Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- April, 2015
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Wednesday, Apil 29, 2015
WT042915-02. 12 TREFETHEN ESTATE OAK KNOLL DISTRICT CHARDONNAY half bottle - (U.S.) 14.1%; est. 1968. The usual Dry Trefethen style. No angles or woodiness./ Some wood tannin on the palate. Plenty of acid and grip. Austere for 2012. Trefethen and southern Napa style. Will cellar well. 16.4+.
WT042915-03. 11 CHALONE ESTATE CHALONE CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.5%. Volume, Meursault like grainness, fine light oak application, 3 years of bottle development. Burgundian barrel stuff: fermentation, lees, aging. Builds with aeration./ Yes, grainy and Burgundian. Acid, calcaire terroir. The group was impressed. 17.1+.
WT042915-04. 09 MILBRANDT ESTATE EVERGREEN VINEYARD COLUMBIA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.9%; from the Ancient Lakes region. Cool Washington chardonnay with some Chablis lines, and also some oak. Wholesome nose at age five./ Mature chardonnay flavors of grain and orange zest. Mate with dry-rubbed roast chicken. 15.5.
WT042915-05. 11 COSTIERES DE NIMES BLANC LOU COUCARDIE, MICHEL GASSIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 80% roussanne, 10% each viognier, grenache blanc. Full, scented, mature, woody. No evidence of varietal aromatics. Grainy./ Full, oaky, grainy, heavy.. Has likely seen better days. 13.5-.
WT042915-06. 10 CHIANTI RISERVA DI FAMIGLIA GOLD LABEL, TOMAIOLO - (ITALY) 12.5%; est 1818. Dry, with dried fruit and herb. Dried cherry, citrus, oak too. 10 firmness./ Very firm, young. More compact than tannic. Good cellar candidate like the 2010 Brunellos. Well liked by the group. 16.0++.
WT042915-07. 10 BADEN PINOT NOIR HOOKED!, RUDI WIEST - (GERMANY) 13%. Cool and very fresh at age four, in part thanks to its screwcap I’m sure. German red wine cool climate style./ Dry, straight forward, unassuming mealtime wine. 15.0.
WT042915-08. 13 RIEBEEK CELLARS SWARTLAND PINOTAGE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14%; est. 1941. Harsh and green in youth. Peels. No brett or dekk, just immature./ Good texture, good balance of fruit sweetness and acid. Uncomplicated. Some tannin to shed. 15.2+.
WT042915-11. 08 NOVY GARYS’ VINEYARD SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS SYRAH - (U.S.) 14.2%. Full, ripe, oaky, long in barrel, bold. SLH through and through./ Power, structure, wood. Young and daunting. 16.8+.
WT042915-12. 11 VISAN COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE DE LA BASTIDE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 50% grenache, 30% ‘shiraz’, 20% mourvedre. Fresh, 2011 open and revealing. Garrigue, peppercorn, berry. Yes./ Yes, indeed. 11 flow, complexity of flavor and texture. Garrigue. Fine acidity. All. Yow! A bargain. The group was thrilled. 16.8+.
WT042915-13. 12 CAMPO DE BORJA GARNACHA OLD VINES, ALETTA - (SPAIN) 14%. Dry and narrow. No Borsao./ Dry, tannic, lean. Academic rather than hedonistic, which appealed to several in the group. Not giving. 15.2.
WT042915-14. 13 RHEINGAU RIESLING, WEINKELLER ERBACH liter - (GERMANY) 11%. Dry, light riesling nose with valid Rheingau mineral- and orange-tinged ID./ Rich, round, sweet, orangey Rheingau riesling. Great acid. Wow! Nice palate...and value. 16.7.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
WT042215-01. 12 L’ESPRIT DE DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER, PESSAC LEOGNAN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; second wine of Domaine de Chevalier Grand Cru. High toned semillon lemon curd and sauvignon lime and grass in perfect harmony./ Semillon padding, sauvignon flair. Richly concentrated, rightly balanced. A beauty. Unmistakably Chevalier. 18.0+.
WT042215-02. 11 MEURSAULT BASTION DE L’ORATOIRE, CHANSON PERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%; est. 1750. Reticent to start. Builds with aeration to reveal chardonnay citricity, Meursault golden grain./ Yes, Meursault grain, oatmeal. Heavy, big, strong. Retains a promising core of firm fruit. 16.8+.
