Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - November 2017
by Dick Scheer Updated December 22, 2017
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017
WT112917-01. 16 COTES DE GASCOGNE, DOMAINE SAINT-LANNES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 80% colombard, 20% gros manseng. Full colombard greenery and gros manseng cool peach./ Yes, full flavors of all. Juicy quince and peach. Racy acid. All good fun. And a super value. 16.7.
WT112917-02. 16 GRAYSON CELLARS LOT 11 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; family owned. Attractive dose of oak. Well fashioned. Lots of give. I‛d gladly pay $20 for a chardonnay nose like this./ Yes, the oak is in tune with sweet and sassy fruit. Wood and nut cremes. Total balance. Incredible value. 16.7.
WT112917-03. 16 BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES TRACOT, DOMAINE JEAN-PAUL DUBOST - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Rich and black for 2016. Conveys Villages schist minerality. Deep cherry, even to liqueur. Peels extract saturation./ Well balanced. Not tart like many 2016s tasted to date. 16.4+.
WT112917-04. 15 CHATEAU CAP DE MERLE, LUSSAC SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. Sweet fruit core within a solid framework./ Yes, rich 2015 fruit filling plus correct claret structure to contain it. Just getting started. 16.2+.
WT112917-05. 16 RIBERA DEL DUERO TEMPRANILLO FINCA RESALSO, BODEGAS EMILIO MORO - (SPAIN) 13.5%. I‛ve long been a fan of this cuvee. The 2015 was a little on the ripe side for my tastes though. This 2016 is more like earlier vintages I grew to love. Indeed, back to form. Sweet, bright fruit with woody edges. Perfumed of cherry and berry tempranillo. Total vigor./ Yes, great acid and sweetness and texture and edge. Brilliant at the table. 16.9+.
WT112917-06. 15 BARBERA D'ALBA COSTA DI BUSSIA, TENUTA ARNULFO - (ITALY) 14%; est. 1874. Sweeter fruit than the 2014 and just as brilliant and vigorous./ Younger and less revealing than the 2014 when I tasted it just a couple of months back. Good barbera acidity. Working hard now and will give even more effort a few months down the line. 16.4+.
WT112917-07. 14 NEBBIOLO D'ALBA, MICHELINO VEGLIO - (ITALY) 13%. A bit dry on the approach, but then comes on the sweet glycerol of dried fruit and a deep-seated nebbiolo cherry basis. Real nebbiolo./ Flavors of maraschino and dried cherries. Well priced example of its genre. 2014 revealing. 16.6+.
WT112917-08. 15 DOURO, QUINTA DO CRASTO - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; 35% nacional, 30% roriz, 25% franca, 10% barroca. Big, frank, dry, tannic, forceful./ The palate offers a sweet fruit dimension. Still a lot of tannin though. Built to last. 16.2++.
WT112917-09. 15 BARISTA WESTERN CAPE PINOTAGE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 13%. Sweet mocha and brown spice aromas. Classic..and one of the best vintages of this ‛coffee‛ pinotage original. Now coffee grounds and cocoa chime in./ Even more expression on the palate. Wow! Are you kidding me?! Total coffee pinotage complex. What a taste adventure! 16.9.
WT112917-10. 13 COTES DU RHONE, E. GUIGAL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Oh, full, and fully extracted. Rangy and generous./ Sweet fruit too. In tune with the series. Well textured. Wide flavor range. Yes. 16.5+.
WT112917-11. 15 SABLET COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE DE PIAUGIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Sweet, full, spicy, powerful. Villages largesse and complexity. Persistent./ Lots of presence, power, substance, complexity. Indeed, it rivals the Chateauneuf spectacle. The group was in awe. 17.0+.
WT112917-12. 15 PLAN DE DIEU COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE DE L'ESPIGOUETTE - (FRANCE MEDITERREAN) 14.5%. Sweet and spicy, Peppercorn and garrigue. Deep and nettly./ All over again on the palate. Garrigue City here, as always. Great acid, balance. 16.8+.
WT112917-13. 15 RIOJA GRACIANO RIO MADRE, BODEGAS ILURCE - (SPAIN) 14.7%. Extra ripe and sweet graciano display here in 2015. On steroids. Gives 110%./ Sweet and variegated, tangy and balanced. All in the right proportions. A flavorful delight. Best ever vintage of this. 16.8.
