Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- June, 2016
by Dick Scheer Updated July 20, 2016
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
WT062916-1. 15 CHATEAU LA GRAVIERE, ENTRE DEUX MERS - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. Snappy sauvignon-semillon aromas of spring grass and lemon curd. Zesty bergamot airs./ Flavor and texture both still understated and mild in youth, or due to recent shipment. The 2014 was more vivacious thanks to extra acidity, as well as more fulfilled thanks to months longer in bottle when tasted. 15.5+.
WT062916-2. 15 DR. KONSTANTIN FRANK FINGER LAKES GRUNER VELTLINER - (U.S.) 12%. A good take on the varietal emphasizing apple and stone over legume. Speaks of a cooler climate than its Austrian environs./ Sweet apple and pear flavors. Soft and gentle on the approach. Rich and real gruve taste profile. 16.6.
WT062916-3. 14 DR. KONSTANTIN FRANK DRY FINGER LAKES RIESLING - (U.S.) 12.5%. Dry, with light evergreen flairs of bottle development. Yew and cedar./ Yes, this is quite forward in bottle bouquet. Good acidity. Down the middle. Take to the table this summer. 15.4.
WT062916-4. 15 SAINT DREZERY ROSE PRESTIGE, PUECH HAUT - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Brisk, fresh, berried, tingly. Great acid and extract apparent. Penetrates and fills the nostrils with aroma and texture./ Full flavor and feel. Tingles, etches. Berry and cedar. Class act, and ready to enjoy. Very popular with the group. 16.7.
WT062916-5. 15 COTES DU RHONE ROSE, DOMAINE CHARVIN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. More of the strong, silent type at this stage. Just shipped, so might be muted by travel shock. Essentially backward at this stage. Good fruit core marks potential./ Cherry, cedar, mint, peels extracts. A sizeable rose emulating Tavel but rather four square at this interval. I have faith. 16.1++.
WT062916-6. 14 BOURGOGNE EPINEUIL PINOT NOIR, DOMAINE MOUTARD DILIGENT - (FRANCE BOURGOGNE) 12.5%. Palest colored in the series./ Shrill acid and grape peels. Very tart cherry./ Well, pinot glycerol, smoothness coats the acid. Some gaminess. Re-visit in a month or so. 14.0+/15.6+.
WT062916-7. 14 BARBERA D'ALBA, FRANCO SERRA - (ITALY) 13%. Genuine black-fruited, black-peppery young Alba barbera with the tartness and peels astringency of a cool year./ Palate softer. Black cherry, wild cherry, and peppercorn. Great acid for food. Popular with the group, as it has been over the years. 16.2+.
WT062916-8. 14 BARBERA D'ASTI TRE VIGNE, VIETTI - (ITALY) 13.5%; estate bottled; unfiltered. Elegant spiced cherry airs. Special, refined for its ilk. Pink peppercorns./ Round and full textured. The barbera flavor set. Good acid. I find here the greater ease of an Asti barbera against the firmer Alba take above. One of the best in this series despite the cool vintage. 16.4+.
WT062916-9. 14 CASTILLA TEMPRANILLO PASO A PASO, FINCA LAS CRUCES - (SPAIN) 14%. Whoa, boy! This is really forceful and forthcoming. Fully extracted. Full nasal presence./ Yes, ripe and powerful tinto of the south. Inelegant but oh so generous. Demands food. Surprisingly popular with the group, and said to improve into the next day. 15.9+.
WT062916-10. 14 RIBERA DEL DUERO, BODEGAS BARCO DE PIEDRA - (SPAIN) 14%; 2400'-3200'; 4-6 mo. French and US oak barrels. Both power and elegance like the 2013. Scores again. Black fruit, cracked pepper, good oak. Fruit sweetness and aromatic flair./ Spicy. Plenty of fruit extract. 2014 acidity in balance with the whole. The total RDD package at a bargain price. 16.5.
WT062916-11. 12 SALICE SALENTINO RISERVA GRAN PASSIONE, BOTTER - (ITALY) 13%. Ripe, roti, powerful. A certain shrillness./ Sweet and strong. Straight on. Lacks nuance. Just a satisfying mealtime rosso, better with food than without. The perfect 15.0.
WT062916-12. 13 VENTISQUERO GREY BLOCK #38 TRINIDAD VYD MAIPO VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (CHILE) 14%; 18 months in French oak barrels. Strong, with a clear vein of cabernet black currant. Genuine native-rootstock Chilean cabernet./ Good oak-fruit balance, sweet-acid balance. All hangs together well. 16.4.
