Tasting Notes for Paul852

(355 notes on 323 wines)

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White
2018 Château Moulin de Vignolle Bordeaux Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
2/18/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
85 points
This is a surprisingly OK cheap generic white Bordeaux.

Fresh on the nose and the palate, notes of green apples, a little bite but not too much. Very smooth and easy drinking, but also bland and indistinctive. Would be fine as a party white wine.

Decent QPR at ~US$8.
White - Fortified
2/15/2020 - Paul852 wrote:
80 points
This isn't unpleasant, but it's a very straightforward wine. There are nice notes of lemon & lime on the nose and on the palate, with a touch of bite to offset the sweetness. But it's very one-dimensional, and, frankly, a bit like you'd expect alcoholic grape juice to be (albeit from nice aromatic grapes). It's pairing OK with some rather nice roquefort.

I'm a fan of several other Mas Amiel wines, but at ~US$20/bottle this really doesn't seem like a good deal to me.
Red
2/15/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
92 points
Bottle 5416 of 7090. 88% carmenere, 10% malbec, 2% petit verdot.

I opened this (but didn't decant) about 45 minutes before beginning to drink over the following 3 hours.

The wine is a very dark, deep shade of red. The nose has strong dark fruit, and just a hint of heat. The palate starts with just a little bite, with rich dark cherries, blueberry, a touch of spice; complex and invites you to roll it round your mouth. The finish is medium+ with tannins and fruit.

It's all very nicely balanced and and excellent accompaniment to some pepper beef and new potatoes.

This is the first Chilean wine I've really liked. OK QPR at ~US$43.
White
2/14/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
This is a really very nice wine indeed!

The nose is rather aromatic - white flowers, a little salinity, some fruitiness as well.

On the palate it is crisp and refreshing: the first hit is of minerality and fruit, followed by a refreshing crispness, and a fairly long finish of fruit with a bite that says "drink more!"

As the wine warms the minerality comes more to the fore and is rather pleasing.

This is an excellent wine as an aperitif, with canapés or light dishes. I'm enjoying it with a smoked salmon salad with a slightly sweet sesame dressing. I think it would also pair well with oily fish main courses, and hold its own well with heavily-herbed dishes.

This is definitely a repeat buy at the ~US$17 that I paid.
Red
2/13/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
86 points
This is OK shiraz. On opening it's a bit thin and acidic, but with 30 minutes air (no decant) it's a bit better balanced. The nose is a little hot (it's 14%, which for me, being old school, is quite high), with notes of the dark fruit. But there's no heat on the palate, with flavours of black cherries, a hint of tart raspberries, a splash of acidity and nice tannins, which linger in the finish.

It's a perfectly drinkable everyday shiraz. Good for a BBQ or a pizza. OK QPR at ~$US12.

EDIT (I really should wait to post these notes)
This continues to evolve rather well with air. Maybe 75 minutes after opening the palate has a little complexity: dark fruits more to the fore, maybe notes of cocoa, and a chewy finish that is rather to my taste. I've bumped this up a couple of points, and I will decant my next bottle.
White
2011 Conte d'Attimis-Maniago Ronco Broilo Colli Orientali del Friuli White Blend (view label images)
2/11/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
My latest bottle of this showed a cork that was saturated almost to the top, and some oxidative notes on tasting. It's still good, but in a different way, and has less of the rich mouthfeel of earlier bottles (replaced by a certain amount of bite both on the palate and the finish).
Red
2/10/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
(Opened and poured, no decant)

This is a lovely light red wine. The nose has hints of herbs, and these continue to the palate which is very smooth, but with an interesting mix of flavours: the red fruit, but also hints of peppermint and maybe tarragon. There's light acidity and very fine, smooth tannins which linger on the finish along with those herbal notes. It is apparently 14% alcohol (which for me, being old school, is quite high), but it doesn't show any heat from that at all.

Overall this is an excellent light red which I enjoyed with chicken kiev, potatoes roasted with chilli flakes and baked beans(!). But it would also be fine to drink on its own.

At ~US$20 this is quite decent QPR.
Red
2016 Eddie McDougall Cabernets Margaret River Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/9/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
This is a really nice new world Bordeaux blend: 39% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 13% Malbec

Decanted and started to drink after a few minutes. Initially the tannins are rather dominant, but after maybe 15 minutes it is very nicely balanced. Slightly perfumed dark fruit on the nose; the palate has slightly sweet fruit initially, followed by a small bite of acidity and a long-ish drying finish on the tannins.

