Comments on my notes

(26 comments on 19 notes)

1 - 19 of 19 Sort order
2014 Jordan Winery (Jardin) Chenin Blanc Inspector Peringuey Stellenbosch
7/18/2016 - ParksideMac wrote:
100 points
Until my underwhelmed but grew on me later on.
  • johnrm commented:

    8/17/19, 5:21 AM - It is easy to edit your contribution (and change your score).

2013 Domaine de la Bongran (Thevenet) Viré-Clessé Cuvée E. J. Thevenet Chardonnay
6/23/2018 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Very expressive nose. Lovely fruit, spice and acidity on the long palate. Pretty much as my earlier notes but getting better with time. Lovely wine. Certainly not a routine Macon.
Note. Following the very helpful comments from Mike Goldstone, I agree that I am tasting the Cuvee Tradition and not the Cuvee E J Thevenet. I would have moved this review (and all my others) to the entries covering that wine which is listed separately on Cellartracker. Unfortunately, the reviews under the 'Cuvee Tradition' label stopped in 2004 and some of the wine labels (and reviews) clearly refer to the Cuvee E J Thevenet rather than the Tradition so moving notes there would not avoid confusion. To save myself a lot of trouble moving reviews around, I will just add this caveat to my reviews so it is clear what I am tasting. Thevenet should sort this out if they can be bothered to clear the confusion.
  • johnrm commented:

    7/14/18, 9:24 AM - Mike. I have had the 2013 for some time and am not the only one to have posted my impressions since 2017. As I said in my first note in September 2017, I posted two photos of the 2013 label back then.
    My usual UK supplier has the 2015 on his current list.
    I know the many variations on the name cause confusion and there are different wines from the same producer. Perhaps this has led to some misunderstanding?

  • johnrm commented:

    7/14/18, 1:37 PM - Yes. It is a mess. I pointed this out in one of my notes on the 2011 vintage but it is beyond me to sort this out. I said then: 'I think the list of wines on CT under various combinations of: Domaine de la Bongran / Macon Villages / Vire Clesse / Macon Clesse / Quintaine / Cuvee Tradition / Thevenet / E.J. Thevenet etc. etc. is very confusing. Many of the wines under different headings are identical. This is partly the fault of the French system of classification which has led to slight name changes over recent years.' Perhaps the Thevenet family should liaise with CT and get this all straightened out. Regards, John

  • johnrm commented:

    3/28/19, 10:54 AM - I'm sorry to have added to the confusion regarding this wine (the confusion started in the early noughties, if not earlier).
    I have added a clarification to my reviews but since the reviews on the Cuvee Tradition stopped in 2004 and actually cover a mix of cuvees, I can't see the point of trying to move my reviews (on a number of different vintages) since nobody seems to have added any notes to the Cuvee Tradition list in 15 years!
    Many thanks for your correction and clarification. I have only just opened another bottle of the 2013 and finally got my head around the confusion. Doh!

2003 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
3/24/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
93 points
Opened and double-decanted before it was left for 7h. Light in colour. Wonderful nose with spice and good fruit. A sweet and unusually delicate palate for a Musar with hints of strawberry together with cherries, spice and orange citrus. More complex as it opened. For me, the ovewhelming impression is of great acidity, elegance, subtlety and length. Lovely stuff with years ahead.
  • johnrm commented:

    3/24/19, 3:26 PM - Thanks Geoffy. It is good to hear from a kindred spirit!

