Tasting Notes for JimHow

(279 notes on 222 wines)

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Red
2014 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/1/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
96 points
Decided to take a little respite from my fasting and dieting in the past month, in preparation for my big trial starting a week from Monday. I bought like almost three cases of this stuff on JC's recommendation a few years ago, when New Hampshire was selling 2014s at near-ridiculous prices. I got these for like under $35, even lower when you factored in all the gift cards on top of the 15% discounts, on top of the already low tax- and shipment-cost free prices. Ah, the Granite State. Live free or Die. This wine is a stunning Pauillac. It is made the way they used to be. Oh wait, that's Maine's motto: "The way Life Should Be." But, okay, it applies to the 2014 Clerc Milon: "The way Pauillac Should Be." Absolutely everything you look for in Pauillac: Structure combined with class and finesse. Cassis, blackberries, cedar. Number two pencil, it has the best of both Mouton AND, dare I say it, Lafite. This wine is still, obviously, young -- although, I recall Parker -- and Suckling to this day -- oftentimes opening up the window on wines like this as soon as six or seven years after the vintage, post hibernation period. The brilliant purple/ruby Pauillac color shows NO signs of lightening, NO receding at the rim, no tell tale bloodstains at the crime scene.... But I digress. I don't read the wine magazines anymore but when is someone out there going to finally start SCREAMING about the greatness of the 2014 vintage, on BOTH sides of the river. This wine, this vintage, is outstanding. The wine is enjoyable now and will age easily for at least another thirty years, because of its impeccable balance. I'll be drinking this wine in the Great Tasting Room in the Sky with the Great Stefan, who I knew well. A brilliant, classic, classic, effort. Thank you, JC, my BWE brother, for calling my attention to this beauty. Wow! Rating: 96 points.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
8/30/2021 - JimHow wrote:
95 points
Had this a while back, when Zachy's finally delivered my stash. Stunning. Better than the '16? Absolutely balanced. The classic will-drink-now-and-for-twenty years wine. Just superb elegance combined with a strong backbone. I'm sure the sixteens are great, but I'll have to wait til I'm about 87 years old to drink them. These wines are superb now, but don't be fooled, they'll still be young when I'm 87 as well. 95 points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/3/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
93 points
Like someone else here said, it reminds me of a Krug. Sublime with Maine oysters.
Rating: 93 points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
Red
2010 Château Troplong Mondot St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/2/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
95 points
2010 Troplong Mondot... That's crazy, yo!
SIXTEEN percent!
I had my eye on this for purchase in NH when it goes on sale, they've still got some bottles in stock.
Twenty-ten is a behemoth of a vintage, holy mackerel!
We had it with cheese from France and Le Whoopee Pie for dessert. Holy cow.
It started off amazingly rich and structured and the alcohol was "hidden."
I said to Jacques and Jill that 16% is like those Dal Forno Amarones that I pick up every now and then.
At first it tasted like a right bank super rich Saint-Emilion. By the end, though, it tasted like an Amarone.
I'm not saying this is a bad thing, we actually got two different ones in one:
2010 Troplong Mondot, table wine, 2010 Troplong, dessert wine.
I actually loved it despite (because of) the wild ride, I'm going to pick up some more!
Thanks for bringing it, Jacques!
Rating: 95 points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
8/2/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
96 points
2018 Jacques Carillon Puligny-Montrachet Les Champs Canet
Jacques uncorked this and we drank it with the lobster and then segued into the French cheeses, Selles sur Cher and Tomme grise de chèvre, what was the third one? What a treat! Balancing a lightness on its feet with ripeness and honesty to its terroir, it was an absolute midsummer's night dream with the lobster and cheese.
Rating: 96 points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
White - Sparkling
8/2/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
95 points
2008 Dom Perignon
This wine never seems to disappoint.
Still very youthful but I still say it is offering up a lot now.
I'm no expert on Dom Perignon but I've been lucky to have my share over the years, this one was right up there with the stuff that Stuart has brought to various dinners, and the 1996 that Winona Chief brought to the back deck a few years back.
We had it with the lobster, wow, it was absolute heaven. The Maine soft shell lobster was in absolute midsummer peak form, so sweet.
I got six of them for the three of us and they did not go to waste!
Rating: 95 points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/2/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
95 points
2006 d'Angerville Volnay Champans
We closed out the night with this wine that Jacques and I have had numerous times.
When it is on, it is on. I've had it probably a dozen times with some variability.
This night it was singing. We popped and poured, and it just kept blossoming with black cherry heavenliness.
Absolutely lovely.
Rating: 95+ points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/2/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
97 points
2000 Chateau Pichon Lalande
I pulled out a half bottle of this, Jill and I split the final remaining whoopee pie.
I think this may have been the first time I've had this, at least since the early days of its release.
It was brilliant. I didn't really catch much of the green notes it is famous for, maybe a little bit.
It is a pretty good sized wine, rich and powerful but quite stunning.
Rating: 97 points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/2/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
99 points
2001 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
OMG, I'm not kidding you, this wine brings tears to the eyes.
It was in such a perfect place. 12.5% alcohol, so, so balanced and elegant.
The classic Lafite cedar emerged quickly from the bottle. Lafite Ruby -- it should be a Crayola color -- deep and rich with ever so slight lightening at the edge. In the mouth it was heaven... Medium bodied, we matched it with the tenderloins and Jacques's baked vegetables, it was a great celebration of the twenty years I have known Jacques and Jill. Wow.
Rating: 99 points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/2/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
95 points
2007 Taittinger Comtes
I think we all agreed this wine was in a really, really good place.
I'm sure I must have had it on prior BWE occasions but I do not recall it as splendid as this.
I think the consensus was it was even better than the 2008 Dom from the night before.
At least it was drinking better at this point. Balanced, no rough edges, apples, great bouquet.
Distinctive rich yellow color in the glass. Absolutely loved it.
Rating: 95 points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/30/2021 - JimHow wrote:
89 points
Sipping on this puppy in anticipation of a historic visit of two BWE emissaries to the Lewiston, Maine, back deck promised land....

