Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - FEBRUARY 2018
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  March 14, 2018

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

WT022818-01. 16 TALLEY BISHOP'S PEAK EDNA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. A good, vital young chardonnay nose with a dash of oak seasoning. Rich, right, balanced, fresh, crisp./ Apparent malo and Edna Valley softness. I would appreciate more striking and refreshing acidity. 16.6/16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT022818-02. 14 SANTENAY BLANC CHAMPS PERRIER, JEAN CHARTRON - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Oh, boy, classic. Full volume of fruit, oak, and Santenay blanc calcaire. Breathless./ Penetrating, all absorbing Burgundy barrel and lees influences, and that calcaire. Pushes Cote de Beaune‛s Big 3 blancs in body and stature. 17.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $49.99

WT022818-03. 15 SULZFELDER MAUSTAL RIESLING KABINETT DRY, WEINGUT BRENNFLECK - (GERMANY) 13.5%. Wow, mineral saturated riesling with just the right tinge of spruce-y terpene./ Full in the mouth. Not austerely dry. Balanced for food. Long aftertaste. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT022818-04. 15 ESCHERNDORFER LUMP RIESLING SPATLESE JHB, WEINGUT BRENNFLECK - (GERMANY) 14%. Spatlese level volume, largesse, extract./ Dry and full. Lots of mass and concentration. Again, not at all austere. Wonderful take on Main riesling. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

WT022818-05. 15 SCHARZHOFBERGER RIESLING KABINETT, REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT - (GERMANY) 10%. Big contrast. Lithe, lilting Scharzhofberg riesling; all about finesse and precision. A complex of forthcoming aromas: apples, stone fruits, flowers, and slate./ Off dry. All about gossamer riesling delicacy, aristocracy, balance. Great acidity. Long riesling fruit and flower aftertaste. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT022818-06. 15 SCHLOSSBOCKELHEIMER KONIGSFELS RIESLING KABINETT, PAUL ANHEUSER - (GERMANY) 9%. The first sniff brings back memories of the great Mittel Nahes of the Staatsdomane decades ago. Unmistakable nobility. Honey, apple, schist. Penetrating./ Sweetness balanced by acidity and extract. This defines the terroir‛s rieslings. Long aftertaste. Best vintage of this in memory. And what a bargain. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT022818-07. 12 TRITTENHEIMER APOTHEKE RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT BOLLIG-LEHNERT - (GERMANY) 8.5%. Three years older, and understandably more mature. Nonetheless, it remains very fresh. Hallmark Apotheke, exuding breed and discretion. Has perfect pitch at age five./ Attractive kabinett sweetness balanced by fine acidity. Lays just right on the palate. Long aftertaste. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT022818-09. 15 NIERSTEINER HIPPING RIESLING SPATLESE, GEORG ALBRECHT SCHNEIDER - (GERMANY) 9%. The fuller, riper Hessia take on riesling. That tangerine note of Hipping riesling. Bright acid, vigor, freshness./ Oh, so fresh and upbeat is the acidity to balance full Rheinhessen riesling sweetness. Vibrant and harmonious. Wow. 17.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT022818-10. 15 TERRE SICILIANE NERO D'AVOLA PRODIGO, CASA VINICOLA BOTTER - (ITALY) 13.5%. Full, sweet red cherry varietal expression enhanced by light appassimento. Plenty of material, grip, and volume to back up its cheery facade./ Ripe, savory, sassy, well textured taste adventure. Lightly and literally sweet, while well balanced by acid and extract. Tailor made for BBQ. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT022818-11. 15 MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO RISERVA, AZ. AGR. CICCIO ZACCAGNINI - (ITALY) 13%. Dry, barrel aged riserva nose. Dry for 2015; not too though. The aroma sweetens up and comes on with aeration. Now Monte violets and red fruit./ Deep, rich, and racy, with barrel aged savors. Barrel aged breadth and mellowness too. Good acid. In tune with this reliable series. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT022818-12. 15 LA POSTA PIZZELLA VINEYARD UCO VALLEY MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; crafted by Laura Catena. Frank, strong initial impact. Some oak. Structured. Catena styling./ Yes, shows the hand of the winemaker. Framed, forthright, lightly oaky. Good malbec richness. Full delivery. Balanced. Finishes well. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT022818-13. 15 TOSCANA ROSSO DEL PALAZZINO, PODERE IL PALAZZINO - (ITALY) 14%. Oh, wow, so rich and expansive sweet sangiovese fruit, barrel time, and barrel extracts. Gives 110%./ Again, full body, sweetness, flavor and texture ranges. Great acid, fine tannin. Big time dinnertime options. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT022818-14. 14 AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE GUDARRA, AZ. AGR. BISCEGLIA - (ITALY) 14%. Whoa! Nostril stretching! Full power taken to advantage. Large scale aglianico indeed. Sweet fruit and light oak./ Yes, amplitude uber alles. Huge, ripe, powerful, all encompassing. Fine tannin. 17.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT022818-15. 11 LA CLAPE CHATEAU DES KARANTES, DOMAINE DES KARANTES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; syrah, mourvedre, grenache; barrel aged 14 months. Very bright, youthful ruby color./ Oh, a commanding aroma of sweet and rich, red and black fruits. Total harmony of the varietals. Great oak seasoning. An overwhelming aromatic experience./ Dry tannin and sweet fruit in harmony. The age, the oak, the fruit, the AOC--all here. Total La Clape. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $27.99

