Comments on my notes

(644 comments on 532 notes)

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Red
1990 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
5/14/2019 - rocknroller wrote:
96 points
Day of the Goat: A Pichon Lalande Fractured Vertical (Leo & Cheryl's Place, Mpls, MN): Very dark red color. Splash decanted for 15 minutes. Drank a glass over 2hours plus. Spellbinding and seamless, this is wonderful. Nearly perfectly integrated this has the depth and finesse of a hypothetical blend of the 83 and 85. Silky and caressing on the palate with a glorious perfume of potpourri, cassis, wild raspberry, leather, damp earth, pencil, and fine cigar. This is beatifully balanced and supremely elegant and long. Great fuit, structure and polish. One of my all time favorite Pichons.
  • Motz commented:

    5/18/19, 2:43 PM - Man...you drink well!

    Cheers!

Red
2015 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
5/5/2019 - Willy2782 Likes this wine:
94 points
Just ordered another 12 bottles, this is amazing wine.
  • Motz commented:

    5/11/19, 7:52 AM - If I may offer an opinion here: The 2015 vintage wines feature an atypical lightness, with some, such as this one, showing Burgundian-like elements. Also, the tannin profile in this vintage is light and powdery, while acid levels are notably high. Taken together, these elements make the wines approachable in youth, and should allow the better wines to age for three or more decades. In sum, this wine is delicious now, and it will last through 2045+.

  • Motz commented:

    5/11/19, 9:41 AM - My preference is Left Bank...and I can recommend this wine and Pontet-Canet as fine examples of my earlier comment. This noted, the examples you listed are mostly Right Bank, and if those were tightly wound, then you may find the Left Bank wines even more dense.

  • Motz commented:

    5/11/19, 9:49 AM - Yes to good wine!

Red
2008 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
4/24/2019 - Motz wrote:
96 points
Wine four of nine, all 2008 Bordeaux varieties (also tasted the following evening):

One of two standouts, noteworthy for its mesmeric profile and serene purity. While compact and decidedly feminine in style, especially for Pauillac, the wine packs seemingly countless layers of scents and flavors. Charming to its core, yet is does not lack for power. The wine tantalizes with inflection-changing nuance. Moreover, the apogee of great Bordeaux for this palate, crème de cassis, spills over from the glass in torrents!

It improved by the second day, offering greater range, depth, and finesse. On this day, it paired exquisitely with high-heat-seared, charcoal-grilled, bone-in Ribeye. Indeed, the pairing will remain with me for many moons to come.

Entering its earliest drinking window, likely to reach full stride by 2028-2030, and it should last through 2038-2040. Insanely good! 96...97?
  • Motz commented:

    4/29/19, 7:47 PM - Hey WT! Did you see my note on the 2014 vintage? I described why Pontet-Canet consistently overachieves. I do not know that I would pay the tariff for the 2009 when I could get the 2010 for even less though.

Red
2008 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
4/26/2019 - Motz wrote:
96 points
Wine six of nine, all 2008 Bordeaux varieties (also tasted the following evening):

Along with the Pontet-Canet, the standout of the evening. While fruitier and more robust than the Pontet-Canet, the wine featured tremendous balance of fruit, oak, terroir, and structure (medium plus to high acid and medium plus tannin), along with exceptional poise and verve. It has evolved beautifully since 2014, integrating oak, and what were once gum-numbing tannins. The wine's complexity and range top the charts. It calls for food, the richer the better.

Ever more seductive on the second day, and again it ran neck and neck with the Pontet-Canet. My preference ran toward the restrained earthiness and technical precision of the Bordeaux, and yet the Oreno proved exceptionally difficult to come away from. I probably missed it more once both bottles were empty.

Still evolving, and likely to do so for another decade. It should last through 2035, give or take a year or two. Recommend holding for three to five years. 96...97?
  • Motz commented:

    4/26/19, 2:31 PM - Outstanding! I plan to hold my remaining bottle for as long as I can. Salute!

Red
2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T 'n' S Blocks Hudson Vineyard South Carneros
6/6/2018 - Motz wrote:
96 points
Tasted over three days, alongside a 2013 Gramercy Forgotten Hills Syrah and a 2015 Saint-Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades. Minimal bricking.

A few American producers craft Rhone (and environs: Languedoc-Roussillon, Bandol, etc.) variety wines that convey notable umami elements. Gramercy, Turley, Cowhorn, Reynvaan, Thackrey, Cayuse, and, of course, Bedrock come to mind here. Very few American producers craft wines that offer savory essences. Indeed, savoriness might be the consistently rarest element found in American wines, and in New World wines overall. This wine features both: umami and savory! As such, it ranks among the finest, most complete, and profoundly satisfying New World Rhone variety wines I have crossed paths with, perhaps the best. The bouquet and profile offer pepper, (dialed back and not too 'sweet') sarsaparilla, coal, smoke, sun baked black stones, lavender, industrial rubber mat, cured meats, fennel (anise), hoisin, soy, Medjool date, dried fig, Turkish apricot, and unsweetened guava paste, along with the ethereal umami and savory notes. The sarsaparilla element so common to Bedrock offerings is toned down here, and thus plays harmoniously with the savoriness, creating a mind-bending sweet-savory effect that even few French wines convey. Impeccably balanced! Generous, expansive, and spectacularly long. It separated itself from the other two wines by a noteworthy margin, and showed best on the third day, the last ounces making the strongest impression. This can age for quite a while longer, and I intend to hold a bottle for as long as I can manage. Utterly compelling. Let it breathe. 95-96.
  • Motz commented:

    4/24/19, 1:11 PM - Jonathan T: Thanks for the kind words. Apologies for the late reply.

