Tasting Notes for theusualsuspect

(957 notes on 681 wines)

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Red
10/19/2021 - theusualsuspect wrote:
91 points
Really good in terms of what I'm seeing in 2009 Bordeaux. Really pleasing although someone closed at this point but not much more. Likely to show more down the road.
White
10/19/2021 - theusualsuspect wrote:
95 points
Dancer. Refined purity of chardonnay. Little, almost imperceptible wood. Wonderfully extracted. The purity defines the palate impact. Not for nothing that the price of Dancer's wines have gone through the roof. But of course if your measure is wooded wines starting with Niellon and going to say Coche Dury, this wine isn't really in the hunt in your view. Your preference as to white burgundy is the measure of of course, but I'm guessing if Niellon and whoever is your measure, you are perplexed why people are paying prices the far beyond -say twice -Niellon prices for Dancer wines.
Red
2015 Carpineto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
4/2/2021 - theusualsuspect wrote:
92 points
Gran Selezione extract - powerful - tight and red fuity on the palagte, but a touch of dirt, organic, whatever.I'm guessing will clear at some point.

My question about the Gran Selezione Chiantis is whether they will in due course be rated and appreciated above Brunellos. Price factors into this of course, but I think the answer will ultimately be yes, inless of course the Brunellos go the Gran Selezione rout e at say $250 a pop.

I'm confident the Brunello producers have this on their radar.
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Red
3/19/2021 - theusualsuspect wrote:
91 points
Very much now in the shell. Astringent tannic although what you see of the fruit is excellent. The 2013 Barolos are starting to remind me of an old observation. The longer it takes to go into the serious shell, and with many 2013's it has taken plenty of time, the longer it takes for the wines to come out of the shell.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/13/2021 - theusualsuspect wrote:
94 points
Unfocused on opening with plenty of fruit. Over the next four hours nicely rich fruit a bit on the red fruit side emerged yet all the while with a note of tannic astringency in the background. Six hours in much more open and seemingly ready for business, but there remains a slight note of tannic astringency in the wine. Expect it will offer a bit more in a few years.My sense is this is less extracted and maybe more mouthful of fruit than some other gran selezione. Very polished.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Riserva Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
2/12/2021 - theusualsuspect wrote:
91 points
When I bought thi upon release and tasted it, I thought it a disappointment - on the insipid side. Not today, Modern chianti emerged in 1996 and we had to wait many years to fully see it again. Now the norm and not the exception. Being perceptive in terms of appreciating these modern chiantis is almost like starting all over again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2/12/2021 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
A wine that puts Vincent Dancer in focus. Upon release, this was nothing special to many. In retrospect, at $45 with the discount at Binnys, one of the great white burg values of the last ten years. What this has is the unique quality of white burgundy, and without the qualifiers, we all I think know what that is, delivered with really profound on the palate precision. Backin the day, and I go way back in terms of days, white burgundy imprtoved with age. This one has. Hats off to Dancer.
Red
1/1/2021 - theusualsuspect wrote:
91 points
A recent purchase retail. Much further advanced than the bottles I have in my cellar which were purchased pretty much upon release. Nicely extracted , but more traditional - darker - not as red fruity as many 2013's.. How these 2013 Barolos evolve may prove to be more than a bit interesting.
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Red
12/25/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
96 points
Acquired upon release and stored in a refrigerated cellar at 47 degrees since. Initially very much in the elegant fine red fruit style albeit with a real mouthful of extract. Became meatier and weightier over time. In a perfect place. Incredibly long rich finish. Storage being equal, I would take this over the DRC 85 Echezeaux in a heartbeat, and maybe over any DRC Echezeaux. Affirms why 1985 was my all time favorite red burgundy vintage. As always with older wines, storage is everything.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/3/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
92 points
I underestimated this wine initially (actually not the first time I have done that with a wine, and yes, I do realize I am alone in this). More structure than I originally thought carrying plenty of honest fruit. But that said, there is heat in here. A wine in, as many wines are, in a perplexing mid life.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
11/23/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
A bit of a puzzle to me. Impressively extracted but in the final analysis - dull. It is full in the mouth, not at all tannic, and my guess is it won't be getting better. Given its pedigree, it is a disappointment to me.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/5/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
94 points
Purchased last month from a wine retailer in California. Further along than other nicely well stored bottles is my guess. An unctuous red fruit expression of modern Barolo. Beautifully balanced - tannin and acid integrated, and plenty rich. Your well stored bottles not showing much. Hang in there.
