TN: Huge batch of unposted notes

These go all the way back to July, and there are some serious gems. The highlight is the 1983 Guigal Hermitage, but there are some other surprising old curiosities. I thought about organizing these into separate posts with some commentary, but decided that would make it more difficult to get them all out, and I still very much wanted to share them. So we’ll just go with chronological, by country.

I will say though that this includes my first tastes of some lesser 2016 Bordeaux, and based on that, it seems 2016 is a ripe, racy vintage with huge tannins. It might just turn out to be superior to 2015, but thus far, I prefer 2015 stylistically (much more elegant and mineral driven).

Rose-Vous?, Aude 2018
From the Languedoc. 70% Syrah, 30% Grenache. Lovely color, orangey-pink / salmon. Delightful, fresh nose of red fruits, stone, fruits, and citrus. On the palate, loads of fresh strawberry and cherry upfront, followed by nectarine/plum, generous orange/lemon citrus rind toward a finish laden with spice and mineral, all with minty herbs / tobacco, and a touch of rustic earth providing depth. Medium-full bodied and very satisfying, with fresh, sweet fruit, driven by sweet-tart citrus acidity, all with a slightly savory tone. Fresh and puckery, and yet has some rustic depth. Delightful! And at just $5 from Aldi, one of the best wine values I’ve encountered, especially for rose. Drink now. 2.5 Stars [8/11/19]

E. Guigal, Hermitage 1983
My second tasting of this one, the last having been 9 years ago. 3 cm fill (below cork, exceptional for its age). Wonderful, impressive color still, deep garnet, tawny then clear at the rim; gemlike clarity. The nose is pleasant initially but needs 30 minutes in the glass to start waking up; wonderful Northern Rhone nose, loaded with smokey bacon, dried blackberry, meaty currant, fleshy apricot/plum, lots of coffee with some cocoa powder, and lots of lovely, rich earth; rich, fragrant, gamey, and sanguine, with very nice, mature notes of raisin/balsamic, fruitcake, and autumnal forest floor. On the palate, loads of rich, still fresh blackberry, generous orange rind, lots of fresh red cherry, a touch of black currant, plum/apricot, and coffee, all underlaid by rich, dark notes of earth, and with a wonderful long finish of spice, mineral, and linger notes of lovely, succulent red fruits. On the light side of full bodied, but potent and penetrating still, with a bit of grip left; savory, and driven by generous citrus acidity; wonderful substance and depth. Much better when allowed to slow breath in the bottle than in the glass. Fully mature, at the tail end of its plateau, this is perfect time to drink it if you want all of the dignity of tertiary maturity while still having some rich, fresh fruit. A exceptional and edifying experience. 4 Stars [8/13/19]

Domaine Calot, Vielles Vignes, Morgon 2017
Medium-dark, pure, gemlike ruby. Exceptional nose, deep, earthy, fruity and fragrant. On the nose and palate, black cherry, cassis and nectarine/plum, tobacco, and loads of Burgundian-style clove and spice, and deep, generous, earthy depth, with spice and mineral lingering on the medium-long finish. Full bodied and penetrating but with light-footed balance, driven by generous acidity, with a spicy, mineral-driven texture. Exceptional quality and depth; this is muscular and meaty, and even Bordeaux-like. 5 to 8 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [8/18/19]

Chateau Grand Plantey, Reserve, Bordeaux 2016
From Entre-Deux-Mers. 80% Merlot, 20% Cab Sauv. Very nice color, pure, medium ruby. Very nice but understated nose of fresh, savory red fruits, some dense dark fruits, tobacco/herbs, wood, and deep earth. On the palate, bright, juicy raspberry, generous black cherry, herbaceous tobacco leaf, spice, and loads of savory, mineral-laden tannin. Medium-full bodied and savory, with generous, juicy acidity, and good presence and depth; nice structure. Initially rich and forward, it becomes more structured and astringent with air. 3 - 5 years ahead, and will improve. 2.5 Stars [10/5/19]

