James W. Wine Reviews



 

 

2006 - Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Sauvignon Blanc

PASS

Jun 03, 2008
1 star
This was as bad as the 2005 and it just goes to show that this producer cannot make sav blanc or isn't trying very hard.  Metallic taste really kills everything else, but there are some oak chips and butter spray in there as well. PASS!
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2005 - Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Sauvignon Blanc

BIG PASS!

Jun 03, 2008
1 star
Big Pass. I'm a huge fan of sauvignon blanc, but found this undrinkable. Strong petrol odors (not in a good way) and bitter taste left me no choice but to pour it down the sink and apologize to the local water treatment facility. Yeah it's like that.
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2002 - Schild Estate Shiraz Syrah

Seek other Years

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star

Disappointed based on other vintages and publication scores for this wine. It's got a dark and quite inky color. Almost as dark as a Port or Pinotage but much more fruit forward. A good Shiraz, but not a great Shiraz.

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2005 - The Magnificent Wine Co House Wine Proprietary Blend

Good Value

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Crisp apple and light lemon peel are the driving force, followed by some light smoke and cedar box.  This is another vintage that is delivering beyond the price point.
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2006 - The Magnificent Wine Co House Wine Proprietary Blend

Value

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
This is a good value.  Very good and completely cheap for such a complex taste. It is very sharp and bold. House Wine from the Magnificent Wine Company is terrific. Usually a safe bet for the money.
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2005 - Olivares, Bodegas Monastrell Altos de la Hoya Mourvedre

Good to Go

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
It has really lovely fruity red blend that can adapt to just about any red wine drinking scenario. Good to take to a party where you don't quite know the food story, and good for just drinking a glass or 2.
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2001 - Lake Sonoma Winery Zinfandel Old Vine Reserve Schoolhouse Creek Vineyard Zinfandel

Skip

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Very basic packaging, is somewhat appealing for some reason. Smoky, reminds me of the smell of a deep, spicy pipe. Cherry undertones. Wonderfully quaint label is the best feature.
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2002 - Seghesio Zinfandel Old Vine Zinfandel

Easy to Pair

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Good, solid fruit forward, but not a fruit bomb. Round. Sexy. Very versatile for picking out what to pair with it. Seghesio can't make a bad wine. Drink now though because the fruit is starting to fade.
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2003 - Seghesio Zinfandel Old Vine Zinfandel

Well Rounded

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This was a very well rounded and jammy fruit vintage.  Well-structured expression of California terroir. Everything that a zin should have - but well balanced and never over the top.  Even the jam fruit keeps itself in check.
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2004 - Seghesio Zinfandel Old Vine Zinfandel

Pizza Wine

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Not too much to discuss, it's very smooth with a mild, but nice nose. Though majority Zin, not the in your face, Old Vines one. Good stuff and I would buy again. Great with pizza.
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2005 - Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma Zinfandel

Best in Class

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wins best in class. For some reason I have been drinking a lot of zin-based field blend type stuff lately, and I have to say that for the price, this wine is ahead of the pack. Th finish is long and sweet.
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2004 - Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma Zinfandel

Good for some- very good for others

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a young wine and it has always been a stand-by wine, the 2004 is certainly not a disappointment. Understated and balanced all the way through (for Sonoma Zin), there is an overall impression of strawberry jam and black cherries. Earth finishes off the wine on a chewy finish.
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1999 - Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma Zinfandel

Good Year

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Good for almost all pairings of meat - this wine has a nice deep color. The nose has aromas of red fruit & pepper. The flavors have more fruit & jam. The wine is smooth and easy on the mouth. It is easy to drink and enjoy with food. We use this as a house wine. Enjoy!
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2002 - Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Tres Picos Grenache

Need food, Good Value

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Much better than other vintages that I've had but still not that great - it's mostly cherry taste with a bit of spice. It won't change your life, but it's a nice value. Drink now and with food.
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2004 - Castano Monastrell Mourvedre

Improved

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is the best of the vintages that I tried, it was intense enough to be worthwhile, but not dry or harsh. Long flavor and full body. A sexy wine in some ways, but mostly still just a value wine.
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2001 - Castano Monastrell Mourvedre

One Dimensional

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Another pass for me. It was somewhat tasty, but very one dimensional. Yes, it's a nice value, but you can spend just a couple bucks more and find a much nicer bottle.
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2002 - Castano Monastrell Mourvedre

Drink Soon

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Overall it is a very rich, woody, almost chocolaty aromas with a hint of sandalwood.  Smoky, cedary dark wine. Little in the way of fresh fruit flavours - possibly mushrooms. Old world style, but hidden subtle flavours. Moderate tannins, with fading finish. Drink Now.
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2003 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon

Drink Now

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
First Vintage to try and I thought it was a great value. Some cocoa and leather on the nose. Nice dark fruit. Good mouth feel. Not a ton of complexity, but still quite good for the price. Very drinkable with a fairly nice finish. Drink Now!
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2003 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon

Cola and Cocoa

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Another good year - very tasty, easy drinking. Terrific value. A cocoa and black cherry nose proceed a subtle oak and fruit balance. Plenty of chocolate covered cherry on the finish. Nice cola feel to it as well.
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2004 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon

Nice Value

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Overall a very good solid cab for the price. Not munch backbone, but smoth start, low tannins, and sold finish. Some say this was better than the 2002, but I think it may be a step behind. Cherry and strawberry.
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2004 - Lewis Cellars Syrah Syrah

YES!

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
YES! YES! YES! This wine is where it's at! It has layer upon layer upon layer of flavor. Though still a baby and a bit tight, this one shows every red and blue and black fruit flavor you can think of - though in a reserved way. I get bit of cedar box and cinnamon on the nose. I'd love to taste this one again after years of cellaring - but I don't know if I could wait that long!
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2005 - Vascos, Los Chardonnay Chardonnay

Value!

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Well it's a lot better than the 2006 - Pale greenish straw in the glass with ripe pear and melon aromas, with a touch of volatile acidity and fermentation aromas. Flinty and salty in the mouth with good acidity. A long and pleasant finish with a touch of bitterness. Good Stuff!
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2002 - Concha y Toro Carmenere Terrunyo Carmenere

Good Rep

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Yes, it perhaps is SLIGHTLY overoaked, but I really really dont mind when theres just so much balance between chocolate, blackcurrant, raspberry, vanilla, and a tiny bit of pepper, in a seductive, creamy, stately package. Well made. For an excellent representation of Chile- seek this wine out.
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2005 - Concha y Toro Carmenere Terrunyo Carmenere

Enjoyed

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a different style than previous vintages.  Lots of vanilla oak, dark chocolate, and dark dark fruit on the nose. The same on the pallet with some firm tannins. Fairly well-balanced but could use some more complexity. Tasty though.
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2004 - Concha y Toro Carmenere Terrunyo Carmenere

Better but tight

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Same problem as before - This wine needs a couple hours of exposure to O2. Really nice dark chocolate, cigar box, and stately oak. The wood is exquisite... Oh, to bathe in that barrel for a year or two, or even an hour... free of all my cares...
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2003 - Concha y Toro Carmenere Terrunyo Carmenere

Oak dominated

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star

OK for everyday table wine. LET HER BREATHE! Give it a rest, or decant before serving. Aggressive peat-like nose gives way to all kinds of interesting tannins. Oak prominent though not tyrannical, smokey, dried fruits neither floral nor sweet.

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2004 - Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir

Pass

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Pass for me. I think this has a great barnyard-type nose. But the flavor is ultimately lacking for me. Definite bitter cherries and... not much else. For the price I can't recommend this. Wish I could.
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2004 - Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir

Good but Overpriced

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The herbaceous, earthy aromas dominate the taste. After a short finish everything is gone. I suspect this vintage is still a bit closed. Nonetheless, a solid wine, but there are many more luscious and drinkable pinots for less. This would be best with a light, grilled meat, which will certainly soften the tannins and acids, and might even bring out the fruit character.
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2003 - Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir

Good?

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The nose is not pronounced but there are definite aromas of cherry and strawberry here, as well as an herbaceous, earthy aroma which is quite pleasant. Perhaps a bit of green pepper? This is an acidic wine with light but sharp tannins.Not sure how I feel about this pinot.
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2004 - Hahn Estates Cabernet Franc Cabernet Franc

More Balanced

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
I didn't pick up the overpowering barnyard aromas like I did in a recent vintage. Just fruity and delicious stuff and very affordable at around $15. Tasted alongside much more expensive wines and this was my favorite of the bunch. Definitely a good value. Would buy again
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2005 - Hahn Estates Cabernet Franc Cabernet Franc

It's Cab Franc!

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Hey you either love wines with vegetal components or you don't. For my palate there is some lovely "funk" on this cabernet franc. Surprisingly good. Quite food friendly!  Very bell pepper driven.
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2001 - Castano Hecula Proprietary Blend

Value, Value

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Plum Jam Nose. Good Mouth Feel. Not over oaked. Nice smooth feel on the palate. Way above average for price range. This is another vintage to buy by the case.
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2002 - Castano Hecula Proprietary Blend

Success

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The finish was very long, and really tart or sour, almost like a sour orange. Also, black currants. Extremely dry! Delicious. Good wine and not just for the money.  Another successful vintage.
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2000 - Castano Hecula Proprietary Blend

Value

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
There's some sweet-smelling raspberry and cherry. You can also smell something nutty, like walnuts. Taste: sharp tannins playing along the sides of the tongue and the front of my top lip. Good for value.
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2004 - Castano Hecula Proprietary Blend

Say no to alcohol in wines -well sort of....

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Color: dark, dark red, fading to a nice ruby at the edges. Nose: very complex and strange: this nose smells like my hair dryer when I switch it from the hot setting to the cool setting -- a sort of cold-metal smell.  Tastes more towards the ruby red fruit, but alcohol is too much.
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2005 - Don David Michel Torino Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Good but For Alcohol

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star

This wine is so close to being really good but...Alcohol content is obvious from the nose. Tasting it brings big time dark cherry flavors but not sweet. Overall a decent wine for the price but lacking character.

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2004 - Two Hands Shiraz Sophie's Garden Syrah

Winner

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very solid effort for this vineyard. Dark berries on the nose with a hint of sweet strawberry. Smooth, plush texture. Some currant and chocolate emerge on the finish, with moderately chewy tannins. This one's a winner - even at this price.
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2003 - Two Hands Shiraz Sophie's Garden Syrah

Great

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Black Cherries, raspberries, and milk chocolate last forever. Big alcohol. Had a second time, notes consistent with first tasting. Wine is silky smooth and well structured. I had the wine with roast lamb and the lamb kind of over powered the wine.
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2004 - Two Hands Shiraz Angel's Share Syrah

Good Wine

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Color: dark ruby red Nose: huge cherry component, vanilla, slight pepper note as well. Palate: massive fruit bomb with nestle chocolate. Nice structure and complexity.  Overall, very good stuff for the money!
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2002 - Two Hands Shiraz Angel's Share Syrah

Fruit Bomb

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is what you expect from Australia. Fruit bomb! But a good one! Sweet and spicy. If you like the aussie bombs then here is one for ya. Not much else to this vintage.
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2001 - Two Hands Shiraz Angel's Share Syrah

Pass

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
There is a fine peppery finish with maybe a hint of licorice. The big problem I had with this wine was the acidity level. It was just too much for me to really enjoy. As a result I am giving this a somewhat low rating, with the realization that some people could very well enjoy it thoroughly.
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2005 - Two Hands Shiraz Angel's Share Syrah

Fruit is your friend!

