Comments on my notes

(99 comments on 79 notes)

1 - 50 of 79 Sort order
White
2016 Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers Chardonnay
8/8/2018 - Anonymous wrote:
97 points
Petrol and rubber on the nose. Smooth nutmeg elements on the mid palate. Such a classic Montrachet.
  • BenBlu commented:

    2/6/20, 4:00 AM - This isn't a Montrachet. It's a Chassagne 1er...

White - Sparkling
2004 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame Champagne Blend
1/30/2020 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
92 points
2004 champagne horizontal (110 Taillevent London): Respectable performance of this weak cuvee. Quite balanced and diplomatic.
  • BenBlu commented:

    1/31/20, 7:52 AM - Thank you for your kind words! I would (strongly) recommend to buy Comtes and Dom. They do look like very good value. I think in both cases they are comparable to the great 1995s and if you look at prices for 1995s they sell for double. So buy those 2004s now, they can be drunk now but they will be even better in a decade time and will make you smile I think.

  • BenBlu commented:

    1/31/20, 8:09 AM - I think that 1995 is a lot better than its reputation and is up there with the 1996s. It is also a remarkable consistent vintage. But 1996 is also gorgeous of course and for example Dom 1996 is a great great champagne. So in short they are both great vintages in my mind. 2004 is not at the level of 1995, but in the case of Dom and Comtes I feel those are. Hope that helps.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Premier Champagne Blend
12/25/2019 - BenBlu wrote:
85 points
This cuvee continues to plummet in my estimation. Had twice over christmas it simply failed to impress me on all levels. Super generic.
  • BenBlu commented:

    1/9/20, 6:25 AM - I am almost at the point where I prefer any champagne to Roederer NV ;-)

Red
2002 Bouchard Père et Fils Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Reignots Pinot Noir
12/5/2019 - joshuanage wrote:
93 points
Does anyone know if this is the exact same wine as the Liger-Belair Reignots ?
  • BenBlu commented:

    1/8/20, 6:52 AM - The wine/juice itself yes (vineyard worked by LM Liger Belair fully). It is however not "exactly" the same. Comte Liger Bealir wine is not racked or filtered. Bouchard is racked and possibly filtered. I haven't had them side by side but given market prices I feel if you can get your hands on the Bouchard Reignots from 02-05 those are gems...

White
2016 Peter Jakob Kühn Oestricher Doosberg Riesling Großes Gewächs Rheingau
12/23/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
91 points
This was very good but the oak felt a tad out of sync. A St Nikolaus 2016 had next to it smoked it clearly. I think this might come into its own with some more bottle age and is a very good wine. Just not fully sync'd today. 91-92
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/30/19, 7:48 AM - I would hold this one in particular - probably 3-5 years. But I doubt it will ever be as good as the St Nikolaus 2016. I feel the 2015 Doosberg here is quite a lot better and drinking now already.

Red
1995 Hubert Lignier Clos de la Roche Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Pinot Noir
6/8/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
96 points
High fill, perfectly looking bottle, when cutting the capsule a very worryingly mouldy looking cork shows which is highly porous and I just about manage to extract. At first nose very muted coming. Clear bricking speaking of its age visually. Palate also totally closed. My first thought is hmmm not sure I will get much pleasure out of it. However with air it properly comes into its own. After one hour it is in the zone. The nose is mature with firecracker, liquorice and herbs and some Asian medicine, a tad animale at times and could possibly be misten for a Bdx especially as the firecracker disappears a few minutes after a pour in glass. The nose kept changing and each time you pick up different scents. The palate is highly mineral, very intense penetrating but symmetrical wine which always makes you salivate and reach for the next sip and before you know it the bottle is gone. It is not a archetypical fine Burg but rather a hybrid of hypothetical great red Bdx and Burg - maybe that’s why RP scored this as high as he did. Gosh what a contrast to a Roumier Cras 09 drank the previous night. But I am really loving this wine. I can see this divide the audience though. At times it was a low 90a and at times a high 90s wine depending on the sip I took. It kept changing. Definitely not your monochrome bleu from Yves Klein. 93-97. As drinking window goes I think this is a now wine before it looses more fruit. Drink now - 2020. But do give it an hour in the decanter to come into its own get past the mute stage, then the funk and then it shines!
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/25/19, 8:24 AM - I would pull the cork and taste it as with this age bottle variation is almost a given. If it is a perfect bottle then a half hour to hour decant and then get stuck in and follow it’s evolution is probably best. Hope you enjoy and let us know how you get on!

White - Sparkling
2006 Bollinger Champagne Vieilles Vignes Françaises Pinot Noir
11/11/2016 - JWdeSommelier Likes this wine:
97 points
Champagne Bollinger Master Class (Wijnhandel Peeters): 100% Pinot Noir from 3 vineyards Chaudes Terres and Clos St-Jacques in Aÿ and Croix Rouge, Bouzy. 100% Barrel Fermented, 6yrs agings prior to dégorgement. First time that VVF was presented during a public tasting in Holland. Very impressive wine with a magnificent balance between power, minerality and acidity. It just went on and on. Ripe red apple, stonefruit, brioche, truffle, hazelnut, mushroom and a pronounced limestone minerality. A baby but already drinking beautiful! Hopefully I'll ever get a chance to taste this 10-15 yr older.
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/10/19, 9:31 AM - Croix Rouge in Bouzy was last part of the 2004 vintage - as phylloxera affected that parcel thereafter. From 2005 vintage Bollinger's VVF is based purely on vines from the two parcels of Ay.

Red
2005 Bouchard Père et Fils La Romanée La Romanée Grand Cru Pinot Noir
10/20/2018 - CamWheeler wrote:
95 points
SLDS Single Bottle Dinner: Cherry, red currant, smoke, light tar and earthy spices. This has superb balance and composure, showing off delicate fruit and fantastic layers of flavour. Pure, youthful and acid driven. Really delightful, in some ways very un-Bouchard Pinot like in its seamless and confident profile.
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/9/19, 6:33 AM - It is probably un-Bouchard like as it was made by Louis-Michel ;-) The only difference of La Romanee Comte Liger Belair vs Bouchard (aside from label) is that Louis-Michel filled Bouchard barrels (so different oak treatment, racking and filling).

