Comments on my notes

(38 comments on 31 notes)

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White - Off-dry
1999 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Nahe
3/10/2018 - salil wrote:
80 points
Not impressed by this - the most disappointing wine I've had from Donnhoff in some time. The aromatics are pretty, offering plenty of bright fruit, honey, and spice, but the palate is hollow and flat, showing little in terms of either depth or energy. It feels soft and creamy in the manner of some of the weakest '99s I've had, with very little complexity.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    3/18/18, 7:52 PM - My impression there's been quite a bit of variation from bottle to bottle for this wine from my own cellar and from those cellars whose owners have in my view compatible palates, and that's true of the 2000 version as well. In general the 2000 is a little better. Both of them are a little tired, but not flawed to the point that they would get a classic 80-score. Perhaps it's a little easier to be an old Nahe wine, with its breadth of fruit, than a Mosel, with its fine transparency. Interested to see if you ever get another one of these to taste soon, Salil. I always read your notes with pleasure.

White - Fortified
N.V. Alvaro Domecq Jerez-Xérès-Sherry 1730 Pedro Ximenez Pedro Ximénez
10/24/2017 - Harley1199 wrote:
XVIII Salón de los Mejores Vinos de España -Peñín; 10/23/2017-10/24/2017 (IFEMA - Madrid): Intense rather than elegant.
Little boring PX with primary aromas of raisins, figs or dates. Nothing sophisticated anyway.
Evidently sweet in the mouth with a well-balanced alcohol and a not very good length. A bit ordinary at its best and obviously that isn't what you're looking for in a no-labelled VOS.
Lowest score among its 1730 peers according with wine critics. Understood why.

Intenso en lugar de elegante.
Un PX un poco aburrido con aromas primarios de pasas, higos o dátiles. Nada sofisticado de todos modos.
Evidentemente dulce en la boca con un alcohol bien equilibrado y una longitud no muy buena. Un poco ordinario en su mejor momento y obviamente eso no es lo que estás buscando en un VOS no etiquetado.
La puntuación más baja entre sus pares de 1730 de acuerdo con los críticos. Entendido el porqué.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    3/15/18, 2:50 PM - The recent release that I see here makes no claim to be a VORS, but the price is higher. I wonder if labeling has changed or if this isn't the same wine you reviewed. Any ideas?

  • sweetstuff commented:

    3/16/18, 5:08 AM - I bought the 1730 in part to compare with a half-bottle of the NV Toneles Moscato of Valdespino that I picked up as one of my bucket list wines.

    I found, like many sherries, that it actually needs considerable time after opening to integrate, even at its superb quality level. I opened it for the chief steward on a cruise trip the last week in December, left it out on the counter since, and only now is it really singing w/ those high-toned Muscat notes.

    Have you similar experiences with Sherries? Of course it takes a lot more time when you follow them this way, even for a few days, and may not be practicable for someone in the business who has to evaluate a lot of wines, and is difficult to allow for in a single tasting.

  • sweetstuff commented:

    3/16/18, 5:50 AM - I bought the 1730 in part to compare with a half-bottle of the NV Toneles Moscato of Valdespino that I picked up as one of my bucket list wines.

    I found, like many sherries, that it actually needs considerable time after opening to integrate, even at its superb quality level. I opened it for the chief steward on a cruise trip the last week in December, left it out on the counter since, and only now is it really singing w/ those high-toned Muscat notes.

    Have you similar experiences with Sherries? Of course it takes a lot more time when you follow them this way, even for a few days, and may not be practicable for someone in the business who has to evaluate a lot of wines, and is difficult to allow for in a single tasting.

  • sweetstuff commented:

    3/17/18, 8:45 AM - 3/17/2018 3:41:00 AM - Basically I agree with you, Sweetstuff. Dry sherries have an interesting evolution and integration when aerated. Also sweet PX but IMHO very often more monolithic and linear, boring even. Let me explain, when PX is good it's outstanding, when ordinary it is very very ordinary.
    In fact nowadays it is very fashionable among trendy sherry lovers to look for old sherry bottles coming from the 50's. Nothing else than acetone with sightly memories of palm dates. That's my view but of course I respect people's taste.
    Cheers!

    This comment reminds me of one of those 'great bottles' of yesteryear that I've been looking for ever since, and a Sherry at that--an old-style Oloroso called, I'm sure you're familiar with it, Imperial Corregidor from Sandeman. It had been sitting the Lord knows how many years covered in layers of dust on a shelf behind the counter in a local liquor store, in the late 1980s. It was absolutely stunning, and I've never even seen a bottle, except at auction, and too expensive for me. So not all the old bottlings are over-tired, and this one in question had a good dollop of PX, I'm sure, and perhaps even Xeres PX, not Montilla.

Spirits
N.V. Germain-Robin Fine Alambic Brandy Lot 25 California Pinot Blend, Pinot Noir
11/5/2010 - sweetstuff wrote:
90 points
Germain-Robin Brandies are made somewhat after the manner of fine Cognac but in California, with mixtures of grape varieties--Pinot noir, Chenin blanc, Gamay Beaujolais, French Colombard, and other varieties 'for balance'. Produced by an alambic still in small batches. Forty percent abv. $40/750 ml. Sherry (one year) and other casks.

