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.
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.
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.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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.
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?
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+.
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.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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.
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+.
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.
WT091918-5. 16 BODEGA NORTON 1895 COLECCION MENDOZA MERLOT - (ARGENTINA) 13%. New, bright, primary. Juicy fruit./ Sweet and easy drinkin'. 16.0.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+.
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+
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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.
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.
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-.
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.
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-.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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+,
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.
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.
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+.
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+
WT090518-15. 15 JOHANNISBERGER ERNTEBRINGER RIESLING KABINETT, WEINGUT KRAYER - (GERMANY) 10%; est. 1866. Some advanced terpene evidence./ Again. On the small side. 15.8.
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.