Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- August, 2012
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
WT082912-01. 11 VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO PANCOLE, AA VINCENZO CESANI - (ITALY) 12%. Oh, boy. Finally a good, clear, fresh vernaccia in the market.. Apple and pear./ Snappy acid. Good grip. A lot of race and joy. Food, please. 16.4.
WT082912-02. 10 ALSACE PINOT BLANC, ANDRE SCHERER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%. Oh, boy! A good, full one with a walnut husk aura. Boldest pinot blanc yet from Scherer. Fresh green melon notes too./ Rich and smooth. Some peach in the background. Fine combination of plumpness and acidity. Perfect balance. Long and succulent pinot blanc. 17.0.
WT082912-03. 11 GRAFFIGNA ESTATE CENTENARIO RESERVE SAN JUAN PINOT GRIGIO - (ARGENTINA) 13%; since 1870. Nice and fresh, bright, penetrating. Apple, melon, nut. Deep and clear to the bottom./ Luscious glycerol sheen streaked with razor-keen acid. Has it all. Very long aftertaste. Always a satisfying pinot gris. 16.9.
WT082912-04. 11 CHATEAU BONNET, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 50% sauvignon blanc, 40% semillon, 10% muscadelle. Love that range of grape variety ezpressions classic to this cuvee. Grass, lemon, green herb./ Semillon lemon meringue, sauvignon gooseberry, muscadelle green fruit and herb. The acid, the plushness, the ease. 16.7.
WT082912-05. 11 DRYLANDS MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%. Total gooseberry and tangerine. Bright and incisive. No flab./ Yeah, cool and bracing. Clear as spring water. Fabulous bitter edge. Great acidity, balance, length. 17.2.
WT082912-06. 10 CHATEAU ST. JEAN CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.8%. Genuine and attractive, snappy, cool vintage pinot with lots of cherry and oak toast. Smooth and ripe./ Yeah, sweet caramel oak and ripe, smooth fruit. Talks the California pinot talk. Good acid foil too. 16.6+.
WT082912-08. 11 BODEGA PULENTA ESTATE LA FLOR MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%. Reduced a bit but not too. It’s the Pulenta freshness emphasis and the youth. Clears well with air. Purple fruit character of the house./ Clear and bright young malbec. Still confined in youth and will be nice. 15.6+.
WT082912-09. 10 GRAFFIGNA ESTATE CENTENARIO RESERVE SAN JUAN MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%. Deep and black malbec fruit with a complex of oak seasonings. Gorgeous example of malbec cherry fruit combining with toasty, spicy oak to really deliver the goods./ Full, sweet, ripe cherry pie fruit and oak toast and pie crust. Tastes like a $25 wine. Fine tannin reserve. Long and welcome aftertaste and texture. 17.1+.
WT082912-13. 04 RIOJA GRAN RESERVA, BODEGAS LAN - (SPAIN) 13.5%; tempranillo, mazuelo, graciano. Black, serious, young, oaky. Firm vital core of fruit stating 2004 class. Well poised./ A classic gran reserva incorporating fine fruit and oak, plus both barrel and bottle bouquet earned over eight years. Just right for its age and vintage. Plenty of positive development to go. 17.4+.
WT082912-14. 09 COTES DU RHONE BASTIDE DE BEAUVERT, FONCALIEU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; at Saint Victor la Coste; 70% grenache, 30% syrah; gold medal - Orange. Very fine, elegant, stylish. Very fresh berry and flowers nose. All coolness./ 09 form and figure. Fresh acidity and fine tannin. The makings of a beauty. 16.4+.
WT082912-15. 11 COTES DU RHONE SAINT COSME, LOUIS BARRUOL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; all syrah. Reduced to start. Shows a plumminess with aeration. And good syrah white pepper./ Cool, confined by youth and reduction. Just needs air and age. Good foundations. 15.7+.
WT082912-16. 10 VENTOUX QUINTESSENCE, CHATEAU PESQUIE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 15%; 80% syrah, 20% grenache. Full, sweet fruit and lots of toasted oak caramel. Plenty of fruit concentration to support its liberal oak embellishments. This works!/ Yeah, full, sweet fruit and oak. Great Show Wine. The difference from New World Show Wines is that this has superior acidity. Give a sense of proportion. 17.6+.
WT082912-17. 09 BRAZIN OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S) 15%. Yes! Lodi jammy raspberry and peppercorn. Full throttle, open hearted, generous Lodi zinfandel./ Wow! Full oak toast and caramel. Super sweet and demonstrative Lodi zin. The alcohol (15%) keeps it cool and balanced. Total Lodi zin. 17.5+.
