Sunday, 21 December 2014

Lamb & Bordeaux


I bought some nice lamb sausages, grilled them and paired them with mixed vegetables and a garlic sauce. I wanted a Bordeaux to go along and found a 24 year old Margaux in a odd bin rack in the cellar.

This 5th Cru normally consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot and the land has a long history, according to David Peppercorn, records show that vine has been cultivated here in the thirteenth century. Thats's a legacy! More info http://www.chateaudauzac.com/en/

1990 Château Dauzac
This needed a bit of a time in the glass, and then revealed a fine, mature, medium sized nose with notes of cool, ripe black currants, plums, bay leaves, old leather and some clean, maintained stables. Very good. Elegant and low keyed, in a good way.
The taste is mature, dry and good with notes of red and black currants, gravel, worn leather and autumn leaves. A medium long finish with some dry tannins. This gives lots of pleasure on this night. Laid back, mature and very, very good. I like this a lot tonight.
The man from Monkton tasted it in January of 1993 and brushed it of as "hard, austere, malnourished and disappointing", and giving it a whopping 74 points. It is not the first time he is way of base. Much better than that, I give this bottle
88p   (tasted 2014/12)


Friday, 19 December 2014

Drinking Tonight - 2012 Les Fontanilles

Tonight it was time for the new vintage of a southern France favourite, from the talented producers Anne Gros and Jean-Paul Tollot. Tasting note of the 2009 here.

2012 Les Fontanilles, Domaine Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot
The nose is cool, finely tuned with notes of ligtly peppered meat, ripe blueberries, asphalt, rosehips and some bonfire scents. Very fine in its withdrawn way, compared to the 2010 and 2009, that had more oomph and body, see the link above.
The taste is young, tight and pure with sweet lingonberry- and blueberry fruit intermingled with notes of dry black peppercorn, bakelite, violets and hot gravel. A medium long, balanced finish. Very good but a little more anemic than the 2010 and 2009.
88p   (tasted 2014/12)


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Fonseca Vintage Port 1970 - 2011

Mikke put together this year last tasting in our tasting group. And as usual - 2011 and 2013 - the theme was Port.
Tasted double blind.

1970 Fonseca Vintage Port
A big, sweet, mature nose with notes of figs, dates, pan fried nuts sprinkled with muscovado sugar, detergent and hand cream. Yummy! Fully mature. Soft, sweet and very fine.
The taste is bigger than the nose leads you to believe, with notes of figs, dried up raspberry jam, chocolate covered nuts and a hint of detergent. A long, warm finish. Drinking perfectly now.
I remember bying these by the half bottle for 10 Euro some 20+ years ago...
92p   (tasted 2014/12)



1977 Fonseca Vintage Port
Upon revealing the botlles, there was a sigh of disappointment around the table. Normally one of the best 77´s, this bottle didn´t reach the heights it normally perform on.
The nose is big, mature and a tad foursquare with notes of maple suryp, blueberry- and raspberry jam, dry wood, tepentine and rotting autumn leaves. Sweet and interesting, but not that complex.
The taste is big, broad and fiery with notes of raspberry truffles, spicy pepper, saw dust and nut cream. Some detergent in the long, warm finish. A good bottle of mature Port, but not in its usual class, that usually is in the high 90´s.
87p   (tasted 2014/12)

1980 Fonseca Vintage Port
A fine, persistent, deep nose with notes of dates, paint, pickled ginger, ski wax and sweet dried flowers. Very, very fine. Not as sweet on the nose at the two previous wines, but more refined.
The taste is beautifully ripe, mature and viscous with notes of chocolate covered raspberries, iron, ski wax, pan fried nuts and a hint of dark soap. A very long, focused, concentrated nose. Almost fully mature, this beaty will go on for years and years. Really fine.
93p   (tasted 2014/12)



1985 Fonseca Vintage Port
The 85´s do need time. And the Fonseca behaved no different. The nose is deep and seedy with notes of sweet blueberries, dark chocolate, violets and asphalt. Tight and concentrated.
The taste is big and youngish with notes of blueberry chocolate, sweet thyme, sweet nuts, band aid and asphalt. A long, tight and a bit foursquared finish. Needs time.
90p   (tasted 2014/12)

