Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- June, 2013
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
WT062613-01. 12 ALSACE PINOT BLANC WOLFBERGER, CAVE VINICOLE D’EGUISHEIM - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%; founded 1902. Young, full, fresh, vinous, green-appley, right./ Rich, almost seeming sweet thanks to the glycerol. Delicious balance and flavor. Classic body of Eguisheim pinot blanc. Well liked by the group.16.4+.
WT062613-02. 12 GAVI, BENI DI BATASIOLO - (ITALY) 12.5%. Classic aroma set, already fulfilled. The 2011 took longer to achieve this status. Sage, pear, apple, nut./ Yes, smooth glycerol on entry, good acid in back. Round and rich cortese overall. Lots of flavor and texture interest. Well liked by the group, especially at the price. 16.5.
WT062613-03. 12 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO, TIZIANO - (ITALY) 12%; Tiziano Vecellio was the greatest painter of the 16th century Venetian School. Standard, vinous. Light apple fruit./ Sweetish, mild. Commercial Venezie grigio. 15.0.
WT062613-04. 12 DOLOMITI PINOT GRIGIO, TIEFENBRUNNER - (ITALY) 13%. Full of extract, body, and depth. Apple and pear scents. Persistent./ Rich and full of flavor and body. Grigio glycerol, high altitude acidity. All in balance. The group was impressed. 16.6+.
WT062613-05. 12 HAUT POITOU SAUVIGNON LE BOIS DE LA TOUR, CAVE DU HAUT POITOU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Whoa! Surge of classic gooseberry aroma. Pure, penetrating, Poitou lithe, delineated./ Spirited, lively, flavorful, persistent. Cleansing, lingering finish. Perfect Haut Poitou. Well liked by the group. 17.0.
WT062613-06. 10 CHABLIS LES FOURNEAUX 1ER CRU, DOMAINE LOUIS MOREAU - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; On the north bank east of the Grands Crus, Montee de Tonnerre, and Mont de Milieu. Full. Positive barrel influence in the form of both light oak seasoning and time-in-cooperage savor. To just the right degrees for a 1er Cru. Calcaire and wet stone./ Rich, plush fruit on a solid 2010 base. Decisive 1er Cru experience. A Montee
de Tonnerre wannabe. The group was impressed. 17.5+.
WT062613-07. 11 ROBERT MONDAVI NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.5%; founded 1966. After a Chablis, a plumper California fruit expression coupled with attractive French oak. Napa restraint and refinement./ Very nice French oak savor. Delightful flavor and texture. The malo and non-malo proportions are judiciously balanced. A lot of play here, through a long finish. Well crafted. Definite value. Even the Europhiles
enjoyed it. 16.8.
WT062613-08. 11 MATTHEW FRITZ NORTH COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.9%. Real pinot noir and barrel aging expressions. Cherry pie with crust. Oak toast. No ripeness issues; the early ripening pinots have fared better than the late ripening cabernets in 2011. Cool vintage acidity is welcome./ Yes, sweet and suave, ripe cherry pinot. Plus baked cherry–cherry tart. Complete and alluring. Fine value. 16.6.
WT062613-09. 12 BELLE GLOS MEIOMI MONTEREY-SANTA BARBARA-SONOMA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.)
13.8%; 35-34-31; by Caymus; Meiomi is Wappo for ‘coast’; Belle Glos is Chuck Wagner’s mother.
Caught this one a little premature, so it’s difficult to delve its depths despite the typically forward house style. Some oak, some game./ Well, the palate’s not a bit shy though. Oak vanilla creme and pinot fruit creme. Seductive, sweet, and ripe palate. Speaks for a fine vintage. Just getting started. 16.9+.
WT062613-10. 12 CAMPO DE BORJA GARNACHA VINA BORGIA, BODEGAS BORSAO - (SPAIN) 14%. Fresh, fruity, strong, typical. A stout even-year vintage Loaded. Really delivers for the price./ Deep black fruits. Rich and mouthfilling. One of the most accomplished vintages in this series. Complete presentation right through the long, balanced finish. 16.4+.
