Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- September, 2014
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
WT092414-01. 12 NIEDEROSTERREICH GRUNER VELTLINER LOIS, FRED LOIMER - (AUSTRIA) 12.5%; from loess soil. Green apple and peel, snow pea./ Fabulous juice, acid, snappy taste. Delish. A quencher. For food. 16.4.
WT092414-02. 13 MACON VILLAGES TRADITION, COLLOVRAY & TERRIER - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; price has jumped due to short crop. Fresh, with good intensity, texture, depth of apple and citrus aromas. No oak./ Full flavor and texture. 16.6.
WT092414-03. 13 SANCERRE, DOMAINE DAULNY - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Lovely, clear, incisive white grapefruit./ Palate more delicate, less forceful than nose. Higher acid and less padding than the 2012. A refresher for food. 16.5.
WT092414-04. 14 OYSTER BAY MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%. Piquant and pungent, and also round. Lime, mango, mint./ Racy acid tang with NZ sweet fruit following up. Long, juicy peach and peach peel aftertaste. Better flow to this vintage than the fuller, riper 2013s. 16.6.
WT092414-05. 13 WAIRAU RIVER MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 13%; family estate est. 1978. Racy gooseberry and hyssop./ Fuller with age and vintage ripeness, yet thereís plenty of gooseberry and mint race and savor. Lilting, clinging finish. 16.4.
WT092414-06. 13 BEAUJOLAIS VIEILLES VIGNES CUVEE TRADITIONNELLE DOMAINE DU VISSOUX, PIERRE-MARIE CHERMETTE - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12%; native yeasts; unfiltered. Dry and close. Concentrated material core. Peels and tar./ Grip, and even tannin. Old time, ageworthy. For the table and the cellar. 16.2+.
WT092414-07. 12 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR VIEILLES VIGNES, ALBERT BICHOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Some sweet cherry fruit. No tealeaf notes of some 2012s. Nice little spiciness. Still two-dimensional./ Lightly sweetish. Seems chaptelized. Bare acid. Medium bodied. Pretty plain fare. 14.7+.
WT092414-08. 12 MATTHEW FRITZ CARNEROS PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) Sweet, warm fruit for Carneros, with toasty oak. Smells plummy in 2012./ Bright, juicy cherry without Carneros orange, cranberry. Fine tannin, acid, wood toast. A bargain. 16.5+.
WT092414-10. 12 TERRE SICILIANE, CANTINE COLOSI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Warm, even a little cooked. Proper. Deep seated spice and dried fruit savor./ Savory warmth in style with locale. Not much flavor definition yet. Modest textural interest. 15.6.
WT092414-11. 11 CARIGNANO DEL SULCIS GROTTA ROSSA, CANTINA SANTADI - (ITALY) 13.5%; SW Sardinia coastal DOC. Dark, tarry black cherry definition of warm climate carignan. Sweet, spicy, savory. Ideal./ Very, bright elegant cherry flavor. Anise and pitch highlights. Chewy texture. Hallmark. 16.9.
WT092414-12. 11 BIERZO MENCIA, RIBERA DE ULVER - (SPAIN) 14.5%. Beautiful, cool, purple mencia fruit. Sweet and ripeĖno reduction. Light patina of barrel age./ Great mencia astringency, grace, race. Delightful at age three. If there are any tannins, they are very soft. Great with rabbit. 16.8.
WT092414-13. 10 RIOJA CRIANZA, MARQUES DE CACERES - (SPAIN) 13.5%; tempranillo, garnacha, graciano. 2010 firm fruit. Little sign of barrel age. Just some oak sweetness./ Sweet and lightly woody. Good acid, balance. One of the better years, really. 15.4+.
WT092414-14. 12 BURG LAYER SCHLOSSKAPELLE SPATLESE, ST. ANTONIUS - (GERMANY) 9.5%. Hybrid bulb flower aroma./ Sweet and very zesty ginger taste. Spatlese sweetness and mild acidity of the hybrids. 15.8.
WT092414-15. 13 PIEMONTE BRACHETTO, BORGO MARAGLIANO - (ITALY) 6%. Cherry cola. Sweet, spicy, brambly./ Great acid and berry fruit liveliness. Better than the 2012. Acid, fruit sweetness, and fizz in balance. 17.1.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
WT091714-02. 13 DOLOMITI PINOT GRIGIO, ALOIS LAGEDER - (ITALY) 12.5%. Young, appley, high altitude cool./ Palate shows more richness than the nose. And an ingratiating softness. Nose says hold off a few weeks; palate says good now. 16.3.
