Monday, 3 August 2015

A Lot Of Oldies = Goodies!

A couple of weeks ago Mikke invited to his annual going-on-holiday-tasting and this time we got to drink a lot of mature wines.
Almost all wines tasted double blind, see below.

NV Brut Extra, Piper-Heidsieck
When googled we guessed this to be from the 50 or 60´s. If anyone know, please tell me! The bottle contained 77 cl, nothing I can recall seen before.
The nose is (of course!) mature and somewhat dusty with notes of mushroom cream, dried fruits, old chocolate and almond paste. It actually got fresher with air for about an hour or two before declining.
The taste is mature and broad with notes of almonds, mushrooms and dried fruits. There is some bubbles left. A fine acidity and a decent long finish. A fine salty touch. Drinking really well.
87p   (tasted 2015/07)

Three white wines got poured, blind. An interesting comparison of Chardonnay from three parts of the world.
2007 Pouilly-Fuissé Tris des Hauts de Vigne, Domaine Gueffens
A fine, cool nose with some maturity and notes of spicy lemons, elderberries, dry vanilla and some fudge. Deep and fine. A very creamy character.
The taste is concentrated, warm and medium mature with notes of candied lemons, matchbox, sage and dried flowers. Very, very long and intense. This is good and in a perfect drinking window.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

2007 Chamoson Chardonnay V.V., Simon Maye
This Swiss Chardonnay comes out on top in this trio. I have tasted his Syrah before and been impressed. Same thing with this wine. The nose is refined and deep with notes of ripe lemons, grass, smoke and summer flowers. A wonderful structure. Deep and racy.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of starfruit, lemon peel, cucumber water, dried flowers and a hint of fudge. A very long, taut finish with a high acidity and a pure warmth. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

2007 Les Noisetiers Chardonnay, Kistler
A much more opulent nose on this one, with notes of lemon cream, almond paste, fudge and Christmas spices. Very good in its rich style.
The taste is somewhat mature, broad and warm with notes of dried tropical fruits, matchbox and almond paste. A long warm finish with a tiny bitter note. Very good but a bit unfocused, compared to the two previous wines.
87p   (tasted 2015/07)

Four decanters hits the table. We were given no info, bur most guesses were on Bordeaux, although we thought them to be younger...
1955 Château Rouet
A deep, mature, animal nose with notes of dried black currants, cigarette ashes, dark orange peel and some leafy aromas. Very good and holds well in the glass.
The taste is cool and mature with notes of fresh stables, red and black currants, charcoal and tobacco. A medium long finish with a fine balance. Very, very good. 60 year is no age for this one. From Côtes Fronsac. Mikke obviously bought it for 15 Euro - who said Bordeaux is expensive! :-)
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

1955 Domaine de L´Eglise
This Pomerol started out soft and uneasy but with air it turned into the best of these four. The nose grows and becomes big and meaty with notes of sweet plums, pipe tobacco, mushrooms and moist undergrowth. Deep, sweet and a touch smoky. Very, very good.
The taste is mature and steady with notes of plums, tobacco, autumn leaves and old leather. Very long, balanced and tight. A fine warmth to the fruit. Wears its 60 years even easier than the wine before.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

1955 Château Junayme
A open, light, mature nose with notes of stables, dried red fruits, old leather and tobacco. Fully mature and then some. A little lose around the edges although its holding on.
The taste is mature, seedy and dry with some red and black currants, tobacco and dusty earth. Works well with the food but is a bit to foursquare on its own. From Côtes-Canon-Fronsac.
78p   (tasted 2015/07)

1955 Château Branaire-Ducru
On paper the best, but the proof, as always, is in the bottle. And in this case it is the least good in the line up. The nose is a tad over the hill with notes of muscovado sugar, soya, dried plums and some smoke.
The taste is old and dry with some beetroots, tobacco and earth. The finish is short and hollow. There is some life left but its going fast.
66p   (tasted 2015/07)

