Tasting Notes for IJC

(525 notes on 410 wines)

1 - 50 of 525 Sort order
Red
4/16/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious.

Shockingly assertive dark woodsy notes, rich fruit, and quiet tannins/ acidity. Very easy to drink, thanks to 12.5% alcohol - and wonderful spectrum of tastes and aromas.

For those who presumed the drinking window ended 6 years ago, you missed a great treat. There are probably several viable years left, but I expect I'll finish my remaining two bottles within this year.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3...
White
4/14/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Distinctive nose revealing Saumur terroir - smoky, chalky, mineral - with rich fruit and a soft, yet piercing acidity in the finish.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
4/10/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Fabulous.

Even before tasting, I could tell this would be wonderful - the scent is ethereal and heady - smoke and tart citrus. And, beyond taste confirming what the nose had predicted, this bottle delivered the experience even more powerfully - astonishing intensity of flavors, a sharply delineated core of mineral driven fruit and that mysterious, all-enveloping veil of smokiness.

Rated +3 on a scale of -1 to +3. Tops
Red
4/10/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
This "canary in the coal mine" simple Bourgogne has a message - time to drink, and time to begin going up the ladder (1er cru, etc.). All elements of construction now knit together into a seamless, very satisfying drinking experience - middle red fruit predominates, some cherry highlights, commingling with woodsy/ earthen notes, and a tart finish.

Best shortly after opening (no decant necessary, and I would advise against), there is a certain fragility/ lack of material (undoubtedly the source grapes) that begins to break down with too much air/ time open, in the glass, as the fruit begins to dissipate and the acidity begins to ramp up.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
Delicious.

Luscious sweet fruit, delicate and light.
More notes to follow...

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
3/31/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
I prefer not to refer to my prior tasting notes before opening another bottle, but having done so, I was hesitant - partly because I feared this bottle would be past its prime, and partly because I feared that what I read would unfairly prejudice the current review.

I am delighted to write that my fears were unfounded, and that I can state, confidently, that the wine continues to bring great pleasure in many of the ways that it did when it (and I) were younger. Of what has remained constant, the presence of dark and medium red fruit flavors are still present in abundance, with sous bois, mushroom, earth notes providing a beautiful counterpoint. Of what has changed, I can report that the wine has gained even more depth in the past years from the tighter knitting together of these elements, inseparable at this stage - generous of flavor, of scent, and providing a remarkably strong presence, long after the wine has been swallowed. An hour on, as I write, I can still sense those flavors.

Wonderful.

This is no "simple" wine.
Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
3/23/2021 - IJC wrote:
flawed
Ugh.

I've tried this wine on two occasions, and had the same response both times: I don't get it. The overall sense is of a wine well past its due date, dry/ bitter, no fruit, lightly oxidized flavor profile and a tad too dark gold in color.

Maybe the bottle was bad, but x 2?

If the bottle is flawed, then my rating isn't fair, but both bottles I bought from a reputable dealer on release and have stored them in climate control since.

Rated -1 on a scale of -1 to +3. Avoid
White
3/13/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Bright, crisp, and light - citrus and stone aromatics, pale in color, seemingly weightless, quietly persistent in intensity - all of which contributed to a surprisingly subtle, elegant drinking experience.

Tart citrus and faint mineral notes lingered long in the mouth.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
3/11/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
I like this wine; a lot.

So, perhaps my review isn't impartial. Drinking it takes me to another place - not the place where I'm drinking it tonight. Perhaps if I was in France, I'd think differently, but I'm not.

The bottle has just enough age that it is no longer young; it still has plenty of fruit, but the fruit is no longer exuberant in its youth - now it seems to possess a certitude (as opposed to maturity), it seems to know where it's headed, and is confident that it has the structure to make it there.

I won't pretend to know where that ultimate goal is, but I can say that this bottle gave a lot of pleasure - round, full flavored, a slight nuttiness (probably from the barrel), and just the right balance of acidity. Thirty minutes later, I can still taste it. Wonderful.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
2/26/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Brilliant, predominately cherry flavors, bright aromatics, light body; in all, an easy drinking, but not a simple wine. Unquestionably Beaujolais, with great energy and lift.

BTW, I love the playfulness of the cork, a graphic expression of the joy the vintner obviously takes in his work and his production.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
2/27/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious.

A Big wine. A full bodied, high octane rendition of Cab Franc. Dark and rich fruit, "heavy" mouthfeel, tannins well integrated in the finish.

