The Year in Wine at CellarTracker. Check out CellarTracker Insights >

Tasting Notes for JohnMcIlwain

(236 notes on 225 wines)

1 - 50 of 236 Sort order
Red
1998 in the Côte d’Or had a reputation on release for transparency and that may have been a bit of a euphemism for joy-deficiency. Plenty of soil notes, but wine is made with fruit, right? And upon opening this 1998 is seemingly lean, mean, and a not just a little green. No detectable flaws, but game, dirt, tar, dirt, earth, dirt, tobacco and well, dirt dominate the organoleptic impressions. I think there’s some iron and black pepper in there and just a hint of red stone fruit. Overall, the impression is pinched and a bit tired. But upon the advice of Burgundy mensch Keith B. I gave this a decant (and enjoyed a bit of Pharoah Sanders and a couple of martinis). And lo, 90 plus minutes worked wonders, if not miracles. (More finding $50 in a pair of pants from the dry cleaners rather than walking on water, still quite a pleasant turnaround.) The nose is more effusive with bits of violet, red plum flesh and cherry pit, rather than gravel pit. There’s some game here, but more discreet than Marlin Perkins’ (ask your parents) Wild Kingdom. On the palate the acidity is prominent—though enlivening—and the tannins are neatly resolving. Red fruits, a bit of black tea, and a brisk salty core act as a foundation for the wine. Furthermore the energy seems bumped up by time in the decanter. There’s great articulation here, if not flair—more Rod Steiger growl than suave Cary Grant; still it’s a heck of a performance. Very good with pan-roasted magret with a miso, soy, maple glaze and wilted Swiss chard. Pleased if not ecstatic about this showing. That said, i’m happy to have a couple more bottles. Give this some air and there’s a fine bottle of Burgundy here.
Red
Indecision determined this pull and pour as much as anything. Roasted local chicken, Judy Rodgers’ red wine lentils and a very cold night called for something with some age and yes, some comforting familiarity. The wine fridge seems loaded for braises and red meats from a Burgundy standpoint, and as I’d be sacrificing 1/3 of the bottle to the lentils, nothing “trop cher” obviously. And as I was just about to punt and move on to Tuscany, I spied this bottle of 2011 Clos du Fief. Not sure when I grabbed from storage, but this is just the ticket (if it isn’t marred by that 2011 asperity). A pull of the cork and the bottle is intact and doesn’t appear to be overly green. Pale ruby robe with some bricking on the meniscus. Strawberry, cranberry, and a bit of blood orange peel on the nose with game and bramble/herbal notes lingering on the periphery. This welterweight Juliénas is mostly resolved but remains more Gamay than Pinoté, with mostly resolved structure and enough red-fruited tang to cut through the richness of pre-dinner pâté de campagne, while showing enough gras to pair wonderfully with the chicken and the mellow earthiness of the lentils. What a pleasant surprise! I can’t say I’d hold on to this too much longer, but I’m pleased I bought a few. Quite tasty.
Red
Was planning on lamb loin with aged Vieux Télégraphe on this VERY blustery and frigid Maine night, but I pulled a locally pastured bavette steak by accident. Catching the error as the bavette was partially thawed, I switched gears and reached instead for Chevalerie 14 Bourgeuil Bretêche. Upon opening the nose was circumspect, verging on tight-lipped; the palate was similarly mute. A half hour decant does a world of good. Notes of brambly blackberry, cassis, loamy soil notes, vine smoke (per John Gilman) and teasing wisps of bell pepper emerge. The palate similarly gains in detail, not to mention weight. Black raspberry, currants, discreet game flavors, and crushed herb flavors emerge and harmonize. The zangy acidity and not insignificant tannins frame things; there’s fine energy and brightness, but even in its callow youth the structure framing the vibrant fruit indicates a rosy future for those with patience. Satisfying with the bavette, kale, and roasted sweet potato, but there’s so much upside. I’m inclined to hold on to my remaining bottles for 3-5 years and beyond. This is grand, but only hinting at its potential. I wish I’d bought more. Hold.
Red
Structure mostly resolved. Nice tertiary character, softer on the mid-palate, I’d opt to pair with poultry/game birds over beef or lamb at this stage. Fine bottle but mature enough that I’m looking to drink up remaining bottle sooner rather than later.
