Tasting Notes for Billigan

(870 notes on 693 wines)

1 - 50 of 870 Sort order
Red
2/13/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
90 points
From the other notes on here, looks like this wine had a difficult youth, but this bottle was really singing, full of meaty, spicy, and bacony aromas and flavors in a really light and fresh style. Maybe not the depth or structure of the St. Joe bottlings, but this hit all the buttons for a midweek, food-friendly, classically styled Northern Rhone experience.
White
2/11/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
92 points
Matchstick reduction, lemon zest, smoke, wet stones, and oak spice...you'd easily be fooled into thinking this was a well-made White Burgundy. Piercing acidity, stony minerality, and ripe green apples on the palate, with just the faintest suggestion of wet wool and honey to remind you it's chenin blanc. Not your typical Loire chenin experience, but the laser-like focus and tactile minerality makes this a really compelling drink.
Red
2/7/2019 - Billigan wrote:
90 points
Count me among the tasters here who thinks this wine is on the heavier, more one-dimensional side. Deep, dark aromas of coffee, soil, and mushroom. Very dense fruit, dark-fruited palate, with fine tannin and good acidity, but its the black fruit density that seems to crowd out the other qualities, leaving it feeling a little blocky and straightforward. A well-made wine for sure, just not giving much wow factor given the terroir.
Red
2/4/2019 - Billigan wrote:
89 points
Lovely nose with red cherry, smoke, chopped herbs, and a whiff of violets. Much more straightforward on the palate, with bold cherry fruit, tangy Sangio acid, and a good hit of oak spice. Perhaps a bit riper and more polished than I’d like from the grape, but nothing too blowsy or modern here. Just a very solid, big-boned Sangio that’s perfect on the weekday dinner table.
Red
2/1/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
Five years since my last bottle, and it’s evolved beautifully. Deep, gorgeous nose of black cherries, cinnamon, damp earth, and mushroom. Great sap and density of fruit on the palate offset nicely with more earthy and mineral tones and enough acidity and smooth tannin to keep this going years longer.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
1/27/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
97 points
For my taste, this is about as good as young White Burgundy can get. Huge, expressive nose of lemon cream, jasmine, and flint. Beautiful richness and depth of fruit on the palate, but with piercing minerality and a long, lingering finish. Generous, focused, and a complete wine. Would love to revisit this wine in 5-10 years as well to see the added dimensions.
Red
1989 Château Palmer Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/27/2019 - Billigan wrote:
flawed
Corked!
White
1/11/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
92 points
What a difference a couple years makes! Showing none of the oaky, reductive vibes from last time, this wine opened beautifully, with an expressive nose of lemon cream and jasmine. Lovely on the palate too, with a Meursault richness but also gorgeous, flinty mineral streak to keep it fresh and well-focused. A really superb white Burg that punches way above its weight.
White
8/3/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
92 points
Really lovely, mature Meursault. Shockingly light and clear given its age. Lifted, clean nose of marzipan, jasmine, lemon cream, and a whiff of oaky spice. Nice texture and weight, with a little oily richness to go with the clean citrus and almond flavors. In a perfect spot.
Red
7/25/2018 - Billigan wrote:
flawed
Corked!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
7/16/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
93 points
Lovely, classical BdB style, with a light nose of candied lemon peel and jasmine but it seemed a little muted, even after extended airtime. Really shines on the palate, with a lithe and energetic mouthfeel and great minerality and ripe fruit on the long finish. Some of the reviews here have been rhapsodic, but I think this wine needs more years to become a bit more complete and expressive.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/14/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
98 points
I take back every mean thing I've ever said about Grenache; this was simply sublime. Divine perfume, cashmere texture. Outrageous price, but somehow worth every penny. From the first whiff, this wine immediately entered my vinous pantheon. Respect the legend.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/12/2018 - Billigan wrote:
93 points
Exceptional. Rich, glossy berry fruit but tons of earthy and savory flavors, green tobacco, and that chalky, fine tannin that’s a hallmark of the vineyard. Bar none the best rendition of this consistently excellent wine since the 2009. Maybe not the spine of the also-great 2010, but more immediately approachable and absolutely delicious.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
4/12/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
91 points
Perhaps not as profound as the Cornas from up the slope, but this showed exceptional Syrah purity, an expressive nose that captured both savory and fresh fruit and floral elements, and a resolved, silky palate. In a perfect spot now, and great with smoked wings.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
3/15/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
95 points
Absolutely en fuego bottle here. Beautiful nose that's open and showing plenty of honey, wax, lanolin, flint, and fresh pear. Lovely sweetness and pure chenin fruit (like freshly sliced white peach) on the palate but finishes beautifully with a long, energizing acidity and mineral sparkle. Top class Vouvray that's delicious now but could go a couple decades longer on its foundation of fruit and acidity.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White
3/10/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
Excellent showing, with a huge, effusive nose of honeycomb, yellow peach, hazelnuts, and smoke. Rich and oily texture on the palate without the heaviness I often get with Rhone whites and enough acidity to keep this fresh and compelling all through the meal. In a superb spot now, but it could clearly go longer. Beautiful wine.
