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Comments on my notes

(34 comments on 32 notes)

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2015 Domaine Robert-Denogent Pouilly-Fuissé La Croix Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay
14.5% alcohol. Very good long cork. This is the "22 mois d'élevage" version. Rich golden colour, enough to cause concern.
Indeed the first sip suggests oxidative tendencies, but these obligingly recede to the background.
The nose is broad with quince and exotic fruit; the oxidative note is there but it does not spoil the party. Very rich in the mouth in a way that is reminiscent of a liquoreux, but of course the wine is fully dry. Perfect match for pan fried black sole, a huge specimen.
A very good P-F in the rich-rather-than-elegant vein.
Drink soon. According to my own rule, this should have been finished last year. Since you are asking, the rule that I have evolved from bitter experience with all dry white wines (not just Burgundy) is : danger zone from year 7, and from year 10 all bets are off.
This producer has increased his prices more than most, so the repeat purchase question is moot at best.
  • Eudemis commented:

    1/28/23, 1:21 AM - Thank you for your comment sebastienjm. Personally, I won't bemoan the lack of oak, and I do not feel that the wine displays the type of fault that one finds in "vin nature". It is really the price that is the problem for me.
    The recent creation of "premiers crus" in the area has not helped in this regard.
    Fortunately there are plenty of other producers in the Mâconnais!

2002 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
13.5% alcohol. Top quality cork, not that long but virtually free of defect; wine penetration is uneven, between 2 and 5 mm. Decanted an hour ahead. Dark colour all the way to the rim.
Superb nose marrying lively dark berries with some tertiary notes of tobacco; the oak is barely perceptible in the background, contributing to the overall harmony. The mouth is joyful and juicy in a way that Médoc rarely is; glorious and unstuffy. The tannins are resolved, but the wine is not lacking grip.
Incredibly youthful at age twenty and capable of much longer ageing.
I don't expect to drink a better Bordeaux this year.
  • Eudemis commented:

    1/14/23, 10:13 AM - Thank you for your comment ledocq.
    I will have to take your word for the Las Cases as I don't have any, but regarding Barton 02, I found it significantly more austere than Poyferré two and a half years ago. To be revisited in due course.

2015 Domaine Delaporte Sancerre Rouge Silex Pinot Noir
13% alcohol. Pretty long cork of mediocre quality. The colour is pale and translucent.
Very aromatic nose with an intensity that contrasts with the pale colour; cherry and red berries. The mouth is similarly pleasing with excellent balance, good mouthfeel and perfectly judged acidity. Not the ultimate in terms of concentration, but with elegance aplenty.
Frankly, this bottle drinks like a Volnay from a vg producer. I normally take the upper cuvée Cul de Beaujeu at this address, but I am very impressed with this bottle. Very good match for pot-roasted pigeon.
A repeat purchase.
  • Eudemis commented:

    10/10/22, 10:08 AM - Hello Pemazel, thank you for your comment. Sorry to disappoint you, but I simply never give points as I do not believe that one can capture the multifaceted qualities of a wine with a single score.
    I hope that my note conveys the fact that I am very positive on this wine, and I give the reasons for my views in some detail in my text. Translating a sensory experience in words is already quite perilous, but reducing it to a score is close to meaningless in my view.
    I am aware that not everyone shares this opinion.

  • Eudemis commented:

    10/24/22, 5:42 AM - Hello Pemazel, your views on points are very sane, and I could subscribe to them; however, I a not sure how many point following folks would agree that a 88-92 window is an acceptable quantum.
    I still prefer my binary scale 0: do not repurchase, 1: a repeat purchase. Granted that price is a factor in the repurchase decision, and I try to mention it when I have an accurate record of what I paid.

2019 Psi Ribera del Duero Tempranillo
14% alcohol. Tempranillo with a small amount of G (10% or less). Cork of medium length but of top quality. Deep colour all the way to the rim, very bright with a youthful purple hue at the pouring stage.
Very good nose, refined and completely free of oak (hurrah!). Red fruited in the mouth with cherries and red plums; very smooth but not without grip.
Still a bit burly, needs time to quieten down; vg potential.
This shows what Tempranillo can achieve when it is freed of its usual oak straight jacket.
  • Eudemis commented:

    10/16/22, 8:35 AM - Really? I find this hard to believe. Do you have a source that you can share for this information?
    Be that as it may, I perceive no new oak either on the nose or on the palate.

