Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - December, 2013
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated January 10,  2013

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Wednesday, December 30, 2013

WT123013-02. 12 KING ESTATE ACROBAT OREGON PINOT GRIS - (U.S.) 13.5%. Special. Full. Apples and melons. Rich and complete 2012 fruit./ Whoa! Dazzling acid too. Total vigor! Best yet of an impressive series. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT123013-05. 13 AGUA DE PIEDRA GRAN SELECCION SAN RAFAEL MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; Heavy Bottle Award. Pleasing fruit and youthful brightness. Lovely cherry-berry aromas with light oak seasoning./ Attractive fruit creme feel and flavor. Fine tannin. Great acid. Great dinner wine now. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT123013-06. 12 CHATEAU ST. JEAN CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.8%. Pleasing softness and sweetness, wholesomeness of 2012 fruit. Less edge than 2010, 2011./ The gentle, unassuming nose is no preparation for the palate’s extravagant display of feels and flavors. Rich and bold, with power, acid, texture. Bountiful flavors of cherry juice concentrate and elegant oak savors. Another winner in this well priced series. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT123013-07. 10 FIELD STONE CONVIVIO ALEXANDER VALLEY RED - (U.S.) 13.5%. Great show of wood spices and intensely concentrated Alexander Valley fruit. Full ripeness of ALV plus the delightful zing of 2010 that renders this even more impressive than the fine 2009./ Deep black fruits. Good form./ Great oak extras such as bakery spices. Smooth. Full, melted tannins. A real champion. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT123013-09. 11 STARRY NIGHT CALIFORNIA MOURVEDRE - (U.S.) 14.4%; from head-pruned vines at 1200 feet. Coolness of mourvedre with California sweet, wholesome fruit clarity of expression. Rich even in 2011. Lovely California varietal take, with Lake County smoothness./ Pleasing degree of flavor and texture interest if not much as the nose promised. High acid of the vintage tempered by Lake’s tender fruit nature. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT123013-10. 12 VENTOUX TERRASSES, CHATEAU PESQUIE - (FRANCE MEDITARRANEAB) 14%; 70% grenache, 30% syrah. Sweet fruit with firm background. Needs time to broaden its presentation. In the house style. Vintage too./ Closed book on the palate. Sweetness, acidity, tannin, so good texture and balance. But little flavor give yet. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT123013-11. 12 GNARLY HEAD OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14%. Sweet berry cremes and jams of Lodi zinfandel. Plus good, light, sweet oak savors./ Yes, Lodi jamminess. 2012 fruit qualities. Logical successor to the good 2010 and 2011 models. 16.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT123013-14. 12 BODEGA NORTON LATE HARVEST MENDOZA MOSCATO - (ARGENTINA) 10.9%; 100% moscato; 245 g/l at harvest, 6% rs. Sweet, light moscato flower and bath powder aromas. Lithe./ Sweet, light, musky. Overall gentle in all respects, and attractive for it. Good acid foil. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

Wednesday, December  23, 2013

WT122313-01. 10 OC TERRET, MARC ROMAN - (FRANCE MEDITERREAN) 12..5%. Full and pleasingly wheaty./ Good mature terret character. Good body here. Super value. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

