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Tasting Notes for jonahfactor

(1,351 notes on 896 wines)

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Red
Cork almost soaked through but it didn’t seem to damage the wine. Softer than one would expect from a Howell Mountain offering, making this more elegant than expected. A juicy, herbal nose, joined by rich fruits on the palate. A touch of iron and black olives in the finish. Nicely done. Worth Seeking Out.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Sanguis Verve Santa Barbara County Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
Understated. But there’s still a lot going on in the bouquet and on the palate. Shows off the floral nature of Grenache with the backbone of Petite Sirah. The Roussanne adds nice texture. Dark pitted fruits, crushed rose petals, boysenberry and then minerals in a clipped finish. Might need a few more years in the cellar to reveal all of her charms. But still worth seeking out. Drink now to 2029.
Red
Decanted for three hours. Flirts with perfection in every way. Romances you right out of the bottle with a grilled meat and crushed fruit nose that broadens on the palate to include iodine, blackberry jam, flowers and charcoal ash. Finishes with a touch of mint and vanilla. Gains weight and complexity in the glass. My gosh, this is delicious. And complex. For me, it’s a 100-point stunner. Drink now to 2030. Outstanding.
Red
2017 Linne Calodo Problem Child Paso Robles Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
Ringing in the New Year. Still plenty of potential in this bottle, as reflected in my previous note. Restrained notes of cranberry, raspberry and black olive with toasty notes in the finish. Wait on this one. Drink 2023 to 2028. Worth Seeking Out.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Unlike the bottle tasted 18 months ago, this was fresh and lovely. The bouquet erupts the moment the cork is pulled. Fully integrated with Asian spices, black plums and a hint of tapenade in the finish. A cross between the lustiness of Zin and the elegance of Pinot Noir. Drink now to 2023. Outstanding.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Christmas dinner. Beautiful right out of the bottle, offering a bowl of ripe dark pit fruits, loam and a touch of eucalyptus in the finish. The tannins of its youth have long since integrated, making this a good choice for roasted meats or even a simple grilled hamburger. Drink now. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
Christmas Eve dinner with M, H and the girls. A great memory of our trip to the Piedmont together. A Nebbiolo that only hundreds of years of Italian winemaking experience could craft. From a questionable vintage, this is lovely. Dried rose petals, cranberries, antique wood. Delicious right out of the bottle. Drink now to 2028. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
Might be our favorite vintage of this entry-level Syrah from Ojai. Lush, with substance and a meld of black fruits and meaty and herbal elements. Decanted for two hours, this was ready to roll the minute it hit the glass. Drink now to 2025. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
This is a beautiful wine. Decanted for three hours. Balanced with plum, boysenberry, peach, grilled beef and incense. Vibrant purple in the glass with a dark fruit bouquet that jumps out of the glass and an impeccably balanced finish with hints of cocoa and espresso. Might be our favorite Roll Ranch Syrah ever. Still youthful, this will offer pleasure through 2035 or longer. Outstanding.
Red
Unsure of how this was stored prior to us receiving it as a gift. Presented as rustic and, perhaps, a bit over the hill. Surprising for a winery known for its ageworthy Cabs. A Cali-Bordeaux style with black fruits, cassis and pencil lead and shavings throughout. Restrained nose and a shorter finish than expected. Nice, but not what we were expecting.
Red
2011 Tablas Creek Panoplie Paso Robles Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
Tighter than expected out of the bottle. So take Wilypod’s advice and decant. But opens up nicely with time in the glass, revealing mushrooms, iodine, blackberry seeds, peach pit and pine forest notes. She’s a very pretty wine with a lovely gentle finish after her almost a decade in the bottle. Lovely. Worth Seeking Out.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Our second bottle. Dare I say decant this $7 gem? An hour in the decanter opened up this humble CdR and placed it in a league of wines at least twice the price. Rich in black plums, black raspberries, ripe apricot and fresh herbs, if served blind friends would think you dipped into the cellar. We’ve had every vintage of this Costco offering over the past decade, and this one is the best by far. A (two-) case buy. Outstanding for its price point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
This one’s a winner. Classic GSM Rhone with bright fruit, hillside herbs and earthy notes. Gains some complexity in the glass, especially in revealing darker fruits. Wonderful weeknight wine and a great value. Worth Seeking Out.
White
Remembering Jim Clendenen, who I met several times. What a character. Speaking of which … There’s a lot of character in this entry-level ABC Chard. Butterscotch, lemon zest and river stones from bouquet to finish. Really lovely. Worth Seeking Out.
