Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - April, 2012
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated May 9,  2012

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WT042512-01. 10 SOAVE CLASSICO GARGANEGA MONTE TONDO, AA MONTETONDO - (ITALY) 12.5%. Good and full and nutty garganega. This is real Classico./ Wow! Big time flavor. Fruit, dusky peach, nut. Very full in the mouth. A champ. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT042512-02. 11 CHATEAU GRAVILLE LACOSTE, GRAVES - (FRANCE) 12%. This tingles and rocks! As bright as semillon gets. No youth or fermentation issues. Snappy./ Lovely sauvignon edge to semillon basis. Beautiful craftsmanship. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT042512-03. 09 CHABLIS, DOMAINE LONG-DEPAQUIT - (FRANCE) 12.5%. Sings just like it did the first time I tasted it two years back. Tingles. Extract, etch, calcaire. Full and vital. No 09 softness./ Nut and nut husk. Calcaire. Full. Delivers. 17.1
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT042512-04. 09 POUILLY FUISSE, DOMAINE DES ROCHERS - (FRANCE) 13%. Not a dainty, elegant sort. Showing some maturity. Fair delivery./ Some sweet fruit flavor. Good acid. Better Macon Villages out there. 15.9
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT042512-05. 10 AUXEY DURESSES LES VIREUX, RAYMOND DUPONT-FAHN - (FARNCE) 13%; unfined, unfiltered. 10 fine and fresh. Lightly seasoned with oak. A perfect take on Auxey blanc. A Meursault with style. Just the right combination of weight and lift. Full and palpable aroma./ A good measure of oak sophistication with fruit and terroir expression to match. Nice, long, toasty finish. Best Auxey blanc I’ve tasted since one of Madame Bize-Leroy’s decades ago. I love this estate’s wines! 17.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $32.99

WT042512-07. 11 ENVOLVE SONOMA VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC - (US) 14.4%; pink grapefruit, honeysuckle, lime. Sassy! Rocks! Total gooseberry, tropics action./ Wow! Pink grapefruit, all. Shazzam! Great acid, great flavor length. 17.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT042512-08. 09 ALSACE GENTIL, HUGEL - (ALSACE) 12.5%. Crisp for 09. Traditional, dry house style. Not much aromatic stuff. Food wine./ Some petrol, which is not unusual here. Vinous, with some balsamic bitterness on the aftertaste. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT042512-10. 10 SOUVERAIN NORTH COAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (US) 13.9%. Pretty blatant oak as usual. Very ripe and sweet for 10./ Ripe again; almost anchovy. Sweet and full caramel oak. Gotta hand it to ‘em in 10. Green background. Too much makeup for my tastes. 15.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT042512-11. 09 TERRA ANDINA RESERVA VALLE DEL MAIPO CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (CHILE) 13.5%. Wow! Raw red and black currant. Intense and deep. Oak toast in the mix./ Full currant, berry, and oak toast flavors. Bigger than the regular cuvee. Delivers. Fine tannin. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT042512-12. 06 NORFOLK RISE VINEYARD MOUNT BENSON CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (AUSTRALIA) 14.0%; 16 months in French oak barrels; cassis, dried tobacco, mint, mocha, cedar. Much more vital than the shiraz. Sweet, toasty development of an Aussie red. Dried fruits as well as fresh. Lively and lovely. Dried fruit, spice, sweet roti, good oak. This works. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT042512-13. 08 PENINSULA DE SETUBAL PERIQUITA, JOSE MARIA DA FONSECA - (PORTUGAL) 13%. Sweet nose for 08 but not much fruit. Mainly vinous. Some 08 dark demeanor and lack of ripeness./ Yeah, mostly vinous. Confined still. Time? 15.1+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT042512-14. 05 DOURO DOMINI, DOMINGOS SOARES FRANCO & CRISTIANO VAN ZELLER - (PORTUGAL) 13%. Douro warmth. Fine oak complex. Works. A fine, balanced Douro approach. Couldn’t be better./ Yes, fine oak and fruit. Not overripe or over powerful. Great acid. Modern and right. Bargain. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT042512-16. 04 DRAMA AMETHYSTOS, COSTA LAZARIDIS - (GREECE) 14%; cabernet sauvignon, merlot, limnio. Less 30% = $16.09. Large, even statuesque. Dark, vital, closed in, loaded./ Wow! Not much aromatic development yet, but sure delivers the power and form. I like its poise and potential. A sleeper. 16.8
