Comments on my notes

(401 comments on 380 notes)

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Fruit/Vegetable Wine
2010 Bartlett Blueberry Winemaker's Reserve Maine
2/13/2019 - aagrawal wrote:
92 points
Dinner at Home (Millbrae, CA): Light ruby; slightly oxidative, some red fruit, honeyed mint; palate is medium bodied, red fruit, currant, surprising amount of medium tannin, medium-plus acid; medium finish. Really interesting, and the only example of blueberry wine that I know of. Definitely interesting, and enjoyable. 91
Day 3: This is just as good without any dropoff. Just lovely plush fruit throughout, easy to drink but with plenty of complexity. I underrated this. 92-93
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    2/14/19, 1:45 PM - I saw the Rajiv brought this for you to try. Given his love of singular and unique wines I’m not surprised that he’s hooked on this as well. The wine maker, Bob Bartlett attended UCDavis in the 70’s. These wines have a long life...the 2005 is in a great spot now. I think these are some of the true hidden gems in American wines. Glad you got to try it, and that you liked it.

White
2005 Chateau Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley White Blend
1/25/2019 - thesternowl Likes this wine:
92 points
First of a small tranche of six bottles supplied directly from the importer and my first experience with Musar’s Blanc. Opened an hour before serving...should have been much longer. Light golden color...striking to behold. Wild aromas of marmalade, stone fruits, orange blossom. On the palate it’s much the same with lovely acidity and minerality. This bottle came across remarkably young. The late Serge Hochar once said that his white wines seemed to become more fresh with age. That statement, at the time, seemed absurd to me but what the hell do I know. This bottle seems to prove he was right and that he had and incredible understanding of his wines. I’m in no particular rush to drink my five remaining bottles but one thing is for certain, I will likely decant my next bottle for an extended period, similar to the way I treat their Rouge. World class.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    2/4/19, 4:38 AM - @ THESTERNOWL - You picked a great vintage for the Blanc to start. The only prior vintage to the 2005 I think it as good as this is the great '95 which was the last vintage Serge had "complete" control over before taking a step back to allow family to start his transition out of the cellar. Glad you enjoyed your first bottle...these work really well with delicate and challenging dishes as a pairing as well. Thanks for the update on this vintage.

White
2017 Carl Loewen Riesling 1896 Mosel Saar Ruwer
1/14/2019 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine:
95 points
A slightly friendler and more generous rendition compared to the trocken version from this plot, also called '1896' but in a standard white label instead of this stylish black one. This is technically a feinherb (though it doesn't say so anywhere on the label), but it's on the mostly-dry end of feinherb that dials in that same Goldilocks zone as many of the Peter Lauer wines - to which it tastes somewhat similar as well. It features pale citrus fruit ranging from grapefruit to yuzu with a sparkling, shimmering freshness, but it's rich enough in body (perhaps helped along by that smidge of sweetness) that it feels weighty and ample on the palate. Not so weighty as to compromise its drinkability, though - this is a pretty hard one to put down.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    1/15/19, 6:08 AM - Keith, do you think the “weight” comes from the 100+ yo vines? I wondered this as I tasted the 2015...a wildly complex wine, for sure and fuller in body than I tend to like. Yet also unlike any other Riesling I’ve had on the market.

Red
2004 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
Very good and still going strong, no sign of a tertiary stage yet.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    1/5/19, 6:16 AM - The wines from the 90's aren't even in the tertiary stage yet...you'd have to go back to the 80's for that. I'd expect that this 2004 might get there in say another 20(ish) years. This is a great vintage for Musar that I deeply regret not buying more of. Thanks for the note.

Red
2004 Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
12/29/2018 - MaineMark wrote:
92 points
Beautiful aromas, deep rich flavors, and soft tannins with just enough bite left to suggest this can go a few more years in your cellar. We found the nose to be much more expressive on pop-and-pour, than after a brief decant. We certainly enjoyed this, but having recently purchased this from WineBid, we did not feel it was a great QPR.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    12/29/18, 8:02 AM - Mark, I certainly agree with you. These wines have started to cost more than the value they're bringing at this point in the game. I bought a pair of these at $75 on release and haven't bought Tig since the price went above $75 with the 2010's. Do you have a regular tasting group in the Portland area that you gather with over wine? If not would you want to join us up here in Bangor?

Red
2015 Sine Qua Non Syrah Trouver l'Arene Central Coast
12/28/2018 - Rosengoo Likes this wine:
100 points
I thought about this overnight as my original scoring on this was 100. I really wanted to give this some time to sink in and now that it has, I cannot find any reason to lower that score so this is only my third perfect scoring wine in all my Cellar Tracker notes. This was a spectacular wine that was on it's game. Decanted prior to dinner for 3 hours and then decanted again for approximately 1 hour, it was clear and inky purple in colour. The nose had a bouquet of ripe cherries, some smokey bacon as well as a tinge of honey. In the glass were these same flavours mixed with some mixed spices. During my first sip of the wine I commented that the only "flaw" found was a small amount of hotness in the end. From that point on, this was gone and what continued was an amazing silky wine. All the flavours blended wonderfully with perfectly balanced tannins and acidity. Although very strong in alcohol content, you would never know it. The wine had a long finish and I will remember this bottle for a long time. It was certainly in my top 5 wines of the year.
Although these are still young wines, should you have any, do yourself a favour and open one now.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    12/29/18, 7:51 AM - This note is really interesting to me...you note a flaw and then proclaim it's perfect? Later you mention the alcohol again, and then dismiss that it's not noticeable. Did it shift and no longer become perceptible as time passed? Count me a fan of these wines...there are times where I like them more, and times I like them less...but I do think they are among the best wines in California. Thanks for sharing!!

