France, Bordeaux Blend, Chateau Haut-Beausejour, 2003
Previous post: USA, Merlot, Robert Sinskey, Carneros, 2006
You know what you want to spend on a bottle - so why shouldn't you be able to see ratings within price ranges? You can here. Wine focus is West Coast USA, Argentina, Chile, and soon Brazil. Also: interesting beers, spirits, musings, my booze and lifestyle magazine articles, dining and lodging recommendations in wine country, travel adventures, coffee, sushi, cigars, etc.
Previous post: USA, Merlot, Robert Sinskey, Carneros, 2006
There are hundreds of wines and beers rated here.
Please use the manual search box and/or the full "tags" list (both in the right hand column on this page) to find what you like.
Also, kindly check out my magazine articles, linked below, on this page.
Cheers and thank you very much for visiting!
Country of origin is listed first, then the name of the grape(s), the maker, wine name, additional geographic information, and finally the vintage year.
C = Color. Rarely noted unless unique for that wine.
N = Nose, aroma - how it smells.
T = Taste, mouthfeel, finish.
I = "Intangible". Subjective feel. Squishy impressions on how the wine was independent of anything objective.
Either the American scholastic A-F "grades" scale, or the standard numeric scale is used.
A+ or 98-100 = Incredible. Beautiful. Elegant. The stars have aligned.
A or 94-97 = Total quality on all fronts. Seriously memorable. The starting material must have been excellent, and the winemaker clearly took pride in her/his art.
A- or 90-93 = Brilliant. Special stuff indeed. Do what you can to try it, you will not be disappointed.
B+ or 87-89 = Very Good. Above average quality. Worth a try.
B or 84-86 = Good.
B- or 80-83 = Good, with some detracting notes.
C- to C+ = Fair. Likely unbalanced. Faults, but not terminal ones.
D and F = Avoid. I rarely even post on these, unless it was a media sample. I will also always try to obtain a second bottle (to guard against bottle variation) before putting a wine in this category.
I decant most tannin-rich red wines at least 20 minutes before tasting begins, usually an hour.
My ratings reflect my perceptions from, typically, multiple hours of smelling and sipping.
I try to taste at the same time of day, in the same glass, and without food to be as objective as possible.
Many wines I will vaccu-vin, refrigerate, and rate the next day to see how they hold up.
Finally, I taste and rate so many wines that a lot of the lesser wines fall to the back of my "to post" pile... accordingly, this site tends to focus on the best of the wines I rate each year (which, I assume is of higher importance to readers anyway).
1) I love wine and beer, 2) I have been blessed/cursed, with some sort of industrial-accident-breeds-turbo-sniffer nose, and 3) I have a bad memory for tasting notes.
I take detailed notes so that when I’m shopping I can pull up my own site on a mobile phone to guide my purchases.
In short, these are notes I basically write for myself.
I also very much enjoy having people try wines I recommend, and the interactions I have with winemakers and other wine business folks.
I try to rate wines with a view to how we normal folks consume them. If you try some of these wines I’ve rated, see if my notes ring true for you. I truly hope they do.
Also, wines are rated within price category - because I, and I assume many people, go to a wine outlet with a per-bottle budget in mind.
As we all know, wines can change dramatically over time in your glass. I see that as an elemental part of wine rating, one often missed by the time demands placed on professional tasters. Therefore, I analyze over hours - not just the minutes many wine sages usual have.
When I don't finish a given bottle, I will take notes again the next day to gauge how well the wine survived overnight slumber in the fridge.
Cheers and happy yeast excretions!
Well, the pricing of wine is sadly dominated by marketing and fads. In short, a wine's price is not a highly reliable indicator of its quality.
Accordingly, many fantastic bargains exist.
The goal of this site is to help bring those gems to your glass!
Another way in which this site is different is that we only rate wines against other wines in their same price category.
In other words, you can use this site to find affordable gems, but you also can pick a price point and then look for the highest ratings within that monetary range.
Wine, as a liquid, is an incredibly complex symphony of chemistry.
Enjoying wine, however, does not need to be complicated at all.
Many wine drinkers are perplexed by fancy labels, crazy price ranges, and the pervasive legend that one needs to be an "expert" to really enjoy wine.
You know EXACTLY how you like your: steak, cocktails, toast, vegetables, salad dressings, and fish to be served. Why?
Well, even though you don't know everything about how, where, why, and under what exact climatic conditions your meat, produce, and boozes are made - you know how you want them to smell and taste.
The same can, and should, be true for your wine preferences.
Yes, what I get out of drinking wine is enhanced by my familiarity with the stuff, but that does not mean I will enjoy a given glass any more than a non "expert" can.
Red Wine, White Wine, Beer, Scotch, Whisky, Whiskey, Bourbon, Rum, Rhum, Tequila, Mescal, Mezcal, Cachaca, Champagne, Sake, Grappa, Vodka, Cigars, Tobacco, Chocolate, Coffee, Cheese, Sushi, Travel, FlyFishing.
Favorite Wine Styles = Red Blends, Bordeaux (Claret), Meritage, Crisp Whites, Botrytis Infected, Late Harvest.
South American Focus = Red Blends, Carmenere, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Bonarda, and Torrontes.
Red Varietal Focus = Red Blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, Tannat, Pinot Noir, Charbono, Pinotage, Syrah, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Maréchal Foch, Grenache, Merlot.
White Varietal Focus = White Blends, Late Harvest, Riesling, Gewurtzraminer, Muller-Thurgau, Torrontes, Semillon, Viognier, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.
Wine Region Focus = Argentina, Bordeaux, Brasil, Brazil, Casablanca Valley, California, Chile, Colchagua Valley, France, Germany, Lujan de Cuyo, Maipo, Maule Valley, Mendoza, Mexico, Napa, Oregon, Paso Robles, Patagonia, Rapel Valley, Rio Grande Do Sul, Sonoma, South Africa, Spain, Tupungato, Valle de Colchagua, Valle de Maule, Valle de Rapel, Vietnam, and Willamette Valley.