Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - July 2017
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  August 5,  2017

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Wednesday,July 26, 2017

WT072617-1. 15 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE SELECTION VIEILLES VIGNES CHATEAU DE LA RAGOTIERE, LES FRERES COUILLARD - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Good and mossy the way I like ‘em./ Yes, spot on style and balance. Good if not great textural interest. Bitter trace at end. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT072617-2. 12 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE CUVEE DES CEPS CENTENAIRES, COMTE LELOUP DU CHATEAU DE CHASSELOIR - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Good, rich delivery of sur lie and bottle bouquet complexes. Full bodied product of old vines intensity./ Yes, this carries its lees and bottle aging well. But is it worth a premium? 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT072617-3. 09 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE LE CLOS DU CHATEAU L’OISELINIERE, BERNARD CHEREAU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Clear and ventilating. Totally fresh./ Again, lots of fullness and vigor to the delivery. Special; unique. A hallmark example of the ageworthiness of muscadet. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT072617-4. 16 RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO MAR DE FRADES RAMON BILBAO - (SPAIN) 12.5%; est. 1924. Good, full extract. Light stone fruit scent. Good overall./ Mild texture. Accurate flavor set. Negoc safe. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT072617-5. 16 RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO, BODEGAS LA CANA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Fresh scented. More adventuresome. Trace of banana ferment residual still./ Sweet and smooth and suave, with good acid support. Well balanced. Just a little previous yet. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT072617-6. 16 SANCERRE L’AUTHENTIQUE, DOMAINE THOMAS LABAILLE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Modest intensity. Tender fruit./ Mild overall. Much prefer the Mont Damnes cuvee. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT072617-7. 16 BARKER’S MARQUE THE LOOP MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 12.5%. A little reserved to start, though clearly juicier and more citric than the Sancerre. Builds in aromatic intensity as it airs./ Yes, juicy and citric, with tangerine emphasis. Carries on the tradition. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT072617-8. 16 COTES DE PROVENCE ROSE CIBONNE TENTATIONS, CHATEAU CIBONNE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Banana still./ Some bitter ferment residual too. Totally premature. 15.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT072617-10. 15 CHIANTI, QUERCETO - (ITALY) 12.5%. For 12.5%, it’s a really big and powerful nose-ful. Dry and voluminous. Not at all 2015 sweet. Dried cherry and orange peel./ Yes, sangiovese glycerol and dried fruit. Medium bodied. Good value. Versatile at the table. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT072617-11. 15 CHATEAU L’ORANGERIE, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 85% merlot, 15% cab sauv. Sharp and clarety for 2015. Euro style./ Too lean and tart for my tastes. The Europhiles will love it. 14.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT072617-12. 13 DONATI FAMILY VINEYARD PAICINES CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.8%. Yeah, the size and power of 2013 and its inland origin. I love these 2013 California cabernets./ Yes, full, oaky, smoky. Steakhouse cabernet for sure. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $119.99

WT072617-14. 15 CASORZO MALVASIA NAUFRAGAR, AGRICOLA SULIN - (ITALY) 5%. Oh, boy, such an intense display of berries and spices. Exotic potpourri aromatic set. Consummate. The best of its genre I’ve tasted./ Yes, such a stimulating, unrelenting malvasia performance. Highly spicy and vigorous. 17.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT072617-15. ATTICA RETSINA, CAVINO - (GREECE) 11.5%. Not very resinous. Good base wine; good product. But playing it safe./ More menthol than pine. I’m still looking for an old fashioned, sappy retsina. 15.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

