Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

  1. 2001 Château Lascombes ( Margaux)

    1. Fully ready for prime time the wine is soft, round and on the floral, earthy, black cherry side of the style range. Not at all over oaked, as you find in numerous, subsequent vintages, the wine is medium/full bodied, delivering freshness and ripe, earthy, red fruits in the finish.

      90 points - Tasted
  2. 2010 Château Rauzan-Gassies ( Margaux)

    1. Medium bodied, with a cherry, tobacco tinged, floral nose. Soft, but with firm tannins, and a finish that is about its red berry freshness, more time is still required here, for this to come together.

      89 points - Tasted
  3. 1996 Château Brane-Cantenac ( Margaux)

    1. Fully mature, elegant in style, medium bodied, and slightly more focused on the perfume, with its blend of tobacco, cigar box, cherries, flowers and herbs. The strong floral and herb character comes from the large amount of Cabernet Franc in the blend. There is some dryness in the finish, but the nose is so pretty and ripe has ripeness, I gloss over that. But that issue will increase with more cellaring as the fruit fades. There is no reason to age this wine any longer. The wine was produced from blending 47.6% Merlot , 35.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Cabernet Franc.

      90 points - Tasted
  4. 1985 Château Langoa Barton ( St. Julien)

    1. Quite the classic charmer, with its cedar, tobacco, spice and sharp red fruit nose. Medium bodied and quite fresh, but not overly acidic on the palate, age has added a lot of nuance to the wine. Perfect with a late summer grilled fare.

      90 points - Tasted
  5. 2000 Château Lynch-Moussas ( Pauillac)

    1. Fully mature, medium bodied, correct Pauillac, with ample cedar, tobacco, cigar box, herbs and bright, crisp, red fruit. A little austere, but fun, this is probably at peak today.

      88 points - Tasted
  6. 2008 Château Croizet-Bages ( Pauillac)

    1. Better on the nose, with its cedar, tobacco, and sharp, red berry profile, than on the palate. Medium bodied, with a bright, crisp, red fruit character, the wine manages to be strict and short. This is what my old school British friends would have called four square.

      84 points - Tasted
  7. 2008 Château Cos Labory ( St. Estèphe)

    1. Medium bodied, with bright, crisp, red fruits that are followed by stern, rustic tannins. The wine is better on the earthy, spicy, cedar and tobacco nose, but not by much.

      84 points - Tasted
  8. 2003 Château de Pez ( St. Estèphe)

    1. Fully mature, there is a voluptuous character to the earthy, dark, red fruits, with touches of wet earth, tobacco, thyme and spice. Medium/full bodied, with round textures, freshness and a nice feeling in the, deep red, berry finish, there is no reason for further aging.

      90 points - Tasted
  9. 1926 Château Beychevelle ( St. Julien)

    1. Ruby tea in color, with a stunning nose, showing off its dried leaves cedar, tobacco, tea, smoke, tobacco, forest floor, cigar wrapper and cherry scented perfume with ease. Medium bodied, and almost light in weight, the spicy, tobacco stained red fruits still offered some sweetness with a shot of freshness to keep things honest. This bottle had not moved from the cellars since it produced, which I am sure helped it retain its character over the years.

      93 points - Tasted
  10. 2008 Château Batailley ( Pauillac)

    1. Young, as you would expect, the wine is solidly built, with crisp, red, bright, but still juicy, fruits. Medium/full bodied, with hints of secondary nuances starting to pop out, the finish offers classically styled, bright, red berries, pepper and cassis. Give it another 5 years or so. The wine was made from a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc.

      91 points - Tasted
  11. 2014 Harlan Estate The Maiden ( Napa Valley)

    1. Opulent, lush, round, juicy, spicy, dark fruits hit the spot. Blackberries meld with black cherries, licorice, espresso and earth, to create the aromatics. Open and forward, this will rock on release.

      93 points - Tasted
  12. 1989 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) ( St. Julien)

    1. With a strict leaning, the wine is better on the cedar, leaf, tobacco, wet earth and peppery, red berry nose, than on the austere palate. Fans of older, classic vintage will probably enjoy this more than I did.

      87 points - Tasted
  13. 2014 Harlan Estate ( Oakville)

    1. An early drinking vintage of Harlan, say it isn't so! Most vintages of Harlan demand cellaring time, as if it was its right to do so. But the 2014 is deceptively easy to drink, almost forward in style. Powerful, with strong tannins and even more fruit, which due to its velvety textures and graceful style, overwhelms the tannins. The fruits are as dark in color as the wine, but there are cracks and crevices where, dark red, smoky berries, wet earth, cigar wrapper and spice poke through. The wine sticks with you from the first sniff, through the palate entry and doesn't leave for up to 50 seconds, after the finish.

