Recent Wine Tasting Notes

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Recent Wine Tasting Notes

2018 Harlan Estate  (Napa Valley) 100

With its showy nose, the wine is already displaying black cherries, blackberry, plums, flowers, baking spice, licorice, chocolate, caramel and bay leaf. Full-bodied, lush, deep, concentrated and pure, the wine seamlessly coats your palate. Even though this is incredibly weighty, it is also remarkably light on its feel. The multi-layered finish builds and expands for over 60 seconds. This is a contender for the finest vintage of Harlan Estate ever produced. Winemaker Cory Empting calls it a perfect vintage! Considering all the incredible wines that have been made here, that is really saying something.

388 Views   Tasted 100
1983 Château  (Margaux) 98

The nose is striking with aromas of lilacs and violets on full display. The wine is rich, supple, poised and polished. Full-bodied, concentrated, silky and expansive, the voluptuous finish seamlessly goes on and on. Fully mature, this is at its apogee where well-stored bottles could remain for up to another decade.

536 Views   Tasted 98
2017 Harlan Estate  (Oakville) 97

A contender for the wine of the vintage, the wine shows off its blackberry, dark cherry and blue fruit profile effortlessly. Lush, silky, opulent and fresh, the layers of fruit, chocolate, espresso, smoke, 5 spice, licorice and savory characteristics keep on going from start to finish. For Harlan Estate, this will drink well relatively early.

285 Views   Tasted 97
2016 Harlan Estate  (Oakville) 100

Packed and stacked with blackberries, boysenberry's, blueberries, smoke, orange rind, spice and fresh brewed espresso, from the initial sniff you know this is a show-stopper. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and dense, yet, with all this power, you also find balance. Every nook and cranny of your palate is coated with perfectly ripe, opulent berries. Texturally, the velvety waves of fruit hit all the right pleasure buttons again and again. The finish here keeps on going effortlessly moving from note to note. This is what great wine is all about. I seldom drink during tastings. But with this stunner, I drank every drop!

497 Views   Tasted 100
2017 Harlan Estate The Maiden  (Napa Valley) 91

Bright red fruits, a touch of smoke, tobacco, and herbs start the savory-oriented wine off. Medium-bodied, bright, fresh, and juicy, the dusty finish and earthy fruits are already showing well. This is a vintage that is ready to go.

252 Views   Tasted 91
2016 Harlan Estate The Maiden  (Napa Valley) 94

Barbecue smoke, spice and roasted plums show up easily. On the palate, the wine is soft, fruity and sweet, with ample licorice, espresso, savory black cherries and herbs to keep any taster interested.

382 Views   Tasted 94
2016 Promontory Red Wine  (Napa Valley) 100

This is what mind-blowing Cabernet Sauvignon is all about. Dark garnet in color, black and blue fruit, bay leaf, smoke, cherries, and flowers create the perfect set of aromatics. Incredibly precise, silky fruits with a purity that is almost impossible to achieve. The seamless finish crosses the 60-second mark and keeps on going with layers of red, black and blue fruit. It is impossible not to want to take another sip, to make sure what you just tasted was real, and another sip after that just so you can experience it all over again. The wine was aged for 28 months in Austrian oak foudres.

234 Views   Tasted 100
2015 Promontory Red Wine  (Napa Valley) 98

Incense, blackberry, black cherry, chocolate fudge, blue fruit, and spice come to the surface as soon as the wine hits your glass. Voluptuous, silky, refined, and fresh, the purity in the fruit stands out here. The finish has a nice spicy, savory touch which comes with dusty tannins and dark cocoa in the endnote. The wine was aged for 36 months in Austrian foudres.

411 Views   Tasted 98
2017 Promontory Red Wine  (Napa Valley) 96

Fresh, bright, crisp and juicy, there is a strong sense of crushed rocks, savory herbs, flowers and black with red fruits here on the nose and palate. There is ample tension in the fruits along with dusty tannins and lift that provides the perfect backdrop to let all the ripe fruits linger on the mid-palate and in the finish..

154 Views   Tasted 96
2017 Bond Melbury  (Napa Valley) 95

5 spice, licorice, currants, cassis, orange rind, and a background of chocolate mint create the perfume. On the palate, the wine is elegant, plush, soft, and loaded with sweet, ripe, blackberry, and cherry. You find a nice hint of chocolate and mint on top of the dark red fruits in the finish. Forward in style, this is already gorgeous to drink, though I suspect its best days are in its future.

162 Views   Tasted 95
2017 Bond Quella  (Napa Valley) 94

Spring flowers, licorice, espresso, smoke and dark red fruits create the aromatics. On the palate, the wine is soft, fresh, bright, medium-bodied and displays a savory, herbal accent to the sweet fruits. There is a nice hint of minerality in the end note that meshes well with the cocoa and licorice accents. Give this a few years in the cellar to develop more softness and complexity.

