Comments on my notes

(56 comments on 51 notes)

1 - 50 of 51 Sort order
White - Off-dry
2019 Colchester Ridge Estate Winery Gewürztraminer Crew Lake Erie North Shore VQA
3/15/2022 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Peaches, roses, and candied white flowers on the nose. Distinctly flavoured, fresh and exotic palate; light-med bodied; very good finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    3/27/22, 3:40 PM - It's like my nose has been unshackled and it's free to roam and report again

White
2018 Bodega Catena Zapata Chardonnay High Mountain Vines Mendoza
11/27/2019 - Double-A wrote:
88 points
Woody and distinct. Good flavours and balance in line with Californian Chardonnay expectations.
3.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    3/27/20, 5:54 AM - It is a wine from Argentina, but I am comparing it's style of winemaking to that of California.
    Cheers.

Red
2016 Château de Treviac Corbières Red Blend
1/8/2020 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Dark and savoury with black olive, new leather and withered berry nose. Very good flavours and presence; well-balanced finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    1/9/20, 7:56 AM - Although the 2017 is advertised to be available, it was the 2016 that we were sent for assessment...we will have to wait and see what hits the shelves on the 11th. Cheers.

Red
2011 Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz Lieu dit Malakoff Pyrenees
7/10/2019 - Double-A wrote:
95 points
Dark garnet colour. Aromatic, black pepper, leather, Worcestershire sauce, dried currant, and jalapeño nose. Glossy, flavourful and evolved palate with savoury Kalamata olive notes; drinking beautifully now with all elements knit together seamlessly.
5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/8/19, 11:37 AM - I sincerely appreciate your feedback.
    Cheers.

Red
2004 Château d'Aiguilhe Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend
3/4/2008 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Aromatic, cola, coffee and toasty new oak over currant fruit nose. Rich and plush with balanced acidity and ripe tannins; good grip to the long, toasty, currant finish.
5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    7/23/19, 10:29 AM - Similar notes, but enhanced impression over my last tasting. Could be the time aerating or the effect of the other wines against which I was tasting the d'Aiguille ... either way, it showed very well.

Red
2002 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley
3/6/2007 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Forward, spicy, buttery oak over black currant fruit with a slight mushroom note. Ripe and dry, creamy and glycerined palate with firm, spicy tannins and a long, toasty finish.
5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    4/16/19, 11:39 AM - Hi Mark1npt
    Just a heads up. It's a newly posted note but it's for a 2007 tasting. Hope the bottle still shows well for you. Cheers.

  • Double-A commented:

    4/16/19, 12:47 PM - Almost. I have wine crates filled with 20 years of paper-and-pen tasting notes; I decided to switch to a digital platform last year and use CellarTracker to keep my notes handy. When I have spare time I have been adding the highlights from past tastings and back-dating the notes for reference.

White
1997 Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough
Explosive and engaging nose of tropical fruit and invigorating green freshness. Juicy flavours and great balance. Engaging and memorable.
  • Double-A commented:

    1/14/19, 10:13 AM - Brought to our store manager's summer pool party by co-worker Pierre Kelly and drank out of a plastic Solo cup. This was the first wine ever to make me go WOW, now I get it! ...and I embarked on a study and a career in the business.

White
2015 Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Getting better...but that's not saying a lot. Instead of smelling of sweat, onion, and plastics (mercaptan defect?), the 2015 is more like white grapes and grapefruit with an un-clean note that can be best described as that of an empty tuna can.

Three vintages ago, this was the wine that clued me into what can go wrong with NZ winemaking. Formerly one of the best examples and expressions of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, It became a study for me in what can go wrong with a wine.

My estimations are something to do with reductive, anaerobic winemaking techniques possible coupled with stabilizing sulphur and further reduction due to bottling under a screwcap.

Dogpoint is not alone regarding these characteristics, It has become more apparent over the past couple years in many of what were previously quality, clean wines. I wonder even if the defects are not present at the time of bottling, but develop over the next year before opening?

I can see that people are buying and positively reviewing this wine. My assessments are made in a professional tasting room, so I understand that I will be more critical than the average consumer and I am more likely to pick apart a wine and dissect it rather than just enjoy it.

