Comments on my notes

(32 comments on 24 notes)

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Red
2005 Château Quinault L'Enclos St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
11/2/2021 - Pinoteer Likes this wine:
92 points
Less than two decanter hours, and boy is this soft and delicious, with good acidity. Tannins are completely resolved. Plum and cherry, with vanilla and milk chocolate. Nice finish, too. Not the most complex wine, but it puts a smile on your face. I'm not seeing much further improvement here, but it's so good now.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    11/2/21, 5:17 PM - Had my first bottle of a case in 2017 and gave it 89 pts, but thinking that it had potential. Two years later, I scored it 90, but noted that I thought it could hit 92-93 eventually. Finally, it has come around fully. Unfortunately, I drank a few other bottles before it reached this point, so I have only 7 bottles left. But, I will thoroughly enjoy them. 2005 is certainly a vintage that requires abundant patience.

Red
2017 Domaine Arnoux Pére et Fils Chorey-les-Beaune Les Beaumonts Pinot Noir
9/13/2021 - Pinoteer Likes this wine:
90 points
I bought a case of this 2017, and a case of the 2015 vintage a couple years earlier. I've drunk ½ of my 2015s, but this is the first bottle of this case. This bottle tastes remarkably similar to the first couple bottles of the 2015. While I generally don't drink even village level Burgundy before 7-8 years of cellar time, I think UPFROMTHECELLAR might be right about drinking these in their exuberant youth. The 2015s are now approaching 6 years, and I enjoy the somewhat more mature aspects of the extra two years and expect that those will drink well for 4-5 more years. But, the 2017 (and earlier 2015s) are just so delightful in their unabashed youthful pleasure that it's hard to disagree with the previous reviewer. I'll probably save a bottle or two from each case to see what happens at year 10 but, in the meantime, plan to drink the remaining bottles of both vintages with some urgency.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    9/14/21, 12:25 PM - I'm doubtful that I'll change my general approach re: red Burgundy drinking windows, but I'll certainly give village-level wines some early drinking consideration going forward, after this experience. I've actually gone the other way with white Burgundy...5-8 years for village wines and 10-12 years for 1er cru. I find the acidity and oak (when present) are just too much early on. Hard to find reasonably priced grand cru whites, so I don't even worry about when to drink those.

Red
2010 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT Red Bordeaux Blend
5/12/2021 - Motz wrote:
94 points
Tasted over two days.

Reticent throughout, including on the second day, other than the last glass. The wine has held its unique combination of compact precision and massive structure in ways that most SuperTuscans of this quality and style tend to lose after a decade or so, often turning muddled. (In my opinion, Oreno can go toe to toe with Tig, Orn, Sass (pardon the disrespectful abbreviations), etc., and hold its own. Rock solid! It really needs food, as the listed 14.5 abv, while not overpowering, certainly makes its presence felt. Likely to continue its evolution for several years and hold form for several years thereafter. Recommend drinking by 2030-2032.

Overall, while an exceptional wine, I am less impressed than previous experiences. Here is why: The longer I drink wine, the more I dislike bitterness, whether imparted by oak, excessive pressing or extraction, or under ripe fruit. Bitterness is noteworthy at the back with this, seemingly because of excessive oak treatment and somewhat heavy extraction. The oak imparted bitterness will continue to ingrate, so long as the wine holds form, which should be for no less than five years, but the extraction derived bitterness will likely remain.

Both heavy oak treatment and extraction are part of the international - modern style of wine making, and to express my view mildly, both practices suck! Less is more!
  • Pinoteer commented:

    8/29/21, 7:58 PM - It's refreshing to see when someone can provide a relatively objective review, separate from personal preferences. You provided both in an informative way. While I haven't opened any of my bottles yet, I think that my preferences lean toward yours, so my impression may be similarly affected by any over-extraction and oak, which are not my friends either.

Red
2010 Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
5/21/2021 - Pinoteer wrote:
flawed
Three 2010 BdMs opened today. Two were flawed (one Brett, one corked). Ugh!
  • Pinoteer commented:

    6/28/21, 8:29 PM - Of the 21 Brunelli from 2010 that I've opened so far, these were the first bottles flawed. Up until that day, I'd been very, very pleased with 2010. I guess that I was overdue, as I'd not had a flawed wine for quite some time. Two in one night, though, is a little hard to stomach (and graciously accept the $100 wallet hit).

