Wine Reviews

This page is for readers to rate and review wines they like or hate and as long as it is kept civil and clean it will not be edited or censored.  Each review should include at least:

  1. The name of the wine
  2. A statement about whether you would buy it again
  3. A review of the characteristics, and
  4. If it is commonly available where readers might find it.

Post your reviews as a comment and that way we can keep them all separate and others will have a chance to chime in.  After you post them, I’ll index them to the list below.

Current index of reviews in order of posting (index is hyperlinked to all reviews):

  1. Ken Deis Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
  2. Rachis by Randy Hester Sauvignon Blanc 2013
  3. Dominic Hentall Sangiovese Negroamaro IGT Puglia 2012
  4. Domaine O’Vineyards Ryan and Joe O’Connell – OMG 2012
  5. Jacqueline Bahue Cabernet Franc Sonoma County 2012
  6. Lacaze Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and 2012
  7. Matt Iaconis Globetrotter Red CA USA 2012
  8. Cockamamie Rooster’s Blend 2012
  9. Timothy Olson Pinot Grigio Napa Valley 2013
  10. Randall Grahm Mutiny on the Bonny Arroyo Seco 2012
  11. The Mission Chardonnay Arroyo Seco (2011)
  12. Randall Grahm The Sisters White Wine Central Coast 2013
  13. Lestonnat Bordeaux Superieur 2012
  14. JC van Staden Vermentino 2013
  15. Bogle Cabernet Savignon
  16. Twisted Oak *%#&@!
  17. Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz 2010
  18. Semilla – The Playground Red Wine (Lodi 2012)
  19. Decoy Cabernet
  20. Ghost Pines – Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
  21. Daryl Rex Groom Dry Creek Zinfandel 2013
  22. Franc Dusak White Wine Mendocino 2014
  23. E Gordon Kolbe Red Wine California 2013
  24. La Voute – Terrior Selection – Chardonnay (France 2011)
  25. Franc Dusak Red Wine Sonoma County 2013
  26. S+A Portuguese-Style Red Blend, Amador County 2013
  27. Jim Olsen and Tom Shula Pickberry Merlot 2013
  28. F. Stephen Millier Reserve Red Angel – Calaveras County Red Blend
  29. Daryl Rex Groom’s Russian River Valley 2013 Chardonnay
  30. Et Fille 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
  31. Miriam Alexandra 2014 California Chenin Blanc
  32. 2015 brick and mortar Sonoma Coast Rose’ of Pinot Noir
  33. 2013 Torcido Grenache
  34. LABRIE Bordeaux Blanc Sec, 2014
  35. LAETITIA Black Label Pinot Noir (Clone 667) 2013 Arroyo Grande Valley
  36. The Cooper’s Art Sarah — Dry Creek Valley 2012
  37. Karen Birmingham — 2015 Rose’ Lodi
  38. L’Atelier Du Sud, 2014 Pays d’Oc IGP
  39. 2013 Franc Dusak Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
  40. Katy Michaud 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
  41. Jacqueline Bahue, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  42. Bruno 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
  43. Brick & Mortar 2011 Pinot Noir Napa Valley
  44. Kimbao 2015 Pinot Noir
  45. Boyer, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2015 Riesling
  46. Minervois+ 2015
  47. 99 Barrels Santa Lucia Highlands 2015 Rose
  48. Stefano di Blasi 2014 Toscana
  49. JC van Staden Pinot Noir 2015
  50. Lay of the Land Pinot Noir 2015
  51. Kimbao 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
  52. Montaria Vinho Tinto Red Wine 2014
  53. Benjamin Darnault Viognier 2015
  54. Jim Olsen White Barbera 2016
  55. Scott Peterson ROX Chardonnay 2015
  56. Terre De Feu Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
  57. Cattoo Red Wine 2015
  58. 99 Barrels California Red Blend 2014
  59. Jac Cole Mosaico 2015
  60. Shoot the Moon Red Wine 2015
  61. Montaria 2015
  62. Yellowstone Cellars & Winery 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
  63. Cattoo 2015 Zinfandel
  64. Cattoo 2015 Malbec

81 Responses to Wine Reviews

  1. Poor Robert says:

    Date: May 1, 2017

    Wine: Cattoo Malbec 2015
    Origin: Lodi California
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Sharon Weeks
    Price: $18.99 Retail, 10.99 Angel Price
    Rating: 4 Stars, 90 points on Wine Enthusiast scale

    Style: Big and Easy Drinking
    Serving Temp: 55 degrees
    Viscosity: Heavy with really long legs
    Color: Inky Garnet but clear throughout
    Nose: Plum, mulling spice with a touch of pepper
    Taste: Ripe plums, blueberry, dark chocolate covered cherry, mulling spice
    Acid: Medium to mild, but nicely balanced with the fruit
    Tannins: Medium to soft
    Finish: Soft plum and blueberry in the back of the throat
    Aging: Drink now with a little air or hold for 3 to 5 years
    Pairing: Rear T-bone, wild game or sharp cheese
    Alcohol: 13.5 ABV

    Comments: I have grown to expect approachable wines from Sharon and this one was no exception. Malbec is a tough grape to make into an easy drinker when young, as they tend to have a lot of tannins early on, but she created this wine in a unique way to really soften the youthful tannins and create a nice mouth feel of pleasant fruit and cocoa from the start. I was frankly quite surprised by this wines early drinkability as most Malbec I drink (albeit from Argentina and Chile) require a lot of air to be drinkable and then only with heavy foods when they are this young

    I tasted this wine over four days (my usual routine) and like most of Sharon’s wines, the delay and additional air didn’t make a lot of difference. The initial taste out of the bottle rang true to the final character of the wine, within half an hour breathing in the glass this wine blossomed and into a very versatile wine that can hold its own with rare red meat or as a drink by the pool or on the patio with friends and casual conversation.

