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
  65. Papa Star 2017

85 Responses to Wine Reviews

  1. Poor Robert says:

    Date: August 12, 2016

    Wine: 99 Barrels Santa Lucia Highlands Rose 2015
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Derek Rohlffs
    Price: $13.99 Angel Price, $23.99 Retail
    Rating: 4 Stars , 90 Points Wine Enthusiast Scale

    Style: Easy drinking, Sipper
    Serving Temp: 37 to 43 degrees (F)
    Viscosity: Light
    Color: Strawberry
    Nose: Strawberries, Vanilla, Honeysuckle
    Taste: Strawberries, hint of Gooseberry, Lemon
    Acid: Medium plus
    Tannins: None of note
    Finish: Long essence Strawberry Lemonade in the nostrils and back of the throat.
    Aging: Drinking well now should get better over the next year, but drink by 2019
    Pairing: Copper River Sockeye, by itself with conversation
    Alcohol: 13.5 ABV

    Comments: I am a dry Rose’ drinker so this wine suited me very well. The fruit in this wine hits you on the tip of the tongue and comes off as sweetish for an instant until the acidity kicks in and then it dries out and the refreshing acidity steps in front of the fruit for a wonderful mouth full of flavor. For a Rose’ it is surprisingly complex as the flavors swirl around in the mouth. I have a stock of this wine for sitting on the deck on summer evening and enjoying good company, good wine and great conversation. If you are a sweet wine drinker, this one will surprise you and may disappoint, but it is a great starter for expanding your palate before you dive into bigger meatier reds.


  2. Poor Robert says:

    Date: August 9, 2016

    Wine: Minervois+ 2015
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Benjamin Darnault
    Price: $11.99 Angel Price, $19.99 retail
    Rating: 4 Stars (91 points)

    Style: Easy Drinking/Classic
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees
    Viscosity: Medium Nice long lasting fingers
    Color: Garnet to Inky, but clear throughout
    Nose: Pepper, Black Current, Earth, Spice
    Taste: Dark Plum, Cassis, leather, mineral
    Acid: Medium to heavy
    Tannins: Medium
    Finish: Spice, Cassis and Tannins in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now with a little air or hold for up to five years
    Pairing: Brisket with Baked Beans and Sweet Potato
    Alcohol: 13%

    Comments: I am a big fan of Ben’s wines (all of them I can get my hands on) and this one didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Minervois is the first of his wines I tried and it was a real French classic blend. It has been consistent year over year. This offering however presents somewhat differently. I am not sure what he did with his vinting process, but this wine is much smoother right out of the bottle and actually required no aeration for me to enjoy it a lot on day one. It comes off as more fruit forward, but definitely dry with many interesting characteristics with significant aroma and taste profiles. I really believe that it will improve greatly over the next several years and I will stock enough of it in my cellar to make sure I can try it for each of the next five year.

    I would not recommend it to those who only like sweet wines, but for those sweet wine lover who want to expand their palates, the fruit in this one will allow you to stretch and enjoy it. I tried it over a period of three days and it improved each day telling me that it has some good aging possibilities. The depth of the nose and flavor profile were truly outstanding by the time I finished the bottle on day three.


  3. Poor Robert says:

    Date: August 5, 2016

    Wine: Boyer, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2015 Riesling
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Rick Boyer
    Price: $12.99 Angel Price, $22.99 Retail
    Rating: 4 Stars, 89 points Wine Enthusiast Standard

    Style: Sweet, Sipping, Easy Drinking
    Serving Temp: Ice Cold 37 to 40 degrees
    Viscosity: Light to Medium, sheets well in the glass
    Color: Straw
    Nose: Peach, Apricot and Honey
    Taste: Peach, Honey and Star Anise
    Acid: Medium
    Tannins: Medium
    Finish: Long warmth of tart Peaches
    Aging: Drink now or hold for up to 4 years
    Pairing: Spicy Asian, Yellow or Red Curry, or Sharp Cheese as an Aperitif.
    Alcohol: 12.5 ABV

    Comments: I am not a sweet wine drinker by nature, but I enjoyed this wine with some Stilton on Crackers. I rated this wine not or my palate, but rather from the perspective of a sweet wine drinker and its character as a Riesling. I still believe that this wine will benefit from another year in the cellar, as it has a hint of tartness (some may see it as bitter) in the finish and I believe that it will mellow with time and gain a smoother finish. As sweet Rieslings go this one is very well crafted and has a surprising depth to its flavor profile for it’s age.

    Rick knows his craft and has coaxed a really nice and surprisingly spritely wine for one that intended to be sweet. I would love to see what he could do with a Dry Riesling as it would be more to my style. This wine is a must buy for sweet wine drinkers and I predict it will not last on the shelf long. Get it while you can.


  4. Poor Robert says:

    Date: July 21, 2016

    Wine: Kimbao 2015 Pinot Noir
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Felipe Garcia & Constanza Schwaderer
    Price: Retail – $19.99. Angel Priced – $10.99
    Rating: Three (3) Stars, 83 Points WE Scale (has potential to get better)

    Style: Easy Drinking
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees
    Viscosity: Light to Medium with nice long fingers
    Color: Ruby
    Nose: Initially slight Red Plum and burned rubber, after aeration (significant) red plum and Black Currant
    Taste: Initially tart Red Plum and Black Currant, after aeration tartness reduces.
    Acid: Initially heavy, after aeration (significant) medium
    Tannins: Slight
    Finish: Slight tannic Red Plum
    Aging: Mandatory (3 to 5 years) unless you really like sour wine.
    Pairing: Copper River Sockeye Salmon, or Roast Herbed Pork
    Alcohol: 14.5 ABV

    Comments: This was a tough review to write as I am a huge fan of Chilean wines in general but Kimbao wines in particular. This wine was simply released too early for immediate drinking. My initial reaction colored my rating of this wine as it was simply not enjoyable. That said I realize it was young so I gave it a surgical aeration. I decanted it overnight and rebottled it and kept it in my cellar for a full seven days untouched. After reopening the rubber smell was gone and the fruit began to appear as prominent in both the nose and the taste. I actually enjoyed the rest of the bottle, but most importantly, I could see its potential if it is allowed to age and rest quietly. I will buy more of this wine because I am curious to see what bottle age does for it. It is not a wine I will buy for consumption in the next few years. All this said I am still of fan of the winemakers and their creativity.


  5. Poor Robert says:

    Date: May 3, 2016

    Wine: Brick and Mortar 2011 Pinot Noir, Napa Valley
    Producer: Brick and Mortar Winery
    Winemaker: Matt Iaconis
    Price: $44.00 retail (winery direct discount available)
    Rating: Four and one-half (4 ½ Stars), 92 WE rating method

    Style: Classic Pinot
    Serving Temp: 55 degrees F (chill to 45 if you like your Pinot cold)
    Viscosity: Medium
    Color: Dark Ruby to Garnet
    Nose: Cassis, Ripe Plum, Chokecherry
    Taste: Plum, Boysenberry, spice
    Acid: Medium but well balanced
    Tannins: Tannins Medium to Mild
    Finish: Tart plum and spice in the nostrils
    Aging: Aerate and drink now or hold (5-10 yrs)
    Pairing: Bar BQ Chicken or nothing at all
    Alcohol: 1 3.5 ABV

    Comments: Right out of the bottle, this wine seemed a bit one dimensional and lacking a lust for life. I aerated it for an hour and my, what a difference. By the end of the meal it had me by the heart. I finished the bottle over 5 more days and it continued to become more complex and adventurous with each passing day. I know this winemaker very well and with a 2011 vintage I expected it to be more mature out of the bottle, but Matt really made a keeper with this wine. I have several more bottles and I just checked his winery and it is still available. So I am up for another order.

    I confess that I am a big fan of GOOD Pinot Noir and this one is one of the nicer I’ve seen come out of California in a long while and ranks right up there with some of the best France or Oregon have to offer.


  6. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April 29, 2016

    Wine: Bruno 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Richard Bruno
    Price: $33.99 Retail, 19.99 Angel Price
    Rating: Four and one-half (4.5) Stars, 96 WE rating method

    Style: Classic
    Serving Temp: 55 Degrees
    Viscosity: Medium o heavy
    Color: Inky with Garnet Edges, clear throughout
    Nose: Cassis, Vanilla, Smoke,
    Taste: Cassis, Black Stone Fruit Tobacco, Chokecherry
    Acid: Medium to Heavy, really well balanced
    Tannins: Medium and smooth
    Finish: Tannins, stone fruit and tobacco in the nostrils
    Aging: Needs none, but will hold up for a good number of years
    Pairing: Pasta Bolognaise, Sharp Cheese and Dry salami
    Alcohol: 14.5 ABV

    Comments: I really enjoyed this wine which I found full of surprises. First reaction, low acid and sweet, second taste the acids there and it’s still fruity. Second I expected it to be tight and it was not. As a matter of fact it was perfectly balanced and really drinkable right out of the bottle. Third, I expected this wine to be really viscous and chewy, but it was not at all. This might be the only reason it is not a five (5) star wine as I like my reds chewable. That said it was wonderful with food and has a lot of character and personality that totally depends on the condition of your palate. Clean – It brightens, with food it mellows and changes to meet the last bite you took. It is not a cheap wine even at angel pricing, but it is worth far more than Richard priced this as retail. I call this a $50-$75 wine in any wine shop. I am buying several bottles of this wine and the next vintage to stash for a vertical tasting next year.

    SPECIAL NOTE: This is not a sweet wine, by any means, but if you are a sweet wine drinker, this is a must try wine for you. It has none of the sour/bitter characteristics that turn off most sweet wine drinkers. It is a perfect red to help your palate develop a taste for teds.


  7. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April 27, 2016

    Wine: Jacqueline Bahue Sauvignon Blanc 2015
    Producer: Naked Wines.
    Winemaker: Jacqueline Bahue.
    Price: $18.49 retail, Angel pricing $10.99.
    Rating: Four (4.5) stars, 93 WE rating standard.

