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

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

WT013118-01. 16 TXAKOLI DE ALAVA TXAKOLINA XARMANT, ARABAKO TXAKOLINA - (SPAIN) 11.5%. Green walnut aroma./ Stony, mineral saturated. No fruit fleshiness. Mouthwatering. Must be taken with food. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT013118-02. 16 CAMPANIA FALANGHINA, LA CAPRANERA - (ITALY) 12.5%. Much, more fruit aroma. Still, this is not a nectarous falanghina nose like some. Airs of lime and linden./ A good balance of dryness and fruit filling. More padding here. Cool, clear, accurate. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT013118-03. 16 CAMPANIA FIANO, LA CAPRANERA - (ITALY) 12.5%. More oomph, depth, and fiano honey. Larger nose./ Yes, nice honey, lime, and orange flavors. Delivers. Dry, and padded by glycerol. Good value in fiano. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT013118-04. 16 SANTORINI ASSYRTIKO, SANTO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Dry, penetrating. Chablis like chalk, calcaire personality. Large. Full terroir. Pushes the great Sigalas rendition./ Rich and mouthfilling Chablis Premier Cru knockoff. Lasting flavor and texture. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT013118-05. 16 VOUVRAY TUFFO, DOMAINE PINON - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13.5%. Dry, calcareous nose. Little fruit padding. Serious, dry, mealtime Vouvray. With aeration, quince and lime come forth./ Very juicy. Hint of botrytis. Honey dipped citrus. Dry and sturdy for food. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT013118-06. 15 SOMMERACHER KATZENKOPF SILVANER KABINETT TROCKEN, WINZER SOMMERACH - (GERMANY) 13%; Gold Medal - Franken. Dry, austere Franken silvaner classic./ Apple and walnut. Mid trocken sweetness level. This is a good example of Main silvaner. I can see the gold medal. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT013118-07. 15 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR LES URSULINES, JEAN-CLAUDE BOISSET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%. Good and sweet pie cherry 15 pinot nose. A value. Clarity, acidity, Euro form of pinot./ Yes, sweet fruit, good form, acid, balance. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT013118-08. 14 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR LES URSULINES, JEAN-CLAUDE BOISSET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%. Leaner, drier, more vinous./ Dry but has some padding. Not bad. 15.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT013118-09. 13 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR LES URSULINES, JEAN-CLAUDE BOISSET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%. More fruit than the 14; more development than the 15. Good and generous./ Yes, sweet and round and nicely along. Good acid too. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT013118-10. 12 CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA, TOMAIOLO - (ITALY) 13%. Sweeter and darker fruited than the 11. Logical. Good dried cherry and orange peel sangiovese signs./ Juicy dried fruit and fresh fruit both; acid, balance. Just a delicious thing. All hangs together well. Harmonious. More flow than the 11. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT013118-12. 16 CAMPANIA AGLIANICO, LA CAPRANERA - (ITALY) 14%. Classic, high toned Naples aglianico. Full, intense, penetrating black fruit. Joyous, buoyant./ Fresh but accomplished too. Sweet, full varietal character. Well textured. Fine tannin. Delicious. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT013118-13. 16 BARISTA WESTERN CAPE PINOTAGE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13%. Cherry, mocha, coffee, all. Complete coffee pinotage./ Yes, sweet-acid balance and lots of cherry, coffee, and mocha flavor. Definitive. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT013118-14. 15 MORGON GRAND CRU VIEILLES VIGNES, CHATEAU GRANGE COCHARD - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 14%. Bulky, powerful 15 Morgon. Has flair too. Well built, well poised./ Yes, richness and roundness of a ripe vintage. With acid, extract, power, and tannin. Large, potent. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT013118-15. 14 LUCAS & LEWELLEN ESTATE SANTA BARBARA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.WEST COAST) 14.5%. 14 flair and real Santa Barbara dark and crackling pinot character. Synergy of vintage and zone./ Sweet and strong, emphatic, classic. Ready for the table. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT013118-17. CIPRIANI BELLINI - (FRUIT) 5.5%; the original Harry's Bar cocktail. Good white peach and citrus aromas./ Yes, white peach all the way. Balanced and delicious. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

