Category Archives: Wine

Review: 2012 Sequoia Grove Chardonnay Napa Valley

sequoia grove chardonnay 103x300 Review: 2012 Sequoia Grove Chardonnay Napa ValleyA new release from Rutherford-based Sequoia Grove, right in the heart of Napa.

A modest wine, this Chardonnay is a dialed-back version of California’s classic style. Butter, wood, and vanilla are all present, but muted by some fresh apple and lemon notes that linger on the finish. Worthwhile, if not exactly earth-shattering, particularly with summer dinners at twilight.

B / $28 / sequoiagrove.com

Review: Neige Apple Ice Wine

neige 300x300 Review: Neige Apple Ice WineYou can make wine out of any fruit, including apples. So what about ice wine? From frozen apples? Why not.

Neige (which means “snow”) is made in Canada and imported by Boisset. It’s not really made from frozen winter apples but rather from apples picked in the fall which are then juiced, the juice frozen and concentrated into syrup, and then fermented into wine.

The nose of the wine is a bit on the hoary side — more apple seed than apple fruit. Underneath there’s a hint of fruit, but it needs time in the glass to develop. On the body, a rush of sweet fruit hits you first. The character then turns back toward a woody, cider-like character as the finish arrives, slightly sour but curiously interesting, at least for a wee glass.

13% abv.

B- / $35 (375ml bottle) / boissetfamilyestates.com

Review: 2012 FEL Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

FEL CH AndersonValley 12 198x300 Review: 2012 FEL Chardonnay and Pinot NoirFormerly known as Breggo, FEL is a new label for this winery, but little else has changed. Perhaps the biggest name, aside from a name switcheroo which now honors owner Cliff Lede‘s mother, is the discontinuation of Breggo’s old Riesling and Gewurztraminer bottlings. Thoughts on the remaining wines (the Pinot Gris wasn’t tasted) follow.

2012 FEL Chardonnay Anderson Valley – Unoaked, brisk with notes of vanilla and lemon up front, then fading to butterscotch, light caramel, and slightly tart lemon custard on the finish. Extremely food friendly and fun. A big win for Chardonnay haters. A- / $28

2012 FEL Pinot Noir Anderson Valley – Simple Pinot that doesn’t reinvent the wheel. The mild cherry also offers some sweet vanilla, and a slightly sweet finish gives this wine a pretty, pre-dinner feel to it, though it stands up well against foods like barbecue, where the fruit-forward character helps cut the spice. Nothing fancy, but worthwhile. B+ / $38

felwines.com

Review: 2011 Cliff Lede and Moondance Dream Cabernet Sauvignon

cliff lede 2011 198x300 Review: 2011 Cliff Lede and Moondance Dream Cabernet SauvignonNew 2011 Cabs from Cliff Lede, one of Napa’s blue chip bottlers. Surprising thoughts follow…

2011 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Stags Leap District – A big misstep for the normally spot-on Cliff Lede. This ultra-premium Cab has lost all its body, coming across as flabby and pruny, without the barest hint of acidity to keep things alive. The nose is restrained, too, offering some currant but mostly chocolate notes, leaving the body to try to work with notes that approximate a warmed-over, raspberry-inflected melted Hershey bar. C+ / $75

2011 Moondance Dream Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District – Cliff Lede’s blue chip bottling. A massive improvement over this year’s standard edition, a lush but restrained expression of pure Cabernet, gorgeous with distinct black pepper inflections atop currant jelly. The body is less racy than the nose would indicate, with silky, but not quite jammy, notes of cassis and red berries, layered with mild cedar wood notes. Hints of spice come back around on the finish. Beautiful. A / $95

cliffledevineyards.com

Review: 2008 Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine and 2008 Cabernet Franc Ice Wine

inniskillin gold vial 113x300 Review: 2008 Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine and 2008 Cabernet Franc Ice WineYears have passed since we last encountered Inniskillin and its masterful Canadian ice wines. We recently had the good fortune to sample two new vintages from Inniskillin, both sweet yet low-alcohol dessert wines made from frozen grapes from way up north. Thoughts follow.

