Thursday, 23 June 2016

Two Wines From Elio Sandri

A mail came. From a Swedish importer - Bristly Wine - that had unearthed a, for me, unknown producer in Monforte d'Alba.
I could buy a 6 bottle mixed case and of course I ordered one. These are the two first bottles opened and drunk, of which there were 2 bottles each (the rest is one bottle 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo and one bottle 2009 Barolo Riserva).

For an enthusiastic report from a visit to the estate, check out Gregory Dal Piaz

2013 Marapika, Elio Sandri
This Langhe Rosso is a blend of dominantly Dolcetto and Barbera with "a small extra power given by Nebbiolo" as their website says.
The nose is young, cool and seedy with notes of red cherries, rosehips, red tea and a damp forest. Evolves nicely in the glass over the evening. Very good.
The taste is cool and fresh with notes of hard cherry candy, cigarette ashes, dusty earth and dry liquorice. The finish is medium long and dry. A touch anemic on the mid palate to be honest. With a pasta dish it worked great. 
85p   (tasted 2016/06)

2013 Dolcetto d'Alba, Elio Sandri
A joyful, exuberant nose right out of the bottle, with notes of sweet red cherries, dried raspberries, band aid and just the right amount of dirt to make it a complex, multi layered nose. Some light meaty aromas after a while. Lots of energy. Really good!
The taste is young, tight and fresh with notes of red cherries, wild strawberries, liquorice and dusty earth. A very fine, uplifting acidity. Very, very good. Probably the best Dolcetto I have ever had. 
92p   (tasted 2016/06)

More notes here (in Swedish).

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Another Notch In The Belt - 2002 Chambourcin, Pendarves Estate

To my knowledge I have never tasted any wine from the Chambourcin grape. But now I have. According to Jancis Robinson et al in her great work Wine Grapes (2012) Chambourcin is a complex hybrid that was first commercialized in 1963. Previously mostly planted in France where it still is one of the most widely planted hybrids, it is also planted in several other places in the world, from USA to Vietnam. This example comes from Australia, where 86 producers (!) make wine of this hybrid.

On to the wine!

2002 Chambourcin, Pendarves Estate
This estate was established in 1986 by Dr. Philip Norrie and on the label "The Wine Doctor´s Estate" is proudly printed. A bottle of this a day, keeps the doctor away...:-)
The nose is intriguing and given this blind I would have been lost. It behaves like a blend of a young Barbera with some Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc in the mix. Red ripe cherries, cranberries, bonfire, rubber and a warm green scent, are some of the notes. I really like it. Rather complex. Very, very good.
The taste is high strung with a high acidity, a medium body and notes of fir, cranberries, red currants, burning rubber and hard cherry candy. A long, lingering, refined finish. Very interesting. It behaves more like a old style Chianti on the palate. This is really good. Bought as a gamble, would love to have more. With its 12,5% alcohol, it is very gulpable. And the 14 years in the bottle doesn´t show at all.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Jordan

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Jordan

It always fascinate me - these tiny amounts of grapes in the blend - do they really make a difference? 1% Malbec? Would I have noticed a difference if there had been 77% Cabernet Sauvignon instead of the 76% there is now?
I don´t know, would be fun to try though. Other than these two grapes there are 16% Merlot and 7% Petite Verdot in the blend. You could call it a classic Bordeaux blend.
The nose is deep, fruity and finely tuned with notes of ripening black currants, graphite, black tea and forest floor. Very, very good. A fine sweetness to the fruit, but in a restrained way. This is fine. Still young of course.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe black currants, blueberries, dark chocolate and lots of sun warm rocks. A long, intense finish. Some perky tannins peeks through at the end. Lovely now but will be even better in 5+ years time. I have some fine memories from Jordan´s Cabernet from the 1983, 85 and 86 vintages. More info here.
93p   (tasted 2016/06)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Castillo Perelada Lunch Tasting

Vinunic invited to a tasting of wines from Castillo Perelada and Eugeni Llos Norenberg, a Norwegian by birth, that works at the estate presented the wines. I visited the estate last year and was really impressed by many of the wines they produce.

NV Cava Brut Reserva
This big selling bubble (3,5 million bt/year) has a light, cool nose with notes of almonds, gravel and dried pears. Nice enough.
The taste is dry and fine with notes of grapefruit, almond flakes and gravel. A medium long finish with a hint of bitterness.
81p   (tasted 2016/05)

NV Cava Brut Rosado
The Rosé is a whole other ballgame, with a medium deep, fresh nose with notes of lingonberries, wild strawberries, almond cookies and crushed rocks. A god lift to the nose. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of lingonberry jam, earth, blood oranges and gravel. A medium long finish with a fine acidity. Really good and for 11 Euro a true bargain.
87p   (tasted 2016/05)

2015 Només Garnatxa Blanca
A flowery, rather big nose great you when you put your nose in the glass, with additional notes of strawberries and dusty earth. Very good.
The taste is open and broad with notes of summer flowers, assorted red berries, gravel and a hint of butter. Very good when cold, but lost some of its freshness when it gets warmer in the glass.
85p   (tasted 2016/05)