White
100% Ouillé Savagnin from clay soils per importer website The 2016 Dare-Dare has a clean and citrus/stone fruit orange blossom nose, free of reduction or other fermentation artifacts. The palate shades just above mid-weight. There’s a fine balance of richness, sucrosity, and lurking mineral cut here. Pear nectar, brûléed orange peel, and honeysuckle nectar and a pleasing sense of sweetness in the mouth. Very good length and fine energy here. Good with potato leek soup, though far better with a nice piece of Ashbrook semi soft cheese and downright admirable with some Beaufort alpage. I like this a lot, even if it defies that few expectations I had. Delicious, though calling out for the right pairing. Re-buy? In a minute, though this tickles the (just) sweet-tooth more readily than the salt-tooth. That said: foie-gras, pâté, salty ham, hard cheeses will shine here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2020 Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
1/26/2023 - JohnMcIlwain wrote:
Nice fruit, and not too much weight, but there seems to be some wood spice in with the Sangiovese rose dust and underbrush. Not obtrusive, but not exactly discreet either. Iron and sour cherry are in place and a wild strawberry perfume floats above the proceedings. This is recognizably Chianti Classico, but I’d hold for 2-3 years to let this knit. I like it pretty well, but I’ll withhold judgement. This may wake up and dazzle, yet; but today this is good and ticks the boxes rather than inspiring. I wouldn’t discount this, but maybe hold out on opening for a couple years. Very good with cannellini beans uccelletta with sausage and broccoli.
Red
A throwback bottle from the Berkeley Wine Co era, when I was just a pup and the infamous Robert Chadderdon was just a fax or phone call—never an email—away. Double-decanted at 1:30 PM for dinner at 8:30. Fantino 1997 Barolo Vigna dei Dardi has a darkish (given the age) garnet robe with some bricking on the rim. The nose is backwards and a bit unforgiving upon opening. Double decanting and a bit of time wake things up. The nose offers aromas of dried rose, raspberry seed, loamy earth, and bit of balsam with some oxidative wisps and an intriguing—if faint—brothy/umami note . The palate is more overtly fruit driven with mulberry and raspberry compote on the attack, with earthy, and game/leather notes following. There’s a black soil and tarry earth character making up the core with dusty rose water and strawberry sucrosity carrying on to the mid-length finish. Good acidity and warmth rather than heat; nicely resolving and definitely ripe tannins here. Neither the end all nor it’s neighbor be all, but I have no complaints on this raw Maine evening and certainly believe this over-performed the Suckling-favored vintage. Re-buy? At less than $50 way back when, a steal. If you want brilliance or superlatives, maybe look elsewhere in 1997. That said, this is satisfying indeed.
Red
So, I’ll preface this with the game time field conditions: incoming coastal snowstorm, inauspicious biodynamic calendar, and honestly, I don’t love Trousseau. That said, my friend Kimberly of One Kourt raved about the wine and praised its elegance, balance, and paucity of reduction. All of which was enough to convince me to take a flyer.
And I’ll tell you, I’m not disappointed, though I believe I may have opened this a bit prematurely.
The robe is a pellucid ruby. The nose has some of that bedeviling reduction, but the matchstick tire tread recedes quickly with a brief decant. Wild berry, black tea, vine smoke (per Gillman), crushed herbs, and wild raspberry seed dominate that nose with an array of hedge fruit and loamy notes gaining with time in the glass. The palate is racy and seemingly light on the attack with red fruit and bosky bramble flavors swelling to fill out the mid-palate, with a savory lean tannin profile and mouthwatering acidity lending energy and cut. This is decidedly umami and approaching herbaceous, with a swath of spur cherry and raspberry seed juiciness adding freshness and verve on the finish. There’s fine freshness and a touch of phenolic pepperiness that approaches Pineau d’Anuis-esque character. This has just enough brio and vibrancy to make it compelling now, though time for the structural elements to knit with the fruit has me thinking that a couple of years in the cellar may allow things to integrate. And though there are a couple of qualifications in this note, I enjoyed the wine quite a bit and am pleased to have a couple of bottles in reserve. Admirable with roasted mustard chicken, better still with braised Swiss chard, roasted delicata squash, and faro. Light in character, but at the same time displaying plenty of flair. Re-buy for sure.