WT091714-03. 13 CAMPANIA FALANGHINA, ROCCA DEL DRAGONE - (ITALY) 12.5%. Starts out with apple and banana fermentation airs. Opens to deep seated peach and nectar./ Well textured; counter-play of extract and glycerol. The nectar and peach really come on. Light apple blossom airs. Lush but also dry, well burnished. Entertainment. 16.6+.
WT091714-04. 11 BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES, LOUIS JADOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Full, strong negoc Beaujolais. Firm. In a trough./ Some plummy fruit. No smiles. Dry and meal worthy. 15.8.
WT091714-05. 13 SEAGLASS SANTA BARBARA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%. Like the 2012, crisp and cool climate. Crunchy black cherry./ Wow! So high toned. Pure, focused, juicy black cherry. Pinotís sweet side too. Even better than the 2012, and, again, hailed by the Europhiles in the group. 16.9.
WT091714-06. 10 CHATEAU DE BELLEVUE, LUSSAC SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Some reduction still. Introvert./ Tannic. Dry. 10 structure, extract, grip. Air and age. 16.2++.
WT091714-07. 13 LINE SHACK SAN ANTONIO VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 14.9%; in eastern Monterey County. Young and well structured. Pretty tight still, especially for an inland Monterey appellation. These 2013 California cabernets seem firmer in youth than the 2012s. Pure black fruit and light oak./ Spicy oak, good structure, lots of purple fruit material. I like its poise, build. 16.3+.
WT091714-08. 11 BARBERA DíALBA, TENUTE STEFANO FARINA - (ITALY) 13.5%. Dried cherry and citron. Round fruit for Farina./ Yes, it has fruit enticement. Itís not as dry and stern as earlier vintages. No wonder Wine Spectator likes it. More flavorful and inviting than past years. New generation? Winemaker? Good stuff. 16.2+.
WT091714-10. 10 BOLGHERI ADEO, AZ. AGR. CAMPO ALLA SUGHERA - (ITALY) 14%; 60% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot. A fine Tuscan coast take on cabernet and merlot, with good oak integration. Bright and balanced. Hallmark Bolgheri./ Oh, boy, lots of new oak but not too much. Great fruit to match. Itís classic Bolgheri, not international. 17.5+.
WT091714-11. 10 CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA RISERVA, SELLA & MOSCA - (ITALY) 14%; est. 1899. Glycerol and dried fruit impressions. A little understated this vintage./ Cherry, glycerol, and reasonable ripeness. Evidence of reserva oak or time in barrel. 16.1+.
WT091714-12. 11 VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE RIPASSO CAPITEL SAN ROCCO, TEDESCHI - (ITALY) 14%. Wonderful. Even better than all the great past vintages. Rich and round and glycerol-laden with black fruit core and structure. Full perfume and class of corvina. Licorice and spices./ Suave and well balanced. Not raisined, just wonderfully ripe. Really great acid to balance. And fine tannin. 17.6+.
WT091714-13. 11 VICTOR HUGO ESTATE PASO ROBLES PETITE SIRAH - (U.S.) 13.5%; aged in French and American oak barrels 17 months. The fine house take on Paso Robles. Stylish, polished fruit and oak. Sweetness, depth, balance. No raisin./ Ripe and full of character, especially for this oft featureless variety. Warmth, spice, and oak. Well modulated power. Suave and full bodied. 16.6+.
WT091714-14. 09 SEGURET COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES, SELECTION LAURENCE FERAUD 11 VICTOR HUGO ESTATE PASO ROBLES PETITE SIRAH - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%; Feraud owns/manages Domaine du Pegau 2009 ripeness, Feraud sleekness, Villages size, Seguret elegance. Light barrel aging influence./ Nice stage for this. The fruit, earth, terroir, acid, Feraud hand. 16.3.
WT091714-15. 12 ALSACE GEWURZTRAMINER, ANDRE SCHERER - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13%. Full and clear gewurz perfumes. From the high slopes of Husseren, not the plain. Pure rosewater without the glycerol. Tonic touches./ Good flavor intensity. Some residual sweetness. It all works. 17.0.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
WT091014-01. 13 LA MANCHA AIREN, BODEGAS LATUE - (SPAIN) 12.5%; organically grown near Toledo. Good, fresh apple and citrus; both chardonnay and sauvignon blanc images. A lot of personality for this prosaic grape variety./ Well textured. Now some melon comes out, reminding of chenin blanc. Heaps of personality and caricatures. Better than usual acidity. 16.3.
WT091014-02. 13 ROERO ARNEIS, VIETTI - (ITALY) 13%; estate bottled by the restorator of arneis; unfiltered. Fresh. Not as aromatic as the 2012, which was first encountered at a later age. Recent travel may be a factor in its shyness also. Subtle pear and apple. Will blossom over the coming weeks, months./ Pear, apple, and nectar. The right glycerol level for arneis. Good future. 16.3+.
