Plan: There is no plan.
05 Reverdy Sancerre La Coute $20
Crisp, limestone. Plenty of acid (too much maybe). Finish tart but maintains grip throughout. What separates these from crap Sauvignon Blancs is that you can chew/swish/chew for as long as you want (which is one minute). The wine continues to release and give without becoming a pool of useless spit and juice. (cost $16, worth $20)
05 S. Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Les Pentes $20
Plenty of acid. crisp. Hint of diesel, though, which carries through the finish, which at the moment is fine (intriguing even; perhaps this is what they mean by Pouilly-Fumé having something a little more than Sancerre), but which I fear someday, could mutate into evil. (cost $20, worth $16)
96 Bourgeois Sancerre $17
Very nice. Easily worth $22
03 Barthod Les Bon Batons $30
Wow, really good fruit. Nice. Totally worth the $30. Would say a lot more except the finish gives hint of thinness wherein the tannins show stronger than the fruit. This (and I agree with Rovani here) would portend a short life. but wow it does taste really good. which is saying a lot in this price point.
97 Loosen UW MSR $23
Wonderful, medium-bodied MSR. Classic MSR nose and flavor. Gentle, crisp, good acidity level. Fine now, but I wonder how long it could have gone? $23 / worth $30
96 Champault – Prestige du Colombier – red Sancerre
amount of berry for
great burst of fruit. great extraction. chewable almost like a Brunello. only flaw is a somewhat harsh/abrupt finish. but is that why we buy RdMs? Could have stayed at least this good another 5+ years. (Cost $22/Worth $30)
Nice early fruit (some hint at a magnificent brown fruit VdT), but the finish is unfortunately astringent. Might get a little better with a few more years or even the trick of opening, recorking immediately then having it the next day. That might help. (cost $60, worth $35)
Sweeter than I remembered. Interesting, weird. A science project finish.
90 Clerc Milon
Smooth. Same lead pencil mild berry as before. But so balanced. So enjoyable. If I could have this balance and more fruit, I’d pay big money.
93 Rene Engel Les Brulées
95 Chapoutier Sizeranne Hermitage
Nice nose. Good flavor. Could probably still improve another several years.
95 Barthod CM Fuées $46 [RP 88-90, 2003-2010] 2007
Okay. Fine. Needs to breath 30 mins. Could try between now and a few years?
88 Amarone – still very tight (tannic) – great but try again in 5+
93 Cathiard VR Malconsorts
Tannins need another couple years but fruit is on the down side (thin). Flavor seems only okay for that matter. I didn’t have when younger but suspect it should never have cost more than $30. (cost $43).
93 Bichot VR Clos Frantin Malconsorts $42
(compare from 5 yrs ago). Tannins tough. Still some fruit there. Oops. I should have waiting another few years. Might have at least provided a mellower and better drink. I don’t think it would have been great. But still. I might have waiting another 3-5 years.
1990 Il Greppone Mazzi
Brunello di Montalcino
Il Greppone Mazzi
Sangiovese Grosso (a dry red table wine)
A simple, one-dimensional Brunello di Montalcino, this medium-bodied, moderately concentrated wine exhibits hard tannin in the finish. There is not enough sweet, ripe fruit to balance out the wine's astringency. More intensity, fat, and fruit extraction is warranted if this wine is to carry its structure and tannin without drying out.
Parker (was) basically right. The wine is too astringent, out of balance, and a bit too acidic as well. But at 16 years age, the tannins have mellowed somewhat, and although I would not serve this wine to anyone else, I certainly can take guilty pleasure in its strong Sangiovese Grosso flavor. The flavor is there. And the experience (while harsh), is still much more interesting (to me) than any $10-20 monolithic non-European swill.
95 La Palazzola Merlot [2GR] $33 [RP 90, 2001-2017]
Good. strong tannins. Medium, deep merlot-Italian style fruit. Hold another 3-5 yrs
98 Gigondas Cayron
Extremely earthy “Gigondas” (for lack of a better term) flavor. If you like that flavor (and you’d know what I’m talking about if you did), then you’re in business. Wait another 5-10 years probably because this wine still has a strong concentration fruit and tannins. $18 Worth (if you like the flavor and hit it in the window, then worth $28; otherwise, $18)
90 Guigal $50 (refer to previous note – same mosquitoed bottled)
Still so good.
2003 Gevrey-Chambertin, Perrot-Minot $48
Pretty darned good. I’d say drinking right in the window. Golden. Rich. Good. Medium bodied. Not too sweet or cloying. Cost $19 (worth $25)
96 Schleret Riesling
Sour. Disgusting. Paint. Almost undrinkable. $16 (worth $0)
96 Schoffit Riesling Harth
Same as the above Schleret. And look. It wasn’t me. These are some warped ones. $17 (worth $0)
Very tannic. Flavor okay. But hard to really tell. No reason to think it will either become great or not for that matter. Just too rough today. Cost $40 (worth ?).
93 NSG Faiveley – fruit still holding up – but out of balance a bit toward tannins – finish just too tannicy still – doubt will ever reach balance. Enjoyable experience but could have probably done better for price. $38
96 Joguet Chinon Rouge Les Varennes Du Grand Close
Pretty good. Not too sour or vegetal. Solid flavor. Typical Chinon Rouge. The inherent flavor of the grape prevents extreme exhilaration or exaltation. But Joguet really can construct a wine. Could last several more years, actually, and I suspect if you could catch this in just the right window, the tannins would be mellowed and what fruit would be there would be there. And this would be worth a few more dollars than it costs. $27 (worth $29-35)
96 Joguet Chinon Rouge Clos de la Dioterie
96 Schoffit Riesling Harth
Intriguing and not too bad flavor (better than previous). Only just slightly acidic, but not unpleasantly so. Finish is…interesting. Awkward, but not unpleasantly so. Worth $12 (cost $16).
04 Pascal Cotat Sancerre La Grande Cote Vignoble a Chavignol $40 [WV]
01 Lingenfelder Scheurebe Spatlese Freinsheimer Goldberg
Finish still a vague hint of grapefruit (for me). But the middle flavor is better than I remember from before. Pfalz not bad. Pfalz good. 6/06 $21 (worth $20)
03 Domaine Roger Sabon Châteauneuf du Pape les Olivets
Wine Advocate #163 (Feb 2006)
The 2003 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Olivets has a dark
plum/garnet color and a big, sweet, spicy, earthy nose with hints of Provencal
herbs, tapenade, pepper, and spicy black cherries and currants. It is soft,
round, and ideal for drinking over the next 6-7 years. Rating: 88 points
Wine Advocate #156 (Dec 2004)
The 2003 Châteauneuf du Pape Les Olivets
performed beautifully in this vintage. A classic Provencal red, it offers a
dark ruby/garnet color as well as peppery notes of garrigue, new saddle
leather, black cherries, plums, and figs, medium to full body, a supple
texture, and loads of glycerin and fruit. This seductive effort can be drunk
upon release or cellared for 7-10 years.
Rating: (89-91) Drink 2004-2014
I would agree with these comments.
01 Carmignano Ambra San Cristina in Pilli $22
Tasty. Fine. Not bad or overly out of balance. Fruit thins a little on late palate, but that’s fine at this price.
The 2001 Carmignano Santa Cristina in Pilli, a dark garnet, has a vigorous, and peppery nose of red and black berries, and an attractive medium weight on the palate with good freshness and balance on the finish. Drink: 2005-2010.
My lord I could not possibly agree more with these comments.
02 Joguet Chinon Rouge
after opening, that characteristic Chinon Rouge flavor, which is somewhere
between vegetal and unripe cherry, which can only do so much for me.. But after breathing 30 mins, the flavor shifts
more toward fruit and away from vegetal, which again, can only do so much for me, but that’s more than the
previous so much, but still. Finish
is short, but no negatives, unless you call the faintly sour Chinon Rouge
flavor a slight negative. Would drink now, but may improve just slightly over
next five years. Somehow I just don’t see a
00 Deiss PG $30 [RP 91, 2004-2012]
Very sweet. Nose has that slightly narshty chemical smell I’ve seen a few times from various Alsatians (both Riesling and PG). This chemical X does carry through into the main flavor, although it’s not unpalatable. Also, it’s hard to fully appreciate the PG character once you get to this sweetness level (which is not quite dessert-level, but definitely in VT territory). Late palate thins and falls off a bit. Basically, this wine is okay, but I wouldn’t pay > $22 for it. (cost $30) It’s also too acidic.
02 Egon-Müller MSR $30 K
All’s I can remember is it was good. Probably worth the $30, or I figure I’d remember that.