Red
2016 G.D. Vajra Barbera d'Alba
11/29/2018 - Kirk Grant wrote:
This is lovely, it's really bright and vibrant on both the nose and the palate. Initially it leads with robust and a vivid melange of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries with hints of earth and wet stone. The palate leads with bright red and black fruits followed with notes of dark chocolate and tobacco. This is one of the most exciting producer's Barbara d'Alba that I've come across in the past few years. I need to buy and try more wines from G.D. Vajra. Outstanding
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    12/25/18, 11:41 AM - Awesome!! You’re wife clearly has exceptional taste!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Red
2008 Lorenzo Accomasso Barolo Riserva Nebbiolo
12/14/2018 - acyso wrote:
80 points
HDH December auction; 12/13/2018-12/15/2018 (Chicago, IL): Dumb and mute, and it never really perked up. A bit of volatility on the nose at first, but that blew off and there was just a pile of dirt. The palate never fleshed out either, and this was mostly just devoid of fruit. Never got better over the course of the dinner -- pretty consistent with my experience with this wine. No overt flaws here though, so I don't really know what to make of it.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    12/15/18, 6:10 AM - Sounds like the wine is shut down hard...It's nice that you got a chance to see what it's like now. I'm holding off on opening any of these until another 10+ years. An Italian wine merchant I was talking with during our trip in 2016 said that he thought that 2009 - 2012 would all be ready before the 2008's from Lorenzo.

Red
2016 Pax Syrah Sonoma Hillsides Russian River Valley
12/14/2018 - Kirk Grant wrote:
This is one of those moments where you kick yourself for not buying a full case when you had the chance. An opaque core leading to ruby rim with a clear meniscus. Scents of smoke, dried meats, olives, and a hint of red fruits. On the palate it leads with a bitterness that soon transitions into a mid-palate burst of red & blue fruits, spice, clove, and a lingering note of black pepper and blackberry. This is a lovely medium bodied, high acid, medium tannin, with intense notes of red & black fruits. It's so easy to drink this...the bottle barely lasted 90 minutes between the two of us. I hear others saying that this may not last...I don't know why it wouldn't with the balance this shows...such a lovely and compelling wine. Outstanding!!!!
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    12/14/18, 7:06 PM - No...the wine is lovely right now. I really wish I had bought more...and regret not buying the 2017's I was offered now. However, storage is king right now...so buying is reduced until I have room to put the wines I want to age in the Eurocave.

Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
11/9/2018 - Brentw1 Likes this wine:
91 points
Had a dozen of these this week in two batches and one bottle had a wet protruding cork and was weeping slightly. No problems with fill Level in any of the bottles and the rest are fine. I phoned the merchant (Robersons in the UK) and they were excellent, crediting my account immediately and saying that they did not want the bottle returning.

So....... nothing to lose folks! Out came the corkscrew with the sink in close proximity in case I got that wet cardboard, wet dog, mouldy potatoes experience. What a lovely surprise! Loads of fruit, tons going on and half the bottle left in the decanter to see what develops after 24 hours.

There is no doubt that the bottle would not have kept with the cork in that condition but on the other hand, I was not expecting to enjoy a 19 year old Musar this evening. Let’s see what the other 11 bottles do over the next few years.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    11/9/18, 6:45 PM - @BrentW1 - these wines do well in many instances where it makes no sense. Back in 2010 I bought a case of 94’s that were sold at very reasonable prices given that they all had signs of seepage and poor cork seals. Some had full levels as low as the middle of the label...and they were lovely. Thanks for sharing!! I hope you enjoy the rest of this case...

Red
2011 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir Roosevelt Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton
10/19/2018 - foobarski Likes this wine:
90 points
Massive. Bright candy-coated nose. Rich cherry cola, with quietly firm tannins. Wish I had more! (At least I do have other vintages of their Roosevelt offering.)
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    10/20/18, 4:29 AM - I've got 2 bottles of this waiting patiently in the cellar. Can I ask when you say massive, are you talking about the intensity of the nose and palate or is this a fuller-bodied Pinot Noir that seems like it's more new-world?

White
2015 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Buisson Renard Sauvignon Blanc
9/16/2018 - BillyT wrote:
92 points
At dinner with my beautiful Bride so no copious notes. What can I say, it’s Dageneau. It’s sleek, elegant and expressive albeit way too young. Excellent aromas, body, structure, balance. Excellent Pouilly-Fume and worth the money. Sorry not much help beyond that.

Note: Please forgive my errant reference to white burg prior to this edit. It as an obvious ‘brain fart’ since the wine is from the Loire Valley. Thanks to Kirk for catching it and very tactfully asking why I referenced white burg.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    10/19/18, 6:04 AM - Can you help me understand your reference to White Burgundy?

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    10/19/18, 6:28 AM - Absolutely! I know past bottles of Dagueneau I've had can in some vintages be full bodied, so I was just wanting to check and see if there was something with the oak treatment or some other aspect that brought White Burgundy to mind for you. I really appreciate your note!

