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Welcome to my Tasting Notes Archive, a compendium of notes on individual wines that have been culled from my essays and reports and arranged alphabetically by category. This is by far the least masochistic choice, as all the entries aren't too large and are ordered in a fairly logical fashion (alphabetically by producer name).

All of my notes, of course, reflect only my own experiences and preferences (individual mileage may vary), and even my own tastes have shifted mightily in the past couple of years; I look back on some of the wines I quaffed eagerly and raved about when I was in my winegeek swaddling clothes and cringe a bit, but changing tastes are all part of the fun, so they're still there as well, dated for reference.

Generic honorifics like "Château" and "Domaine" don't count, alphabetically speaking, nor do articles like 'the' and 'le' or 'la.' Thus Château La Dominique is under 'D' and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is under 'R.'

In case a wine is a blend, I'll list it in order of the grape that composes the lion's share of the final blend (the first grape listed in the name of the wine). For instance, Penfolds Semillon-Chardonnay goes under 'Semillon'; the same winery's Bin 389 Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz goes under 'Cabernet Sauvignon' and so on, unless I just get confused and list them in both places. California 'Meritage' (Bordeaux-style blends of cabernet, merlot, et al.) wines go under Merlot & blends thereof because I say so. Bordeaux, though also usually Cabernet or Merlot, has its own special section because... well, just because. Confused yet? Good, 'cause it gets worse.

French red wines from areas outside the glamor regions (Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, et al.) are filed under 'French Regional Reds' even if they are made from identifiable grape varieties, except for vins du pays, which are usually labeled varietally and would thus be under 'cabernet sauvignon,' and so on. A zinfandel from Italy? I'll probably just throw up my hands and put the note under both 'Zinfandel' and 'Italian Red Wines.' Someday I'll come up with a simpler way of sorting everything out, but that day has not dawned yet.

A note on pricing: The prices that I cite for new releases are usually Manhattan prices, which seem to be anywhere from ten to twenty percent higher than anywhere else in the land, so please judge accordingly. If I don't know the price or a price is not applicable due to the wine being off the market or the bottle being something shared at a jeebus, I'll a) take a wild guess at what the wine would cost you now at retail or on the secondary market, b) give the wine's price on release or c) give up and just leave it blank. The parenthetical after the price (Cult Madness) indicates the Essay from which the note was harvested.

So here then are the pure, unadorned Tasting Notes. Just click on the category you want to investigate and go to town:


Cabernet Sauvignon


California, South Africa, Australia
(Yes, Even North Carolina!)
Cabernet Sauvignon

Pinot Noir


California, Oregon, New York,
New Zealand, and Other
New World Pinot Noir

Zinfandel


America's Own
World-Class Winegrape
(Never, EVER White...)

Italian Red Wines


Tuscany to Piedmont
All Down the Boot
Pizza Wines to Super Tuscans

Bordeaux: Left Bank


The Wines of St Julien,
Margaux, Pauillac, St Estèphe,
You Know the Drill...

Bordeaux: Right Bank & Graves


Merlot Done Right
Pomerol, St. Emilion--
Plus Graves Too!

Syrah/Shiraz


Australian Shiraz, California Syrah,
Any Other Name You Can Think
of for that Ol' Black Grape

Rhône Valley Reds


Rhône Valley Reds,
From Simple Côtes-du-Rhônes
To Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie

Red Burgundy


From Classic Old Beauties
to Simple Little Sippers
--Even Including Beaujolais!

White Burgundy


White Burgs on Parade
Including the Mâcon, Chablis
And Even (Again) Beaujolais!

Cabernet Franc


Cabernet Sauvignon's Quieter Cousin
From the Loire Valley to...
Well, Some Other Places, Too.

Merlot & Meritage Blends


It's trendy! It's hot!
People can pronounce it!
(But can you say 'Mehr-i-tehge'?)

Iberia!


Dry Red Wines from
Spain and Portugal
Fine QPR to Just Plain Fine

French Regional Reds


Regional French Wines
Values from the Languedoc
Madiran, Provence and Vins de Pays

Gewürztraminer


Dry Gewürztraminer
Alsace to Napa Valley
Germany to the Finger Lakes

Chenin Blanc


The Glory that is Dry Chenin
From the Loire Valley to...
Well, Some Other Places, Too.

Chardonnay


Chardonnay, from Big Ol'
California Butter-Bombs
to the Joys of New Jersey....

Sauvignon Blanc


Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé,
New Zealand, California, Australia
And Many Others.

Riesling


Alsace to Zind-Humbrecht,
Germany, Finger Lakes
California, and More....

Sweeties and Fizzies I


Champagne to Sauternes,
Sweet Rieslings & Icewine
Aussie 'Stickies' & Muscat

Port & Sweet Reds


Every Permutation of Port
From Vintage to Tawny to Ruby
Sherry, Sweet Zin, Madeira
And Italian Reciotos

Sweeties and Fizzies II


Sweet Chenin Blanc from the Loire
Sweet Gewürztraminer
Even Red Bubbly!

Miscellaneous Whites


Semillon, Aligoté,
Pinot Blanc, Gruner Veltliner
Viognier & other Oddballs
All Here Under One Roof!

Miscellaneous Reds


Everything That Defied Categorization:
Petite Sirah, Gamay, Grenache
Carignan, Blends, Odd Stuff



And finally, for those of you (and you know who you are) clamoring to see the note on the Jamaican Meat Wine, we offer

Weird Wines






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