Comments on my notes

(70 comments on 54 notes)

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Red
1995 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
10/9/2021 - Harry Cantrell wrote:
96 points
1995 Figeac en Magnum. Surprise of the tasting for me. RMP initially rated it in the upper 80s. Gradually improved to 92 points. Garnet. Nose was typical Bordeaux with a green edge. This mellowed over time. Rich, mouth filling. I rate it 96. Tasted at BWE convention 2021 Wash DC
  • ESCO commented:

    10/11/21, 2:08 AM - This may seem like a contradiction but in my mind I'm quite clear. The 95 Figeac wasn't the "best" wine I have ever had , or was "extraordinary" etc etc. but it was a wine I would love to return to again and again. I'm old enough now to know what I like, and although I have nothing against searching for the next big thing in the wine world I covet poise and balance more than most . This wine really surprised me too......

Red
2018 Château Larcis Ducasse St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
Pop and pour. The nose wasn’t giving all that much. Endless dark fruit, supportive tannins, incredible length on the finish. Not a 100 point wine for me, but I am intrigued to see how my remaining bottles develop over time as this clearly has the raw elements in abundance.
  • ESCO commented:

    4/23/21, 9:54 AM - Welcome back ; I bought a case EP which I have not yet received . From all that I have read it seems like a really promising wine. I like your optimism re the wine and hope you are right .

Red
2016 Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Richebourg Grand Cru Pinot Noir
3/10/2021 - Harley1199 Likes this wine:
96 points
A slight splash of the last third of a single bottle and yet my heart leaps after putting my nose into the glass: elegance and boundless complexity with a touch of masculinity. Receiving notes of blue flowers that intermingle with other spices and earthy: black pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, radish or even ginseng. All very soft and totally defined. There are also memories of blueberries, sage, sandalwood and leather. Wonderful combination. On the palate, although extremely young, it reaches at this time a wonderful mineral sensation, a silk texture of India, with depth and extraordinary persistence. The authentic odalisque of Ingrès paintings. Expressive, fresh, representative and harmonious. I am still related by those few drops ... what a taste. It deserves all the praise even though the best is yet to come.

Un ligero chorrito del último tercio de una única botella y aun así mi corazón da un brinco tras meter mi nariz en la copa: elegancia y complejidad sin límites con un toque de masculinidad. Te reciben notas de flores azules que se entremezclan con otras especiadas y terrosas: pimienta negra, vainilla, canela, rábano o incluso ginseng. Todo muy suave y totalmente definido. También aparecen recuerdos a arándanos azules, a salvia, a sándalo y a cuero. Maravillosa combinación. Al paladar, aun siendo extremadamente joven, alcanza en estos momentos una maravillosa sensación mineral, una textura de seda de la India, con profundidad y una extraordinaria persistencia. La auténtica odalisca de los cuadros de Ingrès. Expresivo, fresco, representativo y armonioso.
Todavía me estoy relamiendo por esas escasas gotas ... una exquisitez. Merece todos los elogios aun sabiendo que lo mejor está por venir.
  • ESCO commented:

    3/10/21, 3:06 PM - A unique tasting note ; incomparable . Thank you.

  • ESCO commented:

    3/10/21, 5:05 PM - Long before now, I realised your observations on wine , were artistic, intuitive, linguistically beautiful and melodic. You are unique.

  • ESCO commented:

    3/10/21, 5:55 PM - In common or disparate, I read your comments on wine with an infinite admiration. I have never read reviews with the same level of authenticity as you create. Never. It matters not to me , that I happily devour your reviews on wines , most of which I will never consume ...........

Red
2015 Hanzell Pinot Noir Sonoma Valley
3/2/2020 - oldwines Likes this wine:
90 points
Tasted at a trade tasting in NYC. Under 20% new French oak aging. This is very soft on the attack and lower in acidity than what I am used to from Hanzell but does have some tannic bite on the finish. I think the 2015 vintage heat and draught is obvious here. Disappointing for me but still a reasonable drink with some years of life ahead but not the usual Hanzell aging potential.
  • ESCO commented:

    3/26/20, 3:19 PM - do you think it will mellow and improve with age ? Or is it as good right now as it is going to get ? I have never had bottle of Hanzell before so I am totally in the dark......

  • ESCO commented:

    3/27/20, 3:36 PM - Thank you so much. You have helped me immensely .

Red
2016 Château d'Aiguilhe Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend
11/26/2019 - Purple Tooth wrote:
91 points
Was very excited to wait for and try this...So it finally arrived and my needle was in my hand (Coravin that is)...
All in all, nothing more than a classy table wine from a great vintage that is probably drinking right at the value of its price of 25 quid. It reminds me of the 2000 vintage, lots of good pleasant table wines for around 20 bucks back then....Some exceeded their expectations over the next 10 years, but many did not survive me, because its a perfect wine to to open when wine chuggers are in the house!