WT082912-18. 11 FENN VALLEY RESERVE FENNVILLE VIGNOLES - (U.S) 11%; best of show semi-dry white - 2012 Michigan Wine Competition. The ultimate late harvest vignoles. Redolent of ripe peach and pineapple. Very concentrated, luscious perfume. So much briskness and richness combined with huge extract./ Yes, this is just right. The sweet-acid balance, the volume and length of flavor. Honey and pollen too, as if the grapes saw some
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
WT082212-01. 11 CHATEAU GRAND TRAVERSE OLD MISSION PENINSULA PINOT GRIGIO - (U.S.) 12.5%; Silver Medal - 2012 Michigan Wine Competition. Full. Lots of peel. Highly extracted./ Full. Lots of apple and peel. Full extract. Skin soak? 15.5.
WT082212-02. 11 OAK GROVE RESERVE CALIFORNIA PINOT GRIGIO - (U.S.) 13%. Full. Aroma of apple juice, not peel. Good apple perfume. Light etch, good polish./ Tame palate. Overcropped, or cut with Thompson seedless? Grapey aftertaste. 15.0.
WT082212-03. 11 TERRA ALTA GARNATXA BLANCA, HERENCIA ALTES - (SPAIN) 12.5%; chalky-clay soil at elevations 1300-1600 feet. Ideal, cool melon, pear, and apple. Light glycerol./ Very bright pear and melon taste. Lovely poise. 16.4.
WT082212-04. 11 MACON LA ROCHE VINEUSE, ALAIN NORMAND - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Full and racy apple. Full indeed. Complete Roche Vineuse./ Soft. Mild acidity. Medium bodied. Lays gently and caresses the palate. 16.2.
WT082212-06. 10 VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO, FATTORIA LAILA - (ITALY) 13%. Oh, yeah, not too full. Delicate apple. Love its discretion and perfume; depth and persistence./ Sits right. Mild acidity. Yeah, gentle on the aftertaste. 16.0.
WT082212-07. 11 OAK GROVE RESERVE CALIFORNIA SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S.) 13%. Full, warm climate take. Strong and forthright. Valid face of sauvignon blanc./ Soft and mild in varietal character. Some quince. Decent acid. 15.4.
WT082212-09. 11 OAK GROVE RESERVE CALIFORNIA VIOGNIER - (U.S.) 13%. Valid but light varietal aroma. Crisp. Some other variety here to temper viognier’s perfume? OK./ More varietal intensity on the palate. Mason Dot fruit. Modest finish. 15.4.
WT082212-13. 09 CAHORS MALBEC TRADITION, CHATEAU HAUT MONPLAISIR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; 44 acres on the ‘prestigious’ third terrace of the Lot Valley; unfined, unfiltered. Ripe fruit core. Confined by good framing. Smoke, tar, cherry essence, medicine./ Fine race and form. Not at all 09 blowsy. Traditional indeed. Needs time. 16.4+.
WT082212-14. 11 VENTOUX TERRASSES, CHATEAU PESQUIE - (FRANCE RHONE) 14.5%; 70% grenache, 30% syrah. Sweet and neat. Black and cool grenache and syrah statements. In style with the estate. Peppery./ Soft, sweet, strong, flavorful. What Pesquie does best. Good juice. 16.6+.
WT082212-15. 11 COTES DU RHONE CUVEE ROMAINE, DOMAINE LA GARRIGUE - (FRANCE RHONE) 14.5%; unfiltered. Black, tight, reticent in youth. Even more backward then the 10, though that was first tasted a few more months along. Form over aroma./ Yes, fine form and spice. All there. Loaded with material for keeping. Well balanced. 16.8++.
WT082212-16. 10 VACQUEYRAS, DOMAINE LA GARRIGUE - (FRANCE RHONE) 14.5%; unfiltered. Bigger and more ambitious. True Vacqueyras concentration, tar, pepper. Great for aging./ Form and size, and Vacqueyras ‘je ne sais quoi’. Yeah, all here in the Vacqueyras tradition. 17.0++.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
WT081512-01. 11 VINHO VERDE ESCOLHA, ADEGA PONTE DA BARCA - (PORTUGAL) 10.5%. Light spritz. Properly green scented./ Spritzy, light, dry, green. A quaffer. 14.0.
WT081512-02. 11 KAMPTAL GRUNER VELTLINER GOBELSBURGER TROCKEN, SCHLOSS GOBELSBURG - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%. Green apple, legume. Youthful./ Soft. Mild acid. Some thought it sweet even. I could detect no RS. Maybe a little glycerol padding. 16.0.
