Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - March 2019
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated   April 14, 2019

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

WT032719-01. 17 BOWERS HARBOR MICHIGAN PINOT GRIGIO - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 11.5%. Good, appley, cool climate pinot gris./ Rich, ripe, ample, nutty. One of the best in this series. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032719-02. 17 MUSCADET SEVRE & MAINE SUR LIE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHATEAU SALMONIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Crisp and fresh. Subtly aromatic. Pure and typical./ Juicy and flavorful. Balanced and meal-worthy. Bargain. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT032719-03. 17 MUSCADET SEVRE & MAINE SUR LIE GORGES, DOMAINE VERDIER - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Fuller figured. Less flow. Good tone. Fulls out more with aeration./ Rich and mossy. Lots of flavor. Incisive fruit acidity. For food. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032719-04. 17 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SURE LIE, CHATEAU LA CARIZIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Big, billowing aroma. Has force and depth./ Rich and round, full and suave. Paragon 2017. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032719-05. 17 NIEDEROSTERREICH GRUNER VELTLINER KLASSIK TROCKEN, NASTL - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%. Following a set of Muscadets, very full and expressive of apple, legume, even nut./ Very full, and full textured. Yow! 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032719-06. 17 MACON VILLAGES CHARDONNAY VIEILLES VIGNES,. DOMAINE JEAN TOUZOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5% Full old vines expression of Maconnais chardonnay, with lees impact. Appley and mealy./ Clear and cool. 17 lithe and racy. Plenty of innate substance too. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT032719-07. 17 QUINCY LES ROUESSES, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Lovely stone and citrus Quincy sauvignon. Less rich than Sancerre, as it should be. Perfect 2017 Quincy disposition./ Yes, this has dash, sweet citrus, stone, and swagger. Classic; ideal. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT032719-08. 17 CATALUNYA MUSCAT ALEXANDRIA DRY, TORRES - (SPAIN) 11.5%. Crisp and dry, with delicately imparted muscat of alexandria aromatic profile. Spot on./ More forthcoming varietal character on the palate. Seville orange and marmalade. Dry, and well textured. Right. Summer treat. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032719-09. 16 CHIANTI CLASSICO, CARPINETO - (ITALY) 13%; in Greve; 90% sangiovese, 10% canaiolo. Smoky cherry, dried cherry. Sweet, intense fruit and distinct and positive barrel contributions./ Yes, all of that. Richness and acidity in balance. The range and complexity of an up-scale Classico. Right up through the harmonious finish. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT032719-10. 15 CHIANTI CLASSICO, CASTELLO LA LECCIA - (ITALY) 14.5%; in Castellina; all sangiovese. Plenty of give in 15, plus attractive barrel time influence. Sweet black fruits and oak./ Sweet fruit and oak confirmed. Balanced, even. Warm savors of ripe and dried cherries and citron. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT032719-11. 16 MAREMMA CABERNET SAUVIGNON I PERAZZI, SOC. AGR. LA MOZZA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Vinous, Tuscan cabernet./ Sweet fruited. Not terribly expressive of the variety in a Tuscan coastal setting. Much prefer La Mozza‛s sangiovese. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT032719-12. 17 MCMANIS FAMILY CALIFORNIA PETIT VERDOT - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Sweet and cedary, exaggerated petit verdot character in an inland setting. Rich fruited, full bodied./ Oh, this a really sweet and full petit verdot. There‛s an oaky bonus too. Works hard at this price. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT032719-13. 17 MCMANIS FAMILY ESTATE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14%. Sweet, deep, and old vines intense. Plenty of varietal character./ Rich, full, powerful, well balanced presentation. Yes. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT032719-14. 16 BERNARDUS SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.2%. This has cool, tea like pinot personality more in tune with one from Monterey Valley than the Highlands that border it on the west side. I guess that‛s been pretty consistent with Bernardus pinots. Some smoky oak./ Medium bodied. Silky, well balanced. Not herbal. Good follow through. I‛d like a little more oomph for the price and the AVA. 16.6+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT032719-15. 13 PETIT GUIRAUD DE CHATEAU GUIRAUD, SAUTERNES half bottle - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Honey, pineapple, and oak aromas. Strong, deep, sweet./ Flavors confirm aromas. Plenty sweet indeed. Not much botrytis showing. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