WT091014-03. 13 DRY CREEK VINEYARD DRY CLARKSBURG CHENIN BLANC - (U.S.) 13%; made by DCV since its founding in 1972; Sacramento Delta vineyards. Very crisp, cool, and melony. New. Incisive. One of the most intense in the series./ Cool melon and apple. Very bright and youthful. 16.4+.
WT091014-04. 13 STARMONT NAPA VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC - (U.S.) 13.5%; on Stanly Ranch in Carneros; Schlatter family also owns Merryvale. Pointed mint, hyssop./ Mint and grapefruit. Carries its strength well so that itís fresh rather than hot or heavy like some California sauvignons. Long finish. 16.3.
WT091014-05. 12 MACON DAVAYE, DOMAINE DE LA CROIX SENAILLET - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; 40 year old vines. Fullness of a top village and old-vines wine. Very terroir oriented. More mineral than fruit. The fruit is subtle, and there may be a wisp of oak, though Iím often fooled, especially if itís been aged on its lees./ Yes, subtle, clear, spring water minerally, lightly etched texture. 16.5+.
WT091014-06. 12 ALSACE RIESLING. DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%; at Eguisheim; 1 on the dryness scale (dry). Dry, high toned, cedary./ Attractive riesling evergreen profile. Truly dry. A lean and racy dinner table riesling. 16.0.
WT091014-07. 13 MCMANIS FAMILY CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S.) 13.5%. Black cherry and fine, already well integrated oak. The oak in a young McManis wine can often require some aging to sink in; not this one. One of the best vintages of a fine series./ Sweet, ripe cherry fruit of River Junction pinot. The oak has lovely wood spices that are, again, well integrated. Pleasing body; ready to enjoy. 16.3.
WT091014-08. 10 BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR VIEILLES VIGNES, DOMAINE JOSEPH VOILLOT - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; fifth generation property at Volnay. Seems shy and tight after the fulsome California pinot. Sweet fruit core./ Dry and neat. Light tannin. Some glycerol and varietal padding. Volnay elegance. A noble Bourgogne of village character and cellar potential. 16.6+.
WT091014-09. 12 SIX HATS WESTERN CAPE PINOTAGE - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14.5%.; fairtrade; special attendee price: $7.99. Glossy fruit and a touch of barnyard. Plain./ Glossy, sweetish, earthy. 14.0.
WT091014-10. 12 CHIANTI, QUERCETO - (ITALY) 12.5%. Oh, sweet and nutty. Fruitcake nose. Enticing ripeness and range./ Yes, dried fruits and nuts. Good grip, power, material. One of the best in this series. 16.4.
WT091014-11. 12 VISTA DEL SUR ESTATE HIGH NOTE ELEVATED UCO VALLEY MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13.5%. Sweet and New World fruit forward. Ease and current appeal./ Attractive fruit cremes. In style. Good acid. Full give. 16.2.
WT091014-12. 11 FIELD STONE ALEXANDER VALLEY MERLOT - (U.S.) 13.5%; estate bottled. Follows the 2010's pattern of inky concentration, full ripeness, full thrust, and fabulous, well integrated oak./ Ripe and rich, with full concentration. Beginnings of bouquet development. Smooth oak vanillin. 16.8+.
WT091014-13. 13 PRIORAT, BODEGAS CARTUJA - (SPAIN) 14.5%; 70% garnacha, 30% carinena grown in black slate. Fresh, new, high altitude. Theyíve rushed to market the latest vintage of this popularly priced Priorat, so itís not as filled out as were the 2011 and 2012 when first experienced./ Still tight and a bit tart. All the nascent goods are here in this successful vintage. The buyer though is left with the aging responsibilities.
WT091014-14. 12 COTES DU RHONE, DOMAINE SAINTE ANNE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%. Clear, cool, black 2012 Gard fruit. Bright and racy./ 2012 polish and singularity. Fruit driven. Little garrigue this vintage. Straight ahead in fruit flavor and texture. Thatís 2012. 16.2+.
WT091014-15. DELGADO ZULETA MEDIUM OLOROSO SHERRY - (FORTIFIED) 17.5%; est. 1744 at Sanlucar. Some heat and spirit on the nose in the Taster glass. Pretty simple fare./ Sweet and basic. Not much age here. Was hoping for more. 15.5.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
WT090314-01. 13 VAL DE LOIRE SAUVIGNON BLANC, JOSEPH MELLOT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%; destinea were flat-bottomed boats that plied the Loire. Clean citrus and gooseberry./ Very brisk and citrusy. Ideal refreshment. 16.6.0
WT090314-02. 12 COTES DU RHONE BLANC, DOMAINE DE LA BASTIDE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 60% viognier, 20% each roussanne, bourboulenc. Not as much viognier expression as the previous vintage. Starting to show some age./ Yeah, getting vinous, boring. Light viognier rally at the end. 14.3.
