Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - December, 2012
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated December 24,  2012

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WT121912-01. 08 TAITTINGER DOMAINE CARNEROS CARNEROS BRUT - (U.S.) 12%. Elegant, delicate Taittinger style./ Yes, understated, dainty. Not much bottle bouquet at age four. How long on the lees? Emphasizes brightness, freshness. Seems to have the proportions to age well in bottle. 16.4++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT121912-02. 11 ALSACE PINOT BLANC, ANDRE SCHERER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%. Fresh, with pinot blanc green fruit; this is right. Elegant Scherer styling./ Soft and flavorful. Good balance. Everything reads pinot blanc. Will fill out nicely over the coming months. Good at the table now too. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121912-03. 11 ANJOU CHENIN BLANC LES TERRASSES, CHATEAU DE LA ROULERIE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Full and fabulous dry Anjou chenin. Some get wood; I don’t. It was aged in seasoned cooperage. I think the character is due to time in cooperage, not extracts from same. And due to extended lees contact. Bigness personified./ Very full indeed. And very chenin. Melon, quince. Round, hefty, weighty. A unique take on chenin blanc, this is distinct from Savennieres and Vouvray sec. Fabulous. Will age well, as exhibited by the 2008 I enjoyed a few months back. 17.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT121912-04. 10 MACON LA ROCHE VINEUSE SOUS LE BOIS, CHATEAU DE LA GREFFIERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Rich fruited and nicely oaked. Feels 2010 racy, full, and intense. Apple and oak./ Full Burgundian barrel ferment, lees, and French oak set. Big extract. Cote de Beaune aspirations. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT121912-05. 11 SAUMUR CHAMPIGNY CEP BY CEP, THIERRY GERMAIN - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Lovely, lilting Saumur Champigny take on cabernet franc. Good ripeness, brightness, freshness. Hallmark./ Full and well textured, with grip. Fine extract and flavor. Has it all. Young still, of course. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT121912-06. 11 CAHORS MALBEC PIGMENTUM, GEORGES VIGOUROUX - (FRANCE SOUTHWEST) 13.5%. Opens young, cool, tight, shy. Aroma and depth come on with aeration. Licorice snaps./ Still pretty closed up on the palate. Not much flavor range yet. Good texture, fine tannin. Young, and recently shipped. (When will I learn patience? Ah, but the 2010's Spectator Top 100 ranking forced my hand!) This has all the makings. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT121912-08. 11 GUTTURNIO IL SUPERIORE, SANTA GIUSTINA - (ITALY) 14%; 60% barbera, 40% bonarda. Young and closed up. Firm, tart barbera to start. Then the bonarda comes on to supply more openness and padding. Rightly poised. Good potential./ Oh, that bonarda component is sweet and lovely! Barbera supplies backbone, extract, tannin, grip. Good acidity here. Positive future. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT121912-09. 10 ROSSO DI MONTALCINO LA RASINA, MARCO MANTENGOLI - 14%. Well, this is quite a contrast as we move south, add a year, and switch to the brunello grape. Surprisingly roti for 2010 and this estate./ Ripe, open knit. Good texture. Will be interesting to see how this evolves over the coming months. 15.7+..
