Comments on my notes

(141 comments on 114 notes)

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White
2004 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia White Blend
5/10/2019 - Cailles wrote:
93 points
My second encounter with this wine and it again delivered quite a convincing performance. The main highlight is the level of complexity you rarely find in a white wine, especially in a white wine which only costs 40 bucks. I can only imagine how good or let's say "intellectually appealing" (these wines doesn't necessarily bring you a lot of hedonistic pleasure!) the Gran Reservas or more aged examples would be. Definitely one to try. Best with food.

TN: Oxidative, nutty, a bit sherry-like nose which I don't fine overly pleasant. But on the palate the picture is different. No sherry notes, just a wonderful, complex, low alcohol, fine and fresh wine with layers of different aromas. Along the oxidative notes, nuts, crushed rocks, chamomile, apricots, mirabelle and with time a lot of intriguing baking spices. Changed quite a lot in the two hours in the glass. Good precision, medium- weight and medium+ length.

Decanting: I would decant it for at least three hours as it got better but of course it was open right from the start.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/15/19, 6:16 AM - I agree — excellent note on a wonderfully distinctive wine.

Red
2014 Briceland Vineyards Pinot Noir Phelps Vineyard Humboldt County
5/13/2019 - z_willus_d wrote:
91 points
Upon pouring, this wine showed a notably pure, deep crimson hue, notwithstanding the partially ossified wine crystals and gunk along the bottom quarter of the cork. (And for some reason this bottle's cork was stained purple-red, though not from any apparent internal seepage.) But these are inconsequential to the point, which is this, my first tasting experience with a Briceland Vineyards wine, indeed a Humboldt county wine. I've enjoyed following the nose over the past 90-minutes sans sipping, watching as it evolved from simple sour red cherry to a deeper complexion of red fruits, violets, forest febreze, and subtle bakers spices (and from time to time cookie-dough ice-cream). Very lovely, smooth, and not quite what I was expecting. On the palate, this was concentrated with a double-dose of sour cherry/raspberry (red fruits) and a triple dose of bracing acidity. After a couple sips, fine tannins start to paint the teeth, a bit of mineral mixed in with that sensing. Several aspects of this wine remind me of the 2017 Drew Family Cellars Pinot Noir Mid-Elevation I recently enjoyed in Anderson Valley -- vibrant sour-cherries, a touch floral, good acidity -- though this wine seems more serious and amplified than the entry-level Drew. This also seems young, and I will be interested to follow this over the next couple days to see how the slight bottle aeration of the recorked bottle affects the wine stored at cellar temps. A second half-glass pour showed a less sour, more full (on the mid-palate) rendering of the preceding. There's a lot to follow here, and I'm very excited to sample the other Briceland wines that just arrived (let's hope bottle-shock is a myth).
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/14/19, 9:20 AM - Hi ZWillusD, Nice note. We will open one of these soon. For now I will mention: We have noticed gunk similar to what you describe on and under the corks in at least two of the three Briceland pinot noirs that we have opened. We take it (as we assume you do) as a sign of a healthy and alive wine!

Red
2015 Briceland Vineyards Pinot Noir Ronda's Vineyard Humboldt County
4/11/2019 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Medium ruby, with a touch of translucence at the edges. Yet, as with the recent and even more translucent Humboldt appellation bottling, there is a lot of stuffing here. Predominant impressions are hints of complex clove and balsamic strawberry, a touch of forrest & pine, and refreshing saline. Balanced (with fine acidity) and beautifully integrated.

This was extremely enjoyable over three nights — and we will try to get more. (Even tho we were not looking for another Nor Cal producer to put into our overstocked cellar — competing for bin space with Rhys, Drew, and Anthill Anderson Valley. But so far, the three Pinot Noirs we’ve had recently from Briceland put it, for us, in that league.)
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/4/19, 6:33 PM - Hi zwillisd, thanks for your note. So far we’ve had (and I’ve written notes on) only three Briceland Pinot Noirs, and one very interesting white. We have in our cellar another Briceland Pinot to try (Phelps) and we will get to that within the month.

    Andrew seems like a nice fellow, and we are looking forward to visiting the winery a second time within a couple months. When I taste more, I will post more. In the meantime, here’s to our shared appreciation of North/cool coastal vineyards and wineries! — Jake

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/5/19, 10:10 AM - Yes, in terms of the setting and structure — both physical and organizational — Rhys is in a different orbit. Briceland seems basically a lovely laid-back farm, nestled among pine other trees on the side of a hill. But note, it’s quite a slog, even from the beautiful Anderson Valley. (We stayed for the fifth or sixth time nearby in the recently renovated Benbow Inn, and greatly enjoyed it. That is how we discovered Briceland, having had two of its bottles at the Benbow restaurant’s lovely dining room. Take a look at online pictures. And also nearby are of course the fantastic redwoods in the Avenue of the Giants.)

    Drew, as a winery operation, is something in the middle (literally and figuratively) — but still it has very much a family run and honest and hard-working feel about it. If you ever get a chance to visit the home/winery itself, located four or 5 miles from the coast (as depicted on the label, which also shows Jason in the middle of the Vineyard!) it’s quite lovely. Yet, not generally open to the public.

    Thanks for the Oregon reference, I will take a look. But like I said in my original review, our cellar space is at a premium! — Jake

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/5/19, 11:19 AM - Ahh, Renaissance — now I remember the story, and I get your “cult” reference as well. There have been some in-depth articles about it and its vineyards/wines lately, and I just now saw a couple more of them online. I also did a quick CT search, and found lots of positive notes, some from folks I trust. So yes, we should try some of those, and thanks for the mention. — Jake

Rosé
2015 Bodegas Honorio Rubio Rioja Lias Finas Rosado Garnacha, Grenache
5/2/2019 - ohne_musik wrote:
92 points
This rose is like no other. It reminds me of a non-sparkling Billecart-Salmon rose crossed with a extended aging Pepiere muscadet crossed with a volcanic Canary Island red. Intense, laser beam of acidity, loads of crushed rock, bright crunchy red fruit, and salinity. Nervy and razor sharp, but with a creamy texture, as DC notes. The only slight disappointment is in the finish, which is a bit hollow and short. As is, a wonderful, unique Rose.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/3/19, 6:00 AM - Hi OM, glad to hear it went well for you. Have you yet tried the same producer’s most recent bottling of Anadas?