T-cork. Fairly rich color.

Notes of caramel, lacquer, resin, and straight Bourbon vanilla, with a full, resonant, sweetly fruity nose with a gentle fennel presence, with a touch of sherry oxidation overtone.

Full-bodied on entry, showing deep extract and a vanillin sweetness, with a fermented hay note. Very gentle spirits burn and a full finish showing touches of wood. In style much like an XO Bois Blanc from an artisanal producer, but perhaps just a little more varietal character peeks through. Excellent value and can be had by shopping for less. A fine aperitif/digestif but with enough body to stand up to nuts and sweets if desired.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    1/1/18, 8:12 PM - Of late, Pappa Joes, Richmond,
    , I high hub hi

White - Sweet/Dessert
1998 Müller-Catoir Mußbacher Eselshaut Riesling Eiswein Pfalz
10/24/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
94 points
Latest taste 11/16/2017. 1998 Müller-Catoir Mußbacher Eselshaut Riesling Eiswein AP 22 99; $90/375 ml, before bp, WineBid; $113 FOB Piqua, OH. Imported by Skurnik/Theise. 9.5 pabv.

Brief note:
November 16, emptied from balance of Coravin half-bottle to leTaster and Riesling Riedel. Cork-finished wet up sides; original Coravin October 23. At first refrigerator temperature. Scattered tears? (Possible need for better polishing of glasses!) Plenty bitty; now light-colored for type. Plenty of large tartrate plates visible with a little care.

Grass/redcurrant with fresh air, little or no radish; mildly baked apricot/honey confection. Showing vivid punchy lemony activity, with sufficient ripeness and residual to show a slightly light-TBA stylishness. Hits all the buttons but needs a little more integration for best pleasure--can prove a little palate-fatiguing now. 92/100 on pure pleasure; 94/100 on quality Give 2020-2030 for best results, and don't be afraid to decant an hour or three beforehand. Very early November 2 Eiswein harvest, similar to Doennhoff's triple early November ones.
___________________________
Extended evaluation:

A very interesting color presentation from this cork-finished half-bottle, a combination of brilliance and slight golden metallicity, with a warm amber haze growing to rich orange. From Coravin to Riedel Riesling and LeTaster. A very even but substantial sheeting shows. Over 24 hours grows more brilliant and more refractive--an adiamant beauty to look at.

The botrytis of this Eiswein is not hidden in its vividly grapy, somewhat forward fruit that presents itself initially--orange, clove, nutmeg, and mild bakeshop aromas, for instance, but underneath there is an almost pure redcurrant preserve impression. Grows with air into luscious apricot preserve and mild tobacco smoke underneath. Its amour propre is lost in dusty band-aid and powdered sugar, at least at first, until good sense comes to rescue it.

Very vivid, nearly searing acidity as it were laid on to what would be a beautiful breakfast confection built around a sweet pepper and thyme jelly. The texture and finish of this wine resembles 'fuzzy' apricot flower honey in a way, if such can be imagined. This wine is delightful as is but giving it another 3 to 7 years would be all to its (and our) good.

One of the greatest and earliest Eiswein vintages of my time; however, most of the best others are very 'clean' wines on average compared with this nobly-rotten one. This one is actually still a bit too edgy for best pleasure on opening and would give it about 3-5 more years if improvement on this axis is desired. It certainly will be a 30-year wine, well-kept! Second day supports this assessment, with its liquescence, caressing texture of lime zest, and clarity. 94/100 RPP.

The 'Donkey Skin' ('Eselshaut') of the Einzellage name refers to a German mythic 'fairy tale' related to 'Cinderella'. The donkey in question had the ability to turn dung into gold, as this vineyard unquestionably does.

This is a large sandy area (300 ha) that was reclassified in 1969 with similar surrounding areas (the 'Meerspinne') to the Deutscher Weinstraße/Neustadt (northern Pfalz) region and which this estate has exploited so brilliantlly under Hans-Gunther Schwarz and his successors. The ability of this acreage to produce fine wine could be more related to surface topography than soil composition, allowing frosty airs to descend and drain from the growing surface down into the Rheingraben. (See German-language edition of Wikipedia).
_________________________________________________

Brief note:
November 16, emptied from balance of Coravin half-bottle to leTaster and Riesling Riedel. Cork-finished wet up sides; original Coravin October 23. At first refrigerator temperature. Scattered tears? (Possible need for better polishing of glasses!) Plenty bitty; now light-colored for type. Plenty of large tartrate plates visible with a little care.