WT112917-14. 11 RIOJA TEMPRANILLO VINA EGUIA, BODEGAS EGUIA - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Dry and oaky nose, with soothing glycerol relief. Traditional and right./ Yes, sweetness and glycerol of barrel aged tempranillo. Classic result of six years‛ barrel and bottle age. A harmony of fruit, barrel, acid, texture, and light tannin. How can they do it at this price?! 16.9.
WT112917-15. 15 BERNKASTLER KURFURSTLAY RIESLING AUSLESE, J & H SELBACH - (GERMANY) 8%. Fully in tune with the series. Selbach mineral and extract edge. Bernkastel green apple, pear, peach. Sweet background./ Yes! Sweetness, race, acid, extract, balance. Baby fat to shed yet. Will go and grow. 16.9+.
Wednesday, November 20, 2017
WT112017-01. 17 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU, GEORGES DUBOEUF - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Good berry and spice aroma. Bright and right./ Sweetish and accomplished. No fermentation residuals and no astringency. Best vintage of this in years. Early harvest? Ready to serve. 16.3.
WT112017-02. 17 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU, ALBERT BICHOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Intense. Plenty of lift. Affirms a fine nouveau vintage./ Plenty of dash and acidity. Fine grip. Best ever. 16.4.
WT112017-03. 17 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU, ANTONIN RODET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%. Full and deep and dark by comparison, as usual./ Full, rich in dry matter and texture. Long, with fine tannin. One of the best in the series. And bargain priced. 16.7.
WT112017-04. 17 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU, DOMAINE CHATELUS DE LA ROCHE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Sweet and coy, deep and staying./ Lithe and upbeat. Berries and spices. Will improve. 16.7+.
WT112017-05. 17 BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU, DOMAINE PRAL - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Bright, fresh, new. This is just getting started./ Sweet, and rich in fruit. Whoa! This has lots of material. 16.9+.
WT112017-08. 17 BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES NOUVEAU, DOMAINE ROCHETTE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. The richest, largest, and fullest as usual. Sweet fruit./ Full, big, rich. Long, complete. 16.9.
WT112017-09. 15 MERCUREY EN SAZENAY PREMIER CRU, DOMAINE DE LA BRESSANDE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%. Incredibly focused, precise, and rich black cherry and pitch Mercurey pinot fruit. Oak lacings./ More good oak comes out on the palate. Plenty of sweet 15 pinot feel and flavor. Long aftertaste. 17.0+.
WT112017-11. 14 BANDOL, DOMAINE LA BASTIDE BLANCHE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Dry, purple fruited mourvedre, deep and large. Backward yet./ firm and closed UP, speechless. Time. Yes, 14 and mourvedre close. 16.6++.
WT112017-12. 13 BARBARESCO, FRANCO SERRA - (ITALY) 14%. Dry and traditional. Dried cherry and orange peel./ Good glycerol. Has the right combo to represent 2013, Franco Serra, and Barbaresco. It all makes sense. 16.5+.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
WT111517-01. 15 BLANQUETTE DE LIMOUX BRUT, SAINT-HILAIRE - (SPARKLING) 13%; created by Benedictine Monks at Saint-Hilaire Abbey 450 yrs ago, 100 yrs before Champagne. Splendid bottle bouquet, fine mousse./ Dry and frothy. That doughy, biscuity lees autolysis bouquet. A value. Well liked by the group. 16.8.
WT111517-02. 16 COTES DE GASCOGNE HARMONIE DE GASCOGNE, DOMAINE DE PELLEHAUT - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%; seven grape varieties: ugni blanc, colombard, gros manseng, petit manseng, folle blanche, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay. Full and exotic aromatic range, sauvignon blanc and petit manseng at opposite ends of the spectrum and all other matters in between./ Yes, a complex of fragrances plus textural range and zesty aftertaste. Entertainment! 16.8.
WT111517-03. 16 COTES DE GASCOGNE GROS MANSENG - SAUVIGNON, ALAIN BRUMONT - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; 50 - 50. Low key aromatics after the Pellehaut rendition. Represents the varietals well though. Round, peachy gros manseng, zesty citrusy sauvignon blanc./ Yes, this is more subtle in approach. Suffers by comparison because of the tasting order. Yet pleasing all around. 16.3.
WT111517-04. 16 TERRA D'ORO CLARKSBURG CHENIN BLANC - VIOGNIER - (U.S. WEST COAST) 12.5%; 87 - 13. Good presentation of chenin quince, lime, and melon, with hovering airs of viognier honeysuckle/ Gentle on entry, its acidity chimes in on the back palate for a refreshing finale. 16.4.