    Style: Easy Drinking.
    Serving Temp: 40 to 45%.
    Viscosity: Light to Medium, nice sheeting.
    Color: Straw.
    Nose: Gooseberry, citrus.
    Taste: Gooseberry, Meyers Lemon, white grapefruit.
    Acid: Light to medium, well balanced.
    Tannins: Nonexistent.
    Finish: Soft warm Gooseberry in the nostrils.
    Aging: Drink now or hold not more than three (3) years.
    Pairing: None but would par well with salads and fish.
    Alcohol: 14.5% ABV

    Comments: I am generally not a fan of California Sauvignon Blancs, but this one totally surprised me with its flavor profile and layers of complexity. JB came through with this offering. It had sweet notes when poured right out of the bottle on opening, but day two (never made it to three) brought them down to my taste zone (sharp, crisp fruit) and added layers of flavors as the wine warmed. I am a buyer as long as this lasts and would put it up blind against the best from down under. It is a steal at retail, let alone angel pricing


  8. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April 24, 2016
    Wine: Katy Michaud 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Katy Michaud
    Price: $24.99
    Rating: Four (4) stars, 89 WE rating

    Style: Classic
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees F.
    Viscosity: Medium, nice fingers in the glass
    Color: Dark Garnet to Inky
    Nose: Cassis, black current, pepper, moist earth
    Taste: Dark stone fruit, current, pepper, tobacco
    Acid: Medium, to heavy
    Tannins: Heavy trending to Medium
    Finish: Dry, tannin up pepper in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now with lots of air or hold for five (5) or more years
    Pairing: Excellent with Stringy Pot Roast, or any red meat
    Alcohol: 14.5% ABV

    Comments: I tasted this wine over the period of five days, never evacuating air from what remained in the bottle. Day one it was very tight until it decanted for two hours and then it open up and began show its true character. It drank very nicely and paired well with a heavy meal. In time it will pair well with lighter meals but for now it really compliments big earthy flavors. I would drink this wine with any hearty stew or Cassoulet. Day five, it opened up really nicely right out of the bottle and its complexity began to show through. What I have left (three bottles) I will hold on to for a while and maybe as long as five years. I am not a big fan of most Washington Cabs as I find them young, light and generally overpriced for the quality, but Katy really nailed this one as having a solid foundation to be a big Cab, and priced it really, really well for its quality at this age. If this wine lasts five years in my cellar it will compare very well to any Cab from anywhere in the $100.00 retail price range. At NW Angel pricing it is an absolute steal at $13.99 and a smart buy even at retail $24.99


  9. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April 11, 2016
    Wine: 2013 Franc Dusak Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Franc Dusak
    Price: $27.99 retail
    Rating: 4 Stars, 89 WE rating method

    Style: Big, Bold and Contemporary
    Serving Temp: 55-65 degrees F
    Viscosity: Medium, nice fingers
    Color: Inky Garnet
    Nose: Dark Plum, Brandy, Spice, Tobacco, Pepper
    Taste: Tobacco, Pepper,
    Acid: Heavy
    Tannins: Significant
    Finish: Tannic, harsh Tobacco
    Aging: Decant a long time or hold for at least 3-5 years
    Pairing: Slab of Rear Red Meat
    Alcohol: 14.5% ABV
    Comments: This wine caught me off guard. Last year’s vintage came across as jammy, fruit forward and much more Zinfandelish. Not so this vintage which came across as tight, tart and very dry. I tasted this wine on three successive days to get a sense of the maturation potential (significant). Right out of the bottle (day one) the nose was hard to find. As the wine sat and opened up, the nose developed as did the taste. By day three, I really got into the wine (I am a dry wine guy) which stayed to the dry side, but the complexity really started to develop with many layers at the different stages of the tasting transition (tongue to palate). It is a definite keeper, and I would recommend it for those that like to age wine and see it develop. I don’t recommend it for the sweeter wine drinkers as it will never get to any semblance of sweet.

    This wine is exceptionally well crafted, and I suspect it came out just the way Franc wanted it. I’ll be cellaring my remaining stock for at least five years as It has the potential of becoming a real wow wine, but it needs time and rest to get there.


  10. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April, 6, 2016
    Wine: L’Atelier Du Sud, 2014 Pays d’Oc IGP
    Producer: WINC Buellton, Ca, AKA Club W (Product of France)
    Winemaker: Unknown
    Price: $13.00
    Rating: 3 Stars, (83 WE Rating)

    Style: Classic White Sauvignon Blanc
    Serving Temp: 40-45 degrees F
    Viscosity: Thin
    Color: Straw, Clear through-out
    Nose: Gooseberry, Citrus, Minerals
    Taste: Gooseberry, White Grapefruit, Grass
    Acid: Medium to Strong
    Tannins: None
    Finish: Tart Grapefruit, Bitter edge
    Aging: Definite hold for at least two years, up to five
    Pairing: Sipper, Salmon, Green or Caesar Salad
    Alcohol: 12% ABV
    Comments: This is a young wine and it will improve with a couple of years in the bottle. If you like your white wine tart and crisp, this may be a good buy for you. I question how much of the edge will come off with aging, but at this price, for me it is worth the gamble on a couple of bottles. It definitely improves with food, though it doesn’t compliment the food as much as the food compliments the wine.


  11. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April 5. 2016
    Wine: Karen Birmingham, 2015 Rose’ Lodi
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Karen Birmingham
    Price: $15.99
    Rating: 4.0 Stars (89 WE rating)

    Style: Simple, Sipper
    Serving Temp: 40-45 degrees F
    Viscosity: Light
    Color: Strawberry
    Nose: Gooseberry, Strawberry, Citrus
    Taste: Strawberry, Papya, Mango Orange Zest,
    Acid: Mild to Medium
    Tannins: Mild to Non-existent
    Finish: Licorice, Myers Lemon, short
    Aging: Drink Now
    Pairing: Dark Chocolate, Crisp Pears, Crème Brule
    Alcohol: 12% ABV

    Comments: I am not a big Rose’ fan unless they are bone dry (not many). This wine surprised me with a strong strawberry, tropical fruit front end that didn’t come off as overly sweet. I really enjoyed it right out of the bottle and the next day made little difference so it is a definite drink this summer sipper. My rating reflects, to a degree, my predilection for only really dry Rose’ wines. A fruity Rose’ aficionado would likely give this wine 4.5 to 5 Stars and a 92-95 WE rating. It is beautifully crafted to be exactly what it is and any fault in this rating is not with the wine or winemaker, but rather with the taster.


  12. Poor Robert says:

    Date: April 4, 2014
    Wine: The Cooper’s Art Sarah – Dry Creek Valley 2012
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Tim Olson
    Price: $12.99 (in 2013)
    Rating: Five Stars (96 WE Rating Standard)

    Style: Neo Classical
    Serving Temp: 55 degrees F
    Viscosity: Full bodied, Great fingers lasting a long time
    Color: Garnet to Ruby, Clear throughout
    Nose: Leather, Vanilla, Blackberry
    Taste: Very complex profile of Purple Plum, Blackberry, Smoke and Chocolate
    Acid: Mild to Medium
    Tannins: Medium to Light
    Finish: Pepper and fruit in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now or hold indefinitely
    Pairing: Red Meat, Sharp or Moldy (intended) Cheese, Dry Salami
    Alcohol: 14.5% ABV

    Comments: I love this wine, but in all honesty I have never met a Tim Olsen that I didn’t like. I will warn you that Tim uses extremely high quality Screw Cap Closures on most of his wines (a good thing) so don’t let that scare you away. This wine aged beautifully and its complexity follows right along. I have some of all his vintages of this wine cellared and plan to be drinking it for a good long time.


  13. Jeff says:

    Robert and I came across one another as “archangels” for Naked Wines. While we have never met (maybe one day I can entice him to visit me for a tour a California’s Central Coast wineries), I have been following his excellent reviews on his blog. I have since moved on to other wine loves and am grateful to Robert for providing me with a venue to share some thoughts. I have always been a Pinot Noir lover and since moving to Ventura County in California I discovered some fantastic wineries producing world class PN’s here thanks to the maritime climate. I guess if I paid attention when watching Sideways I would have realized I was moving within an hour of some of the best PN in the US.

    My first review is of a PN from one of my favorite wineries, :Laetitia, located in Arroyo Grande on the Central Coast. While Laetitia produces a wide assortment of reds, whites, and sparkling wines, it is their PN that has won them accolades.

    Date: March 7, 2016
    Wine: LAETITIA Black Label Pinot Noir (Clone 667) 2013 Arroyo Grande Valley
    Winemaker: Eric Hickey
    Price: $42/$29.40 Club

    I love this wine as it possesses all of the delicate traits of the pinot noir grape, but is deeply structured and has a strong personality. When first opening you will first notice its deep garnet color. The bouquet is a real mix of sweet- like cherry cola and smoky- kind of mushroomy (shitake?). The taste is fairly complex and balanced. There is a red raspberry taste that is complemented with a smokey/savory herbs. The wine is a terrific sipping wine with cheese, but also pairs well with any poultry, pork, or veal dish. It is strong enough to stand up to red meat but I think the meat might overwhelm and not do justice to this PN.

    The wine is aged in 100% French Oak Barrels for 10 months and is ready to drink now or you can lay it down for at least 5 years.


    • Poor Robert says:

      Thanks for the review. I love PN, but must confess that I am partial to Oregon over comparably priced California PN. That said I have consumed some absolutely awesome CPN. The review is now indexed and hyperlinked to the index.

