Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - August 2017
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  September 18  2017

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Wednesday,August 30, 2017

WT083017-1. 15 MUSCADET SEVRE & MAINE SUR LIE, DOMAINE DE LA QUILLA - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Dry and austere. Tight and young./ Same. Good with food for sure. More aromatic and textural pleasures to come. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT083017-2. 16 VENETO PINOT GRIGIO, CANTINA COLLI EUGANEI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Deep and full of green fruits. Best vintage of this yet. Thoroughly three dimensional./ Juicy grteen apple and lime. Nicely balanced and accessible. Come hither. One glass invites another. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT083017-3. 16 CHATEAU L’ORANGERIE, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 80% sauvignon blanc, 20% semillon. Deep and rich semillon with a racy sauvignon edge. Spot on interchange of the two./ Yes, rich sauvignon tropical fruits–guava and citrus–with semillon plush basis. Racy overall. A winner once again. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT083017-4. 16 SANCERRE, DOMAINE ETIENNE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Tingly edge. ‘Newer’ than I usually encounter a vintage of this. Brisk and penetrating./ Crisp and round both. Well balanced. Best in years. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT083017-5. 16 RUEDA BLANCO BASA, TELMO RODRIGUEZ - (SPAIN) 13%; 90% verdejo, 10% viura. Very penetrating, incisive fruit acidity. This is not sulphur etch./ Medium acid on entry, but it builds and becomes very juicy. Medium flavor intensity that will grow with a few weeks’ more bottle age. For food. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT083017-6. 16 VOUVRAY, DOMAINE CHAMPALOU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5% Dry and tingly. Always dry these days./ Sec tendre in a reach, but surely near dry, with great acid background as alwasy and plenty of chenin fruit display; quince, lime, apple. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT083017-7. 06 ALSACE RIESLING RESERVE, PIERRE SPARR - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%. Rich, tingly, spot-on mature riesling without petrol. Seems to have been stored well. Ideal state of bottle bouquet development./ Yes, well proportioned. Great acidity has preserved it and rendered it most serviceable at the table. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT083017-8. 16 MARSANNAY ROSE, DOMAINE CHARLES AUDOIN - (ROSE) 12.5%. Full presence for only 12.5%. Good pinot strawberry. Cool vintage race. Acid-glycerol tete-a-tete./ Full body and flavor impact. Big time rose. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT083017-9. 16 CHINON ROSE RENE COULY, COULY-DUTHEIL - (ROSE) 13%. Full color./ Full bodied; red wine rich. Not a delicate Loire rose. Deep berry, apple, and a wisp of banana fermentation residual./ Again, berry and banana. Can’t believe some of these 2016 roses are still showing fermentation remains. And not just the screwcap ones. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT083017-10. 15 CHINON LES MORINIERES, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; on clay and limestone. 15 sweet fruit pulp with tarry peels stuff too. Mellot clarity. Deep and persistent./ Juicy cherry and raspberry taste. Mouthful of flavors that expand on the palate. Great acid. For the table or the cellar. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT083017-11. 15 ERATH OREGON PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; est. 1967. Very high toned. Violets and other flowers. Cherry and cherry blossom./ Balanced composition of acid and fruit sweetness. Oregon freshness, vintage ripeness. Long, even aftertaste. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT083017-12. 16 BODEGAS CALLIA ALTA VALLE DE TULUM MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%. San Juan rich, high altitude bright. Steady as she goes, vintage after vintage./ Black fruit cremes. A really rich vintage. Some oak and tannin. Thorough. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT083017-13. 16 BELASCO DE BAQUEDANO ESTATE LLAMA OLD VINE ALTO AGRELO VALLEY MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%; vines nearly 100 years old; 6 months in French oak barrels. The usual old vines fruit intensity and fine oak augmentation here. Thoroughly rich and complex nose./ Yes, rich fruit filling contained by fine structure. Lots of material here. Long, peacock’s tail finish 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT083017-14. 15 COTES DU RHONE CUVEE ROMAINE, DOMAINE LA GARRIGUE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. 65% grenache, 25% mourvedre and 10% syrah that spends 10-12 months in concrete prior to bottling. A custom cuvee made by importer Eric Solomon and consultant Philippe Cambie, it comes from 60- to 90-year-old vines and is basically a declassified Vacqueyras (at a Cotes du Rhone price). Oh, this is so 2015 rich and La Garrigue powerful and deep. Great vintage here./ Yes, full power and presence, structure and potential. Classic. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT083017-15. 16 WYNCROFT MARLAND LATE HARVEST LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE RIESLING - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 3.5% RS. Oh, very racy and full of extract. No softness on the nose, no baby fat that many of the 2016 Michigan rieslings have shown in youth. Built to last./ Yes, loaded with material. On the palate, soft centered in youth still. No problem. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