Red
2005 Prince Florent de Merode Corton-Bressandes Corton Grand Cru Pinot Noir
10/5/2018 - Poisey wrote:
92 points
A little more wood influence showing through upon initial opening. Cleared up with air. Beautiful structure and balance. Concentrated and long. Lots of life left here. Drink 2020-2028.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    10/7/18, 9:50 AM - About 2 years ago I drank a 1964 Prince Florent de Merode Cohrton-Maréchaudes over 3+ hours and there still seemed to be a lot of life left in that bottle. Can I ask, what you noticed in this wine that leads you to think it will only last another 10 years? Was there something in the structure that was lacking? Did the wine fade over time? Thanks for sharing your note.

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    10/8/18, 5:26 PM - @ Poisey: That absolutely makes sense, and helps clear things up quite a bit. Thank you for sharing and for the insight to the wine...these are getting harder and harder to find since the land was leased to DRC.

Red
1980 Clos du Bois Marlstone Alexander Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
11/28/2017 - Kirk Grant wrote:
Opened for a friend's Birth-year surprise...what a shame. Clearly it's tired and past it's prime. As much as I love aged Bordeaux blends...this seems like it's about 3-4 years past peak. The nose was lovely for about 2-3 minutes then everything...everything fell flat, dried out, and was just a little too late to this party.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    9/18/18, 1:28 PM - I bought this through a secondary market...if your bottle is directly from the cellar of the wine maker I'd still be hopeful that it showed well. You could always open it on your next birthday and try to find something else from 1980 for your 40th...my SO is born in 1980 as well as my best friend. There are lots of good choices out there...good luck!!

Red
2012 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo Nebbiolo
8/23/2018 - mr_swirl Likes this wine:
90 points
Sweet red fruits, elegant texture just a bit austere and dusty. Not really what I like
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    9/11/18, 6:17 AM - This is probably about 10-15 years too early...hopefully you have another bottle you can check in on later. These wines are really special, but they demand time and patience. Thank you for sharing your note and impression...hopefully your next bottle is more enjoyable.

Red
1998 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
8/18/2018 - PSPatrick wrote:
92 points
The 1998 Musar was medium garnet in colour and red fruit-driven, cedary, leathery and balsamic, with fine, mostly resolved tannin, lively acidity, a good, smooth mouthfeel, and good length. The wine improved with extended aeration and became very balanced, integrated, harmonious and super-smooth on day two. The wine had a mature profile, but I disagree with some of the previous notes in that I am positive that the 1998 Musar will still go a long way, and maybe even live forever.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    8/27/18, 4:55 AM - I'm in complete agreement with you. I think the problem has been that the '98 was followed by the '99 and the two vintages are so different that it may be hard for some to wrap their heads around the 98 when the 99 is so opulent and bold. The 98 has always strikes me as a wine of balance and your comment that with more air the wine became more harmonious is exactly what I recall of this wine in my past drinking experiences with this wine. Thanks for sharing the notes.

Red
2010 Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons Faiveley Corton Grand Cru Pinot Noir
8/6/2018 - melzar wrote:
93 points
Opens slowly. Perhaps a dumb phase. Tasted along side the JOBLOT Givery 2005 Cellar au Moines, this wine barely held it's own. Opened with time in glass. Elegant wine, hinting of future greatness. Hold this wine and enjoy in the years ahead..
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    8/7/18, 8:32 AM - My understanding and experience with Corton is that wines from this vineyard largely do their best in their youth (release + 2 years) and don't show their complexity again until 25+ years post-vintage. A few years ago we had some from the 60's that were brilliant...if you have more of this wine hopefully you can check in on these when they get that old...thank you for sharing the notes.

White
1988 Stony Hill Riesling Napa Valley
12/19/2008 - Kirk Grant wrote:
92 points
What a knock-out! This was a beautiful golden hue in the glass with a great back-bone of acidity, pears nectarines, and minerals...an absolutel show stopper!!!
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    8/1/18, 11:34 AM - Back in the day you could but them from the winery. I think I bought this in 2007 at the winery...if you haven’t been there you should go.

Red - Fortified
1946 Château Mossé Rivesaltes Grenache Blend, Grenache
7/29/2018 - Hanibal Likes this wine:
94 points
Very impressive. Still has great acidity to balance the sweetness. Entry is on orange peel and the finish is nutty. Very long and delicious. None of our invitees ate cake (except one maybe) they all decided to just sip on this as we listened to Edith Piaf. A very memorable experience. This was the wine of the night
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    7/29/18, 1:20 PM - This note did such a good job of capturing my memory of the last time I had this. There's only 2 bottles left in the cellar...but this sounds like it's still going strong and may(?) have a long life still. Thank you for sharing and taking the time to type a note.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2004 Didier Dagueneau Jurançon Les Jardins de Babylone Petit Manseng
1/27/2015 - forceberry wrote:
95 points
A sweet Jurancon white made by the Loire Sauvignon Blanc legend, Didier Dagueneau. 100% biodynamically farmed Petit Manseng.