03 Dönnhoff (Nahe) $30 S
I’m sure it was the same as previous, which was good, solid, impressive white fruit.
a little grapefruity for me – but this is amazing solid concentration for a German Spatlese. Really amazing. more concentrated that a Prum auslesen. Just the flavor itself leaning slightly toward grapefruit rather than apple/pear will be its limitation. The wine is structured nicely with thick, chewy tannins and a backbone which I’m sure will age easily 15-20+ yrs. If it tastes good to you, then this wine is perfect for you. finish is tart, lingers.
Good tartly acids – good dry grip to counter what is a rather round/full mouthfeel
95 Clerc Milon
Tannins so harsh that I couldn’t even discern the flavor, which didn’t seem to great either. Wow. What the? Can time help this wine?
>Had the 95 Clerc Milon other day. Just a
nasty wall of tannins. Fruit may have been okay, but >tannins so nasty. Reminded me of the cheap $20 01 Muga Rioja
even. Will try again in 8-10 yrs >maybe but as is, very concerned and makes
me wish I could barrel taste
>I have no excuses. I bought four goddamn bottles of that 95
Clerc Milon even though it was only >89+ rated by Parker because that was
when I was just starting to buy wine and it was the only >seemingly decent
>But then if 10 yrs from now it does become decent, then that too will be yet more lesson. The >question of whether a wine with nasty tannins which is so bad you don’t even want to drink it—>can become good later? Is this going to be like the pepper issue in N. Rhone? Will only time >tell? Damn. Life is going to be over just when I finally begin to understand wine.
96 Hudelot-Noellat Les Suchots
Standard burg nose. Seemed to get better for about 45 mins then turned.. I think this might drink better at some point over next 3-5 years, but I have no idea. Today I feel lost with red burgundy. 1/06 re-tasted 7/06 (still seems tough; try again 2-3 years, or it may never be good anyway)
95 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Great brown Italian flavor. Very chewy. Medium long enjoyable finish. Only ever-so slightly awkward balance (but not more can be expected for an Italian brown-fruiter). Would say drink now through at least 5 more years, and will probably get even better as it mellows toward peak drinking.
Pretty good concentration of fruit. Very Bordeaux-style, in my opinion. Still tight and backward. But opens up > 30-60 mins. Should clearly improve over next 5-10 years. Very promising. 1/06
“About 200 cases were made of the 1996 Pin (89+), a proprietary red wine blend of 50% Nebbiolo, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Barbera. The color is a saturated black/purple, and the wine tannic and backward, made in a Medoc-like style. Although rich, it was closed, and revealing too much oak to merit an outstanding score (it was brought up in 100% new oak casks).” – Wine Advocate
90 Produttori di Barbaresco – Ovello (see others)
Same as previous. It’s like time has stood still for this wine. Lots of fruit, astringent tannins. +/- worth the price/effort.
95 Chap Sizeranne
Tight, but good. would drink again in 2-3 years and expect it to improve over 7-10+. Strong dirty violet flavor we expect from Syrah. Still a hint of cinnamon/pepper but moving more toward the pure violet flavor at this point.
96 Schoffit Riesling Harth
What happened to this bottle? Some terrible accident? Flavor somehow warped like a really f’d up Marsanne kind of. Bad.
95 Kerpen Auslese
Standard MSR Auslese. Pretty much what you expect from a $30 Auslese. Just I’m not sure I care that much about $30 Auslese anymore.
04 KG Weil Spatlese
“Impertinent,” said one wine reviewer’s father. I agree. No idea what this wine is going to do over time, or why the Wine Advocate made it cost $47, but I have another. And let’s just leave it at that. Also, Robert Weil’s bottles are just beautiful. And we all know it.
96 Vogue CM Premier Cru
Maybe still closed. Try again in 2-3 years.
89 Monpertuis CDP
Amazingly, this wine is still backward, and somewhat earthy. Remains promising. Try again in 4-5 years.
02 Cristoffel 2 star
95 Prum GKA
Just like I remember the 90 Prum Auslese. Not sure where the G comes in, but you could probably tell the difference if you had side by side with the regular auslese. Anyway, this will age gracefully for some time I expect.
02 Weil Auslese KG
Just like KG spatlese only 2x or maybe 3x concentration. Moving toward syrup. What this wine will do over time? I have no clue.
95 Ambra Carmignano
Awkward, but not plainly bad. Could be going through awkward phase? I really don’t know but will try again in 5-7 years.
04 Leitz Magdelenkreuz (Rheingau)
Solid Rheingau punch (more like a good jab). Great balance at this price. Finish not as strong as, say, a more pricey Weil, but still pretty nice for this price. This is something to buy a lot of and just guzzle. 12/05
Leitz could start a new
career in green-bottle Rieslings! The 2004 Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling
Spatlese smells of peaches and strawberries and comes to the palate creamy yet
with fresh acidity, apply crispness, and subtle saltiness. This exhibits a bit
less poise and minerality than the Klosterlay, as befits a deeper-soiled site,
but it offers compensatory richness and a similar infectious juiciness. As
usual, Leitz is on a qualitative roll with these sweet wines from in principle
Johannes Leitz’s acreage is now up to a whopping sixty-five, and even though much of that goes to supply ever larger quantities of a few off-dry wines that represent the backbone of his export program, the number of individual bottlings has increased as well. Still, quality remains undiminished, as does Leitz’s evident determination and enthusiasm. “This was a challenging vintage,” he reports, “which is exactly what I like. I don’t want another 2003, where you could ripen Riesling in the hinterlands and probably all the way up to
n David Schinkekdt (Wine Advocate)
I couldn’t agree more with this review.
99 Ciacci Piccolomini Pianrosso Brunello $40
Nose fine. Palate delicious, fruit relatively forward. Tannins are present but seem only to be there in order to balance the wine/grip. Nice medium-bodied wine. Would not expect it to hold up to robust (> level 7) meats. Prolonged swishing reveals a not-extremely concentrated wine, but there is a nice ~15 second finish. Would pay $40, but would not expect to cellar > 5 yrs.
See The Wine Advocate’s note for a complete laugh, because it has nothing to do with the wine I just tasted.
99 casanuova Neri Brunello $47
Initial nose of (fenugreek? or celery seed? both?) which blows right off. Flavor more complex, backward than the Pianrosso, but definitely intriguing, and good. This is kind of a bomb isn’t it? I would put this down for at least 10 years (?more). $47 (worth $50-55).
Alternate review: “Yes. Yes and yes.”
03 Dönnhoff (Nahe)-- $30 Dönnhoff
1st of all – it’s not THAT sweet. It’s pretty under-control for a spatlese.
Nose – is nice -- ? nothing jumping out in particular
Balanced – very nicely balanced
Palate is nice – it doesn’t seem all that massive at first but prolonged swishing continues to yield up good solid (what I would describe as quality MSR flavor, even though we’re in Nahe, of course)
Good long 10-15 (make that 20) second finish. Yes. Very balanced all the way through. Kind of lilts there as it goes through the phases.
Worth $30, yes. RP 93 and I don’t disagree.
Caillerets redux à nose not THAT strong, perfectly nice (just not jumping out at me) but body/palate is deliciosa to the max – very buttery – so buttery – smooth – just delicious – still think way less grip than the Jadot Folatières – but still – god – different strokes – for right now – this is great –
01 Muga Rioja Resereva
Initially a bit out of control. Out of balance, perhaps too acidic. But it settles down after 20-30 minutes and a not-that-bad Rioja flavor emerges. If you’re a fan of the typical $10-25 Rioja flavor: oak, fruit, more oak. Then you won’t be disappointed. $22 (worth $14-17).
Never buy more than one of a Rioja, unless you’ve tasted it yourself.
97 Dr Pauly Spatlese
Standard (good) MSR nose. Nice attack flavor, acidity (almost too much), but late palate has very slight sub-par flavor (?souring). Slight, not major. Only cost like $18 anyway (worth $20).
02 Jadot Petit-Chapelle
Initial impression of nose is standard burgundy—nothing specific available to me, but it seems like a nose is in there somewhere. After opened 45 mins, flavor moving slightly in direction of cherry. Good balance. Seems potentially worth $40. Is this what they mean by cassis?
03 Dönnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Spatlese
God I can’t tell the difference among these 03 Dönnhoff spats. I just can’t, unless I have them side by side each other. But from memory…my god it’s just so close…I may stop trying and just consider them all the same. Which is good, and solidly worth their roughly $30-40 price.
