Tasting Notes for psmith

(3,634 notes on 2,860 wines)

1 - 50 of 3,634 Sort order
Red
11/26/2020 - psmith wrote:
95 points
My last bottle of this a couple of years ago sucked. It tasted old and full of VA, but I figured there wasn't much to lose in holding off for a while on opening another, and this had been standing for a couple of months. This was totally different from that previous bottle, and much more in line with what I expected from prior bottles and a '89 Sperss a couple of weeks ago. I opened this a couple of hours in advance of double decanting, and then waited another couple of hours. This is classic rose and dark red fruit notes. It's heady and with a great textural depth despite an abundance of tannins hanging around. A more feminine styling, but with some authority behind it. Classic, delicious wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
11/26/2020 - psmith wrote:
95 points
This is all baked apple and vanilla notes. It's deepened and gained a lot of weight with age, but still has a crystalline quality that keeps it lifted. Full, vibrant, and intense palate which comes across more citric than I expected from the nose. I've been a bit disappointed in some of the '96s lately, but this isn't one of them; it's drinking very well, but I think I may like it better in a few years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1/1/2020 - psmith wrote:
Not sure whether I liked this or not. There's a strange, somewhat confected menthol or Fernet note that didn't start out so prominent but that became really pronounced over time. The palate is more tawny port. It's pretty sweet, very brown, but with good balance throughout and a decent spine of acidity. Interesting, and certainly alive, but not necessarily good; in fact, I'm not interested beyond an oz or so every couple of hours. Either way, it's an oddity and fun enough.
White - Fortified
10/16/2019 - psmith wrote:
96 points
Rich and heady, with characteristic lime and seawater notes and a good deal of rancio and spice. There's a bracing intensity and acidic lift to the palate that keeps this very fresh despite the clear influence of aged wines. That structure also cuts into the sweetness quite a bit, and leaves this feeling more like a really good Verdelho. I don't notice the varietal mixing nearly as much as the age; there's a clearly delineated superposition of old and young components. While I suppose that might have potential to add complexity, in this case it comes at the expense of focus, and while it might not be keeping with the intent here I think I'd prefer to see those components merge together a bit more. Either way, by any measure this is a delicious wine and a treat to taste.
Red
6/14/2019 - psmith wrote:
98 points
I don't ever remember having this vintage of Chave before, but this is just stunning. I just had an '09/10 Clape combo, and I've had the 09 Chave a number of times, so I'm sort of looking at this through that lens, and it's pretty analogous. There's not the overt power of 2009, and it's a far, far more graceful, detailed, and feminine wine than the '10 Clape, but it's got a somewhat similar soaring red fruit profile. Where this goes beyond any of those wines is that it has all of those classic Syrah elements, but they're married together rather than in competition. It's still a young wine, but it's neither raw nor aggressive in any way. Maybe the best Chave I can remember, and this will only get better.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
6/14/2019 - psmith wrote:
95 points
There's a great sense purity that I sort of associate with Keller's GGs. This is acid and mineral-driven, with some light touches of stone fruits and citrus tones, but it's really about the textural elements and depth. Combining those in a fairly intense package while maintaining the balance these wines manage is remarkable.
Red
6/1/2019 - psmith wrote:
92 points
This still feels very young. It's higher pitched and riper than I remember. There's a sexy, lush, and spicy fruit profile, but it's also rather abrupt and sort of collapses into a wall of fairly hard tannins. I'm probably being a touch picky, since by any measure it's a very good wine, but it's in a bit of an angry place right now.
Red
4/6/2019 - psmith wrote:
95 points
For whatever reason it seems natural to compare this to the 2015, but it's not that wine at all. It's not nearly as flashy or overt, and it doesn't come across as oaky. This tends more towards an elegant, medium-bodied syrah, with more classic Chave styling. There's dark fruit and florals, but it's also more structural and firm. There's a good kick of mineral and acids to frame everything. Undoubtedly impressive, and enjoyable even at this stage.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/29/2019 - psmith wrote:
90 points
There's a dark, brambly, but pretty quality to the nose. It's a touch more raw on the palate, with a firm, dense tannic presence at the end. The components here are good, but it doesn't quite come together. That could be that it's still a bit young, and there's no harm in holding off for a few years, but I'm not so sure.