      Keep them coming.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff says:

        I too love Willamette Valley PN’s, but have gotten spoiled by the easy access (for me) to the Central Coast of California PN’s. Hard to go wrong either way. If you ever come down to SoCal, I would love to share some of my favorites with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Poor Robert says:

    Date: March 6, 2016
    Wine: LABRIE Bordeaux Blanc Sec 2014
    Producer: Naked Wines
    Winemaker: Jonathan Maltus
    Price: $25.00 retail, $15.00 Naked Wine Price
    Rating: 4.5 Stars, 92 WE Scale

    Style: Classic
    Serving Temp: 45-55 degrees F
    Viscosity: Light, Refreshing
    Color: Lemon to Straw, crystal clear throughout
    Nose: Gooseberry, Peach, wet stones
    Taste: Green apple, licorice, lemon, grass
    Acid: Medium
    Tannins: Slight on the palate
    Finish: warmth (surprisingly some tannins), citrus, and tart green apple in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now or hold for up to three years
    Pairing: Chicken, moldy cheese, Pork, fresh fruit
    Alcohol: 12% by volume

    Comments: I loved this wine, partly because I really like this winemaker and his wonderful sense of what works with each batch he creates (or at least releases), and also because I really like dry white wines that don’t have heavy viscosity. This one was hard for me to describe in terms of nose and flavor as it changed over a period of a week. Right out of the bottle it came off as a pretty simple straight forward white wine, with not a lot to describe, but as it sat exposed to air, it really blossomed and developed real character with several layers of depth. I always need to remember that most Naked Wine are young and will develop with age. This wine really proved it. I have several more in the cellar where they will stay for at least a year.


  15. Poor Robert says:

    Date: February 28, 2016
    Wine: Torcido 2013 Grenache
    Producer: Twisted Oak Winery
    Winemaker: Jeff Stai
    Price: $39.00 Winery direct

    Style: Classic Iberian
    Serving Temp: 55 to 65 degrees F
    Viscosity: Big Bold, long legs, creamy
    Color: Light Garnet with Ruby edges
    Nose: Black Cherry, Smoke Espresso
    Taste: Cassis, Black Cherry, Espresso and Dark Chocolate
    Acid: Heavy to Medium – well balanced
    Tannins: Biggish
    Finish: Tannins with mocha in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now or hold for up to five years
    Pairing: Braised Pork Ribs, root vegetables, any red meat
    Alcohol: 14.9 by volume

    Comments: This is a big wine with a lot of character and interesting nuances, especially when pair with different foods. It changes character from sipping alone to providing a solid foundation for Pork and Beef. Braising or stewing really enhances the impact of this wine on food. This is one of my favorite wines from this winemaker. While all his stuff is produced in a classic style, this one is by far the most consistent, year over year. While it may seem a bit pricy, it is worth every penny of the price and then some. This wine compares to a like Grenache in a specialty wine shop at $75.00 to $100.00 per bottle. Only this wine is much better.


  16. Pingback: The Weekly Wine for February 19, 2016 | Poor Robert's (Wine) Almanac

  17. Poor Robert says:

    Date: February 19, 2016
    Wine: brick and mortar 2015 Rose’ of Pinot Noir
    Producer: brick and mortar winery
    Winemaker: Matt Iaconis
    Price: $22.00

    Style: Easy Drinking, A Sipper
    Serving Temp: 40 to 55 its good anywhere in between
    Viscosity: Light to Medium
    Color: Coral to bright Pink
    Nose: Plum, Lemon Zest,
    Taste: Plum, Cassis, and a hit of Apricot
    Acid: Medium
    Tannins: Negligible
    Finish: Acid and Apricot in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now or hold for a couple of year (why wait)
    Pairing: Sipper or pair with a sharp cheese or any red meat.
    Alcohol: 13.5 by volume

    Comments: See my Weekly wine for February 19, 2016. Otherwise I loved this wine. It will be my go to Rose’ as it lacks the sweetness of most. Matt is one of my favorite wine makers and he has a real style to his craft.


  18. Poor Robert says:

    February 5, 2016 Initial review and rating.
    Et Fille 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
    Producer — Et Fille Winery
    Winemakers — Howard Mozeico & Jessica Mozeico
    Price $24.00
    Rating 92

    Style — Classic Oregon Pinot Noir
    Serving Temp — 55 to 65 degrees is perfect
    Viscosity — Medium with nice fingers in the glass lasting a good long time
    Color — Ruby to Claret, clear throughout in the glass with sparkle around the edges
    Nose – Blackberries, Currents, Boysenberry and Earth
    Taste – Black and Red Berries with spice and herbs
    Acid — Medium, nicely balanced
    Tannins — Medium, will mellow with age
    Finish – Cassis and tannins in the nostrils
    Aging — Decant and drink this wine now or age up to five year
    Pairing – I paired this wine with curried Chicken, steamed Asparagus, and Balsamic dressed Green Salad. The Pairing worked very well as the wine cooled the spicy palate of the food and the food brought out the herbaceous nature of this lovely wine.

    Comments – This wine is the bottom end of the current Et Fille Pinot Noir selection, but by no means does it taste like the bottom end of anything. It is a nicely balanced Pinot Noir that has a place at the finest table. I tasted this wine, decanted it for an hour, tasted again, rebottled, and tasted again for each of the next several days. It came off a tiny bit over tannic right from the bottle, but balanced out nicely after decanting and continued to blossom and open up each tasting thereafter. Even as a 2012 it has a lot of shelf life left in it if cellared properly. I look forward to tasting and reviewing the other Et Fille Pinot Noir offerings later this year.


  19. Poor Robert says:

    Review Date: February 12, 2016
    Wine: Miriam Alexandra 2014 California Chenin Blanc
    Producer: Naked wines
    Winemaker: Alexandra Faber
    Price: $8.99

    Style: Easy Drinking White
    Serving Temp: 45 to 50 degrees (F)
    Viscosity: Light, nice sheeting in the glass
    Color: Straw and clear throughout
    Nose: Gentle, citrus, peach, floral
    Taste: Stone Fruit, strawberry, lemon
    Acid: Mild but nicely balanced
    Tannins: Mild
    Finish: Peach and lemon in the nostrils
    Aging: Drink now or hold for up to three years
    Pairing: Mild white fish, chocolate (dark)
    Alcohol: 12.5 (ABV)

    Comments: A wonderful crisp semi-dry white wine with great fruit. Surprisingly fruity without being sweet. I really like this wine for a hot summer sipper on the deck, at the lake or by the pool. On the other hand it compliments just about any white or pink fish if they are not over seasoned or over sauced. At the price they are charging for this wine it is a steal and who can argue with a really quality wine for under $110.00 a case delivered to your door.


  20. Poor Robert says:

    January 29, 2016
    Daryl Rex Groom DRG 2013 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
    Producer — Naked
    Winemaker — Daryl Rex Groom
    Price point — $15.00 if you can find it
    This wine has really gone from very good to great with a year to rest.
    Style — Classic – French Style Chardonnay
    Serving Temp — 40 degrees is perfect, with lovely flavor changes as the wine warms
    Viscosity — Medium with sheeting in the glass lasting a good long time
    Color — Straw to light golden, clear throughout in the glass with sparkle around the edges
    Nose – Floral, citrus, musty
    Taste – Light citrus, apricot, green apple
    Acid — medium, nicely balanced
    Tannins — light and mellow
    Finish – Green apple in the nostrils
    Aging — Drink this wine now or hold for another year or so
    Pairing – I paired this wine with a spicy Indian apple and curry served over rice with green peas. The pair worked nicely but frankly this wine could be sipped before or after dinner on its own
    Comments – I really loved this wine when it first came out and it is even better now. It has mellowed a little and while it stands up to food well it is now just great as a sipper. I have loved all of Daryl’s wines, but this one is special as it remains one of the few American Chardonnays I really love.


  21. rminto says:

    March 24, 2015 Initial review and rating.
    F. Stephen Millier Angel Reserve Red Angel – Calaveras County Red Wine
    Producer — Naked
    Winemaker — F. Stephen Millier

    This wine really deserves its “Reserve” label. If I didn’t know better I would believe that I was drinking a first class Bordeaux. This is one for the ages.

    Style — Classic – Bordeaux style blend
    Serving Temp — 65 degrees is perfect
    Viscosity — Big bold fingers in the glass lasting a good long time
    Color — Deep Garnet, clear throughout in the glass with sparkle around the edges
    Nose – No flowers or fruit, just pepper, cinnamon, tomato
    Taste – Pepper, moist earth, Cassis, complex unidentifiable (youth) notes
    Acid — Big and bold, nicely balanced
    Tannins — Bold and heavy, will mellow with age
    Finish – Cassis and tannins in the nostrils
    Aging — Drink this wine now with decanting if you like really bold wines. This wine comes Tannins forward without air but mellows within half an hour in a decanter or a glass. It will age well for up to 10 years.
    Pairing – I paired this wine with Meat Balls and Pasta Marinara, steamed Asparagus, and Balsamic dressed Green Salad. The wine was the class of the meal and lead the way throughout the entire repast. No conflicts on either side of this meal.

    Comments – I didn’t expect a wine this big for a blend, but I guess I should have given the Reserve Labeling. I don’t have a clue as to what Stephen blended here outside really good Cabernet Savignon, but it could well be a Meritage. It is certainly in the classic Bordeaux style with big bold acidity, great balance to the tannins (right now with air) and a finish that is minerally and superbly sharp and dry. I think I am going to begin calling Stephen “St. Stephen” as he certainly is a miracle worker when it comes to blending and vinting wines.

    This wine is a steal at $13.99, and we should all be arrested for buying at this wine at this price. It would be a steal at $50.00 a bottle (seriously) I know that NW is all about opportunity and creating value in both directions, but this one is over balance in favor of the angels. I’m buying another wine cellar so I can get a bunch of this great wine. This one is old style dry and it will not last.

    It has been fun to watch Stephen blossom in his own winemaking style without the constraints of a single vineyard plot or a style to achieve year after year. His offerings Through Naked Wines have been special, cheap (price only) and as diverse as I’ve seen from a NW winemaker.. This one is his best so far and I absolutely love his last Cab. I can’t wait for the


  22. rminto says:

    Jim Olsen and Tom Shula Pickberry Merlot 2013

    This wine was made just for me!! The rest of you won’t like it at all (sigh — I wish). Jim and Tom produced a really classic old style Merlot with just enough fruit up front to tell it’s made of grapes, but my oh my does it have a perfect acid – tannin balance to make it really Euro Merlot in style.