Alexis Lichine, 1er, Cuvee Exceptionnelle, Bordeaux Superieur 2016
From Entre-Deux-Mers. 80% Merlot, 15% Cab Sauv, 5% Cab Franc. Very good color, pure medium-dark ruby. Rather lovely nose of juicy, savory red and dark fruits, succulent herbs, cedar, and spice, all with nice sense of depth; almost pungent aromatically. On the palate, loads of bright, sweet raspberry and fresh, tart blackberry, backed up by some meaty black cherry and black currant, with slightly minty herbs, spice, and hiding a boatload of mineral-laden tannin behind its lush, juicy fruit; the mid-palate is rather gorgeous with its sweet, juicy red berries fruits. Full bodied, spicy and penetrating, with a wonderful savory presence, and very good length on the lovely finish. This has a captivating tension between its lush fruit, sweet-tart acidity, big tannins, and spice. Very good quality, this is an impressive effort for its modest price. 5 - 8 years ahead. 3 Stars [10/5/19]

La Grange aux Files, Cuvee Bulles, Rose Brut, Cremant de Bordeaux NV
70% Merlot, 30% Cab Franc. Aged 9 months on the lees and then an additional year in bottle. Light peach with just a hint of pink. Very low key nose. On the nose and palate, raspberry, cherry, peach, and plum, and even a touch of blackberry, with nice yeasty depth from the lees aging, loads of mineral and stone, and citrusy acidity. Medium-full bodied, with sweet, succulent fruit; good complexity and depth. Unique; the only thing that compares to it in terms of style and character is rose from Champagne. I like this very much! 2.5 Stars [10/6/19]

Domaine Saint Nabor, Gris de Nabor, Gard 2017
Lovely color, medium-light color. Very nice but low key nose of rich but fresh red berries and stone, with subtle notes of tobacco/succulent herbs, and earthy spice. On the palate, strawberry, meaty dark cherry, and plum, with lemony citrus, generous spice, a touch of minty tobacco leaf, a hint of leather, and stone. Medium bodied and spicy with slightly steely acidity, and with nectary, slightly fleshy fruit that lingers on a good finish. A satisfying and rather delightful rose. Grenache, Cinsault, and Tempranillo. 2.5 Stars [10/26/19]

Chateau Buisson-Redon, Bordeaux 2016
Medium ruby. Subtle nose, but with rich, dark berries and a sense of earthy depth, and lots of spice; some signicant Cab Franc style herbaceous tobacco emerges with air. On the palate, meaty, fleshy black cherry, black raspberry, black currant, some minty/herbaceous tobacco leaf, and a huge spicy mineral/stone, and loads of spicy tannin; sweet fruit and puckery tannin linger on the finish. Full bodied, ripe and rich, but fleshy and racy, and supported by good acid and huge tannic structure. 5 - 10 years ahead 3.5 Stars [11/3/19]

Segla, Margaux 2003
2nd wine of Chateau Rauzan-Segla. From half-bottle. High shoulder fill, corked stained on top and sides. Good color, medium-dark garnet, orange/brick at the rim; appears ruby from a distance. Gorgeous mature nose, lots of gravel and black soil, 2003’s roasted herbs, warm, beautiful red current and black berry, and fresh roses, all overlaid with mature fruitcake notes. On the palate, beautiful Margaux-style fruits, fresh blackberry, tart currants, and cassis, all infused with a hint of roses, with tobacco leaf, roasted herbs, generous, sweet, citrusy acidity, and with black soil, stone/mineral, and lingering spice. Medium-full bodied and elegant, with a sweet texture, and a medium finish. This bottle seems to have been accelerated to full maturity, but with plenty of acid and tannin left, and so bottles in good condition should have at least 5 - 10 years ahead. 4 Stars [12/19/19]

