Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

2017Clos de Boüard  (Montagne-St. Émilion)91

Gracefully forward, subdued yet seductive, prepare for gradations of chocolate-covered plums, mint and licorice from start to finish. The wine will blossom on your palate and finish with a warm blast of cocoa and plum. Due the frost only 20% of the typical volume was produced.

0 Views   Tasted 91
2017Le Dame de Boüard  (Montagne-St. Émilion)87

On the bright side of the Merlot range, the perfectly juicy red plums offer a hint of citrus and chocolate-mint to get things going. Medium bodied and subtle with handmade chocolate-covered cherries on the palate, this second wine of Clos de Bouard was produced from 100% Merlot and will be great in its near term youth.

0 Views   Tasted 87
1928Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru)  (St. Julien)95

This was stunning! Blind, I am sure I would have guessed it was from the 50's or probably 1961. There was volume, density, length and vivacity. The fruit was all dark berries. The nose offered everything from rootbeer, to forest floor, cedar wood, smoke, ash, dark red berries, truffle and cigar box. Every sip was better than expected. The wine remained at a high level for at least an hour in the glass. This was from the chateau, so your experience might not mirror this, but this bottle was a stunner!

1005 Views   Tasted 95
2009Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande  (Pauillac)95

With 30 minutes in the decanter, this was pure silk. The dark red fruits were supple, the finish felt as good as it tasted. This was incredibly easy to drink. While you can enjoy it today, we did, the wine will only get better with another 5-7 years in the cellar. I'm waiting on my bottles.

946 Views   Tasted 95
2009Château La Fleur-Pétrus  (Pomerol)98

This just keeps getting better and better. Splash decanted, this was a rockstar from the start. But 30 minutes later and it was really off to the races. The decadent texture is a show stopper. The fruit is polished velvet. There is a purity and symmetry to the wine that is impossible to miss. As it developed, notes of lilac, violets and chocolate emerged. And as hard as it is to believe, the wine gained in opulence. If you are a fan of Pomerol at its most decadent, and if you have the coin to spare, this is a future legend waiting in the wings.

945 Views   Tasted 98
2004Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes)93

A nice Sauternes, but not am impressive d'Yquem. The wine is more expressive on the butterscotch, orange and semi tropical, honeyed nose, than on the palate, where you have all the acidity from a great year, without enough of the flesh and sweetness.

1308 Views   Tasted 93
2000Château La Fleur de Boüard Le Plus  (Lalande de Pomerol)96

Wow, this has really stepped up its game. The wine is lush, plush rich and sexy. The fruit has gained in weight and intensity over the years, the oak has completely faded away. This is drinking in the sweet spot today.

922 Views   Tasted 96
1990Château Angélus  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)97

The truffle, floral, wet earth, cherry, licorice and plummy aromatics are off the hook. But it is the concentration, silky textures, length and complexity that stop the show. This is fully mature. There is no real hurry to open a bottle, but there is not much to be gained from holding on to this beauty either.

1251 Views   Tasted 97
2010Château Malartic-Lagravière Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan)94

The wine has picked up steam, dropped some of its youthful ok trappings and offers more invigorating, lemon, lime, pomelo and floral sensations. Rich in texture, yet with an equal amount of lift, this is really good in your glass today.

798 Views   Tasted 94
2005Château Malartic-Lagravière  (Pessac-Léognan)93

At 13, this is still youthful, but it is developing well. The oak, which has been more noticeable, has been receding. The wine is fleshy, fresh and offers its lush, round, ripe, dark fruits, licorice and earthy nuances with ease. The wine continued improving in the glass for several hours, so this should age well.

1119 Views   Tasted 93
2009Château Gazin Rocquencourt  (Pessac-Léognan)89

This is probably fully developed, so drinking it now, is the right thing to do. The wine is soft, open and silky, with ripe red fruits, licorice, and a hint of chocolate. It is a solid wine of pleasure, but not a wine to wait for further development.

815 Views   Tasted 89
1988Château La Mission Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan)91

Better on the nose, with its array of smoke, tar, wet earth, cedar, cassis, tobacco and cherry tones, than on the full bodied palate, which is on the strict, old school, stern side of the style range. Time can heal, but it won't fix everything here. At 30 years of age, it is what it is.

1079 Views   Tasted 91
1998Château La Mission Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan)97

This is a future stunner in the making. It is full bodied, concentrated, long, intense and complex. It has the stuffing to age for decades along with the length, complexity and character to be worth the wait. If you have the patience, this is going to reward cellaring.

