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

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Wednesday,September 26, 2018

WT092618-1. 17 CHABLIS, JEAN-PAUL & BENOIT DROIN - (FRANCE BURGUNDY) 12.5%. Oh, boy, full and impressive aroma and texture. Apple, quince, and calcaire in spades. Wow, big time Chablis nose!/ Well, this is just all over the place with 2017 expressiveness. The flavors and textures surge forth, spread out over the palate. Rich, textured. Both awesome and alluring. 17.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $22.99

WT092618-2. 17 TOURAINE SAUVIGNON, JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MANDARD - (FRANCE LOIRE) 13%. Very, very pretty aromas of tangerine and nectarine. Dainty and delightful./ Good green fruit sauvignon flavors: lime and green melon. Crisp acidity. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT092618-3. 17 PIEMONTE ROSATO LAVIGNONE, SOC. AGR. PICO MACCARIO - (ITALY) 12.5%; barbera. Full and berry-cherry scented. Fruit gummies clarity and intensity./ Full red berry-cherry flavors. Body and texture and acid for food. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $17.99

WT092618-4. 15 CHATEAU DE LAGORCE, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 12.5%; 'Selection de nos meilleurs cepages'; Benjamin Mazeau at Targon. Gorgeous red violet color./ Deep, earthy, fruity, solid, generous./ Medium bodied for now. Give it time to fill out. 16.4/16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT092618-5. 15 CHATEAU LA COUDRAIE, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; Vignobles Jolivet at Soussac. Higher alcohol leads to more body. Rich, ripe, and deep 15 fruit./ Yes, riper and richer all around. A deal in 15 claret. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT092618-6. 16 CHATEAU JOUANIN, CASTILLON COTES DE BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%. As when previously tasted, very ripe. But not as exaggerated as the 2015. It fills the bill this vintage./ Powerful and ripe. Big time tannins too. These temper the ripeness. Can't fault its ambitions. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT092618-7. 15 CHATEAU PEYRABON, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; at Saint Sauveur. More cabernet sauvignon showing in this Left Bank wine. Saint Sauveur restraint. Oak and cabernet berry-currant. Good./ Still a bit of a recluse. Not one of your heart on sleeve, come hither 2015s. Wants cellar time. 16.4/16.0+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT092618-8. 15 CHATEAU SENEJAC, CRU BOURGEOIS, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; at Le Pian. Plenty of good oak here, the most in years. Southern Haut Medoc sur bois terroir and plenty of cabernet sauvignon expression./ Structure of cabernet and oak tannins. A great Senejac with cellar potential. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT092618-9. 14 CHATEAU BRANAS GRAND POUJEAUX, CRU BOURGEOIS, MOULIS - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. On opening, leaner and not as oaky as it seemed at last encounter. But with aeration come new oak, body, fruit cremes, and Moulis fortitude./ Firm and dry character of 14 at this stage. Big but inelegant. In a trough at age four, I suspect. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $42.99

WT092618-10. 14 LES ANGELOTS DE CHATEAU VILLEMAURINE, GRAND CRU, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%. 14 lean. Some oak./ Merlot suave. A bit 14 short changed. Not the best vintage for second wines. 14.8+. Yet, the Europhiles were impressed; many orders taken.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $31.99

WT092618-11. 15 LES ANGELOTS DE CHATEAU VILLEMAURINE, GRAND CRU, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%. Richer, riper, fuller, rounder, better./ Good and sweet and flavorful, with a fine oak aura. Good acidity. Everything's amplified over the 2014. Fine. 16.9+. I don't really have a California palate, do I?
    Price each (at time of tasting) $37.99

WT092618-12. 15 CHATEAU VILLEMAURINE, GRAND CRU CLASSE, SAINT EMILION - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14.5%. A little more oak and body and aromatic intensity. Not a big difference on the nose./ But lots more oak and fruit, fullness and texture on the palate. Still, there's quite a price difference. 17.1+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $59.95

WT092618-13. 14 BEIRA ATLANTICO BAGA - TOURIGA NACIONAL, LUIS PATO - (FORTIFIED) 12%; 60 - 40. Oh, wow! Ripeness, concentration, intensity. Just stunningly fine, with grand race, minerality, and fruit range./ Yes, just the right body, texture, taste, and acid. Wants food. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT092618-14. 16 COTES DU ROUSSILLON, DOMAINE CABRIAU - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 14.5%; 50% grenache, 27% syrah, 23% carignan. Fullness over elegance. Impressive for its power and volume./ Yes, sweet fruit flavor, power, texture, presence. Needs rich fare to match its forcefulness. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT092618-15. 14 CHATEAU BASTOR LAMONTAGNE, SAUTERNES half bottle - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; at Preignac; 80% semillon, 17% sauvignon, 3% muscadelle. True to form 14 and Bastor dark, dry, deep, hearty aroma./ Sweet pineapple and citrus. Light botrytis. Relatively dry and in tune with previous notes. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

