Tasting Notes for Richard Holmes

(142 notes on 126 wines)

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Red
6/6/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
First time I have tried the '16. Seemingly, quite lightly-built at first, this took on extra weight and structure with air. The fruit is quite reticent compared to the 2015, but it's beautifully balanced even now. I expect it will show more complexity in 2 or 3 years.
Red
5/18/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
88 points
Forward and relatively simple at this stage. Not as lush as a Pic St Loup from the same vintage, drunk recently, nor especially "big" in frame. In fact, the fairly light tannic structure suggests drinking within the next 3 years, although it might surprise and acquire some more savoury notes with age.
Red
5/3/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
Not overly complex, but delicious, dark-fruited, velvety tannins. Drink now or hold for 2 to 3 years.
Red
4/24/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Offers easy pleasures - black fruit, soft tannins, bit of pepper. Really enjoyable now. Worth a 90 on pleasure alone.
Red
4/11/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Very elegant, mid-weight, slightly unexpressive at the moment. Feels like 2 or 3 years extra cellar age would really make a difference to this.
Red
2015 Château Phélan Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/4/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
91 points
Young, but surprisingly approachable. Lovely balance, with really fresh acidity. Doesn't display any excessive alcoholic heat that I worried might come from this warm vintage. Will hold for at least two years before trying again.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
4/2/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
91 points
Consistent with last bottle, perhaps a little better. Everything working well together - ripe (but not overripe) red fruit, fresh acidity and really fine, powdery tannins. Depth without weight ... the flavours ripple over the palate like water over rocks. Very enjoyable.
Red
3/14/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Nothing particularly complex, but this provides a whoosh of spicy, palate-coating, black fruit and fine tannins. Great value, tremendously satisfying.
Red
3/7/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
What I like about this wine is that you would never mistake it for anything other than Bordeaux - 100% Merlot it may be, but this is still a stern, structured wine.
Oak is still present, so worth giving it some air. Fruit is ripe but restrained, with a seem of strong acidity running through it. There is freshness despite the 14.5% abv.
Hold for a couple more years I think.
Red
2017 Stéphane Ogier Syrah La Rosine Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes (view label images)
3/4/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
A little more reticent than the previous bottles, suggesting that it is shutting down slightly (or just a slightly less good bottle?). More chiseled and less flamboyantly fruity than before, but still offering a lot of wine for the money. Tannin is relatively light and powdery, so not a keeper ... will revisit in 6 months.
White
2017 Les Vins de Vienne Taburnum Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes Viognier (view label images)
My partner actively disliked this wine - personally, I felt it had sufficient acidity to counter the ripe, yellow fruit, and the oak contributed more to its structure than flavour. In terms of flavour and texture It has real impact

Overall, I was really impressed, but I didn't love it - I can see how its sheer concentration could be considered a tad overpowering.
White
2/24/2021 - Richard Holmes wrote:
90 points
Golden in colour, suggesting some evolution, but on the palate this bottle showed no sign of oxidation (unlike on the previous occasion).
Nice mouthfeel, with flavours of warm vanilla fudge and a cool, minerally finish. Really, very good on this showing. Hope my last bottle is as good!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/15/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
91 points
Lovely stuff. Popped and poured this was all limpid fruit and minerals before gradually tightening up with air to show a firm tannic core. Drinking beautifully now but will surely improve.
White
2/15/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
Better than last time - the fruit is showing through above the oak and acidity now. Nicely-textured and very drinkable. Just a hint of toasty oak.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/31/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
More mature than expected. Pretty stinky tbh. Open on nose and palate, but tightened up (in a good way) with some air. Just the one bottle - might have preferred it a year or two younger, more "on the fruit".
Red
1/6/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
Inky and opaque. Not especially expressive on opening, but with some air this really opened up. The fruit is deep, with plush tannins. Will undoubtedly improve but already delicious.
Red
1/2/2021 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
My feelings about this wine are consistent with experiences of other 2012 vintage claret - essentially, very correct, enjoyable, but slightly underwhelming.