WT042215-03. 09 STONY HILL ESTATE NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13%; est. 1952; vyd on Spring Mountain 600 feet above valley floor. Oh, boy, this is California chardonnay in the 1960s tradition. Form, grip, volume. Absence of blatant oak and malo. Will age and age./ Yes, subtle, firm, built to last. Mountain chardonnay: fruit, peels, and all. 17.1+.
WT042215-04. 11 BARBARESCO VIGNE SPARSE, CANTINA DEL GLICINE - (ITALY) 14%. Oh, so open armed, fruit, spicy, romantic, inviting. Full sachet perfume. Glorious./ Spice and oak. Fruit acid and tannin. Long and anise-laced. At my age, I’ll take the seductive 2011 Piemonte stalwarts over the touted 2010 ‘keepers’. Very popular with the group. 17.5+.
WT042215-05. 10 STONY HILL ESTATE NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%; from its highest vineyard on Spring Mountain. Well structured mountain cabernet with 2010 black fruit, peels, licorice. Traditional, concentrated, intense, built to last./ Tough and tannic. Napa mountain cabernet throwback to the 1960s. No splashy new oak showing. Long ager. 17.4+.
WT042215-06. 09 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO, CASTIGLION DEL BOSCO - (ITALY) 14.5%; est. 1100; estate bottled. Vigorous, revealing 2009 Brunello boasting sweet fruit ripeness and positive contributions of oak and barrel aging./ Yes, the 2009 qualities of ripe fruit padding and forward nature, rendering it useable at age five. Good acid and tannic grip promises further cellar development of bouquet and suavity. 17.4+.
WT042215-07. 12 DAVID BRUCE SONOMA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.7%; est. 1964. Impressive oak and cherry pinot fruit aromas. Cool climate nature, with tea leaf overtones. Likely Sonoma Coast based./ Yes, cherry, tea, and tar of cool, coastal Sonoma pinot. Bright acidity of same. Favored by the Europhiles in the group, and there are many. 16.7+.
WT042215-08. 12 DAVID BRUCE RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.7%; est. 1964. The depth of RRV pinot. Brandied cherry, oak, RRV class and 3D. A complex of sweet fruit and baking spices./ Full, spicy, sexy, well built. Rich, romantic, large, all. 17.3+.
WT042215-09. 11 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, DOMAINE GALEVAN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 90% grenache, 10% mourvedre; near Courthezon. Severely tannic and tough and tight to start, with edge and roti. Roasted raspberry and strawberry. Wood spices too./ Sweet and strong. Full tannin. No roti on palate. Ripe and powerful. An inky monster. Keep. 17.4+.
WT042215-10. 13 MACAULEY OLD VINE NAPA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15.5%. Full, sweet oak, and the abundant fruit can handle it. Powerful; positive spirit on the nose. All./ Rich, sweet, woody, powerful, loaded. All in balance. Napa grace throughout. 18.4+.
WT042215-11. 09 AMARONE CLASSICO, AZ. AGR. IL ROVERONE - (ITALY) 16.5%; 70% corvina, 20% rondinella, 10% sangiovese. Ripe, raisined, powerful. Amarone and a half./ Plus it has structure, grip, acid, strength. Depth to come. Sensory overload. 17.4+.
WT042215-12. RIVESALTES VIN DOUX NATUREL HORS D’AGE 12 ANS, LES VIGNOBLES DE CONSTANCE ET DU TERRASSOUS - (FORTIFIED) 16.5%; est. 1932; 12 years in barrels. Pungent and pretty. Like I would imagine a 10 year old white port. Fresh too. Great sweetness, acid, texture, ring, power. And that’s just the nose!/ Yes, like a long in barrel white port, the likes of which might not exist outside my imagination. Sweetness, strength,
acid, all. And all in harmony. 19.3.
WT042215-13. 07 BARON-FUENTE MILLESIME BRUT CHAMPAGNE jeroboam - (SPARKLING) 07 uplift, creaminess, fine mousse. Very creamy bottle bouquet. Brioche too./ Yes, finesse, creme brulee, burnished fruit acid of 07. While 07 fruity up front for current applications, this will earn appreciably more bottle bouquet over the years to come.17.5+.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
WT041515-02. 11 ACORDEON CAFAYATE VALLEY TORRONTES - (ARGENTINA) 12.7%; vineyards at 1700 meters. Real flair and varietal character. Flattering bottle development. Citrus set reminds more of muscat than gewurz./ Palate reveals gewurz like rose and tonic though. Lots to like here aromatically. And there’s that added pleasure of torrontes bitter cut versus glycerol smoothness. Quite a performance at age four. 16.6.
