Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- March, 2014
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March 26, 2014
WT032614-01. 12 COTES DE GASCOGNE, DOMAINE DUFFOUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 70% colombard, 15% each gros manseng, ugni blanc. Wow! Huge colombard lime and mango thrust. Exuberant, to say the least./ Lush textured and immensely flavorful. Great acid vitality, juiciness, balance. 16.9.
WT032614-02. 12 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO, PASQUA - (ITALY) 12%. Good, straight forward apple and lime. Nice and incisive./ Nutty. Medium bodied. Good enough spiel, as well as polish. Solid form. Right down the middle. 16.1.
WT032614-03. 12 ORVIETO CLASSICO SUPERIORE ARCOSESTO, CANTINA ALTAROCCA - (ITALY) 13%; 50% grechetto, 30% procanico, 20% malvasia. Procanico is a clone of trebbiano. Full. Fine earthiness, Orvieto calcaire. Smoky and substantial grechetto./ Dense, and smoky indeed. Unique. Expressive of its terroir. Real oomph suggests low yields. Open grained and revealing now. 16.3.
WT032614-04. 13 KEN FORRESTER PETIT STELLENBOSCH CHENIN BLANC - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13%. Racy. Some hops. Sorbates? Peels edge./ Yeah, peelsy. Too much grip. Lacks fruit flavor and padding. A disappointing vintage in what has been a solid series. 15.1.
WT032614-05. 12 CARDIFF CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13%. Good, clean fun. Sweet apple and citrus. No oak to speak of. Some malo creaminess. Delish./ Well, maybe a light sprinkling of oak. Doesnít encumber the fruit, or the fun. Decent fare. 15.5.
WT032614-06. 09 BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY VIEILLES VIGNES, MAISON ROCHE DE BELLENE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; 65 yr old vines; 15 mo in barrel, 100% malo, winemaker Nicolas Potel. Sulphur. SO2 scratch. H2S potty. Air and age./ SO2 grip. Malo creaminess. Some oak. Pretty good acid for 09. 14.0++.
WT032614-07. 12 DE LOACH HERITAGE RESERVE CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; est 1975. Rich in oak and positive pinot peels extracts. Lots of texture and depth./ The oak is pretty well integrated. Good varietal character. 16.2.
WT032614-08. 12 CECCHETTI LINE 39 CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.5%. Central Coast cool and minty. Green fruit./ Ripe and green fruit together. Should be riper in this vintage. Picked early? Some glossiness. Good enough for the price. 15.4.
WT032614-09. 12 CECCHETTI LINE 39 CENTRAL COAST CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.5%. Good oak and some press peels. Combo of Paso Robles sweet fruit and Monterey shrill character./ Yeah, odd mix of origins and of wood. Commercial but not come hither. 15.3.
WT032614-10. 12 ACORDEON MENDOZA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ARGENTINA) 13.9%. Cool, ventilating red currant. A bit severe, pinched./ Sweet fruit and oak on the palate. Predictable. Good. The malbec is much better. 15.3.
WT032614-11. 12 RIOJA GARNACHA, BODEGAS CAMPO VIEJO - (SPAIN) 14%. Sweet and singed Spanish grenache. This is instructive. Campo Viejoís Rioja Baja vineyards are in the right zone for grenache./ Yes, sweet and forward and immediate. Great acid too. Full texture and fruit sweetness. Works. 16.3.
WT032614-13. 10 PENFOLDS BIN 138 BAROSSA VALLEY GRENACHE-SHIRAZ-MOURVEDRE - (AUSTRALIA) 14.5%; 50-27-23; 12 months in seasoned hogsheads. Penfolds has gone viral in China. Oh, complete! Age, wood, game, ripeness, blackness, full extract. Meaty and powerful and balanced. Singed fruit./ Sweet oak and fruit. Full Barossa ripeness and delivery. Rewarding viscosity. Total balance. 17.4+.
WT032614-14. 12 OPOLO SUMMIT CREEK PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15.7%; Paso WestsideĖthe cooler side. Paso sweetness and ripeness, Westside or otherwise. Dried and sweet berry and plum./ Great oak and fruit creme. Caramel, raspberry. Lush. No prune or raisin. 17.1.
WT032614-15. 12 PIESPORTER GOLDTROPFCHEN RIESLING KABINETT, J. & P. MATHEUS - (GERMANY) 9%. Full, dark 2012 style of riesling. Piesporter peach, 2012 peach peel. Right. Rich, and full of material. Spatlese concentration, with plenty of 2012 extract too./ Yes, peach and peel. Class Goldtropfchen kabinett. Extract, succulence, acid, length, full flavor. 17.2.
