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White - Fortified

1860 Henriques & Henriques Madeira Boal Special Reserve Grand Old Vintage

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12/4/2007 - sweetstuff wrote: 98 points

TN: Henriques & Henriques Special Reserve Madeira Grand Old Boal Vintage 1860, first bottled 1927 and re-bottled 1955. $180/1 pt and 9 floz at Arrow Wine Co; Centerville, Ohio, August, 2007. From a bottling for The Hammer Co; Cleveland, OH. Bottle number 340 out of 353 bottles (actual numbers reversed in error on bottle). There was at least one other bottling of this vintage of about 1500 bottles for an Australian importer as well, according to auction records.

Contains approx. 1 1/4" regular straight-sided (not T-shaped) cork, which came out in two clean pieces. Double-decanted, since it was due to be served in an hour or so. Very little sediment.

Poured at a dinner with Barbara and myself for Ed O’Keefe and Sean O’Keefe of Chateau Grand Traverse, and Brian Ulbrich of Left Foot Charley’s, at Stella’s Restaurant, Traverse City, MI, both wineries of the Old Mission Peninsula, November 19,2007.

Tawny, transparent yellow-green.

Powerful, salty, tangy lime, and lacquery, with roasted walnuts and a hint of beluga caviar, vanilla, woodsmoke, sweaty saddle and baked cherry pastry.

Very firm acidity and balancing sweetness; woody with just a hint of earthiness and sweatiness on the intense, almost endless finish.

Still quite stable to flavor and scent five days after opening; same is true at 10 days. 98/100.

This is an exquisite but very sparse vintage, about 97 percent of the usual harvest having been destroyed by oidium (powdery mildew). This vintage and previous ones were marked by starvation among the vineyard workers, and, although the remedy for the fungus was already discovered (Bordeaux copper sulfate mixture), this was just in time for the attack of the phylloxera. The vineyards have truly never quite recovered. This extremely rare and perhaps even unique 147-year old pre-phylloxera bottle shows the 21st century what a tragedy all this was. A wonderful but humbling and sorrowful experience. (Notes from Alex Liddell's book Madiera; Faber Books on Wine, 1998). By the way, a search of Cellar Tracker shows that there is at least one bottle of this stuff out there in someone's cellar, or at least there WAS one.

Photos can be viewed at http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q91/rieslingrat/IMG_0779.jpg and http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q91/rieslingrat/IMG_0776.jpg

In June, 2015 I gave a sip out of this bottle to Gene Rolf and myself. Even with only a half-ounce or so left it was in great condition and quite recognizable for what it was.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    6/18/2015 8:50:00 PM - You might want to take pictures of your bottle (front, back, all labels, capsule, level of wine in bottle if showing) to send to Madiera experts. I know one of the most knowledgeable and objective Madeira experts in the country, Roy Hersh of the For the Love of Port website, who has deep knowledge of Madiera and other Portuguese wines and travels to all important regions several times a year. He is not in the business of selling wine, but of providing information.

    Depending on exact identity (which can be difficult to establish in an old bottle with damaged labels) and to some extent storage conditions and condition of closures, this wine could be worth as much as $350 to $500, allowing for the conditions you described. How was the bottle stored, exactly, and under what temperature and humidity conditions? Do you see signs of old or current leakage?

    You may reach me at rieslingrat@aol.com, if you so desire.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    6/18/2015 8:54:00 PM - By the way, you might have seen that the cost of the excellent bottle I purchased in 2007, eight years ago, was $180 US. At the time I remember thinking of it as an excellent and even unusually good value. I'll look on some auction sites to see if info is posted there.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    6/23/2015 1:46:00 PM - No current auction movement on this rarity. I remember seeing one auctioned a few years back in Australia, but the price is irrelevant to the current market, being way too low. Interesting to know that this was imported by Hammer Co; Cleveland, Ohio. So we know two markets. Do you have the marketing information on yours?