WT041515-03. 13 GRYPHUS MAULE VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC - (CHILE) 13.5%. Crisp and fresh. Citrus driven./ Mainly lemon. High acid. Little padding. The tartness welcomes seafood. 16.3.
WT041515-04. 12 FIRST PRESS NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.5%. Fresh and crisp on entry. Then the 2012 sunshine comes through, and the warmth and suavity of two plus years’ development. The fruit is more orange than apple-lemon now. Light oak lacings. All correct and welcome./ Wow! Really great acid! Carneros origin? Everything fits together really well. Braced and bracing for meal time service. 16.5.
WT041515-05. 11 ZACA MESA ESTATE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.5%; 47% aged in French oak barrels 10 months Full body, oak, positive barrel and bottle bouquet development./ Yes, fine upbringing. Signs of barrel fermentation, lees stirring, barrel age, bottle age. Burgundian notions. Good, high acidity balanced by innate, sweet core of citrus fruit. 16.8.
WT041515-06. 10 PFALZ SPATBURGUNDER DRY, AUGUST KESSELER - (GERMANY) 13%. Full, deep, real pinot sporting cherry, tar, and game aromas. Fine flair and great extract. Ripe and fresh. Pfalz strong./ Surprisingly mellow, high trocken, soft. Game and brett. Tarry. Good acid. 15.8.
WT041515-07. 08 POMINO PINOT NERO CASTELLO DI POMINO, MARCHESI DE FRESCOBALDI - (ITALY) 12.5%; 1855 pioneers of Tuscan pinot noir. Ripe and mature. Good barrel and bottle development. Oak flair and spice. The cork was stained to the top, but no signs of compromised contents. Well balanced./ Vinous, Tuscan high acid. Still some tannin, but not much point in aging past next winter. Food will take up the tannin. 15.9.
WT041515-08. 08 CHIANTI, DANZANTE - (ITALY) 12.5%. Sweet, 08 dark fruited, good now. 08 early churlishness all resolved by bottle age. Sangiovese dried cherry, orange peel, anise, tar./ Well, still a bit 08 cheeky. Dry and meal-worthy. 15.2.
WT041515-09. 10 LANGHE NEBBIOLO, MALVIRA - (ITALY) 14%; all nebbiolo. Fresh and full Langhe face of nebbiolo. Bright cherry and pitch. Ideal./ 2010 firm and framed. Needs air and age. Well built. More than a year behind the facile 2009. That’s the nature of the vintages. Good-looking future. 16.7+.
WT041515-10. 11 COSTERS DEL SEGRE TEMPRANILLO, CASTELL DE RAIMAT - (SPAIN) 14%; estate bottled. Very bright, high altitude take on tempranillo. A sense of barrel aging./ High acid. Uplifting. Some tannin. Wants food. 15.9.
WT041515-11. 12 SANTA CAROLINA RESERVA COLCHAGUA ESTATE MERLOT - (CHILE) 14%; estate bottled. Very bright, high altitude take on tempranillo. A sense of barrel aging./ High acid. Uplifting. Some tannin. Wants food. 16.7.
WT041515-12. 11 SANTA RITA RESERVA VALLE DEL RAPEL ESTATE CARMENERE - (CHILE) 13.5%; est. 1880. Even more intense perfume of both fruit and oak. Carmenere shows its ‘merlot on steroids’ abundance. Jammy./ Good acid, race, astringency, balance. Works. 16.8.
WT041515-13. 11 MANDOLIN CENTRAL COAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%. Good, bright 2011 fruit freshness and acidity. Well crafted./ Fine sweet-tart play and balance. It’s both Monterey fresh and crisp, and Paso rich. Well conceived cuvee graced by some oaky complexity too. 16.4.
WT041515-14. 11 RANCHO SISQUOC FLOOD FAMILY VINEYARD SANTA BARBARA RIESLING - (U.S.) 11.7%; estate bottled. Well, cool, fresh, powerful. Light spruce aura of riesling bottle bouquet./ Off dry, with good acid foil. Light evergreen bouquet confirmed. Surprisingly Euro like for a California riesling. Well balanced. 16.4.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
WT040815-02. 13 SICILIA ANTHILIA, DONNAFUGATA - (ITALY) 12.5%. Of catarratto and inzolia. Bright, fresh, lemony. Brisk. Ideal./ Plus the tonic edge of catarratto. Good acid. Low pH for a warm region white. Likely high altitude. Sets it up for food. 16.4.