2015 GR-174
This is a big seller in Sweden, I have not tasted it before but I can see why - the nose is big and open with a herbal warmth and notes of plums, chocolate biscuits and liquorice. Lacks depth and complexity but is very likable.
The taste is big and warm with notes of dried cherries, plums, chocolate and herbs. A medium long finish with a soft ending. Gulpable but not really my cup of tea.
84p   (tasted 2016/05)

2012 5 Finques Reserva
The name derives from the 5 single vineyards Perelada owns in Emporda and this wine is made out of grapes from the young vines from these sites. It is a blend of Garnatxa, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Samso, Monastrell and Ull de Llebre. The nose is big and open for business with fine notes of scorched earth, plums, meat stock and fresh herbs, Very, very good.
The taste is big, warm and forward with notes of plums, chocolate, bonfire and fried herbs. A long, distinct finish with a fine warmth and some earthy tannins. For drinking now and the coming 5+ years.
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

2011 Finca La Garriga
There was something wrong with this bottle and there were no replacement so no judgement. Too bad, I liked the La Garriga most of the three single vineyard bottling when I tasted them in Spain last year.
No rating   (tasted 2016/05)

2012 Finca Malaveïna
This one shows of a fine, warm nose with notes of ripe blueberries, hot earth, bakelite and dry tobacco. Very good.
The taste is big and seedy with notes of spicy plums, cigarette ashes, earth and bay leaves. Long and warm. Very good. A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 13% Syrah and 7% Garnatxa.
87p   (tasted 2016/05)

2013 Aires de Garbet
This 100% Garnatxa wine has spend 12 months in used Bordeaux barriques before bottling. It displays a deep, dense nose with notes of ripe blackberries, chocolate biscuits, warm gravel and some peppery aromas. Very fine. A dark perfumed scent.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of blueberries, bonfire, gravel and crushed peppers. A very long, sandy finish with some sturdy tannins. Wait 3+ years. This will turn out great.
90p   (tasted 2016/05)

2011 Gran Cruor
Moving over to Priorat for the next two bottles. The 2011 Gran Cruor is a 100% Carayena wine and shows of a spicy, warm nose with notes of peppery black fruits, meat, dark flowers and hot earth. Very good but a tad on the warm side.
The taste is big, tight and intense with notes of blackberries, sweet violets, meat stock and hot gravel. A long, warm finish. More restrained on the palate. Needs time. Very, very good.
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

2010 Gran Cruor
The one year older Gran Cruor is a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Carayena and 15% Garnatxa, and also a much better wine. The nose is deep and concentrated with notes of peppery blueberries, bay leaves, warm tiles and a fine perfumed note. A lovely nose.
The taste is dark and dense with notes of blue- and blackberries, fried herbs, violets and lightly peppered meat. A long, long finnish with a fine tannin structure. Wait 5+ years and you will have a stunning bottle of wine.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

2007 Finca Garbet
The Finca Garbet was the only one of the better wines I didn´t taste at my visit to Castello Perelada. I bought the 2006 but haven´t done the deed yet, so it was interesting to get to taste the 07 now. And boy, what a wine! This 100% Syrah delivers the goods! The nose is fantastic in its intensity and focus yet displaying lightness and layer upon layer of seductive black- and blueberries with some ripe black cherries tossed in. There also are fine notes of sweet violets, dried flowers, dark chocolate and a gorgeously perfumed scent. Really, really fine.
The taste is big and bold yet elegant and delicate with notes of ripe blackberries, violets, veal stock, bay leaves and dried flowers. The finish goes on for over a minute and there are plenty of tannins beneath the gorgeous fruit. Give this 5-7 years and it will flirt with perfection. I would love to put this into a line up of fine Côte-Rôtie´s and see what would happen. Great wine!
96p   (tasted 2016/05)

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Two Outstanding Bottles Of Cabernet Franc

I bought the Le Roi just on chance, byuing a case of different bottles in the 15-20 Euro price range for everyday drinking. And stumbled on a truly fine wine for virtually no money at all. Then I had to order the big brother, the "Fool", and that was not a mistake...

This domaine is almost new, the owner, Philippe Proché, bought the estate in 2004 and the first vintage produced was the year after. More info here.

2010 Le Roi, Domaine de Rocheville
An open, eager, focused nose with lots of red and black currants alongside notes of warm tiles, green peppers, smoke and road dust. Opens up beautifully in the glass. Deep and refined. This is really good. 100% Cabernet Franc that has spent 15 months in 5000 liter French oak casks.
The taste is tight and expressive with notes of black currant leaves, warm grass, fresh herbs and sun warm rocks. A long, balanced finish with lovingly polished tannins. This is goood! For even more enjoyment, cellar this for 5+ years. For 17 Euro, this is a must buy, by the case.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

2011 Le Fou du Roi, Domaine de Rocheville
The "Fool" has spent 18 months in French barriques and shows more oak aromas on the nose than the wine above, but since I´m not a oak wimp, it doesn´t bother me. It adds an extra dimension to the ripe black currant fruit and additional notes of graphite, fried green peppers and some dark coffee. Very, very good. Still very young.
The taste is big, seedy and tight with notes of cool, mature black currants, warm tiles, charcoal and some blueberries. Very long and with a fine warmth. Needs time. Great structure. Very, very promising. This 31 Euro wine will deliver even more pleasure in 6-8 years time. Buying!
92p   (tasted 2016/06)

Friday, 17 June 2016

Friday Dinner Barolo - 1975 Barolo, M. Marengo

I opened this to go along a dish with pasta, dove and winter truffle, its friday after all.

