Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - August, 2014
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated September 6  2014

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August 27, 2014

WT082714-01. 13 TXACOLI DE ALAVA XAMANT, ARABAKO TXAKOLINA - (SPAIN) 11.5%; xarmant means charming. Fresh and full. Apple, straw, mineral, citrus peel./ Well padded and full. Surprisingly full for this Basque white. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT082714-02. 13 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE, DOMAINE DE LA PEPIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; Marc Ollivier & Remi Branger, vignerons. Fuller, greener, lusher, with sur lie doughiness. Complete Muscadet in this low-production vintage./ Muscadet tender core. Light burnish, full charm, good balance. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT082714-03. 13 CHATEAU HAUT PASQUET, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; Dubourg at Escoussans; 40% each semillon, sauvignon, 20% muscadelle. Pungent, incisive, green fruit sauvignon and muscadelle prominence. Insistent, fabulously so./ Racy sauvignon and muscadelle with good semillon padding for a soft landing. The right acidity. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT082714-04. 13 CHATEAU HAUT PASQUET, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; Dubourg at Escoussans; 40% each semillon, sauvignon, 20% muscadelle. Pungent, incisive, green fruit sauvignon and muscadelle prominence. Insistent, fabulously so./ Racy sauvignon and muscadelle with good semillon padding for a soft landing. The right acidity. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT082714-05. 13 MARTIN RAY RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.5%. Light oak veneer. Very crisp approach free of excessive malolactic and woody burdens./ More oak comes out on the palate. Itís French and classy, and itís well matched by full RRV fruit and body. Rich, flavorful, insistent, and satisfying. Perennial winner. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT082714-06. 13 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR, DOMAINE ROUX PERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Oh, good, crisp pinot cherry. Well done. Brisk and bright./ Light, tart. Some brett. Tannic. No fun on the palate at this early stage. 14.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT082714-07. 13 COOPER MOUNTAIN COOPER HILL WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13%; organically grown; estate bottled. Lithe and racy Willamette. Not as rich as the 2012./ High acid, lean, tarry. No 2012. Acid full but not too tart. 15.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT082714-08. 13 ARGYLE GROWER SERIES WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13%. Pale./ Racy cherry and straw. Innately sweet fruit./ Sweet, even syrupy. Chaptalized? High acid. Disjointed. 15.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT082714-09. ITALIA ROSSO CASAMATTA, BIBI GRAETZ - (ITALY) 12.5%. Sweet, ripe and dried fruit. Cherry, tar, anise, citrus peel sangiovese set./ Sweet and suave. Good acid and peels extract. All around nice Toscana sangiovese under an anonymous guise. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT082714-11. 13 BODEGA PULENTA LA FLOR AGRELO - LUJAN DE CUYO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%; estate bottled. Wow! Hereís a charmer. Elevated berry and flower beauties./ Yes, graceful texture and flow. Sooo refined, sweetly perfumed. Fulfills expectations. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT082714-12. 12 THOMAS GOSS MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 14.5%; a McLaren Vale winegrowing pioneer; winemaker, Ben Riggs. Sweetly ripe and concentrated varietal essence with McLaren power. Well managed, spicy oak seasonings./ Sweet, leathery, ripe, powerful, and savory Riggs styling. Barbie wine.16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT082714-13. 09 RASTEAU COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES LES BLOVAC, SANTA DUC - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 15%. Wow! 15% alcohol in balmy 2009! Almost overpowering in my Taster glass. Maturing, roti, earthy. Others using conventional glasses found it downright elegant!/ Well, now, on the palate I can see where theyíre coming from. Discreet, spicy, cedary, elegant, refined Rasteau black fruits. Fine tannins. Wow, indeed. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT082714-14. 08 PRIORAT PORRERA VI NEGRE, CELLER SANGENIS I VAQUE - (SPAIN) 14.5%; 45% each garnacha, mazuela (carignan), 10% syrah. Warm, powerful, and exemplary of its varietal set. 2008 firm core. Rightly positioned for aging./ Glycerol, power, bouquet development. Fine tannins. Priorat scale, Med warmth. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT082714-15. 13 VOUVRAY DEMI SEC LA LANTERNE, GUILBAUD FRERES - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Quince, lime, and calcaireĖwholly the classic Vouvray chenin nose./ Gentle sweetness balanced by acid and extract, giving it broad textural interest. The definitive flavor set. A treat. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