2008 Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine – Gorgeous, with a rush of honey, applesauce, and vanilla. On the body, it’s beautifully sweet with more apple, apricots, ripe bananas, and tropical notes…  all layered with that rich honey character. Lovely complexity with a long, long finish. Be careful with this one. 9.5% abv. A- / $50 (375ml)

2008 Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Ice Wine – Red ice wines are always a little strange — sweet, ice cold… and red like tawny port. The nose offers all the honey and jammy fruit notes of white ice wines, and at first the body keeps that rolling, with notes of strawberry, vanilla, and fresh cream. The finish is where things change, that sweetness veering toward sour cherry notes, with add complexity, but leave things on a funky, oxidized note. 9.5% abv. B+ / $100 (375ml)

on.inniskillin.com

Review: Wines of Italy’s Stemmari, 2014 Releases

stemmari pinot noir 94x300 Review: Wines of Italys Stemmari, 2014 ReleasesStemmari is a major winemaker of Sicily, where it produces wines from both native and international varietals, with a ruthless focus on keeping costs down. Most of its wines are available for under $10 a bottle, and some of these are quite good.

The naming system may be a little tricky. The less-expensive, single varietal wines all have Stemmari on the label, and some list Feudo Arancio, an older/alternate name for the company, on the label as well. The blends — which are more expensive — do not use Stemmari on the label but only say Feudo Arancio. Confusing, sure, but either way, they all come from the same company, and the same island… Sicily.

Thoughts follow.

2011 Stemmari Pinot Grigio Sicilia IGT – Crisp. Light peach and pineapple on the nose. The body veers more toward lemon, with a touch of grapefruit. Almost candylike, it’s dangerously easy to drink. A- / $7

2012 Stemmari Feudo Arancio Nero D’Avola Terre Siciliane IGT – Tough and tannic at first, this wine settles down eventually and reveals a quite jammy, strawberry-laden core. Subtle tea and milk chocolate notes add nuance, but the somewhat sweet finish becomes tiresome after awhile. B / $8

2011 Stemmari Pinot Noir Sicilia IGT – Serviceable Pinot, but on the earthy/pruny side of things. Notes of cola and black cherry are also prominent, but the finish is on the tight side. B / $8

2012 Stemmari Feudo Arancio Moscato Sicilia IGT – Super-sweet moscato (just 8.5% alcohol), loaded with peaches, pineapple, and bananas foster. Simple, but it’s what sweet moscato should be. B+ / $9

2010 Feudo Arancio Cantodoro Sicilia IGT – 80% nero d’avola, 20% cabernet sauvignon. Easily the best wine in Stemmari’s lineup, a rich and balanced collection of currants, plums, tobacco, leather, and dark chocolate. It all comes together rather seamlessly, making for a seductive and luscious experience. A- / $18

2010 Feudo Arancio Dalila Sicilia IGT – A blend of 80% grillo (stainless steel fermented) and 20% viognier (aged 8 months in oak barrels). Weird and chardonnay-like up front, with big butter and vanilla notes up front. The body brings out meatlike characteristics that can be a bit at odds with the mild peach and lemon notes that come along on the finish. B / $20

feudoarancio.it

Review: 2010 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder

Mt. Brave Single Bottle Shot with Corkscrew 214x300 Review: 2010 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. VeederNapa’s Mount Veeder has a new resident: Mt. Brave Winery, one of the most difficult and rugged parts of the Napa Valley. Mt. Brave is focusing on Malbec, Merlot, and (of course) Cabernet Sauvignon, the signature grape of Mount Veeder.

This 2010 release is an impressive early effort for Mt. Brave. Intensely dark purple — this stuff will turn your lips almost black! — it’s a bold and quite delicious Cab. The nose offers berries and candied violets, with touches of milk chocolate. The body is on the sweet side, barely, with bold strawberry, vanilla, and blueberry character. Not quite venturing into dessert territory — it paired exquisitely with pasta with creamy marinara sauce — but getting close, which I like to think means it’s versatile.

A- / $75 / mtbravewines.artisanwine.com

Book Review: The Curious World of Wine

curious world of wine 187x300 Book Review: The Curious World of WineWine is indeed a curious world. Just drinking everyday bottles of the stuff is enough to vault you into a world of confusing terminology, exotic places, and strange people for the rest of your life.

Purdue University’s Richard Vine does the wine fanatic no favors with his book, The Curious World of Wine, which only serves to add to the mystery. A collection of loosely sorted and generally quite short “fun facts,” Vine devotes 210 pages, 10 chapters, and over 100 segments of only a few paragraphs each to one oddball tidbit or another about the world of wine.

Historical vignettes and etymology make up the lion’s share of the book. Some of this you’ll likely have heard before (toasting was born to exchange liquids between two glasses to ensure no one was being poisoned), some you likely haven’t (Robert Mondavi and Philippe de Rothschild conceived of Opus One while the Baron was lounging in bed). Most of the tidbits are at least interesting, even if they’re short on being actively educational.