At ~US$22 this strikes me as very decent QPR.
White
2/9/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
This is a very decent sauvignon blanc. Green apples on the nose, and on the palate it is not as aggressive as many Aus/NZ SBs - there's enough (but not too much) acidity, more of those apples, but also some lychee, which gives it a slightly fuller mouthfeel. The finish is moderately long and refreshing without being bitter.

All in all this is a very decent every day SB. My only quibble is that at ~US$18 it is perhaps a little pricey for what it is.
Red
2013 Château d'Issan Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/8/2020 - Paul852 wrote:
85 points
From a 375ml

Decanted and started to drink 30 minutes later.

I'm struggling to recognise this from the previous two notes. for me this is austere, classic claret: limited dark fruits, some weight, lots and lots of tannin; but not very well-balanced for me at the moment. Rather different from the 2012 (qv).

EDIT - this is interesting. About 30 minutes later (i.e. maybe 60-75 minutes after decanting) this wine changed dramatically: it became really thin (as noted below), the tannins are still there, but much reduced. Now it has nothing really to commend it; it's comparable to US$10 generic claret. It's certainly not good QPR for me at the equivalent of ~US$46/750ml.
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Red
2/8/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
(Bottle 1643/2623)

As implied by JRick's TN, this is a wine that evolves dramatically with air.

I decanted it and then drank over the next 90 minutes.

Initially the nose and the palate are very tart, unripe, bitter, red fruit, but that changes quite rapidly with air. Maybe 45 minutes later the balance is much better: dark fruit on the nose, still with strong green tints; the palate is rather smooth - young fruit, some acidity, minimal tannins - and refreshing. The finish is quite long with some bite.

This is still a very young wine. I suspect that it will evolve in a very positive direction over the next few years.
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White
2/8/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
This is a very distinctive wine.

Immediately on opening the nose is a little bitter and hot, but in just a few minutes it settles down and is rather nice.

Then the nose is primarily that of raw honey with some herbal floral/notes (perhaps chamomile). The palate has more of the same, with the addition of quite a strong element of salinity; it's dry (yes, unsweet honey!), with a little acidity; quite well-balanced. The finish is quite long and refreshing.

I like this whole package rather much, but it's a wine that needs care in pairing. It could be an aperitif with canapés which is how I'm enjoying it.

It becomes rather smoother with air - a decant wouldn't be a bad idea.

The producer suggest baked fish and fresh cheeses - I may try one of those with the next bottle.

At ~US$18 I find this decent QPR for a very interesting wine.
White - Sparkling
2/8/2020 - Paul852 wrote:
85 points
This is an OK bottle of cheap fizz when reasonably well chilled. But I find the palate to be rather cloying, and, particularly as it gets a bit less cold, a little bitter.

At US$10 it would be an OK party fizz, but at ~US$17 it's not a repeat buy for me.
White
Just to note that my latest bottle has some significant oxidised notes to it. I still find it enjoyable, and I'm not sure if that is just this bottle, but this wine may be in need of drinking up.
Red
2/4/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
A year later I continue to like this (sadly the last bottle that their distributor here had).

It needs an hour or so in the decanter to settle down, then the nose is dark fruit and garrigue. And more of the same on the palate, with just a little acidity and moderate tannins which lead through to a quite long and slightly drying finish.

At just over US$15 this is decent QPR.
White
2/4/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
Fresh and slightly herbal on the nose. The palate is lean, mineral, refreshing, with a moderately long finish.

This is good as an aperitif wine to get the juices flowing, perhaps with canapés; not really one for heavy food.

OK QPR at the ~US$16 that I paid.
White
2/2/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
White stone fruit and minerality on the nose. More of the same on the palate, with a little dose of citric acidity. Very refreshing, if rather one-dimensional.

Very decent value at ~US$12.5.
Red
2/1/2020 - Paul852 wrote:
84 points
I was perhaps a little harsh in my previous TN. This is OK when it's been decanted for an hour or two - better balanced but a little acidic in the absence of food. Still a perfectly OK BBQ wine, now for ~US$11.5.
White
1/30/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
Fresh, citrus, with a touch of minerality. Refreshing, light-bodied, crisp finish. A very decent everyday aperitif wine.

