Comments on my notes

(44 comments on 32 notes)

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Red
2013 Cà La Bionda Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Corvina Blend, Corvina
8/18/2014 - cyak Likes this wine:
82 points
Color- moderate to light claret.
Body - moderate.
Duration - moderate to long.
The overall initial flavor profile was a combination of apple and raisin with significant sweetness and no tannin to speak of. As the bottle remained open, the flavor profile evolved into a pepper>berry combination with residual apple flavors, still holding on to some of the sweetness that was more prominent on opening. It held up ok to food but I would not pair it with heavier foods.
  • Paul852 commented:

    9/2/19, 6:22 AM - I'm curious how you could have drunk a 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella in 2014 since by the regulations of Amarone it could not be released to the market until 1st January 2016?

White
2003 Chateau Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley White Blend
8/21/2019 - RajivAyyangar wrote:
92 points
Double decanted morning of. Cork 3/4 soaked through.

Still not inflected. But perfumed VA. Toasted carrot. Wax. Bee pollen. So nice. Surprisingly floral!
  • Paul852 commented:

    8/21/19, 9:46 AM - Well, yes, and what did it taste like?

  • Paul852 commented:

    8/22/19, 12:38 AM - OK, fair enough... I have suggested before in the support forum that a "Save as Draft" feature on Tasting Notes would be helpful...

White
2018 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
8/3/2019 - Polarlow Likes this wine:
77 points
Maybe the most agreeable wine I've had in years. Solid. Rock solid, but nothing more.
  • Paul852 commented:

    8/8/19, 4:28 AM - If the most agreeable wine that you have had in years warrants a rating of 77, which means "Below/Average" then could I respectfully suggest that you might make more use of CT to find better wines? :-D

Red
2009 Château Cantenac Brown Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
6/15/2019 - PMJak11 wrote:
90 points
45+ minute decant. Dark purple color. Mild nose with stone and metallic elements. Wine lacks fruit and is dominated by graphite and pencil shavings. Also lacks French terroir. I used to really like this, but this wine was pretty average if not slightly below that.
  • Paul852 commented:

    7/26/19, 4:38 AM - Just an observation that the normal rating for "average" is in the high 70s. A rating of 90 says "Excellent". So I'm struggling to reconcile your rating and your words.

White
2018 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
7/13/2019 - MTC2 Does not like this wine:
84 points
Incredibly acidic. Tart to the point of reminding me of biting into an unripe lemon.
  • Paul852 commented:

    7/19/19, 3:56 AM - It needs a little air, and to not be too cold. It's fine a day after opening as well.

White
2018 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
4/8/2019 - Baron Slick wrote:
92 points
So good year in and year out. The 2018 exhibits tremendous tension, precision, and aromatics and yet is elegantly polished and restrained for such a vibrant wine. Lychee, guava, and gooseberry notes are laced with a lick of salt while pithy lime peel complexity races past the crisp, juicy, and grassy finish.
  • Paul852 commented:

    6/26/19, 5:13 AM - You seem to have attached a review of the 2017 vintage to the entry for the 2018?

  • Paul852 commented:

    6/26/19, 10:18 PM - Your tasting note for the 2018 says "The 2017 exhibits tremendous tension..." Is that just a typo and you meant to write 2018?

White
2008 Les Clos de Paulilles Collioure Cap Bear Blanc Grenache Blend, Grenache
2/4/2016 - dlduchon wrote:
88 points
Quite light and refreshing for a Banyuls. Purchased at the the winery after dinner. Perfect after dinner.
  • Paul852 commented:

    6/20/19, 11:27 PM - You seem to have attached this tasting note to the wrong wine. This listing is not a Banyuls

White
2017 Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Blanc White Rhone Blend
5/3/2019 - henryd1 wrote:
86 points
Not my favorite Rhône white. For the money I'd expect something like a white crozes but it's much more basic than that. Not sure what it's made from but strikes me as probavly having a lot of grenache blanc which I'm nit generally a fan of and that could explain my take on it.
  • Paul852 commented:

    6/14/19, 7:53 AM - The generic wine specification (no indication of vintage, although apparantly uploaded in 2016) on their website says: "50% Grenache, 15% Clairette, 15% Bourboulenc, 10% Viognier, 10% Roussanne".

    http://www.lajanasse.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/DomaineLaJanasse_FT_CDR_blanc_ang.pdf

Red
2016 Château Fortia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Red Rhone Blend
9/18/2018 - Jeff Leve wrote:
94 points
Pepper, smoked meat and red fruits are the first thing you note before moving on to the layers of sweet, lush, red fruits and spice on the palate. There is intensity and purity with a strong garrigue note in the ripe finish. The wine is made from 100% old vine Grenache..
  • Paul852 commented:

    5/14/19, 2:04 AM - Curiously, the producer claims that this wine is 80% syrah, 20% mourvedre.

    https://chateau-fortia.com/en/la-reserve

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Brut Rosé Champagne Blend
10/8/2018 - WEB,III Likes this wine:
89 points
Rather simple for Cramant Grand Cru.
  • Paul852 commented:

    5/12/19, 7:06 AM - I see nothing to indicate that this is Grand Cru. Why do you believe so?

  • Paul852 commented:

    5/12/19, 7:36 AM - To me that just tells me where the wine was made, not where the grapes were grown. Many wines are made in wineries in Grand Cru areas from grapes grown elsewhere.

  • Paul852 commented:

    5/12/19, 7:38 AM - From the producer's website:
    "The Diebolt-Vallois champagne vineyards cover 11 hectares (26 acres) of which the great majority are in Cramant and Cuis, two villages which are classed as Grand Cru (Great Growth) and Premier Cru (First Growth) respectively.

    Other plots are at Chouilly (another Grand Cru village) and on the hillsides at Epernay (vineyards called Les Toulettes and Les Hautes Justices). All of these are planted entirely in Chardonnay, the grape used to make blanc de blancs champagne. Some vines on the Montagne de Reims and the Côte de Bar complete the estate's holdings, and these are planted in pinot noir and pinot meunier."

    The rosé is clearly not Grand Cru. http://www.diebolt-vallois.com/en/champagne-rose.htm

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Jean Vesselle Champagne Brut Œil de Perdrix Pinot Noir
8/8/2017 - Harley1199 wrote:
Tempering Madrid with Some Almost Frozen Champange (Barra Territorio Era - Madrid): Served by the glass from a new bottle. Nose of pink grapefruit. Quite simple and unrepresentative.
In the mouth it has little length, also little refreshing acidity and a medium-bodied.

Nariz a pomelo rosa. Simplota y poco representativa.
En boca tiene escasa longitud, una acidez poco refrescante y un cuerpo medio.
  • Paul852 commented:

    5/12/19, 6:42 AM - Who in their right minds serves decent champagne "almost frozen"? Of course there's nothing to it - your mouth is numbed by the temperature!

  • Paul852 commented:

    5/12/19, 7:28 AM - Global warming notwithstanding, Madrid in the summer of (I think) 1998 is the hottest place I have ever been. But it's dry, so 40 degrees in Madrid is less uncomfortable than, say, 35 degrees in HK with 90% humidity.

    In any case, tasting champagne served at almost freezing temperatures in an environment where the ambient temperature is 40 degrees is far from ideal. Haven't things called "air conditioners" made it to Madrid yet? If not you could make a fortune by importing them! :-)

    Served at about 12 degrees in an ambient temperature of about 22 degrees I find this champagne rather nice, albeit not the greatest QPR.

White
2011 Chateau Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley White Blend
4/29/2019 - rossi.wine wrote:
90 points
Slightly oxidative on the nose, notes of honey, beeswax, nuts, flowers, marzipan. Really fresh and lively on the nose - great acidity, good fruit, fine length. 89-90+(+)
  • Paul852 commented:

    5/10/19, 1:22 AM - I'm curious where/how you tasted a wine that hasn't been released yet?

  • Paul852 commented:

    5/10/19, 2:58 AM - OIC. Fair enough. I do wonder about how late Musar releases some of their wines, particularly the whites - it seems like they want the oxidative character to start being noticeable before they do so!

