WSR Wine Blog

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December 2011 WSR Champagnes – Tim’s

As 2011 came to a close, Tim put together an exceptional champage list to end the year with and including some I have never had (being a novice and all).  It was good to finally taste a Crystal and Dom to see what all the hubub was about with these highend champagnes, still thinking about those!!

Tim added some notes to his email of which has been included here:

I think everyone took home some new knowledge and perhaps a whole new set of expectations.  There were quite a number of favorites among the group, not unexpected when you stack the deck (ratings were 93 or above for every wine), but then that really was my intent.  The take home message:  READ, READ and READ some more and when you find a general consensus of very favorable ratings by reviewers go out a try that particular wine, especially if it is $40. and not $200. as was the case with several wines last evening.  As I mentioned everything we tasted last evening is available at ‘local’ shops.

Aperitif                                                                     Price              Score

 Jaume Serra Cristalino – Brut Nature- 2008          $  13. (mag)     91 W&S

    30% Chardonnay, 30% Xarel·lo, 20% Macabeo. 20% Parellada          

 Sparklers :

 Flt 1 

Roederer – L’Ermitage – Brut – 2002                          $  39.              94 W&S

            60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay

Charles Heidsieck – Brut Reserve – NV                      $  38.              93 W&S

           34% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Meunier.

Dom Perignon – 2002                                                        $ 130.             96 RP

            Variable blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Veuve Cliquot – Brut – 2002                                           $  70.              94 WE

            60% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 7% Pinot Meunier

 Flt 2

Krug – Grande Reserve – NV                                               $ 160.             95 W&S, RP

       Variable blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, 9 or more vintages in the blend

Henri Billiot – Brut – 2004                                                $  63.              93 WA

            75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay

Roederer – Cristal – 2002                                                    $ 200.             100 W&S ,98 WE

            60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay                                                                    

Argyle – Brut – Extrended Tirage – 2000                       $ 51.              95 W&S

           54% Chardonnay, 46% Pinot Noir

 Flt 3

Billecart-Salmon,Cuvee Nicolas-Francois Billecart 2000    $ 100.             95 WE

            60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay

Henriot – Brut – Blanc de Blanc – NV                                $  40.              93 RP

            100% Chardonnay

Charles Heidsieck – Brut Cuvee Royale 2002         $  75.              94 W&S

          50% Chardonnay, 41% Pinot Noir, 9% Pinot Meunier

Gramona – III Lustos – Gran Reserva – 1997           $  51.              94 ST

            70 % Xarel·lo, 30% Macabeo

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December 28, 2011 Posted by | Bubbly, France, Group Tasting Notes | Leave a comment

WSR December 2010 – Champagne

Happy Holidays everyone!!  Well this years holidays tasting at Tim’s was a wonderful tasting which again he seems to exceed our expectations and bring something new to the table for all of us to enjoy.  This years Champagne were all Rose’s from France (with exception to the opener).  Each one brought a non typical excitement to the mouth and palate and there was not a bad one in the bunch. 

We had a great assortment of food which went very well with each of the champagnes.  A roasted pork loin was served as the main dish, there was a baked crab dip, smoked salmon and cream cheese, cheeses, crackers, mushroom topped mixture over a bagette, and salty potato chips!  (Yes they really do go well with champagne!)  I have to admit that the appetizer that I found most delightful was the pepper & salt potato chip, topped with sour cream, smoked salmon and chive was so simple but so good.  🙂 

Thanks to Tim for a wonderful tasting and hope he can out do this years lineup next holiday season.  Hope Santa is good to you all and see you next year.