Beer

2014 Bieres de Chimay S.A. La Chimay Bleue Grande Réserve

Malt more

4/3/2015 - Ombibulous Likes this wine: 90 points

When poured carefully, there is little head, but good carbonation, natural carbonation of course, from the yeast strain isolated by Fr. Theodore. The bubbles are varied but mostly extremely small (a sign, as in champagne, I believe, of good quality yeast-based carbonation). This ale is made from the protected water from the abbey's well. Brewed within the walls of an authentic, functioning Trappist monastery, under the supervision of the Trappist brethren, and a major part of the proceeds of selling these beers goes to the monks' charitable works. Rich and flavourful. Tastes better after it's been out of the fridge for a while. I have one of these bottles at least once a year. Full bottle cost $12 I think. Overall value: 4 stars of 5.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    6/23/2015 1:41:00 PM - Much of this information would be helpful in the Wiki section so that every 'vintage' would pull it up; might be better to concentrate on your impressions. Look who's talking, Trombley!

Red

2005 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

4/18/2009 - RiedelBeagle wrote: NR

Drunk from half-bottle. Decanted at the sommelier's suggestion (isn't decanting red Burgundy frowned upon?). Phenomenally voluptuous nose of damp earth, green vines, and elegant fruit that brought a tear to my eye. Literally. Having my nose in the glass was like taking a nap in a hammock in a fertile vineyard shortly after a spring rain. I felt like leaving my seat at the restaurant and climbing into the glass for a few hours.

The nose weakened within 20 minutes or so, and the wine was always more restrained on the palate, seeming as though it was trying to find itself. Gravel, earth, leather, musk, dark fruit, and sappiness that occasionally reached the level of pungency meandered around each other, occasionally striking a glorious balance that would easily be worth 95 points in my book, if it could have maintained itself. I don't have a good enough sense of how such a wine ages to know whether it will ultimately get its act together in the long term. I did note that I detected extremely little tannin.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    6/9/2015 4:35:00 AM - Isn't decanting red Burgundy frowned upon? Not particularly, not when it's indicated for any reason. In this case I would have vigorously decanted, even if there were no sediment. If there were sediment, of course.

    John T.

White - Sparkling

2006 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut

Champagne Blend more

4/5/2015 - tinybubbles Likes this wine: 92 points

Certainly not the most refined Cristal, this is still a very good wine. Nose of lemon peel, apple, light hay smoke, and wet rocks. Relatively smooth in the mouth despite youthful acid and citrus.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/22/2015 5:18:00 PM - Tinybubbles, I wonder if you really mean to be practicing score deflation here. You say that this wine, at 92 points, is very good, and our scale calls that excellent (90--93). A very good wine would be from 85-89. Can you fill me in a bit more as to your take on this wine?

    BY the way, you are not the first to do this, or the only one. I see it all the time. That's why I think it's not just a matter of semantics.

White

2010 Château-Grillet (Neyret-Gachet) Château-Grillet

Viognier more

12/28/2014 - Butty wrote: 94 points

Good introduction to Grillet! Obviously more structured and complex than most Condrieu - has a more restrained and mineral driven style but with great intensity of fruit (although not overblown or flabby as can be the case with Vioginer) - feels like an old world version of Condrieu. I suspect this will age well. I thought this was very good - I would not hesitate to buy again (even with the expensive price tag) for the interest if not the quality. This would intrigue most Rhone tasters - interesting!

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/18/2015 9:06:00 AM - Isn't Condrieu made in France, and therefore old world by definition? Perhaps you are referring to the variety from which this wine is made, the Viognier?

White

2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese feinherb Ur Alte Reben

Mosel Saar Ruwer more

11/29/2013 - coremill wrote: 87 points

Extremely earthy and slatey, but this is more dry than off-dry and has a grassy edge I associate with Sauvignon blanc. I like Lauer's interpretation of feinherb much more. Was a bit nonplussed by this.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/17/2015 5:41:00 PM - If this is the first Selbach Oster for you, I expect after a few more you will see how different the style that Johannes Selbach makes on the Mosel from that which Florian Lauer makes on the Saar. And, perhaps, see that there is a place for both of them.

White - Off-dry

2006 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Silvaner Auslese

Franken more

9/20/2010 - ArieS wrote: 99 points

Great wine. Strong botrytis with lots of apricots, floral notes and great acidity. This is light and refreshing with a medium to long finish.
If Lawgirlt can give a ridiculous score, why can't I?

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/16/2015 11:01:00 AM - The fruit here is typical of Silvaner and I wouldn't really call it botrytis-influenced. Certainly is refreshing, particularly served cool, and one of my favorite styles of dessert wine, sadly very rarely encountered outside Europe. Hurrah Rudi Weist for bringing it in.