WT012418-01. 16 ALSACE KLEVENER DE HEILIGENSTEIN, FREY-SOHLER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; a traminer relative called savagnin in the Jura region. Light apple aroma, sweet and full./ Not much relation to traminer evident; just a hint of rose and ginger. Seems more like one of the pinots. Some sweetness to taste. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT012418-02. 16 MACON-CHARNAY FRANCLIEU, DOMAINE JEAN MANCIAT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Full apple, peel, etch./ Full and balanced. Great size and texture. Harmonious and lasting. Very popular with the group. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT012418-03. 15 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY CLOS DE LA COMBE, JEAN CHARTRON - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Light oak. Young. Not as much extract as the 2014, at least not showing yet./ Oh, but it is powerful on the palate. This is just young and undeveloped. Clearly loaded. Like a Cote de Beaune village wine. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT012418-04. 12 KREMSTAL GRUNER VELTLINER RESERVE PRIVAT ALTE REBEN, WEINGUT AIGNER - (AUSTRIA) 14.5%. Oh, large. And at a just right stage of development. Deal!/ Way full, explicit, nicely developed. Mineral and mineral salts. A lot of edge. Unique. 16.8. List price: $32.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT012418-05. 16 COTEAUX VAROIS EN PROVENCE ROSE, DOMAINE LA COLOMBE - (ROSE) 13%. Very pretty pink fruit and white flowers./ Again. Nice and even-handed, well composed. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT012418-06. 15 BARBERA D'ASTI ALBERA, ARALDICA - (ITALY) 14%. Young, dense, ripe, thick. Even reduced. This is really a formidable vintage in this series./ Rich, large, powerful, young, husky. Overwhelming on its own. Take to the table, or to the cellar. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT012418-08. 13 RIOJA RESERVA VINA EGUIA, BODEGAS EGUIA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Fine oak and fruit. Elegance, charm, proportion. Sandalwood aura./ Yes, fine fruit, fine texture, fine oak. A beautiful vintage of this. I prefer it to the 2011. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT012418-09. 13 ETNA VALLE GALFINA, GIOVANNI SCILIO - (ITALY) 14%; all nerello mascalese. Yes, ripe and soaring, with nerello spice and vigor and sweetness./ Yes, nicely developed, sweetly fruity, replete with good acidity. A bargain. 16.4. List price: $18.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT012418-10. 13 CHIANTI CLASSICO CASALOTE, MARCHESI D'ORSI DI VILLANOVA - (ITALY) 14%. Rather vinous and aggressive at this stage. Between aroma and bouquet, so in a trough, as so many 2013 Euro reds have nosed lately./ Suave and fruitful palate though. Well balanced. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT012418-11. 11 CHIANTI CLASSICO CASALOTE, MARCHESI D'ORSI DI VILLANOVA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Sweeter, riper, more accomplished. More along. Fine./ Yes, complete. On spot fruit sweetness of 2011. Super. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT012418-12. 16 VOUVRAY, DOMAINE LE PEU DE LA MORIETTE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Oh, quince, lime, sweetness, acidity, all./ Yes, juicy demi sec. Balanced, complete, thorough. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

WT011718-02. 09 BARON-FUENTE MILLESIME BRUT CHAMPAGNE - (SPARKLING) 12.5%. Very fine mousse conveys a long en-tirage sojourn. 09 gentle style. B-F freshness. Very youthful. Will age well./ Nice fruit along with the brioche bottle bouquet. 09 all the way. 17.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

WT011718-03. 16 CHAVIGNOL, DOMAINE DELAPORTE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Delicate and aloof. Lots of Chavignol finesse. 16 lift./ Juicy. Fine citricity. Great acid and texture. 17.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $29.99

WT011718-04. 16 SANCERRE LA GARENNE, DOMAINE GIRARD - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Fuller, more ample. More nostril swelling aromatic force and abundance. Juicy citrus. Very expressive./ Sweet citrus taste. Juicy. Fine. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT011718-05. 16 WILLAMETTE VALLEY VINEYARDS WHOLE CLUSTER WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Fresh, rich, definite whole cluster style that is in tune with the series and with 2016./ Nice and sweet and discreet 2016. Fine year for this approach. Spicy aftertaste. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT011718-06. 16 ADELSHEIM WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Fresh, cool, bright cherry pinot nose. Little oak apparent at this juncture./ Fuller and more tannic than expected. Cool, penetrating Oregon pinot cherry and licorice. Now some light oak comes forth on the finish. Good age potential. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $29.99

