Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

2018 Domaine Saint Préfert Vieilles Vignes Clairette  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 96

Rich, lush, opulent, slightly oily in texture, the wine explodes with white peach, vanilla, lemon curd, tropical fruits and honeysuckle. This is quite long, intense and leaves a big impression. Only produced in magnum, this is probably going to be better and perhaps deserving of a higher score when it matures.

70 Views   Tasted 96
2019 Domaine Saint Préfert Blanc  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 92

Creamy, slightly honeyed tropical fruits with a blast of sweet, juicy citrus, vanilla, and a touch of flowers are what you find in this blend of Roussanne and Clairette.

56 Views   Tasted 92
2018 Domaine Saint Préfert Blanc  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 91

Round, creamy white peaches, tropical fruits and lemon zest with honeysuckle and a touch of orange rind in the finish are ready to go.

60 Views   Tasted 91
2018 Domaine Isabel Ferrando F601  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 97

No F601 is not the latest supercar from Ferrari. It is the most recent offering from Isabel Ferrando. From 100% Cinsault planted in 1928, the parcel is named F601. This stunning wine offers a beautiful perfume packed with flowers, spice box, wild cherries, kirsch, underbrush, and red plums. Soft, silky, fresh, clean and pure, with spicy top notes that fit perfectly with all those sweet raspberries and kirsch notes, the wine, aged in demi-muid is going to be impossible to find as only 800 bottles were produced. Each bottle comes in its own display box, so if you find a bottle, grab it!

78 Views   Tasted 97
2014 Château La Fleur Morange  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Medium-bodied, earthy, stony, red pit fruits, licorice and cocoa scents show on the nose. Soft texturally, round and fresh, with an earthy side to its tony fruit, this is just now entering its initial stage of prime time drinking.

219 Views   Tasted 92
2018 Famille Perrin / Perrin & Fils La Gille  (Gigondas) 92

Soft textured, forward, medium-bodied and packed with sweet, ripe, peppery strawberries, kirsch and raspberries. You can enjoy this on release.

235 Views   Tasted 92
2018 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Les Claux  (Côtes du Rhône) 90

Medium-bodied, forward, early-drinking, round, soft-textured, open, black cherry and dark kirsch filled wine with nice sweetness to the pepper tinged fruits. This is fully ready to go.

203 Views   Tasted 90
2018 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils La Part des Anges  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 95

Meaty, earthy, lush, round, full-bodied, spicy and fleshy with a focus on its dark red fruits, pepper, barbecue and espresso notes. The wine is concentrated, full and deep, as well as lusciously textured and tannic. Give it 6-8 years in the cellar and this could be even better. With its blend of 70% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache and 10% Syrah, this should age quite nicely.

237 Views   Tasted 95
2018 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Cuvée Impériale  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 96

From vines close to 120 years of age, the old-vine intensity shines through here, loud and clear. Concentrated, lush, rich and floral, the beautiful, ripe kirsch notes shine on the nose. Silky and rich on the palate, the finish, with its fresh, sweet cherries, strawberry and kirsch go on and on. The fruit displays good purity and vibrancy.

390 Views   Tasted 96
2018 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 92

Floral, fresh and forward, with a juicy, fresh, bright red fruit character on the nose and mouth. You can enjoy this on release for its open, juicy red cherry charm and medium-bodied, silky textures.

288 Views   Tasted 92
2018 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils La Creation  (Vin de France) 91

Sold as a Vin de France because the grapes come from separate appellations, Chateauneuf du Pape and Lirac, this early drinking, personality-driven charmer offers up a blast of richly-textured black cherries, plums and herbs as soon as the wine hits your glass. Round and fruity with good weight and texture, this is already just great to drink.

304 Views   Tasted 91
2018 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Blanc Pure Roussanne  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 92

Rich, oily textured and loaded with creamy pineapples, white peach, flowers and vanilla, give the wine a few years in the cellar to allow the oak to better integrate.

391 Views   Tasted 92
2018 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Les Hauts Lieux  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 96

Meaty, deep, dark, rich and concentrated, the wine is lush, spicy, intense, long, complex and finishes with peppery, fresh, red fruits, olives and herbs that feel just great on your palate and in the long finish.

252 Views   Tasted 96
2018 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Les Trois Sources  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 94

Spicy, fresh, sweet, ripe red fruits, herbs, thyme, flowers and pepper open the medium-bodied, kirsch packed wine. The soft, inviting palate delivers ripe, red cherries, kirsch and spicy black raspberries from start to finish. This will be just great on release and should deliver the goods for at least decade or longer.

