Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - April 2017
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  May 24  2017

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

WT042617-2. 14 CHABLIS BLANCHOT GRAND CRU, DOMAINE SERVIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Huge, ballooning Grand Cru. Backward./ Wow! Volume and richness. Great future. 17.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $59.95

WT042617-4. 16 HAMILTON RUSSELL ESTATE HEMEL-EN-ARDE VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13%. Rich and soft, New World contrast. Good oak-fruit balance. Surely a Cape chardonnay superstar../ Yeah, plush and well balanced. Mid term ager. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT042617-5. 13 ERMISCH ERENDIRA’S RISE WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.2%; Eola-Amity Hills & Yamhill-Carlton zones; Dijon, Pommard, Swan clones; 1 yr in barrels. Attractively rich, sweet, and spicy nose if short of the 2012's abundance./ Oh, but big-time sweet fruit and spicy oak on the palate, which closes in on the 2012's amplitude. Yeah, a winner once again, and a stellar achievement in 2013. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $35.99

WT042617-6. 12 HERMITAGE DOMAINE DES TOURETTES, DELAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; domaine bottled. Large. 2012 and Delas firm. Loaded. Sweet core./ Firm and reluctant to yield up much flavor at this stage. Full weight and textural range and depth. 16.8++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $119.95

WT042617-7. 03 RIOJA RESERVA VINA TONDONIA, R. LOPEZ DE HEREDIA - (SPAIN) 13%; estate bottled; 75% temparanillo, 15% garnacha, 5% each graciano, mazuelo. Dry and long in barrel character. Sweet core. Somewhat 2003 roti./ Yeah, sweet and ripe. Tannic too. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $47.99

WT042617-8. 06 TOSCANA MONTETI, TENUTA MONTETI - (ITALY) 14%; aged at the estate until fall 2016; petit verdot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon. Yeah, 2006 big, tightly corseted, and loaded 110%. Great barrel-aged character./ Full oak, barrel age, and ripe fruit. Strong constitution. Rich and loaded indeed. Full potential. 18.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $42.99

WT042617-9. 12 BAROLO PATRES, CANTINE SAN SILVESTRO - (ITALY) 14.5%. Dry and compact nose./ More yielding palate. More 12 sweet fruit, with fine tannin and texture. Mid term cellar candidate. Works. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $42.99

WT042617-10. 13 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, DOMAINE DU GRAND TINEL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 70% grenache, 25% syrah, 5% mourvedre. Deep, earthy, classic, full bodied grenache-heavy Chateauneuf. One of the best 13s./ Yes, red fruit of grenache. A strong vintage for Grand Tinel. Well balanced. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

WT042617-13. 13 RUSSELL RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY SYRAH - (U.S. WEST COAST) 15.4%; Wayne State philosophy professor. Strong, woody, heady./ Sweet oak and fruit. One large California syrah. Take to a steakhouse; take to a BBQ. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WT041917-1. 16 ROERO ARNEIS SABBIE, CANTINE SAN SILVESTRO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Fresh, vigorous, stony./ Young, and still with some fermentation residual influence. Nice plumpness and rounded fruit acidity of arneis. Fully accomplished by mid summer. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT041917-2. 14 SAINT VERAN, JOSEPH DROUHIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Full, especially for Maconnais. Some bouquet development./ Yes, full and nutty. Ready for the table. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT041917-4. 16 CLIFFORD BAY MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%. Fresh and floral and penetrating. Lovely./ Yes! Citrus aromatics. Tangelo especially. Great tang. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT041917-5. 16 GIGONDAS ROSE, DOMAINE SAINT DAMIEN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Full and fruity. The right size and stuffing for a Gigondas rose./ Strong and full. Some fermentation residual yet, which leaves a bitter trace. This will be resolved by summer, and the wine will thrive throughout fall and winter. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT041917-6. 15 DOGLIANI DOLCETTO VINE IN PIANEZZO, FRANCESCO BOSCHIS - (ITALY) 13.5%. Dark and clear, deep and reductive. Elegant and loaded both./ Yes, both oomph and charm. Flow and balance. Ideal Dogliani Dolcetto well poised for further enhancement over the next year or so. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041917-7. 14 CHIANTI, FRATELLI GRATI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh and cool and crisp. Traditional, home market Chianti styling for food, not show./ Yes, fresh, fine acidity, flow, and meal-worthiness. Come hither. One glass invites another. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT041917-13. 15 MASSAYA LE COLOMBIER MOUNT LEBANON - BEQUAA VALLEY RED - (LEBANON) 14.5%; 35% ea cinsault, grenache; 15% each syrah, tempranillo; Ghosn, Brunier, & Hebrard. Full oak and warm, robust fruit to absorb it. Lots of spice. Full force and stamina./ Yes, big on texture and flavor. Unique and giving. Nobody gets more out of cinsault than Lebanon’s winegrowers. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT041917-14. 14 GNARLY HEAD OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Dry and powerful. No overripe Lodi senses of fruit syrup or preference for Mega Purple augmentation. This is pure--the real deal./ Sweet and oaky-spicy. Balanced. Delish. Popular. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041917-15. 15 MOSEL RIESLING URBAN, NIK WEIS - (GERMANY) 9.5%; proprietor of St. Urbanshof. Oh, good stone, etch, and extract combined with bright Mosel riesling fruit./ A tad sweeter than the norm for this cuvee thanks to 2015's warmth, and slightly lower in acidity, though the finish is mighty tangy. Suits me. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