White - Sparkling
3/9/2019 - psmith wrote:
94 points
This is a wonderful, caramel brioche golden goddess of a wine. It's mature, and it's got that ripe '90 signature, which makes it pretty beastly for a Comtes, but there's plenty of raw backbone and vibrancy to keep it from tipping over into a caricature. Acid to die for. My dilemma is I'd love to drink these now and I think it's time, but I also only have 3 left and hate to see them go.
Red
2/20/2019 - psmith wrote:
92 points
It's not the most flashy or detailed Hermitage, and tends towards a more elegant, red fruit and floral profile. A young wine, but it's not a particularly big or dense Chave either, so I'm not sure there's a huge upside to be gained by holding this. Enjoyable enough.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/17/2019 - psmith wrote:
96 points
There's a brambly, dark berry quality and an overall sense of breath and detail that's just wonderfully complete. An iron and earthy quality that's both classic Bonnes Mares and 1998. It's really perfumed, expansive, and in a great spot. Drying tannin on the finish that might sort itself out, but a really enjoyable wine at this stage.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/17/2019 - psmith wrote:
92 points
Pretty consistent with my last note. This has some classic Allemand florals, but it's first and foremost a savoury, meaty wine with a more masculine styling. A slight soy element that's probably fundamental than a product of age or any other factor. It's about mature, and maybe even starting to hollow out a touch in the middle, but still very enjoyable.
Red
2/15/2019 - psmith wrote:
96 points
I don't normally take notes during visits, or tasting, or drinking for that matter. I got old and lost the desire to focus on more than one thing in what's supposed to be my spare time. So lately I recall impressions from memory. That has the benefit of giving me some time to think and reflect but it comes at the expense of detail. In this case it means that I can't properly capture how impressed I was with the entire lineup at G. Rinaldi. I did, however, put my actions and money behind that sentiment, and I made a detour on the (our) way to Milan to pick up a few barbera and dolcetto not generally available in the good ole U.S. of A (the only bottles I brought back I might add).

But back to the Brunate. This is spectacular. It's characterized first and probably foremost by a wonderful purity. That really allows the fine touches to shine, and there are plenty of them. It's so light on its feet, and there's a melange of black and red fruits, with a touch of spice, that a drinker can just get lost in. All the great qualities of '15, including a ripe, penetrating fruit quality, but it's a more elegant perspective. I imagine this will be very difficult to find, but everything about this and the people who make it merit that effort.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/15/2019 - psmith wrote:
96 points
Cantina Bartolo Mascarello will always occupy a special place in my emotional makeup. They're wonderful wines, and they're the Barolo that I've been buying the most of for the longest time, and that I probably have the most familiarity with. So it was a special treat to get to visit with them and try this bottle well in advance of release. Alan compared it to the '11, but with some irrational ego and the corresponding risk I'll disagree. I see more '13. It has that same intoxicating red fruit character, lifted by a heady but seamless presence. It may not be quite as large-scaled overall, but there's a great deal of beauty and femininity that fills whatever, if any, gap that the sum total might present. There's a characteristic power underlying everything; this is beautiful, no doubt, but it's "my way" classic Barolo from Cantina B. Mascarello. There's power, structure, and everything else that those who love this estate and its trajectory will be big fans of. Just wonderful.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/14/2019 - psmith wrote:
95 points
From bottle at the winery. I had an unfortunate lack of diligence that resulted in my jumping on the Burlotto train quite a bit late. That oversight means that I'll literally pay the price. Maybe I misread what these are in the '13 when I had it a year or so ago, but I've had a few since and think that I'm getting a better feel for the pulse of the estate, in no small-part thanks to Fabio's hospitality. The current and future releases (i.e., the 15's and such available to taste) are all wonderful with a beautiful family resemblance, and that goes well beyond the Barolo, but the Monvigliero is sui generis. There's a touch of that olive note, but for me the wine, and this vintage in particular, is more characterized by its purity, elegance, and red-fruited presence that screams Barolo but does it with an effortless, weightless, but heightened charm. Of course that doesn't mean it's lacking in structure; in fact there's plenty, but it carries it so well. A remarkable wine even at this stage. It'll be hard to find, but well worth a special effort.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2/13/2019 - psmith wrote:
98 points
A bottle sample at the winery prior to release. This is simply a perfect combination of the elegance of Arione and the power and balance of Francia. It doesn't have any of the former in it, and in fact it's all the latter, but since I had the '15(s) immediately prior, and since these things are all metaphorical anyways, I'll take some liberties and make the comparison. A wonderful hypersphere of a wine, with just a dazzling display of purity, beauty, detail, and everything else those so often imply. More red than black, and more complete than "big", though it has all those things. Among the best young wines that I've ever had; and so now the elbowing and angling to secure a few bottles begins...