We absolutely LOVED Mr and Mrs Cathiard when we visited them at SHL in 2015, the late afternoon that Singapore president Danny Fan was there with his motorcade and French soldiers with automatic rifles on rooftops were abound.

What a magical late afternoon that was in their garden. My friends Tony and Jennifer still talk about that afternoon to this day, certainly one of the highlights of that magical 2015 trip to Bordeaux, during what seems like a simpler, easier time, an ancient eon ago.

Is it true that they met on the legendary 1968 French Olympic ski team featuring Jean Claude Killy, or am I imagining that....

This wine is Parkerized. It is the least favorite of the 2012s I've been drinking lately. It is "too perfect." Really, did we really need to come in at 14% in 2012? I think this was Parker's last year, no? I suppose he came in at 95 points or some such thing.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame the owners one bit for doing what they gotta do. But this wine is SO internationalized, so Parkerized, there is an unexciting "sameness" to it. It is just so "perfect," not a stem out of place. I thought matching it with a nice medium-rare tenderloin would bring out some magic, but no. It is still very young, obviously, but I don't see it getting better. It is "too" good. "Too" Parkerized, too California wannabe.... Omg, nothing approximating the SHL's of 1996 through 2005, the Golden Era of SHL. Something started to go VERY wrong in 2005, and what should have been the harmless vintage of 2012 does not alleviate one's concerns. I have three bottles of the 2015 with the fancy anniversary label that I got at a fancy low price en futuro, I'll let them sit for at least another decade in hopes that at least SOMETHING interesting develops out of them.