04 Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese 2004 375ml $18
The nearest thing this wine reminds me of, interestingly or not, is the exact same wine from 1990, which I will now look forward to tasting side by side directly and comparing. I would say it’s about the same sweetness and concentration as the equally priced Dönnhoff Spatlesen I’ve tried from 03 and 04. So I’d say it’s priced appropriately. Might get one or two to age out and see what happens. Need to try the 04 GKA of same and compare.
01 Lingenfelder Scheurebe Spatlese Freinsheimer Goldberg
“From a sandy soil-dominated terroir, the exotic fruit and white flower-scented 2001 Scheurebe Spatlese Freinsheimer Goldberg is a juicy, expressive wine. Sweet earth, currants, assorted red fruits, and pineapples make up this broad, medium-bodied wine's flavor profile. Lush and silky-textured, it is plump, fat, and boldly flavored. Projected maturity: Now-2012.”
What Mr. Rovani neglects to mention is that it tastes like grapefruit. Not good.
of cinnamon > berry. Middle with good concentration, but flavor still the
spice > berry. Finish smooth. I will be curious to see what happens to this
cinnamon flavor (which I’ve seen more often in Gigondas and
Had next to the
01 Albino Rocca Barbaresco Vigneto Brich Ronchi
Wall of tannin—but not just a wall of tannin, but an incredibly astringent, ten-foot thick, impenetrable sheet of—I don’t even remember the last time I met tannins like this. There is fruit. Plenty of fruit, but right now, the two are on separate planets. And for $50, I’m not sure there’s enough evidence they’ll ever come together. I cannot buy more at that price when there are sure things, like so many other 01s for just a few dollars more. Between us, the truth is, these tannins will outlast the fruit by > 5 yrs. 12/05
“The 2001 Barbaresco Brich Ronchi features a complex nose with incense and chocolate mingled with notes of roses and anise, a rich, deep palate whose size and weight are balanced by much velvet and very supple tannins. Drink: 2005-2018.” – Daniel Thomases
Okay, what was he smoking? He’s right about the nose. It did start to develop a fairly interesting nose > 1 hr after opening. I forgot about that.
"Fabulous aromas of crushed blackberries and strawberries follow through to a full-bodied palate, with soft and velvety tannins and a fresh finish. Very aromatic red. Best after 2007. 1,620 cases made." WS92
00 Clerico CMG
Pepper nose, but not only pepper (see annoying, young Côte-Rôtie), but also other spices too. Amazingly chewy body. Tannins oppressively young at this point, but this wine is all there, no doubt. Finish about 15-30 seconds. The young tannins, wow. But as I say, all there. All there. Pepper blows off after a while anyway. This is good, solid Barolo.
01 Clerico CMG
Slightly more strength, tannins // tannins seem a little younger (one year younger) but flavor also showing a little more // What I imagine is a classic Nebbiolo flavor – even now, I’m still swishing the same mouthful, and it’s occurring to me that this flavor is pretty much unending. At $65, one should buy more of this.
01 Blanck Gewurztraminer Fersentum VV
Good, solid Gewurz flavor, but finish is surprisingly non-existent (after beginning/middle). Incredible value for $25 (cost $30).
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Nov/Dec 03
Aromas of smoked meat, cinnamon oil and rose petal. Chewy, spicy and stylish, with an enticing sugar/acid balance. Not especially fat but offers excellent peppery density to buffer its 33 grams of residual sugar. Finishes sweet, chewy and smooth, with lovely spicy persistence.
Dude, he is dead on. Tanzer is dead on.
04 Vieux Donjon CDP White
Hints of pineapple,
NV Ximenez Asuncion
I really do not like this flavor. Maybe it’s me? I will have to have more sherries and figure this out. All I can say is I can’t drink any more of this. $15/500cc
Flavor fairly peculiar in it has a kind of a dual tack palate. It has a lot of delicious fruit running through. But just ½ of the way through, you become aware of, like, this parallel layer of more watery flavor. Which then assumes captaincy over the finish.
Incredibly backward (I thought). If you let it breath > 1-2 hrs, you start to get that classic LTTC (leather, tobacco, tar, chocolate) that we associate with Brunello. Dense, chewy middle (the wine has about $50 worth of concentration). Strong tannins. Could turn out awesome. Could turn out pretty good. Will not turn out bad. I would hesitate to predict its future to any certainty, but I see no major flaws and would not discourage anyone from buying and cellaring this one. $55 (probably worth it)
99 Ciacci Piccolomini Pianrosso Brunello
Nose fine. Palate delicious, fruit relatively forward. Tannins present but mild.
Nice medium-bodied wine. Prolonged swishing reveals a not-extremely concentrated wine. Would not attempt to match anything greater than (> level 7) meats. Nice ~15 second finish. This wine is delicious and I should say ready for drinking now through 5-7 more years. $40 (worth $40)
The following Parker review: “The 1999 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso, one of the best to date, announces its importance with warm and potent aromas of plums and red currants, chocolate and tar. The rich and concentrated flavors, deep, supple, and very long, have the dimension, class, and definition that put the Sangiovese of Montalcino in a category of its own. Drink: 2005-2020.”
What is he smoking? Are we talking about the same wine?
99 Casanova di Neri Brunello $47
Initial nose of (fenugreek? or celery seed? both?) which blows right off. Flavor more complex, backward than the Pianrosso, but definitely intriguing, and good. This is kind of a bomb isn’t it? Started to open after about an hour. This wine portends greatness. I would put this down for at least 10 years (maybe longer). $47 (worth $50-55).
Alternate review: “Yes. Yes and yes.”
01 Feudi Serpico
Tannins way over-the-top. Middle over-oaked. I’m not even so sure about the basic grape flavor either for that matter. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens to this monster over time, but for now, I would hesitate to buy any more at $60. (worth ?)
00 Falesco Montiano
I liked it. Nice balance. Smooth tannins. Nice fruit (how Italians can make merlot taste like a Sangiovese/cab blend is beyond me but...). Expect it will drink well from now for maybe a gentle evolution of 5-8 yrs (probably would keep longer, but I think it will be at it’s best by then). $38 (worth $36-38)
01 Fattoria di Felsina CCR Rancia
Good, tasty, accessible. Still, it doesn’t reach beyond that just slightly too-sour Chianti flavor. $26 (worth $20-30)
01 Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga
Forty-five minutes air and this is already much better. Still only $25-30 worth of Chianti flavor and concentration. But surprisingly balanced for this region/price (i.e. the finish was only somewhat shellacy). Might get better over the next 5-7 years. Not bad. ($?)
95 Dr. Pauly Bergweiler WS Spatlese [MSR]
Wow. So much more oily now (as opposed to, before)?! But still good. Very smooth, very interesting experience. Wow, so smooth.
When a wine just falls off the sides of the tongue. Rare in a young wine, but not uncommon in well-aged wines (seems especially achievable in German Riesling).
03 Robert Weil Grafenberg Spatlese [Rheingau]
What can I say? This is a really nice Spatlese. It has good tartly acids (but not too much, not out of balance). It has plenty of typical Rheingau flavor quality (in fact, this, to me, seems like the best thing about this wine; the late-palate has a solid punch of decent Rheingau flavor). It has a brief little drop-off finish, but let’s go back to the flavor. What great flavor. Worst cork ever. But really horrendous. Soaked right through, pushing out of the bottle (?CO2), doubt it would have lasted ten more minutes. Easily worth $30-35 (not sure about $38; I think I found some just now for $23; a steal at $23).
03 Dönnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Spatlese [Nahe]
Absolutely. So smooth it almost makes me wonder what’s the catch? This can’t really be this much pleasure? Surely, there must be something deficient about it that I’m just not appreciating? The wine (being so young, and with ample tannins), cannot lilt, but it does glide, surely. $40 (worth $40)
(2a) So round and smooth. Glides so goddamn smooth—I just can’t fathom how this wine is going to make it 10 yrs and yet I KNOW it will. I just can’t fathom it though. Riesling. [RP 93]
“The 2003 Riesling Spatlese Oberhauser Brucke is flint-scented, medium-bodied, and silky-textured. Well-balanced, it explodes on the palate with loads of white fruits, notes of red berries, and spices. Suave, angle-free, and exceptionally long in the finish, this effort is a candidate for drinking between 2005 and 2020.” – Pierre Rovani
04 Dönnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Spatlese [Nahe]
My initial reaction is that this one seemed to have even more balance and smoothness, both in the middle and finish than the ’03, but that the actual flavor and drinking experience was not necessarily better, just different. I personally feel like making any sweeping predictions based on distinctions between these two different vintages (in this same vineyard) would be a challenge. The fact, for me, is that they are both great (and good values).