Notes: Medium body, beaming raspberry bouquet, followed with much of he same underneath with great balance of toast, vanilla, and graphite. Shortish finish...

Drink or Hold
  • ESCO commented:

    11/26/19, 3:32 PM - I got this EP for $95 for 6 ......stunning value. $16 a bottle . I need to defend this wine because for me it has been one of my favourite and best value wines in the Medoc EVER . Of course I am biased , but it is a bias based on both financial and emotional bases......

  • ESCO commented:

    11/26/19, 4:59 PM - To you too . Happy Thanksgiving. There is so much to be thankful for.

Red
2016 Château Lafon-Rochet St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
9/30/2019 - Andre Brattland wrote:
93 points
Tight and classic aromas with darker redberry fruit, heavy flower bed, dark stone and cedar. Pretty full-bodied wine that interferes with the freshness of the aroma picture. Powerful, but great redberry fruit, licorice, pronounced wood and graphite. Pretty long finish with perfect tannin structure on this great powerful wine. Give the wine 10-20 years in the cellar. Excellent wine from St.Estphe and perhaps the best wine the castle have made? 93 points.
  • ESCO commented:

    9/30/19, 2:12 PM - Nice note which I am going to listen to in my treatment of a case I bought EP. I haven't tried it yet but having read this note and others of yours , I might just stash the case away for a decade. ( if I live that long) .......Thank you..

Red
2016 Château Beaumont Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
9/17/2019 - pclin wrote:
87 points
Picked this up while wondering around Okaido Street, Matsuyama. Clean floral nose. Rather spicy on the palate, good acidity with slight heat at finish. ABV 13.5%, probably high for the vintage. Fairly short on the finish. Just okay wine, is that okay? (Just okay is not okay according to those funny TV commercials)...
  • ESCO commented:

    9/18/19, 2:55 PM - I think $11 dollars in Bordeaux for a wine of this quality is okay ; in fact , pretty okay .

Red
2016 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
Well .......well this GPL, is a brute; it is muscular , overpowering, tense and yet just somehow inviting. I have no idea how this wine will pan out ; if it stays firm, if the tannins don't mellow , it will be a run of the mill stern Pauilllac, good for food but really quite unenchanting. A restaurant wine.
If it resolves , the pure fruit bang already present will be front and centre, and make this a really special vintage.I can't believe even the real fans of GPL know for sure which way this wine will turn. I so hope it is memorable , but right now is so so tannic ( as per history) for me it is a guessing game .....
  • ESCO commented:

    8/28/19, 10:57 PM - Two hour decant ; perhaps a little evolution but it remained pretty rigid and to be honest quite one dimensional. No real change between first glass and last.
    My experience with GPL from the 90's tells me that this wine will warm and develop into something quite memorable because the underlying fruit is just so pure.

Red
2016 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
7/28/2019 - Wine G Likes this wine:
95 points
I need more of this, period. Quintessential Cabernet on the nose. Textbook perfection of sweetness and pencil shavings and cassis. Medium yet rich texture, pretty full palate but light in its feet , with a solid finish. 95-96 now with upside
  • ESCO commented:

    8/5/19, 2:26 PM - I love Bdx ; I agree totally that GPL is " quintessential" Cabernet Sauvingnon. Almost as quintessential as any wine I have ever tasted but with pure quality at its base.

Red
2005 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
5/22/2019 - drjb Likes this wine:
95 points
Wine Group Dinner #168 - 2005 Bordeaux Part 1 (Urbane Restaurant, Brisbane): Wine Group Dinner #168, Urbane. The 2005 Pontet Canet is a very dense crimson colour with a nose of blackcurrant pastilles, black raspberry, dark chocolate with violet touches, spice and cedar. The palate is rich and round with plenty of complexity that edges on the exotic without crossing over. There is perhaps not the persistence of other wines tasted tonight but the whole package is quite primary and there is plenty of life ahead to develop that ! Delicious.
  • ESCO commented:

    5/26/19, 1:37 PM - Great note . Totally agree.

Red
2016 Château Beaumont Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
1/21/2019 - tomoem wrote:
87 points
Zachys Grands Crus de Bordeaux 2016 (New York City, NY): Nothing that deserves to be in the company of the wine tonight. Rough and closed wine. Tannin and acidity are totally unbalanced. Quite unripened picked fruit.
  • ESCO commented:

    4/25/19, 3:19 PM - Your comment seems a little out of sync with the others on this wine . Could it have been a a bad sample , or flawed in some way , or was it that you just really didn't like it much ?

  • ESCO commented:

    4/26/19, 1:40 PM - Thank you. I bought a case just recently and your note worried me a little but in a good way. I see you live in Mendham ; I stayed and played soccer in your town way back in 1981 as part of a Scottish/American exchange. Loved it..

  • ESCO commented:

    4/27/19, 11:42 AM - Your wine notes are better than fine .Like politics , wine notes benefit from honesty. Best of luck with your candidature....

