Texan - Wine Nerd Herd Member
Finally got around to watching the Zoom tasting, and gave this about an hour and a half decant (though I did have a small pour at pop and didn’t notice too much of a difference at the end of the decant). I love all Bionic wines (Cayuse, No Girls, Horsepower, Hor Categorie, Champagne CB), so what a treat it was for them to send all members an inaugural bottle free of charge!
This is definitely more in the vein of No Girls, as expected. A blend of Grenache, Tempranillo and Syrah (percentages aren’t given as the blend will be different each year) from young vines, it seems mostly Grenache driven. Very approachable and bright with only a kiss of Cayuse funk. Blind, I think I could get the region right, but I’m not sure I could take it to Cayuse. Aromatically it has savory funk, iron, and classical green/herbal stemmy notes, but the palate reveals a grilled black cherry, black pepper crusted rhubarb, soft wine with an herb and black tea finish that shows more acidity than tannin. Definitely on the consume early side, but would hold easily for a couple years. Looking forward to the official release next year! — a day ago
One of the birth year bottles I opened for my 33rd this past week. It was opened alongside an ‘88 Chateau de Marbuzet (which never came alive).
Scoring these types of wines is difficult...based on shock factor, this is like a 95...based on profile (in a vacuum), it’s closer to 85...marrying the two, I have no problem giving this a 90-91. This was a bottle acquired from an estate sale. Mostly kept with one owner, it simply wasn’t kept in a temperature controlled environment. Even more, it showed a bit of seepage down the side. Expectations were low, but when removing the capsule, the cork looked quite good. Pulled the cork and it showed very little seepage overall...after pouring, it was shockingly impressive. When compared to the ‘88 Marbuzet, the nose was more ripe and high toned...dirty and ripe black cherries, cherry pipe tobacco, and fig. Very smooth and integrated, obviously, but an incredible structure shows up on the finish. Cocoa dusted dates, bayleaf, cracked black pepper crusted cherries, herbs de Provence and some leather. This powered through 3hrs open in the bottle and just got better and better.
It’s bottles like this that make you sit back and realize how incredible wine can be when it comes in a bottle that is totally unexpected. @Bill Bender , this surpassed even my highest hopes! Bravo! — 5 days ago
This champagne is the same base wine of their regular Cuvée de Reserve, but aged an extra year on the lees, and bottled under cork rather than crown seal. All bottles from my 3-pack were base of 2014 and disgorged in 2019, so on the younger side.
Interestingly enough, I think I experienced bottle variation across all three (they were all consumed within 6 months of each other). Bottle one was not expressive with ripping acidity. Bottle two seemed more floral and showed a bit more give on the palate. And this fine bottle was what I had expected they would be when I first picked them up. For a wine of this much reserve, it has a very nervy spine and isn’t necessarily rich. Aromatically it is very floral, with honeysuckle, green apple, and grilled lemon. On the palate, it sports copious amounts of chalk and limestone, with a hint of nutmeg and lemon pastry. Racy. This is a champagne that seemed to get better the longer it was in the glass, and as it warmed up a bit. I’d say close to cellar temp is ideal for this if you want to see it open up at this age. At almost twice the price of their Cuvée de Reserve, I don’t think this is a QPR winner, but fun to try. — 11 days ago
I picked up 6 of these and 6 of the Palmer BdB last Fall and just polished off my last one of the Brut Reserve, as these come across as more accessible and less complex than their BdB sibling.
These champagnes are fairly new to the US (though not new across the pond), so I’m starting to see them more and more. This champagne reminds me of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve “lite”. It pours golden in the glass with plenty of toasty/yeasty notes, alongside truffle honeycomb and sea salt. The palate trends more towards the rich side yet finishes lighter than expected. Some nougat, golden delicious apple, caramel and lemon pastry. Not the most complex champagne, but it’s enjoyable on its own and has been a solid everyday/house champagne the last 6-8 months. — a day ago
This has got to be one of my first 2018s to open, and while I’d normally refrain even if for only a bit longer, this producer has piqued my interest too much. Accolades are great and all, but many fellow winemakers have spoken highly of Dan’s project, which is enough reason to open and see how this is showing.
