Tasting Notes for Jeff Leve

(19,763 notes on 12,700 wines)

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Red
2/16/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Inky in color, the lusciously textured, rich, deep, opulent, full-bodied wine coats your palate with waves of sweet, dark, juicy fruit without overwhelming it. The black cherries, chocolate, licorice, blackberry, boysenberry and vanilla in the finish really stay with you. If you dig ripe, exuberant, Napa fruit, you can easily drink it today. Else, age it for 5-7 years or more for further development. The wine was made from a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot .
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2/15/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
This compelling Chardonnay is big, rich, luscious, full-bodied and intense. It's young, so, yes it's also still oaky. But once past all that vanilla and smoke, you find layers of ripe, juicy, sweet, lemon peels, flowers, assorted citrus and apples galore with a mouth-filling finish that sticks with you.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/15/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
This is what great, classic Bordeaux is all about! Perfectly balanced between regal and stern, the tannins are refined, the fruit is ripe and pure. Full-bodied, intense, concentrated and complex, every sniff and sip is interesting, making you want to delve deeper to the glass to find out what else is in there. This is just starting to unfurl. Drink it now, and over the next 20-25 years if well-stored.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/15/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
One of the wines of the vintage, the wine is ready for drinking. That being said, regardless of how long you decant the wine. there is no avoiding the stern, hard nature of the vintage. Full-bodied, concentrated and with soaring aromatics, the wine offers up a chewy, intense, rough and ready blast of ripe cassis.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1982 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/15/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
91 points
Fully mature, earthy with loads of tobacco, smoke, leaf and spice found among the bright red fruits. Medium-bodied, soft, charming and easy to drink with zero decanting, there is just enough red fruit, cigar box and cedar chest to keep everyone happy. However, there is no reason to hold this any longer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/14/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
The first thing you notice is the unmistakable aroma of an unsmoked Cuban cigar, with its hint of bitter chocolate, coupled with cedar, smoke, tobacco, mint, spice, herbs and roasted blackberries. Full-bodied, concentrated, intense and firm, there is a sweetness to the fruit, a hint of green pepper and a gorgeous display of blackberries and cassis in the long finish. This is not about finesse. Instead, it is all about the fabulous, big juicy gulp of mouth-filling cassis that really hits the spot! The wine is showing great today. If you have a bottle, do not hesitate to check it out.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Château La Tour-Martillac Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
2/13/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
Bright, crisp, juicy, sweet yellow citrus with a nice mineral drive in the finish and just a touch of honeysuckle to sweeten things up.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Château La Tour-Martillac Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/13/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
91 points
Fresh, juicy, ripe, crisp, medium-bodied, with soft-textured, smoky red fruits, earth and tobacco leaf with a forward approach.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Château La Tour Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/12/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
Concentrated, powerful, beefy and leaning slightly to the rustic side with its tannins, the nose is just great. It is all about the cigar box, tobacco, smoked meat, cedar and spicy side, with a jumble of red fruits. This is not a delicate wine. Instead, it is quite old-school. This is close to its peak level of maturity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/11/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
93 points
Floral, peppery, spicy and smoky accents ride on top of the fresh, ripe, red fruits in the nose and on the palate. Medium-bodied, elegant and forward, with a blast of ripe, spicy, sweet kirsch in the finish. The wine is a blend of 85% old-vine Grenache, 10% old vine Mourvedre and 5% Syrah.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1978 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
86 points
Clearly on the other side, as the wine is centered around its cedar, tobacco leaf, cigar box, wet forest, and smoke profile, leaving you with just a bit of bright red fruit and a strong herbal component to chew on. Medium-bodied, bright and crisp, this requires consumption.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1967 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
87 points
From a 375, the color was deep gold with a bit of copper. Light in fruit and sweetness, most of the experience was focused on the secondary elements of caramel, butterscotch, orange rind, molasses and burnt sugar. Very bright and almost too fresh, as well as light in weight, this wine has slipped past its prime and requires drinking much sooner than later.
