Wednesday, 27 July 2016

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


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

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

Monday, 25 July 2016

Vacation Reading

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


Sunday, 24 July 2016

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

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

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


Saturday, 23 July 2016

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

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

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


Thursday, 21 July 2016

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

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

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

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number Seven - 2001 Chateau Fombrauge

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

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


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

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


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

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

Monday, 18 July 2016

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

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

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



Sunday, 17 July 2016

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


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

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


Friday, 15 July 2016

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


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

2013 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Shafer
I tasted the 2014 - http://barolista.blogspot.se/2016/05/lunch-tasting-with-doug-shafer.html - not long ago and that vintage seemed to be a turn to a more restrained Chardonnay than previous vintages that I have had from Shafer. The 2013 is more like what I remember from the past.
The nose is big and bold with gorgeous notes of ripe yellow pears, oatmeal cookies, melted butter and matchbox scents. Deep and hedonistic. Some dark fudge. Very, very good.
The taste is mouth coating and rewarding with notes of lemon cream, cap gun smoke, butter cookies and a hint of sage. Long, long and ripe. There is some fine acidity in the background to keep it from being too big. For drinking now and the coming 3+ years. I do like the style of the 2014 better, even if its nice from time to time to drink this kind of power house.
91p   (tasted 2016/07)

Thursday, 14 July 2016

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

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

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



Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Vacation Wines - Number One - 1996 Mosaïque, Jacquart

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

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



Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A Pierre Peters Dinner Tasting

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



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

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


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



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

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


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

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



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

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

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




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

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



Monday, 11 July 2016

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

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

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

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

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



Saturday, 9 July 2016

A Bottle Each - 1971 Barbacarlo & 1971 Barolo

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

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


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

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Drinking Tonight - 1982 Château La Gravière

1982 Château La Gravière
Madame Cascarret has fashioned a really fine Bordeaux from this great year. The nose jumps out of the glass with lots of dried plums, pipe tobacco, autumn leaves and the just right amount of horse feces in a distance. A very fine dried up sweetness. Round and perfumed. A perfect maturity.
The taste is medium bodied, mature and velvety with notes of dried black currants, dry tobacco, black tea and dirt. The finish is a tad on the dry side, but some grilled veal sausages removes all dry features. Drinking great tonight, but any remaining bottles should be consumed soon.
88p   (tasted 2016/07)



Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Some Fine White Burgundy´s To Close The Tasting Season


A couple of weeks ago Mikke arranged the last tasting of the season. Before the main event we got the change to taste some leftovers from two days earlier. These four first wines were tasted non blind.

2009 Bourgogne Blanc, Arnaud Ente
A young, steely nose with notes of melon, blood orange and lots of minerals. A elegant smoky note. Really good.
The taste is young and tight with lots of fresh lemons, oranges and salty minerals. Very refreshing. There is lots to like here.
88p   (tasted 2016/06)

2009 Bourgogne Blanc, Dugat-Py
A deep, earthy, somewhat "dirty" nose with notes of ripe mango, grass and cat pee. Smells like a over the top Sauvignon Blanc. Strange.
The taste is dry and angular with notes of ginger, orange peel and grass. A very high acidity. According to Mikke it was the same two days ago. Go figure.
79p   (tasted 2016/06)


2009 Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Roulot
A young, focused nose with notes of lime peel, steel and earth. A bit restrained but very good.
The taste is tight and serious with notes of lime, chalk and ripening melon. Long and lingering. This will need some time but will turn out fine.
88p   (tasted 2016/06)

2009 Puligny-Montrachet Les Champs Canet, Louis Carillon
A step up on the nose, with fine aromas of matchbox, lemon cream, summer flowers and dry fudge. Sweet minerals. Deep and refined. Very, very good.
The taste is young and concentrated with notes of lemon cream, white pears, minerals and a fine salty note. A long, distinct finish. A great wine in the making.
92p   (tasted 2016/06)

After this nice opening we were presented with 5 decanters. Tasted double blind.

