Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - APRIL 2018
by Dick Scheer Updated June 21, 2018
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Wednesday, April 25, 2018
WT042518-1. 16 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE. DOMAINE GADAIS - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; in Saint Faicre, lieux dit Les Avineaux; on granite. Nice and stony. Full terroir expression. Moss, terrarium./ Full body, mineral savor. Good presence and flavor impact. 16.7.
WT042518-2. 17 THE CROSSINGS AWATERE VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 12.5%. Piercing NZ sauvignon clarity from Marlborough‛s southernmost valley. Pure passion fruit./ Yes, and pink grapefruit too. My goodness, this is total. 17.1
WT042518-3. 16 SANCERRE LES MONTS DAMNES, ANTHONY & DAVID GIRARD - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Rich Monts Damnes stuff. No grassy sauvignon, this is chalky; it reports its calcareous origin. Grows and deepens with aeration./ Great texture and tingle. Variegated feels and flavors. Complex, layered. Long and clinging. 17.3.
WT042518-4. 16 MACON LA ROCHE VINEUSE SOUS LE BOIS, CHATEAU DE LA GREFFIERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Large deep and rich expression of village and domaine chardonnay without as much oak influence as in Greffiere‛s Vieilles Vignes cuvee. Just a suggestion of barrel contributions. Plenty of fruit volume./ Yes, that 2016 material and extract is clear. Dry and large and food-worthy. 16.7.
WT042518-5. 15 CHABLIS, DOMAINE COULAUDIN-BUSSY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Body plus dryness plus calcaire spell a classic./ Yes, volume, grip, bulk. Classic Chablis indeed. 16.7.
WT042518-6. 15 COTES CATALANES MUSCAT SEC, LES VIGNOLES TERRASSOUS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. This works. Dry and lightly aromatic. Right for food./ A correct dry muscat statement that doesn‛t go overboard in the floral stuff, so it‛s intriguingly meal-worthy. 16.3. List price $16.
WT042518-7. 16 CROZES HERMITAGE, DOMAINE YANN CHAVE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Oh, deep, expansive, spicy, total. One large Crozes Hermitage./ Lots of material, force, and texture. Finesse is not a descriptor here. This is about dynamic power, presence, delivery. 16.8+.
WT042518-9. 15 ALICANTE MONASTRELL-PETIT VERDOT VERMADOR, BODEGA DE PINOSO - (SPAIN) 14%; 85-15.. Comes on big and strong. Gives, gives, gives. What a deal!/ Smooth, fruity, well balanced. Has it all. 16.3. List price: $14.
WT042518-10. 13 WINDY BAY OREGON PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 12.5%. Racy, deep, spicy, developing./ Rich, racy, and spicy indeed. Sweet fruit finish. A deal. 16.4.
WT042518-11. MOUNT DEFIANCE BRIMSTONE OREGON RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.4%; respects to Rev. Billy Sunday, who retired to Hood River Valley. Full, giving, well developed./ Suave, mellow, evolved bottle bouquet and flavor. Yes, at a good stage for enjoyment. 16.4. List price: $24.
WT042518-12. 10 MUSTER M BAROSSA VALLEY MOURVEDRE - (AUSTRALIA) 14.2%. Deep, sweet, and purple fruited. Fine bouquet development. This reminds me of a mature Bandol augmented by barrel aging and Barossa fruit ripeness./ Large, with clear varietal character expressed in a garrulous Aussie manner. Yes! 16.7. List price: $30.
WT042518-13. 09 WATERMILL ESTATE WALLA WALLA VALLEY TEMPRANILLO - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.7%. Big, big, big, like a Cayuse Walla Walla wine. Tempranillo on steroids. Great oak too./ Has it all. Big, rich, sweet fruit and oak, power, tannin. The whole nine yards. 17.3. List price: $40.
WT042518-14. 15 VOUVRAY MOELLEUX LE PLAN DE JEAN DOMAINE DES AUBUISIERES, BERNARD FOUQUET - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12%. Oh, moelleux luscious but also Fouquet subtle, controlled. Nostril etch, calcaire, lime, Vouvray all. I mean, total./ And more. Swelling tastes of lime, quince, and calcaire. Plenty of acid for balance and texture. Not about botrytis. About fully ripe chenin blanc. Will age famously. 17.3+.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
WT041818-1. 16 SAVOIE CHIGNIN, DOMAINE QUENARD - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 11.5%; all jacquere. When I first pulled the cork, the wine seemed very scented. It‛s quieted down a bit since, settling into the comfortable position of a high altitude, subtly aromatic jacquere wine./ Yes, it‛s gentle, beguiling, not pushy. Liked by the group. 15.9+.
