Tasting Notes Blog - Printer-Friendly Version
- September 2017
by Dick Scheer Updated October 10 2017
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Wednesday,September 27, 2017
WT092717-1. 16 SOAVE, AZ. AGR. TAMELLINI - (ITALY) 12%. Straight to the point Soave. Seems to incorporate trebbiano as well as garganega because it’s not markedly scented./ Pleasant middle weight. The acidity is suave indeed. Good representative. 15.9.
WT092717-2. 16 LEFT FOOT CHARLEY ISLAND VIEW VYD OLD MISSION PENINSULA PINOT BLANC - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12.2%. Full, incisive, bold, big, explicit./ Shows its .9 RS off dry take in ripe 2016. In youth, this masks some of its extract and acidity on the palate. Will balance out after a few more months’ bottle age. 17.0/16.2+.
WT092717-3. 16 G DE CHATEAU GUIRAUD, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Fresh and classic form of Bordeaux sauvignon-semillon. Crisp edge./ Full, intense varietal character. Very good texture. 16.6+.
WT092717-4. 15 G DE CHATEAU GUIRAUD, BORDEAUX BLANC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. At a relatively quiet stage as it moves toward its third year. Good green citrus fruit./ Milder acid in warm 2015. Slightly prefer the 2016 at this stage. 16.4+.
WT092717-5. 16 LEFT FOOT CHARLEY EDEN HILL VINES BENZIE CO. BLAUFRANKISCH - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12.3%. 2016 ripe and rich, mellow, easy. Real varietal ID./ Yes, gently imparted blaufrankisch, perfectly ripe and spot on. 16.3+.
WT092717-6. 16 CHINON, JEAN-MAURICE RAFFAULT - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Firm; even a bit austere. As full as it seemed at the trade tasting a week ago./ Yes, full, rich, complete. More material even than the well received 2015. 16.5+.
WT092717-7. 13 CARMIGNANO SANTA CRISTINA IN PILLI, FATTORIA AMBRA - (ITALY) 13.5%; sangiovese, canaiolo, cab sauv; 1 yr in oak. Full, strong, adventurous, and fine./ Still youthfully confined, with dry tannins. Popular with the group. There’s a good chance my palate was tired after attending two trade events in the afternoon, tasting more than 200 wines and foods.15.9+.
WT092717-8. 12 TOSCANA CANAIOLO NERO MONDO CANAIOLO, GRATI - (ITALY) 13.5%. Tarry as always./ Firm laced Grati styling. With more bottle age, this will become special. 15.9+.
WT092717-9. 14 LYETH FLEUR DE LYETH CALIFORNIA RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; est. 1981. Sweet and jammy but also 14 black fruit clarity./ Well balanced. Sweet fruit and light oak. Good food wine. 16.0.
WT092717-10. 10 LE HAUT MEDOC DE CHATEAU PEDESCLAUX, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. Good oak and barrel aging. Fine stature. Plus bottle bouquet. Logical development for a 2010 claret at age seven./ Well, there’s plenty of 2010 solid fruit core here, and drying tannins yet to resolve. Aerate well or cellar further. Very popular with the group. 16.3+.
WT092717-11. 10 CHATEAU D’ESCURAC, CRU BOURGEOIS, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%. Deep, rich, concentrated fruit. Not a lot of new oak showing at this stage. Escuracs are usually pretty oaky soon after release. Wonderful black currant cabernet character. This is intense. First class./ Rich and meaty. Loaded with sweet fruit for its age. That’s 2010! A big boy. And, a class act. 16.7+.
WT092717-12. 15 BARBERA D’ASTI TRE VIGNE, VIETTI - (ITALY) 14%. Oh, mighty ripe but also showing varietal clarity, race, uplift. Love it./ Yes, 2015 ripeness balanced by racy acidity. Lively and lovely. 16.5+.
WT092717-13. 15 BARBERA D’ALBA TRE VIGNE, VIETTI - (ITALY) 14%. Fuller, bolder, more powerful. More oak here./ A whopper. 2015 ripe. Seems stronger than the Asti even though they show the same alcohol percentage. 16.8+.
WT092717-14. 14 BICKENSOHLER VULKANFELSEN GEWURZTRAMINER KABINETT, WINZ. BICKENSOHL - (GERMANY) 11.5%. H2S to start. It clears up with aeration. Subtle gewurz spices. Basalt basis./ Keeps clearing and revealing more varietal character and more terroir. Not as powerful, intense, and sultry as the top Alsace versions. Solid gewurz of place. 16.2.