“From the 2004 Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese rise aromas of honey, grapefruit, candied lemon and blueberries. Blue fruit and honey are poured over the palate as well, creamy and rich, yet animated by insistently bright citricity, high-toned esters of distilled berries, nippy notes of invigoratingly tart fruit skin, and mineral salts. The finish is a veritable fugue of intricate flavors, exhibiting astonishing clarity and length. Less ethereal than the Norheim Spatlesen, this is uncanny in its balance and complexity and, given the proclivities of young Spatlese from this site, certainly a bit behind the other Spatlesen of this collection in its development.” – David Schildknecht
Not quite sure if I can go quite as far with the blue theme as Mr. Schildknecht, but I like his use of the terms “citricity, esters, tart fruit skin and mineral salts” and will have to start using them myself.
And boom. Just like that I am in love again with Rheingau. In love would be an understatement. The Rheingau just kicks ass I’ve decided. Both Weil and Leitz have made me a believer. And I shall need to find more good examples. No finish, acids are in-your-face but still not too-much-so. But the flavor, the flavor is solid Rheingau punch. And it’s worth everything, anything. $22 (worth it).
“Leitz could start a new career in green-bottle Rieslings! The 2004 Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spatlese smells of peaches and strawberries and comes to the palate creamy yet with fresh acidity, apply crispness, and subtle saltiness. This exhibits a bit less poise and minerality than the Klosterlay, as befits a deeper-soiled site, but it offers compensatory richness and a similar infectious juiciness. As usual, Leitz is on a qualitative roll with these sweet wines from in principle less-good sites.” – David Schildknecht
Never mind the peaches, strawberries. That’s subjective/relative. But what he says about “lee poise” and “compensatory richness” is pretty much exactly what I was trying to say. Go David. Go David. And go Bob (Parker) for finding this guy. Great find.
03 Dönnhoff KG Spatlese [Nahe]
Compared with the 03 Dönnhoff
OB Spatlese, the 03 KG Spatlese was very similar, but the
Reflection: I don’t know.
Thinking about the 03 Dönnhoff
04 Fritz Haag BJS Kabinett $20 [MSR]
Standard, solid MSR flavor. Good balance. Well worth $20. Screw cap though, Jesus!
Fading gracefully at this point. Still very balanced, though. Enjoyable. Well worth $15. Touch of grapefruit notes.
97 Dr. Pauly Spatlese $18 [MSR]
Standard (good) MSR nose. Nice attack flavor, acidity (almost too much), but late palate has very slight sub-par flavor (?souring). Slight, not major. Only cost like $18 anyway (worth $20).
01 Kloster Eberbach Erbacher Marcobrunn
Good balance. Starts to
take on nice bouquet after opened a bit. Medium Rheingau flavor. Late palate
actually takes an odd twist (not bad but just a bit weird), which carries
01 Kerpen Auslese $30 (on sale for $22) [MSR]
Very typical MSR flavor. Late palate reveals not-so-much concentration of fruit and a sort of short (but not unpleasant) finish. I would pay $18-20 for this, but I wouldn’t make an effort to age it out. In fact, wait—the more I drink of this, the more amazed by just how not-concentrated it really is. And wait—oh my god, the acidity. It’s horrible. Sweet Jesus my esophagus! It’s burning me. Damn you Marty’s Liquors!
01 Patheiger Auslese $52 [Don’t Care]
Very sweet even for Auslese. Could this be cloying? Could this be love? Cloying. $50 is way too much for this. It’s just not that good on many levels.
01 Clerico Pajana
A monster. Grendel. But delicious. Tried to let it air out a few hours but the wine, but the wine tasted too good for people to not finish it before even one hour was up. I would say compared to some of the 01’s clocking in at $80, that this Barolo is probably worth a proportionate $65 and may even turn out to be undervalued at that. Barolos nowadays really are ridiculously expensive. But still worth it, in my opinion.
01 Pira/E Cannubi
Damn good. Not quite as elegant/balanced, nor
does it have quite the incredible mouth feel of the 01 Scavino Bric
99 Rocche dei Manzoni Vigna d’Big
Initially very oaky, good mid-palate, late-palate good but not too terribly concentrated (reluctant to use the word ‘thin’ because compared to other wines…, but compared to some of the 01 Barolos I’ve had, it certainly is not on the extreme end of the concentration spectrum). $50 (worth $40-50)
01 Azelia San Rocca
Standard Nebbiolo nose. Tannins sharp, crisp. Flavor has a touch of sour. Finish under 10 seconds. This wine will no doubt improve greatly with time. Definitely not ready at this stage.
01 Scavino Bric De Fiasc
Standard Nebbiolo nose. Flavor after initial opening is already showing more than Azelia. Body slightly smoother, more chewy. Finish is more classic Nebbiolo. After being opened 45 minutes, both the Azelia and Scavino just got better and better. The sourness in the Azelia gave way to a much nicer, rich Nebbiolo flavor. The Scavino became fatter and softer and its flavor started to become outright delicious. This Scavino is my top pick in 01 Barolo so far. I am going to have to make some inquiries. $80 (worth $85)
02 Guy Amiot
Great flavor. Smooth, round, not too sour. Doesn’t seem to have the tannic backbone I would think would be needed to allow long-term aging. Yes? Overall, seems very similar to the Latour Caillerets. Makes sense since both from the same place. Okay, so now I really am starting to need to know what a Bâtard Montrachet tastes like.
02 Meursault Genevrieres, Latour RP 92-94 $60
Pear hints in nose. Good structure, balance. A
tiny bit sour when had next to the C d
Latour-Giraud Meursault Duc-Magenta $75 [or am I talking about
Really showing nicely right now and I should think plenty of structure to cellar further as well.
02 Vincent Girardin – Aloxe Corton?
Lemony-sour, flint, fatwood, tinder. Near-perfect balance, just that I prefer the more-ready flavor of the Latour-Giraud Pierres. Although the AC really does have essentially unending fruit, which you cannot not be impressed by, whether you love (and would marry) the flavor or not
02 Latour Meursault $60
Compared to the LG Duc-Magenta, this one seemed a touch austere (e.g. more sour and not fruit forward enough). Perhaps in time, that will give way toward a better, fruitier expression. We shall certainly see.
02 Latour CM
Very delicate, balanced right through to a nice ~20 second finish. Only question is when will it start fading. Because it’s good to go right now as far as I’m concerned.
(2) nose not THAT strong, perfectly nice (just not jumping out at me) but body/palate is deliciosa to the max – very buttery – so buttery – smooth – just delicious – still think way less grip than the Jadot Folatières – but still – god – different strokes – for right now – this is great –
Very nice flavor through mid-palate. Initially finish seemed a touch oily and weird, but this seemed to go away after a bit. Overall, very nice. Worth price. Probably doesn’t need long to reach peak. ?3-7 yrs and couldn’t say beyond that.
Complexity squared. Flavor is good, and I really am captivated by the grip on this one. Have had several times and continue to be impressed.
03 Cristia Renaissance CDP
Nose of 38 cherries. No, it’s not exactly cherry. Maybe cherry Lambic. Good concentration. Medium body. Not a monster anything but solid flavor. Very good balance. Plenty of tannins. Nice finish. Would buy more if I didn’t already have way too many 03 South Rhône. I like the flavor of this one perhaps a little more than the 03 Vieux Donjon CDP.
01 Muga Rioja Reserva
Initially a bit out of control. Out of balance, perhaps too acidic. But it settles down after 20-30 minutes and a not-that-bad Rioja flavor emerges. If you’re a fan of the typical $10-25 Rioja flavor—oak, fruit, more oak—then you won’t be disappointed. $22 (worth $14-17).
Never buy more than one of a Rioja, unless you’ve tasted it yourself.
96 Barthod CM (2) $35 [RP 86-88, 1998-2001]
96 Bouchard Beaune L’Enfant Jesus $58 [RP 89, 2000-2006]
Not bad. Flavor is still a bit twiggy but it seems moving in the right direction. I think it will peak in 3-5 years.
96 Comte de Vogue CM $70 [RP 88-90, 2002-2005]
Same as Bouchard but even more interesting flavor in there. Waiting to just pop out: in about 2-3 years.
