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20 reviews total.
2001 St Francis Zinfandel Pagani Vineyard Zinfandel
Intense flavors of raisins and plums
90 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
18 out of 41 people found this review helpful.
This wine may warrant a little higher score...especially if you like intense monster overripe zins. This would be a wine that Parker would just love. The aromas literally hurl themselves out of the glass which include a little white pepper, plums, raisins, and red raspberries. You could spend a very long time enjoying how fragrant this wine really is, and this wine even retained the aromas the next day. In the mouth the wine was showing incredible concentration and fruit. More raisin flavor came forward along with the presence of oak(a little too much for my liking). The alcohol level was at 15.6%, but the wine did not seem hot. I did feel as I was drinking a port wine at times, but this wine is a treat for those people that enjoy this sort of wine. This wine finishes long and creamy.
Posted on February 16, 2006
 
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2001 Kidron Shiraz Syrah
Light and non-desript
70 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
20 out of 45 people found this review helpful.
This wine is lighter than the average color of a Yarra Valley wine. The nose is muted, with a hint of tar. On the palate the wine has little weight and is all fruit with lack of any mid-palate or finish. Fruit is beaujolais nouveaux in style without the carbonic maceration. This wine is best suited for cooking or reducing down in a sauce. I did not have high hopes for this wine from the start because it was so inexpensive, but this wine is dissapointing despite it all. A wine to avoid unless it is the only option for someone that is looking to drink kosher wine.
Posted on February 10, 2006
 
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1996 Bollinger Grande Annee Champagne Blend
Earthy, Woody, Dirty
89 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
19 out of 39 people found this review helpful.
Tasted 12/01/05. This wine was extremely full bodied and had intense earth character. Just as in an old Champagne, it started to exhibit mature characteristics closer to still wines. Personally, I am not crazy about the intensity of the selection. The earthtones made me feel as if the fruit was on the decline, although it has a very nice and long finish that lingers for some 20-40 seconds. If you are one that likes the intensely flavored and bold Champagnes, e.g. Krug...this is right up your alley. If you like more restrained sparklers like myself, stay away from this one.
Posted on December 4, 2005
 
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2001 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Heimbourg Gewurztraminer
Unmistakable Gewurztraminer with plenty of character
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
29 out of 53 people found this review helpful.
This was a beautiful wine in the nose with its characteristic Gewurztraminer spice as well as exotic fruits. In the mouth, the wine had tremendous texture. This thick texture led to an enormous array of fruits that seemed to dance around the palate. The wine has great balance and an enormous finish. You can forget drinking another white table wine after this wine. Its incredible flavor, intensity, and slight sugar will stay on your palate for such a long time, there is no going back. This wine begged for sashimi tuna with a hint of spice. A truly wonderful representation of this style of wine.
Posted on January 10, 2005
 
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2002 Turley Cellars Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel
A very different wine that does not seem to have an identity
90 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
25 out of 51 people found this review helpful.
Tasted 1-8-05. My first impression of this wine was that it would be this huge unctous monster of a wine with tremendous concentration and intense alcohol. The wine had a nice nose of raisins and red raspberry fruit. I was really looking forward to tasting the wine, but I had to put a slight chill on the wine because of the high alcohol content that was very prevalent at room temperature. Once in the mouth the wine had less body than I expected. It had a body of a grenache based wine, but it had the flavors of old vine zinfandel. After a few minutes in the glass, the raciness started to fade a little, and this is when I started to enjoy the wine. It was pleasurable for its upfront fruit and good balance, but it seemed as if it were a grenache that had zin qualities or vice versa. I like the wine for it`s originality of flavor, but it was not what I was expecting, or was hoping to drink. Maybe knowing what the wine is all about, I may be able to score the rest of the bottles higher based on my expectations.
Posted on January 10, 2005
 
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1995 Opus One Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend
Maybe it is time to drink up
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
25 out of 50 people found this review helpful.
Tasted 12/31/04. Although this wine was enjoyed with food and perhaps was not the ideal match (braised oxtails, the 98 Chapoutier Ermitage Rouge L`Ermite was corked), it seemed as if it did not have as much concentrated fruit as I would have expected. Nose was consistent with previous vintages of this wine...earth, dark berries. The body of the wine seemed as if it had perhaps matched, if not overwhelmed the intensity of the fruit in this wine. I am glad I pulled the cork because there are a few more to drink down in the cellar. Overall good balance and fantastic finish that was long and lingering. I enjoyed this wine much, but was not overwhelmed.
Posted on January 10, 2005
 
