Comments on my notes

(657 comments on 462 notes)

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Red
1995 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate Napa Valley
2/26/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
91 points
According to my last note, from 5 years ago, the wine showed a marked green streak. I had forgotten all about it. Popped and poured, that is still the overriding characteristic. The wine is concentrated, big and with loads of fruit, earth and tobacco, but the green streak paints a wide swath down the middle of your palate. Those who long for old school Cabernet, when pyrazines were a big part of the picture will probably love it.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    2/27/20, 8:13 AM - Steve.. Air doesn't remove the green. That is from unripe tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is also 25 years old. It is fully mature. This was just my view, however. You might like it more than I did. If your question was about decanting 80's and 90's Cabs, I would not decant most of those wines. A few of the classic styled mountain fruit wines, yes, but most are IMO, ready to go.

Red
1989 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Grenache
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
An incredible tasting experience, it is hard to know where to start. Do you focus on the elegance, refinement, and silky tannins? Or, is it the purity in the fruit, with its breathtaking array of sweet cherries and kirsch? Perhaps the perfume, with its floral, red berry, herb, earth or cornucopia of spices? Maybe, it is the finish that does not quit? As I said, I have no idea where to start. But with wines like this, it really doesn't matter, does it?
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    2/26/20, 9:25 AM - Thanks for the very nice words. They are much appreciated.

Red
2017 M. Chapoutier Châteauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac Grenache
9/20/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
The top of the line Southern Rhone wine from Chapoutier blasts off with pepper, kirsch, herbs and earth. Sweet, soft and polished, with an elegantly texture in the cherry filled finish, this will drink well young.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    2/10/20, 1:44 PM - If you want age-worthy, you should buy the 2016. 17 is good, and is not short-lived. But for what you are seeking, 16 is a better bet and a better wine :)

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    2/13/20, 10:46 AM - Buy more 2016 :) I like the style of Barbe Rac a lot.

Red
2016 Château de la Dauphine Fronsac Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
Still dark in color, the wine is floral, fennel filled and fruity. Rich, silky, elegant and deep, there is fruit, freshness, length and character, and the best part is, the wine is easy to find and it is affordable too!
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    2/13/20, 10:41 AM - It is a nice wine that sells for peanuts. I've never had one that old. I will have to look for one.

Red
2016 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
Fleshy, sensuous, polished and packed with all the ripe black fruits, licorice, smoke, crushed rock and truffle you could ask for. Full-bodied, silky and rich, with a long, fruit-intensive finish, hold your bottles for a decade and this is going to be star!
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/29/20, 9:04 AM - The wines from Beau-Sejour Becot have never been better. 15 is more sexy, 16 is more firm, and will age longer, but take longer to come around. If you were only going to buy 1 vintage of BSB, buy the 2018! It is the best wine in the history of the estate! And for a wine of that quality, it is a steal.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/30/20, 8:38 AM - Some wines are better in 18 than 15/16. For Beau-Sejour Becot, 18 is a remarkable wine!

Red
2010 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
9/24/2014 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
This is super. It has everything needed to compete with the big boys, except the price. With layer after layer of ripe, sweet, fresh, pure fruits, great textures, refined tannins and a long finish, when this hits maturity, this is going to be a rockstar. If you're looking for a high quality, Classified Growth from the very expensive 2010 vintage, and you want the best wine for the money, this is the wine to buy.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/24/14, 4:33 PM - I bought it too. From barrel to bottle I've tasted this wine and it's winner!

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/16/15, 9:53 AM - It's a really good wine Kris. I am not sure where you live. But they make a lot of it and it should not be hard to find. If you taste it, please let me know if you agree or not.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/29/20, 9:00 AM - PEKB - When to drink is always based on how you like your wine. That being said, I would wait until 2025 or 2030 for GPL from a great vintage. I will retaste the 2010 in April.

Red
2016 Vieux Château Palon Montagne-St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
91 points
Ripe, supple and fleshy, this is ripe, round, lush and easy to drink, due to all its ripe, black cherries, licorice and espresso. This is delicious to drink now, and will be even better with a few years of aging.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/23/20, 8:21 AM - Sample # 1 was a barrel sample, #2 was in bottle. As the note says, you can drink it now, it's forward. But it will also develop some secondary character with a little aging. It is not a wine for long-term holding

Red
2018 Château Sansonnet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
What a beauty! The wine is round, fleshy, supple and loaded with licorice, dark red fruits and silky tannins. The finish tastes and feels great with seemingly countless layers of sweet, juicy, black and blue fruits. The wine blends 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc. 94-96 Pts
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/23/20, 8:19 AM - Good question. They are both really good wines. Perhaps the TSC is a better value, each is just super.