    WGDM: Thanks for the tip on this wine. I will keep an eye open. One Crosses paths with savory New World wines only occasionally.

    Cheers!

Red
2016 Agricola San Felice Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
1/2/2019 - Motz wrote:
92 points
Another excellent showing. Excellent quality fruit and deft winemaking skill on display here. Exceptional balance of ripe fruit, oak, alcohol, and terroir, particularly at the price point. Time will serve this well, and it may improve.
  • Motz commented:

    4/20/19, 8:30 AM - A great wine indeed! Thanks MJ.

Red
2016 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
12/24/2018 - Motz wrote:
90 points
From a half. Very interesting, particularly compared to the rustically restrained 2015 vintage tasted recently. This features surprising forwardness and a distracting level of 'sweet' oak staves, even after several hours of air. There is substance to the wine, albeit more suave than powerful. The wine also imparts an impression of compact precision, which the oak overpowers at present. A 'different' style of Sénéjac to be sure.

In sum, not what I expected (given the hype surrounding the 2016 vintage), at least not yet. One might hope that the oak recedes over the next several months, as there is too much of it now. Also, while I do not know the assemblage of previous vintages, this struck me as showcasing Merlot, which lends the wine a certain softness.

The elements that made the 2010 vintage spectacular, brawny structure and deep, inflection changing, substance have gone on hiatus here, at least for now. It does need time, but I do not think it will ever command attention in the way that the 2010 vintage does. 90-91.
  • Motz commented:

    1/16/19, 8:03 PM - Time will tell I suppose. I did find several bottles of the 2010 vintage recently.

  • Motz commented:

    4/19/19, 10:41 AM - Hi Joe. The 2010 vintage ranks among the best Bordeaux values that I have come across...rustic to its core. In this way, that vintage was the proverbial apple, which once tasted remains forever etched in one's (wine) psyche. I agree that this vintage is marginally better than the 2014,...although not as good as the 2015. It is quite modern, excessively oaky and polished, especially compared to the 2010.

Red
2014 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
4/8/2019 - Motz wrote:
95 points
A brief statement of bias:

After Château Latour, of which I have had the good fortune of tasting two vintages, Pontet-Canet is my favorite Left Bank Bordeaux. This preference results from many factors, but the mind-bending expression of terroir from vintage to vintage, even in sub par vintages, stands as primary. In my experience, the Tesserons let each vintage express itself, untrammeled by excessive extraction, manipulation, or oak treatment.

The 2014 vintage puts the mind to a leaner, lighter, and perhaps less exact 2010, all of which, in my experience, typify the 2014 vintage overall. This vintage, for example, shows more dark berry fruit than others, say the 2006 and 2008, and also a certain prettiness, yet it does not lack for elegance, and its masked power puts the mind to the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove. Though moderately fruit forward, which makes it delicious now, patience will be rewarded, as it sports medium plus acid and medium to medium plus tannin. The wine should evolve over the next fifteen to twenty years and last through 2045, perhaps beyond. Noteworthy for its purity, and more specifically, as the definitive Left Bank offering of the vintage. 94-96.
  • Motz commented:

    4/10/19, 5:50 AM - Thank you.

Red
2014 Château La Conseillante Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
2/18/2019 - AndrewSGHall wrote:
Young and a bit unfocused, but all the elements to be a lovely LaCons are there - strong open structure, nice Pomerol savory funk and perfumed qualities. Long finish with leather and flesh tones. A little chocolate and dried cherries. Super good stuff, but you really gotta wait on this one.
  • Motz commented:

    4/8/19, 8:56 PM - Just wrote on a TN on the 2014 Pontet-Canet with similar thoughts. I need to splurge on one of these. Never had one...but Pomerol is the shizz by Right Bank standards...so writes the Cabernet Sauvignon junky.

Red
2015 Luís Seabra Vinhos Douro Xisto Cru Red Blend
Groovy.
  • Motz commented:

    4/8/19, 8:48 PM - Shades of Austin Powers in your one word TN. Rippin' acid on this vintage too?

Red
2017 Bichi Mission Gran Listan Baja California
If you don't like this wine ... fuck off. Tart goji berries, umami, a bit of smoke. Lovely succulence that makes you salivate and eat more food.
  • Motz commented:

    4/8/19, 8:35 PM - Tell it!