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/3/19, 7:44 AM - Indeed — and note, only 7 left at K & L. But I have a healthy supply ....

White
2007 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Gravonia Viura, Macabeo
Brilliant gold. Intense nose of candied nuts, candied citrus, varnish, resinous herbs, toffee. Wonderfully full bodied with excellent acidity to balance the rich texture. Linear palate with long nutty finish. Outstanding wine, pairs great with fried foods.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/29/19, 5:53 PM - Excellent description.

Red
2015 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Rouge Pinot Noir
4/25/2019 - 560 B&W wrote:
87 points
PnP from 375ml at Petit Crenn. I know this is 2015, but the Cali-candy-like flavors (from the Loire, of all places) are not to my liking. Mid body, mid+ acid, 12.5% (seems like more). Obnoxious triple retail+ pricing.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/25/19, 10:48 AM - Thanks for the note. (We don’t recall any such candy like flavors, which we’d also not want.) Your pricing comment makes me wonder, what did PC charge?

White
2016 Rhys Chardonnay Bearwallow Vineyard Anderson Valley
10/28/2018 - joraesque wrote:
89 points
The only wine they allowed me to taste at Pick-up. Cooked pineapple notes. Pretentious. Left a bad taste in my mouth. Or perhaps it was their customer service.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/21/19, 8:34 AM - Hmmm — This thread makes me mention that my customer relations experience with Rhys has been excellent. And I have always received emails back within hours. Most recently, when they accidentally sent me a duplicate order of eight bottles, I contacted them to explain the situation, and they said it was their mistake, just keep it, they can’t/won’t resell it after it has already been sent to me. (And I’m less than 100 miles away, and shipping weather was fine.) My impression from this and other experiences is — it’s overall a highly honorable operation. These days, we need more of that — in wine, and in the world.

White
2005 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia White Blend
Checking in again in six weeks after the prior: lovely, similar. This time we noticed a pronounced and pleasant saline aspect. Highly enjoyable over four nights, gaining in complexity over that time.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/10/19, 12:21 PM - Hi westopherguy, I'd love to experience the Rosado again, after my few sips last Sept. Re the Tondonia blanco -- we string most bottles we open out to three or more nights (corked, sometimes topped with inert gas, always refrigerated) -- this way, we have a sampling of 5-6 wines each night with dinner. And tho we love Tondonia blanco, it a bit difficult to pair with some foods. (Goes great with almonds, lime-infused dishes, and fire grilled Turbot -- but hard to fine the latter where we live.) What other foods do you fine that it pairs well with?

White
2008 Jacques Puffeney Arbois Vin Jaune Savagnin
4/6/2019 - Cailles wrote:
An Evening of Oddballs and Curiosities: Not my style... definitely not my style. On the nose this smells like a shot of some hard alcohol, like a sherry or cognac. Better on the palate, with some elegance to it but you definitely have to like that style. It didn’t come across as complex as other reviews here suggest but then again, I was probably not really open to embrace the wine and dive deep into all the nuances which might have been there. I would give it a rating below 80 but since it is no help to fellow wine drinkers who like the style I do not rate it.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/8/19, 6:12 AM - As lovers of vin jaune, we can understand your questioning and ambivalence. And we also appreciate the restraint you showed in preparing your helpful note and declining to score under the circumstances.

Red
2009 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Red Rhone Blend
3/5/2019 - Not647f wrote:
I don't worry that this will become porty, but I don't think this is going to get a whole lot better. This didn't have the tannins it had a couple years ago, it's now settled into something like a raspberry coulis profile. It's not adding a whole lot in the way of secondary flavors. It is, after all, mostly grenache. CdP just doesn't do for me like it once did, partly as the idea of it is less exciting as well--the spectacle of the bottles and the gothic labels has gotten a little old for me. TBH, it's often not as aromatic as a good Gigondas, either. Not heartbroken this is my last VT.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/6/19, 6:37 PM - Thanks. (And your note well captures my assessment.)

White
1995 Caves São João Arinto Quinta do Poço do Lobo Vinho Regional Beiras
3/3/2019 - westopherguy Likes this wine:
95 points
Every time I drink this wine, I think more of it, which explains why there are 22 bottles of it in my cellar. Now that no more of this vintage are to be had, I’ll be rationing them a bit. (At this writing, the 1991 is available, and it’s great too, but the 1995 is still better.)

My previous tasting notes go into more detail on this wine. It’s worth noting that there is some variance bottle-to-bottle, sometimes quite a bit, and while the fundamentals are the same, it makes each one an adventure in and of itself.

It’s just so rare to see bottles like this released to market with this age and this incredible price point. For me, I’d readily pay 2x the price to have it.

NOTE: You’ll probably see dry mold on the top of the cork, testament to the long cellaring at the winery. Use an ah-so cork puller to get the thing out; very subject to breakage given that with most of my bottles, the cork is saturated fully halfway up (or higher). And even with an ah-so, getting it out in one piece is a challenge.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/3/19, 11:01 AM - Hi Westopherguy, we share your infatuation with this wine, although sadly, at this point, we don’t have as many as you! Of similar ilk, I assume you have had the (increasingly difficult to find) Lopez de Heredia blancos? And as a worthy substitute/comparison to those, in case you’ve not had it, you might also like the similarly distinctive Honorio Rubio blancos (and rosado) ....

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/3/19, 4:14 PM - You are very lucky to have 1, let alone 3, of the LDH rosado. I have tried for the past 18 months, and failed. We did get a taste of the 2008 last September in Haro — it was excellent. Have you visited the winery? If you email them in advance, and express your interest, you get, as we received, a two hour private tour and tasting. By far the best winery tour we have ever experienced. Amazing cobwebs and mold! But even at the winery, only the reds were for sale. (Well, you were allowed to buy one bottle of the Rosado in a six pack, along with five Tondonia reds. We passed on that, mostly because we were driving around in a car for many days thereafter, and did not want to cook the wine.)

