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

1997 Domaine J. Chamonard Morgon Le Clos de Lys

Gamay more

5/23/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

A complete contrast with my previous bottle. Tight cork this time and the wine smelled good as soon as it was opened. Decanted off a boatload of sediment, it did need an hour or so of air to open up. Soapy and vegetabley in a ghostly and elegant way. Long finish.

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Rosť - Sparkling

2006 Marie-Noelle Ledru Champagne Brut Rosé de Saignée Grand Cru

Champagne Blend more

5/19/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

A lot of blood orange here, including that fruit's muskiness, which I loved. A dewy, sweet freshness without the wine actually being sweet, that carries through on the smell. Long rosewater finish. Some biscuit.

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Red

1991 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

5/18/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

So much to enjoy here. Incredibly fresh tasting. I was happy that I didn't decant. At the end of the bottle there was just a very slight cloudiness to the wine, almost no sediment. The wine closed up on itself, or faded, after being open for a few hours.

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White

2011 Caves Duplessis Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume

Chardonnay more

5/17/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

Far more chiseled than the bottle of 2011 Vaillons drunk alongside but by the end of the first night the Fourchaume relaxed a little. On the second night, it was excellent, softer and seaweedy.

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White

2011 Caves Duplessis Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons

Chardonnay more

5/17/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

Drunk alongside a bottle of the 2011 Fourchaume, the Vaillons was certainly the more open of the two the first night. There was a crabby smell and taste to it that I really liked. It didn't last that well the next day, though.

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White - Off-dry

2009 Weingut Günther Steinmetz Wintricher Geierslay Riesling Spätlese feinherb

Mosel Saar Ruwer more

5/10/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

This was terrific, the kind of wine that brings a smile to your face. Stony with orange blossom.

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White

2009 Domaine Macle Côtes du Jura

Savagnin, Traminer more

5/9/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

Powerful but only showing alcoholic heat when the bottle was first opened. A particularly pronounced and compelling fruitcake smell and taste that strongly reminded me of Macle's Macvin. The wine was more refined on day two.

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Red

2013 Aimone Giobatta Vio Riviera Ligure di Ponente Rossese di Albenga Bastia d'Albenga

more

5/7/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

This was hard to pin down descriptively and particularly enjoyable for its distinctiveness. Most like a Poulsard in terms of its being light-bodied yet textural and flavor-packed (a certain smokiness standing out). Excellent when drunk with a tomato sauce-based dish.

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White

2013 Les Bottes Rouges (Jean-Baptiste Menigoz) Arbois Leon

Chardonnay more

5/3/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

Lightweight at first, with air this became rounder, tasting riper as well, belying its low alcohol. There was a fantastic, zingy stoniness to it that coated the tongue and eventually that subtle tang you get with many other ouillé Jura whites. Better to finish this the night it's opened.

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White - Sparkling

NV Marie-Noelle Ledru Champagne Brut Grand Cru

Champagne Blend more

5/2/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

This Brut tasted more classical if only a little less dry than a recent Ledru Extra-Brut. I couldn't say which I liked best. The same, distinctive celery taste and smell in both wines. The Brut was marked by spices at first, becoming salty, fresher and more floral with time open, with a mouth-coating texture toward the end of the bottle.

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Red

2014 Clos du Tue-Boeuf Vin Rouge

Loire Valley Gamay more

4/30/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

Pure pleasure. Fresh, a little chalky, vibrant fruit.

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Red

2012 Georges Descombes Brouilly

Gamay more

4/26/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

I've really liked all of the Descombes 2012s I've tried. They've had beautiful weight and balance. This bottle of the Brouilly did currently seem to be in an aromatically closed phase, though. A recent bottle of the 2012 Brouilly Vieilles Vignes was more open.

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Red

2013 Pierre Gonon Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche Les Iles Feray

Syrah more

4/24/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

This needed a couple of hours in the decanter (after being shouldered for a while) to drink well and was very "digeste" at that point. Serious but with a sense of fun. Tart fruit, sanguine, with some woodsmoke and mint smells. The tannins kicked back in and the wine closed up again some time later.

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Red

2010 Patrick Corbineau Touraine Cumelle

Cabernet Franc more

4/21/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

A wine that had a lot to say. Raspberry taste, soft and lightweight at first, it then became more lush in texture after being open for a few hours. Very "alive" and a little funky in a good way, tasting of squid-ink and jalapeño (rather than green pepper).

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White - Sparkling

2008 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Blanc de Blancs Cuvee Heurtebise

Chardonnay more

4/21/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

So chalky in taste and smell, with a vibrant, almost electric balance of acidity, freshness and dosage. The texture rounded out nicely with time open and there was finally a biscuity aspect to the wine.

