Comments on my notes

(24 comments on 12 notes)

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Red
2016 I Vini di Milena Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
Out of the chute with fragrant berries. Body is medium soft tannin but significant. 2hrs later: mint finish is coming on. tannin is still astringent. Definitely great Eggplant parmesan pizza companion/ Got the rustic Sangiovese burliness down with long finish.
  • samatoid commented:

    3/23/22, 6:13 AM - Is it mint or the oregano from the pizza?

Red
2015 Château Tour Saint-Christophe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
10/12/2021 - Purple Tooth wrote:
93 points
Came in at second place in a lineup of world wines between 30 and 50 bucks. Theres allot of power here without heaviness, giving it the texture it needed to stand out in a sea of "me too" wines. The acidity is clearly here and should be a great tool for keeping time, and allowing some development while retaining freshness.Time knows best. Drink or Hold
  • samatoid commented:

    11/14/21, 8:12 AM - What came in first?

Red
2016 Domaine de la Charbonnière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Spéciale Les Hautes Brusquières Red Rhone Blend
8/9/2021 - Bgillette wrote:
Do not repurchase. A bit bitter on the finish.
  • samatoid commented:

    8/25/21, 3:19 PM - I don't see anything about this wine is as you describe. Any bitterness you dislike would certainly go away in a few years once the tannins resolve. Good luck finding a top red wine that has no tannins.

Red
2016 Château Tour Saint-Christophe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
5/3/2021 - samatoid Likes this wine:
94 points
I like the way this is aging. The 100 point scale is supposed to take aging into account (at least the Parker version). I don't care if the wine is Parkerized - it does not taste like anything I've had from California (not that there's anything wrong with that). It's a good wine which will get much better with age. Its Bordeaux, it has oak in it which is not too flattering at this age, but will definitely get better. The fruit is certainly rich and layered and I love the musky barrel taste on the finish. I've had about a case at various times since it started shipping, but this is the best its been. Looking forward to having it over the next couple decades.
  • samatoid commented:

    5/3/21, 8:17 PM - Generally for all young wines we pop and pour, but drink less than 1/2 the bottle and put the cork back in and leave it on the counter. Drink the rest over the next day or two depending on the wine. We don't continue to do this if the wine is not as good or better the next day, but this wine holds up well. There are other wines that improve much more. I find that with most young Bordeaux you can't approximate the aging process very well by leaving the wine open. It just needs time to let the oak integrate (as this one does).

Red
2015 Domaine Courbis St. Joseph Les Royes Syrah
8/21/2019 - blackcrowb wrote:
85 points
As a fan of the northern Rhone for decades, St Joe was always one of my favorites because there was no economic sense in new barrels so it always had the purest fruit. While this has a beguiling bouquet of raspberry, raw meat and hot tar the overwhelming oaky barrel taste on the palate is a kick to the family jewels. Exhibit A for Parkerization
  • samatoid commented:

    9/18/19, 5:21 AM - Does your aversion to oak extend to 1st growth Bordeaux, Guigal, virtually all top Spanish wines, etc...? Its a delicious wine now (though a tad bitter from the oak) , but it will improve with age. Even Jancis Robinson doesnt heckle the wine for this reason - she liked it quite a bit. It is helpful to me sometimes when a wine gets trashed since I can then pick alot up cheaply (which is true in this case $28), but it still seems unfair.

  • samatoid commented:

    9/18/19, 10:46 AM - Thanks blackcrowb. I have run into people who criticize winemakers for heavy use of oak, but I dont often see Guigal tagged for it. I personally think his regular Condieu is overoaked. Domaine de Chevalier certainly doesnt skimp on the oak - I am waiting for mine to integrate - I think will be an excellent wine eventually(I see you liked the 2009).
    Anyway you appear to be somewhat consistent in hating oak, but it is not just Parker who likes it when used well.

  • samatoid commented:

    4/30/21, 3:31 PM - The aversion to oak seems to me very much like the fad of hating gluten. In both cases there is truth. But for me I like both.

  • samatoid commented:

    4/30/21, 7:12 PM - A baker and a winemaker! I'm sure you know most grapes can't handle oak well, but that doesn't mean that oak never makes a wine interesting. I would guess that the grapes that could handle oak well would be fairly expensive if available at all?

Red
2016 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
11/7/2019 - Motz wrote:
97 points
Tasted over three days, alongside the same vintage Coudoulet, which proved a fascinating experience. This wine offers a concentrated bouquet of herbs, spices, and exotic oils, along with deep floral perfume, and the essences of all lovely things crimson and purple. In a word: Gorgeous! The bouquet hints at striking profundity, in the form of layered rock and mineral substance. The expansive palate gives ample testament to the depth suggested by the bouquet. Red and purple fruited, noteworthy grit and grip, complex finish of exceptional length. Framed by high acid and medium tannin, deftly balanced. It deserves a long rest. As it sits, 96 points, 97 in time.

