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User jonradus has rated the following wines:

Claudie Peguet Pouilly-Loche 2014
Rated by jonradus on December 29, 2015

Rating 33

Nice dry wine with pleasant white floral fruits. This is really missing depth, which should be present at this price point. This kind of reminds me of a cheap, good Pinot grigio. I really really wish there was depth...still good, but not worth the chedda.

Comments (0)

Clarendon Hills Syrah Brookman 2008
Rated by jonradus on November 27, 2015

Rating 44-

Extremely dense with rich fruit and beef jerky. The finish is a little clunky. Much more in-your-face than the Liandra. Good but not great; probably priced right with the current chairman's sale.

Comments (0)

Clarendon Hills Syrah Liandra 2008
Rated by jonradus on November 27, 2015

Rating 44

Much more restrained than the Brookman, without the jerky overtones. Light finish for the massive fruit. Good deal at the current reduced price. Drink now.

Comments (0)

Etude Chardonnay Grace Benoist Ranch 2011
Rated by jonradus on October 3, 2015

Rating 44

I drank this wine a few times. It's definitely worth the money; not overly oaked, with some orange peel and smooth citrus. I've also brought it to some parties and everyone commented on how good it was. Thumbs....up.

Comments (0)

Flora Springs Chardonnay 2012
Rated by jonradus on November 15, 2014

Rating 33

Buttered cinnamon toast and caramel apple nose. Rich, solid mouthfeel with some acidity and sour apple to balance the sweet and spicy body. The finish is tasty and juicy. This is worth the money and will likely be a hit with the ladies at your holiday family function. I wouldn't break the bank to load up, though. Good for what it is.

Comments (0)

Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir 2012
Rated by jonradus on October 22, 2014

Rating 33-

This is ok. Super extracted with sweet cherry and a little cola. 1D with little finish. You get what you pay for with this.

Comments (0)

Paraiso Vineyards Pinot Noir Faite 2012
Rated by jonradus on June 3, 2014

Rating 44

I agree with BR. This is a big pinot. Lots of cherry, minerals, and some straw. Some chocolate and cola at the end. Maybe a tiny bit too bitter. Just worth 20 but no more. I'm not sure who listed this at 65...

Comments (0)

Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Sexy Beast 2011
Rated by jonradus on May 24, 2014

Rating 44

I've had this before and liked it. And I like it now. Oak, blackberry, and eucalyptus flavors with a spicy finish. Perfect wine for grilling. The eucalyptus might offend some.

Comments (0)

Greg Norman Malbec 2011
Rated by jonradus on May 17, 2014

Rating 44

Yes...does not taste cheap, but is cheap. Big raspberry nose. Similar flavor on the smooth entry. Not a fantastic finish but not clipped or rubbery. Good grapes were used to brew this. You can tell.

Comments (0)

Saintsbury Pinot Noir Brown Ranch Carneros 2009
Rated by jonradus on May 11, 2014

Rating 22+

Pretty much a letdown. I had high expectations based on the offering a couple of years ago. No finesse and tasted cheap; more in the $15 price range than the $35 range. Maybe I just got a bad bottle?

Comments (1)

Paraiso Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2010
Rated by jonradus on February 5, 2014

Rating 22

Barely worth $15. Has that crappy soapy flavor.

Comments (0)

Flowers Perennial 2011
Rated by jonradus on November 27, 2013

Rating 33

A good food-friendly, fruity wine. Minimal to moderate structure with a layer or two. Eat with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, latkes, and/or matzo ball soup. HT and HH.

Comments (0)

Jack Henry Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2012
Rated by jonradus on November 17, 2013

Rating 44

A fruity, light, tangy, and tasty wine. Light-bodied, with a core of strawberry and cherry, cola, chocolate, and licorice, ending with a modest, acidic, and pleasant finish, all in a style that distinguishes itself as a food-friendly California pinot. Seriously though... worth the money, but would be much better for $15.

Comments (0)

Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Annata 2004
Rated by jonradus on November 9, 2013

Rating 33

Faded around the rim. Cherry, tobacco, and opium flavors with extremely dense, yet hollow tannins. The finish is sour. The Annata label must be their low-grade barrels. It's an ok wine but you can do much better for this price point. Don't count on improvement with time...the stuffing isn't there.

Comments (0)

Ad Lib Shiraz Middle of Everywhere 2008
Rated by jonradus on October 22, 2013

Rating 22-

I've been drinking a ton of cheaper Aussie Shiraz over the past year, so I'm pretty much an expert with these wines now. You can do much better at this price point. This must have a high (too high...) percentage of Viognier in it. The nose is filled with crushed flowers, boysenberry, and raspberry. The taste is too floral and uplifiting, almost bitter. The finish is like licking a rose petal dusted with Sweettart dust. If the concentration of Shiraz was higher, this would be much more approachable. Funny that the bottle doesn't mention anything about Viognier.

Comments (3)

Etude Chardonnay Estate Carneros 2010
Rated by jonradus on July 6, 2013

Rating 44+

Pleasant surprise. I half expected an oak bomb. It was very restrained with bright tropical fruit flavors and fresh, clean minerals. The finish is lively and acidic with length. This is definitely a crowd pleaser. I'm not sure why I waited so long to try this.

Comments (2)

Tudor Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on June 29, 2013

Rating 44-

Very light color. Potent nose of sea salt and cherry: light-style Burgundian. Smooth entry with more cherry and some orange rind that fades into cola and chocolate. The finish actually has some length despite how light this wine is. This isn't for the big Cali fans.

Comments (0)

Domaine de Verquiere Rasteau 2010
Rated by jonradus on June 14, 2013

Rating 22-

This was really good and fruity upon opening; great mouthfeel with blueberry. With air, however, it became tannic and earthy with charcoal and bitter greens. Maybe it will improve with age (doubtful), but right now I can't recommend this.

Comments (0)

Vidal Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Rated by jonradus on June 7, 2013

Rating 44+

This is just as good as the 04 but in a new world style. Much richer and dense; the finish is oakier and less refined. More fruit + less acid = new world. I guess the late 60s would be considered old world then?

Comments (1)

Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2011
Rated by jonradus on June 7, 2013

Rating 44

I prefer this over the parabol bottling. It's definitely light with cherry and vanilla; it doesn't try as hard to be complex with the mildly watery letdown. It is what it is. The finish is actually long, despite the lightweight aspect. Great deal for a pinot and I will purchase more.

Comments (0)

Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Paraboll 2011
Rated by jonradus on May 29, 2013

Rating 44-

Doesn't have the depth I wanted, but a solid wine nonetheless. Nice strawberry, cherry, cola, with a floral finish that lasts. It's a bit too watery to really be a home run. More like a one-out RBI single: good but could have been a bit better. At this price point, though, you won't do any better. I liked the ponzi reserve and saintsbury brown ranch a while back much better, but those were priced higher... Buy now before it's gone. Also, drink now. It won't improve much.

Comments (1)

Vidal Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Rated by jonradus on May 22, 2013

Rating 44+

This is really good. I liked the Mika better a while back, but I'm not discounting the goodness that is Vidal. Cassis, spearmint, and cherry nose. Powerful palate-crushing cassis with red berries, mint, and some raisin. The finish is grippy with spicy tannins; long and strong. Well worth the money and a great every day drinker for the casual alcoholic; i.e., me.

Comments (1)

Terlato Family Vineyards Syrah Block 9 2008
Rated by jonradus on May 11, 2013

Rating 33

I can't pass up a single vineyard block 9 syrah. We all know the soil in block 9 is magical. Brain-busting nose of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, and vanilla/oak. Very smooth wine; sweet candied cherry and oak. So extracted. The finish is a little peppery with flaming fruit. Alcohol is prevalent. This reminds me of mollydooker boxer. Pretty good for what it is. Worth the $15, but not worth whatever the original non CS asking price was.

Comments (3)

Renwood Zinfandel Old Vine 2010
Rated by jonradus on May 8, 2013

Rating 22

Typical Zin. Raspberry, pepper, vanilla, etc. It's okay but it just tastes cheap. The finish is too chalky and plastic. Not a repeat purchase.