1975 Barolo, M. Marengo
One of the many Marengo families, this La Morra producer have delivered some fine bottles through the years, with the 58 and 64 (of course!) as highlights if memory serves me right.
The 75 has a big, warm, round nose with notes of dried mushrooms, balsamico cooked rhubarbs, rosehips and chewing tobacco. A bit loose around the edges but it still got charm and that distinguishing scent of old school, mature, ripe Nebbiolo. Very good.
The taste is round, mature and warm with notes of rose petals, old liquorice, asphalt and root vegetables. A long, warm finish with fully resolved tannins. Drinking well on this friday but in all honesty, this was surely better 10-15 years ago. Went well with the food though.
83p   (tasted 2016/06)

Thursday, 16 June 2016

1949 Nuits-Saint-Georges, P. Misserey

1949 Nuits-Saint-Georges, P. Misserey 
This negociant bought some good wines in 1949, according to this bottle. The nose is ripe, big and brawny with notes of brown sugar, figs, damsons, cooked root vegetables and damp forest floor. No wimpy strawberries here! An impressive structur given its age. On the nose it doesn´t feel like there are some "foreign" grapes (aka Rhone varietals) blended in, it smells like a old school, mature Pinot from a distant great year. Especially wines from 49 have behaved like this. Really good, even though it doesn´t have heaps of complexity.
The taste is big, sweet and concentrated with notes of red beets cooked in port wine, moist autumn leaves, damsons and pipe tobacco. The finish is long, warm and not in any way dry or hollow. There must have been some really ripe grapes that have gone into this wine. It actually keeps things together better than the nose. There are even some tannins in the end of the finish. Very impressive. Old bottles is always a gamble but when they play out like this there isn´t much that is more rewarding.
89p   (tasted 2016/06)

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Sweden Rock Festival - Day Two

Second day at Sweden Rock Festival and it is wine day! Yesterday we saw Diamond Head and their signature song Am I Evil (this clip is from Sweden Rock in 2005 and I can be spotted in the public....).
We also got to see Blind Guardian, one of my all time favourites.
Tonight I am looking forward too SlayerKing Diamond & Soilwork

2014 Joven Roble, Pago de Los Capellanes
The 14 vintage of Joven Roble has a deep, forward, black nose with notes of dark plums, asphalt, moist earth and tobacco. A fine warmth. A fine depth. Very good.
The taste is young and tight with lots of ripe blueberries and notes of warm tiles, tobacco and bakelite. Some sturdy tannins in the long finish. Needs time. I remember the 2013 as somewhat more harmonious at about the same stage in its evolution. Very good.
89p   (tasted 2016/06)

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Three Bottles Of Pommard

Pommard. My regular go to bottle for daily Burgundy drinking, with lots of character, agebility and they won´t cost you an arm and a leg.
These were drunk during the last couple of weeks.

2002 Pommard Les Arvelets, Yves Chaley
A big, open, rustic nose with a mix of red and black berries with additional notes of clay, forest floor and dried flowers. Old school wine making, Deep and fine.
The taste is tight and forward with notes of dried blue- and raspberries, moist earth, dry liquorice and some peppery notes. A good length with a fine, sturdy warmth. Very, very good. Should evolve nicely for 10+ years.
90p   (tasted 2016/05/

1988 Pommard, Robert Ampeau
Ampeau is maybe more known for his mature, late released white Burgundy´s, but this is a nice example of his reds. The nose is broad and ample with a fine warmth and notes of boiled root vegetables, dry raspberry jam and assorted spices. A fine maturity. Very, very good.
The taste is mature, dry and rich with notes of dried raspberries, chewing tobacco and forest floor. A long rugged finish that is very much Pommard. Fully mature but should keep on this level for another 3-5 years
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

1953 Pommard, Calvet
Corked beyond belief! I have had this bottle for 5 years and before that it has dwelled somewhere for 58 years, only to be poured down the drain. Bloody corks! :-(

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Masterclass With Adam Tolmach

It was 12 years since Adam Tolmach visited Sweden (and that was then his first visit). Lucky enough I also got to meet him then (see which wines we tasted then below).
Adam is a down to earth, charming man with a - to qoute himself - "meandering way to progress"
Divine invited, I went, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

2014 Kick On Ranch Riesling
I tasted this just two weeks ago and it behaved identical today.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

2014 Puerta del Mar Chardonnay
The nose is cool and lightly smoky with notes of ripening mango, gravel and lemon cream. A fine nerve. 
The taste is young and tight with notes of flowers, mango and almond paste. A very good acidity. Long and delicious.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

2014 Solomon Hills Chardonnay
The Solomon Hills is a beauty, with its deep, focused nose with notes of dry apricots, pears, grilled lemons and a touch of rubber. Complex and fine. Broader than the Puerta del Mar.
The taste is creamy yet with a tight core om lemon and pear fruit with additional notes of matchbox, almonds and grass. A very fine, taut acidity. Long. This is really good.
93p   (tasted 2016/06)

