Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- October, 2014
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014
WT102914-01. 13 CHABLIS, DOMAINE SEGUINOT-BORDET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; est. 1590. Apple, pear, fruit peel, calcaire. Apple blossom airs too. Classic./ Full and nutty. Walnut and husk. Very full of extract, calcaire. Chewy mouthful. Just smashing! 17.0+.
WT102914-02. 13 CHATEAU STE MICHELLE COLUMBIA VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S.) 13%; est. 1967; 100% vinifera rootstock. Gooseberry and cat pee. Extreme sharpness and penetration. Very daring for this large concern./ Lemon and lime peel. Vivid, crisp, pointed, unique. No holds barred. Easily the most exciting ever in this series. 16.6.
WT102914-03. 13 CHATEAU FONTAINE LEELANAU PENINSULA DRY RIESLING - (U.S.) Crisp, walnuty, bright, and entirely new. Apple and nut. No evergreen./ Good padding; not zero RS. Balanced and flavorful. No flowers, no stone fruits. Made to be unobtrusive at the table. Bravo! 16.5.
WT102914-04. 12 MOSEL RIESLING ROBERT EYMAEL, MONCHHOF - (GERMANY) 9.0%; est. 1177. Good, full bottle development at this stage. Mosel crisp and ready to serve./ Good sweet-acid balance. Lovely cling. Engaging plushness this vintage. 16.5.
WT102914-05. 13 DOLCETTO D’ALBA, AZ. AGR. LUIGI PIRA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Cool and shrill on the attack. Tight knit Pira style. With aeration, it shows engaging facets, with plum, cherry, and blossoms emerging. It fleshes out nicely./ Plump dolcetto fruit middle bracketed by structural aspects of acid, astringency, bitterness, and fine tannin. Age it at least a few months and serve at the dinner table. 16.2+.
WT102914-07. 10 COLLI PIACENTINI BONARDA, AZ. AGR. SANTA GIUSTINA - (ITALY) 12.5%; 100% croatina. Medium red orange. Some fizz./ Sweetish. A bit tarry. Well preserved and plummy. The CO2 helps to keep it fresh./ Yes, sweet and easy and correct. Perfect fruitiness and pleasure for current use. Good combo of acidity and ease. 16.3.
WT102914-08. 08 LUNLUNTA TERCOS MENDOZA BONARDA - (ARGENTINA) 13.9%; aka douce noir, charbono. Sweet and easy, friendly and fruity. Really well preserved cherry-berry fruit. A joy./ Yes, lovely fruit confit flavor and great acid. 16.7.
WT102914-09. 12 NAVARRA CABERNET SAUVIGNON VEGA SINDOA, BODEGAS NEKEAS - (SPAIN) 14%. Good cabernet form and berry-currant fruit definition. Light oak./ Yes, speaks of cool zone cabernet. Nice wood spices. Fruit braced by cabernet’s tannins. Young. 15.9+.
WT102914-10. 11 MURFATLAR ROMANIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ROMANIA) 12%. Cedar and blackberry. Legit cabernet. Warm zone: roasted, singed, tarry./ Good berry fruit, texture. Some sweetness to lighten cabernet’s grip. 15.6.
WT102914-11. 12 DE BORTOLI ST. KILDA SOUTH EASTERN AUSTRALIA SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 13.5%. Starts reductive under screwcap. Now showing warm, ripe, wholesome 2012 fruit. Spicy purple berries too./ A carbonic maceration sort of reduction still. Give it more air and age. Good potential. 15.9+.
WT102914-12. 09 MINERVOIS GRANDE RESERVE, CHATEAU ALBIACH - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; cuvee elevee en futs. A lot of elderberry. Very focused, pure, and fine example of Minervois with light oak potpourri highlights/ Again, bright elderberry fruit. Sooo elegant. Yet another enticing Minervois to add to the repertoire. 16.8+.
