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Tasting Notes for Robmcl920

(395 notes on 365 wines)

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Red
1/29/2023 - Robmcl920 wrote:
88 points
The ‘21 Trediberri is a nice Langhe Nebbiolo, but wasn’t as expressive as I hoped for and seems a bit light, so I’m unsure whether or not it’ll benefit from aging.

On the nose, I found a somewhat muted expression of dark red fruit, red floral tones, and licorice. On the palate, the wine is light bodied with minimal tannin, with dark red fruit and red floral tones and a touch of spices on the back end.
Red
1/26/2023 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '18 BDV opened with impressive aromatics, with sweet red rose, licorice, menthol, and red berry fruit aromas seemingly bursting out of the glass. The intensity of the aromatics surprised me for such a young wine in a freshly opened bottle, and the purity of the aromatic profile is beautiful, although the profile is definitely less complex than the best vintages.

On the palate, the BDV has a good level of density and vibrancy for the year. It is medium to light in body with red fruit and red floral tones, with medium+ acidity and fairly minimal tannin. It is a pretty wine, but here the simplicity and compactness of the wine is a bit more evident than on the nose. That said, there's a nice core of sweet fruit in this bottle that should not be taken for granted in the 2018 vintage based on what I've tasted.

In short, the '18 BDV is a good wine in a very tough vintage. This strikes me as a good vintage to own because the flavor profile is clearly classic, but the wine should drink well at a relatively young age. In general with '18s, I have found the aromatics better than the palate, and I think that is also the case here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1/18/2023 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '19 Vorberg is a beautiful wine that seems promising, but is very tight today. Based on the history of this winery and the way this bottle shows today, I imagine it will be best in 5-10+ years.

The aromatics of the wine exude freshness, with minerality, fresh herbal tones like mint, white floral tones, lemon, and white stone fruits. On the palate, the wine is rich and oily in texture, with a bit less definition of the flavor profile than the aromatics at this point. White stone fruits, floral tones, and hints of lemon and salinity flow across the palate, with white floral tones, spice, and minerality lingering on the finish, but what really stands out at this point is the rich texture of the wine, which is balanced by vibrant acidity.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/17/2023 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '19 Fausoni is a gorgeous young Barbaresco, but it is in need of some time in the cellar to open up. Today, I found it impressive for the purity of the red fruit and floral tones, the acidity and tension on the palate, and the elegant, medium-to-light bodied texture. I have minimal experience with the Sottimano wines (my last experience was with the 2008 vintage) and based on this showing, the style has become considerably less modern / more pure.

On the nose, I found pure red cherry fruit, red floral tones, mint, and pepper. On the palate, the wine is medium to light in body but with good density of fruit, with medium to high acidity and relatively finessed tannins. The wine drinks fairly smoothly given the refined tannins, but comes across as fairly tight in terms of the flavor profile, with some lighter red fruit and red floral tones and a burst of mint, chalk, and pepper. My sense is that the wine is in need of 5-10 years for the flavor profile to mellow out and open up a bit, especially on the palate.
Red
1/16/2023 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '20 Boutiere opens with stunning aromatics of sweet dark red berry fruit, violet floral tones, smoke, roasted meats, and a touch of dark chocolate. On the palate, the wine is silky but with good density, as it hits you with beautifully sweet red and purple floral tones and dark red berry fruit, with some more savory tones of earth, minerality, and smoke joining in later and lingering on the finish alongside the floral notes. Fine tannins kick in at the back end, but the overall impression on the palate is highly elegant, and the wine shows a good mix of density of primary fruit, beautiful floral tones, and some savory elements.

This is a beautiful wine, and at <$50, it is a value in an absolute sense in my opinion, not just in the context of Burgundy pricing. I found the wine thoroughly enjoyable now for its exuberance, but it seems to have enough stuffing and balance to age well for the next decade or two.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/14/2023 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
90 points
The '16 Albe opens with beautiful aromatics of fresh red raspberry fruits, menthol and other cool herbal tones, fresh red roses, and a touch of a savory, meaty note like cured meats. It's very pure, lighter red fruit and cool toned.

On the palate, the '16 Albe is less open than the nose suggests. I also found the wine more tannic than in my note from fall 2020. I found a fairly stern expression of light red fruit, savory and meaty notes, and a hint of leather. The wine is medium to light in body, but with fairly stern tannins on the back end. The tightness and tannic heft of the '16 Albe is surprising given how open and pretty it seems on the nose.

The '16 Albe is a bit of a confusing wine at this stage. The nose suggests a wine that is ready to drink, but the palate seems to have tightened up since I last tasted it. I have no more left, but if I did I'd probably check back in at the ~10 year mark. The question is if the palate will catch up to the aromatics before the wine loses its beautiful primary fruit.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/1/2023 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '19 Montestefano is a promising young wine. I found it to be the most impressive of the 2019 La Ca Nova lineup ahead of the Montefico by a hair, and also the most finessed. Interestingly, I found both the Montefico and Montestefano to have a more refined tannin profile than the base Barbaresco, making them a bit more approachable, with the Montestefano the most finessed of the three.

On the nose, the Montestefano shows intriguing, but old school and slightly rustic, aromatics. I found ripe dark red to black cherry fruit, dark red floral tones, savory herbs such as sage and rosemary, roasted meats, licorice, earth, and spices. On the palate, the wine is medium in body with relatively smooth tannins and medium to high acidity. The flavor profile is again slightly rustic, with dark red fruit, roses, roasted meats, licorice, and spices. Iron, dried red florals, and spices lingered on the finish.

