Very tasty and a benchmark wine to boot. Classic Napa CS/knights valley notes of red cherry, cedar, mocha. Fruit is quite high pitched, fresh and red for an 18 year old CS. Still quite primary. A lso starting to show secondary notes of fresh wood essential oil, black tea and a bit of leather. Great structure with both acidity and tannins still balances and strong. At 14% abv with only 30% new oak. While not yet seeing the complexity I would expect, this really shows off polished and with great potential — 2 days ago
Surprising and impressive wine. Extremely polished, if not necessarily the most complex. Hints at what California winemakers COULD do without muddling their wines with heavy handed oak barrel fermentation, aging in new barriques, heavy Malo and the like. That is all despite very, very young vines. And yet here it stands a delicious and balanced wine at 7 years old.
I actually wonder if there is any MLF at all. The fruit is so focused and pure. Expressive Nose to me is dominated by floral notes that reminds me of puligny Montrachet, st aubin chateniere or Chablis fourchame. Like white flowers plus some element of orange blossom plus lemon verbena. Light, lifted and refreshing. Also some stony, mountain stream mineral notes The fruit is nice, clean and linear but a bit hard to pin down for me (honeydew melon? Cara cara orange? Mandarin? Also some lemon and something orchard fruit). More pithy on the palate, and much more framed by brown spice notes. Decent texture and medium bodied with with pomelo. Finishes with good medium/med + acidity and a bit of drying tannins to go with the pith.
Overall very tasty, refreshing, really well balaced. I would be hard pressed to blind taste this as a 7 year old wine with the great fruit and limited secondary characteristics. Not overly complex or contemplative, but
Pretty delicious — 9 days ago
Having and celebrated this wine over the years,might be a bit past prime, although still borderline transcendent and not tasting the least bit tired. Nose now tertiary with that wet forest floor thing surrounded by warm brown spices, fresh pine baking chocolate, a musky floral note, and a sanguine undercurrent. On the palatestill showing raspberry and cherry although darker and sweeter than 2 years ago. Still good body with solid medium to medium plus plus acidity and very drying tannins, although the spine is not at peak performance at this point. With a6 hours of air started to show more elegance, brighter, more red cherry fruit, and even some up front floral aromatics that recall volnay, albeit framed in a very willamette valley set of accompanying flavours — 16 days ago
Not a wine I would expect to buy, only purchase because because of reviews noting surprising “cool climate characteristics” that intrigued me (and a risk-friendly auction price). I was still surprised and very very impressed.
A deep core of Classic black plum - brighter, redder fruits revealed with air - in what is still a very primary wine.
(Apparently) Cooler climate notes of bay leaf are dominant along with some eucalyptus. In the background some nice leather and spice notes, though more red pepper and hot sauce than the black pepper notes I get from more high octane wines. One of those interesting wines that offers something’s little different with each sip, showing more florality and freshnesss at times, others it veered more fresh blueberry, some a bit of smoke and leather, and still others show a very woodsy side of eucalyptus tree. Still very much a full bodied wine with a full mouthfeel and continues to hold big chewy tannins, but is the rare Paso Robles wine (for me) with suffices acidity to create some really good tension and energy. Surprisingly great lengthleaving the palate energized and morphing with some espresso and bitter amaro elements coming in. Simply fantastic as a grilled steak wine. And honestly I think this guy has many years of development to go. — 5 days ago
An incredibly expressive and terroir-driven wine that might be one of the world’s best wine values. Volcanic microclimate shines clearly through a heady nose whose first bite is not just smoke but...smoking volcano. Along that sweet dark fruit, grilled lavender, flowers. In the palate more primary with black cherries (grilled black cherries???) exotic spices, cooked black pepper, bay leaf, sage, that sanguine element that screamed high-iron volcanic soil, all held together by a very sitinctive salty spine. Finishes with a long note of those herbs and some drying tannins. Very juicy but with good structure and medium acidity avoiding any sense of being cloying. A really unique, transparent and well made wine that is an astounding value. I wonder whether it improves with age or is at its best here... — 15 days ago
Fully mature but still surprisingly full of life. A full Bodied wine for sure. Heady nose, dark fruit liquer (blackberry), smoke, grilled meat and tar notes along with terroir-revealing candied eucalyptus and menthol flavors dominate for me. Framed by dusty and old leather baseball glove notes. Also a hint of nutmeg. Palate is certainly full and a bit sappy but with very present medium acid and drying tannins. Day 2 became even more dark and brooding, steaky, and herbaceous with black fruits over grilled herbs de Provence. Don’t see this improving but with strong tannic structure could maintain peak form for another 2ish years — 22 days ago
Bigger than most qupe wine I’ve had and definitely past prime.black cherry, very peppery, a tad hot — 6 days ago
Maybe I need to stop being so impressed when Cali wines are so well made and well balanced, but once again I am. Not ready to follow Robert Parker in the statement”tastes like a grand cru from the Cote de Nuits,”but it is delicious and quite deep, drinking mor like a higher end Oregon Pinot to me. Nose of sun baked red and black cherries even some blue fruit; a whiff of classic Cali sun baked earth alongside some forest floor and sanguine elements that is where I would blind guess williamette valley. Has also developed interesting tertiary elements: shiitake mushrooms and aged soy sauce. Mouth coating while remaining refreshing, but def a dense full bodied Pinot that would be hard to call “ Burgundian” with the possible exception of some bigger red clay savigny le beaunes), but it is a great representation of its terroir and a deep contemplative wine. Still finishes with drying tannins and refreshing med / med + acidity that denotes longer term aging potential. Drinking very well and has structure to keep going although I’m curious to see how tertiary it gets and how well unthreatening holds. — 9 days ago
It’s a buttery malo oaky chard, which I just have personal limitations in seeing past, and and for me covers more than it expresses. But this is a particularly well made version of that is standing well at 9 years (which kind of makes me wish it was even Liss overhwelmed by those flavors). Butterscotch and toasted oak dominate, with vanilla underneath but relatively subdued. Also get some smoke frankincense and ylang ylang along with some pineapple. On the palate still some fruit: pear and pineapple, but playing a background role, and more pronounced vanilla taking over from time to time.. A leesy almost oily texture that finishes rich but satisfying and not overly heavy. The lingering vanilla is long but not necessarily something I enjoy. Solid structure and no sense of overage — 16 days ago
Tasty and a cut above standard Sancerre. White flowers, white peach, a slight honey note, herbaceous without significant “pipi de chat” funkiness - more zatar, wheatgrass, freshly cut summer grass. Quite young so might show a little more of a vegetative note with a few more months in bottle — a month ago