Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

2013Château Pape Clément  (Pessac-Léognan)89

Medium-bodied, rapidly maturing, easy to drink wine with soft, round fruits, a touch of oak and a short finish. This is not a bottle for long term aging or decanting. Now and over the next few years is best for this wine.

336 Views   Tasted 89
1994Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon  (Spring Mountain District)94

Time in the cellar has certainly added a lot to this wine. At 26 years of age, and about 90 minutes in the decanter, it was easy to see that it has softened, filled out and added fabulous nuances of cedar, forest leaf, tobacco and blackberry. Long, full-bodied, round and crisp, I have completely changed my mind on this wine and I am thrilled to have a few more in my cellar.

136 Views   Tasted 94
2003Château Pichon-Longueville Baron  (Pauillac)95

It is time to be drinking this wine. Slightly flamboyant, the wine offers depth, richness and soft, round tannins. Full-bodied, with tobacco, cassis, scorched earth and ripe berry aromatics, the wine feels great on your palate. Popped and poured, the wine was ready to go with just 15 minutes in the glass. It might not be a text-book example of this cherished house, but so what? It is delicious and ready to go.

251 Views   Tasted 95
2000Château La Mission Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan)100

This is a remarkable wine that is clearly a legend in the making! Inky dark in color, (which is amazing at 20 years of age) the wine coats your every nook and cranny of your palate with layer after layer of ripe, rich, intense, pure fruit that holds on for over 60 seconds. The wine has moved slightly past its initial primary phase, but even now, it is impossible not to see what this has to offer. It should be in prime time drinking mode in about 10 years and offer incredible tasting for 3-5 decades easily, from that point forward.

245 Views   Tasted 100
2003Château Angélus  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)97

What a sexy beast! Supple, sensuous, lush, opulent and expressive, the wine offers intensity, concentration, vibrancy, purity and velvet laced tannins. This is beautiful today and should improve from here. But I am digging how this shows today.

156 Views   Tasted 97
1982Château Cos d'Estournel  (St. Estèphe)97

The nose, with its blend of tobacco, mint, flowers, spice box, cherries and herbs hit all the right notes. Popped and poured, within 30 minutes, the wine, filled out, softened and moved from very good to suave, refined and elegant, retaining its full-bodied richness. Perhaps it was cork or just luck of the draw, but this bottle was markedly better than previous bottles.

234 Views   Tasted 97
2003Château Léoville Las Cases  (St. Julien)93

This is really quite nice, even charming. With 30 minutes of air, blackberry, cassis, smoke, flowers and thyme were easy to find. The wine has softened, taking on a refined quality, with an easy to like, medium/full-bodied, dark red berry and earthy finish. There is no touch of heat or jam here. The effect here is the early maturing quality and soft tannins. This is one of the best values for LLC in the marketplace today.

819 Views   Tasted 93
1987Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve  (Napa Valley)90

Easy to drink, the wine is soft, full-bodied, and quickly provides a juicy sweet mouthful of ripe, dark red fruit. But there is not much complexity. It is basically one nice note. I like the note, but the wine seems to be fading. Drink up if you are sitting on any as it is only going to continue declining from here.

548 Views   Tasted 90
1995Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley)91

According to my last note, from 5 years ago, the wine showed a marked green streak. I had forgotten all about it. Popped and poured, that is still the overriding characteristic. The wine is concentrated, big and with loads of fruit, earth and tobacco, but the green streak paints a wide swath down the middle of your palate. Those who long for old school Cabernet, when pyrazines were a big part of the picture will probably love it.

766 Views   Tasted 91
2016Château Mont-Redon  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)92

Forward and already a pleasure to drink, the wine is all about its kirsch, spicy dark cherry, thyme and earthy garrigue core on the nose and palate. Elegantly styled, with plenty of sweet, ripe, red fruits in the finish, you should be able to enjoy this over the next 12-15 years with ease.

1 Views   Tasted 92
2005Clos Fourtet  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)97

It's the razor blade of crushed limestone that runs down the middle of your palate that grabs your attention. From there, I headed back to the nose due to its floral, dark cocoa, red fruit, crushed rock, and licorice. Deep in color, from the looks of it, you could easily confuse this with the 2015. Concentrated, opulent, dense and elegant, the sexy, vibrant, red fruit and flower-filled finish tastes and feels great. Give this 2 hours in the decanter or wait 5 years and it is going to be a cellar treasure!

141 Views   Tasted 97
2016Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe La Crau  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)96

Quite floral in nature, from there you find thyme, garrigue and a plethora of fresh red fruits. Elegant, with ample weight and lift, the finish hits you with its mix of earth, herbs and kirsch with a hint of salty rocks in the endnote. Hang on this for 5-8 years and you'll have a beauty in your cellar.

200 Views   Tasted 96
2010Domaine de Chevalier Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan)97

A thrilling white Bordeaux! The yellow citrus pops with its fresh, bright character along with honeysuckle, lemon way, orange, herb liqueur and vanilla. The wine is concentrated, lifted and citrusy with length and vibrancy. Drink this now, or wait 10-20 years, regardless of which way you go this is just great!