As with all the La Ca Nova wines (in 2019 and other vintages I've tasted), the '19 Montestefano is a good, but somewhat rustic wine in my opinion. That said, this is the most finessed wine from La Ca Nova I tasted among the 2019s and perhaps among any vintage.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/26/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
91 points
The ‘20 Perbacco is a super pretty wine that’s fun to drink now. The nose is intensely perfumed with sweet red berry fruit, blood orange, sweet spices, and fresh mint. On the palate, the wine is tighter, but still very pretty with sweet red fruit, spices, and mint, and plenty of energy. It’s medium to light in body with high acidity and well integrated tannins. There’s plenty of freshness in the aromatics and palate of the wine.

I have limited experience with the Perbacco, but remember having the 2016 and finding it a bit too stern for a Langhe nebbiolo. This is a lot better for my taste than I recall the 2016 being.
Red
12/13/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '19 Montefico is a very nice young wine. While it is very young and in need of time to soften and open up, it actually comes across to me as slightly more finessed than the base Barbaresco, or maybe there is simply more stuffing here to overwhelm the tannins. Compared to the base wine, this is also a darker-fruited, spicier expression of Nebbiolo.

On the nose, I found dark red to black cherry fruits, sage, menthol, sweet spices, licrorice, and minerality. On the palate, the wine is super classic, medium in body with above average acidity and plenty of tannin, but I found the tannin less overwhelming on the palate than I did with the base Barbaresco tasted yesterday. I found dark red fruits, sweet spices, minerality, and fresh herbs, with the wine ending on dark fruit, spice, and savory herbal tones.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
12/12/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
92 points
The '19 Nervi is an intense young wine. It came across to me as less balanced than the (excellent) 2018s from Nervi, with the acidity and tannins of the wine sticking out much more. It's still an impressive wine, but strikes me as one that will need time, and will likely always be a bit more wild than the '18.

On the nose, I found blood orange fruit, wild red floral aromas, pure red cherry fruit, iron, and savory herbs like sage. On the palate, the wine is medium in body with very high acidity, medium+ tannin, and immediately upon tasting it, the wine screams of needing more time. A wave of red fruit, rose, iron, and herbal tones flow across the palate with a touch of citrus peel adding a top note. The citrus, floral, and herbal tones stick out on the flavor profile, while the acidity of the wine really sticks out throughout.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/12/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '18 Brunate is among the top wines I've had in '18, a vintage I have not been a fan of overall. It comes across to me as a smaller scale, somewhat more savory version of Rinaldi's Brunate, but still has the beautiful sweetness of fruit I found lacking in some '18s.

On the nose, I found sweet dark red plum fruit, a hint of purple / blue sweet hard candy fruits, sweet red roses, and roasted meats. On the palate, the wine is medium to light in body and super finessed with minimal tannins, medium to high acidity. The texture of the wine is such that it's drinking very well today. I found red plum fruit, smoked meat, sweet roses again on the palate, with the wine ending a bit more savory with smoked meats, sweet spices, dried roses, licorice, and herbal tones.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/12/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
92 points
The '19 La Ca Nova is a nice young Barbaresco, with beautiful purity of fruit. However, it's quite tense and tannic today and seems likely to need at least a few years to settle down. The "problem" with this wine, if you call it that, is for a wine of this price range and level, it is less approachable than you might expect.

On the nose, the wine is red-fruited and cool in tone, with pure red berry fruits along with a touch of orange peel, menthol and other cool herbs, sweet red floral tones, and spices. The sweet red fruit and floral tones stick out with more clarity as the wine sits in the glass.

On the palate, I found the wine to be quite nervous and tense, with high acidity and medium+ tannins hitting early on, before the flavor profile has a chance to open up. Sweet red fruit and floral tones, leather, spices, and mint ultimately open up as the wine approaches the finish, with more spice and leather tones lingering alongside quite a bit of minerality.

The '19 is enjoyable for the purity of the flavor profile and energy at this stage, but seems 5+ years away from prime time, if not longer. The way the '19 shows is similar to my impression of this producer in general - with the exception of vintages like 2017, they produce very classic wines in need of time, and they are not the most enjoyable on release.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Fattoria di Lamole Chianti Classico le Stinche Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
12/5/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
87 points
I found this to be an enjoyable, but very rustic, bottle of Chianti. Having not had this producer before, I am not sure if it is just the style or if this is partly a consequence of the hot vintage. It also seems likely this would have been better consumed a bit earlier.

The nose is highly aromatic with leather, brown spices, tomato, and a bit of dried dark fruit. It appears to be slightly oxidative and possibly coming from a not totally clean cellar or barrel. On the palate, the wine actually comes across a bit fresher and cleaner, but with a similar flavor profile of smoke, leather, spices, and dark fruit, while avoiding the hint of oxidation I get on the nose. The wine comes across as a bit aggressive with very high acidity, but medium to light in body with minimal tannin remaining.
Red
11/6/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
91 points
The '18 Monvigliero is a solid wine for 2018. The nose is pretty with a nice combination of fruit and savory elements. I found red strawberry fruit, mint, chalk, licorice, a touch of red floral aromas, and spices. On the palate, the '18 has more intensity than the average '18 that I've tasted, but comes across as somewhat rustic and a bit lacking in fruit / vibrancy. I found licorice, a touch of red fruit, a bit of red floral tones, and smoke / meat notes. The wine is medium to light in body with medium tannins, slightly grainy in mouth feel at this stage.

