Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - October 2017
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  November 16  2017

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Wednesday,October 25, 2017

WT102517-01. 16 MUSCADET SEVRE & MAINE SUR LIE, DOMAINE DE LA FRUITIERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Oh, this has classic form, classic lines. It‛s explicit Muscadet framed, with a soft, forgiving, alluring center./ Rich, and full of fruit expression, if ever a Muscadet had such. Balanced by fine acid race. Yow. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT102517-02. 16 SANCERRE LE CLOS DE CHAUDENAY, DOMAINE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Neat, concise, understated, confident./ Light citrus edge. Lovely subtleties. It‛s still coy in youth and after travel. Distinct 2016 style and harmony. Just lovely. With aeration, everything seems to build, to magnify. The aromatics, the flavor, the texture. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT102517-03. 17 BARKER'S MARQUE THREE BROOMS MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13.5%. Opens close, neat, right. Swells with aeration, yet retains just lovely discretion, poise, gentility. Nature of the vintage?/ Both fruit sweetness and racy acidity in balance. Delicate and delicious sweet citrus. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT102517-04. 16 CHALK HILL WINERY SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.8%. Great, forward, open knit oak display. Why wait? Take it right to the table./ Great acid as well as oakiness. Some malo creaminess. Open and revealing from the get go. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT102517-05. 14 VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE RAFAEL, TOMMASI VITICOLTORI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Nice and sweet smelling for 2014. Not to a ripasso extent though. It's real, original Valpolicella./ Suave and well appointed, well crafted. Spot on./ Just the right components of sweet fruit, medium weight, acid, light tannin, soft earthiness. In balance. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT102517-06. 15 GRIGNOLINO D'ASTI ISOLAVILLA, TENUTA OLIM BAUDA - (ITALY) 13%; est. 1961. Appropriate medium scarlet color./ Very fresh. Lovely fruit and acid buoyancy. Zingy and sweetly fruity. Perfect picture./ Yes, sweetness and acidity in balance. Mouthwatering meal-time candidate. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT102517-08. 13 LEEUWIN ESTATE PRELUDE VYDS MARGARET RIVER CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (AUSTRALIA) 13.5%; est. 1978. Lovely grace, charm. Soo refined a cabernet from Margaret River. Sweet berry-currant./ Full, with a nicely burnished texture. Total class, joy, harmony, polish. Finest grained of tannins. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT102517-09. 15 LANGHE NEBBIOLO OCHETTI, RENATO RATTI - (ITALY) 14%. Rich, sweet 2015 nebbiolo cherry. A lovely demonstration of grape and vintage. Light oak extras. Deep./ Full, sweet cherry flavor. Grip and fine tannin. Great oak embellishment. Exemplary rep of DOCG and vintage. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT102517-10. 15 SOTER PLANET OREGON OREGON PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.6%. In youth, pretty tight and surly for 2015. House style. With aeration, it sweetens up. Now more open and revealing yet still with Oregon structure over fruit./ Yes, sweet fruit of 2015 plus Oregon acidity and style. A good rep for sure. Plays its role to the hilt. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT102517-11. 14 PIETRA SANTA ROUTE 152 CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.2%. Three Dijon clones. 90% from the core estate, 10% from its Dunn Ranch vineyard outside the Cienega AVA. 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% new. Oh, boy, deep, 2014 dark fruited, and serious. Burgundy style. Great oak toast and framework. Sweet fruit core./ Yes, sweet center framed by extract and Euro acidity. Serious dinner pinot. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT102517-12. 15 CASA SMITH NORTHRIDGE VINEYARD WAHLUKE SLOPE BARBERA - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Deep and luscious house style. Barbera cherry and anise. New World magnified. I'm impressed. Great, sweet oak too./ And good barbera acidity. In fact, great acid, and power too. Shows the zone, the grape, and the maker's hand. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT102517-13. 14 MERLER KLOSTERBERG RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT EDUARD KROTH - (GERMANY) 7.5%. Light SO2 sting. Some bottle bouquet starting to form. Lacks Mittel Mosel distinction. OK though./ Beginning to mature; needs more bottle age to blossom fully. 15.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT102517-14. 16 LEFT FOOT CHARLEY GRAND TRAVERSE GEWURZTRAMINER - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 13%. Good, subtle, accurate gewurz nose with ginger and orange zest. 2016 soft./ Near dry. Good varietal flavor intensity competes with Alsace versions. Not as viscous as an Alsace gewurz; cooler environs. Good power, and moderate acidity of the varietal. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT102517-15. STONE'S ORIGINAL GINGER - (FRUIT) 13.5%; est. 1740. Well, this really penetrates in a genuine and strong ginger fashion. Not a sweet nose. Pure ginger and spirit./ Indeed, total ginger plus good sweetness on the palate to sooth its nip. So it‛s balanced and ideal. Many holiday applications. 17.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT102517-16. 13 KLINKER BRICK OLD GHOST OLD VINES LODI ZINFANDEL - (U.S. WEST COAST) Large, sweet, oaky. Grand scale of 2013. Big time Lodi./ Rich, sweet, creamy old vines Lodi fruit and oak. Power. Fine tannin. Clings and lingers. 17.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $38.99