Comments (1)

Alexander Beck Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Rated by jonradus on April 29, 2013

Rating 33

Blackberry, cassis, vanilla, and cocoa nose. Similar fruit-forward flavors on the palate with some chewiness. Clipped finish, but not off-putting. Slightly overpriced, but decent. I would buy again.

Comments (1)

Gordon Brothers Merlot Columbia Valley 2008
Rated by jonradus on April 24, 2013

Rating 33-

Really good, fruity nose with massive blueberry, blackberry, cherry, oak, and a touch of menthol. Very smooth entry. Fruit forward with non-offensive oak and a spicy finish. if tasted blind, I would guess zinfandel. This is easy-drinking; not overly-complex, but pretty good for what it is.

Comments (0)

Highwire Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Rated by jonradus on April 7, 2013

Rating 33-

Oak, cherry, and dishwater nose. I was scared to try it. Much better than the nose indicates, but that isn't saying much. Non-offensive cherry and vanilla. Very hollow in the middle and the finish is clipped. Still though, I could actually drink this everyday. I wouldn't pay $16 for it. Maybe around $10.

Comments (0)

Barossa Shiraz SW102 Reserve 2011
Rated by jonradus on March 11, 2013

Rating 33+

This wine is a good drinker. It's got nice fruit and a palatable finish. It doesn't have the depth and complexity of upper threshold Barossa Shiraz, but nonetheless very good. If you're expecting a face-melting Glaetzer, thou shalt be disappointed.

Comments (0)

Medlock Ames Red Bell Mountain Ranch 2006
Rated by jonradus on February 6, 2013

Rating 44

This is pretty good. Full, round, fruity, with cocoa-flavored fully-resolved tannins. The finish is pretty grippy with decent length. This won't be melting any faces or cellaring gracefully for decades, but it's worth the buckage. I will likely buy again if I can't find any better deals at the time. I recommend an hour long decant. It was a little contrived immediately after opening.

Comments (0)

Husic Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2005
Rated by jonradus on January 26, 2013

Rating 44

Nose of soy sauce, cherry, cassis, and licorice; kind of astringent. Very full, robust, and round on entry. The flavors envelope your taste buds; red fruits transform into spicy pepper and chocolate; also some strange jalepeno at the end. The finish really lasts a long time. This is a good wine, but I feel like there's too much secondary flavor and not enough primary fruit. Perhaps this would have been better 4 years ago. Hence, the unloading to the PLCB.

Comments (0)

Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay Reserve Paragon Vineyard 2008
Rated by jonradus on January 20, 2013

Rating 33

Apple pie, pears, and vanilla ice cream on the nose. Some decent acidity at first with orange oil, pear, and a trace of lemon zest. The finish is oily, buttery, and dense. This wine is pretty characteristic of a butter bomb Cali chard, but does have some citrus to help even it out. Not bad, but not great. Good, I guess. Definitely worth $15, but not worth much more.

Comments (0)

Sanford Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard 2008
Rated by jonradus on January 1, 2013

Rating 55

This is an über smooth Pinot. Nose of baking spices, strawberry, cinnamon, and cherry cola. For 14.5% alcohol, it's really light...lots of strawberry up front that fades into a spicy, chocolate-laced finish. Really racy at the end. This reminds me of that Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot that was available a while back, which I also loved. I will be buying more. I suppose this would be my chairman's selection of the year.

Comments (3)

Huntington Chardonnay Sonoma 2009
Rated by jonradus on July 19, 2012

Rating 22

I drank it without eating and it was bleh. Too much oak. It comes a little bit alive with food though. Still tastes like cheap Chardonnay to me. You could, however, do worse.

Comments (0)

Beringer Pinot Noir Napa Valley 2008
Rated by jonradus on May 28, 2012

Rating 33+

Not too bad. I recommend drinking it a bit chilled. Typical strawberry and baking spices throughout. Finish isn't rubbery, so it's good in my book. Well worth the 15 bones.

Comments (0)

Parrot Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Rated by jonradus on May 24, 2012

Rating 22

Whatever. This is okay. Fruit, oak, weak finish. I bought it because the bottle was relatively heavy and looked good. Worth $12? Yup. Worth $15? Nope.

Comments (0)

Flowers Chardonnay Andreen Gale 2007
Rated by jonradus on May 22, 2012

Rating 44

Subdued nose of lychee, beeswax, and tropical fruits. Nice, lemony, tropical fruit entry with lots of citrus. The finish is acidic and ends with a little bit of butter...not too much. This vintage must be much better than the 06 because this wine is worth the money. I wouldn't cellar it though. Drink now.

Comments (1)

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Trailside Vineyard 2000
Rated by jonradus on April 7, 2012

Rating 44+

Hmmm. This wine kind of smells like dirty minty dishwater. The taste, however, is really interesting. Earth, leather, smoked bbq, cherry, tobacco/cigars, cedar, mint...there's a lot going on. I mean a lot. The finish is nice and smooth, with some spicy, cedary tannins to bring the wine together. If you like older, leathery wines with mostly secondary flavor, then load up on this. If fruit-forward is your thing, go elsewhere. Note: the funky dishwater nose blew off after an hour of air. I upped this to 4+. Boom.

Comments (0)

Domaine Michel Gaunoux Corton Renardes Grand Cru 2003
Rated by jonradus on March 21, 2012

Rating 44

Black cherry, chocolate, black olive, and moss on the nose. Nice, smooth flavor of cherry and cola, with a chocolate overtone. The finish is chocolatey and earthy. It really lasts. I was a little worried about this not being that good, especially after I bought 4 bottles of it. But, I'm pretty happy with this wine. Definitely worth the $30 and probably up to $35.

Comments (2)

Bouchard Pere et Fils Meursault 2006
Rated by jonradus on March 18, 2012

Rating 44

Nice fresh nose of lemon, honeysuckle, and a little bit of toasted oak. There's a touch of wet stone in there also. The taste is well balanced with flint, oak, lemon, and banana. The finish is mineral-laced and pretty lengthy with some cinnamon at the end. This is a dense wine that probably would have been better 2 years ago, but it's still pretty good now.

Comments (0)

Louis Latour Gevrey-Chambertin 2007
Rated by jonradus on March 17, 2012

Rating 33-

I pickedup tons of light strawberry and lively acidity. There is really no complexity or secondary flavor. Tis wine is good, but not really worth more than $20. I've had cheaper Beaujolais that has more structure. Yup, I said it, the B word.

Comments (0)

Bell Wine Cellars Merlot 2006
Rated by jonradus on January 12, 2012

Rating 22

Astringent nose of cherry, dust, mushrooms, and cola. The taste profile is primarily cherry cola and cotton candy. The finish is okay, but a little extracted. This wine is too over the top and not worth the buckage. There's just no finesse...none at all.

Comments (4)

Penfolds Shiraz St. Henri 2005
Rated by jonradus on December 10, 2011

Rating 44

This is where it's at. But instead of two turntables and a microphone, it's got blackberry, blueberry, and a hint of eucalyptus. This wine reminds me of the ramey syrah from a while back, but is infused with aussie pepper and euclyptus. It's definitely worth the money. Really smooth and meaty. I bet it will improve with more age as it's not overdone like some other aussie shiraz.

Comments (3)

Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale 2003
Rated by jonradus on November 24, 2011

Rating 44-

Nose filled with cherry, dark fruits, vanilla, and minty band-aid. The tast profile is nicely structured with dry fruit and the finish is spicy and dry. The overall impression is dry yet acidic, with a bit of heat on the palate...almost jalapeņo-like. I feel like this will age well over twenty years and develop some nice complexity and improve substantially. But am I really going to sit on this stuff for a decade or more??? This wine is good, but definitely not $45 good. You can do just as good, if not better for $30.

Comments (0)

Volker Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on October 27, 2011

Rating 33+

I agree with br. This is a typical Cali cab. The back end of this wine is too chalky and tannic for me...kind of funky black olives and cocoa. I would drink this again, but I don't know if I'd buy it again.

