Tasting Notes for DCHawkeye

(358 notes on 129 wines)

1 - 50 of 358 Sort order
Red
11/13/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Popped'n poured with dinner (at one of the outdoor bubbles at Osteria Marzano), this was probably the best showing yet - lovely floral noise, and the tannins, while still present, seemed in much better balance.
White
11/18/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
89 points
Good, but not up to the kernel of prior bottles.
Red
2005 Clos de l'Oratoire St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
11/16/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
This is one '05 that's drinking beautifully right now, which is hardly a surprise as this is typically an earlier drinking Right Bank wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Frédéric Magnien Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru Pinot Noir (view label images)
I probably shouldn't rate this, as it was consumed over the course of 3 dinners in Chicago. The first night it was decanted and drunk with the finale (duck) at Smyth Restaurant, and seemed strangely muted. But given that the preceding courses at Smyth had me wishing to be stricken with COVID-19 in the hopes of losing my sense of taste, it may well have been that my taste buds had surrendered to the odd flavors and inconsistent cooking.

Seemed better the second night with the Peking duck at Sun Wah BBQ (one of the true Chicago dining treasures), but nowhere near the heights of the first bottle of this from two years ago.
White
10/15/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
Popped'n poured with dinner at Smyth Restaurant in Chicago, a 2 star Michelin establishment. Still on the young side and would definitely have benefited from a decant. Lively fruit and minerals, but at times fought with the menu. Unfortunately, water would have fought with the menu, as this was without a doubt the worst fine dining experience of my life. Despite having to fight with a muddled menu and odd flavor combinations, the Boillot was clearly the best part of the evening (and likely merited a higher score without the food).
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White
2014 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
10/23/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
Good from the start, and even better with air as it warned up a bit - apple, citrus, mineral; quite lovely.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
10/2/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
Deserved better glasses and an hour decant. But still a great bottle.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
9/17/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
95 points
Still with years ahead, but impossible to resist now. The starter for a wine dinner that included 3 vintages of Bonneau du Martray ('09, '10, and '14), and 2 vintages of Jayer-Gilles Echezeaux ('88 and '09), and this ranked with the best wines of the night.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/17/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted prior to dinner at the Inn at Little Washington; part of a mini-vertical of the '88 and '09 Jayer-GillesEchézaux. The '88 had the better nose, but somewhat of a clipped tannic finish, while the brilliant fruit of the '09 shown, and paired perfectly with a brilliant squab and fig dish. Still young, this should develop even more complexity.
White
2014 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
9/17/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
95 points
Decanted prior to dinner at the Inn at Little Washington; part of a mini-vertical of the '09, '10, and '14 Bonneau Martray Corton-Charlemagne. All were good; the oiliness of the '09 was perhaps the better pairing with an amazing lobster dish; with the '10 being the star of trio and wine of the night - citrus and minerality, with great depth and an amazing nose with candied elements reminiscent of a great Sauturnes. But the '14 was a more classic Corton with bracing minerality, classic cirtus and green apple flavors, and just a child, with (if the Premox Wine Gods are willing) a long life of development ahead. Even greater potential ahead.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2010 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
9/17/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted prior to dinner at the Inn at Little Washington; part of a mini-vertical of the '09, '10, and '14 Bonneau Martray Corton-Charlemagne. All were good; the oiliness of the '09 was perhaps the better pairing with an amazing lobster dish; the '14 was a more classic Corton with bracing minerality and is just a child, with (if the Premox Wine Gods are willing) a long life of development ahead. But the '10 was the star of trio and wine of the night - citrus and minerality, with great depth and an amazing nose with candied elements reminiscent of a great Sauturnes. So good that I ALMOST didn't mind that somebody pushed the bidding up by another $100 for the 3 bottle lot at the K&L wine auction ...
White
9/11/2020 - DCHawkeye wrote:
92 points
Hard to add to Rocknroller's note of 9/10/20, except to say that the '14 vintage of this may be one of the best QPR that I'll ever see.
Red
9/5/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted at the start of (outdoor) dinner with friends (takeout Cajun from RT's), this took a while to open up and hit its stride. Proudly better with an hour or two decant, but definitely in its early drinking window.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/5/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
92 points
Decanted at the start of dinner with friends (outdoors), and another good bottle, from a great vintage and a very consistent (and under-rated producer).
5 people found this helpful Comment
White
9/5/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
A nice start to the Labor Day weekend - brimming with minerality and citrus notes. Probably still young, but a great pairing with a lobster roll.
Red
2000 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/30/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted with dinner (surf'n turf), and I'd say this is at its peak. Not in any danger of fading soon, but why wait - this is delicious right now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/28/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted prior to the dinner (tasting menu at Bresca in DC), and this may have been the best bottle so far of my first case. Amazing noise and great depth of classic Bordeaux flavors. This has at least a decade ahead of it - probably two or more - and watching this evolve will be great fun.
5 people found this helpful Comments (4)
White
8/23/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
92 points
Very consistent with the prior bottle. Had I been drinking this at home, I'd likely have decanted. It really opened up toward the end of dinner.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/14/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
92 points
Popped'n poured; this one was a bit tighter than some of the prior bottles and likely would have benefited from a decant. But still drinking nicely.
White
8/8/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Popped'n poured with al fresco dinner at La Piquette. First of 6 bottles purchased at auction - initially unyielding, showing it is still very young (and the wisdom of decanting a young white Burg such as this). It opened to reveal mineral and white fruits, with wonderful flavors. This will be a stunner, with time, so praying against premox with the other 5!
Red
7/31/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
97 points
Decanted and consumed over the course of dinner at Goosefoot in Chicago (which, btw, is doing an amazing job of COVID-related protections). In a perfect world, I'd have dropped off the bottle earlier for a longer decant (perhaps a couple of hours), but the '03 Lafite's bouquet was amazing from get-go. the second the cork came out. Dark, rich, opulent, with classic Pauillac notes of graphite, creme de cassis, and flowers, that grew even better over the course of dinner.

