Tasting Notes for Paul852

(267 notes on 252 wines)

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White
2015 Mas Amiel Altaïr Côtes du Roussillon Grenache Blend, Grenache (view label images)
9/15/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
My first 2015 after the 2014 (qv) which I like rather much. Unfortunately, the 2015 isn't quite at the same level: the balance is not quite right, with a little much acidity and quite a bit less rich of a mouthfeel compared to the 2014. It's still a very good wine, but let's hope that it will develop a bit over the next few months to match the previous vintage.
Rosé - Sparkling
9/14/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
Bottled March 2015, disgorged March 2018. 60% chardonnay, 40% pinot nero.

This is a light copper colour with fine bubbles. The nose is restrained, with slight hints of redcurrants. Initially the palate is tart and lacking anything much, but after maybe 15 minutes air it starts to come to life. There are nice wild strawberries and redcurrants on the palate, and a pleasant finish. The wine is certainly pretty dry (dosage of 7g/l according to the producer's website), but after it's been open for a while the fruit and the moderate acidity are well balanced.

A little pricey at ~US$27 though.
Red
2010 Château D'Aiguilhe Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/6/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
From a 375ml, decanted and started to drink after about 20 minutes.

There's medium+ sediment in the bottle.

This is very fruity on the nose, but also with a touch of pencil shavings.

On the palate initially it is very big and fruity by Bordeaux standards.

But after maybe 45 minutes of air the fruit moderates dramatically, and tannins and other developed characteristics develop. The pencil shavings come more to the fore. The finish is moderately long and bracing.

I give this a 90, but it depends on you being happy with the rapid development with air.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
9/4/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
A little yeasty, pleasant, perfectly OK aperitif champagne, but not anything distinctive.
White - Sparkling
9/3/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
100% Pinot Noir, no disgorgement date available.

The nose is faintly perfumed in a flowery way; the mousse is fine. On the palate minerality, not much fruit. Brut and nature, as expected!

The finish is long and dry but dull.

I guess the style isn't really my thing (I prefer more complex, PN or PM driven champers with more fruit and interest), but if you want straight forward very dry, austere champagne then this may be your thing.
White - Sparkling
9/2/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
50% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir. Reserve wines from 2012 & 2013.

Very decent grower champagne... fresh nose, nice citrus bite on the palate, tangy & refreshing finish.

At under US$30 this is very decent QPR
White - Sparkling
9/2/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
This is really rather nice!

Disgorged 5/5/2017 70%Pinot Noir, 10% each of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Blanc. 4g/l dosage

The colour is medium straw; the mousse is fine, but quite short-lived. On the nose there is a fresh yeastiness. On the palate brioche, a little spice, dry fruitiness, complexity, and just a touch of acidity. The finish is moderately long and refreshing.

It's very approachable, but benefits from a few minutes air. This is definitely a repeat buy at US$35.
White
8/31/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
85 points
This definitely needs air: on opening it's very acidic and not particularly pleasant. After a splash decant and 45 minutes it becomes drinkable. The nose is white flowers and minerality. The palate though is still rather acidic, along with those flowers and minerals; no great fruit or complexity. The finish is quite long and tart.

To me this is on a par with wines from other places that cost about US$15, so at the US$33 that I paid (and certainly at the US$55 CAV) this is absurdly expensive. I'm rather disappointed to have bought two more bottles on the basis of the rating and CAV here.
White
8/31/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
A year on from my last tasting note and I wonder if this is now finally over the hill. Although the wonderful sherry-like nose is still there, on the palate this bottle is noticeably thinner, having lost much of the rich nuttiness from those I drank a year ago. And there's a note of almost vinegary acidity creeping in which doesn't bode well.

I only have one more bottle after this and I think I shall drink up soon.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
8/30/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
85 points
As proseccos go this is quite drinkable...

Very pale straw colour, short-lived mousse, not much on the nose at all. On the palate it's dry, crisp, but with not much trace of fruit. It's very anonymous and inoffensive and hence perfect party wine for random people who don't care about wine.

Although as with most proseccos (and unlike most champagnes), it's very gassy and bloating.

