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Comments on my notes

(33 comments on 30 notes)

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White
2017 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet Montrachet Grand Cru Chardonnay
3/1/2023 - Burgundy Al wrote:
95 points
Pre-Paulee Warm-up Dinner (House of Nanda - Chicago IL): In vertical. Charming and elegant with plump orchard fruit. Seamless already, I will nit pick and say I was hoping for greater concentration, but expect that might increase with cellar time.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    9/7/23, 7:27 AM - Thank you for your note. Did you find this to be one of those vintages where opening one young would be more rewarding than can sometimes be the case? (Translation- I know it is too soon for any Montrachet but hoping this vintage might be more forgiving than others.)

  • Elpaninaro commented:

    9/9/23, 11:27 PM - Thank you! Appreciate your feedback.

Red
1988 Château Magdelaine St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
From a half bottle, in perfect condition, fill to the bottom of the neck. Decanted for about an hour and drank over another hour or two.
Much as the reviews below describe this is still deeply coloured, with plush, dark fruit, brambles and velvety tannins. To me this felt fairly full bodied with depth and concentration of flavour, its age showing by a lovely array of tertiary aromas - old leather bound books, incense, and cigar box. No sense of tiredness and the fruit was still remarkably rich (given it's age and modest 12.5 abv)....this has to be in a perfect place for drinking now - and don't pay any attention to the current drink dates to 2012 - years to go - esp. for full bottles (JG suggests until 2040). Enough to make me fall in love with Bordeaux again. The review below gives a better overall description - although the teririary aromas were far more present for me - perhaps the smaller bottle having evolved faster - but I don't understand the 'luncheon claret' - this was serious stuff, wine worthy of savouring, and a rare treat...but that's probably due to a different frame of reference. Easy 18 / 20 or 96 points - 'outstanding'
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    9/2/23, 11:37 PM - Good evening- I was reviewing my Magdelaine notes to select some vintages to open this fall and saw your comment on the luncheon claret reference. Please know this is actually high praise from me, as a fine Bordeaux with lunch is a rare treat. 1988 Lafite is my other favorite in this self-defined category. For me a luncheon claret should be a very fine example but in vintages that tend to be a bit more lean overall and most definitely not as rich or opulent as a vintage like 1989. The leaner vintages are more versatile with food- especially a lighter meal like lunch as compared to a grand dinner. In the grand scheme of things, when it comes to vintages of Magdelaine that are mature- the 1988 and 1985 are my personal favorites. Thank you for your wonderful note- it is great to read the impressions of someone else who shares my love for this wine.

White - Off-dry
2021 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese Mosel Saar Ruwer
Opened and decanted 6 hours prior to serving

palest champagne color, at opening a serene nose of peach and rose petals, on the palate digitally defined with a deft light feel but a persistence of fruit and acids that slowly and gradually overwhelms the palate - a contrast I have seen before with great young Riesling but not ever to this degree, 6 hours later - on the nose cascades of rose petals, peach, pear and sweet slate, on the palate a wonderment, huge and broad in scale but with digital definition at every point and light as a feather, incredible length with a degree of tension almost at the level of this estate's Kabinett, succulent peach, hints of blood orange, rose petals for days, a finish measured in minutes- not seconds, a good friend in attendance said it best, "a ballerina that could kick your ass", with time exotic tangerine notes and a riverbed of perfectly smooth and pristinely detailed stones, with such a beautiful and storied wine in which every vintage offers great wonder and a clear purpose it feels inappropriate to use words like "best"- but I will say this vintage stands out in particular for the sheer scale of its delights presented in such an effortless, elegant and refined manner, as good as it gets.

(*****), 2031++
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    9/2/23, 10:01 PM - FWIW- looking back at my at or soon after release TNs for the 2018 Spatlese and Kabinett Auction, this was similarly accessible. So while you are certainly going to be seeing it in a very primary state, it is worth having a peek if you have several bottles. This was pretty special- it was near the level of the 1999 Auction Spatlese, but I had the latter at 10 years of age so it was not a perfect comparison of two wines at similar stages of evolution.