WT092717-15. DI PADRINO DRY VERMOUTH liter - (APERITIF) 16%. Not as big a spread of botanicals as the better ones. OK mixer, but not enough fortitude to be served on the rocks./ Light botanicals. Especially the bay-laurel and evergreen stuff. Not bad. 15.2.
"Wednesday",September 19, 2017
WT091917-3. 16 ALSACE RIESLING, THE FURST - (FRANCE ALSACE) 12.5%; dry. Yes, dry and accurate, if not effusive./ Correct. Down the middle. Versatile food wine. This brand has a different source now. One of the Dopff negociants? Was the fine Kientzheim-Kaysersberg cooperative. The jury is still out. 16.1.
WT091917-4. 15 PFALZ ESTATE RIESLING DRY, DR. BURKLIN-WOLF - (GERMANY) 12.5%. Incisive. Crystal clear. Deep. Noble reduction. Pure. Wet stone; fruit pit./ Plenty of cut and tensile acidity to balance 2015 richness. Very long, precise, focused fruit finish. Surpasses the fine 2014. 17.3.
WT091917-5. 13 CHIANTI CLASSICO, SOC. AGR. SAN FELICE - (ITALY) 12.5%; 80% sangiovese, 10% ea colorino, pugnitello. Wood, dried fruit, licorice. Slight greenness. Well framed and firm cored./ Yeah, there’s something green and earthy and funky. What? Tannic. Mixed messages. The group like it though. 14.9.
WT091917-6. 14 TOSCANA BORGONERO, BORGO SCOPETO - (ITALY) 13%; 40% sangiovese, 20% ea syrah, cab sauv, merlot. Deep. Darkness of 14 and the French grapes. Peel, snap, tannin./ Senses of herb, wood, vinosity. Preferred the 2013. 15.8+.
WT091917-7. 10 VALDEPENAS TEMPRANILLO RESERVA 5 ANOS ANCIANO, BODEGAS NAVALON - (SPAIN) 13%; 1+ yrs in barrel; 4+ yrs in bottle before release. Nice combo of sweet, southern tempranillo fruit and oak spices. One of the best vintages of this. Runs deep./ Oh, lovely fruit cremes and pastilles. Super southern tempranillo augmented by barrel aging. 16.7.
WT091917-8. 13 ECHEVERRIA GRAN RESERVA CURICO VALLEY CARMENERE - (CHILE) 13.5%; est. 1930. Very ripe and sweet sensations. Also bell pepper./ Dry and medium bodied. Vinous. Not bad. 15.4.
WT091917-9. 15 BIERZO MENCIA VIERNES, BODEGAS GODELIA - (SPAIN) 14%. Fresh, and in the style intended. No mencia reduction. Just forward, black fruit unencumbered by either barrel or hermetic influences./ Great acid. Really racy for ripe 2015. Fruit emphasis realized. Balanced and meal-worthy. 16.3.
WT091917-10. 14 FAMILIA ZUCCARDI SERIE A VALLE DE UCO CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (ARGENTINO) 14%. Black and firm framed cabernet. Lightly sweet core. Light oak in tune with the fruit./ Dry and close 2014 palate. Needs more bottle age. 15.8+.
WT091917-11. 15 BOUZA ESTATE RESERVA MONTEVIDEO TANNAT - (URUGUAY) 15%; all tannat; La Violetas & Melilla Vyds; 13 mo. in French & US oak barrels. Inky tannat appearance./ Deep, full black fruit and fine oak melange. No tannat severity. A complex aromatic set./ Closer to the vest, but not obstreperously tannic. One class tannat wine. 17.0+.
WT091917-12. 14 NIERSTEINER HIPPING RIESLING SPATLESE, WEINGUT GEORGE ALBRECHT SCHNEIDER - (GERMANY) 8%; est. 1806. Fully sweet Hessia riesling spatlese. Fine, deep Hipping nectarine aroma. Classic. Plenty of 14 extract./ Even at a warm service temperature, it comes across well balanced. This will age famously. Another fine one from Schneider, with extract and acid etch on the finish. 17.0+.