Red
2000 Château Pavie St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
Concentrated, powerful, tannic, stony and a bit tight, there is a wealth of fruit here, coupled with intensive, stony minerality and tannins for further aging. Lurking below the surface, the ripe, fresh cherry and plums are there, accompanied by licorice, flowers, crushed rock, oak, smoke and spice nuances. This bottle seemed tighter than others. Based on this example, the wine needs at least 2 hours of decanting or another 5 years in the cellar.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Pavie St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Lush, ripe, rich, full-bodied, ripe, even very ripe, but not over-ripe, the wine is plummy and loaded with smoke, espresso, licorice, stone and dark, ripe plums. This is a good time to be drinking this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1999 Château Pavie St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
A very nice wine drinking in the sweet spot. Concentrated, lush, ripe, sweet and easy to enjoy due to its lavish fruit, licorice, dark cocoa, smoke and ripe plum character.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1982 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Showing at close to its peak, this stunner remains powerful, majestic, rich, full-bodied, concentrated and complex. The sublime smoke-filled aromatics with nuances of mesquite, tobacco. cigar wrapper, cedar and roasted cherries hits the spot. The palate is bathed in the smoky red fruits with spice and tobacco leaf accents. This is one of the great wines from La Mission Haut Brion that if you have not experienced it, find a friend with a bottle and offer to take them to dinner, because you need to taste this at least once in your life.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
An incredible tasting experience. The wealth of sweet, ripe, silky, refined cherries and kirsch is almost beyond belief. Not quite as concentrated or fresh as it was just a few years ago, this stunner offers a uniqueness of character not found in other wines. The purity in the fruit is spell-binding. There is length, complexity and sensuality that grabs you and keeps your interest from start to finish. This is not a wine to hold for further development. While the decline will be slow, it's best to catch this at, or close to its peak and not on the way down.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
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?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
Just starting to get interesting, the wine is full, supple, complex, deep and displays its purity of fruit, refinement and silky tannins with ease. If you own any, you can pop it now for its gorgeous, pure, sweet, fresh, red fruit, or wait another 5-10 years for more secondary development.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1959 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
This is the finest example of the 59 I have ever tasted. Deep gold in color, the wine explodes with caramel, burnt sugar, toffee, butterscotch, candied orange rind, pineapple and lemon curd nuances. Sweet and fresh, with silky textures and racy acidity, the yellow fruit, honey and caramel finish was endless. If you are young, and you have bottles of the better vintages for d'Yquem, try hanging on to a few for when you and the wine have aged into maturity. It will be worth the extreme wait.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1964 Château Trotanoy Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
89 points
This was my first time with this vintage, so I am not certain if this bottle was representative, Fading, with some ripe, sweet and tart fruits, there was a stern character to the tannins and textures. The nose was majestic, but this classicly styled wine seems to have had better days. I have another bottle in my cellar, so perhaps it will be better.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1970 Château Trotanoy Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
Bottled truffles are what this gem reminded me of. Flamboyant, sensuous, opulent and showy, the wine is rich, deep, concentrated and still delivers plenty of chocolate-covered cherries and plums on the nose and palate. Fully developed, this is not a wine I would hold. So, if you own this stunner in your cellar, find someone to share it with and enjoy the ride.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1892 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
2/10/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
82 points
Amber, if not mahogany in color, the wine is lean, with a focus on its caramel, creme brulee, butterscotch, burnt orange and light chocolate characteristics. Not much sweetness remains and just a bit of fruit still lingers, but the nose was fun and knowing you were drinking a bottle of d'Yquem that was close to 130 years old was a thrill. It was not the best old wine I have ever tasted, but it is one that I will always remember.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/9/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Stong notes of peppery, spicy, leafy green herbs, kirsch and lavender permeate the nose. Full-bodied, voluptuous and fresh, the wine feels great on the palate, finishing with luscious, ripe, spicy red fruits. This is showing beautifully today and should remain at this high level for at least another decade or longer.
