Mike P. Wine Reviews



 

 

2004 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
3 hour decant.
A quiet beauty. Deep and dark with nary a sign of demise. The nose is all camphor, cassis, creme de kirsch and framboise. The palate has the cassis with a soft but firm mouthfell. There is the kirsch and the creme, but there is also some tar, and leather. Some black plums with a hint of super black cherry, This has surely quieted down since my last taste. A decent acid level keeps this lively and fresh. A long and exact finish beckons more.......and I'm glad to have more in the cellar. (94 pts.)
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2003 - Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
30 minute quadruple splash decant. Dark and brooding. The nose is fragrant with black cassis notes, black cherries, and crème de kirsch. The palate has a silky and pure mouthfeel that is lush and elegant. Totally open for business. There is the crème de kirsch with some cocoa, black currants, black cherries, super black plums and pomegranate. Amazing intricately weaved tannins with a lilthy acidic 'bounce'. A very long and poignant finish that goes minutes, not seconds. A fantastic showing indeed. No rush, but no need to postpone enjoyment either. 94 points
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2002 - Gemstone Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
76% cab, 12% merlot, 9% cab franc, 3% petite verdot.. Time treats these Gemstones well. The last time I had this it was nice, but surely not monumental. Today, 4 years later it has added weight and class, but more importantly, structure. A very deep and dark reddish black color, this was very fragrant on the nose: cassis, flowers, and black cherries. On the palate there is a very concentrated mouth feel that I don't really remember this having previous time while sampling. Great structure with some great lushness. The black fruit profile is my playground. Great black currant, plums, blackberries with some kirsch notes, tar, and a hint of soy. A bit of leather and a hint of cedar box. The tannins are still noticeable but did not negatively affect his showing on ounce. It was decanted 4 hours (I believe), which surely was advantageous in this showing. A real elegant classy and uber balanced wine, with a long creamy smooth finish. (92 pts.)
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2005 - Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf du Pape Deus Ex Machina Proprietary Blend

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The nose was all exotic spices and black cherries. The palate reveals some silky and uber-ripened black cherries, black pepper, soy, cedar, vanilla and some crushed pebbles. That rich exotic quality is sure present through-out. A medium weight mouthfeel with some deftly balanced tannins, which were just slightly angular, and a moderate acid base. A long finish of 90+ seconds. This wine needs at least 5 more years to show itself as it was surely holding back about 50% of what I believe it could be: A wonderfully elegant but powerfully possessive character-filled Châteauneuf. It really has it all, it just needs to come together.
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2005 - Jones Family Vineyard The Sisters Proprietary Red Proprietary Blend

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
and dark as usual, this one needs a minimum of 1-2 hours to really show itself. Great creme de kirsch and cola on the nose. The palate has chewy black and dark red fruits of currant, blackberry and black plum pudding. The mouthfeel is plush and elegant. A wonderful balanced wine, this has all the hallmarks of a full-breed Napa cabernet, at half the price. The tannins are intricately weaved and spun to help create the great mouthfeel. The finish is a minute plus, and the fruit never quits. (93 pts.)
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2004 - Rockledge  Cabernet Sauvignon The Rocks Cabernet Sauvignon

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena

30 minutes decant. This is one of the darkest, densest wines I have had in months. Swirling coats the glass with a ruby tint. The nose has some cherry cola, creme de cassis and black currant jam. The palate shows a wonderful explosion of black fruits: Currant, black cherries, black berries, black plums. There is some soy and a hint of vanilla. All this is engulfed in a blanket of chewy textured tannins. Pure and clean, this is huge! A wonderful acid reminder-note toward the finish. A very powerful cabernet that begs for a grilled steak or chops. I think time will soften this, but its so enjoyable now with an extended decant (My third bottle). A super finish that I can still taste after 2 minutes while typing this. Wow.
 (93 pts.)

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2006 - Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star

From 375.

Initially decanted for 1 hour.

Dark as would be expected. The nose has some very low key notes of cassis, vanilla, cherry cola, and black cherries. The palate is very subdued with an almost 'hollow' feel. After 2.5 hours this opened slightly. When food hit the table, even more so. Admirable cassis filled with eucalyptus, lead pencil , tar and leather. This has a medium weight feel to it. A very lively acidic base with some great 'things' hiding out. That's right, things.
A nice finish of 1 minute plus. This will never be a 'showey wine', but will be sure to please in 3-5 years. 89 points

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2007 - Dain Wines  Syrah The Smart Set, White Hawk Vineyard Syrah

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

If there had been a single best $20 STEAL avalable ANYWHERE. I would like to try it. Until then, I say this is possibly the best deal I have made all year (And I made some good deals).

Medium garnet in color, the nose is all white pepper, forest floor, cranberries, cherries, and pomegranate, all intense. All in balance. The palate reveals a lush mouth feel of cranberry, pomegranate, Bing cherries, red plums, raspberries, fresh grated white pepper, wild lowers and wow. The balance is incredible. Perfect acidic conveyor belt whisping this forward to nirvana.
Unbef-ingbelievable. A super long finish and Dain's your uncle. (95 pts.)

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1992 - Penfolds Grange Hermitage  Syrah

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Crumbly cork.

Still dark with nary a inkling of age. A nose of flower petals, lavender and calla-lilies which only got better as this sat in my glass for a hour plus. The palate had a wonderful depth of fruits: some black cherry, creme de Cassi's, and red plum. There was a lilty graphite note which was meshed beautifully with some lavender, tar, and earth, good earth that is. An extremely elegant, delicate and lovely wine with super balance and class. A minute plus on the back. This came out of the gate a winner and never fell behind. Wow. WOTF & WOTN 95pts

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2004 - Oakville Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Medium garnet in color. A beautiful nose of cherry cola, pencil shavings, and flower petals. The palate shows off a very showey and structured cab style I rally appreciate. Lots of red/black fruits: currants, blackberries, black cherries, red and black plum. Amazing showing of some dimensional traits of leather, pencil shavings, and spring showers on river stones. The cherry-cola notes never really end. This really opened up after about 30 minutes in the glass revealing a deft backbone filled with meshy tannins and bounded acid. The cola note remains long on through. The finish is 90 plus seconds. I really love this one's showing tonight. If you love a plush chewy, but not unruly cab, this might be the ticket. (93 pts.)
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2005 - Outpost  Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star
The nose on this was all blackberry and blueberry, something akin to a Cali Syrah. The palate had some great fruits of pomegranate, blackberries, black cherries, red plums, and a hint of creme de kirsch. Some soy, scorched earth, fresh rubbed leather and forest. The mouth feel was pure, and plush. A medium weight wine with tons of goodness packed deep within. Some dryness on the midpalate, the tannins still need some resolving. A great bright 'acid bounce' is present. A very balanced cabernet with tons of upside in the future. Not an in your face or flamboyant wine. A super long cherry filled finish. Would have scored higher had not it remind me of Syrah so much. (90 pts.)
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2000 - Drouhin, Domaine Joseph Chassagne Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Chardonnay

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This opened with a beautiful bouquet of Spring flowers after the rains. The nose was succulent and alluring. Great structure and finesse with a medium body mouthfeel. Wonderful freshness and vibrancy showed its class. Some exotic citrus notes, and a hint of sweetness, maybe a half a hint. A fine interweaving of silky tannins and lithey acid level carries this all the way through to a long lush finish. A very intoxicating and well balanced wine indeed. Brent got some oxidation on this. I did not. Thank you Eric for offering up such a great bottle. The first surprise of a 2 surprise night. (95 pts.)
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2006 - Jones Family Vineyard The Sisters Proprietary Red Proprietary Blend

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Decanted 2 hours. The color is darkish, a Falu red/carmine (for all you US stamp collectors out there) (an earthy toned red). The nose is a multi layer medley of black fruits, smokiness, black olives, and leather. The Palate has the blackest plums, purest currant, leathery softness, silkiness, and flowers. Wow. Such a pure, in your face wine that does not attack head on, but sneaks up with its elegance, structure, and purity. The black fruits hold the line for minutes beyond the finish. This BEGS for decanting. Two hour MINIMUM. Big chewy but well behaved tannins with a subdued but ever-present acid level. I have always been a fan of this and this year is surely a bit different, but not any less enjoyable. The PV and CF make themselves known adding the dimension. Great showing--once again. (93 pts.)
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2003 - Harris Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Jake's Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Nov 30, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Opened 2 hours early. Not decanted. Nice deep dark with a lively purple edge. The nose is sweet cassis and creme de kirsch. The palate had a lush and pure feel with a deft & intricate tannin level. The alcohol was a bit noticeable early on but after about an hour this really began to sing. There were cassis, kirsch, black cherry cola, saddle leather & a hint of exotic tea leaf. Nice. I loved the way this just keep giving, never changing, just getting darker and plusher. Reminscent of another favorite Mark Herold wine, Merus. The family resemblance is uncanny. A very long ad smooth finish that lasts for more than 2 minutes. I have always loved this one, and I think it does not get the play it deserves. (92 pts.)
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2003 - Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Beckstoffer Dr Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
30 minute quadruple splash decant. Dark and brooding. The nose is fragrant with black cassis notes, black cherries, and crème de kirsch. The palate has a silky and pure mouthfeel that is lush and elegant. Totally open for business. There is the crème de kirsch with some cocoa, black currants, black cherries, super black plums and pomegranate. Amazing intricately weaved tannins with a lilthy acidic 'bounce'. A very long and poignant finish that goes minutes, not second. A fantastic showing indeed. No rush, but no need to postpone enjoyment either.
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2002 - Gemstone Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
76% cab, 12% merlot, 9% cab franc, 3% petite verdot.. Time treats these Gemstones well. The last time I had this it was nice, but surely not monumental. Today, 4 years later it has added weight and class, but more importantly, structure.
A very deep and dark reddish black color, this was very fragrant on the nose: cassis, flowers, and black cherries. On the palate there is a very concentrated mouth feel that I don't really remember this having previous time while sampling. Great structure with some great lushness. The black fruit profile is my playground. Great black currant, plums, blackberries with some kirsch notes, tar, and a hint of soy. A bit of leather and a hint of cedar box. The tannins are still noticeable but did not negatively affect his showing on ounce. It was decanted 4 hours (I believe), which surely was advantageous in this showing. A real elegant classy and uber balanced wine, with a long creamy smooth finish.
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2001 - Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star
Decanted 3+ hours. A very classic cabernet, and not in the best of ways.
Dark and dense, the nose showed absolutely nothing save for a slight note of cassis, very ungiving indeed.
The palate had some `iron grip old Cali Cab' stylings. Realizing these need decades and not just years, we continued on anywho. All correct black fruits of currant and blackberries with some hints of leather, tar, & coffee beans. The tannins clobber and the clunky feel never really dissipates. The mouth feel is mid weight and the finish admirable.
A very correct wine if one wants to just drink correct wines. I don't. I want show and schnizzle, so the implied flaw in this case may be a byproduct of the taster and not the wine. My score may not be fair, but a 89 seems about right to me tonight.
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2005 - Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf du Pape Deus Ex Machina Proprietary Blend

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The nose was all exotic spices and black cherries. The palate reveals some silky and uber-ripened black cherries, black pepper, soy, cedar, vanilla and some crushed pebbles. That rich exotic quality is sure present through-out. A medium weight mouthfeel with some deftly balanced tannins, which were just slightly angular, and a moderate acid base. A long finish of 90+ seconds. This wine needs at least 5 more years to show itself as it was surely holding back about 50% of what I believe it could be: A wonderfully elegant but powerfully possessive character-filled Châteauneuf. It really has it all, it just needs to come together.
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2007 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

(1 hour double decant) had full throttle rich red & black fruits, a nice purity and a fullness-lushness I always appreciate. A touch of alcohol in the very end, but its an obvious baby. No travel or bottling shock in sight. This had a very different flavor profile than any of the previous 3 vintages: Maybe a bit redder and less cassis based while being less showy. This bottle was also less tannin driven. It's complex and pure and will be an earlier drinker in my estimation, unless it stiffens up with more bottle age. One that I may think would deliver for the next bunch of years and I may not necessarily hide it behind my 05s.---In all fairness, it is not fair to judge these so young. I appreciate the oppurtunity to do so and in reading my note now want to add this addendum: More bottle age? Compared to what, 20 minutes? This could and surely will gain weight with time in the bottle and should be a beauty upon release.

