Tasting Notes from the Hennepin Lake Charity Event

All I have to say is why were there not more people at this event? We do not have great wine tastings typically in MN and this one is the top! I have been to other charity events that are 4 times the price and they don't deliver. We also have some for profit events that also have a mediocre line up.

The Hennepin Lake Charity Event offered a variety of wines from around the world.

Highlights:
Best Table:  Bourget Imports

Honorable Mention:  Wine Company

Best Wines: 
2015 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (USA, California, Napa Valley)
10/11/2018
3daywinereview.com
94 points
Excellent and second best wine at the tasting. Bright fruit, floral, dust and a nice minerality streak. Medium to long finish and drinking quite well for this young a vintage. I would decant a few hours prior to serving and I could see this wine cellaring for a decade.  WINE COMPANY

2015 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
10/11/2018
3daywinereview.com
94 points
The best young Pegau I have ever tasted and wine of the tasting. Garrique, funk, stones and rustic edges. This is a powerful wine but very balanced. Long finish and actually drinking great right now. If I had a six pack I would drink one every two years to see the evolution. 94-96.  Bourget Imports

Best Wine Under $25:  2015 Alexandria Nicole Syrah Jet Black Destiny Ridge Vineyards (USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills) $22.99
10/11/2018
3daywinereview.com
92+ points (Might be the first wine I gave a higher score than James Suckling even if it is a half point)
This is the QPR of the tasting. Had to go back and sample a few times to confirm. First of all love WA Syrah. Black pepper, floral, plums, cherries and meat. Balanced and medium to long finish. This will drink well now or later. Tremendous value for $22.99. 92+ Bourget Imports

Most Knowledge Sales Rep:  Paul Dagget of the Wine Company.

Paul is a legend in the Twin Cities Wine Scene.  Always a story to share and knows what he is talking about!

Best Hand Outs:  Bourget Imports.  They had a paper with the visual of the wines and prices along with professional reviews.  Well done!

 

Here are the wines I sampled:

 

N.V. Champagne Le Mesnil Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (10/11/2018)
This is fine but so many better non vintage Champagnes out there for less like Piper Heidsieck. Subtle spices, apple and dough. Short to medium finish with moderate acidity. (89 pts.)

2014 Bevan Cellars Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/11/2018)
Love it! Spice, pineapple, fruit and mild oak. Really good finish and balanced wine. Much better than the Lewis I sampled earlier which was oak heavy. Drink now or hold for a few. (93 pts.)

2016 Bevan Cellars Pinot Noir - USA, California, Sonoma County, Petaluma Gap (10/11/2018)
Mediocre California Pinot Noir. Floral, subtle spice and sweet fruits. Lacks balance and the acidity is not there. Over priced. (87 pts.)

2016 Bevan Cellars Ontogeny - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville (10/11/2018)
Solid as the Chardonnay was. Nice currants, spices, vanilla and oak. Medium plus finish and should age for another 10 years. (92 pts.)

2014 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogée Pepper Bridge Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (10/11/2018)
Young but very enjoyable. Cherry, plums, and raspberries. Nice minerality streak on the palate/finish and good use of oak. This should drink well for another 10 years. If drinking now 3 plus hour decant. (92 pts.)

2015 Alexandria Nicole Syrah Jet Black Destiny Ridge Vineyards - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills (10/11/2018)
This is the QPR of the tasting. Had to go back and sample a few times to confirm. First of all love WA Syrah. Black pepper, floral, plums, cherries and meat. Balanced and medium to long finish. This will drink well now or later. Tremendous value for $22.99. 92+ (92 pts.)

2007 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (10/11/2018)
Good acidity and the first pour out of bottle had that classic dill quality. One hour later at the tasting the evolution occurred and this offered wood, vanilla, red currants and minerals. Classic Rioja and love this wine on every vintage I have ever had. This might be my favorite Spanish wine for the money. (93 pts.)

2012 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric dël Fiasc - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (10/11/2018)
Excellent young Barolo. While this needs time a lot there now! Leather, tar, raspberries, mushrooms and earth. Very good acidity and medium plus finish. Hold until 2022 and beyond. 92-94. (92 pts.)

