Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 15 - Rosso di Montalcino

Dear Diary

It is hot. Really hot. 28 degrees Celsius today, and it has been like this for a couple of days.Some nice beers have been gulped down, but I need some wine too. Later in the evening it is time to open a bottle to along some cheese. I need this.

2001 Rosso di Montalcino Vigna della Fonte, Ciacci Piccolomini d´Aragona
A mature, warm and spicy nose with notes of crushed black currants, dry tobacco, hot gravel, dried rosenmary and some dark chocolate. Very good. It becomes more velvety on the nose with air. Still fresh. This has matured nicely.
The taste is big, warm and round with notes of sweet black cherries, burned meat, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs and a hot gravel road. It has a fresh acidity and some fine cherry bitter tannins. Long and warm. Very good. Fully mature and should be drunk sooner than later.
88p   (tasted 2014/07)


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 12 - Chassagne-Montrachet & Châteaneuf-du-Pape

Dear Diary

It has been one day of outdoor activities yesterday - hiking, cykling and swiming in the ocean, and I was, believe it or not, too tired to open a bottle of wine when we got home...just lots of water!
Well, I have to compensate myself with opening two bottles tonight! :-)

2008 Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée, Morey-Coffinet
Aaaah, my kind of white Burgundy! This beauty has a deep, concentrated, refined nose with notes of candied lemon peels, lemon cream, Gaia melon, a fine smoky note, some coconut flakes and a gorgeous salty scent. Just stunning!
The taste follows the nose through with sweet yellow fruit, lots of lemon cream with a twist of saltiness, cap gun smoke, and a long, long finish with a fine acidity. This is drinking great now but I would love to get back to it in 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2014/07)



2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Côtes Capelan, La Ferme du Mont
After an hour in a decanter the nose soars out of the glass with notes of blackberries, black cherries, wood smoke, a lot of bay leaves, licorice and a touch of lavender. Big, bold and very yummy. Hedonistic down to the core. Very young still.
The taste is young, potent and warm with notes of ripe blueberries, blackberries, resin, licorice, fresh herbs and some smoke. A long, warm, tough finish with some perky tannins. This would need some 6+ years to come together and add some maturity to the complexity.
Thanks Ulf for this experience!
91p   (tasted 2014/07)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 10 - 1964 Château Bellevue

Dear Diary

Today I was craving a mature Bordeaux and what better way to accommodate my desires than to open a bottle of...

1964 Château Bellevue
This mature charmer has a deep and still lively nose with notes of red currants, dry tobacco, red plums, clay and dry earth. Very good. This has matured into one (or five...) fine glass of wine.
The taste is ripe, mature and velvety with notes of sweet red currants, dried plums, autumn leaves and some fine earthy flavours. The finish isn´t that long but it has a nice warmth. The end of the finish has a nice dry twist. Very good.
89p   (tasted 2014/07)


Friday, 18 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 9 - Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano

Dear Diary

One day of travel and no wine - poor me...:-) But here in the south of Sweden we had some various delicatessen and I opened this bottle.

1998 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Fattoria Le Casalte
This is in a perfect drinking stage. It opens with a cool, elegant, fresh nose with notes of sweet/sour cherries, red currants, dry rosemary, a hint of chocolate and a whole Tuscan gravel road. Not that deep but very poissed and with a fine maturity.
The taste is medium bodied with fine notes of red currants, red cherries, dry tobacco leaves, gravel and a some chocolate flavours. Pure. This is, as said above, in a perfect drinking stage. Not a great wine per se, but it performed great on this evening.
90p   (tasted 2014/07)


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 7 - 1993 Chianti Classico Vigneto La Casuccia, Castello di Ama

Dear Diary

My backside hurts! Today we been cykling for 40+ kilometers and my backside isn't use to that. To comfort myself I open a mature Chianti to go with some Italian delicatessen.