90 Roberto Mazzi Punta di Villa
Good. Seems like could still go another 5+ without much trouble. $38 (worth $45)
Doing fine. Flavorful. $20 (worth $18)
90 Badia a Coltibuono Sangioveto
Really tasting like any above-average Chianti to me. Sadly not as amazing as was hoped. Was the fruit better a few years ago? I don't know. But just doesn’t seem very integrated or smooth at this point. Sad. (RP 94, now – 1997; I’ll never know; sad). $40 9/05
89 CDP Monpertuis Tradition
Still not fully evolved. Fair amount of complexity and enough fruit to satisfy the id as well. Will continue to watch these evolve. Worth ?$40
98 CDP Beaucastel
Still tastes exactly like it did when it was born, a baby whelk. This is purple ink, people. If you think purple ink is worth $90/bottle, then by all means, buy six of them, from me. $40 (worth $50; costs $90 now; please, too one-dimensional)
Parker is totally right here. This is an 86 pt wine. Worth $19. And probably not going to improve much with more time. $30 [RP 85-88, 1998-2002]
Had again 9/06 à feel same way. Solid middle flavor still. A tiny bit of that warped-ness I’ve seen with 10+ year old whites that probably weren’t meant to go that long. The oak I think is too dominant (but this IS chard so…) anyway…it’s okay. $30 is too much for this.
96 Dauvissat - Chablis Vaillon VV
Full-bodied, great concentration and grip. I feel like this already justifies its $35 price tag, and I have high hopes that it will continue to evolve nicely for several more years. $35
96 Darviot-Perrin - Meursault
Good. Still has enough acid/tannin/fruit. Might improve another few years yet. Currently drinking at $20. $26
97 Comte Lafonde Sancerre
pleasant, only slightly lemony. Not too bad. Short finish but okay smooth. Worth ?$. Drink now +/- 2-3 rs.
95 Baumard Trie Speciale
Has a kind of odd composition to it, as if some strange buttery snake was winding its way through the entire palate. It's not entirely unpleasant, but it is a snake, after all…
Drink now because how much better can this really get? (maybe experiment by letting bottle 2 go for a long time more?)
94 Clos de L'Obac
definitely showing signs of life. Still seems awfully closed and backward though. Will reserve judgment. Plenty of oak/tannin/dark fruit lurking deep below somewhere in there. Will try again in a few. $40
Teofilo Reyes 95 Tinto
lots of oak. Lots of tannins (but not out of control), but really good blackberry flavor. Medium finish. Flavor trailing off just slightly in late palate a) keeps this a 91 pt wine b) makes one wonder if it really can make it > 5 yrs without fading. RP 91 $21 (totally worth $21)
96 Retuerta Sardon
too oaky and tannic throughout. Enough fruit though so maybe will be okay in 4-5 years. Wouldn't bet my life on it. RP 90 pts, but I say 87-88. Overpriced at $2?
97 Baumard Coteaux Layon
Wow. Worth all of $23. Go baby go. I love good sweet wine, and this reminds me
of just how unique and different sweet
95 Feudi Taurasi
Horrible. Foul tannins. Essentially undrinkable. ?bad bottle? Will try the other next time and compare. $23 worth (-) $3 [RP 90, now-2004]
eh… 92-93. great flavor but had a square finish. $43 [RP 95, 1998-2018]
I think it is worth pretty much exactly its $20 tag.
02 Blanck Riesling
worth about $16
See book. $23
Pleasant, balanced Chinon Rouge. Nothing more. Nothing less. Worth ? Probably past peak. Would drink now. Chinon rouge is just not that great of a grape.
Consistently one of the finest values in the marketplace, the 2003 Vitiano Rosso (34% Sangiovese, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 33% Merlot) spent three months in oak casks prior to bottling. Its deep ruby color is accompanied by aromas of dried roses, strawberries, cherries, currants, and spice box. With good density, loads of fruit, medium body, and an elegant, clean finish, it is a character-filled Italian red to consume over the next 1-2 years. – RP
96 jubilee PG
sharp / strong / pretty focused w/out going all-Chablis.
Seems like with PG – you should either pay $25 for a wine like this – or more – for a wine (VT) that basically is a dessert wine ?summoned/born of/reminiscent – of PG. Be careful though there is a fair amount of acidity here. $26 totally worth $26
Nose literally out of this world. Some members of the party claimed to be able to smell it across the room. Fruit in the middle utterly delicious. Smooth. Good finish. Started to weaken after about 15 minutes in the glass, so would recommend drinking continuously from opening (so as not to miss out). $uh…
Tannins dominated from start to finish. Plenty of fruit in there somewhere, I’m pretty sure. Would not try again for another 5 yrs. $45
Good nose. Strong, tannic. Concentrated. I like the flavor of this one better than the Fortia. Deliciously fruit forward. Reminds me a lot of some of the 98 CDP’s when they first came out. $52
Good nose. Strong, tannic. Concentrated. Flavor not exactly to my liking. (prefer other 03’s I’ve tasted.). $40
Nose of Band-aid. Smooth, long finish, very tannic. So young. How does Parker know this is 95 pts. We’ll see. $55
Nose okay. Less fruit forward (fruit backward/closed down). Concentrated. Very tannic. Requires faith. $43
Nose is good. Flavor is fine. Mouthfeel is soft. Finish is fine. My only knock is it kind of loses its grip (and the flavor just drops off like a ledge) about 3/4 of the way into the mid-palate. But no, that finish is actually pretty good at this price. I have to say it is an intriguing wine. $22 (worth $18?)
02 Blanck Riesling
Attack is okay. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth. Finish is okay. The middle flavor may be a little unfocused, though, which seems a bit weird for an Alsatian Riesling. $19
90 Produttori di Barbaresco – Pora (different bottle than the 3/05 note)
This time it seems like better flavor, but still seems overly tannic. Definitely a lot of good fruit here. Not sure if the fruit will last as long as these tannins.
Totally delicious. Harmonious. Tannins still a tiny bit backward and heavy but delicious mouth filling what can only be described as glorious Italian fruit. $30 (RP: 2005+)
Possibly worth it. $16 [RP 96]
Pretty good, worth $17/half, but not 95 pts.
The debut release from an old vineyard, the 2003 Lirac Clos de Sixte (a 600-case blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre) is an impressive effort that comes close to the brilliant Lirac made at Domaine de la Mordorée. A dense purple color is followed by scents of flowers, terrific fruit intensity, full body, and a chewy, long, heady finish. With a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, and alcohol, this intense, voluptuous Lirac should be consumed over the next 5-7 years, although it may last even longer. – Parker
Agree. At least 5-7, more like 10+ yrs. $24 (worth $32, at least)
02 Domaine de Belliviere Le Rouge-Gorge (Coteaux du Loir)
Too vegetal. $24 (worth $17)
Fantastic for this price. Nice acidity. Great flavor. Only reason this should not be even more expensive is the fruit kind of trails off just slightly in the finish. In other words, it’s delicious, it just leaves you wanting more and doesn’t blow you away. $14 (worth $20)
95 Zind-Humbrecht Herrenweg de Turckheim G VT
Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet. It’s good. Only a very faint touch of cloying on finish, hardly noticeable. The sweetness seems more pronounced than the G flavor, but that’s probably the point. Would guess this could have aged another 5-10 years no problem. Cost ? (would pay $35).
G.H. Mumm & Co Red Label Brut (NV, c. 2005)
Pretty pathetic. Hardly dry enough to be called brut. Eh. Damn. Not as mad as Moet White Star, but coming dangerously close. $40 (worth $25)
Respect the huge
mouthful of fruit and velvety mouthfeel.
Well balanced. Still cannot
proclaim myself a huge fan of that fake fruit taste that is 90% of Australian
Power. Fruit. I have a feeling once these oaky tannins fade, this will be a really delicious wine. It has complexity to spare. Cost $60 (worth $60).
Good strong burg flavor. I thought the tannins were still way too untamed. Needs a few more years cellaring. Cost: N/A
95 Tijou Savennieres Perrieres
Horribly acidic and sour. Is it just this bottle? Or could this wine really be this horrific? One of the rare times I actually poured a wine out. Cost $26 (worth $7).
similar to 95, but far less revealing of its fruit (of course, being five years younger). Also seems more sour/tart (would people just call this dry?). Seems a touch less acidic than the 95 I had. Cost $26 (worth $18).
Plenty of acidity, round mouthful of fruit, which, as far as my limited wine knowledge goes, makes me think of Gewürztraminer. Medium finish with only touch of sour. Cost $20 (worth $20).
A few hours later: getting a bit too sour/tart/acidic, which is fine for the mouth, but murder on the stomach.
04 Leitz Rudesheimer Klosterlay (Rheingau) Kabinett
It’s really good. Cost $18 (worth $19).