WT032019-02. 13 NICHOLAS ALLEN CARTE BLANCHE SANDSTONE SEVEN ALDER SPRINGS VINEYARD MENDOCINO VIOGNIER-MARSANNE-ROUSSANNE - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.1%. Oh, this is fresh and full and good. Shows all three varietals. This sings./ Good mouthfeel, mouthful. Presence for food. Bravo. Some mentioned oak. Perhaps. It certainly wasn‛t prominent. 16.6. List price: $48.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032019-04. 15 DOURO VILA NOVA, SOC. AGR. CASA DE VILLA NOVA - (PORTUGAL) 12.5%. Wow, what‛s this? Intense clove and cinnamon aromas. From a grape variety, or from wood?/ Palate confirms, though these aromatics are less intense to the taste. Unique. 16.2. List price: $20.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT032019-05. 15 PASCUAL TOSO RESERVA BARRANCAS VINEYARD MENDOZA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%. Rich, sweet, ripe, abundant./ Medium to full power. Malbec darkness. 16.5. List price: $30.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT032019-06. 14 CONO SUR RESERVA ESPECIAL VALLE DEL MAIPO CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (CHILE) 14%. Sweet ripe Maipo cabernet blackberry and black currant. Blueberry too./ A very cool and clear, classic Maipo cabernet on its own rootstock. Good reserva barrel effects too. 16.6. List price: $15.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT032019-07. 14 IRONSTONE VINEYARDS OLD VINE LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%; est. 1945; 45+ yr old vines. Ripe and forthcoming fruit. Like the Douro, there‛s a hint of clove./ Full Lodi old vine sweet core. Good power and framing too. Consistent. 16.4. List price: $16.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT032019-08. 14 SEVEN HILLS WALLA WALLA VALLEY RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.7%; est. 1988. Big, broad, sweet, and complex. Walla Walla concentration of fruit, complemented by the proper measure of barrel influence./ The marked oak and fruit generosity echoes on the palate. And the complexity and power. The real Walla Walla red deal. 17.4+. List price: $40.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT032019-09. 14 SANTA BARBARA WINERY STA. RITA HILLS PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.7%. Sweet fruited but also 14 and Santa Barbara cool and herbaceous../ Yeah, very cool take on California pinot noir. Well liked by the Europhiles. 16.0+. List price: $27.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT032019-10. 14 RIBERA DEL DUERO CRIANZA, LEGARIS - (SPAIN) 15%. Sweet and powerful RDD classic without the excess oakiness of some./ Full body and tannin. Tannin coats the teeth even. Tailor made for the cellar. 16.4++. List price: $33.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT032019-11. 13 NAOUSSA XINOMAVRO YOUNG VINES, THYMIOPOULOS VINEYARDS - (GREECE) 13%; unfiltered. Sweet and lovely xino strawberry aroma./ And strawberry flavor. A delight. Shows what to do with the produce of young vines. You can cool this one down for refreshment. No tannin to interfere. If there ever was much, it‛s eroded away over 5 years. 16.7. List price: $18.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT032019-13. 11 SANCTUARY BUTLER RANCH MENDOCINO ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%; elevation 2200'. Sweet and fruity. Classic Mendocino dark fruit, plus good oak lacings./ Large. Well developed, and offering no resistance at age seven. Really good now. 16.6. List price: $48.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT032019-14. 13 NIERSTEINER PATERBERG RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT GEORG ALBRECHT SCHNEIDER - (GERMANY) 8.5%. Very spicy and nicely developed Rheinfront riesling./ At least kabinett level sweetness and concentration. Pushing spatlese. Really giving at this stage. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT032019-15. 08 CA' TOGNI NAPA VALLEY SWEET RED half bottle - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.3%; estate on Spring Mountain. Sweet and very spicy. Deep and exotic. Wow./ Unique musky, oaky complex. Well balanced. Total treat. 18.4. List price: $40.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT032019-16. MEYER FAMILY CALIFORNIA TAWNY PORT half liter - (U.S. WEST COAST) 18%. Dark fruited, with nutty, tawny leanings. Powerful in my Taster glass./ The relative dryness of a well aged tawny. Lightly floral highlights. This will keep further. 17.8+. List price: $38.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

