Tasting Notes for br_winelover

(477 notes on 363 wines)

1 - 50 of 477 Sort order
White
9/22/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
91 points
91pts. Suckling's grades are sometimes a bit inflated, but he was right on the money here. For the price I consider this Chard to punch above its weight - it possesses good minerality and length, with notes of passion, melon, pear, and pineapple. I buy it every vintage, and have never been disappointed.
White
9/15/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
91 points
91pts. I have never regretted opening a bottle of this wine. It's always a pleasure.
Red
9/11/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
90 points
90-91pts. Pretty run of the mill wine, although priced above that range. Pepper, black cherry, cassis and plum notes, with good acidity and some tartness which made me wonder if the grapes were a bit unripe. Medium finish. I would skip this vintage if you like this bottling.
Red
9/7/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
91 points
91-92pts. 60% Malbec, 20% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Franc. Upon opening this bottle this smelled and tasted like a pure Malbec, but, as it mellowed with air, its Syrah and Cab Franc components became more prominent. Looking at my notes, I wrote down fig, plum, some tar and earth, coffee, and black cherries. It is a medium-bodied blend that possesses decent complexity, but not a lot of length. Good for everyday drinking, but a bit expensive for an Argentine wine of this pedigree.
Red
9/4/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts. I always uncork a Pinot Noir bottle I have never tasted before with some trepidation - most of the time the affordable ones are not good at all. But this one is quite the exception - it is long, savory, and neither green not overoaked. Of course this has a new world profile - it's a medium-body, fruit-driven PN, but it has very good balance and intensity on the palate. I wrote down on my notes red cherries, strawberries and raspberries, and although it is not really complex, those which are cost 10 times more, give or take.

Very nice QPR here. I will buy again.
White
9/1/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
95 points
95pts. Of course this Chablis is not meant to be consumed now. It is at least 5 years too young for that, and will last 15-20 years more easily with its Diam cork (no premox here hopefully). But I needed to make an early assessment to find out if I should buy more.

And definitely I'll get a few more from this excellent Vaudésir - this is already expressive and absolutely delicious right now. It it zesty, clean, and with its laser-sharp focus and tons of minerality looks more like a turbocharged 1er Cru Chablis than a Grand Cru one (and I mean this as a complement) - no undue richness here, just freshness and energy. This goes down the throat like a knife in butter. Really impressive.

However, it is not as complex as some upper-echelon Grand Cru, like Les Preuses or Les Clos. I got notes of sicilian lemon, marine shells (this wine smells like the ocean, and it seems like crushed shells on the palate due to its kimmeridgean terrroir), kiwi, and pear. This is its only real drawback at this moment though, because it already is long and precise. Really good.
White
9/1/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
91 points
91-92pts. My house Riesling - see my notes below for further info. Affordable, yet beautiful.
White
8/18/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
95 points
Best recent white wines of Chile - Descorchados 2020/2021: 95pts. The winner of this small tasting. Single blind I thought this was the Las Pizarras, and vice-versa. I could not at first believe the Amelia would be so good, because past vintages weren't. But it seems that its new vineyard at Limari Valley, called Quebrada Seca, imparted this wine with complexity and length it did not possess when it was sourced from the Casablanca Valley. Then again, Quebrada Seca is a really special vineyard, perhaps top three in the southern hemisphere for white wines.

This Amelia is definitely new-world, though. On the nose, there were notes of peaches, white flowers, and spices - I could smell that all day long. On the palate it was more complex - here I got lots of tropical and subtropical fruit, with pineapple, lemon, lime, orange peel and kiwi notes. Some mint too. Excellent salinity and spiciness, long, and mouth-coating. A must have if you enjoy Chilean wines.
White
8/18/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
94 points
Best recent white wines of Chile - Descorchados 2020/2021: 94-95pts. Bottle #414. This Chardonnay comes from a vineyard close to Pacific Ocean composed of slate, which imparts it with excellent minerality and lift. It was the second best wine of this tasting, because the Amelia was even more complex.

But this is definitely no slouch - actually, it seems much akin to a "old-world Chardonnay" than the Amelia, which is definitely "new-world" in style. This Las Pizarras would easily fit in a flight of Chablis, for example, while the Amelia has the profile of a great California Chardonnay. Here we have tons of citrus notes like Sicilian lemon and lime, complemented by green pineapple, green apple, and unripe passion fruit. It is light on its feet, long, and refreshing - a true image of its terroir. Beautiful stuff, with or without food. Really glad I have more.
White
8/18/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
Best recent white wines of Chile - Descorchados 2020/2021: 93pts. I was able to recognize this single blind without a problem. On its own this would have been very nice, but it took third place because its competition was so good.

