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Wow.....I've been incredibly curious to see what WS would do with the '99 Justin Isosceles, and I personally think they are WAY off track on this one!!!

First of all they rated the following wines 92 Pts....which in my opinion was right on, except for one:

1. '99 Hanna Cab
2. '99 Turnbull Cab
3. '99 Souverain Merlot (don't know what they were thinking here)...good wine, but not 92 pts!

Then....the '99 Whitehall Lane at 93 Pts....which I totally agree with.

But, to put the Isosceles in this category, or below!!! Way off in IMHO!!! At least for the bottle I had. I would have scored it at 96 pts. without hesitation. It's the best CA wine I've had yet from '99. I think someone was sleeping when it came to this. They even scored the regular Justin cab. at 91 pts. I certainly think the Isosceles is more than 1 pt. higher than the Justin cab!!!

Just goes to show you can't always go by the ratings!


That was my reaction exactly!!! There is at least a 3-4 point spread between the Justin and the WHL in favor of the Justin. I like both and I thought that for the money WHL was great, probably 92 points but the Justin IMO was at least a 94.

This is a perfect example of why you have to make up your own mind on a wine and not be so infatuated with reviews. Actually, with the reviews the Isosceles might last on the shelves a little while longer, which will give a chance to possibly scoff a few more bottles. Hee Hee !!
DRAB- I'm with you. Completely. At dinner tonight we had the '99 Justin Iso after a '97 Ste. Jean CC and I was completely captivated (read: blown away) by the Justin (again). In my world it kinda knocked the CC off the table. And it's so early in the game for it. What will it evolve to.... [Smile] ...we can only wait. I'm off to my deep discounters tomorrow. Right now I'm off to a deep zzzzzzzz.
My take on this for comparison purposes, picking on the Whitehall Lane. I for one, having tried these all, do not consider the Whitehall Cab. up to the quality of these:

1999 Shafer Cab 93 pts.
1999 Phelps Cab 92 pts.
1999 Isosceles 92 pts.
1999 Pride Cab 92 pts.
1999 Lewis Cab 92 pts.

When considering the point ratings it just does not stack up. The Whitehall was good and I gave it an 88 see my TN's. But this is just my opinion.;f=1;t=001721
I tried the WHL the other night and I would have to agree with the score. It will be even better after a year or two. I have 3 bottles of the Iso, but I haven't tried it yet. I may have to pull one out after reading these comments. One of my favorites recently has been the Columbia Crest '98 reserve red. Great QPR and it's drinking great now.
Pgardner- Check out this thread. It is TN's of a vertical tasting of 1995-1999 Columbia Crest wines. I happened to give the 1999 the same score as you.;f=1;t=002104

King of Hearts- I would like to thank you and many others who 4 months ago recommended the WHL to me when I asked about 1999 Cal Cabs. I was able to buy some for $25/bottle.


[ 08-02-2002, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: Vino Me ]
Gotta tell you the 99 Iso, 99 shafer and 99 WHL come across as very different wines to me. Iso is a big, dark, fruity, ripe blend to me. It is wonderful but ready to go now. Shafer has much more stucture and tannins to make it more age worthy. WHL needs some short term cellaring to open up more. It is a great drink now, however. They are all great, but very different. Other than the Iso being rated a little low, I think the the 93 ratings for others are right on.

Unfortunately I do not have the $$$ or the time to not pay attention to WS and WE ratings. Just too much good and bad wine out there. Along with the ratings, these forum discussions help
a bunch. Thanks for the comments.
This could be a stretch in the dark, but I personally think that some of the declining commentary (especially on this forum) regarding the '97 Iso., and the yet to be determined potential of Paso Robles as a whole are what caused WS to drop the pt. score in the '99 Iso. I think they are nervous to put the first foot forward on this wine, and the region in general! Let's see what Parker says! If there ever was a '99 CA wine for Parker's style it's this one!

Vino me: Thanks for the Columbia Crest thread. A couple of thoughts here: The 99 Iso, is awesome and I rate that higher like most of you. The 99 Estancia Meritage is my sleeper of the year. It sells here for $19.95 and a bargain at that. The Estancia brand is solid throughout their lineup and a great value. The 97 Chat. ST Jean CC is one of my favorites this year and it is tough to get here in NY State. My wine store gets 6 bottles a year and I get them.
I hope this interstate shipping law gets overturned so that we can enjoy more of those limited Cal. wines
pgardner: Had a 1998 Estrancia Cabernet Sauvignon quite a few months back. It was on sale at a local is amazing what can be found hiding in these places occasionally. I remember lot's of cherry, some chocolate, and some woody undertones. Seem to recall it was slightly rich and decently smooth. With your comments, sounds like it is worth trying others from this winery.

Mark, N.H.
GATC, I was truly amazed at the logic behind the score of the 1997 Isosceles from RP. I usually am in agreement with the majority of his marks, but I will say the 88pts (not 89) for the 97 was clearly undeserving. My stepfather had the 97 Isosceles and the 97 Insignia side-by-side a few weeks ago and said the Isosceles was claerly better drinking right now??????? I do trust his palate.

Now something interesting I noticed on my 1997 Isosceles is the blending. My bottles show the Blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cab Franc, and 18% Merlot. In the last issue of The Advocate he states the 1997.....a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, and 9% Cab Franc, my question is.....what was he given to drink? [Confused]
seek1, thanks or the correction. I was going by memory. At least I was close.

Actually, I can understand why some people love the Isosceles and others don't. It depends mainly on what people are looking for in a wine. We had a bottle of the 99 at our group tasting and so far I know that one was totally impressed and 2 were not. Since it was from the same bottle, this difference can not be attributed to bottle variation.

I can see both sides and they really are not contradictory since people like different things. That is why it is important to calibrate ones tastes to the experts or other forumites.

BTW, based on the comments posted on the June 15th tasting, I'm sure the wines that I loved were not the same that others loved.
seek and GATC,

I think there must be a misprint on the Parker site. He actually has two separate listings for the 1997 Isosceles (he normally combines different tasting notes and scores into one listing). One listing has the blend at 65% cab, 18% cab franc and 17% merlot (scored 90). The other listing has the blend at 63% cab, 28% merlot and 9% cab franc (scored 88). Note: I didn't accidentally switch the cab franc and merlot on the two wines.

GATC, you are absolutely correct in what you said. I also believe in the "hype" phenonenom. People hear about a wine that is hyped up, go try it and want to believe it is so great that they actually do believe it. That is why I try to taste wines blind whenever I can. Being human, I fall into the trap as well. In fact, I think this thread has inspired me to create my first signature regarding this issue.
JB, I only commented that I loved the Alsace and the Leoville in the 750ml. I did not comment on the rest before, but since you asked, the following is my preferences in order.

Alsace (I think our table drank the whole bottle!)
Leoville '79 (750ml)
Leoville '79 (big bottle)
Boillot Pulingy '00
Veuve Rose '95
Quilceda Creek '99
Beringer PR '92
Ferrari Tresor '97
Vueve Vintage '95
Warres '77

I regret not having a crack at the riesling. I should comment that all of the wines were very good to outstanding (with the exception of the port). Differences in ranking could be due more to preference than anything else.

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