Red
2010 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Nebbiolo
4/2/2019 - dave747400 wrote:
92 points
With almonds & various cheeses night one, Steak & chip-shop chips night two.
Night one.... Poured one glass & ploughed through it with masochistic determination. Almost no nose and the very definition of 'tannic' in the mouth. Just a wall of dry tannin with something behind it, that no amount of swirling would penetrate. Cork replaced, in the fridge for 12hrs, then removed at midday the next day to come up to temperature.
Night two.... Enter stage left, miraculously transformed wine. Enticing sweet cherry & herb nose on pouring. Palate unrecognizable from yesterday. Full & sweet, cherries & red fruits all over the place but with burgundian lightness of touch as it glides over the taste buds. Tannins are present & correct, but part of the balanced whole. Gorgeous.
  • Motz commented:

    4/3/19, 5:36 AM - Wholly agreed! The only reason to taste this upon opening is to get a benchmark on account, and on the strength of, as you so aptly describe, "masochistic" curiosity. The wine comes together on the second and third days.

    I would decant for no less that 12 hours if drinking in the near term.

    I find that sticking the cork back in the bottle, as far down as it can be placed, does the trick. Air pumps and other "technical" products have rarely made any measurable difference in my experience.

    Salute!

Red
2015 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
11/19/2018 - Motz wrote:
92 points
Tasted over a few hours with Olddominion. Strikingly reticent bouquet upon opening. With air, it showed effusive Old School markers, including charred earth and mint notes. There is a compact precision to this, conveyed through Haut-Médoc terroir, which attests to its quality, and also bodes well for extended aging. Serious acid and fine tannin enhance the tasting experience. The finest Sénéjac since 2010. In a word, stately.

Please allow me a brief wine rant.

<rant on>The 1855 Classification can be a useful quality indicator. However, I find that reviewers tend to use it as a basis on which to score non-classed wines. Specifically, many reviewers rarely score non-classed wines above 90 points. Of this tendency I ask: What gives? And, as a counterpoint to it, I suggest placing this, and others like it (Potensac, Chateau de France, Fourcas-Dupre, Capbern, etc), in a blind flight of Fifth to Third Growths, along with high quality Pessac-Leognan offerings, and watch it compete with some and outperform others.</rant off>
  • Motz commented:

    11/20/18, 2:46 PM - Agreed, the Capbern was great this vintage. The Fourcas-Dupre also overdelivered.

  • Motz commented:

    3/28/19, 9:23 PM - Thanks MJ. This vintage offers more suavity than the 2010, and is somewhat reminiscent of quality Pomerol, on account of its fine, dusty tannins.

Red
2014 Château Lilian Ladouys St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
3/9/2019 - Motz wrote:
92 points
Tasted over three days. Very easy to like, suave, with more than a little nuance and depth. Merlot shows prominently, with pithy red fruits, and subtle, inflection-changing textures. If blind, I would have most likely called it Pomerol. Whatever the wine make lack in power, by Saint-Estephe standards, it makes up for with finesse and charm. Drinking very well now and it should last another five to seven years. Tasted it alongside the same vintage Château Bernadotte, and while this showed marginally better, the Bernadotte is more substantive and likely to age longer. 91-92.
  • Motz commented:

    3/28/19, 9:17 PM - Costco tends to carry this, for $20, though not all stores and not in all vintages.

Red
2007 Vérité La Muse Sonoma County Red Bordeaux Blend
3/11/2019 - Otaku Oenophile Likes this wine:
98 points
Based off my estimation of the 2015 only needing about 5 years to shed it's grainy tannin I thought oh this has 8 years on it, it should be ready! I was wrong.

I had a sip and knew to pour it in my large decanter and let the air do it's work on it for hours.

It's very similar to the 2015 except that it's not as ripe and thus in turn sweet tobacco, coffee and whole black tea leaves are far more notable.

Your typical blue berries, currants, mint chocolate and crushed granite are also present here as were in the 15. I also pick up hints of iron.

The tannin isn't granular and ripe but more like a massive blanket from tea and coffee hiding it's profound depth.

The nose is perfumed and intoxicating and the finish just goes on and on.

I hate to say this but be patient and let this have 5-7 years more if you can.
  • Motz commented:

    3/16/19, 1:40 PM - Wow! Doing my level best to hold my one bottle...and looking forward to the experience.

  • Motz commented:

    3/28/19, 9:14 PM - I had, and drank, a 2007 Le Desir with friends a few years ago. I plan on holding my 2007 La Muse for a long while.

    I really enjoy this winemaker's style, including the Anakota line, and his Chateau Vignot is special.