2003 Fonseca Vintage Port
A deep, powerful, tight nose with notes of blueberry bushes, bakelite, assorted nuts, violets, asphalt and hyachint. This has potential. Very ripe fruit. A fine depth.
The taste is young, tight and intense with notes of crushed blueberries, tar, sweet flowers, candied orange peel and high octane chocolate. The finish goes on for minutes. A stunning Port that will need 20+ years to reach maturity.
94p   (tasted 2014/12)



2011 Fonseca Vintage Port
Yet again, I lament the fact that I´m not 40 years younger. If I was I should buy 2011 Ports by the case for my pocket money... Lucky those who will enjoy these wines in their mature shape.
The nose of this gorgeous creature oozes up from the glass with notes of a cool nut- and blueberry pie, asphalt, 64% Valrhona chocolate, warm dust, dark cookie dough and green raisins. The depth is profound. It evolves and changes in the glass all evening long. Just stunning!
The taste is a wave of concentrated blueberry fruit intermingled with notes of violets, sweet flowers, green raisins and dark chocolate fudge. The tannins are turned up to eleven but it is hardly noticable behind the wall of sweet fruit. The finish goes on and on and on. This will surely mature into a perfect wine - just wait 30 years or so...
97p   (tasted 2014/12)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Just Bought

Just received another bottle from, possibly, the next best vintage ever...:-)

Looking forward to that tasting, later in 2015!



Friday, 12 December 2014

Impressions From New York - Part Four

Found some mature California Cabernets in a wine store and tried them at the apartment, on this last night of our stay.

1991 Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
A finely tuned, mature nose with notes of black currant leaves, ripe green peppers, fresh stables, old leather and cigarette smoke. A cool nose. Very good.
The taste is mature, taut and structured with notes of red and black currants, barely ripe blueberries, green peppers, dusty earth and old leather. Smells and taste like a there is a good percentage of Cabernet Franc in the blend.
90p   (tasted 2014/12)



2001 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon
A deep, profound, tight and still young nose with notes of ripe black currants, pencil shavings, dried blueberries, warm gravel, Zegna leather and well managed stables. Very intense. Just lovely. A wonderful sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is concentrated and focused with beautiful sweet black currant and blueberry fruit with additional notes of graphite, warm tiles, espresso coffee and new leather. The finish goes on for minutes with a glorious warmth and concentration, and still packing a punch in the tannin department. A lovely wine today, but should be close to perfection in another 5+ years.
96p   (tasted 2014/12)

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Impressions From New York - Part Three

Turning the big (?!) 50 calls for a bottle of bubbly. I found this gem at Acker Merrall and it worked great with some foie gras de canard, before heading out.

1986 Cuvée N. F. Billecart, Billecart-Salmon
A lovely, mature, velvety nose with notes of ripe red autumn apples, milk chocolate fudge, hay, warm gravel, melted vanilla ice cream and dried fruits. With air a fine note of Lilly's of the valley emerge. Mature but still very energetic. Very, very good.
The taste is perfectly mature with a creamy character and notes of soft yellow apples, caramel, a cold Tarte Tatin and some warm grassy notes. A long, persistent finish with a fine acidity and fine bubbles that tickles the taste buds. A great wine caught at a great moment in time.
95p   (tasted 2014/12)


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Impressions From New York - Part Two

There are hectic times in the Big Apple. Yesterday we were (with 20.000 more...) socializing with Jay Z, Beoynce and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the NBA game between Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers. King James made sure that the Cavaliers took an easy win.
Today shopping and now I am in need of some American Pinot before heading out!

