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All reviews by 1000-yard-stare

68 reviews total.
1996 Paloma Merlot Merlot
jim and barb know their stuff
96 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
52 out of 103 people found this review helpful.
COLOR: Violet; AROMA: Dark Fruits. Raspberry. Floral. Violets; FLAVOR: Dark Fruits. Red Fruits. Blackberry. Black Currant; PROFILE: Complex. Smooth Mouthfeel. Extracted Body. Moderate Tannin. Long Finish.

COMMENTS: This new-world style merlot is definitely ready to drink. Except for a recent discovery, this is one of the top three best Napa Merlots I`ve ever had.

In short, this is awesome wine. If you can, go get some.
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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2001 Family, Neal Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
great stuff
94 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
62 out of 119 people found this review helpful.
This is the second bottle I`ve had this year and it actually went down better than the first one. Very tannic in the first hour or so, with a strong alcohol smell, but it settled down nicely for dinner and afterward. After the tannins wore off, it gave very forward red & black fruits and berries with spicy leather undertones, with a lightly sweet medium finish that crept down the back of my tongue. A great deal for what you pay and it should cellar for at least 7-10 more years in my opinion.
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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2001 Corte Riva Vineyards Merlot Merlot
i'm a merlot fan...who knew?
96 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
58 out of 113 people found this review helpful.
This is absolutely the best American Merlot I`ve ever had. I can`t imagine a more perfect expression of terroir or this varietal. I purchased this after several recommendations and comparison to Paloma and what a find! The jammy, floral aromas entice and the full-bodied red & black fruit flavors just don`t go away. This is more complex than I could have imagined, with deep extracted flavors of currant, blackberries, cooked black cherries and a sweetness that evaporated into saddle leather and dark chocolate. I kept thinking `David Arthur` and `Pride Reserve.` The finish easily lasted over a minute and made for easy-drinking bliss. I could have drunk this for dessert and it would have been fine by itself. I called the next day and ordered another case. Buy as much as you can and enjoy over the next decade.

***Amendment - I`ve tasted this several times since I first gave a `98` to this ridiculously good merlot, but I`m backing off a few points, as I`ve noticed a slight fluctuation in quality. It`s still anamazing bottle, just not a 98.
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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2001 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
what is it about mountain fruit?
95 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
54 out of 113 people found this review helpful.
I was automatically reminded of the `01 Pride Cab when I tasted this wine. Aromas were muted at first, but after a few minutes (we did not decant) a plummy dark chocolaty berry essence opened up. There are notes of coffee, tobacco, leather and chocolate encircling a solid core of currant, blackberry pie and other black fruits. Finish lasted for about 30 seconds, but this was the last of five bottles, so our palates were tired. The dark purple color shows the high level of extraction. High fruit concentration and tannins, which tend to block the remarkable taste of this wine, assure that it will age well into the next 10-15 years. I`ll give it a couple more before I try it again.
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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2002 Corte Riva Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
wine of the night...
96 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
62 out of 121 people found this review helpful.
With under 100 cases of this Cabernet produced, run out today (to the winery) and get whatever they`ll sell you. This was my wine of the night up against `01 O`Shaughnessy, `84 Silver Oak Napa and `93 Silver Oak Napa. Just like its merlot counterpart, the floral and berry aromas envelope your senses, but this wasn`t quite as massive. I tasted heavy red & black fruits, currant and caramel. Another deeply extracted wine from Spring Mountain...hmmmm, it must be something in the water up there. Or just a bunch of guys that REALLY know what they`re doing as winemakers. This lush cab had a little tannic interference at the start, but it was gone before I got to the second glass. Sweet spices and chocolate on the finish make this a winner in my book. A rich, full-bodied wine that`s an absolute pleasure to drink is the result of this excellent effort from this fledgling winery. It will age for 10 years no problem, but why wait?
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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2002 Martinelli Chardonnay Woolsey Road Chardonnay
nice wine
93 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
56 out of 105 people found this review helpful.
This one is ready to go. Classic oak and honeysuckle aromas. This Chardonnay is crisp with lemon and honey notes on the mid-palate with a general melon-citrus finish. Not quite the typical syrupy butter Chardonnay, this was a beautiful start to the evening. Although, I couldn`t help think, `I wish we could finish this bottle and gets into the Cabs.` I suppose somethings never change. Drink now or hold for up to five years.
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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2001 Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
love those new 12-foot oak barrels...
95 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
52 out of 103 people found this review helpful.
This huge Cabernet is indicative of the old school Mondavi Reserves and is worth the high price. Opaque purple color and syrupy-sweet smelling aromas entice, but the high tannins make you want to wait an hour or so to drink. Much like other big Napa cabs (Pride, DAV, etc) this one doesn`t disappoint. Berries, black currant, graphite and grilled steak dominate the first few glasses until it mellows, the tannins fade and the next two hours of drinking are smooth and silky with a 40+ second finish. One of the best Mondavi Reserve Cabs to date.
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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2002 Arthur, David Meritaggio Proprietary Blend
did i say
94 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
58 out of 111 people found this review helpful.
We had this with an amazing fettucini carbonara and grilled mushroom pizza at Floataway Cafe last night. The nose at first was a little meaty; I couldn`t quite pin down what we were smelling, but that dissipated after about 5 minutes. After an hour, the tannin was completely integrated, and much less distracting. This spicy, almost tangy red went very well with dinner, but would drink very well by itself. The Sangiovese really comes through with big red berries and fruit, and the Cab keeps it even. The waiter was so impressed with how it was drinking for an `02 that he suggested to the manager that they should carry it. A nice long 45+ second finish made for a really enjoyable glass. Drink now or hold for up to 10 years.
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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1997 Miner Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
classic Miner taste
91 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
59 out of 116 people found this review helpful.
I`ve had several of these bottles now and continue to enjoy this wine. I hope all the Miner Cabs age like this one; each is amazing after 5-6 years in the bottle & I can`t wait to try the `01. Beautifully fragrant, this wine is ready to drink right out of the bottle. A traditional `big cab,` the berries and red & black fruits are abundant, with a little spiciness that I`ve come to expect from Miner. A nice 30+ second finish that leaves a little syrupy aftertaste. Nice, but not great; it`ll keep aging another year or so, but it`s ready.
Posted on May 19, 2005
 
