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Comments on my notes

(8 comments on 7 notes)

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2015 Paul Pillot Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Charmois Blanc Chardonnay
Certainly a very nice bottle of wine, but somewhat less than I had anticipated - solid, safe, decent - far less interesting than when I drank this vintage some years earlier.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
  • IJC commented:

    4/24/20, 8:08 AM - I wish I knew. I don't have a crystal ball, but the difference between my first and second posts on this wine suggest something changed...and that something could be me! There's no reason to believe this wine has peaked; it may have gone to sleep. Why not give it at least 6-9 months, perhaps a year? Good luck.

2003 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso Riserva Pipparello Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
Assertive, but controlled, especially from this hot vintage. Plum and nutmeg, ie, extremely rich, but with an edge of spice. Pairs well with hearty food, especially a bolognese sauce, for example.

Rated 2 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • IJC commented:

    4/27/19, 10:48 AM - Bob,

    You are welcome to score wines as you wish, but since you ask, I will tell you why I don't use a 100 point scoring system. Simply put, it's meaningless - unless you are into marketing, or are the sort of person who's impressed by a number. Can anyone really tell the difference between a wine rated 91 or 93? Nonsense.

    Frankly, 3 levels are sufficient - I like it, Neutral, I don't like it - which happens to parallel Cellar Tracker. But, I've expanded this to 5, which offers me just enough nuance to remind myself where I place that bottle relative to others. This is not a rigid system - sometimes I rate a wine highly simply because of the pleasure it gives me, even if it isn't "profound." Sometimes I rate a wine poorly because it failed to meet an expectation. Rarely would I rate a wine based on QPR - it's not so much the price as the experience of the bottle that matters.

    My ratings begin not at 1 (one), but at -1 (minus one). This is for a wine I would recommend against drinking, and hope to never drink again. The negative number = bad.

    Zero (0) is a rating for a wine that I drank, and isn't memorable. Call it Neutral, if you prefer.

    Ratings of 1, 2, and 3 are similar to Michelin stars, the higher number representing an ever increasing level of enjoyment.

    Think about it - if the Michelin guide, more than 100 years old, can accurately and reliably review restaurants using only 4 levels (they go from 0-3 stars), and restaurants are arguably far more complicated to rate than wine - then why would we need 100 points for wine?

    I try in most of my notes to give some indication of what I sensed - on the nose, on the palate, in the mind - and if you have drunk any of the wines I've so rated/ described, then you'll be in a better position to decide if what I have to say matters to you or not.

    In the end, if a friend were to ask me if I would recommend a bottle, the answer would be yes or no - would an answer of 91/100 help?

    Good luck,

2015 Bernard Levet Côte-Rôtie Améthyste Syrah
3/21/2019 - IJC wrote:
Young but definitely ready to drink.
Sauvage nose, strong notes of petrol, bright dark fruit, crisp tannins. Brilliant.
Rated 2 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • IJC commented:

    3/23/19, 10:18 PM - In this case, I did not decant, though I can well understand why one might consider. The wine wasn't a bit closed, had it been, a decant - or double decant - might have made a difference. I suspect that as the wine ages, it will benefit from a decant to reveal nuances that at present are still cloaked by youthful vigor.

2009 Failla Syrah Phoenix Ranch Napa Valley
Wow! Dark - almost black. Intense - strong nose of violet and briar. Deep dark fruits, and an undertoe of tannin - 7 years old, and still young, but now showing it all.

Rated 2 on a scale of -1 to 3.
  • IJC commented:

    1/24/16, 6:08 AM - My rating system is a 5 point scale. Unlike other systems that begin at "0", mine begins at -1 - when something (wine in this case) is TO BE AVOIDED. A "0" means that the wine is OK. And the "1, 2, or 3" designations are levels of RECOMMENDED, a "3" similar to Michelin, i.e., at the top.

  • IJC commented:

    1/25/16, 6:45 PM - Prism,

    You miss the point. There is no correlation between a 5 point system and a 100 point system. It's a totally different approach to rating, which boils down to a simple construct - either I like a wine (+1), or I don't (-1), or my opinion is neutral (0). After many years, I realized sometimes a wine I liked is better (+2), or best (+3). Is there a 100 point scale for best? NO. Capice? The number rating system is a game, and one I choose not to play.

White - Fortified
2008 Union of Winemaking Cooperatives of Samos Muscat Vin Doux
11/2/2011 - kietkopelli wrote:
75 points
This stuff is just horrible! It tastes like cough syrup with added Vodka only worse.
  • IJC commented:

    12/30/15, 11:32 AM - Why would you award 75 points to something you attest as horrible? On a scale of 100, 75 would not only be a passing grade, but many would consider it better than average (C+). Is that what you mean to say?

