 - 2033.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/2/18, 10:24 AM - Hi Tom,

    After 2007, ‘13 and ‘14, I often wondered if those vintages would be topped ... and with ‘16 they were. The ‘16 vintage is mythic, and the Papa’s Block is the Syrah that all others will hope to achieve - it is the archetype.

Red
2013 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT Sangiovese
3/15/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
97 points
At first this is foreboding, then after three hours in the decanter the latent qualities are starting to present what they have to offfer. Blue and black fruit, used coffee grounds, cedar, violets and red spice; not to mention the terroir which is shining through. The finish lasts for minutes; the palate is round and almost complete. I love the chewy and of course omnipresent tannins. Let her slumber for a period of time or decant for many hours. Drink 2022 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    3/17/18, 2:41 PM - Hi Steve,

    Thank you. The ‘13 will age well for many, many years. I actually like it a little more than the classic ‘06.

White
2013 Ceritas Chardonnay Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast
2/20/2018 - Steve Brickley Likes this wine:
97 points
Charlie Heintz’s grapes can make wondeful wines. A bit of petrol on the nose in such a good way. Just a hint of butterscotch tells you this is California, but not in the least dominant -very backstage. SO2 but blows off. Acid bite, citrus, tart, with backend hint of alch. This isn’t watery or weightless, but instead a mid-weight wine that feels round. A lovely balance that reads California and Chablis. Enough description — This has a good decade plus in it with improvement probable too. Wow.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    3/16/18, 12:29 PM - Hi Steve,

    Wonderful note! I love petrol.

    Cheers!

    Matt

Red
2014 Château Gazin Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
1/25/2018 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
95 points
Decanted for two hours. Chocolate covered cherries, sage, dried chives, plum and salty, crushed granite. The palate exemplifies supple fruit and is suave, yet almost animalistic. Throughout the layered, and silky tannins, the fruit gallops and does not alter its course. Truly aligned for the cellar, it will take some proper coaxing for the wondrous fruit to present itself. Definitely classic, and this will last a very long time. A finely-tuned and sailing finish. Ninety-five percent Merlot and five percent Cabernet Franc. So pure. Drink 2022 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    2/8/18, 2:32 PM - It is a great value...along with so many from 2014.

Red
2015 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve Napa Valley
3/19/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
My, oh my ... the purity of Cabernet fruit and kaleidoscope of flavor is utterly addicting. Black cherry, plumb sauce, blueberry, flower shop and chiseled cement. Not even in bottle yet, this is so approachable and well-defined it is almost ridiculous. This has to be the best Cabernet Reserve yet. Silky tannins and so tasty. 95 - 97 points.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    1/17/18, 10:29 AM - I actually tried it at the winery and it was the reserve. (-: it was still primal, but the fruit was stunning!

Red
2014 Sine Qua Non Grenache Shakti Central Coast
12/21/2017 - Matt Scott wrote:
flawed
The wine was corked!! So, so sad... underneath the wet paper bag, you can tell that the palate is seamless. What a travesty.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/22/17, 3:19 PM - Hi Grove,

    An amazing friend of mine has been on the list since 1999 and brought this over. I have been know to purchase a fair amount SQN on the secondary market, however, this came directly from the winery. I went by his house the next day and the taint remained. The cork looked immaculate - as it should with this only being 2014.

    Cheers,

    Matt

  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/22/17, 3:20 PM - Hi numcwrt2,

    I am sure Manfred and Elaine are very stand up. My friend who brought this over told me that he will reach out to the winery.

    Cheers!

    Matt

Red
2014 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
6/2/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
Decanted for two hours. The intense blackberry, dried tobacco, dried earth, blood orange zest, hope chest and chocolate pudding nose is stunning in its own right. A salient entry and a round, polished middle palate. There's depth to ponder and terroir to enjoy. Lay this First-Growth of St. Julien down for awhile. Without a doubt this has a nose that will be indelible.
Drink 2024 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/15/17, 12:43 PM - Las Cases really should be a First Growth. It is without a doubt in the same league as far as quality is concerned.

