The Pillar Box Tree

Domaine Julien Cruchandeau

Les Valançons Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Pinot Noir 2017

Nose has ripe black cherry, tree bark (light), mashed fresh red cherry, red licorice (red vines) and maybe hints of red currant/ripe red raspberry.

Palate has under-ripe cherry, mild cedar box, mild dry green herbs, under-ripe blackberry and mild creamy oak on the tale end of the medium finish. Tannins have light grip, but make themselves aware. This needs a few years to come together. Decanted about 2 hours.

We're enjoying our first fire in the chimenea on this cool late summer evening, just one of many to come the rest of the year.

24 Hour Update: More towards ripe black cherry and less towards the cedar notes tonight, more relaxed and in a better mood with extended air.
— a year ago

Aravind, Ira and 26 others liked this
Lyle Fass

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The ager vs Cabottes which is the young drinker

Chris Ringland

Dry Grown Barossa Ranges Shiraz 2009

David T
9.8

Wow. This comes from Chris's estate outside his house. It's all dry farmed. Extremely low yields. It's entire yield is only 8 barrels. The fruit is so concentrated. Featured in the photos is; Chris and my wife Sofia, grapes from the property and his olive trees on his estate. His olive trees only yield one 375ml bottle per tree. This 09 is easy to drink but it's a still a baby...easily a 30 year plus wine. Words cannot describe the nuances in this wine. The elegant beauty & beast. It's mouthfeel so big and still so inviting. Luring you in layer by layer. It's starts with baked blue fruits, dark cassis, blackberries, blueberries, black cherries, black plums, layers of asian spice, spice-box, tarry notes. The tannins big yet silky. Slightly bitty but beautiful minerals from the clay, schist, quartz, and loamy top soils. The finish so good but my thoughts drifted to think about how good it's going to be in 10 more years. Chris tells me he has to spray the vines 4-6 times a year with an organic seaweed spray to hold down the acidity. I can't wait to try this wine at 20 years of age. I'm sure it will be close to a religious experience. As many great tastings that I've done, it's hard not to say this one is in the top three. Thank you Chris for sharing your time, knowledge and these amazing wines. It was an honor! — 4 years ago

Billy, Ira and 31 others liked this
Sharon B

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@David T i thought so!
P A

P A

@David T David really nice Delectable feature on you, we all look forward to your reviews Cheers 🍷
David T

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@P A Thank you! Cheers! 🍷

Bodegas Valsacro

Dioro Seleccíon J&D Rioja Tempranillo Blend 2001

Greg Ballington
9.4

Deep and dark garnet red with bricking on the edges. Real depth on the nose; lots of smoky notes, cigar box, tobacco leaves, broken branches, earthy dustiness, truffles, forest floor, damp leaves, and light red currants. A bit of stinkiness but not off-putting. Moderate silky tannins (6.5/10) and very well integrated with tons of red fruits as well as unsweetened dark cocoa, twigs, tree bark and a rustic earthiness. Full bodied and well rounded, no sharp edges. More red cherries at the end of the palate with a little vegetal note in the long and lingering finish. Mouth is definitely salivating at the finish too, great acidity. Drink till 2021. — 4 years ago

Sean BallingtonIndia Okoh
with Sean and India
Shay, Ron and 8 others liked this
Greg Ballington

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I'll have to reach out to Randy and check on that haha. Liking the older ones thou!
Shay A

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@Greg Ballington : It's the Texas brand of Lightning Wines...mostly everything is done in TX compared to Napa. Allocation list is already out, but I'm sure if you know Randy he'll help you out. I'm picking some up when stopping by in a few weeks.
Greg Ballington

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@Shay Aldriedge I got to see the bottle last time, real heavy haha

Duckhorn Vineyards

Three Palms Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Ryan M
9.6

WOW at first pour this was incredibly smooth. After 2 hours this tastes like one of the best cabs I’ve ever had. Dark red, tart raspberries, cinnamon, spice box, cherry early but subsided over the decant, clove, pine tree, chocolate early, french oak intensified over the hours. — 3 years ago

Larissa M
with Larissa
Larissa, Eric and 19 others liked this
Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

Yeah Merlot, he’s drinking cab
I picked up 3 of the 3liter from total wine & 8 bottles, flipping those puppies!
Larissa M

Larissa M

We are saving the Merlot.
Ryan M

Ryan M

Saving the wine of the year for a special occasion. All Duckhorn merlots are on another level!! Yes have been a proud merlot drinker through the sideways shame years!!