Wednesday,October 18, 2017

WT101817-01. 16 MACON VILLAGES VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE JEAN TOUZET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Green apple and citrus. Reflects the intensity of old vines and a small crop. Full./ Everything fits together just right. Texture, vinosity, fruit. Mealworthy indeed. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT101817-03. 16 REUILLY PINOT GRIS ROSE DOMAINE DES ROUESSES, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Ideal stage. Pink pinot gris apple./ Medium body. Soft acid replaced by astringency from peels soak for relief. Mild and pleasing aftertaste. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT101817-04. 16 COSTIERES DE NIMES ROSE LES GALETS ROSES, CHATEAU MOURGUES DU GRES - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 50% grenache, 40% syrah, 10% mourvedre. Oomph, texture, depth, savor, fruit, all./ Medium body and flavor intensity.. Good vinosity and power for the dinner table. Cold weather rose. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT1018017-05. 16 GAMBLE FAMILY NAPA VALLEY ROSE - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Power. Not fruity. From. Bordeaux varietals?/ Not much flavor. Dry, and tannic even. Cabernet rose like. Body for food. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT101817-06. 15 SEVEN SINNERS THE RANSOM OLD VINES CALIFORNIA PETITE SIRAH - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.9%. Sexy oak baking spices. Pet fortitude, richness. Not tannic. Alluring./ Same. Sweet and spicy. Cunning. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT101817-07. 15 ALENTEJO TINTO, HERDADE PENEDO GORDO - (PORTUGAL) 14%; 40% alicante bouschet, 30% touriga nacional, 20% aragonez, 10% trincadeira. Dry for 15. Powerful. Forceful./ Rich, full, well balanced. Not overly strong. Everything is in tune on the palate, including good acidity. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT1018017-08. 14 BARBERA D’ALBA FIULOT, PRUNOTTO - (ITALY) 13%. Dark and surly in 14. Usual cool vintage barbera here. Needs more bottle age./ Mineral and extract. Not so severe in acid and tannin as the nose suggests. 15.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT101817-09. 14 CHIANTI CLASSICO, CARPINETO - (ITALY) 13%; 90% sangiovese, 10% canaiolo. Oh, Carpineto class, 14 clarity. Just right. 14 freshness. Fine oak. No problems with lack of ripeness or excess acidity. Fabulous 2014./ Yes, tranlucent and focused. Mid weight of the vintage. Class of the estate. Just the right acidity, texture, balance. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT101817-10. 14 PRIORAT ONA, CELLER CECILIO - (SPAIN) 14%; 35% each garnatxa, syrah, 20% carinyena, 10% cab sauv. 14 dark and tough. Astringent. Not loveable at this stage. Dry and severe. Needs aging./ More fruit, juiciness, and give on the palate. But 14 linear all the way. Large. Keeper. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT1018017-11. 13 CORTONA SYRAH ACHELO, LA BRACCESCA - (ITALY) 14%; all syrah. Oh, sweet Tuscan syrah. Very ample for the vintage; some of them are. Good barrel seasonings./ Medium bodied. Tart and linear. Palate calls for more cellaring. 16.8/15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT101817-12. 13 RIOJA TEMPRANILLO CRIANZA, BODEGAS LAN - (SPAIN) 13.5%; 12 months in barrels of both French & American oak. Dry and lean. Sweetens with aeration./ Dry and only modestly endowed with flavor and texture. Hopefully, these will be augmented by further cellaring. 14.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT101817-13. 10 RIOJA RESERVA, BODEGAS LAN - (SPAIN) 13.5%. Dry nose. Standard young reserva. Wood and barrel aging evident./ Sweet fruit. Good barrel aging. Medium flavor and texture intensity. Will have fans. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT1018017-14. 08 VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI CLASSICO BELCARO, SOC. AGR. SAN FELICE half bottle - (ITALY) 15%; all trebbiano. Shows long barrel aging. Open knit and pastry sweet./ Sweet and strong. Long in barrel for sure Becomes quite like an old oloroso sherry. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT101817-15. DI PADRINO CLASSICO VERMOUTH ROSSO liter - (APERITIF) 16%. Good, frank tonic and botanicals statement. A value./ Sharp oregano and basil notes. Which makes a nice mix. Sweetness, power, and acidity right. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