2015 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (10/11/2018)
The best young Pegau I have ever tasted and wine of the tasting. Garrique, funk, stones and rustic edges. This is a powerful wine but very balanced. Long finish and actually drinking great right now. If I had a six pack I would drink one every two years to see the evolution. 94-96. (94 pts.)

2014 Robert Mondavi Winery 50th Anniversary Maestro - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
Well this was significantly better than the 50th anniversary Napa bottle. Spice, blueberries, floral and oak. Classic Cali Cab and medium plus finish. Drink now or later. (90 pts.)

2015 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva - Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG (10/11/2018)
Not a fan of this one. Thin, rustic and lacks any complexity. I have drank these wines for 15 plus years and this vintage doesn't do it for me. (86 pts.)

2014 Melville Pinot Noir Estate - USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills (10/11/2018)
I like this and it is much better than the Bevans which is twice the price. Vibrant wine with cranberries, floral, wood and possesses laser like acidity. This would go well with grilled Salmon. Drink now or hold for a few years. (90 pts.)

2013 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (10/11/2018)
This is the best wine from Spain for under $25 on a constant basis. Never a bad vintage for me. Red currants, leather, minerals and wood. Classic in style and medium plus finish. Enjoy now or cellar for 5 years. (91 pts.)

2014 E. Guigal Gigondas - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas (10/11/2018)
Not a powerful wine but plenty of flavors. Good fruit, dust and spices. Medium finish and balanced. Drink on the younger side with this wine. (90 pts.)

2015 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)Really good! Red currants, dust, stone and subtle oak. Really get the nice Napa fruit without the obnoxious oak. While young with a good decant this could drink well right now. I will be buying this wine. 92-94. (92 pts.)

2015 Frog's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Rutherford - USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford (10/11/2018)
Excellent dry styled Cabernet. Stones, red currants, dust, floral and mild oak. This is really nice and balanced. You could enjoy this for a decade. Great buy for $50. (92 pts.)

2015 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
Excellent and second best wine at the tasting. Bright fruit, floral, dust and a nice minerality streak. Medium to long finish and drinking quite well for this young a vintage. I would decant a few hours prior to serving and I could see this wine cellaring for a decade. (94 pts.)

2016 ZD Wines Chardonnay - USA, California (10/11/2018)
This is quite a poorly made Chardonnay. Light fruit, floral and short finish. Not much here. Pass. (83 pts.)

2017 Saint-Cosme Côtes du Rhône - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (10/11/2018)
Probably the worst vintage of this I have tasted. Heavy with earth and floral. Lacks distinct fruits that so many of these wines have. Pass even though the price is low. (84 pts.)

N.V. Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (10/11/2018)
Excellent as the last bottle was. This is a steal for the price. Full of flavor featuring minerals, strawberries, floral and dough. Medium plus finish and good acidity. Buy! (92 pts.)

N.V. Roederer Estate Brut Rosé Anderson Valley - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (10/12/2018)
This was excellent. Strawberries, biscuit, rose petal and subtle spices. Very complex for the price point and good acidity. This would do well in a NV Champagne Tasting featuring wines under $50. (90 pts.)

2014 Sea Slopes Fort Ross Winery Pinot Noir - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (10/11/2018)
Another great showing on this wine. The best Pinot for under $20 I have ever purchased although that was on sale. Meat, currants, earth and floral notes. Good acidity. Buy! (91 pts.)

2015 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/11/2018)
More elegant with perfumed fruit, earth and mushroom. Medium finish and quite balanced. Enjoy young. (90 pts.)

2014 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
An old favorite but the last 3 vintages have been mediocre. Oak, vanilla, subtle fruit and dust. Not the most balanced wine and just should cost less. (86 pts.)

2016 Fess Parker The Big Easy - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (10/12/2018)
Was hoping this was Ernie Els the Big Easy but this was not easy to drink. Sweet. Sweet. Sweet. Hot and a mess of a wine. Galloni you got this all wrong. Since I am the first to taste this and leave a not please use this to pass on this purchase unless you like Orin Swift Wines. (82 pts.)