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT042512-17. 09 CHATEAU HALLET, SAUTERNES half bottle - (FRANCE) 13.5%. Sweet in pineapple, peach, honey, orange./ Yeah, fully sweet. Really beerenauslese concentration. Nectarous. Some botrytis nuttiness. 17.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT042512-18. DOLIN CHAMBERY VERMOUTH BLANC - (FRANCE) 16%; since 1821.Sweet smelling, with cool botanicals. An unguent; a balm./ Yeah, sweetness cut by fine tonic astringency. Good example of a sweet white vermouth. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WT041812-01. 09 MUSCADET SEVRE & MAINE SUR LIE, CHATEAU DE L’OISELINIERE - (FRANCE) 12%; since 1635; ‘golden bird’; former royal aviary, now a bird sanctuary. Juicy, expressive, youthful. Unique for its citrus leanings./ Mossy terrarium notes. Sometimes muscadet’s like that. Earthy, traditional. Prefer the nose. 15.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT041812-02. 10 VENETO PINOT GRIGIO, CAPOSALDO - (ITALY) 12.5%. Brisk, with notions of walnut husk and nut meats. Penetrating./ Fruity. Aromatic apple varieties, firm pear. A proper pinot grigio. This brand has been steady.16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT041812-04. 10 POUILLY FUISSE, LOUIS JADOT - (FRANCE) 13%.Just the right kiss of sweet oak to soften and broaden a young, compact Jadot Maconnais wine./ Well, the oak vanillin is a bit much still. Especially for Pouilly Fuisse. I’m sure it will settle in. Winemaker Lardiere knows what he’s doing. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT041812-05. 09 CHABLIS, ANTONIN RODET - (FRANCE) 11-14%.Good calcaire basis. Etches the nostrils. Nice and dry, especially for the vintage./ Yes, lots of calcaire. Dry and classic. Plenty of acidity, which some 09s lack. Full textured. Great value. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT041812-06. 11 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU LES PRIMEURS, ANTONIN RODET - (FRANCE) 11-14%.Fully fresh. Still in the bananas and berries stage. Cool it down./ Yeah, fresh and fermentation flavors still. Nice, edgy acidity. Hasn’t budged since the day it arrived. Why do folks lose confidence in Nouveau wines after the holidays? This one hasn’t even begun to improve. Serve cool. 16.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT041812-08. 09 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE COLUMBIA VALLEY MERLOT - (US) 13.5%; aged 15 months in oak barrels. Sweet yet WA cool. Quite a bit of oak./ Oh, way too much oak at this interval. Sweet and woody. I can’t abide it at this stage. However, I have confidence the oak will sink in. 15.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041812-09. 10 SAN PEDRO EPICA VALLE CENTRAL RED - (CHILE) 13.5%.Pleasing, sweet, a bit coarse. Press and peel./ Sweet–literally. Jammy. A good beginner red. 15.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT041812-10. 10 SAN PEDRO EPICA VALLE CENTRAL CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (CHILE) 13.5%.Sweet for cabernet. Sweet berry-currant varietal aroma. Easy./ Good dark cabernet form and coolness./ Sweet caramel oak. Well crafted for early enjoyment. This one has some RS too. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT041812-11. 09 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE COLUMBIA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (US) 13.5%; aged 16 months in oak barrels. Ripe and cool and structured WA cabernet. Good toasty oak./ Better managed oak than in the merlot. Toast and caramel here versus vanilla and sawdust in the merlot. Good delivery. Not tannic, so with the oak already well married, it can be used now. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041812-13. 