2014 Pinot Noir
The 14 Pinot Noir is all about a upfront, juicy charm. The nose is fresh and flowery with notes of cranberries, lingonberries and some funky earth scents. Very lively and good.
The taste is young and tight with notes of lingonberries, dried flowers and forest floor. A very good acidity. Gulpable and very good.
90p   (tasted 2016/06)

2012 Bien Nacido Syrah
This Syrah displays a slight angular nose with notes of dusty blueberries, Asian spices, dark earth and a touch of mint. A tad restrained on the nose. Needs some air to open up.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of damsons, dried herbs and asphalt. A long, liniar finish with young tannins and acidity. A touch foursquare today. There are fine fruit here that needs time to blossom.
88p   (tasted 2016/06)

2008 Presidio Syrah
From a magnum. A large scaled, opulent, rich nose with lovely notes of ripe blueberries, damsons, veal meat and some dark chocloate. A potpurri of Christmas spices rises from the glass after a while. Impressive. A hint of maturity. Really, really good.
The taste is broad and complex with stunning notes of blueberries, charcoal, leather and frsh herbs. A long, long finish with some peppery elements. Ends dry with a wonderful balance. Perfect for drinking today and probably for the coming 8+ years.
96p   (tasted 2016/06)

Wines tasted in 2004:
2000 Pisoni Pinot Noir   (87p)
2001 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir   (89p)
2001 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir   (92p)
1998 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir   (92p)
2001 White Hawk Syrah   (88p)
1998 Roll Ranch Syrah   (93p)
1997 Roll Ranch Syrah   (91p)
1996 Roll Ranch Syrah   (90p)
2001 Bien Nacido Syrah   (92p)
1998 Bien Nacido Syrah   (92p)
1997 Bien Nacido Syrah   (90p)
1996 Bien Nacido Syrah   (93p)

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Red Room Hedonism - Two Old Montrose & One Young Canon

Since we moved I have stored my wines at Magnusson Fine Wine, a storage facility in the middle of Stockholm. They also have some nice tasting rooms where you can drink your wines and order meals to go along. Me and Peter met yesterday and shared some Bordeaux in the Red Room, as seen to the right in the pic below.

1962 Château Montrose
We couldn´t go through every vintage of Montrose at the 100 year tasting, so we continued with these two. The nose of the 62 starts of very old, with lots of VA and cooked plums, but with some time in the glass it freshens up and present itself as a old gentleman still with a sparkle in the eye. Notes of wet tobacco, autumn leaves and soya sauce meets the nose. On the nose alone, this has gone to far.
But that is not the case when you taste it! It is a lot fresher on the palate, with notes of dried black fruits, autumn leaves, cedar and good red wine vinegar. Medium long, soft but with a fine prescence. Went really well with the food.
87p   (tasted 2016/06)

1979 Château Montrose
This 79 is a great bottle caught in a perfect moment. Not the greatest year, but Montrose, as Latour, have a solid track record of making fine wine in lesser years. The nose is full of crushed leaves from a black currant bush with additional notes of tobacco, warm tiles and candle grease. Very, very good. A very classic, cool Bordeaux nose.
The taste is medium bodied, cool and mature with lovely notes of red and black currants, cedar, gravel and autumn leaves. The finish is long and velvety. Drinking perfect today and shows that there isn´t something like great vintages, there are only great wines.
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

2006 Château Canon
From a half bottle. Compared with the previous two, this is a fruit bomb! But when you concentrate on the wine in question you get fine notes of ripe plums, dark chcoolate and a great floral scent on the nose. Deep and rich but keeping everything in check.
The taste is deep, concentrated and juicy with notes of sweet black currants, plums, crushed rocks and some pipe tobacco. A long, warm, multi layered finish. This will need 5+ years in the cellar even though it is very yummy today.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Live From Gaston Wine Bar

I have been on a tasting with Adam Tolmach from Ojai (notes to follow) and I am going to another tasting later, but I have an hour or two to kill in between, so why not slip into the wine bar an NK for a glass?

Looking through the wines on glass I spot a Spanish wine from Madrid made out of Albillo and Macabeo. On asking what´s the story I´m told it is a natural wine, and my natural... instinct is to back away. The staff notices my facial expression and says that is a "light" variant of a natural wine and offers me a sip.
Actually rather nice, so I order a glass. On the speakers there is jazz playing, so here I am, drinking natural wine and listening to jazz - mark my words - the end of the world as we know is here...

2014 Navaherreros Blanco, Bodegas Bernabeleva
It has some light chichen farm notes in the background but at the forefront there are nice aromas of apricots, grilled lemon and herbal soap. A fine depth. Very good. Some summer scents of grass and flowers.
The taste is dry and a bit viscous but is backed up by a fine acidity. There are notes of dry mango, grilled lemon and gravel. A medium long finish that ends a tad warm, but other than that a fine effort.
87p    (tasted 2016/05)

Monday, 30 May 2016

Ten Bottles Of Syrah & One Great Tannat

Peter arranged this tasting around a couple of mature Syrah´s. We were asked to bring one bottle to go with the theme. It became a great evening, with a Tannat almost stealing the show...
All wines tasted double blind even though we knew that there were 3 bottles of 1990 Côte-Rôtie somewhere in the lineup.