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1995 Far Niente Merlot Merlot
Interesting wine, but not worth buying again
89 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
58 out of 123 people found this review helpful.
This is NOT a misprint, Far Niente actually made Merlot in the 1994-1995 vintages, but did not pursue it as a long-term varietal in their portfolio. In my estimation, this was the right choice. Over the course of the evening, the flavor improved greatly, but the quality was never that great in the first place. A huge floral and red fruit/berry nose got me excited, but it was all downhill from there. I would describe the overriding quality of this wine as smooth and creamy, although fairly thin with medium red-fruit flavors. The finish was short...maybe 10 seconds. I`m glad I had the opportunity to try it, but I`d never make the investment again.
Posted on April 29, 2005
 
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2002 Martinelli Zinfandel Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel
Head and Shoulders above the 2001
95 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
184 out of 349 people found this review helpful.
We did a side-by-side tasting with the `02 Seghesio Sonoma Zin and the Martinelli won hands-down. I`m not sure if you can describe a nose as bright, but this wine`s aroma filled my head with all sorts of good things. In classic Martinelli style, this Zin is heavy red fruits in a very `fruit-forward` medium-bodied wine. Loads of spicy twang like a rhubarb-berry pie with nutmeg. A long finish that just evaporated off my tongue closed us out nicely. Against the Seghesio, the difference was that the Martinelli held up for over two hours open, while the half-price competitor just couldn`t hang. I`m very glad I`ve got five more of these waiting for me. It will likely cellar into the next decade.
Posted on September 16, 2004
 
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1997 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Very nice
95 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
164 out of 337 people found this review helpful.
I opened my only magnum of this wine for a group of six at my birthday dinner at Emeril`s. I should have known better, but I had enough to really appreciate the age-worthiness of this outstanding Spring Mountain Cab. After about 90 minutes, the flavors really started to unfold. Dark chocolate, spicy currants, richly concentrated red & black fruits all combined for a wonderful experience. The nose fit the Pride profile, signaling high tannins, but loads of berries and sweet fruits. The finish was something like a minute. A friend looked over and asked if I was OK (eyes were closed enjoying the moment.) I wish I had more of this vintage, but the memory is worth it.
Posted on September 16, 2004
 
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1993 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon
Not what I had hoped for
89 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
163 out of 322 people found this review helpful.
Compared with the `93 Volcanic Hill, the RRT was a disappointment. The wine was a bit thin, but all the regular characteristics of a fine Cab-blend were there, this one just didn`t blow me away. Nose was similar to a comparable Bordeaux, but a "not quite ripe yet" quality just wouldn`t go away. Cooked black cherries and firm tannins held the wine together, but I was expecting more. I suppose that my bar was set too high too early by the VH, but this is the last RRT I`ll purchase. Could it be that the `93 needs more cellar-time?
Posted on September 16, 2004
 
