Sunday, 21 August 2016

A 23 Bottle Evening With Some Great Surprises

The tasting season started with a bang. M invited and the weather was on our side, so we could sit outside all evening long, with the grill working in the background, eating and talking about wine!
All wines tasted double blind, except for the one I brought.

NV Prestige Blanc de Blancs, Pierre Gerbais
A new producer for me, this bottle delivers the goods, with fine notes of assorted nuts, white currants, oyster shells and some smoky aromas. Very fine.
The taste is tight and fresh with juicy yellow fruit and notes of freshly cut chalk, lemon peel and flowers. A fine acidity. Really good.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

2015 Riseling Trocken, Keller
A young, upfront nose with notes of kaffir lime leaves, grey pear and gooseberries. Light and perky.
The taste is young, dry and sprightly with a high acidity and notes of pears, mineral and lime. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2016/08)

2015 Scheurebe Trocken, Keller
A very fine, interesting nose with notes of lime cream, chalk, grapefruit and dried flowers. A very handsome nose. Racy.
The taste is young and dry, and you could almost imagine that this is made out of pressed rocks, not grapes, very stony, chalky and mineral driven. And very, very good. Gonna get me some.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

2015 Limestone Riesling Kabinett Goldcap, Keller
This beauty displays a focused, intense nose with notes of dry mango, some diesel oil, yellow pears and star fruit. Very complex. Deep and lovely.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of lemon peel, flint, pears and a hint of matchbox. A long, racy finish with a high acidity. Gorgeous, and will get even better with 3-5 years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

2005 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Willi Schaefer
A somewhat mature, broad nose with notes of dried apricots, petrol, earth and a whiff of dried strawberries. Very good.
The taste is mature, dry and fine with notes of dried up orange jam, resin, warm rocks and some grassy notes. Drinking fine tonight, but shouldn´t be cellared longer.
89p   (tasted 2016/08)

2004 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
A big, mature and a bit foursquare nose with notes of dry honey, varnish and dried pine apple. A bitt odd.
The taste is dry and mature with notes of almond paste, blood orange peel, diesel oil and dried flowers. We guessed it to be much older than a 04. Not an ok bottle?
82p   (tasted 2016/08)

2011 Abtserde Riesling Spätlese, Keller
What a wine! A deep, complex nose rises from the glass with stunning notes of spice, sweet lime, lemon curd, chive and chalk. Just lovely. A long, lingering smoky scent comes and goes.
The taste is young, tight and concentrated with notes of ripe lemons and lime, cucumber, summer flowers and sweet minerals. A steely acidity. Great wine!
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2009 Huber Chardonnay, Diatom
These Diatom´s have been hits or misses through the years. Sometimes they can controle the richness and alcohol into a fine California Chardonnay. Other times it is a alcoholic mess with over sweet fruit. This was however somewhere in between.
The nose is big and blowsy with very ripe yellow fruit and notes of sour milk, sun warm rocks, butter cookies and smoke. A bit of a mess, but not a total one.
The taste is big and broad with notes of cooked parsnips, lemon cream, decaying flowers and warm rocks. The finish is long and very dry, almost like licking on blotting paper. Not my kind of wine.
76p   (tasted 2016/08)

After the whites followed flight after flight with reds - it was a tough work - and the first three was an interesting comparison of styles.
2002 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux, Comte Armand
We had this at a vertical of Clos des Epeneaux six years ago, and then I thought it needed just 5-7 years more. Here we are, 6 years later, and what happened? It has entered a dormant stage - according to this bottle anyway - with a deep, warm but restrained nose with notes of root vegetables, moist forest floor, dark liquorice and some wood scents. The nose shouts "wait for me another 5 years". I will.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of dried cherries, beets, earth and rosehips. The finish is long an promising but rather locked up. Judging from this bottle, give this another 5-7 years in the cellar, but I would venture that it will need even more time. Today, a bit angular.
85p   (tasted 2016/08)

2000 Barbaresco Bric Balin, Moccagatta
Aaaaah, right after I dipped my nose in the glass I made one of the foolish promised one could give - "if this isn´t Nebbiolo I am giving up wine drinking"..... fortunately it turned out to be a fine bottle of Nebbiolo :-)
The nose is just entering maturity with lovely notes of red cherries, rose petals, a moist mushroom forest and some dry leather scents. Very, very fine.
The taste is dry and mouth coating with notes of red and black cherries, rosehips, rosemary and asphalt. A long, long, lingering finish with a fine tannin structure. On the verge of maturity, this Barbaresco is a fine bottle to drink now and the coming 10+ years.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

