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User bigred has rated the following wines:

Ciu Ciu Oppidum Rosso Marche 2011
Rated by bigred on March 15, 2017

Rating 44

Agree with pavineco, this is a rich, deeply structured wine. Great value as well. I've gotten a range of aromas, from dark red fruit, to leather, to smoke, vanilla, & more. A lot of nuance to the wine; I hold back from an even higher score due to the unresolved tannin. Suggest this could use more time in the bottle, and I think the fruit will hold, but will it fully resolve?

Comments (0)

San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2010
Rated by bigred on February 6, 2017

Rating 44+

Thought I was the first to review, but see that Mark had already gotten to this one! Really nice Brunello; notes of soft cherry, rose petal, tobacco, and just a hint of straw/hay. Soft & integrated on the palate. Would love to pair with lamb.

Comments (0)

HKG Pinot Noir North Bridge Russian River Valley 2013
Rated by bigred on December 18, 2016

Rating 44

Notes of sandalwood, black cherry, cinnamon, & potpourri are prevalent as this wine gets some air. On the palate this has good structure, with well defined tannin but not harsh. A deeper, more lush pinot. Picked up a few more.

Comments (0)

Cantina Tudernum Montefalco Sagrantino 2008
Rated by bigred on October 30, 2016

Rating 33

I can appreciate the structure of this wine, but I'm not sure this style of wine is for me. More herbs & earth than fruit, almost an over abundance of herbal overtones. Have a couple more and may hold and try at a later date for comparison.

Comments (2)

Montague Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2012
Rated by bigred on September 11, 2016

Rating 44-

Solid. This is reminiscent of the Londer pinot deals from a while back, but an even better QPR. Notes of bright cherry, rosewood, and Asian spice. Smooth, balanced. As steal at $9.99

Comments (2)

Husic Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008
Rated by bigred on June 10, 2016

Rating 44+

Layers of anise, cedar, blackberry, & chocolate. A plush, full bodied cab with nice balance and complexity that is drinking well now and will for several years. Anyone have a char-broiled rib-eye??

Comments (2)

Louis Latour Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Truffieres 2011
Rated by bigred on May 20, 2016

Rating 44

Mineral upfront on the nose, with sea salt, & fleshy melon. A pretty lush wine, with a nice blend of white fruit, perfume, citrus oil, and mineral coming together in a nice way. Enjoyable and drinking well now.

Comments (0)

Twelftree Wines Grenache Mataro Gomersal Ebenezer 2011
Rated by bigred on May 5, 2016

Rating 44

New-World "goodness".

Comments (0)

Collevite Falerio Pecorino 2014
Rated by bigred on April 6, 2016

Rating 33+

Floral notes, citronella, white fruit. Has some depth. Nice.

Comments (0)

Bernardus Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Vineyard 2011
Rated by bigred on March 4, 2016

Rating 44

Love the nose on this: mulled cherry, spice, earth, & mushroom. Kind of a smoky element to this pinot, but the fruit is there. Smooth, balanced, and drinking well now.

Comments (1)

Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2009
Rated by bigred on February 15, 2016

Rating 44

Rustic elegance. I really like the nose on this wine; notes of dried cherry, mushroom, herb, & earth; also a bit of spice. Nicely integrated on the palate. And although 7 years in the bottle now, will hold for quite a while longer.

Comments (0)

Baron L'Escat Margaux 2011
Rated by bigred on January 18, 2016

Rating 44

Really nice. A substantial Bordeaux, with notes cassis, bright cherry, cedar, and potpourri. Best to hold a while, but enjoyable now as I paired this with filet and was great.

Comments (0)

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside Vineyard 2006
Rated by bigred on January 10, 2016

Rating 44+

Enticing notes of baking spice, cassis, dusty cherry, eucalyptus & soft mint, with integrated oak. Cedar & tobacco on the nice finish. Decadent, structured, and built to last

Comments (0)

Claudie Peguet Pouilly-Loche 2014
Rated by bigred on December 21, 2015

Rating 44-

First time I’ve had this appellation of Pouilly-Loche, and my first impression is favorable. Very nice perfumed nose of fresh flowers and quince, and a hint of orange peel. Vibrant and crisp on the palate, yet has some depth; the flavors revealing lemon/lime, and a nice finish. I enjoyed with dry cheeses.

Comments (0)

Dezzani Barbera d'Asti Superiore 80 Anni 2011
Rated by bigred on December 10, 2015

Rating 44+

This is a beautiful wine. Good reco, Songoose. I have to say the winemaker’s notes are pretty spot on, “The bouquet is wide, intense and complex with notes of spice, red fruits and hints of dried fruit and toasting, derived from its refining in oak.” I’d add candied cherry and mushroom on the palate. Deep, rather full, and a pleasure to drink now or hold a few years. Buy up!

Comments (0)

Louis Latour Gevrey Chambertin 2012
Rated by bigred on November 6, 2015

Rating 44+

A sumptuous wine. Agree with the WS review, noting black cherry & earth flavors, but I would add a smoldering, smoky element to the profile. Elegant & quite smooth already, but this will be rewarded with time. I would recommend grabbing a couple to lay down.

Comments (1)

Feuerheerd's Porto 10 Year Old Tawny
Rated by bigred on November 5, 2015

Rating 44-

As advertised in the Chairman's Fall 2015 Preview - a solid Tawny Port, with notes of raisin, fig and caramel.

Comments (0)

Celestino Pecci Brunello di Montalcino 2010
Rated by bigred on October 1, 2015

Rating 55-

An impressive effort, and consistent from this producer. Generous layers of fruit & earth; with dried cherry & rose petal, ash, leather, & vanilla. Everything is tightly woven together, velvety on the palate, and the tannin is well integrated but present enough that this will hold for quite some time. This wine will unwind a little more, and only get better.

Comments (0)

Baron Thomas St. Estephe 2002
Rated by bigred on September 20, 2015

Rating 44-

Notes of dusty cherry, ash, cedar, and little integrated oak. A mature Bordeaux, but with the fruit still evident. Gave it a little air, and drinking well.

Comments (0)

Chateau Laulerie Blanc Bergerac 2014
Rated by bigred on August 31, 2015

Rating 44-

Agree with the comments. I would one up Mark's comment of decent and just say it is plain good. Fresh, fruity and stony. Great value.

Comments (0)

Henry Fessy Fleurie 2009
Rated by bigred on August 18, 2015

Rating 44-

This is nice, and certainly not overbearing. Dried berries, lavender, and a hint of smoke. Smooth, supple, and easy drinking, yet with some character.

Comments (0)

Stonestreet Chardonnay Bear Point Vineyard 2012
Rated by bigred on August 16, 2015

Rating 44

A very plush & showy Chard, with tropical fruits, melons & citrus rind, on the base of a glycerin-like frame. A moderate use of oak, but the fruit is what presents itself on this full-bodied Chard.

Comments (1)

Stags' Leap Winery Viognier 2013
Rated by bigred on July 20, 2015

Rating 44-

A nice perfume of tropical fruits; a mineral element; soft & easy drinking.

Comments (0)

Fleur de Marville Pauillac 2011
Rated by bigred on July 1, 2015

Rating 44-

Notes of tobacco, cocoa, leather, dark fruits. Nice, approachable, pretty smooth. I would categorize this as medium bodied & fruit forward. Picked it up given the markdown, but would like to see this at $19.99

Comments (0)

Les Cretes Chardonnay Valle d'Aosta 2011
Rated by bigred on May 19, 2015

Rating 44

Very nice Chard, one of the few I've had from Italy. Agree with J2K's impression. Notes of white peach, honeydew, candle wax, & mineral. Very smooth, soft & balanced. A solid find.

Comments (0)

Bodega Tukma Gran Corte 2010
Rated by bigred on May 1, 2015

Rating 44

I typically don't go for a lot of Malbec-dominant blends, but this was quite nice. Dense and smooth, with black and blue fruits, layers of chocolate and wood ash. Would be great with a steak.

Comments (0)

Chateau Balaurin Graves Blanc 2013
Rated by bigred on April 22, 2015

Rating 33+

Aromas of green apple, grass, & citrus; the heavier ratio of SB coming through. Picking up some mineral on the palate, but the acidity is most noticeable. Pleasant wine; went well with a plate of cheese.

Comments (0)

Vignerons de Caractere Chateauneuf du Pape Roque Colombe 2011
Rated by bigred on March 17, 2015

Rating 44

A CdP with a little extra panache. Maybe it’s the 15% ABV. Fruit forward, but with the hallmark CdP flavors lurking in the background of toasty oak, graphite, lavender, and mulled spices. Smooth, full, & balanced. Very nice.

Comments (0)

Monchiero Carbone Roero Arneis Recit 2013
Rated by bigred on March 2, 2015

Rating 33+

Refreshing; notes of sliced apple, pear, honeysuckle & mineral. Medium-bodied, with nice acidity. Hold on for summer...

Comments (0)

Vineyards Found Cabernet Franc 2012
Rated by bigred on February 15, 2015

Rating 44+

A pretty big cab Franc, and this came together even better on day two. Lush & dense, with notes of blackcurrant, cocoa, tar, cigar box, and a bit of spice/pepper. This has the tannic structure to hold for quite some time. All I can think of is pairing this with a char-broiled rib-eye.

Comments (0)

Evening Land Bourgogne Blanc 2011
Rated by bigred on February 9, 2015

Rating 33+

A really nice value white burg. I wasn't expecting much from this, but was pleasantly surprised by its soft, round texture; with notes of lemon/lime, flint, and light tropical fruits. I think someone mentioned this would make a nice summer sipper, and I fully agree.

Comments (1)

Roger Peguet Hermitage 2010
Rated by bigred on February 1, 2015

Rating 44+

This was one of the wines in the Pitt #48 Rhone tasting. Taste blind, I guessed it was a northern Rhone, which it is, and it is very good. Firm but elegant, with notes of violet, licorice, smoke, and some toasty oak. Really nice depth and concentration, but not heavy. Nice grip but has time to integrate further. A real treat.

Comments (1)

Bodega Vega Sauco Adoremus Reserva 1999
Rated by bigred on January 20, 2015

Rating 0No Rating

Found out about this at a local store. This bottle was over the hill; little fruit left, dead flat. At this age (16yrs) its going to be hit and miss at best. Will return mine but not sure I will try another. Perhaps a decent wine 10 years ago. Maybe someone else will get a "hit".

Comments (2)

Valdez Petite Sirah Landy Vineyard 2009
Rated by bigred on December 19, 2014

Rating 55-

An incredibly aromatic wine, with lavender, leather, coffee bean, & blackberry filling up the room. I was prepared to receive an overwhelming punch on the palate, but this is actually very smooth, focused, & elegant; make no mistake – this is a big wine – yet with tannin that is becoming integrated, although has plenty of time to develop. Really nice stuff.

Comments (0)

Rocca dei Sanniti Fiano di Avellino 2013
Rated by bigred on December 15, 2014

Rating 44-

Agree with acorelli. Impressive for the price; rich, with floral, fruity & mineral notes; I even get a hint of fresh linen. Very soft & round on the palate; will purchase more.

Comments (0)

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside Vineyard 2003
Rated by bigred on December 10, 2014

Rating 44+

A lovely classic cab and what you’d expect from Heitz. Loads of anise, cedar, eucalyptus, and blackberry. Smooth & rich on the palate; integrated tannin but still has a lot of life. Long finish. Nice on its own or pair with a hunk of rare beef.

Comments (0)

Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2012
Rated by bigred on November 11, 2014

Rating 44

Aromas of white fleshy fruit & wet stone are prevalent with the first swirl. The color is pale, but the fruit is singing in the glass. Semi-sweet, light & elegant on the palate. I am sure you could pair this with select dishes, but a pleasure to drink on its own. (Admin, please note incorrect spelling of Riesling in header).

Comments (0)

Antonin Rodet Givry 1er Cru 2011
Rated by bigred on November 6, 2014

Rating 33

A nice wine, but a pretty middle of the road burg. A mix of cherry, strawberry, and earth & somewhat light on the palate. May improve some with age.

Comments (0)

Lanciola Le Masse di Greve Chianti Classico 2009
Rated by bigred on November 2, 2014

Rating 44

Very nice aroma on this, leaning toward old world, with dusty cherry, earth, anise, and rose petal. Full on the palate, with prominent tannin, although I would not say out of balance; will just mellow with time. A remarkably solid wine.

Comments (0)

Erasmo Maule Valley Chile 2009
Rated by bigred on October 19, 2014

Rating 44-

The nose almost won me over. Very alluring aromas of what could lean towards an old world Bordeaux blend, with a nice mix of fruit & earth, along with a touch of greenness which is typical of the Chileans. On the palate I would say this was good, but I was looking for something with a bit more expanse / intensity. Guess I am in the Mark camp with this one. Will be a nice daily drinker once this gets a little more time in the bottle.

