Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - June, 2012
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated July 2,  2012

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WT062712-01. 10 GAVI, BENI DI BATASIOLO - (ITALY) 12%; 100% cortese from Novi Ligure hillsides. Lithe and crisp, green fruited and good./ Yes, sweet lemon and herbs (including sage!). Light glycerol of cortese. Good value for sure. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT062712-02. 11 QUPE SANTA BARBARA MARSANNE - (U.S.) 13%; 79% marsanne, 21% roussanne. Good, subtle oak burnish. Full bodied. The shy varietals have yet to declare their characters fully. Low key aromatics of youth./ Yes, good oak and good full body of the varietals. With aeration, the roussanne begins to express peach and orange blossom. The aromatics will continue to fill out with additional bottle age and to command more presence. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT062712-03. 11 COTES CATALANES COTE EST, JEAN-MARC LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 50% grenache blanc and gris, 30% chardonnay, 20% marsanne. Dang! I brought the 2010 again! Oh, well, just enjoy it! Sooo expressive of juice, fruit, flowers, and all./ Yes, talks big time fruit expression for these conventionally subtle varieties. How do they do it?! Super! 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT062712-04. 11 MACON CHARNAY FRANCLIEU, JEAN MANCIAT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. There’s oak in this cuvee as always. It’s not burdensome though. The 2011 cool fruit has plenty of room for expression./ Oh, so nice and crisp a 2011. The oak fits in well–doesn’t overwhelm a bit. Well done, and sure to get even better. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT062712-05. 11 BRENGMAN BROTHERS RESERVE BLOCK 65 CRAIN HILL VINEYARDS LEELANAU PENINSULA WHITE - (U.S.) 13.9%; 65% chardonnay, 20% viognier, 15% sauvignon blanc. Works. Shows chardonnay apple, viognier flower, and sauvignon grass. Usually the viognier is dominating in this sort of cuvee./ Large and rich. Chardonnay gives weight. Offers lots of flavor and texture interest. Balanced. Bravo! 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT062712-06. 10 DANCING BULL WINEMAKER’S RESERVE CALIFORNIA SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S.) 13%. Has lost a little vitality on the nose nearing two years after harvest. Good though./ Good, fresh, bright, grassy. Some orange of development. Juicy. Body and power of California sauvignon. Alert still. Always a good cuvee. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT062712-07. 11 VERMENTINO DI SARDEGNA COSTAMOLINO, ARGIOLAS - (ITALY) 14%. Fresh, with peach and mango perfumes. Cool, crisp, sorbet like aroma./ Fine vermentino textural play of bitter, astringent, tonic versus smooth glycerol. Super fresh and ventilating. Racy, perfect. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT062712-08. 11 RIOJA BLANCO, BODEGAS MUGA - (SPAIN) 13%. Mostly about oak, as is the usual theme here. The Rioja white varieties of choice are not very aromatic ones. The oak is good, welcome./ Even more good oak on the palate. Well balanced, good acidity. Made for the table. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062712-09. 9.10 CHATEAU MAZEAU, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 60% merlot, 20% each of the cabernets; vines average 30 years. Oh! Sweet, large, spicy, peppery./ At once sweet, tart, and astringent. Typical of many young 2010s of modest appellation. Needs time to flesh out on the palate and fulfill the promise of the nose. 15.5+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT062712-10. 10 CHATEAU LE GAY, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 75% merlot, 25% cabernet franc; vines average 30 years. The fruit plays even sweeter here. Greater range; seems to have had some seasoned barrel time. Really plush and seductive./ This also shows more tartness and astringency than the nose suggests but less so than the Mazeau. Hint of mint. Also begs for cellar time. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT062712-11. 10 CHATEAU PEYRUCHET, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; 70% merlot, 15% each of the cabernets. Yes! Open and seductive as was the 09. This seems to have had some time in seasoned cooperage, as it is softer and broader than the former two./ Still firm and astringent in youth. Will need a full year’s aging to because as accommodating as the 09 is presently. Good makings. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT062712-12. 09 HAUT DE CHATEAU POUJEAUX, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 45% cabernet sauvignon, 55% merlot; not a second wine but a second property in Haut Medoc adjacent to Moulis and close to Ch Poujeaux. Fine oak as always at Poujeaux. Solid Haut Medoc fruit melange. Moulis like youthful firmness. Poujeaux finesse, class./ Yes, firm and tannic...and classy. Will surely reward cellaring. Good to have an affordable Poujeaux wine to sell. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT062712-13. 