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Comments on my notes

(99 comments on 82 notes)

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Red
2010 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
7/5/2019 - Cailles wrote:
95 points
This is a very structured wine - typical 2010. Dark, fresh, pure but not yet fully ready. It needed 4 hours in the decanter to start to shine. Yes, it needs time, yes the tannins still have some edges but it’s still disarmingly easy to drink with a bit of air. Classic Bordeaux, classic Pauillac and with a true sense of place. 95++ points with upside once mature and showing more complexity. It will be a lot of joy to drink the sexy 2009 vs the masculine 2010 side by side in 5, 10, 20 and 30 years.

TN: At first tight and closed and rather harsh on the palate. The longer it sit in the glass the more nuanced it got with fresh dark and blue forest berries, loads of graphite, pebbles, some stems, leather and hints of truffles. Lots of fine-grained but noticeable tannins, high acidity but very well integrated, good length and balance (after 4 hours).

Decanting: I would decant the bottles for at least 8 hours!
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    7/8/19, 8:01 AM - Great note! Thank you.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Climens Barsac Sémillon
Wines that "wow" you (Jason's House): This was my first 2001 Climens, drank as a PNP from a .375 bottle. I had high expectations for this wine, because Climens is one of my favorite Barsac/Sauternes and 2001 was such a stellar vintage. Also, I have been impressed with the 2001 Rieussec and 2001 Suduiraut (have not had the pleasure of trying the 2001 Yquem yet). Even with such lofty expectations, and all the hype of the vintage, this wine managed to exceed my expectations! The nose was divine, with aromas of peach nectar, orange peel, Meyers lemon, vanilla cream and honeysuckle all took turns seducing the nose. On the palate, you were rewarded with Crème Brule, with smooth, tropical and stone fruits, with hints of rich vanilla caramel. This is a sophisticated wine that seduces, rather than assaults the palate, leaving you longing for more! This wine paired extremely well with the pear mousse with a drizzle of caramel sauce and some raspberries on top. Absolutely loved this wine! 99+
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/12/19, 8:36 AM - You were right.....I didn't write anything for that tasting. I also didn't see your note when searching under 2001 Climens, but it does show up when searching under your notes....go figure! I honestly have no recollection of drinking that wine, but can surmise it did not make the same impression on me as this bottle! Perhaps, because that bottle was a .750, it needed a lot more age. I believe you even commented that the wine was young and primary! Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Climens Barsac Sémillon
3/2/2019 - La Cave d'Argent Likes this wine:
99 points
Bardot Brasserie Léoville Las Cases Vertical Dinner (Las Vegas, NV): Tasted from a well-cellared 750 cc bottle, this translucent, rust-colored wine delivers just about everything that can be offered from Barsac. Intensely aromatic immediately after opening, it flaunts a complex profile of peaches, apricots, tropical fruits, vanilla, marzipan, honeysuckle, exotic spices and candied ginger. Full-bodied, syrupy, well-botrytized and quite sweet, it serves up flavors in line with the aromas, with the sweetness being beautifully balanced by generous acidity. Dense and rich on the mid-palate, it goes on to finish with impressive length. I suspect that this will showcase a gorgeous plateau that will last for decades. Drink now-2051.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/7/19, 4:52 AM - Thank you for an excellent note! I think next to Yquem, Climens is the most consistent producer!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/7/19, 2:50 PM - I concur with your assessment! I think both are the two most consistent producers behind Yquem!

Red
2016 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
1/26/2019 - La Cave d'Argent Likes this wine:
99 points
Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux 2016 Vintage Tasting (Las Vegas, NV): With its 2016 offering, Lynch-Bages has crafted a truly legendary wine. Opaque crimson, it brims with everything good. Black currants, dark plums, tarry black cherries, licorice, graphite, tobacco and espresso are but a few of the aromas and flavors that a taster can find on his or her journey with this wine. Full-bodied, fresh, seamlessly alcoholic and with gorgeous purity of fruit, it wraps its flavors with abundant fine-grained tannins and is tremendously dense on the mid-palate. The wine's finish goes on and on, but time in the cellar will be required in order to fully soften the tannic grip. This has the potential to ultimately receive a perfect score, and is definitely the best young Lynch that I have ever tasted. Drink 2030-2056.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/31/19, 5:12 AM - Excellent review! Thank you! I will be looking forward to this wine!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Champagne Blend
1/26/2019 - Optimus Wine Likes this wine:
94 points
This was my first Krug and it definitely made a good first impression. This was the 166th edition blended from 140 different wines spanning 13 different vintages from 1996 to 2010. Visually the champagne was a medium yellow with aromatic notes of yellow apple, fresh bread and hints of tropical fruit. The champagne explodes in the mouth with the first taste. Notes of yeast, yellow apple, citrus and freshly baked bread came through. The tartness of the champagne stayed in the mid palate and intergraded well with the fruit. The tartness never fell to the back so the ending was mostly fruit and not overwhelmingly tart. I can see why this champagne gets so many high praises.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/27/19, 6:40 PM - Love the notes! Thank you! But I do have one small question....How do you fit 120 different vintages between 1996 and 2010? Perhaps you meant 12? :)

Red
2013 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Napa Valley
1/13/2019 - Franken Berry wrote:
93 points
Brought this to a restaurant last evening, at my daughters request. Rutherford cabs is where wine tasting begun for my wife and I, although we last visited caymus in 1988.
This is always an easy wine to drink. Smooth, supple, no overly acidic with little alcohol on the palate. Very consistent year in, and year out

Rich, dark fruit,nose of blackberry cassis and currant, enough cedar, cigar, leather and dark spices to mask the sweetness, which lingers on the finish. The smooth texture balances the ripe fruit, tannins and oak.