Malleco is the southernmost terroir of the three wines of this tasting - it's more than 600 km south of Santiago. Here the weather is cold not due to maritime influence, but because it it so farther south. And there is no doubt this is a cool-climate chard, although the fruit seems to be more mature than usual in this bottle.

I have tasted the 2013 version of this wine, and this one is a bit more tropical - I got notes of peach syrup, honey, caramel and "fleur de sel" (salt flower), with some toffle on the nose. Creamy, but with good freshness and balance - this is really nice to drink. Could use a longer finish, but it is good enough. I could drink this all night long.
White
8/30/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
92 points
92pts. Nothing has changed here - see my notes below for further information.
Red
8/28/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts. Tasted with fscov. This was the biggest surprise of the night - at half the price, it offered the same level of complexity and length of a Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino. Although it is a blend, this smells and tastes like a pure Malbec, even though 35% of it comes from other varietals.

It is still a bit primary, but there is no need of further cellaring, although it can be left to rest for some 5+ years. I got notes of black cherries, blackberries, and plum. It spent 16 months in barrel, but there is very little oak - its management was well done. Velvety tannins and a medium finish. I'll probably get more in the next couple months, so I promise to revisit it soon.
Red
8/28/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts. It was a very small Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino vertical this night - I opened a 2017, and fscov brought this 2018. They are very, very similar - proof that vintages in Argentina really aren't that relevant, except of course the truly difficult ones (like 2021).

This is more refined than your run-of-the mill Malbec, as it ought to be. Black plum, blackberries and raspberries' notes - quite primary yet, as expected. I decanted my 2017 longer than fscov his 2018, and it made a difference, albeit small - the 2018 was neither really expressive nor nuanced from the get-go, but it did improve with air, and matched the 2017. Both are medium-bodied, and offer a good finish. This bottling is not a great value, but one cannot go wrong here.
Red
8/28/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts. It was a very small Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino vertical this night - I opened this 2017, and fscov brought a 2018. They are very, very similar - proof that vintages in Argentina really aren't that relevant, except of course the truly difficult ones (like 2021).

This is more refined than your run-of-the mill Malbec, as it ought to be. Black plum, blackberries and raspberries' notes - quite primary yet, as expected. I decanted this 2017 longer than fscov his 2018, and it made a difference, albeit small - this was a bit more expressive and nuanced. Both are medium-bodied, and offer a good finish. This is not a great value, but one cannot go wrong here.
White
8/28/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
91 points
91pts. Light on its feet like a Kabinett must be, and not really sweet, since its residual sweetness is balanced by its acidity. Playful and refreshing - the bottle was empty in absolutely no time. Good minerality as typical from this vineyard. For $10 this is absolutely a must have wine in the cellar if one enjoys the style.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
8/25/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
92 points
92-93pts. Oily, a bit oaky, made with what seems to be very mature grapes (surmaturité?), but somehow Alejandro Vigil and his team at Catena Zapata managed to extract freshness and some balance from this fruit. It possesses very nice complexity for its price point, with notes of peaches, caramel, apricot, and toffle. It has very little minerality, but good acidity and length, and fills one's mouth. I wouldn't like to drink this everyday, but with food it was really nice - clearly better IMHO than the El Enemigo Chardonnay Alejandro bottles at Bodega Aleanna.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/30/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
90 points
89-90pts. This was a disappointment - it resembles upon opening a mass-produced Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, and those retail at $5, not at $20-25 like this bottle. Its fruit is of good quality, but seems to be a but too ripe. Also the wood treatment seems to have been a little excessive. But it offers decent complexity after some air, and has some staying power in the mouth. 86-87 points initially, but oxygen rescued it somewhat.
Red
8/8/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
95 points
95-96pts. Drank with fscov, his bottle. This is a textbook Rocche dell'Annunziata Barolo, from a top vintage to boot. Already brick-colored with some tertiary aromas, but this will last 10-20 years easily in the cellar. Extremely elegant and playful, with perfect oak management, and mouth-savoring complexity. Rocche dell'Anunziata is a vineyard of finesse, not of power, and this was true to its roots. Great in every regard.
Red
8/8/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts. My bottle, tasted with fscov. Really young, as expected, but I decanted it for 7+ hours, which did help a lot (and I highly recommend if you want to enjoy it now, because it was totally shut for business when I opened it - probably around 90pts at that point). This is probably the best vintage of this Castiglione ever, since Vietti is constantly adding new crus to the mix, and 2016 was a great vintage.