WT041818-2. 16 GAVI MASERA, STEFANO MASSONE - (ITALY) 12.5%. Really filled out since last spring. Taking on golden as well as green fruit aromas./ Yes, a full textured, rich take on cortese from Gavi‛s eastern sector. 16.0.
WT041818-3. 16 ALSACE PINOT GRIS TRADITION, DOMAINE EMILE BEYER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; est. 1580. Rich and right, thick with glycerol. Alsace can give bulked-up pinot gris wines all right./ Rich and round and waxy. The acid is coated. Melon and hazelnut flavors. Some thought this had residual sugar. I think it‛s more about ripe Alsace pinot gris‛s high glycerol level. The way I like it. 16.7.
WT041818-5. 16 RHEINHESSEN SPATBURGUNDER, WEINGUT KOSTER-WOLF - (GERMANY) 10%. Pale color./ Sweetly correct Hessia pinot noir. Cool climate tart cherry./ Well, it‛s literally sweet--a surprise. Plentitude here. Serve with duck breast and cherry sauce. 15.9.
WT041818-7. 16 BOURGOGNE HAUTES COTES DE NUITS PINOT NOIR RESERVE PERSONNELLE, JEAN-LUC & PAUL AEGERTER - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Rich, round, and lovely. Flattering Hautes Cotes rusticity. Its sweetness and ripeness approximates the fine 2015 rendition./ Red fruit, bright, sweet, and smooth. Not quite the flavor impact of the 2015 yet, but it holds its own all the same, and promises more to come. 16.3+.
WT041818-8. 16 CHENAS GRAND CRU EN REMONT VIGNES DE 1939, DOMAINE PASCAL AUFRANC - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; vineyard at top of Remont hill (1200') planted in 1939 on pink granite sand, w/ quartz, iron. Large, like its neighbor, Moulin a Vent. Deep, dark, meaty, terroir driven. Gives and gives./ Rich in the mouth too. Sweet fruited and yielding. Not tannic. 16.7+.
WT041818-9. 16 CHINON CLOS DU SAUT AU LOUP MONOPOLE, DOMAINE DOZON - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13.5%. Oh, a big boy! Close and tannic, dark and deep./ Really playing it close to the vest at this stage. Hard to get a read on it; hard to swirl up much flavor ID. See you later. 15.8++.
WT041818-10. 16 LANGHE NEBBIOLO, AZ. VITIVINICOLA PAOLO SCAVINO - (ITALY) 14.5%. Large, sweet, expansive, penetrating, aromatic, forceful, all./ Smooth feel of alcohol/glycerol. Balanced, round, rich, complete. There are special attributes to this vintage in Piemonte; no wonder the growers are so enthusiastic about it. Surpasses the 2015. Wow. 17.0+.
WT041818-11. 16 COTES DU RHONE SYRAH CUVEE VINCENT, DOMAINE DE CHATEAUMAR - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; all syrah from two 45+ yr old parcels bordering Chateauneuf du Pape. Deep, black, and nobly reductive as it has been in other vintages. In tune with southern Rhone syrah attributes./ Again, starts light reduced, but, oh man, then comes on full flavored and textured. High volume southern syrah. Popular with the group. 16.6+.
WT041818-12. 16 BONNY DOON CLOS DE GILROY CENTRAL COAST GRENACHE - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.1%; Alta Loma, Rancho Solo, Wolff, Lieff, & Shokrian Vineyards. Big charge of California grenache. Shows the way. Sweetly fruity, open hearted./ Yes, an accurate expression of Central Coast syrah, with good flow and pleasing body. 16.3.
WT041818-13. 13 WATCHDOG ROCK COLUMBIA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Dark, full, and really loaded for the price. Mostly about Washington‛s dark-fruited take on cabernet sauvignon. Some oak highlights come forth with aeration./ Really solid WA cabernet build. Lots of material here. Weighty and mouthfilling. 16.3+.
WT041818-14. 16 FRANCAIS SUDOUEST GROS MANSENG - SAUVIGNON BLANC DOUX, VILLA CHAMBRE D'AMOUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 10.5%. Deep, sweet gros manseng peachiness cut by sauvignon blanc citricity./ Mmm, that balance of manseng plumpness and sauvignon acid race. Will continue to put on weight. In tune with the series. 16.7+.