White
2014 DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Blanc Columbia Valley Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
6/12/2021 - Pinoteer Does not like this wine:
79 points
Someone threw fresh grass clippings, lemon juice, and cat pee in a blender, hit frappé, and filtered the resulting slurry into a bottle. No, that's not a good thing. Just someone's twisted concept of what good SB should taste like.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    6/13/21, 4:36 AM - Brutal, I know. But, this SB is so far removed from a Sancerre, Bordeaux Blanc, or NZ SB that it's hard to believe it's made from the same varietal. I'm left scratching my head--until I have a fistful of hair--that this "style" (and I use that term generously) has so many apparent fans.

Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
5/22/2021 - shza Likes this wine:
97 points
A wonderful wine. First bottle opened in a while. Nose of leather, funky, anamalic. That persists on the palette, but there is a clean, cutting acidity across it that just gives this a beautiful balance and structure. Very long finish. This is drinking very well right now but will easily last another 15-20 years. I only wish I had (or could find) more than the 3 bottles and two magnums I have left.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    5/31/21, 5:49 PM - I'm not as big a fan of this Rioja as you are. I have five bottles left (750's). If you are really interested in obtaining more, I'd be willing to sell you mine. They've been stored well since purchase.

Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
9/30/2020 - Pinoteer Does not like this wine:
85 points
Second bottle of this wine that I've opened in two days time. Both have oak treatment that tastes like wood and wet newspaper, rather than coconut or vanilla. The wood overpowers the other flavors. I opened the second bottle today thinking that maybe the first one was corked, but this second one is just the same. I really don't understand others' love of this Rioja. I like Riojas, but definitely not this one. Worst 8-bottle purchase ever.

Following the advice of Purple Tooth, I left the bottles in the frig for a few days and then left them open on the counter for 12 hours or more before drinking. The oak was much more subdued and integrated at that point. Because I'm updating this note many weeks later, I don't have revised tasting notes or even recall my sense of a revised score. Consequently, I'll go with my earlier 85 from a previous bottle. Next time, 24 hours of air before drinking and then I can maybe find greater appreciation for this wine.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    10/1/20, 5:55 AM - Thanks for the comment/advice. I now have two partial bottles in the frig, so maybe they will have improved in a couple days time. Now that I think about it, you may be right. We had a 2005 Bordeaux wine tasting here two years ago, where one of the more expensive selections had too much oak that no one liked. Several days later when we drank the rest of that bottle, the oak had integrated and it was really good.

  • Pinoteer commented:

    10/25/20, 7:55 AM - I always try to score wines based on their inherent qualities, not necessarily my enjoyment of the wine. I've scored many wines 90 points, even though they weren't aligned with my particular palate. However, in the case of a wine, where there are flaws (e.g., over extraction, over-use of oak, excessive alcohol) that detract from proper wine balance, I score them accordingly.

    However, your comment reminds me that I do need to change my review and score, as per Purple Tooth's recommendation. I left the bottles in the frig for a few more days and then open on the counter for 12 hours. The result was a much more pleasant wine.

Red
2006 Collemattoni Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
10/19/2020 - Pinoteer Likes this wine:
91 points
Even though I decanted this bottle, I put a little into a glass to smell it and see how it evolves. Immediately, it is apparent that this bottle lacks the animal/Brett aspects of the bottle opened 1-½ years ago. After an hour, vanilla and violets on the nose, and loads of dried red fruits on the palate, along with some leather. Punchy acidity and mature tannins hold it all together. I like it more than the last bottle, but still not at the level of past vintages (2001 and 2004).
  • Pinoteer commented:

    10/19/20, 4:56 PM - Noted. My references to 2001 and 2004 were for bottles drunk a long time ago. My 2004 consumed almost 4 years ago. That said, I'm a little surprised by your recent experience with that 2004, as 16 years shouldn't signal the end of life for a BdM. Bummer-issimo.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Wiston Estate Winery Cuvée Rosé West Sussex Champagne Blend
Passable, but nothing earth shattering. With all the raves British bubbles are getting, we were expecting a little more, which seems, somehow, appropriately British. :D
  • Pinoteer commented:

    9/8/20, 5:27 PM - Poignant comment...dry, pithy, and definitely understated, in a uniquely British way.

