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Tasting Notes for drivingrain

(86 notes on 66 wines)

1 - 50 of 86 Sort order
Beer
2/12/2023 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
97 points
13 years old now. Heavy, almost black sediment. Deep, brown apple dominates the palate. Sweetness is restrained. Remarkable.
Red
2016 Château Fleur Cardinale St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/31/2022 - drivingrain wrote:
96 points
375ml. 2 hour decant. No need for hesitation. It’s young, but can’t imagine it will get much better than this. Nose, fruit, wood, tannin all integrating beautifully. Perfect with New Years Eve filet mignon and Maitre D’Hotel butter.
White
2012 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/24/2022 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
94 points
Rich and unquestionably high quality Bordeaux white. Just opened one this Christmas Eve as my wife and I selfishly kept it to ourselves. As we’ve come accustomed, there is no better match with shrimp scampi.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/25/2022 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
94 points
Intensity is the key word here. The finish lingers and is notably less assertive than what is found at the front. Dark berries, cigar box. Zero alcohol/heat. Lacks complexity, but a winner. Stood up to top end NY Strip.
Red
2016 Château Fleur Cardinale St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/9/2022 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
96 points
Drinking superbly. Exceptional depth and complexity.
Red
2016 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/27/2022 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
92 points
First opening of a full case. 4-hour decant. The nose is still fairly closed down after the decant; yet Havana-seed cigar, smoke and light fruit persist (slightly closed or not). Rounded darker fruit, notably dark cherry, and light lead pencil on the palate. Less wood than other vintages. Full bodied. The tannic presence rushes to the scene and leads into the typified Sociando long, lingering finish. Not quite as complex as one might hope, but the potential is there with more time. Not at all upset that I decided to open this first one this early; it’s good enough to say confidently that’s there is no chance it survives to a tasting on the second day. Final verdict: though far from my favorite Sociando, it is an undeniable QPR winner yet again and sufficiently represents what we have come to know from Sociando.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Château Fourcas Dupré Listrac-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/11/2022 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
90 points
Medium-bodied. The merlot asserts itself. Aging potential centers around the tannins, but they're not crying out to be put away for many years. Drink now to 2026.
White
2012 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/26/2021 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
94 points
The first openings of a one-case purchase. Opened an hour ahead, not decanted. Served with shrimp scampi and then salt encrusted red snapper. The nose is Chevalier Blanc through and through. Rich, creamed-citrus and a gravel-laden finish allowed us to very clearly highlight to Christmas Eve guests the significant differentiators of Pessac-Leognan Blanc vs the white wines they might drink day to day. It is always enjoyable to convert the uninitiated and this bottle fulfilled that purpose. These bottles were ready to drink—
I don’t expect this small case will survive beyond 2023 for me. Quintessential Pessac Leognan Blanc and, moreover, quintessential Chevalier blanc. Given the warning shots fired by other reviewers, I was expecting less and turned out pleasantly surprised instead.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
11/12/2021 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
93 points
Similar to previous note. Pear nectar, and now a hint of pear skin. Middling acidity. Lacking power, but fresh and not cloying. Enjoyable.
Red
10/19/2021 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
89 points
The light nose is of crushed dark berries and the medium bodied palate is full of olive brine and
a pleasant balancing sweetness. Mild tannins also help the cause. Short/medium length finish. Satisfying wine with pizza of ripe yellow/orange bell pepper; the sweet farm peppers being an ideal match.
White - Sweet/Dessert
10/12/2021 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
93 points
Ripe, refined pear nectar. Balancing acidity. May lack power, but I appreciate the restraint.
Beer
2/7/2021 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
91 points
Pours dark nut brown with a lively, thin head that quickly recedes to a thin, but clearly discernible coating. Fragrant nose of white rhum agricole and raisin. On the palette there are notes of port and fig with a long, rose hip and port flavored finish. The port notes don’t suit me, but that’s just personal preference.
Red
1/31/2021 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
90 points
Decanted 2 hours. Open and aromatic after the decant. The attack was more merlot-styled than anticipated for a St Julien-- with smooth, ripe fruit. The intensity/concentration is satisfactory. The medium tannic presence brought balance and saved the wine from from an overwhelming sweetness. It will certainly please a crowd, but connoisseurs will expect more-- second wine notwithstanding.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/13/2021 - drivingrain wrote:
80 points
The bottle was not flawed, but aged faster than the others that were opened recently
Red
2015 La Reserve d'Angludet Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/1/2021 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
91 points
4 hour decant. Nose closed down, but plenty to show on the palette. Dark red fruit moves to a hint of dark licorice before a significant dose of tannins kick-in leading to a medium length finish with tannins that hold on for a while. Perhaps a touch more sweetness than you’d expect, but in the totality of the experience it is welcome. A very solid wine offering more power and complexity than the price suggests. Paired with NY strip, frites, onions and mushrooms— where a little more acid would have been helpful. Drink now with a decant or check back in 3 years if you insist on PnP. Potential for 93 if the nose can manage to provide enjoyment with age.