Rating: 89 points.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
7/30/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
93 points
Wow, the 2019 Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Zaccharie is a real eye-opener! The wine has everything going for it, great on the nose, beautiful ripe red fruit fruitiness that is beautifully balanced. We got a case of this for $19.99 at Zachy's, what a great deal, wish I had bought another case before they were gone at that price! They say these wines will age but as far as I'm concerned I love the way it tastes now! 93 points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Clos Fourtet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/22/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
94 points
Again, the 2012 right bank is definitely more forthcoming than the left bank, but that of course is no big surprise. This property is definitely upper echelon, I get the sense this was the case before RMP, although I don't know much about older vintages. The wine did nothing to dispel my belief that Bordeaux, at least on the right bank, should be consumed between ages 8-15, maybe more like 12-20 on the left bank, depending on the vintage, of course. This wine was still youthful, but delicious with a strip sirloin, the bright red/ruby color a fine representation of St. Emilion. I loved it, even if it may have been just a touch more international than the other right bankers I've had recently from 2012. This wine will drink well for another 20 years, I'm sure it will be "different" then, I'm just hardpressed to see it as "better." It's a beauty, though, and this is without doubt an elite estate in Bordeaux, Parker or no Parker. 13.5%, balanced. Rating: 94 points.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
7/19/2021 - JimHow wrote:
93 points
This wine is still singing. Of all the great French wine vintages -- I'm a Bordeaux guy, 2016 and 2014 stand out, and 1998 on the right bank -- the 2005 vintage in Burgundy may be the single greatest vintage I have experienced. It just never lets me down. This simple village Jadot, 16 years later, is such a beautiful representation of the region and the vintage. Still, incredibly, youthful. Earthiness and classic fruit and structure. 2005 Burgundy... the color showing little sign of fading. I have one bottle left from my cardboard case that I think I paid less than $10 per bottle for, I think I'll hold it for at least another five years. Wow. 93 points.
Red
2016 Château Siran Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/17/2021 - JimHow wrote:
93 points
2016 Siran
Wow! This wine has mellowed since I had it last year.
Are you factoring in price? Because if you are, this is a substantial QPR.
When I drank this wine last year I was a little concerned that I had misread its early promise.
It was awkward, gawky, adolescent.
But, of course, that should in no way be surprising.
This wine is a very, very beautiful Margaux food wine, big, tannic, fruity, bold, but has definitely "settled down."
Wow, I loved this wine, it may even be better than the '15.
This wine will survive many blanquitoes. Love it.
Rating: 93 points.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
7/17/2021 - JimHow wrote:
94 points
2012 Rauzan Segla
I've had a couple 2012s recently from the right bank and have found them compelling.
This wine from Margaux was very tannic and grudging at the outset.
My immediate concern, of course: Uncorked too prematurely, too young.
Certainly everything on the nose, the color, spoke of a youthful effort.
If you just looked at this wine visually, you would not be able to tell whether it was out of the barrel or a decade old.
But... ah, like a true Bordeaux, this heretofore tannic specimen evolved into a floral, complex, beautiful Margaux.
Still very youthful.
Rating 94 points.
7 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2011 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/17/2021 - JimHow wrote:
91 points
Deliciously boring. Wonderfully austere. Classic claret.
Like Jacques's 2011 Domaine de Chevalier, I was immediately struck by the inky black color of the Calon Segur.
Like Johnny Depp, I could drink this every day of the week. Perhaps surpassing Lynch Bages as my favorite estate.
Had this with Nic, Danny and their better halves in Quebec a few years ago, and then with Patrick on a later date.
I'm glad I still have five more bottles, I'll drink them over the course of the next decade.
Rating: 91 points.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2012 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/21/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
90 points
As is usually the case with this estate, it is unmistakably true to its terroir, it is distinctively "Bordeaux," but, as usual, it is clinical, "well-crafted," obviously the grapes were meticulously selected, but... kind of boring. Excellent 90-point Bordeaux but nothing exciting or noteworthy here. Still young, but hard to see it improving. 90 points.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/8/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
94 points
I was a little down on this wine the other night at the outset, it seemed a little dull and uninteresting at first, but then its elegance and class kind of snuck up on me by the end, kind of like that '14 La Conseillante I had a while back. Is this '12 Canon a different style from the '15? The 2012 Canon was subtle, classy, elegant, still young but opening up seductively with about an hour of air. I thought the 14% alcohol was on display at the beginning, but it seemed to go into hiding as the wine evolved. Hmmm, these high end right bankers, wow, they are seductive, aren't they.... Me want more. I think I rated it 91+ the other night, and maybe that was so for the first half of dinner, but by the end I give it a solid 94.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
3/17/2021 - JimHow Likes this wine:
95 points
A beautiful wine.
Please don't drink it among others, though, in a blind tasting or some such thing.
Sit there and enjoy it over 3-4 hours as it unfolds, blossoms, from reticence to Pomerol elegance in a vintage where the alcohol was restrained and the conditions were perfect to bring out the classicism on both sides off the river. Stunning, in a feminine, elegant, classy, retrained way. Don't expect big fruit bomb here, look for finesse and restraint.
95 points.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/26/2021 - JimHow wrote:
92 points
Alcoholic, volatile, a roller coaster. Started off bitter and tart, with decanting it evolved into Pomerol chocolate on the nose and palate. Showed depth, but then the 14.5% alcohol came back to flirt this wine with disaster. This is a classic, classic RMP/Jeff Leve kind of wine. If you love Parkerized, heavy alcohol, modernized efforts, this is for you. I have three bottles left, and will drink one every five years. The 1990 and 1998 Gazin are heads and tails over this. This wine will age 50 years but the 14.5% alcohol will hover over this wine to the end. Rating: 92 points.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
1/20/2021 - JimHow wrote:
91 points
Beautiful, consummate Chianti. Superbly aromatic. Balanced, aromatic, it checks all the boxes. Just the perfect touch of earthiness and spice. Drink now and for the next 12-15 years. 2017 Italy seems like a balanced, velvety vintage, no? This wine is $20 bucks? Are you kidding me? Is there a better QPR out there? A superb value. At $20, stock up. 91 points.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Lilian Ladouys St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/15/2021 - JimHow wrote:
92 points
The thing about this wine is how representative it is of St. Estephe, at a $24 price level. This is one of the best Bordeaux QPRs out there. Classically "pure" St. Estephe ruby color, like a combination of Lafon Rochet, Lafite, and Cos d'Estournel. Great spicy finish. When you combine 2016 + St. Estephe you can't go wrong. I bought a case at like $23 per bottle.
8 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
12/17/2020 - JimHow wrote:
96 points
An end of the year celebration last night with this former BWE wine of the year. It is a quintessential Purple Baron, with cedar and black fruit, balanced tannins, a classic Pauillac. Great 2000 fruit, the nose was a little shy at first but it filled the room with exposure to air. It is showing some evolution at age 20, but will evolve easily for at least another 20 years. Mouth-filling and luscious, but so classy. Great balance. A healthy amount of sediment at the end. Best Pichon Baron ever? Rating: 96 points.