WT062916-13. 11 VENTISQUERO GREY BLOCK #5 TRINIDAD VYD MAIPO VALLEY CARMENERE - (CHILE) 14%; 18 months in French oak barrels. A powerful, savory carmenere. None of the varietal's sometimes softness, earthiness. This is stalwart, righteous. Some resistance still, even approaching age five./ More carmenere softness and mellowness on the palate. The ‘merlot on steroids' thing. Rich, succulent, abundant. 16.6.
WT062916-14. 14 RUST EN VREDE ESTATE STELLENBOSCH MERLOT - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14.5%; est. 1694. Good oak, fruit, acidity. No discerning varietal characteristics. Just a fine Cape red wine./ Yes, a good, solid red, free of Cape horsiness. Perfectly ripe and balanced for current use. 16.3.
WT062916-15. 09 GRAHAM'S LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO - (FORTIFIED) 19.5%. Sweet, fruity, powerful Graham's style. Classic./ Sweetness and strength in a balancing act. Full fruit. Full body. All around harmony. Superior to the 2008. 17.3.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
WT062216-1. 15 COTES DE GASCOGNE BLANC, DOMAINE DES CASSAGNOLES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%. Pungent, ripe, racy, tingly. Really swells the nostrils./ Great grip and acid confirms the nasal textures. Lots of extract. Wants food. 16.3.
WT062216-2. 14 RANDERSACKERER SILVANER TROCKEN, WEINGUT SCHMITT'S KINDER - (GERMANY) 12.5%. Shy and basic to start. Not earthy, not heavy. Just not much in the way of varietal pungency early on. Aeration helps./ Undeveloped yet, flavor-wise. Just shipped? Certainly plenty of silvaner weight and texture. 15.9+.
WT062216-3. 15 PAYS D'OC ROSE GRIS BLANC, GERARD BERTRAND - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; of grenaches gris and blanc. Still some fermention residual. Plenty of berry too. Good./ Yeah, some ferment. Good texture. Has the makings. Give it a couple more weeks. 16.2+.
WT062216-4. 15 COTES DE PROVENCE, DOMAINE LA SANGLIERE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; 70% cinsault, 30% grenache. Ripe berry. Still a little shy from travel. Sweetens up, fills out with aeration./ Sweet-fruited and flavorful. A winner once again, especially plump in sunny 2015. 16.4+.
WT062216-5. 12 CHATEAU ARGADENS, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; Gold Medal - Concours de Bordeaux 2015. 12 sweet and dark, solid and fundamental. One of the riper-fruited 12s./ Sweet and balanced and accomplished. No tough tannin, no greenness–drawbacks of some 2012s of regional appellation. Best since the 2009. 16.3+.
WT062216-6. 14 COTES DU RHONE BELLERUCHE, M. CHAPOUTIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 60% grenache, 40% syrah. Dark and sweet enough. Bit 14 tart and cool./ Spicy, peppery, but simple and a bit two dimensional. About the same as all years. 15.6.
WT062216-7. 13 MONICA DI SARDEGNA, ARGIOLAS - (ITALY) 13.5%. Rather shrill and tart as usual for this variety in all but the sunniest vintages. Some tar, black peels, and reasonable depth./ Lean and tart on entry, but sweet in back. One of the better years, actually. 15.4.
WT062216-8. 14 CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA I FIORI, AZ. AGR. PALA - (ITALY) 14%. Reduced at first. Sweetens and fills with air./ Reduced to start, then sweet. Black fruited. Will improve. 15.8+.
WT062216-9. 13 PRIORAT ONA, CELLER CECILIO - (SPAIN) 14.5%; 35% ea garnatxa, syrah, 20% carinena, 10% cab sauv. Sweet, powerful, roti. Right at ya. Rangy black fruits complex. Wood framework presents itself./ Balanced, spicy, roti, large. Certainly generous. Finesse is not its mantra. 16.8+.
WT062216-10. 13 SEXTANT WHEELHOUSE PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.8%. Sweet and spicy, woody, 13 solid, well poised./ Powerful, bold, rich, total Paso zinfandel. Everything's properly proportioned. Great piece of work. 17.1.
WT062216-11. 14 URZIGER WURZGARTEN RIESLING KABINETT, WEINKELTER - (GERMANY) 7.5%. Some sense of the terroir's spiciness. Introvert. .2012 had more to say, but maybe I tasted it at a later stage./ Speaks of real Mosel riesling kabinett but lacks site definition and grandeur. Will it fill out to be another 2012? 16.1+?