Comments (0)

II Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Reserva II Margone 2006
Rated by bigred on October 12, 2014

Rating 44+

Excellent Chianti. With a decant, very nice, deep aromas of dried cherry, earth, oak, and spice in the background. Full & smooth on the palate, with rich cherries & a touch of tobacco. This can hold for quite a while longer, but drinking well now if given time to breath. Would pair well with a variety of dishes, or bold cheese.

Comments (0)

Maquis Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Rated by bigred on October 9, 2014

Rating 44-

Notes of blackcurrant, spice, smoky undertones. Relatively well balanced and easy drinking, with medium palate weight. Was looking for a little more ‘umf’ but not so much. Still, a nice drinker

Comments (0)

Henry's Drive Shiraz Reserve 2008
Rated by bigred on September 15, 2014

Rating 44+

No one picked up the menthol? That was what I noticed first when I opened & poured this wine. It was noticeable for me, in a good way, balancing the other notes of baking spice, black and blue fruit, oak, and vanilla. Big, but quite integrated and very smooth on the palate, which gives it an edge over other big Aussie’s. I need a steak.

Comments (1)

Celestino Pecci Brunello di Montalcino 2008
Rated by bigred on August 18, 2014

Rating 44+

Nose was a little restrained, but eventually opened up after a while. Very smooth & savory, with enticing notes of dried cherry, cedar, forest floor, and just a hint of spice that lingers. Pretty resolved tannin, well balanced and drinking very well now. Was not available locally (Pitt) when I was looking for it, so I asked to have a few bottles transferred from the Harrisburg area. 7 weeks later, it delivered. No worries :)

Comments (0)

Merryvale Profile Napa 2006
Rated by bigred on July 14, 2014

Rating 44+

Had an opportunity to share this with a few friends & paired with med-rare NY strips off the grill. Drank very well; this had a very tightly wound concentrated core of fruit, with notes of cassis and cigar on the periphery. Opened up well with decanting. Easy drinking; a very pleasurable and elegant wine that is aging well.

Comments (0)

Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Les Trois Chenes 2011
Rated by bigred on July 7, 2014

Rating 33

Notes of black fruit, iron, and smoke on a medium frame. Nice, yet seemed lacking somewhat in complexity. I was expecting more of this, but was just OK for me. I'll look to see if other ratings come up otherwise.

Comments (0)

Bodegas Heredad de Aduna Rioja Reserva 2008
Rated by bigred on July 1, 2014

Rating 33+

With some air, a nice aroma of cherry, sage, and cedar. Well rounded, if a bit thin on the palate, with a nice mix of fruit and earth. Somewhat of a clipped finish, but a pretty decent wine nonetheless.

Comments (0)

Chateau de Belcier Castillon Cotes Bordeaux 2011
Rated by bigred on May 27, 2014

Rating 44

This is the most impressive Bordeaux I've come across at this price point, considering the recent vintages (’09, ’10, ’11). Frankly, I've had Bordeaux at twice this cost that wasn't this good. It is a bit tight and dry now, but has the stuffing to cellar for some years to enjoy. If drinking now, a good decant is the way to go. Aromas of blackberry compote, anise, cigar, and iron/clay come though given some air. Very smooth and substantial on the palate, with great fruit showing, & with a good tannic grip on the back end. Stock up.

Comments (1)

Paraiso Vineyards Pinot Noir Faite 2012
Rated by bigred on May 24, 2014

Rating 44-

Intriguing, robust nose of dark cherry, oak, and herbs/earth –perhaps some straw? This is a pretty “big” Pinot. A very forward wine, yet nicely balanced (actually drinking surprisingly well at this young age). Smooth on the entry, if a bit one-dimensional on the mid-palate. Good for $20.

Comments (0)

Quotation by Veramonte 2012
Rated by bigred on May 17, 2014

Rating 33+

An interesting wine. Thick and heady, with aromas and flavors of blackberry compote, cassis, & spice; actually reminded me of the flavor profile typical of a vintage port. This is impressive up front but drops off a bit on the back end, yet is well balanced and ready to drink now despite its age. Drinks well with food.

Comments (2)

Domaine Durand Cornas Premices 2011
Rated by bigred on May 4, 2014

Rating 44-

Aromas and flavors of plum, earth, straw, and graphite. Nicely balanced, easy on the palate, and a decent finish. Ready to drink.

Comments (0)

Coli Chianti Classico 2010
Rated by bigred on April 27, 2014

Rating 22

Rather muted on the nose, with some cherry but not much else. On the pallet this is very astringent, and if you can get past that you’ll find this pretty one dimensional. Thought this might be a sleeper Classico but I’ll keep looking.

Comments (0)

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside Vineyard 2001
Rated by bigred on April 10, 2014

Rating 44

Very Bordeaux in character, showing well for its age. A classic old-style Napa. Very enjoyable.

Comments (2)

Tenuta La Fuga Brunello di Montalcino 2007
Rated by bigred on March 22, 2014

Rating 44

On the nose, notes of dried cherry, tobacco, and ash. With air, this Brunello develops rather nicely, and layers unfold revealing cherry, licorice, & graphite. Med-full bodied, with a good finish. Should continue to get better with time in the bottle allowing tannins to further integrate.

Comments (0)

Santa Julia Magna 2011
Rated by bigred on February 21, 2014

Rating 33+

My first impression was, “smooth & soft” on the palate. Ready to drink now, offering a mix of red and dark berries, but a fairly straightforward wine. Good value.

Comments (0)

Maison Bouachon Chateauneuf du Pape La Tiare du Pape 2010
Rated by bigred on January 21, 2014

Rating 44-

At first the nose was tighter than Acorelli’s wallet at a Chairman’s sale, but after a while it opened up (the wine, that is), and it expressed notes of lavender, tea, earth and red berries. Med-full bodied, somewhat rustic is style, and a nice finish. Just young and needs time.

Comments (0)

Travaglini Gattinara Tre Vigne 2006
Rated by bigred on January 8, 2014

Rating 33+

Notes of cherry, mushroom, graphite and oak. This is a med-full bodied wine, and generally pretty good, but came through with a tad too much sweetness for me that otherwise would have been more palatably pleasing. Plus the bottle shape scared me a little.

Comments (1)

Colli Ripani Pharus Rupe Nero Gold 2012
Rated by bigred on December 12, 2013

Rating 33+

Rustic in nature, and refreshingly a bit lighter than some of the heavier offerings I’ve had of late. Notes of cherry, forest floor. Pairs well with food.

Comments (0)

Landmark Vineyards Chardonnay Damaris Reserve 2011
Rated by bigred on December 5, 2013

Rating 44+

Really nice Chard. Pure and elegant, the opposite of an oaky buttery typical Cali offering. There are hints of that, but this is really well balanced in flavor profile and structure. I get exotic fruit, minerals, and a touch of honeyed almond all wrapped around a soft but plush palate. As good as or better than the Etude Chard that came out this past summer.

Comments (1)

Mirage Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2010
Rated by bigred on December 4, 2013

Rating 33-

This Pinot seems as its trying too hard to be a big wine. The flavor profile is decent, with dark sour cherry, blackberry, and oaky notes; but this is hot and heavy on the palate, and lacking the crispness I enjoy in a Pinot.

Comments (1)

Offley Boa Vista Vintage Port 1997
Rated by bigred on November 28, 2013

Rating 44

The cork crumbled on me, so I filtered and then gave this a long decant. Nice aroma of dark sweet candied cherries, cinnamon, some potpourri, and an oak influence. Full and enveloping on the palate, but not overpowering. A touch of powdered chocolate on the finish. A great value on port with some age on it.

Comments (1)

Clos du Bois Marlstone 2010
Rated by bigred on November 24, 2013

Rating 44

You’re all wrong :-) To me, Marlstone represents a fairly consistent, good product year in and year out. This one is no exception. This cab-dominant blend offers notes of black currant, oak, cigar and mocha, and with some air time, blends together to deliver a full bodied, enjoyable wine. As they say in the professional reviews, “tasted twice with consistent notes”.

Comments (1)

Collevite Villa Piatti Pecorino Offida 2012
Rated by bigred on November 22, 2013

Rating 44-

Once this opens up, it offers a great nose of fleshy white fruit & limestone. The palate is soft & has finesse, it’s balanced, & with tropical fruit coming through. I enjoyed the soft finish as well. Really nice value.

Comments (0)

Jack Henry Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2012
Rated by bigred on November 20, 2013

Rating 44-

This is pretty decent; notes of bright cherry, vanilla, and cola. Light to medium bodied, but I did detect a slight medicinal undertone. Racy acidity that lingers on the finish. You know I'm usually not concerned with a few dollars here or there on the price, but I'm with j-rad; I'd like this to be about $5 cheaper for a re-purchase.

Comments (0)

Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Annata 2000
Rated by bigred on November 12, 2013

Rating 33

For the money, disappointing. Bottle age comes through with the experience, but there’s just not enough fruit breaking through the funk to make this very enjoyable. Interesting to try this older, iconic wine, but comes up short and/or past its prime in my opinion.

Comments (0)

Bodegas Briego Tiempo Crianza Ribera del Duero 2009
Rated by bigred on November 7, 2013

Rating 44-

Initially picking up dried cranberry on the nose with an oaky influence, but not too much else. With some airtime this developed nicely; the flavors and nuances of this wine became more evident, as later on more mushroom and lavender came through. This is pretty full on the palate, and quite smooth, & has some complexity. A little cocoa on the finish. 4-/4

Comments (0)

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Amitage 2009
Rated by bigred on November 4, 2013

Rating 33+

A full bodied wine, with ripe fruit. Syrah characteristics coming through. Nice

Comments (0)

Hecht & Bannier Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2010
Rated by bigred on October 16, 2013

Rating 44

This is solid. Agree with J2k that this is leaning toward new world, such as a California Grenache/blend. Nice aroma right off. Full-bodied, smooth, and balanced on the palate, with a great core of fruit featuring blackberry, rhubarb, Asian spice & licorice. Maybe some graphite on the nice finish. High ABV @ 14.5% noticeable but does not overwhelm.

Comments (0)

Chateau Ambe Tour Pourret Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2010
Rated by bigred on September 17, 2013

Rating 44-

This was good. On the “big” side for a Bordeaux, and leaning toward new world. Blackcurrant and spicy notes, full on the pallet. With air developed a savory character. Would purchase again.

Comments (0)

Tenuta La Marchesa Gavi Gold Label 2011
Rated by bigred on August 29, 2013

Rating 44

Like this a lot. Soft but with a nice cut. In addition to the white fruit and floral characteristics, this finishes with a nice note of crème brulee. Will pick up some more.

Comments (3)

Chateau Lanbersac Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 2010
Rated by bigred on August 27, 2013

Rating 33+

Found this to be more forward and New world rather than old. Pretty good dose of blackberry, currant, & plum with a little spice on the edge. Med-Full bodied. Better on day 2.

Comments (2)

MSH Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Rated by bigred on August 14, 2013

Rating 44-

Aromas and flavors of white peach and white grape, citrus zest and wet stone. Clean and crisp, with decent palate weight. Enjoyable. Nice reco Mark

Comments (0)

Domaine Cazes Muscat de Rivesaltes Vin Doux Naturel 2010
Rated by bigred on July 23, 2013

Rating 33+

A nice dessert wine; Orange peel, limestone, & mildly sweet with citrus.. I found this just slightly harsh on the finish, but enjoyable.

Comments (0)

Vidal Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Rated by bigred on June 29, 2013

Rating 44

EXACTLY what J-rad said: '05 is more new world and '04 leans toward old, but both are very good wines, and great QPRs!

Comments (0)

Chateau Fayan Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion 2010
Rated by bigred on June 12, 2013

Rating 33+

Plum, cherry, vanilla, cigar box and a touch of cocoa on the nose of this wine once it opens up a bit. Earth, mushroom, dried cherry & light oak on the medium-weight palate; firm tannins. Enjoyable – a nice QPR.

Comments (0)

Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2011
Rated by bigred on June 11, 2013

Rating 44-

A very solid, straightforward Cali Pinot, and a very good value. Nice blend of cherry , plum and vanilla cream; not much as far as earthy characteristics. Good balance; very approachable. Solid QPR.

Comments (0)

Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Ferrington Vineyards 2011
Rated by bigred on June 11, 2013

Rating 44+

I definitely had to give this a substantial amount of airtime to appreciate what this wine can offer. With time this unwound very nicely, as the core offered a terrific profile of cherry, plum, earth, and as Mark noted, a touch of rhubarb. Great mouth-feel. While I like the flavor profile on the Paraboll, this wine has more depth, complexity, and elegance. Likely the pick of the litter, but one more to go.

