Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version - October 2018
by Dick Scheer     
 Updated  October 18 2018

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Wednesday,October 31, 2018

WT103118-1. 17 HAUT POITOU SAUVIGNON BLANC LE BOIS DE LA TOUR, VIGNERONS DE HAUT POITOU - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Bright, delicate, discreet take on sauvignon blanc. Opposite of the NZ style. Attractive sauvignon citrus./ Yes, that lovely, lilting, ‛luncheon‛ sauvignon style of Haut Poitou. Well balanced. In form. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT103118-3. 17 LAMBRUSCO DI SORBARA SECCO VECCHIA MODENA, CLETO CHIARLI - (ITALY) 11%. Rose color./ Very pretty strawberry and raspberry aromas. Sweet smelling./ Aromas echo on the palate. Add in a wonderful cranberry tartness. Perfect pitch. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT103118-4. 17 BARDOLINO CLASSICO, CANTINE LENOTTI - (ITALY) 12%; 50% corvina, 35% rondinella, 10% molinara. Very fresh and bright and upbeat. Sweet plum aroma./ Yes, smooth and fruity, with a light viscosity even, which coats the acid. No tannin, so serve cool for further refreshment. Perfectly crafted Bardolino. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT103118-5. 16 CHATEAU PUYBARBE, COTES DE BOURG - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%. Yes, sweet fruited, complete Bourg package like the 2012 but with a pleasing 2016 burnish of its own./ Indeed, Bourg generous, 16 silk texture. Mild tannin. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT103118-6. 14 CHATEAU CITRAN, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; at Avensan; 49% merlot, 43% cab sauv, 8% cab franc. Large and barrel aged. 14 framed. This has power and presence and barrel extras. In tune with the usual Citran styling./ Meaty. Oak and country pate flavors. Real substance here. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT103118-7. 15 SAINT CHINIAN LES TRAVERS DE MARCEAU, DOMAINE RIMBERT - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%. Fresh and uplifting style of this domaine. Reads Midi varietals. Ideal./ Yes, spicy, peppery, fresh fruited. Cool and snappy. Very much its own thing. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT103118-8. 16 COTES DU RHONE VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE DE L'ESPIGOUETTE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Bright, racy, cool, burnished 16 style. With depth and fabulous cool reduction typical of this cuvee in youth./ Even cooler and more reduced to the point of astringency. That‛s OK at this stage. Reads 2016 and Espigouette. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT103118-9. 15 VACQUEYRAS CUVEE CLASSIQUE, DOMAINE LE COUROULU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; 60% grenache, 30% syrah, 10% mourvedre. Deep, cool, dry, very spicy and variegated classic. Full Couroulu Vacqueyras character. A perfectly ripe 2015./ Oh, boy, this spreads out all over the palate. All over the place. Peacock‛s tail! 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT103118-10. 15 CAMPANIA AGLIANICO, ROCCA DEL DRAGONE - (ITALY) 13.5%. Cool, ventilating, penetrating airs of licorice and menthol./ Rich, with good acid to balance. Multi purpose thanks to this combination. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT103118-11. 14 PENINSULA DE SETUBAL PERIQUITA, JOSE MARIA DA FONSECA - (FORTIFIED) 13%; 46% castelao (aka periquita), 40% trincadeira, 14% aragonez (aka tempranillo). Large. Full of quality fruit range. Deep, sappy castelao. Persistent./ Sweet fruit. Well textured. Showing traditional generosity and rusticity. In form. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT103118-12. 13 PENINSULA DE SETUBAL RESERVA PERIQUITA, JOSE MARIA DA FONSECA - (FORTIFIED) 13%; 52% castelao, 33% touriga nacional, 15% touriga francesa; 8 months in French oak. Developed already, almost to the point of decay. Sweet, mature, earthy./ Raisin and funk. Seems passe. 14.6-.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT103118-13. 07 VALDEPENAS TEMPRANILLO GRAN RESERVA ANCIANO 10 ANOS, BODEGAS NAVALON - (PORTUGAL) 13%; 2 years in barrel, 8 years in bottle. Mellow barrel and bottle development. All hangs together so well./ Yes, oak vanillin and sweet fruit persist through the years, and the overall smoothness of good aging makes for an accomplished wine for current service. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT103118-14. 11 RIBERA DEL DUERO CONDE DE SAN CRISTOBAL, MARQUES DE VARGAS - (SPAIN) 14.5%; 80% tinta fina (tempranillo), 10% ea cab sauv, merlot; 12 mo. in French, American, & Russian oak barrels. The proper stage of maturity for a 2011 RDD, with more good things to come. Wow./ Yes, this has developed evenly, with fruit, bottle bouquet, barrel and bottle age all in harmony, achieving a spreading complexity of flavors and textures. Great acidity too, for food. 17.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT103118-15. 17 CRAMELES RECAS WEREWOLF TRANSYLVANIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ROMANIA) 13%; 'A bloody good cabernet' - Hugh Johnson. Fresh, innocent, spicy, wholesome, good./ Again, sweet and spicy, easy drinkin‛. No tannin here to bite your throat. 15.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT103118-16. LAMBRUSCO GRASPAROSSA DI CASTELVETRO AMABILE, CLETO CHIARLI - (ITALY) 8%. Sweet and classic. Spicy blueberry, raspberry, and briar. Yes. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