01 Leitz Rheingau Spatlese
This is really nice. Lots of acidity (sprightliness), medium/good solid apple/citrus flavor. Fairly sweet. Finish is continuation of the same. There’s nothing wrong with this wine, I’m not sure it should cost more than $30, but okay. Cost $32 (worth $30).
02 Castano Solanera vinas viejas (monastrell/cabernet 65/35) $12 (RP ?89)
Synthetic? Very full fruit, powerful but just uncultured – but really, I don’t know that ever had this much fruits for $12. The fruit it is good, rewarding, tasty. Just an imbalanced, cherubic little wine. Perhaps it could improve over 5-10 years. Cost $12 (worth $16).
04 Egly-Oriet Grand Cru Ambonnay
Pretty good. Cost $52 (worth ? I don’t know, I need to drink more champagne).
78 Guigal Cote Rôtie
I thought it was delicious and structurally flawless. My friend said it was flawless, but over the hill—that the fruit had faded considerably since trying it five years ago. I need more friends like this. Cost: N/A
98 Monpertuis CDP Tradition
Same as Pegau only not quite as much of a tannic monster. Also has very good, solid CDP flavor. Try again in 5-6 years. $44
98 Pegau CDP
Nose closed (it did actually have a particular smell, but I will keep it to myself in order to spare you, the reader). You can immediately taste the good flavor here but before long, a sheer wall of tannins. From that point, it’s tannins tannins tannins. I want to think this wine will turn out to be really delicious in, say, another 7-10 or more years. $42
nose: cherry ludens / mid: soft, smooth, a bit hot / finish: medium $43
nose: pepper/jam / mid: smooth, medium, pepper / finish: medium-long $62
00 Vieux Telegraphe CDP
nose: twig / mid: tannins more aggressive / medium, tannic / needs time $43
nose: Band-Aid / mid: hot fruit, ?thinning in mid-palate / short-medium finish / needs time $55
Note: I have never
thought of Rhone wines as closing down the way a
stopped transcribing here
Crisp, sprightly. Good. Cost $14 Worth $18 at least.
Paul Zinck Hersiberg Riesling Grand Cru
Crisp, sharp. A touch oaky but enough fruit to make it worth it. Round, full mouthfeel. Decent finish. Wonder what will happen to this in 6-10 yrs? Cost $25 (worth $22).
Strong, standard CDP. Was good, but tannins aggressive and might be better in 5-10 yrs. Cost $25 (worth $32).
flavor. Apparently these
Castell del Remei (Costers Del Segre) Gotim Bru (
Fruity, medium bodied, ready and easy to drink up right now. Cost $11 (worth $15).
96 Hugel PG Jubilee
Standard PG nose. Good PG flavor. Holding up nicely. Finish is nothing special, but it’s fine. Would go ahead and drink now. Cost $27 (worth $25).
Very nice, floral flavor but strong, good. This might go another five but can’t see how that would make it better. Cost $27 (worth $24).
89 Monpertuis Tradition CDP
Good fruit but no rush. Keep waiting. Try again in five? (RP: 2004-10)
No rush. Solid fruit and tannin there. And pepper. Hold another 5 before retrying.
Potential is there, but too young to really tell. Would try again in five or so yrs.
Good, earthy. No signs of decay yet, really. Would give another five.
97 Fontodi Case Via Syrah
flavor (pretty much exactly what you’d expect from syrah produced in
97 Zind-Humbrecht PG VV
Solid body. Great start. Finish is fairly lasting (but one small knock is that the) flavor is slightly less delicious than it promises to be at the start. 6/05
Strong. Leather, tobacco, tar—as advertised. I feel like this could improve over next 5, maybe even 10 years. Cost $33 (worth $40).
90 Clerc Milon
Nice structure. Same floral/lead pencil theme, but overall good experience. Shows some complexity, and might even be more interesting in 5 or so years. Still not quite the delicious berry flavor one might hope for in cabernet. 6/05 Cost $27 (worth $37).
Prosecco “Il” NV
I's fine. But for $10, I’d rather just have a giant bottle of Chimay.
How this can be distinguished from their other (“La Grola”) is lost on me. It’s totally worth the $22 though. Good solid flavor. Nothing subtle or sophisticated, but just solid ruby flavor.
01 R Dubois Pouilly-Fuissé Les Vieilles Vignes
Piece of crap white burgundy. Ha. I was at the grocery store. What do you want? $18
well balanced, as much body as you could possibly expect from
Strong flavor. Citrus, smoke. Finish is fine, medium length. This wine is not blowing me away at this stage, perhaps it will evolve nicely into something more interesting? I can’t see buying more at $40.
Feel good wine of the year. Light-bodied but good fruit flavor. Worth $19 at least. Perhaps reports of the death of good, cheap Italian red were premature. $16
03 Saint Cosme CDR white
Sharp, decent structure for price. There is fruit and maybe it would be better in a couple years, but right now, it’s just not really showing. $17 (Hi-Rise pick)
02 Chateau des Jacques (Louis Jadot) MAV
Tasty little beau. $18 worth $15.
90 Vigna Big Barolo
Wow. Dense. Standard tobacco, leather, tar. Nose was 100% syrup. Could go at least 10 more years without much change.
Marcel Lapierre Morgon
Floral, perhaps a little square – might be better in 2-3 years $18 – worth $18
00 Domaine de la Mordoree Lirac
Strong, floral, good, but perhaps a little unbalanced – will that change? What grape is Lirac? $28 – worth $25
Strong, beastly, not showing any signs of fading. Also not showing any normal flavor! It’s clearly Nebbiolo. It’s just not how I remember it.
Viña Honda Tinto 2003
Hey, this is actually pretty decent for $11. Light, drinkable, fruity. $11
85 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano
Sucked. Just totally ordinary. Fruit still held up but just didn’t taste great. This is really sad. $60 (had been Tom’s big pick)
96 Kye – GD Vajra – (Nebbiolo di Langhe)
Still plenty of neb flavor but fairly imbalanced. Dry. Oh well. Maybe worth $20, I guess. $20
Tastes like an ordinary Alsatian Riesling, which is funny because it’s not a Riesling. It has Auxerrois, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc apparently. Nothing majorly flawed with it, just not showing a great deal of flavor at the moment. Perhaps in a few years? I don’t really know. $25
93 Fonterutoli Concerto
Thick, strong, but ?tannins too much, too grainy. Not bad, just not balanced enough to get excited about. Drink now through ? WS 88 pts $33
94 Bichot VR Clos Frantin
Standard, pleasant burg taste. Good burg nose. Body overall thin. Would drink now and would say it’s already on the decline.
Surprisingly balanced. Solid fruit. Unique flavor. Good. $18
00 Farina Barbaresco
All power. Strong. Too young but good taste. Worth all of $25.
Same comments as Barbaresco. $30
Super. Delicious. Soft, round, good. I just keep buying them. I’ve had three already. - $20
Very crisp. Kind of like a Chablis that way. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think maybe I just need softer wines. $20
fine. Not bad. Nothing really special. Hugel wants are always a little harsh to me. $19
Ok, so I’m kind of having one of those weeks where it takes about a bottle to realize I’ve begun. I don’t remember much about this bottle other than at some point early on, it occurred to me she might be a little too floral, for some. $16
Petty good. Worth $20. Ws $20. Money isn’t everything.
93 Percarlo – SGR
Italian red produced in Chianti. Good taste, just too dry as usual. Could be the bottle. Didn’t seem over-the-hill or anything. $30
Good. Solid flavor. A little bit of barnyard. Tannins still seem a little strong but there’s enough body and fruit to handle it. Better in a few years?
97 Teofilo Reyes Tinto
good, solid ribera. Perhaps a bit on the tannic side, but still good. Would hold another 5+ years.
A little dry but good, odd grape flavor. Sticks. Seems in drinking window now.
Bit of chocolate on the nose. Nice, solid flavor through and through. Not a day too old. Balance not extraordinary. Just good.
very good. Good fruit. Medium body. Worth $20 easily. $20
Off balance. Used gasoline. Eh. $19
03 Vohn Buhl Pfalz Riesling -- QbA
good flavor but abit floop – layzes around in your mouth like it just don’t care. But this is okay. I’d drink som more at tht same price. $12
not bad. Worth $21.
1 I think my spell checker would break.
Crisp/young / at first thing but has offers a pleasant middle/late plate – worth $15
I don’t remember now. Must have been standard. $19
Sort of like a standard Alsatian Riesling. Not bad. Worth almost $16.