A bit pricey at US$20 as well.
White - Sparkling
8/30/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
85 points
A typical light-straw colour, a light and rapidly dissipating mousse. Fresh and a little appley and sweet on the nose.

On the palate the inital hit is of those apples and it's slightly sweeter than I expected, but that's followed by some cleansing tartness. The finish is quite long for a prosecco.

Overall this is perfectly OK prosecco if you like a slightly sweet edge to the fruit - a party wine: inoffensive, but unlikely to excite anyone's interest. And for that it's a little pricey at US$17.
White
8/29/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
The nose is rather pleasant with white flowers and white stone fruit, plus a chunk of minerality. On the palate more of the same, but, initially, with a slightly bitter edge. However after a few minute's air this moderates and the balance is rather good. The finish is quite long and mineral.

Decent QPR at US$17.
Red
8/27/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
Rather impressed by this wine. I splash decanted and started to drink immediately. Initailly it's a bit sweet and fruit dominated, but after a few minutes isettles down to a rather nice balance. Still with quite a pleasant red fruit nose, and on the palate a nice mix of that red fruit, a little acidity and light tannins. The finish is of moderate length and fruity with just a little bite.

All in all this is a very decent everyday red that would pair with many different foods. Definitely a rebuy if the price is right. For me US$19 is a little high, but certainly excellent at US$14-15.
White - Sparkling
8/27/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
Disgorged 30 July 2014. 40% Pinot Noir, 60% Pinot Meunier

This is the same batch as Forceberry's review below, and the bulk of his description exactly aligns with my perception: "Deep yellow color. Very odd and aggressively green-toned nose with aromas of pea shoots, wasabi, some leafy vegetal tones and a little bit of smoke. The wine is bone-dry, crisp and somewhat green-toned on the palate with pronounced steely minerality and crisp flavors, focused of tart green apples, stony minerality, some pea shoots, a little bit of earthiness and a touch of wild funk. {...} The mousse is very crisp, persistent and even somewhat aggressive and the acidity is very high. The wine feels even subtly tannic with the faintest hint of tug on the gums. The finish is crisp, lively and green-toned with lengthy, bone-dry flavors of green apples, some chalky bitterness, a little bit of leafy greenness and a hint of tannic grip."

But unlike Forceberry, for all these reasons I like this wine very much indeed. Yes, it's different, but in a good way. I love the distinctive "greenness" of this. It's very refreshing indeed as an aperitif, and yet has the oomph to pair well with a wide variety of foods.

At $40 I shall be getting several more in!
White
8/23/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
This is an interesting wine - a mix of fruitiness (almost off-dry) and minerality, with only a little acidity; there's a little complexity to it. The balance is best after maybe 30 minutes of air, and not too cold. It's very approachable and would work well as a party wine, without food or with canapés.

Decent value at US$15 as well.
Red
2008 Fleur de Clinet Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/21/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
From a 375ml, splash decanted and started to drink about 45 mins later.

Initially this hadn't settled down - a bit raw and acidic with little fruit.

But an hour later it had got its act together: nice dark fruits on the nose, and also on the palate along with some pencil lead and old leather. Quite a long finish with a little bite and a little tannin, but rather pleasant.

Classic middle-aged claret.

EDIT 24/8/2019: there's a little bottle variation here: with a second 375ml and a splash decant there was nice fruit and balance straight away, and it held steady for the next hour.
Red
8/19/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
I know this is young, so I decanted and drank between 4 and 6 hours later. Intially, strong tannins. Over the 2 hours dark fruit comes more to the fore, as does some acidity. But it seems to me that this never really settles down. I shall put my other bottle at the back of the fridge and forget about it for a couple of years.
White
8/19/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
85 points
On the nose there's minerality and a little white fruit (nectarine/peach). On the palate the fruit is not as pronounced as I expected; there's some minerality and some acidity with a tinge of bitterness to it, which persists in the finish.

The bitterness diminshes a little after the wine has been open for 30 minutes, but it still mars the experience a bit overall. It's perfectly drinkable wine, probably best with slight rich (oily/buttery) seafood. But not something I shall be searching out at US$18.
Red
8/17/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
I decanted this for a couple of hours before drinking.