Red
2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch Russian River Valley
4/8/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
95 points
Such staying power and long, with more noir fruit than typical and an underlying acidity that causes addiction. Blueberry, ripe cherry, briary notes, savory herbs and crushed red spice. Silky and layered, with cut and balance. Drink now - 2030.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    8/1/17, 3:34 PM - Thank you, John. I love Papera; drive by it often. Mike and Jay are beyond dialed-in with this classic site on Olivet.

  • Matt Scott commented:

    11/19/17, 11:22 AM - Enjoy! The 2015 Papera is my favorite wine produced by Carlisle that particular vintage. The ‘16s will possibly be Mike’s best yet.

Red
2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Sodini Vineyard Russian River Valley
1/9/2015 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
93 points
So aristocratic and posh in terms of texture; the palate is balanced on the front, middle and back. Long. Chocolate covered cherries, sandal wood, smokey rum (not in a hot nor negative way), and roasted herbs. Most intriguing...and just gorgeous. Mike and Jay are the true maestros of Zinfandel. Wait a year or decant. Drink 2016 - 2024.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    10/7/17, 5:02 PM - That sounds excellent! I wish that I had more...

Red
2014 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
5/14/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
Decanted for three hours. Raspberry reduction, currant, kirsch, cigar box complexity, river rock and cassis. The prowess of the Cabernet fruit and the slowly revealing layers just add to the myth. During the episodic finish there's a lovely flower shop quality. A truly epic Grand-Puy Lacoste, this will not only age for many, many years, but, this is the best bottling produced by GPL in the 2000s. Drink 2022 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    5/16/17, 9:21 AM - My second favorite! I was 95 points in regards to the 2010. The 2014 leads by a hair due to the nose; they are actually quite equal in terms of palate.

  • Matt Scott commented:

    5/17/17, 9:20 AM - Thank you, Steve!

  • Matt Scott commented:

    9/18/17, 11:39 AM - Thanks, Wineotim. The '14 is a true rock star.

Red
2010 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
8/21/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
Decanted for three hours. In the same vein as the '05, this is polished and well-layered, yet only revealing so much. Blackberry, black tea, graphite, flower shop and dried mulch. Long in the back end and the polished tannins hold this within a complete frame. This is reminiscent of something by Edward Hopper. Drink 2021-.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    5/16/17, 7:36 AM - Hmmmm... "Drink 2021 -." means that it would be best to hold off until then. If I wrote "now - 2021", then that would be different. So, in essence, it will outlast many. And, yes, Edward Hopper in a sense of that still moment that can impose, have angles and still enchant.

  • Matt Scott commented:

    5/16/17, 10:13 AM - Hi Malcom,

    Not to worry. (-:

    Cheers!

    Matt

Red
2005 Château L'Evangile Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
2/1/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
100 points
Decanted for two hours. A crystal rim and a garnet core. Olive tapenade, red lava, cherry capote, warm leather, salty mineral and fresh rose petals. Extremely long, layered and velvety, with tannin of the same ilk. Ostensibly refined and the quintessential Pomerol: I can not praise this goddess enough. The secondary nuances are at a nascent stage; 100 points is the rubric. I would write that I am speechless, yet evidently I am not. Decant or wait a couple of years...or fifty. Drink 2018 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    2/24/16, 10:34 PM - Thank you KB. The L'Evangile is one of my favorite '05s. Such a stunner.

    Cheers!

    Matt

  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/17/17, 11:39 AM - Hi Rashcar,

    A two hour decant will work well. There's no rush, as this will last for many, many years to come...

Red
2013 Shafer Relentless Napa Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah
3/18/2017 - jviz Likes this wine:
97 points
This wine is playing in the big league. Palpable quality. Fragrant aroma on opening, even when poured a few feet away. The nose shows berry reduction, cheese rind, grilled meat, and dusty oak. The palate follows with much of the same, with a persistent black pepper finish. 15.8% alcohol is well concealed behind waves of crushed black and blueberry fruit. Massive intensity and a rather silky mouthfeel. Expertly crafted and a bit indulgent. Rhone influence is certainly there. Scores seem to range from 95-100 -- I think they are well justified and most tasters seem to agree. Could this be better than the 2008 WS wine of the year? We'll see, but I predict a spot in the top 10
  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/5/17, 8:33 PM - I really like your tasting note.
    ...and, it is better than the '08.