Wednesday,August 23, 2017

WT082317-1. 16 COTES DE GASCOGNE, MONT GRAVET - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%; all colombard; Melvin Master selection. Crisp, green, and as emphatically varietal as ever./ Sings and rings with green citrus. Great acid. Long on texture and follow through. Best vintage ever? 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT082317-2. 16 COTES DE GASCOGNE, DOMAINE DES CASSAGNOLES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 50% colombard, 25% each ugni blanc, gros manseng; Peter Weygandt selection. More stone fruit. More complex range of varietal expressions. Both green and yellow fruits. Gros manseng presence./ Acid modulated by gros manseng glycerol, roundness. 3D and complex. Another best ever? 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT082317-3. 15 SICILIA FIANO COSTA DUNE, CANTINE SETTESOLI - (ITALY) 13.5%. This is fresh, crisp, and honeyed. Lithe, sandy-soil wine with a delicate etch./ Yes, both fiano honeyed smoothness and good acid etch. An ideal fiano from sandy soil. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT082317-4. 16 MCMANIS FAMILY VINEYARDS RIVER JUNCTION VIOGNIER - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Very zesty citrus peel and citrus blossom. Soars. Very penetrating. More roundness to come./ It’s already there on the palate. Suave with viognier glycerol that’s foiled by viognier astringency. They nailed it again. Another ‘best yet’? 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT082317-5. 16 CORBIERES GRIS DE GRIS, DOMAINE DE FONTSAINTE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; Kermit Lynch selection. More of a white than a rose nose. True Gris de Gris./ Flavor still masked by fermentation leftovers: hints of H2S and hops. 15.3+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT082317-6. 16 COTES DU RHONE ROSE, DOMAINE DE L’ESPIGOUETTE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. H2S and mercaptans./ Closed down by sulphur. Wait it out. 14.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT082317-7. 15 APALTAGUA ESTATE GRAN RESERVA ENVERO APALTA VINEYARD COLCHAGUA VALLEY CARMENERE - (CHILE) 14%; 60 year old vines; 10% cabernet sauvignon. Clear, elegant oak and carmenere berry-plum confit. Sweet and spicy, penetrating aromas. Great oak embellishments./ Balanced, fresh, upscale, delicious presentation of carmenere. Fine tannins. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT082317-8. 15 ROMAGNA SANGIOVESE TAVERNELLO, CAVIRO - (ITALY) 12%. Lovely, lithe Romagna take on sangiovese in 2015. As good as it gets. Sweet fruited and carrying just the right weight./ Yes, 2015 fruit cremes with Romagna levity. Ripe fruit, not dried. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