Grass/redcurrant with fresh air, little or no radish; mildly baked apricot/honey confection. Showing vivid punchy lemony activity, with sufficient ripeness and residual to show a slightly light-TBA stylishness. Hits all the buttons but needs a little more integration for best pleasure--can prove a little palate-fatiguing now. 92/100 on pure pleasure; 94/100 on quality Give 2020-2030 for best results, and don't be afraid to decant an hour or three beforehand. Very early November 2 Eiswein harvest, similar to Doennhoff's triple early November 1.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    12/17/17, 1:16 PM - I am glad you enjoyed these notes because I do attempt to learn, and teach, about the wines I taste, not always to the happiness of the CT reader. Perhaps I should add a warning note for mobile users that these files can be too long for easy reading on a I-phone.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2008 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux 1ère Trie Le Mont Chenin Blanc
Lovely wine; nose with ripe apricot and baked peach, hints of botrytis and minerality, saffron, and just a touch of wool. The palate is just pleasure. Rich, ripe, round, yet simultaneously with energy and lift. Finish lasts for 30 seconds easily.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    11/25/17, 11:24 AM - This has moved from very awkward to positively pleasurable in a year or so in a Coravined 750.

Red - Fortified
2000 Taylor (Fladgate) Porto Vintage Port Blend
5/2/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
96 points
2000 Taylor (Fladgate) Porto Vintage, bottled 2002, Bottled by Taylor, Fladgate, and Yeatman, Vinhos SA, VNde Gaia, Portugal; imported by Kobrand, New York, NY, purchased at Sams Club, Ann Arbor, MI. $65/750 ml (2003). 20.5 pavb. Stored 53-55 degrees F since purchase. From Impitoyable.

About 12 hours in decanter at room temperature, and then replaced into bottle. Moderately fine and copious crust. Color dark purple with some edging, typical of a Taylors of this vintage style and bottle age.

Pepper grind in the nose. Underneath a high-toned Taylor plum/cherry fruit, clove, and vanilla. Palate shows style-typical medium texture and sweetness, but much of that is fruit that will absorb with time; sweet plum, cherry, thyme, slight umami savoriness: Medium-grained ripe full maturing tannins, clearly an adolescent decanted in advance; great length almost the best part. On this showing and with this handling history, drink 2018, with full maturity approaching in 2030.

Served with: Crown VALLEY Point Blue, Wisconsin cheese that's a great value for money. Excellent match; rather sweet and slightly salty, with very good flavor symbiosis. Lunch with Jackie, Kurt, and Carolyn, but first sipped the evening before with Jackie to get a foundational impression upon opening.

72 hours after opening and 12 hours in the decanter, with 24 hours of argon exposure at the end. Very spicy and with plenty of fine tannin coupled with some heat. Full tears and full texture. Plenty of rose of attar and fresh ground pink pepper. Has a bit of linseed oil and some nice broth and vanilla, a little soft in the middle of the nose at present. Needs a bit more time open in glass. After another 7 days, color lighter; violets, powdered sugar, sweetened dried plums, vanilla are more integrated, as is palate, tannins, and and aftertaste. 96/100
  • sweetstuff commented:

    11/19/17, 7:47 AM - Offensive word removed. Respectfully, can't you 'unfavorite' me and there'd be room enough for both of us? Did you see that there's a shortened extract for those in a hurry? A vintage port is a rather complex subject, and this note was written with a port forum in mind and posted here as a courtesy to those who might like to see it.

    In any case, I truly do appreciate the input.

White - Sweet/Dessert
1983 Fürstlich Castell'sches Domänenamt Casteller Schlossberg Silvaner Eiswein Franken
8/9/2015 - NickBurwood Likes this wine:
94 points
So expected this (one of a pair of half bottles) to be shot that had a substitute lined up. The last two bottles (opened over ten years ago) had been badly off. Bocksbeutel opened 2.5hrs before consumption and recorked after testing.
Colour; a golden ruddy brown (see picture) and an aroma of baked apple/pears and toffee. In the mouth immensely viscous, burnt caramel, intensely sweet but not honeyed with a core of pear drop fruit and pectic acidity that brings balance. Very long and complex.
This was wonderful in its youth, but now is certainly the oldest silvaner I've ever drunk and the biggest surprise from my collection in many a year. Nonetheless, drink up with a substitute at the ready just in case!
  • sweetstuff commented:

    11/18/17, 6:41 PM - There were actually two Eisweine produced in this Schlossberg vineyard in 1983. The first was the drier, AP 24 84, and was sold in half-bottles in Europe. The other, the later pick, actually days later, was bottled in 750s and sent to the United States, and had higher residual sugar. It was the AP 44 84. This will need sorting out. Some of this wine went to the West Coast and some to Michigan--the Michigan product seems not to have been well-stored and may not be in as good a condition. Of course this bottling is interesting because we may get a chance to see how well Silvaner does as a long-term ager as an Eiswein, in the very vineyard where it was first brought to Germany from Austria several hundred years ago.

    I'm going to open one bottle of several of the West Coast version I bought at auction of the AP 44 soon and the notes can be compared. There will of course need to be two different monographs for these two different wines. Source of this information can be found in the Wiki section of the entry. Inclusion of bottle size was crucial here-thanks for the detail, Nickburwood.

