Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- May 2017
by Dick Scheer Updated June 14 2017
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Wednesday,May 31, 2017
WT053117-1. 16 SAUMUR BLANC LES POUCHES, VIGNERONS DE SAUMUR - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Under screwcap, so still hermetic. Hasn’t give up all its fermentation airs yet./ Bright fruit flavor already. Melon and lime. I got the first pour this evening (mistake), so it must have opened up with each subsequent pour, because it was well liked by the group. 15.0+/16.2+.
WT053117-2. 16 RANGA.RANGA ESTATE MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 12.5%. Sulphury and subdued under screwcap./Lemony and crisp. Air and age.15.0++/16.4.
WT053117-3. 16 TENSHEN CENTRAL COAST WHITE - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.7%; viognier, roussanne, grenache blanc, chardonnay. Young, but it’s all there. Vinosity of a Rhone white varietal set./ Lovely viognier flower and roussanne stone fruit emerge on the palate. Good body and textural burnish. Complete. 16.0+/17.0+.
WT053117-5. 16 GRAMP & SONS JACOB’S CREEK SE AUSTRALIA MOSCATO - (AUSTRALIA) 7.7%. Close still under screwcap. Shy and discreet for Aussie moscato./ Sweet, with great acid to balance. Tasty little, low key muscat. 16.4.
WT053117-8. 16 FENN VALLEY LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE CHAMBOURCIN - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12.5%. Young, dark, crisp, fresh, accurate. Just needs more bottle age./ Spicy, peppery black fruit. Good texture and body. Very promising. Classic chambourcin. 16.6+.
WT053117-9. 14 VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO LUCCHINE, TEDESCHI - (ITALY) 12.5%; estate bottled. Depth and breadth. Lots of scope. All./ Some vintage leanness. 16.3/15.0+.
WT053117-10. 13 ALENTEJANO CHAMINE, CORTES DE CIMA - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; estate bottled. Tight. Much more so than the 2012. More than a year behind./ More spread on the palate. But young still. 15.3++.
WT053117-11. 15 PIEMONTE BARBERA OTTONE I, CANTINE SAN SILVESTRO - (ITALY) 13%. Bright, young, black, ripe, fresh, and frisky./ Rich and 15 ripe. Best in years. 16.4+.
WT053117-12. 15 ROSSO DI MONTALCINO, IL POGGIONE - (ITALY) 14%; estate bottled. Wow! Fruit and flowers perfume aura. The class of brunello./ Oh, yes, with barrel aged beauty and complex. Wide, deep, all. Grand rosso! 17.3+.
WT053117-13. 15 LANGUEDOC LES DARONS, JEFF CARREL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 75% grenache, 20% syrah, 5% carignan. Superficial to start, but it grows in breadth and depth./ Full, well balanced, and silky textured. My first assessment was wrong. Wow palate. 15.0/16.5+.
WT053117-14. 15 COTES DU RHONE VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE DE L’ESPIGOUETTE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Rich yet cool and controlled. Young yet suave rather than tight. And certainly not overripe./ Yes, sweet, plump 15 fruit plus the usual garrigue. Young, with good potential for great fulfillment. 16.5+.
WT053117-15. 15 TERRA ALTA GARNATXA NEGRA, HERENCIA ALTES - (SPAIN) 14%. Fine, sweet Terra Alta grenache. Spot on. Strong willed. The core is compact, even reduced./ Rich and round, broad and powerful. Complete mouthful. 15.8+/16.6.
Wednesday,May 24, 2017
WT052417-1. 16 RIAS BAIXAS ALBARINO, BODEGAS LA CANA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Young, unfulfilled and still with some banana fermentation aroma residual./ Same. But liked by the group. I’ve had too many of these premature white and roses this spring to tolerate this stage. 15.5+.
WT052417-2. 16 FENN VALLEY FENNVILLE MUSCAT OTTONEL - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 11%. Deep and green and classic. Defines the varietal for its larger than life New World magnification./ Great acid verve. Green all over. Lots of green citrus. Yow! 18.0.
WT052417-3. (16) KARMA VISTA LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE VALVIN MUSCAT - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12.5%. Milder, musky, right./ Sweet and spicy and savory. Yes. This too tells its varietal’s tale.17.0.
WT052417-4. 16 TAVEL LES FALAISES DE BRAISE, DOMAINE MOULIN LA VIGUERIE - (FRANCE ROSE) 13.5%. Rich and round, full and fruity. Total Tavel. Measuring rod rose./ Rich, robust, sweetly fruity, thorough. Great acid, body, verve, all. My image of Tavel. And it’s ready for prime time. 17.8.