1793 Views   Tasted 97
2008Château Laville Haut-Brion Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan)95

Just a knock wine that has everything an aged white Bordeaux needs. It is rich, full bodied, long, complex and loaded with perfectly ripe, yellow citrus, rocks, stones and just a hint of honey. It offers the right balance of dry sweetness and racy acidity. This should age for at least another 20 more years, or longer!

917 Views   Tasted 95
2009Château Smith Haut Lafitte  (Pessac-Léognan)98

This is becoming compelling, now that the wine has dropped most of its baby fat. It also continues adding complexity, softness and secondary nuances. Silky, lush and polished, the velvet tannins are the perfect backing for the smoky, dark, ripe berries, licorice and earthy scents. The wine is long, which is a good thing, as it feels just great on your palate.

2235 Views   Tasted 98
2014Domaine des Sénéchaux  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)90

On the nose you find black cherry, pepper and herbs with little effort. Medium bodied, fresh, sweet, soft and forward, the wine is already easy to drink. It is nice in flavor and round in texture, but it’s a bit short in the fruity finish.

937 Views   Tasted 90
1996Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste  (Pauillac)94

Even at 22 years of age, this needs either another 5 years in the cellar, or 2 hours in the decanter before the cassis, cedar chest, burnt wood, cherry and tobacco notes emerge. The wine is full bodied, concentrated, masculine and a bit stern. There is also there is a muscular, refined quality ti the tannins that is hard to miss. This is a super example, of a textbook Pauillac wine. With luck, I will hold on to my last few bottles for another decade or so. I would not be surprised to see this drinking well at 40 years of age.

2542 Views   Tasted 94
1995Château Brane-Cantenac  (Margaux)91

Medium bodied, quite soft and silky, with almost, but not quite high pitched fruits. The freshness works here, with all the gentle tannins, strong floral, earthy, tobacco notes and sweet, red cherry and red plum in the finish. This is probably at peak, where it will remain for at least another 10-15 more years, if well stored.

951 Views   Tasted 91
1997Château Suduiraut  (Sauternes)90

Looking older than its true age, and lacking the weight and depth found in the best vintages here, the wine leans to the orange, tangerine, mango and apricot side. There is a lot of freshness, as well as already present secondary notes of butterscotch, orange rind, nuts and honey.

1238 Views   Tasted 90
1989Château La Conseillante  (Pomerol)96

Fully mature, at most, a splash decant is all that's needed to bring out the silky textures and floral, sweet, cherry and truffle essences. This is all about the finesse, purity of the fruits and the incredible silky textures on the palate and in the finish.

1217 Views   Tasted 96
2004Château L'Eglise-Clinet  (Pomerol)93

Still young, the wine has richness, soft tannins, concentration and a nose that combines that combines figs, black cherry, chocolate, truffle and hints of mint. On the backend, you do find a touch of olives and herbs that somewhat mar the wine, but I found more than enough fruit that I was happy with the wine in my glass. About 45 minutes to 1 hour in the decanter adds more softness, while bringing out the complexities in the wine.

1107 Views   Tasted 93
1989Château Calon-Ségur  (St. Estèphe)88

Definitely starting its slow fade, the wine is a solid example of rustic, old school Bordeaux wine. It has a rusticity to it, with bright red fruits, hints of cranberry, herbs, leaf, tobacco, cedar and green olives. The tannins are dry in the finish. The wine requires drinking.

1077 Views   Tasted 88
1999Château Montrose  (St. Estèphe)90

Bright, fresh, crisp and ready to go, this has a lot of weight and density for the vintage. The wine is medium/full bodied, with a focus on red fruits, cedar, tobacco, wet earth, smoke, cigar wrapper and spiced cherries. There is some leafy notes, herbs and crunchy, red fruits in the finish, as you'd expect with a cool vintage. You can drink this is now, or give it a couple more years, but I am not sure there is much if anything to be gained by waiting.

1151 Views   Tasted 90
1989Château Langoa Barton  (St. Julien)87

Stern, rough, rustic, austere, old school styled wine with more cranberry than cassis, with a lean to the cedar, herbal, bright, acidic, peppery side as well. Tasters with a strong affinity for how things were, in the early 29th century will like this more than I did.

971 Views   Tasted 87
1994Château La Mission Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan)90

Fully mature, this has morphed into an elegant, soft, refined, lighter style of La Mission Haut Brion. Everything has moved to the subtle side. The wine is not overly complex, but the sweet notes of cassis, cherry and cigar wrapper were there, just to a lighter degree. The tannins have completely melted away. The soft finish is on the short side. The wine is now, disarmingly easy to drink. If you have any of this in your cellar, you need to be popping those corks, before the remaining fruit fades away. Pop and pour, or a short, 20 minute decant is all this needs.

1134 Views   Tasted 90