9 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/9/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
90 points
No decanting here. Just a pop and pour was all that was needed to bring the flowers, baked cherry, kirsch, spice box, herb and green olive aromatics. Silky, soft, fresh sweet and tart cherries with a strong note of olive tapenade and cocoa in the finish. This is not as good as it was a few years ago. If you are sitting on any bottles, you should consider drinking this sooner than later.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Château Charmail Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/9/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
85 points
Simple, fading, better on the earthy, tobacco, cedar and sharp red berry nose than on the austere leaning palate. Drink up.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1964 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
A wonderful example of old-school Petrus, that even though it is starting to fade, still offers a sultry, sensuous, truffle laden experience that coats and glides over your palate with layers of dark, sweet, opulently textured plums, cherries, spice, licorice, smoke, tobacco and spice.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1970 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
If you are looking to buy a fully-mature Petrus with the best QPR possible, this is the vintage. Sensual, sexy and silky, the ostentatious display of truffle, cherries, plums, flowers, smoke and earth are ready to deliver their full potential. The depth, length and complexity, coupled with its flamboyant nature really hit the spot!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1971 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
Just a gorgeous style of Petrus here. Silky, elegant, refined, regal and also sexy and lusty The plums, cherries, smoke, truffle and bitter chocolate with the right amount of fresh roses are all over the place. But it is the sensuality and opulence in the finish that owns the wine. Fully mature, there is no reason to hold off drinking this wine as it has faded just a bit from its peak.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1975 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
Firm, rustic, masculine, powerful style of Petrus that is typical for the vintage. The fruit is ripe, the nose comes with a bushel of truffle, but the stern, austere nature of the vintage demands far too much attention. Perhaps time will help soften the wine, but as it's heading to its 50th birthday in 5 years, I doubt even the magic of time will help much here.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1982 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
93 points
The nose rocks with its floral, chocolate, cherry, truffle, smoke, wet earth, and plummy aromatics. The palate is not quite at the same level. Medium-bodied, with freshness, elegance, supple red fruits and earthy nuances, it is also reserved in character, lacking the opulence and complexity found in the best vintages of Petrus.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
More firm than previous bottles, here you also find a unique set of aromatics focusing on mint, wet earth, oceanic scents and earthy, truffle coated plums. Medium-full bodied, with ample left, but it is a bit hard on the palate. You know the old saying, after 15 years, there are no great wines, just great bottles.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Flowers, smoke, earth, powdered chocolate, black cherry, plum and truffle pop in the nose. Full-bodied, opulent, concentrated and complex, the wine has density and lift coupled with a basket of just-picked cherries leaving you with a decadent palate presence. While this is entering its plateau of maturity, it will be even better in 5-10 years. It is interesting to note that this is the fifth time I've tasted the wine over the past 11 years, and each time my score has popped up a point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1998 Pétrus Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
Having not had the pleasure of this wine until recently, I managed to taste it twice within 90 days. Although this bottle was beautiful, it was just a little less interesting than the previous bottle. Still, there was a gorgeous, silky, opulent, sexy nature that came along with loads of energetic, pure, sweet, ripe, fresh cherries, plums, cocoa and a dash of herbs. Rich, full and long, this is also youthful. I am sure another 5 years will add even more here as it felt like the wine was still holding back its full potential.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
91 points
Better on the nose, with its floral, bright cherry, strawberry, wet earth and cocoa profile, than on the lighter, medium-bodied, earthy, red berry and herb, soft-textured palate. This is fully ready to go, no decanting required here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
Intensity matched with density, length, freshness and complexity lets everything shine here. The dark, sweet, herbal kirsch, hints of flowers, crushed rocks and more sweet cherries is found on the nose and palate. Give this just a few years to come together,
6 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1990 Château Coutet Barsac Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
89 points
Probably sightly past full-maturity, the medium-bodied wine is taking on more orange notes in character. Still, you find honeyed pineapple, but the mango, orange rind and acidity is wining ground over the fruit. It is time to drink this before it drops more fruit.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1961 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
Clearly, this belongs in the Wine Hall Of Fame! Beyond perfect, if such a thing exists, the nose, with its smoke, campfire, tar, leather, tobacco leaf, tobacco smoke, cigar box and forest floor nuances all serve to back up the ripe, juicy, cassis notes. Full-bodied, dense, powerful and equally regal and refined in character, the intensity here borders on surreal. The finish crosses over the 60-second mark and keeps on going! At that point I am sure I was heard say, "Please sir, can I have some more?"