Comments (1)

Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Paraboll 2011
Rated by bigred on May 30, 2013

Rating 44

An explosion of cherry-strawberry, cola, and vanilla cream on the nose upon the initial swirl... later, developing nuances of plumb and earth. Really smooth & round across the palate; this is very well balanced with more cherry and herbaceous notes. I don’t get the watery aspect that j-rad does; seems about the typical consistency of a Pinot.

Comments (1)

Vidal Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Rated by bigred on May 17, 2013

Rating 44+

Well, quite an interesting experience. First bottle, very good. Second bottle – corked , if not compromised – will be returned. Third bottle – same as first. Needless to say expect some bottle variation on this ’04 vintage, and stored under what conditions? but the “hits” are really good and hence the basis of my rating. The aroma is quite enticing, with espresso, vanilla, light oak, and Asian spice. Plush on the palate, as the tannins have really integrated nicely over time. Flavors of blackcurrant, cherry, and tobacco, with a very nice finish. Nice job, Steve Pollack with this find, and offering at this price.

Comments (2)

Terra da Vino Barbaresco La Casa in Collina 2009
Rated by bigred on May 15, 2013

Rating 44

Quite aromatic upon opening, picking up dark cherry & blackberry. On the palate, this is well balanced & med-full bodied, with a beam of cherry running right down the middle. Some forest/mushroom on the periphery. Very savory wine; nice finish.

Comments (0)

Pillar Box Red 2009
Rated by bigred on April 28, 2013

Rating 33

Notes of plum, raisin, and anise after a pop and pour. Full bodied, with a little spice and earthy undertones on the palate. Decent, straightforward wine.

Comments (0)

Deep Sea Red 2008
Rated by bigred on April 28, 2013

Rating 44-

After decanting for 1.5 hrs, aromas of mulberry, marinated beef, and vanilla make this very enticing. This comes across very smooth on the palate, with flavors similar to the nose but with a bit of spice added. Med-full bodied. Great value for a daily drinker as it has a “yum” factor to it.

Comments (0)

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard Napa Valley 2000
Rated by bigred on April 11, 2013

Rating 44

Right off, I picked up aromas of eucalyptus, black fruit, and a bit of a vegetal element. On the palate, anise, menthol, leather. Smooth; this is a well made wine, fairly complex, and something of a brooding cab. It is very enjoyable & has good life left in it. Not mind blowing, but very good.

Comments (2)

Rufena Chianti Classico 2009
Rated by bigred on April 2, 2013

Rating 44-

This is a really nice Chianti. Wonderful aromatics of dried cherry, rose petal, spice, and toasty oak. Full and vibrant on the palate, with a blend of fruit & spice, along with nutty and earthy undertones. Good acidity to wrap it up. Would pair well with many Italian dishes.

Comments (2)

MacRostie Pinot Noir Wildcat Mountain Vineyard 2006
Rated by bigred on March 31, 2013

Rating 44

Luckily I snagged the last 2 bottles on-line before these disappeared. Seems as “4” is a popular number lately, but this one is right there. Just as before, very enjoyable with notes of dark cherry, mushroom, and a smoky aspect. Full on the palate with nice, round fruit. Enjoyed with turkey.

Comments (0)

Jean Perrier et Fils Savoie Apremont Cuvee Gastronomie 2011
Rated by bigred on March 30, 2013

Rating 44

Very aromatic upon opening, with light tropical & mineral notes, and a touch of ginger. The palate is where this really delivers as it’s exceptionally round and soft from end to end, fruit forward, and with just the right amount of acidity on the finish.

Comments (0)

Steven Kent Winery Red Wine Winemaker's Selection Central Coast 2010
Rated by bigred on February 28, 2013

Rating 33-

Picking up some cranberry, cherry and vanilla on the nose. Medium body, with bramble & earth on the palate. Decent, but nothing terribly special.

Comments (0)

Montechiara Sagrantino di Montefalco 2005
Rated by bigred on February 18, 2013

Rating 44-

I found this quite enjoyable. A full-bodied & pretty dry red that has earthy & herbal notes, spice, dark cherry on the palate, and a little tobacco. Will buy more of now and to hold a bit longer. Good recommendation, tonypoli.

Comments (0)

Hill of Content Shiraz 2006
Rated by bigred on January 22, 2013

Rating 22

I did not find this quite as offensive as J2K, but I don’t think it’s particularly enjoyable either. I get a combination of pixie stick, meat, & mulled blackberry on the nose, with some tart cherry and a bit of a briny effect on the palate. Just not all that pleasant.

Comments (1)

Antiyal Valle del Maipo Chile 2008
Rated by bigred on January 20, 2013

Rating 44

Very Chilean, and very nice. Immediately upon opening I picked up aromas of green coffee bean, herbal notes, and blackberry. After about an hour, the initial greenness became more latent, allowing the fruit to come forward. On the palate this was noticeably young; but even so was relatively smooth and balanced, with good depth, revealing black fruit, herbs, and tobacco. I have a second and will certainly cellar it.

Comments (0)

Paul Jourdan Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Papale 2009
Rated by bigred on January 15, 2013

Rating 44

The nose was very tight at first, but with some airtime, the aromas became quite evident – lavender, fig, huckleberry, and some pencil led. Nicely balanced and enveloping on the palate, with more fig/plum, and earthly undertones; solid finish. Will just get better and better with time.

Comments (0)

Barossa Shiraz SW102 Reserve 2011
Rated by bigred on January 14, 2013

Rating 22+

Some cherry, oak, and spice on the nose, which is pleasant. Thought some nuances might develop with some air time, but the palate to me is lackluster to make this a desirable wine. Bit of a sour finish.

Comments (0)

Sanford Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard 2008
Rated by bigred on January 7, 2013

Rating 44

Maybe this just needed some bottle time, and needs yet even more. It’s tight, but full, and frankly reminds me of the MacRostie Wildcat Mtn Pinot. Ripe cherry-strawberry, vanilla, cola and spice on the nose. Very smooth, very round & supple, which really appeals to me on the palate. More cola and a little herbal or forest action adds some complexity. Even with some air time, this is a bit hot & short on the finish, which restrains my score. Otherwise, a very nice Pinot.

Comments (2)

Cave de Rasteau Ortas Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau Prestige 2007
Rated by bigred on January 3, 2013

Rating 33+

I found this enjoyable. Nice & round, well balanced, with notes of plum, fig, tea, and iron. Good value.

Comments (0)

Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco 2007
Rated by bigred on December 31, 2012

Rating 44-

Cherry, cigar, and earth came through on the nose, but much more so on the second day. A little oak and vanilla as well. In fact, this was a much better wine on the next day, becoming more integrated on the palate. A well made wine, but still left me wanting for something a bit more from this.

Comments (2)

Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 1er Cru 2010
Rated by bigred on December 25, 2012

Rating 44-

This is very nice, and will be even better enjoying outdoors in warmer weather. Soft and supple, with light citrus along with floral and mineral notes. Well balanced. A good purchase. 4- /4

Comments (0)

Attilio Ghisolfi Barolo Bussia 2007
Rated by bigred on December 18, 2012

Rating 44+

Very young Barolo, and needs a good decant to open up but really should lay down a while. After decanting, the aromatics are very enticing: dried cherry, roses, tobacco, cedar wood and earth. The palate is expansive and full, with leather, cherry and sage coming through. Prevalent but integrated tannins, slightly tart on the palate, but has the substance to hold for some time. Would like to put down for 10+ years.

Comments (0)

Chateau Carignan Prima 2005
Rated by bigred on December 16, 2012

Rating 33+

Plum, bramble, cocoa & oak on the nose and palate. Tight, medium bodied, pleasant but lacking refinement. Young & tannic, & should integrate over time, but doubt it will really shine. Opened up slightly after a couple of hours and made up for its first impression, but was expecting a bit more.

Comments (0)

Maculan Dindarello IGT 2010
Rated by bigred on December 10, 2012

Rating 44

Very fresh and vibrant, with honeydew, citrus, peach, and yes orange marmalade as described in the WA tasting notes. Sweet, but not overly so; with a nice richness and length, and just enough acidity. Would not recommend drinking this with dessert; it is a dessert in and of itself.

Comments (0)

L de Laffitte Laujac Medoc 2008
Rated by bigred on December 9, 2012

Rating 33-

Cherry wood, light oak, and earthy characteristics are evident with a little tobacco on the back end; medium-bodied, short finish.

Comments (0)

Trentadue Winery Merlot La Storia 2010
Rated by bigred on November 29, 2012

Rating 44

Very nice aromas of black-cherry, vanilla, cigar, and an oaky note. Blackberry, cherry, and cocoa flavors are prevalent and generous across the palate. This wine has some substance to it. Med-full bodied & pretty robust. Now, as you know, I tend to occasionally make declarations... and as much as Mark may cringe at this, I’d say this wine is in the lead for ‘Merlot of the year’ as far as the Chairman’s goes.

Comments (2)

De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Brut Excellence 2009
Rated by bigred on November 25, 2012

Rating 44-

Nice aromatics right off the pour; light citrus, meringue, and lemon zest. Pleasant mouthfeel; a tightly wound sparkler with great acidity, offering flavors of citrus, wet stone, and a touch of vanilla. Quite enjoyable.

Comments (0)

Mas Carlot Cuvee Tradition Costieres de Nimes 2011
Rated by bigred on November 23, 2012

Rating 33-

Nose of bright red fruit, with flavors of pomegranate, sour cherry, and graphite on a medium frame. OK, pretty straightforward.

Comments (0)

Simi Pinot Noir 2010
Rated by bigred on November 15, 2012

Rating 44-

A very fruit-forward pinot; with floral aromas along with raspberry, cherry-vanilla, and hints of spice. More bright red fruit on the palate along with cola, & fairly well rounded and with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Good one for the holidays.

Comments (0)

Santa Duc Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne Les Buissons 2010
Rated by bigred on November 6, 2012

Rating 44-

Drank over 2 days. At first the nose seemed a bit muted, but became more aromatic with time/air. Dried cherry, mushroom and earth on the palate. Nice balance of fruit, acidity, and tannin. Had this at a 3+ then moved to a 4- as it developed more on day 2. A nice wine to have around for the coming holidays.

Comments (0)

Perrin & Fils Cotes du Rhone Villages 2009
Rated by bigred on October 10, 2012

Rating 33+

After a good decant, aromas of slightly sweet cranberry, as well as graphite. Flavors of red fruits, herbs, and mushroom on the palate; well balanced with a medium finish. Pleasant wine.

Comments (2)

Chateau de Canterrane Rivesaltes 1976
Rated by bigred on September 30, 2012

Rating 55-

Smooth and seductive; so much to experience as this really stimulates the senses. Caramel, nuts, raisin, dried fig, brandy, and much more. Very well crafted and would last for several years or decades more. Perfect way to end an evening.

Comments (0)

Clos du Bois Marlstone 2007
Rated by bigred on August 29, 2012

Rating 44

This needs a good couple hour decant. Thereafter, a very nice aroma of currant, cocoa, cigar and a green element. Comes together nicely on the palate, med-full, with more currant, dark cherry and leather. The cab is evident but also has some Bordeaux-like flavor. Nice finish. Seems a marked improvement over last year’s vintage.

Comments (1)

Sharp's Hill Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve 2007
Rated by bigred on August 28, 2012

Rating 22+

In years past I’d be more receptive to this style; jammy blue fruit, very fruit forward. Big... did I mention fruity? hotaji captured this well as it’s more of an overripe style Californian and pretty one dimensional. Would work well for a Sunday afternoon party crowd.

Comments (0)

Familia Zuccardi Tempranillo Q Series Mendoza 2008
Rated by bigred on August 23, 2012

Rating 44-

Aromas of spice, leather, and cocoa. This wine needs some air time, but once it opens up its pretty nice. The palate is med-full, with cherry, anise, and some earthy undertones. Developed a more savory aspect with more air. Strikes me that this would pair well with chicken marsala.

Comments (0)

De Martino Carmenere Legado Reserva 2010
Rated by bigred on August 19, 2012

Rating 33+

This was a pleasant wine. Notes of potpourri, vanilla, red fruit, and a light grassy context. Well balanced, good daily drinker.

Comments (0)

Vignerons de Caractere Domaine du Grand Prieur Vacqueyras 2010
Rated by bigred on August 13, 2012

Rating 33+

Plum. iron and garrigue on the nose after giving this some air. Medium bodied, with cherry, plum and earth/mineral on the palate. Came together nicely on day 2. Nice southern Rhone.

Comments (0)

Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional 2009
Rated by bigred on August 9, 2012

Rating 44

Loaded with blackberry-blueberry, spice, and a bit of vanilla on the nose. Some earthy characteristics blending in with the dark fruit on the palate, as well as some oak, and alcohol. One might describe this as having a sensual quality to it. Overall really well balanced and drinking nicely now; although I cannot see this attaining the 95 WS rating.