Red
1/17/2023 - JohnMcIlwain wrote:
Given that expectations are the bugaboo of “fine” wine enjoyment, please view this note with that particular jaundiced eye. The name Jamet inspires a lot of emotions for Rhône fans. Benchmark Côte-Rôtie! High premium! Fantastic terroir delineation! Dealing with avaricious distributors (and sometimes importers back in the day). So, what to think about the 2016 Côtes-du-Rhône? The verdict is mixed—at least tonight. Opened an hour in advance of drinking and decanted off (not negligible) sentiment.

The robe is a dark ruby (not purple but hewing that line) with no bricking of note. The nose is a bit stinky upon opening, with reduction, game notes, and a bit of horsy (rather than bandaid-y) brett making itself known. I’ve enjoyed plenty of old Beaucastel, Musar, and Quintarelli, so brett isn’t a deal-breaker, per se; though this is at the outer limits of my tolerance for sure. Black fruits and dried juniper berry appear with some air. Brined peppercorn and cassis notes follow. The palate is mid-weight and has nicely resolving structure, with that black fruit and savory green peppercorn character on the periphery. Tannins are resolving nicely and things are shaded on the herbal rather than opulent side. Still, there’s a bit of heat and an oddly wan core here, that seems to have sacrificed overt ripeness for brett and mouthfeel. And while I won’t say this is flawed, it defies expectations. Hoping this bottle is an outlier, but the next year or two and bottle or two should determine that. By no means undrinkable, but this should offer more given the pedigree and producer.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White
Vibrant and showing fine balance. Good cut and ripe fruit. Lovely bottle. Wish I had more.
White
Drum tight and all potential right now, but what potential!
White
Young and electric, wonderful with Dodge Cove and Glidden Point oyster and magnificent with lobster rolls. Fine young Chablis—hold, this has plenty in reserve.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/13/2023 - JohnMcIlwain wrote:
A bit long in the tooth out of half bottle. Penultimate bottle of 24, so I can live with the ratio of very good/good to pretty good/okay. Drink up if you have 375s. Not dead, but not exactly “lively,” either.
White - Sparkling
No hurry on this, but drinking admirably.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Fine balance and approaching readiness, if still a touch stern. Hold and try in a couple years. Nice bones here, but could use more time.
Red
Drinking very nicely. Vibrant fruit and resolving structure. Just enough gaminess and grain to place it in Gevrey-Chambertin.
Red
Zin, Grenache, Chenin. Bright and energetic, even glou glou (though that’s usually a pejorative coming from me), yet there’s a subtle thread on minerality, sneaky tannins, and brisk mouthwatering acidity. And layers. Like real complexity if you lean in and pay attention. Pretty stuff and very good with chicken Marengo (totally stood up to the tomatoes, brandy, and mushrooms in the sauce). Hardy suprises so often on the upside that I should really reallocate my buying to include more of his and Kate’s wines. Lot of joy here and worth a look, for sure.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Still benefits from a long decant, but now things are coming into relief. Black fruit, slatey soil notes, some Mediterranean scrub, and game notes on nose. More black fruit and hints of iodine with a robust earthy core. Tannins are resolving and acidity is mostly knit. Lots of charm, though there’s plenty in reserve. I really like this even if it’s glacial in its development. Hold unless you have a bunch.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Orange
If only to break up the string of reviews, here’s my $.02. The 2015 Vodopivec Vitovska has an attractive pale salmon robe (somewhere between Coho and Pink, for those who’ve fished in Alaska). The nose is less than forthcoming on opening with a bit of a stink that quickly blows off. This gives way to pretty bruised peach, ripe melon, and—not unpleasant—decaying orange blossom aromas. The palate is firm, verging on muscular, with salted peach, loamy earth, iron, and preserved lemon rind flavors. There’s ripeness alright and deft broadness to the plate that works admirably with oxidative nature of the wine. The finish is long and rising with a faint, compelling bitterness on the end. Very good with Sara Jenkins’ shrimp with rosemary and garlic recipe and leftover hoppin’ John, though I might add a bit of tomato just to bridge the earthiness of the wine and black-eyed peas and the sweetness of the Carolina Gold rice and a shrimp. Perhaps not the “perfect” pairing but immensely satisfying and enough to have me looking online for more bottles.