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very dark purple wine with an almost syrupy consistency. It has a a bold oaky flavor with fruits that I can't really put my finger on, maybe plum and blackberry. Fruit is your friend says this wine!
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2004 - Two Hands Shiraz Bad Impersonator Syrah

Value for the Brand

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is one of my favorites from Two Hands. Priced at about half as much as most of the Garden Series. Great, dark color. Fruity, rich nose. Solid fruit on the palate, buttery.  I can't imagine anyone turning this one away, easy to recommend, buy to share with friends.drinks great now but has more ageing potential.
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2003 - Two Hands Shiraz Bad Impersonator Syrah

Buy Me Too

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Has a great mouthfeel.almost creamy, with lots of Strawberry/Cherry fruit balanced with good acidity and tannins with hints of vanilla. The long finish seals the deal for me, making this a solid wine which really delivers, especially at its price point.  Not cheap, but it delivers its price.
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2002 - Two Hands Shiraz Bad Impersonator Syrah

Delicious

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very good, well balanced Auz Shiraz. Best to let it breath a bit. It gives off vanilla, licorice and strawberry aromas which make for a very pleasant nose.
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2001 - Dehlinger Syrah Goldridge Vineyard Syrah

Blueberry

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Big, juicy, dark purple hot blueberry on nose slightly vegetal (brocolli) black pepper and dark raspberry palate interesting.  I would enjoy this with a steak or even by itself. 
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2000 - Dehlinger Syrah Goldridge Vineyard Syrah

Drink with Food

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star
Lots of fruit but has some distinct earthy, gamey, funk on the nose. If you like big, fruity reds, but are ready to branch out, this could be a revelatory wine. I think that food will help.
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2004 - Ridge Zinfandel Howell Mountain Zinfandel

Good

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Much lighter in alcohol and mouthfeel than previous vintages, but still shines with all that beautiful fruit. The spice and cedar box are also very much in the fore front and deliver more complexity.
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2001 - Ridge Zinfandel Howell Mountain Zinfandel

Good

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Good fruit from this vintage as well - very well balanced. Not acidic at all. Not too sweet! Very laid back. A small amount of oak taste on the back end - but the oak is vague and veiled and not overwhelming.
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2002 - Ridge Zinfandel Howell Mountain Zinfandel

Unique

Jun 03, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Big blueberry and raisin and plum and fig preserves and the right balance of sugar and acidity all evenly balanced for a strange and different wine tasting experience. A very unique wine experience.
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2003 - Mendel Unus Proprietary Blend

Interesting from Argentina

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I smell pepper on the nose, but also raisin. On the palate - blueberry, blueberry, blueberry, and plum, and raisin/currant/cassis and a little cherry and more blueberry. Creamy, almost caramel. This is unlike any other wine I've had from this country. 
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2005 - Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Syrup Lovers Unite

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Creamy! Great, syrupy legs. Very smooth. For 15 bucks, unbelievable! A friend of mine said it had a  cherry sundae taste to it. That's it in a nutshell. Not a classic Cab, but a really neat wine to drink without food.
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2004 - Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Another Good Year

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
A bright nose of cinammon and must, with a cigar smokiness throughout but a unassuming finish. Not the most complex. It felt forced or contrived in the smoky characteristics but the fruit was once again excellent and fruit forward.
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2003 - Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Better than Previous

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Excellent vanilla oak, smoky essence with hearty berry flavors. Very smooth and long finish.  This came back and showed me why I was recommending the 2001 to so many people.
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2002 - Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Fruit and Oak

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
And the next vintage falls on its face unfortunately. Great new world fruit but I think WAY over oaked. This wine tasted like guitar strings soaked in grape juice to me
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2001 - Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Great Value!

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Big, full flavor, but without all that oak you might think a California Cab would have. This could be your new favorite Cab. The fruit this delivers for the money is exceptional!
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2001 - Pax Cellars Syrah Obsidian Syrah

Value in an Expensive Wine

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is by far the best value out of all the Pax wines that I've had in a long time. This is a "drink it now" wine. It hit me with black cherries on the tip of the tongue , lots of "dried plum"(a kinder name for prunes), vanilla, and warm,spicy oak. Solid!
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2003 - Pax Cellars Syrah Obsidian Syrah

Solid Effort

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Good wine that delivers for the price it demands. Decent body, maybe if I did try to let it age a year or so it might get a little more body to it. But otherwise darn good wine! Solid raspberry and blueberry fruit on the tongue.
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1999 - Pax Cellars Syrah Obsidian Syrah

Pass

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
Nice sharp taste, not too tannic, but at the same time not quite a soft tast either. Good drinking wine not made for aging it seems. Overall this wine disappoints for what it should be. Pass on this vintage.
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2003 - Pax Cellars Syrah Griffin's Lair Syrah

GREAT!

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is the vintage to buy! It's so silky and creamy, yet massive. Did I mention this tastes like a cherry bomb?  Ding ding ding, we have a big winner with the 2003 Pax Cellars Griffins Lair.
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2002 - Pax Cellars Syrah Griffin's Lair Syrah

Good not Great

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
It was good but some black cherry toward the end, but this is like drinking a soda, so much so that my brain anticipates the carbonation. The body is curvy and voluptuous, great mouthfeel but still off putting from the soda aspect.
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2001 - Pax Cellars Syrah Griffin's Lair Syrah

Gummy and Yummy

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Nice gummy bear fruit stands out to me on the nose oddly enough. CREAM SODA! This is a very intriguing wine, like no other wine I've ever tasted. Serious vanilla flavor going on as well.
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2000 - Pax Cellars Syrah Sonoma Hillsides Syrah

Slightly Off

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
This one just was missing something for me - especially compared to other vintages. Deep dark red. Blueberry and cherry, very fruity nose and hint of cinnamon or nutmeg
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1999 - Pax Cellars Syrah Sonoma Hillsides Syrah

Stong but Weak?

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Big racy fruit that delivers a punch on the palate with strawberries and black raspberry. Tannins are meek and mild, meaning this is one to drink now, but as far as what I would consider cult wines go, this one is a standout.
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2004 - Pax Cellars Syrah Sonoma Hillsides Syrah

Green Nose

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a new one for me, concentrated and extremely fruit forward with nice but ultimately simple syrah character, this wine sports a nice floral note and a bit of green pepper on the nose.
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2001 - Pax Cellars Syrah Sonoma Hillsides Syrah

Cigar Wine

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Very Solid bottle of wine that we enjoyed with a big cigar. It's smooth and round, with raspberry and plum, hinting at dusky spices. Lean finish and firm tannins.
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2003 - Pax Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah

Interesting Flavors

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Cotton candy on the nose. A decent wine with some interesting flavors. Upon initial opening; coffee meets lesser amounts of grape juice. Flavors a bit bitter.  It has a decent nose and some interesting flavors, but drink it soon after opening for best results.
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2001 - Pax Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah

Softer

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Softer than the previous vintage it has saddle leather, cherry and sandalwood are the aromas and flavors in this supple syrah, which is soft and appealing, with a lingering finish.
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2000 - Pax Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah

Surprise!

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
A subtle, yet complex and perfumed nose, with flowers, plum and blackberry. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a polished texture. Delicately fruity and refined. More open than other Pax syrahs I've had.
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2001 - Paxton Shiraz Syrah

Sediment!

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
While a little time wouldn't hurt this wine, I think it's delicious now. Lots of dark flavors - a good time. Interestingly, it threw off the most sediment I've ever seen for such a young wine. I've seen 30 year old reds that didn't have this much sediment. Wow. But sediment reminds you that wine is a living, breathing thing, so don't sweat it.
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2003 - Paxton Shiraz Syrah

Too Tight

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
Very dark purple in color. This wine needs some time in the bottle. It might be good down the road, but it very tight right now...this must be a big trend with Pax syrahs from this vineyard. They need time!
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2002 - Paxton Shiraz Syrah

Syrah - Syrah

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I would recommend this vintage to true syrah lovers. Fragrant plum, cherry, rhubarb and spicy. Syrah flavors are sleek and well-defined, with good acidity and ripe tannins.
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2004 - Paxton Shiraz Syrah

Too tight

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
I opened this one way too young. Tight as a drum. Not much on the nose. Unfortunate. I'd like to try this one again once it's had some time in cellar. If you buy - you must hold!
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2003 - Linne Calodo Syrah Nemesis Syrah

Another Hit

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
It was an interesting vintage, but overall it really pulled through on the finish making it 3 stars. Delicious and changing, lingering and pleasant. I don't have the right wine vocabulary, so there you have it.
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2000 - Linne Calodo Syrah Nemesis Syrah

Intense

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Serves up very good intensity to crushed stone, black pepper and cherry flavors, with fresh herbs, cedary oak and a lively, lingering structure. Good through 2012.
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2001 - Linne Calodo Syrah Nemesis Syrah

Very solid

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Loved the spice which was complemented by the nice round fruits. Delicious with our steaks! This again has the chops to go another 8 to 12 years and still improve.  Good juice.
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2004 - Linne Calodo Syrah Nemesis Syrah

Nice

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Delicious paired with a gamey lamb dish. Tons of fruit but in a restrained way. Easy to enjoy with any meats, but that lamb dish knocked it out.  Great stuffing to go the distance.
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2001 - Linne Calodo Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard Proprietary Blend

Mailing List Wine

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is why you get onto mailing lists for certain wines.  My friends can never understand it, but they also never get wines like this.  Excellent vanilla bean and coffee component, wrapped around beef and currant.  Pour raspberrys on the top and you've got this wine.
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2002 - Linne Calodo Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard Proprietary Blend

Solid

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Good juice again.  Can these guys do any harm?  The fruit again is very terroir driven and has a good sense of its place.  The finish is a little chewier and less filling than other vintages, but otherwise excellent juice.
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2003 - Linne Calodo Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard Proprietary Blend

Still Rocking

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is another excellent vintage of this wine.  The big broad fruit and sweet carmel flavors really pour through on the palate and give you a real sense of the Paso terroir. Excellent stuff.
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2004 - Linne Calodo Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard Proprietary Blend

James Berry can Rock!

