Tasting Notes for sweetstuff

(587 notes on 498 wines)

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Red
2009 Château Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/12/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
91 points
2009 Château Malartic-Lagravière (France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan) Cru Classe; Cork Finished; via Coravin/Riedel Cab Sauv/Le Cache; Dorothy Lane Market, Oakwood, 14pabv. Cutting Edge Wines.

Plum color, translulcent, edging to 2 mm, profusely teary. Blueberry (mixed 'brambleberries'), rose, violet, perhaps anthranilate. Peppery, juicy, bright entry, cranberry bitters mid-palate, and nicely judged tannin. Oak absorbed to a nicely judged place.

A modern, sculpted, highly expressive Graves, both pretty and drinking beautifully right now. Drink now-2020.
White
6/8/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
96 points
With Coravin (cork finished), Riedel Riesling, and Le Taster. 2011 Marcel Deiss Altenberg de Bergheim (France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru), remembering the fight that this most genuine of Alsatian winemakers had to put up when a modern-style 'grand cru' system was installed. This incredible series of field blends are perhaps the most successful demonstration of the concept of terroir in the world, although of course by M. Deiss's definition of it. This wine lifts itself clear outside categories in any case, being so typical as to be atypical of today's Alsatian wine. Sec, $78/750 ml. 12 pabv. Warm gold color; little interaction with the glass inside. Gentlest white peach, slight walnut note, aged raw Puer'h tea. A sweeter wine than expected, yet still in balance with the juicy bright acids; dense mid-palate, umami, one of those integrated wine experiences that seems to proceed smoothly from eye to stomach without a hitch--sometimes an old-vines wine will do this well made and well cellared. Aside from typicity (a matter of definition anyway), this must be the very best wine in its category that I've ever tasted. 96/100. Drink now-2030. (Jackie says that it was like a Prüm Riesling Auslese 2015 Himmelreich we had sipped the night before, but in no way too sweet for the meal.)

After an hour or two, a nice lifted mint note appears on the palate and finish, along with lichee underneath. A wine of both force and finesse; for something not absolutely dry, an energizing tipple.

With salmon, Key West shrimp, mussels, and crab in a Mediterranean-style fumet broth. Very fine match.

This wine belongs on the table with the greatest of white Burgundy, and yet getting the Burgundy would bankrupt you. Not so this Deiss wine.
White - Fortified
6/6/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
94 points
N.V. Valdespino Don Gonzalo Oloroso VOS [Vinum Optimum Signatum] (20 year old); 21 pabv.José Estevez SA, Rare Wine Company; $35 US per 750 ml: T-Cork.

Brown intensely infused by gold-green; great thickness of extract breaking up into individual droplets at about 30 seconds, witnessing a rare tear or two.

Predominantly caramel, light butter tones, and orange zest, with veal broth mid-nose, and a floral and sweet vanillin filling out the upper register.

Resinous richness on entry, and punchy, with a deft twist of bitterness of white tannins; completely dry but with a slightly oily richness. Finish actually leads you on to further indiscretions and improprieties with this lovely, very complete, very powerful wine. Seldom does an old Oloroso retain this kind of symphonic harmony. 94/100, but will need to be tasted over many days to find out what is a reasonable score. Is it merely high-excellent, or does it belong in that exquisite category of great classics? 94/100.
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White - Sweet/Dessert
5/25/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
97 points
2015 Domaine Huet Vouvray Cuvee Constance (Loire, Touraine). Cork-finished and served from Coravin into both Riedel Riesling and leCache. Rare Wine Company, 11.5pabv, $133/500 ml. Firm yellow-green with a slight brown tinge, with clingy, thick-coated Tudor window tears. Nose starts tight with lanolin and linden leaves going on to hints of white peach. Piquant and juicy acidity with great freshness; again, tight from palate to apple-tinged finish, but shows much promise, both after the argon blows off and hopefully through many years. Revisiting after 12 noon pour, resinous raw aged Pu-er tea (I've been brewing up my best for the last week or so, and it hangs in the mind); fine orange bitters bring lift to mid-palate. Although this wine is supposed to be heavily selected for Botrytis in some vintages, the ones that I've tasted (1995, 1997, 2015) have been mostly quite restrained for this, and emphasis is on a clean, fine, pointillist character. Therefore the concentration here is probably due more to 'clean' shrivelling rather than porriture noble. A wine of importance, but strangely, snows not a bit of snootiness. Though this was bought to drink in the baby-fat stage, Manhattan will be under water before it reaches its peak! 96-98/100.
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Red - Fortified
5/21/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
2009 Quinta do Noval Porto Late Bottled Vintage Unfiltered Single Vineyard (Portugal, Douro, Porto)

Opened on Jackie's 71st birthday but not shared out. Double-decanted and allowed to sit 48 hours. 19.5 pabv. Dick Scheer's Village Corner, Ann Arbor. Nose: Complex, mysterious, smoky, dried blackberry, tar, medicinal (saffron), fresh-cut apple slices, vanilla spicy orange. Polished surfaces and edges noticeable here and in the mouth. Palate, though a bit grippy, certainly confirms style, yet the tannins and mouthfeel are particularly well-handled.. Earlier versions of this were really tough and some will require 12-15 years to be drunk with pleasure. Obviously a great deal of effort is made for this wine, to distinguish it from the nonvintage 'LB' and the non-single-vineyard one. Still a very fine value; finesse and reflectivity; and a good value for money. 92/100; drink now-2018.

Reminds me of the 2009 Taylor Vintage Porto with some of its style-marks; is this a character of the vintage? I have only one bottle left of that in between gifts to friends and a bottle or two drunk for pleasure out of six I originally bought. The most exquisite young Taylor VP I've ever tasted, and very much like this one.
White - Sweet/Dessert
5/21/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
93 points
1993 Royal Tokaji Wine Co. Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos Szt. Tamás; 10 pabv; Wilson Daniels, St. Helena, CA. $93.60/500 ml. Cork-finished; Coravin into Le Taster at first.

A deep tawny virago of a wine, many shades deeper than others in series; almost stopped me from buying it due to the darkness of the color. However, I know that other botrytis wines can be quite variable iln color from one bottle to the other, and yet not always suffer for it. Lots of sheeting on sides of glass but no tearing at all.

My only experience with a dark one of this vineyard and ripeness level was the 1995, and that was certainly not representative of the best of this Company. How did this do at 26 years?

There are a lot of darker notes in the nose: lowest elements wood resin, caramel, chocolate, and fine bitter orange; then tingly spearmint, vanilla, light terpentine/pine notes and other high-toned elements showing some of the complexity and delicacy of the 1993 Nyulaszo (but in an entirely different organoleptic package).

Palate confirms the above with brioche, juicy acids, and, surprisingly, restrained residual sugar, possibly due to good long cellaring. Persistent, with juicy, slightly smoky, sweetly malty finish. 93/100. Drink now or hold. Excellent with 'Life in Provence' boucherolle cheese, spread on thin rice crackers.
White - Fortified
5/19/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
98 points
1946 Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX (Pedro Ximenes) Convento Selección (Spain, Andalucía, Montilla-Moriles); $245/750 ml @ Benchmark Wines.

When a bottle purchased for the 71st birthday of my wife Jackie, I note that the abv is now 17 percent, and that it was bottled not in 2011 but in May 2017 (about a year ago), bottle number 310/827; so there has been incremental bottling; no further history available on that yet. We tasted what was in the sample tube (a most interesting idea for this kind of wine), perhaps 10 ml for the both of us.

Yes, extremely clingy, but the tears nearly fall back into the bowl without a pause into the venous-blood-colored liquid. Great harmony from notes of cherry candy, cherrywood smoke, vanillla, moderately sweet chocolate, veal demi-glace, and hints of licorice. And, on the palate, surprisingly moderate sugars, balancing acidiity, and tremendous, lacy finesse, perhaps the most surprising of its attributes. It has real delicacy and an integrated but complex expressiveness, this alone putting it up into high-classic scoring range. 98/100--but remember, these separate bottlings may have a different character to them. It would be lovely sometime to taste this bottling against the one Sr. Gutierrez noted. I agree that this may well outllive everyone who is old enough to buy some legally today; however, there's no reason not to enjoy it now. Drink 2018-2100, if we're still around on this planet to try it!

