Comparative Wine Tastings
Below are the results from the last Wed. night(s) tasting(s). They are listed in approximate order of finish. The price is an approximate regular/suggested retail. Numbers in ( ) are: (# top three place votes, # first place votes, # last place votes.) Numbers in [ ] are order in tasting flight. Most only vote for last place if there is clearly one they don't like for what ever reason. The notes are a compilation of many of the tasters comments. The notes are not meant to be all encompassing but just to give an idea of what was tasted.
5/12/04 Zinfandels $18-$30 - 00 Sebastiani Old Vines Sonoma Valley $20 (8,6,0) [8] Fruity, fresh fruit on nose. Red fruit, fresh fruit, bal., rich fruit, lush, raspberry, guava. 02 Sin Zin Alex. Valley $18 (9,2,0) [9] Closed-opens to tropical fruit. Gd fruit, lt spice, bal., fruity, tropical fruit, sweet fruit, caramel, drinkable. 02 Joel Gott Amador $26 (5,3,1) [1] Raspberry, vanilla, tar, burnt popcorn, rose on nose. Bright red fruit, nice fruit, bal., drinkable, wood, spice, sl heat on finish. 00 Lava Cap Res. Sierra Foothills $27 (4,2,0) Little nose. Raspberry, classic zin., lots of berries, overripe, over the top, sweetness, sl heat on finish. 00 Haywood Est. Sonoma Chamisal Vineyard. (7,0,0) [6] Weedy, sherry like nose. Nice fruit, weak mid palate, red cherry, raspberry. 02 Seghesio Home Ranch $26 (5,1,0) [3] Raspberry, rich nose. Dark purple. Tart zin., bright fruit, bal., big fruit, tasty. 01 Napa Wine Co. Oakville $19 (3,1,0) [2] Oak, zin, spice, smoke, raspberry, bright red nose. Tart in back, red fruit, spice, raspberry, smoky. 00 Cardinal Zin Calif. (Bonny Doon) $20 (3,1,1) [7] Berry, raspberry, plum on nose. Bal., gd fruit, red berry, bal, red cherry, stemmy, overripe fruit, acidic. 01 Ridge York Creek late Picked $29 (3,0,3) [10] Raisins, heavy, overripe. Sl raisin, ripe fruit, something is off, hot finish. 99 Mazzacco Dry Creek Valley $22 (0,0,2) [6] Deep, wet cardboard, wet newspaper in nose. Full body, bland, rhubarb, acidic.
5/5/04 Chardonnays. 02 M. Ray Vint. Res. Russian River $5.99 (Trader Joe's) (4,3,0) [6] Citrus, tropical nose. Citrus, lt tropical, big, full bodied, complex, bal., vanilla oak. Best Buy!
01 Ch Ste Michelle Indian Wells Vin. $16 (3,0,0) [3] Oak, full fruit, nice nose. Clean fruit, lt oak, gd fruit, vanilla, bal., lt ML but good. 01 Simi Res. Russian River Val. $20 (2,1,0) [9] Closed nose. Tart, citrus fruit, gd acid, sl tropical food wine. 01 Landmark Overlook $22 (2,0,0) [10] Fruity, lt tropical nose. Sl tropical, nice fruit character, vanilla, wood, bal., bal.ML. 00 MacRostie Res. Carneros $20 (1,0,0) [2] Clean, lt fruit nose.Med fruit, nice fruit, lt oak, full, bal. 02 Lava Cap Res. El Dorado $18 (1,0,0) [4] clean, fruity nose. Med complex, oak, lt ML, acid, lt tropical. 01 Chalone Vineyard Est. Grown $24 (2,1,1) [5] Closed nose. Simple, citrus fruit, bal., lt oak, acid. 02 Indian Springs Viognier Nevada Co. $16 (0,0,0) [8] citrus, lemon nose. Clean fruit, lemon, gr. apple, acid, candied fruit, sweet fruit. 00 Mozzocco River Lane Sonoma $18 (0,0,1) [1] citrus, clean, fresh, -ML, stinky nose. Oaky ML. 01 Koves-Newland Napa $20 (0,0,3) [7] ML, toasty nose, ML oily.