1995 Tinta Crianza, Teofilo Reyes
This was a curve ball, no one was even close to guessing its origin. The nose is big and outgoing with notes of cooked cherries, sweet liquorice, smoke and lots of warm earth.
The taste is warm yet seedy and rather tight with notes of liquroce, black cherries, warm spices and scorched earth. Long and warm. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2016/08)

The next flight really caught us of guard. Double blind, all of us were sure that we were deep inside Rhone territory, the only thing we were arguing about were if it was 100% Syrah or if all or some were blends...
2013 Saperavi Premium, Askaneli Brothers
Oh yes, I should have noticed the tell tale signs of Saperavi... Anyway, the nose shows a fine, cool, seedy character with notes of freshly pressed blueberries, sun warm rocks and some smoke. Not that deep or complex but very, very nice in a juicy kind of way.
The taste follows the nose nicely and this is a fresh, upfront bottle of wine. Fine notes of crushed black peppers and a hint of rubber in the finish. Very good indeed.
87p   (tasted 2016/08)

2012 Kataro Reserve, Domaine Avetissyan
Lots of letters on this label that I don´t understand...but besides that, this is a serious wine. The nose is broad yet focused with notes of ripening blackberries, dried blueberries, forest floor and a complex note of green peppers. Deep and fine. Really good.
The taste is young, tight and seedy with notes of ripe blueberries, meat stock, undergrowth and a hint of bakelite. The finish is long and balanced. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Karas Reserva, Armavir
I had this pegged as a Hermitage... The nose is deep, warm and concentrated with lots of ripe blueberries and raspberries and additional notes of charcoal, warm herbs and some dark chocolate scents. Sturdy. Really fine.
The taste is big, intense and warm with notes of ripe blueberries, sun warm rocks, herbs and sweet violets. Very earthy in the finish. A very fine structure, this is built to age. Would love to have some bottles of this.
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

After the previous flight we were on our toes - what would come up next? Could it really be a...
1996 Côte-Rôtie, Jamet
A perfectly mature nose with lovely notes of grilled meat, dried blueberries, violet pastilles and old leather. Very deep. Some dark earthy notes. This has matured gracefully. Very, very fine.
The taste is broad, structured and dry with notes of meat stock, blueberries, earth and wood smoke. A long, peppery finish. This is really, really good.
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2001 Shiraz, Barossa Class
This is obviously made by the students of a Barossa wine school, and they have made a good effort. The nose is large and meaty with notes of blackberries, very ripe flowers, soya and burning table tennis balls (believe me, I know that smell...). Very big but hold things together. Very good.
The taste is mouth coating and almost fiery but there is also a warm, distinct blackberry fruit that are very nice. Pipe tobacco and dried flowers are also noticable.
89p   (tasted 2016/08)

After this pic my phone died so no pis on the bottles that followed
1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reservé, Domaine de la Vieille Julienne
A deep, dark, somehat mature nose with notes of cooked meat, resin, damsons, undergrowth and blood & iron. There is lots to like here. A fine depth.
The taste is entering maturity with a tight core of black fruits and notes of warm herbs, blueberries, dried strawberries and lots of moist fir forest. Long and warm. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

After the structured flights above, the more hedonistic part of the evening began, with bottles being opened left and right. With lots of food and laughter, my notes on the wines below are sketchy at best.
2001 Vigna d´Alceo, Castello Dei Rampolla
Vigna d´Alceo is a perennial favourite of mine, the 1999 making the most memorable list of 2015. The 2001 is still on the young side of things and showing of ripe, sweet cherry fruit and a long seamsless finish. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
Strange and sad, second time this year that the 1998 La Turque has been not-what-one-expects. Last time it was a really good bottle of wine, but not up to La-La standard. This one was just weird, drinkable but with so many great bottles on the table, why should one. Too bad.
?   (tasted)

1998 Messorio, Le Macchiole
Drinking Merlot is always great, when it comes in this kind of package! A stunning bottle, on par with the same wine, tasted three years ago.
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Private Cellar Shiraz, Hewitson
I brought this one, just bought from a day spent in Copenhagen this summer. A big, steady Barossa Shiraz that keeps everything in check and delivers hedonism, pleasure and some intellectual challenge in one glass. Why did I  only buy one bottle??
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Poggio Salvi
The tasting buds are getting quite jaded at this point, but who could resist a fine bottle of Brunello - not me! Bright cherry fruit, lots of sweet rosemary, the haunting smell of warm Tuscan gravel and a velvety mouth feel with lots of polished tannins that show themselves at the end of the looong finish. Really, really fine.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

Then there was a sweetie from Dönnhoff but to be honest, my notes looks like a drunken ant have crawled over my notebook page, so I refrain from trying to decipher those scribblings...