www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Château Haut-Brisson St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/4/2020 - JimHow wrote:
94 points
Light on its feet, ripe, unique, elegant, the 90% merlot is clear, will drink well now and for 15-20 years. Ho hum, another stellar effort from the Kwok family. Love it. The 2016 was great, this is even better, and I hear the 2019 is even better.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
8/6/2020 - JimHow wrote:
94 points
Best Chateau Corbin ever. Annabelle has been making great wines for nearly 20 years but she has now brought her property to a new level. 2016 was the first vintage with new cellars, allowing vinification parcel by parcel. This is really more a Pomerol than a St. Emilion. It is quintessential Merlot, but not over the top Parkerized yuckiness like the rest of what we see in the neighborhood. This is 14% alcohol but completely masked, balanced, like a right bank Ducru. Subtle oak. Splendid, splendid rich deep purple color. A beautiful, classy, balanced, traditional right banker. As good a value as you'll find in Bordeaux. Drink now and for the next 20 years. 94+ points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château La Fleur de Boüard Lalande de Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/7/2020 - JimHow Likes this wine:
92 points
Two enthusiastic thumbs up on this wine. Medium bodied, no sharp edges, great fruit. Nothing overdone here. No reason not to drink this young. I'm sure it will age for a decade or more but I don't see where it gets better than the ripe, fresh fruit it is showing right now. 92 points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Serilhan St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/10/2020 - JimHow Likes this wine:
91 points
Quality Bordeaux for the price. A stoic St. Estephe. Bravo.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2002 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/12/2020 - JimHow Likes this wine:
95 points
I know Ian had a disappointing experience with this wine recently but the last bottle of my case was uncorked tonight as I sat here preparing for an argument before the Maine Supreme Court tomorrow morning (weather permitting... four inches of snow are projected in Portland, and the sissies will most likely close down the courts.)

As I was prepping my final argument here this evening -- I do it without notes, anyway -- I sipped on this very, very lovely Leoville Barton. I can certainly see how this wine, like many 2002 Medocs, might get lost in a vertical tasting in Ole London Towne....

