Tasting Notes for johnrm

(1,090 notes on 747 wines)

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Red
9/15/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
This bottle showed fruit that was less sweet and it was less immediately approachable than earlier bottles, even 3-4 hours after opening. Still good but the vegetal notes were more evident to me (almost a trace of 'parsnip'). My wife just got cherries (with bitter cherry notes) so perhaps it is just me. I think this is ready to drink up but after previous tastings, it could just be an odd bottle.
Better with food later. Time will tell......
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White
9/14/2019 - johnrm Does not like this wine:
80 points
A second bottle of this wine and vintage - I was a little confused by the first.
This bottle immediately showed citrus acidity and apricot skin and apricot/peach stone flavours and hardness. It didn't hang together at all for either of us. The long aftertaste was simply apricot /peach stone (reminiscent of benzaldehyde - what I smell and taste if I break into an apricot stone) and was not pleasant. We were disappointed in the wine (which was sold as 'Condrieu-like'). Half a bottle was set aside for later tasting and retained the unacceptable end taste. I fear that the rest of a case of 6 will be returned. This is disappointing in view of the normally reliable wines from Jaboulet.
Note. Jaboulet may be based in Tain, Hermitage as shown on the label, but this wine comes from SW France.
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Red
9/12/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Deep colour and good dark fruit and spice on the nose. Excellent mainly dark cherry fruit on the palate. Good balance and length with rich integrated dry tannins. Chocolate notes developed on the later palate as it opened. Good with food (Beef Wellington) and on its own.
Another bottle a few days later was good but there seemed to be less fruit and more dryness on the finish.
Red
9/12/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Deep red with a rich, perfumed nose when given time to open. The palate was full of dark cherry, plum, damson fruits with plenty of soft tannin and ‘grip’. Quite unlike most Californian Merlot (which has suffered unreasonably thanks to ‘Sideways’) but which always seems much sweeter to my palate. This is a class act with good acidity, balance and length, and plenty of character. It was good with barbecued beef and showed well next day. I am sure it has plenty of life ahead.
Red
9/9/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Presumably this wine has developed substantially since the previous note. Very deep colour and plenty of fruit and spice on the nose.
The palate shows rich cherry and plum fruit immediately. Plenty of soft damson skin tannins which are still quite forward without food but which soften in the glass and will soften further with time. It is a good food wine and is coming together nicely.
Blackberry and blackcurrant emerged next day with vanilla notes. There was soft sweet fruit but the acidity was retained, the tannins were soft and integrated and the palate remained long. This needs time to open and seems to have the potential to develop further over a few years at least. 89+
White
9/8/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
Creamy taste and texture with sweet-ish fruit and lemon citrus on the palate. Good texture and mouthfeel but the acidity is on the soft side giving a very slightly flabby impression. It drinks well but is ‘easy’ drinking without the tightness and discipline of many crisper, more elegant Chardonnays. OK with fish in a cream sauce but a bit soft for shellfish. It improved in the glass and developed some slight orange acidity with time. 88+
After 24h cool storage, the wine was softer but had less character. It came over as really pretty ordinary especially for the price.
White
9/5/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Good nose showing citrus and fragrance as it warmed and opened. There are pronounced lemon citrus flavours and hints of spice on the palate. It is comparatively restrained - more Burgundian than traditional New World Chardonnay. It is an elegant wine with excellent acidity, balance and length but is expensive in UK compared with good white Burgundy at a similar price.
Good, maybe better, after 24h in the fridge. 90+
Another bottle 2 days later was full of lemon citrus fruit and almond flavours developed later.
White
9/3/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Good colour. Restrained nose when opened but the palate showed attractive lemon citrus and apple. Excellent acidity and fine length with crispness and flinty elegance. A fine wine - good with food but a lovely glass on its own.
Red
9/2/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Needed some time to show on the nose. Excellent rich soft cherry fruit on the palate as soon as opened with a little dark plum fruit and hints of spice gradually developing. Very smooth and homogeneous - attractive wine with fruit that has perhaps a little too much sweetness and insufficient complexity for me but drinks well. It has soft, integrated, but reticent acidity; long on the palate and with a little more (but still subtle) complexity as it opened over 24h. It doesn’t have the depth and complexity (or make the demands on the taster) of many European or some other New World Cabernet/Merlot blends but is an archetypal and immediately enjoyable Californian red in my view.
Red
8/31/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Excellent fruit and balance already, despite its youth. Soft tannins with some elegance and length. Very good with a rare rib of beef. Plenty of life ahead.
