Comments on my notes

(22 comments on 17 notes)

1 - 17 of 17 Sort order
White - Sweet/Dessert
2006 Château Pierre-Bise Coteaux du Layon-Beaulieu Les Rouannières Chenin Blanc
9/7/2019 - scyrene wrote:
87 points
Unexpectedly dark - deepest gold, verging on orange. Sweet, creamy, but quite light nose, with caramel, orange peel, milk chocolate, and a fiery, spiritous burn. Rather fresher on the palate, good fruit up front, adequate acidity for the sweetness, but it rather falls apart after a moment; a bit dilute and bitter on the finish*. This is still very good value - at this price there are very few sweet wines, and if you compare it to, say, basic moscatel de Valencia it stands up okay. Perhaps it's been hanging around too long, stored improperly. It's not dead, but not everything it might have been. *Notably the wine improves with a bit of air, so I've bumped the score accordingly. [Natural cork; 12% abv; Marks & Spencer, £5/50cl].
  • scyrene commented:

    9/9/19, 10:38 AM - I did wonder, and to be honest I'm not sure. In general I assume positive development with air shows potential for further aging, so maybe I was too harsh to begin with, but I don't have a lot of experience with this type of wine. At this price it's worth finding out though! My local branch had quite a few bottles, incidentally.

  • scyrene commented:

    9/14/19, 9:32 AM - Yeah, I got a 75cl bottle of Château Filhot 2009 for £5!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
5/2/2019 - scyrene Likes this wine:
87 points
Computer crash caused me to lose my tasting note before publishing, so from memory: a bit greener than normal, but still pretty good, especially on the palate. A touch of unwelcome bitterness but it gets better with time, so probably best cellared for a couple of years if you can. [Cork + cage; 12% abv; Sainsbury's, on offer at £32].
  • scyrene commented:

    5/4/19, 7:59 AM - Hi, I'm afraid no disgorgement date was on the bottle as far as I could see.

  • scyrene commented:

    5/7/19, 8:48 AM - Thanks for the info. In that case it was disgorged January 2018.

White - Sparkling
2004 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année Champagne Blend
10/10/2018 - scyrene Likes this wine:
90 points
One lonely bottle on a supermarket shelf. No box, label a bit scuffed, but below the market value for this vintage so worth rescuing! Mid gold. Powerful aroma of spiced cooked apple. The taste is similar, crisp and rich, very Bollinger. Not too complex at this point but there's nothing to complain about either. Delicious. Disgorged November 2013. [Cork + cage; 12% abv; Tesco, £70].
  • scyrene commented:

    5/2/19, 11:48 AM - In my experience, vintage Bollinger stored well will drink beautifully for at least 20-30 years, but it's more mature-tasting earlier than most brands, so whether it's worth the wait is debatable. This particular vintage was a bit softer and more approachable than some other youngish Bollingers I've had, but that might be due to storage conditions.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Demi-Sec Champagne Blend
1/30/2019 - Milkmansteve Likes this wine:
91 points
I’m sure I’ll get dismissive comments over this post, but as the saying goes - beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Truth be told, I have never been a fan of champagne. Even better bottling such as Krug tend to leave me appreciative, but indifferent. My palate tends to be fairly sensitive to unbalanced acidity, so I confess to not being a fan of most dry white wines (although oddly enough, quite dry red wines are quite satisfying). Something about a bracing acidity makes wine unpleasant to me. So if I go white, I adore the German Pradikat spectrum of wines.

With that background out of the way, I found the VC demi-sec to be quite charming. I can see where this may not have the personality of a single-vineyard grower Champaign, but that’s not what this is pretending to be. It’s simply a bright, balanced, and “joyful” wine. Worked well with food and on its own. I would love to track down more demi-sec bottlings to see if this style can be applied to more of the complexity I enjoy.

A really enjoyable wine and worth a try, especially if you aren’t a fan of the bone-dry Champaign that dominates the market.
  • scyrene commented:

    1/31/19, 1:44 PM - Veuve Clicquot do a vintage demi-sec too, might be worth you seeking out!

White
2017 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett #3 Mosel Saar Ruwer
12/24/2018 - scyrene Likes this wine:
93 points
Not sure what the "#3" in the name as entered in the database is, but this seems to be the right one. Almost colourless, spritz in the glass. Unexpectedly savoury, toasty, saline nose - just a bit of fruit and zing lurking behind. Thankfully the taste is excellent, with that pure juice flavour that is so bright and uplifting. Almost unbearably vibrant, with high acidity but enough sweetness to keep it balanced. Superb; originally marked down a point for the aroma, but the next day it smelled delightful, light and pure with pear, peach, and rose; the taste is even better. Keep it a few years. [Cork; 7.5% abv; Woodwinters, ~£23].
  • scyrene commented:

    1/28/19, 11:31 AM - Thanks - that's very enlightening! :)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Taittinger Champagne Nocturne Sec Champagne Blend
11/18/2017 - scyrene wrote:
85 points
Fizz Feast Edinburgh 2017 (Edinburgh Academy): Again, "City Lights" according to tasting booklet, though whether this is a different wine to the normal sec I don't know. Pale lemon colour. Slightly musty nose, a touch unclean. Broad and round taste, but again a little unpleasant. [Retails for around £35].
  • scyrene commented:

    12/23/18, 1:17 PM - Hi! I personally wouldn't buy it at any price but it might be more to your taste - just don't get your hopes up!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Veuve A. Devaux Champagne Augusta Brut Champagne Blend
9/18/2018 - scyrene wrote:
87 points
Exceptionally pale, rather coarse bubbles in the glass. A singular aroma that puts me in mind of almond essence or possibly hay. Perhaps a hint of baking bread, too. Quite a soft taste, pleasant enough but a touch dilute. More of that hard-to-place element, touching on savoury pastry. A succulent lime jelly core. Pretty well balanced and unusual, but not lovable, for me at least. Great value, though. [Cork + cage; 12% abv; £20.99].
  • scyrene commented:

    10/8/18, 9:42 AM - Thanks very much, I'm glad to be of help! :)

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Lanson Champagne Brut Rosé Rose Label Champagne Blend
7/22/2017 - scyrene Likes this wine:
91 points
A particularly good bottle, and the best price I've got this for so far. A deep red fruit core, really delicious. [Cork + cage; 12.5% abv; Scotmid (Co-op), on offer plus special discount, £22.39 (usually £37.99)].
  • scyrene commented:

    5/29/18, 4:15 AM - Thanks! That's a pity, I guess we must have different tastes - for me it was one of the best NV rosés of the last couple of years, although only when it can be bought for <£30.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Duval-Leroy Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay
5/13/2017 - scyrene Likes this wine:
90 points
Pale straw colour. Powerful nose: creamy, fruity, toasty, then very nutty. Orange, plum, spice, even a touch of brandy - this is a bruiser. The taste is similarly robust, very vinous. Greengage, guava, a little chalky on the back end. One of those 'chardonnay first, champagne second' wines, and a food wine wine with some ageing potential. Seriously good value. [Cork + cage; 12.5% abv; Marks & Spencer, £35].
  • scyrene commented:

    5/19/18, 1:59 PM - Thanks very much for the info!

White - Sparkling
2008 Pol Roger Champagne Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay
12/1/2017 - scyrene Likes this wine:
90 points
Very pale lemon colour. A very full and broad aroma for young bdb, with orchard fruits including medlar, a touch of vanilla and musk. With more air, a high-toned note of pear drops and a little cheese. It's a vibrant wine, clearly young, with lots of primary apple and lemon fruit, but a touch less intensity than I was expecting; hardly any bitterness on the finish.

My first Pol Roger blanc de blancs, and I'm glad I got this at the lower end of its price bracket, as it's generally a bit more expensive than the standard vintage cuvée, and I'm not sure it's any more interesting. That said, this is still very good - I've never had a bad bottle from this house, which for me stands halfway between the dark richness of Bollinger and lighter styles of many others. [Cork + cage; 12.5% abv; thedrinkshop, on offer at £70.82, RRP £70-85].
  • scyrene commented:

    5/6/18, 2:08 PM - If you actually read my note, you'll see that I say *I find the style of Pol Roger intermediate between Bollinger and other producers*. I say nothing about how the wines are made, and as with all tasting notes, these are *my personal impressions*. You can expect wines made in different ways to taste different, but that's not always (or even often) the case in practice. But in any case, I didn't say Bollinger and Pol Roger were alike. I dunno if you're trying to demonstrate superior knowledge here or what, but tasting notes are simply subjective impressions. I have given no incorrect information, and nothing I've said contradicts the information you have provided.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Besserat de Bellefon Champagne Cuvée des Moines Brut Rose Champagne Blend
2/1/2018 - scyrene wrote:
88 points
Mid yellow-orange colour. Quite toasty, lactic, saline nose, not really my thing. But the taste isn't bad, it's quite balanced and on the sweeter end of brut (that may be due to softening acidity with bottle age). Not as compelling as the blanc de blancs, nor in this example even the straight Cuvée des Moines. But it's not bad, and all three are creditable, well presented, and at least as good as most big house NVs. Disgorged March 2012. [Composite cork + cage; 12.5% abv; Oddbins, -25% @£30.75].
  • scyrene commented:

    2/1/18, 6:07 PM - That is a fair comment but I would counter by saying that wine tasting language is not scientific. We talk about scientifically-measurable things like tannin, acid, and sugar, but we are not talking strictly about the measurable values of those things. Rather, we speak of the sensation of them. So you may well be right about acid not diminishing with age. But it can be the case that the sensation of acidity diminishes, and it is not incorrect to talk about acid diminishing if understood in that way, especially if using subjective terms like 'softening'.

