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Wine Moments

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Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  8 Wines  from  2 Producers 

THE TIMELESS ALLURE OF LATOUR: Château Latour tasting Part I /  Chateau Latour 1887

Was it really what it purported to be? Frederic couldn’t be definitive. Neal Martin said it reminded him in terms of palate profile of wines from the same era from various tastings. The type of glass was consistent with the age. It had come “authenticated” by people who work with the most draconian critic in that genre. Finally, the table’s conclusion was: “Who cares?” Evidently old wine, consistent in profile with Latour, delicious, authenticated as far as it can be. “Shut up and enjoy it!” as one of our party said. And what market is there for faking a relatively unknown vintage like “1887?”

 You have spice, coffee and chocolate on the nose. On the palate, cassis and cherries, some hints of ginger, a potpourri of spices at and past the mid palate. Delicate with silky tannins, with the youthful color you can get from time transcending wines of that time (like the Bouchard Chambertin 1885 last year in Paris, or the epic 1900 Margaux);  some toffee and spiced fruit with just a touch of kirsch on the gently lapping if now understandably gently receding though still memorable finish. 93 Points (plus several points for “historical wow” factor)

1m 6h ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  30 Wines  from  22 Producers 

Le Cinq "Wine Legends" Dinner with wines like Bouchard 1865, Beycheville 1899, DRC Conti 1940, DRC Richebourg 1942, Margaux 1928, Latour 1929, Mouton 1949, Petrus 1949, 1955, 1959, and 1966 etc.

2m 18d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  21 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino 1947 -2006. An absolutely stunning tasting, showcasing the greatest, seminal Barolos in the world. The sheer range and majesty of the wines was extraordinary.

3m 22d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  28 Wines  from  3 Producers 

Château Montrose 1895-2000  / Chateau Montrose 1990 / Carnality and a kind of wild, wanton grace distinguish this wine. For many in our tasting, it was one of the wines of the evening. You have cassis, leather and herbs on the nose, consorting with redcurrant and some tobacco. It opens with a lush, sweet opulence that has nice delineation, and still impressive tannic structure. You get layers of sweet fruit with an exotic spice mixture at and past the mid palate, and it flirted nicely with the stunning Macaronade. The finish is awash in concentration, a wine of palate enveloping dimensionality, to me just shy of the poise and tension I’m after in wines with the potential for greatness certainly evident here. 96 Points

4m 26d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  8 Wines  from  6 Producers 

Mouton Rothschild 1949 / A wine-making tour-de-force that caught by surprise in terms of the thrilling grandeur of the wine. Some Mouton mint, coffee and cassis abound on the stellar bouquet. There is such a thrilling vein of acidity to this wine, which as with the best 49’s, takes some of the ’47 richness and some of the ’45 concentration and intertwines elements of both with surpassing elegance, sophistication and aplomb. You have cassis, herbs, mocha and cinnamon all contributing to the fanfare at and past the mid palate. The tannins are soft but evident, so becomingly modest yet so assured. The layers of rich, round, vivid, vital flavors, the apogee of a great era, leave you bliss filled and transfixed. Plums, flowers and earth all alluringly come together on a long, almost lascivious finish. This is just magnificence. 100 Points

5m 16d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  7 Wines  from  6 Producers 

Lafite Rothschild 1953 / The nose is immediately ravishing, cedar, spice and violets perfume the nostrils. Aromatically you are simply stunned. The velvet texture, the round, sweet, bolt of silk on the palate, the Lafite lead pencil, all seduce you with their encompassing charms. You get lively mineral and spice laced red fruit at the mid palate, some ceps and a gently inviting smokiness. The tannins are gorgeously resolved, there is a sweet seamlessness and harmony to the wine that almost defies parallels. Twice now, the wine has been just disarmingly beautiful, stunning in its layered, complex, nuanced, yet emphatic Lafite elegance, showing the sheer poise that Cabernet Sauvignon can display. The smooth, sweet, nuanced finish is just magnificent. This is a simply extraordinary wine, and along with the ’59, arguably the greatest Lafite of the last century. 99 Points+

6m 2d 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)

7m 1d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  10 Wines  from  8 Producers 

MY TOP 10 WINES OF THE 2016 / La Tache 1959 / A wine of spellbinding appeal, plums, orange, game, roses, smokiness, all swirl enchantingly on the glorious bouquet. Depth, power and complexity envelop the palate on the opening, caramel and earth serenade the mid palate, segueing into pure velvet and silk. Spice, soil and fruit emerge, adding still more texture and appeal to the vinous tapestry here. Cardamom and cedar, the La Tache Oriental spice confection, and there is just a brilliant depth, length and purity to the combination of trumpet blast and violin concerto on the finish, that as those cosseting tannins and mouth perfume haunt your memory thereafter, you know you are in the presence of a masterpiece. 98-99 Points

7m 15d ago

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

8m 3d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  9 Wines  from  4 Producers 

PETRUS, LAFLEUR AND LE PIN: A COMPARATIVE TASTING

So, 11 intrepid palates gathered at The Four Seasons Park Lane in London to do a “deep dive” into these hallowed Pomerols. Wine writer and Pomerol maven, Neal Martin had suggested he was unaware of any such structured comparison having been done, and so we took it on to provide one.

