TN: Misc wines from last couple months

  • 1998 Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz E & E Black Pepper - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley (9/11/2012)
    Still quite young and vibrant, showing deep, dense, dark plummy fruit, silky in mouthfeel, quite decent acidity, smooth, rich finish. My main complaint, and the reason I don’t drink much Aussie Shiraz any more, is the preponderance of oak, tar, and licorice notes, though those have faded a bit on this second night of having the wine open. For it’s style, this is right up there in the first tier of Australian wines. (91 pts.)
  • 2004 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg Cuvée Ste. Catherine L’Inédit! - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru AOC (9/11/2012)
    Showing a little color development, and a little age on the palate, quite flavorful and rich, with touches of honey and candied apricot; doesn’t have the zip and freshness of some vintages, and comes across a bit flabby and ponderous overall. Enjoyable, but not memorable. (87 pts.)
  • 2009 Ceritas Pinot Noir Escarpa Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (9/9/2012)
    A beautiful, reserved Pinot, with medium bodied dark cherry fruit, understated but with great flavor and interest, nicely structured, balanced by good acidity, fine black tea tannins. Lovely wine. (92 pts.)
  • 2000 Nikolaihof Riesling Reserve Steiner Hund - Austria, Niederösterreich, Kremstal (9/7/2012)
    The Stoner Dog. The Big Dog. The Steiner Hund. Whatever you call it, this is a fabulous wine, sitting at it’s peak, with years to go; just a slight hint of petrol, with a palate of intense, mineral infused Riesling fruit, red apple skin, beautifully balanced acidity, some nice notes of development over more than a decade, but still fresh and vibrant. How glad am I that there are so many people chasing after Grand Cru Burgundies, who haven’t discovered Austrian Riesling? Very glad. (95 pts.)
  • 2010 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Viognier Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes (9/5/2012)
    What a lovely wine, with good depth of reserved, flavorful fruit, lean and intense at the same time, with fabulous acidity, and a strong granite mineral spine that holds through the length finish. Not sure I would have guessed Viognier blind, as this has almost a very dry Chenin Blanc character, but enjoyed it enough to finish the bottle between two of us in one evening - a rarity. Glad to have a couple more. (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Combes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Saint-Aubin 1er Cru (9/1/2012)
    On opening is pretty tight and shows a bit woody. After some decent air time things open up, the apparent wood fades a bit (though there are still some wood notes on the finish), flavors are bursting now, showing backward stone fruits, hint of wood spice, bit of lemon, nice acidity, and a touch of minerality on the finish. A very nice bottle for the price tag. (90 pts.)
  • 2003 Peay Vineyards Syrah Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (8/28/2012)
    Dark, deep youthful garnet color, this is drinking beautifully, with intense but reserved dark berry fruit, a nice spice quality, nice acidity which lends a touch of balancing tartness, very fine tannins, nice balance overall. This has interest and complexity to spare, and years to go if this bottle is any indication. (92 pts.)
  • 2005 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (8/26/2012)
    Dark but not opaque ruby in color, medium body, this is drinking very nicely now, with dark, plummy, meaty fruit, hint of sweetness, bit of anise and garrique, some fine black tea tannins. In a good place, and will certainly get better with more years. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Domaine Marius Delarche Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Les Vergelesses Reserve - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru (8/26/2012)
    Medium body, medium-light ruby with a hint of cranberry in color; On initial opening aromas are ripe and juicy, a forebearing of the palate, which is quite ripe and forward, very California-like, with rich, ripe medium dark cherry fruit, moderate acidity, not quite what I was expecting from this bottle. 24 hours later, some of the ripeness has faded, a bit more balancing acidity has come out, along with a bit more structure and black tea notes. Still has a swath of ripe sweetness, but the bit of tartness on the finish cuts that nicely making this an enjoyable, though not particularly complicated wine. Give it some air time, or better yet hang on for a few years. (89 pts.)
  • 2007 Stéphane Vedeau St. Joseph Parcelle de Jean J. Boutin - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (8/20/2012)
    Dark garnet, medium full body, nose is perfumed crushed berries; early on this has a bit of spritz and bite, some trapped carbonic acid no doubt; with air, it really opens up to a very pretty Saint Joseph, with deep boysenberry/pomegranate fruit, striking (but balanced) acidity that brings a mouthwatering tartness to the very nice finish. An very enjoyable and classic Rhone. (91 pts.)
