Tasting Notes for pablopilot

(192 notes on 160 wines)

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Red
2/3/2021 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
95 points
Sweet, dark and bitter. Brilliant cherries and lush chocolatey oiliness on the finish. Lots of definition and bite. Drink now or hold. Sure it might smooth out and integrate even more, but life is short, it’s got a rough wildness now that it may lose with time.
Red
10/20/2020 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
94 points
I am a snob. I don’t like Aussie shirazes Grange excepted). They are too thick and overly fruited and... flavorful... delicious... hedonistic, I believe, is the proper term. Yum... slurp... uh oh... wow... I guess this wine, which I’ve had a million bottles of and always felt middling about, is striking me pretty right tonight. It will stain my tongue and teeth with blackberry syrup, eau du tar, I could swear a bit of syrup from the can of canned pineapple... too much alcohol, but let’s face facts, sometimes that’s what works! Every well crafted wine has a place in time, and I guess this one’s is tonight...
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/6/2019 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
95 points
This is why I love, crave, desire wine. The elegance, beauty, simplicity of it. Something medieval. Something primal. You want to analyze it to death, dissect it for bits and pieces of specific flavors? Go for it! Some of us have to do math and science! But I choose to love this wine for it’s poetry, for the sun peeking through the clouds, the wind across the sea and over the moors. Mmmm....
Red
1/16/2019 - pablopilot wrote:
96 points
Still great, nothing much to add to previous notes
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
11/12/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
98 points
Ooh... sexy... buttery soft, waves of palate filling pleasure attacking and caressing... no hard edges but plenty of teeth to this one. Not so much yielding, or giving even as she is a needy lover herself, grabbing you, pulling you in, owning you.

There. Now that I’ve got that out of my system... this is a wine or near.y infinite precision and cut, a seemingly infinite finish. Noses of gardenia and water lily, mandarins and lemons on a bed of grapefruit and stones, with a hint of pitch to back it all up. Some butter, oak for sure. Everything is in perfect balance, and yet, not demure in the slightest. A rowdy roadhouse wine of the absolute highest order, fun by itself, with food, too cold, room temp, just out of the bottle, or, best, left to stand and warm an hour or two in the air and light. I can smell a half-full glass from halfway around the room... why eat when you can drink this elixir?!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/6/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
99 points
Totally desert island juice. If I were start a winery and was looking for a model, this would be it. It’s like a fruit salad in a glass, with enough acidity and tannin to give it precision and cut. Strawberry. Raspberry. A little underlying tarriness. Complexity and finish for days. Elegant as a princess, powerful as a defensive lineman. I did not want this wine to end; I considered snaking straws into my mates’ glasses to steal theirs. Drank with salmon and bok choy, a routine Tuesday night dinner made entirely special by great company and epic wine.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2008 Olivier Bernstein Clos de la Roche Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
11/3/2018 - pablopilot Does not like this wine:
86 points
Over extracted. Pruny. What TF happened here?!? Not a cdlr type or even Burgundian. Me no rikey.
Red
11/2/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
97 points
This if anything has improved. Same great flavor profile, lots of cherry, some hints of eucalyptus, tar/pitch pine, and black birch... Still underlying acidity to give it cut and just a little bit of meanness. Clarity for days, the flavors are precise and real, but knit together beautifully. Absolutely lovely.
Red
10/26/2018 - pablopilot wrote:
97 points
Not a lot of movement since my last bottle about 5 months ago... Still delicious, lots and lots of stuffing and cut, plenty of life left.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/26/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
95 points
There was this scene in the movie Edward Scissorhands where, after his mad scientist creator died, leaving him unfinished and handless, he was discovered... He looked up at his discoverer and intoned, childlike, "not finished..."

The '03 Montrose is... not finished. Mind you, it is delicious now, beautiful in its own right, just as Edward was. Boisterous, loud, full of plenty of big flavors and scents (rose, rose hips, blackberry syrup, eucalyptus, rosemary and other herbal notes). But not nearly what it so clearly shows the potential of becoming. Those flavors are all in there, but the mix is muddied somewhat by biggish tannin, primarily, and just a general need to resolve, add detail and precision to it's considerable punch-in-the-head impact.

95 is a conservative estimate, where it is at right now more or less. In another 10-15 years, maybe less, who knows, we may be looking at an easy 99 (I don't believe in 100). The '03 Montrose clearly is made in a classic style, built to play the long game. After 15 years since harvest, it seems fairly clear that this is bound to be a winning game.

