Tasting Notes for armchairsommelier

(488 notes on 455 wines)

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Red
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
86 points
From Central Anatolia. This wine is 100% Kalecik Karasi, (pronounced: Kah-le-djic-car-ah-ser). Kalecik Karasi is sometimes abbreviated simply KK, which is probably for the best (at least for those of us who have no Turkish language skills). KK is mostly grown in the north-central region of Turkey, near the town of Kalecik, and is often compared to Pinot Noir. Aged for 14 months in French oak. Ruby red, tinged with purple. I found it to be very soft and approachable right out of the bottle. Medium body, with loads of red fruit flavors. As it sat in the glass, a distinctive and familiar funk evolved. The finish was a bit abbreviated, but overall, a really fun, unique glass of wine. Retail = $27.
White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
86 points
From the Black Sea region (in northern Turkey), Narince (pronounced Nah-rin-djeh), is indigenous to the northeastern region of Tokat. Narince is grown more for its grape leaves (for use in dolma, a popular stuffed grape leaf dish) than for its use in wine. Narnice translates to delicately, an appropriate descriptor for this wine. A lovely butter-straw color in the glass. Had I tasted this wine blind, I might have guessed it was a Viognier -- the aromatics were so floral and perfume-like. Tropical flavors of pear, peach and pineapple. Medium body, with a spirited acidity. Retail = $15.00.
White - Fortified
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
85 points
Established in 2008 by Philippe Bernard and his wife Elisabeth Serra, Domaine La Ligière is a biodynamic vineyard, consisting of 50 hectares (I think that's equal to half a square kilometer - math people, please check my conversion) of vines, planted to Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. A blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. Not as fruit driven as I expected for a Grenache dominant wine. After a few minutes in the glass, I was able to coax out some blackberry aromas. Medium bodied, and slightly rustic (something that bothers me not at all). A dense, smoky, leather note pulled my focus a bit, but not enough to make me put my glass down. 15% ABV. Retail = $20ish.
Red
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
92 points
For many centuries, Villacreces was a retreat for Franciscan monks. It's neighbor is Vega Sicilia, arguably the most famous winery in the region (if you've ever had the outrageous pleasure of drinking a bottle of Unico, you know why). The land passed to private hands in 1836, and is today owned by the Familia Anton, who also own the Michelin-star restaurant, Zaldiaran, in the Basque Region. A blend of 86% Tempranillo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Merlot. Aged 14 months in new French oak. This wine knocked my socks off -- reminded me of a baby brother to Unico. So rich and expressive, and absolutely killed it with paella. There's so much going on in the glass . . . blueberries, chocolate, vanilla, graphite. Smooth and balanced, with a finish that goes on for over a minute. This wine is going to do great things after a few years in the bottle. Retail = $30ish.
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White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
Protos comes from the Greek word for first, and Protos was the first winery founded in the Ribera del Duero region. This wine is 100% Verdejo. The grapes are harvested at night. ¿Muy interesante, no? It's still quite hot (an understatement) in Spain in September, and if the grapes burst open during picking during daytime temperatures, then oxidation can begin immediately, which is generally a bad thing (unless you're going for Sherry). Flavors of green apple and citrus, evolving slightly toward the tropical on the finish. Lean and refreshing, with a razor-sharp acidity. A surprise guest-appearance by basil on the finish. Overall, it reminded me of Pinot Gris with a backbone. And it's cheap, too. This is a €6 wine in Spain. $15ish in the USA.
White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
100% Albariño. Wow, had I smelled this blind I might have thought it was a Viognier. So plush and floral. Straw yellow color. Intensely aromatic — stone fruit, citrus, jasmine. One of the “fullest” Albariños I've tasted. Lovely.
White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
86 points
100% Albariño. Piles of wet stone and green apples. And there’s that delicious seashell thing again. Loaded with acidity, yet not at all out of balance. A smidge of salinity rounds things out. I’m really digging the seashells and salinity theme running throughout these wines . . . Albariño is the beach after a late afternoon rainstorm.
White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
86 points
100% Albariño, Condado do Tea. Pale yellow. Nose is more toward Sauvignon Blanc — grass and herbs, a smidge of melon. Slightly effervescent with bright, flashy acidity, and flavors of fresh lime and basil. Love the basil note. Easy, breezy.
White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
100% Albariño. In Galician, Viñabade means “Abbot’s Vineyard”. It’s a reference to the Cluny monks who are credited with bringing Albariño to Galicia in the 12th(ish) century. Medium yellow. Nose is lemon cream, minerals, fresh-cut grass and vanilla. The vanilla snuck up on me. Light bodied, very clean, with bonkers acidity, and flavors of citrus and seaspray. Takes on a sherry-like nose (honey and pepper) as it warms. Bonus point for the fantastic label.