WT102914-13. 11 TORTOISE CREEK THE CHELONIAN LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%; proceeds toward the conservation of tortoises. Elegant 2011 take on Lodi fruit confit./ Yes, cool and racy, with great acid-glycerol tete a tete. Good power too. 16.0.
WT102914-14. 11 TERRA D’ORO AMADOR ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%; est. 1970. Robust, tarry, roasted Amador classic. Intense and peppery. Roasted raspberry, briar, seed. Incredibly intense for 2011. That’s Amador!/ Medium bodied, with some 2011 restraint. Good sweet fruit flavor, good power, good balance. 16.4.
WT102914-15. STOCK ROSSO SWEET VERMOUTH - (APERITIF) 16%; est. 1884. Smells of red wine, quinine, cinnamon, clove, garrigue herbs, and additional goodies I wish I had time to sort through./ Good balance of sweet and bitter. Just the right level of alcohol. Welcome, lingering, complex finish. Quality product, for sure. 16.8.
Wednesday, October, 22 2014
WT102214-01. 13 SANCERRE LE CLOS DE CHAUDENAY, DOMAINE ETIENNE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Very full and concentrated, featuring old vines aromas of grains, nuts, and dried citrus peel./ A very intense vintage of this. Fills and coats the palate with dense flavor and texture material. A big boy. Wants food. Now. 93/100.
WT102214-02. 13 SANNIO FALANGHINA, TERRA DI BRIGANTI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Organically grown. Floral, concentrated, nectarous, and musky./ Flows nicely on the palate. Pleasing body and concentration. Still youthful–and just shipped–so will blossom further through the coming months. 16.0+.
WT102214-03. 13 COTES DU RHONE VIOGNIER NO. 1 DOMAINE SAINT AMANT - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; Famille Jacques Wallut at Suzette. Flowers, minerals, citrus, peach./ Lots of mineral extract, grip as always. Full bodied and savory, full textured. Serious viognier for food. 16.6.
WT102214-04. 13 AIRFIELD ESTATES UNOAKED YAKIMA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.4%. Surprisingly, some fermentation aromas still under screwcap. Juicy Fruit, apple blossom./ Good acid and grip. Will evolve from blossom to fruit as the months pass. Well balanced. 16.2+.
WT102214-05. 11 YEALANDS MARLBOROUGH PINOT NOIR - (NEW ZEALAND) 13.5%; carbon zero certified. Bright cherry and blossom. Intense and ripe pinot for NZ and vintage. Plus cool and spicy. Ideal./ Good acid-glycerol play. Pleasing body. Sweet and flavorful. Suave follow-through. 16.7.
WT102214-06. 12 TALBOTT ESTATE KALI HART MONTEREY PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.5%. Lovely and unique combo of complex oak seasonings plus black cherry, maraschino, citron./ A surprising fruit cake dimension. Intriguing and rangy, sweet and powerful. 16.6+.
WT102214-07. 12 PIEMONTE BARBERA OTTONE I, CANTINE SAN SILVESTRO - (ITALY) 13%. Sweet, smoky, tarry, viscous, cherry classic. So much oomph for the price./ Yes, cherry, licorice, balance of acid and glycerol. Versatile and well priced for frequent service. 16.6.
WT102214-08. 12 BARBERA D’ALBA, STEFANO FARINA - (ITALY) 14%. Deep, black, serious Alba with lots of licorice. None of that toughness of Farinas years back. Instead, rich and three dimensional./ Yes, spicy barbera fruit, rich in extract. Full barbera acid; some tannin yet to shed. Fills the bill for the price. 16.4+.
WT102214-09. 13 VENTOUX, DELAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Full power and glycerol. A bit warm; cooked fruit./ Good glycerol, alcohol warmth, power. Straight forward and simple to understand 15.6.