2011 Miguel Torres Cabernet Sauvignon (Black Label) Mas La Plana Penedès
9/8/2017 - johnrm Likes this wine:
92 points
Very deep colour, totally opaque. Excellent, almost sweet, fruit now but with a great future. Superb, complex fruits with dark cherries taking over late. Lovely balance now but this wine has decades ahead of it. I think I have been a bit mean with my score - it will deserve a much higher score as it grows and matures. I don't understand the current score on CT which is shown as 88.7 and doesn't seem to reflect the opinions of reviewers. 92++
Tasted at Grand Union Wine Society with Nick Gent of Rodney Densem Wines and Ed Hobbs of John E Fells, UK importer of Torres wines.
  • johnrm commented:

    11/18/18, 2:36 AM - Hope it opens and shows well for you. Personally, I would be eager to try it after 24h and then put it aside for longer if it shows promise. I never, ever pnp a decent red - I have gradually developed a feel for which wines need an hour and which need 24 (CT notes make it easier for me). Decanting always helps and, of course, is crucial for older bottles with sediment.

2014 Clos de los Siete Valle de Uco Malbec Blend, Malbec
3/1/2018 - alexisonsmith wrote:
86 points
Dark purple colour, nose of violets blackberries and dark red fruits. On the palate the high acidity hits you first, it is difficult to get past this. I cannot put my finger on why this wine has such a high acid taste. notes of dark concentrated red fruit and spice, the finish is short and disappointing. Really wanted to like this wine. Rolland should be disappointed.
  • johnrm commented:

    4/2/18, 12:24 PM - If my experience with this wine over well over a decade is anything to go by, just give it time. It always improves over 5-10+ years. I'm currently being wowed by the 2009. I recognise the characteristics you describe but it has always come together with time. That said, I have a case of this vintage in my cellar but I haven't tasted it yet. So I have no real basis for disagreeing - just (I hope) a helpful comment based on my experience!

  • johnrm commented:

    4/2/18, 2:08 PM - It may have been a bad 'un but I hope the next one will be better.....
    Good luck with future bottles. Perhaps I'll pull out a '14 and see how it shapes up in its youth.

2015 Penfolds Shiraz Max's Shiraz South Australia
7/28/2017 - johnrm wrote:
88 points
Very deep colour. Disappointingly simple when first opened with hints of jam but it settled nicely with time. Soon after opening, there were lots of dark berries on the nose (blueberries, plums) but, after an hour or two, some red berries developed with hints of spice and, (surprisingly) some raspberries.
The palate had dark fruits early. Some creaminess developed and, later, red berries. Good acidity and tannins that were fine-grained and are already soft enough to complement food (red meat) rather well. Raspberries opened on the later palate. Unfortunately, my wife found hints of burnt rubber later and I had to agree.
A conundrum. It is an interesting wine and it will undoubtedly change as it ages. I am a long, long-time Penfold's fan and have become accustomed to the usual Penfold's price premium but, at this stage, it is rather too expensive at £18.99 (although it us currently discounted at Waitrose UK).
The wine didn't improve over 2-3 hours but it had certainly improved next day and after 48h, it showed deeper damson flavours with more sweetness and less tannic astringency. Perhaps, like most Penfold's wines, it should be cellared for a much longer time.
However, I'm still not convinced that the marketing people were wise to attach Max Schubert's venerated name to this one.
  • johnrm commented:

    10/29/17, 1:09 AM - Thanks for your thoughts. It is always good to find that one's reaction to a wine is shared.
    I only wondered about longer cellaring because I bought a dozen bottles of 2008 Bin 28 soon after release and found it extremely disappointing. Coming back to it earlier this year, it was stunning.
    Some Penfolds wines do that!
    Yes, I would be willing to buy a few more if Waitrose decided to clear the decks for less than a tenner but it would be a long shot.

  • johnrm commented:

    10/29/17, 12:08 PM - Which 707? I have a single remaining bottle of 1998 bought when I could still afford top-end Penfolds. I'm still debating when to drink it........