Red
2002 Bouchard Père et Fils La Romanée La Romanée Grand Cru Pinot Noir
3/25/2015 - dcwino wrote:
95 points
2002 Champagne and Burgundy dinner with Eric (Chez Billy Sud - Washington DC): Sweet dark fruits, blackberry, blackberry jelly, sap, strong floral note, a hint of vosne spice, tree bark and earth. Excellent concentration, crushed blackberry driven palate impression, good acidity and noticeable tannins. Not quite up to the level of Louis Michel’s but still very good. Still need another ten years of cellaring.
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/9/19, 6:29 AM - This wine has been made by Louis-Michel and the only difference of La Romanee 2002, 3, 4, and 05 vintages other than the labels is that he filled Bouchard's barrels - i.e. same wine but different oak regime, racking and bottling.

Red
2007 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Echezeaux Echezeaux Grand Cru Pinot Noir
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.
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/7/19, 4:56 AM - Great note. How was the preparation - did you decant and if so how long - when was it in its sweet spot for you? Thinking of opening a bottle of this soon. Thanks.

Red
1998 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
11/17/2015 - Collector1855 wrote:
94 points
During a CdB tasting dinner. Medium garnet. Nose of pine, forest floor a touch of barnyard, some smoke. Well structured with present tannins but not drying. Very good, CabSav dominated wine. Drik now but can also age further.
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/3/19, 4:56 AM - According to information from the Chateau the assemblage was 48% Merlot, 37% Cab Sauv and 15% Franc. So maybe you meant to say Merlot dominated wine?

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Champagne Blend
11/26/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
97 points
This was 151 edition (based vintage 1995). OMG - such lovely gold in the glass, deep nutty rich nose and so much oomph on the palate. Krug NV Grande Cuvee at its very very best. Possibly up there with the great 1995 vintage version for me if probably not quite as focused. This and the truffle pasta were to die for and probably my "heart" wine / combination of this truly epic evening.
  • BenBlu commented:

    11/28/19, 10:36 PM - The cork gives away the disgorgement date and there were some very experienced tasters present which resulted in this verdict. The only way to know for sure though I think would be to liaise with Krug based on Lot numbers (I just did that for a case offered which turned out to be base vintage 1990 confirmed by Krug). If you are sitting in magnums of 1995 base vintage you should be in for an absolute treat. Would love to try this out of magnum. Do report back when you pop a cork!

White
2017 Pierre Girardin Corton-Charlemagne Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay
11/16/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
94 points
Corton Charlemagne Dinner (110 Taillevent London): Served blind - clearly bested the PYMC in the glass next to it. Wow - lemon curd, precision & cut, painfully concentrated almost. After Coche probably the next best of the pack together with Jadot for me that night. And just like the Jadot one of the cheapest wines of the night.
  • BenBlu commented:

    11/19/19, 6:22 AM - The wines were not decanted. I think this one might have been just opened a few hours prior to serving (but I am not 100% sure). I can try and speak to the sommelier and get back to you.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
11/13/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
88 points
A good but somewhat weaker performance - from various standard bottles this felt as if it was a bit too young (and possibly not the strongest base vintage composition?). Bollinger NV does benefit a lot from bottle age. Good here but missing the depth and richness that this can have from aged bottles and especially magnum aged bottles.
  • BenBlu commented:

    11/15/19, 2:29 AM - Hi Slimes - I am afraid I did not as it was at a casual drink reception.

White - Sparkling
1995 Charles Heidsieck Champagne Blanc des Millénaires Chardonnay
9/12/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
96 points
1995 Vintage Champagne horizontal (Medlar (London)): New bottle design and Jan-14 disgorgement. These vary quite a bit depending on the disgorgement date. Seems like Jan-14 is a good one which I am pleased about as this was first bottle of a case. The nose was Charles Heidsieck and picked out by quite a few people. Probably on a par with the Comtes and both are great BdB and have a long life ahead and are still on the way up.
  • BenBlu commented:

    9/15/19, 1:07 PM - Thanks SLIMES. Your are of course correct by bad - it should read horizontal. I am going to try and edit.

Red
1982 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
9/4/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
98 points
One of the rare examples for me recently whereby my nod goes to Bordeaux for WOTN in an evening where top red Burgundy was sampled (Rousseau Chambertin 08, 03 and Meo Cdv02). This was though on careful consideration WOTN. It was simply sublime. It was just an elexir, such attractive perfectly balanced nose of aged Bordeaux goodies (old books, leather) but the fruit is at the same time still bright and clear with wonderful cassis and a touch of earth. This was like a bright jewel with sweet tannins and it is those bottles that remind you of why people love and buy Bordeaux. Of course outstanding "value" in the context of very fine wine. And also one occasion where I must say "chapeau RP" for rating this relative underdog very highly indeed and I am not with RP taste wise all the time. This is a legendary wine. And would it have borne another label I might have even rated this higher... I am trying to be as objective as possible but if you handed me the same wine and it bore a 1982 Mouton label I might have given it 99 points. Just being honest.
  • BenBlu commented:

    9/5/19, 9:18 AM - I am doing my best (looking forward to a GPL90 tonight, another of my all time favourite mature clarets transcending classification category) - cheers buddy ;-)

Red
2005 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Aux Boudots Pinot Noir
8/10/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
95 points
This was the same bottle as previous note which I then had Coravined. I took the remaining half bottle with me to a restaurant (Ledbury). I always think wines that have been Coravin accessed do get a bit of air and a slow oxidation process starts. The sommelier pulled cork and left an hour at cellar temperature before serving. When he served it the nose was as great as any wine I have ever had pretty much (I would say 98 plus!). Macerated cherries, rose pedal, sweet spices in spades and the intensity of this was off the charts (it reminded me a bit of Comte Liger Belair NSG Cras 2010 which also is a knock-out)! I was stunned and the sommelier smiled and said he could smell it from where he was standing. The palate was great too but not quite with the nose. Still superb. I think if maybe a bit less air both would have gotten together as unbelievable pair. Way exceeded my expectations and given I had half bottle the week prior from the same bottle it just shows how much preparation can change the experience! Happy this was the first of a case and will be opening a bottles now-2030. Amazing wine. 95+
  • BenBlu commented:

    9/5/19, 5:51 AM - Hi - great decision I think and hope you will be agreeing... Where did you source it? Keep me posted as you open the first bottle.

  • BenBlu commented:

    9/5/19, 6:27 AM - I bought mine there too and thought so as I saw a case sell there yesterday. It's not a cheap wine but I think it is a good deal. It is better then Cathiard Murgers 05 (just) I think. Let me know how you get on and I hope it lives up to your expectations.

  • BenBlu commented:

    9/5/19, 6:33 AM - I have made my way through a bit of a case and have 3 bottles left. I also adore Cathiard. I feel having tasted both that I would probably cellar the Cathiard 05 for 5 more years whereas I think the Meo 05 is good from now. It would be very interesting to taste both side by side, now but probably even better in a few years from now.