2012 Flowers Pinot Noir
This Sonoma Pinot sports a young, creamy nose with notes of wild raspberries, cedar, bonfire smoke, forest floor and some expensive leather. A fine depth and a lovely sweetness to the fruit. I like!
The taste is young and stylish with notes of ripe red currants, raspberries, incense, licorice and bakelite. The finish is long and warm and shows a fine acidity. Young of course, and in need of some cellar time, but a great drink on this rainy New York evening.
92p   (tasted 2014/12)


2011 Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée Pinot Noir
In the other glass I pour a Oregon Pinot from Domaine Serene. The nose on this one is darker and broader then the Flowers. There are notes sweet flowers, strawberries with some blueberries tossed in, autumn leaves, mushrooms and cigar smoke. Needs time in the glass but opens up nicely.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of red currants, dark raspberries, undergrowth, cigar ashes and a touch of dark chocolate. There are some finely polished tannins in the finish. More linear. This will need even more time than the Flowers. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/12)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Impressions From New York - Part One

We are spending a week in the city that never sleeps. After walking in Central Park and downtown, for 15+ kilometers, I need some wine before heading out to some restaurant. I found these two in a wine shop close to the apartment.

2010 Hess Napa Valley 19 Block Mountain Cuvée 
A big, round, sweet nose with lovely ripe black currants, graphite, fine tobacco and some coffee notes. A fine depth. A beautiful ripeness to the fruit. Some oak, but underlying and supporting. Very, very good.
The taste is full bodied with ripe black currants, some plummy notes, graphite, tobacco and chocolate wafers. Finely tuned tannins that dries up the finish nicely. This could evolve nicely with 3+ years in the cellar. Opened yesterday and it was even better on this night.
92p   (tasted 2014/12)


2010 Grgich Hills Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a different creature, with a more narrow and "European" character with a restrained nose with notes of barely ripe black currants, cranberries, forest floor,
The taste is young, tight and focused with a nice warmth and notes of red and black currants, unripe blueberries, warm tiles, resin and cigarette ashes. The tannins are a bit more four squared but supports the fruit and structure well. Needs time though.
91p   (tasted 2014/12)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Eight Bottles From 1964 & A Backup

It was time for our monthly tasting in our tasting group, but due to sickness and bad priority, we were only three to take on the bottles that I had prepared. But somehow we managed...:-)

1964 Private Cuvée, Roger Perreau
This bottle was tired, not a bubble in sight and the flavours were full of old apples, dried fruits and canned mushrooms. Rather dry and short.
60p   (tasted 2014/11)




2006 Blanc de Noir, AR Lenoble
But I thought that we wanted some real bubbles, so I opened this one. The nose is creamy and dark with notes of wild strawberries, red apples, a touch of chocolate and some balsamic scents. A fine depth. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and fresh with notes of red apples, warm gravel, flowers and a light peppery note. A very fine acidity. Long and fine. This will be even greater in 4-6 years time.
91p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grande Rosace, Patriarche
What is in this bottle? Almost black in colour and notes of black cherry jam, resin asphalt, sugared coffee and molasses. Very strange. Smells like a dried up Pedro Ximenez! What was put into this bottle? A Burgundy negociant who makes Châteauneuf-du-Pape? Well...
The taste is big and brawny with notes of cooked black cherries, chewing tobacco, cold coffee and moist undergrowth. Almost inky. Long and warm. A very strange creature. It has some virtues but what in the world would I have guessed if this was poured blind - I have no idea...
86p   (tasted 2014/11)




1964 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, H. Ogier
This is a whole another piece of Châteauneuf! The nose is mature and round with notes of red cherries, dried raspberries, lots of garrigue, pine trees and tobacco leaves. A high, finely tuned nose.
The taste is big and mature with notes of sweet lingonberries, dried raspberries, old leather, Christmas spices and tobacco. The finish is long and warm with soft tannins. A touch volatile that adds complexity. This is in a perfect stage of maturity.
92p   (tasted 2014/11)

The Châteauneuf´s were a nice warm up for the next four bottles that had a special theme. This line up really showed the high quality that was a Fontanafredda trademark in the 60´s, which they maintained well into the 70´s.