WT102214-10. 12 PLAN DE DIEU COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE DE L’ESPIGOUETTE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; Bernard Latour at Violes. Seductive garrigue aromatic range as usual, with deep black fruits and cracked black peppercorns. Suave glycerol./ Full of fruit, smooth glycerol/alcohol (14.5%). Complex array of garrigue nuances. Consistently appealing. 92+/100.
WT102214-11. 12 SABLET COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE DE PIAUGIER - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 75% grenache, 25% syrah. Sleek, dry, powerful Euro style up front. Sweet and roti fruit in back. 12 framed and Sablet dry. Will appreciate more bottle age./ Good balance of acid and power. Fine fruit flavor. Super, already accomplished palate. 16.7+.
WT102214-12. 12 STOLPMAN LA CUADRILLA BALLARD CANYON RED - 14.5%. Rhone varieties plus sangiovese. Sweet, sassy, spicy, ideal California Med varietal combo./ 2012 fruit purity. Good cuvee concept and varietal balance. Balance of acid and power. Total. 17.0.
WT102214-14. 13 CHARLES SMITH KUNG FU GIRL EVERGREEN VINEYARDS WASHINGTON RIESLING - 12%. Spiced peach. Racy style. Unique./ Off dry, spicy, well textured. Good acid for food. Ready for the table. 16.1.
WT102214-15. 11 CHATEAU BELINGARD COMTE DE BOISREDON, MONBAZILLAC half bottle - 12.5%. 75% semillon, 15% sauvignon gris, 10% muscadelle. Pineapple, honey, apricot, nut. Lovely./ Whoa! Fully concentrated. Botrytis notes of pollen, tobacco, and cedar. Delivers. 93+/100.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
WT101514-01. 13 WEINLAND OSTERREICH GRUNER VELTLINER LANDWEIN TROCKEN, H&M HOFER liter - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%. As clear, crisp, and brisk as one could want a gruve, featuring apple and pear flesh and peel, plus legume suggestions./ Rich and round, full and dry; well balanced. Versatile at the table. 16.4.
WT101514-02. 13 TERRE DI CHIETI PECORINO PEHH CORA, ORION - (ITALY) 12.5%. Great cool fruit aromas of peach, nectarine, lime peel. Lots of textural tingle in the nostrils./ Full flavor and racy texture. Bright and balanced. Pecorino glycerol meets its astringent foil. Will round and fill out further over the next several months. 16.5+.
WT101514-03. 13 DOLOMITI PINOT GRIGIO, TIEFENBRUNNER - (ITALY) 13%. Full and appley-nutty. High altitude briskness./ Full for its zone’s grigios. Ample texture, including peels astringency. Will improve. 16.1+.
WT101514-04. 13 CECCHETTI LINE 39 CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.5%. Artificial apple and peel. Slick oak gloss suggests wood aged in wine, not wine aged in wood./ Sweetish, low acid, mawkish. Little refreshment. 14.0.
WT101514-05. 12 ALSACE RIESLING THE FURST, VIGNERONS DE KIENTZHEIM-KAYSERSBERG - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12%. Very fine evergreen profile, more cedar than pine. Vigorous./ Yes, cedar, even balsam. Unique, special, fine. 16.7.
WT101514-07. 11 SALICE SALENTINO MAIANA, LEONE DE CASTRIS - (ITALY) 13.5%; est. 1665; 90% negroamaro, 10% malvasia nera. Grip, black fruit including peels, anise. Uber ripe negroamaro plus malvasia spicy, raisiny sweetness. This aims to please, and it succeeds. Very popular with the group. 16.8.
WT101514-08. 10 CAMPANIA AGLIANICO ROCCA DEL DRAGONE, ORION - (ITALY) 13%. Compact, framed, well built. Smoke, licorice, creosote. Mass and structure. The Barolo of the South indeed./ Surprisingly rich and round after the nose’s firm persuasion. Full flavor. Fine tannin. The real deal; complete, well bred aglianico with growth to go. The group was impressed. 17.1+.
