Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - April, 2014
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated May 17,  2014

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April 30, 2014

WT043014-01. 13 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO RIFF, ALOIS LAGEDER - (ITALY) 12%; from limestone deposited by an ancient coral reef (riff). Whoa! This is as full as an Oregon pinot gris. Apple custard./ Rich and bold. Very fine and abundant fruit delivery. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT043014-02. 13 LUGANA LIMNE, TENUTA ROVEGLIA - (ITALY) 12.5%; a ‘premier cru’ vineyard praised by the Roman poet Catullo 2000 years ago. Volume, intricacy, force. Full apple, pear, and nut display./ Round, lush, rich, robust, suave. Complete Lugana, fully as impressive as the 2012. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT043014-03. 13 FIRE ROAD MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%; honors brave residents who on Boxing Day 2000 extinguished Marlborough’s worst-ever fire. Gads! Just assaults the nostrils with extreme gooseberry and grapefruit. Slash and burn sauvignon./ Great acid, mineral, grip, and flavor. Cool and clear as spring water. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT043014-04. 13 BADENHORST SECATEURS SWARTLAND CHENIN BLANC - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13.5%; from old bush vines on granite slopes; secateurs are pruning shears. As in previous vintages, so sulphur sting in youth. Also some graininess of development. Not for me./ Rich and seemingly barrel aged. I wonder. An awkward presentation. 13.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT043014-05. 12 STEELHEAD VINEYARDS SONOMA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.5%; sales support Trout Unlimited and 1% for the Planet. Rich and sweet Sonoma pinot style without much depth. Some shrill green stuff and sweet oak caramel./ Yes, coarse. Press wine? Plain, with a green streak that surprises this vintage. Plain. 14.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT043014-06. 12 CHATEAU BLOUIN, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; proprietress Isabelle Valbom-Nadal at Arveyres in EdM south of Libourne. Rich, sweet fruit and trace of green fruit too. Some oak?/ Green and stalky basis, with sweet fruit and oak aura. Sends mixed messages. 14.0+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT043014-07. 12 SEAN MINOR 4B PASO ROBLES CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%; the four bears (4B) are Minor’s children. Good acid brightness. Sweet and pure fruit of 2012 and Paso. Fine toned oak toast, potpourri, sweet spices./ Yes, Paso sweet, and not pruny or pandering. Fine oak, cabernet form, grip, tannin. Well crafted. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT043014-08. 13 RUBICONE SANGIOVESE, AGRINTESA - (ITALY) 12%; from an IGP zone of Romagna. Sweet and dried fruits. A Romagna sense of levity. Fully formed in 2013./ Rich and racy and lithe and all it should be for a Romagna sangiovese. Good tannin. Food wine. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT043014-09. 12 TOSCANA SANGIOVESE LA TANCIA, AGRICOLA SILLA - (ITALY) 12%. Est. 1743, La Tancia Estate is still owned by a direct descendent of the founding family. Very spicy, ripe, chutney like. Yes, cherry chutney./ Sweet and sassy. Very tangy acid meets smooth sangiovese glycerol. Begs for food. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

WT043014-10. 12 ROSSO PICENO NESCURO, FATTORIA LAILA - (ITALY) 13.5%; 80% montepulciano, 20% sangiovese. Deep, dark, impressive. Really large for a Piceno. Ripe, voluminous, dark blue and black fruits with sweet creme center. Great value./ Licorice, cherry. Power, extract, grip. Gives and gives. An ager too. On the finish, that elusive montepulciano breath of violets. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT043014-11. 11 SOBON ESTATE ROCKY TOP AMADOR ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%. Lots of American oak coconut. Sweet, strong, woody./ Very woody. Aggressively so in youth. Amador sweet fruit. The oak will settle in with time. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT043014-12. 13 MULHEIMER SONNENLAY RIESLING ZEPPELIN, MAX FERD. RICHTER - (GERMANY) 9.5%; most-consumed wine on the Graf Zeppelin flights as illustrated on its beautiful Art Deco label. Fresh Mosel riesling apple and firm peach. Just right. Mineral too./ Great mineral, peach, apple savor. All. The start of another winning German riesling vintage. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT043014-13. 12 FENN VALLEY ESTATE LATE HARVEST FENNVILLE VIGNOLES half liter - (U.S.) 11.25%; harvest sugar 27.3 brix; RS 5.7%. Lots of apple and blossom as if it still bears fermentation odors. Sweet peach and honey come forth now. Hints of botrytis./ Sweet and nutty. Dried fruit concentration. Auslese stuff. This will age well. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT043014-14. DELGADO ZULETA FINO SHERRY - (SPAIN) 15%; est 1744. Typical, dry, and very chalky classic. Needs food. Yes, hits the spot. No special attributes, not rangy; just fits the fino form well./ A bit earthy. Young too. The relative fatness of a fino versus a manzanilla. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT043014-15. PATRAS MAVRODAPHNE, CAMBAS - (GREECE) 15%. Sweet and slightly baked./ Yes, sweet and baked. Good but prosaic. Too old? Storage issues? Ordinary from the start? I’ve had better. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