Red
2014 Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
3/22/2019 - BI81 wrote:
1.5 hr decant. Delicate nose of rose petal and sweet plumb. Pretty red fruit on the palette with light silky round tannins that just barely peek through. Surprisingly long finish for how delicate the nose and palette are. A bit of cedar shows through after you swallow, enjoyable wine but nothing that sticks out as memorable or inspiring. This is my first Segla and my second left bank from 2014, I much prefer the Langoa Barton to this one, again probably way too early to drink.
  • ESCO commented:

    3/25/19, 3:42 PM - I agree more or less with your view..Familiarity with recent vintages suggests it will develop well .....In the case of 2014 , I never think it will be a 30+ year wine, but more of a really good friend around 10years and staying loyal for another 8 or so.it's only my view but think of '14s its pretty good if not long lived ,....

    I short it has a small window of excellence imo ( 24-30) ........

Red
1996 Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
2/18/2019 - dream Likes this wine:
90 points
One of the better Rauzan-Segla’s of the rather feeble period for the estate from the 70’s through the ‘90’s. Lean and sinewy with nice black fruit if less than optimally ripe with crisp acidity and a grippy finish. Quite elegant and silky without much complexity on the finish. Nice claret but what they are doing at the estate today seems miles better to me.
  • ESCO commented:

    2/21/19, 8:16 AM - I tried this last night on the basis ( pretty much ) of your TN and found your comments spot on. I liked it but I am glad I drank it now as I don't see it getting any better. I had thoughts of keeping it another 5 years but I think we got the best of it drinking at this time.

Red
2001 Château Clos de Sarpe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
1/25/2019 - djhammond Likes this wine:
95 points
With a few hours in the decanter, this is finally approaching its peak drinking window. The nose is intense with winegum aromas of blackcurrant and flora, which linger and linger. The fruit is balanced on the palate with masculine tannin which has almost fully resolved. The wine is multi layered with complexity and great depth with a 30 second plus finish. My previous criticism of the imbalance on the finish seems to have resolved. 95+
  • ESCO commented:

    1/25/19, 4:11 PM - I bought this wine from the vineyard; it was thought a " difficult" year . I drank my last one about 10 years ago and never really liked it . I am very happy you found a different experience and more readily appreciate that certain wines split opinion.. I always read your notes with interest and pleasure.

Red
2016 Château d'Aiguilhe Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend
10/30/2018 - ESCO wrote:
91 points
This wine, in our opinion, is an absolute steal. A steal.

We have had several other vintages and loved them all ( 07, 10, 14) ....and is with some surprise therefore that we say this is a wine waiting to be discovered . Or if not discovered , then certainly more widely appreciated. It is so easy going, so willing to please.

Soft red fruit core with sour cherries and brambles to the fore, generous mid palate backed by some quite strong tannin , and a lengthy ,exquisite finish.Classy mouthful, and classy spice aftertaste mean this wine is so good that we think the owners could easily, easily sell their product for double the present price without disappointment. If you are watching your pennies, and want quality in the bargain department you really need look no further.....It is a complete Bordeaux no brainer......T
  • ESCO commented:

    1/11/19, 4:02 PM - I think we are on the same page about the Cotes de Castillion and Francs... ...I was in that area working for about 6 months way back in 2000 and was told SO many times that it was an up and coming region by so many people that I knew they couldn't all be wrong ...

Red
2016 Château Puygueraud Francs Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend
1/7/2019 - Joe the Critic Likes this wine:
92 points
I'm with Jeff Leve on this one -- a confected nose, tons of sweet cassis and red fruit flavors and a note of licorice on the palate, soft tannins, perfect balance, and a long finish make this at least as good as their 2009.

This is one of the top values in red wine under $20 from anywhere, imao.
  • ESCO commented:

    1/9/19, 4:28 PM - I haven't tried this wine yet , but have ordered it EP . I am encouraged by your comments but would love to know your opinion in say 6 years ( or sooner ) ....I hope you like it. It sounds like terrifically good value ......

  • ESCO commented:

    1/9/19, 10:44 PM - Thank you so much . I look forward to your further reviews , in which , I am sure we can compare notes. As I said , I have not yet tried this wine ( any vintage) but had it recommended by a friend who has seen a good few seasons in Bordeaux......I think 2016 was quite an exciting vintage and I am intrigued how this and other wines pan out so I anticipate your future reviews with great interest.

Red
1999 Penfolds Grange South Australia Shiraz Blend, Syrah
7/14/2018 - MacropusRufus Likes this wine:
82 points
Excellent. Well worth the cellaring for all those years. Tannins all smoothed out. A wonderful wine shared with my Swiss resident family who were in Australia on holidays. Magnificent said my relatives.
  • ESCO commented:

    12/28/18, 4:39 PM - Did you intend 92 as a mark , or is 82 correct ?