    Similar wines are made in other Steigerwalt vineyards, with alabaster-limestone influenced soils. Had beauties like this at Castell, for instance.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/16/2015 11:46:00 AM - That's a pretty mean median score!

White - Off-dry

2006 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Silvaner Auslese

Franken more

8/15/2008 - Lawgirlt wrote: 76 points

Like drinking honey - without the viscosity. Funky bottle.

$22 at Astor: This comes from one of the lesser-known German wine producing regions, Franken. Home of the crazily-shaped, regional bottle known as the bocksbeutel. Rich with a dense floral, honeyed and earth driven profile.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/16/2015 11:03:00 AM - Lesser known as a region here in the United States, certainly, but deserving of better from us.

White - Off-dry

2001 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel

Nahe more

5/21/2011 - JesperR wrote: 92 points

Not that long and not too concentrated, but very pure, very distinct and precise, and very, very lovely.
Almost melts and dissolves like an exquisite soufflé on your tongue. For now it's completely free from petrol on the nose. Drinking excellent right now, but will probably last and evolve for many years to come. To me right now just about the epitomy of what Mosel Auslese is all about.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/15/2015 1:19:00 PM - Hm. If this is the epitome of what Mosel Auslese is about, I wonder what you'd think of a real Mosel wine! (SMILE).

Red

2004 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore

Corvina Blend, Corvina more

4/26/2015 - wineduggery wrote: 90 points

Disappointing. Too simple for the price.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/6/2015 3:52:00 PM - Too simple? That's a very interesting comment. To me it was overwhelmingly complex with many rough and unintegrated flavors and scents. I'd have to say it's complex to a flaw.

    Thanks for your note.

Red

2004 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

4/28/2015 - kbcadeponei wrote: flawed

Ruined!

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/6/2015 3:51:00 PM - Thanks for posting even negative or flawed experiences with this bottle. In my experience, the wine is somewhat uneven with decided bottle variation.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/6/2015 3:51:00 PM - Thanks for posting even negative or flawed experiences with this bottle. In my experience, the wine is somewhat uneven with decided bottle variation.

White

2009 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Hochrain

Wachau more

5/6/2015 - aekenback wrote: 85 points

Heavy, ripe and concentrated. Tropical fruit, elderflower and petroleum. Very rich and powerful but lacking freshness and balance. Probably passed its' peak.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    5/6/2015 3:43:00 PM - based on several tastings of late it may be this is a flawed bottle. Thanks very much for your note.

Red

2013 Tamaral Ribera del Duero Roble

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

12/30/2014 - RVARob Likes this wine: 89 points

Drank well with excellent flavor. Would drink again. I wouldn't hesitate to give it a few more years to develop as well.
The wine looks purple colored.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    4/6/2015 5:58:00 AM - Thanks for getting out the first quick review on this wine. Will help those who shop with LastBottle, I'm sure.

    John Trombley

White - Off-dry

2001 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel

Mosel Saar Ruwer more

7/27/2013 - sdr Likes this wine: 94 points

This is the queen of the '01 auslesen I have been trying, as it should be. Creamy rich but not at all cloying. Just the right sweetness for accompany a light dessert. Notes of orange, apple and apricot. It will improve in the years to come, but it's already irresistible.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    4/10/2014 5:04:00 PM - This wine was the absolute favorite of a series of about 30 Wehlener Sonnenuhrs from various producers at the August 2013 Mocool in Dexter, MI.. It was so in demand that I never got a sip

White

2005 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre

Chardonnay more

1/24/2012 - dmitri wrote: 93 points

Very surprised about relatviely low scores on cellartracker. This is a very good special vineyard Meursault (not a village wine as someone had written - village wine implies grapes collected in bulk from different village vineyards while Clos de la Barre is an actual enclosed vineyard). For those who like Meursault, a very good Meursault also means a fantastic white wine that is clearly better than vast majority of white wine out there. To add something else: this is the white wine that can go pretty much very long distance, as it only now started to open up. This wine has to be decanted to open, and in my mind the optimal time is about half an-hour in a decanter. It cannot be served very cold because its classic nose of roasted sunflower seeds and spiced honey will not show. Having followed these simple steps, one is assured of a memorable experience as distinct from a feeling of 130+USD wasted. The body is superbly structured, strong, with no hint of alcohol in the taste despite standard 13 degrees alcohol content, and a touch of acidity underscoring its weighty complection. The aftertaste is very impressive as the wine stays with you for quite a while. I suspect that this wine will stay this good for another 5-10 years at least.

