Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - January, 2015
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated February, 8  2015

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WT012815-01. 13 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHATEAU SALMONIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Valid if a bit shy to start. Growing with aeration. Moss and green gage fruit./ Yes, remains understated. Hopefully it will have more to offer in spring.15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT012815-02. 13 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE, CHATEAU LA CARIZIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. More oomph, aroma, 3D./ Full flavor of moss and earth. Plus full class. Balanced. Yet several preferred the first muscadet. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT012815-04. 13 BYRON SANTA BARBARA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%. Too shrill in 13. Santa Barbara tart and lean./ Same messages. Fluid, tart, astringent. If fatter and better than the nose. There are better Santa Barbara pinots this vintage; Cheaper too. 13.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT012815-05. 13 COSTA TOSCANA UNLITRO, SOC. AGR. AMPELEIA liter - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh and racy, spicy, fruity. Fruit cake aromas of a southern Tuscan./ Vigorous, snappy, food worthy. Good race, vigor. Some sulphur reduction still. Will improve with air and age. 16.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT012815-06. 12 MAREMMA ROMPICOLLO POGGIO AL TUFO, TOMMASI - (ITALY) 13%; 60% sangiovese, 40% cabernet sauvignon. Rich, deep, padded, succulent. Oak tinged. Great composition./ Sweet, suave. Light oak. Great acid. This is Maremma. Fine tannin. Aims to please. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT012815-07. 12 EGRI BIKAVER BULLS BLOOD, EGERVIN - (HUNGARY) 12%.Oh, great! Best yet. Deep, peppery black fruit. Persistent./ Flavorful, racy, well textured. Fine tannin. Full flavor range. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT012815-08. 12 COTES DU RHONE PAROLES DE FEMME, DOMAINE GALEVAN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; ‘girl talk’; 60% grenache, 20% mourvedre, 10% each grenache, carignan. Deep and dark fruited. Red and black fruits in 12 prominence. Sweet and concentrated. Dark, surly qualities to give extra dimension to 12's usually straight forward fruit statement./ A hint of roti like the Esprit cuvee. Some edge and harsh tannin yet. Enjoyed by the group. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT012815-09. 12 PEDRONCELLI MOTHER CLONE DRY CREEK VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.8%; est 1927. Lean for 2012. Too bad./ Nutty, spicy. Again, lean for vintage and valley. Too dry and slim. Prefer previous vintages. 15.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT012815-10. 10 BRUTOCAO ESTATE QUADRIGA HOPLAND RANCHES MENDOCINO RED - (U.S.) 14.5%; sangiovese, primitivo, barbera, dolcetto. Sweet, warm, open knit. Sweet cranberry and toast and jam./ Rough hewn, rugged, Mendocino backwoods rosso. For hearty fare. Enjoyed by those who favor this style. 14.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT012815-11. 09 RIOJA RESERVA, BODEGAS IZADI - (SPAIN) 14%; all tempranillo; aged 14 months in American oak. Very nice, sweet fruit, with oak under control. Better than 09./ Some drying oak up front. But more fruit support than the 07, and more youthful appeal. Nice. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT012815-12. 09 THIVA MOUHTARO, MUSES ESTATE - (GREECE) 13%. Plenty of bottle bouquet. Full concentration of strawberry and cranberry./ Full, nicely matured bouquet, racy. Youthful vitality to the texture. Unique. A slight earthiness that is positive. Bright, tart fruit and great acid. Unique combo of aromatic maturity and textural youthfulness. Burns the candle at both ends. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT012815-14. 13 CHATEAU FONTAINE SEMI-SWEET LEELANAU PENINSULA RIESLING - (U.S.) A bright, fresh experience. Riesling mineral, citrus, apple, etch./ Sweet, with racy acid too. All. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT012815-15. 14 MOSCATO D’ASTI VIGNAIOLI DI S. STEFANO, CERETTO - (ITALY) 5.5%. Fresh and orangey. Not floral. Concentrated, sweet, penetrating./ Sweet and flavorful. Musk and orange. Adequate acid. Very sweet, really. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WT012115-01. 13 NIEDEROSTERREICH GRUNER VELTLINER GREEN EYES, HERMANN MOSER - (AUSTRIA) 12%. Green apple and lima. Etching, penetrating. Works./ Nice degree of softness, sweetness on the palate. Right down the middle. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT012115-02. 13 CHATEAU FONTAINE WOODLAND LEELANAU PENINSULA WHITE - (U.S.) 100% auxerrois. The sample is warm because it replaces the original that I dropped and broke while loading. This doesn’t compromise it. A nice example that fits that slot between pinot blanc and pinot gris./ Sweet and suave with light glycerol. Custard apple. Very mellow and alluring. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT012115-03. 13 ALSACE PINOT GRIS, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%; at Eguisheim; 2/8 on the dry/sweet scale. Waxy, appley, nutty. Ideal./ Yes, rich and round and in style. Yet is has exceptional acidity for the varietal also. A great salmon choice. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT012115-04. 13 ROBERT OATLEY MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY - (AUSTRALIA) 13%. Light oak and good, full, fresh Western Australia chardonnay ID./ Mild acid up front. Not as much flavor and texture concentration as the impressive 2012. Acid builds well at the end. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT012115-05. 