April 23, 2014

WT042314-01. 12 MACON-CHARDONNAY, DOMAINE TALMARD - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; Chardonnay de Chardonnay; est. 17th century; unwooded. Some H2S and SO2./ Yes, the scratch, the suppression of flavor and texture. Air and age. 15.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT042314-02. 13 ELK COVE WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT GRIS - (U.S.) 13%. Full as usual for this wine. Apple, peel, powder puff, peach, Great grip, body, peach, texture, richness. Grand as always. An OR pinot gris champion. 17.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT042314-03. 13 SANCERRE, DOMAINE DE LA PERRIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; 8th generation Verdigny domaine over natural caves once home to troglodytes. Unusual hoppy aroma. Very grassy. Bergamot, hyssop./ Tight. Light citrus note in back. Great acid and texture. Ultimately, very entertaining. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT042314-04. 13 VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%; bottled 6/13; founder-owner Sir George Fistonich. Green stuff. Lime, grass, green mango./ Medium-full textured. Good flow. Lots of zing and acid in back. Juicy, racy refreshment. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT042314-05. 13 UNION WINE UNDERWOOD OREGON PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13%. Bright, fresh, varietal, juicy, ripe. Good Oregon pinot; maybe even better than the 2012./ Crisp OR pinot acid and enough pinot padding. Great buy. Good grip, gaminess. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT042314-06. 11 CHATEAU COURONNEAU, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%; organically grown. Very bright cherry merlot nose as always. Well mannered oak support. Perfect claret pitch./ Oh, but the palate betrays the vintage. Signs of high acid, green fruit, green tannin of 2011. Nose much more pleasurable than palate. Time may help. This will have fans of ‘traditional’ claret nonetheless. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT042314-07. 11 VINSOBRES LES CORNUDS, FAMILLE PERRIN - (FRANCE MEDITERRNEAN) 14.5%; Rhone Meridionale’s northernmost local AOC. Firm house style. Northern character. Some sweetness and depth and some spiciness of 2011./ High acid of the north. Lean and tart. Will time fill it out? 15.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT042314-08. 10 RIOJA CALMA, BODEGAS HORMILLA - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 90% tempranillo, 10% graciano; Rioja Alta at 1685' elevation. Rich fruit and elegant oak. Classic balance and delightful interaction of the two./ Great acid, fresh and zingy. Well managed tannin so good now or later. Well liked by the group. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT042314-09. 12 CHIANTI, FRATELLI GRATI - (ITALY) 12.5%; est. 1855. Fresh and vital Rufina style. Racy and rightful young sangiovese./ Nice sangiovese edge. Pretty high acid. Surprising amount of tannin for this cuvee. Young and gripping. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT042314-10. 11 CHIANTI RUFINA VILLA DI VETRICE - (ITALY) 13% or 12.5% depending on which label you believe. Bright and fresh. More interest, precision, depth, richness. Some time in barrel evident. Yes./ Yes, lush by comparison to the Chianti. True to Rufina styling, texture, warmth, race, sweetness, weight. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT042314-11. 12 CHIANTI CLASSICO, PODERI CASTELLARE DI CASTELLINA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Oh, boy! So classically bright fruit and fabulous oak of Castellare. Deep fruit creme. Not dried fruit. Class oak-fruit combo./ Full acid enveloped by good richness and oak savors. First class southwestern Chianti Classico. Well liked by the group. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT042314-12. 12 MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO LUCANTO, TENUTA TORRE RAONE - (ITALY) 13.5%; organically grown. Violets. Blue and black fruits. Rich and deep already./ Grip and youth. Down the middle. I prefer either the fruitier or the oakier styles of MdA. Rustic acid, texture. Time. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT042314-13. 10 COLLINE PESCARESI RAONE, TENUTA TORRE RAONE - (ITALY) 14%; organically grown. Much more mature. More barrel time. Barnyard and rancio./ Maturing. Still some tannin, but, by and large, ready to use. A bit muddled. 16.0+/-.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT042314-14. 12 WINKELER GUTENBERG RIESLING KABINETT HALBTROCKEN, WEINGUT KRAYER - (GERMANY) 11%; est. 1866. Racy, mineral and citrus Rheingau riesling nose. Lots of vintage and halbtrocken extract./ Juicy golden fruit of peach and nectarine. Full clarity. Racy, fruity finish. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT042314-15. LEELANAU CELLARS MICHIGAN RASPBERRY PORT half bottle - (U.S.) 19%. Raspberry, seed. The spirit is a little raw and aggressive./ Lovely raspberry and seed concentration. The spirit is more agreeable on the palate, showing a barrel aged mellowness. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

