Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - May, 2014
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated June 4,  2014

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May 28, 3014

WT052814-01. 13 SAVOIE LES ROCAILLES APREMONT, PIERRE BONIFACE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 11.5%; 100% jacquere. Oh, boy! So fresh and alert! And unique. Green stuff: quince, lime, walnut husk, hay./ Soft, peachy, gentle on entry. Flavorful. Good acid support. Enjoy it this summer. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT052814-02. 13 MAN FAMILY COASTAL REGION CHENIN BLANC - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13.5%; chenin blanc is named steen in the Cape; from free run juice. Both vinous and fruity Cape steen standard./ Sweetish. Soft, mild. Decent. 15.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT052814-03. 12 MACON LA ROCHE VINEUSE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHATEAU DE LA GREFFIERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Light oak and wood cabinet aromas. Apple and citrus peel too./ Oak vanillin and treacle flavors still to the fore. The wood will settle in over the coming months. Good old vines chardonnay basis. Good future. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT052814-04. 12 PEZAT, BORDEAUX SAUVIGNON - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; from northern Entre deux Mers opposite St. Emilion where proprietor Jonathan Maltus has Chateaux.. Shrill gooseberry and cat pee. I love extreme sauvignon./ Yes, full, shrill, extreme. No holds barred. No semillon padding. Good acid, of course. Special. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT052814-05. 13 MOHUA MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 12.5%; by Central Otago winemaker Peregrine. A full, rich, rather heavy style buoyed by the ripeness of the vintage./ Rich, soft entry. Some citrus acidity in support. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT052814-06. 12 SUDTIROL MULLER THURGAU, KELLEREI KALTERN - (ITALY) 13%. Light apple blossom varietal character. Subtle. Dry and food-worthy./ The flavor is understated too. 15.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT052814-07. 13 BEAUJOLAIS ROSE LES GRIOTTES, PIERRE-MARIE CHERMETTE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%; unfiltered. Very pretty pink gamay. Ideal. Bright./ Good flow and acidity. Will gain additional richness over the coming weeks. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT052814-08. 13 COSTIERES DE NIMES CUVEE EXPRESSION, CHATEAU BEAUBOIS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 4-generation family estate; 60% syrah, 30% grenache, 10% cinsault. Still a lot of banana fermentation aroma./ Yes, reductive and shy yet. This will fill out through the warm months. 15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT052814-09. 13 SALENTO FICHIMORI, TORMARESCA - (ITALY) 12.5%; 50% negroamaro, 40% syrah. Pop wine. Tutti-frutti. Candied fruit./ Yeah, carbonic maceration. Up front sweetness with peelsy astringency behind to keep it honest. Unique approach for region and varieties. 15.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT052814-10. 12 OYSTER BAY MARLBOROUGH PINOT NOIR - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%. Cool climate, herbal, tea-leaf, tart cherry pinot./ Sweet-tart and racy. For food. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT052814-11. 12 COMTE TOLOSAN MALBEC CEDRUS, LE CEDRE - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%. A sweet, lithe form of malbec quite distinct from Cahors. Has its own appeal. Plump./ Surprising tannin and tartness on the palate though. Needs food. A proper French table wine. 15.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT052814-13. 11 APALTAGUA ESTATE GRAN RESERVA ENVERO APALTA VINEYARD COLCHAGUA VALLEY CARMENERE - (CHILE) 93% carmenere, 7% cabernet sauvignon; 60 year old vines; Gold Medal - Bruxelles. Sweet root vegetable carmenere nose./ Slim and tart. Little fruit or varietal character. Mainly wood and vinosity. I was expecting better. 13.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT052814-15. YELLOW TAIL AUSTRALIA SANGRIA - (AUSTRALIA) 11.5%. Pleasing orange juice and peel aromas with red wine support./ Yes, citrus and sweet red fruit. Some warm spices. Well done. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