1964 Barolo Riserva Speciale, Fontanafredda
The Riserva Speciale has a mature, fresh nose with notes of dried strawberries, rosehips, warm tiles, spices and lots of rose petals. A fine, earthy warm note. Very good.
The taste is lovingly tight, mature and warm with notes of dried red fruits, red tea, old leather and rosehips. Fully integrated tannins. A very fine maturity.
90p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo La Villa , Fontanafredda
The both vineyards wines are really a step up in quality. The La Villa has a deep, mature, gorgeous nose with notes of ripe red cherries, pipe tobacco,mushrooms,  a hint of rhubarb and lots of fresh rose petals. A wonderful nose.
The taste is mature, round and expansive with notes of dried cherries, rose petals, hard cherry candy and ceps. A very fine warmth. Long and focused. This is lovely, with a harmonious blend of mature fruit, sandy tannins and a long, fine warmth. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2014/11)



1964 Barolo La Delizia, Fontanafredda
The La Delizia rivals the La Villa in quality but it behaves differently. The nose is darker with ripe black cherries, tea leaves, fried mushrooms, asphalt and cigarr ashes. The scent of old books. Deep and complex. Very, very fine.
The taste is denser than the La Villa with dark fruit and still perky tannins. Notes of black tea, black cherries, asphalt and forest floor. Very long and intense. So good, but still needs +3 years in a cold cellar.
93p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo, Fontanafredda
More in the style of the Riserva Speciale but a bit softer on the nose with fine notes of autumn leaves, mushrooms, chewing tobacco and a touch of a bonfire in a distance. Very nice and mature.
The taste is mature and dry with notes of red cherries, forest floor, dry tobacco and rosehips. A medium long, warm finish that ends a tad dry. Fully mature and very fine with the food.
87p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Monbazillac, Château du Rauly
A big, intense, semi sweet nose with notes of dark saffron, dried apricots and pineapple, linoleum and glue. A touch of detergent after a while. Big and bold but a tad hollow in the middle.
The taste is mature and semi dry with notes of dried apricots, glue, green raisins and wet hay. A medium long finish. A bit low in acidity. Good.
84p   (tasted 2014/11)

Saturday, 29 November 2014

2008 & 2009 Las Flors, La Pèira

I tasted the 2009 Las Flors at Bristly Wine´s trade tasting a couple of weeks ago (tasting notes will come) and was floored by it. I immediately ordered a couple of bottles of the 2008 and 2009.
Time to check them out at home. I opened them at three o´clock in the afternoon, decanted them and followed them during the evening.

2008 Las Flors, La Pèira
This Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah blend shows of a big, deep and tight nose with notes of ripe black cherries, plums, raw meat, dark fudge and a hint of that special smoky scent that comes from a good Islay whisky. Deep and very fine.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of ink, dark plums and cherries, asphalt, meat stock and a black peppery note. A very long, warm, finely tuned finish. This will need 5+ years to reach some stage of maturity.
92p   (tasted 2014/11)

2009 Las Flors, La Pèira
The 2009 is turned up to eleven, compared to the 2008. The fruit is blacker and denser, yet with lighter feet and with more focus, if you could imagine that. Sweet liquorice, dried flowers, freshly grounded black pepper, hand pounded meat, a bonfire in the distance and very expensive perfume is just a few scents that rises from the glass when you swirl it. Just stunning!
The taste is the proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove with waves of dark ripe cherries and notes of Christmas spices, raw meat, veal stock, liquorice and dried flowers. The finish goes on for several minutes. This is brilliant and will become even better with 5+ years in the cellar. Get as much as you can get hold on - I will!
96p   (tasted 2014/11)

Friday, 28 November 2014

Barolo Boys Does 1964 Barolo & Barbaresco

Flight I

Flight II
I had saved the crème de la crème of my Barbaresco and Barolo bottles from the greatest vintage ever, for this get together with the Barolo Boys. It became a night to remember.
The red wines were tasted single blind for all at the table.

