Tasting Notes for Frank Murray III

(5,819 notes on 3,509 wines)

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White
My final bottle, following the previous one which I wrote about in 2014. In that note, I talked about astringence and acidity, and 5 years later the same features are still present. It's as if this wine has not budged in its development. I opened this bottle about 90 mins ago and put some chill onto it. Citrus pith, mango, tangerine and a green banana note. The finish is full of the same bitter and intense citrus, along with some nectarine/stone fruit. This wine is painfully intense, with the acidity as dominant (or more) than the imprint from the fruit. In that respect, there is no rush to drink this vintage of Haut-Lieu of you own it. But as much as my palate thrives on acidity and intensity, I'm not sure when this wine will start knitting together.
White - Sparkling
Had a good pour of this last night. Didn't take notes but as I look at some of the notes below, I like Rich Nanda's description. There was good richness to the wine along with balance and the Vilmart acidity.
Red
Bought these back in 2015, had yet to open one. I opened this yesterday so it's had time to slow ox on the counter. Love the aromatics here, as they show the mix of lavender, pepper, blood. The core of the wine and its texture has softened up since yesterday, shedding some of the structure and becoming more open textured with aeration. Soy sauce, blue and red fruit, tar and some sweet leather. In sum, this is really built well and is aging nicely. Thinking about a drinking window on this wine, I'd think this will settle in well over the next several years and shed more of the fruit and let some of the savory qualities take over. Very good.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Some wines poured blind (Maison Cafe in Dana Point, CA): Poured blind next to the 2003, and in my view, the 2001 really clobbered the 2003. The balance and youth of the 2001, which is pushing close to 2 decades old now, was pretty amazing. Perfume, tar and dark raspberry. Finishes youthful, showing the cool structure and balance of a wine that I suspect will age another 5, maybe even 10 years. Should have bought more of these in 2017 when I found it on Winebid.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Some wines poured blind (Maison Cafe in Dana Point, CA): Poured blind, alongside the 2001. Some at the table suggested the 2003 had some TCA showing, which I didn't agree with. I do think that the 2003 is showing some higher alcohol and ripeness, which is intruding into the aromatics. Found some brewed coffee in the aromatic, too. The 2003 just seems bigger to me, and doesn't have the lovely balance and youth of the 2001.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
Some wines poured blind (Maison Cafe in Dana Point, CA): Damn, this is a great wine. Poured blind, as part of a two bottle flight, with the other wine being the 2017 RM Occidental PN The Platt really crushed it, although I was expecting a closer battle. The structure, tang, and slightly drying tannin really supports the red and touch of black fruit that is the Platt. At 13.1%, it drinks to that #, and really thrills me, impressing me to continue saying that I think it's one of the best RM PNs to date. The wine is going to age well and with two left, I'll check in on the next one in a few years. In sum, it ranks right up there with Rhys Alpine/Shoe and Kutch 'Staff as some of the best PN I have had all year.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Some wines poured blind (Maison Cafe in Dana Point, CA): Poured blind, alongside the 2017 RM Platt, which really outclassed it. My intention was to put these two wines blind and let the group react to them. Clearly the group, and me as well, thought the Ox was riper and softer than the more structured Platt. The Ox showed a ix of kiwi, and blue/red fruit. Nothing to retaste today and while I do think the average pinot noir drinker will dig the flashy sense of the Ox, it does not rise to the level of WOTY for me at this point, although the Platt continues to do that for me.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Some wines poured blind (Maison Cafe in Dana Point, CA): Poured blind last night. The bottle showed not as well as the bottle this past May. I found the wine last night to be on the creamier, honey-tinged side of things, with green banana, apple and some faint caramel. Probably best to drink these up now, as it's a decade old now and given the riper vintage that was 2009, it's probably at peak.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
Some wines poured blind (Maison Cafe in Dana Point, CA): Well, there goes the final bottle of white burg in my cellar. I poured this blind for the gang last night and it really stole the show at the table. Toasty in aroma and even into the palate, where it showed a chiseled, flinty, lemon and apple core. Even at 10 years old, and showing no signs of pox, this thing will probably go another decade. Great bottle.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
Some wines poured blind (Maison Cafe in Dana Point, CA): Disgorged o2/2018, 2 g/l disage, 100% Meunier. Been many months since I opened one of these. It took last night's bottle some time to uncoil, and it started off initially with some odd aromas, which a few guys at the table called out. It finally evolved, showing blood orange and strawberry, and a good base of pure fruit. A few guys at the table really dug this wine, as did I. But man, these SC bottles are like a weapon, so heavy and awkward--I hate these things.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Some wines poured blind (Maison Cafe in Dana Point, CA): Disgorged 04/2018. This bottle showed a little leaner than the past bottles, especially when it was colder, but as it warmed, the flavor really shines through. Stony, citrusy lemon peel, green apple. Have about an ounce left of the wine, which at this point should be still...will try and post a final impression.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