    The staying power of this wine is hard for me to judge right now as it comes off as quite mature for a 2015 vintage. That said, who cares, as my stash of this wine will be long gone before the end of summer and I’ll be patiently waiting for her next vintage. If you like this wine (2015 vintage) buy it quickly as I don’t see it being available for many more weeks.

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  2. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April 30. 2017

    Wine: Cattoo Zinfandel 2015
    Origin: Lodi California
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Sharon Weeks
    Price: $19.99 Retail, $11.99 Angel Pricing
    Rating: 4 Stars, 89 points Wine Enthusiast scale

    Style: Easy drinking
    Serving Temp: 55 degrees but would drink well chilled
    Viscosity: Medium with nice short fingers
    Color: Garnet
    Nose: Berry blend and smoke
    Taste: Raspberry, Boysenberry, Blackberry, Current, Pepper, Smoke
    Acid: Medium to mild
    Tannins: Mild
    Finish: Pepper and Black currents in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now or cellar for up to five years
    Pairing: Lamb curry, or just sipping
    Alcohol: 14.5 ABV

    Comments:
    This wine is just plain fun. It has a very fruit forward presence and one that those who prefer sweet wines will find to be a great one to help expand their horizons. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a sweet wine, but rather one whose fruity characteristics can fool you into believing so. For all the reasons that I am not generally a fan of Zinfandel (I like my reds on the dry side) I loved this wine. It’s juicy, refreshing but not jammy character makes it a good choice for the cocktail hour as a sipper when a white just doesn’t seem right or for serving with spicy foods to cool the palate
    .
    I typically taste young wines over several days to let me understand how they will develop and did so with this wine. That said I really didn’t need to as the changes over the four days were subtle at best. It did well with an hour of decanting to help it ripen but benefitted little from the additional air it got over the next three days.

    Right out of the bottle the blast of a berry (heavy on the raspberry) hits you both on the tongue and in the nose. After decanting the heavy Raspberry presence subsides and gives way to a really nice medley of mixed berries, smoke and pepper with a hint of Black Current to provide some character. The acidity in this wine is perfect with just enough to balance the fruit and keep it from being overly sweet. The tannins are spot on for this wine as they give it a little zing and keeps it bright. They definitely will not give you a hairy feel on the tongue as so many young reds do.

    All in all this simple but elegant Zin gives great value; it won’t break the bank and it’s ready to drink and enjoy. I’ll be getting more of this wine for drinking this summer and next fall, but I doubt if any of it will last long enough to see the winter of 2018.

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  3. Pingback: Weekly Wine for April 29, 2017 | Poor Robert's (Wine) Almanac

  4. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April 18, 2017

    Wine: Yellowstone Cellars & Winery 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
    Origin: Elephant Mountain Vineyards (Yakama WA)
    Producer: Yellowstone Cellars & Winery
    Winemaker: Clint Peck
    Price: $25.00 at Retail (available on-line at http://yellowstonecellers.com)
    Rating: 4.5 Stars 93 point on the Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Classic Big Cab
    Serving Temp: 55 degrees
    Viscosity: Medium to heavy with nice long legs
    Color: Inky Garnet, and clear throughout
    Nose: Cassis, Bittersweet Chocolate, Earth minerals, Smoke
    Taste: Bing Cherry, Black Tea, Ripe Plum, Minerals, Cocoa Pod
    Acid: Heavy but well balanced to the palate
    Tannins: Medium and mellow
    Finish: Light tannins and cherry in the back of the throat.
    Aging: Drink now with some air or hold for 5 to 10 more years
    Pairing: Leg of Lamb, Lamb Curry and Chocolate dipped Strawberries
    Alcohol: 13.9 ABV

    Comments:
    Clint Peck knows how to make wine in a very classic style. He uses both French and American Oak to age his wine to perfection. This particular wine sat in Oak for almost five years before it ever saw a bottle or a cork. For a modern wine that is some serious cask aging.

    I put this wine through my usual four or five days tasting process. Day one: right out of the bottle it had a bright nose full of fruit, smoke and mineral earthiness, the initial taste on the tip of tongue carried a hint of dark seeded berry, ripe plum and dark cherry. On the sides of the tongue the bite of acidity nicely took the edge off the vines initial fruit that morphed in the back of throat to a warm lightly tannic cherry finish. In all respects it was delightful. I then decanted the wine and let it rest for an hour. Surprisingly, I notices little if any change in the wine. I capped the bottle without evacuating the air and let it rest standing in my cellar overnight. On day two I sampled it again. To my surprise, the air neither enhanced nor degraded the wine, which simply told me that it was nicely mature and had a lot of years left in my several surviving unopened bottles. I evacuated the air from the remaining half bottle and let it rest standing in my cellar for two more days. With my third tasting, I noticed little change except for a further mellowing of the already medium tannins. The acid to fruit balances held up very nicely as well.