This wine always drinks well by itself. That said, there are many examples of Napa valley cabs for $100 or less that are denser and more complex
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/15/19, 5:13 AM - Nice note! Obviously, I am a fan of Caymus SS! Funny you say there are more complex wines. I have had this argument with a number of friends. If I could find a cheaper version of Caymus SS, I would be pretty happy! Regarding complexity, I would posit that, like cooking some foods, complexity is not limited to layers of different tastes, sometimes it is marked by the unique flavor that comes from a perfect marriage of other flavors. I readily admit that fruit, chocolate and oak seem to dominate Caymus SS wines, but I have yet to find a cheaper wine that has the same flavor profile, silky tannins and intensity! For my palate, it doesn't get much better, but I would be happy to find a similar wine that is less expensive! Thanks again for the insightful note!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/15/19, 2:03 PM - I will certainly seek those out to try....I have heard good things about Tor, but have yet to taste one. Thanks again for the note!

Red
2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valley
There’s never been a bottle of Duckhorn Merlot or Cab that’s failed to make me glad to be drinking it. Duckhorn reds are a no brainer when seeking either of its mainstay releases. The 2014 Merlot release is no different than any of its predecessors as it too was a pleasure to drink and leaves with good memories.

The Three Palms Merlot/Howell Mount. Merlot/Cabs releases, at double the price of their wider releases, but can go head to head with any of the Napa Valley reds that have been deamed by many, and price as such, to be the very best.

2015 three plams is still a great option when wanting and able to splurge for a great bottle, and at $90-95 per, is more than worthwhile for the money. The 2014 Three Plams is a lost cause now in the price/value range since its unfortunate WS crowning at the top of one their lists a year ago. Skip the 2014 Three Plams as it’s been hyped/re-priced beyond reasonable value now, and go for the 2015 instead. Even if you can note the differences as giving diminished returns against the 2014 Three Plams, you still get two really great bottles over the one, plus you can buy dinner with what you still have left over. It’s actually quite a great example of why you should avoid the hype when deciding what to buy/drink.

Ps Hewitt Cabs at around a $100 per bottle are equally great in quality & value. Their Cabs were established by the same vintner that weaved the greatness into Duckhorn’s reds before leaving Duckhorn to have his try with some of the most highly prized Cab grapes in all of Napa Country. Try them if you haven’t already.

PS PS Decoy has yet to make a good impression for me, and unlike the usual success in getting more for less thru sub-brand/lower tier’d releases out of premiere wineries, I haven’t found that to be the case at all here. Duckhorn’s Decoy reds, and its even its Paradux reds, though not as bad, are wines I would not recommend getting.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/15/19, 5:15 AM - A thoughtful and insightful note! Thank you.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2010 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
12/31/2018 - sirpat00 wrote:
90 points
The botrytis is strong with this one. Honey, sweet sirup, yeast, tropical and candid fruits and saffron. A touch medicinal on the palate with a viscous texture. If you like your Sauternes sweet and sticky, you're exactly right here. I'm much more in the elegance and freshness camp (favourites so far Château de Fargues and Yquem).
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/4/19, 2:35 PM - You may want to try Climens too....they tend to be on the elegant side, especially with some bottle age.

White
2014 Aubert Chardonnay CIX Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast
12/28/2018 - csimm wrote:
95 points
Yellow citrus, peach, yellow apple flesh, lemon oil, honey, vanilla, and some faint hazelnut dust. Well balanced on the front end, with an equally impressive weight distribution on the mid-palate. Medium push on through the finish.

The vanilla glycol note repeats with some formidability on the back, disabling the yellow core fruit from coming around again on the tail end and otherwise elongating the finish.

A wine to start drinking now it seems, as I don’t see time improving the delivery of fruit and flavor necessarily. The speed is medium and a bit rounder than some of the other versions of CIX or other Aubert Chardonnays. Still very satisfying and flavorful.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    12/28/18, 10:33 PM - Nice note...thanks! I will crack open one of mine!

White - Sparkling
2002 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut Champagne Blend
10/10/2018 - clayfu wrote:
Lazy sunday afternoon Krug event - Vertical of 160eme-166eme , some vintage brut, Mesnil and Rose.: I'm really liking where the 02 Krug is at. It's lean, precise and focused. It's still very youthful as it has an electric vibrant feel to the wine, almost like it's bouncing around a room. The texture of the wine is really exciting. The acidity isn't as intense as it was on release (nowhere near as intense as the 02 mesnil is now) but it's still very very present.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    10/10/18, 3:15 PM - Nice note! Thank you.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2014 Château Climens Barsac Sémillon
The 2004 was destroyed by 2014 but 2004 still a decent sauternes

2004: So-so on the nose, so-so on the palate. Not really complex, but checks the box for decent Sauternes. Probably fine on its own, but not enough acidity or complexity. Med length finish. Sweetness and body more prominent, hints of ginger & spice.

2014: Excellent on the nose and palate. Shows good balance of acidity, sweetness and complexity. Its lively and satisfying, finish length was med+
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    8/18/18, 9:44 AM - Not really a fair comparison because 2004 was not a very good year and 2014 was an excellent one!