4/28/04 Zinfandels priced to $1802 Seghesio Sonoma $13 (7,3,0) [8] Full rich fruity nose. Rich, red fruit, bal. nice wine. 02 Jessie's Grove Lodi-Old Vine $16 (5,3,0) [9] Med rich, good fruit on nose. Big rich fruit, bal., chocolate, gd fruit, long finish, petroleum, straw. NV 7 Deadly Zins Lodi $16 (4,1,0) [11] Intense fruit on nose. Very dark color. Fruity, raspberry, tart bl fruit heat, RS on finish. 01 5 Families Calif. $17 (2,1,0) [6] Fruity, red fruit on nose. Lt body, cherry, gd fruit, bal., nice fruit, acidic. NV Rosenblum Calif. Vintners Cuvee 25 (3,0,0) [5] Intense fruit on nose. Red cherry, nouveau style, nice, bal. acidic, carbonic maceration fruit, cherry pop. 01 EOS Paso Robles $13 (1,0,0) [10] Lt color. Closed nose. Fruity, lt body, pleasant gulper, earthy, herbal, quaffer. 00 St Francis Old Vine Sonoma $18 (2,1,1) [4] Sl herbal nose. Rich fruit, red cherry, lt bl fruit, bal., brown & green flavors, charcoal, tart finish. 01 Rancho Zabaco Calif. Dancing Bull $10 (2,0,1) [1] Nice fruit, gd Zin character on nose. Tart, fruity, red fruit, bal., viscous, tart finish. 00 Campus Lodi Old Vine $11 (0,0,0) Rich fruit, off character in nose. Big fruit, red fruit, ripe. 00 Torrebianco Primativo Italy $13 (0,0,1) [2] Violets, raisin, over ripe nose. Nice fruit, tannins, sour finish. 99 Mozzocco Sonoma-Dry Creek $16 (0,0,6) [3] closed nose. Rounded fruit, red fruit, corked, TCA.
4/21/04 Cabernets $18-30. 01 Hanna Sonoma Est. Grown $26 (9,3,0) [5] Lt nose that opens to sweet dk fruit. Tannin, bl fruit, big fruit, delicious, sweet dk fruit, gd wood, bal., seedy but in balance. 00 Hess Estate Napa $24 (6,4,0) [6] Med fruit, nice oak on nose. Sl herbal, tannin, rich fruit, bl fruit, mint nice oak, bal. acid, good mouth feel. 01 Buhler Napa Val. (4,3,0) [1] Gd cherry fruit, med full fruit on nose. Med intense, gd fruit, bl cherry, nice, bl fruit, rich, spicy. 00 Indian Springs Cab Franc Nevada Co. $19 (5,0,0) [7] Med intense, nice, leathery nose. Rich rounded fruit, rich red fruit, thin. 01 Tait Basket Pressed Barossa Valley $22 (4,0,0) Bl cherry, rich & full fruit on nose. Full bodied, bl cherry, wd, currant, raisin, red fruit, nice wine. 00 Fellom Est Montebello Santa Cruz Mtn. $30 (3,1,0) [10] Med intense, nice nose. Med body, fruity, tannin, intense fruit, explosive fruit that drops off, caramel. 01 Five Vintners Napa $24 (2,0,0) [3] Lt fruit on nose. Inky fruit, bl cherry, acid, bal. gd fruit. 00 Mazzocco Sonoma $19 (2,0,0) [2] Med intense, minty, lt cherry nose. Lt body, lt cherry, acidic, herbal. 99 Mazzocco Sonoma $20 (2,0,4) [8] Off nose, sauerkraut, weedy, vegie nose. Med fody, red fruit, herbal. 00 Ch Pibran Pauillac $29 (0,0,6) [4] Off, dill , herbal nose. Tart, dry simple, herbal, smoke, too much wood.