    If you are one of those wine drinkers who believe that all good Cabernet Sauvignon comes from California you would be wrong. This Cab can stand up to the best that California and Washington State has to offer and in many cases come out on top. I’d even venture a prediction that in seven to ten years this wine will still stand up grandly while many of the California and Washington competitors of the 2011 year have passed their prime and become cooking wine.

    I bought up all I could find in Missoula and will keep looking for more. Although if the truth be known, I am also looking for the 2012 which the winemaker tells me may be his best vintage (great growing conditions made it a banner year) ever. For the adventurous wine drinker, you might want to check out Clint’s other varietals, based on past experience they are all worth a taste.

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  5. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 28, 2017

    Wine: Montaria 2015
    Origin: Portugal
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Luis Vieira
    Price: Retail $19.99, Angel rice $9.99
    Rating: 4 stars, 89 points Wine Enthusiast Scale
    Style: Classic Iberian Red
    Serving Temp: 55 degrees
    Viscosity: Medium, long fingers and good mouth feel
    Color: Garnet and clear throughout
    Nose: Mild pepper, raspberry
    Taste: Raspberry, red stone fruit, pepper, mineral and leather
    Acid: Medium
    Tannins: Medium
    Finish: Medium tannins with mixed berry in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now with a little air, hold for 2 to 4 years
    Pairing: Bar BQ, Tex/Mex Chili and Pepper Cheese.
    Alcohol: 13.5 ABV
    Comments: Luis hit another home run with this one, not that I expected otherwise. This is one of my go to wines for drinking when I am not rating a new one. It is one of the most consistent and enjoyable wines in my cellar. This vintage may well be a bit better than last years and is certainly smoother out of the bottle. I found it “air optional” right out of the bottle.
    I find this a ”refreshing” wine, meaning that I can drink a lot of it and not feel like I need water in between sips. It has great fruit on the nose and tongue and a very nice smooth finish in the throat without a heavy dose of tannins.

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  6. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 27, 2017

    Wine: Shoot the Moon Red Wine, 2015
    Origin: Napa Valley
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Jim Olsen
    Price: $34.99 retail price, $17.99 Angel Price
    Rating: 3 Stars, 74 Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Fruity (not sweet) BX blend
    Serving Temp: 55%
    Viscosity: Medium body, long legs initially a thick dry mouth feel
    Color: Garnet to Claret
    Nose: Plum, pepper, smoke
    Taste: Fruit forward plum cassis, pepper, earth minerals
    Acid: Heavy, astringent and not balanced to the fruit.
    Tannins: Heavy and initially sharp
    Finish: Big tannins with prunes (I like prunes) in the nostrils
    Aging: unclear
    Pairing: Thai or spicy Chinese
    Alcohol: 14.9% ABV

    Comments:
    This wine is one of the hardest get my arms around of any I have ever tried to rate. Last year’s Shoot the Moon was a sweeter wine and I thought it better than good, as sweet wines go. Given that I am not a sweet wine fan that says a lot. This year Jim changed it up and really confused me. I am not sure what he tried to do in changing it up as now it neither sweet nor one of his typical BX blends. The alcohol in this wine comes in at a very high 14.9 ABV which by its very nature gives it a nice kick and untypical of a wine intended to be sweeter.

    So, here goes: Day 1, out of the bottle it?s a fruit bomb (not sweet) with a very plum minerally nose, heavy plum on the tip of the tongue with big acidity and heavy tannins in the back of the throat. I capped the bottle without evacuating any air. Day 2 produced a less fruity more pepper/minerally nose, a less plumy dryer taste and a slight easing of the tannins. I recapped the bottle and evacuated all air. Day 4 produced a more rounded and much dryer wine. I noticed little change in the nose, taste or finish profiles from Day 2.

    So this leaves me, with a conundrum: how to rate this wine. As a self-described Bordeaux blend, it does not have the clear structure of Jim’s BX which I dearly love, and this vintage doesn?t bring the sugars and fruit of his Sweet Angel or last year’s Shoot the Moon which both had really nice sugar acid balance. So my confusion lies in what was he trying to accomplish in changing this wine from last year and I confess to not having a clue. That said I can’t criticize the wine making effort as it is clear that Jim wanted to dry out last year’s vintage and create a different target audience. This he accomplished, but I guess I am just not part that audience.

    If you love a really dry red blend with a fruity front end but no sugar on the tongue, this wine is made to order. I would also observe that this wine is a higher priced wine in the NW spectrum and for my money I am investing in Jim’s BX which, by comparison, I find a screaming buy and a much more pleasant tasting experience. This wine is by no means a failure, but I think it will have a much more limited target market than his last vintage and while I have another bottle in my cellar, I will not be drinking it for a year or so to see what age will being.

