Tasting Notes for Wine Fool

(161 notes on 84 wines)

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Red
4/25/2019 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
95 points
It’s been some time since I had this wine. Reviewing my personal and CT tasting notes I suspected something good might be in store, and boy, was I right. Since my last tasting the wine has taken on a definite maturing hue: the once deep purple robe is now deep, deep ruby with a tinge of garnet creeping in at the edge. The nose is a fulsome mixture of black fruits, sage, tobacco, underbrush and just a trace of menthol. Medium-bodied and silky on the palate, the wine exhibits fine flavors of boysenberry, sour cherry, thyme, soil and just a hint of mushroom. These flavors are rich yet nuanced and contribute to the long sumptuous finish. And the tannins have nearly melted away, leaving just a bit of “pepper” for seasoning. Ready to drink but with at least a dozen years of life ahead, this delicious, impeccably balanced wine paired perfectly with grilled lamb chops. 95+++ points.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/17/2019 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
97 points
I had this wine a few months ago and was suitably impressed. It has everything I could want in a wine, and then some--deep color, enticing nose and outright delicious flavor profile. I will add only that it displays the best aspects of three recent Cuvée de mon Aïeul vintages: the ripeness of 2007, the freshness of 2009 and much of the power of 2010. Impeccably crafted and gorgeously balanced, it simply dazzles. I am beginning to think of it as the precocious little brother (or sister) of the mammoth 2016 Cuvée de mon Aïeul. Surely it will shut down one of these days, but apparently no time soon. I will buy more. 97+++ points.
Red
12/31/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
99 points
(Decanted for two hours.) This is not the darkest 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape I have seen but it is still an impressive deep, purple-stained ruby. With much swirling the nose is an elegant, understated and classic Southern Rhone: blackberry, raspberry, anise, smoke, musk and more than a hint of candied lavender. The wine has a weighty, almost massive mouthfeel with concentrated cherry and raspberry flavors layered with cocoa, meat extract, and saline minerality. Wow! There is considerable depth, density and concentration here, and the savory finish is equally impressive. The huge ripe tannins will, however, require a decade to soften and bring everything into balance. This ranks alongside the other top 2016 CdPs I have tasted, only more backward and powerful. There is tremendous potential here but much patience is required. 99 points.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/9/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
95 points
(From a magnum decanted for one hour.) What a beautiful nose! It is filled with all the scents you would expect from a maturing southern Rhone—ripe plums and berries, bacon, earth, garrigue, and a nice dose of barnyard. In the mouth it is full bodied with a lush, creamy texture. Sweet plum and cherry flavors layer perfectly with savory meat drippings, mushroom, espresso, anise and black pepper. The flavors are satisfyingly deep, seductively voluptuous and very, very generous. The long, silky finish is distinguished by an interplay of sweet and sour elements. Simply delicious with tons of life ahead! 95+ points. Incidentally, the wine was served with a roasted turkey glazed with a smoky, hoisin-based, Asian barbecue sauce. It complemented the dish perfectly!
7 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/13/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
The color is black cherry with a moody dark center. The nose is beautifully, almost exotically perfumed with raspberry preserves, garrigue, smoke, animal musk and grandma’s spice cabinet. It is full bodied and velvet-textured with rich flavors of ripe Boysenberry and raspberry, chocolate, fennel, charcuterie and bitter coffee. The flavors are very broad, layered and sumptuous. In fact, they would be utterly hedonistic were they not also infused with an unmistakable mineral salinity. The salinity adds a savory note, refreshes the palate, and keeps everything balanced. And the big tannins provide remarkable grip, focus and structure. Deliciously flavored and robustly constituted, this wine is a marvel. 98+++ points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/11/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
99 points
The wine is a very deep crimson with a brooding black core. Its nose is richly aromatic with ripe raspberry and strawberry, dark chocolate, licorice, and a hint of game meat. It is full-bodied and dense with huge, fully-extracted flavors of candied strawberry, blackberry compote, espresso, iron, soil, and beef blood. Despite their great size and density, the flavors are not fat, heavy or ungainly. Rather a vibrant underlying acidity keeps them gloriously fresh, lively and nearly floating on the mid-palate. It also shapes and propels the spicy finish which is intense and swelling. The tannins are sweet and firm and add textural support and a reassuring gravitas. This blockbuster young wine raises the bar for power, elegance, and purity of flavor. And it will only get better! Almost perfect, it shares pride of place with the 2016 Janasse Vieilles Vignes and the 2016 Usseglio Cuvée de mon Aïeul. But please do not ask me which is best. 99+ points.