4/14/04 Cabernets to $18 00 Sebastiani Sonoma Co $17 (3,3,0) [4] Lt nose, closed opening to lt cherry. Tart, rough fruit, dark flavored, spicy, briary fruit, bal. 00 Wynns Coonawarra Australia $13 (3,2,0) [7] Rich fruit on nose. Good fruit, balanced,bl fruit, bl cherry, lt herbal. 00 Waterbrook Washington Red Mountain $18 (3,2,0) [3] Med intense and med varietal nose. Med fody, gd flavors, bal., good CS flavors, cherry, chocolate. 00 Louis Felipe Edwards Chile Dona Bernards $18 (3,0,0) [2] Med intense, jammy nose. Med fruit, nice, sl spice, red fruit, bal., tart-good, full flavored. 00 Villa Mt Eden Napa Tall Trees $14 (3,0,0) [8] Med rich nose. Nice fruit, tart, red cherry, chocolate, tart finish. 02 Palandri West Australia $15 (2,0,0) [5] Closed nose with little there. Tart, nice fruit, bl cherry, lt mint, round fruit, herbal. 00 Indian Springs Nevada Co & Mendocino $18 (1,0,0) [6] Berry, lt nose. Fruity, fresh fruit, dk fruit, acid, red cherry, nouveau style. 02 Three Thieves Napa $9/1L (1,0,1) [1] Very fruity, varietal nose. Fresh fruit, no oak, fruity, drinkable, herbal, jammy. 01 Robert Hall Paso Robles $14 (2,0,3) [9] Odd spice & cinnamon on nose. Fruity, tart, cherry, lt wood, herbal.
4/7/04 Barberas - 01 Sebastiani Sonoma Valley $15 (8,4,0) [6] Rich fruit, bl fruit, vanilla in nose. Dark color. Gd fruit, fresh fruit, med full body, wood, big fruit, bal. 00 Seghesio No. Coast $25 (5,3,0) [8] Med fruit, vanilla on nose. Gd fruit, lots of fruit, red fruit, raspberry, good drinking. 02 St Amant Lodi $12 (5,2,0) [10] Med full and rich, aromatic, sl. overripe nose. Very fruity, bal., rounded, nice drinking. Sl overripe character on finish but not offensive. 00 Boeger E.B. El Dorado Res. $25 (5,0,0) [7] Celery, earthy nose. Fresh fruit, tart fruit, grapey, red fruit, acid, strawberry, spice, lt. oak. 99 Chersi Barbera de Asti Italy $23 (2,0,0) [9] Nose starts out stinky but clears to sweet oak and fruit. Acid, lt tannins, lt fruit, earthy, acidic. 00 Lava Cap Res. Sierra Foothills $26 (1,0,0) [4] Lt fruit, sweet fruit on nose. Nice fruit, tannin, fruit acidic, red fruit, sweet cherry, metallic. 02 Bera Barbera de Alba Italy $17 (0,0,1) [2] Big fruit on nose. Big rich fruit, tart fruit, red fruit, good wine. Most thought there was too much acid. 00 Boeger E.B. El Dorado $15 (0,0,1) [1] Fruity, stinky, tar on nose. Acidic, off character, burnt, tar. 99 Marchesi Spinola Barbera d'Asti Italy $21 (0,0,2) [5] Med full fruit on nose. Red fruit, acidic, thin, sour fruit, austere. 99 Marchesi Spinola Nebiolo de Alba Italy $21 (0,0,3) [3] No nose, cinnamon on nose. Lt color with brownish edge. Med fruit, sl age, metallic, flat, no fruit, corked?