Wednesday,July 19, 2017

WT071917-1. 16 LUGANA LIMNE, TENUTA ROVEGLIA - (ITALY) 13%.Full apple-quince aroma./ Rich, round, well balanced. Hits the Lugana sweet spot. Total. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT071917-2. 16 LUGANA LE CREETE, SOC. AGR. OTTELLA - (ITALY) 13%. More flair and complexity. Stone fruit, mineral, calcaire./ The flavor shows more dazzle and complication too. Even a creamy mouthfeel. What it’s all about. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT071917-3. 16 CAMPANIA FALANGHINA, AZ. AGR. SAN SALVATORE - (ITALY) 12.5%. Solid, soil inflected. Not flashy or fragrant. Develops a richness, creaminess./ Yes, a rich and rightful falanghina with good acid too. This works. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT071917-4. 15 SANNIO FALANGHINA OCONE DIANA, TABURNO ESTATE - (ITALY) 13%. Open textured and 15 revealing. Nice edge to the scent. Fabulous texture, really./ Yes, citrus, honeysuckle, terroir, all. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT071917-5. 15 QUINCY LES ROUESSES, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%.Whoa! Total gooseberry. Racy. Perfect Quincy pitch./ Yikes! Such Quincy sauvignon vigor. This is classic. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT071917-6. 15 RIOJA VIURA - TEMPRANILLO BLANCO, BODEGAS CARLOS SERRES - (SPAIN) 12.5%; 85 - 15; est. 1896. Nice, light viura perfume. Wisp of thyme./ Light barrel age etch. Well balanced, well priced, and good example. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT071917-7. 15 CHABLIS, DOMAINE FOURREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Crisp, full, near perfect 15 Chablis nose./ Yes, deep apple-calcaire Chablis chardonnay combo. Straight-on village Chablis. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT071917-8. 14 MERCUREY BLANC, CHATEAU DE CHAMIREY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Barrel aging impact. Wood derivatives and time-in-barrel bouquet development./ Full bodied, oaky, powerful, Chalonnais resinous. This is dynamic and forceful, almost painful to drink alone. Take it to the dinner table for poultry. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $29.99

WT071917-9. 14 ERBALUCE DI CALUSO MISOBOLO, AZ. AGR. CIECK - (ITALY) 12.5%. Very fresh still as it approaches age three. Definitely bigger than Cieck’s regular Erbaluce./ Yes, this is at a great stage of development, concentrated and thorough. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT071917-10. 15 GIVRY, DOMAINE DE LA FERTE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Deep, sweet, spicy, earthy, peppery./ Yes, a big time Givry in 2015. Very pure pinot fruit. Fine acid-richness balance to the taste. Finishes with good Givry vigor. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

WT071917-11. 15 CROZES HERMITAGE, DOMAINE ALAIN GRAILLOT - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Dark, deep, deluxe northern Rhone syrah. Deep raspberry and peppercorn aromas. Signs of barrel aging. Young./ Great display of fruit, form, power, acid, and tannin. This is for the cellar 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT071917-12. 13 RIOJA CRIANZA, BODEGAS CARLOS SERRES - (SPAIN) 13%; 85% tempranillo, 15% garnacha; est. 1896. Classy crianza that’s not over-oaked. Just the right fruit-oak harmony I like in a crianza./ Palate speaks of the same fruit-oak balance. Say, this is ready to serve now. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT071917-13. 15 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; 4/8 dry/sweet scale. Thick, exotic, and totally in tune with Zinck’s intentions for a medium-sweet gewurztraminer./ Yes, intense and viscous varietal statement of ideal sweet-acid balance. 17.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT071917-14. SICILIA ZIBIBBO VILLA MORESCA, VINCI VINI - (ITALY) 16%; muscat alexandria. Surprisingly dry and serious./ A wonderful take on the varietal. Orange water, tonic, purity. Power balances sweetness. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT071917-15. DOURO MOSCATEL FAVAITO, ADEGA DE FAVAIOS - (PORTUGAL) 17%; muscat a petits grains. Sweet and elegant varietal character./ Yes, this just dazzles. Great citrus and citrus blossom purity. Easily the best Douro moscatel I’ve tasted. 17.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday,July 12, 2017