Red
2005 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
8/16/2018 - slulkin Likes this wine:
92 points
my lucky night - casual dinner at a friend's house when he comes back with this.

No decant, but poured through a Vinturi. Earthy nose with a touch of mint, dark berries and sweet oak. On the palate red fruits and dark berries with a hint of chocolate. Tannin seemed largely resolved in the seamless and lingering finish. A real treat.
  • ESCO commented:

    8/28/18, 3:07 PM - I have one bottle . A gift . Do I hold or drink in your opinion? Thank you in advance for your view .....

Red
2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert Syrah
8/21/2018 - Motz wrote:
94 points
This rides a striking line between ripeness and balance. The bouquet, attack, and middle feature a sumptuous forest berry amalgam (red, purple, and black), delightfully sweet and compellingly interwoven with the wine's lush tannins. The middle, back, and finish showcase place, even if partially shrouded behind the effusive berry medley. Indeed, at the transition from middle to back, the wine features green and cracked peppercorns, assorted olives, meatiness, scorched earth, and mineral ores. Ultra-charming and bordering on the ethereal, I do not recall tasting a more lush, fruit-forward, structured, and balanced North Rhone Syrah. And, even with all the fruit, this remains a wine of place, which adds to its uniqueness. The berry essences may well fade with time, revealing the wine's underlying substance. Likely to evolve for no less than a decade, twelve to fifteen years seems safe, and it might improve. 93-95.
  • ESCO commented:

    8/24/18, 5:13 PM - I bought six about 6 months ago ?? ......Your tasting note ( a great tasting note) made me feel a whole lot better about my purchase . Thank you..

Red
2015 Château Petit Village Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
6/16/2018 - rossi.wine wrote:
90 points
From magnum. Ripe, sweet fruit, slightly confected, oak, spices. A bit of oak on the palate, decent freshness, generous fruit and decent length. A bit heavy, lacks complexity and length. 89-90+
  • ESCO commented:

    6/28/18, 2:54 PM - It's very young ; do you think it has potential to age well ?

Red
2015 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
Truffle, flowers, smoke, licorice, wet earth, dark plums and black cherry aromas reach your nose as soon as the wine hits the glass. Full bodied, sensuous and silky, the wine is deeply concentrated and also effortless to drink. The finish lingers for close to 60 seconds. This is a future legend in the making.
  • ESCO commented:

    5/25/18, 10:06 AM - I have never tasted the '15 Canon , but have ordered it en primeur. I think I know the complexity of this question, but will this Canon be one of the great wines of this vintage in say 15 years ? Because I would really like to celebrate a special occasion at that time with a really great wine ....Otherwise I may be tempted just to drink it as I do other Bordeaux which is frequently but with real pleasure. Your wine notes are a constant source of reference for us in our wine travels.....thank you .

Red
2013 Meerlust Rubicon Stellenbosch Red Bordeaux Blend
Opaque rosewood color. Had a bit of TCA at first, but some decanting allowed this to dissipate. Meaty and juicy nose, packed with aromas of charcoal, sandalwood incense, volcanic rock, and the racy smell of ripe bing cherries. This is surprisingly mineral-driven through the lithe and focused palate, with green bell pepper, unripe blackberries, and ample tannic support. The most classically-styled of any Rubicon I have had, this will be worth 5-10 years of patience. Superb value, as always.
  • ESCO commented:

    5/4/18, 3:12 PM - I agree with and like your post . It is so undervalued and better than many Bordeaux at x2 or x3 the price.

Red
2015 Domaine les Pallières Gigondas Les Racines Red Rhone Blend
floral nose, ripe red fruit - really fresh and gorgeous smelling
So vibrant on the palate. Lovely. Pure and long with a little nuttiness on the finish.
Gosh this is good. Around £23 retails at BBR so not bad value at all
  • ESCO commented:

    2/17/18, 3:49 PM - I am tempted by the 16 en primeur ,,.....any advice ?

  • ESCO commented:

    2/18/18, 2:37 PM - '15 and '16 Rhone, from everything I have read are really good, and perhaps even great wines. £92 for six en primeur from the Wine Society seems like good value. Don't you agree ?

Red
2014 Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
11/6/2017 - Marquis du Vin wrote:
89 points
On the lighter side, as Selga tends to be... Good structure, tannins seem resolved even at this early stage. Dense dark fruit, not much fitness, finish is ok - not short nor tart. Not a very complex wine. Honestly, not my favorite from those i've had in '14. Pagodas de Cos, Dame Montrose and Malescot destroy it at 2/3 of the price. I guess i'm not a Selga fan as I have found other vintages quite the same. Age will help, perhaps to fatten it a bit, but in a vintage of rising stars, QPRs and overall excellence, I'd drift elsewhere.
  • ESCO commented:

    12/16/17, 5:02 PM - I could have fun with your comment , but will pause only to say I disagree that it is destroyed by other named wine. RS '14 has obvious limitations , but in a vintage of limitations it is admirable. Drift away.