5 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
10/7/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
94 points
(Decanted for two hours.) Prompted by yesterday’s CT review, tonight I tried this wine with dinner. My three years of patience has been duly rewarded because it has evolved into a real treat. The nose remains beautifully fragrant with complex, maturing aromas of ripe cherry, mint, thyme, tobacco, leather and a hint of eucalyptus. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and plush with long, clearly defined flavors of mixed berry compote, Bing cherry, dark chocolate, mushroom and forest floor. The once strident tannins have softened and complement the flavors perfectly. They also amplify the long, bitter-sweet finish. This delicious and balanced wine has another five years of positive development ahead, with perhaps a slight increase to my rating. Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards does it again! 94+ points.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/7/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
99 points
This young wine has a deep blue-black color. With twenty minutes of vigorous swirling, it delivers up aromas of raspberry, strawberry, exotic spices, cocoa, hog jowl and fresh blood. In the mouth it is full bodied and powerful with palate-drenching flavors of ripe strawberry and blueberry, thyme, coffee, beef pan drippings and crushed stone minerality. These concentrated flavors are long and infused with a crisp and uplifting acidity. The acidity imparts form, interest and even elegance to what would otherwise be a lumbering giant. Brilliant! This fantastic young wine is drinking beautifully for the moment and should be tried before it inevitably shuts down. In a decade this may match or even eclipse the now spectacular 2010. 99+ points.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/7/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
100 points
(Decanted for one hour.) So far I have gone through a case of this wonderful wine, and what a ride it has been! On this occasion I tasted it alongside the massive 2016 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes. Both are clearly outstanding wines, but in the end the 2010 comes out ahead. (For the time being, anyway.) Its perfumed nose is dominated by ripe strawberry and blackberry, garrigue, espresso, truffle and lapsang souchong tea. While full bodied and densely textured, it is remarkably light and nimble on the mid-palate with energetic flavors of strawberry and blackberry jam, ripe black plum, tapenade, Asian spices and mushroom. The ripe, fine-grained tannins perfectly frame the long, sweet and expanding finish. Showing growing complexity and nascent maturity, the wine is powerfully built, profoundly deep and breathtakingly long. Amazing!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/5/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
(Decanted for one hour.) The color of this wine has not budged much from its original deep purple with crimson highlights. It has an explosive nose of blackberry and strawberry preserves, lavender, thyme, espresso, and cured meats. Full bodied and mouth coating, it has saturated flavors of blackberry, crushed herbs, chocolate, mushroom and beef fond. There is considerable purity to these flavors, due to perfect ripeness, abundant tangy acidity and silky supportive tannins. And this purity of flavor extends through the nearly one minute finish. Though the wine may merit an even higher score in a few years, it can be drunk with pleasure now and over the next two decades. 98+ points.
Red
10/5/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
97 points
This wine exchanges the vintage’s tendency towards flamboyance for a more balanced, elegant, and self-restrained presentation. Very dark in color, it offers up a complex, almost exotic nose of ripe strawberries, lavender, rosemary, leather, musk and turned soil. It is full bodied in the mouth with concentrated flavors of ripe red fruits, garrigue, coffee, meat juice and bitter (but very delicious) iron minerality. These flavors are big yet unfold with a nuanced and layered purity. They also release and subside very gradually, contributing to the long, persistently fresh and uplifted finish. And the ample sweet tannins frame everything flawlessly. This great wine is seamless, seductive and gloriously balanced. 97+++ points.