Some of us helped out to extract the corks out of the following bottles, so these were tasted non blind.
1949 Presumably Chambertin, unknown producer
No label except the vintage slip on the top of the neck. According to the wine shop were Mikke bought it (a reliable source where I also have bought wine) it is supposed to be a Chambertin, but the shop owner didn´t have any more info as he had bought it from an estate that obviously didn´t use Cellartracker...
Anyway, the nose opens up nicely in the glass, as old Burgundy do, with notes of root vegetables, pine forest, dried raspberries and dusty earth. A dried up sweetness. I like it, although it is past its prime.
The taste is more up to scratch, with notes of dried red fruits, moist undergrowth, beet root juice and pipe tobacco. The finish is actually long and rather intense. Very good. On the taste alone you wouldn´t think that it is a 65 year old wine.
87p   (tasted 2015/07)

? Volnay, Louis Grivot
For the next one, we knew the wine and producer, or negociant anyway. But not the vintage. It is supposed to be from the 40´s or the 50´s, which compared to the others would be the case.
The nose is deep, round and mature with notes of dried strawberries, bitter orange, nougat and coffee grounds. Very fine. A hint of VA, in a positive way. Alive and kicking, with a fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is tight and fine with notes of dried red fruits, tobacco, root vegetables and forest floor. A very fine acidity. Long and intense. Really good.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

1947 Les Grands E Echezeaux Têtes de Cuvée, unknown producer
Another variant of lack of information - we knew the vintage and wine but not the producer - interesting enough, the label doesn´t say. But who ever it was, he or she did know his or her stuff. The nose is deep, mature and velvety with notes of beet roots, forest floor, cool tobacco, a hint of chocolate and a whiff of wild strawberries. A very fine sweetness. Wears its age with grace. Pure and refined.
The taste is tight, mature and intense with notes of red cherries, forest floor, root vegetables, tobacco and some dry chocolate. A long, pure finish with a velvety mouth feel. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

1969 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tête de Cuvèe, Duvigneau
A Ch-du-Pape in a Burgundy line up - what a sacrilege! :-) Actually, it worked out well. The nose is big, mature and meaty with notes of dried red and black cherries, moist earth, warm herbs and a touch of beet root juice. Very good.
The taste is big and tight with notes of dried raspberries, herbs, scorched earth and tobacco. A medium long finish with a nice warmth. If this would have been poured blind, I would have guessed that we still were in Burgundy land. Time - the great equalizer...
87p   (tasted 2015/07)

1969 (presumably) Corton-Bressandes, P. Dubreuil-Fontaine
Again, wine and producer known but not the vintage. It was presumed to be a 1969. The nose is open, sweet and deep with notes of ripe raspberries, red plums, warm forest floor and pipe tobacco. Rich, generous and sweet. Very, very good. Feels the youngest in the line up.
The taste is tight, intense and delicious with notes of red and black cherries, root vegetables, smoke and warm tiles. A long, pure, structured finish. This still needs some time in the bottle. Really good stuff.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

2013 Johannisberg Valais, Domaine Mercier
A youngster is poured as a palate cleanser before the sweeties. This Sylvaner has a young, fresh nose with notes of pear ice cream, wet rocks, spices and basil. Good.
The taste is young, seedy and fresh with notes of grass, slate and bitter almonds. The finish is medium long and very dry. Could use a year or two in the cellar.
85p   (tasted 2015/07)

The final line up consisted of three sweeties, or at least they were sweet years ago... Tasted double blind.
1937 Château Couillac
A rather deep but foursquare nose with notes of dried apricots, rust, moist earth and some glue. One dimensional. Still hanging in there but just so.
The taste is medium bodied and semi dry with notes of dried tropical fruits, rubber carpet, orange peel and some bitter notes. The finish is long and concentrated. Better and livelier on the palate than on the nose. Good. From Sainte-Croix-du-Mont.
83p   (tasted 2015/07)

1971 Château Guiraud
A big, intense, mature nose with gorgeous notes of apricot purée, burned toffee, iodine and some old wood. A very fine botrytis scent. A lovely maturity. Very, very fine.
The taste is big, sweet and intense with notes of dried apricots, blood orange peel, band aid and crumbly butter cookies. Very long and yummy with a fine backing acidity. A great maturing Sauternes, that will keep for 10+ years.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

And now for the real mystery bottle. Mikke thought is should be a Burgundy so we opened it with the others, but it has a short cork that old fortified wines often has, and one sniff told us, this is sweet, so it was pushed to last.
The nose is big, sweet and concentrated with notes of dark plums, figs, muscovado sugar and dark chocolate mousse. Dense and rich. Has some age but with these kind of wines, hard to pinpoint more exactly.
The taste is big, sweet and mature with notes of raspberry liquorice, plum pudding, moist earth, sweet tea and chocolate mousse. Very long, sweet and a touch fiery. Our guesses goes to the south of France and a fortified wine with 30-40 years of age, but who knows?
86p   (tasted 2015/07)

Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Fifth Costa Brava Dispatch

Home again in Sweden. The last week in Costa Brava we had no wifi - a huge first world problem - so there were no Costa Brava Dispatches.