White
Classic California Sauv Blanc for all the right reasons. Bright and balanced with new-mown hay, spring peas, lemon oil, kiwi and white flowers in the bouquet and on the palate. Even at $35, this is a bargain and would be wonderful with Thanksgiving turkey. Drink now to 2024. Outstanding.
Red
A year since last tasted, this has become more floral and lighter. Heavy Rhone funk upon first opening, a two-hour decant transitioned this to more rose petals with apricots and blackberries on the palate. This bottle didn’t seem true to its varietal. But still delicious. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
Muddy, tarry and sour on the palate with a touch of witch hazel. No much to like here. Pass.
Red
What has happened to this offering? Years ago it was an interesting weeknight wine made from well-sourced grapes. Today it tastes simple and diluted. Needs more Syrah to give it some grip and deeper notes on the palate. All that’s left in the bottle is raspberry juice. Pass.
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2018 Linne Calodo Problem Child Paso Robles Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
Mission Ranch dinner with K&E. Luscious, with dark fruits, apricot, lavender and cigar ash. Very textured with a slender vein of acid balancing the fruit and keeping it from going over the top. The Zin (70%) is center stage. Opens in the glass over two hours, suggesting this still has plenty of life left. Drink now to 2028. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
Read La Cave’s review. He nailed it. Herbs, white pepper and black fruits throughout with beautiful floral notes in the bouquet. Worth every penny of the $16 we paid. A big step up from the 2019 Costieres de Nimes from the same producer. Spend the extra two bucks and go for this one instead. Decant if drinking this year. Best from now to 2028. Case buy. Outstanding value.
Red
Youthful with bacon fat, wild strawberries, garrigue and a whiff of menthol. Nicely done for a sub-$15 offering. Drink 2022 to 2026. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
A sentimental gift from mom, and thought for sure this humble Cab would be over the hill by now. But still strutting it’s stuff. Blackberries, olives and cassis join herbal, tobacco and light minty notes. Lovely. Drink now to 2024. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
(Tasting with Friends) Wine of the Night. Its balance, fruit-forward nature, and nose-filling bouquet made this an instant winner of the evening. Glad I put it last in the lineup. Gushing with blackberry jam, blueberries, apricots and lilting oak notes, this took most in the group by surprise because of its focus and balance. Most said it was unlike any Zin they had tasted before. Great Howell Mountain fruit.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
(Tasting with Friends) #2 of 5 in the tasting. Everyone remarked of the food friendliness and balance of this offering, even though it’s a few years from maturity. Decanted for four hours. Cranberries, currants, red raspberries and forest notes with a satisfying finish. Heavy sediment.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
(Tasting with Friends) #3 of 5 in the tasting. Fully tertiary at this point, it’s all about burnished leather, cedar, loam and autumn leaves, with all of the fruit having dropped out. More of a novelty than a wine you would have join you for dinner; but that was the point of this tasting, to introduce the group to different styles, varietals and ages of wines.
White
(Tasting with Friends) A surprise, given my notes of this wine when tasted last year. Although fully mature and heading downhill, this still had some of the sparkle of its youth. Apricots and peaches on the palate, with a petrol streak and a plethora of minerals. A very quiet bouquet and a touch too sweet in the finish. The fave of our white wine taster. Our last bottle.
Red
2016 Sanguis The Highlands Santa Ynez Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Could have used a one-hour decant. Initially tight and heavy, this blossomed with some time in the glass. A lavender and herb-encrusted bouquet with berry fruit on the palate that fans out to reveal its Cabernet Franc/Sauvignon core of cassis, tobacco and cranberry. Lusty, satisfying finish. This is hitting on all cylinders right now. But could also make old bones. Drink now to 2033. Outstanding.
Red
Dinner at Castelli’s (whose markup was 400% over retail; yikes!) with W&S. Nice entry-level wine from a good vintage offering up cranberries, tart cherries and a whiff of tobacco. Perfect food wine. Worth Seeking Out.
Rosé
2017 Andremily Rosé Santa Barbara County Mourvèdre (view label images)
Dinner with H at Ocean Prime in BH. Beautifully crafted. Raspberry red in the glass with a lot going on in the bouquet. Deftly balances confectioned red fruit with more tart citrus components. Full bodied for a rose’. Drink through 2022. Outstanding.
Red
Muddled and hot on the palate (14.8 abv) with some funk in the finish. Already past prime? Pass.