WT082317-9. 16 VALPOLICELLA, ALLEGRINI - (ITALY) 13%. Nice and sweet, with the rightful medium weight of a Valpol. Better than the previous two editions, good as they were. Zesty corvina dominance./ Sweet and lovely. Again, appropriately middle-weight. Perfect balance, poise, comfort, ease. Yes! 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT082317-10. 15 EASTERN ANATOLIA OKUZGOZU-BOGAZKERE YAKUT, KAVAKLIDERE - (TURKEY) 13.5%. Sweet and gentle. Milder than usual. You could serve it cool./ Good, racy texture and acid There’s fine tannin, so you mustn’t chill it after all. There have been better vintages of this, wines that reminded me of Grand Cru Beaujolais. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT082317-11. 15 SALENTO PRIMITIVO SASSEO, MASSERIA ALTEMURA - (ITALY) 14.5%. Super sweet, powerful, and concentrated in 2015. In tune with the series, and amped up this warm vintage. Toasty oak extras./ Yes, large, strong, and concentrated, but not so sweet on the palate. Has tannin. Needs food. And would appreciate additional bottle age. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT082317-12. 15 OZV OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.95%. Likely Mega Purple enhanced. That and Lodi syrupy. A simple wine./ Very sweet; literally sweet. Adjusted. Light wood. There will be fans. 15.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT082317-13. 14 CAROL SHELTON WILD THING OLD VINE MENDOCINO ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Oh, yes, Mendocino black, 14 crisp. Wine of place, vintage. Fine oak too./ Palate is even better. Sweet-acid-tannin balance. Broad display of lovely, intense black raspberry and peppercorn flavors. Super palate already. The nose will fill out further over the coming months. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT082317-14. 13 PFALZ GEWURZTRAMINER SPATLESE, FITZ-RITTER - (GERMANY) 9.5%; Derek Vinnicombe selection. Light SO2. Sweet and intense gewurz rose, ginger, orange zest, glycerol./ Gewurztraminer’s relative mild acid, coated with spatlese sweetness. Still filling out. This will bulk up over the coming months. They always do. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT082317-15. 16 MOSCATO D’ASTI CASCINETTA, VIETTI - (ITALY) 5%. Racy, crisp, light hearted, medium intense./ Sweet, racy. Nice and gentle on the approach. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

Wednesday,August 16, 2017

WT081617-1. 16 VINHO VERDE, CICONIA - (PORTUGAL) 11%. A nice and spritzy, fresh, summer-time Vinho Verde as usual./ The spritz is surely refreshing. Low key aromatics. Popular with the group. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT081617-2. 16 VINHO VERDE, LAS LILAS - (PORTUGAL) 11%. This has flair, aromatics, top grape varieties. Yes, in tune with this series, and worth the higher price./ Indeed, flavorful, and fizzy as well. More abundant fruit taste. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT081617-3. 16 ANJOU BLANC DOMAINE DE LA TREILLE, THIBAUT HENRION - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Fresh, new, young. Apple and melon. Good, crisp relief. Sweetens with air. Lime chimes in./ Sweet as a nut. Truly dry, with a nice, tender core. Ideal poise; will continue to fill out as the weeks pass. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT081617-4. 16 PFALZ PINOT GRIS VILLA WOLF, ERNST LOOSEN - (GERMANY) 12.5%. Young and fresh. The appley face of pinot gris in youth. Spot on poise./ Sweet core. Medium acid on entry that builds toward the back. Will gain more textural interest and balance over the coming weeks. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT081617-5. 16 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO, KRIS - (ITALY) 12.5%. Good, clear, crisp cool climate varietal qualities. Lots of race, and depth too./ Round and accomplished at this stage. Rich stuff. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT081617-7. 16 COTES CATALANES ROSE PENYA, VIGNERONS DE CASES DE PENE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Rich and full fruit. Just a trace of mercaptans hinders./ Very, very dry. An unusual gooseberry note. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT081617-8. 16 SICILIA NERO D’AVOLA VILLA POZZI, CANTINE EUROPA - (ITALY) 13%. Deep, black, sweet, vigorous. The warmth of the south../ After the nose, surprisingly dry and tart and lean. Average. 15.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT081617-11. 15 ST. JULIAN BRAGANINI RESERVE LATE HARVEST SUCCULENT SEVEN VINEYARD LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE VIGNOLES - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 11%; 70 gl residual sugar. Rich, deep, honey and lemon. Ripe peach comes on. Complete late harvest vignoles./ Succulent and sweet, with great acid foil. Wow. Total. 17.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT081617-12. 12 RHEINHESSEN BEERENAUSLESE MESSIDOR, GUNDERLOCH half bottle - (GERMANY) 8%. Maturing nicely. Seems based on the pinot family. Nutty and really honeyed../ Splendid, sprawling flavor array. Honey, stone and citrus fruits. Beerenauslese concentration for sure. 17.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

