Tasting Notes for David McDuff

(46 notes on 46 wines)

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White
8/2/2010 - David McDuff wrote:
Wide open, very forward and ever so slightly volatile on the nose. The nose suggests citrus and cream. Not at all cheesy. Just a little tangy and sweet, like an icy orange creamsicle. Take that and lace it with intense, broad minerality and the faintest onset of oxidative character. Then you'll have an idea of what I found in my glass. Hard to resist.
Red
8/2/2010 - David McDuff wrote:
Ducroux's 2008 Régnié displays some stemmy, green aromatic traits but integrates those with lovely fruit vibrancy and focused structure. Its slight leanness is actually welcome this time of year, rendering it quite refreshing, and also quite at home at the table, providing the requisite cut and freshness for a dinner of roast salmon or grilled chicken thighs. Day two brought a slight loss of focus but a very pleasing development of textural richness and mineral concentration.
White
4/5/2010 - David McDuff wrote:
The yeastiness that often accompanies Keller's Silvaner in the months after release has shed its veil, revealing a wine still in the full stride of freshness. Crackling with acidity, dripping limey minerality and still sporting a light prickle of CO2. And yes, it tasted as good as it felt — full of white floral aromas, crisp green pear fruit and nuanced with a whiff of mace-like spiciness. More thoughts at: http://mcduffwine.blogspot.com/2010/04/silvaner-season.html
White
2005 Movia Lunar 8. Goriška Brda Ribolla Gialla (view label images)
1/6/2010 - David McDuff wrote:
A cloudy, coppery orange, it's a near match for the hue of peach nectar, just not quite so rich and dense to the eye. Likewise, the wine is loaded with peach and apple skin aromas and cidery nuances, which lead to a long, mineral stained finish. With air, more tertiary aromas of sandalwood, saffron and floral tea emerge, along with an intense leesiness that reminds me of the sweetness of fresh-baked whole wheat bread. Though not as tannic as some other extended skin contact wines, Paolo Bea's "Rusticum" for instance, the wine still has a definite textural component that gently grips and undulates across the palate.
Red
11/17/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Grapey and gulpable, but it’s also accented by fine tannins, chalky minerality, a spike of white pepper and very snappy texture. There’s a definite inky/graphite element on the nose as well, along with an enticing twist of blood orange. Very food friendly
White
3/26/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
This has taken on substantial color since I last opened a bottle the better part of two years ago; it’s now approaching the hue of fresh apricot flesh in the glass. A lovely nose of lavender and wildflower honey is accompanied by fantastic persistence on the palate, where a brief suggestion of sweetness is quickly wiped away by the wine’s mouthwatering acidity. Very pure, this bottle was really singing. Flavors of both bosc pears and freshly pressed apple cider developed after 30 minutes or so, followed not much later with richer flavors of fig compote.
Red
3/26/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Medium-dark ruby in the glass, with a dark nose of blackberry and black cherry. The sweet-fruited front palate is followed by a clamp of firm tannins on the finish. Very ripe and fruit forward, in a relatively modern style, accented by a well-integrated touch of oak. Still very primary, though there’s also an attractive mineral/loam combo happening on the mid-palate. Overall, the wine’s approach is on the simple side but there’s enough stuffing here that it could develop into something interesting over the next five years. In any event, it’s delivering easy, straightforward pleasure today.
White
3/26/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Easy drinking Muscadet, bursting with lime juice driven flavors. Its soft, medium-acidity, forward fruit and delicate whisper of minerality make it a forgiving choice at the table, less strict than a steelier Muscadet. Those same open-knit structural components, though, suggest that this is a Muscadet that needs to be drunk young, a notion supported by the wine’s relative collapse on day two, when its fruit faded, leaving behind a skeleton without enough balance to stand up to food or stand on its own.
Red
2/9/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Still plenty youthful but more open knit than when I last tasted it, with suppler tannins and a solid spine of acidity driving home dark, sinewy, spicy fruit. The nose is loaded with aromas of ink, garrigue, wild black fruit and a touch of blood and iron. Drinking and smelling it, I can somehow close my eyes and picture a horse running through the dry, windswept Provençal outback. Just about perfect for a pot of beef daube or braised lamb shanks.
Red
1/21/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
A bit clumsy right out of the gates, the sweet red fruit immediacy of Sylvie Esmonin’s Gevrey was marred at first by slightly disjointed alcohol. It didn’t take long for its grace to emerge, though. Definitely lots of red fruit, both fresh and caramelized. A campfire set in a forest clearing on a nippy fall day comes to mind, not through any reductive characteristics, just through the wine’s overall expression of brambly fruit and energy. Esmonin gets her knocks from some quarters for the concentrated, forward nature of her wines but I dig them. This has a wonderfully barky, sinewy character that helps to back up its boisterous, spicy red fruit. It’s slightly lean yet sappy and generous all at once, topped off with a beguiling nose of sandalwood.