Vine’s writing is typical of academics — straightforward and largely humorless aside from the overuse of wordplay — but breezy enough to make it easy to get into. If trivia’s your name and wine’s your game, give this book a look.

B / $15 / [BUY IT AT AMAZON]

Review: 2012 Laetitia Pinot Noir Whole Cluster Arroyo Grande Valley

laetitia whole cluster PN Review: 2012 Laetitia Pinot Noir Whole Cluster Arroyo Grande ValleyLaetitia’s latest from the Arroyo Grande AVA in San Luis Obispo is a a Pinot Noir made from whole clusters of Clone 115 Pinot Noir grapes, aged half in new and half in used French oak barrels.

Classic dark cherry and cola notes dominate the nose, developing just the lightest touches of chocolate and cedar wood as the body opens up. Rich with fruit yet restrained with a body that’s light enough to keep the palate clean, and a finish that is refined with both dried fruit notes and light herbal touches. A wonderful little wine.

A / $40 / laetitiawine.com

Review: 2012 Flora Springs Barrel Fermented Chardonnay and 2011 Trilogy

flora springs trilogy 70x300 Review: 2012 Flora Springs Barrel Fermented Chardonnay and 2011 TrilogyMore new releases from our friends at Napa Valley’s Flora Springs, including the 2011 vintage of its flagship wine, Trilogy, a Bordeaux style blend.

2012 Flora Springs Barrel Fermented Chardonnay – Initially quite oaky, this barrel-fermented Chardonnay opens up with notes of figs, peaches, vanilla, and creme brulee. Time in glass is the friend of this wine, which starts out quite dense — you might even decant it! — as the brooding body eventually reveals more of its fruit over an hour or so. B+ / $35

2011 Flora Springs Trilogy Napa Valley – 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Petite Verdot, 5% Malbec. A pretty and restrained Trilogy this year offers modest currants and dried cherry notes, plus tobacco, tea leaf, and cocoa bean notes. Quite a bit of tannin is hanging out on the back end, where a bit of touch of blackberry jam awaits. Good stuff. A- / $75

florasprings.com

Tasting in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley: Wines of Bella, Truett-Hurst, Preston

On the other side of Highway 101, Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley is a sleepy alternative to the bustle of Napa and even of Sonoma proper. Here, there’s little but narrow roads winding through vineyards. No Michelin-starred restaurants out here or even so much as a gas station. If you need a snack, there’s but one “general store” (always jam-packed) from which to obtain provisions.

Getting around Dry Creek is easy and fun. A recent tour took us to three lesser-known wineries a bit off the beaten path. Thoughts follow.

Tasting Report: Dry Creek Valley

2011 Bella Hills and Benches Zinfandel / $35 / B+ / fragrant and floral; strawberry, mint, sweeter finish
2011 Bella Lily Hill Estate Zinfandel / $40 / A- / intense, big body, huge structure
2010 Bella Big River Ranch Petite Sirah / $38 / B / gravelly, tannic
2012 Bella Late Harvest Zinfandel / $25 / B+ / fun, less cloying than you’d think; easy finish
2012 Ten Acre Russian River Valley Chardonnay / $30 / B+ / Bella’s second label; some butter notes, caramel apple character
2011 Ten Acre Cummings Vineyard Pinot Noir / $55 / A / light pepper, black and blueberry; an exciting wine
2012 Truett-Hurst Swallowtail Chardonnay / $27 / A- / lovely fruit, apple and pear, butterscotch
2012 Truett-Hurst White Sheep Pinot Noir / $40 / B+ / big fruit, red pepper, vanilla
2012 Truett-Hurst Black Sheep Pinot Noir / $40 / B / more chocolate/caramel notes
2012 Truett-Hurst Bradford Mountain Zinfandel / $33 / B+ / good balance; ripe berries, raisins; peppery edge
2012 Truett-Hurst Luci Zinfandel / $33 / A- / somewhat bolder, racy
2012 Truett-Hurst Red Rooster Zinfandel / $33 / B / a little flabby
2012 Truett-Hurst Southdown Zinfandel / $33 / B+ / good balance; slightly peppery; raspberry notes
2012 Preston Madam Preston / $32 / B+ / 50% viognier, 40% rousanne, 8% grenache blanc, 2% marsanne – peachy nose, apricots, marshmallows – perfumed finish
2012 Preston Grenache Blanc / $30 / B+ / bolder, butterscotch notes
2011 Preston Barbera / $34 / B- / thin, blackberry, a bit sweaty
2011 Preston L. Preston / $36 / B+ / 50% syrah, 20% mourvedre, 16% grenache, 8% cinsault, 6% carignane – beautiful nose, classic earth and plums, lots of acid, a bit too tart on the finish
2012 Guadagni Red Table Wine (3L) / $36 / B / artisinal jug wine, blended at Preston (refills available on site); surprisingly easy but simple; plenty of fruit

P.S. 3000 posts! Woot!

