Comments on my notes

(16 comments on 16 notes)

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2019 Trivento Malbec Reserve Mendoza
5/19/2021 - g ruqt wrote:
Pleasing cheery purple, staid nose, "Official Wine Major League Soccer" @ US$10 must be a party wine. If you gave me a $10 bottle limit, I would select this rather than tasting glass on
glass of $10 sweet or sour Chateau Sweat Reserva de Tequila Barrel. This is not an endorsement. In truth, I've fertilized my herbs with $30 Malbec which was too potent to use a paint remover. This may be drunk with little guilt for tasting downmarket, jalapenos and cubanos and Scotch Bonnets the wine match, no harm done.
  • g ruqt commented:

    5/19/21, 12:40 PM - licensed to use words

    This highly rated "bright carmine red" Malbec is described by the esteemed producer as exhibiting "sweet tannins and velvety fruit" after aging 6 months in French oak barrels. Notes of "plum, raspberry jam" elegant says the top rated producer.

    To be fair, if sensational, this Malbec, for all its deficiencies, could replace 50% +++ of all restaurant wines by the glass - not that anyone would notice.

2018 Al Cantara Etna "Luci Luci" Etna DOC Carricante
4/27/2021 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
89 points
Light floral herb mineral aroma. Entry is not quite spritzy dry fruit, then interesting herb, mineral, medium fruit, moderate acidity over a persistent layer of stone which adds complexity and depth. What a match for raw shellfish. Perhaps, not every taster will appreciate what some will find intriguing. Comparison: bone dry Alsatian Riesling?

In a blind tasting who in the world would guess Sicily? Many Sicilian wines taste non Italian and remain untasted.
  • g ruqt commented:

    4/30/21, 10:14 AM - By day 2 in fridge, cork popping off, bitter note take over. Not for aging.

2017 Donnafugata Floramundi Cerasuolo di Vittoria Red Blend
4/27/2021 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
88 points
First taste is lively acid not frizzante but comparable, nice young fruit on mid palate invites a second glass. Quite pleasant, balanced, a certain spiciness, where are the salty snacks? The last taste is a hint of bitter almond - an Italian wine attribute? Were I eating pasta puttanesca or arrabbiata I would not notice it and would be ordering a second bottle. For every bottle there is a dish.
  • g ruqt commented:

    4/27/21, 11:58 AM - Four professional reviews. Looks like describing atypical wine is a challenge. Why is that?

2017 El Enemigo Cabernet Franc Valle de Uco
3/9/2021 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
91 points
Agree, agree, agree with 3 excellent descriptive notes of my Cabernet Franc loving colleagues in tasting Mendoza bottled artform. Might add, I have enjoyed previous vintages, it is a wine to enjoy with or without food, will improve most any meal, pizza to steak, not unduely challenging, life has enough challenges, right?
  • g ruqt commented:

    3/9/21, 10:39 AM - El Enemigo "The Enemy" has a rear label message, (Argentine version of fortune cookie?) which will enliven your pizza party discussion or help you contemplate your empty glass.

2017 Domaine de Beaurenard (Paul Coulon et Fils) Rasteau Red Rhone Blend
1/9/2021 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
90 points
Red purple red, interesting nose, baked dessert. "Polished" agree.
"Caramel" notes agree. Maybe "pepper, "or charred barrels, the wood is not a feature. I will add warmth, the comfort of Rhone, like a fuzzy blanket, always fuzzy and soft. Who does not appreciate their blankie or if you prefer blanky?

I rate their Cotes du Rhone higher, more complexity, finished more than polished, less oak.
The CNP a classic, once a generation wine.
  • g ruqt commented:

    2/14/21, 10:46 AM - Compared to 2018 Brusset La Bastide Rasteau
    Brusset is more complex, riper, deeper, more evolved, more enjoyable. Beauregard is young, one note fruit still fresh, much more acidity, adds a tart bitter finish. Age it, the acidity will make it a long term keep.

2017 Vignai da Duline Schioppettino Venezia Giulia IGT
2/6/2021 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
92 points
A wine more distinctive and unique in bouquet than any other wine I've tasted. Third bottle over two years. Medium rose color. Sniff, an enticing, alluring, exotic peppermill, pink, white, but pepper all the way. On the palate, overwhelming pepper shot bypasses the tongue, difficult to describe the taste of an Asian burgundy, soft, balanced, fruity, spicy, concentration of a fine Burgundy.

Admire winemakers who bottle light hued red wines loaded with character, depth, add the spicy pepper - Wow! A food wine.

What other wine would match a filet of Lotte wrapped in turkey bacon, with ratatouille and Yukon gold potatoes sauteed in the bacon drippings?
  • g ruqt commented:

    2/10/21, 1:51 PM - Day 4, luxurious mouth feel, enveloping the unique spicy tone, soft, warm, rich flavors, highly recommended, will age.