Wednesday,October 11, 2017 BIG BUCKS TASTING

WT101117-1. 08 BARON-FUENTE MILLESIME BRUT CHAMPAGNE jeroboam - (SPARKLING) 12.5%. Fullness of 08. Body and toast. Enticing creaminess./ Yes! Forceful, long on lees character. Again, the marked plushness, perhaps from meunier. Greatest Baron-Fuente I’ve tasted. 17.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $174.95

WT101117-2. 15 CHABLIS VAUDESIR GRAND CRU, LOUIS MICHEL - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; est. 1850. Grandeur of the vineyard without oak obfuscation./ Grand Cru succulence. 15 plushness, Michel clear terroir delineation. Mid term ager. 17.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $62.95

WT101117-3. 15 PULIGNY MONTRACHET, FRANCOIS CARILLON - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Deep, rich, and creamy. More like a Chassagne than a Puligny. Shows the full Burgundian barrel regimen and some malo and 15 padding. Large and alluring./ Full oak, barrel fermentation, barrel age on lees. Plenty of power and rich 15 fruit to balance it. Good acid, form, length. 18.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $57.95

WT101117-4. 14 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET LES BENOITES, JEAN CHARTRON - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Fleshiness of Chassagne. Nut creme of Chartron barrel aging. That soft and fine textured oak element./ Deep, oaky, powerful, framed. A great Chartron achievement, replete with 14 extract and structure. 17.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $59.95

WT101117-5. 14 MEURSAULT VIEILLES VIGNES, VINCENT GIRARDIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Evident Meursault grain, nut. Good oak. Good 14 form. Growing, penetrating oak and grain aromas./ More modest in impact than the Carillon and Chartron. Less flavor, texture, and appellation definition. Fine wine that simply fails by comparison. Good value. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $47.99

WT101117-6. 15 CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET L'ESTIMEE, JEAN NOEL GAGNARD - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Oh, sweet and lovely 15 fruit. Deep. Fine oak. Chassagne plumminess. Rich and generous./ Still a bit tart and close in youth. Nose carries for now. Palate will fill out over time. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT101117-7. 11 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO, MAESTRO DI ANTICHI CASTELLI - (ITALY) 14.5%. Deep and romantic. Earth, wood, big brunello fruit. Super in all respects./ Full, sweet, deep, satiny, complex. Wow. 17.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT101117-8. 10 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO, MAESTRO DI ANTICHI CASTELLI - (ITALY) 14.5%. Firmer. More backward. Less yield. All the same, deep, tarry, and complex, with fabulous oak embellishments./ Firm, rich, solid, tannic. Cellar candidate. Each of these is emblematic of its vintage nature.17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT101117-9. 12 HEITZ CELLAR NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S. WEST COASE) 14.5%. The sweet fruit of 2012. Heitz build, frame. Old time Napa cabernet classic. Discreet oak. Right there!/ Yes, all the properties of 2012 and Heitz cabernet. Powerful, 2012 sweet. Sure bet for the cellar. 17.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $57.95

WT101117-10. 12 AMARONE CLASSICO, CORTE ARMANO - (ITALY) 15%. Oh, boy, like the maker’s ripasso, this is amarone on steroids. Sweet, spicy, woody, ripe, dried fruity, powerful. Has it all./ Large and heady, sweet and spicy-woody. Long and powerful finish. 18.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $38.99