WT062613-11. 11 JUMILLA, BODEGAS LUZON - (SPAIN) 14%. Much different from the Campo de Borja that preceded it. Blacker, more reductive. Also more southern, roasted fruit. Monastrell vs garnacha. Violets. Deep and secretive, intriguing./ Yes, mourvedre’s violets and purple fruits, material, grip. Warm climate mourvedre classic. 16.5+.
WT062613-12. 11 COTES DU RHONE SAINT ESPRIT, DELAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%.Very nutty and old time in keeping with the series. Where many of the 11 CdRs stress charm, this one is a meaty, roasted, deep northern Rhone winemaker’s classic./ Smooth glycerol, good power. Well composed. Just what it should be. Great finish, length. 16.6+.
WT062613-13. 11 PIESPORTER MICHELSBERG RIESLING SPATLESE ST. CHARLES, EWALD PFEIFFER - (GERMANY) 8%. Good acid and extract of 2011 and cooler Mittel Mosel sites. Elegant and classic Michelsberg Spatlese./ Sweet and straight-forward. Coated acid. Pleasing overall. Nose carries now. Palate will catch up. 16.2+.
WT062613-14. 10 WACHENHEIMER RIESLING KABINETT, J. L. WOLF - (GERMANY) 10%. Some reduction at opening. Once the curtain’s raised, there’s fruit vigor, Grosses Gewachs extract, lots of material./ Sweet and well extracted. Size, grip, volume, stuffing. Loaded. Really blossoms with aeration. 17.2+.
WT062613-15. 11 EGRI MERLOT, WEINHAUS KFT - (HUNGARY) 11%; harvested in November; aged a year in large wood casks. So right. Even better than the 09. Sweet cherry filling, dry peels form. Cool and racy, ripe and pure./ Just sweet enough. Light, fine tannins for balance. This is delish. 16.6.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
WT061913-01. 11 CHABLIS CHAMPS ROYAUX, WILLIAM FEVRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Fine and full. Stony. A classic vintage of this. So cool and clear. Pure, mineral soaked Chablis./ Body and texture, clarity and calcaire. Super. Best in memory. 17.2.
WT061913-02. 11 MACON-VERGISSON LA ROCHE, VERGET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Nice barrel seasonings of the degree appropriate to Maconnais chardonnay. Well crafted./ Lovely oak touch. Wood and light toast. Singed cream and cooked apple. Lovely. 17.2.
WT061913-03. 10 FIELD STONE ALEXANDER VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S.) 13.5%. Good and grassy, with burnt orange citricity. Still very useful./ Yes, not too strong either. Nicely evolved citrus taste. Balanced. 16.4.
WT061913-04. 12 RIOJA ROSADO, BODEGAS MUGA - (SPAIN) 13%; since 1932. Fresh strawberry. Still a little banana. Full textured. Bold Spanish rosado. Lovely./ Banana and berry. Full, strong. A keeper for the cold months. 16.6+.
WT061913-05. 12 ALICANTE MONASTRELL TARIMA, BODEGAS VOLVER - (SPAIN) 14.5%. Young black fruit. Lots of pepper and peels. Deep purple mourvedre berry./ Warm, spicy savor. Well crafted. Delivers. Fine tannin at the end. Good acid. 16.6+.
WT061913-06. 11 RIBERA DEL DUERO TEMPRANILLO VINAS VIEJAS MILCAMPOS, BODEGA LA MILAGROSA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Young and firm. Wood and fruit. Typical young RDD. Well proportioned. Deep, black tempranillo./ Oak caramel and toast and brown spices. Well balanced. More give on the palate. In fact, delectable. 16.9+.