Chapelle d'Ausone

St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

David T
9.4

I've been curious about this wine for some time. The original 05 Ausone review from Parker was revised and one would think it was at the request of the Chateau. Parker's 💯 point review started something like this...if you are over the age of 55, you'll want to decide if you want to buy this this wine. Largely, due to his call on it's years of drinkability; which was from 2055-80. Parker's review was mysteriously revised within two months of it's original review. Tonight, I Coravin-ed this tasting of the Chapelle D'Ausone. The 05 Chapelle D'Ausone is still very big & tight but starting it's journey into a decent drinking phase. The tannins are still chewy and dark. The fruits are; ruby blackberries, dark cherries, a mix of blue fruits, strawberries paint the back palate, dark & milk chocolate, caramel, Christmas cake, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, spice-box, black tea, a whiff of green bell peppers, irony minerals, loamy soils, tree bark, a touch of leather, lead pencil shavings, dry stems, dry stones & dark moist soil. The acidity is perfect. The structure, length, balance and tension flirt with glory. The finish runs ripe to dry fruit and the minerals are rich with a dark elegance that lasts and lasts. As good as this wine is tonight, I'll put this bottle back; which is 1 of a 6 pack and wait another 7-10 years to reopen it. Both of Ausone's 05 wines are meant for most collectors end of life or meant to be left for their children. — 4 years ago

Mike, .:;2):’kicndnebxhjd and 20 others liked this
Tom Casagrande

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It's somewhat depressing that I am now beginning to have to think in these terms: do I want to buy wines that won't be ready in x number of years. Thanks for reminding me! 😐
David T

David T Influencer Badge

I'm right there with you.

Henry's Drive

Pillar Box Red Padthaway Shiraz Blend 2012

Good drinking wine. Lots of good flavors going on. — 4 years ago

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Cask 23 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Tight!!! Really wound up and still young in all respects! Black shadows of broiled currants, blackberry pie, licorice, pure cocoa, rosemary, tree bark, graphite and charred spice box...
Didn't have time to watch this one develop into its full fruit plate, but amazing entrance, and stunning presence.
#stagsleap #napa #napavalley #stagsleapwinecellars #cask23
— 5 years ago

Madeline Josh BehamBrenton Bartz
with Madeline, Josh and 2 others
Josh liked this

Henry's Drive

Pillar Box Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Lovely rich and complex Coonawarra red blend ... my only regret?? Not buying more of it when I had the chance! — 3 years ago

Chris Ringland

Randall's Hill Shiraz 1997

David T
9.7

This is an amazing bottle and that's a bit of an under statement. The nuances and complexity are stunning. A wine that knocks your socks off & blows your hair back. On the nose, beautifully soften spices, cherries, ripe blueberries, olallieberries, baked strawberries, black raspberries, plum, dry cranberries, touch of black licorice, light presence of burnt ambers, raspberry cola, touch of fruit liqueur notes, loamy soil and bright red florals. The wine glides on to the palate. Tannins nearly completely resolved and the body is medium, fresh, ripe fruits that glisten. Blackberries, dark cherries, strawberries, black raspberries, plum, blue fruits, dry cranberries, raspberries and raspberry cola that swirl on the palate. Everything in perfect harmony. The wine 20 years later is peaking. The nicest, softest dark spices in a wine I can remember. Mixed fruit licorice, a touch of crushed rocks, slight underbrush, mint & eucalyptus, bay leaf, menthol, scorched earth, perfect amount & intensity of baking spices; cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and light clove. Loamy soils, violets for days & fresh red florals with absolutely perfect mouthwatering acidity and a perfectly round, long, leaner fruit, lightly spiced finish that goes on & on. Producer and personal notes...he has been called iconic, a superstar, a hotshot and an "uber" winemaker. Chris Ringland arguably has made some of the best wines in Australia during the past 15-20 years. He was named Winemaker of the Year in 2006 for the Barossa Valley in Australia. Ringland, 57, now makes about 60 wines under several different labels in three countries, assisted by winemaking teams in Australia, California and Spain.The wines range from the $10 Evil Cabernet Sauvignon to $500 or more for select vintages of Chris Ringland Shiraz. Chris a native of New Zealand was given a winemaking kit for Christmas when he was 14. The catalyst to him becoming a great and legendary Winemaker. Later, he enrolled in the Roseworthy enology program at the University of South Australia. After graduating, he worked for a few years in New Zealand, California and France before ending up in the Barossa Valley. Chris also made Rockford wines for about 15 years before going out on his own. He made his first vintage of Three Rivers Shiraz (since renamed Chris Ringland Shiraz) in 1989. Ringland's Three Rivers made it here in early 1998. It was well reviewed by Parker and Ringland's career took off. Chris went into business with Philips. Their labels include Marquis Philips, R Winery and Darby & Joan. With the help of other winemakers, he makes Red Lion wines in California and Bodega Alto Moncayo and Bodegas El Nido wines in Spain. He has consulted on such wines as Henry's Drive Pillar Box Red. Chris is a superstar on the international stage but meeting him at his home, you'd never know it. Chris is humble...a farmer at heart and a Winemaker second. He is one of the smartest persons I've met who understands all aspects of the business, including marketing...not to leave out, one heck of nice person. Only meeting him for the first time, he welcomed my wife & I into his house, walked us through his Vineyard and shared a sliver of his tremendous knowledge. He also opened up four of his great wines, decanted them and laid out a spread of charcuterie to go along with his wines. You felt like family from the first handshake. Quite a treat meeting him and coming back to the US and finding this perfectly stored 97. Photos of our April visit to Chris's house. — 3 years ago

Sofia, Eric and 21 others liked this
TheSkip

TheSkip

Great note !
David T

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@TheSkip Thank you!

Henry's Drive

Pillar Box Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Super full body. Like velvet on the tongue. Dark fruit, Australian dusty dry finish. Gotta get more. — 4 years ago