Featured User: Shay A.

I live in Fort Worth, TX with my wife and two dogs and I work as a marketing manager for a small energy company. We both love to travel (we make it to Napa once a year) as well as being outdoors. Personally, what I enjoy about wine is what it does the best…brings people together! In town, I am a part of two groups…a group of guys who do monthly themed blind tastings and another group which is full of members from the wine storage facility where we celebrate the 4th Friday of every month with unique and special bottles! Delectable: What sparked your passion for wine? Shay A: I’d actually never tasted wine until mid 2014 as I didn’t care to try. While dating my now wife (whose Dad is an avid wine collector), I attended a family gathering at their house where a lot of wine was open. I decided to try a glass and it reinforced to me why I didn’t care for wine…just tasted like alcoholic grape juice…no complexity or uniqueness to it. Later that evening, my girlfriend came up to me and said to try a glass of something different…I figured why not and am glad I did because I was blown away at what was in the glass. So much flavor and character! We later found out that her Dad accidentally opened a nicer bottle that evening and that’s the wine that got me hooked…2006 Flora Springs Trilogy. From that moment, I was opened to a new world. D: What wine region are you wild about right now? SA: This is tough. I’m always drawn to the allure of Napa as that is what got me in to wine (specifically my love for Howell Mountain cabernets and valley floor Cabernet Francs), but if narrowing down to something new, I’d say Washington state syrahs. I am really enjoying the funk that comes with certain “The Rocks” vineyard syrahs, specifically examples of Cayuse and Reynvaan . D: What is the most unusual wine you’ve ever tried? SA: Probably a bottle of 2005 Domaine des Baumard “Quarts de Chaume Chenin Blanc”. When enjoying it earlier this year with my friend who opened it, the 13 years of age on it gave the Chenin Blanc such a botrytis like quality with impeccable acidity. The one note that stood out reminded me of bananas foster dessert! D: What is your golden rule for wine? SA: To remember that wine is always personal but never universal in regards to taste. Each persons’ preferences are their own and it’s important to be mindful that we all have different tastes. This world would be a lot less fun if all winemakers only made one wine for everyone! D: Say you’re not allowed to have wine, what is your second option? SA: My second love would be margaritas. There is no shortage of top quality margaritasa in Texas and with a basket of chips and salsa in front of me, I can be perfectly content! D: Choose a movie, book, quote, or song and pair it with a wine. SA: The movie, and book, The Count of Monte Cristo, are favorites of mine. My favorite quote from the book is , “There are two ways of seeing: with the body and with the soul. The body’s sight can sometimes forget, but the soul remembers forever.” At the moment, it would be best enjoyed alongside a bottle of 2006 Sine Qua Non Raven Series #6, a wine that still haunts me with its incredible flavor! D: If you were a wine, what wine would you be? SA: I’d like to think I’m a Howell Mountain Cabernet still working its way to maturity. Those wines can be a bit reckless and unsure while young, but once they gain some years to them, they display so much complexity and power while showing no signs of decline for many years to come.

Jessup Cellars

Manny's Blend Napa Valley Red Blend 2015

Shay A
9.2

My notes from the ‘14 vintage I had earlier in the year are basically identical. Alcohol was a bit more pronounced here so it came across more hot (probably due to age...ABVs were the same).

Not my normal style of wine, but it’s nice to have a fruit forward wine ever so often. One of those wines that I’m scoring on how “good” it is/easy to drink as opposed to analyzing and critiquing. One of my wife’s favorites.

Zinfandel/petite sirah Blend. Blackberry and floral on the nose. Toasted oak, blueberry pie, vanilla, lavender. Medium tannins. Velvet texture. Baking spices and nutmeg finish with a touch of heat. Probably couldn’t tell this blind vs their zin.
— 22 days ago

Mark, Anna and 33 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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@Shay A Congrats on your Delectable Feature! Welcome to the team! 🤓🍾
Severn Goodwin

Severn Goodwin Influencer Badge

@Shay A Congrats on your Delectable Feature! Welcome to the team! 🤓🍾
Shay A

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@Phil A : Thank you! I’m glad to know another fellow The Count of Monte Cristo fan. Cheers to you!

@Severn Goodwin : Thanks! Needless to say, I enjoyed the questions and opportunity.

Reynvaan Family Vineyards

In the Rocks Syrah 2010

Shay A
9.4

Gorgeous mulberry, underbrush, smoked brisket nose! Fresh cracked pepper dusted blackberries too. Even at 8-yrs old, this was still fairly young on the palate and evolved beautifully on day 2. Harmonious blend of red and black fruit with secondary notes of meat & iron. Not full on funk like Cayuse, but not a dark, heavy fruit forward Syrah from Cali. Marriage of both. Smooth from front to mid palate with a spiced pepper finish. Fantastic and happy to have more (but not enough...need to secure more!) Had this @Bill Bender ? — a month ago

Brendan, Tom and 40 others liked this
Bill Bender

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I’ve had the Stonessence and some others and they have all been great. My friend here @romo has friends that work there and has been a few times I believe. He introduced me to these wines.

Caymus Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Colby had this a month ago

Hoyt HammerWill AdamsShay A
with Hoyt, Will and 6 others
Andy, Ryan and 18 others liked this
Shay A

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Hard to rate this wine. I immediately guessed it was the cab of the flight pair, and it was, and thought maybe it was a Bevan Cellars cab. After time in the glass, it got a bit more flabby, which had me thinking it was an Orin Swift wine, possibly Mercury Head. It was sweet, sugary, fruit forward and accessible. Loads of blue fruit, nutmeg, vanilla and some toasted bread. Medium tannic structure that suggested it could benefit from a few more years in the cellar but was totally ready to party now. Pop and pour like palate. Love it or hate it style.