A very small pour, please!
___________________________________

Letter to JJBuckley from me:

18 pabv. Purchased a 1946 Don Px Toro Albalá as a birth year gift and have read the informative Luis Gutierrez tasting note. Am looking for more technical information and data, plus release dates and amounts, for this bottle. Am looking for more technical information and data, plus release dates and amounts, for this bottle. What was the source of the grapes? It appears to have been bottled in May, 2017, but must then of course have been one of at least two bottlings, given that it was originally reviewed or tasted in about August 2013 by Sr. Gutierrez, mentioning about 800 plus bottles at the time. There are a very great number of tasting notes on CellarTracker by purchasers (users) of that tool. Were the later bottllings reviewed critically, or do we assume that every bottling gets the same score from the same critic? Of course, analytical data would help. The Gutierrez score seems to be just about the only copyright score that has been paid much attention to, but there are other reviews cited, which would always be helpful, as numbers are of minimual usefulness to describe style and quality of what must be a very great wine, if my friends are to be believed. If a better means of communication for this sort of thing would be helpful to you, please feel free to suggest it. Very gratefully yours, John Trombley

This is a peculiar winery, a little eccentric and unusual, a family affair created in 1922 although their roots can be traced back to the 19th century. The core of the winery is located inside an old electricity plant in Aguilar de la Frontera, south of Cordoba, in the heart of the Montilla-Moriles appellation and directed by collector, inventor and entrepreneur Antonio Sanchez. They sell 650,000 liters of wine per year, of which 40% is exported and sold in 27 different countries. They are growing in the US, the UK, Australia, and also with increasing interest in Asia, mainly for the sweet wines, Antonio Sorgato, the export manager of the firm, tells me. We are selling sweet wines, but Fino, its much more difficult. This is not something unique to them, as the whole Montilla-Moriles is better known for its sweet, dark, unctuous Pedro Ximenez wines. All the wines they produce are of course fermented from Pedro Ximenez white grapes, but for the sweet wines the grapes are sun-dried, dehydrated into raisins, and the resulting wine is brown in color which gets darker as the wine ages and concentrates in barrel. The oldest examples are an opaque black with an amber rim as dense as motor oil. They have a most impressive collection of single vintage PX wines going back to the time of the Second World War. Luis Gutierrez (SOme of this may be copyright material; if it is I'll remove it.
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White - Sparkling
5/18/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
91 points
Disgorged Oct 24, 2016; 'traditional bottle fermentation' (assume this means classic method); 12 pabv., 2 581 503 009 16. $18.70/750 ml; Riesling Rocks, Garagiste. Daniel Immich states on YouTube that this is made from a spontaneously-fermented base wine; hand-riddled; the corking system applied by hand. 4 years on the yeast. The vineyard was selected by Daniel's father as the one most appropriate for sparkling wine production on the estate. !6th generation winemakers; since 15th century (CE 1425).

Served to MaryZ in a Mimosa breakfast 5/17/2018.

Tantalizing very pale green color shows after fine mousse subsides; attractiveness of this wine shows with expressive yeast notes--fairly intensive pure brioche, pairing mint and gentle white peach and hints of pepper. Caressing mouoth-feel for type; good 'mineral' energetics and pleasantly detailed sourish aftertaste. This is complex enough to give interest and yet smoothly put together enough to give the uninitiated plenty of pleasure. 91/100; drink now-2022. Excellent value for money, especially completelyl hand-made and with that extra time on yeast., responsible for much of what is good about this wine. The rest? I'd say the Sponti. 91/100
White - Sweet/Dessert
5/13/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
91 points
2008 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux 1ère Trie Clos du Bourg, 12.5 percent. $57/750 ml, Rare Wine Company, CA.

Full straw green, thick, multiple tears.

For style, this will probably never be my favorite among Huets, but the quality is there. Extremely, almost unpleasantly musky in the fruit, like muskmelon tempered with imperial linden leaf juice. From a previously Coravined bottle with some softening of the fruit probably due to the large needle I used for the original draw. The rest of the nose is floral, slightly peppery, the palate tangy and citric underneath, with a moderate sweetness for this style of wine; actually better on the grapefruit and cherry-tinged finish than I expected. Perhaps I'll like this better when it has plenty of air and is less reductive. 91/100; 2020-2030.

Perhaps as a drier-styled Première Trie this wine might find an interesting use at table when the residual sugar has been consumed by longish cellaring; it has the complexity for surprises to occur.
White - Sweet/Dessert
5/12/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
93 points
Losing the Fight against Noble Rot: 2010 Van Volxem-Roman Niewodniczansky Scharzhofberger Riesling Beerenauslese (Saar), Wiltingen, AP 354 7222 25 11; $90/375 m, WineBid; 7.5 pabv. Cork-finished. Via Coravin/le Taster.

So viscous it will pour only by drops even with a fresh cartridge. Forward straw hue, heavy sheeting, deeply refractive and brilliant. According to a critic, Roman 'hates' Botrytis, and the color of this wine argues they're correct, and that the ripeness here is due to extended dry late harvesting; but there is a brown cast to the gold-tinged color means to me (along with the organoleptic profile) that this wine didn't escape botrytis entirely.

Very rich, honied, somewhat searching, candied nose, with hints of linden leaf and grass and mixed overripe tropical fruit, with detectable freshness. Very tight but delicate on entry, giving the impression of a light mid-palate, but that's just the first sip. Notes of cherry with considerable lift now on the middle; very long and simple sweet wild cherry on the finish. Will take days to open. With an hour of air, the nose now seems covered with a gloss of horse glue (such as one might whiff around an antique violin) and caraway with maybe a little cedar oil. There develops some sweet high-toned citrus on the palate at 2 hours. All along there seems to be a suggestion of the kind of herbaceous fruit (sweet pea, sweet pepper) you might find in a typical Grüner Veltliner. When tasted after4 weeks under argon, the wine is dense with apricot and the residual sugar and glycerin so forceful that some (but not me) would find it a touch cloying, although there's sufficient delicacy and finesse to merit its score. Too, the acids are very full and juicy, and actually can be overlooked while the fruit and fruity sweetness are now fighting for prominence, or perhaps, symphony.

Remarkably butch and tight at first but with mysterious in-between layers of delicacy; more indeed like a Trockenbeerenauslese than a BA. Doesn't yet know what style it will settle into Even at 7-8 years it's still sorting itself out as if it were yet unbottled. Will it be all harmonious and harp-like on the top, or mostly like a brass choir? Invest what time you can afford in this one. Upside rating possible as we go along.

Can be drunk now but with essentially limitless life restricted to how long the cork holds up. I think it will repay long cellaring with a great expression of this, the Saar's greatest vineyard. 92-94/100.

Impression on 6/23/2018, cork pulled and in Riedel Vinum Riesling: Color slightly browner; nose of apricots and prunes baked in sugar and dusted in lime peel; butter, orange juice, and very long.
Red
3/27/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
91 points
1985 Paul Jaboulet Côte Rôtie
“Les Jumelles” [ex-domaine]
$125.00 btl $255.00 mag
Michael Broadbent (*****)

Imported by and supplied retail by Rare Wine Co., Brisbane, CA. 12pabv. Narrow Roman church windows ("tears'). Served first out of Coravin into a half-bottle for steadiness, and then into a LeTaster Impitoyable Ravenscroft knock-off. From thence into the nearest Riedel for Syrah--a Zin/Riesling.

Somewhat faded red-brown, graded from center dark translucence to edge.

Wild cherry flower and bitter cherry pit, apple flower and a hint of soupy Umami, harmonious and well-integrated. Vividly acidic to my sensitive palate but showing a hint of tarragon; medium-length. At its peak, I'd say, and won't be improving with further cellaring. However, absolutely typical of the delicate style of wines made from this vineyard in that era, the few of them I've actually tasted. 91/100; drink now-2020.
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White - Off-dry
3/25/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
2016 Willi Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer)

A favorite Skurnik/Theise specialty US import, and one of our favorite bottlings in the mid-price range. AP 17 17. Alcohol labeled 7.5 pabv. $42/750 at Dorothy Lane, Oakwood. Skurnik Wines, New York, NY; J and H Selbach, shippers, Zeltingen a.d. Mosel Shows a water-white color and intensity aspect and light extractive sheeting in a Coravin-leTaster sampling; cork-finished. Searching but delicate honey and thyme aromas. Not much smoke but savory foundation for delicate peach, a teaser.