WT011718-07. 14 INNOCENT BYSTANDER CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR - (NEW ZEALAND) 14%. Good cool climate, cool vintage pinot representative with Central Otago vitality, snap, penetration. Deep and persistent aroma./ Medium bodied. Yes, a good, cool pinot approach. Sweet fruit. Persistent and well textured. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT011718-08. 16 PRIORAT CAMINS DEL PRIORAT, ALVARO PALACIOS - (SPAIN) 14.5%. Very fresh and vivid, deep and classic to this cuvee. Lots of vitality as intended./ Very juicy and vigorous. Fine sweetness-acidity balance. Great vintage of this. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT011718-09. 15 PRIORAT ESCALADEI VI DE LA VILA BLACK SLATE, LA CONRERIA D' SCALA DEI - (SPAIN) 14%. More oak influence here. Deep, flashy, powerful, expressive./ Closer than the nose suggests. Large, well built, well textured. Less aromatic and forthcoming on the palate. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT011718-10. 15 PRIORAT LA VILELLA ALTA VI DE LA VILLA BLACK SLATE, BODEGAS MAS ALTA - (SPAIN) 15%. The extra power is fully evident on the nose. Riper, deeper. More forceful black fruit. Mr. Big./ On the palate, the alcohol is cooling. Gritty texture. Hints of roti, rancio. Finesse is not its watchword. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT011718-11. 14 PRIORAT DARA PRODUCCIO LIMITADA, CELLER SANGENIS I VAQUE - (SPAIN) 14.5%; 45% each carinena, garnacha, 10% merlot. Very cool, minty, fresh. Hides its alcohol well./ Fresh, upbeat. Different from the others. 2014 cool and joyous. Ah, the diversity of Priorat. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT011718-12. 14 PRIORAT BLUEGRAY, GIL FAMILY ESTATES - (SPAIN) 15%; 45% garnacha, 30% mazuelo, 25% cabernet sauvignon. Very cooling, all-present alcohol. Rather coarse application of oak. Forceful, strident./ Warm sweet, roti, coarse textured. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT011718-13. 15 NEYERS LEFT BANK NAPA VALLEY RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.1%; merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon. Cool, racy merlot emphasis. The cabernets and oak notes chime in too. Shows Napa Valley finesse, pedigree. Well balanced approach./ Yes, perfectly well composed. Sweet fruit, fine tannin, and good acid form a harmony. Long aftertaste, with textural cling. 17.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT011718-15. 15 URZIGER WURZGARTEN RIESLING AUSLESE, WEINGUT KARL ERBES - (GERMANY) 7.5%. Oh, boy, great nostril tingle. Really Wurzgarten spicy. Total vigor./ Yes, juice, spice, and fruit flavors. Not a lot of botrytis. A pleasing cedar aura. Great acid. No baby fat. Super length and future. 17.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT011718-16. 11 SOVANA ALEATICO SUPERIORE, FATTORIA ALDOBRANDESCA half liter - (ITALY) 11.5%. Very fragrant, pointed, sharply penetrating. Very powerful nose for only 11.5%. Huge varietal concentration./ All carries over to the palate. Sweet, and not overly spiritous. Minerally Antinori style. Very suave, highly varietal, unique in interpretation. 18.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