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  7. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 26, 2017

    Wine: Jac Cole Mosaico, 2015
    Origin: Napa Valley California
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Jac Cole
    Price: $34.99 retail price, 17.99 Angel price
    Rating: 4.5 Stars and 93 points on the Wine Enthusiast Scale
    Style: Big, Bold and Classic BX with a twist
    Serving Temp: 55 degrees
    Viscosity: Heavy, long legs and spectacular mouth feel
    Color: Garnet to Black, clear throughout
    Nose: Pepper, cocoa, plum and earth minerals
    Taste: Dark Chocolate, ripe plum, blackberry, leather, minerals
    Acid: Heavy to medium, balanced nicely with enough air
    Tannins: Heavy but softens with lots of Air
    Finish: Plum, dark chocolate and tannins in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now with lots of air. Hold for 5 to 10 years
    Pairing: Red (Rare) meat, fresh Strawberries and Stilton
    Alcohol: 14.5 ABV

    Comments:
    As is my preference with young wines, I tasted this wine over four days. Day 1 right out of the bottle, it had a surprisingly mature nose, but came off the palate as a bit muddled and secretive as to its flavor profile. With decanting the flavors and fruit came out a bit more and I really enjoyed the wine with my very rare T-Bone. I capped the wine without evacuating the air and put it back in the cellar. Day 2 right out of the bottle the nose became nicely robust. The flavors of dark chocolate, ripe plum and minerals came out on the tip of the tongue, and the finish became clearer. I capped the wine evacuating the air and cellared it to rest for a couple more days. Day 4 this wine really grew up and presented a mature nose, taste and finish that really allowed me to pick up on some nuances I missed in the first two tasting. At this point I enjoyed the wine with some chocolate dipped strawberries and stilton cheese. The wine matched up well with both, though I will admit that the sharpness of the stilton perhaps showcased the wines profile best.

    With Mosaico, Jac created a big classic Bordeaux (BX) style blend that may be as good as any I’ve tasted in a long while. For my taste, this wine needs serious decanting at this stage in its life just to let us have peek what its future holds. Gazing into my crystal ball, I see (five years from now) a perfectly balanced blend of fruit, minerals and acidity with medium to soft tannins. For me this will be a dream wine and I’ll dream about it’s potential until I finish my last bottle years in future. I am a huge fan of really nice big Bordeaux blends with strong Cabernet Sauvignon structure and enough Merlot blended in providing a slight fruitiness to create balance for the characteristic acidity of a pure Cab. In this wine the interjection of a bit of Malbec enhanced the fruitiness early that makes it seem older, more aged and a bit better balanced for such a young wine.

    While this wine represents a higher price point than many might like, in my view it’s really a matter of getting what you pay for and this wine is a great value right now. If you have patience and hold it for a few years the value will be extraordinary. I’ll be looking for space in my already packed cellar for a place to stash a case of this wine as an investment in my future wine drinking enjoyment.

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  8. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 23, 2017

    Wine: 99 Barrels California Red Blend 2014
    Origin: California
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Derek Rohlffs
    Price: $23.99 Retail, $13.99 Angel Pricing
    Rating: 4.5 Stars, 92 Points Wine Enthusiast Scale
    Style: Schizophrenic: Easy Drinking, Big Blend
    Serving Temp: 55 degrees
    Viscosity: Medium to Heavy, great long legs with great mouth feel.
    Color: Garnett with Ruby edges and clear throughout
    Nose: Fruit forward (not sweet), Plum, Cassis, Espresso and Chocolate
    Taste: Bing Cherry, Ripe Plum (some prune to this one), Blackberry, Black Current. Chocolate
    Acid: Mild to medium. Well balanced after decanting
    Tannins: Medium to light, softens with air.
    Finish: Dark plum, clove and light tannins in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now with air or hold for up to five years
    Pairing: Bar BQ of any kind or sip with a Cigar by the fire
    Alcohol: 14.5 ABV

    Comments:
    I really like a Bordeaux Blend (BX in California) and had some trepidation about this blend of five grapes becoming a bit of an indistinguishable soup. Well, my trepidation was totally unfounded. This young wine took a bit of coaxing to get it to come out and show its colors (flavors) but when it did it was really an amazing wine experience. Day 1 I decanted it for an hour and warmed in the class before tasting, rebottled and capped but not evacuated. Day 2 I poured it straight out of the bottle and tasted it immediately; it was nicely opened and I was able to better identify the varietals that made up the blend. Recapped and evacuated. Day 4 (no day 3) straight from the bottle this wine became a real wow! The nose was bright and clear, the flavors just popped and created a symphony of flavor in the mouth that made me not to want to swallow.

    This wine has the potential to be not just a really good wine (which it is now) but to be a really great wine with some more age in the bottle. I am still puzzled about the fifth grape, I get the fruit from the Pinot Noir, the tannin and big feel from the Merlot and the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the intensity of the Petite Sirah. I guess I?ll just have to try to figure that out when the drink the rest of my stash in the years to come.

    We all knew Derek was a star from all the great stuff he has produced for the Angel Host over the years. With this wine he really show cased his sense of a wine future and his creativity by creating a truly unique blend that I found beautiful and puzzling at the same time.

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  9. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 8, 2017

    Wine: Cattoo Red Wine 2015
    Origin: Lodi California
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Sharon Weeks
    Price: $18.99 Retail Price, $10.99 Angel Price
    Rating: 4 Stars, 91 points Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Modern style easy drinking red blend
    Serving Temp: 58 to 60 degrees
    Viscosity: Medium with nice short lived fingers
    Color: Garnett to Claret
    Nose: Smoke, Dark Plum, Mulling Spice
    Taste: Juicy fruit forward, Dark Stone Fruit, Dark Chocolate, All Spice, Boysenberry
    Acid: Medium to High a bit overbalanced to the fruitiness of the taste
    Tannins: Medium
    Finish: Tannins and plum in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now with air or hold for up to three years
    Pairing: Red Meat
    Alcohol: 13.5% ABV

    Comments:

    Sharon tossed together an aggressive blend of six different grapes, that give this wine a very unique character and one that will be difficult for anybody (but Sharon) to duplicate. It presents a bit of a confused (but pleasant) fruit forward essence that gives an initial sense of sweetness on the tip of the tongue that quickly morphs into dryer (more acidic) sensation in the mouth. I like this wine as a great everyday sipper and a universal red meat companion.