White - Sparkling
2004 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année Champagne Blend
3/17/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
93 points
Disgorged Nov 13. Please see my previous TN which holds this score is a slight uplift as with more sore this time the sweetness of core prinot fruit was utterly beguiling. This is a nice champagne and classic Bolly!
  • BenBlu commented:

    8/13/19, 7:48 AM - Go for it and crack one open now, definitely ready to pop! Then judge yourself how long you want/can cellar the remainder...

Red
2018 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
7/3/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
97 points
Berry Brothers 2018 Bordeaux en primeur (plus back vintages) (Lindley Hall, London): I hate to stick such a big score on an unfinished product and usually refrain from scoring en primeur wines, but boy, after drinking mainly 09s of top producers that evening this one hit you straight in the face with its obvious greatness. I could have drank the whole bottle! Silky, lovely fruit, such classy classy juice. Shame I didn't manage to pick it up en primeur. Will be looking out for that in secondary. BTW a LLC 18 tasted just after seemed very pale just after this Calon.
  • BenBlu commented:

    8/13/19, 1:28 AM - Hello my friend. The good answer (for your palate) is "yes" - the bad answer (for your wallet) is "no". In serious, prices have clearly moved up and I wasn't able to get hold off it en primeur but one can still buy it I think at ~£1,200 dozen IB in the UK. So while not a bargain the quality is still there to justify this price tag. I think it should be a genuinely great wine in time but also one that can be drunk on the younger side. My only reservation is the alcohol level coming in close to 15 percent as I typically prefer lower alcohol wines.

  • BenBlu commented:

    8/13/19, 1:59 AM - Hi Dave - yes I am not going to predict this exactly but I will say that higher alcohol in my experience does potentially lead to more bottle variation and also possibly difficult ageing trajectory. So if there was one reason to find not to buy it that would be my reason...

White - Sparkling
2008 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut Champagne Blend
6/5/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
98 points
2008 Champagne horizontal (Medlar (London)): Having had this wine before twice (and scored 95 & 96) I immediately recognised it. It was by a margin the best wine of the night served so far (clearly a notch above great Dom and Grande Annee) and proved to be the best white champagne when all was said and done. The only champagne beating it for WOTN was a bottle of utterly sublime Cristal rose. Reflecting on this performance in this context I have no other choice but to up my score and go for a 98. The concentration was otherworldly here and people agreed fairly unanimously that this is epic. I am now convinced this is going to be monumental and will have no choice but to purchase more and follow this wines evolution over the next decades. Wow!
  • BenBlu commented:

    8/5/19, 2:48 AM - Dear Dave - many thanks for your kind note. BTW I too have purchased some Lafite 18, so we really seem to think along the same lines. And if buying those mean your motivation to stay fit and healthy for another 40 years is heightened then I think that is a nice secondary effect. After all we have a lot to live for with all those bottles in the cellar.

    On the Cristal 08 if you have not had it I would actually recommend you open one ASAP. There might be a follow-on investment coming on for you though just as a disclaimer ;-)

    All the very best - Ben.

Red
2011 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées Pinot Noir
6/19/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
93 points
Slight reduction, aromas of smoke and bacon fat wafting from the glass in this medium bodied lovely Burgundy that seemed nicely mature. Not much on the primary side of fruit going on but more mineral and secondary notes. Lovely wine!
  • BenBlu commented:

    7/23/19, 6:19 AM - Thanks and interesting. Unfortunately I didn't bring the bottle and I don't own it. But I will see if I manage to come across another example again to make an assessment!

White - Sparkling
2002 Louis Roederer Champagne Vintage Brut Champagne Blend
7/17/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
93 points
2002 Vintage Champagne horizontal (Elystan Street, London): A divine start to a great evening - this was served non blind from magnum. This cuvee is an overperformer in my view out of magnum as I have still fond memories of a 1996 magnum I had ~6-7 years back, i.e. at around a similar age. This to me was a perfectly balanced champagne with very good depth that was very classic Roederer to me. I also have a nostalgia of that old label (which is when their Brut Premier was still a great NV but that is different point of discussion). To me a beautiful champagne that is drinking at its early phase of full maturity in magnum but will keep and will probably improve for the next 10 years.
  • BenBlu commented:

    7/23/19, 4:26 AM - Many thanks for your appreciative words SLIMES!

Red
2010 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
7/3/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
98 points
Berry Brothers 2018 Bordeaux en primeur (plus back vintages) (Lindley Hall, London): At last year's event they also brought the 2010 and it was one of my wines of the evening. This time it felt like it has further blossomed with the additional year and again one of the wines of the evening. One of the few 2010s where most other wines were 09 samples. Killer line of graphite, some vanilla. But also so pure and interwoven with silky tannins. Absolute top notch edging 1st growth quality for me on this sample.
  • BenBlu commented:

    7/5/19, 1:51 AM - Many thanks for your kind words - I am very glad you found my notes useful! With PB10 you have a great wine in hand that I think will be giving crazy pleasure between 2030-2050. This is top fine wine sweet spot in terms of value in my view. There are not much better wines in Bordeaux and if there are then any incremental is paid for very dearly. To me PB10 is the best Bdx 10 I have had after Mouton 10 which to me is a perfect wine.

Red
2009 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) Red Bordeaux Blend
7/3/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
95 points
Berry Brothers 2018 Bordeaux en primeur (plus back vintages) (Lindley Hall, London): For me at this tasting of truly great but very ripe wines a refuge of delightful classic claret that still has the benefit of the ripe vintage in its immediate drinkability but comes across as fresh and mineral, some leather and truffle, and lower alcohol compared to other wines tasted. To me this is a bottle I would like to take away and just sit in the corner and drink. Given market prices this is a no brainer - as are other top vintage Lagrange. € for € I would say Lagrange is the best wine in all of Bordeaux and therefore no coincidence that it is the chateau I have the most wine of in terms of bottle count.
  • BenBlu commented:

    7/4/19, 9:04 AM - Haha - happy 4th of July! I did a quick bottle count and I am sitting on 153 bottles of Lagrange ;-) Easily the chateaux I have the most bottles of in Bordeaux.

  • BenBlu commented:

    7/4/19, 9:26 AM - Glad to hear that - while I haven't tried the 16 I own cases of normal and halves... I still need to go through a full case of 1990s, then I will move to the 2000 and in parallel I have started to crack open halves of 05s.