Red
1996 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
12/15/2017 - drjb Likes this wine:
92 points
‘Lost cellar’ wine.Deep crimson with some bricking. Lovely nose of black currant, white flowers, licorice and cedar. The palate is initially a bit obdurate and old fashioned with firm tannins but with breathing over several hours the fruit became luscious and the tannins more refined. This was more apparent the next day with half bottle held under argon just delicious suggested there’s plenty of time and development left here. Classic slightly old-school Pauillac.
  • ESCO commented:

    12/16/17, 4:53 PM - Thank you ; my experience was similar but you hit the right note much better than I could have managed. If I wrote a note on the '96 Pontet it could/should have been word for word with your evaluation ......

Red
2006 Jasper Hill Shiraz Georgia's Paddock Heathcote
7/20/2017 - ESCO wrote:
90 points
Gosh this is pleasant ; what an unexpected mouthful of lovlieness.

Pretty tannic still but with areal sense of place , of authenticity; a wine that says this is where I am from, like it or lump it.

I have never had this wine before so liking it was a complete surprise. Something good is going on in the vineyard and cellar .Plummy , figgy flavours somehow merge into something much nicer than either .

I can't even remember where , when or how much on purchase ; it must be a bargain though surely ?
  • ESCO commented:

    8/2/17, 11:54 AM - Thank you . I will certainly give it a go. Hope you are well ....

Red
1996 Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
2/19/2017 - ChopperWine Likes this wine:
92 points
Wonderful. A lovely garnet colored wine with hints of orange on the edge from Margaux and drinking oh so well right now. Was great from the pour, but we decanted for several hours (for sediment purposes as well). Wine improved and opened up considerably over the 3 hours we drank it with wonderfully stinky cheese and meats. With a nice perfumed nose of flowers and leather and grass. The flavors of cherry, tobacco, leather, chocolate, with a small amount of barnyard. Despite its medium body, it did have a long finish with very well-rounded tannins and slight acidity.
  • ESCO commented:

    2/21/17, 3:12 PM - I am glad to have read your note . I have one bottle of said Rauzan left and I was in a quandary whether to drink or keep . I had this notion it would become great .

    Having read your comment and the one preceding yours , I think I will drink. That can be no bad thing can it now ? I have a roast lamb in mind...

    Thank you.

Red
2003 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Sassicaia Red Bordeaux Blend
10/21/2016 - bengti wrote:
91 points
Young young and while very approachable with a good balance between fruit and alcohol, it was stubbornly generis in its profile, would be curious to try in 5 years again to see if it develops more richness and complexity. Or was it just too cold....
  • ESCO commented:

    12/20/16, 4:35 PM - Not too cold .... just not good.. and what does " stubbornly generis " mean ? Sorry , but I have no idea ....

Red
2003 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Sassicaia Red Bordeaux Blend
Zachys Holiday - Dec 2016 (Smith & Wollensky (48th & 3rd Ave)): Drinking very well right now. Like many other vintages this is just a pretty wine. a bit more fruit forward than some of the other years. Still get that nice minerality. Enjoyed.
  • ESCO commented:

    12/20/16, 4:32 PM - You must have been drinking a bottle from a different vineyard.......from a different year...

Red
2000 Château Lafleur Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
11/14/2016 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
I'm thinking this is the wine of the vintage, and that says a lot, when you consider how many great wines were born in 2000. But I have had this enough times to feel quite comfortable saying that. the wine is opulence on steroids. It has unbelievable levels of concentration. a mouth feel that words cannot do justice to and a finish that breaks the one minute mark and keeps on going.
  • ESCO commented:

    12/13/16, 3:26 PM - Great review . I don't have any Lafleur 2000 , but your review makes me really wish I did....

Red
2006 Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Heathcote Shiraz Blend, Syrah
5/3/2015 - Vini Ciclismo Likes this wine:
93 points
Very dark but not quite as dark as normal.
Deeply scented and very smooth, fruit driven - blueberry, violet and blood plum. Some dark spice, but more floral characters.
Silky smooth entry, fleshy middle and a crisp finish. Very fine tannins, soft and furry. Delicious blue fruits, ink, and a dark tar and licorice spice lingering on the finish. Has a more refined elegant style than perhaps I'm used to from older vintages. Totally delicious and very much an Emily's.
  • ESCO commented:

    10/18/16, 3:01 PM - Have you tried another 2006 since your last post in May 2015 ? If so, had it improved/changed at all ?

  • ESCO commented:

    10/19/16, 12:41 AM - Thanks. The post is purely honorary ( i.e. no cash involved) but my friends and I have informally appointed you our "Australian Wine Guru to be Trusted" .........No pressure, we just respect your opinion !!