Red
2008 Château La Gomerie St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend
10/14/2014 - Motz wrote:
92 points
Drank over three days, an interesting wine. On the first day, given its provenance and price tag, it was less than inspiring. The wine featured truckloads of new timber, juicy red fruits, and high-pitched acid. On the second day it showed more traditional Bordeaux notes, including funk, earth, and a sandiness typical of Barolos from La Morra. It was most integrated on the third day, but still imparted the impression of a young, unresolved wine that requires two to three years of additional cellaring. Very difficult to put down the glass though. Reminiscent in style and taste profile of the 2005 Beau-Séjour Bécot. Decant for 8 or more hours if drinking in the near term. If rating for right now 91. Overall, 91-93.
  • Motz commented:

    3/28/19, 9:09 PM - Yes. I recork and keep it in a cool place.

    Cheers!

Red
2015 La Dame de Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
2/26/2019 - wineotim Likes this wine:
92 points
Mushroom and stone aromas, some sous bois too. Dark ruby color. Medium to full bodied. Dark fruit flavors with plum, rather open style, very nice, silky, mineral, finishes long, good structure. Best since the great '10 vintage.
  • Motz commented:

    3/20/19, 5:16 AM - Agreed.

Red
2010 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
Yum!
Wine of the Night vs '10 Fombrauge, '09 Lalande (St Julien), '09 Le Grand Chai Pauillac, '10 Larose Trintaudon
  • Motz commented:

    3/17/19, 1:23 PM - Hear, hear!

Red
2010 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/11/2019 - fingers Likes this wine:
91 points
After an hour in decanter. Very dark ruby color with a fading hint of age at the rim and a small dash of sediment in the bottle. Beautiful, medium-powered nose of cassis, lavender, bramble, butterscotch/caramel and more flavors of plum, cherry, and graphite on the palate. A big wine that is still light on its feet and goes down easy, in large part due to nearly undetectable alcohol. A splendid experience at $20. 5+12+16+8= 91
  • Motz commented:

    3/16/19, 1:44 PM - Dollar for dollar, among the finest QPRs in Left Bank Bordeaux that I have crossed paths with.

Red
2010 Château de Pibarnon Bandol Mourvedre Blend, Mourvedre
3/13/2019 - Rieslingfan wrote:
I played a dirty trick on my blind tasting group with this wine. About 3 hours prior to the tasting, I decanted two halves of the magnum into two identical decanters, and placed them side-by-side in the same flight. The comments were all over the place. Some said - same wine, different vintages - "wine two is clearly older", "wine one is much more tannic", while others thought same producer, two different vineyards. I was having a very hard time keeping a straight face.

Overall the wine showed very well, with some brooding black fruit, loamy earth tones, herbal elements, and just a hint of funk. Moderate tannins in balance with the fruit, so good aging potential, but not so harsh as to preclude pleasure now. I really enjoyed drinking it.
  • Motz commented:

    3/16/19, 1:42 PM - Looking forward to tasting my one bottle in several years.

Red
2010 JB Neufeld Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley
I have had this wine before and enjoyed it. This bottle I decanted for a couple of hours while prepping dinner. Tri-tip with thyme and black pepper, roasted brussel sprouts, roasted potatoes with oregano and garlic, and grilled asparagus. Needless to say the wine went beautifully with dinner. Heavy currant with some pepper on the back of the palate. A lovely bottle.
  • Motz commented:

    3/16/19, 12:58 PM - Still holding my last bottle. I plan on sneaking it into a flight of 2010 Left Bank Bordeaux in a few years.

Red
2013 Bouchard Aîné et Fils Pinot Noir Bourgogne
1/31/2018 - Motz wrote:
87 points
A fine bottle of better than bistro quality wine. One that I would enjoy with a broad range of lunch fare. Very good structure and balance.
  • Motz commented:

    3/16/19, 12:44 PM - Not noted here, but I did drink this over a day or three. :-). Using a blender? Interesting!

Red
2014 Château Bernadotte Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/9/2019 - Motz wrote:
90 points
Tasted over three days. A rustic expression of the vintage, which features Cabernet Sauvignon markers throughout, including a touch of greenness. Concentrated (not at all 'thin'), strapping, and quite robust. It needed several hours of air to come out of its shell. Though moderately fruit forward, the wine leans heavily toward the traditional style. It actually needs an additional three to five years to integrate and unwind. Rock solid (pun intended), with an upside. 90-91. Fine QPR!
  • Motz commented:

    3/16/19, 12:42 PM - Hello Les Kangas.

    I pulled the cork and tasted over three days.

Red
2014 Château Bernadotte Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
10/25/2018 - djhammond Likes this wine:
89 points
Second time tasting this wine, and it is such great value for money. Personally I am a great fan of Bernadotte, and it is my wine of choice for everyday drinking. It is always affordable, and is approachable at a young age, but has a structure that allows it to develop for up to 15 years. This is no exception, and is probably the most enjoyable vintage for a while. Highly recommended.
  • Motz commented:

    3/9/19, 8:30 AM - Fine notes on this wine, and many others. Keep them coming!