Alexandre Monmousseau, Vigneau, Cremant de Loire NV
50% Chenin Blanc, 50% Chardonnary. Pale, lustrous golden yellow. Exceptional, clean and fresh nose of ripe orchard fruits and deep notes of stone and yeast; the somewhat understated fruit serves to highlight the extraordinary, tantalizing depth. On the palate, ripe, rich red pear, golden apple, and yellow peach, with slightly bitter citrus, undertones of apricot and raspberry, spice, and generous mineral. Medium-full bodied, clean and focused, with sweet, fresh, fleshy fruit, and vigorous bubbles giving it exceptional presence and length; some lingering bitter spice and citrus challenge the balance a bit, but throw the clean richness into good contrast. A very satisfying and rather captivating sparkler. Give it some time after opening to show its best. Drinking very nicely now, and no need to wait, but it will probably put on some additional depth and weight over the next 5 years. 3 Stars [12/31/19]

Monte Tondo, Soave Classico 2016
Nice color, light golden yellow / straw. Excellent nose of orchard fruit and citrus, fresh and rich, with honey, a touch of nuts and a hint of herbs, and with mineral and spice depth. On the palate, a touch of apple upfront, followed by generous peach and clementine, all with rich honey, a touch of pecans, and some minty herbs, then a nice note of sweet-tart lemon that lingers toward a very nice finish of spice and mineral. Full bodied, rich but fresh and driven by generous citrus acidity, with a slightly fleshy texture; good complexity and depth, with excellent balance. The perfect white for grilled poultry on a hot summer evening. And for $12, a very impressive value as well. I am quite taken by this one! 3.5 Stars [7/14/19]

Famiglia Castellani, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2013
Deep but translucent garnet. Wonderful nose, with loads of fresh, juicy, sweet, dark, berries, candied violets, dried tobacco, and generous leathery earth, all with a touch of citrus; lovely, perfumey aromatics, with exceptional depth. On the palate, pungent black cherry, wild blackberry, blueberry, cassis, plum, tomato, and generous citrus / bergamont oil, with violets, cured tobacco, and lots of spicy tannin and mineral. Medium-full bodied with excellent penetration and presence; savory and juicy, driven by very prominent citrusy acidity, rather tart in fact, but balance but good substance. This is a wine that wants food, pair with meaty pasty dishes. Showing some maturity, this is one to drink now. 2.5 Stars [7/28/19]

Casalforno, Brunello di Montalcino 2013
Nice color, medium garnet. Needs time to open. The nose is understated at this stage, but exceptional, with great fragrance and depth; loads of very savory red fruit, herbs, a bit of tobacco, and earth; lovely. More closed on the palate, but loads of pungent, savory black cherry, raspberry, dried blackberry, a touch of orange rind, and lots of dried herbs. Medium bodied, with a lovely savory, slightly succulent texture, and with somewhat bright citrusy acidity; very good length and presence on the finish. 10 years ahead. 3.5 Stars, partly for drinking now, partly for future potential. [9/14/19]

Serre dei Roveri, Barolo 2013
Good color, medium-dark ruby garnet, just a touch of brown. Wonderful Barolo nose, loads of black cherry and blackberry, with lots of mushroom and lots of cocoa powder; deep and savory. Same notes on the palate, with loads of savory, succulent black cherry, fresh blackberry, and lots of mineral. Full bodied, with lovely acid tone and balance; fresh and elegant. So satisfying, with wonderful length and presence. 15 years ahead. 4 Stars [9/14/19]

Marianot, Riserva, Barolo 2012
Medium ruby. Excellent nose, dark cherry, blackberry, meaty cassis, dried fruits, a touch of raisin, mushroom, some autumnal notes, leather, herbs, and spice. Similar notes on the palate. Savory, dark, rich, and spicy; lower in acid and riper in style that most Barolo. Mellow on the finish. 5 to maybe 10 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [9/14/19]