Red
2013 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection Napa Valley
5/3/2018 - alaskanick wrote:
85 points
What a piece of crap! Value is garbage! This was the 2nd bottle we had. Regular caymus is better and not just for $100 Cheaper. If you want want to drop that money buy Spottswoode for a 100 and the same price.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/3/18, 7:41 PM - Different strokes for different folks!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    7/24/18, 4:45 PM - I see where some people may dislike any particular wine. After all, we all have different palates, tastes, etc... What I have an issue with is people who make definitive statements indicating their palate is what we should all judge a wine by or that they have some better understanding of wine than anyone else. Wine is subjective, not objective. People should remember that.

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    7/25/18, 5:15 AM - I never get offended about people's palates. I have a few good friends on here, and we all belong to one of the same wine clubs, and our palates couldn't be more different. I respect their palates and they respect mine! It is like art, we all have different taste, but that does not mean we cannot appreciate something, even if it is not in our wheelhouse!

White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
7/23/2018 - galewskj wrote:
95 points
Bring a bottle.... (Tracy's Garden): What a treat. Consistent with previous notes. Almost every Sauternes producer did well in 2001, but Suduiraut really hit it out of the park in 2001.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    7/23/18, 8:29 PM - I agree!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    7/24/18, 4:38 PM - yes....this is my Tuesday name! j/k!

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
7/8/2018 - lockestep Likes this wine:
90 points
So let’s concede up front that this is a style that causes a lot of controversy. I’m not going to get into the balance vs fruit bomb debate here, rather review the wine for what it is-a (very) fruit forward, full bodied cab with decent length to the finish. I don’t get any of the grape soda or Vanilla Coke flavors cited previously. It presents with typical California cab flavors, minus any Rutherford dust.
My quarrel with this bottle is the straightforward presentation. Not a lot of complexity and while it does not bore you to death it does not excite, either.
A few sips left open to air for 24 hours showed more of a fruit fade than an improvement. Seems like fans of the style should drink young.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    7/9/18, 8:55 AM - Nice, thoughtful review....thank you.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
Decanted for 2 hours. I took a sniff and a taste when I decanted and the decant allowed some of the alcohol on the nose and palate to blow away. In general, Caymus makes polarizing wines, and this one is no exception. The vast majority of people either love or hate this wine, not many are in the middle. Those who love the wine appreciate the integration of jammy fruit and oak, both of which seem to dominate Caymus cabernets (whether this wine or Special Selection). Those who dislike this wine, do so for the same reason, often pointing to its lack of complexity and chewy fruit, as well as the oak component. I am part of the former camp who believes Caymus wines rock!

While I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I certainly have a different palate than many when it comes to certain wines, I don't appreciate people who advise others not to buy a wine based on the reviewer's palate. Nor would I advise anyone to buy this wine based on my palate. With that in mind, I would like to note the following based on my palate and experience: First, I disagree with some who claim Caymus wines lack complexity. While I admit, I can see where some people would appreciate a wine with layers of complex flavors, I would also submit that sometimes there are complex flavors that are akin to cooking, i.e., a number of ingredients put together in the right proportion, and cooked for the right time, and then sitting for the right amount of time that allows a uniquely complex flavor that cannot be duplicated any other way. I submit, in part, that Caymus fits at least partially in this category, in the sense that no other wines are built the same way or have the same flavor profile as Caymus. As to whether you will enjoy that taste, that is up to each individual palate. I can say it has been my experience that more people love it than hate it, and that it is typically a very friendly consumer wine, even for non-connoisseurs.

As for this particular wine, I find it a couple notches below the Special Selection and a notch above the normal Caymus Cabernet bottling. I am not sure if that is attributable to the vintage, or if Caymus used some of their better barrels that would have normally gone into Special Selection in their 40th Anniversary bottling. The nose is perfumed, with hints of violets, lavender and chocolate, as well as blackberry and cassis. On the palate, their are jammy fruits of blackberry, current and sweet plum, as well as dark chocolate and sweet oak. I would like to say it has a long finish, but I always find myself taking another sip before I let the finish end (for me, the wine is that good!). It is a full bodied wine with velvety tannins (not as velvety as Special Selection, but not too far off). As I said before, you should try this wine yourself to see if it is in your wheelhouse. For those who love big fruit-forward wines with chocolate and sweet oak, they will love this wine (and Special Selection even more). This wine goes well with meat or on its own! Cheers!
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    7/3/18, 3:33 AM - I agree Arch57. They did change their style to more fruit forward wines, but they are also distinctively Caymus! I also think no one has seen what these wines will turn into with time. I suspect they will add additional complexity, but only time will tell!

    Thank you Mikita77....I also don't appreciate people who not only bitch about a wine, but think their palate is the standard by which everyone should measure wine!

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
6/26/2018 - randyjc wrote:
86 points
At first it was all grape jelly and then it improved to be all vanilla. Seriously - that was an improvement. While better than 3 or so years ago when I first tried it, that's not saying much. It is still overpoweringly fruity and loaded with vanilla. A little hot though that calmed a bit. The underlying flavors were ok - blackberry and ripe cherry though I didn't need the cherry coke flavor. It's still a mess.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/26/18, 2:55 PM - Obviously, Caymus is not in your wheelhouse, so why keep drinking it and criticizing it?