White - Off-dry
2015 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Mosel Saar Ruwer
4/20/2017 - CamWheeler wrote:
96 points
JJ Prum - 2015 range tasting: Intoxicating nose - layered aromas of straw, graphite, pear, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon with plenty of white and yellow floral notes. The way the palate reins in the intensity of the fruit and manages to taste elegant and delicate is almost unbelievable! Superb length. The best young Wehlener Sonnenuhr I've tried!
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/16/17, 6:01 PM - This is going to be hard to leave be, but if you are not going to wait to drink it until. after 2028 or 2030, then drink in the next three years.

White - Off-dry
2003 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Mosel Saar Ruwer
3/1/2013 - sweetstuff Likes this wine:
93 points
mid yellow-green with a touch of pink and plenty of fine carbon dioxide bubbles on first decanting and with lots of refractivity at edges. There is a thick coating on the glass surfaces but not much 'tearing. This wine has quite a bit of those fine tartrate floaters. Nose: Bakeshop with mineralic, minty-and-tannic skin tones, quite clean and cool and honied. The juicy and crisp flavors have lots of minerals and salinity with juicinss and acidity. I was hoping for a little less petrol, but it'll be ok with some airing. It also could use a little more focus and a little less warm-vintage exhuberance. The finish is has a little wandering, undisciplined aspect, but time with tell with that. More structure and focus might become apparent with time. 92/100. hopefully, there's some left to be patient with; quite a bit came into the US at release. Later the wine picks up a nice bitter skin tang and this begins to bring things together.

On the 7th day past opening, kept at room temperature: Warm rose-gold. Riedel Riesling. Wonderful fresh integrated petrol, peach, and honey; acidic silicic freshness as if sniffing a freshly cut quartz facies. Juicy but broad, accented with redcurrant, and giving off a slight cherry affect. Has come together with better focus; has actually improved a hair since having been opened even after a week's time. Gives more hope for some additional ageworthiness--let's say a plus or half a point.

3 weeks later in refrigerator: medium-rich green-gold. Has fully harmonized peach and petrol, glossed over with very tropical, quite overripe pineapple and mango, with a nose quite expressive of mineralic freshness. Can hardly believe it's been open for so many weeks. Very rich, sweet, and juicy, with very little mawkishness, and showing good skin tang underneath everything else. Plenty more room to grow and develop than first thought--give it 10 through 25 more years without raising a sweat, if you like mature Auslesen, which of course I do. Easy to misjudge this, as it is to misjudge 2003 Sauternes-Barsacs as well. 93-94/100. Buy more at the prices being quoted.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    9/15/16, 5:45 AM - Thanks to Tony and Jim for positive comments on note. It should be recognized, however, that each and every bottle I open is purchased out of a highly limited budget, because I'm not ITB and can seldom go to Europe to taste there, and so necessarily am tasting older wines. The detailed nature of the note is due to my chronic logorrhea; I'm not trying to set a record for being detailed, but it seems writing such notes helps my memory. If it helps anyone else that's good too.

White
2003 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Gravonia Viura, Macabeo
4/13/2015 - VTCellarDweller Likes this wine:
93 points
This was taken from storage at 48F and opened for a light airing while allowing it to come up to ~57F. It was served with chicken provencal, porcini saffron risotto, oven roasted asparagus, and finished with a selection of Spanish and Vermont cheeses.
This was exquisite with our dinner. It is a distinctive style of white wine that you will love or detest, but never feel indefinite about. It is a wine that needs food and will find few friends as a solo sipper.
The angular, lightly oxidative, oaky, saline aspects provided a fascinating counterpoint to the green apple, lemon rind, beeswax, vanilla, honey, marcona almond group. With a solid weighty mouthfeel, it seemed very precise, energetic, and well balanced with a finish that slowly trailed off. This was my second bottle of this and I am smitten. Priced ~ $25, it is an outstanding value………if you like this stye.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    6/19/16, 11:28 PM - I do, especially with some real age on it. Been a while since any came my way, however. This is the real classic of classic Riojas!

Red - Fortified
N.V. Warre Porto Late Bottled Vintage Port Blend
3/16/2008 - hugogoodson wrote:
94 points
One of the best bottles of port I have tasted - really refined fruity flavour with plenty of punch.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    2/19/16, 8:14 PM - Wasn't aware that this was available as a nonvintage bottling. Is it?

White - Off-dry
1996 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Mosel Saar Ruwer
1/23/2015 - acyso wrote:
95 points
The Prüm Dinner (Chicago, IL): #15-97, 8% abv. From half bottle. This is in an amazing spot right now, where the fresh fruit of its youth is still present but the secondary kerosene characteristics have just begun to emerge. Awesome balance of fruit, stone, acidity, sweetness. Everybody's there and everyone's playing nice with each other. No discernible botrytis influence, which I suppose sort of surprised me when I first tasted this bottle. My wine of the night.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    1/21/16, 12:33 AM - Thanks for including the AP number of this wine and the alcohol content, two great pieces of information to have on all German wines, especially the Amtliche Prufungsnummer. Bought a bottle at auction based in part on this TN.