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2004 - Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
(30 minute decant) showed wonderfully. Coming right after the Maybach, it had some great balance, structure and roundness being just a teeny bit short on the finish (initally). Sitting in the glass for 15 minutes opened this up and lengthened the finish out nicely. Pure blackberries, a hint of creme de cassis, and some lead pencil shavings. Great dense and lush mouthfeel while not being a head banger. Glad I have more and although I can't give last nights bottle another 99, I consider it still up there in my wine-o-memory bank as one that satisfies.
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1999 - Harlan Estate The Maiden Proprietary Blend

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was served blind---Very typical in the sense of, 'yes I am Napa cabernet'. Great cassis & backberry filled palate with some secondaries. I thought it reminded me of a 2001 Napa, and was happy to see at unveil that it was a '99, a vintage that I usually got more austerity from. This was a quiet elegant fulfilling cabernet that wore its bloodline on its sleeve. Funny thing is I liked this one much better than the '01 I had at the beginning of the year. Drinking beautifully this one is.
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2005 - Jones Family Vineyard The Sisters Proprietary Red Proprietary Blend

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 6 hour decant. Deep ruby color. The nose is pure crème de cassis and kirsch royal. The palate reveals a nice pure sweet red & black fruit profile, and not the bad sweet type I detest. Great black cherry, black currant, cherry cola, pomegranate, with some soy, soil, and lead pencil shavings. This has a lushness not normally associated with wines at this price point. A medium to full bodied mouth feel that is long, elegant, and beautifully structured. The tannins are on the biggish side and a few years in the cellar will most certainly reward the owner. A creamy extended finish completes the package. I wanted to try this as I seen the Jones website still offering me more. I ordered 6 more. One of my favorite list purchases and one to surely keep on.
A QPR in its class.
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2005 - Jones Family Vineyard The Sisters Proprietary Red Proprietary Blend

Sep 27, 2009
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 Super deep and dark as usual, this one needs a minimum of 1-2 hours to really show itself. Great creme de kirsch and cola on the nose. The palate has chewy black and dark red fruits of currant, blackberry and black plum pudding. The mouhfeel is plush and elegant. A wonderful balanced wine, this has all the hallmarks of a full-breed Napa cabernet, at half the price. The tannins are intricately weaved and spun to help create the great mouthfeel. The finish is a minute plus, and the fruit never quits.
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2004 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

Unbelievable

Sep 11, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
(double decanted 4.5 hours) Dark and intense. The nose showed a wall of fruit that raged from the glass. Wow. There was black berry, black cherry, dark currant, black plums, some tobacco, some sweet kirsch, Wow. The purity of this multi-fruited profiled wine is both mind blowing and mind-boggling. Elegant and precise, this is a Cab drinkers Cab. I sat with this all night and it kept changing places with its younger brother always fighting for first place. A long finish and wow. Anyone who thinks wow wines do not exist needs to taste this one treated with the correct decant and respect. One more time... Wow
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2005 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

amazing

Sep 11, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
(double decanted 1.5 hours) The family resemblance is uncanny, just the clothing is different. This had the dark brooding color with the slightly more subdued, but ever present wall of fruit. The red and black fruits created such a fruit medley of love. Slightly bigger in scale than the 04, this had more oak, and more tannic structure, but hey, it's a year younger. Black cassis wrapped chocolate cherries with pure blackberry and licorice. The balance and purity is staggering. Long and intense, this wine kept vying for pole position with its older brother, taking the lead no less than 3 times. The photo-finish results proved it was nose behind, yet I will give it a 95/100

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1995 - Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Jul 28, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This sang right out of the bottle! Great deep crimson color. A beautiful nose of cassis, camphor and lilacs. The palate revealed amazing balance and breed, elegance and class. Wow. There were some fresh ground coffee beans, lead pencil shavings and soy all wrapped in a multi-layered dark fruit blanket. A long smooth finish beckons one back for a top-off. Wow. Started fading after an hour and a bit, but what an hour and a bit..This is what Bordeaux can only hope to be Did I say Wow? (94 pts.)
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2005 - Keever Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Jul 28, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

2 hour decant. Super dark crimson color. Opaque and dense. The nose gives very little: cola, blackberry and camphor. The palate has a sweet profile that is packed 10 deep with black fruits of blackberry, black plum, cassis, & black cherry cola. Slightly angular and four square. Big chewy tannins and maybe a wee bit of oak popping its head up as the vanilla is encircling the camp. This is a black hole of a cabernet for sure. Good structure. A decent finish. A well made wine indeed, but I can see it not being everyone's cup 'o tea. It's more loud and noisy and could use a little refinement & class. Time may help, but I would hate to see what fruit is here go south in that time. (90 pts.)

Next day (after 24 hour decant)- Different day.....different wine.More 'aged' color on the edges with some purple popping through. The nose shows a little more in the way of dark fruits. I sense some cassis today . The mouthfeel is bigger and so is the alcohol. It's actually more 'full' today than yesterday. with more texture and more concentration. This one needs many years cellar time. The cola bubbles in the nose are gone (yea!). I actually like this more today. It shows more of everything today. It may well be wonderful tomorrow, but I will never know....92 points.
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2001 - Beckmen Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Jun 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Decent color. The nose showed nice fruit of black cherry, blackberry and some currant. The palate showed decent dark fruits of currant and cherries with anise and some tar. The mid-palate was a bit tinny, (not as plush as would have liked) and the finsh clipped. Although it has 'evolved' from 2 years ago, when it was all alcohol, this seemed to have gone nowhere except being a decent quaffer.
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2005 - Domaine Rapet Bourgogne En Bully Proprietary Blend

Jun 04, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This has a very medium pale color, but vibrant. The nose is expressive of cherry, and the crushed stone, which I really enjoy. On the palate there is a great smooth integrated fruit/acid/tannin level. The cherries carry on as do the stones. Very elegant indeed. Finishes nicely.
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2006 - Arnot-Roberts Syrah Griffins Lair Syrah

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Deep purple and very fragrant, this showed wonderful blueberry white pepper and black plums. Pure and classy, this is a deftly balanced sublime wine indeed. I gotta get me some more.
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2005 - Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon Bugay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I like this one this year better than the Clajeux (formerly wild iris). It had pure red black and blue fruits with a wonderful balance of acid and tannins. The tannins were finely meshed and well integrated
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2006 - Arnot-Roberts Syrah Hudson Syrah

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
6 months more barrel time than last years Hudson, this is a brute of a wine that needs time in the bottle to show its full self. Its super concentrated and tightly knit. Great blueberrie pie with a wonderful wine that begs for bottle time.This reminds me of a classic Cote Rotie
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2005 - Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon Wild Iris Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Now renamed Clajeux vineyard

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

Untamed and wild this year with some big chewy tannins Black cassis and blackberry. There is some great stuffing here. I think this will be amazing in a year or two.

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2006 - Arnot-Roberts Syrah Alder Springs Syrah

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Big dark dense full of blackberries and blueberries. A very pure and pronounced style of Syrah with a wonderful intergrained tannin level and elegant but ever present acid level, This is a real winner this year.
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2005 - Arnot-Roberts Syrah Griffins Lair Syrah

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This Arnot Roberts Syrah had bit more spice and tannic structure than the others. A palate of blueberry and rocks, a wonderful pure backbone and great mouthfeel.
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2005 - Arnot-Roberts Syrah Hudson Syrah

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
My favorite of the bunch, this was a deep red fruit forward Carneros District beauty. Silky and smooth seamless tannins. This will give pure joy now to the impatient as well as rewarding the ones who place it deeply away
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2005 - Arnot-Roberts Syrah Alder Springs Syrah

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was the most northern Rhone like of the Arnot Roberts Syrah group.  This was dense & dark with some  bacon fat, pepper, and tar. Fans of old world Syrahs will be thrilled.
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2004 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Jun 01, 2008
1 star
Great dark garnet. Initially this was totally closed for business. After 1 hour some decent plush red and black fruits emerge on the nose. The palate was initially flabby in the middle and after the hour some nice currant and blackberry kirsch emerged. This is a mid weight cabernet. An ok acid level and maybe just a little hot, this is surely not the best example of this I have ever had. Hell, it's the worst actually. Its somewhat so-so mid-palate and an ok finish. An average Cabernet.
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2003 - Hess Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 28, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Nice dark fruit on the nose and palate. great balance of tannins and acidity. A real decent finish. A wonderful Cabernet at a fantastic price point.

I like this one as much as the '01. Maybe more. It is a true testament as what can be done when quality fruit and great wine making meet, keeping in mind price ($21.00)
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2002 - BV Century Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 28, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Ok, what does one expect from a $4.99 Cabernet? Nothing you say? Well, you will be surprised to hear that this 5 dollar cab will dissapoint the expected dissapointedness. Confused? Don't be.

This wine is a SQPR. Nice easy cabernet flavors, no weediness, no green notes or vegaetalness. just easy red currant fruits. A decent middle and not a shabby finish. Some nice things in here. Its well balanced and definately drinkable. I just wasnt expecting anything from this bottle. I bought it more of an experimnet. BV puts its stamp of approval here, as well as lends it winemaker to the label. Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised. I remember the BV regular bottling of years ago were sometimes undrinkable. Thin, green, tastless. This is a different animal.
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2005 - L'ANGEVIN Pinot Noir RRV Pinot Noir

May 28, 2008
1 star 1 star
Super floral style of Pinot that I can love for only about 10 minutes, then be turned off for the rest of the evening. Decent fruits but the floralness keeps dominating. Silky mid palate. I just don't always know what to make of wines like this.
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2001 - Westerly Vineyards Lot Eighteen Reserve Merlot

May 28, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
For me to even write about Merlot states something. This wine is big full bodies high octaine plush mouth filling Merlot. But yet seems to balance itself on the head of a pin. Red fruits with great acidity. Wonderful mid palate and lush mouthfeel, I love this wine for short term consumption. Now until 2008. My surprise of the day
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1999 - Ecole No 41, L' Merlot Merlot

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star
Tasted immediately and decanted. The color is a dark cherry cola. The nose reveals some soda pop and some very subdued red fruits. The palate shows the sweetness and slight vegetalness I have come to expect from the appellation. There is some dark cherrie and blackberry. Where's the currant/cassis? Where's the plush? Tannins resoved but that not alone is gonna pull this one out of the hole. Some chocolate and tar toward the finsh which is just ok.. Ho Hum sums this one up. Too bad.
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2001 - Ecole No 41, L' Merlot Merlot

Seven Hills

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 If you are a merlot fan, you need to try and find out what the fuss is about with L'Ecole Merlots. Any of them. On this day I tasted the 2000, 1999, 2001, and the 1998. I listed them in order I enjoyed them. The 1998 was showing its age, but still a beauty. They all have the very refined fruit and the wonderful oak. They also had the slight vegetalness on the nose, which I believe is typical. Once on the lips it is a true hedonism. Enjoy now and save some for your own vertical tasting in 5 years. Well done!!
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2001 - Owen Sullivan Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Franc

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is a beautifully crafted amazing Cabernet Franc to enjoy now. It begs for decanting. Complex red spicy fruit with a nice oak treatment. I never EVER tasted a wine like this. Try it if you can find it.
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2001 - Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

Here was a good everyday red. A nicely dark fruited evenly oaked smooth beauty. Currant and black cherries with a  Long and wonderful aftertaste. And having Zelma long on staff doesn't hurt. $32.

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2001 - Hedges Red Mountain Reserve Proprietary Proprietary Blend

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine was a surprise. It is from the new and miniscule Red Mountain AVA. One of the only estate wines there. A big chewy 93% cab. Some good chocolaty undertones. Wonderful ripe fruit. Good oak. I would say enjoy now, but keep some for a few years to relive the Red Mountain experience fully matured.
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2000 - Dunham Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon VI Cabernet Sauvignon

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a beautiful big style Cabernet. Wonderful fruit and smooth minerals that just beckon a meal. Nice oak. Not over the top like so many in the region. A beauty built to last. $45.
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2001 - Ecole No 41, L' Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Nice balance of fruit, and oak, with deep color. This is a beautiful drinking wine, which surely outshines its Columbia Valley Cabernet stablemate. This is indicated in the small price difference. I am sure it will drink beyond 2010. (Seven Hills Vineyard fruit)
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2000 - Dunham Cellars Trutina Proprietary Blend

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This was one of the best Bordeaux styled wines of the day. Beautiful integrated fruit with nice hints of oak, not all necessarily new. But in this wine it comes off well. Drinks like a 5 year old Lafite from an average vintage. (If you know Lafite, you know what I mean) And a good value to boot at $20.

