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

2013 Weingut Karlheinz Schneider u. Sohn Sobernheimer Marbach Riesling trocken

Nahe more

5/22/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

This is old-style trocken riesling that can shear the enamel off your teeth and then say, "If he dies, he dies." Fortunately it picks up some more color and flesh as it warms up.

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Red

2004 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

5/21/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 85 points

Eh. For one of my favorite château in all of Bordeaux this was rather lacking in personality as well as class. Not closed either as it is still fairly primary in fruit. I guess that counts as a triumph for the vintage, which isn't always so ripe. This did have a slight bite of bell pepper but that's something I welcome in PLL. I was mostly disappointed because PLL usually has a very graceful figure and this didn't show its breed as far as the texture goes.

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Red

2011 Éric Texier Côtes du Rhône Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban Vieille Serine Domaine de Pergaud

Syrah more

5/17/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 90 points

When Eric introduced this wine he describes the terroir as similar to Cornas. This is the first vintage where that's really been apparent to me, and boy, is it ever. There is so much muscular tannin at first that it starts out totally dry and backwards. The fruit sweetens up in the glass a bit but it's really the leftovers two whole days later where it finally gets friendly and easygoing and brings the fruit into the foreground. At that point, it features the signature fresh, piercing purity and succulence that typifies the house style for me, with just a hint of the tannin that was totally dominant on day one.

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Red

2005 Catherine et Claude Maréchal Bourgogne Cuvée Gravel

Pinot Noir more

5/17/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

2004 Red Burgundies: Ringer. I thought this might be funny to toss in and see if the bottom of the hierarchy from '05 ends up besting the top of the hierarchy from '04. Didn't really work out that way; whatever you want to say about the '04 vintage, those were wines already and this is still kind of tutti frutti (reminded Cristi of Beaujolais, which makes sense). It got a bit more grippy and, well, gravelly in the glass but the '04s were clearly more serious and engaging.

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Red

2004 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays

Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

5/17/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 91 points

2004 Red Burgundies: Better, way, way better than the Musigny. Graceful and classy. I didn't get any greenie meanies here at all, more of a spicy woodsiness, though Maureen thought it smelled kind of herbal (okay, weedy) (okay, like weed). Less gloss, more matte here, but full and fleshy with a very finessed texture.

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Red

2004 Domaine Truchot-Martin Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes

Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

5/17/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 96 points

2004 Red Burgundies: Best of all, no contest really. These were poured blind but there was no point because you can nail the Truchot just from a quick whiff. Just a touch of barnyard on the initial decant but in the glass it's all stony earth and mature Burgundy savoriness, nothing primary left in here obviously, but with an almost juicy freshness just the same. This is much fuller and heavier than the 1er crus from Truchot this vintage but it's all personality, satisfying not just for the house style like the 1ers are but as a very expressive Clos de la Roche.

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Red

2004 Joseph Drouhin Musigny

Musigny Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

5/17/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 86 points

2004 Red Burgundies: Good, but no doubt about it this has that prickly stemmy green thing going on. Sappy and grippy, rich enough to smooth out some of that bitter green, but there was still enough of it to rob this of any Musigny personality IMO.

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Red

2012 Éric Texier Côte-Rôtie Vieilles Vignes

Syrah more

5/14/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 99 points

Never had a better young Rhone. Well, it is chronologically young, but it's insanely complex and featuring all sorts of the interesting non-fruit elements that you often have to wait a long time for. The Brezeme and St.-Julien-en-St.-Alban wines are such great values here that I have not paid as much attention as I should have to the Cote-Rotie, but this really does offer whole extra dimensions of complexity that justify the tab. It's got a savory, saline meatiness along with tapenade and sweeter baking-spice elements and all sorts of other things I can't even begin to put my finger on, but what I love the most about Texier's wines is how pure and fresh the fruit is. It's saturating and glossy and dense with natural fruit sweetness as fresh and vibrant as if the berries were being foot-stomped right in the glass. I can't think of any other producer that pulls off fruit so rich and luscious that's also so pure and fresh and thirst-quenching that you could be perfectly happy guzzling through a straw. Needless to say, no leftovers to follow the next day. :( I bought six more and will cellar some but not all -- it's just too good now not to enjoy some as is.

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Red

2012 Domaine Pierres Seches Cuvée Georges de la Tour

Northern Rhône Syrah more

5/14/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 90 points

This is a really fun bottle of syrah. It reminds me of the early days of the Aussie shiraz fad, when they were still fun and frooty and before they got ridiculous. The fruit here is very pure and richer in concentration than I expected, but still fresh and tangy, with a savory salinity that maybe gestures at the classic bacon thing. Some edgy tannin emerges the longer it's open

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White

2013 Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier Nieder-Flörsheimer Frauenberg Riesling Großes Gewächs

Rheinhessen more

5/13/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

Can I just say I love the labels on these wines, because they look like the original jacket to the vinyl Wish You Were Here. Anyway, I was a bit surprised, though maybe I shouldn't have been, to find this a lot more reticent than the Hohen-Sulzen, to the point that I'd recommend sending this one straight to the cellar and going to the 'lesser' (or at least the cheaper) wine as the one to enjoy now. The purity is all here but it didn't have that electric energy or the dynamic, serrated texture of the Hohen-Sulzen.