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I really enjoyed this wine thanks mostly to the spice and berry flavors. This is a very concise wine with big fruit pairing up against big meat flavors.  This wine I would serve for anyone and they should love.
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2001 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Zinfandel

Good

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Again, this was the first vintage of this wine I tried, and I probably thought it was 4 stars at the time.  Consistent vineyard, this proved to be a big vanilla and cherry soda with nice raspberry syrup pouring down the sides.  Drink now.
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2002 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Zinfandel

Good

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Again, this wine hits it home with good structure and nice balance.  The fruit may be a little too ripe for some, and I would fear the alcohol taking over in the near future, but for now it should still be safe.  Cherry and rubarb.
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2005 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Zinfandel

Great

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This year isn't quite as solid as the 03 or 04 but overall it is still an excellent zinfandel from Rosenblum.  Cherry, plum and earth dominate this vintage and work well with chicken or steak.
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2003 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Zinfandel

Superb

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This vintage is another home run, and again offers you the big bold red fruit - cassis, cherry, and strawberry with a hint of vanilla oak wrapping it up on the finish.  The alcohol is there but as long as you consume in the next 6 years - it should stay at bay. 
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2004 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Rockpile Road Zinfandel

Superb

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is one of my favorite vineyards from this producer, it consistantly produces good wines that have big bodies, good structure and a lot of umph!  This vintage shines as a powerhouse red wtih big currant and cherry crawling over your palate. Drink over the next 8 years.
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2005 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Richard Sauret Vineyard Zinfandel

Back on track

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The 2005 is probably my favorite of the vintages that I've had.  It has bold red fruit, with some nice coffee and lettuce undertones which bring out the charm of this wine.  Drink with a steak or pork chops.
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2000 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Richard Sauret Vineyard Zinfandel

Flat Fruit

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
Another off year for this wine - better than the 02 but not by much.  The fruit is too simple and gives into the alcohol which is killing just about every other aspect of this wine as well. The fruit falls flat. Pass.
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2001 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Richard Sauret Vineyard Zinfandel

Good Juice

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Much better vintage than the 2002.  This wine has dark purple color, big smoke and raspberry nose, and a chewy but enjoyable palate of strawberry, currant and rubarb.  Serve with meat.
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2002 - Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Richard Sauret Vineyard Zinfandel

Pass

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
This was an off year for this vitner, our at least this particular wine.  Overall the whole thing falls apart on the mid palate.  You have an ok nose of leaves, black berries and oak, but then it never comes together on the tongue.  Pass.
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2002 - Adelsheim Pinot Gris Pinot Gris

Great

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Well structured and balanced, once again this is an excellent example of pinot gris and I love the floral notes on this vintage.  This might be a little bit light for some, but most should be impressed with what this brings to the palate.
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2004 - Adelsheim Pinot Gris Pinot Gris

Light and Refreshing

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a great example of what pinot girs should look like. Light, crisp, refreshing wine that is easy to pair with food.  This has excellent lemon, apple and light light pear notes.  Enjoy with a light seafood dish or asain cuisine.
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1999 - Adelsheim Chardonnay Chardonnay

Peaked

Jun 02, 2008
1 star
I didn't realize I still had this in my cellar - we openned it for kicks, but it was way too late. All we got was oak and remnants of fruit - may have been good but not anymore.
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2004 - Adelsheim Chardonnay Chardonnay

Better

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This vintage had a more crisp and acidic feel to it which I prefer.  There is still big butter and oak but the fruit does a good job of mellowing this wine out and letting all enjoy it.
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2003 - Adelsheim Chardonnay Chardonnay

Quick to Fade

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine doesn't last long on your palate, and it doesn't deliver anything exciting while it is on your tongue.  Light apple with a lot of oak.  Pass on this vintage.
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2002 - Morgan Cabernet Sauvignon Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon

Strong

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Again, this is a stronger wine like the 2001 vintage.  Big cherry fruit, nice tobacco, and big tight tannins round out the wine.  Some will prefer this vintage to the 01 because it has more cedar box and tobacco flavors - others will prefer the 01 for the bolder fruit. Both good.
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2001 - Morgan Cabernet Sauvignon Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon

Stong and sweet

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is fruit forward, and mixing the cherries, raspberries and strawberries with the nice vanilla tones makes it come off a little bit sweet to some.  Overall this is a well balanced wine, but I would have enjoyed some smoke or cedar.
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2003 - Morgan Cabernet Sauvignon Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon

Strong Wine

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Big full tannins, and large red fruit are the main components.  The tabacco, cedar box, and green tea flavors are the supporting cast. Overall its a nice big wine that will unwind over the next 5 years for some solid drinking. 
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2004 - Smith and Hook Merlot Estate Merlot

Same as 03

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
This was very similar to the 2003 vintage of this wine, making me think that the finish on this wine is just due to their wine making process not the weather.  Again, lighter fruit with some vanilla and nut flavors.  The finish is very sour and off putting once again.
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2003 - Smith and Hook Merlot Estate Merlot

good

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
This was an interesting wine.  The anise and currant flavors were subtle, and gave off a very floral aroma, also some coffee notes as well.  However, there is an odd finish that I can't quite put my finger on - its a little bit sour.
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2004 - Whitehall Lane Merlot Leonardini Vineyard Merlot

Good

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Another solid vintage for this merlot from Whitehall Lane.  This vintage was a little bit more refined and well rounded than the 2003.  However, the fruit is more subtle and the vegetable flavors are looming quietly in the background to attack once this wine ages.
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2003 - Whitehall Lane Merlot Leonardini Vineyard Merlot

Big and Juicy

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I didn't know what to expect from this vintage after hearing a lot of bad things about the weather, but this turned out very yummy. The big juicy fruit pours onto the palate and keeps the alcohol in check.  The structure is pretty solid, but I would say to drink this wine now - I don't know how well it will age.
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2002 - Whitehall Lane Merlot Leonardini Vineyard Merlot

OK

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star

This was an ok merlot, but for the money I would say it's a pass for me.  The fruit is a little bit weaker as earthy tones control the wine with a little bit of bell pepper making an appearance. Seek other vintages.

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2001 - Whitehall Lane Merlot Leonardini Vineyard Merlot

Much Better

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This vintage is the anit-2000 vintage of this same wine.  The fruit is nice and comes through very fresh on the palate.  The light nuttiness and vanilla oak flavors are a great compliment to the cherry and strawberry flavors. 
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2000 - Whitehall Lane Merlot Leonardini Vineyard Merlot

Pass

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
I like merlot when it's done well, this vintage wasn't.  The weather played a part for sure, but this wine had a lot of other defects.  Too much oak and a very green feel to it.  The fruit is lost and the oak is just too much. Seek out other vintages.
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2001 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Aida Vineyard Zinfandel

Cooked

Jun 02, 2008
1 star
This is the 2002 Vintage - the system won't let me change it. This wine should really be rated no stars, because I cannot give a fair eximination, but if you had wine delivered to Texas of this vintage upon release, yours may have been cooked in the delivery process too.  Otherwise, ignore this review.
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2004 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Aida Vineyard Zinfandel

Exceptional

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Another exceptional 2004 vintage wine from Turley.  I wish I had been able to buy one bottle of each of their wines in this year.  The structure and fruit is perfect, big round cherry and raspberry flavors pummell the palate and finish with a nice sweet vanilla kick. 
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2003 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Aida Vineyard Zinfandel

Solid

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is another enjoyable vintage of this California Zinfandel from Turley.  The big raspberry fruit is driving the palate surrounded by cool mint and spice flavors.  Good acidity for a zin.
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2001 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Aida Vineyard Zinfandel

Solid

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Well made, slightly overpriced, but very nice.  If you have the money to buy a case of Turley, then this is definetley one worth seeking out.  The structure and balance of this vintage is superb - the only thing that is bringing this down a star is the price, but this is an excellent wine.
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2000 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Aida Vineyard Zinfandel

Subtle Zin

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a zin, that doesn't really let you know that it is one.  The alcohol and big fruit is kept in check very well, and the earth and pencil shavings are almost cabernet like.  The finish doesn't last for too long, taking away a star for me.
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2004 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Dogtown Zinfandel

Back to Beautiful

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Wonderful vintage - similar to the 2001 in style, yet it has a little more elegeance, smoother velvety tannins, and more red than dark fruit.  The spice and vanilla oak complement this well rounded and distinct wine. Drink over the next 10 years.
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2003 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Dogtown Zinfandel

Off Vintage

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
This might have just been an off bottle because others whose opinions I trusted had a different take on this wine.  However, the two bottles I had were both very light on the palate, with minimal fruit and mostly earth and spice flavors.  Not well rounded, tough to enjoy even with food.  Plus it's not cheap.
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2002 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Dogtown Zinfandel

Good

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This was an interesting vintage, it had a lot of cranberry and smoke that other vintages haven't had.  The length of this wine is nice, you taste it for a good 2 minutes, but the balance is a little more fruit forward and loses some complexity.
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2001 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Dogtown Zinfandel

Excellent Zin

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a wonderful bottle of wine. The depth and structure are what seperate it from most California Zinfandels.  The raspberry and thick strawberry fruits are surounded by a lovely vanilla oak and spice.
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2000 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Dogtown Zinfandel

Good but Off

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star
I've had several vintages of this wine as well (Mailing list!) and this was a very disappointing one.  The bark flavors and dried cherries are the plus side but the alcohol is a little bit overpowering in this vintage. 
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2003 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Old Vines Zinfandel

Solid

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Again, another great vintage for this wine, overall this is a very complex wine every single year.  The nuttiness on the finish is unique to this vintage, and it also has a little bit of rubarb in there as well.  Each vintage is unique and exciting.
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2004 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Old Vines Zinfandel

Good

Jun 02, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Another solid vintage from this cult producer.  This is yet again a more complex zinfandel, with nice big dark raspberry fruit, simple oak, and a nice mint chocolate flavor on the finish.  Drink over the next 6 years.
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2005 - Turley Cellars Zinfandel Old Vines Zinfandel

Complex

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Probably one of the more complex zinfandels that I've ever had, this wine is drenched with dark fruit and spice.  This is not a light wine by any means, and this will over power any weak foods.  Enjoy over the next 8 years.
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2004 - Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Great but not yet

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is too tight to be openning now.  The fruit and structure are there but they haven't had the chance to grow and become more complex.  Give this 3 more years and it will be ready.  Beautiful cherry, strawberry and cassis flavors waiting to be let out onto your palate.
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2003 - Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Good WIne

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Again, very enjoyable, but this vintage went in a different direction than the 01 and 02.  This wine was a little more jammy and yet tighter than the previous vintages, maybe simply because it is younger, but I susppect that this would still have had the tightest tannins of the bunch if they were all tasted right at release. 
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2002 - Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Good

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Nice cherry and vanilla agian, but this wine wasn't quite as smooth as the previous vintage and the tobacco flavors are missing from this vintage.  This was just a weaker version of the 01 in my opinion.
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2001 - Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Excellent WIne

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
We had a vertical of this wine and a merlot that they do at a friends house and it was almost all hits and few misses. This particular vintage stood out as my personal favorite thanks to the lovely and well integrated vanilla oak flavors.  The cherry and tobacco nose was a big draw as well.
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2004 - Saintsbury Pinot Noir Garnet Pinot Noir

Solid Value

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is an excellent value pinot noir from California to seek out. The strawberry and smoke flavors that rule this cool tasting pinot noir are excellent.  The earthiness that complements the fruit is an added bonus. 
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2003 - Torres, Marimar Pinot Noir Pinot Noir

interesting

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star
This is a more old world styled pinot noir, with dried leaf, rough earthy undertones and light strawberry and raspberry.  For my palate this wasn't quite for me, but others might find this extremely complex and give it four stars.  Well made wine for sure.
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2003 - Wynns Chardonnay Chardonnay

More Crisp

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This chardonnay vintage seems to be a little more crisp and lighter than previous vintages. The pear and lemon flavors roll through the tongue and finish with nice acidity and a watm apple peel component.  Drink with a heavier fish.  Best of the bunch.