Comments (0)

Fess Parker Dry Riesling Rodney's Vineyard 2010
Rated by bigred on August 5, 2012

Rating 33+

Have to agree with PWF’s comment. This was crisp and clean, with white peach and mineral & generally pleasant for a dry wine. Prefer the semi-sweets though, when in the mood for Riesling

Comments (0)

Sodaro Estate Blend 2005
Rated by bigred on August 3, 2012

Rating 44-

Very big, very fruity, very Californian. A robust wine with a lot of ripe or even over-ripe black fruit. Good bit of oak too. For me, very new world and agree on the general one-dimensional aspect of this wine. Well-made blend, but looking for a bit more character.

Comments (0)

San Felo Morellino di Scansano 2010
Rated by bigred on July 26, 2012

Rating 33

Dried cherries, earth, leather & a bit of current. Nice, approachable sangio. Pretty well balanced

Comments (0)

Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne Sauternes 2005
Rated by bigred on July 16, 2012

Rating 44-

Light apricot, pear and petrol on the nose. On the palate, nice & complex, with mineral flavors mixed with the aromas noted. Smooth, slightly sweet. Seems a bit more balanced than the ’07, although I will take either of them. Liking sauternes more and more.

Comments (0)

Domaine Michel Gaunoux Corton Renardes Grand Cru 2003
Rated by bigred on July 15, 2012

Rating 44

Nice nose of mushroom, muted cherry, and tea. Flavor profile is as expected and very good, with earthy undertones, red fruit, and just the right amount of funk. Medium bodied, well balanced, and drinking well. Good purchase.

Comments (0)

Fuso Barbera Rosso Colli Tortonesi Piedmont 2010
Rated by bigred on July 11, 2012

Rating 33+

A snappy nose of juicy cranberry and bright cherry; more red fruit on the palate, with traces of mineral/earth. Nice acidic grip makes this a good match for pizza or even a pesto dish.

Comments (0)

Vignerons de Caractere Vacqueyras Les Hauts de Castellas 2009
Rated by bigred on July 3, 2012

Rating 44-

Opens very nicely with aromas of fig, black tea, and a violet bouquet. Flavors of red berries, leather, and loamy notes at the forefront, with an underlying subtle streak of iron across the palate. Medium to full bodied, with a pleasant finish. Will repurchase.

Comments (0)

Rare Earth Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Rated by bigred on June 19, 2012

Rating 33

Pretty straightforward cab. Aromas and flavors of vanilla, fresh cherry, and currant. Nicely balanced, med-full pallet. OK for an everyday number.

Comments (0)

Clos LaChance Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2007
Rated by bigred on June 19, 2012

Rating 44

A robust, well-rounded cab. The bouquet is intense, with spice, tobacco, dark cherry, leather and a touch of mint. Similar flavors with more black fruit coming through. Full, brooding, and impressive, especially for the price. Buying several more. Admin, take note – we have a contender for Chairman’s value of the year with this one.

Comments (2)

Ravenswood Icon Mixed Blacks Sonoma 2007
Rated by bigred on June 5, 2012

Rating 44

Beautiful. At first, I thought this might be big but one dimensional; however, after giving this adequate air time, it really developed nicely to balance the complexity with the power. Lots of black fruit, vanilla, pepper & some spice coming through this blend. Full on the palate, voluptuous wine that’s quite enjoyable. (Edit) - Day 2 this lost something; still good but not great.

Comments (0)

Torres Vina Esmeralda Spain 2010
Rated by bigred on June 1, 2012

Rating 44-

Bright and racy; a floral nose with mineral notes. Weighty tropical fruits on the palate; bit of a sour fruit on the finish. Well balanced & enjoyable. Great QPR.

Comments (3)

Bernardus Marinus Red Blend Carmel Valley 2006
Rated by bigred on May 16, 2012

Rating 44

Always of fan of the Marinus. Like a little patch of Bordeaux in California. Vanilla, black cherry, toasty oak, graphite and earthy aromas and flavors all bound together & balanced to deliver a really nice tasting experience. How I had anything left for day 2 is beyond my recollection, but it was even better then. 90pts.

Comments (0)

Zenato Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa 2008
Rated by bigred on May 13, 2012

Rating 44

I’ve really come to enjoy the Corvina grape, and seek it more often. A very nice example of a blend dominated by this varietal; this wine offers a nose of black fruit and tobacco leaf with hints of spice. Rich and loamy on the palate, well structured and drinking well now and the next few years. Would pair especially well with slow cooked, braised short ribs. Oh, and Mrs. bigred gave this a double smiley-face :) :)

Comments (0)

Emina Tinto Fino Red 2007
Rated by bigred on May 10, 2012

Rating 44-

Hawk’s got this one right on. This wine is a bargain for 8 bucks. Nice notes of cherry & vanilla, and a bit of roasted coffee bean. Full on the palate, well balanced, and ready to drink. Delicious.

Comments (1)

Celestino Pecci Brunello di Montalcino 2006
Rated by bigred on April 29, 2012

Rating 55-

Like a great novel, this wine is a classic. It has the restrained & inhibited character of an old world offering; and being so young, needs a good decant to really open up. I gave it three hours, and while that seemed adequate; I really look forward to how this may evolve over time. I love everything about this wine, from the color, where an orange rim envelopes a ruby-red center, to the aromas of cherry-wood, cigar , and potpourri, to the flavors of cherry, mushroom, & earth that caress the palate, and finally, to the finish that beckons for another sip. Terrifically structured and age-worthy, this is an elegant wine to be enjoyed now and for years to come.

Comments (2)

Louis Latour Gevrey-Chambertin 2007
Rated by bigred on April 23, 2012

Rating 33+

Bright, attractive nose. Sour cherry & strawberry as well as mineral on the palate; a hint of earth. Nice, crisp acidity. Nothing terribly overwhelming, but I enjoyed this wine.

Comments (0)

Carpineto Sillano Tuscany 2001
Rated by bigred on April 16, 2012

Rating 44

Hard to believe how tannic this wine remains for an ’01. Dominant aromas and flavors of dark cherry, tobacco, leather and earth. Less medicinal than I recall from a prior tasting, perhaps that’s because I gave this a good decant. Nice, smooth old-world style; full bodied & enjoyable if you are into dry Tuscan blends.

Comments (0)

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside Vineyard 2000
Rated by bigred on April 5, 2012

Rating 44+

Like meeting a new acquaintance, it took a while for me to warm up to this wine, but after some time, I enjoyed it quite a bit. After decanting, I found plum, violets, anise, & oak on the nose. Smooth mouthfeel, rich but not overly concentrated, with more finesse than power. Cherry, plum & tobacco on the palate. There’s a hint of Bordeaux in there too. Med to med-full body, with integrated tannins that say the drinking window is open now and will continue for the next few years.

Comments (0)

Feudi Sanniti Taburno Falanghina 2009
Rated by bigred on April 3, 2012

Rating 33+

So at the reduced price of 8 bucks I figured I would try this, and since there’s been some chatter about it of late. I’d say I found it to be good, not great. PNP and found the acidity beyond prevalent; almost abrasive. That said, after allowing this to sit in the glass for a bit, bringing it close to room temp (props to ecola), it mellowed quite a bit, to reveal notes of citrus, apple, mineral, as well as a floral aspect. Enjoyable, but just that. Now,... is there a cab in house? ...

Comments (0)

Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne Sauternes 2007
Rated by bigred on March 20, 2012

Rating 44-

Figured I would give this a try at the reduced price. Pleasantly surprised - On the nose I get a blend of honey, citrus, peach, and a touch of petrol. On the palate nice & sweet, but light on its feet; not syrupy, with flavors peach and honey. Good acidity. Pretty enjoyable, especially with these warm spring evenings.

Comments (0)

Atalon Merlot Napa Valley 2004
Rated by bigred on February 20, 2012

Rating 33+

Hints of cocoa powder, briarwood, spice and vanilla on the nose. The palate offers chocolate covered cherry, mocha, and a bit more spice along with a touch of earthiness. A relatively straightforward profile, but holding well for its age; recommend drinking now.

Comments (5)

Vitalonga Elcione Umbria 2008
Rated by bigred on February 14, 2012

Rating 33

Thought this one might be a sleeper based on Steve P’s “stunning” commentary, but I find it fairly average. Initially upon opening I picked up some cinnamon stick and vanilla on the nose; with a good bit of air, thereafter developed into aromas of cherry, cola, vanilla and oak. Medium bodied, soft, thought it could benefit from more acidity.

Comments (1)

Demuth Winery Pinot Noir Limited Reserve Anderson Valley 2006
Rated by bigred on February 5, 2012

Rating 33+

’06. Very subtle nose on this one. Took a while to come around. As others have commented, Burgundian in nature, and while the fruit is lingering in the background instead of smacking you in the face, I would have appreciated a stronger prominence of earth or mineral given the muted fruit. Also noticed the color was a bit odd. That said, this rounded out nicely after a couple of hours and was pretty enjoyable.

Comments (0)

Vigneti Massa Barbera Monleale Piedmont 2006
Rated by bigred on January 30, 2012

Rating 44-

Very nice nose of somewhat muted fruit, mineral, spice, and perhaps a bit of vanilla. On the palate, there is a literal medley of ripe red fruit mixed with earth and light oaky flavors – very delicious. The acidity is excellent, and as songoose noted, a good match for many dishes. Bought 2 and will be back for more at this price.

Comments (0)

Tenuta dei Pianali Coronato Bolgheri 2006
Rated by bigred on January 25, 2012

Rating 44+

The nose is worth the money alone. I mean, this is gorgeous. Give this a some air, and you get layers that unfold to reveal tobacco, rich espresso, dark cherry, currant, and sweet oak – very Bordeaux-like. After I’ve taken a moment..., I find the palate to be very nice; med-full to full bodied, & picking up more tobacco, anise, and even some chocolate. It’s not overly complex, but it is very good, and has all the structural integrity to age and improve. Wonderful wine. Will purchase again to hold.

Comments (1)

Cellars Baronia del Montsant Flor de Englora Roure 2009
Rated by bigred on January 6, 2012

Rating 33+

Upon opening, a nose of cranberry and potpourri, maybe some ash – generally nice. With a little air time, I pick up some dried cherry on the palate, a bit of earth, and some lingering mineral characteristics. Pretty well made, and a nice every day wine.

Comments (0)

Guenoc Port Guenoc Valley 2007
Rated by bigred on December 30, 2011

Rating 44-

Lush, enveloping raspberry and blackberry on the nose. More rich berries on the palate, some spice, and overall a very enjoyable port. Great way to round out the evening. I’ll pick up a couple more at this price.

Comments (0)

Carini Furzivu Munti Sucu Mendocino County 2005
Rated by bigred on December 22, 2011

Rating 22

It’s been a downhill slide since the Cuvee 65. Gave this an hour in the glass before consuming. Cherry liquor, vanilla, oak, and walloping blast of menthol on the nose. This is a “big bully” wine; trying too hard without a lot of substance. Some fruit, but also a medicine-like palate, and alcohol prevalent on the finish.

Comments (0)

Escoces Volante 3000 Anos Bullas 2006
Rated by bigred on December 18, 2011

Rating 33+

The nose is quite attractive with raisin, vanilla and some floral aspects. On the palate I found this wine big on the periphery but lighter in the middle if that makes any sense. Tannins are prevalent but not chalky. It’ll hold, but I’m not sure how much it will improve. Enjoyable; not memorable.

Comments (0)

Joseph Drouhin Chorey-les-Beaune 2007
Rated by bigred on December 15, 2011

Rating 33+

Nice nose of sweet cherry and floral aromas. Flavorful and bright while light on its feet. I like the blend of sour cherry/strawberry and earth with a touch of tanginess. A good old world value. Worth a repurchase.

Comments (0)

Chateau Grands Bois Bordeaux 2009
Rated by bigred on December 13, 2011

Rating 33+

I don’t particularly care for tiny bottles, but what’s in this one is pretty good. Dusty cherry, earth, and plum on the nose, followed by sour cherry, pencil lead and a little cocoa on the palate as the merlot characteristics come through. A nicely crafted wine; a good value Bordeaux

Comments (0)

Tedeschi Valpolicella Superiore Capitel San Rocco Ripasso 2008
Rated by bigred on December 7, 2011

Rating 33+

Very rustic in nature; red cherries, wood ash, some soft spices. Pretty enjoyable on the palate. Good daily drinker.

Comments (0)

Domaine Durand Cornas Empreintes 2008
Rated by bigred on December 4, 2011

Rating 44-

Some good funk on the nose along with pencil led, red berries and pie crust – I like it. Definitely some sour cherry on the palate along with earthy characteristics. This wine needs time to come together further, but has decent potential. Prefer this over the Saint-Joseph Les Coteaux 2009 Syrah. The Cornas just appeals to me and that’s a direct result from exposure via our Pitt tastings.

