Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - DECEMBER 2017
by Dick Scheer Updated February 8, 2018
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Wednesday, December 27, 2017
WT122717-01. 16 L'ECOLE NO. 41 OLD VINES COLUMBIA VALLEY CHENIN BLANC - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; vines planted in the 1970s. From Washington's oldest chenin blanc vines, planted in the 1970s. Real old vines concentration. Great acid flair. Chenin aromas of quince and lime. Suggestion of limestone. Ideal./ Yes, lush, rich chenin texture, full body, plenty of varietal flavors, great acidity and minerality. All. Yikes. 16.9.
WT122717-02. 16 ALTO ADIGE SAUVIGNON, CANTINA TRAMIN - (ITALY) 13.5%.Zesty high altitude sauvignon. Lightly reduced under screwcap. Hasn‛t fully blossomed yet./ Yeah, it has citrus tang and cut of an Alto Adige sauvignon. But still strapped in by sulphur. 16.5+.
WT122717-03. 16 COTES DU RHONE BLANC SAINT ESPRIT, DELAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Complete, full, well composed. Straw, acacia, broom Light stone fruit of viognier./ Plenty of body and carry. Balanced. The consummate southern Rhone blanc. Harmony of glycerol and mineral. 16.8.
WT122717-04. 16 WALNUT CITY WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.9%. A close young Oregon pinot style. Surely correct for this stage./ Oh, very, very bright, crisp Oregon pinot cherry and peel character. What Oregon pinot is all about. Great acid, light glycerol. Begs for food. 16.2+/16.6.
WT122717-05. 15 MAN FAMILY BOSSTOK COASTAL REGION PINOTAGE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14%; est. 2001. Roasted meat, smoke, coffee. Pretty good pinotage set./ Good meat, earth, animal. No brett/dekk. Chewy, meaty constitution. Wonderful texture, mouthfeel. Delivers for the table. 16.4.
WT122717-06. 14 CIRO ROSSO CLASSICO, TENUTA IUZZOLINI - (ITALY) 13%. Classic, linear, tailored. Fine vintage of this. Discreet and racy./ Oh, sweet fruit confit and lots of glycerol. Much richer than the nose suggests. Wow. 16.7+.
WT122717-07. 16 COTES DU RHONE SAINT COSME, LOUIS ET CHERRY BARRUOL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Kinda glossy and uncomplicated at this stage. Premature./ But tannic, with good richness too. Undeclared at this stage. 15.8+.
WT122717-08. 15 COTES DU RHONE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHAPELLE ST. ARNOUX - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Sleek, superficial. 15 ripe and pure./ Same. 2D but sweet and wholesome 15. 15.9.
WT122717-09. 14 MONTSANT OLD VINES. MAS DONIS - (ITALY) 14%; 85% garnacha, 15% syrah. VA and edge. Ox prone./ Same. Shot. What? 6.0.
WT122717-10. 12 RIOJA RESERVA, BODEGAS CAMPO VIEJO - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 85% tempranillo, 10% graciano, 5% mazuelo. This is Rioja Baja modest as usual. Little wood, little fruit./ Good texture but short on flavor, character. Satisfactory with food. 15.7.
WT122717-11. 16 BOUNDARY BREAKS VINEYARD OVID LINE NORTH FINGER LAKES RIESLING - (U.S. EAST COAST) 12%; from multiple riesling clones; medium dry. Trim and racy, with the right balance of sweetness and acid. The fruit is fresh and crisp./ Yes, balance, juice, flavor. Citrus and stone fruit. Juicy feel and flavor. 17.0.
WT122717-12. 06 VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI RUFINA, FATTORIA IL LAGO half bottle - (ITALY) 19.5%. Oh, dry, nutty, powerful nose. Jawbreaker extract of all 2006 Tuscan wines. Definitive vin santo and so well composed. Hickory nut bouquet of a fine, old dry oloroso./ The palate is totally concentrated, lushly sweet, and forceful. This is huge! The finish is dry, nutty, and endless. 19.2. List price: $50 per half bottle.
WT122717-13. ALICANTE MOSCATEL ESPUMANTE, BODEGAS BOCOPA - (SPAIN) 7%. A bit tame compared to my previous experience with this wine. Not much varietal character./ Good muscat taste though. 15.0/16.3.
WT122717-14. 16 BRACHETTO D'ACQUI DOLCE ROSA REGALE, BANFI. - (ITALY) 7%. Sweet and bright and frothy../ Again, fruity, pastille like. Ideal all around. 16.7.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
WT122017-01. 16 PENEDES PETILLANT BLANC AVINYO, J. ESTEVE NADAL - (SPARKLING) 10.5%. This sings. All about newness. Fresh, powdery, both tingly and cushioned./ Light citrus and blossom flavors. Sweet-tart balance. Lovely. 16.6.