Red
2016 Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
2/9/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
The best wine in modern times for the legendary Eisele Vineyard, this hits the mark the moment you initially sense it in your glass. The nose grabs you with its leafy, floral, tobacco, spice and fruit filled character. Rich and sensuous, the wine has polish and volume coupled with freshness and purity of fruit. This is a fabulous style and expression of California Cabernet Sauvignon that will provide pleasure for at least 25 years or more.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/20/20, 11:23 AM - Personally, I liked 2015 better than 16. But both are age-worthy vintages. Thanks for the nice words.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/20/20, 11:41 AM - I must be having a dyslexic morning, as that is what I meant to say :)

Red
2018 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
With delicate, cashmere tannins, the wine is lavish, opulent, fresh and loaded with ripe black fruits, licorice, smoke, plums, minerals, flowers and cherries. The wine balances perfectly with elegance and a wealth of sensuous fruits. There is length, which is what the doctor ordered as you want to enjoy as much of this for as long as possible. The wine blends 72% Merlot and 28% Cabernet Franc, 14% alcohol. Picking took place September 7 to October 9, making 2018 the longest harvest in the history of the property. 97-99 Pts
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/19/20, 8:21 AM - Not sure what I can add, other than my notes. If you are asking what to buy... In order, 2015, 2018, 2016. They are making superb wines at the property today!

Red
2016 Château Certan de May Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
If you're looking for truffle and cherry notes, you came to right place. Add in soft, silky textures, polished tannins and a blast of ripe, sweet cherries with licorice and lift in the finish and you get the picture. This is substantially better in bottle than from barrel.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/9/20, 5:21 PM - Hanibal... This is the correct note. I am not sure what wine the other note was for, except to say that it was for a second wine, as the text read, "While waiting for the Grand Vin to develop. I have deleted the other note. Thank you for letting me know.

Red
2016 Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
Showing a serious depth of color, the wine offers a wealth of dark fruits on the nose. From there you find spice box, leafy tobacco, cigar box, cherry pipe tobacco and sweet coffee bean aromas. On the palate, which is where the show really takes place, the wine is silky, elegant, long, refined and concentrated. It is impossible not to notice the volume, length and especially the wonderful purity in the fruit. The wine is rich, yet incredibly light on its feet. This is destined to be an immortal vintage for Lafite Rothschild that future generations will reap the benefit from. The wine is complete from start to finish and was produced from blending 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with 8% Merlot.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:16 AM - Sorry, no idea. You want to buy from a large, trusted merchant. Though, IMO, the 18 is probably a better wine and it should be less money today. However it is not easy to be able to buy single bottles...

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/29/19, 8:07 AM - I believe that to be true as well.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/1/19, 8:25 AM - If you are looking to drink these wines in your life, you must wait at least 10 years. They will be good, but they will not show their greatness before 20-25 years of age. For Lafite, look for the 1996. It is a beauty. You should also ready about these wines on my site, as you will find much moe detail.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/4/19, 10:00 AM - All you have to do is Google almost anything about Bordeaux, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, best Bordeaux wine etc... And we will probably be at the top of your search with The Wine Cellar Insider

    Lots of info to help you on the site and it's free to read

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    1/7/20, 5:48 PM - I am hoping my comment expresses why the wine hit triple digits. I never offer 100 Pts in barrel. Wines go up or down during elevage, hence the parenthetical score. Clearly, IMO, the wine was stunning in barrel. And at least to me, it is a mind-blowing vintage of Lafite. I hope this helps

Red
2016 Château Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/26/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Silky, lush, round and concentrated with dark cherries, licorice, espresso, plums and wet earth, The wine is opulently textured, fresh and long, leaving you with a serious depth of flavor, silky tannins and layers of plummy fruits covered with dark chocolate.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/21/19, 3:59 PM - Yes. They are only a stone's throw away from each other.

Red
2009 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
91 points
The sweet, earthy red fruits are accompanied by cedar, tobacco leaf and minty notes. Spicy, medium-bodied and still young, the interesting minty fresh nuance is also found in the red fruit filled finish.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/20/19, 6:08 PM - Ready? It really depends on what you want in a wine. If you seek more secondary character, you should wait another 5-7 years. If you like more youthful, but soft and silky wines, you can pop a cork. If it was mine, I'd wait 5 years or so.