Comments (0)

McWilliam's Cabernet Sauvignon Hanwood Estate 2009
Rated by bigred on December 1, 2011

Rating 11+

Somewhat harsh nose of medicine, bing cherry, and mint; coming across as one dimensional and thin on the palate. A troubling wine, and one that won’t get finished.

Comments (2)

Domaine Durand Saint-Joseph Les Coteaux 2009
Rated by bigred on November 30, 2011

Rating 33+

Picking up blackberry and a little tar on the nose. Medium-full bodied on the palate, with dark sour cherry, mineral, maybe a bit of cocoa. Enjoyable, but was looking for something more from this.

Comments (2)

Collazzi Toscana IGT 2007
Rated by bigred on November 28, 2011

Rating 44+

Had this wine again > see notes from statewide tasting – this is a terrific wine, and one for certain that blurs the line between old and new world.

Comments (0)

Penfolds Shiraz St. Henri 2005
Rated by bigred on November 9, 2011

Rating 44+

A well crafted, complex Shiraz, with aromas of violet, spice box, eucalyptus and vanilla. I gave this some air, and it really came through as a well rounded, layered wine, boasting rich flavors of blueberry, dark cherry, & what came across as marinated beef. This could pass for a Cali syrah; it’s an elegant wine that will hold for several years. Great deal.

Comments (7)

Coniglio Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2005
Rated by bigred on November 3, 2011

Rating 44

Absolutely classic Napa cab. With aromas and flavors of blackcurrant, vanilla, plum and sweet oak, this wine delivers. Rich, full bodied, & well structured makes for a pleasurable experience on the palate. Right up my alley, and underrated in my opinion.

Comments (0)

Cantina del Buono Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2008
Rated by bigred on November 1, 2011

Rating 33

Whole lotta funk goin’ on here. Musty forest floor, sour cherry, and a bit of mineral on the nose and palate, as I find myself in line with ecola’s notes. J2K, maybe a bad bottle? This would probably pair well with some dry cheeses or Italian meats. Nothing terribly exciting, but decent.

Comments (0)

Vezer Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve Suisun Valley 2007
Rated by bigred on October 31, 2011

Rating 44

Upon opening, first impression was that the nose was vegetal with vanilla, medicinal cherry, somewhat woody, and a bit alcoholic. Flavor profile is very new world (almost like a cab/shiraz blend), definitely has some depth, and reminded me somewhat of the Carini cuvee 65. As I let this get some air, and more so on day two, this came together nicely with the fruit more present. Solid, well crafted, but the fruit seems a bit overripe for me to push this higher.

Comments (0)

Clos du Bois Marlstone 2006
Rated by bigred on October 25, 2011

Rating 44-

Crimson in color, and with an attractive nose of currant, tobacco, and toasty oak. A fairly complex wine, with dark fruit and vanilla flavors, med to full on the palate. Couple of years might help this evolve and balance, but it’s an enjoyable cab blend and calls for red meat or dry cheeses.

Comments (0)

La Czar Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2007
Rated by bigred on October 23, 2011

Rating 44

Intense red and black fruit on the nose, slightly medicinal, but powerful and a true precursor for the palate. Full-bodied, with flavors of blackberry & cinnamon compote, along with spice and vannila. Opens up well with a couple hours of exposure. Big Zin, nice.

Comments (0)

Lagarde Primeras Vinas Malbec Mendoza 2008
Rated by bigred on October 19, 2011

Rating 44

Really nice, complex smoky nose of raisin, vanilla, toasty oak, rose petal, and a hint of chocolate truffle. Full bodied across the palate, with flavors of dark fruit, leather and spice box form the rustic profile. A structurally solid wine, medium finish. Probably the best Malbec I’ve consumed.

Comments (1)

Wolf Blass Shiraz President's Selection 2008
Rated by bigred on October 16, 2011

Rating 33

A straight-shooter of a Shiraz. Well structured, but fairly one-dimensional on the palate, with spice, plum, and a hint of oak. Decent, and would pair well with spicy fare.

Comments (0)

Luce della Vite Toscana Luce 2004
Rated by bigred on October 16, 2011

Rating 44+

An aromatically enticing wine: wonderful wild cherry & coffee bean wrapped in tobacco leaf; medium to med-full in body, with earthy flavors emerging, along with plum, cedar, and vanilla. This wine has good, lively acidity, followed by a strong tannic backbone and will hold for a while longer. Elegance defined.

Comments (0)

St. Francis Zinfandel Pagani Vineyard 2007
Rated by bigred on September 28, 2011

Rating 44-

Aromas of spice, & jammy fruit. Nice mouthfeel revealing the wine’s solid structure. Flavors of berries, earth, and more spice, but with old world subtly, not over-extracted typical of some Cali zins. Goes down nice and easy on its own.

Comments (0)

Chateau d'Or et de Gueules Costieres de Nimes Cuvee Trassegum 2009
Rated by bigred on September 24, 2011

Rating 33+

When first opened, I got an aroma of cranberry. However, that evolved to more espresso bean and blueberry, with a touch of vanilla –really attractive. This comes across as well structured on the palate, with dark fruit, including cherry, along with more espresso and earth. Edit> Had this again at the 22nd Pitt tasting; did not think it held up as well as many other Rhones; somewhat shallower on the mid-palate, hence the drop in rating.

Comments (0)

Clarendon Hills Syrah Bakers Gully 2005
Rated by bigred on September 20, 2011

Rating 44+

Nice nose of smoky meat & blueberries, slightly vegetal. This wine really bursts on the palate, with lush blueberry and beef jerky flavors; harkens of a Cali syrah. A very sensual wine and I like it. Tannins are totally integrated; ready to drink.

Comments (0)

Volker Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006
Rated by bigred on September 14, 2011

Rating 44-

I find this a pretty typical Cali cab, with aromas and flavors of dark cherry, anise, oak, and some vanilla. Well structured, approachable, nice wine. Good, but not great.

Comments (3)

Rocca dei Sanniti Aglianico del Taburno 2006
Rated by bigred on September 5, 2011

Rating 33+

Nose was slightly muted, but given a bit of time opens up nicely, to show raspberry, rhubarb, and tobacco. More of the same with some herbal qualities on the palate. Prominent tannins yet overall light on its feet; would go will with a variety of dishes

Comments (1)

Sonoma Hunter Merlot Alexander Valley 2009
Rated by bigred on August 31, 2011

Rating 22+

Cherry, chocolate, and vanilla on the nose. Cherry cola on the palate. Med-Full bodied but one-dimensional wine with a bit of a manufactured taste to it. A fair wine, but I’d hardly call it a “gem”.

Comments (1)

Chateau Maris La Touge Syrah Minervois La Liviniere 2007
Rated by bigred on August 28, 2011

Rating 44-

Decanted 3+ hours. On the nose, a nice blend of berries, earth, and mineral. Less funk than the ’06 but still old world. Call it a softer, gentler cow pasture. Blueberry and blackberry as well as a bit of coffee or mocha on the palate, with a very nice mouthfeel. Great value.

Comments (0)

Chateau Barreyres Haut-Medoc 2006
Rated by bigred on August 23, 2011

Rating 33+

I get currant, cherry, and wood ash on the nose of this 50/50 blend. Nice palate of dark fruit, earth, tea and a bit of coffee. This is a well structured bdx, and I think I slightly prefer it over the Bousquet Cotes de Bourg. Both great values though. Have repurchased already. 3+/4-.

Comments (1)

Expression 44° Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2007
Rated by bigred on August 21, 2011

Rating 44-

Cherry pie filling wrapped in a cardboard crust is how I would describe this almost obtrusive nose. Red cherry/strawberry, cola, and earth on the palate of this pleasantly tasting pinot. Unusually old world for Oregon, but pretty darn good.

Comments (0)

Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz Billi Billi 2005
Rated by bigred on August 17, 2011

Rating 33+

Dark cherry medicine, pine forest, and meat on the nose. The best I can describe what I get on the palate is medicine and espresso bean; somewhat dark and brooding, but not too heavy. Structurally sound. This one grew on me a bit, and came through better on day two. Giddy up.

Comments (0)

Chateau du Bousquet Cotes de Bourg 2006
Rated by bigred on August 15, 2011

Rating 33+

Cigar, cedar, and cherry on the nose. More red cherry, earth and a hint of tobacco on the palate. A lively, fresh, well structured value Bordeaux. I had this with some cured meats and it paired very well.

Comments (0)

Chateau St. Didier-Parnac Cahors 2009
Rated by bigred on August 11, 2011

Rating 33

Some barnyard, leather, and bright cherry on the nose. More cherry, light tobacco and dried earth on the palate. Interesting Malbec-dominated BDX. Good structure, suggest consuming with food.

Comments (3)

Copain L'hiver Syrah California 2008
Rated by bigred on August 2, 2011

Rating 44-

Sweet blackberry jam, meat, & petrol on this somewhat unique nose. I had to pause a little, think about this, and then took a few swallows. Turns out its pretty good. More jam, some smoke, graphite, and sweet integrated tannins on the palate. For this price, a great daily drinker. Need to get a few more.

Comments (1)

Duorum Colheita Douro Portugal 2009
Rated by bigred on July 26, 2011

Rating 33+

This one has a big, enticing nose of dark plum, spice, oak, and smoke that would otherwise promise a massive wine. The palate, however, is nice but leaves me wanting more from such an aromatic wine. It’s medium bodied and well structured; just decent. What I seem to be finding with these recent CS Spanish and Portuguese selections is that there is a significant difference in the $10-$15 range vs. $25-$30; with the later consistently offering more complex, higher quality wines. Guess I’m still looking for that gem in the value range.

Comments (1)

Volpaia Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2006
Rated by bigred on July 25, 2011

Rating 33+

Rustic; with earth, sour cherry, mineral and a bit of straw. This one opened up a bit more on day 2, and overall I found it a pleasing Chianti, with good structure. My only mistake was not pairing this with an Italian dish.

Comments (0)

Bell Wine Cellars Merlot 2006
Rated by bigred on July 17, 2011

Rating 44-

Interestingly I get more cab-like aromas such as currant, vanilla, and light tobacco on the nose. Really nice mouthfeel across the palate, with dark fruit, sweet oak, & some cocoa. This is a well-crafted merlot, probably the best CS merlot since the Newton unfiltered offering a couple years back. This one will hold a while but drinking well now.

Comments (0)

Two Hands Shiraz Coach House Block 2006
Rated by bigred on July 6, 2011

Rating 55

A hedonistic pleasure. Thank God for Michael Twelftree and his winemaking team. The Coach House Block is another bold but elegant wine. It begins with an intoxicating aroma of rich blackberry and blueberry, intermingled with tobacco, spice, menthol and sweet oak; and you could muse over the aroma allllll night long. Once you actually get around to drinking it, it only gets better. Plush and invigorating across the palate, I get dark cherry, plum, spice, and black soil. The tannins are completely integrated, with a finish that beckons for more. Oh my.

Comments (2)

Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Reserva 2005
Rated by bigred on June 28, 2011

Rating 33+

Bought this because I could not resist the cool looking bottle. Turns out it’s a pretty good wine. I get some cinnamon, spice, and cedar on the nose, followed by medicinal cherry, root and mineral on the palate. Fairly well balanced wine and good for a weekday.

Comments (0)

Reserve des Vignerons Saumur-Champigny 2009
Rated by bigred on June 14, 2011

Rating 33

Iron, minerals, & fig on the nose; as this wine has a rather unique aroma. (Mrs. bigred found it somewhat off-putting). On the palate, sour cherry, crushed rock, and yes more iron. Light to medium bodied, and overall good structure with a relatively short finish. Not bad, I just prefer more fruit.

Comments (1)

Steltzner Cabernet Franc Stags Leap District 2006
Rated by bigred on June 7, 2011

Rating 44-

There is an attractive nose of rich red fruit, potpourri, and vanilla. With air, this wine improved and intensified. The palate is pretty lush, with cherry, bramble, and oak. Good structure, with a tannic edge that is present but does not take away from the wine. 4- but perhaps higher with even more exposure.

Comments (0)

Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Burgundy 2006
Rated by bigred on June 1, 2011

Rating 44-

Strawberries & cream, mushroom and earth on the nose. This burgundy is soft and supple on the palate, but comes together nicely with more strawberry and sour cherry, with a touch of mineral. The finish is tight, but I find something attractive about this wine, and the price is nice.