Flight I
1989 Côte-Rôtie, Pierre Barge
From a magnum. This old school Côte-Rôtie has a lovely, mature nose with notes of cooked beets, autumn leaves, dried up lingonberry jam and dried flowers. Some veal stock scents after a while. A fine, round maturity. Opens up nicely all evening long.
The taste is mature, cool and lightly peppery with notes of cranberries, dry herbs, earth and some rubber notes. A medium long, distinct finish. This is very, very good. A very fine dry character.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

1990 Côte-Rôtie, Chapoutier
The wines from Chapoutier doesn't usually strike a chord with me, and this one didn´t either. It is a good wine, with notes of dry red berries, bakelite and dusty earth. A good warmth. A bit plain.
The taste is dry, mature and herbal with notes of lingon- and blueberries, diesel oil and beef jerky. The finish is medium long and dry. A nice, mature wine.
85p   (tasted 2016/05)

1990 Côte-Rôtie, Guigal
A fine, mature, warm nose with notes of ripe blueberries, ink, fire smoke and fresh stables. Very, very good. Feels younger than a 90, the fruit still got a lot of power.
The taste is big, round and mature with notes of damson, blueberries, coffe grounds and dried meat. A long, warm, broad finish. Very, very good. Some rosehips. Could still evolve some.
90p   (tasted 2016/05)

1990 Côte-Rôtie, Delas
The 90 Delas has not matured nicely (or maybe it is this bottle). The nose is light and mature with notes of feeble fruit, some smoke and a gymnastic rubber carpet.
The taste is a tad better, with notes of dried lingonberries, gravel and ash. Light, dry tannins. Went ok with the food but to light and dry on its own.
77p   (tasted 2016/05)

1998 Côte-Rôtie La Turque, Guigal
When the bottle was revealed I felt a bit let down. It is a really good wine, but not La La-level as we know it. The nose is big and bold with lots of sweet black fruit and notes of smoke, balsamico vinegar and mint. Very deep. A bit of a slugger.
The taste is big, tight and warm with notes of ripe blackberries, bacon fat, sweet flowers and violets. Very intense. There is lot going on here, but it lacks a bit of balance. Very long. Some mint if the finish. Very, very, very good, but...
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

1990 Cuvée Prestige, Montus
Ah, the hindsight. Looking at my notes after all bottles were revealed I see that there are some differences, but did I pegged this as different from the others? No...
The nose is deep, tight and concentrated with lots of black fruits and additional notes of violets, stables, band aid and plums. A lovely sweetness to the fruit. Definitely best in the first flight. Still on the young side of things.
The taste is big, focused and somewhat mature with notes of plums, autumn leaves, iodine and dried flowers. There is still some hefty tannins left in the long, long finish. As great as three years ago. Gorgeous wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

Flight II
2005 Cornas, A. Clape
A young, open nose with a mix of lingon- and blueberries an notes of fresh mushrooms, earth and some peppery aromas. Very, very good. Fresh and salivating.
The taste is young and tight with notes of bakelite, blueberries, violets and a touch of tobacco. A long, seedy finish with a fine structure. Really good, and will be even better in 3+ years.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

2000 Hermitage Marquis de la Tourette, Delas
The older of the two Tourette´s has a big, warm and dusty nose with notes of glue, dried red berries, smoke and forest smoke. A bit on the hot, dry side. Good.
The taste is warm and concentrated with notes of ripe blueberries, earth, diesel oil and rubber. A touch of bitterness in the end. Good but a touch marked of a hot year.
85p   (tasted 2016/05)

2005 Hermitage Marquis de la Tourette, Delas
The 05 is way better than the 00, with a nose filled to the brim with ripe blueberries, blackberries and additional notes of geranium, violets and rose pepper. Very fine. Cool, a bit restrained and very promising.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of red currants, crushed white peppers, band aid and tobacco leaves. Long, long and very, very good. The ripe tannins shows themselves at the end of the finish. Give this 5+ years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

2004 Côte-Rôtie, Jamet
A large, meaty, beautiful nose with notes of burnt rubber, crushed blackberries, dark perfume and blue ski wax. This is gooood! A high, intense nose. Brilliant fruit. Just lovely.
The taste is deep, dark and broading with stunning notes of ripe blackberries, rubber, forest floor and expensive leather. The finish is long, structured, warm and potent. Loving this. Great now, great in 10 years time.
96p   (tasted 2016/05)

2007 Côte-Rôte, Jamet
A big, peppery, spicy nose with fine notes of bay leaves, blueberries, bakelite and sausages. Very, very good. Still very young. Concentrated dark lingonberry fruit. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of ripe blueberries, crushed rocks, a touch of rubber and black pepper. A long finish with a fine warmth and some still sturdy tannins. Give this another 5+ years for even more joy.
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

Saturday, 28 May 2016

2015 BY. Ott Rosé, Domaine Ott

The weather was not in the mood that day, but I was. Cloudy, a rather cold breeze and 13 degrees Celsius outside, but I was still in the mood.
For what, one might ask?
The years first rosé.
A tasting sample from VinUnic.

