Ron Blachman's Reviews

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39 reviews were found
  • 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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  • Rating:
    (9/23/2014)
    Clos Pegase Mitsukos Vineyard Chardonnay 2010
    Sold Out $27.99
    2012 vintage available for $26.99
    Wine.com did not allow my completely reasonable review text.
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  • Rating:
    (9/20/2014)
    Pazo de Barrantes Albarino 2012
    Sold Out $23.99
    Style: Light & Crisp
    Pair with: Delicately flavored seafood or fowl
    Good quality composite cork. Pale lemon-gold color, light-to-medium body leggy. The nose is smallish, especially for an Alberino: notes of Thompson seedless, lemon. Nice flavors on the tart side but with some fruit to back it up; a hint of desirable bitterness; a hint of priclke (CO2?); Crisp and pleasant. There are better Albarinos for less money than this one. It is a pleasant wine but lacking much scent.
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  • Rating:
    (9/19/2014)
    Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer 2012
    $26.99
    Style: Light & Crisp
    Pair with: Ham and smoked meats, Salmon, Dill-seasoned dishes
    Good cork. Pale lemon-straw, light-to-medium body, leggy. Medium sized nose, citrus and spice when still cold, a bit of apple as it warms up. Nice acid and good fruit to balance, dry but not austere; there is a hint of desirable bitterness and a lingering finish. There is just a tiny hint of CO2 and I don't know if this indicates a continuing fermentation in the bottle, ( the potential price of avoiding malo-lactic fermentation during primary fermentation). A lovely Gewurz, fresh and ready to drink but not to hold for long. I think it a bit expensive, though.
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