Damilano, Barolo 2000
Tawny color, orange then clear at the rim. On the nose, brown sugar / sweet oxidation, some sweet red fruits, mushroom/forest floor, stone/mineral, and lots of earth; lots of depth and fragrance, but over-mature. Wonderful leather and dried fruit comes out in air, and then a big surprise: the brown sugar notes resolve, and it becomes fresher and rather lovely. On the palate, loads of sweet red fruit, cherry/raspberry, some blackberry, orange rind, tobacco/herbs, and lots of stone/mineral. Full bodied with generous acidity, with ripe fruit on the finish; elegant balance still. Initially behaves decades more advanced than it actually is, but wait for it to come around in the glass. Even so, it will still be past it for most palates, but for me, it has a lot of lovely old wine charm. 3.5 Stars [9/14/19]

Kirkland Signature Select, Asolo, Prosseco Superiore NV
Lemon and pear and peach. Semi-dry and rich, with abundant mineral. Delightful. 2 Stars [11/10/19]

Other European
Muriel, Fincas de la Villa, Gran Reserva, Rioja 2005
Dark garnet. Wonderful Rioja nose of dried blackberry, pie cherry, lots of strawberry, tobacco/minty herbs, a touch of orange rind roses, and rustic earth; has mature, fragrant aromatics of mushroom/forest floor, but the fruit is still vibrant. On the palate, lots of juicy black cherry, generous plum, black raspberry, strawberry, with generous tobacco/vegetal notes pepper spice, and generous cocoa-touched Napa-style earth. Full bodied, driven by citrusy acidity; juicy and very savory, still fresh fruit, but with mature tertiary notes. A very traditional Rioja in its mature prime. Drink now. 3.5 Stars [7/20/19]

The Dot, Austrian Cherry, Zweigelt, Niederosterreich 2017
Nice color, dark ruby with a touch of purple; you might even describe it as red plum. Lovely nose of sweet, dark, juicy berries, with game, forest floor, spice, and generous black earth and mineral; warm, with excellent depth. On the palate, loads of sweet, juicy red and black cherry, plum and raspberry, spice, forest floor, with lots of earth, and stone/mineral, with generous chalky tannin revealed on a nice finish. Medium bodied, sweet-tart, with a savory, slightly spicy texture; friendly and easy to drink, yet has very good structure between its acid and a bit of tannic grip. Delightful. Reminds me of a serious Beaujolais. Drink now or in the next 3 - 5 years. 2.5 Stars [10/18/19]

Skouras, Moscofilero, Peloponnese 2017
Light silvery yellow, with a suggestion of rose. Very nice nose of fresh stone fruits, generous citrus, and spice. On the palate, lots of sweet, fleshy peach upfront, followed by generous citrus (pink grapefruit, orange, lemon), hints of kiwi and raspberry perhaps, and then meaty apricot and hint of almond before a long finish of spice and mineral, with a lingering note of nectar. On the full side of medium bodied, sweet, fleshy, and slightly fat in texture, with slightly steely citrus acidity; focused upfront, and then expansive from the mid-palate to the finish. Grows considerably with air, give it some time in the glass and open bottle to round out; on day two, fuller bodied, with lovely, creamy citrus rind adding depth. Reminiscent of a variety of other grapes: Muscat, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, and even Sauvignon Blanc come to mind. Food friendly, and will be best with salads, cheeses, seafood, and pasta (Greek-style pasta salad, with feta and kalamata olives, should be a killer pairing). Very nice. Drink now. 2.5 Stars [12/20/19]

United States
Thomas George Estates, Pinot Noir, Starr Ridge Vineyard, Amber Block, Russian River Valley 2014
Medium-light ruby. On the nose, cherry, blackberry, clove, black tea, tobacco, and generous rich earth; lush and bit juicy, with excellent earthy depth. On the palate, loads of lovely, juicy black cherry, raspberry, and blackberry, with generous spice, some tobacco/vegetal notes, and earth. Full bodied and penetrating, with a savory texture, and with a light footed, elegant balance; good length and presence on the finish. Drink now or over the next 5 - 10 years. 4 Stars [7/20/19]