3/31/04 Red Meritage $20-$40 value - 00 Cinnabar Mercury Rising Saratoga $17.50 (9,3,0) [1] Nice fruit and cedar in the nose. Bal., bl fruit, nice fruit, wd, softer style, good drinking, long finish. 00 BV Res. Tapestry $38 (7,4,0) [8] Closed opening to big nose, CS fruit, bl fruit, sweet berry on nose. Med body, nice fruit, bal., chocolate, gd. mouth feel, oak. 99 Indian Springs Reserve Meritage Red Nevada County $35 (4,3,0) [9] 48% Cab Franc, Merlot, CS. Dk fruit, plum, maple syrup, chemical nose. Nice fruit, bal., red fruit, bl fruit, bl cherry, raisny but not oxidized, fruity finish, long finish. 01 Double T Red Wine Napa $22 (5,0,0) [5] Dk color. Creamy, butterscotch nose. Med. Body, acidic, lt fruit, dark simple fruit. 01 De Toren So Africa $32 (3,0,0) {10} Intense, caramel, tobacco, smoke, oak, heat, moldy earth on nose. Earthy, sl herbal, vegetal, ashtray, dk fruit, heat, pungent. 00 Blackjack Ranch Santa Barbara $29 (2,0,0) [6] Celery, earthy, dusty, tobacco nose. Rich fruit, bl fruit, bl cherry, cherry, acidic. 99 Pietra Santa Juliana Cienega Valley $38 (3,1,4) [2] Inky, herbal, intense nose. Herbal, fruity, bal. bell peppers, olive, lead pencil, red cherry. 99 Beringer Alivum Knights Valley $28 (2,0,1) [12] Sl herbal, fruity, cinnamon, earthy nose. Acid, bizarre wine, cinnamon, bootblack. 01 Indian Springs Prima Vina Rosa Nevada Co. $18 (0,0,0) [3] Lt jammy, raspberry on nose. Sweet fruit, beaujolais like, raspberry. Barbecue/picnic wine. 98 Martix Mazoco Dry Creek Valley $40 (0,0,1) [11] Nice fruit on nose. Med full body, gets worse with airing.. Gym socks, earthy, car cleaner, aldehydes. NV Cain Cuvee Napa $25 (0,0,1) [4] Little nose. Med fruit, blah, med full body, dirty baby diapers, cardboard, raisin. 00 Tust en Verde So. Africa $40 (0,0,6) [7] Weird nose. Heavy fruit, pinesol cleaner.
3/24/04 Syrah/Shiraz $30-50 00 Lava Cap Petite Sirah El Dorado Granite Hill $32 (9,6,0) [2] Purple plum, earthy, vanilla on nose. Spice, tannins, intense fruit, bl pepper, bal. 00 Joel Gott Napa Gott Vines $50 Rich, intense, thick nose. Med full, med rich fruit, bal., bl fruit, needs time, pepper, & butterscotch. 01 Columbia Crest Res. Columbia Valley $32 (11,2,0) [11] Bl cherry on nose. Tart, intense fruit, bl fruit, spice, big, bal., red fruit, yum,yum. 01 Penner-Ash Oregon $32 (7,0,0) [9] Closed nose. Rich fruit, spice, bl fruit, raisins. 01 K Milbrant Columbia Val. $34 (4,3,1) [8] Fruity, cherry, red fruit, thin, acidic nose. Rounded fruit, bl cherry, inky, long finish. 01 Killerman's Run So. Australia $18 (2,0,0) Med rich, spicy nose. Tannic, med fruit, bl cherry, bl fruit, spicy, briary, bright fruit, bal., licorice. 99 Peju Napa $56 (3,1,2) [6] Sl spice, rich fruit, medicinal. Astringent, tobacco, fright fruit, soft tannins, acid, bitter aftertaste. 00 Planeta Sicily $40 (0,0,0) [10] Dr cherry & heat on nose. Red/bl cherry. Lt spice, acid, tannic. 02 Michaud Monterey-Chalone. $35 (0,0,0) [3] Med fruit on nose. Tannins, tart fruit, not much there, cherry fruit, sour cherry. 01 Katheryn Kennedy Santa Cruz Mtns. $40 (0,0,3) Cherry, raspberry, acid on nose. Full body, tannins, fruity, cherry, vegie, thin, soft style, bal., heat. 02 Neyers Napa Hudson Vineyard $39 (1,0,7) [4] Deep and rich, mocha, dry fruit, funky nose. Off character, tart fruit, sour cherry, funky, herbal.. General feeling was that most of the wines in the up to $18 Syrahs were better buys.