Red
2009 Château La Conseillante Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Right off the bat you find flowers, cocoa, truffle and plum on the nose. The wine is vibrant, juicy and fresh. Medium bodied with silky tannins, the fruit is sweet and pure, the wine is elegant, but I wish it had a bit more density. Still, this is a gorgeous wine that is quite nice to taste today.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/15/19, 12:45 PM - 2020, Thanks for the note. Generally speaking, I love 2009 Pomerol across the board. Do you read my site? If not, you might want to peruse the Pomerol section as you will find tasting notes and details about the wines and vineyards for over 60 Pomerol estates.

Red
2016 Château Le Prieure St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
93 points
Silky, vibrant, fresh and showing a beautiful assemblage of flowers, cherries, rocks and licorice, the wine is sweet, pure and lively. For the time being, this is still a hidden gem, I suspect that will change with time.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:13 AM - It's not well-known, but it's a very good wine. In your price range, there are numerous choices, especially in Saint Emilion.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/10/19, 8:40 AM - Duffwine, you could try La Clotte. But even better, do you ready my site? Got to the page on Saint Emilion and you can peruse detailed profiles on more than 150 Chateaux from the appellation.

Red
2009 La Dame de Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
Mature, bright, fresh, earthy, tobacco-stained and with crisp red fruits, the wine is classic in style with a medium-bodied, slightly austere, bright, red fruit and forest leaf profile. The wine has entered its prime time window.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/9/19, 8:18 AM - Thanks for the nice words! It is more than appreciated. This is not a wine for forever holding, you should definitely be drinking it as it's probably at peak.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/10/19, 8:38 AM - Glad to help! Enjoy...

Red
2007 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
12/8/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
91 points
The blackberries are ripe. There is some weight and richness, though there is a lack of complexity as most of what you find is sweet blackberries. The wine is a bit short in the fruity finish, which is accompanied by a distinctive green olive, herb, and leafy streak. For such a difficult vintage, this is a very strong effort.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/9/19, 12:01 PM - If I owned more bottles, I would be drinking this now and over the next 7-9 years.

White - Sparkling
2008 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
12/9/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Clearly, this is in contention as one of the best vintages of DP ever produced. The power, levels of concentration, balance, freshness, purity and complexity are off the hook. The yellow citrus, green apple, honeysuckle and brioche are backed up with the perfect amount of refined effervescence, providing lift, energy and elegance. Texturally this is beautiful on your palate This is a high-end Champagne worth laying down a case for the future.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/9/19, 12:00 PM - For my taste, this will drink a lot earlier than the 2008 Cristal. I am hoping my note shared my enthusiasm for how much pleasure is already found in the 2008 Dom today.

Red
2009 Château Cantenac Brown Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
Sensuous, silky, concentrated, smoky and just great in your glass, this is a beauty! It is rich, vibrant and the texture, with its velvety fruits makes a real Margaux impression. This is not fully mature, but the fruits are so ripe and tannins so refined, you can pop a cork tonight for pleasure. If you can wait another 5 years for the aromatic complexities to develop, you are going to love it!
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/4/19, 9:49 AM - Which writer may I ask? And did they like it barrel and not in bottle?

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/5/19, 9:40 AM - I see. Though I am not sure a note from 7 years ago on a then just bottled wine has too much merit today, regardless of who wrote it. But that's just me.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/7/19, 9:56 AM - It is all good. As I wrote earlier, I am not sure how much value a note from 7 years ago today has to offer.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/4/19, 12:20 PM - 2020, do you read my site? If not, you should. You can read details about Cantenac Brown and vintages back to 1961 with multiple tasting notes. Grab the link in my bio.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/4/19, 3:03 PM - Thanks for reading us 2020. To help me understand how you see the site visually, are you using a mobile or desktop ?

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/4/19, 6:34 PM - 2020, on your mobile, once you start scrolling down, you will see a blue contents bar. Click on that to move you around the page quickly. On your desktop, you might see the blue contents bar once the page is loaded, else look for the blue pages logo on the right to move you around. This is only for pages about wineries, not other pages on the site.