White - Fortified
N.V. Equipo Navazos Jerez-Xérès-Sherry La Bota de Fino "Macharnudo Alto" Nº 18 Palomino Fino
10/30/2010 - Paul S wrote:
93 points
Black Glass Society: Chapitre du Fresh and Alive (aka Oyster, Seafood and Karaoke) (Pine Close, followed by Jumbo Seafood): Another excellent bottle from Equipo Navazos. Did not go quite as well with the oysters as I thought it would, but when paired with fried prawn fritters - incredible. Lovely nose. Super complex, with oxidative notes dancing out of the glass alongside dried fig scents, caramel, wet wood, lemon peel, grapefruit and wafts of dried flower. Palate was bright and fresh, with a lemony backdrop, upon which lovely notes of spice, kumquats and preserved fig peel that played across the mouth, alongside a serious mineral backbone. Pitch perfect balance just called out for another sip, and another sip. There was a sense of saline concentration on the back-palate, where the wine shifted gears into a smooth, agreeable finish with plenty of length on it. Not super punchy, this instead slides away with bittersweet almonds, a nice briney kiss and a little linger of sweet yellow fruit. A lovely fino - really first class.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    12/31/15, 10:32 AM - I had a wonderful time with Peter Ruhrberg in Cologne in October, and came away with my first Navajos bottling as a gift from him. I see you've been there years before me. Count me as a fan.

    John Trombley

White - Fortified
N.V. Alexander Jules Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Amontillado 19/27 (K&L Wines collaboration) Palomino Fino
7/16/2015 - peternelson wrote:
96 points
Salted nuts, caramelized/toasted nuts as well with fragrant honey, light aldehyde note; amazingly slick, bone dry, smooth, light and elegant but intense, bright and cutting with precise acidity; light hay, band-aid and caramelized notes in the super long finish. Stunning wine.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    12/18/15, 9:52 PM - Peter, do you remember whether you tasted this once or over more than a one day period, say out of a decanter? Were there any perceived differences in the later tastings?

White
2007 Weingut Salwey Oberrotweiler Eichberg Grauburgunder Großes Gewächs Baden
10/23/2009 - Paul S wrote:
92 points
WFA German Varietal Tasting (Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore): The first really good wine of the tasting, and I thought this was rather an outstanding Pinot Gris. Started off good, but just got stronger and stronger in the glass. Deep yellow colour. Rather sticky on the nose, with nice yellow fruit, crushed flowers, some tangerines and orange zest, apricots and funky earthy notes replete with chalky mineral. Very complex, especially when compared with the first few wines we had. Palate was a world away from the acidic thinness of those wines as well. This was rich, almost oily textured, with layers of honeyed flavours, some nectarines, some papaya and plenty of spice, all balanced out by nice acidity. Finish was similarly long and textured with pretty good length in its spicey tail. Very nice, and quite age worthy too. Would love to try this in 5 years' time.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    9/18/15, 8:49 AM - Paul, do you remember whether this was the drei stern [***] or not?

    By the way, the Gault Millau lists the name of this estate as Weingut Solwey, and the owner as Wolf-Dietrich Solwey. Comes on Cellartracker as being two different estates, but is it?

    jht

White - Fortified
1860 Henriques & Henriques Madeira Boal Special Reserve Grand Old Vintage
12/4/2007 - sweetstuff wrote:
98 points
TN: Henriques & Henriques Special Reserve Madeira Grand Old Boal Vintage 1860, first bottled 1927 and re-bottled 1955. $180/1 pt and 9 floz at Arrow Wine Co; Centerville, Ohio, August, 2007. From a bottling for The Hammer Co; Cleveland, OH. Bottle number 340 out of 353 bottles (actual numbers reversed in error on bottle). There was at least one other bottling of this vintage of about 1500 bottles for an Australian importer as well, according to auction records.

Contains approx. 1 1/4" regular straight-sided (not T-shaped) cork, which came out in two clean pieces. Double-decanted, since it was due to be served in an hour or so. Very little sediment.

Poured at a dinner with Barbara and myself for Ed O’Keefe and Sean O’Keefe of Chateau Grand Traverse, and Brian Ulbrich of Left Foot Charley’s, at Stella’s Restaurant, Traverse City, MI, both wineries of the Old Mission Peninsula, November 19,2007.

Tawny, transparent yellow-green.

Powerful, salty, tangy lime, and lacquery, with roasted walnuts and a hint of beluga caviar, vanilla, woodsmoke, sweaty saddle and baked cherry pastry.

Very firm acidity and balancing sweetness; woody with just a hint of earthiness and sweatiness on the intense, almost endless finish.

Still quite stable to flavor and scent five days after opening; same is true at 10 days. 98/100.

This is an exquisite but very sparse vintage, about 97 percent of the usual harvest having been destroyed by oidium (powdery mildew). This vintage and previous ones were marked by starvation among the vineyard workers, and, although the remedy for the fungus was already discovered (Bordeaux copper sulfate mixture), this was just in time for the attack of the phylloxera. The vineyards have truly never quite recovered. This extremely rare and perhaps even unique 147-year old pre-phylloxera bottle shows the 21st century what a tragedy all this was. A wonderful but humbling and sorrowful experience. (Notes from Alex Liddell's book Madiera; Faber Books on Wine, 1998). By the way, a search of Cellar Tracker shows that there is at least one bottle of this stuff out there in someone's cellar, or at least there WAS one.