The '18 is a good effort for the vintage, but as I've found nearly across the board, there just doesn't seem to be a lot to love in 2018 for my taste.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/26/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '17 DI CO is a beautiful young wine. On the nose, I found creme de cassis, dark red plum fruit, grilled meats, purple floral tones, crushed rock, and sweet spices. It's a nice combination of vibrant young fruit, mineral tones, and a bit of savory complexity. While I found the aromatics wide open, on the palate, the wine appears to need more time. It's also showing less complexity and slightly less vibrancy on the palate, with savory tones of minerality, grilled meats, and earth being more dominant. The texture of the wine is medium bodied and slightly creamy, but remaining fresh with good acidity. The tannins are medium+ and slightly grainy at this point and should benefit from another few years (or longer) to integrate.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/24/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
91 points
The '17 Barolo from Alessandria is a beautiful young wine that is drinking well now and should improve through the medium term. The nose is beautifully perfumed with dark red cherry and plum fruit, orange peel, licorice, sweet spices, and menthol. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, and more closed off than the nose, with dark red fruit alongside spice and herbal tones. There's good length for a base wine especially in this vintage, the acidity is high and the wine shows good freshness, and while there's quite a bit of slightly grainy tannin, the texture is quite approachable and it seems like there's enough fruit/depth here for the tannins to integrate at the same pace as the flavor profile of the wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/19/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '16 Cerbaiona is a very elegant and refined young wine. It is perfumed, sweet, and shows great finesse in terms of texture. However, I don't see a lot of complexity in the wine, at least at this stage, so I am not sure how well it will develop.

The aromatics are nicely perfumed with sweet dark red berry fruits, fresh red roses, fresh mint, savory herbal tones like sage, and a hint of licorice, smoke, and wood spice.

On the palate, the '16 is medium in body with an almost creamy texture, with the tannins being quite subdued and fine grained. I found the palate more closed off than the nose, but it showed beautiful sweet dark red berry fruit and at times a touch of blue-toned fruits, sweet fresh flowers, sweet spices, and minerality along with fresh floral tones on the finish. Everything there is very good, but there's also not a lot of complexity at this point. While the wine had a nice sweetness, I'm not getting anything particularly interesting on the palate in terms of depth or energy.

It'll be interesting to see how this one ages. I like the sweetness and the finesse. I don't drink a lot of Sangiovese, but this strikes me as very much on the elegant side for Brunello. The question is whether there's sufficient depth / complexity that will be unlocked over time to turn this into a great wine. Compared to the 2010 Cerbaiona - the only other wine from this estate I've tasted - the '16 showed a much redder fruit tone, and was definitely a cleaner wine, with none of the leathery notes that I got out of the 2010. This makes sense given the direction that the new owner has taken.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/16/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
92 points
The '01 Ginestra is a very enjoyable, albeit clearly very modern, Barolo. While it remains tannic and muscular, the flavor profile suggests to me that the wine is drinking at around peak.

The nose is nicely perfumed with dark red plum fruit, licorice, sweet spices, tobacco, and a touch of mint. On the palate, the wine is medium in body with medium to high tannin, with tannin exploding in the mouth and still very drying on the midpalate to the finish, a bit grainy in texture. I found a similar dark red, plum / cherry fruit profile along with licorice and sweet spices.

This wine seems fairly similar to the old Azelia or Scavino wines I've tasted, in that while the flavor profile retains a bit of the 'modern' profile (the kind of spice I found in this wine reminds me of other Barolo aged in new oak), the biggest tell that it's a more modern wine seems to be this aggressive, hard to integrate tannin (from the wood?) that all these wines seem to have.
Red
10/14/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
90 points
I found the '16 Barolo to be a very pleasant young wine, that is tasty and will likely improve for the medium term, but isn't particularly complex. On the nose, I found dark red cherry fruit, fresh red roses, licorice, and a hint of sweet spice. On the palate, the wine is medium to light in body with tannins that were fairly aggressive on day one, but seemed to soften on day two. The flavor profile is on the lighter side in terms of concentration, with notes of dark red cherry, red floral tones, and licorice.

I bet this will improve over the next few years as the tannins soften, but it seems like a pretty early drinking wine for 2016.
Red
The '17 Rupestris is a very good young wine, and excellent for the vintage. I found it to be a super classic Barolo in terms of aromatics and flavor profile, with just a bit of a lighter body and aggressive tannin revealing that it's from the hot '17 vintage.

The nose is beautiful and expressive, with textbook Barolo aromatics of pure red cherry fruit, rose petal, menthol, and a touch each of licorice, fresh herbs, and orange peel. On the palate, the wine is similarly textbook in expression, although it shows the vintage a bit more clearly, with a slightly lighter than normal body and somewhat lower than normal quality tannin. I found a medium to light bodied wine with medium to high acidity and a beautiful inner sweetness to the fruit. The flavor profile was all classic pure red cherry and fresh roses with a touch of fresh mint. There's a slightly lower than normal quality tannin in the wine, and especially given the body of the wine is a bit on the lighter side, it sticks out.