  • ESCO commented:

    10/21/16, 2:45 PM - Thank you again ; we are not well informed on Australian wine. And we are a bit embarrassed about that . We kinda go for the well known stuff but that costs. We see you like Margaret River wines and we will keep our eye on your take on those. But really we will pay attention to anything you say on OZ wine ...Thanks for being a good sport !!.....

Red
2015 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
6/6/2016 - felixp Likes this wine:
95 points
hello, it is the Canon fan here again!!!
yes, yet another note on one of my two favourite Bordeaux Chateaux.
Big, round and very, very lush, a none-too-subtle change in direction with a new skipper at the helm. Retains freshness with the estate is famous for (even in ripe vintages like 2009), but in this early stage I detected a little alcohol warmth on the finish.
Given it's infancy, the possible minor flaw might just be a stage in the development, I guess we will have to see out of bottle.
Those critics that crave huge, dense wines will no doubt anoint this with stratospheric points, but for me, a Canon fan from way back, I find this a wonderful wine, but at this early stage, certainly behind the 09 and 05, and probably behind the 2010 too (to which it bears closest resemblance)
I reluctantly shelled out too much for a case EP, but that purchase is really to keep my long vertical going. I have heard rumours this will cost close to $200 USD by release, frankly anyone considering buying it would be far, far better back-filling with the cheaper and better 05 and 09.
  • ESCO commented:

    6/9/16, 5:00 PM - The Wine Society ( England ) released its Canon EP price at £325........just for reference and comparison.

  • ESCO commented:

    10/11/16, 2:38 AM - Sorry, i made a mistake in my previous comment ....a very basic mistake .

    The £325 I quoted was for 6 bottles and not for a case . So the Wine Society price is £650 EP for the Canon 2015. Judging by reviews elsewhere that might prove to be quite a bargain... I have never tried so much as a sip of Ch Canon, and having read the discussion here , I am very much looking forward to it. Thanks for your review and comments.

Red
2008 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
1/21/2011 - bestdamncab Likes this wine:
88 points
Union Des Grand Cru of Bordeaux Tasting San Francisco, nose of plum and black fruit, same on the palate, very subdued fruit and tart on the palate, needs 2 years to peak, medium body, medium/long finish
  • ESCO commented:

    8/5/16, 4:32 PM - Your comment is dated 2011......do you know why it has just appeared ?

    I really like the wine and was a little surprised at your mark and it was then I noticed the date of your post. Have you tried it again more recently ?

  • ESCO commented:

    8/5/16, 4:51 PM - I value your post . And thank you for replying.. .....in fact after reading your post on the DdC , I read your posts on all Bordeaux wines . Enjoyed them...

Red
1998 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
7/4/2016 - ryestraw wrote:
I got a fair bit of brett the nose, though it was tasty. Fruit fading in my opinion. I'm not steeped in 1st growth, tho based on this bottle I'd say drink up.
  • ESCO commented:

    7/6/16, 1:11 PM - I would be interested what score you would place on it . Someone not steeped in first growths seems like a good candidate for honesty .

  • ESCO commented:

    7/7/16, 9:45 AM - Thank you . appreciated and valuable.

Red
1996 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
6/3/2016 - McKraftyWino Likes this wine:
96 points
When first tasted from Riedal Bordeaux Somm glass, it was too tight, too constricted.
So then tried from a Zalto Bordeaux glass. excellent!
i was shocked at how much better it presented.
i normally prefer wines in Big Bordeaux Somm glasses however for this wine, for this time, the Zalto was clearly better.
  • ESCO commented:

    6/22/16, 11:33 AM - Judging by your avatar , I am not surprised that glasses are not quite your thing !!

Red
2015 Château Petit Village Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
4/27/2016 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
Perhaps the best vintage of Petit Village I've ever tasted! This wine offers real density for the first time. There is a richness and a fleshiness to the sweet, corpulent, ripe, black cherries and cocoa that make it impossible not to like. The wine was made from a blend of 71% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. 91-93 Pts
  • ESCO commented:

    5/3/16, 3:06 PM - Do you think buying en primeur will be a risk with this wine ?

Red
1998 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
4/2/2016 - liber Likes this wine:
95 points
2nd of 12, decanted an hour, perfect cork and level - I've noted that the top left bank 98s are now beginning to drink well and this was no exception, a substantial upgrade on my April 14 note when it was still surly and one dimensional - now still youthful garnet; complex and classy bouquet of cassis, bramble, cedar and graphite; medium, very long, persistent and involving, beautiful fruit hiding fine grain but slightly dry tannin, has grip and balance to develop further. Unexpectedly beautiful, VF (18.5).
  • ESCO commented:

    4/3/16, 4:13 PM - You really must be having a laugh......95 .........never , ever.

  • ESCO commented:

    4/5/16, 2:43 PM - I liked your very polite reply . It had class. But ....

    .....if it develops as you expect this is a potential 98 point wine ? Almost perfection ?