    I will be buying this as an easy to serve wine for guesst with a taste for easy drinking reds. It is definitely not one that needs to be held back for sharing with only those with stuffy palates. It is also a wine I will bring with me when invited to other?s homes for dinner or cocktails.

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  10. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 9, 2017

    Wine: 2015 Terre De Feu Cabernet Sauvignon
    Origin: Lake County California
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Camille Benitah
    Price: $23.99 Retail, $13.99 Angel Pricing
    Rating: 4 stars, 89 points Wine Enthusiast Scale (trending up with more age)

    Style: Big Cabernet
    Serving Temp: 55 degree
    Viscosity: Medium, with short fingers turning to tears quickly
    Color: Deep Garnet
    Nose: Initially spice and ripe plum, with air add pepper Cassis and tart berry
    Taste: Initially subdued plum with air add pepper, spice, plum, Cassis and acai
    Acid: Mild to start Medium after three days
    Tannins: Mild throughout
    Finish: light tannins and dark stone fruit in the throat
    Aging: Drink now with a lot of air or preferably lay down for up to five years.
    Pairing: Steak and Cremini mushroom burgers (see below for recipe).
    Alcohol: 14.5 ABV

    Comments:
    This would have been a lot easier review if the wine had been bottle aged for another six months to a year. I am going to like this wine a lot in a few years, but for now I class is as a very good wine with a lot of potential that needs to be tasted with care at the moment. Decanting is a must for this wine for the next six months. You won?t be sorry you took the time.

    I tasted this wine over three days; (1) (day 1) right out of the bottle, (2)(day1) decanted in the glass for an hour, (3) (day 2) recorked overnight with full air in the bottle and (4) (day 3) recorked overnight with all air evacuated. Out of the bottle I found this wine very closed with only a little spice and a little plum in the nose, with little other fruit initially. After an hour in the glass the nose remained about the same, but the palate began to open up and the other fruit essences began present a little more but still on the whole this wine remained quite shy. On day two the shyness dissipated some and the flavor profile and nose began to present a bit more confidently. On day three the nose opened quite a bit to hint of some oak and pepper presenting with a nice smooth fruity palate showing a lot of style and pride. I will be buying quite a lot more of this wine and stashing it in the back of my cellar as I think in five years it will be spectacular.

    I want to comment on the acidity of this wine and its tannins. Right out of the bottle, I found the balance to be off between the fruit, acidity an astringency but I chalked that up to a significant need for air. As the tasting process progressed, the balance between acid and fruit worked out really nicely with my surprise being that the tannins remained mild. In the end I found the balance of this wine much more like a sherry rather than a Big California Cab. That is not a negative in that Camille?s creation here works really well especially for those that find a high pucker factor in a red wine off-putting. With a lot of air or some age this will be a great wine for those sweet wine drinkers (it will never be sweet) who want to experience a really fine red wine without feeling like they are drinking unsweetened cranberry concentrate.

    The recipe for the Steak and Cremini burgers is: put 1/3 mushroom caps and 2/3 Sirloin Steak cubes in a food processer, add salt and pepper to taste. Process until it will make nice patties. Sear the burgers one both sides in a cast iron pan until medium rare (cook longer if you like your burgers on the done side). Regardless with the Creminis in them they will not dry out.

    Sorry about this really longwinded review but I thought it necessary to do justice to a really nice wine that could be easily misunderstood and cast aside as not currently meeting some wine drinkers immediate expectations.

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  11. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 22, 2017

    Wine: ROX Chardonnay, 2015
    Origin: Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast California
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Scott Peterson
    Price: $29.99 retail, 13.99 Angel Pricing
    Rating: 4 Stars, 89 Points using Wine Enthusiast Rating system,

    Style: Classic Chardonnay
    Serving Temp: 45 degrees; 55 degrees if you like more Oak and Butter
    Viscosity: Heavy (Creamy)
    Color: Golden fading to Straw
    Nose: Oak, Butter, Ripe Pear
    Taste: Butter, Pear, White Nectarine, Hint of Oak
    Acid: Medium
    Tannins: None
    Finish: Smooth buttery mixed fruit in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now or hold for up to three years.
    Pairing: Baked Cod with Asparagus, but why bother it’s a great sipper
    Alcohol: 14.5% ABV

    Comments:

    This is my fourth vintage of this wine, so reviewing it should have been pretty simple, but it never is with Scott’s Chardonnay. Each vintage has its own character and slight differences. On a progression I would say the 2014 was my favorite as it presented more of a Classic Euro Chardonnay style with a crisper finish. As a diehard ABC (anything but Chardonnay) I make Scott my consistent exception as they are always surprising in one way or another and fun to drink and review.

    I found the 2015 to be a bit more to the traditional California Big Chardonnay style (more Oak and Butter) than the crisper Euro style I prefer. That said, I tasted this wine over three days and both cold (45 degrees) and warmer (55 degrees) and found the colder temp to be my preference. On day three at 55 degrees the butter dominated. I would describe the blind (eyes closed) sensation as one of drinking chilled buttered Bosc pears. It was actually a very interesting and pleasant taste and not one I have experienced with Scott’s three prior offerings. I must confess that I might have just missed it before as, with this vintage, I knew what to expect so my baseline for the tasting experience probably started at a higher level.