White - Sweet/Dessert
12/25/2020 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
92 points
Pineapple notes, that I usually find too acidic, have a creamy texture that subdues the wine and takes it to a lingering, balanced finish. Dangerously drinkable. A half bottle will not last long on most tables.
Red
12/25/2020 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
92 points
2 hour decant. Medium/heavy body. Tobacco and dark fruit. Light, pleasant tannins. Ready to drink. Substantial enough for the osso bucco it was served with.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2011 Château Lamothe Bouscaut Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/24/2020 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
95 points
Still plenty of life left. Rich, deep and flavorful with balancing acidity. Semillon works its magic here-- an excellent representation of what BDX white can be. My last bottle after an amazingly consistent run for this lot of wine. I wish I had a case more.
Beer
9/4/2020 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
91 points
Red and rusty brown color. Raisin and port like flavors. Very dry finish.
Red
2015 Château Bonalgue Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/17/2020 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
92 points
4th 750ml in 6 weeks. ~2 hour decant for each. Mold across the cork top on 2 of with no effect. Consistent notes across the 4 bottles. Balanced,
firm nose of dark red fruit, floral notes and a touch of oak. Wonderfully balanced on the palate with a logical progression of red fruit to a moderate lingering tannic presence. Wood brings balance as well. I’m convinced; it’s a complete wine and very consistent. I’m buying more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Simard St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/10/2020 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
90 points
P&P. Short cedar and raspberry nose. Medium bodied with sufficient light red fruit through the mid palate to arrive at still lingering, tempered tannins. The parts may not be spectacular, but they're all in place sufficiently to make the sum a pleasant experience.
Red
5/7/2020 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
87 points
Rosehip and dusty on the nose. Light cherry and musty on the palette. Exceedingly light body. No tannic presence. Excellent salad and pizza wine. Pleasing, but also similar in mouthfeel to water, this bottle was finished off in record speed.
Red
5/6/2020 - drivingrain wrote:
87 points
Pencil/graphite and dark fruit on the nose. Light to medium bodied. Darker fruits, especially cherry, with plenty of acidity and a long, mild tannic finish. Lacks depth, complexity and concentration, but serviceable with proper food pairing. Consider with marinated meats.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2010 Haut Charmes Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
5/4/2020 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
89 points
Light, but pleasant. Lacks concentration. Paired with a Partagas 1845 cigar, the wine matched well bringing a light lift to the experience, especially as the cigar moved through it's back 2/3, via its pleasant acidity and moderate sweetness.
White
2011 Château Lamothe Bouscaut Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/25/2019 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
94 points
A strong comeback for this, the third consecutive Christmas Eve there this wine was poured. No decant. Cream on the nose. Strong wood is beautifully blended into notes of dry vanilla, lemon cream, and grass. Stunning elegant and fully round with a thickening body versus previous bottles. 2 bottles were paired without variation. Suggest cellar temp, no colder.
Red
10/19/2019 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
96 points
Corvain; poured a total of ~375ml from a 750ml. Nose is present, but not assertive— cassis, cedar. The fantastic mid-palette power and concentration is the source of differentiation. Tannins have only a minor bite and linger, though not extended. Not a sin to drink now. Grilled and heavy salt & pepper crusted USDA prime strip was easily tamed.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2007 Château Sigalas Rabaud Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
10/19/2019 - drivingrain wrote:
92 points
Lack of power manages to work in its favor as its drink-ability is exceptional. Sweetened apricot juice prevails on palate, lacks complexity. Drink now before more life is lost. Worthwhile, enjoy.
Beer
10/12/2019 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
89 points
Similar note as mid-2018. No noticeable development. Slightly metallic finish. No noticeable difference vs fresh.
White
2011 Château Lamothe Bouscaut Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/25/2018 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
91 points
Rated 94 two years prior, it has begun drifting downward; in this case still an excellent wine, but very much in the process of becoming flabby. Wood, cream vanilla, and then a halting drying crispness that (still) successfully reigns it all in. Drink now.
Red
2010 Château Troplong Mondot St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/25/2018 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
92 points
Decanted 3 hours. Juicy and full, but not overpowering or reckless. Pleasant light acidity and silky, slim tannins provide some balance. Though not a QPR winner, a very successful match with Christmas prime rib rotated over charcoal; this a wine that can be called upon when rich foods are on the menu. Though the window likely has years and years, there is seemingly no benefit in holding long.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Le Baron de Brane Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/2/2018 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
93 points
Refined, elegant and complex. Its nearly impossible to complain about this wine at its price. Holding it back is a lack of concentration/power versus what you might find in the first wine. This 750ml bottle had an hour decant and was fully open and ready. Cedar, cassis, dark cherry with refined tannins providing structure. Incredible QPR. No need to wait. Pair it with Châteaubriand if you wish to fully enjoy Christmas in a few weeks at a budget price without cutting corners in quality.