First of two. Disgorged 04/2018, 2 g/l, made from 3 parcels in Mesnil. 100% Chard. This is good, centered around green apple, some lime, nuts, showing wood tones (something toasty) and oxidative in tone, too. Finishes a little steely, a note called by Brig, which is dead on. Good.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Second bottle of three. 80% 2012 with the remainder 2011. 5.5 g/l dosage, 100% Chard. I really dig this stuff, as it shows a mix of richness, wood tones and plenty of lemon and green apple. Even some stone fruits popping through in this bottle, too. Excellent.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
If poured blind, you could fool me for a Burg here, too. Spice, some light cinnamon and a floral/rose petal aromatic. The palate is a clean, a bot stern with pure cherry flavor, loam, and a tobacco leaf kind of inflection. I enjoyed this a lot.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Didn't record the specs on this wine but my recall is 50% Chard, then roughly equal parts PN and PM, sourced from a few villages within the Montagne, south and west of Reims. Dosage of around 7 g/l? This bottle drank fine, meaning we enjoyed it but I did comment to my wife a few times over dinner as we worked through it that I thought the wine needed more energy, more acid and some structure. I only bought one bottle, and was glad to try it but not looking to replace it.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
I'll join the passion that Neras posted in his previous note, too. The bottle for my note here was opened on Saturday morning, and it's now Monday afternoon. We had so much left that I have just been working through it the past few days. The bouquet on this stuff leaps out of the stem. Bramble, floral, reminding me of the aromas that come from a barrel sample, just a joy to take in. The palate starts with crisper red fruits like cranberry and maybe some black cherry, with the latter giving the wine a juicy note. And even after 2 full days open, there is structure remaining here, too. I really do like the Mancini vineyard and like the 2016 that wowed me last year for similar red fruits and structure with acid, the 2017 is not far off from that same profile, which tells me I need to keep buying it. Delicious wine.........ah hell, one more update. Day 5 and this stuff keeps going. This is the end of the bottle from this past Saturday and it's rounded out well. Still some light structure but mostly now just a beautiful, pure red/black fruit with a zippy acidity. Damn straight, one of the best Carlisle zins I have ever had, and I've been drinking them for 15 years now. Awesome wine.
4 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
Last bottle of the 2013. This showed like I would expect, with the expected blue fruited tones and the slate, both which are what make Brosseau my favorite syrah from the Wells era @ Copain. Has the usual potpourri notes from the whole cluster, and probably most prominent is the structure. This wine is coming to a 6 year mark, and even with 4 hours of air, this was still pretty tight. Not sure where this vintage will head and/or how much more time it will need but there is plenty of coil still here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
Second of two I have opened this year. Disgorged 08/2018, 60% PN, 40% PM. 3 g/l dosage. Color is a mix of pink and salmon, a lightish orange. The red fruits are delicious here, a blend of strawberry and watermelon. The balance here is dialed in, so the wine translates with an evenness, yet has some good spine and some bread dough in the finish to add some additional complexity. I enjoyed both bottles and will re-buy again when I see it offered.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Wow, first TN. OK. Disgorged 10/2017, no dosage, 100% PN, done in 55% wood. Black cherry and pure raspberry tone, along with lime zest. It starts out a little rough, too, kind of prickly and grippy. As it warms, it settles down, smooths out some more and the raspberry and citrus really come through...revisited the bottle tonight, with some residual bubbles still hanging on, too. Pretty much the same as yesterday. The saline/mineral core is probably most prominent, giving it a refreshing, savory quality. The fruit is competing with the structure, a dark kind of raspberry. This will need more time to settle down and so I'll leave the remaining bottle alone for some time.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
4th bottle to date, and this is the best yet. Disgorged 09/2017, with no dosage and 100% Chard. Has a dried green herb note on the aromatic, a quality I have noticed in other Marguet bottlings. Lemon, pear, crushed rock and then when it warms there is a richness that settles in, allowing some yellow apple and lemon to mix well, adding some saline. I have one bottle left of this 2012 cuvee and I will let it age now, as it would seem that the wine is coming together finally.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Some oak shows here, a toasted coconut. Then, the acidity flows into the core of the wine and it provides a citrusy note, with honey and lime. This ends up showing more modern yet the acidity makes it fun to drink.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Two bottles, two days in a row, both shared by different friends. It all meant good fortune for me to taste the wine again, and again! From yesterday's bottle, the last few ounces.....the stems showed a bit more on this bottle, giving a tobacco leaf, spice and stalky aroma. The fruit resembled very much the bottle from two days ago, with a distinct cranberry quality, married with a blue fruit. When it was cooler in temp, it had a crunchier feel and a good backbone, and then once it warmed up it showed some plushness. So, like all the past bottles to date, there is acidity, some stern red fruit, some sexier blue tones and a really kick-ass bottle of wine that is going to age and develop well.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé
Didn't take notes last night but I really enjoyed this bottle. Has a good crispness, nice balance and interplay between the fruit and acidity. Showed well, and alongside the 2017 Kutch Falstaff, these were the 2 best wines last night.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Same back label specs as the July 2019 bottle, as I picked them both up at Hi Time Cellars. The bottle last night was good, and I preferred it cooler, with more chill. That temp seemed to really bring the spine of the wine forward. As the wine warmed, a solid core of green apple emerged and it was a bit one noted, honestly. Nothing to retaste today.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Didn't take formal notes on last night's bottle but like all the past bottles, it displayed the same wow factor for me. The wine didn't see any aeration, and it was served pretty cool so between seeing the bottle disappear in about 45 mins, and also trying to be patient to let the wine warm up a bit, I tried to track how it unfolded for that brief time. Started off crunchy, with some cranberry and some stemminess, and then as it had time to sit, it picked up some darker tones and just really blossomed. It's hard not drink this stuff too fast as it's just a great wine. I've got 4 more of these in the cellar, to enjoy and track over the coming years, and I look forward to that.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Bought this back in 2014, my only bottle. Opened yesterday to go with some white fish and also try and beat the summer heat of the evening. Retasting today. This is a delicious wine for a # of reasons. There is acid, plus some round, fleshy tropical fruit, and there is good complexity in all of it. The nose is a mix of toast and floral, working well together. The fruit for me mixes pineapple, tangy grapefruit and lime, with a crunchy fennel-like note, too. And the wine doesn't get big or dense, but maintains that cool mix of grapefruit and fennel into the finish. Just short of 7 years old, the acidity remains bright here and the wine is built smartly by Mike that I can see this aging another 3-5 years, which is well past what Mike listed as a 2018 drink window on the website.......as a PS, the wine continued to evolve on Day 3, losing the pineapple, replacing it with mango and some banana. Enjoying this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
Hard to understand why I am the only user in CT with the 2013 Shaman Rose? Huh. There were 2 bottles, now there is one. Opened last night for my wife's birthday dinner. Roughly 70% Chard, 30% PN. Disgorged 01/2017, zero dosage. This exhibits a orange/peach color, cool to look at in the glass. On the aromatic, it has what I often find in Benoit's wines, which is a dried herb note. This showed brisk last night, on the razor's edge of austere. Decided to bring the remnants home from dinner and maintain the bubbles as best as possible. It remains firm and focused tonight, with a brisk core of crisp green apple, along with strawberry and watermelon, finishing with a beam of tingly acidity and mineral. Delicious.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Last bottle was 2 years ago, and the specs on the wine back label are much different. This is a great example as to why back label info matters, as well as why I appreciate tasters who take the time to tell me that info from their bottle. It adds some comparative value to the NV space and thinking. As to my bottle yesterday, disgorged 01/2018, with 2 g/l dosage, 70% PN, 30% Chard, with 75% from 2014 vintage, and the remaining 25% a mix of 2012 and 2013. This bottle was built nicely, balanced with some red fruit, some apple, tangy and brushed on the finish with some mineral and a kiss of honeyed sweetness.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
This has been open about 3 hours, finishing the last pour. Note--there was a lot of sediment in this wine, as it was stored well on its side where it all had collected. This is a very good vintage for SR PS, as it manages to walk the line between big fruit and solid structure, using both well. Inky dark, stains the glass with a dark, fresh blackberry fruit, charcoal, iron and some minerally tannin. This is just starting to enter the drink window and based on the stuffing, I'd think this will drink well for the next 5-7 years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Disgorged 02/2018, blend of PN and PM. Zero dosage. The PM comes from the Noyers plot, and the PN is massale selection that is planted to a Pommard selection from Burgundy. Farmed organic. Intense. The finish has a bitter lime pith quality, along with a briny note that mixes in some mineral and berry notes. Between the fruit intensity mixing with some the edgier structure, this creates a clean, precise experience. FWIW, second bottle in the past few weeks, with this one showing the best, and likely better too because it's just me with the glass, getting a complete read of the wine.....want to update the note here after finishing a day later. There is some light oxidative apple quality to the wine, with the bright citrus creating a leaner finish. This is more intense than yesterday, too.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Tasted blind. I had a hard time guessing this wine as it didn't give up a lot until it had mixed with air and got time to breathe in the glass. Darkly colored, with graphite on the nose. Darker-tinged fruit, with iron and a closed finish. Man, this is really young and needs air, aging or both.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
Tasted blind. This wine put a # of us on red Burgundy, as it's built like one. Pinot noir nose of crushed berries. Cranberry, cherry and strawberry all showing a tangy profile. Medium weighted and elegant with some soil on the finish and excellent structure. This was my WOTN.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