White
2015 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Kabinett Auction Mosel Saar Ruwer
6/28/2023 - Seth Rosenberg Likes this wine:
94 points
Been like 4-5 days open. Medium gold. This was fairly wound for the first few days. Spicy cinnamon, sweet soft/overripe peach. Very spicy with honey and honeysuckle and white florals. Just a hint of Abtsberg muskiness-menthol at this point. Maybe a little grilled pineapple. A light airy sweet smell of rock candy The palate enters with peach and spice and Muskiness. Quite rich but still very light on its feet. Some orange to go with the sweet peach and honey. The finish has sweet peach and cinnamon spice and honey, some tangerine or lemonand musikiness - the finish has creaminess and lightness to it light lemon menthol custard. Lovely. Nose - 5/6, Palate - 5/6, Finish - 5.5/6, Je ne Sais Quoi - 1.5/2 = 17/20.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    9/1/23, 10:15 PM - Man- you aren't kidding with the 4-5 days. I usually decant these wines 6-8 hours ahead of time, but even after 10 hours tonight's bottle is only just starting to open up. Look forward to checking in on it tomorrow and Sunday.

Red
2006 Paolo Scavino Barolo Carobric Nebbiolo
good deep red color, cherries on the nose, dark spices, quite a bit of spicy oak as well, at opening on the palate a quite robust cherry fruit with spice and bramble nuances, slight floral hints tending to the pink, good depth but starting on the mid-palate and continuing into the finish quite a lot of oak, over the course of 4 hours this became an immensely frustrating wine, a really beautiful and assertive mature fruit with all sorts of subtle notes just starting to appear but with the passage of time the presence of the oak becomes increasingly dominant and quite raw on the tail end, working all afternoon with the glass by my side- the attractive aromas kept me coming back for another sip and hoping beyond hope, but the wine just worsened with time. It is a great shame to be able to just barely see how good this really is and could be- yet wince at the painful raw wood finish. *, drink up- it will only get worse, this would easily be ***+ without the excessive oak, possibly better given the nuances that must be completely covered by the wood.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    6/26/23, 12:18 PM - Wow- that is quite an assumption you make about the company I keep. Next time maybe look at your list of TNs compared with the person you are criticizing. In your world, I suppose this is a wonderful wine- but if you had any real experience you would see otherwise, even if still liking it personally.

Red
1995 Claude Dugat Griotte-Chambertin Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Pinot Noir
2/9/2020 - dcwino wrote:
97 points
Sommelier Appreciation Dinner 2020 (The Brown Residence): Explosive hedonistic nose displaying concentrated red fruit, very meaty, sous bois, caramel, sautéed cep and earth. Excellent concentration, layers upon layers of concentrated decadent red fruit, rich yet nicely detailed and precise, perfect amount of acidity, earthy mineral and a long concentrated red fruit driven finish with lingering sweetness at the end. This used to be more expensive than La Tache as it was rated like 99 by TWA. The young sommeliers were not familiar with the domaine and seem to love it. Apparently John Gilman rated the wine 72 points. Now that is funny.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    5/15/23, 9:44 PM - Thank you for the great TN. FWIW, John rated it soon after release- and I remember the 95 Dugats at release being nightmarish and absolutely reeking of oak. And then a few years ago I had the Charmes again (a US imported bottle- allegedly the oak treatment was stronger for the US market back then, though I have never seen conclusive proof) and was astonished at how wonderfully it had evolved. I have never seen a burgundy take in that much oak and prevail in the end. I have been wondering if the Griotte had a similar transformation since I was just offered a few with pristine provenance, and based on your TN I may give them a go since it sounds like this wine also evolved magnificently.

White - Sparkling
2015 Champagne Suenen Champagne Grand Cru "La Cocluette" Extra Brut Champagne Blend
opened 20 minutes prior to enjoying over a 2 hour period

bright lemon color, plush nose of pear, red apple, pastry crust and almonds, on the palate a ripe and broad primary fruit contrasts with racy and firm lime acids leading into a long and lively finish, over the course of 45 minutes the wine got racier with an acid intensity almost at a level of the 2013- but still with the full-bodied and primary fruit on full view, eventually cream notes emerged, roasted walnuts, poached pears, but even so the dramatic precision of the structure and finish remained in full cry, a moving and special wine with a long and glorious future ahead, but this one need a little cellar time to harmonize first.

(*****), 2025-2045+
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    12/28/22, 7:47 PM - I think overall they are of similar quality, but I might give the 2015 a slight edge in the long run. The 2014 is out there and already creamy where the 2015 is more tightly wound up and will need some aging. The 2015 has a bit more stuffing to it, but overall I think both are pretty spectacular.