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
9/27/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
95 points
(Decanted for two hours.) This wine has a deep black cherry color. The nose is filled with extravagant aromas of black fruits, herbs, espresso, wet soil and wild game. It is full bodied with a very plump texture and rich, almost sweet flavors of ripe plum and raspberry, bacon, anise and dark chocolate. Make no mistake this is a ripe wine. Mercifully there is just enough acidity to keep it from being flabby. As such the moderately firm tannins are welcomed. Though very hedonistic and fun to drink, the wine lacks the clarity and precision to make it really great. That said it still merits 95 points for sheer sumptuousness.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/27/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
100 points
(Decanted for two hours.) I have had this wine a dozen times and always been awestruck. Its color is black cherry with a nearly opaque purple core. The nose is effusive and almost alive with cherry, raspberry, lavender, rosemary, and freshly turned soil. In the mouth, the wine is full bodied with lush flavors of ripe black plums, fennel, stones, rosemary, cèpes and meat juices. These flavors are powerful, fleshy and layered, and the finish is long and expansive. Delicious. The tannins are ripe, firm and reassuring. And the overall balance is perfect. Tonight this wine is doing everything right and I want to drink the whole bottle.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/27/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
(Decanted for two hours.) This is a wow wine all the way. It has a beautifully deep red-purple color and an inviting nose of cherries, raspberries, fennel, sweat and smoke. In the mouth it is full bodied with bright, persistent and layered flavors of raspberry compote, bacon fat, licorice, and iron mineral. Bristling acidity supports and firm but elegant tannins frame these flavors perfectly. The swelling finish lasts nearly forty seconds. Big, sexy and delicious, this wine should evolve beautifully. My favorite 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape so far. 98+ points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/23/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
(Decanted for two hours.) It has been five years since I last tasted this beautiful wine. It remains impenetrably dark in color with no lightening at the edge. The nose is rich with ripe red fruits, smoke, bacon, forest floor and spice cabinet. In the mouth it is full-bodied with ripe plums and cherries, fennel, coffee, mushroom, and forest floor. Taken together the flavors make the wine appear fresh and autumnal at the same time. The long finish is sweet and savory with formidable still-resolving tannins. I like this wine very, very much. In another few years it may become a legend. 98+++ points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/24/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
99 points
The color is deep cherry red with an opaque center. The nose is filled with ripe red fruit, flowers, garrigue, coffee, pepper and bacon aromas. Full-bodied and nearly thick in the mouth with gushing flavors of strawberry, raspberry, fig, licorice, mushroom and iron mineral. Despite this weight and dense texture, there is ample underlying acidity to keep everything very fresh, buoyant and energetic. The acidity also provides tremendous clarity and precision of flavor from the mid-palate through the long climbing finish. And the huge tannins are sweet, silky, and most remarkably, beautifully integrated. For such a huge young wine, the overall balance is well-nigh perfect. While already amazing it has decades of development ahead. An absolute stunner! 99+ points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/22/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
97 points
This was served by our generous host at a rain-soaked barbecue. I had this wine less than a month ago but welcomed the revisit. Once again it immediately impresses with its inky dark color and rich scents of ripe fruit, herb garden, horse sweat and espresso. The flavor profile includes ripe plum, medjool date, smoked meat, licorice, earth and coffee. These flavors are big but polished by a vibrant spine of acidity, and the finish is very, very long. The tannins are formidable but fine-grained and sure to soften in a few years. Simply put, an already majestic wine on its way to being a masterpiece. The thrill continues! 97+++ points.