      97 points - Tasted
  14. 2015 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Le Nouveau Western Star Vineyard ( Rutherford)

    1. Lush, juicy, ripe, sweet fruits, silky, soft tannins, licorice, smoke and earthy black cherries are come to the party. Full bodied, concentrated, fleshy, soft, polished and long, this is already easy and fun to taste.

      94 points - Tasted
  15. 2016 Pott Wine Viognier 20m3 Stagecoach Vineyard Pritchard Hill ( Napa Valley)

    1. With a bright yellow and hay colored hue, there is freshness, length, minerality and blast of yellow citrus, white peach and ripe, sweet honeydew melon. Aged entirely in terra cotta for 10 months, the wine leaves you with just squeezed citrus, white peach and freshness.

      92 points - Tasted
  16. 2015 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Actaeon Quixote Vineyard ( Stags Leap District)

    1. Fresh squeezed boysenberry and cherries pop as soon as the wine hits the glass. Toss in a some thyme and a hint of chocolate and you have the blend for the perfume. Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is finesse in style, with elegant tannins and sweet, ripe fruits from start to finish.

      92 points - Tasted
  17. 2015 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Kaliholmanok ( Spring Mountain District)

    1. Musty earth and espresso, with a pure, black cherry core of fruit is at the hear of this wine. Mountain fruit, flowers and a gentle softness to the tannins makes an interesting combination. From there, you also find ripe, smoke, black and blue fruits, concentration of flavor, energy and elegant tannins. In 2015, here, you find more balance than density, making this that lets this be fun to taste early in the life.

      92 points - Tasted
  18. 2015 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Her Majesty's Secret Service Stagecoach Vineyard ( Napa Valley)

    1. Boysenberry, hints of dark cocoa, earth and just a bit of truffle kick things off. But the petal hits the metal in this medium/full bodied, forward, structured wine with the elegant combination of present, but polished tannins and pure, fresh fruits on the palate and in the finish. You can drink this early for pleasure or age it a few years.

      95 points - Tasted
  19. 2013 Alpha Omega Chardonnay ( Napa Valley)

    1. Buttery, rich, and round, with sweet pears, apple, pineapple and vanilla bean, the wine is all about its sweet, pleasure and freshness interplay. This is a wine of pleasure for immediate gratification. It is not a wine I would lay down and forget about.

      90 points - Tasted
  20. 2013 Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras ( St. Helena)

    1. Inky in color, the black cherry liqueur really stands out in the nose. Opulent, rich, dense and full bodied, this is such a turn on to taste, The multiple layers of fruit coat your mouth and palate. The wine was made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

      95 points - Tasted
  21. 2013 Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard ( St. Helena)

    1. Smoke, lead pencil, dark, red fruits and spice, this is not an upfront wine. It's going to take time and at least 5 years of patience before everything comes fully together. But when you unwrap all those layers of perfectly ripe, dark fruits, spice, earth and cigar box, you'll be happy you waited. The wine feels as good as it tastes, and reinforces that it wants a little nap before popping a cork. The wine was produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

      97 points - Tasted
  22. 2013 Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard ( Rutherford)

    1. Luscious in texture, dark in color, and loaded with ripe, deep, dark, black fruits are complicated by a slight citrus note in the background. There is sweetness, concentration and intensity. The round tannins, freshness and ripe fruits create a wine with a solid depth of flavor that can be popped young, or aged for secondary nuances.

      94 points - Tasted
  23. 2013 Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard ( Oakville)

    1. Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the juicy, dark, red fruits are right out in front. Full bodied and concentrated, the tannins are soft, there is a freshness to fruit that gives this energy. The black and blue fruit, licorice and black cherry profile, already stands out here. While delicious today, this is only going to get better from here.

      96 points - Tasted
  24. 2013 Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon Sunshine Valley ( Napa Valley)

    1. Forward, full bodied, concentrated, soft and polished, there is a wealth of ripe, dark, red fruits, licorice, vanilla and smoke going on here. Round in texture and already charming, if you've been thinking about popping a cork, why not?

      93 points - Tasted
  25. 2013 Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard ( Napa Valley)

    1. Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the first thing that gets your attention is the black as night color. The cassis and floral notes open things up before you hit all the earthy, blackberry, blueberry, cigar box, licorice and charcoal aromatics. On the palate, the wine combines elegance with powerful, freshness with length and purity, silky tannins and a massive wall of fruit in the finish.

      97 points - Tasted