Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - June, 2014
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated July 1,  2014

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June 25, 2014

WT062514-1. 13 VINHO VERDE FAMEGA, CAVES DA CERCA - (PORTUGAL) 10.5%. Fizzy, appley, straight forward quencher. Good vintage of this. The fizz is fine beaded and attractive./ Soft and gently sweet. Mild acid. Light tingle. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

WT062514-2. 12 COLLIO PINOT GRIGIO COLLE DI NUSSI, CA’ RONESCA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Collio full and at a good stage of development./ Voluminous Collio take on pinot grigio. Full peels extract. Rich, big, bold mouthful. Wow, heavy duty! 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT062514-3. 13 TERRA D’ORO CLARKSBURG CHENIN BLANC - VIOGNIER - (U.S.) 12.5%; 87-13. Chenin blanc melon and apple. Light viognier flower. Pine Ridge’s has more viognier character. It’s 80-20./ Smooth, melony chenin of Clarksburg. Adequate acidity. Some viognier astringency, even bitterness. Chenin cantaloupe. Good new rendition. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062514-4. 13 SPY VALLEY MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%. Very sweet, tropical fruit nose. Mango and sweet orange. Riper than the 2012 in this warm vintage./ Sweet and rich, even lush. Some acid sassiness to foil and balance. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT062514-5. 13 CAMPO DE BORJA GARNACHA ROSE, BODEGAS BORSAO - (SPAIN) 14%. Sweet, warm, powerful grenache. Wears its power well. Berry-cherry and fruit peels./ Full, with pulp and peel sensations. Body, extract, flavor, juice. A large and generous grenache rose. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT062514-6. 10 BOURGOGNE, BERTRAND AMBROISE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Warm, rich, and savory. Starting to develop some bouquet. Sweet cherry pie nose./ Some 2010 lapsang souchong smoky-tarry aspects. Great acidity, with glycerol to soothe. Plenty of grip and extract and potential. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

WT062514-7. 12 TOSCANA ROSSO MINITUSCAN, VERRAZZANO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Dry and firm to start. Then sweet and dried cherry sensations mount./ Sweet, smooth, and rich in alcohol and glycerol. Dried cherry and spice. Great mouthfeel. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT062514-8. 12 COTES DU RHONE ROULEPIERRE, PIERRE AMADIEU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; est. 1929. Firm, dry 2012 black fruit. Cranberry. Little peppercorn, garrigue, or grenache sensation./ Sweet fruit basis but also close and peelsy. Straight forward negoc Cotes du Rhone. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT062514-9. 12 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE ROCHE-AUDRAN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 70% grenache, 15% each syrah, carignan; vines 30-100 years old. Firm, dark, dry 2012. Wants more bottle age./ Palate sweeter, but also hard, dry, tarry. Dry finish. 15.8+.0
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT062514-10. 12 GUENOC LAKE COUNTY PETITE SIRAH - (U.S.) 14.2%; aged in French and American oak barrels. Firm and dry and black for 2012. Some oak interest. Comes up short of expectations for the vintage./ Strong American oak in front. Bare oak. Chips? Time or what? This used to be a reliable cuvee. 15.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT062514-11. FESS PARKER FRONTIER LOT NO. 90 CALIFORNIA RED - (U.S.) 14.5%; est 1989. Sweet and jammy, with peelsy press wine. Boring./ Sweet and vinous. Just wine. 14.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT062514-12. 12 NAPA CELLARS NAPA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.9%; 14% aged in new French and American oak barrels. Logically ripe and powerful with sweet, wholesome 2012 fruit basis. Very sweet and ripe for Napa. House style. Presence of oak, and it’s not on top./ Nice, sweet black raspberry creme plus peppercorn. Ripeness, power, grip. Will become suaver as it ages. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

