Comments on my notes

(22 comments on 21 notes)

1 - 21 of 21 Sort order
Red
2004 Francesco Rinaldi e Figli Barolo Le Brunate Nebbiolo
9/9/2017 - kevinacohn wrote:
Excellent in every way—I just wish I had given it more air (opened only three hours before serving) or time in the cellar (it will continue to improve for at least a decade). It has the kind of dense structure you'd expect from a traditionally made Barolo in a vintage like 2004, which is to say it's (1) uncompromising and (2) exactly my kind of wine. Paired with flank steak and roasted fingerlings.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    9/11/17, 7:05 PM - Ha! Very highly recommended.

Red
2004 Fattoria di Milziade Antano Sagrantino di Montefalco
So in my wheelhouse. This is just exciting, the composition of flavors and layers of fruits is, for me, approaching magical. I admit bias to this producer and the grape, and I further admit that tannins are seldom if ever a problem. That said, I did not want this bottle to end. I will visit here in just a few months, and this made me consider staying in the area for another day for no other reason than to find local restaurants that might have a good cache of these wines and open two or three and bask in the pleasure of it all - it can't be all work, after all.

Aerated in decanter 90 minutes, served non-blind.

https://italianwine.blog/
  • kevinacohn commented:

    10/9/16, 9:19 PM - There's a wine shop in the center of Montefalco that, as of last February, had a number of Antano back vintages for sale, including (if I'm remembering correctly) a 1980s passito.

Red
1998 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia Nebbiolo
The notes kind of seem all over the place, so I figured what they heck, give it a try. Color still holding pretty fast, just a little bricking at the rim. The nose is open only because I put this in wide-bottom decanter for 3 hours, at first it was pretty mute. There's a thread of VA that always seems to be detracting from an otherwise very pretty wine. The palate is still quite fresh, the energy here is good; if this bottle is representative, this is in early maturity, if only just, and can be enjoyed now with a good aeration. My overall impression was good>very good, with the latter likely to appear in say 10+ more years. recommended

Served non-blind. A wee sip the following morning (I was curious and had poured 100ml off for just that reason) was the best.

https://italianwine.blog/
  • kevinacohn commented:

    10/8/16, 12:17 PM - Looking forward to opening my bottles of 1998 Francia even more after reading your note, as it's one of my all-time favorite Barolo vintages.

Red
2014 Vino di Anna (Anna Martens) Qvevri Vino da Tavola Nerello Mascalese
10/3/2016 - AndrewSGHall wrote:
I think this is the weakest wine from this producer I have had. It was rather soft and formless with generic red fruits. Not flawed or anything, just kind of lifeless.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    10/8/16, 12:12 PM - Andrew, I'm surprised by your experience as I found my last bottle to be delicious. Different than the Palmento bottling, and perhaps not as interesting, but delicious nonetheless.

Red
2013 Azienda Agricola Montevertine Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
10/8/2016 - Drankard wrote:
Aged 24 months in large Slavonian oak barrels and is composed of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo. My first Montevertine and it was very disappointing. This one was thin, diluted and lacking depth. Perhaps shutdown.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    10/8/16, 12:10 PM - Although I haven't tasted the 2013 Montevertine yet, I have a lot of experience with the producer. The wines tend to be closed in their youth, particularly the Montevertine and Le Pergole Torte, which are structured for extended aging. The 2013 vintage was strong for Montevertine; indeed, the 2013 Pian del Ciampolo is delicious today. I suggest cellaring the Montevertine for at least five years, or giving it 3-4 hours of air if opening now.

Red
2009 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro
9/21/2016 - acyso wrote:
83 points
Dinner at The Cotton Duck (Chicago, IL): #5368. The wine says secco but the palate says otherwise. This was much too candied and sweet for my taste. A very confected nose with a little bit of cloying sweet roses and potpourri that I didn't particularly enjoy. The palate has lots and lots of fruit. Way too much, really, to the detriment of all else. It seems like you're just popping some sort of red candy in your mouth. Not my thing.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    9/22/16, 2:27 PM - How much air did the wine get, and at what temperature did you serve it? 2009 wasn't a dynamite vintage for Bea, but my experience has been far different. Perhaps I should revisit this...

White
2002 Gitton Père et Fils Sancerre Galinot Sauvignon Blanc
At first writing, I was unsure what I thought about this, my first encounter with an aged Sancerre (my son insists otherwise, if true, my memory fails).