9 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/26/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
94 points
The wine has a deep maroon color. The nose is exuberant with ripe fruit, wet leather, black pepper, garrique and a very healthy dose of brett. There is also a trace amount of alcohol on the nose (especially as the wine reaches room temperature), but not enough to ruin the olfactory experience. It is full bodied with a mouth-coating glycerin feel. The flavor profile includes plum jam, ripe blackberries, cocoa, pork jowl, mushroom soup, garrique, and a bitter (though enjoyable) iron quality. Luckily there is sufficient acidity to keep the wine in balance, especially in the half-minute finish. The ripe tannins have nearly melted away. Despite the high-wire antics, this is an excellent wine that is drinking well now. Will it improve and last? I do not know, but I am drinking my remaining bottles at breakneck speed. 92 points for pleasure and 2 more points for sheer bravado.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/26/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
97 points
For me this is the best vintage of Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée, and that includes the 2003. The wine is on steroids! The purple color is impenetrably dark. The nose is effusive with sweet fruit, rosemary, thyme, lavender and funk. And the depth of black plum, espresso, licorice, mushroom, soil and bacon fat flavors is off the chart. A nervy, lip-smacking acidity spreads out and delineates these flavors. The finish lasts nearly a minute. The tannins are a bit too assertive at the moment but will soften in a few years. While there is room to improve, this powerhouse is already thrilling to drink. 97+++ points.
14 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/26/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
96 points
I tasted this wine five years ago and was floored by its exuberance. Things have settled down a bit, and in a good way. While retaining much of its youthful freshness, it has gained more complexity, balance and nuance. The nose has all the classic Southern Rhone elements -- plum, raspberry, bacon, sweat, and garden herbs. In the mouth, the wine is medium bodied with layered flavors of ripe red and black fruits, mushroom, coffee, smoke and garden notes. Soft tannins gently frame the long uplifting finish. The whole effect is sumptuous and elegant. Just coming into its own, it will likely merit another point or two when it really hits its stride in two or three years. Delicious! 96+ points.
13 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/24/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
96 points
(Decanted and drank almost immediately.) This has come a long way in the last three years. While still fresh, its early reticence has given way to a more generous and pleasurable wine. The nose is compelling with black fruits, Asian spices, sweat, espresso and smoked meat. Nearly full bodied in the mouth, rich black plum, licorice, coffee, tar and pepper flavors persist all the way through the long finish. The underlying acidity is fantastic and the sweet tannins possess enough firmness to guarantee a long life. Beautiful and nearly hedonistic. 96+ points.
8 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/5/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
100 points
I have tasted and rated this wine on several occasions. Each time I have walked away duly impressed. I will not belabor the reader with another long review filled with well-deserved praise. I will say only that it is an unqualified masterpiece. From the first sip to the last this is ambrosia!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/4/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
95 points
(Bottle opened for one hour but not decanted.) This has a fine deep ruby color with no lightening. On the nose there is ripe dark fruit, sweat, turned soil and a floral (violets?) component. In the mouth Bing cherry flavors, which are sweet and tart with tingling acidity, lead the way and are supported by red plum, moist earth, cocoa and a rocky mineral quality. These flavors are layered and elegant. And the tannins are resolving very nicely. The finish goes on for forty seconds and leaves a very beautiful fragrance in the mouth. (By the way, I placed the undrunk portion of the bottle in the refrigerator and drank it the following evening. No hint of decline whatsoever!) Already impressive, this wine will be even better in about five years. Glad I have more. 95+++ points.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/7/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
94 points