Red - Fortified
2003 Dow Porto Vintage Port Blend
20% alcohol. Good long cork with minimal wine penetration. Bottle opened and partly consumed two weeks beforehand, so plenty of breathing time. The colour is dark and opaque all the way to the rim.
Pleasant nose with a mixture of cooked and fresh dark fruit and some powdery notes in the finish; nothing remarkable. The best thing about the mouth is its velvety feel, a sense of viscosity and a palate coating quality; good length too, but how much of that is just carried by the alcohol? As for the other flavours, they are again very pleasant with dark berries and a note of toffee emerging in the finish under the unintegrated alcohol.
I am still waiting for an epiphany on vintage Port. Maybe I am drinking these wines way too young (the wines, not myself unfortunately). As it is, I did not get my money's worth from this bottle. Hence not a repeat purchase.
  • Eudemis commented:

    12/3/21, 5:29 AM - Thanks ClausP, I will keep your advice in mind, although time is running out for me unfortunately...

2000 Château Haut-Batailley Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
11/25/2021 - Eudemis wrote:
13% alcohol. The cork is quite long but with a fair amount of defects; however, wine penetration is no more than 2mm. Decanted a good hour ahead. Pretty dark with significant fading and a suggestion of bricking at the edge of the rim.
The nose is still primary and red fruited; medium intensity. The mouth is lively with excellent acidity and no perception of oak; so far so good, but there is a distinct lack of charm here (for me), and some tightness in the aftertaste. A rather strict Médoc, and I now doubt that it will ever come around (not markedly different from my note five years ago).
I must say that I kind of resent the 20- years spent squatting in my cellar by this bottle for such a relatively lacklustre result.
  • Eudemis commented:

    11/25/21, 9:36 AM - Hello StefanAkiko, thank you for your comment.
    I admire your patience and I sincerely hope that you will be rewarded for it.
    I am pretty sure that this wine will last another fifteen years, but I am less certain that it will ever be harmonious.
    Good luck with your bottle !

2014 Thibault Liger-Belair Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes Gamay
6/21/2021 - Eudemis wrote:
13% alcohol. Very good long cork with no wine penetration. Deep colour for Gamay, but there is substantial thinning at the edge of the rim.
Red fruited and high pitched both on the nose and in the mouth with redcurrant the dominant note.
More than pleasant but frankly a bit simple given the pedigree and price.
Not a repeat purchase; in fact the value for money is pretty poor given that one can buy better Beaujolais for barely more than half the price of this bottle.
  • Eudemis commented:

    6/21/21, 9:59 AM - Hello thesternowl, thank you for your query. The following producers are more or less automatic purchase for me :

    Bouland, Desvignes, Clos de la Roilette, Ch. Thivin, Dne du Vissoux.

    Also, but maybe not every year :

    Brun, Burgaud, Chignard, Chopin, Foillard, Lapalu.

    You have quite a variety of styles with these producers, the last two being of the "nature" type whereas Burgaud makes sterner wines that repay ageing.
    I hope that you find something that you like!

2020 Château d'Issan Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
5/20/2021 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
The first vintage to include 5 Bordeaux varietals in the blend starts out with violets, wet earth, spice, cherries, espresso and currants on the nose. From there the wine is fresh, energetic, elegant and complex. Full-bodied, silky, long and intense, with the essence of minerality paired with spice and fruit in the finish. This will age and evolve for at least 2-3 decades. Produced from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. 94-96
  • Eudemis commented:

    6/2/21, 12:27 AM - Hello Jeff, thank you for the useful early note. May I point out that your grape proportions do not add up to 100? Not trying to be a smart Alec, but I am actually interested in knowing if the Château increased the proportion of Merlot in 2020.
    Keep up the good work!

2017 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Champlots Blanc Chardonnay
13% alcohol. Softish wax top. The long cork breaks up during the extraction process, probably my fault as I was concentrating too much on mitigating the effects of the dreaded wax. Decanted 30mn ahead. The colour is disconcertingly pale and dull, bordering on grey with a greenish tinge, slightly off-putting to be honest.
Very good nose, more floral than fruity, with something like a vegetal streak underneath (not unpleasant but difficult to pinpoint); some sweat eventually, in a pleasant way. The mouth is lean and muscular with plenty of backbone and searing acidity, not unlike a Riesling in character.

