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Wine Type Vintage Name Variety Locale Date Posted Score Helpful Comments Comment Date Community Score More...
Red

2012 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard

Santa Cruz Mountains more

3/23/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 92 points

Drank together with the 2012 Skyline. A fascinating show of contrasts among two of my favorite Rhys vineyards. This one is brimming with sweet fruit, with heady aromas of summer raspberries as fresh as if the fruit were being foot stomped right in the glass. The fruit flavors are inky and saturating and the texture is open-knit, generous, and velvety.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    3/25/2015 10:56:00 AM - As a general rule I always try to give Rhys pinots a long decant. It makes a huge difference.

Red

2010 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric dël Fiasc

Nebbiolo more

10/24/2014 - Keith Levenberg Does not like this wine: NR

This is one extremely disappointing bottle of "Barolo." I don't feel good saying that because I really wanted to like this. The reports are that Scavino had pulled back on the oak and is just aiming for a pure style without harsh tannins, rather than an overtly moderniste style. That's something I can get on board with in theory, but the result here is a big bottle of nothin'. It had some rubbery aromas which I ordinarily figure is a sign of reduction, although they stuck around even through hours of decanting and in the leftovers days later (of which there was a lot - five of us couldn't muster enough interest to finish even half this bottle on day one). Beyond that it was just anonymous red fruit and soft fluffy tannins, so I guess they pulled off what they were shooting for from a structural perspective but this is a wine that could have come from anywhere. The only way a wine like this is worthwhile is if some character will emerge with the requisite time in the cellar, but given that the whole purpose of this style is to avoid the need for so much time in the cellar, I am not sure what purpose it serves.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    3/22/2015 9:58:00 AM - thiel045: This was tasted with 5 other 2010 Barolos all of which were enjoyable to drink and not in hiding. If you've had 10-15 year old Scavinos and enjoyed them then maybe you'll be happy with this one. I haven't enjoyed them at any age.

Red

1996 Jérôme Chezeaux Clos Vougeot

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

12/27/2014 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 94 points

Performance today was like an upside-down bell curve. Instantly impressive and packed with character from the pop of the cork, then curling up into a shy little ball, and finally reopening for the last couple of sips. But that first glass - woah. I keep having to remind myself to pay more attention to the Neal Rosenthal Burgundy producers that nobody talks about because they're too busy chasing Fourrier or something. This is kind of in a similar style, in that the first thing you notice about it is how gentle and refined it is - this is not one of those Clos Vougeots that's about sheer power and torque. But it is nevertheless very structured in a sneaky kind of way. There is still a great deal of tannin here but you don't notice it at first because it is so refined and cashmere-soft. In that period before the aromatics closed up, this also offered up very perfumed scents of Vosne-like brown spices and a bit of enticing barrel spice, along with deeper earthy scents hinting at more mature Burgundy barnyard. Then all of this stuff crawled into hiding and the wine didn't offer up much more besides light red fruits, though it was still very satisfying to drink on account of that ultra-refined texture that just blanketed the palate. At the end the tone deepened and some of the more interesting flavors reemerged, so all in all this was a nice window into a really beautiful Clos Vougeot that is probably about 5 years away from a very long and graceful drinking window. This is a great plot of the Clos too--top of the slope near the chateau.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    1/3/2015 5:03:00 PM - I think what we would have regarded as 1996 vintage characteristics a few years ago are very different now. I wouldn't say they're ready yet but that stale, fruitless, acidic profile is mostly a thing of the past.

Red

2010 Edmond Cornu & Fils Ladoix 1er Cru La Corvée

Pinot Noir more

2/19/2014 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 94 points

Gorgeous bottle of Ladoix, and very reminiscent of a Corton; it has all of the personality and most of the power. The fruit is rich and sappy, with a real sense of sève and palate grip. It has a lot of density, too, but it's solid--rich and fleshy without being flabby, a muscular concentration of fruit. A stony mineral element under the surface certainly enhances that sense of solidity--I just love the bold mix of stony earth and sappy, grippy fruit. And it's exceptionally easy to drink.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    2/20/2014 7:57:00 PM - I got it from Jeremy around ~$50 in a mixed case - yeah, that's definitely pushing it as far as a "value" Burg goes but I think it's worth it and glad I have a few more. Winex has the '09 for $40 which I haven't tried yet. Rosenthal seems to suggest this bottling is the sweet spot for Cornu. http://madrose.com/index.php/france/burgundy/cote-de-beaune/domaine-edmond-cornu-et-fils#ladoix-1er-cru-“la-corvée

Red

2009 Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes

Pinot Noir more

12/2/2013 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 92 points

Really pretty Volnay, and a steal if you bought it through the Premier Cru sale. This has the best features of the 2009 vintage, with its plush, fleshy, open-knit presence without any hard edges. It has cashmere-soft tannins running through it, making the texture more soft than slick - this is already past its primary gloss, and the flavors are in a very perfumed, floral place moreso than any juicy fruit, although it does have a nice blue berry tinge. This is super easy to drink and perfectly put-together.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    12/3/2013 8:05:00 AM - I'm cellaring 3 more, no worries here.

