Comments on my notes

(83 comments on 59 notes)

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White - Sparkling
N.V. Henri Giraud Champagne Brut Nature Esprit Champagne Blend
7/11/2020 - nicofisher Likes this wine:
90 points
Delicious #champagne lots of depth and body, with an apple freshness and a good delicate mousse. A well made champers that has lots of character and charm. A little expensive but worth it. £50 from @harrogatewines and if you love champagne then we'll worth seeking out to #giveanewwineago 90 points
  • Paul852 commented:

    8/6/20, 8:52 AM - £39.95 from https://www.masterofmalt.com/champagne/henri-giraud/henri-giraud-esprit-nature-champagne/?currencyCode=GBP

Rosé
2019 Cave d'Esclans Whispering Angel Côtes de Provence Rosé Blend
7/17/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
I had mistakenly thought that its popularity amongst socialites here in Hong Kong meant that this would be very average wine at best, but I was wrong - this is really quite a nice, fresh rosé.

The colour is at the very pale end of rosé - just a light hint of coppery-salmon. Served fairly well-chilled the nose is a little muted, but I get notes of sweet candy and flowers.

On the palate, the initial feeling is light and crisp, but then some notes of red fruit, again with floral overtones, come through. There's a very nice balance on what is a light-medium body overall. And the finish is crisp, refreshing and lingers quite long for a rosé. There's none of the slightly cloying sweetness that mars some other rosés in the finish.

Overall this is very reasonable QPR at the US$19 that I paid, and definitely a repeat buy.
  • Paul852 commented:

    7/18/20, 6:04 AM - 唔該
    願榮光歸香港

Red
2017 Le Rocche Malatestiane Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore Sigismondo
12/21/2019 - forceberry wrote:
92 points
Macerated with the skins for 12 days. Aged in stainless steel (90%) and barriques (10%). 13,5% alcohol.

Youthful, translucent cherry red color with a pale rim. Quite sweet-toned and thoroughly attractive nose with aromas of black cherries, some licorice root, a little bit of dusty wood, light notes of pipe tobacco and a concentrated hint of inky character. The wine is dry, medium-bodied and super-crunchy on the palate with high-toned flavors of sour cherry bitterness, tart lingonberries, some brambly black raspberries, a little bit of sanguine iron, light cranberry tones and a hint of stony minerality. The wine is remarkably high in acidity, making the wine feel very fresh and lively, while the medium tannin bring some welcome firmness and grip to the mouthfeel. The finish is long, crunchy and gently grippy with intense flavors of tart cranberries and lingonberries, some sour cherries, a little bit of stony minerality, a hint of brambly raspberry and a touch of tobacco.

A very lovely, fresh and crunchy Sangiovese with impressive streak of acidity that gives the wine wonderful intensity, brightness and length. Perhaps this wine is too acid-driven for people who like their wines soft and fruity, but this really hit my taste, big time. Very enjoyable already now, but most likely the high acidity will grant the wine tons of aging potential, so most likely this will get only better over the next decade or so. Heartily recommended for all acid-heads.
  • Paul852 commented:

    7/3/20, 5:11 AM - I really struggle to reconcile your note with the wine I'm drinking I'm afraid!

  • Paul852 commented:

    7/3/20, 7:33 AM - Yes - see my tasting note!

Red
2017 Château Fortia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Red Rhone Blend
9/21/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
93 points
Floral and pepper red fruits pop in the nose. The wine is fresh, meaty, juicy and long on the palate with loads of dark, peppery, black raspberries and olives in the finish. The wine is made from 85% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre.
  • Paul852 commented:

    6/27/20, 1:07 AM - Curiously, the producer's website claims that this wine is 85% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre.
    https://chateau-fortia.com/en/la-reserve

  • Paul852 commented:

    6/28/20, 10:24 AM - Maybe I'm just being dense here: you seem to have edited from "100% old vine grenache" to "85% old vine grenache and 15% mourvedre". But the producer's website says that there is no grenache involved at all - it's 85% syrah and 15% mourvedre.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Françoise Bedel Champagne Dis, "Vin Secret" Brut Champagne Blend
1/21/2017 - Xavier Auerbach wrote:
90 points
A private lunch (Restaurant Bak, Amsterdam, NL): A blend of 95% Pinot Meunier and 5% Chardonnay, 2009 base vintage, biodynamic farming, disgorged November 2015. Very pure, wonderful Pinot Meunier typicity, relatively dry and mineral style, subtle floral notes, yeasty complexity, very good length.
  • Paul852 commented:

    6/23/20, 7:44 AM - I wonder how many different versions / batches of this wine are produced under the same label? My bottle is the same base vintage, same disgorgement month, but 80% PN and 20% Chard.