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2001 - Pepper Bridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This one has the top notch Seven Hills fruit profle: great blac cassis and blackberries with some leather and tar. A little subdued at the moment , but very finesseful as well. Closer in style to a Rutherford Cabernet with some earthiness.
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2005 - M. Trinchero Stagecoach Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa Premiere Auction wine

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This has tremendous color with super accurate dark fruits.  A glorious textured mouthfeel and elegant styling made this on of the best in the room. Great structure. Available only at auction. If you find it, buy it at any cost.(within reason).
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2004 - Champy, Maison Murgers des Dents de Chien 1er Cru Saint Aubin Chardonnay

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This has all the hallmarks of its breed, good bright red fruits with the crushed rosks,. Very primary and not as approachable as the others in the line-up. All the intensity and acid level to carry it with food. I say in about 2-3 years this would shine.
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2005 - Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir la Neblina Pinot Noir

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
A very fruit forward Pinot with soft tannins. Great crushed pebbles with dark cherry and red plum with a nicely balanced mouthfeel.  This was smooth and elegant and worthy of the search.
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2003 - Family, Neal Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star
Vigorous decanted for 30 minutes. Good pruple fringed color. Wonderful 'true' cabernet on the nose. This is a four square wine; it's varietally correct and sound, nothing more. It has some black-cherry, currant, and a slight cassis note. A little off balance as its a little high on acid. It is a good effort for an '03, but not memorable (another '03 that falls into this category). Picked up for $30 each.
Drink 'em if you got 'em
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1994 - Tulocay Cabernet Sauvignon Cliff Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Ok color. browning bit on the edges. Nose of cassis and dark fruits. The palate reveals some varietal  correct cassis, & dark cherry. Some burnt tar and cocao with a slight flintiness. This is a mid to light weight wine that has held its own, maybe a bit one dimensional. The finish is decent. A nice bottle that was probably arounf $15 when new, and that has held up respectfully.
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2004 - Champy, Maison Pernand Vergelesses Chardonnay

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This village wine had much more character and great depth and intensity. Crushed stones abound. Wonderful floral notes, some light notes of green apple and pears. A fantastic example of what Chardonnay should be, all for $28.50. This showed much better than price suggest. More like a Grand Cru. For present day enjoyment
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2004 - Champy, Maison Chorey-les-Beaune Pinot Noir

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a wild and clumsy Chorey, not my style. Bright red cherries, decent acidity with great acid level. I am sure some bottle age would help
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2004 - Champy, Maison Gevrey Chambertin les Cazetiers Pinot Noir

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Very similar to the Vosne from the same producer.There is red cherry and crush pebbles with a nicely balanced acid level.  These wines will payoff dividends in 3-5 years.
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2005 - Outpost  Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
if there are still qprs in Napa, one must be willing to pay$50-$60 for them. Here is one: Elegant and smooth full of blackberries and cassis. Bright and stellar.
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2005 - Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

May 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was one of my surprises of the day; intense, dark, and layered with red fruits this was fragrant and lovely. Great mouthfeel with chewy tannins and great balance.
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1997 - Livingston Moffett Cabernet Sauvignon Moffett Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 25, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This has some nice color that belies its age. It opens with some graphite and camphor on the nose. There is a tinge of fruit on the nose, but one must search pretty hard to spot it. The mouth-feel is very smooth and plush. There is some cassis, red and black berries, soy, pencil shavings, cedar, leather anda certain mild sweetness. Its a medium weight wine that has some elegance. Its fully resloved and pretty much at a point where holding willnot really help. Its a very pretty & pleasing Cabernet sourced from a wonderful vineyard. Nice balance and a decent finish make this a home-run, albeit a walk in homer.
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2005 - K Vintners Syrah Millbrandt  Syrah

May 25, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Ultra dark and opaque. This has slight purple on the edges. The nose has blueberries and white pepper. The palate is very sleek and clean. Not over the top, and very lively. Blueberries, meat, crushed pebbles, blackberry, red raspberry, and some sour cherries. There is a mélange of things happening here. Wait scratch that, it's a potpourri of fruits & joy! This has amazing lush mouthfeel and structure. The tannins are in check, and the acid is doing the high-wire walk. All so wonderfully balanced. This is a fun wine that should age nicely for a few years, but singing right here and now so why not?A long smooth aftertaste completes perfect package.
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2006 - K Vintners Syrah Millbrandt  Syrah

May 25, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Candy cane and gummi bears; this is a real 'fun' Syrah to behold. Full and fleshy, it is somewhat similar to the Morrison, but more in your face, where the Morrison is a bit more restrained....just a bit
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2005 - Clos Julien Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

May 25, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is always a crowd pleaser in good years.Deep dark color. The nose is a bit closed, but the palate reveals some super concentated dark fruit. A bit jammy at first, but with air that seems to dissapate. There is none of the vegatalnees that seems to come out of the cooler areas. Will not be mistaken for a Napa Cab, but stands on its own. Very great value at $14.00
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2006 - Pax Cellars Syrah Cuvee Christine Syrah

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This years offering is a very boisterous type of Syrah with great deep blueberries, and crush stones. Nice minerality and structure, with a nice long finish.
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2006 - Pax Cellars Syrah Walker Vine Hill Syrah

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Very fruit forward style with dark plum, white pepper, and blueberry. Great balance of acid and fine-grained tannins.This has been one of my favorites from PAX for the last few years.
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2005 - Gemstone Facets Of Gemstone Proprietary Blend

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
a sweet fruit profile detracts somewhat from this years offering. A great interweaved tannin structure and decent acid level. I enjoyed the Gemstone better this year, and the Facets better last year
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2006 - Pax Cellars Syrah Obsidian Syrah

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Big and brutish. This had wonderful meat, pepper, and blueberries pie that is a very in your face style of Cali syrah PAX is known for. Deep and concentrated, this needs a night to study
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2002 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Oh, the ohtwo....... yes the ohtwo. This one was a bit closed. But understandable. It has the makings for a long lived wine. Great tannin/acid/fruit meshing happening here. Smooth full mouthfeell. I guess everyone wants to see what the fuss is here. WS Wine of the year and all. Makes me wonder. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful wine, but NOT wine of the year.
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2001 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is fantastic. It is Smooth. dark fruited with currant, mocha and dark cherry. I love this wine. It was pure and long and elegant. Did I say fantastic? Easily my Wine Of The Flight and Night
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2000 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Another wine that reminded me of the '98. Great nose, good minerality, great red fruit/cherry. Some tar and lead pencil? A very nice showing for the vintage indeed
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1999 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star
Now we are talking. Great nose of truffles. An amazing fullness on the palate. Showed its breed. Good dark fruit. Nice balance. My wine of the flight. Glad I have some in my cellar
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1998 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
An interesting wine unto itself. One dimensional with nice med dark fruit. The thing about this wine was many felt as I did that served on its own would be a very nice wine, but we are known by the company we keep and there was some stiff competition in the room wine. 5 grape blend ( I believe). Possibly The best '98 I have ever had.
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1997 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star
Great body, with a super mouthfeel. Nice dark fruit evident. I liked the length of this one. Still from all I have recently read about this wine I feel it did not show full potential
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1996 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
To me this was the 'breakout' Insignia. New world Cab (Cab blend) style. Great balance. Beautiful dark fruit. Acid and tannins meshed to create an amazing long finish. Back the truck up.
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1995 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This had a full round mouthfeel. There was a wonderful pure cab fruit profile of cassis & blackberry. Some tar was in attendance. Great medium weight tannins with wonderful multi dimensional structure. I enjoyed this wine
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1994 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star
This one had some anteseptic qualities and maybe a touch of brett or v/a. I think it may be have been flawed. not rated too bad.
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1993 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This was my wine of the flight. It had good fruit, nice acid and smooth tannins. My only complaint was that it was a bit 'short'. Still no slouch!
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1992 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from Insignia vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star
A little funky on the nose. On the palate there was an earthy-minerality that reminded me of an old Graves. There were traces red fruit. bit more tannins than the '91
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1991 - Phelps, Joseph Insignia Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

from the Insignia Vertical

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star
Opened with old Cab qualities, dried fruit, sulphur? An decent wine and interesting to have it in the line-up and for the coming comparisons as we moved to the youngers wines
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2004 - Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Farella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Just recieved today and no bottle shock present. It opened with an explosive dose of deep dark fruit, on the palate there is a certain bramble quality that I like. A wildness that if I close my eyes I can swear I am in the vineyard on a warm breezy day and every once in a while I sense honeysuckle coming up at me and when the breeze changes I turn to recapture it. Do you think I liked this? I do. I had this at the Realm open house a few weeks back and loved it immediately.
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2003 - Harris Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Jake's Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star
Closed for business (even much with decanting). Deep dark fruit on the nose and palate, wonderful balance shown through only with lots of coaxing. This had more stuffing than my moms Thanksgiving Turkey, but much time is needed (cellar and decanter). I have had this twice before. It is a perennial favorite that I will watch closely.
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2003 - Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I did not understand how this became WOTN. It was a great wine with lots of sweet dark chewy tannined fruit. a decent finish, but I still had memories of the Gemstones breeding, trying to forget the Merlot % in the Gemstone, I tried to be fair. A sleeper.
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2000 - Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star
This seemed like a processed wine to me. I have had many 2000s and most have the same quality. Even the Insignia. I guess as a winemaker you can only work with what you get from Mother Nature. The further away we get from 2000, the better we all are. n/r
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1998 - Livingston Gemstone Vineyard 

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star
Out of the two 'off' vintages in tonights line up, and I have rarely had a '98 that I have loved.. this showed well though. Some decent structure and style, but the vintage kept coming through with a certain manufacturesness. I am on the fence with this one. Interesting to get the Gemstone fruit.
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1997 - Phelps, Joseph Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is one I was really looking foward to. Just coming off the Insignia vertical 6 weeks ago I stll had memories of the standouts that night. This had great dark fruit, nice intergrated tannins and alot of class. I liked this better than the '97 Insignia (which I sold after the vertical). The similarity of winemakers was there, the source of the fruit differs, but it was hard to tell
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1996 - Sherwin Family Cabernet Sauvignon  Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star
This seemed a bit vegetal, It had great balance with some dark fruits and decent secondaries  but seemed a bit off. Also seemed a bit rustic to me.
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2003 - Gemstone Facets Of Gemstone Proprietary Blend

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This had a wonderful deep dark color. the palate revealed a super finessful wine of breed. Very plush and full throttled. I really enjoyed this. I thought the rest of the nights selections would have to work hard to measure up.
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1994 - Cosentino Winery M Coz Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This opened with a subdued nose of dried fruits, a deep garnet color and fine intergrated tannins. A little heat at the end. I kind of liked this wine, I am not sure its worth what was paid though ($90)
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2004 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I seem to always be in the underdog crowd, but if drinking this was the underdog..bow bow. Sure its young, the youngest of the night. Sitting in my glass for 30 minutes it came alive. The elegance, the structure, and the beautiful fruit profile came roaring on. Given the year or so less bottle age difference its understandable the overall showing. Rated for the context of other wine tasted that night.
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2003 - Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon  Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I wanted to like this on hype alone, but time always reminds me my palate in not intuned with hype. Good. It was nice, but nice? Plenty to like here but Napa is full of wines that have plenty to like. Bottles you can actually get.
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2002 - Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Hmmm. I get why this gets its praise, I just don't know what to make of it. The decant seemed enough. It had everything in a compact little space. The proverbial 5lb Bologna in a 2 lb bag so to speak. I sensed the oak and the fruit and the acid and the tannins, but sensing seemed not to be enough. Interesting to have it included. I can understand the 10-year rule imposed here
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9998 - ZD Cabernet Sauvignon Abacus VII Bottling  Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 Along with the Vnyd 29, this was overshadowed, but awesome. Great American oak(?) is the frontispiece. This was purple in color. Currant, cocoa, vanilla, dark berries, and some tar & leather. I really enjoyed this, but again, it was in a tough crowd
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2002 - Blankiet Cabernet Sauvignon Paradise Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star
This was very 4 square and European in style. The tannins were hovering over everything else. The fruit was somewhere, just not in my glass. Needs much time...hopefully,
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2003 - Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Peterson Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Here we go. Afigginmazing. This had it all; Fantastic cassis, cola, anise, super dark cherries, and more. A purity that elevates it to the top of the previous group save for the Kobalt.
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2003 - Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Lush smooth and full of the qualities I expect in my better cabernets from a much better vintage, this was surely the new contender for WOTN. I love this wine and can only imagine the selection process used in 2003. A QPR Cultish Cabernet
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2002 - Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
With youth on its side the 2002 was tightly wound and full of potential. This was an elegant wine with cassis, blackberries, tar, cocoa, and crème de cassis. I would not be disappointed if I had a half dozen in my cellar.
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1999 - Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Initially a fantastic wine full of flowers (rose petals) crushed stone, blackberries and cassis. I think this wine is plateauing right now and in no danger of sliding anytime soon. Long finish and the Mark Herold mark of excellence.
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1997 - Vineyard 29 Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Light in color but big on flavor. Great dark red cherries, currant, tar, and smoke. Lots of breed here, this is a beautiful wine that is in a very great place. I wish I had a case in my cellar.
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1995 - Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star
This was flat and uninteresting. There seemed to be some v/a here as well. I had high expectations for this bottle and had heard mucj. Didn't improve, didn't collapse, just didn't
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1994 - Behrens and Hitchcock Cabernet Sauvignon Staglin Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 24, 2008
1 star
This initially seems flawed with v/a. There was some port like qualities that always put up a red flag to me, but some time gave the hint of a decent Cabernet. Additional time made it seem like v/a may have been the culprit. Synth cork not withstanding. Dump
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2004 - Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Original Tokalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

wow

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a stunning phenomenal wine. Great deep color, just like a black hole. Similar to the Hobbs but more showy and elegant (if possible). Amazing cabernet structure and a mouth feel that is out of the world. I have run out of.words. 96/100
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2003 - Hobbs, Paul Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Dark color, super deep dark fragrance of cassis and cocoa and leather. This had it all going on. A medley of wonder. Fantastic length. I would not mind securing a few. Just a stupendous wine.
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2002 - Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star
This was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe the bottle? Some thought it was `off'. I may have to agree, or at least hope. It was hollow, and flabby in the middle. There was a diluted quality as well.
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2004 - Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Tonight was not the best showing of this wine I have had. Not too dissimilar than the 2002, this had a bit more to give. Some more intense fruits as well as balance structure and poise. A little crossover of the styles on the table. This also needs time. (Decanted 12 hours). 
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2002 - Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very 4 square wine; it's correct, but a boxy & clumsy cabernet that may be resting a bit. Somewhat monolithic. One setup for the long haul. You can sense the ultra dark fruits, and amazing tight tannin weave. Maybe the elegance on the table wins out over the brutes. 5 years should do this wonder
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2004 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 This is an amazing wine. There is a certain quality that this shows off, (please bear with me if you will); this has an underlying balance of fruit, or a ledge of fruit that climbs as the wine travels to the back of the palate, to well after 30 seconds of disappearance. A smooth but intense tannin level, and the signature Mondavi acid brought up a notch. Wow. This was showing some secondary qualities already! Wonderful depth and a long elegant finish that makes you want to seek the bottle for just a bit more. (I did :)). I would love to have a half dozen of these in my cellar. Elegant, stately, and sumptuous. Did I say WOW?
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2004 - Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star
 I have always been a fan of Tom Rinaldi's wines. This is a very smooth sweet-fruited cabernet that fills a niche from time to time. I am not sure it's a very food friendly wine tough. Nice currant/cassis and blackberry. Soft tannins and a nice finish. A very certain style that appeals to some and not others. Typically Rinaldiesque.
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1999 - Behrens and Hitchcock Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star
This was light in color and had some VA right off the bat. The palate was a bit better. This was an `edgy grapey' wine. Not rated- flawed
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1998 - Oakford Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Very pretty on the nose. Nice mouth feel and balance considering it's from the atrocious 98 vintage. In that context this is a winner. What is does not have is that `manufactured' quality many 98s did/do. A great effort with very nice floral fruit.
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1993 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star
Out of the gate this was somewhat funky on the nose. The palate revealed some decent fruit and the signature Mondavi mouth feel and acid level. Dark fruits of currant and black cherries. Some tar and cocoa. All in all a nice bottle that may be a bit past its prime.
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1996 - Mondavi, Robert Fume Blanc To Kalon Estate I Block Sauvignon Blanc

To-Kalon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

nice deep straw color. Great balance. Some lemon and floral notes. No signs of age. Ultra pure and super enjoyable. A great example of an 11 year old sauvignon blanc.