May 21, 2014

WT052114-01. 12 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE DOMAINE DE BEAUREGARD, LAURENT GREGOIRE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Full as usual. Plusher than the 2011. Good green fruit display and depth./ Oh, rich and round, deep and full textured. In tune with this cuvee. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT052114-02. 13 VOUVRAY CUVEE DE SILEX DOMAINE DES AUBUISIERES, BERNARD FOUQUET - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Full quince, lime, and mineral display. Juicy and classic./ Yes, sec tendre with acid and mineral to give it edge. Melon joins the aroma set. Complete. 17.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT052114-03. 13 SANTA RITA 120 VALLE CENTRAL SAUVIGNON BLANC - (CHILE) 13.5%. Juicy citrus now going from lime to orange. Very tangy./ Yes, tangy. Orange and grapefruit. Ample mouthfeel. Clings. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT052114-04. 11 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER, ANDRE SCHERER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%. The usual dry, elegant styling here. Ginger over cold cream./ Yes, rose and ginger. Dry, with round, soft contributions of glycerol. Shows the winemakerís hand. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT052114-05. 12 AFFENTALER SPATBURGUNDER, WINZ. BUHL - (GERMANY) 12.5%. Pleasingly ripe. Cigar ash note of cool climate pinot. Dry and varietal. Keen and well textured./ Smooth and flavorful. Appropriately medium bodied. Off dry and right. Gamy facet of pinot at the end. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT052114-06. 11 CAHORS MALBEC, CHATEAU HAUT MONPLAISIR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; Famille Fournie; on the third terrace above the Lot. Sweet and dense and rich for this estate. Full textured and spicy. Plenty of depth of malbec fruit. Black cherry./ Spice, cherry, and black fruit peels. Tannic grip relieved by alcohol and glycerol smoothness. Young and vigorous. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT052114-07. 11 FIELD STONE CONVIVIO ALEXANDER VALLEY RED - (U.S.) 13.5%. Dark, spicy, oaky, vigorous. Great for the vintage. Younger and tarter than the 2010 though. Tasted at a younger stage. Dill and coconut read American oak./ Pretty woody on entry at present. 2011 fruit canít yet bear it all. Alcohol warmth, and glycerol sweet feel. This will come together with additional bottle age. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT052114-08. 11 CHATEAU KSARA RESERVE DU COUVENT BEKAA VALLEY RED - (LEBANON) 13.5%; est. 1857 by Jesuits; 40% syrah, 30% each of the cabernets grown at 1100 metersí elevation. Deep blue-black fruit of the varietals and high altitude. Fresh and upbeat and rich./ Oak and fruit concentrations. Great acid, fine tannin. Dynamic. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT052114-09. 11 SABLET COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE DE PIAUGIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Enclosed. No nose. Just a hint of black fruit./ Good feel of Sablet. Fine grained texture. Sweet fruit, ripe tannin. Glycerol. Texturally, itís fulfilled, all there. Aromatically, it needs more bottle age. Good potential. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT052114-10. 13 ALMANSA OLD VINES LAYA, BODEGAS ATALAYA - (SPAIN) 14%; 70% garnacha tintorera, 30% monastrell grown in calcaire at 700-1000 metersí elevation. Fresh, peppery, primary, and positive. Blue-black fruit. Plummy. No youthful reductiveness./ Rich plum and cherry fruit. Succulent. Such a well crafted young wine, fully expressive of its origin. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT052114-11. 12 MONTEVINA SKYLAND RIDGE AMADOR BARBERA - (U.S.) 13.5%; est. 1970. Sweeter and fuller than the 2010. Good 2012 fruit qualities. Amador power. Barbera black fruit and pepper. Vigor. Rangy at the table./ Yes, rich 2012 fruit with pepper spice and glycerol. Long, fruit-filled finish. Impressive. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT052114-12. 12 SOBON ESTATE OLD VINES AMADOR ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%; est 1856. On the nose, one of the best vintages of this. Very peppery, briary, sweet./ Medium body. A bit slight on the palate for the vintage. Tart too. Palate relatively underwhelming. May fill out. Just shipped. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT052114-13. 12 PELEE ISLAND SEMI-SWEET ONTARIO MERLOT - (CANADA) 12.5%. Sweet cherry merlot aroma. Right./ Lush and spicy. Sweetness balanced by acidity. Delish. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT052114-14. 12 EGRI MERLOT, WEINHAUS KFT - (HUNGARY) 11%; 12 months in large wood casks before bottling. Euro structured. Closer, drier than the Pelee Island. Deep, spicy black fruit. Incredible savor./ Sweet. Good acid. Medium body. Works. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT052114-15. CINZANO ROSSO VERMOUTH - (APERITIF) 15%; est. 1757. Tawny red-brown./ Smoky, warm, savory. Cool botanicals, warm spices. Sweet smelling./ Yes, sweet, with cool tonic aspects and warm savors of clove and cinnamon. Straight-forward, classic Italian rosso vermouth. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

