Tasting Notes for C Chen

(271 notes on 241 wines)

1 - 50 of 271 Sort order
White - Sparkling
1/25/2020 - C Chen Likes this wine:
94 points
Drank this next to a Krug 168. Like the 168eme, I wasn't a fan of the Pierre Peters right away. It was dense, candied, and nutty, but not compelling.

Came back about two hours later and it was booming. A totally different wine that was so damn alluring that I couldn't stop drinking it. Loved how complex everything was. Rich notes of honey, white flower, cashews, and citrus that was brought together by this beautiful acidity lift.

Absolutely awesome wine. Very different than the Krug 168, which was more sharp and precise, but this release by Pierre Peters is legit.
Red
Drank next to a 1979 Heitz Martha's Vineyard.

Similar defining nose of lead, tobacco, and dark cherry, but with more depth and richness. Also got strong notes of peppery spices. Like the 79, it's remarkably balanced. Much more brooding.

Excellent wine that isn't going downhill anytime soon.
Red
1/25/2020 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
Drank after three hours of air.

Delicious nose of lead, graphite, tobacco, pencil shavings, and dark cherry. If blinded, I would have called this a Bordeaux. Upon drinking, you get the same notes as the nose, but with an strong infusion of peppery spice.

Very much alive, extremely balanced, and will continue drinking well.
White - Sparkling
1/25/2020 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
Initially tasted way too acidic and one-noted in lemon, despite the amazingly expansive nose of brioche, biscuits, toasted marshmallows, ripe white stone fruit, and lovely minerality.

After about an hour, this blossomed into a stellar wine that can only be triumphed by the Krug 164. Clearly the best release since the 164, this is the total package and has the deep complexity and intensity that you can only get with Krug. Dom doesn’t come close to this. Crazy good wine that is still so, so young.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/24/2020 - C Chen Likes this wine:
96 points
Arguably the best Napa I’ve ever had. Incredible nose of lead, dark fruit, graphite, wet rock, and pure sexiness. So balanced, silky, and just screaming classic Napa on the palate.

This is insanely great. Wow.
White - Sparkling
12/31/2018 - C Chen wrote:
90 points
I’ve heard some friends saying the 08 Dom is starting to shut down and my experience mirrors that. My bottle last night was simple and precise with great acidity, but lacked the broad scope of flavors/aromas I enjoyed in my previous bottles. All I got was some white fruit and a hint of smokiness, as it was pretty muted.

It just tastes (to me) like missed potential if it’s not being stored longer. I'm sure I'll have more data points when others bring them out, but I don't anticipate popping my next bottle for at least another 4-5 years.
4 people found this helpful
Red
12/23/2019 - C Chen wrote:
90 points
Very elegant and floral, but drinking a bit hot. However, if you blinded me, I wouldn’t have quickly guessed it was a domestic effort. Surprisingly nice wine!
White
12/20/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
An energetic, precise, and delicious wine. Super young, but already has clear balance and lovely notes of lemon, white stone fruit, and minerals. Great acidity. The finish stays with you for a while. Really delicious!
Red
12/20/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Dark red in color compared to the bright red 2008 MG Vosne-Romanee I had recently. Lovely wine of finesse and pleasure. Tons of dark red fruit, spices, and a hint of earthiness. Great concentration with a nice finish, which has you coming back for more. It'll only bring more pleasure with time.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/20/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
Been a while since I had this! Better than I remember.

Tons of fruit on the nose with a bit of that wild Cornas character. It was a smooth drinker that's already so approachable. Great balance, great perfumed notes, and lots of interplay between dark red fruit and earthiness. Delicious, delicious stuff.
Red
12/20/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
Damn, this wine was a real beauty. Had it side by side with two Lignier Morey St. Denis 1er VVs (2008 and 2016) and this wine kind of stole the show.

Elegant, balanced, sultry, floral, and high toned red fruits. Drank dangerously easily. While it didn't have the rich stuffing of the MSD 1er VVs, it could still benefit from more time. No rush in drinking these now, but they're so good already.
Red
12/20/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
Served blind.