WT081512-03. 11 ELK COVE WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT GRIS - (U.S.) 12.5%. Oh, boy! Full and expressive! Just right OR style, lying midway between Venezie and Alsace in weight. Lots of good green fruits, including apple, quince, melon./ Very full and juicy. Really delivers and satisfies. Complete mouthful and mouthfeel, and flavor volume. Best yet in this series. 17.1.
WT081512-04. 11 COTES DE GASCOGNE SAUVIGNON BLANC - COLOMBARD, DOMAINE DE BALLADE - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 70-30. Oh, boy! Sweet and penetrating aroma and feel. Grilled grapefruit, gooseberry. Colombard green melon./ Full on entry. Modest acidity. Just shipped; it needs a couple of weeks to balance out. 16.0+.
WT081512-05. 11 COTES DE GASCOGNE GROS MANSENG RESERVE SELECTION, DOMAINE DES CASSAGNOLES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Full, clear, youthfully shy. Good core of gros manseng stone fruit./ Plenty of plump fruit material, padding. Dignity and depth. Stature of gros manseng. 100%-gros manseng Gascognes often bear some residual sweetness. None detectable here; just some innate glycerol. Fabulous future. 16.6+.
WT081512-06. 09 GOLD RING VINEYARDS MENDOCINO CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 15%; organically grown. A pleasing dried orange peel bouquet of mature New World chardonnay./ Attractive graininess of maturity. Dried citrus peel bitter strain that will work to its advantage with food. 15.4.
WT081512-07. 11 VALPOLICELLA, ANIME - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh, new, lithe, right. Properly medium bodied Valpolicella./ Yes, a young red wine still showing some tightness and grape peel extract. Drinks something like a Bardolino. Would be pleasing cool. 15.8+.
WT081512-08. 10 SEBASTIANI SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; since 1904. 2010 cool; peels oriented. More than the usual oak butterscotch./ Spicy peel and barrel extracts. Good and round, sweet palate. 15.7+.
WT081512-09. 10 PLAN DE DIEU COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE DU VIEUX CHENE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; half each grenache, syrah. Reduced. Many a Vieux Chene is in youth. As it opens up, black fruit and black pepper emerge./ Tight and reduced on the palate too. Again, there’s spicy stuff behind. Air and age. 16.0++.
WT081512-10. 10 D’ARENBERG THE STUMP JUMP MCLAREN VALE GRENACHE-SHIRAZ-MOURVEDRE - (AUSTRALIA) 14%; 47-29-24; 100th anniversary. Tight, black, introverted. Unusual for d’Arenberg. Pepper and other spices under./ Sweet and spicy. Good power. Moderate acidity. More fruit peel than pulp. Young and tight. 15.5+.
WT081512-11. 09 TOSCANA ROSSO, CAPARZO - (ITALY) 13%. One of the best in the series. Bright 09 fruit. Lively, lovely tart cherry, berry. Light oak seasoning. Rich and right. More fresh fruit than dried this vintage./ Yes, very bright and tangy cherry and even pomegranate. This is exciting. Fine future too. 16.4+.
WT081512-12. 09 ROSSO DI MONTALCINO, CAPARZO - (ITALY) 13%. Virtually a blank slate. Needs time for aroma profile to emerge. Good material and form./ A toughie. Flavors sequestered. All about format present. Fine tannin. 15.6++.
WT081512-14. 05 SANT’ ANTIMO MEZZOPANE, POGGIO SAN POLO - MONTALCINO - (ITALY) 14%; 65% merlot, 35% sangiovese. Very full and demonstrative. Warm and hearty. Full oak and fully packed fruit./ Wow! Big oak and fruit and bouquet development. Really delivers. Ambitious. Some tannin yet. Good acid. For hearty fare. 16.7+.
WT081512-16. 09 RODNEY STRONG ESTATE KNOTTY VINES NORTHERN SONOMA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15%; leading zinfandel medal winner at the 15 major 2012 American wine competitions. Sweet fruit and American oak. Delivers. Bold and powerful. In your face./ Oak butterscotch and wood tastes. Powerful. Heady. A Show Wine for sure. I can see the medals. 16.4+.
WT081512-17. 11 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE DRY COLUMBIA VALLEY RIESLING - (U.S.) 12%. Dried pear and apple. Right, clear, burnished./ Modest acid and flavor on entry. Rallies on the finish. 15.8.