WT122017-02. 15 COLLI D'IMOLA PIGNOLETTO, SOC. AGR. LE SIEPI DI SAN GIOVANNI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Lithe and cool apple and pear aromas. Lovely poise, harmony, grace./ Tender fruit center with tangy acid lacings. Flavorful. Unique. Both succulent and refreshing. 16.5.
WT122017-03. 16 RIOJA BLANCO MONOPOLE, CVNE - (SPAIN) 13%; mostly viura. Lifted, lithe, fresh viura lemon and blossom. Both lively and tender aspects./ Cool, stony, citrusy. Really great acidity for food. Lingers long. 16.6.
WT122017-04. 15 ALSACE PINOT BLANC THE FURST - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%. Tender side of pinot blanc on the approach, lightly scented. Cool and clear. Pear and walnut husk. Ideal./ Cool. Delivers cut and balance. One of the best vintages of this. 16.7.
WT122017-05. 16 CHINON, CHATEAU COUDRAY-MONTPENSIER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13.5%. Oh, deep and fully endowed. Noble reduction. Cranberry and red raspberry./ Yes, creamy texture replete with Loire cabernet franc acid and peels extracts. Full. One loaded Chinon with aging capacity. 16.9+.
WT122017-06. 16 RIOJA SELECCION PRIVADA CEPAS ANTIGUAS, BODEGAS MARTINEZ CORTA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Lively, bright tempranillo berry fruit, pure and clear. Old vines intense. A beautiful varietal statement free of oak complications./ Yes, sweet fruited and well textured. Fine tannin and old vines extract. Long aftertaste. Enjoy now with food; can be cellared also. 16.8+.
WT122017-07. 15 CHIANTI CETAMURA, COLTIBUONO - (ITALY) 13%. A little 15 sweet; true 15. Simply stated./ Medium body and flavor intensity. Good acid. Some coarseness. From press? 15.2+.
WT122017-08. 15 ROSSO DI MONTEPULCIANO, SOC. AGR. AVIGNONESI - (ITALY) 13%. Fresh, new, patent, sweet. Still 2D./ Has grip and substance. Young. Deserves patience. 15.9+.
WT122017-09. 14 VERONA CAMPOFIORIN 50TH ANNIVERSARY, AGR. MASI - (ITALY) 13%; the original ripasso. Black and cool 14. Ripasso sweet, Masi discreet. Perfect pitch. Tarry black fruit./ Yes, cool 14. Ripasso ripe. Perfect composition and balance. A classic ripasso if there ever was one. 16.9+.
WT122017-10. 13 COSTA TOSCANA KEPOS, SOC. AGR. AMPELAIA - (ITALY) 13%; grenache, mourvedre, carignan, alicante, marselan. Yet another 2013 Euro red in a slump at age four. Strong, vinous, between aroma and bouquet./ Yes, sweet but merely vinous; neither fruity or bouqueted. No varietal expressions. Or barrel signs. Cellar further, I guess. 15.6+.
WT122017-11. 13 BEIRA ATLANTICO COLHEITA SELECCIONADA, LUIS PATO - (PORTUGAL) 12%; estate bottled; touriga nacional; sandy soil. Dark and sweet, deep and serious. This is much different from the 2012, which was 60% baga, 40% touriga nacional. Impressive richness and persistence./ Yes, more body than the 2012, yet remains Pato well tailored. Silky and pure. Juicy red fruit. Great balance, length, all. 17.0+.
WT122017-12. 15 DOURO DUAS QUINTAS, RAMOS PINTO - (PORTUGAL) 14%; from two vineyards, one on schist, one on granite. Very racy and elegant for a 14% Douro 2015. One of the best in the series. Oak and toffee tinged. Deep and lasting./ Nice 15 Douro singed fruit. Dry and tannic finale assures cellar potential. Yes. 16.5+.
WT122017-13. 15 SEXTANT SAN ARDO RANCH SAN LUCAS ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Oh, sweet and powerful. Full of raspberry and oak. And reserve. Grander than ever before. Wow!/ Yes, sweet black fruit and fine oak seasoning. Power, carry, follow through. Lasting flavor and texture. 17.4+.
