Monday, June 03, 2013

2010 Flor de Pingus

The wine known as "Flor de Pingus" which is the second label made by Dominio de Pingus in Spain's Ribera Del Duero appellation has been one of my favorite wines for the last decade or so. For a long time it flew under the radar and was relatively unknown in the world of fine wines. Now this once unknown gem that was affordable at one time has garnered enough fame around the world and i't become quite a commodity and the price has gone up quite a bit. It is still however, one of my favorite wines and is worth the price tag of above fifty dollars (and approaching $100).

The 2010 Flor de Pingus has lovely aromas of black plum, tobacco, smoked meat, soy sauce, cassis, and vanilla. This wine is still a baby, so it's understandable that the wine is still somewhat closed down and it's really pretty obvious that this wine has multiple layers of complexity on the nose that will unfold as the wine develops in the cellar.

On the palate the wine offers up a bold flavor profile of ripe black currant, licorice, black plum, tobacco, graphite, scorched earth, and roasted game meat. This is incredibly concentrated wine that has multiple layers of powerful complexity and depth. It's quite obvious that the wine is far too young to enjoy completely at this time, but it's clear that this wine will only improve with significant time in the cellar. 94 points
Sunday, March 03, 2013

WinePoynt Allows Android Users the Ability to Follow Others with My Feed and World Feed Function

Latest social feature gives users the option to follow friends or other wine enthusiasts

AUSTIN, Texas (February 19, 2013)—WinePoynt today released a “social media” style follow feature in its latest version for Android devices.  WinePoynt gives its users smart individualized wine recommendations based on what it has learned from previous ratings. With the app’s social area unveiled less than a month ago, WinePoynt shows a growing commitment to social functionality. The new social area is divided into two tabs: My Feed and World Feed which allows the WinePoynt user the ability to click on any name in the World Feed and follow that person to see their activity in the user’s My Feed. 

“This is our first truly social offering,” Chris Taylor, president of WinePoynt said. “With a new type of social behavior available to users early in the New Year, we know2013 will be a very big year for WinePoynt. We are looking forward to the challenge of connecting with users and growing WinePoynt’s relevance in this space.”

The World Feed will display wine ratings, public notes, and changes to public lists as they happen in WinePoynt. At first, the user’s My Feed will only show a stream of their activity, but by clicking the plus sign in the top right hand corner of either the World Feed or My Feed, it will allow users to follow any of their Facebook friends who are already on WinePoynt.

Users who do not have Facebook accounts, or have not yet integrated their Facebook accounts with WinePoynt, can still select other WinePoynt users to follow in their My Feed. Every rating, public note or edit to a public list is displayed as a widget in the social area with an option to “Click to Follow.”

WinePoynt’s original social page was released for Android devices at the beginning of January 2013 and has since been deployed to iOS devices. The social pages on iOS devices will continue to offer the original social area until early March 2013. Advancing the social page for Android devices to include all activity in the World Feed allows users to choose people they are following in their My Feed, creating a social connection within the app.

For a quick overview on WinePoynt, watch their introductory video featuring Vinny, or visit

*MEDIA NOTE* Chris Taylor is available for interviews, wine education and to share more about WinePoynt’s latest features. For photos, logos, more information or to schedule an interview (or tutorial), contact Jennie Whitaker at or 512-705-7605.
About WinePoynt 
WinePoynt, an app created and launched for iPhone and Android users in 2012, is a personalized tool for wine drinkers of varying tastes and experience levels, designed to help make wine purchases easier at restaurants, retailers and bars regardless of the consumers wine knowledge. The app analyzes the likes and dislikes of the user based on wines rated in the past, and then makes personalized suggestions for individual users. The technology behind WinePoynt simply asks the app user to “Drink. Rate. Repeat.” with the promise that, “The more You Rate the better we get.”  WinePoynt also encourages users to try new wines without that fear of a negative experience, because their recommendations are personalized suggestions. Like a traveling sommelier in your pocket, the app comes in free and premium versions available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon for $.99 a month or $4.99 a year. For more information go to

2011 Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir

The Pinot Noir for this blend was sourced from the Drake Estate Vineyard, the Calegari Vineyard, the Lone Oak Vineyard, and from the Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard. It was aged in French oak (34% new, 44% 1 year old, 22% 2 year old) for 10 months.

On the nose I get lovely aromas of red currant, cranberry sauce, red raspberry, red plum, Bing cherry. There are also some secondary aromas of toasted oak, dried herb, and fig. I get a slight sensation of alcohol as well, which unfortunately creeps through the fruit filled aromatics. Perhaps with a bit of bottle age that will integrate.....

On the palate the wine the wine continues to demonstrate its red fruit character, with cherry and tart red raspberry taking stage. The wine is rather tart and holds a high acidity which is typical of Sonoma Pinot and in particular this cooler 2011 vintage. The wine finishes with extended notes of toasted oak and cherry/cranberry flavors.

Overall this is a very nice Pinot Noir that demonstrates true varietal character and the nuances of a cooler Sonoma County vintage. The problem I have with this wine is that it's hard to come by (retail wise) and it's overpriced if you can find it.... I've tasted Pinot of similar quality for $20-25 retail. A Sonoma County AVA Pinot should never be over $100 on a restaurant wine list, and unfortunately the price this wine is sold at wholesale will place it against Burgundy's mid-tier wines, which are superior in quality.  89 points
Sunday, February 17, 2013

2009 Alysian Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Pinot Noir

On the nose this wine expresses a stunningly pure red fruit bouquet packed with beautiful ripened black cherries, wild raspberry, tangy red currants, and subtle hints of brown sugar and sandalwood. As the wine opens up the perfume fills the room and the cherry aromas intensify and an amazing rose bud aroma comes forth.....