2017 Domaine Pierre Guillemot Savigny-lès-Beaune Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir
1/19/2021 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
89 points
Exceptionally translucent say red raspberry tinted just barely. Nose requires inhaling and perhaps hyperosmia. The taste, you ask.... quite difficult to translate. Exotic, interesting, agree with other tasters who used many descriptors, berry, spice, mushroom, tart fruit, enough attractive sweet fruit. On a Florida sun shined 75 degree patio in January, 2021, Savigny tells me life is good.
There is more to be asked. Does it taste like a Burgundy?
Is this a seafood red for Boullabaisse, Dore, black sole, Aye, aye maities, says Ben Gunn.
  • g ruqt commented:

    1/20/21, 10:53 AM - To add to my question: "Does it taste like a Burgundy?"
    Over many years and longer, in many places from France to U. C. Davis where grape and vine identification studies were undertaken, the Gamay grape was found to be misidentified, planted in the wrong places, found in Pinot Noir vineyards, outlawed, loved and reviled. One could spend a lot of time researching Gamay. When I looked at a glass of this Savigny, then tasted, I thought of Gamay, which I have not tasted in decades.

2016 Château Haut-Bages Libéral Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
12/26/2020 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
92 points
Deep bishop robe purple, nose reticent, deep inhale perfume, fresh berry. An elegant medium bodied Bordeaux as noted by others, correct concentration, correct acid structure, yes bright berry fruit. Will be a beauty in 5 years. I don't find the tannins for long term aging, not my worry. I also miss the Pauillac elements other tasters found.

Many 2016 Bordeauxs, although vintage of the decade (or longer) quality, taste out of character. Fresh Pauillacs, woody tannic Pomerols, St. Estephes lovely in youth, Pessac Leognans mistaken for Margauxs,
Is it a sharing culture, learning from others, or in demand winemakers cross fertilizing techniques and tastes.
Milk was homogenized very long ago, no more cream at the top. (Which most readers never experienced.) Will all wine follow?
  • g ruqt commented:

    12/28/20, 2:06 PM - 12/28/2020

    Half bottle remaining. Nose more expressive, exotic is the only word I can find, outside my inhaling experience. Seems younger and more puckering - subject to - tasted after remainder of 2003 D'Armailhac bordering - in professional tastings "showing it age" "lovely" to some who do not properly respect age, "approaching maderization."
    Like approaching senility?

    Nice riper fruit perfect for grilled steak in Roquefort butter.

2016 Château Fourcas Dupré Listrac-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
9/15/2020 - chatters wrote:
Ox cheek selection session (KC's place): Initially smells like dishcloth - dirty glass anyone? medium minus aromas of blackcurrant and plum, cedar, savoury spices. Bit meh on the nose. Even with time (and agitation) it struggles to open. On the palate the medium plus intensity acidity is tending to the slightly sour, quite austere and lacks generosity of fruit despite the vintage, tannins are quite silky though. overall a bit meh for me - in it's defence it might just be far too young.
  • g ruqt commented:

    11/6/20, 12:51 PM - To all young tasters: Over too many years of wine quaffing in restaurants, I've sent very few bottles back HOWEVER I routinely return glasses -
    dish detergent
    dish rag
    someone's perfume/cologne/soap all over
    too small - switch to water glass

    A nose is inherited and developed with practice.

2018 Domaine des Rémizières Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Particulière Syrah
10/11/2020 - g ruqt wrote:
86 points
If glassed wine can appear black, this wine is black. Ripe fruit, perfume, and herbs on the nose, may take a few minutes for the olfactory challenged. A mouthful for sure, an interesting mouthful, blackberry jam, a tang of acid skin and a cough syrup aftertaste. A challenging wine- what will grip your taste - ripe fruit up front or that alcohol, raw oak in the back of the mouth? For me, the alcohol and oak are overpowering as I keep tasting. If you share a bottle with a group, you may find that one glass draws higher scores.
  • g ruqt commented:

    10/14/20, 11:35 AM - Same bottle, day 4. Flowers, spices, herbs, prominent undertone I cannot identify, whiffing is nice. Taste is medicinally off putting despite young ripe soft juicy fruit. I hope other tasters have a different reaction - ripe fruited Rhone deserves enjoyment. I have the same reaction to many Aussie wines so it may be me.

2016 Château La Croix de Pez St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
10/8/2020 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
94 points
Friends of Bordeaux,

Should you enjoy aged Bordeaux, trust me, you may purchase this wine, you may not open a bottle for 5 years, if you buy, you will thank me in 2025, 2030, may you live a long life. It has the fruit, the length, the concentration and complexity to outlive many of us.

I know many will commit infanticide. You want to taste a serious wine. You may like swirling gobs of fruit driven youthful virtue. Swirl in peace but Woe unto your cellar. Save a bottle for the Amen.