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1995 Opus One Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend
Maybe it is time to drink up
93 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
25 out of 48 people found this review helpful.
Tasted 12/31/04. Although this wine was enjoyed with food and perhaps was not the ideal match (braised oxtails, the 98 Chapoutier Ermitage Rouge L`Ermite was corked), it seemed as if it did not have as much concentrated fruit as I would have expected. Nose was consistent with previous vintages of this wine...earth, dark berries. The body of the wine seemed as if it had perhaps matched, if not overwhelmed the intensity of the fruit in this wine. I am glad I pulled the cork because there are a few more to drink down in the cellar. Overall good balance and fantastic finish that was long and lingering. I enjoyed this wine much, but was not overwhelmed.
Posted on January 10, 2005
 
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1994 Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
A wine at the beginning of it's peak
92 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
29 out of 55 people found this review helpful.
Tasted 10/04. Soft aromas of sandalwood and a hint of smoke with a red berry overtone. Color was very good with just a hint of amber on the edges. The wine in the mouth was initially a touch closed. I recommend decanting this bottle to let it open up. Once the wine opened up it was an incredibly balanced wine. I would not compare this wine to one of the extracted monsters from Napa Valley. This wine is pure class with great balanced fruit and a smooth long finish. A very bordeaux(ish) crafted wine with the extra concentration of fruit that you achieve from Napa. This wine does not show any of the eucalyptus that one may get from the Martha`s Vineyard. With the structure and craftsmanship in this wine, I can not imagine that it will ever really get much better. The only flaw that I can give this wine is that it could have a touch more silky mouthfeel that you may get from a Shafer for example. An excellent wine that is a relative bargain.
Posted on November 11, 2004
 
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2001 Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
If you like wines with extraction, this one is for you
87 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
39 out of 77 people found this review helpful.
Tasted 10/21/04. This wine was very dark in color exhibiting a rich almost black hue that looked more like a rich petite syrah than a cabernet. Aroma was rich in blackberry and dark fruits with a hint of cocoa. This 2001 Plumpjack seems to be a wine that tends to be the wine of the day right now...extract the most color and intensity as possible. While the wine does show intense fruit and nice glycerin, it drinks hot with alcohol exploding from the glass directly into the sinuses. The balance is fair to good, but the wine is missing multiple layers of fruit that I can only hope will be prevalent in time. This is not a wine that I would recommend for the cellar because the fruit is already bursting. I would guess that if you throw this wine in the cellar it will not reward you. I would much prefer a less concentrated wine with more balance and complexity than this effort.
Posted on November 6, 2004
 
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2000 Estancia Meritage Proprietary Blend
A Nice Blend From Alexander Valley
88 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
55 out of 101 people found this review helpful.
Tasted 3/28/04: This wine showed a nice nose with excellent vanilla and a touch of clove. Color had good clarity and extraction. In the mouth, the wine showed nice texture (glycerin) and up front there were generally aggressive tannins. The wine has reasonably good balance with a nice smooth finish. What kept this wine from getting a higher merit in my opinion was the fact that it had pretty agressive tannin, yet I do not think the extraction of the wine is big enough to hold until the tannins soften. What I mean is that by the time the tannins start to soften, so will the fruit start to fade. I believe this wine is as good as it will be-good. This wine is always a relatively sure bet.
Posted on April 1, 2004
 
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2000 Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
The best 2000 Napa Cab I've Tasted to date
91 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
39 out of 80 people found this review helpful.
What can I say about this wine? I knew that Tony Soter was famous for making huge wines, but what would the 2000 be like? When I poured the wine into the glass, I immediately noticed intense extraction with a hue of dark purple. The nose was a touch shy. In the mouth I tasted intense tannina and flavors of coffee and rich, rich red fruits. The wine finished off nice and long. You can certainly tell that this wine has great balance-fruit, acidity, etc... but the defining factor is that this wine is one to throw in the cellar. There is just too much tannin; and some of the flavors are closed because of the wines youth. I would try a bottle in about 5 years to see where this wine is going, although my initial guess would be to drink in 8-10 years. My rating could actually be higher, I would love to rate this one down the road to see if time is as kind to this beauty as I think it will be.
Posted on March 31, 2004
 