WT071217-1. 15 RIBEIRO TREIXADURA, SENDA VERDE - (SPAIN) 11.5%. Lightly rusty and sulphurous. No strong varietal presence./ Low key. Good acid. 14.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT071217-2. 15 RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO, SENDA VERDE - (SPAIN) 12.5%. Brighter, fresher. More varietal character and less rust. More padding./ Yes, good honeysuckle character and great acidity. Long and etched finish. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT071217-3. 15 BIERZO GODELLO, SENDA VERDE - (SPAIN) 12.5%. Larger proportioned, nuttier. Plentiful stone fruit and honeysuckle. Delivers./ Yes, nutty and full textured. Seems fuller than 12.5%. Good body and presence for food accompaniment. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT071217-4. 15 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY, THIERRY MATROT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Clear, cool climate appley chardonnay. Not much in the way of barrel and lees embellishments. Distinctly Burgundy if primary./ Good acid, texture, body. Some oak makes its presence known on the palate. I preferred the 2014. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT071217-5. 15 LUCAS & LEWELLEN ESTATE SANTA BARBARA CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.1%; Los Alamos Ranch & Goodchild Vyds; 12% seasoned barrels, 88% stainless. Warm and ripe for Santa Barbara. Too fruity and sweet smelling to my liking./ Yes, too much malo influence; too smooth for my tastes. 15.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT071217-6. 16 CARNUNTUM ROSE, GERHARD MARKOWITSCH - (ROSE) 12.5%; 70% zweigelt, 20% blaufrankisch, 10% cab sauv. Clear, and cool, fruity and ripe. Accomplished./ Yes, great sweet-acid balance. All fruit, no fermentation leftovers. Perfect harmony for food. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT071217-7. 16 FRANCAIS GAMAY RAISINS GAULOIS, MARCEL LAPIERRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; from young vines in and about Morgon. Rich as Morgon if not as powerful and dense. Great vintage of this./ Sweet and flowing. Great acid and balance. Asimov is right; it’s gulpable. And delish. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT071217-8. 16 CHINON RIVE GAUCHE CHATEAU DE LA BONNELIERE, M. PLOUZEAU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Wow. Surprisingly sweet nose./ Again. The ripest and most immediately appealing in quite awhile. This works hard. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT071217-9. 14 PELEE ISLAND ONTARIO BACO NOIR - (CANADA) 12.5%. Clean, cool, fruity, spot on baco. Oak patina? Or is it baco’s smokiness? Regardless, this is special./ Cool, flowing, crisp, and ideal varietal character. A cool climate soul mate of the Chinon above. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT071217-10. 16 HERAULT CARIGNAN VIEILLES VIGNES, MONT GRAVET - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Oh, ripe, sweet, precise, fruity. Best vintage yet? Big old vines concentration./ Fabulous acid and flavor assault. Sooo refreshing and food-worthy. Complete. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT071217-11. 15 BIERZO MENCIA, SENDA VERDE - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Very bright, charming, clear, cool, pure. None of the usual young mencia reduction./ Shines on the palate too. Smooth, polished, and ideal take on mencia. Ready to serve. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT071217-12. 15 VAL DU CHARRON APHAEA CELLARMASTER’S RESERVE WESTERN CAPE RED - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14%. Cool, black, sweet, spicy, broad, vigorous./ Yes, sweet and spicy. Well crafted. After the fine 2013, this scores again. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT071217-13. 13 LUCAS & LEWELLEN ESTATE SANTA BARBARA PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Sweet yet cool, black Santa Barbara pinot with ideal measure of oak seasoning. Well crafted./ One flavorful pinot of place with nice oak zest and good Santa Barbara acidity. 16.8.+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT071217-14. 15 TERRA D’ORO AMADOR ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Large, sweet, singed Amador zin classic. Wow!/ Yeah, roasted raspberry and peppercorn, with power, smoothness, and balance. Total Amador zinfandel. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT071217-15. 14 BRAZIN OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Lodi’s inherent fruit sweetness balanced by oak and power. Real Lodi fruit; doesn’t seem Mega Purple enhanced. Ideal. Sooo fruity and deep./ Yes, creme de framboise. Fabulous power, balance, fullness. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday,July 5, 2017

