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Tasting Notes for dkfinancial

(191 notes on 158 wines)

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Red
1/28/2023 - dkfinancial Likes this wine:
89 points
Decanted for 1 hour and softened considerably. Still some tannins to resolve but I don’t believe the fruit will hold up. Loads of mixed berries, a bit of violets, loads of black pepper and iron at the outset. About an hour later, there’s even more finesse with the fruit - this is a mid weight Syrah, not an extracted monster the wine critics trip over each other to recommend. Very round, balanced. It’s a solid 90, but I’ve subtracted 1 because the QPR isn’t justified. Would be a good value at $60-75 (tops) but not over $100 CAD.
Red
1/24/2023 - dkfinancial wrote:
87 points
Very ripe, low tannin, low acidity Grenache monster (okay, it’s not a monster like a Grenache from SQN or Alban). A bit floral, but it’s almost entirely Kirsch and raspberry ganache, and there’s no sous bois/terroir here. Frankly, this is a very nice, $25 Vacqueyras red from a warmer vintage. Problem is, it was $52 on release and is absolutely bot worth that money, not even inflation-adjusted for today. Sadly, this wine strikes me as yet another over-priced, over-extracted red from the Brunier portfolio. Glad that this is my only bottle and will be a distant memory soon.
Red
1/23/2023 - dkfinancial wrote:
87 points
Echoing the comments of others, this is a fully mature, rather one-dimensional red. I’d be delighted if this was a Cote-du-Rhône Villages at $20, but it was a $52 Gigondas that really doesn’t deliver for the price. Intense raspberry ganache up front and that’s it. No residual tannins, low acidity and somewhat warming on this finish. No emerging terroir notes that suggest anything other than a Southern Rhône red blend that is mostly Grencache (and it is that). Have not and would not buy this wine again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/4/2022 - dkfinancial wrote:
88 points
Tight. Elevated acidity and closed fruit, even after a 2-hr decant. Not sensing any of the tire/rubber phenolic is expect to emerge at this stage. Going to hold the remaining bottles for at least 2 more years.
2 people found this helpful
Red
11/1/2022 - dkfinancial Does not like this wine:
85 points
Very evolved. Tannins gone; some beef bouillon notes and pale brown meniscus. Cloudy. Purchased on release and kept in Vintage Keeper at 12°C so not poor storage. Nowhere near the depth and enjoyment as the 2004.
Red
12/2/2022 - dkfinancial wrote:
50 points
Totally shot. Beef boullion taste. Extremely maderized - despite a perfect cork, minimal seepage - just 3mm worth down the cork. Was stored cold (cellar is 10°C). Goodbye - down the drain.
Red
10/7/2022 - dkfinancial wrote:
50 points
Totally shot. All beef bouillon and dried leaves - the fruit is gone. No tannins left. Bought on release and cellared throughout at 14C in my Vintage Keeper. Blimey.
Red
1/22/2022 - dkfinancial wrote:
90 points
Nice black and blue berry fruit. Structured. Hints of graphite and almost smokiness. Compared to the base cab Sauv, I like this single vineyard bottling less; it’s drier and almost austere. I’m not sure that will change, given how bone dry it is, and the fruit certainly isn’t going to gain weight 12 years later. Quite a bit of precipitate (not just sediment) and soft tannins, so also not confident this is a long-ager.
Red
2008 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/19/2022 - dkfinancial Likes this wine:
94 points
“Too young.” “Too old.” The next person who says that, immediately after you just shared what wine you really enjoyed - maybe just tell them to piss off. This: bought on futures, received on release, and kept cellared properly. Enjoyed over 2 days.

Day 1: after ~1hr in decanter, shows pure blackberry, plum, dark chocolate. Give another hour: cinnamon bark, dried leaves, but still fruit-driven. I swear I smell black mahagony furniture; like when you walk into a stately hope managed by the National Trust with 16C furniture. It’s an old wood, not volatile organoleptic. A bit later, walnuts. I kid you know. This is just beguiling. Half-bottle transferred to swing top, with 1cm air gap.

Day 2: allowed to breath 2 hrs. Pure, focused blackberry, plum and raspberry fruit. Milk chocolate. A hint of walnut.

Overall, just perfectly balanced fruit, acidity, alcohol, and soft tannins that underpin the palate. Wow. I visited the Château in 2008, during the harvest, and Alexandre Thienpont said, “this will be a very good vintage. For us and for Pomerol.”