Red
2016 Château Sansonnet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
With this much color you know you are in for a mouth filling, rich, opulent wine. There is smoke, licorice, incense, espresso and black cherries. To back all that up, you find soft, silky tannins and a long, rich, concentrated, fruit filled finish.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/4/19, 12:19 PM - I am sure the wine will show well for at least 20-25 years. It should be at its best with about 6-8 years of bottle age. Honest, in re-reading my note, it is fairly descriptive. I really do not care for style labels.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    12/4/19, 3:19 PM - When you use your phone and scroll down, you should see a contents bar that lets you instantly jump to different places in the articles. You have the same on a desktop which changes to the pages icon on the right of your screen. At least I hope that’s your experience ��

Red
2016 Château Fonroque St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
88 points
Medium bodied, bright, fresh and forward, the cherry core of fruits is fresh, clean and ready to go.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/19/19, 9:49 AM - Good question. I honestly do not know. I recall where I tasted the wine both times, but that was in a large comparative setting. That being said, if I can, I will try retasting the wine in April.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/19/19, 3:13 PM - I am not positive I can taste it again. But I will try....

Red
2010 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
5/3/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Just a super wine, you can smell this from across the room. Still young, there is volume, complexity, intensity, layers of fruits, silky tannins and a finish that does quit until the layers of fruit have done their job. This is a stunner. Because it is so good, you can drink it young, but if you have the patience to wait another decade, this will really be a knock out!
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    5/4/18, 8:51 AM - It is just a knock out wine! Glad you liked it as well.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    5/7/18, 10:22 PM - Give it 2-3 hours in the decanter, not more, and you should be rocked!

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/13/19, 8:22 AM - Different styles. Best to compare my tasting notes... They are both current.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/13/19, 8:42 AM - By the way, do you read my site? You can easily find both those vintages next to each other, making them easy to compare.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/13/19, 9:39 AM - Thanks for the nice words. That's really far too broad a question. I would not know where to start. Sorry :(

Red
2016 Château La Garde Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
4/29/2017 - Jeff Leve wrote:
87 points
Soft, sweet, dark red fruits, earth and black cherries. The wine is sweet, fruity and fleshy with an open, dark, red fruit filled finish, with just a hint of peppery spice in the end note.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/9/19, 8:14 AM - You taste 2016 in April 2017, 2015 in April 2016, 2014 in April 2015, etc. That is the way it works. I might see the wine later in bottle as well, as I did with this example, tasting it one last time after bottling in 2019. However, barrel tastings always take place in the spring, following the vintage.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/9/19, 8:19 AM - I hope I explained it correctly. It is a commonly asked question. Glad to help when possible. FWIW, as you can see, the wine showed much better in bottle than it did in barrel.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/9/19, 8:25 AM - I taste about 600 Bordeaux in barrel every year in April. Do you read my site?

Red
2015 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
11/8/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Clearly, the first great Figeac of the 21st century, this wine has it all. Mouth-filling, yet light on its feet, the wine is all about the purity of fruit, freshness, elegance, refinement, silky tannins and velvet drenched finish. This is a wine I am thrilled to have in my own cellar!
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/8/19, 1:44 PM - While I won't be opening my personal bottles for at least 10-12-15 years of age, I did not find the wine closed. This note was for a pop and pour bottle that while primary, was just delicious to me.

Red
2016 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Flowers,, smoke, thyme, crushed rocks, citrus, mint and dark red fruits create a complex perfume. The wine is full-bodied, deep and loaded with perfectly ripe, lush, intense, mouth filling fruits. There is length, purity, freshness, complexity and sensuous, silky characteristics in the finish. This is a stunner!
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/6/19, 1:00 PM - Mark... If you have a case and want to pop a cork to see what it's all about, I get it. For me, this is not like a Calif Cab. It is not a vintage where it is a lot of fun young. I prefer it with at least a decade of age, or more.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
9/17/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
The botrytis is strong in this one. From the moment your nose meets the glass, the nutty aromatics stick out like a sore thumb. Lush, sweet, rich and opulent, the intensity found of the tropical fruits does not quit. Pineapple, apricot and nutty sensations remain with you for at least 60 seconds. The wine is concentrated, lush, opulent, vibrant and has the ability to age for generations.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/6/19, 12:58 PM - Yes, i read it. It was a fun book.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    11/6/19, 12:58 PM - Yes, i read it. It was a fun book.