Red
1/21/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Though showing just the slightest hint of its alcohol on the nose, this is nonetheless in a fine place right now. It’s still quite youthful in the fruit department but is soft, round, exotically spicy and sweetly scented. Enjoyably pondering a glass, I was struck with the thought that I’m not sure there’s any vine that takes to oak quite so well as does Nebbiolo. I find the aromatic fireworks that result when it’s done right really hard to beat. Here, it results in classic oak-derived spiciness and warm red floral aromas and scents of rooibos tea intertwined with red licorice and sassafras. The 2000 may lack the acid/tannin profile of a more classic Piedmontese vintage but firm, well-balanced grip still presents itself on the finish.
White
1/21/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Still showing plenty of stuffing and potential. Can there be such a thing as hedonistic Kabinett trocken? This would seem to suggest so, as it offered up voluptuous scents and flavors of clove-poached pears, fresh baked apple pie a la mode and peach cobbler.
White
1/21/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
This showed big time sulfur/struck match aromas when first opened. After a quick and vigorous decant, it became clear that the wine was in a pretty severely reduced state. It showed much better on the palate, though, where I was initially struck with flavors of apple cider and an element that reminded me of Junmai Daiginjo sake. Coming back to it fifteen minutes later, the nose was still totally reductive funk. But the wine had gotten even tastier, showing ripe red apple fruit and notes of cinnamon dusted pastry dough. I still had a hard time getting past its nose. Maybe it’s just too young yet, or needs a few hours (or days?) in the decanter.
White
1/21/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
In a really good place right now, just starting to bridge into the development of some tertiary characteristics. Very fresh and prickly, still showing some residual carbon dioxide when first opened. It quickly rounded out and took on depth and richness with aeration. White peaches laced with lime zest, orange oil and honeysuckle hit the front palate, while a touch of oiliness and salinity follow. This is bone dry but completely physiologically ripe Riesling, loaded with palate staining fruit that shoots sparks across the tongue. With yet more air, rainier cherry fruit and intensely concentrated, almost sour minerality develop. Tremendous length. Lovely wine.
Red
11/21/2008 - David McDuff wrote:
Tasting La Spinetta’s Langhe Nebbiolo, I’m left with the distinct impression that I’m drinking made wine. Its richly hued garnet color is darker than I’d expect from Nebbiolo, especially from a young vine wine like this, even if from a good vintage. And while some of the classic Nebbiolo aromas – licorice, tar and raspberries – were present, there was also an aggressive element to the wine’s scents. Alcohol and paint both came to mind. In the mouth, the wine wasn’t just disjointed. It also felt over inflated, as if someone had started out with what might have been Grace Kelly but ended up producing something more like Pamela Anderson. Too much oak and too much extraction, with little in the way of finesse to balance out those top-heavy attributes.
Red
11/27/2008 - David McDuff wrote:
A nose of macerated cherries and white truffles was followed up by silky, lithe red fruit, with flavors of buttery lucques olives, vanilla-laced cherries and sweet English thyme all dancing across the palate. Firm of texture and fresh in acidity but delicate, delicate, delicate, through and through. Really lovely red Burg.
White
1/14/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Soft on the front-palate and explosively floral on the nose, this brims with yellow peach and white apple fruit. Its acid profile is much softer than the Riesling grown further up the hill, and there’s much less of a terroir imprint – none of the distinctly pungent minerality that’s found in Ratzenberger’s Rieslings. But served cold, when its herbal finish is refreshing rather than vegetal (which it can become if served too warm), it’s a pleasure to drink, whether alone or alongside light fish, vegetable and poultry dishes.
Red
12/9/2008 - David McDuff wrote:
This reminded me of Lagrein but with less punch and power. Mulberry and plum fruit commingled with cocoa and a hint of spice on the nose, following through on the palate with fairly plush texture and well-balanced acidity. On day two, the wine’s primary tendencies completely morphed into flavors suggesting maturity, while a sour minerality reminiscent of upper slope Burgundy crept up on the finish.
White
12/24/2008 - David McDuff wrote:
This is flinty yet fleshy, yeast enriched Muscadet that finishes with a mouthwatering twist of bitter lemon oil. Young and tasty, with exceptional length. It not only paired beautifully with oysters but also revealed an extra layer of salinity and savor when matched with a simple appetizer of oil-poached Spanish tuna belly.