WT111517-05. 15 COTES DU RHONE BLANC, E. GUIGAL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Brisk, and nicely scented of its viognier component./ There‛s a plumpness and smoothness likely contributed by grenache blanc and marsanne, along with that viognier yin-yang of astringency and glycerol. Viognier honeysuckle aftertaste. 16.3.
WT111517-06. 16 ALSACE PINOT GRIS, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%; 2/8 on the dry/sweet scale. Both rich and zesty on the nose. Sports a lot of melon./ Yes, rich in the melony facet of ripe pinot gris. Wears its off dry level of sweetness well. A high-achievement vintage of this with lots of mealtime possibilities. 16.6+.
WT111517-07. 15 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR, ANTONIN RODET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%. Full, rich pinot cherry presentation. Best vintage yet./ Sweet black cherry fruit and light gaminess. This is a deal in 2015 red burgundy. 16.6.
WT111517-08. 15 BOURGOGNE HAUTES COTES DE NUITS PINOT NOIR RESERVE PERSONNELLE, JEAN-LUC & PAUL AEGERTER - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Dark, husky, sweet fruited. Cote de Nuits cherry, plum, other black fruits. Hautes Cotes rusticity and depth. Wonderfully variegated representative./ Dynamic. Rich texture and taste. Classic Hautes Cotes de Nuits. Very popular with the group. 16.9+.0
WT111517-09. 15 BOURGOGNE HAUTES COTES DE BEAUNE PINOT NOIR, CHATEAU DE MERCEY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 11-14%. Rich fruit and hearty, rustic Hautes Cotes identity. Here it‛s Beaune red fruit versus Nuits black fruit. I don‛t think I‛ve ever tasted one of each side by side. This tells the tale./ All about give and generosity. Fine texture and balance. Signs of barrel aging. 16.9+.
WT111517-10. FRANCAIS ROUGE H, OLIVIER HILLAIRE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 40% grenache, 30% each carignan, syrah. By a Chateauneuf du Pape winegrower, from a vineyard he owns just outside the appellation. Tasted last spring, this was reduced. No longer! Deep, serious, three dimensional aromatic set. Wow, well built, well framed, well filled. Old vines talking./ Yes, the fruit, the body, the texture and taste. 3D indeed. Bargain. 16.7.
WT111517-11. 14 CHIANTI CLASSICO, ROCCA DI MONTEGROSSI - (ITALY) 13.5%; 90% sangiovese, 5% each canaiolo, colorino. 12 months in Allier oak casks; unfiltered. Nothing undernourished about this 2014 Tuscan rosso. Big, rangy, rich, deep. Well barrel aged too. All about full ripeness, unlike many of its 2014 peers./ Palate confirms all nasal impressions. A complete Chianti Classico in 2014. 17.0+.
WT111517-12. 14 GOLAN HEIGHTS MOUNT HERMON GALILEE RED - (KOSHER) 13.9%; of Bordeaux grape varieties. Despite its relatively warm environs, this is claret full, black, and dry./ Plenty enough cabernet and merlot fruit characters. Leans out a little at the end. 15.7.
WT111517-13. 14 SOBON ESTATE LUBENKO VINEYARD FIDDLETOWN ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 15.5%; vines planted around 1910 at 1900 feet. Full, sweet, singed, and power laden./ Ripe, even scorched Amador zinfandel character. An ample wine, well liked by the group‛s zinfanatics. 16.9+.
WT111517-14. 16 ROMAGNA CAGNINA DOLCE, PODERI DAL NESPOLI - (ITALY) 9%; all refosco. Warm, ripe, robust, and sweet./ Yes, all about sweetness, zestiness, spiciness. Like Christmas cake. As intended. Has a steady following. 16.6.
WT111517-15. B. NEKTAR ZOMBIE KILLER HARD APPLE CIDER half liter - (FRUIT) 5.5%; with honey and cherry juice. What an attractive combination of apple, honey, and cherry. Well crafted./ Yes, it‛s honey sweet and well balanced by apple/cherry juiciness. Long aftertaste. 16.8.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
WT110817-01. 15 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE, DOMAINE LES TROIS TOITS - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Full, expressive, classic./ Medium bodied. Moderate flavor intensity. The nose steals the show at this point. The palate will fill out over the coming months. 16.8/16.2+.
WT1108017-02. 16 VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI CLASSICO LE GEMME, BRUNORI - (TIALY) 13%. Full, appley, young./ Not a lot of depth development yet. That does come with aeration though. Then it becomes richer, more three dimensional. Needs a few more months for full fruition. 16.2+.
