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SCORING CAN BE VERY CONFUSING FOR CONSUMERS
- so, what is the best way to do it By Ken Gargett
BOLLINGER TREASURES
by Richard Juhlin, The World's number One Champagne Expert
PROPER WINE STORAGE - A TEMPERATURE MYTH?
by Lee Zinser, Founder of Cellarworks
FUNERAL OF THE CORK
by Andrew Caillard MW
THE ART OF TASTING WINE BLIND AND LEARNING HUMILITY
by jan-Erik Paulson, Wine Writer
EBAY IS HEAVEN AND HELL FOR THE WINE BUYERS
by Pekka Nuikki / Editor of the Fine Wine Magazines
LESS IS MORE
by Dirk Niepoort
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Stuart Robinson, Wine Blogger (Australia)  had a tasting of  16 Wines  from  8 Producers 

Chapel Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 / Vintage 2011 is not exactly the elephant in the room not talked of, but there is a tendency for the vintage to be written off with a broad stroke that covers all regions and producers. Following that English idiom, one must doff one's cap to the team at Chapel Hill for the considerately crafted range of reds out of the vintage. The cooler rendition of the Shiraz from McLaren Vale, the lighter touch of the Mourvédre - all are good drinking. Here to those we can add the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cedar, creamy oak, a touch dusty with hints of red fruit. Given some time to explore, we see a little more char, toasty, black fruit and hints of dark chocolate. Medium to full bodied, tannin is fine-grained. Slight hint of chicory bitterness initially, that makes way for creamy oak.

Length is good. It's a wine that certainly grew in appeal as it settled into itself. It's a clean rendition, a touch chewy at times, something to get into. 89 - could happily go a point higher.

1d 7h ago

Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  had a wine moment

“Richebourg 1990,Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noellat

I first began calling on Alain Hudelot in 1983 or so. At that time he didn't export much. It was Alexis Lichine, who bought wine from him in bulk, who put me on to Hudelot. I liked the man. I liked his wines. And what an array there was: Richebourg, Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Clos de Vougeot, three of the best Vosne premiers crus (but aren't they all good, I hear you cry) and much more. Though in, as you would expect, small quantities. But not too small.

There are 28 ares of Richebourg, at the north end, overlooking Suchots. This will make three or four casks. This 1990 is fullish, fragrant, ripe and intense. There is lovely, smooth, balanced fruit and plenty of vigour. A delicious wine.”

1d 21h ago

1 Wines 1 Producers

Andrew Graham, Wine Blogger (Australia)  had a tasting of  23 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Penfolds Grange 2004 / Now here is a challenging wine to review. The reviewers are swooning, the faithful are lining up at the Magill cellar door, even the mainstream press is giving it coverage (great to see, more please). In short, it is a ‘loaded’ wine: A bottle of fermented grape juice that comes so full of preconceptions, myth & mystique that actual tasting notes are redundant with reviewers serve to only agree or disagree with the greatness.

So, at first, I thought I would just not score this, to be a self righteous knob and just rattle off some descriptors and the odd opinion, before leaving a hole where the score would be at the end. But, instead, I sat there trying to work out what, if anything, was wrong with it. Approach a tasting with the idea that all wine is perfect until proven not. Its actually great fun, but also seems counter intuitive with the whole critical tasting idea. In the end, I decided that if you were to hold up a wine as the model for The Ultimate Young South Australian Shiraz, you couldn’t really go wrong with this.

Purple, dark red in colour. Sweet, malted coconut oak, interwoven with really bright red fruit, like a raspberry bounty & just a smidgen of (classic for Grange) VA. Cocoa. Black fruit. Impossibly youthful. Actually, it reminds me a lot of the 2005 Moss Wood on the nose, with it’s surreal, sweet youthful fruit and oak amalgam. Its a purity of fruit and well judged oak at its zenith, and its hard not too love. I think, however, that as a young wine, many European palates would find this too sweet. Leave it for a decade before serving it to the Poms then.

On the palate, well, it is drier, deeper and blacker than the sweet nose, much like 70% dark chocolate. Palate wise its red/black fruit dominant and utterly Penfoldian in its firm, quit sweet tannins. It’s sweet, but so structured and balanced that it feels velvety. Velvety like Burgundy. Effortless softness that is so seductive that you don’t notice the tannins, even though they hang in the background, ready to kick. I think that’s called balance. And it makes this wine the hero that it’s purported to be.

So in the end, in my quest to examine this wines perfection credentials, I really couldn’t find much wrong with it. Perhaps its a bit too sweet, otherwise it really is a brilliant South Australian Shiraz. The only question, perhaps, is whether it is ‘that much’ better than the 04 St Henri. And that question is largely answered by your wallet…97 p

2d 22h ago

Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  had a tasting of  16 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Blandy's Bual 1959 Madeira / Decanted five hours before the dessert. Medium-red color. Almost 60 years old and still very vigorous and lively. Very generous nose full of raisins, currants and wild floral aromas. Quite spirity, but still harmonious and well balanced wine.

