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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $6.99

"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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $1199

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $28.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

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+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

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