The style seems to me to be the polar opposite of what the father (Marc Colin) used to produce; close to being austere, and certainly more Chablis than Meursault in character, in spite of what the geography says (I am talking about PYCM).
I must say that I am taken aback by this bottle, and the association with lobster did not work that well for me; early days of course, and the wine seems to be built for the long term.
I admire this wine more than I love it, and I will follow with interest the development of my remaining bottles, but I don't think that I will be rushing to buy more, at this stage at least.
To be revisited in two years' time.
  • Eudemis commented:

    5/1/21, 12:11 AM - Thank you for your comment poppacork. Both the vineyard and the producer are new to me, so I would not know how to apportionate responsibility for the rather strict wine in the bottle.
    Nevertheless, I would tend to guess that the producer's style must be at least as important as the plot. After all, les Murgers des Dents de Chien is more or less at the same elevation (although with a different aspect) and gives much broader wines from Lamy, Bachelet, Chartron and others.

2003 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
13% alcohol. Good cork, not that long but very dense with very few defects and showing no wine penetration at all. I took a glass and a half out of the bottle yesterday and I stuck the recorked bottle in the fridge; as a result, I felt that the wine did not require further exposure to air, so no decanting. Fairly dark with limited thinning at the edge.
The nose is classy with vivid blackcurrant and just a hint of ripe bell pepper. The mouth is similarly satisfying with a winning juicy quality, fresh currants, menthol in the finish and excellent grip. Nothing green here, and equally nothing overripe; a perfect balance for those who do not seek opulence.
It is worth noting that yesterday's stolen glass, coming after largely un-oaked wines, felt quite oaky by comparison (bordering on excessive). No such feeling today on its own. This reinforces my view that tasting a string of bottles is unfair to the individual wines as it overemphasises the difference between successive samples to the detriment of neighbouring ones. End of rant.
A superb Médoc (an honorary St Estèphe in my book) which requires and rewards patience. The late Jean Gautreau knew his onions for sure, and I am raising the last glass to his memory.
  • Eudemis commented:

    4/23/21, 5:06 AM - Hello jenmermaidia, thank you for your comment; always good to come across a kindred spirit !

2000 Clos René Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
4/17/2021 - J @ y H @ c k Likes this wine:
90 points
An assessment of this wine requires some very deep thinking. I bought this a a future back in the summer of 2002. The 2000 vintage was all the rage; we were getting back into wine buying after an absence caused by the need to raise two sons; RMP rated this as 90+ from barrel; and I was able to buy six bottles at under $30 each. Perhaps even under $20. Dutifully cellared and opened today with some Morgan Ranch Wagyu bought on Berserkerday. 90 minute decant then followed for 4 hours. Color is dark with no sign of age and the cork was soaked at most 1/4 of an inch.

This is a good wine, but not what I had hoped for after almost 20 years in my cellar. Dark red brooding fruit, subdued nose with a touch of violet, a slight coffee component on the palate, still some tannic astringency if you slosh it around in your mouth. The classic Bordeaux undercurrent that approached Bordeaux bandaid, but doesn't get there, which is a good thing. I can't find anything about the exact blend, but I would guess that balance between merlot and cabernet franc tips towards the later because the wine lacks the velvety texture and smoothness of Pomerol merlot. As I said, a good wine, but I had hoped for more.
  • Eudemis commented:

    4/18/21, 3:55 AM - According to Jane Anson's recent book the vineyard is planted with 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Malbec. The mix in the bottle can differ slightly but probably not by much.

2014 Jacques Saumaize Pouilly-Fuissé Les Courtelongs Chardonnay
5/19/2020 - ArtF Likes this wine:
95 points
Light gold. Firm, fresh, lemony acidity. Medium body and finish. Drink soon but should continue drinking well to Fall 2021.
  • Eudemis commented:

    4/9/21, 4:51 AM - Hello ARTF, I agree with your tasting note, but what about your score of 65?

