Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - March, 2013
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated April 1,  2013

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WT032713-01. 10 CHABLIS, GILBERT PICQ - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Full and evolving. Appley. Chalky./ Full. Pretty fat for 10, soft for 10. Did I say ‘full’? Well liked by the group. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT032713-02. 11 TOURAINE SAUVIGNON, DOMAINE PLOUZEAU - (ITALY) 12.5%. Juicy, vivacious, lithe. Firm, cool peach and peel. Plus gooseberry./ Juicy, racy acidity. Positively quenching. Right. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT032713-03. 11 ALSACE PINOT GRIS PRESTIGE, CAVE DE CLEEBOURG - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%. Full, fresh, appley. Some wax and nut. Good power. Classic poise./ Waxy, full, padded. Good acid and strength, presence. Fine. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT032713-04. 11 IRPINIA FALANGHINA, TERREDORA DI PAOLO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Bright, racy, minerally. Deep, peachy, floral. Compact core, padding around./ Wow! Full of peaches, tropics, flowers. All the falanghina range of goodies you could want. Ideal in terms of both flavor and texture. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032713-06. 12 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU, ALBERT BICHOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Still some primary banana aroma. This has hardly budged since November. Well, it does have more berry, body, texture, and volume now./ Fabulous fresh berry taste. Delish. Enjoy lightly chilled. 16.3+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT032713-07. 12 BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES NOUVEAU, ALBERT BICHOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. More extract and oomph, power, peels, stuffing./ Yes, more frame and more filling. Darker fruit qualities. Fine. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT032713-08. 12 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU, ANTONIN RODET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%. As in November, more backward than the Bichots. Quiet still. Has a sweet fruit core./ Still compact, dark, slightly reduced. Suppressed acidity. Keep on keeping it! 16.2++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT032713-09. 10 TOSCANA, CIACCI PICCOLOMINI D’ARAGONA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Medium color; rusty./ Firm, dry, vinous. Some dried fruit. Austere./ Sweet glycerol and smooth vinosity. Not showing the fruit flair of the 09 at this stage. 15.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT032713-10. 10 NEBBIOLO D’ALBA MARGHE, DAMILANO - (ITALY) 14%. Medium color; rusty./ The usual firm cherry Damilano style of nebbiolo. Good glycerol coating. Deep, sweet nebbiolo core. Tarry./ Yes, glycerol around a firm core of fruit. A classic, old time approach. Has the goods to age famously. 16.2++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT032713-11. 11 COTES DU RHONE LA GRANGE DE PIAUGIER, DOMAINEDE PIAUGIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Full, dark, open, racy. In style. Less giving than the 10, which I tasted when it was 6 months older. Young./ As rich and racy as the 10 on the palate. Spicy too. Round and caressing. Good future. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT032713-13. 09 CASTILLA Y LEON TEMPRANILLO VENTA MAZZARON, VINAS DEL CENIT - (SPAIN) 14.5%. Sweetness of 09. At a quiet stage. Latent power and density. Not forthcoming at this point./ Yeah, quiet, close. Not yielding much in the way of either flavor or texture. Give it time. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT032713-14. 09 VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE RIPASSO SAN MICHELE COLLEZIONE CA’ DEL PIPA, MICHELE CASTELLANI - (ITALY) 14%; 75% corvina, 20% rondinella, 5% molinara. Rich and ruddy and open ripasso style. Powerful, sweet, loaded. Barrel aging evidence./ Yes, bouquets of both barrel and bottle age. Opening and evolving now. Ready to serve. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT032713-15. 11 CLINE ANCIENT VINES CONTRA COSTA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15%; 80-100 year old vines. 11 dark, dry, close. Nonetheless, old vines large, sweet, powerful. Some 11 constraint./ Sweet and flowing, with some of the terseness of the vintage. The companion Mourvedre is more successful this vintage. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032713-16. 11 BERNKASTELER KURFURSTLAY RIESLING AUSLESE, SELBACH - (GERMANY) 8.5%. Oh, tingly, racy mineral and juice vigor. Apple, pear, peach. Firm peach. Deep, burnished texture./ Thick and rich–fully auslese. Sweetness coats the acidity. Full flavor and depth. Brassy botrytis aspects. This is better than the fine 09. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032713-17. 12 JACOB’S CREEK SOUTH EASTERN AUSTRALIA MOSCATO - (AUSTRALIA) 7.2%. Warm climate muscat canelli. Not as vivacious as the cool climate renditions. The fine mousse dries it and suppresses its varietal expression. Air it./ Sweet and good and flavorful in the mouth. Soft acid. A good value. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $5.99