White - Off-dry
2019 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Mosel Saar Ruwer
bright light yellow color, at first opening on the nose and palate an intense sweet grapefruit, over the course of 3 hours it blossomed- nose of peach, passion fruit, pineapple, hint of red berries and a zesty lime cream, on the palate gloriously opulent, enveloping and calming, deft presentation but with very serious and deep textures on the palate, with time honey-coated cold grey marbles, orange peel, sweet grapefruit note comes back into play, and an intense concentration of apricot, all of it culminating in a grand finish with stunning persistence and a fine long aftertaste with hints of rose petals wrapped around an intense apricot core, despite the sweetness there is very serious structure evident here for a long and interesting life- strong acids buried under a tantalizing sea of lime cream, the Auslese #9 is a favorite Haag of mine for having much of the great rich decadence of Haag's dessert wines- which have few peers- but also a great earthbound Spatlese-like structure, the best of both worlds- truly, and in 2019 that balance is maintained with a delivery that is just flat out sexy, this wine is always worth seeking out in any vintage- but that extra little bit of joy and purity reflective of the 2019 vintage should perhaps inspire a couple of extra halves into the shopping cart this year, as good as it gets.

**(***), 2025-2050+, I think this one will be more accessible sooner than usual- but still take the customary 15+ years to fully develop.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    6/10/22, 9:07 PM - Good evening. #9 is the AP number of the wine- each Pradikat-designated German wine has one but in most cases the numbers are not used in marketing or sale of the wines. On the label- the last 4 digits are first the AP number and then the last 2 digits of the year the wine was bottled.

    Haag makes more than one Auslese from the same vineyard- hence the AP number becoming important. Sometimes the AP number refers to a specific parcel of land and sometimes it is used more in reference to the style of the wine. I am not sure which it is for Haag, but MSF and other publications often refer to the different Haag Auslesen by the degree of botrytis in the fruit. For 2019, MSF indicates the fruit in #9 was partially botrytized whereas the other Auslese I have from that year is indicated as being made from clean fruit.

    This is a very rudimentary answer to a very complex question- but I hope a good start and some help.

Rosé - Sparkling
2008 Dom Pérignon Champagne Rosé Champagne Blend
11/26/2021 - aquacongas Likes this wine:
97 points
not blind

At Dom Perignon Hautvillers

Blanc 2012, 2010, 2008, P2 2003, P2 2002, P2 1998, P3 1992
Rose 20008, 2006, P2 1995

2012
typical nose after oyster shell, toast, refreshing acidity, citrus, well drinkable at the moment. Dosage between 4-6g/L. I preferred against 2010. 96

2010
more reluctant compared to 2012, some exotic fruits, makes fun to drink it now. Not the potential as 2008. 93

2008
Still great to drink. Lush, exotic fruits, sea breeze, balanced, powerful, still fresh. Roasted almonds, salted caramell. 98

P2 2003
Feels broader than the P2 2002, less acidity, lots of mango and pineapple, less oyster shell than 2002. 94

P2 2002
more acidity than 2003, but my problem with this wine, it has an unnecessary high dosage. 95

P2 1998
More complex and structured than 2002 at the moment, some nice honey notes to give depth and creamieness. 96

Rose 2008
The nose is full of red berries and red apples, some black currant. A sublime champagne which will be released next week. Raspberry sirup but still elegant and powerful. 97

Rose 2006
For a 2006 good but no chance against 2008. Maybe a hint too alcoholic and the finish too short. 94

P2 Rose 1995
PN nose, comparable to a Musigny, smoky, flinty, balanced, at least 10 more years. 97

P3 1992
Unbelievable fresh, toasty, citric and just a touch of rostaed aromas. Nice 1992. 96
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    3/6/22, 9:06 PM - I face some tough decisions this week when 2008 Rose arrives at what is likely to be a staggering price. Really appreciate your insights presented in context with the rest of the current range of DP offerings. Very helpful.

Red
2016 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve To-Kalon Vineyard Oakville
deepish plum color, alluring nose of cassis, plums and dark fruits framed in toasty oak, on the palate it leads off with a generosity similar to that of the magnificent 2015 but then quickly leads in a very deep and tannic wine starting to shut down, dark fruits, ponderous, quite good but this needs some time in the cellar to show its best.