White
8/25/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
I won't re-hash my detailed earlier notes but this is now an excellent wine when first opened and it gets better with time in the glass. Superb balance of citrus and subtle 'tropical' fruits with fresh acidity and just enough oak influence to make an elegant, long, and interesting wine. We preferred this (marginally) to a Catena Alta Chardonnay tasted yesterday. This is a relative bargain.
Next day, it was less attractive - perhaps just a little flabby. I think this vintage should be enjoyed now.
White
8/24/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Opened a couple of hours early. A deep golden colour in the glass. 'Restrained' nose with limited fruit. Rich, buttery, creamy palate with citrus (lemon/lime) and hints of pear. I found subtle spice but my wife did not. We found little of the expected tropical fruit character although after another hour or so there were hints of 'doughnut' peaches on the nose. The malolactic fermentation is very evident to me and seems to have robbed the wine of some of the freshness and acidity typical of the simpler Catena High Mountain Vine examples (which I have enjoyed for decades). Butter biscuit notes on the end palate but the citrus still lingered together with hints of cedar pencil from the wood ageing. Strangely, we both preferred this served slightly colder than most Chardonnays (which we normally find offer more when rather closer to room temperature. This is classy Chardonnay but doesn't reach the heights I anticipated; perhaps it is getting a little long in the tooth but most high quality Burgundy ages for longer than 7 years. I wonder if there is some bottle variation?
Much better with food (roast chicken) and afterwards. I have raised my score a point.
Note. The fat, heavy glass bottle is presumably a hangover from the early two-thousands - I'm sure it impresses very few people in these more enlightened times.
Red
8/23/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Good deep colour and plenty of rich, mainly plum fruit on the palate together with spice and vanilla from the oak . It needed a few hours to open when it showed good balance and length with plenty of acidity and damson skin tannins to counter the rich, increasingly ‘sweet’ fruit. Good with food. I will keep part of this bottle to see how it develops overnight. (The 2013 ‘Cuvee Couture’ version was stunning given a day to open.)
Next day, this was softer with plenty of rich dark plummy fruit with some cherry and violet flavours. I think this has quite a few years to develop, yet. Not a wine to rush after opening. Good.
Rosé
8/23/2019 - johnrm wrote:
86 points
Strawberry on nose and palate and almost 'creamy' - it is really quite long in the mouth. As noted for the 2017, it is pleasant if well chilled on its own or with lighter foods. It still beats a lot of 'trendy' over-priced Rosé and my wife would give this at least 88.
Sadly, I'm not really a fan of most Rosé wines - there are so many more light whites and reds available that out-perform Rosé for a modest price IMO and offer much more interest and complexity. 86-
Red
8/22/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
Interesting! Not what I expected from Aussie Shiraz. The fruit was overwhelmingly blackcurrant to me with very good acidity, length and without the levels of 'sweetness' often found in S. Australian versions of Shiraz. Quite complex as it opened in the glass and with plenty of soft, well integrated tannins to balance the jucy acidity. Some damson skin tannin later. Good with food (beef) and also with soft blue brie later. I can't help but feel that this still needed time in bottle but I can't source any more to check this out. 88+
Red
8/21/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Little to add to my previous note except to say that this was tasted blind by a wine group and it was very well received. Very good value. Good Malbec but the Cabernet Sauvignon adds substantially to the overall character and quality. 89+
Red - Fortified
8/21/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Good honest LBV port. Full body with excellent, mainly black cherry, fruit. It has complexity and length. Good value.
Red
8/21/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Good colour. Typical Southern Rhone mix of Grenache and Syrah. Rich fruit, good length and balance, style and elegance. Enjoyed by a group of tasters at a blind tasting. They priced it higher than the actual price at the Co-op in UK. Excellent value.
White
8/21/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
Butter, good acidity, lemon, long, with good minerality. Good with fish. Good value
White
8/21/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
This seems to be settling down. Reticent nose but a good creamy palate with subtle apricot flavours and without the pronounced almond flavours of the bottle tasted in Nov. 2018 - just delicate hints. There must be some bottle variation because the last two bottles have been good. Quite subtle and elegant but rich, quite complex, and long. Better after an hour to open and when warmed above fridge temperature. Back to form, I think.