But, fortunately, I have consumed every one of these puppies on their own. And when you don't compare them to 1982, or 1990, or 2000, or 2010, etc., etc., they are stunning on their own... Like MOST 2002 Medocs.

This wine was just magnificent, sigh, I wish I had about three cases more. Wow. THIS, my friends, is what we call Bordeaux. Classic, classic, cedar St. Julien. Let me check.. Yeah, as I guessed: 12.5% alch. From a place called the Medoc.

Wow.

As good as it gets.

Last bottle of a brilliant case of wine was the best, they got better and better. No need to blanquito it.

Rating: 95 points.
8 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/25/2019 - JimHow Does not like this wine:
79 points
I'm a big fan of Tool but this wine was pretty brutal.
No nose whatsoever. Thin, bitter, acidic.
Lightly pigmented.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/10/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
93 points
Cracked open the case, popped, and poured. Still very youthful. Deep, dark purple/black color. The bouquet bloomed beautifully. It borders on a "big" wine to me. Earthy, has the type of edge to it that we would come to expect from the 2004 vintage. It seems like a nice merging between traditional and modern Margaux. Hopefully I'll be able to hold off on the remaining 11 bottles and drink them over the next 15 years or so. Rating: 93 points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1998 Château Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/9/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
92 points
The 1998 Pape Clement is understated. Especially, it seems to me, for a 1998. I saw some notes on cellar tracker talking about black fruit. To me I get that nice cherry-and-oak profile that can be so sensuous. I wouldn't call it "restrained" but it is certainly not "fruit-forward." It is gentlemanly… or, perhaps more appropriate, "lady-like." Either way, it is classy. It reminds me of my old tall-and-thin Franco-American dentist who went to McGill and my old tall-and-thin Franco-American uncle who got his PhD at Johns Hopkins and went on to teach chemistry at Deerfield. Classy. Their clothes weren't expensive but they were well-dressed, understated, unassuming, just did their job. This is the second time I have had it in the past three months, the first being earlier this summer with Michael-P in Manhattan. It beat out a disappointing '96 Ducru and a '67 Barolo that night. I would not call this wine profound. Otherwise, it has the usual Graves notes of gravel, smoke, a little tar, some tobacco. I wonder where this fell in the transition from old style to modern Pape Clement. This is nothing like the bruising, oak-bomb 2000 (which I loved). This is more like the older styled Papes (which I also loved). It is like to Graves what Duhart Milon is to Pauillac.

Ok, let's go through Ian's checklist, I'll rate each category on a scale of 1 to 10:

- easy: 8
- Profound: 3
- Structured: 3
- Parkerised: 2
- Full-bodied or medium-bodied?: Medium bodied. 5
- Ageworthy?: Drink now and over the next ten years.

I'll give it the same 92 score that I gave it when I drank it with Michael-P.
A lovely, classy wine.

JimHow
www.bordeauxwineethusiasts.com
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Barde-Haut St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/24/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
94 points
This is a real top notch effort. It has everything that I have loved from recent vintages of Barde-Haut, plus a little bit more. At first I thought it might be a bit too much alcohol, but it settled down quickly. It has violets and other spring flowers, a vibrant purple color bordering on black, and is developing that cocoa, dark chocolate profile last seen in the 2005. I'm guessing the CT crowd is following along with the rest of the herd and are rating this highly, but in this case, at least, it is justified. He Who Shall Remain Nameless has this about right at 94 points. The greatest Barde-Haut ever? This seems like a Jeff Leve kind of wine, because of the high alcohol level and Parkerization. I'd be curious to see how he matches this up against the 2009. Rating: 94 points.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2009 Château Giscours Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/16/2016 - JimHow wrote:
Wow this puppy is in a major stage of hibernation. Closed, disjointed, streaky, great margauxberry nose, I'll say that, but this adolescent is closed for business, no matter how much coaxing I gave it over three hours. That said, it is clearly a profound Margaux. It is a 50 year wine. It is hard to believe that 2009 produced a wine as herbaceous as this appears. This is more than a green streak. But it is full-bodied, opaque purple/black, rich, MODERN. Yes, modern. How will this develop? Time will tell. Rating: No rating.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2002 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/12/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
94 points
This is why I love the Medoc. Wood, cedar, restraint, lead pencil on the nose, raspberries, cherries, that whole Lafite-Cos-Sociando-Calon thing going on. When you drive up that far north you almost get that edge-of-the-world feel as you cut through the little town of Pauillac and get up the little hill where Cos overlooks Lafite. Been there once. It feels ancient. It almost feels like the outskirts in Russia back when I was a spy in Moscow, Minsk, and Leningrad in 1990 for the US government. And the wine has that feel about it. The bouquet has been splendid from the get go.