    All very confusing.

White - Sparkling
N.V. André Clouet Champagne Silver Brut Nature Pinot Noir
Very direct and linear, but it does it well. Acid clearly high, fruit is sharp and crisp (green apple, bitter lemon). Gave this over a year of bottle age at home and still felt a bit young. Great price point for a Grand Cru BnD Brut Nature, even if it isn't the most exotic.
  • Paul852 commented:

    6/17/20, 5:33 AM - It's interesting that some batches of this seem to be Grand Cru, and others not (I have in hand a bottle that makes no such claim, but I see label pics here that say Grand Cru).

Red
2010 Pian dell'Orino Brunello di Montalcino Bassolino di Sopra Sangiovese
Not one of my favorites
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/25/20, 5:12 AM - 80 points is still defined as "Good".

    Vinegar would be 50-69 points.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Françoise Bedel Champagne Dis, "Vin Secret" Brut Champagne Blend
90% PM, 5% PN, 5% Chard; a powerful Champagne with broad shoulders and lots in the tank, easy to appreciate and somewhat friendly for an Extra Brut, this has enough lees character and fruit to round out any sharp edges, (I guess this is where Champagne and Riesling are headed and eventually it will be the norm), broad and expansive on the mouth and I found the analogy of Pinot Meunier to Merlot quite apt in this bottle, complexity had yet to be revealed but the bottle disappeared so quickly from the overall balance that we didn't reach that point, must have been a sign, best to enjoy this a touch warmer that most Champagnes.
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/19/20, 2:59 AM - You appear to have attached your tasting note to the wrong wine. This is the Brut.

    The Extra Brut is here: https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1973344

White - Fortified
N.V. Barbadillo Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Obispo Gascon Palo Cortado Palomino Fino
Spanish Dinner (Herald & Teni's Place, Hong Kong): An amontillado....this is the white label "Aged 15 Years". Deep golden almond colour. Nose is burnt Demerara sugar and toasted almonds. Palate is very bitter, like Anastura bitters. Not my thing and I couldn't finish the glass.
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/14/20, 6:09 AM - An amontillado with "Cova Chocolate Cake and Tirimasu" appears to me to be a rather unusual pairing! It seems that the palate must be "bitter" in contrast to the food.

    Anyway, good to hear that "social distancing" isn't stopping great wine dinners!

White - Sparkling
N.V. Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut Champagne Blend
4/2/2020 - Muledog71 Likes this wine:
91 points
A touch rich, but well balanced. I don’t get the sweetness that others do. Nothing crazy complex here, and for just under $50 prob can do a bit better. Rebuy just for the reliability
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/11/20, 7:24 AM - Then your review is in the wrong place! The Extra Dry is here: https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=51860

White
2015 Château Carbonnieux Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
4/5/2020 - skurtz Likes this wine:
90 points
Today I'm getting more grapefruit and lime on the finish, paired with garden salad. The high acid cuts the dressing like a knife! Very tasty but today this wine really needs the food, a bit too austere for a sipping wine.
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/6/20, 4:41 AM - I strongly recommend decanting this wine for an hour or two - it smooths out the acidity and opens up the fruit.

White
2015 Château Carbonnieux Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
12/31/2019 - CarpeDiem! wrote:
89 points
Following white Carbonnieux since so many years I found this 2015 a bit underwhelming. Much typicity, certainly, with the usual mineral, floral expression, lots of freshness and a nice citric frame. However, surprisingly high acidity prevents the wine to develop its full aromatic depth, leaving an overall monodimensional impression. We had this bottle with oysters. To be revisited with other pairings.
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/6/20, 4:40 AM - I strongly recommend decanting this wine for an hour or two - it smooths out the acidity and opens up the fruit.

White
2016 M. Chapoutier Luberon Blanc La Ciboise White Rhone Blend
6/9/2019 - Desmond Yeo wrote:
Very easy to drink. But it is red wine not white ad indicated.
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/2/20, 10:42 AM - Er, user error. There's a separate database entry for the red wine!

    https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=2709096

White
2015 Château Les Charmes-Godard Blanc Francs Côtes de Bordeaux Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
£7/glass at 67 Pall Mall, London. Paired by the somm with dukkah-crusted cod. 70% Semillon, Sauvignon gris and Muscadelle, in 25% new oak barrels for 6 to 8 months. I really enjoyed this. Tropical fruit (lychee, pineapple), long grass in the gentle summer breeze, honeysuckle, jasmine. A real fullness and viscosity on the palate, but clean and slightly clenching on the finish like the skin of a yellow plum.
  • Paul852 commented:

    4/1/20, 3:57 AM - Curiously, the bottle of 2015 which I have in my hand says 50% semillon, 25% sauvignon gris, 25% sauvignon blanc.