WT052417-5. 16 TAVEL CUVEE DES LYS, CHATEAU DE MANISSY - (FRANCE ROSE) 13.5%. Full, with a darker disposition and more peels extract. Big. Will age well./ Yes, young and still lightly reductive. Plenty of material here. Give it a chance to reach adulthood. 16.8+.
WT052417-6. 16 TAVEL CUVEE RAPHAEL, CHATEAU LA GENESTRIERE - (FRANCE ROSE) 14%. Large and fruity. Still a little tutti-frutti for youthfulness./ Yeah, young and still in something of a shell. This has the material. 16.6+.
WT052417-7. 13 LAWTON RIDGE LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE SYRAH - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12.5%. Hearty, full, nicely developed. Big, sweet fruit and barrel-aged savors./ Yes, a robust red in keeping with the varietal’s promise. Well balanced and fully accomplished for current drinking. 16.6.
WT052417-8. (13) KARMA VISTA RESERVE LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE SYRAH - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12.5%. Deeper, younger, oakier. Thorough. Complex fruit-oak aromatic range./ Plentiful fruit and oak flavors and textures. Full bodied. Bravo. 16.9.
WT052417-9. 14 MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO TAVERNELLO, CAVIRO - (ITALY) 12%. Sweet and giving and real. Deep. A deal./ Spicy and full. Light gaminess. Great acid. Wow, some value. 16.2.
WT052417-10. 15 MAREMMA RISERVA DEL CANAPONE 642 DEGREES, TENUTA LA BADIOLA - (ITALY) 14%; 6 grape varieties: cab sauv, merlot, syrah, sangiovese, montepulciano, petit verdot. Full, sweet, heart on sleeve 2015 sunny fruit./ Sweet and strong and vinous. Still in formation. 15.5+.
WT052417-11. 11 MAREMMA MONSALAIA, CASTELLANI TOUTON - (ITALY) 13%. Sweet, full, spicy, rangy, 2011 immediate. Super ready to enjoy. Shows both barrel and bottle bouquet development. Yes!/ Oh, yeah, 2011 ripe and forward. Soo well balanced and right for the moment. 17.4.
WT052417-12. 10 CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA, PASQUA - (ITALY) 13%. Sweet and full and right bouquet of sangiovese dried cherry and barrel development. Most mellow for current enjoyment./ Great acid-glycerol tete a tete. Intense flavor, full texture. All in harmony. A deal. 17.0.
WT052417-13. 09 PRIORAT DARA, CELLER SANGENIS I VAQUE - (SPAIN) 14.5%; 45% each mazuela, garnacha; 10% merlot; 12 months in French & American oak barrels. Well developed, soft, nicely bouqueted, ready to enjoy. ‘Dara’ means ‘now’. It’s apropos./ Full, bouqueted, singed fruit. Great power and presence. Ready for full fare. 17.3.
WT052417-14. 15 ARTEZIN OLD VINE MENDOCINO ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.7%; aged in French oak. Intense, full, strong, sweet, black Mendocino zinfandel fruit plus fine oak./ Everything reverberates on the palate. So sweet and fulfilling. 17.0.
WT052417-15. EMILIO LUSTAU RIO VIEJO DRY OLOROSO SHERRY - (FORTIFIED) 20%. Deep and viscous, sweet smelling. Nutty, tawny, peachy, perfect./ Glycerol supplies a sweet feel. Dried fruits and hickory nut flavors. The spirit is perfectly integrated. 18.0.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
WT051717-2. 16 CRAGGY RANGE TE MUNA ROAD VYD MARTINBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%. Wow, special. Gooseberry, tangelo, guava. Distinct from Marlborough sauvignons./ Yes, different. Clarity, citricity, etch, length. 17.2.
WT051717-3. 16 COTES DU RHONE ROSE, DOMAINE LES APHILLANTHES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Hoppy still. Texture and grip and size evident./ Quiet. Premature. Has grip. 15.0++.
WT051717-4. 16 COTES DU RHONE ROSE LES 3 SOEURS, DOMAINE LES GRANDS BOIS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Still a bit tutti-frutti fermentation residual./ Same. No fruit flavor declaration yet. Good form, power, grip. 15.5+.