This is just perfect. It is absolutely what I look for in northern Medoc Bordeaux. It has a bit of earthiness to it, but it is that seductive cedar, raspberry, quintessential St. Estephe profile that just knocks me off my feet. And completely 2002 in character. At twenty-nine bucks, that's crazy! 94+ very enthusiastic points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Château La Lagune Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/4/2016 - JimHow wrote:
88 points
I mean, I like my wines mouth-puckering, tannic, stern, stoic, dry, like licking a chalkboard.
And this has all of that.
I thought matching it up against a nice juicy grilled strip sirloin would do the trick.
But this is just a brutally tannic, humorless, green-streaked effort that, hey, don't get me wrong, I like the 2002 element in it, but in the end I need something I can hang my hat on -- a 2002 classicism -- a 2006 light-on-its-feetness -- and in the end this just is a big tannic disjointed green mess that even Jim How (apologize for the third person reference) can't love.
Not a 79 point effort, mind you -- it still gets 88 "good" points in my book -- but what a difference from other Medoc friends from 2004, lil Clerc Milon, Smith Haut Lafitte, Lafon Rochet, etc., etc., etc. A big difference from the last time, the one time, I seemed to really enjoy this wine. Tonight it was much more like the several other bottles I've had.
Rating: 88 points.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1986 Château Chasse-Spleen Moulis en Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/16/2016 - JimHow wrote:
87 points
Not much there. Earthy, mushroomy, decent nose, hollow in the middle. Rustic. Nice color. Still youthful but just not much depth. Not a lot of pleasure here. 87 points.
Red
2010 Château Pibran Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/12/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
89 points
It was like I was in a wrestling match with this wine the whole night. We had this wine at an epic tasting at Chateau Pichon Baron in May 2015, matched up against numerous vintages of the Purple Baron, as part of our epic Bordeaux Wine Enthusiasts trip. (bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com)
As I recall, they changed the mix in this wine starting with this vintage, if I'm not mistaken? If I recall correctly, the 2010 is predominantly merlot. I could be wrong. It seemed like very young northern Medoc merlot to me. It was monolithic, oaky, rugged, rustic, usually the way I like them. Kind of a chewing on nails kind of effort at this point. The 2009 La Dame de Montrose was noticeably better.
Red
2009 La Dame de Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/11/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
90 points
Not sure why BobbyG did not really like this wine. To me it is very nice. A solid 90 pointer. Really developed on the nose, even displayed a chocolate merlot perfume. It is a combination of California and the northern Medoc, but classy throughout. Very merlot-driven. At $29 per half bottle, or $58 for a 750ml, that is about the max I would pay and I would not buy more than a bottle or two. But it was a rewarding effort. The color was lovely: Black/purple with a youthful purple at the very rim. The bouquet was borderline stunning. Cedar, chocolate, velvety tannins. Will last another decade but delicious now. I'm glad I have two more 375s! Rating: 90 points.
Red
1989 Château Chasse-Spleen Moulis en Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/8/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
92 points
It is not what I would call an exciting bottle of wine. Perhaps a day or two past its prime. This seems to have been a well-provenanced bottle. It is smooth and aged from an outstanding vintage from the golden decade of Bordeaux. It has that nice tobacco, coffee, spicy character we like. Medium bodied. I like this aged Chasse Spleen, and I like the youthful, vigorous, true-to-form 2010 Chasse Spleen. They are both excellent in their own ways. 92 points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/1/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
92 points
I cracked open my case a year or two ago and have had this several times now, in several settings: Sometimes over a couple hours during a nice meal, other times at a family gathering with other wines up against it. This wine has been consistently excellent. It is a classically styled Pauillac in a modern era. It seems to have done well in 2004, that vintage where the northern Medoc seemed to perform quite well, when all is said and done. You get the sense that maybe another rainfall or two and the vintage in that area may have gone the other way, but in the end it didn't. It is not a "green" vintage. It has nice firm but not unripe tannins. Very satisfying, especially with a T-Bone grilled medium-well, garnished liberally with peppercorn and crushed black pepper. A real solid black currant, lead pencil, Pauillac-and-steak kind of wine. Not a big profound effort but classic and true to form. An excellent wine, that has performed excellently with great consistency. 92+ points.
