Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

1995Château Sociando-Mallet  (Haut-Médoc)87

Firm, crisp, crunchy, red fruit, strict tannins and a strong note of cedar, herbs green pepper, tobacco leaf, cranberry and red plums are on the nose and palate. This is very old-school in nature, so some will like this more than I did.

19 Views   Tasted 87
2005Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley)92

Medium-bodied, and already surprisingly drinkable, the wine offers smoke, licorice, bay leaf and blackberries on the nose. The fruit is ripe, fresh and sweet, but the structure and concentration found in the best vintages of Montelena Estate are not there.

18 Views   Tasted 92
2015Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate  (Napa Valley)94

Floral, elegant, soft and dare I say, with some polish and finesse to the tannins. The fruit is ripe, sweet fresh and juicy, which is perfectly offset by touches of vanilla, espresso, forest floor and spice. For Montelena Estate, this will drink well young and should age nicely for at least 2 decades.

11 Views   Tasted 94
2016Chateau Montelena Chardonnay  (Napa Valley)90

Light, fresh, yellow citrus, green apple and lemon peel with a touch of vanilla and flowers in a ready to drink format are what you find here.

5 Views   Tasted 90
2016Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake Hill  (Spring Mountain District)92

Dark chocolate covered blackberries, licorice, vanilla and herbs hit you in the nose and on the full-bodied palate. The wine is tannic, fresh and fruit-filled, but it's going to need at least 5 years to show its best.

5 Views   Tasted 92
2016Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve  (Napa Valley)94

Forward, full-bodied, round and almost lush in its approach, you find loads of dark chocolate coated black and deep fruits, smoke, thyme and vanilla here. The wine offers potential early drinking charm. Yet it possesses enough, ripe, soft-grained tannins that it should evolve for at least 2 decades with little trouble.

2 Views   Tasted 94
2016Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Reserve  (Napa Valley)90

Already approachable with its forward, open, red and dark red fruit vinified in a soft, fresh, easy to like, medium-bodied manner. The floral accent on the nose and spicy fruit in the finish round off the otherwise oaky finish.

3 Views   Tasted 90
2017Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon  (Napa Valley)90

Medium-bodied, early-drinking, soft-textured charmer with sweet, fresh, dark red fruit, hints of bitter chocolate, flowers and spice.

8 Views   Tasted 90
2017Chappellet Chardonnay Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard  (Petaluma Gap)91

Blending tropical fruit, vanilla bean, flowers, lemon peel and orange with lifting acidity works here in this open, built for youthful drinking wine.

2 Views   Tasted 91
2016Seven Stones Cabernet Sauvignon  (St. Helena)95

Matching power with elegance, the nose, with its licorice, vanilla, blackberry and smoky, fruity personality is just great. On the palate, the wine is about its purity of dark fruit and balance, rounded out by silky tannins. This is already disarmingly easy to drink today.

11 Views   Tasted 95
2016Joseph Phelps Insignia  (Napa Valley)97

Elegant, silky, forward, fresh, clean and pure, the wine exudes class and an open character. Full-bodied, deep, but not overpowering, the texture is lush, soft and polished. Made from a blend of all 5 Bordeaux varietals, 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and, 3% Malbec, even though the wine was aged in 100% new, French oak, most of the wood has already fully integrated into the wine.

15 Views   Tasted 97
2016Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown  (Napa Valley)92

Forward, soft, lush, medium-bodied, juicy and fresh, with a nice spicy component to the ripe, red fruits, you can enjoy this young, due to its ripe tannins and open approach.

10 Views   Tasted 92
2015Moraga Vineyards Estate  (Los Angeles County)89

Medium-bodied, forward, elegant light red fruits with a nice touch of oak, earth, thyme and chocolate.

0 Views   Tasted 89
2017Moraga Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Bel-Air  (Los Angeles County)90

Crisp, fresh, juicy, yellow citrus with a touch of flowers, honey and vanilla that is ready to go.

