Tasting Notes for sdr

(4,476 notes on 1,530 wines)

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White
9/22/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
91 points
So gentle, pleasing and harmonious. Delightful, even. It’s Burgundy but no way I could tell it was Meursault. Somehow the half bottle seems more like a quarter of the 750 since only one (large) glass for each of the two of us.
White - Sparkling
9/20/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Attractive light yellow color and perfect couronne of tiny bubbles. Very Comtes, light to medium weight, poised, tangy yellow fruit, delicate almonds, medium finish. No yeast or caramel. This could only be a blanc de blancs. Too bad it didn’t really grow in the glass or display more nuance but it’s quite attractive as it is.
White
2015 Château Pape Clément Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
9/19/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
91 points
Pungent and intense at first, it mellows out a bit as it warms. Much less oaky than some previous vintages of Pape Clément Blanc although there is a nice hint of vanilla in the background. Lots of grapefruit and lemon with secondary notes of mint and grass. K, tasting it blind, immediately found cat’s pee but I did not. It’s a definite success and a good match for the Asian style tuna. If only it became more interesting with time in the glass instead of less, I would have rated it higher.
Red
9/13/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
Is ‘82 Léoville Las Cases finally ready? I think so. Healthy dark ruby core, some orange at the rim. The bouquet is modest but attractive, with black and blue fruit. Medium full, savory and gaining on the sweetness of aged Bordeaux. It’s fruit forward until with extensive time in glass the underlying leather emerges. Fully dissolved tannins and acidity. While very enjoyable it doesn’t shout greatness due to lack of complexity an missing je ne sais quoi. Maybe that’s all the there that’s there.
White - Sparkling
9/12/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
94 points
Oddly, this young wine was best quite cold when first poured. Beautiful bead and couronne. Exceptionally elegant fragrance and palate. Lightly bready, lightly citric, medium light weight, hint of ginger. It’s obviously in its formative years and based on the harmony, it will blossom into yet another outstanding vintage Krug. Buy now, drink later.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/6/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
94 points
Now this is a beauty of a Montrose. Intense, deep and pure. All black. The tannins are there yet totally melted into the juice. Nice acidity, good length, no sense of dryness. Far from a typical rustic or coarse St. Estèphe, it’s not silk but maybe a nice comfortable cotton sheet.
White - Sparkling
9/5/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Krug Mesnil from a great Chardonnay vintage just has to be sensational, doesn’t it? Maybe it is but I’d have to wait a lot of years to find out. The spray of minute bubbles and coronne are beautiful. Faint nose. So, so tightly wound, all citrus and minerals, nary a trace of dough. Wonderful acidity. Very direct, not much detail or nuance. Based on history though, I would hope this could be the successor to the magnificent 1996 but impossible to predict just now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/29/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
94 points
With Comtes, you want to catch it when the dominant citrus notes have evolved into something savory, complex and not too acidic, shrill or aggressive, but also not too flabby or beginning to oxidize. This is it. Or maybe just a millimeter past it since the youthful energy has faded. Trying to catch everything just perfectly is like balancing an elephant on the head of the pin, maybe theoretically possible but mighty rare. This was formerly my favorite vintage of Comtes but the ‘96 may now overtaken it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/23/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
The ‘02 Cristal has finally come around and it’s classic enjoyable bubbly. You can sense but not quite taste the sugar; the acid is just right to keep it refreshing. Lots of golden yellow fruit, very ripe. Nice couronne even if the bubbles are not pin point. Holds well in the glass without change and best appreciated well chilled. Unless you are a champagne masochist, you will definitely enjoy it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
8/22/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
94 points
Light yellow. Surprisingly, it seems almost mature. Fat and rich and viscous on entry. Fortunately the acidity is good so it remains savory and inviting sip after sip. Very much a concoction of bright yellow fruit and lemongrass with a bit of almond and corn. No hint of over ripeness or caramel. Excellent depth. Sensuous.