    Producer — Naked
    Winemakers Jim Olsen and Tom Shula
    Style– Classic Merlot
    Serving Temp — 65 degrees is perfect
    Viscosity — Big bold fingers in the glass lasting eternally
    Color — Deep Garnet, clear throughout in the glass
    Nose — Floral, strawberry jam, touch of smoke
    Taste — Black stone fruit, Cassis, earth
    Acid — Big and bold, just the way I like it.
    Tannins — Bold and heavy, just the way I like it
    Finish — plum and tannins in the nostrils
    Rating — 95 using Wine Enthusiast standards
    Aging — Drink this wine now with our decanting if you like really bold wines, decant if you prefer them softer. This wine will age well for up to 10 years
    Pairing — I didn’t pair this wine but rather drank it by a warm fire as simply a sipper to enjoy for it’s own character without interference from food. If you must pair it, do with a huge (thick) Rib Eye or Kobe Filet.

    Comments — This wine surprised me a lot, not because of who made it but rather that it was such a big bold Merlot. It was a real wow!! It is definitely not a wine for sweet wine drinkers, unless it is given a ton of air, as the Tannins make this wine and it’s fruit come off as tart, not sweet right out of the bottle. It mellows a lot on days two and three, but it is still not a sweet wine. The tannins do mellow and the tartness subsides but never disappears.

    This wine is in the mid-price range for NW at $15.99, but it is worth every penny and then some. I will be getting at least a case of this wine ( half to drink now and half to age) as it is just what I asked for when I wondered why the recent NW California offerings were so fruit forward. This is a big red lovers dream and is made for a Steakhouse dinner and cigar kind of evening.

    I believe that this is Tom Shula’ maiden voyage as a winemaker and I realize that he had the Maestro, Jim Olson along for the ride and has his fellow traveler in this creation. He certainly showed that he can learn from the master and the master showed he can teach. I can’t wait to see what Jim and Tom (individually or together) bring to NW next.


  23. rminto says:

    S+A Portuguese-Style Red Wine Amador County 2013

    I love this wine, but I pretty much love every thing “the Ladies” (my new handle for Sarah and Ana) produce. It just shows what collaborative creativity in nurturing a wine can bring to the table as opposed to vats and barrels of production wines.

    Producer — Naked Wines — Kenwood CA
    Origins — Gapes — Amador County, CA; Vinification — Kenwood, CA
    Winemaker — Sarah and Ana
    Distribution — online
    Style — Easy Drinking now, Classic Potential
    Color — Deep Rubyt in the glass and clear throughout
    Nose — Stewed Plums, black cherry, tobacco, wet earth
    Taste — Ripe plum, tobacco, hit of peat
    Viscosity — Medium to big w/legs and sheeting on the glass
    Aging — drink now without aeration or decanting and cellar for 5 to 10 years
    Acidity — Medium
    Tannins — Medium
    Finish — Long finish big tannins and plum jam
    Pairing — I sipped this wine before dinner and enjoyed it without any food. It is a great winter warmer. The wine also paired really well with grilled ham steak, green beans, and a Romaine vinaigrette salad. This wine is AC/DC with or without food, you decide. It holds its own with food and really brings out subtle flavors of herbs used in cooking.

    Comments: This wine drinks really well young and still shows a lot of interesting characteristics. I am aging some of this batch because I see hints of greatness that only time in the bottle will educe. I’ll tell you that at this price two cases may be in my future as it makes such a great sipping wine and I really want to see what the Ladies have wrought as this wine matures, and count on it, it will.

    By the way my “the Ladies” handle for Sarah and Ana comes from my love of the two mountains known as the “Sisters” which stand majestic over rural valleys that appear so tranquil, yet bold. It reminds me of how I feel when I drink the Ladies wines (especially their reds). I can’t wait until the next batch come out so I can see what next great adventure the Ladies have in store for the angels.


  24. rminto says:

    Franc Dusak Red Wine Sonoma County 2013

    This wine is very young but has great potential to be come a real big complex wine with really deep flavors.
    Producer — Naked Wines — Kenwood CA
    Origins — Gapes — Sonoma, CA; Vinification — Kenwood, CA
    Winemaker — Franc Dusak
    Distribution — online
    Pricing — Angels — $14.95, Retail — $25.99
    Style — Classic, just not yet
    Color — Deep Garnet in the glass and clear throughout
    Nose — White pepper, black cherry, vanilla, alcohol
    Taste — Black cherry, espresso, white pepper
    Viscosity — Thin, legs and sheeting on the glass when swirled
    Aging — Aerate or decant now and cellar for 3 to 10 years
    Acidity — Medium
    Tannins — Medium to big
    Finish — Long finish big tannins and espresso, little fruit
    Pairing — I sipped this wine before dinner and enjoyed a bit of stilton on crisp Bartlett pear. It was great and actually brought out some complexity in the wine. The wine also paired really well with classic Lasagna, and a Romaine vinaigrette salad. Food really brings this wine alive after aeration.

    Comments: This wine has really good bones, but it is a bit young and in my opinion still very moody. The individual palate and different situations; food, no food, sweets, aeration, decanting, cigars will all provide a different experience. In my tasting notes I called this wine thin and right now I believe that, but with a bit more bottle age, I think it will likely go from thin to big and develop a lot more body and complexity If you are in the mood for a nice easy drinking not complicated wine, with a little air this wine will deliver. If you want a Classic Red with an interesting character, give it a little time to grow up. I have several more bottles of this wine and I will be letting them gather dust in the cellar for at least a year (probably two or three) because I like the complex classic style and NW has plenty of easy drinking reds that don’t have the potential that Franc bred into this Besides I really want to see what it’s future holds.


  25. rminto says:

    La Voute — Chardonnay (2011):

    Producer — Chai Vineyards
    Origins — France — four separate vineyards blended
    Wine Maker — Mark Hoddy
    Style — Classic French Chardonnay
    Aging — Drink near term
    Distribution — Wines stores and Supermarkets and On-line from Lionstone Distributing (
    Price Point — At retail $18.00 — Discounters $13.00 — Restaurant ($30 – $40)
    Color — Golden in the glass and clear throughout
    Viscosity — Medium with really long sheeting in the glass
    Nose — Honey, oak, applesauce
    Taste — Fruit forward — Honey and Apple
    Acid — Medium and nicely balanced to the fruit
    Tannins — Nil
    Finish — Long — tart apple and honey in the nostrils
    Pairing — Pan Grilled herbed Cod Filet, Snow Peas, Spaghetti Squash, fresh peach pie
    Rating — 92 based on Wine Enthusiast standards

    Comment — A very nice non-buttery Chardonnay with well balanced fruit and acids. Fresh juicy and refreshing when chilled, becoming more acidic as it warms, bring out the sour aspects of the fruit. If you can find this wine still, it is a should buy and try wine.


  26. rminto says:

    E. Gordon California Red Wine

    Producer — Naked Wines
    Winemaker — E. Gordon

    This wine lives up to the winemakers promise (back of the bottle) to mix the art and science of winemaking in this creation. It demonstrates a great winemaking tradition with some newer techniques to produce a Boldish Red that honors the past (bold and earthy) and the taste of todays palate (bright fruit).

    Color — Garnett tending to Ruby
    Nose — Raspberries, vanilla, smoke, mustard and wet soil
    Taste — Raspberries, vanilla, ripe plum, Carolina BBQ
    Texture — Nice full body with long legs in the glass
    Acids — Mild to Medium
    Tannins — Medium and long
    Finish — Medium
    Aging — Drink now an for the next four years
    Aeration — You can but I don’t think it needs it.
    Pairing — This was my Superbowl wine and I paired it with marinara pasta bites, hot wines and green salad and an amazing finish to a great football game. It didn’t change with the acidity of the food at all or the bad taste of a Seahawk loss It really enhanced the sauce on both the marinara and the hot wings. boosting some of the more subtle spices in both.

    Comments — I loved this wine from the fist blast of Raspberry when I put my nose in the bottle. It is a mysterious blend of grapes as I can’t really identify any specific one as being dominant. I suspect that this wine will get bigger and lose a bit (not to much) of it’s fruit forward character with some age. It had a vinegar based BBQ taste hiding behind the fruit that leads me to that conclusion, and I am excited to try it when it get a couple of years under it’s belt.

    I remember E. Gordon’s wines just selling out when I first became an angel. I loved his white (Viognier, I believe) and am really happy to see his wines back on the menu. I’ll be stocking up on this wine for crowd pleasing dinners or those occasions when I just feel like I’m worth it. This is definitely a steal at $13.99. E. Gordon — Thanks for the memories and I hope we can make many more over the years.


  27. rminto says:

    Franc Dusak White Wine Mendocino 2014
    Producer — Naked Wines
    Winemaker — Franc Dusak

    This is a very nice but not characteristic Sauvignon Blanc and presented a complete tasting surprise..

    Character — Soft smooth and slightly sweet.
    Serving Temp — chilled to 45 degrees, 60 degrees for tart
    Color — Straw, clear throughout
    Nose — Floral, pear jam, green apple
    Taste — Green apple, pear and a hint of Gooseberry
    Acid — Very mild. the acidity increases as the wine warms
    Tannins — Minimal
    Finish — Pear jam with a mild tartness in the nostrils
    Aging — Drink this wine in the near term
    Rating — 92 using Wine Enthusiast Standards
    Pairing — I didn’t pair this wine but rather drank it as an aperitif. Simply a sipper to enjoy for it’s own character without interference from food. If you must pair it, do so with spicy foods, curries, Tex/mex, or Szechwan.