Red
2013 Gramercy Cellars Syrah "Lagniappe" Columbia Valley
3/5/2019 - Mbad77 Likes this wine:
94 points
This is a really good effort. It’s not a sweet rich type but is fairly approachable and very drinkable.
Unlike many “Rhône rangers” this really is Rhône like with some animal and earthy notes but with great fruit. Somewhat hermitage.
It’s a little more on the sweet fruit side, but this is a beautiful balance between a proper Rhône and a US variant.
Has grip and interest on the finish and is just entering drinking window though another few years minimum would help.
Will last many more years - this is great stuff.
  • Motz commented:

    3/8/19, 5:49 AM - Fine note! A great wine! Even the same vintage CV from this producer over delivers.

Red - Fortified
2011 Dow Porto Vintage Port Blend
My annual bottle of this wine. It is delicious. Rich, complex port with beautiful fruit and a never ending finish, not a thing out of place. Dark chocolate (90%) paired perfectly with this.
  • Motz commented:

    3/8/19, 5:48 AM - I am going to need to try the 90% dark chocolate pairing, albeit with other vintage ports for the present, as I hope to keep my one bottle of this for a long time. Great idea!

Red
2010 Château d'Armailhac Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
2/17/2019 - richshoes Likes this wine:
94 points
always love this wine. I had one before it was in my hall of fame best ever....this one very good--nice balance of herb and sage and mushroom with purple ink and tart fruit.....great layers...not super feminine or masculine...more metro but good strong body
  • Motz commented:

    3/2/19, 8:02 AM - Looking forward to my next tasting of this! Great note.

Red
2010 Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues Red Rhone Blend
2/26/2019 - John McCabe wrote:
96 points
Much better than I remember, this is electrifying. Beautiful acidity, so much going on.
  • Motz commented:

    3/2/19, 7:58 AM - This made an impression from the time I first tasted it, and since. Glad to know it continues to evolve. Trying to hold my last bottle for several years.

Rosé - Sparkling
2006 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé La Grande Dame Champagne Blend
2/28/2019 - Motz wrote:
98 points
During an evening of spectacular wines enjoyed with great friends, this stood above the rest. Beguiling from the outset, it stirred the senses with air. The wine features ethereal textures, riveting weight, and profound, inflection-changing range. An elixir to its core. In a word: Spellbinding. WOTN! 97-98.
  • Motz commented:

    3/1/19, 2:01 PM - Thanks! I know of its reputation. This was a collaborative purchase to celebrate a friends birthday. We may have to do the same with the 2008. :-)

Red
2010 Domaine Saint-Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades Red Rhone Blend
1/19/2019 - thesternowl Likes this wine:
94 points
We had a couple of friends over and did a fun little 2010 Saint-Damien Gigondas side-by-side consisting of “La Louisiane” and “Les Souteyrades”. Both wines were opened six hours prior to service; each spent three hours in the decanter and also slow-ox’ed in the bottle for an additional three. I initially questioned whether decanting was even necessary but after reading some of the notes on CT and trying a small bit after pulling the corks, it seemed to me that air would be beneficial.

The “Les Souteyrades” was a trip to the Woodland Realm. On the nose this was brambles, oud (agarwood), boiled spinach, curaçao, smoke and mushrooms. A much more powerful and rustic wine than “La Louisiane”. This should drink well for another decade.
  • Motz commented:

    3/1/19, 1:25 PM - Fine note. Wholly agreed.

    Cheers!

  • Motz commented:

    3/1/19, 1:59 PM - If you get a chance, I recommend the 2011 and 2015 La Louisiane, which for my money were better than the Les Souteyrades in the same vintages.

Red
2008 G.D. Vajra Barolo Bricco delle Viole Nebbiolo
2/16/2019 - NostraBacchus Likes this wine:
95 points
Still pretty closed aromatically, but so full of potential and such a perfect texture and mouthfeel. Notes of rose petals, violets, red berries, mint and some tar. It‘s medium+ bodied, feels almost weightless in the context of Barolo, has medium-high acidity and medium-high tannin that is excellent quality and very silky. Excellent length. A still slightly reductive but superb Bricco delle Viole. I would still give this another 3-4 years.
  • Motz commented:

    3/1/19, 1:56 PM - My last bottle is buried deep. I could probably find it, but I am intentionally not looking for it, which helps.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2011 Château Guiraud Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
2/20/2019 - ozziewine Likes this wine:
94 points
Guiraud is to Sauternes as Dehlinger is to Russian River winemaking. Always great value and always superb quality!
This is syrupy (without being cloying) with beautifully structured honey, pineapple and mango notes...super concentrated.
I've found I like the Guiraud Sauternes better at seven or eight years of age, as beyond that they lose some of their brightness and become more muted and nutty tasting.
No aeration necessary here, just PnP. From a 375ml bottle and, unusual for me, I finished the bottle in one evening...another testament to how much I enjoyed this.
If you are like me, drink this now, if you prefer a more mature, aged version of Sauternes you can wait as this has many years to go. Another superb effort from this consistently great producer.
  • Motz commented:

    3/1/19, 1:54 PM - Your notes makes it even more difficult to hold onto my last bottle.