That said, if you decide to drink it now, why the hell not! It certainly is delicious enough to give plenty of pleasure as it currently stands. We stood for 24 hours then popped/poured; experimenting with more oxidizing service methods might produce an even better result. Though looking at previous notes from people who've tried this, perhaps not so much.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/17/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
93 points
Ah yes. An old friend I just met yesterday. A beautiful old soul wine with stories and songs and medieval merriment of all sorts. Strapping, red dark fruits mostly of the berry persuasion, with some oily darkness behind it and a very smooth tanning base backing it all up. Brilliant with food, you pick. Plenty of stuffing to stand up to whatever, delicate enough so that our salmon dinner was not embarrassed or ashamed.

Opened direct from the cellar, way too cold. Decanted, which helped with the temp and also opened her up a bit. As she warmed, her acidity came out of hiding, perhaps the sweet spot was at about 65-68 degrees...? Still strong and robust warmer, but perhaps a bit less pretty. The slight chill takes off a bit of edginess, perhaps.

Either way, this has become a go-to house wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/7/2018 - pablopilot wrote:
90 points
If I’d wanted a Shiraz I’d have asked for one... if I’d wanted to get smacked across the side of the head with a two by four I’d have asked for that too... I mean, this is low yield, cool climate wine that tastes like crushed grape jolly ranchers mixed with NyQuil, and hits with the punch of a boilermaker.

Do I hate it? No. It’s a bit like a too-friendly, over eager, high energy puppy that just won’t leave you alone. It’s not exactly leg humping, but you end up with hair all over your clothes and saliva on your face. And... it’s a St. Bernard. Or maybe a Rhodesian ridgeback. Big. I don’t know, I’m new at this wine-dog comparison game. It’s not a bad thing. If you could reign it in, train it up, get a leash on it, it’s got some good, deep, layered flavors in it: you got your blackberry syrup, your grape candy, your brandied cherries, your dark, dark chocolate... the label says thyme... sure, why not. But any aromatic quality is overwhelmed by overwhelming extraction, massive concentration, general bigness.

Maybe 48 hours of decant would gentle this out a bit. Maybe ten more years in the cellar. Right now it is basically dessert. Not a bad thing, just a little too modern and too Aussie for me to really love it.
6 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White
8/31/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
95 points
Oh please... please... let this not have turned to absolute flabby goo like so many of my elder (and expensive) white burgundies...

Yes! Ooooh... this was nice, almost exotic, fleshy as a Rubens model but sharp and precise as a Ferrari's lines. Floral, tropical, honeysuckle and gardenia. Then, oiliness and glycerin. Then, very sharp acidity, some motor oil. Some perfectly dry Welch's white grape? A bit of a white hermitage sensibility to it?

Hard to imagine this (magnum) bottle being this good 13 years after birth. I detected no adverse effects of aging. Plenty of like left for the magnum still in my cellar.
Red
2005 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
5/29/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
92 points
Bloody, red burgundy... I can taste the iron, the steel and red hemoglobin, and it reminds me of the durm and strang of hand to hand combat, the clang of broadsword against plate mail, the desperate screams of victors and victims alike. This is a wine at war with itself. Is it a deep, dark secret of the soul, whispered in darkness as the storm rages and survival is unassured? Is it a feral howl, a bellowing chant of violence and aggression? It has these elements and more.

There is something of the chaotic about this Lambrays, red Corton-like, unknit, a dancing in the dark with demons wildness. I found it impossible to predict where it was going, what point it was trying to make, where we would all end up at the end of the night. It is roadhouse wine, for sure, complex, unresolved, perhaps not quite yet ready for the light of day.

Out of the bottle, opened an hour, we hit blood-iron and steel, dark rose scents, earth, a hint of birch stem, some green leafiness. Gradually, things happened in the glass, and were still happening by the time we poured the last sips down our thirsty gullets. She got better, less strident, less anxious to make herself known and more content that we were on her side and would not abandon her. But she never quite got to where I wanted her to be.

Let’s revisit in another 5 years. It is a risky tactic. Some of the flavors range to plumminess, coca-cola, fig-infused balsamic... umami for sure... tannin, yes, but acidity, not so much. Where will it all lead, we ponder... to a triumphant resolve in complex precision (or is it precise complexity?)? Or to a big fat sloppy mess of component parts strewn across the battlefield like limbs and offal... Time, we know for sure, will tell.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
5/28/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
96 points
Im so tired of boring wine... wine that is flawless, correct, excellent, uninteresting. Inflourescence is, thankfully, not that, at all.

