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Comments on my notes

(17 comments on 12 notes)

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2021 Les Crêtes Petite Arvine Valle d'Aosta
11/7/2022 - Xavier Auerbach wrote:
91 points
The local varieties are always the best. Whether it's Grillo in Sicily or Petite Arvine in Valle d'Aosta, there are best adapted to the local conditions and they produce the best wines. This is bright, fresh, elegant in spite of quite some weight (14% ABV), with jewelly fruit and attractive, slightly vegetal bitters.
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    1/13/23, 12:41 PM - Glad to agree with yet another good note of yours. Thank you from Cervinia!

2020 Château Closiot C de Sec Bordeaux White Blend
10/4/2022 - TomC1369 Likes this wine:
91 points
A dry Barsac made as if it were Puligny. Struck match and flint dominate the nose but not in a bad way with a floral undertone. The palate is bone dry on the attack but resolving to honey and passion fruit. Perhaps a touch of botrytis. Genuinely interesting and good. A wine to serve burgundy lovers who (think they) hate Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    10/11/22, 11:24 AM - Thank you for your incisive note. Just a small point gleaned from a review:
    It is 95% Sémillon and 5% Muscadelle. Please see my tasting note if interested.
    Anyway, what a discovery. Not sure that the locals are happy about being upstaged...

2019 Château de Plaisance Anjou Ronceray Chenin Blanc
5/4/2022 - Julian Marshall Likes this wine:
90 points
Michael describes this perfectly so I'm not going to bother writing my own note - my only caveat would be about the 14° ABV, which gives a slightly hot finish, hence the fact that my score is more conservative.
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    6/12/22, 11:07 AM - Thank you for your kind comment. I retasted this and it is going through an odd phase. The 2020 is now better.
    Drove past the winery this week but was rushing to new discoveries so missed going there. Domaine du Haute Perche, Terra Vita Vinum and Château de Bois-Brinçon.Tasting notes to follow.

White - Fortified
N.V. Valdespino Manzanilla Deliciosa Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda Palomino Fino
5/31/2022 - Michael Mackenzie Likes this wine:
90 points
New label on the bottle! Tasted against Hidalgo's Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada (see separate note).
On the back label L213152 which confuses given that it is the new label but seems to have been bottled earlier than my last, old label, bottle (L211132)? Perhaps I am horribly wrong.
Colour: light gold, v light bronze tinge, bright, clear.
Nose: full, v fresh, light fruit notes, some yeast but quite delicate, caramelised apples, fresh almonds;
Taste: light body, rounded, soft, ripe, good fruit of ripe apple and quince developing into a medium q light finish. V dry but rounded and soft.
Overall, very enjoyable in an elegant, lighter style that has fruit over salinity.
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    6/6/22, 6:55 AM - Thank you brooklynguy for your comment. I only bought these recently, so I hope very much that your analysis is not quite right. That would mean that they have been languishing for years post bottling. Also one has the new label, which is very recent.
    Nevertheless, thank you!

  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    6/6/22, 9:54 AM - Thank you brooklynguy. The plot thickens.
    Assuming that they use the American date method, L213152 was bottled on 15th March 2021. L211132 could have been bottled either on 13th January or 3rd November. Since it is the old label, it must be January given the new label on the other bottle.
    Elementary, dear Watson?

  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    6/6/22, 11:18 AM - Now that is really esoteric. Good way of confusing the wine lover! Mind you, having grown up in Andalucia, it does not surprise me.
    Thank you!

2016 Château Meyney St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
1/26/2022 - Michael Mackenzie Likes this wine:
93 points
A favourite property of mine. Distinctly underrated due to it not being on the 1855 list.
Blend: CS: 33%, M: 49% PV: 18%. A fascinating combination and not unsurprising given the location.
Colour: extremely deep garnet red, v thin rim, purple tinge.
Nose: v full, intensely aromatic and ripe, plums dominating, framboise, violet, and the PV flavours coming through too.
Taste: med body, rounded, v ripe yet elegant, plum, violets, framboise again, and green olives, some cassis, tannic notes notably in the finish, which is long, again plum and green olives, some sous bois.
Overall, an excellent wine, enjoyable now but has plenty of structure to age and develop. Still intrigued by the blend for the commune! Bizarrely, this wine tightens up after six hours, developing tannins and going to sleep. Clearly a hold!
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    1/26/22, 5:17 PM - Glad to have been of help.
    Tickerage was a curiosity in a Seaford restaurant.
    For good English fizz, focus on the Rosés as the blends and B de Bs suffer from underripe Chardonnay. Try Court Garden (Rosé or Duet) and Woodchester Valley, both excellent and still not stupid prices, if I may suggest. They knock lots of rosé champagnes into a cocked hat!

  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    1/27/22, 10:19 AM - Thank you for pointing that out. It also appears that Petit Verdot, which represents 35% of the vineyard, dates back to 1928 but those currently used were from cuttings grafted from Château Talbot in the '50s! So very much part of Meyney's DNA, taking advantage of the right soil for this variety, setting it apart from other properties in the commune.

2016 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
1/25/2022 - Michael Mackenzie wrote:
93 points
Sociando-Mallet has throned on the Butte de Baleyron, one of the finest gravelly terroirs in the Médoc, since the 17th century. Situated in the commune of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne, north of St Estèphe, the vineyard overlooks the Gironde estuary on a bend in the river.