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2000 Lewelling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Thank you sir, may I have another?
94 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
160 out of 320 people found this review helpful.
I received this bottle in a wine chain and WOW! What a surprise. I didn`t decant...it wasn`t necessary. Right off the bat, the nose was just beautiful...ripe blueberries, blackberries and syrup. Beautifully spicy; dominated by black fruits, especially plums, and black currant and anise. This is a dark, deeply concentrated wine with extremely smooth Cab flavor. The tannins were evident on the finish, but it just drew me back in for more. David Arthur Long would call this wine `slammable.` I`m a new fan.
Posted on September 16, 2004
 
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2001 Sebastiani Barbera Barbera
Excellent QPR here...
92 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
162 out of 323 people found this review helpful.
It`s too bad this wine is only available at the winery, because at $15/bottle, I`d buy cases at my local store. It`s ready to drink with no decant; tasted on multiple occasions with a similar experience. Although I`ve never had a 100% Barbera before, I very much enjoy this one as I venture into Italians more and more. Aromas included ripe red fuits on the with berries, leather and anise. Classic Merlot and Sangiovese flavors were evident in a pleasant blend; very smooth fruits with a nice tannic structure that made this a very enjoyable wine. I would guess that you could cellar this one, but why bother when it`s so cheap?
Posted on September 13, 2004
 
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2001 Arthur, David Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Absolutely Amazing
97 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
200 out of 404 people found this review helpful.
For those of you worried about opening this wine too soon, don`t. We had this with dinner at Joel last night and sommelier almost scolded us for opening such a nice young wine. It didn`t matter because it`s one of the best Cabs I`ve ever tasted. There`s nothing bad about this wine...difficult not to give it a 100, but I think it would be better in another 8-10 years. The nose was deep black berries and plummy fruit. Concentrated, deeply extracted berries and lightly spicy black fruit swirl in the mouth and finish long and lustrous...even satiny. The only thing that comes close is the 99 Hillside Select, except the DAV had virtually no tannic interference. I`m SO glad I`m on this list. I`m beginning the search today for more...go buy as much as you can!
Posted on August 13, 2004
 
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2002 Paloma Merlot Merlot
BARREL TASTING - Release isn't until Fall 2004
96 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
207 out of 412 people found this review helpful.
We visited Paloma last week in Napa and Jim Richards was nice enough to barrel sample each of the two Merlot components and the Cab, which they will not bottle separately this vintage. They really could do separate bottlings for each one. Without separating the three samples, they are slightly different, but I could easily see how, once blended, they stacked up to be wine of the year last time around. The merlot on Spring Mountain is amazing; they have deeply extracted color and flavor that I`ve never experienced before. Bigger than your standard merlot, the rich berry flavors were accented by cherries, black grapes and an almost syrupy sweetness all-around. The cabernet, which was overshadowed by the merlot, adds structure to this wine and is really going to make for a nice finish. We didn`t want to leave. Each barrel he opened seem to outdo the last. If you can get any, go out and invest today. The 2002 vintage will disappoint no one.
Posted on August 6, 2004
 
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2002 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
I see a pattern forming here
94 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
205 out of 408 people found this review helpful.
We tasted the `02 Pride Cab at the winery this past week, then had a bottle with dinner on another night. Although this vintage isn`t quite as hugely tannic as the `01, everything is there that qualifies for a great Cabernet. The nose is ripe and young, as are the flavors of red fruits, cooked cherries and gobs of berries with hints of anise, leather. After an hour, it had mellowed nicely and was drinking very smoothly. This cab is going to be a stunner with a few years in the cellar. I can`t wait!
Posted on August 6, 2004
 
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1997 Turley Cellars Zinfandel Old Vines Zinfandel
Full of surprises
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
214 out of 422 people found this review helpful.
I know by now that you can never quite know what to expect from a Turley zin, except that it won`t be ordinary. This one was no different. I thought I might have to decant, as the nose was very tight, but the first sip revealed big ripe red fruits with less tannin than I expected. After 30 minutes open, it was drinking beautifully. I kept tasting dark chocolate on the back of my tongue, with red & black cherries and red licorice throughout. Medium-bodied in the mouth, this wine went down like dessert. The alcohol content was high, but by then I wasn`t complaining. I`d keep it for a max of five more years.
Posted on July 26, 2004
 