Red
2010 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
2/22/2019 - Nojomoschwa Likes this wine:
91 points
This was just a fantastic buy way back when in EP for about $14. It destroys a lot of Bordeaux that's much more expensive. Recently tasted it alongside Duckhorn Napa Cab 2013 and it was so much more interesting, with so much more depth. Granted, totally different styles, but wish I had bought more of this. Was my last bottle and just getting going.
  • Motz commented:

    3/1/19, 1:33 PM - I was excited to find more of this recently. A great wine, which delivers exceptional QPR!

Red
2010 Château Poujeaux Moulis en Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
3/1/2019 - Brett H Likes this wine:
91 points
1st of 24 half bottles. Very youthful. This is like a claret from a warm vintage 30 years ago, but with the volume turned up to 11 (see Spinal Tap if you don’t get it), yet it is definitely not new world in style. This is the best Moulis I’ve ever had at this stage of its development. What I love about it is it’s not perfect and isn’t clean as a whistle, however at 14% it is too high in alcohol. Surely you can make wine in this region at a lower alcohol level please.
  • Motz commented:

    3/1/19, 1:30 PM - Well put. Agree regarding the alcohol too.

Red
2010 Domaine Saint-Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades Red Rhone Blend
10/26/2018 - Christoffer78 Likes this wine:
98 points
Massive, elegant and truly lovely - are the three words I wrote down when tasting this effort. The 2010 Souteyrades is a totally stunning wine. The nose exhibits classical rich dark Grenache fruit, classy and balanced garrigue, rich deep kirsch and the most adorable sun dried strawberries. This is a nose to die for - found in a Gigondas(!) The palate adds to the overall impression with balance and integration. Tannins are velvety and silky. A brilliant but very elegant acidity puts the final dot over the "i" for me. There certainly is enough texture and structure to have this effort age nicely for many more years, but it drinks superbly tonight too.
  • Motz commented:

    3/1/19, 1:24 PM - Agreed! This Gigondas is a life-changer, and stands as one of many great examples that contradict any notion that CdP is a superior appellation, a contention that I have always thought laughable.

    Trying to hold my last bottle for several more years.

    Sante!

Red
2015 Château de Macard Bordeaux Supérieur Red Bordeaux Blend
2/23/2019 - Motz wrote:
91 points
I made Château de Macard's acquaintance several vintages back, and have been consistently satisfied with its quality. It features strong sense of place and blend, unencumbered by lumber and alcohol. In fact, Château de Macard offers a terroir similar to Château d'Armailhac, with funk, char, and old railroad tie, at about one fifth the price. The 2015 vintage is the finest offering since 2010, and also prettier, showing lovely, Merlot-driven textures. An overachiever, it packs the substance to evolve for several years. Exceptional QPR!
  • Motz commented:

    2/25/19, 7:49 PM - World Market oftentimes carries it, though not in all locations.

Red
2015 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
2/1/2019 - wineotim wrote:
88 points
Nothing compares to the '10 vintage. This is medium ruby color, with stoney aromas. On the palate this carries the usual anise notes with high acid levels, but the red fruit is rather short, but open. There's some precision here but does not have the edginess, density, and depth of fruit like the '10. I have one bottle left and don't hold much hope for improvement.
  • Motz commented:

    2/1/19, 4:25 PM - Nice note WT. Usually we are about two points off on Bordeaux scores; in this case four. I would drink this any day over most California and Washington Bordeaux tributes, at two to three times the price. As you know, I wholly agree on the 2010 vintage. I found some recently for a reasonable tariff in Chicago.

  • Motz commented:

    2/1/19, 9:10 PM - Waiting until the weather warms to ship them. I have one in my cellar though, purchased several years ago.

Red
2010 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
1/13/2019 - wineotim Likes this wine:
96 points
Amazing that it has been 3 years since my first bottle. Bought this one from HDH. It's now more integrated, smooth, complex, so beautiful just to look at and sniff, dark ruby red, bright, no bricking, lots of bottle sediment. Long and endless legs. Seamless, sublime, outstanding.
  • Motz commented:

    1/31/19, 4:27 AM - Wow! High praise from you WT! I will have to look into acquiring a bottle.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Delamotte Champagne Brut Champagne Blend
1/2/2019 - Motz wrote:
91 points
We welcomed 2019 with this ever satisfying offering. Always a pleasure!
  • Motz commented:

    1/30/19, 5:45 AM - Gruet is great and this is even better!

White
2016 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc Columbia Valley Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
1/9/2019 - Motz wrote:
93 points
The prettiest vintage of this wine that I recall, while also the most delicate. The bouquet features effusive stone fruit (nectarine, white peach, apricot) essences, with white flower, tropical, honey, and citrus accents. Gorgeous! More of the same on the palate, in balanced, crystalline-like, inflection-changing waves. Compelling energy and lift frames the fruit beautifully, enhancing the overall harmony. This will be difficult to resist in its youth. It will be interesting to follow over the next several years.
  • Motz commented:

    1/30/19, 5:43 AM - Cheers to that!