Next to the Coudoulet, this featured a reticence in line with, and indicative of, its latent substance, which allows the Coudoulet show better now. That substance is comprised of, among too many other elements to list, lightly sweetened dark chocolate, iodine, hot desert rocks, and powdery metallic ores. This puts the mind to wondering how beautifully this wine will show after 2027-2028.

Unlike the stately, feminine, and ethereal 2015, which delivers seductive red fruited silk and velvet textures that glide across the palate, this vintage is the figurative equivalent of a mythical warrior goddess who has bedded many lovers and vanquished even more.
  • samatoid commented:

    9/4/20, 6:24 AM - The 89 never shut down and was delicious from the get go though at least for several cases there was a lot of ullage from early on - it is amazing that I hear it still drinks well. I haven't had the ullage problem with latter vintages.

Red
2016 Château Malescot St. Exupéry Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
4/29/2017 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Blackberry liqueur, boysenberry, espresso bean and dark chocolate over black cherry open up the nose. Fat, titillating, deep and lavish, this wine is ambrosial, powerful and mouth filling. The finish is fresh and packed with the ripest, sweetest, juiciest, dark red fruits. Produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.72. The Grand Vin represents 72% of the harvest, which took place October 1 to October 25.
  • samatoid commented:

    7/12/18, 7:09 AM - Have you retried the 2016 Malescot since 4/2017? I am curious if you think the 2015 and 2016 are on a similar level? I am guessing the 2016 may have improved some since 2017. I have bought a decent amount of both.

  • samatoid commented:

    7/12/18, 8:57 AM - Thanks Jeff - you are so generous with your advice. I have tried the 2015 Malescot 5 times from half bottles and really enjoyed it every time. I do find it isn't quite as good the second day which has been true the 4 times I've had a little left over. I find the 2015 has a creamy semisweet tartness and already has complex flavours of berries and wood. It has that famous Margaux feminimity and along with very respectable length.

  • samatoid commented:

    7/12/18, 10:24 AM - I do it all the time. Maybe it is not best for Bordeaux, but it works in favor of powerful young syrahs, pinot noirs, and CdPs. They are mostly better the next day if they are highly thought of on CT.

  • samatoid commented:

    7/9/19, 1:16 PM - I agree with what Jeff says about the wine, but I have doubts about the wine’s longevity given that it does not show well the next day. I have tried the wine several times and each time it was much less interesting the next day. I think it would be wise to watch any wine you own and consider the merits of drinking or selling before the fruit is gone. If you like flashy young modern styled wines get it, but I wouldnt expect it to get better. I remember getting the opposite style of wine in its youth - the 1985 Lynch Bages - that was fun to drink young and complex and while forward it lasted 20 years. I wouldnt say the Malescot is that much fun to drink young.

  • samatoid commented:

    7/9/19, 2:12 PM - I do hope you are right as I have a few cases of both 15 and 16. Its not our favorite but its flashy and fruity like a fun dessert.

  • samatoid commented:

    7/9/19, 2:20 PM - I am very happy with all of the 2016s I bought - Carmes, Pavie, Beychevelle, Malescot, Tour St Christophe, Calon Segur, Haut Bailly, Canon, and Domaine de Chevalier.

  • samatoid commented:

    7/9/19, 2:54 PM - I started today talking about the 2015 Malescot (which Ive tried several times) in response to a question from Vintage1949 about it. I havent tried the 2016 yet even though I have some. One of the nice things about Bordeaux is longevity. I have had my share of nice surprises.

Red
2016 Domaine Saint-Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades Red Rhone Blend
12/25/2018 - Ortiz Brown Likes this wine:
91 points
Dark purple in the glass with nose of blueberry, cassis, oak, and brown sugar.

On the palate the wine is lush and round with stewed strawberry and oak. The tannins are similarly plush with acidity on the finish with also has an herbal note. Medium complexity but delicious and easy drinking.
  • samatoid commented:

    2/27/19, 8:18 AM - Dont know if you tried, but it improves greatly if left open over night.

Red
2016 Château Tour Saint-Christophe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
Theres something unpleasant about squeezing Merlot too hard and it shows in this wine...Drank alongside a 2015 Dufrey Vivant from Margaux, it was almost unpleasant, especially in the bouquet. It came across hot and racy, but it was clearly a powerful wine. What was killing it next to the Margaux wine was the bouquet. It had chicken coop features (not to be confused with barnyard/brett), like what a Monstrall/Mourvedre throws off. I just received my case and my magnums and I'm a bit deflated and miffed. I won't rate this until I try another bottle...XXX
  • samatoid commented:

    2/3/19, 1:39 PM - I found it much much better the 2nd day (open bottle)

Red
2015 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
7/23/2018 - Cailles wrote:
92 points
Pulled the cork decanted it for three hours but it was not ready at all. While the wine was opening up slowly it remained only moderately enjoyable as the acidity was a bit too dominant/not well integrated. Plan was to put it back in the bottle and try it on day two. Instead it remained in the decanter for seven more hours and was then consumed over several days.