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Red

2011 Roland Pignard Morgon Tradition

Gamay more

4/19/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

Dark and closed at first. After a couple of hours in the decanter, it woke up. A lot of iron, before an entrancing herbal-floral aspect emerged: lavender and other smells. Powdery texture, coating the mouth very nicely toward the end, certainly some background structure. Eventually, a sour plum taste.

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White

2013 Domaine Belluard Gringet Vin de Savoie Les Alpes

more

4/19/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

This was a textural delight, particularly on day two when the wine was at its best. A pineapple taste, then increasingly stony. The pleasant smell of old wicker baskets.

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Rosť - Sparkling

2009 Bereche et Fils Champagne Campania Remensis

Champagne Blend more

4/17/2015 - Ben H. wrote: NR

Stern, with neither the exuberance nor the earthiness that I enjoy in other rosé Champagnes. There were some colorful bursts of raspberry and strawberry that came and went, as well as shellfish smells at the start that then disappeared. For most of the time it was open, though, this bottle was austerely dry and too restrained for my taste. Lightweight but with very firm bubbles.

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White - Sparkling

NV Benoît Lahaye Champagne Naturessence

Champagne Blend more

4/14/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

This was not far behind the 2009 Le Jardin de la Grosse Pierre in terms of enjoyment. The bottle's back label states that it was bottled in 2011 and disgorged in 09/13. (So probably 2009 base vintage?) Like the Grosse Pierre, this was more bracing than other wines I've had from Lahaye. Lemony with some gala apple at first. After an hour or so, a striking tilleul note developed first on the midpalate then the nose. Chalkier toward the end, when the finish was less dry and more syrupy, with some Christmas spice. Lovely texture as the bubbles' prickle dissipated a little.

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Red

2012 Domaine Des Vignes du Maynes (Julien Guillot) Mâcon-Cruzille Manganite

Gamay more

4/13/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

Reductive at first, this greatly improved in the couple of hours after it was decanted. Rose garden smells, pleasantly tart, a structureless texture, pure. It held up well on day two when it was more suave in texture and vegetal in taste and still very aromatic.

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White

2007 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons

Chardonnay more

4/11/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

Lemony and saline when first opened. Then, with air, intense gunflint, almost overwhelming on the nose, as if the volume was blasting. Toward the end of the bottle, the wine's iodine quality became more pronounced and I tasted and smelled seaweed.

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Red

1955 Antonio Vallana e Figlio Spanna Cantina Castello di Montalbano

Piemonte DOC Nebbiolo more

4/8/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

An amazingly characterful wine, mature, of course, but with an agelessness to it. Tiny cork, about two thirds the usual length and atypically narrow. The wine instantly smelled great as it was being double-decanted (into an empty bottle of the 2013 Campi Raudii as the 1955 bottle was truly filthy and had some cork stubbornly stuck inside its bottle neck). 5 hours later a menthol smell and a pleasant cough-drop quality to the taste. The finish was already very long and savory. Over the next couple of hours, herbal and eucalyptus tastes and smells, a little bouillon; unusual qualities that were a great match for the fat and iron in a dry-aged steak. The texture became more and more refreshing, like a mountain stream.

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Red

2001 Dumien-Serrette / Nicolas Serrette Cornas Patou

Syrah more

4/5/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

An elegantly textured Cornas, fairly light. This bottle seemed headed toward full maturity while retaining a trace of youthful freshness. It had an intense cassis smell when first decanted that then receded while lingering throughout, its defining quality. Some balsamic and sous-bois, a sour cherry taste later on. Not a wine that needed many words to describe it but distinctive, memorable and delicious.

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Red

2012 Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo

Langhe DOC more

4/3/2015 - Ben H. Likes this wine: NR

I've been told at the Cantina itself that the Langhe Nebbiolo is intended to be drunk young. However, this bottle seemed more serious than that, while still being approachable now. Tannic when first opened, it started to show well after 7 hours double-decanted and kept on improving. A powdery texture at that point and a floral taste, like candied violets (or violet creams). As the nose gradually opened up over the next couple of hours there were smells and tastes of mint and licorice. The texture finally became svelte and rich.

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White - Sparkling

2011 Domaine Belluard Gringet Mont Blanc Brut Zéro

Vin de Savoie more

4/1/2015 - Ben H. wrote: NR

This bottle was disappointing, especially compared to previous experience with Belluard's regular sparkling Gringet. A dominant caramelized taste. Some baked apple a few hours later on.

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  • Tasting notes: 200 notes on 182 wines

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