I would appreciate comment and feedback from someone more in-the-know regarding what's going on in NZ winemaking and/or in chemical defects.
  • Double-A commented:

    11/18/16, 8:17 AM - Thanks for weighing in, I was hoping to generate a buzz with this post. Admittedly I have never used the 'Tuna can' tasting descriptor before; it reflects an attempt to summarize an unfamiliar characteristic (other voices in the tasting room were less diplomatic).
    NZ Sauvignon are great for polarizing opinions, recently I sampled both the 2015 and 2016 Kim Crawford; I enjoyed both and celebrated their cleanliness - my colleague, however couldn't stand the 2016. The world would be so less interesting if we all agreed all the time. Cheers.

  • Double-A commented:

    11/7/18, 12:35 PM - Hi BordeauxNut,

    Dog Point along with Stoneleigh's Latitude were the first and most visible NZ wines in our market to show off with a distinctly gassy (or sweaty) expression. I chose to use Dog Point as the point of communication as I have had more opportunities to sample it than any other. I do encounter it with some regularity in other NZ wines as well and more recently, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc too.

    I have been able to discuss the issue with a Master of Wine working in New Zealand as well as a New Zealand winemaker working locally. What I have come to understand is that none of this is by accident, whatever I am perceiving (I am pretty confident it is H2S) is there by design. I'm just in the minority in finding it's levels to be offensive. And yes it shows up in the 2017 too, I just didn't bother to post it as I think I've made my point now.

    Thanks for keeping the conversation going, but I won't be complaining about this issue anymore.

    Cheers,

Red
2015 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District
10/2/2018 - Double-A wrote:
88 points
Bright cherry and toast nose. Full and chocolaty with good fruit and a fresh balance. Warming finish.
3.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    10/29/18, 7:34 AM - I appreciate the comment as it had me look again at my notes for the wine and noticed I entered the wrong score for the 2006 - it is correct now at 95/100. I use Cellar Tracker as a cataloging tool and need the score entry to sort and reference amongst my past tastings.

    On the day of sampling, the 2015 for me lacked aromatic intensity and complexity to put it into the 90's, but it is still a well-made bottle of wine and I feel my tasting notes reflect that.

    Cheers,

Red
2006 Penfolds Shiraz RWT Barossa Valley
11/2/2010 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Rich blackberry nose with toast and spice notes. Full, ripe and rich palate with a pure, lengthy finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/18, 6:53 AM - As it might be clear by now, I am in the process of uploading past tasting notes to Cellar Tracker (I have boxes of papers catalogued back to 1999). I can't include all that I have sampled over the years, but the most worthy of comment will get a note.
    2010 is bringing back memories of great Australian wines; it's like going through a photo album of old friends.
    Cheers.

Red
2008 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
11/27/2012 - Double-A wrote:
80 points
Opaque, ruby colour. Rich, ripe, almost raisined nose. Warming with gripping tannins. Tarry, balsamic finish. Clumsy by Coonawarra standards of the past.
2.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/13/18, 9:24 AM - I have posted a note from a May 2012 tasting as well. The description reads as similar but my overall impression was very different.

    I have elected to post both as evidence that even with practiced impartiality, frame of mind or external influence can notably affect perception and ultimate criticism.

Red
2015 Penfolds Bin 389 South Australia Cabernet-Shiraz Blend, Red Blend
8/7/2018 - Double-A wrote:
88 points
Tarry, dark berry nose, with a bit of nut and caramel. At first, juicy and glycerined but then awkwardly acidic. Finishes well with echoes of the aromas. Time will help tame the acidity but it seems to be there only to serve that purpose.
3.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    8/8/18, 5:31 AM - Thank you 'batcavewines' for posting a comment to which I can specifically respond:
    The wine was opened but not decanted for about two hours before sampling; it had been tasted by a few others by the time I poured it into my glass, so it was exposed to some aeration, but not extensive.

    I picked the 389 and 407 specifically to include in this tasting because I have fond memories and high expectations of Penfolds wines.