244 Views   Tasted 94
2018 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Reserve  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 98

A great success in any vintage, but a marvel in a difficult year, this superb wine offers a deep, dark, red hue. The perfume, with its blend of flowers, licorice, garrigue, spices, cherries and plums is gorgeous. Richly textured, concentrated, long and with depth and complexity, the lusciously textured finish lingers on your palate. Give it 3-5 years of aging and it will be even better!

225 Views   Tasted 98
1998 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave  (Hermitage) 94

Meaty, full-bodied, concentrated and stuffed with rocks, stone, black pepper, iron, wild cherries, grilled meat and red berries, the wine feels youthful. The tannins are still noticeable. Better on the nose than the slightly rustic palate, this is a good Chave in an old-school style.

608 Views   Tasted 94
1998 Château La Fleur-Pétrus  (Pomerol) 97

Everything you want in a developed Pomerol is here. Rich, opulent, silky and luscious in texture, the ripe, sweet, fleshy, dark juicy plums, cherries, chocolate and truffle show on the nose and palate. The finish wraps everything else up perfectly, which is what you want, because this treat is not something you want to let go of. This is drinking just great today, and it could improve. There is no need for decanting here, just pop and pour.

439 Views   Tasted 97
2000 Château Le Bon Pasteur  (Pomerol) 93

Fully mature, this beauty needs no air to get it going. Pop, pour and dig easily into all the rich, lush, ripe, black cherries, licorice, cocoa and wet, earth on the nose, followed by the soft, silky-textured, chocolate-covered plum-packed finish.

520 Views   Tasted 93
1973 Ridge Zinfandel Monte Bello  (Santa Cruz Mountains) 83

Red tea in color, the wine is medium-bodied, with a peppery, cherry core of fruits on the nose and palate. Not a bad wine, just not much left in the tank.

412 Views   Tasted 83
1974 Ridge Petite Sirah York Creek  (Spring Mountain District) 65

Blind, I would swear it was an Amarone with its overripe, raisin character. This might be of historical interest to some, and if that style of aged Petit Syrah is your thing, you might like it more than I did. But one sniff and sip was all I needed, or could take.

538 Views   Tasted 65
2000 Château La Fleur-Pétrus  (Pomerol) 93

A beautiful nose with its truffle, flower, dark plum, cedar and tobacco leaf aromatics. Lush, round and sultry on the palate with good weight and freshness. The finish shows off lots of ripe black cherry, plum, cocoa and strong green herb and pepper component. Some will like the older-school approach here, but it is mildly intrusive in my book. Not enough to deter me from drinking it, but enough to notice it.

700 Views   Tasted 93
2000 Château Palmer  (Margaux) 95

It took 2 hours of air before the wine softened, opened and displayed its concentrated, silky, fresh, elegant, plum, cherry, tobacco, floral, earth and cigar box character. Concentrated, full-bodied and probably a slightly firmer, regal style of Palmer seems to be forming here. Give it another 5 years and we will know for sure.

1,037 Views   Tasted 95
1964 Château Canon  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

A beautiful wine in every way, the nose with its earth, tobacco, cigar box, spice, plum, cherry and cherry perfume hit all the right notes. But it was the palate, with its silky textures, fresh, sweet, ripe, soft red plums and rocks that sealed the deal. Well-stored examples of this are worth seeking out at auction today.

505 Views   Tasted 94
1996 Château Mouton Rothschild  (Pauillac) 95

A good, but not great vintage for Mouton Rothschild in a year where they should have shined, as you do not find the weight and density experienced in the top wines of the vintage. Still, there is a lot to like here. There is a ripeness to the tannins and fruit giving you layers of juicy, fresh, creme de cassis, tobacco, earth, spice and cigar box. It is starting to drink well-well now, so if you pop a cork, give it an hour or two of air and it will provide a beautiful night of wine.

1,238 Views   Tasted 95
1995 Château Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 96

I like how this continues developing. One of the top wines of the vintage, as it is able to overcome the strong tannic overbite found in many wines, here you find a glorious smoke, crushed rock, leaf, cassis and dark red berry nose. The tannins are subdued, the wine shows a refined, elegant character with a smoky, red berry filled finish. This can be enjoyed now with only an hour or so of decanting. Else, wait another 5 years and it will more nuances on the nose and palate.

1,073 Views   Tasted 96