'11 Shirah Coalition: B++/** I have to say I was disappointed with this wine, as the '10 Coalition is one of my favorites ever. On first attack, the Zinfandel dominates. With a bit of time, the other varietals start coming through and add complexity. The wine needs TONS of time. Next bottle I open I will decant for several hours before approaching.
'05 California Classic Cellars Cab/Syrah blend: B+ to A-/***++ Really nice wine at an incredible price. I wish I could get more. Thanks Gabriel Geller for shlepping this from Cali. Opens with the Cab dominating with typical varietal notes, including black fruit and lots of graphite, also some surprising green bell pepper, smoke on the finish. With some air time, the syrah starts coming though with red fruit, herbs, animal, and a hint of tart blueberry. Don't let this wine sit too long after opening as the wine in my glass died after a few minutes. I rushed to finish the bottle before it could suffer the same fate
This is the best $10 bottle of wine I've ever had a by a long shot! Wish I could get more.
'11 Landsman Zinfandel: A-/** Luscious wine with nice sweet fruit and delicious blue notes.
'09 Alexander Reserve Cabernet Franc: B+/* Like most Alexander wines, it was way overoaked and a bit overripe, but I nevertheless enjoyed the strong green herbs coming through.
'08 Mas Noir Grès de Montpellier - Languedoc: B+/** Although Mevushal, this wine is showing well despite its age. A bit of oxidation on the nose that blows over. Great wet earth and garrigue. Very old world wine.
'10 Har Bracha Highlander Merlot: B+ to A-/** After reading Dave's reviews, I've been looking forward to tasting this wine. Their CS is undrinkable so I never would've even tried it if not for Dave's raving. I'm happy to report that it's absolutely delicious! A deep royal purple, awesome extraction, a hint of sweetness but not too much, tons of purple plums and red berries. Seriously sexy wine. Unfortunately, it had one major flaw, which prevents it from getting a straight A- or maybe even A- to A: in keeping with current fashions, the wine seems to be unfined and unfiltered, leaving a ton of particles floating around, clouding up the wine and clogging your taste buds. That really mars what would otherwise be a spectacular wine.