Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - February, 2014
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated March 5,  2014

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February 26, 2014

WT022614-01. 12 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO KRIS, FRANZ HAAS - (ITALY) 12.5%. Lovely apple, peel, nut. Delightful texture tingles the nostrils./ Palate adds firm peach and melon. Again, that silky, burnished texture. Just the right play of acid etch and grigio padding. Well liked by the group.16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT022614-02. 11 MACEDONIA RKACITELI SPECIAL SELECTION, TIKVES - (MACEDONIA) 13%; by ace French oenologist Philippe Cambie. Orchard fruit. Orange peel tone of maturity. Holding onto its varietal character./ The citrus peel and grain notes of a maturing dry white wine. Evolving. Likely showed more varietal character earlier in life.. 15.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT022614-03. 12 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE, CHATEAU LA CARIZIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%; owned by Joseph Landron. Pure and lovely muscadet terrarium aura. Crisp and green./ Great acid. Light muscadet tenderness. Well balanced. A lot of follow through. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT022614-04. 12 ROMAGNA SANGIOVESE, TAVERNELLO - (ITALY) 12%; #1 selling wine brand in Italy. The right Romagna take on sangiovese. Lilting, lightly sweet fresh cherry aroma./ Rich and round and fruity, with good acid too. Well balanced. Light, light tannic grip in the back, balanced by plump glycerol padding. A bargain. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

WT022614-05. 12 VALPOLICELLA, ALLEGRINI - (ITALY) 13%. Sweet and good fruit of youth. Licorice and black pepper snap of corvina./ Suave. Properly medium bodied and flavorful Valpol. Some astringency constricts its finale. Good. Will improve over the coming months. Well liked by the group.16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT022614-06. 12 DON & SONS SONOMA SIGNATURE SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; Don Sebastiani & sons. Exotic. All pinot noir? Oak contributes wood and brown spice elements. Wild. Potpourri./ Yes, a perfumed mouthful. Enticing. Made rather than born. Limited fruit depth and padding. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT022614-07. 12 IRONY SMALL LOT RESERVE MONTEREY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; by the Indelicato brothers. Not much aromatic interest to start. Then it grows. Now it has a dainty pinot noir cherry fruit elegance plus light oak dressing. Well, this works after all./ Again, it starts slow, quiet, narrow in feel and flavor interest. Still waiting for fulfillment. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT022614-08. 13 FINCA LOS OLMOS ELM TREE MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%. Oh, deep and smoky. Cherry, tar, and licorice. The delivery of a $15 malbec./Oh, boy, spicy wood and fruit, and nice padding. The full Mendoza malbec show for a song of a price. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT022614-09. 10 CHATEAU LA FLEUR PLAISANCE, MONTAGNE SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; Eresue Pere et Fils; 30 year old vines, 80% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon. Deep and lovely fruit. 2010 firmness and structure. A great 2010 showing, including reserve./ Balanced, with 2010 form and tannin. Good claret fruit combo of merlot and cabernet. Spicy cherry taste. Tannin and grip fine textured and good. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT022614-10. 11 RIOJA, SIERRA CANTABRIA - (SPAIN) 13.5%; est. 1957. Bright as usual. Calcaire and high altitude. Lots of charm that’s in tune with the series./ Medium bodied and nicely flowing. Charm, elegance, poise. Will plump up over the coming months as have past vintages. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT022614-11. 12 TERRA ALTA GARNATXA NEGRA, HERENCIA ALTES - (SPAIN) 14%. Ripe, warm, spicy garnacha. Oak and peel spicy extras. Earthy. Big volume./ Garnacha forward fruitiness and strawberry character. Soft and gentle. There have been more serious years. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT022614-12. 12 VARNER FOXGLOVE PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.3%. A good one. Paso sweet, Varner classy. A lot of polish. Less acidity than 2010, 2011./ Lovely raspberry and peppery seeds flavors. Suave. Good acid after all. Will develop more filling, texture, extract. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT022614-13. 12 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER PRESTIGE, CAVE VINICOLE CLEEBOURG - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%. Oh, full rose, tonic, bergamot perfume. Driving personality. Great viscosity./ Yes, flowers and botanicals. The right balance of light sweetness, good acidity, innate bitterness. Wow, full, long, and savory! 17.6
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT022614-14. 12 ROBERTSON WINERY SPECIAL LATE HARVEST ROBERTSON DISTRICT GEWURZTRAMINER - (U.S.) 11%; est. 1941. Bright, floral, rosy gewurz. No sulphur or reduction issues as in the young wine of the last couple of vintages. Very pure./ Some horse. What? Why? Not like the richness of the earlier vintages that turned me on to this wine. Thins out at the end. At least the acid is good for the varietal. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT022614-15. COLOMBO VQPRD FINE DRY MARSALA - (FORTIFIED) 18%. Sweet and a little youthfully fig pasty. Good surge of fig and date aromas./ Well, this is really–I mean actually–dry, unlike many ‘dry’ marsalas that are just relatively so. A degree of nutty, woody cask aged sophistication as well as the fruit paste taste of the original material. Good power. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