Wednesday,August 9, 2017

WT080917-2. 15 VINHO VERDE LOUREIRO DOCIL, DIRK NIEPOORT - (PORTUGAL) 11%. Good body and varietal clarity. Rich in fruit./ Full, textured, clear, and expressive of loureiro. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT080917-3. 15 ALTO ADIGE PINOT BIANCO PLOTZNER, KELLEREI ST. PAULS - (ITALY) 13.5%; est. 1907. Lots of clearly stated varietal character./ Smoothness of 15. Palate back up initial impressions.. Good through and through. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT080917-4. 14 PFALZ PINOT BLANC DRY, FRIEDRICH BECKER - (GERMANY) 13%. Dry and full of 14 extract. Fine nasal texture./ Rich, rich flavor profile. Really juicy and full of character. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT080917-5. 16 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY, DOMAINE SEGUINOT-BORDET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Clear and northern, unwooded chardonnay. Rich and penetrating. Building bulk as it airs./ Rich and full textured.. Really delivers the mouthfeel. Masterful. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT080917-6. 13 CHABLIS LE CLASSIQUE, PASCAL BOUCHARD - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; 5-generation family firm. A flattering nutty-grainy patina either from barrel or bottle age./ Yes, it works here. Is it barrel or bottle bouquet? Good value. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT080917-7. 16 THE ROYAL VALLEY VINEYARDS OLD VINES WESTERN CAPE CHENIN BLANC - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13%; aka steen. Banana fermentation residual still. Musk melon varietal character. Plenty fresh./ Again, still showing some fermentation signs yet at 18 months’ age. That’s unusual. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT080917-9. 15 PFALZ RIESLING BONE DRY, REICHSRAT VON BUHL - (GERMANY) 12.5%. A rich Pfalz riesling, replete with nuts, grains, and yellow fruits. Lots of dry extract. Full, full, full./ Extract, power, substance, texture, succulence, balance. All. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT080917-10. 16 COTEAUX VAROIS EN PROVENCE DIAMARINE, LE CERCLE DES VIGNERONS DE SAINT LOUIS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Light banana still. A clear fruit statement./ Same. Pre-mature yet. Like so many over the last few months. 15.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT080917-11. 16 CARMIGNANO ROSATO VIN RUSPO BARCO REALE, FATTORIA AMBRA - (ROSE) 13.5%; sangiovese, canaiolo, cab sauv. Full red orange color./ Yes, red wine-like peels extracts. This delivers full body and aroma. It just dazzles./ Rich, full, bold. Great acid. Emulates a lighter bodied red wine such as Bardolino or Beaujolais. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT080917-14. 10 BIERZO MENCIA TILENUS, BODEGAS ESTEFANCA - (SPAIN) 14%; aged 8 months in oak. Great oak and barrel and bottle bouquet development. Still years to grow from this durable vintage. No longer any mencia reduction of course./ Yes, time earned suavity, yet it still has a solid core of potential, and fine tannin. One big Bierzo. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT080917-15. 16 DABLON ESTATE VERJUS - (FRUIT) 0%; pressed juice of unripened wine grapes. Pleasingly fresh, fruity, floral nose./ Totally tart. Suggestion of dried herbs. Thyme especially. Distinct salad applications. A fine product.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $2.19

WT080917-16. PATRAS MAVRODAPHNE, CAVINO - (GREECE) 15%. A relatively undernourished mavrodaphne./ Pleasant but light weight and simple. However, the price is very favorable. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT080917-17. BODEGAS OLIVEROS CRIANZA ROJO VERMOUTH - (APERITIF) 15%; aged 2 years in oak; essence of 30 botanicals. Barrel age, oak, tonic, and herbs aplenty./ Very much full of bitter herbs and tonic/quinine. Plus the barrel-aged wine basis. Sweet, strong, balanced. A little of this will go a long way in a cocktail. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday,August 2, 2017

