Comments on my notes

(6 comments on 4 notes)

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2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
3/22/2018 - Pinoteer Does not like this wine:
85 points
There's much to like about this wine, but the heavy-handed oak treatment is not one of them. If I'd know about the oak dominance in this wine before buying, I don't think that I'd have purchased 8 bottles. I'm hoping that the oak further integrates in the coming years, as this could still be a stellar wine. As it is, the oak creates a flavor imbalance that leaves one drinking an 85-point wine, at best. Frankenwines such as these are completely anathema to making wine in the vineyard.
  • Riccardo Malocchio commented:

    4/6/18, 6:56 AM - Frankenwine? It's classical Rioja. The heavy American oak signature is traditional and expected, and certainly not "too bad". La Rioja Alta is known for its pronounced oak profile, though certainly in the same ballpark as the other classical/traditional Riojas from Lopez de Heredia, CVNE, or Muga's Prado Enea. But again, totally typical of the wine. Never a good idea to buy excessively something you're not familiar with, but fortunately this is not overly priced - a very good value so long as you enjoy it - and you may be able to flip it with friends for something more to your liking.

    There aren't many traditional producers left as this style has been widely supplanted by a more modern, international approach. These new Riojas tend to have more extraction, slower fermentations, and much briefer aging regimens often in French oak. There's little racking so you don't have the oxidative quality of the traditional style, and they are released younger and generally intended for early drinking.

2012 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
3/18/2015 - Charlie Carnes wrote:
Darn, this is a disappointment. Onewinehaven has it the closest, 'cept my yadayadayada comes earlier... (For a Rhys) I got tart apple juice, buttery modern chardonnay, and some fairly sweet oak. Not what I was expecting at all. I did/do get some expected chalky white mineral perceptions, but for the most part it is closer to a Rombauer (sp) or a Peter Michael. The color is good and it does not seem to have any "advanced" qualities, it's just not what I expect from the Rhys Team.

*A slight return* 3/19 I thought about my note all day and really want to try another bottle. The apple juice perceptions might tell of slight advancement/oxygen intrusion. Also, I have a nice note in my inbox from Rhys. Jeff has offered me a .750 replacement bottle. I will open it with another .375 next week and compare. If the bottle was advanced and I didn't catch it, I want to correct my mistake.
  • Riccardo Malocchio commented:

    3/19/15, 11:34 AM - Schnikies, so much of what I dislike about New World Chardonnay in your TN! And here I am taking 3 btls based on prior TNs (including Gilman, Galloni, and Raynold's). Also a touch concerned about the heat noted on the finish of the '12 Horseshoe Pinot by Gilman and Meadows.

2001 Alessandro e Gian Natale Fantino Barolo Bussia Vigna dei Dardi Nebbiolo
This wine was long gone....
  • Riccardo Malocchio commented:

    12/17/14, 1:35 PM - Given that I have 3 bottles on the way, all the recent TNs on this wine have me concerned to say the least!

    I'm told that the bottles I purchased were back vintage stock purchased by Kermit Lynch from Robert Chadderton. Any chance that your bottle made it's way to you from the same source?

    I have to think it's the wine itself and not some issue of provenance or a bad shipper somewhere in the distribution stream, but thought I'd ask!

  • Riccardo Malocchio commented:

    12/19/14, 12:27 PM - Given the last 5 TNs (the first since 2012), I have to think your bottle was likely representative. I'll be popping one of mine as soon as it arrives and has some time for the sediment to settle. Sadly, I expect it will be much like yours, and the one before that, and the one before that... Truly, much much too young for a Barolo to be past prime, much less dead. It should barely be coming around at this point.

    My bottles are from a local (East Coast) retailer who picked their stock up from Kermit. Is Kermit dumping his stock of dead bottles at retailers around the country? I would hate to think so!

  • Riccardo Malocchio commented:

    12/19/14, 12:58 PM - Definitely. As a lover of Burgundy, I've had much enjoyment over the years thanks to Kermit's efforts!

2010 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Mont Chenin Blanc
2/8/2014 - honest bob wrote:
86 points
From 75cl, rough cork. No. Sorry. I disagree. Everyone else here seems to be crazy about this wine, but this is the second bottle I have tried, and both were no fun at all. The pear-drop, boiled-sweet scent is (cloyingly) nice enough, but the taste is simply unpleasant. ("Ah, the ignorant pleb! Pah! He wants his wine to taste 'pleasant'! I spit on his stupid bourgeois taste!") It is at once quite sweet (on a level with a German Kabinett) but more sugary than grapey (come on, this claims to be "sec?"), strongly acidic, and bitter. The bitterness dominates on the mid-palate, which develops like chewing on the skin of a vegetable (potato skins?) which has evolved bitter nastiness in its outer layers over the millenia as a strategy to avoid getting eaten by homo sapiens. I see that John Gilman gives a drinking window STARTING in 2020 (and lasting until 2075 by when I shall undoubtedly be a lot more dead than this wine). So even though I think it is a real dodo tonight, I'm giving 86P(?) in the hope that I live long enough to see my other bottle develop into something... pleasant.
  • Riccardo Malocchio commented:

    2/10/14, 7:27 AM - John Gilman (View from the Cellar) knows much more about Chenin in general and Huet in particular than do I, so I wanted to pass along some advice he posted back in July'09 that I've been following:

    JG (Jul.09): The Huet wines, like many of the top chenin-based wines in the Loire, tend to close down very tight for hibernation after three or four years. I just tasted a bottle of the 2006 Le Haut Lieu Sec a couple of months ago and it was already beginning to start to shut down, and while it was still enjoyable to taste, you will not get a real sense of its depth, complexity and dimension on the palate for many years to come now. Equally, the 2005s are pretty closed now as well, but I did just have a bottle of 2002 Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec that was already beginning to come out of its sleepy phase and was splendid after decanting it for an hour.

    "When Vouvray closes down tightly, it can give off a very chalk dusty, almost musty character that can make the wine seem almost corked, and during this phase you generally do not want to waste your bottles. In my experience, the usual progression is firm shutting down around age three, followed by this dusty phase from age 5 to 10 or so, after which the wines again begin to blossom and you are in for a very long period of great drinking. So pop your 2007 Le Mont Demi-Sec now to see how you like the domaine's wines, but let the other three bottles rest comfortably in the cellar for several more years, as they will be absolute cellar treasures when they blossom again."

    Hope this proves helpful!

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