1964 Dom Perignon
This has reached a fine state of maturity. A creamy, mature nose with lovely notes of strawberry fudge, red ripe apples, a touch of mushroom cream and coffee powder. Very elegant.
The taste is pure and mature with notes of toasted bread, dark fudge, dried strawberries and a very fine acidity. Long and fine. Drinking perfectly on this night.
94p   (tasted 2014/11)


1964 Barolo Riserva, E. Pira
A medium deep, mature nose with a lovely autumn scent and notes of veal stock, old leather, rosehips and dried cherries. Very, very good.
The taste is mature and a tad linear with notes of dried up cherry jam, old leather, undergrowth and mushrooms. The taste is, contrary to the nose, a bit burly. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2014/11)



1964 Barolo, Aldo Conterno
A deep, concentrated nose with notes of cooked red cherries, rosehips, warm herbs, tobacco and some fresh stable scents. A lovely maturity.
The taste is big and bold with notes of forest floor, ripe red cherries, tobacco leaves, leather and warm herbs. The finish is very long and sumptuous. This is a fine bottle of mature Barolo.
92p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo, Vietti
The Vietti has the lighest colour in the line up, but what a nose that greats you when you put your nose in the glass! A deep, focused, concentrated nose with notes of warm tiles, undergrowth, milk chocolate biscuits, dried cherries and some veal stock. Very, very refined. So, so fine.
The taste is mature, medium bodied but makes a strong impression in the mouth with notes of sweet/sour cherries, dried mushrooms, forest floor and dried wild strawberries. A very fine dried up sweetness. This is a stunning piece of mature Nebbiolo.
94p   (tasted 2014/11)



1964 Barolo, Francesco Rinaldi
This has obviously been in some sort of time warp. I would never have guessed this to be 50 years old. Maybe 20-25, tops. The colour is darker than the others and the nose is deep and brooding with notes of sweet black cherries, cold coffee, fresh mushrooms, rosehips, leather and some stable aromas. A complex scent of burnt rubber emerges with air. This is good! And young!
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of red and black cherries, mushroom forest, liquorice, sugared coffee and rosehips. Some perky tannins in the long finish. This time warp wine needs another 10+ years, amazing!
93p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo Riserva, Giuseppe Mascarello
When I turned 40 we drank 30 bottles of 1964 Barolo, and the best of the bunch back then was the Riserva from Giuseppe Mascarello. So I had high expectations on this bottle. And while very good, it didn´t reach the heights of the previous bottle.
The nose is a touch volatile with notes of freeze dried raspberries, herbs, warm earth, coffee powder and a touch of detergent. Medium deep and rather complex.
The taste is deeper and more concentrated than the nose with notes of warm tiles, forest floor, lots of mushrooms, rose petals and dried raspberries. A long, long, focused finish with a nice dry ending. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/11)


1964 Barolo Riserva Speciale, Cavallotto
Too bad, the bottle looked fine, a good level and colour of the wine but the nose is full of yeast, moist earth, unfresh stables and iron.
The taste is foursquare and dry with lots of unripe lingonberries, canned mushrooms and a yesty finish. No thanks.
58p   (tasted 2014/11)

The second flight got all of our juices flowing, the line up looked stunning! And, with one exception, it proved to be just that...

1964 Barolo, Giacomo Conterno
The third bottle from the same stash, this performs great. The nose is deep and intense with notes of ripe black cherries, plums, forest floor, rose petals and some dry, expensive leather. A very high, pure and fresh nose. Very, very deep. Almost mature but still has a long time to go.
The taste is finely tuned, has a high definition and a gorgeous structure, full of ripe black cherries, rose petals, forest floor, ceps and old leather. The finish goes on for minutes and has a wonderful warmth. A great wine 6 years ago, a great wine tonight and surely a great wine for years and years to come.
96p   (tasted 2014/11)


1964 Barbaresco, Gaja
¤#%&/&%¤#"=)(/&%!!! As with the Cavallotto, the bottle looked fine but this must have been standing on a Italian wine shop shelf in the summer heat for 20 years - cooked and completely dead.
50p   (tasted 2014/11)



