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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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++.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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+.
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+.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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+.
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+
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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+.