A nice full natural-sweetness example, but with good balanced juiciness, spiced with a little tannic citrus peel; playful and long on the finish. Does have something in common with the Domprobst bottlings, the Schaefer style showing through. 92/100 RPP. How will this do in the cellar? A little less obvious residual might benefit it with light foods. Up to 10 years after vintage not unreasonable; perhaps conservative. 2016-2026.
White
3/24/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
88 points
Somewhat oxidized and highly traditional style of wine, but apparently at winemaker's control. Seems barrel aged in a neutral oak for several years, dense viscosity, rich straw with hint of cloudiness. Weighty neutral fruit and low-florality honey needing more interest otically, sweet palate impression dusted with mint powder, and fine length. With the right dish this could be an inspired wine. Now through 2022.
White - Fortified
3/23/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
91 points
Broadbent Madeira Sercial, 10 years old. Broadbent Selections; Sonoma; CA. Saratoga, Wines, $39.95/750 ml; Justino’s Madeira Wines S.A., Santa Cruz, 19 PABV. T-cork. Clear bright amber with almost imperceptible haze. Not volatile but somewhat sharp on top; in mid-nose vibrancy of exotic wood honies, then to earthy notes while the nose begins its integration, e.g. into a wintergreen-and-woodruff-scented Tannenbaum.//A delicate and subtle brothiness shows forth after a little dilution with water, carrying on into a finish both savory and ripe. 91/100; will probably live, from 2018, while the corks do. Sierra de Estrella cheese brings a somewhat orangewood mouthful, and. A superb match, especially with a dollop o,f water in the glass. Complaints that
this is too sweet find little sympathy here. Cheese and wine are magnificent together. Not cheap but for an example of its type a good value for money.
Red
3/20/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
2015 Coudert Fleurie Clos de la Roilette Griffe du Marquis, LDM WInes, Louis Dressner Selection. No alcohol level could be found; $30/750 ml; Grapes. Coravin-opened for several months in refrigerator. Cork-finished. Dense black-purple with perhaps a millimeter worth of fading; moderate to full sheeting and reluctant tearing. Bitter cherry pit aroma, with a slight but pleasant stemminess, edging into a little sweet smoky-neutral pork lardons, and showing a delicate florality on top. Juicy and with a wild-cherry palate, again with an appropriate presence of some stems--don't know whether this is due to some kind of carbonic maceration or just adding some extra of them. Tannin fine and subtle and just peeking out from behind the robe of this one. This is drinking so well now that despite some structure that might reward a little more cellar polish I wouldn't hold it long. Went well with roast root vegetables, Portuguese Serrano and Berthault Burgundian Epoisses cheese, and Bigosz: Polish game stew. A fine firm 92/100; less lacy than many a Fleurie but not without a balance of punchiness and finesse.
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White - Sweet/Dessert
3/17/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
93 points
At 14 percent alcohol for the 2009 version of the Vin de Constance, unlikely it's fortified. If you look at the data sheet present on the producer website http://www.kleinconstantia.com/our-wines/vin-de-constance/2009, there is lots of talk about multiple tries and what seems like an effort to get passerilagé and raisined berries, and nothing about fortification. There is mention of a substance called essentia, that probably comes from some processing with the Trockenbeeren, and which may be blended back into the more standard late harvest musts.

2009 Klein Constantia (1865) Vin de Constance Natural Sweet Wine of South Africa (100 percent Muscat de Frontignan). Alcohol: 14 % vol; residual Sugar: 160 g/l; pH: 3.6; total acidity: 7.8 g/l

Bottle with unusual out-curve at bottom, the type of which I've never seen before. Thick black wax over cork closure. Medium sheeting and no tearing.

Very light straw in color for this type of wine. //Linden leaf and hints of linseed oil, (almost foxy); grape and dried white peach, tingly and floral, tailing into a delicate fish glue (old red Burgundy) note./// Delicate acidity, lissome but with crisp and evident filigreed sweetness; a hint of bitter orange peel emerging at about 2 hours.// and a combination of peppermint and wintergreen; on perhaps a 30 plus (second finish. 92+/100; after a bit more air and time a subtle vanilla confection flavor tickles the aftertaste. Drink now through 2028.

Definitely not the same style as an old Setubal; closest thing might be a VT or SGN Muscat from Alsace, at its best. Gives no evidence of being fortified, nor is there any sense of Botrytis.
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White - Fortified
3/16/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
97 points
This wine does not have the 'Viejisimo' designation, nor does it have the 'back of bottle' information now required for Sherries. Obviouslly an older bottling, if so. The wine reviewed on CT under the Viejissimo label may be a later bottling and thus might be combined with these notes.

N.V. Valdespino Moscatel Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Toneles (Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry) (not muy viejisimo)!, $208/375 mls; 15 pabv. T-cap.

Opened on board Holland America Rotterdam to share with head cellarmaster. Was obviously extremely dense and flavorful but almost impenetrable, dense, and awkward.
Later at home in Ohio I allowed it to sit for about 3 months in the light and I gave it some air every so often by removing the T-cap for a few minutes; tasted today (3/14/2018) from copita.

A one-ounce pour was black to the center, red cherry concentrate color fading into brown/amber at the edge.

Caramel, brown sugar, tobacco, a tiny bit of anise, then on the palate firm, juicy acidity; rounded, high-toned muscat, vanilla-laced sweetness and a rather subtle, transparent nearly endless finish hinting of delicate, slightly grassy and with optimally ripe apple juice notes. If it were a symphony most of the bass and mid-notes would be dense and as yet unresolved and yet with what "Burghound" might call 'sailing topnotes'. Drink 2020 and much later. Should be allowed almost Madiera-like serving conditions.

About 97 points.
White - Sparkling
3/14/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
2013 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Deutscher Sekt b.A. Brut AP 23 15 (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer). Schlosskellerei von Schubert; Arrow Wines, Oakwood OH; $20/750 ml before tax; marked down from $60 which seems to be very high even in Ohio; I'd guess the price at no more than $35, but GVFM at its current cost.

From Riedel standard champagne flute and L'Impitoyable. My 70th birthday 2/18/2018.

Prototypical Ruwer base wine with its delicacy, but with 2013 force and richness, coming into balance. Transparent light straw color with persistent and small petillance. Well-integrated; considerable depth of nose, including hazelnut, peach flesh and kernel, slight green pepper, and toasty/yeasty notes well-integrated and harmonious. Fruit is balanced to the rich side rather than the lean; with creamy taste and sensation; not one for those who are allergic to dosage; this dosage coming I hear from the Abtsberg. Vivid and dry, but not really Brut Nature; more like a restrained dryish halbtrocken, with peach predominating, and with plenty of white wine tannin noticeable. Crisp acidity and plenty of mouth-feel on what is quite a long finish. 92/100 RPP. Drink now and through the next 5 years (2018-2023); but this has the structure to age further in a pleasant direction who like cellared, high-quality bubblies. A little too ripe, perhaps, to have further than that to go with more aging than that, but will hold and maintain freshness to 2025.
Red - Fortified
2/27/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
Morgan and York, Ann Arbor, delivered a Serra de Estrela wheel, about 1.6 pounds. Jackie and I are going to have a cheesefest for dinner tonight, including a St. Andre and a Berthault Bourgogne.

10/4/2017 rated 92 points: 1982 Kopke Porto Colheita (Portugal, Douro, Porto). 20 pabv; 500 ml/$76/Dorothy Lane Market, Oakwood (Dayton), OH. Produced, bottled, and shipped by Sogevius Fine WInes S.A., Vila Nova de Gaia. US Importer Wineworth LLC,. Belleville, WA 98005. Also available in halves and full bottles.

Sadly, t-corked. $76/500 ml about $102 per 750 ml basis). Bottled 2009, 27 years later 'matured in wood.' (Decanted today, 2/27/2018 2 pm)--double back into bottle. THe last bottle was quite cloudy, even after port filtration, with about 1/2 ounce 'mud' at bottom. However, this one was a beautiful tawny, with just a few crumbs of crust. Added perhaps a teaspoonful of water to an ounce for Jackie and I in copitas.