WT041818-15. 16 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER TRADITION, DOMAINE EMILE BEYER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; est. 1580. Reductive, tonic aura to start. Then come on the bold aspects of Alsace gewurztraminer: rose, spice, ginger, and glycerol thickness. Classic./ Yes, plenty of rose and ginger flavors of upstanding Alsace gewurz. And really fine acidity for this varietal. 17.0.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
WT041118-1. 17 LEFT FOOT CHARLEY OLD MISSION PENINSULA PINOT BLANC - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12%; Shangri La Too, Seventh Hill, Prairie School, & Lyon vineyards. Good pinot blanc green fruit. The real deal./ Yes, dry and cool climate valid. Like a top pinot bianco from Alto Adige. 16.8.
WT041118-2. 16 ALSACE PINOT BLANC TRADITION, DOMAINE EMILE BEYER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%; at Eguisheim; est. 1580. More of that Alsace warmth and oomph. Less green fruit; more yellow fruit. Has had a year longer to spread out. Another fine take on the varietal./ Ripe, rich, and full. Nice acid etch too. 16.6.
WT041118-3. 15 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY, DOMAINE MICHEL JUILLOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; at Mercurey. Full oak and Chalonnaise resin. Big Chalon presentation./ Volume, sap, nut, wood. Full texture and power even at only 12.5%. A lot of Burgundy chardonnay for the price. 16.9+.
WT041118-4. 17 BODEGA NORTON 1895 COLECCION LUJAN DE CUYO TORRONTES - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; est. 1895; engineer Norton built the railroad across the Andes from Mendoza to Santiago. Passion fruit and flowers. Smells more like NZ sauvignon blanc than its usual associates, muscat and gewurztraminer./ Yes, passion fruit, mango, musk. Real oomph and largesse. Acid and freshness too. 16.9.
WT041118-5. 16 CATENA ALAMOS SALTA TORRONTES - (ARGENTINA) 13%. Still some sulphur residual under screwcap. Salta softness and allure beneath./ Yes, the sulphur suppresses, constrains, cuts short its varietal expression at this juncture. 15.9+.
WT041118-6. 16 COLOME ESTATE LA BRAVA VINEYARD SALTA TORRONTES - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; vineyard at 5200' in the Upper Calchaqui Valley; est. 1831. Very elegant, refined, silk textured./ Cool and clear high altitude torrontes emphasizing levity. 16.5.
WT041118-7. 17 COTES CATALANES ROSE, DOMAINE LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; est. 1798. Opens with fermentation aromas of banana and bubble gum. Then lots of bright berry fruit pushes through./ Crisp, tart, pointed, fine. Racy. Will be fully accomplished by mid summer. 16.5+.
WT041118-8. 16 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR, CHATEAU DE LA GREFFIERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; at La Roche Vineuse. Damp-earthy to start. Clears to a readily identifiable pinot noir expression. A rich one too./ Bright acidity of 2016. Still tart and edgy in youth. Put it away for awhile. 15.9+.
WT041118-9. 15 MERCUREY CLOS DES BARRAULTS PREMIER CRU, DOMAINE MICHEL JUILLOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Full, alluring wood spices. Mercurey dark fruit, heft, weight, depth, vigor. Soaring aromatic overtones of black cherry and oak./ Sweet and spicy-oaky. Full and broad. Yes. 17.4+.
WT041118-12. 16 VALREAS COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE GRANDE BELLANE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; half each grenache, syrah. Brilliant magenta hue./ Reductive, as the color would suggest. 2016 Valreas cool and racy. Fine future./ Yes, crisp, racy, reductive. Proper weight as well as lift. Air and age. Good material here. 16.4+.
WT041118-13. 15 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE DENIS ALARY - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; at Cairanne. Cairanne red-black color./ Strong, black, peppery Cairanne nose. Young. Wine of place./ Sweet, strong, and peppery young Cairanne production indeed. 16.4+.
WT041118-14. 15 CAIRANNE, DOMAINE DENIS ALARY - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 60% grenache, 30% syrah, 10% carignan. Similar in style to the Cotes du Rhone. A little reticent in youth to start. Seems more powerful. Real aromatic push comes forth with aeration./ Yes, Cairanne power. Tight and tannic. Its garrigue aura has yet to form. 16.4++.
WT041118-15. 12 MUSTER S BAROSSA SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 13.7%; est. 1862. Very sweet, concentrated 2012 Barossa shiraz raspberry fruit. Cool overtones too. This doesn‛t go over the edge; it‛s not Barossa syrupy. There‛s clarity and elegance as well as abundance./ At a very good stage, showing 2012 sweet fruit largesse and attractive bottle bouquet approaching age six. Well priced. 16.7.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
WT040418-1. 16 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO, IL DONATO - (ITALY) 12%. Fresh and full apple display. Delivers. Way big deal!/ Yes, works hard. Ample enough body. Granny Smith apple with peel astringency. Mealtime grigio. 16.2.