I got typical Barolo notes of white and red flowers on the nose, and cherries and frutti di bosco on the palate, with playfulness and elegance. Medium-bodied, like a good Barolo must be. But it does lack the intensity and energy of Vietti single-vineyard Barolo, and it is not particularly long in the aftertaste. I don't think it will improve much more than this in the future, but at this price point it is definitely worth the tariff.
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White
8/4/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
92-93pts. This is already mature enough to pull the cork, but can still stay a bit longer in the cellar. Bought for half its price, and I should have bought a case more. One of the nicest Pinot Gris I've ever tasted, with notes of white flowers, stone fruit, kiwi, lychee, and avocado. Medium- bodied, with good acidity, minerality, and spiceness. Can't really go wrong with Dönnhoff - they know their business.
Red
7/31/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
91 points
91pts. A slight disappointment. I had a bottle from a more recent vintage (2017), and it was way more forthcoming and savory than this one. This is still a bit reticent, although giving it air didn't move the needle much. Its tannins are fully integrated at least, but it lacks a bit of body and energy. Some tertiary notes already of petrol and leather, but it seems to be lost in the middle of nowhere in its development. At least it does offer decent complexity. I have more, and will cross my fingers it develops to resemble a bit more its 2017 sibling.
Red
7/30/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93-94(+?)pts. Tasted to finish my birthday's weeklong commemoration. Very, very young - this still needs a long time in a cold cellar. But already balanced and expansive in the mouth, with beautiful oak management. Of course primary, but the quality of the fruit is superb - it is neither overdone nor overripe. Notes of plum, black cherries, blackberries, and a touch of cassis. Could use a little more body, though. But very nice.
White - Sparkling
7/26/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93-94pts. Opened on my birthday while relaxing on a beach at night. This is definitely a keeper, but it didn't blow my mind. I didn't write down my notes, but I can still recall brioche, marzipan, and smoke notes. It was creamy, mineral, and utterly refreshing. I guess it could still use some more bottle age.
6 people found this helpful Comment
White
7/21/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
89 points
88-89pts. Avocado, green apple, apricot, a bit soft and uninspiring on the palate, but with good minerality and salinity. Refreshing, but I expected a bit more. For $10 it is certainly decent, but there are better.
White
7/17/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
92-93pts. This is one of the better Chardonnay I've tasted from South Africa. One can feel the cold air from the 900 meters asl where its vines are - it is pure, refreshing, but with good complexity and length. Lacks a bit of minerality, though, to receive a higher rating. Glad to have bought several.
White
7/17/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
91 points
91pts. This was probably a bad bottle, which didn't come close to the one I drank on 5/2. Muted, reticent, not revealing much. but one can see its backbone is just there, only waiting for some time to be revealed. I'm giving it a Mulligan, and will write again when I taste another bottle from my cellar.
White
7/17/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
90 points
90-91pts. This is fun to drink, because it is refreshing and pure, with nice acidity and good minerality. On the palate it is all about passion fruit, but with little extra complexity. For $30, however, this is a horrible QPR in my neck of the woods - I'd rather buy several Trapi del Bueno Hand Made Sauvignon Black that offer a slightly better drinking experience for a fraction of the price.
Red
7/16/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
90 points
90(+?)pts. This is way too young, but I don't see a lot of improvement in the future. It's a Carmenerè/Cabernet Sauvignon blend, and I never had a Carmenerè that I can say I truly enjoyed, so fans of this varietal might have a better experience than I did. Oaky and lush, but neither complex nor long. Lacks a bit of energy. Meh for the price.
Red
7/1/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
92 points
92pts. This is a rare wine which actually closed with air - it was better when I opened the bottle. So be prepared to decant it much more than I did (4 hours), or even better, hold it for 3+ years.