    Not quite in the same league, but the Honorio Rubio rosado is similarly distinctive. That and one of the two HR blancos — an assemblage of vintages at least 11 years old — is available at K & L right now. Very good stuff.

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/3/19, 8:41 PM - In San Francisco and for that matter all along the West Coast, the same thing happened with the LDH Rosado — it went to a few lucky customers, and the rest (most?) went to wine store employees/ insiders.

    Re Honorio Rubio — K & L is the direct importer. It may be the most promising/effective to purchase directly through it — assuming that shipping is legal to Colorado. There is a good supply right now. — Jake

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/4/19, 5:49 PM - Yikes, sorry to hear that. I was going to also recommend Dugois 2011 Arbois vin jaune, which will be available at K & L in the next few weeks — it seems a wine in your wheelhouse, and it’s another direct import/ quite well priced. Maybe you *should* employ the Cheyenne option!?! (These old puritanical shipping laws, vestiges of Prohibition, are very frustrating.)

White
2016 Navarro Vineyards Chardonnay Première Réserve Anderson Valley
6/29/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Disappointing — dull and lacking in vibrancy. Very unusual showing for this fine winery. Perhaps the bottle was off. Gave up after three nights.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    2/28/19, 8:49 PM - Hi PWL — You are probably right — and as I suspected, it probably was off/ corked. This is a very fine operation — and yet, bad individual bottles happen. It reminds us that wine is alive!

White
2004 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia White Blend
2/19/2019 - DavilaDC Likes this wine:
92 points
Ordered at a Michelin Star restaurant in Bilbao and the sommelier "warned us" against it saying it's not your typical white wine. Having ordered it anyway, the chef came out to see the bottle and tweak a few things we ordered. For example, he replaced the lemon that accompanied the oysters with lime and did that set off this wine!

Almost amber in color and a body to match the hue. The nose was full of almonds, herbs and honey but with a fresh acidity.

If it wasn't for the food, I could understand the reviews here that are not so positive when this bottle is asked to stand alone. But, when paired correctly this wine is like nothing else.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    2/19/19, 7:36 PM - Thanks very much for mentioning the lime versus lemon match. We love this and similar stuff — and we will keep that match in mind.

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    2/19/19, 8:24 PM - Good luck finding the 1996 gran reserva — I do see two on wine searcher in the US right now. But whether it’s actually in stock, who knows. We are lucky enough to have had it twice, and it is worth the search.

White
2008 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Gravonia Viura, Macabeo
2/8/2019 - Caruso Likes this wine:
95 points
Golden with a slight amber hue. This is first a bit reduced on the nose, but delivers within minutes, especially on the palate it shows great complexity and intensity that is worldclass in my opinion. However made in a oxidative style these wines seem to have some image problems. The 2008 Gravonia Crianca got 94 from Gutiérrez, which is quite conservative from my point of view. However this shows good yellow fruit components intermingled with nutty flavors, chamomile, vanilla, saffron, flowers and petrol as well as a salty, mineral driven finish with great poise and balance of fruit and acidity. There is really nothing like this else in the world. 5/12/19/9, -2030+ if perfectly stored since release, but of course it is ready to drink without decant. For less than 18 € an unbelievable bargain as well.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    2/8/19, 7:49 AM - Yes, these — and the sibling Tondonia blanco bottlings — are indeed special creatures. You are very lucky to have access at only around 18 euros — these are more difficult to find, and much more costly, for those of us who are farther from the source!

Red
2015 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
2/3/2019 - Francophile1 Likes this wine:
90 points
Caymus has become the “gateway wine of red wines”. Said another way, for those who don’t enjoy red wine, this is a good place for them to start learning to like it. For my palate, it is too over the top syrupy-sweet with residual sugar and vanilla extract. However, for someone just starting to venture into the world of red wine, it could be the very thing to get them hooked on it. I do miss the older wine making style of Caymus, however. It has lost its sense of class and style at some point in the last 10 years.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    2/4/19, 11:15 AM - Quite agree!

White
2015 Bergström Chardonnay Sigrid Willamette Valley
Medium golden. And that’s the best thing we can say. This was downright unpleasant, and we finished it only because having paid so much, we were unwilling to give up on it. But by the fourth day (and tasting each day in between) the tar/smoke/rubber/aspects had become only more, and not less, pronounced. “Struck match” — for sure. Hint of sulphur, too. We have one more more, and yikes, I see 560+ bottles in CT inventory. Does anyone hold out realistic hope for this?
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    12/16/18, 9:54 AM - Hi Bandreas, I truly wish you better luck. This experience with the 2015 was likely influenced by our similar experience with the 2014. As my CT notes for that show, we had a lovely tasting of the 2014 at the winery in June 2017, and it was fantastic at that time. We bought two bottles, and opened one a few months later, in November 2017. My CT note on that is a slightly stepped down version of my recent 2015 review. This leads me to believe that our experience was not attributed to bottle variation, but to being dramatically out of sync with the style of this wine. If others like it — lovely. The world is vast!

Red
2015 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Syrah
12/7/2018 - ohne_musik wrote:
91 points
Upon opening, a seductive perfume of sour cherries, dark flowers and iron. Palate starts off quite ferrous, tannic and hard as nails - just a hint of black fruit. Stoppered and let rest for 5 hours, after which it’s transformed quite a bit. Still tannic and mineral, but with blooming dark fruit, garrigue, roses, black cherry and iron on the finish for miles. On the spectrum of wild to civilized, it leans wild. This is a winner, just needs a few years of rest to really come into its own.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    12/8/18, 7:54 PM - Excellent note, as usual. And you encourage me to leave mine alone!