I bought this little bundle of deliciousness maybe 8-10 years ago, and hope i can dig up more out of my highly organized (not) cellar. Complexity abounds: orangina soda, froot loops and banana now’n’laters, malted milk, fine clay, good yeasty bread, and plenty of depth and mouth feely glycerine. Everything wrapped in soft cushion of fine bubbles; the package implies sweetness without betraying a hint of sugariness or cloy (citrus undertones give it wonderful cut). Its easy to miss just how good this is, and if i remember correctly, my early tastings were disappointments. Should we be angry that a NV champagne took years to come into its fullness of being? Whatever, that which was missing or disjointed then has rounded and resolved into an understated and complex package, as if garish red velvet curtains have parted to reveal a work of fine art. Love it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/11/2018 - pablopilot Does not like this wine:
82 points
Sorry don’t get the positive spins on this wine. Vegetal and herbal, with some funny vanilla/fabreze scents and flavors. Complexity in some not very flattering or enjoyable ways. Tasted it; decided it would be just fine for the bolognese sauce, which was delicious.
Red
2/25/2018 - pablopilot wrote:
94 points
Like an old friend you just met, waltzing into the inn buying drinks for everyone, telling stories, singing every song you knew from your youth and teaching you a few new ones besides. Generous almost to a fault, ready to laugh and make merry on a moment's notice (hmm, after an hour's decanting).

To those who have rated this below 90, I ask:

Huh?

This is a wow wine. The humbleness of its label is utterly belied by the classy, happening juice inside. Could easily pass for high-end Premier Cru (Pommard? Beze? I think probably Eschezeaux). We were blown away by the bluffness, the honesty, the forwardness of it. It did not lack complexity. Raspberries and strawberry jam (without being jammy), honey, rose hips, plenty of acidity backbone and a little tarry, leathery sauvage. A hint of tannin, but the mouthfeel is utterly lavish, not chalky. Color is lush, bloody red (and some iron flavors shine through). Nose is on point, cherry-burgundian and a hint of tar.

Maybe the decant made a big difference. But this was not close. The wine is great, not good, and destined for even loftier heights. I held my review until I'd secured another case to go with the six bottles I already have. This is the perfect house wine, and is in short supply.
10 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/29/2018 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
93 points
I wasn't expecting much, but this is a really friendly, loving bottle of CDP! Drank with roast chicken. All red wines should be tasted, at least once, with roast chicken; it is the perfect baseline flavor profile. Very soft mouthfeel, tannins have melted away, little hints of raspberry and saddle leather, slight menthol/eucolyptus, like a california cab without the bombast. In fact, this wine as in such nice balance, with so little need to call attention to itself, that it would be easy to underrate. But I don't. Probably at its peak now, and maybe for another decade or so.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/25/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
91 points
Easy living, easy drinking, fun for the whole family. Plums and canned peaches, some tiny tar and leather notes, a little round but a slightly tannic mouthfeel. Drinking window=now-2025ish is my best guess. Just lovely.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château de Fargues Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
12/25/2017 - pablopilot wrote:
95 points
Wow! Wow! Wow! Caramel candy and flan, butter and just a trace of pineapple! Did I mention wow? Just enough acidity to make it cut, but really who needs it? Drinking window: can’t imagine this ever falling apart. This wine is pure, unadulterated fun. A mouth explosion of aforementioned caramel and butter. Don’t bother with dessert when you have this. Why buy Yquem when you can get Fargues for way cheaper and drink way sooner?!? Oh yeah, duh, ‘cause Yquem is an amazing religious experience... but man, this is its own thing and it’s a very, very good one!
White
2003 Domaine Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
12/24/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
91 points
Not a lot to add to previous note. Still just okay, maybe a tiny bit better than that but nowhere near its pedigree might promise. Lots of pineapple and banana gummy bears, some green apple acidity. Undernotes of vanilla and... lavender? Maybe this wine actually needs *more* time to resolve. There seems to be some underlying complexity; maybe the glycerin content this time is a little more lush than last time around. More an intellectual exercise than a delicious beverage, but at least it’s becoming more interesting, if not much more delicious. ��
Red
12/23/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
95 points
I have to say I am a French/Italian snob. With an occasional Oregon Pinot noir tossed in for giggles. Most high end California Cabernets leave me cold, flat, bored, and ready to catch the next train home. Like a bad conversation with an ignorant drunk who is not aware he is either.