April 16, 2014

WT041614-01. 12 NIEDEROSTERREICH GRUNER VELTLINER TROCKEN, LENZ MOSER liter - (AUSTRIA) 11.5%. Full apple and legume. Right and ready for the table./ Full bodied, with good acid and mineral extract. Still, it flows rather than grips thanks to perfect balance. The group was impressed with the wine and the value in liter. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041614-02. 12 TERRE SICILIANE INZOLIA MOTYUM, CIVIAS - (ITALY) 12%. Apple peel aroma like pinot grigio, with additional pear like aroma./ Light grip and delicately rendered flavor of apple and peel. Rather slight, vinous. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT041614-03. TERRE SICILIANE GRILLO ACANTEO, CIVIAS - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fuller. Gooseberry scent like sauvignon blanc, here understated./ Yes, gooseberry. Lithe. Fine extract. Good. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT041614-04. 12 VENETO PINO & TOI, MACULAN - (ITALY) 12.5%. Some bouquet development. Nuttiness of age and of friulano./ Dry and nutty. Not as fresh and as viscous as previous vintages at the same age. Disappointing. 15.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041614-05. 12 BOGLE VINEYARDS CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%. Some sweet fruit and mint jelly aromas. It’s pinot, but pretty ordinary fare./ Sweetness and mintiness in the same package. Smooth. Wood added. Plain. 14.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041614-06. ST. JULIAN SHOLOM SWEET CONCORD - (U.S.) 11%; kosher. Light-medium color./ Good varietal character. Dry, with concord spiciness./ Lightly sweet and spicy. Genuine. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