Beer
12/2/2018 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
89 points
Fully effervescent with unaltered Abt12 flavors on the palate. Marked down due to a metallic finish. Will wait another 2-3 years before opening another.
Red
11/4/2018 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
90 points
Half-hour decant. Representative of the style, fruit-forward and rich. Dark, pleasing fruit juice sweetness gives way to cigar box on the mid-palate leading to a lingering finish. Tannins are non-existent. Drink now.
White - Sweet/Dessert
It was consumed so quickly by my Easter dinner guests that I can't rate this wine in good conscious. I just know I liked it and I'll leave it there. Until the next bottle...
Red
2014 Alter Ego Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/1/2018 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
93 points
Menthol, chopped wood on the nose. Well integrated already. No need for hesitation; drink now if you'd like. It lacks some power on the palate, but there's plenty of medium berry fruit and a meaningful touch of wood. Light tannins. Lovely with sauced filet mignon. A delightful wine and a winner on the QPR scale.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
2009 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/31/2017 - drivingrain wrote:
95 points
1oz pour as part of a nice wine glass pairing menu at New Hotel Mertens in Grand Rapids, MI. Muddled, braised orange zest on the nose. A touch of wood too. Exquisite. Lighter citrus on the palate. Creamy mouthfeel. Long and pleasant acid on the end.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Fombrauge St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/25/2017 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
91 points
Decanting is a must right now. Right after the pop it was closed down with the medium heat finish leading the profile. Hours later the fruit has arrived along with softer tannins. A winner, though patience or planning is required.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1989 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/24/2017 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
92 points
A thick, syrupy pour with lacing. Though lacking acidity, sweet port-like notes have joined the caramel,vanilla and tropical fruit. Worthwhile.
Red
4/16/2017 - drivingrain wrote:
91 points
With charcoal rotisserie leg of lamb. Juicy. Cherry licorice with spice. Recommended.
Red
4/15/2017 - drivingrain wrote:
86 points
Floral nose. Light on the palate and lacking sweetness; not necessarily a recipe for a long stay in the cellar. Drinkable, not memorable. Perhaps held too long.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Beer
4/14/2017 - drivingrain wrote:
89 points
Vanilla on the nose. Sustained its effervescence. Fig, raisin and a strong level of lingering acidity. Lacks balance, but a nice mouthfeel and has held up well after 6 years.
Beer
2/5/2017 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
99 points
Short head. Cherry on the nose. Ripe, sweetened fig dominates with notes of dark red fruit. Short, clean finish. Incredibly concentrated, yet medium bodied and approachable. The word "finesse" comes to mind. Among the best single bottles of beer I've had and the best from this famed producer.
Red
1998 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/1/2017 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
93 points
Ruby red, no rust on the margins. Legless. Floral, lead, black tea on nose. Cassis is the first note, touch of blackberry, moving to pomegranate (this being the dominant flavor) as the tannins integrate nicely into the finish. Having had this wine nearly a dozen times over the last decade I'd view it as favorably now as any other point.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2011 Château Lamothe Bouscaut Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/31/2016 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
94 points
Second bottle in a week. No bottle to bottle variation-- so repeat note as 12:24 except to note that ideal temp is 50-55. Any warmer seems to diminish the acidic qualities of the wine.
Beer
12/31/2016 - drivingrain wrote:
87 points
Anise on the nose follows onto the pallet and finishes with a touch of oxzidization that dissipated as it warmed from the cellar temp of 55F. Mouthfeel is thinning. A pleasant beer.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2002 Château Raymond-Lafon Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/24/2016 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
91 points
This 750ml was consumed over three days. Ripe cantaloupe on the nose. Sweet, honeyed biscuit with butter, ripe green melon on what-is-a-subtle-attack before acidity wipes the palate clean with a slight linger. A very nice wine that needs more power to move into the memorable category.
Red
2004 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/25/2016 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
91 points
Day one: 1.5L. Top 2/3 of bottle decanted 90 minutes. Musty and light berry on the nose. Medium body. Integrated dark fruit and wood. Lingering, dry finish. Easy to drink. Lacks complexity.
Day two: corked overnight and poured from the bottle. Intensity increased. Step up to medium/full body. More pronounced fruit.

Lack of complexity and depth keeps the rating down, but this bottle is a success and is drinking well now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2011 Château Lamothe Bouscaut Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/24/2016 - drivingrain Likes this wine:
94 points
Clotted cream on the nose with touches of fresh cedar. Buttery mouthfeel. Lingering flavors of vanilla, oak, and unsweetened toasted coconut. Dry via a low level of sweetness as it is not particularly acidic nor drying on the finishing. Served with shrimp scampi and with fruits de mer. Memorable and ready to drink. If you find it, buy it. If you have it, open it. High QPR.
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  • Tasting Notes: 86 notes on 66 wines
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