June 18, 2014

WT061814-01. 13 VINHO VERDE ANJOS DE PORTUGAL, QUINTA DA LIXA - (PORTUGAL) 9.5%; 40% arinto, 30% each trajadura, loureiro. Plenty spritzy. Full display of stone fruit, pear, and flowers. The quality varieties show. A beauty. Complete./ Yes, fizzy and soft and delicious. Balanced. Juicy fruit goodness. Good acidity and citricity on the aftertaste. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT061814-02. 13 VALDADIGE PINOT GRIGIO, BARONE FINI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Quite full and stony. Clear, appley purity of high altitude pinot grigio./ Less rich than the 2012. More fluid and less intense in flavor. Good though. Likely it will plump up over the coming weeks. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT061814-03. 13 PAUA BAY FRENZY SOUTH ISLAND SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%. Intense gooseberry and guava. Sweet and sassy smelling. Gives and gives./ Full acid ring. Great, juicy citrus flavors of lime and tangerine. Full taste and tang. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT061814-04. 13 ALICANTE BLANCO TARIMA, BODEGAS VOLVER - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 70% merseguera, 20% macabeo, 10% moscatel. Pleasing pear and citrus nose. Muscat does not dominate, so the other varieties must have a fair degree of personality too. Good etch./ Not a lot of flavor profile to any of the players. Would that the muscat had more to say after all. Thick and featureless. 15.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT061814-05. 12 ALSACE RIESLING, PIERRE SPARR - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%; est. 1680; 1 on the dryness scale (dry). Some petrol. Full dry, even austere./ Yet the palate is surprisingly soft. Floral background. Some bouquet development. Decent acid. Would appreciate a bit more drive. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT061814-06. 13 GETARIAKO TXAKOLINA ROSE RUBENTIS, AMEZTOI - (SPAIN) 11.5%; hondarrabi zuri and beltza. Light fizz on the rim./ Lovely, lilting, sweetly fruity. Berry and melon. Pretty and precise./ Still some blossomy fermentation residuals. Light berry zest. A delicious light-weight rose, airy and right. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT061814-07. 11 SHERWOOD ESTATE WAIPARA VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; est. 1987. Sweet pinot noir. Middle weight NZ style. Some game and baked cherry development./ Cherry, pitch, tea. Round glycerol. Plenty of acid. Relatively lean in this cool vintage. Some peels bitterness at the end. I suspect it will fill out and achieve better balance as the weeks pass.16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT061814-08. 12 DOURO CRASTO, QUINTA DO CRASTO - (PORTUGAL) 14%; 35% touriga nacional, 30% tinta roriz, 25% touriga franca, 10% tinta barroca. Sweet black fruit. 2012 cool fruit. Plum and peel. Racy. Less oak impact than in the 2009 and 2011. Which makes sense./ Juicy, spicy, fruity. Sweet centered and well framed. A lighter oak touch this vintage. Well crafted and promising. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT061814-09. 10 CHATEAU SUAU, CADILLAC - COTES DE BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 60% merlot, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc. Sweet center with 2010 framing. Appealing richness. Some vanilla oak./ The oak still dominates the palate. Give it time to settle in. Merlot tea and cabernet red currant. A shame to serve now. Better at age seven. 15.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT061814-10. 10 PIETRA SANTA ESTATE CIENEGA VALLEY MERLOT - (U.S.) 14.7%. Sweet and Italianate dried fruit less; ripe than the 09. Some tart fruit as well as dried. Nice deep cherry tone./ Sweet rich Italian approach to merlot. Sweet toffee oak. Works hard to please in 2010. Good value. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT061814-11. 12 COTES DU RHONE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHAPELLE ST. ARNOUX - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Straight forward 2012 with sweeter fruit than the norm. More red than black fruit. Suave. High grenache content. Pleases./ Yes, traditional high grenache negociant sweetness and suavity. Adequate acid for balance. Less inspired than the previous two vintages. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT061814-12. 12 COTES DU RHONE CHATEAU DE SEGRIES, HENRI DE LANZAC - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. More richness, vitality, personality, and savor here. Sweet 2012 black fruit. Far better than the 2011./ Palate more reserved. A good balance of acid, grip, glycerol. Lirac cool. Both balance and potential. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT061814-13. 11 LACRIMA DI MORRO D’ALBA, ACCATTOLI - (ITALY) 12.5%; 100% varietal. Sweet fruit and cola aromas. Especially expressive, concentrated, and lovely. Cherry and Dr. Pepper./ Cola and cherry flavors too. Drier than the nose suggests. Good acid and grip. Will fill out to equal the lovely 2010 given a few months. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT061814-14. 12 MCMANIS FAMILY RIVER JUNCTION CALIFORNIA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 13.5%. Sweet and sassy fruit. A lot of American oak superimposed on the fruit. Oak chips? The beautiful 2012 fruit doesn’t need it. Maybe it will sink in over time. Ripe, cedary, peppery fruit drive fights back, will not be denied./ Again, the oak is out in front. Time will cure that. The 2012 fruit volume is simply awesome! 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT061814-15. 12 SHENANDOAH VINEYARDS SPECIAL RESERVE AMADOR ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 13.9%. Sweet and sassy, with Amador roast. Most serious vintage of this to date. This has grip behind its usual fruit forward nature./ Beautiful oak and spice to complement its sweet 2012 fruit. Yards ahead of any previous vintage of this. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