Red
2005 Château Cissac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/20/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Good colour; reticent nose but it opened with time. Good, sweet fruit - mainly cherries but with gentle spice and very soft tannins. Good balance My earlier notes are still relevant, I think. Good drinking now. Perhaps a little simpler than expected but quite elegant. Better with food (no surprise there) - there is enough acidity. Nice CB Bordeaux and there is no need to hold back. 89+
White
8/17/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
I wanted this bottle to be better than the last and it was, early on, with better balance and more acidity. After an hour or more, however, the bitter almond skin flavours mentioned in my previous note developed again. This was a major minus for me but less so for my wife. I'll try this tomorrow after it has had a night in the fridge but, for now, the mid/late palate is a problem for me. A compromise rating averaging the views of 2 tasters.
The wine improved after 2 days sitting in the fridge. The almond flavours had reduced almost completely leaving a well balanced wine with attractive sweet fruit and good length. I have added a point.
White
8/13/2019 - johnrm wrote:
85 points
Subtle Viognier - restrained compared with most New World examples and most Viognier I have tasted from Southern France. Rich golden colour. Backward nose at first but it opened as the wine warmed in the glass over an hour or so and it became more fragrant with honeyed, honeysuckle notes. The fruit on the palate was mainly apricot for me, accompanied by apricot skin and stones. A little citrus but the acidity was muted. More tropical fruit flavours emerged as it opened. Dry and without the sweetness often found in more crowd-pleasing examples. Some vegetal notes but I began to enjoy this a little more given a couple of hours to show. The apricot fruit and apricot skin/stone flavours persisted. A sample was kept in the fridge overnight but was disappointing next day. The vegetal notes were taking over and there was more acidity. A small parcel from Majestic UK that was inexpensive but does not live up to the hype. Not Condrieu and the hints thereof were short-lived.
Red
8/10/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
87 points
Corsican wine is new to me. This example needed an hour or more to settle after opening. Pale garnet with a hint of browning at the rim. Fair nose with spice, good red fruits, and a little 'farmyard'. The palate showed mature, dark red plummy fruit with a soft tannic backbone. Good acidity and fair length. Good next day and good with food (spiced slow-cooked lamb). It continued to soften and improve with time. Not a great wine but very pleasant drinking and plenty of character. 87+
Red
8/8/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
Pale colour. Good nose after a little time to open. The soft, integrated palate shows red fruits with raspberry and some strawberry, as described by Daveyk39 in his good note. Ripe with good balance and only a hint of 'jam' at first (but this soon faded). Juicy with good acidity and quite long. Good, honest, Grenache with character and style and subtle complexity. Good drinking now. I'm surprised to see 14.8% on the label - deceptive because there is no heaviness. Good value in UK.
Much better 1 - 2 hours after opening. The fruit seemed 'sweeter' and the wine was richer and more complex. At least as good next day with sweet spicy character developing and with no loss of richness or freshness. 88+
White
8/4/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Rich golden colour. Honey on the nose. I agree with comments from others concerning baked yellow apple on the palate. Quite sweet, rich fruit with gentle oak but quite restrained citrus flavours and restrained acidity. Nice on its own or with chicken in a rich, creamy sauce.
The wine opened quite a lot in the glass and softened, gaining complexity and some spice with time. 89+
Next day (after a night in the 'fridge), the wine had improved. It had much better balance and acidity with attractive spice and complexity. Good with fish. Very nice wine - I have raised my score a point.
Red
7/30/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Good deep colour. Attractive nose and palate immediately. After 7 years, I feared that this might be a little past it but it is not. Cherry and berry fruit with structure, some spice, and good tannins. Quite juicy and with good length. It has life ahead. Remarkable value, bought en primeur.
White
2017 d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab McLaren Vale White Rhone Blend (view label images)
7/28/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Still drinking well. The 2016 got richer as it aged and developed apricot (fruit and stone) with almond and almond skin flavours after 2-3 years. The 2017 is doing the same.
Red
7/27/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Last tasted in 2017. Disappointing at first - some bottle stink and some stalkiness on the end palate. However, given time, it opened and improved. The fruit is still there and the acidity and balance are good. It improved markedly with time. Once again, please do not pop and pour - it needs at least 3-4 hours to stretch its legs.
I will taste another bottle soon to see if this bottle is typical.
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White
7/25/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
Served very cold from the fridge and it disappointed us showing little more than liquorice and some citrus flavours. Half an hour later after warming a little it showed all the characteristics described in my note of Feb. 2018. Nice on a summers day with food (salmon in this case) or alone. Almond skin and fennel on the late palate. Lasting well.