  • 2007 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Trocken - Germany, Nahe (8/19/2012)
    Light honey gold color, faint hint of petrol and roses on the nose; a beautiful wine, with elegant, flavorful stone fruit that quickly transitions to stony minerality, with good balancing acidity, and some touches of mid-palate salinity for interest. The one weakness is the finish, which tapers off a bit too quickly. (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Copain Pinot Noir Monument Tree - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (8/14/2012)
    Nose is earth, pine, seems like a bit of whole cluster; palate is crisp strawberry, dried cherry, some refreshing tartness, another hint of pine, medium, mouth-watering finish from the good dose of acidity. A unique and refreshing example of California Pinot, though perhaps a bit high in acid for some tastes. Excellent with food. (90 pts.)
  • 2008 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Clos Habert - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Montlouis-sur-Loire (8/13/2012)
    Stunningly delicious. A mix of tropical notes, pineapple, peach, apricot, peach pit, some sweetness, but beautifully balanced by nice acidity and good minerality. Too easy to drink in large quantities. Shows best with a little air, and at room temperature. (92 pts.)
  • 2010 J.L. Chave Sélection Crozes-Hermitage Silene - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage (8/8/2012)
    A nice portent of the vintage, dark garnet, medium weight, a lovely syrah, with elegant dark fruit, boysenberry/pomegranate, excellent acidity, subtle tannins, nice overall balance. Terrific value for the $24 price tag. (91 pts.)
  • 2008 Peay Vineyards Chardonnay Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (8/5/2012)
    Shows the coolness of the vintage, with slightly underripe stone fruit, peach pit, nice overall balance, good acidity. Could round out with a few more years. (90 pts.)
  • 2006 Domaine des Miquettes St. Joseph - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (8/5/2012)
    This would be a beautiful fine if not for the slight brett notes. Bit of non-descript funk on the nose, showing just a touch of rotting earth; apart from that, there is some very nice, deep, understated dark fruit, blackberry/bosenberry, decent acidity, some fairly strong tannins. A bit rustic, but excellent flavor, and a classic Saint Joseph. Bottles kept well that avoid the brett should be very nice in a few more years. (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Peay Vineyards Viognier Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/23/2012)
    Unusually restrained for Viognier, particularly a California version, but no particular surprise from Peay, where this barely gets ripe in some years. This vintage is definitely on the lower ripeness side, showing more red apple than tropical and floral, with hints of stone fruit, medium acidity, some mineral and sea shell, almost a cross between Viognier and Chablis. Lovely and elegant, though perhaps lacking a touch of complexity and interest this year. (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Ceritas Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/22/2012)
    Beautifully rich and deep, slight nuttiness, bit of peach pit minerality, excellent acidity, bit of wood and dried herbs. A distinctive California chardonnay that would not be out of place in a Burgundy lineup (92 pts.)
  • 2009 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (7/21/2012)
    Excellent for the vintage, with medium depth of stone fruits, decent acidity, peach pit, touch of mineral and dried herbs and lightest hint of banana, bit of oak at this young age, nice finish. Round and fleshy, but not flabby, shows its pedigree. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Carlisle Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley (7/18/2012)
    What? No notes from anyone on this one yet? Let’s change that: nose is explosive crushed berries, ripe and opulent, with that signature old vine Zin aroma I can’t describe - you have to know it; the palate is an amazing amalgam of rich, ripe, forward, juicy Zinberry/blackberry/boysenberry fruit, and elegant, restrained, brooding, piercing Zin, all mixed together, with striking acidity, beautiful complexities, long, mouthwatering finish. One fantastic Zin. I’ve been waiting for a long time for Mike to get a chance at making a Zin from this most famous vineyard (one I consider in the absolute top tier of old vine Zineyards), and this does not disappoint. Have had many years experience with both the Ridge version, and the St. Francis version, and somehow Mike has outdone both of those (well, it wasn’t hard to exceed what St Francis did, clobbering the poor wine with so much oak). (93 pts.)
