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Vintage Name Variety Publication Reviewer Score More...
Red

2007 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
A firm depth of colour to this wine. A remarkable nose, full of roasted game meats at first, followed up by notes of bitter cherry and black olive; together these aromas give it an enticing feel. The palate has a moderate texture and bags of character, with flavours that more than live up to its aromatic promise. Nevertheless the structrue is stern, with a firm backbone of acidity and rather a wealth of dry and sappy tannin. More focused on structure than flavour, although there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. In fact I think it is rather good. And it has length, too. 17 points
White - Sweet/Dessert

2005 Castello della Sala (Antinori) Muffato della Sala Umbria IGT

White Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This sweet wine, which is 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% a mix of Grechetto, Traminer and Riesling, has a deep orange-gold hue in the glass which promises much. A rich, citrus fruit, candied lemon and barley sugar layer of sweetness on the nose, nuanced with notes of thyme and smoke. There is just a little baked edge to it in the background as well, with oxidative tinges which rather put me in mind of the wines of Domaine de Juchepie. Sweet and polished on the palate, broad and quite grippy, intense and also of great substance. The flavours are of dried fruit, broadening out in the finish. What is missing, despite that Juchepie analogy, is the minerality or the pithy bitterness that can make wines such as this so exciting. Still, we shouldn't overlook the many good points here. 16 points
Red

1991 Domaine Joël Champet Côte-Rôtie La Challière

Syrah more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This was a great vintage for Côte-Rôtie, although this is not a domaine I am familiar with. The label declares this as a Côte Brune cuvée. A mature colour in the glass, although with a lot of depth to it. The nose is delightfully evolved, showing notes of undergrowth, well-hung game, juniper berries and tobacco. It is, unfortunately, the most convincing facet of this wine. The palate starts off thick and slightly chewy, and showing some anonymous old-wine characters on the midpalate. The fruit is lightly stewed, but the acidity sharp and contributing towards a rather hard feel to the wine's structure. The fruit does cover this structure fairly well, but there is nevertheless an undeniably sour feel underneath it all. With a little more time in the glass it does display a touch more harmony, but overall the effect is somewhat short of convincing. I'm glad I had just the one bottle. 14 points
Red - Sparkling

NV Duchessa Lia Brachetto Brachetto d'Acqui

Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
Alcohol 6.5%. A translucent cherry red, with a soft-pink foam. Cherry cough mixture on the nose, with a spiky and crisp edge, nettles or similar, over the sweet, oily fruit. A nice mousse in the mouth, a full, sweet and fleshy composition, with an attractive spiky edge to it in the middle. There is a nettle and sherbet lift here, but it is the soft sweetness that dominates. A fresh finish here, but ultimately I find this is straightforward and rather simple. 13.5 points
Red

2008 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This is 100% Sangiovese from vines of at least 50 years of age in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga. Fermented at 28-30ºC with punch-down, followed by small and medium-sized oak barrels for 12 months. This looks tired in the glass already, and the aromatic profile matches my first impression, being full of balsamic notes and caramel sur-maturité. The palate holds no surprises, with plenty of grippy tannins and low acidity, but as the nose suggested it lacks fruit freshness and definition. This is not in a good place right now; looking at my note from a previous tasting in February 2011, I wonder if this sample just isn't a little tired. 13.5 points
Red

2007 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This is 100% Sangiovese from the Rància vineyard, and it has seen out between 18 and 22 months in oak. The fruit has a polished feel aromatically, with an overlay of oak, showing a creamy, plum-liqueur character tinged with black olive. It still seems very youthful and primary, sweet and ripe, but it certainly holds lots of promise I think. The palate is supple and yet substantial, polished, with plenty of grippy, powerful tannins. There is some firm acidity which dominates here and through in to the finish, where the tannins show a smoothly textured quality. A wine with really great potential I think. 17.5 points
Red

2004 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Fontalloro

Toscana IGT Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This is also 100% Sangiovese, the major difference here being the soils, as some fruit comes from clay terroirs outside the Chianti Classico zone which is of course dominated by galestro and albarese. There is certainly evidence of evolution here, in keeping with the wine's seven years. There are some notes of mature, autumnal, stewed black olives, along with some soft, rather gentle, rather rounded-off fruit. The same style comes through on the palate, bringing a rather diffuse impression. It has a rather gentle style. There are some attractive elements here but overall this lacks weight and definition. 14.5 points
White

2007 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga I Sistri Toscana IGT