Deep and obviously quite developed bronze color with almost reddish mahogany hue. Very big, open and distinctive nose with fascinating, haunting aromas of golden raisins, darker-toned fruit aromas almost reminiscent of dried dark cherries, some tangerine, a little bit of candied rhubarb and a hint of wildhoney. The wine is very sweet yet incredibly intense and racy with bracing acidity. The body feels remarkably light despite the sweetness, basically just because of the acidity. There are waxy, powerful flavors of leather, honey, some buttery tones, a little bit of sappy grassy character, a hint of sweet apple jam and a touch of kumquats, passion fruits and other exotic fruits. The finish is tangy, bright and noticeably sweet with piercing acidity and incredibly powerful, intense flavors of lemony citrus fruits, tart green apples, some tangerine, a little bit of nectarine, a hint of leather and a touch of golden raisins. The aftertaste is sweet, but not sticky at all, thanks to the bracing, mouthwatering acidity.

A ridiculously concentrated, powerful and immensely racy Jurancon sticky. Even though Petit Mansengs tend to show incredibly high acidity levels, making them perfect wines for making sweet wines, the intensity here is on a next level altogether. This is a powerhouse without peers. The color promised wine that was aged beyond its years, but on the palate it is evident that the wine is mere baby, capable of aging decades more. Although a stunner now, the wine will need years and years more before its bracing acidity and sappy green tones start to get integrated with the fruit. Rather expensive at 100€, but the wine manages to deliver.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    7/21/18, 3:10 PM - These wines really show their best once they've been open 24+ hours. The wines of Didier are magical...and these will likely be his longest-lived wines. I think 2007 was the last year where he handled every aspect of the Sauvignon Blanc...but assume that because these dessert wine take more time it may be the 2005's for this wine that were his last. Thanks for sharing the note. I only have four left and I'm trying to hold out for a few more years.

Red
2005 Thibault Liger-Belair Richebourg Richebourg Grand Cru Pinot Noir
7/12/2018 - Bruno DALBIEZ Likes this wine:
98 points
Simply amazing. Smooth, round, very present yet not dominating. Silky, elegant, with discreet notes of red fruit and tobacco. Really loved it !
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    7/13/18, 12:19 PM - Wow, I’m surprised to see this is already showing so well. Can I ask, how long you decanted this or how many hours you followed the wine? It sounds like if you had multiple bottles you’d suggest drinking one now?

Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
7/7/2018 - James Kim Likes this wine:
94 points
Dinner with Brian and Monica. From memory. Decanted for 2h prior to bringing it to restaurant and started drinking about 1 h into dinner and everything came together at the 2 hr mark. Just fantastic. Bright red and blackberry fruit, baking spices, flowers, hints of leather, earth with mild tannins on the end. Elegant and silky. Complex but with a bit of wild, alive edge. WOTN for me.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    7/9/18, 7:46 PM - This is a producer I fell head over heels for back in the summer of 2007. All I can say is that they're special wines and I think you're spot-on with your note and just how fantastic these wines are. Not only are they versatile...but even with 20+ years on them they can last multiple days with cold storage in the fridge. If you can find/source the 1995 do yourself a favor and grab one. That was the last vintage that Serge handled exclusively before handing over the reigns...

White - Sparkling
2002 Ruinart Champagne Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Chardonnay
7/6/2018 - Kirk Grant wrote:
This was a lovely bottle, but it tasted a bit more oxidized than I expected it would. I find this to be really enjoyable, but find myself wondering about how long this might be able to age and continue to improve. I will definitely be drinking these sooner rather than later. Light-medium body, high acidity, scents of green apples, brioche, and lemons...and the palate offers up pears and citrus along with a nuttiness that I think as long as it remains mild can offer some complexity, but too much more and I would find it to be distracting. Outstanding...but if you have more than 4 of these in the cellar, I'd suggest checking in on them. SIDE NOTE: This was the original bottling with the black label not the newer ones with the gold and white.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    7/7/18, 6:03 AM - @SLIMES - I think you're spot on. Not every bottle is going to age well and not every wine is going to improve with 2+ decades in the bottle. This was much more enjoyable to my taste back in 2015. So I think it's time to rotate them into the fridge for drinking...but only time will tell.

Red
2013 Comm. G.B. Burlotto Barolo Acclivi Nebbiolo
2/9/2018 - Kirk Grant wrote:
This was such a lovely and elegant vision of what Barolo can really be...a more elegant and poised version. There is tannin present, but it was not overtly tannic and there was enough acidity to offer lift and balance with the floral elements on the nose and the tart red fruits on the palate. Outstanding!!! Not drinking this now may prove to be more difficult that I might want.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    2/10/18, 7:04 PM - It's lovely now...it's a wine that I think I'm going to have a hard time not drinking in the near future. The more traditional Elio Grasso is going to require patience and commitment. This is just a lovely, elegant wine right now...I'm glad I have more. Yet, I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to cellar them. Because I already want to drink another bottle right now. I'm not sure this is worth the $100+ price take I'm seeing it fetch now...but at the $55 I paid for it, I sure do wish I had bought more.

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    6/2/18, 5:47 PM - I can’t wait to hear how the wine is showing now...I’ve been thinking about opening another bottle...but I’m starting to wonder if/when they might shut down and need to be left alone.

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    6/28/18, 4:07 AM - Will you post your notes/thoughts here?

White
2012 Weingut Keller Kirchspiel Riesling Großes Gewächs Rheinhessen
6/27/2018 - AndrewSGHall wrote:
This is such a quietly brilliant wine. All the elements of great Riesling are gently aligned and the grapefruit/quince/mineral of Kirschspiel just tickle a harmony of specifics. Add the Keller complexity derived from structure and you have a masterpiece. I could quibble that it is young and definitely a long pause to cart the half emptied bottle home was worth it, but there is seldom such a combination of sheer delight with depth in a wine.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    6/28/18, 4:06 AM - I couldn't agree more...these wines are brilliant. If you ever have a chance to taste the Abts E® Riesling Großes Gewächs it's worth waiting in line, splurging on 1 bottle, and taking the plunge. I was only able to source 1 bottle of this vintage. Based on your note it sounds like opening it now is completely rewarding...but if you had another bottle in your cellar, when would you open it?