WT041217-1. 15 SAUMUR BLANC LES POUCHES, CAVE DE SAUMUR - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; single vineyard. One of the best in the series thanks to a warm, sunny growing season. Cool northern fruit that’s ripe while still crisp./ Really fruitier, riper, and more aromatic than usual. More-ish. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041217-2. 15 CHABLIS CHAMPS ROYAUX, WILLIAM FEVRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Full, fresh apple, peel, calcaire. The ripeness of 15./ Whoa! All about extract, volume, body. The flavor and texture intensity of a Premier Cru. Full of material. Lasting finish. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT041217-3. 13 KNIGHTS BRIDGE WEST BLOCK KNIGHTS VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.8%. Plenty of oak but not blatant or top heavy. Certainly the size and build of 2013./ Fuller oak presence on the palate. Well built. Solid framework, sweet Knights Valley fruit core. All. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT041217-4. 16 SANTA RITA 120 VALLE CENTRAL SAUVIGNON BLANC - (CHILE) 13.5%. A little on the fat side this vintage./ Same. Gentle. Wide appeal. Appreciated by the Europhiles nonetheless. Another good value effort here. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT041217-5. 15 BOURGUEIL LIEU DIT BEAUREGARD, CAVE DE BOURGUEIL - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; from gravelly and sandy soils. Oh, boy, ultra fresh and real Bourgueil cabernet franc. Cool northern vigor and 2015 fruit ripeness work together really well./ Yes, cool, racy, tarry, zesty. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041217-6. 14 VAR PINOT NOIR DOMAINE DE VALMOISSINE, LOUIS LATOUR - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; from clay and limestone soils. Fresh, cool, upbeat pinot noir for sure. Cool vintage in Haute Provence, a zone well south of Burgundy but of greater elevation./ Zesty, spicy, sweet plum and cherry pinot fruit. Plus good acid. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041217-7. 15 BENEVENTO AGLIANICO, LA GUARDIENSE - (ITALYT) 12.5%. Full and real aglianico statement that recalls nebbiolo in a warmer setting than Piemonte. Rich, dark cherry and pitch. Deep and spicy./ A troubling degree of VA though. Daring. Will that resolve itself? I’ve seen it happen in other rossos. 16.4/14.8+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT041217-8. 15 TERRE SICILIANE NERO D’AVOLA, SOC. AGR. CUSUMANO - (ITALY) 14%. Glass stopper. Too good a seal? Severe and tight for 2015 south./ Tight, tense, vinous. No fun at all at this stage. Possibly just shipped. 14.0++
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT041217-9. 15 ALTOS LAS HORMIGAS CLASICO MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13%. Firm and ungiving. A cool vintage. Other 15 Mendoza malbecs have left the same impression./ Sweet, ripe fruit and tart underripe fruit impressions. Mixed messages. Sense of high pH. Future? Boy, I hope this improves. Former vintages have been much more appealing. 13.5+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT041217-10. 14 ANGELINE RESERVE PASO ROBLES MERLOT - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; est. 1990. Sweet, woody, roti Paso. Generous if predictable./ Sweet and woody, with texture and tannin. A logical and pleasing Paso merlot on the palate. 15.0/16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT041217-11. 13 NOBLE VINES 337 LODI CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%; 337 is a particular clone of cabernet sauvignon. Dark and sweet and convincing Clements Hills grown 337 clone cabernet. Presents good intensity of its own./ Fruit sweetness balanced by good acidity. Lots of attractive wood and fruit cremes. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT041217-12. 14 SABLET COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE DE PIAUGIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 75% grenache, 25% syrah. Jolly color./ Fresh, cool, blue-black 14 fruit style. Racy, peppery. Garrigue too./ Vigor, spice, race, balance. Plenty of flavor and texture appeal. Yes. Well liked by the group. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT041217-13. 15 GIGONDAS, DOMAINE DE LA TOURADE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; grenache, syrah, mourvedre. Large, close, young. Traditional Tourade style. Not nearly as forthcoming as the 2014 Vacqueyras tasted last week./ More revealing on the palate. More spice, vigor, flair. Plenty of Gigondas bulk. Will be a good one. Popular with the group. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT041217-14. 14 RAVENSWOOD OLD VINE NAPA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 15%. Strong and dry. No Napa elegance. Well, maybe a hint of same./ Sweet and strong for Napa zinfandel. Woody. Four square. This ought to have more charm than the 2013, but it doesn’t. Something’s changed. The price is higher to boot. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT041217-15. 15 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER, ANDRE SCHERER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%. Highly perfumed. Scherer at his best. Rose, ginger, tonic, barbershop./ Lush for all its glycerol yet literally dry. Ideal. His best vintage yet. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WT040517-1. 15 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE LA LEVRAUDIERE, BONNET-HUTEAU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. A good and full one. Moss; terrarium. Classic./ Very striking green and bitter botanicals. Very dry and extreme. Positively needs food companionship. Likely cellar candidate too. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040517-2. 15 CHATEAU FONTAINE PINOT GRIS - (U.S. MICHIGAN) Rich and nutty, waxy. Apple./ Sweet and tender for Michigan pinot gris, so likely augmented with Pac Northwest fruit in this low-yield NW Michigan vintage. Agreeable. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT040517-3. 15 ALTO ADIGE PINOT GRIGIO, ELENA WALCH - (ITALY) 13.5%. Neat, cool, compact. More like a 2014 than a 2015./ Not a bit of fat on its body. But neither dry nor austere. Just sinewy and meal worthy. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT040517-4. 14 ABEJA WASHINGTON CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) Not a lot forthcoming on the nose in the way of either fruit or wood./ Well crafted, well balanced. Nothing askew. Wide ranging mealtime possibilities. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $49.99