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WT031313-01. 10 CHABLIS BIEVILLE VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE LOUIS MOREAU - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%; 40 year old vines. A lot of crisp Chablis malic green apple and calcaire. Evolves into sweet apple and pear./ Full and rich. Ample fruit and terroir extracts. Fine. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT031313-02. 11 SOAVE, PIEROPAN - (ITALY) 12%; Neil Empson has imported Pieropan’s Soaves for 40 years, and I’ve stocked them from Year One. Full of garganega personality. Burnished and deep, even peachy./ Such polish! The right body and balance. Well crafted in a classic style. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT031313-03. 10 CHATEAU COURONNEAU, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; EcoCert; half each sauvignon blanc, sauvignon gris. Firm, with gris full texture, fatness, creaminess./ Full, large. Peach, nut, cream, ‘gras’. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT031313-04. 11 BOGAZKERE OKUZGOZU YAKUT, KAVAKLIDERE - (TURKEY) 13%; a large red grape, okuzgozu means ‘ox eye’. Deep and fruity. Reminds me of a Grand Cru Beaujolais. In this context, it’s a fine value./ Yes, fresh and vivid, full and flowing. Black fruit and Beaujolais brightness. Light grip of fine tannin. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT031313-05. 09 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR, MARIE-PIERRE GERMAIN - (FRANCE BOURGOGNE) 13%; at Meursault. Deep, introverted. Game, cherry, oak. Serious form, class oak embellishments, fine density and ripe fruit sweetness./ Yes, this is serious pinot. Nothing frivolous or dainty about it. This has bulk and framing. Super cellar potential. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