Comments (0)

Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Carneros 2009
Rated by jonradus on October 2, 2011

Rating 44

It smells like cherry cola. It tastes like cherry kool-aid. The finish is very fruity and non-offensive. There is little depth and structure but it still tastes really good for what it is: fruity and delicious. Don't expect any epiphanies while sipping this though. I would buy again for a nice easy fruity drink.

Comments (0)

Clarendon Hills Syrah Bakers Gully 2005
Rated by jonradus on September 18, 2011

Rating 55-

This is really good. The nose is filled with raspberry and eucalyptus. The taste is candy-like and delicious with great fruit structure and a hint of chocolate. The finish is baby-bottom smooth with almost no tannins to speak of. This wine is the poor-man's two hands ares. Really good and well worth the money.

Comments (1)

Merryvale Chardonnay Carneros 2008
Rated by jonradus on September 4, 2011

Rating 55-

This definitely is a judicious use of oak. The nose is nice and juicy with candied pear, lemon curd, and creme brûlée. The taste is also a beaut with nice acidity, sweet and sour apple and lemon, and butterscotch. The finish is a little off, however, with too much spicy cinnamon and clove which reduces the score a little. This is a great effort though and better than the '07. Note: It kept up and got better over time and the finish was much better. This was either a great bottle or is just a really good wine. I will buy one more and if it's good I'll buy a six pack. Awesome deal and could fool me for a really good $60 white burgundy.

Comments (3)

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve 2006
Rated by jonradus on August 21, 2011

Rating 44

This was super tight upon opening. After an hour in the glass, it really started to sing. With that said, the finish was a little weak for such a high caliber wine. I really believe this wine will develop in the next 3 years. I would wait to drink this, as it will improve. It's worth the bucks, but you will have to cellar it to see what this wine can achieve. The '09 Caymus drank after this blew it away (it was a particularly good bottle of Caymus though).

Comments (0)

Franciscan Chardonnay Cuvee Sauvage 2007
Rated by jonradus on July 20, 2011

Rating 44

Yes. This hits the spot and is well worth the money. Nice nose of tropical fruits, lemon, and honeysuckle. The taste is nice and fruity with light butter and mineral overtones. The finish is long with heady, yeasty funkiness. A ok.

Comments (2)

Vigilance Cimarron Lake County 2009
Rated by jonradus on July 7, 2011

Rating 44-

This is one of the better cheapies out there. I judge wines in this price category as to whether or not they taste cheap. This does not, so it passes. The nose is really fruity with pepper jelly and allspice. The taste is filled with black fruits and chocolate. The finish is nice and rich with spicy tannins but some heat is prevalent. Still though...good for the price.

Comments (0)

Stuhlmuller Vineyards Chardonnay Alexander Valley 2009
Rated by jonradus on June 29, 2011

Rating 33-

I was jonesin' for a chard so i gave it a whirl. Gorgeous nose of tropical fruits, banana, and flint. The taste is extremely minerally with tons of peaches on the back end. The finish is like licking a wet stone dipped in chalk. Do you like Chablis style mineral chardonnay? This is just that to the nth power. Thank god there is no gawdy butter factor though.

Comments (3)

Alamos Seleccion Malbec 2008
Rated by jonradus on June 20, 2011

Rating 22

This wine tastes cheap to me. It has all of the red and black fruit components (and I do detect some tea as described on FWAGS) and nice acidity, but there is absolutely no secondary flavor. I have to say, however, it goes well with food. Drink it with food and you will like it. Drink it alone and you may not. How this wine got a 90, I will never know...

Comments (0)

Luce della Vite Toscana Luce 2004
Rated by jonradus on June 14, 2011

Rating 44

Yeah. This is good and definitely worth the $20. The taste is a little sinewy with a raisin overtone, but the depth is fantastic. There are a lot of red fruit and tobacco flavor layers with tons of depth. The finish is a little bit chunky, but you can't go wrong with a wine of this magnitude for $20. This stuff is definitely worth $30, and possibly worth up to $35...but not worth anywhere near the advertised price tag. Woka woka.

Comments (0)

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 2007
Rated by jonradus on June 11, 2011

Rating 33

My first red chassagne montrachet...and I agree with ecola. This is a simple, fresh easy-drinking wine with nice bright fruit and a smooth core. It is definitely worth the $20, however, would not be worth $30. I find that to be pretty typical of most of the FWAGS sale wines.

Comments (0)

Sodaro Cabernet Sauvignon Felicity 2005
Rated by jonradus on June 10, 2011

Rating 44

I have to say, this was better than I thought it would be. The cherry core is nicely balanced with oak and acidity. The grape blend was done correctly and the finish reinforced that. I drank this at a bar in a jersey hotel on the down low so I don't have any real formal notes. Nonetheless, it was good.

Comments (1)

Shimmin Canyon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Rated by jonradus on June 6, 2011

Rating 44-

A funky nose of sawdust, mint, cherry, and blackberry jump out of the glass...it screams juicy acidity. The taste, however, is really smooth with sweet cherry and oak. The finish drops off rather quickly with mild, juicy tannins. This is an easy-drinking cheapie with a unique nose. I would actually buy this again to drink or take to a party. It's a good deal.

Comments (1)

Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Burgundy 2006
Rated by jonradus on June 4, 2011

Rating 44-

The nose has nice strawberry, cherry, and truffles. The taste isn't going to blow you away with depth and dimension, but it's highly drinkable. The finish is nice and light with a little tannic bite, but not so much that it gets in the way. Another drinkable, fair-priced burgundy through the chairman's program. Bravo.

Comments (0)

Ministry of the Vinterior Chardonnay 2009
Rated by jonradus on June 1, 2011

Rating 22-

The nose is a little dead, as is the taste. There is a mineral undertone with a buttered popcorn core. There's just a touch of tropical fruit, but there is way too much underlying butter, smoke, and oak to be any good. I proclaim that this wine stinks.

Comments (2)

Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2005
Rated by jonradus on May 25, 2011

Rating 22+

The nose is a little tart with olive, cherry, cinnamon, and chocolate. The taste is a little flabby with rich cherry and dense raisiny tannins. The finish is way too tart to be fine and the tannins are too chalky. Man, big red, you are right. This wine is way overpriced. I've done much better for half the price. Ripoff all the way.

Comments (5)

Joseph Drouhin Chorey-les-Beaune 2007
Rated by jonradus on May 23, 2011

Rating 44-

This wine has nice clean nose of strawberry, cherry, licorice, and flint. The taste is piercing with massive acidity, sour cherry, and fresh flowers. The finish is pretty complex for such a basic burgundy with some chocolate peeking through. If you like burgundy, this is for you. It's well worth the tag.

Comments (0)

Two Hands Shiraz Coach House Block 2006
Rated by jonradus on May 21, 2011

Rating 55

Not quite as good as the ares, but still awesome. The nose is over the top with dark fruits and vanilla. The taste is right there also with tooth-staining goodness. The finish is rich, long, and heady. My only complaint is the alcohol is kind of prevalent. Buy up because this will sell and when it's gone, it's gone. Love me some two hands...

Comments (3)

Pillar Box Red 2008
Rated by jonradus on May 19, 2011

Rating 33-

The nose is a boomer with eucalyptus and raspberry. The taste is a little too bitter for my liking with prominent violet, bittersweet chocolate, and floral pepper overtones. The finish is kind of chewy for a Shiraz but nonetheless is pretty long. This wine won't blow your mind, but is pretty good, especially for $7.

Comments (0)

Sola Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009
Rated by jonradus on May 18, 2011

Rating 22-

The nose is chemically...kind of like new carpet or upholstery (formaldehyde), with a cherry overtone. The taste is a little bitter, but there are some underlying red fruits. The finish is chalky and dry with little finesse. Just an okay wine that tastes cheap to me. Two buck Chuck is better.

Comments (0)

Byron Chardonnay Wente Clone Santa Maria Valley 2007
Rated by jonradus on May 13, 2011

Rating 11

Don't know why, but I paid $17 for this, not $12. The nose is really good with honey, apricot, mango, and pineapple. The first sip is like chomping into an oak tree drenched in smoky butter. This style of winemaking should be illegal. Do they drop oak chips and margarine in the barrels? Don't buy this crap. F Byron. Their reds aren't that good either.