Red

2005 Domaine Ponsot Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Cuvée des Alouettes

Pinot Noir more

7/26/2012 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

2005 Burgundy Nite (Dino): Spritzy, and it needed a Mollydooker shake. After that it was pure fruit, with a burst of sweet berry flavor as if it were a pinot noir reduction sauce except it didn't come across thick in weight or verge over the line into being candied.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    9/21/2013 2:54:00 PM - You pour out a taste, then put your thumb over the bottle and shake the devil out of it. Repeat as necessary. It usually gets rid of the co2.

Red

1998 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes

Pinot Noir more

8/7/2013 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 90 points

Hey, it's a ready-to-drink Lafarge! Tannins are almost completely resolved and the aromas are advanced and old-winey but with a touch of sweet cocoa powder lurking in there too. This tastes very lean in its physical presence, practically a wisp of a wine, but the flavors are deep and dark, more black-and-blue fruits than red. The issue as with many '98s is that it doesn't have much freshness left to it, so I'm not sure which way this goes from here.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    8/7/2013 7:35:00 PM - oui!
    I bought a bunch from that consignment. Bottles have all been in great shape.

Red

2004 Rhys Pinot Noir Home Vineyard

San Francisco Bay more

5/18/2013 - etherscreen wrote: NR

i've gone through just over a half a case of this, and sadly this was my last bottle. this particular bottle is a bit past its prime and some of the complexity has dissipated. it's still a delight to drink.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    5/19/2013 5:51:00 PM - Are you sure you have the right wine here? They only sold 200 bottles @ 2 per person - would've taken a lot of hunting to end up with over half a case.

Red

2010 Mollydooker Two Left Feet

South Australia Shiraz Blend, Syrah more

5/17/2013 - Keith Levenberg Does not like this wine: 55 points

This is of course really, really terrible, but the main thing that continues to mystify me is how people call this kind of thing a crowd-pleaser. I poured it for a crowd and almost nobody liked it. It smells like blueberry Smuckers jam and tastes so sweet and grapey one wonders if they even bothered to ferment it; this resembles the Kedem grape juice that my 3-year-old drinks more than wine, albeit with an admittedly higher Fruit Weight™ index and the completely gratuitous addition of an obscene amount of oak that tastes of such raw, pure wood (not even toast or chocolate or spice or any of those things) that it almost seems like they figured out some way to crush and ferment a truckload of tongue depressors, which I guess is ironic considering the totally unfermented flavor of the grapes. There was actual jawdropping around the room when I pointed to the explanation on the Mollydooker web site that the producers consider this a 65-70% on their Fruit Weight™ scale and that they make other wines that go all the way up to 100, considering that we are already well into Spinal Tap territory here. On the "other" point scale I am scoring this a 55 rather than a flat 50 only because the 16% alcohol actually didn't stick out so bad, but this really does taste like a wine made by somebody who has never actually drank wine. I get that the idea here is to take all the characteristics that impress the critics so much and use those trademarked techniques and the Aussie sun to crank them up to 11 (and beyond), but if this is an attempt to emulate any style of actual wine it's akin to having Stevie Wonder try to copy a painting.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    5/18/2013 11:50:00 AM - Marcellevi might want to do some thinking about the concept of selection bias. Most people who buy wines like this (or any other known type) do so expecting to like them. People who do not like that sort of thing don't tend to buy them or have occasion to drink them. That's why community tasting notes skew towards the positive, and that kind of selection bias makes it virtually impossible to figure out who is really in the "minority."

    Personally, I rather enjoy having the occasional excuse to taste a wine I hate. It is certainly more entertaining (in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 kind of way) than drinking a wine which is "just okay." Obviously, this wine was not something that I purchased expecting to enjoy it, although I didn't expect it to be quite as bad as it was. I chose it as part of a tasting I was presenting to non-wine folks in my office in which I was trying to show style contrasts. Mollydooker is of course one of the most extreme examples of its style out there. (Sine Qua Non is another, but outside our budget.) Served after a traditional Rioja, I think it made the point very effectively. Out of about 20 people, one person said they liked it, a few were indifferent, and most absolutely recoiled. Marcellevi's "guess" about the crowd I poured it for was thus a pretty bad guess. And I am not sure why he thinks I would care what score the Rhone Report gave it.

Red

1995 P. Dubreuil-Fontaine Père & Fils Corton-Bressandes

Corton Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

4/1/2013 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 95 points

Really nice Corton. Opens with stony aromas and a touch of stony austerity to match, but by the time we get to drinking it, it actually becomes astonishingly silky and pliant - can't remember the last time I had a Corton so feminine. It has the savory, earthy notes that probably put it at the very beginning of a zone of mature drinking, and just gets better and better as it airs out.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    4/27/2013 7:31:00 PM - 2-3 hours, maybe more.