Red
2010 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
10/18/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Just an infant in its development, the wine is all about its potential. Powerful, full-bodied, concentrated and quite bright, fresh and tannic, the wine is not in a fun place to drink. The fruit is bright, lifted, fresh and firm, and there is a lot of it. But the structure and tannins are so front and center today that it demands at least a decade of aging before becoming civilized. For classic Pauillac fans, this is going to be worth the wait. But patience is warranted.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/19/19, 8:54 AM - And if you read enough of my notes, you can see that most of the time, I like younger wines than most people. But in this case, it is not a fun wine to enjoy in its youth.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2016 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
Quite floral in nature, the wine balances freshness, honeyed peaches, pineapple, apricots and vanilla with luscious, honeyed, tropical fruits.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/19/19, 8:53 AM - It depends on how you like your Sauternes. I enjoy them for their sweet, lush, fat, opulent character. But then, I also like them with secondary notes of caramel, butterscotch etc.... With Sauternes, it is about choice, not necessity.

Red
2016 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
You could lose count if you were trying to number all the layers of velvet drenched, powerful, lifted, sweet, fresh deep red fruits here. The wine offers incredible levels of concentration along with precision, purity, power and elegance. But to take all this in at its peak, patience is required as you will need at least 12 years or so before this really starts shining. But it is going to be worth the wait.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/19/19, 8:52 AM - It is a very good wine. If you are seeking a young COS, the 2018 is an incredible bottle of wine.

Red
2005 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
10/18/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
93 points
Tight, firm, reserved, strict and tannic, the wine remains quite youthful at this stage. Clearly there is a wealth of ripe fruit here, but the tannins need at least a decade to soften before this is fun to drink.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/19/19, 8:51 AM - This bottle was not decanted. But many 05 Left Bank wines, especially the more classic in style are quite firm IMO. YMMV....

Red
2016 Château Deyrem Valentin Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
4/29/2017 - Jeff Leve wrote:
91 points
Floral and tobacco with zesty, sugared, dark red berries all over the place, this wine has softness, polished tannins and an ample amount of silky plum notes in the finish. Value hunters seeking a wine from Margaux should be all over this one.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/13/19, 4:02 PM - This is 100% a review of 2016 Deyrem Valentin. It is from a barrel sample tasted in Bordeaux. FWIW, the 15 is even better!

Red
2018 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Opaque in color, the purple black hue is gorgeous. The perfume with its sea salt, lead pencil, blackberry liqueur, black currants, tobacco, spice and smoke is a knockout! That will keep you busy enough but it is on the palate where you'll really experience the wine as it hits and coats every nook and cranny in your mouth. The wine is lavish, dense, concentrated and showy. The naturally flamboyant nature of Mouton Rothschild comes though loud and clear. Even with all this voluptuousness, the wine is energetic and intense. The finish remains with you for well over 60 seconds. Clearly, the 2018 is going to be one of the great vintages of Mouton ever produced. The blend comes from 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc and reached 13.8% alcohol. The harvest took place from September 10 to October 3, the Grand Vin represents 66% of the harvest with very low yields of only 28 hectoliters per hectare. 98-100 Pts
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    7/25/19, 8:52 AM - I am not sure what the wine is selling for. But today, the First Growths are probably the safest wine to buy as a future, when they are initially offered.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/12/19, 8:23 AM - Good job! I see I did not answer your previous question on the drinking window. If you want to enjoy this at peak, give it 20, 25 or 30 years of age before popping a cork and enjoy it for another 30 years with ease. That being said, the wine is soft, silky and luxurious, you can easily enjoy it in its youth for all its richness, refined elegance and character.

Red
2016 Château Tour Saint-Christophe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
With layers of ripe, juicy fruits, crushed stone, truffle, licorice and smoke, this is showing just great. There is volume, depth and definition, with energy and length. Lay this down for 7 years and enjoy it over the next 15 years or even longer.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:03 AM - It's silly that you can buy this wine for so little money. I have some in my cellar too!

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    10/1/19, 9:48 AM - MSheridan Why not buy a bottle of 2015 TSC, give it an hour or 2 of decanting and check it out, so you know what you have been buying?

Red
2016 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Still deeply colored, the wine instantly pops with smoke, blackberry, boysenberry, espresso bean, licorice and black cherry notes. Dense, full and plush, the mid-palate and finish is packed with the layers of dense, opulently textured, juicy, black fruits and cherry liqueur. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:02 AM - It was fun tasting all those wines in bottle. I will not see most of these wines for another decade until they are 10 years of age.