1993 Chianti Classico Vigneto La Casuccia, Castello di Ama
This mature specimen has a big, dark, tight nose with notes of black cherries, sweet pipe tobacco, tarred fishing boats and some dark, rotten flowers a la Baudelaire... I like this nose!
The taste on the other hand has a problem. It has the same dark cherries and tobacco as on the nose, and even some of those dark, evil flowers, but also a big dollop of dry wood tannins. This has seen some serious wood and all has not been absorbed. Too bad, there is good fruit here still.
86p   (tasted 2014/07)



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 6 - 1964 Château Palmer

Dear Diary

Yesterday I was lucky enough to have a kind of wine epiphany. Tasting as much as I do (and that is little compared to others!) from time to time you get a little jaded. Great wines comes along but sometimes you need a real eye opener to get you to really appreciate the magic that wine is.

Yesterday was such a moment.

I went to my stock of 64´s and took out a single bottle of Château Palmer. Even though Palmer picked before the famous rainfall of the 8th of October it have never had a great reputation, Broadbent and Parker dismisses it, while Coates and Durand thinks it is a fine 1964 but that it should have drunk long ago.
This bottle had a high shoulder level, good for it is age but not great. So all in all, I had no high expectations.

1964 Château Palmer
It opens, as usual with old bottles, a bit closed and murky. But with only some time in the glass this caterpillar turns into a butterfly.
What flows up from the glass is beautiful aromas of dried rowanberries, dried flowers, owen baked beet roots, gravel, old leather and the finest tobacco money can buy. Aristocratic down to the core. A very fine warmth. There is a silky yet penetrating scent that is hard to describe and that only can come from a perfect aged wine. And this bottle has that in spades. Really, really fine.
The taste is round, mature and silky with fully integrated tannins and lovely notes of red currants, dried flowers, leather, some pencil shavings and again, the best tobacco there is. The finish isn´t that long but oh so seductive and refined. Like an grand old lady that with just wink of her hand or a raised eye brow can get her message through. And there is no arguing! Not the best wine so far this year but a privilege to drink and definitely one of the most memorable. Grand Vin!
94p   (tasted 2014/07)

Monday, 14 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 5 - 17 Bottle Tasting

Dear Diary

Yesterday I ate and drank well, as usual, at Mikke´s place. There were seven of us that tasted and drank the 17 bottles below. All were presented blind and we nailed everyone of them - we drink enough of 1926 Chambertin to know those bad boys by heart...:-)
Thanks Mikke!


1985 Deiedesheimer Kalkofen Riesling Spätlese, Dr, Bürklin-Wolf
This mature Spätlese has a fine, laid back nose with notes of dried apricots, wet suit, glue remover and grass. It doesn´t sound that nice but when mixed together, it is!
The taste is medium bodied, elegant and good with nice apricot fruit, grapefruit juice and wet rocks. A fine acidity. Fully mature. Good but lacks a little bit of oomph.
85p   (tasted 2014/07)



1966 Hospices de Beaune Meursault Cuvée Foppin, M. G. Lafite
DOA.
50p   (tasted 2014/07)

2007 Meursault Les Charmes, Olivier Bernstein
This was brought by one of the guests. And this is a stunner! A deep, cool, beautiful nose flows up from the glass with aromas of lemon cream, cold butter, white currants, hazel nuts and a wonderful smoky scent. Just lovely.
The taste is young, refined and steely with a great acidity and notes of butter fried nuts, white and red currants, summer flowers and cap gun smoke. The finish is over one minute and ends on a high note. Very, very fine. Aristocratic.
95p   (tasted 2014/07)


1926 Chambertin, J. Salmon Barre
What can you say - a 88 year old Burgundy steals the show (except for the Meursault above). It starts out a bit musky on the nose, but soon turns into an old charmer, with notes of roasted beetroots, shoe polish, muscovadosugar, moist undergrowth and varnish. Very interesting and complex. Deep. Very much alive.
The taste is big, tight and dry with notes of dried raisins, wet undergrowth, autumn leaves, cooked root vegetables and some cooked meat. A very fine warmth. A lot of structure. Very, very good. Holds up well in the glass.
92p   (tasted 2014/07)