2014 Thibault Liger-Belair Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes Gamay
12/29/2020 - Eudemis wrote:
13.5% alcohol. Good long dense cork. Dense colour.
Coming immediately after Daniel Bouland's marvellous Morgon Delys 2017, the present wine is immediately striking, and not in a good way; the first impression is one of imbalance, with oak and acidity sticking out in an ungainly manner.
I have been drinking wine for long enough to know that such comparisons can be unfair because they tend to overemphasise differences. Later on, the oak is still there on the nose, but there are also pretty cherry aromas; the mouth has good structure, indeed the tannins are not resolved.
This wine needs a lot more time, but I am not sure if the result will be worth the wait. To be revisited, but probably not repurchased.
  • Eudemis commented:

    12/29/20, 11:57 AM - Thank you for your comment, I will be patient then!
    However, in my view Gamay requires a very light hand with oak; in fact unoaked is the way I like it best, but it is just my taste.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut Champagne Blend
12% alcohol. PN 60%, C 25%, PM 15% according to the website. Dosage 8-9 g/L. No info on disgorgement date (although this might be inferred from the lot number if you have the patience), but this bottle has been in my cellar for a couple of years at least. Pale golden colour.
The fizz is fine and quite abundant initially, but that does not last very long; indeed this bottle goes flat much faster than most. The nose is rich and mature with yellow fruit in evidence. Certainly very comfortable in the mouth, partly due to the generous dosage, but not in any way clumsy. Yellow plum, and with just a hint of an oxidative sensation contributing to the richness (in a good way).
A reliable NV Champagne, very consensual and certainly well made. A repeat purchase so long as the price remains reasonable (ie well short of 40€).
PS: after two days in the fridge (closed with an ordinary cork), the wine has not lost any of its qualities, and the fizz level is more than creditable.
  • Eudemis commented:

    12/12/20, 12:39 PM - Thank you, this is very useful. What a cryptic way of recording the info!
    Following the decoding procedure that you indicated, I find that my bottle was disgorged in May 2018 and labelled in February 2019, so I must have acquired it a good bit more recently than I thought.

2003 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
13% alcohol. Good long cork with no wine penetration at all. Decanted an hour ahead. Dark colour with minimal fading at the edge of the rim.
Very vivid nose with vibrant blackcurrant aromas following an initial powdery sensation (not in a bad way).
The mouth is equally impressive, incredibly fresh and nimble; refreshing in a way that Bordeaux rarely is. The wine has good grip without any bitter tannins. Very good length.
I do not know the grape mix, but this screams high quality CS to me (probably with minor unobtrusive M addition).
A great success, and capable of long further ageing.

PS: looking back at my previous notes, I see that I quoted the grape mix as CS 55%, M 40%, CF 5%; the high dose of M surprises me. Maybe the 5% CF helps with the freshness beyond what the figure announces.
  • Eudemis commented:

    11/22/20, 6:29 AM - Thanks, I will fix that.

2004 Château Batailley Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
13% alcohol. CS 70%, M 25%, CF 3%, PV 2% according to some source on the web , so no guarantee. Good cork, not that long, but no wine penetration. Decanted a good hour ahead.
The colour is dark, with minimal signs of ageing at the edge of the rim.
Superb lively noise, with ripe berries and some leather. The oak is subdued, as it should. Equally harmonious mouth, with a winning juicy quality and good balancing acidity. A sense of plenitude without any undue opulence; in a word, classy.
Much better than what the reputation of the vintage or the pedigree of the chateau would lead you to expect, and superb value for money. One of my best Bordeaux this year.
Apparently, this delicious wine was awarded a score of 85-88 by the unfortunate Mr. Suckling in the April 05 issue of the Wine Spectator, which just goes to show how reliable his opinion is (for my palate at any rate). By contrast, J-M Quarin was really spot on with his note and score, as he often is.
  • Eudemis commented:

    9/23/20, 6:05 AM - Hey Dj6544, I nearly choked on the first half of your sentence, but then I chuckled on the second half; well done.
    If I may be so bold as to offer a suggestion, don't neglect the decanting phase on your Batailley.

2009 Zenato Ripassa Ripasso della Valpolicella Superiore Corvina Blend, Corvina
14% alcohol. The good long dense cork gives off a pleasant smell of vanilla. Decanted an hour ahead. Dark colour with no sign of ageing.
The nose is a bit rustic, with definite raisiny notes, and good intensity. The mouth is similar but a step behind, with bitter cherries, good acidity and perceived residual sugars in the finish; this confers to the wine an unfortunate confected character. Definite greenness and rough tannins in the finish too, which maybe explains the sweetness as a misguided attempt to hide these vegetal notes.
I would not deny that this wine has some distinctive features, but frankly I don't need that kind of balance in my glass, so I will abstain in future, with apologies to the donor. I ended up pouring back in the bottle half of what I had decanted, and I can't remember ever feeling like doing that.
  • Eudemis commented:

    4/4/20, 12:25 AM - Hello Biggie, I can't vouch for the previous history of that bottle as it was a gift. All I remember two years later is hating the style, but that is just my personal taste. I should add that I rarely like the wines of the Veneto area. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

2009 Pierre Gonon St. Joseph Syrah
13% alcohol. Shortish cork, but very dense and showing no wine penetration whatsoever. Decanted an hour ahead. Very dark colour with some thinning but no fading at the edge of the rim.
Intense nose with black olive and liquorice, as well as ink (as I remember it from the inkwell in my primary school days many decades ago). The mouth is just as good, with plenty of energy and excellent mouthfeel. This is so smooth and yet so full of energy, an unlikely combination and a great one.
Drinking well now, but showing no sign of decline.
Superb wine now unaffordable. No matter, plenty of other great wines available at more reasonable prices.
  • Eudemis commented:

    3/22/20, 2:37 PM - Hello Tranquility, I am of the same view as you; economic logic would dictate selling the wines, but I can't bring myself to doing that, so I will have to continue drinking above my station. Terrible fate!

2000 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
3/20/2020 - jordanj Likes this wine:
92 points
In a place very consistent with the vintage. Just starting to show a hint of maturity with a lot to like. Still dark in the center but showing lighting at the out edge.

Nice moderately powerful bouquet of cherries, wet Tobacco and underbrush, a nice mushroom and green streak, a little mint, and maybe a hint of ground beef. However there is still some oak and heat on the nose. Fortunately it does not continue to the palate. Medium weight with a little round plushness. Moderate finish. Regardless, nice example of a medium quality aged Bordeaux.

Also of note, I would not have guess Graves. I would have actually guessed right bank if served blind. I would love to know the blend.
  • Eudemis commented:

    3/21/20, 1:12 PM - Nice note. According to the Chateau's website, the blend is CS 50%, M 50%, so your tastebuds did not deceive you.

2017 Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py Gamay
13.5% alcohol. Annoying rigid wax top. Pretty average cork. Youthful colour with good depth.
The nose is immediately captivating, with intense pure red berries, redcurrant and cranberries mostly, with some violet added; pretty intoxicating stuff. The mouth is just as good, with the violet component more in evidence. A poster child for all that is good in vin nature.
The acidity is clearly there, but it is not piercing, and the wine is balanced, albeit in a high pitch register.
So much better than the 2016 (or at least the bottle that I had), and frankly irresistible.
Went well with roasted duck, a dish that I normally pair with Burgundy.
A repeat purchase.
  • Eudemis commented:

    3/9/20, 12:53 AM - Interesting; I did not have the two vintages side by side, but my bottle of 2016 had noticeable volatile acidity, which gave a lift to the wine, but not the kind that I like. As you say, bottle variation is to be expected, especially with little or no sulphite cover.
    Thank you for your comment.

2012 Domaine le Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras Cuvée Azalais Red Rhone Blend
14% alcohol. Cork of medium length, but quite dense and showing no wine penetration. Dark colour with no sign of ageing.
Very fresh intense nose of spicy red and dark berries with some damson plum too. Nothing cooked or overripe here. The mouth has great balance and acidity, leaving you with a clean palate. In spite of the hefty alcohol, this wine is not overbearing at all, and it manages to combine weight with elegance.
A superb Vacqueyras, easily the equal of many a Gigondas and quite a few CNdP. A repeat purchase in principle, but I have no supplier at the moment.
  • Eudemis commented:

    3/8/20, 8:31 AM - Hello Timcardk, no I did not decant (I tend to avoid decanting Grenache-based wines because of oxidation concerns). Regarding drinking windows, I expect this wine to be at its best five years from now and to keep drinking well for another five years. That being said, I am not a professional critic, so take this with a pinch of salt. I will try and follow my own advice with my two remaining bottles.
    Thank you for your query.

2001 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
12.5% alcohol. Cork of medium length but of good density, showing no wine penetration; some tartrate deposits. Decanted 75mn ahead. Very good colour with hardly any sign of ageing, even at the rim.
Very intense fruity nose of dark berries, perfectly ripe but not over-ripe. The mouth is just as good, with an excellent balance between fruit, alcohol, grip and acidity. Some unresolved tannins, but these do not kick in until the aftertaste.
Fulfilling, classy and with a backbone too, maybe too much so for some. A superb Pessac just entering its window of drinkability. Will improve over the next five years and drink well for another fifteen years, I would venture.
  • Eudemis commented:

    1/20/20, 5:25 AM - Hello Chatters, thank you for your kind words. I see that you are based in Sydney; you guys are having an incredibly tough time at the moment, and my thoughts are with you and your people.