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT121912-10. 10 TERRA D’ORO AMADOR SANGIOVESE - 14.5%; since 1970. Amador powerful The fruit is super ripe, the alcohol heady./ Sweet fruit and American oak all out in the open. Strong, and quite tannic. No mistaking this for a Tuscan sangiovese! 15.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121912-11. 09 SMALL GULLY MR. BLACK’S CONCOCTION BAROSSA VALLEY SHIRAZ-VIOGNIER - 15.9%; 96-4. Sweet and strong and open knit. No viognier evident. This is all about Barossa shiraz./ Sweet American oak coconut complements the rich, ripe Barossa shiraz fruit. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT121912-12. 11 CHATEAU FONTAINE SEMI-SWEET LEELANAU PENINSULA WHITE RIESLING - (U.S.) Sweet, lithe, peachy, northern grown riesling./ Yeah, sweet fruit fully evident. Good sweet-acid balance. Nice and peachy. Right. Swells up and spreads out with aeration Will earn even more generosity over the coming months.16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WT121212-01. SANTA JULIA MENDOZA ROSE BRUT - (ARGENTINA) 12.5%. Plenty of pink stuff. Dry./ Dry. Not very fruity. A little earthy. The Spanish influence shows. Cava like. 14.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121212-02. 11 CHATEAU HAUT PASQUET, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; Vignobles Dubourg @ Escoussans; 40% each semillon, sauvignon blanc, 20% muscadelle. Oh, my! The sauvignon grapefruit, the muscadelle lime and tonic. Surges forth./ Yes, very vigorous, flavorful, assertive, articulate, well textured. Great stuff. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT121212-03. 11 CHATEAU GRAND TRAVERSE SHIP OF FOOLS OLD MISSION PENINSULA WHITE - (U.S.) 13%; 65% pinot blanc, 30% pinot gris, 5% pinot noir. Like the 2010 early on, showing mercaptans. Screwcap. Airs off some. Full./ Full bodied. Flavor still suppressed by sulphur. Good pinot gris apple and thickness. Air and age. The material’s here. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121212-04. 11 FRIULI COLLI ORIENTALI PINOT GRIGIO, VILLA RUBINI - (ITALY) 13%. Sweet and full of apple, bosc pear. Hint of peach./ Colli full. 11 race. Still somewhat confined by youth. Slower developer than, say, a Venezie pinot grigio. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT121212-05. 11 COTES DU RHONE BLANC, E. GUIGAL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Very full. Good, dry, tonic, full basis of Med white varietals plus viognier orange blossom and honeysuckle overtones./ Yes, well crafted cuvee of Rhone white varietal-terroir components and viognier aromatics and glycerol. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121212-06. 11 CHINON RIVE GAUCHE CHATEAU DE LA BONNELIERE, M. PLOUZEAU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; unfiltered; Ecocert. Mercaptans. Reduced. Some cabernet franc raspberry begins to show through after aeration../ Yeah, in the grips of reduction still. Air and age. Juicy, red fruit aftertaste. Good stuff underneath. 14.5++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121212-07. 07 CHATEAU D’ARCIE, GRAND CRU, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; Vignobles Soupre @ Saint Pey d’Armens; 73% merlot, 24% cabernet franc, 3% cabernet sauvignon. Medium bodied and easy 07. No oak. Mild fruit. No bottle bouquet yet. Vinous./ Pleasant light vintage claret. Some attractive brett. Good acid. Balanced. Has mid term aging potential. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT121212-08. 10 CHATEAU SAUMAN, COTES DE BOURG - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%; Vignoles Braud @ Villeneuve. Sweet but closed and vinous./ More expressive and expansive on the palate. Sweet fruit. Large. Swelling up in the mouth as it warms. Shows its power. Needs more time than the 09 to spread its peacock’s tail. This is one huge, weighty claret. 16.3++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT121212-09. 10 MANDOLIN CENTRAL COAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%; at Morgan Hill. Sweet and lithe 10. Red and black berries and Central Coast briar. Good body and freshness. And light oak./ Lively, tangy, sweet-tart. Fine tannin and light oak application. Long and very juicy finish. Right. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT121212-10. 10 CHATEAU KSARA RESERVE DE COUVENT BEKAA VALLEY RED - (LEBANON) 13%; founded by Jesuits in 1857; average vineyard elevation: 3500 feet; 40% syrah, 30% each of the cabernets. Oh, boy, both ripe and racy. No doubt thanks to the wide diurnal temperature range of the growing season. Sweet and spicy fruit and oak. Fresh./ Full, smoky, oaky. Full of ripe fruits, glycerol, length. Great, lasting flavors. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT121212-11. 10 COTES DU RHONE ROUGE CARMIN, DOMAINE LES APHILLANTHES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; unfiltered. Special. Ripe, sweet, and spicy domaine style. More oomph than the regular cuvee. Powerful, with some roti./ Yeah, large, ripe, roasted. Sure gives and gives. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT121212-12. 10 MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO, LA QUERCIA - (ITALY) 13%. Fresh, crisp 10 style. Fruit ripe enough though not as plump as the 09–at least not yet./ Bright, flavorful, sweet taste and feel. 10 race. Just a little lighter bodied than the 09. Valid. Medium finish. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT121212-13. 09 SALICE SALENTINO PASSAMANTE LI VELI, FAMIGLIA FALVO - (ITALY) 13.5%; from negroamaro. This is full and forthcoming and expressive of the varietal and zone, with 09 bright fruit and lift too. Fabulous Salice display of nuts and dried fruits and bakery./ Sweet, smooth. 09 brightness and weight. Delicious flavor and smooth texture. Right. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121212-14. 11 RODNEY STRONG ESTATE RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.5%. Light-medium color./ Sweet and varietal, though lighter than the 10. Good./ Sweet and wholesome. Just light. Ripe enough. Good winemaking here. Light oak seasoning and good length. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT121212-15. 10 ARMIDA POIZIN SONOMA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.8%; ‘the wine to die for.’ Dry, firm, and rather forceful. Ripe enough zin fruit. A bit baked even./ Sweet fruit and caramel oak. Good acid, tannin, power. Balanced. Will gain more depth with aging. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT121212-16. 11 KREUZNACHER KRONENBERG RIESLING AUSLESE, ST. ANTONIUS - (GERMANY) 10%. Sweet and embracing softness of Kreuznach riesling. Apple and almond. Youthfully shy and undeveloped./ Sweet and nutty-spicy. Honey, dried apricot and pear. Palate warming reveals more attributes. Great taste and texture. Lots more to come. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT121212-17. 11 PIEMONTE MOSCATO, AZ. AG. RIO FAVA - (ITALY) 5.5%. Lithe an uplifting. Spritely./ Sweet and flavorful. Peach, orange, blossom. Swells and lengthens through the finish. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT121212-18. CREME DE FRAMBOISE, LUCIEN JACOB half bottle - (FRUIT) 15%. Essential. Pure, sweet concentration and freshness. Total raspberry and seeds./ Fully sweet. Sweetness coats the acidity and even some of the flavor expression. Chilling might diminish its dominance. Great on ice cream, as a cassis sub in ‘Kir’, and for other applications calling for something really intense and syrupy. 18.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WT120512-01. 11 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO, ANGELO BUFANI - (ITALY) 12%. Fresh, appley, deep. A good value for sure./ Good body here too. Play of acid against glycerol–good entertainment for the palate. Plenty of flavor through the lengthy finish. Good value indeed. And so thought the group. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT120512-02. 11 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY, DOMAINE VINCENT ET SOPHIE MOREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; @ Chassagne Montrachet. Sweet, full, honeyed Chassagne style chardonnay fruit. Well integrated French oak. Chassagne plumpness. Good texture evident even on the nose. Delivers in all respects./ Yes, the rich, peach custard sort of Chassagne fruit presentation. Fine barrel fermentation and lees aging extras. Just the rich touch of class oak and barrel aging tones. Lots to like now, and even more to anticipate. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT120512-03. 09 PAVIA PINOT NOIR WINEMAKER’S COLLECTION, ZONIN - (ITALY) 12.5%; regular price $11. Medium red orange. Appropriate color./ True pinot fruit in the light and lively Pavia style. Ho, hum, just another good Pavia pinot bargain–this one especially, at a supplier’s special price./ Nice, tender pinot sweet cherry taste. Good flow, freshness, acid. Ready for the table. Fine value. The group agreed. Cases sold. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT120512-04. 09 SOLA MONTEREY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.2%; regular price $18. Cool and snappy Monterey pinot style. Lots of pinot tart cherry and herbs. Spices too./ Sweet and snappy. Good balance of acid, sweetness, alcohol. Smooth glycerol. Good value. Enjoyed by the group. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT120512-05. 