WT122313-02. 12 LUGANA LIMNE, TENUTA ROVEGLIA - (ITALY) 13%; Limne is a ‘premier cru’ of Lugana heralded since Roman times. Great volume and body. A clear picture of Lugana. Big. Unique. Special. As good as it gets./ A mouthful of aromatics, especially apples and pears. Texture, body, extract, glycerol, richness, all. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT122313-03. 12 ROBERT MONDAVI NAPA VALLEY FUME BLANC - (U.S.) 13.5%; first made in 1966. Fine gooseberry aroma. Ideal reduction. A great vintage of this./ Full gooseberry character. Full body, richness. Wow! 17.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT122313-05. CODORNIU ANNA DE CODORNIU ROSE BRUT CAVA - (SPARKLING) 12%; 70% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay. Delicate pink fruits. Lovely fruit. Oh so strawberry expressive./ Oh, fruity and tender hearted, plus good acidity for balance. Cuddly. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT122313-06. 11 MONTES ESTATE ALPHA MARCHIGUE VINEYARD COLCHAGUA VALLEY CARMENERE - (CHILE) 14.5%. Oh, fine. Light oak. Lots of fines herbes. Intricate. And intriguing./ Yes, special complex of oak and dried herbs. Racy, alert acidity. Fabulous oak complex. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT122313-07. 09 SANTA EMA BARREL SELECT RESERVE MAIPO VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON-MERLOT - (CHILE) 13.5%; 60-40; aged 6 months in American oak barrels. Sweet black currant of original cabernet fruit. Good suavity of age in addition to fruit brightness./ Fine oak-fruit balance. Everything plays together for present enjoyment. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT122313-08. 12 MCMANIS CALIFORNIA PETITE SIRAH - (U.S.) 13.5%. Open, sweet, come hither, black fruited petite sirah with nice light oak aura. Purple fruit and peppercorn mark varietal ID./ Oh, fine oak spice. Incense, potpourri. Plus the purple fruit. Right. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT122313-09. 12 SALICE SALENTINO NEGROAMARO PASSAMANTE LI VELI, FAMIGLIA FALVO - (ITALY) 14%. Young, sweet, nutty. Everything works together for warmth, woodiness, and generosity./ Sweet and easy. A proper youthful presentation. Will age well in bottle. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT122313-10. 11 MACEDONIA VRANEC SPECIAL SELECTION, TIKVES - (MACEDONIA) 14%; 100% varietal, 30-60 year old vines; oldest winery in Macedonia; Philippe Cambie, winemaker. Deep, dark vranec fruit character, well crafted by French talent, which really brings out the varietal’s inherent qualities. Solid./ Full, and full spirited. Sweetness of alcohol, body, form, fruit, vigor. Will age well. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT122313-11. 10 CLOS LA CHANCE ESTATE CENTRAL COAST ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%; from Santa Clara Valley. Oh, that sweet and elegant combo of Santa Clara Valley zinfandel, so seldom found in its pure state these days. Perfect varietal and terroir expressions of sweet raspberry and briar. Light oak./ All here. Lovely Santa Clara zin with good acid and bright locale fruit expression. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT122313-13. 09 RHEINHESSEN BEERENAUSLESE, ROMERHOF half bottle - (GERMANY) 10.5%. Attractive elements of bouquet starting to form. Good Hessia roundness. Sweet. Poached peach./ Sweet and succulent. The real BA deal at a bargain price. Good acid. Well crafted. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT122313-14. 10 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER EICHBERG GRAND CRU, PAUL ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; at Eguisheim. Whoa! Lots of volume, oomph, glycerol, character, power. Total concentration./ Sweet and large and powerful. Coated acidity. Lush, fully endowed Grand Cru stuff. 18.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT122313-15. 97 ROBERT MONDAVI WOODBRIDGE ESTATE PORTACINCO LODI PORT - (U.S.) 20%; 75% touriga, 10% each trousseau, souzao, 4% tinta cao, 1% alvarelhao. Wow! Syrupy concentration. Dense, powerful, woody. Vintage port character. Seems to have done most of its aging in bottle. Great power, complexity, suavity. Super now, and still growing. 18.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WT121813-01. TREVISO PROSECCO LAMPO BRUT, BORGOLUCE SUSEGANA ESTATE - (SPARKLIN) 11.5%. Lovely, fresh-cut honey-crisp apple aroma./ Just right fizz, flavor, dryness, finesse. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT121813-02. 12 ST. INNOCENT FREEDOM HILL VINEYARD WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT BLANC - (U.S.) 13.9%; 20 year old vines; 1/3 barrel fermented; aged 8 months on the lees. Full fruit complicated by peels extract, lees, and barrel influences. Apple and peel./Fat and strong and full textured. The diverse elements are still coming together. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT121813-04. 11 PALMINA SANTA BARBERA DOLCETTO - (U.S.) 13.5%. Whoa! The brightness and clarity of varietal fruit statement that is California. A great interpretation of dolcetto. Fruit and varietal qualities on steroids. Brilliant./ Yeah, great varietal expression to the fullest. 2011 juicy fruit acid. Gang-busters! 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT121813-05. 12 PUGLIA NEGROAMARO, LUCCARELLI - (ITALY) 13%. Bright young fruit expression of vintage and maker. Black negroamaro peppercorn and fruit. Defines the varietal./ Rich, ripe, fruit creme stuff. Enough acid to balance the sweet fruit. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT121813-06. 10 SALICE SALENTINO NEGROAMARO PASSAMANTE LI VELI, FAMIGLIA FALVO - (ITALY) 14%. Rich and ripe. Good bouquet development and barrel time. Dry, spicy fruit, both fresh and dried./ Yes, rich and racy, rangy. Wood and barrel age contributions. Sweet, dried fruit. Long and intricate finale. Easy to enjoy now. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121813-07. 10 COSTIERES DE NIMES NOTRE PAIS, MICHEL GASSIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 30% grenache, 25% carignan, 20% mourvedre, 15% cinsault, 5% syrah, 5% ???. Tight as before. Typical 2010 rouge./ Yes, 10 tight, dry, narrow. Light astringency. Needs more time. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT121813-09. 09 ALTOS LAS HORMIGAS RESERVE VALLE DE UCO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%; 2011 is Wine Spectator Top 100. Tight and tarry. Large. Lots of material./ Yes, big and tight. Time. 16.2++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT121813-10. 12 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE DRY COLUMBIA VALLEY RIESLING - (U.S.) 13%. Dry and well textured. Accurate to varietal, locale, dry style. Lovely for food./ Again, fresh, well textured, with full extract, even nuttiness. Lasting finish. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT121813-11. 12 ALSACE RIESLING RESERVE, WILLM - (FRACE ALSACE) 12%; since 1896. Light fragrance. Right if still shy. Better than the 2011./ Again. Engaging softness and hint of tender sweetness. Lasting fragrance. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121813-12. 08 GRAHAM’S LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO - (PORTUGAL) 19.5%; bottled 3/13. 08 black and firm-structured; Graham’s sweet and powerful core./ Sweet and smooth and balanced. The aroma’s firmness yields on the palate. It’s a paper tiger after all. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