Wednesday,September 13, 2017
WT091317-1. 15 TRARBACHER DEVON RIESLING, WEINGUT RICHARD BOCKING - (GERMANY) 11%. More character, depth, fruit. Peach and citrus. Penetrating. Full./ Sweeter. Walnut husk tone of slate grown riesling. Acid, extract, all. Well worth the premium. 16.6+.
WT091317-3. 15 LUGANA SAN BENEDETTO, ZENATO - (ITALY) 13%. Taking on a round and golden demeanor at age two. Pleases./ Yes, nicely fulfilled at this stage. Good clarity and coolness to boot. 15.9.
WT091317-4. 15 ALSACE RIESLING, DOMAINE ZINCK - (FRANCE ALSACE) 13.5%; 1/8 on the dry/sweet scale. Cool, clear, steely, stony./ Race, clarity, purity. Textural etch. Fine dinner riesling. 16.5+.
WT091317-5. 16 TABOR HILL LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE DRY TRAMINETTE - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12%. Full varietal character. Still some reduction./ Expresses the varietal nature well. Not as forceful as a gewurztraminer. Emphasizes rose and peony. Still filling out, as many of these 2016 Michigan whites are. 16.2+.
WT091317-6. 16 COSTIERES DE NIMES ROSE FLEUR D’EGLANTINE, CHAT. MOURGUES DU GRES
- (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13.5%. Rather full, with plenty of peels extract. Not as dainty as its name suggests. Has full fruit vigor./ Flavorful and well proportioned 15.9.
WT091317-7. 14 PUGLIA SANGIOVESE, CORTENOVA - (ITALY) 12.5%. Sleek, smooth, southern sangiovese./ A pleasing take, with sweet and dried cherry fruit. Versatile dinner wine. 15.0.
WT091317-8. 14 CHATEAU PICAU PERNA, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%. Warmth and sweetness suggest chaptalization. Dark fruited a really quite heavy for a 2014./ Dry, dense, and unresolved at this stage. 15.8+.
WT091317-9. 14 CHATEAU COTE DE BALEAU, GRAND CRU CLASSE, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%. Oh, boy, Grand Cru Classe ripe fruit selection and fine new oak. Pure, lifted, romantic perfumes./ Still 2014 close on the palate, with drying tannins. No problem. Fine future here. 17.2/16.4+.
WT091317-10. 13 BODEGA DEL RIO ELORZA VERUM ALTO VALLE DEL RIO NEGRO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%. Ripeness, power, and oak. Upper Patagonia dark fruit. A heavy hitter./ Flavor-wise, it’s between aroma and bouquet at age four plus. Plenty of power and command. Definite steak house wine. 16.4+.
WT091317-11. 16 COTES DU RHONE GRENACHE CUVEE BASTIEN, DOMAINE DE CHATEAUMAR - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEA) 14.5%; single parcel; 45 year old vines. Power, warmth, roti, size. Chateauneuf ambitions./ Surging, forceful, insistent. The opposite of elegant. Made for hearty fare. 16.5+.
WT091317-12. 15 COTES DU RHONE SYRAH CUVEE VINCENT, DOMAINE DE CHATEAUMAR - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; 45+ year old vines; 2 parcels next to Chateauneuf. More ease and sweet fruit. Less power plus an additional year in bottle, and a ripe vintage. Signs of syrah: raspberry, white pepper. The ripeness of 15 and southern syrah./ Obdurate; syrah tannin. Less padding than the nose suggests. I expect it will improve with time.16.3+.
WT091317-13. 14 DOMAINE TERLATO & CHAPOUTIER VICTORIA SHIRAZ-VIOGNIER - (AUSTRALIA) 14%; 95-5. Lift and give. Cool by Victoria standards? High altitude? Good oak and power./ Clarity and coolness. The viognier supplies a leavening. 16.2.
WT091317-14. 14 HOOPES HOOPLA THE MUTT NAPA VALLEY RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14.5%. Very ripe. Sur maturite. From up valley? Calistoga?./ A very forceful red for Napa Valley. High alcohol and tannin. 15.6+.
WT091317-15. BULLY HILL SWEET WALTER NEW YORK STATE RED - (U.S. NEW YORK) 11%; from labrusca varieties. Sweet and legit labrusca aromas with more subtlety than concord. This is a class labrusca wine./ Yes, a proud achievement. Sweetness plus fresh, balancing acidity. Up to date. 16.7.
