Tasting Notes for Totatalitarian

(228 notes on 212 wines)

1 - 50 of 228 Sort order
Red
5/4/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
94 points
Purchased from an older American cellar, the bottle appears to have its original cork. Fragrant and elegant, this is a beautiful wine recalling soft red fruit, dried violets, cedar and cloves. As with essentially all 1929 Bordeaux, this wine has passed its zenith, but this bottle, at least, has a drier, delicate beauty, showing the best that remains of this great vintage.
Red
This bottle had fairly low fill and label stains that suggest very old seepage, so it was a great surprise to find this wine so very fine. It was blind to only one person, who is a great lover of older Burgundy and believed it to be '47 Grand Cru Vosne-Romanee. I can see what he was getting at, although this wine had a bit more leather in it, not uncommon in older California pinot. The nose offered dark fruit and cherry, asian spices, beeswax, a touch of malt and antique furniture, while the palate exhibited nice balance, a touch of grip still, and a lovely finish. This is a great wine I'd never tried before.
Red
Like Jamie, I found this wine spectacular (for the sake of clarity, we had different bottles on different occasions), offering a cornucopia of spices and light fruits on the nose, growing richer with air. Elegant and balanced beyond reproach, it caused everyone to think of great old Burgundy experiences. As good as the '47 was when I last had it, this was that much better, a bottle I'd rank among the three or four greatest pinots I've tasted.
Red
10/14/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Another great bottle. There seems to be some variation related to the various releases (Weinert has offered three separate labellings, I think, maybe more). My favorite may be the bottling with a gold star on the label but without the word "Estrella" (although it is, in fact, the Estrella wine). Opened another two bottles at a dinner the other night, and it was just super. Most of the winos favored it over the 89/90 Bordeaux we opened and ranked it alongside the two '82 First Growths. For two of the nine, it was their WOTN. To me, it was consistent with other bottles, fresh and rich with lovely mature notes.
Red
11/15/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Finally, an outstanding bottle...just a beautiful older pinot with dark cherries, cranberry, truffles, and nori. I suspect it would have passed unnoticed in a flight of fine '59 burgs. I've seen a lot of bottle variation and a couple of over-the-hill bottles, but this one (purchased from the Graham Lyons cellar auction, if memory serves) was a delight!
Red
7/26/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Shared with Stephan Derenrncourt, who had not experienced old California wine like this and commented very favorably. this was the only wine where the French guests went back for more. Like the previous two bottles, this showed beautifully, riper than most great Bordeaux of the same era but otherwise quite similar. Sadly, this is the last of the three bottles purchased from the Graham Lyons auction.
White
7/14/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
A little "in between" for me. Not as light and ethereal as French Bergeron-style wines yet lacking the depth or explosive aromatics of a fine, heavier Roussanne expression (and this is quite a bit heavier than its namesake). Not bad for the price, though, and interesting coming out of Paso Robles.
White
2004 Giaconda Aeolia Ovens Valley Roussanne (view label images)
7/16/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
The first bottle of this I've opened, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Very much like a fine Rhone white but with more acidity. Lovely aromatics, breadth and depth on the palate. A touch waxy but, all in, a very pleasant surprise!
White - Sparkling
7/11/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
This was a really nice champagne kicking on all cylinders...laser focus, citrus and stone fruits, lots of nuttiness and almond croissant. Yum.
White
7/11/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
A fine Puligny-Montrachet with unusual minerality, precision and breadth. Very nice and beautifully balanced.
Red
2000 Château Lafleur Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/11/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Baller. Enormous and layered and going on forever, this is really one of the finest young wines from Bordeaux I have been fortunate enough to try.
Red
1985 Château Lafleur Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/11/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Needed to bring something to pair with Ryan's 2000 Lafleur. Very dark fruit and chocolate, ripe and sexy, kinky spice with extremely soft tannins and great length. I'm afraid I sound like Leve...but this wine is really that good. I think no recent RP score is the only thing that keeps it (relatively) affordable. This wine is lovely now and will be magnificent in another 20 years.
Red
Not sure of the exact dates, but I enjoyed this wine three times over the past two years. One bottle showed fairly advanced but still pleasurable. The other two were quite fine. The nose was very layered and lovely. The palate was good, mature but still with weight and precision. The 79 rating below seems to do this wine a disservice, as it was either a flawed (prematurely aged) bottle or the reviewer doesn't like wines of this style. My experience is very different from the associated (same bottle reviewed) "deep brown" and "slightly pruny." I wish that the 79 score would be removed or checked as a flawed/defective bottle.
Red
2005 Château Joanin Bécot Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/29/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Sorting through some arrivals that have been waiting for me in the cellar, I decided to open one of these. After a few hours, it is tasty (though still very tannic). RP had a good call with this one, and it seems like a real value (at $20 or whatever it was).
Red
Elegant and seductive, maybe even a tad slutty, this is a really nice RSV.
Red
Youthful, layered and complex, this was my favorite of the '90 Ech/GE/RSV flight. It's a wine that needs more time, though.
Red
Dark and a bit roastier than I had expected, it was a good bottle but outclassed by the '90 GE and RSV.
Red
In a stately stage of life, this was a beautiful bottle and a complex expression of GE. Excellent.
Red
This was showing very well and seems at its peak. A nice RSV.
White - Sparkling
Getting a bit long in the tooth and short in the petillance, this was still a nice mature champagne, smelling of roses and strawberries.
White - Sparkling
Enjoyed before dinner with white peach and yeasty peach cobbler aromas. I was surprised at its vigor, but the altitude (Beaver Creek) may have helped with the bubbles. It wasn't in the league of some champagnes later that nice but was nice.