WT040815-04. 11 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE BLANC LES GILLIMARDES, DOMAINE GIRAUD - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; Wine Spectator 92/100. Full, pungent, complex. Nose suggests some barrel aging./ Bold, powerful mouthful in the Beaucastel style, replete with barrel nuances. Meursault alternative for the dinner table. 16.8.
WT040815-05. 12 BASILICATA MUSCAT DRY, BISCEGLIA - (ITALY) 13.5%; all moscato; estate bottled. Dry, toasty, true. Unique. Dried orange peel of muscat alexandria./ Yes, exotic and legit take on muscat. Good acid for food. Unique, well conceived, well made. 16.3.
WT040815-06. 13 SAINT DREZERY ROSE TETE DE BELIER, CHATEAU PUECH-HAUT - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; Parker 93/100. Soars. So fresh and beautiful for current enjoyment. Intense, deep, rich berries and peaches. Nose just billows forth./ Full flavor, body, texture. Has the size for some serious cuisine applications. Give it its due. 17.1.
WT040815-07. 10 CHINON, REMY-PANNIER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; all cabernet franc; estate bottled. Ripe and mature, with a gamy complex. Really impressively full, dark, ample, loaded example of 2010 Loire rouge./ Lots of game and red currant. Really impressive for its material content. 16.5.
WT040815-08. 09 DOLCETTO D’ALBA, PERTINACE - (ITALY) 13.5%; estate bottled. Maturing, and showing nut and dried fruit notes. Both vital and ample. Deep seated fruit like a Grand Cru Beaujolais./ Rich, ripe cherry. Racy, tart edge. Some tannin still resides. Enjoy with dinner rather than lunch. 16.2+.
WT040815-09. 11 MATTHEW FRITZ NORTH COAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.9%. Rich for 2011. Nice wood. The crisp edge of 2011. Deep, purple-black, tart fruit./ Exotic oak potpourri and amply ripe fruit for the vintage. Likely from a warm valley like Alexander or Dry Creek, or inland Mendocino/Lake. Or a combination. Fulfilled. Good acid of the vintage too. 16.5+.
WT040815-10. 10 SALENTEIN RESERVE VALLE DU UCO CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ARGENTINA) 14%; estate bottled; vineyards at 3500 feet. Ripe, and full of blackberry and seed. Really intense and rich./ Mature bouqueted. Firm framework of cabernet still in place. Lush fruit filling. Large. 16.8.
WT040815-11. 09 SALENTEIN PORTILLO VALLE DE UCO CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ARGENTINO) 14%; estate bottled. Sweet fruit. Less frame. More softness. Less wood. Deep blackberry and seed./ Racy oak edge and good acid and balance. Tannin to shed still. 16.4+.
WT040815-12. 09 LANGUEDOC, DOMAINE DE NIZAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; near Pezenas; 60% syrah, 25% mourvedre, 5% grenache. Deep black fruit of Med syrah. Very spicy. Young, vital, black./ Ripeness and power of 2009. Drying syrah tannins at the end. Needs more time. 16.6+.
WT040815-13. 05 SAGRANTINO DI MONTEFALCO COLLEPIANO, ARNALDO CAPRAI - (ITALY) 14.5%; estate bottled; all sagrantino. Rich and solid, with some barrel and bottle bouquet emerging. Sweet smelling spiciness of both oak and varietal./ Oaky, with both oak and fruit tannins. Powerful, monstrous, daunting, chewy. Carry on the cellaring process. 17.6+.
WT040815-14. 08 RHEINHESSEN AUSLESE, LEONARD KREUSCH - (GERMANY) 10.5%. Maturing and getting a little nutty-grainy on the nose, suggesting a silvaner foundation./ Sweet range of the hybrid aromatics. Some of the grainy, sweet, old honey attributes of maturing silvaner. Still useful, but don’t cellar. 14.0-.
WT040815-15. 10 NOVY FAMILY OLEY SWEET RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY VIOGNIER half bottle - (U.S.) 11%; Tanzer 90/100. Mature, sweet, concentrated, intense, floral, tonic./ An attractive nutty-tawny aura of bottle age with underlying viognier honeysuckle personality. Nice vanilla sandwich cookie and creme filling taste attributes. 16.9.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
WT040115-01. 12 BOURGOGNE TONNERRE VAUMORILLON, DOMAINE MOUTARD-DILIGENT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%. Fresh, green fruited, typical northern Burgundy chardonnay. Sappy./ Huge grip of extract, acid, full form. Wide dinner table applications. Special. 17.0.