March 19, 2014
WT031914-01. 12 VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO TITULUS, AGR. FAZI BATTAGLIA - (ITALY) 12.5%; est. 1949. Fresh and lithe and right./ Again, light on its feet. Like spring water. My style of Verdicchio. 16.5.
WT031914-02. 12 SAUMUR BLANC LES POUCHES, CAVE DE SAUMUR - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; chenin blanc from a single vineyard on southwest slopes near Meron. Fresh aroma featuring apple, pear, and melon. Nice to have a new vintage of this. Just quivers with vivacity./ Wow, juicy quince and lime facets of chenin. Lots of textural play. 16.6.
WT031914-03. 12 NIEDEROSTERREICH GRUNER VELTLINER, BRUNN liter - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%. Full earth and legume gruve aromas. Body and substance. Earthy substratum./ Full, mealy, and meal-worthy! 16.2.
WT031914-04. 12 BUENA VISTA VINICULTURAL SOCIETY SONOMA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%; est. 1857. Earthy Sonoma take on pinot. Sweet, substantial, legit./ Flavorful. Pinot cherry, oak toast, and earth. Plenty of substance here. Burgundy leanings. 16.4.
WT031914-05. 12 HAHN NICKY HAHN CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.5%; est. 1980. Sweet and powerful. Straight arrow./ Sweet and strong. Not very fruity. Large build to take on hearty fare.. 15.9.
WT031914-06. 12 PELEE ISLAND ONTARIO CABERNET FRANC - (CANADA) 13%; the labelís five-lined skink is the only lizard found on Pelee Island. Sweet, fresh, fruity. Both ripe vintage and cool climate impressions. Fruit pulp and peel, light oak./ Sweet fruit. Yes, reveals both vintage and climate. Ideal northern grown cabernet franc. 16.6.
WT031914-07. 12 BELASCO DE BAQUEDANO LLAMA OLD VINE ALTO AGRELO VALLEY MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%; from vines nearly 100 years old. Sweet, powerful, fruity, large, ripe, nostril swelling. Sweet oak./ Fabulously sweet fruit and oak range and delivery. The complete package. Sooo generous. 16.9.
WT031914-08. 11 COLLINES RHODANIENNES LA CHEVALIERE, PATRICK JASMIN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12%; 99% syrah, 1% viognier; sandy soil south of Cote Rotie; 12 mo in seasoned Cote Rotie barrels. Earthy. Iím not finding varietal and regional qualities./ Yeah, earthy, vinous, plain. Others liked it, called it traditional. 15.5+?
WT031914-09. 11 CHIANTI CLASSICO, QUERCETO - (SPAIN) 12.5%. Sweet and dried fruits. Anise and flowers. Dried cherry and sweet glycerol. The right acid, weight, and elegance of a Greve area Classico./ Yes, really great acid. Some oak. Well balanced. Classic to its zone. 16.6.
WT031914-10. 12 CARINENA LAS VALLES, BODEGAS VIRGEN DEL AGUILA - (SPAIN) 13%; 40% each tempranillo, garnacha, 20% syrah. Forward, warm, sweet red berries. Very nice and ripe and spicy./ Strawberry, raspberry, peppercorn. Talks about the grapes and zone. 16.3.
WT031914-11. 12 ST. JULIAN RESERVE ARROWHEAD VYDS LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE RIESLING - (U.W.) 12% Wine & Spirits Top 100 Best Buys; Best of Show -V&WM International Riesling Challenge. Fresh, and also a little resinous already. SW Michigan riesling warmth and fullness./ Yes, the relative mildness of the zoneís rieslings. Good acid and texture all the same. Some bouquet development. One of the best St. Julian has made.
WT031914-12. 11 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 14%; 4/8 on the sweetness scale. Rich, and very, very spicy. Ginger, bergamot. Lush, brulee, pomaded./ Ginger and other nippy spices. Vigorous. Glycerol roundness followed by a snappy finish. All the right tools to do the job. 17.5.
March 5, 2014
WT030514-01. 12 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO GREGORIS, FATTORI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh, full, rich, right. Both body and energy./ Lovely savors and feels. Fruits, nuts, sweets, bitters. Good acid vigor. Balanced. Both composed and ebullient. Right. 16.6.
WT030514-02. 12 CHATEAU HAUT PASQUET, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; Famille Dubourg at Escoussans; 70% sauvignon, 30% semillon. Brisk sauvignon gooseberry freshness and vim. Round semillon bedding./ Yes, juicy gooseberry, citrus of sauvignon. Sweet, plump semillon cushion. Suave acid. Well crafted. 16.6.