White - Sweet/Dessert
2011 De Bortoli Sémillon Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon Riverina
6/11/2017 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
As for the 2008 - deep colour, rich botrytis and marmalade nose but with the unexpected 'curry' character noted by a reviewer of the 2009. Rich apricot, complex, honeyed fruit with enough balancing acidity to counter the high levels of sweetness.
Half of the wine was still good after an accidental 2 weeks in the fridge! (Perhaps that is a factor in the developing 'curry' character which was short-lived in the glass). Exceptional length with the 'lip-smacking' characteristic noted earlier.
Still great value.
  • johnrm commented:

    6/27/17, 8:18 AM - Thanks, Mike. I thought it was worth mentioning that it survived in the fridge without significant detriment for weeks after opening. It is the best bargain 'sweetie' I know. The vintages seem very even in quality, too.

2012 Penfolds Shiraz RWT Barossa Valley
11/11/2016 - johnrm Likes this wine:
94 points
Very deep colour. Ripe, complex fruit and spice on the nose.
The palate was rich and very deep, showing complex dark fruits including blackberry and plums with plenty of spicy complexity. It evolved in the glass showing hints of chocolate and plenty of vanilla complexity. Tannins are already smooth but quietly muscular. Excellent balance and length. This is going to be a fantastic, long-lived RWT and certainly a worthy and more affordable alternative to Grange.
A small sample was retained and tasted next day. The nose was even richer and more forward and the fruit on the palate seemed softer and sweeter but no less rich or complex. Great length. A remarkable wine. 94+
Tasted at Grand Union Wine Society with Sam Stephens, EU Brand Ambassador, Penfolds Wines.
  • johnrm commented:

    2/4/17, 7:42 AM - Thanks for picking up on my typo. It was indeed the RWT and not the St Henri (though the St Henri is also a worthy alternative to Grange for those of us whose budgets are not unlimited). We compared the 2012 and the 2000 RWT side by side. I have corrected my note.

2000 Château Belgrave Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/7/2015 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Brambles on the nose (4h after decanting) with some subtle spice. Much later, tobacco and an almost sherried character on the nose (nice).
Excellent, mainly black, fruit on the palate - cherries, some damsons. Vanilla developed, then faded to be replaced by spicy notes.
Lovely balance of fruit, acidity, soft tannin and not as 'sweet' as the last bottle (perhaps down to the food - it accompanied grilled fillet steak very well and handled Bearnaise sauce).
Difficult to describe accurately because it developed so much in the glass and showed different characteristics with food. With Cambazola cheese, I got some oranges (as mentioned in my last note) and my wife got bitter cherries.
Lovely wine. Ready but not as urgent to drink as I thought previously.
  • johnrm commented:

    1/18/17, 3:17 PM - Thanks for your comment, Chatters. Much appreciated. As you will see from my note of January 2017, I think it is holding up well. Apologies for the slow response to your comment......

2012 Château Rahoul Blanc Graves Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
6/10/2016 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Opened 8h prior. Typical Semillon on the nose with some spice. A complex, rich, oily palate with lemon evident. Given the 80% Semillon, this needs time. A complex, sophisticated wine but it divided opinion - some tasters found an oily, almost petrol character that they disliked. A sample tasted next day was much softer and did not have any oily characteristics. Will probably deserve a higher score with more maturity.
Tasted with Simon March (Evington's Wines) at Grand Union Wine Society.
  • johnrm commented:

    1/7/17, 10:17 AM - Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think a day makes a big difference. Of course, it is probably better to cellar it for a bit longer and see how it develops. It depends how you like older semillon-rich white Bordeaux.

2014 Avignonesi Chardonnay Cortona Il Marzocco
9/16/2016 - johnrm Likes this wine:
91 points
Quite a deep colour. Lemon and toffee on the nose. Soft complex palate with melon, ginger, lemon (reminiscent of roasted lemons). The subtle oak is beautifully integrated with creamy caramel and herby, spicy, bready fruit on the late palate.
Almost a different wine to the bottle tasted only a year ago. Long and complex with a lingering hint of liquorice as the long palate slowly fades. Still developing as the bottle emptied. Excellent, high quality Chardonnay - as good as I have enjoyed in ages. I truly wish I had more.
Note. The wine is now designated as Toscana IGT - not Cortona (see label photos). The change was made in 2014. I have been unable to add this note to the Toscana designation on CT which, unaccountably, goes up to 1997 and then stops.
  • johnrm commented:

    12/17/16, 9:04 AM - Thanks. I only wish I had more..........