Wednesday, Decmeber 11, 2013 Big Bucks Tasting

WT121113-01. ASTON CHIQUET AY GRAND CRU BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CHAMPAGNE - (SPARKLING) 12.5%; entirely from the 2008 vintage. Full oomph of 2008. Le Mesnil like blanc de blancs./ Wow! Hefty, meaty. Visions of 1996. All the right stuff. In spades. 18.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $54.95

WT121113-02. 13 CLOUDY BAY MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13.5%. Oh, boy! The joy, the cut, the clarity, the precision, the beauty. Pink grapefruit, gooseberry, lemon, mango./ This just sizzles! Rings clear. Really great acid cut. Soo sassy! Cloudy’s worth the hype. One of the best NZ sauvignons I’ve tasted. 18.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $27.99

WT121113-03. 12 CHAPPELLET NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.5%; since 1967. Lovely, perfectly stated aromatic contributions of barrel fermentation, lees aging, and oak extracts, all harmonious and without excesses. Burgundy like. Great 2012 fruit quality. Complete./ Full oak still forward, and it’s class oak. Toast, caramel. Great acid. Perfect balance in all respects. Gotta love these 2012s! 18.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT121113-04. 10 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE VINCENT MOREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Chassagne rouge aroma of plum. Medium-rich. Some bouquet forming. Gamy. Burgundy, for sure./ Medium bodied. Some 2010 acidity. Needs time to flesh out. Full, fine tannin. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT121113-06. 10 CHATEAU CANTENAC, GRAND CRU, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; 75% merlot, 25% cabernet. Lovely 10 firm black fruit. Compact, subtle claret oak. Well proportioned, and Saint Emilion abundant. Sweet fruit core within good structure. All is right./ Firm, with light and correct astringency. Balance, future. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT121113-07. 10 BANDOL, DOMAINE TEMPIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 11-14%. 2010 and Tempier tight. But not austere. Some sweet fruit and 3-D. Class./ Fine southern mourvedre. Cool, racy, framed. Good future. 16.6++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

WT121113-08. 09 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, CHATEAU MONT-REDON - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; planted to all 13 permitted grape varieties. Sweet berry and peppercorn plus garrigue nuances. Absolutely classic. Game, underbrush. Perfect composition in 2009./ Again, displays the whole CdP spectrum of animal, vegetable, and mineral. All the best. Fine tannin. Perfect poise, balance. 17.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

WT121113-09. 09 BARBARESCO MONCIRALDO, MALGRA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Traditional style. Dry and long in cooperage. Light fruit sweetness and glycerol. Built to age. Positive barrel aging contributions./ Barrel age and firm young nebbiolo fruit with glycerol for roundness. Old time classic indeed. 16.6++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT121113-10. 08 BAROLO MARVENGA, MALGRA - (ITALY) 14.5%. Red orange./ Sweet and powerful. Age in seasoned cooperage. More maturity. Great glycerol. Traditional classic./ Wow! More fruit, more wood, more spice, range, all. Game, peppercorn. Fine tannin, texture. Your grandfather’s Barolo. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT121113-11. 10 MACAULEY OLD VINE NAPA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15.4%; 375 cases produced. Everything you could want in an Napa zinfandel. Power, rich ripe fruit, Napa finesse, great oak class. Complete./ Again, finesse, acidity, power, sweetness–all in proportion. Wow! Breathless! 18.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