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/27/18, 6:14 AM - My apologies. Apparently my comment/question offended you. I believe Caymus is the Howard Cosell of wines, either love em or hate em. You don't see many middle of the road comments about their wines. I also believe their style is unique, but consistent, i.e., fruit forward, oaked wines. Yes, some vintages have more fruit forwardness, and 2012 was one of those vintages. My question, which you answered, was why keep drinking a wine that is clearly not in your wheelhouse?

    You answered it was your second bottle and you wanted to see if it was bottle variation or if the wine evolved (if I understood your comment). I am sorry if you see/saw no merit in my question. I am also sorry that the comment/question offended you. It was nothing more than a simple question. Cheers.

Red - Fortified
2011 Graham Porto Vintage Port Blend
6/26/2018 - samsneed Likes this wine:
94 points
Fantastic, yummy and delish! Will definitely buy more!
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/26/18, 6:07 PM - I love this port! For me, it embodies everything you could ask for in a port.....it is fruity, full bodied, has a nice perfumed nose, a finish that goes on, and no heat! Hard to believe it is an alcoholic beverage! May be a little on the sweet side for some, but I think it totally rocks! I have quite a bit in my cellar!

White - Sparkling
2006 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Chardonnay
6/3/2018 - danckie Likes this wine:
92 points
Expected a lot after reading all the tastingnotes of CT. Didn’t quite deliver. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fine champagne but it took quite a bit of time to reveal itself. Once it did it showed it’s pedigree. I might do a little decant when I open next bottle. I know it’s a little controversial but I’ve had good experiences on several tastings.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/3/18, 2:23 PM - Or maybe just wait a few years to open the next one :)

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/4/18, 4:22 AM - Interesting concept.....I look forward to the notes!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/18/18, 3:57 PM - I have had Champagne both ways (with age and without age), and I actually like it best with bottle age because I hate to jeopardize the bubbles (although I would sacrifice bubbles for taste!). I think even though you lose some effervescence with bottle age, it is not as much as a decant or a long period of having the bottle remain open (slo ox'd), but admittedly, I have never decanted a Champagne. However, I suppose it is certainly faster to oxidize a wine rather than wait years!

    While I am all for experimentation, with the price of wine these days, I would rather be more cautious with my experimenting! But I certainly do not mind benefiting from someone else's experience! Thanks again for the notes, and if you decide to decant, I hope to read about it here!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/18/18, 3:59 PM - Silver....how would you translate hours after popping into years of bottle age? 1 year for every hour?

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/18/18, 4:32 PM - Thank you Champagneinhand! Ironically, Krug is my favorite house! Although I typically buy NV Krug. I rather enjoy it with some bottle age, which is easier to figure out with the new numbering system. I agree with you that Champagne is easy to date, but much more difficult to marry! There are many very good, and sexy Champagnes out there, but it is difficult to find one you want to stick with! There are still many Champagnes I have not tried, aside from those that are not readily available, including Salon (which is on my bucket list!) I have a few 2007 and 2009 Cristals, of which I have only tasted the 2009. I found it very enjoyable. I also agree with you that compared to Burgundy, Champagne offers a pretty good value across the board. I am more picky with whites than reds, or at least my palate seems to be more wired to appreciate more reds than whites. Having said that though, I have not found many Champagnes (nor Sauternes) that I find offensive, but also not many that I would consider stellar! Thanks for note though, I will look for more of your comments in the future!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/18/18, 10:08 PM - Nice thread, and for me, also educational! Sorry Danckie, I originally misread your decant comment. I see now that it was not only suggested, but that you have already done this before. How much time do you give the wine in the decanter before serving? Immediate or do you wait? Obviously, this will depend on the Champagne and the age, but just curious about your experiences in the past because I have never decanted a Champagne. Thanks!

Red
2012 Domaine Duclaux (Famille Quiot) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
6/10/2018 - galewskj wrote:
84 points
Chardonnay - White Burgundy vs the Rest of the World (Mike's House): This wine did not show well after a chardonnay tasting. There was significant anise along with some heat on the finish. It did not seem flawed. I could tease out some of the garrigue, earth and minerality that I've enjoyed in other bottles, but they were quite subdued. It could have been what we were drinking before this (Kistler Hudson, Evening Land Summum), or it could be a bad bottle, or bad time in this wines evolution.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    6/10/18, 9:37 AM - Hi Joe,

    I believe this wine was too young, and it may be going in a dumb phase now. Personally, I will end up giving this an NR (you may want to consider it too). I also agree with you that the wine suffered from its placement in the lineup. The wine, even though a CDP, did not seem to have the weight of the Chardonnays that preceded it.

    BTW....very nice notes! Thank you!

Red
2015 Château Clinet Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
If you like truffle, you're going to dig this wine. From there, you discover campfire, licorice black cherry, plum, jam and underbrush. On the palate is where the real action takes place. With the perfect balance between density and lift, everything comes together in the decadently textured, silky textured, fruit filled finish.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/26/18, 5:37 AM - Looking forward to drinking this! Thanks for note!

Red
2015 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
This is silky, rich and decadent, it's almost off the charts. Blackberry, licorice, espresso, truffle and pure black cherry aromatics create the bouquet. On the palate this is where the wine really hits the home run! Silky, polished, vibrant, intense and concentrated, the wine expands as it lingers moving from the mid palate to the silky, full bodied, blast of fruit, spice, vibrancy and dark fruits. The velvet textured finish stays on your palate for over 50 seconds with all its deep, dark, perfectly ripe fruits. This should age for 30-50 years without trouble. There are wines you want to have in your cellar and there are wines you want your friends to cellar as well, and this is one of those wines.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/26/18, 5:36 AM - Nice job on the notes! Thank you.