White
11/2/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
91 points
Exceptionally well stored. Will be fine for perhaps 3-4 more years, if not more Nicely correct Meursault, nicely extracted. I have always thought 2014 the best white burgundy vintage so far in this century, and I think this this not at all ambitious wine in its way makes the point.
Red
11/2/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
The transition to modern style in a bottle. This wine has a level of extract - mouth filling richness - you would never find in an old style Brunello. The flavors are more pronounced as a result, Cherry, a bit red, a bit black, across the palate.If this is representative, Brunello will do just fine with the modern style.
Red
1985 Rion Pere et Fils Clos Vougeot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
10/31/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
95 points
Purchased upon release. Stored ar 47 degrees since, pretty much unmoved. Cork came out whole with no sign of deterioration except at the very top. In the elegant style. Beautiful red fruit aromatics with matching red fruit elegance on the palate. Quite rich and plenty long. Reminds me of a Drouhin Laroze. All said, the wine is showing its age, not browning at edge but certainly headed there., 1985 remains my all time favorite red burgundy vintage, and so it shows so well here.

Note that this is not the Daniel Rion estate, although in the following few years he may have inherited this vineyard. The Rion Pere label locates the producer in Vosne Romanee, and it existed at least through the 1988 vintage. The Daniel Rion label locates the estate in Nuits St George.,
Red
10/23/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
92 points
Another modern style Barolo that is very much on the red fruit side, and not on the traditional tar/roses dark fruit side. I've said before that modern style Barolo is starting to taste like a more highly extracted version of Valtellina. I drank a bottle of what I think of as at or near the top in Valtellina, a 2010 Marsetti Grumello, about a month ago. This Prunotto Bussia could I think pass for a select cuvee of a Marsetti Grumello.
Red
10/22/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
91 points
A very much straightforward red fruit notey wine that shows plenty of fruit initially until the tannin arrives. Beautifully balanced, fine future. Very much a wine to buy in this vintage, but perhaps less so in other vintages. Another of those wines that told me basically if you buy the 2013 Barolos, you'll be quite fine for the next ten years. I add that my view has always been to buy vintages where the wines are of across the board consistent quality. Picking winners out of inconsistent vintages was never my game.
Red
10/21/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
97 points
While I no longer travel in the seriously high dollar Barolo market (and that is certainly a factor), this is a remarkably profound expression of modern Barolo. Impressively extracted, impeccably balanced, it is remarkably rich all the way across the palate with red fruit overtones infused with many other complexity adding flavors. To me, and I've been drinking Barolo for many decades, this is actually a what would you want on a desert island wine, assuming I'm allowed say thirty cases. Below that, well I'll have to think about it.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/17/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
92 points
An elegant red fruity precise Barolo in the making, but still pretty much on the mouth puckering side. Elegant, and I think that word is at least somewhat accurate, is not a word ever associated as far as I know with old style Barolo.
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Red
10/16/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
Not at all on the modern red fruit side. Darker more traditional. Solid, but doesn't inspire.
Red
10/15/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
eems to be in unfortcoming phase. Plenty of nice fruit, but still plenty of acid across the tongue. I think a Barolo that will need waiting for perhaps another 4-5 years.
Red
2009 Château Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/14/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
89 points
I'm pretty much out of step on the 2009's. In the window or close to it, Not in my view? Plenty of evident fruit in this wine, but it is basically closed with a strong acidic note, and years away from coming good.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/2/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
This wine is starting to evolve into something maybe first rate. The impressive extract was there early on, focus was not. My central taste sense is if you will blackish strawberries (this explains why I don't delve into these kiwiish butternut overtone descriptions). If you are a big fan of chianti, and don't have this wine, my suggestion is, and in all my years on Cellar Tracker as best I can recall I've only said this once. If you don't have this wine in your cellar, you may want to track down a few bottles. Two hours in the length of this wine is emerging beyond any 2015 I've tasted.
Red
9/30/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
It srikes me that as modern style Brunello is evolving, the men if you will are being separated from the boys, or if you will the women (and there are several of them producing first rate Brunellos) are being separated from the girls. This wine is good, but it is not keeping up.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
White
9/30/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
A great if you will pre new wood white burgundy - will certainly be blown away by a Lafon or Coche Dury, and indeed many others - initially. Pure, nuanced, nicely extracted statement of the essence of a premier cru white burgundy.. Dancer is a throwback producer and more often than not those wines tell you something, and in Dancer's case, they tell you a lot.