2015 Bodegas AAlto Ribera del Duero AAlto - Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero (10/11/2018)
Not been impress with Aalto for a while now. Tight, wood and some red currants. On the finish some leather notes but the wood is so intense it is hard to tell what exactly is underneath it. I took a gamble and bought some 04s of this so hopefully they are drinking better. Hold this for 5 plus years! (88 pts.)

2015 Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Sonoma County, Chalk Hill (10/11/2018)
Pretty good wine. Red currants, leather, spices and dust. The palate is smooth overall and has a long finish. This could evolve over the years but right now super solid. (92 pts.)

2013 Guarachi Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/12/2018)
Really enjoyable wine. I have never tasted their Cab. Blueberries, cherry, smoke, mild oak and floral notes. Very elegant wine overall and no over the top oak usage. I would highly recommend this wine. (92 pts.)

2015 Roth Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (10/11/2018)
Good but not great in comparison to all the great Cabs tonight. Typical B+ Cab with fruit, spices and some oak. (88 pts.)

2013 Montes Purple Angel - Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (10/11/2018)
Kind of a mess. Eucalyptus over load, dark fruits and lacks acidity. Maybe needs time but for the price point of this wine I would not buy. (85 pts.)

2013 Cakebread Cellars Merlot - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
Never really thought much of Cakebread until I tried this wine. This is excellent Cali Merlot. Smooth wine with plums, earth, cherry and minerals. Medium finish and balanced. This is drinking great right now and I would not hold too much longer. (92 pts.)

2015 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
Really not very good for the price. Typical oak, vanilla and some fruit. Acidity is lacking and just not a fan of this for the money. (87 pts.)

N.V. Laurent-Perrier Champagne La Cuvée - France, Champagne (10/11/2018)
Apple, spices, minerals and pear. Very nicely balanced and medium finish. (90 pts.)

2015 Domaine Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet (10/11/2018)
Sampled this two times and both bottles stellar. Really good wine. Subtle wine but flavorful with shells, minerals, apple, orange peel and mild oak. Medium plus finish and good acidity. Drink now or hold for a few years. (91 pts.)

2015 Lewis Cellars Chardonnay Sonoma - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/11/2018)
A bit too big for my tastes but if you like that style you will love this. Oak, vanilla, lemon, ripe apples and minerals. Long finish and needs food to mellow out the largeness of this wine. (89 pts.)

2016 Hahn Pinot Noir SLH - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (10/11/2018)
Good value Pinot but not as good as the Sea Slopes. Medium finish featuring cranberries, spices and ripe fruit. Drink now until 2021. (87 pts.)

2015 Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
Not as good as the 2013 vintage I had recently. Floral, baked pie crust and a bit harsh on the finish. Not balanced. As I review more 3 day wine reviewing is the way to go. These young wines critics are giving good scores are throwing darts at a board and don't accurately rate these wines. This wine right now is not good. Maybe if I did 3 days on it would be better but this on day 1 is not good. (85 pts.)

2016 Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/13/2018)
I liked this wine especially for the price point. Mild oak, red currants and underbrush. Balance and drinking well young. Good value alert. (89 pts.)

2017 Orin Swift Zinfandel 8 Years in the Desert - USA, California (10/11/2018)
Terrible wine. One of the worst wines of the year candidate. If you are into Orin Swift wines you slam them and don't smell and move the wine in your mouth. Overripe fruit and not acidity. I am not sure how a pro critic could give this above an 85. I will take over for you if you did. (82 pts.)

2015 Château de Hauterive Cahors Chemin de Compostelle - France, Southwest France, Cahors (10/11/2018)
First to review this wine. Wow! Floral, bacon fat, raspberries and stone. Good acidity and medium finish. Drink now to 2020.

2013 Marion Amarone della Valpolicella - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella (10/11/2018)
I liked this wine and offered a complex experience featuring dust, red fruits and floral notes. On the finish subtle spices. (91 pts.)

2016 Chappellet Cervantes Mountain Cuvee - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
Better than the mediocre 15 Napa. Bright fruit, spices and oak. Medium plus finish. Drink now to 2022. (89 pts.)