WT041614-07. 10 CHATEAU DES LANDES CUVEE TRADITION, LUSSAC SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; Vignobles Lassagne. Rich and three dimensional already. Not one of the tough 2010s. Padding, power, depth. Merlot cherry, light oak, baking spices and other empyreumatic impressions../ Spicy fruit and oak. Sweet center, firm 2010 frame. Balanced claret presentation. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT041614-08. 12 WILD MEADOWS COLUMBIA VALLEY MERLOT - (U.S.) 13.5%; new winery in Walla Walla. Sweet for WA. Spicy oak. Ripe./ Again, ripe fruit and light oak. Good acid.. 16.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT041614-09. 12 WILD MEADOWS COLUMBIA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%. Blacker fruit, more oak, more structure. Better./ Spicy oak. Better framing. More varietal character. Fruit pastille finish. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT041614-10. 12 PENFOLDS BIN 9 SOUTH AUSTRALIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (AUSTRALIA) 14.5%; est. 1844. Solid, dark, charred oak Penfolds character. Fine, firm oak and cabernet form. Sweet pastille fruit aroma./ Firm cabernet fruit with firm oak. Dark, roasted fruit core. Upright, stalwart, confident. Right. The group was impressed. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT041614-11. 12 GNARLY HEAD MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%. Black licorice, tar, spice. Sweet and sassy. Appeals./ Sweet and sassy indeed, with tar and licorice at the core. Honest malbec. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT041614-12. 11 WILD MEADOWS RED BEAUTY COLUMBIA VALLEY RED - (U.S.) 13.5%. Sweet and gentle. Easy./ Sweet and facile. With RS. Cunningly made for broad market appeal. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT041614-13. 11 ALENTEJANO, SEMAPHORE 7 - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%. Trincadeira, aragonez, alicante bouschet. Rich, warm, powerful. Woody. Scented. Rugged./ Spicy, warm, savory. Great acid-sweet balance. Full volume, texture. Intense flavor. Enjoyed by the group. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041614-14. 08 NAVARRA CRIANZA AROA JAUNA, BODEGAS AROA - (ITALY) 14.5%; 41% cabernet sauvignon, 39% merlot, 20% tempranillo. Full barrel earned warmth and spread. Full display of the varietals influenced by barrel aging./ Wood, development, game, leather, bouquet. Complex. Plenty of oomph. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT041614-15. 12 OPPENHEIMER RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT DR. HEYDEN - (GERMANY) 12%. Full extract and tingle. Totally dry on the nose./ Full flavor and texture. Full extract, acid, all. Rheinfront riesling tangerine. Lightly sweet cushion. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041614-16. 12 CHATEAU GRAND TRAVERSE OLD MISSION PENINSULA EDELZWICKER - (U.S.) 13%; est. 1974; gewurztraminer, muscat ottonel, pinot gris, chardonnay; 1.5/5 sweetness. Gewurz and muscat dominate the nose. Rich and floral. Ottonel delivers bergamot airs. Broad pinot gris base./ Full powderpuff perfume. Gewurz astringency. Pinot gris apple. Off dry. Gentle acid. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT041614-17. 13 PAVIA MOSCATO, BARTENURA - (KOSHER) 5%; kosher. Fizz and powderpuff./ Peach-apricot flavor. Sweet, lithe, fizzy. Always a fresh and reliable kosher selection. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041614-18. ESPANA MOSCATO MEDITERRANEAN BLUE, NUESTA SENORA DE LA CABEZA - (SPAIN) 5.5%. Blue color./ No muscat aroma. Spicy./ Spice, cedar, talc, aftershave, coconut, blueberry. The additives overwhelm the varietal character. Will have fans. 13.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

April 9, 2014

WT040914-01. 12 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE SELECTION DES COGNETTES, DOMAINE PERRAUD - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Whoa! Rich and deep. The right botanicals. Full sail. And running deep too. Apple and citrus highlights./ Rich and full feel, volume, flavor. Huge mouthful of a Muscadet. That’s 2012! The group was in awe.17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040914-02. 11 BOUZERON ALIGOTE DOMAINE DES MOIROTS, CHTRISTOPHE DENIZOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%. The only village-specific aligote appellation. Whoa again! Weighty and fabulously woody. Meursault ambitions. Chalonnaise weight./ Full oak, and full 2011 and aligote brisk acidity. Only 12% but seems more powerful. Chewy. Bargain price. Lists at $23. Very popular with the group. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT040914-03. 12 MACON LUGNY LES CHARMES, CAVE DE LUGNY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; vineyard specific, old vines, estate bottled; Parker 90. Fine old vines concentration. One of the best vintages of this. Lugny weight. Deep apple and peel aromas./ Rich too. Wow, the best vintage yet here. Full flavor of chardonnay free of oak. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT040914-04. 12 CHATEAU PERRON, GRAVES BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; Guigaud Freres at Mazeres; 50% sauvignon blanc, 40% semillon, 10% muscadelle. Lovely gooseberry and grapefruit aromas, plus muscadelle mintiness. The full aromatic show./ Semillon body and platform with zesty sauvignon and muscadelle hovering above. A rich balance of the varieties. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT040914-05. 12 SAINT AMOUR GRAND CRU, DOMAINE DES PREAUX - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%; 7 acre vineyard of mostly 40+ year old vines. Rich cherry-berry aroma of Saint Amour. Saint Amour levity and joy. Aspires to pinot noir succulence./ Racy. Full acidity. Some tannin. A full and fine Saint Amour with growth to go. Shadings of Oregon pinot noir. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT040914-06. 12 MORGON GRAND CRU, DOMAINE DE LA VOIE ROMAINE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%; 28 acre vineyard along an old Roman road, vines 30-110 years old. Deep black cherry aroma of Morgon plus earthy undertones. Young and backward./ Firm. Peels extracts. Strong tannin. No fun for me at present. Well liked by the group though 15.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT040914-07. 11 MOULIN A VENT GRAND CRU, DOMAINE BENOIT RACLET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%; 36 acre vineyard; 18th century founder eradicated the devastating Pyral moth. Deep and statuesque Moulin a Vent character. Some barrel aging? Grand. Full depth of black fruit./ Yes, a full MaV display with the minerality of its manganese rich soil Very attractive price. 17.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT040914-08. 12 CARDIFF CALIFORNIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13%. Sweet and wholesome fruit of 2012 even if it betrays at least some inland origins. Nice and spicy cabernet peels character./ Flavorful, with cabernet grip and thick peels material. Dry but not austere; has an ingratiating smoothness. The group was surprisingly impressed. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $4.99