Red
2011 Domaine Maume Gevrey-Chambertin En Pallud Pinot Noir
11/28/2018 - JM_MadTown Does not like this wine:
79 points
Since the last bottle was not so good, this time I decanted the bottle an hour in advance of tasting it. While the decanting did help somewhat, this wine continues to be a major disappointment. It has a pale orange color and a weak nose of unripe strawberries. On the palate, the taste resembles the nose with thin strawberry fruit. All I can say it that I am glad I only have one more bottle to endure. I hope the 2010 vintage will be better when I open those bottles.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    11/29/18, 8:12 AM - This was our experience as well. And like you, we have one more to endure — and hope the 10 will meet expectations.

Red
1993 Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles
11/22/2018 - blaine Likes this wine:
91 points
Very impressive showing. This was from magnum, cellared by me since new. Opened about 30 mins before serving, not decanted, then drank over about 2 hours with 40% of the bottle left at the end. 13.8%. Amazing color, almost no bricking, showing translucent around the edges. Big nose, lots of oak. On the palate, big dose of oak that never blew off. American oak? Finish was tight. All that okiness aside, I really enjoyed this. Lot of life left, but this was a big bottle, if you have one left I’d drink up.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    11/23/18, 8:41 AM - Hi Blaine, as my subsequent note mentions, your description seems apt to us. And thanks for sharing. I’ve added a picture. — Jake

White
2011 Jean Bourdy Savagnin Côtes du Jura
As a lover of distinctive oxidative / sous voile savagnin it pains me to write this note, but that makes us even, because for most of its 14 days with us it was a pain to drink. This fellow was downright nasty for 13 days: bitter, with a dirty smell and taste of old tires. Toyo, I think. Funk — which generally we find enjoyable and contributes to complexity in moderation — here fails to overcome the negatives. Multiple days left corked in the fridge mellowed it only marginally. On the 14th and final day it was more enjoyable, but at that point we were worn down and looking for something good to say about it. PS: If I recall, our last bottle of the 2007 version of this same wine has similar, but thankfully for us, subdued negative characteristics. I’m glad to see other recent positive reviews. Maybe, or at least hopefully (for those with more), this particular 2011 bottle was off.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    11/11/18, 8:29 PM - Salut jkissane, thanks for your comment. We would love to have enjoyed this wine as much as we have others of its ilk. I’m very glad it was good for you. I hope the same for others. But looking back at my note, I see we gave it a full and rather astonishing 14 days, during which we checked in on it periodically — as I recall, daily for the first five or so, and then every other day or so for the duration. Wouldn’t that be enough time to shed reductive problems? — Jake

Red
2015 Rhys Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
11/3/2018 - blaine Likes this wine:
92 points
Cork was saturated halfway up. I’m now officially troubled by occasional Rhys cork problems, now identified in two different vintages by me (13 is other), unexpected given commitment to quality from this producer. As for this wine, very good! More open for business than I expected, possibly due to evolution from cork, though others note this is drinking well right now. Light on its feet for a 15, medium bodied, juicy acidity, balanced fruit. Nice finish. Great bottle, but I won’t wait too long on my other given another taster mentioned a corked bottle. Bad timing as I got the fall offer this week, but we love Rhys and will probably go long again.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    11/3/18, 11:44 AM - Thanks for this note. I too have noticed and commented on problems with the 13s — so far just the whites. And also, so far, the wine inside the bottle has been fine.

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    11/5/18, 7:23 AM - Hi wadesh, yes, and I’m aware of that WB thread and the impressive responses from Rhys; but I was not aware that the problem with 13 whites also shows up with regard to 15 reds.

White
2015 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Silex Sauvignon Blanc
10/27/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Drwine’s note below is unfortunately apt for us. Great minerality and hints of shale. Excellent, and nearly bracing acidity. But for us, and especially for the tariff, it lacked depth and anticipated complexity.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    10/31/18, 8:41 AM - Well, there’s also one in my cellar (the bottle I recently tasted was at a restaurant, Madcap) — so let’s plan on opening it in six years!

White
2006 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Gravonia Viura, Macabeo
9/12/2018 - forceberry wrote:
94 points
100% Viura from Viña Zaconia vineyard located in the commune of Zaco. The wine gets its name because it is a Spanish emulation of the classic whites of the Graves region. After the spontaneous fermentation, the wine is aged for 4 years in predominantly old American oak barrels and bottled unfiltered in 2011. 12,5% alcohol. Tasted blind.

Quite concentrated and moderately deep honey-yellow color suggesting some age. Rich, sweet and obviously oxidative (but not oxidized) nose with captivating aromas of caramel, lemon marmalade, bruised apple, some resinous character, a little bit of sweet smoke, light beeswax tones, a hint of nuanced nuttiness and a subtle touch of vanilla. The wine offers layers upon layers of aromas and the nose seems to be somewhat different by every sniff. The wine is medium-to-moderately full-bodied and somewhat oily on the palate, but also bright and crunchy at the same time, thanks to the high acidity that keep the wine incredibly fresh and structured despite the quite concentrated, substantial and somewhat aged character of the wine. There are complex, layered flavors of lemony citrus fruits, oxidative spice and apple core character, some caramel, a little bit of chopped nuts, light smoky tones, a hint of toffee and a subtle, understated touch of vanilla. The finish is rich, complex and extremely long with dry and somewhat oxidative flavors of roasted nuts, creamy richness, some bruised apple, a little bit of caramel, a hint of tangy lemony citrus fruit character and a nuanced touch of spicy vanilla pod.

The first thing I wrote about this wine was RLdH - this style is just so obvious. I was pondering for a while between Tondonia Reserva and Gravonia, ultimately deciding on the latter - this wine shows more freshness and intensity than the often weightier and more concentrated Tondonia Reserva. A stunning wine and the more I taste this vintage the more I start to think that this is not only one of the greatest vintages of 2000's Gravonia, but also perhaps better than most Tondonia Reservas out there. A stunning combination of freshness, intensity, concentration and developed oxidative character. A wine that drinks beautifully now and will continue to do so for at least a decade more. Quoting myself from an earlier tasting note: "At only 15€ I lack words to describe the ridiculous value of this unique wine. Very highly recommended."
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    10/15/18, 2:12 PM - Excellent note, beautifully written. These are indeed stunning wines.