WT080217-1. CHARLES ELLNER CARTE BLANCHE BRUT CHAMPAGNE - (SPARKLING) 12%; 30% each pinot noir, chardonnay, 40% pinot meunier. Middle of the road style. Seems not very long en tirage. Light pastiness./ Mild and gentle. Serviceable and well priced. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT080217-2. 15 MUSCADET SEVRE & MAINE SUR LIE GORGES, DOMAINE VERDIER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; est. 1635; first to plant melon de Bourgogne in Loire Maritime. Here we have snap and vigor. A penetrating nose-ful. Yes./ Juicy, flavorful, full bodied for its genre. Spot on. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT080217-3. 15 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE CHATEAU L’OISELINIERE DE LA RAMEE, CHEREAU CARRE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Light lees scent. Not as forceful but also good./ Milder in acidity. Another pleasing 2015 Muscadet. The group preferred this to the Verdier. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT080217-4. 16 COLLI MARTANI GRECHETTO GRECANTE, ARNALDO CAPRAI - (ITALY) 13%. Flashy, crisp varietal display. An exacting muskiness. Musk melon and pear. Ideal./ Juicy, flavorful, hallmark. The acid, the texture, the etch. All. I tasted this a few months ago, and it wasn’t ready for prime time. Now it’s a star. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT080217-5. 16 SANCERRE, CHATEAU DE THAUVENAY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Attractive vim and vigor. Citrus and gooseberry./ Oh, juicy citrus taste. Full, racy texture. Gives and gives. Yes. Fine value in Sancerre. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT080217-6. 16 CHATEAU DE FONTENILLE, ENTRE DEUX MERS - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 40% sauvignon, 20% each sauvignon gris, muscadelle, semillon. Lots of guava and passion fruit. Zingy, thrilling./ Full flavor of sauvignon blanc, plumpness of sauvignon gris and semillon, green tinctures of muscadelle. Sprawling, persistent, flavorful aftertaste. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT080217-7. 15 CHATEAU BELLEVUE, BORDEAUX SAUVIGNON GRIS - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%. Pretty rich and powerful at 14.5%. Lightly nutty and creamy varietal leanings./ Body and richness. Power and presence. Take it right to the table for rich fish and poultry dishes. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT080217-8. 16 BEAUJOLAIS ROSE D’ FOLIE, JEAN-PAUL BRUN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%. Lithe, fresh, quaffable. As designed./ Gentle acid. Smooth. I’d like a little more vigor. Undeniably gulpable though. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT080217-9. 15 CROZES HERMITAGE, DOMAINE BREYTON - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Cool fruit leanings, and light reduction. The mildness of an organic wine./ Fine extract and tannin on the palate, if not much depth and Rhone Septentrionale syrah character. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT080217-10. 15 RIOJA GARNACHA, VINEDOS LA MALDITA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Straight on black Rioja grenache. A bit obdurate./ Two dimensional and standard, if wholesome. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT080217-11. 15 RIBERA DEL DUERO, BODEGAS BARCO DE PIEDRA - (SPAIN) 14%; estate bottled; vyds at 2400'-3200'. Young. Not as cool and racy-spicy as the 2012 and 2014. Warmth of a ripe year./ Yeah, ripe and full, warm and robust. Vein of caramelly oak extending through the finish. I think this will earn more vitality if given a few more weeks/months in bottle. May have just been shipped. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT080217-12. 12 MADIRAN L’ORIGINEL, DOMAINE DU CRAMPILH - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; all tannat. Tannat toughness, grip, material. Licorice lacings. 2012 precision./ Yes, meaty, gamy, fully extracted. A sleeper, well priced, well prepared for cellaring. Balanced and thorough. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

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