All the elements knit together, I would say this squarely in the drinking window, though plenty of life left for those still lucky enough to be holding bottles. This was my last.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
2/23/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Pinot tres Fin.

Bright cherry and cola notes, and as it warmed in the glass, some nice funk. Nonsense to those who predicted a short life. Lots of time would have been left in this 15 year old bottle, but not now that I've drunk half the bottle. I reserved the balance for tomorrow; let's see what develops...

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
2/10/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious.

Hooray. Definitely in the drinking window - a tricky proposition I've learned with Forey's wines. Harsh in their youth, they sometimes seem to slide past an elusive peak, losing their fruit and their charm.

This bottle was terrific, and everything anyone interested in the experience of Burgundy from this holiest of communes could ask for - dark fruited, scents of earth... of the barrel but not the oak, and that tart, citrus inflected finish that beckons another sip.

From recent experience with several 06 Bourgognes and this Vosne villages, I am recalibrating my timelines, and will look more closely at the cellar for wines 12+ years old.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
2/17/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious.

Bright red fruit, cinnamon/ nutmeg, earth/ sous bois - all beautifully woven together. Wonderful energy, the fruit alive, the secondary (and tertiary) elements coming forward as the wine opened in the glass.

Definitely in a drinking window. Will it last several more years? I believe yes, but I'm unlikely to hold my remaining bottle that much longer.

Bravo!
Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
2/15/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
OK.

I've had so many vintages of this wine that I'm surprised I can only muster an "OK" this time around. If I wrote an earlier review, which I'll see after writing this one, I suspect I had better things to say; so perhaps it's just my mood today. That being said, the wine was OK, as in a solid, everyday, consistent and nothing special sort of way. Which may make it better than many, but in the context of my past experience with this wine, not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Unmistakably a Burgundian Chardonnay, with good acidity, strong mineral notes, citrus qualities, but a bit too much oak this rendition.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.

Note: hard for me to imagine a long life in this bottle, though I've had many with 5-10 years age; I wouldn't wait.
Red
Immediately sensed a feral quality - asphalt, earth, blood. Exhilarating. Sharply focused, well defined; thrilling. Drink now.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
My first impression is of a very big wine - big fruit, big flavors, big.

Over a period of an hour and a half, it did not let up, like a marching band that follows a drumbeat down the boulevard - you know it's coming, you know when it's arrived, and you can still feel the percussion after it's passed.

If one is not prepared for this interpretation of Cab Sauvignon, it could be shocking; but it sort of doesn't matter. I have known the wines, the vintners, and the style for 10+ years, it is still a gut punch. This rendition is definitely delicious, in a drinking window, and there are still many, many years ahead. The tannins are fully knit into the fabric of this dark, dense, rich, saturated, multi-layered bomb. It takes no prisoners - attacking from the get-go - impenetrably dark in color, a nose so strong that I'm surprised it doesn't give off visible vapors, and a cascade of flavors (a concentrated melange of dark fruits) which coated my tongue and rendered my taste buds dumb. This wine takes command of the meal at which it is served, and will render whatever is served to accompany it into the side dish - I was eating a richly marbled steak. The glass took center stage, and did not relinquish the spotlight through the meal.

If this is what you want from a Cab Sauvingnon, then you aren't likely to find a better example. This is not a drink for the faint of heart, nor an every-day wine, but it definitely delivers what it promises, and then some.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
1/31/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
I like it.

Very solid, classic Loire Cab Franc.
Too tired to write a detailed note, perhaps soon...

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
1/30/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
Astonishingly fresh, clean, vibrant, sharply defined flavors - unexpected in a bottle 31+ years old. An attack of flavors: tart, pomegranate and red currant; stem that I read as "green," a friend called "feral;" earth notes, all woven together, and exploding out of the bottle, like the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth.

Beautifully clear, sediment having solidified along the length of the bottle; the color dark yet transparent, a slight touch of garnet in the meniscus. Drank half the bottle and reserved the balance for round #2. Stay tuned...

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/21/2021 - IJC wrote:
Ehh.

Sort of generic, my first impression. Expensive for that. The bottle was a bit too warm, and perhaps need more time open. I've stoppered, and will reserve my final comments for later.
White
1/12/2021 - IJC Likes this wine:
So different from all other prior vintages that I can recall without first re-reading my notes, this one is far lighter in color, scent, and taste; more delicate in its delineation of classic Burgundian chardonnay - subtle, yet persistent ... delicious.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
Delicious.