1976 Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes, Rion
This V-R has a ripe, round, sweet nose with notes of freeze dried raspberries, assorted spices, forest floor and some furry scents. Good in a kind a narrow way.
The taste is mature, tight and warm with notes of lingonberries, red currants, earth, licorice and old wood. A bit sturdy. Fully mature. Becomes sweeter on the palate with some air time. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2014/07)



1964 Savigny Dominole, Chanson
This bottle from the best vintage ever has a big, mature, meaty nose with notes of crushed raspberries, old tobacco, root vegetables and moist earth. A fine maturity. Maybe a tad one dimensional.
The taste is big and ripe with lots of sweet red fruit and a medium long, dry finish. There is things to like here, but as on the nose, a bit one dimensional.
83p   (tasted 2014/07)


2007 Monte Bello Chardonnay
This was really two different types of Chardonnay, the Ridge very taut and crisp while the Brewer-Clifton showed more of a decadent, voluptuous style. And both was yummy!
The Ridge showed of notes of green apples, grass, minerals and lemon cream on the nose. Pure and fine. Still young.
The taste is young, fresh and racy with notes of green apples, lime peel, dried flowers and a touch of milk chocolate fudge. A medium long, fin finish with a nice acidity. Very good.
90p   (tasted 2014/07)


2007 St Rita Hills Chardonnay, Brewer-Clifton
The Brewer-Clifton´s nose on the other hand, shows notes of sweet melon, melted butter, bonfire and butter cookies. Expressive, big and really good.
The taste is big and steady with notes of ripe yellow apples, melon, butter cookies and cap gun smoke. Has a good acidity that prevents it to be to overpowering. Very much a different style from the Ridge, but I like them both very much.
90p   (tasted 2014/07)

1955 Château Cambon La Pelouse
The next flight of mature Bordeaux bottles proved for the xx time that Burgundy age much better than Bordeaux and that there is a very much higher ratio for good bottles when you buy old Burgundy than old Bordeaux.
This one has gone to meet its maker. DOA.
50p   (tasted 2014/07)



1964 Château Beychevelle
This one wasn´t dead, but corked...:-(
Not rated   (tasted 2014/07)

1975 Château La Tour Martillac
This had a deep, mature, lovely aroma, buried down under the corked nose...:-(
Not rated   (tasted 2014/07)



1970 Château Potensac
What! A sound bottle! A medium deep, mature, fine nose with notes of fresh stables, red and black currants, old wood and tobacco leaves. Very good.
The taste is cool, mature and dry with notes of black currants, pencil shavings, forest floor and dry tobacco. There is still some tannins in the background. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2014/07)

1997 Hermtage, Tardieu-Laurent
Now it was a change of pace with these two Syrah wines. The Tardieu-Laurent showed off a still young, seedy, warm nose with notes of sweet blueberries, ski wax, violet pastilles, rubber tires and black pepper. This has character. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and intense with notes of black peppered meat, rubber, dark chocolate and a fine perfumed note. The tannins are well integrated. A high, fine acidity. This is for drinking now and the coming 8+ years.
91p   (tasted 2014/07)


1997 Hermitage Les Bessard, Delas
The Delas nose is on par with the previous wine, with notes of lightly peppered meat, soya sauce, rubber, a touch of vanilla pods and warm rocks. A bit of VA. A big nose. Very, very good.
But the taste is not as fine - it is almost brutal in its intensity and the acidity is off the charts, which cover the good fruit that is buried beneath the acidity. You get glimpses of bloody meat and pepper now and then. Maybe it will come around but it is not a harmonious wine today.
86p   (tasted 2014/07)