White
12/30/2008 - David McDuff wrote:
In that ideal ‘tweener spot right now. Its color has taken on a pale yellow hue, darker than its original white light. The nose delivers an immediate wallop of petrol-rich minerality while second and third inhalations uncover rich scents of apricots and golden peaches. Eyeing the glass again, with a backdrop of light, there’s a slight appearance of effervescence. That trace of residual carbon dioxide is still apparent on the tongue, combining with the wine’s scintillating acidity to balance and, really, wipe away any impression of sweetness stemming from natural residual sugar.

And that youthful, crystalline acidity delivers the first notes on the palate – clementine, blood orange and clove. It then finishes with rounder, more mature acids that bring back the flavors of stone fruit hinted at earlier by the wine’s aromatic profile. It’s delicious stuff and, at only 8.5% alcohol, superbly drinkable. On day two it showed even better, if that’s possible. Nothing different really, just a magnification and refinement, an additional layering of all the good stuff that showed up right out of the gates.
Red
12/31/2008 - David McDuff wrote:
Very nice wine, with fresh acidity, minimal tannins and clear fruit expression. A classic unoaked Spätburgunder nose of black cherries, smoke, a little pepper and clove, and a twinge of green herbaceousness. Reductive when first opened – perhaps a side-effect of its screwcap closure – but that blew off quickly.
Red
1/4/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
This was pleasantly plump and quite tasty on release but has now shut down and gone into a completely dumb phase. We still managed to drink it... but forget about it for a while if you're holding any.
Red
1/4/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Painfully young but already delicious, brimming with black and blue fruits and a brooding, sauvage aromatic profile.
White
1/14/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Fully dry Jasnières that showed some Chenin typicity, with pear fruit, good acidity and aromas of flowering herbs. But it was bitter on the finish, hollow on the mid-palate and short on the end. Though fresh on day one, it darkened in color and oxidized more quickly than normal by day two. Too low-sulfur for its own good?
Red
1/14/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
A solid example of fruity-style Beaujolais, showing much better than when last tasted a couple of months ago. It’s shed its earlier baby fat and is starting to lean-out and take on more herbal interest in its bright, raspberry driven flavor profile. Jean-François has taken over charge of the estate from his father Georges. They're apparently still working through their batch of old labels, so you may see this version of this wine labeled with Georges' name as well as with that of Jean-François.
White
1/14/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Still holding some drinkability but hasn’t developed enough in the way of bottle bouquet to offset its trip down the slippery slope. Paquet produces direct, early drinking Mâcon-Davayé and Saint-Véran that are pretty decent values. But this, after only two-plus years in the bottle, is fading faster than I would have expected. If you’re holding any, drink up while the drinking’s still satisfactory.
Red
1/14/2009 - David McDuff wrote:
Simple and unassuming. In fact it’s actually not perfectly balanced nor all that memorable. Lean and a little ungiving on its own, it does perk up in the presence of food, its slightly herbaceous and tart red fruit opening up to reveal a riper core of redcurrants.
Red
11/20/2007 - David McDuff wrote:
Killer juice. Showing great at the moment. Wonderful fruit richness, transparent oak integration, classic acidity, and just plain savory.
Rosé - Sparkling
9/20/2007 - David McDuff wrote:
Produced as a rosé in previous "batches," this is now a Blanc de Noir bubbly, made as before from 100% Cabernet Franc. The wine comes from Chinon but, as the Chinon AOC does not allow for sparkling wines, it is labeled simply as Vin Mousseux de Qualité (thus the basic Loire Valley regional assignment). Produced in the traditional method, commercialized only for the last 2-3 years prior to which it was made purely for consumption by the Gasnier family and friends.
Red
1995 Château Roudier Montagne-St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/16/2007 - David McDuff wrote:
flawed
Heat damaged. Purchased years ago at Calvert Woodley.
Red
4/16/2007 - David McDuff wrote:
As a co-worker of mine would say, "Spineless goop." Tasting like watered down port mixed with prune juice, this shows its origins too plainly -- fllat, irrigated vineyards, young vine fruit and soulless, large scale winemaking. Ripe, sur-mature flavors, low acid and almost zero tannin. Not recommended, with or without food.
Red
3/14/2007 - David McDuff wrote:
Absolutely delicious. Understated in body but loaded with flavor and classiclally high in acid, making this an extremely versatile food wine. Not as rich as the 2004 or, obviously, 2003 but making up for that with bright, well balanced character.
White
12/13/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
In the absence of Frascati, a very nice match with Carbonara. Lacks the concentration of the 2005 but nonetheless is a lovely, rich and aromatic Soave. Typical pear, almond and floral nose with a clean, creamy texture and slightly bitter -- in a pleasant way -- finish.
Red
12/9/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
Drink up folks. While this is still relatively tasty, it has not shown any real positive bottle development and is definitely on its way down the slippery slope....
