2000 Lokoya Diamond Mountain District Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I had two of these sitting in my cellar since they were released. I think that I paid about $120 for them. I remember at the time that I first tasted this wine that I thought it was about the best wine that I had ever tasted.

I decided to open the first one a couple of weeks ago, and I decanted it. It was wonderful, in fact I didn’t think it could get any better so I’ve now opened the second one.

The wine is dark purple and the aroma is of leather and cigar box and dark fruit.

The taste does not disappoint with nice dark cherry, a bit of coffee, a bit of chocolate and a lot of leather.



1999 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon

Oh my… I forgot that I had this.

I saw this in my wine cooler and noted that the wine level had dropped.

I thought it was gone, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The cork was good shape and pulled out easily.

I decanted the bottle and noted that the color was mostly dark purple, with just a hint of brown from the age.

The aroma was a very intense dark cherry and leather.

It tastes like it smells – very intense dark cherry and leather.

2012 Kuleto Estate Frog Prince

A nice and clear dark ruby-red color with a clear ring around the top showing it to be a young wine. Nice legs.

The aroma has a lot of blueberry, a little blackberry, a little dark cherry, a lot of alcohol and a bit of leather and tobacco.

The taste curve is mello to begin with, but intensifies in the middle and eases off smoothly at the end.

The flavors are similar to the aroma. Blueberry and other dark fruit with a bit of leather or tobacco.

I’ve been buying this one a lot lately, it is a good pizza or spaghetti wine.

$20 at Trader Joes.

2007 Chappellet Mountain Cuvee

I thought that I had posted my notes on this one, but apparently not.

I sit outside in the 92° F shade munching on my favorite, Capriotti’s cheesesteak and sipping some pretty good wine, the 2007 Chappellet Mountain Cuvee, which I pick up on occasion from Costco.

This wine is very nice for the price.

The wine is clear but deep purple in color, with aromas of dark black cherry and a touch of cedar.

The flavors include… Oh wait, my glass is empty. Hang on… (sorry)

Ah yes, the afore-mentioned black cherry with a touch of cigar box, and a little pepper on a nice, long finish.

I wish I had some chocolate to go with this…

2007 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon

I picked this one up at Costco based on the price and the shelf tag.

It has a very balanced taste curve. It is very food friendly. I have not paired it with a peppered steak, as it probably will not stand up to that, but it works very well with pizza, tomato bisque, a toasted cheese sandwich and am I allowed to admit this – even with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…

Very nice dark red in color, aromas include tobacco, cedar, black raspberry.

The flavors are not overpowering, but rather nice, and as I said, balanced with a decent finish.

The wine maker touts that it will age well. It might, but why bother as it is quite drinkable now.

1982 Opus One – so sad

A friend of mine had me open his bottle of 1982 Opus One. He had it sitting in his living room wine rack for years.

Before opening it, I noticed that the wine level was well below the capsule. I suspected leakage, but the color of the top of the cork was good.

When I inserted the corkscrew, it seemed that cork was very soft, in fact, it offered no resistance.

I expected difficulty removing the cork, but it popped right out or should I say about the top-half did. The cork was well saturated with wine up to about one quarter of an inch from the top. So there was no apparent leakage.

After a couple of attempts, the rest of the cork came out.

I poured some in our glasses. The color was good. There was a nice smokey aroma, but there was absolutely no fruit aroma.

I tears were actually welling up in my eyes at this point. OK, not really but I figured that it was gone.

It tasted pretty much like it smelled. The fruit was long gone. There was alcohol and the flavors from the barrel. I could tell that it was once a great wine. I even drank a bit of it before giving up.

I give thanks to my friend for allowing me to share the experience, because even though the wine was well past it’s prime, I know that it cost a lot when it was purchased.

2002 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon

Ok, so my first thought was “This thing is a bit over the top.” Now mind you, I’m going to drink it even if it is corked! It wasn’t corked. In fact the cork looked like it could go another 40 years or so.

But the wine is probably just past its peak. Of course, Jim picked this up at a smokin’ $20 at Smith’s, and I’d guess that they messed up. :o) They probably didn’t store it at a proper 55 degrees F. either, so I’m not worried about opening now.

I just picked up a Capriotti’s Cheesesteak with grilled onions and hot peppers. I checked my cellar. I had an Amarone and a Sangiovese. They would have worked, but a Cabernet Sauvignon is probably much better. I had a GSM sitting on the bottom shelf, but this one caught my eye.

It is freaking awesome !!!

