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

2009 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée Les Bossières

Pinot Noir more

2/5/2016 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

Not completely shut down but pretty damn close to it. Offers up some spicy scents for about two minutes before the aroma just turns into a faint whiff of winy fruit. The palate is surprisingly juicy, getting more of its structure from the acid than tannin. The material doesn't seem nearly as dense as the 2010, but that could reflect getting to this one too late for a good preview. And then it's just rusty fruit that never opens up again.

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Red

2011 Jules Desjourneys Fleurie Les Moriers

Gamay more

2/4/2016 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

Very deep and dark color for a Beaujolais. You can see the usual magenta vibrancy at the edges but otherwise it's unusually black. Quite a monster on the palate as well, with a heavyweight footprint and somewhat chafing tannins. The granitic mineral element complements the fruit well and there is also a streak of cedary oak. If you were wondering what Beaujolais can pull off with a longer elevage, I guess you've got it here, but no doubt it comes at the expense of the charm and accessibility you usually get.

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Red

2013 Julien Cecillon St. Joseph Babylone

Syrah more

1/27/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 93 points

This is a terrific St.-Joseph that fills a nice niche in the world of syrah I don't encounter nearly as often as I'd like - it has all the earthy funk, cracked pepper, and dry-aged meatiness of a powerful Northern Rhone yet instead of the slick, dense fruit and/or ripping tannic muscle that ordinarily accompanies that, it's a buoyant middleweight with pure fruit firmly on the red-fruit side of the spectrum. It's almost like a friendlier version of a Levet Cote-Rotie - a lot of the savory elements that make those so interesting are here and the transparency and weight are similar, the fruit here is just rounder and cleaner. It's not a "needs food" wine - it's easy to sip and even has a surprising amount of glou glou for something with this kind of depth. A blend of young(ish) 25 year old vines and some serious 115 year old V.V.'s, which may be how it manages to pull off both sides of that personality at the same time.

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Red

2010 Dujac Fils et Père Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Damodes

Pinot Noir more

1/24/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 94 points

This is one ravishingly beautiful bottle of Nuits. Perhaps even too beautiful if you come into it expecting a powerful, tough-guy styles of Nuits. This is ultra feminine and could pass for a top-slope Vosne with its silky texture and dusting of cinnamon spice - kind of like a Petits Monts and with just a bit more inner stuffing it could pass for grand cru. The classiness is certainly there. It doesn't have the stemmy edge that makes some of the Dom. Dujac wines on the sharp and firm side at this age, but the quality level is right up there with the domaine wines. For the price, this was a steal.

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Red

2009 Marcel Juge Cornas

Syrah more

1/8/2014 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 96 points

This is such an old-style Cornas that it hardly even bears a resemblance to any Cornas in my memory, yet a Martian could probably recognize it as Cornas going just by the descriptions of Cornas in old books. It is rough, rustic, and wild, a wine for the Marlboro Man, with searing sandpaper-textured tannins of the type almost nobody has the guts to make (or drink) anymore. The body of the wine manages to stand up to all that muscle as it is just packed with grip and grit; you've got to scrape it off your tongue every couple of sips. It's concentrated and dense with something but not anything remotely fruit-like; it's full of savory, dry-aged flavors (but not really meaty, just the patina of dry aging) and a snap of something fresher and greener on account of the stems.

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Red

2004 Riecine Chianti Classico Riserva

Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese more

1/20/2016 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

Not in a real happy place. I hope this doesn't reflect where it's going to end up, or how my riservas from more recent vintages are going to develop. The flavors here are a little stale and very developed for its age, with some sweaty and leathery scents along with a bothersome leafy, minty green streak. Wasn't very fun to drink, glad we had something else open.

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Red

1998 Château Haut-Bailly

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

1/16/2016 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

I could have sworn I had a bottle of this a year or two ago that was much more wide open than this one. This one is at a fairly difficult stage, somewhat boxy and gritty in texture. It takes a few hours before some tarry, charcoal-flavored Graves typicity emerges. I was surprised not to find this more expressive after a 1995 showed terrifically just a few weeks back. Needs a few more years at least.

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Red

2013 Domaine Courbet Côtes du Jura Violette

Trousseau more

1/12/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 89 points

Lots of CO2 in here, so it requires some heavy shaking and/or a long decant. As a general rule, I don't find trousseau to have quite the intrigue that poulsard does, but this one is a little stonier and less simple-fruity (and mroe structured) than most, with a complexion of cranberry and roses. The fruit unfurls a bit more and picks up a satiny texture once it kicks that CO2, while still having a nice acidic zing. 90% destemmed and 10% whole cluster from two plots of 10-50 year old vines, according to the importer web page.

