Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - February 2017
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  March 23,  2017

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"Wednesday", February 20, 2017

WT022017-1. 15 CHALK HILL WINERY SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Great combo of oak, barrel fermentation extras, creamy malo, and original, cool climate chardonnay fruit./ All over again. Very sweet and alluring in 2015, especially for Sonoma Coast. Well priced. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT022017-2. 15 BEAUJOLAIS VIEILLES VIGNES CUVEE TRADITIONNELLE DOMAINE DU VISSOUX, PIERRE MARIE CHERMETTE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Fresh and sweet and logical 2015 gamay sporting plum, cranberry, and pie cherry aromas./ Great acidity and astringency to balance the vintage’s full framing and rich filling. All. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT022017-3. 14 CAHORS K-OR CLOS TROTELIGOTTE, EMANUEL RYBINSKI - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Deep and rich, reductive and complicated 2014. Padded too. 3D./ Wow, dark, solid, reduced, and still painfully astringent. It hurts so good. Great future. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT022017-4. 14 DOURO CRASTO, QUINTA DO CRASTO - (PORTUGAL) 14%.Oh, this deep complex reads of rich fruit, barrel age and extract. Sweet black core fruit. Complete. Always is./ Yes, rangy, fine, full, and well balanced. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT022017-5. 12 EXPERIENCE SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.2%. Mid life quiet stage, aroma-wise./ Softness of 2012 at four years, without a loss of newness. Some wood input. 16.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

WT022017-6. 13 L. A. CETTO ESTATE VALLE DE GUADALUPE CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (MEXICO) 13%. Sweet fruited, and 2013 warm and full. Wine of place./ Sweet and soft. Modest cabernet, modest priced. Slightly salty finish. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT022017-9. LILLET ROSE APERITIF - (APERITIF) Light aromas of citrus and rose./ Sweet citrus. Cool herbs and flowers. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WT021517-1. 16 VAL DE LOIRE SAUVIGNON BLANC UNIQUE, DOMAINE DELAILLE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Intense, precise, vigorous passion fruit aroma./ Yes, plus juicy citrus fruit. Very zingy. Citrus oil aftertaste. This is screaming for attention.16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021517-2. 16 CHEVERNY BLANC DOMAINE DU SALVARD, DELAILLE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; 85% sauvignon blanc, 15% chardonnay. Milder. The chardonnay seems to dumb it down./ Yeah, what’s the point? There’s enough sauvignon to supply vigor though. I’m not sure what chardonnay brings to the table. 16.2+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT021517-3. 15 COTES DE GASCOGNE, DOMAINE SAINT LANNES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12%; 80% colombard, 20% gros manseng. In this warm vintage, the colombard is riper and less green-fruited than usual. Gros manseng adds a peachy plumpness./ Yes, peach and creamsicle. Plumpness over cut. Acid present but not a leading player. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT021517-4. 15 VOUVRAY JARDIN EN FLEURS, BESOMBES MOC BARIL - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Accurate chenin aroma set of low key melon, quince, lime./ Pleasing vigor on the palate. Between sec tendre and demi sec sweetness foiled by crisp acidity. Room to grow. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT021517-5. 15 ALTO ADIGE PINOT GRIGIO, CANTINA TERLANO - (ITALY) 13.5%. After four 12%ers, this one displays its extra power. Big, deep, and nutty grigio nose./ Yes, large on the mouth too. Nutty. Big time volume and texture for the dinner table. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT021517-8. 15 BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES, LOUIS JADOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Rich and classic. The fullest and best vintage in the series. So pure and cool and Jadot well managed./ Very dry and still reductive. Dark, crisp 2015 gamay basis. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021517-9. 15 MORGON GRAND CRU LES CHARMES, DOMAINE PRAL - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 14%; best Beaujolais vintage since 1959. Dark, big, and surprisingly tart. Lipstick reduction./ Cherry and cranberry. Young and tannic. Needs bottle age for full declaration of its assets. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT021517-10. 15 COTES DU RHONE SAINT ESPRIT, DELAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Northern Rhone winemaker style, dark and a little surly./ Yes, still tight and tart. Not yet 2015 giving. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT021517-11. 15 COTES DU RHONE VIGNES DU PRIEURE, CHATEAU GIGOGNAN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 50% grenache, 40% syrah, 10% mourvedre. Lush if reductive. Paradox of sweet and sullen./ Yeah, sweet fruit, sour reduction. Needs time to work things out. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT021517-12. 