Tasting Notes for bretrooks

(1,055 notes on 780 wines)

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Red
2010 Château Petit Gravet Ainé St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/17/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Decanted ~1 hour, consumed over 2 hours. Cassis, blackberry, dried cherry, a little green pepper, something like carob (mild torrefaction?), decent acidity, plenty of fine tannin & extract, 15% but hides it fairly well. The extraction makes this more new worldish than most bordeaux I've had, but I expected it going in - we both enjoyed this alongside grilled tri-tip.
Red
3/15/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, one glass consumed on each of two consecutive evenings. Earthy red fruit, a bit of oak, dust, all the basic hallmarks of Rioja, although in a somewhat dilute form. Okay, not as good as the 2011.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/8/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, two small pours consumed over ~1 hour. Somehow, this bottle was showing more primary than the other two I've tried in previous months - a sense of red-fruited ripeness, maybe even a little RS peeking through. There's perhaps a little bit of something like brush in the mix, but this bottle was mostly rich, simple, red fruit.
White
2/24/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
One glass consumed at cool room temp while making dinner. Medium weight, with apple notes (slightly bruised), a hint of stone fruit or melon, a welcome lack of buttery or oaky notes, and decent acidity. Nothing particularly complex or outstanding, but a solid chard I'd happily drink again. This did seem just a little bit tired, so I would probably seek to drink younger vintages moving forward.
Red
2/22/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. Pale to medium ruby in the glass, with a core of cherry juice and wild strawberry complemented by just a touch of brush or herbs on the palate. The fruit was more subdued on the nose, giving a sense of wet stone, and I got fleeting whiffs of something gently herbal or floral (fennel? jasmine, maybe?).
Red
2/18/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. Simple, red cherry-fruited (just a little grapey), unexpectedly low on tannin, a decent amount of acidity. A bit plonkish...not a rebuy, even at $5.
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White
2/16/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Consumed over ~1 1/2 hours while warming from fridge temp to room temp. Cabfrancophile's note describes this pretty well for my palate as well: medium-plus weight but dry and with enough acid for balance, mild stone fruit and tropical notes, a little bit of a sense of minerality. Simple but food-friendly and satisfying. We don't go through whites very regularly, but I still went back for a handful more...maybe not enough, though.
Red
2/7/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. Blackberry/tart cherry fruit, a touch of dried herbs or ash, zesty acidity. Straightforward, but well made and satisfying. Should have bought more of this.
Red
1/19/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~ 1 1/2 hours. Somewhat translucent red with a rusty tinge in the glass. Young and a little grapey (slightly off-dry?), gently cooked red fruits, decent acid. labeled at a very reasonable 13.9%. A little idiosyncratic, speaking more of Paso than of Malbec to me, but an interesting and enjoyable bottle nonetheless. This would probably benefit from a little time sideways to take see if its youthful edge settles down.
Red
1/15/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, two glasses consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. Red fruit with a pleasant subtle tartness, leathery/white peppery barrel notes and subtle tannins. Light-to-medum body, well-integrated and true to the expected style, very nice drinking for the near term. Wish I had picked up more of this on closeout.
White
1/5/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Two small pours consumed while warming from fridge temp to room temp. This is a decent little white for the $10 price at TJ's, showing pineapple and restrained melon, particularly closer to cool room temp. Enough acid to get by. Made by Barrel 27 in Paso.
Red
1/6/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, but first glasses poured out ~30 minutes before consuming. Garnet with some moderate bricking. Lovely mature notes of tobacco, mild dried cherry, roast meat, and something vaguely floral. Mellow structure but still a bit of acidity. Drinking very nicely now for my palate, and it may have a few years ahead yet, assuming decent storage.
White
1/4/2019 - bretrooks wrote:
Two glasses consumed over ~1 1/2 hours with a salmon and mushroom risotto dinner. An initial small pour was lightly coppery in the glass and gave off a nose of apple cider vinegar, shifting towards bruised apple with air. (My wife and I both also detected something sulfurous, but I've read that this bottling gets minimal sulfur, so perhaps there was a low-level fault?) There was also a decent amount of trapped CO2, which I reduced by shaking the bottle with my thumb over the top. On the palate, this was in line with the few other oxidative chenins we've had, just slightly off-dry with high acidity (sticking out a bit, at least with this meal) and notes of oxidized apple and dried orange.

