Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - March, 2014
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated April 1,  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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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. Doesn’t encumber the fruit, or the fun. Decent fare. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $4.99

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++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT032614-11. 12 RIOJA GARNACHA, BODEGAS CAMPO VIEJO - (SPAIN) 14%. Sweet and singed Spanish grenache. This is instructive. Campo Viejo’s 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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $38.99

WT032614-14. 12 OPOLO SUMMIT CREEK PASO ROBLES ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 15.7%; Paso Westside–the 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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT031914-06. 12 PELEE ISLAND ONTARIO CABERNET FRANC - (CANADA) 13%; the label’s 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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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. I’m not finding varietal and regional qualities./ Yeah, earthy, vinous, plain. Others liked it, called it traditional. 15.5+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

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 zone’s rieslings. Good acid and texture all the same. Some bouquet development. One of the best St. Julian has made. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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 can’t figure this one. 15.7+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

 

 

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