Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - JUNE 2018
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  July 16, 2018

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

WT062718-01. 17 VAL DE LOIRE SAUVIGNON BLANC UNIQUE, DELAILLE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Full expression of tropical and citrus fruits and spring grass./ Good, full, limestone based sauvignon. Plenty of both flavor and body. Lacks the finesse of Sancerre, but makes up for it in generosity. Popular with the group. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT062718-02. 17 VOSS YOUNTVILLE SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S. WEST COAST) 12%; est. 1986. Young and not very expressive yet. More particularly, crisp./ Full figured Napa sauvignon style. Flavors and textures yet to form. Check out again in fall. 16.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT062718-03. 17 MATUA MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%. Decent but small fry compared to the 2017 competition./ Yeah, on the meek side. 15.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT062718-04. 16 MACON LA ROCHE VINEUSE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHATEAU DE LA GREFFIERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Lightly oaky as usual, and reliably full bodied./ Not as expressive as usual at this juncture. Air and age further. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT062718-05. 17 COTES DU RHONE ROSE, DOMAINE LES APHILLANTHES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Fine set of berry aromas. Both brisk and full./ Good body and sense of power, even at just 12.5%. Well balanced too. Impressive flavor length. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062718-06. 17 PIC SAINT LOUP ROSE, CHATEAU DE LANCYRE - (ROSE) 13.5%; 50% syrah, 40% grenache, 10% cinsault. Bubble gum and berries. Still a few weeks premature./ Yeah, that reduction astringency is hanging around still. Air and age. 15.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT062718-07. 15 VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE RAFAEL, AGR. TOMMASI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Sweet and robust for just 12.5%. Properly, not overly, ripe./ Wow, spicy and sweet and racy too. Large Valpolicella; not the standard middle weight. No signs of ripasso vinification though. Just 2015 super-sized. Fine dinner wine. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT062718-08. 16 PELEE ISLAND WINERY ONTARIO CABERNET FRANC - (CANADA) 13%. Bright, northern, spicy, vigorous. Seems oak tinged. The usual good stuff here./ Sweet and vigorous fruit. Thorough. A complete treat. Could serve it slightly chilled even. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT062718-09. 15 TOSCANA SANGIOVESE - CABERNET SAUVIGNON ROMPICOLLO POGGIO AL TUFO, AGR. TOMMASI - (ITALY) 13%. Sweet and fruity and bright like always./ Well balanced on the palate. Complete picture of oak, fruit, spice. Sooo harmonious and agreeable. One of the best vintages of this consistently reliable cuvee. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT062718-10. 16 SEAN MINOR FOUR BEARS CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. True pinot, but kinda strong, frank, and woody out of the gate. Medium color suggests it hasn‛t been augmented with darker varieties, thank goodness./ Spicy pinot and rightful oak flavors. Delivers fruit sweetness, flavor, power, acid, all. Good value. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062718-11. 16 RIBERA DEL DUERO TEMPRANILLO HITO, BODEGAS CEPA 21 - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Ripe, warm, black, spicy, powerful, insistent RDD./ Sweet, ripe fruit meets clear oak influence, seemingly American oak. Showy wine. One of the boldest in this series. Wants food. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT062718-12. 16 BARBERA DEL MONFERRATO MARAIA, MARCHESI DI BAROLO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Frank barbera, large, deep, black, sweet./ Good barbera acidity. Medium bodied, as this cuvee is intended to be. 2016's correct style and flow. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT062718-13. 13 MOLISE RAMITELLO, DI MAJO NORANTE - (ITALY) 13.5%; 85% montepulciano, 15% aglianico. Sweet and sassy, with monte violets and aglianico size./ Oh, yes, the fruit, the flower, the range, the texture. I love both these varietals, and I love how they always work so well together in this wine. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062718-14. 16 ESPANA GARNACHA DE FUEGO, BODEGAS BRECA - (SPAIN) 15.5%; vyds at 3000' plus. Strong, dry, direct, woody./ Yes, sweet and strong. Forthright and forceful. Needs hearty fare. And some additional bottle age. 15.9+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT062718-15. 15 FENN VALLEY ESTATE LATE HARVEST FENNVILLE VIGNOLES - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 11%. Sweet aromas of peach, orange, blossom, and honey. Tingly and round both./ Yes, impeccable varietal expression in a late harvest setting. Great play of acidity and sweetness. Full flavor range. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WT062018-01. 16 CHATEAU LAGRUGERE, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%. Rather earthy and old time semillon./ Same. Old time. 14.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT062018-02. 16 TOURAINE SAUVIGNON LE GRAND ST-VINCENT, LES VIGNERONS DES COTEAUX ROMANAIS - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Sings. Mango and citrus. Lovely, lilting northern grown sauvignon./ Surprisingly mellow acidity for 16. Juicy enough though. And wholly flavorful. Long finish. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT062018-03. 15 RHEINHESSEN SILVANER ALTE REBEN TROCKEN, WEINGUT DR. HEYDEN - (GERMANY) 13%. Earthy silvaner this ripe vintage./ Same. Maybe a little zinginess underneath, so not bad. 2014 better. Maybe this is aging faster. 15.9
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT062018-05. 17 BARDOLINO CHIARETTO (ROSE) VIGNAIOLO IN SOMMACAMPAGNA, AZ. AGR. RONCA DI RONCA MASSIMO - (ITALY) 11%. Very lithe, bright, and pretty fruit, with great acid./ Yes, perfumed, easy going, flowing. All good fun and refreshment. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT062018-06. 17 TOURAINE ROSE LE GRAND BALLON, DELAUNAY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Deep, rich, but still reductive. This really is substantial for Loire rose./ Swells in fruitiness. Some lipstick yet. No problem. Great acid and form in back. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT062018-07. 16 ARDECHE SYRAH, DOMAINE DURAND - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Deep, dark, spicy, reductive. More substantial than the 2015, which is a surprise. Needs time./ Yes, terse, astringent, reductive, tannic. Air and age. 16.2++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT062018-08. 16 ALENTEJANO CONDE VILLAR, HEREDADE PENEDO GORDO - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%. Deep, young, dark, bit reductive./ Yes, tight and young. 2D yet. 15.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT062018-09. 15 TEJO TERRACOS DO TEJO, SOC. AGR. CASAL DA COELHEIRA - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; 40% aragones (tempranillo), 30% each syrah, castelao. Deep, spicy, 15 ripe, and at least a year more along than the above. Sweet fruit padding around a dark syrah center./ Spicy, racy, vinous. Still 2D. Nose more revealing. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT062018-10. 15 TEJO, SOC. AGR. CASAL DA COELHEIRA - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; 40% touriga nacional; 30% each alicante bouschet, touriga franca. More bottle and barrel age. Larger. Yes, at mid age. Progressed in barrel and bottle development. Good acid, flavor, texture. For food. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT062018-11. 16 MOSEL RIESLING FEINHERB, DR. H. THANISCH - MULLER-BURGGRAF - (GERMANY) 11%. Crisp and full of extract. Great mineral etch. Stony persistence./ Again, stony. Well balanced. Fine texture and length. Perfect posture. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT062018-12. 15 WITTLICHER LAY RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT LOSEN-BOCKSTANZ - (GERMANY) 8%. A lot of sulphur under screwcap. Good acid. Air it./ More softness and fruit and give on the palate. Lacks Mittel Mosel distinction. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