3/17/04 Syrah/Shiraz $18-30. Pre wine. 01 Indian Springs Semillon Nevada County $13. A nice clean crisp wine. 02 Homemade Petite Sirah Ukiah (11/5/0) [3] Rich bl fruit, intense, blue berry, on nose. Black purple color. Gd fruit, tannins, spice, bl fruit, intense fruit, cherry, raspberry. Grapes from 40-60 yr old vines. 01 Rosenblum Sonoma Co. $27 (11,4,0) [8] Nice fruit, full fruit on nose. Rich fruit, intense, bal., thick, chocolate, berry, good mouth feel, vanilla, bl pepper, spice. 01 Kangarilla Rd. McLaren Vale Australia $18 (6,3,0) [10] Lt herbal, cherry, on nose. Med fruit, nice, red fruit, bal., very nice, raspberry, depth of fruit, bl fruit, sweet fruit. 00 Rusten Vrede So. Africa $25 (3,1,0) [5] Med fruit and bl berry on nose. Cherry, tart fruit, bal., good fruit, chocolate, herbal, mushroom, menthol, bl berry. 01 St Hallett So Australia $22 [9] Med intense, vanilla, cherry, raspberry on nose. Red cherry, bal., gd fruit, young fruit, concentrated, red fruit. 02 Goat Roti So. Africa $20 (3,0,0) [1] Shiraz-Viognier blend. Rich fruit, spice, cinnamon, caramel on nose. Fresh fruit, bl fruit, tart, bl cherry, bal of wood, vanilla, spice, acid & heat. 01 Indian Springs Nevada Co. $19 (3,0,1) [6] Med intense fruit, nice fruit, lt cardboard on nose. Rich fruit, tannins, bl fruit, bl cherry, damp wine cellar. Corked? 02 Montes Alpha Chile $18 (0,0,1) [7] Little on nose. Rich fruit, tannins, bl fruit, mint, sage, mulch, olliberry, tart, heat. 99 Spencer Roloson Lodi $28 (10,0,3) [4] Sewer nose. Cherry fruit, nouveau like, bret, dirty barrels. 99 Sierra Vista Est Bot. El Dorado $26 (0,0,4) [2] Chemical, cherry fruit, acetone on nose. Bl cherry, chemical, acid, bad bottle?
After wine: 99 Sebastiani Sylvia Sebastiani's Symphony 10.9% alch 3.1RS. Fruity, med sweet nose. Med fruit, lt sweetness, bal., lt muscat, orange. Nice dessert wine.
3/10/04 Syrah/Shiraz up to $18 01 Hess Select Calif. $15 (7,5,0) [8] Closed nose that opened slowly to nice fruit, black fruit. Dark color. Rich fruit, bl fruit, dusty, spice, good mouth feel, bl pepper. 02 Rock Rabbit Central Coast $14 (5,1,0) [10] deep fruit in nose. Rich fruit, bl fruit, tannin, cherry, bal., good drinking, long finish. 02 Black Mtn. Calif. (Trader Joe's) $4.99 (3,1,0) [7] Full fruit, lt spice, bl fruit, nice, cherry on nose. Fruity, red fruit, softer, something off in palate. 01 Charles Shaw Shiraz Calif. $1.99 (Trader Joe's) (3,0,0) [1] Best Buy Nice spice, med body, red fruit on nose. Lt-med body, lt spice, red fruit, easy drinking, straight forward. good drinking, nice finish. 00 Domaine Claval La Copa Santa South France $17 (3,0,0) [4] nice fruit, sl earthy, herbaceous nose. Med rich fruit, tannins, good, nice mouth feel, bl fruit, blue fruit, heat in finish. 01 Salentin Argentina-Mendoza $18 (2,2,2) [5] Med nose with some odd characteristics. Rounded fruit, lt spice, bl fruit, tannic, bl cherry, odd flavors, bitter finish. 01 Jaume Aliain Vacqueyras-France $16 (2,0,0) [9] 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault Closed nose. Rich round fruit, bal, very nice, spice, tannic, sour, gd backbone of fruit. 01 Barossa Valley Winery Australia $10 (1,0,0) [3] Herbal, perfumey, lt nose. Fruity, red fruit, sour cherry, simple. 02 Edna Valley Central Coast Syrah $14 (0,0,1) [2] Med intense fruit, lt vanilla on nose. Rounded fruit, sl wd, sour, bad aftertaste.