Chardonnay more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This is 100% Chardonnay, fermented in new oak, with a subsequent élevage between 6 and 8 months, also in new oak. The nose certainly has a 'fat' feel to it, with plenty of barrel-ferment character and super-ripe fruit, moving through the tropical fruit spectrum into over-ripe, toffee-tinged melon. In the mouth it is unsurprisingly soft and fat, the acidity there insufficient for my palate, unable to cope with the weighty, glycerine-oiliness. One for lovers of fat and oaky wines. 13 points
Red

2006 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Maestro Raro Toscana IGT

Cabernet Sauvignon more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maestro Raro and Il Poggiolo vineyards, fermented in stainless steel, followed by élevage in new oak. On inspection it has a dark, dense and rather matt hue. Aromatically I find it really rather appealing, quite distinct from the Sangiovese wines and yet not immediately typical of Cabernet Sauvignon either. There are scents of black olive, dark fruit skins, plum and smoky black cherry especially, but all with a bitter bite rather than fruit sweetness. The palate also has some soft, bitter, olive-based fruit suggestions, is certainly fleshy, but underneath there is a very firm tannic grip. Unfortunately these tannins do seem to completely dominate the latter moments of the palate, lasting right through the finish and clinging on for dear life long after any suggestions of fruit have long faded. Nevertheless, there are elements here worthy of praise. Alcohol 14.5%. 15.5 points
White

2009 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Pepestrino Toscana IGT

White Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This is a blend dominated by Trebbiano, accounting for 70%, with 15% each Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, the fruit from Pagliarese, north of Fèlsina. Fermented in stainless steel. Fresh and lively on the nose, with clean fruit, this has an appealing lift. The palate has a fresh and pithy fruit character, with an attractively bitter streak. A moderate weight, defined, straightforward but I like the definition and this is undoubtedly fine for warm weather drinking. Alcohol 13%. 15 points
Red - Fortified

1991 Fonseca Porto Guimaraens Vintage

Port Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
Dark, maturing, still very densely coloured on inspection though. The nose starts off in a very obvious fashion, full of sweet fig and cedar, showing plenty of spice and with a little time also a fair whack of spirit. But with time it does all channel down into something a little more defined, mainly a cedary wood-spice with chalky, vanilla tinged, edge, but also a painty-chemically nuance too. It suggests a dry structure, perhaps with a woody streak, but although there are elements of this on the palate much more evident - at first at least - is the rather fat and substantial entry, with a slightly plump and soupy feel. This puppy fat quickly falls away though, to reveal a wealth of spice and power behind, formed by a layer of tannin and peppery, biting alcohol which goes some way to cut through the sweet, full, figgy fruit - although it never really manages it as I would have hoped it would. With more time it does indeed build in substance, showing a broad and sweet character, which then rolls up in full finish, slowly fading out with a grippy, spicy, peppery, biting and rather hot and spirity length. This all seems a little top heavy, hot and fierce at the moment. As is often the case there are appealing elements, although for me they don't dominate at present. More time in the cellar may soften some of the coarser aspects of this wine's character. 15 points
Red

2007 Fontodi Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This wine has spent 12 months in oak, and the yield in this vintage was about 200,000 bottles. A bright colour in the glass, and aromatically a slightly warm and meaty nose, although there is also some ripe and fresh fruits and a violet perfume, with a typical Sangiovese custardy edge. Soft and warm on entry, meaty as the nose suggested, grippy with some substance and a nice tannic backbone. Although the tannins show quite firmly on the finish, there is good acidity throughout giving the wine an attractive lift. Very good. 16.5 points
Red

2007 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT

Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This cuvée has seen 24 months in new French oak, and the alcohol is a striking 15%. The production in this vintage is 60,000 bottles. The nose is very classic for the variety and region, showing a rich seam of fairly dark fruit with a very firm, custardy feel to it. Aromatically it is very appealing, but I note there is also a little hint of toffee coming in the back here, and although the 15% does not show on this tasting perhaps this elements is alluding to fruit ripeness in this warmer vintage. A beautifully composed palate, quite stylish and rich, with a good structure. There is plenty of vigour on the palate, despite the thick seam of ripeness and texture. Very different in style to the 2008, but still holding much promise. 18 points
Red

2008 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT

Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This cuvée has seen 20 months in new French oak, and the alcohol is 14.8%. The production in this vintage is 55,000 bottles. A really perfumed style on the nose, with scents of black olive to the fore. The palate has a beautiful substance, showing a clean and bright frame giving the wine a feminine allure which more than compensates for the substantial depth it presents. A firm tannic backbone nevertheless, with a great seam of acidity; surprisingly that 14.8% alcohol doesn't come through on nose or palate. Very good indeed. 17.5 points
White