*(***)+, 2030-2050
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    3/4/22, 8:44 PM - I think both will last for a very long time- but where I find the 2016 to be more classically firm like the 1997 recently tasted, the 2015 has a certain charm that I think will carry its whole life. For a Bordeaux comparison, I think the 2015 could be like a top 1985 Bordeaux if that makes sense. In the long run both will be great, but I think the 2015 will be more approachable in the interim. Time will tell- but if you own either I think you will be very happy in the long run.

White - Off-dry
2016 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Spätlese Mosel Saar Ruwer
Exceeded expectations. Acidity was on point for my tastes in this 2016 edition. I favored this vs. a 2016 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett in part due to a little more perceived acidity, though I know it is not exactly a fair, apples-to-apples comparison given it's Spatlese vs. Kabienett. (I'll try a 2016 JJ Prum Wehlenere Sonnenuhr Spatlese within the next month or two.)

Overall, a delightful combo of fruit, acid, and interesting and seemingly changing complexity over 3-4 days. Showed something different each day. Better acidity than I expected from a 2016.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    2/21/22, 10:51 PM - Great note. I had this at release alongside the Kabinett and Kabinett auction and while I liked it very much then- like you I now (opened one today) find it has a lot more acidity than I had originally thought 2016s might possess. Looking like a real winner in the making now!

Red
2018 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave St. Joseph Clos Florentin Syrah
5/28/2021 - Elpaninaro wrote:
black purple color, intense blackberry and plums on the nose with a sharp scent of new leather, cola, on the palate quite big and primary, fine breadth, long finish, but overall this wine is very excessive for me- it is extremely ripe and with a really massive scale that impresses at a superficial level- but leaves almost no detail behind to demonstrate what should be coming after a few years in the cellar, this should mellow with time although it is difficult to say it will develop further in any significant way given the overpowering scale and ripeness of the fruit.

***+?, 2025-2040
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    10/8/21, 9:06 PM - 14.5%- and yes the wine was a monster. But credit where it is due, I did not detect any excessive heat from the alcohol. It was balanced- I am more worried about whether with time it will develop nuance or just slowly fade.

Red
2000 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
9/17/2021 - Elpaninaro wrote:
deepish red color with some bricking at the rim, very tight on the nose with polish and spice, cloves, on the palate quite closed down but showing some polish notes and a slightly raw vegetal streak, light meat notes, I have little experience with Calon Segur but still either this bottle was slightly off or we caught it at a difficult moment of its hibernation.

Judgement reserved.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    9/20/21, 10:24 PM - Good evening- I did not bring this particular bottle, so am unsure of what air time it got in advance. I do know it was unopened at the start of the night, so at the most it got 2 hours (and was not decanted.) I agree with you on 2000 being a tricky vintage to assess at this point. I have had a handful of the wines over the past 2 years and while all of them have not yet been quite ready- they have been all over the map in terms of approachability. I do hope to try this again at some point- it is usually quite a wonderful wine.

Red
1995 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
good young deepish red color, pepper and spice dominate the nose, cherry notes as well, on the palate maturing, rich cherry, dark spice, firm finish that is slightly austere but fuller and longer than a great many other 95s at this point- including some of the first growths, still some tannins here- showing well but not yet at peak.

**(*)+, now to 2045.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    8/22/21, 10:13 PM - Good evening- not my bottle, but served by a friend who-like me- does tend to buy Bordeaux at release. So I would assume it was purchased at or near release. It was a pristine bottle- clean label, dry cork and fill well into the neck.

White - Sparkling
2002 Dom Pérignon Champagne P2 Champagne Blend
bright lemon color, very sweet primary nose, candied nuts, citrus, on the palate as large scale a Dom as you will ever see aside from the 2008 with fruit still in a very primary state, there is a bit of cream showing around the edges- but still much more to come in time, fine long finish, with time in glass roasted walnuts the dominant feature, a big and glorious Dom Perignon- but for my personal tastes still too sweet, this needs at least another decade to fully come together and start opening up.

(*****), 2030++
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    6/14/21, 12:59 AM - Thank you for catching that. Fixed now- I never use the 100 point scale, so that was an error on my part when completing the form.