A sweet plum, smoke, vanillin, subtle tarry asphalt, and caramel nose with a dryish finish and intense oak, completed with a juicy note and a twist of quinine bitterness. Very juicy and appetizing on the finish, with subtle tannins. 92/100; 2018-2028.

Served with Serra do Estrella Cheese, about 1.5 percent, Morgan and York, about $35/lb. Floral and full of herbosity, sweet cream, and orange flower, served on rice crackers. A wonderful match wiith the port.

A certain amount of healing in John's throat allows this wine to be enjoyed, at about a week open, much better than expected. There are notes of almost syrupy sweet coffee, caramel verging onto milk chocolate, burnt rubber, and a lot less heat than I had a right to expect--close to none at all. Another vividly fruity, smoky, crisply caramel and bacon fat merging into the sweetness, on March 18, 2018. Very, very nice, with beautiful smooth and fluid texture.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2/25/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
93 points
2/24/2018 rated 93 points: 2/25/2018 rated 93 points: 2/24/2018 rated 93 points: 2006 il Lago Vin Santo del Chianti Rùfina (Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti Rùfina), 19.5 pabv; $19.30/375 ml; Village Corner, Ann Arbor, via eagleeyebrands.com. Cork-finished, 350 cases produced, a half-case of which I purchased A rather ratty plastic capsule would help the presentation by its absence. Opened with Ah-so and tasted from Le-Taster style and Riedel Riesling. Tawny brown-red, bitty. Tudor-window tears with very thick sheeting. Lacquer, sweet peach, leather, a little baby powder, slight VA/ethyl acetate but hardly noticeable; touch of duck broth; vanillin oak; also 'smells bitter' (suggesting bitter orange); needs some air for better integration. With a little water: quinine bitterness with some sweetness; caramel; neutrally floral fruity sweetness, white wine tannin. 93-94/100; now--2028 at minimum.

Italian-style confections like Biscotti, sugar cookies, and so forth are a fine match for sipping or 'dunking'.

However, as in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3339609, I'm using it as an adjunctive nutritional supplement, diluent, and flavoring during chemotherapy for my advanced small cell lung cancer. It's the most palatable and even pleasant flavoring for the Agaricus blasei extract that is the known active anti-neoplastic ingredient. There are many anecdotal reports of long-term remissions for this and other cancers even in statistically-bleak situations such as mine (mortality rate about 0.50 per year). I started with Tokaji Aszu essencia: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3339609/ but such is less palatable and considerably more expensive. I guess I was impressed with the reported healing properties of Tokaj essencia in the late medieval/early classical period, but of course this preparation is many times more expensive than even the Aszu Essencia (a 500-ml bottle of 1999 Essencia Kyraludvar costs about $400 when you can find it, so it'd cost about $200 a day.

The use of a reasonably-priced vin santo was suggested to me by Dick Scheer, owner of Village Corner Wines and Spirits in Ann Arbor, who had just come upon a quantity large enough to provide me with a trial. The extract is made from a mixture of a water-based solution and a 101-proof straight bourbon solution. The current trial took place after a 5-ml (1/3 teaspoonful) twice daily dose, titrated upward in a doubling of the dose every 3 days. Now I'm at 120 ml (4 ounce) dose twice daily; I've added 120 ml of this vin santo and a tonic water mix made from Jack Rudy tonic water concentrate (240 ml of the prepared mix), which I find quite palatable. Some sugar or honey might be added, but it's not necessary to my taste. The mixture is quite honeyed to the nose but with an orange-flower honey suggestion; it's a little herbaceous and a touch pungent or umami-like; the palate is smoky-leathery, with a hint of quinine. I've been adding ice cubes made up of tonic water to keep it a little on the cool side. Good, appetizing, long. Can't even taste the mushroom base, unless it's the leather/broth/umami, which is a very different result from the Aszu prep I used before.

Style evauation: this wine suggests 'seco' and high alcohol (19.5 pabv), a fortified, in a sense OIoroso sherry-reminiscent wine. (Loss of alcohol over months or years through the oak during cask aging in a warm place causes lowered alcohol concentration and some oxidation and a few producers choose to fortify with spirits as maturity. This may be one such producer.) This wine is a 'straw wine'' made from mostly Trebbiano with some white Malvasia (Trebbiano blend per CellarTracker database structure for grape varieties), grown on clay soil. The straw mats are kept in a warm place for desiccation, and crushed the December after having been harvested. The 'mosto' is placed in oak and slow-fermented for a minimum of 3 years. If fermentation sticks, a live inoculation of yeasts from another batch is added in hopes of restarting it.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2/24/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
94 points
2006 il Lago Vin Santo del Chianti Rùfina (Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Vin Santo del Chianti Rùfina), 19.5 pabv; $19.30/375 ml; Village Corner, Ann Arbor. Opened with Ah-so and tasted from Le-Taster style and Riedel Riesling. Brown-red, bitty. Tudor-window tears with very thick sheeting. Lacquer, sweet peach, leather, a little baby powder, slight VA/ethyl acetate but hardly noticeable; touch of duck broth; vanillin oak; also 'smells bitter' (suggesting bitter orange); needs some air for better integration. With a little water: quinine bitterness with some sweetness; caramel; neutrally floral fruity sweetness, white wine tannin. 93-94/100; now--2028.

Style suggests 'seco' and high alcohol (19.5 pabv) a fortified, in a sense OIoroso sherry-reminiscent wine.
Red
2/19/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
2008 Laboure-Roi Pommard, 13.5 pabv, $69 US, Vista Restaurant, aboard MS Oosterdam, HAL. Red with violet overtones, tears noted. Thome, tobacco, savory cherry, proceeding in the high register to well-integrated wood, form acids with fine but forward tannins; excellent depth and harmony, but with advice from another burgundy lover, not decanted. Second day rhubarb-strawberry' midpalate match-strikes show better age-ability than thought. Now-2020.
White - Sparkling
2/18/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
2013 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Deutscher Sekt b.A. Brut AP 23 15: 11 apbv (Germany, Ruwer). Originally $60/750 ml at Arrow Oakwood, OH., on sale at $20/750.

Quite light transparent straw, Vivid and dry, but not really Brut nature; more like a restrained dryish halbtrocken, with peach predominating, and with plenty of white wine tannins noticeable. Crisp acidity and plenty of mouth-feel on what is quite a long finish. 92/100 RPP. Drink now and through the next 5 years (2018-2013); but this has the structure to age further in a pleasant direction who like cellared, high-quallity bubblies. my 70th birthday, 2/18/2018. sheeting and Tudor tears, very fine bubbles a-rising. Considerable depth of nose, including hazelnut, peach flesh and kernel, slight green pepper, strawberry, and toasty/yeasty notes well-integrated and harmonious. Fruit is balanced to the rich side rather than the lean.

Vivid and dry, but not really Brut nature; more like a restrained dryish halbtrocken (11.5 g/L residual sugar per Meiningner review), with peach predominating, and with white wine tannins noticeable. Crisp acidity and plenty of mouth-feel (what some would call creamy) on what is quite a long finish, a gentle plum note. 92/100 RPP. Drink now and through the next 5 years (2018-2013); but this has the structure to age further in a pleasant direction for those who like cellared, high-quallity bubblies. Dense yet elegant; the base seems a typical Grünhauser wine, perhaps a Bruderberg; just enough varietal typicity.The dosage comes from the Abtsberg, according to one critic.

With scrambled eggs local farm eggs, vegetables, tomato-pasta sauce, buttered raspberry sauce and walnut-raisin lightly toasted bread from Dorothy Lane Market, 6 percent yogurt and mixed fruit.
White - Off-dry
2/13/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
93 points
2016 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese, this one AP 09 17; 7.5 pabv; $56/750 ml; Dorothy Lane Market, Oakwood, OH. ; Rudi Weist Cellars International, Importer;. Coravin; le Taster. Quite neutral straw color; some spritz, wtih broken sheeting.

Muscle-flexing grapefruit fizzies, with typical Prüm reductive wool fat or lanolin of this era, underlain by delicate and sweet white fruit floral note, all of which will be taken account of by anyone who's ever tasted Joh Jos Prüm..