The nose is quite sweet fruits, and there's more of the same on the palate. For me the balance isn't so good. Over time it evolves and some tannins and a little acidity provide a bit better balance about 4 hours after opening. But it's still a bit like an entry-level claret, made to please. Not much complexity, but perfectly quaffable.
White
8/16/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
86 points
This was a bit disappointing.

On opening and first tasting there's a slight petillance on the palate, and a distinctly bitter finish which is rather unpleasant.

After maybe 30 minutes air it settles down a bit and becomes a fairly standard vermentino, but still with a touch of that bitter finish.

There are much better Italian whites (and vermentinos) around for this price.
White
I don't often drink oaky chards, but I thought I'd try this one for novelty value ("Moroccan Premier Cru, who knew?") and it's really not bad at all.

The nose advertises the oak that is to come. On the palate nice buttery, oaky fruit but not at all cloying. Minimal acidity, but the finish is rather dry in a pleasing way.

It's all a bit one-dimensional, but rather pleasant.

Unfortunately, at about $27 it's not great QPR for what it is.
Red
8/10/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
Opened and decanted for 15-20 minutes. Even then there was quite high acidity for a while longer. But it subsided and the palate became very smooth and fruit driven. However, there's no great complexity, and it's a bit thin.

It's a very approachable and quaffable red once it's been open for a while. But no wow factor.

Decent QPR at US$17 though.

EDIT 05/09/2018: I was a bit niggardly here in my rating: subsequent bottles with a 30 minute splash decant have been rather nice, and not at all thin. This is a very good everyday CdR. I've upped my rating a point.
White
8/10/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
A year on this gets continues to impress - to the extent that I will mark it up a point.

White flowers and a little minerality on the nose, a full mouthfeel with more of those white flowers, but with citrus aspects as well, which come more to the fore on the finish. Nicely balanced and complex.

And the price has come down a little for me as well! Now only US$25.
White - Fortified
8/9/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
I'm drinking this 500ml a week after a most excellent 500ml of the 2001 (qv).

There's quite some difference between the two: this 1992 has significantly higher acidity which makes it rather less smooth to drink and requires much more care with pairing. I've been drinking it primarily with blue cheese which was OK, but not great. It's still a very nice wine, blending sweetness, acidity, nuttiness and a little alcohol heat, but I shall ponder what best to drink my other bottle with.
Rosé - Sparkling
8/8/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
86 points
As a straightforward rosé cava I quite like this. It's a fairly deep orange-pink colour; the nose is quite muted, but on the palate there are notes of wild strawberries, initially a little sweetness, but that fades after the bottle has been open a while. There's just a touch of bite/acidity, but it's light. The finish is cleansing rather than cloying.

At around US$12 this is decent QPR.
White
8/3/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
It's nice. White stone fruit on the nose and the palate. Some acidity. A farily short finish. Pleasant enough. Probably a repeat buy if the price is right.
White - Fortified
8/2/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
93 points
I concur exactly with Double-A's note (although for me 93 rather than 95). Wonderful stuff.
Rosé - Sparkling
8/1/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
PSPATRICK's note from 2013 is exactly in line with my experience.
Rosé - Sparkling
8/1/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
This is a rather pale rosé. The nose is quite striking, and I struggle to describe it... perhaps unripe white stone fruit. It's certainly not sweet.

On the palate, this follows through in the form of a sort of bitter (rather than acid) fruitiness with quite a lingering finish. The mouthfeel is quite rich for a fizz.

As it warms a little I find the bitter aspect a bit prominent, so I feel this needs to be kept quite cool. Then it's rather interesting, although probably not a crowd-pleaser. It's certainly on a par with lesser champagnes, and OK QPR at US$22.
Red
7/29/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
I decanted this from cellar temperature and started to drink, but it wasn't that great: dark fruit, but acidic and dry and not at all smooth.

However, an hour later it had settled down, and I was pleased to discover that this is a red wine that has the oomph to pair well with moderately spicy food (in this case some pasta with a hot chilli pesto). Then a little sweetness is added to the fruit, the acidity is muted, and it complements the food very well.