Review: 2006 Charbay Still House Port and Distillers’ Port

charbay Distillers Port 56x300 Review: 2006 Charbay Still House Port and Distillers PortCalifornia-based Charbay doesn’t just make some amazing spirits. It has also released this impressive collection of vintage ports, both made from 2006 vintage grapes and aged 7 years before bottling. Both are 20.9% abv and bottled in 375ml bottles. Thoughts follow.

2006 Charbay Still House Port – 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Zinfandel, 10% Syrah. That adds up to 105%, but that’s what Charbay told us. Close enough, I guess. The wine is fortified with 4 year old Charbay Syrah Brandy, then aged in used French oak for 7 years. The nose features the expected raisin and dark chocolate notes, but also menthol character to back it up. The body isn’t as rounded and lush as you might expect, but the interesting touches of hazelnut, licorice, and cloves add curiosity. The finish unfortunately is on the heavy, almost sour side. B+ / $50 (375ml)

2006 Charbay Distillers’ Port – A blend of late-harvest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with 6 year old Cabernet Franc brandy and aged for 7 years in old French oak barrels. This wine is a revelation that can stand up next to anything coming out of Portugal. Rich chocolate and coffee notes play with a sedate (and expected) raisin character on the nose, then work their way into the body. Some cinnamon pops up here, with a kind of nutty character coming along on the finish. Easy to enjoy, but layered with complexity. A / $75 (375ml)

charbay.com

Tasting the Sweet White Wines of the Roussillon Region

HERITAGE DU TEMPS SINGLA 2005 115x300 Tasting the Sweet White Wines of the Roussillon RegionRoussillon is southern France’s answer to Sauternes. This small part of the Languedoc region, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mountains, specializes in sweet dessert wines, made much in the same style of the more famous — and much more expensive — brethren to the north.

These wines, known as Vins Doux Naturels in their sweetened state, come from a number of sub-districts and are made with a variety of grape varietals. (The most noteworthy wines from this area are the well-regarded wines from the tiny Banyuls region, though these are closer to Port.) You’ll note the “Ambre” designation on some of the wines below. “Ambre” means that a wine from this region has been aged for at least two years in an oxidative container (like a large oak vat) before bottling, similar to Tawny Port. This can give the wine a much deeper, golden color.

And by the way, the district isn’t just promoting their value as an alternative to pricier stickies — it’s also got cocktails you can check out using Roussillon as a base.

Today we look at three selections from the Roussillon region, all fortified whites. Thoughts follow.

2006 Chateau Les Pins Rivesaltes Ambre – A blend of 25% White Grenache, 25% Malvasia, and 50% Macabeu grapes. Aromatic and perfumy, almost like an Alsatian wine. The body initially hits you with honey, then spins into an orange/lemon character before finishing with notes of cereal, something that’s almost like a granola. Refreshing, and different enough to make experiencing worthwhile over other white dessert wines. 16% abv. B+ / $15

2011 Chateau Les Pins Muscat de Rivesaltes -  50% Muscat Petit Grains and 50% Muscat Alexandrie grapes. Typical of Muscat, with a nose of peaches and marshmallow cream. On the tongue, more aromatics develop, with a perfumed white flower character that balances the fruit. The result is fresh and fragrant, a more pure expression of the vine than the almost malty/bready character that comes along in the Ambre. 16% abv. A- / $15

2006 Domaine Singla Heritage du Temps Ambre – A much different experience than the Les Pins, this 100% Macabeu wine has the intensity of a lighter sherry, crossed with a Madeira. The nose offers the distinct, old-wine sharpness of Madeira, with hints of floral aromatics and some sweetness beneath. On the palate, you’ll find more of a honey character backed with chewy nougat, nuts, and that sour cherry finish that again recalls Madeira. Not bad, but hardly the crowd-pleaser that the (cheaper) Muscat de Riversaltes is. B / $56

winesofroussillon.com

Review: Lolailo Sangria

Lolailo bottle shot 289x300 Review: Lolailo SangriaMade by Bodegas Sanviver in Spain, this budget sangria may not be overwhelming in its complexity, but it sure does go down easy. A basic, fruity red wine gets things started — think strawberries and raspberries — and copious sugar seals the deal. The finish offers a character not unlike a highly sweetened fruit tea, with only very mild “winey” notes on the finish. If you like your sangria with the fruitiness first and the wine a mere afterthought, look no further than Lolailo.