Both fully sweet and vividly juicy entry, light -bodied; starting a little weak in the center, but will come on strong once the aeration is done, as it does. Very nice bitter almond and sweet-bitter orange oil, like a Muscato d'Asti on steroids. Now it's showing off, with some rustic white-wine tannins and very mild cigarette tobacco smoke and apparent hints of cilantro and chervil emerging. After two hours the shoulders get bigger and the fruit more powerful, and a few slices of Jarlsberg are added to its benefit and ours. bringing out walnut notes. In my opinion ot a bad, actually quite a fine early-drinking Auslese for this house; also could be given a 5-7 year cellaring window and used as a table wine. 92-93/100 RPP. Drink now-2025, but plenty of room still to grow.

2/20/2018 Retaste of Coravined bottle at one week: still a little spritz; grapefruit is more muted but there is a beautiful, umami-guilded ginger ale note in nose and on palate that may have been hiding underneath it. Still snappy acidity well-balanced to fruity sweetness and better integrated. So although this wine is drinkable in its baby fat stage, there's little to fear from cellaring it further. 93/100
White - Off-dry
2/11/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
94 points
TN: 2009 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel AP #9; A Belated Apology

Post by John Trombley 10 Jan 2018 16:35
2009 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel AP #9; Spectrum Wine Auctions, $49/750 ml; arrived in Piqua 11/9/2017; Premier Cru,7.5 pabv. Coravin/Les Impitoyables-le Taster.

Warm straw. On the balanced cusp of peach and diesel and clover honey. Jackie thinks it's very sweet at first; at about 10 minutes it's flowing over with juice and acidity, all flowing from the fauces. Delicate, clean, long, transparent, liquescent. Sadly both the flu and chemo fight the full enjoyment; let's leave this in the 2/7/18 Coravined bottle as we sip on it for a few weeks. 94/100; give it now through 2028.

This is a very ripe Auslese (in terms of degrees Oechsle, says Mosel Fine Wine) but playfully quaffable, probably up into Beerenauslese harvest ripeness but with a more lissome texture. I had heard that the Juffer-Sonnenuhr suggests vanilla, but never really picked up on that before; I can see how there is a focus of sesquiterpene concentration in mid-nose and mid-palate that suggests so. Whether there's actually any vanillin or wood in this wine seems to be questionable, but the overall shazamm is not.

It has long been the contention that the Brauneberger Juffer is a vineyard that makes big butch wines atyical of the Mittlemosel, and that it's almost impossible to make wines there with any kind of profound finesse. This is not a fault, but the vineyard's inward terroir, I'd contend. This wine, from the 'vineyard next door,'so to speak, and others from the Juffer-Sonnenuhr, suggest that in at least some plots of the latter, finesse may be equally hard to come by. This is perhaps not universally true, but I've seen it enough in the wines of the better-known estates here who make wine from it, that it's probably closer to the truth than I had previously supposed. Strangely, the Braatz, Sautter, and Swoboda 'Atlas of German Wine' seems to ignore this aspect of the sites, concenttrating on their 'filigreed' aspects. Other writers have concentrated on the iron-richness of the soils here, perhaps providing a reason for the difference in style.

It's sad how I get prejudiced against a house, and even one of the greats, from a single delivery of bad wine. I've been off of Haag, never even tasting one ever since I plunked down a lot of money for three bottles of a frankly bad GK Auslese Versteigerungswein (Auction Wine) of 1991 (a mere 27 years ago), so my apologies. i hope I actually wrote them to complain, but can't remember. They deserved that, at least.
Red
2/10/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
91 points
2012 Louis Latour Corton-Clos du Roi (France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru),for dinner 2/28/2018, with John and Elizabeth Edminsters, at Greenfire Bistro; Coravin, Riedel Burgundy. 14 pabv $79/750 mldwl, WineBid; Louis Latour; San Raphael, CA.ssBroadly sheety with very few tears; Dense in color with 5 mm fading. Lavender-dusted cherry juice color. Good value in this price range.

Weedy sweet cherry with firm high-floral overtones. Sweet but bitter cherry, balanced into fine dense tannin, medium somewhat neutral finish. Tried with rare goose breast (cold confit d'oie) and Franconian potatoes. Neutralizes the nose; bitters and then sweetens the confit and potatoes, and thrusts the rest of the sensations onto the finish so it becomes longer and less neutral. Excellent 'wash-down' match; advantage for high-end Latour reds are that they are made, even at their price range, as very good food wines if they are not over-analyzed but knocked back. Also good with Piave Veccio Oro del Tempo, a hard, Reggiano-like northeastern Italian cheese.

Anyone else ever notice the gulpability with food of their house style?

A medium-to-full-bodied, richly colored wine of somewhat punchy expressiveness; 91/100.
Red
1/5/2018 - sweetstuff wrote:
94 points
Drink now-2025. See private note.
White - Sweet/Dessert
12/2/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
88 points
A considerably different wine from its predecessor, the 1947, which is a Solera, not a vintage, but says so nowhere in the labeling or its box. That wine is the best I've tasted, perhaps a 93/100, but I have no sense of its predecessor the Solera 1927. Freely tearing, ruby red, 1 cm fading. Considerable volatile acidity, cherry; touch of thyme, hint of toast. Medium bodied on entrry; with raisined fruit and juicy acidity both full and in good balance, medium finish for a dessert wine. About 15 percent alcohol.
White - Sweet/Dessert
11/24/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
96 points
1983 Fürstlich Castell'sches Domänenamt Casteller Schlossberg Silvaner Eiswein (Germany, Franken), FrankischeWeinprämeriung Würzburg Goldmedaille (Gold Medal). Alcohol 8.5 pabv, AP 44; $46/750 ml from Brentwood/Benchmark, before premium and shipping. Klaus Dillman Has a Heritage Auction sticker on the bottle. Wine Warehouse, Los Angeles. Thanksgiving weekend as we approach our wedding early December (9).

These vineyards are a very special calcitic limestone-type soil which is a mixture of 'gipskeuper' and alabaster (I understand, having seen myself the huge alabaster carved jugs in the tasting room), giving a wonderful home-base for the Silvaner as it first came into Germany circa 1659 here, and probably in the region as a whole exceeding quality and style possibilities nearly everywhere else in the world for this grape.

Deep, slightly bitty green-amber; allowed under Argon in Coravin 4 hours before first taste. Bit of foamy sheeting; harmonious and integral tea, tree bark, light honey, and light rubber, veal broth, stewed apricot with touch of prune and clove or nutmeg. Snappy acidity with rich sweetness that is still in a tug of war with the tartness; smooth spearmint tea finish that sails on to great length and has a slightly peppery bass note holding things together. Has a slightly thicker texture in the mouth than a Riesling Eiswein, and the white wine tannins start showing their presence on the tongue as the session continues. The empty glass has a wonderful creamy/buttery/apple-skin aroma. Obviously still has some development potential in glass, but is at peak of maturity and pleasure. Later a nice light leather flavor emerges on palate.

There comes now a several hour period in which this scales the ladder up into a rare region of near perfection, finesse, and harmony with scintillating glimpses including a mahogany basso that hold the attention riveted and a sweet orange/anise combo that becomes more prominent as fruit lines up. Something very special and rare. If a half dozen bottlings have been made over the last 50 years I'd be shocked. Kudoses to Dillman and Detroit's Paul Mann,who selected this for import!)

Drink now-2022 if well-stored and in good condition 96+/100 RPP.

This bottle shows a classic-quality varietal Eiswein that is much more than the sum of its parts, and a super-steal at this price. Although showing evidence of Botrytis the difference is not all that important at this age in this sample.

Third day the wine develops more smoky leather and wet stone scents. Juicy sweetness, bitter zests, and tannins seem more in balance but still will develop in an open glass for many hours.

This was a wine that caused plenty of excitement at Tim McCarthy's Cost-Plus Wine Warehouse Eastern Market, Detroit, in the mid-nineteen eighties. I seem to remember it being released at retail at about $55, a stiff tariff in those days. One was shared among the regulars when I was absent and praised highly, and I've been looking for some at auction since. I've passed on one or two opportunities due to condition issues until today.