    All in all this wine is a winner in any class, but especially for ardent Chardonnay drinkers who like a bigger oak and butter Chardonnay like you get from Cakebread, Grgich Hills and the higher end Kendell Jackson offering. I always have Scott’s Chardonnay in my cellar (several vintages) for the occasion when I have Chardonnay lovers in the house, or I am serving a baked white (cod like) fish. This wine stands up really well against the heavy flavors of a butter baked fish. So as in the past, I’ll be stocking up with this vintage.

    Well done Scott. The little changes you make, the seasons offer and your grape selections for your Chardonnay wine always keep me coming back to see what’s next.

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  12. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 7, 2017

    Wine: Jim Olson White Barbera Sierra Foothills 2016
    Origin: California
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Jim Olson
    Price: Retail $21.99, Angel Pricing 12.99
    Rating: 3.5 Stars, 87 points on Wine Enthusiast Scale
    Style: Easy Drinking White
    Serving Temp: 45 to 50 degrees
    Viscosity: Thin, sheets when swirled, but no noticeable fingers
    Color: Very Light Straw
    Nose: Heavy fruit emphasizing faint Pineapple Royal Ann Cherry
    Taste: Pineapple (Predominant), Royal Ann Cherry, Honey, Vanilla, Apricot (slight)
    Acid: Mild to medium
    Tannins: None
    Finish: Short fruity mildly acidic
    Aging: Drink now. I would not hold longer than a year
    Pairing: Pad Thai, and Tex/Mex Chili (not kidding)
    Alcohol: 13% ABV

    Comments:
    Jim crafted a truly unique wine here that doesn’t carry much if any of its heritage as a Piedmont big red grape. I marvel at Jim’s ability to transform a Barbera grape into an almost clear, fruit (non-grape) style wine. The only other wine that comes close to comparing to this offering is a Pineapple wine I once tasted on Maui. Don’t mistake this statement as a comment on quality as there is really no comparison. This White Barbera is a really fine craft wine that will really appeal to sweet wine drinkers who are looking something unique and versatile. This wine pairs well with anything spicy. On day two of this bottle I paired it with a medium spiced (no-bean) chili simply because it was open and I loved it. Talk about a palate chiller, it was pretty amazing. I should note that one day two and three this wine lost some of its initial acidity and developed a really intense fruit forward character

    Anybody that reads my reviews, knows that I am not a big fan of sweet wines. I prefer my whites on the crisp astringent side. That said, I will be buying more of this wine to have in the cellar for the occasion when sweet wine drinkers visit. Its unique flavor profile and versatility with high spice and acid foods make it perfect for many occasions when a sweeter wine may fit the bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Poor Robert says:

    Date: September 1, 2016

    Wine: Benjamin Darnault 2015 Viognier
    Origin: Southern France
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Benjamin Darnault
    Price: $10.49 Angel Price, $17.99 Retail
    Rating: 4,5 Stars, 94 Point on the Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Bolder White Classic
    Serving Temp: 37 to 45 degrees (F)
    Viscosity: Medium with nice long sheeting
    Color: Straw with a hint of Goldenrod
    Nose: Floral. Grass, Pear and Lemon
    Taste: Minerals, Peach, Pear, Honeydew Melon, hint of Oak,
    Acid: Heavy to medium balance after a little air
    Tannins: Light in the finish
    Finish: Minerals, light tannin and oak in the back of the throat and nostrils
    Aging: A little air helps now, but age for 3 to 5 years
    Pairing: Planked Copper River Salmon, Chicken Curry
    Alcohol: 13% ABV

    Comments: I am Ben’s #1 cheerleader on this side of the pond and he certainly didn’t disappoint with this lovely wine. By way of full disclosure, he has never produced a wine (red or white) that I didn’t like. I found it very dry and very sippable with or without food, but it certainly added to both the salmon and the curry I sampled it with.

    As usual I tasted this wine over three days and found it had a pretty uniform character all three days, with the caveat that I did give it a bit of air on day one to let the acid and fruit balance. That did make a difference. It is definitely not a fruit forward or modern style wine in that it really allows all of it characteristics to tease the senses as it move through the mouth. I will note that its hint of Oak in the finish surprised me in a very positive way. I am not used to finding this in a Viognier.

    I don’t know a lot about French wine laws, but I do know that “PAYS d’ OC” generally is considered a local wine and doesn’t carry with it a lot of expectations for it producing fame and fortune for the wine or winemakers. But for the oddities of the laws, this wine should be a second Cru or better. Frankly, I’ve been less impressed with some Grand Cru Chardonnay based wines from some of the bigger producers. I am buying more for drinking over the next couple of summers. I find it really delightful on a warm summer evening with fresh pears as a dessert. I also really enjoy it as an aperitif, with some crackers and cheese, or just by itself.