WT090314-03. 12 COTES DU RHONE BLANC, E. GUIGAL - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. More viognier expression though itís likely a lower percentage of the cuvee. More grip, body, life. Good depth. More 3D./ Flat taste though. Surprise. 15.0.
WT090314-04. 13 GARD ROSE RESERVE DE LUBIN, VIGNERONS LAUDUN CHUSCLAN - (ROSE) 12.5%; all grenache. Full and variegated. Deep and surprisingly powerful for 12.5% alcohol. Thatís grenache./ Kinda mild to taste. Worth the price. 15.5.
WT090314-05. 09 SANTENAY TERRE DíENFANCE, VINCENT GIRARDIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13%; unfined, unfiltered. Rich, woody, sexy. Deep, tarry cherry. Intense, and finally beginning to come out of its shell. Big time Cote de Nuits-like Santenay./ Medium to full bodied. Still that 09 reserve holding it back some. I have confidence in it. 16.9+.
WT090314-06. 12 CHIANTI, CAPOSALDO - (ITALY) 12.5%; from the southern Siena-Arezzo area; 75% sangiovese; 10% each cabernet, merlot; 5% malvasia. Firm and black for a southern Chianti. 12 talks./ Sweet black cherry. High acid. Fine tannin. 15.2+.
WT090314-07. 12 CHIANTI TERRE DI BO, CANTINA BONACCHI - (ITALY) 12.5%; from the northern Pistoia area. Cool and northern. Pepper, anise, tar, and cool cherry./ Firm and showing good reserve, balance, and finesse. Fine acid. The group preferred this Chianti. 15.9+.
WT090314-08. 11 MAREMMA SANGIOVESE-CABERNET ROMPICOLLO POGGIO AL TUFO, TOMMASI - (ITALY) 13%; 60-40; single vineyard; barrel aged one year in Slavonian oak. Fine depth and good oak extract. Finesse. Rich and rangy show of both toasty oak and baked cherry./ Rich, deep, padded, racy, balanced, dense, all. Vibrant finish. 16.8+.
WT090314-09. 10 VERONESE CAMPOFIORIN, MASI - (ITALY) 13%; the original ripasso, made since 1964. Perfect ripasso nose of power, ripeness, finesse, weight./ Light oak, good fine grained tannins, extract, balance. A bit 10 lean on the finish. 16.7+.
WT090314-10. 09 RIOJA TEMPRANILLO RESERVA VINA EGUIA, BODEGAS EGUIA - (SPAIN) 13.5% ; 24 months in American and French oak barrels. Even woodier than the 07. Strident American oak dill, vanilla, coconut./ Yes, full oak plus sweet fruit. Good potential once the oak settles in. 16.4+.
WT090314-11. 13 COTES DU RHONE SIGNATURE, LA FONT DU LOUP - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 50 year old grenache and syrah on sandy soil near the Chateauneuf property. Traditional, concentrated, powerful, well textured nose. Wow! Big stuff!./ Yes, garrigue, pepper, body, power, texture, fruit sweetness. Total old vines density. Well liked by the group. 17.0+.
WT090314-12. 12 MONTSANT CAN BLAU, CELLERS CAN BLAU - (SPAIN) 14.5%; 40% each mazuelo (sandy clay), syrah (chalk); 20% garnacha (slate). Powerful and ripe. Massive presence./ Full power and sweet ripe fruit while maintaining high altitude acidity. Mr. Big. Certainly generous. 16.8+.
WT090314-13. 12 MARTIN RAY RESERVE NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (U.S.) 14.2%. Napa class, restraint, refinement. Fine oak elegance. Cabernet blackberry and currant. Perfect fit./ Yes, Napa class. Sweet 12 fruit but not to excess. Balanced and discreet. Wears its power well. Well liked by the group, including the Francophiles. 18.0.
WT090314-14. DELGADO ZULETA PREMIUM FINO SHERRY - (FORTIFIED) 15%; est. 1744 at Sanlucar. A good full and fresh fino. Classic, classy, big. Forget the finesse./ Big body and flavor. Fresh, new. Yes. 16.6.
WT090314-15. MEIERíS RASPBERRY - (U.S.) 11%. Sweet and fresh and brambly representative. Transcends its red wine base./ Well, thereís some sticky concord under, yet this works well. Concord and raspberry in, well, concord. Good product. 16.5.