Ron Blachman's Reviews

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42 reviews were found
  • Rating:
    (10/29/2014)
    Dopff & Irion Crustaces 2012
    $10.99
    Pair with: Roast chicken, Seafood Bisques, Bread and cheese
    A pleasant, fresh white for current consumption. More fruit and body than traditional light, crisp whites such as Muscadet. This wine can stand up to more flavorful dishes and remains pretty nice even as it warms up. Not a lot of nose , though what there is seems to have a hint of Riesling.
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  • Rating:
    (10/26/2014)
    Antucura Malbec 2012
    $16.00 $13.99
    Save $2.01 (13%)
    Pair with: Hearty pastas, Well seasoned lamb
    Nice concentration and "extract", good fruit. The tannins want time but are civilized. The problem is a lack of acid which limits aging and "brightness" on the palate. The nose is nice and pretty big - it acquires beautiful dark-fruit and berry tones with air and there's a hint of oak. There's some alcohol roughness in the finish. A decent quality, medium-length composite-cork will hold for a few years; given the lack of acid I can't see holding this for a long time - too bad because that's all that's lacking for this to be an outstanding Malbec. It's good wine and a fair value at the price but I'm going to keep looking.
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  • Rating:
    (10/25/2014)
    Tensley Santa Barbara County Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah 2013
    Sold Out $45.99
    Style: Big & Bold
    Pair with: Beef raosts or steaks, Lamb, Goose
    Tasted in Oct 2014. Good quality natural cork but it could be longer allowing for how long this wine will live. Nice sized nose right from the start - grows and changes with time and air; this is not surprising given the wine's youth: Earth, dried peppers, mushrooms, dried lavender, olives...later berries and a hint of wood. Very big flavors, heavy on fruit but good acid to balance and tannin to age; if anything I think the fruit to acid is a bit high right now. This is still a baby and I won't try it again until about 2018 or 2019 but I don't think I will be entering maturity until 2022 or later and will hold for decades (cork length allowing). This could attain greatness!
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  • Rating:
    (10/22/2014)
    Hugel Classic Pinot Gris 2010
    $19.99
    Pair with: Roast Fowl, Veay, Pork
    Long, good quality cork. Brassy straw color. Medium-to-full body, leggy after a few moments. Medium sized apple and apple-cider nose with a hint of fresh grapes and perhaps a hint of oak. Big flavors. Technically dry but very fruity; mouth filling with a decent finish; could use a bit more acid. I'm always looking for big, old-fashioned, dry whites from Alsace and this fills the bill. This could improve through 2017 or so and I'll be buying more to find out.
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  • Rating:
    (10/19/2014)
    Middle Sister Wild One Malbec
    $10.99
    Pair with: Eating al fresco, Pastas, Lamb, Burgers
    Good quality elastomer stopper. Saturated garnet-ruby color, jewel-like clarity, medium body, leggy. Medium sized nose, has some of the vinous traits of Italian Valpolicella and the berry aromas of California Zinfandel with faint grace note of wood and roses. Very fruity with enough acid to carry it (provided you're a fruit fiend), a nice bit of tannin, a bit too much alcohol on the palate. It could hold a few years - or not as it is very drinkable now. Very pleasant and friendly though there are many such wines available at lower prices. I can't say it exemplifies Malbec as a variety.
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  • Rating:
    (10/18/2014)
    K Vintners Viognier 2012
    $24.99
    Pair with: Roast fowl, Veal, Pork
    Good 1 & 3/4 inch natural cork. Pale -to-medium straw color with a hint of brass. Medium-to-full body, very leggy. Medium sized nose: cider, Armagnac, hints of cinnamon and pineapple. Big flavors; good fruit, ample acid to balance, mouth filling and rich (lots of extract), a nice finish, a hint of desirable bitterness. It is wonderful now (Oct 2104) and will hold several years, it might even improve for a few years. Don't over-chill this but be alert to a hint of CO2 prickle at room temperature. This is bigger than the Wild Horse Viognier but not necessarily better. At $25 it is worth the price but the Wild Horse is a better bargain. Still, if you can afford it this is a teriffic wine.
