Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- August, 2013
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
WT082813-01. 11 MACON VILLAGES, DOMAINE MICHEL - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; lieu dit Cray, in the commune of Clesse. Very sweet fruit. Light oak. Heart on sleeve./ Forward appeal. Wood toast and sweet fruit. Pret a porter. 16.2.
WT082813-02. 11 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY, LOUIS JADOT - (FRANCE BURDUNDY) 13%; grapes from Cote d’Or, Cote Chalonnaise, & Maconnais. Lots of oak. The most ever in this cuvee. Full fruit heft to carry it./ Good, racy oak seasonings. Shows its Chalonnaise chardonnay oomph. I suspect this will age well. 16.3+.
WT082813-03. 12 JOEL GOTT CALIFORNIA SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S.) 13.9%. Crisp, cool, and bright. Like several of the 2012 California sauvignons tasted to date, this has sweeter fruit than cool vintages 2011 and 2010. Sign of a fine, ripe vintage./ Yes, ruby red grapefruit plus peach and mango. Positively alluring. 16.6.
WT082813-04. 11 CHINON LES MORINIERES, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; est. 1513; single vineyard cabernet franc. Promising youthful reduction. Deep, purple, solid. Going places./ Grip and fine tannin and extract. All the right stuff for positive development over the coming months. 16.6+.
WT082813-05. 12 CHATEAU CAMPOT LAFONT, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 50% merlot, 25% each of the cabernets. Firm figured claret lines and good purple fruit qualities. Fresh, well textured, clarety./ Sweetly fruity and forward. Just the right young claret weight and style. They’ve done it again. Consistently appealing and ready to enjoy right out of the box. More claret should be made and marketed this way. 16.4.
WT082813-06. 11 GUENOC VICTORIAN NORTH COAST CLARET - (U.S.) 13.5%; actress Lillie Langtry planted Guenoc Valley’s first vineyards in the late 1800s. Elegant, charming style as usual here. Light oak. All about joy. Great work. What a take on 2011!/ Yes, charming fruit and light oak seasoning. Delicate and enticing Lake County fruit softness. Just right. 16.7.
WT082813-07. 12 KAVAKLIDERE YAKUT EASTERN ANATOLIA OKUZGOZU-BOGAZKERE - (TURKEY) 13.5%; okuzgozu (ox eye) is a large red grape; bogazkere is a very dark red grape. Like the last vintage, this reminds me of a Beaujolais Grand Cru. Full, fruity, bold, fulfilling./ Sweet fruit and signs of some whole cluster fermentation. Joyous and food-worthy. A sleeper; a bargain. 16.7.
WT082813-08. 12 COTES DU RHONE FIG LABEL, DOMAINE DE LA BASTIDE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 60% syrah, 20% each grenache, carignan; Bastide’s top cuvee. Better than the 2011. Not at all reductive in youth. Good dark syrah fruit character./ Sweet and inviting fruit. Back to the early appeal of the 2010 and 2009. Smooth and well balanced. 16.6+.
WT082813-09. 11 COTES DU RHONE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHAPELLE ST. ARNOUX - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Bright, incisive, fruity 2011 style. Super. Better than the 2010. Great complex of fruit and garrigue. Almost as rangy as a sachet./ Sweet fruit and berry and baking spices. Goodness, is this entertaining, as well as easy to like. 16.7+.
WT082813-10. 10 CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA COSTERA, ARGIOLAS - (ITALY) 14%; cannonau (grenache relative) is highest in polyphenols, sez Dr. Oz. Slightly reduced. It’s the positive, promising, purple fruited form. Great potential in this young wine. Will be as good as the 2007. While showing more elegance and race./ Yes, great acidity. Rhone grenache like peppercorn and garrigue. Very cool and elegantly stated. Fabulous. 17.0.
WT082813-11. 11 HICKINBOTHAM PARINGA VINEYARDS SOUTH AUSTRALIA SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 14%. Nice and sweetly fruited in this cool vintage. Black and a bit reductive. However its depth and spicy character cannot be suppressed./ Yes, a positive form of reduction and real elegance. What to do in a cool vintage. Kudos. 16.2+.