    Like

  14. Poor Robert says:

    Date: August 31, 2016

    Wine: Montaria Vinho Tinto Red Wine 2014
    Origin: Portugal
    Blend: Alicante Bouschet (40%), Trincadeira (30%), Aragonez (30%)
    Producer: Naked Wines.Com
    Winemaker: Luis Vieira
    Price: $9.99 Angel Price, $19.99 Retail
    Rating: 3.5 Stars, 83 Points Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Classic Iberian Red Blend
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees (F)
    Viscosity: Medium to Bold, long lasting well defined fingers
    Color: Garnet with ruby edges
    Nose: Black Cherry, Prunes, Pepper, Moist Earth
    Taste: Pepper, Plum Jam, White Raisins, Tobacco Leaf
    Acid: Heavy to Medium nice balance to the fruit
    Tannins: Bold
    Finish: Prunes and tannins in the nostrils and back of the throat
    Aging: Drink now with Air or hold for up to five years
    Pairing: Seafood Stew over Saffron rice
    Alcohol: 13.5 ABV

    Comments: I had a hard time rating this wine as its initial presentation didn’t meet my expectations. I am a huge fan of Luis’ wines and Montaria in particular, having tasted each of the prior vintages. At first blush I thought that this vintage lacked some of the complexity of sensations that I have come to expect.

    I tasted it over a total of three days after in initial decant of an hour on day one. The decanting helped open it up and allow the discernable nose and flavors come out a bit. Day two, not much difference, but on day three the complexity began to appear and it became really fun to drink.

    It is not a sweet wine and I would not recommend it to folk that like their wines on the sweet side. Its tannins, and acidity have some staying power and really kept it dry throughout the entire three days. As to pairings, I had an edge based on past experience and gave the wine some real flavor competition in pairing it (day three) with a Tomato based Iberian fish stew recipe I have. It really complimented the dish and the dish really brightened the flavors in the wine.

    I will be buying more of this wine to store for a few years, because I really love supporting Luis’ efforts and it will give the opportunity in two more years to do a six year vertical tasting of the Montaria (2012 through 2016). That will be fun!

    Like

  15. Poor Robert says:

    Date: August 21, 2016

    Wine: Kimbao 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
    Origin: Chile
    Producer: Naked Wine
    Winemaker: Constanza Schwaderer & Felipe Garcia
    Price: $12.99 Angel price, $21.99 Retail
    Rating: 4 Stars, 90 points on Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Modern Cabernet
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees (F)
    Viscosity: Medium Bold with nice fingers that linger in the glass
    Color: Ruby with rusty edges, clear throughout
    Nose: Subtle with hints of Cherry, Anise, Mexican Chocolate (spicy), and Smoke
    Taste: Fruit forward, Dark stone fruit, Cherry, Moist Earth and Hint of Chocolate
    Acid: Bold, but well balanced
    Tannins: Medium Bold
    Finish: Chocolate and Tannins in the Nostrils and back of the throat
    Aging: Drink now with substantial air or hold for up to 5 year
    Pairing: Beef Brisket, Tatertots and Grilled Green Beans, Moldy (intentionally) Cheese
    Alcohol: 14.5 ABV

    Comments: Like Kimbao Cabs, end of story. This one I classed as a Modern Cabernet as it has a more fruit forward nose and taste than some of the classic Cabernets. That is not a criticism, quite the contrary, it makes a dry varietal much more approachable for those just getting into wine.

    I drank this wine over a three day period with my first taste right after opening where I found it a bit tight with much of the character, nose and flavors muted. I used a soiree to aerate it and the profile opened, but still remained a bit tight. After an hour in a flat bowled decanter it really opened up nicely. Day two brought a nice and fuller bouquet of aroma and taste, but day three was best of all. This wine rounded out really nicely bringing a lot of depth, nose and flavor forward that had previously been hidden.

    In my pairing with a very spicy beef brisket, I was looking for a wine that could tame the tongue and not get killed by the spice. I got just what I expected, a perfect pairing and mouthful after mouthful of flavor and kicked the brisket’s smoke up a notch. On Day three I paired it with crisp Bartlett Pears and Stilton. At the first bite I went immediately to heaven and remained there for the rest of the bottle, which by the way simply didn’t last long enough.

    This wine boasts a really great Angel price, but remains a bargain at retail. I’ve put several bottles down in the cellar to drink over the next couple of years just to watch it develop.

    Great job Connie and Felipe, I am a big fan of you work.

    Like

  16. Poor Robert says:

    Date: August 19, 2016

    Wine: Lay of the Land Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Mike Patterson
    Price: $14.99 Angel Price, $24.99 Angel Price
    Rating: 4 Stars, 91 points using Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Classic Kiwi Pinot Noir, Easy Drinking
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees (F)
    Viscosity: Light
    Color: Light Ruby and clear throughout
    Nose: Pepper. Boysenberry, Spice, Smoke, plum
    Taste: Pepper, Tart Plum, Spice, Black tea, Cranberry
    Acid: Medium but nicely balanced
    Tannins: Medium
    Finish: Tannins and dark berries in the nostrils and back of the throat
    Aging: Drink now with air, hold for one to seven years
    Pairing: Grilled Mushroom (25% chopped Mushroom, 75% Ground Chuck) Burgers, Sharp cheddar cheese, loaded with condiments, By itself with any blue cheese (Stilton would be heaven)
    Alcohol: 13.5 ABV

    Comments: Mike always produces great Pinot Noir. However I need to say, upfront, Kiwi Pinot Noir is unique and can be an acquired taste even for a hard core Pinot Noir drinker like me. My sense (Mike may disagree with me) is that New Zealand Pinot Noir tends to carry a bit more acidity on the front end than what we are used to out of California. Some might even see this as a bitterness. I think they tend to be closer to their French ancestors (lots of good acidity) than many of us in the US are used to drinking.