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2002 - Wynns Chardonnay Chardonnay

Too Much

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star
This vintage was a little more rounded out but it was still too much fruit, too much oak and too much  alcohol. The crisp apple is nice and there are some pretty pear undertones coming through.
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2001 - Wynns Chardonnay Chardonnay

Too Hot

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star
The alcohol is coming through too much for me to recommend this vintage, others are more crisp and lighter on the oak.  The fruit is decent but over powered by the oak and alcohol.
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2003 - Lawrence J. Bargetto Gewurztraminer Gewurztraminer

Exotic

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This tastes like a very exotic wine, and yet it comes from Mendocino county.  The exotic spices, and sweet floral notes dominate the palate and lead you to a nice crisp finish. Good acidity.
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2004 - Wynns Riesling Riesling

Bone Dry

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is a different style of riesling, coming out of Australia, this is a bone dry wine. It's a screwcap, and it is extremely fresh, and filled with a lime tint to the wine.  This would be great with barbque shrimp.

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2000 - Wynns Shiraz Syrah

Interesting

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star
This vintage seemed to offer some interesting vegetal flavors that I haven't tasted since in this Aussie Shiraz.  Overall its an ok wine, that has since peaked, but it's lacking the big fruit and spice that appeals me to Shiraz.
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2003 - Wynns Shiraz Syrah

Good value

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star
Buy the 04 if you can find it, but this is still good stuff.  Big jammy fruit, some lighter spice and cedar shine through on the palate.  This has a big red ruby color and a little bit of alcohol on the palate.
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2004 - Wynns Shiraz Syrah

Value

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
THis is an easy to find red wine that almost everyone should be able to enjoy.  I have had several vintages of this wine as well, and this seems to be the strongest so far.  Big juicy fruit, nice smoky aspect on the nose and the oak melds well with the fruit.
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2001 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Best of the Bunch

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was my favorite of all the vintages that I've tried,  everything just came together really well. The dark fruit, cedar box, smooth tannins and a nice length are all contributing factors to the 4 stars.  This wine should be peaking within the next year or two. 
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2002 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Good not Real Good

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine is fine, but the price point on it was a little bit high for the quality it delivered. Good currant and cherry flavors coming through on the nose and palate, but the nuttiness of this vintage somewhat overpowers the fruit. Also the oak is a little too aggressive. 
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2003 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Anti-2004

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star

This is the exact opposite wine compared to the 2004 vintage I just rated.  The fruit is light still but the wine itself is much bigger and more tannic.  A little too tight and earthy - the fruit isn't strong enough to really shine. 

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2004 - Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Decent

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This particular vintage has nice raspberry fruit and soft black berry and currant notes coming through on the palate.  This a medium bodied Cabernet, and the nutiness on the finish is intriguing to me.  A little lighter than I prefer but good for the here and now. 
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2004 - Lofthouse Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Fruit Forward

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is nice fruit forward wine that is easy to drink and easy on the wallet.  If you like Kim Crawford, thrn this is the wine for you and cheaper. Overall the oak is a little bit annoying on the finish but the apple and pear flavors are lovely.
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2003 - Pine Ridge Merlot Estate Merlot

Pass

Jun 01, 2008
1 star 1 star
This vintage just didn't deliver what it  needed to to justify its price.  The fruit is soft and has barely any length.  The light nutiness on the finish is the biggest plus, but the oak is a little too present.
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2004 - Pine Ridge Merlot Estate Merlot

Good not Great

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
Nice fruit but a little bit on the lighter side.  The oak overpowers the fruit too much, but there are some nice milk chocolate flavors.  Overall its a little too pricey to recommend.
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2004 - Penalolen, Vina Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc

OK

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
I would say pass not because it's bad but because it's not interesting enough.  Basic melon fruit that falls somewhat flat, surrounded by oak and alcohol.  Ok but not great.  
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2005 - Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Getting Better

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is the last vintage I have had of this wine, and I can only hope that they stay in this direction of quality.  The rubarb and black currant are back, along with spice and tangerine soaked oak and dirt - if that makes sense. Drink now.
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2004 - Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Value Wine

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
If you like medium bodied reds with light alcohol and lots of cherry drenched oak flavors, then this is the wine for you.  At less than $10 a bottle, this is an easy to drink wine for everyday.
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2003 - Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Bitter But Not Bad

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
The tannins and dark chocolate flavors make this vintage a little bit bitter on the palate, but it somehow pulls itself together for a nice finish.  Mostly thanks to the red licorice and black berries.
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2002 - Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Terrible

May 31, 2008
1 star
This vintage went the other direction.  It's dirt and oak chips and alcohol and alcohol and some more alcohol.  I can't find any redeeming qualities except the low price which is still way too high for this vintage.
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2001 - Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Plump

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a big surprise after the 2000 vintage of this wine.  This vintage is plump with fruit and mostly plums.  The dirt and oak are nowhere to be seen but the sweet toast is back and also with some smoke.
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2000 - Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Ok

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This chilean wine has a lot of the usual characters here - oak and dirt, but it also has some nice black currant and even some sweet toast.  Drink now if you still have some.
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2002 - Argyle Brut 

Light and Easy

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very and easy to drink sparkler.  Nice pear and peach flavors are in the house and raising the roof.  This is another example of light summer champagne that is easy to enjoy.
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2003 - Quinta do Vale Meao  Port

Good Stuff

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Big nose starts you off with mint and spice, then the fruit drives your tongue with cassis and rubarb. This wine may have the best guts to last the longest of all the vintages that I've tried.  Good for 10+ years.
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2004 - Quinta do Vale Meao  Port

Nice

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Big flavors again on this fruit forward but well structure portugal wine.  Nice mint and dark chocolate stand out immediately to me, and are followed by cherries and plum.
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2005 - Quinta do Vale Meao  Port

Yummy

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
THis Portuguese wine is a great example of the high quality non-port wines coming out of that country.  The vanilla oak wraps around this fruit forward wine - tastes like cherries covered in raspberry sauce, topped with granite.
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9998 - Kalin Cellars Cuvee Rose Sparkling Wine Potter Valley 

Nice For Summer

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is an excellent sparkler to pop during the summer, when you're having a barbque and you don't want a big red.  This wine has lovely color and floral scents on the nose.  The  palate is crisp watermelon and strawberry wrapped in sourdough.
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9998 - Gruet Brut Non Vintage Proprietary Blend

Spicy Pear

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine tastes just like pear covered in light sweetend spices.  The toast again closes this wine off and the apple and smoked buttery taste hits the sides of your palate.  Little too much alcohol brings it down a notch.
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9998 - Gruet Brut Blanc de Noirs Proprietary Blend

Tropical Wine

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine has a lot of tropical fruit flavors, and makes me feel somewhat in Mexico on the beach.  Cherry and apple undertones and a nice toasty finish bring this wine full circle.
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2003 - Arrowood Riesling Select Late Harvest Riesling

Good but oaky

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine would have gotten four stars again for me, but the oak throws this vintage off a little bit.  This isn't a value wine so, it might be a pass for some, but to me the sweet melon and apricot fruit really shine and make this an easy wine to enjoy.

 

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2004 - Arrowood Riesling Select Late Harvest Riesling

SWEET

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
It was very sweet, almost like a desert wine that wasn't too heavy on the palate.  This is still an after dinner drink in my opinion but it would pair well with an asain meal as well. 
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2001 - Arrowood Malbec Malbec

Nice

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is much more elegant style Malbec than the wines from Argentina, but it doesn't lack the strength you expect from Malbec. Nice roundness in the mouth, and beautiful vanilla oak surrounds this extremely smooth Malbec.
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2003 - Marquis Philips Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Solid Year

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Again a very nice vintage, a great value wine with over-the-top fruit and sweet vanilla oak.  This wine makes me sound like a broken record, but it seems to be very consistent year after year.  The alcohol is a little bit higher again in this vintage.
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2004 - Marquis Philips Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Great Value

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Wonderful wine.  The big jammy fruit, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry jam all rolled into this over-the-top Australian Cabernet.  This isn't meant for the cellar, it's meant to enjoy now, and enjoy it I shall.
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2006 - Marquis Philips Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Good but Warm

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The only reason this didn't score higher for me, was the high alcohol coming through.  It unfortunately took away from the fruit that was actually really nice.  Big cherry, rasberry, and blueberry fruit with sweet vanilla oak.
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2003 - Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Off a little

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wasn't as good as later vintages.  I can't quite say exactly what it was that was different but the balance didn't seem quite right. The cherries and tobacco are still nice, but the oak isn't quite as smooth as other vintages. 
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2004 - Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Good for SA Lovers

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
If you enjoy the wines of South Africa like I do, then this is certainly a wine I would recommend seeking out.  However, if you're more drawn to fruit forward or fruit bomb style wines - I'd say pass.  The terroir is really shinning through on this wine with a nice balance of earth and fruit to give this wine good complexity. Drink now.
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2005 - Groote Post Sauvignon blanc Sauvignon Blanc

Dry to the Oak

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
The oak is in control of this wine - no doubt, but it isn't a bad as most oak driven wines.  The crisp lemon and pear fruit flavors are still hanging in there right next to the fruit and make a wonderful pairing.  Still - too much oak.
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2005 - Glen Carlou Chardonnay Reserve Chardonnay

Great Stuff

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Just like the 2004 version of this wine, except it has more lemon on the nose and it has a little bit more complexity being driven by various flavors of stone and terroir.  Great example of South African wines on top of their game.
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2003 - Glen Carlou Chardonnay Reserve Chardonnay

Not Quite There

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine was a little bit too warm for my palate.  This wine is normally very crisp and on the lighter side but this year seemed to be more alcohol and oak driven than the crisp melon fruit and lemon.  Try other vintages.
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2004 - Glen Carlou Chardonnay Reserve Chardonnay

Crisp and Dry

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
this is my style white wine.  Very clean, not dominated by oak, and easy to pair with food.  would recommend this wine to anyone who enjoys a lighter styled wine but with a wonderful minerality. 
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9998 - Quinta do Infantado Vintage Port Port

Very Basic

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This is what you would expect from a restraunts low end port wines.  The flavors of port are there but its so watered down compared to other ports.  Not sure what the price is on this wine but anything over 12 bucks is too much.
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2002 - Bodega Numanthia Termes Numanthia Tempranillo

Repetitive Much?