10 NAVARRA GARNACHA OLD VINES EL CHAPARRAL DE VEGA SINDOA, BODEGAS NEKEAS - (SPAIN) 14%; chaparro = forest of small oak trees; vines 60+ years old. 2010 dark, granular, insistent. Deep fruited too. The future looks good./ Spicy. Nutmeg all over the place. Well, isn’t this special?! What accounts for it? Very popular with the group. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT041812-15. 09 PAUL DOLAN MENDOCINO ZINFANDEL - (US) 14.5%; organically grown; jammy berry, pepper, orange marmalade. Sweet and not dark fruited as Mendo zins go. Large enough./ Both sweetness and tartness. Medium weight. Modest depth and intensity. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041812-17. 04 DE TRAFFORD STELLENBOSCH STRAW WINE half bottle - (SOUTH AFRICA) 16.5%.Intense, nutty, strong, right. Chenin blanc melon fruit./ Oh, yes! Honey, nut, dried fruit. Quality spirit. Balanced and fine. 18.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041812-18. JUSTINO FANAL 3 YEAR OLD FULL RICH MADEIRA - (PORTUGAL) 19%; fanal is a volcanic hollow surrounded by century old forests of laurel. Sweet and treacly. Sticky pudding. Negra mole./ Sweet and dried fruits. A youthful take on madeira Good power. Would be pleasing on the rocks in summer, and with sweet desserts, even chocolate. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WT041112-01. 10 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE, DOMAINE DE L’AURIERE - (FRANCE) 11.5%. Rich and ripe, but hesitant to yield show aroma and depth still. Good green fruit and stoniness./ But not shy in the mouth. Good texture. Will become more expressive over the coming months. Good price. 16.2+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT041112-02. 09 CHABLIS, GILBERT PICQ - (FRANCE) 12.5%. Gathering nut and citrus peel smells of maturity./ Full and nutty. Full textured. Building body with age. Good extract for 09. Yes! 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT041112-03. 09 CHABLIS VIEILLES VIGNES, GILBERT PICQ - (FRANCE) 12.5%. Still a wisp of sulphur to shed. Beneath are grain, nut, calcaire, old vines concentration./ Again, a little sulphur to lose. Richer than the ‘tout court’, but still corseted. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT041112-04. 10 SAINT BRIS SAUVIGNON EXOGYRA VIRGULA, DOMAINE GOISOT - (FRANCE) 12.7%. Lovely scent of flowers and botanicals and herbs. Unique and lovely sauvignon statement that is inimitably Saint Bris. Crisp and limey./ Perfect balance. Very juicy. Walnut husk. Textbook Saint Bris. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT041112-05. 09 MORGON GRAND CRU DOMAINE DES GAUDETS, CHRISTOPHE SORNAY - (FRANCE) 12.5%. Lovely gamay Grand Cru concentration and definition. Peppery. Loaded. Well poised./ Full and peppery, with good depth, breadth, and flow too. Not much Cote de Py cherry. From another section of the appellatiion? Just the right poise, composition. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT041112-06. 09 FLEURIE GRAND CRU DOMAINE DE ROCHE-GUILLON, BRUNO COPERET - (FRANCE) 13.5%. Fleurie elegant and uplifting if not floral. Well, maybe some flowers after all./ Yes, a floral touch in the mouth. Elegant and smooth. Good power. Well balanced like the Morgon. Floral aftertaste. Near absence of tannin so could be served cool. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT041112-07. 08 MARANGES LA FUSSIERE 1ER CRU, DOMAINE THOMAS MOREY - (FRANCE) 13%; Yes! 08 dark and loaded in material. Good, firm oak and sense of barrel development. Fabulous fullness and texture...and that’s just the nose!/ Full 08 acid and tannin and form. Tart cherry flavor, plus good oak. Will reward aging. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT041112-09. 09 CHATEAU SIGOGNAC, CRU BOURGEOIS, MEDOC - (FRANCE) 13.5%; @Saint Yzans; cabernets sauvignon and franc, merlot; barrel aged; Silver Medal - Bordeaux. Firm fruit. Some oak in the background. Not saying much except ‘good potential’./Firm, well balanced, ripe, smooth. Fine oak. Really well built and poised. 