Instead I tasted a lot of wines.

I managed to taste 30 wines from 17 different producers from Empordà. Empordà is a DO (Denominación de Origen) since 1972 but wines have been made in the region for some 2.500 years, since the Greeks brought grapevins with them. The name Empordá comes from the Greek city of Empúries, which was founded in this area in 575 BC.

Up to the phylloxera struck in the end of the 19th century the region wine producing had been steadingly growing and there were 40.000 hectares of vineyards. Empordá never really recovered from the phylloxera plague (which they call it), and today the DO consists of 1.826 hectares.

But much have happened in the 21th century, more of that in following posts. Now for some wines tasted and drunk.

2006 Negre de Guarda, Castello de Calonge
Walking down the market street of L´Estartit we came across a table in a corner where bottles of wine stood. We were presented to the wines in a mix of Spanish and English, and since I live by the motto when in doubt, chose the most expensive alternative, I bought this bottle. For 8 Euro.
It is a blend of Granatxa (Grenache), Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon and have spent two years in cask. The nose is upfront and somewhat mature with a old fashioned Rioja nose, in the shape of dill, crawfish and soft red fruit. But there are also scents of smoke, earth and clean stables. Very good.
The taste is mature, dry and fairly intense with notes of vanilla dusted cherries, scorched earth, dried strawberries and smoke. The finish is medium long and dry. Kept well all evening long. Very good for the 8 Euro I paid.
85p   (tasted 2015/07)

2014 Mar, Mas Oller
Mas Oller is owned by Carles Esteva who also owns Can Ráfols de Caus in Penedès. This white consists of 80% Picaboll and 20% Malvasia. The nose is cool, flowery and creamy with notes of dry honey, dried up glue, melon, pine and lots of mineral. Salivating and fine. Some white pepper after a while.
The taste is full bodied and spicy with notes of ripe peaches, rubber, warm tiles and melon. A medium level acidity. Needs to be rather cold to retain its freshness, when it hits room temperature it feel a bit blowsy. But a really good wine for 9 Euro (this turned out be a consistent pattern - the wines from Empordá, with some exception, are cheap! And good!)
86p   (tasted 2015/07)

2012 Pur, Mas Oller
The red Mas Oller is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Garnacha and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and sports a fresh, herbal nose with notes of blueberries, meat, balsa wood and earth. Very good. Interesting enough I have, as with the Mar above, although tasted on different days, written salivating to describe the nose.
The taste is cool, medium bodied and peppery with notes of blueberries, crowberries, hot earth and some rubber. A medium long, fresh, peppery finish. Very, very good. Paired really well with some local made sausages. For 10 Euro a real bargain.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 Carlota, Oliver Conti
Here we have a predominantly Cabernet Franc wine (75%, the rest being Cabernet Sauvignon). The nose is open and flirty with notes of cool black currants, green pepper, a hint of chocolate and freshly cut grass. A fine laid back sweetness to the fruit. Very, very good.
The taste is still young and focused with notes of red and black currants, liquorice, smoke, earth and green peppers. A high, fine acidity. Long and fine. Really good and should become even better with 2-3 years in the cellar. 15 Euro. 4.516 bottles made. Info here.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

Yummy pigs trotters!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Fourth Costa Brava Dispatch

On our way to Cap de Creus we passed the vineyards of  Martin Faixó. Intrigued by the surroundings, I got hold of a bottle at a local wine shop.

