92/100 Punkte Robert Parker, June 2016 The intensely yellow-colored 2005 Vertus Premier Cru Coeur de Terroir is a partly barrel-fermented (malolactic included) Chardonnay from the best parts of Vertus. Disgorged in April 2015 with five grams of dosage, this is a rich, round and full-bodied cuvée with great finesse and elegance. Chalky textured, the finish is pure, fresh and salty. The ripe Chardonnay fruit and chalky minerality are really persistent. This is a perfectly balanced and well-structured Vertus cru that is ready to be enjoyed today, but can be cellared for five or more years.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker 31st Aug 2018 Doquet's 2006 Vertus Premier Cru Coeur de Terroir is a selection from the best and oldest Chardonnay vines in Vertus. Fermented and aged on the lees, 60% in small oak barrels, it was bottled in April 2007 and disgorged as Extra Brut in July 2017 (with a dosage of 4.5 grams per liter). This is a highly aromatic, ripe, elegant and pretty sexy 2016 with lovely iodine and very fine (sweet) brioche flavors. Round and perfectly balanced on the palate, this is a rich, elegant, salty, beautifully lush, generous and perfectly balanced Vertus with a pure, fresh and salty finish. Fabulous!
94/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 2019 Here's another winning edition of this great wine. The 2015 Vespa Bianco has that familiar creamy texture and richness but a more evolved aromatic profile. What's special about this vintage is the dimension it now shows along with some very tonic fruit at the back. It is spicy and warm, with flashes of bright tangerine, and offers so much intensity and textural purity. This beautiful wine calls for a nice grilled ocean fish, such as orata or (more readily available in North America) a black sea bass.
92+/100 Punkte Vinous May 2018 Vivid straw yellow. Slightly reticent nose at first, then gains depth and complexity with aeration offering aromas of yellow apple, pear and nectarine complicated by botanical herbs and minerals. Then similar flavors to the aromas nicely extended by saline freshness on the tactile back end which is enlivened by a hint of peppery ginger. A Vespa Bianco that is very promising but needs to be cellared; put this away for another three years at least.
93/100 Punkte James Suckling This is always a very serious red for the money, and 2015 could be one of the most exciting editions. Sesame seeds are dispersed among brambleberries and fields of bright blueberries and lavender. Full-bodied and fine but juicy. Grainy tannins dive deep into the vibrant dark fruit, buffing it with care to gleam brightly on the finish. Drink now.
94/100 Punkte Robert Parker Oct 2016 The grand vin here is the 2013 Vall Llach Mas de la Rosa, which is from an ancient vineyard with a 70% slope on llicorella slate planted with Cariñena. They used 5% stems for the fermentation in 225- and 500-liter barriques and stainless steel with indigenous yeasts after a three-day cold soak. It underwent 17-19 days of fermentation with daily punching down of the cap and a post fermentative maceration of 12 days. The wine matured in new 225- and 300-liter French oak barrels for some 16 months. There's obviously superb fruit in here, but the extreme ripeness of the fruit and the creamy oak kind of hide the character of the wine. Having said that, I have noticed much better freshness in all these 2013s, and even some floral aromas fighting to come to the surface. This is a huge, bodybuilder of a wine in an XXL style. I have the feeling the fruit is capable of producing something a lot more elegant. This is very good in its style.
95/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Sep 30, 2018 This powerful red shows depth and harmony. The thick texture is supported by well-integrated tannins, delivering cassis, kirsch, menthol and cola flavors. Herbal and meaty notes add a savory element. You might call this Priorat on steroids, but this remains balanced and fresh. Drink now through 2033.
93/100 Punkte Wine Spectator October 2019 This red is rich and expressive, in a high-toned, racy style. The plush texture carries bold flavors of kirsch, plum pudding, dried fig and cocoa accented by licorice, graphite and garrigue notes. The big tannins are well-integrated, and balsamic acidity keeps this fresh. Verging on Port-like, deep and harmonious. Drink now through 2030.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker Feb 2017 The 2014 Victorino was also bottled and ready for tasting. 2014 was harvested earlier than 2013, it was more of a 'normal' year and the gapes were picked between September 12th and 29th, with slightly higher yields at 16.5 hectoliters per hectare. The aging was shortened to 18 months, still in 100% new French oak barrels, where the wine also went through malolactic fermentation and was racked every four months. They also consider 2014 a cool vintage for the region, but clearly a tad riper than 2013. The fruit gravitates a little towards black fruit, quite spectacular and focused, with nicely integrated spices from the élevage. The palate is medium to full-bodied with fine-grained tannins, perhaps coated by glossier fruit that give it a little more volume. This is accessible already, but should improve in bottle.
93+/100 Punkte Robert Parker, October 2015 The very dry 2012 vintage produced a powerful 2012 Victorino. It's a pure Tempranillo, known here as Tinta de Toro, from ancient, head-pruned, ungrafted vineyards on clay-rich soils. Some ten separate plots contribute grapes to this wine. These old vines have very low natural yields, ten hectoliters per hectare in 2012. The destemmed grapes fermented with yeasts selected from their own vineyards and the wine matured for 18 months in brand new French oak barrels, where it also underwent malolactic fermentation. I found the 2012 very earthy with notes of graphite and hints of peat, as well as some balsamic aromas of menthol and licorice, and a core of black cherries and plums; the oak plays a secondary role in the shape of spices and neatly folds into the voluptuous fruit. The palate is medium to full-bodied with the gobsmacking balance of 2012, very fine tannins and great acidity that lifts the wine up, coupled with some heat from the alco
90/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 2019 The 2015 Vitovska is a glossy and rich expression of this grape from the Italian-Slovenian karst. I picked up some notes of glycerin along with fragrant stone fruit and candied orange peel and almond. It starts off slow and closed, but it brings a nice intensity. Aged in oak for one year, it's a bit thin and dry in the mouth. I see it pairing well with some big, juicy scallops pan-seared in butter and sherry.
96/100 Wine Spectator, December 2018 Gorgeous, with warm plum reduction and gently steeped raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors forming the core, all inlaid with warm ganache and smoldering tobacco accents. Very plush in feel, but has no lack of energy, as everything sails beautifully through the long finish. A late echo of anise completes the seduction. Best from 2035 through 2055.
96/100 Punkte James Suckling May 2018 Very complex with dried flowers and roses. Full-bodied, very layered and tightly wound. Chewy and powerful. Firm and off-dry. Needs five or six years to soften. Beauty. Try in 2024.
92/100 Punkte James Suckling September 2017 While many Rheinhessen pinot blancs live entirely from the fruit aromas and lively acidity, this has some Chablis-like chalky character and creaminess at the powerful finish. Best from 2018.