WT101514-09. 11 CASTILLA DE MOLINA RESERVA VALLE CENTRAL CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (CHILE) 14%. Blackberry jam and cassis syrup. Fully ripe./ Racy black currant astringency balances the fruit ripeness. Great flavor and texture yield and range. 16.3.
WT101514-10. 13 CHARLES & CHARLES POST NO. 35 COLUMBIA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - SYRAH - (U.S.) 13.9%. Rich and loaded. Really concentrated. More structure and less glossy fruit than the Spectator 90 2012. Good, ripe fruit filling./ Its full richness is balanced by power and structure. Striving hard to please at this price point. 16.5+.
WT101514-11. 10 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES L’ESPRIT DEVIN, DOMAINE GALEVAN - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 60% grenache, 20% each syrah, mourvedre. Very ripe for the vintage and domaine. Powerful, concentrated, insistent, singular./ Very ripe indeed. Sweet grenache. Powerful. Atypical; emphasizing its quixotic appeal. Serve with long-simmered meat dishes. 16.3.
WT101514-12. 12 ECHEVERRIA ESTATE RESERVA COLCHAGUA VALLEY SYRAH - (CHILE) 14.5%; est. 1930. Very deep, pure cassis and framboise aromas. Seedy, peppery. Very cool./ Sweet and inviting fruit, concentrated yet yielding. Easy to appreciate. 16.4.
WT101514-13. 12 MICHEL CHAPOUTIER TOURNON MATHILDA VICTORIA SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 14%. Deep, cool, northern Rhone syrah suggestions. Purple and reductive. Very black fruited, pure, well structured./ Again, cool, spicy, racy. Good acid and structure. Quite apart from those syrupy Barossa shirazes. Shows the Chapoutier hand. Well liked by the group. 16.8+.
WT101514-14. 13 CAROL SHELTON MONGA ZIN OLD VINE LOPEZ VINEYARD CUCAMONGA VALLEY ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.9%; planted 1918. Rich, concentrated raspberry and peppercorn. Powerful. Cool, coastal demeanor belying its southern locale. Certainly nothing Paso or Lodi about it. Great power and material./ Sweet raspberry concentrate, with extract, tannin, frame. An old vines giant. Super. The group agreed. 18.4.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
WT100814-01. 12 VAL DE LOIRE CHARDONNAY BERNIER, LES FRERES COUILLAUD - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; the Couillauds introduced chardonnay to Loire Maritime 25 years ago. A lithe early apple scent, like a Jonathan. Regional chardonnay character./ Juicy, with light peels tinge and grip./ Dry but padded. Works. 16.2.
WT100814-02. 13 THE CROSSINGS AWATERE VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13.5%; Gold Medal - IWSC. Walnut husk, grapefruit and peel./ Juicy grapefruit taste, fresh squeezed. Well padded but not 2013 ponderous. Awatere lift. 16.7.
WT100814-03. 13 PAYS D’OC ROSE AURORE COTE MAS, DOMAINES PAUL MAS liter - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 50% grenache, 20% cinsault, 20% syrah. Fine, lithe, fruity. Grenache strawberry, cinsault cranberry, syrah raspberry. Just the right balance./ Not much initial flavor intensity. Balanced feel. Flavors come out in the back taste. Good balance of acid and padding. A quaffer in liter. 16.2.
WT100814-04. 13 CHATEAU CAMPOT LAFONT, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; 50% merlot, 25% each of the cabernets. Not leafy but a bit more shrill and peelsy than usual on entry. Rounds out though. The usual good stuff after all./ Yeah, sweet berry. Round and ready. Balanced, with good acid and very light tannin. 16.0+.
WT100814-05. 13 BELLE AMBIANCE FAMILY VINEYARDS CALIFORNIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 13%; by the Indelicato family. As good or better than the 2012. Plenty of fruit drive plus more form, spice, and acid in 2013./ Good oak caramel and plenty of soft, ripe fruit. Even grace. Well crafted. 16.3+.