White - Sparkling
Gorgeous bottle. Enjoyed at Edisto Beach house with family.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Still showing not insignificant reduction. Yellow and white stone fruit and orange oil on the palate, good mineral core, still needs time to come together. Very good with shrimp and grits. I’ll hold my remaining bottles a couple more years for the reduction to diminish.
Red
After a pair of corked old school Cali Cabernets, De Montille saved the day. Plummy spice, African violets and just enough animale funk. Still some structure, but what a bottle. Courtesy of JF.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
File under, I-never-thought-I’d-say-it: Barthod that’s nearly ready and a 2005 to boot! Granted one doesn’t hear a lot about easy drinkin’ Barthod nor smooth examples of 2005 Côte d’Or reds, but I’ll be goddamned, this Bourgogne Les Bons Bâtons is quite tasty, given some air and some time on that decanter. The 05 Bons Bâtons has a pale ruby robe with some bricking. The nose is a bit fuhschtinkin’ on opening, with oxidative, rusty cherry compote dominating, yet the palate is succulent and redolent of sour cherry, red raspberry, and red currant flavors belying the nose. A quick decant off the sediment corrects things with the nose freshening up to reveal more red fruits, rose petal, and raspberry character. This is still has a bit left in the tank for a 17(!)-year-old Bourgogne, but Barthod is glacial in its maturation, so this jibes with the vintage and grower. That said, there’s enough verve and concentration here to shine with a fennel-crusted pork chop and Madeira glazed cippolini. I’ve got a couple more bottles of this and I’d be inclined to finish them off over the next 2-3 years.
Red
Oddly showing more freshness and vigor than the last bottle I opened. Purplish translucent robe with a touch of dissolved CO2 on opening; 15 minutes open and this dissipates. Oodles of wild berry and floral aromas on the nose along with a wisp of VA, earthy and herbal notes hover in the background. pretty and maybe a bit wild, but mostly captivating. How did he get so much freshness and life in the torrid 2018 vintage? The palate carries more of that wild berry fruit and a delicate touch of cherry pit/black tea at the core. Pretty spicebox notes flit on the periphery. The tannins are very fine and there’s enough tangy kick to enliven things. Now by Ducroux standards this is a bruiser at 13.5%, but I’d consider it a triumph of brightness and sapidity in the difficult 2018 vintage. Satisfying and delectable with crisped duck confit, pan-roasted sweet potatoes, and golden apples, alongside a salad of bitter greens with a garlicky vinaigrette. I bought a number of these and am certainly pleased with this bottle.
Red
2004 Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
From the more ambitious era of Fontodi (new oak and some Cabernet Sauvignon, I seem to recall). The 2004 has a scarlet/magenta robe with some bricking. With the age and Cabernet presence, decanted for sediment (a wise decision, as there’s plenty of schmutz at the bottom of the bottle).
The nose is finally beginning to integrate the cooperage, with hints of coffee and spice on the periphery of the dark fruits and green olive (in a good way) aromas. This is still a bit more cedar-y and cassis lead for my taste; you have to squint to find the Morello cherry and underbrush, though the ferruginous undercurrent is mercifully intact. The finish is persistent and has some lift, but the overall impression is still more bifurcated that harmonious at this point; is this a Chianti or is this a Super-Tuscan? That said, this is far more knit—and frankly enjoyable—than the last bottle I opened with herbaceous charm and fresh acidity. Enjoyed with a faux Sunday gravy of sausages and leftover pork rib ragu. (Shockingly, all my Aglianico is in storage, it turns out.) Now if you find the presence of French varieties an anathema like my former employer Jamie, this won’t be your cup of tea. If you are patient and sitting on a few bottles, another couple of years may still yield something interesting, if not sublime. Re-buy? Probably not, but I don’t know as my last couple bottles need to be shuffled off to WineBid either.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
Though relegated to a punchline after a dispiriting volume of uninspired, if fashionable, wine crested and crashed on the US shores in the 70s and 80s, well-made Pouilly-Fuissé most certainly has a place at the table. And so is the case here with the 2014 Château Fuissé “Le Clos.” There’s a pale lemon yellow robe that belies the bottle age. The nose is an intriguing mélange of yellow flowers and pretty white and yellow fruits with a fine wash of sea spray limestone freshness. On the palate russet apple skin, Queen Anne Cherry, and lemon curd fruit flavors vie with mirabelle and acacia notes for attention while there is a punchy, salty, mineral core maintaining drive and structure. This shows the ripeness and structure of the vintage and the the appellation and shows fine sophistication and sap. Excellent with seared day boat scallops with sautéed mushrooms and pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with Benton’s bacon. Great balance of ripeness, texture and soil notes with some maturity yet plenty of drive and length. I somehow had the foresight to buy a case of this on release and absent one corked bottle have been rewarded handsomely. Definitely worth a look should you come across a bottle.