WT062216-12. 13 CHATEAU COUTET, 1ER GRAND CRU CLASSE, BARSAC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Thick, powerful, honeyed. And that Barsac lift and dryness apparent too. Pineapple./ Yes, Barsac uplift and relative dryness. Citrus, honey, pineapple, and minty freshness. Loaded, complex, total, balanced, singular. An ager. 18.6+.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
WT061516-1. (15) VINHO VERDE CICONIA, ALEXANDRE RELVAS - (PORTUGAL) 10.5%. Fresh and fizzy. Apple and pear aromas. A quencher./ Both sweet and tangy fruit in 2015. Spritzy, lithe. What it should be. 16.3.
WT061516-2. 14 TIKVES SMEDEREVKA, V. V. TIKVES liter - (MACEDONIA) 10.5%. Very nice, light aromas of stone fruit, apple, and pear. Lovely and fresh./ Pretty fluid. Finish has a bitterness, harshness. 16.3/15.7.
WT061516-3. 15 KAMPTAL GRUNER VELTLINER, SCHLOSS GOBELSBURG - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%. Apple, legume, and newness. Full./ Very full indeed, with apple, legume, and freshness confirmed. All. 16.5+.
WT061516-4. 14 MOSEL WEISSBURGUNDER, MAX FERD. RICHTER - (GERMANY) 12%. Austere. Some sulphur./ Good green fruit of pinot blanc. No sulphur on palate. Good texture and grip. 14.0/16.3+.
WT061516-5. 14 CHABLIS VAILLONS 1ER CRU, DOMAINE COULAUDIN-BUSSY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Discards its initial SO2 to allow apple and calcaire to emerge./ Fat and full of chardonnay character. Premier Cru rich, large. Works. 16.7+.
WT061516-6. 15 CHINON ROSE RIVE GAUCHE, M. PLOUZEAU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Oh, a beauty. Dainty pink fruit, and it runs deep, flaunts a brambly spiciness, and fills the nostrils with delight../ Mouthfilling and joyous. Graceful and balanced. Perfect pitch. 16.8.
WT061516-7. 15 COTES DU LOT MALBEC ROSE, LA BERANGERAIE - (FRANCE BORDAUX) 11.5%. Starts out on a banana note, but, oh boy, then comes on a burst of cherry juice and pastille. Exuberant to say the least./ Full cherry juice taste, sweet and sassy. Popular. 16.9.
WT061516-8. 13 TIKVES VRANEC, V. V. TIKVES liter - (MACEDONIA) 12.5%. Sweet cherry and tar. Fully ripe and fruity and appealing./ Drier and more austere. Needs time and food. 16.2/15.8.
WT061516-9. 15 WILLAMETTE VALLEY VINEYARDS WHOLE CLUSTER WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.1%. Dry, dark, and fruity./ Peels and dryness. Leaner than 2014–a surprise. Time, I guess. 15.2+.
WT061516-10. 12 LAUDUN CDR VILLAGES LE DOUX SAUVAGE, DOMAINE MEJAN TAULIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Sweet and direct fruit presentation, rather four square like many of its vintage. Dry./ Vinous, gamy, dry. 15.6+.
WT061516-11. 14 ROSSO DI MONTEPULCIANO, MARIA CATERINA DEI - (ITALY) 13%. Oxidation, roti. What a surprise./ Not on entry, but more roti on the finish. 2014 acid. After so many good vintages, this one's a loser. 13.0-.
WT061516-12. 13 CHIANTI COLLI SENESI, FATTORIA CASABIANCA - (ITALY) 14%. Dry and dried out. Severe./ Dry and vinous. Plain; the perfect 2013. Well, it does become softer and fuller after aeration. Works OK now. 15.9.
WT061516-13. 11 CHIANTI COLLI SENESI RISERVA, FATTORIA CASABIANCA - (ITALY) 14.5%. Dry also. Wood aging. I'm not high on this source./ Wood and wood age. Pretty coarse. Light glycerol coating saves it. 14.5.
WT061516-14. 14 CAROL SHELTON MONGA ZIN OLD VINE CUCAMONGA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%. Sweet and powerful in the Taster glass. Young and still a bit rough hewn. Nice wood edge. No 14 elegance showing yet, but, then, it's from the south./ Full treacly oak and really rich, ripe fruit without going overboard into roti. It's a ‘wow' palate already. The nose will catch up in a few months. 16.8+/17.2.