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Red

2009 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Franc de Pied

Cabernet Franc more

5/13/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 95 points

Tremendous performance out of this, easily the most impressive and also the most substantial Breton Franc de Pied I've had to date. I had previously viewed this bottling as a tier below the Baudry or Joguet FDPs but perhaps the vines have matured to the point where I should reassess (or maybe the wine itself is just maturing). This offers a powerful blast of complex aromatics right from the first sip, both earthy and savory and maybe even spicy, too. It's one of those wines where a lot of that personality moves into the background after a few minutes, so make sure you sample this one out of the gate instead of leaving it around to breathe all night. But from there the palate offers luscious fruit, significantly more concentrated and more layered than any prior vintages of this wine have been, with maybe a very fine bead of CO2 in there that you can barely notice through the fruit. You *can* get a sense through the fruit of some of the interesting things that were fleeting through those initial aromatics, savory root flavors and spice seasonings and what-not. But it's really the sense of power I find most impressive relative to prior vintages that were more in the camps of "elegant" or glou-glou. This is the kind of stuffing that makes you think it'll be virtually ageless and just coast forever on all that material, like the '59 Bordeauxs or something like that.

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Red

2013 Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir Buntsandstein

Baden more

5/12/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 97 points

My oh my oh my. Let me first try to describe this as objectively as I can before I start babbling in tongues about why it's awesome. So, okay, we'll start with the color, which is somewhere between a rosé and a pale red. That's as good a portent as any for what you get when you taste it, which is this ethereal, gossamer, lacy thing that would probably flutter to the earth even slower than a feather if it were a solid object. It has a sense of freshness and light without being overtly fruity, i.e. it features the freshness and essential perfume of the fruit without the sweetness or fat. It has a minerally element too, subtle (though everything about this is subtle) but clearly reminiscent of gravelly rock pulverized to an ultrafine powder (everything about this is ultrafine). The word "finesse" is a cliché, ditto for "ethereal," but ultimately that's what's so awesome about this. I have had a lot of disappointing German pinot noir, even from highly regarded producers, and they never turn out to be what you think German pinot noir ought to be (i.e., as clear and pure and transparent as riesling, with all that cool-climate lightness). Somehow some of them turn out to be big fat Sonoma pinot lookalikes, which I will never understand. This is not like that. I am really at a loss to think of anything from anywhere to compare this to that so effortlessly pulls off such a vivid personality out of material so fine it only barely seems to have a corporeal existence, and not a flaw or seam to be seen in the way it is all put together. I can think of a Jura that was in the ballpark (the '08 Chais des Vieux Bourg) and the weight and physical presence bring to mind something like Coteaux Champenois or the Dirty & Rowdy reds, but as far as I am concerned this is sui generis. There are aspects that bring to mind all sorts of things but it really needs its own frame of reference. It is profound but not in the same way that grand cru Burgundy is profound; it's a brilliant soloist, not a symphony, almost minimalist in its simplicity and tranquility, best paired with your favorite easy chair and some quiet moments.

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White

2012 Domaine de la Pépière (Marc Ollivier) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Clisson

Melon de Bourgogne more

5/11/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 89 points

Good, but it didn't knock my socks off. Very pure, a cleansing style laced with something vaguely chalky, and so easy to drink it should probably be in full-liter bottles. But my favorite Muscadets tend to be more angular and crunchy with that sensation like they just painted the roof of your mouth with stalactites, and this one instead was pretty slick and smooth and creamy.

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White

2011 Casca Wines Colares Monte Cascas

Malvasia Bianca, Malvasia more

5/11/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 90 points

This is lighter in weight and not quite as stuffed as the Arenae or Gomes white Colares, but it starts out with a similarly sulfury funk that needs a bit of time to blow off. Then it becomes a very pure and minerally, briny white that calls out for oysters or some other sea critters.

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Red

2012 Domaine Hervé Sigaut Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers Vieilles Vignes

Pinot Noir more

5/8/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

Eh. Satisfying if you're in the mood for a burgundy that's anonymously "elegant," but no personality here.

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White

2011 Domaine Didier Grappe Côtes du Jura "Ouille"

Savagnin, Traminer more

5/8/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 92 points

Didn't knock my socks off like the 2010 did, but possibly just because it was in a bit more awkward a stage - I'm drinking the leftovers now a week later and it's way better put together, with a sandy, oceanic minerality that makes this taste like Chablis in a deeper octave.