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1955 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
The smoke, leather, tar, tobacco, campfire ember and earthy, stony red fruit nose is impossible to ignore. And yet, when the wine hits your palate, it makes you forget all about it. Waves of fruit, spice, tobacco wrapper and more red fruit stick with you for over 60 seconds. This is greatness in wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1959 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Compelling, riveting and just about perfect in every way. The wine combines power, sensuality, refined, soft tannins with an opulent nature. Here you find a cornucopia of secondary notes and a mouth-filling blast of ripe, sweet, earthy, smoky cassis and cigar wrapper seems to go on forever. Hang on to your best vintages of LMHB and as you can see, you will be amply rewarded.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
90 points
This is a vintage I seldom see anymore, as most wines have faded. But Chateau Latour is still hanging in there. Medium-bodied, with a focus on its cassis, herb, green pepper, stone, smoke and tobacco character, there is bright red fruit and cigar notes in the finish, though it ends before I was ready. This wine focuses on freshness and charm, over power and length, which is perfect for the vintage. However, there is no reason to hold this any longer. This was clearly better 5-10 years ago.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Château Le Pin Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
There is an incredible depth of flavor here that just keeps on coming. Lively, fresh and ostentatious, the wine is the poster child for decadence. Polished velvet tannins and layers of incredibly ripe, sweet, lush fruits with a hint of citrus peel and dark chocolate is not something you can find in any other wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Château Le Pin Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
The incredibly, sensuous, flamboyant, sexy, opulent nature of this wine is off the hook. Yet, even with its decadent nature, there is a refined, elegant quality that shines through the violet, plum, cherry, smoke, licorice and dark chocolate extravaganza. When this was released, it sold for a song. Today, not so much. But if you have a friend with a bottle or two that invites you to dinner, take this from me, make sure you go as this is an unequaled experience.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Château Le Pin Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
Much better than I recall, though my last tasting was in 2008, time has clearly added a lot to this wine. Now, you find fresh cut flowers, cocoa, citrus, bitter chocolate, truffle, ripe plums and very ripe black cherries. Opulent, polished, silky and rich, the exotic textures set this apart from other Pomerol wines. If you are one of the lucky few to have a bottle, I think there is not much to be gained by waiting any longer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2/3/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
97 points
Kicking off with floral notes, you find intense aromas of honeysuckle and white flowers before moving on to all the honeyed, yellow tropical fruit notes, vanilla and marzipan. All the beautiful, lusciously sweet, honeyed fruit works due to the bracing acidity, so have the right balance between sweet, fresh and refreshing. Give this at least a decade, two if you can.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/2/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
Ready to drink, the wine is simple, fresh, bright, and on the red fruit side with its strawberry, cherry and cassis personality. The wine is not overly complex and a it’s a little bit lean and green on the palate. This is what my friends from across the pond call a proper, classic luncheon claret.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/2/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
87 points
The best part of the wine is the Andy Warhol designed label. Dusty, lean, green and seemingly to have rapidly dropped its remaining fruit, this austere, cranberry and cassis filled, medium-bodied wine is for a First Growth, that sells for a lot of money, frankly not all that interesting.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1999 Clos de l'Oratoire St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/2/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
88 points
Past full maturity, but not over the hill, the wine is more interesting on the floral, earthy, herbal, espresso and red berry nose, than on the medium-bodied, soft-textured, fresh, bright, herb tinged palate. There is still a lot to like here, but it is time to drink up, before the wine continues to fade and drop fruit.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/2/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
It is light, but it is also elegant, refined, soft and silky, with a gentle palate feeling and a finish centered around the purity in the red fruit and earthy, stony, tobacco filled finish. This is a very good wine, though for a First Growth, from the legendary 1961 vintage, it comes up a bit short.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/2/2020 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
The gorgeous purity in the sun-drenched fruit, the sexy, silky tannins and the still floral, truffle and plum nose all work in tandem, to make this an off the hook tasting experience.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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