Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

1966Château Palmer  (Margaux)94 Pts

Elegant, floral, medium/full bodied, refined, and with a sweet, ripe, red fruit essence, paired with notes of tobacco, wet earth, smoke and cigar box. The fruit in this bottle has started to fade. Still, it was quite charming and a pleasure to taste.

94 points - Tasted
1966Château Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan)89 Pts

Much better on the nose, with its wonderful, smoke, tobacco, cigar box, wet forest floor and cherry pipe tobacco filled nose, than on the light, slightly rustic palate. There was a discernible green note in the finish, that took away from the earthy, red fruits. Fully mature, there is no reason to hold this any longer.

89 points - Tasted
1967Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)94 Pts

Copper in color, the nose offered that great blend of caramel, butterscotch, orange, candied pineapple, apricot and burnt sugar nose that comes from great, older Sauternes. But on the palate, the wine lacked the richness and lush character, buttressed with acidity I look for. The sweet, honeyed, orange and tropical essence was not as strong as I have tasted in other recent examples.I imagine this bottle suffered moderate storage at some point, because while it was quite good, it was not at the level of the best bottles I\'ve tasted. As the old saying goes, there is no such things as great wines after 20 years of age, just great bottles.

94 points - Tasted
2012Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard  (Sonoma Coast)99 Pts

Intensity, concentration and richness all backed up by layers of lushly textured, perfectly ripe, apples, pears, citrus and nuances of honeysuckle and vanilla. This should be better with a few more years of aging.

99 points - Tasted
1971Moët & Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon  (Champagne)95 Pts

Yellow gold, with a hint of copper in the color, the wine maintained some, effervescence. Apples, honeysuckle, brioche, sherry and cashew nuts, silky, soft, caressing textures, with sweet, apple and citrus fruits with just a dab of honey in the finish. It was quite fun to a bottle of Dom Perignon this old.

95 points - Tasted
2001Château Rayas Reserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)93 Pts

Focused on elegance, instead of power, here you find, soft, refined layers of sweet, fresh, kirsch, black raspberries, flowers and earth. The wine is medium bodied, refined, and ready to drink as it shows both on the palate and in the perfume.

93 points - Tasted
2001Domaine de la Mordorée Cuvée de la Reine des Bois  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)97 Pts

At 17, this is still going strong. The oak is completely integrated, the wine is richly concentrated, and you're left with more than enough, lushly textured, ripe, red fruits, pepper, earth, black cherry, jam and thyme to satisfy. Popped and poured, this is showing quite well today.

97 points - Tasted
2001Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Reserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)100Pts

This continues its record of mind blowing performances due to all its attributes including: waves of ripe, sweet, peppery, fresh, dark red fruits. The opulent textures still allows you to enjoy the freshness and strength from all the fruit. This is liqueur of Grenache. The finish must stick with you for at least 50-60 seconds.

100 points - Tasted
2001Roger Sabon Le Secret des Sabon  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)99 Pts

A hedonistic thrill ride indeed. The sweet, plum and kirsch liqueur essence just keeps on giving. The wine is powerful, richly textured, balanced and complex. This is about as good as Chateauneuf du Pape gets.

99 points - Tasted
1962Château Gruaud Larose  (St. Julien)80 Pts

Over the hill was probably about 10 years ago. The wine has taken on a maderized character. There is still some remaining essence of what it used to be, but you have to be quite open and forgiving to look for it.

80 points - Tasted
1966Château Latour Grand Vin  (Pauillac)95 Pts

Classic in style, but in a good way, the wine combines rustic masculinity with cedar, tobacco, cassis, cigar wrapper, smoke and spice. Full bodied, long and with intensity, this bottle was very good, but perhaps not as good as other examples I've been fortunate to taste.

95 points - Tasted
2000Château Trotanoy  (Pomerol)96 Pts

Violets, truffle, spicy plum and dark chocolate get the party going. The luscious, full bodied palate, with its silky tannins and spicy, ripe, dark red fruits is however, the stat of the show. One hour of decanting opened this up quite nicely. At 18, this is starting to show its stuff. It should be close to peak with 3-5 more years of aging, where it will deliver the goods for at least another 20 more years.