15 CALATAYUD GARNACHA HONORO VERA, BODEGAS ATECA - (SPAIN) 14.5%. Sweet, hot, firm framed./ Sweet, strong, lush. What it is. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT021517-13. 14 HAHN MONTEREY PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Sweet and strong for Monterey. From Santa Lucia Highlands? Sweet and uncomplicated California pinot noir./ Softness of pinot. Heat of high alcohol. Serve with hefty fare. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT021517-14. 14 KULETO ESTATE INDIA INK NAPA RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.8%. Very powerful and woody. Strong winemaker statement. Steak house wine. Full and good oak./ Long on wood, power, fruit. Not without 2014's cool demeanor though. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WT020817-2. 13 CHALONE ESTATE CHALONE CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%; 30+ yr old vines at 1800'; aged in French oak. Young. Well built. Shows barrel aging and subtle oakiness. Burgundy notions. Composed, confident./ Yes, subtle, well married oak and chardonnay character. Light reduction. Big sized. To keep. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT020817-3. 15 AIRFIELD ESTATES LONE BIRCH YAKIMA VALLEY ROSE - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.2%. Fresh, with full fruit, presence, fortitude. All the while, joyous./ Sweet fruit. Great acid etch. Totally fresh and mealworthy. Very popular with the group. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT020817-4. 15 BOURGUEIL CUVEE ALOUETTES, DOMAINE DE LA CHANTELEUSERIE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Sweet on the approach, followed by peels, reduction. Dark and deep and sour./ Yes, tart and reductive. For what’s supposed to be a fun cuvee and fruity vintage, this is no fun at all. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT020817-5. 15 BARDOLINO CLASSICO, LENOTTI - (ITALY) Sweet, spicy, delicate cherry aroma. Not 15 soft./ Low flavor profile at present. Little oomph and fruit. Better served cool. 15.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT020817-6. 15 VAUCLUSE LE PIGEOULET, FAMILLE BRUNIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; owners of CdP estate Vieux Telegraphe; 80% grenache, 10% syrah, 5% ea cinsault, carignan. Large and expressive. Well extracted. Full aroma depth and range. Fruit, peppercorn, garrigue. Big, powerful presence./ Yes, plenty of oomph and range here. Certainly portrays 2015's lushness after a series of less-ripe years. Good vintage for this cuvee. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT020817-7. 15 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE DU JONCIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; at Tavel. Racy, tart, dark, crisp Gard 15. Depth and force./ The palate is sweeter and also a little reductive. Red and black currant flavors of Gard. High acid for 2015. 16.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT020817-8. 14 RIDGE THREE VALLEYS SONOMA RED - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%; 65% zinfandel, 17% petite sirah, 14% carignane, 4% grenache. Ripe, large, rangy, peppery. 14 darkness, depth, restraint./ Rich but also 14 racy. Not over the top. Young and characteristic of the vintage’s North Coast reds. Good acid. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT020817-9. 14 CAHORS, CLOS LA COUTALE - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 80% malbec, 20% merlot. Good vintage of this. Precise cherry, licorice, tar. Well drawn and focused. 14 clarity. Plus plenty of sweet fruit./ Racy, peppery, spicy. Licorice. Some herbaceous qualities on the aftertaste. Good overall. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT020817-10. 15 BODEGAS MAINQUE TRES EXILIOS MENDOZA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ARGENTINA) 13.2%. Young, sweet, neat, convincing. Cabernet sweet berry./ Yes, ripe berries and light cremes. Enough acid. Balanced and likeable bargain. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT020817-11. 12 MERCER CANYONS COLUMBIA VALLEY RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.9%; merlot, syrah, cab sauv, malbec, petit verdot, meunier, cinsault. Fine blackberry aroma plus suavity of bottle age. Nice bottle bouquet development./ Suavity, easy, fruit sweetness, and hint of oak. Balanced and delicious now. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT020817-13. 14 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER THE FURST, VIGNERONS DE. KIENTZHEIM- KAYSERSBERG - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%. Tonic, rose, barbershop. Balanced. Light reduction./ Harmonioius, medium full and viscous. Good acid foil. Right body and strength. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT020817-14. 13 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; 4/8 dry/sweet scale. A sweeter take, with rose and ginger./ Sweet and right. Plenty of oomph and stamina.16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT020817-15. 15 MOSCATO D’ASTI SORI GRAMELLA, AZ. AGR. ELVIO TINTERO - (ITALY) 5.5%. Very, very bright, lifted, even soaring./ Sweet and fresh. At a nice stage, yet a few more weeks in bottle will augment its aromatic profile. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