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Red

2009 Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour Clos des Billards Vieilles Vignes

Gamay more

5/8/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 92 points

Gushing with fruit at first along with a thick dusty structure - there is so much stuff packed in here that it can't possibly have the finesse and seductive texture of the non-VV bottling, but it is still impressive in its own way and a worthy wine to complete that set of the '09 Beaujolais super-cuvees. Notwithstanding its power the flavors are still fresh and classic with bright fruit and a load of pulverized granite stirred in, yet another '09 that fails to feature any of the overripe flavors the vintage's detractors always complain about - just pure gamay and rock with the density kicked up a few notches

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Red

2013 Dirty and Rowdy Mourvedre Skinner White Oak Flats Vineyard

El Dorado County more

5/8/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 93 points

What can I say about the Dirty and Rowdy mourvedres I haven't already said - nobody else makes California wine you can guzzle with as much joyous abandon as these (and from mourvedre no less!). It is one of those rare reds that is thirst-quenching. This bottling manages to pull that off while being a bit more past its fruit elements than some of the others, heavier on the pebbly minerality than the primary juiciness.

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Red

2008 Pierre Paillard Bouzy Rouge

Coteaux Champenois Pinot Noir more

5/8/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 93 points

Man, I still can't figure out why nobody cares about Coteaux Champenois except me. This is gorgeous. I actually might have pegged it for red Burgundy at first as it is thicker and heavier than Coteaux Champenois pinot tends to be. But it still has that characteristic Champenois minerality that doesn't really fit with any Burgundy I can think of, as if the wine was full of metal shavings. There's a somewhat gamy layer there too which comes out on the back end. This is really nice, not quite as graceful or weightless as some CC but still a very elegant and satisfying drink and packed with personality.

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White

1999 Weingut Knoll Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Loibner Loibenberg

Wachau more

5/8/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 94 points

Deep yellow in color but still fresh as a daisy. It's got that rough, jagged buzzsaw of a texture with a wealth of warm, fleshy fruit (why does gruner always have the taste of bananas to me?) with a back end that features a touch of cracked pepper and some seriously interesting semi-herbal-but-can't-do-it-justice-I-don't-know-what. Per usual, as it breathes and warms up in the glass it gets fresher and brighter but also fuller and fatter. Not to the point of the Vinothekfullung of course--this is obviously much less extreme of a weight class--but it serves up a touch more energy and vibrancy as a result.

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White

2013 Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier Riesling Hohen-Sülzen Trocken Rheinhessen

more

5/8/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 92 points

Ripping texture with that youthful sizzle, but even though this feels bone-dry it's not that sharp, punishing style of trocken. There is nice, fleshy, melony fruit that even has a sort of gentle sauvignon blanc-type character in the leftovers the next day once that immediate sizzle calms down. Also while it's very mineral it's not dark Mosel-type slate, it's chalky and so clean and flowery you could make a bath soap out of it.

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Red

2012 Guillaume Gilles Côtes du Rhône Les Peyrouses

Syrah more

5/1/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 89 points

Old vine syrah from the wrong side of the tracks in the Cornas neighborhood, so it's appellation Cotes du Rhone, but the hope is that it's kind of Cornas-y even if it comes from the flats. At first it's super-structured and backwards but also very hearty and dense with that rich old-vine concentration. The flavors at that point might have passed for something grenache. With a bit of air it gets more civilized though, retaining that hearty richness but the structure turning almost silky even though it builds and toughens up on the back end. How Cornas-y is it? Well, it doesn't have any of the wild meatiness or much non-fruit stuff, and the particular berry flavors still coulda fooled me on the syrah vs. grenache thing, but that dense inner core and muscled structure seems about right. I think this will need some cellar time to mellow before it gets in my zone, though. The leftovers the next day start to show some graphite-like minerality poking through but the fruit tastes even more like grenache. There is no way I would have guessed this for anything other than a Chateauneuf at this point.

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Red

2002 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Bèze

Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

4/29/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: NR

Beautiful. Starts out still primary, with a gush of fruit and oak seasoning, but very luxe oak seasoning as you would expect. Really comes into its own with the second glass, when it absorbs all the oak and the texture turns to silk. This is remarkably finessed and feminine. At Heartland.

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Red

2004 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Bosconia

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

4/28/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

Just eh. Disappointing.

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Red

2012 Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot

Syrah more

4/25/2015 - Keith Levenberg wrote: 90 points

This was really good, but I always find myself a little surprised with this wine that I don't find it more impressive still, knowing the raw materials (century-old vines) and classic techniques that go into making this. Still, it does have all the ingredients of a long ager so maybe it is just not as flattering at this age as some others can be. This vintage pours out very deep in color with strong bacon aromatics (this vintage is much more expressive than the 2010 was). It has some of those old-style rawhide Cornas tannins, but they don't really get in the way here. With more time in the glass the stem influence comes to the surface, with some overt green stemmy aromas, but there is still plenty of ripeness and saline meatiness to the fruit that makes this pretty easy to keep coming back to.

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  • Tasting notes: 4,167 notes on 3,539 wines

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