Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - July, 2016
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  August 18,  2016

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

WT072716-1. 15 VINHO VERDE ANJOS DE PORTUGAL, QUINTA DA LIXA - (PORTUGAL) 9.5%; 40% arinto, 30% each trajadura, loureiro. Lovely perfumes of the superior varieties. Spritz too. Better than the popular 2014./ Yes, ripe and savory, spritzy and flavorful. Complete picture. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT072716-2. 15 COTES DE GASCOGNE CARPE GUILHEM, DOMAINE SAN DE GUILHEM - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%; colombard, ugni blanc, gros manseng. Deep, tropical gros manseng contribution. Wow! Green mango./ Rich in tropical and citrus fruits. Great balance of acid and richness. It's all here. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT072716-3. 15 VAL DE LOIRE SAUVIGNON BLANC, DESTINEA, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. In warm 2015, not as acute as cool 2014's take. Plusher, mellower. Fully accurate./ Well, where did this welcome, zingy acid come from? The nose didn't tip it off. This works for me. On the whole, this is easier-going than the previous three vintages without departing from its Loire sauvignon heritage. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT072716-4. 15 LES HAUTS DE LAGARDE, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; at Saint Laurent du Bois, Entre deux Mers; 60% sauvignon blanc, 40% semillon; organic. Semillon speaks marl, mushroom, and melon. All positive./ Zesty sauvignon cut, and bitter twist at the end. Fine taste, texture, acidity, and length. Impressive. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT072716-5. 15 CHATEAU BEAUREGARD DUCASSE, GRAVES BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; Famille Perromat at Mazeres; 60% semillon, 40% sauvignon blanc. Some mercaptans to resolve. Then opens to green mango. Plenty of semillon influence too./ Lots of sauvignon grass, citrus, and mango. The extra texture and largesse of Graves make for a step up. Lots to offer. Best vintage yet. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT072716-6. 14 CHABLIS, ANTONIN RODET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%; est. 1875. H2S. Enclosed./ Palate suppressed by sulphur. Air and age. This must have blown off later, because I took orders the next day. 13.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT072716-7. 14 MACON VILLAGES TRADITION, COLLOVRAY & TERRIER - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Fresh and full. Ideal Maconnais chardonnay. Lees influence gives extra nasal texture and depth./Yes, body, texture, and chardonnay apple-citrus flavor. Balanced. Meal time chardonnay. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT072716-8. 15 HAPPY CAMPER CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY - (WEST COAST U.S..) 13%. Sweetly fruited nose of unadorn California chardonnay. Still, a drier impression than the previous three vintages. Such a deal./ Sweet and smooth fruit approach. Easy to assimilate as aperitif or with food. Straight forward and pleasing. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT072716-9. 15 CHINON CABERNET FRANC ROSE DOMAINE DOZON, ERIC SANTIER - (ROSE) 13.5%. Dry, neat, and understated to start. This was just shipped. The red raspberry aroma builds with aeration./ An earthy rather than fruity nature on the palate. Some astringency at the end. Unsettled from travel? Re-visit in a few weeks. 15.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT072716-10. 14 LES HAUTS DE LAGARDE, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; 65% merlot, 25% cab sauv, 10% cab franc; organically grown. Earthy, funky./ High acid. Minor claret. The Europhiles didn't mind. 13.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT072716-11. 15 CHATEAU LA CROIX DU DUC, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. Even in ripe, abundant 2015, this seems to me as tight and terse as the previous vintages./ Yes, dry, slim, tart, ‘classic'. Full acid for sure. However, the Francophiles found it adequately ripe, and admirable. Different strokes. 14.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT072716-12. 14 FRANCAIS MALBEC LA RESERVE, LIONEL OSMIN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. Good Cahors-like malbec fortitude. 2014 elegance. A sweet core; nothing young Cahors mean about it./ Yes, a sweet fruit constitution. This has weight, frame, and a dense core. Ideal SW France malbec. Eminently well balanced. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT072716-13. 13 FABRE MONTMAYOU RESERVA MENDOZA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%. Way overripe and powerful. Raw, gangly. Pruny./ Sweet and strong. Mild in flavor, acid, and texture. 14.0, kindly.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT072716-14. 14 MCMANIS FAMILY CALIFORNIA PETITE SIRAH - (WEST COAST U.S.) 13.5%. Spicy, open knit, demonstrative. The wood component is not yet integrated. Seems of wood chips origin./ Very woody but not raw. Tasty. Popular. No petite sirah signs except for the dark color. Another cleverly crafted McManis rendition. 16.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT072716-15. 14 GNARLY HEAD 1924 LIMITED EDITION DOUBLE BLACK CALIFORNIA RED - (WEST COAST U.S.) 15%. Sweet and thick. Some Valley anchovy, which I like./ Good wood spices. Savory and abundant. In-style blend. What the winemaker intends to achieve, and what the market desires. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WT072016-1. 15 SANCERRE, DOMAINE HIPPOLYTE REVERDY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 11-14%. Boy, this is the roundest and richest of these since the 2009./ Plush and soft in this sunny vintage. Pleasing astringent foil at the finale. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT072016-2. 15 RUEDA VERDEJO OLD VINES NISIA, BODEGAS ORDONEZ - (SPAIN) 14%; century old vines. Ripe and full. Not a lot of aromatic development yet. Did this just arrive?/ Yes, it's certainly not talking the talk yet. Travel shock? 15.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $104.99