August 20, 2014

WT082014-01. 13 COTES DE GASCOGNE, DOMAINE DUFFOUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 70% colombard, 15% each gros manseng, ugni blanc. Very fresh and bright, sporting colombard green citrus aromas./ And flavors. Brisk and pleasing. The gros manseng stays in the background. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT082014-02. 12 CHABLIS MONTEE DE TONNERRE 1ER CRU, DOMAINE SERVIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Firm, young, confident, noble, statuesque./ Yes, large and loaded. MdT next-to-Grand Cru bearing. The champion of Premiers Crus. Give it some cellaring. Itís a shame to serve it now, thereís so much more to come. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT082014-03. 13 COTES DU RHONE BLANC, DOMAINE MIREILLE ET VINCENT - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Surprisingly full color right through the clear bottle and continuing in the glass./ That suggests more aromatic attractions than itís actually offering at present./ Full body lives up to the deep color though. And thereís definitely more flavor interest than aroma. Well balanced too. Let this fill out its aromatic profile over the coming months. Itís a good cold weather blanc. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT082014-04. 11 SANCERRE ROUGE, DOMAINE ETIENNE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. What a difference an extra yearís aging has made for this wine. Once just a bud, itís now in full bloom. Indeed, elegant, floral, and redolent of purple plum and berry./ Its ripeness fulfilled, it has beautiful northern pinot refinement as well as a just plain delicious savor. What Sancerre rough is all about. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT082014-05. 13 CHINON RIVE GAUCHE CHATEAU DE LA BONNELIERE, DOMAINE M. PLOUZEAU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Still young and a little angular but certainly not reduced in youth as some previous vintages have been. Rich raspberry and pastry./ Yes, already rich and accomplished enough to invite present use. Will grow too. A sample presented the following day was even more revealing. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT082014-06. 09 CHATEAU SIGOGNAC, CRU BOURGEOIS, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Still a bit severe, as itís been the last couple of years. Slowly revealing more cabernet sauvignon fruit character./ Yes, still firm and tannic, closed up. Very popular with the group though. Nice to have a cellar candidate in this price range. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT082014-08. 08 CHATEAU CABANS, CRU BOURGEOIS, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. A severe 2008 as before. This is not yielding much./ Yes, narrow, dry, pinched, tannic. What a world of difference is the 2010 version of this. 14.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT082014-09. 08 CHATEAU TAYAC PLAISANCE, CRU BOURGEOIS, MARGAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%. The 2008 toughness is now beginning to yield to the wineís innate Margaux elegance. Margaux exotic perfumes are curling around the wineís firm, black core. More grace showing./ Still pretty firm on the palate. Good acid structure and firm tannic center. Love the potential. 16.3++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $42.99

WT082014-10. 06 CHATEAU LABAT, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. These 2006 clarets are finally coming into full fruition. This one sports emerging bottle bouquet as well as great, elegant oak flair like its sibling Chateau, Caronne Ste. Gemme./ Yes, coming along nicely, showing bottle development and portraying its innate claret elegance. Still a little firm tannin to resolve. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT082014-11. 06 CHATEAU LES HAUTS CONSEILLANTS, LALANDE DE POMEROL - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Just over the Pomerol border, Les Hauts Conseillants is planted to 70% merlot, 27% cabernet franc, and 3% cabernet sauvignon. Iíve enjoyed its wine since the 1982, when Michel Rolland got one of his early consultation assignments here. Replete with lavish new oak, the 2006 is an exciting, powerful, complex claret with a lot of entertainment value./ Rich and ripe, itís emerging from its 2006 shell to sport a demonstrative display of Pomerol velvety generosity. Thereís still tannin at the core, so additional cellaring will prove rewarding. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT082014-13. 11 SICILIA NERO DíAVOLA LAMURI TENUTA REGALEALI, CONTI TASCA DíALMERITA - (ITALY) 13%. Deep and rich fruit and barrel age bouquet. Fabulous breadth and depth and power./ Yes, sweet and full and rangy and balancedĖall! Warmth, not heat. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT082014-14. 2011 COTES DU RHONE ROULEPIERRE, PIERRE AMADIEU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; special attendee price: $11.99. Still lean and narrow. Not much fruit or garrigue./ Dull and vinous. Maybe it will fill out. 14.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