I had this wine a couple years after its release and made the following brief note: “Compact. Four-square. Just okay.” When I drank a bottle last weekend I found a delightful and compelling wine. Its deep cherry core gives way to the faintest bit of browning at the edges. The nose is fragrant with fruit compote, spice, autumn leaves and animal notes. It is cool and silky in the mouth with ripe, tangy cherry and sage, soil and mushroom flavors. These flavors are very elegant and possess an underlying intensity that propels them through the medium-long finish. Delicious and charming, it really is a treat. Ready now but years of life ahead. And it is so good you could squander a long Sunday afternoon just admiring it. I know I did.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/6/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
92 points
Looking at my last tasting note I find that nothing much has changed with this wine. It still has a good fruity and floral nose, with perhaps a hint of thyme. There is very good black cherry fruit in the mouth that displays moderate length and vibrant acidity. The tannins are remarkably smooth for so young a wine and contribute nicely to the lip smacking finish. While you can drink this wine with vigorous airing, I still think its needs another five to seven years to mature and gain complexity. I remain hopeful. 92+ points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Dominus Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/19/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
(Decanted for one hour.) Until now I always found this wine very well made and rated it 93-94 points. Frankly, I had trouble with its price because there are many wines of similar quality that cost considerably less. Well that has all changed. Time has imbued the 2008 Dominus Estate with so much power, complexity and balance that it is difficult to recognize it my previous tasting notes. It has a beautiful dark cherry color and a complex, layered nose of ripe black fruits, coffee, cedar, vanilla bean and smoke. In the mouth it is medium weight and velvety with flavors of ripe cherry and blackberry, as well as clear undertones of earth, thyme and menthol. There is also a savory, almost meaty element at play. All the flavors are very intense yet poised and persistent. The whole delicious affair is wrapped in super smooth tannins and its balance invites sip after sip. While drinking beautifully at the moment, there is still tremendous longevity in store. 98 points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/2/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
I served two well-aired bottles with Easter dinner. Once again, absolutely spectacular in color, aroma and depth of otherworldly black fruit flavors. The latter simply go on and on. A perfect match for the rich leg of lamb and loved by everyone at the table. And I came off as the culinary genius.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/31/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
99 points
(Opened for one hour but not decanted.) This wine is wonderful and one of my favorites from this celebrated vintage. It has a mesmerizing black cherry color and an explosive nose of ripe fruit, summer herbs, lavender, earth and just a suggestion of funk. In the mouth it is lusciously deep and rich with sweet black fruit, licorice and meat flavors. These primary flavors are supported by rosemary, thyme, mushroom and coal tar undercurrents. To keep this big wine from going over the top there is also a welcomed vein of lean, refined acidity. And the whole thing is wrapped in ripe tannins that melt away in the long, long finish. In sum, a near perfect wine that deserves a near perfect score. 99+ points, for now.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/25/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
92 points
It’s been nearly a three-year wait for this wine to fully come together and it is now there. This beauty retains its deep color and complex nose of spring herbs and black fruits. And there is now a welcomed bit of fresh forest floor as well. In the mouth, it is sweet, smooth, sumptuous and teaming with plum, cherry, sage, vanilla and a hint of meat juice flavors. The tannins have melted away and left a delicious wine ready for drinking. While the ACV Right Banks never rival the Éloges or Cabernet Reserves, they are often excellent in their own right. And that applies to this Right Bank vintage too. Drink now and over the next seven or so years. 92 points.
Red
2010 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
2/22/2018 - Wine Fool wrote:
flawed
Popped and poured by a friend. This wine is in a seriously surly place. The color is a reassuringly medium cherry color. However ample swirling and airing are necessary to get a rise from it. After an hour or so it offers up some faint aromas of dried red fruits and flowers. In the mouth there is some fruit but it lacks the plumpness and sweetness suggesting ripeness; instead a disturbing amount of tartness leads the way. Oddly the tannins were reasonably tame. After another two hours of coaxing things did not get better. I have had this wine on four other occasions and it performed brilliantly each time. This is a bad bottle.