2009 Fontodi Meriggio Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT

Sauvignon Blanc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
From a single vineyard, La Rota, fermented in stainless steel, yielding about 8000 bottles per annum. A really clean and fruity nose, very fresh and fruit-dominated, with an aromatic profile moving into kiwi and passion fruit. The palate has some good substance, fleshy but also fresh with good acidity cutting right through it. This is satisfyingly bright and fresh considering the Tuscan climate. 15 points
Red

2006 Fontodi Syrah Case Via Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT

more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
From 5 hectares of vines planted in 1985 which first yielded fruit in 1990. An élevage in French oak, one-third of barrels new each year. A very dark hue here, clearly different to the Sangiovese wines, fairly opaque in fact. A sweet and spicy fruit nose, with a schisty suggestion to it. Rather full and broad on the palate, nevertheless quite dry, and without the flesh of the Flaccianello vintages just tasted. Spicy, peppery, a touch soft, but there is some acidity here adding a sense of firmness to it. Overall, good. 16 points
White

1991 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec

Chenin Blanc more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
A very discoloured cork at the top half-centimetre, black with age, but clean beneath, as is the wine. Not decanted, simply poured from the bottle, this aged dry Vouvray has a rich golden hue in the glass, and a nose that starts out with a quite linear feel, suggestive of stony minerals, before slowly relaxing and evolving in the glass. It shows with time warmer and softer aromas, rather funky notes of wool alongside straighter elements, of nuts, especially almonds, with a sweet pastry-marzipan feel to them. Later pure notes of white fruit and desiccated pineapple, with a touch of ginger. Quite a full, polished feel at the very start, fleshy but well defined, bright and solidly framed rather than anything more delicate, and maintaining a good sense of proportion through the middle. It displays a welcome vein of acidity here, strong and citrusy and very punchy, perhaps a little bitter towards the finish, although only mildly so. And it keeps the finish of the wine, which has a really good length, nicely defined. Overall I find this has certain appeal, conveyed principally by its vigour, definition, dramatic composition and length, less so the aromatic and flavour profile which doesn't stray too far from its nutty opener. Good though. 16 points
White - Off-dry

1991 Hugel et Fils Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive

Alsace Gewürztraminer more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
My last half-bottle from about half a dozen I picked up for a song at an auction quite a few years ago. I've always preferred this Gewurztraminer to the slightly older Pinot Gris I bought at the same time. Happily this final bottle is in good condition; it shows a clear mid-golden hue, and the nose shows nice varietal character, with notes of blood orange and lychee, along with smoke, pancetta and rose petal perfume. It shows glossy richness on the palate, with a soft and fleshy feel, the supporting structure mainly coming from the bitter pithy grip that underpins it, rather than any firm acidity. This is attractive stuff, holding up very nicely too. It is only the low level acidity, not at all surprising for Gewurztraminer of course, that prevents it from being much more enthralling than it already is. In the finish though, it is very long, with a lovely bitter grip along the way. 17.5 points
White

1991 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia

White Blend more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This aged reserva has a very deep and rich golden hue befitting its age, and reminiscent of burnished gold. Aromatically it is enticing and very secondary as I expected, with immediate notes of almond, butterscotch and old school desks, mixed with dried citrus peel; it has a woody feel to it, but there is also a suggestion of substance and intensity which bodes well for the palate. And this is not false promise; at the very beginning it seems very bright and smoky, before broadening out beautifully in the midpalate to reveal some intense, nutty, slightly salty depth and a lovely layer of dried fruits behind the dry and intense structure of the wine. There is great substance here, the wine full and rich despite the slightly austere backbone which is well hidden by all the interest and substance. Fresh, fine, with citrusy acidity, and very long too. This is superb, so pleasing and yet also quite cerebral, and it is streets ahead of the 1987 recently tasted. 18 points
Red

1991 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
Wax capsule. No sediment of note. Left in the bottle at first, but as it showed slow evolution in the glass I decanted the rest and left it for an hour. Seemingly a pale hue when decanted, but a richer hue in the glass. Certainly a very mature hue though, mahogany with redder tones at its core. The nose is also very evolved, gamey, slightly suggestive of aged, sweetly tanned leather, with great complexity. There are also hints of liquorice and fennel, green olives and peppercorns, and dried plum fruit. A really full and broad texture on the palate maintained right through the middle, with faded tannin and fairly firm acidity, which helps to keep the finish nicely cleansed. Full, rather exciting tingle on the finish, and a really impressive length. Fresh and bright in its composition, with great acidity, lifting and freshening the dried fruit and roasted meat characters. Great substance on he finish. And it is very long too. Delicious. 17.5 points
Red