Red
2015 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
1/27/2020 - oldwines Likes this wine:
90 points
Tasted at Benvenuto Brunello NYC. I have often been critical of this wine in just about every vintage I have tasted going back to 2004. It is a very modern, oaky and downright brutish wine most of the time...to be fair in this vintage I found it a bit less so than usual. It is a little lighter in color and more balanced overall, especially when compared to the wines they poured at last year's Benvenuto Brunello tasting. After some discussion at the pouring table with several of the attendees and the winery Rep, I finally understand the extent of what they do. In addition to massive amounts of new French oak in barriques, they do an extended month long maceration with the skins and then do the malolactic fermentation with some of the skins as well while in a second set of new barrels. This massive extraction of color, flavor and tannin along with the oak is what drove a certain pro reviewer to love this wine but I have always found it profoundly over-done and out of balance. This vintage it is possible to enjoy the wine with the right rich fatty food, but ideally it needs a couple decades or more to better integrate and soften to a level I would find enjoyable. Others will disagree with me I am sure and that is why the world of wine is so interesting. In the end it is up to your personal preferences... Given this style the wine is not flawed or poorly made, ergo I didn't want to be too harsh on the score. If you are going to drink this I suggest waiting at least until its 10th birthday.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    5/11/20, 6:12 PM - Holy cow! Thanks for this very insightful and helpful review. I haven't had any of these BdMs previously, so I was thinking about a purchase. Your review saved me from making a big mistake with a wine that is outside my preference zone. Mega-kudos.

  • Pinoteer commented:

    5/11/20, 7:22 PM - I've got lots of other BdMs, but this producer I haven't tried before, and won't now, knowing what you've shared. I was disappointed in the first bottle of 2007 Montosoli that I tried and haven't yet tried my 2010 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso or 2013 Montosoli.

Red
2009 Boudreaux Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Washington
5/2/2020 - tward wrote:
flawed
Corked, not drinkable. A private note from early 2016 indicates mild cork taint and that the bottle was salvageable via the ziplock / plastic method. Given that there are only 67 CT public TNs out of 725 bottles consumed, I'm left to wonder how many others had this unfortunate experience. (There are sometimes good reasons wines are offered as a heavily discounted "mystery".)
  • Pinoteer commented:

    5/7/20, 7:46 PM - i bought a case of these during the mystery offering, and every bottle has been a delight so far...six down and six to go. For many wines listed in CT, a 10+ to 1 TN:Consumed ratio is about par for the course, so don't read too much into it.

Red
2016 Château Badette St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
9/8/2019 - Purple Tooth wrote:
93 points
As I expected, rich modern wine with gobs of ripe red fruit, with scents of vanilla and hints of some wood and char...This is beautifully balanced and has a huge tannin package that give the wine a very sandy and dry vibe now. Drank it next the 2015 and to me, this wine speaks more to what seems to be winemaking target than the 20015 does. I think these wines are lovely when young with lots of decanting...Time will tell how they age, but the 2015 seems to be falling off balance a bit from where it was 6/8 months ago....Drink
  • Pinoteer commented:

    12/6/19, 9:07 AM - One of the other reviews indicated that alcohol is 15.5%. Is that true? That seems high given the freshness levels attributed to 2016s vs. 2015s.

Red
2010 Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
11/15/2019 - Zammitmark wrote:
75 points
Too young
  • Pinoteer commented:

    11/17/19, 7:06 AM - Exactly...what Viking 61 said. You don't score a wine 75, because you open a bad bottle (probably flawed) or drink a wine way too young or don't decant a wine that requires it. You score a wine based on what it exhibits now (after proper drinking prep) and what that wine can be expected to be in its maturity. This is precisely why I asked Eric Levine 10 years ago to include a median CT score in the scoring summary popup. It helps moderate these poorly informed outlier scores.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Nicolas Maillart Champagne Premier Cru Platine Champagne Blend
11/7/2019 - Pinoteer Likes this wine:
90 points
This bottle is different from the last one, but I still don't really care for it. I don't recall the things that I didn't like about the previous bottle, but this one has an astringency (think, inner husk of a hickory nut that holds the meat). Bone dry with little or no yeasty/toasty character. Some orchard fruit and chalkiness. Original score 86.