Sociando-Mallet's terroir consists of Günz gravel over a deep layer of clay-limestone soil. This terroir perfectly regulates water supply and enables Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen extremely well and Merlot to acquire depth and complexity. This terroir is Sociando's soul. It provides the wine with complex structure, freshness, and elegance.

Primarily located east of the village of Saint-Seurin, the property stretches over a total of 120 hectares, of which 83 are under vine. The vines grow on the superb Baleyron gravelly hillock around the house and winery buildings. Sun exposure is optimum and breezes off the estuary keep the vines well aired and healthy. The huge mass of water in the estuary and nearby ocean accounts for a temperate microclimate without wild swings in temperature.

Grape varieties consist of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 54% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. The vines are an average 35 years old. The average vine density is 8,333 vines per hectare.
(Source: Château's website.)

2016 blend: CS: 47%, M: 50%, CF: 3%. ABV: 14%.

Colour:v deep red, v thin rim, purple tinge.
Nose: v full, ripe, brimming with fruit, cassis and plum, intense and complex, slightly heady due to alcohol.
Taste: med/heavy body, oak leads, good dense fruit follows, cassis, blackberry, plum,savoury notes, long dry finish, oak and tannins quite noticeable although after four hours they give way to fruit. There is a typical 2016 softness in the finish, though.
Overall, this is a humdinger of a wine. Almost four square St Estèphe, perhaps in the more modern way with its Merlot component, yet the CS holds its own. Put against, for example, an Ormes de Pez, it would destroy it by its complexity and remarkably old school feel.

As with other 2016 Left Banks that I have tried and noted (Beaumont, Cantemerle, Charmes de Kirwan, Capbern) I find this remarkably approachable.

Day 2: vacuvined after double decanting. Has only grown in stature, so deserves a 93.
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    1/25/22, 4:18 PM - Thank you for your comment. Hope you receive this reply this way as I am a bit of a dinosaur technologically!
    I decanted this at 5 pm and started tasting it at 7 pm. The wine needs time but loosens up noticeably. It does need time indeed. I have double decanted and vacuvined half the bottle to retry tomorrow evening.

  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    1/26/22, 5:14 AM - As you say, technology has changed as has the climate. All the 2016s I have tried are all forward due to the ripeness of the year. What intrigue me are the acidity levels in the wines, which it would be good to know.

2015 Domaine de la Chevalerie Bourgueil Galichets Cabernet Franc
11/11/2021 - vintage_whine wrote:
clear mineralityu, wet rock, wet cement, cranberry and pomegranite. the warmth of the vintage shows only in the ripeness of the pyrazines, otherwise, the acidity is firm, and the wine is balanced and bright. great stuff now
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    11/11/21, 12:35 PM - Great minds think alike. Just opened this wine. Note to follow.

2015 Reichsrat Von Buhl Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Großes Gewächs Pfalz
8/4/2020 - bobbylion Likes this wine:
94 points
Fantastic riesling - pretty massive, but hides its 14% alcohol well behind the typical salinity/acidity and smkeyness.

Absolute pleasure to drink now and for 7-10 years to come. Still no reason to wait - great stuff.
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    7/9/21, 1:10 PM - On my bottle it says 13%. Weird.

2019 Domaine Delaporte Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc
This domaine always surprises me, not always positively.
Colour: light gold, surprising bronze tinge which is odd given the youth of the wine.
Nose: full, fresh, soft, ripe varietal.
Palate: light body, rounded, astringent though, corky notes, oxidised (?), short finish, not great flavours.
Overall, a disappointment. Bad bottle?
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    6/20/21, 12:50 PM - Thank you. Sadly this domaine is patchy. Will avoid from now on in favour of plenty of other good producers!

2019 Reyneke Chenin Blanc Organic Stellenbosch
Lemon, apricots and stone fruit. Some oak is still a bit evident. Ripe style. Still very much a baby.
Total 7/10
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    6/17/21, 10:12 AM - Forgive my ignorance but what do the letters stand for. Your tasting note was very helpful. I just would like to understand your system.

  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    6/17/21, 2:31 PM - Thank you. A novel, pithy way to assess a wine!

2020 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé Mourvèdre Blend, Mourvèdre
After my glowing note on this wine, I have tried two more bottles. Sadly they both have an intense "armpit", nettly nose which is odd. Tried vacuvining the second bottle and revisiting it a day later. It got worse. What happened?
The retailer told me that he prefers to let the wine rest a few months before trying it when it arrives. Perhaps a sunny August day then?
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    5/27/21, 1:31 AM - Thank you for your question.
    Apologies for my irreverent tasting terms. No doubt It will be considered most un PC but I did not invent it.
    It is similar to the pungent end of the Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc flavour spectrum, if that makes it clearer.
    Down Under, it is used to suggest a lack of hygiene where a certain part of the anatomy is concerned. Nettle is the polite alternative. Hope that helps.
    Certainly it is not what I expect from this wine, not least given the blend.

2016 Clos Ste. Magdeleine Cassis Blanc White Blend
4/6/2019 - finewinebuff57 wrote:
86 points
Marsanne 45 %, - Clairette 20 %, Ugni blanc 30 % - Bourboulenc 5 %. I was rather underwhelmed by this. Slightly lacking in freshness. An interesting and unfavourable comparison to the Clos St Joseph Blanc 2015 from a couple of days ago (see separate note).
  • Michael Mackenzie commented:

    8/31/20, 7:37 AM - Thank you for your post. I just tried this and found the same lack of freshness.

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