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1999 Pine Ridge Epitome Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend
Running out of catchy titles for reviews of amazing wine...
95 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
202 out of 409 people found this review helpful.
I only purchased one bottle at the winery two years ago and now I`m sad...This is perhaps the best Bordeaux blend I`ve had in years. The only thing that comes close is the `93 Diamond Creek I had this winter. Very smooth and rich, while unassuming. A nose of classic Bordeaux mixed with ripe hillside-concentrated berries. The smooth flavors coat the tongue like velvet, without being overripe, too tannic or young in the least. Subtle black fruits and berries dominate this wine with notes of graphite, currant and anise to finish beautifully. Very soft and pleasing; the finish lasted almost a minute. I have no doubt this wine could age for another decade, but why wait? It`s absolutely wonderful now.
Posted on July 26, 2004
 
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2001 Argiano Solengo IGT Proprietary Blend
Biff! Pow! Thwap!
96 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
194 out of 403 people found this review helpful.
This was the wine of the night at the July WC Big Italian wine dinner at La Grotta last night. It stood head and shoulders above some very well-known names. The aromas told me right away that this ripe, sweet wine was going to be a big hit. The high extraction, deep black/garnet color and velvety texture in the mouth set the bar very high. No wonder it`s $90/bottle. Very smooth and sexy. Hints of berries, cola, cooked cherries and a little vanilla filled the glass with each sip, with a long satisfying finish to boot. Very Nice! I imagine this will age well into the next decade. If you can afford it, go out and get some today!
Posted on July 14, 2004
 
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1999 d'Arenberg Ironstone Pressings Proprietary Blend
Good wine, but it had very strong company...
89 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
201 out of 402 people found this review helpful.
I took this bottle of GSM to a Shiraz tasting to provide a little perspective on what good Shiraz was vs. a good blend...No one got it. We opened with this wine and I`m glad we got it out of the way. Aside from the ripe nose, this was a very pleasant wine that just didn`t reach out and smack me in the face with richness and blueberries the way the Elderton, Pride and Shafer did. Very smooth texture; almost thin at times and a nice medium finish. The price tag on this bottle is normally about $60. I bought two for $40/each and I won`t be making another purchase.
Posted on July 14, 2004
 
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2001 Abadia Retuerta Rivola Proprietary Blend
Better than
87 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
202 out of 401 people found this review helpful.
This is your classic high QPR wine. It only costs $11 and is one hell of alot better than anything else for the money...for a Rioja. The Rivola really shows its youth, but was a very drinkable earthy red. It feels smooth, like in the refinement of a more expensive bottle, without having much depth of character. Fruity and slightly sweet, this one didn`t last very long after dinner. The best word to describe it is `nice.` It`s a nice little Rioja. But I probably won`t get any more.
Posted on July 13, 2004
 
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1995 Ridge Zinfandel Jimsomare Zinfandel
Pleasant, but missing something
88 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
219 out of 424 people found this review helpful.
If you`ve never tried Ridge`s ATP wines, you`re missing out on several low-dollar, small-batch wines. The bad news is the only sell them at the winery and to members. This particular Zin was released in 1997 and had a 10-barrel total production. I`ve had their Jimsomare before and probably liked the other vintages better. This one had a great nose and opened up beautifully over the first hour, with ripe red fruits and berries, but finished thin, with watery almost sour notes, which killed it for me. With dinner, it was very good, but after the air got to it, there wasn`t much left to enjoy. I`d drink this one now. For the money, it`s a good buy at around $30/bottle, but I`d go for a younger vintage next time.
Posted on July 13, 2004
 
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1995 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
Drink 'em if you got 'em
95 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
205 out of 425 people found this review helpful.
I`m a fan of far Niente, regardless of the price, but this is the best vintage I`ve had from the Nickel family. I`ve tasted it on three separate occasions and it keeps improving with each bottle I open. This is perhaps one of the smoothest CA Cabs I`ve ever had, while having a fruit character that`s no less than opulent. A noseful of rich fruit, like a flavored tea, excited us from the start. The tannins are only there in support of this mellow-drinking, full-bodied red, whose big cherries, plums, blackberries combine with currant and black licorice syrup for one of the nicest bottles I`ve had with dinner this year. Petit filet, crabcakes and scallops couldn`t pick a better companion. The finish was long and sleek; the perfect ending to our meal. I`d buy as much as I can get my hands on and keep it for up to ten more years, but it`s peaking right now.
Posted on July 11, 2004
 
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