Red
2018 Joseph Drouhin Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Petits Monts Pinot Noir
7/2/2019 - Burgundy Al wrote:
Joseph Drouhin Cellar Visit and Tasting with Vero (Beaune): Barrel tasting at the domaine. I always like this wine, but the 2018 might turn into a knockout. Red and black cherry with so much spice. Starts off powerful with near Grand Cru density, then quickly seems to become more graceful. Very long, finessed finish. 93-94 point potential.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    5/21/21, 3:31 PM - Thank you for your note. Curious to know if you think this is worth test driving now after release. I am very tempted since Petit Monts is rarely among the 2-3 Drouhins I open at release, but the 2018 Clos St. Denis was recently shockingly closed. Has me thinking maybe I bury all the 2018s deep in the cellar.

  • Elpaninaro commented:

    5/21/21, 10:08 PM - Many thanks! I think we will give the Vosne 1er a go and then call it a day. If that CSD was a fair indication, we are in for a real treat with these 2018 Drouhins in a decade or so.

White
2014 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune Alsace
After a brief note early this spring, I finally had an evening to devote to a bottle, on first opening broad and serene- the tension bubbling under a lake of perfect calm, smoky stones, peaches, white flowers, on the palate good viscosity with very primary and slightly sweet fruit, light streaks of stone and line driven acids peeking out, rose petals, apples, lemon zest, an intense smoky stoniness grounds it all, with time it becomes more brooding underneath, still approachable but now wilder on the finish, mint notes with time, chalkier tones to go with the river-washed stone notes, the citrus notes so obvious this spring seem more buried now in the rounded primary structure, 3 hours later the nose is shutting down but the wine remains open- if still very primary- on the palate, 3 days later the remains of the bottle- at this point the wine has fully settled and is closed for business but not nearly as tight as the 8 hour old sample I tried about a year ago, peach notes coming out now as well as a more obvious blaze of blood oranges, the minerality more evident and showing its textures more clearly, fine long dry finish with dried flowers, this is a well-rounded vintage of Hune, like many great 2014s from all over France this is showing a bit more detail young than usual but with time in glass also demonstrating a very serious long term potential, as great and majestic as the 1996 and 1989 VT are (and as the 2013 promises to be)- every time a new Hune vintage comes around I am always secretly hoping for one that can follow in the footsteps of the 1990, time will tell- and every vintage is different- but the 2014 is the closest thing to the 1990 I have ever seen- and that can only mean great things in time.

(*****), 2030++
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    12/20/20, 11:26 PM - Thank you for your kind words. I actually had this once before, and not too long after you did- the TN is here and from February when Mr. Trimbach visited the US and did some in-store tastings with the importer and distributor. The sample I had was from a bottle opened 8 hours prior and incredibly tight- hence my opening a full bottle almost a year later. I am not sure the wine has added weight since then- but it is more open. I do not regularly taste Hune at release like I used to due to it being harder to get an extra bottle for that purpose when taking my usual allocation for long term storage, but it did and does seem a bit more muscular than many vintages (though not 2013 or 1996.) For me the 1990 comp was the ripeness coupled with it being so well-rounded and seemingly sedate now but showing many hints of future glories.

    I have not tried the 2008 yet, but found some additional bottles recently- so I do plan to check in on it soon, and will post a note when I do. On the 2010, from your comment I gather you think there is a chance it will not get released. Do you mean ever, or perhaps that like 89 VT Hors Choix, for example, it might be a very long time before it is released? I am very eager for that one, and have been hoping it might come to the US in the next couple of years.

White
2017 Joseph Drouhin Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches Blanc Chardonnay
good bright young lemon color, on the nose lush and joyous, lemongrass, orange notes, a bit of cream already, apples, beeswax, on the palate a forward and luscious beauty- this is Beaune Clos des Mouches in full sail, it has the creamy and sunny presence of a 2014 but like a 2001 is also showing quite a bit of mineral and saline detail, the apple notes are very distinct this year, as are the orange tones, that slight caramel or burnt coffee note that is peculiar to this wine is present in measure appropriate to the scale of the wine, after recent notes for the quite fine, but also somewhat exaggerated, 2009 and 2010 vintages- this is a refreshing return to a more classic presentation with a little bit of everything- and all of it far more digitally defined and observable than is customary in such a young vintage, as on the nose- cream tones are already developing on the palate, fine long fragrant finish bursting with honeysuckle and blood orange notes, the only slight distraction is a noticeable trace of heat on the finish at first, after a couple of hours as the wine comes together it is less prominent but still there in some measure, otherwise a very fine vintage for this wine- and in these days where premox is still a worry, this is also a vintage that you can drink very young and see far more of the detail and excitement that usually comes only with age, this will surely outlive the 2010 but I am not sure it has quite the decades-long potential of the 2009, a joyful and magnificent drink- one to enjoy often throughout what promises to be a very rewarding life.