Rosé
7/25/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
Salmon pink colour. Good strawberry fruit and refreshing, juicy acidity. Quite subtle and elegant but long and persistent. A pleasant change from many over-rich offerings. 88-
Red
7/21/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
87 points
Very deep,colour. Good fruit and lots of vanilla on the nose and quite sweet at first but the acidity (good) came through with time. Pleasant drinking for the price. Next day, the wine was full of fragrant mulberry fruit with food-friendly but prominent damson skin tannins and long juicy acidity. Good with bbq steak and sausages. It is apparently another Malbec from Catena according to the Tesco website (but no mention on the label). 87-
White
7/14/2019 - johnrm wrote:
86 points
Opened at a comparative tasting as a foil to a South African Chenin. It was not a good choice - too sweet but attractively honeyed. The remains of a bottle were retained and, after a week in the 'fridge, the wine was full of sweet apple fruit with good balance and drinking well.
Context is all. This is probably worth keeping a few years when it may be a pleasant surprise.
Red
7/14/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
A label search gave this wine as the 'Clasico' but the word doesn't appear on the label (added to the list of photos).
Good, soft mulberry fruit with decent balance, acidity, and length. It improved in the glass. Not exceptional but good with food. Fair value on offer at Waitrose.
White
2015 Errazuriz The Blend Aconcagua Valley White Rhone Blend (view label images)
7/11/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Two years since I last tasted this. It retains good fruit and some perfume hints on the nose.
Citrus, white peach on the juicy palate, again changing in the glass as it warmed. The citrus flavours became more prominent as it warmed (lemon, mandarin, grapefruit as before). Excellent acidity and length. Much better as it warmed when subtle herb and spice flavours began to emerge together with richer fruit (apricot). Quite an elegant food wine. It improved a lot above fridge temperature - actually, when closer to room temperature (UK 'summer' room temperature, that is).
Still very drinkable and 'moreish' but not as impressive as I previously found it. I only bought more when it was on offer at Waitrose when it still cost nearly £15. Even at this price, it faces competition from other white Rhone blends from Southern France and, in the case of bigger, richer, creamier wines, from South Australia.
White
7/10/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
87 points
Tasted at Grand Union Wine Society in June and, a few weeks later, at a private small group tasting. Attractive colour and nose. Sweet, soft fruit - mainly tropical with hints of citrus - but with some bitter almond flavours on the mid/late palate which persisted and led me to reduce my score slightly. Very good mouthfeel, good length, and fair balance but I would prefer more acidity. More like Vouvray than many other S. African Chenin examples.
Red
7/9/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
Tasted at Grand Union Wine Society and, some days later, at a private tasting. Opened and double-decanted 6h before tasting. Excellent black fruits with blackcurrant predominant. Very good structure, acidity, and balance with soft tannins, but sufficient to suggest a long life. This wine easily held its own against an older, well-known Cru Bourgeois Claret. 90+
White
7/9/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
91 points
Presented to a tasting at Grand Union Wine Society and, later, to a specialist group. Lovely, characterful wine with all the positive qualities mentioned earlier. It went down very well on both occasions.
Red
2009 Château Beaumont Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/6/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
The first of a case. Good, deep colour. Attractive immediately but better after 4-5 hours. Dark berries on the nose. The palate showed dark cherry with lots of dark plum. A hint of cedar early (and I agree with a previous comment that there is some Bovril). With time, the fruit seemed to get sweeter and the soft tannins were more evident on the late palate but were good with food. Good now but will certainly last. It will be interesting to see it develop over a few years.
Note next day: very smooth, complex, and harmonious with soft, totally integrated tannins. Nice. 89+
This wine went down very well when tasted a week later against other Cabernet Sauvignons at a private group tasting. It was so much better 6h after double-decanting that it deserves at least another point. 90+
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White
7/4/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Attractive as soon as it was opened. Pale golden colour with a hint of green. A very rich, fresh, tangy palate full of citrus fruit - mainly lemon. Spice developed but the expected buttery notes were very muted at first. Hints of honey emerged as it warmed in the glass but the palate remained rather elegant with excellent, mouth-watering acidity and great length. A food-friendly wine.
It changed substantially with time in the glass, with time to warm from fridge temperature, and with some food (e.g. cheese). The nose then opened to show peach and citrus. Tropical notes and some buttery character emerged on the palate and the wine was richer, 'sweeter', with good mouth-feel and softer acidity but lemon still dominated. Next day, the butter and softness were a feature and the lemon remained the major characteristic. A very well-made wine that gave great pleasure. I have raised my initial score a point.