Wednesday,October 24, 2017

WT102418-1. 17 VINHO VERDE, ALIANCA - (PORTUGAL) 10%. Cheap vinho verde nose. No aromatics. Smells like the $6 ones. Some fizz at least. Dry./ Soft and fizzy and devoid of aromatics. 15.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT102418-2. 17 ARABAKO TXAKOLINA - TXAKOLI DE ALAVA, XARMANT - (SPAIN) 12.5%. Scented and fresh and good./ Very dry, very cleansing. Yow. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT102418-3. 17 COTES DE GASCOGNE, MONT GRAVET - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 11.5%; all colombard. Yes, the good green stuff./ 2017 soft. Right. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT102418-4. 17 CHATEAU DUCASSE, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12%. The right semillon and sauvignon blanc relationship. Well groomed Dubourdieu style./ 2017 suits this well. Softness and come hither qualities. Well balanced in all respects. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT102418-5. 17 JOEL GOTT CALIFORNIA SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.9%. Racy enough. Not too hot or heavy./ Well, it‛s a bit hot. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT102418-6. 17 LE ROSE DE POTENSAC, BORDEAUX ROSE - (ROSE) Nice enough. Very dry./ Yes, very dry and austere. Wants food badly. My allergies are accentuating dryness and tannin this evening. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT102418-7. 15 CHAPELLE DE POTENSAC, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 19 year old vines, mostly merlot. 13.5%. Sweet merlot aroma. Seems some barrel influence. Ripeness of merlot and 2015. However, there‛s an underripe merlot green, herbal tone too. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT102418-8. 09 CHATEAU POTENSAC, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) Ripe and maturing. Mostly merlot. Little oak. 09 mushy./ Aging but bit green too, especially for 09. Surprising peels astringency. Tannin. 16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $59.95

WT102418-9. 12 CHATEAU NENIN, POMEROL - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) Purple 12 fruit plus Pomerol padding. Light green tone./ 12 tight, tough, green. My allergies are bad. Dry. 16.5++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $89.95

WT102418-10. 06 CHATEAU NENIN, POMEROL - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) Maturing now. Round, soft, plush./ 06 tart and close, and a bit green. Lean. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $99.95

WT102418-11. 09 LE PETIT LION DU MARQUIS DE LAS CASES, SAINT JULIEN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) Some greenness of young vines. Las Cases woody. A large scaled second wine./ Las Cases tannic. Dry for 09. Me again. 71% merlot. Convincing shades of Las Cases. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $89.95

WT102418-12. 08 CLOS DU MARQUIS, SAINT JULIEN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) More oak. 08 toughness, dryness, full extraction./ Wow, total 08 tough and tannic. Keep, keep, keep. 16.5++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $79.95

WT102418-14. 14 CHATEAU LEOVILLE LAS CASES, SAINT JULIEN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) Voluptuous, especially for 14. Wow! Not a bit of the usual oak dominance of a young Las Cases. And absolutely lavish ofr 2014. Yikes! Very deep, dark fruit./ More oak evident on the palate, but not too much. Well balanced with the fruit. Blackness of Las Cases; big boy. Yes with surprising grace and yield. 79% cabernet sauvignon. 17.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $229.95

WT102418-15. 95 CHATEAU LEOVILLE LAS CASES, SAINT JULIEN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) More mature but still 1995 tough. In a trough. But still showing a core of 95 pure cabernet black currant that‛s special./ Sweet up front, tannic and dryness in back. Good dry/sweet balnace. Time. 17.0+. Second bottle corked. Smelled different, more mute, but not obviously corked.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $359.95