    Comments — This wine surprised me a lot and pleasantly I might add. It had none of the citrus or pine that one expects from a Sauvignon Blanc, but rather hit me right between the eyes with a jammy tart/sweet nose and taste that just said savor me! I am not a sweet white fan, but this one is on the sweet side and one that I will stock for sipping in the winter or as a desert wine after dinner as it was reminiscent of a very young Sauterne with out the syrupy texture.

    Franc produced a truly delightful wine and one that even Big Red Lovers (that’s me) can savor and enjoy on those occasions when port and cigars or big reds don’t make the evenings hit parade. I am really looking forward to seeing what this winemaker does with other varietals.


  28. rminto says:

    Daryl Rex Groom Dry Creek Zinfandel 2013
    Producer — Naked Wines
    Wine Maker — Daryl Rex Groom

    I believe that this wine is still to young to rate so I am choosing to order more and wait for at least six months before I do a formal rating. I think it has real potential, but right now it is very tight and even a lot of air (bottle open half full un-corked overnight) didn’t help much.

    Second tasting (same bottle after 5 days in the cellar capped but not evacuated.) This wine is just beginning to open up with the tannins receding but the acids (sour) rising due to the oxygen’s influence. The Character and the flavors are growing and this second effort has convinced me that I am right about the aging. I will give this wine another 6months and try it again. Until then unopened bottles will rest quietly in the cellar. I am really excited about the future of this wine.


  29. rminto says:

    Arabella Chenin Blanc 2013

    This wine is still very young, but shows a lot of potential. it provides an intriguing opportunity for significant change in the very short run

    Color — Straw — tinge of green
    Nose — Floral, Strawberry, hint of Tomato
    Taste — Sour fruit forward Peach, Pear and Strawberry
    Consistency — Very light – sheets the glass without legs
    Acids — Light to Medium, but balanced to the fruit
    Tannins — Medium
    Finish — Tannin and Peach – medium in length and pleasant
    Aging — definitely a year or two
    Rating — 89 using Wine Enthusiast standards
    Pairing — Great summer sipper, pairs well with sharp cheese, blue cheese and fresh pears and tart apples. Tonight we paired this wine with a penne pesto primavera and green salad. It paired well and really accented the subtle basil flavor of the sauce. It also stood up to the garlic

    Comments: It is my taste, but this is a wine needs to age at least year in the bottle. Much of the potential complexity of this wine is still hard to find. It drinks really well right now as a beverage, but a little time will turn it into a very enjoyable wine experience. I am a fan of this winemaker and he makes wine with a longer than average life expectancy. This one will only get better for the next couple of years and I think peak in three to four. I will be buying this wine to hold for the future but it is a definite steal at this price if you have the patience to wait a year to get your full value.


  30. rminto says:

    Ghost Pines — Cabernet Sauvignon (2012):

    Producer — Louis Martini Family
    Origins — Ghost Pines Vineyard — Eastern Napa Valley
    Style — Big easy drinking
    Distribution — Wines stores and Supermarkets
    Price Point — At retail $20.00 — Discounters $17.00 — Restaurant ($35 – $45)
    Color — Garnet to Purple in the glass and clear throughout
    Viscosity — firm with really long legs in the glass
    Nose — Plum, pepper, blackberry
    Taste — Fruit forward — plum (ripe to prune), bit of Cherry, and Black Berries
    Acid — Medium and nicely balanced to the fruit
    Tannins — Medium
    Finish — Long — plum with nice tannins in the nostrils
    Rating — 88 using Wine Enthusiast Standards
    Pairing — Filet Mignon pan grilled and oven finished, steamed asparagus, seared scallops,

    Comment — This wine was a nice surprise, as I have never been a Louis Martini fan (too much jug Martini Chianti in my youth). For a retail wine it came off really well before the meal and did a really nice job of enhancing both the Filet and the Scallops subtle and herbal flavors. It was not in the slightest intimidated by the bold seasoning on the Filet or the heat of the Aioli served with the scallops.

    I would buy it again.


  31. Pingback: Randall Grahm’s Caviste Volant “The Sisters” 2013 | Rebecca Gomez Farrell

  32. Anna Dunn says:

    Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Would happily buy/drink again
    Should be widely available at wine stores or higher end grocers, around the $20-25 mark

    This California wine is a blend of 82% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 6% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot.

    In the glass, it was a very dark, dense red color – as a big red girl, this is a beautiful sight for me. On the nose, it is very fruity with a bit of a sharp edge, maybe from the alcohol (13.5% alcohol by volume in this wine). Cherry is predominant. There are also hints of cocoa, spice, and a little vanilla.

    The taste was much softer and less tannic than I expected from the nose and from the dark color of the wine. On the second sip, started noticing the tannins at the back of the mouth. It wasn’t as fruity as the nose suggests, but there was a nice finish of plum. Not a classic big red.

    Overall, this was a very smooth drinking wine with a fruity nose and a much more subtle taste. Well priced at around $20, I would drink this again.


  33. rminto says:

    Semilla — The Playground – Red Wine (Lodi 2012)
    Rating: Outstanding wine, really great value
    Source: hppt://

    This is a really fun wine with a lot of sex appeal for a red summer sipper or a BBQ supper. First off I am a fan of Jessica’s wine making style. She is all about making it fun, interesting and has a great value based philosophy. In making wine she and her husband not only create wine, but also strive to have the wine make the world a better place. I know, what does having a social conscience have to do with the creation of wine and its taste: Actually a lot, when you think about how a wine can enhance awareness of issues and how the use of proceeds for good works can move mankind forward in a positive way.

    Okay now to the review. I really loved this wine, it came off as spritely and really energetic. Right out of the bottle I seemed a bit closed with a faint Raspberry nose, but really effervescent. I followed the instructions on the wines home page and decanted it for about an hour (actually half an hour because I decanted it through my Soiree to speed the process. After letting it rest and open up for the recommended time, the effervescence subsided but didn’t completely disappear (part of it’s spritely charm) it presented a sensational seed fruit nose with a lot of raspberry up front with blackberry and boysenberry following. The taste to the tip of the tongue brought all the berry to the front and the slight effervescence made it a spectacular first impression. Slipping it to the side of the tongue the acid appeared but not a lot and the fruitiness of this wine balanced strongly against the acidity. The swallow brought a little (very little tannin) forward and the waft to the nostrils created a really refreshing fruity finish that had a lot of staying power. This wine really makes tasting a lot of fun.

    Tonight I paired this wine with Hawaiian Imu Pork (pulled pork with cabbage, pink Hawaiian Sea Salt and smoke) and it paired fabulously. the saltiness of the pork really focused the fruit in this wine and the wine balanced the smoke perfectly. I really think that this wine pairs well with any white meat and lamb. I am guessing that a big slab of rare steak might overwhelm the fruit forward, slightly dry character of this wine.

    ONE NOTE OF CAUTION: the bottle I open had some significant tartaric acid crystals in the bottle (see my blog on wine sediment at for a discussion of this sort of sediment) which in no way negatively impacted my wine experience. I recommend checking you bottle against a strong light and if these crystals in you glass bother you (not me — just part of the wine experience) filter it as you decant it.

    This wine will not be in inventory at NW much longer and if you have not gotten a bottle or a case, you might want to hurry.. This winemaker really has earned her stripes with this playful wine and know how to make some way serious wines. This is just an example of what she can and has done. Well done Jessica!


  34. Carol says:

    Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz 2010
    Rating: Really nice wine, Good Value
    Source: On line and in Markets

    I purchase my wine mostly from but recently gambled with another wine venue, Underground cellar. Though the prices are higher and it is a gamble, the wines are not as young and are ready to drink. Tonight we enjoyed Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz, 2010, a Padthaway South Austrialian Shiraz! My unrefined palate gets a beautiful nose of smokiness or maybe toast loaded with butter and cinnamon. On the palate I get a nice spicy black cherry and yes a hint of violet and a bit of brown sugar. Though this wine is not sweet it is nicely thick with legs that go on, not too high on the tannins and so ready to drink right out of the bottle…very smooth and tasty! A great wine for any red lover and may possibly be an intro to reds for a white lover! What??? A Shiraz for a white lover…I say yes! I’m glad I somehow have another bottle in my cellar! Though the finish was not as long as I like I really enjoyed this wine I got from Underground Cellar. If not for my naked wine fixation I would purchase this wine again in a heart beat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • rminto says:

      Carol — Great review. I’ve had this wine (different vintage) and liked it a lot. You have a really fluid style in your reviews, I hope you will post more as you and Michael claw your way through your combined wine stash.


  35. k1reynolds says:

    Twisted Oak *%#&@! (Yes, that’s the name.)
    Varietal: Rhone Blend
    Appelation: Calaveras County (Sierra Foothills)
    Rating: Very good, 8.9/10. Retail $19, or $15.20 for club members – Would buy again

    A racy spin on the GSM blend, this one is actually MSG: 61% Mourvedre, 22% Syrah, and 17% Grenache.

    And I mean racy in more ways than one! From the back label:

    “Sounds like Cluck, pairs with Duck – what more can we say without gettin’ keelhauled and sent to walk the plank? We can say that this Rhône-style blend of Mourvedre, Syrah, and Grenache is a veritable broadside of aromas and flavors. Just the thing to “splice the mainbrace”, if you know what we mean.”

    This is a full bodied red with lots of complexity. The color is deep garnet and a swirl in the glass produces long, lingering legs. On the nose there is blackberry, black cherry and cedar.

    How can one’s mouth water when it is filled with liquid? I don’t know, but this wine makes it happen! This is a juicy, delicious blend of blackberry, cherry, and cedar, with layers of leather and tobacco smoke. There is warm spice as the wine rolls across the tongue and down the throat, with firm, chewy tannins resolving in a delightfully dry finish.

    I had this alone as an evening sipper, and it was wonderful. With the high tannins and full body, this wine will pair famously with a well marbled steak, or any other rich food.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rminto says:

      Great Review! I’ll see If I can find a bottle locally and give it a try.