Red
11/7/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
A blend of Côt (Malbec), Cabernet Franc and a wee bit of Gamay from a single vineyard that forms the core of Vincent Ricard's best site for red fruit. Delicious, medium bodied red showcasing the dark flavors of malbec, made more aromatic by the Cabernet Franc. Wild dark plums and hints of spice and smoked meats on the palate.
White
10/26/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
flawed
Corked again. When will people stop using tree bark to seal wine bottles???
White
10/22/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
Eminently gluggable. As high a quality as Rivaner is capable of, Ratzenberger's '05 is loaded with fruit and balanced by gentle acidity.
White - Off-dry
9/26/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
This was anticipated to be the wine of the night and it delivered, albeit in some slightly surprising ways. The main surprise came in the way of a much higher degree than expected of oxidation on the nose. 1996 was theoretically a fantastic vintage for the Chenin Blanc based whites in the Anjou and I had expected a more youthful wine. That said, wines like this can handle some oxidation and still deliver depth and complexity on the palate. This was full of mint, chamomile tea, honey, beeswax and lime oil flavors driven home by penetrating acidity. Though the wine is supposedly a demi-sec (more below) there was barely a hint of sweetness -- one really had to look for it with each sip -- to be found. A perfect accompaniment to the nicely aged round of Selles-sur-Cher with which it was paired. I wish I had more as I'd love to look at it again over the next few years.

Side note: This is one of the more confusing but also technically informative labels I've encountered on a wine from any country. It's not entirely clear as to whether the domaine wants to be known as "Chateau de Chamboureau" or simply by the name of the viticulteur, Pierre Soulez. I've opted for the former. On the front label, it is specified as moelleux with a designation "Cuvée d'Avant," which would seem to suggest a late picking. This is backed up by information on the rear label, although here it is referred to as demi-sec rather than moelleux. The fruit is harvested in two to three selections at a potential alcohol ranging from 14% to 16.5% (finished to 14.3%), with 50% botrytis and 50% partially raisined fruit.
Red
1994 Mount Veeder Winery Reserve Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/26/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
The last time I drank a bottle of this must have been a good six years ago. And I'm stymied to put my finger on anything that's changed with the wine since then. In my book, that's not a good thing. While there's plenty of still youthful red fruit, the wine continues to display a green tinge on the mid-palate; the tannins are very soft. While it's held up quite well, it really hasn't gone anywhere with time, aside from some mellowing of its oak flavors, and I doubt that it will do anything other than ride a straight line until it eventually tires out. Pleasurable enough as a simple drink but not really living up to the promise of its vintage nor especially of its AVA.
White - Sparkling
9/26/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
Vintage in and vintage out, this is a long-time favorite of mine. The 2000 is just starting to soften up and really show its fruit and full aromatic spectrum. It benefits from being poured in a regular white wine glass rather than a flute as this serves to put its focus on aroma rather than on its mousse which, not being terribly fine, might be its only real flaw. A great accompaniment to a wide range of foods, including the corn soup with which it was served. Also a good candidate for further bottle aging.
White
9/28/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
Of four wines served at a dinner with friends recently, this wine had the curious distinction of vying for the least interesting yet also the most surprising of the night. Least interesting: well, it's negociant Napa Chardonnay, easy to drink but lacking in any real character or distinction of flavor or texture. Surprising: at seven years old, not only was it still holding up well but it wasn't showing any signs of tiredness. The flavors have mellowed to a round, ripe pear and buttered toast combo and the color is hinting at light golden. Balance is fine, with gentle acidity buoying the wine's medium-full weight.
Rosé
2005 Unti Vineyards Rosé Dry Creek Valley Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
9/23/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
At 65% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre, the 2005 iteration of Unti's pink stuff is no longer "Grenache Rose." Full and round in the mouth, with distinct strawberry and raspberry fruit. Dry but very ripe and sweet fruited. Would be more enticing if not so expensive ($21-ish per bottle). Drink by Spring 2007.
Red
2005 G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso Langhe DOC Nebbiolo Blend, Nebbiolo (view label images)
8/4/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
Some clarification.... Vajra's Langhe Rosso is indeed a completely different wine from his Langhe Nebbiolo. The composition varies somewhat from vintage to vintage but it is usually a blend of all four of his primary red varieties: Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Freisa. Dolcetto and Barbera usually vie for dominance, with the others playing a nuance role. The 2005 is the softest, fruitiest example in recent memory and is a delicious wine for everyday drinking.
White
7/18/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
Absolutely rock-solid Sancerre from Daulny -- obviously an excellent vintage for him. Perfect balance, classic aromas and fruit/mineral balance, very good length.
White
5/21/2006 - David McDuff wrote:
Drinking beautifully in May 2006. Honeyed grapefruit and persistent stoniness on the finish. Mellowed up-front but with still lively acidity and mouthfeel.
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  • Tasting Notes: 46 notes on 46 wines
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