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is more of the same, maybe a little more vanilla than previous vintages but otherwise hard to discern between them.  Cherries, tobacco, and cedar box are dominate after the vanilla oak.
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1999 - Bodega Numanthia Termes Numanthia Tempranillo

Slightly less refined

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This vintage is still crawling with cherry, tobacco, vanilla oak and cassis flavors, but the fruit is a little less expressive and the oak is slightly less refined.  The tannins are also a little bit chewier than later vintages.

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2001 - Bodega Numanthia Termes Numanthia Tempranillo

Same old

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is again a wine that I have seen have very minimal variance from vintage to vintage, so if you like this wine, keep buying other vintages, and if you don't, well then don't bother.  The vanilla oak, cherries, currant and earthy undertones are all present.
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2000 - Bodega Numanthia Termes Numanthia Tempranillo

Good But Overrated

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is a solid 90 point wine, and that's good but that's all it is.  The vanilla oak and sweet cherries pour out on the nose and the palate.  The earthy undertones help drown out the alcohol that you taste on a lot of Spanish wines.
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2005 - Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc

Fruit Forward

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

I could copy the review of the 2007 wine for this one.  Fruit forward Melons, grapefruit and orange peel are the main focus on the palate, surrounded by nice, soft oak whichs is so well integrated with the fruit, you hardly notice it.

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2007 - Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc

Solid Stuff

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I think consistant is the best term for this wine.  I will also say, that if you don't like this fruit forward style of Sauvignon Blanc, then don't bother with any vintage - because it's all very similar.  Fruit forward melons, starfruit, kiwi and grapefruit.
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2000 - Batailley  Bordeaux Blend

Great Wine

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very traditional style bordeaux, with excellent weather leading the way, this bordeaux shows all of the traditional cherry, tobacco, cedar box, and pencil shaving flavors of bordeaux that I've come to love.  Drink over the next 15 years.  This one is built to last.
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2001 - Batailley  Bordeaux Blend

Excellent

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is actually my favorite vintage that I've had from this producer - even more so than the 2000.  The 01 just seemed to be a little more opulent and full of life for my palate.  The cherries and tobacco flavors seem endless and ready to treat your palate.
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1999 - Batailley  Bordeaux Blend

Cool wine

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This was a somewhat cool wine with smart smooth fruit, that is really more of an undertone to the wonderful minerality and terroir driven flavors of the wine.  Probably won't age as well as other vintages, lighter wines tend to fade faster in my experience.
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2002 - Batailley  Bordeaux Blend

Weak

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This vintage is too weak on the palate, and watered down to really recommend.  The pricing makes it more intriguing, but I regret the 3 bottles I bought.  It just isn't up to its normal par. Seek other vintages.
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2003 - Batailley  Bordeaux Blend

Fruit Forward Vintage

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very fruit forward style for this winery, and I suspect that it has more to do with the weather than winemaking. This is actually a little too fruit forward for my taste, but it still has a nice amount of terroir shinning through and decent acidity.
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2001 - Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Curico Valley Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon

Good with Steak

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
The big juicy flavors of a nice t-bone would help this wine round itself out in some ways.  This is actually the best vintage of this wine that I've had over the years, if you're not drinking it by itself.  The cherry and tobacco flavors are rounded out by - big surprise - bell pepper.
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2003 - Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Curico Valley Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon

Green Wine

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
Bell peppers and jalepenos dominate the palate for this vintage, not uncommon for this wine.  Overall this is a wine that some will love, most will probably not.  Everybody should appreciate the smoother tannins than other vintages of this wine. 
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2005 - Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Curico Valley Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon

Pass

May 31, 2008
1 star
This vintage was a big disappointment.  The oak comes in and kills this already flawed wine.  The fruit is beaten down by green herbs and oak chips.  This is just too akward to really give any good notes.
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2004 - Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Curico Valley Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon

Good Earth

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine does have good earth/terroir flavors, but its a little too green for most palates, and lets the vegetable flavors dominate too much.  Bell pepper and light cherries.   
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2006 - Vascos, Los Chardonnay Chardonnay

Just OK

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This chardonnay was given to me as a gift in a gift basket so I didn't have high hopes, but it wasn't that bad.  It's oaky but not buttery, and it has a nice apple slice flavor going on with a decent crispness.
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2004 - Laurenz und Sophie Singing Gruner Veltliner Gruner Veltliner

Excellent!

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was my favorite of the vertical because of the fruit.  It was crisp, concise and targeted the palate perfectly.  Nice lemon and pineapple with sweet melon and orange peel.  The acidity is perfect.
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2005 - Laurenz und Sophie Singing Gruner Veltliner Gruner Veltliner

Good not Great

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This was my least favorite of the 04 and 06 vintages vertical tasting I did of this wine.  It was still good but the fruit seemed to be a bit off and the oak started to peak through a little bit more than on the other two vintages. Seek out the 04 or 06.
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2006 - Laurenz und Sophie Singing Gruner Veltliner Gruner Veltliner

Good Stuff

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I bought 3 bottles each of 3 different vintages of this wine when my Daughter Sophie was born, and we pop'd one of each on the day after her birth.  This was my second favorite.  Nice crisp mouth feel, and wonderful starfruit on the finish. Pair with asain food or thai. 
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2005 - Lurton, J & F Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire)  Proprietary Blend

Pass

May 31, 2008
1 star
This vintage was almost identical to the 2006 except that the alcohol came in and took over.  I just can't see where anyone would be able to pick up on anything but alcohol and dirt.  Pass.
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2006 - Lurton, J & F Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire)  Proprietary Blend

Decent

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
Not great, but not bad for the price.  Drink now and drink with food.  This wine has fruit buried beneath the oak and somewhat dirty flavors of leaves and twigs.  Don't buy a case - but it would work in a jam.
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2003 - Achaval Ferrer Malbec Malbec

Puts the Umph in Umph!

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is a bit of a bully, but a nice bully.  It pounds your palate with its rich cocoa and anise flavors, but then backs off on the finish and ends on a nice smoother cherry sauce flavor. 
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2004 - Achaval Ferrer Malbec Malbec

Good Stuff

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
My only complaint on this wine is that it comes off a little bit too simple.  Other vintages have been more complex.  However, for the price it still delivers excellent fruit and earth undertones. 
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2005 - Achaval Ferrer Malbec Malbec

Excellent Value

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This was a very exciting wine for the $16 I paid for it.  This is easily confused for a $40+ of Argentina Malbec.  This is the best vintage of this bottling so far to date.  Tight wine, but it opens up with nice pepper, light chocolate, black berries and dirt.
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2003 - Achaval Ferrer Quimera Proprietary Blend

Cocoa Wine

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This vintage has beautiful cocoa that is dominating the palate, but even a little too much so. There is some strong plum and rubarb components in there, but the cocoa is still king. Should continue to change - maybe release more fruit.
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2004 - Achaval Ferrer Quimera Proprietary Blend

Excellent Vintage

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I really loved this well structure Malbec from Argentina.  This producer continues to impress me with its quality wines at all price points.  The usual characters of cherry, cocoa and earth shine in this wine, but its the vanilla oak that takes main stage for me. This should last a while.
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2000 - Terrazas de Los Andes Malbec Reserva Malbec

Drink Now

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine was fine when I had it 2 years ago, but it was peaking even then.  If you have this bottle, time to open it.  Expect cherries and tobacco, but maybe a little bit of alcohol starting to really pop up.
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2002 - Terrazas de Los Andes Malbec Reserva Malbec

Not Sure

May 31, 2008
1 star
My bottle, I'm pretty sure was corked so its tough to review this bottle. However, if it wasn't corked, it was just plain awful.  No fruit, wet newspaper and dirt. 
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2001 - Terrazas de Los Andes Malbec Reserva Malbec

Solid

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This vintage has significantly benefited from bottle ageing, which gives me hopes for my 2003 bottles.  The oak has blended into the fruit and carries it with a nice vanilla finish.  The cherry and earth are the best characters and the anise is nice on the finish.
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2004 - Terrazas de Los Andes Malbec Reserva Malbec

OK

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star

This vintage was not as solid as others I have tried.  The fruit is in somewhat of dumb phase, but should open up eventually.  The tannins are very tight but the fruit is hidden in there somewhere. Oak also is a little too strong - search for the 2003.

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2003 - Terrazas de Los Andes Malbec Reserva Malbec

Big Boy

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I was somewhat surprised by the quality of this wine.  The currant and smoke are interesting but its the cocoa and cherry flavors that dominate the mouth.  There is some chewiness, so food might be a nice way to calm that down.
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2005 - Pascual Toso Pascual Toso Malbec Malbec

Decent

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
Decent wine and exceptional for the money.  This is a great wine to pair with a big juicy steak.  This wine needs no food, but it helps calm down some of the oak and a little bit of the jammines. Nice carmel action too.
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2004 - Vascos, Los Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Pass

May 31, 2008
1 star
Oak and alcohol.  Didn't even deliver for the discounted price of $10.  Can't recommend for even an every day wine. Big Pass. Try Montes or Concha Y Toro for better value.
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2005 - Pahlmeyer  Pinot Noir Pinot Noir

Wooden Wine?

May 31, 2008
1 star 1 star
Another review listed this as a wood covered wine, and I couldn't agree more.  I do think that the wine will come together slightly better over the next 5 years, but who cares - it costs too much to be this disappointing.
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2001 - Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Proprietary Blend

Interesting Italian Wine

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine has a lot of vanilla and strawberries mixed in with mushrooms and truffles.  The midpalate is a little bit hollow, and this wine is better with food than by itself, but it still delivers plenty of joy by itself. 
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2001 - Alta Vista Premium Malbec Malbec

Good Value

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
At $20 a bottle - this Argentinian Malbec delivers a very well rounded wine with cocoa lightly sprinkled over cherries and tobacco mixed with slight dirt.  This wine is best consumed while young.
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2002 - Lagrange St Julien Bordeaux Blend

Solid Wine

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a classic claret from Bordeaux that delivers well beyond a lot of its compadres at higher price points.  This wine excelled in an off year for bordeaux.  I would seek this producer out in a stronger vintage to see how they fare.
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2004 - Groote Post Sauvignon blanc Sauvignon Blanc

Dry South African Wine

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
This is a much drier sav. blanc than I had expected - even for South Africa.  This drinks more like a Chenin Blanc than a Sauvignon Blanc.  The crispness of this wine makes it easy to drink with food but the oak is still a little too strong for my tastes.
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2001 - Nerthe, Chateau de la Chateauneuf du Pape Proprietary Blend

Solid Wine

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine was everything I had hoped it would be.  Smooth, silky tannins with fresh strawberry fruit and light chocolate flavors dominating the palate.  This is what wine is all about.  Classic mouthfeel. 
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2002 - Vall-Llach, Celler Vall Llach Proprietary Blend

Great Wine

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Now this wine isn't cheap but after you taste it, you automatically know this is a high end Spanish wine.  The fruit and vanilla oak are mended so harmonously well together.  The big bold spice and smokiness give this wine the edge to hold on for another 8 years+ but I would still enjoy it now during its youth. 
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2002 - Vall-Llach, Celler Embruix Proprietary Blend

Decent but overpriced

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine was much better than the Idus, and with a little extra bottle age will really be able to shine some of its hidden fruit but its still too common to demand $30+ a bottle.  Pass based on price.
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2002 - Vall Llach, Celler Idus Proprietary Blend

Blah

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine isn't even comparable to the other two wines in this vintage and it's a joke at $50+ a bottle.  The fruit is weak and the alcohol is high.  At a tasting at my house between these 3 wines - this was last on eveyones list. Skip.
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2001 - Liparita Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard Reserve  Cabernet Sauvignon

Ehhh

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
I can barely remember this wine except that it isn't very rememberable.  This wine had a lot of earth and meatiness to it but it wasn't well balanced with the fruit.  This is a wine that needs food.  Drink now.
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2004 - Artazu Santa Cruz de Artazuri Grenache

Vanilla Lovers will enjoy

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is a spanish fruit bomb wrapped in silky smooth vanilla oak.  It delivers for the money and offers a good look into spanish wines for those who have never tried them.  This wine steps above other Spanish wines and brings a little extra flavor to enjoy right now!
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2001 - Provenance Merlot Merlot

Carneros Merlot

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine is perfect with Thanksgiving turkey and sides.  It actually screams to be had with a meal.  This is a much stronger Merlot thanks to the strong fruit from the carneros fruit.  Nuts and smoke compliment this wine as well. 