WT082813-12. 11 ALSACE RIESLING THE FURST, VIGNERONS DE KIENTZHEIM-KAYSERSBERG - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%. An attractive balsamic aura of developing riesling. Lots of fruit extract. This sings./ Yes, full extract and terroir. Even walnut husk. Works for me. Bring it to the table. 16.7.
WT082813-13. 09 RHEINHESSEN STIFTSWEIN RIESLING DRY, WEINGUT LIEBFRAUENSTIFT - (GERMANY) 12%; the original ‘Liebfraumilch’ vineyard surrounding the Liebfrauenkirche at Worms Yes, developed Hessia riesling qualities of grain and dried stone fruits. Well extracted./ Has achieved a pleasing softness of maturity buffered by high extract. Remains very vital and useful indeed. 16.7.
WT082813-14. 10 D’ARENBERG THE STUMP JUMP STICKY ADELAIDE CHARDONNAY-RIESLING-SEMILLON-PINOT GRIS half bottle - (AUSTRALIA) 10.5%; 60-25-9-6; 34% RS at harvest, 20% RS after fermentation. Intense, heavily botrytised nose gives both dry pollen and sweet honey impressions. Plus tea and tobacco./ Whoa! Deep, powerful, totally extracted. Sweet and saturated with nectar, botrytis, all. 19.5+.
WT082813-15. MUSCAT OF SAMOS, KOURTAKI - (GREECE) 15%; muscat a petits grains; a favorite of Lord Byron. Wow! Sweet and spicy. Apricot, warm spices, dried fruits. Total warm climate muscat package, deep and concentrated./ Racy and powerful. Impressive flavor intensity. Hallmark. 17.5.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
WT082113-01. 12 HERAULT GUILHEM, MOULIN DE GASSAC ANIANE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; 40% grenache blanc, 30% each sauvignon blanc, clairette; 25-50 year old vines. The understated, vinous nature of southern Rhone varieties grenache blanc and clairette bookending some sauvignon grass and lemon./ Understated and vinous in youth. Well proportioned. I expect it to gain more aromatic and textural interest over the coming
WT082113-02. 12 VERMENTINO DI SARDEGNA COSTAMOLINO, ARGIOLAS - (ITALY) 14%. Subtle floral and orchard fruit aromatics. Not yet as effusively scented as past vintages. I think this is the youngest I’ve ever tasted one of these; besides, it was just shipped./ Oh, but the palate is alive with energy, full of honeysuckle flavor, rich in varietal glycerol balanced by racy acidity. Really delivers in terms of both feel and
WT082113-03. 12 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE MIMI HORSE HEAVEN HILLS CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14%; lightly oaked, fresh style; Mimi is a nickname for Michelle. Bright apple with just a touch of oak./ Good balance of barrel toast and treacle and chardonnay apple and citrus. Much less pungently oaky than the regular CSM chardonnay. 16.3.
WT082113-04. 11 CLOS LA CHANCE ESTATE MONTEREY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.5%; 150-acre estate. Strong citrus expression of Monterey chardonnay plus oak presence, both clear and in the open./ Good, full flavor of fruit, sweet fruit. Subtler oak. 15.8.
WT082113-05. 12 CASTILLA ROSE PROTOCOLO, DOMINIO DE EGUREN - (SPAIN) 13%. Sweet red fruit. Some banana still. High acid scnse./ Well, actually, not such high acid after all. In fact, an the mild side. Medium flavor intensity. 15.0.
WT082113-06. 10 CHATEAU DE FONTENILLE GRAND BORDEAUX, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; 65% merlot, 25% cabernet franc, 10% cabernet sauvignon; aged 18 months, half in oak barrels. Sweet fruit coating a firm, dry, peels-extract core. Remains 2010 enclosed, austere./ Good fruit peels extract and sweet fruit foil. Well poised. Give it a few months’ additional bottle age. Popular with the group. 15.8+.
WT082113-07. 08 CHATEAU DE VILLEGEORGE, CRU EXCEPTIONNEL, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. Sweetening up some since last tasted quite awhile back. Some oak extras. I have faith./ 08 peels, grip, tannin. Some oak and barrel-time development. Still pretty resistant. Likely will loosen up as the years pass, hitting stride in 2015+. 16.4+.