May 14, 2014

WT051414-01. 12 VERDICCHIO DI MATELICA, ACCATTOLI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh, appley fruit plus a brassy patina of maturity. The fullness of Matelica./ Body. Vinosity. Heft. Ready for the table. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT051414-02. 12 DOLOMITI PINOT GRIGIO, ALOIS LAGEDER - (ITALY) 12.5%. Full. Very apple and peel. Attractive maturity./ Rich body, texture, suavity, glycerol. As full as an Oregon pinot gris but more high altitude appley. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT051414-03. 13 KONO MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%; Maori owned and operated. Full, sweet, ripe grapefruit. Ripe and direct. The usual goodness here./ Snappy grapefruit, orange. Round finish. Good value. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT051414-04. 13 COTES DU RHONE ROSE, DOMAINE LES APHILLANTHES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; organically grown. Full berry, burnish, body, power. No banana fermentation residuals. This is fulfilled. Sweet berry./ Sweet strawberry and raspberry. Simply delicious. Full and round. Near perfect. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT051414-05. 11 AVALON CALIFORNIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13.8%. Some earthy press stuff. Cabernet berry gets through anyway./ Good caramel-treacle oak and fruit mark that palate. Plenty ripe fruit. Rallies on the palate. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT051414-06. 12 ALEXANDER VALLEY VINEYARDS ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 14%; est. 1962; estate grown, bottled. Best ever. Superb fruit brilliance, precision. Well measured, savory oak./ Some up front oak and gaminess. Palate needs time to balance oak and fruit, settle. Some tannin to shed too. Will develop into one of the finest in the series. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT051414-07. 12 MAREMMA BONIZIO, CECCHI - (ITALY) 13%. Reductive and sullen. Under screwcap for the first time. The winemaker needs to lighten up on the sulphur dosage. Screwcaps are hermetic seals. Air and age. Good makinís under all that./ True black Maremma spicy cherry. Good basis and future. I have faith. 15.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT051414-08. 11 RIOJA TEMPRANILLO FAUSTINO VII 150TH ANNIVERSARY, BODEGAS FAUSTINO - (SPAIN) 13%. Bright, ripe, open. Good Baja warmth, dried fruit, and spices. 11 clear and pure./ Warm Baja is the mantra here. Dash of cumin. A good example of the zone. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT051414-09. 07 DOLOMITI TERRE DI SAN LEONARDO, MARCHESE CARLO GUERRIERI GONZAGA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Warm and savory, mature bouquet./ Woody, spicy, mature. Suave and well developed texture. Time in barrel and bottle has brought it to its peak. No tannin now. Ready. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT051414-10. 06 TERRA ALTA GRAN RESERVA, CATAREGIA - (SPAIN) 14%; 70% tempranillo, 30% cabernet sauvignon; aged in French and American oak barrels. Full textured nostril feel. Lots of barrel bouquet development with some oak aromas still to settle in. Like the 04, still somewhat retarded and hot despite its age in barrel and bottle. Cabernet accountable?/ Sweet fruit creme and spice. Palate totally different, smooth and fine, enticing. 16.4+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT051414-12. 11 ALSACE RIESLING SCHLOSSBERG GRAND CRU THE FURST, VIGNERONS DE KIENTZHEIM-KAYSERSBERG - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%; the first Alsace Grand Cru vineyard. Grand Cru stalwart. Not as Schlossberg elegant and brightly fruity 2009. Aloof; of noble bearing./ Fat palate. Peach and mineral. Great volume, texture, extract. Grand Cru indeed. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT051414-13. 12 NIERSTEINER HIPPING RIESLING SPATLESE, GEORG ALBRECHT SCHNEIDER - (GERMANY) 8.5%; estate bottled. Dark and dry 2012 style; hallmark, impressive. Good Hipping mineral and tangerine./ Full and singing Hipping expression. Citrus. Youthfully coated acid. Young spatlese padding. Has mineral burnish to foil its plumpness. Keeper. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT051414-14. 10 CHATEAU HALLET, SAUTERNES half bottle - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; chateau bottled by Chateau Gravas at Barsac. Sweet honey and pineapple. Candied citrus peels too. Light botrytis. Barsacís relative dryness./ Full, brassy, nutty, botrytised. Big-time concentration, power. Yow! 18.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT051414-15. 13 MOSCATO DíASTI BRICCO RIELLA, AZ. AG. VALTER BARBERO - (ITALY) 7%; single vineyard; third generation estate. Sweet, young, lithe, easy./ Old reliable. A go-to Moscato for many years. Tender fruit acid. Mineral savor on finish. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