Red
2000 Château Les Ormes de Pez St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
5/24/2018 - fcxj wrote:
70 points
Quite gross.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    5/25/18, 3:55 AM - Sounds like you had a faulted bottle. Maybe TCA or it was cooked somewhere along in it's journey.

Red - Fortified
1994 Warre Porto Vintage Port Blend
4/29/2018 - Bordeaux_Jon wrote:
92 points
From a half bottle. I’m no Port connoisseur. This tasted like Port, rich, fruity (grapes? Strawberries?), some heat, and quite easy to drink. I was surprised by how light it was, medium ruby that dark purple. I would have hoped for a bit more complexity but I’ve never really seen that much in Port. Perhaps more age will help? I once had a flight of 1963s which essentially all the major houses and this was about as good as those. Perhaps it’s not you Port, it’s me? ��
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    4/29/18, 4:32 AM - I think I'm there with you too. I've had some great ports...but nothing that has yet warped my mind like a '76 Sauternes, or 1863 Madeira can. I tend to find the alcohol gets in the way of the enjoyment for me on most of them...the exception I've found being a '66 Grahams & '85 Wares. You might be able to find an '85 for less than $100 but if you're more interested in Bordeaux and other wines...I have to say I think you're not alone. Thank you for the note...I've got one bottle just incase I ever change my position on liking Port and your note was really helpful.

Red
2001 Giuseppe Cortese Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà Nebbiolo
4/19/2018 - sfqwino Likes this wine:
89 points
Good but not great. Starting to dry out so I would choose to drink up.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    4/19/18, 8:35 AM - Can I ask if you drank this with food? I've found some younger Barolo that are in a middle-age phase really need fat to balance out the tannin. Thanks...

Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
9/12/2017 - CamWheeler wrote:
92 points
Negociants Australia Portfolio Tasting 2017: Earth and smoke, raspberry, cherry, violets and meaty elements. Complex but also youthful - very savoury/smoky profile. Excellent!
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    4/15/18, 4:34 AM - Cam, these wines are just starting to turn the corner into old age...if there's any indication of the life on these from the 90's based on the bottles I've tasted from the 80's they still have a long, long life ahead of them. It does seem that there was also a minor stylistic shift around 2001 in Musar that I started to note the wines seem a bit "cleaner" which for Musar I have no clue how to qualify. Thanks for sharing the note. Based on what you've shared I'll probably leave my 99's alone and look back to the 95's the next time I'm ready to have a Musar.

Red
2001 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
4/8/2018 - Hanibal wrote:
flawed
Third defective.... not buying anymore 2001 this is an insult to the consumer.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    4/8/18, 5:47 PM - Hannibal, can I ask if the wines were imported by Broadbent or if they were through other means? It is possible they were cooked in the shipping/storage process...but I've found a MAJOR discrepancy in Musar that is not imported by Broadbent. All the bottles I've had that Broadbent did not import I find to be lacking in the brightness and balance...I find myself wondering if other importers are not using refrigerated containers, or if it's something else...but I've tasted a fairly wide sample of vintages & wines from Musar. Hands down, the best bottles have all been imported by Broadbent.

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    4/9/18, 4:27 AM - Ah, yes...the SAQ has some great deals! I’m in Maine, so I take a trip up to Canada from time to time. It really does sound like potential heat damage...if that’s the case doesn’t the SAQ allow refunds? Can you return your remaining bottle?

Red
2015 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills
4/6/2018 - jwsmith wrote:
90 points
This bottle had some crazy fruit flavors maybe just needs some time.. not sure what to think not classic elegant Thomas a little bigger rustic wine.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    4/6/18, 7:22 AM - How would you compare this against the 2014...which really reminded me of a super high-class California Pinot Noir? I hear you mention rustic notes...which sound positive to me...maybe this just needs a little more time to settle into the bottle?

Red
2015 Thomas Pinot Noir Dundee Hills
3/23/2018 - AACollection wrote:
Decanted. Notes from about 2 hrs open. Perhaps the single greatest young OPN I have ever tasted. The nose is spellbinding, with intense sweet strawberry, and cinnamon, and that haunting burnt orange peel I always associate with Thomas. On the palate, perfectly silky with more pure red fruit and fantastic density. In your mouth, you feel the acidity, and it crescendoes into an amazingly finely grained tannic finish that just lingers while it fades. Now in the running for one of my best wines of the year.

Maybe I should add: looks very different from any other Thomas I have had recently. Doesn't have that pale translucent red color, but much denser looking...denser than 12, 13, or 14 at a similar stage. 13.3% ABV, and just amazingly pure and flavorful. Of course it's a matter of taste, but I find this much more compelling than the 14 or 12 at a comparable stage.