Wednesday, June13 2018

WT061318-3. 17 BADENHORST SECATEURS SWARTLAND CHENIN BLANC - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13.5%.. Dulled by age, warmth of origin. More about texture than aroma./ Good flavor and feel. Some melon. Brighter than nose.. Good honeydew aftertaste. 15.4/16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT061318-4. 15 ETNA ROSATO, AGR. COTTANERA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Brassy, vinous. Not tired though./ Some fruit and sweetness. Useful, if not as much as it was originally. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT061318-5. 17 HERAULT CARIGNAN VIEILLES VIGNES, MONT GRAVET - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Very fruity and spicy. Hallmark carignan at 6 months. Fresh and fulfilled./ Fine texture and full flavor. Classic to the series. Juicy, spicy, great acid. Invites food. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT061318-6. 16 COTEAUX BOURGUIGNONS PINOT NOIR - GAMAY, LES SARMENTS - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; 50 - 50. Pinot plush and gamay sprightly. Ideal./ Up to the 15 in quality and appeal. Very juicy. Full race, vigor, flavor, length. Well balanced. Yes. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT061318-7. 15 DR. KONSTANTIN FRANK FINGER LAKES LEMBERGER - (U.S. NEW YORK) 13%; aka blaufrankisch. Real varietal character. At a good stage. Good acid, form, balance. Just not real giving yet./ Full and flavorful. Comes out on the palate. Young. Tannic yet. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT061318-8. 15 DOURO, PORCA DE MURCA - (PORTUGAL) 13%. Good and earthy-fruity old style as usual. Modestly stated in youth./ Full flavor and texture, acid. Great mouthfeel, mouthful. Yes. 15.8+/16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT061318-9. 15 DOURO, QUINTA DE LA ROSA - (PORTUGAL) 14%; 40% touriga nacional, 30% each tinta roriz, touriga franca. Big, black fruit and fine oak. Delivers the fruit intensity and oak spice. Wow!/ Yes, full, sweet, black fruits and oak seasoning.. Full texture, fine tannin. Balance and all. The group was impressed. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT061318-10. 15 BARBERA D'ALBA RUVEI, MARCHESI DI BAROLO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Full, dry, stalwart. Serious barrel aging and exemplary varietal character./ Fruit sweetness and acidity in balance. Cherry fruit and light barrel influence. Balanced. Long and flavorful. Wants food. Well liked by the group. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT061318-11. 15 BADENHORST SWARTLAND SHIRAZ-CINSAULT-GRENACHE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13.5%. Warmth of Swartland. Savory Med fruit melange./ Yes, strong, direct, vinous. 14.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT061318-13. 14 EDMEADES MENDOCINO ZINFANDEL - (ARGENTINA) 15.5%. Sweet and strong and black Mendocino zinfandel classic. Sprawling. Best in memory. Sweet for 14. All over the place./ Sweet and spicy. Lightly oaky. Bramble, raspberry, seed, peppercorn. Ideal. 17.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT061318-14. 16 VOUVRAY DEMI-SEC LA LANTERNE, GUILBAUD FRERES - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Bright aromas of quince, lime, melon. Acid gives nostril etch, texture. Sweet chenin fruits. All balanced./ Yes, with hazelnut, almond extras. Great acid. All in place. Reported even better the next day. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT061318-15. 16 SALT OF THE EARTH CALIFORNIA MOSCATO RUBINO - (U.S. WEST COAST) 7.5%. Real. Total. Sooo sweet and spicy. Unique. Briary. Pomaded. All./ Yes, red, green, and purple fruits. Sweet and easy. Pomegranate and acai chime in. Indeed. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