WT031319-1. 17 CHATEAU LA FREYNELLE, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; 60% sauvignon blanc, 30% semillon, 10% muscadelle. Strong perfume of sauvignon blanc./ And flavor. Attractive bitter twist of muscadelle. Good stuff. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT031319-2. 16 CALVET CREMANT DE BORDEAUX ROSE BRUT - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 90% cabernet franc, 10% merlot. Good and fruity. A real winner. Sweet, frothy strawberry mousse./ Seems high brut. Gives ease and mellowness. Irresistible. The group agreed. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT031319-3. 17 COTES DE THAU ROSE, VILLA VIVA - (ROSE) 12%; all carignan. Nice, earthy, pitchy, carignan peels extract. Has etch./ Adequate taste and texture. May have had more last year. I?ll be looking forward to the 2018. This 2017 was liked by the group, all the same
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT031319-4. 17 CITE DE CARCASSONNE CABERNET FRANC, DOMAINE LAROQUE - (ROSE) 13.5%; all cabernet franc. Bursting with exaggerated cabernet franc character. Carcassonne take, contributing dark tones of blueberry and violets to Loire?s red raspberry aura./ Again, as always, a hugely concentrated take on cabernet franc. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT031319-5. 16 CAHORS MALBEC, CHATEAU DU CAILLAU - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; all malbec; the estate also produces Clos La Coutale. Deep, very spicy, and fine. Wow! Volume here!/ Pleasingly sweet fruit and, again, lots of spicy vigor. A flashy, new Cahors malbec. Well priced. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT031319-6. 16 CHATEAU LA FREYNELLE, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 70% merlot, 30% cab franc. One of the less ripe 2016s. I?ve encountered these with some frequency at the regional-appellation level./ Yeah, not a lot of give or spread. Terse, introverted. Will it loosen up? 14.0+?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT031319-8. 14 CHATEAU BELLEVUE PEYCHARNEAU, SAINT FOY BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 65% merlot, 25% cab sauv, 10% cab franc; James Suckling 91/100. Large for Saint Foy. 14 black and dense./ Sweet fruited, and dark and balanced. Loaded. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT031319-9. 16 CHATEAU TOURNEFEUILLE, LALANDE DE POMEROL - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 70% merlot, 30% cab franc; at Neac, adjacent to Petrus and La Fleur Petrus, partly on the same blue clay that contributes to its neighbors? greatness. Special, as always. Large, complex, deep, oaky, spicy./ Stalwart, broad, full of a complicated assortment of barrel extras. Wide ranging. Wow! One super-sized Lalande. 17.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT031319-10. 16 CHATEAU SAINT ANDRE CORBIN, ST. GEORGES ST. EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%; on the site of the original villa of the Roman poet Ausonius; 70% merlot, 30% cab franc; Gold Medal - Bordeaux; James Suckling 92/100. Sweet fruited, plummy, and generous in the Saint Emilion manner. Unusually well cushioned for the vintage./ A really spreading, revealing, mouthfilling experience in sweet, ripe Right Bank claret. Very popular with the group. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT031319-11. 14 CHATEAU COUTET, GRAND CRU, ST. EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 60% merlot, 26% cab franc, 8% malbec, 6% cab sauv. Good and fruity, and sweet fruited for 2014. Best vintage I've tasted of this./ It has 14 texture, grip, and tannin, and exceptional fruit intensity to boot. Yes, indeed. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $32.99