    (One month ago today, we were standing in the Gravonia vineyard, before driving over to and briefly walking in Tondonia. All of this after an incredible two-plus hour private tour of the cellars, arranged months in advance with the winery. Note, they have no blancos — of any of the three they make — available for purchase in the tasting room. Although these fellows are an acquired taste, it seems, unfortunately, that quite a few others have acquired it! — Jake)

White
2001 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia White Blend
9/11/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Golden. Rich, vibrant. Waxy, caramel, curry, savory. Salty, with bracing acidity. Beautifully distinctive. Smoother than the 2004s we’ve recently had. Super wine. (At Kaia Kaipe.)
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    9/13/18, 7:07 AM - Indeed, and we look forward to returning. Not only is it beautiful, relaxed, and professionally run — the food was super (fresh anchovies, followed by peppers, then charcoal grilled turbot for two ...) and the wine list prices are very reasonable.

White
2013 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
8/25/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
We opened this, our last, a bit earlier than we would have, because like the Horseshoe 2013, the capsule was noticeably bulging. On removal of the capsule, we saw that the cork was only slightly protruding — albeit quite wet. And it was a real squeaker as the screw went down. The removed cork was softer than normal. Yet like the 2013 Horseshoe, the wine seemed just fine over the course of three days, and not substantially different from our note in February 2016. Dramatic, brilliant, and again with fantastic acidity. Still, after two in a row now — from different bottlings — I’d be concerned about cork issues with these white 2013s .... (And it makes me think about checking the red 2013s, which we’ve left sleeping ....)
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    9/3/18, 2:24 PM - Hi Blaine, I looked at some of my 13 reds, and so far have seen no cork bulges. With these two Chardonnays, aside from the cork problems, we did not notice any degradation in the wine. May it be the same for you. Still, it does make one suspect about these 13s.

White - Off-dry
2016 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Haut-Lieu Chenin Blanc
7/31/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Medium golden. Bright, viscous, vibrant. The acid is in lovely balance with the sweet and slightly savory yellow fruit. Beautifully complex. A hit with blue cheese. Highly enjoyable meted out in small pours over five nights.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    9/3/18, 11:29 AM - Hi CO/ Kely -- Nice to hear from you. Good luck with it. We've recently discovered we like these fellows with not only blue cheese, but even -- surprisingly -- artichokes! -- Jake

White
1995 Caves São João Arinto Quinta do Poço do Lobo Vinho Regional Beiras
7/31/2018 - Baron Slick wrote:
93 points
To the extent that the Arinto grape has a reputation for aging well, this 23 year old wine actually is a current release from the producer. There’s so much material here that there is a lot left to unwrap. It’s ripe, mature, and complex, and smells like a well aged, caramelly, vintage champagne. There’s an umami and marine like aspect to the nutty, lemony, and orchard fruit notes, and it tastes like an old wine but with the drive, focus, delineation, and lip smacking acidity of a younger release. It builds and builds with no sign of letting up, with a streak of salinity surging through the long and endearing finish. This really is as special as it is unique.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    8/28/18, 7:20 AM - Super description of this fascinating wine.

White
2013 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
8/13/2018 - Jbird73 Likes this wine:
94 points
Very nervous after pulling cork and having seepage about 75% of the cork...initial worry with a sniff inside the bottle and then poured a glass. The glass is fantastic. Hoping that I don't have to update in another 30-60 minutes that it changed rapidly. Have a handful of these and hoping it is a one-off. The cork was flush so not protruding like the other review. I look forward to these bottles from Rhys and this one hits it all right now, beautiful light gold in color, intoxicating nose, great acidity, just great stuff.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    8/18/18, 8:03 AM - Thanks for the note, and the other immediately below it. We checked and noticed similarly on our sole remaining bottle: the foil was clearly bubbled up at top, protruding at least 1/16 of an inch. We cut it, and found the cork was damp and gistening, yet not protruding. On pulling we noticed it was quite wet all the way up the side and it was very squeeky when the screw was inserted —generally a sign of dampness in the cork. But at least so far, after pouring two small tastes last night, this fellow seems just about on par with our liveky and lovely bottle from earlier this year. Tonight we will try again, and dig deeper. — Jake

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    8/18/18, 8:34 AM - Thanks. And yes, it’s a First World problem indeed.

White
2014 Bodegas Honorio Rubio Rioja Lias Finas Crianza Viura, Macabeo
7/29/2018 - Justin S Likes this wine:
91 points
Light golden color. Not much on the nose upon initial pour, perhaps a touch of oak. Palate is very fresh, showing citrusy flavors of meyer lemon and grapefruit. Acidity is strong, very mild oxidation (next to none), and the finish is long and sweet. Very interesting wine. Almost like a baby LdH Tondonia, which we had in the same flight. 91-92.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    7/29/18, 3:46 PM - We agree that these lovely wines (we also have enjoyed the 12) are akin to baby LdH Tondonia.

Red
2014 Domaine Jean Tardy et Fils Chambolle-Musigny Les Athets Pinot Noir
7/29/2018 - Collector1855 wrote:
92 points
Meadium ruby, very youghful color. Nose is muted still, coaxing some red but also dark fruit, earth, mint, comes across as cool and fresh on the palate, bright acidity, well measured though and precise. The tannins are very polished. Racey and refreshing. If this ads some more tertiary aromas it can add a point since the fruit and prdigree is there. Definitely a wine to wait till 2022 before opening. 92+
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    7/29/18, 7:36 AM - Hello collector 1855, as usual, I appreciate your notes — and thanks especially for this one.