Friday, 19 August 2016

1990 Barbaresco Serraboella, Fratelli Cigliuti

After four days on the new work, I have to drink something nice to wind down (I should have waited to tomorrow but then its time for a major Boillot tasting - tough work!)

1990 Barbaresco Serraboella, Fratelli Cigliuti
This is just perfectly mature with loving notes of dried mushrooms, violets, soft red cherries and lots of red liquorice. Some fir wood scents. Really fine. Refined, with a medium firm backbone. Just gorgeous.
The taste is mature, tight and seedy with notes of dried cherries, rosehips, forest floor and some smoke. Even a hint of dried sweet strawberries. Long, dry and aristocratic. This is in a perfect drinking stage. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Twenty - 1997 Barolo, Vecchio Piemonte

Its seems like this bottle comes from a Coop which I haven´t seen or heard of before. Bought for a song, I thought I would give it a try on this, one of the last days of this years summer vacation.
Summer and summer - when we went out running this morning it was 9 degrees Celsius outside...

1997 Barolo, Vecchio Piemonte
It opens a bit funky but with one hour breathing time the nose is much better with notes of dried cranberries, crumbling rose petals, a hint of wood smoke and a touch of cocoa. Not bad. It shows some treats of this hot year, but in a good way. Keeps on evolving throughout the evening.
The taste is initially a bit hard and rustic but with time it soften up and displays notes of dried mushrooms, red currants, rosehips and a some wood. There is still some supporting, rugged tannins in the finish. Maybe a tad hollow in the middle, but this is better than I had expected.
86p   (tasted 2016/08)

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Nineteen - 2004 Chateau de La Riviere

One notice on returning home after four weeks vacation that the care that the son should have taken over the herbs in the window (five pots) have been somewhat neglected...
One comfort oneself with a mature Bordeaux.

1994 Chateau de La Riviere
This is a classic Bordeaux from the get go. It displays a medium deep nose with fine notes of driep up black currant jam, warm tiles, cigarette ashes and some not-that-fresh-stables-but-very-interesting-all-the-same aromas. Very good. A lovely soft feeling.
The taste is light on its feet and mature but still shows a fine black currant fruit and additional notes of graphite, dusty earth and dry leather. The finish is a bit short but not dry at all. Dirinking fine tonight but any additional bottles should be consumed sooner rather than later.
86p   (tasted 2016/08)

More vintages tasted from Chateau de La Riviere - 1985, 1986, 1989 & 2005 and the 1990.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Eighteen - 2010 Suisassi, Duemani

Another Copenhagen steal, this new estate - first vintage 2004 - has produced a wonderful 100% Syrah wine. I will look out for more bottles from this producer.

2010 Suisassi, Duemani
It needs some time to open up, but when it does, oooh boy! The nose is ultra deep and focused with gorgeous notes of ripening blueberries, bay leaves, charcoal, raw rubber and dry liquorice. Multi layered and finely polished. Very, very fine.
The taste is young, tight and concentrated with notes of black cherries, ink, rosemary and violet liquorice. Very long and balanced. Some juicy, polished tannins in the finish. There is lots of potential here, just give it 6+ years. Already, a lovely bottle of wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/08)

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Seventeen - 2012 Barolo Castagni, Reverdito

Always fun too taste something new. I have not tasted anything from this producer, of which I found a bottle in a Copenhagen shop recently. They don't seem to have a website, but I read somewhere that they were a more of a modern producer. If so, they have changed something for the 2012 vintage, or they choosed a more traditional approach to this cru, for this bottle is anything but a "modern" one.

2012 Barolo Castagni, Reverdito
Aaaah, what a beautiful, pure, young nose with noted of cool red cherries, lots of rose petals, red tea, wet asphalt and some cigarette smoke. Not that deep or stunningly complex, but oh so lovely on this evening with some truffle salami, Serrano ham and Tomme cheese. 
The taste is young, tight and medium bodied with notes of red cherries, cranberries, rosehips, betroot and dry tobacco. A long, tight finish with some rugged tannins. Will evolve well over the next 8+ years. A handsome wine, but more in a jeans and not a Zegna kind of way.
90p   (tasted 2016/08)

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Sixteen - 2006 La Ricolma, San Giusto A Rentennano

This bottle was a find I made when I had a few hours for myself in Copenhagen lately. I opened it to go along a tender fillet of veal with a chanterelle sauce and some fried root vegetables.