Enjoy whenever you like. It’s a delight many times over.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/26/2022 - dkfinancial Likes this wine:
90 points
A bit of cedar, graphite & loads of cassis. Soft tannins - not aging any further. Some subtle herbaceousness and a wee bit of brett. I like it. But I like it at a third the price. No way this is worth $155 at the LCBO for the latest vintage.
White
2016 Les Hauts de Smith Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sauvignon Blanc (view label images)
2/17/2022 - dkfinancial Does not like this wine:
85 points
Very disappointing. Aromas and flavours of overripe pineapple and yellow plum. High diacetyl and noticeably low acidity. Tasted bling, I’d peg this as a ~$25 mixed varietal white from nowhere in particular and with too much new oak. Really lacking in balance and not pleasant to drink.
Red
Very reductive, very jammy Grenache-led profile: raspberry sauce and some spice. But fruit-driven to be sure. Low tannins, low acidity. Seems boozier than 14%. Wow. Extremely disappointed by this vintage.

Seems like the winemaking team went for extraction over complexity and balance. A shame. I’ve had almost every release of Les Sinard since the early 2000s and this is certainly the least impressive. Not going to buy any to cellar.
Red
Very ripe, candy like red cherry flavour. Soft tannins and high acidity. Tasted blind, I’d beg this for California Pinot Noir, like Belle Glos - except for the high acidity at the end.

It’s no 95-pointer; Decanter is handing out 95 scores as often as James Suckling these days. I’d sooner drink Fuzion Reserve, at half the price, if I’m craving a one-note fruit bomb.
Red
2008 Château d'Aiguilhe Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/18/2021 - dkfinancial wrote:
90 points
Ripe
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/25/2021 - dkfinancial Does not like this wine:
82 points
Fruity, high toned & thin. Tons of sulfur. In a nutshell.

On opening: aromas of ripe purple fruit, as well as brett bordering on house paddock. Gave this 4.5 hours in decanter. The schtank mostly blows off. The fruit here is very high toned: bright pomegranate and orange peel. Palate: fruit replays, but thin and watery. Not much weight, complexity or depth. Earthy, tart finish.

Tasted this blind, I'd peg it for a lower end Cote du Rhone that the LCBO loves to offer around $16. But for $30? That can get much better CdR Villages or Vacqueyras.