The nose was a bit off-putting, especially at first, but the palate was more pleasant than it might seem from the note. This was more unusual and less compelling than the 2011 Vieilles Vignes Eparses we had this summer, but it still worked well enough. Already well down the road to oxidation, I wonder if some cellar time might help the acidity integrate and bring harmony here...can't say for sure.
White - Off-dry
12/27/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
flawed
Bad cork - golden and unpleasantly (although not extremely) oxidized.
Red
12/21/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Decanted due to detected trapped CO2 and minor, vaguely sulfury funkiness. Two small pours consumed over 45 minutes, and the funk and spritz subsided but never totally went away. It seemed this could be a nice peppery Rhone red, but to find out, it was going to need more air time than I could give it on the evening.
Red
2015 Château Lilian Ladouys St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/14/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, two half-glass pours consumed over ~45 minutes. Showing somewhat lean right now, as other CT reviews have mentioned, but not as tight as I expected. Dark red fruit, a bit of cocoa/oak, hints of dried leaves or tobacco. Medium structure, unobtrusive but present. I don't have deep knowledge of Bordeaux, but I like the style here - good wine at a fair price.
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Red
2001 Château Peyrabon Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/2/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~2 hours. Similar to our bottle from 6/16/2018, the dark red fruit here was present but fading, and more autumnal notes of roast beef and herbs and wet leaves were more noticeable. This bottle seemed somewhat more lively than that last. Overall, this is a decent baseline bottle of bordeaux, maybe in decline, but it seems sound bottles should have at least a couple of years left in them.
Red
12/1/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Decanted ~1 hour ahead of time, one half-glass consumed over ~15 minutes as part of a larger tasting. Slightly grapey at first, but with air this transitioned into something like the best cherry pie filling I've ever had - tart acidity and structure buttressing ample, subtly cooked dark red fruit, notes of spice adding interest, showing some weight but with a harmonious balance that makes me think I may like this even more in ~5 years. I don't go through much zin, but this has to be one of the best ones I've ever tasted.
11 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/30/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~1 hour. Pretty taut at this point, holding its cards close but showing a little just-ripe dark red fruit, maybe a touch of something herbal. Good acidity, a bit on the rustic side, but I don't mind that. I suspect this is in a phase and needs some time in bottle to open up.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/30/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, two small pours consumed over ~1 hour. Somewhat delicate but still full-flavored, slightly smoky red cherry fruit, some dusty earthy notes, a touch of black tea. Good stuff, particularly for the sale price at K&L.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/22/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
flawed
Not decanted but opened a couple of hours early, shaken vigorously several times with a thumb over the opening to release trapped CO2. This helped the sense of tartness and prickliness I got when tasting early on, but over time this bottle went from nice-but-mute to leaving a flat cardboardiness on my palate: very slight TCA. This makes two out of three bottles so far with (different) low-level faults. Alas.
Rosé
11/22/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Two small glasses consumed at room temp with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The tropical/peach aromas on the nose were lovely, and the palate had enough heft and texture to go nicely with a variety of dishes. Love this.
White
11/17/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Consumed warming from fridge temp to cool room temp. Mild apple/melon rind fruit, a hint of lemon, creamy/waxy texture, some nice minerality. Not very exciting, but seems like it would have been a nice complement to shellfish.
Red
11/10/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, two small pours consumed over ~1 hour. A promising nose, with mild black cherry and/or dark berries and some red meat, slightly charred. On the palate, this had some welcome high-toned acidity and some sustained bass notes of blackberry, black licorice, oak, and char, but not as much as I'd like to fill out the middle of the chord. A deep, dark, brooding syrah, pretty well integrated - I'd concur with ikkaariainen that it's in its window.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/10/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Decanted ~1 hour, one glass consumed over ~1 hour. Still reddish but with a significant rusty orangish brown component. Concentrated/cooked black cherries edging towards kirsch, some cola or maple, a little leather. Alcohol showing more on the nose than on the palate, highish acidity. Idiosyncratic, but it went pretty well with rich grilled sausages.
Red
10/31/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
86 points
Not decanted, one glass consumed on each of two consecutive evenings. Dark red brambly fruit with hints of something savory (moreso on night 1) as well as some metallic/mineral notes (moreso on night 2). Mouthwatering acidity, maybe on the high side for some palates, but we both liked it. Not complex, but a surprisingly solid little weeknight red for $6 at TJ's.