But this wine doesn't really scream Brunello to me - it seems to lack a bit a sense of place. And its tannins are not fully integrated yet. But it is very nice on the palate in particular, with notes of cherries, brandy, some frutti di bosco, and raspberry. Cheap for a Brunello though - here the old maxim applies, that you get what you are paying for.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/25/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93-94pts. 30 months in new barriques, and even now, 16 years after this vintage, the oak is not fully integrated. Besides that, this is a very nice Ribera del Duero red - there is still a wall of red fruit especially on the palate, with primary notes of strawberries, cherries, and raspberries, and tertiary notes of earth, leather, and some wax. Medium-bodied with great balance. Drink or hold.
Red
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
94 points
94pts. This is a very nice expression of its St. Joseph terroir. Quintessential Northern Rhone Syrah that does not empty one's wallet. See my notes below for more details.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
92-93pts. This was a particularly good bottle. For $15, this will blow far and away 99% of other Chardonnay in its price range. It's a beautiful expression of this varietal. See my other notes for further details.
White
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
91 points
91-92pts. Still great for the price. See my notes below for more info.
Red
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
92-93pts. One of my favorites from all Bouza single vineyard Tannat from 2017. Unfortunately I didn't write down any notes, but this was superb with grilled meat.
White
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
92 points
92pts. Nothing has changed - see my notes below.
Red
7/12/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
91 points
90-91pts. I forgot to write any notes about this wine, but remember that it was liked by everyone at our table, but loved by nobody. I would not buy it again, but would gladly drink if someone offered it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/12/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
91 points
91pts. Much more body than I thought I would find here - it's medium-full bodied, zesty, but has no minerality at all. Notes of kiwi, lime, avocado, lychee, and some oak. Can't say I'm a fan of the style, but it is a very well made wine.
Red
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
92 points
92pts. This was the first time I bought this wine, and it was a very nice surprise. Sourced from vines at 1400m above sea level. It's a complex and very interesting Malbec, with notes of blackberries, some licorice, black cherries, dark chocolate, plum, raspberries, and coffee. Its finish could be a little longer, but for the price this is great.
White - Off-dry
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
92-93pts. Very young of course, with some oak still not fully incorporated. Beautiful minerality, but I'd like a touch more of acidity to balance its residual sweetness. Does get better with air, as expected, and is never cloying. Peaches, some white chocolate, a hint of very ripe mangoes, and apricot. I'd wait 5-10 years to open another bottle.
White
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
94 points
94-95pts. This is always among Chile's top 3 or 5 Chardonnays, and deservedly so - it is a joy to drink! Very complex on the nose and mouth, with great salinity and freshness - like perhaps a top Platt vineyard Chardonnay from Sonoma. Its spiceness and length are remarkable for a Chilean chard. Buy as much as you can find.
Red
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts. This winery usually over delivers for the price of its wines, and this Syrah was no exception. Flowers on the nose, and on the palate there were notes of cassis, black pepper, cherries, and strawberries. Balanced, fresh, and with velvety tannins. Great QPR, and ready to drink.
White
7/12/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
90 points
90-91pts. This is my second bottle of this wine, and I can't say I like it. Made from what seems to be very ripe chardonnay grapes, although its Albarino component helps to keep it fresh. Don't drink without decanting - and even after lots of air it is neither long nor balanced, although it has good complexity. Lots of power here, and plenty of grapefruit at the end. I don't know - perhaps fans of aged white Rhone might enjoy this.
Red
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
92 points
92-93(+?)pts. Still primary, with lots of fruit but nonetheless balanced on the palate. Some oak, but of good quality. Needs 3 years perhaps for its tannins to fully integrate, but already superb for its price. There were notes of plum, blackberries, raspberries, and blackcurrant. One of my favorite Cab Sauv QPRs around. I have bought more.
White
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts (after decanting). Bottle #3102 according to its rear label. It is still very young - so make sure to decant it. But after some air there were lots and lots of notes: mint, Sicilian lemon, green pineapple, grapefruit, and lime. Bone dry, with a medium body and with good spiciness. This is not really a wine of minerality, but it is long. I'd rather let it rest for 5+ years before opening another bottle.
Red
7/12/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
91 points
91(+?)pts. This Cabernet Sauvignon is nowhere near being ready for consumption at this point. On can say it is a bit rustic at the moment - please give it lots and lots of air if you intend to drink it now. But it has the stuffing for 5+ years of bottle aging.
Red
7/12/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend, sourced from the top region in Chile for red wines. And this was a joy to drink - medium-long, with perfectly ripe fruit and velvety tannins. I have bought more.
White
5/2/2021 - br_winelover wrote:
91 points
91-92pts. This tastes like liquid slate. Minerality pur, with very little fruit. I could drink this every day, because it is so pure and refreshing. One of my favorite Riesling at this price point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
5/2/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93+pts. Blind I am sure I would place this wine in California, probably Sonoma Coast or Valley. It is lush, supple, really dry, but neither overripe nor overoaked, its freshness being influenced by a cold sea current which runs not far from the vineyard. Also complex, with notes of caramel, apricot, pineapple, kiwi, and some grapefruit at the end. This is a steal for the price. Recommended.
White
5/2/2021 - br_winelover Likes this wine:
93 points
93pts. This is a mature, typical Northern Rhone white. Medium-dense body, fat, deep, with excellent intensity, but little acidity, which leaves it a bit unbalanced. Would like some extra freshness too, but can't complain about its complexity - I got notes of beeswax, honey, caramel, grapefruit, and also some stonefruit. Very nice for what it is, but not for everyday drinking.
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