WT081512-18. 11 PFALZ RIESLING SAINT M, ERNST LOOSEN - (GERMANY) 11%. Pfalz full, dry, crisp, grainy./ Yeah! Full texture, grain, interest. As good as the 2010 and other top vintages. 16.3+.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
WT080812-01. 11 VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO SUPERIORE, ANDRE FELICI - (ITALY) 13%. A very full Verdicchio. Classico Superiore indeed. Apple and peel./ Yes, this has the weight of a Collio pinot grigio or a San Gimignano vernaccia. Well liked by the group. 16.3+.
WT080812-02. 11 PETIT CHABLIS SUR LES CLOS, DOMAINE SERVIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Full. The stronger terroir of Portlandian chalk. Servin big. Nothing petit about it./ Oh, boy! Full bodied and textured. Sooo satisfying. The textural play lasts and lasts. The palate is up to the 2010 already. The nose needs a few months to fill out. The 2010 was first tasted in late October 2011. My ratings are the same. 17.0+.
WT080812-03. 10 CAMERON HUGHES LOT 320 ARROYO SECO CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.8%. Full and oaky. Arroyo Seco rich citrus./ Full oak toast. Satisfies. Wood and fruit flavors are welcome and harmonious, and they linger long. Well liked by the Calif-philes. 16.4.
WT080812-04. 11 SANCERRE, DOMAINE CHERRIER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. A hint of sulphur. Otherwise, lithe and racy./ Yes, light and racy. Had its fans. The Sancerre preference of several. 15.9+.
WT080812-05. 11 SANCERRE LA REINE BLANCHE, JEAN REVERDY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Brisker. More citrus and cut./ Cool, grassy, incisive. Little in the way of padding this vintage. All race. 16.5+.
WT080812-06. 10 CAMERON HUGHES LOT 270 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S.) 13.2%. Aging some, but still with fresh citrus and plenty of race./ Prominent grapefruit taste, and good for it. Long finish. Enjoyed by several. 16.0.
WT080812-07. 11 GOATS DO ROAM WESTERN CAPE WHITE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13.5%; 57% viognier, 23% grenache blanc, 20% roussanne. Some viognier on the nose. Aging. Too bad./ Some body and range, but mostly vinous. Some bitterness on the finish. Not up to the last couple of vintages at the same age. But liked by some. 14.5
WT080812-08. 08 DOLCETTO OVADA ROCCO ROSSO, VIGNETI LA SLINA - (ITALY) 12.5%. Aging. Baked a little. Nice and mellow./ Yeah, aging, and tart besides. Liked by some. 14.8.
WT080812-09. 09 MOHUA CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR - (NEW ZEALAND) 13.5%. Full and classy. 08 in size. Otago in importance./ Full acid, full strength. Proper richness. Good representative of its appellation. Well considered by the group. 16.5.
WT080812-10. COCK OF THE WALK MICHIGAN RED - (U.S.) 12%; zweigelt, merlot, cabernets sauvignon and franc, chambourcin, chancellor, foch, dechaunac, rougeon; by St. Julian. Rich and rangy. Zweigelt black. Giving./ Rich and sweet and generous offering in the German red style. Pleasing. Works. 16.0.
WT080812-11. 10 CAMERON HUGHES LOT 344 OAKVILLE MERLOT - (U.S.) 14.8%. Rich and full for 10. Good oak. Oakville cool and racy./ Rich oak and fruit. A fine 10. Generous and balanced. Not much varietal expression. Doesn’t matter; pleasing red wine. 16.5.
WT080812-12. 09 CAMERON HUGHES LOT 285 RUTHERFORD CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 14.5%. Very strong, with very aggressive oak. Rutherford warmth./ 09 hot and bare. 09 lean and firm. 14.7+?
WT080812-13. 10 CAMERON HUGHES LOT 313 FIELD BLEND CALIFORNIA RED - (U.S.) 14.5%; zinfandel, petite sirah, syrah, carignane. Fine oak, zinfandel fruit sweetness, proper power./ Good and sweet. Rightful Med style. Enjoyed by the group. 16.2.
WT080812-14. 09 SOBON ESTATE ROCKY TOP AMADOR ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.9%. Strong, sweet, black, singed. Amador all the way./ Oh, boy, rich in oak and warm spices. Succulent, sweet, rich fruit. Rangy, powerful, loaded. Well liked by the group.17.1+.
WT080812-15. 05 RIBERA DEL DUERO MIBAL, BODEGAS HORNILLOS BALLESTEROS - (SPAIN) 14.5%; all tempranillo; original price: $26. Spiritous and aging. Tawny, roti./ Sweet, melted tannins. Warm and dry. Don’t keep beyond winter. Liked by several; orders taken. 15.2-.
