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All reviews by craskin

84 reviews total.
2002 HdV Winery Carneros Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend
Deee lish us
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
162 out of 306 people found this review helpful.
This ruby-purple colored wine had a lightly sweet and fragrant nose that tasted best after 2 hours of decanting. Although it drank well today, it will probably improve over the next few years.

In the mouth the wine had mildly restrained but absolutely luscious fruit with a lightly chewy texture, sweet and already well integrated tannins and a seamless, silky and reasonably long finish. Nothing seems out of place in this masterfully crafted wine that sells for a relatively modest price (at least by today's standards).

A great QPR wine!!
Posted on January 18, 2005
 
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2002 Arthur, David Meritaggio Proprietary Blend
A sweet charmer
90 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
150 out of 294 people found this review helpful.
I am not typically a Meritaggio drinker and I was not expecting great things from this relatively modestly priced wine. However, I was pleasantly surprised by it, to a point.

The wine has a reasonably solid purple color with a sweet, floral nose. 2 hours of decanting, at a minimum, are required to get the best taste out of this wine, which is reasonably ready to drink now. The front of the tongue is met with candied sweet fruit, but thankfully this wine is not excessively jammy or syrupy. The wine then gives way to a more structured (albeit not structured enough), sweetly tannic and lightly spicy taste with a modestly long finish that has subtle heat and menthol to it. This ever changing palate prevents this otherwise easy drinking, soft wine from being a dud. But as the sweetness is excessive (in my opinion) I can not say I would intentionally seek out more of this wine.
Posted on January 17, 2005
 
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2001 Chappellet Cabernet Franc Pritchard Hill Vineyard Cabernet Franc
A 2001 Napa Cab
93 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
149 out of 296 people found this review helpful.
I really liked this wine, but was left wanting more from it. Style wise it reminded me of the 1999 Shafer Hillside Select. In the glass this wine had a dark purple color, yet paradoxically seemed watery in weight. I expected a bigger more fragrant nose than I got.

I allowed this wine to decant for 10 hours, with tastes at various points. My take home impression was that of a broad tasting, soft, lightly chewy wine that had less fruit than the wines color would suggest, and soft, sweetish tannins that never made your mouth quite feel full. For a fleeting moment you expect the wine to be a blockbuster on the tongue, but it never is. The finnish is long, but ghost-like.

A net 93 in my book, but a disappointment from a price and expectation standpoint. Maybe this wine needs a few years in the bottle to develop...
Posted on January 16, 2005
 
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2003 Mitolo Shiraz GAM Syrah
A bottle of wine for $60 that RP scores 96-100
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
141 out of 308 people found this review helpful.
When you can buy a bottle of wine for $60 that RP scores 96-100 you just got to try it. So I did.

RP called it ruby/purple, but to my eye it was almost a cross between thick purple and midnight black. Very thick and rich looking in the glass with a pleasant nose.

My first sip startled me. It had a strong carbonated fizz that was very distracting. An hour later the carbonation began to fade. By 2 hours of decanting the carbonation was gone. Only then was it safe to drink.

Some have suggested that a super concentrated Australian Shiraz such as this can taste like a dry version of port. I suppose I can see that analogy, if I were to try hard enough...

Very lush, fruit foward, with a long thick finish and various light spicy notes, though not nearly as spicy as other Shiraz I have had. Overall I would score this a 93 and say it is worth trying a bottle, although I don`t see myself running out and getting any more.
Posted on January 15, 2005
 
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2002 Behrens and Hitchcock Dixieme Recolte Proprietary Blend
Very easy and pleasing drink
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
170 out of 361 people found this review helpful.
You`d never guess this was 16.5% alcohol. It is not hot at all. A dark, rich, soft wine with thick fruit and a broad spectrum of flavors make this wine a pleasure to drink now.
Posted on November 30, 2004
 
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2001 Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon John C Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
All stem and vine
86 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
194 out of 365 people found this review helpful.
I continue to be baffled by the hype surrounding Nickel & Nickel`s offerings. About the only positive thing I can say about their wine is that the bottle has a very nice label. And if you pay close attention to the label you will see a drawing of lots of leaves and vines. Take that as a literal warning, because the wine is full of green tasting stems and leaves. Behind that you can taste what is apparently reasonably rich and ripe fruit. But these flavors are drowned out.