2008 Perafita, Martin Faixó
This is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Garnatxa Negra and 17% Merlot. It has a nose with a beginning maturity and notes of plumpudding, melted asphalt, herbs, warm rocks and some stables. A fine density. Very, very good.
The taste is warm, structured and somewhat mature with notes of warm black currants, dry herbs, scorched earth and plums. A fine warmth with juicy tannins. Long and fine. Could evolve some more but this is a fine drink today.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

The Third Costa Brava Dispatch

This is a kind of preparing-for-tomorrow post. Tomorrow I will visit Castello Perelada, a producer located just 15 km from where we are staying. I have tasted one of their premium wines, although it was some time ago - the 2007 Ex Ex, a 100% Mourvèdre wine.

When shopping in a local Supermercat I noticed a couple of bottles of Castillo Perelada, and I bought the wine below out of curiosity.
Looking forward to tomorrow! Post will follow.

2010 Finca La Garriga, Castello Perelada
The La Garriga is made from Samsò (Carinyena) and comes from the oldest vines on Perelada´s estate, more than 50 years old. Aged for 14 months on American oak barriques.
The nose is deep, warm and inviting with finr notes of plums, ripe blueberries, new leather, coffee powder, some smoke and a hint of diesel oil. Very, very good. Powerful, yet graceful.
The taste is sturdy and strong with notes of warm blueberries, scorched earth, meat stock and a touch of old whiskey barrels. Long, compact and balanced. This I like!
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Second Costa Brava Dispatch

Time for another producer dynamic duo, and like the wines in the first dispatch, this was a recommendation from Vila Viniteca.

The producer is Espelt, who is located in Empordà.

2011 Coma Bruna Trés Old Vineys. Espelt
This 100% Carignan has a big, warm, somewhat meaty nose with notes of smoke, plums, bay leaves, spices and some dried strawberries. Very, very good and intoxicating. I could, and have, sniffed this most of the evening.
The taste is tight, still rather young and concentrated with notes of dried red and black berries,dry liquorice, cocoa, warm gravel and smoke. A long, fine finish with a good warmth. This is very good and I would happily open another bottle, if I could get one. Could someone please import this to Sweden - thanks!
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

2014 Quince Roures, Espelt
A blend of 50% Lledoner Roig/Grenache Gris) & 50% Lledoner blanc/Grenache Blanc, it opens rather shy, but with some swirling, notes of warm grass, white pepper, dried peach and white currants emerge. Laid back and very good.
The taste is mediu, bodied and spicy with notes of dusty warth, white pepper, aome dry wild strawberries and dried flowers. A very fine warmth. Very good.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

Monday, 20 July 2015

The First Costa Brava Dispatch

Being in Spain, you only drink Spanish wine, one thing I do to seldom. Before heading to Empuriabrava, we spend a few (hot) days in Barcelona and there I visited the shop Vila Viniteca, and was recommended some bottles of wine.
I started with a white and a red from Tomàs Cusiné, from Costers del Segre.

2014 Auzells, Tomàs Cusiné
This is a interesting blend of an array of grapes - Macadeu, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Albarîno and Chardonnay. Sounds weird, but it works. The nose is light, fresh and outgoing with notes of grass, peach, elderberries, summer flowers and acacia honey. Very salivating.
The taste is young, fresh, fruity and rather elegant with notes of fresh herbs, grass, white currants and
tangerines. The finish is medium long and dry. Very, very good. A really refreshing wine, although it is hard to peg a dominate grape character.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

2012 Geol, Tomàs Cusiné
The Geol is a blend of Samsò, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It sports a big, varm nose with lots of ripe plums, cocoa, red beet juice, burning autumn leaves and the aroma of a beef getting the Maillard coating on the grill. Complex but a tad top heavy.
The taste is slimmer, yet sturdy and concentrated with notes of plums, dark chocolate, liquorice, warm autum leaves and even a hint of port wine feeling (the label says 14,5%). Long, dark, warm and concentrated. A wine for the November stews. Today it is a bit too much.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

A Structured Tasting - Part Two - The Unstructured Portion Of TheEvening...

After the structured part of the evening was completed, the grill was lit, some meat was put on it and bottles of red wines appeared on the table, some blind and some open. These are my somewhat hazy notes of the wines.