WT110817-03. 15 CROZES HERMITAGE BLANC LES JALETS, PAUL JABOULET AINE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 100% marsanne. Yes, a good image of marsanne here. Firm, not fruity. Seckel pear. Spot on./ Clear and classic marsanne taste and texture. Why wait? 16.6.
WT1108017-04. 13 ALSACE MUSCAT, DOMAINE ZIND HUMBRECHT - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12%. Oh, boy. Large, dry, fine varietal expression further complexed by four years‛ aging. Full and deep Zind-Humbrecht champion; the real deal./ Yow! A powerful presentation for only 12%. Dry, deep, variegated, etched by acid and extract. Everlasting finish. 18.2+.
WT110817-05. 17 SUSANA BALBO CRIOS MENDOZA MALBEC ROSE - (ARGENTINA) 11.9%. Full aroma of apple, cherry, and cranberry. Comes right at ya./ Full, fruity, well textured. Fresh. What I want. 16.6.
WT1108017-06. 12 CHATEAU MOULIN DE LA BRIDANE, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%; at Saint Julien de Beychevelle. The firm style of Bridane and 2012. Somewhat herbal and linear./ Wanting for present appeal, this should be cellared 2-3 years. 14.5+.
WT110817-07. 15 BOCA MAGGIORINA, LE PIANE - (ITALY) 12.5%; 13 grape varieties; 31 vineyard sites. Fresh. Appropriately medium bodied northern Piemonte. Valpolicella-like weight. Nebbiolo ID leads the fruit array. Sweet and dried fruits and spices. Ideal./ Great northern Piemonte acidity, briskness. Well textured, exquisitely balanced. A wonderful mealtime wine. 17.0.
WT1108017-08. 16 DAOU PASO ROBLES CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.9%. Seems sweeter and more eastside Paso than the 2015. Full bodied. Good oak embellishments./ Lots of rich fruit and oak cremes. 16.6+.
WT110817-09. 06 VALDEPENAS TEMPRANILLO GRAN RESERVA ANCIANO, BODEGAS NAVALON - (SPAIN) 13%; 2 years in barrel, 8 years in bottle before release. Up to snuff. Lots of barrel time; seems more than the average of late. Really according to the traditional formula./ Yes. Pleasing body. Plenty of sweet fruit and barrel time both 16.5.
WT1108017-10. 15 ROSSO CONERO AION, AZ. AGR. ALESSANDRO MORODER - (ITALY) 13.5%. Accomplished. 15 rich, Conero dark. Balanced. Ripe and dried fruit. Pleasing edge./ Yes, one of the best vintages of this. The acid, the tannin, the ripeness, the power. All in harmony. 16.7+.
WT110817-11. 15 MAREMMA SANGIOVESE, TENUTA SASSOREGALE - (ITALY) 13.5%; 6 months in oak cooperage. Ripe, powerful, expressive, even forceful. Attractive oak elements. Warmth./ This all carries over to the palate. A modern, well crafted Tuscan rosso. 16.2.
WT1108017-12. 13 BARBARESCO TORRE, PRODUTTORI DEL BARBARESCO - (ITALY) 14%. Medium red./ Classic, sweet, medium bodied. No edges. Dried cherry. Appeal./ Elegant, fruity. Acid and glycerol well balanced. All about 2013 Barbaresco. Good now with food. 17.2.
WT110817-13. 15 PARDUCCI TRUE GRIT RESERVE MENDOCINO PETITE SIRAH - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Wow, big, spicy, barrel aged, black, 3D, and really complex for petite sirah./ Aall over again. With acid, texture, sweetness, 3D, complexity, balance. 17.1+.
WT1108017-14. 09 LES CHARMILLES DE CHATEAU LA TOUR BLANCHE, SAUTERNES - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%. Sweet, ripe stone fruits. Pineapple too. Rangy, concentrated, botrytised./ Sweet and concentrated. Huge wine for the money. La Tour Blanche marly, semillon rich style. 18.4+.
WT110817-15. 16 PROSECCO VALDOBBIADENE SUPERIORE CREDE BRUT, AZ. AGR. BISOL - (SPARKLING) 11.5%. Elegant. Fine mousse. Soo refined in fruit and style./ Indeed, flavor, finesse, fine mousse. Super. 17.0.