Wednesday,September 19, 2018

WT091918-1. 17 LUGANA, SOC. AGR. OTTELLA - (ITALY) 12.5%. 2017 fresh and crisp. Some sulphur to shed still./ Oh, sweet citrus and nectarine. 2017 Euro white come hither quality. Aerate it good, and the nose will be as fulfilling as the palate. 16.7+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT091918-2. 17 COTES CATALANES BLANC COTE EST, FAMILLE LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 12.5%; 50% grenache blanc, 30% chardonnay, 20% roussanne. Finallly a fresh enough batch thanks to this new vintage release. Soft southern chardonnay core./ Soft and early maturing. 16.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

WT091918-3. 17 VOUVRAY CUVEE DE SILEX DOMAINE DES AUBUISIERES, BERNARD FOUQUET - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12.5%. Fresh and crisp. Low key yet./ Sec tendre. Mild or coated acidity. Needs time to bulk up. 16.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT091918-4. 17 STOLPMAN ESTATE BALLARD CANYON GRENACHE ROSE - (ROSE) 12%; on limestone. Yes, grenache strawberry meets calcaire. Spot on. Euro. Wow!/ California roundness, softness, and flavor amplitude. Take it to the table. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $16.99

WT091918-5. 16 BODEGA NORTON 1895 COLECCION MENDOZA MERLOT - (ARGENTINA) 13%. New, bright, primary. Juicy fruit./ Sweet and easy drinkin'. 16.0.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT091918-6. 16 SEAN MINOR 4B CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Sweet and standard./ Same. Dull. Sweetish. Passable. 15.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT091918-7. 14 THE CROSSINGS AWATERE VALLEY PINOT NOIR - (NEW ZEALAND) 14%. Cooler and more elegant. Cool vintage forward and flowing./ Good, juicy acid and suave texture. Food wine. 16.4.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT091918-8. 17 ZOLO ESTATE LUJAN DE CUYO MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 14%. Sweet, strong, buxom. Rich, spicy, concentrated./ Strong and inelegant on a hot day. Sulphur at finale. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT091918-9. 16 DE WET EXCELSIOR ROBERTSON CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (SOUTH AFRICA) 14%. Bright, warm, new. Berry and light oak./ Rich and right and well priced. Bit hot on the finish because the weather's so warm today that the samples are no longer at ideal service temperature. 16.1.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT091918-10. 15 THE GATEKEEPER SOUTH AUSTRALIA SHIRAZ - (AUSTRALIA) 14%; unfiltered. Buxom, ample, friendly. Sweet, abundant, spicy-oaky./ Rich and full McLaren style of fruit plus the oak seasonings. Gives and gives. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT091918-11. 11 RIOJA RESERVA, MARQUES DE VARGAS - (SPAIN) 14%; 85% tempranillo, 10% mazuelo, 5% garnacha. Husky, mature, strong, sweet Baja Rioja./ Same. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT091918-12. ST. JULIAN LATE NIGHTS LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE SWEET RED - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 10%; Silver Medal - 2018 Michigan Wine Competition. Vinifera or hybrid basis. No fox./ Sweet savor. Not much fruit. Light labrusca on finish. 15.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