I didn’t let it sit after I opened the bottle. The appearance is appropriate for its age. Very dark purple with no clear ring around the glass. Aromas are slightly sweet dark cherry, The flavor has very RIPE black fruit,which is also very ripe. But it is amazing none-the-less. The very worst thing that I can say about this wine is that I just poured my last glass, and once it is gone, there will be no more. It is so sad in a way.

Forgive me while I grieve just a little. OK, enough of that. There are other great wines in this world, and I will fully enjoy the last glass of this one.

2005 Robert Young Red Winery Road

I was looking for something to go with macaroni and cheese, and I’ve pretty much drank all of the stuff in my cellar that cost less than $35. I pulled out this bottle and realized that I never tried it before. As soon as I pulled the cork, I realized that it could sit in the cellar for many years to come as the wine had not edged its way up the cork one bit.

It has a nice dark ruby-red color. Not as dark as their Scion, but intense in color. the aroma, which hit my nose as soon as the cork was removed has lots of red raspberry, cherry, and a light floral aroma. I can also smell just a touch of leather or cedar.

A very interesting taste curve. It starts out very mellow and smooth, but it intensifies towards the middle and finish. It starts with the leather and then the raspberry flavor kicks in, and the finish seems to get hotter and hotter finishing with a nice pepper.

Robert Young Estate Winery produced only 20 barrels of this wine. It may be tough to find, but it’s worth tasting if you can find some.

2006 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville – Napa Valley

Charles Krug was my first favorite winery. I was in the area with my sister and her husband. They wanted to go wine tasting. I went along for the ride. My wine experiences up to that point were not so pleasant – mostly drinking Mad Dog 20-20 while in college. Charles Krug got me hooked and it the rest is history.

Saw this Cab at Costco and it brought back good memories so I bought it. Today I was making some beef stew and needed something to cook with. I added half to the pot and half to me!

Very nice dark cherry aroma with just a touch of toasted oak. At first, I thought there was a hint of leather, but I lost that somewhere. The bottle says that there should be current and roasted coffee with clove and licorice, but I don’t get any of those.

Very smooth taste curve, lots of dark fruit, even more toasted oak, and the leather that I couldn’t smell is easy to taste. I still don’t get any coffee, or licorice, but there is just a hint of cloves.

This is a pleasant wine. I’ll pick up some more and I would recommend it for people just moving to red wines.

about $20 at Costco

2005 Vines on the Marycrest Satin Doll

A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Syrah from Paso Robles.

This one was recommended to me because I mentioned that I liked the Herman Story wines. In fact, this one reminds me a lot of about wines from Herman Story. Very dark in color, very ripe, but retaining the aromas and flavors of dark fruit. There is less pepper in this one, but over all a very nice effort.

Their website: http://vinesonthemarycrest.com/ has a link to a video which is worth watching if you have a few minutes.

The posted notes for Satin Doll mention herbs and oak which I can’t seem to find, but the finish is long and smooth.

I’m going to say that my favorite wines from Paso Robles are from Garretson Wine Company and Linne Calodo but this one is right up there.

Robert Young Scion Vertical Tasting

In the order tasted, we had a 2004 and 2005 Robert Young Chardonnay, then a 2003, 2002, and a 2001 Robert Young Scion. The 2002 and 2003 are Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2001 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 9% Merlot.  All of the wines are from Alexander Valley.

We didn’t think to rate the Chardonnays but the 2003 and 2001 Scions were the favorites with the 2003 taking first place by one vote over the 2001 and the 2002 getting only one first-place vote.

Here were some of the comments from tasting notes on the three Scions:

2003 – Appearance: Clear, medium-dark color, nice legs. Aroma: Dark cherry, touch of leather, tomato, pepper. Taste: Nice leather, dark fruit, tomato, salty, dry, earthy, chocolate.  Aftertaste: Smooth finish, heat, balanced. Overall impression: Good, okay, nice.

2002 – Appearance: Darker than 2003, “Tina Turner” (nice legs). Aroma: Ripe dark fruit, touch of leather, vegetive, smoke, no aroma. Taste: Ripe dark cherry, leather, slightly sweet, no tannins, less flavorful and dry (than the 2003). Aftertaste: Smokey, short finish. Overall impression: Very nice, smooth.

2001 – Appearance: Starting to show age. Aroma: Dark cherry, dark berries. Taste: Nice dark cherry, leather, touch of cedar, spicy humidor, some vinegar.  Aftertaste: Beautiful finish with nice pepper. Overall impression: Most balanced good with chocolate.

