Benchmark Wines

Clonakilla

Shiraz Viognier 2007

My last bottle of 4 and I was lucky to get 4 bottles when it was released. Only 1800 made due to frost destroying 92% of the crop. That apricot note from the Viognier, in its youth has integrated. Lovely savoury spicy aromas - like an Arabian Spice Bazaar as Halliday once described this Cuvée from Clonakilla. Amazing intensity with spice and dried sweet herb. Long considered the benchmark for Shiraz Viognier in this country. Perhaps challenged by Yarra Yering Dry Red No. 2 on occasions. — 9 days ago

Ron, Ira and 26 others liked this
Travis W

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The only vintage I haven't got/had. 😢 Was living overseas at the time and by the time the order form got to me, it was all was gone. I actually wrote to Tim suggesting in a small vintage that they limited supply so that everyone on the mailing list was guaranteed at least one bottle. He very kindly wrote back an explanatory letter. 👍😊
Bob McDonald

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Yes, he is a very nice bloke and tries to please. Studied to become a priest prior to becoming a winemaker after his father started Clonakilla.

Fattoria La Monacesca

Mirum 30 Year Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva 2018

Lyle Fass
9.3

I have no idea what vintage this is. Maybe an 18 or maybe 30 vintages blended a la Krug? Going with 18 now and will Google after the fact. Nose is complex and layered with lovely lemon/lime/herbs and so much more. Orange zest. Intense dried herbs. Really just an amalgam of all types of citrus but has that unreal swimming pool character and mineral force that great Matelica has. Even some spice. Out of this world nose. Super compelling. Really dig it. Huge power, depth and concentration. But also backwards a f. This needs mega mega air but man is all the material there. Slippery and round on the palate with awesome purity and freshness. Wow what length. This is a very very serious wine. The mineral force on the finish is something else. This is screaming for bronzino or marinated mussels. Structure here is substantial. Really a benchmark bottle of Matelica. I’m sure my score will go up with air as this is giving maybe 10% of what it could. Huge upside here! — a month ago

Severn, Vanessa and 5 others liked this

Domaine Robert Chevillon

Les Vaucrains Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Pinot Noir 2017

Whoa, as Keanu would say. That’s benchmark NSG from the master Chevillon. I love it. Clean, long and true - sometimes great burgundy lets you down, not this time. Worth the cost of admission and a great example of NSG at a good if not peak time. — 3 months ago

Eric, Severn and 5 others liked this

Yves Cuilleron a Chavanay

Condrieu Lieu-Dit Vernon Viognier 2018

This Verlieu is stunning. Benchmark stuff. — a month ago

Peter, Daniel and 7 others liked this

Torre dei Beati

Giocheremo Con i Fiori Abruzzo Pecorino 2019

Pound for pound at this price ($25-ish) this is the best pecorino I can think of that I have had. While Pepe's is the benchmark it's also 6-10 times the price in the US! I drank this a week apart over 3 nights from Coravin and it got better every time I went to it. More expressive and complex each time. Loads of pear, golden delicious apple, honey, minerals and florals, medium bodied but densely flavored, super long in the finish, this is a go to wine for me in my house for Italian whites. — 17 days ago

Brian, Lyle and 3 others liked this

Plumpjack

Napa Valley Syrah 2013

Ron R
9.5

See my prior notes. Becoming a benchmark Syrah in Cali for sure. No signs of aging. Opulent and jammy, finishing with white pepper, bold tannins and complementary acidity. Outstanding. — 2 months ago

Vanessa, Tom and 46 others liked this
vinokeeno

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@Ron R pricing is between the regular Napa and The Judge.
Ron R

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@Scott Rose, now I feel nauseous again! Plumpjack is about $60, and that’s up there for a simpleton like moi 🙁
vinokeeno

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@Ron R Actually, it’s closer to The Judge for pricing. Working on bottle acquisition now…maybe in May. Will post on Delectable if successful.

Domaine Huet

Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec Vouvray Chenin Blanc 2017

A classic benchmark for DemiSec Vouvray. Light golden color, Baked apple spice, ripe pears, ginger and honey. Just a hint of sweetness. Paired remarkably with Blue cheese — a month ago

Ira, Paul and 5 others liked this

Enderle & Moll

Buntsandstein Pinot Noir 2014

Second bottle this week. Same vintage 2014 what a difference! Out of the gate awesome. The other bottle was just flawed. I took it off the website. Refined cherry 🍒 so soft. More in 20 min. Orange juice, raspberry, resinous, 🌿 Black Forest herbs. Very very classic Enderle & Moll. A benchmark wine. Boy is this good. I would suggest however to drink up. And while these are getting more expensive I bought into the 2021 vintage and will visit them in June. They have shown that their wines WILL age. Essentially drank the bottle myself at the party. — a month ago

Lyle, Jae and 9 others liked this

Roagna

Pajè Barbaresco Nebbiolo 2016

Couldn’t resist opening one of the newly arrived 2016 Pajès from Roagna. It opens with an earthy/clay nose and is a translucent brick red in the glass. Hints of rose, cherry, cocoa and red berries mixed with sharp, drying tannins. High potential and glad to have a benchmark while I lay a few more of these and some Vecchi Vitis down for a while. — 2 months ago

Anthony liked this

Tenuta Greppo (Biondi-Santi)

Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese 2015

If you’re as big into Italian wines as I am, Biondi-Santi is a name you hear about, read about and then dream about someday getting the opportunity to experience. When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that today would be the day. After the LdH Rosado, I was already on cloud nine and then this gets low-key poured in my glass and for a moment, time stopped. Is this real life? In the glass, the wine looks like classic Brunello with a bright ruby color and a transparent core. And the experience was, in fact, just that: classic. The first impression was that this was a bit austere; a wine that liked the chase. With some gentle coaxing: bright red cherry fruits, dried herbs, black tea, orange bitters, dusty earth and a kiss of spice. As expected, the structure is significant with firm tannins and racy acidity. That being said, everything is perfect harmony. A wine I wish I could have spent the whole weekend with to be honest. This was paired with a simple tomato toast which was lovely and quite tasty. After this experience, it really comes as no surprise that this wine has been the model for the DOCG. A benchmark for sure. — 2 months ago

Brian, Jae and 26 others liked this
Daniel Bloom

Daniel Bloom

@Jay Kline Beautiful wines, the Biondi Santi and the LdH. I once placed an order in PA for a Rosso di Montalcino, can’t remember which. When it arrived at my local shop, it was Biondi-Santi BdM.
Cust. Rep asked if everything was right…
Jay Kline

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@Daniel Bloom “Yes, everything is in order. Thank you.” 😆
Brent Young

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Very nice 👍