2015 BY. Ott Rosé, Domaine Ott
This 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 10% Syrah blend displays a cool, fresh, tight nose with notes of red currants, rhubarb, chrushed rocks and a hint of passion fruit. Very good. There is some earthy scents here as well, besides the chrushed rocks, almost like charcoal. Salivating. Makes the weather feels a bit more like summer like...
The taste is cool and handsome with notes of red currants, granite, herbs and dried up passion fruit. The finish is medium long and sports a very fine acidity, leaving the mouth firm and dry after each sip. This is a very good rosé for those chicken sallads and grilled fish dishes that will be had during the summer.
89p   (tasted 2016/05)

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Six Times Dönnhoff

At the last tasting we had in our tasting group, Håkan poured six wines that turned out to be from the same producer, the genius that is Helmut Dönnhoff.
Tasted double blind.
All wines displayed a trademark airy, cool yet focused and concentrated nose with vibrant lemon fruit and lots of minerals. The taste in all of them is mountain river pure with a hint of sweetness and a balancing, riveting acidity. All of them are great wines, below is their individual characteristics.

2005 Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
There is a hint of saffron and candied fruit in this one, and the one that feels most developed. Drinking great now.
89p   (tasted 2016/05)

2005 Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
The Dellchen is more restrained, with great notes of fennel and a warm spring day. The restrained character goes through the taste as well. Really, really fine.
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

2006 Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
This one with its tongue-twisting name shows of nice aromas of almonds and cap gun smoke, a tight taste with a high acidity, the highest of the six wines. Needs more time.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

2006 Felsentürmchen Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
A cooler, stonier part of Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg becomes Felsentürmchen, and this is a truly great wine! Lots of chrushed rocks mixed up with some dry melon and detergent scents that creates a fine complexity. The taste is more intense and more refined than the others. Just gorgeous.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

2006 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
The Hermannshöhle is, as always, a beauty, with stunning notes of summer flowers and a petrol station in a distance. The taste is sturdy and racy and looong. Needs more time.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

2006 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
Lastly, the Brücke, offers up a deep, pure nose with some dry caramel and ginger. The taste is the biggest of the six but the stunning acidity keeps everything in place. Very, very long. Will also need some time in a cool cellar.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Lunch Tasting With Doug Shafer

Vinunic invited to lunch and a chance to meet Doug Shafer who is a larger than life personality with humour, focus and a strong driving force, making these Shafer wines so darn good!

2014 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay
This is the best Red Shoulder Ranch I have ever tasted. I have always liked its upfront, juicy style of a rich California Chardonnay. And it still got that, but with an added refinement.
The nose is open and lively with lovely notes of sweet lime. matchbox, yellow pears and a hint of coconut. Very deep and fine.
The taste is young and tight with notes of candied lemons, crushed rocks and summer flowers. A long, finely tuned finish with a gorgeous acidity. Even a tad restrained. Gonna get me some of these.
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

2013 Merlot
The Merlot is big and fruity with lots of ripe plums and additional notes of clay, smoke and dark chocolate. Very, very good.
The taste is young and warm with notes of plums, scorched earth and raspberry liquorice. A long, tight finish. Needs 4-6 years. 84% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec,
90p   (tasted 2016/05)

2013 One Point Five
This 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot (what does that microscopic part of Petit Verdot really do?) is a beauty. The nose is a mélange of ripe black currants, blueberries, spices and undergrowth. Some tobacco notes after a while. Really fine. Very, very deep.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of black currants, blackberies, cedar and smoke. A long, concentrated finish with ripe, polished tannins. This should age very well. Gotta love this!
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

2013 Relentless
The Relentless is a blend of 89% Syrah and 11% Petit Sirah. The nose is big, upfront and spicy with notes of meat, blackberries, melted asphalt and a bonfire in a distance. Very deep. Almost a bit frutal at this stage. Needs time. But very, very good.
The taste is big and broading with notes of charcoal, black- and blueberries, hot spices and dried flowers. Intense and long, long, long. Should evolve nicely, but give it 4-6 years before doing the deed.
Relentless is made in honour of Shafer´s long time wine maker Elias Fernandez. I can´t helping thinking of one of Slayer´s new tunes - Repentless - and maybe the Shafer´s would agree with these lyrics:
"No looking back, no regrets, no apologies
What you get is what you see"
Or taste in this case. Its great to hear Tom Araya angry is a video for Repentless (Warning! - graphic violence in this one...)
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

2011 Hillside Select
Three vintages of Hillside Select followed - life is hard... The 2011 shows why vintage charts are useless when it comes to individual wines. Supposedly from a really bad vintage this lovely wine displays a deep, creamy nose with notes of ripe black currants, graphite, dusty earth and some fine tobacco. Fine dry floral aromas. Very, very good.
The taste is pure and focused with notes of ripe black currants, expensive leather, earth and some tobacco notes. Long and fine, but maybe not stuffing for the long term. But I would drink it anyday.
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

2007 Hillside Select
I would like to dive in a pool, filled with 2007 Hillside Select, taking big sips while floating around :-) The nose of this stunner is full of ripe red and black currants, red beets, expensive leather, coffee grounds and dried flowers. Just stunning. A touch of maturity. Very, very deep.
The taste is refined and just delicious with notes of the best black currants available combined with espresso, graphite and forest floor. Very focused. Long and lingering, This is the real stuff. Drink now and the coming 10+ years.
97p   (tasted 2016/05)

2004 Hillside Select
The 04 Hillside Select is a bruiser - big, deep and warm with notes of spicy black currants, bonfire, warm herbs and dusty earth. A touch of VA. A bit too big for my liking.
The taste is big and steady with notes of black currant jam, cigarr, leather and sugared coffee. A very long, concentrated finish. A fine warmth. A very good wine but a tad marked by a hotness that I really don´t go for.
90p   (tasted 2016/05)

Monday, 23 May 2016

A 21 Bottle Sunday Dinner...