The wine is definitely mature - a dark golden color, and a slightly oxidative nose. On the palate, there is a lot of glycerin, a nutty honeyed flavor, and something I can't yet put into words...but I will try.

At once fascinating, almost beguiling; and surprising sturdy. I reserved a quarter of the bottle and tried it again over the next two days. During that time, it opened up, and secondary and tertiary flavors emerged - rich but not unctuous, still enough acidity to keep it in balance. It needed the time and the air. The taste is now multi-layered, like harmonics of sound - complex and complementary. In weight and sensory qualities, somewhere between a Sauterne (sweeter, more unctuous) and a Moelleux Vouvray (lighter, brighter).

I think the Sancerre calls out for the right accompaniment - I had in mind an aged goat or chèvre cheese, but we drank it with a seafood dish, and this wasn't the right match. To be explored with subsequent bottles.

Rated 1 on a scale of -1 to 3, revisited.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    9/18/16, 6:11 PM - Didn't you go to the Crochet tasting with me in 2014? If so, we had the 1998 Cuvée Prestige, as well as the 2002 Vendange du 19 Octobre.

Red
2012 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Nebbiolo
9/2/2016 - kevinacohn wrote:
Popped and poured. At first, licorice and red cherries, with medium/medium plus acidity. Then all of a sudden the immensity of this wine shows itself, with a chalky minerality, a dense cola flavor, and raging acidity. With even more air, its shoulders broaden further, with flavors of graphite and blueberry, almost blueberry custard. Ever darker streaks emerge as the wine sits in the glass. Easily eclipsed the meal. Kaleidoscopic in every way. Rated 3 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    9/6/16, 4:31 PM - Hop a flight to Barolo—I had it off a restaurant list for €75!

Red
2012 Fratelli Brovia Barolo Brea Vigna Ca'mia Nebbiolo
Grand Slam Home Run. FWIW, today is my first day back from a 3-month long wine trip to Italy. During this time, I spent 7 weeks in Langhe, tasting pretty much every day, sometimes several times a day. In addition, I spent 2 days in Padiglione 10 at this year's Vin Italy. So I guess I tasted a lot of new release Barolo wines. That said, buy all you can find of this. And don't be afraid to open one right away (mine was a PnP, when tasted at the cantina), as it's quite open just now. Sappy, deep, elegant, soil, balance, LONG, sweet tannins, delicious - these are the notes I managed to scribble down, as I was really just focused on the wine, not so much on taking notes. highly recommended

PnP, served non-blind; tasted several times with consistent results.

https://italianwine.blog/
  • kevinacohn commented:

    9/6/16, 9:17 AM - Spot on. I just got back from the Langhe myself and was blown away by how this is showing.

White
2010 Paolo Bea Santa Chiara Umbria White Blend
4/18/2015 - kevinacohn wrote:
Paolo Bea Private Dinner (In Vino, New York, NY): Opened 90 minutes before serving. Golden color. Macerated nectarines give this a particularly sweet nose and flavor profile. Fresh wild herbs add a savory note to the bouquet, which appears on the palate in the form of tea-like tannins. Serving temperature is important for every wine, but it's particularly important for this wine, where a few degrees here or there completely changes the profile. Excellent with white and fava beans. Bottle #2794. Rated 1 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    8/6/15, 7:17 AM - I'd uncork and serve at cellar temp, allowing the bottle to warm to just below room temperature over the course of the evening. That way you get to experience how it changes as the temperature increases, but it's never too cold or warm, which affects negatively this wine more than most.

Red
2003 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso Riserva Pipparello Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
4/18/2015 - kevinacohn wrote:
Paolo Bea Private Dinner (In Vino, New York, NY): I was captivated by this wine's perfume the moment I pulled the cork. Three hours and a double decant later, when it was in the glass, it had risen to an even higher plane. Spearmint, wild herbs, hints of game, black currants, and oak bark, all wrapped in a smooth, palate-coating package. Ferociously tannic upon release, this has achieved a balance that so many wines miss. It should continue to improve for another five years. Bottle #1386. Rated 3 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    8/6/15, 7:15 AM - Thanks! Appreciate the kind words.

Red
2007 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Cerrete
4/18/2015 - kevinacohn wrote:
Paolo Bea Private Dinner (In Vino, New York, NY): You can't claim to be tasting through Bea's entire lineup without including the crown jewel. As my previous notes have said, this is so big and bold that it can knock you off your chair. Black and blue and purple all over, the slightly foul barnyard aroma made it the perfect complement to a rare lamb t-bone. Although hardly a critique, despite its unbelievable density and considerable lift, this failed to stand out in this night's crowded field. Bottle #1001. Rated 2 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    4/21/15, 11:15 AM - About four and a half hours of air. No decant.