2005 The Pict, Torbreck
Me and Torbreck is not a match made in heaven. I usually find the a bit top heavy and fiery. This was no exception. The nose is young, spicy, hot and inky with lots of sweet black fruit, toothpaste and balsamic vinegar.
The taste is young, fiery and seedy with notes of blackberries, mint and toothpaste. The finish is long, creamy and hot. Not my cup of tea.
72p   (tasted 2015/07)

1964 Château Les Ormes de Pez
From a magnum. The nose is mature, medium deep and open for business, with notes of earth, dry black currants, lead pencil and old leather. The fruit is somewhat faded. Good though.
The taste is mature and dry with notes of autumn leaves, dried black currants, scorched earth and some coffe. The finish is medium long and dry. Good with food.
85p   (tasted 2015/07)

2008 Trilogia, Christos Kokkalis
This was a surprise! Poured blind everyone at the table guessed Bordeaux, then California, the Italy, get the picture. Greece wasn´t mentioned. And it isn´t the first time that this has happened. The nose is a poster child for a ripe Cabernet based wine with fine notes of sweet black currants, cassis, warm tiles, new leather and sugared coffee. Very, very good.
The taste is young and tight with notes of sweet red and black currants, asphalt, leather and tobacco. The finish is long and warm. This will get even better with 3+ years in the cellar.
90p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 Langhe di Nebbiolo, Bartolo Mascarello
A fine, traditional nose with notes rosehips, fresh mushrooms, rose petals and lots of ripe cherries. Cool and elegant. Very good.
The taste is young, fresh and dry with notes of red cherries, mushrooms, rosehips and some dry balsamic notes. A long, earthy finish. Drinking really well with the food.
88p   (tasted 2015/07)

2007 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon
Aaaah, what a gorgeous nose with ripe fruit, a fine depth and balance. There are notes of sweet black currants, Valrhona chocolate, plums and tobacco. Very yummy. This is really up my Alley.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of ripe black currants, plums, cold coffe and warm gravel. Plenty of polished tannins. Very balanced. Long, long and warm. A very fine wine.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Terroir, Domaine La Barroche
Hot years in Châteauneuf - no thanks. The nose is big and overripe with notes of kirsch, raspberry liquorice, hot glue and dry herbs. Somewhat one dimensionel, The heat is the dominant factor.
The taste is big and fiery with notes of raspberry jam, pine sap, scorched earth and dry herbs. A long, hot finish. It works with a big slice of meat but on its own it is too much, for me anyway.
80p   (tasted 2015/07)

1995 Hardy´s Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
This turned out as a very positive surprise. The cork was dry through, so we had to filter corks parts through our teeth...but when the wine hits out taste buds, that was no longer a problem. The nose is deep, mature and complex with notes of sweet black fruits, smoke, pipe tobacco and asphalt. A very fine dried up sweetness. Handsome. A lovely maturity.
The taste is beautifully mature with notes of ripe blueberries, dark chocolate, old expensive leather, warm tiles and a tiny touch of mint. A long, warm, velvety finish. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

2012 Les Chamois du Paradis, Jean Francois Ganevat
To round off the evening this Chardonnay was opened. It has a young, fresh nose with notes of dried apricots, lemon cream, minerals and summer flowers. Very elegant and fine.
The taste is young and dry with notes of lemon cream, biscuits, summer flowers and some chalk. A long, fine finish. Very, very good. A very fine acidity.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

Exploring The Forgotten Side Of Bordeaux - Chapter VIII

Time for a mini vertical of Château La Louvière. La Louvière is part of the André Lurton empire. He bought La Louvière in 1965 and have made great efforts to restore both the vineyards as to the château itself. The name comes from the wolfes (louves) that rummaged the local forest and made the region a favourite hunting place for the medieval society.

The 1983 below was the last vintage that was fermented and stored in tanks and cemet vats. From the 1984 vintage barriques was used, at first with 100% new oak, and by now it has been scaled down to ca 45%.
The cepages is now 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon, but reading David Peppercorn´s Bordeaux from 1991 it is obviously that the Semillon part was higher during the 80´s. Funny enough he lists the vintages of "real quality" to be all vintages between 1981 and 1986 (the last vintage even "exceptional", glad I have one...), except the 1983. Interesting, since I found it to be a really good wine, see below.

I have liked the wines from this estate, the relatively few times I have tasted it. I have old notes from the 1995 (90p), 1996 (89p) and 2000 (90p) and here is a recent note of the 2008.