WT100814-06. 13 LULI SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 14.1%. Not as reticent as the 2012 early on, or as expansive as the 2012 later in life. 2013 frame, grip, volume. Great potential./ Good baked cherry and oak character with pinot padding and fine power. SLH loaded. Best in winter, when it will equal or surpass the fine 2012. 16.7+.
WT100814-07. 12 LISBOA LAB, CASA SANTOS LIMA - (PORTUGAL) 13%; 35% castelao, 25% each tinta roriz, syrah, 15% touriga nacional. Deep, dark, black, and solid Portuguese tinta with plenty of fruit depth, richness, third dimension. In form./ Lovely, juicy, and sweet, with a candied citrus peel note. Balanced and enticing. Even more delicious than the 2011. What stuffing and allure both! 16.5.
WT100814-08. 12 DOURO ALTANO, SYMINGTON FAMILY ESTATES - (PORTUGAL) 13.5%; touriga franc, tinta roriz, tinta barroca; 2011: Wine Spectator 91/100. Reduced to start–not unusual with this cuvee in youth. Solid, dark material under. Opens with airing. Now a purple, regal Douro tone. Has promise./ Yes, warm spices and nice soft fruit appeal. Aeration and 6 months’ bottle aging recommended. Then it will have the allure of
the 2010 and 2011. 16.2+.
WT100814-09. 13 CALLIA ALTA VALLE DE TULUM - SAN JUAN MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; 2012: Decanter 96/100. Wow! This is alert and high altitude elegant. Racy, spicy cherry and light oak savors./ Sweet and savory. Well crafted and alluring and balanced. Fine acid and tannin. Works for me, and is sure to have wide popularity. I can see the marks. 16.5.
WT100814-10. 13 BELASCO DE BAQUEDANO OLD VINE ALTO AGRELO VALLEY - LUJAN DE CUYO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%; vines nearly 100 years old. Deep, dark, haunting. More potent and ambitious. Old vines concentration. Barrel time too. Loaded!/ More backward but not tough. More material and potential here. Fully packed. Fine tannin. Balanced. 16.6+.
WT100814-11. 13 COTES DU RHONE LES TROIS COURONNES, CELLIER DES TROIS COURONNES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 80% grenache, 20% syrah; at Tulette near Visan on the Left Bank. Fresh, classic grenache laden Cotes du Rhone with power. Grenache strawberry, syrah raspberry, peppercorn./ Sweet and suave grenache. The classic bistro Cotes du Rhone. Really swelling and satisfying. Great acid. Best vintage yet. 16.3.
WT100814-12. 11 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE DE COURON - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 60% grenache, 40% syrah; at Saint Marcel d’Ardeche on the Right Bank. Fine Cotes du Rhone volume, grip, filling. Gard charm. Two years’ bottle development. A lot of material./ Yes, full of stuffing. Balanced. More extract to the texture than tannin. Great Gard acidity. For the table and the cellar. 16.6+.
WT100814-13. 11 FOPPIANO VINEYARDS LOT 96 SONOMA PETITE SIRAH - (U.S.) 13.9%; est. 1896. Sweeter and more fulfilled than when tasted months back. No 2011 ripeness issues. True Sonoma petite sirah./ Yes, suaver. As sweet as a nut. As it should be. 16.2+.
WT100814-14. 13 VOUVRAY DEMI-SEC LA FORCINE, AUGUSTE BONHOMME - (FRANCE LOIRE) 11.5%. Good extract and grip of a small crop. Classic calcaire, melon, quince, lime./ Very concentrated, compact flavor, extract, texture. All these buffer the demi sec sweetness. A giant this vintage. 16.7+.