WT060618-1. 11 CHATEAU FRANK FINGER LAKES BLANC DE BLANCS - (U.S. NEW YORK) 12%. Very dry and well measured wine of place. Has terroir and appropriate ‛long en tirage‛ bottle bouquet yet seems somehow timeless at age six plus../ Softer and more bouqueted on the palate. Still, this is impressive for its youthfulness and potential longevity.. Like a pinot blanc based Cremant d‛Alsace. Very well liked by the group; cases sold. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

WT060618-2. 15 TOSCANA BIANCO, FRATELLI GRATI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh, vigorous, mainly vinous but lightly fruity too. 15 plentiful./ Gentle, zesty, refreshing, balanced. 15 soft yet with enough acid. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT060618-3. 15 TOSCANA CANAIOLO BIANCO BORGO PRUNATELLI, FRATELLI GRATI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Full. Red grape full. Lots of character and body./ Again. No wood in sight. Unique and mealworthy. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT060618-4. 15 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY, DOMAINE VINCENT & SOPHIE MOREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Good oak and fruit vigor. Full barrel regimen and plenty of Chassagne area chardonnay richness. Racy for the vintage./ Some malo, 2015 and Chassagne padding. Creamy. Oak framed. Good acid. A well balanced, generous presentation. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT060618-5. 16 DOMAINE DES JUSTICES, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%. Serious strength, full, presence. Big deal like a Graves./ Yes, power and body. Maybe some barrel time. Big time white Bordeaux for food. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT060618-6. 17 COTES DE GASCOGNE ROSE PLAISIR, DOMAINE DES CASSAGNOLES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%. Full nasal texture and aroma of red fruits. Wow./ .Well, here‛s the southwest France rose formula of merlot and the cabernets. It‛s cause for additional weeks‛ aging. Nonetheless, with aeration, it begins to approach full appeal, play into the formula. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT060618-7. 15 CHATEAU LES GRAVES DU LOC, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. Vignobles Figerou at Begaden. 15 sweet, with claret form and dryness. Astute, vinous, Medoc earthy./ Sweet 15 with Medoc dry and classic. Merlot herb and clay basis. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT060618-8. 17 SANTA JULIA (+) MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%. Sweet fresh fruits and fruit cremes. Cherry and tar./ All over again. Good acid. All around usefulness and value. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT060618-9. 16 CHIANTI, FRATELLI GRATI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh, sweet, dark, lively, ripe./ Yes, sweet, ripe, balanced, lifted. Ready for the table. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT060618-10. 15 CHIANTI RUFINA, VILLA DI VETRICE - (ITALY) 12.5%. Sweetly fruity and nicely barrel aged. Sophisticated, complex. Ventilating menthol overtone./ Smooth and barrel aged. Sweet and Rufina clear. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT060618-11. 13 TOSCANA CANAIOLO MONDO CANAIOLO, FRATELLI GRATI - (ITALY) 13.5%; an amalgam of canaiolo sub-varieties. Best vintage yet. More open, aromatic, variegated, mature./ Yes, rich and well developed. Body and range. Barrel time. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT060618-13. 11 CHIANTI RUFINA RISERVA, VILLA DI VETRICE - (ITALY) 12.5%. Mature and revealing./ Mature and easy like so many 2011 Tuscan rossos this year. Good acid. Well liked by the group. Many orders taken. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT060618-14. 16 ALICANTE MONASTRELL LA TREMENDA VINEYARD, ENRIQUE MENDOZA - (SPAIN) 14%; 30 yr old vyd at 2000'; 6 months in French oak. Wow, powerful in the Taster glass, and very ripe./ Yes, sweet, large, roti, brimful of generosity. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT060618-15. 04 VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI RUFINA, VILLA DI VETRICE half liter - (ITALY) 16.5%. Strong in the Taster glass. Good, sweet, long barrel aged. Deal./ Sweet and strong, balanced, complex taste and aftertaste. Full spectrum of colorful aromas and bouquets. 18.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