Rosé
Classic Southern Rhone rose’ from a highly regarded producer. Minerals, tart red fruits, oranges and gentle herbs. Substantial enough to become our winter rose’. Nicely done. Great value at the $10 we paid. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
Bright and luscious. Roses and bing cherries throughout with flecks of spice and cinnamon in the finish. Incredibly food friendly, tonight with grilled salmon. Wouldn’t hold onto this too much longer. Drink now to 2022. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
Three hour decant. Some noticeable bricking at the edges. But otherwise this esprit is firing on all cylinders. Wonderful nose of black fruits and garden herbs followed by a light touch of red and blue fruits. Smoky, tar notes in a long, satisfying finish. Perfectly balanced and food friendly at this stage. Will probably hold for another decade. Drink now to 2030. Outstanding.
1 person found this helpful
Red
Tight and primary when first poured, this broadened on the palate following 90 minutes in the decanter. I would have guessed hot-year Bordeaux upon first tasting. Cherries, vanilla, tobacco leaf and faint oak. This is lovely. Worth Seeking Out.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Bel Air Gloria Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
Nice, simple bdx with notes of black currants, pencil shavings and plums. Drink now.
Red
Open for business after a short decant. Deep purple with showy legs and leans more toward the spicy side of Syrah right now. Plums, blackberries, black currants, cinnamon, Asian spices and marjoram. Long finish. One of the more accessible Syrahs from Ojai in its youth. Worth Seeking Out.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Sanguis The Modern Santa Maria Valley Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
7/25/2021 - jonahfactor wrote:
Closed right now, not even revealing its varietals. A lengthy decant didn’t help. Best to wait until 2023 to uncork the next one.
Red
Might be my favorite Syrah ever. And this would rate 100 if I were still rating wines. Such refinement in such a big — huge? — wine. Hits every zone in the nose and on the tongue. Grilled beef, ripe plums, cinnamon, necterine, apricot, cocoa nibs, and espresso. Some gentle oak in the background. Hillside herbs dance in and out. Full bodied, yet elegant enough to serve with a meal. It skates along the knife’s edge. How does Jim Binns do it? Drink now to 2033. Outstanding!
4 people found this helpful Comment
White
This is delicious. Would give a high-level Montrachet or a Kistler single vineyard a run for its money — and all for $35. Still very young and tight. But a long decant gives us glimpses of what is to come over the next two decades. Lemon zest, grapefruit essence, guava and pineapple all wrapped in minerals and garden herbs. Oh, the joy this will bring in a decade. IF we can keep our hands off remaining bottles. A bargain case buy. Drink 2025 to 2040. Outstanding!
White
Too sweet for my taste, although L. liked it. Buttery caramel on the palate, and apples and pears on the nose and finish. Has a nice streak of spice. But otherwise falls flat. Pass.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White
Needs a three-hour decant right now to get a peek at its potential. Creme brûlée and marshmallow in the bouquet with liquid minerals, lemon zest, basil and lime on the palate. Elegant and food friendly, tonight with Caprese salad and shrimp. Drink now (w/decant) to 2032. Outstanding, especially at its price point.
Red
Balanced and delicious following a countertop afternoon-long decant and brought back down to cellar temp. Black, meaty fruits on the palate with a lavender and creosote nose. Moderate, food-friendly finish. Doesn’t open further in the glass. Drink now to 2030. Worth Seeking Out.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Sanguis Misfit Central Coast Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
Dinner with M. Opens nicely with a three-hour decant. Bing cherries, beef drippings and herbs with some eucalyptus in the finish. Drinking beautifully right now, and will likely continue to do so through 2027. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
A serviceable red that earns its place in the weeknight rotation, especially at its $6 price point. Notes of plum and cherry with a slight tannic bite in the finish. Likely good with all varieties of proteins, even fish. Worth Seeking Out for an occasional weeknight bargain wine.
Red
From magnum at a magnificent dinner with W&S at Castelli’s in Palm Springs. Drinking perfectly right now, this is at peak. More refined than Zin deserves to be. Roses and violets in the bouquet and offers strained blackberries, apricots and peaches throughout. Outstanding.
White
Highly confectioned, this NZ SB has a heavy dose of sweet kiwi, peach, strawberry twizzlers, and jujubes. Far too sweet to match with anything but spicy Asian food. Pass.
White
Pretty darn nice for a $10 offering. Lots of toasty oak and buttressed with tropical fruits and citrus zest. Best drunk cold, and won’t make old bones. But a very nice summertime weeknight white. Drink in 2021. Worth Seeking Out.
Red
In a ponderous stage right now, for our taste at least. Benefits from serving at cellar temp and becomes heavy on the palate as it warms up, even following a five-hour decant. Blackberry, raspberry and blueberry in the bouquet and on the palate, with a touch of heat (15.5 abv) in the finish. Will keep remaining bottles cellared for a few more years. Worth Seeking Out.
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