Red
8/19/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
Lafite is one of the ‘86 Bordeaux where the tannins are totally subsumed in the fruit. That fruit is more black cherry than currant and quite sweet, with alcohol more than tannin to frame it. Very intense and pure, this wine lives on the beauty and ripeness of that impressive fruit. It’s still surprisingly monotone though, with not much sense of place or dirt. More delicious than challenging or intriguing. I hope it develops more nuance in the years and decades to come.
Red
8/16/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
91 points
Intense and modern but not a caricature. I wanted something to stand up to the spicy grilled chicken and this filled the bill. While fairly oaky and boldly fruity eventually the brawny Sangiovese character evolves. It’s young though and needs more time to display more individual character. K says it’s too simple but then she’s become maybe a little too accustomed to ‘82 Bordeaux . . .
3 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
8/15/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Lovely color, lovely fragrance. Very nice and enjoyable. And yet - it lacks a certain pizzazz. The mid palate, although true to form, is just too modest. Still, I like the red cherry/strawberry fruit a lot. I want to love it but I only really like it. Love is hard to find, in wine as in life.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/9/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
Lovely champagne just beyond peak. Poised and very elegant. Modest mousse, perfect acidity. Light to medium weight. Agrume and white flowers. So easy to drink. With a bit more freshness it would be truly outstanding.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/8/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
My first Bedrock. I see why it gets so much praise. Big, bold, spicy and briary, very zin, very intense. Although the alcohol is listed as 14.9%, it doesn’t feel hot, so plentiful is the fruit. But what elevates it to the upper strata of zins is how it transforms with aeration. Surprisingly, it settles down, yielding some of the boldness for a more integrated and smooth texture and increase in nuance, something I have never experienced before with this variety. Too often, brash California wine is impressive for the first few sips, then becomes boring. This one does not.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
8/7/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
I found another bottle I didn’t know I had. It’s quite good for mature California Chardonnay. The fruit is deep and rich, it’s definitely not too oaky and the balance is very good. What didn’t happen is any connection to the soil or complexity. It gets tiring after the second glass as I lose interest but I can’t deny the impressive concentration.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1982 Château L'Evangile Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/1/2020 - sdr Does not like this wine:
85 points
I hope this bottle, purchased on release, is not indicative of the current state of 1982 L’Évangile. There’s quite a bit of amber in the center and nearly brown at the rim. Aromas are pinched and sullen. On the palate, dry and just hanging on to vestige of fruit. Acidity and tannins are proper, though, and it’s drinkable but not especially pleasurable. Lacking in charm of previous bottles. Not dead but I think I hear the priest giving last rites.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2011 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
7/31/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
94 points
Paler than straw when first escaped from the bottle, then deepening to light gold with time, air and a touch of warmth. Marvelous harmony, concentration and well judged acidity. Poised. Still youthful but clearly gaining maturity. You just can’t rush white burgundy. Impressive from a half bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
7/26/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
(Disgorged February 2016, code 12.) Who needs Krug, this is quite impressive. Bruised apple, meaty, powerful and fresh. Fairly straightforward yet satisfying. Bubbles fade fairly quickly though. Nice.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/25/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
Juicy, lively and delicious. Still young but very approachable. Medium full, nice acidity and balance. Not terribly distinctive just now yet so easy to drink and enjoy.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White - Sparkling
7/19/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
Very pale gold, lively, still young. Blind I would have guessed 2002 or 2002, although the modest spray betrays the true age. At first, too coiled and severe but after air and some warmth, it relaxes and broadens. Gingery and minerally in the Dom Pérignon style with minimal yeast or bread. A wine to contemplate and enjoy now and well into the future.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
7/18/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Delightful. After a few minutes warning in the glass, it’s quite expressive, showing corn, custard, marzipan and light earth. Modest acidity is just right to display its vibrancy. Surely one of the best ‘17s to drink now or soon but it may develop and last. But even if it doesn’t it’s a winner.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/12/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
K guessed 2010 Australian Shiraz, a great guess, since this California version is stuffed with massive Syrah fruit and borderline sweetness. Fortunately the alcohol is under control. Tannins are soft, acidity low. Surprisingly, it becomes better balanced with air so perhaps a few more years in bottle will be helpful. It’s California though, so no trace of earth, this could have come from a tree instead of a vine. Good though on its own terms though with the right food, such as barbecue.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
7/11/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Now this is intriguing champagne. Despite its youth, the color is medium gold. No matter how gently you pour it, the foam explodes and tries to climb out of the glass - yet seconds later it mostly disappears. Bubbles are rather large as well. There’s remarkable complexity already and together with the advanced color leads you to think it must be 25 years old. More ginger and quince than stone fruit or citrus. Very difficult to peg this as blancs de blanc. The texture too is unusually thick. How much is all this due to the strict biodynamic regimen?