The ‘97 Montelena Estate, however... easy company all the way. Friendly, very well knit and understated. No sharp or rough edges. The crappy Chinese food threatened to overwhelm it... but we solved that problem by tossing it in the rubbish and focusing on the delicious redness... hints of roast meats, sharp acidity, pine tar and slight eucalyptus... grapefruit. Tamari. Papaya and creole sauce. Big raspberry bouquet.

When it works, it works, which is why we best check our prejudices at the door, in wine and nearly all other matters. I am the lucky owner of one more bottle of this tastiness, and I am perfectly comfortable drinking my way through more urgent cellar matters before cracking it.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/11/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
93 points
When I was starting out trying to understand wine, I gravitated to Rhones. They were pretty accessible, price, flavor and availability-wise, they are relatively simple, and there are relatively few producers and appellations, unlike Bordeaux and, gasp, Burgundy. Also, it seemed somewhat "counter" to the mainstream, and Parker himself was clearly a Rhone fan.

Mostly, over time, I've moved on. The CDPs I've loved have tended to age poorly, their peppery notes overwhelming the fruit. The 100-point Lalas I bought in the 90s have mostly cracked up, despite impeccable storage. The best of the lot has tended to be the white Hermitages, which in general outlast and out age their Burgundian counterparts.

To make a long story short: the '03 La Chapelle has been in my cellar since release. I'd sort of forgotten about it, along with the rest of my Rhones. But seeing that lonely bottle sitting there (actually, it had one mate) incited curiosity...

Hmmm... wow... almost. Not a roasted, tarry, leathery Hermitage at all; something more like a very good Chambertin. Looong finish of slightly sour grapefruit and pomegranate... slight plumminess, some sweet raspberry syrup and some treacle. Very sweet on the nose, cherries and brandy notes. Brown sugar. All very well-knit, plenty of tannin, but soft and integrated. Mouthfeel is somewhat limited, not an opulent sort of presentation, but round and solid, with plenty of stuffing. We drank with chicken cutlets and spaghetti squash, not sure this wine is really a "roasted meats" kind of wine. But maybe next time we'll see. My guess is that the holding time for this wine is more or less infinity -- it is not in any sense a shiraz syrah, but it does seem timeless and ageless in the same way the best Aussie wines can be.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/10/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
90 points
This was kind of a perfect middle of the road wine. If it were a shape it’d be round. Wine ignorants would pronounce it “smooth.” It’s the kind of bottle you hope and expect to find on a decent Italian restaurant wine list for a somewhat reasonable price. A little Barolo plumminess; some tar, minerality, hint of eucalyptus... plenty of stuffing, medium weight in the mouth. Friendly, easy, love the food as much as you do.
Red
12/2/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
93 points
This wine is like that girl you loved in college, your best friend, should have dated/married her (and maybe you did!) not the most beautiful, but plenty pretty. Great, live eyes. Soft, easy to be with, laugh with, even cry with. Fun. This is the go-to wine, the one you pick when you can’t pick, when you just want to love it and not pay a whole lot of attention.

Flavor profiles? Get over yourself! I don’t even remember, or care. All I remember was the great meal of shitty cold pizza, my kids drifting away from the table to check the freezer for ice cream, the laughter in my wife’s eyes as we lingered at table, dishing on all the crazy shit that happens in our lives.

Love this wine. It deserves it. Funny thing is, I bought it on release, only have a couple bottles left, but never logged it in. A mystery...
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/2/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
94 points
There was a hint of something wild in this wine... the open seas, a saltiness and energy that suggests a sweaty, unwashed hunting or fishing trip, roasting fresh-killed meats over an open fire, the great outdoors... hints of wild tart grapes and strawberries... dark cherries... birch bark... menthol... slight smokiness, a chewy tannic quality that suggests further aging is possible, desirable, necessary? Whatever. It’s one of those wines that takes you places. Drink this with a loved one, then go indulge fantasies.
Red
11/28/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
92 points
Gonna give this a provisional rating... popped and poured an hour out of the cellar, still cold... a bit like asking Pavarotti to sing an aria right out of bed, in the winter, after sleeping 12 year... well, maybe not Pavarotti... someone less powerful and refined, more soulful... Billie Holiday? You get the point.