Red
2015 Château Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
Deep, shiny, dark ruby in color, this rocks as soon as the wine is out of the gate, or should I say out of the bottle and into your glass. Cherry blossoms and lilacs make it seem as though you are in a flower shop. On the palate, the wine is rich, full bodied and concentrated, yet the wine is light on its feet. There is a purity in the fruit that is off the hook. There is a sensuous, textural quality that makes it so you cannot help but take another sip, to make sure the experience is real, and because it is so good! The wine is a testament to Paul Pontallier, as this is in some ways, a culmination of his life's work.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/26/18, 5:34 AM - Nice notes! Thank you. Must be nice to try so many great wines! Curious, when trying a wine like this, do you spit? I know I couldn't do that!

Red
2015 Château Lafleur Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
Truffles and a garden of herbs, roasted plums, cherries, espresso and a background note of cocoa are only the first things you find. Once the wine leaves the glass, there is a wealth of concentrated, ripe fruits. Opulent, bordering on decadence, there is a balance between wild fruits and elegance. The complexities here allow you to continue exploring the wine with each sniff and sip. The finish remains with you for close to 50 seconds. This is a wine for aging, so be prepared to wait at least 15 or more years. I discovered that "Bad Ass" is a term only used by Americans as the phrase was not understood by the family during the tasting. But I can assure you, this is one bad ass wine.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/26/18, 5:34 AM - Thanks for the note!

Red
2015 Château Pavie St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
99 points
Layers of fruit just keep on coming. The fruit is intense, sweet, fresh and powerful, with purity, length and complexity. The velvet texture coats your mouth. There are no hard edges from start to finish. The finish lasts at least 60 seconds! This is hedonistic and intellectual. But you need patience, as it will reward 15-20 years of cellaring.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/26/18, 5:32 AM - Nice notes! Thank you

Red
2015 Tertre Rôteboeuf St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
98 points
From the get-go, this is so sexy. Voluptuous, sensuous, silky and exotic, the fruit is perfectly ripe. There is concentration and lift, with a perfume you cannot get enough of. On the palate, the red fruits offer intensity, purity and length. This will age and develop for at least 20 years or more without effort.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/26/18, 5:31 AM - Nice notes! Thank you.

Red
2016 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
5/12/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
100 points
Caliginous in color, the fruits are just as dark creating a matched set. Incredibly dense, the endless layers of mouth-filling, palate-staining, fresh fruit provides the backdrop for the wall of refined, firm but soft tannins. The seemingly endless finish offers a purity of fruit that lasts at least 60 seconds. This will take 2 decades to start becoming civilized and if well stored should easily last for 5-6 decades or longer!
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/25/18, 10:55 AM - Nice notes on the 15 and 16 Bordeaux wines. Curious about which wines do you feel offer the best QPR?

White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château Climens Barsac Sémillon
8/1/2017 - eschaefer Likes this wine:
100 points
Flash note. A flash note is one that I distinctly remember the quality/overall rating of a wine but can’t give specifics because the tasting note was not written at time of tasting.

This wine I have rated 100 previously. It is still holding there
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    5/14/18, 1:59 PM - Flash notes.....never heard of the concept, but I like it! Thanks!

Red - Fortified
1992 Fonseca Porto Vintage Port Blend
4/30/2018 - JWG wrote:
97 points
Well, this puppy has been sitting in my cellar for 23 years now, and each bottle gets better and better. This may be the best or near the best of any Vintage ports I've tasted. Just an incredible balance of flavors and qualities. Nose of cassis and tobacco mainly and still a hit of menthol. Palate is chewy, rich, dark fruit, tobacco, dark cherry, a hit of acid and a texture that just clings to the tongue for minutes.... Alcohol is thoroughly integrated. What a pleasure.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    4/30/18, 7:27 PM - Nice notes, but one question (well, maybe 2) Did you decant? If so, how long?

White - Sweet/Dessert
2014 Château Coutet Barsac Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
4/7/2018 - galewskj wrote:
89 points
Guys Night - Bordeaux vs Napa (Jason's House): Surprisingly, this wine did not show that well. It seemed thin, lacking pretty much everything. It was definitely lacking acid.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    4/9/18, 6:30 PM - Yes, I agree it did not show as well as its hype, but I must take some responsibility for not decanting the wine.....for some reason, likely because I rarely open a young Sauterne, I never think of decanting them....shame on me!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    4/11/18, 4:41 PM - I never think of it either, although I typically do not drink young Sauternes. I will say I was too far gone to even evaluate it during dinner, but I did pour some the next day and thought it was pretty good, i.e., nice balance between sweetness and acidity. Also, there is the possibility of bottle variation (we can try another in a few months). I think it received so much attention because of it QPR. It is by far the most inexpensive Sauternes I own. I hope (and believe) it will continue to improve for many years though! For now, I would score it 91+...with the belief that has the potential to improve 3-4 pts.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2014 Château Coutet Barsac Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
4/4/2018 - rocknroller wrote:
91 points
Aged High End Bordeaux Blends (Jason P's, St. Paul, MN): Light golden color. Tangerine, tropical fruit, apricot, light medium body, youthful, maybe a bit light on acid, pretty straightforward. As much as I tend to enjoy Sauternes young, this didn't wow just yet though it did improve over 30 minutes. Let's see what this does in a few more years.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    4/9/18, 6:32 PM - My fault for not decanting.....sorry!