Red
2016 Viña Cono Sur Pinot Noir Bicicleta Colchagua Valley
11/15/2017 - scyrene wrote:
85 points
Pure ruby red. Mild but correct nose: somewhat meaty, quite spicy, then cherry and violets. Quite sweet and simple-tasting. Savoury edge. Nothing wrong with this - a straightforward food wine. Not particularly varietal, and for the price I'd hope for a bit more.
  • scyrene commented:

    1/22/18, 12:03 PM - Hello,
    I normally include the price in my tasting notes, however unfortunately I forgot to note what I paid, and only uploaded the note a few weeks later, so I'm not sure! Probably £8-10.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Champagne Blend
12/12/2017 - scyrene Likes this wine:
89 points
Creamy nose, slightly toasty, with broad citrus fruit. Quite delicious; none of the green apple notes I used to get from this, but rather a crisp, tangy, biscuity flavour. This hasn't rocketed in price quite as much as other widely-available NV cuvées in the last ten years, but I'd still only buy it when heavily discounted; at this price, it's fine. [Cork + cage; 12% abv; Scotmid (Co-op), on offer at £24.99].
  • scyrene commented:

    12/12/17, 2:38 PM - Amazing! That is really excellent value. Yes, in Scotland there are no multibuy offers. In general that means the discount you would have got is applied (so in Majestic, for instance, if there are multibuy discounts, they just discount every qualifying bottle), but in a supermarket doing a case discount across the board, I'm not sure how they do it - I suspect you just don't get the extra money off, as they're not allowed. Thanks for the information, all the same! :)

White - Sparkling
2004 Lanson Champagne Gold Label Brut Champagne Blend
9/27/2017 - scyrene Likes this wine:
92 points
Once again an older bottle lurked amongst the latest vintage (2008), but the supermarket seems either not to know or not to care that older vintages of fine wines increase in value over time. Sure enough, this is the same price - and therefore much better value.

Very pale, but the nose is generous and very toasty - maybe even a touch smokey. With air, rather more open and peachy. Excellent flavour, good concentration, lots of honeycomb and cooked apple fruit. Just what I look for in vintage champagne, a step up from NV, and at this price hardly any more expensive. Generous and delicious.

Disgorged 07/2013. [Cork + cage; 12.5% abv; Sainsbury's, on offer at £35].
  • scyrene commented:

    9/27/17, 1:55 PM - I didn't - I wasn't in the market for six bottles of wine at once, and they only had one bottle of this left, sadly :)

White - Sparkling
2005 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année Champagne Blend
12/25/2016 - scyrene Likes this wine:
89 points
Mid yellow gold, quite deep for such a relatively young wine. Buttered toast on the nose at first - real toast, not the saline-tuna "toast" note I get in a lot of champagnes. Apple and caramel lurking in the background. The taste is quite unexpected. Everything on the nose is there, it promises to build into something big - but then slips away. Almost a hole on the midpalate. It's not bad at all, just a lot softer than I'd expect from vintage Bollinger. Maybe it's in an awkward phase. The presentation with very heavy card box and booklet is excellent, as usual. 70% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay; 95% grand cru, 5% premier cru; vinified in oak barrels. Disgorged October 2014. [Cork + cage; 12% abv; Oddbins, on offer at £75].
  • scyrene commented:

    1/3/17, 5:54 AM - Hard to say! Assuming this bottle is typical, I'd leave it alone for a couple of years. However, I'd normally expect Bollinger to be more forceful; it could be that the softness indicates that this doesn't have the substance to go the distance, but this producer's pedigree suggests otherwise. *If* it ages like other Bollinger vintages, then it will be drinkable for another 20 years at least.

White - Sparkling
2005 Lanson Champagne Gold Label Brut Champagne Blend
10/10/2015 - scyrene wrote:
88 points
Lemon colour. Muted nose. Intense acidity, good solid fruit core but little in the way of secondary characteristics. This could be a good wine, but is underwhelming at present. I expect more of vintage champagne. [Cork + cage; 12.5% abv; Sainsbury's on offer at £33]
  • scyrene commented:

    5/29/16, 2:03 PM - ...no? What is it?

  • scyrene commented:

    5/30/16, 2:42 AM - Thanks very much!

White - Sparkling
1999 G. H. Mumm & Cie Champagne Brut Millésimé Champagne Blend
2/7/2013 - scyrene Likes this wine:
89 points
Lemon colour, plentiful bead. Very fresh apple-nectarine aroma. Big mouthfilling mousse. Creamy, a hint of coconut. Nice classic taste otherwise, no signs of age. Vigorous; probably has many years' life ahead. [Cork + cage; 12.5% abv; Nickolls and Perks, -10% @ £30]
  • scyrene commented:

    10/2/13, 1:00 PM - Well who can blame you? I have a soft spot for poorly-stored champagne - faster ageing for those on a budget :)

  • scyrene commented:

    10/2/13, 1:56 PM - It's always worth seeking out a good deal :P

  • scyrene commented:

    10/2/13, 3:28 PM - Almost the definition of a bad deal, that. Unless it was hugely reduced!

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