When M invites you over, there are always some surprises to be had. This time, unannounced, Johannes Haart from Weingut Reinhold Haart greats you at the door. He and his lovely wife Sarah stays for the whole dinner and holds an impromptu wine tasting to start with. A great experience!
All wines, except for the last four sweet wines, were tasted double blind.

While waiting for all guests we got to sip on this
2014 Fröhlich Trocken, Schaefer-Fröhlich
No one saw yhis Mûller-Thurgau coming - we were all sure it was a Riesling... The nose is young and cool with notes of nettles, grey pears and melon. Very good.
The taste is light and refreshing with a fine acidity and notes of pears, grass and gravel. Medium long.
86p   (tasted 2016/05)

Johannes then poured the following wine and explained his philosophy regarding winemaking and talked about the vintages. This is the best experience, tasting the wines and talking to the wine maker, having the chance to ask all those silly questions!
2008 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling GG, Reinhold Haart
A still young, serious nose with notes of lemoncello, dry honey, chrushed rocks and some dried tropical fruits. A nice weight on the nose. Ripe and fine.
The taste is tight and refined with notes of lemon/vanilla ice cream, ripe pears and slate. A long, lingering finish. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2016/05)

2008 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling Spätlese, Reinhold Haart
This is a beauty! The nose is deep and pure with notes of summer flowers, smoke, wet asphalt and white and red currants. Just lovely. A hint of petroleum.
The taste is a gorgeous combvination of purity and intensity, with notes of candied lemons, wet asphalt and lots of minerals. A long, long finish with a cleansing acidity. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

1991 Winstricher Ohligsberg Riesling Spätlese, Reinhold Haart
A 91! I guessed it to be from 97 or thereabout. It has a nose which is deep and lively, with notes of dried tropical fruits, ash, diesel oil and a hint of a moist cellar (in a positive sense).
The taste is tight and somewhat mature with notes of dried lemons, asphalt and dry grass. A long lasting finish with a fine acidity. I am guessing that this will not get better but there is no hurry to drink it either.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

2010 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling Kabinett, Reinhold Haart
A fresh, salivating nose with notes of lemons and limes together with smoke, crushed rocks and a hint of wild strawberries. Very fine.
The taste is still young and tight with notes of lemon peel, grey pears, slate and smoke. Very, very long and intense. Great acidity. Pure and refreshing. Lovely.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

After this interesting tasting we got back to the regular program, with some whites with the starters.
2004 Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes, Jacques Prieur
Big and bold, two words to describe this bottle. So big and bold that I ventured that it was from California... Fine notes of ripe peaches, burned sugar, summer flowers and fried sweetbreads. Very nice in its opulent way.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of lemon cream, butter cookies and dried flowers. The finish is long and warm. A lot of body on this, but it holds things together nicely. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

2012 Nierstein -P- Riseling Kabinett, Keller
Tasted a year ago, it performed (almost) on the same level on this night. A fantastic wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

2015 Nierstein -H- Riesling Kabinett, Keller
If the 12 Pettenthal was great, what can I say about the 15 Hipping? Marvellous? World Class? Yes, and then some. M kept going on about the wines energy, and I can see what he means. This wine oozes out of the glass with stunning notes of the freshest and ripest pears, fennel, rhubarb and lots and lots of slate. Clean as a mountain river. Just great.
It flows over your tongue with and intensity and nerve that has to be tasted to be believed. This has everything in place, except some maturity. Simply ripping!
97p   (tasted 2016/05)

2005 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Riesling Auslese, St. Urbans-Hof
Now for something more sweetish. It was meant to go along some hot shrimps, but it was a tad to sweet for that assignment (the next wine was far better). The nose is open and spicy with notes of matchbox, ripe lemons and candied yellow apples. A fine depth and some maturity.
The taste is semi sweet to begin with but ends semi dry when the acidity have done it job. Notes of dried apricots, minerals and a hint of saffron. A good length. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

2007 Piesporter Domherr Riesling Spätlese, Reinhold Haart
This shows a ligth, airy nose with fine notes of spicy lemons, wet asphalt and a hint of gun powder. Very refined. A slight hint of maturity, but this has a long way to go. Very, very fine.
The taste is elegant and intense with notes of candied lemons, crushed rocks and warm grass. A long finish with a lovely, cleansing acidity with a hint of sweetness. Some spicy elements. This is fine.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

Then we changed pace and went on to the red wines.
1970 Barolo, Paolo Scavino
This aged beauty displays a soft, mature, warm nose with notes of dried ceps, old leather, dried cranberries and soya. A very fine warmth.
The taste is round, mature and a bit dry in the end, but gives away fine notes of dried cherries, forest floor and some balsamic notes. A long, dry finish with a fine tightness. With food, a great wine, on its own, a tad dry.
88p   (tasted 2016/05)