2015 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton (10/11/2018)
I am not a fan. This is simple wine below A to Z. Thin and light. Not much going on and if a critic likes this wine they should be fired. (83 pts.)

2013 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Single Vineyard Alexander's Crown Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (10/11/2018)
Wow got to taste 3 Single Vineyard Rodney Strong wines so who ever was talking about them at the Henn Lake Tasting well done! This was the best of the 3 with spices, currants, blueberries and mild oak. Complex wine and medium plus finish. Excellent. (93 pts.)

2014 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Rockaway - USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (10/11/2018)
Spice, blue fruits, floral and medium finish. Lacks acidity and not balanced. Good but not worth the coin. (88 pts.)

2014 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers - USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (10/11/2018)
Middle of the 3 Rodney Strong Cabs. Big wine with floral, bacon, bright fruits and earth. A bit of heat so hold this for a while. Medium finish. (91 pts.)

2015 Pine Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
Liked this wine even though really young. Fruit, oak, spices and dust. Should improve over time. Young. (90 pts.)

2014 Argyle Vintage Brut - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (10/11/2018)
Nose not as vibrant as the last bottle but the palate makes up for that. Dough, citrus, minerals and spices. Great fruit and good overall acidity. Medium finish. This vintage is a rock star.

2015 Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
I HATE THESE WINES! Hot, hot and hot. Is this an 80s song. Some ripe fruit and no acidity. If you like these wines great but don't show up to my tastings. These are not balanced. (80 pts.)

2014 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine Old Ghost - USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (10/11/2018)
Big fruit, spice and heat. Not balanced. Medium finish. (84 pts.)

2014 CrossBarn (Paul Hobbs) Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
I like this wine overall. Bit pricy for the quality. Cedar, red fruits and heavy floral quality. Medium finish. (89 pts.)

2012 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (10/11/2018)
Very good. Always liked this wine. Riper fruit, spice, floral, underbrush and violets. Medium plus finish. Drink now to 2022. (92 pts.)

2015 Charles Smith Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Smith - USA, Washington (10/11/2018)
Not as good as Substance. Red currants, earth and graphite. Short to medium finish. Drink now. (86 pts.)

2016 Orin Swift Mannequin - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
These guys are trying to Chardonnay. Wow. Honey suckles, big and no acidity. This is awful stuff. (83 pts.)

2015 Prisoner Wine Company Saldo - USA, California (10/11/2018)
Another bad wine. Sweet and not balanced. Who pays this much for bad wine??????????? I like balance but this wine shows some people will pay more to drink syrup wines. (83 pts.)

2014 Prisoner Wine Company Thorn - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/11/2018)
Guys don't take this personally. I will not add you favorite wine tasters on cellar tracker. This is jam wine. Sweet and no acidity. I hate Prisoner wines. (83 pts.)

2015 Talbott Chardonnay Logan Sleepy Hollow Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (10/11/2018)
Better than previous vintages. Spice, floral and subtle fruits. Drink now to 2019. (88 pts.)

2015 Talbott Chardonnay Kali Hart Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey (10/11/2018)
Floral, orange peel and blossoms. Short finish. (86 pts.)

2015 Talbott Chardonnay Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (10/11/2018)
Good overall with spices, floral, apples and pear. Medium finish and decant acidity. Drink now to 2020. (88 pts.)

2015 Orin Swift Cabernet Sauvignon Mercury Head - USA, California, Napa Valley (10/13/2018)
This wine is a mess. Ripe fruit and not balanced. It is amazing how these wines get the press they do. Who is paying who off. No thanks!!! One user quoted Parker with a 95 and no tasting notes. Wow! (84 pts.)

 

 

4 thoughts on “Tasting Notes from the Hennepin Lake Charity Event”

  1. Becky I am glad you enjoyed it. It was better than I expected which does not happen often at tasting events.

    Cheers,
    John

  2. Thanks J Smith. I really don’t care about appeasing any local wine shop or distributor. I am independent and speak freely on the good, the bad and the ugly in the twin cities wine market.

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