  • Paul852 commented:

    4/1/20, 4:36 AM - It seems that the blend does vary a bit from vintage to vintage, generally being at least 50% semillon. (The current release on the Producer's website, which I guess is 2018, shows 60% semillon, 25% sauvignon gris, 15% sauvignon blanc, for example). Maybe they just forgot to recheck the blend when changing vintages.

White
2018 Torbreck Woodcutter's Semillon Barossa Valley Sémillon
3/28/2020 - Schartz cellars Likes this wine:
72 points
Absolutely no acidity whatsoever. Color is pale. Grapefruit flavors.
  • Paul852 commented:

    3/29/20, 2:43 AM - A perfect score of 100 is quite "brave" for your first ever tasting note!

Red
2007 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
3/26/2020 - CheviotCellar Likes this wine:
89 points
May have been a flawed bottle or perhaps degrading faster than expected. This was a rustic version of what we last encountered 2 years ago. Nose was still very good but the palate was unflattering. Very dry/oaked with nondescript fruit. 2 more bottles left.
  • Paul852 commented:

    3/27/20, 9:32 AM - This is worrying. The majority of other notes/tasters say cellar this for another 5 years at least! I have two bottles hidden away at the back of my fridge on that basis.

Red
2012 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Red Rhone Blend
3/26/2020 - Slaz Does not like this wine:
90 points
Several notches below the Beaucastel in my opinion. Relatively fruit forward, with insufficient backbone and structure. Tasted over several hours of decanting.
  • Paul852 commented:

    3/26/20, 11:27 PM - You don't like it, but you rate it 90, which means "Excellent". I'm struggling to reconcile these two facts.

  • Paul852 commented:

    3/27/20, 9:04 AM - OK, thanks. Personally I am more interested in the quality of the end result rather than the ingredients, but a chacun son gout. And thanks for explaining your rating system.

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 palate - 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!

  • Paul852 commented:

    3/26/20, 11:21 PM - The Musar distributor in HK has the 2012 red and the 2010 white as what it claims are the latest releases, but they do that sometimes to clear stock even when a later release is available.

    On the Chateau Musar website tasting notes are available for 2012 and 2013 red. For the whites it does indeed seem that the 2011 is being held back. The Musar website has tasting notes for 2010 and 2012.

Red
1999 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
10/25/2019 - forceberry wrote:
94 points
14,15% alcohol, 5,97 g/l acidity, 0,95 g/l VA, pH 3,79. Decanted for a few hours before tasting the wine.

Quite dark yet somewhat translucent black cherry color with a little bit of developed bricking. Dusty, dry yet quite ripe nose with aromas of ripe cranberries, some bretty barnyard tones and nuances of animal funk, a little bit of gamey meat, light lingonberry tones, a hint of wizened sour cherry and a touch of ripe red plummy fruit. The wine is full-bodied, silky and quite intense on the palate with complex and moderately developed flavors of exotic spices, ripe cherries and cranberries, some savory gamey tones, a little bit of beef jerky, light raspberry tones, a hint of raisiny fruit and a touch of tangy salinity. The taste feels less funky than the nose. Overall the wine is enjoyably structured with its moderately high acidity and firm, medium-plus tannins. The alcohol lends some warth to the palate. The finish is long, savory and gently grippy with layered flavors of meaty umami, some ripe cranberry tones, a little bit of wild strawberries, light wizened black cherry tones, a hint of earthy spice and a saline touch of soy sauce.

A lovely, wonderfully developed vintage of Musar that is starting exhibit some savory developed flavors, yet retains quite a bit of ripe vibrant fruit. The nose might show quite a bit of that classic Musar funk, but on the palate the wine feels cleaner and more polished in style. Overall it feels like the wine is slowly reaching its plateau of maturity, meaning that the room for further improvement might be rather marginal here, but most likely the wine will continue to keep wonderfully for another decade or so. A fine effort and a very lovely vintage of Musar. Terrific value at 30,59€.
  • Paul852 commented:

    2/4/20, 3:06 AM - I appreciate all your very detailed notes on many vintages of Musar. However, could I respectfully suggest that these wines evolve a lot with air, and it would be extra helpful if you could indicate in your notes whether you are reviewing "pull and pour" or wines that have been open/decanted, and, if so, for how long.
    Thanks again!