2000 Chablis Les Clos, Rene & Vincent Dauvissat
A somewhat restrained nose with notes of white currants, crushed stones and unripe melon. Cool and laid back. Needs time, still.
The taste is tight and dry with notes of red lemons, white currants, tarragon and some rubbery notes. A high, stern acidity. Very good but lacks a bit of charm.
89p   (tasted 2016/06)

2000 Corton-Charlemagne, Bonneau du Martray
The first Corton shows a big, lightly buttery nose with a fine maturity and additional notes of hay, dried flowers, dry fudge and a interesting scent of old rubber, in a complex sort of way. Very, very good.
The taste is open, caressing and warm with notes of dried up lemon curd, warm grass and some linoleum. A fine acidity. The finish is long and sturdy. At 16 years age, fully mature but should keep for 5+ years more.
91p   (tasted 2016/06)



2000 Corton-Charlemagne, Bertrand Ambroise
The Ambroise Corton is the better one, with an exuberant, deep nose packed with sweet lemons and notes of spices, dried tropical fruits and sun warm gravel. Very, very fine. Some maturity.
The taste is big and expressive with notes of dried apricots, almond paste, grapegruit and lots of sweet minerals. A long, long, lingering finish. Great to drink now and the 8+ years to come.
94p   (tasted 2016/06)

2000 Puligny-Montrachet Les Champs Canet, Louis Carillon
This should have been a knockout, but no, it wasn´t. The nose is very mature with old wrinkled apples, almond paste, dry honey and decaying hay. Some medicinal notes as well. Feels like a 1970, not a 2000. For a 1970 is would have been fine.
The taste is big and broad with lots of warmth and notes of burnt toast, overripe apples and some old glue. Again, if it would have been a 46 year old Burgundy, I would have liked it more.
82p   (tasted 2016/06)


2000 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Grandes Ruchottes, Louis Jadot
A high, pure, energetic nose with notes of vanilla cooked yellow fruits, summer flowers, almonds and chrushed rocks. Very, very good. Still on the young side of things.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of grilled lemons, almond cookies, dried flowers and sweet minerals. A long, balanced finish. Great now and will continue to be great for another 8+ years.
94p   (tasted 2016/06)



Monday, 4 July 2016

1983 Château de Pez


1983 Château de Pez
This ancient St Estephe consist of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. That is to say way back in 1983. Nowadays they (Roederer bought the estate in 1995) have cut back on the Cabernet Sauvignon and recent vintages contains around 50%. And the Merlot part has increased to about 40%.
According to Parker I should have drunk this 10 years ago. It was probably very fine then, but tonight it displays the merits of cellaring Bordeaux.
The nose is open and rewarding with notes of warm stables, dried black currants, pipe tobacco and coffee grounds. Very generous and good. Some old wood notes. A very fine mature Bordeaux nose.
The taste is mature, round and dry with notes of black currant leaves, undergrowth, pencil shavings and dry tobacco. The finish is medium long, dry and aristocratic. Very, very good. Fully mature, but well stored bottles should be this good for another 3-5 years.
89p   (tasted 2016/06)

Friday, 1 July 2016

Brief Notes Of The Wines Of Midsummer


We had a great Midsummer Eve with - surprisingly - good weather and we could sit outside all evening long, eating, drinking and talking friends. Below are some brief recollactions (with a approximate score since I didn´t take any formal notes) of the wines we drank and enjoyed. My offerings, to no ones surprise, is the wines with some age...