WT040914-09. 05 CHATEAU GRIVIERE, CRU BOURGEOIS, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; at Blaignan; 60% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon in marly soil. Shows some development. Between aroma and bouquet now, so in a trough. Betrays its heavy soil base./ Harsh and awkward at this stage like many an 05 Left Banker. Needs time and faith. 14.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT040914-10. 11 CROZES HERMITAGE ESQUISSE, DOMAINE DES HAUTS CHASSIS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; F. Faugier, vigneron. Like the 2008, this is reduced at an early stage. The 2008 pulled out of that brilliantly, and I think this 2011 is in an even better position to thrive with a couple of years’ more bottle age. Fine, suave, silky purple fruit. Raspberry, white pepper, pepper bacon, flowers–the right northern Rhone syrah aroma portfolio./ Reduction presently constricts its flavor and texture displays. Aeration alleviates that some; bottle age most certainly will. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT040914-11. 11 SICILIA SYRAH ACANTEO, CIVIAS - (ITALY) 14%. Severe and peelsy. No varietal character. All peels./ Narrow, dry, contrite, pressed. No fun. Enjoyed by others though. What don’t I see? 14.0+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040914-12. 11 ECHEVERRIA RESERVA MAIPO-COLCHAGUA VALLEYS SYRAH - (CHILE) 14%. Oh, deep, warm, ripe, and spicy. Elderberry and fine oak, and barrel earned attributes. Raspberry preserves with seeds./ Yes, full, ripe, jammy, briary. Fine oak spices. Generous New World syrah. Good acid. Heart on sleeve. Popular. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040914-13. 11 SICILIA NERO D’AVOLA MOTYUM, CIVIAS - (ITALY) 13.5%. Riper than the syrah but also shows some peels edge. Nice black cherry zestiness of nero d’avola. Sweetens up nicely with aeration./ Yes, sweet and spicy. Cherry and licorice. Peppery. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT040914-14. 10 VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO, TENUTA DI GRACCIANO DELLA SETA - (ITALY) 14%; 90% prugnolo gentile, 8% merlot, 2% canaiolo. Very dry like the Rosso to start. Then begins to show it genteel side: violets, even violet pastille. Working hard to show VNdM qualities./ Dry on the palate too. Shows potential. Give it a chance. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT040914-15. 12 VOUVRAY DEMI-SEC LA LANTERNE, GUILBAUD FRERES - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Very unusual nose for Vouvray chenin. Aniseed. Springerle. Wild!/ There it goes again! Well, now comes on the rightful quince character, plus almondy botrytis note. Sweetness balanced by great acidity. Intriguing aging potential. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

April 2, 2014

WT040214-01. 12 DOMAINE DROUHIN ARTHUR DUNDEE HILLS CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.1%; Dijon clone vines, among the oldest in OR; named for Veronique’s son. Great Oregon chardonnay crispness with the appropriate oak delicacy. Wine of place. And the Drouhin close-knit style./ Deliciously proportioned to fill and satisfy yet never overly impose on the imbiber, retaining an air of elegance. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT040214-02. 12 MEURSAULT LES TILLETS, DOMAINE RAYMOND DUPONT-FAHN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%; unfined, unfiltered. More reticent in youth than the Chaumes des Perrieres cuvee (though I haven’t tasted that in 2012 yet, so it may be a vintage characteristic). Subtle; strong, silent type. Displays Meursault heft./ Still water runs deep. Smoothly burnished acidity. Very fine set of barrel fermentation and barrel aging influences, with lees contributions. Grand potential. Wowed all. 17.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $54.95