WT082113-08. 09 ROERO NEBBIOLO, MALVIRA - (ITALY) 14%; aged 20 months in French barriques and 12 months in bottle; across the Tanaro from Barolo. Sweet and fine nebbiolo dried cherry. Attractive oak and barrel-aging breadth and depth of character. Splendid example of Roero nebbiolo./ Yes, a balanced and elegant Roero take on nebbiolo. The oak and time in barrel add nutty, gamy complexities. Certainly the equal of an
Alba nebbiolo. This is special. 17.6+.
WT082113-09. 12 MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO LA BELLA ADDORMENTATA, GRAN SASSO - (ITALY) 12.5%; Gran Sasso is the highest peak of the Apennines. Firm and fresh with proper black fruits and violets. Great poise. Showing the quality and style of the series./ Yes, sweet black fruits, balance of acid and glycerol. Good flavor intensity with more to come. Good fullness. 16.3+.
WT082113-10. 12 CALATAYUD GARNACHA OLD VINES EVODIA, ALTOVINUM - (SPAIN) 14%; slate vineyards at 2400-3000 ft; vines up to 100 years old. Firm in youth. This is the youngest I’ve tasted one of these. Not forthcoming yet, but showing proper poise./ Palate more revealing. Sweet black and purple fruits. Good acidity. A joyous wine in the mouth. The nose will catch up soon. 16.4+.
WT082113-11. 11 RIBERA DEL DUERO PRUNO, FINCA VILLACRECES - (SPAIN) 14%; 90% tinta fino (RDD tempranillo clone; sometimes called tinta pais), 10% cabernet sauvignon; 12 months in French barrels. Ripe and complete RDD tempranillo. Sweet fruited, not dry like some young ones. And the oak is elegant, well measured, and well integrated. The subtler French versus more the pungent American oak./ Sweet fruit and oak in harmony.
Well textured, balanced crafted. 17.1+.
WT082113-12. 12 COTES DU RHONE SAINT COSME, LOUIS & CHERRY BARRUOL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; est. 1490 near Gigondas; syrah dominant. Young and somewhat reticent. Premature./ Young, black fruited southern Rhone syrah to the fore. Black raspberry, lightly peppery seeds. Give it a few months. 16.2+.
WT082113-13. 12 LEFT FOOD CHARLEY OLD ORCHARD VINEYARD LEELANAU PENINSULA KERNER - (U.S) 11%; vineyard owned by the daughter of political cartoonist Joseph Parrish, thus the label art. Yes, lovely, subtle, sweet, aromatic apple aroma. Unique. Delicate. Great acid./ Yes, the acid is terrific. Lots of drive. Begs for food. Subtle aromatic character proper to the varietal. My first northern MI kerner. The varietal belongs
WT082113-14. MON AMI LAKE ERIE PINK CATAWBA - (U.S.) 12%; est. 1870 on Catawba Island. Sweet and true. A pleasing take if a bit on the sticky side./ A sweet and rightful catawba taste. Good acid. Talks the talk 16.2.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
WT081413-01. 12 SAVOIE MONTMELIAN, DOMAINE JEAN VULLIEN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 11.5%; all jacquere. Full, pulpy green grape and yellow orchard fruits. A proper jacquere aroma profile./ Rich textured and very appealing. Subtle varietal fruit flavors of a cool vintage and mouthwatering acidity of the same. Well liked by the group. 16.3+.
WT081413-02. 12 SANNIO FALANGHINA, AA TERRA DI BRIGANTI - (ITALY) 13.5%; organically grown. Fresh and well scented. Apple, pear, honeysuckle./ Flowers and yellow fruits. Juicy acidity. Tangy aftertaste. This will improve over the coming months as the wine puts on more flesh. 16.4+.
WT081413-03. 11 BIERZO GODELLO - DONA BLANCA, BODEGAS GODELIA - (SPAIN) 14%; 80-20; five months on the lees. Full bodied. Grain and malt lees aromas. Not a very perfumed version of these usually aromatic varieties. I suppose lees influence and age have muted such./ Rich and endearing mouthful of dry white wine. Lots of lees autolysis grain and bakery flavors. Wants food. 16.3.