    I loved this wine as I have all of Mike Prior Vintages. I consumed the bottle over the period of three evenings and really appreciated the depth and complexity of flavors it presented. I know I listed a lot, and I confess that I didn’t taste them all at the same time but over the three days they were all there (with the hint of a number of others). This told me two things, the wine is young and needs air to really make a great impression and it will change over the next few years, mellowing a bit and developing a very unique flavor profile. My tasting notes indicate that it could hold for up to seven years and I understand, this is a long time for a modern Pinot Noir, but this wine has some really strong bones and I really believe that it will get better for a longer period than usual.

    I found the this wine surprisingly fruit forward (despite the hint of acidity on the tip of the tongue)and while it is certainly not a sweet wine, its initial taste certainly allows the fruit to shine before the real acidy kicks in and completes the tasting experience. Sweet wine drinkers who have pushed their palates in to the red arena will really like this wine as it will take you to a whole new level of appreciation of red wines. For the Big Red drinkers that like to chew their wines, this will make a nice change of pace, especially on hot days, sitting by the pool when a Sauvignon is just not in the cards.

    Mike you out did yourself (again) and I can’t wait for next year’s vintage to see what surprises it brings.

    Like

  17. Poor Robert says:

    Date: August 19, 2016
    Wine: JC van Staden Pinot Noir 2015
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: J.C. van Staden
    Price: $9.99 Angel Price, $16.99 Angel Price
    Rating: 4 Stars, 89 points using Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Classic Pinot Noir, Easy Drinking
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees (F)
    Viscosity: Light to Medium Light
    Color: Ruby with Amber edges, clear throughout
    Nose: Spice, Moist Earth, Plum
    Taste: Spice, Black tea, Cherries and Plum
    Acid: Medium Light but nicely balanced
    Tannins: Medium but balanced
    Finish: Light Tannins and plum in the nostrils and back of the throat
    Aging: Drink now with Air, better with a year in the bottle, hold for up to five years
    Pairing: Pulled Pork with Carolina Sauce, Sharp cheese, or (with a little chilling) hot weather
    Alcohol: 13.5 ABV

    Comments: for the money this may be NW’s best value wine currently on the site. Being a fan of JC’s wines, this one exceeded my expectations. I am a devoted Oregon Pinot Noir drinker and always felt that the Cali versions were not quite as good. This wine is on par with some of the better mid-range Oregon Pinot Noirs currently available but at a much, much better price. I am buying more of this not so much to age, but rather to drink in the hot weather this summer and next,

    Right out of the bottle the nose was mild but intriguing as it said “taste me” (good advice) as the nose developed with the sensory stimuli of a mouthful of what to expect. I opened the bottle and tasted it, decanted it for an hour and then refilled the bottle. The aeration made a big difference in the in the flavor/acid balance and the wines depth. At this stage in its life, without air, this wine will come off as pretty one dimensional, but the depth is there and with a little coaxing right now will delight. A year more in the bottle and it will not need coaxing.

    I am always looking for wines that I can recommend to new (mostly sweet) wine drinkers that allow them to expand their palates and this one is definitely on the list. It is not a sweet wine by any definition, but has a load of fruit in the front of the mouth and the mild acidity really allow it to be enjoyed by a wide spectrum of palates.

    Well done JC!

    Like

  18. Poor Robert says:

    Date: August 13, 2016

    Wine: Stefano di Blasi IGT Toscana 2014
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Stephano di Blasi
    Price: $9.99 Angel Price, $19.99 Retail
    Rating: 4.0 Stars, 91 points Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Easy Drinking, Classic Tuscan
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees (F)
    Viscosity: Medium to Heavy
    Color: Plum to Garnet (Carmel edges)
    Nose: Complicated – Spice, Smoke, plum, Black Currant, Oak
    Taste: Leather, Tobacco Leaf, Cassis, Raspberry/Blackberry
    Acid: Medium to Heavy, but well balanced
    Tannins: Medium
    Finish: Tannins, Cassis and tart plum in the nostrils and in the throat
    Aging: Drink now with aeration, or hold up to five years
    Pairing: Pizza, Pasta marinara, Bar BQ pork or roasted red meat
    Alcohol: 13.5 ABV

    Comments: This is not a Super Tuscan, if that is what you are looking for, but it is definitely a Tuscan, with a lot of character. I classify this offering as an upscale table wine suitable for white table cloths or red and white gingham.

    I am a real fan of drinkable Italian wines and this one suits my palate very nicely. I described the nose as complicated, as right after uncorking, I got a lot of smoke, leather and spice but no sense of fruit (not even a hint). I decanted the wine and sniffed the decanter periodically and over the period of an hour the earthy leathery nose morphed into a characteristic Tuscan nose of plum, black currants and earthy spice. The first sip after decanting came off as fruit juice soaked cow hide (that’s good) and a very smooth flavor profile with a bit of raspberry/blackberry and Cassis presenting on the tip of the tongue with the leather, smoke and fruit developing in the mouth as it passed over my whole palate.

    Stefano did a really nice job crafting this wine for folks (emphasis added) who like a good bottle of Italian wine with a simple country style meal. I am not sure that I have ever had better in this class. I would feel comfortable drinking this wine out of a tumbler, Mason jar or a grand Riedel Chianti bowl. You decide how upscale you want to make it; I promise it works any way you serve it.

    Like

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