OK QPR at ~US$14
Red
2003 Castell'in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
1/28/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
I opened and decanted this on day one, and took a quick sip, finding it rather closed, acidic and strong on tannins. Impossible to drink without food and not great with it.

However, life intervened and it then didn't get drunk until about 30 hours after it was decanted. And it's so much better!

Nice dark, but slightly sweet fruit on the nose. The palate is more of the same: the initial hit is fruity, followed by a light tannin hit and then a nice moderate finish with just a little bite. It's now a very nice, well-balanced wine. Still best with a little food, but could be drunk on its own.
White
1/27/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
For me this wine is heavy on the minerality, and when first opened it has a rather bitter finish, but this moderates with some air. Then it's a perfectly serviceable everyday white, but not, for me, at the level that previous TNs have rated it.
Red
2013 Tenimenti Pile e Lamole Lam'Oro Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
1/26/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
I opened this and decanted. It was very closed and tannic.

Three hours later these notes were still there, but with food it came more into balance, with some smooth dark fruit, but still some bite and a moderate drying finish.

It's a perfectly decent food wine - the cabernet melds well with the sangiovese. But there's nothing to make this stand out. At US$12-15 it would be fine as an everyday drinker, but at US$25+ I feel it is not good QPR.
White - Sparkling
1/25/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
I like this rather much, particularly after it's been open for 30 minutes, and is at maybe 12 degrees.

The blend is 50% chardonnay, 30% pinot meunier and 20% pinot noir. There's some tart green apple on the nose which continues through to the palate, where there's a nice freshness, but also notes of brioche and some darker fruit. The finish is long and crisp.

At ~US$38 this is pretty good QPR and definitely a repeat buy for me.
White
1/24/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
91 points
Not full notes, but I enjoyed this - it's quite different from Rhones made with this blend - less viscous, somehow fresh, yet very little acidity. I will try to get more in and write a longer note. It struck me as OK QPR at the ~US$31 that I paid.
White
1/23/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
Give this 15 minutes to settle down once opened and it is a very nice wine indeed. White stone fruit and a little salinity on the nose. On the palate rich fruit (unripe peach) and wonderful minerality which carries through to a long finish.

This is very good value indeed for the <US$12 that I paid.
White
1/20/2020 - Paul852 wrote:
85 points
I like this rather less than the 2015 (qv). The nose is rich with white fruit, but I find the palate rather cloying. It definitely needs air to settle down a bit, but it never reaches a balance that I would regard as very good - it's very rich and rather lacking in bite.
White
1/18/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
Having previously drunk and liked the 2018 (qv) I was keen to try this. But the earlier vintage doesn't come across to me as quite so well-balanced. It certainly benefits from a little air and to be not too cold (maybe 10-12 degrees). The nose is nice stone fruit and minerality, but the plate for me is a little heavy on the acidity; it seems that the semillon moderates the sauvignon blanc less in this 2017 than in the 2018.

It's still a nice wine though - rather crisp, and with a lingering finish.

But at US$22 the QPR isn't anything special.
Red
2005 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
1/17/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
Decided, against my better judgement, to try another of these. Opened 5 hours prior and decanted 3 hours prior to drinking, with some pepper steak.

It's still fine, but as I said in my last TN 15 months ago: "it is very smooth, with nice fruit, and medium to low acidity and tannins. To me it lacks somewhat in complexity".

No change there. I really must learn to have some patience!
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red - Sparkling
1/12/2020 - Paul852 wrote:
83 points
I made the mistake of chilling this in the fridge. When first opened the bitterness coupled with the acidity of the gas made this pretty much undrinkable. However, rather than just pour it away I put it aside for about 3 hours. On retasting it (at, I guess, about 16 degrees), things had improved somewhat: the fizz and associated acidity had moderated, as had the bitterness.

It's still very green, very dry, and with a strong bite to it - basically very very unripe berries and tartness. Very cleansing on the palate and with a sharp finish.

All in all this isn't really to my taste, but I can see that some might like it.

As an aside, although it describes itself as "red wine" on the label, its actual colour is that of a rosé wine.
White
1/12/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
91 points
This is really nice!

A little fruit and a chunk of salinity, almost smokiness, on the nose.

The palate is very smooth, rounded, mineral, with quite a complex flavour, and a lingering finish. There is just a little acidity to balance it.