    I appreciate that people get excited about their bottles (my experience with Beaucastel fans comes to mind); it makes for a more interesting world when we each have our own voice. But ultimately I post what I assess in the glass on a given day. If it offers a different experience at maturity I hope to be able to post it here.
    Cheers to all.

Red
2015 Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley
6/12/2018 - Double-A wrote:
flawed
Rather pruney, oxidized and tired. Atypical ageing or flawed bottle?
  • Double-A commented:

    7/20/18, 11:25 AM - Re-tasted July 20 2018. Clean sample this time.

Red
2014 Maison L'Envoyé Pinot Noir The Attaché Willamette Valley
5/15/2018 - Double-A wrote:
85 points
Ripe, lush and fruity. Medium-bodied with a fruit-floral finish. Good length.
3/5
  • Double-A commented:

    6/6/18, 5:02 PM - A pleasant drink yes, but what i left unsaid is that by pinot noir standards, it's lacking a structured bitterness to balance the soft fruit.
    In my application 3/5 (my 85) is a good wine but with room for improvement.
    Cheers.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Taittinger Champagne Brut Réserve Champagne Blend
11/27/2012 - Double-A wrote:
88 points
Mineral, smoke, toasted nut and lees on the nose. Solid and balanced with integrated effervescence. My experience with Taittinger is inconsistent - this bottle I found to be better one of the better ones.
3.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    5/27/18, 12:41 PM - It's an older 2012 note but I haven't had anything lately to change my opinion. I sampled the Rose Brut a couple of weeks ago and didn't find it engaging enough to bother taking the time to post a note.
    Cheers.

Red
2015 Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier Canberra District Shiraz Blend, Syrah
5/15/2018 - Double-A wrote:
90 points
Pure fruit aroma of blackberry with clay and black ink on the nose. Ripe with fresh poise; still primary in the fruit to finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    5/16/18, 6:07 AM - My tasting note describes a quality young wine that I afford a 4/5 rating; I attach a score out of 100 as that is the only format Cellar Tracker supports for community ratings. Is 90/100 truly a tough mark or could the reverse be true and those that offer a score of 98 or 99/100 be too easy to please?

    Point of reference:
    Clonakilla Shiraz 2015 - JS score- 99
    Dandelion Shiraz 2016 - JS score - 94

    It just turns out to be that my slider is about 10 points to the left of the celebrated critics centre.

Red
2010 Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Speck Family Reserve Short Hills Bench VQA
10/4/2016 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Medium garnet colour. Dried cherry, driftwood, dried flowers, and orange peel nose. Dry, medium body with balanced acidity and gripping tannins. Long, complex finish. 4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    11/5/17, 7:05 PM - Thanks for highlighting the tasting note; I often find there's a brooding curiosity in Pelham Pinots

  • Double-A commented:

    3/12/18, 8:09 AM - They probably aren't going to disappear off the shelf overnight, so I vote open a bottle and check it out - it will need food, something like a mushroom risotto with lots of Parm as these are not cuddly wines. The 2010's are built more like Barolo than Burgundy.
    The question is, will they continue to age and improve and it's been a while since I tasted this vintage; my experience with Pelham Pinots from warm years are that they go in and out of phases of pleasure and funk, so you are going to have to risk enjoying one. If its beautiful, buy the rest, if it if fading, put the cork back in the bottle and return it to the store. Nothing lost.
    Cheers.

Red
2012 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
12/10/2017 - Double-A wrote:
85 points
Ruby colour. Fruit-centric, dark berry nose. Med-full-bodied palate; dark, ripe berry finish.
3/5

*sampled from 375mL bottle as a vertical tasting: 1990, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2012
  • Double-A commented:

    12/18/17, 6:56 PM - The 2012 hasn't made much of a move from my assessment in 2014, so my guess is that it will continue to take its time to evolve and maybe in 10 years or so present like the 2000 today.
    As for improvement, that will depend on your preferences. I don't think that vintage is much worthy of the investment, but to another at our table, he preferred the dense, youthful flavour of the 2012 over all others poured that day. (I'd rather three bottles of the Coudoulet for mid-term cellaring)

Red
2015 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
10/31/2017 - Double-A wrote:
85 points
Dark berry nose, with cherry liqueur and sweet spice notes. Full and dry with solid, grippy tannins; firm, assertive, spiced finish.
3/5
  • Double-A commented:

    10/31/17, 4:26 PM - Sampled beside two other Chateauneuf, a Vacqueyras and two Cotes du Rhone amongst other international wines. Beaucastel presented a solidly made wine, but not a stand-out in terms of complexity or intensity.
    I do think it will reward cellaring, but I assess the wine as it presents at the time tasting...admittedly too young for best appreciation.