2006 La Ricolma, San Giusto A Rentennano
Ooooh boy! What a nose! It explodes from the glass with stunning aromas of ripe plums, incence, cocoa, black currant leaves and a refined note of green peppers. Very complex, lively and intense. There is a ever so slight touch of maturity, but this is still young. Very harmonious. Just awesome.
The taste is still tight and a bit seedy, but the fruit is velvety, ripe and sweet, with notes of plums, red currants, chocolate covered cherries and spices. The finish is over one minute long and ends seamsless. Like liking on a sun warm rock in the finish. A great wine now and for sure for the coming 10+ years. This I will get more of.
97p   (tasted 2016/08)

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Fifteen - 2007 Beaune Grèves Le Clos Blanc, Louis Jadot

I opened this beauty this evening and thought it would work with some assorted shellfish, bread, aioli and a big chunk of aged Gruyère. It did.

2007 Beaune Grèves Le Clos Blanc, Louis Jadot
The nose oozes up from the glass with lovely aromas of apricots, grilled lemons, grass and almond paste. With air a striking smoky scent evolves. This is a stunning bottle of Chardonnay. Deep and lively. Just entering the first stages of maturity, it shows lots of nerve and future promise.
The taste is tight, creamy and structured with notes of pickled ginger, lemon cream, butter cookies and a hint of white chocolate. A long, intense finish with a fine acidity and a beautiful presence. Some grassy notes in the finish. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/08)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Fourteen - 2007 Hermitage Arena Mica, J. Boutin

I have previously tasted a 2007 Saint-Joseph and a 2007 Côte-Rôtie from J. Boutin, but this was my first bottle of their Hermitage. I hope its not my last...

2007 Hermitage Arena Mica, J. Boutin
The nose is wonderful from the first pour until the last, three hours later; full of smoked sausage, blackberries, sweet violets, dried flowers and red liquorice. A great prescence in the glass. Deep and refined. A solid backbone of chrushed rocks. Really, really good.
The taste is tight, multi layered and intense with notes of ripe blueberries, flint, violet pastills, bay leaves and a hint of dark chocolate. Long, long and long. Ripe, steady tannins, promising a long life ahead of it. A very fine, taut structure. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2016/07)

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Thirteen - 2011 Saint Joseph Mairlant, Francois Villard

We bought some locally made sausages and put them on the grill. This lovely Syrah was a perfect match.

2011 Saint Joseph Mairlant, Francois Villard
A finely tuned, lightly meaty nose with notes of raw rubber, cranberries, chrushed white peppers and dried flowers. A laid back yet with a fine intensity. Very floral after some time in the glass. This is good!
The taste is cool and refined with notes of ripening blueberries, lingonberries, violet pastilles and some bonfire notes. Great supporting, and a bit dusty tannins in the long finish. Drinking great now and the coming 6+ years. A real bargain at 23 Euro, gonna get me some more.
91p   (tasted 2016/07)

Friday, 29 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Twelve - 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel, Bedrock

The grill is on again and I needed something big to go with the tender meat. This one did.

2013 Old Vine Zinfandel, Bedrock
The nose is big and outgoing with gorgeous notes of chrushed blackberries, plums, red liquorice and bonfire scents. A very good structure underneath the luscious fruit. Some fine pipe tobacco aromas after a while. Very, very good.
The taste is big and seedy with lots of character and notes of ripe blue- and blackberries, sweet rosemary, tobacco and charcoal. There is a hint of toothpaste in the long, long, warm finish. It is almost impossible not to drink large sips of this. Loving it!
92p   (tasted 2016/07)

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Vacaion Wines - Number Eleven - 2008 Chinon Les Picasses, Olga Raffault

After reading the first chapter in Kermit Lynch book "Adventures on the wine route" I got the urge for some Cabernet Franc. Luckily I had brought this bottle with me.