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2004 - Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Good

May 13, 2008
1 star 1 star
Slightly overpriced is my main complaint.  At $35 a bottle - this wine simply cannot deliver the value it needs to be a wine I can recommend.  The cherries and earth flavors with light cocoa are nice but still too common for this price tag.
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2004 - Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Wish I had more

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This wonderful cabernet, stood out as one of the best early 2004 California Cabernets that I tried.  The tannins were firm and let you know this wine can last a while, but still allowed the cherries, vanilla oak and tobacco to shine through.  Worth buying a case if you can find it!
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2001 - Harrison Vineyards Zinfandel Zebra Zin Zinfandel

Pass

May 12, 2008
1 star
Great year for California Zins, and Harrison is a great producer but this basic Zinfandel represents a weak merlot more than a zinfandel.  The fruit is overpowered by oak and alcohol and the whole thing is overpowered by water. 
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2002 - Talbot  Bordeaux Blend

Good - not Great

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Good winery but this was not a great year for most Bordeauxs including this one.  The price makes it intriguing but it's still not priced correctly.  This is an overwatered version of this producer, and is a claret lacking the fruit to carry it too far into the future.  Drink now.
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2004 - Penny's Hill Shiraz Red Dot Syrah

Basic

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Nothing exciting to report.  Spice, fake aussie fruit bomb that is enjoyable now but will not last more than 4-5 years at best.  Dark fruit does make this a wine worth seeking out for immediate pleasure. 
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2004 - Badger Mountain Syrah Organic Syrah

Beefy

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This syrah is a hearty, beefy stew of a wine that leaves you curious to try another bottle.  This wine is really is a lot different than most of its brethren in this price range.  However, if you don't enjoy meaty wines - this is a big pass. For me it was a lovely surprise.
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2000 - Potelle, Chateau Cabernet Sauvignon VGS Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

Pass

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Too much money required to drink this basic Cabernet.  I like big boy cabernets from California, and anything less or without silky tannins just doesn't interest me anymore.  This wine did have some earth that some might enjoy.  Fruit will disappoint most. 
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2001 - Potelle, Chateau Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc

Typical

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine is your typical california Sauvignon Blanc.  I was led to believe that this producer would blow me away with this wine but it just came across as ok at best.  Crisp but too light and lacking the backbone to make it a keeper.  Overpriced too.
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2000 - Lockwood Syrah Syrah

Closeout that was closed out

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine was purchased by myself on closeout and I thought for the discount it was worth giving it a shot. It was not.  This wine had past its prime pretty early on and you could tell was never that good.  The fruit is weak and doesn't deliver a full mouthfeel. 
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2004 - Ecole No 41, L' Semillon Late Harvest Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Semillon

Great Wine

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine thinks outside the box, delivers outside its price range and is an excellent wine to pop open outside on a warm summers day.  The freshness and crisp fruit make this wine perfect for Chinese food.
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1996 - Burgess Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Past its Prime

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine was weak by the time I had openned it.  I believe this was a wine that was probably meant to shine for 5 years or less and then quickly fade out which it had by the time I drank.  No fruit or weight left - cork crumbled too.
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2004 - Cline Cellars Red Truck Red Proprietary Blend

Straightforward

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine is straight forward and simple on the palate.  It's a fun wine meant to be served with a lighter home cooked meal or a birthday party in the earlier evening.  Basic red fruit and chewy tannins.  No depth. 
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2003 - The Wishing Tree Shiraz Syrah

Too Much Cola

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Unlike the Brown Brothers shiraz, this wine has some mint and light spice flavors that give it enough character to interest some.  The cola still dominates this wine and I am not a fan.  Pass even at $10. 
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2004 - Brown Brothers Shiraz Syrah

Nothing but Cola

May 12, 2008
1 star
This wine was nothing more than carbonated grape juice.  It has some wood chip flavors in there as well if that's what you're into.  Not worth the price of a soda in my humble opinion. 
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2000 - Merryvale Vineyards Chardonnay Silhouette Chardonnay

Overpriced

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine is more complex than the lower end starmont but, it isn't that much better.  This wine had passed its prime 2 years ago.  It's giving into the flabby body, oak and alcohol.  Drink now.  Under delivers.
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2004 - Merryvale Vineyards Chardonnay Starmont Chardonnay

OK

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Nothing too impressive except that this is a more "clean" version of a california chardonnay.  This wine has a crispness that allows it to pair well with a lot of different foods but the oak and butter are still too involved to over enjoy. 
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2000 - Lake Breeze Grenache Grenache

Solid wine

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This grenache delivered the high alcohol that you would expect from Australia, but it also offered up some wonderful blueberry flavors with nice dark wood polishing off the finish. 
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2000 - Lake Breeze Bernoota Proprietary Blend

So So

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine was bought on closeout at half price and I still didn't go back for more after my original 3 bottle purchase.  It's an ok wine but that memorable.  Decent fruit just too smoky and unbalanced for me. 
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2004 - Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Pinot Noir

Solid Pinot

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I'm a sucker for cook russian river valley pinot noirs and this one is no different.  The strawberries are smooth but not sweet and well balanced with the rest of this wine.  Great with salmon.
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2004 - Glaetzer Shiraz The Bishop Syrah

Fruit bomb and I love it!

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is hedonistic Australian red wine if I've ever tasted it and I don't care!  The spices, the fruits and the pure raspberry melody that pours over your palate will make you forget the over jamminess and warmth of this wine. 
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2000 - Hartwell Cabernet Sauvignon Stag's Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

Great Wine - ok year

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine way delivers beyond what 2000 weather offered California.  IT has the structure and strength to hold for another 10 years.  This wine will only become more silky and shine it's fruit and tobacco flavors off even more. 
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2000 - Hartwell Mistique Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Too tight

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine needs to be layed down for another year or two before approaching.  When I had it 2 years ago it was still way too tight to deliver any fruit that didn't get smashed by the tannins.  Probably never going to deliver for the money. 
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2005 - The Magnificent Wine Co House Wine Proprietary Blend

Surprised

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star

Now I'm not saying this wine is going to blow your socks off, but at $10 a bottle I wouldn't be surprised if you buy a half case for the house.  It's a simple fruit bomb that gets a little bit warm like a lot of Washington Red wines. 

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2001 - Solaris Chardonnay Chardonnay

It delivers what you pay

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
It delivers what you pay and then it says goodbye.  Fake fruit and oak dominate but the crispness of this chardonnay make it more approachable with food.  Stick to this producers zinfandel. 
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2006 - Orin Swift The Prisoner Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

Solid Wine

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very solid wine that will knock you down if you're not carefully.  They are not shy about the alcohol level in this mostly zinfandel blend wine by Orin Swift.  Your mouth is pummeled with gobs of fruit and berries.  You will taste this wine for days.  This wine could lay down for a while.
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2004 - Estancia Zinfandel Zinfandel

Table Wine

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Again alcohol overpowers, but this wine is a lighter zin overall and that is a nice change of pace from other california zinfandels.  Light jamminess and tartness are the best qualities of this wine.
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2004 - Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Tres Picos Grenache

Pass

May 12, 2008
1 star
Alcohol and light smoky fruit that can barely make an appearance thanks to the alcohol.  This wine isn't worth the under $10 price tag it demands.  Skip this wine.
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2004 - Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos (Tempranillo) Tempranillo

Not bad

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
I don't dislike this wine but I also don't get the hype.  Parker way overrates this wine on a consistent basis.  If you expect 90+ points you'll get disappointment, if you expect 87+ - you'll be content.  The fruit is over powered by vanilla oak and alcohol.
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2000 - Qupe Syrah Syrah

Good for the Money

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Pour this wine with a basic home cooked chicken dish and enjoy.  It's not complex, but it's not too simple either.  It delivers for the money and gives a good amount of length on the finish. Drink now.
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1988 - Jota, La Cabernet Franc Cabernet Franc

Very Impressive

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I just drank this wine on Friday with BBQ and it was unbelievably impressive for it's age.  It was still a very smooth wine that you could tell has aged extremely well thanks to the vegetable components.  Even non cab franc lovers like myself will enjoy this wine.  But drink now!
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1997 - Byron IO Syrah Upper Bench Syrah

Drink Now

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
This wine is still holding itself up barely after all of these years.  This was not as impressive as the 1999 IO but still worth drinking now if you have a bottle.  Warning: This bottle is about to lose it's fruit and become a very flabby wine.  Drink now.
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1999 - Marcelina Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

NOt worth tasting

May 12, 2008
1 star
This is probably in actuality a 2 star wine, but the price just takes it down another level.  This is a high end wine for Gallo and Sonoma and it falls flat on it's back into a vat of grape jelly and alcohol.  Skip.
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2000 - Miner Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Solid Wine for Bad Year

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
2000 was a mostly off year in my personal experience for California Cabernets - too many were "wet" wines in my opinion and were either too thin or too musty to keep.  This wine had the backbone of tannins and flavor to make it worthwhile at a discount,  Normal price was still too much.
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9998 - Miner Family Vineyards Chardonnay Napa Chardonnay

Too Much

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Too much of everything - oak, butter, apple, and too much money.  This wine doesn't deliver anything a $10 bottle of california chardonnay in a good vintage wouldn't bring.  Skip.
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1996 - Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Past it's Prime

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
This wine was a huge disappointment after the beauty of the 1995 reserve.  This wine just fell flat on it's face thanks to the extra time in the bottle.  Maybe when it was young it had the fruit but now it's just wood and alcohol with cedar box.
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1999 - Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Solid Wine

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
If you have this bottle you can open it or let it age for a little bit longer.  This wine has the tannins and structure to go 15 years.  The fruit is dark and rounds out yourwhole palate. Chewy tannins.
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2001 - Chimney Rock Fume Blanc Sauvignon Blanc

Fume Once...