All in all, this is a very good 2017 Barolo, but also shows the strengths and weaknesses of the vintage. The strength of '17 in my view is that the better wines are quite classic in terms of aromatics / flavor profile, not showing much of any sign of the heat. The weakness is that the texture of the wines is simultaneously lighter and a bit less elegant than the best vintages. The question is whether the wines have enough stuffing such that they'll be in a good spot in terms of aromatics/flavor profile when the tannins start to integrate more; the '17 Rupestris seems like a wine that will go the distance.
5 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
10/12/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
97 points
The '16 Mayacamas Cabernet was again a remarkable young wine (I last tasted it in 2020). While this bottle wasn't given the chance to really open up (half bottle at a restaurant), it was still very enjoyable.

The nose was highly expressive and complex with dark red to black cherry along with a touch of purplish fruit / lavender, anise, smoke, espresso / sweet spices, and menthol.

On the palate, the wine was medium bodied with high acidity and medium tannin. I didn't find the texture quite as smooth as I did two years ago, perhaps a consequence of not letting the wine benefit from air this time, but I still found the combination of density without weight to be impressive. This is definitely on the denser side for Mayacamas, where the wines can be a little on the lighter side. I found a similar, but less expressive, flavor profile as the nose, with dark red to black fruit, licorice, smoky herbs, and a finish of sweet spices / espresso and licorice.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/12/2022 - Robmcl920 wrote:
89 points
The '17 Grinzane Cavour is enjoyable, but seems fairly rustic and I think should be consumed in the near to medium term.

On the nose, I found black cherry, sweet spices / balsamic / touch of VA, licorice, and bitter orange peel. The aromatics are rustic / a touch funky, and the profile is nice, but seemingly a bit advanced for such a young wine. On the palate, I found the wine to be medium to light in body, with sweet spices, licorice, and dried black cherry. The tannins are fairly minimal and the wine drinks with ease, but there's a bit of a graininess to what tannin is there.
Red
9/22/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '18 Bartolo is a good wine in this difficult vintage. I found the nose to be explosive for a young Barolo, and very pretty with a tropical fruit element of blood orange peel standing out over dried red cherry, rose petal, mint, and anise notes.

On the palate, I found the 2018 to be less open than the aromatics. The wine has a good inner sweetness and medium to high acidity, giving it a very fresh personality. I found sweet mint, dried rose petal, red cherry, sweet spice, and blood orange notes. Texturally, it is on the more tannic and serious side vs. the few other '18s I've tasted to-date. I imagine the more serious texture and concentration here, along with the (relatively good) sweetness of the fruit, bodes well for the future of this wine relative to some others in the vintage. As of today, however, the '18 does lack the extreme finesse of the best vintages from Mascarello. Also, while I like the fruit here relative to some other '18s I've tasted, at times it still comes across a bit underripe vs. the better vintages.

In my opinion, by far the best wine of the recent "weaker" vintages at Bartolo is the 2014. I see the '14 as a super classic Barolo that should age well. The 2011 and 2012 are tasty wines to drink soon, with the '12 more likely to benefit from some additional aging than the '11. The '17 is pretty but very tannic and TBD if it gains elegance before it loses fruit; the '18 also seems like a wine where you wonder how it'll age given the fruit is a bit subdued.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/18/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
92 points
The '05 Gavarini is a dark, spicy wine, similar to the '06 I tasted last week. Compared to that '06, this '05 appears to have a bit more acidity, less tannin, and a slightly redder fruit tone.

On the nose, I found dark red cherry fruit, menthol, licorice, smoke, and sweet spices. On the palate, the wine was medium bodied with high acidity and a bit of a savory, earthy expression with sweet spices, mint, dark red cherry, earth, and a touch of iron. The acid is very high, standing out as a bit much in my opinion, while the tannins are present with a slightly grainy, drying mouth feel towards the back end, but definitely more subdued than the very tannic 2006.

This is a good wine, albeit like the 2006, comes across as a bit rustic in terms of the flavor profile and the tannin profile compared to the more recent vintages of Grasso.
Red
9/13/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
92 points
The ‘06 Grasso is an attractive wine, although it seems a bit muddled in comparison to the wines being made at Grasso since 2008. On the nose, I found dark red cherry fruit, menthol, sweet spices, licorice, and orange peel. On the palate, I found dark red cherry with a hint of dark chocolate, sweet spices, and licorice, with the finish highlighting the chocolate, spice, and herbal notes more so than the fruit. The wine had medium acidity with slightly grainy tannins, lacking some of the finesse the Grasso wines now show. The wine is a bit too dark and lacking freshness to be a truly great wine in my opinion; it’s somewhat monolithic.
Red
9/7/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
95 points
The '16 Brunate is an excellent, classic Barolo. The nose is beautifully perfumed and very true to the Brunate vineyard, leading with licorice, black and dark red cherry fruits, sweet spices and a hint of balsamic, and menthol. On the palate, the wine is also super classic, with a mid-weight density but plenty of intensity with medium to high, gripping tannins and high acidity. I found sweet, balsamic spices, black fruit, and licorice along with a touch of cool-toned, fresh herbs like sage and mint. While it's drinkable if you like young Nebbiolo, and the flavors are quite open, the palate will definitely improve significantly as the tannins integrate.

The '16 Brunate is true to my experience with Oddero's wines - I find them to be very classic, slightly rustic wines - but this is the best wine I've tasted from them so far.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/4/2022 - Robmcl920 wrote:
89 points
The ‘18 Produttori is a decent wine, but not up to the quality level of the excellent 2017 or 2016 in my opinion.