Red
2000 Les Charmes de Kirwan Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
Quite dark color. Good nose. Fresh cherry flavor with bright acid. Very good red wine. Drinking well
  • Paul852 commented:

    5/9/19, 3:24 AM - Drinking well, but flawed?

White - Sparkling
N.V. Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut Australia Champagne Blend
3/5/2019 - Breslich Likes this wine:
67 points
Slightly sweet but excellent for $6 a bottle.
  • Paul852 commented:

    5/3/19, 1:52 AM - Yet you give it a rating of 67 which means "Avoid"?

Red
2017 De Boisseyt-Chol Crozes-Hermitage "Horizon" Syrah
4/16/2019 - Burgundy Al wrote:
Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône; 4/15/2019-4/16/2019 (Ampuis, Mauves and Tain-l'Hermitage): Walk around tasting talking with the producers, brief note. All black fruit here with some roasted meat. Good depth, but with a noticeably firm finish for now. Good.
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/18/19, 5:34 AM - Thanks for this note on a new wine (I just put it in the database this week, and it doesn't yet feature on the De Boisseyt website!). They're having a bit of a push through one of the distributors I buy from in Hong Kong so I'll be trying some of their range in the coming weeks. I've enjoyed a few of Pierre-Jean Villa's wines under his eponymous label so I look forward to tasting some from this new venture.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Didier Chopin Champagne Brut Rosé Champagne Blend
11/9/2013 - Anonymous wrote:
92 points
This champagne with a rose color has an intense aroma of red berries. Its mouth is smooth and delicate, this fresh champagne is perfect for the aperitif.
  • Paul852 commented:

    3/15/19, 4:35 AM - Well thank you for copying exactly word for word the description of this wine from the producer's website!

White - Sweet/Dessert
2012 Château Bélingard Monbazillac Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
5/21/2018 - yarnon wrote:
90 points
an OK Sauternes lookalike.
Good value for the money.
  • Paul852 commented:

    3/7/19, 2:40 AM - Um, Monbazillac is not Sauternes!

Red
2010 Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
3/2/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
88 points
I have to say that I was rather disappointed with this bottle. I opened and decanted it at 5pm, put it back in the bottle at 6:15pm. Put it in another decanter at the restaurant at 6:45pm and starting drinking at 8pm.

When I first pulled the cork the nose of strong fruits was very attractive. However, by the time we got to drinking it there was nothing there: strong tannin, moderate acidity, little fruit. Over the course of about 90 minutes it opened up a bit, but only to the point where it became "decent everyday claret". Not sure if I handled it wrongly or what, but this was US$50 not well spent.
  • Paul852 commented:

    3/2/19, 8:02 AM - I really don't know. We have reviews that say it's great straight after pulling the cork, and others that say decant it for 3 days!

Red
2015 Château Fortia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée du Baron Red Rhone Blend
1/28/2019 - vinhonotte Likes this wine:
91 points
Pronounced elderflower and caramel nose, and some red cherry over pepper, grass, tree bark, and forest floor. Long peppery and earthy finish
  • Paul852 commented:

    1/28/19, 8:29 AM - Seriously? 96 points? Not just Excellent, but Outstanding?

    You're not leaving much room for really good stuff!

Red
2009 Roccolo Grassi Amarone della Valpolicella Corvina Blend, Corvina
Voluptuous, opulent, hedonistic and freakin fabulous, a this-is-what-life-is-all-about kind of wine. Need I say more? Incredible integration since I last tasted it a couple of years ago. I'm not a fruit bomb kind of guy, but this is at that edge- yet the complexity and sophistication make it irresistible. My only regret is that this is the last bottle I've got. I love this producer. The regular Valpolicella bottling is also outstanding.
  • Paul852 commented:

    8/7/18, 8:32 AM - Can I ask if you decanted / opened this in advance, or was it just pull and pour? I've got 3 bottles and trying to decide how to serve them.

  • Paul852 commented:

    8/26/18, 6:37 AM - Somehow I guess I should have anticipated that answer from your ID! :-D

  • Paul852 commented:

    12/10/18, 6:12 AM - Loved the Amarone with a few hours air. Also, thanks for the recommendation on the regular Valpolicella Superiore. Had a couple of bottles of the 2013 recently and very much enjoyed them (at not much more than half the price).