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White
7/9/2020 - sdr wrote:
90 points
Is it just the vintage that accounts for the disappointing showing of what should be a fabulous mature Meursault from a great producer? Or has Dominique Lafon changed his vinification since then to produce the wonderful wines from recent vintages? Consistent with the previous bottle it’s broad, obvious and concentrated yet lacks the precision and cut of better examples. Worse yet, it is so, so simple. Compared with the dazzling 2014 for example, the weakness is obvious.
White - Sparkling
7/4/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
91 points
Well preserved, medium gold, age appropriate mousse. Interesting dried yellow fruit aroma and flavors. Oxidative, not oxidized. Yet not really complex or nuanced. Good but fading, better 5-8 years ago. Another 1990 champagne that even at age 30 could have aged somewhat better. The mid nineties Cristals, while only a few years younger, are much fresher and more enjoyable.
White
7/3/2020 - sdr wrote:
90 points
If you’re looking for some nice fresh fruit in your white wine you’re not only in the wrong pew, you’re in the wrong church. This is all about saline minerality. Not steely or even especially austere, instead maybe a bit of limestone, lemongrass and yellow mustard. Much more dense and viscous than a few years ago. Interesting wine but I’m not anxious to repeat the experience.
White
6/28/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
90 points
The texture is more round and the color is darker than Leflaive’s other 2017 Premier Crus, revealing its Meursault origin. Really quite austere now and lacking any hint of butter or hazelnuts that may come some time down the road. Hard to predict where this is going but at this infant stage it doesn’t measure up to the Puligny-Montrachets this year.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
6/27/2020 - sdr Does not like this wine:
86 points
A combination of a strong note of grilled-to-burnt pineapple and bitter oak tannins do not make an attractive package to me. The alcohol is possibly slightly elevated too. Despite that, the acidity is good and the remaining fruit is bright. Perhaps a few more years will bring the balance it needs. K liked it much more than I.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/25/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
The fruit is bright, spicy and delicious. Bold and almost sweet. Alcohol under control. The American oak is there but by age 6 it’s well integrated. The perfect wine with chicken or ribs with barbecue sauce although that’s not what I paired it with. Too easy to gulp. For Zinfandel it could be a 97 pointer. A guilty pleasure.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/21/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
91 points
This is a sophisticated version of Syrah - actually a bit too sophisticated. There’s nice Syrah character, decent fragrance and acidity. But the tannins are too soft, too smooth. I don’t expect Cayuse, but I yearned for something more to grab my gums and grate my tongue. Perhaps it was more demonstrative when younger. I want my Syrah to behave a lot differently than Pinot Noir.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
6/20/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
91 points
Very nice but much better when first poured, after which it gradually lost altitude, energy and complexity. This bottle from an OWC purchased not long after release, excellent color, very good foam. Dom retains its strong citrus signature for decades with none of the yeasty notes of Krug or Bollinger for example. I doubt this vintage has anything to gain with further aging.