Red
2015 Château Clinet Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
1/25/2018 - John Dunlap wrote:
90 points
UGC Bordeaux Tasting (2015 Vintage) (San Francisco): Clinet – Full disclosure - I did purchase some 2015 as futures, so I was hoping the wine would be amazing; yet, for some reason, the 2015 Clinet was not firing on all cylinders that evening. Maybe it was the specific bottles poured from the local distributor or the wine was still in travel shock; who knows? Nevertheless, the 2015 Client did not live up what was hoped for. That said, I am not giving up, as I think the wine will improve. Overall, I noted elements of red fruits and some chocolate/cherry flavors. Seemed closed and a bit musty. Hard to understand. Ninety percent Merlot, nine percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and one percent Cabernet Franc.

I was perplexed by this wine, so I wanted to see if there were discrepancies in tasting scores that could conceivably be tied to who imports the wines or if the wines did not have enough time to rest after clearing customs. I looked at other scores on CT, which I try not to do before I write up my notes, to see if there was a correlation between scores and location.

I had to make some assumptions on location of tasting based on the dates notes were posted. Listed below are the locations and dates of the UGC tastings plus the corresponding average wine score. All sample sizes are noted in parentheses.

Washington DC 1/18/18 - 93 (1)
Montréal 1/20/18 - 99 (1)
New York City 1/22/18 - 97 (1)
San Francisco 1/25/18 - 92 (2, not including my own score in the sample)
Los Angeles 1/26/18 - 92 (2)
Amsterdam 2/6/18 - 93 (3)

Sure, the sample size is too small, so the overall analysis is inconclusive; however, the highest scores were from the east coast (NY and Montréal) and the most consistent scores were those from Amsterdam. Again, not sure this analysis means anything. Yet, I wonder if the 2015 Clinet tasted this January, in San Francisco, did not have ample time to rest or whether there is an issue with the transportation to the west coast. Maybe the chateau and/or importer can comment on my concerns? My hope is that the wine improves with time.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    4/9/18, 6:17 PM - Very nice and thorough notes! Thank you.

White
2013 Lloyd Chardonnay Carneros
2/27/2018 - L Wine Views Likes this wine:
95 points
I love this Chardonnay. This is the best Chardonnay I have ever tasted! It is so bold, heavy, oaky and has a vanilla taste. We took this to eat at Toro Loco for the first time. It was our first ever Chardonnay. We have enjoyed many Chardonnay's after this one.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    4/7/18, 11:15 AM - Hi L....if you liked this one, you should try Rombauer Chardonnay...I think it would be right up your alley!

Red
2010 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
4/2/2018 - libero wrote:
88 points
This particular bottle was not as prior one. Aging ? It was not spoiled, but, too much accidity.
MN Wine Junkie commented on your tasting note for 2010 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino.
MN Wine Junkie wrote: "My guess is that the wine has gone into a slumber, and will sleep for a couple years before awakening :)"
Hope you are right.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    4/2/18, 12:58 PM - My guess is that the wine has gone into a slumber, and will sleep for a couple years before awakening :)

Red
2003 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
3/30/2018 - jmoon Likes this wine:
93 points
Very enjoyable, more subdued fruit vs two years ago, needs a 2 hour decant to really sing.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/31/18, 3:04 PM - Did you decant for 2 hours?

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/31/18, 6:46 PM - Thank you for the clarification! I appreciate the note and the response!

Red - Fortified
1994 Graham Porto Vintage Port Blend
3/31/2018 - Loren Sonkin wrote:
95 points
Port tasting (tawnies and rubys); 3/27/2018-4/3/2018 (Todd's): Decanted for about 8 hours prior to serving. Purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose is very nice with black raspberries, slight chocolate notes and slight gravel. On the palate, this is complex and deep. Black raspberries, slightly sugary, with chocolate. Long and smooth finish. This had a lot of air, but given that, it seemed about at peak. No hurry at all though obviously. The wine of the night.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/31/18, 3:03 PM - Thank you for including decant time! Very helpful review!

Red
2014 K Vintners Syrah Powerline Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
3/30/2018 - wdcwineguys wrote:
92 points
Burgundy color, almost the color of rust. This wine needed air. Right after popping the cork it was very tight, acidic, but after two hours it was much better. Wine was even better the second night. Very balanced. The aroma was strong, sweet berries. Very good Syrah. I recommend a long decant.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/30/18, 7:55 PM - Nice notes....thank you!

Red
2014 Château Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
4/22/2015 - Jeff Leve wrote:
96 points
A valentine of dark chocolate and roses melded with the aromatics of licorice, blackberry and cocoa create a complex perfume. The wine is elegant with a refined character, supple tannins and a burst of fresh cassis, cherry and cocoa that builds on the palate. The most striking quality to this wine is the clarity of fruit in the finish. While this vintage lacks the weight and density found in vintages like 2009 and 2010, the length is quite similar. Produced from a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.2% alcohol with a pH of 3.68. This represents 36% of the harvest. 95-97 Pts
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/27/18, 11:06 AM - Just curious.....you stated the 12 Margaux was better than the 14, but you rated the 14 higher?

Red
2014 K Vintners Syrah Powerline Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
3/25/2018 - poppacork wrote:
87 points
The bottle presented strong notes of black olives (others described as pickle juice) with recessed blackberry. Not sure if it’s just bottle variation or if the wine is fading fast.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/26/18, 7:04 AM - Is it possible that the wine is closing down for a slumber?

