Comments on my notes

(36 comments on 27 notes)

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Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Paul Dethune Champagne Brut Rosé Pinot Noir
5/10/2019 - Namaste Likes this wine:
96 points
Fully enjoying the mouthfeels voluptuous micro bubbles. The unfiltered aspects are prominent and perfect for tinny pours on a summer evening.
  • C Chen commented:

    2/8/20, 4:50 PM - Bro, this ain't Twitter. Hashtag city.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé Champagne Blend
10/19/2019 - 2020 wrote:
I purchased (3) BS Rose 375ml bottles last week from a great wine shop. I wanted 750’s, but they did not have them. I purchased the 375’s.

Tonight I drank the first of the three. What a disappointment. No fruit at all, and only alcohol for aromatics. The 375 ml bottle format is terrible. If magnum is best, why they even make a 375ml is beyond me!

Also, the lack of disgorgement info from BS is really annoying and likely even the bigger problem. Printing it would have avoided this. Back to Marc Hébrart Rose. He tells me exactly what’s in the bottle!
  • C Chen commented:

    10/28/19, 7:33 AM - Lol.

White - Sparkling
2008 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut Champagne Blend
6/29/2019 - C Chen wrote:
95 points
WX Dinner: The 2008 completely eclipsed the 2006 bottle and was even more impressive than the aged 97. This bottle is a stunner. Got tons of capital to spend on great wine? Look no further. This is it. The hype is real.

This is the Champagne to get. There is no close second.
  • C Chen commented:

    8/12/19, 3:58 PM - It's definitely not too early to crack a bottle (four is plenty!). It's already so hedonistic, complex, and stunning. Plus, you may even decide to buy more!

  • C Chen commented:

    8/12/19, 7:33 PM - This Cristal is all about power and concentration with an intense focus on citrus and some orchard fruit notes. For brioche/yeasty notes, Comtes immediately comes to mind! I’m in the camp that thinks the 04 and 06 are spectacular. Curious about 08 pricing!

  • C Chen commented:

    8/13/19, 10:27 AM - Haha, I was referring to '08 Comtes pricing. As for the Cristal, you paid a good price. Rarely, it can be found as low as $200, but those are swept up super quickly. $220-230 is in the lower average I've seen.

White - Sparkling
2008 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
6/29/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
94 points
WX Dinner: This 2008 Dom really stood out among a sea of Champagnes. Unbelievably ready to drink, yet so complex and nuanced to where you're taken aback by its brilliance. The only thing better was the 2008 Cristal, but at that price, I'd rather buy more Dom.
  • C Chen commented:

    8/12/19, 7:16 PM - I actually haven’t heard that before. The 06 and 09, like most vintage Dom, requires a few more years before pleasurable drinking, but 08 is unique in that it’s great for drinking right out the gate and arguably has the longest life ahead (rivaled only by 09). Regardless, do what you feel best— your 08s will be enjoyed no matter what!

  • C Chen commented:

    8/12/19, 7:26 PM - It’s fine, I’m sure the opinions are out there. I just disagree. Right now, the most pleasurable Doms for my palate are 04 and 08. 02 and 09 need more time and I’m just not a fan of 06. Cheers!

White - Sparkling
2009 Dom Pérignon Champagne Champagne Blend
7/19/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Always a lovely bottle of Champagne with the additional layers, roundness, and intensity that the '06 desperately needs. That said, give this bottle at least 3-5 more years.

In terms of enjoyment, it's just too far behind the '08. Some people say to drink the '09 as the '08 ages. While that's partially true due to the immense upside of the '08, there's just no reason for me to open any of the '09 right now.
  • C Chen commented:

    8/11/19, 1:48 AM - '08.

Red
2008 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard Syrah
6/29/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
97 points
WX Dinner: In a sea of world class red wines, the '08 Reynard stood head and shoulders above everything else. This wine was completely in the zone and was the most memorable bottle of the night.

Divine. I'm drooling just thinking about it. How fitting that it was brought by LA's favorite @hungry.md (his Instagram handle).
  • C Chen commented:

    7/3/19, 9:18 AM - Agreed, my man! This was easily my favorite red before Charlie came out with his flight of ‘15s!