Cakebread Cellars, Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2017
Pale gold. Excellent nose of oak and hazelnut, with ripe stone fruits, and pineapple. On the palate, clean, fresh-milled notes of oak, white peach, tropicals (papaya, passion fruit, lots of pineapple), all with generous lemon/orange and lemongrass, and with some spice and mineral. Full bodied, intense, spicy, and ripe, but balanced by generous acidity; full throttle but crisp; very impressive style. 5 - 10 years ahead, depending on your preferences. 3.5 Stars [8/4/19]

Beringer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Knights Valley 2014
Dark ruby. Outstanding nose of oak, vanilla, and blackberry, with tobacco, chocolate, earth, and a touch of fig. On the palate, potent black cherry, cassis, blackberry, tart pie cherry, vanilla, and oak, with lots of white pepper/spice, tobacco leaf, and lots of raw tannin. Very full bodied and potent, but raw and unready. Great substance, quality, and depth. Needs 5 - 10 more years, and will last for 10 - 15. 4 Stars, partly for now, partly for potential [8/4/19]

Caymus, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007
Impressive color, dark ruby, no signs of maturity. Awesome nose, loads of gorgeous, cocoa-laden Napa earth, with cured tobacco and leather, all on top of rich black cherry and black berry. Incredible depth and polish, a truly great Napa nose. On the palate, ripe but tart blackberry, cassis, and blackberry, with liqueur-like notes, sweet tobacco leaf, a hint of chocolate, fig, white pepper, and dark, rich Napa-style earth. Very full bodied, ripe and rich but supported by generous acidity and lots of spice; succulent and a bit savory. Outstanding, a tremendous Napa Cab. 5 - 10 years more ahead, but it is in a fantastic place now. 4.5 Stars [8/4/19]

Beringer, Nightingale, Napa Valley 1985
A Sauternes style dessert wine. The last glass from a bottle left untouched under a vacuum plug for about 10 years; the seal was still good! Impressive color, medium amber heading toward bronze; astonishing given the circumstances. On the nose, some raisin and tootsie-roll, stewed apricots and honey/caramel, with nutmeg and mace. On the palate, fresh apricot, a touch of raspberry, luscious honey, some citrus rind, all with abundant mineral and botrytis-style nutmeg and mace. Medium-full bodied, very sweet, but with spicy grip. A mind-boggling experience; even now, in this state, it could go 5 - 10 more years. An immensely impressive wine that was probably profound when fresh. 3.5 Stars now; 5 Stars projected for fresh bottle [8/4/19]

Phillips Vineyards, Symphony, Highway 12 Vineyard, Lodi 1998
Excellent color, light golden with a hint of orange. Exceptional nose of citrus, ripe stone fruits, some Riesling-style petrol, and honey, with deep notes of nutmeg and mineral, and a hint of mature fruitcake; remarkably fresh, and continues to grow with air, into a rather lovely mature nose. On the palate, loads of orange and pineapple, followed by ripe apricot and white peach, some kiwi/tropicals, all with petrol and a generous touch of honey, and rich, medium-long loaded with nutmeg and mineral. Medium-full bodied, with excellent penetration, sweet and very rich, but rather sweet-tart, and drinks drier that it actually is due to its being balanced by prominent citrusy, slightly steely acidity, all with a Muscat-style grape-flesh texture, but with a slightly fat texture (from its Grenache Gris parentage). And also very food friendly, due to its good acidity. Showing some very nice mature notes (petrol, fruitcake, and spice), which grow with air, but even after lots of air, shows no signs of losing its remarkable freshness. Most similar to a maturing German Rielsing, but also showing Sauternes-like richness and spice. I am amazed, this old curiosity has proven to be the most unexpectedly still-young and still-ageworthy wine I’ve encountered. 5 - 10 more years, and so it is a great pity that there probably aren’t any left out there. Remarkable experience. If Symphony can produce just one wine like this, then it deserves a lot more love and attention. 3.5 Stars [8/23/19]