White - Sparkling
6/17/2020 - sdr wrote:
88 points
You have to enjoy the semi-oxidized profile of very old champagne to appreciate this one. K, tasting it blind, thought is was a ‘76, a reasonable guess. The bottle was well stored and other bottles were very enjoyable as recently as 5 years ago. Very good mousse, medium gold, nice acidity. It’s by no means bad or spoiled, just an extreme example with clear notes of sherry. Only Dom Pérignon and Krug seem to reach the triple decade mark without overt oxidation.
White
6/14/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
93 points
Fuller, richer and more approachable than Pucelles. Faintly pleasant inchoate aroma. Beautiful balance. Tighted up with air instead of relaxing. Should become wonderful.
White
6/13/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
Leflaive = elegance, restraint, poise. Delicate and precise, lovely balance. Unformed at this infant stage, no surprise. But shouldn’t there be more matière? Yet the texture suggests more concentration than the palate just now.
Red
6/11/2020 - sdr Does not like this wine:
88 points
Interesting but not satisfying. It doesn’t age like a fine Burgundy. The fruit is becoming stewed and the alcohol is too high to accommodate it. There’s a lot of beetroot which in a different context could be intriguing but here just seems too monotonous. I liked this wine a lot at age seven, no more.
White
6/7/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
91 points
Enjoyable for sure, mostly due to its voluptuous texture despite the rather modest oak. Nose is quite mute, the yellow fruit is subdued. Very nice balance. Modest and demure. Interesting, though.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Fortified
2/4/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
94 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): Exotic and very special. Thick as EVOO. Justly sweet yet not cloying. Distinct from port, Madeira or Tokaji in its combination of over ripe raisins and relatively fresh plum. Too overpowering for more than an ounce but not because of sugar, acidity or alcohol, just because of the concentration that quickly fills the tank. It seems like it could go )n forever. Is this the best surviving wine of vintage 1946 from anywhere?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2020 - sdr wrote:
88 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): Ripe, showy and concentrated. Pretty good actually but doesn’t stand out in this lineup except for the price.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2020 - sdr Does not like this wine:
87 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): Another highly esteemed mature Napa Cabernet that lacks energy and distinctiveness. Drinkable of course, but why do collectors age wines like this if there is no reward for their patience?
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2020 - sdr Does not like this wine:
88 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): On the positive side, it is deep and rich. For me though it’s just too fruity and lacking structure. While objectively it’s not a bad wine, it shows just what mature Napa wine doesn’t have, namely an iota of complexity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Peter Michael Les Pavots Knights Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
91 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): The black color is suitably dramatic. Intense with blackberry and current. Slight tannins give it some structure. I don’t mind drinking this.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - sdr wrote:
90 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): It has good concentration but the alcohol seems even higher than the 14.5% it is. Reasonably fresh and powerful so I can understand why it is so popular.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Dominus Estate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
92 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): My slight wine of the night for the reds but far from a consensus of the group (I don’t think there was one). The genuine layered feel and complexity on nose and palate could have fooled me into thinking Bordeaux, not surprising considering Mr. Pétrus puts his picture on the label. The only wine tonight that tempted me into a second sip. But not exactly expressing the soul of Napa if that’s what you seek.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2020 - sdr Likes this wine:
89 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): Not bad at all and by far the most modestly priced of the twelve 2005 California Cabernet Sauvignons in the tasting. There’s a tasty black licorice note and it’s not trying to wack you into submission like some of the others.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2020 - sdr wrote:
90 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): I like that instead of a monolithic fruit lollipop there’s a sense of dirt. Clean dirt but anything to interrupt the parade of Fruit Loops in this series is welcome. In addition, it actually improved with air.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Bond St. Eden Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/4/2020 - sdr wrote:
88 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): There’s some dark berry fruit in there. Sweet and ripe but simple. Decent wine but if you are a Harlan seeker it’s not showing any excitement.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/4/2020 - sdr Does not like this wine:
88 points
I Guess I Just Don’t Get It (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida): I like a touch of mint in my wine, but this is ridiculous, even for the eucalyptus loving Martha’s. No tannin, barely hanging together. If you can wipe the Crest off your lips, it’s halfway decent but no more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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