2008 Chinon Les Picasses, Olga Raffault
Right out of the bottle there is some animal scents oozing up from the glass, but after a while and with some coaxing, aromas of black currant leaves, green stalks and tapenade made out of green olives flows up, creating a complex, deep nose. Very interesting and good.
The taste is still young and tight with notes of ripening black currants, cranberries, fried herbs and warm tiles. Medium long with a fine intensity. Racy. Very fine. Too bad this was my only bottle.
91p   (tasted 2016/07)

Monday, 25 July 2016

Vacation Reading

Vacation means not only to drink wine every day, but also read about wine every day...:-)

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Ten - 2013 Nine Yards Chardonnay, Jordan

With some succulent fillets of cat fish, an arrange of vegetables and a lemon- and herb sauce, I opted for a cool Chardonnay from South Africa, one that previous - the 2011 & the 2012 - have proved to be a serious wine indeed.

2013 Nine Yards Chardonnay, Jordan
A gorgeous. spicy, racy nose with notes of ripe melon, grilled lemons, crushed flint, kaffir lime and some butter cookies in the background. Really classy. As before, it reminds me of an upfront, fine bottle of Puligny-Montrachet. Very, very good.
The taste is tight, focused and fresh with notes of lemon cream, cap gun smoke, melon and almond paste. A long, balanced finish with a fine acidity. Drinking great today and surely for another 8+ years. Jordan has turned out yet another winner.
92p   (tasted 2016/07)

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Nine - 2013 Mea Culpa Syrah, Giant Steps Vignerons

The meat on the grill shouts out for a Syrah, and I opened this beauty.

2013 Mea Culpa Syrah, Giant Steps Vignerons
A lovely, almost ethereal nose with notes of ripening blueberries, sandel wood, bay leaves, both white and black pepper and some diesel oil. Given this blind I would have gone European nine times out of ten.
The taste is seedy and fresh with notes of blueberries, red beet juice, some 70% Valrhona chocolate and a hint of that old blood & iron feeling. Really good. Long and balanced. This is a fine bottle of Syrah.  Should improve some with a couple of years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2016/07)

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Eight - 2014 Vouvray Les Fondraux, Champalou

To go with some succulent lime and ginger cured Salmon (gravlax) I thought that this semi dry Vouvray would work fine - and of course it did.

2014 Vouvray Les Fondraux, Champalou
The nose is deep and intriguing with notes of honey pastills, warm hay, pickled ginger and crushed flint. A high, intense nose. A very fine sweetness to the fruit. Just lovely.
The taste is at first almost semi sweet but then the acidity comes roaring through the mid palate and when it ends it is almost completely dry. Fine notes of dried apricots, lavender honey, matchbox and grass coats the palate. This is a very fine wine indeed.
92p   (tasted 2016/07)

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Seven - 2001 Chateau Fombrauge

I had the urge for a Bordeaux wine this night, and shame on me, the only Bx I had brought for three weeks on-our-on-the-road-tour was this bottle. But it turned out fine.
What am I going to do if this urge comes back...? :-)

2001 Chateau Fombrauge
A fine, open nose with notes of warm plums, red liquorice, sun warm tiles, a bonfire in a distance and sone Christmas spices. Very, very good. Some charcoal scents after a few hours. In a very fine middle stage of its maturity.
The taste is medium bodied and almost mature with notes of dried blueberries, plums, bakelite and warm gravel. Some sandy tannins in the medium long finish. Cool and very good. A touch of wood in the after finish. Drinking good tonight, and should keep this way for 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2016/07)

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Six - 2014 Puligny-Montrachet, Etienne Sauzet

When you are on the west coast in Sweden, you just have to eat shrimps fresh out of the ocean. Some bread, lime aioli and assorted cheeses, you´re good to go. What to drink then?

2014 Puligny-Montrachet, Etienne Sauzet
2014 is really a great vintage for white Burgundy, judging from the bottles I have tasted so far. The nose of this one jumps out of the gates with lovely notes of yellow plums, ripe lemons, matchbox and some coconut flakes. Very, very good. Dry caramel after a while. Very ripe fruit. Shows lots of potential. Lots of focus.
The taste is young and intense with notes of grilled lemons, mango, cap gun smoke and a hint of some expensive soap. Very long and structured. A fresh acidity. This will be going places, give it 4-6 years. The best village PM from Sauzet I have tasted. Here are notes of the 2005 and 2008.
92p   (tasted 2016/07)

Monday, 18 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Five - 1991 Barbaresco Vigna Rongallo Panjore, Orlando Abrigo

I have previously been impressed by the few bottles of Barbaresco that I have tasted from this producer - a 2001 Barbaresco Vigna Montersino and a 2004 Vigna Rongallo. This is the first older bottle I have gotten my hands on - and I like it!