Postscript: I stuck the bottle in my wine bag following the Friday night dinner and when I pulled out the bottle on Sunday morning (after the drive on Saturday from Chicago back to DC), and noticed the wine remaining after having been decanted. Amazingly, this last few sips might have been even better.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/18/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted probably 30-45 minutes before an outdoor dinner with friends. This is clearly in prime drinking territory - sweet fruit, smoke, herbs, velvety texture - a really good CdP.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
7/17/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
Decanted prior to dinner at La Piquette - color getting a bit more pale, with dark red fruits, minerals - in a great spot and my last bottle of the '02, but not fading away soon. Tho likely never on par with Grand Crus from the Cote du Nuit, this remains one of the great "values" still available in red Burgundy.
White
7/17/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
92 points
Popped'n poured with appetizers at La Piquette - aromas of shellfish, citrus, and white flowers - lovely fruit, minerality, and acidity. First bottle of the case, and wishing I'd splurged on more '14 Chablis.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
7/14/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
95 points
Popped'n poured with dessert at La Piquette in Bastille Day. This was rocking, with the caramel and growl fruit notes a perfect pairing with the cannelés and orange cake. Vive la France!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/14/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
Decanted just before dinner at La Piquette in DC on Bastille Day. Still young, but hitting its early drinking window - lovely nose, dark red fruits, classic enough to pair beautifully with coq au vin, but enough spice for a Moroccan couscous and lamb dish.

Very good, with likely underscoring just because of the definite upside to come.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
7/5/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted a couple hours prior to dinner at a friend's - still young and improving, but in its early drinking window. Great accompaniment to smoke pork shoulder and spare ribs.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Clos de l'Oratoire St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/2/2020 - DCHawkeye wrote:
93 points
Popped'n poured, and in a great place right now. In the words of RP, this is a sexy style, and almost always a terrific value.
Red
2005 Château Monbousquet St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/3/2020 - DCHawkeye wrote:
91 points
Popped'n poured at a cookout with friends, followed the '03 Calon Segur, which had the benefit of a decant. The Monbousquet seems finally to be coming to terms with its oak, and is probably among the more approachable '05s.
Red
2003 Château Calon-Ségur St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/3/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
Decanted for about 2 hours prior to dinner. Previously more own the list few bottles seemed somewhat shut down, which I've experienced with this Château before. (The '95 and '96 both seemed to shut down and open up every other year for some time.) So this definitely needed the decant, and also the grilled steak. This likely has the better part of a decade ahead of it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/26/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Popped'n poured (and note that it's even better with a decant of an hour or so), and drank with Cajun carryout from RT's in Alexandria - the '10 has been so consistent, and so consistently good, it's crazy. At least another decade ahead, but my remaining 20 or so bottles won't make it nearly that long.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/24/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
95 points
Popped'n poured, this wine has been incredibly consistent over the last 5 or so years, and has at least another decade (at least) ahead of it. Medium- to full-bodied, with dark fruits, leather, just a great bottle.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/21/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
97 points
Popped'n poured with dinner at La Piquette, my favorite French bistro in the DC area. Upon opening, it has a bit of funk on the nose, which fortunately blew off by the time we were ready for it. Full-bodied, sweet fruit, pepper - just an outstanding bottle. Most likely at its peak. Just a great Chateauneuf du Pape.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
6/15/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
96 points
Popped'n poured for the first few courses on the tasting menu at Clarity in Vienna, VA. It's possible that my rating is skewed toward the high side as, though I like Chardonnay, I don't drink much great Chardonnay. And to me, this is the kind of wine that makes you understand why Chardonnay is considered one of the great grapes - flowers and spice, citrus and minerals, this is killer and will get even better if the premox doesn't kill it.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/15/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted prior to dinner at Clarity in Vienna, VA. This bottle seemed much younger, with firmer tannins. Beautiful aroma, and big fruit, but likely would have benefited from a longer decant.
Red
6/13/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
92 points
Popped'n poured, with tasting menu at Clarity in Vienna, VA. Consistent with last bottle, very likely at/near its peak - everything fully resolved and drinking quite well. Mushroom and cherry predominate. Likely no reason to wait on these.
Red
6/10/2020 - DCHawkeye wrote:
94 points
Popped'n poured - this just keeps getting better and better. The 2010 Brunellos are just outstanding, and are definitely hitting their stride, and the Lisini in particular. It will be interesting to see if '13, '15, and '16 will be as good, but it will be a tough challenge.
5 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
5/30/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
96 points
I finally broke out the first of my 6 bottles to toast the birth of the best friends' first grandchild, as well as the birth of my grand-nephew, born barely one month apart. Given the typically strong reviews on Cellartracker, I had been wondering - could a wine produced in such volume (approx 20,000 bottles accounted for from CT cellars alone) really be that good?

