95 Points - Antonio Galloni "Varner's Chardonnay Amphitheater Block is rich, ample and super-expressive. Lemon peel, almonds, chamomile, earthiness, dried apricot and sage meld together effortlessly. The 2013 Amphitheater is a classic Varner Chardonnay built on phenolic intensity and plenty of savory/floral notes that add nuance, while the fruit is pushed a bit into the background."
95 Points - Neal Martin
The 2014 Doisy-Vedrines has a tightly knit, backward bouquet that demands much more encouragement than its peers. The palate is well balanced with a viscous texture, extremely well judged acidity, poised with a beautiful quince and marmalade-tinged finish that lingers in the mouth. Superb. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.
The selection process under proprietor Bruno Borie is so severe at Ducru Beaucaillou that readers should be giving serious attention to the second wine, Croix de Beaucaillou, which sports a dramatic black and gold label. The 2011 exhibits attractive black currant and black cherry fruit, medium body, silky tannins and a lush, round, up-front appeal. Enjoy it over the next decade.
94 Points - Neal Martin
Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. The Chapelle d'Ausone 2010 has a tightly coiled bouquet that is very linear and controlled, not as expressive as its peers but with fine mineralite. The palate is tight on the entry with crisp tannins, bright tart cherry fruit and plenty of energy. It builds in the mouth to quite a structured, linear finish that does not forsake breeding and class. If only all second wines were as good as this. Tasted January 2014.
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96 Points - James Halliday "Hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, fermented in French oak (15% new), with natural mlf; 11 months in oak. Gleaming green-gold; the cashew/walnut complexity of the bouquet carries through to the palate, but here takes second place to its intense pink grapefruit core. Awesome second-tier wine."
(Individually numbered: 81-97 of 100)
James Suckling "The acidity in this really gives verve and intensity to the wine. Lemon and salt character already. Full yet vivid. Exciting. Great value. Drink or hold."
Light yellow colour with pale green tints. Intense and complex nose of exotic white fruits and citrus fruit mixed with floral notes of linden and acacia. The palate is rich, generous, ample and intensely fruity, with very good tension. The Sauvignon Blanc lemon juice delicately coats the exotic sweetness (lychee, mango) of the well-ripe Semillon. Mineral notes bringing good salinity added to this cocktail, to serve a beautiful finish. Concentration of white fruits, mineral freshness and righteousness.
Winemaker "Lune d’Argent is the heart of Clos des Lunes’ production. We firmly believe in the future of this legendary terroir and its truly original style. With a touch of French oak, the Sémillon is dense and rich, the Sauvignon Blanc refined and precise. This cuvée of dry white wine promises to convey all the magic of Sauternes."
James Halliday "Bright, clear purple-red; offers a rich tapestry of succulent fruit in a blood plum spectrum, the oak evident but not over the top, finishing with soft tannins."
Jay Miller (robertparker.com) "The 2005 Grenache Clarendon is dark ruby-colored with an enticing bouquet of violets, damp earth, and sappy black cherry. This leads to a ripe, velvety-textured, intensely fruity, structured wine which will evolve for 4-5 years and drink well through 2020."
Stuart McCloskey "Stylish Sauternes from an outstanding vintage. At perfect maturity and awaiting the company of Stilton or Roquefort."
95+ Points - Antonio Galloni
I have tasted the 2013 Sirah Per Sempre several times over the last few months and it just keeps getting better. Intensely aromatic, Tua Rita's Syrah is unusual for the Tuscan coast because of its distinctly floral/savory personality. Sweet tobacco, rose petal, sage, mint, wild flowers and red-fleshed fruit are some of the signatures. In the 2013 Sirah readers will find a wine endowed with tons of nuance and complexity. A final kick of aromatics married to rich Suvereto fruit leaves a lasting impression on the finish. Just bottled, the 2013 is quite raw and in need of time, but it is incredibly promising, not to mention delicious.
The Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wine's depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhône style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.