Comments (0)

Domaine Saint Martin Muscadet de Sevre et Maine 2009
Rated by bigred on May 31, 2011

Rating 44-

This was a nice, refreshing wine. Green apple, pear, and mineral on the nose; more apple and citrus on the palate –very crisp with acidity that just pops. Nice on a steamy night. Good reco from ecola

Comments (0)

Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi Piano di Montevergine 2001
Rated by bigred on May 26, 2011

Rating 44+

I love tapping into a 10 year old bottle only to find that it’s still developing, and should be shelved a while longer. This will hold at least 5 if not 10 more years. Gorgeous nose of blackberry, graphite, licorice and spice. Plush on the palate, with dark fruit, smoky leather, and dusty earth. Integrated yet still maturing tannins. Let this one sit out a few hours, and enjoy.

Comments (1)

Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain 2005
Rated by bigred on May 24, 2011

Rating 22+

Drank side by side with Atlas Mt. Veeder 05. Typical cab nose of currant, black cherry. Full bodied, dark fruit on the palate, but relatively one dimensional and less balanced than Mt. Veeder. Chalky, mouth drying tannins on the back end. Tastes manufactured. Not a good QPR. In a word, boring.

Comments (0)

Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2005
Rated by bigred on May 24, 2011

Rating 33

Drank side by side with Atlas Spring Mtn 05. On the nose medicinal cherry, currant and tar. Dark fruit and cocoa on the palate; better balance and overall structure than the Spring Mtn, but also relatively one dimensional and uninspiring. Overpriced.

Comments (6)

Sogrape Vinhos Callabriga Alentejo 2008
Rated by bigred on May 19, 2011

Rating 44-

Cherry, plum, baking spices and a little tar on the nose. Dark fruit and cocoa on the palate, medium to full. Somewhat unrefined, developing tannins; however this is one of the better Portuguese value offerings. No complaints.

Comments (0)

J. M. Fuentes Gran Clos Priorat 2000
Rated by bigred on May 2, 2011

Rating 44+

The aroma of this wine just makes me smile. There’s a huge nose of candied fruit, floral scents, and sweet oak. I was a bit concerned with this holding up for 10+ years, but that quickly dissipated with the first sip. This wine is in a good place right now. The palate is plush, with currant and espresso, and has the structure to hold even longer. Have already gone back for a few more.

Comments (11)

Quinta da Fronteira Douro 2007
Rated by bigred on April 29, 2011

Rating 33

Bright red fruit and earth on the nose, with plum/cherry, earth and spice on the pallet; somewhat reminiscent of an Italian blend. Had this side by side with the Sogrape Vinhos Douro and the distinction is evident. This is a decent wine but I prefer the Sogrape.

Comments (0)

Sogrape Vinhos Callabriga Douro 2008
Rated by bigred on April 28, 2011

Rating 44-

Has an aroma of fig, raisin, and vanilla. Currant, plum (but not too plumy :) and chocolate on the palate; this is another well-made wine from Portugal, becoming one of my favorite producers, and a great value. Great daily drinker so stock up.

Comments (0)

Chateau Tour de Rodet Graves 2009
Rated by bigred on April 26, 2011

Rating 22+

I let this one open up for a while, and drank over 2 days. I don’t know if it came together a bit more on day two, or my senses were better, but I did pick up dusty cherry and vanilla on the nose. On the palate, the structural integrity is there, but for me the flavor profile is lacking something, even for a light to med-bodied wine. Not bad, but I’ve had better BDX, even in this price range.

Comments (2)

Viansa Sempre il Migliore Red 2009
Rated by bigred on April 19, 2011

Rating 33+

Fresh and forward is the first impression; with bright cherry and sandalwood on the nose. More cherry as well as light spice on the palate, and some vanilla. Noticeable acidity – this wine will hold up well against many Italian dishes. Sausage and peppers come to mind.

Comments (0)

Le Mistral Red Blend 2007
Rated by bigred on April 14, 2011

Rating 44-

This is a very enjoyable wine, and perhaps a bit underrated. I’m getting baking spices and dark fruit on the nose, but as jlburd noted, there’s also just a bit of old world funk to liven it up. No pepper though. Rather full on the pallet, with soft fruit; a little tar. Great structure; it’ll hold.

Comments (0)

Kenneth Volk Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2006
Rated by bigred on April 11, 2011

Rating 33+

Some cherry/strawberry, vanilla and oak on the nose; actually a pretty nice nose. Medium body with more vanilla and plum, yet finding this a little hollow on the mid-palate; dry, with a bit of an astringent, alcoholic finish. OK; not a bad value for the price. Edit> this wine developed a bit & improved on day 2; enough for me to bump the score a tad.

Comments (0)

Ehlers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1886 2006
Rated by bigred on March 28, 2011

Rating 55-

A big, brooding cab; a lot of muscle underneath a silky veneer. A nice nose of dark fruit, integrated oak, and a touch of spice. Completely engulfs the palate with currant & leather, and the strong tannic structure suggests this one needs to sit for half a dozen more years, which will improve the balance. And by all means, make sure you have a rib-eye or porterhouse at the ready.

Comments (2)

Stonehedge Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2007
Rated by bigred on March 27, 2011

Rating 33-

Some dark fruit and oak on the nose; was expecting a bit more on the palate but fell short. One-dimensional cab, with the feel of chalky, unrefined tannins on the finish. Somewhat underwhelming.

Comments (0)

Viansa Cucina Red Table Wine 2008
Rated by bigred on March 21, 2011

Rating 33

Vanilla and cherry on the nose, and a little baking spice. Light fruits including plum on the palate. Medium body; a decent wine but I think I enjoyed some of the previous Viansa offerings a little better.

Comments (0)

R Wines Chateau Chateau Leaf Turner Barossa Valley 2007
Rated by bigred on March 13, 2011

Rating 44+

Bravo, R Wines on this number. In years past, I had not typically gone for the Aussie GSM blend (or in this case the G&M minus the S); but have come to enjoy it more in recent times. This one nails it. Enticing aromas of blueberries, minerals, and smoke/tobacco; on the palate chewy, & surprisingly full, with flavors of leather & sour cherry. Delicious. Guess I’ll have to try and compare to the Skulls Red now.

Comments (0)

Vignerons de Caractere Domaine de la Soleiade Vacqueyras 2009
Rated by bigred on March 11, 2011

Rating 44

A beautiful southern example, this one has a nose of iron, tea, and plum. Across the palate I get tobacco, red & black fruit, and mineral. Well balanced, with noticeable acidity and a pretty nice finish. Would probably go well with pork or lamb. Quite enjoyable.

Comments (2)

R Wines Shiraz First Class 2007
Rated by bigred on March 8, 2011

Rating 33+

Not as enthralled with this as some others. The nose stung me with an attack of oak, menthol, cotton candy, and vanilla. Mrs bigred described the aroma as “weird”. Better on the palate, and structurally a quality wine. As with Mark, not really my style. First Class? Perhaps closer to Coach.

Comments (3)

Tandem Peloton California 2006
Rated by bigred on March 2, 2011

Rating 44-

You’ve got everything in this wine including the kitchen sink – 8 varietals? But I tell you what, it works. The pinot characteristics are defiantly coming through, but the zin blends in nicely to compliment it, adding some spice to the bright cherry and mineral of the pinot. Big bouquet on this with sour cherry and floral aromas, with just a bit of funk; and across the palate sour cherry and earth. Well balanced. Reminds me of the Viansa Sempre Avanti. An eaaaasy drinker and a crowd pleaser; a good value.

Comments (1)

Wakefield Shiraz Cabernet Promised Land 2006
Rated by bigred on February 14, 2011

Rating 33+

This wine grew on me a little after I gave it some air. Raspberry, plum, anise on the nose; and per PittGuy’s observation, some raisin as well. Chocolate covered cherries on the palate, with some tobacco. A decent wine at a good price and can be used as an occasional daily drinker.

Comments (1)

Vignobles Boudinaud Grange des Rouquette GSM 2008
Rated by bigred on January 27, 2011

Rating 33+

Vibrant aromas of black cherry, tar, and mineral. This is a medium-bodied wine; very flavorful yet light on its feet. Across the palate sour cherry and leather. Integrated tannins, with a bit of a tinge on the finish. Really came together on day two.

Comments (0)

Murphy-Goode Petit Verdot 2005
Rated by bigred on January 25, 2011

Rating 33

Cherry, straw and a little earth on the nose. Oak, red berries, and vanilla on the palate. This is decent enough & a fairly well-made wine, and appropriately priced; however, just so-so for me. I’m not overly attracted to this grape as a single varietal.

Comments (2)

Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2007
Rated by bigred on January 17, 2011

Rating 33+

Bright cherry and strawberry on the nose that jumps from the glass. Very lively and well balanced; it is difficult not to enjoy this wine. A straightforward Cali pinot and a good value. And the label? The graphics remind me of something from the Flintstones.

Comments (2)

Altair Sideral 2003
Rated by bigred on January 9, 2011

Rating 44

Dusted this one off from a CS selection I had stored away from yesteryear. Really quite nice and a pleasant surprise. The nose was a little obtrusive at first, with more herbal & green aromas, but after a while that waned and it showed more currant and vanilla. This really came across the palate nicely with a velvety feel, revealing dark fruit and oak, and rounding out with a lengthy finish. Unfortunately only purchased one bottle.

Comments (0)

Bodegas Roda Reserva Rioja 2003
Rated by bigred on January 3, 2011

Rating 44-

This wine seemed to develop nicely & change in character with exposure over several hours, which I sometimes notice more distinctively with Rioja’s for some reason. On the nose – cedar, raisin, and spice, and flavors of licorice, cherry and some cola. Smooth, balanced and approachable. Very good wine – not quite as enthused as J2K on this one, but nonetheless a good value.

Comments (0)

Husic Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006
Rated by bigred on December 31, 2010

Rating 55

All night, I kept commenting on the nose of this wine. Killer. The nose is at the level of “that new car smell”; you don’t want to exhale. Decanted this for 4 hours. This is a beautiful, lush complex wine, with chocolate, blackcurrant, vanilla and light sweet oak, with a really nice finish. An elegant wine and a great way to bring in the new year.

Comments (0)

Anderson's Conn Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006
Rated by bigred on December 29, 2010

Rating 44+

I’m right there with others’ tasting notes on this – the nose is so tight you need a crowbar to open it; but what you notice overall is an absolutely Bordeaux-like essence to this wine – not really what I anticipated. After a little time in the glass, I’m getting tobacco, eucalyptus, and anise on the nose. The mouthfeel is terrific, with lush cherry, leather and oak. Very well crafted, will cellar for quite some time, and ohhh so close to a 5- (probably will hit that in a few years)

Comments (0)

Nozzole Chianti Classico La Forra Riserva 2006
Rated by bigred on December 26, 2010

Rating 44

A nice nose of dark cherry & forest floor. Across the palate more cherry, cedar and some vanilla. A very well balanced wine with good density. One of the better Chiantis I’ve had in some time.

Comments (0)

Bernardus Marinus Red Blend Carmel Valley 2004
Rated by bigred on December 21, 2010

Rating 44-

Currant and damp earth on the nose; Bordeaux blend with some old world flavor on the palate. Very enjoyable and has the structure to hold for some time. Have already re-purchased.

Comments (1)

Carini Syrah Salmina Vineyard Sonoma Valley 2007
Rated by bigred on December 19, 2010

Rating 33

This wine is packin’ heat. Attempting to get past the alcohol, aromas of menthol, herb, and some spice become detectable. A bit harsh across the palate, with cherry syrup and some blackberry, with a hot finish. On day 2 this has mellowed only slightly. Young; this wine needs time to develop.

Comments (0)

Alma Negra Mendoza 2006
Rated by bigred on December 5, 2010

Rating 33

Also had this at the 13th Pitt tasting. This was OK, but was expecting a bit more. Picked up on some cherry, spice, and cocoa, but not very intense on the palate compared to other Argentine blends.

Comments (0)

Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco 25 Anni 2004
Rated by bigred on December 5, 2010

Rating 44

This wine was still looking for more time to come alive even after the four hour decant Mark gave this prior to the tasting. Along with dark fruit, this had an earthy/musty nose; and on the palate, while the density is there, I felt this wine showed more finesse than power. Most notable, however was the tannic structure and sheer dryness. This wine would benefit from a tremendous amount of cellar time, and should improve further.

Comments (0)

Pelton House Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley 2005
Rated by bigred on December 2, 2010

Rating 33+

Fruit forward on the nose and palate, with currant, black cherry, vanilla and oak. Good structure and will hold a few years; fairly one-dimensional but very approachable now and a nice everyday drinker.

Comments (0)

Penfolds Shiraz Cabernet Koonunga Hill Seventy Six 2006
Rated by bigred on November 27, 2010

Rating 33+

Crimson in color; and while you can feel the heat come across the nose, it also offers mulberry, cocoa, oak, and some herbal/green aspects. Not your typical over-extracted Aussie number. This comes across with a decent mouthfeel, albeit a bit light over the palate with blackberry, vanilla, and tar, and has a medium finish. Not a bad value. Note – was cork-sealed; not a screwcap as depicted.