96 Ostertag G
Awesome. Full flavor G. just like the $30 versions from ZH. Could last another ?5+
Really is incredibly sweet too – reminds me more of really good auslese in fact than a typical Gewurztraminer in terms of even the flavor –
1 glass only à delicious à hold another 5 years minimum $43
1 glass only à very light on palate, abrupt ledge as middle palate skips right into finish, which is short but without fault. Now – 2010 ? or longer – I have no idea?
01 Schloss Wallhausen (Nahe) Kabinett
good medium body. Good fruit. Nice flavor – very faintly tart, good. Worth way more than $12.
93 Cathiard VR $
Standard Burg nose. Medium body, actually more body than I would have thought at this age and after being simmered in my kitchen window in july for 4 weeks. Finish was a little bit pine needles. What I’ve come to expect from any burgundy I seem to buy. Would probably try again in 4-5 years and see if more time does anything to make more interesting. There was one solitary ray of fruit which shone threw the window for a few sips – it happened after a few hours opened. $43
01 Thomas Fogerty Gewurz
Not bad. Good solid gewurz flavor. Slightly acidic but not too much so. Worth $16.
Not bad but not as smooth on the finish as I was hoping for. Just a touch too dry, like so many Italian reds. $30
Pretty much exactly what I expected. No more, no less. $30
Good flavor. Medium body. Good finish. Worth $20
01 Selbach-Oster Kabinett BB
01 Selbach-Oster Spatlese ZS
Best medium palate of the three? Finish is not bad although the very end leaves you with a kind of Italian smoked meat flavor, which I probably don’t have to point out, is not what you want in a German white. $20
01 Selbach-Oster Auslese ZS
Very round full flavor. Good sweetness. Finish so-so. Can’t see paying $27 for this.
Peppery, fruity. Can definitely taste the syrah. Finish is thin, but overall it’s not bad. Has enough going on to justify not killing myself for having bought two other bottles. $56
Mathern (Nahe) Kabinett
Strong flavor, apricot nectar love. Slightly odd finish like a weird orange french candy. But still a good effort overall. And worth it.
95 Zind-Humbrecht PG VV
Don’t remember. $32
95 Fontodi Case Via (syrah)
Good flavor. Smooth balance. Nice finish but brief finish. Should drink now. Will age quickly. But good. $31
01 Meulenhoff ET Kabinett $
It’s alright. A little to sour though. Not that it has to be sweet or anything given it’s a Kabinett. But this one was too sour.
01 Karthauserhof Auslese
Sweet, crisp. I like it. $24
01 Reinholt Haart Spatlese
Good. Sweet. Totally worth $23.
Delicious. Sprightly. Apple, citrus. Medium sweet. I suppose it’s like the 01 Pfeffingen.
Good. Earthy. Not bad, but I’m not so sure about a $20 CDR. Either get a good $30 CDP or a $15 CDR. I don’t see the need for this middle ground.
It might just be me, I guess, but this one really seems too sour. I wouldn’t buy it again.
01 Pfalz – Kuhn – Spatlese
Slightly peculiar. Good taste, but the sugar is perhaps the slightest bit unbridled like a cheap, slutty Tokaj. I find myself both disgusted by it, and strangely attracted to it.
Medium body. Very nice flavor, which stays a lot longer than you might expect. Finish is medium length. Worth every bit of ?
Good. Once again, Sparre does not disappoint. As much flavor as you can expect for $14.
99 Dr. Pauly BB Spatlese
Exactly what I expected. Tastes just like an MSR. Worth $17.
01 Patheiger Auslese
Super super sweet. Delicious. I really enjoyed it quite a bite. Definitely worth $30. not terribly intriguing just totally sweet without being ‘cheap tasting.’$30
Very nice flavor. Not too astringent. Good medium length finish. Try again in 4-10 yrs (not sure how long could go). $26
95 Trie Speciale
Nice flavor. Medium body. Some fruity notes. Holding up. Drink now-2010.
full bodied. good nose. Flavor is good but not showing anything delicious. Probably best to hold until 2010-2015 just to see if anything happens. $40
HUGE. Good solid Amarone flavor. Probably would have been best at 2010. $30
01 Dr. Thanisch (MSR) Spatlese
Medium. Apple. Slightly tart. Perhaps not as elegant as you might expect. Worth $18 but I might think the—
01 Selbach-Oster Kabinett
Similar to Willi Haag 01K. Perhaps slightly more tart? $14
01 Willi Haag Kabinett
Light/medium body. Sprightly. Flavor is very close to 01 WS Kerpen A $22 but less sweet. Half the price and almost as good. $12
01 Von Hovel (MSR) Spatlese
Medium/light body. Flavor actually not that appealing. Finish is continuation of same flawed flavor. $13
01 Strub (Rheinhessen) Spatlese
Sprightly. Good flavor, similar to MSR Spatlesen I’ve had. Medium body. Nice finish even. Great value at $14.
96 Rene Engel Echezeaux
Very very tannic. Not enough berry. My god what a tragedy. $75
98 Gigondas Santa-Duc
Very strong flavor. Spicy. Probably could have aged many more years. Not exactly to my liking though, but this could be subjective. $36
It wasn’t as good as I remember from a few years ago. Or maybe I’m thinking of his reserve? The flavor just wasn’t— $13
Good. Medium-light body. Sprightly. Standard, solid MSR quality. Finish is brief but nothing negative about it. Worth $16
Whoa. Weird. Strong flavor. More oily and peculiar than the MSR’s I’ve been having. almost getting into weird gewurz flavors. Aftertaste borders of cough syrupy. Not quite as immediately easy to drink as the MSR’s but something compelling in spite/because of the peculiarity. I don’t know what I’m talking about. Would try again for $22 (cost $24).
Initial flavor good citrus. Medium palate is never-ending. medium body. Finish is short but sprightly and same citrus flavor. 4/5 sprites. Worth $24
Initial flavor very good. Medium palate and swallow good, full citrusy flavor. Finish is mostly lime and possibly too sour/tart. 3/5 sprite level. Enjoyable. Worth at least $22. (cost $22)
okay. Fruit is plentiful but not enough berry. ?too tart/unrefined sap . Tannic. Slightly to dry. $19
very good flavor. Worth it. Even not unbalanced like most Italian reds in this price range seem to be. $23
99 Villa Santa Red
good. Totally worth $20. spicy, good flavor. A touch dry. Not bad. Might be better in a few years if mellows out well.
Good but not worth $27. flavor and balance not bad. Maybe worth $20.
Great Nebbiolo flavor. It’s been too long since I’ve had this great flavor. Slightly too dry, but decent structure overall. Might improve over next 5 years.
89 Monpertuis CDP
Delicious. Mouth-filling. Very strong fruit. Needs a lot of air. Continued to evolve and mellow over many hours. Couldn’t test 2nd day because it was all gone.
90 Fritz Haag Auslese
Apple, sweet and rich without being to sweet. Finish was medium length but very good. Mouth filling and flavor returns on prolonged swishing seemed indefinite. Not too much diesel detected. Will drink remaining 2 over next 5 and 10 years.
V. strong. Muscular. Sharp. Unfortunately, the taste was slightly sour. Because of this, I would say worth $30 and not $50. I paid $53. RP 97? Wow. Maybe if I had waited?
95 Rémizières Hermitage Cuvee Emile
Strong. Great glycerol. Nice bouquet and good finish. Only problem is the flavor itself is not all that wonderful. It’s not bad, but it’s just not terribly enjoyable.
Would drink next one ? 5 years
93 Thomas Moillard VR Malconsorts
Tough at first. Woody. Strong flavor. Got better the second day and almost came up to its price/expectation. It had enough fruit but never came into balance. The finish was never smooth. $39
decent fruit. Solid grape flavor but somewhat rough. Worth $17 (not $19)
Good flavor. Drinking fine, but still strong. Good road ahead.
98 Ciacci Tuscano Ateo
It’s good. Fruity. Not bad. $22
It was okay. I forgot to write anything, and now it’s like, months later. I think I thought it was worth about what I paid. $24
flavorful but only worth $21 probably. Slightly out of balance, dry. Would say drink within next 2-3 yrs. $27
90 Isodi di San Niccolo
w/ gates the other night – too dry – good fruit – but a little out of balance – could wait 3-5 more years I suppose – might not change too much – worth $26 (cost $33)
90 Cavallotto – Barolo Bricco Boschis Riserva
good body. Lots of fruit. Depth. Perhaps just a touch on the dry side, but – still less so than most other Italian reds.