2013 Château Pape Clément Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
13% alcohol. CS 56%, M 40%, CF 4% according to the website. Very good long cork. Decanted several hours (more by accident than by design). Reasonably deep colour.. The nose is not very intense, but it is pleasantly rounded, with notes of confectionery; one is left with a general impression of softness. The mouth is much more vivid, with pleasant acidity and some moderate green tannins in the finish.
Not a bad effort given the vintage. Not a lot of fruit, not a lot of depth, but some class nevertheless, and recognisably Pessac. Surprisingly ready at this early stage, and I am grateful for the light touch with oak.
A friend spotted this wine priced at 20€ on the shelves of Lidl, of all places; this indicates that the 2013 vintage is a very hard sell through the normal channels (there were also bottles of La Couspaude).
Certainly worth the reduced price, but I would be pretty cheesed off if I had paid the full price.
  • Eudemis commented:

    11/11/19, 12:07 AM - Hello Mathijs81, thank you for your comment. I hope that you like yours; I was pleasantly surprised myself, and I found it impressive that the winemaking team went easy on extraction and élevage to cope with the less than ideal vintage.

2003 Château Cos Labory St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
13.5% alcohol. The good long cork is virtually un-penetrated. Decanted an hour ahead of the meal. Dark colour with no sign of ageing.
The nose is rich and ripe with dark berries and some fleeting raisiny aromas. The mouth follows suit, ample but very juicy and not in any way blowsy. There is a great balance in this wine, and no sign of austerity. At maturity now, and should remain on that plateau for a further five years, I think.
I assume that there is a fair dose of Merlot in this wine, but it certainly does not dominate the ripe Cabernets (S and F).
An outstanding success, like most St Estèphe wines of the vintage (with the glaring exception of Haut Marbuzet). One of my most pleasurable recent encounters with Bordeaux.
A repeat purchase in ripe vintages.

PS: the next day, after a night in the fridge, the rest of the bottle is pretty severely oxidised, which is unusual for a Médoc; probably a result of the high Merlot content combined with the hot year. This observation leads me to revise downwards the projected length of the drinking period.
  • Eudemis commented:

    11/2/19, 1:54 PM - Thank you for your comment Finkie. My experience is that wines based on Cabernet-S normally survive very well after the unfinished bottle is recorked and refrigerated for a day, or even several days. I would not expect good results with Grenache though !

2011 Château des Tours Vacqueyras Red Rhone Blend
15% alcohol on the label, feels like a good bit more. From a restaurant list, so limited notes. Very pale colour, cloudy and distinctly orangey at the rim. Distinctive aromatics of dried flowers. The mouth is very good too, with "pain d'épices" among other flavours, but it is ultimately unbalanced by the alcohol.
Maybe a step up on the intensity scale from the CdR at this address, but if the price to pay for that is extra alcohol, it is not worth it in my book (not to mention the actual price differential).
  • Eudemis commented:

    4/7/19, 10:04 AM - Hello Kuumies, and thank you for your comment. It would be interesting to do a blind tasting between a pop and pour bottle and one prepared according to the prescriptions of the so-called in-the-know people. In the present case, I doubt that any amount of exposure to air would tame the excess of alcohol.
    I must say that I much preferred the modestly priced VdP Domaine des Tours in this vintage.

2009 Domaine Michelot Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières Chardonnay
13% alcohol. Very good long dense cork. The colour is surprisingly light for a wine of that age, but I am delighted to see it as it almost guarantees lack of oxidation. Carafed 30mn ahead; a full hour would have been better.
The nose has plenty of yellow fruit, delivered in a restrained way. Nothing showy or blousy here; no oak in evidence either, and no butter thankfully. The mouth is even better, as elegant as you will get from chardonnay, with a slightly understated quality; some (not unpleasant) slightly bitter notes in the aftertaste. Went well with prawns and black sole.
All that being said, would I be prepared to pay the current rate for this wine (I am just going by the general market trend for Meursault Perrières, rather than the prices of this particular producer, whose wines I no longer have a source for) ? The answer has to be a resounding NO. The value has gone completely from the wines of the Côte d'Or in my view. No problem, move on to the next region(s), and very good their produces are too.
  • Eudemis commented:

    2/2/19, 12:41 AM - Hello Essconsults, and that you for your comment. I have no experience with Californian chardonnays. Chablis is not really a substitute for Côte de Beaune in my view, by which I mean that the wines would not pair with the same food. What I had in mind is the wines of the Mâconnais like Pouilly-Fuissé, St Véran or even Mâcon Villages; the quality is now very high, at least for the best producers, and while prices have started escalating, they are still acceptable (maybe not for much longer, as I believe that there is a 1er cru classification in the pipeline for Pouilly-Fuissé, and this could have an impact on market prices). Hope this helps.