**(**)+?, now to 2037+, the ? mark is for the bit of heat on the finish, this is at least a 4 star wine in my book, but if that bit of heat is better integrated in time then this could become 4+ or 5 stars and one of the truly great vintages for one of Burgundy's most unique and notable wines. But whatever may come, if you share my love of Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches- don't miss the chance to enjoy a bottle or two of this now while you can see that rare display of youthful vigor combined with the subtle delights usually reserved for old age.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    9/17/20, 11:51 PM - Good evening. To my knowledge Drouhin is now using unbleached corks with coatings that do not incorporate silicone. I am not aware of them having adapted DIAM. For what it is worth- I mention premox as a general reference in the TN. There are sadly a number of producers and specific wines where I have found significant premox, but Drouhin is not one of those producers. So while I do buy a few extra bottles to be safe, I am still comfortable pursuing their wines.

White - Sparkling
2004 Philipponnat Champagne Brut Clos des Goisses Champagne Blend
First sample of Clos des Goisses and it showed incredibly well. The nose is explosive with ripe orchard fruits, raspberry brioche, floral, mineral, and orange peel. The palate is rich and has excellent depth and the mouthfeel is generous and rounded. There is still plenty of lift and vibrancy though. This was an excellent bottle and I will definitely be exploring this terroir further.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    7/9/20, 8:17 PM - Thank you for the note. I really like your term "raspberry brioche". I have used both descriptors many times before- but never together. And it really perfectly explains much of the unique flavor this wine is showing at present.

Red
2018 Pedres Blanques Vin de France Grenache
deep purple color, sweet plum and black cherry nose, on the palate blackberry notes dominate, ripe and generous, still very primary but if this can develop some game tones with age it could really be great, the only criticism I have is that the alcohol- while not excessive- is notable and seems a bit separate from everything else, in other words this is a bit disjointed, still it is early days and this is a brand new producer- 2017 is the first vintage commercially released I am told (edited from 2018 with thanks to a fellow CTer for the correct info), a producer to watch.

***+?, I would hold this 2-5 years to see how it develops
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    12/16/19, 9:37 PM - Thank you cartey- I have updated the TN to reflect the correct year of debut vintage.

White - Sparkling
2012 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Belle Epoque Champagne Blend
10/3/2019 - _water.into.wine_ wrote:
89 points
Personally, I felt this was far, far too young to release. It’s nowhere near ready. Tight, tart and bitter. So much granny Smith apples. Medium plus acidity but no depth or complexity. Unbalanced at this point. This needs much longer to settle. Perrier Jouet made a big mistake in my eyes to release this now. They should have waited until 2022 when I suspect most houses will release their 2012s.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    11/29/19, 7:14 PM - Thank you for your note- while I seem to have enjoyed the wine more, there is no doubt this was released far too soon as you say. I am hopeful this comes together as I imagine it will, but hard to tell for sure this soon.

Red
1982 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
deep red purple color with some bricking, aggressive roasted cassis on the nose, on the palate monolithic and somewhat muted, fiercely structured with tight fruit, with time in glass it unwinds to some degree to show intense fruitcake notes, a chocolate like sweetness and loads of rich cassis fruit, I personally think it needs more time but despite its reluctance today there is a decadence here which is quite evident and in contrast to the more pure and massive feel of the 1986 tasted alongside, I should also note that given how old this wine already is- I think there is a risk it may never fully blossom in the way I would hope.

****(*), 2028-2075
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    5/8/19, 12:45 AM - We decanted about 90 minutes prior to tasting and had about 90 minutes after to enjoy. Welcome your feedback on past experience there. It seemed about right for the 1986- but I was surprised at how muted this 1982 seemed to be. Maybe more airing might have helped?

  • Elpaninaro commented:

    7/31/19, 11:52 PM - Greetings all- no animosity intended with this remark, it is difficult to interpret tone from online comments- but I do understand and appreciate the importance of decanting. But as we all know, sometimes you cannot get enough decanting time. With this particular luncheon, we decanted as far ahead as we could. I was asking the question about 82 Mouton in particular because I was not sure if 90 minutes was woefully inadequate to the extent it could have had a material impact on the experience, which was great- but not quite to the rare levels of bliss I had anticipated.