White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
86 points
100% Albariño, Val do Salnés. Pale yellow. Nose is heavy on the minerals, with a touch of florist (the store, you know the smell). Light bodied, with citrus and white pepper notes. There’s a fun pear finish, but you really have to wait for it. A bit richer as it warmed up, but not nearly as much eau de seashells as other Albariños.
White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
89 points
100% Albariño, Val do Salnés. Pale yellow. Nose is very clean — wet rocks and seashells(!!) with a citrus breeze. Wheeee, the acid! Light bodied, with a whole truck full of citrus flavors. Ever-so-slightly effervescent. The finish is a bit abrupt, but I loved that first cold sip of wet rocks. Btw, the vineyard soils for Nessa are enriched with shells from local mollusks. So that whole seashell thing? Totally real. A very enjoyable glass of wine!
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Rosé
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
100% Tempranillo. Insane fuchsia color. This is a happy, happy color. Flavors of strawberry and rhubarb. Structure for d-a-y-s. So much heft, yet a supremely elegant wine. Super versatile, it stood up to both solo drinking and Indian curry. I know! Who’da thought? Retail = $13ish.
Rosé
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
86 points
CVNE launched the Viña Real line of wines in 1920. 85% Viura, 15% Tempranillo. A pale pink color — it reminds me of a Provence Rosé. (And it’s such a pretty contrast to the Cune Rosado below). Elegant and delicate, with flavors of peaches and orange peel. Not as hefty as the Cune Rosado, but a lovely and super-easy-to-drink glass of wine. Take it to the beach, take it on a picnic, drink it on the patio. Retail = $15ish.
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White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
90 points
100% Viura (outside of Rioja, it’s known as Macabeo). Viura is by far the most widely planted white grape in Rioja. And Viura/Macabeo is also one of the three main grapes that goes into Cava (Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada). CVNE has been making Monopole since 1915, making Monopole the oldest white wine of Spain. Apparently, the first vintages of Monopole were aged in oak and blended with (of all things!) Manzanilla Sherry. Today, Monopole is aged completely in stainless steel. Aromas of green apple and some kind of intoxicating white flower (jasmine?). Tropical and fresh with a zippy core. Lemons and minerals abound on the finish. Retail = $13ish.
White - Sparkling
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
86 points
Pre-gaming at Virginia Wine Chat, we had an opportunity to taste this unique sparkler, aka Dom Virginian. Made in the Methode Champenoise, it’s a Brut style bubbly with Virginia personality. It reminded me of Cava, only a little more expensive, and with a decidedly tropical bend (hello, Viognier). Fun, fun stuff! Retail = $25.
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White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
90 points
This wine was selected as part of the Virginia Governor’s Case in 2015. Petit Manseng is widely grown in southwest France, and it’s rumored to have been used to baptize King Henry IV. Medium to full bodied, rich and complex. Flavors of stone fruit, honey, and nutmeg. Focused acidity, beautifully balanced. Retail = $25.
White
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
A blend of 95% Viognier and 5% Petit Manseng. Grapes are sourced from the original 13 acres planted in 1989. Viognier is a thick-skinned variety, naturally low in acidity. It requires a ton of sunshine to ripen properly. But too much heat will produce a Viognier that’s over-done and often wildly alcoholic (and a style of Viognier I find about as appealing as warm Capri Sun). Horton’s winemaker, Michael Henry, says it’s his job to “listen to the vines and follow them where they want to go.” This Horton Viognier wanted to be a lean and elegant wine. It’s ripe without being flabby or over-the-top. Henry says the touch of Petit Manseng can be just the punch Viognier needs — an acid foil to the ripeness of Viognier. Retail = $20.
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Red
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
83 points
A blend of 93% Norton and 7% Touriga Nacional. Oh boy, here we go again with the Norton. I’m not Team Norton, never have been. But in the interests of being open-minded, I never stop trying to find one I like. This is a beautiful magenta color in the glass. Tastes like smoked blackberries. If I’m being honest, it’s too acidic and aggressive for me on its own, but it did improve greatly with some aged cheddar. Retail = $15.