WT011018-01. 16 DOLOMITI PINOT GRIGIO, ALOIS LAGEDER - (ITALY) 12.5%. Full, fresh, nutty, stony, ideal./ More padding than the nose suggests. Surprised to find some apple blossom fermentation residual too. Likely thanks to the hermetic screwcap closure. That will pass. Attractive overall. 16.8/16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT011018-02. 16 CHATEAU REYNON, BORDEAUX SAUVIGNON - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%. Very rich, as if semillon were part of the cuvee. Deep textured, dense textured. Great presence. And it swells the nostrils too. Unmistakable Bordeaux sauvignon hallmark in the last vintage of the master wine professor/winegrower Denis Dubourdieu. I hope the family is able to carry on his tradition./ Oh, yes, this fills and coats the palate. Gooseberry and lush tropics. Huge texture and form. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT011018-03. 16 NIEDEROSTERREICH GRUNER VELTLINER, AICHENBERG liter - (AUSTRIA) 13%. Aroma and nasal texture correct, if modest./ Good green apple, light legume. Pleasing palate texture. Balanced Certainly a good value at $9 the bottle equivalent. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT011018-04. 15 BEIRA ATLANTICO MARIA GOMES, LUIS PATO - (PORTUGAL) 12.5%. Well, this is developing well, attractive now, nicely etched and aromatic. Very distinctive and useful./ Again, aromatic, nutty, unique. This sports more varietal character than the previous vintage. A good lesson in maria gomes. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT011018-05. 15 ST. MAGDALENER CLASSICO, CANTINA BOLZANO - (ITALY) 12.5%; 90% vernatsch (trollinger), 10% lagrein. Good, cool, high altitude edge, even in warm 2015. A rightful example./ Again, this tells the Santa Magdalener tale. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT011018-06. 15 VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE SANPERETTO, ROBERTO MAZZI - (ITALY) 13%; 60% corvina, 20% rondinella, 10% each corvinone, molinara. Rings and sings. Such a racy and expressive thing. Total Valpolicella, deep and persistent./ Good acid even in a ripe vintage. Juicy, and really quite broad for a Valpolicella without dried grape enhancement. Like the 2014, a sure winner. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT011018-07. 15 ETNA ROSSO BARBAZZALE, SOC. AGR. COTTANERA - (ITALY) 13%. Oh, sweet and large. Real 2015 largesse. An intriguing spinach note./ Yes, lots of power and texture and tannin. Full, fine grained tannin, and astringency to boot. Cellar it a couple of years. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT011018-08. 14 LISBOA LAB, CASA SANTOS LIMA - (PORTUGAL) 13%; 35% castelao, 25% each tinta roriz, syrah, 15% touriga nacional. Sweet, small, easy./ Suave, gentle, and more commercial now than it used to be. Sensual appeal, but no intellectual challenge. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT011018-09. 14 MADIRAN L'ORIGINEL, DOMAINE DU CRAMPILH - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; all tannat. Oh, deep, sweet, black, classic. Full. Even better than the impressive 2012. Has it all, really./ For 2014 tannat, this is suave, smooth, and fruity. Domaine style. No oak, no barrel aging. This is a modern Madiran in the best sense. Fine tannin and texture, balance, all. I‛m glad to have this take in the repertoire. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT011018-10. 16 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 70% grenache, 30% syrah. Fresh and cool Coulon style. It all comes back after 40 years‛ absence from the market. Nothing‛s changed at Beaurenard./ Sweet grenache grown in a relatively cool zone. Welcome back. Faithful, and useful from the get go. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT011018-11. 16 RASTEAU, DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 80% grenache, 17% syrah, 3% mourvedre. Same cool approach, but then the Rasteau terroir takes over, and this comes across larger and blacker. The real deal./ Yes, big and black. Full tannin. Will appreciate cellaring. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT011018-12. 13 MACROSTIE SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. 13 powerful and sweet and insistent. The vintage trumps SCT coolness./ Soft and sweet. 2013 pinot character. Warm finish. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $29.99

WT011018-13. 13 THE COUNSELOR RIVER PASS VINEYARD ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.1%; by Nick Goldschmidt; 14 months in barrels, 15% new. Large, bold, hot, powerful consummation of Nick Goldschmidt and Alexander Valley gestalts. Huge, really./ Again, all about what the winemaker likes and what the valley gives. Steak house wine. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $42.99

WT011018-14. 10 VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO, AZ. AGR. ANTICO COLLE half bottle - (ITALY) 14%. Vintage darkness and power exceeds Vino Nobile norms. Developing bottle bouquet./ Yes, full 2010 texture. Like its peers, it‛s finally beginning to display some maturity, while retaining its solid form.16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT011018-15. 16 MOSEL RIESLING URBAN, NIK WEIS - (GERMANY) 10%. 16 plump and Weis off dry. Exemplifies vintage and winemaker styles./ Yes, both 16 softness and winemaker crispness. Nice balance of off dry sweetness and good acidity. An ideal entry-level Mosel riesling. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT011018-16. SANTERO ITALIA MOSCATO & PEACH SPUMANTE - (FRUIT) 6.5%. Slight, sweet, and good. Not a lot of either muscat or peach character. 15.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT011018-17. SANTERO ITALIA MOSCATO & STRAWBERRY SPUMANTE - (FRUIT) 6.5%. This is a surprise. There‛s much more strawberry character than the peach had peach. It‛s usually the opposite with these combos./ Palate confirms. This is better. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT011018-18. 16 LUGANA LIMNE, TENUTA ROVEGLIA - (ITALY) Scented, full, appley, concentrated./ Rich, smooth, full, balanced./ Sooo smooth on entry, with great acid edge coming forth to achieve exemplary balance overall. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

