Ron Blachman's Reviews

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66 reviews were found
  • Rating:
    (4/19/2015)
    La Merika Pinot Noir 2011
    Sold Out $12.99
    2012 vintage available for $13.99
    Not as good as the 2010. This hasn't the big, berrylike nose I liked in the previous vintage. Also the flavors are less balanced, there's good acid but not the fruit to carry it. Rather short. The price is quite reasonable but I can and have done better. Now I have one remarkably good experience with this producer's Pinot Noir and one somewhat disappointing one. I'll try another vintage in future but skip this one. About a year later (April 2015) I tasted this wine again. The balance is much improved and the nose is developing complexity. I don't think that it will get any better than this but it came off much better than previous bottles.
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  • Rating:
    (4/5/2015)
    Chateau Cos d'Estournel  2003
    Sold Out $299.99
    Style: Big & Bold
    Tasted in April 2015. As a second great growth Cos d'Estournel is expected to bottle only those wines which meet a high standard; they also have a history of making very substantial wines that need time. This meets those criteria but I don't think it is particularly exciting - especially considering the price of such a wine. The 2003's I've had reminds me in some ways of the 1961's and 1964's both rather hard-edged, both took a lot more time to reach maturity than I expected. By the time they were really ready the 61's (a supposed vintage of the century) were fascinating, sometimes exceptional in some respects but a bit tired, too; the 64's came around very slowly and those that didn't go funky could be astounding examples of aged claret but hey remained somewhat hard-edged even then. I don't know which way this 2003 is going. It is still too young by a decade or more. Definitely decant this wine as it is throwing a bit of sediment. It took two hours for the nose to blossom and it is complex and starting to mature but I wonder if the bouquet will mature before the wine is as round on the palate as I'd like. This wants until 2023 or later. Who knows, maybe by then it will be astounding but right now it is still rather hard and there are much better St Estephe around for less money.
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  • Rating:
    (3/31/2015)
    Chateau du Moulin a Vent  Moulin-a-Vent 2011
    $39.99
    Pair with: Marinated Lamb, Tart tomato-sauced dishes
    Tasted March 2015. Medium purple-red, light-to-medium body, slow to form legs. The nose starts out medium sized with a vinous Gamay theme and hints of berries and roses but this dissipates fairly rapidly in the glass. A lively tartness leads the flavors and there is (just barely) enough fruit to carry it off, it isn't big but it works very well with food. With an hour's air the color is slightly darker and the balance a bit better; there's a bit of tannin to round things out. This wants a bit more fruit and fragrance. The cork is first quality and long but I wouldn't hold this past about 2018. I was buying 2011's of this quality for less money two years ago but I've been disappointed by the 2012's and 2013's so this might fill a hole in the market and the price is understandable.
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  • Rating:
    (3/31/2015)
    Chateau du Moulin a Vent  Croix des Verillats 2011
    $51.99
    Style: Earth & Spicy
    Pair with: Marinated Meats, Bouillabaise
    Tasted in March 2015, the wine is medium-dark purple-garnet, medium bodied and somewhat leggy. The big, Gamay nose features red-berries, rose-petals, green hay (I like this but not everyone does) and a hint of yeastiness; with air the floral notes grow and the yeastiness vanishes. On the palate a lively, bracing acidity leads the way with just enough fruit to carry it off and a firm tannin note to round things out. With some air the fruit-to-acid balance seems improved and a pleasant finish develops. This is big and very good now but it will probably improve for the next three to five years and might hold as late as 2025. It is well corked to last. I agree with Parker's 92 rating...a bit more fruit could have put this near greatness. This is a bit pricey but I haven't had any really good 2012 or 2013 Cru-Beaujolais so a premium for top 2011's is understandable.
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  • Rating:
    (3/30/2015)
    Valley of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
    $35.00 $21.99
    Save $13.01 (37%)
    Style: Big & Bold
    Tasted in March 2015. Dark purple-garnet color, full bodied and leggy, the nose is small and closed until it gets some air, then it opens a bit but is still smallish: dark berries, cassis, cedar, a hint of licorice. On the palate there is great concentration of flavors, plenty of acidity and enough fruit to carry it (bit more would be welcome), there's a stiff tannin backbone but too much alcoholic harshness. This wants time! It will be at its best from about 2022 to 2032; the stout bottle and longish, first-quality cork will allow it to age but right now it is a rough youngster. As in 2010 Valley of the Moon has come up short on the nose and a bit hard on alcohol but, again I will buy a few and lay them down for several years because it is a serious Cab and affordable. This could be a four star wine in a few years but not now.