WT061913-07. 11 BEAULIEU VINEYARD NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.8%; since 1900. Rather tight and lean in 2011. Fruit not as ripe as usual. Good wood and extract./ Wood vanilla meets underripe, peelsy fruit. 11 disappoints. 14.0+.
WT061913-08. 09 CHIANTI RUFINA RISERVA NIPOZZANO, MARCHESI DI FRESCOBALDI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Still reductive–unusual for a riserva. Ripe too. Good and ripe./ No reduction on the palate. Good ripe-acid-glycerol play. Balanced. 16.6+.
WT061913-10. 05 CHATEAU PERENNE, CRU BOURGEOIS, PREMIERES COTES DE BLAYE - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%; 83% merlot, 17% cabernet sauvignon; aged 14 months in barrels. Oh, fabulous oak and time in barrel and bottle development. No 2005 stiffness. Right on./ Yes, ambitious for Blaye. Broad and forthcoming. Same Bernard Magrez craftsmanship as seen at Chateau Pape Clement.16.9+.
WT061913-11. 10 DEIDESHEIMER HERRGOTTSACKER RIESLING KABINETT TROCKEN, GEORG MOSBACHER - (GERMANY) 11.5%. Fabulous Grosses Gewachs riesling material. Hurts so good with extract. Classic Pfalz power./ All the right stuff: texture, flavor, length, grain, yellow fruit. A giant at a steal of a price. 18.8+.
WT061913-12. ITALIA BIRBET, MALVIRA - (ITALY) 5%; aka brachetto. Sweet and aromatic brachetto. The right aroma profile and very sweet./ Modest alcohol, acid. Full sweetness. Sample on the warm side; better if cooler. 16.5.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
WT061213-01. 12 CHATEAU FONTAINE LEELANAU PENINSULA GRUNER VELTLINER - (U.S.) Good green apple and legume gruve nose. Very clear varietal statement uncomplicated by terroir./ Full and real, clear and smooth. Lightly burnished texture A lovely take on the varietal. Admired by the group. 16.6+.
WT061213-03. 12 CHINON ROSE RENE COULY, COULY-DUTHEIL - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; all cabernet franc. Whoa! Is this ever full and rich for Loire cabernet franc rose! Big time raspberry and strawberry fruit statements./ Big and bold, openly fruity, generous. Wow! Well liked by the group.16.8+.
WT061213-04. 11 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR, COLLECTION ALAIN CORCIA - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Fresh and bright and fruity 2011. Well conceived. Uses the best of what the vintage offers. Light oak./ Less body than the 2010. Higher acid, more fluidity. Light tannin. Pleasingly crafted. Will improve. 15.9+.
WT061213-05. 09 SAVIGNY LES BEAUNE MOUTIER AMET, DOMAINE DU PRIEURE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; 42 year old vines; across the street from Narbanton Premier Cru. Precise Savigny spicy cherry. Very pure, sweet, deep. Oak toast and toffee./ Good acid. Terroir-oriented pinot noir. Many orders taken. 16.9+.
WT061213-06. 10 COTES DU RHONE, ERIC TEXIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; from Rhone’s northernmost grenache vineyard, on schist-granite just south of Cornas. Sweet, smooth, and relatively delicate compared to a Vaucluse grenache. Logical lower-alcohol grenache from the north. Unique./ Relatively shy and firm fruited statement of a young 2010. Figures. Good stuff with an enticing future. The group was intrigued. 16.3+.
WT061213-07. 10 COTES DU RHONE CACHETTE, VIGNERONS DE LAUDUN-CHUSCLAN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 70% grenache, 10% each syrah, carignan, cinsault. Fresh, garrigue-laced Right Bank interpretation. Very stylish, cool, fine stuff. Sweet fruit core./ Sweet and cool both. Plum and flowers. Flowing. Nice. Enjoyed by the group. 16.6+.