Red
2013 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate St. Helena
12/28/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
99 points
The chanteuse of St. Helena returns with prowess. Though this is hidden within the carapace, the terroir and pedigree shines through. Black cherry, currant paste, cedar, fire pit, blackberry and green tobacco. Tannins at the vanguard, that are pillowy and coating, with a long and focused finish. Please cellar. I am absolutely captivated by this mythic and sultry Athena. Drink 2020 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    3/24/17, 12:53 PM - Hi JRDillon,
    I appreciate your comment. This reminded me of tasting '05 Bordeaux when was first released: you need to peel back the multiple layers and focus heavily on the mouthfeel. This is destined for the cellar and the complete opposite from anything upfront. I am not sure what others consumed, but this was definitely a '13 Spottswoode and in many years, it will reward many. In general, '13 in Napa is for the cellar, as you are consuming the wonderful'12s and '14s....

Red
2014 Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles Willow Creek District Red Rhone Blend
3/14/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
If '07 and '10 had a love child together, with even more concentration, it would be the illustrious '14. Cassis, dried cranberry, sultana, blueberry, Italian herbs and flower shop. A stunning middle palate and a very long finish, that nicely unfolds. The most powerful James Berry yet, with grace and definition. The tannins are velvety and present, with a true force. She will age well. Drink 2019 - 2034.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    3/15/17, 3:59 PM - It really is an amalgam of the two...with more concentration. I appreciate your kind note. Cheers!!

Red
2014 Saxum Broken Stones Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend
3/14/2017 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
Dried strawberry, flower shop, ripples of blue fruit, toasty oak and sun-drenched earth. Glamours and concentrated, the Grenache and Petite Sirah are evident and add so much depth; the finish cascades. Still latent and ultimately young, I would wait a few more years for this velvety, percolating goddess to come around. Decanted for three hours. Drink 2021 - 2036.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    3/14/17, 5:44 PM - Thank you, Arch57. I am definitely sitting on my other bottles for some time and will be trying the Terry Hoage next.

  • Matt Scott commented:

    3/15/17, 3:57 PM - Csimm1161,
    It was a worthy sacrifice! Tight, but stunning.

Red
2010 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard St. Helena
8/21/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted for four hours. The bouquet is mesmerizing, with blackberry, tobacco, gravel pit, cherry blossom, French onion soup, sage brush and braised ostrich. The tannins are silky and quite evident, yet the fruit is not hidden. An echoing finish that truly resonates. I love the terroir and find this to sometimes be the La Mission Haut-Brion of Napa Cabernet. She will age for more than a score and is not meek. Drink 2018 - 2043.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/29/16, 10:13 AM - Hi Vintage1949: two-to-three years and then watch it eveolve for more than twenty. Tannic, but so much glorious fruit.

Red
2014 Melville Syrah Estate Donna's Sta. Rita Hills
12/10/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
Char Siu pork, lavender, stewed cherries, Roobios tea, sun-drenched earth and leather. Exceptionally long and a solid flow of radiant fruit prevails. A terroir-driven, Central-California Syrah with so much personality and distinction. Enchanting layers of microfiber tannins and thru the meridians of fruit, there is a definite balance and acidity. She is absolutely addicting. This deserves to be in the pantheon. Drink 2019 - 2034.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/11/16, 11:46 AM - Thank you, Socialwinenerd, the purity of fruit is staggering. Cheers!

  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/28/16, 6:00 PM - Danielolson06: Ditto. I love your note on this illustrious Syrah. Cheers and Happy New Year!

Red
2003 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
9/24/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
Enjoyed at Willi's Wine Bar in Sonoma County. Decadent and still loaded with chocolate, noir fruit and earthy elements. Exceptionally long and mesmerizing, with barely a sign of age. See previous notes. This was consumed with the '96. Drink now -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/26/16, 10:57 AM - Thank you! It has been my pleasure...believe me.

    The Cos was decanted for an hour.

    Two values that come to mind, focusing on California: Banshee '14 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, '14 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel and '13 Black Stallion Napa Cabernet (92 points; note still needs to be loaded).