WT061516-15. 09 QUINTA DO NOVAL SINGLE VYD UNFILTERED LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO - (FORTIFIED) 19.5%. Wow! Powerful in the Taster, but not raw. Very sweet, very spicy. Vintage port like grip of the gob. Loaded./ Yes, sweet and powerful. Balanced, spicy, long, all. 18.0.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
WT060816-1. (15) VINHO VERDE GAZELA, SOGRAPE VINHOS - (PORTUGAL) 9%. Still some hoppy fermentation residual. Gassy. Young./ Soft. Sweetish. Gentle. Commercial. 15.2+.
WT060816-2. 15 VINHO VERDE FAMEGA, CAVES DE CERCA - (PORTUGAL) 10%. Fulfilled. Some leesiness that comes with the territory, and it's positive./ Flavorful. Light peach and pear. Much more interest. Good value. 16.0.
WT060816-3. 15 VINHO VERDE LAS LILAS, ADEGA PONTE DA BARCA - (PORTUGAL) 10.5%. Well, this is much richer and plumper still. The 2015 ripeness comes across. And the superior, more aromatic grape varieties. This tingles. This sings. This soars./ Flavorful. Wow! Suave, well padded, fabulous value. 16.6.
WT060816-4. 15 VINHO VERDE MEIO SECO, ENCOSTAS DO LIMA, ADEGA PONTE DE LIMA - (PORTUGAL) 10%. Peach and light notes of almond, honey, hazelnut. Sweet smelling./ Yes, demi sec indeed, with acid to modulate. Good flavor interest. Baklava. Shows great acid balance on the extended finish. 16.4.
WT060816-5. 12 ALSACE PINOT GRIS THE FURST, VIGNERONS DE KIENTZHEIM-KAYSERSBERG - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%. Nice wax, nut, melon. Balanced and plenty fresh at age 3 plus. Ideal at this stage./ Was hoping for more body, presence, glycerol. Medium body and flavor interest. Balanced. How long has it been since I've enjoyed an Alsace pinot gris with some real oomph? 16.4/15.9.
WT060816-6. 14 CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE COLUMBIA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 14%; est. 1967; vinifera rootstock. Say, nice oak seasoning to fill out that WA chardonnay crispness. Well balanced./ Yes, spicy oak, not sawdusty like the early vintages. Great acid. This has come a long way since the last vintage I'd tasted. Bravo. Great buy. Best ever. 16.5.
WT060816-7. 14 SALMON CREEK CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 12.5%. 14 crisp and cool. Elegant, coastal degree of ripeness. Fulfilled./ Yes, crisp red and black fruit. Juicy acid invites food. Extreme value. How do they do it year after year? Vintage character, coastal demeanor, great price. A roomful of Europhiles was taken aback. 16.2.
WT060816-8. 14 MARTIN RAY NAPA VALLEY MERLOT - (U.S.) 14.2%. A bit strident, young, inelegant. Firm. No varietal or Napa Valley ID./ Dry, close, vinous. Not much interest now. Does yield more with aeration–grudgingly. Needs cellaring. 14.8++.
WT060816-9. 12 AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE GRICOS, AZ. AGR. GRIFALCO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Ripe and smoky, and a bit raisined. Lacks the usual grace notes of this cuvee./ Rich and sassy, savory. Good acid, good balance, fine tannin. Plenty of savor. The palate rallies. 15.6/16.4+.
WT060816-10. 13 COTES DU RHONE CUVEE MACLURA, CHATEAU PEGAU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 50 yr vines at Sorgues; 50% grenache, 25% syrah, 10% mourvedre, 5% cinsault. Grand scaled. A top 2013 Cotes du Rhone, one of the best fulfilled I've tasted. Ample, sprawling, powerful. Richness, spice, dried and ripe fruit./ A little tighter on the palate, yet its substance and range cannot be denied. Has all the right ingredients. Bravo, Laurence Ferraud! 16.7+.
WT060816-11. 13 COTES DU RHONE ANDEZON, VIGNERONS D'ESTEZARGUES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; unfiltered. Warm and black fruited as usual. Lightly baked./ Powerful but no burn. From the appellation's warm south. Robust and inelegant, 2D. 16.2+.
WT060816-12. 13 CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA COSTERA, ARGIOLAS - (ITALY) 14%. Light reduction to start soon yields to a warm, robust, powerful disposition. Spicy; barrel aging seasoning. Wow! Right at ya./ Yes, balanced, suave, and good now. Put it right to use. 16.5.
WT060816-13. 07 RIOJA GRAN RESERVA, BODEGAS LAN - (SPAIN) 14%. American oak still up front, with is kinda unusual in a gran reserva. Adequate fruit support. Young for the vintage and long barrel regimen. Shows the necessary harmony to stay the course./ Yes, well balanced. Still lacking in gran reserva complexity and amplitude. I expect that will come. 16.5+.