WT070517-1. 16 COTES DE GASCOGNE CARPE GUILHEM, DOMAINE SAN DE GUILHEM - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%. Lush, full. The gros manseng component is talking./ Yes, peach and peel. Giving, easy to assimilate. And well balanced. Great price. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT070517-2. 16 FRANCAIS SAUVIGNON BLANC DESTINEA, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Used to be Val de Loire. Where is it sourced now? No longer as crisp and bright and northern. Some Midi sauvignon in the mix?/ Yeah, the acid is milder than before, and the varietal expression is less precise and prominent. A valid citrus take on sauvignon, but seems tamed down. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT070517-3. 16 CHABLIS, DOMAINE SEGUINOT-BORDET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Full bodied. Clearly fuller than the Petit Chablis tasted recently, good as that is. Crisp calcaire. I’m loving these 2016 Chablis wines./ Yes, it’s got that balance, that cool, comfortable, confident composition expressed by the Petit Chablis. Altogether harmonious. Nothing askew, nothing overstated. Surely to my tastes. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT070517-4. 16 FRANCAIS ROSE PINK PEGAU, LAURENCE FERAUD - (FRANCE ROSE) 13%. Very, very pretty, soft fruit. Spice drop and pink fruit. Ready to serve./ Sweet, full, balanced, and even. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT070517-5. 16 COTES DU RHONE ROSE, DOMAINE CHARVIN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Oh, fuller. There’s still a little banana fermentation residual. That will pass. Big time size and dryness directed to dinner-time applications./ Fully charged Charvin approach. In sexist terms, this one’s masculine, the Feraud feminine. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT070517-6. 16 PARKER STATION MONTEREY-SAN LUIS OBISPO-SANTA BARBARA PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.8%; 72-16-12. Full, powerful California pinot noir. Lightly reduced still. Lovely Central Coast crispness. Deep pinot cherry./ Yes, a complete Central Coast pinot noir with ideal fruit acid/sweetness balance. Very even handed. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT070517-7. 16 REDHEADS STUDIO YARD DOG SOUTH AUSTRALIA RED - (AUSTRALIA) 13.5%. 80% cabernet sauvignon from Limestone Coast and Coonawarra, 10% each petit verdot and merlot from Fleurieu Peninsula. Aussie sweet but not syrupy. Good power, wood spice, and bright fruit. A nicely controlled Aussie red./ Yes, a fine rendition of this cuvee. The sweetness, acid, strength, the wood and fruit, all in harmony. A delight. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT070517-8. 15 CORSE CALVI CLOS REGINU, DOMAINE MAESTRACCI - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; 35% nuellucciu, 30% grenache, 15% sciaccarellu, 15% syrah, 5% mourvedre. Wow, lift, acid, sweetness, dryness all wrapped into one handsome presentation. Berry fruit and very spicy edge, like spiced apple./ Yes, sweet-acid balance, and fine grained tannin. Full flavor and texture delivery. Big time group favorite. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT070517-9. 15 CARINENA GARNACHA CASTILLO DE MONSERAN, BODEGAS SAN VALERO - (SPAIN) 13%. Sweet if understated fruit. Laid back, not pushy. Deepens and sweetens further with aeration, revealing attractive grenache strawberry and raspberry notes./ Fresh, crisp, sweet, medium bodied. A deal. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT070517-10. 15 EMPORDA GARNACHA OLD VINES, ESPELT - (SPAIN) 14%. Oh, sweet, huge, black. Full of material and texture. Fabulous. No restraints. Yow!/ Yes, large scale flavor, power, sweetness, texture, quality. Best vintage of this I’ve tasted. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT070517-11. 14 CHATEAU GRESSIER GRAND POUJEAUX, CRU BOURGEOIS, MOULIS - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; est. 1720; since 2003, owned by Chasse Spleen; half each cab sauv, merlot. Large, well filled 2014 claret with light oak embellishments. Fine Moulis structure./ Indeed, balanced, structured, classic 2014 Moulis overall. Well poised. The Villars family is doing good work here at raising an old favorite to better-than-ever quality standards. Very popular with the group. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT070517-12. 14 CHATEAU BEAUMONT, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; at Cussac; 47% cab sauv, 45% merlot, 8% petit verdot. Sweet and openly fruity for Beaumont and 2014. Wow, spicy oak too. More than ever before here. Nicely open knit, even in youth./ Yes, complete, modern, barrel-aged Haut Medoc now. Yow. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT070517-13. 12 CHIANTI CLASSICO TERRA ROSSA ESTATE, FATTORIE MELINI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Classic dried cherry and orange peel and citron bouquet, with a rancio note./ Sweet and wholesome. Great acid and palate savor. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT070517-15. 14 WINKELER GUTENBERG RIESLING KABINETT HALBTROCKEN, WEINGUT KRAYER - (GERMANY) 10%; est. 1866. Spicy and full of 2014 extract./ High halbtrocken sweetness level balanced by acid and extract. Pleasing now. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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