Tasting Notes for englishman's claret

(2,534 notes on 2,151 wines)

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Red
2014 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/31/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
The 2014 Montrose leads with a whack of oak just after decanting but with a little air and focus you can start to see past that to appreciate a black fruit, freshly tilled garden earth profile with a slightly salty mineral aspect. The palate shows similar qualities and good balance, but admittedly the length is a bit short. Revisiting the last glass 24 hours later reveals a nice blueberry component but otherwise not much has changed. This is a nice wine, better in fact than most 14s, but like the 88s one wonders whether it will always be justifiably overshadowed by the following two vintages... 93-94
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/30/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
The 2008 Leoville Barton is a terrific wine, packed full of ripe, pure cassis, cedar, and mineral. This has great tension - lots of material but very fresh and focused. A beautiful future ahead. 93-94 points.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
3/30/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
Very good and really satisfying with its tart Seville orange peel, subtle Chantilly cream, and wildflower honey, but not quite complex enough to really push it to the next level. Good acidity, but slightly angular on the palate.
Red
3/28/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
The 1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou is still a young wine and it’s fun to watch it evolve. This example has a tremendously intense nose right out of the bottle, replete with cedar, chestnut, loam, and cassis. After 2-3 hours in the decanter, this withdraws a little bit, showing pure cassis and some wildflowers but not the bold character after first poured. What a delight it would be to someday see the synthesis of the intense, cedary attack and the fresh currant, blueberry, wildflower notes that emerge after a few hours of air. Still with plenty of tannin, excellent balance, and a fine finish, this should have a long life ahead. The 13% alcohol is downright refreshing. Should sit quite comfortably in the mid 90s
Red
3/28/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
The 1995 Ducru-Beaucaillou has a glorious nose straight out of the bottle, with vibrant boysenberry, redcurrant, pencil, petrichor, and wildflowers - potent, fresh, elegant, complete. Gorgeously fresh palate with a long, elegant, mixed berry, and pencil lead finish that lasts for ages. Delightful. Followed for just over 5 hours in the decanter, this was at its most expressive during the first hour. 95-96 points today but depending on how it unfolds as this enters its plateau of maturity, the 1995 may eventually be more impressive than that.
White - Off-dry
3/25/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
91 points
Still young but really rather nice - the nose isn’t particularly complex yet, but it does show beautifully ripe green apple and quince with a refreshing mineral note. Similar palate with great sap and kiwi, verbena notes. The finish is sneakily long - not intense, but persistent.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
3/25/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
88 points
This was really quite odd just out of the gate and frankly not all that pleasurable, clearly somewhat unripe with a medium intensity green apple nose accented by lactic notes and honeydew. But with air, this avails itself rather nicely and the lactic character fades away, revealing a green apple and sharpening stone oil nose which persists on the palate, accented by spearmint. While no doubt a little sedate and short, this does improve dramatically with air.
Red
3/23/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
91 points
Beautiful, mature, mellow Savigny-les-Beaune with cherry, game, and an autumnal sous-bois character. Not particularly complex or long, but delicious. Certainly to drink sooner rather than later, this has developed interesting tertiary components while retaining its fruit.
Red
3/21/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
The 82 Léoville las Cases has a reputation for being a forbidding, brooding wine, making a detailed assessment of the wine over many hours just the thing for a COVID quarantine Saturday evening. I’m surprised a bit to see the nose so striking and forward right out of the bottle, reminding me of nothing so much as the 1959 with its crushed wild raspberry, intense pencil, cedar, loam, worn leather personality - undeniably lovely and easily landing in the 94-95 point range. Half an hour of air lends the nose more weight and impact but the complex aromatic details are obscured while the becomes an intensely beef blood, pencilly affair. Followed for just over 5 hours in the decanter, this never really re-emerges. Revisiting the last glass after 17 hours after decanting, the wine hasn’t oxidized but it isn’t improved, either. Make of this what you will, but I’m inclined to simply let these rest longer in the cellar rather than trying to achieve some sort of sorcery via prolonged decanting provided this bottle is representative.