WT050218-1. 16 ALICANTE AIREN-MACABEO VERMADOR, BODEGA DE PINOSO - (SPAIN) 12%; 50-50. A little nothing nose./ Light macabeo taste that‛s positive. OK. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT050218-2. 16 CHATEAU LA GABARRE, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; at Galgon, Entre deux Mers. Pretty shy nose. Pleasing and versatile though./ Some semillon plumpness. Pretty unassuming. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT050218-3. 16 CHATEAU RIVIERE LACOSTE, GRAVES BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; at Langon, southern Graves. More body, more substance here./ Flavorful. All three varieties chime in. Fine acid, texture, balance. This delivers the goods. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT050218-4. 16 RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO, ADEGAS MORGADIO - (SPAIN) 12.5%. Fully scented. Roundness, depth, and breadth that come with a year in bottle./ Full and aromatic, almost sultry. Certainly full bore flavor and texture delivery. For the dinner table. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT050218-5. 15 PORTLANDIA OREGON PINOT GRIS - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Full, deep, and active, inflected aroma. An aroma you can feel. This works. Good now./ Again, full wax, nut, melon, and apple pinot gris flavor display, with fine texture too. Wow. This is commendable. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT050218-6. 16 TRIVENTO RESERVE WHITE ORCHID MENDOZA TORRONTES - (ARGENTINA) 12%; with 15% pinot gris. Works. At a good stage. The pinot gris adds body and texture. The torrontes displays flowers and cold cream./ Yes, and citrus too. Juicy, vibrant, refreshing indeed. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT050218-7. 17 CARELLI 34 TUNUYAN TORRONTES - (ARGENTINA) 13%. Really fresh, tingly, edgy, etched, incisive. A little sulphur residual suppresses the varietal character./ Some low level sulphur under screwcap keeps the aroma and flavor down. Air and age. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT050218-8. 17 CHINON ROSE, JEAN-MAURICE RAFFAULT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. This is the third time I‛ve tasted it. Fermentation aromas the first and third time but not the second. Likely the second sample had been open awhile, and the ferment scents had aired off./ Full acid is admirable. Still banana and bubble gum fermentation aromatics. The group didn‛t seem to mind. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT050218-9. 17 CHINON ROSE CHATEAU DE BONNELIERE, M. PLOUZEAU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. This is more fully accomplished already. Tender, pure, dainty, and lovely pink fruit./ Yes, juicy and tender both. Sweet pink fruit. Come hither. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT050218-10. 17 PUGLIA NEGROAMARO, LUCCARELLI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Bright, dark, immediate, real negroamaro. Fulfilled already. Persistent, penetrating aromatics./ Rich and friendly. Full fruit creme flavor with acid to balance. Total. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT050218-11. 15 CHATEAU LA MARZELLE, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 85% merlot, 15% cab sauv. Dark and accomplished and ideally ripe. Wow, what 2015 Bordeaux AOC claret should be about. Dark fruited, perfectly ripe, and fabulous./ Again, spot on. Some tannin for texture. Food wine now, or later. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT050218-12. 14 LISBOA RESERVA CONFIDENCIAL, CASA SANTOS LIMA - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; Wine Enthusiast 92/100 - Editors' Choice. Oh, yes, that rich, dark, spicy-woody touriga nacional thing. As good as the 2013, and 2014 darker. Total vigor./ Power, body, texture. Generosity, flow, texture, fruit sweetness, oomph. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT050218-13. 12 RIOJA CRIANZA CONDE DE JAUREGUI, BODEGAS OREADES - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Say, this is a dark, fragrant, and logical crianza fruit-oak synthesis displaying original fruit and barrel time evolution. Textbook crianza./ Yes 2012 crianza style and all together now at age 5+. Rioja at a sweet spot. 16.7. List price: $17.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT050218-14. 10 CHATEAU GRAND ABORD, GRAVES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 80% merlot, 20% cab sauv. As always, sweet, wooded, dark, classic Graves terroir of earth and stone./ Again, the earth, fruit, wood, 2010 structure. Plenty of cellar life ahead. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT050218-15. 16 ARTEZIN OLD VINE MENDOCINO ZINFANDEL - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%. Heady in my Taster glass. Straight forward. Young still./ The usual size and power. More aroma and flavor development to come. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

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