1983 Château La Louvière
A beautiful mature, deep, warm nose with notes of candied lemons, warm grass, lanolin and some moisturizer. Very good. There is an ever so slight scent of botrytis. A very fine dried up sweetness. Lovely.
The taste is warm, spicy and mature with notes of tangerines, lanolin, dried apricots and rubber. A fine acidity. Long. This has matured into a fine bottle of white Bordeaux.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

1990 Château La Louvière
There is some maturity here as well, but the fruit is fresher and more vibrant than the 83. Fine notes of sweet lime, paint, coconut flakes and thai basil, Complex and fine. A very spicy nose. Very, very good.
The taste is big and intense with notes of candied lemons, rubber, stale nuts and warm grass. A long, creamy finish with a fine acidity. This is on top of its game. A different creature than its 7 year older sibling, but as good.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

1998 Château La Louvière
Unfortunately, this turned out to be the ugly duckling in the line up. The nose is subdued and earthy with notes of dried fruit, some fur and a moist wall-to-wall carpet.
The taste is big and steady with notes of candied tropical fruit, soap, glue and moist earth. Very dense. I´m sceptic that this duckling will transform inte a beautiful swan with age, but since I have one more bottle I will wait 10+ years and see.
78p   (tasted 2015/07)

Thursday, 16 July 2015

A New Super Tuscan Acquaintance - 2001 Salamartano, Fattoria Montellori

I have not tasted anything from Fattoria Montellori and when I spotted a bottle of their 2001 Salamartano.
In Supertuscans (Andrea Zanfi) the cepage is stated as 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot, and since that book (a must have bye the way) was printed in 2002, I would guess that this wine consists of that blend. According to Montellori´s website the blend is now 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot.
They have also cut down on the new wood, the book states that 80% is new and the website describe it as 60% new, yet the time in wood is the same, 14 months.
The first vintage of Salamartano was the 1992.

2001 Salamartano, Fattoria Montellori
The nose is really good, with some maturity and fine notes of ripe plums, pipe tobacco, pine nuts, expensive leather and a touch of asphalt. A fine depth. Ripe fruit. Some coffe notes after a while. This is very good.
The taste is tighter and more structured than the nose with notes of plums, chocolate covered black currants, tobacco, autumn leaves and graphite. A creamy texture although it ends dry after the long finish have ceased. I guess I caught this one on its apogee, but it will surely stay like this for another 3+ years. A very likable new acquaintance.
92p   (tasted 2015/07)

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Is 1959 Or 1961 The Better Vintage In Bordeaux?

One of life´s truly thrilling questions, right? :-)
Here is a micro experience to find out the thruth. I have gotten hold of two bottles from respectively vintage, from a Bordeaux negociant. Same provenance, the level is very good on both bottles and the general condition seems good.

What say the pros about these two vintages?
Steven Spurrier in his Académie du Vin Wine Course (1983) gives 1959 - 16,5p and 1961 - 20p.
Yves Durand in his Connoisseur´s Guide to Bordeaux Wines (1987) gives 1959 - 19-19,5p and 1961 - 20p.
When Reading David Peppercorn´s Bordeaux (1991) it is obvious that he prefers 1961 to 1959.
The same could be said about Clive Coates assesment in his Grands Vins (1996).
Michel Broadbent gives both vintages 5 stars in his Vintage Wine (2002).
Last but not least (!), what does Robert Parker has to say? He doesn´t give scores (!) to the vintages but reading what he has to say in Bordeaux (1998) he gives the nod to 1961, even though he says that the 1959's could outlive the 61´s.

So its seems that 1961 has the upper hand according to our experts above.
Well, let see what I have in the glasses and which is the better wine.

1959 Bordeaux, J. Lebègue & Co
The 59 has a deep, soft yet intense nose with notes of dried black currants, fresh stables, charchoal and sweet tobacco. Very much alive and kicking. There is even a hint of mint. Evolves all evening long and becomes sweeter. Warm tiles. Very, very good.
The taste is a tad more linear than the nose and the fruit lacks some stuffing. Still holding on though and with some grilled minced meat steaks with root vegetables and red wine sauce, it held its own. A good warmth to the dried up fruit. Very nice.
85p   (tasted 2015/07)