White - Sweet/Dessert
2018 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
Pineapple, apricot, cashews, vanilla, honey, almond butter and butterscotch create the sublime perfume. On the palate, which is where this wine needs to be, the wine is sweet, fat, ripe, palate filling and racy, with the right amount of acidity and honeyed fruit keeping everything in balance. This is the only vintage in the history of the estate made from 100% Semillon.
  • C Chen commented:

    5/14/19, 6:58 PM - Do you think there’s enough acidity in the ‘18 Suduirait to age gracefully? Had a few aged bottles years that were just tired (only clear exception goes to ‘01).

Red
2018 Château Tour Saint-Christophe St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
4/19/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
Inky with purple accents, the minerality, licorice, espresso, dark red fruits and luscious, velvet-like textures really work this year. There is concentration, supple textures, fruit and vibrancy. The wine is made from blending 80% Merlot with 20% Cabernet Franc. 94-96 Pts
  • C Chen commented:

    4/29/19, 10:26 PM - Hi Jeff, how would you compare this to Laroque? That wine is more inexpensive and had a more detailed note. Would you say the Tour Saint-Christophe is more textbook while the Laroque is more of unique wine?

  • C Chen commented:

    4/30/19, 10:03 AM - Thanks, Jeff! Will certainly buy a bit of both.

Red - Fortified
N.V. Porto Morgado Porto Ruby Port Blend
3/22/2012 - Racer117 wrote:
84 points
My... my... what wine snobs we have amongst us. $6.50 at Trader Joes's. This is heading towards Thunderbird price point.
A hot nose of raisins, plasticy wood, cherry fruit. Berry fruit body with black pepper. What a bargain.
  • C Chen commented:

    2/4/19, 11:25 PM - I completely agree with your note.

Red - Fortified
N.V. Fonseca Porto Bin 27 Finest Reserve Port Blend
1/5/2019 - C Chen Does not like this wine:
86 points
Drank from a half bottle. This time, it was a hot, syrupy mess. Granted, this was after a bottle of 06 Arcadian Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay. Palate fatigue was definitely a massive factor. Be advised.
  • C Chen commented:

    1/30/19, 7:53 PM - A good, fair point. Review modified.

White
2006 Arcadian Chardonnay Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
1/6/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
95 points
Drank with Lily.

"The last known bottle of 06 Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay." - Joe Davis, Arcadian winemaker

Beautiful bottle that immediately makes you think of Burgundy, yet it also has the distinct characteristics you expect in Arcadian. This has Joe Davis written all over it. This gives you such a sense of place and is a real pleasurable wine. In fact, it was so pleasurable that this bottle was finished within an hour.
  • C Chen commented:

    1/18/19, 9:33 PM - Lol. There’s no doubt more bottles are out there— almost all my friends in the Arcadian wine club have several and CT shows many still in cellars. Joe was referring to the fact that I bought the very last one from him. Hope I don’t need to clarify to you that Joe has more bottles in his personal cellar, too.

Red
2013 Arcadian Pinot Noir Francesca's Cuvée Santa Lucia Highlands
Pizza Dinner with Arcadian Winemaker Joe Davis (Darren Howard's home): pizza dinner at Darren Howard's with Arcadian winemaker Joe Davis
  • C Chen commented:

    1/10/19, 10:13 AM - And...? Impressions? Anything?

Red
2007 Arcadian Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley
12/18/2018 - ashikoh Likes this wine:
95 points
Pizza Dinner with Arcadian Winemaker Joe Davis (Darren Howard's home): Pizza dinner at Darren Howard's with Arcadian winemaker Joe Davis. Drinking very well right now. No formal notes.
  • C Chen commented:

    12/30/18, 1:12 AM - No notes? No descriptions? No scores? Nothing for Arcadians?

White
2016 Buttercream Winery Chardonnay Monterey
Notwithstanding a name that fits a cookie flavor better, I bought this wine at the enthusiastic recommendation of the wine shop. The new world has some excellent wines to offer. But it also has some abominable wines, drinking which it is quite clear that the winemaker either is ignorant of the faulty technique he is using or desperate enough not to care. If the name is any indication, I hazard a guess that the winemaker in the case of this wine belongs to the latter category.