Rosé
2017 Tercero Mourvedre Rosé Camp Four Vineyard Santa Barbara County
6/1/2018 - ohne_musik wrote:
91 points
Really clicked more than the previous bottle. Starts with the wonderful aromatics that everyone has been talking about - florals, wild strawberry, unripe peach. More strawberry, watermelon, and saline minerals on the palate. Wonderful luxurious texture, waxy and full, but snaps into focus with tightly coiled acid. Still not as complex as the ‘16 is drinking, but stands beautifully on its own.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    6/17/18, 7:35 AM - Thanks to this note and others
    — and the winemaker’s civilized and constructive presence on WB — we picked one up at K & L the other day, and are looking forward to this.

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    6/20/18, 6:07 AM - Hi ohne-musik, by the way, although we have not tried this yet (and still hope to stop at the winery in a couple weeks), we have recently opened this Spanish fellow: http://www.cellartracker.com/w?2661817 — and we loved it.

Rosé
2014 Bodegas Honorio Rubio Rioja Lias Finas Rosado Garnacha, Grenache
4/25/2018 - Seafoam Manor wrote:
92 points
This is the polar opposite of "rosé all day"; barrel aged, co-fermented 70% Viura and 30% Garnacha, with some age on it. While this is a rosé, it is very much driven by the Viura, with a strong note of waxiness, along with bruised yellow apple and lemon citrus. The red fruit notes are there, with some raspberry and strawberry, but there is a slightly dried quality to it.

Relative to rosé, this is much fuller bodied and slightly tannic, medium+ to high acidity. This took 30+ minutes to open up and this was best served at more of a Chardonnay temperature. Built for food and this could easily handle whole roasted chicken. Fantastic with vegetables.

Very atypical rosé and probably only suited for "old world" palates. Sort of a love it or hate it style of wine.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/26/18, 6:58 AM - Excellent note and observations. Based on another very recent bottle (about which did not post a note) we noticed it does indeed have a waxy component. We had failed to fully appreciate, or at least articulate, that prominent and lovely facet previously.

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    6/16/18, 7:19 AM - Unfortunately, this lovely wine seems no longer available in the United States, as of recently and now. I’ve heard from K & L that there will be a resupply in the fall — but that it may be the next vintage, not the 2014.

White
N.V. Honorio Rubio Rioja Añadas Edición Limitada Viura, Macabeo
3/25/2018 - SurfBurg Likes this wine:
93 points
PnP with Japanese kaiseki and sushi. Great match with the Kaiseki, especially the more sour and "fishier" dishes -- for example seared baby barracuda with ponzu radish sauce. It's very good by itself if you like this style but shines with food. Reminded me of the pairings you have in Southwest Spain, fino and sardines! But the wine of course was brighter and had more fruit than a Fino Sherry. Good concentration, nice acids. If anything it reminded me of "Y" d'yquem.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    6/1/18, 3:01 PM - Nice note, including comments on the food match.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Tissot (Bénédicte et Stéphane / André et Mireille) Crémant du Jura Indigène Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay
5/20/2018 - ohne_musik wrote:
Dinner at Jake & Mo's: Excellent bubbly. Not Champagne and has no desire to be. Great focus and precise flavors. White flowers, citrus, some oxidative funk, and a bit of waxiness and almost chenin-like richness. Disgorged June 2015. A great way to start the evening.

Edit - oops: this review is for the rose, not the blanc. Thanks Jake for correcting it. Removed score here and added note to the other.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/25/18, 8:27 PM - (Well, as my review of the same wine will show when I finally get around to writing — it was indeed a very pale rosé! — Jake)

Red
2005 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Bosconia Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
5/23/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Ohne musik’s note below concerning the initial impression is apt for us. And then it did open and become more generous on night two — showing depth and lovely sweet/ savory character. Yet then on night three it reverted to a somewhat muted presentation. What can we say, except that good wine is a living and evolving substance! One more bottle left in the cellar, we shall see in a number of years ....
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/23/18, 9:18 AM - Hi Harley, Point well taken — and I love the translation.

Red
1988 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
5/20/2018 - ohne_musik wrote:
92 points
Dinner at Jake & Mo's: Felt honored that Jake decided to pull his last bottle of this for our dinner. Beautiful nose – could smell this all night. Smells like having a Christmas plum cake in an old library, well worn leather sofa, rough hewn wood beams, books, dried violets. Maybe a hint of smoke. Palate is nice, with more of the same, and some pretty black plum and black currant fruits, but not quite as rich as the smell. Fruit and tannins mostly resolved. Starts to fall apart about 30 minutes in – with increasing VA balsamic notes and structure that starts to sag a bit. Beautifully paired with Mo's perfectly cooked lamb chops. 95 for nose, 92 overall.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    5/23/18, 6:03 AM - Vince, your description of the nose is perfect. — Jake

White
2004 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia White Blend
3/25/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Wow. Bright golden. A veritable Cornucopia of rich and lightly caramelized yellow fruit and nut flavors — including, prominently for us, a savory version of marzipan. Integrated and beautifully balanced, with lovely acidity. This was fabulous over two nights. Wow.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/12/18, 6:08 AM - Hi ohne-musik, indeed, we are enjoying these wines (and the 2004 Tondonia Blanco) so much, we have reservations to visit the winery in the fall. Thanks to you and others for opening our eyes and other senses to these lovely creatures. — Jake

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/13/18, 6:10 PM - Hi Vince, thanks, thanks, and thanks (!) for that podcast recommendation. It’s fabulous. I just finished listening (it’s about an hour). I loved her soulful cadence and voice, and learned so much about the history and character of this esteemed house. Some tidbits (spoiler alert for those who have not yet listened): The Gravonia bottling (which we also love) was labeled “Graves style” until 1954, when Spanish law was revised to forbid such French terms on labels; she knowledges and celebrates a bit of bottle variation in the gran reservas; and those long stored bottlings are sealed with wax to “foil” cork-eating moths that are endemic in their and other local cellars. All of that, augmented by and seasoned with reflections about letters from her great grandfather, musings about the Spanish Civil War and Bordeaux estates that assisted her great grandfather, comments about growing up in and running a family business, and her fine suggestions about serving temperature (not too cold, and chilled a certain way!) add up to a treasure for any lover of this house. Our upcoming visit will be so much the better for this preparation. — Jake

  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/19/18, 6:15 AM - Hi Vince, what a great idea. I didn’t realize you have such a local connection. I too work in the city. Wine is all about sharing! I will send an email soonish. — Jake

Red
2008 R. López de Heredia Rioja Crianza Viña Cubillo Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
4/15/2018 - westopherguy Likes this wine:
92 points
As someone else mentioned, this wine (and for that matter, all the R. Lopez wines) are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s old school tradition in a bottle, but for me and mine, that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

This wine is simply amazing. Opened, the nose was dominated by fresh-sliced mushrooms, but that quickly dissipated, giving way to notes of wood, herbs, forest floor and fruit. The delightful palate was all that with more fruit, cherry specifically. The finish is not terribly long or complex. Tannins are quite soft and mild.