Red
6/20/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Massively concentrated, there is so much of everything, even at this tender age, that it displays a kind of balance of its own. The finest (or, at least, most impressive) young Hermitage I have ever tried.
Red
1999 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/20/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Closed for quite some time even with air, eventually a nice mix of dark fruit and tobacco. A pretty nice wine but I am no rush to open any nor to run out and buy more.
Red
Obviously very young, but a promising wine with layer upon layer of aroma and flavor once it sees enough air. This should prove a beauty.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
10/22/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
A touch of the tropical and exotic while lunching poolside in October. Consistent with other notes.
Red
1998 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/22/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Seemed very young and somewhat closed down. Leve liked this a lot, but I didn't get much out of it at this age.
Red
10/22/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
The bottle seemed light in fruit, though the nose intricate floral patterns. Might simply be that it was overwhelmed a bit in proximity to the SQN E-Raised.
Red
10/22/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Dark and plush expression of California grenache. Really a fine bottle of wine. It was interesting to taste this with J-L Thunevin, who picked it out as he has started working with the grape in Languedoc.
Red
1998 Sine Qua Non E-Raised Central Coast Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
10/22/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Really great California Syrah. Quite decadent.
Red
10/22/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Served blind to Jean-Luc Thunevin. Ripe and spicy with smoke and roses floating around. J-L guessed it to be fine Northern Rhone. As always, a fun blind wine and a really good drink.
White
10/22/2007 - Totatalitarian wrote:
Great nose highlighted by night-blooming flowers. Very full and rich. I would have appreciated a little more raciness and a little less oak.
Red
This was late night, with two pounds of bacon a friend was cooking at around 3:00 in the morning. I recall really enjoying it, but my palate was long gone.
Red
A nice wine with a very expressive nose. Served alongside the '90 Gaja Sori Tildin, it was overwhelmed.
Red
The Sori Tildin was massively concentrated, silky smooth, with great layers of fruit, spices, dried flowers, and smokiness and a wonderful intensity. A wine I'd never tried before and a real treat.
White - Sparkling
In our attempt to create a champagne intermezzo, we were limited to choices from the wine list. This was too sweet for me, reminding me a bit of some prosecco I've had...just not my kind of wine.
Red
1989 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/2/2008 - Totatalitarian wrote:
flawed
As has been my experience with it in the past, a very concentrated wine. It seemed to suffer from a touch of VA (or something similar) and was a bit disappointing, at least after the Romanee-Conti.
Red
It's not every year I get to drink Romanee-Conti on my birthday. And this bottle really hit the spot. The nose was an explosion of dark fruit, cinnamon, clove, clay, lavender, and a touch of vanilla and grass. In the mouth, the balance was remarkable, the wine very silky, and the finish went on and on. It was fun to luxuriate over this one.
Red
This was over the hill but still interesting. The nose remained pretty and complex and quite intense, but the wine was thin on the palate with some obvious maderization. It fell apart rather quickly but was fun while it lasted.
Rosé
This was refreshing to sip out back, and I agree that it brought watermelon to mind. It was hard to evaluate this wine, as it seemed sweet and without much acidity following immediately on the heels of the Krug, but this was probably just a relative sensation.
White - Sparkling
I have to admit that I am not very familiar with this vintage, more often seeing the '64 and '66 wines come about, but this bottle was really nice with lovely mature notes on the nose and quite a bit of verve in the glass.
Red
We also ordered another red Burgundy off the list, but, as the restaurant didn’t have any in its local storage, we were treated to a bottle of ’02 Vogue Musigny. The spices, chocolate and cherries of the nose gave way to dried flowers and subtler aromas, while the mouth was balanced, smooth and huge. I’m not sure this is a wine to drink young, but it seems immensely promising to me.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2003 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
The house was kind enough to offer us dessert courses, espresso and the remainder of a bottle of ’03 Yquem while we checked out the wine list for Wednesday. I always enjoy this Yquem and appreciate like the exotic, floral, layered, fresh nose, though the palate lacks the zing I find in my favorite sauternes.
White - Sparkling
The ’73 DP Oenotheque wasn’t on the list but seemed like a good choice. I’ve never had the ’73 and, while I didn’t like it as much as the ’76 tasted not too long ago, I did like it. Oenotheque bottlings are not my favorite, in general, as I prefer the aged characteristics I often find more prominent in the regular bottles (such as the ’64 and ’66 are showing currently). But it was fun and appropriately decadent for this group.
Red
Just for the Love of It was as extracted, rich, spicy and young as I remember it. This was the wine that hooked Trevor as a wine junkie, so it was a perfect gift from Sam.
White
The Rien Ne Va Plus was a rich, concentrated, spicy and mouth-filling Roussanne that got better in the glass and in the decanter as our sommelier dutifully swirled it over time to increase aeration.
White - Fortified
Served blind. I picked it as a Colheita and then, when Andy asked why it might be rare, ventured that it was a white colheita. This wine was particularly appealing because some of the nuttiness and other age-related characteristics I love seemed to shine through the white fruit profile. Just delicious. I could drink this every week.
Red - Fortified
Served blind. I was surprised at its age, as it showed great verve and a great future. A very nice port.
Red
The DRC Echezeaux was a nice trip back to Burgundy. A lighter DRC with some strawberries and steminess to give away its identity, this bottle seemed as good as it was going to get, a good dinner wine with enough complexity to keep it interesting and noticeably more subtlety than a wine like the ’83 Swan.
Red
The Karydas smelled like cherry cough syrup (literally) and tasted largely the same, though less syrupy and with more heat…
Red
The Joseph Swan pinot was perfectly balanced and nicely mature, though a lighter wine. It was no match for some of the better Burgs we enjoyed but was a nice bottle of wine (I probably should have brought the ’74 or ’75 instead).
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