O.  Schramsberg Mirabelle – Brut Rose                                               $ 19.           93 WS
 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay     

1. Nicholas Feuillalatte – Brut Rose NV                                               $ 40.         92 WS
 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay

2. Chartogne Taillet – Le Rose NV                                                          $ 50.            92 RP
 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay

3. Phillipponnat Reserve Rosee Brut NV                                             $ 60.            91 WS
 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier,

4. Rene Geoffroy – Brut Rose de Saignee NV                                     $ 55.            93 RP
 100% Pinot Noir

5. Charles Gardet – Brut Rose 2002                                                      $ 36.              93 WS
 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Petit Meunier

6. Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999                                                $150.            97 ST
 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay

7. Andre Beaufort – Brut Rose 2002                                                   $ 85              94 WE
 100% Pinot Noir – Late disgorged – 2009

8. Charles Heidsieck – Rose Reserve NV                                            $ 60.            94 WS
 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay

9. Louis de Sacy – Brut Rose Grand Cru NV                                      $ 36.                93 WS
 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Petit Meunier

10. Vilmart  – Cuvee Rubis NV                                                                $ 60.               93 WA
 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay

11. Henri Goutorbe – Brut Rose NV (2006-disgorged 2009)    $ 52.               93 WA
 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay

12. Egly Ouriet – Brut Rose Grand Cru N

December 16, 2010 Posted by | Bubbly, France, Group Tasting Notes | 1 Comment

March WSR Ries Lineup

David brought forth an interesting list of wines to present to the group this month.  The wines were from 4 continenents acompanied with appitzers and BBQ of sausage and flank steak and rice.  Below is the line-up… comments?

O1) NV ROEDERER ESTATE BRUT $16.95

O2) ALIMANT LAUGNER CREMANT ALSACE ROSE NV BRUT (100% PINOT NOIR) $19.99

1) ’05 SCHILD ESTATE BAROSSA UNWOODED SEMILLON $14.99
2) ’07 SAINT COSME COTES-DU-RHONE BLANC (GIGONDAS) $19.99
3) ’07 MADRONA RESERVE ESTATE ME’LANGE (56% MARSANNE, 22% ROUSSANNE, 22% VIOGNIER_EL DORADO COUNTY) $18.00
4) ’06 CRETA ROBLE (100% TEMPRANILLO_SPAIN) $10.99
5) ’08 BODEGA PRIVADA MALBEC_ARGENTINA $13.99
6) ’05 POMEROL CHRISTIAN MOUEIX (95% MERLOT, 5%CAB. FRANC_FRANCE) $23.99
7) ’07 TWO ANGELES CABERNET (NAPA, MAYACAMAS MOUNTAINS) $20.99

8) ’04 LE CIGARE VOLANT, BONNY DOON (38% GRENACHE, 35% SYRAH, 12% MORVEDRE, 8% CARRIGNANE, 7% CINSAULT) $24.99
9) ’04 VERGET COTES DU LUBERON, (GRENACHE, SYRAH, CARRIGNANE ?) $17.95
10)’06 ADELINA GRENACHE (CLARE VALLEY, AUSTRALIA) $22.99
11)’05 DOMAINE MALYS-ANNE RECITAL, MINERVOIS, FR. (GRENACHE, SYRAH, CARRIGNON_IMPORTED PERSONALLY BY: THE BEAR)
12)’06 SLIPSTREAM FASTBACK MCLAREN VALE, AUSTRALIA SHIRAZ $35.99
13)’03 REYNELLA BASKET PRESS SHIRAZ, MCLAREN VALE, AUSTRALIA $28.99
14)’07 VINA VON SIEBENTHAL CARMENE’RE (VALLE DE ACONCAGUA, CHILE) $14.99
15)’06 VINA VON SIEBENTHAL TOKNAR PETIT VERDOT (HAND PICKED, SINGLE VINEYARD, UNFILTERED, ACONCAGUA VALLEY, CHILE) $64.99

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Australia, Bubbly, France, Group Tasting Notes, Red Wines, White Wines | 1 Comment

January WSR Tasting – So. Rhone at Scott’s

January’s tasting as Scott’s took us to the “South” but which “South” was the question?  There were many answers but in the beginning the Southern Rhone was not a guess!   The tasting ventured off to Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape (CDP) in Southern France.