Red
2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch Russian River Valley
1/20/2019 - Motz wrote:
92 points
Here we go, with a couple of caveats first.

My palate leans heavily to varietally correct, terroir-driven, layered and balanced wines, regardless of provenance. See, for example, my note on the 2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Bedrock Heritage, and the note that proceeds this one, on the 2014 Birichino Grenache Old Vines Besson Vineyard, which I tasted alongside this wine over two days and found more satisfying.

Perfect ripeness, however desirable, can lead to wines that lack depth and structure, as ripeness can take a toll on acid levels. See, for example, my notes on the heady, yet overhyped 2015 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr and Graacher Himmelreich Kabinetts.

Tasted over two days.

The appealing: Heady bouquet of all things ripe berry, blue, purple, and black. Ultra juicy berries, absence of lumber, and medium to medium plus acid.

The less appealing: Other than saturated berriness (Is that a word?), there is very little to this. One might find wafting hints of sarsparilla, sweet pipe tobacco, fruit-flavored milk-chocolate, and spice, but that is about it. Specifically, there is little sense of variety. One might surmise, based upon the juicy fruit, that Zinfandel is present, yet the peppery, sappy, sometimes meaty and smoky pithiness that characterize Zinfandel are all but absent. There is no sense of place, other than New World, and probably California, based upon the crowd-pleasing style. And, other than the aforementioned acid level, Zinfandel usually offers a certain level of powdery tannins, which are not present with this.

The unappealing: The wine features an strong sense of manufacture, or chemical manipulation. One might be able to make something that tastes similar with two parts concord grape juice, one part blueberry juice, one part blackberry juice, articial berry flavors, and grape spirits to equal 15 percent abv.

All this aside, the wine must be judged on its merits: intoxicating perfume, very good structure, shut-the-wine-brain-off tastiness, and for these reasons I cannot score it less than 92 points, however grudgingly. Drink over the near term, as it lacks the substance to improve.

Who knows what the pros were thinking. Perhaps they were seduced by the sirens.
  • Motz commented:

    1/23/19, 6:38 AM - Wilypod and Mr.Overhill: Thank you both for reading and understanding the core of my note.

    Wilypod: I appreciate the comparison to great French and Italian wines. It may be helpful to explain that I take a traditional (root word) view of terroir: place. The wines you listed feature variety(s) in place (earth) as they evolve, over decades. For this reason, fruit, however aromatically or texturally appealing, especially fruit that conveys hints of manufacture, which in my view is the alpha and omega of this wine, I find difficulty describing as conveying 'sense of place.' If it lasts beyond 2026-2028 I would be surprised. Thank you again for grasping my argument.

    Mr.Overhill: The wine boasts scores of 98, 96, 94-97, and 94, all from major publications. I have do doubt that it will be enjoyable over the next several years, perhaps up to ten. In my view, wines that should be drunk within ten to twelve years of the vintage date are short-term agers. One of the great things about wine is that we never quit learning about it. If my assessment of this wine is wrong, I will be happy and thankful for the learning experience. I hope my response answers your questions. Thanks again for your comments.

Red
2010 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Sangiovese
9/9/2018 - Motz wrote:
96 points
So beautiful! This has not budged over the last 21 months. Densely packed, and likely to be long-lived. As robust, high-alcohol wines go, this ranks among the most impressive I have encountered.
  • Motz commented:

    1/16/19, 8:04 PM - I have a few and would be happy to open one to share.

Red
2014 Crous St. Martin Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
2/6/2017 - Motz wrote:
90 points
Typical bouquet. Straightforward, open, and well rounded, showing a generous velvety texture. Very good acid, definition, and balance.
  • Motz commented:

    1/14/19, 6:18 AM - Hello nowine4u:

    I do not buy CdP very often, usually only when I find it at closeout pricing. Most of the CdP I sample is with friends and at tastings. And, in general, regarding Rhone wines, Gigondas is my preferred appellation. In broad terms, I favor the mineral driven tension of Gigondas compared to the expansive fruitiness of CdP.

    Cheers!

Red
2015 Te Mata Estate Cabernet Merlot Awatea Hawke's Bay Red Bordeaux Blend
12/26/2018 - Lublu Likes this wine:
91 points
Vermelho rubi (escuro). Lágrimas bem formadas, duradouras e simétricas. Nariz de intensidade média. No olfato notas de frutas negras, florais (Jasmin), caixa de cigarro e chocolate amargo. Em boca tem ataque pleno e aveludado. Estrutura tânica portentosa. Álcool muito educado. No retronasal as frutas negras abundam. É um vinho ainda jovem. Final de boca agradável e com boa extensão.
  • Motz commented:

    12/27/18, 1:52 PM - Nota informativa. Obrigado, e Feliz ano novo! Saude!