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
2/10/2019 - psmith wrote:
93 points
I probably like this more than it objectively merits. There’s a wonderful mushroom component, and it’s intensely earthy despite not being a particularly big wine. It’s mature, no doubt, but a great sense of balance and weight to it all. A hint of florals. I generally don’t love old rose, but I really like this.
Red
2/3/2019 - psmith wrote:
92 points
This has a really pretty, classic flavor profile. All dark berry fruits and forward herbal notes. It might be young, but there's no harm at all in drinking this now. Medium-bodied, and ripe as far as Rougeard goes. Nice wine in a good place.
Red
1/27/2019 - psmith wrote:
94 points
This has a wonderful nose. Black olive and soaring dark syrah fruit character. There's an extra, heightened floral element and detail that I don't normally find in the regular bottling. The palate is much less forgiving, and there's a hard tannic framing that no amount of decanting is going fix; it just needs bottle age. More potential than enjoyable at this point, but there's no shortage of promise.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1/19/2019 - psmith wrote:
92 points
From magnum, and decanted 6 hours or so. Pretty nose. It's all high-pitched candied and sweet red fruit. Heady with a good bit of alcohol showing through on the finish. The palate has softened to some extent, or maybe it's the warm vintage, but it's not overly hard or unyielding. It's young, particularly in this format, but there's enough detail here to keep things interesting.
White
12/25/2018 - psmith wrote:
I like young Keller, but this is silly young. It's all lemon and a juicy, tense quality. The palate is a coil of the same, with a bunch of mineral thrown in. There's maybe not the obvious density that the '15s have. Some attractive elements for sure, but not one for current drinking.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/24/2018 - psmith wrote:
91 points
Decanted all day. This is a good enough wine... it’ll never totally disappoint, but if you’re looking for magic it'll fall short. Pretty typical red fruit and dried florals and all that jazz. It’s still fairly young in a ‘96 sort of way, and it’s tannic. Objectively good, and maybe it’s a throwback, but that’s not a compliment here; the young ones are better.
White - Sparkling
12/24/2018 - psmith wrote:
94 points
This has always been a really big wine, even by Krug standards. It's ripe, with browning mature apple notes, a touch of coffee, and a full, weighty texture. It's not vibrant in the same way that the '88 or '96 are; it's larger-scaled but without quite the spine, so it definitely takes a good appreciation for mature notes in Champagne. It's not unbalanced by any stretch, just big. With some Japanese beef this actually played better than a younger No Rhone... it's got the density and body. Good stuff.
White
11/22/2018 - psmith wrote:
96 points
Classic Keller nose. There’s a ripeness and rainwater component that would normally suggest some residual sugar. The palate is almost tannic in its intensity and, of course, that impression of sweetness is shut down quickly. Compacted but with everything in its proper place. It’s not exactly giving at this point, but the potential is beyond obvious. These scratch an itch for me that used to be reserved for top white Burgundy; it's unfortunate that they're approaching that price with even more scarcity. Such amazing wines...