On the nose, I found orange peel, red cherry fruit, anise, and a hint of dried red rose. On the palate, the wine is light in body with minimal tannin, drinking with ease already. Cool tones of orange peel, red rose, and a bit of light red cherry flow across the palate, with red rose, cherry, and licorice on the finish.
Red
8/23/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '15 Perno Riserva is super distinctive, like every wine I've had from Elio Sandri. It's so old school and you can figure that out from the first whiff. Especially for a 2015, it's a bit on the savory side, and it has a hint of oxidation and a lot of leather / rustic notes on the palate. A very enjoyable wine as long as you know what you're getting yourself into.

On the nose, I found iron, dried red roses, blood orange peel, mint, and red cherry. On the palate, I found it to be a medium-to-light bodied wine with medium to high acidity, with medium to high tannins that are going to need a while to integrate. I found iron, leather, dried red rose, and a touch of fruit (blood orange and red cherry) on the palate, with leather and blood orange peel notes on the finish.

While the '15 Perno Riserva is a very good wine, and I have a small sample size tasting these wines, I think I
prefer what Perno achieved in the cooler vintages - the 2013 Riserva is spectacular, and the 2014 Perno was also very impressive.

Update: The wine showed better later after being open for the day. The fruit actually started to pop a bit more, showing more of the fresh red cherry upfront, while the savory elements like iron and dried rose were more secondary. On the palate, the wine showed more sweetness and more fruit. I don’t often find young Barolo to improve with air, but this was an outlier (I’ve found something similar with other Perno wines). I upgraded my score to 93.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/23/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
97 points
The '13 Bartolo was super impressive again, showing similar to my note from 2020. This is a dark-fruited, spicy vintage of Bartolo (as opposed to some more red-fruit dominant vintages like 2014 or 2016), and a powerful wine but showing great finesse.

The nose was nicely perfumed with dark red cherry and dark red plum fruits, red floral aromas and a hint of violets, licorice, sweet spices, and a touch of orange peel. On the palate, the wine had a similar dark red, cherry and plum fruit profile along with licorice and candied dark floral tones. Dark floral tones, dark red fruit, and sweet spices lingered on the long finish. The wine was medium in body with medium to high acidity, with very smooth tannins, drinking with ease.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/16/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '18 Bella Oaks is a very promising young wine that is in need of a long time in the cellar. That said, it's already quite drinkable because it is relatively well balanced, showing a combination of Napa exuberance/richness and classic acidity.

On the nose, I found rich red raspberry and blackberry fruits, cassis, red floral aromas, sweet spices, herbal tones like anise/licorice, and a hint of mocha. On the palate, I found a similar mix of fresh and liqueur-like red and black fruit tones, with red raspberry being the most dominant, along with espresso and sweet spices, and ending on a more savory expression of anise, grilled herbs, earth, and black fruit. The wine is richly textured on the palate, with a slightly creamy texture, but high acidity keeps it in balance. The tannins are finely textured, but hit hard as the wine moves towards the finish, along with a touch of alcoholic heat. I found the wine enters relatively smoothly, but the texture is a bit harsh towards the finish, which hopefully mellows out with age.

My primary "concern" with the '18 Bella Oaks, and the reason for knocking the score a point or two, is the finish which I found a bit harsh; it drinks a bit high octane today. If this mellows out a bit and the wine is more seamless from start to finish, it would be a top notch wine in my opinion.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
8/15/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
Brief impression only - The '04 Santo Stefano showed very much as I'd expect from this wine in a good vintage, with rich dark red to black fruit tones, sweet spices, licorice, and a hint of leather adding a bit of a rustic element on the nose, which was fairly open. On the palate, it was medium in body and similarly dark and spicy with a bit of rustic leather notes, but with the usual Giacosa elegance, with finely grained tannins.

This seems to be in a good spot to begin drinking a bottle if you have a few, but my guess is well stored bottles will peak in another 5-10 years. This doesn't have the density, polish, or complexity of the Giacosa Asili / Rabaja in 2004, but it's a very nice wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/10/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
87 points
The '18 Barboursville is a solid wine; I don't think it's at quite the level of the '19 Cabernet Franc I had last year, but it's very enjoyable.

On the nose, I found a nice perfume of rich red to dark red raspberry fruit, sweet spices, and a hint of licorice, earth, and black pepper. On the palate, the wine was not quite as strong, coming across as a bit diluted in terms of flavor profile and lacking some elegance. I found red raspberry fruit, spices, and pepper in a light bodied profile, with somewhat harsh tannin at the back end. Acidity is medium to high.
Red
8/3/2022 - Robmcl920 Does not like this wine:
86 points
I've liked some wines from Souhaut in the past, but the '18 Syrah is a bit much for me. The nose was quite nice although clearly natural and pretty wild with olive tapenade, blueberry and black fruit, smoked meats, and spices. On the palate, the wine is super acidic with blue and purple fruit and olive brine and some herbal flavors. It's an aggressive wine on the palate, almost painfully acidic.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/27/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
91 points
On the nose, I found pure red cherry fruit, orange peel, game, leather, rose petal, with the wine showing beautiful fruit and rose aromas typical of a young nebbiolo, but also showing savory complexity that is unusual at this level. On the palate, the wine is medium in body, concentrated for a Langhe Nebbiolo, and a bit more austere than on the nose, with red rose & red cherry fruit along with minerality, and a touch each of game, leather, and licorice. The wine finishes savory, with the leather, game, and rose petal lingering. The wine is quite tannic and the acidity level is high.