Note that there are two different Eisweine from this maker and vineyard: The AP 5000-044-84 was sold in the US in 750 ml Bocksbeutels and is said by the maker to be the sweeter in terms of RS; the AP 024084 was sold in Europe in 375 ml half-Bocksbeutels and is the drier. This was an enormous Eiswein harvest here, largest in memory. Not many vintages of this style of wine are made at Castell. See the Wiki notes. (78 views)
White - Sweet/Dessert
2004 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
11/13/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
95 points
2004 Château d'Yquem (France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes)14 percent; $180/375 ml; Dorothy Lane Market, Ooakwood (Dayton), OH. From Coravin to LeTaster

A second half-bottle of 2004 Yquem in a little over a year shows much less maturity than the first. Lovely green-orange and refractive, with completely smooth sheeting showing full extract. Strong juicy orange note and hints of hard spices with apricot honey, but definitely marked with ethyl acetate as it starts to blow off a subtle tobacco smoke and delicate waxiness begins to emerge. Very structured to acidity and fruit and prone to attack mouth mucous membranes moderately painfully with alcohol, but others without these issues noted this as well. There is a definite grilled fruit on the back-palate, accompanied by appropriately bitter white-wine tannins. A minty, monotonic, minutes-long extended finish shows that this particular bottling really needs more time for its best performance. If it is desired to enjoy this early, I'd decant it at least 24 hours in advance. Does one subtract for the volatility and evanescent nail polish remover? 95(?) RPP/100. Drink 2022-3032.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/3/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
11/3/2017 rated 93 points: 11/3/2017 rated 92 points: 2012 Domaine des Croix Corton-Grèves (France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru); bouteille no. 1708, 13 pabv. Imported by Favorite Brands, LLC, Becky Wasserman and Co. Served with the last of my frozen Lehto's Pasty out of a dozen I brought back from July. (5 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge, St. Ignace, on US-2, made from rutabaga and parsnip and sliced potato and paper- thin-stacked beef sirloin). I doubt Grand Cru red Burgundy ever got down into the iron or copper mines with pasties but what a match for food and wine! Lehto's, still as grubby as it should be, now sells hot pasties for consumption on spot (very limited space). Or you can take your immediates out to the parking lot--I've never met with a traffic jam out there. If you're treated grufflly and grumpily by the (usuallly) single cook/waiter in the place--rejoice. You are being either recognized as a 'local' from your last trip, or mistaken for one, and are getting the genuine 'Leto's experience'. How well these burgundies go with grandma's comfort food, washed down liberally!

Fulliish color from Coravin to Le Taster to Riedel Red Burg. Blood red with some transparency and a touch of brown at the edges, all this relatively rich. Very wide Tudor arches and very few tears. Rich, searching aromas of highest-quality Oolong tea thrown off by the first pour. Fruit in nose showing restraint to a pleasant herbosity, but what a savory and juicy richness is there too. In addition, a punch of blueberry (ripe, sweet blueberry) and the end of the nasal experience. In the mouth, with the wine quite cold, there is a punch of bitter and alcohol-laden fruit with something like a twist of bitter lime zest, maybe kumquat, smoothing and integrating rapidly. A very clean, tart, savory, lengthy finish. that builds from a block of saturated tannin covered with fruit. A pleasure to drink young but what more is on hand for the patient! 93/100 RPP; now-2028.

Fulliish color from Coravin to Le Taster to Riedel Red Burg. Blood red with some transparency and a touch of brown at the edges, all this relatively rich. Very wide Tudor arches and very few tears. Rich, searching aromas of highest-quality Oolong tea thrown off by the first pour. Fruit in nose showing restraint to a pleasant herbosity, but what a savory and juicy richness is there too. In addition, a punch of blueberry (ripe, sweet blueberry) and the end of the nasal experience. In the mouth, with the wine quite cold, there is a punch of bitter and alcohol-laden fruit with something like a twist of bitter lime zest, maybe kumquat, smoothing and integrating rapidly. A very clean, tart, savory, lengthy finish. that builds from a block of saturated tannin covered with fruit. A pleasure to drink young but what more is on hand for the patient! 92/100 RPP; now-2028. This is a medium-textured, well-extracted wine from one of Beaune's new and upcoming producers, who I am betting will change the terroir-geography of the region around Beaune in a very few years.

Oh, how does Clos de Vougeout compare QPR-wise? $58 auction average price; $99 at full retail. The 2010 bottling (q.v.) may be less expensive and may be drinking just a hair better now. Why should I give away all my secrets? Just built that way, I guess. But one can certainly pay more for a less-attractive CdV.

Now on 11/15/2017, twelve days later with another Coravin draw with Riedel red burgundy glass, wild cherry and white pepper, light sweet beet greens, mild Dr. Pepper, and the tiniest bit of cloves, holding back on the nose for now. Typical grand cru lissome red burg entry texture, cherry, refreshing well-integrated citrus bitterness, and really à point tannins--neither too full, too big or coarse, nor under nor overripe. This is proof, enhanced by the perfect tannins, as I have always thought, that red burg is the most gulpable of all wines--lovelywith back-of-the-stove kitchen soup, about as old as the Coravin piercing.

I can't say that I have a typical read on Corton or on the lieu-dit Grèves terroir, but this is much like a fine Beaune with a little extra layer and slightly fuller viscosity and that really beautiful tannin structure. May merit another point when the nose organizes and opens more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/27/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
93 points
2014 Château des Fougères Clos Montesquieu (France, Bordeaux, Graves)

Purchased as red Bordeaux for Jackie Speicher/John Trombley Wedding December 9, Saturday, 4 p.m., 2017, Trinity Church, Troy, OH. Taken delivery 10/13/2017. Service: Coravin through red Bordeaux Riedel through le Taster.

Garagiste. 750 ml/$20. 13 pabv. Free Run, LLC, Seattle, WA 98117. Beginning of a 1.5 mm fade but central color still opaque. Very wide gothic arches, more actually a broad sheeting.

Sweet cassis, hints of mineral, lead pencil, juicy red plum, smoky tar, and good harmony between elements.

This is a vivid, lissome wine that emphasizes red and black berries and holds perfect pitch on the treble end of its expressive scale. Its tannins are light and very fine and seem to anticipate the kind of food we are hoping to match---Middle Eastern (Araabic) meats and salads, with an ideal aftertaste for them. Jackie finds the fruit too bitter with her great sensitivity to that but with a plate full of such food she may find it coming into balance.

I'd anticipate drinking this later this year and through 2025, but my palate would like to pursue it into my time machine (Le Cache) much deeper! 93/100 rpp.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
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.
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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.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
10/19/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
89 points
2014 Moric Blaufränkisch (Austria, Burgenland); 10/18/2017; WineMonger, San Anselmo, CA; 12.5 pabv. winemonger.com; 866 Winemonger. Blue Goat; Traverse City, MI, $31.50/750. Curation: Amanda Danielson. Also known as Kekfrankos in Hungary and Lemberger in Germany, this red in its local incarnation (certainly not over-vinified and over-oaked) is one reason it's so lovely eating the food in central Europe. Moric is one of the 'back to the future' stars here; this is their entry--level offering. Relatively neutral-colored graded density, a little deeper than Pinot noir clones. An enticing raspberry-red berry offering to the nose with some subtle spiciness and slightly-fermented silage provide interest. Gentle sweet shoe leather plays well off my beef-lamb ragout built up with mine own Southwest-Ohio venison broth, whose secret ingredients are root vegetables: parsnip, carrot, celeriac, turnip, rutabaga and not crowding the cookware, please!. No celariac to be found this time around, so the parsnips were augmented with extra carrot. Lightly tearing at this apv. Broth has enhanced torrefaction the second day on. Lovely vivid high-tones envelope all, and an integrating finish. Won't insult this wine by giving it a RPP 90., rather, an 89+, along with the Dorothy Lane Market Dayton OH, Red Turkey Wheat made from their very own Mennonite strain of fresh-ground flower that is absolutely a perfect bread for this kind of thing, slathered with Amish butter.
Red
10/10/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
89 points
Blood-red with a little cherry fade at the edge. Best part is pure typical Chambolle pleasure--red verbena-clove-umami nose, witih outstanding lusciousness and typicity. Why would you want to pay this kind of money for a Village Chambolle? Taste it, baby, and enjoy. One of those relatively simple red burgs whose strong suit is luscious and lovely, and who cares if it's perfectly bright? Ahhhhh....don't sip it, swill it down! Liquescent and with orange-oil infusion, causing a river of appetizing anticipation for the food--Loup du Mer fish stew, something that surprises me to be seen on this side of the pond--its gooooood!! Bought a little too much for my Bouillabaise and got an extra potful out of it! Give it 2017-2020+ years.
Red - Fortified
10/4/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
1982 Kopke Porto Colheita (Portugal, Douro, Porto). 20 pabv; 500 ml/$76/Dorothy Lane Market, Oakwood (Dayton), OH. Produced, bottled, and shipped by Sogevius Fine WInes S.A., Vila Nova de Gaia. US Importer Wineworth LLC,. Belleville, WA 98005.