WT051717-5. 15 CHATEAU HAUT CLARIBES, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; at Gensac; Silver Medals - Paris, Bordeaux. Deep and dark and young still. Reduced yet./ Tight and tart and narrow for 2015. Travel weary? The group liked it better, and orders were taken. 15.0++.
WT051717-6. 15 CHATEAU VIEUX MANOIR, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; at Targon. Richer, blacker fruit. Full and tarry./ Tart and close. Just shipped? Orders taken for this one too. 15.9+.
WT051717-7. 14 THUNEVIN MAUVAIS GARCON, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. Cooked and overdone. Too oaky./ Too much. Inferior to so many 2014 clarets at this price. Much prefer the 2015 Virginie. What price ego? 15.0.
WT051717-8. 14 CHATEAU TOUR ST. BONNET, CRU BOURGEOIS, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Very nice and ripe and accomplished Medoc with barrel oak influence. Best in years. Yes, the black currant character of yore is fully evident./ Plenty of cabernet and merlot fruit, plus a gamy note. Tannin to resolve yet. 16.5/16/2+.
WT051717-9. 14 CHATEAU PHELAN SEGUR, CRU BOURGEOIS, SAINT ESTEPHE - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Bright cabernet fruit and good oak. Well crafted./ But the palate is tight and tart like many young 2014s. A reach at this price. Defer to the leading critics. 16.5+/16.0++.
WT051717-10. 14 CHATEAU LABAT, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; at Saint Laurent; half each cab sauv, merlot. This continues to show with each passing vintage more of the elegance that marks the Nony-Borie family’s Caronne Ste. Gemme. Cabernet speaks louder now. Much more sophisticated, soaring fruit and oak perfumes./ Full charm, third dimension, body. A little brett brings it down to earth. Nonetheless, this is a full-fledged, oak-tinged, and proud Haut Medoc cru bourgeois. More stylish, less stodgy than it used to be. 16.9+.
WT051717-11. 14 CHATEAU CARONNE STE. GEMME, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; at Saint Laurent; 60% cab sauv, 35% merlot, 5% petit verdot. Well, even more class, refinement, subtleties. And additional new oak influence. As usual, CSG leaves me breathless./ The palate is firmer than the nose at this stage. Tannic still. Portrays fine potential. 17.1+/ 16.8+.
WT051717-12. 14 CHATEAU HAUT BAGES LIBERAL, 5ME GRAND CRU, PAUILLAC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Full, romantic, and rightful cru classe Pauillac. 80% cabernet sauvignon and shows it. Good oak too. All class cabernet and oak./ Firm, forthright Pauillac stature. Even that cherished, elusive cedar note of Pauillac cabernet. The real deal. 17.8+.
WT051717-13. 14 CHATEAU LA TOUR DE BESSAN, CRU BOURGEOIS, MARGAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 54% merlot, 46% cab sauv. Some reduction to start. No Margaux charm evident at first. Then the nose clears and deepens. Now cabernet-on-gravel black currant charm is revealed./ Rich, and rather dense for Margaux. Certainly a plentiful 2014. 16.3+.
WT051717-14. 14 CHATEAU BROWN, PESSAC- LEOGNAN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; 55% cab sauv, 42% merlot, 3% petit verdot. Deep, deep cabernet currant and fine Graves dark earthiness. A wine of place. A hallmark take on Graves. The oak is lavish too. A super plush nose./ Yes, full, round, deep, complete. Wow! This is Grand Cru material! 17.5+.
WT051717-15. 14 CHATEAU BONALGUE, POMEROL - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; 90% merlot, 10% cab franc. Fabulous new wood elegance. Great craftsmanship. Deep, subtle, potent./ Bulk, power, Pomerol padding, tannin for the future. Loaded. 17.7+.
Wednesday,May 10, 2017
WT051017-1. 15 VOSS YOUNTVILLE SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S. WEST COAST) 11.5%; est. 1986; harvested early from an organic vineyard. Unique, fresh, citric. Ideal 15 linear, tensile qualities./ Yes, citrus, no gooseberry, grass, or mango. Cool. Ideal Napa sauvignon zone. Much better than the 2014. 17.2. List price: $25.
WT051017-2. 15 MACON LA ROCHE VINEUSE VIEILLES VIGNES, CHATEAU DE LA GREFFIERE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Very full, old vines material. Some oak as usual. There’s plenty of Roche Vineuse foundation here to bear it./ Yes, full textures of both fruit and oak origin. Ample sweet fruit of 2015. Large. 17.0.