1991 Barbaresco Vigna Rongallo Panjore, Orlando Abrigo
A lovely mature, rounded, deep nose with notes of dried strawberries, rose petals, mushroom forest and Finnish liquorice. A classic Nebbiolo nose. Refined. A beautifully maturity with a sweet dried up cherry fruit. Some fir forest aromas. Very, very good.
The taste is mature, dry and finely structured with notes of dried ceps, hard cherry candy, rosehips and a hint of diesel oil. Long and fine. This has matured into a really nice specimen of mature Nebbiolo. The bottle just empty itself, or something like that...
91p   (tasted 2016/07)

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Four - 2013 Pinot Noir, Ata Rangi

With some juicy fillets of free range chicken on the portable grill I opted for a bottle of Pinot. The 1999 Morey-Saint-Denis from Jean-Paul Magnien was horribly corked so this had to serve as backup, and it definitely did.
Previously vintages tasted - 2009, 2010, 2011.

2013 Pinot Noir, Ata Rangi
This perennial favourite displays a gorgeous, upfront nose with enticing scents of spicy rasberries, forest smoke, sweet rhubarb and forest floor. Very deep and refined. Lovely cherry chocolate notes after some time in the glass. Really fine.
The taste is more seedy and restrained than the nose leads you to believe, with fine notes of wild raspberries, red liquorice, chewing tobacco and damp earth. In the long finish there is a stunning acidity that keep everything in check. Very balanced. A handsome wine. Should be drinking beautifully from now and the next 10+ years. I will get me some more of this.
93p   (tasted 2016/07)

Friday, 15 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Three - 2013 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Shafer

With some fresh cod, summer vegetables and a rich lime cream sauce I opened a bottle that I thought would go nicely along.

2013 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Shafer
I tasted the 2014 - - not long ago and that vintage seemed to be a turn to a more restrained Chardonnay than previous vintages that I have had from Shafer. The 2013 is more like what I remember from the past.
The nose is big and bold with gorgeous notes of ripe yellow pears, oatmeal cookies, melted butter and matchbox scents. Deep and hedonistic. Some dark fudge. Very, very good.
The taste is mouth coating and rewarding with notes of lemon cream, cap gun smoke, butter cookies and a hint of sage. Long, long and ripe. There is some fine acidity in the background to keep it from being too big. For drinking now and the coming 3+ years. I do like the style of the 2014 better, even if its nice from time to time to drink this kind of power house.
91p   (tasted 2016/07)

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Two - 2000 Chianti Classico, Casanuova di Nittardi

First day - some Italian delicatessen - and of course a bottle of Italian wine.

2000 Chianti Classico, Casanuova di Nittardi
A cool, somewhat mature nose with notes of ripe red and black cherries, black olives, liquorice and bonfire scents. Very, very good. A fine maturity.
The taste is medium bodied with a fine maturity and notes of black cherries, chocolate biscuits, liquorice and an Italian gravel road. Dry and delicious.
88p   (tasted 2016/07)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number One - 1996 Mosaïque, Jacquart

Finally - last day of work has come and gone, now it is time for more than four weeks vacation! And is there a better way to start this long free time than with some mature bubbles - I would say not!

1996 Mosaïque, Jacquart
The nose is wide open, mature and smoky with notes of toasted bread, fried mushrooms, dried up orange jam, tulips and dry dark fudge. A very fine maturity. Ripe and rich on the nose. Full of life.
The taste is creamy, round and with lots of sweet yellow fruit and additional notes of toast, blood grape, butter cookies and smoke. A high, fine acidity. Drinking great today but I wouldn't hold on to any remaining bottles for too long.
92p   (tasted 2016/07)

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A Pierre Peters Dinner Tasting

I got an invitation to have dinner and taste some bottles from Pierre Peters. Who am I to decline such an invitation? :-)
Wineagency invited, Rodolphe Peters talked about the wines with humour and passion. Thanks!