1964 Barbaresco Riserva Speciale, Bruno Giacosa
The next wine made up for the loss of the Gaja, and then some! A hauntingly beautiful, pure and refined nose with notes of cool cherry fruit, cigar ash, warm herbs, rose petals, ceps and hard cherry candy. Intensity and purity in the glass. This is awesome stuff. Entering maturity, but still on the young side of things.
The taste is fresh and cool with notes of ripe red cherries, rose petals, ceps, liquorice and leather. More forest floor notes after a while. An immense depth and focus. The taste lingers on and on and on. Very, very pure. A perfect mix of tannins and acidity. Greatness.
97p   (tasted 2014/11)

1964 Barolo Monfortino, Giacomo Conterno
Again, tasted single blind, but everyone guessed it to be Monfortino and everyone had this as their favourite in flight 2. And here is a tip, don´t decant a old Monfortino for 2 hours, like we did, decant it for 24 hours.
I saved about 6-7 cl to the next day in the bottle with the cork pushed in. It blew my mind the day after, I just...had it at 98p on day one. Day two it was a easy 100p - one of the best wine ever.
I could just sit a whole night through, sniffing this beauty, with its notes of a mix of cherries and raspberries, dried flowers, ceps, rosehips and a pine forest on a moist autumn day. Very floral. This wine could be a poster child for an ethereal nose. Hard to describe, it has to be experienced.
The taste is a weightless beauty, with notes of sweet/sour cherries, liquorice, rose petals, violets, expensive leather and ceps. The finish goes of for two minutes and has silky smooth tannins and a gorgeous acidity. We were in the presence of perfection.
100p   (tasted 2014/11)


1964 Taylor´s Special Tawny
Flight II was a tough act to follow but this old tawny from Taylor was the perfect wind down wine after the Barolo and Barbaresco´s. The nose is deep and soft with notes of balsamico marinated strawberries, plums, fried nuts and some rubbery aromas. Very good and yummy.
The taste is sweet and a touch fiery with notes of cherry jam, plums, dates, assorted nuts and the same rubber note as on the nose. Fully mature, and maybe a tad much so, but easy to drink and a great match with some 70% Venezuela chocolate.
87p   (tasted 2014/11)


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

What To Open Tonight...

Lets see - we are three - and it is wednesday - nine bottles seems about right.
And who would like to guess the vintage...? :-)
Notes to follow!



Monday, 24 November 2014

2008 Red Mountain Bell´ Villa Vineyard Syrah, Goedhart Family

After tasting the 2010 version of this wine I noticed that the state monopoly also had the 2008. Some keystrokes later I had ordered a few bottles. Time to pull a cork!

2010 Bell´ Villa Vineyard Syrah, Goedhart Family
This has a fine, medium deep, creamy nose with notes of veal meat, plums, white pepper, lavender and some wild raspberries. Some smoky note after a while. The 2010 had a bit more nerve and structure, but this is very good.
The taste is cool, tight and a bit seedy with notes of white peppered meat, red currants, plums, rubber and dried flowers. The finish is medium long, nicely balanced and with a good acidity. The mid palate is a bit thin though. Drinking fine, but I don´t think it will get any better. The 2010 will, and I just bought some more bottles of that one.
88p   (tasted 2014/11)


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Taylor´s Single Harvest 1863 & Other Goodies From The House Of Taylor´s

I got an invitation from Vinunic to taste the 1863 Single Harvest from Taylor´s alongside some other bottles, and I of course gladly accepted.
Jorge Ramos from Taylor´s made a captivating and interesting presentation of the wines we tasted and of the house of Taylor´s.