Red
Littorai 2015 Pinot Noir Wendling Vyd.

So curiosity got the better of me and I checked in on the the 2015 Wendling from Littorai. And while it is still fairly coiled and has a bright future ahead, there’s plenty of—for the moment—lean charm. Not dour, mind you but waiting to warm up to you. Polite, even cordial, but no fast friend. And given the terroir (Anderson Valley) and Ted Lemon’s proclivity for making true vin de garde in California, one should be surprised by the circumspection here. And this is very good, but so, so much more geared to potential at the moment.
The robe is a translucent dark ruby with just a touch of bricking at the meniscus. Upon opening the nose is reserved and even a bit backwards, but an hour open loamy aromas of turned earth, cherry skin, wild raspberry, pomegranate, Asian spice, and bracken emerge. More of a chorus than an aria here but fine building harmony. The palate offers pretty black cherry, cherry stone, mustard seed, black tea, and blackberry seed flavors with nervy acidity and a lean tannic profile. There’s good sucrosity here—nothing underripe—and a nervy balance between fruit and soil notes, thought the structure could use a few more years in the cave if you prefer more resolves character. That said, this adolescent is far more gracious that I probably was, lord knows. Very good with magret of duck with a honey/soy glaze and grilled polenta; less successful with celery root rémoulade. A fine bottle that makes me long for another (or two). Tasty, but I’d hold a few more years when this may turn into something truly grand.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
PnP. A bit tighter than the last bottle. A bit shy on the nose. Might wait a year before opening next couple bottles. Good+.
White
So, so young but very good with crab cakes and celery root slaw. A little golden streak in with the white flowers and chalk. Showing nicely in its youth. Probably should have bought more.
Rebuy though perhaps for mid-term (7-10 yrs).
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/5/2022 - JohnMcIlwain wrote:
flawed
Corked. Seems like a good wine beneath the TCA.
Red
12/4/2022 - JohnMcIlwain wrote:
A bit hollow on the midpalate. Perhaps a dumb phase currently, but less dimension than other warm vintages. Fine with pork rib ragu over polenta. I know it’s 2018, but lacking concentration? Curious showing.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
Nervy and vibrant, but plenty of soil character here. Also a good bit of reduction. I’d give this a couple more years, but if you like matchstick in with your pinpoint ripe Chardonnay, this may just be for you. Like it a lot, but I suspect this could turn into a torrid affair with 2-5 years in the cellar. Quite good now, but more I store I suspect.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Very good. Note forthcoming.
Red
2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Wine Papera Ranch Russian River Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
Plummy and succulent and well in its way to resolved. Italian plum, manzanita, violet, and blackberry compote on the nose. Palate seems mid-weight for the genre (listed at 14.5%, with no sense of heat or torréfaction). Plenty of black fruit, though not necessarily of the berry variety, ultra-fine tannins, and just enough savory/earthy kick to lend a sense of place. More energy than mass at this stage. Fabulous with local lamb ribs with a spicy Korean glaze, Momofuku Brussels sprouts, and buttermilk mashed potatoes. Just the thing for a raw Maine night. Very good and certainly worth seeking out.
(Decanted for 1 hour and served cool.)
