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  • 2015 Louis Latour Volnay 1er Cru Les Mitans

    Acquired a half case just about seven years ago, and the wine has been sleeping in my cellar since acquisition. Decided to acquire the half case after a generally positive history with the 2009. This was the first bottle opened from the 2015 vintage. Upon review of my 2009 notes, I regret not tracking things better. After 5 years the 2009 was a lovely wine, but by the 8 year mark (a late 2017 tasting after I had acquired the 2015 earlier in 2017) the aging had not been kind. I find this bottle a consistent (and disappointing) experience with the 2009 at the 8 year mark. While one bottle does not condemn the vineyard and producer to purgatory, the trajectory from tonight’s tasting (especially in light of the exalted vintage) is headed to the “No Buy” category.

    Good ruby color with no bricking. A dark ruby cork that was well sealed. Aromatically this offers the expected aromas with cherry, damp loamy soil, licorice, and red berries. On the palate, the attack is predominantly influenced by a tart cherry that overwhelms everything else. The mid-palate is very hollow with a quick transition through to the finish where the tannin dries out the tart cherry from the attack.

    For the vintage, this lacks finesse, elegance, charm, evolution, and flavor. I should have paid better attention and consumed this earlier in the bottle life. I don’t see this undergoing a magical transition. I hope this bottle suffers from Burgundy variability, but my optimism is low this is solely bottle variation.

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  • 2011 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée

    My first (and final) bottle of this in 5 years. Was expecting a lean tasting experience, but this bottle held a pleasant surprise. Good ruby color with only a slight bricking. Aromatically this has a lovely sous bois, strawberries and cranberries, with a deft touch of wood, cinnamon, and minerality. On the palate this has good lift on the attack with cinnamon and a chalky minerality. In the mid palate the acidity tapers off to let the strawberries and cranberry step forward where the polished tannins coat the inside of your mouth with enough acidity to keep this vibrant. Coasts into the finish with good length and the vibrancy that keeps this from being lean or dried out.

    A pleasant surprise for a less than heralded vintage.

    I could see this retaining vigor and enjoyment until 2029, though this bottle highlighted it can be enjoyed now.

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  • 2020 Château Haut-Batailley

    A cellar juggling bottle as my pre-order was for 6 bottles but apparently one went missing so I opted to reduce the odd lot to 4 bottles. I never sample young Bordeaux, so this is a departure for normal consumption.

    Color is completely opaque. Aromatically this leads with a strong menthol, anise, dark roasted coffee, cassis, clove, and incense. On the palate this has noticeable tannin as expected, but the merlot softens this to the point where this should be accessible at an early age. Has structure to be a good mid-term drinker (2025-2035) while others sleep. This leans into tart black fruit on the attack. In the mid-palate this fills in with a bitter anise, roasted espresso, sweet cassis, and dark cacao. There is great length on the finish where the anise, espresso, and clove fill every part of your mouth. The only flaw is this could use a little more lift - the acidity is overwhelmed by the tannin at this stage. Because of the lean acidity that frames my drinking window estimate.

    Surprisingly approachable, but as noted I don’t open young Bordeaux so take my approachability note accordingly. Very good material and this checks the boxes from start to finish. Day 1 - 92-93

    Day 2 - The aromatics have really opened up after overnight refrigeration. Loaded with plums, black currant, lavender, sweet clove, anise, and coffee. On the palate this has turned a bit angular where the anise and tannin have hardened up on the attack. Settles in the mid-palate where the plum and black currants attempt to file down the angularity of the attack. The finish remains pleasant with a smoke and espresso centric profile, though the length has diminished somewhat.

    The wine shows quite differently between the days. No noticeable flaws (other than more lift as noted day 1), and the differences between the days highlight a good quality wine at this stage with a diverse tasting experience. No change in the overall score.

    From my tasting over the two days, I believe the drinking window for me probably remains through 2035.

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  • Mark1npt says:

    7/25/2022 9:55:00 PM - Thanks for the nice note, Kelly. Perhaps we will get to share a bottle one day! Mark

  • Mark1npt says:

    7/25/2022 7:29:00 PM - Kelly, I appreciate your approach to wine scoring 'in the moment', and not 'projecting''s much like mine. My sons have been back here near home in FL for 2-3 years but for a number of years they lived in Littleton, Aurora, Denver and I visited out there frequently. I see we have a number of Bdx in common, in our cellars. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Mark

  • Tim Heaton says:

    9/18/2021 9:35:00 PM - such thoughtful, detailed notes, thank you!

  • WineGuyDelMar says:

    10/31/2020 10:52:00 AM - Thanks for the tip on JJ Buckley but have been using them for years. My Rep is Kevin Johnson. I’ll add your email to my contacts so we can stay in touch and maybe drink some wine sometime.

  • WineGuyDelMar says:

    10/31/2020 8:07:00 AM - I head up to the Total Wine & More close to you from time to time. We left San Diego because of traffic & cost. We don’t head North much because of traffic, people. Monument is very manageable. We are fine as long as we stay close. Just pulled out duck breast and there will be Burgundy tonight. Have a great weekend and enjoy the warm weather while we can.

  • WineGuyDelMar says:

    10/30/2020 7:48:00 AM - Thanks for your message. I will check out K&L. I buy from them occasionally. Divide is great, we hike there all the time and camp at Lake George & Tarryall. What part of Denver you live now? You can always build a cellar. Moving Wine is a pain. I have two coolers, one 286 bottles and one 60 both full. I have a 7’x7’ storage room in basement I think of building a walk in cellar. I’d rather spend the money buying wine.

  • WineGuyDelMar says:

    10/29/2020 8:50:00 PM - I love your wine cellar composition. Similar to mine with a nice mix of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Northern Rhone & Italian. I have some CA Cabs that I still enjoy but as time goes on my Bordeaux percentage will increase. Where did you find the 2015 Artaud VisneRomanee Aux Reas. Love Aux Reas. I am down in Monument. Take care.

  • chatters says:

    10/20/2020 4:01:00 PM - re the Cote Rotie notes - thank you very much, that is very kind of you, cheers, chatters

  • wineshaman says:

    1/7/2015 5:14:00 AM - Totaly agree, wine is subjective, that is what makes it so interesting, variety is the spice of life and that includes wine.

  • Bam_Man says:

    11/15/2014 9:19:00 AM - I have tasted the 2004 Carlina La Togata Brunello twice. You can find my notes from 2/2012 and 10/2013. Not overly impressed with this wine. The first bottle may have been "cooked", the last one was much better but still not even close to a 95 pointer (WS - Suckling).

  • Bam_Man says:

    10/25/2014 7:43:00 AM - We seem to be of the same opinion when it comes to J. Suckling's ratings over the past several years. He appears to have gone completely off the rails sometime around 2007-8. But there's no need to worry about your 2004 Poggio il Castellare Brunello - that's one of the best I've ever tasted - just be sure to give it a good 1-2 hours of air time. The first 2004 La Togata I tasted in back in 2012 was a huge disappointment. Might have been a bad bottle or from a batch that got cooked in transit. The one I had around a year ago was quite a bit better, but still not close to being a 95-pointer. Hope yours is! Cheers!