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WT022118-01. 15 FRANKEN WEISSBURGUNDER KABINETT DRY, WEINGUT BRENNFLECK - (GERMANY) 13.5%. Dry and astute. Well textured./ Again. This has a lot of textural appeal for food, as well as solid varietal definition. Well liked by the group. Orders taken. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT022118-02. 15 SULZFELDER MAUSTAL SILVANER SPATLESE DRY S, WEINGUT BRENNFLECK - (GERMANY) 13.5%. Oh, fabulous. Sweeter younger. An abundant silvaner. Dry and clearly from riper grapes./ Yes, complete, round with glycerol, varietal, balanced. Noble. One of the finest silvaners of my career. 17.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $37.99

WT022118-03. 14 ALTO ADIGE VALLE ISARCO KERNER, ABBAZIA DI NOVACELLA - (ITALY) 14%. Oh, lilting and lovely take on kerner. Melon, stone fruit, flowers. Well padded./ Medium bodied, fresh. Clear varietal character. Milder in acidity than a riesling, which is typical. Good take on kerner. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT022118-04. 11 ALTO ADIGE VALLE ISARCO MULLER THURGAU, ABBAZIA DI NOVACELLA - (ITALY) 12.5%. Mature and useful. The freshness, the varietal character, and the spontaneity are all behind it./ Mainly vinous. Lightly grainy. Has residual value. 14.0-.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT022118-05. 11 BOURGOGNE COTES D'AUXERRE BLANC CORPS DE GARDE, DOMAINE GOISOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. This still works hard. Fresh, and well preserved by northern acidity. Well barrel aged too./ Yes, lovely, fresh acidity. Both barrel and bottle bouquet. Balance of acid and glycerol. At a sweet spot. 17.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT022118-06. 11 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY, CHATEAU DE SAINT ROMAIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Oh, that same, fresh 2011 acidity. More oak complex here. Total Cote de Beaune chardonnay./ Mellow with barrel and bottle development. Fine acidity echoes on the palate. Super value. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT022118-07. 16 TOSCANA ROSE, TENUTA MONTETI - (ITALY) 13%. Pure, bright, fresh, full. At an ideal stage. Rangy and well textured./ Rich and full. Great acidity and presence for food. Well balanced. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT022118-08. 14 RESERVE DU CHATEAU CROIX MOUTON, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. 14 cool and collected. Shows some barrel age qualities. Not as ripe and abundant as the Grand Vin, of course. Still, this displays plenty of class./ Bright red raspberry suggests cabernet franc. Fabulous cabernet franc plus good oak. Very bright. Ideal ripeness. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT022118-09. 14 COTEAUX BOURGUIGNONS LE RENARD, DEVILLARD - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%. Racy and dazzling. Is this all pinot noir? It‛s so lifted, alert, vivid, and gay that the nose suggests some gamay involved./ Satisfying body and flavor impact. Great acid and texture. A quaffer. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT022118-10. 14 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR, DOMAINE ARNOUX PERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Oh, very sweet cherry pinot noir. If it‛s chaptelized, it‛s well done. Joyous./ Medium bodied. Lightly 2014 tart, but there‛s plenty of sweet pinot fruit goodness too. And there‛s good acidity for food. Enormously popular with the group. Cases sold. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT022118-11. 12 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR LE RENARD, DEVILLARD - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Oh, my, how this has blossomed since first tasted many months back One fulfilled pinot noir now. 2012 and Chalonnais dark form. Swelling fruit bouquet./ Plus spices. Rich in pinot groundness. Really coming on with more dark cherry on the palate. More bottle bouquet to come. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT022118-12. 14 ALTO ADIGE SCHIAVA, ABBAZIA DI NOVACELLA - (ITALY) 12.5%. Full for vintage and grape variety and 12.5%. Ideal red fruit set. Has exceptional padding for schiava./ Yes, full fruit sweetness and padding, plus fine acidity. Ideal example. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT022118-13. 15 ALTO ADIGE LAGREIN, ABBAZIA DI NOVACELLA - (ITALY) 13%. Deep and dark, and extra large for the variety, like the above. Great winemaking here. Sweet fruit./ And fine acidity too. Well filled out varietal core. Still so firmness to resolve. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT022118-14. 15 SICILIA NERO D'AVOLA TENUTA IBIDINI, VALLE DELL' ACATE - (ITALY) 13%. Oh, 15 sweet and intense. Ideal, ripe black cherry nero. Just right./ Yes, sweet, flavorful, racy, juicy. Couldn‛t be a better example of unwooded nero d‛avola. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT022118-15. 12 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE ROCHE AUDRAN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. 70% grenache, 15% ea syrah, carignan. Finally, this is rounding out. It‛s taken years. No severity now. Rich, dark 12 fruit all the way. Sweet grenache, dark syrah, cherry carignan./ Yes, all rounded out now, Great acid, texture, range, personality. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

