Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

1955 Château Pape Clément  (Pessac-Léognan) 87

Rosehip tea in color with the fragrance of a cigar store with its array of tobaccos and cedar humidors with a whiff of strawberry and smoke. Light in weight, with elegant, soft, refined textures and a smoky, bright red fruits, soft, silky finish. Perhaps it was a decade past its best days, but it was still quite a treat.

7 Views   Tasted 87
2015 Château Croix de Labrie  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

Flowers, licorice, espresso, smoke, herbs and ripe dark cherries permeate the perfume. Soft, polished, lusciously textured on the palate, the silky finish shares the stage with ripe plums, savory herbs, sweet cherries and a touch of coffee bean. Give this 2-3 years more age in the bottle and it will be showing even better.

528 Views   Tasted 94
2016 Château Croix de Labrie  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

The spicy nose comes along with flowers, incense, black with blue fruit and toasty oak. Rich, full and concentrated, the wine is fresh, structured, bright and filled with soft, polished dark red fruits. But this seems to be holding on to its adolescence for a bit longer than anticipated. So give it 3-4 more years in the bottle and it should soften and better integrate.

576 Views   Tasted 94
2017 Château Croix de Labrie  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

Youthful as you would expect, the wine is on the fresh, bright, red fruit side with soft, polished tannins and a nice sweetness to the fruits. The oak is close to fully integrated, allowing you to savor all the sweet, ripe, red pit fruits and berries. Still, this is quite primary, so give it at least 5 years of cellaring before popping a bottle.

546 Views   Tasted 93
2018 Marjosse Anthologie de Marjosse - Cuvée Ortolan  (Vin de France) 89

The debut vintage, produced from 100% Cabernet Franc is medium-bodied, light, bright, clean and fresh, with a nice sweetness to the spicy red fruits and good purity in the refined, light, red plum and cocoa focused finish. This delicious first effort can be enjoyed on release.

622 Views   Tasted 89
2018 Marjosse Anthologie de Marjosse - Cuvée Chardonneret  (Vin de France) 90

The debut vintage of this 100% Chardonnay is sweet, round and juicy with creamy lemons on the nose and palate. The floral, crushed stone and waxy lemon character in the perfume hits the spot. Not much is made, so if you want to find this 100% Chardonnay from Bordeaux you need to move quick as the production is under 100 cases.

628 Views   Tasted 90
2018 Marjosse Anthologie de Marjosse - Cuvée Hirondelle  (Vin de France) 90

The debut vintage of this 100% Muscadelle is ripe, round, fruity, floral, sweet and delicious, with a finish combining orange, honeydew, pineapple and spice. This is a perfect summer wine that is already fun to enjoy.

714 Views   Tasted 90
2018 Le Clos du Caillou Reserve  (Côtes du Rhône) 92

This is absolutely gorgeous to drink now. The nose, with its peppery cherries, herbs, thyme and tinge of vanilla gets you instantly involved with the wine. On the palate, the blend of Grenache and Mourvedre is supple, soft, wild and fresh, finishing you with a beautiful display of spicy, dark and bright red berries with peppery, sweet kirsch that comes along with a hint of green olives and herbs. Not decanted, this is ready to go.

898 Views   Tasted 92
2018 Château Peyrat  (Graves) 88

Medium-bodied, soft, forward, earthy, fresh, spicy red berry filled wine that is made for early-drinking consumption.

882 Views   Tasted 88
2018 Château Mejean  (Graves) 89

Ripe, round, soft, forward, supple textured, medium-bodied, smoky, dark red cherry filled wine that is already accessible. This is a superb, Bordeaux value wine from the Graves appellation.

926 Views   Tasted 89
1988 Château Léoville Las Cases  (St. Julien) 92

Firm, classic, old-school styled wine with good concentration and a focus on its bright, crisp, herb and cedar accents. Better on the nose, with its peppery leaf, mint, cedar, tobacco and bright currant aromatics than on the crisp, sharp red berry and cranberry palate. The finish delivers a crunchy blast of red fruits, The wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. 12.75% ABV.

1,207 Views   Tasted 92
1998 Château Léoville Las Cases  (St. Julien) 93

This is developed well over the wines, putting on more weight and complexity. Now, you find a ready-to-go Las Cases delivering a complex set of aromatics; black and red currants, smoke, cigar box, wet earth, cedar, and tobacco. The wine is full, firm, stoic and also fresh. Classic in style, the finish is all about its freshness and lifted characteristics that come along with its chewy, bright, red, spicy fruits. An hour or 2 of air will help. The wine blends 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc, 12.9% ABV.