JimHow
www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Barde-Haut St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/20/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
93 points
Adding to my previous very high impressions of this stellar wine: This wine has a very appealing cocoa, milk chocolate element to it that I didn't necessarily pick up on the first go around. Lots of sediment too in the end. Otherwise, I repeat everything I said in my previous review, about the earthiness, Burgundian character, etc. Very seductive. A beauty. 93 points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/18/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
97 points
Drank this beast again last night. I'm sorry, this wine is immense. It is an absolute stunner, approaching first growth/Chateau Margaux quality. Very, very concentrated, inky black color, the perfume on this wine jumps out and fills the room immediately every time I uncork it. I have drunk it about a dozen times now, I have bought another case, and after last night, I intend to buy yet another. This will be a 50 year wine but it is currently exhibiting deep rich fruit, violets on the nose, and just a great texture, "mouthfeel" in the mouth, the classic balance of strength and elegance that I look for from left bank Bordeaux. As I have said repeatedly in my notes on this wine -- and last night's encounter again only corroborates my sentiments -- the 2010 Cantemerle is "modern" only in the sense that they have extracted the best out of the fruit. The wine is dense and concentrated but not over extracted. It is a stunner. 13%. In the mid to high $40s, it is priced very fairly. As I have done on numerous occasions on www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com, I again rate this an enthusiastic 97 points. Nothing over the top. The fruit and wood in perfect balance. It is big and enthusiastic and youthful and powerful, like a young Doberman bounding about, still a lot of rawness but the class and breed are obvious. A brilliant effort. Best Cantemerle ever.
8 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
2012 Château Barde-Haut St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/10/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
95 points
I know. A wine that costs $26 can't possibly be worth 95 points. It can't from 2012 be better than the superb 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, etc. But… I say to you… especially when you factor in the tremendous QPR price of $26.99 (at MacArthur's, Washington, D.C.), this wine is, plain and simple, a stunner. I decided to uncork one more bottle of this with a catch of the day to-die-for piece of grilled salmon on a mid-June night in Maine (heaven on earth) to corroborate, one last time, whether I like this wine as much as I have in the previous four or five bottles that I've drunk, before investing in not one but two more cases at $26.99 per bottle, which I submit to you is as good a deal as exists out there in the wine world today. At the nearly halfway point of 2016 (and recognizing that we have a loooong way to go) it is the frontrunner for my Bordeaux Wine Enthusiasts (http://www.bordeauxwineenthusiasts.com) Wine of the Year. In the more than sixteen years of BWE's existence since February 2000, we have never gone with a right bank wine as our wine of the year. As 2016 promises to be the year of the Girl in politics, however, so too perhaps it is time to shatter the glass ceiling and acknowledge that there are some decent wines being put together on the eastern (right) side of the river. Now, when we talk about the right bank, the discussion, at least for me, focuses on alcohol percentages. Because, no matter what RMP and JL and others may say, I think sometimes St. Emilion gets overwhelmed by alcohol. Certainly not always. That's just this one man's opinion, but, hey, I'm just a country lawyer from Maine, what do I know. Now the 2012 Barde Haut says 14% on the back label. That surprises me a little. A pleasant surprise, I guess I would say. I went and checked Parker's notes. He gives it a 90 point score almost in passing, with absolutely no description of the wine. I think it has a good deal of personality: Violets, flowery, pretty bouquet, feminine, it is a Hillary Clinton kind of wine. I can see the Hillster, daughter Chelsea, and Huma Amedin (yuck) sipping a glass of this stuff in the latest Four Seasons suite after a "long" day of (what, one, two?) telepromptered 25 minute speeches on the trail, while Big Bill is off galavanting around with girls who drink malbec and shiraz. On the palate, it has that obligatory Jim How appealing trait, lightness on the feet. It is a wine that will drink well now and for the next 20 years, and may not (probably won't, as a matter of fact) shut down. There's a LOT going on here. With the amazingly fresh summer catch of salmon it was a great match. The color is pure, purple, precise, unclouded: A-plus. This is a stunning effort. The other thing that bears repeating -- indeed, screaming from the rooftops -- 2012 is NOT a "mediocre" vintage, especially on the right bank. This is a sensuous, aromatic, "pure", stunning vintage with a deceptive amount of backbone. 2012 Barde-Haut: 95 solid points. Love this wine!