Pretty different than my first experience. The first bottle I had was way burlier and almost rustic, but this bottle was smooth, velvety, and surprisingly balanced. The nose had a good amount of funk, which reminded me of an aged Levet Journaries, but the flavor didn't quite have the profile of a Syrah. If I was a betting man, I wouldn't have guessed this was red Burg. Surprise reveal!
Red
12/20/2019 - C Chen wrote:
92 points
A dense, concentrated, and burly wine that needs TONS of time in the cellar. Wasn't ready for business, but at least it was noticeably improving from the 2-3 hours of air it got.

This has crazy point potential, but it's too tight as of now.
White - Sparkling
11/26/2019 - C Chen wrote:
89 points
Nice sharp nose of brioche and almonds. On the palate, comes across clean with medium intensity. Tons of brioche, Rice Krispy Treat, chalk, and dried white carbs. Pretty interesting. Another sip, I get lemon notes with more of that crunchy white carb note. Never had that note in my Champagne before.

Wish the wine was fuller and richer, but at $20 for a half bottle, it’s not terrible. For my preferences, I wouldn’t seek it out again. Too simple.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Spirits
11/23/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
90 points
Smells lovely: caramel, spices, cinammon, dried fruits, some dark flowers, and vanilla. Upon drinking, it’s spicy with a big kick. Not as full as I expected, but still fairly rich with a smooth, lingering finish. Cinnamon notes are very prominent.
Red
11/1/2019 - C Chen wrote:
An interesting wine that was lost on me. Initially closed, it later came around to having nice notes of bright cherries, spices, and some faint sappy notes.

Didn't have enough of this to make an analysis, but a nice data point and experience, regardless!
Red
11/1/2019 - C Chen wrote:
This bottle was lost on me. Wasn't sure if flawed or if I had no idea what was going on. Will need to revisit.
White - Sparkling
11/1/2019 - C Chen wrote:
90 points
I'm not as enthused as some forum members are about this Champagne. Much of the hype comes from the fact that this bottle has vintages dating back to the 70s, but I definitely felt that the vast majority of this blend still came from 2011.

I liked the nutty and apple notes, and while there was some nice acidity, it was ultimately not very exciting and became more of an afterthought. I didn't think this wine was very complex and didn't think it was worth the tariff and glamour. A moderately interesting experience at best. Save your money and put it towards a serious Champagne.
Red
11/1/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Jeez, this was so good. Bright, vivid aromas of fresh red fruit and fresh earthiness. The aroma high toned, yet so alluring. I could live in it.

Taste wise, there was richer concentration compared to the nose. Darker in color, I loved the bright acidity on this and how approachable and absolutely delicious it was. While it wasn't the most complex, it provided so much pleasure with its crunchy red fruit and minerality. I would drink more of this anytime and would love to have it with food (I'm thinking izakaya already).

Thanks to Ed for this!
Red
11/1/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
95 points
Elegant, balanced, structured, and drinking so well.

The nose immediately took me to Bordeaux with its lead, black fruit, tobacco, soil, and crushed stone. The wine was unbelievably nuanced and kept evolving throughout the afternoon. Lovely, layered, and so approachable. This can continue to age long into the future. What a showing and a yet another new benchmark for Napa Cab. An experience to remember!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/1/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
Overshadowed by the epic '94 Dominus by its side, but this '97 Caymus SS certainly did not disappoint.

Old school Napa that kept evolving over two hours. Lovely and mellow, there's still quite a bit of life left, so no immediate rush to drink this. Aged notes of leather, plum, tobacco, and some dried herbs. Tons of verve. There was some meatiness to it initially, but it wasn't overpowering.

Great showing!
Beer
10/26/2019 - C Chen Does not like this wine:
79 points
Certainly not as good as I remember it from the past (2017 was the last time I had this).

Brownish in color, but a one-noted and a surprisingly similar profile you would find in the more inexpensive Bretta Rose. Pretty disappointing, given the higher cost of this beer. Probably my last time buying this.

For cheaper, you can get Russian River Supplication, which is FAR more structured and FAR more complex.
Sake
10/26/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Bottled in March 2019. Drank with Michelle shortly after arriving back from a few weeks in Japan.

Almost as good as I remember it from a fond memory at Hayato. Very Riesling-like. Tons of peach, white fruit, and slight licorice aromas with a similar and rich flavor profile. Nicely balanced and oh so delicious.
Sake
10/5/2019 - C Chen wrote:
90 points
Purchased a 720ml off the sake list at Kinjiro in LA for $50. Very fair price.