WT040418-2. 15 BOURGOGNE COTE CHALONNAISE, CHATEAU DE CHAMILLY - (FRANCE BURGUNEY) 12.5%. Fresh, crisp, a bit close yet./ Fine, juicy fruit. Holding a lot back still. I foresee more abundance in a few months, like the 2014 evolved in bottle. Liked by the group. 15.9+.
WT040418-3. 15 MERCUREY CLOS LA PERRIERE MONOPOLE, CHATEAU DE CHAMILLY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Oh, well now, this is much more ample. Dark Mercurey fruit. Sweet and giving 2015./ Close and crisp yet. Still there‛s a lot more here; more give, more volume. Tannin adds to the texture. 16.5+.
WT040418-4. 15 MERCUREY LES PUILLETS PREMIER CRU, CHATEAU DE CHAMILLY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Firmer, fuller, deeper still. More oak involved. Oak seasoning and black Mercurey fruit./ Rich and round and full, with barrel influence. Fruit succulence. 16.9+.
WT040418-5. 15 MERCUREY CLOS TONNERRE PREMIER CRU, DOMAINE MICHEL JUILLOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Different style. Sweeter. More oak. More extract. Impressive range and depth./ Pleasing body.. Oak and fruit and fine tannin. Firm frame and a giving center. 16.6+.
WT040418-7. 15 MERCUREY, CHATEAU DE CHAMIREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Sweet and abundant fruit, with well managed, toasty oak. Large./ Yes, sweet and more powerful than those that have come before. Firm and yet to reveal its depths. Material here. 16.5+.
WT040418-8. 15 MERCUREY CLOS DU ROI PREMIER CRU, CHATEAU DE CHAMIREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 14%. Fuller still; more barrel influence here. Large and classic Clos du Roi showing./ Oh, wood and fruit abundance. Pleasing body. Good power. Balanced in all respects; looking forward to steady bouquet development. 17.1+.
WT040418-9. 15 COTE DE BEAUNE VILLAGES, JOSEPH DROUHIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Sweet, soft, engaging Cote de Beaune pinot red fruit. Nice and sweet for Drouhin./ Pleasing body. Alluring softness. Good acid for balance. Useful now and later. 16.7+.
WT040418-10. 15 SANTENAY LES HATES, DOMAINE VINCENT & SOPHIE MOREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Way more ample in oak display and fruit concentration than all before it. Gives and gives./ Whoa, big time succulence and spread. Tops in flavor and texture, fruit material and wood. Yow. Ample indeed. 17.4+.
WT040418-11. 15 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE VINCENT & SOPHIE MOREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Classic Chassagne rouge nose, the plumminess, the fine tailoring. Intense, sweet, complete./ Less give, body, and amplitude than the Santenay at this stage. Less body. Great acid. 17.1/16.6+.
WT040418-12. 15 SAINT ROMAIN, DOMAINE ALAIN GRAS - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Oh, sweet, Volnay like strawberry. Dark fruit too. Real Saint Romain rouge./ Ripe, large, backward. Ample. Not rustic like some from this village. Instead, classic. Long. 17.2+.
WT040418-13. 15 CHOREY LES BEAUNE, JOSEPH DROUHIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Another sweet one for Drouhin. 2015 talking. Not as ample yet as the Villages. Nonetheless, has allure./ Close Drouhin palate. More in tune with the house style. Form and future. 16.5+.
WT040418-14. 15 BEAUNE EN GENET PREMIER CRU, DOMAINE ARNOUX PERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Full color./ Beaune soft and broad and classic. Real fruit sweetness and concentration. Senses of oak and barrel aging, but mostly about Beaune generosity./ All over again on the palate. Sweetness, body, give. Well framed too. Defines Cote de Beaune pinot noir. Fine tannin, texture, flavor. Long and clinging. 17.3+.
WT040418-15. 16 KREUZNACHER KRONENBERG RIESLING SPATLESE, ST. ANTONIUS KELLEREI - (germany) 8.5%. As usual, spatlese sweet aroma. Nice etch, texture. A good Kreuznach take on riesling. Burnish and flow./ Coated acidity. Young and uncomplicated yet. I have confidence it will blossom over the coming months. 16.3/16.0+.