The '19 Sandri strikes me as a very high quality Langhe Nebbiolo and reminds me a lot of the style of Sandri's Barolo. However, it is a wine that will likely benefit from a few years in the cellar, especially to allow the tannins to integrate. Today, it's beautiful and worth trying, but comes across a bit rustic texturally.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/25/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
92 points
The '79 Gavarini Chiniera was in surprisingly great shape. According to Galloni, 1979 was the first vintage officially released by Grasso, so this was a real treat to taste.

The nose was nicely perfumed with dried rose petal, smoked meats, and sour red cherry. On the palate, the wine was super elegant, medium to light in body with the tannins fully integrated and showing good vibrancy with medium to high acidity. I found dried roses and cherries, smoked meats, dried herbs, earth, and leather. The finish was long, with smoke, leather, and earth along with sour red cherry and fresh mint adding some freshness.

The '79 is a wine of elegance rather than power, fitting what I've heard about the vintage. It's fully mature, but was certainly much more vibrant than I expected.
Red
7/25/2022 - Robmcl920 wrote:
90 points
The '17 Rabaja is a respectable wine, but I think the hot vintage comes through clearly here, and it's hard to justify buying this wine over the normale in better vintages for less money. While sometimes Nebbiolo in warm vintages can be accessible early, I don't see the early appeal here; this is a highly tannic, savory wine in need of time in the cellar to soften.

The nose was dark and savory, with ripe black cherry, tar, savory herbs like rosemary and sage, and menthol. It was quite savory while also showing the ripe black fruit. On the palate, I found the wine to be intense; only medium in body / concentration, but massively tannic, with somewhat grainy tannin. I found black fruit, tar, savory herbs, and a hint of sweet spice and orange peel. The fruit lacked some sweetness, coming across a bit bitter.

Day 2: On day two, the Rabaja was little changed. It seems to have slightly softened, but the flavor profile remains quite savory for a young wine, lacking the inner sweetness of a good Nebbiolo.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/17/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
92 points
The '99 Le Vigne is drinking well right now, and seems to me to be in the prime of its drinking window. The nose is explosive, and close to fully mature, with brown, sweet spices, a bit of dark chocolate, licorice, dark floral aromas, dark red fruit, and a hint of mint that livens up the otherwise dark and 'heavy' flavor profile. The aromatics are very sweet and spicy, with the spice and chocolate notes suggesting a bit of a heavier hand with oak than I believe you find in Sandrone's recent wines. On the palate, the wine was medium bodied with a similar, sweet, spicy, dark fruit profile. I found medium level of tannin that was still drying on the back end; I've found this sort of drying tannin, that likely won't integrate while the rest of the wine is still in good shape, on a number of more modern Barolo from this era.

This is a very enjoyable wine, although not the profile of Barolo I typically like to drink.
Red
7/17/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
Brief impressions from a casual tasting - The '08 Monprivato was delicate and sweet, with an incredible perfume like the best '08s. This reminded me a lot of the '04 Monprivato, which I've found to be a delicate, light wine with stunning aromatics and elegance; in comparison, the '08 seems to have slightly more exotic fruit in the aromatics, was a bit more closed off on the palate, and might be a touch less elegant.

The aromatics of the '08 were heavy on exotic, citrus fruit, standing out in front of the more traditional Barolo notes of fresh red cherry and rose petals. On the palate, it was less open, but very drinkable as it is medium to light in body with refined, but still present, tannin. I think this should be better in 5+ years, but it seemed approachable and is worth trying for the aromatics alone (which were very open immediately after opening).
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/6/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '19 Roncagliette is a gorgeous young Barbaresco. This is the first wine from Olek Bondonio I have tasted. It's super young, and I found it pretty closed off on the palate, not showing much, but I'm impressed by the aromatics and by the texture. Whether it's a very good wine, as I've scored it, or an exceptional wine deserving of a higher score depends on what level of complexity lies in waiting on the palate in my opinion.

On the nose, I found expressive fresh red rose and blood orange notes above a core of rich, pure red raspberry fruit, with a touch of fresh cool herbs and spices as well. The nose stood out for the beautiful floral notes and the somewhat exotic fruit tone, with sweet citrus standing out above the red fruit.

On the palate, I found the wine richly textured but finessed, with the tannins largely buried under the fruit, emerging a bit at the back end. The acidity level is medium to high. I found the palate much more closed off than the nose; I found a relatively simple expression of rich red to dark red raspberry fruit, and a hint of orange peel and earth.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/5/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
92 points
This is a gorgeous young wine that is drinking well already, but should reward at least medium-term aging. It's not complex, but it is full of perfectly sweet red berry fruits and the texture is very elegant.

The nose was expressive at times but closed off at others, but when open, showed sweet red berry fruit, fresh rose petals, and a touch of fresh mint and sage and spices. On the palate, the wine is medium to light in body (14% alcohol, which if accurate, is quite low by today's standards) and very smooth with well integrated tannin, with high acidity. I found sweet red strawberry and red raspberry fruit and fresh red roses, and a hint of chalkiness / minerality, with hard-candy like red berry fruit tones lingering on the finish.

