TN: Unposted Notes, Part 1: France

Presented in chronological order. There are some great wines in this batch, shame on me for letting them fall through the cracks.

Bouchard Pere & Fils, Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus, Greves 1er Cru, Beaune 2010
Ruby heading toward garnet, with a clear rim; some maturity showing. Wonderful nose, almost indescribable levels of subtlety, lots of sweet, dark, succulent black cherry and black berry, juicy acai / plum, cloves, a touch of nutmeg, succulent tea leaf / tobacco leaf, rich, dusty soil / cocoa powder, and lots of mineral; a nose so good you can spend a long time smelling this wine without needing to drink it. On the palate, juicy blackberry, cherry, acai, plum, tea / minty tobacco leaf, loads of cloves, cocoa powder / earth, and mineral; solid length on the finish. Medium full, juicy and succulent, with astringent tannins and spice. Not fully ready yet, needs a lot more time, with a long future. Give it at least 5 more years, maybe 10, and should be awesome when fully mature; could have 20 - 40 years ahead. Even at this stage, a taste of Burgundian magic. 3.5 Stars for drinking now, 4.5 Star potential [12/23/18]

Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2014
Decanted 5 hours, and needs an additional hour in the glass to fully open. Pure, medium-dark ruby, with perhaps a touch of violet, clear at the rim. Extraordinary nose, loads of lovely, juicy, sweet red berries and dried dark berries, olives, dark cocoa powder, all with herbs and tobacco leaf, leather with perhaps a touch of brett, all underlaid by lots of dark earth and stone; fragrant, dense, succulent, with exceptional depth. On the palate, juicy, sweet raspberry and dried black berry upfront, followed by currants, plum, a hint of olives, dark chocolate, succulent fresh herbs / tobacco leaf, and toward the finish, generous, warm, spice, earthy mineral, and stone. Full bodied, sits deceptively gently at first but then becomes expansive and penetrating, with potent substance, with extraordinary length; juicy, sweet, fleshy, succulent, and dense in texture; long, lovely, lingering finish of berries. An elegant, light-footed Chateauneuf, Burgundian but with lots of burly, Rhonish character and charm lurking under all of the lush, polished fruit; extraordinary presence, and captivating texture. Grows and grows with more time in the glass. Gorgeous. Approachable now with lots of breathing, but 5 to 10 more years will do wonders; 15 to 20 years ahead, possibly longer. A not to be missed stunner. 5 Stars [12/24/18]

Chateau Lalande de Pez, Saint Estephe 2014
Lovely dark ruby color. Gorgeous St. Estephe nose of black cherry and black raspberry, with lots of dusty earth, cocoa powder, a touch of tobacco, and leather. Similar notes on the palate, with loads of fine mineral and generous tannin. Full bodied, with ripe and attractive but well-delineated, somewhat tart fruit, and very good acidity; wonderful texture, succulent and very savory. Exceptional quality. Like other 2014 Bordeaux I’ve tasted, its fruit is modern but its structure and frame are very classical. Ready to drink now; the fruit is already hinting at maturity, but it has the tannin and acid structure for 5 - 10 more years. One of the very best values in Bordeaux I’ve encountered, at just $20, and drinks more like a $30 wine. Love it. Strong 3.5 Stars [1/8/19]

Danjean-Berthoux, Domaine du Moulin-Neuf, Meix au Roi, Givry 2014
Nice, warm, light garnet. Lovely nose of very fragrant red fruit, earth, and spice; savory, with pleasant green notes. On the palate, juicy, savory, fresh black cherry, plum, blueberry, lots of clove and spice, cedar, green tea / minty tobacco leaf, and nice, rich, earthy undertones; good depth. Medium bodied, lighter in style bit with good substance; very satisfying. Food friendly. Love it! A tremendous value in Burgundy, for under $20. Drink over the next 3 - 5 years. 3.5 Stars [2/14/19]

Louis Jadot, Macon-Villages 2017
An exceptionally delightful Macon, with a personality of fleshy stone fruit, tropical fruit, and nectar, with lots of stone and mineral. Full bodied. 3 stars [2/14/19]

Chateau Les Fermenteaux, Bordeaux 2015
Cassis, plum, cedar, tobacco leaf, and spice, with lots of mineral. Full bodied and succulent, ripe but fleshy and racy, and mineral driven, which is pretty much the definition of 2015. 2.5 Stars [2/14/19]

Aubry, Brut, Premier Cru, Champagne NV
55% Pinot Meunier, 25% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir. Excellent color, golden hinting at pink. Exceptional, deep nose of honey, red fruit, stone fruit, citrus, fresh bread crust, and stone/mineral. On the palate, blood orange and raspberry upfront, followed by honey and stone fruit, then meaty notes of cherry that linger on the finish, all underlaid and driven by blood orange, and exceptional stone and mineral depth. Full bodied, wonderful texture, rich and just a bit meaty, but with a crisp, elegant, acid-driven balance; exceptional length on the finish. Coming back for the last glass a couple of hours later, it has taken a step up, even deeper, with sourdough and black cherry notes, and more prominent citrus; outstandingly good. Should improve for an additional 5 years in bottle, and get even deeper. Wonderful! 4 Stars [3/3/19]

Chateau Simard, St. Emilion 2010
Dark ruby. Outstanding nose, somewhat shy initially, but opens wonderfully; dark berries, a touch of tobacco, mineral, and St. Emilion’s chocolatey earthiness; wonderful depth, density, and richness. On the palate, black raspberry, dried blackberry, cherry, black currant, leather, cigar box, and a nice medium-length finish of earth and stone. Full bodied, fleshy and savory/succulent in texture, with loads of mineral, and wonderful acid balance. Another wonderful and complete 2010, and one that is also reminiscent of the dense, mineral driven style of the 2000s. Needs time in the glass to open. Not yet at peak, probably has another 10 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [3/7/19]