NV Cuvée de Réserve
From a Jeroboam. A very nice nose with lots of bread aromas and additional notes of white peach, smoke and grilled lemons.
The taste is cool and refreshing with notes of ripe lemons, mango and smoke. A fine length with good acidity. Shoud improve with 3-5 years in the cellar.
89p   (tasted 2016/06)

NV Extra Brut
A broad, medium deep nose with notes of earth, potatoe water and some dried fruits. Nice but a bit soft.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads you to believe, with notes of lemons, grapefruit and smoke. Very dry and good.
87p   (tasted 2016/06)

2010 Cuvée L´Esprit
A very fine, elegant nose with notes of blood grape, passion fruit and matchbox. Very, veru good. Some gravel scents after a while. Still young of course.
The taste is dry and expressive with notes of tangerines, lemon cream, gravel and smoke. Very, very good. A touch of ginger. This has a fine future ahead of itself, just wait 3-5 years. Doesn´t reach the heights of the 2008 though.
92p   (tasted 2016/06)

2009 Cuvée L´Esprit
The 09 L´Espritis is deep and earthy but comes along with some band aid and grassy notes that are not that satisfactory. With air it comes together some and shows notes of dried apricots and a salty scent. Good but not more.
The taste is better with a fine acidity and structure, with notes of apricot kernels, smoke, dried flowers and gravel. Very good. For the nearer term.
87p   (tasted 2016/06)

NV Rosé for Albane
The Rosé displays a smoky aroma in the shape of cigarette smoke. An then there are some gravel and earth. But where is the fruit? There is a red fruit scent in the background, but it definitely take the back seat. Not my kind of rosé.
The taste is better with a good lingonberry fruit, some red currants and warm rocks. A nice mouthfeel, but it lacks definition and structure.
83p   (tasted 2016/06)

2008 Les Chétillons
The 08 Le Chétillons is a must buy! The nose is a dream with its purity and focus, with lovely notes of almond paste, lemon cream, freshly made ice cream and a touch of flint. Just gorgeous.
The taste is complex, intense and multi layered with notes of grilled lemons, almond milk, oysters and crushed rocks. Very, very fine. Aristocratic. Give this beauty 5+ years and you will flirt with perfection.
95p   (tasted 2016/06)

2007 Les Chétillons
The 07 more open for business, although you have to swirl a bit to get aromas of smoke, dried strawberries and model clay to rise from the glass. Very, very good. A fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is dry and focused with notes of dried apricots, lemon cream, matchbox and gravel. A fine acidity and a really nice length of this wine. Drinking perfect now and the coming 6+ years.
92p   (tasted 2016/06)

1997 Les Chétillons
The 97 has an open, flowery nose with notes of asparagus, grass, ripe lemons and some band aid. Mature, likable but without complexity.
The taste is mature, dry and earthy with notes of dried apricots, Jerusalem artichoke, grass and crushed rocks. A medium long, fine finish. For drinking sooner than later.
87p   (tasted 2016/06)

1995 Les Chétillons
Another 95 that shows that this is a very fine vintage. The nose is deep and rewarding with notes of passion fruit, flint, grilled lemons and model clay. A very fine salty aroma. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and intense, with still lots of power, and notes of lemon cream, matchbox, oatmeal cookies and minerals. Long and fine. A lovely, persistent mouthfeel. On the verge of full maturity, this could be kept for 6+ years still.
92p   (tasted 2016/06)

NV Réserve Oubliée
This cuvée is made out of Pierre Peters Perpetual Reserve with vintages down to 1988. The base for this batch is 2008, hence its greatness. The nose is deep and creamy with notes of white currants, summer flowers, oysters and crushed rocks. Very, very fine.
The taste is round and delicate yet with a firm acidity and notes of tangerines, flint, lemon cream and a salty touch. Long and focused. Entering maturity, this beauty could be drunk now and over the coming 8+ years.
93p   (tasted 2016/06)

NV L`Etonnant Monsieur Victor
This is a new cuvée made out of a 50/50 blend of 2009 Chétillon and Pierre Peters Perpetual Reserve with vintages down to 1988. Rodolphe´s son have made the artwork for the label. This is even better than the Oubliée above.
The nose is inviting and focused with notes of blood grape, crushed rocks, almond paste and freshly washed clothes. Very pure and intense. Just lovely. Still young.
The taste is tight and fresh as a daisy with notes of mango, grilled lemons, grape and lots of sweet minerals. The finish goes on and on and the high and mighty acidity cleans out the mouth effectively. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/06)

2000 Les Chétillons Oenothèque
This late release has been lying on its lees with a natural cork, not a crown cap . It was degorced  in December 2013. The nose is big and open for business with fine notes of yellow pears, sun warm rocks, butter cookies and a hint of diesel oil. Complex and displaying a fine maturity.
The taste feels younger than the nose and displays notes of ripe lemons, tangerines, matchbox and some grassy elements. Long and fine. Should drink well for 8+ years. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

Monday, 11 July 2016

A Light Lunch - Three Bottles Of 1983 Bordeaux - Larose-Trintaudon, Laroque & Potensac

Working from home on one of the last days before the much needed vacation, I had some meat and potatoes left over from the weekend, why not make a easy going casserole with some mushrooms, onion and a healthy dose of cream, for lunch?
And what to drink? Why not open three bottles of Bordeaux? The afternoon of work did go smoothly, and note, I spat the whole time...
Popped and poured.