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  • Rating:
    (3/22/2015)
    Joel Gott Oregon Pinot Noir 2012
    Sold Out $24.99
    Pair with: Game birds, Chateaubriand, Lamb
    Willamette Valley Pinot Noir comes closer to French Burgundy than any other new-world Pinot and this is no exception. Not as fruit-forward as California Pinots and with more acidity this is bright and elegant. It has a bit of tannin and will want five years or so to hit it's marks (until 2019 or so). The color is light-to-medium ruby with a hint of "a robe" (iridescence). Racy and elegant medium sized nose with notes of strawberry, pomegranate, cherry, freesia...not notably oaky. The stout Turley-style bottle is complemented by a longish, top-quality natural cork; this stuff will hold for decades if you want. This Burgundian style is not for everyone But I'm laying a few down.
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  • Rating:
    (3/20/2015)
    Domaines Schlumberger Gewurztraminer Les Princes Abbes 2011
    $25.00 $19.99
    Save $5.01 (20%)
    Pair with: Ham, Chinese food, Indian food, Spicy food
    It well corked - better than needed for the number of years that it will drink well. The color is light, brassy yellow and it is medium bodied and leggy. A lovely, generous nose even when chilled: Apricots, a touch of nutmeg. The balance is lightly sweet but still suitable for some entrees. Mouth-filling with enough acid to carry the residual sugar and a pleasant hint of a bitter note. Long finish. Drink by 2020. it is a good buy at $20.
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  • Rating:
    (3/14/2015)
    Fogarty Monterey Guwurztraminer 2012
    $22.00 $18.99
    Save $3.01 (14%)
    Style: Light & Crisp
    Pair with: Spicy foods, Sausages, Smoked foods, Ribs, Ham
    Let's start with a warning; Wine.com failed to note that this is a screw-cap wine. The color is pale lemon-straw, medium body and leggy. The nose is not big - surprising in a Gewurztraminer. I found notes of Lychee, Nutmeg or Mace and something smoky or mineral in character. The balance is nice and also not usual for the variety; it is on the tart side, crisp and fresh, though just a bit prickly. This is styled more like a Pinot Gris than a Gewurz. It is pleasant and ready to drink now but I don't think it is a good value at the price and it is too far off-style for me.
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  • Rating:
    (2/19/2015)
    Chateau de Beaucastel Coudoulet Rouge 2012
    $34.00 $27.99
    Save $6.01 (18%)
    Well corked to last for a decade or more. Medium purplish-ruby color, medium body and very leggy. It has a generous nose showing berries, a little oak and a hint of something floral. Big flavors with a lot of tarry fruit, acid to match and respectable tannin; less appealing is a bitter note- a little is nice but this lingers unpleasantly. There is also a bit of "petillance" (prickly CO2) suggesting some fermentation after bottling or just before. I think this will mellow with age and peak in the 2019 to 2024 timeframe but I'm going to pass on any more of this wine. At $32 it doesn't meet expectations. Good - just not worth the price in a world with so many good Cotes du Rhone.
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  • Rating:
    (2/15/2015)
    Dom. La Garrigue Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Romaine 2012
    Sold Out $18.99
    Style: Big & Bold
    Wow, what a nose! It starts out pretty big and generally vinous with dark fruit tones but with air it becomes a bouquet featuring some floral notes and prominently: roast chicory, sage, molasses, smoke and a hint of creosote. The name, "garrigue" refers to the natural scrub flora of the south of France; in Corsica it is maquis; in California, chapparal; and so forth. The nose really evokes the name - warm, herbaceous and slightly resinous. It is dark ruby-purple and medium bodied. The flavors are big with plenty of tarry fruit and it has a nice tannin backbone. The wine has some flaws: the acid is adequate for current drinking but a bit lower than I'd like and won't allow this wine to age beyond a few years; the alcohol is a bit hot, too and although the cork is long and well fitted it is a cut below best quality. At the price I'd say five stars but in absolute terms that is not quite merited. Still, a wonderful buy and I'm stocking up a bit. TRY THIS!
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