Rosé - Sparkling
11/22/2018 - psmith wrote:
93 points
2006 disgorgment. I served this just a bit under cellar temp, and I think it's generally better off for it. There's a pretty strawberry creme and floral note that's accentuated and, as usual, this comes across more feminine in style but still unmistakably Krug. The palate is where that message is really delivered. There's a classic oxidative styling and power, and the rosé qualities are secondary. It is still aggressively structured and I generally think this disgorgement will substantially improve, but it is very good.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/18/2018 - psmith wrote:
89 points
I've enjoyed the 890 in at least a couple of vintages in every decade that they've made it, but I've come to the conclusion that they really underperformed in this vintage. This, even by LRA standards, has a ton of dill that manifests itself in a green and even bitter streak that really dominates the wine. It's still young by 890 standards though, and it has great acidity to keep it from being a caricature. There's enough familiarity here that I want to think it will turn around and age into something wonderful, but I'm just not sure.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
11/17/2018 - psmith wrote:
95 points
I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that this has a lot in common with the ‘02 vintage Krug. It’s the depth and broad profile that gives it away, and despite what acyso (with his bad palet) thinks I find it more pinot-influenced. This is, also not surprisingly, a lot more ready than the vintage as well, though it’s still a very young wine, and the few seams that are here should disappear with time. A shame this release is so hard to come by.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/17/2018 - psmith wrote:
92 points
Opened 8-10 hours or so before a quick double-decant and serving. I'm still chasing the magical experience I had with this wine a decade or so ago and, realistically, I think those bottles are going to be the very rare exception at this point. This one was very good. It still had a good bit of, almost Dujacesque, sweet red fruit and dried florals, but they're muted by age with a lot of more autumnal flavors picking up. The palate shows this bottle's age more. It's clean, but with some decay and heavy tones that leave it a touch flat despite a remaining structural backbone. Still, enjoyable enough and certainly better than my last bottle.
White - Sparkling
11/12/2018 - psmith wrote:
95 points
This is still very bright and structural. There is an orange-toned flavor that gives the impression of some age, and a ripe, sweet fruit quality, but then the acid takes over with a raw steeliness that cuts through just about everything. Maybe not quite as ready as the bottle I had a couple of months ago, but very good.
Red
11/11/2018 - psmith wrote:
90 points
I like Marcarini. It's never particularly flashy, complicated, or with the expense that those sometimes imply, but it's very drinkable and with enough nuance and detail to maintain my interest for 750mL worth of time. That makes it a decent addition to a Sunday evening. This one was popped and poured, and I'm sure it would have benefited from a few hours in a decanter and, at a minimum, a bit of time to stand. It's probably mature. There's some typical dried red fruit and potpourri notes. The tannins that are left are fine-grained, and that does provide some backbone. Red but with an autumnal edge. Solid stuff.
Red - Sweet/Dessert
11/10/2018 - psmith wrote:
96 points
I've had a fair amount of this from various vintages over the years, and I don't think the vintage actually matters much. Neither does the grape. I think it's mostly my mood and whether or not I feel like a full-on palate assault. There's no appropriate context here other than dessert, and it'll almost certainly be far, far sweeter than anything you might consider pairing with it. Think 30-year balsamico versus the stuff you buy down the street. There's a lot of everything, and it is complete... rancio, fruit, acid, depth, power, intensity, weight, viscosity, wows, whatever. It works, and it's fairly singular in the wine world. A half-bottle goes a long way when a half-ounce is more than enough and, while I haven't quite seen God or any saints here, if served in situ it might actually provide some inducement to go to communion again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/10/2018 - psmith wrote:
I have some great memories associated with this wine, which is why I'll pretty much buy it on (pretty rare) sight, regardless of how I think it might currently be drinking. Meh. This one has some sawdust and sort of pruney-dark fruits. It's a touch muted, and the structural elements that used to lift this are more-or-less gone but for an empty acidic skeleton. It's not bad, or even old necessarily; the color is still bright in fact, but it has lost vibrancy and not replaced it with much. Oh well... the memories remain.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/3/2018 - psmith wrote:
92 points
Popped and poured directly after a '14 Vietti Castiglione, and this is clearly a step above. It reminds me a bit of the '12 Bartolo. It's got pitch and some pretty red cherry fruit notes, and of course it's a bit unyielding and monotone at this point. There isn't really the headiness or tension of my favorite vintages. Acid. I suppose I'm happy to have some at release price, but I'm also happy I didn't pay up for it.