1961 Bordeaux, J. Lebègue & Co
The 2 year younger generic Bordeuax has a gorgeous mature, refined nose, with notes of ripe red and black currants, forest floor, coffee beans, dry leather and dried flowers. Not as sweet as the 59 but it has a more laid back elegance and balance. This is actually really, really good. Given this blind, I would on the nose alone guessed it to be from 82 or 78...
The taste is yet again a bit more high strung than the nose, but the 61 has more stuffing than the 59 and there are fine notes of dried black currants, earth, tobacco and old expensive leather. The finish is long, dry and balanced. And as with the 59, it was great with the food.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

Both bottles were a positive surprise, in that they were in such good shape and also held up for several hours. The 1961 took the prize in this head to head match.
The last time I had the fortune to try these vintages head to head was a couple of years back when we had the opportunity to drink 1959 and 1961 Château Mouton Rothschild, and then the 1959 was a perfect wine, while the 1961 scored a measly 97p...:-)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio, San Felice

I have previously tasted 1976, 1978 and 1988 Il Grigio from San Felice and I noted that the monopoly had the 2010. Lets test drive one bottle.

2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio, San Felice
With some air, it evolve a fine, old style Sangiovese nose with notes of sweet/sour cherries, a Tuscan gravel road, violets, dry leather and rosemary. It has a fine warmth. Some raspberry liquorice after a while. Really good.
The taste is young, tight and structured with notes of cherry pips,  warm rosemary, gravel, violets and a long, long, taut finish. A lovely mouth feel. This I like, and it will evolve nicely. More bottles are on their way.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

Friday, 10 July 2015

A Structured Tasting - Part One - The Structured Portion Of The Evening...

Ulf & David invited to a structured tasting. Intrigued I accepted and showed up at Ulf´s place with 2 bottles of red wine to go to the more unstructured part... Notes to follow.
Ulf, David and the other participants - thanks for a great evening - 23 more notes in my notebook! :-)
All wines tasted double blind.

The first flight was a bubbly one, and we were told that one or two but not all three were the real stuff.
2010 Knightsbridge, Ridgeview
A lightly earthy, seedy nose with notes of dry lemons, melon, some fudge and a hint of petrol. Wit air it becomes more apple scented. Very good.
The taste is dry, cool and a touch yeasty with notes of apple juice, gravel and dru biscuits. The finish is light, nice and dry. Nice enough.
85p   (tasted 2015/07)

2006 Cuvée MO Brut Nature, Schlossgut Diel
Schlossgut Diel can make some really fine wines, as this 06 Spätburgunder was a great example of. This bubbly shows a finely tuned, detailed nose with notes of mango, sweet lime, matchbox, minerals and a hint of mint. Very deep and fine. A hint of maturity.
The taste is dry and structured with notes of ripe red apples, forest floor, dried flowers and some chocolate notes. Very long and expressive. This is good!
92p   (tasted 2015/07)

2008 Millèsime Exception, Drappier
I tasted this recently and it behaved almost identical on this evening. This is a great 2008, one among many.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

The second flight also turned out to be one with bubbles. I tasted this line up from Jacques Selosse, although with other degorcement dates, some time ago. Fun to do it again!
Initial, Jacques Selosse
Degorced 2012-07-05. A young, focused nose with notes of yellow apples, butter biscuits, warm gravel and dry lemoncello. A fine depth. A touch of rubber, in a positive sense. Very, very good.
The taste is nicely balanced and buttery with notes of smoke, yellow plums and sweet minerals. A very fine, tight acidity. Long and savoury. Very fine.
92p   (tasted

V.O., Jacques Selosse
The V.O. has a more nutty aroma with additional notes of lemon butter, nettles, freshly washed clothes and smoked. Deep, earthy and very, very fine.
The taste is young, tight and complex with notes of lemon juice, cap gun smoke, almond paste and birch sap. A lovely texture. Maybe a tad more restrained than the Initial but with greater depth. Great wine. Degorced 2012-07-23.
94p   (tasted 2015/07)

Substance, Jacques Selosse
A wonderful, refined, utterly gorgeous nose flows out of the glass, with notes of limefudge, hyachint, dry lemoncello and smoke. Ethereal in the true sense of the word. So, so fine. Depth, balance and focus in one package. Marvelous.
The taste is as good as the nose, with a lovely purity and freshness. Stunning notes of sweet lime, summer flowers, smoke, hazelnuts and minerals. The acidity is faultless and the length is counted in minutes. A joy to drink. Just beautiful. Degorced 2013-06-10.
98p   (tasted 2015/07)