    • Carol says:

      So agree with your review! Have a couple of bottles on the way! And what a clucking fun site to venture upon,! Have you tried the Viognier yet? It will have you singing about a tasteful trip for days!


  36. rminto says:

    Barbara contributed this review in response to my blog post on the new index for this page, so I copied it, moved it and indexed it for her

    Bogle Cabernet
    Rating: Very good wine, Great Value
    Source: Local Supermarket or Wine Shop

    I’m not very good with all the flowery comments about reviews, but this wine is very meaty in the mouth. Great color and good fruit on the palate. Nice clean finish. It’s very reasonably priced. Don’t know how they can produce this good a wine for the cost of a bottle. Should be $30 or more IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. rminto says:

    JC van Staden — Vermentino 2013
    Rating: Excellent sipping wine, Good value

    JC produced a wonderful light, crisp, bright and floral summer wine. The nose presented peony, lilac, pineapple and gooseberry notes with an initial taste to the tip of the tongue of pineapple pear and nectarine. The slip to the side of the tongue brought out a light and gentle acid that balanced and actually enhance the stoniness of this wine. As it moved to the back of the tongue and into the throat, it produce no tannins and the fruit/acid balance carried a warm pear/pineapple jam sensation to the nostrils and a nice medium finish that I found really pleasant and satisfying.

    I paired this lovely wine with chicken and pepper kabobs and a tomato vinaigrette green salad with a lovely egg and golden raisin custard to end the meal. The wine came off really playful with this pairing as it changed up with each of the different flavors and textures. The acids came up to meet the seared chicken and slid back down for the somewhat spicy peppers. It played a cooling role with the pepper spice that even milk can’t do with pepper heat. It really brought out the fruitiness of the golden raisins and added its own pineapple notes to the custard itself.

    This wine is a real winner and one that should be consumed this summer as I am sure that JC will have another just as good on it’s heels to continue his marvelous wine tale which so far presented several graphic chapters bouncing from red to red and now to white and back my next bottle, his (back to red) Malbec which I will review later this week.


  38. rminto says:

    Lestonnat Bordeaux Superieur 2012
    Rating: Truly Remarkable Wine, at $13.99 an absolute steal

    Joost Villebois really outdid himself with this wine. It is very complicated and really required a whole evening for me to be able to get my arms around how to write this review. First off it is really young so if you try it right out of the bottle you will miss all this wine can be. At $13.99 a bottle this wines is an absolute steal, so I am buying a case (maybe two) and burying it in the back of my cellar not to see the light of day for at least a year and probably two. By then it will have developed some of this wine’s potential complexity. For right now if you want to skip right to what it will be like (without the complexity) in two years, pour it into a flat bottomed decanter and forget it for two hours at least. It will open up for you nicely by then. If you are into the development of this wine splash a little in a big Cabernet Bowl and taste it right out of the bottle, then decant it and taste it several time during the two hour wait. In point of fact this wine’s so young and I am so impatient, that I actually aerated it with my Soiree right into the decanter to speed the process up.

    So here goes with the review. This wine has a relatively low alcohol content and 12.5% for a big red wine, but this is one of the most interesting thing about Bordeaux wines. The French have a way of blending and fermenting Bordeaux so that they focus on the flavor and viscosity rather than the buzz and they make a really drinkable wine that you can actually drink a fair amount of without losing your edge. I frankly like that. This wine is a great example of why Bordeaux hold it popularity, and when it matures a bit it will be big, bold and full of flavor with little or no aeration.

    The nose right out of the bottle brought coffee, smoke, aged tobacco, sweet Cherry and Cassis notes. The viscosity of this wine amazed me as young as it is. A swirl of the glass produced legs down the sides that stood up for ten minutes and still had not fully subsided. That is a big as any Naked Wine I?ve tasted. The initial taste on the tip of the tongue presented coffee and smoke and little fruit together with surprising tannins. At half an hour of air the fruit started to blossom and I got a little Cassis, tart plum, and the tannins had subsided on the tip of the tongue. At an hour a hint of Vanilla started to show through in both the nose and the taste on the tip of the tongue. If that?s not confusing enough, the nose presented a faint worcestershire essence (a first for me) The tannins on the tip of the tongue are now gone and all I sensed was a smooth acidity. At two hours I started the full tasting . The nose still had smoke and coffee blended with French Vanilla (really creamy and rich) with fruit coming to the front. The initial taste to the tip of the tongue produced stone fruit (plums and prunes) blended into an vanilla Americano that really pleased me. In fact I gulped the first sip and rinsed my mouth so I could do it again just to check. Same result and when slipped to the side of the tongue the acidity rose up to produce a wonderful balance a tart and fruit. The swallow produced medium tannins (as opposed to really prominent on the initial taste out of the bottle) that left a very pleasing sense of astringency on the tongue and in the throat. The waft to the nostrils carried the vanilla americano forward and the finish was long and very satisfying.

    I paired this wine with a Thyme, freshly ground Sea Salt, and fine black pepper rubbed two inch Filet Mignon charr grilled to rare/medium rare. I added crispy grilled Brussel Sprouts, fresh cantaloupe wedges and a salad of freshly picked Deers tongue and Speckled Trout greens with slivered Kohlrabi and spicy radishes. This is a classic pairing for a Bordeaux and it didn’t disappoint. With the wine opening up it really brought out the earthiness of the meat, the charr on the brussel sprouts. The rare meat quenched a bit of the acidity and brought out the great blend of the Cab and Merlot Joost sought to achieve with this reverse blend Bordeaux (more Merlot, less Cab). I did finish the meal with a glass of Jim Olsen’s Dessert Wine which has been decanted (stoppered) for almost four months (still holding) and it was a perfect finish to this great meal and wonderful wine.

    This is one of the more complicated wines Naked Wine has offered. Its potential seems to me to be beyond limit and I really believe that this may well be a Vin de Garde that could hold for decades and only get better over time. Joost produced a stupendous wine that with proper care can be consumed right now and enjoyed but has the foundation to stand the test of time and become a truly Superior Bordeaux (as the label states) . If you like Bordeaux and I really do, this is a “Case Purchase” wine, even if you need to buy a second wine cellar in order to store it properly. I certainly would not hold this wine at summer room temperatures if you plan to hold it for the long haul. It deserves to be treated as an honored guest in the cellar. While very different wines with very different care requirements, this wine and Ken Deis ?Sneak Peak? Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 have risen to the top of my “Big Wine” favorites list. Joost — this will be a really tough act to follow, but I look forward to seeing you try.


  39. rminto says:

    Randall Grahm The Sisters White Wine Central Coast 2013
    Rating: Outstanding Dry Summer Sipper, Super Value

    This is not a wine for sweet wine drinkers and the fact that it is 45% Riesling should not make you think otherwise. For those that really like a dry Riesling made in the German style this is a must have wine.

    I find this wine remarkable in many different ways. First it has an effervescence when first poured and a first taste that just screams “Champaign”. next it has such a unique flavor profile that just makes it fun to drink with the Albarino just hiding the Riesling and visa versa. It is a teaser. Lastly it has a freshness that makes it perfect with lightly prepared seafood. A wine for good greasy old fashioned fish and chips it’s not, but as I paired it with seared Scallops cooked on the medium rare side it is perfect, and in my minds eye I can taste it with crab stuffed dover sole or poached flounder. It makes my mouth water just thinking about the great pairing options for this whimsical light wine.

    The initial nose was almost Hard Ciderish, with lots of green apple and touch of green pear. The initial taste carries the apples and a tiny bit of Gooseberry. This wine begs to be chilled down before opening. I kept in Cellared at 55 degrees and after the first taste I put in a chiller to get in in the mid 40s. It was perfect. As the wine sits in the glass a while the pear rises up in the nose, but never appears on the tongue. The acids on the side of the tongue are solid and balance the fruit to keep the wine crisp even as it warms in the glass. The swallow warms the throat and nostrils with the same great warmth of a sparkling wine.

    I would love this wine with a good 60% cocoa chocolate dipped Strawberry or a rich strong hard cheese as an appetizer or after a meal.

    Randall Grahm has really out done himself (again) with this wine. Every one of his wines I try is a new an unique experience and this was no exception. Just when I start to get cocky and think I have his style figured out he tosses me another curve and I am humbled by his creativity and my lack of ability to anticipate what he’ll do next. That’s what makes me one of his biggest fans. Randall –great job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. rminto says:

    The Mission Chardonnay Arroyo Seco (2011)
    Rating: Outstanding wine, Good value, Will be buying more soon
    Source: (Michael Mondavi Family)

    This is a wine I picked up about a year ago from a friend that held a personal consumption collectors license from the State of Montana to allow her to buy wines and have them shipped into our archaic state.

    I really like this wine for it’s freshness and fruit, without all the butter and Oak that so many California Big Chardonnays are known for. Being a 2011 it is drinking superbly right now with no tough edges. The initial nose from the bottle is s hodgepodge of senses with gooseberry and espresso coming through. The initial taste to the tip of the tongue brings out some spiciness and a mixed berry compote and the coffee disappears. Slipping the wine to the side and back of the tongue brings forth a slight acidity that balances the berries out making the fruitiness of the wine the major presentation. The swallow bring a warm but not acidic sensation to the throat and a waft to the nostrils that present a very long lasting berry warmth.

    I paired this wine with grilled chicken breasts, simply salted and seasoned with a dash of oregano. We served grilled broccoli and a green salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. The match proved to be sensational with the wine bringing out a smokiness in the chicken and the chicken lifting the dry fruit level of the wine to be able to carry the vinaigrette. All in all a great meal.

    Tony Laithwaite didn’t make this wine like the Le Grand Chai (Cote de Bordeaux) I so love, but he can still pick them. The Laithwaite website is superb and if you are lucky enough to live in a state that they ship to, they have a really special supply. Even if you can’t order it from them, there is not harm in looking and you won’t be sorry.