    I acknowledge your familiarity with the wine but having tasted 6 bottles of 98' D-B at various stages of development there is no chance it nears perfection. None, zero, niente.....

    It is all opinions after all , and I really enjoyed your opinion and defence of same.

Red
2012 Château Bourgneuf Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
Some wines seep between the cracks .

Bourgneuf is , for the price , outstanding . Simply outstanding.

Truffle, cinnamon and tobacco echo against a wall of tannin. So much structure here that the faint-hearted may turn and run.

Long haul, 15 year wine, but superb.........
  • ESCO commented:

    2/21/16, 2:55 PM - On further reflection 88 seems a fair mark.

Red
2013 Château de Merande La belle romaine Vin de Savoie Arbin Mondeuse
bright red/ purple
VEry lively nose, smells like crunchy red fruit with distinct note of violets
LIght body, lots of summer pudding type fruit, very dry, some tannin and a slatey sort of quality. More violets and a little leather on the finish.
Quite concentrated, ideally needs food
Variety is MONDEUSE
Tastes a bit like a cross between syrah and gamay with a bit of loire cab franc thrown in.
  • ESCO commented:

    2/10/16, 3:24 PM - Agreed on the violets ; how long a life do you think the wine has ? Is it at its peak ?

White - Sparkling
N.V. Pol Roger Champagne Brut Réserve Champagne Blend
1/8/2016 - rustyRudy Likes this wine:
92 points
Drank on its own before dinner, it was tasting consistent with previous notes. We continued with dinner which was moderately spiced Tikka Masala and it went surprisingly well. I usually drink beer with this dish, but the bubbly did surprisingly well.
  • ESCO commented:

    1/23/16, 5:00 PM - I liked your note. I have never had champagne with curry and I am glad you tried it before me.

Red
2005 Château Lanessan Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
1/15/2016 - asgerG wrote:
91 points
DnP. Garnet red, Yellowish rim, 5. Classic left bank bouquet, pencil, cedar, Blackcurrant, +3h: even more generous and more flowery/fruity with an excotic touch. Harmonious palate, tannins starting to mellow, long dry finish. Drink now-2025
  • ESCO commented:

    1/15/16, 3:35 PM - Will it get better , do you think ?

Red
1996 Château Beychevelle St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
12/2/2015 - T.E.D. wrote:
90 points
Magnum. Somewhat closed nose of Black pepper, spice, lightening up over time with more refined herbs, spice, and earth. Palate was classic old school showing mainly pencil lead, rough stones, rocks and gravel. Not for the the faint of heart but none the less a good representation of the region.
  • ESCO commented:

    12/3/15, 5:06 PM - May I ask ; is there much life left ? ...I have only one bottle remaining and I am agonising when to drink it . I fear I already may be too late .........and I note you drank from magnum....

Red
2010 Château d'Aiguilhe Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend
7/14/2015 - chbeaumont wrote:
88 points
Well coloured; Merlot dominated, with cedars undertones; supple,smooth, balanced; rounded tannins show on a inviting finish. Now & next 5 years.
  • ESCO commented:

    8/20/15, 3:50 PM - Is this wine at its peak in your opinion ?

Red
2012 Brazin Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi
4/12/2015 - Tompa71 Likes this wine:
92 points
Big, bold and beautiful. Very spicy, just as we like it. The oak is definitely there. The fruit as well. In my opinion this is just a great wine.
  • ESCO commented:

    5/27/15, 4:54 PM - We concur ...we really liked it and thought it a bargain.

Spirits
N.V. Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, 40% Scotland Malt
5/12/2015 - Soteriologist wrote:
87 points
This note comes under the heading Debunking Christopher Hitchens who in this interview risked quite a mouthful in favor of this whisky and thereby inspired me to buy a miniature.

Day 1, 5/12/2015: Direct comparison with the Bushmills Black Bush which is surely even cheaper than this.
Never mind the amusingly artificial color, the nose does suggest a kind of poor man's Talisker, but I don't know where the honey note comes from. It is good for the price (I would give it an 89-90), but OTOH, it isn't better, only a bit darker than that of the Bushmills BB and slightly smoky. A similar mention can be made of the palate: it is different and a bit drier than the Bushmills BB mentioned above, but not better. Very dusty. In fact, I would only give it an 85-86 and clearly prefer that Bushmills at a lower price.
And so I guess Hitchens is refuted, as far as I am concerned. Can't see why anyone would buy this. If one is low on money, there are nicer palates for the price and much nicer for just a few € more. In fact if I could only afford this whisky, I would simply stop drinking whisky altogether. And if someone has as much money as Hitchens and he likes that direction, a Talisker Port Ruighe will completely put this in its place. To test this hypothesis, I will compare the rest of my miniature with that Talisker tomorrow.