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1975 - Martini, Louis Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star
This was not very dissimilar to the 1974Louis Martini Special Select reviewed here. The maderization was in full swing. This slowly turned to wet cardboard. Hmmm
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1974 - Martini, Louis Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star
This had the nose of maderized red wine, or port. Musty dried sour dark cherries. Flat and tired this had most definitely seen its better days.
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1976 - Martini, Louis Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star
this has a subdued nose of dried red fruits. Some soy, tobacco, spice and tar were evident on the palate. Although slightly oxidized, this was actually quite nice. Very elegant. This must have been a stunner 10 years back
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2005 - Rebel Wine Co The Show Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Good QPR

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This may be the 'Three Thieves' but it ain't three thieves in the bottle...and that's a good thing. The color is deep dark crimson with purple tinges. The nose is subdued muted red fruits. The palate reveals some soft tannins, quiet red cherry, some camphor and cassis after about 30 minutes. A nice agreeable finish. Overall a little one dimensional, but nothing negative that keeps it from becoming an everyday drinker. Great QPR. (85 pts.)

2nd Day; This wine hs opened up to be a lush, mildly more interesting decent drinker, with better defined reds fruit, and overall just better all around. . Enough to gain a point or 2. A definate QPR alert here folks, just open 1 day early. Drinks like some $40 jobbies from recent memory.
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2006 - Sineann Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Old Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Cold Creek

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Bright red and eucalyptus, this is pure and smooth. Great length and mouthfeel. Serious tannins and deft acid.  I love the style and purity of this Cabernet. Drinks great now, but in 2-4 years this will shine.
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2004 - St Benoit, Domaine Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Xiii Proprietary Blend

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is very old world. Thats the beauty of it Its a tannic oak laden monster that keeps its balance and smoothly delivers. I would love to try this in a few years. It will be amazing! When you taste this you know what all the world wants to replicate
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2005 - K Vintners Syrah The beautiful Syrah

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This is a fruit medley in a glass, there is so much good things happening here it's hard to talk of them all. Bold brash but elegant and pure. A unique & wonderful Syrah from a super dedicated winemaker with more energy than my son had at 5!

 

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2005 - M. Trinchero Stagecoach  Cabernet Sauvignon

PNV Bottling

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Big bold dark fruits abound. A glorious texture with a elevated pure mouthfeel made this one of the best in the room (Napa Vintners on Tour). Sadly, available only at auction.
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2005 - Terraces, The Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Quarry Vineyard- Napa Premiere Auction Bottling

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was unique for the day in such it has 6% Zin blended into the cuvee. Ultra dark and pure with smooth tannins.A beautiful wine with just a hint of bramble. This had breed and class.  I loved this as did my companions.
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2004 - Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon Wild Iris Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Amazing fruit forward, smooth but firm tannins complete packaged Cabernet. One of the best in the room, and the room was tough. One to watch.
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2004 - Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon Bugay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
 Deep colored, fragrant and wonderfully balanced pure Sonoma style Cab with tightly spun tannins, a bit unyielding now but promises to show nice in a few years
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2005 - Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

from barrel

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The wine I wanted to try most in the lineup. A middle weight Cabernet with good deep red & black fruits, and a nice set of bones. Elegance and structure wrapped in breed. This will evolve into an very nice cabernet.
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2002 - Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

best showing to date

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Color was an intense opaque hue of garnet. The palate revealed  deep dark blackberry, red cherries and ripe bright cassis with a smooth pure and plush mouthfeel that was superbly well balanced. There was a nice freshness evident as was some soy, black olives and vanilla (oak). I have no hate for oak when used deftly (or does not take control), as was the case here. The acid level was enough to carry it with the food and the tannins were clean & rounded. The bottle had a creative 33% splash decant 3 hours earlier (Pobega method).
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1999 - Beaulieu Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon

May 23, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Just received 6 half bottles and wanted to try one, forgoing any bad expectations of the 'bottle shock' phenomenon. Opened for 45 minutes before tasted. No decanting. Super deep dark garnet color. A great intense nose of camphor, dusty dark fruits, and cassis. On the palate there is nice dark currant with an amazingly bold cassis, probably the most I have ever encountered in a Cab. Smooth but bold tannins with an evenly balanced acid level give this a great mouth feel. A 60 second aftertaste brings it all home.Happy with the way this showed, especially since my last experience (CLONYC GdL Vertical last September) where the 99 as was so-so, particularly since tonight's was from a half bottle. Glad I got 5 more
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2004 - Barnwood Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I Had not tried this wine since the '01 vintage. This bottling now has a new look as well as a new altitude from which grapes come from, 3200 feet.

This wine is deep crimson in color, with a fantastic expressive nose of dark fruit (blackberries) and currant. Nice. The palate need some coaxing, but then a super concentrated cabernet style comes through. Wonderful deep dark fruits carry foward as well as some casis. The finish is moderate, but decent. There is nothing negative here, and with some decanter time a real QPR shows itself.

The label says "not for the faint of heart", and its's not far from the mark. If you don't like this style as it is a burly slightly unfocused beauty, please stay clear! Pure mountain fruit cabernet. Wonderful with a mid October BBQed NY State Sirloin Strip steak
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2004 - Marquis Philips Sarah's Blend Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Deep ruby red color. An interesting nose of red cherries and plum.s A slight sweetness. On the palate there is a weigthiness usually not found in sub $15 bottles. A super dark jammy berry laced fruit profile that seems to last forever. Smooth tannis and a wonderful dinstinct & complex silkiness in the finish thats seems to last as long as the fruit. The blend of Shiraz, Cabernet, and Merlot. The Syrah is super evident here, but not overpowering. WOW I need a case of this for short term drinking. Perfect for the many BBQs I hope to be invited to, and will be on my Adirondack vacation wine list next month as the bottle thats always opened for easy ready consumption with the hickory grilled burger, or Porterhouse
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2004 - 75 Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Amber Knolls Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine opens light in color, similar to a Pinot. On the nose there is some great cab notes of casis, currant, and red fruit. The palate reveals a very young cabernet with an almost 1 dimensional quality. The fruit keeps going and there is an decent acid/tannin level to carry it. It may turn out to be a good QPR in about a year. This wine has a simple quality that is not alarming after reading the article above, and I think this will be a wine to keep an eye on going foward. I am constantly on the lookout for great values from California. This one will has me on the fence. But hey, at $22.00 (lower elsewhere $17.00) you can't go wrong with a little cellar time.
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2003 - Justin Vineyard Isosceles Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was super smooth and refined. Great cassis and medium dark fruits with fine tannins. Long beautiful finish. This is the best Isosceles I have ever had. No cool region cabernet qualities present. I may rethink my 'no purchase' policy on this one yet.

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2002 - Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
Bright red cherry and currant on the nose. The palate reveals a 'fleshy' wine with some great intense fruit, fantastic smooth tannins, and a acid level on the high side, (but does not distract). The middle flshes out nicely and this finishes on a deeper Cab note. Interesting. I can see why some reviewers of this wine mention the heavy Merlot, in actuality its 37% Merlot, with the remaider being Cabernet (63%). I have no problem with this quality, as long as some of the negative Merlot traits stay away. This wine pulls it off nicely. The acid levels hint to me that this may be fantastic with food. Reminicient of some of Mondavi mid-range wines. This can go for 3-5 years nicely. A good deal, and some QPR points at $22.50, maybe not so at $37.00
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2002 - Dunham Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon VII Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
Medium color. Characteristic cabernet style from this state. Dried medium dark fruits of black cherry and currant, some tar, but an over ripe quality that I seem to dislike. Plush mouth feel with a nice long finish that ended a bit dry. I am a big fan of Cabernet, but this falls short on a few counts. I had the full line-up about two years ago (including the 2000 VI, which was amazing). This seems like a different winemaker and/or philosophy at work
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2001 - Ballentine Vineyards Zinfandel Block 9 Zinfandel

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Color is a light pale amber. The nose reveals a medium red fruit, flowers, a pleasant spiciness, and red cherry. On the palate there is a wonderful balance of medium red to dark fruit with a great acid/tannin level that seems almost suspended from the tongue, somewhat dancing over the palate. I really loved the mouthfeel of this one. I have had this at ZAP twq (three?) years ago, and it was one of the three memorable wines in the room. Amongst all the bruisers, this shined (shown?). I remember that day well as my fingertips were purple for 2 days. Amazing.
This drinks almost like a deftly balanced bordeaux than a Zinfandel. Only on the nose does it show its Zinfandelness
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2002 - Cimicky, Charles Shiraz Reserve Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Dark brooding color. The palate revealed an amazingly finessful wine of dark cherries, smokey currants, and smooth tannins. Well balanced oak. A great food wine that did very well on its own.
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2001 - Penfolds Shiraz St Henri Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Great nose. This had a very nice balance of medium dark fruit. Very bordeauxlike. Interesting to have a 'neutral oak' bottle on the table. This is a very elegant wine that always delivers
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2008 - Armstrong Shiraz  Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
This one had an interesting nose. very floral and different. Initial portlike qualities, that blew off in a few minutes. nice fruit and great mouthfeel. As this wine sat in the glass it started loosing life. Started taking on a bitterness. An amazing transformation that was interesting to experience
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2001 - Broman Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Vibrant deep crimson color. Upon opening the room filled with flowers and chocolate notes, a quality I have always loved, but hardly ever experience. Very nice.
On the nose there is a wonderful dark cherry fruit laced with some floral notes as well. The palate reveals (with coaxing) a deep intense concentration of deep red currant, and bright blackberry. There is a somewhat brambly quality which I enjoy as well. The tannins are unresolved and tight. A very decent finish completes the package
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2002 - Lehmann, Peter Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Great deep garnet hue. The nose reveals nice fatty lush fruit. On the palate there is a wonderful dark fruits (blackberries and black cherry), a full mouth feel with an almost unbelievable balance of tannins and acid that I have ever found in this sub-$20 range. It reminds me a bit of the Hess Estate 2001 Cabernet. Just bigger. Not a hard edge in sight. The aftertaste is nice and long as well.
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2003 - Crauford Zinfandel Kilt Lifter Brown Vineyard Zinfandel

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine opens with some subdued fruit on the nose. Great dark color. A bit of sweetness at the begining that smooths out a bit within a half an hour. Some pepper and deep dark fruit. Not the big bad boy I expected (Kiltlifter?). More Bordeaux like and silky. A wonderful easygoing zinfandel. Not a tooth stainer, but pure simple magic
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1999 - Melini Chianti Classico Riserva la Selvanella Sangiovese

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is my 4th time with this and I must say it does not dissapoint. It is a bit closed at first, but then opens to a beautiful pure correct sangiovese. The color is dark amber with wonderful deep age on the edges. The nose reveals nothing as to what the palate will. Dark beautiful fruit with amazing balance, and an undertone of just the right amount of sweetness. A wonderful acid/tannin balance with hardly any tannins noticable. A big difference from last Aprils NY VinItaly tasting. This is a wonderful food wine
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1999 - Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Alden Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Deep dark cassis nose. Some sweet note present. On the palate; dense sweet dried fruit. This is the fifth or sixth time with this wine and I must say it always shows different.This one has good balance, excellent dark fruit with some chocolate notes. The first time I noticed this, as well as the sweetness. Great acid/tannin level with a wonderful long aftertaste bringing on some 'old cabernet' qualities I remember from drinking some 20 year old cabs in the early 80's, not negative, just diferent. I can't see this as a 'food friendly wine'.
Not bad for $22.99.
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2002 - Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This seemed to be a little more together than last years showing. Much more finesse, and great fruit/tannins. Wonderful dark fruit and a beautiful long smooth finish. I really liked this one much more tonight than last year. Rinaldi seemed to be thrilled with being able to produce a single vineyard cabernet, and mentioned that Hewitt was actually responsible in getting him away from Duckhorn and doing so. Great wine here with a wonderful future. One to watch.
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2002 - Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This one hits the Oakville mark. Wild, and racy dark fruit, Even by Tom Rinaldi's standards. This has a real nice 'sense of place' style which I do like very much. Rinaldi mentioned that is the least food friendly wine of in tonight's lineup. I agree. This is a 'drinking' wine. Sans food. I liked this one better than the 2001.
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2002 - Cedar Knoll Vineyard Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Made by Randy Dunn for Palmaz