 I don’t remember in the past years of the group tasting wines from Vacqueras and Gigondas but IMO they showed up very well to the CDP’s.  Besides price points being much less than the big boys of CDP they had very good structure and elegance that would be worth picking up a few to put down for a while to see how they evolve. 

The flights were divided up to three wines each and included newest release year of 2007 and one older in each group to see if any improvements were gained in time.  I think as a whole the 2007’s showed up as being very accessable  and drinkable now.

Cheeses and pates of France accompanied the opening Champaign and sparkler. Dinner was served at the end of the second flight of Julia Childs Beef Boeuf Bourguignon, noodles and green beans.  I think it was a good evening had by all if I do say so myself.  The wine list is below and can be purchased at Wine Exchange.

O1) – Mumm Napa Brut Rose ($16)
O2) – Montaudon Champagne – Grande Rose  – Reims France   ($23)
 1) – 2007 – Domaine Le Couroulu – Vacqueyras  ($17)
 2) – 2007 – Colline St. Jean – Vacqueyras   $20)
 3) – 2005 – Montirius – Vacqueyras  ($25)
 4) – 2007 – Chateau De Saint Cosme – Gigondas ($36)
 5) – 2005 – E Guigal – Gigondas ($24)
 6) – 2007 – Domaine Brusset – Gigondas    ($37)
 7) – 2005 – Domaine Du Vieux Lazaret  – Chateauneuf du Pape  ($30)
 8) – 2007 – Domaine Raymond Usseglio  – Chateauneuf du Pape  ($40)
 9) – 2007 – Delas Haute Pierre – Chateauneuf du Pape  ($30)
10) – 2007 – Le Vieux Donjon – Chateauneuf du Pape  ($60)  
11) – 2007 – Roger Sabon – Chateauneuf du Pape  ($38)
12) – 2003 – Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe – Chateauneuf du Pape  ($36)

January 6, 2010 Posted by | Bubbly, France, Group Tasting Notes, Red Wines | Leave a comment

Wines enjoyed over the 2009 Holiday

Hope you all had a great Christmas and memorable New Years.  Now that the 2009 holiday season has come to a close it was time to do some clean- up……of wine bottles that is, from the past few weeks of gathering with friends and family. I thought I would take a quick inventory of what I tasted and enjoyed with good food or just a bottle for dinner. Mind you this was over the last 3 weeks time period not in any particular order and enjoyed by many.

  • Roederer Estate Sparkler – Anderson Vally $20
  • Schramsburg Cremant – $27 (favorite)
  • Veuve Clicquot Brut St Supery – 2006 Merlot, Rutherford
  • Domanie Pichit – Vouvray 2007 (France)
  • Wildhurst – 2008 Savignon Blanc
  • Ferrari Carano – 2008 Fume Blanc
  • William Selyem – 2005 Pinot Noir, Russian River (very nice and better than the Serene as I remember)
  • Andrew Murray – 2006 Syrah, Black Oak Vineyard (yummy)
  • Domaine Serene – 2005 Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve, Willamette Valley
  • MacMurry Ranch – 2006 Pinot Noir
  • Barrel 27 – 2006 Viogior/Roussane/Marsanne – high on the hog, French Camp
  • A Rafanelli – 2006 Cabernet – Dry Creek (big red)
  • Wine Gurrella – 2006 Zinfandel, Sonoma

What did you drink this season and was it memorable?