Red
10/23/2018 - psmith wrote:
95 points
This has gained a good bit of depth versus what I remember from a couple of years ago. It's got a great core of moderately weighty sweet red fruits, but there's also an impression of breadth and completeness. It's tannic, but not in a particularly aggressive way. A ripe wine but with bones to handle it. Superb young Giacosa.
White
9/24/2018 - psmith wrote:
95 points
Not unlike the ultra-long cask aged Ygay reds of old, in that it's still very fresh without any hint of oxidation. It did change substantially in the glass for the better, to the point where I would probably decant this if I were to open it. There's great weight and viscosity; sort of an oily semillon quality. That didn't change much with time, but the fruit expanded substantially from an initially pretty wrapped up core. There's coconut and tropical fruit without coming across as oaky or fat. Really good.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
9/24/2018 - psmith wrote:
93 points
From 1.5L. This was just shockingly fresh when opened. Almost heady with effervescence and more mineral-forward than fruity, with some Caribbean spice notes. It changed quickly with time open (which I suppose isn't surprising for a recent disgorgement of this age), picking up a more musky quality that's indicative of some age. Fun to try.
White - Sparkling
9/25/2018 - psmith wrote:
95 points
I've never thought this was a great Krug, but this was a great bottle. It started a bit slow and disjointed, but came together after maybe 20-30 minutes of air and really filled out. Dark fruit, with great richness and weight. There's still a lot of mousse that helps lift this up and keep it vibrant despite substantial body. Classic Krug flavors. Really good.
White - Sparkling
9/15/2018 - psmith wrote:
95 points
Yeah, this is a killer Dom. It's classic young Dom... reductive, smoke, saline, and lots of minerals, but there's a weight I don't normally find and crazy acidity. The nearest comparison is probably the '02. It's got that darker, fatter quality, but this has more focus and intensity. Overall I like this more and it's got better acid. Wow.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White
2004 Château Laville Haut-Brion Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
9/16/2018 - psmith wrote:
93 points
This manages to balance a weighty, presumably semillon-influenced frame with substantial lift. There's a great salinity and acidity to the wine. It's still very bright, grassy, and citric, and comes across as younger than I remember from my last bottles. Juicy. Very good.
Red
9/15/2018 - psmith wrote:
92 points
The nose here is very pretty. Earth and dark, plummy fruit tones. It's clearly mature, but isn't showing any signs of cracking up. The palate isn't quite at that standard. It's a touch hollow and metallic, and just falls a touch flat. Clearly a good wine, but not one of the best Margaux I've had.
White - Sparkling
9/14/2018 - psmith wrote:
96 points
This is just so good right now. There’s some muskiness to it thats not out of line for maturing BdB. It’s super clean, but it’s also got power, grace, and weight. Citric and honeyed. This still has younger qualities and will undoubtedly evolve, but searching for a “peak” is a fools errand... it’s more than worthwhile now and will be for decades.
Rosé - Sparkling
8/30/2018 - psmith wrote:
92 points
Not at the level of my last two bottles. I don't know that there's any fundimental difference here, other than it's probably too cold and without the benefit of much air. There are some hints of red fruit that do come out a bit with time. Delicate relative to the most recent releases of this. Should've listened to my last note about the temperature/time.