Wednesday,October 10, 2018

WT101018-1. 17 CHABLIS CHAMPS ROYAUX, WILLIAM FEVRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; own 125 acres of Chablis vyds, half in 1er and Grand Cru. Full and well composed. A perfect picture of 2017 Chablis./ Yes, super vintage fruit quality and defining calcaire. Well balanced in all respects. Yes. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT101018-2. 17 CHABLIS, SIMONNET-FEBVRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%; est. 1840. Full, and earthier than the Fevre. Contrasting house styles. This is fine too. Tingles the nostrils./ Yes, tingly. Terroir driven; chalky. Has depth. Fine again. 17.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $25.99

WT101018-3. 16 KARTHAUSERHOF RIESLING TROCKEN,, KARTHAUSERHOF - (GERMANY) 12%; est. 1223. Fresh, Ruwer riesling delicacy, Crisp, etched. Right./ Yeah, full etch and extract textural aspects. Yow! A jaw breaker! Even more extract than the fine 2015. Huge. 18.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT101018-4. 17 MORGON GRAND CRU, MARCEL LAPIERRE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Oh, full Morgon cherry. Really full, with 2017 sweet fruit. Statuesque build too. Complex and concentrated. And come hither to boot./ Full fruit and fruit peel concentration and tannin. Grand scaled. Both current appeal and cellar potential. 17.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT101018-5. 17 ILLAHE ESTATE WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; Chinook for 'earth'. Wild yeasts. Oregon sleekness, vintage richness. Ideal 2017 Oregon pinot noir. With aeration, it comes on big time./ Yes, full and broad. Balanced, fruity, deep, tasty. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT101018-6. 12 CALDER MEYER VINEYARD NAPA VALLEY CHARBONO - (U.S. WEST COAST) 12.6%; 276-case production. Rich, round 2012 fruit, with oak and varietal distinction. Complex and complete./ Yes, 2012 varietal clarity and intensity with complexing oak savors. Has it all. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT101018-7. 16 CROZES HERMITAGE LES LAUNES, DELAS - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%. Deep, purple, poised, reductive. 2016 tailoring and flow. Yes. Fine future./ Palate still closed up by sulphur. No problem. Air it well; decant well ahead of service, or cellar. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT101018-8. 15 CHATEAU LE THIL COMTE CLARY, PESSAC-LEOGNAN - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; owned by the Cathiards of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte. Black, close, woody. Pessac Leognan black fruit. Wants aeration and aging./ Yes, a surprisingly firm vintage of this, especially considering the nature of 2015 clarets. I’m not getting the elegance and sophistication of the previously experienced vintage, which I tasted when it had more time in bottle. See it out. 16.2++.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT101018-9. 14 FABRE MONTMAYOU GRAN RESERVA LUJAN DE CUYO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14.5%. Fine balance of oak and fruit. Nothing to excess. Wears its power well. Graceful and sophisticated./ Yes, body, fruit, oak, texture, size, power, sweetness, length. Complete package. 17.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT101018-10. 15 BANDOL, DOMAINE LA BASTIDE BLANCHE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; unfiltered. Richest and ripest vintage of this I've tasted, and rightfully so in 2015. Grand scaled, spicy, barrel aged mourvedre. Wow! Great grand and complex./ 15 ripe and powerful, sweet and forward. Yes. 17.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $26.99

WT101018-11. 05 RIOJA GRAN RESERVA, MARQUES DE RISCAL - (SPAIN) 14%; Tim Atkin MW 95/100. Deep ruby color. No sign of age./ Yes, best Riscal ever, and I've tasted some really old vintages. Wood, fruit, Alavesa elegance. Well proportioned. Fabulous Rioja oak and long barrel aging./ Yes, great form, acid, barrel duration. A wow Riscal. Rewards of cellaring. 18.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $39.99

WT101018-12. 09 VIN SANTO DEL CHIANTI CLASSICO BELCARO, SAN FELICE half bottle - (ITALY) 14.5%; all trebbiano. Sweet, strong, woody, fruity. Palo cortado sherry like./ Sweet and tawny, like a 10 year old white port. Large, powerful, sweet. At the same time rangy, complex, brightly acidic. Persistent fruit and texture. Everlasting.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