  • Eudemis commented:

    2/2/19, 8:03 AM - I assume that WB translates as white Burgundy; if so, I think that our palates differ a good bit. I have no problem with a touch of opulence in my white Burgundies (in fact I expect it to some extent), provided that it is balanced by a good dose of acidity.
    In Mâconnais, I like Barraud (which you cited), J and N Saumaize, Robert-Denogent, Saumaize-Michelin and Guffens-Heynen (his wines are probably too opulent for you, but nevertheless his series of Mâcon-Pierreclos is spectacular, with prices on the high side).
    Given your stated stylistic preferences, Chablis looks like the best match; otherwise, staying with Chardonnay, there is always Champagne BdB.
    Since you cited Riesling, I will mention wines based on other grapes as well. First, Pessac is worth revisiting; indeed, if you stay away from the top tier (price wise), there is good value to be had in the likes of La Louvière, La Tour Martillac, Carbonnieux and Clos Floridène (with bottle age).
    Finally, Chenin is well worth exploring, with Savennières a prime source of very good to excellent wines, Anjou blanc a cheaper alternative. I am not sure if these wines are available in your market.
    Can you recommend any US Chardonnay for a European palate?

1986 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
12% alcohol. The level is good, at bottom of the neck. The cork is soaked through, and it breaks up two thirds of the way upon extraction; no problem getting the other third out by the usual technique of tackling it at an angle. No idea why people are spending good money on specialist corkscrews. Decanted a short 30mn ahead in view of the venerable age of the bottle.
The colour is dark, slightly dull, with some thinning at the edge of the rim but no significant browning. The nose is not very intense but it has a surprisingly vivid feel; no fruit left as such, but very pleasant with a suggestion of caramel. The mouth has good energy, with nothing faded about it; fine acidity and good length, albeit in a slightly fluid way.
I won't hide the fact that I am quite disappointed by this bottle; yes it has held through 32 years, and yes it is in good condition, but is it better now than it was 15 years ago ? I can't say for sure as this is a once-off for me in this vintage, a gift from a now deceased friend and mentor (RIP JTL), but I suspect that I would have liked it better then. The problem for me is that the flavours that I get are not sufficiently refined or even distinctive to compensate for the loss of fruit. Certainly no magic here.
  • Eudemis commented:

    12/11/18, 3:36 AM - Thank you for your comment Johnny (if you excuse the familiarity), I am happy to take your word for it. Indeed I can't vouch for the storage conditions of the bottle in its early days, and this can be a factor, although in my experience Médocs are pretty resilient.

2014 Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny Franc de Pied Cabernet Franc
12.5% alcohol. Cork of moderate length and quality. This is my first time tasting a wine made from un-grafted vines; in this case, the vines are not pre-phylloxera, but they are grown in sandy soil which protects them from the dreaded aphid.
The wine is reduced on opening, but this abates during the meal after decanting. Medium colour. Enticing nose of bitter cherries. The mouth has plenty of energy and just a hint of bell pepper, but plenty of acidity. On the sharp side overall. This may round up with age.
I am glad to have tasted this wine, but I cannot say that the experience was revelatory in any way, so this is probably not a repeat purchase. Maybe I was expecting too much from the original rootstock effect.
  • Eudemis commented:

    11/12/18, 11:50 AM - Thank you for your kind words TWP; my note is just one data point, and since I had a single bottle, I won't get to retaste.
    Regarding price, I have seen the 2016 at 32€ in France including taxes but before shipping costs, so the price that you quote is in the ballpark, if slightly dearer.

1998 Château La Croix Canon Canon-Fronsac Red Bordeaux Blend
11/2/2018 - J @ y H @ c k Likes this wine:
88 points
Another wine from my uncle's cellar, which was really his closet underneath the shoes. I do not know when he bought it, so I do not know how long it was not in temperature controlled storage, but the only temperature control in his apartment was the refrigerator, and it was not in there.

