Haskell’s 70th Anniversary’s Grand Tasting: NO!

Haskell’s has been in decline for years but to have a celebration like this with wines like this is embarrassing. Hennepin Lake used to be the only good shop that would offer a good tasting and those days are long gone. Some really bad stuff here.

Well these walk around, free tastings surely are interesting. Tons of reviews in the 70s, 60s and a few in the 50s.

Top wines:

  1. 2014 Nota Bene Una Nottte
  2. NV Lete Vautrain 204 Brut
  3. Soter North Valley Vineyard Pinot

Worst wine of the tasting and the year so far
2022 Bread & Butter Chardonnay

N.V. Champagne Lété-Vautrain Champagne Brut 204 – France, Champagne
A solid overall effort with candied pineapple, dough, chalk and apple. Good acidity and medium finish. Solid stuff for under $40. (90 pts.)
2022 Chartron et Trébuchet Saint Véran – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Saint Véran
Simple stuff and not a remarkable effort. Apple, light minerality and a touch of spice. Short finish. (80 pts.)
2018 Henri de Villamont Monthélie Blanc – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Monthélie
Simple wine with mild oak, apple and spices. Short finish. Boring wine. (81 pts.)
2020 Requiem Red Blend – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Love Washington wines but this is not one of them. Simple and a touch of sweetness. Red fruits and floral notes. Short finish. (78 pts.)
2021 Bonpas Côtes du Rhône Villages Croix de Bonpas – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages
One of the better wines at this tasting but that is saying nothing. Earth, pepper and floral notes. Medium finish and good value. (87 pts.)
2018 Louis Bernard Vacqueyras – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vacqueyras
Earth, some fruits and a bit green. Not as good. (84 pts.)
2019 Joseph Drouhin Santenay – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Santenay
Very weak and way overpriced Burgundy which would get crushed by some of the base bottlings from Willamette. Chalk, sour fruits, earth and floral notes. Shorter finish. Weak wine. (81 pts.)
2014 Nota Bene Cellars Una Notte – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Really the only wine I would buy at this tasting for $27.99. Nice with black pepper, earth, raspberries, blue fruits and spices. Medium finish and solid. (91 pts.)
2020 Natale Verga Prosecco Rosé – Italy, Veneto / Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Prosecco
Not bad with cherry, floral and some minerals. Very drinkable for the price. (85 pts.)
N.V. Longridge The Emily – South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
Awful would be a good description of this wine. Really boring stuff with a short finish. Not much going on here. (70 pts.)
2021 Pierre Boniface Vin de Savoie Apremont Les Rocailles – France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie Apremont
Ok but nothing to bring you to buy this wine. Floral, green apple and some mild spice. Short finish. (83 pts.)
2020 I Veroni Chianti Rùfina Riserva Quona – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina
Ok wine overall with earth, leather, clay and some red currants. Drink now to 2025. (86 pts.)
2021 North Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Solid overall with strawberries, minerals, earth and floral notes. Medium finish. (90 pts.)
2019 Miner Family Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
Might be the worst Pinot Noir over $30 I have sampled in a long time. The color looked like a poorly stored Burgundy. Wood, tons of oak and some fruit hiding. This is a complete disaster. (73 pts.)
2018 Château Caronne Ste. Gemme – France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
Not very good Bordeaux. Leather, cherry and earth. Shorter finish. (84 pts.)
2020 Precision Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Method – USA, California, Napa Valley
Another smoked tainted 2020. I might be the only wine reviewer reporting all these disasters. Smoke and some sweet fruits trying to mask this smoke taint. (60 pts.)
2022 Trivento White Malbec Reserve – Argentina, Mendoza
Guy said you have never seen a white malbec and I said yes and never want to see another one. Color of water and about the taste of water. There was nothing going on here. A completely terrible wine. (61 pts.)
2021 Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc Sonoma County – USA, California, Sonoma County
Very drinkable wine with floral, orange peel and some grassy notes. Short to medium finish and decant acidity. (85 pts.)
2020 Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Uncharted – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
Not bad overall with grass and grapefruit. Shorter finish but drinkable. (84 pts.)
2021 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
A very boring wine which this has been for years but the popularity is amusing. Lighter wine with lemon, apple, mild oak and dust. Not bad but would rather drink a good Chardonnay for more money. (84 pts.)
2019 Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Reserve – USA, California, Napa Valley