Red
3/7/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
93 points
Five years since my last bottle, and this has only gotten better. Still gobs of warm, rich berry fruit but even more tertiary earth and forest floor this time around and a sweet, lush, and lingering finish. Dynamite pairing with my smoked chicken. Is drinking great now but can longer in the cellar on the strength of its fruit.
Red
2/24/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
91 points
Showing great promise here, with beautiful cool granite aromas, good concentration of silky berry fruits, and lip-smacking acidity and minerality on the finish. Reminiscent of the 2014 with its more classic profile and structure, but perhaps with a little more stuffing for the long haul. Excellent.
Red
1990 Château Angélus St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/23/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
98 points
Absolutely gorgeous showing and probably the best Right Bank wine I've ever had. Decanted about 30 minutes and that was plenty, as the nose was beautifully expressive, with ripe black plums, sweet black cherries, graphite, warm soil, and cedar. On the palate, this was just seamless, with a luxurious, satiny texture, tons of ripe fruit, and nice mineral twang on the long, sweet finish. A total stunner that's at peak but could go years longer.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/19/2018 - Billigan wrote:
flawed
Both bottles madeirized! Brutal.
White - Off-dry
1/29/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
93 points
Continue to love the 2002 Auslese. This wine showed exceptional balance, with the honey and vanilla cream cut through with laser-like acidity and crunchy minerals on the finish. Absolutely delicious.
Red
1/27/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
97 points
This bottle was just breathtaking. Burgundian elegance and balance, svelte and silky palate presence, gorgeous whiffs of mourvedre funk, and beautiful richness without any of the alcohol fumes of modern CdP. Just stunning and no-doubt one of the greatest CdPs ever made.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
1/1/2018 - Billigan Likes this wine:
93 points
Finally sourced this wine again, and I'm so glad I did. As big and bold as it was in its youth, but now gradually unclenching its fist. The ripe black fruit has softened considerably while still showing ample spine. The minerality, which was always there in spades, has moved further to the fore, giving the wine a distinctly volcanic vibe to finish. A completely sui generis and completely delicious Beaujolais with miles ahead of it.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White - Sweet/Dessert
1990 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/31/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
98 points
What a way to end the year! This bottle showed that special Yquem magic of almost weightless, cotton-candy-like texture married to a powerful intensity and purity of flavor. Only knit is that it's just a shade too sweet for my taste, but it's otherwise a pretty perfect bevrage. Just glides and dissolves across the palate so elegantly, it had us shaking our heads. My wife probably put it best, "I didn't know grapes could do that."
White
12/30/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
90 points
Funky nose of button mushrooms and ripe cheese with smoke and melon aromas as well. Viscous and mineral-laden palate in the way only a Savennieres can be. No wow factor, but just the kind of complex, intriguing experience I was hoping for with this wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
12/19/2017 - Billigan wrote:
flawed
Thermonuclear VA bomb
White
12/18/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
91 points
This wine really transformed over three nights. On opening, it seemed like a total dud, somehow combining an almost shrill lime quality with a a tiring sweetness on the finish. Two nights later, and it had blossomed into a beautiful Chablis, with a cool chalky minerality and a lovely sense of both balance and richness on the palate. Clearly a wine to lay down for some time, or give extended aeration if opening now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2001 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/12/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
Brilliant once again, with beautiful Bordeaux aromatics full of herbs and turned earth. But what distinguishes the wine to me is its satiny texture, which just gives it a litheness and elegance I find in none of its peers. In a great spot but no rush, as it has the goods to stay at this lovely plateau for many years to come.
Red
12/5/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
95 points
Absolutely brilliant stuff! Beautiful Rhône-like nose that’s full of sizzling bacon, black olive, and cracked pepper. Lovely, red-fruited richness in the palate but with ample minerality and savory spices and no discernible alcohol. A real stunner with impeccable balance.
Red
12/7/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
Probably my favorite young Rhys to date. Gorgeous, expressive nose full of baking spices, pine forest, and menthol. Beautiful, silky palate with both ripe raspberry fruit, and an earthy, mineral depth that made it really compelling and delicious. Plenty of tannins for aging, but they were so refined and round that the wine seemed completely accessible nonetheless. Really excellent.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/8/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
93 points
Beautiful, expressive aromas of warm soil and old oak. Ripe, plump black cherry fruit cut nicely by a stony mineral quality and the cranberry-like 96 acid on the finish conveyed both the impression of sweetness and freshness. Delightful and with plenty of stuffing for aging and continued improvement.