WT081413-05. 12 PFALZ GEWURZTRAMINER VILLA WOLF, ERNST LOOSEN - (GERMANY) 12%. Good varietal character. Rose and bay-laurel. Fresh and refined. A delight./ Soft, off dry. Cake frosting, rose, ginger. Well balanced in all respects. Ideal Pfalz gewurztraminer. Ready for the table. 17.0.
WT081413-06. 12 RIOJA GRACIANO ROSADO RIO MADRE, BODEGAS ILURCE - (SPAIN) 13.5%; all graciano. Classic to the variety in a rose vernacular. Sweet cherry-berry aromas, very plump and pretty like the red. Daintier of course./ Soft and inviting. Very flavorful. Will carry on into the fall. 16.5.
WT081413-07. 12 CLOS LA CHANCE ESTATE DRY CENTRAL COAST ROSE - (U.S.) 13.5%; from southern Rhone varieties. Less flair and intensity. Subtle. Rhone type for sure; good dryness and body./ Suave. Lightly candied fruit. Aromatically understated after the effusive Rio Madre. Good power, grip, extract. Good with food. 16.0.
WT081413-08. 10 RULLY MOLESME 1ER CRU CHATEAU DE RULLY, COMTE R. DE TERNAY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%; bottled by Antonin Rodet. Great oak and fruit purity, balance, flair, incense, range. Wow!/ Yeah, full, with good oak. Even more brightness, clarity, and flair than the 09. 17.2+.
WT081413-09. 11 FRIULI COLLI ORIENTALI SCHIOPPETTINO VILLA RUBINI, AA RUBINI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Properly deep, dark, reserved. Peppery./ Yes, cracked pepper and charcuterie. Fine peels extract, texture. Indeed, full texture and vinosity. An excellent representative of the variety. Well liked by the group. 16.3+.
WT081413-10. 12 HERAULT PONT DE GASSAC SELECTION GUIBERT, MAS DE DAUMAS GASSAC - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 50% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 20% syrah; Gassac’s second label wine. Bigger and more clarety than the Guilhem Rhone-variety cuvee I sampled earlier in the week. More material./ Rich and round. Lots of glycerol. Plenty of ripe acid, fine texture. Cabernet fine-grained tannin. Long finish. Well crafted.
WT081413-11. 12 BODEGA NORTON COLECCION VARIETALES MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%; all malbec; est. 1895; engineer Norton built the railroad to Chile through the Andes. Young, tight, vinous../ Sweet glycerol feel. Very appealing texture. Yes, roundness, textural edge, good structure. Long. For food. Age a few months for more aromatic performance. 16.0+.
WT081413-12. 09 BIERZO MENCIA, BODEGAS GODELIA - (SPAIN) 14.5%; aged 12 months in oak. Plenty of oak and time in barrel breadth and depth, bouquet development. Big and powerful./ Again, warm, powerful, woody. Full barrel age expansion, development. Not a trace of young mencia reductiveness here. This is a Mr. Big mencia. 16.9+.
WT081413-13. 08 PULENTA ESTATE III ALTO AGRELO CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%. 08 rich and round. Big and gamy. Nicely developed. While preserving fruit brightness of youth, which is typical of these estate’s reds./ Full, suave, delectable. Ideal Argentine cabernet. 17.1.
WT081413-14. 12 MOSCATO D’ASTI LA CALIERA, BORGO MARAGLIANO - (ITALY) 5%. Soars and sings. Peach, apricot, flower, citrus./ Yow! Sweet and sooo fruit juicy good. Great sweet-tart exchange. 17.6.
WT081413-15. ANTICA CASA DI PADRINO TORINO CLASSICO VERMOUTH ROSSO - (APERITIF) 16%. Proper tawny red wine and botanicals take on sweet vermouth rosso. Right./ Yes, good warm spices and tonic flavors. Well balanced. The right level of fortification. A bargain. 16.5.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
WT080713-01. 10 MEURSAULT, LOUIS LATOUR - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Senses of Meursault bulk, built, and graininess. Remains largely withdrawn in youth./ Yes, confined, sullen. You can feel the mass. Just not much aromatic profile yet. Typical young Latour white. 16.0++.