WT121113-12. 09 AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA, FAMIGLIA PASQUA - (ITALY) 15%; est. 1925. Much better than the 08. Richer, softer, riper. More amarone sweet and dried fruits./ Yes, both, plus a nuttiness. Great acid, glycerol play. Ease of the vintage. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT121113-13. 12 WACHAU TERRASSEN GRUNER VELTLINER FEDERSPIEL, DOMANE WACHAU - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%; 2011: #53 Wine Spectator Top 100, plus Top 100 Values. Whoa! Total surge of gruve apple and legume. Round, and really full of aroma and body./ Rich and round. Ripe acidity to balance. Great now. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT121113-14. 10 CHATEAU GRAND FERRAND, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; Silver Medal - Bruxelles. Good 2010 form, grip. There’s fruit padding too. Still shy aromatically./ Dry and close for now. Well proportioned. Just young. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121113-15. 12 ST. HALLETT GAMEKEEPER’S BAROSSA SHIRAZ-GRENACHE-TOURIGA - (AUSTRALIA) 13.5%; 45-38-17; est. 1944; 2010: Wine Spectator Top 100 Values. Sweet, open, spicy, appealingly warm Barossa approach./ Yes, jam with seeds. Syrah peppercorn. Grenache rich fruit filling, abundance, warmth. Touriga black fruit and structural contributions. This works. One of the best vintages of this cuvee. Will have wide appeal. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121113-16. 10 CHIANTI RISERVA, RENZO MASI - (ITALY) 13.5%; 95% sangiovese, 5% colorino; 2009: Wine Spectator Top 100 Values. More give now than when tasted two months ago Still behind the 2009 in terms of openness. Deep, dark, spicy, valid Tuscan sangiovese that’s growing bolder and richer as it airs./ Yes, now there’s depth, 3-D, evidence of riserva barrel time. Moving on up. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121113-17. 10 BODEGA NORTON RESERVA MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%; est. 1895; #51 Wine Spectator Top 100 2012; 2011: #26 Wine Spectator Top 100 2013. Ripe fruit, good bouquet development in both barrel and bottle. A legitimate reserva that’s hit its sweet spot. Superb proportions./ Dry and astute, with good acid, grip, and smooth glycerol playing together. Some tannin too. For food. Now and later. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT121113-18. CITTERIO SOPRESSATA RUSTICO 9 oz - (ITALY) Gluten Free
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WT120413-01. 12 COTES DE GASCOGNE DOMAINE DE POUY, FAMILLE GRASSA - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%; the Grassa family made the first commercial Armagnac region table wines. Crisp and firm. Traditional. More yielding than it was several months back. Good./ Soft and succulent fruit. Ease. Good indeed.. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT120413-02. 12 WAGRAM STEINAGRUND GRUNER VELTLINER, WEINGUT LETH - (AUSTROA) 12.5%. Full body and texture. Nostril feel, etch, swelling. Apple-legume classic./ Rich, well appointed, balanced. Thick with extract, material. Enough acid. Full fledged indeed. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT120413-03. 12 COTES CATALONES GRENACHE BLANC-CHARDONNAY-MARSANNE COTE EST, LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 50-30-20. Whoa! Incredibly scented for these varieties. Even more than the 2011. More like the 2010. How does he do it?!/ Honeysuckle, pear, aromatic apple strain./ Lush and flavorful. Fruit padding and acid cut. Broad mouthful of feel and flavors. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT120413-04. 12 CHINON LES MORINIERES, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; Les Morinieres vineyard lies on clay and limestone; 500 year Loire winegrowing heritage. Very cool cherry and peel. Snappy./ Cool and close, young northern grown cabernet franc. Will fill out with more bottle age. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT120413-05. 