For a decade-old wine, the Cubillo still comes across as fresh, yet developed and ready. More accessible perhaps than the Tondonia, I still find it almost humorous that this wine, labeled “Crianza,” is as old as most Gran Reservas you see in the wine shop. LdH just does things differently than everyone else, and I love them for it.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/15/18, 8:13 PM - Lovely note — you capture it beautifully.

White
1995 Caves São João Arinto Quinta do Poço do Lobo Vinho Regional Beiras
4/5/2018 - grafstrb wrote:
92 points
-- popped and poured --
-- tasted non-blind over three hours --
-- 100% Arinto --

NOSE: hint of oxidation and flor; not unlike a blanco from LdH; baked carrot; machine grease; hint of aged gouda or romano cheese; baked/caramelized hard cheese on bread; med+ expressiveness.

BODY: golden maize color; medium bodied.

TASTE: high acidity; dry; tangy; lots of mineral; 12% alc. not noticeable; hint of something floral; citric, but no real citrus flavor; considering other similar wines in the market for cheaper, bad QPR @ $35 (but keep reading); at about the 2 hour mark: now some intensifying woodsy/perfumey notes; at 2.5 hour mark: getting even better; an apple note is now showing; have now changed my mind on this being a bad QPR; not a great deal, but no longer do I think it's a bad deal, either. Done in the mineral-laden, flor-inflected, slightly oxidative, skin contact style, but it's not exactly any one of those. Distinctive. I liked it a lot. I could probably move one point in either direction with my score, below.

50, 5, 12, 17, 8 = 92
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/15/18, 7:40 AM - This is an excellent note. And thanks for starting the related discussion on WB, where I lurk but so far don’t participate. I will add for others interested in such distinctive stuff, that K & L still has about two cases of this in inventory. — Jake

Red
2005 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Bosconia Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
1/16/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Deep ruby. Savory leather. A touch of earth. Slightly muted. Good acid. Quite enjoyable over four nights, and gaining some complexity over that time. Note the 2005 branded cork also was branded “Tondonia” (see pic).*

* Edited to add: Thanks to helpful comments on this thread and another, I’ve learned that “Tondonia” appears on all L de H corks, and indeed, as I’ve now noticed, on all of the various bottlings — each of which proudly recite the full name, “R. Lopez de Heredia Vina S. A.”
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/14/18, 7:33 AM - Hi Steve G., thanks for your comment, and yes, as I subsequently learned on another thread, when I posted about a lovely Gravonia bottling — yes indeed, “Tondonia” appears on all of their corks (and now finally I notice it on the labels of each of the various bottlings as well). Your comment here reminds me to update my original tasting note with that information – and now I will. — Jake

White
2004 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia White Blend
Erroneous entry.

Edited to add: As observed in the comments below, the most recent bottling for the gran reserva blanco Tondonia is 1996. The entry for this ostensible 2004 version of that wine is wrong and should be deleted. And, contributing to the confusion, the first 4 label photographs for this entry also are incorrect, and likewise should be removed.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/13/18, 6:06 AM - Hi Christian, Thanks, and yes I realized that shortly after I entered my note, that’s why I revised my original note thereafter and replaced it with the text, “erroneous entry.” (The system wouldn’t let me delete a note without replacing it with alternative text, I learned.) I didn’t create this entry in the first place, I simply came upon it when looking for a location to enter this note, and in my haste I didn’t notice that the entry is for “gran.” Later when I have time I may highlight the erroneous entry on the correction forum, but when I’ve done that in the past with regard to other wines, correction has often not been made. But in the meantime, I will try to update my note here, highlighting that the most recent gran is 1996.

    By the way, upon realizing the entry error, I transferred my original note to where it should have gone, which is of course for the entry regarding the 2004 Tondonia blanco reserva. In that respect, if a “gran” was made in 2004, and if it’s better than this reserva, it must be stunning wine. — Jake

Red
2015 Drew Family Cellars Pinot Noir Fog Eater Anderson Valley
4/8/2018 - cigar52 Likes this wine:
90 points
A little too extracted for our taste. Maybe a few years will help mellow. Still impressive quality.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    4/8/18, 10:26 AM - Don’t disagree with your note. But I suspect you will find, as we have, that Drew’s vineyard designated wines are less extracted, more sophisticated, and show more individualized expression.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Champagne Blend
3/23/2018 - csimm1161 wrote:
87 points
An easy going sipper that rewards with the most basic of pleasure; essentially zero cerebral eminence to be had here. Nevertheless, straightforward notes of yellow and white citrus, bread dough, and almond powder provided pedestrian pleasurable consumption throughout dinner. Medium bodied, with medium-to-light acidity. Overall a simple Simon champagne. No real complaints; no real wows. A “just passing through a small town” type of beverage. Paired best with good ‘ol fashioned potato chips.

This is the kind of wine you bring with you to a neighborhood dinner party along with that orchid you bought at Trader Joe’s, because you neither know nor care about the person’s interests, but you also don’t want to be the guy who only brought a 2L bottle of Diet Coke and a bag of Doritos as obligatory house gifts.

85-88 points depending how snotty you are about your Champagne.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/24/18, 3:47 PM - (Not to be either snotty or snooty — but I think you mean the latter?)