WT072016-3. 14 CHABLIS CHAMPS ROYAUX, WILLIAM FEVRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Oh, boy, this is full! Rich and chock-ful of character./ Pleasing grace notes too. Well built and leading to a full aftertaste. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT072016-4. 14 NAPA CELLARS NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.9%; 25% new French oak barrels. 14 elegant and fine. Nice oak that's not overdone as it was in some past vintages. Balanced and right./ Good degree of malo, again, not overdone. The alcohol is in balance too, and the acidity is adequate. Works well overall. One of my favorite vintages of this. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT072016-5. 15 CHINON MESSANGES ROUGE, DOMAINE DE PALLUS - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Sweet and primary aroma. Whole bunch fermentation? Partial carbonic maceration? Admirably sweet and ripe northern cabernet franc./ Palate's less developed, less aromatic, more backward. Seems like I enjoyed the 2013 more, but likely that was at a later life stage. Give it a chance to fill out in the mouth. Already pleasing served cool. 16.3/15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT072016-6. 15 BODEGA PULENTA LA FLOR AGRELO - LUJAN DE CUYO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%. Oh, this sings as always! Great elegance and to accompany its power and concentration. All in harmony./ Yes, cremes and pastilles both. Bright and rich both. Long finish. Great showing; this delivers. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT072016-7. 15 VENETO GRAN PASSIONE, CASA VINICOLA BOTTER - (ITALY) 14%. Incredible power and lushness. Best vintage of this yet. Appassimento without raisin juice./ Powerful, ambitious. Like a young amarone. More dried cherry than raisin. Good balancing acidity. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT072016-8. 14 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR LES GENEVRIERES, DOMAINE FREDERIC ESMONIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%. Satisfyingly ripe and concentrated for vintage and appellation. Not much fruit aroma development yet. This is steady and well poised./ Pinot sweetness with balancing acidity. Again, not much fruit character formed yet. Will reward cellaring a year or so. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT072016-9. 14 CHARLES SMITH THE VELVET DEVIL WASHINGTON MERLOT - (U.S.) 13.5%. Dark WA merlot. Solid and frank. Pretty deep./ A well balanced WA red wine without specific merlot character. Doesn't go overboard. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT072016-10. 13 DOURO ASSOBIO QUINTA DOS MURCAS, HERDADE DO ESPORAO - (PORTUGAL) 14%; 40% tinta roriz, 40% touriga franca, 20% touriga nacional; 30% seasoned barrel aged. A little terse and narrow this vintage. At least at this stage./ Same. Keeps to itself. Try again in a few months. 14.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT072016-12. 12 COTES DU RHONE, E. GUIGAL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Oh, deep, dark, romantic, padded, satiny. Not the usual 2012 Cotes du Rhone four square profile. Nor Guigal northern inclinations. However, syrah is a significant player and a good one./ Yes, satiny and refined. Fine, multi-colored cracked peppercorns and garrigue set. Silk textured, well balanced. All. Best vintage of this I can remember. The group was enthusiastic. 17.0+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT072016-13. 12 KENWOOD SONOMA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%. Well, this is surprisingly stunning. Had I tasted it before? If so, it didn't impress near as much as this evening. 2012 fruit emphasis with Sonoma warmth. Wine of place and vintage./ Again, the wholesome and abundant 2012 fruit and signs of the warmer cabernet reaches of Sonoma, say, Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. Good acid for balance. Long and flavorful. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT072016-14. 14 KREUZNACHER KRONENBERG RIESLING SPATLESE, ST. ANTONIUSKELLEREI - (GERMANY) 8.5%. The usual good Kreuznach expressions of riesling, such as peach, granola, and cedar. The nose suggests fine sweet-acid balance./ And the palate certainly confirms same. A very good vintage of this steady favorite, and a best value. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT072016-15. ITALIA ROSSO DOLCE SERENA, AZ. AGR. CASCINA PIAN D'OR - (ITALY) 7%. Highly scented. Bergamot, barbershop, briar. Signs of brachetto, freisa, malvasia, moscato. This is superior to previous cuvees./ Full flavor, sweetness, sprightliness, persistence. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