  • Paul852 commented:

    2/4/20, 3:54 AM - Thanks very much!

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. André Clouet Champagne Rose No. 3 Pinot Noir
9/23/2019 - richard.presser Likes this wine:
92 points
Drank at our wedding on August 23, 2019. A wonderful, fine grand cru, high pinot rose.
  • Paul852 commented:

    1/17/20, 8:54 AM - Sorry to disappoint you, but this isn't a Grand Cru champagne.

  • Paul852 commented:

    1/17/20, 9:59 AM - Can you offer any evidence for that assertion? Only Le Clos is shown as Grand Cru on their website.

    And what is Grand Marque?

  • Paul852 commented:

    1/17/20, 10:15 AM - I think you fail to understand the difference between where a wine is made and where the grapes are grown. Yes, Clouet wines are made at Bouzy. But that says nothing about where the grapes come from. What evidence do you have that the grapes in this wine come from Grand Cru vineyards? Surely if they did then the winemaker would put that information on the wine label?

  • Paul852 commented:

    1/17/20, 10:31 AM - Fools and their money are easily parted. But I hope you enjoy your marriage built on deception.

  • Paul852 commented:

    1/17/20, 11:08 AM - And having just visited your blog it is clear to me that you are a complete fruitcake! So welcome to my block list.

Red
2011 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Chaupin Grenache
1/10/2020 - sfwinelover1 Likes this wine:
92 points
First of 6 from a recently purchased auction lot (just under $40@). I've had the VVs before, and liked them, but this was my first Chaupin. 1 oz taste, followed by 90 minute decant. On opening, medium to powerful notes on the nose of black raspberry and black cherry and a not atypical (but for me at least, unloved) CdP note of liquer-cough syrup. On the palate, consistent notes with lesser notes of blackberry, violets, earthy minerality, leather, garrigue and blood. There was a definite sense of heat, which worked itself out (along with the liquer-cough syrup notes) after 90 minutes. Very present tannins and acidity which blended in gradually but not completely until night 2. Almost opaque, full-bodied, thick legs. Very powerful persistence. By night 2, the wine tasted like sublime raspberry jam, which isn't quite to say it was jammy. Mostly consumed either as a standalone or with pork tenderloin cooked in a tomato and red wine reduction. There was enough acidity to work well with the latter, but Paul's point below is well-taken that this requires careful pairing, like most relatively high alcohol, voluptuous fruit, low to moderate acidity wines such as amarones, zins and cult cabs. 2011 vintage notwithstanding, this wine is drinking like it's at the beginning of its drinking window, with many years, and perhaps some improvement to come. At what I paid, winning qpr.
  • Paul852 commented:

    1/11/20, 3:46 AM - Thanks for your comment on my TN. I don't have more of these to sort out the pairing, and they are well over US$50 here. I did manage to pick up 6 2012 VVs for under $50 though, so I'll see what I can work out to drink those with.

Red
2008 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
12/22/2019 - Take Two wrote:
92 points
At its prime. Dried cranberries, leaves, tobacco. Medium finish. Unlikely to improve from here on, but one could still cellar for another 2-3 years.
  • Paul852 commented:

    12/23/19, 6:53 AM - There are many who would argue that it should be cellared for at least another 10-20 years before it reaches its prime!

Red
2016 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
12/21/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
87 points
Decanted and then drank from 15 minutes over the next two hours.

It's hard to know what to say about this. It's pretty generic competent young claret. Black cherry and similar fruits. For my taste a little too acidic (particularly as it gets more air) and somewhat lacking in tannins. I guess you could call that "fresh", but for me the finish is too acidic.

At ~US$18 it's OK, but not great QPR - many other generic clarets are available for this or slightly lower prices.
  • Paul852 commented:

    12/21/19, 12:02 PM - That's interesting, thanks. I don't tend to cellar stuff for that length of time, but wine-searcher does show suppliers near me with older vintages at not vastly greater price so I might try and hunt one of those down after consulting recent notes on earlier vinatges here.

  • Paul852 commented:

    12/21/19, 12:20 PM - Thanks again. Of course that's the most expensive vintage currently (apart from the 1945 at a little under US$400!), but I guess there's a reason for that. Still just under US$30 to me (rather than $18 for the 2016), so I'll probably give it a try. Or maybe the 2007, which is available for under US$20. So many choices!