WT031319-12. 14 CHATEAU BLAIGNAN, CRU BOURGEOIS, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; oldest winegrowing estate in the Medoc AOC; jointly owned with Chateaux Grand Puy Ducasse and Meyney; Hubert de Bouard, oenologist; 60% cab sauv, 40% merlot; Gold Medal - Bruxelles. Left Bank cabernet takes over now. Sweet blackberry and black currant, and an impressive measure of oak influence./ Yes, cabernet sauvignon leads the way, and oak adds significant complexity. Well done. I can see the gold medal. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT031319-13. 16 CHATEAU PICQUE CAILLOU, PESSAC LEOGNAN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 60% cab sauv, 35% merlot, 5% petit verdot. Oh, boy, this is important in breadth and depth, bulk and solidity. Barrel extras augment the fruit concentration. Altogether statuesque and cellar-worthy./ Yes, the wood and fruit complex, the full core material and framework of extract and tannin. Sure bet for cellaring. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT031319-14. 16 CHATEAU MONGRAVEY, CRU BOURGEOIS, MARGAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; at Arsac; 65% cab sauv, 33% merlot, 2% cab franc. Real Margaux elegance and plenty of sweet fruit. More like a 2015 than a 2016 Margaux. Complexing oak flairs too./ Yes, the real Margaux deal. Plus 2016 size and structure. And fine tailoring. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

WT031319-15. 13 CHATEAU FONBADET, CRU BOURGEOIS, PAUILLAC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 75% cab sauv, 25% merlot. Certainly not wanting like many a 2013 claret. This has mass. A forthright, four square Fonbadet, always reliable, and one of the few crus bourgeois of Pauillac./ Again, plenty of bulk and solidity here. A waste to serve it at this stage. Keeper 15.0++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $42.99

WT031319-16. 11 LA CHAPELLE DE CHATEAU MEYNEY, SAINT ESTEPHE - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 68% cab sauv, 24% merlot, 8% petit verdot; Wine Enthusiast 92/100. Good plan by the negociant to hold this awhile before release. The Grand Vin takes years and years to mature, and the second seems to follow suit. Though this is from an early maturing vintage, it's still on the up slope. The complexity of bottle bouquet is starting to come on. A solid Saint Estephe citizen here./ Yes, this is now beginning to mellow out. Worthy of current service; no need to rush. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $36.99

WT031319-17. 15 CHATEAU LARIBOTTE, SAUTERNES half bottle - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 90% semillon, 8% sauvignon blanc, 2% muscadelle; 13.9 g/l RS. Lots of pineapple, honey, and lemon curd. Intense./ Concentrated, succulent. Polleny feels of botrytis. Fabulous essence of semillon. 18.2+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