June 11, 2014 big bucks tasting

WT061114-01. BARON-FUENTE GRANDE RESERVE DEMI-SEC CHAMPAGNE - (SPARKLING) 12%. Well, this has an outstanding measure of bottle bouquet for a demi-sec. Seems to have spent as much time ‘en tirage’ as the Brut Reserve. Fine singed cream and brioche bouquet. Ideal./ Off dry and appropriate for its category; maybe even drier than the average. Offers nicely developed lees autolysis flavors while maintaining a fruity freshness. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT061114-02. 12 VOUVRAY LE HAUT LIEU SEC, DOMAINE HUET - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Good and dry and concentrated. Low key aromatics./ Oh, boy, nothing understated about the palate. It’s big-time. Full textural play, acid, extract, mineral. A jaw breaker. 17.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT061114-03. 10 CONDRIEU LES GRAND’ MAISONS, MAURICETTE & CHRISTIAN FACCHIN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Some residual sulphur to start. Then honey and lime. Improves as it airs, becoming fresher and crisper./ Medium bodied. Pleasing viognier bottle development. Real mineral savor complete with Condrieu’s unique mica contribution. Honeysuckle and peach. Will continue to accrue interest with bottle age. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $54.95

WT061114-04. 12 SAINT AUBIN MURGERS DES DENTS DE CHIEN 1ER CRU, JEAN CHARTRON - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Big fruit, terroir, and barrel statements. Lots of calcaire. Yields nothing to a Premier Cru Puligny. Easily worth the price./ Oh, boy, what a grand mouthful of flavors and textures. Wide ranging complex of fruit, terroir, and barrel contributions. This is even better than the exciting 2010. Has it all. What makes Cote de Beaune burgundy the incomparable chardonnay wine. 18.1+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $47.99

WT061114-05. 11 CROZES HERMITAGE SILENE, J. L. CHAVE SELECTION - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. From hillside vineyards in Larnage and Servans, half owned by Chave. Clear, bright, revealing 2011 with stylish northern Rhone syrah qualities including raspberry and seeds, and white pepper. A very intense portrayal./ Peppercorn, garrigue herbs, and raspberry flavors. Rich in extract, acid, and fruit pulp. Another Chave masterpiece, and an affordable one at that. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT061114-06. 08 CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA ROCCA GUICCIARDA, BARONE RICASOLI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Dark, secretive, earthy, murky depths of 2008. Gains fruit clarity as it airs, and additional depth. Oak contributes an aura of elegance./ Palate too begins in a funk and then rallies to oak and fruit elegance and balance. Quite the entertaining performance. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT061114-07. 08 BAROLO, CORTE ALLA FLORA - (ITALY) 14.5%. Good and sweet-fruited and elegant Corte alla Flora style. 08 vintage form./ Yes, plenty of takes on the estate and the vintage. Medium to full bodied. Good acid this vintage, of course. Fine tannin. Certainly less resistant than your average 2008 Barolo. Useful now. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $37.99

WT061114-08. 10 CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE, DOMAINE LUCIEN BARROT - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 15%. Ruddy, medium dark red like the 2007. Suggests a traditional CdP./ Indeed, solidly built old-time style with high grenache content. Grenache’s high alcohol and glycerol. Old-time tar and licorice. Great future./ Oh, yes, grenache sweet berries, glycerol, tar, grip. Chewy texture. Fine alcohol power; blooms in the mouth. Superior to the 2007. 17.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

WT061114-09. 12 MACAULEY OLD VINE NAPA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.8%; 380 cases produced. Oh, boy, full time power, density, ripe black fruit with oak to match–already integrated./ Smooth alcohol-glycerol feel. Toasty oak. Napa zinfandel elegance and class shines through all. Long, clinging, welcome finish. 18.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

WT061114-10. 08 AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO, AZ. AGR. IL ROVERONE - (ITALY) 16.5%; 70% corvina, 20% rondinella, 10% sangiovese. Sweet, oaky, raisined. Now THIS is Amarone! (I’ve sampled a few meek ones lately.) This is Full Throttle. Celestial raisins. Penetrating./ Full power, glycerol, dried fruit concentration. Full flavor, alcohol. The works. Has it all. 19.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $54.95

WT061114-11. 09 LES CHARMILLES DE CHATEAU LA TOUR BLANCHE, SAUTERNES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; second wine of the Premier Grand Cru. Powerful, luscious Bommes Sauternes style. Deep and dense aromas of honey, caramel, pineapple. Loaded./ Fully luscious, yet great acidity gets through to perform its balancing act. As impressive as a Grand Vin. Huge. 19.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT061114-12. 09 VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI CLASSICO, TENUTE MARCHESE ANTINORI half liter - (ITALY) 14.5%. Oloroso like nose, not uncommon in vin santos. Still youthfully sticky./ The palate is distinctly vin santo and cannot be mistaken for a sherry. Maple-nut, toffee-treacle flavors, wide-spread and deep-running. Fabulous palate complete with power. A great ager. 18.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