0 Views   Tasted 90
1982Château La Conseillante  (Pomerol)95

This was the best bottle of this I've had in years. Clearly at maturity, the nose, with its blend of truffles, flowers, smoke, plums, cherry and bitter chocolate was enthralling. Medium-full bodied, with an elegant, refined character, silky, soft tanins and fresh, sweet plums with a touch of cocoa felt great and tasted even better. Pop and pour was all this beauty needed to show its best. There is no reason to continue aging for more development, as this is at the full peak of its evolution.

7 Views   Tasted 95
1982Vieux Château Certan  (Pomerol)94

Fully developed, this beauty served up the goods once it hit the glass, no decanting needed. The earthy, floral, tobacco, cherry and forest floor perfume took no effort to find. The wine had depth of flavor, just a touch of rusticity in the otherwise, round, soft, earthy, bright red fruit, and tobacco leaf-filled finish.

7 Views   Tasted 94
2015Château Bellefont-Belcier  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)93

Soft, elegant, fresh and stony, with a nice floral component, while still just a baby, it's easy to see how this is going to develop, with its wealth of fresh, ripe, sweet fruit, licorice, smoke and earthy polished nuances. By the time this hits 7-10 years of age, it's going to be in the sweet spot.

9 Views   Tasted 93
2000Château Belair (Dubois-Challon)  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)88

Medium-bodied, firm, crisp and classic, with a lean to the herbal, tobacco leaf edge in the nose, the wine is almost strict in the delivery of its fresh, bright, herbal, sharp red fruit and earthy, structured nature. Time might help, but at close to 20 years of age, it is, what it is. This is one of those old-school wines that will please some people more than others.

0 Views   Tasted 88
2006Château Marquis de Terme  (Margaux)89

Mature, easy to like and drink, the wine is medium-bodied, soft, round and with just a hint of tannins remaining, the gentle cherry fruit, wet earth, tobacco, espresso, licorice and floral charms are ready to go. This is not a wine to hold for long term development, but it is quite nice today.

0 Views   Tasted 89
1988Château Canon-la-Gaffelière  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)88

Fully mature, the wine edges in on the strict side of the style range here. The nose shoots off its tobacco, herb, truffle and bright red fruit easily. But the palate is a bit short, leaving you with soft, sharp red fruits, herbs and earthiness. At more than 30 years of age, this is not a wine for the future. If you have a bottle, drink up.

1 Views   Tasted 88
2009E. Guigal Ermitage Ex-Voto  (Hermitage)99

This is superb in every sense of the word, from start to finish! Dark, almost the color of black-purple ink, the combination of smoke, roasted black, red and blue fruits, licorice and flint in the nose only hints at what this wine will become if you can wait another decade. The wine manages to perfectly balance incredible levels of density with lift, purity of fruit and at least 60 seconds of a seamless, palate-staining, tasting experience.

0 Views   Tasted 99
2012Michel & Stéphane Ogier Cuvée Lancement  (Côte-Rôtie)95

Tightly wound, holding much of its essence in reserve, with effort, the spicy, fresh, lifted, smoky red fruits pop forward. The wine has concentration, focus and energy and a crisp, smoky, red berry finish. Time is definitely needed for the wine to soften and develop.

0 Views   Tasted 95
2010Château La Conseillante  (Pomerol)96

It is young, but it is impossible not to be enthralled with the floral, earthy, cherry, cocoa and plum filled nose. The wine has concentration, balance, elegance, length and purity. The fruit is sweet, fresh and silky. Give it a few hours of air, or 5 years and enjoy.

82 Views   Tasted 96
2010Château Pichon-Longueville Baron  (Pauillac)97

Rich, full-bodied, mouth-filling, balanced ad long. This is a beautiful Pauillac. The concentration of fruit, ripe tannins, structure to age, and freshness, paired with a gorgeous tobacco laced perfume hits all the right notes. Tasting this at close to 10 years of age is a great time to assess its potential. It might take another decade to reach full maturity, but even now, this is a future rockstar wine.

197 Views   Tasted 97
2015Château Belair-Monange  (St. Émilion Grand Cru)98

This just keeps inching up the scale. Texturally, this is incredible. Silky, opulent, and perhaps decadent, the fruit is perfectly ripe, sweet fresh and long, with a finish that seems endless. This is so good now. And my bet is, in the future, it is only going to get better and better.

118 Views   Tasted 98