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
After a corked bottle about a month ago, this is not only “correct” but delicious. Great energy and lift, just tart enough with pure fruit and a fine mineral core. I suspect this can do with more aging, but it you have a couple/few no harm tucking in. Fabulous with pan-roasted pork chop from Broad Arrow Farms in Bristol, ME, brown butter cabbage, and yellow-eye beans from Rancho Gordo. Glad to have more bottles, though I wouldn’t feel silly acquiring another six-pack, as this is such a “useful” wine.
White
I wouldn’t put this in the same echelon as Puffeney or Marnes Blanches, but this is a tasty—if not profound—bottle of Vin Jaune. Salty and showing just a hint of the curry/ toasted walnut savoriness that signifies the best Sous-voille wines, this is more yellow-fruited than showing the effects of the “voile.” Quite tasty, but maybe lacking the intensity of the finest vin Jaune.
Red
Definitely leaning towards cool-vintage Oregon Pinot. Brisk, racy, savory and red fruited on the attack, fine-boned sucrosity on the mid-palate, pleasing herbaceous, sapid finish. Lovely bottle, though if you prefer more overt fruit, perhaps look elsewhere. Sensational with pastured duck and braised red cabbage. A fine bead of earthiness runs thru the wine and drives the finish. I’ve got one bottle left and will likely see what a few more years in the cellar produces, but this is ready to go and very much recommended.
Red
Dark magenta robe with a whisper of bricking. Black raspberry, violets, cherry pit, and dark earth on the nose. Dense and still a bit tannic on the palate, but not monolithic nor necessarily “heavy.” But as befits the reputation of Dogliani, this is serious Dolcetto. Dark fruit and black tea and a bit of graphite dwell within—there’s good acidity and nearly brooding earthiness, but it’s all balanced nicely. While French wine drinkers will try to give context to Dolcetto by comparing it to Beaujolais, this is more Moulin-à-Vent or Coudert than a light, fruity, quaffing red. There’s structure and sap here, so don’t be afraid of a lighter braised ragu with polenta or perhaps delicata squash risotto or maybe even some grilled quail. I enjoy this a lot and heartily recommend with the caveat, that this cries out for heartier, even rustic flavors. Thanks to Trevor at Discovery for the bottle(s).
Red
From half-bottle. Dark ruby to garnet on meniscus. Currant leaf, desiccated blackberry, cedar, pencil lead and anisette on the nose. The palate is ripe and contrasts ripe black and red hedge fruit with fine-grained (just this side of massaged) tannins with a subtle earthy core. There’s fine energy and brio here— far more vibrancy than previous tastings and the persistence seems to have grown. Quite enjoyable, and worth purchasing again in my estimation. Lovely with pan-roasted culotte steak, flashed kale, and roasted sweet potato. Very pleased with the development on this wine. Good freshness and quite good tertiary character. Drink if in half bottle, drink and hold in 750ml.
Red
Was planning on giving this more time, but an emergency corked bottle sub was necessary. Not quite painfully young, but this has a decade(?) plus of life ahead of it. Tasty with local lamb and Jacob’s Cattle beans, but so much potential. Hold, unless you wisely bought a few. I bought a few and it really wasn’t enough. Good wine now very, very good wine in 4-6 years and beyond.
Red
11/9/2022 - JohnMcIlwain wrote:
flawed
Corked, but the wine beneath still had life.
Red
Roddolo is a grower who should fetch more attention, but thankfully exists somewhat below the radar (despite the entrities of the famed/notorious VLM). The 2011 has a saturated magenta robe with a touch of bricking. The nose is a bit fuhschtinkin upon opening, but 30 minutes in the decanter livens things up. Black cherry, dusty hibiscus flower, grilled meat, and bit of rusty iron on the nose. The palate is still relatively firm and tannic (a newer barrel perhaps?) with plenty of dark stone fruit, blood orange oil, and a wisp of anisette with a broad soil character lurking beneath. There’s good lift and energy, but a nit of tannin that vies with the fruit for attention. The bottle was moved a couple of months ago, so I wouldn’t think to dismiss it. Currently good+, but there may be a still better wine here. Quite delicious with a pan-roasted veal chop with black trumpet mushrooms, brown butter cabbage, and buttermilk mashed potatoes. Re-buy? Yes, if I can find a bottle. I have one left in storage, but would like to check in in a couple years and then maybe 5 more.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
11/5/2022 - JohnMcIlwain wrote:
Drunk with wild boar sausage, cannellini beans, Jimmy Nardello peppers, and Marcella Hazan roasted Treviso. Deep magenta robe, with faint bricking. The palate is rich and opulent—verging on zaftig—as is sometimes characteristic for Tommaso Bussola. Dried cherry, anisette, venison jerky and red plum flavors are framed with stern, as yet not resolved, tannins. This seems to inhabit the grey area between Ripasso and Amarone, and while not without joy, is overwhelming the big flavors of dinner. Would this sparkle with short ribs over polenta or a horse steak as they do in Veneto? Perhaps. But as without another bottle to test the theory or that pony ribeye, who knows. I like (not love) this and suspect that the remainder of the bottle will be tasty with some Taleggio and perhaps enliven some Gorgonzola. That said, I don’t know as I’d rush out to acquire another bottle.