Red
2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Saitone Ranch Russian River Valley
Complex red and black fruits, both high-toned and deep at the same time. There’s a buttery aspect on the back half, and with the old-vine berries it’s almost like a savory pie. light notes of licorice, dried herbs, and campfire round out the profile. Acid is well in check, and no pepper as of yet. Finishing short right now but we’ll see what happens with air. (edit: not much change throughout the night)

Second day: yeah. the tall wall of high-toned fruit and 15% ABV just don't want to reconcile with the medium to light palate and quick finish. If tasting this wine was a shape it would be a vertical line with a shortish dash trailing off the middle like an H without the right leg. It's not flawed but it feels like it's missing something and I'm not going to rate it. Luckily for you guys and the pros it seems my bottle was an anomaly.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/11/16, 2:05 PM - I just had the same experience. Too bad. I do believe that you had a flawed bottle in some manner.

Red
2003 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
8/21/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
See previous notes. Legendary, this is the finest Barton - period. More secondary notes of leather, dried mushroom and feminine essence, there's still a lot of blackberry and rose petal. An epic finish and a truly perfect nose. Drink now -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    8/23/16, 7:46 PM - I agree on all points, Champagneinhand. The only exception would be the 2000 Barton, which I would put on the same echelon as the '05, and the '03 has a slight lead.
    In fact here's my top ten favorite Bartons - which are in order:

    1. '03
    2. '00
    3. '05
    4. '10
    5. '09
    6. '95
    7. '08
    8. '89
    9. '82
    10. '01

    Cheers!

    P.S.
    Las Cases should be a First Growth over Mouton! (Even though I do love Mouton, if you compared the two from '82 - on, Las Cases wins without any doubt in a side-by-side comparison.)

Red
2013 Limerick Lane Hail Mary Russian River Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah
11/28/2015 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
96 points
Bacon fat, raw steak, lilac, chiseled rock, incense and French Onion soup. Distinct layers of microfiber tannins that seem endless, with the depth and richness of all things contemplative. So much terroir - the acreage is stunning and a clos of its own merit - literally yards away from the winery/tasting room . Drink 2016 - 2026.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    11/29/15, 10:19 AM - Hi Slaz,

    Thank you for your kind words. Since Scot and Jake Bilbro purchased the property and winery in 2011, the wines have been magnificent. The tasting room is rustic, and very hospitable - the winery is actually "the room next door". The property is absolutely beautiful. Limerick Lane is a must for anyone who wants to submerge into real Russian River Valley wines.

    Cheers!

    Matt

  • Matt Scott commented:

    8/23/16, 12:24 PM - Hi Deadheadkurt,

    Limerick Lane is truly one of the most special vineyards in the new world. I am glad that you enjoyed it. Cheers!

Red
2014 Carlisle Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard Napa Valley
4/23/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted for two hours. Blackberry, black tea, hot tar, anise, lavender and flower shop, then some cayenne pepper. Lavishly long, with persistent acidity; tannins are of microfiber and, like most '14s from Carlisle, the fruit and acidity are primary, with not a lot of tannin - unlike the almost ageless '13s. This has such an appropriate weight and will age for many years. Ultimately the best young Petite Sirah that I have ever consumed. It reminds me of the '94 Turley Hayne Petite with even more acidity and elegance. Exemplary. Drink 2019 - 2039.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/23/16, 10:30 PM - I finished the bottle tonight and was entranced by the aromatics alone. This is soo inky...
    I have a bottle of the Mending Wall Petite Sirah, however, I have yet try it. With that particular terroir the expectations are high.
    If Mending Wall is as good as the '14 Carlisle, I will be absolutely smitten!
    If you decide to open a bottle soon, please decant.
    It's the ideal time to be a Carlislehead.

Red
2014 Banshee Pinot Noir Sonoma County
4/17/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
91 points
This is the best Sonoma County bottling yet. Lovely raspberry vinaigrette, elderberry, chalk, earthy elements and neutral oak. A refreshingly long finish and laser beam focus. Cunning. Take her to task now or you can wait a few years. Drink now - 2021.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/19/16, 10:52 AM - We are on the same page. The '14 has a better palate and slightly longer finish.