Red
2006 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro
2/22/2015 - Seth Rosenberg Likes this wine:
94 points
PnP. The nose has sweet, almost candied fruit - plummy, macerated strawberries and sweet black cherry, a creamy marzipan note, spices - baking spices and fruitcake, and a pretty herbal component with alpine herbs. At times shows just a hint of raisins, but this is not hot or overripe on the nose, maybe just a touch of heat. The nose is so perfumed that I would probably guess Red Burg, but it's not quite right - it's like a Red Burg from a nearby dimension. The palate is very silky with fine tannins and deep and sweet red and blue fruits. The acid is good and it shows some herbal qualities and some stony minerality on the midpalate. The finish shows the sweet candied fruit, the herbs and creamy marzipan and ends with the fine tannins. Nose - 5.5/6, Palate - 5/6, Finish - 5-5.5/6, Je ne Sais Quoi - 1-1.5/2 = 16.5-17.5/20.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    2/23/15, 9:41 AM - Great note.

  • kevinacohn commented:

    3/28/15, 7:12 AM - mdvino63: Bea's wines have certainly become more expensive in the last few years, which is unfortunate but also unavoidable given the high quality (to give you an idea of Bea's obsessiveness over quality, he will essentially sell no wine for the 2013 or 2014 vintages). Without knowing what you consider to be expensive, the San Valentino IGT retails for ~$35 and punches above its weight. It's not 100% Sagrantino (in most vintages it's predominantly Sangiovese), but it's a great way to drink Bea for considerably less than the Pagliaro.

White
2010 Paolo Bea Arboreus Umbria Trebbiano Spoletino
2/16/2015 - kevinacohn wrote:
Paolo Bea Visit (Az. Agr. Paolo Bea, Montefalco, Italy): Normally an intense amber hue, in the 2010 vintage the Arboreus in fact has quite a light color and initial presentation of aromas. The aromas build quickly once the wine is given a few swirls in the glass, revealing a truly magnificent bouquet of honey, white flowers, spices, reduced stone fruits, sweet petrol (a contradiction?), and, yes, cat urine. Mild tannins give the wine excellent body and structure. Great persistence of flavor. Bottle #5350. Rated 2 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    2/17/15, 6:13 PM - I think 2009 is the more compelling vintage at the moment, yes, but I wouldn't pass on the 2010 when it arrives Stateside this spring. The Arboreus is an ever-changing wine—who knows what it's going to be like six months from now.

Red
2006 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro
11/8/2014 - ex-sommelier Likes this wine:
95 points
Opened at cellar temp, poured down to the shoulder and sampled a couple times over 6 hours. Volatile on opening, but harmonized after a couple hours, and was beautiful with a charred bistecca, collards, and white beans.

Deep purple core with ruby reflection. Lighter than expected, not quite inky.
The nose is intensely balsamic, with aromas of hedgerow, bay laurel, dark stewed fruit and dried berries. As it opened more delicate herbal and graphite notes emerged.

With air, the tannins softened their grip but maintained a powerful structure. With the steak it took on some qualities of a fine bordeaux with graphite and cedarwood and left me breathless.
I am unsure if I detected the Brett elements that previous reviewers had, and did not care, or if their bottles were flawed. I detected a savory barnyard quality but the wine was balanced and well-tuned.

Given how many different facets emerged from this bottle over time, I would say another 3 years would be great, but if you give this wine some time and air it will be great today. Exceptional personality and complexity.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    11/9/14, 7:37 AM - Eric, I would normally agree with you (regarding the Pagliaro), but I'm finding the 2006 vintage to be quite accessible early on.

White
2006 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs-Gain Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay
9/5/2014 - kevinacohn wrote:
Mature aromas of butter, toasted bread, and whiffs of oak. With air the butter became richer, like movie popcorn butter. In the mouth, the wine is soft and as creamy as the bouquet suggested. Here, too, there's a buttery, slightly nutty quality. With some time in the glass, the acid becomes more prominent, particularly on the finish, albeit not unpleasantly. We appear to have caught this bottle at the perfect time. Rated 1 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    9/6/14, 8:39 AM - Whoops, typo! Corrected.