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/3/2016 - JimHow Does not like this wine:
60 points
Honestly, and I know this sounds like a bold statement, this may be the single worst wine I have ever tasted. I have about 15 half bottles of this in the cellar. I last drank it in 2008, when I thought it was swill then. I figured, okay, those 2005 Burgs could be a bit rough in their youth, let's give it some time. But no. It has only gotten worse. Acidic, terse, hollow, empty… vile. This is swill. Yuck. Gross. Worst wine I have ever tasted.
Red
1998 Château Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/28/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
92 points
The 1998 Pape Clement was quite lovely, well balanced, it was even deeper colored than the Ducru. Still very youthful. Not overly strong on either the nose or palate but it exuded a lot of class. This needs at least another five years under its belt. 92 points. (Consumed at dinner with Michael P at Piccolo Fiore restaurant, midtown east, Manhattan.)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/28/2016 - JimHow wrote:
89 points
A 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou from the famous Emil stash was a disappointment. There was nothing flawed about it but it was pretty nondescript, unexciting, still extremely youthful. Dark colored, really no sign of lightening. It got a little better as dinner progressed but it was still pretty closed up by the end of the night. I don't think the problem with this wine is its youth (geez, it's 20 years old, for crying out loud). I just think this is not a great wine. I got the sense it is not going to improve much more with age. Don't get me wrong, it complemented my ribeye well enough, it just wasn't very profound. 89 points. (Consumed at dinner with Michael P at Piccolo Fiore restaurant, midtown east, Manhattan.)
Red
2005 Château Haut-Bergey Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/25/2016 - JimHow wrote:
91 points
This is not a profound wine but it is lovely. It is distinctively Pessac. It will never be La Mission, but these wines are going for $20-35 and they are well-crafted, "pure", smoky, with black cherries, under control alcohol levels, 10-20 year age-worthiness. They are a slight notch below their right bank relatives at Barde-Haut, but they are a few dollars lower in price as well. As delicious and seductive as the 2005 Haut Bergey and 2005 Barde Haut are, I think I give the 2012 versions of each even an extra point or two. These are lovely, well-crafted, well-priced Bordeaux wines. This 2005 Haut Bergey is still youthful but showing evolution and will drink well for at least another 5-10 years. The 2012 Haut Bergey goes for $23, which is a no brainer. 91 points.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Barde-Haut St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/25/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
93 points
Burgundian, aromatic, flowery, elegant. You know, I can contemplate whether or not this will improve with more age, blah, blah, blah. I'm very happy to drink Barde Haut very young, like the 2012, or with a little age to it, like this 2005. They are both very lovely. The 2005 is developing a little more complexity now with two hours of oxygen. It has a lovely little hint of earthiness to it that, again, reminds me of Burgundy. I'll probably drink most of my remaining 11 bottles from the case during the next five years, maybe hold onto a bottle or two for another ten to fifteen years out of curiosity. Bottom line: On a consistent basis, Barde Haut Haut is producing seductive, aromatic, clean wines that are not over-the-top, not Parkerized, that are modern but are nonetheless very true to (right bank) Bordeaux. And the pricing is extremely competitive. The 2005 Barde Haut is a VERY strong effort. Drink now and over the next decade. 93 points.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
5/23/2016 - JimHow Likes this wine:
92 points
Shockingly roasted, very much like a liqueur. It was a brandy for crying out loud. Nutty. Wonderfully complex. What the heck was going on here? Storage, or the vintage? Crazy! Only 13.5%, but it seemed like 45%. Delicious with the lobster, though. 92 points.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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