Update - I decided to let it warm up a little more, rather than drinking directly from the frig. It's much better, now, so I've upped my score. Note to self: drink about 50℉ or so.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    11/8/19, 8:35 AM - Oops, I forgot to change "dislike" to "like." I typically drink white wines 50-55, but have usually found sparklers more enjoyable at 40-45. I've learned something new about sparklers this time, and so have upped my drinking temp more generally.

  • Pinoteer commented:

    11/11/19, 5:00 PM - Yup, if the ambient temp is warm, I start all wines (reds and whites) at a colder temperature than I expect to drink them, as they warm up quickly in a large glass. I used to drink white wines much warmer than I do now, as the flavors are much more discernible and intense. However, I've dialed down those temps because I've found that I really enjoy the freshness of a more chilled white wine. But, in the colder months, if I drink a white, it's usually at a much warmer temp than I'd drink that same wine in the summer.

Red
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Napa Valley
6/10/2019 - Bodyfxr wrote:
93 points
Pnp. Much more restrained since my last bottle. Not as much of a fruit bomb. But still very fruit forward with hidden secondary characteristics of vanilla, toasty oak yet predominantly the big lush dark fruits overshadow it all. I'm not down with the haters on here as I find this wine has it's place for those that love big fruit bombs. I love my old world wines, but every now and again an over extracted new world beast is a fun change up, especially when entertaining folks that have very primary palates. Drink up...ligthen up...and enjoy.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    6/24/19, 11:38 AM - Well said. I'm very much of the same opinion. Bombastic fruit bombs are not really my style, but every once in a while it's fun to have a guilty pleasure. I had my very first Caymus (2009) around Christmas, thinking that I would not like it, but I really did enjoy it.

Red
2011 Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
2/2/2019 - dvansteenderen Likes this wine:
92 points
2000-2011 Pontet-Canet. Third wine of the fourth (and last) flight. Surprisingly good for the vintage. Very interesting tasting of the 2000-2011 Pontet-Canet's. The 2009 is the best today, but maybe will be outshined by the 2010 in time? Also, very much loved the 2008, followed by the 2005; 2003 and 2000!
  • Pinoteer commented:

    3/8/19, 6:48 AM - Thanks for the vertical summary. Except for 2007 and 2013, I have bottles from 2005-2016 of PC. I opened a 2005 about 1½ years ago (very nice), but I'm wondering if you can offer a suggestion as to which other vintages I could drink now, with suitable decanter time of course. Thanks.

  • Pinoteer commented:

    3/10/19, 10:24 AM - Thanks a lot for your suggestions. Glad to hear that I can carefully approach a few vintages now. I was expecting that those 2010s would be a long way off.

Red
2006 Lily Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
4/24/2010 - Pinoteer wrote:
90 points
Very old-world funkiness--barnyard, dill, and spiciness. Red fruit aromas come through as well. Wonderfully soft red fruit on the palate with lip-smacking acidity. Vanilla and cherry pits. Nice cherry finish goes on for about 30 seconds. This is surprising for a CA pinot; however, I don't think that this is 100% pinot fruit--probably some syrah in the blend. Very nice, though, and a good QPR.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    10/29/18, 10:27 AM - Consumed a long time ago. So long ago that I don't even remember owning and drinking it. But, obviously, I did.

Red
2007 Domaine La Millière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes Red Rhone Blend
5/20/2018 - jeffreylubowski Likes this wine:
90 points
One of the many 2007 cdp i bought before I knew I actually didn't like the vintage. This one wasn't bad though. Definitely big and on the hot side at 15%, but not obscenely so. Plum, provencal herbs, floral. Thick and dense. Lots of dark sweet fruit. Old vines maybe didn't get as roasted in 2007.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    6/17/18, 10:39 AM - I know what you mean about the 2007 CdP. I bought a lot, too. Now, I avoid buying lots of wine from any hot vintage.

Red
2007 Fattoria Petrolo Torrione Toscana IGT Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
4/3/2018 - Pinoteer Likes this wine:
91 points
Wonderfully juicy and balanced wine with minimal decanting. Pomegranate, raspberries, and milk chocolate flavors. Finish could be a little longer, but still not curt. Last bottle of these, and sorry to see 'em go--good vintage. I have 6 bottles of the 2013, but won't be drinking those for some time.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    4/4/18, 8:33 AM - Just noticed that WS rated this wine 94, but that must have been right before Suckling struck out on his own to add 3-4 points to any score that other reviewers provide.