Red
2003 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso Riserva Pipparello Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
8/8/2014 - rocknroller wrote:
82 points
Italian Tasting with some Old Quintarelli and Emidio Pepe Wines (St. Paul, MN): Medium red color. 2oz tasting pour followed 15 minutes. Hot glycerin, port-like, over ripe faded fruit, hot sweet, tannic. Nose is a touch better than the palate. There was some discussion by a few about this wine needing more time, good luck with that....You know the Bad Co song, this was "Gone, Gone, Gone" 82pts.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    8/9/14, 12:55 PM - It sounds like you had a bad bottle. Although 2003 was a poor vintage for most of Italy, Bea prefers hotter growing seasons and all of his 2003s that I've had (including the Pipparello, for which I didn't write a tasting note) have been excellent. I wouldn't write Bea off because of your experience with this bottle.

White
2012 Sean Thackrey Viognier Lyra Noble Vineyard Knights Valley
11/10/2013 - kevinacohn wrote:
Sean Thackrey Visit (Sean Thackrey, Bolinas, CA): Light golden color. The bouquet shows pear, tropical fruits, white peach, and nectarine. There are some nice floral elements, too. On the palate there's sweet stone fruits and melon. This is a rich and lush wine, bright enough to be drunk as an aperitif or with food. While enjoyable, it lacks the strength and distinctiveness of character of Thackrey's reds. I wonder if as a result I'm not allowing myself to appreciate this for what it is. RECOMMENDED.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    4/27/14, 7:46 PM - Agreed. In my opinion, most white wine is served too cold. It's always interesting to see how a bottle changes as it comes closer to room temperature. If memory serves, in this case Sean had pulled the bottle from his fridge around 15 minutes before we indulged.

Red
2006 Paolo Bea Rosso de Véo Umbria Sagrantino
3/28/2014 - wormfarmer Likes this wine:
90 points
This thing demands a seat at the table. Lively and oddly mercurial for its weight and darkness. It seems like it should be an immovable object, it has such palate presence and tannic grip -- but every re-visit had us trying to assess where all it had been in the five minutes since we'd checked in last.

Quick decant an hour prior to re-opening; the wine evolved throughout the night. Began with a brooding, musty, dusty, hay-ey quality, layered over black olive skins. Overall though, in the first hour, I was most struck by the meatiness of it, the umami-ness of it. The fruit came later (dried black currants? dusty old black fruit, in any case), and the herbs later still (though I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what they were). Two hours after opening, it softened slightly, but the tannins remained intense. And the sediment is enough to make a meal out of.

This is not a 93-point wine -- but it's more interesting than a lot of 93-point wines, if that makes sense. What fun.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    3/29/14, 7:52 AM - This is a great tasting note that perfectly captures the experience of enjoying a bottle of Paolo Bea: the unexplainable qualities are what make his wines so compelling.

White
2009 Paolo Bea Arboreus Umbria Trebbiano Spoletino
2/23/2014 - gripNsip wrote:
Our tasting group had the weirdest experience with this wine last night... The nose was all funky and musty, initially I thought it was corked. Everyone took turns giving it a sniff and a taste and eventually everyone agreed this wine was just "weird". Can anyone out there comment, is that how this wine is normally supposed to taste? The taste on the palate was definitely interesting but showed this similar musty, dank wood component that I couldn't get around. Also the wine was very short on the palate, virtually no finish, the acid was unbalanced and kept things short. Perhaps an off bottle? Looking at previous vintages of this wine, it should have been a superstar. I love this producer's reds, but I couldn't get into this.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    2/23/14, 1:29 PM - No, it shouldn't smell or taste like that. I had a bottle of the 2004 (the first vintage of Arboreus) in August of last year and it was great, although probably just past its peak. Rich and honeyed, with apricots and spices that gave it nice depth. Most likely you had a bad bottle, but it's possible the 2009 needs a little more time to settle.

Red
2006 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d'Alba Cascina Francia
12/16/2013 - kevinacohn wrote:
Private Dinner (New York, NY): Wow! It's easy to say that this was the most delicious and well-made Barbera I've ever had. Decanted a few hours in advance, this was full of purple and black fruits, graphite, smoke, and tar. The structure was fantastic, with the tannins and acid in near-perfect balance. This is not your typical "pizza wine" Barbera; we enjoyed it with agnolotti del plin. For those of you holding onto this, I'd suggest that it isn't likely to get better than this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
  • kevinacohn commented:

    12/17/13, 8:00 AM - I cooked and finished it at my place, but the pasta was bought at Eataly in New York.

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