At first, uh oh, a bit of an overdone, dark, cloying sweetness, nose and palate. Thought maybe I'd try something else. Then, ah, it began to rapidly resolve in the glass, like a pixelated image coming together. Tart, as well as sweet. Rainier cherries mixed with cranberries and ripe pomegranate. Something slightly medicinal, too. Birch bark, just a hint?

Overall, a pretty lovable 12-year old Rioja. I think. Will have to try a more thoughtful presentation. Lots of ultrafine sediment, sludgy, muddy, clinging to the side of the glass. Licked it, just to see -- hmmm, if it were frozen, Rioja ice cream, maybe?
Red
1982 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/24/2017 - pablopilot wrote:
98 points
If old friends are best friends, what are old houses? Holy? No, wait, that's led Zeppelin. If old Pomerols approach perfection, and you serve them to a big room (when, had you known, you would have served to a more select group) (3L bottle, to be fair), does a tree make a sound pooping in the woods?

I think I'm a little off track here. The wine: focus on the wine.

The wine was... poetry... was it more like a great old Grand Eschezeaux than a classic Pomerol? Was it magical and its own thing altogether? Was it sweet and in perfect internal harmony, with great precision and acidity, focus and charm up the wazoo? Dark brandied cherries, dried red fruits, sweetness, hint of eucalyptus, maybe a bit of angel's breath to go with a bit of savage mossy woodsiness (mostly on the nose, mostly blown off after many minutes in decanter). After tasting, I wanted to hide it, pull out a lesser wine and serve that. I didn't. I'm glad I didn't. Sharing is caring; wine is love. Love this wine. Thank you, wine gods, for supplying it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/11/2017 - pablopilot wrote:
flawed
OUCH! This bottle was ever so slightly corked. Maybe I stood it too long (about a week). Maybe the cork itself was just contaminated and its not my fault at all, no. The wine was not undrinkable, but had little concentration, fruit or character. It was just... blah... like that boring friend you feel guilty about saying no to, but can't wait until the hangout can end with some semblance of dignity. Best open another bottle soon, so I can get to the bottom of this mystery and reassure myself that the case I bought on release and have stored perfectly since is not a complete disaster.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
1995 Château Monbousquet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/9/2017 - pablopilot wrote:
88 points
ALCOHOL ALERT! The nose screams it. The palate is assaulted by it. Your head may not thank you the day after drinking it (mine didn't). If it weren't for a very nice underpinning of tarry, leathery dark fruit (heavy on gothic tar and leather, not quite heavy enough on fruit), some game meat and an ittle bit of cedar, this wine would be better used as an astringent or antiseptic. I know that sounds terrible. It's not. It's also not great.

Did I mention OAK ALERT! Quite the chalky tannin structure here, and after 22 years it ain't getting any better. The grape juice has held up in the sense that there is no bricking or turned flavor. But it may be a little dried out, past its prime.

The overall package is not unpleasant, but doesn't really add life to an evening the way a decent Bordeaux should. Oh well. We had a great time nonetheless. I have one more bottle. Anyone want it? I'll never get to it...
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/5/2017 - pablopilot wrote:
87 points
The sadness of a wine that is just short of being pretty great, but that just short leaves it borderline undrinkable. This was a pretty wine wrapped in overdone, slightly oxidized notes. Was it much better a few years ago? Did the restaurant we had it in store it properly? Hard to say. Concentration and precision were decent, better than my own. Not much acidity. Length, some depth, but just a little too funky for me to love. I guess the flavors tended towards the generally Burgundian black cherries, tamari, earth, some slight menthol and olives on the finish. Wanted to like this more than I eventually was able to. We did drink it though. What are we, savages?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/3/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
96 points
Sometimes wine is wine. And sometimes, wine is love. It's true that great company enhances excellent wine. It is also true that great wine enhances excellent company. The '96 PL is a "love" wine. It has such sweetness, such complexity and underlying smokiness, such balance and elegance that it does more than taste great and make food taste better (terrific homemade pizza in this case) -- it makes people happy.