1,349 Views   Tasted 93
2001 Château Léoville Las Cases  (St. Julien) 94

I really like this style as it off great LLC character in a forward style. Tobacco, mocha, blackberries, cassis, cigar wrapper and wet forest aromas open the nos. Medium/full-bodied, regal, yet elegant, soft, and structured, the wine is juicy, fresh, vibrant and leaves you with a refined version of classic Bordeaux. This is drinking just great today. There is a beautiful sweetness and lift in the finish. This is a better version of the 1985. The wine blends 69% Cabernet Sauvignon 19% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. 13% ABV,

1,666 Views   Tasted 94
2003 Château Léoville Las Cases  (St. Julien) 93

Showing no signs of heat or overripeness, the wine offers a spicy dark berry, cigar wrapper, wet earth, forest leaf and mint-packed nose. On the palate the wine is round, full-bodied, ripe, and fleshy, but not at all over the top or overripe. The finish remains on the sweet, but fresh fruit side with ample red and black fruits and dusty tannins in the finish. My instincts are to enjoy this now and over the next 12-15 years. The wine blends 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot qnd 13% Cabernet Franc, 13.15% ABV. Picking is one of the estates earliest harvest periods, September 11-26.

1,852 Views   Tasted 93
2018 Sol Béni  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 88

Spicy oak, espresso beans, leafy herbs, flowers and cherries in the nose. Full-bodied, robust, alcoholic, riper style of wine with a touch of heat in the espresso and cherry finish.

1,003 Views   Tasted 88
2018 Sol Béni Coup du Chapeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Packaged in a large, oversized bottle, the wine is big, rich, powerful, full-bodied and shows off its dark, cocoa-covered, very ripe, black cherries and espresso easily on the nose and mouth.

1,049 Views   Tasted 90
2020 Château Bas Rosé  (Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence) 91

Bright, fresh, vibrant, mineral-driven style of Rose with a nice blend of fresh yellow and orange citrus and crisp, sweet strawberry, raspberry and white cherries. The wine finishes long with a nice touch or minerality that carries through. This is the debut vintage for the new owners, the Casteja family, that are better known for owning vineyards and as negoicants in Bordeaux. The wine is certified as being 100% biodynamic.

898 Views   Tasted 91
2018 Château Feytit Clinet  (Pomerol) 96

Deeply colored, the wine is packed with dark chocolate-covered black fruits with strong truffle notes on the nose and palate. Concentrated, lush, rich and with a serious depth of flavor, the finish delivers with its long, supple, luscious, fruit and truffle and cocoa character and velvety tannins. Give this stunner 6-8 years in the cellar and it will really begin to shine.

1,350 Views   Tasted 96
2014 Château Grand Mayne  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Medium-bodied, classically styled, forward, early-drinking wine with a focus on its floral, spice, red fruit, herb and thyme character. The finish is bright, fresh and herbal. You can drink this now, or wait a few years. This will probably not make old bones. I'd opt for drinking it over the next 12-15 years.

1,007 Views   Tasted 90
2015 Château Grand Mayne  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

Lush, ripe, ripe, opulent and fruity, the wine exudes espresso, plum, vanilla, dark red pit fruits, flowers, herbs and smoke in its perfume. Elegant, silky, plush and fresh, give it 3-4 more years in the cellar and it will be drinking just fabulously.

1,561 Views   Tasted 93
2016 Château Grand Mayne  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

Quite youthful as you would expect, still it is difficult not to be impressed by the concentration, ripeness, elegance, freshness and energy here. Parked on the corner of elegance, freshness and opulence, the fruit shows good purity, length and vibrance. Kuch of what the wine has to offer is held in reserve at the moment. The wine be best after 2026.

1,480 Views   Tasted 94
2017 Château Grand Mayne  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 91

Classic in style, the wine is more interesting on the nose with its herb, tree leaf, flowers, smoke and bright red fruit nose and palate. Medium-bodied, with a piquant red berry, olive and dark cocoa mid-palate and finish, the wine will be better with at least another 6-7 years in the cellar.

1,005 Views   Tasted 91
2018 Château Grand Mayne  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

This is my favorite vintage of Grand Mayne yet. The wine is rich, lush, round and packed with sweet, ripe, fresh, opulent black cherries, plums and chocolate. The wine has good concentration, a nose of smoke, licorice, roasted, dark red pit fruits and a finish stocked with dusty, chocolate-covered, fresh dark plums. This is so good now. But its best day are a few years away. Start drinking this in 2028 and enjoy it for the next 15 or more years after that. Grand Mayne is not a showy style of wine. It is more like a refined, elegant version of Classic Bordeaux.

1,128 Views   Tasted 94
2017 MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon  (Oakville) 95

Deeply colored, the wine asserts its presence with its blackberry, smoke, wet earth, herb, thyme and vanilla nose. Full-bodied, soft, round, lusciously textured layers of ripe, sweet, fresh dark fruits hit your palate, finishing with graceful textures. i really like this style of wine,

2,395 Views   Tasted 95
2018 Domaine des Sénéchaux  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 91

Medium-bodied, soft, elegant, refined, spicy, bright red berry filled charmer with an elegant, silky, red cherry and kirsch-filled finish. Give this just a year or 2 in the cellar and it should be fully ready to go.

1,016 Views   Tasted 91