Red
12/9/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
91 points
This bottle was a brett-bomb, just chock full of horse stable and band-aid, more so than previous bottles, but the funk played well with the sweet, ripe, red-fruited grenache. No tannin here to speak of but all nicely balanced and drinking at peak now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2000 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée de Serrant Savennières-Coulée de Serrant Chenin Blanc (view label images)
12/2/2017 - Billigan wrote:
flawed
Oxidized.
Fruit/Vegetable Wine
11/29/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
90 points
My wife and I polished this off in a matter of minutes with Chinese takeout. So absolutely delicious and irresistible. Gorgeous autumn nose and just the right amount of sweetness without crossing the line.
Glou glou!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
11/28/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
This wine is evolving glacially, but since it was exceptional on release, that's not a bad thing. Similar aromas, flavors, and textures as my 2014 bottle, but it's added a bit more flesh and depth, without sacrificing the nervy tension I love about Lauer wines. Delicious now, but this looks to make old bones as well.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/3/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
96 points
Brilliant combination of new world richness and Bordeaux aromatics. Dark, earthy, and herbaceous aromas; absolutely gorgeous, effusive, fun to swirl and sniff. Cashmere texture, with lovely touches of fresh herb and mineral flavors, marred only by a bit of heat on the finish. Tremendous wine and drinking beautifully right now.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
10/25/2017 - Billigan wrote:
Struck me as being in a bit of a dumb phase at present, with subdued aromas of earth, mushroom, and red berries. Lots of iron and earth on the palate as well with tart, crisp fruit, but it seemed a little clenched and holding a lot in reserve. I would leave these bottles alone for a few years, as the wine seems built for aging and will likely blossom with more time. Hold.
Red
1990 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/19/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
99 points
An absolute colossus, and one of my favorite Bordeaux of all time. Hard to truly capture the complexity of the nose, it's so kaleidoscopic. All the traditional BDX aromas are there: cedar, graphite, cassis, leather, etc., but there's a whole other dimension, with coal dust, violets, pen ink, warm stone, and mocha. Ample ripe black fruit (like dark cherry) on the palate, but so much minerality and crackling, spicy energy too, especially on the long finish. My first time with this legend, and it deserves all the plaudits it's rightly received.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
10/13/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
Another winning showing, and even better than my last bottle. Beautiful, rich aromas of cracked pepper, black cherry, cigar, and a big hit of bell pepper. If served blind, I would have guessed a ripe year Sociando Mallet or Pichon Lalande with its distinctive green pepper tones. An absolutely delicious and aromatic gem from an unheralded vintage. Bravo!
Red
10/12/2017 - Billigan wrote:
flawed
Had almost a cola like quality with a fizzy sweetness that was both surprising and disappointing given how much I love this producer. A very off bottle.
White - Off-dry
10/11/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
90 points
Clear and light with an almost crystalline purity and minerality and juicy, fresh pear flavors. A lighter, brisker rendition than usual, which seems more primed for early drinking than either the 2014 or 2015, but it's still delicious and full of energy.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/6/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
91 points
In a really nice spot. Lovely BDX nose with a strong earthy and leathery profile. Nicely matured, sweet red fruits on the palate, with a healthy dose of green pepper tartness to freshen things up the palate. nothing profound here, but a solid BDX experience from a wine that's squarely in the zone.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Fortified
10/6/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
92 points
Gorgeous nose that's full of walnuts, orange peel, and a whiff of coffee. More beautiful nutty flavors, with more fresh orange flavors, a bit of toffee-like sweetness, and a salty, lingering finish. A really delicious treat that we savored over a span of four weeks.
Red
9/30/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
92 points
A really enjoyable first look at this every-year house favorite. Cool, stony aromas of gravel and black cherry. Surprisingly smooth, almost creamy texture on entry but followed quickly by the signature juicy freshness and mineral bite on the finish. Reminds me of the very excellent 2014, but with perhaps a slightly richer fruit profile than that more mineral-driven, "classic" vintage.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/28/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
93 points
Drinking beautifully, with a deep, tarry nose that had whiffs of chestnuts, old leather, and roses. Rich, sweetly fruited on the palate, with tannins mostly resolved and a lingering, spicy finish. Delightful and ready to go.
White
9/24/2017 - Billigan Likes this wine:
87 points
Almost fizzy on the pop, this was gluggable refreshment on an unusually hot September day. Straightforward delivery of chalky minerals and ripping acidity with the lemony fruit.
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