WT100814-15. 12 WINKELER HASENSPRUNG RIESLING SPATLESE, WEINGUT H. KRAYER - (GERMANY) 10%. Some H2S to start. Clears. Spatlese sweet and concentrated. Rheingau extract, orange peel, golden minerality. 2012 firm core./ Full, sweet spatlese. Flavor undeveloped yet. Well extracted. Faithful to Rheingau. Give it some bottle age for full flavor and texture range development. 16.5+.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
WT100114-01. 13 CHAMISAL UNOAKED CENTRAL COAST CHARDONNAY - (U.S.) 13.5%; est. 1973. Good full texture. Transcends Edna Valley chardonnay mildness. The Santa Lucia Highlands component lifts it./ Yeah, nice combo of cut and cream. Lees ‘woodiness’. Works today. 16.3.
WT100114-02. 13 OC CHARDONNAY-VIOGNIER LE JADE, LES COSTIERES DE POMEROLS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 60/40. More about chardonnay apple than viognier honeysuckle. Dry./ Nice chardonnay body and apple. More viognier peachiness and glycerol come forth on the palate. Good. 15.5.
WT100114-03. 13 SANCERRE LES COUTES, PASCAL & NICOLAS REVERDY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%; unfiltered. Nose reserved, probably due to my allergies. Light citrus./ Full, round, rich, with tangy acid foil in back. Impressive texture complex. Both cut and pad. Class. 17.3.
WT100114-04. 13 POUILLY FUME VIEILLES VIGNES, REGIS MINET - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Full, with walnut husk, citrus peel, hyssop. Lots of etch./ More walnut husk and lime peel on the palate. Full bodied. Great volume and texture. The hallmark peachiness of Pouilly Fume comes on at the end and lingers on a long peach and peach peel finish. 17.4.
WT100114-05. 13 ASTROLABE MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13.5%; 2012: Spectator Top 100. Fullness of vintage and year-plus aging./ Really rich. Ripe year. Peach syrupy. Good acid. Will be popular. 16.2.
WT100114-07. 12 COTES DU RHONE, ANNE DELAROCHE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 50% syrah, 40% grenache, 10% mourvedre. Organic. 30 year old vines. 2012 straight and focused fruit. Dry./ Rich and round. Grenache talks. Good texture and play. Syrah keeps dry and tight laced. 15.9+.
WT100114-08. 11 WILD OATS CENTRAL RANGES SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 13.5%; Wine Spectator 90/100. Deep and rich aroma and texture ranges, especially for 2011. Fully satisfying Aussie shiraz. Deep, peppery, dark fruited./ Full volume. Sweet fruit and pepper bite. Yes, cunningly sweet with fruit, spice thrust and follow through. 16.6+.
WT100114-09. 10 CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA CAPO FERRATO REI, CANTINA CASTIADAS - (ITALY) 14%. Sweet grenache with 2010 firm, black fruit base and form. Needs time. Always does./ Great flavor richness, acid, texture, fine tannin. A rich and adventuresome mouthful. 16.9+.
WT100114-10. 12 PUGLIA PRIMITIVO, TORMARESCA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Dry and lean 2012. Inspiring primitivos are few and far between these days./ Sweeter and spicier on palate. Satisfying taste. 15.5+.
WT100114-11. 12 JAMIESON RANCH WHIPLASH LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S.) 14.5%; 15 months in French and American oak. Tight and dry./ Sweet and syrupy Lodi with some 2011 underripe fruit in back. 14.2.
WT100114-12. 11 JAMIESON RANCH WHIPLASH CALIFORNIA RED - (U.S.) 14.5%; 48% petite sirah, 24% cabernet franc, 14% barbera, 13% syrah, 1% merlot; 20 months in French oak; Wine Enthusiast 90 - Best Buy ($15). A hodge-podge of varietals led by the customarily anonymous petite sirah. Sweetish./ Yes, sweet and easy, without varietal ID it figures. Pleasant. Sure to appeal to ‘blends’ fans. 14.9.