I could have quite happily drunk a second bottle as it's beautifully balanced with lovely savoury notes, acid and fine-grained tannin holding things together nicely ... but, ultimately, the wine lacks in drive and intensity. For me this is not the fault of the winemaker, but the character of the vintage.

Conclusion? Drink, enjoy, but don't expect fireworks.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/27/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
Great now - fruit really expressive and lovely fine-grained tannins. This has exemplary poise and balance, mid-weight, serious yet gulpable.
Red
11/23/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
My last bottle. I'll be more patient next time because this was just great - nice open fruit, fine tannin and moderate acidity all in balance. Not your average Bourgogne Rouge.
Red
11/22/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
This seems to be settling down now, showing slightly less heat. Sweet, almost balsamic fruit, fine tannins. A real mouthful. Not one for the long term but looking forward to drinking the remaining bottles over the next year or two.
Red
11/20/2020 - Richard Holmes wrote:
79 points
Not really ticking many Pinot boxes, even at a relatively modest price point - would have been okay at £7 or £8, but not at £13. No freshness or fruit vitality, or on the other hand any textural interest. Just a totally "blah" wine. Maybe it's just tired out?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/15/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Big, dark, curranty and still quite primary. Some tannin but not exactly what you'd call structured, but held together by the alcohol and acidity. Nice enough but less brains, more brawn.
Red
2014 Château Beau-Site St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/2/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Quite approachable. Absolutely no surprises here (which is a good thing) - the kind of reliable, well-balanced wine that Bordeaux does so well, even in an average vintage like 2014. This delivers dark, savoury fruit with powdery tannins and moderate acidity.One for the next 3 to 5 years.
Red
10/18/2020 - Richard Holmes wrote:
89 points
I expected to enjoy this more based on other comments. I'm not sure whether it's the character of the vintage, which was high tannin, low-yield, if I remember correctly, but this lacks charm for me. I've had a few different 2012s and found most of them a little foursquare.
It may also be something to do with my own preference for the lift contributed by whole-bunch fermentation, which I don't find here.
Maybe I should have drunk it sooner?
White
10/6/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
91 points
Beautiful stuff. Concentration, texture, precision. I preferred this to La Rocca, which I found a little bloated in comparison.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/4/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
91 points
Slightly reductive on the nose (still), but this soon blows off - will decant next time. But the fruit, the fruit ... this is so pure! For "basic" Bourgogne this is quite beautiful.
White
9/14/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
Really slaty on first opening, plenty of grapefruity bite and moderate fruitiness. Basically, classic Mosel Rieling Kabinett. Maybe I was drinking this between the exuberance of youth and full maturity, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless.
Red
9/14/2020 - Richard Holmes wrote:
87 points
Well put together, but tastes like a Pinot Noir trying to be a Rioja - oak too prominent, a certain viscosity on the palate, rather than the limpid, flowing qualities that I hope for in a Pinot.

I read that Chile is really starting to get PN right, but for me this isn't what I'm looking for.