6% abv.

B+ / $6 / biagiocru.com

Review: 2010 Sartori Amarone della Valpolicella Estate Collection

Sartori Amarone Della Valpolicella 153x300 Review: 2010 Sartori Amarone della Valpolicella Estate CollectionA bright and fresh Amarone, this wine offers ripe strawberry and cherry notes, tempered by just the slightest touch of raisin — more evident on the nose than on the palate. The finish sticks with the sweeter side of things, offering a touch of sour cherry and some intriguing black tea notes, too.

B+ / $40 / banfiwines.com

Review: New Rioja from Zaco and Pomal

Vina Pomal Reserva NV HR 179x300 Review: New Rioja from Zaco and PomalTwo new Spanish Riojas — both quite young, a twist over the typical Rioja you’ll encounter, which can often be six to eight years old — or more — by the time they hit the shelf. How do these young guns measure up? Here we go…

2011 Vina Zaco Rioja Tempranillo – Especially young for Rioja, and it shows. Raw, almost pruny notes on the nose lead to a rather plain and unrefined body. Tar and stewy stone fruit notes are prominent, with a slightly sickly sweet finish. C- / $15

2009 Vina Pomal Rioja Reserva – Better, but still a clearly young and somewhat fruit-funky wine. Underripe fruit on the nose opens up over time, giving way to a strawberry/blueberry character laced with black tea and a touch of leather. Best with food, but fair enough on its own. B / $21

Review: NV Blandy’s Madeira Malmsey 10 Years Old

Blandys 10YR Malmsey 88x300 Review: NV Blandys Madeira Malmsey 10 Years Old A few months ago we took a deep dive into the world of Madeira, with a survey of four different grape varietals, all made by Blandy’s and all five years old. Today we look at an older version of one — Malmsey — at 10 years old. Malmsey was my favorite Madeira then and I put this 10 year old expression side by side with the younger version to see how it shaped up.

The answer: Surprisingly well. At 5 years old, Blandy’s Malmsey Madeira is still a bit funky, offering a raisiny fortified wine with touches of bittersweet chocolate and an acidic finish. At 10, the wine has matured wonderfully, bringing more of that chocolate to the forefront and imbuing it with a beautiful expression of raisin, fig, and currants. That tight, almost sour funkiness has vanished, leaving behind a sultry experience that begs for a rich cheese or a dense chocolate cake. Quite lovely.

19% abv.

A / $35 / blandys.com

Review: 2011 Sartori Ferdi Bianco Veronese IGT

Sartori Ferdi 150x300 Review: 2011 Sartori Ferdi Bianco Veronese IGTA unique white wine made entirely from garganega grapes from the Soave region of Italy. (As with the red wine Amarone, these grapes are dried before they are vinified, spending 40 days in the sun boosting their sugar levels.) The wine is partially fermented in stainless steel and partially in oak.

The wine initially offers a very muted nose. This opens up as the wine gets warmer, with honey and clear apricot notes evident. On the body, it’s surprisingly vibrant, again offering ample apricot with a slight caramel edge to it, particularly on the finish. The body is big, with floral elements that dance in and out on the tongue and in the nostrils.

B+ / $15 / banfiwines.com

Review: 2012 Martin Codax Albarino Rias Baixas

martin codax albarino 2012 wine 124x300 Review: 2012 Martin Codax Albarino Rias BaixasWidely available and incredibly affordable, Martin Codax’s 2012 Albarino from Spain’s Rias Baixas region is easy to like. Offering fresh lemon and pineapple notes, it has a modestly creamy body and a brisk acidity to the finish. A bit of vanilla adds a touch of the exotic.

A- / $12 / martincodax.com

Tasting Report: 2009 and 2010 St. Emilion Bordeaux Wines

It isn’t every day we get to experience a narrowly-focused tasting that offers only wines from a single, small region — and restricts them to just two vintages, at that. Hard, then, to pass up the opportunity to sample the 2009 and 2010 vintages of St. Emilion red Bordeaux wines — all Grand Crus — from dozens of producers in this right bank region, known for its heavy focus on Merlot.