In the 1970s, my expert wine merchant mentor, now 99 years old and able to re drink our 1970s tastings with a passionate recollection, recommended St. Estephe as the commune for long lived, value Bordeaux. He was not wrong.
  • g ruqt commented:

    10/13/20, 12:29 PM - Day 6 same bottle, Nose is quiet, rich fruit, wood and alcohol more apparent. Most tasters will find this less enjoyable than the other 2016s with my comments. I suspect that at a dinner tasting with a side table laden with bottles of 2016, the other lighter, more fragrant, bottles will attract the first votes; by the end of the meal, palate taxed, this St. Estephe will stand out. In October, 2050? let me know.

2016 Château Malartic-Lagravière Le Comte de Malartic Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
10/11/2020 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
91 points
Dark purple in the glass, deep, sweetish black cherry nose. What a beauty! Such a balance of sweet black cherry fruit on the tongue, humble acids, ever so subtle mineral notes, Perfect Balance is so rare. Black cherry in Bordeaux is so rare. Deep pure fruit in a Pessac Leognan?
The 2016 Vintage - a gift in a time of strife.
  • g ruqt commented:

    10/13/20, 12:10 PM - Day 4, same bottle, Smoked cherries on the nose, concentrated dark fruit with wood and smoke sparring with the fruit. It is a mouthful with a lingering black cherry cassis, alcohol on swallowing. A simple request, in October, 2050 please send me a tasting note c/o St. Peter.

2016 Les Chênes de Macquin St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend
10/8/2020 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
89 points
Browned toned purple color. Complex nose herbs, minerals, more. Medium bodied, tart not unattractive acid, brings to mind quinine in tonic water, well balanced, fruit with subdued oak mineral tones. Not a big round wine despite 90% Merlot, 1% Cabernet. The 9% Cabernet Franc adds an interesting element, will improve with age, pleasure many meals and is fairly priced.
Trivia for younger tasters. All but one 2016 Bordeaux tasted by me would have been a vintage of the decade wine from 1971 to 1981. You may thank the winemakers, corporate interests who retrieved fallen properties, recognition of the importance of vineyard, cellar, bottling, shipping - every layer of quality control AND Robert M. Parker Jr. who alerted the wine world to all this.
  • g ruqt commented:

    10/13/20, 11:58 AM - Same bottle, day 8, prominent lilac - rose nose, softer mid palate fruit, enough length to fill the palate, a barely minty mineral aftertaste either adds complexity or intrudes, your call, for me quite enjoyable.

    I have tasted many 2016s, same bottles over many days, compared, contrasted, swirled, tried with various home cooked meals, many flavors.
    All but one (Ch. Tayac) improved over time, opened up in the glass, showed more components and winemakers' skills. 2016 will outlive many of us, reward I trust, many buyers, complement dinner entrees for 30 years, impress friends and instruct children in your mature years. The prices for these lesser estates are surprisingly reasonable given the quality. Bordeaux fanciers live in blessed times.

2016 Château Le Coteau Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
10/6/2020 - g ruqt wrote:
88 points
Vibrant purple in the glass, the nose is silent. Solid silky fruit up front followed by tannic grip on the palate. More acid than typical in a Bordeaux, a touch of astringency, wood frame is normal at this age. No flaws detected, will likely provoke varying reactions dependent upon acid tolerance, attraction to clean fruit, preference for younger wines (this will age well) and expectation of sub notes (complexity) which I don't find.
  • g ruqt commented:

    10/7/20, 1:52 PM - Bordeaux enthusiasts who are curious about the Margaux bouquet: Buy a bottle, open, inhale and taste a glass over 5 days. By day 3, your nose should find the perfume and flowers. Acid may be less prominent, fruit is so clean, however lacks the concentration I prefer.

White - Sparkling
N.V. G.F. Duntze Champagne Brut Réserve Champagne Blend
10/3/2020 - g ruqt Likes this wine:
92 points
Pale gold, bubbles will show off your flute, nose is dry yeast and Pinot meunier? nice mineral saline. I would say brisk rather than acidic, full bodied and pleasantly dry not biting dry. A mouthful which leaves a lovely aftertaste as noted by another poster. Ripe grapes seem to define this unusual young, tasty, complex Champagne - offers a better understanding of how Churchill could finish a bottle of bubbly daily for breakfast.
  • g ruqt commented:

    10/3/20, 9:32 AM - Tasting over the past hour, richer, addictive, there must be a grape here not identified correctly on the label, when the wine reaches room temp the urge to quaff, no reason for you to trust my taste buds but food like, umani in a glass.

2016 Château La Pointe Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
9/19/2020 - g ruqt wrote:
88 points
A whiff of serious fruit. First taste is oak and menthol. Fruit is deep but hindered by tannins. I was not expecting this given the professional reviews - not at all drinkable in September 2020. Aeration does nothing due to the oak. Tannins may round in time however the oak?
  • g ruqt commented:

    9/24/20, 12:59 PM - After a week of daily re-tasting, reduce score to 80, flawed by oak forever I fear. A few Bordeaux never come around, I don't recall a Bordeaux so marred by wood.

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