Red
2009 Château Saint-Pierre St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
7/3/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
96 points
Berry Brothers 2018 Bordeaux en primeur (plus back vintages) (Lindley Hall, London): I was very curious to taste this given I own a few cases and after the recent jump in score from NM putting it into the top band of the 09s in his 10 year reviews. The wine was noticeably less ripe than other 09 counterparts - which I think is probably a good thing as while initially pleasing the ripe fruit started to bore me / go on my nerves after the tenth sample as it created a too generic experience. Here some more restraint and a classic claret that still boosted great concentration, but with more balance and minerality than others. One to watch and set for long development. To me St Pierre together with Lagrange were the two "value" wines of the 09 vintage - they were one of the most classic wines that also still speak of its origin. Very well done.
  • BenBlu commented:

    7/4/19, 8:31 AM - Thank you wineotim! I definitely recommend checking St Pierre out. I "discovered" it with a terrific bottle of 04 (not the best of vintages). I have never had a bad bottle of St Pierre. I think 05, 09, 10 at current price levels are must buys. Those will be wines that can challenge a lot higher priced and better known Chateaux in blind tastings in my view.

  • BenBlu commented:

    7/4/19, 8:58 AM - Hey Purple Tooth! I just ran the maths and for my Bordeaux portfolio in terms of bottle count St Julien makes up 29% (followed by Pauillac 22%, Graves 12%, St Emilion 10%, Margaux 8%, St Estephe and Sauternes/Bersac each 7% and Pomerol 5%).

Red
2009 Domaine Jean Grivot Clos Vougeot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Pinot Noir
6/16/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
91 points
I like this wine but feel it should be better given vintage and producer. It has quite a narrow drinking window at present of optimal drinking, around half an hour after decant. With too much air it gets quite thin and sour. At its optimal point it is like sucking on a cherry stone with some nice red fruit. But it is not overly complex and blind I could mistaken this for a delightful village. So while nothing wrong this is not spectacular. I have a few more and will try to give them some more time but I am not convinced time will be that kind to this wine.
  • BenBlu commented:

    6/17/19, 8:51 AM - I saw that, thanks and I am not sure I agree. Bourghound also scores it 95, a score that puts this above many (much) better wines in my humble opinion (no chance this is better than 99 DRC RSV ;-)

White - Sparkling
2008 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année Champagne Blend
6/5/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
96 points
2008 Champagne horizontal (Medlar (London)): For most/all at the table this was the wine of the flight. Dry, nutty, mineral, some faint sherry tones, very long. When revealed we agreed that this is terrific value and it truly performed at prestige cuvee level. I was a bit anxious to see how this would show as I bought a few cases and I was very pleased to see this champagne drank blind to be Grande Annee. I look forward to my bottles in the future. Will only get better with age surely but already today a fantastic experience. If you don't already own this go and grab a case.
  • BenBlu commented:

    6/6/19, 7:31 AM - Please do try and it and let me/us know how it was. I have read in forums about some variability with the Grande Annees, so I hope the bottle shows as well as the one we had. Cheers!

Red
2004 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Valbuena 5° Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
4/2/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
95 points
Same bottle as previous notes, now pulled cork and decanted remainder (half bottle) for half an hour and follower over two hours. I underrated this wine probably in previous notes. There is something hauntingly beautiful about this - tobacco, bay leaf, it is long and sticky once the wine gets air. So scoring it 95 cognisant of previous scores (92, 93), so my blended would be a 93-94. Great intensity, this wine has got character. Drink now till 2035. Certainly not a second wine but an accomplished wine in its own right.
  • BenBlu commented:

    3/8/19, 8:32 AM - Hey buddy - so how was it???

Red
2016 Serafin Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Corbeaux Pinot Noir
2/3/2019 - Collector1855 wrote:
95 points
PoB - Burgundy 2017 En Primeur (Hong Kong): Walkabout tasting, only brief impressions. Fantastic wine, so aromatic, nose of barnyard, earth, smoke. Wonderful
  • BenBlu commented:

    2/5/19, 2:19 AM - Very insightful notes as always. One question - was this a 2016 (as logged) or 2017? Thanks.

Red
2005 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
2/27/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
94 points
I was looking forward to retasting this as I had this last around 2 years ago and felt it was a tremendous wine then with great potential (rated 94 and 95 then). What has changed? In short, not much. Double decanted this the night before and left without cork for the night then recorked in the morning and took to restaurant for dinner where it was decanted and then drunk over 2 hours. The colour of this wine is almost blue purple, the nose soars with blue fruits and intense blueberry notes are also still dominant on the palate. Very little evolved in terms of secondary or beyond. But it is drinking with the prep it had in its youthful exuberance. High tannins but refined. I think this is a 40 year wine easy. Thinking that the 1990LP I feel is also still fairly youthful and I see similarities with the 05 and the 90 - probably more so then with the 96 for its fruit which is subdued in the 96. It probably is a hypothetical blend of 75pct 1990 and 25pct 1996, and that is certainly no bad thing. I have 4 cases of those and look forward to following this wine's path for as long as I can. Drink 2020-2050 (with sweetspot for my liking I'd forecast at 2030 onwards, but I won't wait that long for the next). In my view this is a very good value high quality 2nd growth from a great vintage. The Poyferre to buy given prices vis a vis other top vintages for sure. I must add that this was drank side by side a Canon 05 and the Canon was a tad more developed and showed beautifully to just best the Poyferre... On this occasion...
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/31/18, 1:12 PM - Hello buddy, looking forward to your thought on this beauty in 2019. I think it may be a tiny bit closed right now but do take one for a test drive! Happy New Year!

Red
2016 Domaine Coquard Loison-Fleurot Clos de la Roche Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Pinot Noir
1/28/2018 - Collector1855 wrote:
94 points
Pearl of Burgundy 2016 en Primeur tasting (Hong Kong): Lots of attention here after the Neal Martin tasting notes. Denser than the CdV, more structure. Good stuff indeed but I don’t see quite the level (upper 90ies) Neal Martin has assigned. 94+
  • BenBlu commented:

    10/30/18, 5:56 AM - NM gave this banded score of 93/95 I think so your rating suggests you fall right in the (upper) middle with 94 (+)?