Day 2, 5/13/2015: Direct comparison with the Talisker Port Ruighe. The nose makes me want to bet that some Talisker whisky (and apparently at least 12 year old) has a big part in this blend. Like yesterday, the nose is the best part of it and is quite convincing even if a little reserved. The palate, however, also reminds me of yesterday as well as of yofog's mention of heat, which seems to go with a dusty and muffling effect. It seems quite possible that this is what is left of the Talisker chili spice in this blend, but here it isn't offset by such a space of aroma and fruit. Needless to say, on the palate our Talisker starts where this one ends. To be expected of a single malt at more than twice the price of this blended whisky, but if you consider the enjoyment per volume, the Talisker Port Ruighe is probably cheaper: one sip of it is more enjoyable than three of this one. So unless you are drinking for alcoholic effects, I would go for this Talisker PR directly and drink half the amount taking small sips.
  • ESCO commented:

    5/12/15, 2:53 PM - Hitchens is dead......

  • ESCO commented:

    5/12/15, 6:01 PM - I look forward to your comparison with Talisker.

Red
2005 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Napa Valley
2/14/2015 - sdwineguru Likes this wine:
90 points
Mid-dark garnet; minty, peppery, Stag's Leap AVA nose; mid-big body; good fruit extract; a little hot; one dimensional but tasty w/beef
  • ESCO commented:

    2/19/15, 3:06 PM - If I may ask , what sort of beef ? I have a case of this wine and to date had a very hard time matching it with food. Any assistance appreciated .

Red
2008 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
2/3/2015 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
It took close to 3 hours of air before the wine softened and filled out. Elegant, in a classic way, the smoky, earth, blackberry, cassis and tobacco nose got better and better. Give this at least another 5 or more years.
  • ESCO commented:

    2/4/15, 5:24 PM - I am so glad you are positive about this wine. It was one of our favourites and to have you endorse our opinion is important to us. We value your opinion no end, and always read your comments on all wines , esp, on the lesser known Bordeaux.

Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
1/10/2015 - ESCO wrote:
91 points
Counter-intuitive.

I am fairly certain, as certain as one can be, that I prefer older more mature wines. Yes the first full flush of youth can exhilarate sometimes but often the quiet voice of maturity resonates in a more purposeful manner. So, imagine the surprise when this wine blew away some long held personal shibboleths ; it is vibrant, lively and fresh but not in an incomplete or harsh sense. This wine is big, bold and brash but with a verve and sinew that makes one stand up and take notice. It feels neither too fickle nor too forced and leaves the taster with a wonderful sense of "terroir". It is great stuff ; unique, idiosyncratic and in a world of commonplace/median tastes a complete bystander from the usual. We are so glad we purchased a case, a decision we had initially debated for hours, and now look forward with huge anticipation as to where this gem will develop.

Not for the faint-hearted it reminded this group of friends why we drink, taste, try and experiment with wines. Joy in a glass and special enough to be loved and disliked in some measure. Thought provoking........91 is a pretty arbitrary score as it was rated both as low as 84 and as high as 93 by the four people in the room.
  • ESCO commented:

    1/11/15, 6:42 AM - Hi Harley and jerwin. If you try this wine please post a review. This Ardanza had my friends chatting all night. I would be very interested to read what you think of it.

Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
12/30/2014 - texanoblues Likes this wine:
91 points
All of the characteristics of Rioja present themselves in this wine from La Rioja Alta. Medium-red color, cherry, leather, tobacco, oak, and eucalyptus. They are all present and accounted for. What makes this Rioja unique and very appealing is that these individual traits have been so well integrated, and one detects only the sum. Therefore, I feel it more appropriate to describe this wine as a whole, and not to dissect it.

When I drink this wine, I feel the warmth, exuberance and vivacity of the land and of the people who created it. This wine is vibrant and alive.

2ndBottle: 1/5/15 - Same as first, excellent, well-integrated, vibrant
  • ESCO commented:

    12/31/14, 9:02 AM - What a very nice comment about the wine and its makers. I just bought a case and hope it lives up to ( high ) expectations. Thank you for your opinion which convinced me to buy.

Red
1998 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
2/15/2014 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Since last tasted, this seems bigger, denser, more tannic and even younger than I remember it. With 3 hours of decanting, the smoky, blackberry, boysenberry, earthy, forest floor and campfire aromas are in full force. But it took another 90 minutes before the tannins softened and the fruit filled finish fleshed out. There is a lot of purity, depth and length in this wine. The moral of the story, if you cannot wait another 5-10 years, this wine is not for you. If you have the patience and a cold cellar, this will improve, expand and develop a lot more complexity in time.
  • ESCO commented:

    2/15/14, 3:06 PM - I was lucky enough to share a bottle about two years ago …….and loved it . And I have a single bottle of my own squirrelled away awaiting a suitable moment. I trust your judgement implicitly and will wait until my wife is 60, or our 40th anniversary, or my younger son is 30 ( all a decade away). Thank you for the review…. very helpful.

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