Red
2015 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
4/8/2017 - I've Got Bottle (JP Abela) wrote:
91 points
Printemps Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017; 4/7/2017-4/9/2017 (Châteauneuf-du-Pape): Couleur : belle robe violine, d’une belle intensité.
Nez : plus sombre que Chaupin 2015, d’intensité aromatique normale (+) sur de la mûre, de la framboise pure, des épices douces (anis, réglisse), de la vanille.
Bouche : l’attaque est fruitée et fluide. Rond, gourmand et sapide avec une belle précision aromatique. Corps assez ample. Les tanins sont polis; le palais développe une relative bonne profondeur et densité tout en affichant une belle minéralité. C’est bien fait.
Finale fluide, vibrante - même si un brin accrocheuse, de longueur normale sur des fruits rouges, des épices, des herbes et zest d’agrumes.
Note : 16,25/20 i.e. 91/100
  • Paul852 commented:

    12/3/18, 12:02 AM - Er, 16,25/20 = 81/100 not 91!

  • Paul852 commented:

    12/3/18, 2:27 AM - Bizarre!

  • Paul852 commented:

    12/3/18, 4:23 AM - Oh, I see, this Robert Parker guy (whoever he is) is some sort of omnipotent being that can redefine the rules of arithmetic?

Red
2015 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
12/1/2018 - Dr. Bee Likes this wine:
91 points
Great example of chateauneuf de pape for $25
  • Paul852 commented:

    12/2/18, 2:58 AM - Well yes, but the community average price is $42! I'm sure we'd love to know where you can buy it for $25!

Red
2010 Hyde De Villaine Belle Cousine Hyde Vineyard Carneros Red Bordeaux Blend
9/27/2016 - blueda99 wrote:
93 points
Wow. Closest I'll come to trying DRC. Some good grapes here.
  • Paul852 commented:

    11/26/18, 7:38 AM - DRC<-------------------------------------------------------------------You--This wine>

    You have my sympathy.

White
2004 Trimbach Pinot Blanc Alsace
10/26/2018 - mrooney Does not like this wine:
69 points
nose: sweet fruit; palette: strong fruit with a hint but only a hint of oak, a heavier almost cloying palate
  • Paul852 commented:

    11/26/18, 2:09 AM - I'm confused by your note/score. You say that you don't like it, but you give it 99 points?

Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
11/9/2018 - Brentw1 Likes this wine:
91 points
Had a dozen of these this week in two batches and one bottle had a wet protruding cork and was weeping slightly. No problems with fill Level in any of the bottles and the rest are fine. I phoned the merchant (Robersons in the UK) and they were excellent, crediting my account immediately and saying that they did not want the bottle returning.

So....... nothing to lose folks! Out came the corkscrew with the sink in close proximity in case I got that wet cardboard, wet dog, mouldy potatoes experience. What a lovely surprise! Loads of fruit, tons going on and half the bottle left in the decanter to see what develops after 24 hours.

There is no doubt that the bottle would not have kept with the cork in that condition but on the other hand, I was not expecting to enjoy a 19 year old Musar this evening. Let’s see what the other 11 bottles do over the next few years.
  • Paul852 commented:

    11/10/18, 9:20 AM - I'm finding that most of the 99s that I'm opening have a soft, wet cork, although they still seem to hold together OK and can be pulled normally without any drama. Seems that the normal rules don't apply to Musar! :-)

Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
11/5/2018 - anstruletz Likes this wine:
94 points
This is really singing with secondary aromas and flavors. Rose petals and black fruits emerge after only moments and tannins have rounded out to reveal sweet dried cherries and herbs. I wish I had more bottles.
  • Paul852 commented:

    11/5/18, 6:03 AM - It's still readily available, no? I can buy it from Musar's distributor in Hong Kong for HK$340 (US$45 or so) before haggling discounts etc.

Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
8/6/2018 - jmoore431 wrote:
90 points
Soft textured and balanced. But for my $$$, I'll spend that elsewhere.
  • Paul852 commented:

    8/6/18, 6:07 AM - Curious as to how many $$$ and where you would rather spend it? For me, Musar 99 at about $35 is pretty good QPR.

  • Paul852 commented:

    8/7/18, 4:30 AM - Thanks for the response. I think there must be an error in that auction figure. Musar's distributor in Hong Kong has a list price of HK$340 (about US$44) for the 1999 and ready availability. I bought mine from them within the last few months at the equivalent of US$35. I've been a Musar fan for decades, and that seems a reasonable price given what else is available for similar.

  • Paul852 commented:

    9/30/18, 7:52 AM - Well, no. It isn't. Just that you can't find it. The current list price of '99 Musar from their official distributor in HK is HK$340, which is US$43, but there was a sale event at which I bought it for HK$272 (US$35).

    The new release 2011 is HK$305 (US$39).

Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
7/2/2018 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
93 points
This was my first bottle of the 1999, having being a little disappointed by some 1997 previously. But this is the real deal! Yes, it has the funky nose on opening and decanting, but the colour is good; after an hour the funkiness fades and the fruit starts to develop, but still with a bit of acidity/edge.

However, after 3.5 hours in the decanter this is perfect Musar - a beautiful balance of fruit, tannins, spice and a slighty funky edge. Curiously, in Hong Kong it is significantly cheaper (at the equivalent of US$35 in a recent deal) than the 1997, which seems to be over the hill to me - I wonder if the handover date drives that price or something?

[EDIT - subsequently I realised that the 1997 in question was slightly flawed; subsequent bottles have been better, as see my 1997 Tasting Note for details.]

Anyway, I shall be topping up on the 1999 for drinking this year.
  • Paul852 commented:

    9/30/18, 7:46 AM - I buy in 6-packs direct from Musar's distributor in Hong Kong (Fico International Ltd) and I have met M Hochar at a dinner organised by them. I think I can be reasonably confident about the provenance of the wine.

    http://www.fico-wines.com/clients/chateau-musar-2/

    The current list price of '99 Musar from their official distributor in HK is HK$340, which is US$43, but there was a "20% off" sale event at which I bought it for HK$272 (US$35).

White
2016 Domaine Sainte Lucie Côtes de Provence MiP Made in Provence Premium Blanc Vermentino
8/22/2017 - Pedja Likes this wine:
88 points
For those people who generally doesn't like rose wine... Will be amazed by... W Provence!!!
  • Paul852 commented:

    8/28/18, 9:39 PM - Is this a review of the rose wine? You posted it under a white wine.

Red
2006 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
8/21/2018 - Papies wrote:
91 points
Once again a great value wine and barring the first looks of people who dnt know it ( a Lebanese wine ???) a great experience once again. We actually love to serve this blind and see peoples reaction.
Bordeaux blend, classic in a way, and in a very much great time to be enjoyed now. Round, soft tannin, energetic wine though with good fruit and nice length. Very solid 91
  • Paul852 commented:

    8/22/18, 8:58 AM - "The Chateau Musar Red of 2006 is our classical blend of a third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan"

    That's a "Bordeaux Blend"?

Red
2014 Meerlust Rubicon Stellenbosch Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2018 - IvanLi Does not like this wine:
89 points
Tasted together with a highly-skilled professional winemaker.
We both found it unpleasantly unripe and very much pyrazinic. It isn't a bad wine per se and might be a good match for food, but doesn't provide the drinking pleasure you would expect from a high quality Bordeaux blend from Stellenbosch.
  • Paul852 commented:

    8/1/18, 7:41 AM - "Unpleasantly unripe" and yet you scored it at the top end of "Very Good" bordering on "Excellent"?

White
2015 Trimbach Pinot Blanc Alsace
7/24/2018 - jeffal66 wrote:
86 points
Fairly simple, everyday white. Moderately fragrant, some spice, tropical fruits. Alcohol heat throws the balance, unfortunately. Give it a couple hours of air and serve closer to room temperature. Screw top.
  • Paul852 commented:

    7/26/18, 7:07 PM - The screw top is interesting. Mine all have corks.

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