WT060816-14. 13 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER VIEILLES VIGNES, FREY-SOHLER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%. True varietal character but not in abundance. Rose and light glycerol./ Not as ample as the maker's 13 Muscat and some of the older vintages of its Gewurz. True but on the meager side of norm. 16.2.
WT060816-15. DELGADO ZULETA MOSCATEL SHERRY - (FORTIFIED) 17.5%; est. 1744. Well barrel aged and nutty. Not a sticky, pasty Moscatel. Shows the relative dryness and sophistication of long time in cooperage. Bravo./ Muscat's dried stone fruits, bowl full of nuts, and barrel-earned complexity. Served cool, and that works. Great value. 17.4.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
WT060116-1. 15 COTES DE GASCOGNE COLOMBARD, MONT GRAVET - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%. Good colombard green stuff: green fruit, green herbs. Crisp and penetrating./ The varietal gives exceptionally good acidity for region and vintage. Well balanced. Yes, a lovely, harmonious rendition. 16.5.
WT060116-2. 15 VENETO PINOT GRIGIO, CANTINA COLLI EUGANEI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Well, this is a pleasant relief after the 2014, which was still sulphurous when tasted last August. This drier, sunnier vintage no doubt required a lighter dose, so here in June it's bright and clear and fruity./ Good grigio richness balanced by crisp acidity. Ideal for region and price range. 16.2.
WT060116-3. 15 LANGHE ARNEIS, AZ. AGR. CASCINA BONGIOVANNI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Oh, sage, nectar, and white peach!/ Sauvignon like zippy streak. All around racy, Unique. Mint, bergamot. Ideal acidity. Wow! This is a three-ring circus of an arneis, the most complex I've experienced. 17.1.
WT060116-4. 15 BARKER'S MARQUE THE LOOP MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 12.5%. Very ripe and pithy grapefruit. Yes the pulp, the pith, the peel. Plus walnut husk./ Soft acidity of the vintage. Laid back, gentle. An NZ sauvignon of wide appeal. 16.3.
WT060116-5. 15 SANTA RITA 120 VALLE CENTRAL SAUVIGNON BLANC - (CHILE) 13.5%. The usual good, straightforward Chilean sauvignon that is Santa Rita 120. Good cut./ Pleasing mouthfeel of citrus and mineral. Medium flavor intensity. Really great texture. 16.3.
WT060116-7. 15 HERAULT CARIGNAN VIEILLES VIGNES, MONT GRAVET - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12%. Fresh fruited and very peppery, vigorous, accomplished, all./ Again, has it all. Balanced, fresh, spicy, vigorous. Fully accomplished, useful. Impressive length. Bargain. 16.3.
WT060116-8. 14 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR RESERVE, BOUCHARD PERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Some sour reduction to start. Recovers. 14 elegant as well as rich fruit. Works./ Medium bodied. Tar, game, peel, Medium ripe.15.1+.
WT060116-9. 13 BARBERA D'ASTI FIULOT, PRUNOTTO - (ITALY) 13%. A dark, peelsy, surly, and vinous barbera in 2013. Leathery too./ Yes, dry and raspy traditional barbera that give less pleasure tasted ‘brut' than it would with food. 15.0+.
WT060116-10. 13 PENINSULA DE SETUBAL PERIQUITA, JOSE MARIA DA FONSECA - (FORTIFIED) 13%; 48% castelao, 37% trincadeira, 15% aragonez. Ripe, black, sweet, spicy, true./ Round, red, ripe, fruity, balanced, flavorful. Suave too. How many years has this wine been delivering these attributes? I believe 1964 was my first vintage. Kudos.16.6.
WT060116-14. 14 PELEE ISLAND SEMI SWEET ONTARIO MERLOT - (CANADA) 12.5%. Some sulphur. First time, this vintage. I guess to combat rot. Sweet./ Sweet but lacking flavor interest. Hopefully, it will throw off its sulphur bonds and take its place alongside attractive earlier vintages. 15.1+?
WT060116-15. 10 OFFLEY LATE BOTTLE VINTAGE PORTO - (FORTIFIED) 20%; bottled 2014. Powerful in Taster glass. Black fruit and quality spirit. Packed./ Yes, sweet, powerful, full textured, fine tannin–all in balance. Great LBV in all respects. An underrated vintage given the quality of this and the 2010 Taylor Fladgate LBV. 17.8