Wednesday,October 3, 2018

WT100318-2. 17 COTES DU RHONE BLANC, DOMAINE SAINTE ANNE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Dry, nettley, vinous, serious./ Again. No fruit showing. For food. 16.0+. Others thought the fruit was masked by sulphur dioxide. It didn't prickle my nostrils though. A sales rep later reported another bottle was dumb when first opened but blossomed beautifully eight hours later. Yes, that sounds like a sulphur issue. Will have to give this another try after remedial action is taken.. Rest from the voyage, further bottle age, and/or decanting well ahead of service.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT100318-3. 15 CHIANTI, AMADEO - (ITALY) 12%. Sweet 15. Mellow. Sweet cherry./ Again. Full appeal. Simple pleasures. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT100318-4. 15 CHATEAU PEYROLAN, COTES DE BOURG - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; Gold Medal - Macon. Deep and sweet candied cherry. Fruit cake cherry./ Yes, merlot all the way. Polished bright, with little tannin to interfere with current pleasure. Good acid for food accompaniment. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT100318-5. MARIETTA LOT NO. 67 OLD VINE CALIFORNIA RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; mostly zinfandel. Full and typical. Signs of Mendocino, Amador, and Lodi zinfandels./ Not as sprawling and luscious as some lots. Comparatively contrite. Good though. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT100318-6. 17 PARKER STATION MONTEREY-SAN LUIS OBISPO-SANTA BARBARA PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.6%; 67-17-16. Sour reduction and Monterey acidity. Still, real tart-cherry cool-climate pinot./ More softness on the palate. A bit tame and distended. Merely good this vintage. The brand has been sold by the Fess Parker family. I think it made this vintage though. 15.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT100318-7. 16 ELOUAN OREGON PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.6%. Rich Joe Wagner style, including good, lush oak component. Big time success. Gives and gives./ Light reduction and brett. High OR acid. 16 raciness over Wagner richness. So it's rather bi-polar on the palate still. I trust it to even out with a few more weeks in bottle. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT100318-8. 16 PIC SAINT LOUP TOUR DE PIERRES, ERMITAGE DU PIC SAINT LOUP - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. That rich, large style of this estate. Ample red and black fruits. Power and sweetness. Peppercorn. Sprawling and generous./ Palate has it all: power, sweetness, acid, extract, flavor, body. Gives, gives, gives. Take it to the table. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT100318-9. 16 PIC SAINT LOUP CUVEE SAINTE AGNES, ERMITAGE DU PIC SAINT LOUP - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%. Oh, yes, more barrel influence here and plenty of fruit oomph. Both joy and strength./ Big, big mouthful of fruit with an oak complex to boot. Awesome cuvee, as usual. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT100318-10. 16 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE SAINTE ANNE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Oh, yes, the blacks and reds, the coolness of Gard, the race of 16. Fully in tune with the series. Deep, dark, and peppery./ Gard firm and 16 fine textured. Great acid. Yes, yes, yes. Brings back memories. Glad to have DSA back. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT100318-11. 16 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, DOMAINE SAINTE ANNE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Fuller, redder, blacker, deeper. Oh my, this is total in all dimensions and respects. Cassis even./ Wow, everything to like in the Cotes du Rhone amplified here. Yow. 17.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT100318-12. 16 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES NOTRE DAME DES CELLETTES, DOMAINE SAINTE ANNE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Very similar to the regular Villages except that there is riper fruit and a barrel complexity of oak and barrel-age roundness./ Larger, more extracted. Wood and fruit tannins, fine power. Will appreciate some cellar time. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT100318-13. 12 BARBARESCO RISERVA, CANCELLO DEL BARONE - (ITALY) 14%; 24 months in oak barrels. Oh, good! A wonderful surprise. Usually low-priced Barbarescos are old time, dry, stodgy, fruitless, and tannic. And this one's a riserva even! Not at all dried out in barrel. There's bright nebbiolo cherry, and the barrel time has not rendered it dry and woody but rather enriched./ Again, balanced, sweet, and maturing evenly. A wow deal! 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT100318-14. 07 RIBERA DEL DUERO, FINCA VILLACRECES - (SPAIIN) 14%. Full and vital. Romantic even. Violets overtones. Great fruit-oak balance. Total complex of the right tinta pais and barrel aging elements./ Hats off to the storage conditions. This shows awesome quality and bouquet development. Fine tannin and framework. 18.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT100318-15. 16 CHATEAU FONTAINE LEELANAU PENINSULA SEMI-SWEET RIESLING - (U.S. MICHIGAN) Racy, sweet, pleasingly intense./ More of all on the palate. Riesling peach and citrus expressions. Good acid-sweet balance. Good acid for food. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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