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/26/18, 12:09 PM - I am hoping it is bottle variation. I tried this wine a short while ago and I thought it was way young. It is my understanding that this wine was made from young vines (I think this was the first wine from these vines). Which means it likely won't hold up as well as wine from more established vines, but it is syrah, and no matter what, I think it should be good for a few years!

Red
2013 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District
3/25/2018 - MAXIMUM SATISFACTION wrote:
96 points
Decanted for 3 hours and still tannic but not obtrusively. Medium plus bodied with clean and precise fruit. Actually seemed further along in its evolution than expected with stewed fruit, damp earth, and eucalyptus up front. Still youthful backing character of cherry chapstick, milk chocolate, graphite, spearmint, and chalky chassis. Very Bordeaux like with excellent balance of subtlety and Napa ripeness coming through. Probably 20 plus years to go but peak drinking will be in 5-10 years.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/26/18, 6:59 AM - Nice notes, thank you for including decant time!

Red
2010 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
3/12/2018 - Hermosabritdad wrote:
89 points
Disappointed in this one. I suspect I may have kept it a little bit too cold prior to opening as it never really opened up and showed it’s classic depth and richness/spice despite being decanted at the restaurant. Prior to us drinking. Hopefully it is not going through a sleepy phase. The next one I try I will make sure I open for at least an hour early and decant and get it a little nearer (but not at) room temp. Not loosing the faith as Clos is my top CNDP but this bottle gave me pause.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    3/15/18, 5:44 AM - 2010 seems awfully young for a Clos des Papes....it is possible it is closed...In my experience, these wines show best with a minimum of 10 years, and most with 15-20 years. I suspect (and hope) that with the 2010's, considering the vintage, these wines will show best in the 15-20 year window. For sure they would require a very long decant (several hours, maybe even overnight) to drink now, IMO. Good luck!

Red
2014 K Vintners Syrah Royal City Washington
2/4/2018 - RockyII Likes this wine:
92 points
90 min decant. Super Bowl game Wine with steak chili. Deep ruby red. Nose of chrysanthemums, cedar, blackberries and allspice. Flavors are similar with fairly high acidity and alcohol. Low tannins. Nice wine but not really unique and not a great QPR at $100 per bottle.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    2/15/18, 8:47 PM - I agree with Jeff....this wine needs time, it will definitely get better with a few more years of bottle age. Charles Smith rocks!

Red
1998 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
1/28/2018 - rocknroller wrote:
96 points
The Revival of the ECC Group: Annual CDP Tasting (Edina Country Club, Edina, MN): Medium dark red color with a clear 3-4mm margin. Three hours of slow-O, drank a couple glasses from magnum over the course of 3 hours. Well, we started the night off with the unanimous WOTN. Nice when it's in a mag so we don't have to be shy about it :). This was so in my wheel house. Unmistakably CDP, and in all the best ways. A flat out head turning nose that is aromatic and powerful in its flirty perfume of herb de Provence, wind driven fresh garrigue, funk, rose petals, violets, and pristine red fruits. The palate picks that theme up and delivers a stunningly pure and lifted featherweight wine with elegance and sheer beauty. Dried spices, dried herbs, fresh garrigue, pure red berries, lovely and medium bodied, tart red fruit, silky,hints of anise, and caressing tannins on a finish that goes on and on. Wow, this is a stunner - I would love to drink this next to the '95 someday to see which prevails. They seem very similar in my mind anyway. Granted this was from magnum, but this is in peak form and should maintain for 5 to 10 years. 96+pts. I can only hope that we will see any CDP's like this 20yrs down the road from the vintages of 2003 and beyond. My crystal ball has sprouted a couple of flailing robot arms and is screaming "Danger, Danger Will Robinson".... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG0ochx16Dg
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    2/9/18, 8:24 AM - Although I don't think they are lost in space, I do think Clos des Papes makes some out of this world wines! I am hopeful that the 2007 and 2010 turn out as well as this one....time will tell!!

Red
2014 K Vintners Syrah Cattle King Upland Vineyard Yakima Valley Snipes Mountain
1/9/2018 - deetz Likes this wine:
97 points
I am a huge fan of Charles Smith's wines, and this is definitely my favorite yet!

Gorgeous aromas of black raspberry, blackberry compote, white flowers, baking spice, and an electrifying slate rock backbone to the nose. Revisited on day 3 and aromas of white pepper, green peppercorn, and graphite started to develop.

Slate rock, almost chalky minerality carries through to the palate with flavors of black raspberry and blueberry. Lots of great structure...tannins are firm but still plush and well integrated.

My biggest critique of this wine is the alcohol...I could really feel the heat on the back of the palate. If this wasn't so pronounced, I would honestly be scoring this 99-100. Because of this, I would strongly recommend serving this wine a little bit cooler than you might otherwise. I threw it in the fridge for 15 minutes before pouring again and it was showing gorgeously (at about 59°F)...the aromatics were still very expressive at this temperature but the alcohol was subdued a bit.