Comments (2)

Sogrape Vinhos Callabriga Douro 2008
Rated by jonradus on April 29, 2011

Rating 22

I guess I just don't get this wine. It's a nice dry quaff, but nothing to buy any more of. It just doesn't taste all that good to me. Sorry.

Comments (0)

Expression 44° Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2007
Rated by jonradus on April 28, 2011

Rating 44

The nose is super damp and musty (think wet cardboard), with some raspberry and cola. The flavor profile is relatively fruity and smooth and the cola is really in the forefront. The finish is very smooth and fruity with a chocolate blast at the end. If the nose wasn't so funky, this would be a winner. Still though, it's really light and easy...a great spring wine. Check that. The mustiness fades into nice coffee after a half-hour of air. I upped it from a 3+ to a 4.

Comments (0)

Ehlers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1886 2006
Rated by jonradus on April 24, 2011

Rating 33-

This wine was a little weird out of the bottle. The nose had some cherry, caramel, and pickled beets. After it sat in the glass, the nose became much more chocolaty with blackcurrant. The taste is pretty dry with smooth berries...but there is that weird pickly flavor. This bottle may have been a little off. I won't be buying any more to find out.

Comments (0)

R Wines Chateau Chateau Skulls Australia 2007
Rated by jonradus on March 28, 2011

Rating 44-

This wine has a huge nose of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, and menthol. The flavor profile is juicy, juicy strawberry with a sour cherry bite. The finish is lively, acidic, and bursting with floral freshness. This tastes exactly like a California pinot, but has a zippier finish. This wine is highly enjoyable and would be great to drink on a warm spring day...whenever that will come.

Comments (0)

St. Supery Merlot Napa 2006
Rated by jonradus on March 20, 2011

Rating 22

The nose is vanilla, cherry, and lavender. The taste is cherry, vanilla, and chocolate. The finish is spicy with cocoa and vanilla; the tannins are chalky, yet refined. This is a plain wine...not great, not terrible...not good, not bad...ok...yawn.

Comments (2)

R Wines Shiraz First Class 2007
Rated by jonradus on March 10, 2011

Rating 44+

The nose is a boomer with strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and vanilla. The taste is fruit forward and round with smooth vanilla and a slight pepper kick at the end. The finish is dense and inky, with some tartness at the very end. I detect a tiny bit of heat, but nothing to reduce the quality. This is a great wine for $10 - similar to the lower-grade Mollydooker wines, but with much more finesse. The plus was added for the value.

Comments (3)

Flowers Chardonnay Andreen Gale 2006
Rated by jonradus on January 16, 2011

Rating 22+

First off, based on my experience California chardonnays are generally highly variable. Secondly, I am a big fan of Flowers and I've been eagerly anticipating this release. The nose is nice and bright with pear, honeydew, melon, and buttered popcorn. The taste is juicy with pear, melon, and toasty oak...too much oak. The finish is smoky with charred butter and a lot less acidity than I want. If you like oak bombs, then bombs away...It's just too flabby and doesn't taste like a good Cali chard to me. With that, I feel like this may have been an "off" bottle based on my previous experience with Flowers. I also feel like this would have been better 2 years ago, and I see why this was recently sold to the Chairman's program at the reduced price. I bought 3 more and if the next one doesn't show better, I'm taking the other two back.

Comments (3)

Londer Vineyards Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2007
Rated by jonradus on January 13, 2011

Rating 33+

This wine's got a nice bright, lively nose with cherry, strawberry, and cola. The taste is cherry fresh and actually pretty substantial for how light the wine actually is. The finish is a little chalky, but has a nice zesty cola and bittersweet chocolate punch to it. It is a little one-dimensional, though. I agree with the others that this is a pretty good wine for the price. For the asking price of $15, I'll go with some more bottles, particularly since this is one of the few good cheap chairman's right now IMHO.

Comments (0)

Husic Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on December 23, 2010

Rating 55

This is an extremely rich, fruity, substantial, complex, smooth wine. The nose has tons of creamy red fruits and vanilla. The taste also has a smooth vanilla aspect that isn't overwhelming, and complements the sweet fruit and milk chocolate. The finish is so smooth with super-refined tannins. This wine was way better than I anticipated and could age well over the next five years (why wait though). Great price for a fantastic wine...will definitely buy more. Note: matched up well with a pork chop.

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Merryvale Chardonnay Carneros 2007
Rated by jonradus on December 1, 2010

Rating 44

Another white chairman from the Napa chardonnay powerhouse. Great nose of pear, almond, banana, and buttercream. The mouthfeel is extremely creamy, almost too much so, with lots of rich banana and pear. The acidity is nicely balanced with oak overtones for the moment. The finish is long and racy with caramelized pears, but there may be a bit too much oak. However, the structure is very good. Drink now. It won't improve because the acidity will lose to the oak in the end. I can't wait for the Silhouette again. Note: This wine improved a lot with air - upped to 4.

Comments (0)

Janzen Cabernet Sauvignon To Kalon Vineyard 2005
Rated by jonradus on December 1, 2010

Rating 44+

This wine is eerily similar to the '07 Caymus Cab, but it's got more structure and less "wow" factor. It's got a booming cherry, cotton candy, and vanilla nose. The taste is fruit forward with cherry, sweet blueberry, and espresso. The finish is infused with espresso, with moderate tannic structure and length.

Comments (0)

Erasmo Maule Valley Chile 2005
Rated by jonradus on November 30, 2010

Rating 44-

This is pretty darn good for the price. The nose has a lot of blackcurrant, cedar, and black olive with a touch of oak. The taste is chewy with more blackcurrant, cedar, and olive (go figure). The finish is long and tannic, but not too tight. I think this could use another 10 years in the bottle to really mature, but it's still highly drinkable now.

Comments (0)

IO Syrah Ryan Road Vineyard 2004
Rated by jonradus on November 29, 2010

Rating 33+

This wine has a big nose of ripe blueberry, cherry, and strawberry with some mint and pepper overtones. The taste is smooth and polished with mouth-coating blueberry and coffee. The finish has a peppery pomegranate kick. The only downer is the little bit of heat on the back end. Also, it's a little bit one-dimensional. For $16, this is worth it.

Comments (0)

Highlands Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2005
Rated by jonradus on November 22, 2010

Rating 44

The nose on this wine is very acidic and intense with licorice, cherry, menthol, currant, and vanilla. It almost smells like a floral air freshener. The taste is lively with cherry, blueberry, and vanilla. It definitely has a lot of fruit and cream. The finish is a little astringent with a slightly spicy tannic structure. It's funny because it immediately reminded me of another wine I recently drank with a jalepeno "pop"...which, go figure, just so happens to be the '03 Highlands Beatty. I now fully understand their winemaking style.

Comments (0)

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria DOC 2007
Rated by jonradus on November 20, 2010

Rating 22+

I see what this is all about...apricots and this and that...but, it is way too hot and has too much prominent alcohol to be truly elegant. I think it's overpriced (even marked down) for what you're getting. The d'arenberg sticky chard is way better and it's $5 cheaper. Not to be a downer but...

Comments (0)

Trial of John Montford Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Rated by jonradus on November 15, 2010

Rating 33+

There's a ton of cassis and blackberry/raspberry on the nose with a whiff of band-aid. The taste is fruity and one-dimensional with good acidity and lively red fruits. The finish is mellow and round with a little bit of minty chocolate overlain on the red fruit. This taste's more like a shiraz than a cab to me. Pretty good though; just a notch above average.

Comments (0)

Chateau de Canterrane Rivesaltes 1976
Rated by jonradus on November 14, 2010

Rating 55-

I drank this chilled at the tail end of a monster wine spread. I was a little foggy by that point, but I remember this being significant. It was extremely hot at first, but with a few minutes in the glass, it opened up and the heat blew off. It was similar to a great Madeira with caramel, brandied peach, spicy orange, and and a nutty, racy finish. This wine is a steal for $10...absurd.