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2001 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon
A Special, Soft Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
63 out of 104 people found this review helpful.
Tasted 03/22/04: The "Artemis" Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the first vintage with this label had a nice nose. One of the things that was prevalent in the beginning was that the nose had no signs of excessive alcohol and exhibited nice cherry and floral scents. The wine was great in the mouth; good soft texture followed by very good balance and a nice long finish. The lasting impression of this wine was the softness, which is a characteristic of Stag`s Leap District. The wine is drinking great now, it really does not need to spend a whole lot of time in the cellar- but it may improve in the short term. This is not a Cabernet for those people who love big, extracted Cabs--it shows restraint with the benefit of great balance. This is one of the best slwc cabs with the exception of fay, slv, or cask 23 in a few vintages.
Posted on March 30, 2004
 
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1981 Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux Blend
Should I stay or should I go?
89 points
Drink by: Unsure
44 out of 91 people found this review helpful.
This wine was drank 3/27/04. The wine showed great color with very little sediment. Knowing the 81 vintage by drinking some of the non first growths, I assumed that this would be a great time to drink this wine(Should have outlasted the lesser wines). The bouquet, after decanting and letting the wine sit for about 30 minutes was still a bit closed. Initial taste of the wine was heavy in tannin and a touch on the diluted side as far as texture and mouthfeel are concerned. I chose to wait 30 minutes to an hour to let the wine open up. When returning to the wine I noticed a marketable improvement, but the wine did not live up to my expectations. I tasted heavy tannin, burnt tar, and some shy fruit. It took almost two hours for the fruit to spawn from this wine. I recommend waiting at least this long until drinking once you have decanted. Later towards the end of the bottle, I was able to get some nice fruit and some softness accented by some leather and cassis. My impression of this wine is a bit grey. I am not sure if the wine may need even more time to soften, or if the wine has actually lost some fruit and is ready to be drank up. I did enjoy the bottle, but I would have to say that this vintage of Lafite does not compare to 76,83, or 85 that I have drank recently. I do have one more bottle. I am curious if there is any bottle variation. The wine was good, but I would not rate it as great. Maybe with a few more years of bottle age it may round out; then again-there is a chance it may have lost some valuable fruit that it does not have an abundance of as it stands right now.
Posted on March 28, 2004
 
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2001 Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
A Napa Valley Gem
92 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
44 out of 85 people found this review helpful.
March 04 Tasted this wine in a lineup of California and Italian Whites and Reds. This wine had typical Cabernet color and a fragrant nose of currant and a little smoke. In the palate very nice fruit typical of the Stag`s Leap District which was full bodied, yet less tannic and more approachable than most Cabs at this point. I thought this wine was a much better wine than Robert Parker scored at 87 points. The wine will hold for about 10 years from this point in my opinion and may improve a touch. It is so soft and luscious, with just a touch of roughness from the tannins that may soften with an additional 1-3 more years. A wine to put up in a lineup vs the big hitters in Napa. It is not as extracted as some, but very enjoyable and well balanced.
Posted on March 26, 2004
 
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1978 Jean Boillot Volnay Chevrets Pinot Noir
Drink now and be pleasantly surprised.
91 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
45 out of 82 people found this review helpful.
I had mixed expectations for this wine given the age of the bottle. The color showed very light extraction and a bit thin. As far as the bouquet and aroma, the wine had a soft, almost herbal and earthy nuance. When I tasted the wine, it was a bit light, so I opted to decant the wine and about fifteen minutes later the wine opened up and showed nice fruit with still a bunch of acidity on the back end which lead to a wonderful finish. Flavors of red raspberry, terroir of black and white truffle and a long soft finish made this wine extremely enjoyable. The wine probably is 2-3 years past it`s prime, but it still tastes great now. Drink up. I enjoyed the wine with some braised rabbit and chantrelles with thyme and it was an A+.
Posted on March 20, 2004
 
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1985 William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
A special California Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
Drink by: Now to 2 years
47 out of 76 people found this review helpful.
Tried this wine on 2/21/04:
Good color and clarity. Nose showed a little alcohol, but was exhibiting a eucalyptus essence. Tasted in a blind tasting, and thought I had a wine from Heitz. Texture was good, and balance was even better. Flavors of nice, soft red berries have mellowed very nicely and this was a beautiful relaxing bottle of nicely aged cab. It was extremely soft and easy going, but evenly balanced and still intact. Finished slowly faded away. This wine is very enjoyable now, I think it may be toward the end of it`s peak. I think this wine is for those that like wine that has softened, but still has retained it`s fruit. For those that enjoy intense fruit, and big body; I think this was one you should have drank 6-7 years ago. Overall, a nice wine to drink now.
Posted on February 22, 2004
 