Joseph Filippi, Rochelle, Winemaker’s Reserve Limited Release, Cucamonga Valley 1999
Grenache, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, and Zinfandel. Medium-light garnet, orange then clear at the rim; a hint of browning. Rather lovely nose, very mature, with rich, sweet red and black fruits, fragrant tobacco leaf / cigar box, lots of spice, and dark, rich earth, all with autumnal / forest floor notes, and perhaps a whiff of mushroom; a touch of prune and a hint of brown sugar indicate that this is over-mature and a bit oxidized, but those are not-unpleasant and don’t detract much. On the palate, lots of sweet red raspberry and cherry, with rich, meaty blackberry and plum, cigar box, and toward the finish, lots of brown spices and generous mineral, and with some significant tannic grip left. Medium bodied, with citrusy acidity, somewhat delicate, but with impressive substance still; spice lingers on the finish; the quality and depth of character are excellent. I love the rich, meaty, savory but succulent and racy fruit. Holds up respectably well in the glass. Its principle short coming is that the acid is very prominent, and while the balance is still quite good, returning to the (evacuated) bottle a few hours later, it does become more vinegary. Similar to a very mature Barolo. Clearly well past its best, but if you don’t mind the prominent, Italianate acidity, and if you appreciate old wines, then this has a lot of charm to offer. But it will not appeal to all. Nonetheless, I find it rather delightful. For me, 3 Stars; probably 3.5 - 4 Stars in its prime. [8/25/19]

Pacific Rim, Sweet Riesling, Columbia Valley NV
From the available information, this is very first release of this wine, from the 2006 vintage. Very good color, medium golden with a hint of orange. Very nice nose of candied peach, pineapple, and citrus, all with loads of petrol, and some floral notes; fresh and rich. On the palate, generous pear upfront, followed by loads of candied peach, generous pineapple, and then lots of lime of toward the finish of stone, mineral, and spice, all underlaid by apple-cider-like notes. Medium-full bodied, very sweet (Auslese, but not dessert wine level), fleshy and somewhat savory, with generous, somewhat sweet-tart acidity. Showing some nice maturity, but still fresh, and showing no signs of weakness. Under screwcap, which at least partially accounts for the freshness, but the intrinsic balance is very good, and given both of those facts, it probably still has at least 5 more solid years ahead of it. But it is in a very nice place now. 2.5 Stars [8/30/19]

Seghesio, Arneis, Russian River Valley 2014
Medium-light gold. Very nice, fragrant nose of fresh pear and melon, white flowers, generous citrus rind, and mineral, all with a touch of vanilla and what seems like oak (unknown if this spent any time in oak). On the palate, Basque pear and honeydew, with generous limoncello-like lemon rind, and a touch of orange blossom, and generous mineral, with a note of fresh honey lingering on the finish. Medium-full bodied with fleshy, rich, fruit and a slightly fat texture, driven by generous lemon acidity; good substance and length. The combination of the prominent citrus and the rich texture is remarkable. This is hinting what might be a fascinating maturity, but should stay reasonably fresh another 3 - 5 years under screwcap. 2.5 Stars [9/21/19]

Walt, Pinot Noir, La Brisa, Cellar Selection, Sonoma Coast 2015
Great color, pure, medium-dark ruby. Exceptional, wonderful nose of meaty cherry, blackberry, and plum, with loads of spice (cloves, etc.) and rich earth; rich fruit, but with some Burgundian style depth. On the palate, wonderful sweet and spicy fruit, with loads of sweet red cherry, tart blackberry, and fleshy plum, then loads of potent clove/nutmeg, mineral, and subtle, earthy depth. Full bodied, with rich, ripe, sweet, lovely fruit, but backed up by generous acidity and excellent structure. Wonderfully food friendly too. 5 solid years ahead, perhaps longer. 4 Stars [11/3/19]

Illahe, Viognier, Willamette Valley 2018
Ripe, rich apple, pear, and peach, supported by generous lemon, and stone/mineral. On the light side of full bodied, rich and fat in texture but also crisp and steely; bitter spice lingers. 2.5 Stars [11/10/19]