Photos can be viewed at http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q91/rieslingrat/IMG_0779.jpg and http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q91/rieslingrat/IMG_0776.jpg

In June, 2015 I gave a sip out of this bottle to Gene Rolf and myself. Even with only a half-ounce or so left it was in great condition and quite recognizable for what it was.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    6/18/15, 8:50 PM - You might want to take pictures of your bottle (front, back, all labels, capsule, level of wine in bottle if showing) to send to Madiera experts. I know one of the most knowledgeable and objective Madeira experts in the country, Roy Hersh of the For the Love of Port website, who has deep knowledge of Madiera and other Portuguese wines and travels to all important regions several times a year. He is not in the business of selling wine, but of providing information.

    Depending on exact identity (which can be difficult to establish in an old bottle with damaged labels) and to some extent storage conditions and condition of closures, this wine could be worth as much as $350 to $500, allowing for the conditions you described. How was the bottle stored, exactly, and under what temperature and humidity conditions? Do you see signs of old or current leakage?

    You may reach me at rieslingrat@aol.com, if you so desire.

  • sweetstuff commented:

    6/18/15, 8:54 PM - By the way, you might have seen that the cost of the excellent bottle I purchased in 2007, eight years ago, was $180 US. At the time I remember thinking of it as an excellent and even unusually good value. I'll look on some auction sites to see if info is posted there.

  • sweetstuff commented:

    6/23/15, 1:46 PM - No current auction movement on this rarity. I remember seeing one auctioned a few years back in Australia, but the price is irrelevant to the current market, being way too low. Interesting to know that this was imported by Hammer Co; Cleveland, Ohio. So we know two markets. Do you have the marketing information on yours?

Beer
2014 Bieres de Chimay S.A. La Chimay Bleue Grande Réserve Malt
4/3/2015 - Ombibulous Likes this wine:
90 points
When poured carefully, there is little head, but good carbonation, natural carbonation of course, from the yeast strain isolated by Fr. Theodore. The bubbles are varied but mostly extremely small (a sign, as in champagne, I believe, of good quality yeast-based carbonation). This ale is made from the protected water from the abbey's well. Brewed within the walls of an authentic, functioning Trappist monastery, under the supervision of the Trappist brethren, and a major part of the proceeds of selling these beers goes to the monks' charitable works. Rich and flavourful. Tastes better after it's been out of the fridge for a while. I have one of these bottles at least once a year. Full bottle cost $12 I think. Overall value: 4 stars of 5.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    6/23/15, 1:41 PM - Much of this information would be helpful in the Wiki section so that every 'vintage' would pull it up; might be better to concentrate on your impressions. Look who's talking, Trombley!

Red
2005 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Pinot Noir
4/18/2009 - RiedelBeagle wrote:
Drunk from half-bottle. Decanted at the sommelier's suggestion (isn't decanting red Burgundy frowned upon?). Phenomenally voluptuous nose of damp earth, green vines, and elegant fruit that brought a tear to my eye. Literally. Having my nose in the glass was like taking a nap in a hammock in a fertile vineyard shortly after a spring rain. I felt like leaving my seat at the restaurant and climbing into the glass for a few hours.

The nose weakened within 20 minutes or so, and the wine was always more restrained on the palate, seeming as though it was trying to find itself. Gravel, earth, leather, musk, dark fruit, and sappiness that occasionally reached the level of pungency meandered around each other, occasionally striking a glorious balance that would easily be worth 95 points in my book, if it could have maintained itself. I don't have a good enough sense of how such a wine ages to know whether it will ultimately get its act together in the long term. I did note that I detected extremely little tannin.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    6/9/15, 4:35 AM - Isn't decanting red Burgundy frowned upon? Not particularly, not when it's indicated for any reason. In this case I would have vigorously decanted, even if there were no sediment. If there were sediment, of course.

    John T.

White - Sparkling
2006 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut Champagne Blend
4/5/2015 - tinybubbles Likes this wine:
92 points
Certainly not the most refined Cristal, this is still a very good wine. Nose of lemon peel, apple, light hay smoke, and wet rocks. Relatively smooth in the mouth despite youthful acid and citrus.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/22/15, 5:18 PM - Tinybubbles, I wonder if you really mean to be practicing score deflation here. You say that this wine, at 92 points, is very good, and our scale calls that excellent (90--93). A very good wine would be from 85-89. Can you fill me in a bit more as to your take on this wine?

    BY the way, you are not the first to do this, or the only one. I see it all the time. That's why I think it's not just a matter of semantics.

White
2010 Château-Grillet (Neyret-Gachet) Château-Grillet Viognier
12/28/2014 - Butty wrote:
94 points
Good introduction to Grillet! Obviously more structured and complex than most Condrieu - has a more restrained and mineral driven style but with great intensity of fruit (although not overblown or flabby as can be the case with Vioginer) - feels like an old world version of Condrieu. I suspect this will age well. I thought this was very good - I would not hesitate to buy again (even with the expensive price tag) for the interest if not the quality. This would intrigue most Rhone tasters - interesting!
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/18/15, 9:06 AM - Isn't Condrieu made in France, and therefore old world by definition? Perhaps you are referring to the variety from which this wine is made, the Viognier?