Red
2010 Château Brillette Moulis en Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/21/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~2 1/2 hours - probably should have given it some air ahead of time. Fairly dark, showing rich black fruits and some oak influence, baking chocolate and leather and maybe a bit of earth. Not a lot of elegance or energy, but this was still satisfying (in a extracted sort of way) paired with grilled sirloin caps.
White
10/19/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Three small pours consumed over an hour and a half at cool room temp. Not especially aromatic at this stage. On the palate, a medium body, firm acid, something of a greenish sauvignon blanc character but with notes of ripe pear, citrus pith, melon rind, and just a whiff of cinnamon. A solid white wine - well done.
Red
10/13/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~2 hours. Light-to-medium in weight, showing black cherry and orange peel and a bit of something herbal or earthy which reminded me of rooibos tea (perhaps related to the whole cluster fermentation?). Good acidity, lowish in tannin. A very nice match with a grilled chicken dinner.
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White
10/6/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Consumed over 1 1/2 hours, warming from fridge temp to room temp. Chenin-waxy (like honey with the sweetness stripped away), dry apple cider, some lemony acidity, oxidised notes coming out strongly towards the end of the bottle. I liked it much better for the first pour or two before the oxidation reared its head.
Red
10/5/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~2 hours. Dark cherry fruit with some spice and just the barest hint of something smoky/funky. Forward acidity, made prominent by a somewhat hollow midpalate. Straightforward, not particularly exciting Rhone syrah.
Red
9/30/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~3 hours. Ripe and round but not sweet or overextracted, red-fruited, showing some gentle structure. Enjoyable but not showing much character at this stage - if I had more, I'd hold onto it for a while in hopes of further development.
Red
9/29/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, opened ~2 hours before consuming a half-glass at room temp with some well-seasoned sliders. This showed better for me than the previous two I opened, both in 2016. Still big and mouth-filling, dark fruit-driven with a hint of peppery spice, low-acid, and showing some alcohol on the finish (but less so than the last bottle).

The first of two syrahs towards the end of a small line-up of Rhones from around the world (and the only US representative), this definitely had its own character, but I have to say that it slotted into the line-up better than I expected. One more in storage.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/23/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, two small glasses consumed over ~1 hour. I should have decanted this, but it was a last-minute grab to take to a friend's birthday party. Over the time this was open, it was elegant and texturally lovely but pretty closed up on nose and palate - a poker face betraying just the slightest hint of a smile. If I had more, I'd put them away for a few years.
Red
9/16/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, a glass and a half consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. This is a nicely balanced CdP with a better sense of restraint than most I've had. Red and ripe but not over-ripe or hot, elements of spice and brush, just slightly floral. Enough acidity for food and some fine tannic texture. Not especially complex at the moment, but it does seem to have some years ahead of it. I like the approach here.
Rosé
9/16/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Consumed at just under room temp. Another excellent showing. I love the nose here, with peach, just-ripe strawberry, and watermelon notes giving a preview of the palate, where a hint of something savory/saline is also evident. Medium body, with a nice underlying hum of acidity. This played well with mixed appetizers and the grilled pork chops which followed them. My favorite CA rosé, and the 2017 is particularly good.
Red
2014 Domaine Lafage Tessellae Old Vines Côtes du Roussillon Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
9/15/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~1 1/2 hours with homemade pesto pizza. My impressions are in line with recent tasters - dark berry fruit, some dry bramble & pepper, nondescript but pleasant. I didn't detect much alcoholic heat, but I'm admittedly less prone than many to noticing that. Seems like a textbook basic southern France GSM to me, which is just fine, considering the price. Drink in the couple of years, I'd think.
Red
9/3/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~3 hours at room temp. Aromatically shy but dark-fruited, with notes of tobacco, something of a dill/menthol persuasion, a cedary finish, decent structure and acid. Nothing spectacular, but a respectable and enjoyable Old-world Rioja. Currently very well-priced at our local Costco ($12)...certainly worth picking up more, since I appreciate the style.
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Red
9/2/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Decanted for ~1 hour, consumed over ~2 hours. A little shy on the nose, but more open on the palate. Dark-fruited, with black cherry & something like tart plum skin, some bramble, a hint of something savory and peppery. Unobtrusive but present structure. A very satisfying, balanced drink...really enjoyed this.