Red
2009 Château de Fieuzal Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/27/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
91 points
Opulent rich fruit in wonderful balance. But I think I'm in the minority when I say, like many other 09's in my view, this wine has a severe ungenerous aspect to it, and I think it needs more than a few years to soften/really open up. It has a noticeable bitter noe if you will mid palate.
I might add that I've always felt, rightly or wrongly, that we could discern fake/added acid because of its unique impact on the tip of the tongue. I discern that here. That said, in 2003, for example, the Bordelais were allowed to add acid, and those wines have turned out quite fine with a life far longer than many anticipated in the years immediately after the vintage.
No idea if the Bordelais were allowed to add acid in 2009.
White - Sparkling
9/27/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
92 points
Been in the cellar for seven years. Pinot noir dominant champagne is an acquired taste, like Kimchi, limburger cheese, and eggs from true free range chickens. To more than a few, initially "there is something wrong with this chanpagne". This is first rate in a refined style. Chaque a son gout.
Red
9/20/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
Still in the window and will be there for a good number of years. A very powerful wine in the beafy, rustic, blunt style.
Red
9/17/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
91 points
Scored where most Nuits St George wines are scored in the context of the vintage - this one deserves an extra point. Nicely balanced, still a bit away, but on the bright fruit side unlike many 1990's.
Red
2003 Château Troplong Mondot St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/13/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
In the highly extracted style. Visually dense, dense on the palate. A big mouthful that pretty much lacks nuance or complexity. Chaque a son gout.
An added note I recently acquired some N95 masks, and thought to search as to whether they screen out aromas. They don't. But what I've actually found is that they enhance and concentrate aromas. With the mask the aroma of this wine was more concentrated and clear than without it.
I add this wine has been stored at 47 degrees since acquisition upon release. Has moved along but strikes me as pretty much primary.
Red
9/8/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
Far more closed than the 2013's than I have been tasting recently. The little I see tells me this is likely to be a light on the palate, very intense, elegant Barolo; a profile that never existed in pre modern style Barolo.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/7/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
In the high point ballpark. Barbaresco and Barolo lend themselves to a wide range of personal preference, but I"ve said before, the Produttori year in and year out produces benchmark nebbiolo in terms of mouth filling generosity. More than enough for me.
Red
9/5/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
No flaws, but to me it is all about the vintage. I have no grasp remotely of why this happens, but it does. Great red burgundy vintages where the stars align and the ratings are high turn out to be either a dull if you will vintage or a bright fruit vintage (which describes 1985, my all time favorite red burg vintage). To me, 2005 is turning out to be a dull vintage - plenty of fruit, beautifully balanced, but just dull.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
9/2/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
Opens with a really remarkable texture and mouth feel, which in about thirty minutes or so is overcome by an astringent note, which endures. Not up to, for example, an above average 2013 in terms of richness, weight and finish,, but nevertheless a strong statement on the quality (and very high priced) wines Chiarlo produces in better quality vintages.
Red
8/23/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
None of the traditional old vat crud if you will that marked Barolos for many years - that I sensed in my earlier note. Not as red fruity as many oif the 2013's that I have tasted recently, but that said, more than any of them, this is in a shell.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/23/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
95 points
Impeccably well stored at 47 degrees since acquisition upon release. Perfect fill. Opaque with little sign of ageing at the rim. The deception of Burgundy. Coats the palate, but somehow seems lacking in weight. Not the elegant delicate type of pinot noir that tops my list, but a seriously mouth filling pinot noir a bit perhaps a bit on the black fruit side. Very much reflects the domaine. Never aspired to produce world beating burgundy, always aspired to, and delivered, really excellent burgundy. The hallmark of this wine is not elegance or complexity, it is generosity. After a few hours, raised this from 94 to 95 because the length of the wine is quite extraordinary.
Red
8/20/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
92 points
Many 2013 Barolos are starting to be forthcoming. This one is not. Overall at this point, lacks the generosity and wieght of say Vajra or Cogno Ravera, but then again, although closed, it has a remarkably precise and elegant expression of nebbiolo at this point. I'm thinking something quite special down the road.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/16/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
Another 2013 red fruit mouthful - exceptionally well stored. To me no tar.no roses. Some black cherry on the nose, but it doesn't transition to the palate. Increasingly to me, modern Barolo is evolving into a fruit profile of a much larger version of Valtellina, think ArPePe Rosso di Valtellina. Red fruit dominant, no tar, and if there are roses, it is out on the far edge of the radar.