Red
2010 Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay 1er Cru Beaurepaire Pinot Noir
3/23/2018 - dking21 Likes this wine:
93 points
Mine is not premier Fri - vv but not in this option.
Fruity - strawberry, rose, wood, earth. Classic burgundy. I love it.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/23/18, 8:44 PM - We so agree, as our notes below suggest. This is what I’d hope that folks who don’t “get it” really *should* be drinking, instead of assertedly fancier stuff from more vaunted appellations — but which may sometimes disappoint.

Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
3/22/2018 - Pinoteer Does not like this wine:
85 points
There's much to like about this wine, but the heavy-handed oak treatment is not one of them. If I'd know about the oak dominance in this wine before buying, I don't think that I'd have purchased 8 bottles. I'm hoping that the oak further integrates in the coming years, as this could still be a stellar wine. As it is, the oak creates a flavor imbalance that leaves one drinking an 85-point wine, at best. Frankenwines such as these are completely anathema to making wine in the vineyard.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/22/18, 9:23 PM - We have not opened a 2005 yet
    — but as my note for the 2007 says, our reaction to that was quite similar to yours for this ....

White
2006 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Gravonia Viura, Macabeo
3/15/2018 - Deux Chevaux wrote:
Wow, this second bottle was just as good as the first. Such a cornucopia of savory and waxy flavors. Deep and complex, with a lovely finish. Totally lovely, and gaining, over four nights. It’s got to be one of the top whites we’ve had in the last year.

One little surprise, the cork was branded Tondonia — see picture. (And darn, I later discarded the cork before confirming the date branded on the top.) This is the second time in two months finding such a cork in the wrong L de H bottle — see my 2005 Bosconia note of Jan 16.

Edit: As the comment below says, and as I now notice, the label also shows “Tondonia” as part of the house’s name. And yet many other sources, including Hugh Johnson’s wine atlas (old, third edition, admittedly) the website where I bought it, K & L — even here on CT does not alert us to the full name. But thanks to roel, I’ll no longer be surprised to see that on the corks!
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/16/18, 12:47 PM - Hi roel, Well, we learn something every day! Thanks for the clarification. We are really loving these wines — whites and reds. So much so that we plan to visit the estate later this year. — Jake

White
2014 Jean-François Ganevat Côtes du Jura Le Montceau Chardonnay
4/27/2017 - forceberry wrote:
94 points
A naturalist Chardonnay made from biodynamically grown, whole bunch-pressed grapes with a strict hands-off philosophy. Aged for 12 months in old foudres. No added sulfites. 12% alcohol.

Slightly bronze-hued honey yellow color - obviously very deep for a Chardonnay, and turning slowly deeper over the tasting. Very big, bold and expressive nose with complex and slightly funky aromas of savory apple purée, some dried lemon zest, a little bit of smoke, light wild flower tones, a hint of stone fruits and a touch of something vaguely waxy. The wine is fresh, crisp and somewhat wild on the palate with medium body and very distinctive, tangy flavors of saline minerality, tart green apples, some wild waxy funkiness, a little bit of smoke and a hint of dried lemony citrus fruits. The wine is remarkably racy with very high acidity and piercing steely minerality, making it come across as very structured, almost electric and ridiculously mouthwatering. The finish is very tangy, crisp and really long with intense and refreshing flavors of oceanic salinity, pronounced lemony citrus fruit character, a little bit of tart green apples, a hint of apple peel bitterness and a touch of funky, waxy richness.

I guess this is a "modern" Jura, because of its non-oxidative, "ouillé" style, but this is very anti-modernist Jura as well: normally the modernist Chardonnays are just boring and show nothing that would tie them to the Jura region. This wine, however, is something very unlike any Chardonnay produced anywhere else - it shows same kind of racy, lemony character the best wines of Chablis can show, but is is also very different in that pronounced salinity and almost Alpine character. Overall the wine feels still very youthful - almost painfully so - but it starts to become quite drinkable with some breathing, as the wine settles down. However, the wine shows remarkable aging potential and I can imagine the wine is capable of getting even a higher score once it starts to show some aged complexity. This is a Chardonnay that is like Chardonnay should be. Highly recommended.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    3/1/18, 9:31 AM - And I add my thanks, too.

White
2009 Daniel Dugois Arbois Vin Jaune Savagnin
2/11/2018 - ohne_musik wrote:
91 points
Nice tasty vin jaune that starts like a fino sherry and evolves with fat apples and peaches, and a whiff of honeycomb. Great length on the finish. Better on day 2. Still, doesn’t have quite the complexity that I was hoping to get after reading the other ecstatic reviews.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    2/11/18, 8:34 PM - Hi O-M, But what about days three, four, and five?! Did you save some? That’s when this stuff really shines, I think? — Jake

Red
2005 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
2/8/2018 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
88 points
The nose is recognizably LdH. Well integrated bruised apple, spicy Brett, dried blackberry, dried sour cherry, and a dusting of baking spice. The oak wasn’t very prominent and the fruit was quite ripe for LdH.
Medium body, medium alcohol, elevated acid, medium tannins - silky. Medium length. Good integration but a bit young yet. The tamari tertiary development was just starting.

Brilliant with an 18-yr Rubia Gallega ribeye @Lurra, London.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    2/8/18, 8:46 PM - Thanks for the note and the comment — and and I was wondering the same thing.

Red
2008 R. López de Heredia Rioja Crianza Viña Cubillo Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
Opened Thursday and the second half in a recorked half-bottle conserved in the Fridge until Saturday. Both halves excellent. This is dark, juicy, lively and at the same time mature showing beautiful cherry fruit and red earth as well as good structure. Such a pleasure! (Interesting that the Lopez de Heredia crianza is five years older than the current reserva from Marques de Riscal.) One could add that this oldfashioned wine presents itself beautifully in Zalto universal glasses--somehow the thin glass and the cool precision of the wine complement each other.
  • Deux Chevaux commented:

    2/3/18, 2:32 PM - Nice note — and I particularly agree about this wine in the Zalto Universal.

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