Rosé
8/27/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
88 points
Two small pours consumed over ~1 hour, warming from fridge temp to cool room temp. Very much in line with our note from 7/5/2018 - lively grapefruit at the forefront with subtle berry & floral notes. Dry, mouthwatering, refreshing. A very nice (and fairly priced) rose for summertime sipping.
White
8/26/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Consumed over ~1 1/2 hours at cool room temp. This bottle showed similarly to RajivAyyangar's recent note in many ways, although ours didn't show much (if any) oxidation. Medium-bodied, maybe a little more than that. A touch off-dry, citrus rind and pear/white peach fruit, a very nice buzz of acidity - persistent but unobtrusive.
Red
8/19/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, 1 1/2 glasses consumed over ~2 hours. Tart berry & cherry notes, a touch of pithy/floral bitterness, citrus acidity, good structure but relatively approachable for a young nebbiolo. We both liked this. Drink now if you're not put off by grippy tannins, or hide it away for a few years (or more) to gain some integration and development. No wrong choices here.
Red
8/18/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
91 points
Pulled from the wine fridge and taken directly to a restaurant. Opened 30 minutes ahead of the main courses with a bit poured off the top, then consumed over ~2 hours with dinner. Seems like there's been some bottle variation, but this one was sound and quite nice.

Medium ruby to garnet in the glass, and a bit lighter in body that I might have expected, which I appreciated. Mixed berries and blackcurrants on nose and palate, but the fruit was subdued - my impression was as much underbrush and stony soil as fruit. Despite the restraint, this had the stuffing to complement both a lightly-curried duck dish and a somewhat spicy asian-inspired chicken dish my wife chose.

Drinking well now, nicely balanced, albeit with only moderate development and complexity. That said, my impression is that this may be starting a slow decline and will be best over the next 2-3 years or so.
Red
8/12/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, two glasses consumed over ~1 1/2 hours at summer-evening room temp (70-ish, maybe a little under). An engaging lighter-weight red, fairly translucent in the glass, light-to-medium body in the mouth. Flavorful and with very nice balance - nothing porty about this bottle, just lovely tart raspberry notes with a little bit of something herbal/spicy and a touch of whole cluster signature coming through. Maybe not a ton of complexity at this stage, but we liked this quite a bit and are happy to have another.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Tercero aberration Santa Barbara County Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
7/29/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Small pours consumed over ~2 hours, kept midway between fridge temp and room temp. Floral, mildly fruity, and a bit musky on the nose (I can see how C Chen got blueberry Greek yogurt). On the palate, this was lean and mouthwatering, showing barely-ripe red berries, pepper, and a metallic note I associate with whole cluster fermentation. Slightly leafy, slightly savory, thoroughly intriguing. An enjoyable off-the-beaten-path bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/22/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, one glass consumed over ~45 minutes. A decent little <$10 garnacha - not particularly distinguished, and maybe a little hollow in the mid-palate, but also not over-ripe or hot or offensive in any way.
White - Off-dry
7/9/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Consumed while warming from fridge temp to cool room temp. Distinctly off-dry. Sweet stone fruit and maybe some tropical notes, not too much else going on. I preferred this cold to accentuate what acidity it had - as it warmed up, it became a bit cloying. A wine for near-term chilled-down consumption, but not a rebuy for me.
Rosé
7/9/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
One glass consumed over ~20 minutes. Kool-aid red in the glass and fairly full-bodied for a rose. While showing red berry fruit, this was fairly dry, and it showed some funky and slightly-oxidized notes which were a little odd but made me think this could work well with the right food. My wife, however, detected something she didn't enjoy in the funkiness, and we moved on to a different bottle.
Rosé
7/5/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Two small pours consumed over 1 hour. Lively and aromatic. Grapefruit, subtle strawberry, a hint of something a little floral or herbal. Moderate complexity. For our palates, this will be a great sub-$10 rose option for the coming summer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/3/2018 - bretrooks wrote:
Not decanted, consumed over ~1 1/2 hours. Very dark in the glass, brooding. Dark chocolate, blueberries, with some structure and heat coming through more than the fruit. I don't mind the big structure, but it seemed a bit mute. If the fruit would come out to play with air or cellar time, this would be a nicer (albeit still hefty) wine. For my palate last night, it was okay but there wasn't a great deal of joy to be found.
2 people found this helpful Comment
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