Tasted blind. The first aromas of this put me onto Syrah, as it had some of the purple florals and also a distinctly tangy core that hung me up. Sweet cherry, herb, medium weight, good acidity, ending with a tangy raspberry and some blueberry skin. This is very youthful for a wine that has about 8 years of age, giving me some belief it will continue to age based on how its built.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Tasted blind. Flinty, rainwater aroma, which put some of us onto guessing Chablis. Some coil in the wine too, showing with a minerality structure. Medium weight with lemon that offers a good complexity. This is a solid example of white burgundy done well.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
Tasted blind. Initially when this was poured, the new oak was pronounced in the aroma, giving off a toasted barrel note. It later better integrated but there is indeed some new wood hitting this wine it would seem. Spicy lemon, mineral and a slicker texture. The core of the wine is where the best of it shows, with fennel, mandarin orange and citrus.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
Tasted blind. Disgorged 06/18, 5 g/l dosage. 100% Chard from various BdB villages. Aromas of pear, jasmine flower, apple and bread dough. Palate initially started out soft, but later with some aeration the wine picked up some acidity, that I would judge as moderate. Crisp apple, pear flesh, flint and citrus form the core, with some wet stone in the finish. I enjoyed this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2008 J.L. Vergnon Resonance Champagne Grand Cru Chardonnay (view label images)
My only bottle, enjoyed over dinner last night. Disgorged 2016 (forgot the month). Initially, I wasn't too impressed by the wine but as it aired, the final glass of this was very good. Lemon peel, and a well-defined salinity in the finish, along with some apple. The salinity and lemon peel allowed this to drink with a good intensity, and this wine seems to be aging and doing just fine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
My final bottle of Bournais. The color on this is becoming pretty gold in tone. Not sure what to make of that but I offer it for those who know more than I do about Chenin as it ages. Yesterday, the wine was squarely about acid, with that acidity overtaking any fruit that was there. My wife and I drank a glass each and then just tossed the bottle into the fridge. Today, the fruit is showing more, pulling together an apple, tart nectarine, lemon and a waxy tone. The acidity then closes the wine with a bitter note. I don't like the balance on this wine, as it's just a little fierce in acid that it just overshadows the fruit. Will retry again tomorrow and hope for better but I am not hoping for much.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: Disgorged 07/2017, 100% Chard. Not sure of the dosage on this. I bought a couple of these back in 2017, held onto them since that time. On a whim, we pulled this last night, and damn did this show excellent. Bright, intense citrus, with lively flavors yet in terrific balance. Stony, with some wood aromas. I went to look for more of this today and it's $106 US nearby my home, but that's nearly $45 more than I paid for these. So, do I spend to spend $120 US with tax to go replentish these? Gotta think on that one but have to say this was one of the best bottles of the day for me.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: Disgorged Summer 2014, with 7 g/l dosage. Honey, cinnamon, green apple and the dosage here was too high for me, rendering that 7-Up soda kind of quality that turns me off.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: 40% PN, 60% Chard--this is all the label data I could gather. The acidity on this wine is electric, with a lemony briskness that is hard to miss. Intense, chalky, a powerful wine. One of my top wines of the event.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: Toasty, creamy, with some sweetness. Brief impression I realize here, but the wine didn't really speak much to me.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: Had a bottle of this just a few weeks ago. Disgorged 06/2018, 5 g/l dosage. I like it. Zesty, almond, green apple, saline with a good cut of citrus and a long finish. Showed well again.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: Disgorged 12/2017, with 3 g/l dosage, 100% Chard. Leesy, yeasty, crunchy, with lemon and apple, along with dried herb. This showed a little rough to me, needing some better balance.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: Had to add this to the database, so I wonder if these are bottles that are just making it now to the US for 2013. Disgorged 04/2018, with just under 2 g/l dosage. Pure green apple, slate, honeyed edges, zesty with good length and intensity. Good showing.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: I have drank a lot of this wine, and it's consistently made well. Like with past bottles, this is peach colored, with a strawberry core, raspberry and stone fruit. Zesty, built well as usual, solid again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: This had a candied quality for me, with pear and ginger. Interesting wine, got me to think but not sure what to make of it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: First time I have drank any of this wine. The bottle shape on these is horrible, and for some of us that had racked cellars, how the hell do you store this stuff? Also, no back label info so nothing to provide. Creamy red fruit, bright and chalky, with licorice, raspberry.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: Getting close to a case of TNs for this wine. Disgorged 11/2017, with 90% PN / 10% Chard. Lime, strawberry with some moderate tension in the structure. Finishes with a good cut of citrus pith and chalky mineral.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
2019 Suntacular--Champagne Tasting to raise money for Laura's House: Disgorged 11/2016. Strawberry, crisp and zesty with a chewy grip to it.
2 people found this helpful Comment
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