I love spicy food, but I'm not a fan of the traditional pairings of off-dry whites, so this is definitely going on my buy list as a wine for chilli!
Red
7/28/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
Reporting back as promised...

I drank the first couple of glasses of this after about a 12 hour decant. And I found it a bit smoother, the fruit a little more to the fore, but still moderate+ acidity.

After 36 hours in the decanter it is better again: dark fruit and a little heat on the nose; still moderate+ acidity on the palate; moderate, smooth tannins.

This is clearly a food wine, and I'm enjoying it with various spanish charcuterie and some nice French cheeses.

Maybe there is more to come from this with more age, but if you like robust, slightly acidic, dark fruit, Italian reds then this will probably appeal now. I will hide my remaining bottle away at the back of my fridge and maybe come back to it in a year or two.
White
2012 Château de Fieuzal Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
7/24/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
I opened, but didn't decant, this about 2.5 hours before drinking with a dish of "Canadian Black Cod with Tomatoes and Zucchini and Fennel". The pairing (and the dish) were excellent.

This is classic white bordeaux: a very nicely balanced blend of the semillon fruit and the sauvignon providing just enough bite. It's pleasant and smooth from the nose through to the moderate finish, with a slightly rich mouthfeel. There's no "wow!" factor but it delivers exactly what you'd expect.
Rosé
7/23/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
86 points
It's hard to know what to write here... this is decent everyday, unremarkable rosé: dry, red fruits on the nose and the palate, balanced with a little acidity. It works best for me when kept fairly cool. Fine as a summer party/BBQ wine.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2005 Château Doisy-Védrines Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
7/22/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
92 points
From a 375ml with some foie gras (de canard :-( )

On first opening the nose is quite striking: fruit but perhaps even a whiff of paint thinner (!). But after a few minutes that burns off and there is tropical fruit, which continues through to the wonderfully balanced palate. There is sweetness, fruit (pineapple, perhaps papaya) in abundance, but also just the right amount of acidity so that it isn't cloying and complements the foie nicely.

The finish is quite long, with a little bite but also some sweetness.
Rosé - Sparkling
7/22/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
Disgorged October 2018.

This is really rather nice indeed - my first rosé lambrusco, and it compares very well to solid NV rosé champagnes. The nose is light: a little yeasty, and fresh. The bubbles are fine. The palate is very nicely balanced: moderate(+) acidity, with red fruits and a nice lingering, but not overly tart finish. There's no great complexity about this, but it is a great apéritif wine, or with a variety of light dishes.

Decent, albeit not stunning, QPR at ~US$28.
EDIT: but subsequently available at ~US$22, at which price it is very good QPR.
White
7/20/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
87 points
The nose is fairly muted but with hints of tart green apples.

On the palate the minerality and acidity slightly exceed the green apple fruit, so the balance isn't quite perfect. The finish is moderate, with acidity and minerality.

But it's still a decent aperitif wine, or with simple canapés.
Red
2008 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Red Blend (view label images)
7/19/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
My youngest Musar to date, and it's very nice and smooth. It seems to me that Musar is getting a bit less "rustic" over the years, which makes it different, but not necessarily worse.

I decanted this (there was just a little light sediment in the bottle) and started to drink immediately. The nose is the pure spicy fruit that we all associate with Musar, but with none of the funk that some of us love.

On the palate it's very smooth indeed - nice moderate tannins and spicy fruits. The finish is quite long. There is just a little acidity. There's not much evolution over an hour or two beyond the tannins getting a little more bite (classic Musar needed hours to settle down).

It's very nice, but it doesn't have the "wow" factor that older vintages had. It would pair with many foods - lamb is the obvious meat, but it's working well for me with some cheeses.

So it's very nice, but I guess the days of the old "love it or hate it" Musar are gone.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
7/18/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
84 points
On initial opening I found this simply to acidic/sour for my palate (and also too gassy). But after an hour or so it mellows; there's a mild nose of tart apples, and the same then on the palate. The acidity is still high, but there's enough fruit and a little minerality to make it palatable (just). The finish is long and tart.