16.5+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT041112-11. 10 MONTOYA NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (US) 13.5%; from hillside and valley floor vineyards; aged in French and American oak; black pepper, currant, blackberry, plum, vanilla; ‘Proprietor Owned’. Strong and spicy, but the fruit is a bit underripe in 10./ 2010 relative leanness, with a sweet overlayment that seems like chaptelization. Short on ripe fruit material and concentration this vintage 14.0+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041112-13. 09 JUMILLA MONASTRELL, CASA DE LA ALDEA - (SPAIN) 14%; blackberries, dark cherries, raspberry jam, earth, wildflowers. Bright and sweet. Both fresh and ripe. That’s southern mourvedre. Right./ Mourvedre purple fruit and flower. Good acid. 09 zing. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT041112-14. 09 CASTILLA Y LEON ABABOL, SARISTAN MENA - (SPAIN) 15%. Reduced and purple. Clearly from the north./ Yes, purple fruited. Lots of material. Spicy and vigorous Oak element? This is really loaded with stuff to like. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT041112-15. 10 PFALZ ESTATE RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 12.5%. Dry and fragrant. Pfalz power and mineral. Perfect form./ Full, with lovely fruit-acid balance and follow through. Yes! 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT041112-16. 09 RUPPERTSBERGER RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 12.5%. More bouquet development. Lots of extract, vigor./ Softer and more advanced thanks to the extra year and the nature of the 09 vintage. Good grip of extract. Loaded with material. Large. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT041112-17. 09 MONBAZILLAC, CHATEAU BELINGARD half bottle - (FRANCE) 12.5%; 75% semillon, 15% sauvignon gris, 10% muscadelle. Ripe semillon honey and pineapple. Sauvignon gris nut. Nice grip, extract, zing. Not as honeyed as the 07, nor as revealing as the 06 (naturally). It’s young./ Mild or coated acidity. Needs time to spread its peacock’s tail. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT041112-18. 10 CARDIFF VINEYARDS CALIFORNIA MOSCATO - (US) 12%. Bright and sweet, with the marmalade smell of muscat alexandria./ Sweet and strong and fine. Not as intense in flavor as aroma to start, but that builds toward the end. Clearly a value. 16.5
    Price each (at time of tasting) $4.99

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WT040412-02. 11 CHATEAU FONTAINE WOODLAND LEELANAU PENINSULA WHITE - (US) More character of the peels extracts that auxerrois offers compared to pinot blanc. Undeveloped, compact. Has yet to blossom and plump up into the rich display this auxerrois rendition generally puts forth./ Again, the appley peels stuff. The fruit sits right but needs a few weeks to flesh out. 16.0+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040412-03. 10 CHABLIS, SIMONNET FEBVRE - (FRANCE) 12.5%. Sweet apple fruit. Primary, young. Underlying calcaire basis. Compact yet./ Apple, peel, calcaire, mineral salts. Just a bud. I like its posture and potential. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT040412-05. 10 RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO, BURGANS - (SPAIN) 13%. Firm peach and blossom aromas. Some reduction yet. Euro terroir./ Yeah, still somewhat reduced. Surprising at this age. Air and age further. 15.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT040412-06. 10 SARDEGNA VERMENTINO COSTAMOLINO, ARGIOLAS - (ITALY) 13.5%. Floral, tonic, cool, and pure vermentino. Just right./ Oh, yes! Great clarity, astringency. Quenching food qualities. Love that vermentino botanical stuff. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040412-07. 09 MIRASSOU CALIFORNIA RIESLING - (US) 12.5%. Good stage of riesling bouquet development. Dry. Smells more Germanic than Californian./ Yes, good spruce note. Near dry. Medium body and finish. Pleases at the price. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT040412-08. 