June 4, 3014

WT060414-03. 13 VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO SUPERIORE, FATTORIA LAILA - (ITALY) 13%. Oh my, how full and well rounded apple-pear-peach aromas. More aromatic and textural impact than your average Verdicchio, that’s for sure./ Yes, a very voluminous, generous Verdicchio full of warmth and roundness. Very popular with the group. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT060414-04. 12 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY CLOS DE LA COMBE, JEAN CHARTRON - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; vines up to 70 years old; vineyard in Puligny Montrachet commune. Very rich apple and citrus fruit. Not much oak and calcaire interceding. Just lovely Puligny like fruit purity./ Mostly fruit and Bourgogne terroir. Light oak, lees contact, barrel maturation.. Uncomplicated and pleasing dinner burgundy. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT060414-05. 12 ALSACE GENTIL, HUGEL - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%; est. 1639. Pinot blanc green fruit, pinot gris nuttiness, light aromatic-grape aura./ Yes, pinots basis with light riesling, even gewurz highlights. Eminently well crafted edelzwicker, cool, racy, polished, balanced. Best in years. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT060414-06. 12 NAHE ESTATE RIESLING KABINETT, JAKOB SCHNEIDER liter - (GERMANY) 9.5%; from vineyards Rosenberg, Klamm, and Kirschheck. Dry and stony Schneider style. One of his best. Subtle Mittel Nahe fruit plus class terroir./ Peach-orange. Near dry. Soft and flowing, with enough minerality to assert its texture. Delicious balance. Gulpable in liter. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT060414-07. 13 SANCERRE ROSE, DOMAINE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; pinot noir. Lots of banana still. Bright cherry too./ Again, the banana and the astringency. Premature. Age it more. 15.6++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT060414-08. 12 SANCERRE ROUGE, DOMAINE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; pinot noir. Some sulphur on entry. Earthy. Northern pinot leanness. Some nice, tender sweet pinot cherry, plus tar./ Light and a little tea leafy. Astringency. Pretty good for the genre. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT060414-09. 11 RIOJA GRAN FAMILIA, CASTELLO DE FUENMAYOR - (SPAIN) 12.5%. Fruity-spicy. Earned extras from barrel time. Pleasingly ripe, spiced raspberry-cherry. This is back to the good old vintages./ Yes, spicy cherry-berry. Right acid and fine tannin. A traditional ano Rioja. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT060414-10. 10 CHATEAU BELLEVUE, BLAYE COTES DE BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; Sabourin Freres at Plassac. Typically firm 2010. Some fruit basis deep down inside. Will be good./ Yes, sweet black cherry merlot with some peels extract and tannin to shed. Light brett. Young and well poised 2010. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT060414-11. 12 STEPHEN VINCENT CENTRAL COAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 14.2%. Sweet, warm, abundant 2012. Warm climate leanings. Likely some Paso Robles fruit here. Dusting of oak. In style./ Good rich fruit creme with warm spice extras. Round and rich texture. Well balanced. Good acid. Light tannin. Fruitful finish. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT060414-12. 12 MEDITERRANEE L’APOSTROPHE, DOMAINE CHANTE CIGALE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 70% grenache, 20% cinsault, 10% syrah. Reduced, feral, funky./ Again. Shut down. No fun. No flavor or texture other than vinosity. I’ve never had one of these this young before. I suspect it will improve greatly with bottle age.14.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT060414-13. 11 COTES DU RHONE TRESCARTES, DOMAINE SAINT GAYAN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Firm yet revealing 2011 of delicacy, and red fruit, garrigue, and peppercorn expressions./ Saint Gayan garrigue and Gigondas terroir. Warm and robust, savory cracked pepper and garrigue. Classic and cellar worthy. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT060414-14. 12 FORCE OF NATURE MOSSFIRE RANCH PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%. Frank, open, ripe Paso showing 2012 wholesome fruit and American oak aging. Lots of raspberry and peppercorn./ Sweet roasted raspberry and seed. Roti eastside Paso style. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT060414-15. 11 COTES DE GASCOGNE GROS MANSENG MOELLEUX, DOMAINE DE MENARD - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%. Honey, peach, pineapple, orange. Less petit manseng influence than in the 2010. One of the best examples of gros manseng I’ve experienced./ Fine orange juice and peel acid-bitter. Really tangy-juicy and refreshing against the sweetness. Great mealtime possibilities. Heaps of flavor and lasting finish. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

 

 

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