Red
2015 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
12/27/2018 - macaujames Likes this wine:
93 points
Aerated 12 hours. Has aromas of black currants, cedar, plums, and cassis. Its medium bodied spherical, satiny black, red and blue fruits palate has got superb depth and balance. Ends long and tapering with some unresolved tannin and good acidity. 13%. V.impressive. Lay down 10 years.
  • Motz commented:

    12/27/18, 9:45 AM - Your note makes me want to find more of this. Cheers!

Red
2015 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
10/13/2018 - Motz wrote:
93 points
Half bottle, tasted over two days, alongside several other quality Bordeaux. Was able to evaluate this bottle more thoroughly than in April, and it showed exceptionally well. Shy upon opening, with air the bouquet takes on Margaux-like qualities, delightful, 'sweet' sophistication. And, also with air, the wine features Saint-Julien like firmness and grip, the mouthfeel offering touches of luxury typical of higher classed growths.

The kicker here, as with many 2015 quality Bordeaux, is the acid level, which tends to be disproportionately high vis-a-vis the tannin. Moreover, the tannin in this wine, and in many other Bordeaux of this vintage, is ripe and ultra fine, loess-like if you will, the Giscours being a striking exception.

For example, I poured this double-blind on the second day for two trade professionals and neither called it Bordeaux. In fairness, one first thought it Bordeaux, but, knowing it to be young, noticed other elements, a suave refinement in particular (the absence of hard tannins), that steered him away from Bordeaux. I wonder if this atypical character has left some pros and Bordeaux aficionados scratching their heads, perhaps leading to lower scores than many wines merit.

'Keith Levenberg's' and 'chatters's' recent experiences with the 2015 Domaine de Chevalier, a standout of the vintage to be sure, in which they note similarities to Burgundy, offers an example of the unique quality of many wines.

Whatever the case, this wine has the acid to evolve for at least a decade, probably two (likely improving), and hold for a decade thereafter. If drinking in the near term, let it breathe for several hours.
  • Motz commented:

    10/13/18, 12:03 PM - Thank you Vinomazing! Is there much better in life than tasting great wine and writing about it? If so, I have not found it!

  • Motz commented:

    10/13/18, 12:34 PM - I'll drink to that!

  • Motz commented:

    12/27/18, 9:44 AM - The price is great too!

Red
2012 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
10/30/2018 - Motz wrote:
95 points
From a half. Having tasted this nearly three years back, and while in the entirely agreeable company of three other wines scored 92, 94, and 95 points, none of which I fully agreed with, scoring them 90, 92-93, and 92 respectively, and wanting to calibrate this assessment, I decided to pull the cork on this. Besides, it had been high on my 'check in on' list. :-).

I was not sure how this would show next to the other wines; it quickly set the pace. The bouquet and palate feature an interplay of coal, black earth, minerals, and ores, smoky sous-bois (smoldering hickory), and charred cork, wrapped in a perfectly ripe red, and especially purple and black berry suspension, indeed, an elixir. These essences were enhanced by fresh herbs, especially savory, rosemary, and thyme, dried desert fruits (fig and date in particular), and muddled thick petal flowers. All of these elements contributed to a luxurious, still, high-mountain lake finish of excellent length. Positively enthralling!!! With medium plus acid, deceptive, velvety, medium tannin (especially by CdP standards), and superb balance, this should evolve for quite a while, and last until 2032-2035+.

This, and other 2012 Bordeaux and Burgundy wines, continue to reinforce my assessment that this is an understated vintage, notable for its poise, most reminiscent of 2008, if lacking a touch of that vintage's power. 95-96.
  • Motz commented:

    12/20/18, 4:41 PM - Me too.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Gruet Winery Isabelle Classique Brut New Mexico White Blend
12/7/2018 - Motz wrote:
91 points
This features an extra dry like weight and texture. Seamless, layered, and balanced. Lovely.
  • Motz commented:

    12/9/18, 7:49 AM - Delicious juice this. I thought it Extra Dry Champagne until shown otherwise. Gruet delivers incredible QPR. Look for the Sauvage to pair with seafood, especially shellfish.

Red
2010 Château d'Issan Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
11/25/2018 - greedy wrote:
89 points
Not bad but not worth $190 cad. Most distinguishing feature of this wine is the super tannins. Not enough fruit for me. I still have only had a few really good Bordeaux. I don’t get it yet...

Top end Napa cabs are way better.
  • Motz commented:

    11/25/18, 8:31 AM - Agreed. Saint-Emilion, especially the modernly styled examples, are the gateway from Napa to Left Bank. Many Pomerol wines, IMO, can be quite rustic, particularly on account of the clay (terroir), and Pomerol producers tend to use less lumber than in Saint-Emilion.

Red
2012 Château Fourcas-Borie Listrac-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
9/13/2018 - RussK wrote:
92 points
Russk. Stacole Tasting. My favorite Bx. Barnyard. Medoc. Easy. Great QPR. Get some. 92- pts.
  • Motz commented:

    11/16/18, 4:08 PM - Great call on this!

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