Red
2/23/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
94 points
(Decanted and drank over three hours.) Nearly four years ago I thought this wine was coming along nicely but it has not really budged much since then. If anything, it has closed down a bit and gotten a tad sullen. The color is still quite dark and the nose remains expressive with blackberry, plum, sage, coffee and mellow oak notes. In the mouth there is gorgeous black and red fruit infused with spring herbs, mocha and vanilla bean. There is also a racy acidity providing verve and interest. However, the wine’s flavors and energy are nearly hidden beneath a bushel of still unresolved tannins. Luckily these tannins are sweet and soften nicely after a very long airing. This Éloge has so much potential but patience is required for it to balance. It should be a marvel in four to six years. 94+++ points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/16/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
I will not repeat everything I said in my last review because nothing has changed—this is a great wine and a privilege to drink. Now if only I could
find another well-stored case…
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/7/2018 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
96 points
(Decanted for one hour.) Three years ago I hid my remaining stash of this wine to keep from drinking it too quickly. The wine continues to wow me. The color is still very dark, almost purple, with no discernible edge-lightening. On the nose it is taking on a fragrant earthy note that perfectly complements the dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate and tobacco elements. In the mouth the fruit is still bright and fresh, though mature notes of mushroom and forest floor are emerging. And the tannins are even smoother and suaver than I remember. This lovely wine is certainly open for business but will become even more harmonious over the next few years. Lastly, its complexity and flavor are reminiscent of the delicious 2001 and 2002, while its size, density and persistence compare well with the stunning 2007 and 2008. Overall, a damn fine bottle of wine! Once again, 96 points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/15/2017 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
It has been over two years since I drank this wine. Boy was it worth the wait! It is still tremendously gorgeous but a bit smoother and more hedonistic. The ripe fruit flavors are seamless from front to back and the secondary ones are richer and earthier. This remains a big, big wine in the mouth but eschews flashiness for class, depth and persistence. And the remaining dry tannins are beautifully integrated. It is still a fantastic wine and does California proud.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/28/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
94 points
(Decanted for three hours.) I had this wine three months ago and could not wait to try it again. It has a comely ruby color with a blushing pink meniscus. The nose is a subdued and exotic mixture of red berry, ripe plum, blue flower, forest floor, tomato vine, pine smoke and galbanum scents. (The variety and intensity of these fragrances put you in mind of a perfume organ.) Medium-bodied and then some, there is an initial impression of mouth-coating, glycerin richness. However, strikingly pure flavors of strawberry, cherry, beef, earth and graphite unfold delicately on the mid-palate and become nearly weightless in the long, wraithlike finish. That said, the ample though refined tannins will still need some time to fully melt. This wine is powerful but delicate and graceful. And it has so much potential it hurts! 94+ points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/10/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
92 points
(Decanted for one hour.) About two years ago I found this wine too closed and at odds with itself. That has changed. Dark in color and perfumed with cherry, cassis, mint, tobacco and leather, it has grown into a real beauty. It is medium-bodied and fleshy in the mouth, with juicy flavors of cherry, blueberry, pan juices and bitter chocolate. The tannins are spicy smooth and the moderately long finish bears traces of tart cherry and nutmeg. This is just entering the pleasure zone and should remain (and improve) there for at least a dozen years. 92+ points.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/8/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
96 points
This is lovely--plain and simple. The aromas of blackberry, cherry, charcuterie, clove and smoke have an ethereal, intriguing quality. Very soft in the mouth, this medium-bodied wine delivers pure flavors of ripe cherry and plum, pigeon breast, black coffee and date paste. The flavors, which are wrapped in a veil of supple tannins, release cleanly and slowly in a long whispery finish. With ample fruit purity, herb undertones and acidic interplay, it is reminiscent of the 2005 Clos des Papes; however, it eschews the latter’s impressive muscle-bound machismo for sleek and silky (Burgundian?) intensity. And it reinforces my growing partiality toward 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Papes: simply, they are very easy to drink and even easier to love.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/31/2015 - Wine Fool wrote:
flawed