Popped, decanted and poured. There was enough sediment to justify decanting all by itself. We started drinking it about 10 minutes after decanting. This was not a WOW wine, but it was still very pleasant. Perhaps not yet at its peak because I think there is more fruit to emerge, but the tanins are all broken down. The flavor is earthy wine with a bit of smooth saddle leather and dark red cherry fruit without sweetness. Moderate to light overall flavor profile contrasts with reasonable complexity, it's just that the lightness makes you search for the complexity a bit more. It doesn't hit you in the face.

I could not find anything about the blend on the Internet. I am guessing mostly cabernet sauvignon but with a healthy dose of other varieties. Gun to my head, I would guess 60% CS, 30% Merlot and 10% Cab Franc.
  • Eudemis commented:

    11/5/18, 11:34 AM - Nice note. Your uncle had good taste, and an eye for value too, as this used to be dirt cheap (probably still is). I drank quite a bit of this wine in the 1998 and 2000 vintages (the latter a good bit better as you would expect).

    As for the blend, I would be very surprised if it was not largely Merlot, with no more than a quarter of Cabernet; this would be typical for the area. But I agree with you that for a Merlot-dominated wine it has pretty good grip.

2000 Château Cos Labory St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
13% alcohol. Cork of good length and reasonable density with no wine penetration. Decanted for 45mn. Dark impenetrable colour showing little sign of evolution except at the rim. Rich complex nose of ripe (but not cooked) dark fruit. The mouth is lighter, with good Cabernet-Sauvignon grip, limited extraction, and plenty of freshness. This is an old-style Bordeaux, with some St Estèphe austerity, and none the worse for it.

This wine has the nearly unique distinction of having been awarded (if that is the word) a score of 74 by the honourable Robert Parker (at least if the information on Wine Decider is to be trusted); this is bang in the middle of the 70-79 band, which, according to the Monkton doxology, means "a straightforward innocuous wine", but, in practice, comes across more like "just one step above ditchwater", and is akin to consigning the wine and its producer to the seventh circle of hell.

Well, I beg to differ; this is a wine with balls, unlike many supine parkerised syrups. No doubt as a result of the ukase, this wine was available quite cheaply as late as last year, so I suppose that I should thank the great (ex)communicator.
  • Eudemis commented:

    5/1/18, 11:22 PM - Thank you for the comment Chatters.
    Actually, RP's first tasting note that you quote seems quite accurate to me; maybe he had a dodgy bottle the second time, but in any case the huge difference between the two notes should have caused him to pause.
    It will be interesting to see how your bottle turns out; I will keep my eyes peeled for your tasting note.

2014 Patrice Rion Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées Pinot Noir
11/30/2016 - DCornutt wrote:
This wine comes out a pale red color. Not unlike Frederic Mugnier's wines. The nose is all about delicious red fruit. Bright. Energetic. Primary pinot. It appears quaffable on the palate and you could confuse it
with a good Bourgogne rouge but then suddenly there is a rush of minerals and a finishing firmness. It actually could be slightly closed based on the time it takes to unwind. Long finish that does build as the wine gains weight in the glass. It reminds me quite a bit of Mugnier's Fuees. Intense.
I love this. Hopefully I can leave a few to see how they develop. Really nice!
  • Eudemis commented:

    12/3/16, 1:12 PM - Very nice note, thank you for sharing.
    Unless I am mistaken, this should be under "Maison" rather than "Domaine", as the Rion family do not own this particular vineyard.
    Not that it matters that much...

2014 SonkinCellars Unmasked Yorkville Highlands Syrah Blend, Syrah
11/19/2016 - Loren Sonkin wrote:
Out with friends (Scarecrow, Jonata, 7 Stones, Kutch, Rhys, Baumard) (University Circle): This bottle had been opened for 27 hours and allowed to breather prior to drinking. In my biased opinion, this is our best wine yet. I know the WA gave the Persona 96 points, but I love this wine (it still got a 95). It needs time or air. It is mostly Halcon fruit which takes a long time to develop. A bit riper than most Halcon fruit wine I think, yet this is still about cool climate Syrah. I have only had this wine a couple of times, so I am still figuring it out. I would hold for a while or maybe let it slow ox for 72 hours if you can.
  • Eudemis commented:

    11/29/16, 6:05 AM - Am I getting this right, are you reviewing your own wine ?

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