For me this is comparable to Burgundies of twice the price. Definitely a repeat buy at US$35.
Red - Fortified
1/8/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
From a 375ml.

The nose is a bit muted, but with dark fruit and a little heat. On the palate there is an initial bite of acidity, more of the dark fruits, with hints of a stem/vegetal nature. Sweet, yes, but not cloyingly so. The finish is moderately long, slightly drying and with more of those stems.

At ~US$12 for a half bottle this is very decent value.
White
1/3/2020 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
87 points
The 2017 (qv) was really quite nice drunk young, but my first bottle of the 2018 is rather different. On the nose it is quite mineral, on the palate more of that plus a mild acidity (which lingers on the finish) and limited fruit. It has none of the rich mouthfeel of the 2017.

I'm not sure if it just needs a little more time in the bottle or if it is a completely different wine (which, at this point, I like, but rather less than the 2017). I think I shall wait several months before trying my second bottle.
Red
12/31/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
Bottle 2307/4450
Decanted then started to drink immediately.
Initially the impression is of a young fresh, fruity wine, with just a touch of acidity. But it rapidly develops some nice medium tannins that result in a very nicely balanced, but still quite light-bodied wine. I'll certainly be getting a couple more in to explore more fully when it isn't the last bottle of a long NYE night!
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Red
12/31/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
92 points
18 months on from my last TN this is still going strong. It still needs a couple of hours of air, and the fruit is perhaps a little less to the fore, but that still leaves a very nicely balanced wine with excellent dark fruit and a quite drying finish. Definitely a food wine, and it has the weight to stand up to a little spice in the food as well.

My dealer still has some, so I shall be getting more in at ~US$30.
Red
12/30/2019 - Paul852 Does not like this wine:
78 points
This was given to me as a freebie by one of my dealers as a suggested alternative to the Renieri Rosso di Montalcino 2014, of which they had just run out of stock. The idea being that it would be a decent everyday red for drinking without a long decant with a simple pizza or pasta dish.

But frankly it is all wrong. I decanted and drank over the next three hours, slowing down in the hope it would improve. It didn't. On the nose there's a little dark fruit, not unattractive. But on the palate it's bitter unripe fruit (maybe raspberries), rough tannins, and an unpleasant acidity that lingers on the finish.

I'm really glad I didn't pay for this.
White
12/28/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
14 months after my last tasting note I'm still enjoying this as my main "house white", having got a load at the "bin end" price of ~US$9.

There is perhaps a little less acidity and a little more buttery richness to the wine now. It is still a very versatile wine either to drink on its own or with all sorts of light food (and also, particularly, creamy cheeses).
White
12/27/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
17 months on from my previous note, I'm liking this rather more.

The TN from JP Abela (below) matches my experience exactly (although I don't have any more bottles to come back to in a few years!).
Red
2006 Château Haut-Bergey Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/26/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
With thanks to BillLowney (see his TN below) I decanted this for more than two hours before I started to drink. This was clearly a good idea: initially the tannins were overpowering, but by about 2.5 hours they had mellowed substantially.

The wine is then classic middle-aged claret: dark fruit on the nose, more of the same plus leather and pencil shavings on the palate, blanced nicely by moderate- acidity, and moderate tannins which linger on the moderate+ finish.

It's all rather nice. A food wine, obviously, and not one for fruit-bomb lovers. Pretty good QPR for ~US$22.
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Red
2016 Château Sénéjac Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
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.
2 people found this helpful Comments (4)
White
12/20/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
A year after my previous note I was a bit less impressed with this today: paired it with some halibut in a cream, cheese & mustard sauce. It was fine, but really no wow factor to justify the burgundy premium. Competent, balanced, but a bit lightweight.
Red - Fortified
12/19/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
Over a year later, I'm finding much less acidity on opening, and this is very approachable. It's basically a sort of light ruby port without the alcohol heat or the chewiness. Very easy drinking with cheese or desserts and doesn't feel like it's going to give you a nasty head in the morning, even if you drink a half bottle.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/16/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
My thoughts on this pretty much match Eboracum's, but two years later (and having decanted an hour before drinking) I'm not finding the vanilla notes, so I guess that prediction was correct.

Dark fruit & herbs, moderate- acidity, nice tannins and garrigue on the finish. It's not the most complex of wines, but it's going down very smoothly.