WT040214-03. 12 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN CLOS PRIEUR, DOMAINE FREDERIC ESMONIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; 50-60 year old vines. Good tart cherry crispness of the vintage. Gamy Gevrey character. Accurate to village and vintage./ Rangy, crisp pinot fruit feels and flavors. Full acid of a cool year, welcome at the table. The right form and poise. A traditional Burgundy that will age well for decades. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $38.99

WT040214-04. 12 GIRARD OLD VINE NAPA VALLEY PETITE SIRAH - (U.S.) 14.5%; 2011: Wine Spectator 93 - Top 100. Solid. Dense varietal material. Deep running purple pet fruit and flirting aromas of fine French oak./ Oh, boy, first class French oak and refined fruit displays working together. Petite sirah was never so civilized. Earns its place among the best. 17.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT040214-05. 10 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, DOMAINE JEROME GRADASSI - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 80% grenache, 20% mouvedre, syrah, clairette; 8 acre estate–one of CdP’s smallest. Oh, boy, the integrity of grenache all the way! Lovely raspberry, peppercorn, garrigue, seasoned oak sojourn./ Suave glycerol and alcohol matched by fine acid and 2010 firm framing. Traditional; my style of CdP. Endless ager. The group was in awe. 18.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

WT040214-06. 06 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO, TIEZZI - (ITALY) 13.5%; estate bottled; unfiltered. Deep, damp earth and mushroom. The right bouquet for a 2006 at mid life. Full of material./ Rich, earthy brunello character. Great 2006 acid and fine tannin. Benefits of long aging in seasoned cooperage. Full grip. Great future. 17.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $42.99

WT040214-07. 12 RIDGE GEYSERVILLE VINEYARD SONOMA RED - (U.S.) 14.4%; 71% zinfandel, 19% carignane, 7% petite sirah, 2% mataro, 1% alicante bouschet. Well, after a pair of cool vintages, 2012 returns us to full blown Ridge fruit ripeness. Powerful, deep uber-ripe raspberry, tar, peppercorn./ Sweet, rich, late harvest, imposing and impressive. Fine age potential. Very popular with the group. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $38.99

WT040214-08. 08 AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO LENA DI MEZZO, MONTE DEL FRA - (ITALY) 15%; estate bottled, single vineyard; 2007: Wine Spectator 93 - Top 100. Class, richness, roast, density, traditional style. 08 at its best–dark and deep, imposing. Warmth, power, sweetness./ Sweet, spicy, gamy, well balanced. The best 08 amarone I’ve had since Tedeschi’s. Age potential too, though it’s useful and inviting now.17.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $48.99

WT040214-09. 10 BOUCHAINE BOUCHE D’OR CARNEROS CHARDONNAY half liter - (U.S.) 10.8%; picked 2 months after the general harvest; 19% residual sugar. Oh, boy! Honey dipped apple and orange slices. Botrytis aura. Body, concentration, sweetness. Benchmark late harvest chardonnay./ Lushness balanced by great acidity. All the aromas are reconfirmed. Unbelievable. As it has been several vintages running. 19.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT040214-10. 06 TOKAJI ASZU 3 PUTTONYOS, OREMUS half liter - (HUNGARY) 13%; estate owned by Vega Sicilia. Great nuttiness earned from long barrel aging. Full botrytis. Honey, granola, pineapple, dried apricot. Thorough saturation./ Oh, boy, total essence of dried apricot, honey, and nuts. As always, great acidity. One of the best 3 Putts I’ve tasted. A forceful argument for retaining this Aszu style (3 & 4 Putts are headed for extinction).19.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

WT040214-11. 08 NIEPOORT LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO - (PORTUGAL) 20%; bottled 2012. Oh, the blackness, depth, and concentration of a Vintage Porto. Pushes Vintage grip of the gob, penetration, extract./ Powerful, black, intense, flavorful, balanced, everlasting. Complete LBV. 18.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT040214-12. 02 WARRE’S TRADITIONAL LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO - (PORTUGAL) 20%; bottled 2006; unfined, unfiltered; the most awarded LBV. Oh, deep, powerful, and black. Sweet elderberry fruit met by Warre’s dry extract./ Very concentrated, tradition, Vintage style. Good cask and bottle bouquet development, with much more to come. Noble. Warre’s initial dry extract thrust followed by a sweet, padded finish. 18.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

 

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