WT101117-11. 09 AMARONE TREMENEL, VILLA ERBICE - (ITALY) 16%. More mature. Still more powerful. Traditional style./ Mid aged. Strong, rich. Less perfumed at this stage. Age further. 17.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $59.95

WT101117-12. 05 SANT’ ANTIMO VIN SANTO RISERVA, TENUTA IL POGGIONE half liter - (ITALY) 16.5%. Powerful, ripe, tawny, caramelized./ All confirmed. Classic, well proportioned. Super. 19.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $44.99

"Wednesday",October 4, 2017

WT100417-1. 16 KAMPTAL GRUNER VELTLINER TROCKEN, SCHLOSS GOBELSBURG - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%. Nice and appley. Crisp and penetrating. Sharp edged./ Rounder mouthfeel. Even handed. Good representative. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT100417-2. 16 BOWERS HARBOR UNWOODED MICHIGAN CHARDONNAY - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12%. Lots of lees on the nose./ Yes, leesy and lactic. Sweetish too. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT100417-3. 16 AIRFIELD ESTATES LONE BIRCH UNWOODED YAKIMA VALLEY CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13%. Intense green apple as always. Very high pitched./ Yes, an ultimate, northern grown, unwooded chardonnay. All about Granny Smith apples. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT100417-4. 16 MACON-CHARDONNAY, DOMAINE G. TALMARD - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Full, appley, well textured. Deep. Really delivers./ Yes, large textured, full bodied. Plenty of flavor and oomph. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT100417-5. 15 CHABLIS, SIMONNET-FEBVRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Racy, clear, chiseled, framed classic Chablis. More like a 14 than a 15./ This is Simonnet-Febvre old time Chablis. Traditional, right, meal-worthy. No concessions to fruitiness, softness, modernity. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT100417-6. 15 BADEN AFFENTALER PINOT NOIR, WINZ. BUHL - (GERMANY) 12.5%. Medium bodied. Seems watered down. Bit tart and shrill./ Tart and lean. There have been better vintages of this. 15.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT100417-7. 15 MARSANNAY, LOUIS LATOUR - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%. Deep, sweet Cote Dijonnaise pinot. Another excellent example in a fine series./ Yes, wine of place with vintage sweetness. Good acid and form for cellaring too. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT100417-8. 16 BARBERA D’ALBA, FRANCO SERRA - (ITALY) 13%. Clear varietal character and crisp 16 edge that contrasts it from the sweeter, softer 2015s./ Yes, the race and tartness of the vintage, but with more ripeness and balance than the 2014s. Very popular with the group for its food-worthiness. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT100417-9. 14 LANGE TWINS SAND POINT CLARKSBURG MERLOT - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.8%. Candied, jellied. 14 lean. Lodi. Ordinary./ Sweet and simple 14.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT100417-10. 13 CHIANTI COLLI FIORENTINI, AZ. AGR. LANCIOLA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Lightness of place. 13 close and bit shrill./ Earthy and dark 13. Not for me. 14.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT100417-12. 12 BETZ FAMILY CUVEE FRANGIN COLUMBIA VALLEY RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.3%; merlot, cab sauv, syrah, petit verdot; 1 yr in French oak barrels, 1/4 new; Parker 91. Neat and clear delineation. Betz style. This vintage gives added content and ripeness to the usual blackness of Washington claret. Really swells it up, fills it out./ Firm, dark Washington red framing, even in 2012. And plenty of contents, material, fruit filling. 16.6++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT100417-13. 12 ALICANTE MONASTRELL LA TREMENDA VINEYARD, ENRIQUE MENDOZA - (SPAIN) 14%; estate bottled; 30 yr old vines at 2000'; 6 mo in French oak. Alicante sweet and singed, baked, cooked./ Again. Too much for me. 14.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT100417-14. 15 OPPENHEIMER RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT DR. HEYDEN - (GERMANY) 11.5%; ‘dry-style’. Good, forthright Hessia riesling without the special distinctions of a Rheinfront vineyard./ Quite dry indeed. Good acidity for the vintage. And extract too. Good value. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT100417-15. 16 MOSCATO D’ASTI DULCIS, CANTINE SAN SILVESTRO - (ITALY) 5.5%. Low key aroma./ Snappy taste. Not particularly sweet or intense. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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