2009 Late Bottled Vintage
A young, cool, seedy nose with notes of raisins, tires, asphalt and dried blueberries. Somewhat dusty on the nose.
The taste is warm and good with notes of dark fudge, figs, asphalt and sugared coffee. Medium long and fine. Better on the palate than on the nose.
85p   (tasted 2014/11)


10 Year Old Tawny
A medium big, open nose with notes of cooked red apples, milk chocolate, white raisins and saw dust. Sweet and good.
The taste is big and a bit fiery with notes of white raisins, nut chocolate, dates and wood. A medium long, sweet finish with a hint of alcohol in the end. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2014/11)


20 Year Old Tawny
A soft, deep nose with notes of milk chocolate covered cherries, dried strawberries and a hint of aged balsamic vinegar. Complex and very, very good. A big step up from the 10 year old.
The taste is big and intense with lots of cherry compote, dark raisins, dark chocolate and some burnt rubber. Very long and very nice. This I want for Christmas! :-)
92p   (tasted 2014/11)

1997 Vintage Port
A tight, focused, seedy nose with notes of dark chocolate, lots of walnuts, figs and a hint of detergent. Ripe and complex, but still very young.
The taste is big and mouth coating with notes of sugared blueberries, damsons, dark chocolate and some blood & iron in the long, long finish. Lots of structure. This will need another 10 years in the cellar. Good stuff!
93p   (tasted 2014/11)



2000 Vintage Port
The only really approachable bottle of the Vintage ports. The nose is stunning with its dark, brooding notes of Christmas spices & Christmas cake alongside scents of figs, fried nuts and Valrhona chocolate. Gorgeous!
The taste is big and steady and somewhat mature. It has both power and balance and lovely notes of dark cherries, chocolate cream, warm spices and walnuts. Very long and very yummy! Will go on for years and years.
95p   (tasted 2014/11)

2003 Vintage Port
A still very adolescent nose with notes of crude rubber, ink, black cherries, raisins and asphalt. A bit closed. Very, very young, but promising.
The taste is big, tight and fiery with all the elements for something great in 20+ years time. Lots of tough tannins, concentrated black fruit and a minute long finish. Wait, wait and then wait some more.
93p   (tasted 2014/11)



2007 Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha
A very young, potent, dark nose with notes of ripe blueberries, asphalt, bakelite, figs and dark coffee. This will need time but the components for a future great wine are there.
The taste is very tight, seedy and intense with notes of graphite, asphalt, hard cherry candy, spices and concentrated blueberry juice. Lots of broad shouldered tannins. Long, long and long. Wait at least 15 years.
The best memory of Quinta de Vargellas I have is drinking the 1964 from Duralex glasses in a London hotel room after we bought it for a song in a wine shop after the cork dropped in to the bottle just when we were in the process of buying it. :-)
94p   (tasted 2014/11)

2011 Vintage Port
Boy, oh boy. I will not buy this, because I will be six feet under when this will be mature. But I envy those who will be around then, for this is a perfect wine in the making.
The nose is hauntingly deep and profoundly sweet and intense with a light, flowery note while the aromas of ripe blueberries, graphite, violets, green raisins and blood & iron take hold of your olfactory organs. This is the real thing.
The taste is the proverbial Muhammad Ali of wines - "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" - immensely intense, yet light and elegant, and then waves of sweet dark fruit rolls over the tongue, leaving a distinct mark. The tannin are ripe, sweet and polished. A masterpiece in the making. Just wait 30 or 40 years...
98p   (tasted 2014/11)


1965 Single Harvest
On the other side of things - this you don´t have to wait for. Just gulp it down, for this is good. The nose is open wide with yummy notes of autumn apples, chocolate truffles, bay leaves, caramel and a touch of iodine. Very, very good.
The taste is velvety and mature with notes of ripe apples, dry fudge, earth and white raisins. A medium long finish with a very nice warmth. Fully mature and drinking great.
90p   (tasted 2014/11)



1863 Single Harvest
What can one say when tasting a 151 year old wine? Impressed? Yes, but this won´t make the most memorable wines of the year. Don´t get me wrong, it is good, but it is more fascinating than great.
The nose is deep, intense and a bit volatile with notes of old wrinkled red apples, a touch of liquorice and some earthy aromas. Even ethereal. There is something extra with that long time in wood.
The taste is smooth and intense with notes of white raisins, banana peel, moist earth and old wood. A long, soft finish with a high acidity. Again, more impressive than great.
88p   (tasted 2014/11)