WT122017-14. 15 COTES DU GASCOGNE L'ETE GASCON, DOMAINE DE PELLEHAUT - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11%. 80% gros manseng, 10% each petit manseng, chardonnay. Gros manseng lemon custard aroma. Deep and well textured. Peach, apricot, and tangerine chime in. Great aroma and texture variegation./ Yes, gently sweet, with great acid foil. Great sweet-acid play indeed. Long and lingering flavor and texture. 17.1+.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
WT120617-01. 14 WIENER GEMISCHTER SATZ, WEINGUT ZAHEL - (AUSTRIA) 12%. Suggestion of aromatic varietals Taking on a bouquet patina./ Palate fresh and revealing, flavorful. 15.8/16.2.
WT120617-02. 16 PFALZ PINOT BLANC TROCKEN, WEINGUT DARTING - (GERMANY) 12.5%. Crisp and racy, fragrant and lifted. Full vigor, surge, and beauty./ Flattering pinot blanc tender center. Plenty of flavor and texture spiel. Perfectly joyous take. 17.0.
WT120617-03. 16 SANNIO FALANGHINA, CANTINA DEL TABURNO - (ITALY) 13%. Plenty of lift and flair. Subtle stone fruit aromas./ More falanghina plumpness and flavor. Good form too. 17.0.
WT120617-04. 16 RUEDA VERDEJO, MARQUES DE CACERES - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Sulphur under screwcap. A spicy sense is all to suggest verdejo at this juncture./ Light varietal flavor. Sulphur scratch and suppression. Aerate well. 15.0++.
WT120617-05. 16 VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO LUCCHINE, AGR. TEDESCHI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Zesty, fruity, crisp and classic Valpolicella middle weight. Textbook./ Yes, this is Valpol City. The juiciness, the flavor, the fine acidity. Nails it. 16.6.
WT120617-06. 16 MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO, SOC. AGR. LA QUERCIA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Sweet and spicy in 2016. Full and rich./ Fine race. Correct body. Charm and elegance as in past vintages. Tells the Monte tale. One of the best years of this. 16.6.
WT120617-07. 15 TOSCANA POGGIO APRICALE, AZ. AGR. MARTOCCIA DI BRUNELLI - (ITALY) 14%. Sweet and thorough 2015 Super Tuscan that illustrates sangiovese in union with Bordeaux varietals./ Zesty. Real definition. Correct body and flavor intensity. 16.5/16.1.
WT120617-08. 16 SANTA JULIA (+) MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13%; 2015 - Top 100. Close, shy, still two dimensional nose. Yet perfectly wholesome./ Good mouthfeel. Cool fruit and fruit cremes. Plenty of flavor. In the mouth, this comes on big time. The nose will catch up soon.15.7/16.3.
WT120617-09. 16 CANOE RIDGE VINEYARD THE EXPEDITION HORSE HEAVEN HILLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.7%; 2015 - Top 100. Oh, sweet and fruity-spicy. Good oak component. Surging, 3D, complex./ Firm core enveloped with sweet fruit and wood cremes. Will be popular. 16.5.
WT120617-10. 13 SANTA EMA ESTATE RESERVA MAIPO VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (CHILE) 13.5%; est. 1956; 2015 - Top 100. Maturing nicely. A large cabernet showing reserva barrel time and sweet Maipo fruit./ Even at age 4+ the oak has not fully integrated, though it can‛t hide the full black currant expression of Maipo cabernet on native rootstock. Good value. 16.5.
WT120617-11. 14 RIOJA LA VENDIMIA, BODEGAS PALACIOS REMONDO - (S[AOM) 14.5%; 2015 - Top 100. Oh, bright and sweet and racy, with both fruit and oak flair. Wow./ Again, sweet, creamy fruit and dashing oak embellishments. A complete joy. 16.9.
WT120617-13. 11 RIOJA RESERVA, MARQUES DE CACERES - (SPAIN) 14%; 2012 - Top 100. Good and forward 2011 at age six. Sweet fruit. Good fruit-oak balance. Some vintages are too heavy handed with American oak. No sawdust here./ Yes, good oak proportions, and the oak is all sunk in, soaked up. One of my favorite vintages of this. 16.9.
WT120617-14. 13 RHEINGAU RIESLING SPATLESE TRADITION, WEINGUT ROBERT WEIL - (GERMANY) 8%. Beginning to reveal some bottle bouquet at age four. Deep, variegated, soaring. Tingly. Full extract./ Oh, the succulence of it all! The balance of sweetness, acidity, and dry matter. Enveloping, complex, total. The complete package. 18.0+.
WT120617-15. 16 MOSCATO D'ASTI, ALBINO ROCCA - (ITALY) 5%. Charm and joy. Soo refined, dry, elegant, discreet./ Yes, the whole moscato spectrum of orange, orange blossom, apricot, peach, pear. Soo lithe and lifted. 16.8.