February 19, 2014

WT021914-01. 12 PETIT CHABLIS, DOMAINE ALAIN PAUTRE - (FRANCE BURGUNEY) 12%. SO2 airs hovering over a clearly concentrated, full bodied Portlandian limestone display that is Petit Chablis./ Yeah, the sulphur still interferes a little (2/19/14). Nonetheless, this wine will not be suppressed, and when it clears after airing, what wonders appeart. Altogether full volume, grip, and terroir to offer. Nothing petit about it. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT021914-02. 12 ALSACE PINOT BLANC, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%; 2/9 on the sweetness scale. Full and fabulous aroma of straight pinot blanc. I detect no auxerrois plumpness here. Wonderful, classic pinot blanc. Impressive form, impressive center./Rich and round. Just the right degree of acidity. Perfect form and flavor. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021914-03. 12 RUEDA VERDEJO, MARQUES DE CACERES - (SPAIN) 12.5%. A bit reticent in aroma and texture still. Nice little verdejo etch./ Soft and supple, well balanced and wholesome. Good acidity chimes in, especially at the end. A well priced quaffer. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT021914-04. 12 SANCERRE L’AUTHENTIQUE, DOMAINE THOMAS-LABAILLE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Good zip, gooseberry, herbs./ Perfectly proper, if a little less inspiring than the estate’s Monts Damnes cuvee. Good texture, etch. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT021914-05. 12 SANCERRE LE CLOS DE CHAUDENAY, DOMAINE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Pungent gooseberry plus suggestions of hyssop and wormwood./ Love the acid and gooseberry edge. Calcaire, mint, bergamot, and green herb sensations. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT021914-06. 12 PARKER STATION CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; est. 1989. Beautiful, cheery, cherry aromas. 2012 scores big time again. Sweet as a nut. Sooo pure and expressive./ Full flavor and full mouthfeel. Sweet fruit countered by great acid. Perfect proportions. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT021914-07. 11 CASA SILVA RESERVA COLCHAGUA VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (CHILE) 13.5%; fifth generation family winery that pioneered winegrowing in Colchagua Valley. Deep, earthy, genuine pinot aromatic set featuring cherry, underbrush, and subtle oak. Serious depth./ Sweet fruit but not in a pandering way. Euro form and acidity. Long, clinging, welcome finish. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT021914-08. 12 CHARLES & CHARLES POST NO. 35 COLUMBIA VALLEY CABERNET-SYRAH - (U.S.) 13.6%; 58/42; Wine Spectator 90/100. Bold, black WA red. Pac Northwest dark, cool, and snappy. C&C ripe and showy. Loaded with fruit in the remarkable 2012 vintage./ Yeah, gives a lot. Demonstrative. Fruit cremes. Nothing held back. Retains WA acid and form all the while. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT021914-09. 11 GREG NORMAN ESTATES SHARK CENTRAL COAST RED - (U.S.) 13.9%. Coastal California and 2011 cool approach. Not Aussie. A lush and variegated cuvee of varietals./ Rich and right, and balanced with good acidity. A really fabulous balance of fruit sweetness and acidity. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021914-10. 12 TOSCANA REMOLE ESTATE, MARCHESI DE FRESCOBALDI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Oh, a really good vintage of this popular cuvee! Sweet and ripe sangiovese fresh and dried cherries. Round and rich, with a crisp edge. Fine form./ Good weight, sweetness, acid. Everything hangs together right, inviting mealtime service starting now. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT021914-11. 11 LA MANCHA TEMPRANILLO PASO A PASO, EGUREN - (SPAIN) 14%; 6 months in French oak. Sweet, deep, solid southern tempranillo with northern form, acid, and brightness as well as warm climate ripeness. High altitude and diurnal temperature swings likely contribute to its constitution./ Deep and well textured. Full flavored. Northern demeanor. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT021914-12. 07 CATALUNYA TEMPRANILLO-CABERNET RESERVA, BODEGAS RAMON ROQUETA - (SPAIN) 13.5%; since 1898. Fabulous oak and barrel development. Sweet fruit. Catalan snap. Good varietal expressions and coordination./ Yes, this combination of varietals and reserva barrel upbringing works well. Lovely barrel contributions, 2009 fruit purity and ease. All. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT021914-13. 12 FOLIE A DEUX MENAGE A TROIS LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 13.5%. Sooo FaD!. Menage a Trois and Lodi wholesome. 2012 pure fruit and fine varietal expressions of raspberry and peppercorn. Not jammy. A dash of oak./ Lodi fruit creme sweetness balanced by great acid. Long finish. Well crafted from top-notch material of 2012. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT021914-14. 12 VOUVRAY, NOEL BOUGRIER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 11.5%. Vigor, extract, dryness, and concentration of the small 2012 harvest. Calcaire and quince./ Whoa! Drier and more intense than the fine 2011. Full extract. Fabulous mouthfeel. Great value. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT021914-15. QUINTA DO NOVAL TAWNY PORTO - (PORTUGAL) 19.5%. More like a ruby’s color./ Pretty granular, young, ruby like. No age showing./ Sweet red fruits with some nuts and dried fruit. Grip and tannin. Is this a blend of red and white grapes? Barely two years old? Doesn’t hold a candle to the fine 10 Year Old. 15.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