WT031313-06. 09 CHATEAU LYONNAT, LUSSAC SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; 85% merlot 11% cabernet sauvignon, 4% cabernet franc; on limestone; 18 months in barrels. Oh, such pretty and plump 09 merlot fruit emphasis. A barrel aged complexity too, without obvious woodiness. Fabulous richness overall./ Firm framing. Fruit center of classic western Saint Emilion merlot cherry generosity. Full, fine tannins. No wonder this rates the top Lussac. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT031313-07. 10 ROBERT OATLEY MARGARET RIVER CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (AUSTRALIA) 14%; Oatley, creator of Rosemount Estate, has recently developed an upscale range under his name. Cool, bright Western Australia cabernet. This is the real deal at an exceptional price./ Yes, Margaret River coolness. Fine boned. Very fine grained tannins. This is a keeper! 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT031313-08. 09 THE ROYAL SWARTLAND SHIRAZ - CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14%. Deep, sweet, ripe, dark berry and currant. All fruit; no animal./ Clear and bright fruit. The horse is still in the barn. Fine value in Cape rood. Buy. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT031313-10. 09 TOSCANA SANGIOVESE, TENUTA VITANZA - (ITALY) 12%. Fresh, bright, clear, racy 09 sangiovese. Deep, with ripe and dried fruits./ Light hearted, easy 09 style with light tannin foil. Sweet, fruity finish. Nice stuff. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT031313-11. 10 CHIANTI COLLI SENESI, TENUTA VITANZA - (ITALY) 14.5%. Deep and rich. Cool for Colli Senesi; that’s 2010. Large presence. Purple fruits like loganberry./ Vintage coolness and raciness. There’s a lot of underlayment. This is ambitious and ageworthy. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT031313-12. 09 CHIANTI RUFINA RISERVA, RENZO MASI - (ITALY) 13.5%; 95% sangiovese, 5% colorino; aged 30+ months before release. Fresh, cool, nutty riserva take.. A good year here. Time in wood riserva style evident./ Yes, the Rufina cool fruit charm with time in barrel riserva extras. Fine texture, tannin, acid. Another star in an always reliable series. Enjoy now and later. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT031313-13. 09 VERONESE CAMPOFIORIN, MASI - (ITALY) 13%; Masi created the ripasso process in 1964. One of the best vintages in a heralded run. Sweet and lightly singed. Perfect posture./ Yes, 09 sweet and forward, with baked and nutty tones. No raisin. Hallmark. 17.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT031313-15. 11 JOHANNISBERGER ERNTEBRINGER RIESLING KABINETT, H. KRAYER - (GERMANY) 9.5%. Very bright and crisp 2011. Vivid citrus, especially orange. A class grosslage wine./ The acidity remains coated with baby fat. Good, clear peach and orange Rheingau riesling flavors. This reads Rheingau riesling. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT031313-17. 08 STE. CHAPELLE LATE HARVEST SNAKE RIVER VALLEY RIESLING half bottle - (U.S.) 10%. Intense, ripe, sweet, mature. Peach and honey. No botrytis to speak of. Just ripe and beautiful late harvest riesling fruit...in spades./ Sweet for sure. Beerenauslese level. The acidity is a reliant, cool foil, despite the sweetness’s present dominance. Impressive concentration worthy of the original price. 17.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT031313-18. GRAHAM’S FINE RUBY PORTO - (PORTUGAL) 19%; since 1652. Full and spirited. Sweet and singed. In the house style./ Full, sweet, and singed. A large Ruby that makes like a Vintage Character.. Gives a lot for the money. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WT030613-01. 11 SAUMUR BLANC LES POUCHES, CAVE DE SAUMUR - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%; all chenin blanc; single vineyard near Meron. Nose shy. Light quince airs./ Flavors more forthcoming. Good acid and chenin plumpness in balance. The right feel. Needs air to open up the aromatic range. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT030613-02. 11 VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO SUPERIORE, FATTORIA LAILA - (ITALY) 13%. Full. Apple, pear, and some citrus. Rich yet racy. Good low pH./ Rich in flavor. Good body and texture. Peels extract. I guess I’m warming up to this fuller style of verdicchio coming our way these days. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT030613-03. 12 CHATEAU FONTAINE LEELANAU PENINSULA PINOT GRIS - (U.S.) Lovely pinot gris. Rich, waxy, cool, crisp edged. Apple and melon center. All sits comfortably./ Rich in glycerol. Flavorful. Even better by summer. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT030613-05. 11 RUEDA VERDEJO OLD VINES, BODEGAS SHAYA - (SPAIN) 14%; named after the area’s shaya deer. The real deal. Sauvignon blanc features of verdejo plus its unique botanicals aura. Sits right./ Yes, a balance of core tonic astringency and plump fruit pulpiness.. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT030613-06. 11 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR RESERVE, BOUCHARD PERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Fresh, crisp, cool vintage pinot. 11 shows. Rich enough center; old vines pinot./ Yes, sweet fruited. Well chaptelized–not to excess, not glossy; well done. Smooth. No excess acid or greenness issues. Just less rich and intense than a riper vintage. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT030613-07. 11 MARK WEST CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.8%; mainly from coastal appellations. Ripe, ruddy, warm, modest. Not much pinot fruit flair. Plain Jane./ Good enough pinot flavor, but an empty feel. Lightly sweet. Mealworthy. Fair finish. The vintage shows. 14.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT030613-09. 11 DON RODOLFO VINA CORNEJO COSTAS CAFAYATE VALLEY MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; vineyards at 6000 feet. Sweet and firm in youth. Under screwcap, but no sulphur like the tannat showed a couple of weeks ago./ Rich, but a bit tarter and leaner than usual this vintage. Not as much flavor interest. 15.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT030613-10. 11 PUGLIA ANARKOS, ACCADEMIA DEI RACEMI - (ITALY) 13%. Deep and dark. Firm. Raisin, rancio./ Yeah, raisiny, rancio take on Puglia rosso. Unabashedly ripe and sweet. A valid approach. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT030613-11. 11 AUSTERITY CALIFORNIA RED - (U.S.) 13.5%; 42% Monterey shiraz, 34% Central Coast cabernet sauvignon, 13% California cabernet sauvignon, 11% Central Coast Merlot. Shy nose of 11. Little varietal definition./ Sweet and ripe fruit for its coastal zones. No varietal IDs. Frankly sweet fruit stuff in the house style. Belies its name. 15.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT030613-12. 09 ARTESA ELEMENTS SONOMA RED - (U.S.) 14.5%; 47% cabernet sauvignon, 39% tempranillo, 6% merlot, 4% petite sirah , 2% grenache, 1% each malbec, petit verdot; aged 24 months in French oak. Dark and ruddy fruit character. Sweet. Sonoma cabernet and tempranillo give some Med images./ Yes, sweet, ripe, and open for 09 with nice wood spice edge. Airing has been beneficial. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT030613-13. 11 GNARLY HEAD OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%. Sweet, syrupy Lodi red nose. Not a lot of aromatic range, but ripe and fulfilling for 11. Ripe fruit, mainly plum./ Yes, plummy, and old vines concentrated. Good Lodi stewed fruit character. Palate especially satisfying. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT030613-14. 10 TERRA D’ORO AMADOR AGLIANICO - (U.S.) 14.5%. Big, black, concentrated, sweet, singed, solid. Not as ripe or overly ripe as some vintages though./ Relatively tame on the palate for this cuvee. Mellow overall, and likely more versatile at the table than the demonstrative vintages.. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT030613-15. 11 AUSTERITY CALIFORNIA WHITE - (U.S.) 13.5%; 60% Monterey chardonnay, 40% Santa Barbara riesling. Citrusy Monterey chardonnay dominates the nose. That’s a surprise! Subtle riesling scent in back. Dry and crisp./ Well, on the palate riesling wells up to dominate. Sweet. Two ring circus. 15.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT030613-16. 11 ALSACE RIESLING, PAUL & PHILIPPE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%; at Eguisheim; ‘1' on the dryness scale (dry). Dry, full, strong, statuesque representative of the house and village. Dry riesling scent. Apple, citrus, stone./ Lovely riesling fruit with acid edge. Unique nutty aspect. Eminently well balanced and foodworthy. Special. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT030613-17. 11 MOSEL ESTATE RIESLING RK, VON KESSELSTATT - (GERMANY) 11.5%. Some of sulphur’s wet wool aspect under screwcap. Crisp Mosel style. This will work out fine once the sulphur’s passed./ Sweet, classy. Deepens with aeration. Lithe nonetheless. Tasty, easy. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

 

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