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    My Column

    BWW2024: Jeff Leve - Best Bordeaux Wine Critic of the World

    Tb: What aspects you consider particularly crucial to succeed as a wine critic, and how have you succeeded in them personally?

    "Because you asked, these are the qualities I find to be paramount in a wine critic. Honesty, consistency, and the ability for the critic to have and be able to use their voice to express not only what is in the glass, but the emotions that the best wine...

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    My Today

    2020 Bordeaux is the grand finale of the never-before-experienced, three consecutive run of great vintages. Yes, there has been a few back-to-back double plays, but this is the first time Bordeaux has ever experienced a full hat trick.

     

    There are differences in the vintages, which will become more apparent as the wines age and evolve. Each vintage is unique. Perhaps 2020 is closest to 2018, for its opulent, velvet drenched, sensuous sty...

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    My Yesterday

    The Top Ten Best Wines Tasted in 2016, and the Stories Behind the Wines

    2016 has been a roller coaster year for life, and with wine. As far as wine goes, The 2016 Top Ten Wines of the Year in many wines is by year of drinking so far. Much of that has to do with my methodology of creating the list of my 2016 Top Ten Best Wines of the Year. Of course the wines are chosen for their quality, style and character. In some cases, scarcity matters ...

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    My Tomorrow

    2011 Bordeaux: A difficult year in more ways than one.  / It’s a reasonable debate as to which got off to a more difficult start, the vintage, or the effort to sell the wines. If you’re a wine maker, you’re probably going with the topsy-turvy 2011 growing season. If you’re a wine merchant offering Bordeaux futures, your vote is cast for the almost non-existent 2011 Bordeaux futures campaign.

     

    2011 Bordeaux is the child of a difficult ye...

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    Me

    Jeff Leve- Founder, Contributor and Editor of “The Wine Cellar Insider”

    The Wine Cellar Insider focuses on Bordeaux wine. Thousands of exclusive, searchable wine tasting notes with ratings, winery histories and profiles, images, in-depth articles, links and up to the minute harvest news. The Wine Cellar Insider also publishes special guest contributors ranging from chateaux owners, wine makers, consultants, negociants, retailers and more. T...

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    Pro Me

    The Wine Cellar Insider focuses on Bordeaux wine. Thousands of exclusive, searchable wine tasting notes with ratings, winery histories and profiles, images , in-depth articles, links and up to the minute harvest news. The Wine Cellar Insider also publishes special guest contributors ranging from chateaux owners, wine makers, consultants, negociants, retailers and more. The Wine Cellar Insider is the world’s leading source for Bordeaux harvest ...

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    Digital Me

    All About Bordeaux Wine, The Complete Bordeaux Wine Guide to the Best Bordeaux Wines and the Top Bordeaux Chateaux

    This page is all about the best Bordeaux wine. It is the complete guide to the top Bordeaux wines, wineries and winemakers with easy to follow links to everything you want to know about all the best, Bordeaux wines, chateaux and vineyards featured in The Wine Cellar Insider . 

    This Complete All About Bordeaux Guide to Bordea...

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  18 Wines  from  11 Producers 

The Best 40 wines tasted in 2023 Part II, exclusively for readers of Tasting Book. It has been quite a year, with far more ups than downs, especially when it comes to wine. I am lucky as well as blessed to be able to taste older, mature wines, as well as young wines and barrel samples, all of which allows me a fun look at a myriad of different wines at all ages and stages of maturity.

By ratings, these are a look at the 40 best wines tasted, so far. I have two more special nights coming up, but as we already closing in on the second week of December, this is a good snapshot of the best wines from 2023.  I hope you have at least half as much read it, as I did tasting them.

1m 15d ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  20 Wines  from  17 Producers 

The Best 40 wines tasted in 2023 Part I, exclusively for readers of Tastingbook. It has been quite a year, with far more ups than downs, especially when it comes to wine. I am lucky as well as blessed to be able to taste older, mature wines, as well as young wines and barrel samples, all of which allows me a fun look at a myriad of different wines at all ages and stages of maturity.

By ratings, these are a look at the 40 best wines tasted, so far. I have two more special nights coming up, but as we already closing in on the second week of December, this is a good snapshot of the best wines from 2023.  I hope you have at least half as much read it, as I did tasting them.

7m 4d ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  7 Wines  from  7 Producers 

2020  Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc / With the pop of grapefruit, white peach, lemon peel, flowers, orange rind and honeysuckle in the nose, and a creamy, sweet, fresh, juicy, slightly honeyed, lush, white peach and citrus finish, you have all the ingredients needed for a luscious, white Bordeaux wine. The wine was produced from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris and 5% Semillon. 97  Pts

1y 1m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  7 Wines  from  7 Producers 

2020  Château L'Evangile Pomerol / Dark garnet in color, initially you notice all the truffle, flowers, dark cocoa and plums with a touch of licorice in the aromatics. On the palate the wine is rich, lush, velvety and full-bodied. There is a beautiful richness to the texture on the mid-palate and in the opulen finish with its wealth of chocolate, espresso, black plum and sweet Morello cherries. The endnote lingers, which is what you need, as this tastes and feels so good, you want more of it.  If you can, give this a decade of age this will really be singing. The wine blends 88% Merlot with 12% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% ABV. Yields were low at 32 hectoliters per hectare. The Grand Vin was made from 50% of the harvest. 96-98  Pts

2y 1m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  10 Wines  from  10 Producers 