165 Views   Tasted 94
2017 Bond St. Eden  (Napa Valley) 95

Silky, soft, refined and with a gorgeous sense of purity to the fruits, the wine is built to age. There is structure here along with all the ripe fruits, smoke, tobacco and stony essences you need to keep you focused. However, this will need some time to develop before really beginning to show its stuff.

178 Views   Tasted 95
2017 Bond Vecina  (Napa Valley) 94

Reticent on the nose at the moment, the lush, opulent, silky palate is where the action is. Layers of black cherry and spicy red fruits with notes of fig and citrus along with earthy, wet forest notes all work together adding complexity. The tannins are ripe, but present, so you will want to wait at least 6-8 years before pulling a cork.

178 Views   Tasted 94
2016 Bond Melbury  (Napa Valley) 98

Dark in color, the nose pops from the glass with no effort. Smoke, licorice, wild cherries, vanilla, wild cherries, wet forest and mushroom notes demand your attention. On the palate, the wine is rich, lush, supple, and full-bodied. With its silky tannins you also enjoy espresso, dark cocoa and ripe fruits bursting with sweetness in the finish. The intensity here is matched with length, freshness and an ending that does not want to quit!

244 Views   Tasted 98
2016 Bond Pluribus  (Napa Valley) 97

Oyster shell, crushed rocks and stones, cocoa and black currants open the perfume, though it takes some effort to coax those notes out at the moment. Fresh, bright, sweet, long and with a spicy accent to the fruit, the wine finishes with a strong sense of minerality, dark chocolate and fresh, crisp red berries. Give this time, at least 7 or more years to soften and come together and it will be a much better experience.

289 Views   Tasted 97
2016 Bond Quella  (Napa Valley) 99

Spearmint, herbs, tobacco leaf, smoke, blackberries and plum aromatics are all over the place. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich, long and intense. Silk and velvet-textured fruits cascade over your palate. You cannot help but take another sip and one after that.

268 Views   Tasted 99
2016 Bond St. Eden  (Napa Valley) 98

Smoke, dark chocolate, coffee bean, black cherry and plum notes exude from the nose. Fresh, vibrant, silky, long and intense, you also find a good sense of minerality along with a gorgeous sweetness and length to the sensuous fruits. The finish feels just great as all those ripe pit fruits, dark chocolate, spice and black coffee sensations linger.

371 Views   Tasted 98
2018 Bond Vecina  (Napa Valley) 98

Smoke, flowers, peppery red fruits, cherries, and licorice are the first thing you notice. On the palate, the wine shows a beautiful sense of purity with ease. The fruit is pure silk in texture, seamlessly lingering on your palate. The only problem with wines like this is when the bottle is finished.

298 Views   Tasted 98
2017 Château d'Yquem  (Sauternes) 99

Clearly one of the great vintages of d'Yquem of all time, this stunner is off the hook from the initial sniff. Roasted apricots, overripe pineapple, vanilla, mango, marzipan and creme caramel all topped with honey keeps you focused on the wine. If that isn't enough when the wine crosses your palate, the weight, volume, intensity and richness discovered in the layers of honey-slathered tropical fruits, vanilla and apricot. What makes everything work is the razors edge of acidity that gives the wine the necessary lift. Like all great wines, you can enjoy this young, but if you have the patience, or young children to gift this to, this will be markedly better in 20 or more years.

449 Views   Tasted 99
2018 Cave de Tain Les Nobles Rives  (Crozes-Hermitage) 90

Lush, round and soft-textured, the sweet red berries show freshness and lift. Medium/full-bodied, forward and fruity, you can enjoy this relatively soon after release with just a year or two of aging.

187 Views   Tasted 90
2017 Cave de Tain Les Nobles Rives  (St. Joseph) 91

Medium-bodied, soft, fresh, bright and already expressing its smoked, roasted black cherry essence, this is going to be quite tasty within a few years of release, once the oak has become better integrated.

172 Views   Tasted 91
2018 Domaine Coursodon Le Paradis Saint-Pierre  (St. Joseph) 93

Spearmint, black pepper, olives, plums and cherries come together perfectly in the perfume. The wine has good concentration, lush textures, layers of sweet, spicy fruits and a peppery overtone that adds a lot of zing to the finish. This is a very character driven wine, and I am really liking it!

196 Views   Tasted 93
2018 Domaine Coursodon Silice  (St. Joseph) 92

Black pepper and wet earth add a lot to the ripe, chewy fruits. Richly textured, sweet and lively, the spice and freshness gives a lot of lift and staying power in the finish.

200 Views   Tasted 92
2018 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Cuvée Impériale  (Châteauneuf-du-Pape) 97

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.

630 Views   Tasted 97
2017 J. Vidal-Fleury  (St. Joseph) 90

Medium-bodied, silky, fresh, bright, energetic offering with sweet, spicy red fruits that will drink well with just a few years of aging.

256 Views   Tasted 90