1983 Château Larose-Trintaudon
The one I had least hope for and it turned out the best one, there is wine for you. Although Peppercorn noted in his Bordeaux book (1991) that he had tasted "an exceptionally good 1983 with really opulent fruit and tannins". And that opulence was still showing. This is the largest wine property in Bordeaux with 190 ha. Back in 1983 the wine consisted of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Caberbet Franc and 20% Merlot.
The nose is mature and barnyardy with fine notes of red and black currants, old leather, tobacco and burning autumn leaves in a distance. Held its own for all of the afternoon. Very good and very old school. Lovely.
The taste is mature, round and medium bodied with notes of cranberries, earth, tobacco and graphite. The finish is long, warm and velvety. Really good. It keeps evolving in the glass for 3 hours. Fully mature but no hurry to drink. The ideal luncheon Claret.
90p   (tasted 2016/06)

1983 Château Laroque
A large property in St Emilion with its 61 ha, it still is only one third of Larose-Trintaudon. In 1983 it was a blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The nose is open, mature and lovely with notes of ripe plums, moist forest floor, liquorice and there is some strawberries popping out now and then. A very fine sweetness to the fruit. Very, very good.
The taste is tighter and drier, with notes of dried plums, spices, old leather and cigarette ashes. The initial taste is fine and round but it turns dry in the middle taste and the finish is just dry. Would have been lovely 10 years ago. It worked fine with the food though.
85p   (tasted 2016/06)

1983 Château Potensac
On paper, the best of the three, but again, the bottle in question is proof of the pudding. The 83 consist of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.
The nose is mature and a bit withdrawn with notes of black currant leaves, graphite, tobacco flakes and coffee grounds. A metallic touch to the nose. Deep though, even if it comes out a bit angular.
The taste is stern and mature with notes of ripe black currants, cherries, tobacco and hot earth. A bit austere. Long though. Peppercorn describes Potensac as "often rather angular in structure" - and for this 83 I can only concur. Nice stuffing though.
85p   (tasted 2016/06)

Saturday, 9 July 2016

A Bottle Each - 1971 Barbacarlo & 1971 Barolo

All day long sunshine, ah well, turn up the grill and getting some meat skewers ready - and then what? The minute I placed the meat on the grill it started raining out of nowhere... Well, it turned out fine anyway, and the Barolo worked its magic with the meat, the fresh potatoes and a herb infused tomatoe sauce.

1971 Barbacarlo, La Vigna
My first Barbacarlo, and of course I would make it an old one! From Lombardy, this blend of Barbera, Croatina and Uva Rara use to carry "Antica Piemonte" on the label - as this bottle does - since the territory was for a long time a adjunct of Piedmont. 1971 is a great vintage here, as in Piedmont, so I had some hopes.
But, I am looking forward to tasting a newer version for this has gone a bit too long. Not dead by no means. But a bit tired. The nose is interesting though and reminds me of an old Verdelho, with notes of nuts, detergent, red tea and moist earth. Lacks depth in the middle.
The taste is old and a tad weak but not dried out, with notes of stale nuts, bakelite, dried leather and road dust. Drinkable - yes, enjoyable - no.
70p   (tasted 2016/07)

1971 Barolo, Galliano
This is a whole another ballgame - from the get go, I could sense that this was going to turn out great. And it did. The nose - with 2 hours decanter time (I opened both of them just after lunch to give them some breathing time and then decanted them 1 hour before dinner) - is oozing out of the glass with complex notes of rose petals, dried sweet red cherries, mushrooms and veal stock. Refined. Some bonfire aromas. A gorgeous dark perfumed scent. Perfectly mature. A very fine sweetness to the fruit. Just lovely.
The taste is tight, mature and heady with notes of dried cherries, ceps, rosehips and smoke. The finish is very long and balanced. Some Finnish dry liquorice. There is still some supporting tannins noticable in the finish. Very, very good. Drinking perfect today but bottles like still should hold for another 10 years. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2016/07)