10 BRENGMAN BROTHERS RUNAWAY HEN AMERICAN RED - (U.S.) 14.5%; 100% syrah from Washington grapes. Vinous nose. Large, with proper form but little fruit expression./ Yes, vinous palate too. Firm, brawny. Dry and astringent. Needs lots more bottle age. The group got more out of it than did I. 15.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT062712-14. 09 DRY CREEK VINEYARD HERITAGE SONOMA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 13.5%; budwood from century-old zinfandel vines is grafted onto new rootstock to preserve the nature of the old-vines produce. Clear and pure zinfandel statement, fully in tune with the series. Light oak seasonings. Sweet fruit. Good power. A fine vintage for this./ Yes, sweet raspberry and toasty oak. Pure, affectionate, lovely. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062712-15. 09 RIDGE THREE VALLEYS SONOMA RED - (U.S.) 14.1%; 70% zinfandel, 10% petite sirah, 15% carignane, 3% grenache, 2% mataro. Firm, toasty, smoky. Just right ripeness. Full bodied, powerful, dry./ Sweet, toasty, traditional. Sweet oak. 09 firmness. Fine potential. Good vintage for this zin too. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT062712-16. 11 BRENGMAN BROTHERS RESERVE CRAIN HILL VINEYARDS LEELANAU PENINSULA RIESLING - (U.S.) 13.6%; 1% RS. Cool, clear, crisp, penetrating. Walnut, mineral, peach, clove/cinnamon./ Good level of dryness. Brisk, minerally. Nice ‘sec tendre’ padding. Well balanced. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT062712-17. 10 BRENGMAN BROTHERS RESERVE CRAIN HILL VINEYARDS LEELANAU PENINSULA RIESLING - (U.S.) 10.6%; 4.1% RS. Very racy, scented, spicy. Walnut husk. Stalwart Grosses Gewachs nose./ Sweet and fruity but also structured. Good acidity balances the sweetness. Well crafted by Bryan Ulbrich. 17.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT062712-18. DOW’S FINE RUBY PORTO - (PORTUGAL) 19%. High spirited. Good and sweet and fruity. Singed fruit of Dow’s. Nice warmth./ Sweet, singed. Great acidity. Fine balance of power, fruit, spirit. Dry and fresh finish of Dow’s. A lovely value in ruby port. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WT062012-01. 11 MUSCADET DE SEVRE ET MAINE LOBSTER & SHRIMP, THE PAIRING COLLECTION - (FRANCE) 12%. Good, crisp, bright, green orchard fruits. Very clear scented from top to bottom, start to finish./ Alert, crisp, quaffable. Totally accurate. More acidity and juiciness than norm. Long, juicy finish. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT062012-05. 11 PAUA BAY FRENZY MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%; ‘peach, grapefruit, lime, melon, grass’. Pink grapefruit and mango. Nice./ Great acid–zingy fruit acid. Full flavor. Great juice! 17.3
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT062012-06. 11 COUSINO MACUL MAIPO VALLEY SAUVIGNON GRIS - (CHILE) 13.5%; ‘white peach, grapefruit, ginger, anise; tropical fruit, mandarin, spice’. I don’t get much of the label descriptors at first. They’re growing with air though./ Fat and full. Good texture and some fruit fulfillment. Likely needs time for total fruit revelations. 16.0+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062012-07. 10 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR, NICOLAS POTEL - (FRANCE) 12.5%. Pale./ Good pinot nose. Not tart, not green. Lithe. Nice./ medium bodied. Tart but genuine. OK in 10. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062012-08. 11 CIGAR BOX RESERVE MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; plum, violets, vanilla. Cheery color./ Cherry aroma. Fabulous acid brightness./ Bright and sassy. Very flavorful, with cherry, blossom, and candied cherry. Long and toasty. Cherry pie finish. Fabulous. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT062012-09. 09 TOSCANA SANTA MARTINA, TENUTE FOLONARI - (ITALY) 14.5%; 40% sangiovese, 20% each merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah. Very fine value once again in 09. Big fruit, big wood toast. Back to the good stuff after a letdown in difficult vintage 08. Back to a class act./ Yes, fine fruit and oak. Back to the fruit sweetness and ripeness of 07. This is fine. 16.4+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT062012-10. 11 OC MUSCATO, GERARD BERTRAND - (FRANCE) 10%. Cool, snappy muscat. Young; less expressive than the 10 tasted in the fall. Growing in the glass though, and will grow in the coming months. Crisp and citrus peel oriented. The 10 was redolent of basil. That might come./ Oh, it’s already coming on the palate. Lime, lime peel, basil. Truly dry and with the sunny fruit ripeness of the south. Impressive. Fine. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT062012-11. (09) BURG LAYER SCHLOSSKAPELLE AUSLESE, ST. ANTONIUS - (GERMANY) 8.5%. No nose./ Sweet auslese taste. Honey more than grape. OK for the price. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT062012-12. KEEL & CURLEY DRY FLORIDA BLUEBERRY - (US) 12%. H2S. Light, but it masks the fruit character./ Blueberry flavor though. And good acidity. Clarety approach; I can see the comparison. Blueberry is a fetching note in red table wines of moderate climates. Hope the sulphur on the nose dissipates soon. 15.