August 13, 2014

WT081314-01. 13 PETIT CHABLIS SUR LES CLOS, DOMAINE SERVIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Whoa! So cool and clear! Beautiful apple and calcaire tones./ Plus sur lie added richness. Great textural consummation. Perfect balance. All one could want. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT081314-02. 12 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY, THIERRY ET PASCALE MATROT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Lively fruit, light oak, barrel fermentation and lees aging extras. Puligny cool and balanced./ Good barrel derivatives like toast and pastry crust. A Cote de Beaune blanc bargain. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT081314-03. 13 CLINE FAMILY NORTH COAST VIOGNIER - (U.S.) 14%; est. 1982. Firmness, peel ring. Dry. More apple than honeysuckle./ Full, with both body and strength. Good acid, texture. For food. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT081314-04. 13 RIOJA GRACIANO ROSADO RIO MADRE, BODEGAS ILURCE - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Polished red fruit. Strong, tangy, peelsy./ Full, heady. Lots of berry flavor. Big rose for food. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT081314-05. 12 J. LOHR ESTATES FALCONíS PERCH MONTEREY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%. Rich, ripe fruit of 2012, with Monterey coolness and race./ Great oak caramel, brown sugar. A sweet, tasty mouthful of pinot. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT081314-06. 13 DOGLIANI DOLCETTO SAN LUIGI, AZ. AGR. PECCHENINO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Bright, black, elegant, singing. Pure, creamy, precise. Even lovelier than the 2012. Floral perfumes./ Boy, black fruit, flowers, acid, juice, grip, vigor, all. Total Dogliani Dolcetto. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT081314-07. 13 CALATAYUD GARNACHA HONORO VERA, BODEGAS ATECA - (SPAIN) 14%. Sweet, ripe, dark, intense. Garnacha warmth and power. Grip to back it up./ Full texture and ripe fruit, with peels astringency and some tannin. A strong vintage of this. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT081314-08. 11 ALENTEJANO RAPARIGA DA QUINTA SELECT, VINHOS LUIS DUARTE - (PORTUGAL) 14%; 40% trincadeira, 30% aragonez, 30% syrah. Ripe, rich, black, tarry, concentrated inland Portugal tinta. Big and powerful./ Full and juicy. Great acid spiel Strength, fruit intensity, character, all. Super. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT081314-09. 11 TOSCANA CANTALORO, AGR. AVIGNONESI - (ITALY) 14%. Powerful, warm, dried fruit. Intense sangiovese cherry and orange./ Yes, sweet dried cherry and orange peel. Full delivery. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT081314-10. 10 VICTOR HUGO ESTATE OPULENCE PASO ROBLES RED - (U.S.) 13.7%; 33% cabernet franc, 26% merlot, 23% cabernet sauvignon, 13% malbec, 5% petit verdot. Sweet and strong Paso red. Fruit cremes, not dried fruits. Plum confit versus prune. Good oak in balance with the fruit. Powerful./ An opening blast of spicy, sweet oak is stellar. Thereís fruit to match. Fully ripe and muscular, with acid and tannin to balance. Well named cuvee. 17.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT081314-11. 12 JOEL GOTT 815 CALIFORNIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.9%. Racy and elegant North Coast style. Great acid relief. 2012 fruit beauties./ Fine oak and rich fruit. Stylish French oak. Oak toast and cabernet blackberry-black currant all the way. Great acid. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT081314-12. 12 MASSAYA ESTATE CLASSIC TANAIL VINEYARD BEQAA VALLEY RED - (LEBANON) 15%; collaboration of Hebrard (Cheval Blanc), Bruniers (Vieux Telegraphe), Ghosens (Tanail); 60% cinsault, 20% each cabernet sauvignon, syrah. Ripe, sweet, powerful, Rhone like. Creamy. Intense./ Yes, sweet and pure and lovely concentration of cinsault cherry-berry. Strength of ripe fruit, acid of high altitude. One of the best vintages of this. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT081314-13. 12 RIDGE THREE VALLEYS SONOMA RED - (U.S.) 14.2%; 79% zinfandel, 12% carignane, 8% petite sirah, 1% alicante bouschet. Deep red violet./ Oh, boy, the complete package. Sweet, pure, and outstanding 2012 fruit with light American oak seasoning./ Good freshness and acid. All the elements in a youthfully compact form Will thrive on a few monthsí aging. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT081314-14. 13 MOSCATO DíASTI DULCIS, CANTINE SAN SILVESTRO - (ITALY) 5.5%. Fresh, cool, lithe, sweet. Intense peach-apricot-mandarin orange./ Tasty and rangy flavor spectrum. Light effervescence balances the sweetness. Mild acid and alcohol. Right. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT081314-15. 09 TAYLOR FLADGATE LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO bottled 2014 - (PORTUGAL) 20%. Very sweet, and very heady in the Taster glass. Young, black fruited Taylor style./ Sweet, powerful, statuesque Taylor port. A stalwart classic in the range. Young, and spotting fine-grained tannins nicely masked by the sweetness. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