Flavors: cedar, pumpkin pie spices, wood smoke. Raspberries. Just a hint of jarred artichoke hearts oiliness. Enough tannin to stitch it all together, but not enough to feel it. Subtle, gracious nose. Not an overwhelming wine; it wants to be where you are, part of the party, not the center of it. An active participant for sure. Always well dressed and appropriate, like the Comtesse herself. Pure pleasure in a bottle.
4 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
11/1/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
92 points
Who’d a thunk this could be as good as it is? If I’d tasted blind I might’ve guessed a high-end Barbera d’alba. Soft, round, friendly and happy fruit for miles, perfect for the misty, cool weather that abounds right now. Just enough backbone of tarry acidity to go with the brandied cherries and mild cocoa, slight hint of aromatic thyme and grapefruit zest. Little nose to speak of, opulent mouthfeel and longish finish. I’m loving this! Probably better drink up but doesn’t seem super urgent.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Gloria St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/26/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
95 points
What is wrong with this wine? Nothing! It is not sneaky... it comes at you with very little subtlety and lots of flash. But nothing overbearing. Friendly, gregarious, universally popular. Recognizably Bordeaux. It reeks of prunes and ripe plums and dark cherries and, I dunno, orange rind? Plenty of acid and just that hint of bitterness. Looong finish. Will it get better? Who cares? I'm drinking mine now. It might be at it's peak. But then again... It definitely will not dry out any time soon, there is still that bit of tannic bite to it that I can imagine gradually receding over the next, say, five years. I'm going to have to try some of my other '05s...
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/18/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
97 points
It's like drinking money... mixed with tar, leather, burnt ends and elixir of the Gods. Is it great? Yes. Is it sublime? Well... almost. You start with aroma: yummy, precise intensity of tarry raspberries. Move on to mouthfeel: just shy of Lyle's golden syrup on the viscosity scale. Move on to flavors: many. mostly tending towards the meatier, leathery, tarry end of the scale. Very intense and precise. Very complex. Very challenging, and an easy pairing with the roast bird we consumed. Lots of stuff going on, and lots to like.

Is 97 points too conservative? Huh. Dunno. Hard to imagine a better expression of Burgundy. It's got the wow factor, the complexity, the acidity and the fruit. Maybe a little more defined fruit-forward profile would be 1-2% tastier. Maybe not! It's hard to forget the cost of this wine, but it's also hard to imagine a better value at this level of altogether quality. So many great high-falutin' burgundies have annoying little flaws (acidity, tannin) that make you wonder if you paid too much. This one is... well... money.
Red
9/18/2017 - pablopilot wrote:
Beauty softens with age, becomes more relaxed and contented, less eager, more self assured. The plums and the earth in this bottle blend with sinewy ease. Athletic and confident, spread out across the palate like a dense forest floor, soft and fragrant. Maybe that second bottle was too much? But maybe it was too beautiful to ignore... and we became maybe slightly too intoxicated. But, love...
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
9/18/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
94 points
The charismatic dowager gets sharper, more deep and precise with age. She is ascerbic and dismissive of disagreement. She dominates the conversation, even when it features deeply flavored Mediterranean stew... but her edges, ever bold, have soured and dried a bit. Still tropical; more dried and angular are her fruit flavors. She does not want to be too cold or imbibed too fast, and her flavors are darker and a bit more insidious. We still love her intensity, but are no longer sure we can bear sitting next to her at every single dinner party...
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
7/8/2017 - pablopilot wrote:
92 points
A winner but more austere than remembered. Very decent fruit to offset the mineral astringency; might need a decanting to show better colors.
Red
7/8/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
93 points
Way better than expected-- the wine has mellowed into something friendly and relaxed, but with an interesting story or two to tell. That familiar eucalyptus leads off, batted around by dark cherries and dare I detect a hint of blueberry? Plenty of stuffing to stand up to the steak. The guests applauded. Really nice.
White - Sparkling
5/26/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
97 points
Wow. What happened? I haven't had this since shortly after I bought it. Kind if hated it then. Not well integrated and very simple.