How good this wine will taste in 5 years is unclear to me. I have no idea how well vegetation ages.
Posted on November 28, 2004
 
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2001
Generic red wine
88 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
172 out of 348 people found this review helpful.
This was a completely average cabernet that contained no discernable personality or complexity. It was so simple it seemed formulaic (kind of like a your typical teeny bopper top 40 pop song). It will neither offend nor inspire you. Considering the vintage, this was a complete and utter disappointment. And way over-priced considering the quality.
Posted on November 28, 2004
 
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2002 Behrens and Hitchcock Rudy's Cuvee Proprietary Blend
Not that great
88 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
187 out of 370 people found this review helpful.
This was a bland, uninspiring wine that had irritating notes of carbination and sweetness. Maybe a bad bottle? Not a typical B&H effort, in my opinion.
Posted on November 28, 2004
 
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2001 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Righteous Cabernet
96 points
Drink by: 13 to 20 years
171 out of 352 people found this review helpful.
This was a 96 as of today. Parker says it won't be ready to drink until 2010. In 2010, assuming I can keep my hands off of the rest of my stash, this wine could be close to a 100 pointer. It's THAT good.

This was a thick, rich, deep purple and fragrant wine that was a monster on the tongue yet seamless and elegant. Parker called it first growth Bordeaux-like in quality. The French only wish they could make wine this prodigious, this other-worldly. The finish contained some residual bitter tannin that, although not distracting, will almost certainly dissipate with time and result in a truly timeless and spectacular wine experience.

If you ain`t got some, get some, or you just be pretending.
Posted on November 22, 2004
 
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2001 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend
A searing hot cabernet
92 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
199 out of 404 people found this review helpful.
This wine possess burning hot acidity and tannins. It reminded me of the 2001 Dunn, which makes no sense from a stylistic point of view. Nonetheless, rich fruit and a soft finnish poke through (much more so than the Dunn). Even after 4 hours of decanting the wine still tasted the same as when it was first opened. By 6 hours it had started to mellow.

RP gave this a 95. As impresively structured as this wine may be, no way is this a 95 pointer now. On the other hand, 5 years from now this wine could certainly merit such a score. But I rate wine on how it tastes today. And given its $100+ price I am still debating whether to put down 1 bottle, 6 bottles or none.
Posted on November 7, 2004
 
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2002 Ramey Jericho Canyon Vineyard Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend
Delicious
95 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
182 out of 375 people found this review helpful.
With even only mild decanting this wine expresses layers of fruit and purity that are flat out impressive. An awesome example of cabernet power and finesse and complexity. A little astringent at the high notes. My prediction (in line with RP) is that in a few years this wine will be even better once its tannins cool down enough to create a more seemless and integrated wine that will merit a score well over 95. In addition to being an absolute blockbuster, at $90 a bottle this wine is an awesome value.
Posted on October 31, 2004
 
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2002 Robert Foley Vineyards Claret Proprietary Blend
Give this baby a little time to open up and then Wow!
96 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
191 out of 385 people found this review helpful.
The first 2 hours after decanting this wine was very good but tight. However, by the fourth hour a completely new wine emerged. Seemless, silky, intense and full bodied this wine will coat the hair on your tongue with thick layers of fruit and texture that linger on and on and on. A spectacular, unctuous wine that will be a true blockbuster in a few more years. And at $100 a bottle this is a raging good buy.
Posted on October 31, 2004
 
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2003 Robert Foley Vineyards Charbono Charbono
Harmless
88 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
197 out of 383 people found this review helpful.
I bought one bottle of this odd little wine as a way of ensuring my allocation for the Foley Claret. It is a light, soft, easy drinking wine that does not have any obvious over-bearing qualities. It had a mild spicey quality to its fruit and a very short finnish. Given its relatively low price I suspect this wine would appeal to many. But if you are looking for the power and structure of a quality Napa cabernet you won`t find it here.
Posted on October 30, 2004
 
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2001 Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Really good
94 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
181 out of 363 people found this review helpful.
At a minimum, I like my Napa cabernets to have a combination of delicious fruit lacking any significant spice or astringency and tannins that give good structure but that vanish into the background. This wine mostly had these attributes. It had a long finnish and a nice chewey, particulate texture on the tongue. I marked it down because the fruit was not quite explosive enough and there was a subtle blandness to the tannins. But overall a good effort that I predict will improve with proper aging.
Posted on October 30, 2004
 
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2001 Verite La Joie Proprietary Blend
An American version of sucky French wine
91 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
198 out of 396 people found this review helpful.
Earthy, musty, fuit deprived. Yeah it`s smooth, but only if your taste buds have been eaten away by years of tobacco use will you take pleasure in this wine. Maybe in 10 years it will be spectacular. But it was totally outclassed by the less expensive 2001 Jones Family had the same night.
Posted on October 24, 2004
 
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2001 Jones Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Yes!!!
95 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
192 out of 384 people found this review helpful.
WOW! This is a full force, densely structured, chewey and intense fruit bomb that took me by complete surprise. Not sweet and jammy, thankfully. It it drinking well right now and will probably improve a little with time. Job well done!
Posted on October 24, 2004
 
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2002 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
An OK effort.
91 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
195 out of 392 people found this review helpful.
This was a somewhat austere, medium bodied wine that, with a little time, provided a subtle taste of candied fruit in the mid palate and a longish subtle finish that you had to concentrate on to notice. Overall a little backward with narrow but foward tannins (perhaps better noticed due to the relatively subdued fruit). Although clearly not a fruit bomb or a powerhouse, I nonetheless enjoyed this wine, as much as I didn`t want to (Stags Leap has been such an underperformer I was not expecting much).