Red
2005 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) Red Bordeaux Blend
10/19/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
94 points
From half bottle first of a case. I love Lagrange and would rate it top qpr Bordeaux but never had this vintage. So naturally I was very curious to try it finally. Good news this is a great Lagrange. Quite dark ruby in colour visually very attractive already. Splash decanted and drank over an hour the wine sports a very classic Bordeaux nose from a riper vintage, structure is evident - some earth, dark fruit, smoke, oak and tobacco. On the palate it follows through and reveals a very healthy core fruit which is at present slightly fighting with the oak but from my experience with the chateau this will resolve further and integrate beautifully. As it got more air the wood already seemed to give way to more juicy fruit, loving it. If you like some toasty oak and prime fruit this is drinking extremely well now already out of half bottle. Stylistically I feel it should end up somewhere in between the spellbinding 90 and great 96. It should be in its prime in 10-20 years from standard bottle I think, halves are going to be super duper in - few years time but no crime drinking some now. Clearly better then 2000 I think although I have some doubts if previous samples that I tried of the milennial vintage were perfect bottles. Bottom line another truly superb showing from a somewhat under appreciated chateau which thanks to its large size and consequently high production levels is not a wine commanding astronomic prices. Are there better Bordeaux? Yes, but pound for pound it is very difficult to match. It has got everything I look for in Bordeaux left bank wines. A drinkers / consumer wine rather then collectors/speculator and good those wines exist. Very glad I have a case of halves and standard size - I look forward to each and very bottle! 93 today with potential to add 2-3 points in time (hence the 94 score as I have high confidence in its further melioration). One where I am firmly with Neal rather then Bob! A must buy/try for any left bank lover.
  • BenBlu commented:

    10/19/18, 1:24 PM - Hey buddy, many thanks for your comment - highly appreciated! This wine will be absolutely awesome in time. In fact from half it already is genuinely awesome. These are the wines to buy really if one doesn’t need the vanity factor of a more exclusive label. I actually haven’t tasted many 15s to be frank. But I do hear that Pessac is a bullseye in that vintage. I need to try and seek some out - what would you recommend in particular? I own cases of Chevalier rouge, SHLF and HB from Pessac 15 but haven’t tasted any of them yet...

Red
2000 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
10/4/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
92 points
Splash decant small taste. My notion so far on 2000 is that it is overrated - this was a very solid classic left bank effort that showed a good potpourri of what we look for in aged left bank - library, tobacco and spice box on the nose and classic palate with some wild strawberry notes and (less so) blueberry. Good but knowing that the chateau only went on a qualitative biodynamic tear being inundated with very high scores a few years later this is probably not going to be the best they can get out of their terroir. Does little to change my impression that the millennial year was a good but not necessarily great year across the region.
  • BenBlu commented:

    10/8/18, 3:01 AM - Dear Remony, thanks for your comment. I have not had the 01 but shall be looking out for it!

White - Sparkling
2004 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay
8/2/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
95 points
This was a repeat from a few months ago, taking a bottle to La Trompette and enjoying it with the dinner tasting menu. The only difference was that I went through the bottle by myself and it paired absolutely beautifully, yet again, showing its qualities as aperitif and then matching the next 4 courses of raw gilt head bream, linguine with truffle, grilled scollop and wild seabass. While a terrific aperitif I felt again that with the right food this CdC really shines. It is a stupendous champagne and remains good QPR for the level.
  • BenBlu commented:

    8/13/18, 7:56 AM - Hi Slimes - I think the 5 course is fantastic, the 3 course is great too and I had that for lunch at times, but if presented with the choice for dinner I have always opted for the 5 course. I feel it usually has great picks on it and I love every course, portions are a bit smaller per course but at only £12.50 more for dinner you get twice the amount of savoury dishes (and some dishes on regular menu require payment of supplement). It also makes the excuse for a longer sitting - and more wine to pair over ;-) But I think you can't go wrong with either the tasting nor the 3 course.

White - Sparkling
2004 Bollinger Champagne Vieilles Vignes Françaises Pinot Noir
4/23/2018 - acyso wrote:
98 points
Bollinger VVF et al. (Chicago, IL): Of the three VVFs, this was head and shoulders my favourite wine. It is the one that shows the most freshness and potential, and there is a tension here that I didn't find in the 2002 or the (perhaps not entirely sound) 1998. In fact, the heavy citric notes here would make it more difficult for me to peg this as a pure pinot wine at all -- that sort of acidity gives this the lift that I more associate with chardonnay. On the other hand, the pinot character does show in the broad and rich palate. It's intense and lush and seems to envelop everything. Moreover, I think that this shows the most mineral-driven, another characteristic that I enjoy in champagne. Brilliant champagne, if a little coiled still, but as I said at dinner, I prefer to drink potential, and this wine has lots of it.
  • BenBlu commented:

    8/8/18, 2:49 AM - Thank you for that note - very interesting to read that both you and two others who seem to have all shared the same bottles liked the 2004 best. High praise indeed in the context of the 2002 (which I never had). I tasted the 2004 four years back and LOVED it. I found it astounding to read Antonio Galloni's fairly negative TN on the champagne rating it a mere 90 points and calling it disappointing. I did of course ignore his view as I had the benefit to have tasted it myself. I bought 3 bottles of this beauty recently and am planning to check in on one soon. Reading your note it suggests though that you thought patience here might be a virtue? I would love to hear when you would pin down the ideal drinking window? Thanks. Ben

  • BenBlu commented:

    8/9/18, 7:22 AM - Thank you ACYSO - very helpful! Best, Ben

Red
2010 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
7/4/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
96 points
Berry Brothers 2017 Bordeaux en primeur (plus back vintages) Lindley Hall, London (Lindley Hall, London): Black in the glass, one immediately recognises that this is (going to be) a monument of a wine. First a lot of red fruit on the palate, ending with a spectacular graphite finale. Fantastic. Will it become as good as the 1990??? Fingers crossed. Of course too young to drink now. 2030-2050. 95/96 today with 2-3 points of upside if all comes together. WOTN most likely.
  • BenBlu commented:

    7/9/18, 1:26 PM - Hi Ibetian. Thanks for your note. Lucky you, all the wines you mentioned performed really well surpassing my expectations. Should be great to follow them over the next decade! Ben

Red
2010 Château La Tour-Martillac Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
7/4/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
94 points
Berry Brothers 2017 Bordeaux en primeur (plus back vintages) Lindley Hall, London (Lindley Hall, London): Probably the best QPR of the night tasted. And in absolute terms a wine that also ranked towards the top quartile. Black in the glass, full bodied, showing mineral, lovely balance, ethereal and long. What more could you want from a Bordeaux. Very good indeed!
  • BenBlu commented:

    7/5/18, 8:43 AM - Hi buddy - smart move, you are sitting on a sure winner at a great price point. I don't own any and was mulling buying a case a while ago when prices sat at £300 per case but that ship has sailed. I might still be buying some here, looks like a great quality wine for little money. I would give them another 5 years though, and it is one that can go very long I am sure.