11 CALERA CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.9%; from 7 vineyards in Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito, & San Luis Obispo counties; aged in French oak barrels (10% new) for 11 months. Brilliant as usual. Toast, pie crust, cherry. Warm and spicy fruit. Burgundian framing./ Flows easily in 11. Sugar plum sweetness. Good baked cherry and pastry flavors. Nice. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT120512-06. 10 MONTERREI MENCIA, ADEGAS BENAZA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Typical mencia reduction. A little funky too./ Sweet but fluid. Low in flavor interest. Tails off to a tart finish. 15.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT120512-07. 11 PRINCIPAUTE D’ORANGE, DOMAINE L’AMEILLAUD - (FRANCE PROVENCE) 14%; @ Cairanne. Sweet, spicy, lovely. Real Orange style of Rhone Meridionale. Dried cherry, peppercorn, other spices./ Sweet and spicy. Nice ripe and dried fruits balanced by good acid and astringency. Complete Orange rouge. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT120512-08. 11 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE L’AMEILLAUD - (FRANCE RHONE) 14%; @ Cairanne. Deeper, darker fruited, more serious than the creditable Orange rouge. More Cairanne like. Black cherry and raspberry. Deep, velvety, sweet. Still unfurling. Runs way deep and dark now./ Sweet and succulent, and sassy too. Full fruit, form, reserve. It’s got it! 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT120512-09. 10 UMBRIA SANGIOVESE, LA CARRAIA - (ITALY) 13%. Very warm and sunny, southern style sangiovese, even though it comes from the center and a relatively cool vintage. Spicy, sweet, vigorous, generous. Warm spices and even some attractive bottle bouquet development already./ Sweet, soft, forward, easy going. Spicy-oaky. People pleaser. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT120512-10. 10 CHIANTI WINEMAKER’S COLLECTION, ZONIN - (ITALY) 12.5%; regular price $13. Sweet and lovely baked and dried fruits. Ideal Chianti. Especially ripe for 10./ Medium bodied–correctly. Sangiovese glycerol gives it a smooth and easy texture, which is balanced by good acidity and juiciness. Delivers in all respects. Wants food. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT120512-12. 09 CHIANTI CLASSICO ROCCA DELLA MACIE, FAMIGLIA ZINGARELLI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Warm and inviting. Not overly ripe and strong as in some past vintages. Ideal Rocca. Spicy oak savors./ Sweet and glycerol rich, all in proper measure. Pleasing flow and balance. Coated acidity, enough to do the job. Good now. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT120512-13. 10 BARBERA D’ASTI TRE VIGNE, VIETTI - (ITALY) 14%. Dark and savory. Tar, anise, Cherry Heering. Extreme concentration for an Asti barbera. Plenty of peels and pulp barbera saturation. Complete./ Smooth. Easier flowing than the nose suggests. Sweet cherry taste. More like an Asti barbera on the palate. Will improve. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT120512-14. 08 BAROLO, VILLA ROSA - (ITALY) 14%. Sweet, ruddy, tarry, old time. Sweet and dried fruit concentration. Rugged./ Good enough flavor and texture interest for the price. Old style, and useful at the winter table. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT120512-15. 10 CATENA ZAPATA ESTATE HIGH MOUNTAIN VINES MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; since 1902. Good and sweet vanilla creme oak. Toast and toffee too. Ripe fruit concentration./ Smooth and sweet contributions of fruit, oak, and alcohol. Powerful. Not as firm and stubborn as some young Catena malbecs. Already has plenty of 3D. Delivers. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT120512-17. 06 CATALUNYA TEMPRANILLO - CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA, RAMON ROQUETA - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 70 - 30; since 1898. Lovely age in barrel reserva complex. Wood and developed fruit bouquet tones. Nice now./ Yes, a complex of fruit, wood, and age seasonings. Sweet fruit of youth preserved too. Amazing combo of the vigor of youth and wisdom of age. Smooth textured. None of 06's inherent toughness remaining. Ideal for its DO and age. Well liked by the group. Especially for the price. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT120512-18. 09 VENETO PASSIMENTO PASSITO SECCO, FAMIGLIA PASQUA - (ITALY) 14%; from grapes partially dried before fermentation. Full and youthful. Sweet and wholesome Pasqua approach./ Yeah, ripasso visions. Sweet taste of dried grapes. A dry wine with plenty of glycerol. Worth the price for sure. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.66

 

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