Red
2012 Vérité La Joie Sonoma County Red Bordeaux Blend
4/16/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
99 points
Blackberry, pencil lead, dried rose petals, baking spices and basil. Layered, silky tannins and very civilized. Unctuous and long, then ending quite soulfully. Exquisite layers and reminiscent of St. Julien. I am blown away. Literally. Drink 2018 - 2040.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/17/16, 10:02 AM - Hi Arthrovine,

    This is really legendary. It perform well next to Las Cases or Ducru Beaucaillou anytime and not seem too ostentatious. Bravo!

White
2014 Carlisle Grüner Veltliner Steiner Vineyard Sonoma Mountain
4/2/2016 - csimm1161 wrote:
88 points
Carlisle Pickup Tasting (Windsor): Tasted at the Carlisle pickup.

Crisp but smooth, with notes of lemon verbena, pear, gray stone, limestone, lemon blossom, and a hint of meyer lemon. A very nice dry white, not too steely or metallic (as some Gruners can be); fell off a little at the finish. Medium-bodied with some depth. Not too tart (which added to a more silky texture), but didn't do much to totally envelope the palate as I might have preferred.

Nevertheless, a great spring/summer white to enjoy over the next 6 months.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    4/2/16, 4:34 PM - I picked up my order today as well. Cheers!

Red
2012 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard Napa Valley
11/28/2015 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
98 points
A rapture of flavor and nuance, the '12 Pritchard Hill does not disappoint. The finish is not only episodic, but the persistence is literally perfect. Blackberry, creosote, black walnut, anise and rose petal. The tannin of microfiber is mesmerizing. So much to say, yet very suave with every delivery. Enchanting and almost ostentatious. Drink 2018 -.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    3/26/16, 9:58 AM - Thank you for your kind note. The '12 is my favorite Pritchard Hill yet...even more so than the classic '07.

Red
2012 Dominus Napanook Red Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
8/24/2015 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
94 points
Currant paste, teriyaki beef, fig, bread pudding, raw earth and coffee grounds. Full-bodied, rich and long. This is the best Napanook in quite some time. Beautiful Yountville fruit, which is of its own character. The zealots of ripe vintage Bordeaux and Dunn will clamor. Drink 2016 - 2025.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    2/15/16, 11:29 AM - Thank you. I am typically enamored with that particular style in Napa. Cheers!

    -Matt

Red
2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Limerick Lane Vineyard Russian River Valley
1/9/2016 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
93 points
Wonderfully concentrated and delectable, the '13 Limerick Lane speaks of the vineyard. A stunning array of nuances: rhubarb, blueberry, fresh cedar, rock and straw. A delight once the cork is pulled. An attractive personality. Drink now - 2022.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    1/31/16, 5:23 PM - Hi Dave,

    I am sorry for the delayed response and hope that you are well.

    '13 Chappellet Napa Valley Signature Cabernet
    '12 Waterstone Napa Valley Cabernet
    '12 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet
    '13 Clos Du Val Napa Valley Cabernet
    '13 Roth Alexander Valley Cabernet
    '12 Frei Brothers Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet
    '12 Muscardini Cassata Sonoma Valley Cabernet
    '12 Fifth Hill Pickberry Vineyard Sonoma Valley Bordeaux blend

    I hope this helps.

    -Matt

Red
2013 Carlisle Grenache Rossi Ranch Sonoma Valley
12/9/2015 - Matt Scott Likes this wine:
92 points
A sappy entry unfolds to elastic and cottony tannins. Long and finely figured, with gushing and forthright fruit. Such a suave personality and quite ready. Loaded with red fruit and Provencial herbs. Drink now - 2021.
  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/10/15, 7:48 AM - Thank you, Frank, '13 - along with '07 - is the best collective vintage for Carlisle. In fact, I am willing to bet that the '13s will age even better. I still cannot stop thinking about the '13 Montafi, which is legendary.

  • Matt Scott commented:

    12/10/15, 7:50 AM - I appreciate it Wilypod. The '13s are magical. I live about fourteen minutes from Mike and Kendall's new winery and need to check out the '14s!

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