1969 Fleurie Grille Midi, J. Mommensin
A request for a Beaujolais was made at the table. It will take Mikke to then present a 45 year old one...
The nose is round and mature with notes of assorted red berries, dried up balsam vinegar, touch of banana peel and earth. Still alive and kicking. Good.
The taste is tight and mature with notes of lingonberries, dry liquorice, dried herbs and forest floor. A medium long, rather fresh finish. This is fully mature but in no real danger to collapse. Impressive without being great.
86p   (tasted 2014/07)



1983 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Kronenberg Auslese, Karthäuserhof
A deep, fine, sweet nose with a wonderful nose full of ripe tangerines and additional notes of ginger, pears, dry rubber and hay. Intense and interesting. This is good.
The taste is mature, round and semi dry with notes of dried apricots, tangerines, almond paste, ginger and dry grass. A fine balance between dried up sweetness, acidity and structure. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2014/07)



1983 Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Auslese, Ziliken
A cool, withdrawn, fine nose with notes of dried apricots, acetone, a hint of saffron and old rubber. Good but lacks a bit of body.
The taste is mature, laid back and good with notes of dried apricots, almond paste, ginger and some saffron. A good acidity. Medium long. It ends drier than the Karthäuserhof. Good.
85p   (tasted 2014/07)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 4 - Periquita

Dear Diary

Yesterday we had company over. I thought it could be time to open a magnum of Perquita which I "found" in the cellar, forgotten. I bought these (I have one more) in 1998 for the staggering price of 14 Euro per magnum!

Coincidentally everyone was either driving, pregnant or didn´t felt like drinking wine (wanted beer instead), so the whites was left uncorked in the fridge. I had already opened the magnum, so the whole bottle was for me - but you know what they say - "a magnum is perfect for two, if one isn´t drinking"...:-)


1995 Periquita, José Maria da Fonseca (magnum)
A light, mature and a bit fragile nice nose with notes of rowanberries, red currants, rubber bands, dry chocolate biscuits and autumn leaves. Not that deep but nice all the same. With air a nice aroma of dried strawberries flows up from the glass. Good.
The taste is medium bodied and mature with notes of lingonberries, red currants, autumn leaves, tobacco leaves and dried herbs. A medium long, dry finish with soft tannins and a nice warmth. I had feared that this would had gone to meet its maker but not so. Still alive and (mildly) kicking and gave a lot of  pleasure to an array of hand made sausages. Very good.
85p   (tasted 2014/07)

 
 
Now, what will tonight's tasting bring?
 
 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 3 - Chassagne-Montrachet

Dear Diary

It was with some anticipation I pulled the cork out of this bottle last night. I bought three of these for some years ago and the one I opened last year was clearly oxed, even though it was passable.

But as soon as I poured the first centilitres into the glass I knew that this was to be something completely different.
And it was. Glad to have one bottle left, if it is going to behave like this...
With a perfect piece of cod, scallops and a carrot vinaigrette it was the best suitable complement.


1996 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets, Jean Noël Gagnard
A wonderful, sprightly, fresh nose with notes of sweet/sour lemons, candied lemon peels, warm hay, butter fudge, hazel nuts and butter cup flowers. Just extraordinary fresh. A lovely flinty note comes after some time in the glass. This is on the highest Grand Cru level. Depth, power and finesse.
The taste is liquid gold with stunning freshness and notes of lemon cream, dried tropical fruits, assorted nuts and dried flowers. The acidity is high and stringent. A beautiful purity. Yet again, on Grand Cru level. From the first drop until the last this beauty delivered pure pleasure. In a perfect drinking window. Fresh as a daisy. I would never guessed it to be from 1996 if I was given this blind. Grand Vin!
97p   (tasted 2014/07)


Friday, 11 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 2 - Barolo

Dear Diary

Yesterday was really hot, mid day it was 32 degrees Celsius. Nothing more to do than sit in the shadow reading and once in a while take a dive in the sea.

But you have to eat. And drink. Later on, in the evening, when a breeze had cooled down the air somewhat I opened a bottle of Barolo - a perfect drink on a warm summers evening! :-)
It went like a dream with assorted barbecued meats and vegetables and a cold garlic sauce.