Not worth buying at $70, though. $45 would be more appropriate.
Posted on October 19, 2004
 
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2001 Beaulieu Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon
Good
91 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
216 out of 409 people found this review helpful.
This was a relatively light bodied and structured wine, compared with your typical Napa cabernet. It had nice fruit but was a little too astringent in the after taste. I enjoyed drinking this wine, but was expecting better.
Posted on October 17, 2004
 
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2001 Opus One Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend
Elegantish oaky wine
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
204 out of 409 people found this review helpful.
I was pleased with this wines elegant structure and its subdued but delicious fruits (although these took about 4 hours of decanting to come around). I could taste a fair bit of oak that, although seemingly a little on the cheap side, paired nicely with the overall style of the wine (the oak in Opus reminded me of the wood used in Cadillacs that, despite being super expensive material, look like cheap plastic).

I would expect this wine to get a little better over time. The finnish was medium in length and had a light cheweyness to its tannins.

I am net pleased with how the Opus tasted, but in relation to the quality of the 2001 vintage I think it is an underperformer and over-priced.
Posted on October 17, 2004
 
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2002 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Super delicious!
94 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
218 out of 418 people found this review helpful.
This was a thick, lush, brilliant fruit foward cabernet that was pleasing right out of the bottle. It had a nice structure, deliciously integrated tannins and a mid length finnish. The wine possesed a purity that made you shake your head in disbelief that this is merely a $60 bottle of wine. My only regret is owning only 8 more bottles (2 cases would be nice).

I do not expect this to be a long aging wine (at least not as well as the 2001 Pride), but quite frankly who cares? I am sure Pride will keep up its blockbuster streak.

I really wanted to give this wine a higher score, but it lacked the super strengthed backbone and intensity that I like to see in my 95+ point wines. However, if I were to consider quality to price in my scoring I would give this wine a score of 99.











Posted on October 9, 2004
 
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2001 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend
A slow starter, but nice nonetheless
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
200 out of 414 people found this review helpful.
For the first few hours out of the bottle this was a rather muted, soft wine that seemed incongruous with its dark purple color. But after 6 hours of decanting an awakening of fruit and character emerged. A soft structure remained, tannins were well reigned in (almost too well), a pleasant but truncated finish ensued, and a hint of what some time in a cellar will bring started to emerge. I liked this wine more than Parker did (perhaps because he didn`t decant quite as much as I did?). However, at $100 a bottle this is not a good value in my opinion. I would prefer this price set at around $70. Hence, I will defer additional purchase of this wine.
Posted on October 9, 2004
 
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2001 Arthur, David Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasty and lush, for now
93 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
200 out of 423 people found this review helpful.
Within an hour of decanting this was a very thick, rich, structured but lush fruit foward wine with an excellent finish and a nice integration of tannins. By 6 hours of decanting its fruit and structure suddenly degraded rather steeply, suggesting that this wine is not going to age well more than a few years. But frankly, so what! Drink now and enjoy.
Posted on October 9, 2004
 
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2000 La Spinetta (Giuseppe Rivetti) Barbaresco Vursu Vigneto Gallina Nebbiolo
O.K., I guess
90 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
214 out of 440 people found this review helpful.
Fresh out of the bottle it was dull and boring. 3 hours of decanting later and it had some life, good fruit, soft, well rounded edges to its tannins, and an almost complex aftertaste. By 5 hours of decanting it had started to decay into an average, less complex wine. Not worth the money, in my opinion.
Posted on October 3, 2004
 
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2001 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Is it Dunn or Dunce?
87 points
Drink by: 21 to 30 years
222 out of 456 people found this review helpful.
Don`t bother waiting the 30 years it will take to cool down the hot tannins in this one, you`re olfactory and gustatory systems will have long since decayed making the wait useless, anyway. But otherwise I liked it. Not.
Posted on October 3, 2004
 
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2001 Marquis Philips Shiraz Integrity Syrah
Australian delight
94 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
223 out of 441 people found this review helpful.
This was a thick, syrupy, silky, smooth, fruit rich wine. The finish contained a few exotic tasting spices at the high notes that I didn`t love (or hate). Clearly improved with decanting. Overall, a great taste experience.
Posted on September 11, 2004
 
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