    • rminto says:

      Okay, so a whole bottle of wine is too much for me to consume in one sitting so I usually have some left, in this case about half a bottle. I uncapped it again today to drink before dinner and not un expectedly, it was still perfect. There was not a lot of improvement and no degradation, so I think this wine is at it prime right now and will be for the next couple of years. If you can lay your hands on any, do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. rminto says:

    Randall Grahm Mutiny on the Bonny Arroyo Seco 2012
    Rating: Outstanding but unique wine, great value,

    Randall Grahm has produced perhaps the most unique wine I’ve tasted out of the Naked Wines portfolio and perhaps inmy life. I have never had a white Grenache before and I think I really like it. I am equivocating a little on the “like factor”as the nose is just as represented with clear notes of Pineapple and Guava and the taste on the front of the tongue follows the nose pretty closely, but I can’t tell whether I think its sweet or fruity and then what the taste on the back of the tongue and throat does. I am not picking up much acidity or tannins. In all honesty I am having trouble describing this wine in a way the really represents my emotional attachment to it. That may seem crazy to some, but “like” or “dislike” is an emotional response that requires the ability to explain my feelings and observations about a wine. Mutiny on the Bonny Arroyo Seco still have me adrift in a longboat waiting for a land sighting.

    We all compare each new wine to others based on or unique experiences, and when we taste one we try to pigeonhole it based on past experiences. With this wine it simply doesn’t work. It is not a chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc or a Moscato. While I can pick up a bit of oak (as in Chardonnay) and the tropical fruit of a nice Kiwi or Aussie SB, it simply will not fit in either to be able to draw an appropriate comparison. It has a very short finish, and I don’t think that is bad but it doesn’t hang around in the nostril like other whites I am used to.

    When I paired it with grilled salmon with yellow curry and it brightened up a bit on the finish and held up very well to the strong salmon flavor I am inclined to think that the finish enhanced and lengthened with the food. It is a keeper and I’ll be buying a supply of this for the summer grilling season, especially since it has been around a while and I am not sure how much supply remains. As a parting thought on getting some more in my cellar, I really want to spend some time with this wine and see how familiarity enhances my ability to be able to review it and describe it.

    The next day: I had another glass after it sat in the frig for a night. It was good and the ambient temp outside was about 75 degrees F. It was much crisper when really chilled and was a real thirst quencher. Chilling also brought the acids out and really gave this wine nice balance with the fruit and made my day, after a long day working in the yard. It is already on reorder.


  42. rminto says:

    Timothy Olson Pinot Grigio Napa Valley 2013
    Rating: Outstanding wine, Good value, Small supply so buy while it lasts.

    I have a hard time believing that this Pinot Grigio came from California grapes. It is very much in the old world style and drier than most domestic Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. For my taste that is a good thing as I am not fond of watery whites or ones with a lot of sugar in their fruitiness. This wine has none of that.

    The initial nose on opening the bottle is classic Italian stone fruit with white peach and apricot showing first. surprisingly I found no alcohol essence in the initial nose. After I poured it into a Sauvignon Blanc tumbler and swirled it a bit I got a bit of wet earth minerality in the nose, but it stayed behind the Peach and Apricot. I still got no alcohol essence.

    The first taste to the tip of the tongue carried the stoniness of the nose and brought a mild acidity which kept the sensation fruity but not sweet. I really liked my first impression. When I let the wine slip to the sides of the tongue the acidity remained nicely balanced and not overbearing as can happen with wines that force their dryness. In the back of the throat the fruit and acidity carried over, but produced no tannins, and left a long lingering warmth and peachy sensation that carried into the nostrils and remained until I took my next sip. Uniquely this wine maintains great consistency of nose, and taste from front to back with nothing getting in the way of the white peaches, apricot and wet earth.

    Tim Olson hit close to perfection with this offering and if you have not stocked up I suggest ordering (available to the market in August) as much as you can store. In this limited offering there won’t be much opportunity to add to the supply later. I just put a case in mine and I promise it won’t last the summer.


  43. rminto says:

    Cockamamie Rooster’s Blend 2012
    Outstanding table wine, Outstanding value, Buy it while it lasts

    This is a really lovely spring and summer red. There is noting heavy about it and I can sit in the shade and drink it all day. it has a really playful quality in that it doesn’t have a serious note about it. Bottom line I guess I would say that the wine matches its label in that it is fun and nicely amusing.

    Right out of the bottle (no aeration at all) this wine hits you in the nose with raspberry, boysenberry and a touch of vanilla that carries over nicely to the tip of the tongue and all the way down. When you let it filter to the sides of the tongue it presents the acidity that one would expect from the berries of the nose as if they were picked a bit on the green side, but not enough to dampen the fruitiness. Instead of presenting heavy tannins (almost none) and warmth to the throat and nostrils, this wine settles in as a cooling influence on a hot day with really long pleasant essence for all the senses.

    I drank half the bottle by my outdoor kitchen giving it a spring cleaning and getting it ready for the main event; burgers, all day outside baked beans, fresh melon with a green salad back. The wine gave me the energy to do the dirty work and the tranquility required for all the hard grilling of a basic all American burger ( medium of course).

    This “Rooster” is a great red for those warm days when you just don’t feel up to making a scratch Sangria or drinking a zesty Sauvignon Blanc or really earthy Pinot Grigio. I am going to stock up on the “Rooster” for the summer and early fall as this vintage is sure to be gone soon.

    My hat is off to the winemaker on this one, it is really memorable and refreshing. I seldom drink a label, but this one I can because it really fits the wine in the bottle and made my first Bar BQ of the summer.


  44. rminto says:

    Matt Iaconis Globetrotter Red CA USA 2012
    Rating: Really nice table wine, Great Value, I am buying and drinking

    This is a very pleasant “easy Drinking Wine” that should even please the most ardent of white wine drinkers. It is soft around all its edges with a nose of wet earth, Vanilla, Blackberry, Boysenberry and fresh prunes. The nose carries over to the tip of the tongue with the berries coming forward as slightly but pleasantly under ripe. I consider it very fruity but not sweet. The drips to the side of the tongue produce a nice acid balance to the fruitiness and the swallow produces minimal tannins on the back of the tongue, The waft to the nostrils doesn’t hold a long time, but leaves a very pleasant earthy warmth.

    I paired this wine with my wife’s killer scratch Chile and a green salad. the wine held up nicely to the heat (two alarm fire) of the Chile and actually quenched some of the flames in my throat. At the same time it really brought the cumin in the Chile forward without dragging the cayenne pepper with it.

    This wine still baffles me as I can’t figure out the blend. Id be temped to say a bit of Spanish Rioja , but it just doesn’t quite fit. In any case this wine is sold out but If this wine ever comes back I’ll be buying. I am looking forward to tasting the 2013 Margret River Globetrotter Red, but I suspect it is a very different, but still great, wine.


  45. rminto says:

    Lacaze Private Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and 2012
    Rating: 2010 — Outstanding wine, Great Value, Buy and drink or hold
    2012 — Could be good but too young to tell, Good Value, Definite buy and hold

    This vintage was a first rate Cabernet Sauvignon and I will be restocking my cellar with my next order. This wine you can drink right out of the bottle now and enjoy a lot. I did taste it out of the bottle, but I also decanted it and I enjoyed it even more decanted. It really opened up the complexities and brightened both the nose and the flavor of the wine. When I decanted this wine it presented a really deep claret hue with some brown tones that made it almost blood red. Settled in the decanter it sparkled and presented a color density that you could not see a candle through. Swirled in the glass the legs were bold and long lasting showing a good viscosity as a big Cab should.

    The initial nose out of the bottle was caramel and smoke. The nose out of the glass after decanting added a tomato/Bar BQ note and a bunch of minerality. The Taste on the tip of the tongue presented lime, black current and cassis. As it slipped to the sides of the tongue and into the throat, the acidity and tannins really appeared but they balanced well with the bright tart fruitiness of the wine. In the throat it also presented a nice warmth and strong tannins that carried the minerality and Cassis up the nostrils from the that gave this wine a very long finish. A bit about the tannins; I really find them pleasant in a big wine but the faint of heart might find them a bit off putting as they do create the sensation of hair on the back of your tongue. This will dissipates as this wine gets more air and more age.

    Until this wine, I have not been a big fan of the wines of Chile as most that I can find in the local markets come off as thin and have little finish in the nose and throat. This wine will stand up against any of the big California Cabs and It is a definite buy and drink and buy and hold wine. the wine maker did himself proud with this vintage and I look forward to comparing this one to his next vintage.

    This vintage is not the 2010 yet, but could be. The 2012 is still too young in my estimation to drink. Even with both aeration and decanting this wine needs serious tiime to soften even for the most ardent dry wine drinker. I will come back and try it again in a week (half bottle left in the cellar with air exposure) and I will also lay down the rest of my stash for a couple of years to see what happens.

    I have to say that I was disappointed in the outcome as I expected the 2013 wine to be softer by now. This will be a really good wine eventually, but just not at the moment.


  46. rminto says:

    Jacqueline Bahue Cabernet Franc Sonoma County 2012
    Rating: Should be good but too young to tell, Good Value, Buy and Cellar
    Source: http;//

    Decant or aerate this wine it is really young and needs some oxygen to bloom!! This wine is true to the Cabernet Franc reputation, It is big, bold and dry to a fault (until aerated). I opened this bottle and the initial nose came off as a strange mix of vanilla, raspberry, spice and smoke. The taste to the tip of the tongue brought the raspberry forward with tannins from the first sip. The wash to the sides of the tongue brought out a strong acid that covered up a lot of the fruit. The swallow passing over the back of the tongue brought really heavy tannins and an acidity in the esophagus that was very high. The waft to the nostrils came off as warm and very berry which was quite nice.