11 VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE RAFAEL, AGRICOLA TOMMASI - (ITALY) 12.5%; since 1902. Rich and ripe. Pushing ripasso. With simply ripe, not dried, fruit. Hits the sweet spot./ Lush fruit smoothness. Glycerol. Light peels grip to balance. Well fashioned. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT120413-06. 11 TOSCANA REMOLE. MARCHESI DE FRESCOBALDI - (ITALY) 12.5%; estate bottled; 700 year Tuscany winegrowing heritage. Better than the 2010. Riper. Good dried cherry aspect of sangiovese. Nice and harmonious already./ Fine tannin grip coated with glycerol. Good balance and poise. 6-12 months will bring it to full fruition. Sweet fruit on the finish. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT120413-08. 10 AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE TERRA DI VULCANO, BISCEGLIA - (ITALY) 13%; estate bottled. Oh, boy! Rich, voluminous, complete. Carries on in the tradition of preceding vintages. Full aglianico stuff. Barolo comparisons verified. Plus southern warmth./ Young, and less open and yielding than nose suggests. Am tasting this at a younger age than I did the 2007 and 2008. Deep cherry and dried citrus peel. Has the makings. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT120413-09. 08 RIOJA TEMPRANILLO RESERVA, BODEGAS CAMPO VIEJO - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 85% tempranillo, 10% graciano, 5% marzuelo. Dry and a little burnt. 2008 contrite. Not my favorite vintage of this. Sweet and warm Rioja Baja nature./ Yes, sweet and simple. Med ‘Valley’ impression. Vintage’s lack of richness, ripeness. 15.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT120413-10. 10 OC GRENACHE-SYRAH PEGOVINO, LAURENCE FERAUD - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 50-50; Feraud owns Chateauneuf Domaine de Pegau. Pretty dry and severe in 2010. Young and tight like many other 2010s./ Shy. Good acid. 2010 form and reticence. Some glycerol. Follow it a spell. 14.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT120413-11. 12 COTES DU RHONE DOMAINE D’ANDEZON, VIGNERONS D’ESTEZARGUES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; unfiltered. Ripe and sweet style of a southern Cotes du Rhone area. Sweet red grenache fruit. Classic to this cuvee, and without the overambitious ripeness of some vintages. Smoky. Good grip./ Oh, great juice, pulp, and peels contributions. Texture, strength, body, breadth, sweetness. Great vintage of this. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT120413-12. 12 ALTA VISTA CLASSIC LUJAN DE CUYO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%; Parker Top 5 Best Argentine Wineries. Sweet and inviting but also well tailored, balanced, measured. Ripe pulp and peel. Just right. Claret like vinosity./ Sweet cherry creme. Good form and balance as well as ripe fruit filling. Really well crafted and appealing. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT120413-13. 11 FOLIE A DEUX DRY CREEK VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%. Lovely 2011 acid and restraint. Warm and ripe sur maturite of Folie a Deux evident too. Deep, sweet raspberry and plum. Light oak seasoning./ Yes, oak gives sweet baking spices. Folie’s uber ripe fruit controlled and balanced in 2011. A success. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT120413-14. 12 KREUZNACHER KRONENBERG RIESLING AUSLESE, ST. ANTONIUS - (GERMANY) 9.5%. Mmm! Sweet peach, pear, apple./ Sweet and also sassy for its good acidity. Fine sweetness-acidity balance. As always, a good deal. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT120413-15. PATRAS MAVRODAPHNE, KOURTAKI - (GREECE) 15%. Lovely, sweet raisin nose with red muscat spicy aspects. Good strength, warmth, baked qualities, and good acid too./ Palate echoes all. Sweet raisin, prune, plum, red muscat flavors. Acid and strength balance sweetness. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT120413-16. TRIBECA OVEN HARVEST GRAIN BOULE 7 oz - (U.S.) with sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds; rye flakes, oats, cracked wheat
    Price each (at time of tasting) $2.49