2015 Château de Selle Rosé, Domaine Ott
Very fresh with lots of minerals, white peach and passionfruit, in a restrained and refined way. A great rosé.
~92p   (tasted 2016/06)

2004 Blanc de Blancs, Deutz
Just entering the first stages of maturity with stunning notes of bread, red apples and dry fudge. Creamy and rich. In a great drinking stage. Just lovely.
~94p   (tasted 2016/06)

2007 Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Moucheré, Domaine Henri Boillot
This Monopole wine from Boillot always, IMHO, delivers the goods. Juicy, ripe Chardonnay fruit with a great mineral backbone and a touch of maturity. Great wine.
~94p   (tasted 2016/06)

2002 Riesling Cuvée Ste Catherine, Domaine Weinbach
Another perennial favourite, this stunning Riesling from the Weinbach family is packed to the brim with perfect ripe yellow fruits and a searing acidity. Some maturity but this has a long way to go. (the only bottle missing from the picture)
~93p   (tasted 2016/06)

2014 Finca le Los Locos, Bodegas Y Viñedos Artuke
A upfront, accessible, easy going nose and a bit darker, denser taste makes this 80% Tempranillo/20% Graciano Rioja wine very likeable.
~86p   (tasted 2016/06)

2013 Ercole Nero Buono, Cincinnato
This Nero Buono was a perfect match with the grilled burgers, with its fresh yet dark cherry fruit and cleansing acidity. I liked this a lot.
~90p   (tasted 2016/06)

2011 I Unacepa, Valduero
This 100% Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero is a serious wine. It has depth, concentration and a focus that comes from low yields, tough pruning and a great cellar work. According to the back label each vine produces one bottle of wine. Would love to have plenty of this.
~93p   (tasted 2016/06)

1985 Château La Tour du Pin Figeac Édition Limitée
Certain years this estate makes a Édition Limitée with a artist painting on the label, this time a Manet. The wine shows a fine maturity with lots of stable and red currant aromas and the taste is soft, mature and yummy.
~87p   (tasted 2016/06)

1976 Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux Monts, A. Ligeret
A lovely, mature Pinot with notes of dried strawberries, forest floor, rose petals and cigarr smoke. Very complex and fine. The taste is mature and sturdy for its age with raspberries, damp earth and spices. Very fine. Caught in a great time and place.
~93p   (tasted 2016/06)

2012 Old Hill Zinfandel, Ravenswood
A big, ripe wine with lots of dark berries, lots of flavours and there is lots of enjoyment to be had from this bottle. Really, really good.
~92p   (tasted 2016/06)

NV Palo Cortado Tradicion 30 Anos, Bodegas Tradicion
To finish the evening of, a bottle as great as 8 months ago.
~93p   (tasted 2016/06)


Drinking Tonight - A Young Burgundy & A Mature Bordeaux

For starter tonight we had some langoustines, toast and a yummy lime- and garlic mayonnaise. To go with that I opened a half bottle of

2014 Saint-Aubin La Princée, Hubert Lamy
This producer keeps on turning out great Chardonnay´s from Saint-Aubin. This youngster has a fine, cool, spicy nose with notes of red apples, grilled lemons, Jerusalem artichoke cream and lots and lots of minerals. Refined and racy. Very, very good.
The taste is young and perky with notes of dry lemon curd, summer flowers, matchbox and crushed rocks. A very fine acidity. A great structure for aging. This will be a stunner in 6-8 years.
92p   (tasted 2016/07)


Having suffered from a stubborn summer cold the last week, now that I was back in shape, I needed something soothing, classic and aristocratic. A mature Bordeaux of course! It went very well with the roulads of veal with roasted root vegetables and a light herb and Madeira sauce I had prepared.

1961 Château Bellegrave
To my knowledge I have never tasted anything from this St Emilion estate before. The cork cane up in two pieces, looking perfect for its age. The first sniff was just what I wanted and needed - round, sweet and warm with that haunting perfume that can only come from long bottle aging. With thirty minutes in the glass fine aromas of dark plums, moist autumn leaves, saw dust and summer warm stables rises from the glass. Keeps on evolving for two hours before it peeks. Caught in a perfect time.
The taste is mature but still juicy with a fine warmth and notes of plums, fir, autumn leaves, stables and cigarr ashes. The finish is long, warm and delivers a small but still, a distinct tannin bite, after all these years. Given this blind I would have guessed a fine bottle from 85 or 78. These 61´s still have lots to offer.
91p   (tasted 2016/07)



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)