Red
A leftover bottle of Ducroux Prologue, must have marked a cellar pull incorrectly and here we are. And why not drink with leftovers? Paired with roasted delicata squash stuffed with leftover black trumpet mushroom risotto and Parmesan cheese and sautéed black trumpets on the side. The 18 is very much alive, if likely not improving. Fine tension between huckleberry fruit, plenty of herbs, and a bosky forest floor character. Further, there’s a dark earthy core and some mineral dust to the midpalate and good, if not exceptional length. Now I don’t get the sense this has years ahead, but I’m more than satisfied and quite happy to finish the bottle.
Red
2018 Proprietà Sperino Uvaggio Coste della Sesia Nebbiolo Blend, Nebbiolo (view label images)
When live hands you a pile of black trumpet mushrooms, it’s not a terrible idea to make some black trumpet risotto. And what to pair? How ‘bout a fine alpine Nebbiolo blend? The 2018 Proprietà Sperino Uvaggio certainly fits the bill. The robe robe straddles the border of garnet verging on ruby. The nose offers waves of tar and violet, with plenty of cherry Chapstick (with a hat tip to Yo La Tengo) and crushed woody herbs. There’s fine energy and a bit of sweaty game character, to go the the fine, fine, finer still grainy soil notes and powdery tannins. Nice acidity and enough umami character to inspire opening an Udon cart. Really stellar pairing, though a couple more years in the bottle may offer more detail and nuance. (Though this is delicious enough at this state, that I don’t imagine the bottles I have left will make it. Sometimes it’s okay to drink what you have on hand, after all. Very good and worth the tariff.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Mis-pulled bottle. Very good, young but correct. Needs time. Green almond, salty, Meyer lemon rind, pear skin, long finish.
Red
2020 Azienda Agricola Montesecondo Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
A little “stank” on opening, but air does a world of good. Morellos and crushed herbs with a bit of iron dust and game on the nose. The palate is a bit more forthcoming than the nose with underripe cherry, sousbois, and a mineral core that straddles the line between rust and iodine. Mouthwatering acidity and dusty tannins help to clean the palate with food (mushroom ragu and pasta). This shades more herbaceous (pleasingly so) than overtly fruity, but gottdamn this is satisfying as hell. I’d wait before opening another bottle, but this sapid enough that I’ll be looking to sock away a few. Very good indeed.
Red
A bit of a tough cork, but managed to extract it with the crumbling on the non-business end. A bit stinky upon opening. A decant for sediment and in influx of oxygen help things along. The robe shades more dark crimson than purple with some bricking at the meniscus. The nose offers aromas of red plum, wild blackberry, animale, and a whiff of oak barrel—not enough to derail the proceedings, but enough to push the black pepper notes from the fore. The palate shows fine energy and is a bit more black-fruited than the nose implies. There’s fine, lifted acidity and the tannins are resolving nicely, though the sweet wood from the barrels is an undercurrent her. The finish is lifted and fresh, not to mention persistent. Quite tasty with some grass fed beef and greens with the iodine/salty Syrah notes benefiting from the pairing. Very good, though the wood *just* pokes through. This is tasty, if more modern than I prefer. Failla has evolved since this wine was made, so I’d buy newer vintages. That said, if you find a well stored bottle there’s plenty of pleasure here with the right pairing.
1 - 50 of 236
More results
  • Tasting Notes: 236 notes on 225 wines
© 2003-23 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close