13 DE LOACH HERITAGE RESERVE CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; est 1975.. Good, wholesome, coastal pinot with 2013 framing. Better than the 2012. Light oak char and pinot cherry./ More oak, forward oak, and it’s of good quality. More acidity and structure than the 2012. A fine value. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT012115-06. 14 CALLIA ALTA VALLE DE TULUM SAN JUAN MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%. Full color./ Deep, sweet, framed, full of material. Black cherry and peppercorn./ Sweet black and maraschino cherries. Great class and clarity as always. Needs no oak; needs no aging. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT012115-07. 12 TERRE SICILIANE NERO D’AVOLA STEMMARI, NOSIO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Dark, dry, serious. Not as fruity and easy as previous vintages. Black cherry and tar. Has bulk./ Full, spicy, food worthy. This has plenty of weight and texture. Yes. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT012115-08. 13 CHIANTI COLLI SENESI, TENUTA DI TRECCIANO - (ITALY) 13%. Sweet red fruit of Colli Senesi. Rich cherry and creme. Sweet, spicy, seductive./ Racy acid. Sweet core. Well balanced, with the style and weight of CCS. Some tannin to shed still. Yes. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT012115-09. 13 BARBERA D’ALBA, TENUTE STEFANO FARINA - (ITALY) 14%. Good, firm, black fruited, young Alba barbera. Tar, spiced cherry, peppercorn./ Hits the palate surprisingly smooth. One of the sweetest fruited in the series, and easiest to enjoy early. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT012115-10. 12 MICHAEL POZZAN BACK BARN OAKVILLE CUVEE NAPA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.1%; single vineyard. Sweet and warm. More like a Sonoma zin than one from Oakville. Not particularly Napa elegant. Has the right weight and give though./ Good, sweet oak. Lacks Napa stylishness. Acts like it comes from a warmer zone. Good though. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT012115-13. 13 MOSEL ESTATE RIESLING RK, REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT - (GERMANY) 10.5%. Another good recent vintage in this series. Mineral edge, brisk acid, apple./ Some RS but the acid and extract fully balance it. A dinner wine. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT012115-14. 13 MOSEL RIESLING DR. L, DR. LOOSEN - (GERMANY) 8.5%. Sweeter and softer. Has slate terroir, walnut husk. Certainly two contrasting styles here./ Very soft by comparison. There’s enough acid etch to keep it from seeming flabby. The RK carries much more textural interest. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WT011415-01. 13 COTES DE GASCOGNE, DOMAINE SAINT LANNES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 80% colombard, 20% gros manseng. Great concept. The brisk green fruit beauties of colombard with peachy overtones of gros manseng./ Yes, brisk green melon and citrus of colombard. Pedigree of gros manseng. Great balance, all. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT011415-02. 13 VINHO VERDE MONCAO E MALGACO ALVARINHO MUROS ANTIGOS, ANSELMO MENDES - (PORTUGAL) 12.5%. Both lush and snappy. Tropical fruits and a cedar strain./ Yes, cedar, botanicals, thyme, woody herbs. Dry, with great acid. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT011415-03. 13 DAVIS BYNUM RIVER WEST VINEYARD RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14.5%; 10 months in French oak barrels. Sumptuous French oak brioche and sandalwood./ The wood is still a little apart on the palate. Nonetheless, it’s fine and elegant French oak. Great acid. Some oak tannin to resolve. All will come together shortly. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT011415-04. 13 CHATEAU GRAND TRAVERSE OLD MISSION PENINSULA GAMAY NOIR - (U.S.) 12.8%. A fruity, spicy, racy gamay. Joyous, plump berry and cherry, and peppery, brambly seed extras./ Northern grown fruit acidity. Good ripeness. Plenty of race. Cool it down, and take it to the table. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT011415-05. 13 PIEMONTE PINOT NOIR COLLEZIONE DEL BARONE, MONTE DEGLI ANGELI - (ITALY) 12.5%; 6 months in barrel. Sweet and cedary. Spicy barrel aged pinot. Pleasing ripeness./ Somewhat lean and tart compared to the nose, but not overboard. Just a little dry and short of both flavor and texture after the inviting nose, and the 2012. 16.1+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT011415-06. 13 ALFREDO ROCA FINCAS LA PERSEVERANCIA & SANTA HERMINIA SAN RAFAEL PINOT NOIR - (ITALY) 13.8%. Deep, racy, spicy black cherry with light oak strains. Unique, ideal, old time Burgundy notions it’s shown every vintage./ Great acid. Tar, peel, race. Dry and sleek. Room to grow. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT011415-07. 13 COTES DU RHONE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHAPELLE ST. ARNOUX - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Sweeter and fruitier than the 2012. Richness, depth, plumpness. Fruit and peppercorn and other spices./ Medium bodied as usual. Firmer and less flavorful than the nose would suggest. Needs a few months to fill out. Fine tannin. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT011415-08. 12 COTES DU RHONE BELLERUCHE, M. CHAPOUTIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 70% grenache, 30% syrah. Some stinky, tanky reduction. Sweet, dark fruit under. Somewhat four square as many 2012s are./ Better than the 2011, but still in the narrow, straight forward negoc style. Tannic too. Modest flavor and texture interest. Why does it sell so well? Familiarity? 15.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT011415-09. 13 CAMPO DE BORJA GARNACHA VINA BORGIA, BODEGAS BORSAO - (SPAIN) 14%. Very black and unusually full structured in 2013. Serious; less fun./ Very dry. Remains flavorless. Caught this in a developmental trough. Time. 14.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