WT1108017-16. 14 CHABLIS VAILLONS 1ER CRU, DOMAINE COULAUDIN-BUSSY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Full bodied Premier Cru. Lots of 2014 extract, material. This showed a blanket of SO2 18 months back. There‛s still a vestige, but the nose has made solid progress./ Yes, full, with the vintage‛s fine acidity and dry extract. The last of the sulphur should be resolved over the coming months. Wait it out, and you‛ll have a fine glass of Chablis. Very popular with the group. Understand that I‛m super sensitive to sulphur. 16.8+.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
WT110117-01. 16 VINHO VERDE, FAISAO - (PORTUGAL) 10%. Aroma, spritz, vigor. Ideal./ Yes, light fizz and pleasing taste. Racy. Very good value. 16.2.
WT110117-02. 16 CUSTOZA, AZ. AGR. GORGO - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh and ideal. Firm apple and pear. Lithe./ Nice texture. Soft padding, good acid. So tender and juicy both. Love it. Defines the genre. Very popular with the group. 16.7.
WT110117-03. 15 ALSACE PINOT BLANC, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; 1/8 on dry/sweet scale. Oh, this sings! Crackling acid vigor and bountiful varietal character./ Yes, deep and emphatic pinot blanc ID. Clarity, texture, smoothness, balance. Ready for the table. 16.7.
WT110117-05. 12 BRIDESMAID NAPA VALLEY WHITE - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.1%; 70% sauvignon blanc, 30% semillon. Light, hovering sauvignon highlights and plenty of waxy semillon basis. Lovely bouquet development. A big white wine for the dinner table, especially with poultry./ Yes, both zing and plumpness. Wonderful textural play. Super with food. At a sweet spot in on its development curve. 92/100.
WT110117-07. 16 CHATEAU FONTAINE LEELANAU PENINSULA PINOT NOIR - (U.S. MICHIGAN) Light red color./ Pleasing ripeness. Beaujolais weight. This works. Sensible cool climate, ripe vintage pinot noir./ Great acid and freshness. Cherry varietal character. Ideal. Not tannic, so can be served with fish.16.4.
WT110117-08. 16 BARDOLINO, AZ. AGR. GORGO - (ITALY) 12.5%. Fresh, and subtly fruity. This maker has it down. Custoza and Bardolino alike are soo harmonious. A textbook Bardolino. Sweet and tender ripe fruit with careful vinification. This is appropriately light weighted, but it‛s distinct from Beaujolais. It doesn‛t read whole bunch or carbonic maceration processing./ Juicy and ripe and lithe, with an edgy finish. 16.5.
WT110117-09. 14 VERONA CORVINA CA NOVA, AZ. AGR. GORGO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Dry and rich. Not seductive; drier than the Biscardo Corvina. Neat and compact Gorgo styling./ Sweet fruited, with fine acid too. Well textured. Again, an edge to its finale. Tannin here too. 16.4+.
WT110117-11. 15 VALENCIA GARNACHA CLASICO VENDIMIA SELECCIONADA, ANCIANO - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Uncomplicated. An appealing grenache from the south. Sweet and generous if simple./ Grenache sweet fruited and heart on sleeve. Easy drinkin‛. 15.6.
WT110117-12. 14 CHIANTI CLASSICO, SOC. AGR. CASTELLO LA LECCIA - (ITALY) 14%; all sangiovese. Good barrel aged signals, well integrated with the fruit. Fine sangiovese achievement in a cool vintage. Class act here./ Close yet. Elegant, refined texture. Discreet. Good acid. How to make a successful 2014 in the style of the vintage. Fine winemaking here as always. 16.6+.
WT110117-13. 13 HEITZ NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Aged a year in large cooperage and 2 years in Limousin oak barrels. Heitz traditional and 2013 large. Pure, complex, poised , confident. Aeration brings forward more fruit./ Yeah, more power, volume, and reserve than the great 2012. More backward. More age potential. 18.4+.
WT110117-14. 1000 STORIES SMALL BATCH BOURBON BARREL AGED CALIFORNIA ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) 15.6%. Large and sweet fruited. Not Lodi candied. And yes, there are hints of char and bourbon. A big, deep, dark zinfandel, Mendocino in style. Better than the cabernet sauvignon version./ Sweet and black and balanced. Good effort here. 16.6+.
WT110117-15. CHATEAU FONTAINE SWEETWATER LEELANAU PENINSULA VIGNOLES half bottle - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 10%. The pineapple facet of vignoles. Very rich in personality./ Very sweet, with great acid too, like an ice wine. I mean REALLY great acidity. This works. 17.1.
WT110117-16. TOSTI ASTI DOLCE - (ITALY) 7%; est. 1920. Accurate, if not gushing moscato di canelli perfumes. Full mousse./ Pretty dry, probably due the abundant CO2 presence. Say, this works. 16.3.