    This is definitely a wine that requires aeration or decanting for most palates and those not used to drinking Cabernet Franc, I am going to be serving this with Fresh Copper River Salmon (off the boat yesterday and flown in to out local market last night) with green salad dressed with tomato vinaigrette (a favorite). After an hour in a decanter this wine opened up and worked really with the Cedar planked salmon. The food definitely brought out the fruit in the wine and the acid of the wine was well balanced with smoky salmon and curry sauce. I plan to leave a half bottle to sit for a week in my cellar to see if the additional time with Oxygen softens it around the edges and will amend in a week as well.

    Without decanting this is not a wine (right now) for those that don’t like their wine very dry. Right out of the bottle it’s present state could turn off some drinkers to a wine that I really believe will mature into a real keeper in a year or two. My experience with decanting re-enforces this belief.


  47. rminto says:

    Domaine O’Vineyards Ryan and Joe O’Connell – OMG 2012
    Rating: Most Impressive Blend, Outstanding Value, Buying while it lasts

    OH MY GOD!! ( sorry for the pun) This Domaine O’Vineyards OMG 2012 is unbelievable and ready to drink right now!!! It requires on aeration or decanting and if I have any left to try tomorrow I’ll let you know if it gets any better (I can’t imagine how).

    It was kind of a lazy day and the sun was shining on the deck outside my Study/Wine-room so I thought why not sit outside and enjoy the sun and a nice wine. I needed to rate and review the OMG so I just grabbed it and started to get ready to decant it. I poured a taste in my glass, took a sip and sat up straight. No decanting for this wine it goes with out of the bottle right now.

    The initial nose on racking the cap produced a mild mineral, grassy, moise earth nose. The color and viscosity were almost pinot Noir in the brightness of the sparkle and the translucent pomegranate coloring. The leg ion the sides of the glass held high and long on a tall Syrah glass. The initial tast to the tip of the tongue produces a flavor of Cassis, Boisenberry, dark Cherry and a touch of green apple. As the wine moved into the moth and hit the sides of the tongue and the back, the acidity burst forth creating a really nice balance with the fruit this wine produces. The initial taste displayed no tannins giving you the sense that on a really thirsty day you could gulp this wine like an ice cold beer (don’t you dare you will miss so much of the beauty of this wine as it develops as it warms a bit) Later in the glass the tannins rise up and make the character of this wine almost perfectly balanced. The waft from the back of the throat to the nostrils produces a nice warm fruity after taste that lasts well between sips.

    To night I am pairing this wine with Lasagna, and a Cesar Salad and a special grace of the Easter Eve. I have no doubt about how the pairing will go, but I’ll come back to this review in two days and let you know about how it actually went and how the wine changed after a couple of days exposed to air. No matter how it develops this is a five heart wine and one that I will order again quickly because it could run out soon and it is drinking right now which will take the pressure off my other special reds that are still developing.

    Well the two trial has passed, as expected the OMG paired well with the Lasagna as expected and really enhanced the spiciness of the garlic and Roma tomato sauce/ Even better it was divine on Easter with the Ham and the Chicken and all the other wonderful things my wife prepared to make the day more special than it was already. its wonder fruit really came through and the acidity balanced all the sweet stuff on the table. This wine is still getting better and it the price I am not fool enough not to order and really stock up on this wine. It will only get better between now and the time I could finish a case. Joe and Ryan keep the surprises coming.


  48. rminto says:

    Dominic Hentall Sangiovese Negroamaro IGT Puglia 2012
    Rating: Most Impressive — Incredible Value! — Bought Another Case

    My five hearts are beating rappedly as I am in love with this wine.The first time I fell in love, I was a teenager and it was Audrey Hepburn after watching her in a movie with Cary Grant (no cracks about being really old, that is conceded.) the second time was the first time I set eyes on my wife (my goose was cooked in an instant) 44 years ago last January. The third time happened tonight when I tasted this Sangiovese. I’ll admit to a proclivity to Italian wines, but this was love at first sip. No doubt about it, this is a great wine and at $10.49 per bottle we should all be ashamed for stealing it.

    The thing about good Italian Reds is they don’t have a lot of fruitiness and carry a lot of acidity so they hold up really well against the really bold flavors and spice of Italian cooking. this wine is no exception, its big viscous character leaves legs on the glass after it is empty. Poured into a big bowl glass, it has a sparkling deep purple/black color that you can barely see a candle through. It produced a smoke, mineral, black pepper nose that last from beginning (cracking the cap) to end (licking out the glass so as not to waste a drop) This wine keeps you coming back for more. The initial taste is the same as the nose but if I strain I can find a slight essence of Blueberry on the tip of the tongue. This is definitely not a fruity wine, it is dry like a desert afternoon and keeps true to it’s Italian heritage. In the back of the mouth the pepper became more pronounced and the waft to the nostrils produced a warm pure acid sensation.

    I paired this wine with a flash grilled tenderloin (some might call it blue), roasted Brussel Sprouts and a Persian Koresh (Green Beans, sautéed onions, turmeric, salt pepper and tomato paste cooked all afternoon and served over Spaghetti Squash (traditionally over Basmati Rice). It worked well with the steak and vegetables and really stood up to the complex flavors of the Koresh. I am sitting here at the keyboard looking at the bottle thinking about having another glass, but I won’t because it is my last bottle (for now) and I want to try it Tuesday with a nice Italian Red Sauce with a protein to be determined.

    Here’s the deal with this wine, no decanting, no aerating, a long straw and a brown paper bag will do (just kidding). This is a wine that’s really meant to be paired with food. It doesn’t matter whether it is a classic Antipasto plate with spicy meats, strong cheeses and highly marinated veggies, or a spicy Italian or Middle-Eastern entrée it will hold up to just about any thing you throw at it.

    With a good amount of Catholic (in honor of the Vatican) guilt over how cheap it is and what a great value I am getting, I’ve ordered a case of this wine before this vintage is gone. It will hold for longer than a case will last in my house. I hope and pray that we will see a 2013 vintage in the near future as I’ll be buying that as well. To the winemaker you have a fan for life.


  49. rminto says:

    Rachis by Randy Hester Sauvignon Blanc 2013
    Rating: Impressive — Good Value — Will Buy Again

    Randy Hester has produced a truly great Sauvignon Blanc under his Rachis Label. Right out of the gate Rachis presents a soft peach, gooseberry, Bosc Pear nose. Unlike many Kiwi and Aussie SBs Rachis’ acidity doesn’t appear in your face with its nose.

    The first taste on the tip of the tongue is true to its nose but adds a bit of the Grapefruit he was trying to achieve when he crafted this wine. The acidity as it moved through the moth remained soft and quite pleasant, not at all in your face and balanced well with the fruitiness of this wine, In the back of the throat the peachiness of this wine took a back seat to the gooseberry and citrus coming forward leaving a long an pleasant sensation. The waft to the nostrils carried the citrus and held a long time as it left a relaxing and pleasant reminder of the initial taste.

    This wine is a great before dinner sipper, but it held up well to the strength of grilled salmon and a balsamic reduction and a vinaigrette dressing on a Romaine Salad. the light acids actually ramped up a bit with the acidity of the meal and the meal held up to the soft flavors of the wine. This is a wine I will buy in case lots for the long hot summer I expect here in Montana. This wine maker really knows his stuff and I will try any wine he brings to the table in the future. I am sure that I enjoy every one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. rminto says:

    Ken Deis Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    Rating: Very Impressive – Great Value — Will buy again

    This wine has been hyped as being really special and coming from one of California’s most talented winemakers. I am here to tell all that read this review it is not hype, Ken Deis, really knows how to craft a fine wine and his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is special (maybe beyond special). You couldn’t touch a better “BIG Cabernet Savignon”, from a big name vineyard in a wine shop for under $100.00 even as young as it is. If you did buy and compare you would take this wine hands down.

    You can drink this wine right out of the bottle. That said it is still very young and if you have the ability and the discipline to lay it down for a year or two or even ten, you will collect dividends. I will confess that I doubt that I’ll be able to wait beyond two years even with five bottles in stock. I am going to want to watch this wine develop so I will probably give it a year (okay maybe six months) and try it just to compare. Based on my likely tasting schedule I’ll have one bottle left at the end of two years.

    The nose on this wonderful wine right after I uncorked it was classic Big Bold Cab, with no hint of alcohol, but rather the aroma of Cassis, Black Current, Raspberry, and a hint of earthiness. Because of its young age, I decanted it and it presented me with a bright sparkling claret color as it shimmered down the sides of the decanter. The nose opened even more in the decanter presenting a bouquet of minerality and bright fruit. I confess that I poured a bit in a big Cabernet glass and savored the bouquet and watched the legs run down the sides of the glass for about five minutes before my reverie broke and I actually thought to taste this wonderful wine.

    On the lips and the tip of the tongue the essence of the Cassis and Raspberry blossomed, as the earthy minerality and mild acidity melted to the sides and middle of my tongue. The acid balance of this wine is beyond perfect as light tannins began to appear as the first mouthful move to the back of the tongue and into my throat. At this point the Tannins grew a tiny bit to what I would class as a very pleasant medium. The waft to the Nostrils carried the earthy Cabernet mixture of fruit and acidity that lasted a very long time in my senses between sips.

    Most Naked Wine offerings I find good, with many being really good, a few great, but of all the offerings this wine stands alone as being beyond really great into the class of being a Classic Big Wine with a character that I find hard to compare. I will say that I shared a bottle of Chateau Laffite Rothschild 2000 (a wine of the century according to Robert Parker) with friends a while back celebrating a very special occasion and I put Ken Deis Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 as having the potential to be in that same class with a little more age. In fact it will not likely take Ken’s wine 13 years to get to that degree of refinement.

    My advice to NW Angels and Archangels — buy this wine while you can as soon as it opens to the market, because it will not last long. A lot of it has been pre-reserved (before it ever saw a bottle) by those who bought purely on Ken’s reputation and elevated expectations based on his 2011 offering. They were not wrong — Mr. Deis, I tip my hat to a true master of the vintner’s craft.

    Robert Minto

    Liked by 1 person

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