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Bubbly, Other Tasting Notes, Red Wines, White Wines | Leave a comment

Champagne notes (Tim’s tasting)

Additional information on Champagnes poured at WSR, December 18, 2009

I reviewed the Champagnes that Tim poured in my two reference “bibles,” Hachette Guide des Vins-2009, and Classement (now called Les Meilleurs Vins de France 2009), both French references.  I have found the latter is more generally respected, and it will provide a listing of multiple products of a cave or house.  Omission from Hachette may indicate one of two things—either the wine submitted did not rate high enough to be listed (the judging panels are generally local producers), or the producer never submitted a sample to be judged.  One never knows.  Classemente rates the producer.  It has 3-star, 2-star, 1-star and listing only.  Getting listed here is significant in that the guide lists only the very best from each region—there is not “entry.”  It takes it one-step further in that it will assign a numerical score to the producer’s portfolio of wines, using a twenty-point scale.

1.  Moncuit.  Listed in Hachette, received 1-star.  From the Côtes-des-Blancs (CB) south of Eparnay.  Sells for between 15 and 23 euros in France.

 2. Guy Charlemagne.  From CB. Listed in Hachette, no stars, indicated at 15-23 euros.  The house is listed in Classement, the particular wine was rated at 14/20.

 3. Colin Cuvee.  Not listed in either reference.

 4. Agrapart.  From CB.  Listed in Hachette, no stars.  Sells for between 46 to 60 euros, with Tim’s pouring at $37—a good buy for the producer.  Classement lists the producer at 1-star, and shows this product at 15.5/20, selling for 20 euros

 5. Henriot.  Hachette lists only the 1996 vintage product, not the blanc Souverain NV that Tim poured, though it does get a mention in the Hachette text.  Located in Reims.  Source of grapes not stated, but it has no acreage.  Received a two-star rating as producer (high respect).  The Champagne Tim poured received a 16/20.  Sells for 30 euros, so the $39 in US is a fair-priced buy.

 6. Larmandier-Bernier.  No mention in either reference.

 7. Duval-Leroy.  Located in CB, south of Eparnay.  The producer is listed in Hachette, but only the 1999, not the 1998 vintage.   The house is listed in Classement, getting a 1-star rating.  The 1998 was rated at 15.5/20, and is sold at 43 euros.

 8. Guy Larmandier.  Located in CB, south of Eparnay.  Producer is listed in Hachette, but only a Champagne called Cramant, in reference to a village on the highway that parallels the Côte des Blancs, though Larmandier’s address is Vertus, another village along the same highway.

 9. J. Lasalle.  Not listed in either publication. 

 10. Ruinart.  Only the 1998 vintage is listed in Hachette, but that received 3-stars.  The producer is listed in Classement with a 1-star rating.  The particular wine that Tim poured received a 13/20.  Sells for 36,60 euros.

 11. Henri Billot.  Not listed in either publication.

 12. Jacquesson.  Located near Ay (north of Eparnay, on the north side of the Marne).  Not listed in Hachette.  Listed in Classement, with a two-star rating (indicating a really highly respected producer).  The particular Champagne Tim poured scored 18/20.  Sells for 53 euros, so the $110 Tim paid is a bit high.

FYI – Producer ratings in Champagne in Classement:

3-star (Outstanding)
– Bollinger
– Egly-Ouriet
– Krug
– Jacques Selosse

2-star (Excellent)
– Billcart-Salmon
– Charles Heidsieck
– Deutz
– Dom Pérignon
– Henriot
– Jacquesson
– Larmandier-Bernier
– Pol Roger
– Louis Roderer
– Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin

1-star (Very Good)
– Agrapart et Fils
– Paul Bara
– Barnaut
– De Sousa
– Duval-Leroy
– Gatinois
– Pierre Gimonnet et Fils
– Gosset
– Alfred Gratien
– Jean Lallement et Fils
– Laurent-Perrier
– Marie-Noëlle Ledru
– Lilbet-Fils
– Mailly Grand Cru
– Pierre Mncuit
– Franck Pascal
– Joseph Perrier
– Philipponnat
– Roses de Jeanne-Cédric Bouchard
– Ruinart
– Soutiran
– Taittinger

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Bubbly, Group Tasting Notes | Leave a comment