Day 3: Much improved with a medium expressive nose with dark fruits, bushes/herbs and some rather exotic spices. More open and singing on the palate with more dark fruit, dark cherries but also bright red fruit with strawberries. In addition cola, herbs, spices. Dark fruited and herbs driven finish. Medium body, medium tannins that are well integrated and very very soft, acidity still a tad too strong for my palate but overall a promising structure with a good aroma intensity.

Day 4: Still up and running. The tannins a tad softer, a slightly higher concentration and especially a slightly better integrated acidity. The wine is no longer hard to drink. That's the first day the acidity is a nice feature.

Day 6: The nose now dominated by subtle herbs, garrigue and only underneath dark fruit. No sign of oxidation. Seems more dense and packed than on the previous day which helps a lot with the acidity. On the palate dark fruit plays the first fiddle, herbs right behind it. In its finest moments the wine is smooth, silky, balanced with an almost Pinot-like finesse. But not consistently on this day.

Overall impression: It is a good wine with a nice bouquet and good level of complexity. Very fresh. Balance will certainly improve further with a better integrated acidity as aromas will become deeper and the wine denser. Nevertheless, I had not the impression that something extraordinary (97+) is in the making here but certainly something good to very good. 92 points for the drinking experiences on days 4 to 6. In these rare best moments on day 6 it was rather a 94-96 experience.
  • samatoid commented:

    8/2/18, 9:42 AM - I can only wonder when my mags will be ready drink. Oddly many tasters on CT liked this right out of the bottle. A well known US importer was telling me the acids will mean this wine won't be ready to drink for over a decade, but optimally much longer. My children can always sell the wine if they don't want it.

Red
2015 Georges Lelektsoglou / Compagnie de l'Hermitage Châteauneuf-du-Pape Lieu-dit Pignan Grenache
5/20/2018 - gpritsch Likes this wine:
91 points
I typical CdP with strong liquorish flavors. A well done wine. I must admit, since I had another CdP a few days ago, that I need to be in the mood for CdPs. There is something medicinal about that that I don't like anymore.
  • samatoid commented:

    5/24/18, 9:49 AM - You like the wine, but you don't like it?

Red
2016 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
5/12/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Long, fresh, graceful, elegant, pure and refined, the layers of silky, cashmere textured fruits just doesn't quit. The wine has a uniqueness of character you can feel, taste and smell. This is a stunner and it still sells for a song. If you are not hip to what is going on with Les Carmes Haut Haut Brion, you should be!
  • samatoid commented:

    5/17/18, 11:41 AM - Just curious - you gave La Mission Haut Brion the same score which costs about $350 more - how would you compare these two? If you were trapped in a cellar would you flip coin as to which one you want to be trapped with?

  • samatoid commented:

    5/17/18, 4:13 PM - Thanks - you seem to be the 1st to provide updated comprehensive reviews on new vintages of Bordeaux and We really appreciate them especially since based upon those 2015s I’ve tried they are accurate. Does the 100 pt scale you use give a wine a higher score for better aging potential or being more massive? I realize that score has too big a burden when it tries to take into account all the dimensions, but clearly as you approach 100 pts I would think you would be trying to convey that the wine is great in a way that makes it better than almost all other wines, right? Or are you saying that it is a 99 in its price category? I am asking this partly because I have haven't tried many of the young $500 bottles ha ha. Keep up the good work Jeff!

  • samatoid commented:

    5/17/18, 6:43 PM - Having grown up (starting in the 1980s) with the Parker 100 pt scale I just assumed that most people using the scale followed the same train of thought. He has become infamous in someways for encouraging over extraction. He has also been a great nonelite critic who everybody has learned from to some degree. In any case I am thrilled that your scores don't have a density hurdle. I am getting old enough that I won't be buying too many more wines that start their drinking window in ten years so I have even less reason to pine for the 1st growths when the quality of the 5th growths has improved so dramatically! And now the unclassifieds are getting in the game in a serious way. I think the large percentage of Cabernet Franc makes this wine quite special in a totally different way from St Emillion. I would not have known about it if it weren't for your recent review. Thank you!

  • samatoid commented:

    5/18/18, 11:12 AM - I have previously discovered your site and find it quite useful. I have made use of your CdP scores quite a bit. It is tricky buying wines I haven't tasted, but waiting until the wines become available is often too late. Your scores are particularly helpful because it seems our tastes are aligned. JD is also good on the Rhones.

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