  • Double-A commented:

    11/1/17, 5:26 AM - P-M, I absolutely agree. I am not trying to distort the rating system, only to set wines where I feel they should rest on a quality scale. Where applicable I will set my rating to include what I sense to be quality potential; case in point, the 2015 Crognolo by Sette Ponti. I rated it 4.5/5 - a bottle with a very good future ahead of it.

    Where I feel the disconnect is here might be in the use of the 100 point system. Far to casual use of 90+ ratings out there, particularly from pro reviews; I find it refreshing that the Cellar Tracker community generally has more restraint. I use a five point system as I feel it better separates the good from the great from the outstanding.

    Ultimately, even if it is contrary to popular opinion, I was not enamoured by Beaucastel. To my assessment it merits a 'good' rating of 3/5.

    Always happy to called in to participate in a debate

    Cheers,

Red
2012 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
10/31/2017 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Aromatic, vanilla oak, biscuit and currant nose. Full bodied, ripe and flavourful. Very good replays and finish.
4.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    10/31/17, 4:18 PM - Year after year, Silver Oak delivers as advertised. Great quality and consistency - I have never been disappointed.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Tarlant Champagne Brut Rosé Champagne Blend
5/16/2017 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Bright, salmon pink colour. Cherry, apple, floral, and earth nose. Dry and wonderfully elegant and balanced palate. Long spiced mineral finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    10/8/17, 10:22 AM - Yes, it was a preview of Ontario's June 10th 2017 release

  • Double-A commented:

    10/8/17, 10:40 AM - Good call... Sold out in our area. A beautiful wine and worth grabbing if you see it nearby.

Red
2009 Azienda Agricola Taurino Salice Salentino Riserva Negroamaro
8/6/2013 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Pale, ruby/garnet colour. Aromatic and complex with red berry, citrus rind, withered roses and sweet nut on the nose. Flavourful and supple, ripe and lengthy finish. A gem at $15
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/26/17, 5:10 PM - Upon seeing this wine at the tasting I had an expectation of flavor and profile built upon an experience more than ten years previous. It was one of the first wines to get my attention and challenge my understanding of flavor and character that can be achieved through the fermentation of grape juice..
    Sometimes you build something up and put it on a pedestal in your recollections, but it delivered everything exactly as I remembered. Very comforting, very rewarding.

White
2014 Viña Requingua Chardonnay Toro de Piedra Gran Reserva Maule Valley
12/13/2016 - Double-A Does not like this wine:
80 points
Lemondrop, guava and smoke nose. Tart and citrusy palate. Weighty finish. Confusing. Presents more like a Californian Fume Blanc than as Chardonnay; so much so, that one could wonder as to whether the wine was labeled and shipped correctly.
  • Double-A commented:

    3/22/17, 2:50 PM - I found and posted a tasting note from July 2015. Labeled with the same vintage, but there has to be different liquid in the bottle.

Red
2008 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Viña Real Gran Reserva Tempranillo
9/8/2015 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Dark currant, bread dough, mineral, and tar on the nose. Good replays, solid, gripping palate; good fruit and spice flavours to finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    3/19/17, 12:47 PM - No I didn't decant it as I usually find there to be little sediment in Rioja wines and the aromatic characteristics are readily apparent; however the bottle was probably open for an hour or two before I tasted it.
    As a Gran Reserva, the wine has the stuffing to keep aging gracefully for years to come, but given the right situation, it would be no crime to enjoy it right now. Cheers.