White - Sweet/Dessert
1947 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux Goutte d'Or Chenin Blanc
6/23/2007 - JeffGMorris wrote:
99 points
The Once In A Lifetime Dinner (Raleigh, NC): Purchased from Phillipe Foreau at the winery about 8 weeks ago. It is unclear if this wine, made by Phillipe's grandfather Antoine, was ever released or just kept at the winery for family and friends. This bottle had the original cork and an excellent fill level. Label was affixed to the bottle in front of me at purchase time. The pride Phillipe had when putting a label on a wine that his grandfather made, "the finest wine my family has ever produced" was a sight I will never forget. Few of us get to have a job where personal and family pride play such a significant role and I envy people like Phillipe for this. Opened as the first course of a long night we deemed the "Once In A Lifetime Dinner" this is surely the only time any of us will get to have this particular bottling. Paired with some amazing foie gras, my homemade rhubarb-honey compote and Dena's excellent rendition of a recipe that gives me great pride - my Dad's fabulous brioche that he perfected shortly before he passed away 3 years ago. The cork was extracted in 2 pieces by the house doctor and then the wine was immediately poured and served at cellar temp of 52F. Usually color on a wine is something to note but not of much interest. Here, that was not the case as the discussion around the table started with color as soon as the wine was poured. I decided it was the color of red amber, the kind I saw in the Polish city of Gdansk, with gold at the edges, but when swirled it also seemed to have the color of a fine caramel sauce. Wines like this one are tough to put into words as the combination of aromas and flavors is so complex. This wine was medium bodied and had a terrific acidity. There was still fruit sensations and a sweetness to the wine that was not in any way overbearing as time had clearly curtailed the sense of sweetness to a great degree. The vibrant acidity on the very long finish really cleared the wine off the palate but left a residual sensation for a very long time. I find myself grasping for further description when all I can come up with is supreme complexity, terrific balance and a wine to treasure every sip. A small amount was left in a glass by Brian and presented back to me 4 hours later to finish off. In that time the wine lost absolutely nothing and if anything the nose seemed even more open and complex. One of the finest wines ever made, I can easily see why Phillipe had such pride in his eyes when he handed me the bottle 2 months ago. The Goutte d'Or was only made in 2 vintages - this '47 and then again by Phillipe in '90. If the '90 is half as good as this wine it will be a special treat in the future. 50+14+15+10+10 = 99
  • IJC commented:

    1/3/15, 1:56 PM - Jeff,
    You write about your experience with the '47 much as I did about mine with the '11. I had that bottle, and several other Loire valley whites of significant age, with a friend, who has had a long - lifelong friendship with the Foreau family, and purchased his '47s on release. You write that Philippe affixed the label as you watched. I just posted a picture of the label from my friend, and would be interested to see how yours compares. I suspect we might also find other things to compare and share, having read several of your other posts. I will add myself as a "fan," and if you respond affirmatively, perhaps we will "friend" one another?

White - Sweet/Dessert
2011 Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux Goutte d'Or Chenin Blanc
12/20/2013 - IJC Likes this wine:
There are times when the experience of drinking a bottle of wine is transcendent. This is such a bottle. Tasting notes were recorded by at least two others present, but our words can only offer a hint.

This is a wine that operates in 4 dimensions: three of the senses (color, nose, and taste), and the fourth in history. We drank it young - delicious beyond description - knowing that this was the infancy of a wine that will outlive us.

When it was opened and poured, its aroma filled the room; I knew that something fantastic was at hand. At a distance, I recognized the Foreau label - the red type, "Goutte d'Or" too small to read. And then, OMG.

The pale, clear, golden color; the perfume of honey/ pear/ melon/ and quince; the rich, unctuous taste (light, but penetrating); all in harmony - fruit and acidity in perfect balance. This is a wine that expresses its great power through subtlety - it doesn't overwhelm the senses, it heightens them.

The history of this great marque suggests that the wine will grow in complexity and nuance as it ages. Future knowledge of this wine will depend on the generosity of those of us lucky enough to procure and share a bottle.

Rated HC (Hors categorie).
  • IJC commented:

    1/29/14, 6:31 PM - Roughi posted a concern about the condition of certain bottles purchased directly from the domain. I can confirm that all bottles originally sent to Rosenthal were returned to Foreau, and those now sold in the US through Rosenthal distribution are OK.

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