Note: I think there is some confusion between the Domaine des Valanges Saint Veran and the Domaine des Valanges Saint Veran 'Cuvee Speciale' which I assume are different cuvees. There are two threads on this site and some of the images on the first site show Cuvee Speciale on the label.
Red
7/3/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Very deep colour. Dark cherries with plums and damsons at first and with an interesting taste developing in the glass early (another commentator has mentioned menthol and eucalyptus which seems rather apt) but this faded. Not nearly as sweet as most Argentinian Malbecs - the Cabernet Sauvignon is presumably key to this and to the tannins, good acidity, and cedar pencil character that developed over an hour or so. There is plenty of body and character and, whilst it won't necessarily please fans of traditional 'sweet' Malbecs, we liked it a lot, especially at the price (£7.30 in UK). It opened nicely over a few hours, was very smooth, and went well with meat. Good value.
A couple of days later, a sample was soft with good fruit and with spice and liquorice notes more prominent. Still good. Perhaps it needs to age a lttle more.
Red
6/25/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
A year on from our last bottle and it is still drinking well. Dark cherries, plums, plus smooth dark skin tannins and lots of spice, as before. Rich flavours, very drinkable, and amazing value from Lidl even at the current slightly higher price (£6.99).
Red
2003 Château Cissac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/23/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
91 points
I won't add a detailed note because earlier notes from others describe my thoughts pretty well. A couple of hours after opening, my first reaction was of fresh, juicy fruit without the usual Cissac austerity. Spice and fruit on the nose as well as the palate. Smooth and soft with no astringency but with very good balance and acidity. This was a hot vintage and the Vialards did a great job.
White
6/22/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
My earlier comments stand but with a couple of additions. When first opened, there was some grapefruit plus 'Australian' kerosene (as with S. Australian Riesling) but this went after a short time. Back to normal after half an hour and it accompanied a pork tenderloin dish with cream, onions and mushrooms etc. very well. Later, the almond and almond skin came through. Give it time after opening.
White
6/21/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
91 points
As my note of June 6th but with notes of pineapple, mango, and other slightly sweet tropical fruits, plus lime to add to the citrus flavours. I think this is fascinating, complex, classy Chardonnay. Reminiscent of some of the better Chardonnays from the Macon IMO. Long with excellent balance.
Red
6/18/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
89 points
Over a year since our last bottle of this vintage. My note of March 2018 stands apart from the fact that the wine opened more quickly with a little more maturity. A good wine with character and quality and incredibly good value in UK. It drank well over 2 days.
Red
6/16/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
92 points
Powerful nose on opening and decanting. Good colour with little evidence of ageing. Intense red berry fruits on the palate showing sweetness, richness, and depth. Gentle, attractive vanilla with blackberry and mulberry fruits beginning to emerge over time. I don't understand some earlier comments about 'thin' and 'fading' fruit. I don't think there is any need to doubt that this wine has a longer life ahead if it has been stored well. Complex flavours developed over time including some tobacco, Eucalyptus and a trace of liquorice (in a nice way). Excellent acidity and balance. Very long. A superb Dead Arm. 92+
Red
6/11/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
88 points
As before - full of excellent rich, sweet, dark fruits and with plenty of soft vanilla spice. Long and well-balanced. Still good 2 days after opening and with lots of time ahead. Great value. 88+
Red
2012 Rustenberg John X Merriman Stellenbosch Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/8/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
90 points
I always enjoy the John X Merriman after at least 5 years. This vintage is no exception now we have finished all the 2011. Good fruit, lots of character and spice, Great balance and length. No need for a detailed note from me since earlier notes say it all. Excellent Cab and it has plenty of life ahead. Brilliant value when I look back to what I paid for it a few years ago.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
6/6/2019 - johnrm Likes this wine:
91 points
Good colour and the nose showed citrus and some subtle flint and smoke whilst cool. It was too cold from the fridge and the nose and palate opened as it warmed. The citrus acidity developed beautifully to include orange as well as the dominant lemon with a rich, almost oily, mouthfeel. It changed with time showing gentle oaky, honeyed, nutty (cashew?) notes and hints of green apple. A long, fresh finish makes this attractive now but I am sure it will develop even more character and depth and will deserve a higher rating with more years in bottle. Lovely wine. 90+
Next day, it retained the length and acidity but was even softer, 'sweeter', with more complexity and spice, and more integrated. I think this has some life ahead! 91
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