Red
2010 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
5/17/2016 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Dried berry, leather, lacquer, and mineral nose. Rich, complex and assertive palate with a delineated minerality to bisect the fruit. Good freshness; elegant finish.
5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    3/17/17, 6:57 AM - I am in the process of transcribing pen-and-paper tasting notes and posting them in reverse-chronological order. I found that I had assessed this wine in Nov 2015 and was not as generous in my review.
    Could be that it was up against some stellar competition that day and showed as one of the better wines in May 2016 - either way I will leave the postings to reflect how I assessed them at a given point in time.

Red
2014 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
10/4/2016 - Double-A Does not like this wine:
83 points
Inky purple colour with pink rim. Blueberry jam, black cherry preserves and hot chocolate powder nose. Soft and amlost off-dry; more structure from alcohol than tannin. Ripe berry fruit and vanilla finish.
Cabernet should not taste like this. Wine should not taste like this. Wagner's Vision prevails.
2.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    3/10/17, 8:52 AM - I appreciate the feedback. I strive to be open-minded and post more strict and impartial assessments of the wines I sample, but I think my frustrations came through that day.
    I guess I am fearful of a trend toward homogenization and simplification and that in the future it will be harder to find wines with remarkable varietal/regional/vineyard/vintage characteristics. When consumers are presented with a rash of wines made in this style, and they are critically celebrated, more wineries will get on board to feed the masses.
    I never want to dismiss an individuals preference, and making wine is not just a passion, but a business too... I get it, but I don't mind being the one to point out the Emperor's new clothes.

Red
2011 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura Sangiovese
2/21/2017 - Double-A Likes this wine:
88 points
Subtle and integrated cherry/currant, floral and nut nose. Med-full, with savoury, well-balanced flavours. Lengthy, complex finish.
3.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    2/22/17, 10:24 AM - I don't disagree. I have the opportunity to sample currently available wines and I record my assessments. I will add however, that even in youth, the Poggio alle Mura dosen't show as much character as I expected given the estate and level of production; likely the influence of the harvest as you described. Certainly a wine to re-assess in the years to come. Cheers.

Red
2014 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel Red Rhone Blend
11/1/2016 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Aromatic, peppery, floral, spiced nose. Juicy, bright, med-full bodied. Fresh, peppery finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    2/1/17, 4:48 PM - My tasting was from a bottle provided for assessment. It was more expressive in youth than typical for Perrin family wines. Keep it if you can, drink it if you must.

Red
2013 Gérard Bertrand Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel Grand Terroir Grenache Blend, Grenache
1/3/2017 - Double-A wrote:
85 points
Subtle nose. Cherry, red apple, cranberry aromas. Dry, med-bodied; balanced, flavours and finish. Good earthy notes mid-palate.
3/5
  • Double-A commented:

    1/13/17, 9:51 AM - I usually get into the French wines early in the tasting, so it was not likely open for longer than an hour at the time I sampled it. The wine was not decanted, but I would recommend it if you have the time and resources.

Red
2010 Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Reserve Niagara Peninsula VQA
9/6/2016 - Double-A Likes this wine:
85 points
Pale garnet colour. Dried cherry, leather and mineral on the nose. Medium-bodied and dry. Solid structure; still showing some of the 2010 muscle. Not a fruity wine, but balanced and interesting (almost more like a delicate Nebbiolo than Pinot)
3/5
  • Double-A commented:

    12/1/16, 2:32 PM - I have found over the years that this Pinot goes in and out of phases between tastings. A live wine - always interesting.

Red
2006 Bodega Weinert Cabernet Sauvignon Lujan de Cuyo
12/1/2016 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Immediately expressive upon uncorking. Looks older, smells older... a great start. Aromas display currants, driftwood, and leather with more barnyard coming out with aeration; a classy array of nut highlights (walnut, almond and chestnut) give depth and complexity. Dry and maturing with a balancing, sweet ripeness to the fruit on the palate, the only reminder that this is a New World wine. Good, toasted nut and currant finish. A proper Cabernet, at a proper age.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    12/1/16, 6:58 AM - I remember this brand (maybe even this wine), as the first, and for a while the only, Argentine wine on the shelf for sale; for three years in a row it was labeled as a 1995. Nice to see it back and showing well.