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White

2014 Vincent Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet

Chardonnay more

1/15/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 94 points

Wow, this is one seriously beautiful Chablis. Both my first from Vincent Dampt and my first from the 2014 vintage - one or both of those things must be very special indeed! This features bright fruit that's at first more notable for its purity and ethereal presence than the usual Chablis minerality. The slender contours and gentle weight is kind of what I imagine it might be like if Frederic Mugnier made a Chablis. The trademark Chablis oyster-shell minerality comes out after it's open a few hours, but it's on the mild side. The main themes here are the zen-like tranquility and pure fruit that makes it feel like spring even in the middle of winter.

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Red

1996 Domaine Roger Belland Santenay 1er Cru Beauregard

Pinot Noir more

1/13/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 94 points

Really beautiful bottle of Burgundy - at the early stage of true maturity but seems to have the stuffing and density to hold on for awhile. Ready to go pretty much from the pop of the cork, too. A healthy, fresh ruby in color, yet the fruit is in a mostly tertiary stage with savory, earthy aromatics while still having plenty of body and sweet flesh and with that sticky, sappy grip that only age brings once the structure has simmered down. I bought this very recently for $20 a bottle. If you factor in storage costs of $1 per year, that means the wine was FREE! Don't give up on your off-the-beaten-path Burgundies, people! They can age superbly, too.

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Red

2012 Éric Texier Côtes du Rhône Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban Vieille Serine Domaine de Pergaud

Syrah more

1/10/2016 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

Solid but monolithic. Let sleep.

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Red

2012 Vieux Château Certan

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend more

1/10/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 90 points

This is one big and bold VCC, dare I say a bit uncharacteristically so for VCC - but prices have kept me away for a few years and perhaps the winds of fashion have started to blow even here? It is an inky black hue in the glass and has correspondingly black-pitched fruit flavors on the palate, which are still fully primary, sweet, and dense. I usually get a more lithe profile from this chateau. It does have some more precise etchings around the edges, maybe reflecting some of the cabernet franc structure, but this is still somewhat monolithic and I have to hope the elegance comes out in the cellar.

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Red

1999 Domaine Michel Juillot Corton-Perrières

Corton Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

1/10/2016 - Keith Levenberg Does not like this wine: NR

Stale. DNR.

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Red

2011 Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Cuvée Pif

Red Blend more

1/7/2016 - Keith Levenberg wrote: NR

Soft for CRB. Fruit is still vivid, but the contours are all dulled.

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Red

2014 Georges Descombes Brouilly

Gamay more

1/6/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 93 points

Some of the purest, most alive fruit I've ever tasted in a wine of any kind. Yet the texture is full and luscious without being simple juicy fruit - the freshness is in its flesh and not just the acidity. When birds eat perfectly ripened grapes right off the vine they're probably experiencing something like this.

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Red

2011 Claire Naudin Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Myosotis arvensis

Pinot Noir more

1/5/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 96 points

"Peut-etre pas si fragile qu'il n'y parait?" asks the producer in a promo sheet I found for the flower cuvees - "Perhaps not so fragile as it seems?" Perhaps not! This is basically showing as a completely different wine than the bottle I had two months ago, substantially sturdier and more expressive, like it had totally awoken from a long sleep - and it was already a pretty thing even when it was groggy. Now, however, it's a knockout. It's got a wide array of enticing flavors and scents, most of them subtle but the cumulative effect is a nice earthy punch on a nimble frame, somewhat reminiscent of a Truchot wine but more earthy than funky. These are really wild flavors, not the usual things derivative from fruit and barrels - there's stuff like truffle and carob here. Hard to keep my nose out of the glass, but it delivers on the palate too, where the figure is lean and feminine but quite a bit denser and fruitier than my bottle a few months ago - no more sense of fragility, it's a powered elegance.