(Decanted for two hours.) Possessing a deep garnet color, the wine has rich enveloping aromas of ripe plum, boysenberry, deer musk and spice cabinet. While the nose is very intriguing and inviting, the dark fruit, mushroom and raisin flavors are too big, too ripe and simply too much. While they are not quite stewed, they are flabby and need structure. The medium finish reveals more than a bit of heat and the tannins seem enervated. This chunky and clumsy effort showed very badly. Given the reputation and reviews of the 2003 Vieilles Vignes, this must be a bad bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/31/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
96 points
(Decanted for two hours.) This wine has a beautiful black cherry color throughout. The bouquet is rich, almost pungent with aromas of ripe plum, fruit cake, leather, anise, warm tar, horse sweat and lavender. It is full-bodied and plump in the mouth with exceptionally clean flavors of blackberry, plum, forcemeat, licorice, soy sauce and freshly turned earth. The tannins are still moderately big but with a round shape and smooth texture; indeed, they frame and complement the flavors very nicely. The moderately long finish has hints of bitter chocolate, fruit compote and galbanum. This is an outstanding Châteauneuf-du-Pape that simply does everything right. While its virtues are power, balance and persistence, it is awakening very, very slowing from its long slumber. I am certain it will improve further over the next several years. 96+ points.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/31/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
98 points
(Decanted for two hours.) This has a dark ruby color with a purple core. The expansive aromas of ripe fruit, coffee bean, cheese rind and black truffle are intense, focused and nearly exotic. Full-bodied, thickly textured and sensuous in the mouth, there is extraordinary depth to the juicy black fruit, grilled meat, cocoa, licorice and herb flavors. The flavors are also strikingly fresh for such a ripe vintage and the freshness adds considerable illumination and complexity. How impressive and exciting! The lavishly ripe tannins are impeccably integrated and the markedly rich, spicy-sweet finish lasts for nearly a minute. This is a huge wine but it is also a testament to restraint, nuance, and most importantly, great winemaking. It shares pride of place with only a half-dozen or so Châteauneuf-du-Papes from this celebrated vintage. And though it does not come close to being mature, it is drinking beautifully tonight.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/31/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
97 points
(Decanted for two hours.) The color is medium ruby red with brilliant highlights. The nose is slightly reticent but emerges with a little coaxing. Ripe cherry and blackberry scents are joined by smoke, coffee, wet soil and a spicy blue flower component. The wine is medium-bodied, supple and sexy in the mouth. The cherry, boysenberry and blackberry flavors are very pure, lively and buoyant. More understated flavors of coffee and soil "ground" the fruit and enhance overall complexity. The tannins are very suave and the wine ends with an impressively long finish that is both creamy and silky. All of the above suggests that this beautiful wine will be long-lived. What a perfect example of an elegant southern Rhône wine! Those who say they do not like Châteauneuf-du-Pape should really try this one: in size, weight, texture and nerviness, it is vaguely reminiscent of a fine red Burgundy.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/31/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
99 points
(Decanted for two hours.) This bottle is slightly less closed than the one I had a few months ago. The color is a brooding purple and black. The bouquet, which evolves slowly in the glass, is a beautifully layered assortment of ripe red and black berries, hog jowl, coffee beans, fried fennel, moist earth and a touch of barnyard. Full-bodied, weighty and opulent in the mouth, the rich kirsch, blackberry, plum, beef blood, wild spices, espresso bean and black trumpet mushroom flavors seem animated and amplified. The generous acidity provides additional lift and the huge sweet tannins bristle with energy. There is also mineralité (a distinct iron note) in the firm, focused minute-long finish. In the end, this flat-out masterpiece of a young wine achieves the impossible: all the lush, bigger-than-life parts are knitted into a seamless and harmonious whole. Sadly, it is shutting down.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/7/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
97 points
(From a split.) The gorgeous flavors, impressive length, nimble balance and overall polished presentation still inspire awe. On this occasion the nose was ever so slightly muted, even after an hour in the glass. Still, 97 well-deserved points.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/7/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
93 points
(Opened for one hour.) What a beautifully limpid ruby color. The wine has classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape fragrances of ripe plum and cherry, garrigue, pepper, leather and horse sweat. There is also a bit of alcohol (cognac?) on the nose but it actually enhances the overall effect. Medium bodied, it delivers bright, perfectly delineated blackberry and plum flavors with savory undercurrents of soil, funk, mushroom and meat juices. There is also a very lively acidity that conveys real freshness. And despite the olfactory hint, there is no noticeable alcohol in the mid-palate or finish. This very excellent wine is a pleasure to drink alone but even better with food. Consume over the next six to eight years.