Comments (0)

Ramey Syrah Shanel Vineyard Sonoma Coast 2006
Rated by bigred on November 22, 2010

Rating 44+

On the nose, loads of blackcurrant, with hickory smoke and grape leaf. There is elegance in this wine and it comes through the moment you open the bottle. It is well structured and complex, with flavors of currant, smoked meat, black pepper & more spices, and black cherry liquor. Nearly perfectly integrated tannins finish off this memorable wine.

Comments (0)

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria DOC 2007
Rated by bigred on November 14, 2010

Rating 44+

What a vivacious wine. ecola: “this is an apricot bomb” - you better believe it. dontime: “sweet, thick and decadent” – absolutely. cap: “tasty, tasty caramelized apricots” – could not have said it better. Simply a beautiful, sweet wine to sip and savor.

Comments (0)

Erasmo Maule Valley Chile 2005
Rated by bigred on November 7, 2010

Rating 44

Perhaps I have a bias for the Chilean vine, but this is really nice. Decanted. Intoxicating nose of sweet oak, espresso, and black fruit; somewhat reminiscent of Don Melchor. On the palate, smooth and velvety, with dark fruit and tobacco. Nice, long finish. Will purchase more, especially at the CS price.

Comments (0)

Masi Serego Alighieri Bello Ovile Rosso di Toscana 2006
Rated by bigred on November 4, 2010

Rating 33+

On the nose: cranberry, cherry, and herbal undertones. Bright cherry & mineral on the palate; with the relatively high acidity skewing the balance of the wine. Decently long finish

Comments (0)

Antucura Calvulcura Mendoza 2005
Rated by bigred on November 1, 2010

Rating 44

Garnet in color, with a nose of cedarwood, oak, and cherry. More cherry on the palate, with some strawberry and a bit of musty earth. Noticeable acidity and overall good structure. Had this at a 3+/4- initially but really developed after a couple of hours and bumped it up.

Comments (0)

Gnarlier Head Zinfandel Old Vine Dry Creek Valley 2006
Rated by bigred on October 31, 2010

Rating 33

Aromas of spice, dark fruit, and fig. This is an OK zin, but somewhat light on the zin-like qualities if that makes sense. Somewhat jammy on the palate, with a bit more spice. Not bad.

Comments (0)

Famille Ligneres Aric Montagne d'Alaric 2004
Rated by bigred on October 28, 2010

Rating 44

After decanting, the nose is really nice; one of ripe/rich cherry & potpourri. On the palate more dark and sour cherry, plum, and some mineral. Complex and well balanced. Great QPR. ......Had this again 2/7/11. Terrific dark fruit, smoke and a meatiness to this wine; really enjoying this and what a value.

Comments (3)

Clare Luce Abbey Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Rated by bigred on October 25, 2010

Rating 44+

A very attractive Napa cab. Reminds me of past vintages of Honig. One the nose, blackberry, anise & oak; maybe a touch of iron. This is a well structured wine; the palate offers an almost pulpy texture that is very appealing, with flavors of rich dark fruit along with tobacco leaf and some earth. Wish I had purchased a few more when offered, but would take some discipline to actually hold for a while

Comments (0)

Sebastiani Secolo Proprietor's Selection 2006
Rated by bigred on October 16, 2010

Rating 44-

Aromas of vanilla, dark fruit, and traces of oak. Agree with tonystro that this has the qualities of a young Bordeaux-style blend; med-full bodied, with dark cherry, leather and some chocolate. A very nice little number.

Comments (0)

Spice Route Pinotage Swartland 2007
Rated by bigred on October 1, 2010

Rating 33+

On the nose - prunes, candied fruit, and some oak. And although for me this wine is completely unbalanced, it is like a party on the palate; chewy in texture, with enticing flavors of mixed-berry pie, spice, earth, and tart fruit on the finish. A unique wine; the kind that would draw a few comments at social gatherings.

Comments (0)

Chateau Maris La Touge Syrah Minervois La Liviniere 2006
Rated by bigred on September 22, 2010

Rating 44-

On the nose, black cherry and straw; definitely a European flair to this. Nice mouthfeel, good structure, with a mix dark fruit, graphite, and muted spice on the palate, with a pretty good finish. Worth a repurchase.

Comments (0)

Christian Moueix Merlot Encore Bordeaux 2005
Rated by bigred on September 10, 2010

Rating 22-

Faint aromas of sour cherry and earth, and very thin on the palate with some cherry and mustiness, with a short, tart finish. May technically be a Bordeaux, but really not worthy, and a poor choice for the Chairman Selection. Not a surprise this appears to be offered only in the non-premium stores, and what do you want for 6 bucks.

Comments (0)

Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006
Rated by bigred on September 3, 2010

Rating 44-

A nice, full-bodied cab; aromas of dark fruit, nutmeg, and earth. Loaded with dusty tannins that nearly overwhelm, this one could use some time. Dark fruit/blueberry on the palate. A good value wine.

Comments (0)

Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2004
Rated by bigred on August 28, 2010

Rating 44

Very aromatic wine, with chocolate-covered cherries, raisin, and worn leather on the nose. Then dark fruit and smokey flavors on the palate, along with more plumb. A wine with some substance to it.

Comments (0)

Fattoria di Magliano Morellino di Scansano Heba 2007
Rated by bigred on August 24, 2010

Rating 33

Aromas of dusty earth and blackberry; a fairly well-balanced, medium bodied wine. Dried cherry and mushroom on the palate, decent finish. Had this with eggplant parm and it paired well.

Comments (0)

Two Hands Shiraz Ares 2006
Rated by bigred on August 21, 2010

Rating 55+

Heaven on Earth.

Comments (0)

Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran Burgundy 2008
Rated by bigred on August 19, 2010

Rating 44-

Yes, bigred is rating a white wine. With the exceptionally warm weather this summer, I figured I’d give this one a go, given the favorable ratings. Naturally, I first had to spend several minutes thoroughly cleaning my Reidel glass of its nearly-permanent red sheen, lest I wanted to end up with a rose’. So, as far as the wine, this was actually pretty good. I picked up citrus, pear, and some straw on the nose; crisp, clean & bright across the palate, with more pear, lemon and mineral notes. Enjoyable.

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Ty Caton Tytanium Sonoma Valley 2008
Rated by bigred on August 16, 2010

Rating 44+

So young, but so good... a must for decanting, but really should be put down for a while. A quintessential Cali blend that has structure, complexity, and depth. Fruit-forward, with aromas of cassis, plum, and spice. Lush, dark fruit, cocoa, and leather across the palate; velvety mouthfeel and a long finish. J2K: what are you waiting for?

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Ruffino Modus Toscana 2006
Rated by bigred on August 8, 2010

Rating 33+

A pretty decent Tuscan blend. Picking up dark fruit, tar, and mint on the nose. Fruit seems a tad overripe on the palate, with some earth and tobacco leaf, but overall has good structure and would pair well with food. Medium finish.

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Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional 2007
Rated by bigred on August 3, 2010

Rating 44+

On the nose, enticing dark fruit, lead, and oak. On the palate this is quite lush and has a velvety feel, with flavors of earth, more dark fruit, minerality, and a smokey aspect. Lengthy finish. Really enjoying these quality wines from the Douro region.

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Bommarito by Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007
Rated by bigred on August 3, 2010

Rating 22

A simple wine. I’m not getting a whole lot out of this; some dark fruit on the subdued nose and more on the palate that is lackluster; not all that bad, but nothing intriguing about this.

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Sodaro Cabernet Sauvignon Felicity 2005
Rated by bigred on July 29, 2010

Rating 44

A nice nose of dark fruit, vanilla, and some graphite. Generally a good structure to this, although slightly off on the acidity, yet has sweet prevalent tannins. Flavors of dark cherry, anise and some tobacco. A straightforward wine, but quite good overall, and although I did not have the ’03, based on those reviews, this ’05 seems a much improved effort.

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Shirvington Shiraz McLaren Vale 2005
Rated by bigred on July 18, 2010

Rating 44+

Opened this one up as a precursor to the upcoming Pitt shiraz/syrah tasting. Did not disappoint. Aromas of vanilla, dark fruit, and oak. This is a straightforward, full-bodied, big, jammy-sweet Aussie number that comes through nicely. It is a fairly well balanced wine and should hold for a while. Would pair well with a thick piece of seared red meat.

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Vignobles du Paradis Chinon Cuvee Signee par Sandrine Cesbron 2008
Rated by bigred on July 7, 2010

Rating 33+

Light red in color; bright cherry and mineral on the nose. Sour and somewhat tangy cherry, tobacco and mineral on the palate. A nicely made wine, and a good deal at $10; just not quite my style.

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Mika Winery Meritage Sonoma County 2004
Rated by bigred on July 2, 2010

Rating 44

This is a very good wine; was expecting juuust a bit more given the anticipation on this one. Still a very well made wine and a great deal, though. There is a really nice, enticing aroma to this wine; more Bordeaux-like and not overly fruity. On the nose - currant, dark ripe fruit, and chocolate coming through; flavors of dark cherry, cedar/oak, and vanilla. A generally smooth drinking, well-balanced wine (although would like a touch more acidity), and a great finish. Here is how I scored this one: Nose> 4+, Mid-palate >4-, finish> 4+ = overall> 4

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Tenuta Coppadoro Radicosa Puglia 2003
Rated by bigred on June 29, 2010

Rating 44+

This is a very attractive wine. Aromas of dark fruit, graphite, and spice box. Highly tannic and full bodied. There are mocha and fruit flavors along with oak, but the earthy undertones coming through lend me to believe I am almost tasting the soil from which this is grown; a very pleasurable drinking experience.

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Chateau Coufran Haut-Medoc 2003
Rated by bigred on June 23, 2010

Rating 33+

Aromas of dried cherry, earth, and a nutty aspect. Flavors more latent, but more cherry, mineral and mustiness coming through. Generally a smooth, decently balanced wine; overall enjoyable and for the price, wished I had picked up a couple more when this was available.

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Viansa Sempre Avanti Sonoma County 2008
Rated by bigred on June 15, 2010

Rating 44

This wine has a really nice nose of spice, red fruit, and even a bit of candied cherry. Flavors of raspberry, cherry, oaky notes, and some chocolate all mixed together; but what stands out to me is the balance of this wine. Quite nice, and has a certain deliciousness factor. Stock up!

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Chateau Mont-Redon Cotes du Rhone 2007
Rated by bigred on June 9, 2010

Rating 33+

This wine has one of the most unique noses I’ve come across; one I can only describe as dried cranberry and singed wet straw; almost pungent but in a good way. On the palate a blend of dark and light fruit along with damp earth and toasty notes. Overall a smooth drinker and fairly well balanced.

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Emblem Cabernet Sauvignon Oso Vineyard 2006
Rated by bigred on May 28, 2010

Rating 44

A nice wine; blackberry, currant, and oak on the nose. Flavors of dark berries, vanilla and chocolate. Full-bodied wine with a strong tannic structure, as this should hold well for several years and is a bit early to be drinking now. For the price, I will hold a couple in storage. I’m finding I prefer this over the Buehler and Napa Cellars – Stagecoach

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Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune Villages 2007
Rated by bigred on May 25, 2010

Rating 44

The nose on this one is bursting with soft cherry, strawberry, and minerals. A true burg, with more fruit on the palate, including sour cherry, but also a nice dose of earth and more minerals on the finish. Smooth and balanced. Great wine for a warm evening on the deck.

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Bellum Providencia Monastrell 2006
Rated by bigred on May 17, 2010

Rating 44

Big nose on this one, with mineral, spice, and fragrant violet. Similar flavors across the palate, with the addition of earth and grape leaves. For me, this one really came together on the second day. Typically, I prefer mourvedre blended with other varietals, but this stands alone very well. A big, gamey red that doesn’t disappoint

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Highlands Cabernet Sauvignon Beatty Ranch 2003
Rated by bigred on May 16, 2010

Rating 44+

This is an interesting cab; it is what I would describe as an elegant, medium-bodied red wine. Although the nose is subdued, I picked up some spice and red berry. On the palate, there are a lot of different things going on, including green and black pepper, blackberry, and some vegetal overtones. What I like about this wine is its balance; the acidity and tannic structure along with a little heat make this very pleasing.

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Torres Nerola Red 2005
Rated by bigred on May 13, 2010

Rating 33+

On the nose, which to me is this wine’s strength, aromas of blackberry and forest floor. On the palate, this offers sour cherry and mineral notes. This is somewhat lack-luster, although decently balanced. A pretty good wine, but left me expecting a bit more given the rating.