White
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese feinherb Ur Alte Reben Mosel Saar Ruwer
11/29/2013 - coremill wrote:
87 points
Extremely earthy and slatey, but this is more dry than off-dry and has a grassy edge I associate with Sauvignon blanc. I like Lauer's interpretation of feinherb much more. Was a bit nonplussed by this.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/17/15, 5:41 PM - If this is the first Selbach Oster for you, I expect after a few more you will see how different the style that Johannes Selbach makes on the Mosel from that which Florian Lauer makes on the Saar. And, perhaps, see that there is a place for both of them.

White - Off-dry
2006 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Silvaner Auslese Franken
9/20/2010 - ArieS wrote:
99 points
Great wine. Strong botrytis with lots of apricots, floral notes and great acidity. This is light and refreshing with a medium to long finish.
If Lawgirlt can give a ridiculous score, why can't I?
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/16/15, 11:01 AM - The fruit here is typical of Silvaner and I wouldn't really call it botrytis-influenced. Certainly is refreshing, particularly served cool, and one of my favorite styles of dessert wine, sadly very rarely encountered outside Europe. Hurrah Rudi Weist for bringing it in.

    Similar wines are made in other Steigerwalt vineyards, with alabaster-limestone influenced soils. Had beauties like this at Castell, for instance.

  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/16/15, 11:46 AM - That's a pretty mean median score!

White - Off-dry
2006 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Silvaner Auslese Franken
8/15/2008 - Lawgirlt wrote:
76 points
Like drinking honey - without the viscosity. Funky bottle.

$22 at Astor: This comes from one of the lesser-known German wine producing regions, Franken. Home of the crazily-shaped, regional bottle known as the bocksbeutel. Rich with a dense floral, honeyed and earth driven profile.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/16/15, 11:03 AM - Lesser known as a region here in the United States, certainly, but deserving of better from us.

White - Off-dry
2001 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Nahe
5/21/2011 - JesperR wrote:
92 points
Not that long and not too concentrated, but very pure, very distinct and precise, and very, very lovely.
Almost melts and dissolves like an exquisite soufflé on your tongue. For now it's completely free from petrol on the nose. Drinking excellent right now, but will probably last and evolve for many years to come. To me right now just about the epitomy of what Mosel Auslese is all about.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/15/15, 1:19 PM - Hm. If this is the epitome of what Mosel Auslese is about, I wonder what you'd think of a real Mosel wine! (SMILE).

Red
2004 Romano Dal Forno Valpolicella Superiore Corvina Blend, Corvina
4/26/2015 - wineduggery wrote:
90 points
Disappointing. Too simple for the price.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/6/15, 3:52 PM - Too simple? That's a very interesting comment. To me it was overwhelmingly complex with many rough and unintegrated flavors and scents. I'd have to say it's complex to a flaw.

    Thanks for your note.

Red
2004 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
4/28/2015 - kbcadeponei wrote:
flawed
Ruined!
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/6/15, 3:51 PM - Thanks for posting even negative or flawed experiences with this bottle. In my experience, the wine is somewhat uneven with decided bottle variation.

  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/6/15, 3:51 PM - Thanks for posting even negative or flawed experiences with this bottle. In my experience, the wine is somewhat uneven with decided bottle variation.

White
2009 Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd Hochrain Wachau
5/6/2015 - aekenback wrote:
85 points
Heavy, ripe and concentrated. Tropical fruit, elderflower and petroleum. Very rich and powerful but lacking freshness and balance. Probably passed its' peak.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    5/6/15, 3:43 PM - based on several tastings of late it may be this is a flawed bottle. Thanks very much for your note.

Red
2013 Tamaral Ribera del Duero Roble Tempranillo
12/30/2014 - RVARob Likes this wine:
89 points
Drank well with excellent flavor. Would drink again. I wouldn't hesitate to give it a few more years to develop as well.
The wine looks purple colored.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    4/6/15, 5:58 AM - Thanks for getting out the first quick review on this wine. Will help those who shop with LastBottle, I'm sure.