WT011415-10. 12 PENEDES GARNATXA-CABERNET MAS PETIT, CAVAS PARES BALTA - (SPAIN) 14%; 76/24; organic grapes. Dry and lean. Cool vintage claret like. No grenache warmth, give./ Dry, lean, structured. Probably a good ager. Good acid. Light, fine tannin. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT011415-11. 11 AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE GRICOS, AZ. AGR. GRIFALCO - (ITALY) 13.5%. One of the best vintages of this. Light oak seasoning and full, sweet black fruit of aglianico. Deep and creamy blackberry and blueberry./ Both glycerol and grip, in coordination. Good berry and wood flavors, also in support of one another. Good future. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT011415-12. 10 VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE TENUTA LENA DI MEZZO, AZ. AGR. MONTE DEL FRA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Sweet, ripe Superiore Valpol without the raisin of ripasso. Mellow, deep, creamy fruit./ Full and round filling within good structure. At mid life, showing good potential. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

WT011415-13. 12 BRAZIN OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%. Sweet, powerful, muscular, spiritous, ripe, liqueur like. No Lodi jam/jelly. Good oak toast./ Power, wood, sweet berry fruit. Complete Lodi zin. It always is. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT011415-15. SHINGLEBACK BLACK BUBBLES MCLAREN VALE SPARKLING SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 13%. Sweet, vinous nose. Legit. Black fruit./ Too peelsy and tannic. No fruit. Would be dry if still; is very dry with sparkle. 15.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