Comments (0)

Saintsbury Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch Carneros 2006
Rated by jonradus on November 12, 2010

Rating 33

This is nowhere near as delicate, or as good, as the Brown Ranch. But still, this is pretty good for an American pinot. The nose is dense cherry pie, but there's definitive band-aid (which I don't like at all). The taste is solid and rich with some hedonsistic appeal. Good, clean finish also. It's well worth $13 and would be worth up to $20. I could drink this as an everyday wine. Too bad I only have 5 more...everyday for one week...

Comments (0)

William Knuttel Pinot Noir Clone 777 Russian River Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on November 8, 2010

Rating 33-

The nose is filled with band-aid and stewed tomatoes at first, but kind of dies down and turns into cherry and cola after a while. The taste is semi-substantial with more cherry, some cola, and and red licorice. The finish is light and fruity, with some tannic overtone. The stewed tomatoes and band-aid kind of devalue this wine for me. Other than that, it would be decent. Just, I mean just, worth the money. No more though.

Comments (0)

Ramey Syrah Shanel Vineyard Sonoma Coast 2006
Rated by jonradus on November 5, 2010

Rating 44+

At first whiff, there is a ton of blackberry and raspberry with cherry pie and whipped cream. The taste follows through with the nose, but is a little harsh and smoky for the first 20 minutes. After 30 minutes and a little bit of palate coating, this wine really comes together. The nose kind of turns hot, but the taste comes together with smooth cherry and chalky raspberry with a peppery kick folded in oak. There's even a bit of mint and bacon fat. The finish is so smooth, yet the tannins are also gripping without getting in the way. This wine is really good and probably won't last too long in the stores. Note: It develops more secondary floral overtones after another 1/2 hour.

Comments (0)

Bacio Divino Pazzo Napa Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on October 13, 2010

Rating 22

This is quite a peppery wine with some rich mocha and sweet figs. It almost tastes a little bit desserty to me...kind of like a Negroamaro. This wine is good for what it is, but it just isn't my style. It's too chewy for me. I can see why others enjoy it though.

Comments (0)

Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay Les Pierres Sonoma Valley 2005
Rated by jonradus on October 12, 2010

Rating 22-

The nose is pretty inviting with some lemon oil, peach, pear, and a touch of banana. The taste is extremely creamy and buttery...an over-the-top Cali oak explosion with too much interference by the maker. The finish is a buttery oak bomb also. I feel like I could do just as well with Yellowtail.

Comments (0)

Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Chenoweth Ranch Russian River Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on October 7, 2010

Rating 33+

I enjoy the raciness of this wine (and it's also hard to find decent American pinots at decent prices). The nose is a little musty and tomatoy, but some cherry does peak through. The taste is very cherry and fruity up front and fades into some soapy bittersweet chocolate. There is definitely some good backbone in this wine, but there just isn't enough fruit. Still pretty decent though.

Comments (0)

Patz & Hall Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard 2006
Rated by jonradus on October 6, 2010

Rating 33-

This is pretty similar to the HDV, hence the same vineyard...but its got a little less of the minerality stuffing and a little more oak. There's also a substantial butterscotch component. The excess oak does indeed make this wine a bit flabby (agree with J2K). This is just barely worth the $18 price and is not even close to being worth $30. I feel like this would have been better 2 years ago. I'll probably pass on more of this.

Comments (0)

HDV Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard Carneros 2006
Rated by jonradus on October 3, 2010

Rating 33+

This wine isn't half-bad. It's a little light and watery on the nose, taste, and finish, but the stuffing is there. It's got some nice chalky minerality with light pear and charred butter. The finish is a little smoky also. This is just worth the $20 fee. I see why no one was paying $40 for this. I may buy a few more bottles if I'm feeling white.

Comments (0)

Louis Latour Vire-Clesse Burgundy 2007
Rated by jonradus on September 14, 2010

Rating 22

This wine has a great nose of floral peaches, lemongrass, and buttery mussel broth. The taste is a little flat with a bit too much lactic acid. The finish is way too bitter and grassy. It's a shame that the taste and finish are so weak because the nose is so strong on this wine.

Comments (0)

Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006
Rated by jonradus on September 12, 2010

Rating 33+

The nose is initially a little bit hot with some dusty cocoa, currant, and some vanilla cherry. The heat dies down after a minute or two. The taste is pretty rich and smooth with sweet plummy cherry and bittersweet chocolate. The finish has mouth-puckering tannins which really linger. This is a pretty good wine that will likely improve with some bottle age. In another five years, this will probably reach a "4" or "4+" rating. Good effort.

Comments (0)

Wild Oak by St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Rated by jonradus on September 1, 2010

Rating 22

This wine has a really big nose of sweet cherry, chocolate, and vanilla...it reminds me of a freshly-opened box of chocolate covered cherries. The taste is very fruit forward with a ton of oak (similar to the nose). The finish is a bit hot with a bitter aftertaste. This wine would be a 3 if the finish wasn't so bitter. Worth $10, but definitely not worth $15.

Comments (0)

Two Hands Shiraz Lily's Garden 2007
Rated by jonradus on August 19, 2010

Rating 44

This wine has a big blackberry/raspberry nose. There's also a dusty cotton candy overtone...almost medicinal. The taste is tart raspberry with black cherry. The finish is tart, yet sweet at the same time. As the tarty sweetness begins to fade, some peppery chocolate works its way in. Nice wine for the price. Not worth the asking price of $50 though.

Comments (0)

L'uvaggio di Giacomo il Lupo 2002
Rated by jonradus on August 12, 2010

Rating 22

This wine is quite unique, with a nose of crushed flowers, spice, and a bit of tar. You can also smell some Napa brett, which is kind of confusing. The taste is similar to the nose, but (I agree with Mark) is a little bitter. The bitterness even turns a little sour after some air. Overall, this is a pretty meaty wine with a decent finish, but it doesn't really do the job for me. The funky bitterness kind of ruined the experience.

Comments (0)

Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran Burgundy 2008
Rated by jonradus on August 4, 2010

Rating 33

This wine's nose displays lemon zest, pear, minerals, and a little bit of pineapple and mango. The taste is pretty tart with lemon and slate. the finish starts with a touch of butter followed by wet stones. This could fool me for a watery riesling if I tasted it blind because of the minerally slate and wet stone. This is good for the money but, in my opinion, isn't quite as good as others have rated it.

Comments (0)

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Oaks Napa Valley 2001
Rated by jonradus on August 3, 2010

Rating 44-

After a few minutes of air, this wine has a huge nose of red licorice, cherry, and minty leather with a chocolate kick. The flavor profile is similar to the nose, but dustier. The finish is pretty long and fairly substantial. In my opinion, this vintage is much better than the 98 that was out a few months ago. However, it's still a little bit overpriced. But, still, pretty good.

Comments (0)

Torres Nerola Red 2005
Rated by jonradus on July 21, 2010

Rating 11+

The nose has a lot of blackberry on it and after some time displays some vanilla. The taste is loaded with bitter coffee at first, but turns a little smoky after some time. Blackberry and cherry are also there. The acidity and the taste have no chemistry. It's like there fighting each other. The finish is short and bitter. This wine stinks. But, I have had worse...I guess. Hence the "+".

Comments (0)

Chateau Mont-Redon Cotes du Rhone 2007
Rated by jonradus on July 19, 2010

Rating 22+

This wine really smells like tart cherry-vanilla ice cream on a sugar cone. The taste follow through with the nose and has minimal complexity. This wine is what it is: a fruit forward everyday drinker. The finish is minimal and the tannins are not prevalent. I like this wine for what it is, but I feel like it's $4 overpriced.

Comments (0)

Terlato Family Vineyards Angels' Peak 2004
Rated by jonradus on July 6, 2010

Rating 33-

This wine got some pretty good reviews on Cellartracker. I found it to be pretty boring and atypical of a Napa Bordeaux blend. The nose is really band-aidish (brett) with some eucalyptus. The taste is a little bitter (think bittersweet chocolate from the merlot) but does have some round fruitiness to it. The finish is a little tannic, but the tannins are not too prevalent. This is an average wine and not worth the money. Go with the Highlands Beatty over this for the price.