WT071316-1. (15) LEFT FOOT CHARLEY MURMUR (MICHIGAN) WHITE - (U.S.) 12%; 2012: pinot gris, pinot blanc, chardonnay, gewurztraminer. Young. All green fruit of northern grown pinots blanc and gris, and chardonnay. No gewurz evident this (vintage). Still unformed. A mix of apple varieties aromas. Liked by the group. 15.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT071316-3. 13 RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO PAZO SENORANS, PAZO DE SENORANS - (SPAIN) 12.5%. Light tropics, stone fruits, honeysuckle. Engaging./ Passion fruit, guava. Still wholesome and good as it approaches age three. Very useful at the table.16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT071316-4. 12 ALSACE PINOT GRIS RESERVE, TRIMBACH - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; est. 1626. Rich and right and fresh while approaching age four./ In something of an aromatic trough at mid age. Little nuttiness or viscosity showing. Cellar further. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $27.99

WT071316-5. 14 PFALZ ESTATE RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 12.5%; est. 1597. A lot of extract, a lot of nasal texture. Cedar airs./ Dry, full textured. Plenty of body and presence. Take it to the table. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT071316-6. 11 WACHENHEIMER RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 13%. Fully dry and attractively mature nose./ Yes, dry and stony. Elegance derived from a limestone base. Well liked by the group. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT071316-7. 13 WACHENHEIMER RECHBACHEL ERSTES GEWACHS RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 12.5%; monopol. Oh, this is really special. A big step up. Fresh, rich, racy, minerally./ Huge class and extract. This is what the classic dry riesling style is all about. 18.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $32.99

WT071316-8. 08 WACHENHEIMER RECHBACHEL ERSTES GEWACHS RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 12.5%; monopol. Honey, nut, granola. 08 big extract. Speaks for vintage, age, and site altogether./ Surprisingly, a little more sense of sweetness than in the 2013. Maybe the extra glycerol is fooling me. Another group favorite. 17.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $32.99

WT071316-9. 13 RUPPERTSBERGER GAISBOHL GROSSES GEWACHS RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 12.5%; monopol. Whoa! There's surely extra oomph here! Giant concentration. White dwarf core./ Huge extract and body. Dinner riesling for sure. 18.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $59.95

WT071316-10. 09 RUPPERTSBERGER GAISBOHL GROSSES GEWACHS RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 13.5%; monopol. More maturity of course, and less acid and grip because it's a warmer vintage./ Yes, this is softer. At a good stage yet will carry on for years. Pales only by comparison to the 2013. 17.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $59.95

WT071316-11. 97 FORSTER KIRCHENSTUCK GROSSES GEWACHS RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 13.0%; monopol. Unbelievable. This is more youthful than all but the 2013s. Deep, balanced, complete. Its own thing; stands alone, above and beyond./ Yes, indeed, everything balanced and youthful, on the ascent. Hallmark 1997 grace. The group was in awe. Our speaker, Annette Siegrist, export director of Burklin-Wolf, remarks that this wine sells for 120 euros a bottle at the estate. 19.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $84.95

WT071316-12. 02 FORSTER RIESLING AUSLESE, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 10%. 50 grams per liter residual sugar. A perfect Pfalz riesling auslese nose of golden fruits and grains, with complex botrytis extras./ 2002's high extract is the ideal foil for auslese sweetness. Botrytis roars back at the end to complicate its long aftertaste and leave a dash of bitterness to whisk the palate clean. Very popular with the group. 18.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $42.99