WT040517-5. 16 COTEAUX DU GIENNOIS PINOT NOIR ROSE, DOMAINE CLEMENT ET FLORIAN BERTHIER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Fruit laden. Clear and attractive pinot cherry aspects, including pastille purity and intensity. Swells up well with aeration and not doubt will even more with a few weeks’ aging./ Delicious red fruit, bright and clear, and most flavorful through to the finish. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT040517-6. 14 BOURGOGNE COTE CHALONNAISE, CHATEAU DE CHAMILLY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; 40-70 year old vines in clay and limestone. Aged a year in oak barrels. Cool climate, cool vintage umbrage. Good Chalonnaise earthiness./ Earth and some game. Cool vintage tartness. 15.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT040517-7. 16 ALFREDO ROCA FINCAS LA PERSEVERANCIA & SANTA HERMINIA SAN RAFAEL PINOT NOIR - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%. Cooler and tarter than usual. Brisk nose./ Ah, but the palate is round and sweet, featuring flavors of cherry, game, and earth. On the palate, the uniqueness of this wine comes forth. No other pinot noir quite like it. The nose will catch up in a couple of months. 15.0+/16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT040517-8. 16 FINCA EL ORIGEN ESTATE RESERVA VALLE DE UCO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%. Sweet and intense, ripe and smoky. The usual good concentration here./ Still a little tart around the edges, but the core is full of sweet fruit creme. It’s young. It will plump up over the coming months. The acid is promising for food companionship. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT040517-9. 14 ABEJA COLUMBIA VALLEY MERLOT - (U.S. WEST COAST) Very, very bright and juicy. Great clarity and allure. So pure a WA merlot statement. The oak is well measured. So well crafted./ Yes, suave, spicy, enticing. Total oak integration. Melted tannins. Perfect balance. Ready for the table. 17.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $54.95

WT040517-10. 12 ABEJA COLUMBIA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) This has a much firmer nose. More oak evident, but here too it’s settled in. Pure blackberry-black currant cabernet emphasis./ Very soft, melted tannins in ripe, fruit-forward 2012. Some astringency in back that needs to be assimilated yet. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $59.95

WT040517-11. 15 MADRID CAMINO DE NAVAHERREROS, BERNABELEVA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Firm, uncomplicated, sweet, young./ Bright acid ring. Juicy food wine. Up front grenache ripe fruit, and, yes, great acid for food. 15.4/16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT040517-12. 14 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES CUVEE SETIER, CHATEAU PEGAU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Strong, bold Pegau stuff even in cool 2014. Deep, smoky, condensed, large./ Full fruit and peppercorn. Ample, powerful stuff. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT040517-13. 14 VACQUEYRAS, DOMAINE DE LA TOURADE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; grenache, syrah, mourvedre. Oh, special vintage here! Deep, spicy, beefy, unique Vacqueyras. Totally rich and multi-dimensional for the usually restrained young Tourade rouge./ Yes, rich and soft and balanced and flavorful. All you could want. Yet another face of Vacqueyras, one of France’s most diverse, entertaining, and stimulating set of red wines. Well liked by the group. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT040517-15. 16 MOSCATO D’ASTI BRICCO RIELLA, AZ. AGR. CASCINA PIAN D’OR - (ITALY) 7%. Soo dainty and elegant and peachy and floral. Ethereal moscato./ Balance of sparkle, sweetness, and acidity. Complete package. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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