Chateau Devise d’Ardilley, Haut-Medoc 2014
Cru Bourgeois. Opaque ruby. Lovely northern Medoc nose; loads of graphite and charcoal, dense, sweet cranberry, blackberry, and cassis, with cured tobacco, leather, and wood. On the palate, lots of lovely, rich, tart, dark fruit; cranberry, currant, black cherry, blackberry, and plum, with graphite, charcoal, tobacco leaf, leather, cedar/wood, loads of fine, mineral-laden tannin, and loads of peppery spice. Full bodied, dense, and rich, succulent in texture, with modern-style fruit, but tart and acid driven; very classical structure. A wonderful claret, and very impressive effort. 10 to maybe 15 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [4/12/19]

Pierre-Marie Chermette, Les Trois Roches, Moulin a Vent 2017
Exceptional, lovely nose, with cherry/raspberry, blackberry, black currant, all very meaty, with abundant spice and loads of smokey stone/earth; outstanding depth and fragrance. On the palate, sweet, succulent, meaty cherry / raspberry, blackberry, black currant, a touch of mint tobacco leaf, generous spice and black pepper (with a bit of heat even), then tons of smokey / salty stone / mineral. Very full bodied, with outstanding density, grip, and acid tone, with a long, mineral laden finish; very fresh, succulent but also very savory in texture. Outstanding, the best Beaujolais I have ever had, so complete and satisfying. 5 to 10 years ahead, perhaps as much as 15. 4 Stars [4/27/19]

Jardin en Fleurs, Vouvray 2017
Exuberant apple, peach, and pear, and lots of stone/mineral. Very full bodied; rich and succulent texture, with steely acidity. Wonderful, and excellent quality. 5 - 10 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [5/4/19]

Chateau Fage, Graves de Vayres 2017
60% Semillon, 40% Sauv Blanc. Pear/apple and honeyed peach/apricot, with generous lemon, and lots of mineral. Full bodied, with a wonderful honeyed texture that grows in the glass, and generous acidity. Excellent. 5 years ahead. 3 Stars [5/4/19]

Chateau de la Greffiere, Vieilles Vignes, Macon La Roche Vineuse 2017
Apple, citrus, honey, mineral, and spice. Very full bodied, with a rich texture, and wonderful mineral and spice driven finish. Concentrated and a bit fleshy, with excellent depth. Exceptional and distinctive. 5 years ahead. 3 Stars [5/4/19]

Bouchard Pere et Fils, Reserve, Bourgogne 2016
Wonderful nose of red fruit, earth, and cloves. On the palate, meaty black cherry, blackberry, a touch of juicy blueberry, generous spicy clove, and lots of earth / mineral. Very full bodied, with an awesome savory / succulent but juicy and accentuated texture. Needs time to open. Impressive. 10 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [5/4/19]

Chateau Haut Castenet, Cotes de Bourg 2015
Succulent, juicy red currant and plum, with a touch of tobacco leaf, earth, and lots of mineral. Full bodied, ripe and rich, with incredibly compelling texture, balance, length, and depth. Love it. Another exceptional 2015 Bordeaux. 5 - 10 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [5/4/19]

Domaine de Saje, Cotes-du-Rhone 2016
Declassified Chateaneuf-du-Pape. Excellent, deep, rich, earthy nose. On the palate, black currant, dried blackberry, and plum, with olive, tobacco / herbs de Provence, and a touch of cocoa powder, all laden with mineral and spice. Very full bodied, rich, dense, and concentrated, but with fresh acidity and exceptional balance. Exceptional. 10 years ahead. 3.5 Stars [5/4/19]

Vignobles & Compagnie, Bois de Menge, Gigondas 2017
Nice, pure, medium ruby. Exceptional, lovely, slightly heady Gigondas nose of dark berries, fragrant red berries tarry earth, spice, herbs, tobacco, and olive. On the palate, loads of slightly tart black raspberry, with some meaty red cherry (perhaps some currant as well), a bit of plum, tobacco, a hint of olive, and slightly tarry earth / mineral, and a lovely finish of red cherry and spice, with fine tannin. Full bodied but with prominent, elegant acid balance, land ovely, pure, sweet fruit, but all on a foundation of rustically charming earthy depth. A elegant and racy rather than opulent and powerful Gigondas, but with some potency and grip, and a proper Gigondas in character. Very satisfying, love it. One of the best values in Cotes du Rhone I have ever encountered. 3 - 5 years ahead. 3 Stars [5/27/19]

Chateau Boucasse, Madiran 2011
Impressive color, opaque ruby red. On the nose and palate, loads of polished, almost lush blackberry, with some black cherry, a touch of leather, and loads of chalky tannin. Big body, but perfectly balanced by its generous structure, giving it excellent tone. The most opulent Madiran I have had, this will appeal to lovers of big California Cabs, but with all the rustic charm that sets Madiran apart. This is a wine that wants a fine steak. When first opened, aggressively tannic, but settles quickly with time in the glass. Given its generous structure, this will age effortlessly for 5 - 10 more years. 3.5+ Stars [6/7/19]

Great notes! Thanks for posting

You are welcome! Always nice to know they are appreciated.


The Aubry and Boucasse are a couple I have experience with, as well. Like you, I enjoy them, and feel they offer great value.