Edit - tasted 2nd half of bottle that was left to slow ox for a week in the fridge. There’s even more sulfur, especially on the nose. The fruit is still high toned red berries, and watery. Definitely not a buy again for me.
Red
2/22/2021 - dkfinancial Does not like this wine:
84 points
Deep ruby colour. Aromas are mostly forest floor and there’s little fruit, despite the rich colour. Palate is bone dry and drying; huge clenchy tannins that will need 5-10 years to soften, however the fruit has faded and there won’t be much of any fruit left 2025-2030. Overall, a poor wine making effort in what most Bordelaise call an “armchair vintage”.
Red
2/4/2021 - dkfinancial wrote:
50 points
Maderized. Not defective; not poor storage (kept in a VK at 13C since release); have had some good bottles of Brovia but more bad bottles than good. No longer buy from this producer as I'd rather juggle hand grenades.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2021 - dkfinancial wrote:
50 points
Brownish colour. Fruit gone. Tastes like beef bouillon - with a Thomas Keller price tag. Bottle was purchased on release and cellared perfectly in a Vintage Keeper.
Red
11/21/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
92 points
This is a lovely wine that resembles an aged Burg, like Volnay, more than many juice bomb CdPs. Blood orange, plum, red currant fruit. Old herbs. Finishes with subtle orange, spice and herbs. Just lovely now. Drinking beautifully and has a decade or enjoyment in store.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/28/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
89 points
Black fruit, tar, hibiscus & florals. Ripe profile. I’d prefer more terroir and less ripeness. Tannins still have some grip however the fruit is open, and not particularly deep. 2020-2022 to enjoy the fruit; up to 2025 however I won’t put my remaining bottles past that.
Red
11/18/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
50 points
Maderized. Another bottle. I’ve chucked away more than $400 on dead bottles from this producer. On my never-buy-again list.
1 person found this helpful Comments (7)
Red
11/18/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
50 points
Maderized. Brown rims; aged way too quickly. Was purchased on release and stored at 12C in a VK. Never buying this producer again. Waste of money.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/18/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
50 points
VA. Undrinkable. This producer has major quality control problems.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/17/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
88 points
Previous bottle (same lot) had massive VA - you could pour it on french fries instead of vinegar and the fries would be delicious. This bottle - no defects. Aromas of black fruit, chocolate and sottobosco. Palate is ripe, extracted dark fruit. Very modern style that focused on ripeness and sacrifices terroir. Tannins are soft; I don't expect much evolution given the intense ripe fruit profile.
Red
10/2/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
90 points
Hard as nails. Tight and tannic on opening. After an hour in decanter, it started to throw strawberry, balsamico and sottobosco. That said, the palate was still tightly wound and tannic. It's going to be a great wine, but I think it needs another 3+ years, and is likely to last toward 2030.
Red
2003 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/18/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
92 points
Cassis, cedar/pencil shavings and loads of tobacco. Minerals & a bit of violets. If tasted blind I’d beg this as Pichon Baron largely because of the tobacco; in any case, it’s classic Pauillac. Ripe but not cooked fruit like many 2003s; balanced acidity and soft tannins. It’s in a great place, fully mature IMO, should drink well through 2025 but I’d hesitate pushing it beyond that because the fruit is likely to fall off. Cheers!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Tons of VA. Undrinkable. 2 bottles like this. I don’t buy Ratti any more since the VA, even when reined in, is elevated.
Red
3/13/2020 - dkfinancial wrote:
86 points
Yet another vintage with low quality corks. Cork was totally soaked and stained along the outer edge. Pours with light brown rims. Smiles/tastes maderized. It’s common for producers to cellar bottles of Brunello wherever they can before release (I’ve seen owner’s family and dining rooms - surely well into the 20C+ range) and this bottle toasted both oxidized and heat exposed. It’s been cellared since release in a VK so it’s not my doing. If you have bottles, suggest remove the neck seal and inspecting cork health with a flashlight (smartphone works fine). I’ve only got 3 bottles of the 2010 from this producer and don’t expect I’ll ever buy from it again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/25/2019 - dkfinancial Does not like this wine:
85 points
Juice. Sweet juice. Bought when I toured because the people were so nice but it’s a sweet juice bomb with no complexity or terroir. Goodbye.
Red
12/21/2019 - dkfinancial wrote:
92 points
Profile here reeks of Syrah and of Grenache, but moreso the Syrah. Black pepper, iron and a bit of smoke frame the core. Floral aromatics as well but subtle & not blousey. Red & black berry + plum fruit. Medium body and acidity. Very well balanced. This is better than most northern Rhône blends. Drinking fabulously right now. What a great wine.
Red
2005 Château d'Agassac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/15/2019 - dkfinancial Does not like this wine:
85 points
She’s dead, Jim. Fruit is gone and it’s now tobacco leaf & berry skins after pressing. Note to self; don’t age a drink-early claret like this.
Red
12/13/2019 - dkfinancial Does not like this wine:
87 points
A sad winemaking effort. The berry fruit is stewed and figgy - the winemaking team certainly wanted a ripe wine and it’s over-the-top. Low acid, still tannic & grippy; there’s no balance and the wine is unpleasant to drink. There are better Spanish reds at half the price with the same organoleptic profile.
Red
1989 Château Clarke Listrac-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/31/2019 - dkfinancial wrote:
93 points
Absolutely at peak. Pure cassis and sois bois flavous; slightly more fruit than secondaries so if well stored this bottle still has a decade plus of life ahead of it. Was most soft & silky 2 hours after opening. A real pleasure.
Red
7/1/2019 - dkfinancial wrote:
88 points
Ripe, linear, at peak or possibly on the slow downside
Red
3/7/2018 - dkfinancial wrote:
89 points
Excellent fruit; hard to believe this is Beamsville Cab when most Ontario Cabs taste like bell pepper. Good structure, cassis & tobacco flavours. Well done.
White - Sparkling
12/23/2017 - dkfinancial wrote:
93 points
Intense, in a great way. Tons of brown butter, roasted hazelnut & cashew, preserved lemon & dried orange peel. On the finish, the Pinot Noir makes its mark - dried strawberry & loads of tabacco. Lovely acidity adds lift; suggests some youth; and cuts the palate intensity & secondary flavours. Disgorged in 2011; still has another 5+ years left and no sign of falling off, yet. Just an epic mature Champagne.
White
11/10/2017 - dkfinancial wrote:
93 points
My last of 9 bottles and this one was the most fresh. Poured with a straw colour; aromas & flavours of plum, green raisin, honey & roasted nuts. Velvety (not oily) and with a lovely acidic cut at the end.