Red
1998 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
4/11/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
92 points
This is a really interesting wine. I like Domaine Chevalier rouge as it seems to always deliver in good vintages and has a sensible price tag - sort of the Chateau Lagrange of Pessac. The 98 vintage wasn't on my radar until it was recommended by a dear fellow wine lover on Cellertracker. So I took the plunge and got my hands on a pristine case OWC (which looks to be ex Chateau). Popped the first cork which was fully intact like a 3 year old wine, very high fill, pristine label. Surprisingly dark in color for what I had expected, fairly crimson. On pnp it was a bit shy but one could sense power in reserve. I drank this over 4 (!) days, always recorked, and usually many 20 year old Bordeaux tend drink best on day one and then decline. Not this puppy. It actually was by far the best on day 4. When it made for ultra smooth drinking, with a very interesting nose with liquorice, bacon, cloves. Fairly unique this with good length. A lot less pronounced acidity then I would have expected from the vintage and the Chateau. It is actually pretty full throttle. Started out at 90 points day 1 and ended around 93 points. Glad I have this case and keen to drink it either soon or over the next decade if I can keep my hands off. Try and give this a lot of air if you have perfect bottles, it can handle it. Certainly a very good value buy for a lovely aged Bordeaux - probably the counterpart of a Lagrange 96?
  • BenBlu commented:

    5/16/18, 2:46 PM - Hey buddy - thanks for your note, just and FYI that I have had 3 more bottles since and they have all been awesome! They are all so classic and intriguing (but obviously won't defy gravity in that they are low 90s rather then high or mid 90s in my book), the last bottle we enjoyed was with lamb chops which was a great classic pairing. So I got another 5 bottles that don't fit in my Eurocave right now earmarked for ST consumption and will give the other 3 bottles some additional time. Bottom line is though they will last for a while from here. Maybe they will be a bit like the 85 in time???

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 163eme Champagne Blend
4/25/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
95 points
Krug Grande Cuvee "Vertical" (Farr Vintners London): From magnum. The nose rich, generous, a good amount of toast. On the palate the oak also most apparent compared to other releases but very well integrated - red apple, salinity, yeast. Quintessential Krug for me and for the group. Drinking GREAT now - my favorite of all the Grande Cuvees for current drinking. This is a blend of 183 wines. 31 per cent Meunier (highest of all Grande Cuvees) and 73 per cent ‎of base vintage 2007 (also highest pct). Impressive and I was surprised by this as it comes from a more difficult base vintage. Maybe the magnum format also helped? 95 points and drinking at peak now in my view.
  • BenBlu commented:

    4/30/18, 7:35 AM - Thank you very much - I am actually still "wrestling" with the CT function for the tasting events and there are two Krug Grande Cuvees that are not logged in CT that we tasted (have requested for CT to add these), plus still need to write up a few notes on the 2002 vintage and rose. Should be updated in the next couple of days I hope to give you the full picture. Cheers. Ben

White - Sparkling
2004 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay
4/2/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
95 points
Simply sublime. I took a bottle of this to La Trompette in Chiswick and it was singing. Great combination with the first courses (raw bream, truffle tagliatelli, scallops). Such a fine mousse, so beautiful, truly a "worthy" prestige Cuvee.
  • BenBlu commented:

    4/3/18, 4:44 AM - Hi SLIMES, that was Sunday evening (they have the £5 per bottle BYO). I had this champagne twice over the last weeks. I feel it is drinking now with very nice freshness. I preferred it on this last occasion served slightly more chilled than I usually would have my champagne but it seemed to add to the elegance. I would say you can definitely drink but also definitely hold. Why don't you try one now? I have 4 left and I will probably enjoy them sooner rather then later and then move onto the 06 and later the 02 (the 02 is going to be one hell of a wine one day I feel). Cheers. Ben

Red
2005 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
3/19/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
93 points
From half bottle this is developing nicely, drank over 2 days - each time poured a glass and left to breathe for an hour. The wine showed well on the first night but even better on the second night when paired with a ribeye waguy and black truffle raviolo which was a delicious combination and took some of the edge/tannins of the wine. Lovely classic Bordeaux, good structure but also very sappy fruit, some tobacco on the finish - this has 35% Merlot but it is drinking more like 50% right now. Over time I would expect the Cab Sauv to come more in the driver seat. This should age gorgeously in general, but in larger bottle formats particularly - Chevalier rouge is very long lived and I love how the 85, 89 and 90 are drinking now, so from standard bottle sweet spot probably 2025-2040. Had this side by side a 2004 Vega Sicilia Valbueno 5 which was also strong, but for me the Chevalier just trumped the Vega.
  • BenBlu commented:

    3/20/18, 10:07 PM - Thanks my friend - I am going to have my eyes peeled and try and get my hands on some 98 asap! Will report back.

  • BenBlu commented:

    3/26/18, 9:14 AM - Hello buddy - so I bought a case of this... Will let you know my thoughts!

Red
2000 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
11/15/2017 - BenBlu Does not like this wine:
87 points
Chateau Figeac Dinner with Frederic Faye (Farr Vintners London): I would have really liked not to share Bob Parker's view on this wine, but I just have to hand it to him - he did nail this one in the end unfortunately scoring it mid 80s. The 2000 Figeac is really not a great wine which became evident side by side the 2004. It is very herbacious / vegatal, so green, I could not unfurl the fruit. Suggesting this is "not ready" yet is wrong in my view, this just won't blossom in my humble opinion. Weirdly enough I have had consistently underwhelming experiences with 2000 Bordeaux lately (Leoville Barton and Lagrange being the others - I have only felt that Pichon Baron made good on the high esteem the millennial vintage is generally held).
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/13/17, 5:55 AM - Must be. What I was drinking was definitely not a great wine. Frederic Faye was present and tasted all bottles on pulling the cork and gave this one a nod for being a clean sample, also all bottles were ex-chateau...

  • BenBlu commented:

    1/23/18, 4:57 AM - Dear otto60 - thank you for your note. I think the 2015 and 2016 will be truly fantastic wines. I made the mistake of not buying the 2015 en primeur but bought two cases of the 2016. Cheers, Ben.