I would be interested to try this 2 or 3 more times in the near future from different sources to see whether they all evolve in this manner. 94-95 points for the first half an hour, but admittedly if I had encountered this after a few hours in the decanter I likely would have failed to see its merit. Base neck, direct from importer, good cork.
White - Off-dry
Intense spearmint nose with a white peppery accent, somewhat obscuring what might be thought of as “traditionally fruity” notes. Similar issues on the palate. Moderate finish. Fascinating, but I don’t care for this much - difficult to get past the piquant mint which overwhelms a bit.
White - Off-dry
Intense pluot, fuzzy nectarine skin nose accented by orange blossom, honey, and green apple skin. Great symmetry on the palate perhaps with a bit of lyme or verbena added in. Moderate finish. I would be inclined to let these sit rather a long time.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
Lots of green apple and white peach on the nose, accented by floral notes and a hint of white pepper. Clean, crisp, aromatic and apple-y palate with a moderate finish.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
The nose here is quite tight and brooding - it's difficult to get much off of it at this point. The palate is polished with great poise, full of black cherry, smoke, and mineral. I should imagine this will have a good future ahead.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/16/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
91 points
Grand Puy Lacoste beautifully illustrates the character of the 1980s vintages. This '85 is predictably elegant and fresh, with a mellow cassis nose accented by thyme and capsicum, leathery but with a certain lightness of touch and charm. Similar on the palate; refreshing, really. I would be inclined to drink these sooner rather than later.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Château Canon St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/16/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
90 points
How fun to taste this blind - the nose is soft and supple, full of smoke, caramel, old wood, and mellow dark fruit. Similar on the palate, with a hint of stem and cab franc-ish mineral pushing me toward St Emilion and away from Pomerol. The tannins have almost melted away. My guess was St. Emilion from somewhere on the edge of the village (Canon, Clos Fourtet, etc - but not Ausone) from 1989 or 1990.
White - Sparkling
3/16/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
91 points
This is surprisingly good - I admit I would not have expected something with such nicely ripe orchard fruit or crisp acidity coming from the UK. But so it has, and this really wouldn't feel out of place with other very good blanc de blancs champagnes. I would even be curious to see how this ages further.
White
3/16/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
How young this still seems - the nose is really quite buttoned up. But the palate is brimming with energy; fresh citrus, oystery mineral, and a hint of verbena wrapped in a surprisingly muscular package. I wouldn't touch these for another 2-3 years but after that I think the promise should be fulfilled.
Red
2015 Domaine du Jaugaret St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/15/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
88 points
Decanted and followed closely for several hours, the nose shows a charming if somewhat demure composition of wild raspberry, leather, loam, and a touch of pyrazine. There’s good acidity and ample tannin on the palate, but not much depth of fruit or length on the finish. Encouragingly, a day of air helps - redcurrant and rose really pop on the palate and linger on the finish, addressing some of my initial concerns. I should imagine this will land somewhere in the 88-90 point range.
Red
2012 Les Grands Ducs St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/15/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
81 points
My curiosity was piqued by finding a St Julien I’ve never tasted. Unfortunately there’s not much here. Some slightly sweetish black cherry and loam on the nose but not much energy or character. I can’t find anything to redeem this on the dilute palate or short finish. Decanted and mostly consumed over the course of a few hours with a final glass the next day.