This is a heavily oaked wine that leaves very little of the fruit to taste. It is full or artifice and attempts at alchemy that robs the wine of any sense of natural fruit or place. Drinking this wine one is reminded of examples of botched plastic surgery. I am full of buyer’s remorse, alleviated only by the fact that it is not too expensive and I bought this wine to complete my discount of buying 6 bottles. There are so many good bottles of chard available, that one should have no reason to buy this wine.
  • C Chen commented:

    12/7/18, 4:16 PM - This is the most awkwardly written, pretentious review for a wine that has zero reputation in the marketplace and is clearly sold to the casuals. Based on your other tasting notes and incoherent thoughts on this wine, it's clear you don't really drink anything worth a damn, so maybe this is the perfect wine for you. Besides your one obvious observation that cheap wine is heavily oaked (which should be about as obvious as this being a Chardonnay), your tasting note is just you being a priss.

    Thanks for the laugh. Must be fun to live in your own little world where you think your wine opinion has any weight.

  • C Chen commented:

    12/11/18, 3:17 PM - Hahahaha, you act like you’re so intelligent and articulate through your wine post, yet you have nothing to say back when you get the slightest pushback that calls you out on your BS. That’s hilarious.

    I’m glad you’re letting everyone know you’re just a meek bitch.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Fantinel Prosecco Extra Dry Spumante Glera
12/12/2014 - Colima74 Likes this wine:
93 points
Absolutely delicious. Bright and lively flavors, in perfect balance. A hint of anise on the finish adds to the complexity.

Excellent. I could drink this every day.
  • C Chen commented:

    11/28/18, 10:47 AM - I got an Envoyer offer for $30 RL Legras BdB today. While considering it, I immediately thought of our awesome experience with this $15-20 Prosecco. I wonder how these have developed! You got a case, right?

    I remember lugging that heavy shit to Urban Seoul 2.0 for a good few seconds before lazily handing it off to Tomo. That was a great night-- that was the night you introduced me to Arcadian Pinots. Life hasn't been the same since!

  • C Chen commented:

    11/28/18, 11:50 AM - I've heard mixed things with aging. Some say it fades, some say it develops. Some people even age Eric Bordelet cider! Have you had? It's this incredible pear cider made from 300 year old pear trees, 4% alcohol. I'll give you a bottle next time. Like Prosecco, some say it fades (me), some say it can be better (Charlie).

    I cap my Champagne at Krug. Salon better be mindblowing at 3x the price!

Red
2001 Arcadian Syrah Robert O. Fleming Cuvée Garys' Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
7/8/2014 - Colima74 Likes this wine:
92 points
Red fruit and right amount of acid. Still young, but fully resolved and smooth as silk. Serve at cellar temp. Delicious.

At Kobe's in PS with Henry and Brenda.
  • C Chen commented:

    10/20/18, 10:59 AM - Just drank this last night. 4 years later, it's still so young. Joe's wines can live forever, it seems!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
9/29/2018 - Gian wrote:
90 points
After three years of cellaring it reach a perfect spot. Smooth bubbles, nice acidity, candid orange peels , long finish
  • C Chen commented:

    10/18/18, 6:20 PM - It only peaked 90 at the perfect spot?

Red
2014 Aurelien Verdet Gevrey-Chambertin Pinot Noir
9/9/2018 - Nojomoschwa Likes this wine:
91 points
This was a fantastic deal from the Last Bottle Marathon in 12/2017 at $25 (for a full 750ml). What a lovely Gevrey, that manages to be pretty serious yet downright drinkable. Very classy, with some noticeable oak that has now integrated quite well. Darker fruit profile and just straight-up delicious. I will try to by multiple bottles if their 2014s come up again on LB near this price (just don't beat me to it, pls!).
  • C Chen commented:

    9/25/18, 6:08 PM - Right? This bottle completely blew me away when I had it years ago and I still have fond memories of it.

    LOVE finding these terroir driven, expressive bottles at such low price points.

Beer
2015 Brouwerij Boon Oude Geuze Black Label Lembeek Malt
12/2/2016 - forceberry wrote:
94 points
A commemorative gueuze blended to be slightly drier than normal Boon gueuzes, best before 27th of March, 2035.