WT051017-3. 15 SANNIO FALANGHINA, FEUDI DI SAN GREGORIO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Ideal peach and sweet citrus aromas. Pungent./ Soft and plump 2015. Sufficient acidity to balance. 16.7.
WT051017-4. 15 TERRAZAS DE LOS ANDES RESERVA MENDOZA TORRONTES - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%.. Lightly reduced still thanks to the hermetic quality of a screwcap. Otherwise, spot on, so give it plenty of aeration for full enjoyment. This displays the gewurz facet of torrontes for its rosiness./ Lots of gewurz spice and rose. Dry and tangy food wine. Full rewards for aeration here, so splash it headlong into a decanter. 16.8+. List price: $20.
WT051017-5. 14 MOSEL RIESLING SPICY GOAT, WEIS & HOFSTATTER - (GERMANY) 10.5%; ‘a hot wine for hot people!’. Nik Weis of Mosel’s St. Urbanshof and Martin Hofstatter of Alto Adige’s J. Hofstatter crafted this cuvee. Pure and racy Weis style of riesling./ Yes, racy and off dry. Weis refuses to make Mosel riesling trockens. Proper grip and degree of development for 2014. This is a deal! 16.6. List price: $15.
WT051017-6. 16 CHINON RIVE GAUCHE ROSE CHATEAU DE LA BONNELIERE, M. PLOUZEAU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Fully accomplished and elegant. Flair and burnish here. Lovely, subtle perfumes. Best ever vintage of this./ Again, finesse, fruit, finish, texture, flavor. Ideal. 17.2.
WT051017-7. 13 CHIANTI CLASSICO, CASTELLO DI ALBOLA - (ITALY) 13%; at Radda, in the western hills. Plump and accomplished in 2013. Dried cherry and orange peel Tuscan sangiovese aromas. Perfect presentation./ Yes, texture and flavor profiles just right. Spot on. Some barrel aging influence too. Well priced. 16.6.
WT051017-9. 15 CHATEAU TOUR DE LUCHEY, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; proprietor Henri Masse at Moulon. Solid. Some gaminess. Sweet red currant./ Medium bodied. Not yet displaying a full 2015 fruit profile. Either due to youth or travel shock. Give it some additional bottle age. 15.7+.
WT051017-10. 14 CHATEAU LARRIVAUX, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; at Cissac. Nobility of Cissac cabernet sauvignon plus a barrel-aged complex. The most sophisticated Larrivaux vintage I’ve tasted. And a fabulous value in Haut Medoc claret./ Solid, linear, and fine 14 mouthfeel. The fruit is sweet, but there are dry tannins behind to resolve yet. 16.8/16.2+.
WT051017-11. 15 RIBERA DEL DUERO FINCA RESALSO, BODEGAS EMILIO MORO - (SPAIN) 14%; all tinta fino (tempranillo). Ripe, sweet, roasted raspberry. Intense./ Sweet and sassy. Always a treat. In 2015, it’s especially ripe and sweet fruited but kept in balance by the right form, acid, and fine tannin. 16.5.
WT051017-12. 12 JIM BARRY THE LODGE HILL VINEYARD CLARE VALLEY SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 14.5%; in the eastern ranges at 1500 ft.. Sweet, plummy, full, and maturing nicely./ Yes, plum and peel. White pepper. The lift of a high altitude shiraz. 16.3. List price: $22.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
WT050317-1. 15 COTES CATALANES COTE EST, FAMILLE LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; 50% grenache blanc, 30% chardonnay, 20% roussanne. Pleasing freshness. Roussanne peach. A balanced of varietal contributions and positive scent assembly./ Dry yet tender. Well balanced, texturally. Flavorful. One of the best vintages of this. Nice acid ring at the end. 16.6.
WT050317-2. 15 MACON-CHARDONNAY, DOMAINE MALLORY & BENJAMIN TALMARD - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Good body and extract etch. Full character. Grows and grows in the glass./ Yes, full. Plenty of form and filling. Great acid. Ideal, really. Wow. 16.9.
WT050317-3. 16 COTES DU ROUSSILLON ROSE MIRAFLORS, FAMILLE LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12%. Still some banana fermentation residual. Also plenty of berry pastille. Cool and clear./ Wow, body, texture, presence. Acid and extract. Great, fully accomplished palate already. The nose will catch up by summer’s start. 16.2+/16.7.