There is a lot of fruit and flavor in here, but maybe it needs a few more years to mellow and goldify until it’s actually to my taste. Seemed to get better with more days open and more air in the glass.
97 René Mure - tokay st landelin – Pinot Gris
very sweet and full-flavored. Good mouth-feel and acceptable finish. $25 and probably worth it.
okay. Very earthy. Maybe it will get better in 3-5 yrs. Might as well find out. Just not that exciting. Over several days, it seemed to open up some, but still seemed backward.
90 Poderi Barolo Riserva
very dense. Earthy, acidic. It’s still very backward and needs another 5-10, but I’m just guessing at that point. It’s not bad, but I can’t imagine it not getting at least a little better. $30 (worth $30-35).
90 Gianni Voerzio
full flavored but somewhat out of balance. Overly tannic, I suppose it was the same as the other bottles. $28 (worth $24)
woody. Makes me think of the underside of a log in a mountain forest (but in
good. Full flavored. $19 (worth $25). Only flaw, could have been a little more rounded. Standard finish. (drink now – 2004)
92 Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra
Good fruit, but it fades with prolonged swishing. Medium to full bodied, but not balanced enough. Middle and finish is too astringent. $27 (worth $22). (drink now).
95 Batailley – Pauillac
is a fine $18
90 Dei VN
fruit is still there – but no balance – worth $18 I would say. Not much different than previous.
94 Fonterutoli Concerto $25 [M1] [3GR]
Delicious. Fruity. Not perfectly balanced, tannic. But good flavor and more oaked that the other Italians I’ve been drinking. ?cabernet coming through. Pretty good for $24 I would think.
solid fruit / good flavor / way too dry for they hype / age hasn’t really transformed these brutes over time / maybe it has made them a little more approachable – but they’re still quite dry – still worth $24 for the great flavor – just was expecting more
not bad - somewhat dry and hard for $19 G. I don’t think it’s as good as the $14 Sparr G I’ve had.
98 Pierre Sparr Gewurz reserve $16
good – same as earlier years – but more expensive
nice flavor / medium body / a little on the dry side but nothing food couldn’t fix / $25 (worth $23)
98 von Wilhelm – Piesporter – spatlese
light fruit. Not very concentrated. It goes down quite easily though, and for
it’s certainly fine for $10. Of note
(this is to help me in the early stages of my quest to understand what’s
outside the Mosel), it definitely doesn’t
taste like the apple, pear things I always get from the
delicious / sweet / reminds me of a baby sauternes or something –
really good -
90 Mascarello Barolo
Good flavor, just too dry. Again, same story as before.
93 Ferari-Carano – Sauvignon Blanc
A little on the dry and acidic side, and it’s American. But it’s actually not so bad. Nose is a cross between a Pinot Gris and a Hungarian Tokaj, if you believe that. Flavor is like, a Sauvignon-Blanc I guess. Finish is medium. Not bad for an American white.
94 Caymus Conundrum
– nice, pleasant – fairly balanced – drink now – fruit is beginning to fade at 7 yrs
fantastic – mouth filling, lots of fruit – decent finish – really not bad at all – drink now through several more years I would think.
Delicious. Smooth, delicate. Nice long finish. What else can I say? Doesn’t seem like it’s changed much since the last time 2 years ago
a bit too dry – out of balance / but lots of flavor anyway (RP: 2015) [BY, 1,2] 3GR
95 ZH VV pinot gris
Full bodied. Delicious. Crisp but lush. Nose is good, nothing special. Palate is nice. Worth all of $36. 5/01
95 Dr. Pauly Auslese $35
cork was leaking – so I opened it – it was identical to the previous one 5/01
93 Revello Barolo $30
good fruit – but too dry – no balance – worth $27 5/01
(RP: now-2015, 90+)
89 Fritz Haag Spatlese?
odd – smells like cranberry – overall – a bit tart – not as crisp at this point as it probably would have been earlier – maybe a bit sour too – but still tastes pretty good – maybe softer – but maybe there isn’t actually enough acid – maybe that’s why it seems too dry -
90 Pira y Figli Cannubi Barolo
Fruit will go another 5-8 yrs. Somewhat out of balance at this point. A bit dry 5/01
I opened this and thought oh – another dark brown one from an non-region – good structure and concentration, but a very non-berry flavor. But learning from prior lessons, I just recorked it and put it aside for 2 days. Then I had it again. Standard nose. Good mouthfeel (tannins are aged properly). Not a bad finish. Even has a hint of port-like sweetness, although the overall flavor is still that non-descript brown flavor. $20 (worth $27)
This is really heavyweight flavor. If this flavor were Nebbiolo. I would be going bananas over this wine. The structure really was smooth – this wine is really a great deal at $21
95 Thanisch – BB Spatlese
same as it was before – perhaps a tiny bit more tart on the finish – still sprightly –
I think there are more citrus flavors opening up a little – but overall – I don’t think it’s changed in overall enjoyability from 2 years before – I wouldn’t think it’s in a dumb period either, however
Very nice, tastes like it should, like a nice $35
– Di Majo Norante (
simple, pleasant – decent fruit – nothing negative – for $12, it beats most $15 chianti
93 Georges Comte de Vogue - CM - $50
Strong, classic B nose. Good B flavor. ?better in 2-4 years. Okay, maybe worth $35. 2/01
Nice nose of lavender and a little bit of rosemary. Delicious forward fruit. Finish slightly tannic but otherwise fine. Really a decent Crozes-hermitage for $25 (worth $30)
I think best from 2002-2010 (Parker says 2000-2020, 90-93) 2/01
97 Rosso di Montalcino $21 Pertimali [WX4] parents now
lots of fruit / too much tannins now / can’t say if it will ever come into balance / better than cheap Chianti, but I still wouldn’t get more for $20
97 Rotenberg PG – ZH
full nose / great mouth-feel and strong flavor / perhaps a bit too sour on the late palate and finish / where’s the sugar? / my least favorite ZH / $30 (worth $25 unless it blossoms with age, which it certainly might)
Amarone 90 Bertani
got it in
Penedes –Albet y Noya 94
Merlot – oak – easy to drink – only 5 of 10 fruit – not enough to justify further cellaring. $18 (worth $15). 1/01
nose with more pineapple than a pineapple.
very sweet – similar to
very fat and round / lots of flavor / good acidity / finish is good (but a tiny bit cough syrupy) like the 94 ZH Gewurztraminer
95K Fritz Haag $12
crisp, green apple. 11/00
95S JJ Prum $23
sweet, sprightly, green apple. Nice medium body.
93 Faiveley ?NSG
Wow. Apparently, the wine was just closed down and backward. Now the fruit is starting to peep out. Nonetheless, it's still way tannic/astringent. Will try again in 5 years. Remarkable difference. 1/01
97 Mondavi Oakville CS
Great. Full. Lots of flavor. Nice example of young Napa CS. $45 12/00
94 Ferraton - Hermitage
I still have one more bottle of this left, which I will now be pouring down the drain.
98 Les Cailloux CDP
finish is so abrupt is shocking. I’ve
never had a wine with such a short finish.
Can this change with cellaring? Anyway, the fruit is very nice. It’s
concentrated like purple ink and falls between the Avril and the Beaucastel in
power. But given the finish, I would go
with some different 98’s. A word about terroir.
Where is it? In all the 98’s I’ve had, the fruit is so intense and
forward that these wines don’t remind me at all of the terroir I had just
assumed was in every
94 Zind-Humbrecht G Goldert VT $56
Awesome. Worth $40 as is ($50 if you like G) ($60 if there’s a twenty floating in it). Could serve ten years for loving a ten year old and still come out looking reputable.
89 De Malle Sauternes
My 1st sauternes ever. A bit weird. I’m not sure I like it as much as the sweet Riesling. It seems more like a Tokaj.
61 Pape Clement
Excellent bouquet. Very concentrated fruit and rich mid palate. Medium finish.
Not a great taste (typical so-so Rioja). Acceptable finish. cinnamon
94 Conde de Valdemar $11
It was the second time and neither time have been that memorable. Still alright though.
Tastes like grape-water. Had it with a tuna croquette and goat cheese sauce. Remind me never to use goat cheese in a sauce. I’m stupid.
It was pretty good, with veal Bolognese. However, it didn’t strike me as having a very
complex or full body. It had a nose of pure alcohol. I really don’t know what I think
about this one. $18
90 La Pialade
<b>(2)</b>Tannic/earthy/delicious. Great for that price. 3/00 ($11/96)
<b>(2)</b>Tannic/earthy/acidic. Maybe the party’s over now. 12/00