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WT061312-01. 11 PICPOUL DE PINET - COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC, HB, LES COSTIERES DE POMEROLS - ( FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Oh, good! More aromatic personality and thrust than usual in its first months. Open display that is very cool and crisp all the same. That good green fruit of picpoul./ Rich in both flavor and body. And texture. Full, complete. This usually takes much longer to fill out. Now it’s all here to enjoy ‘in season’. Best vintage ever. The group was thrilled. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT061312-02. 11 KEN FORRESTER PETIT WESTERN CAPE CHENIN BLANC - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13.5%. Shy to start. Green apple. With aeration, plumper, more giving. Chenin melon joins in. Crisp, clear, focused and rightful Cape chenin./ More plumpness, more padding on the palate. And more melon. Precise. Delicious summer beverage. One of the best vintages of this. Well liked by the group. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT061312-03. 10 ALTO ADIGE PINOT GRIGIO, PETER ZEMMER - ( ITALY) 13.5%. Full, strong, well framed. Good nutty tone of ripe grigio. Not a playful thing, not an aperitif. Made for table fare./ Full flavored. Sense of woodiness, though I doubt it’s seen a stave. Likely the grey peel extracts giving this impression. Grigio richness and glycerol coming forth. Hefty, serious, mealtime stuff. The group was impressed. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT061312-04. 10 L’ECOLE NO. 41 COLUMBIA VALLEY SEMILLON - (U.S.) 14.5%; 86% semillon, 14% sauvignon blanc. Tight, crisp, clear. No marly tones of some Old World semillons. Bright and right WA semillon. Semillon apple fruit and body./ Intriguing undertone of oak fragrances, spices. And a floral aspect. Unique in this series and in the semillon world. Transparent and well textured. One of the best in the series. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT061312-05. 07 FIANO DI AVELLINO. FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO - (ITALY) 13%. Honey and tawny fruit. Varietally accurate. Advanced bouquet./ Nutty, warm, viscous, honeyed fiano at age four plus. Sweetly pleasing. Liked by the group. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT061312-07. 10 DOLCETTO DI DOGLIANI, PODERI DI LUIGI EINAUDI - (ITALY) 13%. Pert and pretty but also 2010 tight. Wisp of brett./ Very firm. Peels extracts and green tannins. Way too young. Ambitous? Or vintage disadvantaged? Time will tell. Certainly no dolcetto come hither qualities at this stage. 14.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT061312-08. 10 ROBERTSON WINERY ROBERTSON PINOTAGE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13%.Tighter than the 09 at the same stage. Deep purple fruit and fruit peels./ Sweet, fruity approach. Delicious cherry taste speaks for its pinot noir parent. Peels extracts and tannin keep it dry and well framed. This works. Very popular with the group. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT061312-09. 10 ROBERTSON WINERY ROBERTSON SHIRAZ - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14%. Very firm. Hard to penetrate./ Sweeter palate. Still not much flavor dimension. Needs time to develop that. Nonetheless, the texture is appealing and invites table service now. Decant first to stimulate aroma release. 15.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT061312-10. 10 COTES DU RHONE, CHATEAU MONT REDON - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; vineyard at Roquemaure on the right bank of the Rhone opposite Chateauneuf du Pape. Ah, another Mont Redon classic form and approach. Nothing blowsy and modern about it. The best of traditional Cotes du Rhone. Lovely berry, peppercorn, garrigue melange. Really bright, focused berry aromas./ Bramble, peppercorn, snap, focus, form, fine tannin. Perfectly useful now. Will age famously as well. Has the right proportions. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT061312-11. 09 ALENTEJANO TINTO DA ANFORA, BACALHOA - (PORTUGAL) 14%; 50% aragonez, 20% each trincadeira, touriga nacional, 10% cabernet sauvignon; aged 12 months in oak barrels. Firmer than the 06, which I encountered at a much later stage of development. Form and promise. After half an hour’s aeration, all kinds of good purple stuff comes forth./ Great charm and refinement for a wine from this warm, inland zone. Retains fine framing and a rich, ripe inner core. All the stuff that has made this a favorite over the years. A special wine. Very popular with the group. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT061312-12. 10 MONTGRAS RESERVA COLCHAGUA VALLEY CARMENERE - (CHILE) 14.5%. As usual, a very showy display of both fruit and oak. While many 2010s are terse, this one is openly expressive. Another success in the series./ Yeah, sweet and tasty, spicy. No restraints. Right on. Good acid keeps it balanced. Sure to be popular. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT061312-14. 10 EASTON AMADOR ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%. Good and ripe for the vintage. I don’t think it was that much of an issue in Amador. Younger and trimmer than the 09 shows at present. Displays precursors of the splendid performance the 09 is putting on today. Very spicy. Fine wine./ Very sweet and fine. Spicy indeed. Good oak. Amador ripeness, singed fruit. A successful sequel that, like the 09, is sure to go from strength to strength. Well liked by the group. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT061312-15. FENN VALLEY LAKESHORE DEMI-SEC - (U.S.) 11%. Bright, with apple, pear, sage, hyssop./ Indeed, semi dry. Orchard fruits and fines herbes. Add melon to the fruit set. Pleasing and price-worthy. Liked by the group. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