I'm thinking the difference beween modern barolo and old style is far more pronounced than is the case with Bordeaux and Red Burgundy.
Red
8/14/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
As a fine Barolo, excellent, but as a 2013 it is just good, overshadowed by a mountain of others. The hallmark of modern Barolo - a bit on the red fruit side and a hard search for the old style tar and roses.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/13/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
96 points
As this is coming good, this is a profound wine, Richness, weight, balance on the palate with modern nebbiolo precision. A bit I would say on the red fruit side, While older Barolos carry that esteemed tar and roses quality, modern Barolos less and less, and just perhaps, they may be better for it. Really impressive. You like Bordeaux above thiis, fine. You like Monet above Renoir, fine.
3 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
8/12/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
94 points
Starting to come good. Again, a mouthful of beautifully elegant on the red fruit side. Becoming clear to me that modern style Barolos are leaving behind the tar and roses notes of the past.
Red - Fortified
3/30/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
92 points
From mag. In the bunker. 96 if you like your port with that emerging nutty note. But certainly redeems the vintage.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/24/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
is about right. But make no mistake, this is impressively extracted and perhaps then some. A new level of Chianti, but the flavors, rich as they are, don't really work for me. That said, this is new Chianti world which more or less mimics that happened in Chateauneuf du Pape, You strip out the best from your usual wine and charge a higher price, although your regular wine is the less for it. But the basic level CDP wines never really went down in price, we'll see how this works with Chiant.
White
3/4/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
Another bottle. Not at all so far along. Let the crap shot begin. These wines by the way were acquired shortly after release, and have been stored since in a 47 degree cellar.
White
3/3/2020 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
I thought this the best of Niellon's 2014 premier crus. It is in a wonderful place right now, but it won't be there much longer. More so than many other white burgundy producers, Niellon's wines don't age well. This one will be DOA in two years or less.
White - Sparkling
12/27/2019 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
disgorged May 2015. Lemon meringue with maybe a touch of anis. Although a bit shorter than I would like on extract, shows clearly why a grand cru b de b offers more pure limestone based chardonnay clarity if you will than b de b's from lesser rated areas. That said, Mesnil is and always has been a crap shoot. For a very long period, it was denied 100% status - the reason being up on the slope it has some of the greatest b de b vineyards (Peters is up there), but down towards and the highway (D9) something very much less.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
12/23/2019 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
Niellon's style transcends for me the terroir of his vineyards. You like the style,the measured wood, etc., you like the wine. They may not all be the same, but they all have the same profile.But one area where they do separate is extract, and this has much more than most from Niellon in recent years. Needs time to settle (took three hours for this wine to show its best), and I think a great success for the vintage.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Les Pagodes de Cos St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/21/2019 - theusualsuspect wrote:
90 points
A great second wine, albeit a second wine. Has the impressive aromatics that mark Cos itself. A bit on the black fruit side, nicely rich across the palate, but a modest finish; expected of a second wine. In pretty much every way I think this replicates Cos itself, but for sure, writ small.
Red
2009 Château Lascombes Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/19/2019 - theusualsuspect wrote:
93 points
What sets the 09's apart for me is the breadth and smoothness if you will of the mouth feel. But once you get further along you get a better view of the wine. I think this slightly on the black fruit side with plenty of balanced extract. Lascombes has been making first rate wine for the last fifteen years or so, but others have as well. This quality wine fits into the Bordeaux ratings pretty much where it always does - solidly in the second rank. And that is a complement. One of those wines I would buy in a vintage at the right price if I didn't know the reviewer scores.
White - Sparkling
12/19/2019 - theusualsuspect wrote:
95 points
Mid life. Subdued bubbles, enhanced complexity and weight - toasty notes with some brioche. . Richly extracted like few other champagnes. Costs a lot, but with this wine, you always get what you pay for. Ever for me, with very few exceptions, the benchmark for B de B champagne.

Perfectly stored at 47 degrees since acquisition upon release. As always, lesser stored bottles are likely to be lesser wines.
6 people found this helpful Comment
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