Vibrant cherry, bitter cherry, pomegranate, red currant flavors, remarkably fresh for 14-15 years of age. Wonderful texture, crisp acidity, so light in weight yet so full of flavor. The slightest touch of earth, but it's the kaleidoscopic layers of fruit that is front and center.

Still plenty of life in the vintage - and this a "simple" Bourgogne!

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
12/28/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Solid, but at this stage of development, unexciting. Medium and dark tart red fruit; at first blush, I thought I detected a wisp of petroleum in the nose, but that seemed to burn off with exposure to air, and evolved into faint earthy notes.

I have reserved two bottles of the same vintners other bottling from this vintage, her last, and will be interested to compare notes at some far future date.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
12/26/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious.

Unmistakeable scent of Chassagne/ chardonnay grown in mineral rich limestone soils, the dusty chalk infused perfume prompts the palate for the bright, tart, citrus inflected taste to follow. Rich in flavor, but light on the tongue; long lasting flavors that grow even richer in the mind.

Wonderful.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White - Sweet/Dessert
12/20/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Wonderful.

Still vibrant fruit, now endowed with layer upon layer of complexity, warmth and spice, honeysuckle and quince, rich in flavor yet light on the tongue - tart, yet so, so light. Three days after opening, the wine was even more delicate, the tartness now softened, but the color (clear golden), the aroma (a perfume), and the taste (nectar) have left an indelible memory.

No doubt, there would have been many years of life, but I have no regrets opening it... only that I don't have another.

Rated +3 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
12/16/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Very easy to drink, despite its youth.
Lots of purple - color, fruit, richly flavored.
Missing earth, rustic, and "sauvage" notes, which one would like to see in a St. Joseph, but a good compliment to spicy food.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
12/7/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious. Classic Loire Cab Franc, the bright red and medium red fruit bursting out from a veil of dusty mineral. Beautiful.

Great presence: "I'm here, drink me." And, I did.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
12/5/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious. Very subtle rendition, this vintage. Transparent and whisper are descriptors that come to mind. Graceful, harmonious, layered - but mezzo piano quiet. Even herb roasted chicken seemed to overpower it; perhaps better drunk in contemplative silence.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
12/3/2020 - IJC wrote:
Over the years, I've discovered it best to reserve judgement in my first contact with some Loire Chenin, or their producers (ie, is it the terroir or the way it is vinified?). This is one such example.

The flavor profile I found confusing, and contradictory in an unpleasant way. Sec tendre (ie not quite Demi), the sweetness was offset by a strain of sourness that was disconcerting at best. This was not the minerality I would have expected, though there was a strong scent of limestone and a veil of dusty chalk which suggests great promise.

Perhaps the bottle needed more air, or simply more time to evolve. I reserved half the bottle, and will revisit in another day. If warranted, I'll add more notes.

No rating, yet.
Red
12/1/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Very interesting to observe the evolution of this vintage, which has knitted itself together, the many disparate elements now a cohesive whole. Predominately lush and dark fruited, with some bright mid-red tart cherry and red currant, rather like a trumpet solo rising about the orchestra.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
10/19/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Very special bottle, from a very special vintner (Bernard Amiot).

From magnum, and properly stored, though I fear, perhaps a bit too long. Of the delicacy and ethereal qualities of Amiot's Chambolle (his 2000 one of the great wines of my life), what remains is as a shadow to what was. To be fair, there was still fruit, and not a trace of dry acidity, and we enjoyed it nonetheless.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
11/9/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Reliably consistent (and delicious) with prior experiences of this wine and vintage.

Nothing "old" about this bottle. I see others have cited 2021 as a drink-by date. If this bottle is evidence, there remain good years ahead of it, but there is ample reward in drinking now, and I suspect, little additional upside.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
11/13/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Enjoyable, drinking in a good spot.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red - Sweet/Dessert
11/21/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious.
Rich dark fruit, sweet but not cloying, flavors of cinnamon, tree bark, bitter cherry, perhaps even a touch of balsamic?

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
11/21/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Superb. Delicious.