Have experienced wide bottle variation with this vintage, but ones showing best still have several years of life. I’d drink up, though, given the lovely balance between fruit, acidity and lack of buttery oxidative notes in the best showing bottles.
Red
9/29/2017 - dkfinancial wrote:
50 points
She’s dead, Jim. Over cooked fruit that is now stewed and figgy. Brown edges and walnut stewed fruit flavour. Bottles were cellared perfectly. What a shame.
Red
2003 Château Coutelin-Merville St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/4/2017 - dkfinancial wrote:
84 points
A disjointed mess. Very oaky - vanilla, buttery toasted oak, verging on coconut; excessively metallic (more than oyster shells - almost fish stock minerality); overripe, fat fruit. If you have any left, drink up or use in stews & red sauces.
Red
4/26/2017 - dkfinancial wrote:
88 points
Last bottle. Tannins are fully resolved. Had better balance about 5 years ago. Fruit now is simple, very ripe, and a bit pruney.
Rosé - Sparkling
4/16/2017 - dkfinancial wrote:
93 points
Biscuit, toasted almonds, vanilla cream, cacao nibs, cherry, persimmon & blood orange. Rich body (ripe, sweet impression - bone dry though); acidity to match; red berry-blood orange & earthy finish. Just stunning. Very youthful; has a decade plus of life.
Red
1/13/2017 - dkfinancial wrote:
88 points
Tannins have resolved. Smooth and velvety texture. Aromas & flavours - all raspberry ganache (one-dimensional) with a bit of garrigue. Not very complex or gamey - and I'm not convinced the fruit will hold up when the secondaries really emerge. Paid $35 CAD and it's not worth a penny more. Much more complexity with other producers, like Grand Veneur, for $10 more a bottle. I stopped buying Les Sinards in 2006 and don't regret that decision one bit.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Château Langoa Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/18/2016 - dkfinancial wrote:
92 points
Pop & pour. Gorgeous aromas on opening; I wouldn't decant this. Pure cassis aromas with some tobacco, violets, dried leaves & tar. Textbook St-Julien terroir. Resolved tannins; sweet currant fruit. Perfectly balanced body, alcohol and acidity. A stunning wine and real viticultural and winemaking talent in a year like 2004. Will keep for a decade or more but so enjoyable now there's nothing to gain IMHO.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White - Sparkling
9/1/2016 - dkfinancial wrote:
92 points
Gorgeous overall. Shows brioche and lots of nuttiness. Acidity is there and balanced out the rich flavours. Delicious now and probably for another decade, easily.
Red
10/1/2016 - dkfinancial wrote:
92 points
Textbook Hermitage - bloody, metallic & mineral rich; leads with small dark berries. After a couple hours, dried herbs and game aromas/flavours emerged. Was delicious over several hours. Drinking so well right now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
3/6/2016 - dkfinancial wrote:
92 points
Has evolved significantly and nicely in the last 3 years. When last tasted, was like a tightly wound Chablis - flint, white ash, and laser-like lemon and apple. It was big, but austere and almost intimidating. Now - lush, creamy and starting to show early-stage oxidative notes (blend is 20% Pinot Noir, 80% Chardonnay) - light brioche and treacle. Not yet at the brown butter stage, that's for sure. Round and superb balance - baked yellow plums and apples, primarily. Finishes with both fruit and pastry flavours. Good length. Although this champers has a decade or so more life in it, it's tasting at peak, for my palate. I actually miss some of the rawness, but it is quite a refined bubbly right now.
White
3/1/2016 - dkfinancial wrote:
92 points
Honeyed; lots of plum & pear; faint fennel on finish. Ripe style, but balanced by underlying acidity. 14.5% abv but not noticeable. Toasted oak has integrated well versus a couple years ago (was more toasty, and disjointed). There is some brown butter starting to show on the finish, so I think the drinking window extends through 2017. Solid 91-92 pts for me. Very enjoyable, particularly with pan fried white fish and scallops.
Red
2007 Brancaia Ilatraia Maremma Toscana Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/14/2016 - dkfinancial wrote:
90 points
Decanted over 2.5 hrs. Wine opened up to show aromas & flavours of blackberry, cassis and raspberry sauce, with some dark chocolate and graphite. Woody but not unpleasant. Soft tannins - upside potential questionable. Ripe style; medium-minus acidity - definitely a house style. If tasted blind, I'd peg this at $30-40 a bottle but not $65. Overpriced and would not buy again.
2 people found this helpful Comment
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