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Red
6/4/2016 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
A blend of 79% Cabernet Franc, 14% Tannat, and 7% Merlot. Yep, Tannat. Winemaker, Michael Henry says Tannat is his secret weapon in this wine. And it definitely provides some interesting structure and oomph. Fermented in 100% stainless steel, and then barrel aged (with new and once-used American & French oak) for 8 months. Ripe red fruits, rose petals, cinnamon, chocolate, tobacco and pepper. Some lovely toasted coconut on the finish. The tell-tale characteristic (at least in my mind) of Virginia Cabernet Franc is green pepper and herbs, and nearly absent in this wine. I don’t usually find myself hoarding Cabernet Franc as a stand-alone variety, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this wine. I bought two bottles to take home and rest in my cellar. Retail = $15. If there’s such thing as a bargain Virginia red, this is it.
Red
7/12/2015 - armchairsommelier wrote:
93 points
Time has been kind to this bottle. Rich and brooding (the hallmark of HS wines, really). But this is slowly shifting to a lively softness and elegance. Love. Salud!
Rosé
5/14/2015 - armchairsommelier Likes this wine:
100 points
#FLX Wine Tasting. Deep salmon color. Strawberry shortcake and pomegranate. Creamy mouthfeel. Dry w/ great acidity.
Red - Sweet/Dessert
8/7/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
(Also not on the regular tasting menu). 100% Tannat. A port style wine made in open top puncheons. Open fermentation stopped with the addition of brandy. Nicely balanced, with flavors of fig and smoke. Kinda makes you crave a cigar. Winner of a Made in the South award from Garden & Gun Magazine. 16% ABV.
Red
8/7/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
86 points
Tannat is another rising red star in Virginia wine. Aged 50% in new French oak and 50% in neutral French oak. Dense with heavy tannins. Loaded with blueberry jam flavors and a backbone of white pepper.
Red
8/7/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
Virginia reds are really starting to gain some traction with Meritage. This one is 35% Merlot, 25% Petit Verdot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc. Aged 14 months in French oak. Restrained and soft with an elegant mouthfeel. Cinnamon on the nose. Flavors of red currant and plum. Great vanilla finish.
White - Off-dry
8/7/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
84 points
This is Stinson’s entry into the P3 category of wines — patio, picnic and porch, and it’s Stinson’s best selling wine. 100% Vidal Blanc. Slightly sweet, with 0.9% residual sugar. Light and easy. I’m not a fan of sweet wines in general (except for late harvest and fortified wines, and even then in small doses), but if sweeter wines are your thing, I have no doubt you’ll love this wine!
White
8/7/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
The Chardonnay isn’t offered as part of the tasting during the summer months, but will return in the fall. 50% malolactic fermentation. Aged 20% in new French oak, and the remainder in neutral French oak. Complex, layered flavors of pear and butter, with just enough oak grip without going overboard. Really nicely done.
Rosé
8/7/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
100% Mouvèdre. You read that right — Mouvèdre in Virginia! Made in a Provence style, this Rosé is deliciously dry. I love that more and more American Rosés are resisting the urge to be White Zinfandel. Gorgeous, creamy mouthfeel with flavors of strawberry and grapefruit.
White
8/7/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
85 points
1/3 of the grapes for this wine are sourced from the Stinson property, and the remainder are from the Shenandoah Valley. Fermented in stainless steel and concrete. Reminds me a lot of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in style. Plenty of acid and grass. Grapefruit dancing around on the mid-palate.
Red
8/4/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
Seems a little more fruit-forward than a normal Caymus cab. Rich and jammy. Oddly, I enjoyed the first glass more than the second.
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White
3/28/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
84 points
I’m not a huge sweet wine fan, and this wine is definitely on the sweeter side at 1.6% residual sugar. But I’m guessing it’s an immensely popular wine for Williamsburg Winery, especially in the warmer months. It’s a blend of 40% Traminette, 40% Vidal Blanc, and 20% Viognier. And wow, you can really taste the Traminette. The wine smells so much like Gewürztraminer, which makes sense because Traminette is a cross between a French-American hybrid grape called Joannes Seyve 23.416 and Gewürztraminer.
Red
3/28/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
A blend of 32% Merlot, 29% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s a HUGE nose on this wine. Gonzo from The Muppets wishes his nose was this big. Loaded with tobacco and dark berries. Gorgeous balance, reminds me of a mocha latte — eat your hear out, Starbucks. I accidentally paired Gabriel Archer with a 3-Musketeers bite and WOW!! The cocoa notes in the wine just sing with the chocolate!
Red
3/28/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
89 points
A blend of 78% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. Some currant-funk on the nose. The veggie notes of the Cab Franc are very present. But my favorite thing about the Trianon is its softness — those veggie edges have been sanded down, and it remains incredibly well-structured. My favorite of the night — consider my socks knocked off! Bravo!