Comments (0)

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

Rating 44+

Yeah, I'm sold. This was a fantastic wine for $9...probably the best one I've ever had at this price point. The acidity is lively and the fruit is friendly. What really shines through in this wine is the great finish. Either I tasted a really great bottle of this, was in a great mood (which I don't think I was), or it is just that good. This is approaching the "5" threshold. With price factored in, it is a 5.

Comments (0)

Jacob's Creek Shiraz Cabernet Johann 2001
Rated by jonradus on June 29, 2010

Rating 33-

The nose has a lot of blueberry and plastic cherry in it. The taste is extracted and contrived with some cedar wrapped around it. The finish is pretty tannic without any roundness or finesse. This wine is definitely not worth $30 and I feel like it's barely worth $20. It's definitely not worth the list price. What a let down...I expected much more from this.

Comments (0)

Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2007
Rated by jonradus on June 27, 2010

Rating 44-

The nose has notes of rhubarb, cherry, eucalyptus, and some sort of funky burned crouton bread. The taste is actually pretty substantial, yet light, with a lot of cherry and raspberry. There is also some bittersweet chocolate at the end. The finish is spicy and weighty with minimal tannic interference. I like this wine, but I don't think it's worth $30. It would, however, be a good deal for $20. I gave it the 4- without factoring in the price (3- with price factoring). Unless they mark this down as part of a clearance sale, I won't be purchasing anymore.

Comments (0)

Viansa Sempre Avanti Sonoma County 2008
Rated by jonradus on June 22, 2010

Rating 22

The nose has a lot of cherry in it...and some funky caramel. The flavor follows through with the nose, but adds some oak. The wine tapers into a really chocolaty finish with a lot of prevalent heat. This wine is not bad, but also isn't that great. Worth the money? Yes. Worth $20? No.

Comments (0)

Bleasdale Cabernet Sauvignon Mulberry Tree 2005
Rated by jonradus on June 7, 2010

Rating 33

The nose is loaded with cedar, blackcurrant, and eucalyptus. The taste fills your mouth with blackberry and cedar. You can also taste a little bit of sour eucalyptus. The finish is cedary and rich with mouth-puckering tannins...decent length also. This is a pretty good wine for the price. I have generally been satisfied with less-expensive Aussie wines over the years.

Comments (0)

Pedroncelli Cabernet Sauvignon Morris Fay Vineyard 2007
Rated by jonradus on June 2, 2010

Rating 11+

The nose on this wine is very contrived, with cotton candy, cherry cough syrup, band-aid, and gin. The taste is really not very good with barely any palatable flavors other than smoky cherry. The finish has a bit of length, but it's pretty oaky and a little too chewy. I gave it the "+" because the finish has some length. You can buy a Yellowtail or a Kenwood for less and it will taste just as good if not better. I'll pass on this stuff.

Comments (0)

Cuvaison Pinot Noir Carneros 2008
Rated by jonradus on May 23, 2010

Rating 33

The nose has a "fake" plastic blackberry undertone...very contrived. The taste has blackberry, raspberry, and cherry with the thematic plastic undertone. The finish is juicy and fruity with mouth-puckering acidity. If they could have figured out how to get rid of the "fake" taste, this would be a really good pinot. It's still worth the money though.

Comments (0)

Highlands Cabernet Sauvignon Beatty Ranch 2003
Rated by jonradus on May 13, 2010

Rating 44+

I could describe this all day, but instead, just use the winery notes. They're surprisingly dead-on: It's got a really unique jalapeno pop on the finish with black olive, but there's still fruit to even it out. I really like the uniqueness to this wine.

Comments (0)

Swanson Merlot Oakville 2001
Rated by jonradus on May 11, 2010

Rating 33

At first, the nose is really medicinal and band-aidish with a slight amount of cherry and some roasted herbs/tomatoes. After some air it calms down and becomes more fruity. Similarly, the taste is really hot and medicinal at first but calms down after a few minutes of air to reveal smooth cherry chocolate cola. The finish is a little hot, but is big and lasts for about 30 seconds. This wine kind of reminds me of the Carini Cuvee, but less elegant. I guess it's not bad for $20. I recommend decanting this for at least a 1/2 hour before drinking. If I would have tasted it after 30 minutes instead of right away, I may have rated it a 3+.

Comments (0)

Erba Mountainside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Rated by jonradus on May 6, 2010

Rating 44

I had to try this since it got a "94" from Wine Ethusiast. The nose is huge with rich currant, blackberry, and bloody vanilla...almost shiraz-like. The taste really follows through with the nose, but more vanilla seems to come out. The finish really lasts a while, despite being a little hot. The tannins are really brooding, but are also kind of soft. This is pretty good.

Comments (0)

Murrieta's Well Meritage Livermore Valley 2005
Rated by jonradus on May 6, 2010

Rating 33

If you have dinner plans with amateurs and want to bring a cheapie, this is the wine you want to bring. This isn't a fantastic wine or overly complex, but it is very smooth and has a food-friendly flavor. For $11, this is definitely one of the better reds I've had out of the Chairman's Selection realm.

Comments (0)

Mumm Napa DVX 2001
Rated by jonradus on May 2, 2010

Rating 33-

This was decent, but I guess I expected more for $30. A $20 Iron Horse bubbly would have got the job done just as well, if not better. The wine displayed a yeasty, citrusy nose with a plastic, mineral overtone. The taste was very one dimensional with citrus and the finish was too tart. Where's the nuttiness or the baked bread? I just want a trace of aged-champagne characteristic to shine through on a 9-year old bubbly. But, I guess it's pretty hard to get that from Napa. Good for what it is, but definitely not worth the money.

Comments (0)

Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino 2003
Rated by jonradus on May 2, 2010

Rating 33

This was decent, but still needs some time to develop secondary flavors. The nose is primarily sweet cherry with some pencil lead. The taste is dry cherry and red licorice with a tiny bit of tobacco. The finish is very dry and the tannins are kind of chalky right now. I feel like this wine may come around in 10 years or so when the secondary flavors come out, but there's no way I'm going to buy more and sit on it for that long to find out. To be fair, I drank a cheap zinfandel right before this and my taste buds were kind of "overloaded" by the zin, so my notes may be a little off.

Comments (0)

Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune Villages 2007
Rated by jonradus on April 27, 2010

Rating 44-

This wine has a potent nose of light strawberry, cherry, and a touch of truffle oil. The mouth is full of spring and summer red fruits: raspberry, cherry, huckleberry. The finish is a light, gripping balance of cherry and mushroomy truffles. This is a perfect light spring/summer red and is actually pretty darn good for $15. It won't really age, but it doesn't need to. Buy and drink now.

Comments (0)

Swanson Merlot Oakville 2005
Rated by jonradus on April 26, 2010

Rating 22-

The nose is full of powdery blueberry and burnt caramel. There's a slight amount of heat also. The taste pretty much follows through with the nose, but the blueberry switches over to cherry. This wine is extremely foursquare and clunky. There's no finesse, no unity. It's not that bad, but I really expected much more from Swanson Oh well...

Comments (0)

Viansa Chardonnay Senza Sonoma 2007
Rated by jonradus on April 7, 2010

Rating 22-

The nose is great. It's filled with honey, mango, tropical fruits, and banana. The taste, however, is really lacking acidity and is relatively dull and buttery. One thing I can safely say is, "it's not an oak-bomb". Instead it's a "butter-bomb". Not good, but also not terrible. Just low-threshold okay.

Comments (0)

Artesa Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Sonoma 2005
Rated by jonradus on April 6, 2010

Rating 33+

The nose is filled with typical Napa cassis with a hint of strawberry. There's a slight amount of brett, but barely noticeable. The taste flows with smooth plums and raspberry, and just a trace of oaky vanilla. The finish is smooth with surprisingly mellow tannins that seem to be resolving themselves. For a $13 wine, this is actually pretty darn good. I'm not going to rush out and buy a bunch to cellar, but it is definitely worth purchasing and drinking now. By the way, I've been to this winery. It has great views and awesome fountains.