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Dark dark ruby-red. Almost brooding. Reminiscent of a young Bordeaux, a pauillac for sure, maybe a Latour. Then...WOW. POW. A Batman episode in a bottle!
Great fruit, wonderful tannins. Amazing balance not expected in a $23.00 bottle of Cabernet. I love this wine. It was reccod from Brian at Garys NJ and is a winner. 2 hours later its even better, great balance still showing, nice acid and fruit with a wonderful long aftertaste. I need more of this.
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2001 - Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
A subdued nose, with great dark color. On the mouth it opens with a easy going dark fruit with cranberries and some chocolate. Not as big in the fruit department as I usually like, but a good mouthfeel and elegance that makes me forget the shortcoming and more than makes up for it. Great balance of acidity and tannins that mesh nicely into a decent finish. At $16.99 this is a great QPR. I have read different things about this wine. My own conclusion is that it's Mondavi Napa fruit that is nothing like the Mondavi Napa bottling, I guess vinified differently as mentioned elsewhere. My vote goes to the Oberon over the Mondavi Napa (which I liked in 2001). A definate 'BUY' that I could easily call my house red. (until my next red house red comes along next week :smile: )
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2002 - Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Landslide Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
Somewhat light in color. On the nose there is nose some nice dark fruit present. The palate reveals a medium currant with some nice texture up front. The middle seems a touch dry,(this is the only detrement). Beautiful acididty and a long even finish. After about 2 hours this wine seems to fade a bit, but still somewhat pleasant. This seems to remind me of the 2002 Chimney Rock Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District bottling.
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2004 - Conn Valley Right Bank Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Medium in color. Not as intense as I might expect, but very vibrant. The nose is pure vanilla and dark blackberry & red raspberries. The palate had shown some wonderful pure dark black and red fruits of raspberries and blackberries with some Bing cherry, soy, & tobacco. A very restrained style of Cali blend that has more in association with the actual 'right bank' of Bordeaux than anywhere else. The Cab Franc is first and foremost, but does the tight line walk nicely. An ultra lush mouth feel. Somewhat dry and austere, but giving with some coaxing. The Merlot balances this nicely. This wine needs deep examination and an eye toward the future. It's pure, exact, and with the promise of profound, I would hold any others for 5 years. A decent finish 'almost' rounds this out. This needs to flesh itself out, but than will be incredible (or well...almost)
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2002 - Bogle Vineyards Phantom Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
My last bottle (of 20). This is one of the last vintages I enjoyed, Nice dark cherry and blackberry on the nose. The color is super dark crimson. The palate reveals some great dark red fruits, mostly cherries. The tannins have resolved and there is great mouthfeel. There is nice vanilla oak notes but the acid level seems a bit out of whack. You really get the sense of the PS on the front, and the finish is all Zin. It shows the same disjointed acid that never really just seems right. There is a hint of heat the the finish as well. It comes on slowly though. Decent but not wishing I had more
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2001 - Grand-Puy-Lacoste  Bordeaux Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is an unusual note for me, since I shun Bordeaux as of late. It surprised me, and I liked it. Alot. This had a deep ruby color. The nose revealed some tremendous dark fuits, cassis, slight almost inperceptible chocolate, and an eartiness I really enjoyed. (It reminded me of a fantastic Napa offering in a great year similar to a Caymus or Shafer.) I almost forgot it was Bordeaux. Super clean resolved tannins that made this wine super-finessful, and yet big. Great lenght on the backside that went on for 20 seconds
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2002 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville  Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This has been a perennial favorite of mine. This vintage (my first taste) is no dissapointment. Medium dark color. The nose reveals some sweet dark red fruit. The palate has a bountiful lushness of fruits; deep dark currant, dark black cherry, some tar and tobacco. The tannins are amazingly resolved, but in the usual style, the acid level is a notch above to make it the "Mondavi food friendly wine" the founder has strived for. This multi-dimensional wine shows breed not common in its price range, hence why I love it year to year (in good years only). A super long finish which is as smooth as Huggy Bear. I am liking this alot. I can comment on a oak level a bit high which dries the palate a bit, but this should dissapate over time.
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2001 - Lail Vineyards J Daniel Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Double decanted from a 375 ml bottle.
Color is an amazing deep garnet. The nose is a bit subdued at first then shows a understated beautiful sweetness. Some crème de casis is showing through. The palate shows the super elegant breeding that the Melka/Lail team have promised. There is a refined complexity that I truly enjoy. Great deep red fruit with underlying multi layered tannins that promise a nice future. This has an amazing purity to it. Fantasic low-key acid level that adds to the package. Great lond 20 second finish. WOW
100% Cabernet,. This IS what I signed on for. (as opposed to my last weeks note on the '03 Pride). This reminds me of the Forman from the same vintage (also tasted last week).
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2002 - Voarick, Michel Aloxe Corton Pinot Noir

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Light color with slight browning on the edge. The nose showed some burnt cedar quality and dried fruits of red cherry. On the palate the dried red cherry persisted. This wine has super depth, and a big almost brawny chewy tannin level. Very nice acid level for a pinot. Amazing stylish terroir traits of character filled dustiness &minerality on the mid-palate that showed much better than its class, that I usually need to step up a bit to find. After two hours it just got better, but alas it was almost gone. A wine with a tremendous sense of `place'. (tasted twice with consistent notes) Very regal.
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2003 - Pax Cellars Syrah Castelli Knight Ranch Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
I decanted this wine for three hours. Super rich deep dark color. On the nose; leather, tar, white pepper, and pomegranate. Did I say white pepper? Because this was the predominant attribute that never quit. Not showing much fruit, as to be expected, but I have had this before, and it showed much better. (so much so I seeked out 4). Big serious tannins. This is a super extracted wine, the kind loved by many, but probably not me. Super dry on the finish. I should have saved a glass worth for the next day.
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2003 - Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
Deep color. This wine seems like a hollow shell. Decent fruit, albeit a bit cloying. Short finish. Disappointing. This is not what I signed on for, and I may drop off since price is approaching $70 mark. Too bad.
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2002 - Provenance Merlot Merlot

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is always consistent in its ability to please. Big plush medium to dark cherry fruit on the nose and palate. Notes of anise and ultra light chocolate. Great super meshed tannins. Nice acid level. This wine has an amazing mouth feel that I love in a Merlot. A great wine from an underappreciated producer. (Tasted half a dozen times with consistent notes)
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2001 - Forman Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Refined elegance. Dark brooding color. The nose is a bit subdued and I believe this may a bit closed from the last time I had it (July 2004). I decant 1 hour, vigorous at times). Then. mocha laced dark berry fruits, super smooth integrated tannins. Wonderful clean finish. I read somewhere that Forman uses special yeast to achieve these qualities. Whatever is done seems to work.
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2001 - Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Decanted 1 hour. Deep dark color. Super crimson. The nose reveals casis, currant, cocoa and blackberry. The palate is a super pure core of medium dark fruit. Maybe a bit high on the acid, but this does not detract as much as it usually would. Great mouthfeel and tannin level. This all comes together at the end in a decent finish which may show a wee bit heat. It is a good deal for $18 for 1/2 bottle. WIll be fantastic with 18 months to 2 years age on it.
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2003 - Ste Michelle, Chateau Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Dark brooding color. Not showing much on the nose (yet). The palate reveals a very correct cabernet profile which incorporates some dark blackberry, deep dark currant, and a smooth tannin. Slight sweetness in a positive way. An almost 'brambly' quality I do enjoy. Yep, it's Cabernet. A decent level of acidity with a very decent long aftertaste. Nothing negative to write about here. I think this will be a very great bottle in a year or two, but shant dissapoint now.
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2001 - Ehlers Estate Merlot Merlot

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Nice sweet cherry on the nose. The palate reveals beautiful lush red fruit & some mocha, coffee & plum . Acid a bit high, but does not deter from the overall joy. A very 'fresh' style of Merlot that I find I enjoy. Not the sideways mouth expoding bigness of say the Provenance Las Amigas, but a great experience non-theless
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1996 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Series Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Beautiful deep dark garnet colour. Fantastic dark fruit sweetness on the nose. The palate reveals wonderful dark currant fruit. A nice mid palate, not too big, just right. Great mouthfeel. The sweetness is still there but in a very positive way. I usually don't like sweet notes in my cab. but this is the exception. This wine has held up real well. Just the slightest sign of aging, but graceful at that. This has remained a fantastic QPR. Elegannce for $20. Can you ask for more?
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2006 - Arietta Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

barrel selection

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Dark pure cab profile with great fresh vibrant cassis and dark cherry. Wonderful balance and super fine tannins. This will be a stunner. From a two barrel selection.
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2005 - Larkmead Firebelle Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Beautiful soft tannins with great reddish fruits. The Merlot carries this forward while the Cab gives structure. Tar and cocoa with a nice long finish. Great QPR potential
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2006 - Sineann Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Baby Poux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Floral notes on the nose, this is bright red fruited with gobbs of youth and promise. Red Currant with tar, cedar and cocoa, this is pretty and feminine, but no light weight.
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2005 - K Vintners Ovide en Cerise Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
67% Cabernet and 33% Syrah. This is a very interesting and serious wine for sure. Its structured like a cab, but explodes like a syrah. Dark fruited of cassis with stones, tar, and coffee, this is full throttle but precise
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2006 - K Vintners Syrah Morrison Lane Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
A beautiful example of whats going on in Walla Walla. Great nose of candy and spice with some smokey dark blue berries and a wonderful acid level. Tannins in check, this is surely a pleaser.
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2004 - Lucia Syrah Susan's Hill Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The color is inky garnet, bulls blood comes to mind. The nose shows a fragrant assortment dark fruits and an underlying white pepper component that I like a lot. The palate has it all and then some; still warm blueberry pie, dark boysenberry, dark blackberries, vanilla, earth, white pepper, wild flowers and some great smooth spiciness. It is a smorgasbord of flavors. The tannins are nicely laid out all in a row, and the acid is present but compliments the whole package. The finish is a minute plus! The fruit bowl of persistence. Sounds like a Dali painting. Artwork non-the-less. Very different than the Garys Vnyd. Tamer and more refined. WOW
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2003 - Henschke Johann's Garden Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is the best Grenache blended wine I have ever had. Period.I usually avoid this blend, but was wowed with this bottling. Dark concentrated crimson color. Amazing floral elements on the nose, slight chocolate as well. The palate opened to reveal a wonderful 'tight rope trick' of smooth cherry fruit, with an amazing level of tannins. This went on and on. I can't find the correct words for this, and that must be a good thing. Sublime elegance.
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2004 - Champy, Maison Vosne Romanee les Suchots Pinot Noir

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
In doubling the price from the Gevrey, I knew there was a lot expected. This opens with great bouquet of dark intense fruit. The fruit is hiding a bit on the palate. A very intense wine that is made for the journey. Not showing enough now, but I am sure the patient will be rewarded.
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2004 - Champy, Maison Gevrey Chambertin Pinot Noir

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Now we are talking. Big intense as my Gevrey should be. Wonderful prettiness on the nose of flowers, black cherries, and slight oak, just enough to almost not notice. Nice. Fantastic bright Gevrey character. Cellar for a year or two, or enjoy now. I will
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1999 - Lohr Winery, J Cabernet Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The color is deep garnet. The fruit is a bit subdued on the nose. On the palate its a bit dry, but not unpleasant in any way. There is nice dark red cherry, currant. Its a bit bright, and somewhat brambly. A quality I usually like. There is no green associated with Robles Cabernets. Ok Tannins that may be a bit rough around the edges. A commendable medium aftertaste. Not a groundbreaker, but all in all a very pleasing Cabernet.
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2004 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a real dark cabernet, Nice casis and cocoa on the nose. The palate reveals super smooth sweet tannins, and medium dark fruits. A beautiful aftertaste finishes off nicely.