Day 2: open, unrefrigerated, on the counter overnight (no vacuum sealing either). Just achingly beautiful today. Pure Thomas nose with a hint of rose and soft nutmeg, with sweet strawberry and cherry too. Fantastic acidity on the palate and just seamless delivery. No real tannin on the finish, but amazingly elegant. Now my favorite vintage of Thomas...I just can't get over how well this bottle is showing.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    3/24/18, 5:59 AM - 2014 really was so ripe for me that it stood out from this producer and was not what I expected when opening the wines. It reminded me of what I imagine a high-end California Pinot Noir might taste like. It sounds like you're saying that the 2015's are a return to the more typical Thomas style that I've found to be an essential wine that helps define what great wines from Oregon are. Thank you for such a detailed note.

White
2015 Weingut Keller Abts E® Riesling Großes Gewächs Rheinhessen
3/3/2018 - Xavier Auerbach wrote:
98 points
A private dinner (Café De Klepel, Prinsenstraat 22, Amsterdam, NL): Decanted. Effortless, seamless, “ruht in sich”, pure, precise, rich and deep, chalk and complex ripe fruit with a tropical edge, elegant, such ease and finesse, perfectly harmonious, bursting with energy but perfectly relaxed, intense and long. No words of mine can do justice to it. Only the G-Max will top this?
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    3/4/18, 6:59 AM - Xavier, would you say that this is worth opening a bottle of this now? I've stashed away 6 bottles and a magnum of this; but I was expecting that it would be too tight and unyielding to open now. If you were to open this, how long would you recommend decanting?

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    3/4/18, 7:40 AM - @XAVIER AUERBACH Thank you, I'll be opening this with a friend that's opening a 2007 in another week and do a side by side with some friends based on your advice.

Red
2013 Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes Syrah
2/5/2018 - wineordeath wrote:
88 points
Tight nose that gradually reveals aromas of particles and violet. Not very giving on the palate right now. Dry. Not hard, the tannins are ripe and almost silky, but the palate is still a bit tough. There is dark plum and blackberry fruit in the background, but now it's iron. Classic Cornas, but with more modern tannin.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    2/5/18, 6:30 AM - What do you mean when you say “modern tannin”?

Red
1995 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
11/9/2017 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
96 points
Ex-Chateau via F+R. I don't recall the fill - I think it was fairly high.
Cork soaked through, 2mm dry.
Out of the bottle a slightly reductive burnt toast note with some yeasty notes - like peptone extract or maybe LB broth? There's a slight dried dark fruit to it and of course oxidation, Brett, balsamic, VA.

Based on the yeastiness and slightly burnt quality I'm going to double decant and let it sit for a bit at room temp, then refrigerate corked.

At dinner it initially was lighter in fruit - resembling the '98. Over a few hours the darker core started to emerge, and it was stunning as usual, but didn't reach the heights of previous bottles. I have a feeling I should have let it sit open for the whole day. It was best later that night.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    11/10/17, 5:01 AM - Rajiv,

    Have you noticed a difference in the Musars that are not imported by Broadbent yet? I have started to notice a strong difference between the Musars imported by Broadbent and anyplace else...if you have a Broadbent bottle and a non-Broadbent bottle it might be informative to open them side by side. Please post on this in either WB or WLTV forums if you feel up to it...I think there's a HUGE difference (similar that I find to wines imported by Kermit Lynch) with the impact an importer may play on these wines.

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    11/15/17, 3:57 PM - I think what I've found with the non-Broadbent imported wines is that they seem somehow flat, lifeless, and less-than (what I've come to love in Musar). So far I've had bottles from UK & an importer in Sonoma, CA where the wines were sub-par and completely un-drinkable. It's reached a point (for me) where I'm now only buying wines imported by Broadbent. What you talk about the wines needing an extended decant to come alive...I think is just a process of where they are in their life. Right now (and for at least the last 8 years) the wines from the 80's have all been ready to go immediately when I open them. I suspect that in another 4-5 years we'll start seeing that with the wines from the early 90's as well. For now, if they show best with 8 hours in a decanter it seems like opening them in the morning is the only way around it...

Red
2013 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Berserkers' Cuvée Willamette Valley
11/8/2017 - Kirk Grant wrote:
Interesting...the sediment in this wine was not settling at this stage in the wines development...but the wine is no worse for the wear. In fact...this seems like it might possibly have been the best bottle I've had to date. I think this is in a really great space right now...I'd decant and if there's any sediment just give the decanter a quick shake...a beautiful and elegant wine that's doing quite well now. I really wish I had bought more.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    11/10/17, 5:02 AM - Yes...they're in a great spot.

Red
2008 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia Nebbiolo
10/19/2017 - dchain Likes this wine:
93 points
Deep translucent ruby. Interesting nose of ripe strawberry, cherry, tobacco, pine and leather. Takes some time to open up. Seems very young and tight still. Impeccable balance, ripe but good acidity to bring freshness. Lots going on in the palate, still quite closed and young there too. Will last for ages and lots of upside improvement from here. Picked this up at an average of $120/bottle but getting expensive if the latest auction prices are anything to go by. Beautiful and thought provoking wine.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    10/25/17, 4:42 AM - With the escalating price of their Monfortino I would expect that you'll see the price of these to climb quite steeply in the next 3-5 years.

Red
1985 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
10/14/2017 - Burgundy Al wrote:
92 points
Saturday Lunch with Friends and Wine (Beacon Tavern - Chicago IL): Opened several hours in advance with some decanter time. Rich and intense black fruit, very good weight, length and balance. Got better with more time in glass. Probably my top wine of the lunch, with upside from here.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    10/14/17, 6:48 PM - Do you know if this an original or re-release from the chateau?