Sadly, t-corked. $76/500 ml about $102 per 750 ml basis). Bottled 2009, 27 years later 'matured in wood.' (Decanted today, 10/2/2017 10:30 a.m.)--double back into bottle. Quite cloudy, even after port filtration, with about 1/2 ounce 'mud' at bottom. Will need to taste today and then revisit as needed.

Tudor legs. Color very tawny-green. Honey, winesap apple, fig-roast walnuts and almonds at first with a little rough (volatile?) back-edge to nose. Integrated sweetness and fruit giving the impression of a drier style. The baked cherry tart taste reminds one of a fine old Grenache-based Vin Doux Naturel from the south of France with good trebles added on for size. Of course a completely different style than a vintage port from the era; very easy drinking, smooth, and long. Will follow. 92/100. Drink now and over the next week or three in the decanter. Although this is full of interest for me as a porto-lover, it's a crowd pleaser as well and needs no apologies to anyone who chooses it as a tipple. Will hold OK in the cellar, but don't overtire it--now-2023.

Food match: Jackie's Southern Cone Caramel Flan--very small sips bring up an integrated citrus note on palate--very fine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
9/18/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
94 points
12.5 percent. From half into Taster/Coravin as usual. Cork finished.
'Tudor tears.' Rich amber-gold with green cast. Again, the glue component of the botrytis reminds one very much of sweet shellac, later accompanied by wood resin. The confectionery fruit, orange, and honied/smoky fat elements are now a better home for the new oak here (quite appropriately oaked. Needs it to bring the power and finesse together to the table.

The wine is too much at present for my 'chemo mouth', but I'm chilling the Taster back down in the refrigerator to attempt to tame it. Can only give a minimum score of 94 at present. Overnight on the table at room temperature, well-integrated nose, sweet, fine, slightly glossy fruit, now showing Climens 'bones' with good transparency and fluid texture. This wine is more backward and more powerful than when I tasted it last (about 5 years ago), and, to be truthful, the taster just isn't up to it. Will revisit via Coravin and a small decanter.

2/20/2017 Removed Coravined cork and poured remaining 2 ounces or so into a Riedel Riesling. Plenty of finer tears; little change if any in color. Very thick, honied, sweet-smelling and dense aromas underlain by apricot and underlined with Vernor's ginger ale and perhaps a tiny whiff of volatiles. A bit of salty homemade chicken broth, too. ss There is a somewhat coarse, American-like oak scent here, needing more time to come together yet.

The palate is rich, sweet, and to me almost completely covered over by heat mid-way until the saturated finish peeks out from under the edge of this blast-furnace of a wine. Hard to judge, but there seems to be a need for much more cellaring before this will give any pleasure to those like me to introduce into my mouth. Perhaps smaller sips might be a help.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White
2016 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Vin de Pays de l'Hérault White Blend (view label images)
9/17/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
90 points
2016 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem (France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Vin de Pays de l'Hérault)

$11/750. 50 percent Syrah/Carignane. $11/750 ml, 12 pabv, Greenfire Bistro, Tipp City, MI (Art Chin). Imported by Vanguard Vines, Columbus, OH. Coravin through new Coravin screw-cap replacement into le Taster. Very pale greenish color. Slightly ashy, almost Chablis-like, upon opening. Cream and alpine strawberries and honey, with pleasant overtones (very slight) of asphalt and straw or chestnut. Light brothy flavor contrasts with a more caressing mouthfeel, and juicy acids for contrast are not lacking. As it warms the sap rises and some skin tang becomes more apparent and perhaps important. 89-90/100; drink now through 2020? Excellent value. Perhaps the wine has structure for more aging than this; I have no experience by which to judge it.

Of course this is the product of the negociant arm of the domaine that makes the important Mas de Gassac Daumas, a brilliant Emile Peynaud success of that era, that I've followed on and off since the 1980s.
White - Off-dry
9/15/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
93 points
2006 Weingut Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese (Germany, Mosel ). AP 07 07, 8 pabv. Re-tasting of fresh bottle from Coravin/le Taster, same source; first bottle had been frozen, but was able to score 3 more at the original source, so one more is sacrificed in the name of science:

Orange green of adolescent botrytis. Plenty of TDN, showing accompanying honied caramel, burying the primary fruit aromas and not revealing what's to come. The wine is light-auslese level sweetness and punch, with most of the goodies and minerals tied up in the citrus complex. Finish shows sufficient fruity acidity to encourage a good future, and is quite expansive, actually, A great example of a firmly excellent Mosel Riesling wine in a sulky adolescence. Very much, originally, of the style and quality of the 2015; in addition, a couple days in the refrigerator under argon brings the wine into a very nice harmony with itself and makes it deliciously gulpable, even. Confirms my impression that this vintage can make relatively Baroque-styled, 1976 botrytis driven wine, that can take me back into the '80s when my palate was thoroughly corrupted by drinking such things. Drink 2020-2030. 93/100 RPP.

Theo Haart and family and colleagues are owed a huge debt for the renewal of the highest-level wine-making in this, one of the world of Riesling's greatest parcels, despite all efforts to destroy it by cheapening and over-commercialization by those who knew better, or should've.

12/21/2012: Opened Coravined bottle after 3 months in refrigerator. Lovely cherry-caramel and thyme honey nose with a whiff of petrol in this gold-green, richening-color wine. Sweet orange peel and lime with a hint of malt; still in balance to sweetness but a little drier than the younger wine recalls; very juicy and with an energetic minerality now tamped down as the inner fires come around. 92-93; lovely; I think last bottle went over to the wedding on 12/09/17. Not a bit of burning on my disrupted mouth's mucous membranes; a cancer patient's dream for a lovely wine. Drink now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
9/13/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (Germany, Mosel, Bereich Bernkastel [Mittelmosel])

8.5 pabv, AP 27 13; $42/750 ml; Dorothy Lane Market, Oakville, OH. Cellars International/Rudi Wiest. Coravin/Le Taster.

Polished rich brass, at first fully spritzig. Because initial contact suggested quite a bit more lees aroma (what some people call 'sulfur stink') than usual, along with 'Sponti' still perceptible in the form of a fermented hay note, sample was subsequently splash decanted. Green, minty notes of honey-drizzled peach and kiwi and clotted cream, perhaps even salt butter/vanilla , and with a note of energetic minerality underneath and full Spätlese mouth weight. Entrance sweet and limy but with a softish mid-palate at first, perhaps due to adolescent awkwardness, but fills in starting at about an hour. Gives a harmonious and brilliant glissando of flavor somehow containing and enfolding everything the wine has to show so far. Finish comes back strong and expressive with a tonic twist, encouraging me to think that even better times are in store. A wine that definitely picks up a powerful punch as the evening progresses, almost Himmelreich-like but with less spice. Drinking soon, a vigorous splash decant recommended, but better still, 2020 through 2030. 92+? for now. Now retasted two days later, all is confirmed. Remains at 92 points because of style issues (not fully typical of the expected vineyard's products in this producer's hands), but that may change. Now a sort of dry lime-slightly underripe peach, buffered by powerful fruit; a touch of blackcurrant, tasting sweeter than it smells, a sort of punch-up personality; just needs to reign in the horses and get over a case of the TDNs.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
9/10/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
93 points
2015 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Ausleses, AP 17; 7.5 pabv., Dorothy Lane Market, Oakville, OH; Rudi Weist, Carlsbad, CA.