Pleasant and enjoyable, if a tad simple. Solid pricepoint. The Dassai 23 is clearly a level higher (drinks more like a Riesling), but the 50 can be enjoyed often without breaking the bank.
Rosé - Sparkling
9/30/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Billecart Salmon never disappoints. This bottle was richer and more full-bodied than the prior bottles I've had, but in a good way. The Vilmart Rubis was my house Champagne for the last two years, but the Billecart Salmon is the more complete wine.

Lovely aromas of red fruit, orange peel, fresh ocean breeze, and minerality. Nice finish. Great structure and flavor profile. Delicious stuff.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/6/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
91 points
A bright red Pinot that is true to its domestic roots. It needed some air to open up, but when it did, it had lovely spice notes, high toned berries, and delicate florals. Good acidity and balance with tannins that need time to resolve. It could be the vintage, but this came across to me more as a California wine than an Oregon wine (which isn't a bad thing).

This'll only improve with some additional cellaring. Give it a few years, at minimum, and it'll be a really pleasurable wine. Thanks, Chris, for generously sharing this with us!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/30/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Once again, another elegant and delicious stunner. Get yourself a Zalto Bordeaux or use some proper glassware to fully appreciate this. Just a very unique and pleasurable wine that can be immediately enjoyed or put away for aging. Lovely balance, flavors, and finish. A really approachable and special expression of Syrah.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/30/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
90 points
Delicious wine filled with dark fruits, floral notes, and spices. Took a while to open up,p but when it did, it had the marks of Lignier. A fantastic and well-made wine. It doesn't immediately bring me to Gevrey-Chambertin, but it's damn good.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/30/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
This is a wine that first screams of its immense potential, then provides its pleasure. Sweet spices, dark fruits, earth, and this haunting display of indescribable and distinctive characteristics that I attribute to Burgundy. A serious and special wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/30/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
Out of the three 2014 Ligniers we had side by side, this was my favorite.

Elegant, complex, and dangerously easy to drink and fall in love with. Irresistible already. With age, this will be an absolute killer. Love the bright flavors, rich earthiness, and clear mark of Burgundy this wine has.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/30/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Oh man, this was so good. Love L'Arlot wines. Need to find some more.

Tastes super fresh and elegant, despite having a more muscular tone and dark red fruit tone than I expected. Loved that bit of spice on the palate. Lovely aromas and flavors with a lingering finish. Pricey, but delicious.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
9/7/2019 - C Chen wrote:
91 points
Drank with some rather terrible company at a supper club in LA, which no doubt adversely affected the scoring of this wine. Typically a 92-94 pointer, this was also served slightly warmer than usual, which knocked off some of the enjoyment.

Perhaps I got too casual with my particular bottle since I've had three excellent experiences. Even at its worst, it's still a 91 pointer. Not bad, Comtes. But for the rest of the bottles, I think some cellar time will be greatly beneficial. Think I'm done drinking these so early on.
9 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2011 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/1/2019 - C Chen wrote:
Muted. Super tight. Not giving at all, despite plenty of air. Clearly Bordeaux, but the St. Estephe terroir isn't obvious.

Jammy, wet forest floor, wet stone, and plum notes. Offering no pleasure at the moment.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
9/1/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
91 points
Very impressed by this wine. If blinded, I would have guessed this as white Burg due to its bright energy, distinct lemon, and precision. This wine exceeded expectations and my respect for Mayacamus went way up! Great wine. Will reward aging, for sure!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
9/6/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Second bottle from a case purchase.

Decanted for an hour in the morning, then poured back into the bottle to serve later that evening. This worked well, since it didn't show as tightly as my first bottle, which was only double decanted.

Beautiful and elegant aromas on the nose with sultry and terroir driven characteristics on the palate. Lovely fragrances with the inner mouth perfume, as well. This is an nuanced and complex wine that will clearly reward aging. Even though it's too early to drink now due to its tremendous upside, it's already delicious.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White - Sparkling
9/6/2019 - C Chen wrote:
90 points
Simple notes of brioche, honey, and apple. Much leaner than expected, as the hype surrounding this wine (persistent claims that it hangs with big house Champagnes) led me to believe it'd be broad and expansive.