    LunchtimeLafite- appreciate the insight on the bottling period for the 1982. That indeed would account for much potential variation.

Red
1986 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
young dark purple color, massive nose, cassis, fruitcake, dark plums, pepper notes, on the palate a voluptuous and piercingly pure core of ripe fruit on a scale rarely seen in a wine that is also properly balanced and fully showing its breed, the palate a near-mirror of the nose with cassis, fruitcake and cherry notes, white mineral streaks with time, still incredibly tannic but with time in glass these softened to a sufficient degree to reveal an excellent balance that convinces me at long last that this wine will go the distance and unfurl as may of us had dreamed it might, a glorious wine with a purity the 1982 will never have, and at this point my personal favorite of the two great titans of Bordeaux's Golden Decade.

***(**), 2031-2075
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    5/8/19, 12:45 AM - We decanted about 90 minutes prior to tasting and had about 90 minutes after to enjoy.

Red
1988 Château Magdelaine St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
Quickly double decanted and recorked late at night- opened and served immediately over lunch the following day

Good bright red color with moderate bricking throughout, on the nose that classic and comforting Magdelaine profile with mulberries, cassis, cherry and a broad forest floor note with rounded bramble notes, on the palate at first cassis and earth with the structure and bramble notes slightly more dominant, fine long firm finish, with time in glass violet notes emerged along with a bit of wild strawberry and the wine fleshed out slightly for an improved balance, that said- like many 88s this is quite a lean wine and really must be served with food (a high compliment in my book), savory, enjoyed for two hours over lunch at which point it was still slightly improving- and so as with many 88 burgundies this wine really must have extensive decanting to show its best, if I had it to do over again, I would have let it air in the decanter for an hour the prior night before recorking it for lunch the following day, a relaxed and restrained Magdelaine perfectly suited for hearty country French fare- ready to drink, but time in hand. ***+, now to 2030.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    4/27/19, 10:31 PM - Thank you. I like your choice of word- solid. Captures it well. This would be disastrous in a big blind tasting, but on its own with a nice traditional lunch on a relaxing day- gets no better.

Red
2006 Château Magdelaine St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
11/8/2018 - Eric Guido Likes this wine:
93 points
One of the standouts of the Tour des Deux Rives tasting was undoubtedly the 2006 Magdelaine, which was the last vintage of this wine–which was quite heartbreaking to discover. The bouquet displayed zesty red fruits with woodland tones, hints of animal musk, sweet-and-sour berries and spice. On the palate, I found soft, silky textures contrasted by exotic spice and ripe red berries as it glided effortlessly across the senses, leaving sweet mineral tones. The finish was medium-long, showing notes of blackberry, blueberry skins, sweet spice and a twang of unresolved tannin.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    11/20/18, 9:53 PM - Great note Eric- I love this vintage. Some good news for you- 2011 was the last vintage, so there are still some gems to follow the 2006, notably the 2008 which is astonishingly good.

Red
2015 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve To-Kalon Vineyard Oakville
Double decanted 6 hours prior to serving

Like many who started tasting wine in the early to mid 90s, encounters with late 70s to early 80s Mondavi Reserve Cabernets, notably the glorious 1979, were some of my first glimpses of just how great California wines can be. And so shame on me for paying too much heed to critics at the time who were panning recent vintages for not conforming to the new waves at the time. Happily, on a whim and as I plan out the final year of actively purchasing new releases for the cellar, I decided to see for myself just how this wine is of late.

deep purple color, cassis and plums on the nose, classic and refined, lovely herbal notes, on the palate sheer magnificence, a pristine and elegant young Cabernet Sauvignon, rich with the ripeness of 2015 on the mid-palate in an array of pure red fruits, long mineral-laden finish, right on the edge of being too ripe but never does it cross that line, tannins evident and the structure continued to build over the course of two hours but never once did it lose its beautiful and forward primary presence that was all the more breathtaking for being classically restrained and in perfect harmony, this is California Cabernet at its greatest and a wine that seems as though it may be enjoyable for its entire life, though I plan to lock mine away for a few years since history clearly suggests what great things are yet to come. *(****), 2025-2045.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    7/30/18, 8:10 PM - Thank you for your kind words. This was the 2015. It was a bottle generously provided by a friend from my ITB days since it was to be shared with other potential customers. I believe the 2015 will be released in late fall.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 165eme Champagne Blend
Tasting of 163, 164, 165 and 166 side by side