Update: Later in the day, with more air, the expression of the wine changed a bit. I would describe the fruit profile as a bit darker, with more dark red berry fruit than pure red, and some licorice and tar notes alongside the fruit, spices. Still a lot of florals. On the palate, I'd also describe the fruit tones as a bit darker red than before, all else the same. The palate remains very elegant.
Red
7/5/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '14 Bartolo is a gorgeous young wine that should age very nicely. While I don't have a crystal ball, it reminds me of the 1970, in that it seems on its way to be a bit of a lighter, sweet and caressing Barolo with a core of fresh, sweet red roses and pure red fruits.

The nose was nicely perfumed, although at times a bit closed off, with fresh red roses, sweet red to dark red berry fruits, blood orange, and mint. It's all about the sweet fruit and bursts of fresh red floral aromas. On the palate, the wine is very elegant, with similar pure red berry fruit and fresh red floral tones, not showing a ton of complexity at this point, but beautiful in its purity. The wine is medium in body with highly refined tannins and high acidity.

In terms of ageworthiness, I see the characteristics for this to be a long-lived wine, in terms of the freshness of the flavor profile and acidity. It doesn't seem to be an early drinker. It is no crime to open a bottle, but I'm not sure the '14 is more open than the last bottles I've had of the '13 or '16.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/3/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
96 points
The '13 BdV drank beautifully immediately after opening, showing more open than I recall it being the last time I tasted it (2020). This was at a restaurant, so a bit of a briefer impression, but my take was the wine seemed at its best immediately after opening and became a touch less expressive a few hours later (which I find typical for young Barolo).

The nose was beautifully perfumed, with a burst of fresh red roses, very sweet red and purple fruit tones, anise, and blood orange peel. On the palate, the wine was dense, full-bodied for a Nebbiolo, with incredibly sweet dark red plum, dark red cherry, and purple fruit tones, licorice, and red florals. Texturally, the wine is concentrated and dense, with medium to high, but high quality tannin that will benefit from further integration.

This continues to show all signs of being a phenomenal wine in the making. It's no crime to drink one now but clearly the best days are 5-10 years or more ahead.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/3/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '18 Monvigliero is a beautiful young wine. While I think the '18 Monvigliero suffers a bit from the tough vintage (it's a touch light, and I think the acidity sticks out a bit too much on the palate), it's very pretty and should age well for the medium term; and it's a great sign for the future of this bottling that Vietti produced this high quality of a wine in the first vintage and in a tough year.

The nose is beautifully perfumed, leading with fresh red floral and exotic spice tones, which stand out from the core of red strawberry fruit, with fresh mint contributing freshness. On the palate, I found the wine a bit more closed off, but showing great potential. It is medium to light in body and very elegant with a silky texture, with fine grained tannins that are just barely noticeable. Acidity is very high - this really stands out - and there is a nice sweetness to the fruit. I found red florals, spices, and red berry fruit, with exotic spices, fresh red floral tones, and minerality lingering on the finish.

I've currently tasted the Vietti Cerequio, Rocche, and Monvigliero in '18. Of these, I find the Cerequio and Monvigliero to be of equivalent quality (with very different expressions of Nebbiolo - the Cerequio more classic than the whole-cluster Monvigliero) and thought the Rocche was weaker, more marked by the vintage.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
7/3/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '17 Brunate is one of the stronger wines I've tasted in this vintage, with the vintage characteristics showing up in a bit of a more candied / ripe fruit profile than normal, but the texture retaining plenty of depth.

On the nose, I found very sweet, hard-candy like dark red to black cherry fruit, violet floral aromas, anise, and sweet herbs and spices. On the palate, the wine was medium to full in body for a Nebbiolo with a wave of dark red fruit, tobacco, licorice, and a touch of sweet balsamic spices. Acidity was medium to high with medium, fine grained tannins. I thought the tannins stood out in this wine a bit more than they do in the best vintages (i.e. '16), probably a combination of less ripe tannins and a bit of a lighter body, but in a vintage where the tannin can be quite aggressive, the '17 Brunate stands out as elegant.

The '17 Brunate is already a joy to drink today - the aromatics were wide open - but it should benefit from at least medium-term aging as the tannins better integrate.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/3/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
89 points
I found the '99 Les Lavieres to be an enjoyable aged Burgundy that is now ready to drink, with very pretty aromatics (showing some evolution, but still plenty of fruit) but a very light palate that suggests there won't be further upside. It's clearly a wine of elegance and not power.

The nose was nicely perfumed with dark red fruit, smoky roasted meats, earth, and brown spices. On the palate, I found a similar flavor profile, but with a bit less of everything, with the wine being very lightly textured, with medium to high acidity and minimal tannin. It drinks with ease, but without a lot of intrigue.
Red
6/30/2022 - Robmcl920 wrote:
92 points
The '18 Rocche has pretty aromatics, but comes across as light and somewhat diluted / lacking in fruit vs. prior vintages.

The nose was nicely perfumed, with very pretty aromatics, clearly lighter and more savory than the better vintages, but also with some of the Vietti Rocche signatures. I found fresh roses, cool herbs such as mint, blood orange peel, light red raspberry fruit, a hint of sweet spices, and a hint of iron (some savory components here). There's more floral, and cool-toned herbal flavors here than fruit.