May 7, 2014

WT050714-01. 12 COTES DíAUVERGNE CHARDONNAY, CAVE SAINT VERNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13.5%. From near Clermont-Ferrand in the valley of the Allier, an upper Loire tributary. Very bright apple chardonnay emphasis. No oak./ Great build and acidity. Light peels astringency. Great food wine. Well liked by the group. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT050714-02. 12 PETIT CHABLIS, LAROCHE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%. Some SO2. Innate crispness and minerality. Has the genes. Just needs to throw off the sulphur residual./ Palate offers more fruit and terroir display. Nice soft core. Once the sulphur is gone, this will be a pleasing package. Likely, additional aeration will cure. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT050714-03. 13 CHATEAU DUCASSE, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; proprietor Herve Dubourdieu; unfiltered. Sauvignon gooseberry, muscadelle bergamot, semillon plump basis. Well crafted, as is to be expected./ A little sulphur. The anonymity of youth. Both issues will resolve themselves over the coming months. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT050714-04. 12 CHATEAU DE BELLEVUE, BORDEAUX SAUVIGNON GRIS - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; organically grown. Older, grainier than the Ducasse. Cut apple. Full and real but aging some already./ Some wood and barrel time suggestions. Wood and alcohol stand out. Nutty, appley, oxidative. High pH. Powerful. Not refreshing. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT050714-05. 11 BOURGOGNE, MARIE-PIERRE GERMAIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; at Meursault. Sleek and vinous 2011. Sweet core fruit. Plum and peel./ Sweet-tart, with peels astringency. Latent pinot pleasures await. Give it time. Liked by the group. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT050714-06. 11 BURNSIDE ROAD MENDOCINO PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.8%. Mendocinoís dark, tarry face of pinot. Leaner than the 2010. No oak evident on the nose./ Some attractive oak toast and vanilla on the palate. And pinotís forgiving soft side. Good overall, and might come up to the 2010's superior quality given more bottle age. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT050714-07. 11 EGRI BIKAVER BULLíS BLOOD, VARSANYI PINCESZET - (HUNGARY) 12%. Nice splashy kadarka. Dark and zesty. Right./ Dry and tart. Severe, lean. The other brands are preferable. 14.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT050714-09. 10 CATENA ZAPATA ESTATE LA CONSULTA MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; est. 1902. Deep, rich, powerful. Licorice, smoke, peels. Tart fruit./ Oak vanillin, power, extract, grip, tannin. Large. Calls for beef. Well liked by the group. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT050714-10. 12 COTES DU RHONE RESERVE, CHATEAU MONT-REDON - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Oh, yes! As always. Classic to the series. Fresh, high toned, dark 2012 fruit. The integrity of grenache. Deep and spicy. Licorice, peppercorn./ Young, bright crisp 2012 style. Mont Redon range, classicism. Good ager. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT050714-12. 09 CHIANTI CLASSICO, PICCINI - (ITALY) 13%; est. 1884. Dried fruit. Cherry, dried orange peel. Sweet fruit core./ Dried fruit. Little or no oak. Some sweet fruit deep down. Good acid. Tannic yet. 15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT050714-13. 11 CELLAR NO. 8 CALIFORNIA ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.2%; former Italian Swiss Colony winery at Asti in northern Alexander Valley. 2011 terse, severe, peels. Some green fruit./ Yeah, weak. Too bad; this has been a good series to date. 14.2. Note: Iíd just come off the 150-wine Winebow show, so palate weary.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT050714-14. 11 ROBERT HALL ESTATE MARGARETíS VYD PASO ROBLES ORANGE MUSCAT - (U.S.) 12.5%. True to varietal and series. Drier than usual in 2011./ Good varietal character. Not as sweet as in warmer vintages. More flexible at the table. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT050714-15. 08 DOWíS LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO bottled 2013 - (FORTIFIED) 19.5%. Dark and dry Dowís and 2008 style. Has the goods./ Yes, grip and sweetness and plumminess. Dowís dry vigor. Works. Long and Vintage like. Sweet. Without tough tannins. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

 

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