A very nice Mondavi that has me on the fence . Although better than the '03, I am not a big fan of the sweet tannins style. This wine also seems to be at best, a 3-4 year wine. I can see this falling off the cliff in a few years. Although not my style, it's gonna get a 88 from me. It has a good beat, and you can dance to it
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2004 - Lucia Syrah Garys Vineyard Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Super dark inky color. The nose shows some varietal character and some over-extracted black & blue fruits. The palate has the grapey-soy-dark fruit profile that FMIII speaks of below. I noticed some dark plum, black pepper, and some minerality. I think this showed better when last tasted (September 06?). The tannin level is nice and seemless, and the acid a bit high. A food wine for sure. Will hold my ast bottle for a year. Now onto the Susans.....The finish is a bit short and flat
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2005 - Lucia Syrah Susan's Hill Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a more 'complete' wine when compared to the 2004. The color is deep and dark, almost blue/purple on the edges. The nose is blueberry, blackberry, camphor, and more. On the palate there was the sexiness spoken of, as well as a lushness I don't not usually associate with Syrah. A beautiful deep fruited Syrah that will just get better in the next few years. The tannin and acid level are spot on. A super long finish completes the package. Note to self; get more.
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2003 - Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

wow

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The nose reveal some creme de casis. A deep core of dark fruit, with super refined tannins wrapped around it. Some mocha with just a hint of oak, so deftly interceded. A super lushness that coats your mouth and a finish that does not want to end. This shows its breed. I have seen the light .
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2003 - Rustenberg John X Merriman Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Decanted 1 hour. The color shows a very bright ruby. The nose is a bit subdued. Some dried fruit, all medium dark. Some currant and sulphur and camphor. There is a very nice note of cinnamon? Not sure, but I like it. The palate reveals an amazing purity of dark fruits, great subdued tannins, and a super elegance not usually found in a $30 wine. A plushness is evident, one that I fear many correlate over-ripeness to. I relate it to an acid level right on the mark. A 30 second aftertaste with a tinge of sweetness. Nice. A four grape blend that is sure to please. Note to self; get more.
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1995 - Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Sonoma

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Fantastic vibrant color. No sign of a 12 year old showing, not even on the edges. The nose shows is pure black currant and cassis. The palate reveals a super lush character with slightly sweet tannins, great dark fruit, some tar and leather. A great acid level that would make this great on my table with a grilled steak and frites. (soon). The finish is very long and smooth.
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2004 - Razor's Edge Shiraz Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
A nice crimson color. The nose shows a bit of sweetness, petroleum, and some subdued red plums. The palate reveals a slight fruit bomb type of Shiraz I usually dislike, but there are other characteristics that outweigh all that; some nice blackberry & boysenberry, the tar is still there and a bit of tobacco. A good wall of tannins, and an acid level that brings some balance to the wine. A long finish that keeps the mouth coated for 30 seconds. It reminds me a bit of some Petits Sirahs I have had. Minus the sweetness and I would say Cali Petit. Although not a ground breaker, it is defineatly a QPR that would be perfect to have around this coming summer on my new deck whilst the BBQ is heating up.
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2003 - Luce La Vite Lucente Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Yes, my Italian may be rusty, but this wine is delisioso.

Dark vibrant red color. The nose shows crushed pebbles, currant, and plums. The palate shows black currants, and red raspberry and tar. There is a lush flintiness I really enjoy. The full throttle tannins are very smooth and there is a dryness that blows off nicely after 2 hours decant time. The finish is admirable. For $20 this is the best QPR I have had recently from Italia. My hat (if I wore one) is off to tne Frescobaldis and Mondavis. I will stock up.

50% Merlot, 35% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon90/100
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2001 - Grand-Puy-Lacoste  Bordeaux Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
Medium garnet color. Lead pencil and dried red fruits on the nose. A bit refined on the palate. Not a big wine, but no slouch. Decent mouthfeel with some currant, tar, and leather. There is the usual earthinees present as well. The acid level seems a bit high today telling me it's a food wine. The tannins are undelying. This is my last bottle and I am on the fence either missing more in my cellar or happy they are gone (all 8).
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2001 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville  Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
My first bottle since 3/28/06. When I last left this wine, it was asleep. It has awoken.... I think.Decanted 45 minutes. Lots of sediment evident. The color has the purple tinge on the edges. It seems like a younger wine by looks alone. The nose shows 'correct' qualities of cassis, red currant, and camphor. The palate show a flinty lushness of red fruits, cassis, and tar. There is now a hollow feel to this thats disturbing. It has no mid-palate. Finish is decent.I'm a bit dissapointed in this apparent 5 year wine. When I originally had it back in February 2005 it was a different animal altoghether. I have watched its demise.I have 6 more that will do hamburger deck duty this summer
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2001 - Provenance Merlot Merlot

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
 had a nice find today. Half bottles of Provenances' Merlot Carneros, 2001. Nice balance of red fruit, cherries, and strawberries. Not heavy at all. Does not explode sideways like the Beckstoffer Las Amigas Merlot, but really has some nice integrated tannins and a beautiful long aftertaste. I always liked Tom Rinaldis efforts, first with Duckhorn, and now with Provenance & Hewitt. His Merlots are 100% varietal.
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1995 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Deep brick color. A bit medicinal on the nose. Initially some interesting casis & band-aid on the palate. After 1+ hour; Good structure. Still alive. Some dark fruits, (currant, dark cherry) and moderate tannins still carry this. A decent Mondaviish acid level. Maybe a bit short but otherwise a very enjoyable 12 year old everyday bottling. This was probably $10 when new. A nice surprise. Glad I got 1 more
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1994 - Michel Schlumberger Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
A correct but otherwise lackluster bottle. Very good deep garnet with purple tinged edges. A muted nose od cassis and medium dark currant. The palate reveals som, repeat some subdued fruits of dark black cherries, currants, slight cassis, and a hint of cedar box. Nice tannins level and acid. Nothing really negative but more fruits would have been appreciated, but at 13 years old, you get what you get. A decent bottle of Napa Cabernet, just not exciting enough to warrant higher praise
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2003 - Jones Family Vineyard The Sisters Proprietary Red Proprietary Blend

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Super dark crimson with vibrant purple tinged edges. The nose shows cassis as well as dark plums and black cherries. The palate has a super lush mouthfeel and balance that made me look again at the bottle to be sure it read 2003. It did. Refined elegance wrapped in a velvet layer of smooth rich tannins. Beautiful cassis filled with cedar, currant, plum and a touch of licorice. This is one classy wine. Quite possibly THE best 2003 I have had to date other than Staglin. An ultra long finish that's ends as its starts....superb. Drinking well now into 2010. Amazing....simply amazing. Anyone lucky enough to have some is in for a treat.
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1995 - Souverain, Chateau Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
Totally different than my last bottle (2 weeks ago). Dark with some browning on the edges. Beautiful (almost hauntingly) sweet cassis on the nose. The palate shows a nice old world styled cabenet profile; dark currant, underbrush, cassis and exotic spices. The finish was a touch short and the acid level seemed a bit out of whack, but all in all an enjoyable wine, even if most of the enjoyment was on the nose.
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2003 - Copain Wines Syrah Broken Leg Vineyard Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star
I expected much more from this. A waste of two years in the cellar.Deep dark color. Pomegranate and white pepper on the nose. The palate shows the same dried pomegranate and thats about it. Some burnt tar and nada. The finish is short and exciting only in its ability to end quick and get it over with. I always said the L'Hiver is THE best bottle Copain makes. I stand by this statement.

DTD(down the drain)80/100 (80 pts.)
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2001 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Intense vibrant hue od brick with dark purple edges. Great true cassis and currant nose.On the tonque there was the Mondavi signature of balance and finesse. Great understated cassis, currant, and dark cherry cola. There is a clean smooth tannin/acid base that makes this good with food as well as on its own. A 30 second aftertaste completed the package.

I have had this about a dozen times. I think this has emerged from its sleep and is willing to serve faithfully again.
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1995 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star
Thats the thing with older bottles......They take on a life of thier own even from the same case. This one was medium garnet and browning on the edges. The nose showed a little cork, on the palate the immediate thing is the cork, but its not corked. It has some dusty fruit of dried cherries and cassis. There is some cedar box as well as some vanilla bean. it seemd a bit tired but was still enjoyable in its own right. Just a little out of whack.
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2004 - Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The color on this wine is crazy. Super dark and concentrated. The nose showed a little sweetness alongside some boysenberries, and a black and white cookie. This was a little restrained for what was expected. It was big and extrated, but kept graceful. The palate revealed some blueberry,blackberry, boysenberries, and red cherries. A fruit medley. This wine kept changing as the night went on. I like this type of wine, I just find my palate tires quicky if it is the only wine on the table. Alongside others wines this turns a conversation piece. There is alot happening that seems to evolve minute by minute to alot more. The finish was long and vibrant. I enjoyed this better than the 2004 Amon-Ra tasted last summer
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2000 - Powers Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine has QPR written all ove it. Wonderful deep dark fruit wrapped u in a nce balance of acid/ tannins. I would love this paired with a big juicy tenderlon. This one will get better fora few and the pay dividends. The days 'sleeper'
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2003 - Crocker and Starr Cabernet Franc Cabernet Franc

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Cab Franc always dissapoints. I have had a ratio of 30/1-- medicore/good Cab Francs. This is the exception. Pam Starr hits the mark here. The 5% Merlot balances this wine. Big nose, wonderful red fruit. Cassis, nice tannis/acid/oak treatment. This is an amazing wine, from a truly talented winemaker
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2002 - Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is truly a beautiful wine. All nose, wonderful smooth tannins, Medium dark fruit with a long smooth finish. This is a wonderful wine that will reward you for years to come.
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2003 - Pax Cellars Syrah Castelli Knight Ranch Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
If I had a choice to drink one syrah for the rest of my life, this would be it. Deep dark fruit, just the right amount of pepper Long lingering finish. Memorable. I love this wine. A wine all other Syrahs can aspire to.
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2003 - Harris Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Jake's Creek Vineyard LTD Limited Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Wow. and amazing sublime etheral wine of tremendous balance. Fantastic deep red fruit. some cassis. Excellent balance. Long long finish. I love this wine. Valley floor Estate grown grapes. One to seek out
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2005 - K Vintners Syrah Cougar Hills Syrah

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
interesting that side by side on the same table two diametrically opposite wines exists. Wonderful old world styled Syrah that has elegance and structure. The fruit lingers as the wines aftertaste goes on for 45 seconds
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2004 - Clarendon Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Brookman Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Great deep color. A good tight grip of tannins wrapping around a core of dark currant, tar, cocoa, and cassis. A lovely classic Napa styled Cabernet made to please
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2004 - Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is always a pleaser. The number one QPR again. Although I think the retail this year will be a bit higher, it will still be worth it if it stays under $50. This opulent fruit forward, ultra balanced Cabernet shows what can be done in good vintages as well as sub-par
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2004 - Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

barrel sample

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Lush and well structured, this Cabernet shows the terroir of Tokalon nicely. The most consistent in the lineup yet. A bit bigger than the 2004, nothing that a few in the bottle won't help though. Then look out, this will be a stunner
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2004 - Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Farella Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

barrel sample

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 favorite of mine, this has all the guts of a world class Realm. A bit austere now, it should evolve into something worthy of owning. Dark purple color, smooth firm tannins. A baby with a wonderful pedigree and future.
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2004 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

Fist time trying this

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is an interesting wine. Smooth and regal, shows much breed. Dark and ultra balanced Cabernet that is well worth the hunt. Chatting with Chris Maybach a bit gave me the sense that these guys are truly dedicated to producing world class cult status, Cabernet Sauvignon. Amazing.
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2004 - Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Super smooth tannins with a wonderful acid level envelope the dark fruit climaxing in a super long finish. Elegant. A bit tight but the wow factor is evident.
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2005 - Melville Pinot Noir Carrie's Pinot Noir

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
A bit more austere (than the Terraces) and reticent. Nice red fruit is there, just hiding a bit for the moment. Should show well in a few years.
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2005 - Melville Pinot Noir Terraces Pinot Noir

May 22, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Somewhat light in color but big in taste. Great red cherries, pebbles and tar. Nice mouthfeel and brightness. Very Burgundian in style. A crowd pleaser
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2002 - Sullivan Merlot Merlot

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
 Regular bottling. This was just a notch below the reserve in quality, not quite the structure and elegance but a very good bottle for the price ($40s).
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2002 - Sullivan Merlot Merlot

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Reserve. This had all of the big explosive qualities I like in a Merlot. Deep dark red fruits, super smooth tannins, and an acid level deftly present. A beautiful under the radar Merlot indeed.