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Red

2010 Clos Rougeard (Foucault) Saumur-Champigny Les Poyeux

Cabernet Franc more

1/4/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 98 points

A stunner from the very first sip. Maybe the best Poyeux I've ever had - up there with the best Rougeards I've had. Sophisticated and refined texture, feminine and satiny like a fancy Pomerol - even Burgundian in some moments - flowing with pure, ripe, red berry fruit that retains its classy figure and composure despite its piercing primary intensity. The flavors beyond the fruit are classic cabernet franc and a pure STGT of a Loire red, with a vivid snap of cracked black pepper and forestal brambliness. Earthy and yet clean, even slick and shiny. Many luxe Bordeaux would love to taste like this.

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Red

2013 Kutch Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch

Sonoma Coast more

1/2/2016 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 90 points

Really good. Poured blind. I guessed Beaujolais, based on the neon-bright color and fresh, lively, crunchy fruit. Has a nicely firm structure at its core. Alcohol is labeled at 12.3% - and it didn't need any more than that to pull off a bright, rosy, ultra pure fruit profile. Very nicely done.

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Red

1999 Giorgio Pelissero Barbaresco Vanotu

Nebbiolo more

12/30/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 88 points

Very good now, though it still needs a few years to calm down. This is a pretty heavy nebbiolo with all the grace of a football player doing ballet, but it's showing some nice development and has the potential to be really impressive if some of that fat can simmer down. It opens with strong tarry and leathery flavors with the latter fortunately dissipating as it freshens up in the glass. Fruit complexion is quite dark, plummy and just slightly raisined at the edges, otherwise with good freshness for its age and a robust presence. No sign at all of a barrique influence even though the Vanotu was at least majority and maybe exclusively in barrique at this time. The scale, weight, and structure feels more Barolo-like than Barbaresco - it's got quite the firm footprint. The leftovers pick up more vibrancy and stoniness - 24 hours in a decanter really improves it.

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White

2009 Do Ferreiro Albariño Rías Baixas Cepas Vellas

more

12/29/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 96 points

Superb. I don't know if there's another gear for this wine in the future, but from what I've tasted this age just may be the perfect spot for them - a 2007 a couple years ago was at the same level. Intense, fresh briny marine flavors and scents so powerful it's like a shot up the nose. Still super-fresh and crunchy and tastes like the sea.

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Red

2012 Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Cuvée J

Willamette Valley more

12/29/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 89 points

I got this the same time as the non-J version of the Puits Sec, 2013 vintage, and I must admit I preferred the latter. The fruit on this one is more up-front New World in style and while it does mellow out a bit with some airtime, it's also more monolithic without either the elegance or detail of the lesser bottling, from the lesser vintage..

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Red

2010 Ridge Merlot

Santa Cruz Mountains more

12/29/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 93 points

I'm not a big zinfandel fan and Monte Bello needs a ton of age, so this is actually one of the most enjoyable wines from Ridge I've had, ever. A fleshy merlot, more Pomerol-like than St.-Emilion, with just enough sweetness and gloss to give it away as California, but it still hews close enough to the classics to bring them to mind. The back label says they made this wine from some softer barrels, but there is plenty of pleasantly grippy structural muscle here. It's really been a long time since I had a varietal merlot that was so satisfying. And so merlot, too. This is exactly what you want out of the grape, a claret-like profile but rounder and more inviting. It's making me nostalgic for the merlot days!

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White

2014 Cowan Cellars Fiano

Russian River Valley more

12/29/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 93 points

This was great. I don't have a ton of experience with Fiano, but this was certainly consistent with the Italian versions. It's a rich and brassy style with a very slight furriness to the texture that makes it nice and chewy, but there is also plenty of freshness and crunch.

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Red

1983 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges

Pinot Noir more

12/23/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 96 points

Exceptional on several levels. For one thing - a fully mature Gouges Les St. Georges. Now that's something you don't see every day. And it is also a terrific '83, and it's been awhile since I had one of those, too. The color is still a luminous, vibrant ruby - whenever you see that in a 30-year-old Burgundy, you know you're in for a treat. The palate features deep, succulent red fruit and tar, and is grippy in the best way, palpably sticky like peanut butter clinging to the roof of your mouth.

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Red

2007 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Bonnes Mares

Bonnes Mares Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

12/23/2015 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine: 95 points

Almost jarring the contrast, coming to this after the Rouget - so much structure and scaffolding in this one, fortunately without being foursquare. Instead, it's just robust, with a real sense of solidity. Nice contrast of blue and black berry fruit in here. With its muscle, it feels more Morey than Chambolle - this would be at home next to a Clos de la Roche, for example.

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  • Tasting notes: 4,353 notes on 3,686 wines

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