WT050317-4. 15 CHIANTI CLASSICO, PODERI CASTELLARE DI CASTELLINA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Oh, boy. Full, lavish 2015 fruit and great, spicy oak seasonings. Complex, ample, enticing./ Again, alluring. Berry-cherry, oak, anise, orange zest. Great acid. Vintage and winemaker are thoroughly sympathetic. 17.5+.
WT050317-5. 11 CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA, TOMAIOLO - (ITALY) 13%; est. 1803. Oh, certainly more revealing than the compact 2010 was. Soft and open bouqueted. Super dried cherry, anise. Sweet fruit core./ Satisfying 2011 body. Caramelly oak and sweet and dried fruits. Acid and light tannin well proportioned. Well crafted riserva. 17.3+.
WT050317-6. 14 VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE, CORTE ARMANO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Sweet, stewed cherries ripasso. Full and spicy./ Dark fruited, spicy. Positive ripasso raisined fruit qualities. Like the 2011 that served us so well. Less developed, of course. No cool-vintage diminution. This is fully blown. Wow. 17.1+.
WT050317-7. 13 VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE CAMPOLIETI, LUIGI RIGHETTI - (ITALY) 13.5%; est. 1909. Sweet, ripe, modern. Super and real ripasso. Soo enticing, sweet fruit./ Yes, and great acid too. A different ripasso take from the Corte Armano. Sweeter, fresher fruit. Positive ripeness and no raisin. Equally valid. Irresistible. 17.1.
WT050317-8. 15 PAYS D’OC COTE MAS ROUGE INTENSE, PAUL MAS liter - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 45% grenache, 25% carignan, 15% cinsault, 10% merlot, 5% syrah. A 2015 Med joy of bright, dark fruits. Better than the 2012. Spicy, savory, come hither./ Attractive body. Fine fruit, flavor, texture, balance. 16.6.
WT050317-9. 15 COTES DU RHONE, CHARLES THOMAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 50% syrah, 40% grenache, 10% mourvedre. Firm syrah basis. Negoc narrow, sleek, two dimensional./ Yeah, lacks aroma and flavor adventure. Good acid and texture though. Maybe it will show more after additional bottle age. 15.5+.
WT050317-10. 15 COTES DU RHONE CHATEAU DE SEGRIES, HENRI DE LANZAC - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; at Lirac. A good year for this chateau. Race, etch, and clear lines. Dark fruit. Cool, Right Bank Lirac contributes race to the ripe fruit of sunny 2015. This is fine./ Rich fruit core plus that racy aspect. Logical 2015 Lirac. Lots of animation. Best vintage here in years. 16.6+.
WT050317-11. 11 RIOJA, LONDONO - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 80% tempranillo, 20% garnacha. Ruddy and turbid but sweet nose. Mature and useful. Has pride./ Yes, rich and ripe. No age issues for this taster. Wants food. 16.4.
WT050317-12. 15 CAMPO DE BORJA GARNACHA JOVEN, BODEGA QUO - (PORTUGAL) 14%. Joven whole bunch, carbonic maceration stuff. Fresh and suave and cool./ Yes, fruity and racy. All up front; no secrets. What it is. 15.4.
WT050317-13. 15 CASTILLA TEMPRANILLO PASO A PASO, FINCA LAS CRUCES - (SPAIN) 14%. Sweet and lightly syrupy in this ripe vintage. The alcohol shows./ Hot and superficial. Lacks depth and dimension. 2014 was better here. 15.2.
WT050317-14. 14 RANCHO ZABACO HERITAGE VINES DRY CREEK VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.8%. DCV zinfandel through and through: lots of power, raspberry, peppercorn, American oak. All give all the time../ Fruit sweetness controls the power. Dynamite DCV zinfandel. Sweet, sassy, dynamic, all. BBQ choice. 16.9.
WT050317-15. MUSCAT OF PATRAS, PATRAIKI - (GREECE) 15%. Sultry, musky alexandria muscat aroma. A good one. Tawny orange./ Yes, seductive, real, sweet, right. 17.3.
WT050317-16. REKORDERLIG SWEDISH HARD CIDER half liter - (FRUIT) 4.5%; A. Pear, B. Wild Berries, C. Spiced Apple. A. Pear and vanilla; entices. 16.0. B. The usual ‘mixed berries’ anything blur; artificial. 14.0. C. Vanilla enhances again, and the spice is admirably light. 16.0.
WT050317-17. COUNTRY WINDS CREAMERY FARMSTEAD GOAT CHEESE 4 oz - (DAIRY) from Zeeland MI; aged 3 weeks. Loved by the group which bought me out. More on the way.