Red
2014 Tertre Rôteboeuf St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/11/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
Fascinating - this needs a couple hours of air to really show its cohesive best and reveals a black cherry, sasparilla, hoisin, ganache, malty, slightly funky nose with a richly black fruited, pencil, black pepper palate and a faint floral kiss. Really dynamic, singular St Emilion as Tertre Roteboeuf usually is. But, after all, François Mitjavile is something of a genius. I think this will be really fun when it reaches old age in the manner of some late 1940s / 1950s right banks today, but the drinking window should prove to be remarkably wide. No major changes after 24 hours of air.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/9/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
96 points
Well, the 2010 Ducru-Beaucaillou is certainly an impressive wine - voluminous nose of fresh mixed wild berries, petrichor, wildflowers, iodine-like mineral, pencil, and oak (not inappropriate for the age). A wonderful mix of intensity and elegance. Slightly warm finish, but that's 2010. This won't be really ready for prime time for another decade but should live a long life. Tough to put an exact number on this now, but will likely end up somewhere in the 95-97 range.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1995 Viader Proprietary Red Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
I'll preface this by saying that this probably would have benefitted from a gentle decant and some exposure to air, but this sample via Coravin clearly showed that there's a lot to like here - cool black fruit, eucalyptus, a touch of violet. Plush and deep with a refreshing 13.5%. Interesting cepage - almost 50/50 CS/CF. Probably sitting in the low 90s based on this look.
Red
From half, this was very tight indeed and didn't show much despite a couple hours of air between the decanter and glass.
Red
1959 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/9/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
The 1959 Calon Segur leads with a beef blood note on the nose which parallels its aging oxblood color. Mellow red fruit, cedar, sous-bois, and old oak dominate the nose after the cork is pulled. Half an hour of air helps to enhance the bouquet, bringing the aforementioned into sharper focus and adding pleasing nutmeg and cardamom notes. Though this does improve with 20-30 minutes in the decanter and remains stable for a few hours afterwards, one gets a sense of catching this coming down from peak so I'd be inclined to open these in the near term because there's plenty of pleasure here today. From an English cellar with an excellent cork and very top shoulder fill.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1990 Château Suduiraut Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
3/7/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
90 points
Again from a dark half, with a focus of caramel tropical notes, baked apricot and baked apple. Tasty but not with the balance of freshness and tertiary notes required for top Sauternes
Red
3/7/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
97 points
This did it again - absolutely compelling combination of savory and sweet with sous-bois, subtle Vosne spice balanced by succulent dry cherry and an almost petit four like sweetness. Really singular, complete, and engaging. Mature but ageless in a way that’s tough to describe. Fresh and almost health-bestowing. So beguiling - but ultimately, a supremely delicious wine to drink with a great friend, which is what we did.
White
1995 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
3/7/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
97 points
Pretty spectacular - what a shame it would be to only get a thimble full of this and miss the amazing evolution of this wine. Split between two people, we got to watch the 95 Coche CC unfold from a huge, monolithic hazelnut and mushroom inflected wine onto a more open, mellow, lemony, sous bois, hazelnut, lanolin profile. Layers and layers - this just kept unfolding. Every 15 minutes over the first hour this showed something different. Rich, beautiful, and long. Very, very fine white Burgundy.
White - Sparkling
3/7/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
Just wonderful - fresh, fruity lemony citrus notes with mineral, white flower, and brioche accents. Délectable and complete - what a pleasure. Bravo Krug
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/3/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
The 1975 Heitz Fay Vineyard is a sublime, fully mature Napa Cab - still with a dense core of cassis accented with lavender, lots of eucalyptus, and a bit of sandalwood. Single owner bottle purchased from Joe Heitz.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/3/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
91 points
Amazing that at one time 13.5% Cabernet Sauvignon seemed so uncommon! The 99 Don Melchor shows a bell pepper, leather, and ripe plum profile, augmented on the palate by something vaguely savory, almost prosciutto like. This is relatively well balanced, though there’s some heat on the palate. Pleasant enough EC 91, but perhaps best for consumption in the near term.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2002 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
3/3/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
Yquem can still really shine in off years - this is so fresh, vibrant, and balanced it’s hard not to love. Fresh citrus, slightly tropical, fresh sugar and frangipane. Délectable 94-95
Red
3/3/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
90 points
This offers an admirably potent, polished blackberry, cherry, and Provençal herb nose at this price point. Succulent fruit on the palate and if a bit simple, still offers plenty of Chateauneuf character in a reasonably plush package.