WT030619-1. 16 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE GNEISS DE BEL ABORD, DOMAINE DE LA FRUITIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Oh, good 16 fullness. Swells and etches the nostrils. Saturated with underbrush and wet stone./ Palate agrees. This delivers real mouthfeel. For food. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT030619-2. 17 FRASCATI SECCO, FONTANA CANDIDA - (ITALY) 13%. This still works. Relatively full for the export market. Aging a bit./ Full, and starting to go nutty, heavy. Not my image of Frascati. 13.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT030619-3. 17 SANCERRE DOMAINE, DOMINIQUE & JANINE CROCHET - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%; at Bue. Clear and crisp. 17 rich in fruit. Harmony, reserve, discretion. Underlying body and stamina./ Great acid and spreading, mouthfilling flavor and texture. Clings. Lingers. Almost chewy. For food. 17.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT030619-4. 17 MACON VINZELLES, CAVE DES GRANDS CRUS BLANCS - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Fullness of Vinzelles village. Right. Some SO2 still; just light./ Soft acid of the vintage. Still the wooly thing. Air and age. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT030619-5. 17 TENERIFE YCODEN-DAUTE-ISORA BENJE ENVINATE, VITICULTORES DE SANTIAGO DEL TEIDE Y ENVINATE - (SPAIN) 12%. Of listan pietro. Alert, and very fruity, with peels extract framing. Cool and balanced at 12%, which is all the strength it needs./ Again, grip, correct body, balance, full flavor. Great acid for food. Like table wine used to be. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT030619-6. 17 CORSE CALVI CLOS REGINU, DOMAINE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 35% niellucciu, 30% grenache, 15% sciaccarellu, 15% syrah, 5% mourvedre. Sweeter and fuller, though nothing to excess. Lovely poise./ Sweet fruited, and also racy. Great acid. Mouthfilling texture, fine tannin. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT030619-7. 17 UNION WINE CO. UNDERWOOD OREGON PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13%; at Tualatin. Nice, discreetly sweet 2017. All I need in Oregon pinot. Deal./ Again, sweetness, acid, flavor, texture, follow through. Yes, a deal indeed. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT030619-8. 16 LISBOA TINTO 3 AUTORES, VIDIGAL - (PORTUGAL) 13%; 70% aragones, 20% castelao, 10% cab sauv. Sweet fruit fun. Reads cherry and cola. Nice and full./ Yes, sweet and full. Really delivers flavor, acid, balance, finish. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT030619-9. 15 DOURO ALTANO, SYMINGTON FAMILY ESTATE - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%. Sweet, black, and full of Douro varietals personality. Inviting. Add game, and barrel inflections./ Yes, sweet, black, framed, and filled. Deep, spicy, persistent. 15 ripe. Some tannin. Lots of adventure here. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT030619-10. 15 RIOJA TEMPRANILLO CRIANZA, BODEGAS LAN - (SPAIN) 13.5%; estate vineyards in Alta & Alavesa; 12 mo. in barrels with American oak staves, French oak heads. Sweet 15 fruit. Not much barrel influence, either in terms of extract or sojourn./ Yeah, the fruit pleases, but I?m looking for more barrel talk in a crianza. Maybe the use of the subtler French oak kinda dumbs it down. Maybe it will rise up as the ripe 2015 fruit subsides with bottle age. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT030619-11. 15 BERGKELDER FLEUR DU CAP WESTERN CAPE PINOTAGE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14%. Wow, large, sweet, strong, generous. Forceful, concentrated. Signs of barrel influence./ Wow, this delivers. Full of fruit. Zero animal. Yes! 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT030619-12. 15 COTES DU RHONE, E. GUIGAL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Yes, full of Guigal dark fruit goodness, spices too. Barrel age effects without barrel extracts to any obvious degree. Loaded./ Oh, sweet, round, and full of power and range, depth and palpable fruit material. Yikes! Primo Guigal Cotes du Rhone, the best since the 2010 vintage. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT030619-13. 17 COTES DU RHONE SAINT COSME, LOUIS & CHERRY BARRUOL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; est. 1490. Rich and full and spicy. So much riper and more along than the 2016 when first released. Complete. Gigondas inspired./ Wow, peppery, spicy, powerful, Good acidity and fine tannin coated with glycerol. Another wow Cotes du Rhone. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT030619-14. 17 BARBERA D'ASTI TASMORCAN, ELIO PERRONE - (ITALY) 14.5%. Better mannered than the 2016. Not edgy. Rich, ripe, strong; all in balance. A really, luscious, loaded barbera that doesn?t go over the top like the 2016. Spicy too./ All over again. Pushes the envelope without breaking the seal. Very enticing. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT030619-15. 17 PELEE ISLAND WINERY SEMI SWEET ONTARIO MERLOT - (CANADA) 12.5%. Sweet red fruit. Very agreeable. Has frame and balance./ Yes, sweet, but the acid keeps it from getting sticky. Nice, spicy aftertaste. In keeping with the series. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

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