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    1/29/2013 11:33:00 PM - Of course technically this is a 'village' wine (in French). The French describe the Clos de la Barre as a 'Lieu-dit', and so it's a 'Villages Lieu Dit', a very different kind of vineyard category than a grand or premier cru and of course showing a more definite terroir note than your usual village wine. It's hard to believe after tasting a few good examples that it's not a premier cru at least, but we have to remember that the classification applies more strictly to the vineyard and not the wine made there.

    Thanks for the nice and informative note.

White - Off-dry

2005 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Saarburger Rausch Riesling Auslese Lange Goldkapsel #5

Mosel Saar Ruwer more

10/8/2010 - sweetstuff wrote: 97 points

nb: FOR THE SAKE OF THOSE WHO NEED A BRIEFER NOTE AND A TERSER IMPRESSION, A SHORT-FORM NOTE WILL FROM NOW ON BE PREPENDED IF POSSIBLE FOR THESE RATHER VERBIOSE NOTES OF GREAT LENGTH. tHIS IS OF COURSE NOT A BLOG AND EVENTUALLY i HOPE TO SEPARATE THE tns FROM THE blogging.

AP 3 561 083 5 00. 7.5 pabv; $60/375 ml after buyer premium; WineBid.com. Imported by Rudi Weist Cellars International, San Marcos, CA.

A wine with which Barbara and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, a truly golden era for both of us, and worth a stunning bottle. Shared at Hawthorne Suites in Cincinnati.

Color is rich, polished, adamantine gold over medium green tea. A thick, unbroken coating of extract. harmoniously delicate nose, like a Haydn quartet. It is a wine that for now is contained within itself, waiting to be coaxed from its shyness, but the shyness seems something of a game. There is a sawn-pine pungency waiting in the background to spring to life, and hints of mountain strawberry.

The opening palate impression is of first-flush Darjeeling tea of the highest quality. The acid and sugar are bound up in a razor-edge that at first is painful to taste. The primary note is again of a fine tea, with an orange and strawberry flavor of great clarity, length, and with the precision of an optical laser. The only thing holding this wine back from a higher score is a need for it to integrate a bit more in the mid-palate or to the sides of the tongue; after some time it may be worth another point. Barbara, who is fascinated with the way these wines change over time, will be following this with me over the next several days, too.

A third-day relook (refrigerated, but not decanted) shows fruit that's more tea-driven and more evident botrytis of the 'thick' variety; there's still a great deal of purity to the nectarine-juice impressions, but there are neat flashes of curing hay, a somewhat vanilla-like component there as well, called coumarin. All in all much more pleasant to drink than it was on the eighth,wwith less punch but without the painful tongue-dissecting act of before, out of the same bottle. I'm thankful to have had an opportunity to spend some extended time with this bottle (and with the one in whose honor it was poured, my delightful and intelligent wife Barbara.) Give this one another 3-5 years to smooth the edges, and drink from 2015 to 2050 and perhaps longer. No hurry at all, and a superb candidate for prolonged aging. For those of you who know your cellaring, 2018 to 2020 will start to show some tertiary fireworks. So drink circa 2013; then forgeddaboudit till 2018. A truly superb bottle in the making. 97/100.

We brought along a caramel apple from Winans in Dayton to nibble and a better match could not be imagined.

David Schildknecht claims that this is an auction lot, but it was not so designated by a VDP Versteigerungs circle on the bottle. There must have been a change in plans, because of recent years the three Auction ausleses have been numbered AP 03, 02, and 01 for the White Capsule Auction Auslese, the Goldkap Auction Auslese, and the Long Gold Cap Auction Auslese.

This is in any sane world a Trockenbeerenauslese, one of the greatest Zilliken Auslesen, or any Zilliken wine, for that matter, that I've ever had the pleasure to taste. How Hanno Z. is able to make such a powerful wine so invitingly drinkable is part of the secret of his art, which may not be something he can pass on to the next generation--but we hope so.

(97 pts.)

  • Comment posted by sweetstuff:

    12/30/2012 9:39:00 PM - Herr Sweetstuff's products have great length but perhaps could be trimmed a bit to give better QTR (Quality Time Relationship).

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