WT061213-08. 10 DOURO QUADRIFOLIA, QUINTA DO VALLADO - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; an endangered 4-leaf clover found only in Vallado’s vineyards at the Corgo’s mouth. Stylish black fruits. Not a bit of roast. Silky, floral, elegant. Speaks of first class grape varieties./ Yes, all of the above plus vinosity and fine tannin. The group appreciated its quality and value. 16.5+.
WT061213-10. 07 RIOJA CRIANZA LA MONTESA, BODEGAS PALACIOS REMONDO - (SPAIN) 14%; unfiltered. Whoa! Bottle bouquet development, oak savors, and time in barrel suavity. A fine oak touch here plus the pure fruit nature of 07. A lovely crianza at a lovely stage./ Yes, fine oak, barrel age, and 07 fruit retention. You can have it now or later. Liked by the group. 16.7+.
WT061213-12. 07 WACHENHEIMER RIESLING KABINETT, J. L. WOLF - (GERMANY) 10.5%; owned by Dr. Ernst Loosen. Young, fresh, Mittelhaardt classic. Peach, honey, golden grain. Smells dry and bold./ Off dry, the sweetness balanced by strength. Nuts and grains. Well proportioned and attractively developed for current enjoyment, though it will last much longer. 17.5+.
WT061213-13. 05 WACHENHEIMER BELZ RIESLING SPATLESE, J. L. WOLF - (GERMANY) 11%; acquired by Dr. Loosen in 1996. Great power and bouquet development. Grosses Gewachs breadth and extract. 2005 framing./ Rich and rightly poised, sweet and promising. Give it more bottle age. 17.2+.
WT061213-14. MEIER’S RED SEEDLING OHIO RED - (U.S.) 11%; former from Ives Seedling, now from Concord; Ives has declined due to air pollution. Smells dry and full and spot on./ Sweet, with balancing acid and astringency. A well crafted concord that will serve even as a table wine. 16.7.
WT061213-15. VENETO-LOMBARDY SWEET PINK MERLOT-MOSCATO, CAPOSALDO - (ITALY) 9.5%; 7.5 RS; 55-45; fermented dry, sweetened with unfermented grape juice for a 2nd fermentation. Works. Red grape dry peel extracts meet moscato’s soft perfumes. The red fruit lends dryness and complexity./ Yes, this is well crafted. Merlot dry, moscato sweet. Berries, flowers, citrus. 16.3.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 BIG BUCKS TASTING
WT060513-01. RUELLE-PERTOIS ECUEIL PREMIER CRU CUVEE DE RESERVE BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT CHAMPAGNE - (FRANCE SPARKLING) 12%. Full yeast autolysis brioche bouquet. Apple pastry Cote des Blancs chardonnay character./ Very fine, creamy mousse. Well developed bottle bouquet. This seems to have enjoyed lengthy aging ‘en tirage’. Enthusiastically received.
WT060513-03. 11 DOMAINE DROUHIN ARTHUR DUNDEE HILLS CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.9%. Fresh, open, oaky. Marked contrast from the Chablis tasted before it. The frank and expressive oak, while not as domineering as in California ‘show’ chardonnays, does detract some from both terroir and varietal characters./ Creamy from at least partial malo. Spicy oak. From a French producer and a cool Oregon setting, this surprises me for
its revealing nature. Well crafted in a cold, wet vintage.
WT060513-04. 10 MEURSAULT CHATEAU DE BLAGNY 1ER CRU, LOUIS LATOUR - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Rich and full Meursault chardonnay. Carries its oak well. Blagny Meursault mass. Complete with 2010 extract and volume./ Latour’s usual malolactic preference gives a creamy mouthfeel. The oak is nicely polished too. Lots of bouquet potential here. Good for 12-15 years. My enthusiasm was not shared by many in the group.