1990 Barolo Cannubi, Paolo Scavino
The 90 Cannubi performed great on this evening, the best Cannubi from Scavino I have ever had. The nose is deep, somewhat mature, sweet and fantastic, with notes of rosehips, sweet red cherries, a whole mushroom forest and dry liquorice. This is in a great state of maturity now. Just lovely.
The taste is more tight and focused than the nose and shows fine notes of ripe red and black cherries, dried mushrooms, rose petals and dusty earth. The finish goes on and on and displays some sturdy tannins yet. A great mouthfeel. A great wine that will go on being great for another 10+ years. Wish I had some...
95p   (tasted 2016/05)

1990 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
Last time I tasted the 90 Bric dël Fiasc was three years ago, and I then pegged it as "semi mature" but requiring 5+ more years (and scoring it almost perfect). Ok then, things should have happened in three years time, right? What has happened is that it has went backwards in time...
This bottle must have been in some sort of time warp. The nose is upfront, spicy and deep with lots of ripe black cherries and notes of fresh mushrooms, rosehips and sugared coffee. Powerful and young (!). Very, very good.
The taste is broadshouldered and concentrated with notes of ripening black cherries, raspberry liquorice, mushrooms and asphalt. The finish goes on for over a minute. Still backward and young, this bottle would need 10+ years to reach maturity. This is one of the many fun aspects of wine, no two bottles of the same wine - at least with age - behaves the same way.
93p   (tasted 2016/05)

2005 Gravel Hill Syrah, Hartenberg
We were told that the next three bottles would be different - no s...t! The nose explodes from the glass with big, ripe notes of blueberry suryp, rubber tires, iodine and dark chocolate. There is much going on here. Some salty liquorice. Very deep. Smoky scents after a while. Impressive.
The taste is massive and intense with notes of ripe blueberries, smoke, bakelite and dark chocolate. A one minute finish with some bracing tannins showing themselves. Even at eleven years this will need 5+ years more to come around. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

1999 Côte-Rôtie Château D´Ampuis, Guigal
This beauty displays a deep, focused nose with stunning notes of peppered meat, cranberries, sweet violets and, of course, iron and blood. We were pretty close guessing this correctly. Great wine. Kept on evolving all night, more forest and undergrowth notes after some time. A tad mature but has a long way to go still.
The taste is polished and structured with notes of ripening blueberries, fir, violets and some rubbery notes. The finish is long, long and with a great texture. I would give this 7+ more years to reach full maturity but I would drink this any day of the week.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

2002 G3, Burge Family
This 52% Grenache, 42% Shiraz and 6% Mourvedre blend comes of as big, blowsy and sweet, with notes of blueberry- and raspberry jam, tapenade and melted asphalt. Very grapey. Too big for my taste.
The taste is more harmonious than the nose, with notes of ripe blackberries, scorched earth and some mint. The finish is long, warm and a bit on the hot side. Well, cleanly made but not up my alley.
84p   (tasted 2016/05)

NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs, Ulysse Collin
Someone thought we needed some refreshment before the sweeties (we did...). The nose is very elegant and finely tuned, with notes of white currants, slate, nettles and smoke. Cool and fresh. Very young.
The taste is very pure, high and refined with notes of tangerines, lemon peel and gravel. Almost ascetic. Very tight and precise. Needs time. A great palate cleanser at this time of the evening.
92p   (tasted 2016/05)

The notes on these four sweeties should be taken with a healthy grain of salt. Although spitting frequently all evening, the wines starts to get to my head, surprisngly...
All from half bottles.
1998 Gewûrztraminer Sonnenglanz SGN, Bott-Geyl
This is what I don´t like about Gewürz - oily, over the top with decaying sweet flowers and honey, with not much freshness to be had.
The taste is the same, with added botrytis and alcohol. This is not my cup of tea.
73p   (tasted 2016/05)

1997 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese, Dr. Loosen
Things got better! This has a high, pure, semi sweet nose with notes of apricots, ripe yellow pears, warm grass and flint. Very good.
The taste is tight and complex with notes of sweet yellow fruit and a high, cleansing acidity. Long and finely balanced. This is really good.
91p   (tasted 2016/05)

1997 Quarts de Chaume, Pierre Bise
This is a perfect example of what Chenin Blanc can achieve when sweet. The nose is marvellous in its intensity and purity, with notes of oil cloth, white peaches, candied nuts and a hint of hay. Gorgeous!
The taste is a stunning combination between sweetness and acidity, with notes of dried yellow fruit, hay, gun powder and rubber. Really intriguing and charming, just a lovely wine.
94p   (tasted 2016/05)

1996 Vin de Paille, Chapoutier
We were not in consensus here, I thought that there were something of with this bottle. Granted, this kind of wine is a bit odd, but I have tasted this wine (not this vintage though) and it has not appeared like this. No judgement from me. But even more heartbreaking this eveningwas the horribly corked 1994 Grange...:-(
Other than that - a lovely evening with lots of great wines and a real treat to meet Johannes and Sarah Haart!