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
Not too shabby. This is a decent surprise for the money, and the grape.  Most cali sav blancs don't deliver too much beyond the oak like their countepart chardonnays but this one is crisp, light on the palate and strong on the finish.
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2001 - Decoy (Duckhorn) Red Blend Proprietary Blend

Ok - not great

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
It falls short of its price point in my opinion.  Solid fruit and decent balance, it just lacks any wow factor and blends in with all the other wines in this category.  Lots of $15 bottles bring this same performance.
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2005 - Altos Las Hormigas Bonarda Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda

Table wine

May 12, 2008
1 star 1 star
Basic red table wine and not much more.  It delivers for the price it demands but that's all.  Basic red fruit flavors hidden in slight oak and high alcohol feel on the palate.
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2004 - Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir

Barely three stars

Apr 18, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is your average pinot noir - nothing too exciting but the quality is still there in this $35 wine.  It's overpriced, and you're better off spending the money elsewhere or bumping up your money to $45 to try Bele Glos higher end pinots.  Light strawberries, raspberries, and gentle tannins.  I would definetley drink it if it was being poured, but my money will go elsewhere.  (This is a well made wine - it just doesn't bring the funk!)

88 Points.

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2004 - Belle Glos Pinot Noir Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir

Dark Side of Pinot

Apr 18, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is a full body pinot noir - with darker fruit, color, and a very prominate nose.  This is probably my favorite of the belle glos wines (I haven't had the Taylor Lane).  The thing I love most about this particular pinot is that it stands out from almost ever other pinot I've ever had with it's grace and strength.  It's like drinking a football balet.  This is a pinot you can pair with steak and it might still hold it's own.

91-92 Points.

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9998 - Riondo Prosecco Prosecco

SCREAMING VALUE!!

Apr 18, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This sparkling wine is as good as it gets in the $10 and under price range.  This wine will hold  it's own against $40 and $50 bottles of Champagne.  Beware - if you don't like banana's - stay away from this wine.  There are banana peels, very light sourdough and some extremely light citrus pulling trhough.  The balance on this wine is excellent, and this is a great wine to have before dinner. This is easily a 2 case buy.  (This will work well for momosa's as well)

92+ Points

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2002 - Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve Proprietary Blend

Smoked Nuts

Apr 18, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine is nuts smoothered in smoke.  The strawberry fruit cuts through your palate also but it gets trampled by the smoke and nutty flavor that dominates this wine.  The wine itself is a very soft texture on the palate which I'm not particularly fond of, but the wine itself stands up strong. 

90 Points

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2005 - Justin Vineyard Orphan Proprietary Blend

Someone Just Got Adopted!

Apr 18, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is an unbelievably good value for a California Red wine from a producer as well known as Justin. If you get a chance to research the story behind this wine you should because it is very interesting.  This wine matched up well against Justins higher end wines as well.  Good cherries, tobacco, cassis, firm tannins, but still a very smooth drinking wine.  This is a wine people buy by the case.

88+ Points

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2002 - Newton Claret Unfiltered Proprietary Blend

Middle Ground

Apr 18, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine is easy to drink, easy to forget, and works well with most dishes.  I like the fruit, slight oak, and chewy tannins, but overall it's a middle ground wine.  A decent value that all can enjoy but will inspire none.

87-88 Points

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2000 - Justin Vineyard Syrah Syrah

Miss

Apr 17, 2008
1 star

I'm going to give this wine a little bit of credit because the cork had somewhat dried out on this wine - but it wasn't a corked wine at all.  This wine lacked the fruit it needed to balance out it's flabby structure.  Think dirt, wood, and some water mixed into the over dried cherries - and that's the essence of this wine. 

I love Justin, and they make some wonderful wines, but this vintage of their syrah fell way short - however, most likely you won't find this wine on the shelves anymore anyway. 

82-84 Points

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2002 - Sterling Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Very Nice But Overpriced

Apr 17, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is a $40 wine that sells for $75.  It does  have a great mouth feel and solid complexity (for a $40 bottle) but it falls way short of the price it demands.  The light cedar box, red cherries, and light cassis shine through.  I believe this wine will age well for another 5+ Years but it might be peaking in the next 2 or 3. 

89-91 Points

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2005 - d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Grenache / Shiraz Proprietary Blend

Jump for Value!

Apr 16, 2008
1 star 1 star

This is a great $10 bottle of wine if you can get it at that price.  This is a very simple, table wine from Australia that brings enough fruit and acidity to pair it well with most meals.  This is a very good pizza wine.  This is the kind of drink I wish people would buy instead of Yellow Tail and overpriced $15 grocery store California Cabs.  At this price point - I would buy a half case for the house.

87 Points

 

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2004 - Two Hands Shiraz Angel's Share Syrah

MMMMM MMMMM

Apr 15, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

this was a tasty wine.  My wife and I just finished my last bottle over a nice meal and I'm sad to see it go.  The smoke, dark fruit, light graham cracker and berry sauce make this one bad mama jama!  The price concerns me a little because it's shot up so much over the last 4 years but then again what quality wine hasn't.  Buy a bottle to store or drink - this wine has the backbone to last a few years and then some. 

91+ Points

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1999 - Artesa Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Wonderfully Made Wine

Apr 15, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine was perfect by the time it hit my palate.  I love that people think California Cabernet is going to last 30 years - even the top names are peaking before 15 years max.  Don't believe me - try drinking a 1990 cabernet now, see if it still has the fruit to bring to your palate! But I digress.  This is a wonderfully made wine with silky tannins, good cherry fruit, slight cedar box, and milk chocolate.  It goes down smooth is what I'm trying to say!

91-93 Points

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1999 - Sebastiani Merlot Alexander Valley Merlot

Great Value

Apr 15, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

The 1999 of this wine was a big surprise.  This is more of a Cabernet styled Merlot, with big fruit, round tannins, and strong backbone to this wine.  This wine is most likely still bringing enjoyment to whomever has any left!  Wish I did!  Sonoma County.

90+ Points

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9998 - Norman Estates, Greg Sparkling Chardonnay / Pinot Noir Proprietary Blend

Probably Deserves 4 Stars...

Apr 14, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This sparkling wine really blew me away.  I honestly just thought it would be your average sourdough and light fruit sparkling wine in the $15 and under range.  The fruit really comes through on this wine, but very subtle - not over the top like most wines in this class.  Very crisp and food friendly - but best by itself! 

My only complaint is that this was $12 at my local shop - a steal and the last time I went in there it was $18.  Spectator rated it 91 and the price goes up.

91+ Points

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2006 - Thorn-Clarke Shiraz Shotfire Ridge Syrah

Buy the 2005

Apr 14, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

The 2005 vintage of this wine was an unbelievable surprise! the QPR on this wine knocked me on my rear!  The 06 was good but it was lacking the punch the 2005 brought to the table. 

Dark fruit, good tannins, not too chewy, covers your palate and lasts for a good while too.  However, the balance is slightly off and even though you don't taste it right off the back - the alcohol hits you on the back end.  This wine is still worth seeking out, but I hope it gets back to the 05 quality.

89 Points

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2004 - Garretson Wine Co Syrah Craic Syrah

Rhone syrah in Paso Robles...

Apr 14, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This little syrah is a great example of new world doing a quality Old world style wine.  The nuts and light strawberries cover your palate, surrounded by smoke and light tobacco flavors.  This is a very soft tannin wine that is drinkable now and probably best over the next 3 years.  Best with a light cheese.

89 Points.

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2003 - Catena Zapata, Bodegas Catena Alta Malbec Malbec

Starbucks Anyone?

Apr 12, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine is smothered in chocolate, coffee, and dark berry sauce.  This is a beautifully made wine that has improved significantly since the last time I openned it. (It was good the first time too!)  The currant is really smooth and this is just a very well rounded wine. This wine dominates even over the fart my Great Dane just let out - now that's an endorsement!

Spectator gave this 93 or 94 points and I would say that's pretty dead on. I might even argue it deserves an extra point.

93-95 points.

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1999 - Arrowood Merlot Reserve Speciale Merlot

"If they order Merlot...."

Apr 11, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

....I might just stick around if it's this one.  This wine really came through as a very well made wine like almost everything else I have had from Arrowood.  The balance and acidity are very impressive and food friendly.  This wine has enough fruit to last another 5 years but I wouldn't push it.  Drink now and enjoy the fruit which is settling into a smoother finish.  Slight cedar box. 

90+ Points

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2005 - Banrock Station Shiraz Syrah

For the Money - holy crap!

Apr 11, 2008
1 star 1 star

This is actually done in bottles and as a box wine, and when it was first recommended to me - I cringed and almost didn't buy it.  But this is a great example of why not to judge a book by it's cover.  One quick warning - of the 6+ bottles I've had -  every so often I would hit a bad bottle - so the consistency isn't very strong but - it's so cheap that if one bottles bad - open another one!

Very fake fruit, not too much oak, but very easy to drink and would surprise a lot of people for it's QPR.

85+ Points

 

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2005 - Four Vines Winery Loco Tempranillo

Go Crazy!

Apr 11, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This was a very interesting wine.  California Tempranillo?  Usually wine varietals out of their normal terroir in California tend to disappoint me, but this one was a very pleasant surprise.  

Smooth tannins with a little bit of chewiness from this dry wine.  The dark fruit shines through over nuts, and classic Paso Roble terroir.  This wine is an experience more than anything.  Best with food.

90+ Points.

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2004 - Murray Vineyards, Andrew Syrah Tous les Jours Syrah

Great Value from a Great Producer

Apr 11, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is one of if not the lowest priced wines that Andrew Murray produces - and the most widely available as well.  This is what rhone syrah tastes like out of California.  I wish everyone could try this style of wine to expand their palates.  This is a drier wine, with earthy fruit and very subtle smoke coming through.  Enjoy with chicken or steak. 

88+ Points

 

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2004 - Langmeil Winery Three Gardens Proprietary Red Wine Proprietary Blend

G.S.M? Y.E.S!

Apr 10, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is a wonderfully made wine that won't break the bank.  The fruit and alcohol blend well with each other, and the wine coats your palate very well.  This is enjoyable now - don't cellar - it ain't getting that much better, but it doesn't have too for the price.  Enjoy with barbeque or a steak!

90+ Points

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2004 - Langmeil Winery Shiraz Valley Floor Syrah

3 1/2 Stars

Apr 10, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is a solid shiraz, and not a bad buy at $20 a bottle.  But spectator gave this 94 points and they're off their rocker.  I bought a case of this wine and if I had to do again I would have stuck to 6 bottles.  The GSM brings more thunder and is less expensive (also more approachable immediately). 

This wine has great fruit and smooth tannins, but it lacks acidity and the fruit is a little too jammy at times.  Still worth trying and they do make quality wine.

91+ Points

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2006 - Hahn Estates Syrah Syrah

Pleasant Surprise

Apr 10, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

I got this wine on closeout, and thought this could be crap, but I'll risk it.  Boy am I glad I did.  This turned out to be a very fun easy drinking wine that was loaded with fake twizzler fruit but decent balance and good alcohol.  You could enjoy this wine with a steak or a pizza - it is very approachable!  Drink now.