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2003 - Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
(from Mag)- To this point in the tasting, this was the best '03 that I came across. Silky smooth and deep dark with a touch of sweetness, but not cloying. delicious. A qpr too!
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2002 - Dyer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I loved the purity of this. It had great dark fruit and smooth integrated tannins. Now, the '03 next to it was something altogether different
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2003 - Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
 To me this is always the best of the three and this year is no different. Deep dark fruits with super refined and smooth tannins. Great mouthfeel and long finish. Nice.
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9998 - Blackbird Vineyards Paramour Proprietary Blend

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Singing. Much more refined fruit coming through than back in November at their open house. This has gone from a good bottle to a great bottle. The 2005 is still showing a bit much cab franc for me.
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2001 - Quintessa Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star
 This wine was the last make by Philippe Melka. This wine is Cabernet with some Merlot. 18 months in oak, 100% French, 60% new. I liked this wines approachability. The same reason some did not like it. Moderate tannins. I did notice some of the famed Rutherford dust. A smooth beautiful long mouth feel. Medium dark fruit. Some browning on the edges. After some time in the glass some port notes evident on the nose. Tiring.
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2004 - Parker Coonawarra Estate Terra Rossa First Growth Proprietary Blend

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
A great Bordeaux styled blend that had great dark ad red fruits with some cocoa, leather, anise, and tar. A nice bottle of wine, if a bit pricey
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2005 - Yangarra Cadenzia Proprietary Blend

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Cadenzia seems to be a special McLaren Vale membership wine that at the moment there are only six of. A GSM blend, this one had all the stuffing's: Elegance, structure, style, class, and.value. Lush and fragrant, this defies its price tag. $25. I defy you to find a better GSM blend for this money. I mentioned to the winemaker that after I have heard the spiel, I reckoned I would hear a price to match like say... $65ish? Nah, this is a super QPR
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2004 - Tintara Shiraz Reserve Syrah

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 I always have found the Tintara line-up a great qpr, and this Reserve is no different. The difference lies in its amazing classy styling of fruits and tannic structure. Wonderful refined dark fruits surrounded by the most deft tannin level I have ever experienced in a Tintara. Breed and finesse is abounding here.
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2005 - Yering Station Shiraz / Viognier Reserve Syrah

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This had a wonderful super elegance with boysenberry, white pepper, and blueberry. The Viognier added a slight floral note. This was a deep serious wine that goes on forever. I like the fact that it did not have a catchy name other than Shiraz Viognier. Very Rhone like, but keeping its roots firmly in Australia. A tremendous winner
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2004 - Cape Mentelle Shiraz Margaret River Syrah

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The Shiraz is from the Margaret River region on western Australia. Great blueberries and violets with smooth cocoa atop a wonderful mouth feel and lush tannin base. This is a complex wine with a great finish. I doubted the price and looked thrice
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2005 - Magnien, Domaine Michel Gevrey Chambertin Les Seuvrees Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Sulphur nose that only opened up a bit with air. The darkest wine of the night. Once past the nose this had big chewy tannins and a bold structure of deep red & black fruits. (Super dark cherries and currants). Of all the night's wines, this needs the most bottle time. Very masculine and brooding
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2005 - Bouchard Pere et Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot Premier Cru Pinot Noir

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
this was the most fragrant wine of the bunch; flowers, cherries, stones, and tar. Wow. A nice acid level alongside a sweet refined tannin level made this a pretty wine. Great structure and long finish. Did I say wow?
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2005 - Rion, Domaine Daniel Vosne Romanee les Beaux Monts Pinot Noir

pass

May 21, 2008
1 star
This was the funky wine of the night. There were some red fruits, but they were masked by the elevated alcohol and funky cellar floor. Wine like this I always attribute to sloppy winemaking techniques.
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2005 - Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin les Marchais Pinot Noir

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star
this had the most wonderful nose of red cherries, and pebbles. A nicely balanced acid level combined with a nicely structured tannin level wrapped within layers upon layers of sweet red fruits. A dry finish hurt this a bit.
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2005 - Joblot, Domaine Givry Clos du Cellier Aux Moines Pinot Noir

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
this started somewhat awkward, but some time in the glass gave it grace. Amazing dark fruits and wonderful structure. Some tar and anise. A well-aligned tannin level wrapped around a refined (slightly elevated) acid level. This was a beautiful Givry. Very different than anything before or after it on this night.
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2005 - Lignier-Michelot Domaine Morey St. Denis Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
A subdued nose of flowers and red fruits. This was very fruit forward, dark cherries & raspberries. Wonderful structure, chewy tannins, and a slightly raised acid level. A very masculine St Denis.
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2005 - Chevillon, Robert Nuits St Georges Pinot Noir

May 21, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 Medium dark color. The nose of red cherries and crushed stones. Smooth finessful tannins carried this along deftly. This was wonderful & elegant. A long finish completed the package. A real stunner. Back up the truck.
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2002 - Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 14, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is one amazing wine. deep dark almost opaque color. The nose showed wonderful dark currant, cassis, slight cedar, and tobacco. On the palate there was a wonderful seemless flow of currants, plum, and cassis, The tannis were fully resolved. This had a 30 second finish that finished with a murmur of 'wow' .This has a breeding and classiness that one would expect from a Soter wine. I love it. Did I tell you that this is one amazing wine?
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2004 - Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Original Tokalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 14, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a stunning phenomenal wine. Great deep color, just like a black hole. Similar to the Hobbs but more showy and elegant (if possible). Amazing cabernet structure and a mouth feel that is out of the world. I have run out of.words.
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2003 - Pride Mountain Vineyards Syrah Syrah

May 14, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Super opaque in color. On the nose there was a enticing sweet boysenberry, blueberries and pure vanilla extract-american oak quality I really liked. The palate exposed super deep plush & dark fruits as previously mentioned in a sea of smooth tannins. There was a flowery quality present as well as some pepper notes. The finish was long and sweet.

A velvet fist wrapped in an iron glove. (waiting to put this expression in words for years).

I gotta say, I have had this a few times and this showed the best yet. I am glad I held onto my bottles. Perfect served during family BBQ. It was a hit amongst the the non-winos as well. There was something for everyone.
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1996 - Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 14, 2008
1 star
A little browning on the edges, this wine had some classic cassis, and blackberry notes. It did evolve in the glass showing some cocoa, and tar. It was showing some age; It was the 70 year old women that seems to be able to pull off looking 50 thing. It had elegance, and all the tannins have been resolved. The fruit was tettering on the edge. I found it enjoyable alongside my strip steak. Noit a B. Sherwin wine. Drink up!
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2004 - Herb Lamb Vineyards EII Napa Valley Red Proprietary Blend

May 14, 2008
1 star
An interesting wine. A bit one dimensional and subdued. Great red-brick color. The nose did not reveal too much other than some sweet blueberry and cassis. The palate was a lillte flat. It showed some cherries & raspberry. There was a touch of oak. Medium tannis don't add ot detract. This wine reminded me of a Shiraz at moments, both in the nose and on the palate. A little extrated and sweet at moments. The finish was decent. I can see new world aficionados embracing this. I may credit the one dimesional thing as well as the flatness to being young. It should evolve into something.
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1999 - Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Wonderful deep crimson color with purple tinged edges. The nose was restrained with some dark cherries and currant, while showing a little ripeness. Upon entering the mouth this wine was beautifully integrated with some secondary notes of tar and cedar. All the dark fruits were present. A great seamless tannin level had delivered this nicely to age 8. A smooth even finish completed the package. This had shown very nicely considering the reputation Dunn Howell has received for being a 20 year wine. Would have scored higher if just a tad plusher, but hey..it's mountain fruit.

Enjoy one if you have any.
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2002 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Stag's Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Pure Stags Leap. The color shows dark rich velvety crimson. The nose shows smokey cassis and dark fruits. The palate blossoms with bramble, extra dark blackberry, an aristocratic cassis, currant, French vanilla, tar and cocoa. The acid level is pure Mondavi, and the tannins are ironed out and all in a row....smooth. Fantastic mouthfeel....This is one cool customer. Some sweetness is present but not in a negative way. A smokiness that adds interest and a purity make this wine sing. The finish is long and precise. No green as mentioned elsewhere. A great effort indeed
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2002 - Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Beautiful color. This needed the hour decant time I gave it as out of the gate there was an unbalanced disjointed quality that I did not care for. 1 hour later; The nose is pretty cassis as well as petroleum-refinery (a la Ch. Latour). Maybe a bit candied as well. The palate reveals a nicely balanced lush & quiet fruit bomb. There is both red and dark fruits (currant, blackberry, blackcherries, and plum) as well as tar, licorice, coffee-bean, and the Foley toasted oak.....but restrained. The acid level is a bit high and there is a certain sweetness evident that does not detract. There is also some sediment. The tannins seem to be resolving nicely. A nice 30 second aftertaste finished up a very nice deftly made wine. Drink now (decant) or hold for 5 years. I wish this had blown me away, they used to.
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2003 - Family, Neal Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
My second of this. It showed slightly better. The color was dark, the nose was Cabernet. Good currant/cassis, blackberries, and anise on the palate. This one was balanced much better, but there was a metallic tone on the midpalate and a finish that should have lasted longer. I guess for what it is...it is. Nothing more. I doubt time will come to the rescue of this flaw.

I wouldn't throw this one out of bed, but wouldn't wine and dine it either.
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2003 - Sbragia Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Andolsen Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Super dark purple tinged edges. Beautiful floral nose with currants, blackberries, and Cherries. The palate revealed a very lush sweet styled cab. One I would not expect from the vintage. There was amazing sour cherries, currants, and sweet young blackberries as well as some tar, slight anise, and sour cherries. (didn't I say that already?). A solid core of pure Sbragia Cabernet. There was a moderatly long finish that kept the fruit going for 45 seconds (sour cherry and currant). I loved the balance of fruits and deft acid level. The firm tannins were in check, but hanging in the background. Wow. This guy is an artist!!

This is one fantasic wine for $26. Drinks like $50.
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2004 - Sbragia Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Andolsen Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Bright purple tinged edges on a ultra dark background. The nose reveals a certain breed of cassis that is pretty and floral. The palate shows the same cassis/currant but with the added dimension of boysenberry and super dark cherries, slight cocoa, and tat. There is a wonderful mouth feel that carries this forward. A great finish completes the package. This will surely benefit from a year in the bottle. For $26 this is a great QPR that belies its price tag. I have had the 2003 and this is less in your face and a more serious wine four square.
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2002 - Morot, Albert Beaune les Cent Vignes Pinot Noir

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The color was a medium to light garnet. This has a wonderful nose of wild flowers, especially violets...wow. There was a fantastic fruit profile, crushed stones, and great balance on the palate. The tannin level is quietly hiding but is surely the bones that supports all these wonderful qualities. This wine is ultra pure and elegant. Very nice indeed. $29.95 and well worth it.
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2004 - Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is always a pleaser. The number one QPR again. Although I think the retail this year will be a bit higher, it will still be worth it if it stays under $50. This opulent fruit forward, ultra balanced Cabernet shows what can be done in good vintages as well as sub-par  vintages like 2003.
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2004 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is an interesting wine. Smooth and regal, shows much breed. Dark and ultra balanced Cabernet that is well worth the hunt. Chatting with Chris Maybach a bit gave me the sense that these guys are truly dedicated to producing world class cult status, Cabernet Sauvignon. Amazing.
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2003 - Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
 (from  a Magnum)- To this point in the tasting, this was the best '03 that I came across. Silky smooth and delicious. A qpr too! (In this room? Never heard of it). One to seek out.
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2003 - Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
 To me this is always the best of the three and this year is no different. There was a 1999 MicroClimate bottling of Volcanic hill. An ok bottle. I expected more.
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2005 - Mondavi, Robert Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
Deep color, great nose of currant and other black fruits. The palate shows the nice balance of tannins and acid that these Mondavi cabs are known for. Decent cassis with signs of cocoa, leather, and a slight soy. Always a good food wine. Not the longest on the palate though. I paid south of $20 all in and will get some more as they make great everyday drinkers.
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2002 - St Jean, Chateau Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Pretty medium ruby color. The nose is all about casis and blackberry with some anise. Quite intense. The palate reveals beautiful pure cabernet qualities of currant, sweet dark fruits, wonderful slight cocoa, and tar. There is a very intense oak quality but this has the fruit to carry it. If I have any complaint its the somewhat high acid level, but its negligable. This is a very elegant intense bottle of wine. A superb finish brings it all home.
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2002 - Forman Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The nose on this is phenomenal. Dark fruits & chocolate shoot upward from the glass. Medium color. The palate reveals wonderful cassis, dark cherries, and cocoa. There is an amazing mouthfeel which exhibits the purest expression of cabernet you can find, all wrapped in a wonderfully meshed tannin jacket. This is just so elegant and classy; words are difficult to describe it. 30 second finish sums things up nicely
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2004 - Scholium Project Scythia Donati Vineyards Syrah

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Not decanted as long as usual. Super dark purple color. This is one of the smoothest syrahs I have ever come across. Pretty blueberry pie on the nose as well as bruised purple fruits; plums are the highlight. A wonderful integration of tannins and acid create an ultra refined mouthfeel for a syrah. The finish goes on 'til midnight, or at least 40 seconds. Glad I got 5 more in reserve.
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2005 - Saintsbury Pinot Noir Carneros Pinot Noir

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
It is somewhat pale in color, but intense, with crimson edges. The nose reveals fresh crushed pebbles & sour red cherries. The palate continues on with the cherries and pebbles with the addition of : tar, leather, violets and a hint of strawberries. The acid level seems right on and the medium texture tannins are well balanced and smooth. A great effort from the entry (I believe) level Pinot in the Saintsbury line. I have had Gevrey-Chambertains costing 3x the price that were not as expressive and enjoyable. Isn't that the real meaning of QPR?
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2005 - Audelssa Summit Red Wine Proprietary Blend

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Nice translucent deep color. The nose is a bit subdued, but if one looks (smells) hard enough one can find some candied red fruits. The palate reveals red plums, cassis, tar, and leather. There is a real elegant feminine quality about this wine. A quality that elevates it to the stratosphere. The Petit Verdot is evident toward the end. Not a showy wine, but a more classy restrained wine. A structured tannin level interweaved with a tight wire-like acid level hold all parts of the whole together. Very Bordeaux like while still retaining its California roots. Something for everyone.
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2004 - Dain Wines  Sojourn Las Madres Vineyard Syrah

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Dark crimson color with beautiful transparent edges showing off a lovely purple red color. The nose is subdued; some pomegranate, some vanilla. Interesting. The palate is explosive with sweet red & blue fruits; wonderful blueberry has very much taken hold. An amazing layer of soft vanilla is evident. There is a certain something I have never experienced before. For once in my life I am speechless...
This has perfect weight, and the tannins are lying in the background nicely and a wonderful acid level is in attendance. Fantastic long & smooth aftertaste. There is much happening here. I harkens back to a term I learned from a fellow wine lover; "Mind bender". This is such a wine. A serious, sensual gratifying assault on all of my senses from the neck up. 750 ml of elegance. My last bottle. I got to get me more of this. Well done Dain!
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2004 - Wild Duck Creek Shiraz (Unnamed) Syrah