The Bolney Estate

Brut Cuvée Rosé Blend 2014

Shay A
9.3

Our local Central Market does big themes throughout the year and mid-Sept is “UK Passport”, highlighting all sorts of English food, drink and more. Needless to say, there was an array of English Sparklers available at 20% off and I rolled the dice on this vintage rosé as I’ve been intrigued by the demand of English Sparklers. Wine Enthusiast 93 for those who are interested in scores.

Very pale colored in the glass. Bubbles are extremely tiny. The aromatics aren’t as “fruit filled” as I expected...more along the lines of the skins of fruit, especially red apple peel, and raspberry. Chalky notes are there on the palate but not overly so. Very little yeast, but a good amount of honey on the finish. Not complex and incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. Would put this in the same category as Chapel Down’s Brut Rosé...maybe slightly ahead.
— 23 days ago

Dawn, JJ and 28 others liked this
Mike Ancuta

Mike Ancuta

I have tried an English sparkler before and was really impressed by it.
Mike Ancuta

Mike Ancuta

I have tried an English sparkler before and was really impressed by it.
Joe Lucca

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@Shay A Easy, I think this post is going to give @Ron R a huge stiffy. He loves when anyone complement the Brits. 🇬🇧 🍆

Amuse Bouche

Napa Valley Red Blend 2007

Shay A
9.4

Wow! High octane, but at the same time, balanced. Red, blue and black fruit on the nose. Violet too. Nutmeg and some cocoa dusted bay leaf. Palate is young. Licorice and cassis. Blueberry driven finish that is both powerful and refined at the same time. Plenty of time ahead for this. — a month ago

Dan Fitzgerald
with Dan
Phil, Clive and 44 others liked this

Murrieta's Well

Small Lot Livermore Valley Merlot 2015

Shay A
9.2

Monthly wine group meet-up, this time Napa Cab vs Napa Merlot. Served as a pair, blind. More difficult than I thought!

Color me impressed. What a fantastic merlot coming out of Livermore Valley. Fruit forward...fresh squeezed blackberries, black currant, & raspberries on the nose. Touch of fig too. Nice structure from start to finish highlighting the red and black fruit alongside some licorice and plum. Very plush style merlot that would easily fool most in to thinking it was Napa.

Thanks for the intro,
@Jason Oliver !
— a month ago

Andrew HeffleySteve BolgerWill Adams
with Andrew, Steve and 4 others
Ryan, Hugh and 29 others liked this
Jason Oliver

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Glad it showed well. Not bad for 44 bucks! You nailed it with the licorice and plum. That flavor profile defines Livermore fruit. Robbie actually diverted the more tannic merlot barrels to be blended in other wines. I would like to see what he could do with a 50-150 case reserve merlot or merlot heavy blend. Sounds like a fun tasting. Some great merlots in there.

Dunn Vineyards

Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1990

Shay A
9.4

Wonderful evening at the City Club courtesy of Jeff’s hosting at the Friday group. Cellar guessing Jeff is a dangerous game as he’s the type who plans to throw curveballs! All wines served blind.

Ageless. Based on color, I immediately thought Napa but the palate had me second guessing. Some rose petal, spice and tart cherry. Cedar. This tastes so much younger than the ‘88 I opened a few months back. Wonderful wines.
— a month ago

Dan Fitzgerald
with Dan
Jason, Rob and 54 others liked this
Hugh O'Riordan

Hugh O'Riordan

Great wine

Charles Heidsieck

Blanc des Millénaires Champagne Chardonnay 1995

Shay A
9.5

Wonderful evening at the City Club courtesy of Jeff’s hosting at the Friday group. Cellar guessing Jeff is a dangerous game as he’s the type who plans to throw curveballs! All wines served blind.

My guess here was ‘02 champagne. Wasn’t too far off was but was surprised at the youth. Started off too cold but gained richness as it warmed. Dominant note of hazelnut here. Not many reductive notes, thankfully. Really nice.
— a month ago

Dan Fitzgerald
with Dan
Paul, Jason and 36 others liked this
Phil A

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@Shay A Sounds like you all had a great time Cheers 🍷

Orin Swift

Mannequin Napa Valley White Blend

Shay A
9.2

Wonderful evening at the City Club courtesy of Jeff’s hosting at the Friday group. Cellar guessing Jeff is a dangerous game as he’s the type who plans to throw curveballs! All wines served blind.

As stated above, this is a perfect example of a curveball. Most people guessed white burgundy, though I did guess west coast Chardonnay. No one would have guessed Jeff would serve this. Nose was quite clean with a sweet lemon cream note. Not overly buttery and oaked which I attribute to this not being 100% chard. I don’t normally like these wines, but tasting blind shows your true colors!
— a month ago

Dan Fitzgerald
with Dan
Jason, Rob and 34 others liked this
"Odedi"

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Love it 😃

Big Table Farm

Cattrall Brothers Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015

Shay A
9.3

Funk and spice on the nose. Floral but also savory. Peppered strip with rose petal. Very smooth front and mid palate with a tannic finish. Underripe raspberry, cardamom, and strawberry tart. Burgundian and delicious. Really enjoyed this @Mark Flesher . — a month ago

Mark Flesher
with Mark
Mark, James and 49 others liked this
Shay A

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@Evan Bienstock : This was really good. Would love to find a ‘12!
Shay A

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@Bryan Kesting : This was actually my first pinot from them. I’ve enjoyed the chards I’ve had from them. And yes, TCU finally looks alive. One of the worst 1Q’s I’ve seen from them!
todd herron DPM

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One of my favorite Pinots