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/29/19, 8:08 AM - The nice thing about Malescot is that the wines are not that pricey. So you can gran an 05 to see what your wine will be like as it ages.

Red
2016 Château Pavie Macquin St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Just fabulous, the wine fills your glass with palate staining fruits, rocks, stones, flowers, licorice, smoke and juicy, perfectly ripe, fresh cherries and plums. Full-bodied, pure, fresh and vibrant, the energy in the wine and purity in the silky, sensuous fruits is just great! This is gorgeous and if it is your style of wine, (I am sure you can tell it's mine) you should have this wine in your cellar.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/29/19, 8:06 AM - The 18 is about at the same level. You should check it out when it becomes available.

Red
2016 Château Pibran Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
9/26/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
89 points
Fresh, bright, crisp, juicy sweet and tart red fruits, with a nice whiff of tobacco leaf, cigar box, wet earth and leafy nuances. Classic in style, with a crunchy red berry finish, allow this 5 years in the cellar and enjoy over the next decade.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/29/19, 8:05 AM - Glad you liked it! It's a super value for Pauillac.

Red
2016 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
Like walking into a plum orchard where you also find espresso, almonds, fresh flowers, red and black plums and dark cocoa. The fragrance starts the show, but it is on the palate, with all its sexy, silky, sensuous, velvety textures, this is hedonism at its best. The voluptuous palate presence and the purity of the fruits in the finish is heart-stopping! The wine is a blend of 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:06 AM - I would be drinking 8 & 11 now. 14 by the time the wine is 7-10 years of age. The 16 is immortal. Drink a bottle at 10 to check it out, then every few years. It is stunning! 16 & 10 are similar. Find a 10 if you want to see what 16 will age like

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:58 AM - Vintages like 11 are always best in their youth. 2008 will be best between 8-15 years. 2010 will be with you for decades.

Red
2016 Château Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Almost opaque in color, the wine smells like you are in a flower shop on an ocean liner at sea. The freshness makes this pop. The layers of unctuous, juicy, fresh, lively fruit give it life. And the finish which hits you in all the right spots, truly delivers the goods for over 60 seconds! Not as hedonistic as the 2015. Instead you find more focus, acidity and length. This is a beauty that still sells for a song, considering the high level of quality found here.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:01 AM - You guys can rest easy. These are stunning wines! But the 18 is probably better than 15 & 16... Not sure yet but probably...

  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:18 AM - That's my job!

Red
2016 Château Fonplégade St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
With the 2016 there is length, density and purity of fruit, along with elegance, harmony and a fabulous, rock strewn character. The fruit is ripe, fresh, long and complex. Hang onto this wine for at least a decade and it's going to be a gem! The wine was made from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:15 AM - If you are planning to add to your vertical, grab the 18 & the 10!

Red
2009 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Now, with just a few minutes of air you find truffle, smoke, fennel, black cherry, smoke and cocoa, dark chocolate notes. Full bodied, concentrated, the tannins are soft, the texture is round, the fruits are sweet, but there is oak needing to be better integrated into the wine. Give it another 5-8 years in the cellar, and if the oak fully integrates, this is going to be a great wine!
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/27/19, 8:14 AM - With only a bottle or two you should wait until the wine is between 15 & 20.

Red
2017 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul Grenache
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
The black raspberries and garrigue in the nose start the show. But it is on the full, lush, deep, spicy, opulent palate that you find the wines true, black raspberry, pepper, jam, licorice and herb filled character. There is length, freshness and complexity found here. This should age quite well. The wine is made with 100% old vine Grenache.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/26/19, 3:43 PM - 2010 and 2016 are both better vintages. 2017 is very good, but both those other years have more depth.

