Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - December, 2016
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  January 23,  2016

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

WT122816-1. 16 SILENI ESTATES CELLAR SELECTION MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 12%. Rich and racy grapefruit and passion fruit aromas. Pungent./ Rich and juicy. Fresh squeezed white grapefruit juice. Sweet-tart play. Classic Marlborough sauvignon. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT122816-2. 15 ALTO ADIGE SAUVIGNON, CANTINA TRAMIN - (ITALY) 13%. From high elevation villages Montan & Tramin. Milder and less spontaneous, rambunctious. Certainly a valid, high altitude, Euro take on sauvignon./ Racy, grassy, vigorous. Great acid. Drier than the NZ sauvignon. Wow palate. 16.4/16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT122816-3. BEL LAGO LEELANAU PENINSULA PINOT NOIR - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 13.2%. Correct, herbaceous, cool climate, cool vintage pinot nose./ That does not prepare me for the sweet, soft, and succulent, thoroughly enticing palate. Has this been chaptelized?. If so, well done. 15.5/16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT122816-4. 15 COTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES LES VIGNES DE BILA-HAUT, MICHEL CHAPOUTIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Very dark and fresh fruit, balanced on the approach. At 14.5%, the nose shows some heat and spirit. Roasted fruit richness, polish, series style./ Full, soft, leaner than nose. Needs time to develop depth. 15.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT122816-5. 14 COTES DU RHONE COUDOULET DE BEAUCASTEL, FAMILLE PERRIN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Sweet and powerful, spicy and broad and complex like a Chateauneuf./ Wow. Fat and soft, complex, balanced, spicy, and complete. Star power. Worth the asking price. After all, it is from Chateauneuf terroir and 80 year old vines. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $27.99

WT122816-6. 14 JUMILLA MONASTRELL ALTOS DE LA HOYA FINCA HOYA DE SANTA ANA, BODEGAS OLIVARES - (SPAIN) 14%. Dry, strong, direct, aromatically understated. But full./ Round, full, generous. Not much in the way of aromatic development yet, but shows full presence. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT122816-7. 14 MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO CAPOSTRANO, CANTINA VALLE TRITANA - (ITALY) 13%. Dry and slim. Small wine. Sweetish, with light spiciness./ Slim and correct. No varietal flair. Preferred previous vintages 15.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT122816-8. 14 BARBERA D’ASTI ALBERA, ARALDICA - (ITALY) 14%. Oh, as always, dark and snappy cherry-licorice concentrate. Luxardo cherries. Balance of sweetness and power./ Rich, sweet, forthcoming, forceful. Less flavor than aroma at this stage. Still, the richness, power, and presence carry over. Bargain. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT122816-9. 14 ROUTE STOCK NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14%. Very ripe, sweet, and awkward for a Napa Valley cabernet./ Sweet and oaky. To formula. Lacks Napa class, finesse. A shadow of the former vintage. What happened? 15.8+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT122816-10. 12 CATALUNYA TEMPRANILLO - CABERNET SAUVIGNON RESERVA, RAMON ROQUETA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Sweeter fruit and less oak and barrel age evident than in the 2011. Earthy./ Medium bodied. Rather glossy. Shadow of the 2011. 15.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT122816-11. 12 ECHEVERRIA LIMITED EDITION MAIPO VALLEY CARMENERE - (CHILE) 14%; heavy bottle award. 18 months in new oak barrels. Warm full, powerful, with a nice, jammy carmenere core of sweet strawberry and light oak spice./ Sweet and engaging. Complete. Mouthful of sweet carmenere fruit. Balanced, all around winner. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WT122116-1. 15 COTES CATALANES CHARDONNAY NOVELLUM, FAMILLE LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%.Dry and appley. Astute. Serious./ Rich and very chardonnay conscious. Watch it go and grow. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT122116-2. 15 LANGUEDOC ROSE LA BERGERIE, KARANTES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%;; 50% grenache, 30% syrah, 20% mouvedre. Pretty. And perfectly balanced, poised. Sweet 15 fruit. All well accomplished. A treat./ Less flavor than aroma. Medium bodied. Reflects the warmth and sunshine of the vintage. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT122116-4. 14 KENWOOD RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. 14 dry and elegant. Needs more sweetness. Bit lean. No oak. No RRV character, class./ Simple, lean, dry. Lacks depth. A shadow of previous vintages. 14.0+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT122116-6. 13 CAMPANIA AGLIANICO, TERREDORA DI PAOLO - (ITALY) 13%. Good and fresh, as well as full and varietally distinguished. Balanced overall./ Dry and a bit lean and tart. Vintage issues? 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT122116-7. 13 AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE TERRA DI VULCANO, BISCEGLIA - (ITALY) 13.5%; estate bottled. More ripeness, more Vulture body. Deep, more terroir driven. Classic singed, and viscous character./ Dry and full. A bit lean and compact yet. Needs time to develop more oomph on the palate. Balanced, so ageworthy. 16..2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT122116-8. 14 TERRA D’ORO AMADOR AGLIANICO - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Wow, power, oomph, ripeness, blackness, sweetness. Oak, pepper and other spices all in harmony with the fruit./ Way powerful, but that’s countered by fruit sweetness and glycerol, so the wine is overall balanced. Good oak augmentation. Best vintage in years. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT122116-9. 14 TORTOISE CREEK THE CHELONIAN LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.6%. Good, sweet, and balanced Lodi zin without Mega Purple additive. Good power. Honest Lodi zin./ Sweet, with a light brown sugar touch. Balanced. Easy delights. Popular. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT122116-10. 10 JASON-STEPHENS ESTATE SANTA CLARA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.W. WEST COAST) 15.3%. Mature. True, strong, glycerined./ Sweet glycerol, alcohol. 10 medium bodied. OK, but use soon. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

