Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

2014Continuum Proprietary Red  (Napa Valley)95

Deeply colored and loaded with luscious, ripe, juicy, sweet, dark red fruits, blueberries, chocolate, licorice, herbs and flowers. Full-bodied, concentrated and fleshy, the wine finishes up with polished tannins. The blend comes from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot.

0 Views   Tasted 95
1964Château Petit Village  (Pomerol)89

For its age, the wine still showed good color. The wine offered a surprising amount of heft, earthy, tobacco laden plums and a touch of forest leaf. The fruit was ripe, and still served up a nice sweetness. The wine was not very complex, but it was fun tasting the property before they pulled out all their old-vine Merlots, replacing them with Cabernet Sauvignon.

59 Views   Tasted 89
1988Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)99

Just a fabulous wine from the moment the wine hit the glass. The explosive nose, with its coconut, butterscotch, creme brulee, candied orange, flowers, vanilla bean, and honeyed tropical fruit got you to stop, stare and take another sniff. Rich, lush, opulent, intensely concentrated, velvet-textured apricots, yellow tropical fruits and a gallon of honey that was perfectly braced with a wall of acidity that hung on for well over 60 seconds in the finish. This has entered the start of secondary development and could easily go 100 years. As a guess, the next marker comes in with another 20 yeas of age.

133 Views   Tasted 99
2015Ferraton Père & Fils Ermitage Le Méal  (Hermitage)96

Deep, dark, concentrated, full-bodied, tannic and packed with crushed rocks, smoky red fruits, pepper, thyme and polished tannins, this will be just great, if you have patience. It is going to need at least 10 years before it starts showing its true essence.

77 Views   Tasted 96
1970Château La Conseillante  (Pomerol)92

Elegant, soft, refined and silky, the wine is medium-bodied and on the fresh, earthy, cherry and red plum side of the style range. There is no reason to hold this for further evolution.

52 Views   Tasted 92
1970Château Palmer  (Margaux)92

Earthy, with loads of cigar box, cedar chest, tobacco leaf, red fruits and a touch of flowers, the wine is medium-bodied with an elegant touch to the fruit. This has moved past full maturity and should be drunk over the next 5 years.

81 Views   Tasted 92
1978Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains)93

Brick in color, with green olives, cedar, smoke, peppery spice and cassis on the nose. Fully mature, with a spicy, herb, tobacco and cherry core of fruit, the wine has lift, fruit, length and concentration. This is a classic example of California Cabernet Sauvignon drinking at peak.

117 Views   Tasted 93
2001M. Chapoutier Barbe Rac  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)96

Most of my friends focus on the Hermitage from Chapoutier, glossing over their Chateauneuf du Pape's. Big mistake. This luscious, silky, fresh, clean, pure expression of kirsch, garrigue and wild black raspberries perfectly balances its level of concentration, freshness and ripe, pure red fruits. While there is weight, you also find freshness and purity. The wine is clearly hitting its strides today.

264 Views   Tasted 96
1999Domaine des Rémizières Cuvée Émilie  (Hermitage)93

Good depth of flavor, lots of ripe, dark red roasted fruits, smoke, pepper and earth. Medium/full-bodied, with good energy, the wine has softened and filled out. If you are sitting on any bottles, there is no need to wait for further development.

316 Views   Tasted 93
2010La Gravette de Certan  (Pomerol)92

Ready to go, the wine is round, lush, graceful and loaded with dark chocolate covered plums, herbs and flowers. This is in the right place to pop a cork today, helping you let the 2010 Grand Vin wait just a little bit longer. Do not hang on to this forever, as it\'s probably fully developed today.

410 Views   Tasted 92
2000Château Troplong Mondot  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)96

This is just great today. Drinking in the perfect pace, you find a concentrated, lush, round, full-bodied, sensuously textured wine that serves up its floral, chocolate, smoke, licorice, dark plum and ripe cherries, with a side of truffles with little effort. Decanted 30 minutes, the wine hit all the right notes.

577 Views   Tasted 96
2016Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard  (Napa Valley)97

Luscious, ripe, rich, fat, dense and full-bodied, the showy wine pops with layers of sweet, juicy, ripe, black and blue fruit, smoke, vanilla, licorice, and a flowery background note. If you like upfront, exuberant fruit, you can enjoy this young. Else, wait 5 years for everything to calm down and fall into place.

527 Views   Tasted 97
1983Château Palmer  (Margaux)97

Refined, pure, elegant, fresh, concentrated, rich and vibrant, the aromatics, with their flowery leaning also provides a basket of earthy red fruits, spicy notes and tobacco. The silky finish wraps everything up nicely. It is impossible not to take sip after sip of this nectar. The only issue with this beauty is that the wine is finished long before you are ready!

509 Views   Tasted 97
2003Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Reserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)96

Clearly at full maturity, the wine offers depth of flavor, richness and layers of ripe, dark red fruit, with only a minor touch of fig accompanying the kirsch. Long, complex and at probably slightly past its peak, if you own any, you should drink them over the new few years as I fear, the wine will continue taking on more fig, and chocolate overtones.