  • Pinoteer commented:

    4/4/18, 9:46 AM - While I really like this wine a lot, it just doesn't have the character of a 94 pointer. But, it's a solid 90-92 certainly. The Petrolo Torrione and Sette Ponti Crognolo are probably my two favorite Super Tuscans. They are both consistently good. And, buying a recent vintage of each recently for around $20 just sweetens the deal.

  • Pinoteer commented:

    4/4/18, 10:18 AM - I came to the Oreno game late, so I only have recent vintages (4 of them) and haven't opened any of them yet. But, given the quality of their Crognolo bottlings, I'm very anxious to finally drink an Oreno. Yeah, not really priced as a daily drinker. Although, given the number of $30-50 Bordeaux and Brunelli that I drink fairly regularly, Oreno could almost be a frequent quaff ($48-50 for recent vintages).

Red
2005 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
3/22/2018 - Pinoteer Does not like this wine:
85 points
There's much to like about this wine, but the heavy-handed oak treatment is not one of them. If I'd know about the oak dominance in this wine before buying, I don't think that I'd have purchased 8 bottles. I'm hoping that the oak further integrates in the coming years, as this could still be a stellar wine. As it is, the oak creates a flavor imbalance that leaves one drinking an 85-point wine, at best. Frankenwines such as these are completely anathema to making wine in the vineyard.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    3/23/18, 7:25 AM - Based on the CT reviews, I thought that it would be a good time to try one of my 8 bottles. But, yeah, I have 2020-2035 as a drinking window.

  • Pinoteer commented:

    3/23/18, 9:46 AM - All my red wines are decanted and allowed to breathe from 1-4 hours. Some of the oak in this wine dissipated after a couple hours, but not enough for my taste. In my experience with other oaky wines (e.g., some WA State reds), the oak usually integrates after about 7-8 years. This may not be the case for Riojas, with which I have less experience.

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments. First time that one of my tasting notes generated so much discussion.

  • Pinoteer commented:

    3/23/18, 2:38 PM - While I’ve only had about six different Riojas, including a couple reservas, this has included probably about 15 bottles. In none of those cases, has the oak been this pronounced. I have not had this producer before, so maybe heavy oak is characteristic for them. Too bad.

Red
2015 Domaine Ninot Mercurey 1er Cru Les Saumonts Pinot Noir
9/23/2017 - mehalchin wrote:
The designation of this wine was misspelled in the Garagiste offer. I created a new wine entry under the correct spelling here https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=2791740
  • Pinoteer commented:

    10/13/17, 1:46 PM - Didn't catch that. Thanks for the correction.

Red
2009 Azienda Agricola Le Ragnaie Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese
9/13/2017 - Pinoteer wrote:
flawed
This is my first of six bottles. This COULD HAVE BEEN really good, but there was noticeable Brett from the outset, both on the nose and the palate. The fruit was overwhelmed by this funk. Consuming with food later, the Brett was less noticeable. Still, I'm not going to score this one now. Half the bottle is left, so I'll see how it is tomorrow.

No improvement the next day, so calling it...DOA.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    9/14/17, 5:04 PM - On night #2, there is still a little Brett on the aroma, but less on the palate. Can actually taste the cherry fruit somewhat.

Red
2007 Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
6/16/2015 - domco wrote:
We found this to be pretty disappointing unfortunately. Sweet fruit, a lot of oak, a lot of alcohol. Like drinking a cherry liqueur. Bummer.
  • Pinoteer commented:

    7/20/15, 4:55 PM - I had the same reaction to my second of three bottles (March 2015). The first bottle that I had in May 2013 was much better, although still not WS's 96. I have one bottle left, and hope that maybe resting a couple more years will help it.

Red
2005 Château Caronne Ste. Gemme Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
11/25/2012 - Pinoteer wrote:
90 points
PnP, first, and found intense red and black fruit, along with some cedar and spice. Then, let it breathe in the decanter for a couple hours. More secondary flavors came to the fore with air time. Tannins have really mellowed for this wine. Still lacks length in the finish; otherwise, I'd score it higher. At $13, this is a huge QPR. Still have 17 bottles. Yippee!
  • Pinoteer commented:

    8/19/13, 2:08 PM - With that large format, you'll need to open it well in advance of drinking. Although, I was surprised how drinkable this wine is right out of the gate.

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