1994 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
8/23/2015 - johnrm Likes this wine:
91 points
The usual pale brick colour of many older Musars with only a little browning. Excellent fruit and spice on the nose immediately on opening and decanting.
Sweet cherry and strawberry fruit on the palate with spice developing. Quite light at first for a Musar but with good balance, soft tannins and plenty of acidity (orange hints). Very long.
The bulk of the wine was set aside before drinking with dinner. It made an interesting foil for roast lamb with accompaniments including Cumberland Sauce. There was an amazing difference after standing for 5h. A little hard acidity on the end taste had disappeared and the wine had become significantly richer and more complex. Still surprisingly sweet cherries and spice with orange notes but now with an almost 'cherry brandy' character and richness. Lovely wine with a character all its own.
I can never drink Serge's wine now without feeling his presence. Every glass is a memorial to him and his vision.
Note. Following comments from Goldstone (below), I have amended this note. I think we can agree that this wine has many years ahead of it (although the '93 is likely to continue even longer if some of us live long enough to monitor it!).
  • johnrm commented:

    8/24/15, 12:07 AM - Thanks for your helpful comment. My suggestion regarding its life was partly based on a comment from Jane Sowter at Musar UK that the '94 would have a long life but should be drunk before the '93.
    I will hold back and drink my '87s first. I have no doubt they will all live on vigorously - I have never felt that a Musar is too old.

  • johnrm commented:

    8/24/15, 1:32 AM - I have amended my original note to reflect thoughts on the likely longevity of the '94 and to correct my mistake about the wines presented after Serge's Memorial Service in London in March 2015. I found my notes and we shared '59 (so significant!), '69, '72, '88, '95 (and '03 with food). For completeness, I should add that his beloved whites from '69, '89, and '03 were also served. No hurry there, either!
    Thanks for the prompt.

2009 Domaine Vistalba Vinalba Cuvee Couture Malbec-Touriga Nacional Rese Patagonia Malbec Blend, Malbec
11/5/2013 - davidmcgowan wrote:
82 points
Well enough made and pleasant, but it was all a bit by numbers with a short finish and it was not a patch on the Malbec-Syrah from the same producer.
  • johnrm commented:

    6/20/15, 2:46 AM - I believe this wine is wrongly listed. This blend is made in Mendoza and not Patagonia. The correct wine is listed under Vinalba Malbec Touriga Nacional. Hope this is helpful.

2009 Domaine Vistalba Vinalba Cuvee Couture Malbec-Touriga Nacional Rese Patagonia Malbec Blend, Malbec
12/16/2012 - JustNathan Does not like this wine:
77 points
Nothing special, even when compared with the varietal Malbec from the same house. Simple notes of sweet black fruits with some coffee grounds lead into a linear burst of blackberry/blackcurrant juice and an abrupt finish. This didn't improve with decanting or being left stoppered overnight.
  • johnrm commented:

    6/20/15, 2:46 AM - I believe this wine is wrongly listed. This blend is made in Mendoza and not Patagonia. The correct wine is listed under Vinalba Malbec Touriga Nacional. Hope this is helpful.

2004 Clos de los Siete Valle de Uco Malbec Blend, Malbec
8/28/2013 - apmarques Does not like this wine:
80 points
probably too late to be drink.
  • johnrm commented:

    6/13/15, 11:53 AM - I opened a bottle of this vintage in 2010 and spat out my first taste it was so undrinkable.
    For some reason, I didn't pour it down the sink but put it aside. A few hours later, it was good with lovely 'Clos' fruit and all the usual characteristics. I cannot explain the change - I have never experienced anything like it.
    I have just posted a note on my last bottle of the 2004 and, after giving it 4h, it is lovely.
    If you have any more, it is worth opening very early.
    There is life in this vintage yet.
    Hope this helps.

