Hi All: I picked up a bottle of 99 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cab for 11 bucks today and it is very nice. With a cellar full of Silver Oak's, Insignia, Cing Cepage etc. it was nice to find one this nice. Try it. I have no idea if it has gotten a rating or not but I will give it an 88-90.
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 liked the Isoceles, as well, but am not sure it deserves much more than the 92 they gave it. It's a very nice wine, don't get me wrong. Very nice round fruit flavors, lovely mouth feel, and lovely finish. I didn't think, however, it had the depth of flavor you should expect from a wine that is scored higher.
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.... ...we can only wait. I'm off to my deep discounters tomorrow. Right now I'm off to a deep zzzzzzzz.
I have no problem with the Isosceles and Whitehall scores. I think the Isosceles is better for aging and Whitehall for drinking now but IMO they're both in the same league. rigga, you and I had this conversation before the wine ratings came out. Maybe we should do a blind tasting and see what happens.
Considering (Whitehall & the Justin), I agree with the Whitehall rating but the Justin I feel deserves a higher score. Also having recently tried the PM Les Pavots, I think they're right on with the 96 point rating.
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.
Seek & Stealthman, I'm with you guys too. Have had the Shafer, Isosceles and Whitehall Lane at different times over the past several months and don't think the WHL even comes close to the other two. For me its at least a 5 point difference.
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 supermarket...it 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.
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?
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.
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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