White
2015 Weingut Keller Abts E® Riesling Großes Gewächs Rheinhessen
7/24/2017 - Christoffer78 wrote:
98 points
This my friends is a wine to die for! It is perhaps in need of a decade or more in the cellar, but it surely provides that goose bump sensation a true wine aficionado can never get enough of. The Abtserde GG is a top of the line effort from perhaps the best winemaker in Germany. As written earlier it is very young at present, but you can certainly already now understand what is going to happen in the future if given proper rest in the cellar. The nose offers up rich litchi, classy lime and lemon zest and as the lavishing 'dot of the i' the flowery nose you only get in very good dry Rieslings. But then the epitome of this effort emerges: minerals - or so much minerals I get those goose bumps described earlier... Deep profound wet granite accompanied by an overall sublime complexity. This is a nose to die for! The palate has a close to perfect balance with balanced and extravagant acidity and of course a perfect structure. The final impression is a length on the finish which seems to go on forever. This wine will continue to age well for perhaps 20 years or more. One of the best wines from one of the best winemakers in the so far best vintage in this century... What could go wrong? Well - absolutely nothing. This tasting was just a confirmation of that!
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    9/9/17, 9:29 AM - Thanks so much for posting this note. I snagged some of these so I was thinking about cracking one soon to check in on...but your note saves me from pulling the cork. This wine is a thing of beauty with a little bottle age...but your note really hits it home about how special this wine is.

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    9/9/17, 10:18 AM - Thanks! I don't have as much experience with Keller as you, but the '07 G-Max might just be the best Keller I've had. I also loved his 2010 Frauenburg Spätburgunder. Thanks again for the note!

Red
2009 Lorenzo Accomasso Barolo Riserva Nebbiolo
Pale, garnet color.
Very volatile upon opening and needs a few hours in the decanter to settle down. Ultra-traditional nose with layers upon layers of dark cherry, raspberry in liquor, new leather, moist forest floor, rose hips, potpurri, balsamico, porcini, stable and so on.

Bone dry, medium(+) acidity, medium(+) fine grained tannins and rather full bodied for a Barolo. Very rugged and a bit all over the place on the palate. The fruit has great concentration but it can't really hide the alcohol (15%!). The finish is long and drying with a bit unpleasant heat.

As always with the Baroli from il Cavaliere this is wild, rugged and untamed in a very personal and charmig style. They are wines that makes me happy to drink but they are definitely not for everyone.
As many other 09's this wine is ready to drink now (but will last for a long time if you want). The only problem is the alcohol but some rich, hearty food will solve that problem quite easy.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    9/9/17, 9:23 AM - Thank you so much for posting this note. I snagged a bottle of this while I was in Lucca on vacation and had nothing to gauge this wine on other than the high praises from multiple people while I was in Castiglione Falletto the week prior. I'll open my bottle of this sometime in the next year or so when there's a chance to actually get some fresh truffles for a Taleggio risotto.

Red
2007 Tenuta Greppo (Biondi-Santi) Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
8/26/2017 - Midmar Likes this wine:
92 points
Just had a case of 6 delivered and just had to try one. Decanted 3 hours. Very reticent nose at first. A lovely long wine but still too young. Did not quite have the body I was expecting but should have left to settle after its journey for a few weeks. Will leave 2-3 years before trying again.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    8/26/17, 4:29 AM - MIDMAR, if you have 5 bottles left you may want to wait a little longer. I'm still sitting on 2001 as it's not quite ready and 2007 is a wine that seems to me like it might start drinking well around 2022. Patience is a virtue with these wines, unless the wines you have were exposed to heat...I'd strongly encourage you to wait as long as you can. The 1990 I had a few years ago was still "young" based on what others with more experience than I thought. These are wines that seemingly, in good years...you can drink in retirement.

Red - Fortified
1946 Château Mossé Rivesaltes Grenache Blend, Grenache
8/20/2017 - lukaduke Likes this wine:
94 points
Blood orange, leather, violets, old wood, tobacco, brown sugar, date, lemon rind, green coffee beans. Mouthfeel was silky and a touch viscous with bright acidity playing counter balance to the wood soaked mature bass notes. A pleasure to drink bringing aspects of vintage sercial madeira, tawny port and vin santo.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    8/20/17, 4:35 PM - Luke, awesome to see you posting here! This is such an awesome wine...so glad you got a chance to taste this. Did Doug open this for you?

Red
2008 Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Casa Maté Nebbiolo
8/6/2017 - blackcrowb wrote:
90 points
Cherry and cigar ash in the nose. Definitely denser and richer than most barolos. I don't like rating on potential because some wines are dumb and some wines are just ok. The palate is more cherry and a bit metallic. I found this underwhelming considering the price and producer. It may be a ways from peak but it should be more indicative of where it is going.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    8/6/17, 5:38 PM - I'm up in Bangor...can I ask where your bakery is? It's always fun to support locals that also have an interest in wine. Can I ask also...did you notice the 15% abv? For me, the 2008's are going to need another 6-8 years sideways to start coming out of their shell...do you usually drink them this young? I've found that (for my taste) there's about 1-2 years from release then I need a whole lot of patience if I'm going to enjoy a Barolo or Barbaresco. Thanks for the notes! Great to see someone else from Maine here in CT

Red
2010 Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Bonnes Mares Bonnes Mares Grand Cru Pinot Noir
7/28/2017 - Midmar wrote:
91 points
Opened 4 hours before with quick decant. Nice enough but didn't have the intensity or length of a GC. Admittedly the last glass was the best but still well short of what I expected. 5 bottles left, will leave a couple of years.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    7/29/17, 6:10 AM - MIDMAR - My understanding of Bonnes Mares is that this vineyard (more the many other GC's) needs time. Like 25+ years or more for a 750ml. I tasted a 1993 a few years ago that was only just starting to open up. If you have 5 bottles of this wine, I wonder if you give them more time in bottle if you might not be getting the experience you're looking for?