Wednesday January 7, 2015

WT010715-02. 12 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE TERROIR LES GRAS MOUTONS, CLAUDE BRANGER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; vines averaging over 50 years. Good form, size, old vines concentration, richness./ Yes, concentrated. A sizeable, full, intense Muscadet. Round, tender-cored classic, well balanced. All. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT010715-03. 13 TALLEY BISHOP’S PEAK SAN LUIS OBISPO CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.7%. Rich fruit basis, well framed in the 13 vernacular. Subtle, seasoned oak./ Yes, fine oak seasoning. Good form. Cool Central Coast fruit. Fine wine; fine value. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT010715-04. 13 MCMANIS FAMILY RIVER JUNCTION VIOGNIER - (U.S.) 13.5%. Subtle viognier scent. Less perfumed than the 2012 later in life./ The palate is more aromatic. Round viscosity cut by astringency–that’s viognier, all right. The real deal if still understated in youth. That might render it rangier at the table. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT010715-05. 12 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR LAFORET, JOSEPH DROUHIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; from Cote d’Or and Cote Chalonnaise vineyards. Good Bourgogne pinot if 2012 tart./ Logical pinot of cool vintage and climatge. Lean and tart on its own. Better with food, and/or with cellaring. 15.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT010715-06. 12 CHATEAU CAP DE MERLE, LUSSAC SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; 65% merlot, 25% cabernet franc, 10% cabernet sauvignon. Of sweet fruit, if still understated. Good 2012 claret./ Flavorful, with a nice soft Saint Emilion merlot core. Balanced and delicious. Good at the dinner table right now. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT010715-07. 12 L DE LYETH NORTH COAST MERLOT - (U.S.) 13.5%. Sweet fruit of 2012 with good, subtle oak. Ideal balance of fruit and oak. Yes./ Again, that balance of wood and wholesome, ripe fruit of 2012. Good acid, grip, form too. Has a future. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT010715-08. 12 ALTOS LAS HORMIGAS CLASICO MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14.2%. Deep, velvety, lovely sachet and black fruit perfumes./ Again, that haunting, reductive aromatic profile. Full class. Less firm and more elegant than some past vintages. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT010715-09. 12 KENWOOD SONOMA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%. Firm and four-square. Short on character and pizzazz./ Good oak and sweet fruit. Standard. There are many more exciting rivals at this price point or lower. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT010715-10. 04 VALDEPENAS TEMPRANILLO GRAN RESERVA ANCIANO ANOS 10 YEARS, BODEGAS NAVALON - (SPAIN) 13%; 2 years in oak barrels, 8 years in bottle before release. Firmness and youthfulness of great 2004 even at age 10./ Sweet fruit and fine, warm oak spices and toastiness. Certainly an outstanding vintage of this in the new style, which emphasizes bottle versus barrel age. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT010715-11. 13 VOUVRAY, DOMAINE CHAMPALOU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Genuine, crisp, dry, classic Vouvray. Quince and lime driven./ Wow! Full chenin padding. Great extract, grip, and dryness as well. Has it all. Yow! 17.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT010715-12. 13 RHEINHESSEN RIESLING DRY, RUDI WIEST - (GERMANY) 12%. Oh, wow! Crisp and dry. Not a bit of Hessia softness./ Good riesling flavor, with some Hessen fatness. On the high side of trocken. Pleasing intensity. Good value. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT010715-13. 13 TABOR HILL LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE GEWURZTRAMINER - (U.S.) 12%. Not as powerful and waxy on the nose as an Haut Rhin, but certainly as intense and forthcoming a gewurz aroma. Barbershop set./ Yes! Glycerol, rose, ginger, barbershop, tonic. Best vintage of this? 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT010715-14. 12 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; at Eguisheim, Haut Rhin; 4/8 on the sweetness scale. Rich, scented, waxy, thorough. Penetrating scent and burnish, nostril etching extract./ Evident sweetness balanced by astringency. So not all that sweet in overall impression. Controlled and complete. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT010715-15. 12 HASPENGOUWSE GRAND CRU WINTEREKONINKSKE - (BEER) 13%; from Limburg, Belgium. Dense, malty, full powered. Belgian trappist banana yeast strain./ Sweet, roasted malt. All it intends to be. Defines the genre. 17.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

 

 

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