And at less than US$9 the QPR is very hard to beat!
Red
12/15/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
91 points
Decanted then, about 20 minutes later, started to drink slowly over the course of the next 5 hours or so.

Initially there are herbal notes and heat on the nose and the palate - it feels a bit raw and unbalanced; slightly acidic on the palate. But over time it all smooths out and by about 3 hours in the heat has subsided, fruit has emerged to balance the herbal notes, and there are smooth tannins which linger on the moderate finish. It's rather pleasant.

Having said that, there's no wow factor for me, so I'm quite happy with the QPR at the US$50 I paid, but would feel a bit short-changed at the CAV of ~US$80+.
Red
12/13/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
Well in the interests of self-education I thought I would see what a ridiculously young Irancy would taste like. (This was bottled only 5 months ago.)

On opening and decanting the answer was "not like wine at all". It tasted like sour alcoholic unripe raspberry juice with added tannins.

I left it in the decanter for several days. After five (!) days it tasted more or less like wine, albeit rather acidic wine, and still with unripe raspberry as the predominant flavour. The tannin had reduced a bit from the initial opening, but was still there on the finish, which was bracing but not altogether unpleasant once I got used to it!

I think the moral of this story is to not touch this wine for about 5 years.
Red
12/11/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
My second bottle is rather different from my previous note.

I decanted gently, removing some light sediment, then started to drink maybe 20 minutes later. Initially there's a little much acidic bite on the palate, but this quickly dissipates. After 45 minutes there's a muted nose of dark fruit, and a nicely balanced palate of dark fruit with notes of leather, perhaps a little iron(?), light acidity and moderate+ tannins. The finish is quite long and drying.

Unlike the previous bottle this seems quite stable over the next hour or so, and is very decent classic Margaux, albeit somewhat below first wines in terms of weight and complexity.

At US$28 it's OK, but not great, QPR.
White
12/10/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
The nose is a little muted: a little minerality and salinity.

On the palate the wine is very smooth and balanced: mineral notes, white fruit, very light acidity. The finish is fairly short and cleansing - inviting another sip. As it warms it is much the same - nothing needs to be hidden by over-chilling.

Overall this is a very easy-drinking wine, without being very distinctive. I would happily get more in as an everyday, goes with most things, white if it were not for the price of a little over US$20. At that level I would hope for a bit more.
Red
2013 Château Haut-Bergey Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/8/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
Decanted from a 375ml, removing some light sediment.

Tasted after a few minutes and there were moderate+ tannins, moderate+ acidity and not much fruit. I then poured it backwards and forwards between two glasses several times and left for another 30 minutes.

This caused the acidity to moderate a lot, the dark fruits emerged, and the moderate+ tannins remain. It is then a very drinkable wine for those that like dark tanniny claret. And the balance improved even more over the next hour.

But clearly it should get better with a few more years. If you must drink it now then give is a LOT of air.

It seems that this will be decent QPR at US$23/750ml if you can keep it for a few years.
White
12/8/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
85 points
The nose is muted minerality and a little white fruit. The palate much the same, with quite a does of acidity, which carries through to the finish.

It's an OK everyday wine, best with food (maybe better with creamy seafood, which is not what I drank it with). OK, but not great QPR at US$12.
White
2013 Château Lafont Menaut Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sauvignon Blanc (view label images)
12/6/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
87 points
Having enjoyed several white Bordeaux recently I grabbed this perhaps in too much of a hurry, without realising that it is 100% sauvignon blanc. This obviously means that the flavour profile is more acidic and less rich and rounded than blends with semillon, and this emphasised to me where my preferences lie.

Having said that, this is clearly a decent wine - tart green apples, moderate+ acidity on the palate and particularly on the finish. Temperature, food and air are important. For me it's better after 30 minutes open and up to maybe 12 degrees.

I guess if I had any more I'd be looking to pair them with seafood (perhaps with a citrus sauce).

But for US$20 I'd rather spend another $10 and get something like a Chateaux Carbonnieux.
Red
2004 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
12/5/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
87 points
I know this wasn't a great idea, but I decanted and started to drink only 30 minutes later. No funk, lots of acid, little fruit, just all wrong for a Musar. A couple of hours later it had sorted itself out a bit, but still not great.

This really needs years more in the bottle or MANY hours of decant.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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