WT121416-1. 15 KAMPTAL GRUNER VELTLINER LOIS, WEINGUT FRED LOIMER - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%. Lime nose. Reticent aroma, texture./ Suave and fine grained acid. Juicy food wine. Very little aroma/flavor on display yet. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121416-2. 16 BARKER’S MARQUE ARONA MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 12.5%. Lovely lemon-lime, 7UP aroma with passion fruit and mango highlights. Very, very lifted, crisp, cool./ Delicious flavor echo of the entire aromatic set. No grapefruit. Best ever. So lifted, balanced, sweet-tart. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121416-3. 15 TAVEL PRIMA DONNA, DOMAINE MABY - (ROSE) 14.5%. Oh, full and fruity. Wears its alcohol well. Not flashy; just solid, reliable./ Yes, solid, and a good ager. Dash of bitterness at the finale is a good foil to its weightiness. Winter rose. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT121416-4. 15 MCMANIS FAMILY CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Unusually, dry, dark, structured, and sleek for this series. No oak on top. Markedly Euro oriented./ Good acid, juice. Food wine. Appetite whetting. Full and good pinot tart cherry. Will soften and spread out nicely. Well liked by the group. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT121416-5. 15 SEA GLASS SANTA BARBARA PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Bright, brisk, cool Santa Barbara contrast. Spot on. Deep and snappy both./ Rich too. Complete. One of the best vintages. Very rich on the follow through, with acid and balance. Yes. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121416-6. 14 ROMAGNA SANGIOVESE, TAVERNELLO - (ITALY) Good, accurate sangiovese character in the lighter-than-Tuscan Romagna style, with 14 lift too. An attractive combo of warmth and tartness./ Racy, spicy. Sangiovese glycerol and fine tannin, grip. A great, versatile food wine value. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