0 Views   Tasted 97
1990E. Guigal La Mouline  (Côte-Rôtie)98

Sexy, sensuous, floral and showy, the wine quickly expresses its smokey, pure kirsch, flowers, white fruit and melange of cherries. Rich, exotic, polished and long, this is an incredible tasting experience.

0 Views   Tasted 98
1990E. Guigal La Landonne  (Côte-Rôtie)99

Holy Moly! This thrilling wine has it all. While there is some tannin to resolve, and you get the feeling there is still something held in reserve, what you do find is off the charts! Intense, dense, powerful, regal, fresh, balanced and lively, the smoky essence, crushed rock, sweet plum, cherry, thyme, and pepper is more than ample to keep you busy. But the wealth of fruit, power and opulence on the palate is the real magic! The 60 second finish awards you time to enjoy the layers of pure, dark red fruits, cocoa, kirsch, pepper and spice.

2 Views   Tasted 99
1990E. Guigal La Turque  (Côte-Rôtie)98

This beautiful wine is perfectly poised between its sex appeal, refined essence and a general flamboyance. Concentrated, lush, opulent and showy, the licorice, smoke, spice box and array of red fruits is thrilling! The pop on the palate is followed by length and sensuality. This is showing really well today.

0 Views   Tasted 98
2015Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select  (Stags Leap District)97

Inky dark in color, the wine is massive, intensely concentrated and palate staining. There is so much weight, volume, and extract, your teeth and gums are instantly coated. Balanced between fat and opulent in texture, the flamboyant nature of the wine lets you peek inside. But based on older vintages of HSS, you should let it rest for 10 -15 years or more to get the most out of the layers of black and blue fruit, smoke, vanilla, licorice and chocolate.

414 Views   Tasted 97
1999Michel & Stéphane Ogier  (Côte-Rôtie)93

A pop and pour was all this needed to come alive. Medium-bodied and focused on its smoked cherry, thyme, olive and herb nose, you also find cool notes of barbecue, mesquite and kirsch. Sweet, ripe, fresh and silky with a nice bite of smoked ripe red fruit in the finish sealed the deal. This has probably moved just past its peak days. So if you are sitting on any bottles, you should enjoy them over the next 3-5 years.

288 Views   Tasted 93
2015Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate  (St. Helena)98

Inky in color, the lusciously textured, rich, deep, opulent, full-bodied wine coats your palate with waves of sweet, dark, juicy fruit without overwhelming it. The black cherries, chocolate, licorice, blackberry, boysenberry and vanilla in the finish really stay with you. If you dig ripe, exuberant, Napa fruit, you can easily drink it today. Else, age it for 5-7 years or more for further development. The wine was made from a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot .

1,014 Views   Tasted 98
1982Château Montrose  (St. Estèphe)91

Fully mature, earthy with loads of tobacco, smoke, leaf and spice found among the bright red fruits. Medium-bodied, soft, charming and easy to drink with zero decanting, there is just enough red fruit, cigar box and cedar chest to keep everyone happy. However, there is no reason to hold this any longer.

468 Views   Tasted 91
1986Château Léoville Las Cases  (St. Julien)96

One of the wines of the vintage, the wine is ready for drinking. That being said, regardless of how long you decant the wine. there is no avoiding the stern, hard nature of the vintage. Full-bodied, concentrated and with soaring aromatics, the wine offers up a chewy, intense, rough and ready blast of ripe cassis.

795 Views   Tasted 96
1990Château Léoville Las Cases  (St. Julien)98

This is what great, classic Bordeaux is all about! Perfectly balanced between regal and stern, the tannins are refined, the fruit is ripe and pure. Full-bodied, intense, concentrated and complex, every sniff and sip is interesting, making you want to delve deeper to the glass to find out what else is in there. This is just starting to unfurl. Drink it now, and over the next 20-25 years if well-stored.

843 Views   Tasted 98
2016Aubert Chardonnay CIX Estate Vineyard  (Sonoma Coast)97

This compelling Chardonnay is big, rich, luscious, full-bodied and intense. It's young, so, yes it's also still oaky. But once past all that vanilla and smoke, you find layers of ripe, juicy, sweet, lemon peels, flowers, assorted citrus and apples galore with a mouth-filling finish that sticks with you.

1,031 Views   Tasted 97
1989Château Lynch-Bages  (Pauillac)97

The first thing you notice is the unmistakable aroma of an unsmoked Cuban cigar, with its hint of bitter chocolate, coupled with cedar, smoke, tobacco, mint, spice, herbs and roasted blackberries. Full-bodied, concentrated, intense and firm, there is a sweetness to the fruit, a hint of green pepper and a gorgeous display of blackberries and cassis in the long finish. This is not about finesse. Instead, it is all about the fabulous, big juicy gulp of mouth-filling cassis that really hits the spot! The wine is showing great today. If you have a bottle, do not hesitate to check it out.

2,518 Views   Tasted 97
2017Château La Tour-Martillac  (Pessac-Léognan)91

Fresh, juicy, ripe, crisp, medium-bodied, with soft-textured, smoky red fruits, earth and tobacco leaf with a forward approach.

428 Views   Tasted 91