2020  Château Lafite Rothschild / The compelling nose, with its showy notes of lead pencil, tobacco leaf, cedar, cigar box, currants, spice and wet forest leaf comes through easily. The palate is pure silk in texture. Seamlessly moving from the beginning, middle and end, the wine is fresh, bright, long and intense. The purity in the fruit, paired with its energy and lift linger for more than 50 seconds. Refined, elegant, complex and compelling, if you have the patience to wait for 15-20 years before opining a bottle, this is going to be one of the great vintages for Lafite Rothschild.  The wine is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot 12.8% ABV. The harvest took place September 14 - October 4. With yields of 37 hectoliters per hectare, the Grand Vin represents 45% of the harvest. 97-99  Pts

2y 5m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  20 Wines  from  20 Producers 

2020 Bordeaux is the grand finale of the never-before-experienced, three consecutive run of great vintages. Yes, there has been a few back-to-back double plays, but this is the first time Bordeaux has ever experienced a full hat trick. There are differences in the vintages, which will become more apparent as the wines age and evolve. Each vintage is unique. Perhaps 2020 is closest to 2018, for its opulent, velvet drenched, sensuous style.  Though, it is important to note that you also find freshness, lift and elegance. Here is something to consider about 2020, alcohol levels are lower for many estates, which is surprising with hot, dry years like 2020.

2y 7m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  14 Wines  from  14 Producers 

Bordeaux has been on a hot roll lately. Think about it. 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018 and who knows, even though it is early, 2019 is also looking good!
Each vintage has its own mark, its individual sense of identity and uniqueness of character. 2016 Bordeaux is such a great vintage!  Consider this. Out of all those above-named vintages, there are 2016 wines better than you find in any of those years. And that is really saying something!
In 2016, like in all great years, every appellation produced beautiful wines, and each has its own stars. You can find fabulous wines on both banks and in all price ranges. The Petit Chateaux are superb. Right Bank wines are gorgeous and some of the best wines from the Medoc are potentially the best-ever from their respective vineyards.
2016 has it all. The wines combine concentration of flavor, purity of fruit, zesty acidity, ripe tannins, power, elegance, refinement and richness. The aromatics are complex, and the length and mouthfeel go on and on. The best wines offer the ability to age and evolve for decades!
2016 is the most recent bottled vintage in Bordeaux. The wines are currently available to consumers. If you are seeking to enjoy the best of the best, this article is for you.
During both tasting trips to Bordeaux this year, I tasted close to 500 recently bottled 2016 wines. These are the top 25 wines of the vintage.

3y 7m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  10 Wines  from  10 Producers 

2009 Petrus is deep ruby with purple tints at the rim of the glass. Spice, plums, blackberries, and blueberries, with cinnamon, clay, mint, mocha, and kirsch, make up the complex perfume. From a blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the wine is rich, concentrated and packed with surreal levels of glycerin. This viscous, thrilling treat provides a seamless, intensely pure finish of spice, jammy cherries, and chocolate. 100 Pts

4y 5m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  11 Wines  from  11 Producers 

Bordeaux has been on a hot roll lately. Think about it. 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018 and who knows, even though it is early, 2019 is also looking good!
Each vintage has its own mark, its individual sense of identity and uniqueness of character. 2016 Bordeaux is such a great vintage!  Consider this. Out of all those above-named vintages, there are 2016 wines better than you find in any of those years. And that is really saying something!
In 2016, like in all great years, every appellation produced beautiful wines, and each has its own stars. You can find fabulous wines on both banks and in all price ranges. The Petit Chateaux are superb. Right Bank wines are gorgeous and some of the best wines from the Medoc are potentially the best-ever from their respective vineyards.
2016 has it all. The wines combine concentration of flavor, purity of fruit, zesty acidity, ripe tannins, power, elegance, refinement and richness. The aromatics are complex, and the length and mouthfeel go on and on. The best wines offer the ability to age and evolve for decades!
2016 is the most recent bottled vintage in Bordeaux. The wines are currently available to consumers. If you are seeking to enjoy the best of the best, this article is for you.

4y 8m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  13 Wines  from  12 Producers 

Château Lafleur 1982 / 101 Points / This remains one of the great wines of the 20th century! Stunning in every sense and meaning of the word. The floral, truffle, cherry, black and red plum, spicy perfume is off the hook. The intensity of flavor, concentration, richness and length is worth an easy 101 Pts!

4y 9m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  7 Wines  from  7 Producers 

Château Latour 1982 - 100p - Stunning from top to bottom, and from start to finish, this is a strong contender for wine of the vintage. With mouth coating layers of dark red fruits, tobacco, cigar wrapper, cedar wood and smoked earth aromatics, the wine kicks off with all the right stuff. But it is on the palate where the wine is really on full display. Intensity, length and regal in character, there is a firmness to the structure along with elegance and formality in the finish, which by the way must stick with you for 60 seconds! Thank God I have friends that can afford this. Because it really is a benchmark wine that at close to 30 years of age is almost in the right place for prime time drinking. Well stored bottles should offer pleasure until 2082!

5y 8m ago

Jeff Leve / BWW2024 Finalist, Wine Writer (United States)  had a tasting of  3 Wines  from  3 Producers 

1795 Madeira is not your everyday wine. As a wine, it does not rank with any of the best wines I tasted this year, last year, or the year before. But as a glass of liquid contemplation, blended with a history lesson, it remains unequaled. This is 4 centuries old! In 1795, all the Founding Fathers were alive. George Washington was president, John Adams is Vice President and Thomas Jefferson resigned as Secretary of State. France adopts a new Constitution, Napoleon makes himself known, and Madeira had a great vintage. It only takes a glass with a bit of 1795 Madeira to make it all come alive again.

The dried fruits, brown sugar, piquant orange with bitter chocolate, roasted tangerine, burnt caramel and sharp acidic character neither add, or subtract from the fact that this is oldest wine I have ever tasted. It is more interesting than pleasurable. But it was truly a great experience, regardless.

6y 3m ago

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