  • 2008 Peay Vineyards Syrah Les Titans - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/17/2012)
    Initially dark crushed berries on the nose, with a little air a touch of smoke appears, but not enough to distract from the overall impression; on the palate pure, focused syrah fruit, excellent acidity, fine tannins, a lovely syrah. Drinking very well, albeit youthfully right now, this has many years ahead of it, though I’m really enjoying it at this early stage. From a half bottle. (92 pts.)
  • 2005 Joseph Drouhin Vosne-Romanée - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée (7/16/2012)
    Very pleasant medium cherry, medium light body, with some nice minerality, good dose of fine tannins, touch of creosote, nice acidity. Drinking well, I think it’s in a good place, and more likely to fade from here than gain much. (88 pts.)
  • 2009 Peay Vineyards Roussanne/Marsanne Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/12/2012)
    A favorite of mine, this vintage continues the streak, this year with a beautiful, round nuttiness, apricot pit, persimmon, just enough acidity, and an earthy/spicy finish with just a touch of minerality. A little air time brings out more richness and finish. A treasure. (93 pts.)
  • 2008 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese trocken - Germany, Nahe (7/6/2012)
    Color is medium hay, with a subtle but lovely nose of pure Riesling fruit; palate shows nice intensity, mouth-watering acidity, nice touches of minerality, crisp, clean and fresh. Maybe lacking some complexity, and the finish is on the moderate side, but this is hard to put down. (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Peay Vineyards Viognier Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/4/2012)
    An amazing floral/fruit nose, almost more Gewurtzraminer than Viognier; if you gave this to me blind, I’d probably guess Gewurtz, with its intense tropical notes, dried pineapple, hints of spice, bit of nuttiness, nice acidity, finishing with good minerality. Beautiful wine. (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Copain Pinot Noir “En Bas” Kiser - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (7/4/2012)
    On opening this came across as quite ripe and sweet, with good balance and nice acidity. Night two is much better, with rounder, fuller flavors of deep cherry, still plenty of ripeness but now contained well within the overall wine. Excellent acidity lends just a bit of tartness to balance the sweet fruit. I’d recommend decanting for several hours at least, and enjoy. (91 pts.)
  • 2005 Tua Rita Giusto di Notri Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (7/2/2012)
    Very dark and opaque in color; the good? it’s wine. otherwise pretty non-descript, loads of deep dark plummy/cherry fruit, good acidity and medium fine tannins, all wrapped up in wood that fills in all the nooks and crannies with a tarry veneer. Good BBQ wine, not much more. (87 pts.)
  • 2006 Domaine Louis Michel Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (6/30/2012)
    Nose of stone fruit, sea spray; for an 06, this is pretty restrained and classic, with reserved stone fruit, peach pit, decent acidity, and a strong mineral streak on the finish. Very nice, though I suspect a bottle to be drunk earlier rather than later. (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Domaine Jean Royer Châteauneuf-du-Pape Sola Syrah Regalis - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (6/29/2012)
    An unusual Chateauneuf made mostly of syrah, this shows a bit of smoke and bacon on the nose, with deep, luxuriant, almost velvety dark fruit, fig, and again bacon notes on the palate; Plenty of structure, still very young. The one down-side is the preponderance of oak, which, though fairly smooth and rounded, is a strong presence. Maybe some time will soften that oak as the wine develops further. (91 pts.)
  • 2007 Peay Vineyards Roussanne/Marsanne Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (6/24/2012)
    Showing a touch of color, light golden wet straw, remains a favorite California white wine, particularly this 07 vintage; this has developed a bit since last bottle, a little rounder, with nutty persimmon, peach pit, almost a browned butter note (though not at all oxidized), the finish shows spice, then waxy minerality, with good acidity. Really nice. (93 pts.)
  • 2005 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (6/23/2012)
    Very dark, deep garnet, nearly opaque; just a touch of leather on the nose, otherwise dark crushed berries; palate has plenty of rich intensity, dark, meaty, plum fruit, bit of spice that might be partly from alcohol. A classic southern Rhone, drinking well though still very young. Very nice. (90 pts.)

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