    John Trombley

White - Off-dry
2001 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Mosel Saar Ruwer
7/27/2013 - sdr Likes this wine:
94 points
This is the queen of the '01 auslesen I have been trying, as it should be. Creamy rich but not at all cloying. Just the right sweetness for accompany a light dessert. Notes of orange, apple and apricot. It will improve in the years to come, but it's already irresistible.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    4/10/14, 5:04 PM - This wine was the absolute favorite of a series of about 30 Wehlener Sonnenuhrs from various producers at the August 2013 Mocool in Dexter, MI.. It was so in demand that I never got a sip

White
2005 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre Chardonnay
1/24/2012 - dmitri wrote:
93 points
Very surprised about relatviely low scores on cellartracker. This is a very good special vineyard Meursault (not a village wine as someone had written - village wine implies grapes collected in bulk from different village vineyards while Clos de la Barre is an actual enclosed vineyard). For those who like Meursault, a very good Meursault also means a fantastic white wine that is clearly better than vast majority of white wine out there. To add something else: this is the white wine that can go pretty much very long distance, as it only now started to open up. This wine has to be decanted to open, and in my mind the optimal time is about half an-hour in a decanter. It cannot be served very cold because its classic nose of roasted sunflower seeds and spiced honey will not show. Having followed these simple steps, one is assured of a memorable experience as distinct from a feeling of 130+USD wasted. The body is superbly structured, strong, with no hint of alcohol in the taste despite standard 13 degrees alcohol content, and a touch of acidity underscoring its weighty complection. The aftertaste is very impressive as the wine stays with you for quite a while. I suspect that this wine will stay this good for another 5-10 years at least.
  • sweetstuff commented:

    1/29/13, 11:33 PM - Of course technically this is a 'village' wine (in French). The French describe the Clos de la Barre as a 'Lieu-dit', and so it's a 'Villages Lieu Dit', a very different kind of vineyard category than a grand or premier cru and of course showing a more definite terroir note than your usual village wine. It's hard to believe after tasting a few good examples that it's not a premier cru at least, but we have to remember that the classification applies more strictly to the vineyard and not the wine made there.

    Thanks for the nice and informative note.

White - Off-dry
2005 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Saarburger Rausch Riesling Auslese Lange Goldkapsel #5 Mosel Saar Ruwer
10/8/2010 - sweetstuff wrote:
97 points
nb: FOR THE SAKE OF THOSE WHO NEED A BRIEFER NOTE AND A TERSER IMPRESSION, A SHORT-FORM NOTE WILL FROM NOW ON BE PREPENDED IF POSSIBLE FOR THESE RATHER VERBIOSE NOTES OF GREAT LENGTH. tHIS IS OF COURSE NOT A BLOG AND EVENTUALLY i HOPE TO SEPARATE THE tns FROM THE blogging.

AP 3 561 083 5 00. 7.5 pabv; $60/375 ml after buyer premium; WineBid.com. Imported by Rudi Weist Cellars International, San Marcos, CA.

A wine with which Barbara and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, a truly golden era for both of us, and worth a stunning bottle. Shared at Hawthorne Suites in Cincinnati.

Color is rich, polished, adamantine gold over medium green tea. A thick, unbroken coating of extract. harmoniously delicate nose, like a Haydn quartet. It is a wine that for now is contained within itself, waiting to be coaxed from its shyness, but the shyness seems something of a game. There is a sawn-pine pungency waiting in the background to spring to life, and hints of mountain strawberry.

The opening palate impression is of first-flush Darjeeling tea of the highest quality. The acid and sugar are bound up in a razor-edge that at first is painful to taste. The primary note is again of a fine tea, with an orange and strawberry flavor of great clarity, length, and with the precision of an optical laser. The only thing holding this wine back from a higher score is a need for it to integrate a bit more in the mid-palate or to the sides of the tongue; after some time it may be worth another point. Barbara, who is fascinated with the way these wines change over time, will be following this with me over the next several days, too.

A third-day relook (refrigerated, but not decanted) shows fruit that's more tea-driven and more evident botrytis of the 'thick' variety; there's still a great deal of purity to the nectarine-juice impressions, but there are neat flashes of curing hay, a somewhat vanilla-like component there as well, called coumarin. All in all much more pleasant to drink than it was on the eighth,wwith less punch but without the painful tongue-dissecting act of before, out of the same bottle. I'm thankful to have had an opportunity to spend some extended time with this bottle (and with the one in whose honor it was poured, my delightful and intelligent wife Barbara.) Give this one another 3-5 years to smooth the edges, and drink from 2015 to 2050 and perhaps longer. No hurry at all, and a superb candidate for prolonged aging. For those of you who know your cellaring, 2018 to 2020 will start to show some tertiary fireworks. So drink circa 2013; then forgeddaboudit till 2018. A truly superb bottle in the making. 97/100.

We brought along a caramel apple from Winans in Dayton to nibble and a better match could not be imagined.

David Schildknecht claims that this is an auction lot, but it was not so designated by a VDP Versteigerungs circle on the bottle. There must have been a change in plans, because of recent years the three Auction ausleses have been numbered AP 03, 02, and 01 for the White Capsule Auction Auslese, the Goldkap Auction Auslese, and the Long Gold Cap Auction Auslese.

This is in any sane world a Trockenbeerenauslese, one of the greatest Zilliken Auslesen, or any Zilliken wine, for that matter, that I've ever had the pleasure to taste. How Hanno Z. is able to make such a powerful wine so invitingly drinkable is part of the secret of his art, which may not be something he can pass on to the next generation--but we hope so.

(97 pts.)
  • sweetstuff commented:

    12/30/12, 9:39 PM - Herr Sweetstuff's products have great length but perhaps could be trimmed a bit to give better QTR (Quality Time Relationship).

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