Now it was time for the third flight. No info were given but we agreed on that it was Riesling. The rest of the guesses are best forgotten...
2008 Von der Fels, Keller
A fine, detailed nose with notes of sweet/sour lemons, dried apricots, wet rocks and old vanilla ice cream. Light yet intense. Very good. Some maturity.
The taste feels younger than the nose with notes of unripe pears, grass, almonds and minerals. A long, fine finish. Very good.
89p   (tasted 2015/07)

2009 Von der Fels, Keller
The 09 has a young, upfront nose with interesting notes of fish scrapings, yellow pears, chlorophyll and the blue things that you find in a certain place in a men´s room... Complex. Very good.
The taste is in a way purer with more traditional notes of white currants, pears, minerals and grass. A very fine, crisp acidity. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 Von der Fels, Keller
The 10 is some steps up the quality ladder, compared with the 08 and 09. The nose is young and restrained, yet sports a focused and expressive nose with notes of William pears, a hint of white pepper, vanilla ice cream and minerals. Pure as a mountain river. Great.
The taste is young and tight with notes of lemon peel, unripe pears, melon, gravel and vanilla ice cream. The finish is long and refined. A very high acidity. This will evolve well. A really fine wine.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

The fourth flight turned out to be spectacular. And when the quality is on this level, it is easier to guess producer, so Keller was mentioned early in the discussion.
2008 Kirchspiel, Keller
A wonderful, upfront nose with notes of apricots, ripe pears, a hockey puck and freshly cut grass. Intense and beautiful. Has a lovely depth. This is really fine. Complex.
The taste is exquisite, tight and pure with notes of apricot ice cream, wet asphalt, nuts and a hint of vanilla cookies. The acidity is high and beautifylly integrated. Very, very long. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2015/07)

2009 Kirchspiel, Keller
The 08 Kirchspiel is a great wine, but the 09 is even better! The nose is more restrained but with some vigorous swirling, fine scents of sour/sweet lemons, almond paste, shellfish and warm minerals emerge. Deep and concentrated. Still young.
The taste is dense, concentrated and just brilliant with a gorgeous acidity and stunning notes of sweet minerals, sour/sweet lemons, warm grass, melon and some cap gun smoke. The finish goes on for minutes. Soooooo fine.
96p   (tasted 2015/07)

2010 Kirchspiel, Keller
Lo and behold - the 10 Kirchspiel is even more amazing than the 09! The purity and intensity is of the charts. There are breath taking notes of oyster shells, birch sap, matchbox, ripe melon and spices. Yet it is impossible di describe the balance between density and lightness. Awesome.
The taste is purity and complexity liquefied, with perfect notes of tangerines, lemon cream, dry caramel, asphalt and grass. The finish goes on and on and on. In 5+ years this will probably be a perfect wine. I am glad I have some.
97p   (tasted 2015/07)

The last and fifth flight turned out to be the same line up as the fourth, only with younger vintages. They seemed more linier than the 08-10, but maybe its just because they are younger?
2011 Kirchspiel, Keller
A cool, withdrawn nose with notes of white currants, lemon peel, coconut flakes and gravel. Very, very good in a restrained way. Still young.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of lemon, almonds, gravel and grass. Racy and fine. Needs time. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2015/07)

2012 Kirchspiel, Keller
The 12 Kirchspiel has a cool, refined nose with notes of chalk, wet earth, unripe yellow apples and a touch of fresh fish. Very, very fine. Evolves all evening long in the glass. Some dried fruit and almond paste after  a while. Very deep and clean.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of lemon peel, green apples, chalk and almonds. The finish is very long with a high acidity and a stunning balance. A great wine in the making.
93p   (tasted 2015/07)

2013 Kirchspiel, Keller
A very young, frsh nose with lots of pear ice cream, chalk, grass, melon and some iron. Dried herbs after a while. Needs time. Very, very good.
The taste is cool and seedy with notes of white currants, pears, earth and some iron. The finish is long and balanced. This will turn out fine, after 5+ years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2015/07)

Ulf´s notes here.