96 points - Tasted
1999Château Pape Clément  (Pessac-Léognan)90 Pts

Medium/full bodied, with a spicy nose that also counts smoke, black cherry, tobacco, olives and forest leaf notes in its nuances. Soft, round and with a fresh attitude to the red fruits on the palate, the wine is at peak maturity today.

90 points - Tasted
2012Château Monbrison  (Margaux)86 Pts

Medium bodied, crisp red berry filled wine, with an austere, bright finish for early drinking.

86 points - Tasted
1989Château de Beaucastel  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)95 Pts

Starting to fade, but at close to 30 years of age, it's more than understood. Even at its advanced age, the silky, fresh, earthy, kirsch and red plums are seductive. The strong sense of lavender, cherry, pepper and assorted underbrush aromatics keep you coming back for more. This bottles was as clean and fresh as you're going to find here. I'd opt for drinking any remaining bottles over the next 5-7 years before the fruit fades even further.

95 points - Tasted
2008Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon T6 Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard  (Oakville)97 Pts

Powerful, concentrated and deeply colored, this wine offers intensity, purity and length There are no hard edges to be found, The wine takes over your palate with layers of ripe, sweet, black and blue fruits There is nothing timid with this wine. Yet, somehow, everything remains balanced. This is still young and vinbrant at ten years of age.

97 points - Tasted
2009Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District)96 Pts

Almost too much of a good thing. The massive wall of fruit coats your palate, teeth and gums with perfectly ripe, dark black and blue fruits. The tannins are soft. The wine is concentrated, intense long and powerful.

96 points - Tasted
2009Abreu Cappella  (Napa Valley)98 Pts

Silky, elegant and refined, there is a purity to the fruit and velvety tannins that allow the wine to feel as soft as it does. Yet, this is no wallflower of a wine. The combination of blueberries, espresso, blackberry, chocolate and flowers is alluring. Never tiring to taste, it was the perfect foil for a juicy, rare, grilled New York. This is still youthful at 9, so I imagine it will deliver high quality enjoyment for at least another 15-20 years or longer.

98 points - Tasted
2001Château Suduiraut  (Sauternes)96 Pts

Just a beauty, with a line of racy acidity that cuts through the fresh, ripe, incredibly sweet, pineapple, lemon curd and apricots all covered with vanilla bean and honey. There is weight and richness, but the acidity gives more than enough lift to keep everything balanced between sweet, fresh, ripe and juicy.

96 points - Tasted
1996Château Lynch-Moussas  (Pauillac)85 Pts

Fully mature, medium bodied, lighter styled Pauillac, with a crisp, cranberry, cassis, earth, cedar and tobacco character. There is some rusticity in the sharp, peppery finish. I like the wine more on the nose, than on the palate.

85 points - Tasted
2013Château Haut-Marbuzet  (St. Estèphe)85 Pts

Forward, medium bodied, and a bit too much on the bright red, berry side, with an oaky edge to the overly fresh, red fruits.

85 points - Tasted
2012Château Marsau  (Bordeaux Côtes de Francs)87 Pts

Already mature, this juicy, sweet, lushly textured, medium bodied, 100% Merlot wine ends with a round, black cherry, mocha and licorice note.

87 points - Tasted
2013Château Perenne Blanc  (Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux)87 Pts

Light, refreshing, easy drinking summer quaffer with a grapefruit and honeysuckle character that should be consumed in its youth.

87 points - Tasted
1986Château Cheval Blanc  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)90 Pts

Fully mature, the wine is firm and almost austere. It carries the mark of the 86 vintage, instead of the Cheval Blanc breeding, charm and sex appeal. With air, it tries softening, but it cannot quite get there. This is perfect for those that prefer old school, harder, classic styled Bordeaux.

90 points - Tasted
2006Harlan Estate  (Napa Valley)96 Pts

The darkness in the hue carries through to the dark, black, ripe, sweet fruits that permeate the wine. Licorice, smoke, touches of blueberry, earth and spice are evident in the nose. Concentrated, powerful, but balanced and polished, this is drinking well today, but another 3-5 years will add more complexity and softness to the wine.

96 points - Tasted