Wednesday,September 12, 2018

WT091218-1. 17 ALTO ADIGE PINOT BIANCO TRADITION, CANTINA TERLAN - (ITALY) 13%. Full of personality, thrust, richness. Apple and quince./ Just as forthcoming on the palate. Ample, dry, vinous, meal-worthy. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT091218-2. 17 CAMPANIA FIANO, LA CAPRANERA - (ITALY) 13%. Pure, hallmark, young. With aeration, gathering peach, apricot, honey, and flowers./ Tender on the palate. The acid is enveloped with youthful fruit richness. This will all come into harmony after a few more weeks in bottle. 16.6/16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT091218-3. 17 VENTOUX ROSE CUVEE DES 3 MESSES BASSES, VIGNERONS DU MONT VENTOUX - (ROSE) 13.5%; 60% grenache, 20% each cinsault, carignan; $29.99 3 liter bag in box. Fulfillment achieved. Months back, it was asking for more bottle age. Nose enveloped with aromas of berries and flowers./ Less expressive on the palate, it may reward even more bottle age. Some astringency to shed too. 16.3/15.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT091218-4. 16 CHATEAU DU PIN, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; at Saint Martial (Entre deux Mers). Sweet and fulfilled already. As rich as a 2015, with 2016 silky texture. Ideal./ Dry, and still a little tart, but well managed, well textured, and well composed overall. Good stuff. Will appreciate a few more months in bottle. 16.2+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT091218-5. 16 CHATEAU LA CROIX DU DUC, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; next to Lussac Saint Emilion; 80% merlot, 10% each cab sauv, cab franc. Sweet and spicy, smoky, almost jammy. Surely ripe and empyreumatic. And ideal also./ Yes, texture, spice, fruit vigor. Ripe and large. 16.4+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT091218-6. 15 CHATEAU BLOUIN, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; at Arveyres (Graves de Vayres); 80% merlot, 20% cab franc. Ripe, black, and smoky. Suggests creosote. Intense./ Less rich but just as black fruited. Needs bottle age to develop more depth and roundness. 16.3/15.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT091218-7. 15 CHATEAU LA HASE, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; at St. Michel de Fronsac; 60% merlot, 20% cab sauv, 20% cab franc. Deep and smoky. Seems barrel aged./ Large. Dry and astute. Full and cellar-worthy. 16.5+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT091218-8. 15 CHATEAU PETIT FREYLON CUVEE SARAH, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; at Saint du Bois (Entre deux Mers); 75% cab sauv, 25% merlot; Gold Medal - CIV. Excellent. Ambitious. Shows cabernet sauvignon and oak./ Cabernet tight and tannic. Again, the barrel element. Will certainly reward cellaring. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT091218-9. 15 RESERVE DU CHATEAU CROIX MOUTON, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; at Lugon, west of Fronsac; second wine; 90% merlot; 10% cab franc. Yes, barrel aged like the Grand Vin. Intense, dark, and sweet 2015 fruit soaks up the oak nicely. Really thrives on its barrel influences./ Full, sweet fruited, oaky, balanced. A keeper. 16.7+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $15.99

WT091218-10. 15 CHATEAU MONT PERAT, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; at Capian (1eres Cotes de Bordeaux); 80% merlot, 10% cab sauv, 10% cab franc. Seriously barrel aged. Very large./ Large, sweet, ambitious, suave and harmonious. Has it all. Really well crafted. Surely worth the premium. 16.9+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $19.99

WT091218-11. 14 CHATEAU DE FONTENILLE, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; at La Sauve (Entre deux Mers); 80% merlot, 20% cab sauv. More mature than the 15s and 16s. Smoky; seems to show barrel influence. Wow, quite a value./ Berries, and smoky, barrel like notions. Intense. What a pleasant surprise and deal. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT091218-12. 14 BROADSIDE PRINTERS ALLEY PASO ROBLES RED - (U.S. WEST COAST) 14%; 60% merlot, 35% cab sauv, 5% petit verdot. Rich and rightfully sweet fruited Paso red. Oak framing contains it nicely. This works./ Yes, sweet, spicy, oaky, and Paso lavish. Kudos to the winemaker. 16.7.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT091218-13. 13 CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA, CASTELLO DI GABBIANO - (ITALY) 13.5%. Oaky, long in barrel suave, and spot on for a five year old riserva./ All over again. Rich and right. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $24.99

WT091218-14. 14 WEHLENER SONNENUHR RIESLING SPATLESE, DR. PAULY BERGWEILER - (GERMANY) 9%. Spatlese sweet nose, 2014 well extracted, Wehlener floral. This is rich and right./ A fine balance of sweetness, acidity, and extract. Sweetness still a little to the fore. A champion with cellar potential. 17.3+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $34.99

WT091218-15. ST. JULIAN ON THE TOWN LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE SWEET WHITE - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 10%; traminette, riesling, vidal; Double Gold Medal - 2018 Michigan Wine Competition. Sweet and spicy. Talks all three of the varietals./ Yes, sweet and traminette spicy. Riesling peach, vidal pear. My compliments to the winemaker. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $7.99

Wednesday,September 5, 2018

WT090518-1. 17 MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE SUR LIE DOMAINE DE LA GRENAUDIERE, OLLIVIER PERE - (FRANCE LOIRE) 12%. Bright, mossy, large, right./ Delicious acid savor and classic tender center. Hallmark. Bargain priced. 16.6.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT090518-2. 17 BLUSTONE LEELANAU PENINSULA PINOT BLANC - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12.5%; winery only. Bright, brisk, and full classic full of 2017 expression already. Generous./ Full of flavor, body. Some stone fruit even. Another super NW MI pinot blanc. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $23.99