WT061312-16. 10 PFALZ GEWURZTRAMINER, VILLA WOLF - (GERMANY) 11%. Spicy gewurz nose. Tight laced and racy. Not blowsy./ Yeah, low key varietal statement. Seems made in a manner that will prove versatile at the table. Likely to gain aromatic intensity with bottle age. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT061312-17. 11 SANTA JULIA TARDIO LATE HARVEST MENDOZA TORRONTES half liter - (ARGENTINA) 9.5%; 11.2 degrees residual sugar. Pure, lovely, perfumed, unique. Essential and also lithe. Best vintage yet. Ideal sweet torrontes, really./ Sweetness still coats the acidity. Very concentrated perfume. Apricot and flowers. Unlike some torrontes wines, it leans neither toward gewurztraminer nor muscat. It’s pure torrontes all the way. 17.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT061312-18. ROZES 20 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORTO - (FORTIFIED) 20%; bottled 2007. The nose is dry and powerful, the spirit dominating the bouquet./ Oh, but then on the palate comes a peacock’s tail spectrum of flavors and textures. Exceptionally sophisticated in the beauties of long cask aging, it portrays a lavish wood spice complex and all kinds of sweet, nutty treats, pecan pie standing out. The alcohol is cooling, the wine fully sweet. A unique and fabulous 20 year old port. 18.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WT060612-01. 11 VINHO VERDE FAMEGA, CAVES DE CERCA - (PORTUGAL) 10.5%. Crisp, lithe, fizzy. Apple, pear, mousse./ Just right. A mindless quaff for enjoying, not pondering. Further notes serve no purpose. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

WT060612-02. 10 GAVI MASERA, STEFANO MASSON - (ITALY) 12%. Fuller of course, and more developed, of course. Lovely viscosity. Cool apple scent./ Low flavor profile, interest. Medium body and length. Vinous. 15.4
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT060612-03. 10 CHABLIS LES PARGUES, DOMAINE SERVIN - (RANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; the vineyard was formerly classified Premier Cru but lay fallow at the time of the latest classification, in the 1930s, so lost its title. Large. Apple, pulp, peel, calcaire. Young./ Full. Lots of heft and texture. Vigorous. Mineral, calcaire, terroir. Young. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT060612-04. 11 GEYSER PEAK CALIFORNIA SAUVIGNON BLANC - ( U.S.) 13%; since 1880; passion fruit, lime, grapefruit. Lovely NZ like sweet citrus. Fabulous lift, sweetness, poise./ Palate a bit hot and strong as so many California sauvignon blancs are apt to be. On the tart side too. Nose had much more vivacity. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT060612-05. 11 CARDWELL HILL ESTATE WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR ROSE - (U.S.) 12.8%; certified salmon safe and LIVE. Delightful and pleasing pink fruit, especially strawberry. Levity. Nice./ Some banana fermentation flavor and astringency of youth yet. Full. The nose is better than the palate today. The latter may catch up over the next few weeks.16.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT060612-07. 10 PIEMONTE BARBERA BRICCOTONDO, FONTANAFREDDA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Slim and tart style as usual. Even more so in 10. Some sweetness deep down in there. It gains with aeration./ Zesty, dry, crisp. Not bad. But lacks 3-D at this stage 15.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT060612-08. 10 GUENOC CALIFORNIA PETITE SIRAH - (U.S.) 13.5%. Dry, plain, short on fruit. 2010 weaknesses. Wood added. And its kinda raw, stark./ The oak caramel is pleasing on the palate though. Compensates for the vintage’s lack of ripe fruit. Good balance of light wood, acid, tannin. 15.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT060612-10. 09 EOS ESTATE PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 13.9%. Sweet and rightful Paso zinfandel with good 09 form. Not overripe, not flashy. Just right./ Sweet and spicy oak potpourri. Well crafted. Well proportioned. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT060612-12. CUPCAKE PROSECCO EXTRA DRY - (SPARKLING) 11%. Good fluff and apple crisp nose. A proper extra dry level of sweetness./ Yes, nicely extra dry sweet and balanced. Just right. Good value. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

 

 

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