WT120413-17. REGALIS BLACK TRUFFLE BUTTER 3.5 oz - (U.S.) Wisconsin butter with European porcini mushrooms, black summer truffles, infusion of black truffles; with truffle bits
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

Wednesday, December 11, 2013  Big Bucks Tasting plus more

WT121113-01. ASTON CHIQUET AY GRAND CRU BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CHAMPAGNE - (SPARKLING) 12.5%; entirely from the 2008 vintage. Full oomph of 2008. Le Mesnil like blanc de blancs./ Wow! Hefty, meaty. Visions of 1996. All the right stuff. In spades. 18.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $54.95

WT121113-02. 13 CLOUDY BAY MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13.5%. Oh, boy! The joy, the cut, the clarity, the precision, the beauty. Pink grapefruit, gooseberry, lemon, mango./ This just sizzles! Rings clear. Really great acid cut. Soo sassy! Cloudy’s worth the hype. One of the best NZ sauvignons I’ve tasted. 18.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $27.99

WT121113-03. 12 CHAPPELLET NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.5%; since 1967. Lovely, perfectly stated aromatic contributions of barrel fermentation, lees aging, and oak extracts, all harmonious and without excesses. Burgundy like. Great 2012 fruit quality. Complete./ Full oak still forward, and it’s class oak. Toast, caramel. Great acid. Perfect balance in all respects. Gotta love these 2012s! 18.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT121113-04. 10 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE VINCENT MOREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Chassagne rouge aroma of plum. Medium-rich. Some bouquet forming. Gamy. Burgundy, for sure./ Medium bodied. Some 2010 acidity. Needs time to flesh out. Full, fine tannin. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT121113-06. 10 CHATEAU CANTENAC, GRAND CRU, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; 75% merlot, 25% cabernet. Lovely 10 firm black fruit. Compact, subtle claret oak. Well proportioned, and Saint Emilion abundant. Sweet fruit core within good structure. All is right./ Firm, with light and correct astringency. Balance, future. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT121113-07. 10 BANDOL, DOMAINE TEMPIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 11-14%. 2010 and Tempier tight. But not austere. Some sweet fruit and 3-D. Class./ Fine southern mourvedre. Cool, racy, framed. Good future. 16.6++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