WT121416-7. 14 CHATEAU VRAI CAILLOU, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; at Soussac; 50% merlot, 30% cab franc, 20% cab sauv. Fresh 14 style with merlot padding. Poise, vintage accuracy, youth./ Grip and size and material. This has it. Serve with food now or cellar. It’s here. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121416-8. 14 CHATEAU DE CAMARSAC, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; proprietor Thierry Lurton; at Camarsac; 95% merlot, 5% cab franc; in branded wood boxes of 6. Firm as usual, but with black depth of aroma and more padding than the 2012. True merlot fruit expression that fills with aeration./ Some oak influence it seems. Wow, this is even better than the 2010. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT121416-9. 14 CHATEAU CAP DE MERLE, LUSSAC SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 65% merlot, 25% cab franc, 10% cab sauv. More complex. Class of the terroir shows. Wood time and Saint Emilion depth and breadth add to the aromatic range./ Rich fruit ripeness in 2014, with 14 race and savor. Yes. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121416-10. 14 FENN VALLEY MERITAGE LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE RED - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12.5%. Rather funky, reductive, surly./ Fruity and sweetish. Lacks depth. Some wood texture and flavor interest. 14.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT121416-11. 14 PICKET FENCE ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Strong, dark, direct ALV cabernet. Not 14 elegant. Narrower than the 12. Little depth at this stage./ Sweetish and uncomplicated. Some wood interest. Preferred the 2012. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT121416-12. 11 CAHORS MALBEC, CHATEAU GAUTOUL - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; 18 months in oak casks. Dark red violet still./ Drier and more severe than the 09. Rich enough, and true./ More advanced on the palate. Dry and mid aged. 11 wanting. Some light tannin. Leather. Much preferred the 2009. 14.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT121416-13. 15 DOLCETTO D’ALBA, AZ. AGR. ELIO ALTARE - (ITALY) 13.5%. Husky, sweet, barrel aged but not woody. The Altare combo of old and new styles./ A big dolcetto. Its own thing. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT121416-14. 15 BARBERA D’ALBA, AZ. AGR. ELIO ALTARE - (ITALY) 14.5%. The Altare style works better with this grape. Sweet oak and large, ripe black cherry barbera aroma. Deep and extracted./ Oh, yeah, wood and fruit. Varietal character plus unusual sophistication. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT121416-15. 12 PACIFIC RIM VIN DE GLACIERE COLUMBIA VALLEY RIESLING ICE WINE half bottle - (U.S. WEST COAST) 9.5%; Wallula Vineyard; harvest sugar 22.5%; residual sugar 15%. Luscious honey and nut bouquet development. Complete./ Oh, yeah, total overall riesling concentration and savor, with complexities of bottle bouquet. Honeyed aftertaste. 17.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WT120716-1. 15 ERBALUCE DI CALUSO, AZ. AGR. CIECK - (ITALY) 12%. Good, earthy, substantial take on the varietal this vintage./ Plenty of fruit as well as terroir. Full food wine. Popular with the group. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT120716-2. 14 CHABLIS VAILLONS 1ER CRU, SIMONNET-FEBVRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; est. 1840. Full. Marl as well as calcaire. Sound house style. Strong terroir foundation of a Simonnet Chablis./ Young and compact still. This has plenty of substance, dryness, tradition to it. Very popular with the group. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT120716-3. 15 MACON VILLAGES VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE JEAN TOUZOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; at Martailly-Les-Brancion. Fresh, young, and certainly brisk enough for 15. Aromas still in the formative process./ Yes, hesitant to reveal its full self at this stage. All the parts are in place to assure this vintage will do the series proud. Again, popular with the group. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT120716-4. 15 ROBERT OATLEY MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY - (AUSTRALIA) 12.5%. Very juicy lemon and orange aromas. A joy./ Oh, yes, ripe citrus and juicy acid too. All good fun. Bravo. Measuring rod for attractive, moderate priced Western Australia chardonnay. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT120716-5. 15 DE LOACH HERITAGE RESERVE CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Warm and citrusy, with ripe citrus fruit. Lemonade./ Pretty high pH. Light wood that’s not apart or overdone. Some malo. Overall well fashioned. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT120716-6. 15 BADENHORST SECATEURS SWARTLAND CHENIN BLANC - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13%. Very full, extracted, earthy, intense, real, loaded. Open knit./ Yes, full and old time, and completely revealing. Certainly full enough for the dinner table. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT120716-7. 15 FRANCAIS ROSE LES GARDETTES, DOMAINE DE MONTFAUCON - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Lift and beauty. Plentiful fruit./ Fruit, buoyancy, allure, and enough acid. Plays on and on. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT120716-8. 15 WYNCROFT MARLAND LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE CABERNET SAUVIGNON & CABERNET FRANC - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 70-30; heavy bottle award. Very bright and black claret varietal aromas of black and red raspberries and currants. Nice oak sheen and harmony. Crisp and northern, with fine grape peel extract contributions./ Even brighter on the palate. Rich too. Super acid; total package. Well liked by the group. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT120716-9. 13 ROSSO DI MONTEPULCIANO, AZ. AGR. ANTICO COLLE - (ITALY) 13%. A full, ripe, thick fruited prugnolo gentile core of fruit boasting classic race, edge, and peels too./ Yes, sweet, and crisp and racy too. All. For food. Unique and fabulous. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT120716-10. 13 MORELLINO DI SCANSANO DOGA DELLE CLAVULE, CAPARZO - (ITALY) 13%; estate bottled. Deep, sweet, ripe, southern Tuscan sangiovese. Ideal. Good power and singe./ Soft, sweet, and surely fulfilled in 2013. Textbook. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT120716-12. 13 VACQUEYRAS, DOMAINE DE L’ESPIGOUETTE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; proprietor, Bernard Latour. Very racy like its Plan de Dieu only fuller and more powerful. Oh, boy, a great face of Vacqueyras. Giving, complex, rangy, deep, sweet, powerful./ All over again. Rich, powerful, flavorful, rangy. Complete. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT120716-13. 15 PEWSEY VALE DRY EDEN VALLEY RIESLING - (AUSTRALIA) 12%; Individual Vineyard Selection; est. 1847. The usual dryness, lime, and peel Aussie riesling. And a good one./ Less Aussie and less dry on the palate. Works. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT120716-14. 15 DR. KONSTANTIN FRANK SEMI-DRY FINGER LAKES RIESLING - (U.S. NEW YORK) 11.5%; est. 1962. Typical but understated apple and citrus./ Medium acid, medium all. Decent. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT120716-15. 12 SCHARZHOFBERGER RIESLING KABINETT, BISCHOFLICHE WEINGUTER TRIER - (GERMANY) 8.5%; medium sweet; made since 1851 in the historic Scharzhof winery in Wiltingen. Pretty, classic, shining. Pedigree shows, site specificity, delicacy./ Oh, yes, sweet and young and racy and complete. Balanced. Sleek and complex aftertaste. All great. 17.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

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