WT020117-1. 13 LLOPART RESERVA ROSE BRUT CAVA - (SPARKLING) 11.5%; est. 1887; two years en tirage. Lots of red fruit, and bottle bouquet too. Lots of lots./ Dry and astute. Pink fruit. Good with food. I’m impressed. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT020117-2. 15 SANCERRE L’AUTHENTIQUE, CLAUDE & FLORENCE THOMAS LABAILLE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%; at Chavignol. Ripe, sweet, and tender. Lemonade and gooseberry./ Good race, acid support. Supple and tangy. Better than the previous vintage. Simpler than the Monts Damnes cuvee. And cheaper. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT020117-3. 14 WILDSTOCK OREGON CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Nice, fresh, crisp Oregon style of chardonnay./ Apple, citrus, and light oak vim and vigor. Textbook Oregon chardonnay at a reasonable price. List price: $22. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT020117-4. 08 CITATION OREGON CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13%. Ample, deep, rich, Burgundian. Has aged famously. Fabulous texture, bouquet, depth./ Yes, aged well in barrel and bottle. Power, fine acidity, all. List price: $35. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT020117-5. 15 PELEE ISLAND ONTARIO CABERNET FRANC - (U.S. CANADA) 13%. Sweet and ideal northern cabernet franc, as always. Red raspberry./ Sweet red raspberry and seeds. Balanced, racy, savory. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT020117-6. 13 FAMILIA ZUCCARDI SERIE A VALLE DE UCO CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ARGENTINA) 14%.Deep seated and skillfully barrel aged. Black currant and blackberry cabernet sauvignon aromatic display. Complex, deep, racy./ Oak and light herb. Dry, with good acidity for mealtime applications. A winery to watch. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT020117-7. 11 TOSCANA DAINERO, SOC. AGR. CASTIGLION DEL BOSCO - (ITALY) 14%; 90% merlot, 10% sangiovese. Brighter and more accessible than the 2010 tasted last week. That’s 2011–a year younger by date but three years more advanced in development. Racy, savory herb, meat, dried fruit complex. Very attractive./ Rich, easy, flowing, enticing, and complex. Complete. List price: $25. 17.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT020117-8. 13 JENNER SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.4%; 2nd label of Fritz. Deep, loaded, complete. Noble reduction. This is something big./ Yes, pure, sweet, reductive. All ripe pinot fruit; no Sonoma Coast tea and tartness. Suave and even textured. Terrific value. List price: $29. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT020117-9. 14 THE GRINDER WESTERN CAPE PINOTAGE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14.5%. Coffee, mocha, chocolate. Rich and complete. As promised./ All of the above confirmed on the palate. Fine balance, arabica-like fruit and acid. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT020117-10. 13 VACQUEYRAS CUVEE CLASSIQUE, DOMAINE LE COUROULU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 60% grenache, 30% syrah, 10% mourvedre. Oh, yes, silken finesse. Deep black fruit intrigue. Blackberry. Well textured./ All about race, silky texture, finesse. Like the 2012, a great and singular Vacqueyras. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT020117-11. 14 PARDUCCI TRUE GRIT RESERVE MENDOCINO PETITE SIRAH - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%; est. 1932. 14 close and cool. Fine oak and real petite sirah purple fruit qualities./ Yes, oak and varietal flavors. Real fruit flavor character as well as mass. Good body. Wears it alcohol well. Long finish. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT020117-12. 14 SALENTO PRIMITIVO SASSEO, MASSERIA ALTEMURA - (ITALY) 14.5%. Deep and seductive like the 2013, and with a cool 2014 inclination. All the goods here: cremes, jams, dried fruits, fresh, black 2014 fruits. Loaded./ Yes, sweet while 14 racy fruit acid and clarity. Incredible value once again. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT020117-13. 14 OAK RIDGE OZV OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.95%. Clear, cool, sweet, precise. Not a syrupy Lodi zin. 2014 character helps. Good measure of oak. A fine representative./ Sweet, with some RS for sure. Mega purple seductive. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT020117-14. 15 LEFT FOOT CHARLEY THE MISSING SPIRE MICHIGAN RIESLING - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 9%; RS 36 g/l; 7th Hill, Cork’s, Roth, Rosi, & Chown Vyds. Good cool climate riesling presentation if a little understated on the nose. Race. No petrol./ Sweetness and acid in balance. Racy. Works. Great texture. Popular with the group. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT020117-15. 15 JOHANNISBERGER KLAUS RIESLING AUSLESE, WEINGUT H. KRAYER - (GERMANY) 8.5%; est. 1866; Silver Prize - Hessen. An exemplary young Rheingau auslese featuring aromas of orange, peach, stone. Well extracted, well balanced, well poised. Young and solidly built./ Fully sweet in 2015, with great grip and etch. Real auslese concentration, not just of sweetness but also extract. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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