2/25/04 Pinot Noirs $30-50 In general we found it difficult to justify the price of any of these wines. 01 Belle Glos Santa Maria Valley $34 (6,3,0) [6] Lt. cherry, nice, mint, eucalyptus, violets & smoke on nose. Tart, mint, eucalyptus,cherry fruit, med. complex, with some spice. 01 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard-Carneros $50 (4,1,0) [8] Med fruit, lt cherry and violets on nose. Nice fruit, cherry, berry, with Calif. style fruit. 01 Domaine Alfred Chamisal Vin. CALIFA (3,1,0) [3] Weedy, strawberry, cherry nose. Sweet fruit, overripe fruit, long finish. 01 Penner-Ash Willamette Valley Oregon $46 (2,1,1) [7] Nice fruit, cherry, spice, & smoke on nose. Nice fruit, cherry, spice on palate. 02 Sineann Oregon $35 (1,0,0) [2] Lt nose. lt smoke, sweeter caramel on nose. Tart, tannic, red & fl fruit, not much PN character. 02 Ken Wright Cellars McCrone Vineyard, Willamette (0,0,0) [1] Nice lt cherry fruit on nose. Tart, med fruit, strawberry, acid, oxidized fruit flavors, lt, cherry, one dimensional. 01 Gevery Chambertin $37 (1,0,1) [4] Fruity, cherry, wet socks on nose. Soft fruit, lt cherry, and acid on palate. (More acidic and less fruit the next evening.) 01 Gary Farrell Russian River Val. $37 (1,0,2) [5] Weedy, acid, earthy, stinky nose. Herbal, weedy, tart, acid, red cherry on palate.
2/18/04 Pinot Noirs Priced $18 - $30. 2002 Sebastiani Sonoma Coast CA $18 (6,3,0) [9] Color is dark garnet. Nose of caramel, heat, power, dark fruit. Pure dark cherry and dark berry fruits on the palate. Hint of white chocolate. 2001 Rex Hill Willamette, Oregon $25 (6,1,1) [2] Clean decent nose, touch of green grass. Palate has clean pure cherries, balance, but some heat showing. 2001 Domain Alfred Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo CA $25 (3,1,0) [3] Nose shows heat, red fruit, earthiness, cloves/wood spice. Fills the palate with thick layers of fat fruit. Long finish. 2001 Curvare Carneros CA $26 (3,2,1) [4] Dull, closed nose, pale color. Soft, simple, easy to drink. 2002 La Crema Sonoma Coast CA $18 (3,2,1) [6] Nose of gym sock and orange rind. Decent pinot style, light fruit, tannic. 2000 Castoro Cellars Central Coast Reserve CA $18 (3,0,0) [5] Nose was Closed for most of the tasting. Palate had wood spice, blue fruits, OK balance, not showing much else, tannic, clean. 2001 Saintsbury Carneros CA $25 (3,1,1) [1] Nose was oily, complex, touch of Eucalyptus. The palate was clean, very dry, plenty of acid and tannins masking the fruit. 2001 Hartford Sonoma Coast CA $23 (1,0,1) [7] Nose showed resin and chemicals. Dark color. Palate was stemmy, had plenty of alcohol and tannins. What ever blue fruits showed up got buried by the structure. 2001 Domaine Serene Yamhill, OR $29 (2,0,2) [8] Smoke, dark fruit, opening to ashtray on the nose. Palate continued with smoke theme. Some red fruits. (Thanks to Grant Smith for these notes)