Comments (0)

Clare Luce Abbey Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Rated by jonradus on April 2, 2010

Rating 44

I didn't expect much from this (but I kind of did) and I was pleasantly surprised. I ate it with pizza...if that means anything i.e. good with food. There was a significant amount of oak in it, but it was balanced by a flavorful cassis and red berry wave. I expected a vegetal overtone on the nose and taste, but it wasn't there - just pure fruit. The finish was complex with a substantial tannic bite, yet it wasn't over-the-top. It's as if this wine is peaking, yet will peak in five years again. My expectations were low, so maybe that's why I was so satisfied. I'll buy a 6-pack. It's worth it.

Comments (0)

Sodaro Cabernet Sauvignon Felicity 2003
Rated by jonradus on March 30, 2010

Rating 11

This wine has a big nose of cherry, cassis, strawberry, and vanilla. There's also a milk chocolate overtone to the nose. The taste is almost "merlotish" with cherry and chocolate that leaves you craving more structure. The finish falls very flat and sour, but at least lasts for about 15 to 20 seconds, regardless of the overall poorness of it. This is not a very good wine...no better than Yellow Tail. I do not recommend buying this, or drinking it...it is definitely not worth the money.

Comments (0)

Rush Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Rated by jonradus on March 15, 2010

Rating 22+

I started this bottle Saturday night and put a cork on it and drank it over the last two days. The impression was about the same the whole way along, with a slight (minimal at best) improvement. The nose has some sour cherry raisin and a hint of gin (almost piney)...weird, right? The taste is slightly bitter (or piney) with a core of dusty cocoa and plum. The finish is slatey, dusty, and smokey. To say the least, this wine is pretty unique. This wine is just worth $10, and if another bottle showed better (which the last one I drank a month ago did, as it was much fruitier and round), it would probably be worth up to $15.

Comments (0)

Cosentino Winery The Poet Meritage 2005
Rated by jonradus on March 12, 2010

Rating 33

I had high hopes for this wine, but I mistakenly drank it after a monster bottle of 95 Martini Los Ninos. It was really overshadowed, which may contribute to a fairly skewed rating. The nose was filled with rich brambleberry, cherry, and oaky vanilla with an herbal tint...The taste was very chocolaty with a rich cherry, espresso feel. The finish was a bit tannic, but was still pretty long. I think that if I drank this wine solo, I would have given it a 4+. But, if you drink a really good Cali cab right before (by accident) then this wine doesn't seem as great...Still good though...

Comments (0)

Buil & Gine Priorat Gine Gine 2006
Rated by jonradus on March 11, 2010

Rating 22+

This wine has a pretty earthy, cherry, and smokey nose with some band-aid roasted tomatoes. The taste is pretty dry with a significant amount of cherry, smoke, and tannins. The finish is pretty fruity, but has a dusty tannic/vanilla overtone. This wine isn't bad, and complements food pretty well (ate it with chicken parmesan). I guess you could say it's a "pretty" wine. Worth the $10 I spent on it...but wouldn't be worth $20.

Comments (0)

Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Rated by jonradus on March 6, 2010

Rating 44

I drank this right after the Vine Cliff Rock Block cab. At first I was sure that the Vine Cliff was better. But after some air time, the Whitehall Lane began to show better than the Vine Cliff. There were typical Napa blackcurrants and dark cherry on the nose with some distinctive vanlla oak. The taste has a really nice mouth feel with moderate tannins, tons of red and black fruits, and some vanilla/chocalate swirl. The finish is pretty chocolatey with a slight tannic grip. This wine should show be very good in 3 years. I will hold the rest for a while.

Comments (0)

Vine Cliff Cabernet Sauvignon Rock Block Napa Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on March 5, 2010

Rating 44-

The nose is filled with strawberry, blackcurrants, mint, and some roasted herbs. The taste is loaded with black and red fruits and chocolate. The finish is gripping and chocolatey. This is a very nice wine for the price. I don't know if I'd pay $30 for a bottle, but $18 for the bottle is well, well worth it.

Comments (0)

Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Crianza 2005
Rated by jonradus on March 4, 2010

Rating 22+

The nose has some peppery strawberry, chocolate, and earth. The taste has cherry, strawberry, hay, and bitter chocolate with a charcoal and slate edge. The finish has a bitter and earthy overtone. This wine wasn't great, or even good, but wasn't terrible...just, blah, and drinkable for the price.

Comments (0)

Dutton Goldfield Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on March 2, 2010

Rating 11

Not good. This is another overoaked, flabby Napa chard lacking in much needed acidity. There is a little bit of citrusy pineapple and pear on the taste, but it gets clouded by smoky oak. They must have added liquid smoke and liquid oak to the barrels (it's similar to the Whitehall chardonnay). I just can't see this wine being worth more than $5. Come on LCB!!! Get some decent affordable chardonnays in the CS program.

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Two Hands Shiraz Ares 2006
Rated by jonradus on February 20, 2010

Rating 55+

Jesus. This is fantastic wine. After I poured it into the glass, I noticed the dark purple color with some red around the rim. The nose punches you in the face with a blast of raspberry and blackberry. It's like someone pinching together a fresh, superripe raspberry against a tangy, juicy blackberry right below your nostrils. The wine glides across your tongue and down your throat with, of course, rich raspberry, blackberry, and ripe black fruits. Some milk chocolate and mellow vanilla mesh with the fruits at the end. The tannins are mellow, yet they grip your palate which leads me to believe there is significant life ahead of this wine. The finish easily lasts for 40 seconds and feels like it will last for years...In fact, this wine will continue to age gracefully for at least 10 years (and probably should), at which point it might develop too much alcohol to be transcendent. I love this wine. I didn't think I would find another Australian red I liked as much as the Mollydooker '05 Enchanted Path. But, I have. I found one I like just as much, if not better...

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Nicolas Joly Savennieres-Coulee de Serrant Clos de la Coulee de Serrant 2006
Rated by jonradus on February 20, 2010

Rating 44-

This is definitely a unique wine. The nose is filled with brandied apricots, honey, honeydew, and pineapple. The taste follows through with pineapple, apricot, mango, orange oil and zest, and paraffin wax. The finish is waxy and lengthy with a citrusy zing. This wine almost borders on dessert status, but is not there yet. If it cellars for 10 years, it will develop more brandied apricot and be suitable for dessert.

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Henry's Drive Shiraz 2006
Rated by jonradus on February 10, 2010

Rating 33+

This wine is full of red fruits and blueberry with a hint of espresso and chocolate. There's also a smooth red licorice aspect to the wine that carries through to the finish. I feel like this wine is ready to drink now, but could age for another 5 to 10 years. I think it would calm down a little bit with some bottle age, as it's a tiny bit hot right now. I feel like the chocolate and licorice would start to break out a little more and mellow the heat out. For $20, this is an easy-drinking, great everyday wine. I'm also going to cellar a few of them before they're gone.

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Whitehall Lane Chardonnay Carneros 2007
Rated by jonradus on February 8, 2010

Rating 11

Yikes and No!!! Tons of malolatic fermentation and diacetyl with this wine. It tastes like sweaty butter and cardboard. There is virtually no fruit. Maybe this bottle was corked or bad, or something...but, I really don't think so. This is just an overdone napa chard that is not pleasant. Spend your money elsewhere, unless you love sweaty cardboardy butter. I have had worse, so I didn't give it the 1-. If you buy this let me know what you think, because I would like to know if I just got a bad bottle. I won't spend the $15 to find out myself.

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Saintsbury Pinot Noir Brown Ranch Carneros 2006
Rated by jonradus on February 7, 2010

Rating 44-

The nose reminds me of eating a fresh strawberry from a strawberry patch filled with spring flowers and bumblebees. The taste is light strawberry jam with some nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish lasts for about 25 seconds and is full of spice and clove with a dash of charred cedarwood. This is a nice, light California pinot that doesn't try to wow you with overextraction, but rather impresses you with the lightheartedness of the grape. Definitely worth $30, but wouldn't be worth $50.