Red
1995 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
7/15/2017 - ricard Likes this wine:
93 points
The 1995 vintage, at this point in its evolution, displays the characteristic reddish-brown terracotta colour of most Musars, with a soft orange rim. At 22 years old, it's now a little bit cloudy, but that's part of its rustic charm. Dominant notes are clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, with secondary aromas of molasses - typical Musar, really. A remarkable sweetness and treacly unctuousness. The acidity is immediate and almost overpowering, but there's also a slightly challenging sourness that won't be to everybody's taste. To add to the already serious complexity, accompanying the sweetness there's a salty, briny character, like seawater or iodine, that makes this wine even more interesting. Musar is not a normal wine by any standards. It's an exotic, maddeningly imperfect, but intensely distinctive and special wine. Lots of sediment in this bottle.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    7/19/17, 6:56 AM - It sounds like your bottle could have benefited from a decant so the wine wasn't cloudy...I love this wine. It sounds like you enjoyed it too; thanks for typing the note.

Red
2015 The Eyrie Vineyards Trousseau Dundee Hills
7/7/2017 - Kirk Grant wrote:
I couldn't wait to try this...and I'm not unhappy that I opened my bottle. It's closed with a Diam 5 year cork...so it seems that the winery is not expecting this wine to last too much longer in the cellar than maybe 3-5 years? Light body, high acidity, floral aromatics and tart red fruits like cranberry & pomegranate on the palate. An outstanding wine...that's well worth the price-tag of $33 if you're looking for a food-friendly wine then it's well worth the price-tag.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    7/10/17, 8:29 PM - Thanks for sharing!! It was a beautiful wine, and I'll gladly buy again in the future as long as it stays in the low $30's price-range.

White
2012 Wittmann Westhofener Morstein Riesling Großes Gewächs Rheinhessen
5/19/2017 - _Xenon wrote:
Clear signs of aeging. Was already dark yellow. Not sure if it was flawed.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    5/25/17, 11:09 AM - Sounds like it could also be heat exposure...last time I had this I put in my private notes to not even open another bottle until 2018. If your other wine is similar you may want to return them to the store that you bought them from.

Red
1985 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
5/12/2017 - DonWinspear Likes this wine:
94 points
The bottle was ex-Chateau recorked in 2011. A color and nose that belies its age. Red fruits, touch of earthiness. The palate is mature, yet still buttressed by a good acidic base that hits the front and midpalate. The fruits tended to gravitate a bit towards dark with some additional notes of pencil lead, forest floor. The tannins are resolved but still present enough to complement the acidity for a beautiful silky drink. There are still a few years to go in the cellar. A beautiful Bordeaux, I am glad I have at least one more.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    5/16/17, 11:59 AM - I was wondering what you think about this making "old bones" 40+ years? I have an ex-Chateau bottling like you and thought that their choice to recork it might mean it's a wine they expect to last. To this day a '66 Mouton (375ml) & '66 Lascombes (750ml) haunts my memories of what old Bordeaux can be. I'm hoping this can get there too...but would love your thoughts on this wine with at least another 10 years in the cellar. Thanks!

Fruit/Vegetable Wine
2009 Bartlett Blueberry Winemaker's Reserve Maine
3/20/2017 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
92 points
MNB: Semi-Terpenic Whites (Home (Noe st)): Medium ruby-purple
Savory soulful dark blueberry, black floral notes, blackberry, tamari-dog fur, slight cedar oak. Savory sweet and slightly wild.
Dry, medium body, medium alcohol - feels 13% (but label says 11.5%), medium plus acid - bright and tart, medium tannins - rounded and plush. The finish is long, and has a hint of Musarian secondary development
This is so good and soulful. I love it.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    5/5/17, 3:29 AM - Rajiv,

    I could be wrong...but double check the label. I believe this is more like 11.5% than 13%. Either way...I couldn't agree more. This is a special wine that few will be lucky enough to stumble onto. So Glad I have a magnum of this for the long-haul.

  • Kirk Grant commented:

    5/5/17, 4:00 PM - I'll ask him later this summer...I suppose it could be higher, but Bob is a stickler for accuracy. So I'd be surprised if it wasn't spot-on. However, I also do not know State laws about alcohol %'s and how they're recorded.

Red
2014 The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Meunier Oregon
3/21/2017 - Motz wrote:
92 points
Bold and gripping! Impressive concentration, rusticity, and minerality. It also drank like a white wine. If blindfolded, I would have thought Chablis (with weight), southern Burgundy (blended with Aligoté as Vin de France), or a unique blend from Pfalz. 92-93.
  • Kirk Grant commented:

    4/26/17, 4:34 PM - Can you explain your note a bit more please? You mention white wines & white blends...for a red wine. Is it possible that this is a note for another wine?

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