What a difference a decade makes! Almost no aroma, but in the mouth there is depth and complexity that I swear was not there ten years ago. Yum. Aromatic flavors. Basil. Grapefruit. Black cherries? Roasted vegetables... Turnips. Some yeast, but this is a blanc de blancs... More acidity... Apples, for sweetness, of which there is very little. Yum. I was ready to cook with this. Glad I gave it another try.
Red
5/26/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
92 points
I dunno. Is it overripe? Past its prime? Overly hot and pruney? Had to blow off a little wet dog/methane smell; definitely improved with a little time in the glass. Never entirely lost that barnyard character, but gained some really Burgundian or perhaps barolo-like precision and meaty overtones. The more I drink it the more I like it...
Red
5/25/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
94 points
Generally I pretty clearly prefer the Comtesse to the Baron... on this particular night this bottle followed a '03 Baron which had just a bit more meat to it. Or maybe we were less drunk when we drank it. Remarkably similar flavors, though... plumminess, meatiness, some residual tannin and excellent acidity. Very drinkable and no jagged edges. No need to baby this wine: it is a plain delicious (if somewhat costly) beverage to be enjoyed with food! I would say no particular hurry and it could in fact improve with additional years in bottle. 15-20 more, even!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/25/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
95 points
I really can still taste it nearly 24 hours later... plummy but not jammy... very crisp and delineated... plenty of graphite and cedar, acidity... as classic a Paulliac as I've had. Plenty of stuffing and length. Went great with cheeseburgers but I'd put her up against something smokier and meatier any time...
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/22/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
97 points
Soft, round, firm, with plenty of backbone to give it weight and gravitas, but welcoming, homey and easy to love. Plenty of graphite, dark fruits, not a lot of plumminess, but some residual roses and cellar funk. Beautiful balance, many complexities. Some pink-grapefruit bitterness, perhaps? Spice, of the pumpkin pie variety. Perfect weight, no cloy or jam at all. Cuts with excellent precision, but soft around the edges.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2010 Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
5/4/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
94 points
I kept thinking this was like a sauterne without the sweetness. Tropical fruits, gardenia and citrus-- limes and orange zest. Lots of acidity layered on plenty of glycerin. Hard to really find fault with it...
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Lascombes Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/1/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
97 points
Hard to imagine a more pleasurable bottle of Bordeaux. If you'd blindfolded me and told me it was a Margaux I would have believed you. The flavors, all so soft, well-integrated and precise, are less fruit than Mediterranean scents and colors: olives, ripe tomatoes, rosemary, hints of sea breeze and just a fantastic softness, like walking in cool sand on a hot day. Will this particular vintage get better? I wouldn't know how, but I wouldn't necessarily bet against it either. Lascombes is a world class chateaux!
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
4/22/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
89 points
Way better than I would have thought a Carolina Chardonnay had any right to be. Goes great with Bojangles fried chicken. Crisp, focused, precise. Some caramel, some underlying medicinal qualities. Very long finish, great glycerin. No reason not to drink this if you're in the RDU airport and have a half hour and $14 (btg) to kill!
White - Sweet/Dessert
1988 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
4/20/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
96 points
Did I love this even more when it was younger? Something is gained, but something is lost. The harmony, caramel depth and acidity overall resolve into a dark winter's night of the soul, but very sweet. Are there ripe pineapple and mango notes? Maybe... but does the flan texture and tone carry the day? Also, maybe... still.. the acid raciness may be slightly muted, but remains assertive. There are grain flavors with the sweetness, no treacle, but still, a darkness that penetrates the tongue and the soul. Beautiful.
Red
4/20/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
92 points
Grew in yumminess as the meal progressed. Started out tannic, vegetal and angular. Began to resolve into greater depth and harmony, developed on the nose and revealed some darkness, if in a direct, frank sort of way. Became wiser, more Burgundian, but never lost its tendency toward the crazy, skinny old uncle with thrift shop suits who pull quarters from behind your ear, tells stories that don't quite add up, and smells of sourdough bread. Kind of beautiful and a little disjointed. Not at all what I expected from a 15-year old second-grade producer Beze. But pretty lovable overall.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/17/2017 - pablopilot Likes this wine:
90 points
I will have to brush my tongue to get the purple off. Fortunately I have had a cold for a few days, so the taste of cough syrup works for me right now. This wine is basically dessert. It is inky purple and taste of blueberry syrup mixed with cherry juice and saddle leather. Is it delicious? I am embarrassed to say that I do enjoy it, even though it is a froot loops/hawaiian punch punch in the nose by an evil troll who laughs as you lustily slurp it up. Finished drinking maybe 20 minutes ago and can still taste the lingering finish! I honestly think an ice cube or two would make this (even) more enjoyable. Now I need a glass of some very elegant burgundy or barolo to cleanse my taste buds...
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  • Tasting Notes: 192 notes on 160 wines
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