Assertive Sangiovese/ Sagrantino - fully resolved tannins, mouth-watering acidity enlivening the complex dark fruit, earth and surprising graphite notes, long lasting.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
11/21/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Possibly past its best, this bottle was underwhelming. "Nice," but not the special experience one has come to expect of Pergole - a bit too smooth (ie insufficient acidity), the fruit felt flat, though one could sense dark fruits and a trace of earth.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
11/17/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Brilliant. Crisp, mineral, bright fruit, bracing acidity, clear, citrus and stone.

I wish I had more.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/28/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Surprisingly soft, even muted. Note to file: give it even more time to open up.

Certainly, the bottle was in fine shape, the color consistent through the meniscus, only the tip of the cork dark stained, nose neutral: the wine could easily have been presumed quite young, except for the sediment held back at decanting.

It took quite a while for the bottle to unwind. After an hour, it began to show itself; it needed that time to warm from cellar temperature and to get enough oxygen. Then it began to show those faint wisps of pencil shavings, traces of graphite, blackberry and dark, slightly bitter cherry - all still muted and quiet, no showy exposition. Tannins completely resolved, while still offering just enough acidic balance. But,
something was missing - the added dimension of secondary and tertiary notes - the primary fruit was pleasant, nothing more.

Conclusion, it need even more time. I have reserved a half bottle to follow up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

There should certainly be no rush to drink this; years ahead with proper storage, and lots of pleasure in the nearer term, if given time after opening.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
10/31/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Terrific.

Fresh, lively, assertive: brilliant fruit, crisply mineral (the Saumur terroir softer than its Vouvray comparables), altogether charming.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
11/26/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Spectacular and Delicious.

For a "village" level Pinot, surprisingly complete - 8 years old, the fruit fresh and lively (predominately bright red fruit: pomegranate, cherry, red currants), balanced by brilliant acidity. A treat.

Rated +2 on a scale of -1 to +3.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
11/26/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Delicious. Still quite young, but has already revealed powerful Chardonnay fruit, crisp acidity, edges softened by a touch of oak.

I expect this to gain weight with age.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
11/26/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Mineral driven, crisp acidity, brilliant pale gold color, touch of salinity. Gets your attention and holds it. Best, I venture, with food; on it's own, the austerity can be challenging.

I will hold bottle #2 for at least a year; it will be interesting to see how the wine ages.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/26/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
In what is now its old age, this bottle rewarded us with a graceful rendition of Pinot - the fruit muted, the tannins fully resolved, the scent oh-so delicate, and for taste, I can only describe it as smooth rather than any flavor being particularly assertive. The bottle was in great shape, doubtless because it has been in proper storage since purchase at release. Time to drink up any bottles remaining in the cellar.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
10/30/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Darker fruit, deeper flavor, fuller body - dark in the glass, a wine of real presence on the nose and palate. Already drinkable, the tannins are soft, sufficient acidity to harness the big, big fruit, but no more. Very long lasting finish. Hard for me to judge the life expectancy, but I don't expect my remaining bottles to last too long.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
10/29/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
A fine bottle - easy drinking, classic dry Chenin - light. Pale scents of wildflowers dusted by fine chalk. On the tongue, the acidity is also light, just enough to give lift and balance.

I will drink other bottles in the near term, a good thing while other vintages rest in the cellar, awaiting their turn.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Domaine de Trévallon Vin de Pays des Alpilles Red Blend (view label images)
10/28/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Fascinating perfume of menthol and eucalyptus amidst the darkest of red-purple fruits. The fruit is big, and fresh, and asserts itself front and center; this is not a timid wine. Lovely stuff, but my memory of another bottle, drunk in Les Alpilles, was of a more complete experience; as it should be.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
10/26/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Deep (not dark) in color and flavor. Red fruits - cherry, cranberry, some pomegranate - but above all, assertively pinot noir. Youthful, the secondary and tertiary elements are still years away, but at present, a delicious bottle.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
White
10/14/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Softer than Chenin from Vouvray, lovely texture, lightly toasty mineral citrus wildflower.

I will hold bottle #2 for a year, minimum, to see what develops. I suspect that the wine will become far more complex...

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
Red
10/21/2020 - IJC Likes this wine:
Oh so Keefer.
Bright red cherry, touch of cola at the finish. Very clean, fruit, fruit, fruit, and nothing but the fruit. With age, I would hope some of the darker elements will come forward, perhaps even a bit of earth and sous bois, but for now, it is almost Beaujolais in its exuberance.

Rated +1 on a scale of -1 to +3.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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