Red
2013 Wente Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Livermore Valley
10/18/2016 - Double-A Likes this wine:
85 points
Smoke, red and black currant and sweet spice noise. Good fruit and flavour; well balanced finish.
Nothing missing here. Good Cab at a good price.
3/5
  • Double-A commented:

    10/27/16, 12:45 PM - Tried it a second time that afforded a different perspective, so I have adjusted my review to be a bit more realistic.
    It was the better wine at the table the first tasting but more average amongst the second. Relativity matters.

Red
1989 Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Coronas Reserva Mas La Plana Penedès
9/19/2002 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Leather, toast, forest floor, rounded currant, anise and red apple skin nose. Rounding flavours, good balance, gripping tannins. Very long finish.
5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/28/16, 12:06 PM - Tasted in the fall of 2002 as a part of a vintage veritical: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 & 1998.

Red
1991 Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Coronas Reserva Mas La Plana Penedès
9/19/2002 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Aromatic, minty, leather, rounding currant and cocoa nose. Full bodied and fresh tasting with very firm tannin. Med-long finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/28/16, 11:59 AM - Tasted in the fall of 2002 as a part of a vintage veritical: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 & 1998.

Red
1993 Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Coronas Reserva Mas La Plana Penedès
9/19/2002 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Rounding plum, raisin, leather and black currant nose. Very dry with fresh acidity and firm tannins. Med-long currant finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/28/16, 11:58 AM - Tasted in the fall of 2002 as a part of a vintage veritical: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 & 1998.

Red
1997 Torres Cabernet Sauvignon (Black Label) Mas La Plana Penedès
9/19/2002 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Fresh currant, herb, smoke and toast with some rounding fruit and mint notes. Fresh, solid, full and firm. Long, toasty, minty finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/28/16, 11:53 AM - Tasted in the fall of 2002 as a part of a vintage veritical: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 & 1998.

Red
1998 Torres Cabernet Sauvignon (Black Label) Mas La Plana Penedès
9/19/2002 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Aromatic, smoky/toasty, mocha, vanilla, currant and plum nose. Full with great extract. Firm and lengthy finish.
5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/28/16, 11:42 AM - Tasted in the fall of 2002 as a part of a vintage veritical: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997 & 1998.

Red
1999 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
6/14/2006 - Double-A Likes this wine:
88 points
Subtle nose of mineral/earth, plum, cherry and mint. Full and dry with ripe tannins medium acid. Good fruit and finish. Given the older wines in the flight one can see that this will benefit from more time in the cellar.
3.5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 2:15 PM - Tasted in a vertical flight of 1970, 1980, 1990, 1999, and 2001 vintages(the newest vintage at the time of the tasting).

    Before this tasting I was only mildly impressed by this wine, but to experience it in this perspective and appreciate what can be achieved with long-term cellaring was eye opening and most rewarding.

Red
1990 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
6/14/2006 - Double-A Likes this wine:
90 points
Rich, smoky plum, with toasted nut, raisins and violets on the nose. Dry and full with good grip, asphalt and pepper noted coming forth on the palate. Long dried fruit finish.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 2:14 PM - Tasted in a vertical flight of 1970, 1980, 1990, 1999, and 2001 vintages(the newest vintage at the time of the tasting).

    Before this tasting I was only mildly impressed by this wine, but to experience it in this perspective and appreciate what can be achieved with long-term cellaring was eye opening and most rewarding.

Red
2001 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
6/14/2006 - Double-A Likes this wine:
85 points
Deep, purple/ruby colour. Ripe berry, plum and floral nose. Med-full with gripping tannins. Medium acidity with good fruit concentration and a dry, currant finish.
3/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 2:14 PM - Tasted in a vertical flight of 1970, 1980, 1990, 1999, and 2001 vintages(the newest vintage at the time of the tasting).

    Before this tasting I was only mildly impressed by this wine, but to experience it in this perspective and appreciate what can be achieved with long-term cellaring was eye opening and most rewarding.