WT080812-16. 11 VOUVRAY DOMAINE LE PEU DE LA MORIETTE, PICHOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; since 1770. Rich quince and lime aromas. Good texture, extract, plumpness. Has filled out nicely over the last couple of months./ Add melon to the aromatics. Medium full. Medium acid. Will continue to fill out. 16.4+.
WT080812-18. 11 CIDRE BOUCHE DE NORMANDIE BRUT, ETIENNE DUPONT half bottle - (FRANCE) 5.5%; unfiltered. Classic. Beer like. Fabulous./ Light bodied. Clean. Easy drinking. 15.6.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
WT080112-01. 11 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE DOMAINE DE BEAUREGARD, LAURENT GREGOIRE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Full; a heavyweight in the muscadet ring. Deep botanical and sur lie aromas./ Full bodied and full flavored as muscadets go. Well extracted. Long. 16.5.
WT080112-02. 11 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE CHATEAU LA CARIZIERE, JOSEPH LANDRON - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; aged 8 months on the lees. Charm emphasized here. Lots of lift. High pitched botanical themes. Cool, brisk, minerally./ Sooo charming, discreet. Minerally. Racy, sleek. 16.7.
WT080112-03. 11 SOAVE DANIELI, FATTORI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Both lift and padding. Lovely, subtle perfume of white peach and meyer lemon./ Flavors confirm. Racy acidity. Tingles. Elements of both 2010 and 2009 and good for both. 16.7.
WT080112-04. 11 CHATEAU SAINT JEAN DES GRAVES, GRAVES BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; Familie David. H2S to start (the wine is now bottled under screwcap). Clears off pretty quickly. Bright acid ring on nose./ No sulphur on palate. Bright all around. Semillon softness and sauvignon cut. Maybe a little muscadelle green botanicals. Will go and grow. 16.3+.
WT080112-05. 11 MARTIN RAY RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.5%. Good 2011 coolness augmented by measured, well integrated oak. Shows RRV class./ Suave and smooth. Again, the oak is harmonious. The acid is ripe and finely burnished, the oak sweet and toffee like. Even the Europhiles enjoyed this. 2010 and 2011 offer Euro style acidity in California whites thanks to the cool growing season. 16.7.
WT080112-07. 09 CHATEAU BOUTISSE, GRAND CRU, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; 70% merlot, 30% cabernet sauvignon; on the chalk-clay plateau in Saint Christophe des Bardes; aged in new oak 12-18 months. Riper than the 08. Good warm spice and potpourri oak perfumes. Fine fruit ripeness and quality./ Yes, rich in fruit and oak character. The elegant plateau style of Saint Emilion. Full acid, extract, tannin–under control.
Saint Emilion largesse. 17.2+.
WT080112-13. 11 MCMANIS FAMILY JAMIE LYNN VINEYARD CALIFORNIA BARBERA - (U.S.) 13.5%. Very fresh, lifted, fruity. East Bay ‘near’ Valley style and take on cherry-peppercorn barbera./ Charm and some nice, sweet, and spicy oak. Joyous barbera displaying varietal and regional characteristics. 16.3+.
WT080112-14. 07 BAROLO, MICHELINO VEGLIO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Tight and elegant, traditional take on Barolo showing dried black cherry and anise. And time in seasoned cooperage./ Spiritous, dry, traditional. Full tannin, good acid. The right stuff in this style, and the right price. 16.8+.
WT080112-15. 11 MULHEIMER SONNENLAY RIESLING ZEPPELIN LABEL, MAX FERD. RICHTER - (GERMANY) 9.5%; the most frequently served wine on Graf Zeppelin flights. Fresh and minerally. Fabulous backwater, cool vintage take on Mosel riesling./ Fine acid, extract, burnish, grip, class of Mosel riesling. Great length. Best vintage yet. 17.0.+
WT080112-16. 11 NIERSTEINER HIPPING RIESLING SPATLESE, GEORG ALBRECHT SCHNEIDER - (GERMANY) 9%. Sooo elegant as usual. Hipping tangerine aroma. So much lift here. Deep and penetrating./ Rich Hessen sweetness and depth. Must be auslese material. Another top success this vintage. 17.6+.
WT080112-17. 11 MOSCATO D’ASTI ZAGARA, MARCHESI DI BAROLO - (ITALY) 5%. Elegant, racy, very spicy. Aftershave perfume./ Sweet and full of musk melon. Mild acidity. Light hearted. 16.6.
WT080112-18. 06 GRAHAM’S LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO - (PORTUGAL) 19.5%; bottled 2011. Graham’s sweet and heady./ Wow! Sweetness, fruit, and spicy qualities of cask aging. Bold and loaded. Graham’s classic. 17.1+.