Texan - Wine Nerd Herd Member
Made in a bordeaux Blanc style with the use of oak. Very creamy and soft with a rich kiwi, grapefruit and powdered lemon bar aromatics. Soft at first but a surprising amount of acidity at the finish. Lingering notes of stone and tropical fruits. This 2016 has a bit more limestone and savory sea salt notes than I found the 2017 did, though I still agree with my assessment that it has a profile of a combo of Spottswoode’s SB and Aesthete’s SB. No rush here. — 2 days ago
This was tasted briefly at pop and pour and was then consumed from the decanter over the next few hours. Whereas the FAY was quite open, plush and had a sweeter fruited profile, this was a bit more brooding and layered. The fruit here is more red and black, with graphite, dark chocolate and mocha aromatics. Really nice depth on the mid palate with quite a strong tannic finish. Black cherries to the core with a streak of savory herbs and red clay down the middle…nice representation of Stag’s Leap district. I can see this improving with another 5-7yrs. — 9 days ago
Even though I’m a big fan of Ferren’s Frei Rd Chardonnay, this was my first Frei Rd Pinot.
Not sure of normal experiences here, but the richness here seems to fall in between Rivers Marie (love) and Aubert (just so so for me). Darker color in the glass…bit of a purple tinge to it. Aromatically it sports potpourri, violets, underripe black cherries, underripe blue fruit and some cedar. Initially, the front palate seems like it will be heavy based on all of the flavors but it turns really elegant. Dark chocolate, a slight roasted character, and spicy fruits. With RM, I get that orange zest note, and with Aubert, I get more alcohol and kirsch. My in between note here is more ripe pomegranate than either of the others. These probably need 5-7yrs from vintage to be in a good spot. Followed over two days and stayed consistent. — 15 days ago
My last of these. I experienced a bit of bottle variation with mine, some showing extremely fresh and others not so much. I’m a fan of Michael Cruse and enjoy his Ultramarine sparklers, and while it’s hard to compare UM to this, there are similarities and these are really delicious, especially for the money. This has a grower champagne like profile to it.
2017 base (released spring 2020), zero dosage. My first experience with this was during the dosage trial last year. Lots of fun to taste this wine at different levels. On previous bottles, it never came across as zero dosage, yet this final bottle had a pronounced carmex-like aromatic I get with many zero dosage sparklers. Oxidized aromatics and notes on the palate. This is apple everything...browned golden delicious apple, Apple strudel, apple spice. Mid palate is fairly rich with limestone, floral nuances, and a tart finish. Mousse here has died down some and the profile has become more vinous. I’d enjoy these sooner rather than later to capture the freshness. — 19 days ago
Though the brutal TX heat is back, it means plenty of time for grilling, and this was a fun red blend to pair with burgers.
A fun field blend where everything but the kitchen sink seems to be in here…mostly zin, with 6-7 lesser known varietals. A bit funky upon opening (pop and pour), this opened to reveal a brambly, tobacco leaf, weightless yet jammy profile. Soft and supple mixed fruits aromatically (mostly red and black fruits), with some added woody notes (more earthy than oak driven). The mid palate here reminds you this is zin to its core with plenty of black cherry compote and then the vibrant acidity driven finish sports some black pepper and spicy rhubarb. Mostly integrated at this point, I think this is at its apex. — 5 days ago
Between a 92-93 here. This was tasted briefly at pop and pour and was then consumed from the decanter over the next few hours. Really pretty aromatics…baking spices, dark cocoa shavings, violets and plenty of freshly squeezed dark fruits. The palate has a “juicy” profile I get on a lot of 2012s. Vibrant acidity. Blackberries and underripe blueberries dominate the fruit profile with a unique herbal/juniper type note towards the finish. Not super complex or layered. After time, this really softened. Good now, maybe gets a bit better with another 5yrs, but not sure it increases much. — 9 days ago
This cab from DANA is mostly from their Hershey vineyard on Howell Mtn.
I know 2013s are powerful and tightly coiled, and DANA’s style is along those same lines, but I have to admit...this was incredibly coiled and almost unforgiving. I gave this a 4hr decant (which I followed from the beginning), and then another 3hrs out of the bottle later in the evening...and didn’t experience much of an awakening. Fragrant and floral with potpourri, violets, black currant and oak. The front palate here is quite nice in texture with notes of dark fruits, cocoa powder, espresso, extremely dusty with an herbal streak to its core. It’s very Howell Mtn in style. Good acidity and an absolute wall of tannin on the finish. This got marginally better at the end of the evening and revealed a sweeter/baking spice type finish. If opening now, I’d double decant at least 4-6hrs before enjoying. — 16 days ago
Easy to trust Realm’s offerings as quality is always at a premium. I have to admit, my brain had a hard time connecting this type of rosé with Realm (based on their typical style).
My comment above isn’t meant to be good or bad, it’s just amazing that this Provençal type rosé could come from a bigger/powerful style Napa producer like Realm. Kudos to Benoit for knowing what he was going for and being able to create something (a beautiful rosé) from almost nothing (the extremely uneven 2020 vintage). I don’t think I could have called this rosé of merlot if I didn’t know beforehand. To me, this was a blend of high end Provençal rosé with Cayuse’s Edith rosé. Extremely pale salmon color in the glass with aromas of cantaloupe, white peach, faint dragon fruit and an herbal/mineral stony character. The palate here has nice gravitas and a surprising bite at the finish. Strawberry cream-lite, underripe kiwi and some nectarine on the finish. Much more enjoyable at cellar temp compared to being too cold. Don’t think this is one to hold, so enjoy now. — 6 days ago
WNH “TRB” tasting.
I let this bottle decant for three hours and then fully decant for 3hrs (pulling from the decanter the last two hours). The bulk of that time I was hit with really pure and ripe fruits but ending with a wall of tannin. Gorgeously aromatic with layers of the entire fruit spectrum…red, blue and black berries, sandalwood, and espresso. The mid palate here is quite fantastic in how deep it is while still having good acidity to keep it vibrant. Violets, dark chocolate, mixed Berry compote and baking spices all surrounded by a savory graphite type note. I saved two glasses for the following day and it turned very silky and seemed to be a very beautiful expression of Oakville.
If opening now, decant 4-6hrs, or hold another 3+yrs. — 12 days ago
I followed this over two days. For context, I love these wines (big fan of the WA funk), and it’s always really fun to compare these against the Cayuse lineup. So glad @Bill Bender introduced me to these wines a few years back.
For the price, these are such killer wines. To me, this is Cayuse but just dialed a few steps back. If you want funk, you’ve got it. If you want more elegance and floral notes, you’ve got it. On both day 1 and 2, the aromatics didn’t really change...black pepper crusted black cherries, cherry jerky, tapenade, and white pepper. What I did see change in was the palate. Day one was very coiled showing lots of underripe red and black fruits, herbs de provence and a mineral driven streak down the middle. The whole cluster green/stemmy flair is there but not overly crunchy. Really nervy and vibrant. Day two expanded the wine a bit and while the smoked meat was present, it didn’t dominate. This is where No Girls diverges for me...all the Cayuse notes are there, just dialed back. I was shocked at how tannic this was (decanted 3hrs day one, drank from bottle over an hour on day two). Hold, or decant 3+hrs. This will get even better. — 17 days ago