Wednesday,September 6, 2017
WT090617-1. 16 VENEZIE PINOT GRIGIO GREGORIS, FATTORI - (ITALY) 12.5%. Soft apple and pear on the approach. Begins to penetrate thereafter./ Soft and gentle as this cuvee usually is. Maybe less character than some vintages. 16.2.
WT090617-2. 16 HAY MAKER MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC - (NEW ZEALAND) 12.5%. Nice and brisk, even shrill. Perfect pitch./ Yes, refreshingly brisk, but not really shrill on the palate. More relaxed and forgiving. Rich textured. Hits the spot. 16.6.
WT090617-3. 16 NIEDEROSTERREICH GRUNER VELTLINER HUGLWEINE, HUGL-WIMMER liter - (AUSTRIA) 13.5%. Sweet apple and light legume. Delicious aroma!/ Palate less dramatic, more laid back. Will likely develop more oomph over the coming weeks. Nice bitter trace at the end. 16.4/16.1+.
WT090617-5. 16 JULIENAS GRAND CRU VIEILLES VIGNES DOMAINE DES CHERS, ARNAUD BRIDAY - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 13.5%. Yes, spicy, plummy Julienas classic. Tingle, race, sweetness, all./ Less sweetness and more 2016 acidity on the palate. That works. Especially at the table. 16.8/16.3+.
WT090617-6. 15 CASTILLA TEMPRANILLO, RADIO BOCA - (SPAIN) 13%. Sweet and uncomplicated. Certainly fruity enough./ Yes, pleasing high acid and tannin edges to balance the sweetness. 15.9.
WT090617-7. 15 RIOJA SELECCION PRIVADA CEPAS ANTIGUAS, BODEGAS MARTINEZ CORTA - (SPAIN) 13.5%; estate bottled; Rioja Alta; 40+ year old vines; all tempranillo. Rich, deep, rangy, complex. One class tempranillo./ Some oak treacle. Acid, tannin, sweet fruit in harmony. All around success. 16.6+.
WT090617-8. 14 WEINLAND BLAUFRANKISCH, EVOLUCIO - (HUNGARY) 13.5%. Rich and round and ripe. No green fruit./ Fine texture and rich fruit flavor and filling. Ideal. Great price. 16.8.
WT090617-9. 15 SIMPLE LIFE CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; by Don Sebastiani & Sons. Sweet and simple indeed. Light reduction. Not bad./ Simple and sweet. Balanced. Easy. 15.5.
WT090617-10. 14 MARICHAL CANELONES TANNAT - (URUGUAY) 13%; 100% tannat. Not too tough. Tannat black fruit. Padding as well as framing. Good stuff./ Medium bodied. Shows varietal character. Balance. Fine tannin. 16.3+.
WT090617-11. 15 CHATEAU KSARA RESERVE DU COUVENT BEKAA VALLEY RED - (LEBANON) 13.5%; 40% syrah, 30% each cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon; 3500' elevation; est. 1857. Rich and complex, with oak and power. Deep and intense. Not overboard anything./ Rightfully dry on both fruit and oak bases. Plenty of power but less than some vintages. Good acid. 16.3+.
WT090617-12. 15 DONKEY & GOAT THE GALLIVANTER CALIFORNIA RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%; unfined, unfiltered. Fine richness and depth. Nice peel zest. All./ Sweet, balanced, long, flavorful. 16.6.
WT090617-13. 15 COTES DU RHONE CUVEE MACLURA, CHATEAU PEGAU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14%; 50% grenache, 25% syrah, 10% mourvedre, 5% cinsault; 50 yr old vines at Sorgues. Oh, big and powerful and packed with rich fruit with licorice lacings. Abundant; full concentration./ Full, sprawling, powerful, long, loaded. 17.0+.
WT090617-14. 15 TRARBACHER TAUBENHAUS RIESLING, WEINGUT RICHARD BOCKING - (GERMANY) 10.5%; est. 1624. The relative mildness of a lower Mosel riesling./ Yeah, pleasing if not demonstrative. 16.0.
WT090617-15. 15 TRARBACHER DEVON RIESLING, WEINGUT RICHARD BOCKING - (GERMANY) 11%. More character, depth, fruit. Peach and citrus. Penetrating. Full./ Sweeter. Walnut husk tone of slate grown riesling. Acid, extract, all. Well worth the premium. 16.6+.