WT080713-02. 10 PULIGNY MONTRACHET LES VIEILLES VIGNES, VINCENT GIRARDIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Good oak and not to excess as in some Girardin blancs. Puligny form, calcaire. 2010 reserve, extract./ Pure Puligny chardonnay. Lovely acid, extract, balance, poise. Everything is properly proportioned for present enjoyment and further aging as well. 17.6+.
WT080713-03. 11 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET ABBAYE DE MORGEOT 1ER CRU, DOMAINE FLEUROT-LAROSE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%; Alain Corcia Collection. Quite an austere young 2011. Neither fruit nor oak much in evidence. Subtle, reserved./ Young and crisp. No Chassagne creaminess, peachiness evident yet. Stony, austere. 16.0++.
WT080713-04. 11 CHAPPELLET NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.5%; est. 1967 on Pritchard Hill, southeast Napa Valley. Richer than the burgundies. Golden tones of citrus and grain. A surprise for this estate and vintage. I guess it’s the context./ Really appealing French oak toast and treacle. Fine wine. 17.4+.
WT080713-05. 10 MERCUREY EN SAZENAY 1ER CRU, CHATEAU DE MERCEY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%; bottled by Antonin Rodet. Rich, toasty. Mercurey, dark fruited like a Cote de Nuits pinot. Large./ Rich, large framed, toasty. Great acid. Black cherry, black plum, tar. Classic Mercurey. Even better than the 09. 17.1+.
WT080713-06. 11 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE CUVEE TRADITION, DOMAINE BERTHET-RAYNE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 65% grenache, 20% mourvedre, 10% cinsault, 5% syrah; EcoCert. Grenache gives richness, mourvedre coolness, cinsault finesse. Both lush and elegant. A fine vintage for this./ Racy, cool mourvedre makes its statement. Well proportioned wine from both the varietal standpoint and the structural aspects. Fine tannin.
A star this vintage. 17.1+.
WT080713-07. 08 BAROLO, MICHELINO VEGLIO - (ITALY) 14%. Traditional, tarry, backward. 2008 black depths. Good glycerol./ Long in barrel character. Medium intensity, flavor interest. Worth the price if cellared. 16.2+.
WT080713-08. 04 SULLIVAN ESTATE COEUR DE VIGNE RUTHERFORD RED - (U.S.) 15%; est. 1981; 49% merlot, 41% cabernet sauvignon, 6% cabernet franc, 4% petit verdot; aged in all new French oak and bottled 7/6/06; list price $95. Grand, lush, mature, statuesque. Great oak and ripe Rutherford fruit./ A powerful bomb of a Rutherford red. Ripe, mature, giving its all. What more could you want? 17.9.
WT080713-09. 11 ROBERT BIALE BLACK CHICKEN NAPA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15.8%; Prohibition code name for Aldo Biale’s zinfandel. Freshness and brightness of 2011. Rich fruit and glycerol standard to this legendary cuvee. Napa class. Super quality. Deep fruit pastille aroma, clarity./ Yes, Napa class and 2011 ease. Sweet fruit, maybe even a little RS. Fabulous fruit quality, clarity, and balance of smoothness and acidity.
WT080713-10. 09 AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA, SARTORI ESTATE - (ITALY) 15%; est. 1898; unfiltered. Sweet, smooth Sartori style supported by fruit forward 2009. Certainly as good as the attractive 2007 and similarly styled./ A gentleman amarone featuring sweet but no dried fruit, no raisin. Good grip and certainly good amarone ripeness and concentration. Well mannered. No need to cellar it. 17.1.
WT080713-11. 06 TOKAJ ASZU 3 PUTTONYOS LEONIS, PATRICIUS half liter - (HUNGARY) 12%. Great acidity of Tokaj is its introduction. Golden grains and deep honey nose. Granola. Thorough and penetrating. Loaded with both sweetness and acidity, in proportion./ Peach and dried apricot flavors. Luscious, lusty 3 Puttonyos with drive and persistence. That great acidity gives the farewell as well as the introduction. Ideal 3
WT080713-12. LA FACE CACHEE DE LA POMME NEIGE PREMIERE QUEBEC APPLE ICE WINE half bottle - (CANADA) 11%; 18 RS. Rich cooked apple concentration. Intensely aromatic. Ice wine crispness./ Very sweet. Great acid foil. Altogether what it’s intended to be. 18.0.