2004 Barolo Rocche dell´Annunziata, Fratelli Revello
After a few hours in a decanter this is firing on all cylinders with gorgeous notes of ripe red cherries, rosehips, Finnish liquorice, fresh mushrooms and a damp forest floor. Multidimensional and really, really fine. Still young though.
The taste is young, taut and impressive with some steady tannins and fine notes of hard cherry candy, rosehips, rosemary, mushrooms and a hint of dark chocolate. The finish is over one minute long. This has the potential to become really great, but with the meat tonight is was just already stunning. For the other 2004 vineyard Barolis from Revello tasted, se below.
94p   (tasted 2014/07)

 
The 2004 Vigna Giachini
The 2004 Vigna Gattera
The 2004 Vigna Conca


 
 
Now, what to open tonight...?
 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Vacation Wine Diary - Day 1 - Champagne & Barbaresco

Dear Diary

Today is the first day of my summer vacation. So last night I had to celebrate the fact that for the coming 5 weeks I don´t have to occupy my days with meetings, budgets, papers etc etc.

I felt like drinking some mature wines. For starters, with a nice slab of foie gras de canard I opened a bottle of
NV Brut Réserve, Mercier
This bottle comes from a mixed case bought a while back. According to the info this bottle is from the 80´s. And that would have been my guess as well.
The nose is big, mature and soft with notes of old shrivelled yellow apples, almond paste, pickled ginger, decaying flowers and old milk chocolate. Not bursting with life but a nice, mellow, mature nose.
It still has some tiny bubbles that tickles the tongue, and notes of yellow apples, almond flakes, gravel and dried flowers. A medium long finish that ends on a fine dry note. Nothing special but it suited me fine last night.
85p   (tasted 2014/07)


1964 Barbaresco Cru Montestefano, Alfredo Prunotto
To go with a grilled entrecote and a new very good sauce made out of leeks, bacon, mustard and cream, I opened this beauty. The first sniff was that of decay, but since I have had some practise over the years with mature bottles from the Piedmont hills..., I know it has to have some time in a decanter.
And sure enough, one hour breathing time later it is a whole other creature. The nose then shows beautiful mature Nebbiolo aromas in the shape of dried ceps, rose petals, red cherries, root vegetables and a touch of paint. Very, very fine. Laid back and refined. Perfectly mature.
The taste is long, structured and pure with a lovely mature feel in the mouth. Notes of red cherries, mushrooms, rosehip and beetroot. The tannins are sandy and fine. Didn´t budge all night. Great!
92p   (tasted 2014/07)


 
 
Now, what to open tonight...?
 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Reminiscences From A Photo

While cleaning out a drawer in my writing desk I found a photo. A photo from the time before I started to take pics of the bottles we used to drink. I think that a friend took this photo. We did this tasting in march of 2001.


It was a very nice tasting with 8 vintages of Bouchards Beaune 1er Cru, Les Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus. Or Baby Jesus as it is called among us wine nerds.

The 1969 was very much alive and kicking and on that it delivered a great moment (91p). The 1979 appeared more mature than the 10 year older sibling but was very nice all the same (86p). Then came the 1982 that was a bit compressed and lacking stuffing (84p).
1985 is a great Burgundy vintage and Baby Jesus showed why with depth, weight and energy (92p). The 1988 was good and earthy and appeared young still (88p).
We had high hopes on the 1989 but sadly, the half bottle was corked. 1992 is not a stellar Burgundy vintage and this bottle didn´t perform out of the ordinary (82p). Finally, the young 1996 was a very young but showed class and potential (89p).

We also managed to gulp down bottles of 1996 Meursault Blagny, Joseph Matrot (91p), 1982 Château Rauzan Gassies (89p), 1996 La Poja, Allegrini (89p) and 1995 Brunello di Montalcino, Val di Suga (87p).