Perhaps a bit too sweet for my taste, but very stylish and complex wine. Round and supple, hot aftertaste. As good as one can expect. 95 points

3d 20h ago

Jeannie Cho Lee, MW (China)  had a tasting of  9 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Harlan Estate 2013 /Dark brooding blackberry, forest fruit and tobacco flavors - there is more density here than in the 2012. This is a powerful, dense, intense Harlan that will take time to unfold but will eventually offer much more than the 2012 and probably keep longer in the cellar. Firm, chewy tannins. This vintage had a lot of wind leaving small berries with thick skins. 98 points

3d 22h ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  16 Wines  from  3 Producers 

This Montrose 1898 caused Frank to have a silent orgasm, I think. The nose was amazing; there was perfect balance of nut, chocolate, cedar, spearmint and earth. It was warm, inviting and phenomenal. The palate was pure and beautiful with lots of chocolate, sweet baby's bottom, nut and this Krispy Kreme glaze, again in a chocolate way. The wine had a hedonistic, dessert-like quality to it, but it was far from dessert wine. Rich, velvety and long, this wine was fantastic, incredibly exotic and complex. It had a nose unlike any other, and even the 'lesser' bottle I liked. Thankfully, I had the better one. Along with the 1911, the 1898 won the award for 'most exotic'

4d 10h ago

Izak Litwar / Bordeaux Expert, Pro (Denmark)  had a tasting of  19 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1929-2015. Mouton is one of Bordeaux 5 First Growths and it's situated in the outskirts of Pauillac village. This property covers app. 75 ha of vines planted with 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. However, this is not always the exact composition of grape varietes in Grand Vin, as it depends on the vintage. For instance, 2011 vintage's varietal mix is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Average age of vines here is around 50 years.

Mouton Rothschild is maybe the less concentrated of all First Growths, but compensates for it with extreme elegance and finesse, richness, complexity, sophisticated touch and strong yet finely composed structure. This wine is destined for long live and may be a little light-footed when young, but comes strongly back after 10 years and all the exceptional goodies are being released.

Mouton Rothschild's second wine is Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild, a very well made wine. Owners of Mouton Rothschild produce two other wines of very fine quality for the money - d'Armailhac and Clerc Milon. White wine, Aile d'Argent is also produced here and this is a splendid one.

6d 15h ago

Sebastien Abric / Acker Merrall & Condit, Pro (France)  had a tasting of  18 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Some great Vega Sicilia Unicos from vintages 1921, 1924, 1936, 1942, 1946, 1951, 1962 etc.

7d 9h ago

Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  had a tasting of  10 Wines  from  10 Producers 

Putting in mouth anything that is 290 years old, sounds suspicious. Enjoying it so much that you wish to have plenty more of it souns insane. I truly enjoyed that "sanity" with great friends, when we sahred the world's oldest known wine available – 1727 Apostelwein. What an insane night it was with so many great wines – Romanee-Conti 1923, Vega-Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial 1973/1975/1976, Petrus 1982, Ch. Margaux 1982, Harlan 1993, Grange 1998, and Ch Climens 1943 bottled for Nazis. Wow!!

8d 7h ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  5 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 / Like returning to Lourdes hoping for another miracle and then being transfixed as it takes place! A scented, sainted marvel of wine making, a riot of blackberry, Syrah "syrup", the telltale soy and hoisin, flirtatiously expressive, sheer elegance and a medley of spices. On the palate opening, it is gorgeously complex, with astonishing breadth and intensity, violets, graphite, espresso, a hint of olives, and earthiness. And then, with the food in particular, you have a fragrant mellifluous softness, before the band strikes up again past the mid palate. It has enthralling balance. Amidst the plums and black currant liqueur-like notes almost, it recalls nothing else but a convocation of hedonistic bliss blended with seamless grace.

This is so vigorous and ebullient on the palate massaging, slightly game-tinged finale that it leaves you simply beaming at life. There is no parallel here, other than possibly to take the spice-flecked seduction of the '78 and the polished intensity of the '90 and try to recreate "magic."

This was, once more, prodigious. Compared to the Fall bottle, a wee bit less effulgent in aromatics, every bit as exquisite otherwise. 100 Points+ (the "+" for alternate life form factor)

9d 7h ago

Thomas Girgensohn, Wine Blogger (Australia)  had a tasting of  12 Wines  from  1 Producers 

One of the events of the year on the Australian wine calendar is the release of the new Hill of Grace, and it does not come much bigger than for the 2010 vintage. This highly regarded year started with a hot spring in Eden Valley, which kept the yield down. It was followed by a mild summer and autumn with very little rain. The grapes were very even when they were harvested. But what is the wine like?

As expected the colour is deep purple, but what surprises is the aroma. It is intense, very spicy and full of sage. The 2010 Henschke Hill of Grace is medium bodied and quite perfumed. The fruit is blackberry and mulberry, but the dominant element on the palate is white pepper, five spice, and sage, in particular. This is unusual. Spicy notes often occur, but they are intertwined with mocca notes. This is not the case with the 2010. This is a more lifted and fragrant wine. The 60/40 American French oak combination is not very noticeable, This is partly due to the unusual long seasoning period of the American oak. The wine has great length, but does the fruit fill the mouth? There is probably just enough weight. Alcohol at 14+% is noticeable. The tannins are velvety and fine grained, showing the age of the vines.

The wine did not grab me initially, but the complexity combined with the elegance and lasting penetration of the wine won me over in the end. This could be very special in a few years.

10d 20h ago

Paulius Gruodis, Pro (Lithuania)  had a Half-Blind tasting of  21 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Last Friday we had a marvelous and quite an intensive vertical of Dom Pérignon. Certain vintages in the tasting were not only rare but also representing some of the greatest cuvée prestige made in the last century. More than half of the lineup was Plénitude (previously called by the house Oenotheque to label its late re-release and recently disgorged champagne) which was another remarkable feature of this tasting. I was lucky enough to taste the following vintages of DP: 1943, 1955, 1961, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1990 Rosé, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

11d 7h ago

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