Red
1970 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
6/14/2006 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Full brick red with orange rims. Aromatic mushroom, tomato, leather, prune, almond, caramel and forest floor nose. Medium-full, dry and assertive palate; rounded, medium tannins with an acidity that is still remarkably lively after 35 years. Long dried berry and leather finish.
5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 2:13 PM - Tasted in a vertical flight of 1970, 1980, 1990, 1999, and 2001 vintages(the newest vintage at the time of the tasting).

    Before this tasting I was only mildly impressed by this wine, but to experience it in this perspective and appreciate what can be achieved with long-term cellaring was eye opening and most rewarding.

Red
1980 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
6/14/2006 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Garnet/brick colour with orange rim. Aromatic dried berry, mushroom, leather, walnut and mineral nose. Dry and elegant with very good replays. Ripe, rounded tannins with a leathery, cherry fruit finish.
5/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 2:13 PM - Tasted in a vertical flight of 1970, 1980, 1990, 1999, and 2001 vintages(the newest vintage at the time of the tasting).

    Before this tasting I was only mildly impressed by this wine, but to experience it in this perspective and appreciate what can be achieved with long-term cellaring was eye opening and most rewarding.

Red
2003 Château Latour Grand Vin Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
10/8/2014 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Coffee and currant nose with slight barnyard, mineral and lacquer notes. Elegant, harmonious and complex. Great flavours and length. Tasted blind.
5/5

*Given the heat of 2003, I was uncertain as to how well the wines would show with age. This Latour is proof of the positive qualities of the vintage.
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 11:31 AM - Poured in a blind tasting themed on celebrating the classic 'Judgment of Paris'. As a professional, one of the most significant tastings I have hosted or had a chance to participate in; Even as a professional, I may never taste a collection of wines such as these again...Classically vinified, pre-micro-oxygenation, etc. What a treat.

    Included wines were:

    Lafite 2005
    Haut-Brion 2004
    Latour 2003
    Margaux 2001
    Torres Mas la Plana 1994
    Dominus 1995
    Shafer Hillside Select 1992
    Opus One 2000
    Stags Leap Cask 23 1997

Red
1995 Dominus Estate Napanook Vineyard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
10/8/2014 - Double-A wrote:
90 points
Dark garnet colour. Rounding fruit with leather and berry liqueur notes. Rich and ripe, lush but firm. Smoky minerality comes out on the finish. Tasted blind from magnum.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 11:22 AM - Poured in a blind tasting themed on celebrating the classic 'Judgment of Paris'. As a professional, one of the most significant tastings I have hosted or had a chance to participate in; Even as a professional, I may never taste a collection of wines such as these again...Classically vinified, pre-micro-oxygenation, etc. What a treat.

    Included wines were:

    Lafite 2005
    Haut-Brion 2004
    Latour 2003
    Margaux 2001
    Torres Mas la Plana 1994
    Dominus 1995
    Shafer Hillside Select 1992
    Opus One 2000
    Stags Leap Cask 23 1997

Red
2004 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
10/8/2014 - Double-A wrote:
90 points
Compact nose; subtle, but distinct. Good structure; lush, smoky finish. Tasted blind.
4/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 11:19 AM - Poured in a blind tasting themed on celebrating the classic 'Judgment of Paris'. As a professional, one of the most significant tastings I have hosted or had a chance to participate in; Even as a professional, I may never taste a collection of wines such as these again...Classically vinified, pre-micro-oxygenation, etc. What a treat.

    Included wines were:

    Lafite 2005
    Haut-Brion 2004
    Latour 2003
    Margaux 2001
    Torres Mas la Plana 1994
    Dominus 1995
    Shafer Hillside Select 1992
    Opus One 2000
    Stags Leap Cask 23 1997

Red
1992 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select Stags Leap District
10/8/2014 - Double-A wrote:
80 points
Cedary, prune juice nose. Amaro, nut and Marsala flavours. Oxidized and over-the hill, but still oddly acidic. Tasted blind.
2/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 11:16 AM - Poured in a blind tasting themed on celebrating the classic 'Judgment of Paris'. As a professional, one of the most significant tastings I have hosted or had a chance to participate in; Even as a professional, I may never taste a collection of wines such as these again...Classically vinified, pre-micro-oxygenation, etc. What a treat.