Red
2008 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
11/17/2019 - rocknroller wrote:
93 points
Monthly Tasting Group: Spain (Estelle, St. Paul, MN): Very small taste. No details; very good, even better than the '05 which was drinking extremely well too. More depth and power to the '08.
  • Paul852 commented:

    11/20/19, 11:47 AM - I guess your first "08" is a typo some other year?

White
2018 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Bad. This is a Pinot grigio
  • Paul852 commented:

    10/23/19, 2:28 AM - Eh? If it was a pinot grigio then you have attached this tasting note to the wrong wine. This wine is a sauvignon blanc.

White
1997 Chateau Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley White Blend
9/17/2019 - Goldstone Likes this wine:
89 points
Ch. Musar Dinner with Marc Hochar (The Bunker, Crown Wine Cellars, Shouson Hill, Hong Kong): Pre-decanted for around 6 hours by Marc Hochar. Colour is a very deep copper Sauternes. Nose is a pronounced copper metallic on entry then lanolin and subsequently fresh hazelnuts. With extended time in the glass the nose turns into the scent of Jasmine on a warm summer evening....which is why these wines need such long decanting. Palate is very rounded but still high acidity yet it mellows beautifully in the mouth as it warms. Still very young.....I thought Marc said it was only released last year but there seem to be CTer notes going back to 2002. Heady finish with a growing resonance. This seems to have the material to evolve positively for 20+ years. But great now with a very long decant.
  • Paul852 commented:

    10/12/19, 3:03 AM - I'm confused by your "only released last year" comment. There are notes here going back to 2005.

Red
1998 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend
9/19/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
92 points
Sadly (compared to Goldstone's earlier note) I was only at one of Marc Hochar's lesser wine dinners last week (we had the 2004 and the 2012), but elsewhere with friends on Saturday at ChomChomYomYom I offered a 1998. I had stood it upright for a few days in the wine fridge then double decanted about 3 hours prior to drinking (removing over 1cm of sludge).

The colour was immediately quite distinctive - much more brick red than the ruby of younger Musars. The nose was classic Musar with a touch of barnyard. On the palate there was a really nice balance of fruit with some nice bite and just a very light touch of tannin. The finish was moderately long and encouraged the next sip. It was universally regarded as the red wine of the evening. (Competition, by coincidence, including a Musar 2002 which was much more primary and straightforward.)

For me, unlike Goldstone, on the basis of this (my first bottle of 98) I see it as being in a good place right now.
  • Paul852 commented:

    9/23/19, 1:42 AM - Thanks! We are indeed very fortunate in the availability and pricing of Musar here (I understood from Marc that HK is their second biggest market after the UK). At HK$288 for the 1998 I shall be getting a few more in. I find it extraordinary that the auction price now showing here is over HK$900!

    Some vintages do seem to run out though - 2006 seems already gone in 750ml according to my account manager at FICO.

White
1992 Chateau Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley White Blend
2/24/2016 - forceberry wrote:
99 points
Deep golden yellow color with a deep bronze hue. Incredibly complex, concentrated nose with aromas of dried, aromatic herbs, nut paste, dried pineapple, peach marmalade, some créme brûlèe, a little vanilla, a hint of smoke, nuances of Amaretto and a touch of carrot purée. You don't even want to proceed to tasting the wine, as the nose is simply so absorbing. Full-bodied, textural and slightly oily palate that has concentrated with age. Layered, intermingling flavors of yellow apple, creaminess, some wizened peach, a little vanilla, a hint of bitter almond extract and a touch of spicy wildhoney without any of that honeyed sweetness. Good, bright acidity giving the wine focus and structure. Long, lively and mineral finish with complex, layered flavors of dried apricot, honey, some cream, a little vanilla, a hint of ripe citrus and a touch of sweet woody caramel. The aftertaste lingers on the tongue for minutes, evolving constantly into something new.

Truly a perfect example of a mature white Musar. At this point the wine shows incredible complexity, texture, structure and depth without any signs of getting past its peak anytime soon. The greatest white Musar (or white wine for that matter) I've had to this date. Truly a dumbfounding experience.
  • Paul852 commented:

    9/16/19, 1:07 AM - I hope I agree with you on this - I just ordered a bottle! :-)

  • Paul852 commented:

    9/16/19, 6:11 AM - It will be direct from Musar's warehouse in the UK via their distributor here, so can't fault the handling - just the usual Musar variability to worry about!

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.

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.

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