Enjoyed the 13 not long ago but this is just a hunk of oak and overripe fruit. Some pepper in there too. Maybe just needs some time but not enjoyable right now. (85 pts.)
2022 Bread & Butter Chardonnay – USA, California
Don’t take this personal but if you like this take some local wine classes. This is one of the worst wines I have ever tasted. Cardboard, I think I got some fruit in there and sawdust. What in the world is this industrial crap sandwich? (52 pts.)
2022 Bonanza Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 6 – USA, California
Amazing they have lots for this crap. SWEET wine with over ripe fruit and some mild spice. Short finish and super thick feel in the mouth. Super high RS levels. (65 pts.)
2022 Hanna Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
For Russian River expect more. Lighter with apple, floral and mild spice. Short finish. Acidity lacking here. (80 pts.)
2023 Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
Drinkable with floral, grass and apricots. Short to medium finish. (83 pts.)
2022 Flowers Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Overpriced Chardonnay. So many better from Willamette or a Tyler is much better. Spices, apple, pear, mild oak and floral notes. Short to medium finish. Good overall but not worth $40. (88 pts.)
2019 Bodegas Beronia Rioja Crianza – Spain, La Rioja, Rioja
Weak wine. Light oak, sour cherry and some earth. Short finish. Boring. (82 pts.)
2021 Ferrari-Carano Siena – USA, California, Sonoma County
This stuff is junk. Sweeter style and disjointed wine with candied fruits and a bitter finish. No one like this one. (71 pts.)
N.V. Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut – France, Champagne
One of the more boring Champagnes in the world. Simple with some chalk, light fruit and dust. Short finish and lower acidity. (82 pts.)
2021 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
Might be the worst SB I have ever tasted. Just nothing going on here and lacks fruit and the grassy notes I like from New Zealand. (63 pts.)
2019 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir – USA, Oregon
Ok this used to be drinkable but this is terrible. Not sweet but dirt and some floral notes. Where is the fruit??? (70 pts.)
2019 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Chianti Rùfina Nipozzano Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Rùfina
Boring wine. Lacks anything I enjoy in a wine. (75 pts.)
2022 Conundrum Wines White Table Wine – USA, California
Surprisingly better than I expected. Drinkable with floral, light fruits and mild spice. (79 pts.)
2021 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Silver Unoaked – USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey
Not my style of Chardonnay. Never found an unoaked I like. Light fruit, mild spice and just watered down effort. Super short finish. (75 pts.)
2021 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Reserve Santa Lucia Highlands – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
A bit better than the silver but not much. Citrus, sour apple, mild spice and really short finish. Not much going on but drinkable. (81 pts.)
2021 Sea Sun Vineyard Pinot Noir California – USA, California
These are the kind of wines that make you shake your head on if this is even Pinot Noir. Just the texture of the wine screams this is not Pinot Noir. Super ripe fruit and light else to describe. (65 pts.)
2022 Piattelli Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve – Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo
Really green which seems to be way too many Argentina Cabs. Some earth and bell pepper. Shorter finish. Easy pass. (71 pts.)
2021 Loscano Malbec The Winemaker – Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco
The difference between Malbec and Cab from Argentina is that the Malbec’s are usually drinkable while the Cabs are dump them out on average. This is pretty good and a good value. Pepper, dark fruits and some earth. Short to medium finish. Better than the last time trying this. (84 pts.)
2021 Beni di Batasiolo Barbera d’Alba – Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d’Alba
Pretty good with mushrooms, earth, blue currants and mild spices. Medium finish. (87 pts.)
2020 Cave de Lugny Mâcon-Villages – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Mâcon-Villages
Poorly made overall but it is $10 so what can you expect. Light wine with some minerals and lemon. Short finish. (81 pts.)
2020 Bodegas Juan Gil Monastrell Jumilla – Spain, Murcia, Jumilla
Used to be much better. Sweeter fruits, spices and pepper. Short to medium finish. (84 pts.)
2022 The Hess Collection Chardonnay Hess Select Monterey – USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey
Is there a good Chardonnay made in California less than $15? Have not found one in a long time. This is also bad. Chemical taste with some fruit and a touch of oak. (78 pts.)
The Wagner Family wines did not disappoint as one would expect. Can’t understand how people drink these but I know must don’t apply the tasting process so that is how.