Red
6/18/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
94 points
(Decanted for two hours.) The bouquet is multi-faceted and layered with vibrant strawberry, plum and violet aromas entwined with wood smoke, damp soil and a suggestion of animal musk and vanilla. This really smells luxurious and expensive. Medium-bodied, the mid-palate concentration shows silky phenolic weight and texture. Fully ripened yet bright, fresh flavors of cherry, strawberry, plum, earth and savory minerality are perfectly framed by an uplifting acidity. These flavors are unbelievably pure and fade slowly like a long, fruit-infused echo. And the moderately full but refined tannins provide reassuring presence and grip. This exciting young wine already demonstrates wonderful depth, balance and beauty. What will it be like when it comes into its own? 94+ points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/8/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
94 points
(Opened for one hour.) I last tasted this wine about two years ago. The color remains a deep cherry, though there is bricking developing at the edges. The nose is very effusive, with soaring decadent aromas of cherry, plum, lavender, charred meat and barnyard. It is very big and round in the mouth with almost glycerin-like thickness. Very ripe cherry, blueberry and damson plum flavors mix with meat juices, pepper, rosemary, anise, soil and coffee. The whole effect is rich and creamy and just this side of being too much of a good thing. Specifically, it lacks a bit of acid which makes the flavors perhaps too generous. Mercifully the alcohol does not make itself known! This slight acid deficiency, as well as the nearly subsumed sweet tannins, suggests that this wine may not be long lived. Nevertheless, it is currently a thing of larger-than-life beauty and will be appreciated by the more hedonistic drinker. I am saving my remaining bottles for fall and winter meals of aged beef, venison or game birds. Drink now and over the next ten years. 94 points for the sheer pleasure.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/6/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
90 points
(Decanted for three hours.) This wine was served by our generous host. With some pleasant recent 2009 Corton tasting experiences behind me, I was very excited to try it. After all, this is DRC. The wine has a very deep, brooding ruby/purple color. The bouquet is somewhat muted and the scents of black cherry, plum and anise rise from the glass only after considerable coaxing. It is massive in the mouth, with considerable weight and thickness. However, the correspondingly big flavors of cherry and plum are relatively simple (foursquare?) with only modest persistence. The tannins are large but manageable. This wine seems slightly awkward and out of balance. It might be in dumb place. Perhaps time will bestow on it the complexity and interest that it currently lacks. I am guardedly optimistic. 90+ points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
6/6/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
96 points
My second taste of this wine in less than two weeks. This time it is from a friend’s cellar and the bottle was opened for almost an hour. There is nothing materially different to report from the previous tasting note. However, I will say again that the bouquet is very special and addictive--complex, layered, effusive and multi-dimensional. Brilliant and beautiful! And since I am singing the wine’s praises, it bears repeating that the rich fresh flavors show amazing depth, length, drive and lift. Again, brilliant and beautiful! Simply put: an amazing young wine that has greatness written all over it. 96+ points.
Red
6/3/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
92 points
(Decanted for two hours.) This has a beautiful purple robe with a dark garnet meniscus. Though a blend of merlot and cabernet franc, there is a musky nose laced with almost Syrah-like dark fruits, rosemary and scorched meat. The fragrance is very buoyant and persistent. Medium-bodied, round and silky in the mouth. The vibrant flavors of tangy red berries and cherries, sweet black plums and herbs have good length and depth and are nicely framed by moderate tannins. Excellent balance overall and no decline in sight. As much "Rhône" as "Right Bank", this delicious California wine has really come a long way since last year. Perhaps this time around it was given enough air? 92+ points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
5/26/2015 - Wine Fool Likes this wine:
96 points
This wine has a bright medium-red corundum color. Its bouquet is very complex: ripe cherry, strawberry and damson plum compote laced with scents of game, smoke, sous bois, roasted herbs and blue flowers. The aromas are so rich and layered that it is tough pulling your nose from the glass. Medium-bodied and then some, there is considerable density and dry extract. This is followed by concentrated yet bright flavors of cherry, redcurrant gravy, anise, soil and mineral. These fresh flavors are awash with a saline-infused, lip-smacking acidity which remains intact through the long finish. And the big tannins are remarkably smooth and tamed. This is the perfect expression of pinot ripeness, power and balance. Fully deserving of its score, this is the loveliest, most complete young red Burgundy I have tasted recently. 96+ points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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