11 CHATEAU FONTAINE DRY LEELANAU PENINSULA WHITE RIESLING - (US) Still some powderpuff fermentation smells. Good young and dry riesling aromas of green apple and firm peach come on with aeration. Oh, yes! This is juicy and right! So self assured!/ Dry but not austere. Ripe acidity. Still some peels astringency. Better in 3 months. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040412-09. 11 CHATEAU FONTAINE SEMI-DRY LEELANAU PENINSULA GEWURZTRAMINER - (US) Good tonic, astringent cool climate gewurztraminer nose. Ventilating. Right. A wine of place./ The sweetness is hardly noticed thanks to gewurztraminer power and tonic bitterness. Good acid for the variety thanks to its cool origin. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT040412-10. 10 DOLCETTO D’ALBA COLOMBE, RENATO RATTI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Wow! Black and white pepper as well as zesty black cherry. Still a little reduced but in a positive way. Cool vintage dolcetto./ Yes, very peppery, zesty. Very light and fine tannins. Unique and enticing. Serve cool. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT040412-11. 07 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR VERO, JOSEPH DROUHIN - (FRANCE) 12.5%. Russet red./ 07 lithe and delicate. An attractive, tender pinot sweetness. Bouquet forming./ Still some fine tannin to resolve. Pretty high acidity, without much fruit padding. Will continue to dry out. Slim. Enjoyed this more a couple of years back. Or was that the 06? 15.8-.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT040412-12. 10 J. LOHR CYPRESS CENTRAL COAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (US) 13.5%. Sweet and ripe for 10. Yet coastal cool and snappy. Cherry and licorice. Deep seated sweet cherry./ Sweet and spicy and clear headed. Delivers spice, vigor, and rich fruit without issues of high alcohol and wood tannin. This is a deal! Consistently reliable, and certainly well crafted in this cool vintage. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT040412-13. 09 NAVARRA GARNACHA ARTAZURI, BODEGAS ARTAZU - (SPAIN) 14%. This is getting more Navarra like than it was a while back. Drier, more high altitude. More subtle and sophisticated. A sweet, nonetheless lifted and elegant grenache showing. Deep, dark cherry./ The oak is better settled in now; now part of the whole. Fine acid balance. Mouthwatering food wine. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT040412-14. 07 RIBERA DEL GUADIANA TEMPRANILLO FINCA EL TESSO, BODEGA MARTINEZ PAIVA - (SPAIN) 13%. Dark berry and game notes. Coolness and clarity, with warmth and power behind. Perfect balance of same. Licorice note./ Yes, fruit, oak, developing bouquet, 07 fruit quality. Fine acid. Well balanced and long. Food, please. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT040412-15. 07 ALMANSA LA HUELLA DE ADARAS, BODEGAS ALMANSENAS - (SPAIN) 14.%. Hearty, husky, and lightly rancio. The real deal./ Plenty of rich alicante bouschet like fruit. Fine tannin. Persistent fruit and rancio taste. Good acid. Right. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT040412-16. 09 JOEL GOTT RELATIVE CALIFORNIA RED - (US) 13.5%; zinfandel, syrah, cabernet sauvignon. Sweet and straightforward to start. Good acid edge and cool coastal framing./ Nice augmentation of oak toast and caramel. The richness is balanced by good acidity and tannin. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040412-17. 10 PASO CREEK PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL - (US) 15%. Sweet and ripe Paso style zinfandel. Good example./ Again. Some 10 dilution. Still, it’s powerful and Paso sweet. A bit hot on the finish. Well, it is 15% alcohol after all! 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT040412-18. 10 MERIDIAN CHILLABLE CALIFORNIA RED - (US) 11.5%. Sweet, wholesome, innocent red with maybe some aromatic white fruit too. Or black muscat. Well done./ Sweet and made by formula. Yet it’s balanced, and washes clean. Good coolness indeed. One of the better renditions in the growing sweet red category. 15.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

 

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