Red

2009 Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rùfina Riserva Bucerchiale

Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese more

3/16/2013 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 90 points

This was very structured and seems a good candidate to close up pretty hard soon. For now, though, despite there being a lot of tannin, the grain is powdered enough that it doesn't seem harsh, and the material has this sheer, slender presence that takes all that muscle and puts it in a feminine package. The result is very, very drinkable. Nevertheless it was one of those wines where most of the aromatic expression takes place in the first two minutes, when it offered an interesting scent of stony earth on top of the fruit, and then it got much more shy.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    4/25/2013 8:59:00 AM - Mostly because of all that tannin, and because prior vintages have already closed up. I can't say how long that is likely to last - most people who pretend to predict that stuff are BS'ing it.

Red

2004 Emmanuel Houillon (Maison Pierre Overnoy) Poulsard Arbois Pupillin

more

10/19/2012 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 98 points

Wonderful wine. And a great argument for aging your Overnoys, if you're lucky enough to have any. This is why you age wine, to get the depth and all the wild things and the seamless integration and the total metamorphosis. The aroma alone was packed with character, just a quick whiff of the neck of the bottle told you you were in for a treat. It was vaguely reminiscent of old Burgundy with a little whiff of the barnyard but there were all sorts of other things going on too. Structurally, almost everything is resolved. There's no noticeable tannin left at all, although there is still a quiet high note of acidity that maybe helps hold it all together. The result is just ridiculously seamless and comfortable, it doesn't just glide across the palate, it gives the palate a cuddle and a back massage. It's totally past its fruit and into pure savory stuff and if you tried to catalog it all in the traditional tasting note lingua franca you could go on forever. Mushroom broth, pine needles, oatmeal cookies. That's just for starters.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    2/20/2013 9:22:00 AM - Not an easy find anymore unfortunately. The hipsters snap them all up. I hear it's also big in Japan.

Red

2009 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru 150th Anniversary

Pinot Noir more

12/21/2012 - Keith Levenberg Does not like this wine: NR

Poured blind. I guessed California pinot on account of the sweet Jolly Rancher taste. Not a fan.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    1/29/2013 3:23:00 PM - Actually, I haven't found the 2009 vintage too heavy on the fruit, not in general nor at Jadot specifically other than this particular wine. I like the vintage very much--and Jadot aced the Clos des Ursules. I believe the way this wine shows reflects specific stylistic decisions that were made for it that aren't reflective of the rest of the stable here. If I were making cellaring bets I'd sooner put my chips on Ursules or the other Beaune 1er crus.

Red

2000 Château Léoville Barton

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

1/22/2013 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 97 points

Wow, remember when this wine was a blockbuster? Now it's practically a ballerina. There is so much that is impressive about this already but one of the most remarkable things is how svelte its figure is, with the tannins commensurately fine-grained and lacey. I never would have guessed this could turn into something so feminine and elegant. That's the impression in turns of mouthfeel and shape, anyway, but the actual flavors are serious and deep. You get a twist of blue and black fruits tinged with cedar and iron; at times the minerality seems almost more prominent than the fruit, but both are probably less emphatic than they otherwise might be because the tannins are still wrapped around it all, as elegant as they are. They certainly do not compromise the drinkability in any way. This wine keeps you coming back to it so compulsively I was almost tempted to open a second.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    1/23/2013 4:18:00 PM - I don't think I would want to open this now if I only had one, unless you're mulling over buying more. It is certainly a good buy relative to more recent vintages (and to any number of other Bordeaux that cost a lot more and aren't as good).

White - Fortified

NV Valdespino Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Palo Cortado Viejo C.P.

Palomino Fino more

12/18/2012 - Keith Levenberg Does not like this wine: NR

I don't think I've managed to grok Palo Cortado yet as a general category, but I've had others I've liked more than this. This is very brown and while it has some crispness and a saltwater taffee thing going on, I just don't find this dark, muddled style as appealing as a fino; admittedly this doesn't have an oxidative taste but the oxidative *effect* seems to have muted or muddled a lot of what I like to see without bringing out anything else to show for it except the browning. It also feels somewhat stiff which makes it a slow sipper.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    12/18/2012 9:35:00 AM - About a week now. I think it's just not my thing.

White - Off-dry

2005 Carl Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese

Mosel Saar Ruwer more

2/11/2012 - salil wrote: 87 points

Not quite on the level of the other bottles I've had recently; the sweetness is more pronounced this time and it comes across a little thick without the acidity and cut I'd like to balance it. Still quite pleasant, and works well at the table with some mildly spiced Indian food.

  • Comment posted by Keith Levenberg:

    2/11/2012 7:02:00 AM - MILDLY spiced? You're slipping.

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