WT121113-08. 09 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, CHATEAU MONT-REDON - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; planted to all 13 permitted grape varieties. Sweet berry and peppercorn plus garrigue nuances. Absolutely classic. Game, underbrush. Perfect composition in 2009./ Again, displays the whole CdP spectrum of animal, vegetable, and mineral. All the best. Fine tannin. Perfect poise, balance. 17.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

WT121113-09. 09 BARBARESCO MONCIRALDO, MALGRA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Traditional style. Dry and long in cooperage. Light fruit sweetness and glycerol. Built to age. Positive barrel aging contributions./ Barrel age and firm young nebbiolo fruit with glycerol for roundness. Old time classic indeed. 16.6++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT121113-10. 08 BAROLO MARVENGA, MALGRA - (ITALY) 14.5%. Red orange./ Sweet and powerful. Age in seasoned cooperage. More maturity. Great glycerol. Traditional classic./ Wow! More fruit, more wood, more spice, range, all. Game, peppercorn. Fine tannin, texture. Your grandfather’s Barolo. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT121113-11. 10 MACAULEY OLD VINE NAPA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15.4%; 375 cases produced. Everything you could want in an Napa zinfandel. Power, rich ripe fruit, Napa finesse, great oak class. Complete./ Again, finesse, acidity, power, sweetness–all in proportion. Wow! Breathless! 18.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

WT121113-12. 09 AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA, FAMIGLIA PASQUA - (ITALY) 15%; est. 1925. Much better than the 08. Richer, softer, riper. More amarone sweet and dried fruits./ Yes, both, plus a nuttiness. Great acid, glycerol play. Ease of the vintage. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT121113-13. 12 WACHAU TERRASSEN GRUNER VELTLINER FEDERSPIEL, DOMANE WACHAU - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%; 2011: #53 Wine Spectator Top 100, plus Top 100 Values. Whoa! Total surge of gruve apple and legume. Round, and really full of aroma and body./ Rich and round. Ripe acidity to balance. Great now. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT121113-14. 10 CHATEAU GRAND FERRAND, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; Silver Medal - Bruxelles. Good 2010 form, grip. There’s fruit padding too. Still shy aromatically./ Dry and close for now. Well proportioned. Just young. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121113-15. 12 ST. HALLETT GAMEKEEPER’S BAROSSA SHIRAZ-GRENACHE-TOURIGA - (AUSTRALIA) 13.5%; 45-38-17; est. 1944; 2010: Wine Spectator Top 100 Values. Sweet, open, spicy, appealingly warm Barossa approach./ Yes, jam with seeds. Syrah peppercorn. Grenache rich fruit filling, abundance, warmth. Touriga black fruit and structural contributions. This works. One of the best vintages of this cuvee. Will have wide appeal. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121113-16. 10 CHIANTI RISERVA, RENZO MASI - (ITALY) 13.5%; 95% sangiovese, 5% colorino; 2009: Wine Spectator Top 100 Values. More give now than when tasted two months ago Still behind the 2009 in terms of openness. Deep, dark, spicy, valid Tuscan sangiovese that’s growing bolder and richer as it airs./ Yes, now there’s depth, 3-D, evidence of riserva barrel time. Moving on up. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121113-17. 10 BODEGA NORTON RESERVA MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%; est. 1895; #51 Wine Spectator Top 100 2012; 2011: #26 Wine Spectator Top 100 2013. Ripe fruit, good bouquet development in both barrel and bottle. A legitimate reserva that’s hit its sweet spot. Superb proportions./ Dry and astute, with good acid, grip, and smooth glycerol playing together. Some tannin too. For food. Now and later. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT121113-18. CITTERIO SOPRESSATA RUSTICO 9 oz - (ITALY) Gluten Free
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

 

 

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