From previously Coravined bottle that had about 4 weeks under argon. Well chilled and reinserted the Coravin for a sample for Impitoyable/Le Taster.

Color quite light and plenty of small tartrate plates are now evident. Light dose of lees but honey and redcurrant underneath white peach; typical light tobacco smoke, spring honey, and minerals and a little white miso broth. Its clarity and finesse and savoriness are there but it's a litttle less precise than memory would lead one to believe at this point. Zingy, fermentation-laden acids nearly wipe out the usual Auslese-level sweetness in this wine. A slight but unusual and pleasant taste of bitter cherries and cherry pip. Very expressive finish shows promise. Drinks better when gulped, not sipped, at crisp temperatures these days. Drink 2020-2040.
5 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
9/9/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
flawed
2009 Royal Tokaji Wine Co. Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos, 11 pabv, $50/500 ml, Village Corner.

Straw with brown cast; reticent tearing. Tobacco and apricot jelly, orange zest, quince jellly. Entry sweet, tangy, but somewhat soft and acid deficient; some citric and mineralic energy. Overall pleasant but lacks something compared with wines available elsewhere in this line. To be fair, is this shop-worn? Taken off shelf in a store that I have in the past questioned the stock rotation policies and will talk to them again. 85/100 RPP reserved rating.

12 days later under refrigeration: Opened; cork inspected-it's OK. Gold from le Taster; butter and caramel taking equal part with fruit; count here as flawed (oxidized) bottle, but the disjointedness points also to cork taint.
2 people found this helpful
White - Sweet/Dessert
9/9/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
87 points
Labeled 'Suß'; also 'Niederoesterreich', not 'Kremstal', $40/375 ml, Jerardi's Little Store. Theise/Skurnik.

One of the two 'eclipse' wines for August 21, 2017, in Athens, TN, at totality, the other being the Extra Brut N.V. Varnier-Fanniere Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée "Jean Fannière Origine", superb current drinking but not very 'Extra Brut'. Very light bronze in color; honey, apple flower, tobacco, hint of lime; simple but sweet on the entry with slight hints of GV veggies and lime; good, crisp acid balance; a little lime on the otherwise long but neutral finish. Drink now throughs. 2025. Would score up higher as a wine match for rare astronomical events if you're writing a book on the same; actually, the mixed crowd loved it and I left the dregs for the hostess, who was volubly appreciative.
White
9/8/2017 - sweetstuff Likes this wine:
91 points
AP 01-16; Frederick Wildman, $43/750 ml; Village Corner in Ann Arbor. 9.5 percent and probably meant to be Halbtrocken, approximately, or less. Straw on the lightish side, not at all spritzing. Spontaneous yeastiness, seemingly lees-exposed and a product of reductive wine-making. Tobacco leading into redcurrant and hay notes evident from the Coravined bottle, about 5 days in and originally opened at a Riesling tasting with Sean O'Keefe at Mari Vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan. Overall nose is still quite closed. Brisk to firm '15 acids, closed, dense, with white peach and full mouth-feel and some considerable way to go in the cellar to resolve the acidity and lime-zest notes. Juicy, energetic, vibrant, and dry-side finish and some skin tang there too, but there's a suggestion of combined clarity and finesse to come. 89-91 RPP/100 with some upside. Drink 2019-2025 or onward. Drink well chilled if you're not going to await maturity. 2020-2030.

Eleven days onward under argon in refrigerator: Still obviously spritzig, and with definite lanolin notes; very much what it was but what's coming is coming! jht
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
9/8/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
flawed
AP 7 07; 8 pabv. $42/750 ml; Dorothy Lane Market, Oakville, OH. Cellars International, Inc. Coravined several times, and cork pulled at about 3 weeks.

Bottle accidentally frozen after the first Coravin. Impression was that it was of a level with the 2014. Now:

Tanned bronze. Very pleasant somewhat aged TDN, peach, and tobacco smoke. The house sweet spätlese style, almost an Auslese, but not quite juicy enough for residual at this point; was better I think the first go-round with the Coravin. Lemon and honey finish. Typical creaminess of vintage, but lacking the clarity of the best Mosel wines. Hard to judge its future. 90?/100, making due allowance. Should be re-tasted if a chance presents itself.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Mari Vineyards Bulldog Red Old Mission Peninsula Red Blend
9/6/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
91 points
2013 Mari Vineyards Bulldog Red ( Blaufrankish 60% Zweigelt 30% Lagrein 10% )

From Coravin into Riedel Cabernet Sauvignon. Slightly darker and more purple than your average Pinot Noir. Nose is complex and chordal: searching cinnamon, cherry, blueberry, and red raspberry, followed on by sweet raspberry with honey overtone underlain by savory plum. The Le Taster reveals in addition smoke and uncured bacon fat with a resinous-earthy note. Tart entry with fullish but ripe tannins, fed by energetic-mineralic sesquiterpene-containing citrus midpalate. At this time the finish is simple and smoky, but with plenty of mid-length and room to grow; as a matter of fact, a juicy tart cherry fillip is entering into the finish. Nice prospects and even some current pleasure; splash-decanting or early opening recommended for now. Drink 2018-2026. 89-92
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
9/6/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
92 points
$24/750 ml at Village Corner, Ann Arbor; 19.5 pabv, Vintus, Pleasantville, NY. Originally opened about 9.26 by removing long cork (I'd forgotten my Coravin)

Very early 0.5 mm fading in the LeTaster, with the rest of the color dense. At halfway through the bottle over some days open no evidence yet of crust. Sweet smoky bacon fat, floral, anise or horehound, touch of pine resin and vanillin, touch of male cosmetic scent, underlain by a little juicy plum at 10 days out. Originally the plum predominating with little else, showing this needs decanting at this time or opening a day or two before. Licorice, bitter orange, sweet/tart/fruit/tannin in balance, a little heat to my irritated mucous membranes but not to yours most likely. Medium to long finish confirms all this. Tannin to me accumulates as I sip it, so maybe much of it is originally fruit-bound. Drink 2018-2029. Much more drinkable than the 2008, I understand, and buttressed by my earlier tasting notes on that vintage. Longevity a guess, but may be exceeded.

Basis for score: a flawless (excellent) wine with comparable aditional organoleptic or sensory qualities for current or near term drinking and batting out of its league quality wise. Highly recommended when compared even with other traditional LBVs at this point in my experience. Style is like a more elegant and complex Warres Traditinal LBV of which I'm a fan of in selected vintages, such as the 1982 and 2003 but offering more at this stage of development for enjoyment. Also scores high for AOC and estate typicity.
White - Sweet/Dessert
9/6/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
89 points
2011 Château Vartely Muscat Ice Wine, Moldovia, Central Region, 10 percent abv, 22 percent residual sugar (220 g/dl label value).
purchased Miami Valley W&S, Tipp City, OH. $25/375 ml; Sorocai Imports, Centerville, OH.

Coravin Vintage to LeTaster. Relatively light bronze- brown color, with some dark particulates 0.5 mm, spherical. Clearer and lighter in color at 5 days out.

Nose shows some honey, peach, varietal grapiness and a perceptible foxiness, and a touch of ethyl acetate suggested. No evidence of nonbotrytis ice wine fresh air-radish scents. Grapy-honied-slightly foxy, without any volatility detected at 5 days; and a vidal-like tobacco-peach profile like found in some Canadian Ice Wines.

Viscous, sweet but tartness to balance. Relatively neutral, with a hint of sweet-bitter lime/grapefruit, later showing a pleasant emerging juicy-saline midpalate. Marked down a couple points for lack of ice wine typicity and minor or only possible flaws. Good value for pleasurable drinking, but not to introduce a friend to the typical ice wine. The soaring acidity one looks for in Ice Wine is not exactly missing but is at this point buried under sweetness and fruitiness. A powerful, somewhat rustic-tending dessert wine but a good value for its price. 89 RPP/100. Drink now-2022.
Spirits
9/4/2017 - sweetstuff wrote:
91 points
65.15 pabv, 130.3 proof. Kroger, Piqua, OH. High rye, quite woody, sweet and vanillic in the nose; somewhat sweet to palate, quite harmonious/complex.
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