  • BenBlu commented:

    3/7/18, 3:51 AM - Thank you for your note and you have clearly made the right decision. If you want truly great wines (and judging by your profile and what wonderful wines you drink and have experienced you clearly are) based on the vertical it is OK to give every Figeac with the exception of the 1982 a miss. The 2015 and 2016 I am hugely excited about and I am sure we can both count ourselves lucky to own them further down the road (I should have bought the 15 en primeur, but didn't - but had to pick a case up after the tasting). The 2015 is actually in a baby drinking window right now, but obviously you would be leaving a lot on the table by popping the cork, but it's no crime to check in on one if you have a lot of them.

Red
2005 Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
2/17/2018 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
91 points
Ordered a 2007 and got the 2005 instead. No complaints here. Decanted for an hour and consumed over 90 mins. Strong minerality surging from the glass, correct Pessac, a notch behind the Chevalier.
  • BenBlu commented:

    2/17/18, 4:32 PM - Yes, we got lucky for sure. Really nice wine. Usually I have my eyes peeled for not getting a lesser vintage but in this case we once got bumped from economy to business ;-)

  • BenBlu commented:

    2/18/18, 12:25 PM - Imho I would go for the Domaine Chevalier 05 at this price point over the Malartic. We got lucky and paid equivalent of 70 USD in a restaurant in London.

Red
2016 Domaine Jean Féry & fils Vosne-Romanée Aux Réas Pinot Noir
1/26/2018 - Ben Christiansen wrote:
100 points
Black pepper spice and fruit on the nose. Lesss flower an dsavory than the village vosne romanee. Short On the finish but I think that is just youth. Lots of bright bing cherry fruit across the palate. To be bottled next week.
  • BenBlu commented:

    2/1/18, 5:38 AM - Did you mean to score this 100 points? Reading you comment it doesn't look like you did?

Red
2015 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
1/27/2018 - Purple Tooth wrote:
98 points
2015 UGC- The long awaited day and the tales of the Euro: This is a no brainer. Even someone that does not have much experience with good wine, or Bordeaux will get this. Very easy to understand...Very balanced with perfect balance of fruit, graphite, smoke, flowers, and a non stop pull that lasts seemingly 2 minutes or more at the moment. Drinkable, but a definite HOLD. WOW good!
  • BenBlu commented:

    1/30/18, 10:00 AM - Hey buddy - looks like you had a chance to taste through a lot of the recently bottled 2015s. Thanks for that note. I own a case of the Canon and reading your note makes me look forward to popping a cork on those even more (I'll give it 10-15 more years though I think). Cheers! Ben

  • BenBlu commented:

    1/30/18, 12:41 PM - Thanks for that, would have loved to taste through those. Good to know about the Saint Pierre (I unfortunately didn't buy those at release - but usually St Pierre doesn't appreciate too much so I may well be picking some up later!). And also the Leo Barton looks like one to keep an eye on (don't have that either). I was however lucky to take some SHL at release in half bottles, so those I am looking forward to a lot! I also totally lucked out and got some Margaux 15, am now thinking of selling those and swapping against Haut Brion 90.

  • BenBlu commented:

    1/31/18, 8:35 AM - As you may know the Haut Brion 1990 is also the only wine I have ever rated 100 points. It is just pure perfection for my palate. I think the other truly great Bordeaux I have had (although very young indeed) is the Mouton 2010. I think that wine is also going to be a 100 pointer in my book in the future. But then again - they are somewhat similarly priced, so why not go for the ready to drink 1990 Haut Brion.

Red
2012 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
4/24/2016 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
95 points
Mouton Rothschild Vertical

Matter of Taste Masterclass Verticals of Mouton Rothschild with Philippe Philippe Dallhuin and Neal Martin

Wines tasted 2005-13 from bottle and 2014 & 2015 barrel samples - all wines were decanted for a couple of hours before the tasting and spent considerable time in glass (between 1-3 hours).

2005: Initial impression was this was much more developed then I thought. Compared to other 2005 left banks wines I tried recently (Montrose, Poyferre, Grand Puy Lacoste). Some bricking around the edges (visually certainly the most developed of the whole line-up), displaying great creme de cassis, tobacco leaf and cedar. I could have drank a bottle of this wine now the way it showed without thinking it would be a crime. Certainly it should develop nicely -it’s got this lovely acidity that should ensure this will keep going for decades. Very impressive. 97-99

2006: Tasted after the 05 this came across as fairly closed and had a short finish compared to the previous wine. Visually some bricking around the edges but not as developed looking as 05. I felt it needed a lot of time in bottle and in my book this was nowhere near the 2005 (or some other vintages in this line-up incl 2008 & 2012). Neal Martin liked the graphite and in general RP has in the past rated this wine over the 05. The Group was divided and there was a fair amount of people that had a preference for the 06 vs the 05, some said they found the 06 more approachable. I certainly prefer the Cos d’Estournel 2006 over this which I have had a couple of times. 91-93

2007: One of the disappointing wines of the vertical. It was weird both on the nose and the palate - on the nose I thought I picked up some distracting glue aromas and on the palate nothing really dominated - there was decent acidity but with a lack of fruit to go with it. All the 2007 I had lately were unimpressive. Same here. Avoid. 86-88

2008: One of the positive surprises of the tasting. After the 2006 & 07 like a knight in shining armour to lift the drop in quality from going from 05 to 06 to 07. I found this already really enjoyable now. Beautiful cuban cigar on the nose and a long finish with a beautiful vanilla aftertaste. This is a gentle wine, slightly feminine. Pretty, No doubt 2 step up from the 07. Better then 06! 94-96

2009: Noticeably darker in color then the wine preceding it. Dark crimson / black cherry colour. WOW! This does hit all your taste buds from the first sip. A monument of a wine and you can just say what a privilege to try this (and the 2010). This is destined for perfection. It does make you feel sorry for Philippe and Mouton that Parker rated this 99+ and 99 in his last reviews in 2012 & 2014. I think it would have deserved to be another RP 100er in that vintage. 98-100

2010: After the 2009 came along the 2010. Another WOW! Almost black in colour (yet again darker then the 09). It does humble you to taste these great two vintages together and it dwarfs all (maybe with the slight exception of 05) all the other wines in this beautiful vertical. The 2010 is surely more classic then the 2009. It has more Pauillac typically. Neal Martin preferred the 2010 over the 2009. So long - pinnacle of Pauillac? This or 09. It’s not for me to say. I’d love to get the chance to taste those two side by side again when they are more developed. Philippe made the analogy that 2009 is the Barbie and 2010 is the Ken. The quality of both wines is such that after a very long decant you could actually be enjoying them already. But of course you would deprive yourself of an even more rewarding experience way further down the line. 2x Bravo! Mouton for 09 & 10.