WT060513-05. 09 CHALONE ESTATE CHALONE PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.5%. Class and classicism. Full perfumes of French oak and pinot fruit, completely integrated.. Old style California pinot noir, the opposite of a fruit bomb. Just vibrates with minerality./ Racy and delicious. Lots of oak and fruit zestiness lightly coated with glycerol. Brandied cherries. Wow! This surprised and wowed all, including the Europhiles.
WT060513-06. 08 HEITZ NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 14.5%. Deep, dark, vigorous, spicy. A champion 2008, even better than the 2006. Heitz build, traditional Napa cabernet structure. Sooo rich, dark, and velvety. Many 2008 California cabernets are dry and contrite. Not this one. It delivers./ Fabulous oak seasonings plus fruit richness. A classic. Highly regarded this evening.
WT060513-07. 08 BAROLO LE CINQUE VIGNE, AA DAMILANO - (ITALY) 14.5%. Dry, dark, solid, and surly young Damilano Barolo. Traditional, tarry stuff. But, wait. With aeration it opens to reveal cherry and glycerol roundness. A relatively forward vintage for this, as is 2008's reputation./ Wow! Full, plump fruit. Cherry and anise. Black and succulent. Heaps of nebbiolo character. Full flavor, fine tannin and length.
WT060513-08. 08 BAROLO RISERVA SURI, AA RIO FAVA - (ITALY) 14.5%. Ruddier constitution from riserva barrel age. Not as fresh-fruity as the 2007 version. Plenty enough sweet, warm, barrel-evolved fruit bouquet./ Yes, sweet and smooth with glycerol. Barrel aging has honed down the tannins and added complexity of character. Real riserva. One room favored the Damilano, the other this Rio Fava.
WT060513-09. 05 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO, LE COSTE - (ITALY) 13.5%; aged in barrel and bottle five years before release. Some bottle stink to start. Blows off to reveal a well-evolved barrel and bottle bouquet./ Yes, this is old-style, long in barrel Brunello. Once, Brunellos were required to spend five years in barrel, then it was changed to four years, now three. Frankly, I prefer the shorter barrel sojourn, so this
one is not exactly my cup of tea, (though it has a lot more tannin than strong tea, even after seven years). Some VA too. The 2004 was much better. That vintage offered the superior fruit material to hold up to a lengthy barrel regimen. Not very popular this evening.
WT060513-10. 07 AMARONE CLASSICO, IL ROVERONE - (ITALY) 16.5%; 2006: Spectator 94/100. Big, bold, forward, sweet and spicy aroma of celestial raisins. Power, dimension, savor. Dried fruits and nuts–Trail Mix./ Sweet, raisined, powerful, spicy, huge. Dried fruit glycerol meets juicy acidity. Lasting warmth and tannin. After tasting so many wimpy amarones over the last several months, it’s a pleasure to meet a real heavyweight.
This wine was well respected, though it was a little much for some tasters.
WT060513-11. 07 CHATEAU LES ROQUES CUVEE FRANTZ, LOUPIAC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 83% semillon, 15% sauvignon, 2% muscadelle; barrel aged. Luscious pineapple, peach, and dried apricot aromas plus tea and tobacco botrytis extras./ Totally decadent, succulent. Great Loupiac acid, sugar coated pineapple. Huge potential. The group was in awe, a marked contrast from the lukewarm response to the 2002 regular cuvee at the
first Big Bucks tasting.
WT060513-12. 08 TOKAJI ASZU 5 PUTTONYOS RED LABEL, ROYAL TOKAJI WINE CO. half liter - (HUNGARY) 11.5%; 35% sugar at harvest; 16% RS. Honey and nuts. Dried fruit. A sense of more time in cooperage than the Loupiac. Even the nose senses the extreme acidity that marks Tokaj, and it’s great./ This is even sweeter than the Loupiac. Well, of course. 5/6 of it is from shriveled grapes. Great botrytis presence and range. Dried
fruit concentration. All playing against that supreme acidity of Tokaj. Yow! The group shared my enthusiasm.