August 6, 2014

WT080614-01. 13 ALTO ADIGE PINOT GRIGIO, CANTINA TERLANO - (ITALY) 14%. Boy, this cantina makes a full bodied pinot grigio for high altitude Alto Adige. More like a Collio grigio. Bold and powerful, yet it retains its AA lift./ Yes, a rightful and voluminous experience. Definite mealtime candidate. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT080614-02. 13 RIOJA BLANCO, BODEGAS MUGA - (SPAIN) 13%; barrel fermented. Light oak and neutral fruit vinosity. Young./ Good oak textural play. Very satisfying abundance of textural experiences from the barrel influence. Less top heavy in oak at a young age than former vintages. More to my tastes, And, food, please. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT080614-03. 11 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY GRANDE RESERVE, JOSEPHINE DUBOIS - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Good oak, barrel aging influence, and chardonnay bouquet development. Lots of the offerings of barrel and bottle time already. Fine oak and fruit structure./ Smooth and nicely developed. Ready to use. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT080614-04. 13 LANGUEDOC ROSE BERGERIE, CHATEAU DES KARANTES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 50% mourvedre, 40% syrah, 10% grenache. Rich and well textured. Cedar and yew airs. Full./ Yes, it is full indeed. And spirited. No aperitif. Table wine. 15.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT080614-05. 12 SANTA RITA 120 VALLE CENTRAL PINOT NOIR - (CHILE) 13.5%. Fresh varietal aromas of plum and cherry. Light peel tang. Delivers for the price./ Spicy and varietal. Sweet fruit plus good acidity. A steal. Salmon applications; you can afford it with what you save on this bottle. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT080614-06. 12 BARBERA DíALBA, FRANCO SERRA - (ITALY) 13%. Very spicy, racy, vigorous, satisfying. Cherry and pepper. Sweet fruit too./ Great grip and acid. Retains that barbera rusticity as well as sweet fruit. Satisfying body. Works with food. Very popular with the group. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT080614-07. 10 TEJO TRADICIONAL, QUINTA DO ALQUEVE - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; 25% each touriga nacional, trincadeira, tinta roriz, castelao. Good warm climate and barrel age openness, breadth. Rich bouquet of dried and sweet fruits. Nice./ Fruit, dried fruit, barrel earned nuances. Solid black fruit core of 2010. Balanced. Similar to the appealing 2009 if younger. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT080614-08. 11 RIOJA LONDONO, BODEGAS HORMILLA - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 80% tempranillo, 20% garnacha. Suave and sweetly fruited. Much more graceful and revealing than the durable 2010./ Elegant body. Good acid, race. Fine tannins. Will grow. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT080614-09. 12 GUENOC CALIFORNIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%. Near Central Valley sweetness (probably is in part), with high coastal acidity driving it. Cabernet blackberry, bramble. Much better than the zinfandel./ Sweetish and mild. Harsh tannin. Prefer nose to palate. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT080614-10. 12 J. LOHR ESTATES SEVEN OAKS PASO ROBLES CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%. Sweet, powerful, near syrupy Paso cabernet. Peel edge of possible press wine too./ Sweet and smooth. Strong. Some oak toffee. Alcohol on the finish. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT080614-11. MONTES TWINS COLCHAGUA VALLEY MALBEC-CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (CHILE) 14%. Very ripe, roti, burnt, charred., sweet./ Sweet and sassy. Montes richness, but where did the scorch come from? Strong. 15.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT080614-12. 10 COTES DU RHONE LES VIEILLES VIGNES SANTA DUC, YVES GRAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Hard, dry, strong. 2010 obdurate. Not inviting at this stage./ Roti, heat. No aim to please at present. 14.5++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT080614-13. 11 VENETO PASSIMENTO, FAMIGLIA PASQUA - (ITALY) 14%. Sweetish and strong. Monotonous compared to ripasso, amarone./ More of the same. Sweet, strong, simple. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT080614-14. 13 DURKHEIMER NONNENGARTEN RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT DARTING liter - (GERMANY) 11.5%. Peach, apple, tangerine. Uplifting./ Tender sweetness. Pfalz dried peach and orange. Pfalz framework and strength. The strength is what balances the sweetness. Nice textural etch on the finish, so the acid is there if largely hidden in youth. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT080614-15. PATRAS MAVRODAPHNE, PATRAITKI - (GREECE) 15%. Sweet, sunburned, sticky./ Yes, rightfully raisined. Power foils the sweetness, and good acid chimes in too. The palate is well balanced and satisfying. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

 

 

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