WT040115-02. 13 PETIT CHABLIS, DOMAINE ROLAND LAVANTUREUX - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%. Fresh, young, appley, well extracted. Not as full as his Chablis on first impression. Yet it grows in dimension and vitality in the glass./ Sweet fruited and full bodied and full textured. Mineral salts. Suavity. 17.0+.
WT040115-03. 10 DOMAINE EDEN SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.2%; north facing slope of the Saratoga Gap at 1650 feet. Woody, and sadly going sour with age. Nutty, woody./ Yeah, fruit is losing integrity while the wood is retained. This should have held up better. Storage issues? 15.8-.
WT040115-04. RHEINHESSEN MULLER-THURGAU PERLWEIN TROCKEN, FRITZ MULLER - (GERMANY) 11%. Good M-T apple and blossom. Hessia silvaner like earthiness. Light spritz. Lovely dry dinner wine./ Off dry, with good spritz, levity, padding, and cool fruit. Again, the silvaner earth tone versus a Mosel M-T’s flowery facets. That relatively mild acid of the variety. 16.3.
WT040115-05. 13 SAUMUR LES POUCHES, CAVE DE SAUMUR - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; all cabernet franc. Cool, crisp, green northern cabernet franc. Right. And not too tart./ Yes, green tobacco. Great acid and grip for food. 15.5+. With time, this really swells up, gaining fruit padding and fulfillment, leaving its earlier severity behind. The virtues of aeration. 16.3+.
WT040115-06. 13 10 SPAN SANTA BARBARA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; honors & contributes to condor restoration. Fresh, black Santa Barbara pinot with racy acid and 2013 frame. Right. Deep black fruit cremes forming./ Full oak baking spices. Ripe fruit padding. Gives and gives. Great and generous mouthful. 16.7+.
WT040115-07. 11 CHALONE VINEYARD CHALONE PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.5%. Full, earthy, Burgundian. Plus California power. Terroir here; wine of place. Firm oak, extract. Large./ Not as robust and abundant as the warmer years; nonetheless, built to age. Good acid plus pinot fruit padding. Again, good power, stamina. 16.7+.
WT040115-08. 12 SEXTANT ESTATE CENTRAL COAST ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.7%; from San Ardo Ranch, San Lucas AVA of so. Monterey Co. Sweet, bold, powerful fruit ripeness. Sweet, toasty oak. Intense and penetrating nose./ Large, ripe, bold, sweet, baked raspberry fruit. Enormous flavor and texture impacts. Has it all. 17.8.
WT040115-09. 11 CORTONA SYRAH BORGO, TENIMENTI LUIGI D’ALESSANDRO - (ITALY) 13%. Lovely, bright, black fruited, dazzling Tuscan syrah with sweet, toasty, warm spices oak highlights. Earth tones too./ Full, meaty, peppery. Glycerol roundness. Suave acid. Full mouthfeel. Dynamic. Plus tannin for aging. 17.0+.
WT040115-10. 11 CORTONA SYRAH ACHELO LA BRACCESCA, MARCHESI ANTINORI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Crisper fruit. Spicy, woody. Quierter than the former. Deep and peppery, dry and close./ Yes, drier and less robust and giving. Higher acidity. Needs more bottle age. 16.3+.
WT040115-11. 09 COTES CATALANES GRENACHE VIEILLES VIGNES CUVEE NICOLAS, DOMAINE LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 15%; Gold Medal - Paris. Sweet and powerful. Warm, jammy. Lots of give./ Power, good form. Sweet, scorched. Generous. 16.5.
WT040115-12. 09 CAMPO DE BORJA GARNACHA OLD VINES VERAZ, BODEGAS ALETTA - (SPAIN) 14%. Ripe. The fruit is singed. Jammy./ Jammy and pasty. Syrupy fruit. Develops a meaty savor. 16.0.
WT040115-13. 07 RIOJA GRAN RESERVA, BODEGAS CAMPO VIEJO - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 85% tempranillo, 10% graciano, 5% mazuelo; 2 yrs barrel, 3 years bottle aged. Good barrel age bouquet. And really intense fruit in 07. One of the best years of this. Pure raspberry tempranillo continues to show through clearly. Good Baja earth basis./ Vanilla and other American oak extracts well balanced by round fruit savors. Yes, one of my favorites
in the series. 17.2+.