WT010318-01. 16 SANCERRE CHAVIGNOL LES MONTS DAMNES, DOMAINE THOMAS-LABAILLE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%; non-filtre. Perfect pitch. Pure, composed, discreet, confident. Wonderful citricity./ Everything signifies class. Such poise. Crystalline clarity. Delicious acidity. Long, juicy aftertaste. I want it. 18.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT010318-02. 16 TYRRELL'S HUNTER VALLEY SEMILLON - (AUSTRALIA) 11%; est. 1858. Classic waxy character plus newness, brightness./ Yes, good lemon curd semillon fruit. Fine balance of acid and glycerol. Hallmark composition. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT010318-03. 14 L'ABEILLE DE CHATEAU DE FIEUZAL, PESSAC-LEOGNAN BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; second wine of the Grand Cru. Full, new, not a bit oaky or earthy. Perfectly clear and explicit northern Graves blanc. Age potential here./ Yes, full concentration and extract of the vintage. Attractive oak nuances flare up on the palate. 14 minerality. Complete. And cellar-worthy. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

WT010318-04. 16 COTES DU RHONE ROSE, DOMAINE DE L'ESPIGOUETTE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. The tutti-frutti fermentation aromas that dominated in summer have departed, replaced by a pure, bright grenache aura of strawberries. The wait is over./ Yes, a beauty. Dry and meal-worthy. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT010318-05. 16 BROUILLY GRAND CRU VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE DUBOST - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; vines planted in 1908. Oh, the clarity as always, the buoyancy. The old vines material./ Concentrated, black, fine. A little angular at this stage, like some of its vintage mates. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT010318-06. 16 COTE DE BROUILLY GRAND CRU, CHATEAU THIVIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Deep, rich, well textured hillside product. Grand Cru size and dignity./ Yes, well balanced, well composed. Rich and ripe fruit and balancing fruit acidity. All. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

WT010318-07. 16 FLEURIE GRAND CRU, CLOS DE LA ROILETTE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Classic floral, lifted, perfumed, silky Fleurie. Hallmark nose./ Flows nicely. A bit 16 angular and tart, with unresolved tannin on the finish. Give it time to settle in; it was just shipped. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT010318-08. 16 MORGON GRAND CRU, MARCEL LAPIERRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Deep, inky black fruit. Silky. Wood seasoned. Big, concentrated, extracted./ Large, large, large. Padded. Deep. Great acid. Carries on and on. 17.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT010318-09. 15 FLEURIE GRAND CRU TRACOT CLIMAT LE VIVIER, DOMAINE DUBOST - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Floral, elegant, flowing. 15 large too./ A big Fleurie in 15. The palate is more chewy than charming. To cellar. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT010318-11. 14 MORGON GRAND CRU TRACOT LA BALLOFIERE, DOMAINE DUBOST - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Nicely advanced. At a good stage. Grand Cru significance./ Yes, at a sweet spot in its evolution. Good acid. All positive for current enjoyment. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT010318-12. 13 MORGON GRAND CRU TRACOT LA BALLOFIERE, DOMAINE DUBOST - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. More open and revealing still. Nicely developed. Spot on right now. All about ease./ Yes, plump and soft. Tannins totally melted away, acidity rounded over. A delight. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT010318-13. 15 CROZES HERMITAGE LES LAUNES, DELAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Yes, 15 ripe. The whole set of northern Rhone syrah attributes: ripe raspberry, white pepper, smoked meat. If few floral highlights yet in this ripe vintage./ Wow! This has material. And full tannin. Keeper. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT010318-14. 15 CROZES HERMITAGE SILENE, J. L. CHAVE SELECTION - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Tighter knit style of Chave. Faithful to the maker and appellation. Close to the vest at this stage, acting more like a 2014 than a 2015. With aeration, it softens and sweetens up. Real Chave form and balance./ Good acid and tannin framework. Built to last. For the cellar. 16.9++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT010318-15. 14 GIGONDAS, DOMAINE DE L'ESPIGOUETTE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Rich and large and true to Gigondas. That Espigouette freshness, brightness, garrigue laden nature. Ripeness of Gigondas, clarity of the vintage. Perfectly well poised./ Yes, ease and balance. That soothing Espigouette style. 14 medium body. Very flavorful. Gigondas largesse, ripeness. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT010318-16. 14 GIGONDAS, DOMAINE SAINT DAMIEN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 15%. More power and presence and meatiness of this maker‛s style of Gigondas. Flair and garrigue too. Oh, yes, this is big-time Gigondas./ Great 14 acidity with appellation richness to balance. Delivers. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT010318-17. 12 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, CUVEE JUMILLE, DOMAINE DE SAINT PAUL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 15%; from the estate's oldest vines; 60% grenache, 40% syrah. Oh, yes, the step up to Chateauneuf sophistication and complexity is fully in view. 2012 accomplished now at age five. Old vines intense. Big time range and depth./ Yes, all the elements are in complete harmony now. Complexity, range, sweetness, grandeur, balance. Stunning 2012 CdP. 18.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $64.95

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