White
2/6/2014 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
Pale straw in color. Nose reminds me of a Sauvignon Blanc, herbal yet citrussy. A real lightweight in the mouth, with flavors of grapefruit and green apple. Bracing acidity.
Red
10/17/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
95 points
A superb wine. Biting into summer's most perfect blackberry isn't as fine as this. Layers of flavors . . . currant and as weird as it sounds . . . black olives. Some funk - leather maybe? I'm saving my other 2 bottles for YEARS before I revisit. This is a WOW wine. Salud!
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
7/7/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
Slightly effervescent in the glass. A bit sweeter than I would expect for a Kabinett, but very light and easy to drink. Well balanced, with trademark petrol and wet stone notes. Glad I have another bottle. Salud!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/7/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
93 points
A MASSIVE wine! Loaded up front with tons of black pepper and tobacco. Finish is blackberry jam. Lingers for minutes. Salud!
Red
6/3/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
90 points
An absolute monster of a wine . . . loaded with black pepper and tobacco flavors up front. The fruit in the wine definitely takes a back seat. An almost viscous mouthfeel, the finish lingers into tomorrow. Salud!
Red
5/13/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
One of the handful of Virginia red wines that I really like. Aged for 16 months in French oak. Chocolate, plum and tobacco notes. Well balanced with smooth tannins. Lovely. Salud!
White
2009 Foivos Robola Kefalonia
4/17/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
90 points
Unbelievable tawny color in the glass. The nose is very Sherry. This just got interesting! Medium bodied, bone dry, with flavors of lemon and . . . golden raisins. Finish lingers. Love this.
White
4/17/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
83 points
Everything about this wine is light -- color, nose, flavors, finish. It's tough for me to pull out flavors -- maybe green apple? Simple and ultimately forgettable. I suspect this would improve significantly if I were sipping it seaside in Abruzzo.
White
4/17/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
90 points
A light straw color in the glass. Medium-bodied, with a nose of lemon cream. Well balanced, with flavors of peach and warm spice. Reminds me of peach cobbler. Zippy and delicious.
White - Sparkling
4/17/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
85 points
I adore Spanish Cava -- one of the best sources for budget bubbles anywhere. This Cava is 50% Macabeo, 30% Xerelo, and 20% Parellada. Retail is $16. The light bubbles tickled my nose with notes of yeast and toast. Light bodied, with flavors of green apple and grapefruit. The finish is lightning fast . . . wish it hung around a little longer.
Red
4/5/2013 - armchairsommelier Likes this wine:
88 points
Nose is blueberry and cassis. Flavors of ripe blackberry, coffee and chocolate. Beautiful finish.
Red
3/18/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
90 points
Smells like cranberries in a rusty bowl. It's a little funky. Flavors of cinnamon, eucalyptus and currant. Beautiful tannic structure. Finishes with notes of leather and tobacco. I'm really digging this . . . wish I had more.
White
3/17/2013 - armchairsommelier Likes this wine:
87 points
Fresh, clean and easy to drink. More tropical than I expected, with notes of pineapple and vanilla. Nicely balanced acidity. I'd return for more. Salud!
White - Sweet/Dessert
2/4/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
Oooh, pretty! Noticeably lighter and less acidic than the Inniskillin. It seemed sweeter to me, even though the Inniskillin has more residual sugar. My girlfriend said the petrol note was more pronounced for her on this wine; it was less pronounced for me. Peach and stone flavors.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2/4/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
90 points
Oooh, pretty! A pronounced petrol note on the nose. I look for and forward to that signature note in a Riesling, and this did not disappoint. Thick, almost unctuous texture. My friend said the texture reminded her of canned peach syrup — a minus for her, a plus for me. Beautifully balanced, with laser focused acidity, especially on the back end. Apple and lime notes.
Red
3/3/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
80 points
This is an organic wine from Argentina. Completely aged in stainless steel. A great big glass of stewed fruit. Lacking in complexity.
Red
2/8/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
88 points
Really liked this wine. Black currant up front, cedar and licorice on the finish. Typical New World flavors with enough restraint to avoid going down the Smuckers fruit-bomb path.
Red
2005 La Chapelle de Calon St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/8/2013 - armchairsommelier wrote:
87 points
Pretty ruby color. A little stingy with any kind of aromatics. Maybe a whif of black currant. A reserved wine with higher tannins. I’m thinking this would really benefit from a few more years of time-out in the basement. Really interesting vegetal and herbal notes on the finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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