Staff Favorites - Alex Pross

Alex Pross

Reviews

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2013 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
***½ Deep, dark and brooding, with hints of scorched earth and minerality. Lots of depth here. The wine is packed with dark fruits and spice. Tasting it now feels like you're just scratching the surface of this immense wine.

2013 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** to ***½ The word 'classic' gets thrown around way too much when discussing Bordeaux, but in the case of Leoville Barton, it is definitely merited. The 2013 is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. With notes of black cherry cola and hints of raspberry, the wine is layered and complex, showing good depth and density. Really well-made.

2013 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** This is sure to be one of the more controversial wines of the vintage. From barrel it was super floral and intoxicating on the nose, with complex plum and spice cake notes that gave it almost a minced meat pie--Zinfandel-esque, unlikely as that sounds!--quality, with boysenberry and blackberry fruit on the palate. It comes together, however, and finishes with harmony and elegance. This could turn out to be great.

2013 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** Dark cherry liqueur and tobacco aromas are followed by lots of berry fruit concentration on the palate with savory herb notes and noticeable tannins.

2013 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** Loaded with dark berry fruit on the nose and the palate, with hints of tobacco and spice. This wine is layered and complex. Fine effort.

2013 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** Loaded with dark berry fruit on the nose and the palate, with hints of tobacco and spice. This wine is layered and complex. Fine effort.

2013 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit verdot. Black cherry and dark chocolate and espresso aromas come through the otherwise tight, closed nose. This is a dark, brooding wine with lots of tannin and hints of graphite/lead pencil.

2013 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** to ***½ For me this is always one of the toughest wines to taste En Primeur since it typically shows very monolithically. Dark and brooding, its initial aromas of burnt earth slowly fall away to reveal black cherry cola and blackberry with notes of milk chocolate. It displayed good fruit, length and nice tannin structure, ending fresh and bright. This is one of the more accessible Lafites I have tasted En Primeur.

2013 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** to ***½ For me this is always one of the toughest wines to taste En Primeur since it typically shows very monolithically. Dark and brooding, its initial aromas of burnt earth slowly fall away to reveal black cherry cola and blackberry with notes of milk chocolate. It displayed good fruit, length and nice tannin structure, ending fresh and bright. This is one of the more accessible Lafites I have tasted En Primeur.

2013 Angludet, Margaux Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
**½ to *** Top value. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 14% Petit Verdot. Another seemingly perennial best value Angludet displays bright red cherry fruit with hints of milk chocolate with tons of layers and good depth. Well-done.

2013 Angélus, St-Emilion Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** Dark, brooding, spicy plum, black tea, graphite and scorched earth. Very nice length-not overdone.

2013 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
*** to ***½ The departure of Jean-Guillaume Prats, long time director of Cos d'Estournel, made me anxious to try the 2013; this would be the first wine made without his oversight in a long time. I was pleased to find out that the 2013 Cos is a fine wine, with dark cherries and chocolate aromas and flavors, as well as dried herb notes. There's lots of depth and layers here. The wine displays good purity and power. 78% cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot & 2% Cabernet Franc.

2013 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
***½ to **** Wine of the Vintage! Beautiful nose, with lots of pretty berries, hints of spice, and herbs. The palate displays gorgeous, elegant red berry fruit--cranberry, red currant and cherry--with a layered, plush finish. This wine is bright and lively and feels like a fine Margaux. Considering that this wine will be available for under $70 and compares favorably with the stellar 2009 and 2010 vintages, this wine is in my opinion one of the best wines to purchase En Primeur.

2012 Casa Castillo Monastrell Jumilla
Review Date: 5-13-2014
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A beautiful wine, the 2012 Casa Castillo Monastrell starts off with an intoxicating nose of wild berries, baking spice, dried plums and herb. The palate is awash in ripe red fruit, dusty tannins, licorice and subtle mocha notes with good acidity and admirable balance. The 2012 Casa Castillo is a stunning value that hits on all cylinders with a fruit-driven palate and a surprising amount of complexity for an under $10 bottle of wine. The search for your everyday affordable drinker is over, Casa Castillo is here!! Buy it while supplies last.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2016

2013 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-13-2014
Patrick Maroteaux, who happens to be one of the nicest men in all of Bordeaux, strives to craft the best possible wine from his large estate. The 2013 is a very good wine with a beautiful nose of fresh berries along with a viscous mouthfeel and hints of red licorice and dark berry fruit. Good length with a full finish.

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