Red
2009 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Just now beginning to wake up, the wine is all about Cuban Cigars, truffle, wet earth, tobacco leaf and red plums. Medium/full-bodied, with soft, elegant, silky tannins and a ripe, sweet, luscious, fruit-filled finish with just a bit of oak left to integrate. Give this about 5 more years in the cellar and you are in for a sublime vintage of Domaine de Chevalier.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/26/19, 3:38 PM - I see :)

Red
2009 Château Palmer Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
9/20/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Just starting to knock on the door of secondary aromatics, you can peek into the wine and find truffle, flowers, tobacco leaf, smoked cherries and spice. But that is only the beginning. Once you taste the wine and you feel those sensuous textures as the wine glides across your palate, you know this is special. The wine has more than ample density, but it is not heavy. The lift in the mid-palate keeps all those layers of ripe, dark red, earthy fruits alive. Vibrant, elegant and silky, the end note remains with you for at least 50 seconds or more. If you like more youthful fruit in your wine, you can drink this now. If you want to enjoy the wine as it heads to its peak, give it another decade of rest. This should age effortlessly for decades.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/26/19, 3:37 PM - The bottle was tasted in Bordeaux at Chateau Palmer and was at best splashed decanted, or just popped and poured. If it was my bottle, I give it about 2 hours. at the most.

Red
2016 Château Fonbadet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
93 points
Deep in color, the wine serves up its blend of cedar, smoke, tobacco, spearmint, cassis and blackberry readily. The wine is full bodied, powerful and long, with roundness to the tannins and length that does not quit. Leave this in the cellar for 7-9 years and enjoy it for the next 10-15 or 20 years after that!
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/26/19, 2:26 PM - Thanks for the nice words. Cellaring time is from the date of the tasting note. YMMV, but I think it is a reasonable guess on the time frame.

Red
2018 Château Clinet Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Sensual, luscious and sexy, this is bottled decadence. The wine takes pure plums drenches them in velvet and drizzles them with roses, dark chocolate, licorice, espresso and truffle. The wine is full-bodied, concentrated, powerful and lush. Produced from blending 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and hitting 14.75% alcohol, the wine is aging in 75% new, French oak barrels. The harvest took place September 19 to October 5. 97-99 Pts
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/19/19, 9:34 AM - John, I think 18 Clinet is a beautiful wine. I bought some for my own cellar. The wine does not in any way feel hot. If you own a bottle of 2010 Clinet, or perhaps you can find one, pop it and see what you think. The wine is about the same ABV and you can decide for yourself.

Red
2012 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville
9/16/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Rich, but not mouth-coating. Ripe, but not overripe. Sweet, but not cloying, the wine is the epitome of balance, harmony and a unique sense of character. Still young, the wine maintains its intensity without ever coming close to being over the top. Cost aside, this is truly what great wine is all about. I am not sure I'll taste this again. But it was clearly a thrill a sip experience.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/17/19, 11:55 AM - The wines do not age as well, or like Bordeaux. They are quite different in that regard. Not better or worse, (depending on your point of view) but clearly different.

Red
2010 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
3/22/2017 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
This is showing better than ever. It's lush, opulently textured, intense, yet with a good purity of fruit and elegant, silky tannins. Still young, the wine is inky dark in color, with a primary character, but the last few years have helped the wine fill out and expand. This is about potential, but it's clear that this is going to be something special when it matures.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/15/19, 7:09 PM - I like it now for its richness, lush textures and silky tannins. But it is only going to get better for another 15-25 more years.

Red
2016 Château Tour Saint-Christophe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
4/29/2017 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Deep, dark and almost opaque in color, the wine is made from blending 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Ripe and loaded with fresh fruit, with a real sensation of purity and silky, polished tannins and a hint of chocolate in the finish. The wine reached 14.5% alcohol with pH of 3.7.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/12/19, 8:22 AM - Glad to help...

Red
2016 Château Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
4/29/2017 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
Deep ruby with purple accents of color around the rim of the glass, violets, lilacs and roses are the first scents you notice before moving to the red and black plums, tobacco and a hint of licorice in the bouquet. Light on its feet but don't let that fool you, it’s impossible not to feel the purity and elegance. The wine displays an incredible clarity of fruit with a finish that dawdles on your palate, moving from red fruit to black fruit and back to sweet, red berries again. The finish has an incredibly supple, refined quality that leaves you yearning for another sip. It was early in the morning and I can assure you, I finished my glass without spitting a drop! The wine was made from a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot reaching 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.6. Yields were high, but it's important to note, the Grand Vin represents only 28% of the harvest, which took place September 23 to October 18 -- one of the longest harvests in the estate's storied history.
  • Jeff Leve commented:

    9/7/19, 7:28 AM - Think of 15 as similar to 2009 and 16 is like 2010. Stylistically, 15 is sexy, silky, lush and opulent. 16 is brighter, fresher, and perhaps slightly longer lived. But some appellations and of course wines are better in one vintage over the other. So generalities are not quite so helpful.

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