February 12, 2014

WT021214-01. 12 RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO, BURGANS - (SPAIN) 12.5%. Lovely aromas of citrus and peach. Cool and racy. Sweet smelling too./ Yes, lots of race. Smooth albarino glycerol padding. Great poise. Delightful now. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021214-02. 12 MACON VILLAGES, JOSEPH DROUHIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Lovely crisp apple-citrus Maconnais chardonnay aromas. Alert, alive, racy, vibrant./ Apple and citrus flavors echo the aromas. Ripe fruit acid has a gentle impact. Good stuff. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT021214-03. 12 MACON CHAINTRE LE CHATEAU DE CHAINTRE, FABRICE LAROCHETTE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Firmer and fuller. Some oak in the picture? The greater extract of a village-specific Maconnais. A big boy./ Yes, large, full, solidly built. A lot of material here. Well textured mouthful. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT021214-06. 12 BEAUJOLAIS AU PAYS DES PIERRES DOREES CUVEE TERROIR, DOMAINE PRAL - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%. Fresh, young, and a little reduced still from the whole bunch fermentation process. Clearing and revealing with aeration. Tasted just a month ago, the 2011 was much more fulfilled. So there’s plenty of good stuff to come here./ Yes, still tart, astringent, and youthful. I have full faith. 15.5++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021214-08. 10 BURIED CANE ROUGHOUT COLUMBIA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.9%. Oh, as attractive as the 2008. The oak is sweet and spicy. Good balance of oak and fruit./ Palate more backward. Dry, gripping, contrite. Requires more cellaring. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021214-09. 10 KIONA WASHINGTON CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.7%; 75% cabernet sauvignon, 20% cabernet franc, 5% petit verdot; Yakima word for brown hills. Large scaled and powerful. Lot of oak. Sweet and spicy, expressive oak. American?/ Yes, full, sweet oak and broad black fruit. Powerful indeed. The oak is still dominant and insistent. This is a proven ager, so I’m expecting a mellower experience down the pike. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT021214-10. 11 J. LOHR ESTATES SOUTH RIDGE PASO ROBLES SYRAH - (U.S.) 13.5%. Wood and ripe enough Paso black fruit. Sweet Lohr and Paso styling. No California syrah dullard. Has personality. Not northern Rhone personality though./ Sweetly fruited Lohr and Paso sort. Good 2011 acidity. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021214-11. 10 RIOJA TEMPRANILLO CRIANZA, BODEGAS LAN - (SPAIN) 13.5%; aged a year in barrels incorporating both French and American oak. Much better than the 2008. Dry and black. Good fruit-oak crianza balance./ Dry and young. Fine tannin. Good poise. Rather reserved at this stage, but will please at the table nonetheless. Decant it for present service. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT021214-12. 09 CHIANTI RUFINA VILLA TRAVIGNOLI, DOMENICO VALENTINO liter - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Deep, dark, racy, spicy. Smells more like an 08 than an 09. Estate style? Very nice dried fruit plus wood spices. Some bouquet forming./ Good flow of 09. Flavorful. Dry; without much padding. So welcomes food. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021214-13. 12 RANCHO ZABACO HERITAGE VINES SONOMA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15.3%. Rich, sweet, spicy, oaky, treacly. Complete./ Rich in texture, extract, tannin, power. Roasted raspberry. BIG. Sweet. Total. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT021214-14. 10 VALLEY OF THE MOON SONOMA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.9%; est. 1941. Cool, collected, polished black fruit of 2010. More substance and sophistication than previous vintages, signifying a change in winemaking strategy since the Kenwood takeover, and justifying the impressive new label and higher price./ Yes, this has more oomph now, as well as class. Fine oak and fruit delivery and harmony. Cranberry and black raspberry flavors, well burnished. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

February 5, 2014

WT020514-01. 11 MERCUREY BLANC CHATEAU DE CHAMIREY, MARQUIS DE JOUENNES D’HERVILLE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; 95 acre estate, 38 in Premiers Crus. Clear headed, vinous, appley chardonnay without much oak or Chalonnaise resin. Unique./ Light oak. Chalon body. Fine play of acidity vs viscosity. Ample. And yes, unique among its peers. Great pleasure with poulet de Bresse. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT020514-02. 11 PULIGNY MONTRACHET VIEILLES VIGNES, VINCENT GIRARDIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Fabulous display of oak, barrel fermentation, and lees interaction along with crisp Puligny calcaire and old vines body and concentration. Great nose!/ Full barrel influence and full Puligny terroir expression. Jawbreaker extract. Yikes! 18.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $54.95