Cloudy almond yellow color with a very big and frothy white head. Very sharp, sour and dirty nose with positively anattractive aromas of leather, ammonia, green apples and stables. Medium-bodied and practically bone dry on the palate with very pronounced sourness and, counterintuitively, a hint of fruity sweetness. Very sharp, tart and complex flavors of lemon, ammonia (think of cooking kidneys), some leather, a little bit of herbal bitterness (like rocket leaves), a hint of earthiness and a hint of bretty vanilla aromatics. The carbonation feels very small with fine bubbles, yet with sharp, tingly intensity. The finish is surprisingly bitter for a gueuze with very sharp, even a bit too hard lime-like sourness and complex, dirty flavors of leather, earth, some lemony citrus fruits and a hint of grassy, herbal bitterness. The aftertaste feels quite rough, hard and austere for a lambic.

This is a very dry and hard gueuze with more noticeable complexity if compared to a regular Boon bottling with very sharp sourness that combined with the slightly higher-than-normal bitterness feels even a bit too hard and angular. Although attractive and impressive, the beer feels quite a bit too aggressive and sharp at times - a thing I normally wouldn't say when discussing lambics. Perhaps aging this beer would help a little? Impressive and tasty effort, but not among the most balanced ones - I prefer Mariage parfait over this one. Nevertheless, I probably should return to this in the future.
  • C Chen commented:

    9/6/18, 2:21 PM - Interesting note. Doesn't read like a 94 pointer whatsoever, but I guess it's still almost a perfect gueuze in your eyes?

Red
2008 Louis Latour Marsannay Pinot Noir
11/23/2017 - Wineteacher wrote:
86 points
With all the negative recent notes, i decided to try one which I bought from Haskell's in Minneapolis on sale at $12.50. The wine shows a slightly warmer red color, very light and transparent with a slight sour cherry nose. On the palate the wine ahows cherry note and with a good backbone of tannins. It is a very light wine and needing to be drunk. It is not distinquished but ok as a light red. Pretty even but nothing to grab your throat with. My bottle has no issue with being gone or spoil. Not a bad Thanskgiving wine. The flavor interest and boldness appears to increase a couple of hours after opening.
  • C Chen commented:

    8/17/18, 10:55 AM - Funny, I don't have the curiosity to try bottles filled with negative reviews. I just got an e-mail for it and I think it's laughable how it's advertised as, "Perfectly aged, decade old Burgundy from one of the most famous producers! DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS ONE." Easy pass for me, even at $15 per bottle.

  • C Chen commented:

    8/17/18, 1:20 PM - Your note read more like it was a wine where you had to really search for that pleasure. However, with the price you paid at $12.50, I'd take this over an "unknown" regional or mass produced Pinot.

    I appreciate your wine philosophy.

Red
2015 Franck Balthazar Cornas Sans Soufre Ajouté Syrah
7/14/2018 - C Chen Likes this wine:
90 points
I wasn’t too sure what to expect with this, but thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I feared it’d be.

Immediately, I got that meaty aroma that I associate with Cornas. Additional notes of prosciutto, tart red berries, olive oil, lead, blood, and some slight hints of pepper. The terroir is definitely distinctive here.

The tannins are gripping, but surprisingly, this wine is fairly approachable. This wine will be far better with more cellar time (5-6 years will be good for most, but I prefer a longer window). A fairly simpler wine than I expected, but I’m long on its development.
  • C Chen commented:

    7/16/18, 7:16 AM - Variability seemed to be a big factor amongst my friends. Some felt it was disjointed, others felt it was consistent, etc.

  • C Chen commented:

    7/16/18, 8:48 AM - I see! The Balthazar Chaillot is where I hear consistent praise, especially for 2015. It's a baby, but I might pop a bottle in the coming months.

White - Sparkling
2006 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay
7/10/2018 - C Chen Likes this wine:
94 points
A spellbinding lady once who told me, "I'm on the I can't stop thinking about you schedule right now." That's exactly how I feel about this champagne.

Lavishly adorned with Asian pear, candied lemon peel, fresh brioche, baked apple, honey, toffee bits, and white flowers. It just dances on the palate with terrific length and remarkable acidity.

Experiencing the '06 Comtes is like finally meeting that stunning woman who captured your imagination. She shows up in red dress and carries herself with the utmost finesse and grace, knowing she's the prettiest girl in the room. You find yourself unconsciously marveling at her every detail. After she steps away, you haphazardly collect yourself in an audacious attempt to discern her flaws, but as fortune would have it, you come up empty.