Apparently it really can be. This was every bit as good as advertised - floral, citrus, minerals, with an incredibly smooth texture. Outstanding. I might have to start saving my pennies now for a few bottles of the '08.
7 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
6/6/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
95 points
Opened for about an hour before drinking, but no decant. Full-bodied, velvety, just a hint of Pegau funk - this is clearly in prime drinking territory.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/30/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted about 90 minutes before dinner. This bottle seemed tight, but I think that was due from having followed immediately after the '03 Pegau Reservee, which was drinking beautifully. But the '03 Montrose is sadly good, too, with a very long life and more development ahead.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/30/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
96 points
Opened an hour or two before dinner, but not decanted. Stellar. Drinking beautifully, full-bodied dark fruits, spice, no roasted character, and barely a hint of Pegau funk. Great bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Clos de l'Oratoire St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/30/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
Drinking quite well right now, but probably still a decade or more of life ahead. Beautiful nose, lovely fruit. Likely one of the more approachable '05s.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/24/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
92 points
Popped'n poured - I'm somewhat baffled by this wine only having a 90 point rating on CT, unless maybe folks opened too early. But this is drinking beautifully now. Great fruit, but no overripeness. The rare decently priced Burgundy that makes you kick yourself for not finding another case.
White
5/26/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
92 points
I don't know whether I really like Chablisienne this much, or if it's simply that the '14s are just killer. But this is just lovely. Nice fruit, minerals, went almost surprisingly well with blackened mahi mahi.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
5/25/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
95 points
Decanted prior to dinner on Memorial Day, and a great pairing with the smoked brisket. Just starting to hit its drinking window, with considerable upside, but definitely needs a decant if opened now.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/25/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
94 points
Popped'n poured, with brisket on Memorial Day. Incredibly consistent wine, and so good. Even better if you can give it a decant for an hour or two. This will shine for the next decade, but the 20 or so bottles I have left won't make it nearly that long.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/23/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
The second of 2 bottles of 2000 Pontet Canet at a friend's second birthday dinner of the week. The first bottle was decanted at home for an hour or so, and then decanted back into the bottle. The second bottle was decanted at the friend's house right before dinner. Curiously, the first wine, with more air was considerably more tannic than the second, which was in a very nice place. Like most left-bank wines from 2000, this has a long life still ahead, but is approachable now with a decent decant and food to help cut the tannin.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/23/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
91 points
The first of 2 bottles of 2000 Pontet Canet at a friend's second birthday dinner of the week. The first bottle was decanted at home for an hour or so, and then decanted back into the bottle. The second bottle was decanted at the friend's house right before dinner. Curiously, the first wine, with more air was considerably more tannic than the second, which was in a very nice place. Like most left-bank wines from 2000, this has a long life still ahead, but is approachable now with a decent decant and food to help cut the tannin.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/12/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
93 points
Popped'n poured, but this is even better with an hour or so decant. The "house" CdP - thank goodness I've got almost 2 cases left of the '10.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/6/2020 - DCHawkeye Likes this wine:
92 points
Opened but not decanted about an hour before dinner. Black fruit and cedar - a classic Pauillac profile. This probably would have been even better with a decant of a couple hours, as most of the bigger Left Bank wines are just starting to hit their drinking window.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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