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

WT070616-1. 14 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE, DOMAINE DE LA QUILLA - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Definitely classic, full of lees, mineral, and terrarium goodness./ Oh, yeah, full of flavor, texture, all. A Mammoth Mouthful of Muscadet. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT070616-3. 14 ROUSSETTE DE SAVOIE FRANGY, DOMAINE LUPIN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. This sings. Louder than the 2013. Subtle citrus and stone fruit. Great acid ring, tingle./ Yes, rich and racy both. Dazzling. Ideal. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT070616-4. 14 ALSACE RIESLING CLASSIC, FAMILLE HUGEL - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%. This sings too. And tingles. Pure citrus. No petrol, no evergreen. Exactly right, young, dry Alsace riesling. Notes of cedar and peach./ All fruit, all peach and citrus. No terpenes. Great acid. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT070616-5. 15 SANCERRE ROSE, DOMAINE CLEMENT ET FLORIAN BERTHIER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Full of nasal texture–etch, angles, acid, mineral. As well as pure red fruit of northern pinot noir./ Nice plump fruitiness of sunny 2015. Plenty of flavor appeal. Very popular with the group. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT070616-6. 15 BEAUJOLAIS ROSE LES GRIOTTES VISSOUX, PIERRE-MARIE CHERMETTE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Alert and alive with gamay rose strawberry and cherry zest./ The palate is less spontaneous, more ponderous. My broker tells me this wine doesn't really come into its own until fall. I believe it. Though I can enjoy it for its nose now, I would prefer to wait for the palate to catch up. 16.7/15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT070616-7. 15 COSTA TOSCANA UNLITRO, SOC. AGR. AMPELEIA liter - (ITALY) 12.5%. 80% grenache, 20% mourvedre. Spicy, peppery. Bright berry. Some whole bunch fermentation signs. Sweet cherry fruit of 2015. Best vintage yet./ Yes, ripe fruit sweetness of 2015 sets the tone. Great acid too. Screams for food! Very popular with the group. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT070616-8. 13 SANGIOVESE DI ROMAGNA RISERVA PRODIGO, BOTTER - (ITALY) 13%. Oh, sweet as a nut! Cherry-nut sundae aroma set. Brisk acid evident too./ Yes, creme sweetness, pastille fruit focus, great acid. Best vintage yet. A cunning conception sure to have wide popularity. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT070616-9. 13 CHIANTI CLASSICO, BORGO SCOPETO - (ITALY) 13%. Powerful, sweet, voluminous, berried, textured, roasted. Classic to the estate. Creme core./ Great wood, warmed and dried fruits. Well balanced. Delivers all. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT070616-10. 13 VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIEURE LA CENGIA, BEGALI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Oh, yes, lovely combo of fresh fruit and raisin. Hits it right./ Yes, sweet and fresh fruit plus the glycerol richness formed by the ripasso process. And great acid cut for balance. It's all here. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT070616-11. 12 VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIEURE CA' DEL LAITO, TOMMASO BUSSOLA - (ITALY) 15%. Raw power on entry. Doesn't hide its 15% alcohol. A gangly youth. With aeration, it sweetens up, eases up on its initial assault. A complex of materials and size./ Yes, sweet and strong, young and pushy. The makings are here. With additional bottle age, it will earn social graces and wisdom of maturity. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT070616-12. 12 CARMEN GRAN RESERVA EL ACACIO VINEYARD MAIPO VALLEY PETITE SYRAH - (CHILE) 14.1%; est. 1850; Alto Maipo. Sweetness, oomph, power, elegant oak complex, full nostril penetration. An awesome take on petite syrah; all the way./ Yes, fruit sweetness, petite syrah volume. Distinct from California renditions. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT070616-13. 10 CHATEAU PERRON, GRAVES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 60% cab sauv, 35% merlot, 5% cab franc. Sweet fruited and subtle. Perfect poise, balance. Tasted awhile back, this showed the vintage's customary youthful resistance; now it has appeal./ Yes, suave and harmonious. It's great to have an affordable 2010 still in the market, much less one that's ready to enjoy. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT070616-14. 14 BURG LAYER SCHLOSSKAPELLE AUSLESE, A. BIROTH - (GERMANY) 9.5%. Fresh, unique, penetrating. Flowers, botanicals, herbals of the German cross varieties./ Great sweet-acid balance. Auslese concentration and sweetness. Best vintage yet. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT070616-15. 10 DELAFORCE LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO - (FORTIFIED) 20%; est. 1868. Very powerful, black fruited, and dry on the nose. Grip of the gob./ Strong but also well balanced by fruit sweetness; it's not as dry as the nose would suggest. Definitely in the Delaforce house style. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

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