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2001 d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz Syrah
An intense Shiraz that can only get better
91 points
Drink by: 3 to 7 years
41 out of 92 people found this review helpful.
Although a little shy right now, this wine exhibits rich, intense dark flavors of blackberry and dried currants. The nose is a bit closed and the flavors are a touch shy, but the wine gives me every clue that it will be a great wine to enjoy in about 4-6 years. As compared to another wine spectator`s top 100 wine in 2003 the Yangarra Park which scored 91 points, I believe this wine has the potential to be better down the road with complexity and layers of flavors. Although it is a shiraz, it exhibits some aspects of syrah-like flavors such as smoke and anise(terroir). A very serious wine for the price.
Posted on February 21, 2004
 
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1990 Haut Brion Bordeaux Blend
90 Haut-Brion (Just starting to show), but still a bit shy
94 points
Drink by: 8 to 12 years
50 out of 111 people found this review helpful.
I drank a bottle of this wonderful wine on 12/31/03 to celebrate the new year. It was drank before a bottle of 75 lafite rothschild. The wine had great color and clarity, but although the nose was classic bordeaux-earth, leather, lead pencil; it was still a touch shy. The initial taste of the wine still showed good tannin and the mid palate was full of fruit (currant and cassis). The wine had a great finish as well. Without being too vague, my overall impression was that the wine was not nearly ready to drink at this time. Especially after we drank the lafite, I realized that although the haut-brion may turn out to be the better wine in the future, the lafite was better now. The Haut-Brion shows great concentration and backbone, but some of the tertiary flavors that will make this wine truly incredible will only come with more time in the cellar. My rating is based on how the wine drinks now, and I am sure that I might rate it higher in a few years. If you can get this one at a good price now, it is definately one that will reward one with a little patience.
Posted on February 8, 2004
 
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2001 Yangarra Park Shiraz Syrah
Yangarra Park Appellation Series Shiraz
87 points
61 out of 111 people found this review helpful.
In December 2003 I tasted this wine. Yes, I was one of those who had to try one some of the wines from the Spectator's top 100 and this was one that was not only available, but affordable. Color showed typical dark, almost black color which showed that it obviously had good concentration. The nose was a touch closed. I picked up a touch of dark berry, but it was a bit shy to say the least. In the mouth the wine showed intense extraction and flavors of blackberry; almost to the point of blackberry preserves (the wine gave me an impression of sweetness), and a very interesting tobacco component. Balance was good, but I think that in about 05, the acid and the fruit will come more into balance. The wine should not be laid down for long term cellaring. I estimate that the wine will hold until 2007. This is a wine for those that enjoy rich, ripe, juicy fruit without multiple layers of complexity.
Posted on January 8, 2004
 
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1975 Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux Blend
1975 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. A gem from a somewhat forgotten vintage
96 points
51 out of 107 people found this review helpful.
I had a bottle of this wine in my wine cellar for nearly a decade and decided to open it to celebrate new years eve on 12/31/03. I had high expectations for the wine; but by reading reviews by Parker and Spectator, I was not sure what to expect. My first impression was that I should not open more than an hour before drinking, just in case the wine was on the downside. Consequently, I opened the wine about 20 minutes prior to drinking and decanted. The aromatics were classic Pauilliac, and it was a very good sign. In the decanter the color looked nice, but not until I poured the wine into glassware was I able to see the beautiful, young color. The wine exhibited just a touch of amber at the edge, and it had wonderful clarity. I was starting to feel very good about the bottle. In the mouth the wine had great fruit;- cassis, leather, and a touch of wood intermingled nicely into the multi-layered wine. The wine finished very long and pleasing. There are no weaknesses in this wine. I truly could have rated this wine higher. I can honestly see why someone may have rated this wine lower when it was younger if it had aggressive tannins, but now it has evolved into a beauty. As far as bottle variance is concerned (was noted by Parker), I can not speak for this. I think this wine is in it's prime and will hold for another 10-15 years, but it is remarkable right now. On the same night we had a 1990 Haut-Brion, and the Lafite was showing better. For the price that you can find this wine on w.c., I truly think it is spectacular.
Posted on January 8, 2004
 
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