Garretson Wine Company “The Decurion”

This showed up at my door the other day. I was quite intrigued as the label gives no information about the wine other than the 14.8% alcohol content.

My first taste told me that I opened this one many years too soon. So I let it sit for a bit and I was well rewarded.

This wine is awesome!

It is very dark in color, and it smells a lot like the grilled steak with freshly ground pepper that I served it with. There is a bit of plum and black cherry in there also.

It the mouth, it is very intense. The flavors include minerals, blueberry and a tinge of cherry-cola.

I really liked this one, but I’m sure that I’ve probably missed any opportunity to acquire more as they only produced 590 bottles…

1993 Stonestreet Legacy

I paid about $60 for this one a couple of years ago. I was cooking up a nice steak, home-made mashed potatoes and green beans and was looking for something to drink with the meal. I saw the “S” and thought to myself that it was one of the $23 current vintages so I pulled it out. I saw what it was and almost put it back. Then I said “What the heck. It is time.”

Boy did I get that right, as I don’t think this one could sit any longer. When I pulled the cork, it broke into three major chunks. I figured that the wine was probably toast, but the cork pieces all felt soft and the wine stain did not venture up the side of the cork more than about a quarter-inch.

The color is intense dark red with nice legs and the aromas are of toasted oak, ripe dark fruit – mostly dark cherry and a bit of dark chocolate.

It is very smooth with quite a bit of pepper (which went nice with the freshly ground pepper on my grilled steak…). There is a bit of cedar in amongst the dark fruit but the wine changes as it sits in the glass. At first the cedar flavor is a bit too intense, but after a few minutes, that burns off and the dark fruit takes over, as it should.

The finish builds with a bit of heat but then tapers off quite nicely with a touch of mocha at the end.

I’m glad that I opened this one. I would have been sad if I would have waited any longer.

2004 Linne Calodo Outsider

This is an awesome blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Mourvedre.

I  must say upfront that I think that I opened it much too early. This is a huge wine with a lot of alcohol, but I think it sit another year or two. It is very fruity, but has a great mouth-feel, the taste curve is well-balanced and it matched up with my Trader Joe’s Goat Cheese pizza quite nicely.

Color is dark purple and the wine has nice legs.

Aromas include blackberry, leather, a touch of blueberry, some cedar, and a touch of vanilla. I would like to say it smells like a late harvest Zinfandel, but that doesn’t quite explain the rich and ripe aroma.

In the mouth, it has a great balance.  Flavors include blackberry, blueberry, and a horse saddle. (Ok, there’s a bit of leather in there.)

The finish is hot with tons of dark fruit and perhaps a touch of eucalyptus on the very end.

I like it a lot!

2002 JC Cellars Rockpile Vineyard Syrah

I figured that I probably waited too long to open this one, but I think I caught it right at the peak. It is much more intense than I remember.

The color is intensely deep, dark purple in color. The aromas include very ripe blackberry and blueberry, with a just a touch of vanilla. The flavors include a lot of very ripe dark fruit.  And the finish is very hot. There is a lot of alcohol in this one.

This one scores 20 out of 20 points for me!

2003 Domaine de L’Hortus Pic Saint Loup Grande Cuvée

This is the best Coteaux du Languedoc wine that I’ve ever tasted – period!

I’m not totally over my cold, but I can smell well enough to drink wine for the first time in over a week!

If I had this one blind, I would never guess that it was an old world wine.

It has a bright appearance with a black-cherry color with nice legs.

The aroma almost says “Paso Robles.” (The color is not dark enough though.) I say “almost” as I think I smell some roses or other flowers…I don’t smell any wood what-so-ever. (Which is why I wouldn’t think it is a French wine.)

Flavors are well-blended, there is nothing overbearing. There is a little cherry-cola, a touch of licorice, a touch of chocolate, a touch of grilled steak,

A nice long finish it falls off very slowly. Every time you exhale, it comes back to remind you what was just there. Finally a touch of cedar at the back of the mouth… Very nice indeed.

2003 Ramey Diamond Mountain District Red Wine

According to their web site, a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petite Verdot. This is a beautiful dark ruby red wine. I smell dark cherries, blackberries and chocolate liquor. The flavors are dark cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate, and just a hint of smoke. The finish is huge, it builds a little heat then turns sweet and has a long gentle finish.

I believe this wine will compliment a standing rib roast quite nicely.

Merry Christmas!