On the palate the wine is again very pure and delicious, showing flavors of ripe wild raspberries, cranberry, bing cherry, brown spice, black plum, and very slight hints of toast and vanilla. This is a superbly balanced wine that glides across the palate with delicious elegance and displays everything that has become associated with the 2009 Pinot Noir vintage in Sonoma County. It has ripeness, depth, perfect varietal expression, and balanced acidity. 93 points

2009 Alysian Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir

On the nose this wine exhibits very pretty aromas of rose petal, red raspberry, bing cherry, cranberry, soft hints of cedar plank, mineral, and touches of baking spice and cinnamon. It's an elegant aroma profile that explores a balance between fresh red fruits and subtle seconday elements.

On the palate the wine expresses an elagance and balance that is very common throughout the full range of Alysian wines. I get savory flavors of red cherry, tart raspberry, red currant, and just very subtle nuances of earth and mineral. It's a wine that represents very well what I believe to be one of the best Pinot Noir vintages in my wine career that spans the last decade. 92 points

2009 Alysian Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir - Allen-Rochioli Blocks

On the nose this wine expresses aromas of black cherry, wild raspberry, strawberry-rhubarb, brown sugar, sweet tea, and subtle hints of mineral and clove. The bouquet is very beautiful, but I think it's a tad closed down right now and within a year or so it should wake up a bit.

On the palate this wine is packed with dense flavors of black cherry, red currant, baking spice, mineral, and hints of toasted oak. There is a considerable amount of acidity and tightly packed tannin in this wine, which I also believe will integrate better with a year or two in bottle.

I must admit I believe this wine is a bit too young to be drinking right now. Out of all the single vineyard Alysian Pinot's this wine has the sharpest acidity and the most densely packed core of darker red fruits and tannin. I believe it's perhaps the most age-worthy of the Alysian Pinot's. Give this one at least a year in the cellar and I think it will be massively improved. 92+ points

2009 Dry Creek Vineyard "Heritage" Zinfandel

This wine is composed of 87% Zinfandel and 13% Petite Sirah and was aged in French and American oak (40% new) for a total of 10 months. The fruit was sourced from both the Russian River Valley and the Dry Creek appellation.

On the nose I get aromas of blackberry, ripe black plum, vanilla, and toasted oak. There are also some black pepper notes and cedar from the barrel fermentation that add a layer of complexity but also detract from the purity of the fruit flavors.

On the palate this wine shows flavors of blackberry, over ripe and stewed cherry, toasted oak, and bitter sweet chocolate. The wine is a bit heavy on the oak flavor and is somewhat bland and one dimensional, however it is very serviceable and the alcohol is kept in check. With Zinfandel what I'm looking for is more purity of fruit and a jammyness and ripeness that is only found in the Zins that are small production and artisan efforts. This wine unfortunately falls just a bit short of that. 84 points
Sunday, February 10, 2013

2008 Dumol Russian RIver Valley Syrah

The 2008 Dumol Russian River Valley Syrah is composed of grapes harvested from five different Russian River Valley vineyards. (40% Trenton Station, 31% DuMOL Estate, 14% Hoppe-Kelly, 10% Dry Stack & 5% Strauss).The wine was aged 18 months in 40% new French oak barrels and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

On the nose I get beautiful aromas of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, meat, spice, chocolate, violets, black pepper, dried herbs, and just a hint of soy. Very complex and layered aromatic profile....

On the palate the wine shows the most amazing flavors of blueberry, ripe blackberry, creme de cassis, Belgium chocolate truffle, licorice, coffee grind, and game meat. This wine has an amazingly soft and supple tannin structure and incredibly balanced acidity. Classic cooler weather Syrah, but it definitely contains the ripeness only found in California. Absolutely stunning wine..... 97 Points
Friday, February 08, 2013

2009 Novelty Hill Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Like previous vintages of this wine, Novelty Hill’s estate vineyard Stillwater Creek is the predominant source for the blend, but Mike Januik also relies on a handful of other top vineyards, including Alder Ridge, Weinbau and Chandler’s Reach, to give the wine added layers and complexity. The wine is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Malbec.

On the nose I get complex aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate, licorice, black plum, black tea, coffee grind, and hints of cedar. A very seductive bouquet with multiple layers to shed and develop over time in the cellar.

On the palate I the wine has a luxurious texture and shows intense flavors of cassis, blackberry, milk chocolate, ripe black cherry, and cedar. It's nicely balanced wine, with beautiful ripeness, and polished tannin. Excellent value at under 30 greenbacks! 92 points

2010 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon

The Januik Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from a short list of vineyards considered to be among the best in the state. The diversity of these vineyards which represents many of the most mature, carefully managed sites in Washington provide for a full range of fruit expression that allows for a well crafted, complex, multi-layered wine true to Columbia Valley terroir as well as the varietal character of the grapes. The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon includes grapes from Champoux, Klipsun, Red Mountain, Weinbau and Lady Hawk vineyards.  92% Cabernet Sauvignon; 5% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Franc; 1% Malbec.

On the nose I get generous aromas of blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate, melted black licorice, all spice, and lovely cedar box aromas. This wine is very young and already has such a wonderfully complex and multi-layered bouquet.......will be interesting to see how this wine shows with a few years of age.

On the palate the wine is ripe and intense, showing beautiful black fruit flavors such as blackberry, boysenberry, and cassis. There are also really nice secondary flavors of dark chocolate, licorice, spice, and cedar. The wine is luxuriously textured and has a wonderful balance of fruit, oak, tannin, and acidity. Januik wines continue to be amongst the best wine made in Washington, and probably hold the best price to quality ratio out of any domestic wines on the market. Outstanding stuff.... 94 points
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