South America
Santa Rita, 120, Reserva Especial, Red Blend, Valle Central 2017
45% Carmenere, 30% Cab Franc, 25% Cab Sauv. Very nice color, dark ruby with a hint of purple. Rather lovely nose of fresh sweet red fruits and denser, rich, tarry black fruits, herbaceous tobacco leaf, roses, wood, spice, and smokey, gravelly earth, perhaps with a touch of dark chocolate; not entire unlike a Margaux. Similar notes on the palate, with a core of sweet, juicy red raspberry, with somewhat meaty black cherry, lush blackberry, minty herbs and spice, and generous, rich, sweet earth. On the full side of medium, juicy and lush, with a spicy texture; good presence, and a respectable finish; sweet-tart, though the acid is somewhat mellow. Remarkable quality and character for its $10 price point. Drink now or in the next 3 to maybe 5 years. 2.5 Stars [10/6/19]

Dancing Flame, Ojos del Salado, Rose, Valle Central 2018
80% Cab Sauv, 20% Merlot. Strawberry, cherry, cassis, generous orange, and stone/mineral. Medium bodied with sweet fruit, good acidity, and a lovely savory-sweet texture. a very satisfying rose. 2.5 Stars [11/10/19]

Bodini, Rose of Malbec, Mendoza 2018
Lovely, lustrous salmon/orangey-copper color, richly colored for a rose. Delightful, savory nose of rich red fruits and watermelon, with touches of earth and tobacco. On the palate, rich and meaty strawberry, cherry, and currants, with watermelon, slightly leathery earth, tobacco leaf, and citrus, all with generous spice, and mineral/stone. Full bodied for a rose, with slightly steely acidity, rich fruit, and a savory, spicy, mineral-laden texture; excellent length on the excellent finish of fruit and spice. Drinks almost like a light-bodied red. Wonderful. Drink now or in the next few years. 3 Stars [12/7/19]

Boulevard, Smokestack Series, Bourbon Barrel Quad NV
26 IBU, 11.2% alcohol. Aged up to three years, topped off with cherry mash. Medium-dark nut brown. Rich nose of malt, oak, and a hint of whiskey, all with a fruity tone. On the palate, caramely malt with a hint of toffee, barley sugar, a touch of citrus, all with a subtle hops and a touch of oak, with lingering notes of whiskey and very subtle cherry/fruit on the finish. Vigorous bubbles that are still persistent at the very bottom of the glass. medium-full bodied, very rich and even somewhat creamy, this is an extraordinary study in subtlety, complexity, and texture. This is ageworthy, and it would be interesting to see what it is like after an additional 2 - 3 years in bottle. 4 Stars [8/17/19]

Benromach, Wood Finish, Sassicaia, Speyside 2009
Gold with a hint of orange, heading toward bronze. Awesome nose of sweet nectary fruit, with a touch of caramel, loads of savory cherry, and lots of leathery peat and sweet malt. So much peaty depth. The best Scotch nose I’ve ever experience, wow! On the palate, generous orange upfront, with a fascinating combination of baked apple, a hint of stone fruit, and cherry, all with a touch of honey, then fresh, spicy oak before a finish of sweet malt. Savory, sweet, spicy and smokey. Wonderful stuff. One of the best Scotches I’ve ever had. 5 Stars [11/2/19]

1 Like

This is made by Pfaffl, an excellent producer of Grüner Veltliner north of Vienna. It´s available for 4.99 € here … doesn´t sound bad for this price.
I wonder what it is overseas …

The Hermitage 83/Guigal was always a fav. of mine over 25+ years … I still have 1-2 bottles left.

Hello Gerhard. I paid about $8 US for it, very good value for the price. At 5 Euros I’d say it’s an excellent value.

Well, 5 € here and 8$ there is both a bargain …

Agreed! I was shocked how good a half bottle was eight or ten years ago.