Normally for my palate, Hyde Chardonnay’s show a lot of bright stone fruit with high acidity (ex: Aubert’s Larry Hyde & Sons...plenty of acidity, lighter style, big fruit up front). Dan has taken Hyde’s fruit and put it front and center. Everything about this wine is about the vineyard. Crystalline and pure. On the nose, it is very ripe without being boozy...grilled lemon, lemon-lime tart, even some kiwi, with floral honeysuckle and sea salt. The palate reveals such an intense expression of the fruit with hardly any notice of oak. This has a strong mineral core and high acidity type backbone, but the mid palate and finish show plenty of ripe lemon, powdered lemon bar tart type flavors. 12.7ABV! Nothing sweet, rich or flabby about this wine. Not sure how it ages, but very enjoyable. — 2 days ago
One of the birthday bottles I opened for my 33rd. Aubert chardonnays, for me, are the total package. Aside from Marcassin (and even then, it’s not fair because the 2013 hasn’t been officially released yet), there is no other new world producer of Chardonnay I’d rather have. I opened this Eastside because it was in the home cellar and I didn’t feel like traveling to storage...good and bad scenario!
Opening their single vineyard chards this young (aside from Hudson), is normally a crime, but I read a lot of reviews of how good this was young and WOW are they right. Aromatically it sports Aubert’s signature lemon cream, ginger, honey roasted cashews and a slight reductive note. The palate shows plenty of lemon cream, marzipan, smoked lemon, and stone fruit like guava...what makes this a standout (like other Aubert chards), is the acidity and structure. Normally this would make a chard flabby or over the top, but it wears this profile so well. I could have polished this off with a straw.
My almost two-year old’s card in the background. 👌🏼 — 5 days ago
2014 Napa cabs are in a sweet spot for the “fruit forward” stage of wines without ripping the enamel off your teeth. TRB is a favorite winemaker of mine for his ability to pull the entire fruit spectrum (red, blue, black), when applicable, which is evident here.
This is a pop and pour for the big fruit loving Napa enthusiasts (which I can enjoy ever so often). It is uber ripe and high toned...not quite sporting levels of EA, but close. With this being Calistoga fruit, it undoubtedly shows that warm profile. There is a kiss of red fruit initially on the nose before it is dominated by freshly squeezed blackberries, creme de cassis, dark chocolate, mocha and dark mixed berry pie. It begins on the palate somewhat lighter than expected before picking up steam and really gaining heft/density on the mid palate. Just oozes fresh and ripe dark fruits, fondue dipped fruits, plenty of baking spices like vanilla and nutmeg, and a sweet finish that sails on for a good while. Completely smooth and soft tannin. Not failing off a cliff for a while, but this style has me thinking earlier consumption is best. — 2 days ago
One of the birth year bottles I opened for my 33rd birthday. It was a true treat to try this alongside an ‘88 Napa (Sterling Diamond Ranch), and while the Sterling outperformed this, it was a generous gift and fun to try.
This gets a rating of NR. Provenance seemed solid and fill was great. I wasn’t familiar with this producer, but it just seemed to never wake up. It wasn’t flawed, or wasn’t terrible, it just seemed like non-descript old Bordeaux. Lots of old fig, watered down herbs, leather and Brett. After I let it sit open in the bottle for an hour, I moved it to a decanter and tried ever so often over the course of the next two hours...didn’t change. — 5 days ago
Very similar to the 2016 I opened 6-8 months ago, yet more open for business. Some of these wines have a reputation for “large and in charge”, but this was supremely balanced, toeing the line between Sonoma and white burgundy with richness. Whereas Aubert’s chards can be more powerful (and is normally my favorite), I’m always pleasantly surprised at how these show.
Aromatically it revealed sugar frosted stone fruits, guava, white peach, caramel dipped golden delicious apples and baking spices. It has a beautifully textured palate that starts as though it’s going to be dense, but finishes with a gorgeous lifted profile and plenty of acidity. Added notes on the palate of powdered lemon bar, floral honeysuckle, whipped lemon cream and even some honey roasted cashews. I’d pop this 2017 before the 2016 with how open it is, but it will cruise another 7-10yrs, easily. — 11 days ago
Flora Springs will always hold a special place in my heart. It was an older bottle of Trilogy that was my “ah-ha” moment with wine. Their single vineyards are nice wines, but the Rennie Reserve and Rutherford Hillside are undoubtedly my favorite from the portfolio. Hard to believe 2013 wines are approaching 8yrs, so I wanted to check in...
This poured dark in the glass but had a touch of fading around the rim. Immediately hit with very dark and roasted aromatics...mocha, baking spices like nutmeg and a hint of vanilla, mixed berry pie, and roasted fig. I was both surprised, and pleased, at how smooth and integrated this was on the palate. Stops just short of decadent, with berry infused dark chocolate, ripe black cherries and blackberries, sweet herbs, lavender, and a clean finish. I’d say this is definitely in peak drinking window and not getting any better. Enjoy over the next 5yrs or so. — 14 days ago