WT020514-03. 11 MERCUREY CHATEAU DE CHAMIREY, MARQUIS DE JOUENNES D’HERVILLE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; 95 acre estate, 38 in Premiers Crus. Medium body and intensity of 2011. Ripe enough, if a little sharp in the back. Good tarry, black Mercurey pinot./ Good oak. A little tart, but has some soothing glycerol. Fine tannin. Not much flavor showing yet. The finish is long and promising. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT020514-04. 11 DAVID BRUCE RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.7%; est. 1964. Color a bit ruddy./ One of the greenest on record. Sweet but green fruit./ Good baking spice oak contribution. Sweet, round pinot glycerol. But the fruit is less ripe than usual. Long finish though not rich. First time I’ve been underwhelmed by this cuvee, which regularly rates much higher. Wait for 2012. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT020514-05. 10 CHATEAU ROCHER BONREGARD, POMEROL - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14% (14.5%); J. P. Tournier, proprietor. 90% merlot, 10% cabernet franc. Very 2010 firm. Not much oak or barrel time evident at this stage. Certainly has substance./ Good claret fruit core plus 2010 framing. No Pomerol plushness or give yet. That will come. The material is here. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $27.99

WT020514-06. 11 BERINGER ESTATE KNIGHTS VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 14.3%; est.1876; 40+ year old vines. Knights Valley ripeness. Medium fullness and intensity of the vintage. Pretty quiet at this early stage. Decanting would likely bring more aroma forth. Light oak savor, not at all overdone./ Yes, the oak touch is just right for 2011. Lets the elegant cabernet blackberry and black currant take center stage. Soft, spicy oak. The palate is more expressive than the nose. Well crafted, claret weight 2011 cabernet. 16.5+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $27.99

WT020514-07. 08 BARBARESCO TORRE, PRODUTTORI DEL BARBARESCO - (ITALY) 14.5%; estate bottled. Good and ruddy, long in barrel house style. 08 dark, firm, and promising. Full glycerol. I like its poise and promise./ Oh, the palate is very special! Traditional licorice and asphalt tones. The unique qualities of old time Barbaresco. Complex overtones of flowers, berries, briar. Special indeed. 17.5+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT020514-08. 07 RIOJA RESERVA VINA LANCIANO, BODEGAS LAN - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 80% tempranillo, 20% mazuelo (carignan); single vineyard in an ‘idyllic’ bend of the Ebro. Firm and very dark fruited for normally pliant 2007. Solid fruit. No oak excesses. Needs bottle age./ Fine oak. Now the elegant, flowing fruit of 2007 shows. Floral highlights. The palate is much more revealing than the nose. Shows great promise. 16.8+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $29.99

WT020514-09. 11 RIDGE PAGANI RANCH SONOMA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.7%; 78% zinfandel (19th century vines), 18% alicante bouschet (1920s vines), 3% petite sirah, 1% mataro. Ripe for the vintage, though certainly not over the top. Old vines concentration. Alicante bouschet sweet fruit and full extract. The oak measure is discreet./ Oh, yes, sweet and ripe zinfandel. Fine 2011 acidity. The superripe alicante offers an attractive hint of rancio. 17.4+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT020514-10. 10 MACAULEY VINEYARD NAPA VALLEY PETITE SIRAH - (U.S.) 14.8%. Inky color and nose. Fine oak. Some petite sirah purple berries. Sweet and compact fruit./ Oak and ripe fruit. 2010 form and polish. Fine tannins. There are Napa pets with more aromatic flair and class. Maybe this will reveal same after more bottle age. Something of a monolith at this stage. 17.0++
    Price each (at time of tasting) $49.99

WT020514-11. POMMEAU DE NORMANDIE, FAMILLE L. DUPONT - (FRANCE) 17%; calvados & unfermented cider-apple juice. Light old gold./ Fine display of both cider and spirit qualities. Good strength, dryness, penetration./ Yes, Normandy cider and fine calvados impressions. The spirit shows the woodiness of well aged brandy. A first class example. 17.8
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT020514-12. FONSECA 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT - (PORTUGAL) 20%; bottled 2010. Dry nose for Fonseca. Nutty. Well aged. Not much original sweetness showing. Not as enticing as some 10 year olds. Dried fruit./ The palate is a different story. Fonseca sweet and well spirited. Nuts and dried fruits. Well balanced. The palate is come hither. 17.1
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

 

 

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