It's that good. This will be one for the ages.
  • C Chen commented:

    7/14/18, 7:27 AM - Haha, I love it! Ip Man was an awesome movie! His wife was one intimidating character. I like your reference!

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Cuvée Rubis Champagne Blend
7/10/2018 - C Chen Likes this wine:
90 points
Generously opened by Frank, our gracious host for the evening. Disgorged in 2015, this was a refined, energetic, and lovely Champagne Rose that was perfect for reinvigorating the palate after tasting so many wines. With plenty of acidity, balance, and classic red berry and spice notes, it drank beautifully.

I'm curious to see how this ages, especially since this is my new house champagne now that the Billecart Rose has priced me out.
  • C Chen commented:

    7/14/18, 7:25 AM - I had the same fondness with the Rubis when I first had it a few months ago! I actually saw it at Hi-Time for $75 and considered buying it, but I’m glad I didn’t because Envoyer sells it for $50. I just picked up my Vilmart shipment last week, so if you decide to buy, maybe they still have some right now!

    With Envoyer, I work just a street away and my locker is also in Irvine, so if you ever need me to pick up for you, just holler! :)

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Laurent-Perrier Champagne Cuvée Rosé Brut Pinot Noir
I enjoyed this but I really think that I should have paired this with food. Instead of strawberries, pudding at that kind of crap, I think a lot of Rose Champagnes work better with pink game dishes or rack of lamb.

My best Rose Champagne match to date was Bolly 2002 with rack of lamb. A lot of Champagne marketing focuses on more 'feminine' food pairings, but I suspect that LPR could handle meatier options.
  • C Chen commented:

    4/29/18, 1:52 PM - Agreed, especially with stronger styles like LP and Bollinger, you can certainly pair such Roses with meatier options. I paired it with Korean BBQ fairly recently. Turned out great!

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rosé Reserve Champagne Blend
6/18/2017 - Eric Tang Tsz To wrote:
70 points
2009 base, disgorged in 2016.

Bought from Millesima in half case. Assume good condition. Nice colour and bubble, no sign of being defective.

This is the worst I've ever had. A touch of yeast and nothing else. Completely fruitless, bitter finish with high acidity. Consistent among bottles. Avoid this batch.
  • C Chen commented:

    4/27/18, 9:14 PM - Mine is even younger (2013 base, 2017 disgorge date). Terrible stuff.

  • C Chen commented:

    4/29/18, 1:49 PM - Mine was from Envoyer Fine Wines, located in Southern California.

    Also, I had a typo on my initial comment-- it was a 2012 base, not 2013. I left a tasting score of 70 points, like Eric did.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Charles Heidsieck Champagne Brut Rosé Reserve Champagne Blend
4/27/2018 - C Chen Does not like this wine:
70 points
From the back of the bottle: Disgorged in 2017. Base vintage is 2012.

Damn, this might be the worst Champagne rosé I've ever had. I was expecting so much more since it's a blend of the great 2008 up to 2012 vintage. You get that sweet bread, marshmallow, and unripe peach on the nose. Taste wise, it's incredibly tart, lacking in that fullness that Heidsieck is known for, disjointed, and just not enjoyable or ready to drink. If blinded, I'd guess this is just a really poorly made Champagne rosé by an unknown, noob producer.

Not as rich or dense as I'd have hoped. Nowhere near as good as I'd hoped, either. Sadly, I have two more bottles. Into the cellar they go... with no real enthusiasm for any of them. Maybe revisit in 7-10 years, despite the fact I'm not very bullish on their development.
  • C Chen commented:

    4/29/18, 1:47 PM - Hey Rolf,

    Thanks for your input! I'd be more bullish on their potential if they had more stuffing instead drinking like a one-dimensional, somewhat thin wine, but who knows? Maybe they'll turn into something great like yours have!

    We'll find out. Cheers!

Red
2013 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga
5/19/2017 - bugdoced Likes this wine:
90 points
tasted better about 2 weeks after opening
so this is a loooooong hold
  • C Chen commented:

    7/11/17, 9:21 PM - Jeez, it improved after two weeks of being open? Perhaps you'd be a happy buyer of premoxed Burgs.

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