Tasting Notes for Billigan

(901 notes on 720 wines)

1 - 50 of 901 Sort order
Red
1990 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/2/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
97 points
Huge, complex perfume on this one, with deep black currant, humidor-level cigar smoke, warm gravel, old leather, blackberry jam, and old cedar chest. Big, dark-fruited, and well-balanced with a nice mineral profile on the palate, and plenty of polished tannin for structure on a slightly grippy finish. This was everything you’d want out of a fabulous Bordeaux experience, and the only reason I’d keep any points in reserve is that I think it can go a shade higher once those tannins soften a bit more. Really superb, and it topped a flight that included the 1990 Beausejour and the 1982 Haut Brion.
Red
1981 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
7/13/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
97 points
On opening, the usual VA cloud hits your sniffer, but a short time in the decanter let that recede and the usual cornucopia of Musar aromas came wafting to the fore: dark coffee, cherry pie, walnut, beef blood, ash, leather, spice cabinet. Brought a smile to my face with every whiff. On the palate, perfectly resolved tannins and that unmistakable sweet cherry Musar fruit with tingly spices, acid, and VA varnish. Like old Beaucastel, the wines' flaws are always plain to see but somehow meld seamlessly into the wines' character, becoming virtues. What joy they give me!
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
White
7/1/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
90 points
Fresh, energetic, and loaded with the quintessential Lauer "nervosity" and tension that make these wines so much fun. This isn't going to blow your mind in the complexity department, but for a summer quaffer that's versatile, food-friendly, and never tiring, it's hard to beat.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/30/2019 - Billigan wrote:
flawed
Lots of juicy, tart cranberry fruit, spice, and minerality on opening, but then "something bacterial this way cometh." Reminiscent of some Leon Barral wines, in which it started with so much freshness and promise before rapidly turning to bilge water. Not sure if it's a low-sulfur regimen here or what. Dommage.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/4/2019 - Billigan wrote:
89 points
Earthy, herbaceous, deeply funky and mushroomy, with borderline prune notes creeping in. Very ripe on the palate with soft tannins and a borderline sur maturite quality. The least austere D'Angerville I've had to date, but it's not to the wine's benefit.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1986 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
5/30/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
This was just dynamite and a big improvement from a bottle had 5 years ago. Much more expressive notes of toffee and marmalade on the very giving nose. Just a light touch of botrytis here to give it some spice, but nothing heavy or cloying or overly honeyed as this was very fresh and compelling on the palate. Incredibly youthful showing, especially from a half-bottle, and another reminder of what an overlooked, underpriced category Sauternes has become.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/25/2019 - Billigan wrote:
90 points
A little disappointed at the showing here, but I suppose a little variability comes with the territory with LdH. Beautiful, classic nose on opening, with crushed cherry, leather, warm soil, and dill aromas. The usual Bosconia litheness on the palate with resolved tannins and a lovely line of acidity, but it fell flat on the finish, which only seemed to get more sour and short as it sat in the glass (where usually LdH actually picks up steam with air). Not sure if it was just an off bottle, as the notes here are generally more enthusiastic, but I'll give this another whirl in 5 years and see if it finds another gear...
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
5/25/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
96 points
I've always loved this wine as kind of a guilty pleasure; its opulent, heady qualities contrast sharply with my usual preference for low-alcohol, precise, mineral-driven whites, but I appreciate the change of pace this wine offers me, and it's always been more of an thought-provoking beverage than what I think it's reputation is (i.e. a slightly Euro-fied version of an Aubert Chard). Anyhow, I thought this was the best bottle I've ever had of this wine across any vintage. Just a gorgeous nose full of lanolin, peach, wax, and honeysuckle that shows something new with every spin. Rich and full-bodied on the palate, but the oak and alcohol were very much in check, with no shortage of freshness and plenty of acidity to keep you coming back. Rhone whites rarely get better than this.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/5/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
96 points
Hauntingly beautiful and elegant aren't descriptors one would normally associate with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, but this wine was nothing short of ethereal. Dried fruits and flowers on the nose, with plenty of cinnamon and whiffs of tobacco smoke. Soft and light-bodied but still showing an intensity and persistent, lightly sweet, and very silky finish. An absolute gem at its peak and a testament to great winemaking.
Red
5/2/2019 - Billigan wrote:
86 points
Probably the first bonafide misfire I've ever had from Foillard, and that's saying something. Candied to the point of almost syrupy on opening, with a jam-like sweetness and nothing resembling freshness. Tiring to drink, even with a hearty meal, I stuffed a cork in it after one glass. On the second night, it seemed to have settled down a bit and some earthiness and funky spice showed through to give it some character, but it never really gained any focus. Major bummer.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/28/2019 - Billigan wrote:
89 points
Deep, dark fruit, with almost sooty smoke and loads of cracked pepper, but this seemed a little raspy and angular on opening. Smoothed out some of the rough edges on night #2 but never really added any new dimensions. Would be better if served with some beef off the grill.
Red
4/27/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
91 points
Really enjoyed this. Strong pinot intensity in a lightweight, elegant package. Loads of crushed sour cherry, woodsmoke, and cinnamon spice and good purity and acidity.
Red
4/23/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
93 points
Pitch-perfect old-school Rioja expression, with tons of leathery, earthy, and tobacco/ash aromas and dusty sour cherry and dill flavors. Bolder, darker fruit expression than in most vintages of Lopez, but no loss of acidity or focus with the denser fruit profile. Excellent now, but with ample stuffing for the long haul. Muy bueno.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
4/22/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
This was just dynamite. Slight browning at the edges gives away its age, but the nose was just lovely, with plenty of the fresh cracked pepper and blackberry you'd expect from a zin, but with lovely earthy and mushroom tones that give it an almost Bordeaux-like flair. Silky, sweet, and effortless on the palate, but not without some sneaky structure (from the big petite sirah proportion in the blend?). Great with burgers off the grill; this bottle disappeared quickly. In a perfect spot, but could easily go on a few more years without losing its edge.