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Great nose, Super red fruits with some tar, cherries, and slight cocoa. A great balance of purity/tannins/and acid made this a WOW wine for me. No perceptible heat to speak of and a long finish made this the WOTN
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2003 - Tintara Shiraz Reserve Syrah

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
A gooler styled Shiraz. This surely was a very different styled wine than most, but still not jammy and hot, as a matter of fact this was elegant, and pure with a graceful mouth feel. Nicely balanced great black fruits abounded. Slight cassis made this a winner for me and an early WOTN. Which became the night's No. 2 for me. Glad I have more.
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1999 - Greenock Creek Shiraz Apricot Block Syrah

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
Sweet berries dominated the nose and carried over to the palate. The acid level was slightly elevated. An over ripe example that was an early crowd pleaser, but alas to my taste it got old (the sweetness) quickly, especially when more elegant wines hit the table.
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2001 - Ehlers Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star
Deep garnet color. Nice cassis filled nose with red cherries. The palate has some deep red fruits, wonderful currant. Crème de cassis. The mouth feel is a bit disjointed; the acid level is all over the place and the tannins have a bit of an edge. There is an elevated alcohol level as well. I wish this lived up to my expectations, as the last 7 or 8 were wonderful. Air helped most of its woes, but the alcohol remained high. Maybe a wayward bottle? Maybe drying up.
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1996 - Beaulieu Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
From magnum. This was from a recent winery release.
Medium garnet color. A wonderful pretty nose of sweet vanilla, eucalyptus, creme de cassis, and red fruits dominate in a very sexy showy way. The palate had intense creme de cassis,smooth sweet red fruits and a slightly overdone (to my taste) vanilla component. Some tar and leather. The tannins were completely resolved. A long finish completes this one. This was undeniably GdL. Showed much better than our BV GdL Vertical 18 months back. Peaking but in no danger for a couple of more years.
The recent cellar release and format (magnum) guaranteed a wonderful provenance. The Marilyn Monroe of the evening.
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1996 - Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
From Magnum. Nice brick red color. Not too expressive on the nose; some blackberry and some red currant. The palate shows smooth silky tannins, complex red and black fruits with some secondary notes of cigar box, tar, and mushroom. A very 'Mondavi' like wine indeed. This can stand well on its own, but when then higher rent (and not so higher rent) neighbors are in attendance, can lag a bit. A great food friendly was (as always). Interesting to see where this is at the moment. I just sampled the 2004 Mondavi Reserve last month and it was a stunner. Good to see such an 'Icon' back on track, and I am always happy to sample when I can. The Jack Nicholson of the evening. (you just know the movie will be good, if not great).
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1996 - Jota, La Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
From Magnum. This had amazing deep garnet color, as these Mountain wines most times do. There was a typical slight funkiness (secondary?) I find with many Howell Mountain offerings. Some nice dark fruits filled the nose. The palate had a brambly fruit smorgasbord, some secondaries of cedar and leather, as well as an earthy quality. The tannins were slightly angular. I really preferred the taste to the smell of this wine. This still has much life. I commented that the BV nose on the La Jota palate would be an almost perfect wine (to me).
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1996 - Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was liquid joy. An amazing deep color. The nose showed rich dark black fruits of plums and blackberries. The palate revealed a perfect balance of black fruits, tar, soy, vanilla and cedar box. An AMAZING tannin & acid hovered in the background. This was firing at full throttle. Elegance, breed, and class personified.
Every once in a while a bottle comes along that reassures ones belief; this wine was the Baryshnikov of the night. Wow.
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2002 - Kuleto Estate Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Youthful deep color. Intense sweet cassis on the nose. On the palate the first thing you notice the purity. There is an amazing smooth sweet cassis, dark cherry, and deep tar going on here. I am a big fan of the lush elegant style this wine brings. The mouthfeel reminds me of a top Pomerol. Sure, it's fat, but what's wrong with fat? This has a finely weaved tannin level and an 'in your face' (not in a bad) way acid level. The finish is long and smooth. This is still wonderful, and there is no sign of any change on the horizon. A great deal at $39. Recenty found for $25 and a SCREAMING deal at that. Glad I got me more. Drinks like a $100 bottle of Napa Cab...really. Holdng at 94.
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2004 - Cape Mentelle Shiraz Margaret River Syrah

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Dark color with some browning on the edges. Not alarming type of browning though. The nose had some great fresh vibrant dark fruits: cassis, blackberry, and boysenberry. There is a slight band-aid element that I won't quite call VA. It's actually quite intriguing and I am going to call it a fruit note. The mouth explodes with dark black plums, blackberries, and camphor. There is an element of purity that belies its price. A pure fruit forward and elegant wine. I love the notes of tobacco, dark coffee and tar. The tannins are spot on and the acid level is hovering over perfection. This is a wonderful Shiraz from Margaret River that has cool climate written all over it. Smooth, sweet, long and full of the wow factor. These are the qualities I look for to my Northern Rhone's in the sub $50 region. Usually with not much luck.
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2000 - Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The color as dark old brick, not brown. (after 1.5 hours) The nose revealed slight vegetalness. On the tongue one get the feel of the elegance and breed, but initally slightly akward. Great cassis, cocoa, tobacco leaf, and tar. The fine tannins reside in the background. An admirable mouthfeel and the typical handling of acid a-la Mondavi; Deft. Moderate finish. The vegetalness never really disappeared. I would rate this a solid 90 if the veg was not present. All in all not a bad $30 drink, but I would be perturbed if I spent $125.
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2001 - Worthy (Axios) Sophias Cuvee Proprietary Blend

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Double decanted back into the bottle 2 hours previous. Initially very profound deep velvety dark fruits and wonderful length. After 2 hours: Ultra dark and brooding. The nose was very restrained: some cassis, some blackberries. The palate revealed amazing refined dark fruits. Initially somewhat astringent, but after a few hours opened to a lovely cedar box & tobacco. After 4 hours this rocked into a medley of pure fruit, smooth body, and refined elegance. This did not dissapoint. Very pure aligned tannins and a long finish completed the package. Lots of life left in this.V ery unlike any Sophies that came after (I have had the 2002, and the 2003. Glad I have more.
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2002 - Brokenwood Shiraz Syrah

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Deep dark color. The nose reveals graphite, blackberry & black cherry. The palate has some wonderful silkiness, blackberry, some blueberries, tar, and anise. Silky tannins and an admirable acid level. A medium bodied Shiraz with a slight metallic note on the finish. All in all a very nice Shiraz, full of character and value. Well worth the $20 I paid.
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2002 - Blankiet Merlot Merlot

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Last wine of the night, and quite the surprise. I wish I had 3 hours to appreciate and watch this sexy beast, but alas, I had 30 minutes at best. Plush dark cherry pie and ripe tomato leaf on the nose. The palate had the cherries, black and red plums, cocoa, and anise. The mouth feel was incredible: round and soft, but firm and structured. It harkened memory of a wonderful the Pomerols I had many years ago, (when I drank that sought of thing that is.). I would have rated this higher if it did not remind me initially of Chianti on the nose.
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1991 - Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was dark and brooding. Much more in today's style of Napa Cabernet. Deep vanilla and cassis on the nose. A wonderful purity. The palate a very elegant currant, tar, cocoa, cedar, & vanilla, this was a hedonistic wine. Structured, classy elegant and brawny all at once. Just a balanced beauty. A long smooth finish that went on for 45 seconds. 17 and acting like 7.
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1973 - Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
From pristine magnum. This had a great lush dark resolved fruit profile that belied its age. The color was dark. There was great dark currant, blackberry, tar, cocoa, and so much more going on. I kept this glass alive until the end of the night. It changed and evolved getting lusher and deeper. The finish was long. If tasted blind I would place this at about 6 or 7 years of age. This 35 year old was amazing. (Comforting like a warm blanket)
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1975 - Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
From pristine magnum. This wine in itself was worth the price of admission for the night. Dark brooding color. Silky dark fruited and jam packed full of character. This had a wonderful fully resolved tannin level acted like a conveyor for all else. Some soy, cedar box, tobacco, & cassis. This wine needed a night to watch. A long finish that was like hitting a birdie on 18 that gets you smiling and planning your next outing even before you get back to the cart., here, your next taste.
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1977 - Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Oaks Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
From pristine magnum. This was pure 1970s California.. fast-forwarded. Slightly edgy and rustic. A nice dark fruit profile that seemed masked by a matured high oak level? Not quite sure. Some currant and spice, and some other nice secondaries.
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2003 - Pax Cellars Syrah Cuvee Keltie Syrah

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

A very big styled Syrah Syrah.No surprise. Great Blue and red fruit medley of Cherries, Blueberries, violets, bacon fat, white pepper, and soy. This screamed decant. This evolved nicely after an hour and a half. Super structured with a slightly elevated acid level, the tannins were in `da house. Some sensed heat, I did not. This showed nicely. A decent finish. This will be a real treat in about 2 years. I always say PAX does best after 5 or 6 years in the bottle.

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2004 - A Donkey and Goat Syrah Carson Ridge Syrah

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Very fragrant. Great bright red fruits abound. Medium dark color. A more forward type of Syrah than the Kunin. The palate revealed dark cocoa, cinnamon, red raspberries, slight blueberry and tar. A medium to high weight Syrah and a more `in your face' wine, this had great body, maybe a little short on the finish though.
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2005 - Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
It is dark and brooding with explosive black and red fruits of currant black berry, black cherry, and black plums. It has super length and incredible mouth feel. Wow.
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2005 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Super dark color. Deep pure cassis and blackberry nose. The palate has the blackberry and the deep pure currant, anise and cocoa.. Slghtly angular tannins. Balance, structure and breed. This is a powerhouse that will be sure to please for the next 15 years. The promise is there...the patience will be rewarded.
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2006 - Maybach Materium Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Barrel sample at NYC open house 4/14/2008- The color is super garnet. The palate explodes with red fruits of plum, cherries and tar. There is some nice cassis notes present. This is a very elegant & classy wine. A real show-stopper. Pure fruited and extremely clean. Very different from the '04 and the '05. This will set a new high for this rock star wine...
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1987 - Antinori Tignanello IGT Proprietary Blend

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Burnt orange edges and light garnet body. The nose had some cork, which blew off after about 10 minutes. This had wonderful lively fruits of bing cherries, raspberry, and a bit of red currant. There were some fantastic secondaries of tar, coffee and mushroom. A fantastic acid balance...still! A great finish which brought forward the cherries once again. Elegance and class.
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2001 - Duckhorn Merlot Howell Mountain Merlot

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
- No Reviews for this wine
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1995 - Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Great floral nose of lavander & currants. Medum deep color with no sign of age. Nice light cocoa wrapped currants, blackberry, tar, & slight leather. A medium bodied elegant & pure serious cabernet that quietly pleases. Fully resolved & clean tannins. An admirable finish to close the deal. What's not to like?
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1995 - Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Deep dark crimson. Lifting the glass to my nose I sensed little. Coaxing out by swirling I got some cassis and dark cherry. What the nose held back, the palate revealed: Super structure and breed that comtinued to eveolve nicely for about an hour, and then started to slide down the slope and gained some speed as it went, but what an hour it was. Tar, cassis, black cherry, a touch of cedar. This was a beautiful & pure cab. Nice resolved multilayered tannins and a clean level of acid rounded this out very well. A 40 second finish.
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1996 - Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Opaque and brooding, nose was a bit restrained, but with some time there was the usual suspects of tar and red & black fruits. The palate had shown a medium bodied mouthfeel with some class, but always seemed kicked down a notch. Quiet and refined, there was nothing that screamed loudy. Balanced and nicely structured. There was black currant, blackcherry, raspberry, leather, soy, and a touch of menthol...just a touch. A intertwined tannin and acid level that acted like a tight wire, but not as taut as it could be. Theres a little play and one senses the balance a bit fragile for it. Feminine and pretty though. Decent finish.
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2002 - Quintessa Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The color was super dark. It reminded me of Bordeaux. It had some cassis, and blackberry. The palate showed a medium to heavy weight wine with an elagant multilayered fruit profile that is somewhat quiet it it's approach, but constantly delivers the goods. Tar, anise, leather, cocoa, and cassis wrapped around clean and intricate tannins.... All this with a cherry on top! (black cherry that is). I like this ones peigree. A long finish and I was seeking out the decanter for more.
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1996 - Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

A dozen year old beauty

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Nice amber colored edges. Amazing pure cassis, tar and dark cherry nose. After 30 minutes the palate shows a pure curranty-cab profile that is somewhat two dimensional, but very very pretty indeed. The fruits in attendance are currant, blackberry (not your phone), dark cherry, and black plums.There are some secondaries like tar, cedar and anise and a wonderful fine line of tannins. An acid level that is deftly floating in the background. Wow. A medium bodied expolsive cabernet that shows elegance, structure and breed.A 30 second finish beckons you back... Wish I had more.
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2005 - Hardin  Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Drinks like 2x the price

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Deep garnet color. Viscous grip on the glass. The nose has blackberries, currant, dark cherry pie and boysenberry. The mouthfeel belies the fact that this is a $23 Cab. There is real structure and allure not normally found at this price point. Sweet tannins and a quiet but ever present acid level carries this forward. The finish seems a bit clipped. This reminds me of Ed Sbragias offerings of late save for the Beringer Reserve. There are some grape pips floating about? Strange, but the only distraction I can find. Could use a year in the bottle but drinks quite nicely now.
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Spider Trap