Just ... not ... very ... exciting.
Red
8/31/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Rich dark fruit with a cooler, mineral edge. This is already drinking well but should be good for 5 or more years. Pretty elegant.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Rene Rostaing Syrah Les Lézardes Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes (view label images)
8/31/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Surprisingly cool and leafy. Plenty of depth on the palate with tannins present but not obtrusive. Nice, but should probably hold for 2 to 3 years.
Red
8/31/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
88 points
Drinking okay now, but feels like it needs time for complexity to develop and the fruit to unfurl. Potential for sure, but holding back for the moment.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Stéphane Ogier Syrah La Rosine Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes (view label images)
8/31/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Drinking beautifully from the word go, this has ample dark fruit, a bit of tapenade and a lovely welcoming texture. May improve in the short to medium term but so much to like already.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/20/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
88 points
Too young. Tart, red fruit on the first night, but softening somewhat on the second. Give this a couple more years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Mas de Daumas Gassac Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/9/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
Double decanted immediately before pouring. Initially disjointed with some spicy oak masking the red fruit. By the end of the bottle this was showing much more freshness, red fruit still, strong but silky tannins. One to tuck away or another 5 years.
White
6/28/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Nicely balanced and quite approachable, but will wait another year before trying again. Hopefully this will gain some complexity with time.
Red
6/20/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Nose slightly off-putting - maybe a little reductive. But the palate really delivers with crisp red fruit, fine tannins and refreshing acidity. Try again in 6 months. Expect this to improve a couple of points in the next year or two.
Red
5/2/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
I think this is just hitting its stride but still got a a few years left before it peaks. The oak is less foregrounded than previous bottle and the is a little more flesh on the bones. The 14.5% alcohol really doesn't show and all in all it's pretty elegant with a nice balance between fruit, and mineral tension imparted by the limestone terroir.
Red
2014 La Chapelle de Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/26/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Exceeded expectations. I could reel off the usual descriptors but will give my general impression instead - this is proper Claret, not flashy but easy to drink with a refreshing balance of red fruit, acidity and subtle herbaceousness. The tannins suggest it will be good for a few more years but I think it's very satisfying now.
White
Drinking nicely, but not terribly complex. I liked this better from the 2013 vintage, which had (for me) a cooler, more mineral feel. Still got 3 left so we'll see if it gets more interesting.
Red
4/21/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Fourth of six, this wine seems to be coming into its own now, showing more middle and grippy, fine-grained tannic structure. I almost went up to 90 - maybe if the next bottle is as good I will!
Red
4/12/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
Definitely in its drinking window now. Dark fruit, just avoids tipping over into stewed (seems to be a a characteristic of 2015 vintage), nice sous-bois notes, moderate acidity and lovely, fine-grained tannins. Good now and should improve for several years.
Red
2016 Clos Floridene Graves Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/5/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
88 points
I was surprised by how "leafy" this was - not dissimilar to a Loire Cab Franc. That's not a criticism but it was much cooler than I expected.

Still, it's balanced, decent concentration, chalky tannins. First of 6 - bodes well for medium term. I expect score to go up a notch with another year or 18 months bottle age.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/20/2020 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
90 points
Drinking very nicely. Oak totally integrated, dark fruit with a smidgen of heat, but really nice fine-grained tannins with some mineral grip.
Red
12/5/2019 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
91 points
Popped and poured. Acidity initially to the fore with pretty red fruit and the vaguest hint of oak melting into it. Good concentration but with proper Pinot delicacy. Drinking nicely now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/18/2019 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Maybe this was a particularly cool vintage but one this evidence Mornington may be just too cool for Shiraz/Syrah - I liked it, but the wine was pretty vegetal (more green bell pepper than black peppercorns).

Clearly well made, with ample concentration and a decent finish. The tannins were present but not obtrusive. Just that it almost came over as more of a Cabernet Franc than a Shiraz, and I don't mind a bit of green with my Franc but not so sure about it with the latter ... and not so much at this price point!
Red
10/30/2019 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Nice, black fruit, a bit of smoky bacon but not overly reduced. Medium bodied, fairly soft tannin, medium intensity. Drinking nicely now (and for the next 2 or 3 years?).
Red
10/16/2019 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
89 points
Tannins still quite prominent but notes of strawberry and undergrowth coming through nicely. Medium length.
Red
10/5/2019 - Richard Holmes wrote:
87 points
Nothing wrong with this but lacks excitement. Fairly structured, and without the necessary depth of fruit to provide balance.
Red
9/22/2019 - Richard Holmes Likes this wine:
88 points
Feels like this needs a couple more years for the oak to integrate properly. I think once it starts to melt away this could be very nice indeed. Not big, as someone else commented It's quite classic in style, but the core of fruit is ripe enough to allow it to age gracefully for another 5 years with ease.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
A little more evolved than a year ago but similar in most respects. Probably best in next couple of years.
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  • Tasting Notes: 142 notes on 126 wines
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