1991 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
A very long and well-stained cork removed without any notable trouble, and from beneath a wine showing fading tones, with certain maturity. From the outset this gives an evocative set of rich, gamey aromas, and although they firmed up with a little time in the decanter this was really good to go from the moment the cork was pulled. There is the sweetness of baked plum and orange peel, with high-toned edges to it, and the evolved aromas of game, leather and liquorice also quite prominent with time. Complexity is the word, I believe! A very cool, reserved, linear start to the palate, softening in texture a little through the midpalate but never completely relaxing, as there is a very firm acidity here that cuts right through everything it has on the palate. Wonderfully taut in its composition, and yet finely flattering too, with a lightly chalky background. Rich, gamey, a touch of dried fruit, but overall substantial, fresh and very impressive. Incredibly long too. Superb. 18.5 points
Red

2007 Marchesi Mazzei Chianti Classico Riserva Castello di Fonterutoli Ser Lapo

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
A first taste served ridiculously warm at the estate was soft and blowsy as a result, and thus unworthy of comment. This bottle, served later by me was poured at the correct temperature. There is exuberant fruit on the nose, rather plump and berry-like in character, very primary with notes of black olive and also some vanilla on top. Rich, cool, fleshy, very dense on the palate, cut through by great acidity which was certainly not apparent when I tasted at Fonterutoli. It is savoury and broad, fresh and quite grippy, with a good ripeness to the tannins. With a rather firm structure and good fruit this is certainly set to cellar well. 17.5 points
White - Sparkling

NV Mionetto Prosecco Treviso Legatura

more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
Bottled with the traditional string legatura holding in the cork. Alcohol 11%. A surprisingly firm pressure behind the cork, although there is little evidence of any bead of note in this pale, pale wine, which displays just a faint tinge of green. Aromatically it is rather anodyne, showing steely-edged fruit but little else more enticing. The palate is refreshing all the same, showing some fatness from the residual sugar, and with some fruit here, marked by a bitter-pithy edge. This is well countered by the wine's gentle sweetness though. Short, rather moreish with its cleansing acidity, but otherwise straightforward. 14 points
Red

1991 Bodegas Muga Rioja Gran Reserva Prado Enea

Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
Nine years since I last opened one of these - so we should expect some development here. Opened with a double-pronged butler's friend, it wasn't long before the cork was disappearing into the bottle here. Not loose, but not exactly super-tight either. Quite a rich sediment for a gran reserva. Now, at twenty years of age, this wine still has an impressively dense hue in the glass, with very mature tones throughout. The nose is impressive, in that it offers very rich aromas suggestive of great substance, cut through with firm tertiary development, full of game, bacon and black liquorice. Once these elements have had their turn, a soft seam of oxidation does appear in the background, muted notes that dull the firm edges of the wine. This is also apparent on the palate which otherwise offers a very dense substance, the fruit having now faded, leaving in its wake appealing tertiary aromas of long-braised beef, with a high-toned persistence to it across the palate. There are scents of leather, juniper berries and lightly stewed fruits. The composition of the wine has a brightness, the acidity firm, supporting a texture rather richer than the Bosconia tasted alongside. But that oxidised nuance has dampened my enthusiasm somewhat. Other bottles will surely show better than this. 16.5 points
White

2009 Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignano Vigna Santa Margherita

more

Winedoctor

, Chris Kissack
July 2011
This has a nose suggestive of oily fruit, and I am a little disappointed at first to find some aromas related to oak more than anything else. As it turns out the wine sees a fermentation in oak, followed by five months on its lees en barrique before bottling, and this undoubtedly has some bearing on the aroma profile, bringing notes of fennel, groundnut oil and specifically nuances of toasted almond. Nevertheless, these elements are not domineering, and the wine seems to handle these components fairly well. The palate is supple and unsurprisingly its form is well polished by wood, but underneath there is a substantial feel to the fruit here, and behind that a pithy grip that calls to mind bitter grapefruit above anything else, although the texture of the wine remains broad and stylish. There is also a slightly peppery, spicy spritz to it which brings an additional note of vigour to counteract the seams of winemaking that are evident. Overall, eventually seduced by the paradoxical combination of nutty almond and firm citrus flavours rolled up in an attractively solid shell, I have to admit to myself that I really like this wine; it works well with barbecued gamberi, which might give some indication of the balance of the citrus and wood-related flavours within the wine. The oak-allergic, however, might do best by homing in on Panizzi's lesser bottlings. 15.5 points
  • Reviews: 31 /
  • Wines: 31

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