WT020718-01. 16 PROSECCO VALDOBBIADENE SUPERIORE RIVE DI COL SAN MARTINO CUVEE DEL FONTADORE, AZ. AGR. MOROTTO GRAZIANO - (SPARKLING) 11.5%. Stunning finesse, fine mousse, aromatic generosity./ More toward extra dry than brut. Smooth and gentle texture. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT020718-02. 16 CROZES HERMITAGE BLANC LA MATINIERE, FERRATON PERE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Good, full, and vinous northern Rhone blanc. Well poised./ Pleasing mouthfeel, vinosity, size. Young, and properly staged for bottle bouquet development. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT020718-03. 15 CHABLIS VAILLONS PREMIER CRU, SIMONNET-FEBVRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Premier Cru full. Broad, large, pungent./ Yes, stony, calcareous, even marly old time Chablis. Full bodied indeed. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT020718-05. 15 CALERA 40TH ANNIVERSARY CENTRAL COAST CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.2%; aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 10% new. Mature and full. Further along than I like my California chardonnays./ Mature. Nutty and woody. The alcohol shows. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT020718-06. 16 BOURGEUIL LIEU-DIT BEAUREGARD, CAVE DES VIGNS DE BOURGUEIL - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Sleek, herbal, elegant opening chords. Then cranberry and raspberry come forth. Perfectly poised young Bourgueil./ Surprisingly full textured. Good acid. Lots of material and mouthfeel; even some tannin. In form. One of the best and most fully extracted vintages of this. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT020718-08. 14 CHIANTI CLASSICO PROPRIETA GATTESCHI, PODERE CIONA - (ITALY) 12.5%; aged 12 months in French oak barrels. Rich, as well as 2014 elegant. Really a wealth of material here. Unbelievable sophistication for the price. Including barrel assets. Both sweet and dried cherry aromas./ Yes, all the Chianti Classico merits one could desire. Great acidity. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT020718-09. 15 DOURO ASSORBIO, ESPORAO - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; 40% touriga nacional, 30% tinta roriz, 30% touriga franca. Ripe, sweet, wooded, modern, even international. Little sense of Douro origin./ Flavorful. Good, full acidity keeps it in a Euro mode. I‛m getting mixed messages here. 15.6+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT020718-10. 16 BODEGA PIEDRA NEGRA RUTA 22 MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13%. Rich and smoky. Thorough. One of the best vintages of this. Saturated with goodness./ Yes, abundant flavors of cherry and pit, raspberry and seed. Yow! 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT020718-11. 16 AGUA DE PIEDRA GRAN SELECCION MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; heavy bottle award. Rich and right. Seems barrel aged. Fruit and nut cremes./ Yes, rich fruit and definite barrel signs. Full texture and body. Up to its usual standards. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT020718-12. 16 MENAGE A TROIS DECADENCE CALIFORNIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Sweet and mellow fruit indeed. Not pandering though. This features real cabernet sauvignon structure./ Medium bodied. Tasting Panel rated this 93/100. The notes are effusive. I wish that wine had showed up this evening. This bottle‛s kinda wimpy. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT020718-14. 16 VOUVRAY DEMI-SEC, CHATEAU MONCONTOUR - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Right down the middle in aromatic profile. Stimulating acidity. Zingy./ Sweet-tart and right. Great palate, long finish. A proper introduction to Vouvray. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT020718-15. 15 WINKELER HASENSPRUNG RIESLING SPATLESE, WEINGUT KRAYER - (GERMANY) 9%; est. 1866; Gold Preis - Hessen. Peach and orange blossom honey. Classic Rheingau riesling./ Golden, rich, fully sweet spatlese. No baby fat. The sweetness is balanced by acid and extract. One of the best in this series. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT020718-16. PAVIA MOSCATO, CAPOSALDO - (ITALY) 5%. Fresh, high toned. Features citrus, apricot, flowers./ Sweet and fizzy, lithe and well balanced. Perfect pitch. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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