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  • Rating:
    (10/16/2014)
    Pax Walker Vine Hill Syrah 2005
    Sold Out $49.99
    Pair with: Lamb, Beef, Gourmet Pizza, Goose or Duck
    The dipped, polymer capsule is soft enough to circumcise (proper usage, really!) and peels off cleanly; still, it is a nuisance. The cork was so soft that my waiter's corkscrew pulled through making a shower of crumbs; it is actually a long, fine grained natural cork but please use a Ah-So (pronged) or Screw-pull puller to avoid my fate. Very dark purple-red, medium-to-full body, leggy (even the legs are colored). It wants air to come to life (I suggest decanting). With a little air and time the nose comes on: Medium sized, cocoa, berries,leather, dried violets, roses, a bit of oak; deep-toned, not as big as I'd like but very interesting. Big flavors, very fruit-heavy, almost tarry but with decent acid, maturing tannins. Perhaps a tiny bit alcoholic both in the nose and on the palate. At nine years of age this is a ready wine though it will hold for a long time! The winemakers at PAX have a real thing for big, big, highly concentrated Syrahs. This could stand a bit more acid to balance the enormous fruit, otherwise a spectacular experience.
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  • Rating:
    (10/13/2014)
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2011
    $41.99
    Pair with: Veal, Fowl, Smoked or slow-cooked Pork, White chowder, mussels
    Very nice, but... Decent 1.5 inch natural cork. Medium gold color, med. body, leggy. Medium sized nose: green apples, Armagnac, a hint of nuttiness and of oak; very nice but not exceptional. Good flavors, big and mouth filling, a bit short on acidity, richly flavored with a nice finish. This might hold a little while but it will not improve noticeably with age. I'm glad to see California wineries experimenting with Rhone grapes and blends but this is not true-to-type. It wants a bit more acid and some tannins. I wonder if it would do better in a cooler region and with some Marsanne grapes. Really nice but not a $40 flagship-wine. I did set a couple aside to try in 2016 or so but I Think I've pretty much seen what this has to offer already. I tried it again after a couple of days and I'd say the nose had opened up a little and there was a note of cinnamon in it. I'll decant the bottles I have when I open them to aerate this a bit.
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  • Rating:
    (9/28/2014)
    Wild Horse Viognier 2012
    $15.99
    Pair with: Fowl, Pork, Hearty soups and stews, Caviar, Smoked fish or gravlax
    Good quality natural cork. Pale straw color with a hint of brass; light-to-medium body, leggy. Medium sized nose even when cold, grows as the wine warms; perfumed with pineapple, apple, sappiness, a bit floral with a shot of oak; lovely! The flavors are nice indeed; it is crisp but not small, good acid, fruit, it fills every part of the palate, additional scents come through when it is sipped; it has a nice, lingering finish. This is what I'm looking for in serious whites (and seldom find). I won't be able to afford this in ten years because this wine is going to get a reputation! At $16 this is a superb value. I think it will hold a few years, too although it does not need time; I'm grateful for the top quality, medium length cork. Janis sang my sentiments: "Get it while you can".
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  • Rating:
    (9/28/2014)
    Melville Sta. Rita Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2012
    $35.99 $31.99
    Save $4.00 (11%)
    Rather disappointing; this lowers my view of recommendations from "stewards". Decent composite cork. Light ruby color, light-to-medium body, small legs form late. Medium sized nose, some berry, some pomegranate, a hint of pepper, but muddied, muted; too much alcohol in the nose. Flavors are pleasant, good enough acid but not generally notable and the alcohol comes through too much. There is nothing particularly fine about this wine, it lacks concentration. It is, in short, mediocre and overpriced.
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