    Included wines were:

    Lafite 2005
    Haut-Brion 2004
    Latour 2003
    Margaux 2001
    Torres Mas la Plana 1994
    Dominus 1995
    Shafer Hillside Select 1992
    Opus One 2000
    Stags Leap Cask 23 1997

Red
1997 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Stags Leap District
10/8/2014 - Double-A Likes this wine:
95 points
Smoky, tar, currant nose with hints of marmite and mineral. Dark and firm with grip and freshness. Long buttered toast finish. Tasted blind
5/5

The only Californian of the tasting playing to the sensibilities of the French challengers. It was tough to call the region on this one.
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 11:06 AM - Poured in a blind tasting themed on celebrating the classic 'Judgment of Paris'. As a professional, one of the most significant tastings I have hosted or had a chance to participate in; Even as a professional, I may never taste a collection of wines such as these again...Classically vinified, pre-micro-oxygenation, etc. What a treat.

    Included wines were:

    Lafite 2005
    Haut-Brion 2004
    Latour 2003
    Margaux 2001
    Torres Mas la Plana 1994
    Dominus 1995
    Shafer Hillside Select 1992
    Opus One 2000
    Stags Leap Cask 23 1997

Red
1994 Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Coronas Reserva Mas La Plana Penedès
10/8/2014 - Double-A Likes this wine:
85 points
Earthy mineral, char and currant nose. Dark, firm, smoky and chewy palate. Tasted blind.
3/5

*Second time I have sampled this vintage, it almost comes across as corked at first, but cleans up with aeration
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 10:59 AM - Poured in a blind tasting themed on celebrating the classic 'Judgment of Paris'. As a professional, one of the most significant tastings I have hosted or had a chance to participate in; Even as a professional, I may never taste a collection of wines such as these again...Classically vinified, pre-micro-oxygenation, etc. What a treat.

    Included wines were:

    Lafite 2005
    Haut-Brion 2004
    Latour 2003
    Margaux 2001
    Torres Mas la Plana 1994
    Dominus 1995
    Shafer Hillside Select 1992
    Opus One 2000
    Stags Leap Cask 23 1997

Red
2001 Château Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
10/8/2014 - Double-A Likes this wine:
100 points
Aromatic, coffee, cassis, mineral and toast nose. Bright palate with excellent replays and complexity. Fresh acidity, polished tannins; toasty, graphite finish. Tasted blind.
5/5

I'm a big fan of the 2001 Bordeaux vintage, better priced but overshadowed by the 2000's and 2003's. It's my 'sleeper' year.

As near perfect a wine as I have ever sampled, so why not score it 100.
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 10:58 AM - Poured in a blind tasting themed on celebrating the classic 'Judgment of Paris'. As a professional, one of the most significant tastings I have hosted or had a chance to participate in; Even as a professional, I may never taste a collection of wines such as these again...Classically vinified, pre-micro-oxygenation, etc. What a treat.

    Included wines were:

    Lafite 2005
    Haut-Brion 2004
    Latour 2003
    Margaux 2001
    Torres Mas la Plana 1994
    Dominus 1995
    Shafer Hillside Select 1992
    Opus One 2000
    Stags Leap Cask 23 1997

Red
1995 Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
10/8/2014 - Double-A Likes this wine:
85 points
Medium garnet coulour. Maturing nose - rustic and obviously European in style. Acidic and firm. Gripping tannins, grainy finish. Tasted blind.
3/5
  • Double-A commented:

    9/27/16, 10:36 AM - Poured in a blind tasting themed on celebrating the classic 'Judgment of Paris'. As a professional, one of the most significant tastings I have hosted or had a chance to participate in; Even as a professional, I may never taste a collection of wines such as these again...Classically vinified, pre-micro-oxygenation, etc. What a treat.

    Included wines were:

    Lafite 2005
    Haut-Brion 2004
    Latour 2003
    Margaux 2001
    Torres Mas la Plana 1994
    Dominus 1995
    Shafer Hillside Select 1992
    Opus One 2000
    Stags Leap Cask 23 1997

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