White
2/23/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
90 points
Orchard fruit, petrol, lychee - not a ton of depth here, even if you’re willing to explain away the lack of complexity by invoking youth. From half.
Red
1995 Château Trotanoy Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
Tasted blind after the 95 and 86 Cheval Blanc, I wasn't quite sure what to make of this. There seemed to be a lot of black fruit and ganache, pointing toward a relatively high Merlot content, but also a conspicuous herbal character pointing to a significant minority of cab franc. I thought we might still be on youngish Cheval, but no - Trot. This was pop and pour, but these still need a lot more time.
Red - Fortified
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
97 points
What a thing of beauty - super dense, saturated but extremely elegant blueberry compote, lavender, and mineral. Wow. Super intense after decanting and paradoxically a little more sedate after a few hours (sort of the opposite of what I was expecting). 96-7
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1986 Château Cheval Blanc St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
This bottle was very good if a couple notches down from the last bottle. Black fruit and raspberry, sandalwood and mineral. Some spice from the cab franc but not that exotic Cheval spice profile that I love so much and found in the last example.
Red
1995 Château Cheval Blanc St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
This example was more muscular and backwards than the last, but I really like 95 Cheval. I think a lot of the criticism levelled at this wine will dissipate in 5-10 years as the atypically muscular structure for CB unfolds. Tonight, I found lots of beautiful black fruit with hints of nut and sandalwood but just a hint of the Cheval spice I love so much.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
This was so intensely reductive I couldn't make any meaningful observations. Didn't change much over the course of the evening.
White
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
92 points
I regret not making more detailed notes at the time, but this was very young and creamy. Nicely reductive with a fresh mineral personality but not a lot of complexity yet. Surely should improve.
White
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
Pretty successful for a 2006, the Rav Valmur shows a moderately intense, lemon, brine, cream profile. Pure and deep though without some of the detail of finer vintages. Still, delicious.
White
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
97 points
I have such a thing for Raveneau and frankly I might be a little stingy with a score of 97 on the 02 Valmur. This is so profoundly delicious. All the classic Rav stuff - lemon, brine, lime, cream, so intense but caressing. Ah. When you can't have summertime in New England, you can still have Rav.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
Fresh apple and lemon, just a hint of mature champagne nuttiness and brioche. Quite nice either on its own or with seafood.
Red
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
I really like the 96 Beze and although some others commented on it, I really don't find the acidity a problem here. That said, this particular bottle didn't quite hit the highs of the last bottle of this we had, which was truly spectacular.
Red
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
Interestingly, this bottle wasn't quite as exciting as another recently. Really beautiful, pure cherry fruit and some Gevrey spice though without quite as much dynamic energy or sauvage complexity as the last one.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
Hm I may be moving through these a little too quickly...
White
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
Interesting to taste this next to the 2013 Rougeots; the 2011 version is much more mellow though surely no less complex or fine. This is far easier than the 2013 to actually drink now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
90 points
Lots of butter, almost a lobstery seafood/brine note, slightly oxidative. Not quite my cup of tea, but still lots of weight and energy if you do like a very mature style of white burgundy.
White
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
Served next to the Meursault Caillerets, this is a good illustration of how (at least chez Coche) Rougeots is basically the qualitative equivalent of a premier cru. This seems a little more in the pre-2013 style than the Caillerets with more creamy reductive notes and a more enveloping nose (less painfully intense). Otherwise, the verbena, cordite/mineral notes seem quite similar. Best to tuck these away for a couple more years, I think - but really illuminating to taste today.
White
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
This is great, but a little odd for a Coche. A bunch of us independently noted "tropical" before anyone said the world. Really intense fruit, lime blossom, verbena, very flinty / mineral (cordite?). With a 2011 Coche nearby, you can realize that the new style really is less reductive. This is almost painfully intense to drink today and a few more years to mellow would be prudent.
White
2/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
92 points
Very pretty, fresh lemon/lime and cream; still quite reserved on the nose. Medium bodied palate with nice fresh acidity. I would be inclined to hold these for a few more years before digging in.
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