It is fun walking down memory lane!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Antica Terra & Sine Qua Non For Lunch

Yesterday we were invited to A & M for lunch. Luckily the weather permitted us to barbecue outside and these stunning wines were generously poured.

2011 Ceras Pinot Noir, Antica Terra
This Oregon Pinot combines powers and grace with lovely aromas of ripe raspberries, red currants, Asian spices, a hint of tobacco and bay leaves. Deep and fine. This is good!
The taste is big and creamy but with a fine acidity. There are gorgeous notes of raspberry truffles, forest floor, red currant jam and some tobacco leaves. A long, balanced finish with a dry ending. A very fine warmth. Drinking great, sitting in the shade waiting for the barbecue to hit the right temperature.
93p   (tasted 2014/07)


2011 Dark Blossom Syrah, Sine Qua Non
With some thick slices of entrecote this beauty shined. A very deep, concentrated, tight nose with notes of sweet/sour cherry compote, sweet violets, freshly peppered meat, dark chocolate and old balsamic vinegar. Really, really focused and fine.
The taste is big, broad and potent, yet refined and balanced with notes of sweet black cherries, grilled meat, dried figs, dark chocolate and lots of fresh violet pastilles. The finish goes on for minutes and ends dry and fine. This is a great wine in the making, albeit young now.
95p   (tasted 2014/07)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A Nice Barbecue Wine - 2013 Côtes du Rhône Réserve, Les Dauphins

A tasting sample from Primewinegroup.

2013 Côtes du Rhône Réserve, Les Dauphins
According to the info that accompanied the bottle this is made up of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre. Since it has 105% grapes in it I had expected a powerful wine! It isn't. :-)
But it is very nice all the same. The nose is young, sprightly and fresh with notes of just ripening blueberries, thyme, dry undergrowth, an hint of bacon and some rubber notes. Very good. Not that deep but it has some intensity.
The taste is medium bodied, young and healthy with notes of blueberries, dried herbs, rosehips and a fine white pepper touch in the finish. Maybe to weak to handle the bigger steaks on the grill but it was a good match to the salssicia we fried up yesterday. 
87p   (tasted 2014/06)

 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Drinking Tonight - 1967 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Union Vinicole de Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Sunday - perfect to make pulled pork with a 6 hours cooking time. This time I made it with lots of garlic, red peppers, mushrooms and fresh herbs. I had a craving for a mature bottle to go along. Leaving all the 64´s aside, I found this bin end buy from a few weeks ago.

1967 was a great vintage in Châteauneuf. Broadbent gives it four stars and Parker gets emotional on the vintage - "marvellously rich, exotic, decadent wines with low acidity, huge body, and massive quantities of fruit, glycerine, and alcohol".
How could I resist bying it...? :-) Lets open it and see if it was worth the heavy tariff of 25 Euro...?

1967 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Union Vinicole de Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Right out of the bottle this is an old style charmer. Fully mature and offering a lot of pleasure during the hours in the afternoon it takes to finish the bottle. The nose alters all through the evening but the aromas of dried raspberries, lingonberries, autumn leaves, old glue, dog fur, rosehips and dried up balsam vinegar is there all along. Yummy! Old but perky still. Very good. Some dried strawberries at the end.
The taste is fully mature, round and soft with notes of lingonberry pie, rosehips. mushrooms, old chocolate and some red wine vinegar. There is a fine warmth in the medium long finish. No tannin resistance what so ever, but the acidity is good. Given this blind I would have guessed a 71 or 76 Burgundy...:-) I just love it when these spur of the moment buys delivers!
87p   (tasted 2014/06)



Saturday, 28 June 2014

Just Bought

During my Brunello project I got very impressed by the wines from Col d´Orcia. The older Riserva bottles had kept in excellent shape and the flagship wine, the Poggio al Vento, blew me away - the debut vintage of 1982 was one of the best wine tasted during 2013.
And when I got a chance to buy the 1990 I jumped at the chance.



Previous Poggio al Vento bottles tasted
Cold´Orcia bottles tasted during the Brunello project