2011: Difficult to be up after the 09 & 10. I needed to go back to the 06 first to “re-calibrate” my taste buds and be in a position to try and fairly assess/score this wine. The 2011 was actually quite good I thought and was in a relatively approachable place. Some lovely acidity - the wine was light on its feet. Got some kirsch, some saddle leather. Could actually drink this now. An early drinker, but a good one. Positively surprised. 92-94

2012: Even better then the 2011. For my money best of the “2nd Tier” (after 05, 09, 10). Just a bit more of everything compared to 2011. Great fruit, forest floor, quite approachable now. Another early but fantastic drinker. Very positively surprised - impressive! 94-96

2013: Ughhh. Harsh - really vegetal. Hard to decide which is the worse vintage - 2007 or 2013. If this is the best of the 1st growth Medoc wines of the vintage as per RP I will try and never have another bottle of this vintage again. First and last. Avoid! 86-88

2014/15 Barrel Samples: No scores as I just don’t have enough opinion to opine. Neal Martin likes the 2014 but he thinks the 2015 will be clearly better still.

Summary: Fantastic event. For my money there is (not surprisingly) one clear top Tier (2009/10 - and then still belonging in Top tier the 2005 with a small distance behind the 2009&10. In terms of today’s drinking it’s the 05, but the 09 & 10 just have SO much potential); followed by Tier II which are vines from lesser vintage which I would consider having again and can recommend (2012, 2008) followed by Tier III which are wines that others will enjoy more then me and which I think are good wines and maybe I just picked them up in a weak spot and maybe am not that qualified to judge at present (2006, 2011) and the Bottom Tier which are wines to absolutely avoid (2007 & 2013) as I would not be happy even paying a fraction of the market price, in fact I just don’t enjoy them at all.
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/18/17, 7:19 AM - Thank you Collector1855 - I didn't know that when I wrote those notes but have since figured that out and have been using the feature when it made sense (see my Figeac tasting). Appreciate the feedback and let me say that I am a big fan of your notes on this platform and find them really useful! All the best, Ben.

Red
2000 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) Red Bordeaux Blend
12/2/2017 - BenBlu wrote:
flawed
Had this side by side a 1996 Lagrange. The 1996 was great and clearly better then the 2000. I thought I did notice the slightest TCA notes in this 2000 and given all the other comments on CT on this wine and this being a chateau I really love I am reserving my judgment here. Although I do note that I had a 2000 a few months back which did not show great and did definitely not show TCA notes - that bottle was rather a bit tired. I have a case of this stashed away from perfect provenance and am keeping my fingers crossed that I just got unlucky here twice.
  • BenBlu commented:

    12/7/17, 6:33 AM - All very wisely spoken my friend. Many thanks for your warm words! I will indeed be patient on the 2000 - after all I have still over 2 cases of 1990 to go through. I'll probably check in again on it in ~5 years time. Cheers and all the very best, Ben.

Red
1990 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) Red Bordeaux Blend
11/9/2017 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
97 points
I have wrote quite a few super bullish notes on this old friend over the last 2 years - since my last note I have probably had another 5 bottles of this which all showed really well (some maybe not quite as good as the best I have had but those not so great bottles were still easily low to mid 90s scorerd) and as I am sitting here I am enjoying what in my view is yet another fairly perfect bottle of this St Julien elexir. All my previous notes hold. This bottle was taken out of Eurocave an hour before pulling the cork, then decanted and started to drink straight away. It drinks out of the get go but does get better with some additional aeration. This is just freakishly good for this humble chateau. It is definitely not one of the most powerful/fruit forward/supercharged 1990s (I love 1990s in general), it has those great characteristics but more in reserve, sort of an elegant/mellow/walking the Burgundian line kind of Bdx 1990. I am ecstatic to have been able to source quite a bit more of these and have over two cases left. My plan is to pull a cork every 2 months or so to go through them over the next 4-5 years. I look forward to every single one of them. This has been a consistent wine for me, with the obvious bottle variation for wines of this age, but on the whole super consistent. The real good ones are 95-98 pointers. It is in the hope to get results like this that people like us store wine for decades...
PS: Tasting THIS bottle makes me want to scold Neal Martin (whom I hold in really high esteem on the whole and have agreed with more often then not), but Neal, seriously, how can you write THIS "(...) I have never quite been as taken with the 1990 [Lagrange] as others (...) The kind of wine that I just want to kick up the arse. (...)" - scoring it a lousy 89. I would have had this wine down much more like a Neal wine then a RP wine, but I think here Bob is (more) on the money...
  • BenBlu commented:

    11/13/17, 9:07 AM - Hello my friend. Yes, I definitely need to revisit the Lagrange 2000 soon, the last bottle was lame. But to be honest I have had another quite disappointing 2000 lately (Leoville Barton). I am just not sure the vintage is as good as people make you believe. Well, time will tell...

Red
1990 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
9/17/2017 - Purple Tooth wrote:
94 points
Ok, this one is there. It's all about meat juice, cedar, and ripe sweet red fruit with life. It's long, gripping, and as mature as it's going to get. Should stay here for at least 5 years with slight improvement. In 1990, this was the buy over the mouton for sure....no hype in parkers comments. Drink
  • BenBlu commented:

    11/6/17, 7:14 AM - Hello my friend - nice tasting note! Really glad to see you were sampling a bottle of this great juice that seemed to be spot on.

White - Sparkling
2002 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année Champagne Blend
2/19/2017 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
94 points
This is the third time I had this in around 6 months. Once I was totally bowled over (rated 96), the other times including this bottle were very strong but maybe just did not have the intensity of the best bottle. Served not too cold around 10-12 degrees in Zalto sweet wine glasses the champagne had lovely notes of ground coffee, roasted hazelnuts and sometimes nice sweet zesty lime notes peaked through. It continued to get better with air and the last sips were the best. Went well with a fresh truffled buffalo mozzarella. This bottle (like the other 3) had not been perfectly kept for a period of 2 years after purchase, I have another case of perfectly stored tucked away and will be looking to pop corks on these from 2020.
  • BenBlu commented:

    9/18/17, 2:08 AM - Hello - thanks for your note! I know that the bottle that showed best was a July 2011 disgorgement and from memory I think I had most with that disgorgement date but some with April 2011 disgorgement. I have another case in storage and don't know what the date for those is. Once I will taste some of those I will make sure to include the disgorgement dates. Hope that is helpful. Cheers, Ben.

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