WT030514-03. 12 SANCERRE LE CLOS DE CHAUDENAY, DOMAINE ETIENNE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%; at Chaudenay-Verdigny. Fresh, ripe citrus. Meyer lemon. So cool and confident./ Plump tangelo fruit, soft and ripe and very fresh. Will liked by the group. 16.9.
WT030514-04. 13 JOEL GOTT CALIFORNIA SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S.) 13.9%. Plump, sweet California citrus take. Power gives body and fullness and roundness./ Orange, tangerine. Full and right with welcome crisp acid cut. A joy. 16.6.
WT030514-05. 12 RUEDA VERDEJO OLD VINES, VINEDOS SHAYA - (SPAIN) 13.5%; named for the local Shaya deer. Some sulphur wooliness that dampens the aromatic show, makes it seem sluggish./ Yeah, somewhat wooly, dull, flat. Too bad; this is usually a winner. Air and time? 13.8+?
WT030514-06. 12 SEAN MINOR CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%. Central Coast green cherry and some green tea. I expected more ripeness from this in 2012./ Sweet and easy. Mild acid. Light oak and grain seasonings. The green nose and sweet, soft palate are at odds. I canít figure this one. 15.7+?
WT030514-07. 12 BRASSFIELD ESTATE HIGH SERENITY RANCH VINEYARD HIGH VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.8%. Powerful, warm, robust, large pinot noir. Points to a warm growing region for pinot noir and/or a late harvest./ Yeah, this is strong and rugged. Some oak. Tannic. No resemblance to burgundy. 15.4+.
WT030514-08. 12 APALTAGUA ESTATE RESERVA APALTA VALLEY COLCHAGUA CARMENERE - (CHILE) 14%; 60 year old vines. Delicate approach for this variety. Black currant, loganberry. Cool and fresh. Has both form and filling./ Yes, plush core concentrate and tensile framework. Great acid. Tarry depth. Some tannin on the finish points the way to age potential. Well liked by the group. 16.5+.
WT030514-09. 12 BODEGA TAMARI RESERVA MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%. Staid and firm framed. Some sulphur? Lacks the elegance of former vintages./ Oak gives a nice caramel coating. Much different from the stylish demeanor of the past. Sends mixed messages. 15.3+?
WT030514-10. 10 TOSCANA CAMPONOVO, TENUTA DI SESTA - (ITALY) 14%; at Montalcino; owned by Dr. Giovanni Ciacci. Lovely, really spicy stuff. Sachet. How did the winemaker achieve this range of aromatics? Barrel aging? Choice of grapes?/ Yes, very savory indeed. Smooth, flavorful, pleasing body and balance. Remarkable. Well liked by the group. 16.6.
WT030514-11. 12 EMPORDA GARNACHA OLD VINES, ESPELT ESTATE - (SPAIN) 14%; aged 4 months in French oak. Sweet and powerful old vines grenache approach. Good firm framing too. And spicy oak./ Yes, sweet, spicy, sexy. Good grenache rich and round basis. This really delivers. Very popular with the group. 16.4.
WT030514-12. 12 HICKINBOTHAM ESTATE PARINGA VINEYARDS SOUTH AUSTRALIA SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 14%. Powerful, rich, and loaded with 2012 ripe fruit goodness. Dynamic and full of promise. Impressive fruit concentration./ Whoa! Sweet and loaded indeed, even by the standards this customarily ample cuvee. One come hither shiraz. 16.4.
WT030514-13. 12 JASON WOODBRIDGE LAYER CAKE SOUTH AUSTRALIA SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 14.5%. Powerful, framed, spicy, concentrated. Light oak dressings. Good dry foundation./ Smooth and savory. Awaiting more flavor development. Great feel and balance. 16.1+.
WT030514-14. 12 RHEINGAU RIESLING DRAGONSTONE, JOSEF LEITZ - (GERMANY) 9.5%; Gault Millau Winemaker of the Year - 2011. Some sulphur wooliness neutralizes fruit expression./ More scented in the mouth. Still, sulphur restricts it ability to express itself and its Rheingau character. Wait it out. 15.2++.
WT030514-15. WILLIAMS & HUMBERT DRY SACK MEDIUM DRY SHERRY - (FORTIFIED) 19.5%; amoroso: an oloroso sweetened to a lesser degree than a cream. Sweet and nutty. Dried fruit, oak, wood, and spirit. Everything works in tandem./ Nice, even-handed approach featuring sweetness, nut, fig, sultana, wood. Certainly drier than a cream. Quite powerful and spirited. Serve cool or on the rocks as the label advises. 16.5.