WT090518-3. 16 COTES DU ROUSSILLON BLANC CUVEE CENTENAIRE, DOMAINE LAFAGE - (FRANCE MEDITERRANEAN) 13%; grenache blanc, grenache gris, roussanne; 100 yr old vines; 30% aged 4 months in new barrels. A tad rusty and orange rind evolved already./ Again. Go to 2017. 15.7-.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT090518-4. 16 CAROL SHELTON WILD THING SONOMA CHARDONNAY - (U.S. WEST COAST) 13.5%. Sweet nose. Mellow malo, with bright acid too. Well crafted./ Yes, round malo, light oak treacle, and acid to make it meal-worthy. Well crafted. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT090518-5. 15 ROERO ARNEIS, ARBETA - (ITALY) 13.5%. OK still, with sweet, lemony fruit. Yes, like last week's Gavi, it still has brightness./ Well, a bit rusty on the palate. 16.0/15.1-.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT090518-6. 14 ROERO ARNEIS, ARBETA - (ITALY) 13%. Plenty of vital signs, though it is rustier than the 15./ Clear 14 acid, form. Actually younger in structure. 15.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

WT090518-7. 17 ROVE ESTATE RAGAIRE LEELANAU PENINSULA ROSE - (U.S. MICHIGAN) 12%; 60% cab franc, 40% merlot; winery only. Sweet enough, but has the claret varieties structure I don't prefer./ Again, too much tannin and too little flavor. 15.3.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $21.99

WT090518-8. 17 PELEE ISLAND WINERY ONTARIO CABERNET FRANC - (CANADA) 12.5%. Oh, sweet and crisp both, and full of spontaneity and spunk. Ideal cool climate cabernet franc red raspberry aroma./ Yes, both sweet and tart, and full of fruit. Great price. 16.9.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT090518-9. 17 ZORZAL TERROIR UNICO TUPUNGATO VALLEY MALBEC - (ARGENTINA) 13%. Oh, full, bright, young, upbeat black cherry malbec nose. Sweet fruit./ Great acid and form. Some tannin yet. Fine future. 16.6+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT090518-10. 16 ROOT 1 MAIPO VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON - (CHILE) 13%; from ungrafted vines. Rich, bright, sweet, black and convincing Maipo cabernet sauvignon with aromas of blackberry and dusty black currant. Fine showing for this steady bargain./ Yes, clear and juicy black currant Maipo and varietal character, with an alluring creme coating. 16.7+,
    Price each (at time of tasting) $10.99

WT090518-11. 15 CHATEAU DE BON AMI, BORDEAUX - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; Famille Regaud at Le Puy. Good 15 richness. Berry and cherry. This works./ Great acid and tannin textures. Both flavor and texture working hard to please the palate. 16.2.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $9.99

WT090518-12. 15 CHATEAU PEYROLAN, COTES DE BOURG - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13.5%; Gold Medal - Macon. Very bright fruit, and seemingly some oak. Bourg size and give. Complex./ Yes, some oak tannin and taste, with full fruit presence. All around fine flavor and texture. 16.5.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $11.99

WT090518-13. 15 CHATEAU LE TEMPLE, CRU BOURGEOIS, MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 13%; Denis Bergey at Valeyrac; mostly cab sauv, with merlot, petit verdot; 12 months in barrels. More significant, with cabernet sauvignon presence and definite oak. Big time qualities./ A little hesitant on the palate for now. Good oak. This will fill up and out with bottle age. 16.8+.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $18.99

WT090518-14. 15 LES TOURS DE CHATEAU BEAUMONT, HAUT MEDOC - (FRANCE BORDEAUX) 14%; at Cussac; second wine; 60% cab sauv, 40%. Wow, lots of cabernet sauvignon black currant and a surprising measure of oak in a cru bourgeois second wine./ Fruit surge and fruit depth. Awesome value. 16.9+
    Price each (at time of tasting) $14.99

WT090518-15. 15 JOHANNISBERGER ERNTEBRINGER RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT KRAYER - (GERMANY) 10%; est. 1866. Some advanced terpene evidence./ Again. On the small side. 15.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $12.99

WT090518-16. 17 THIRSTY OWL FINGER LAKES DIAMOND - (U.S. NEW YORK) 11.5%; Double Gold Medal - Tasters Guild; legend on back label; not in MI distribution. Yes, the ultimate diamond character. Intense and unique./ Yes, acid etch, extract, character, all. 16.8.
    Price each (at time of tasting) $8.99

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