This wine is definitely worth seeking out.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/10/18, 5:55 AM - Nice notes! Thank you! Do you think the alcohol will subside with time in the cellar? :)

Red
2013 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Lore Vineyard Oakville
1/3/2018 - csimm wrote:
91 points
I’m continuing to try to follow this wine with some diligence over a tracked span of time. From a healthy Coravin pour. Over the course of an hour, it didn’t budge much (as expected). I noticed a bit of a bitter vegetal note this time around. It began to compete with the chalky (almost pithy) grip that clamped down on the would-be black core fruit. Otherwise, previous notes apply.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/4/18, 2:04 PM - How much time are planning on tracking this bottle? I have heard Coravin's only allow the wine to keep for a couple weeks extra....Do you plan on only following this for a couple weeks, or longer? I will be looking forward to reading your reports! Thanks!

  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/4/18, 3:48 PM - Thank you for the response! I look forward to your next review.

Red
2012 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
1/3/2018 - IvanLi wrote:
94 points
WSET note, followed by a descriptive note as per usual.

Clear, deep-ruby. Moderate legs/tears.
Clean, pronounced nose, showing primary, secondary and tertiary flavors.
Primary: black and red fruits, including red currants, strawberry, fresh figs, red plums, cassis and bitter red cherries.
Secondary: elegant oaky notes of vanilla, chocolate, nutmeg and other baking spices, sandal wood.
Tertiary: some beef blood, herbs, rosemary, bay leaf, balsamic
On the palate: dry, high acidity, medium+ tannin, medium alcohol, medium+ body. The tannins are really mouth-coating and ripe, definitely fine-grained.
Layers of red fruit (red plums and cranberries), some black fruit (cassis), blackberries, balsamic, bay leaf, spices, beef blood, charcuterie, smoke. Very complex, indeed.
Pronounced flavors, long finish.
Can drink now, but will improve with age. Outstanding wine, with great complexity, intensity, depth of flavor, varietal definition.
If a blind tasting, I would be hard pressed to say California.

Descriptive note.
A very classy wine, that feels like a cross between a great Bordeaux and Napa. In fact, this bottling represents what I believe can be called "in a class of it's own". Very stylish effort indeed. The acidity is really high, almost feels too high, the fruit has some bitter-sweet character to it (resembling cranberries), lots of non-fruity stuff going on at just 5 years of age. Balsamic as in Burgundy Pinot Noir (could this be high volatile acidity levels?!), so much spices and not gradual at all. That is, you taste fruit, the next moment it is all spices and then balsamic and herbs, and after that the fruits coming back again.
In fact this wine is as close as California can get to Bordeaux, but only analytically, because it doesn't feel, nor does it taste like a classic claret. Based on my limited experiences with the Monte Bello vintages it never ages the way Bordeaux does, developing a completely different array of aromas and flavors.
Half-way between the old and the new world stylistically, the Ridge Monte Bello might very well be a completely different species, - self sufficient and enigmatic yet so seductive in it's atypicality.

94 points for being so acidic and having so much tertiary at this young stage. I am afraid it will be completely developed by the time all these acids are harmonized.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/3/18, 5:22 PM - Great notes! Thank you!

White - Sparkling
2002 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut Champagne Blend
12/1/2017 - galewskj wrote:
88 points
Going Big at Dan's (Dan's House): Everyone seemed to love this champagne, except me. And I brought it. The nose has power and depth. The palate is lean, tight and high-toned. For my taste, this is not ready to drink. I've enjoyed NV Krug much more than this bottle. I was shocked to hear other people talk about how much they loved this. Style preference? Still, it doesn't suck.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    1/2/18, 5:46 AM - Nice note Joe! I agree with you that the NV is better. Maybe in a few years that will change, but I won't hold my breath. I have a couple bottles of this too, and will definitely wait before opening them. I'd probably score it slightly higher, but no more than 90 points. Thanks for the notes!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Champagne Blend
10/23/1997 - bestdamncab Likes this wine:
70 points
!997 Birthday Dinner (Walnut Creek, Ca.): Average amount of fine bubbles in the glass, cardboard and sweatsox, corked, fruit showed but quickly faded. My #7 of 7.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    12/31/17, 8:49 AM - Why would you rate a corked wine? Wouldn't it be better to not score it and just put notes, so you don't skew the average? Just a thought!

Red
2005 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
12/15/2017 - Hazeo wrote:
94 points
Great potential here, but very young still. Rating this as highly as the Palmer 2004 last night based on potential, but in many ways enjoyable already. Dense black fruit, cassis, earth, and a sweet but tannic finish.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    12/15/17, 11:56 AM - Was the Montrose decanted?

White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
12/7/2017 - SimonG wrote:
86 points
Mainly Pinot — work folk tasting/social (Home): Oh dear, this really is going downhill. It's lost the creamy sweet coconut and has taken on a far more medicinal, vin de liqueur profile. My previous note from six years ago suggested this improved after ten days of air, reverting to it's former self. Fingers crossed... bare *** currently... but with a few days of air (as was the previous bottle) this is back to close to its old self. Not medicinal. Creamy coconut and tropical fruit. A closed phase? Whatever, it needs opening a couple of days in advance currently.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    12/13/17, 4:23 PM - Hopefully just a bad bottle! Rieussec typically have a long life! At least that has been my experience!

Red
2010 Xavier Vignon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Anonyme Red Rhone Blend
12/12/2017 - SLOFred Likes this wine:
89 points
Very tannic. I do not understand yet the reviews by others, but from my standpoint this wine really needs to sit a while.
  • For the Love of Wine commented:

    12/13/17, 4:20 PM - By any chance did you decant the wine? I am guessing a 2 hour decant may have helped...

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