Not sure if extended cellaring is the answer, but it can't hurt, I suppose. Not the biggest fan of this due to unwarranted hype, but for purely what it is, it's good.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/10/2019 - C Chen Does not like this wine:
89 points
Third time with this bottle.

Blended with 2014 base. Fairly elegant and smoky. Lighter character. Quite unyielding and a tad unexciting, like the Rubis next to it. Poor showing for both bottles. Will not continue to buy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
8/10/2019 - C Chen Does not like this wine:
88 points
Disgorged in 2017. The most disappointing bottle I’ve had. Thin, unyielding, and missing so much character and distinction on both the nose and palate. Disappointed, but not surprised.

With some air, it improved, but not enough. With Vilmart Rubis bottles always being just barely above average, I think this’ll be my last purchase from this producer. Onto better things.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
White
7/26/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
91 points
This Trocken drinks more like a Kabinett. Really enticing nose and a fun, moderately simple drinker. The acidity really sticks out and keeps this wine exciting. For $16, it's really hard to go wrong with this. Delicious stuff!
White - Sparkling
7/19/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
This was a really cool bottle. The nose is broad and expansive with notes of brioche, ripe stone fruit, golden apple, and honey. On the palate, it has laser-like focus and precision with a long finish. A unique Champagne that softened up and got more interesting over the hours. Loved the experience!
Red
7/19/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Served blind. What a treat to have an aged Levet Journaries!

While I almost always favor aged wines, this bottling is a rare exception. The mild Journaries funk in young bottles was super concentrated in this aged bottle (in my opinion, too concentrated for my liking). The foggy palate gave off a strong meatiness, wildness, and jammy red fruit that took me to Cornas. But that nose brought me to Levet after some deduction. I guessed 2006-2008.

An interesting reveal!
White
7/19/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
Smoked the muted 2008 Jaffelin CC, to the surprise of no one.

This PYCM had hardly any reduction, but tons of precision, white fruit, and minerality. Still tasting pretty young at this stage. Really enjoyable!
Red
7/19/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
This wine is a stunner. Intense and lavishly perfumed. A bold and dense Pinot. There's so much going on, yet it's already approachable, and the upside potential is insane. A beauty!
White
2008 Jaffelin Corton-Charlemagne Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay
7/19/2019 - C Chen wrote:
88 points
Light hay in color. Probably the most muted nose of all white Burg I've had. Really picked up close to nothing from initial pop and pour to a few hours later when the bottle was finished.

Thankfully, it had enjoyable flavors of honey, hints of butterscotch, white stone fruit, and some tropical notes. Drank nicely, just smelled like nothing.
Red
2003 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/19/2019 - C Chen wrote:
90 points
I wasn't too impressed with this showing. Nice nose, but it lacked freshness/energy and just seemed a bit flabby. Notes of black fruit with some tobacco notes, but missing an extra gear or two.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
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.
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
7/19/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
This wine really took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting it to be so accessible right off the bat. It was easily one of the most memorable wines of a recent lineup.

See clayfu’s notes for details. Like Burgundy Al said, there’s 94-95 point potential here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
7/4/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
93 points
While with my other Raveneau experiences have been with aged bottles (usually around 20 years), this young bottle was fantastic.

Precise, fresh, balanced, energetic, uniquely Burgundy, and so expressive. Love the salinity and minerality that this wine offers, on top that lemon curd, butter, and cream. So approachable and dangerously easy to drink. I could sip on this all day. Craving the leftovers right now!
Red
7/4/2019 - C Chen Likes this wine:
92 points
First bottle from an annual case purchase.

The nose on this wine is unbelievable. Elegant, perfumed, complex, seductive. It left a big smile on my face. One of the most memorable bouquet of aromas, period.

Unfortunately, this wine shows far too young on the palate. The ‘15 Gerard offered more richness and fruit compared to the ‘16. Because of the ‘16 makeup, it came off harsher than I would have liked, but it still drank well and offered a lot of thought and pleasure with its remarkable structure and balance. This wine has awesome potential. Can’t wait to revisit it!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
7/2/2019 - C Chen wrote:
90 points
08 base blend. Much better than the completely disjointed bottle I tried during the initial purchase. This is a nice Champagne Rosé. You can certainly notice the Heidseick DNA with its nimble fullness, if that makes sense. Tons of toasty brioche with lovely minerality and creaminess, with hints of tart red berries. Very textbook.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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