2012 Clos de los Siete Valle de Uco Malbec Blend, Malbec
4/7/2015 - JVG wrote:
Glass staining purple color. Powerful, somewhat stewed dark fruit aromas of blackberry, mulberry, and blueberry, plus sweet, toasted oak aromas of cinnamon and pie crust. A bit of leather, but otherwise entirely primary. Goes way off the rails on the palate. The fruit is completely dried out and drowned in bitter woody oak flavor and texture. The tannins seem entirely oak derived and are green and hard, and a hot kick of alcohol comes along for the ride and dominates the finish.

It's been a while since I've had a wine like this. I wanted to give Argentina another chance, and I have nothing against Michel Rolland per se, but this bottle fulfills every negative generalization people make about his wines. Overripe, overextracted, overoaked, overalcoholic, unbalanced, anonymous, and commercial. Highway robbery for the price---so much good wine out there for ~$20.
  • johnrm commented:

    6/1/15, 6:27 AM - The 2015 is still very young. It really needs a lot more time in my opinion. I'm currently getting great pleasure out of the '03, '04, & '05 Clos de Los Siete.

  • johnrm commented:

    6/3/15, 2:55 PM - Of course I meant the 2012. The system won't let me change my previous comment.....

2006 Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve Aconcagua Valley
7/18/2014 - aquacongas Likes this wine:
93 points
a fullbodied cs, fruity, strong ripe silky tannins for the next 5-7 years, you feel cassis, blueberries, milkchocolate and vanilla, black currant marmelade, parker style. in this case I enjoyed
  • johnrm commented:

    10/29/14, 3:42 PM - Is this a different wine to the Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve Cabernet which many people have reviewed on Cellar Tracker?
    There are over 30 reviews of the 2006 and it would be a pity if your views were not seen by other users.
    If I am mistaken about the wine, please forgive me but I cannot find Don Maximo anywhere.

  • johnrm commented:

    11/1/14, 1:32 AM - Thanks for your reply. Founder's Reserve is OK and Cabernet Sauvignon is also OK.
    I was actually questioning 'Don Maximo' because I don't believe such a wine exists. Even Google asks 'did you mean Don Maximiano?'.
    If you search CT for Don Maximiano you will find lots of reviews. If you search CT for Don Maximo you'll find a couple but I believe they are in the wrong place. The picture of the bottle is Don Maximiano.
    Sorry to seem pedantic but if your review is under the wrong wine name, very few people will see it even if the difference is only three letters.
    I think CT should edit these 'Don Maximo' reviews and re-site them under Don Maximiano....

2007 Errazuriz Cabernet Sauvignon Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve Aconcagua Valley
5/1/2014 - Wineverest wrote:
94 points
Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve 2007 obtained 94+ points in The Wine Advocate
Being distinguished with one among the highest scores within Robert Parker’s latest review on Chilean wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep and dense wine, with beet, floral and black fruit aromas. The palate offers good acidity, balance, richness and complexity, while the flavor profile of raspberry, plum and dry herbs is attractive. Finishes mildly toasty, with a hint of herbs and tomato. Best from 2011–14.
  • johnrm commented:

    10/29/14, 3:44 PM - Unfortunately, your interesting review seems to have ended up under the wrong wine - Don Maximo instead of Don Maximiano.
    Most people will therefore not read you review.

2001 Château Beaumont Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
7/25/2012 - Oscar5 wrote:
84 points
A little restrained but good simple claret with soft blackberry fruits. Tried some the following day and tasted almost Lebanese.
  • johnrm commented:

    7/20/14, 9:52 AM - Yes. The wine came over as better for me on the day (2 years later - my notes 20/7/14) but I was struck by your 'Lebanese' observation and agree with you.

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