On the palate, the '18 Rocche is light bodied and relatively smooth with some fine grained tannin emerging on the back end. Acidity is medium to high. I found some red raspberry fruit, red floral tones, orange peel, savory herbs, and spice, with smoky and spicy red fruit tones lingering on the finish. But the palate here is fairly light, and at least for now, isn't showing much complexity.

This was on PnP and an hour or so afterwards; if the wine changes over time, I will update my TN. On initial impression, the aromatics here are pretty albeit a bit lacking in primary fruit for a wine of this age, but would probably warrant a score several points higher; the palate holds the wine back in my opinion.

Update (Later on Day one): The '18 Rocche is unchanged with more time. The aromatics continue to be much more interesting than the palate. It's possible over time the flavor profile on the palate will open up, and then this will be very nice, but unclear if there's enough raw material here for that to be likely.

Update, 2 Days After Opening: Left in my wine fridge for 2 days, the '18 Rocche actually may be showing a bit better on the palate now than it did on day one. It remains a very light wine, but it seems like a bit more fruit and inner sweetness has emerged on the palate. The aromatics remain very pretty. I'm still not thrilled with the wine, but the fact it's held up and maybe slightly improved after two days open is a good sign.
Red
6/7/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '18 Cerequio is a very pretty, red-fruited and floral expression of Nebbiolo. At this stage, it doesn't strike me as super complex, but perhaps it'll develop more nuances with time, and it will certainly benefit from some time for the tannins to integrate better.

The nose was nicely perfumed with sweet, red cherry and raspberry fruit, fresh red roses, a hint of blood orange, and spices. The fruit expression is very pure, red fruit. On the palate, the wine is again very pleasurable with pure red fruit, fresh rose tones, orange peel, and chalk emerging on the back end. The wine is medium to light bodied in terms of concentration / texture, with sharp acidity towards the back end, and with somewhat sinewy tannins emerging towards the finish. I don't think it is super tannic, but given the wine is on the lighter-bodied end of the spectrum, the tannins that are there stick out more than they might in a more concentrated vintage.

This is the first '18 I've tasted from bottle, so I don't have a point of reference, but this seems like a strong effort especially for the first vintage of this vineyard from Vietti. It's a wine of pleasure that should age really well in the medium term, just not a blockbuster.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/23/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '19 Sonoma Hillsides is a very different beast than the 2017 & 2018 vintages of the wine; I've only tasted the '16 once and casually, so I can't speak to how it compares to that vintage. The '19 is less immediate than the '17 or '18, denser, and seems like it could benefit from some aging.

I found the nose to be a bit tight, with inky dark red and black fruit, lavender, a touch each of smoke / bacon fat, olive tapenade, licorice, and herbs. As I recall, the '17 and '18 had similar flavors emerging on the nose, but not as balanced, with the '17 especially having quite a distinct olive / brine note. On the palate, the '19 is a beast of a wine, showing very concentrated especially for a wine of this (12.5%) alcohol level. I found a dense, creamy texture balanced by sharp acidity, with flavors of grilled herbs, inky dark fruit, lavender, smoke, and spices, and a long finish with peppery spices, lavender, grilled herbs, and inky black fruit. The wine is very smoothly textured, while the acidity is high, but the wine comes across as very balanced, in contrast to the '17 Hillsides where I recall thinking the acid really stood out.

I have no evidence to point to of how this wine will age, having no experience with the '16 recently and no older vintages in this style to try - but my inclination is this vintage will be worth putting down for a while to let it develop complexity. There seems to be a lot of stuffing here and the wine seems very balanced.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/23/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
94 points
The '11 is a very interesting, and promising, young Cabernet. I'm not sure if it will evolve into a good, highly elegant wine or develop complexity and turn into an epic one, but either way, it should be interesting to follow as it is very early on in its lifecycle, and so different than almost any Napa Cab made today, even recent vintages I've tasted at Mayacamas.

Upon opening, the wine threw off some green notes that dissipated with air and on day 2. On the nose, I found liqueur-like blackberry and dark red berry fruits alongside a touch of blood orange, fresh lavender and mint, licorice, a touch of mocha, and minerality. On the palate, the wine is intense, but in Mayacamas fashion, hitting you with a burst of mouth-puckering acidity. The wine is very much mid to light weight by Napa Cab standards, but has a dense, almost creamy texture to it, a bit like the '16 (but the '11 is definitely a lighter wine). I found a blackberry and blood orange fruit, licorice, tobacco, some wood spices, and lavender, with the high acidity hitting you on the front end, fading a bit towards the back where you are hit with fine-grained, but still potent tannins, as black fruit and anise notes linger. On the palate, the thing that stands out most at this point is the very high level of acidity and the medium to light weight, yet dense and almost creamy, texture of the wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/20/2022 - Robmcl920 Likes this wine:
93 points
The '08 Pozzo dell'Annunziata is among the best Barberas I have tasted, and certainly at this age, it is holding up better than I could have imagined (that said, this was out of 3L for what it's worth).

The nose was beautifully perfumed with dark red cherry fruit, espresso, leather, and roasted meats. On the palate, the wine was medium-bodied with great inner sweetness and high acidity, and a very smooth texture with integrated tannins. The wine retained youthful, sweet dark cherry fruit notes alongside some savory characteristics of leather and spices.

It seems likely, at least out of this format, this could go another decade or more, but it was so enjoyable today, combining primary characteristics of sweet dark fruit, some savory complexity, and a perfect texture, so I don't know if it could get much better.
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