Red
8/25/2018 - psmith wrote:
60 points
I don't drink much Amarone... because how often do you actually feel like Amarone? Regardless, at some point a few years ago I had something of a moment of panic about a perceived "hole" in my cellar and I bought a six pack of this shit. I've opened a few, and thought them OK enough, if never remarkable, but kept thinking "maybe it just needs some time." Bullshit; it just got worse, culminating in this VA-laden mess of a wine experience. I tried holding my nose through that initial burst of VA, and can sort of see some dark, more typical fruit, but that's fleeting. Trying to focus on those decent components is a bit like, I imagine, trying to keep cool while being barraged by tear gas canisters. Self-preservation takes over, and I stopped caring about "the fruit" when my eyes started watering in response to the VA and 17% alcohol. I’ll give it 10 points because it might be interesting for braising something; otherwise, and for the price this commands, they may consider including a list of local plumbers with each bottle in case drain problems result.
White - Sparkling
8/5/2018 - psmith wrote:
88 points
I haven't had this wine in the better part of a decade, but back then I used to think it one of the best Champagnes I'd ever had. This bottle didn't live up to that memory. A touch of old Champagne funk on the nose. There's still a great citric streak, and a ton of weight and a savory, darker pinot-inflected character. It's almost more liqueur at this stage, but overall it's faded and just doesn't have quite enough lift or continuity to it. Too bad.
White
8/4/2018 - psmith wrote:
As far as I know Briords is the single best deal in wine. It's got verve, class, minerals to die for, and even a touch of fruit. I'm not sure whether I like it any more with age. It darkens a bit, and fattens up without ever actually being fat, but it does lose a touch of that gorgeous fresh fruit and mineral component. Vintage, or at least my perception of it, is even a bit fungible at $18 or so. Anyways, this is solid stuff.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/3/2018 - psmith wrote:
92 points
Sort of a metallic, shroomy quality. It's funky, and more of a full-bodied, dark, pinot-driven Champagne. Spicy. Still has plenty of lift and can certainly last, but it's probably more-or-less mature at this stage.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/3/2018 - psmith wrote:
94 points
This is in a great place. There's a characteristic green, herbal and earthy note along with some muted, not-quite-ripe cherry fruit, but the whole here is much more than the sum of the parts. Full of class; everything just works together so well. Even by Rougeard standards this is on the lighter side. It's still vibrant, but the structure is complementary at this point. Really good.
Red
7/28/2018 - psmith wrote:
84 points
Decanted the better part of the day, but unlike my prior experiences with '89 Gaja from the same case this bottle wasn't the better for it. There's a hint of pretty red fruit, but it's totally obscured by more autumnal leather and tea notes. Those alone might not be so bad, but there's also a caramelized edge to the finish as a nagging and constant reminder that this bottle just isn't quite right. I left a decent portion of the bottle at the restaurant that I brought this to, which I suppose means that while it was sort of worth drinking, it wasn't worth the trouble to finish or bring home.
Red
7/27/2018 - psmith wrote:
Old Ygay, the ones that spent decades in barrel, are some of the best wines on the planet. Young Ygay are super variable. This has a slight VA issue. It's rustic, but more roasted and heady than funky. Maybe I would write it off as a bit cooked, except I've had a bunch of these from different vintages and sources with the same profile. It's not wholly unenjoyable: there's some red fruit and herbal notes, but a letdown.

Appending this note based on day 2. I think the considerable majority of red wines are worse the day after opening. This is an exception. It still has the same rustic red fruit and herbal profile, but it's considerably less high pitched and toned, and seems to have settled down quite a bit. There's a more obvious oak influence. Overall it's considerably more enjoyable than the pop-and-pour version last night, and more consistent with my prior (May '17) note when it had a couple of hours of air in advance.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
1 - 50 of 3,634
More results
  • Tasting Notes: 3,634 notes on 2,860 wines
© 2003-21 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close