283 Views   Tasted 96
2003Domaine de la Mordorée Plume du Peintre  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)100

This is a wine that does not come my way too often With a production of about 125 cases, it is easy to understand why. I cannot believe the power, concentration, richness and depth this still offers, considering it is from 2003. This is not a delicate wine. It is full-bodied, showy and mouth-filling, with layers of ripe and very ripe, deep red fruits, smoke, licorice, earth and black cherry. This is an intense drinking experience that is better accompanied by a big slab of beef. It is also a stylized wine, so it is not for those seeking a delicate experience. Interestingly, there is no heat or jammy qualities, even at 17 years of age. It could get better, but if you are one of the lucky few to have a bottle, pull a cork and check it out. Along with Cuvee da Capo, this is the wine of the vintage.

296 Views   Tasted 100
1990Château Cheval Blanc  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)98

Every bottle at some point in its aging curve is different, and this bottle, while very good, was not quite at the level of the best examples. Still, the floral dominated nose loaded you up with sweet, fresh cherries, garden herbs, tobacco, plums and cherry blossoms. Medium-bodied, lacking the weight and density of better bottles, the texture was all silkiness. Elegant, delicate and fresh, with lots of lift on the palate, considering that for all intents and purposes the wine is 30 years of age, this is fully ready to go.

1,109 Views   Tasted 98
1983Château  (Margaux)97

This could be the finest example of 83 Margaux I recall tasting, at least in ages, everything was as it should be. The lilac filled nose also boasted ripe, red fruits, earthy, floral and forest floor notes with cigar box in the perfume. Full-bodied, with a fabulous depth of flavor, the wine provided energy, length, complexity and a lush, sensuous, velvet-textured finish. Perhaps if well-stored, there is a moderate amount of improvement available here, but if you have been itching to pop a bottle, there is no reason not to scratch that itch!

1,319 Views   Tasted 97
2014Inglenook Rubicon  (Rutherford)94

Fresh, concentrated, ripe, dusty, dark red fruits, smoke and vanilla are there for the taking. The wine leans to the good side of classic, focusing on the purity in the fruit, balance, and age-ability.

818 Views   Tasted 94
2015Opus One  (Napa Valley)96

Silky, lush, polished and rich, the concentrated, full-bodied wine delivers all of its chocolate covered dark cherries, blackberry, licorice, spice box and floral character with ease. With all the fruit, freshness, plush personality and balance, this is a gorgeous style of wine that will age quite nicely. The blend could easily come from the Left Bank of Bordeaux using 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec.

1,226 Views   Tasted 96
1998Clos l'Église (Pomerol)  (Pomerol)95

What a difference 22 years of aging can do for a wine. The oak has completely faded away. Now, the opulent, silky, luscious fruits are what gets your focus. Concentrated, sensuous and packed with chocolate-covered black cherries and truffle, this is at peak and should remain here for at least another 10-15 years, if well stored. Pomerol is an expensive wine region. But for a wine of this quality, at maturity, prices are reasonable for wine at this level.

842 Views   Tasted 95
2004Château Malartic-Lagravière Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan)90

Fully evolved, the wine has taken on a yellow-gold hue, matching its developed nose of honeysuckle, citrus, flowers, yellow tropical fruit, and green apple profile. Medium-bodied, and slightly oily in texture, but in a good way, the fruit offers sweetness and lift, with just a touch of honey from the Semillon in the finish. If you have been waiting to pop a cork, your wait is over as you should drink this over the next few years.

792 Views   Tasted 90
1982Château Trotanoy  (Pomerol)96

Definitely, at peak maturity, this is all about the truffles on the nose. At least initially. From there, a background note of citrus appears, along with, plums, cherries and chocolate mint. Lush, soft, polished, velvet-textured, concentrated, ripe, sweet, earthy fruits with hints of chocolate cascade over your palate. This is just a beauty in every sense of the word. If you own this gem, enjoy it now and over the next decade or so.

1,044 Views   Tasted 96
2003Domaine de Marcoux Vieilles Vignes  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)90

The initial pour was quite nice. Soft, round, balanced and loaded with kirsch and herbs. But after perhaps 30 minutes in the glass, the wine took on fig, raisin and chocolate sensation that overwhelmed any of the remaining red fruits. If you own this wine, drink it sooner than later, from your cellar and in the glass. This is not a good trajectory for the future I a sad to say.

1,021 Views   Tasted 90
2017M. Chapoutier Pie VI  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)92

The debut vintage for this new wine comes from a blend of 65% old vine Grenache and 35% Syrah. Deep in color, the wine exudes black cherries, kirsch, herbs, black licorice and dark cocoa. There is good weight, lots of fleshy density, richness and round tannins. Give this a few years to develop in the cellar.

748 Views   Tasted 92
2006Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)94

Medium-bodied and quite forward for Bonneau Celestins, the wine is perhaps more interesting on the nose with its blast of garrigue, kirsch and thyme-scented perfume. Soft, open and fruity, with a hint of black pepper in the cherry centric, earthy finish, this is already in its prime time drinking window. This is a nice Chateauneuf, but not a great vintage for Celestins.

950 Views   Tasted 94