3 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
3/22/2019 - Billigan wrote:
flawed
Corked!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
3/19/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
92 points
Really tremendous stuff. Beautiful precision and balance, but the silky texture is what really stands out here. Best Kab I’ve had in quite a while.
White
3/1/2019 - Billigan wrote:
88 points
Nicely expressive nose with plenty of lime, chalk, and yellow apple. Big hit of lemon, peach, and minerals on entry but it was decidedly flat on the mid-palate and abrupt on the finish. Will hold my remaining bottles a bit before diving back in here.
Red
2016 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
2/27/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
91 points
A picture of Chianti classicism. Lovely, dusty nose of dried cherries, old leather, violets, and tobacco. More dusty red fruit and cracked pepper flavors and juicy acidity and fine tannins on the finish. A fabulous QPR that belongs on the dinner table. Great stuff.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2/26/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
A perfect finish to a superb lineup, the 1988 Climens consistently delivers. Loads of honeycomb, caramel, creme brûlée, and a bit of rosewater on the nose. Full richness and sweetness tempered perfectly by the ample acidity on the palate. It’s never failed to bring joy, and this bottle was no exception.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/26/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
95 points
Drank side-by-side with a 2004 Truchot, so it was a very good night for me ��. Like the Truchot, this wine showed beautifully on the nose, with huge aromas of black cherry, Vosne-like spice, and deep mushroomy forest floor elements, with maybe just a trace of roasted strawberry to betray the vintage character. On the palate, however, this was much deeper, darker, and more structured than the Truchot, with warm black cherry fruit on the front end, but a fine, tannic clamp on the finish. Delicious now, but I think this wine will show another gear with a few more years on its side.
Red
2/26/2019 - Billigan wrote:
96 points
What a treat to drink this wine! The nose is so deep and expressive, despite its youth, with beautiful, mature aromas of coffee, warm soil, roasted mushrooms, and just the faintest whiff of dried herbs. I probably sniffed this for a solid half hour before taking a sip; it was so compelling. Lithe and deliciously red-fruited on the palate, showing plenty of maturity and depth without sacrificing balance. Not a trace of green to be found here. The best 2004 Burg I’ve had by a country mile, and an exceptional wine in its own right.
White - Sparkling
2/26/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
94 points
A really “classical” Krug in its combo of richness, power, and focus. Loads of brioche, lemon cream, and some nice walnut tones on the nose. More lemon, nutty bread, and a bit of toffee on the full-bodied palate, with a huge hit of acidity (almost too-strong) on the finish. Maybe not the best example of this wine, but even then, this is a delicious drop.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2010 Château de Rayne-Vigneau Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
2/25/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
91 points
Not the most complex Sauternes on the block, but all the right pieces were there in terms of having the rich, marmalade-like sweetness but also the right balance of acidity to keep it fresh. Enjoyed from a 375ml over three nights, and it never lost any steam. A great value Sauternes.
White
2/26/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
95 points
This bottle was in excellent shape and showed all the qualities of a nicely aged white burg. Light golden hue and an expressive nose of orchard fruits, buttered toast, hazelnuts, and some button mushroom. Rich and peachy with more buttered toast on the palate with a big wollop of minerals on the long finish. Delicious and for my taste, at peak.
Red
Too early to assess properly, but this is dynamite Jessie as usual. Big nose of potting soil, black cherries, cinnamon, and violets. Loads more black cherry and spice and warm earthiness on the palate with plenty of freshness and good tannic structure for aging. Always a house favorite, and this vintage doesn't disappoint.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/22/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
93 points
An absolute picture of elegance. Beautifully lifted, perfumey nose of crushed berries, baking spices, and violets. On the palate, it has plenty of the characteristic 2009 ripe fruit, but there's perfect restraint with nice cool, mineral tones and a silky texture that's irresistible. Can't remember having had a village wine this good in a long time.
Red
2/20/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
90 points
Really love Lafarge in warm vintages, and this Bourgogne shows why. Plenty of ripe red fruit to accompany the usual Lafarge levels of tannin, acidity, and precision, even in this more humble, straightforward bottling. Just some delicious, classically proportioned Burg that's really great for the dinner table.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/18/2019 - Billigan wrote:
90 points
Really dynamite nose, with loads of smoke and cinnamon and crushed raspberry. More angular on the palate showing more cranberry and citrus-like acidity buffeted slightly by a good deal of red fruit. Soft tannins too, but the tartness left a bit of a disappointing finish after such a great nose.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/16/2019 - Billigan wrote:
Ripe nose with some spicy oak, black cherry, and a little forest floor action. Sweet, ripe fruit (almost a bit candied), but enough earthy elements to keep it interesting. Given the pedigree, I'm hoping this just needs to time to shed the fat. Hold.
White
2/15/2019 - Billigan Likes this wine:
92 points
Ripe, expressive nose packed with orange peel, huge floral aromas (like sticking your face in a magnolia flower). Concentrated and unctuous palate, but with a powerful, mineral finish that keeps it fresh and compelling. Really good stuff.
2 people found this helpful Comment
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.
4 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
1 - 50 of 901
More results
  • Tasting Notes: 901 notes on 720 wines
© 2003-19 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close