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Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard Napa Valley 1998
Rated by jonradus on February 7, 2010

Rating 33-

I drank this over Christmas break, but forgot to rate it. I was not impressed at all with it. It was similar to the Bella Oaks, but a little bit better. Sixty bones for Martha's Vineyard is a great deal, but the wine just didn't deliver. Drank it next to a Caymus cab '06 and a Carini cab '02, which both blew it away. I'll pay the extra $10 for either of these over the Martha's Vineyard. Especially now since I haven't seen anymore of the Martha's Vineyard on the shelves in the last month...:)

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Showket Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2005
Rated by jonradus on February 5, 2010

Rating 22+

I just don't get these "great deal" Chairman's Selections anymore. All of the Napa cabs they have now are funky and obviously made from overheated or unripe grapes. Do the wineries know they have a bad barrel, bottle it up, and sell it to the PLCB for reduced prices??? To be fair, I have had some very good chairman's selections, but not in the napa cab category recently. I beg of them, just get me some beringer private reserve, caymus, or cakebread and mark it down $20 or $30. That will suffice. But I digress. Here's my review: Strong raspberry, cassis, toasted oak, and prevalent funky roasted tomato and oregano herb woft from the glass. The taste consists of cherry, vanilla, red fruits, and plum with similar notes on the finish. The finish lasts for about 20 seconds, is roughly tannic, and is a bit chewy and stringy, with some heat. There's also some funky green mint and oregano. This wine's okay...but barely worth the $30 I paid for it.

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Mill Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2006
Rated by jonradus on January 29, 2010

Rating 33+

A strong nose of cassis, tobacco, and musty cranberry with a hint of wet cardboard comes through on the nose. The acidity and cassis flavors are in good balance on your tongue, while a slight amount of vanilla and cedary tobacco peak through. The finish has a chewy, yet refined tannic balance. This is a pretty good wine for $18, and you can't go wrong purchasing it at this price point. I've had worse for $50 before...but I've also had much better for $30. In conclusion, this is a pretty good wine for everyday drinking, but don't overstock your cellar with it.

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MacRostie Merlot Napa Valley 2006
Rated by jonradus on January 26, 2010

Rating 33-

A rich cherry nose with some roasted red pepper and coffee bean leaps from the glass. The taste is a little disjointed and the tannins are a little over the top, but there's a lot of structure there also. Some coffee, bitter chocolate, ripe cherry, and cola unfold over your tongue into a tannic, slightly bitter finish. A little vanilla pops through also. I have a feeling this wine will be pretty good in four or five years, but am I really going to cellar this for five years?? No way. Drink now and handle the disjointedness and slightly harsh tannins.

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Shirvington Shiraz McLaren Vale 2005
Rated by jonradus on January 25, 2010

Rating 44-

big nose of cotton candy, red strawberry jam, and candy corn wofts from the glass. The taste follows right through with the carnival theme, but a hint of oaky, sour blueberry follows through to the back of your tongue with mellow tannic structure. The finish lasts for at least 30 seconds, but is a little bit hot. All in all, I really liked this wine even though it's a fruitbomb. This is your typical good, big Aussie shiraz, and worth the $30 I paid for it.

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Rockledge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon The Rocks St. Helena Napa Valley 2005
Rated by jonradus on January 8, 2010

Rating 33

This is a decent wine. It has full, round fruity flavors and a nice finish, but there's just nothing special about it. The finish and taste are completely one-dimensional. Is it worth $35? No way. Is it worth $20? Maybe. This wine is not recommended for the price. Both the Parson's Flat and Henry's Drive are much better than this wine, and only cost $20.

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Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2005
Rated by jonradus on December 26, 2009

Rating 44+

This is a huge Napa red. It's a bit tight right out of the bottle, but an hour of decanting opens it up some and hints at what the future will bring. I'm not totally sure this is worth the money yet, however, in 5 years it may be. Still, for Pahlmeyer, the price is pretty good. I thought about buying a couple to cellar, but the price point may be too high. I feel like I could do better for $80.

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Carini Cuvee Sixty Five Napa Valley 2003
Rated by jonradus on December 19, 2009

Rating 33

I'm a carini fan, but I just don't get the appeal of this wine. The fruit is round and the tannins dusty; however, there is definitely a green aspect that turns me off. The vegetal overtones (which I should mention were present in two separate bottles I tried) could indicate that the grapes weren't totally ripe when they picked them. Or, maybe the merlot grapes were bad? The other carini wines I've had before (namely the 02 cab and 02 merlot) tell the tale. I was much more impressed with the cab (fruity) than the merlot (vegetal). I guess it's worth the price, but I'd rather spend my money on the ponzi reserve pinot or the two hands bellas garden shiraz.

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Robert Mondavi Cabernet/Merlot Napa Valley Twin Pack 2002
Rated by jonradus on December 19, 2009

Rating 22+

Completely agree with Tom. The merlot is not good. However, the cab is pretty darn good. The cab alone is worth the 10 bucks. Nothing special, but definitely a drinkable everyday wine...

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Talbott Chardonnay Cuvee Audrey, Monterey County 2005
Rated by jonradus on December 19, 2009

Rating 44+

I drank this wine about 3 weeks ago and really enjoyed it. It's a bomb with tons of deep tropical fruits, rich waxy pineapple, guava, etc... like a tropical lifesaver. If it was $10 cheaper, I would buy a few more bottles for current consumption. In other words, I just don't see this cellaring all that well. The acidity will fade and it won't be able to balance out the alcohol in couple of few years. Drink now.

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Torres Gran Muralles Conca de Barberā Spain 1999
Rated by jonradus on December 19, 2009

Rating 55-

I picked up a 6-pack of this wine when it was discounted to $30 a while back. I currently have three left. The three bottles I drank were splendid. There is a ton of complexity (cedar, tobacco, earth, dusty mushroom), which intertwines perfectly with dark red fruits. The tannins are finely resolved, but still give way to a gripping, long finish. I'll sit on the last 3 bottles I have for a year and continue. Well worth $30, but not worth the original $60.

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Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Oaks Napa Valley 1998
Rated by jonradus on December 16, 2009

Rating 22+

It's hard to give this wine a good rating, but also hard to give it a bad rating (hence the 2+). At one point, this wine may have been a fruity mouthful with secondary flavors creeping up. But, to me, the wine was oaky and almost "whitish". If I was tasting it with my eyes closed and the wine was chilled, I might have guessed it was a rich napa chardonnay because of the white traits. I've never had a red with such white characteristics. Maybe my bottle was just off, but I had similar tasting notes from my first one. So, I'm inclined to think this wine is way past its prime.

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Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2001
Rated by jonradus on December 16, 2009

Rating 33

This was a decent Mondavi reserve, but the vegetal characteristics got in the way of it being really good. For the price point, there is no way this wine is worth it. Perhaps, that's why it's discounted? In my opinion, the 2000 that they offered last year (or the year before?) fared way better.

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Ponzi Pinot Noir Reserve 2006
Rated by jonradus on December 16, 2009

Rating 55-

For the price, this wine is awesome. I have a hard time finding really good pinots for reasonable prices, but this one hit the spot. Tons of structure, fruit, depth, power, with a long finish. I've drank three of these so far and have four more in my cellar. I may stock a couple more...

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Two Hands Shiraz Bella's Garden 2007
Rated by jonradus on December 16, 2009

Rating 55

This is a fantastic wine. The fruit is bombing with a punch of alcohol. The alcohol blows off with a little air and reveals a multi-faceted wine with great structure, but fairly evident tannins...meaning this wine needs to settle down for at least a year or two. It's drinkable now, but will be extremely good with some rest. The high score is based on "potential" rather than "right now". Cellar, cellar, cellar, before this stuff is sold out. Don't miss the boat.

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Parson's Flat Shiraz Cabernet 2005
Rated by jonradus on December 16, 2009

Rating 33+

This is a very good wine for the price. the structure isn;t too rigid, and the finish isn't too memorable; yet it is a delightful quaff. I don't know how much better it will get, but it is definitely drinkable now and well worth $20 and maybe even up to $30 or $35. I don't recommend cellaring, but I do recommend drinking.

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