Staff Favorites - Alex Pross

Alex Pross

Reviews

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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.

2013 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-13-2014
This is typically one of my favorite producers year-in, year-out, and they did not disappoint in 2013. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot 6% Petit verdot & 3% Cabernet Franc. Spicy, with bitter chocolate, plum and some blueberry and tobacco notes. Layered with grippy tannins. ***½

2013 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-13-2014
Smooth, rich and luxurious this wine has nice deep berry fruit along with mocha notes. There’s a fair amount of grip on this wine.

2013 Figeac, St-Emilion Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-12-2014
*** New ownership here, many consider this to be one of the greatest terroirs in St. Emilion and point to many legendary Figeac vintages from the past, sadly I have not experienced any of these but the last two vintages have been markedly better. This year’s is the best yet, great, bright fruit, many layers of berry fruit, good tannin and body, a delicious wine.

2013 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-12-2014
Lots of berry fruit, layered, high-toned fruit, hints of pomegranate with good length and silky tannins.

2013 Labégorce, Margaux Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-12-2014
A perennial favorite, this producer makes an excellent value-oriented Margaux of late. Nice red fruit, good concentration and hints of chocolate. This was the first wine of the 2013 En Primeur campaign we tasted and it showed all ways not lost in 2013. Top value.

2013 Clos Fourtet, St-Emilion Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-12-2014
One of my favorites, this wine always delivers and 2013 is no exception. Lots of red fruit here with silky tannins and a clean and elegant feel here. The red fruit shines throughout the wine from start to finish.

2013 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-8-2014
*** to ***½ Wow, this wine is absolutely packed, tons of ripe red fruit, great length and hints of spice. This wine is plush, reminiscent of the 2009 in some ways-not sure how they pulled this off.

2013 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-8-2014
If not for the two wines from Palmer this might be the wine of the appellation. Duty berry notes, subtle spice, berry fruit, great delineation and elegance and impressive length.

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