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Murrieta's Well Meritage Livermore Valley 2005
Rated by bigred on May 9, 2010

Rating 33

So, I purchased and drank this wine out of spite :) Naturally, after my good friend Mark’s comment “Bigred: Move along please, nothing to see here”, I had to try this out! Turns out, this pretty decent. It is pretty laid back on the nose, but I did pick up aromas of sour cherry and bright strawberry; somewhat pinot-like. Medium body, smooth with a little more depth on the palate, and more soft strawberry flavors; some vanilla. The verdict? ...A pretty good wine, but Mark’s got my number.

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Capafons-Osso Mas de Masos Priorat 2004
Rated by bigred on May 7, 2010

Rating 55-

This is a beautiful wine. Once you give this time to open up, floral, spice and mineral aromas make this very enticing. This is a well balanced wine, with earthy flavors, as well as currant & other dark fruit, and graphite on the long finish as the tannins come through. Wonderful to drink now or hold, as this wine has the structure to cellar for quite some time. This is a wine to crave.

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Erba Mountainside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Rated by bigred on May 2, 2010

Rating 44

A very nice, deep nose on this cab, with notes of currant, toasty oak, and cigar. Dark fruit flavors, including raspberry and plum, with tobacco, and a bit of licorice. Not perfectly balanced, but the generally sweet, integrated tannins make this a very enjoyable wine, to drink now or in the next few years.

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Ray's Station Merlot North Coast 2006
Rated by bigred on April 28, 2010

Rating 22

Aromas of plum, cherry, and some smokiness. Flavors of plum and some chocolate; overall straightforward and somewhat flat with a relatively short finish. Was expecting a little more on this one, but didn’t get much out of it.

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Mill Creek Syrah Corner Pocket Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley 2005
Rated by bigred on April 25, 2010

Rating 44-

Dark red/nearly black in color; this wine is tight on the nose, but once it opens up, offers dark fruit and has a bit of mustiness. Flavors of blackberry, spice, and everything nice. Good stuff.

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Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon Adams Knoll 2003
Rated by bigred on April 18, 2010

Rating 44-

First, like the label on this one. This is another nice offering of the many recent CS additions. Aromas of plum, cherry, and oak. More plum on the palate, with blackberry, mineral and vanilla. Good acidity and tannins contributing to the nice mouth-feel. Another great QPR.

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Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard 2006
Rated by bigred on April 11, 2010

Rating 44-

A little tight at first, then opens up with what reminds me of a jar of potpourri. Flavors of cherry, anise, spice; even a touch of sweetness. A full-bodied wine and a nice finish. One of many pretty nice cabs coming from the latest CS offerings.

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Hogue Cabernet Sauvignon Genesis 2006
Rated by bigred on April 7, 2010

Rating 33+

Bright cherry on the nose; soft and supple, yet a fruit forward med-full bodied cab. Flavors of cherry and a musty oak coming through. At 9 bucks – a real value.

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Buehler Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2005
Rated by bigred on April 4, 2010

Rating 33+

Attractive aromas of dark fruit, spice, and cedar. A fairly straightforward cab, decent, with flavors of vanilla, oak, and some fruit, but more dominant on the nose than palate. Would recommend drinking now.

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Rosenblum Cellars Syrah England-Shaw Vineyard, Solano County 2006
Rated by bigred on March 28, 2010

Rating 44

Let this wine open up, and you’ll get big, dark fruit on the nose after some herbal aromas wane. A meaty, bold syrah with notes of dark blueberry, chocolate, and smoky undertones that come through with this decently complex wine. Nice finish.

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Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2004
Rated by bigred on March 22, 2010

Rating 44+

Upon aerating, a beautiful nose of blueberry, cedar, and coffee emerges from the glass. Great flavors of dark cherry, plum, leather, and some oak. Great mouth-feel and a nice finish to this. A well crafted cab from Sonoma. Only wish I paired this with a nice steak.

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Cims de Porrera Solanes Priorat 2005
Rated by bigred on March 13, 2010

Rating 33-

Agree with the other rating posted on this one ; over-oaked. It’s unfortunate that this characteristic dominates the entire experience drinking this wine. Beneath the oak veneer, there are hints that this wine has some decent qualities that attempt to come forward, including its structure. For those that like an oaky wine, this one’s for you. I don’t know that with aging, more fruit might emerge, but there are too many other options available to fool around with this one too much for me.

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Vignerons de Caractere Domaine de la Soleiade Vacqueyras 2007
Rated by bigred on March 3, 2010

Rating 44-

A nice fragrant nose of violets, candied fruit, and mineral notes. Forward, bright flavors of cherries, plum, cedar, and enticing earthy undertones that speak to a good southern Rhone

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Parson's Flat Shiraz Cabernet 2005
Rated by bigred on February 21, 2010

Rating 44

Aromas of spice box, blueberries and other dark fruit. Flavors of jammy dark berries, cedar, and tobacco. Good structure and complexity. The finish is decent but not exceptionally long. Overall, a nice value and similar to the 2004 offering

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Wither Hills Pinot Noir Marlborough, New Zealand 2005
Rated by bigred on February 3, 2010

Rating 22+

Tight, with aromas of dark cherry and a bit of rubber. Acidic; tangy and sharp with some strawberry and cherry, but also sour fruit flavors, and overall not terribly enjoyable. I’ve had worse, but do not agree with the WS rating on this one.

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Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Snows Lake Vineyard, Lake County 2006
Rated by bigred on January 28, 2010

Rating 44-

Have a few of these in the cellar and finally brought one up. Tight on the nose, but nice aromas of red berries and vanilla. Big fruit flavors, with blackberry, spice, pepper, and candied cherries. Very tannic (nearly overwhelming) and should hold well for a few years. A solid Zin; typical showing for Rosenblum. I’m a fan.

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Chateau St. Jean Merlot Sonoma County 2005
Rated by bigred on January 24, 2010

Rating 33-

Aromas of cherry and chocolate; quite a dose of fruit flavors, with black cherry, plum, vanilla, and toasted oak. Looking for more but not finding much else with this one. A decent wine, but nothing to write home about.

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Mas de l'Abundancia Fluminis 2005
Rated by bigred on January 6, 2010

Rating 44-

On the nose, dark berries and black tea. Great flavors of red berries, dark forest, spice and some leather. Nicely balanced. Would go well with beef or lighter fare.

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Rockledge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon The Rocks St. Helena Napa Valley 2005
Rated by bigred on January 1, 2010

Rating 44+

A very nice cab. Currant, cocoa, some spice - overall inviting aromas after giving this some air. Dark lush berries, chocolate flavors and a velvety feel. The (+) is for the nice finish. This ought to cellar for 10+ years.

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Carini Cuvee Sixty Five Napa Valley 2003
Rated by bigred on December 12, 2009

Rating 55

A stunning, sexy wine. Complex, powerful and concentrated. This is an example of why I love red wine. Vibrant aromas of dark cherry liquor; flavors of dark rich fruit, spice, and tobacco. Fruit-forward but not over the top. Solid acidity & tannic structure, and the finish goes on for a country mile. An absolute pleasure to drink.

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Gundlach Bundschu Pinot Noir Rhinefarm Vineyard 2005
Rated by bigred on December 5, 2009

Rating 44

As far as pinots go, this is a solid buy. Aromas and flavors of cherry and strawberry, but not overpowering. Picking up some herbal hints as well. Well balanced with nice structure; this is really enjoyable.

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Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Oaks Napa Valley 1998
Rated by bigred on November 16, 2009

Rating 44

Was not sure what to expect after reading the mixed reviews on this one. However, I really found myself enjoying this bottle. No doubt this wine has mellowed, and is likely past its prime, but is fairly well balanced (albeit more fruit showing) and has some structure left. On the nose currant & other dark fruit, earth and vegetal notes. Flavors of dark fruit, tar, tobacco and mineral. I found this easy to drink with a nice mouth-feel and decent finish; left me wanting to keep working down the bottle.

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Ridgeline Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2004
Rated by bigred on November 4, 2009

Rating 44-

Pretty solid Calif cab and a reason to branch out to Alexander Valley. Red berries, currant, and vanilla on the nose. Fairly well balanced, easy drinking with flavors of vanilla, cedar/oak, cherry, and tobacco. Very good QRP.

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Mas Carlot Les Enfants Terribles Costieres de Nimes 2007
Rated by bigred on November 1, 2009

Rating 44-

Appealing aromas of blackberry, spice, and even something that invokes a candy-like note. Nice mouthfeel with noticeable acidity. Flavors of dark berries, spice and the gaminess of the mourvedre coming through in a good way (50/50 syrah & mourv.). A lush, satisfying wine that opens up after a while. Great deal on this one.

Comments (1)

Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2006
Rated by bigred on October 23, 2009

Rating 33+

A puzzling wine. Nice aromas; dark fruit, some green earth, so agree with the review on that. The flavor does not quite live up to the nose, but expresses cherry, cranberry, some mineral. Med tannis and farily well balanced, but lacking something for such a rating. Would offer a BR87 (bigred 87pts).

Comments (1)

L'uvaggio di Giacomo il Ponte Sangiovese, Napa Valley 2002
Rated by bigred on October 13, 2009

Rating 33+

Agree with the other ratings as this has a nice nose. Flavors of red berries, some earth and mustiness coming through as well; a touch of oak. First Calif Sangiovese I've had. Would purchase again.

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Two Hands Shiraz Bella's Garden 2007
Rated by bigred on September 27, 2009

Rating 55

This is a remarkable wine. Has all the outstanding qualities of last year's vintage as well. Aromas and flavors of lush dark berries, including blackberry and cherry; wonderful spice flavors that open up with when decanted. Silky smooth and a finish that never ends. About as good a Shiraz you will find.

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Peachy Canyon Zinfandel Westside Paso Robles 2006
Rated by bigred on September 9, 2009

Rating 33+

I was pleasantly suprised by this wine; not expecting much but this came through nicely. Aromas of spice but a mustiness as well; flavors of cherries, plum, some mint, and a mineral/earthiness as well. Medium to soft tannins.

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Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve Mendoza Argentina 2006
Rated by bigred on September 3, 2009

Rating 33+

Aromas of blackberry, raspberry; flavors of pepper and spice, red berries. A medium bodied wine. Nice tannins. 3+/4-.

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Fess Parker Syrah ATR 2005
Rated by bigred on August 21, 2009

Rating 44

A good effort here. Aromoas of chocolate for certain, red berries; flavors of plum, raisin, berries, spice, a little earth. Quite good, but reminds me of the Burgess Syrah which is at a better price point.

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Engelbrecht Els Vineyards Proprietor's Blend South Africa 2006
Rated by bigred on August 15, 2009

Rating 44+

An excellent wine. Aromoas of berries, spice; flavors of wild berries, a bit of earth and tobacco; smokey. A wonderful wine and just asking to be paired up with a seared filet. Went back for several more bottles.

Comments (3)

Viansa Anatra Rosso Sonoma County 2005
Rated by bigred on August 9, 2009

Rating 33+

On the nose cherries, spice, some pencil shavings; quite a bit of flavor on this one with a bit of red berries, earth, perhaps some nutmeg. Softer tannins; suggest drinking now or next few years.

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X Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District Lot 371 2005
Rated by bigred on August 7, 2009

Rating 44-

Plum, sweet cherries on the nose; flavors of dark berries, licorice, & oak with a bit of spice. Very nice.

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Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley 2004
Rated by bigred on July 20, 2009

Rating 33

A mid-range Calif cab; give this some air, it will open up a bit with flavors of vanilla and raisin. Fairly well balanced, but nothing terribly special for me on this one.

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Burgess Cellars Syrah Napa Valley 2004
Rated by bigred on July 1, 2009

Rating 44-

Very nice; particularly for this price. Jammy in flavor, almost a milky texture. Agree with Ecola, this has a nice finish. Great buy.

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Viansa Merlot, Sonoma County 2006
Rated by bigred on May 30, 2009

Rating 44

I've had Viansa before; an excellent producer. This is the first time offered in PA stores per the associate I spoke with. As typical with Viansa, a very nice Italian-style merlot: not a fruit-bomb; earthy, spice, a hint of oak, some chocolate, soft tannins; balanced. Folks, all their offerings go for $20-35+. A big win for PA. I suggest purchasing several bottles, and keep their products coming!

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Swanson Merlot Oakville 2004
Rated by bigred on April 10, 2009

Rating 44+

Excellent wine. Quite complex, with flavors of currant, dark berries. Very nice.

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Kaiken Malbec Ultra 2006
Rated by bigred on January 21, 2009

Rating 44

A solid Malbec. Very nice spices; notes of oak and cherry. Unfortunately, appears out of stock now.

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Newton Merlot Unfiltered Napa Valley 2002
Rated by bigred on December 14, 2008

Rating 44

One of the better Merlot's I've had in a while. Dense, cherry and chocolate flavors; nice mouth-feel. A great buy.

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