In pitting ’09 and ’10 head to head, I found the vintages largely similar, with 2010 pulling just a bit ahead of its older sibling, thanks to generally better acidity levels in the wine. Thoughts follow on all wines tasted.

Tasting Report: 2009 and 2010 St. Emilion Bordeaux Wines

2009 Château Bellefont-Belcier Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / rich, with nice licorice and spice, some leather
2010 Château Bellefont-Belcier Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / slightly thinner
2009 Château Chauvin Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / needs time, significant herbal notes
2010 Château Chauvin Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / more lively, lots of earth
2009 Château Clos de Sarpe Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / showing some oxidation
2010 Château Clos de Sarpe Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / big raisin, high acidity and tart blueberry notes
2009 Château Corbin Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / more floral, with blackberry tones; an easy favorite
2010 Château Corbin Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / lush and mushroomy, leather with deep wood
2009 Clos des Jacobins Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / modest, tannic with a big finish
2010 Clos des Jacobins Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / lots of depth, similar to 2009
2009 Château la Commanderie Bordeaux St. Emilion/ C- / significant barnyard notes
2010 Château la Commanderie Bordeaux St. Emilion/ C+ / quite jammy, overcooked
2009 Couvent des Jacobins Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / out of balance, vegetal notes
2010 Couvent des Jacobins Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / heavy duty, big structure with lots of future promise
2009 Château Dassault Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / good fruit, balanced with solid acid
2010 Château Dassault Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / a curiosity, raisin character and some Port notes
2009 Château de Ferrand Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / well crafted, nice balance of fruit and light herbs
2010 Château de Ferrand Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / similar character to 2009, with a bit more acidity
2009 Château de Pressac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / tough, slightly weedy
2010 Château de Pressac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / similar, a bit thin
2009 Château Destieux Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / very rich, dense with chocolate and tobacco notes
2010 Château Destieux Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / similar structure, winning body, balanced but with depth
2009 Château Faugeres Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / some greenness, tar notes
2010 Château Faugeres Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / heavy notes of herbs and wood
2009 Château Peby Faugeres Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / dense, heavy tar, blackberry and cassis notes – a huge wine
2010 Château Peby Faugeres Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / a bit over-sweetened, cherry notes
2009 Château Fleur Cardinale Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / earthy, subtle and more delicate, but short on fruit
2010 Château Fleur Cardinale Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / fuller and rounder, more stone fruit character
2009 Château Fombrauge Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / dense fruitcake character
2010 Château Fombrauge Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / considerable tannin, tougher, dried herbs
2009 Château Fonplegade Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / thin body, short on fruit
2010 Château Fonplegade Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / tart, acidic finish, cherry cola notes
2009 Château Fonroque Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / some mint, some mushroom, with an herbal finish
2010 Château Fonroque Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / more balanced, crisp and tart berry notes
2009 Château Moulin du Cadet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / simple, easy fruit, sweet finish
2010 Château Moulin du Cadet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / tobacco notes, Port character, simple and sweet finish
2009 Château Franc Mayne Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / easy, simple fruit core
2010 Château Franc Mayne Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / similar notes to 2009
2009 Château Grand Pontet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B / some weediness
2010 Château Grand Pontet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B- / somewhat unripe, tough around the edges
2009 Château Guadet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / moderate berries on the core, some stone fruit character
2010 Château Guadet Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / better balance, more fruit and structure
2009 Château Jean Faure Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / more powerfully structured, chewier than 2010
2010 Château Jean Faure Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / fruit forward, ample body with some floral notes; huge Cab Franc in blend
2009 Château la Dominique Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / great balance of fruit with floral notes
2010 Château la Dominique Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / bigger body, licorice notes on top
2009 Château la Marzelle Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / lots going on, coffee notes, fresh flowers, big berry notes
2010 Château la Marzelle Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A / similar build, but with a more refreshing finish; tops!
2009 Château La Tour Figeac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / licorice notes, some cocoa beans, dessert-like
2010 Château La Tour Figeac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ A- / much the same, some ginger, cocoa powder
2009 Château Laroze Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / forest floor, charcoal, dense and chewy
2010 Château Laroze Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / lots of tart berry notes, cranberry sauce
2009 Château Le Prieure Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / some menthol on the nose, a bit thin, tobacco notes
2010 Château Le Prieure Bordeaux St. Emilion/ B+ / considerable menthol, more acid, bigger but balanced
2009 Château Yon Figeac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ C- / barnyard notes, on a thin body
2010 Château Yon Figeac Bordeaux St. Emilion/ C / similar character to 2009