88+ Points

 

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2004 - Artazu Santa Cruz de Artazuri Grenache

Hello Spanish Wine

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This isn't a bad wine at all, but it isn't going to blow you away either - at least not if you've had three or more spanish wines in the $15 and under range.  Vanilla, red fruit, slight tobacco and light alcohol come through just like most other spanish red wines in that price range.  I honestly don't remember the price point on this wine but anything over $12-15 and I would skip it - search out another jewel. 

87-88 Points.

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2000 - Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese Grosso

If you like Italians....

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

So I had this a little young and perhaps it had some more growing up to do, but even letting the thing breathe for several hours didn't change it that much.  This wine, like most Italian wine, is a food wine, and for the price, I like to enjoy a wine on it's own merit.  We got this at Costco for $35 and it was still too much in my opinion. 

It was a well made wine, with a lot of mushroom and light strawberries, but it just didn't bring anything exciting to my palate that I can't get from most $20 italian red wines.  The vintage after this got wine spectators wine of the year award - my dad and I have a bottle of that one too.  It will not suffer the same fate of an infant mortality.  

88 Points

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2001 - Sebastiani Secolo Proprietary Blend

Go Nuts!

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine has a very nutty flavor that surrounds the fruit while it's going down your palate.  This is an excellent wine to bust out with some desert cheeses!  There is a light smokiness and gentle texture that shines through as this wine has aged.  Well made blend wine that hits the spot! Slightly over priced.

90 Points

 

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2001 - Fiddlehead Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Light Pinot with Light Complexity

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This was a very big change of pace from many of the fuller bodied pinots I have had of recent.  At first I thought this wine was perhaps a little too light but I came to realize my palate was just playing tricks with me.  It had a very nice structure and a minimal amount of complexity that made it a very enjoyable wine.  For the price it still fell short of what I have found in other Oregon Pinots, but I would certainly drink it again if someone was pouring it.

88 Points

 

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2006 - The Little Penguin Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Surprise, Surprise

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star

Ok - so this isn't the wine of the year!  It's a little bit too fake, and it's as complex as my dog- but at $6 a bottle - it brings a lot of bang for the buck.  The other wines they offer fall pretty short, but for some reason this Cab surprises you a little bit.  Good newbie wine.

85 Points

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2001 - Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Landslide Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Vanilla Anyone?

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine had some of the most beautiful vanilla flavors that I have ever tasted from in wine.  The red fruit and structure brings plenty of balance to this wine and makes you want to buy a case - which I did.  Other years have gotten mixed reviews but the 2001 was a shinning star!

91-93 Points

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9998 - Nino Franco Prosecco di Valdobiaddene Rustico Prosecco

Sourdough in a bottle!

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This is a very good value sparkling wine, that delivers much more than most others in it's price range. Worst case scenario - you'll never think you over paid for the wine.  The sourdough is very prodominant in this sparkler, but the fruit and acidity are very nice and balance the wine out fairly well.  It's a very dry wine, that should be enjoyed any time for any reason - and will pair well with most foods. 

88-89 Points.

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2004 - Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard Syrah

Does it get any better than this?

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Perfection for Syrah.  This is a very complex wine that delivers on so many levels!  Your palate will write you a thank you card after drinking this wine.  At $75 a bottle - it ain't cheap, but it's still worth every penny to splurge on a bottle.  The smokiness, dark fruits, nuts and well structured tannins all flow harmoniously through your mouth and then stick around to party for a very long finish in your throat. 

95-97 Points

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2003 - Summers Ranch Chardonnay Chardonnay

Butter Wine

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star

Ok - so I do like Summers Winery, and enjoy many of their wines - even this one, but this one is just a little too much for me.  It's a california oak and butter bomb.  The fruit is ok - but just overmatched and overpowered by the oak and butter.  This is a quaffer wine that demands a price much higher than it delivers. 

86 Points.

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2005 - Four Vines Winery Anarchy Proprietary Blend

Good wine - Great bottle!

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

Four Vines has a series of wines where the label is etched onto the bottle which is very cool- and the anarchy is no exception. 

This wine is very well made and very enjoyable.  It has a unique feel to it and it isn't boxed in like many other California wines.  It's a blend of syrah, mourvedre and Zinfandel - which is pure anarchy!  If you've been to Paso Robles - this wine tastes like high class Paso Robles wine - it has a very distinct terrior taste which I particularly enjoy.  Lots of dark fruit as well. 

91+ Points

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1995 - Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Old wine that knows some tricks!

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This is probably one the best aged wines that I have ever had.  This is how I wish all of my wines would age.  Velvety tannins ripple through your mouth with a strong amount of fruit covering your palate.  Very small amounts of cedar box distinguish the wine like a small patch of gray hair.

If you can find it - drink it now and enjoy!

95+ Points

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2006 - Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc

Middle Road Anyone?

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

Well Kim Crawford explodes with light fruits and it coats the palate with flavor, but is it a little too over the top? Just a tad. :)  Look - you either love or hate this wine.  I really enjoy it, but I've gotten bored with it.  Too immature to buy more than a bottle or two.  Switch to Mahi's Sav Blanc - and there you can get your moneys worth from a more sophisticated wine. 

86 Points.

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2006 - Sea Smoke Cellars Pinot Noir Southing Pinot Noir

Perfection in Pinot

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This is still one of the best pinot's I have ever had.  As beautiful as the Sea Smoke bortella was - this blew it away!  Pay the extra $10 to try this wine - it's in a class of its own! 

Perfect combination of fruit, earth, alcohol, and acidity to make this a very enjoyable wine.  Do yourself a favor - buy a bottle and don't share!!  Join the cult and search this wine out!

96+ Points

 

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1999 - Laville-Haut-Brion, Chateau  Bordeaux Blend

Silky Smooth

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Maybe it's because this is my first 1st Growth to consume, but this wine was silky smooth, with a medium body and unbelievably complex.  Nectar of the Gods.  94 points.

Also - this wine is special because it was the first wine my wife and I drank when we decided to embark on the journey of making our beautiful duaghter.  (Now 8 months old)

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2006 - Mollydooker The Boxer Syrah

Hello Value

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

One of the best value wines out there - sure it's $20 a bottle which isn't the cheapest wine on the market - but the quality and fruit that is delivered make it taste like a $40 bottle of Shiraz. 

Beware if you don't like new world fruit bombs - this will probably kick you in the teeth.  However, it has a wonderful balance and enough personality to make you want to buy a case - and you should!

93 Points

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2004 - Elderton Shiraz Syrah

Table wine that's over priced

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star

This wasn't a bad wine and if it was $15 a bottle, it might not be a bad drinking wine.  But it doesn't deliver nearly what I have come to expect from Elderton.  This wine just didn't have the staying power to be interesting enough to recommend.   Good enough fruit and balance, and again for $15 - maybe buy a bottle or two - but not worth the actual price tag.

87+ Points

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2004 - Chevalier, Domaine de  Bordeaux Blend

Killer Good

Apr 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Beautiful wine.  This is what it's all about - this is complex on the nose and the palate.  The smoky nut aroma reels me in, but it settles down after 30 minutes of breathing and let's all of the other fruit and earth elements shine. 

I immediately bought 3 more bottles and had my Dad buy 4.  Killer good/

95-96 Points. Classic Claret!

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2003 - Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Riserva Sangiovese

Tough Call

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

Started out with a bang but finished weak - this would be a great wine with the right meal.  Better of the Italian wines I've had of recent but still finished lacking the Charisma I was hoping for.  Quality wine, just ended less than I had hoped for.  Very light cherries, light alochol, and earthy mushrooms.  Faint, Faint vanilla.

90+ Points

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2006 - Four Vines Winery Naked Chardonnay

Better than the rest

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star

The 2005 had a lot more character - this vintage went more of the way of every other california winery.  I love Four vines and this is a much better showing than just about every other chard in this price range - but it's still a little over the top and it doesn't even have any oak exposure (hence the term Naked Chardonnay)

86 Points - But buy this before you buy any other $10 cali white wine.

 

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2004 - Kilikanoon Shiraz Parable Syrah

Fake Boob Wine

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

It's a good Fake!  This is a fake boobs wine  - you like it, even if it's fake you don't really care because it's still so enjoyable.  Plus even though it's fake, the pleasure you get is real.  The alcohol smooths out but subtracts a star,  it's a one dimensional fruit bomb and it tastes great. 

91+ Points

 

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2005 - Waterbrook Winery Syrah Syrah

Berry Melody

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Chewy, beefy, fat wine with loads of dark fruit.  This is a berry melody! Sticks to your mouth with slightly chewy tannins.  But still smooth enough to really enjoy.  Oddly enough - it sticks around in your mouth but not your throat.  Killer Good!

91-93 Points.

 

 

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1998 - Penfolds Shiraz St Henri Syrah

Grape Jelly

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star
It taste like welch's grape jelly.  It's an easy to drink table wine that those who don't know might enjoy but wouldn't pay the $40 it commands - and shouldn't.  Perhaps the age has taken out it's balance but my guess is this was an 87 point wine at it's absolute best.   
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2004 - Spinifex Esprit Proprietary Blend

Won't Stick around for Coffee

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

Smooth wine - covers the palate but doesn't stick around for very long.  Rasberries all day long!  Good alcohol balance with very light smokiness. 

Alocohol does kick in on glass number 2 at 14.8%.  Serve this with cheesecake and rasberry sauce and enjoy!

92 Points.

 

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2001 - Etude Merlot Merlot

Climb to the Peak

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star

This wine is at it's peak or may continue to improve for the next year or two.  I wouldn't risk it - drink now with Brie Cheese!  Very dark color for a merlot - good wine for cheese.  Strawberry Jam, fine tannins.

Best way to describe it - A Young Old Wine. 

90-92 Points.

 

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2004 - Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon

Take a ride in this cab!

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Killer Good! Best Cali Cabernet I've had in a while.  Wish I had bought a case of this wine because it will only get better!  Light plum, light vanilla oak, cherry and strawberry syrup - thick.  Ruby Red color and wonderful body and balance.

93-95 points.

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2005 - Sea Smoke Cellars Pinot Noir Botella Pinot Noir

Can I Join Your Cult?

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

If you think cult wines are overrated - then try this wine, and if you still think cult wines are overrated - then you're overrated!  This was an unbelievable treat - a wine that lives up to it's hype!

I would have given this 93 points in my mind, but I have two more bottles left and I can't wait to see how this thing ages! Worth every penny of the $42 I spent!

 

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2006 - Mollydooker Goose Bumps Sparkling Shiraz Syrah

BUY THIS WINE!!

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

This is what tasty taste like!!  I have had other Sparkling Shiraz but this one is far better than anything else I have tried.  It ain't cheap - so save it for a special occasion - but when you do pop it open - please invite me!! 

This was a huge hit with the ladies and newby drinkers at our Christmas tasting with Friends!

 

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