But for the price (US$25) there are many sparkling wines that I would prefer to spend my money on.
White
7/12/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
87 points
My supplier has moved on from the 2017 (qv) which I enjoyed rather much. Unfortunately, although the 2018 is OK, for me it's not as nicely balanced as the 2017.

Here we still have the strong nose of white flowers and minerality, but the palate has a bit more acidity/bitterness, and it is less smooth overall. The acidity lingers on the finish.

At US$15 it's still OK, but doesn't encourage me to grab more as the 2017 did.
White
7/3/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
88 points
This needs a little air and to be not too cold. Then white fruits on the nose and the palate. It's nice, but for me the balance isn't as good as some others from this region/grape.
White
6/29/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
91 points
This is a very nice wine indeed. A little air and being not too cold helps.

The nose is very mineral, flinty even. On the palate there is white fruit, minerals, just a touch of acidity; an excellent balance. Quite a long finish on those mineral notes.

And pretty good QPR at US$21.
Rosé
6/28/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
85 points
Easy drinking, red fruit and grapefruit (odd combination) on the nose. A tad sweet on the palate for my taste with some acidity, and quite a long finish.
White - Sparkling
6/28/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
This is an OK NV champagne.

The mousse dissipates quickly, and the bubbles are large.

The nose is slightly yeasty, and that follows through to the palate which is quite dry and the dominant Pinot Meunier present a slightly different profile from typical blends: yeasty, toasty, dry, and a little acidic. For me this is a food wine - the acidity is a bit strong for an aperitif.

It's not my favourite NV champagne by a long way, but it does the job. Reasonable QPR at US$35.
White
I'm reluctant to rate this, because I paired it badly. But it is clear that it is very pure; wonderful fruit; a little minerality. I opened it about 2.5 hours prior and decanted about 1.5 hours prior to drinking. Even then it was still evolving. I recommend a decant of several hours to bring out some complexity here. There was beginning to be a very nice minerally finish by the time we finished the bottle. It's very clearly a 90++ wine but I need to give it more air and a better pairing to judge accurately.
Rosé - Sparkling
6/27/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
81 points
This is exactly what you might expect cheap pink spumante to be: rather thin, gassy, what fruit there is tastes somewhat artificial, like kids candy. It's drinkable, just, but not something I would serve to anyone who has any taste for wine and who I want to keep as a friend!
White
6/27/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
This is a very nice refreshing aperitif wine: white stone fruit, and nicely smooth and balanced acidity. But it's pretty much one-dimensional, so I don't see it as outstanding.

At ~US$30 it seems to me there's a little bit of a premium for the Quintarelli name.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
6/25/2019 - Paul852 wrote:
85 points
Minerality on the nose with a touch of white flowers. On the palate much the same but with moderate acidity and really very little fruit to balance it. It's not rubbish, but it's too tart and lacking in interest for my taste.
White
6/18/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
87 points
This is an interesting wine - young, but already with some oxidative notes. There are the classic Musar "unripe peach and honey" (but in a dry way) flavours. The finish is quite long, and (after a little air) quite drying.

As with all Musars, a little air helps, and it's better at something around cellar temperature than heavily chilled.

All in all it's a decent wine and a good one to be able to pull out when you want something off the beaten path.
Red
6/17/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
89 points
I decanted this and started drinking more or less immediately, with some cheeses.

Firstly, it's clear that this needs some air to settle down, but 20-30 minutes is enough. After that, it's really rather nice: there dark fruit on the nose, and then on the palate a slightly sweet hit of the same. The finish is quite long and tanniny. It's very easy drinking after it's had a little air.

The reason for me that this wine stays in "very good" rather than "excellent" is that it's very one-dimensional on the palate: the fruit is nice, but there's no complexity there.

At US$20 I'd be very happy with this as an everyday red, but at a little over US$30 it's not good QPR for me.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
6/17/2019 - Paul852 Likes this wine:
90 points
Nice dark fruit, balanced with the acidity. Very easy to drink. Excellent aperitif. Lacks a bit of the complexity needed to be a food wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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