Some canopy comments. Le Pin is often called the Richebourg of Bordeaux. It is a seductive, appealing wine, virtually all Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc as “salt and pepper” so to speak (and so it has indeed been spoken of by those who should know). Produced by the family that owns Vieux Chateau Certan, the Thienponts, specifically Jacques Thienpont, this is the most seductive of the three wines, and certainly the most approachable in its youth. It really showed ravishingly in 2005, 1998 and 1990 in particular. It was certainly still distinguished in 1989.

Yet while I can understand why people have said it produced the best 1982, I believe they are quite wrong. While the other 82’s earlier in their life were more surly or in primary stages of development, Le Pin would have more precociously flared forth, its sails at or near full mast. Yet it flailed somewhat in that vintage today next to Lafleur and Petrus.

The production is so small of this just over 2 hectare property, and its scarcity and surrounding mythos as well as its evident appeal, make it one of the most expensive wines in the world. That we were able to taste so many of its vintages together already set this evening apart.

Lafleur was a revelation to many, particularly the arc of its development over age. Surly and taciturn in its youth, with the Cabernet Franc reining in the sails of the Merlot flamboyance, it bides its time, and can sometimes just “miss” (like the ’90). Yet as it hits its stride, and the Cabernet Franc and Merlot integrate, and begin to dance, this quixotic property proclaims both its stature and its appeal. Neal called the 1989 the quintessence of Pomerol. And both he and I felt, that if the 1989 was more currently enjoyable, the 1982 Lafleur was the greatest wine we tasted in an evening of superlative wines. It was a “complete” wine, with 50 years of development ahead of it potentially.

Petrus, an exemplar of all things Merlot, shines, it makes you smile, it seduces, it infiltrates, it ensnares your palate in ravishing enticements. The ’98 Petrus was gorgeous, the ’95 so appealing, the ’90 just superb. The ’89, a great wine in past showings seemed to be passing through a dormant phase on this evening. And to me one of the wines of the night (while I eschew such comparisons, I really couldn’t as it was intended as a “comparative” tasting) was the ’82 Petrus. It was delightful, a consummate example of the vintage and wine.

The 1975 Petrus and 1975 Lafleur you will read about if you delve into the notes, but again an overall point. These were resolutely “old school” wines compared to the others. A number of the others were pinnacles of balanced early modernity, classicism taking an adaptive step forward. The ‘75’s are icons of their time and style, and finding a ’75 Lafleur these days is next to impossible. They didn’t get the same swoons from our audience, but as I returned to them, they kept growing in appeal. And the reason was their relative initial diffidence compared to the opulence and emphatic nature of the other vintages. They remain an extraordinary snapshot and a bridge between eras. In fact, the 1978 Lafleur, tasted with Neal in New York soon after his book on Pomerol came out, showcased the brilliance of key vintages of that decade and perhaps among the last exaltations of this style.

8m 11d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  12 Wines  from  4 Producers 

PETRUS, LAFLEUR AND LE PIN: A COMPARATIVE TASTING 

So, 11 intrepid palates gathered at The Four Seasons Park Lane in London to do a “deep dive” into these hallowed Pomerols. Wine writer and Pomerol maven, Neal Martin had suggested he was unaware of any such structured comparison having been done, and so we took it on to provide one.

8m 30d ago

Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  7 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Latour-a-Pomerol 1959 / What a bouquet! We have a mélange of chocolate, cherry, cassis, blackberries, and licorice, all seeming to rejoice in each other’s company. A feminine wine, yet with voluptuous wiles, elegant and plush at once.

The tannins are beautifully silky, sweet dark fruit past the mid palate, some cinnamon and traces of orange emerge, some caramel notes as it builds so vivaciously to a rich, rounded, layered, sensual, reverberating finish that leaves you with bliss on the palate. This is a magnificent ’59, absolutely no handicapping needed, vinous bounty with ravishing class. 98 Points+

11m 22h ago

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