a sweeter nose than the 164, ripe oranges and a hint of mango, a lovely floral lift, on the palate ripe and thrillingly good, sweet citrus notes and a good long lemon acid finish rounding out a structure that keeps this wine very well balanced, great persistence in the finish, over the course of two hours- the forward and generous character remains but the mousse is only coming out here and there, structure carries the fruit beautifully- I do not normally care for the riper champagne vintages but in this case there is proper acid for long term aging, perhaps not the long term monument the 164 is destined to be- but this is special in its own right and has a rare femininity that I do not think even the 164 will match in time, deceptively good now- but I would wait 5 years on this. **(***), 2022-2040.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    4/15/18, 10:14 PM - Thank you- I appreciate it. Must say- the 165 was the real surprise of the day. I have had enough 2008s to anticipate the 164 would be special. I did not expect the 165 to be just as special, albeit for entirely different reasons. I do not usually cellar MV Krug, but I will be doing so for both 164 and 165.

Red
2011 Château Magdelaine St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
Deep red-purple color, tight nose, stern cassis, ripe yet with a firm and lean bramble, on the palate a brief glimpse of ripe berry and cassis fruit before a firm tannic structure takes over, violet notes with time, a certain ripeness on the tail end that is not overly so- but certainly in contrast to the superb 2008, with time it becomes more approachable- due in part to having been served with a wonderfully rich beef stew- but, unlike the 2006 and 2008, this is somewhat difficult to approach right now, great length with painful precision to match the ripeness of the fruit and bring it all together (or at least a sense of the balance that will come), the end of the road for one of my favorite Bordeaux and appropriately this majestic history ends with a glorious wine that refuses to to be easy to understand young but is full of great promise for the years ahead. A magnificent Magdelaine, and a reminder to not overlook what 2011 has to offer in St. Emilion.
(****)+, 2030-2045.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    8/13/17, 8:33 PM - Thank you John. From what I have been told, the economics were just not there anymore. Magdelaine has a very strong fan base- but the wine does not translate well into modern tastes. So it would appear Moueix decided it was better to roll the holdings in with Chateau Belair-Monange. Despite my sadness over the loss of Magdelaine- the move makes sense and the resulting wine is very much worth attention. I will be curious to see how it evolves- will be a good 10-15 years more before we know how well it works out.

White
2014 Domaine Thomas Morey Bâtard-Montrachet Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru Chardonnay
Rich, powerful, direct and impeccably balanced. Loaded with sappy orchard fruits, There’s a suggestion of apricot and plenty of mineral and spice. It has great intensity and cut and a real salty mineral lick to the finish.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    7/1/17, 8:11 PM - Thank you for the note Jeremy. I am thinking of opening one of these next weekend for my birthday dinner alongside a 2014 Ramonet Bienvenue. I will air the Ramonet out a couple of hours before the dinner- any thoughts on an appropriate airing time for the Morey?

White
2011 Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Chardonnay
5/24/2015 - Elpaninaro wrote:
Bright yellow color, sampled over lunch with remains of bottle revisited periodically over the following 8 hours, good firm nose with notes of lime and mango- but with a bit more of an oak presence (that escalated with time) than I usually prefer, on the palate a classic young Ramonet Morgeot with limes, a hint of tropical fruit and baked bread- all delivered in a generous and charming manner, very good length but the faintest touch of heat on the tail end of the finish, soft chalk notes, this is going to develop a beautiful creaminess with time I am sure but the oak and slight heat on the tail end are troubling, and for what these wines cost these days- it is fair to be very, very picky about such things. (***)+?, 2020-2030. It will certainly go the distance- the question mark is what comes of that heat on the finish.
  • Elpaninaro commented:

    5/25/15, 6:30 PM - Greetings MemorialWineFan- yes, premox is a concern for me, but it has only affected where I target my strategy. Premox pre-dates 1995. It certainly got suddenly worse at some estates in the mid-90s, but it has been a reality for a very long time. There are several estates I avoid now- one because of premox issues that entirely pre-dated 1995. Ramonet is not among them- I only recently started using cellartracker, so many TNs are not here yet (working on a bulk upload of old TNs at some point), but I myself have not had any significant issues with Ramonet wines. But at today's prices, I have a hard time justifying a large allocation to accomodate the knowledge some will be lost to it- and that is merely a matter of personal preference I suppose.

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